Tag: "Sean Hannity"

Friday, May 10, 2019

| May 10, 2019

Cumulus Media Q1 Report: Net Revenue Rises 1.4%. Reporting on the first quarter of 2019, Cumulus Media’s net revenue was $267.5 million, an increase of 1.4% compared to the same period in 2018.  Net income was $451,000 in the first quarter, compared to 2019 in which Cumulus posted a loss of $5 million.  Cumulus reports in two segments – Cumulus Radio Station Group and Westwood One.  In this first quarter of 2019, the Radio Station Group was down 1% on net revenue of $166.5 million, while Westwood One was up 5.9% on net revenue of $100.4 million.  Chief financial officer John Abbot says on the radio station side that the company continues “to experience a tough, local spot market environment.”  Cumulus Media president and CEO Mary Berner states, “Driven by a steady focus on our key strategic priorities including accelerating digital growth, our strong performance continued in Q1 2019 with year-over-year increases in both revenue and EBITDA.  Additionally, we now have four pending M&A transactions that collectively are expected to generate more than $120 million of net proceeds and bolster our competitive positions in Indianapolis and Allentown. Combined with the $25 million voluntary prepayment made in February, these proceeds will reduce our net leverage to 4.8x on a pro forma basis.  We look forward to continuing our disciplined execution against all our strategic priorities and financial goals in the quarters ahead.”

Podcasting and Digital Efforts Bearing Fruit for Cumulus.  On yesterday’s Q1 earnings call with investors, Cumulus CEO Mary Berner lauded the company’s podcasting and digital segments.  She said, “So far in 2019, we continue to see the same strong growth in podcasting that we have enjoyed since we started the business.  As the exclusive partner for over 40 podcasts we’ve generated nearly 52 million downloads in March 2019, more than doubled the 23 million generated in March 2018.  And that doesn’t include our growing local podcast businesses.  By our estimation, this will put us in the top five largest podcast companies measured by PodTrack in March.  What is particularly notable about this growth, is that, that we have been able to achieve it while maintaining profitability.”  Berner is also pleased with the company’s efforts to grow digital revenue.  She adds, “We are continuing to generate exceptional growth across all of our platforms, with total digital revenue for the quarter growing 79% from the first quarter of last year.  Our streaming audience is growing steadily, driven by both organic listenership and increased distribution on the Tune In platform.  And we’re monetizing this high-margin digital inventory better and more broadly, through all of our channels, local, national network, programmatic exchanges, and remnant networks as well.”

Saga Communications Down 0.7% in Q1. The 2019 first quarter financial report from Saga Communications, Inc. shows the company’s net revenue during the period was $27.8 million, a dip of 0.7% over the same period in 2018.  Free cash flow increased $324 thousand to $2.6 million and station operating expense decreased 1% to $23.2 million.  Same station operating income was down 22% to $1.86 million and net income dipped 11% to $1.4 million.   The company notes that the results for the quarter were affected by its October 2018 acquisition of WOGK-FM, WNDT-FM, WNDD-FM, and WNDN-FM, in the Gainesville-Ocala market from Ocala Broadcasting Corporation, LLC for $9.3 million.  Saga reports having $39.2 million in cash on hand (as of 3/31/19) and $40.7 million in cash on hand (as of 5/6/19).

Hannity to Afternoons on WPHT, Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Business Journal is reporting that Entercom will fill its afternoon drive daypart with Premiere NetworksSean Hannity program starting next week.  Earlier this week, the station announced that current afternoon talk host Rich Zeoli becomes the new morning drive host on Monday (5/13), assuming the role left open when Chris Stigall exited WPHT earlier this year. It appears Entercom will air the Sean Hannity show during its live air time – 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm – on WPHT beginning on Monday as opposed to searching for a local host for the daypart. Hannity’s show has been airing on the station in a delay broadcast in the evening.

PodcastOne and Hubbard Radio Produce True Crime Program ‘22 Hours: An American Nightmare.’ The true-crime genre is a popular one among podcast consumers and now, PodcastOne and partner Hubbard Radio (remember that Hubbard owns 30% of PodcastOne) are producing a new podcast series titled, “22 Hours: An American Nightmare.”  The 10-part series investigates the Washington, DC mansion murders using the talents of WTOP, Washington reporters Megan Cloherty and Jack Moore, and produced by WTOP and its digital news director, Julia Ziegler.  Hubbard podcast strategy manager Wheeler Morris says, “We at Hubbard are excited to bring listeners around the country this story from a team of experienced investigative reporters at WTOP.  Listeners in the Washington, DC region are familiar with WTOP’s high-quality journalism and, with the help of PodcastOne, we are excited to now share that with the nation.”  PodcastOne executive chairman Norm Pattiz adds, “I’ve noticed recently that other major radio companies are promoting their new relationships with podcasters.  The Hubbard Radio/PodcastOne relationship recognized the synergies present over four years ago, and it continues to expand today.  We have a very definite game plan that seeks to take advantage of podcasting’s obvious on-demand advantages to stations, while mining the creativity that radio companies can bring to the table.”

iHeartMedia Promotes Rahul Sabnis to Lead New In-House Creative Group. This promotion comes with a realignment of the company’s in-house creative efforts.  Rahul Sabnis rises from EVP and executive creative director for iHeartMedia to chief creative officer & EVP for the newly branded, in-house creative group “TheStudio at iHeartMedia” operating under the aegis of Darren Davis, president of iHeartRadio and iHeartMedia Networks Group.  The company says that under Rahul’s leadership it will combine its Creative Studio and “CSG” in Atlanta into “TheStudio at iHeartMedia.”  A press release says TheStudio in-house agency will “provide a range of high-level strategy and creative services, helping iHeart’s own brands and the brands of its advertising and marketing partners use the efficiency and efficacy of audio seamlessly across all its company assets at the scale that only iHeart can deliver.”

Marie Harf to Exit FOX News to Join Seth Moulton Campaign.The Daily Beast reports that FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio personality Marie Harf is leaving her positions as political commentator and radio host, respectively, to join the 2020 presidential campaign of U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) as deputy campaign manager for policy and communications.  Harf co-hosts the “Benson and Harf” radio show with Guy Benson.  Harf served on Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign and was a senior communications adviser to former Senator John Kerry (D-MA).

The Mueller Report and Trump’s Claim of Executive Privilege Top News/Talk Story for Week of May 6-10.  Democrats’ request for the unredacted version of the Mueller Report and President Trump’s claim his executive privilege gives him control of the report was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the New York Times piece on Trump’s business losses.  Coming in at #3 was the 2020 presidential races, followed by the China trade war, the effect on the stock market, and North Korea’s missile tests at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

TALKERS CONVENTION SPOTLIGHT: Launching and Growing a Talent Career in 2019. Being a talent in 2019 is not as unique as it was years ago.  Thanks to the Internet, so-called talent is everywhere.  But the digital age has also brought new opportunities for talent that didn’t exist years ago and it’s incumbent upon talk media talent to seize them in order take control of one’s career.  At Talkers 2019: Telling the Story, set for New York on Friday, June 7, ABC News Radio executive director of programming Andrew Kalb will moderate a panel of broadcasters to discuss “Launching and Growing a Talent Career in 2019.”  Panelists include (in alphabetical order): Heather Cohen, EVP, The Weiss Agency; Dom Giordano, host, WPHT, Philadelphia; Danielle Lin, host, “The Art of Living & the Science of Life”; Greg Moceri, CEO, Moceri Media; Michael Riedel, host, WOR, New York; and Todd Starnes, host, FOX News Radio.  The conference is rapidly moving toward being an early sellout.  To see the entire up-to-the-minute agenda and for registration/hotel information, please click here.

Conspiracy Theorist David Icke Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  With Facebook moving to officially ban Alex Jones and other controversial media figures from its platform and President Trump weighing in on the situation on the side of Jones and his InfoWars organization, there has been a lot of talk this week about conspiracy theorists, fake news, and freedom of speech.  One of the world’s most famous and controversial conspiracy theorists, David Icke, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Icke, who hails from Great Britain, has a worldwide following on YouTube and other digital platforms in addition to being the author of more than 20 books whereby he talks and writes about a wide variety of political and metaphysical issues that run the gamut from a scientifically plausible analysis of the vibrational aspects of reality per quantum physics to completely outrageous ideas about the human race being under the hidden control of a lizard-like, reptilian species of interdimensional humanoids that borders on science fiction.  He routinely sells out large meeting spaces on his lecture tours and is banned in a number of venues and countries for what many consider to be his dangerous ideas.  He has been accused on a number of occasions of anti-Semitism for his views on international banking and the turbulent politics of Israel, the Palestinians, and the Middle East – charges he vehemently denies.  There’s a new documentary film about this former English soccer star turned conspiracy theorist titled, “Renegade:  The Life Story of David Icke,” which takes a fly-on-the-wall view of his life as a family man, lecturer, and social/political disrupter.  It was banned by a theater in Los Angeles last week just hours before its premiere there when the theater owners learned about the level of controversy surrounding Icke.  Harrison caught up with Icke this past Thursday (5/2) when he was in New York City to attend the premiere of the film there that evening.  They talk about the media, the First Amendment, and the state of the conspiracy theory business in 2019.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Atlanta radio pro Jeff Dauler is out at WSTR, Atlanta “Star 94.1” where he was co-host of the “Jeff & Jenn” show with Jenn Hobby.  She addressed Dauler’s departure on the program but didn’t offer any specifics on his departure.  Hobby will continue to lead the morning show.  At the same time as Dauler departed, afternoon personality Mike Marino also left the air and his info on the station’s website has been scrubbed.  Aside from Hobby addressing it on the air, WSTR has not commented specifically on the changes…..Warner Music Nashville recording artist Cale Dodds (right) took time out of his busy tour schedule with Chase Rice to fill in as a special guest co-host with Jackson (left) on Beasley Media Group’s WKLB, Boston “Country 102.5” morning show.  Dodds helped finn in for morning show co-host Ayla Brown.  He took the opportunity to premier his new single, “I Like Where This Is Going.”  On Monday and Tuesday (5/13-14), Sony Nashville recording artist Rachel Wammack will co-host with Jackson.  WKLB program director David Corey says, “There’s no better way for the country audience to get to know an artist than to bring them into our world and put them on a morning show.  It allows us to go way beyond the typical interview questions that might be asked.  This is real life conversation…and fun!  We are thankful to Cale and Rachel for getting that and jumping all in with us!”

Friday, April 12, 2019

| April 12, 2019

Sean Hannity Named Among Top 35 Most Powerful People in New York Media. This 2019 edition is the ninth annual list of the 35 Most Powerful People in New York Media published by The Hollywood Reporter, and Premiere Networks syndicated radio personality and FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity is once again on the list.  The Hollywood Reporter points out Hannity’s achievements, including his status as a member of the National Radio Hall of Fame and winner of a Marconi Award, and his hosting 2018’s most-watched cable news show.  It also writes that his “closeness with Trump has bestowed unprecedented influence — not to mention well-watched exclusive interviews. Even his time slot rival, CNN’s Chris Cuomo, calls Hannity ‘the most powerful person in the media.’”  The only other FNC personalities to make the list are FOX & Friends hosts Steve Doocy, Ainsley Earhardt, and Brian Kilmeade and FOX News’ Shepard Smith.  See the list here.

KNBR, San Francisco Renews Midday Personality Larry Krueger. Twenty-two-year KNBR sports talk personality Larry Krueger signs a multi-year contract extension with the Cumulus Media station to continue co-hosting the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm show with Gary Radnich.  Krueger also serves as host of the pre- and post-game shows for San Francisco 49ers and Stanford Cardinal football broadcasts.  KNBR program director Jeremiah Crowe says, “Larry is a cornerstone of KNBR ‘The Sports Leader.’  He brings a tremendous work ethic and ability to connect with Bay Area sports fans weekdays on ‘Gary & Larry,’ while also providing listeners with first-class coverage across KNBR’s San Francisco 49ers and Stanford Cardinal game day broadcasts.  We are extremely proud to extend our relationship with Larry for years to come.”

WLS-AM, Chicago Celebrates 95 Years on the Air. Today, Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM, Chicago is celebrating its 95th birthday on the air and will mark the milestone with live interviews, contests, as well as “throw-backs showing WLS’s long legacy serving Chicago, Illinois, and much of the lower 48 for 95 years.”  The station first launched on April 12, 1924, as Sears-Roebuck and Company’s own broadcast outlet to reach and market to farmers.  Shortly after 6:00 pm that day, Edgar Bill stepped to the microphone and exclaimed: “Here ye, here ye, here ye! WLS, the Sears-Roebuck station is on the air!”  The call letters WLS stood for “World’s Largest Store” and first aired farm and civic programming, popular music, comedies and radio serials.  Guests on the station today will include numerous former WLS-AM staffers and Chicago media icons including: John Records Landecker, Roe Conn, John Gehron, Garry Meier, Tom Tradup, Tim Sabean, and more.

Beasley Names Burton Las Vegas Cluster Manager. Media management pro Peter Burton is named vice president and market manager for Beasley Media Group’s Las Vegas operations that includes news/talk KDWN and four music-formatted stations.  Burton was most recent COO of California-based Converze Media.  Prior to that he’d served with Entercom as VP/GM of its Los Angeles stations.  He also worked in the rep firm end of the business with both Katz and CBS.  Burton says, “Las Vegas is one of the most dynamic growth markets in the country.  The Beasley family has assembled a group of radio stations with amazing potential. I’m thankful for the opportunity to join their team.”

Mueller Report Aftermath Remains Top News/Talk Story for Week of April 8-12. The events following Robert Mueller’s report to the AG’s office were again the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Southern border crisis and the related shakeup at the Department of Homeland Security.  Coming in tied at #3 were 2020 presidential politics and the attempts to get President Trump’s tax returns, followed by the college admissions scandal at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s entire chart here.

TALKERS News Notes. Per Rodney Ho’s report in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, WYAY-FM “Talk 106.7” afternoon drive host Kim “The Kimmer” Peterson and co-host Pete Davis were suspended for three days this week by Cumulus Media management for his on-air comment about U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath that was deemed sexist.  Ho reports the on-air conversation was about gun laws and Rep. McBath and included Davis saying to Peterson, “You’re there to knock Lucy McBath back into the kitchen.” With Peterson replying, “Yeah, go back to sewing stuff and leave my guns alone!” The company issued a statement condemning Peterson’s comments.  As regular TALKERS readers are aware, WYAY is being sold to Educational Media Foundation and will flip to a Christian music format.  Closing is expected to take place as early as next month…..The New Orleans Advocate is reporting that a local ownership group that includes actor Wendell Pierce, local PR firm owner Cleveland Spears, business consultant Troy Henry and local media entrepreneur Jeff Thomas are buying urban talk station WBOK, New Orleans.  The group has formed Equity Media and expects to close the deal within a few months.  Bakewell Media is the current owner of the station.  Equity Media says in a statement, “The opportunity to elevate the station by ensuring that it provides a well-rounded view of major issues that affect the day-to-day lives of African Americans is something that we all feel immensely passionate about.”  After taking over the station, the new owners say they will launch “a full assessment of the organization, programming and brand identity, with plans for a relaunch of the station in mid-summer.”…..In Western Massachusetts, the radio and television public media outlets are merging into one company called New England Public Media. Coming together are New England Public Radio’s WFCR-FM, Amherst and WGBY-TV, Springfield.  A statement from the organizations says they will merge to form an independent non-profit, expected to close near July 1.

Golf Tourney Raises $100k for Broadcasters Foundation of America. Concurrent with this week’s NAB Show in Las Vegas, broadcasters took part in the Philip J. Lombardo Charity Golf Tournament at Bali Hai Golf Club that raised a record $100,000 in support of the mission of the Broadcasters Foundation of America to help broadcasters in need. Pictured above (l-r) are: Leo MacCourtney, president of Katz Television Group; Michael O’Brien, VP distribution, E.W. Scripps CompanyRalph Oakley, president/CEO of Quincy Media, Inc.; Matthew Johnson, director of sales, Katz Television Group; and Jim Thompson, president of the Broadcasters Foundation of America.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Houston, Cumulus Media inks night jock Tyler Frye to a new deal to continue his role with CHR KRBE-FM.  Program director Leslie Whittle says, “Tyler launched ‘H-Town Live with Tyler Frye’ on KRBE four years ago and hasn’t looked back.  When you listen to him each night you know exactly what’s happening in our great city at that moment, plus his social game is second to none.  He’s truly formed a relationship with our listeners because he understands how to communicate on all levels.  I’m thrilled to continue our partnership!  I am beyond excited and extremely humbled to sign an extension with one of the most successful and legendary radio stations in the country.  This city and my coworkers are truly second to none.”…..Lon Helton, host of Westwood One’s “Country Countdown USA” and publisher of Country Aircheck, was honored for his impact on country music with the Bob Kingsley Living Legend Award during an event held Wednesday (4/10) at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.  The award was created in 2014 to recognize the most deserving individuals across the spectrum of record label/industry, creative/production and radio/media.  The evening benefitted the Opry Trust Fund, which for more than 50 years has supported members of the country music community in need.  Among the artists who performed at the event were: Dierks Bentley, Garth Brooks, Luke Bryan, Eli Young Band, Vince GillRandy Owen, Carly Pearce, Steve WarinerMark Wills, Trisha Yearwood, Chris Young and a special appearance by Randy Travis. The award was presented by Bob Kingsley himself.  Pictured below are (from l-r): Kingsley; country star Trisha Yearwood; Helton; the Grand Old Opry’s Sally Williams; and country legend Garth Brooks.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

| April 2, 2019

PPM Analysis: News/Talk Part Two. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents part two of a look at the performances of news/talk radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s February PPM survey.  This report looks at the format on a more localized basis, ranking the PPM markets in order of weekly 6+ AQH share for commercial news/talk stations.  Cincinnati was the top market in February, with a 13.1 share for news/talk led by perennial ratings-getter WLW.  See the rest of the markets ranking as well as which markets saw news/talk listening increase and which saw decreases from the January survey to the February survey here.

Hannity Hosts Limbaugh on FNC Show. Nationally syndicated talk legend Rush Limbaugh – the man who pioneered the modern-day radio talk show – appeared on FOX News Channel’s “Hannity” last week to discuss the situation in Washington in the aftermath of the completion of the Mueller investigation.  Sean Hannity and Limbaugh – both syndicated in radio via Premiere Networks – have done a couple of these TV segments in the past few months.  Limbaugh chooses his television appearances carefully and his conversations with Hannity put two of the most important news/talk personalities in America in the homes of conservative fans simultaneously.

Fans Upset, Affiliates Perplexed by New York Mets Network Decision. A decision by Entercom not to pony up for satellite time for the New York Mets Radio Network this year has some upstate stations miffed.  As it stands now, the only place New York Mets baseball can be heard on the radio is WCBS-AM, New York.  Galaxy Communications president and CEO Ed Levine is quoted at Syracuse.com calling it a “middle finger to Syracuse and all of Upstate New York.” Levine blames the Mets, saying the team would request the broadcast plan for its games from its broadcast partner.  “This is why the Yankees are the Yankees and the Mets are the Mets.  It’s not like we told the Mets we didn’t want them. They reneged on the deal. They are too cheap to do what every other major league franchise does.”

‘National Defense Radio Show’ Distributed by Envision. The national distribution of “The National Defense Radio Show” is being handled by Envision Networks.  The weekly two-hour program is hosted by Randy Miller and Jerry Newberry.  The program focuses exclusively on topics concerning today’s active-duty military, veterans, and those who support them.  Recent notable guests on the show include: Tom Hanks, Jennifer Lawrence, Jay LenoDolly Parton, Colin Powell, and former President George W. Bush.  Randy Miller says, “We are so excited to get started with Danno [Wolkoff] and the great folks at Envision.  They have become one of the most successful content providers in America and we know that this will give ‘The National Defense’ a greater platform to celebrate our nation’s heroes.”

TALKERS News Notes. WBEN-AM, Buffalo contributor and national Republican strategist Michael Caputo is hosting a weekly podcast that’s being made available on Entercom’s RADIO.com platform.  “Still Standing with Michael Caputo” features his “unique perspective on national political and cultural events, gained from 30 years in the international political arena.”  Caputo states, “I’m truly honored to be featured on RADIO.com.  This is a great way for me to celebrate five years working for Entercom.  Each week, I try to bring a ‘flyover country’ perspective to global events, not just the conflict between President Donald Trump and the Washington elite.  A unique populist movement elected him, something I know well and hope to help listeners understand along the way.”…..Syndicated Solutions, Inc. announces that the popular national travel radio show “RMWorldTravel with Robert & Mary Carey and Rudy Maxa” is now being heard on more than 400 weekly affiliates, reaching more than 1 million leisure and business travelers.  The program airs live on Saturdays from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon ET.

Radio Hofstra University Celebrates 60th Anniversary.  WRHU-FM, Hempstead, New York “Radio Hofstra University” celebrated its 60th anniversary on Saturday night (3/30) at the Long Island Marriott attended by more than 450 staffers, alumni, and VIPs.  The two-time Marconi Award-winning station also inducted six alumni into the WRHU Hall of Fame.  Pictured above (from l-r) are the inductees: Marc Ernay, sports director/morning sports anchor, WINS, New York; John Mullen, operations manager, WRHU-FM; Heather Cohen, EVP, The Weiss AgencyJohn Caracciolo founder, JVC Broadcasting, and Andrew Schmertz, co-founder/CEO of Hopscotch Air. Not pictured is Shirleen Allicot, co-anchor Eyewitness News, WABC-TV 7, New York.  Since WRHU produces and distributes the New York Islanders Radio Network, it was fitting that the team clinched an NHL playoff spot on the same evening and the broadcast team was able to stop by and join the festivities.  Pictured at right are Islanders play-by-play team Chris King (r) and Chris Buckley (l) posing for a pic with John Mullen (c).  Saturday’s dinner was preceded by several panel discussions on Friday (3/29) about the state of radio and media and industry leaders including Mike McVay, EVP content and programming, Cumulus and Mark Chernoff, senior VP programming WFAN/Entercom NY and captain/sports format CBS Sports Radio participated as speakers.

Border Closure Threat, Joe Biden Allegations, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, WH Security Clearance Issue, Disaster Relief Stalled, Rep. Omar Campaign Funds Investigation, Brexit Chaos, NCAA Tournament, and NBA and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/1). The threat by President Trump to close the U.S.-Mexico border if Mexico doesn’t stop migrants from entering the U.S.; the allegations of inappropriate touching against Joe Biden; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; allegations of improper issuance of White House security clearances by the Trump administration; Democrats’ Puerto Rico strategy stalls Midwest disaster relief funds; campaign fund spending violation allegations against U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar; the political chaos in London over Brexit; the NCAA Final Four; and NBA and MLB action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Fresno market, programmer Jon Ballard exits Lotus Communications’ rock KKBZ-FM “105.1 The Blaze.”  Ballard joined the station in March of 2013…..Entercom announces the “Y108 8 Man Jam” will take place on May 23 at the Rivers Casino Amphitheater.  The event, emceed by country WDSY-FM “Y108” morning personality Stoney Richards will include acoustic performances by: Jimmie Allen, Devin DawsonRiley Green, Brandon Lay, Justin MooreDavid Lee Murphy, and Morgan Wallen.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

| March 20, 2019

Steve Jones to Leave ABC Radio for President and COO Role at Skyview Networks. Longtime ABC Radio executive Steve Jones tells his staff there that his decision to transition from ABC to Skyview Networks was made “after very careful consideration and consultation both with Skyview and ABC News — two organizations I care deeply about.  In the end, the opportunity to help lead the growth and expansion at Skyview convinced me to take the position of president and chief operating officer, reporting to CEO and co-founder Ken Thiele.”  In his new role with Skyview, Jones will help lead the company’s growth in sports play-by-play, content creation across platforms, syndication, network sales, distribution of audio, and technology innovation.   Jones starts with Skyview on April 9.  Skyview CEO Ken Thiele says, “Steve is a highly respected leader in the audio industry and his addition to Skyview will accelerate what already has been a period of explosive growth.  Since Skyview Networks and ABC News partnered in 2014, Steve and I have worked side-by-side in developing new business that has resulted in great success for both companies.  During more than 30 years at Disney/ABC, Steve received dozens of awards recognizing his role as a business leader, innovator, and content creator.  He now brings his experience and expertise to Skyview to help prepare us for our next phase of aggressive growth.”

WABC Launches Podcast with Longtime Radio Contributor Bo Dietl. Debuting this week on 77 WABC Radio’s OG Podcast Network is the “One Tough Podcast” program hosted by former New York City police detective, private investigator, and longtime “Imus in the Morning” contributor Bo Dietl.  The program allows Dietl to “give his unfiltered and uncensored take on true crime, issues of the day, and New York City stories.”  This week’s premier episode features an exclusive interview with FOX News Channel and Premiere Networks superstar Sean Hannity. The next episode will feature a conversation with WABC personality Curtis Sliwa.  WABC says Dietl is one of the most highly decorated detectives in the history of the New York City Police Department, with several thousand arrests to his credit. He is the founder and chairman of Beau Dietl & Associates, an investigative and security firm.  He co-authored the book, “One Tough Cop,” a story about his life as a New York City police detective that was made into a major motion picture. He’s also a regular contributor to 77 WABC’s “Bernie and Sid In The Morning Show” and to FOX News Channel and FOX Business Channel.

Brandon Chase to Program ‘FOX Sports’ Charlotte. At Beasley Media Group’s Charlotte cluster, programmer Brandon Chase adds PD duties for sports talk WBCN-AM/W234BY/WSOC-HD3 “FOX Sports Charlotte” to his responsibilities. He currently serves as APD, music director, and midday personality for adult contemporary WKQC “K 104.7” and is a production director at the cluster.  Beasley Charlotte VP and market manager Bill Schoening says, “Brandon is experienced in the sports format.  He has a great work ethic and I’m very excited to have him paving the way for success on FOX Sports.  I cannot wait to utilize all of his creative ideas and perspective.”

Des Moines Sports Talk Host Dies in Highway Collision. An accident on Interstate 80 took the life of KBGG-AM, Des Moines “1700 The Champ” sports talk host Gantry R. Miller, a.k.a., Wolfgang, on March 19.  The 44-year-old radio personality had pulled over and exited his car around 9:45 am when he was struck by a semi-truck.  He was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.  Miller co-hosted “The Drive with Wolfgang and Steen.”  The station wrote on its website, “It is with great sadness that we share with you the passing of our dear friend and fellow broadcaster, Gantry ‘Wolfgang’ Miller…Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this difficult time.”

Hillsdale College’s WRFH is Racking Up Honors. The Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) and the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System (IBS) have awarded the relatively new radio program at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan with more than 10 major awards for the past year.  WRFH “Radio Free Hillsdale” GM Scot Bertram reports these include Ben Dietderich taking First Place nationally at the IBS Awards in the Best News Interview category for his John Bolton Interview from CPAC 2018 and WRFH being named the 2019 College Radio Station of the Year by the MAB.  Hillsdale College’s adherence to Constitutional principles has made it a favorite among many of the nation’s conservative news/talkers.

A View of Modern Communications and Journalism from the Leading Edge of Academia.  Former NBC News and ABC News executive and producer Mark Lukasiewicz was appointed dean of Hofstra University’s highly reputed Lawrence Herbert School of Communication in 2018.  The multi-decorated journalist (10 Emmys, two Peabody Awards, grand prize of the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards and more) is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Over a career that spans nearly four decades, Lukasiewicz spent 16 years in roles that included executive-in-charge of the NBC News Group Transformation Project, senior vice president of NBC News Specials, and he was the news division’s first vice president of digital media.  Before joining NBC News in 2000, he spent 11 years with ABC News, where he was executive producer of “Good Morning America,” senior producer of “World News Tonight with Peter Jennings,” and senior producer of “PrimeTime LIVE with Diane Sawyer and Sam Donaldson.” He’s also been an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.  Harrison and Lukasiewicz discuss the state and future of journalism tackling such red-hot topics as ethics, audience-targeting, storytelling, exponentially evolving technology, and the general transformative state of 21st century communications.  “The field of communications has never been a bigger part of our daily lives, nor more important and critical to the civic life of our nation,” Lukasiewicz says. “I’ve been privileged to work with, and learn from, some of the best professionals in the world.  Now, I have an opportunity to give back.”  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the daily TALKERS email newsletter and every page of Talkers.com.  Don’t miss this!

Neuhoff Communications Launches Fast Forward Leadership Program. Radio company Neuhoff Communications is launching its inaugural class of the Fast Forward Leadership Program.  The Neuhoff leadership team nominated several candidates for consideration and six were chosen: Chad Baker, Neuhoff Media Danville; Taylor Brown, Neuhoff Media Springfield; Jeremy Hardman, Neuhoff Media Bloomington; Emily Phillips, Neuhoff Media Decatur; Amanda Van Meter, Neuhoff Media Lafayette, and Dianna Towns, Neuhoff Communications.  The company says The Fast Forward program will demonstrate and continue the mission of Neuhoff Communications as the single-most important source for local news and entertainment in the markets it serves.  Each member of the Fast Forward team has been assigned a mentor from the Neuhoff Communications leadership team to assist in their professional development.  The team will also work together on a capstone project that will be presented to each of the Neuhoff Media markets and to the Neuhoff Communications Advisory Board.  Neuhoff president and CEO Beth Neuhoff says, “Anyone who doubts there is a deep bench in the local media business need look no further than these talented individuals. The future is very bright.”  Pictured above are (from l-r): Amanda Van Meter, Dianna Towns, Jeremy Hardman, Mike Hulvey, Beth Neuhoff, Emily Phillips, and Taylor Brown. (not pictured: Chad Baker)

Mueller’s Trump Investigation Status, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, Electoral College Debate, NZ Mosques Attacks Aftermath, Dems’ Reparations Discussion, George Conway Trump Criticisms, College Admissions Scandal, Midwest Floods, NBA Action, and NCAA Tournament Bracket Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/19). Speculation about the final scope of Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation and the timeline for completion; the growing list of Democrats vying to run against President Trump in 2020; the debate over the value of the Electoral College; the aftermath of the New Zealand mosques attacks; chatter among Democratic politicians about the reparations issue; George Conway’s criticisms of President Trump; the blowback from the college admissions scandal; the floods affecting several Midwestern states; NBA action; and the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament bracket were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

MORE SPEAKERS BEING NAMED for 2019 Talkers Convention Set for NYC. The 22nd annual installment of the longest-running, most-important national talk media convention has been set for Friday, June 7, 2019 in New York City. Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will take place at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan.  Premiere Networks and FOX News Channel superstar Sean Hannity will reprise his long-standing role as the morning breakfast host and kickoff speaker for this convention.  Hannity will be joined by TALKERS founder Michael Harrison in the event’s annual one-on-one opening keynote conversation.  Radio Advertising Bureau CEO Erica Farber will moderate a special panel focusing on the challenges facing talk radio sales and marketing in 2019.  Senior VP programming WFAN and Entercom NY and CBS Sports Radio, captain/sports format Mark Chernoff will participate in a discussion about the state of sports talk radio.  A general programming discussion will include Mike McVay, EVP, content and programming, Cumulus Media and Justin Chase, EVP programming, Beasley Media Group;  Some of the other speakers already set to participate in the program include (in alphabetical order): Dr. Asa Andrew, host, Asa RX; Greg Batusic, chief operations officer, PodcastOneMike “Bax” Baxendale, host, WAQY, Springfield, MA “Rock 102”; Vince Benedetto, CEO, Bold Gold Media GroupMichael Berry, host, The Michael Berry Show; Grace Blazer, national brand coordinator, news/talk/sports programming and director of AM programming Miami/Fort Lauderdale, iHeartMediaJim Bohannon, host, Westwood OnePhil Boyce, SVP spoken word format, Salem Media Group and VP/operations, Salem Radio Network, New York Region; Howie Carr, host, The Howie Carr Show; Kathy Carr, president, The Howie Carr Show;  Heather Cohen, EVP, The Weiss AgencyMichael Czarnecki, program director, WONK-FM, Washington, DC; Kate Delaney, host, NBC Sports; Steven Goldstein, founder/CEO, Amplifi MediaSebastian Gorka, host, Salem Radio Network; Lee Habeeb, host/producer, Our American Stories; Bill Hess, VP of news/talk, Cumulus Media and program director, WMAL, Washington, DC; Harry Hurley, host, WPGG, Atlantic City; Brian Kilmeade, host, FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel; Scott Lakefield, assistant program director, WOR, New York; John T. Mullen, operations manager, WRHU, Hofstra UniversityJoe “Pags” Pagliarulo, host, The Joe Pags Show; Dave Robinette, Chief Marketing Officer, #250 – America’s Mobile Speed DialSid Rosenberg, host, WABC, New York; Todd Starnes, host, Fox News Radio;  Walter M. Sterling, host, Westwood One; Julie Talbott, president, Premiere Networks; Mike Thomas, program director, WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub,” Boston/brand manager for spoken word, podcasts, esports, Beasley BroadcastingDr. Daliah Wachs, host, Genesis Communications NetworkBrett Winterble, host KFMB-AM, San Diego; Dan Yorke, host, WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM, Providence; Rich Zeoli, host, WPHT, Philadelphia; and Michael Zwerling, owner, KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz.  More speakers to be named in the days and weeks ahead along with a complete agenda.  The conference 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, one-on-one conversations and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals.  Like its predecessors, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception — all in a single, power-packed day! Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments, costs $329 per person. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. To take advantage of the hotel discount available to TALKERS convention attendees, contact the Hilton Fashion District Hotel located directly across the street from the venue at 152 W. 26th St, New York, NY 10001 by clicking here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports a number of changes taking place in the market including the exit of Chris Reese from the evening show at hot AC WTMX.  The station has not named a new evening personality but has announced it has hired former, crosstown WBBM-FM “B96” personality Nikki Imbrascio as part-time personality…..Feder also writes that Weigel Broadcasting’s WRME-FM “Me-TV FM” has brought market radio pro Bob Lawson aboard as a production/programming assistant.  He served for many years as a production director at WJMK-FM…..Pictured below his Little Steven Van Zandt (left) with WXTL-FM, Syracuse “The Rebel 105.9” program director Dave Frisina (right).  Van Zandt, host of the Premiere Networks-syndicated “Little Steven’s Underground Garage,” stopped by his Syracuse affiliate while in town for a speaking engagement at Syracuse University on March 18.  In addition to visiting with the staff, Little Steven took over the mic for an hour to play some tracks from his personal catalogue, as well as select songs from Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Darlene LoveThe Jellybricks, and a special tribute to the late Dick Dale.  He also played some songs from his upcoming album with the Disciples of Soul.

February 2019 PPM Data – Round Two. February 2019 ratings information has been released for Washington (D.C.), Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen Audio’s February 2019 survey period covered January 31 – February 27. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM-markets.

Washington, DC

Spoken-Word Formats – Not quite equaling January’s robust +1.4 (4.3 – 5.7, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WMAL nonetheless chalks up an impressive +.9 to 6.6 (fifth to fourth, 6+). Moreover, WMAL establishes a new record for its best 6+-stat (6.6) in the PPM-era, breaking the “old” mark of 5.7 established … last month. After posting a .2 (6+) in August 2018, Radio One’s WOL “News Talk – Where Information Is Power” is unlisted for the seventh sweep in succession.

In back-to-back survey periods, Entercom sports talk WJFK-FM falters by one-tenth (3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+), but “106.7 The Fan” manages to move from #14 to #13. Its “Holiday” 2018 increase of two-tenths followed four consecutive down or flat trends that accounted for a collective loss of seven-tenths (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 3.0, 6+). A combined -.4 via three straight (minor) setbacks (.9 – .8 – .6 – .5, 6+), Radio One’s similarly-formatted WTEM “980 The Team” slips from #23 to #25.

The recent up/down pattern for WTOP is -1.0 (“Holiday” 2018); +2.0 (January 2019); and now -.6 in February (10.4 – 9.8, 6+). Nevertheless, the Hubbard all-news operation repeats at #1. January’s 10.4 is its best 6+-performance since March 2018 (10.4, as well). Having set the pace 11 straight ratings periods, WTOP segued to the runner-up slot in December.

There is a quite similar major shift pattern for American University-owned news/talk WAMU “The Mind Is Our Medium,” evidenced by -2.2 (“Holiday” 2018); +2.5 (January 2019); and now -1.2 in February (9.8 – 8.6, unchanged at #2, 6+). Immediately prior to “Holiday” 2018, WAMU was an overall +1.9 via five straight increases (7.6 – 8.0 – 8.2 – 8.3 – 9.0 – 9.5, 6+).

Entercom business news outlet WDCH drops two-tenths (.6 – .4, #23 to #27, 6+).

Washington, DC Music Formats – Even with a healthy eight-tenths’ gain (3.1 – 3.9, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WKYS remains within three-share range (6+) for the 23rd straight time – but – it zooms into the top ten (#14 to #8). May 2017 (2.9) marked the last time WKYS wasn’t between 3.0 – 3.9 (6+). An overall +1.5 through five straight increases (6.4 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.4 – 7.5 – 7.9, 6+), co-owned urban AC WMMJ “Majic” continues at #3. Format rival – Howard University’s WHUR – posts its third successive positive spike for a +1.2 (5.3 – 6.2 – 6.4 – 6.5, 6+) yet backslides from fourth to fifth. Having sputtered -6.1 in January to 4.3 (6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH “97.1 Washington’s Variety of the ‘80s ‘90s and Today” bounces back with an improvement of seven-tenths to 5.0 (6+) and is unchanged at #6. WASH was a combined +5.6 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (4.8 – 7.3 – 10.4, 6+). An overall -1.3 as the result of three consecutive setbacks (4.8 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.5, 6+), Cumulus Media hot AC WRQX “Mix 107.3” erases roughly half the deficit with a +.6 to 4.1 (6+) and enters the top ten (#11 to #7). The sale of WRQX to Educational Media Foundation is expected to close later this year. On the heels of January’s -.6 (4.0 – 3.4, 6+), Greater Washington Educational Telecommunications’ WETA surrenders another seven-tenths (2.7, #12 to #16, 6+). When “Classical 90.9” dropped three-tenths in December, it halted at five its consecutive string of up or flat trends that accounted for a collective +1.4 (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.6, 6+). A loss of one-half share (3.9 – 3.4, 6+) forces iHeartMedia CHR WIHT “Hot 99.5” out of the top ten (#8 to #12). Exiting the top ten as well is Entercom hot AC-turned-classic hits-oldies WIAD (#9 to #11). An overall +1.5 via four straight up or flat trends (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 3.8, 6+), “94.7 The Drive – DC’s Greatest Hits” has its streak snapped with a one-tenth loss to 3.7 (6+).

Boston

 Spoken-Word Formats – Having notched a January increase of one-tenth, iHeartMedia news/talk WRKO “AM 680 – The Voice of Boston” is unchanged in 6+ share (2.2) and 6+ market rank (#17). November 2018’s 3.2 is the best 6+-stat for WRKO in more than four years (3.3, November 2014).

Over the course of the last seven (7) sweeps, Beasley Media Group-owned WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” has been: +.4 (September 2018); +.9 (October); +.8 (November); -1.0 (December); +.5 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.6 (January 2019); and now -.8 in February (7.2 – 6.4, second to third, 6+). WBZ-FM is the key station of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, as well as the Celtics and Bruins. In the same timeframe, Entercom-owned/2018 World Series champion Boston Red Sox flagship WEEI-FM is -.5 (September 2018); +.5 (October); +.6 (November); -2.0 (December); -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.7 (January 2019); and now -1.0 in February (4.7 – 3.7, eighth to ninth, 6+).

Adding one-tenth to January’s +1.2 (5.5 – 5.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news-talk hybrid WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” progresses from sixth to fifth.

The rollercoaster ride continues for Boston University news/talker WBUR, which has been -1.5 through five consecutive down or flat August through “Holiday” 2018 ratings periods (5.7 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.1 – 4.2, 6+); +1.5 (January); and now -1.1 in February (5.7 – 4.6, fifth to seventh, 6+). Adding one-tenth to January’s increase of two-tenths (2.4 – 2.6 – 2.7, 6+), WGBH Educational Foundation news/talk WGBH carries on at #15.

Boston Music Formats – Replicating January’s +.6 (5.6 – 6.2 – 6.8, 6+), Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies WROR “105.7 – 80s & More” advances from third to second. By gaining six-tenths (2.7 – 3.3, 6+), cluster-mate WBOS “Alt 92.9 Boston’s Alternative” reaches the three-share level (6+) for the first time since August 2016 (3.0). Locked on 2.9 (6+) in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019, after December’s 3.3 (6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WKAF “97.7 Boston’s #1 For R&B” posts a gain of one-half share to 3.4 (#13 to #11, 6+), its best 6+-performance since appearing in print in January 2017. Co-owned mainstream CHR WXKS-FM follows January’s gain of six-tenths with another one-tenth (6.7 – 7.3 – 7.4, 6+) as “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” repeats at #1. This (7.4) is the highest 6+-showing since August 2018’s 7.8 for “Kiss,” which was #1 from January 2018 through November 2018. Albeit without an increase the fourth straight time for a -.3 (2.1 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+), yet another iHeartMedia property – WBWL “101.7 The Bull – Boston’s #1 For New Hit Country” – climbs from #19 to #18. Nearly two full-shares ahead of it is Beasley Media Group’s WKLB “Country 102.5,” which is up one-tenth in back-to-back reports (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.7, tenth to ninth, 6+). Its January +.1 ended seven successive down or flat reports that accounted for a combined loss of -1.2 (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.5, 6+).

Miami

Spoken-Word Formats – Although level at 2.4 (6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WIOD backslides from #18 to #19. “News Radio 620 – Miami’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” was a combined -.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 but recaptured two-tenths in January.

In a noteworthy Spanish news/talk development, Actualidad Media Group’s WURN-AM “Actualidad 1040” has more than doubled (+1.1) its 6+-stat in January and February (1.0 – 1.4  2.1, 6+) and enters the top twenty at #20.

Without an increase the past three reports for a loss of three-tenths (.9 – .6 – .6 – .6, 6+), Entercom’s WAXY “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket” picks up one-tenth to .7 (6+) and continues at #26. It overtakes co-owned WQAM “Sports Radio 560,” which loses four-tenths via three consecutive down or flat trends (.9 – .9 – .6 – .5, #26 to #29, 6+).

Flat at #20, Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN follows January’s seven-tenths’ improvement with a loss of two-tenths (2.3 – 2.1, 6+).

Miami Music Formats – The huge news here is a three-way tie at #1 among Cox Media Group-owned WFEZ “Easy 93.1” (7.4 – 6.6, -.8, repeating at #1, 6+); co-owned urban AC WHQT “Hot 105” (6.4 – 6.6, +.2, second to first, 6+); and Entercom adult contemporary WLYF “101.5 Lite FM” (6.4 – 6.6, +.2, second to first, 6+). Adult contemporary outlets “Easy” and “Lite” traded places with each other in January, as WFEZ went from second to first and WLYF segued from first to second. Entering the “Holiday” 2018 sweep, “Easy 93.1” finished on top seven straight times. Meanwhile, “Lite FM” had been an overall +1.9 through three positive spikes in succession (5.4 – 5.7 – 6.2 – 7.3, 6+) and notched its best 6+-stat (7.3) since January 2018’s 7.4. Thus, for the tenth straight ratings period, an adult contemporary controls or has a share of Miami’s lead position (6+). Meanwhile, this is the first time at #1 for “Hot” since May 2018, when it logged a 7.5 (6+). On the heels of January’s +.7, Cox Media Group urban contemporary WEDR “99 Jamz” forfeits one-half share (5.2 – 4.7, sixth to ninth, 6+). Its January increase curtailed three straight flat or down trends (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5, 6+). Skidding from #15 to #17, iHeartMedia-owned WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” is without an increase for the fifth straight sweep for a collective loss of nine-tenths (3.4 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.5, 6+). Its mainstream CHR rival – Cox Media Group’s WFLC “Hits 97.3” – posts a 3.0 (6+) for the fourth time in the last seven reports (3.0 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.0, #12 to #14, 6+). Penetrating the market from West Palm Beach, Alpha Media hot AC WRMF “97.9 Variety From the 90s & Now” reappears with a .7 (#26); the station’s sale to Hubbard is pending.

Seattle

Spoken-Word Formats – A combined +1.0 in January/February (4.9 – 5.6 – 5.9, 6+), Bonneville news/talk KIRO-FM continues in third-place. Immediately prior to January, KIRO-FM was -1.7 in three straight down or flat trends (6.6 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 4.9, 6+). Somewhat similarly, co-owned KTTH “Conservative Talk Radio” is a combined +.6 in January/February (1.5 – 1.9 – 2.1, #22 to #21, 6+), after a December/“Holiday” 2018 mini-slide that resulted in slicing in half (-1.5) of its 6+-share (3.0 – 2.1 – 1.5, 6+). In the same boat as well is Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned KVI “Talk Radio 570,” which erases its December/“Holiday” 2018 -.4 (1.3 – 1.2 – .9, 6+) with a January/February +.7 (.9 – 1.4 – 1.6, #24 to #23, 6+).

Conversely, the market’s (6+) sports talk share softens by -1.5. Absorbing 60% of that impact is Bonneville’s KIRO-AM “ESPN 710,” which is down roughly 50% (-2.0) in four consecutive declines (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.0 – 2.1, 6+); the flagship of the Seahawks and Mariners fades from the top twenty (#14 to #21). Returning in its entirety the six-tenths it racked up in January (1.0 – 1.6 – 1.0, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KJR-AM drops from #23 to #24. “Seattle’s Sports Radio 950” was down a collective four-tenths in December/“Holiday” 2018 (1.4 – 1.3 – 1.0, 6+), following four consecutive up or flat sweeps that nearly tripled (+.9) its 6+ AQH share (.5 – .7 – .9 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+).

In three straight up or flat trends, Sinclair Broadcast Group all-news KOMO is up six-tenths (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.0, #16 to #15, 6+).

Tacking on six-tenths to January’s +1.5 (5.9 – 7.4 – 8.0, 6+), Northwest Public Radio news/talk KUOW repeats at #1. In the runner-up slot in December and “Holiday” 2018, KUOW was on top in September 2018.

Seattle Music Formats – At the same time that Entercom adult contemporary KSWD “94.1 The Sound” adds a whopping +1.3 to January’s +.1 (3.7 – 3.8 – 5.1, tenth to fourth, 6+), Hubbard’s similarly-formatted KRWM “Warm 106.9” surrenders a combined January/February -7.2 (11.2 – 4.8 – 4.0, fourth to ninth, 6+). In September, “The Sound” overtook “Warm” for the first time since KSWD’s format shift from country (KMPS) roughly 15 months ago. As the result of six successive months without a loss (3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.8 – 4.2 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+), KSWD was +1.7. Entering the January sweep, “Warm” more than tripled (+7.8) its 6+-share as the result of three straight gains (3.4 – 4.1 – 8.8 – 11.2, 6+). Immediately after being a collective -1.6 in four consecutive sweeps without an increase (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KZOK “102.5 Seattle’s Classic Rock Station” is up a collective eight-tenths in three straight positive spikes (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 4.5, seventh to fifth, 6+). With a consistent October 2018 through January 2019 topline of 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 2.0 (6+), Classic Radio, Inc.-owned KING “98.1 Listener-Supported Classical Music” erupts with a +.9 to 2.9 (6+) and enters the top twenty (#21 to #16). A loss of one-half share (3.0 – 2.5, 6+) sends iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KUBE “93.3 Seattle’s #1 For Hip-Hop” from #14 to #18. Following five straight positive or flat trends that netted a +1.1 (3.6 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.7, 6+), Entercom’s KNDD “107.7 The End – Alternative Seattle” falters by four-tenths to 4.3 (sixth to eighth, 6+).

Detroit

Spoken-Word Formats – Off two-tenths – after January’s increases of seven-tenths – Cumulus Media’s WJR “News Talk 760” (3.7 – 3.5, 6+) slips from #12 to #13.

Three improvements in a row by Entercom sports talk/Pistons, Red Wings, and Tigers flagship WXYT-FM accounted for a +1.8 (4.6 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4, 6+); “97.1 The Ticket” has since been -1.3 (“Holiday” 2018); +.6 (January 2019); and now -.2 in February (5.0, flat at #8).

Despite being a combined +1.6 in January/February (6.1 – 7.5 – 7.7, 6+), co-owned WWJ “News Radio 950” segues from first to second.

Although relinquishing the three-tenths it scored in January (1.6 – 1.9 – 1.6, 6+), Michigan Public Media news/talk WUOM continues at #19. By gaining one-tenth in September, WUOM curtailed eight straight survey periods without an increase for a collective -.3 (1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+). Down or flat the past three reports for a collective loss of three-tenths (1.5 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), Wayne State University news/talk WDET gains it all back (1.5, +.3, #22 to #21, 6+).

Detroit Music Formats – Not only does Beasley Media Group-owned WCSX haul out back-to-back upticks of nine-tenths (6.0 – 6.9 – 7.8, 6+), “94.7 – Detroit’s Classic Rock” storms from third to first. January’s +.9 erased half of December/“Holiday” 2018’s -1.8 (7.8 – 6.6 – 6.0, 6+). WCSX spent four straight months at #1 before being dislodged in September. In the market’s sudden adult contemporary battle, Entercom’s WDZH “98.7 The Breeze” registers its fourth consecutive up or flat trend for a collective +1.3 (2.3 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.6, 6+) and advances from #14 to #12. WDZH transitioned from CHR “Amp Radio” to adult contemporary “The Breeze” in early-November (2018). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed incumbent WNIC “The Best Variety of the ‘80s, ‘90s, & Today” erodes by a combined January/February -11.3 (17.9 – 7.1 – 6.6, second to third, 6+). Its 17.9 in “Holiday” 2018 though is easily the largest 6+ AQH share by any Detroit station in the PPM-era. Via four straight increases, WNIC more than tripled (+12.2) its 6+-share (5.7 – 6.2 – 6.6 – 12.2 – 17.9, 6+) and was #1 in December 2018 and “Holiday” 2018. A combined January/February +.8 (4.6 – 4.8 – 5.4, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WOMC “104.3 Detroit’s Greatest Hits” jumps from ninth to sixth. Both of the market’s country players regress by six-tenths: Entercom-owned WYCD “99.5 – Detroit Country Music” (5.3 – 4.7, sixth to ninth, 6+) and Cumulus Media’s WDRQ “93.1 Nash FM” (1.6, #18 to #19, 6+). In January, WYCD logged a +1.6, thus applying the brakes to three successive declines that resulted in a cumulative -1.9 (5.6 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 3.7, 6+). WDRQ’s August 2018 through January 2019 topline was a very steady 2.3 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 2.3 – 2.2 (6+). Co-owned hot AC WDVD surrenders all but two-tenths of January’s +.7 (4.5 – 4.0, -.5, 6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #11). Entering the January sweep, “96.3 Today’s Best Music and More” had been down or flat five consecutive times for a -1.4 (5.2 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.8, 6+).

Phoenix

Spoken-Word Formats – While it repeats January’s 3.4 (6+), Bonneville news/talk KTAR-FM departs the top ten (#10 to #11). Up six-tenths in January, KTAR-FM was an overall -1.5 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (4.3 – 3.5 – 2.8, 6+). Notwithstanding that it follows January’s one-half share gain with a +.1 (2.3 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KFYI “News Talk 550” backslides from #17 to #18.

As a result of forfeiting two-tenths (2.2 – 2.0, 6+), Bonneville sports talk/Phoenix Suns, Arizona Coyotes, and Arizona Diamondbacks flagship KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona Sports” exits the top twenty (#20 to #22).

Down or flat three straight sweeps for an overall loss of six-tenths (3.1 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.5, 6+), Maricopa County Community College news/talk KJZZ is now +1.1 in January/February and enters the top ten (2.5 – 3.2 – 3.6, #13 to #9, 6+).

Phoenix Music Formats – Over and above obliterating “Holiday” 2018’s -1.2 with a January/February +1.6 (5.1 – 6.0 – 6.7, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits KYOT “95.5 The Mountain – We Play Everything” progresses from third to first. Corresponding with its February increase of seven-tenths is a seven-tenths decrease by adult contemporary cluster-mate KESZ (7.0 – 6.3, 6+), which – after five straight times at #1 – segues to #2. KESZ is now a combined -8.7 in January/February. January’s loss interrupted four positive spikes in succession that netted +8.9 (6.1 – 6.6 – 6.9 – 9.7 – 15.0, 6+), with 15.0 its highest 6+-showing since 16.4 in “Holiday” 2017. After spending ten straight sweeps at #1, KESZ shifted to the runner-up slot in September. Progressing from#19 to #15, Riviera Broadcasting hot AC KMVA “Hot” is up eight-tenths in January/February (2.2 – 2.4 – 3.0, 6+) and has its best 6+-showing (3.0) since September 2018’s 3.1. Before picking up two-tenths in January, “Hot” had been without an increase six sweeps in succession for a collective -1.3 (3.5 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.2, 6+). In addition to eroding by -1.1 (6.5 – 5.4, second to fourth, 6+), Hubbard’s KSLX “Classic Rock 100.7” has its softest 6+-stat in just over two years (5.4, as well in January 2017).

Minneapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – On the heels of January’s +.7, which ended six straight down or flat moves accounting for an overall -1.2 (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.2, 6+), Entercom-owned Timberwolves and Twins flagship WCCO “News Radio 830” adds another one-tenth (4.0, #12 to #11, 6+). Off seven-tenths in December/“Holiday” 2018 (2.9 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+), Hubbard news/talk KTMY “My Talk 107.1” is now +1.2 in January/February (2.2 – 3.3 – 3.4, unchanged at #14, 6+). It is one-tenth ahead of iHeartMedia’s KTLK “Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130,” which is flat at 3.3 (#14 to #15, 6+).

After logging four consecutive increases that yielded a +3.0 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.9 – 6.5 – 6.7, 6+), KTLK cluster-mate KFXN “Sports Radio 100.3 K-Fan” is -2.3 in four setbacks in succession (6.7 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 4.9 – 4.4,  6+). The flagship of the Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Wild drops from eighth to ninth. Hubbard sports talk KSTP-AM “ESPN 1500” is unchanged from January in 6+ market share (.7) and 6+ market rank (#25).

Erasing 70% of January’s +1.0 with February’s -.7 (5.0 – 4.3, 6+), Minnesota Public Radio news/talk KNOW falls from sixth to tenth.

Minneapolis Music Formats – Not only does iHeartMedia mainstream CHR KDWB  advance from third to first with a gain of seven-tenths (6.3 – 7.0, 6+), “101.3 The Twin Cities’ #1 Hit Music Station” has its best 6+-stat (7.0) since September 2018’s 7.2. Major ups/down continue for University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian KTIS-FM “Always Uplifting” KTIS-FM, which was a collective -.8 via three straight sweeps without an increase (5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.3, 6+); +.9 (“Holiday” 2018); -.6 (January 2019); and now +.6 in February (4.6 – 5.2, tenth to sixth, 6+). As a result of three straight gains (1.9 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 3.0, 6+), Northern Lights Broadcasting rhythmic CHR KZGO “Go Radio – Modern Minnesota Music” is an overall +1.1 and climbs from #18 to #16. Whereas January’s (6+) hot AC share in the Twin Cities ballooned by +3.1, it collapses in February by -1.3. Specifically, Hubbard’s KSTP-FM “KS-95,” which was +1.9 in January, regresses by eight-tenths (7.2 – 6.4, 6+), dropping from first to second, while iHeartMedia-owned KTCZ “Cities 97.1,” +1.2 in January, surrenders one-half share (4.5 – 4.0, flat at #11, 6+). Having held the lead position seven straight times before being ousted in August, KSTP-FM returned to #1 in October and November. Meanwhile, “Cities 97.1” spiraled by nine-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 to 3.3, its lowest 6+-performance since April 2018 (3.3, as well). Down or flat six times in a row for a collective +1.1 (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+), Minnesota Public Radio classical outlet KSJN returns two-tenths to 2.9 (#16 to #17, 6+). Cumulus Media rocker KXXR “93-X” was an overall +.8 in four straight sweeps without a loss (5.6 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 6.4, 6+); -.5 (“Holiday” 2018); +.6 (January 2019); and now -.3 in February (6.5 – 6.2, second to fourth, 6+).

San Diego

Spoken-Word Formats – After posting a one-half share increase, iHeartMedia news/talk KOGO surrenders four-tenths (4.4 – 4.0, eighth to tenth, 6+). January’s gain curtailed three straight sweeps without an increase that accounted for a collective loss of eight-tenths (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+). Tacking on one-tenth to January’s +.3 (1.6 – 1.9 – 2.0, 6+), Tegna news/talk KFMB-AM “AM 760” advances from #20 to #18. In five successive San Diego sweeps without an increase (1.7 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.1, 6+), iHeartMedia Los Angeles’ similarly-formatted KFI “AM 640” is down six-tenths and tumbles from #22 to #24. While flat at #21, Interamericana de Radio’s XPRS-AM “The Mighty 1090” is +.7 via three consecutive up or flat trends (.9 – .9 – 1.5 – 1.6, 6+). This (1.6) is its best 6+-performance since February 2018 (1.6, as well). After three straight sweeps without a loss for an overall gain of four-tenths (.7 – .8 – .8 – 1.1, 6+), Entercom-owned/San Diego Padres flagship KWFN “97.3 The Fan” forfeits the entire four-tenths (.7, #24 to #26, 6+). A loss of four-tenths by iHeartMedia’s KLSD “Fox Sports 1360 San Diego’s Sports Station” cuts its January 6+ stat in half (.8 – .4, #26 to #27, 6+).

A combined -1.7 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (6.8 – 6.2 – 5.1, 6+), San Diego State University-owned news/talk outlet KPBS follows with a +2.4 in January/February (5.1 – 7.2 – 7.5, 6+) and repeats at #1. KPBS was #1 in October, November, and December before shifting to #2 in “Holiday” 2018.

San Diego Music Formats – Advancing from sixth to third, iHeartMedia-owned KGB not only reaches the five-share level (6+) for the first time since May 2018’s 5.1, “San Diego’s Classic Rock” is an overall +2.2 via three consecutive upticks (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.5 – 5.9, 6+). Furthermore, its +1.4 is the largest (6+) January 2019 – February 2019 increase by any station in the 12 PPM-markets shown here. It is a very similar scenario for Entercom-owned KSON “103.7 San Diego’s #1 New Country,” which is +1.9 in three successive positive spikes (4.2 – 4.3 – 5.4 – 6.1, third to second, 6+). A staggering -1.7 in just two sweeps (2.4 – 1.2 – .7, 6+), classic hits-oldies XPRS-FM “105.7 Max FM” answers with a February improvement of six-tenths to 1.3 (#27 to #22, 6+). This marks the third down or flat move in a row by Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KLQV “Amor 102.9” for a collective loss of nine-tenths (2.9 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.0, #13 to #18, 6+). Co-owned regional Mexican KLNV “Que Buena 106.5,” which was +1.3 in four straight up or flat trends (4.2 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 5.5, 6+), is off one-tenth to 5.4 (second to fourth, 6+). A cumulative -2.3 in four straight downturns (6.6 – 6.0 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned CHR KHTS “Channel 93.3 – San Diego’s #1 Hit Music Station” slips from sixth to eighth. In four negative moves in a row, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVJ was a collective -1.6 (3.7 – 3.0 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.1, #17 to #19, 6+), but San Diego’s version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” is unlisted for the second month in a row. KLVJ posted a +1.1 in September when it reached the three-share threshold (3.7, 6+) for the first time since March (3.1).

Tampa

Spoken-Word Formats – Not only does iHeartMedia-owned news/talk WFLA “970 Tampa Bay’s News Radio” answer December/“Holiday” 2018’s combined -.7 (3.8 – 3.4 – 3.1, 6+) with a January/February +1.2 (3.1 – 3.6 – 4.3, the Tampa Lightning flagship enters the top ten (#12 to #9). A January gain of three-tenths by Cox Media Group news/talk WHPT suspended three straight down or flat sweeps that accounted for a -1.0 (3.6 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 2.6, 6+), but “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” repeats January’s 6+ share (2.9) and 6+ market rank (#15).

Up one-tenth in back-to-back reports (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WDAE “620 Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” returns that combined two tenths (2.1, #18 to #17, 6+).

It is tied with University of South Florida news/talk WUSF, which adds one-tenth to January’s +.3 (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.1, #19 to #17, 6+).

Tampa Music Formats – Tacking on nine-tenths to January’s +.6 (4.9 – 5.5 – 6.4, 6+), Beasley Media Group country WQYK “99.5 QYK” proceeds from third to second. Three losses in a row resulted in a -1.8 (6.7 – 5.8 – 5.5 – 4.9, 6+). Winning ways continue for iHeartMedia-owned hot AC WMTX “Mix 100.7,” which is an overall +2.3 in seven successive sweeps without a loss (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 5.2, seventh to fifth, 6+). While unchanged at #10, co-owned urban contemporary WBTP “95.7 The Beat” is +1.1 via four consecutive upticks (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 4.2, 6+). Down two-tenths after January’s -1.9 (13.7 – 11.8 – 11.6, 6+), Cox Media Group adult contemporary WDUV “Lite Favorites” is nonetheless #1 for the 79th successive ratings period. Its January decrease suspended three straight gains that netted +4.8 (8.9 – 9.7 – 10.8 – 13.7, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 13.7 is the highest 6+-stat for any Tampa station since WDUV’s 14.9 in “Holiday” 2015. Meanwhile, adult contemporary sibling WWRM “Magic 94.9 – Tampa Bay’s Best Music,” +1.0 through four straight upticks (4.9 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.4 – 5.9, 6+), forfeits 60% of that increase with a -.6 to 5.3 (second to fourth, 6+). January’s 5.9 is WWRM’s strongest 6+-stat since July 2018 (6.4). In five successive sweeps without an increase, co-owned WXGL is -1.5 (6.9 – 6.6 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+), but “107.3 The Eagle – Tampa Bay’s Classic Hits” inches up from fourth to third.

Denver

Spoken-Word Formats – After posting a January increase of one-half share to 4.8 (6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KOA “Colorado’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” drops one-tenth (4.7, sixth to seventh, 6+). Entering the January report, the flagship of the Broncos and Colorado Rockies was an overall -1.9 in three negative moves in succession (6.2 – 5.1 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+). Co-owned news/talk KHOW repeats January’s 1.4 (6+) but slips from #23 to #24. Prior to improving by three-tenths in January, “Talk Radio 630” was off a collective seven-tenths in three successive reports without an increase (1.8 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.1, 6+).

The rollercoaster ride continues for Bonneville-owned KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” whose recent activity includes four increases in a row for an overall +1.9 (2.5 – 2.9 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.4, 6+) followed by a December/“Holiday” 2018 -1.2; +.9 (January 2019); and now -.8 in February (4.1 – 3.3, #10 to #13, 6+). Having added one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (.3 – .4 – .5, 6+), KSE Radio Ventures’ KKSE-FM “Attitude Sports Radio 92.5” returns to a .3 (#27 to #29, 6+). The flagship of the Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche switched from country KWOF “The Wolf” in September (2018).

A combined +1.2 in January/February (6.4 – 7.1 – 7.6, 6+),Colorado Public Radio news/talk KCFR repeats at #1. KCFR was on top in September 2018, October, and November before segueing to #2 in December. Flat at #22, Community Radio for Northern Colorado news/talk KUNC is trending 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 (6+).

Denver Music Formats – Regaining the seven-tenths it squandered in three straight downturns (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.0, 6+), Entercom hot AC KALC “Alice 105.9” (4.7, +.7, 6+) enters the top ten (#11 to #7). Dialing up a February gain of seven-tenth as well is Entravision regional Mexican KXPK “La Tricolor 103.5” (2.6 – 3.3, #17 to #13, 6+). Leaping from sixth to second, iHeartMedia alternative KTCL “Channel 93-3 Denver’s Modern Rock” is an overall +1.3 in five successive positive spikes (4.1 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 5.4, 6+). This (5.4) is its highest 6+-stat in nearly two years (5.5, April 2017). Dialing up improvements of six-tenths as well are iHeartMedia’s KRFX “Classic Rock 103.5 The Fox” (4.0 – 4.6, #11 to #9, 6+); and CHR sibling KPTT “95.7 The Party – Denver’s #1 Hit Music Station” (3.2, #17 to #15, 6+), which applies the brakes to three straight setbacks that accounted for a loss of eight-tenths (3.4 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.6, 6+). Locked on 5.0 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2018, iHeartMedia triple A KBCO logged a January +1.0, but that vanishes in February as “97.3 World Class Rock” is -1.1 (6.0 – 4.9, second to sixth, 6+). A combined January/February -8.2 (12.8 – 5.3 – 4.6, 6+), Bonneville adult contemporary KOSI drifts from fifth to ninth. In three straight sweeps without a loss, “101.1 Real-Music-Variety” totaled an overall +7.9 (4.9 – 4.9 – 7.6 – 12.8, 6+) and was #1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (with a 12.8, 6+). The last time any Denver station reached the 12-share level (6+) was more than four years ago (KOSI, 12.4, “Holiday” 2014). Immediately after notching a January +1.2, KSE Radio Ventures’ classic hits-oldies KXKL “Kool 105 – Denver’s Greatest Hits” slices that increase in half with a -.6 (5.7 – 5.1, 6+) but remains at #3. Down six-tenths as well in February is iHeartMedia’s KWBL “106.7 The Bull – Colorado’s New Country” (2.7 – 2.1, #15 to #18, 6+). Similar to “Kool 105,” Entravision’s KJMN recorded a January increase of +1.2 but “La Suavecita 92.7” forfeits one-half share (4.7 – 4.2, 6+) and departs the top ten (#8 to #11).  

Baltimore

Spoken-Word Formats – After adding nine-tenths in January, independent news/talk WCBM “680 Stimulating Talk – Breaking News” remains the same in 6+ share (3.4) and 6+ market rank (#11). WCBM was off one-half share in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.5 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+). Up seven-tenths in January, Hearst Television news/talk WBAL “News Radio – Expect More” improves by one-tenth to 2.8 (6+) and continues at #13. Prior to the December sweep, WBAL had a (6+) fluctuation of one-tenth four times in a row: 2.5 – 2.4; 2.4 – 2.5; 2.5 – 2.6; and 2.6 – 2.5. Up or flat for the third straight sweep (.3 – .3 – .4 – .5, 6+), Cumulus Media Washington, DC news/talk WMAL moves from #28 to #27.

A combined +.8 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (4.1 – 4.6 – 4.9, 6+), Entercom sports talk WJZ-FM  is now -.8 in January/February (4.9 – 4.4 – 4.1, eighth to tenth, 6+); “105.7 The Fan” spiraled by -1.0 in November.

Answering December/“Holiday” 2018’s -1.0 (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.3, 6+) with January/February’s +1.1 (2.3 – 3.1 – 3.4 (6+), Your Public Radio news/talk WYPR “88.1 Your NPR News Station” advances from #12 to #11.

Surrendering all but one-tenth of January’s six-tenths’ gain (1.9 – 1.4, -.5, 6+), American University-owned news/talk WAMU falls from #15 to #16.

Entercom business news WDCH has more than doubled (+.7) its 6+ Baltimore stat since December (.6 – .7 – 1.1 – 1.3, unchanged at #19, 6+).

Baltimore Music Formats – An overall -1.2 in three straight downturns (6.1 – 5.8 – 5.4 – 4.9, 6+), Shamrock Communications’ classic rock WZBA “100.7 The Bay” is now a combined +1.3 in January/February (4.9 – 5.6 – 6.2, steady at #5, 6+). Albeit down one-tenth (7.7 – 7.6, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WERQ “92 Q Jams” progresses from second to first. Its January +1.0 halted three consecutive declines that resulted in a -1.2 (7.9 – 7.7 – 7.0 – 6.7, 6+). Knocked out of the top spot is its urban AC sibling WWIN-FM “Magic 95.9,” which suffers the largest (6+) January 2019 – February 2019 erosion of any station in these 12 PPM-markets (9.0 – 7.4, -1.6, first to second, 6+). After 11 straight survey periods at #1, “Magic” shifted to second in December. It remained there in “Holiday” 2018 when it lost seven-tenths, but took over at #1 in January by logging a +1.1. On the heels of recording a January increase of seven-tenths, Baltimore City Community College-owned WBJC “Maryland’s Classical Music Station” relinquishes six-tenths (1.9 – 2.6 – 2.0, flat at #14, 6+). For the seventh time in succession, Peter and John Radio Fellowship contemporary Christian WRBS-FM is unlisted; “95.1 Shine FM – Baltimore’s Positive Hits Station” was #13 in August 2018 (2.6, 6+).

St. Louis

Spoken-Word Formats – Down six-tenths (5.6 – 5.0, 6+), Entercom news/talk KMOX “The Voice of St. Louis” nonetheless continues in seventh-place. Prior to picking up two-tenths in January, the St. Louis Cardinals’ flagship – which was #1 in September 2018 and October – was an overall -3.0 through three straight decreases (8.4 – 7.5 – 6.9 – 5.4, 6+). A combined -1.1 in December/“Holiday 2018” (2.8 – 2.5 – 1.7, 6+), co-owned KFTK “FM News Talk 97.1” responds with a January/February +.8 (1.7 – 2.2 – 2.5, #18 to #17, 6+).

Relinquishing in its entirety “Holiday” 2018/January 2019’s +.5 (3.6 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+) Hubbard sports talk WXOS “101 Sports” fades from the top ten (#10 to #16).

After logging a January gain of nine-tenths, University of Missouri news/talk KWMU follows with another four-tenths (3.2 – 4.1 – 4.5, tenth to ninth, 6+). Prior to January, KWMU was down or flat five successive sweeps for an overall loss of three-tenths (3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.2, 6+).

St. Louis Music Formats – A combined +.9 in January/February (3.2 – 3.4 – 4.1, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WHHL “Hot 104.1” advances from #14 to #12. Following four straight down or flat trends for a collective -1.8 (4.9 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 3.1, 6+), urban AC cluster-mate WFUN “95.5 R&B For The Lou” erases one-third of the deficit with a +.6 to 3.7 (#16 to #14, 6+). On the heels of January’s -9.1 to 6.5 (6+), Entercom adult contemporary KEZK “The Best Mix of the ‘80s & Today” answers with a one-half share increase to 7.0 (6+) and continues in fourth-place. Three straight up or flat tends (5.2 – 5.2 – 9.8 – 15.6, 6+) resulted in KEZK tripling (+10.4) its 6+ numbers; it spent December and “Holiday” 2018 at #1, with “Holiday” 2018’s 15.6 the loftiest 6+-share by any St. Louis station in the PPM-era. Up in February by one-half share as well is iHeartMedia’s KSD “93.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” (4.0 – 4.5, 6+), which enters the top ten (#12 to #9). At the same time, Hubbard’s similarly-formatted WIL “New Country 92.3” surrenders six-tenths (6.0 – 5.4, 6+) but carries on at #6 with its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017 (5.4, as well). It’s a January-only stay at #1 for Gateway Creative Broadcasting contemporary Christian KLJY (8.6 – 7.3, -1.3, first to third, 6+), which was up a combined six-tenths in “Holiday” 2018/January 2019 (8.0 – 8.1 – 8.6, 6+). Reappearing in print in April 2018, “99.1 Joy FM” has reached #1 in August 2018, November, and January 2019 with January’s 8.6 its highest 6+-share in the April 2018 through February 2019 timeframe. Despite dropping three-tenths, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLOU is one of two stations succeeding KLJY at #1 (7.9 – 7.6, third to first, 6+); “103.3 St. Louis’ Greatest Hits” was +1.6 in January. Tied with KLOU in the lead position is Hubbard’s KSHE “95 Real Rock Radio,” whose four most recent fluctuations are +.5 (December); -.7 (Holiday” 2018); +2.0 (January 2019); and now -.5 (8.1 – 7.6, second to first, 6+). Prior to January, the last time KSHE reached the eight-share level (6+) was in November 2016 (8.6). In that same vein, the yoyo effect for co-owned KPNT “105.7 The Point – Everything Alternative” includes -.8 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.5 (January); and now -.7 in February (6.4 – 5.7, flat at #5, 6+). Separated by one-tenth in January, both of the market’s CHRs gain three-tenths in February: iHeartMedia’s KSLZ “Z-107.7 – St. Louis’ #1 Hit Music Station” (3.5 – 3.8, 6+) and Entercom-owned KNOU “Now 96.3 All The Hits” (3.4 – 3.7, 6+). They are unchanged at #13 and #14, respectively. Before notching a +.4 in January, “Z-107.7” was a collective -1.2 via five consecutive survey periods without an increase (4.3 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.4 – 3.1, 6+), while “Now” broke out a +.9 in January.

Friday, March 1, 2019

| March 1, 2019

Cumulus Assumes Operation of Entercom’s Indy Stations; Initial Staff Cuts Take Place. The recent deal that will see Cumulus Media take over ownership of three of Entercom’s Indianapolis stations enters the LMA phase.  Cumulus took over operations at 12:01 am (3/1) and staff being let go were told of their dismissal.  According to Blaine Thompson of Indiana Radio Watch, gone from sports talk WXNT is program director and afternoon drive host Kent Sterling.  He’d been with the station since 2014.  Also exiting their posts are social media coordinator Chelsie Nickell and adult contemporary WNTR-FM afternoon personality and APD Kari “KJ” Johll.

‘Big Al’ Williams Exits ‘104.3 The Fan’ in Denver. Sports talk personality Alfred Williams, a.k.a. Big Al, leaves his role with Bonneville’s KKFN-FM, Denver “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan.”  The station says via social media that “Alfred ‘Big Al’ Williams has chosen to leave the station effective today.  We thank Alfred for his many contributions during his years with The Fan and wish him the best in his future endeavors.”  He hosted “The Drive” with Darren McKee.  Unknown at this time is who will join McKee on KKFN’s afternoon show and whether or not former Broncos linebacker Williams is soon to pop up on another Denver sports talk station.

Armstrong & Getty Out Front on Call for Firing of UC Davis Prof. The story of University of California Davis professor Joshua Clover’s statement, “Police officers need to be killed,” is making national news but it’s happening right in the backyard of KSTE, Sacramento-based, nationally syndicated talk hosts Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty.  The University has condemned the words of Clover, but Armstrong & Getty are calling for his dismissal from the school.  The duo hosted the school paper’s associate opinion editor Nick Irvin on their radio show for a discussion about the story that you can hear here.

WLS-AM, Chicago Adds Jenniffer Weigel to Mancow Morning Show. As reported by Chicago media maven Robert Feder, Windy City media personality Jenniffer Weigel is joining WLS-AM’s morning show alongside host Erich Mancow Muller as sidekick and traffic reporter.  Weigel is an author, broadcaster, and journalist who most recently was serving with the Chicago Sun-Times as director of community development and a content contributor.  Another accomplished Chicago media personality – former WGN-AM news anchor Judy Pielach – sat in with Mancow in late January auditioning for a contributor role on the program.  It’s unclear if Weigel’s position (she begins on Monday, March 4) is the same one for which Pielach auditioned.

WABC, New York/Westwood One’s John Batchelor Battles Cancer While Continuing His On-Air Work.  Late night radio host John Batchelor has been handling his duties at Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York and Westwood One‘s affiliate stations while dealing with the effects of surgery and radiation treatments for oropharyngeal cancer that affected his tongue and, consequently, his ability to speak without effort.  Batchelor’s ordeal is the focus of a piece in the current edition of the publication Princeton Alumni Weekly.  Batchelor is a 1970 graduate of the Ivy League school.  He had surgery back in early November and that was followed by six weeks of radiation treatments that took a toll on his voice.  All the while, Batchelor was determined not to let it affect his work at WABC.  He intends to follow through on the plan to take his show on the road to Azerbaijan this month.

Entercom Responds to SAG-AFTRA’s Public Statement.  On Wednesday, TALKERS magazine reported a statement from the SAG-AFTRA union that its members working for Entercom in the Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and San Francisco markets are disappointed with the company’s proposals for new union contracts.  Specifically, the union says they are unhappy the company is “seeking to dramatically slash severance benefits and eliminate jobs with the expanded use of pre-recorded and non-local shows.”  Entercom has replied with the following public statement it shared with TALKERS magazine. “We are incredibly proud of the award-winning work of our on-air teams and value their contributions to the company and the communities we serve.  We have been negotiating with SAG-AFTRA in good faith to reach fair agreements.  These discussions include contracts that had been open for years prior to our merger with CBS Radio, as well as more recently expired agreements.  We prefer to negotiate directly with SAG-AFTRA and our employees, not publicly, and do not intend to comment further.”

Sean Hannity Airs Exclusive Trump Interview. Nationally syndicated radio star and FOX News Channel personality Sean Hannity traveled to Hanoi, Vietnam to cover President Trump’s meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.  Hannity was able to meet with the president for an exclusive interview and a portion of that was broadcast during his Premiere Networks radio program yesterday with additional coverage airing on his FNC program last night (2/28).  Hannity also broadcast from Singapore during last year’s first summit between the two leaders.

TeleSouth Closes on Biloxi Station Group. The deal that transfers ownership of six Biloxi, Mississippi radio stations from Alpha Media to TeleSouth Communications for $2.5 million has closed.  The stations are: sports talk duo WANG-AM/WTNI-AM, rock WCPR-FM, hip hop WGBL-FM, adult hits WQBB-FM, and CHR WXYK-FM.  As noted back in December when the sale was first announced, TeleSouth already owns news/talk WOSM-FM that airs the company’s “SuperTalk” format heard on 11 other stations across the state.  To comply with FCC ownership caps, TeleSouth will divest of WXYK-FM.  Kalil & Co., Inc. was the exclusive broker for this transaction.

Lineup Changes Announced at WKRD, Louisville. Sports talk WKRD, Louisville “Cards Radio 790” announces that “The Red Zone with Nick Coffey” moves from the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot to mornings, airing from 7:00 am to 10:00 am, effective immediately. Taking over the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart is FOX Sports Radio’s “The Herd with Colin Cowherd.”

WGY, Albany Launches ‘Upstate Unsolved’ Podcast. The new iHeartRadio Original Podcast “Upstate Unsolved” is hosted by iHeartMedia’s WGY, Albany reporter Phoebe LaFave.  It investigates the March 2, 1998 disappearance of University of Albany student Suzanne Lyall that remains unsolved.  The debut episode is airing on WGY at 5:00 pm on March 2 with new episodes posting every Thursday on iHeartRadio.

Bill Clark to Be Honored with Lowry Mays Award from the Broadcasters Foundation of America. The 2019 Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award will be given to Bill Clark – the previous president of Shamrock Broadcasting and chairman of Chancellor Broadcasting – at the Broadcasters Foundation of America’s annual breakfast on Wednesday, April 10 in the Brahms Room of the Encore Hotel in Las Vegas, during the NAB Show.  The Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award is bestowed annually on an individual in broadcasting whose work exemplifies innovation, community service, advocacy, and entrepreneurship.  It salutes its namesake Lowry Mays and is underwritten by The Mays Family Foundation.  As president of Shamrock Broadcasting’s radio division, Clark created one of the first ‘super groups,’ decades before consolidation.  Under his leadership, Shamrock grew from nine radio stations to 21, with outlets in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Detroit, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, Denver, Kansas City, and Minneapolis.  When the company was sold to Chancellor Broadcasting, Clark was named its chairman with responsibilities for both radio and television.

Michael Cohen Testimony Top News/Talk Story for Week of February 25 – March 1.  The congressional testimony of former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the summit between President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.  Coming in at #3 was the status of the Trump-Russia investigation, followed by the trade war with China at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

A Powerful Conversation Connecting the Dots Between Robert Kraft, Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Huawei, 5G and the Chinese Communist Party’s Unrestricted War to Control the World.  The story about New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s ensnarement in a Florida police sting busting a prostitution ring prompted TALKERS publisher and Pats fan Michael Harrison to produce a special installment of his weekly podcast inspired by the event.  Harrison states, “I annually spend a few months during the winter at my home and office in the small beachside town of Jupiter, Florida.  That’s where I was on Friday, February 22 – the day a local news story of national interest rocked the community…Robert Kraft getting busted for patronizing an allegedly illicit massage parlor operating under the seemingly innocent name, Orchids of Asia Day Spa, just one mile from my home here.  At first, the story seemed like another celebrity gossip story…a rich, powerful man gets in trouble for breaking the law regarding the victimless crime of prostitution – fodder for snickers and sports talk show speculation.  But it didn’t take long before the underlying seriousness of the story began to surface – the issue of sex trafficking and the broader issue of human trafficking.  It seems this so-called day spa was suspected of employing the services of female sex slaves – some possibly underage.  Whether Robert Kraft understood or cared about the connection of his activity to this nasty subject is to be determined at another time and another place. My thoughts on it, however, immediately turned to the China connection on human trafficking and its broader implications in the ongoing story of US/China relations – the Donald Trump trade war, the tariffs, the meeting this past week between US and Chinese leaders working toward a trade agreement, the impact of the giant Chinese telecom company Huawei at the recent MWC Barcelona in Spain, the world’s leading mobile electronics trade show, and the role of that murky technological innovation called 5G in determining who will in fact control the world going forward into the 21st century.”  Harrison turned to his “go-to” guy on US/China affairs, Joshua Philipp, to be his guest on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Philipp is a senior investigative reporter at the New York-based, multi-language, international news organization The Epoch Times that specializes in keeping tabs on the Chinese Communist Party. The result is a fascinating and remarkably informative conversation that is a must-listen for talk show hosts and reporters seeking to gain a better understanding of a complex web of intrigue that significantly threatens United States national security.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro Suzi Hanks exits her role on Houston classic rocker KGLK where she was a cast member on “The Dean and Rog Show.”  Hanks spent 17 years with the Cox Media Group station in a number of programming capacities.….The “BOB FM” format returns to the Panama City, Florida market after last October’s Hurricane Michael damaged Powell Broadcasting’s WASJ-FM, knocking it off the air.  Powell sold the station to Gulf Coast Broadcasting who is returning the Envision Networks-repped format to the station’s air.  Gulf Coast owner Sam Rogatinsky says, “We faced multiple hurdles getting these stations back up, but we are now ready to have fun and we invite the local community to call us with feedback.”…..Westwood One announces that Country Radio Hall of Famer Steve Harmon is the new morning host on its 24/7 Mainstream Country format, effective on Monday (3/4).  Harmon has served with KPLX, Dallas; WXTU, Philadelphia; KNIX, Phoenix and earned a CMA “Major Market Personality of the Year” award…..Pictured below is WAY-FM Mid-South regional manager & Dallas/Ft. Worth general manager Tim Dukes and his wife Susan posing for a photo with former President George W. Bush at a recent fundraiser held in Austin, Texas.

PPM Analysis: Rhythmic CHR. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s January PPM survey, today focusing on rhythmic CHR.  See how stations performed (6+) compared to the Holiday 2018 survey, compared to January 2017, and where stations ranked in their respective markets here.

Cool Morning Radio Opportunity. There’s a full-time morning show opportunity at Connoisseur Media’s rock WPLR, New Haven on the “Chaz and AJ” show.  The company seeks a passionate, open, digital savvy, connected talent as the third voice, traffic reporter, and guest booker for “Chaz and AJ.”  This morning show personality must be a creative thinker and have the ability to be topical, relevant, connected, and authentic in their on-air work and connected to the demographics of PLR.  This candidate will also be expected to book guests, stay on top of current events, pitch topics/stunts and show arcs as well as build a relationship with the major players in the Connecticut political, entertainment, and news world.  Qualifications include: a minimum of 3 years on-air (TV or radio) experience; deliver traffic reports; an understanding of all aspects of social media; interact with the public at major events and an ability to demonstrate a professional appearance and demeanor in/outside of the radio station; and more.  If you are a qualified candidate, send a 3-minute demo with your resume and salary requirements to: connoisseurctjobs@gmail.com with “CHAZ AND AJ” in the subject line.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

| February 27, 2019

Sean Hannity Broadcasts from Hanoi. Hitching a ride with a motorcyclist in the photo above is Premiere Networks and FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity as he broadcasts both his radio and TV shows from Vietnam to cover President Trump’s meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.  Hannity, who will work from Southeast Asia through Friday (3/1), said via Twitter, “Getting to work in Vietnam traffic was crazy so I hopped out & this guy gave me a lift. #VietNamSummit.”

PPM Analysis: All-News. 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 the all-news format. Coming off the previous Holiday 2018 survey all of the all-news stations on the panel saw their weekly 6+ AQH share improve.  More than 60% of the stations were up – based on the same metric – from last January’s survey to this year’s.  Entercom’s WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago (+1.5) and WWJ, Detroit (+1.0) led the gainers.  Both stations also ranked #1 in their respective markets in January, along with Hubbard Radio’s WTOP-FM, Washington (10.4 share) and Entercom’s KCBS-AM (7.1 share in the San Jose market).  See the whole report here.

Westwood One: Midday Listening Tops Drive Time. In the latest Westwood One blog post, chief insights officer Pierre Bouvard writes that, based on data from Nielsen, the 10:00 am to 3:00 pm daypart represents 26% of radio listening by adults 25-54, compared to 21% each for morning and afternoon drive.  The extra hour (drive times have just four hours each) accounts for the difference but Bouvard points out that advertisers buying only drive times are missing out. “Countless sales lift and ROI studies conclude that the number one media factor that drives sales is reach.  The more people a campaign reaches, the greater the sales lift.  Increasing reach insures a campaign can impact sales.  Restricting AM/FM radio buys to drives times misses 60% of the radio audience. It reduces reach and harms advertiser sales lift.” See the difference between advertisers’ perceptions about when heavy radio listening occurs and when it actually does based on Nielsen data in the blog post here.

SAG-AFTRA Goes Public in Entercom Negotiations Matter. The union representing some radio staffers with Entercom stations in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and San Francisco is calling out Entercom, asking it to “engage in fair contract negotiations.”  SAG-AFTRA says its members at those stations have been in active negotiations for new union contracts since late last year.  While, negotiations are ongoing, SAG-AFTRA says “members are going public for the first time with their disappointment with the company’s proposals.”  President Gabrielle Carteris adds, “The company’s suggested proposals would erode significant benefits in our members’ contracts and lack recognition of the major contributions our members make to Entercom stations across the country.  We encourage a real partnership with Entercom as we look to achieve a meaningful and fair resolution of these negotiations.”  What are the hang-ups?  SAG-AFTRA says its members “are seeking fair increases to compensation, benefits, and limited benefits for part-time employees as well as a willingness to participate in the shift to the digitally focused radio business.  Entercom is seeking to dramatically slash severance benefits and eliminate jobs with the expanded use of pre-recorded and non-local shows.”

TALKERS News Notes. The seasonal, 20-part series “Tax Tips” is being made available to affiliates of Westwood One News.  Correspondent Ann Cates hosts the one-minute feature.  Topics cover the withholding calculator, smartphone filing, phone scams, earned income tax credit, how to find online help, the taxpayer bill of rights, ghost tax preparers, IRS audits, and more…..“CHANNEL Q” is now available in six more markets as Entercom expands the LGBTQ+ Talk Radio Network.  The company says the format brings the latest in LGBTQ+ news and information, pop culture, and new music to listeners in 14 markets and via the RADIO.COM app nationwide.  It’s now available in New York, Chicago, Boston, Miami, Hartford, and Portland.  Entercom Southern California SVP and market manager Jeff Federman says, “We’re extremely proud and excited by the tremendous growth of ‘CHANNEL Q,’ its success is a testament to the desire to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and their allies.  ‘CHANNEL Q’ began as a passion project for our team in Los Angeles and we are thrilled to see the great reception it has received from coast to coast. We look forward to informing and engaging with new listeners in these new cities we are now a part of.”…..The Bob & Tom Show launches its new comedy app.  The Bob & Tom Show app offers fans the ease of listening to the show on their local station, as well as one-touch access to the Bob & Tom comedy channel, called “Bob & Tom 24/7.”  “Bob & Tom 24/7” features The Bob & Tom Show live every weekday morning, plus classic highlights, bits, songs and segments from the show’s rich archive of digital audio content…..SiriusXM NFL Radio is covering this week’s annual NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis today through Sunday, March 3.  SiriusXM NFL Radio’s expert hosts in Indianapolis will include Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2019 member Gil Brandt, former NFL front office executives Mark Dominik and Pat Kirwan, former NFL players Charles Davis, Jim Miller and Brady Quinn, plus Alex Marvez, Bruce Murray, John Hansen and Adam Caplan.

Trump-Kim Jong Un Summit, Cohen Testimony, Trump-Russia Investigation, Border Wall/Emergency Declaration, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, AOC-Ivanka Wages Spat, Venezuela Unrest, India-Pakistan Tensions, and NBA/NCAA Hoops Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/26). The meeting between President Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un; the congressional testimony expected from former Trump attorney Michael Cohen; the status of the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the U.S.-Mexico border wall and the House’s vote to nullify President Trump’s emergency declaration; the Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in 2020; the media argument over wages and entitlements between Ivanka Trump and Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez; the violence in Venezuela as Nicolas Madura clings to power; the military tensions between India and Pakistan over the Kashmir dispute; 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.

Tomorrow Marks 10thAnniversary of Paul Harvey’s Passing.  Radio’s Best Friend Art Vuolo alerts TALKERS magazine that tomorrow (2/28) will be the 10th anniversary of the death of radio news legend Paul Harvey.  He provides a video of what he believes is Harvey’s last address to the industry (delivered at the 2003 R&R TRS event) – a 17-minute keynote speech that you can see here. Art also relates a funny, personal story.  “My late mother, Amy Vuolo, actually made Paul Harvey’s famous ‘For What It’s Worth’ department (his end-kicker story.)  In 1974, she lectured for Weight Watchers which had bumper stickers that said, ‘My Spare Tire is in the trunk.’  A member of her class put the sticker on her car and someone broke into the trunk and stole the spare tire!  True story.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. This year’s iHeartRadio Music Awards taking place on March 14 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles will feature performances by Alicia KeysAriana Grande, Halsey, Garth Brooks, John Legend, and Kacey Musgraves, with more to be announced.  The sixth annual iHeartRadio Music Awards is being aired (delayed) at 8:00 pm ET on FOX television.  It’s also airing live on iHeartMedia radio stations nationwide and the iHeartRadio platform…..JVC Media announces that radio pro Steve Harper is joining the company as a member of the Long Island events team and member of the afternoon show on WPTY-HD2/W251BY, Patchogue, New York “Oldies 98.1.”  JVC New York general manager Bruce Shepard says, “Steve is a great addition to our staff.  He will not only be on the airwaves at JVC, he’ll also work with the team of Long Island Events – the JVC NTR company – to develop new and exciting live events and festivals.  I am thrilled to have him on board.”…..Country radio pro Andy Roberts exits the Champaign, Illinois operations of Saga Communications where he was most recently program director for country WIXY and classic country WYXY.  He’d also served as morning host at WIXY for more than 20 years.

Monday, February 18, 2019

| February 18, 2019

Hannity and Limbaugh Cited as Talk Media’s Political Influence Gains Attention. Multi-media news/talk superstar Sean Hannity is often said by some Trump administration critics to be an unofficial member of the president’s cabinet.  However one feels about that sentiment, it is clear that the conservative news/talk media has some degree of influence in Trump administration policy.  That becomes more evident when President Trump says such things as, “Sean Hannity has been a terrific, terrific supporter of what I do.”  And about Rush Limbaugh: “He can speak for three hours without a phone call.  Try doing that sometime.  For three hours he speaks.  He’s got one of the biggest audiences in the history of the world.  I mean, this guy is unbelievable.”  Those quotes come from a New York Times piece covering the president’s Rose Garden press event on Friday (2/15).  Although Trump also said, “They don’t decide policy,” there’s a general sentiment among political and media types that the president looks to conservative talk media to understand what his base is thinking.  At this morning’s meeting of the TALKERS editorial staff, publisher Michael Harrison stated, “One of the most significant yardsticks in determining a communication platform’s success is influence.  How much of a difference does it make in the scheme of things?  Does it move the needle?  Since the modern era of talk radio began with the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine in 1987, the medium and its hosts have been judged heavily by the level of influence they wield in their communities and markets. Taking this into account, the influence Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and others maintain in the Age of Trump is remarkable and certainly a boon to talk media of all political flavors.”

New Evening Lineup at KNBR, San Francisco. Bay Area sports talk outlet KNBR announces changes to its evening “KNBR Tonight” programming that airs from 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight.  The Cumulus Media station bring Bay Area native Mark Willard aboard to host the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm portion of the show and moves current evening personality Drew Hoffar to the 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight portion.  KNBR program director Jeremiah Crowe states, “I’m extremely excited to welcome Mark back to the Bay Area and into our KNBR family.  ‘KNBR Tonight’ is about connecting with fans as the games are being played and Mark will excel in that arena across all KNBR platforms.  Listeners now also get to hear Drew shine as a solo host in his own time slot.  ‘KNBR Tonight’ will continue to serve as THE nightly destination for local sports talk and I can’t wait to hear these two dynamic personalities back-to-back on ‘The Sports Leader!’”  Willard comes to KNBR from his most recent gig with iHeartMedia’s KLSD, San Diego “XTRA Sports” where he was midday host.  He’s also served with FOX Sports Radio Network; KSPN, Los Angeles “710 ESPN”; and ESPN’s SportsNation based in LA.

Woodward Makes Programming Moves at WHBY and WSCO in Green Bay/Appleton, Wisconsin. The news/talk and sports talk stations in the Green Bay-Appleton market operated by Woodward Radio Group have a new brand manager as Jonathan Krause assumes the role.  Krause comes to news/talk WHBY and sports talk WSCO “The Score” from his most recent position with Cumulus Media’s news/talk WOSH, Oshkosh.  Krause says, “I look forward to continuing the traditions of WHBY and WSCO providing high-quality information and entertainment for the Fox Valley.  And I hope to expand our community involvement throughout the region.”  At the same time, the company welcomes Appleton native Brian Butch to WSCO as a member of the “B.J. and The Bear” morning drive show with host B.J. DeGroot.  Butch will also serve as a part-time sales executive for WHBY and WSCO.

Monday Memo: YOUR Four?  Consultant Holland Cooke’s Monday Memo offers up a call-in topic for today’s President’s Day holiday.  There are four (generally) revered U.S. presidents depicted on Mt. Rushmore – Washington, Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Lincoln. What if your listeners could vote for their four favorite presidents to be immortalized in stone?  Read Cooke’s Monday Memo column here.

WPHT Radiothon Raises $151,000 for Liberty USO. Friday’s second annual WPHT Radiothon to benefit Liberty USO – an organization that provides active, Guard, and Reserve military and their families with programs and services at the United Service Organization of Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey – raised $151,535.  Air personalities from Entercom’s news/talk WPHT are pictured above taking part in the daylong broadcast.  They are (from l-r): afternoon drive host Rich Zeoli, late morning personality Dom Giordano, and morning talk host Chris Stigall.

TALKERS News Notes. As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, WGN-AM weekend radio personality Amy Guth is embarking on a daily podcast project for Crain’s Chicago Business.  The show is called “The Daily Gist” and will consist of “a mix of the day’s top stories and an in-depth segment in which Guth will interview a Crain’s reporter or columnist.”…..Major League Baseball’s Oakland Athletics are announcing they have radio broadcast deals for the 2019 season.  The team has a three-company deal that will see games air on Salem Media Group’s news/talk KTRB-AM, San Francisco “The Answer,” Bonneville’s sports talk KHTK, Sacramento, and digital platform Tune In.  In the broadcast booth will be play-by-play team Ken Korach and Vince CotroneoChris Townsend is serving as studio host with Ray Fosse making guest appearances…..In Baltimore, longtime Baltimore Orioles play-by-play voice Joe Angel is retiring after 19 years with the team (and 42 years in the business).  Games are broadcast on Entercom’s WJZ-FM “The Fan.”…..The MLB’s Pittsburgh Pirates have a new broadcast team for games that air on Entercom’s KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan.”  The station says Dan Zangrilli will return to host the station’s pregame and postgame broadcasts, a role he held from 2012 to 2016.  Jack Zduriencik will return for his fourth season as an analyst.  Station veteran Kraig Riley, who has been with “93.7 The Fan” since 2010 as a producer, will join the broadcast team for the first time alongside Zangrilli and Zduriencik.

Border Wall Emergency Declaration, Trump-vs ‘SNL,’ McCabe on ’60 Minutes,’ 2020 Presidential Hopefuls, Fatal Chicago Workplace Shooting, Amazon/NYC Breakup, Jussie Smollett Case, Payless Shutters U.S. Stores, and NBA/NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The aftermath of President Trump’s emergency declaration to use Pentagon funds for the U.S.-Mexico wall project; President Trump’s attack on “Saturday Night Live” for its parody of his emergency declaration presser; former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s interview on Sunday’s “60 Minutes”; the Democrats lining up to challenge President Trump in 2020 and former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld considers challenging Trump in the Republican primary; the workplace shooting in Aurora, Illinois that took the lives of five; Amazon’s decision to back out of its proposed Queens operations after political pressure from Democrats; the controversy surrounding actor Jussie Smollett’s assault accusations; retail icon Payless Shoes to close U.S. stores; and NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Dallas programming and on-air pro Jesse Salazar adds assistant program director duties to his afternoon on-air role and music director responsibilities at Radio One’s rhythmic CHR KBFB “97.9 The Beat.”  Radio One Dallas vice president of programming operations Mark McCray says, “Jesse has the experience, attitude, and work ethic that makes his graduation to APD an easy decision.”…..On-air pro Chris Payne joins Evans Broadcasting’s alternative KRAT, Reno, “ALT 92.9” to host the morning drive program.  Payne was most recently in an on-air role with Shamrock Communications’ crosstown KRZQ prior to it flipping from alternative to adult contemporary in July of 2017.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

| February 6, 2019

Forever Broadcasting Buys Delmarva’s Radio Assets for $18.5 Million. The acquisition of Delmarva Broadcasting’s 10 radio stations in the Mid-Atlantic by Forever Broadcasting will, when consummated, mean the end of Delmarva’s radio business. Delmarva is a subsidiary of Steinman Communications and that company continues in the media business as publisher of LPN/Lancaster Online.  Forever Media will be getting news/talk WDEL-AM/FM, hot AC WSTW-FM and Gospel WFAI-AM in the Wilmington, Delaware market; country WXCY, Havre de Grace, Maryland; classic hits WAVD-FM, Ocean Pines, Maryland; classic hits WNCL, hot AC WAFL-FM, and sports talk WYUS-AM in Milford, Delaware; and news/talk WXDE-FM, Lewes, Delaware.  Forever Media owns radio stations in Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.

Talk Host Doc Thompson Killed in Jogging Accident. Talk radio host Doc Thompson, a.k.a., Michael Thompson, was killed on Tuesday (2/5) while jogging near railroad tracks in Haltom City, Texas.  The 50-year-old radio personality was hit by an Amtrak train.  Thompson was hosting his own digital “Daily MoJo 5.0” program. Previously, he’d worked for Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze Radio Network as well as iHeartMedia’s WRVA, Richmond.  Thompson leaves behind his wife, Yuna, and three young children.  A GoFundMe page has been set up to assist his family here.

Spotify to Acquire Gimlet Media and Anchor. As reported this morning by Variety and numerous other sources, music streaming giant Spotify is acquiring New York-based podcasting platform Gimlet Media for $230 million as it positions itself to become a major player in the podcasting industry.  The report indicates that Spotify also is acquiring Anchor FM Inc., a platform that assists in podcast creating, publishing, and monetization.  Spotify chief Daniel Ek says his company is in a merger and acquisition mode, seeking to spend up to $500 million on deals this year.  He’s quoted saying, “These acquisitions will meaningfully accelerate our path to becoming the world’s leading audio platform, give users around the world access to the best podcast content, and improve the quality of our listening experience as well as enhance the Spotify brand.”  At the same time as it announced these deals, Spotify released fourth quarter 2018 and full-year financial data.  Although Spotify produced its first-ever quarterly operating profit of $107 million in Q4 of 2018, it expects to return to losses due to its M&A mode.  However, Spotify is reporting 96 million premium subscribers globally – an increase of 36% compared to 2017 figures.  It also saw its total monthly active users rise to 207 million during Q4, an increase of 29% over the same period in 2017.

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated talk show host Dana Loesch is delving into possible mysteries surrounding the arrest of former Trump campaign official Roger Stone.  Loesch interviewed Stone on her Radio America-syndicated talk show, discussing his indictment and the special counsel’s investigation, and he suggests the special counsel’s office may have tipped off CNN to his arrest.  Hear it here…..As reported by Chicago media maven Robert Feder, sports media personality Barry Rozner is leaving the fill-in and weekend host position he’s held with sports talk WSCR “The Score” for the past 10 years.  Rozner was co-host of the Sunday morning baseball show “Hit & Run” with Joe Ostrowski.  In addition to fill-in work, Rozner continues to serve as a sports columnist for the suburban Daily Herald…..Public radio news/talk KQED, San Francisco names Vinnee Tong managing editor, news.  In her new role, Tong will “help deepen KQED’s commitment to regional news on broadcast and digital platforms and work to increase representation of underrepresented voices and perspectives in KQED’s coverage.”  Tong has worked at KQED since 2011 in editor and producer roles.  Before working in public radio, she was a reporter at the Associated Press…..SAG-AFTRA is launching a new podcast hosted by president Gabrielle Carteris and national executive director David White featuring in-depth interviews, industry insights, and compelling stories affecting the entertainment and media industry.  New shows are released every other Tuesday…..The “Motley Fool Money” weekend radio show with host Chris Hill adds new affiliate WLBR-AM, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to its roster of stations…..SiriusXM is presenting a new audio documentary celebrating the Comedy Grammy Award category.  The show is timed to air in conjunction with this Sunday’s Grammy award show.  Comedy producer Dan Pasternack hosts “Obsessive Comedy Disorder: The 60 Year History of the Comedy Grammy Award,” that premieres Thursday (2/7) at 5:00 pm ET on SiriusXM Comedy Greats…..The staff of iHeartMedia news/talk WOR, New York celebrated this week’s debut of the new evening program “WOR Tonight with Joe Concha & Lis Wiehl” with a lunch at the legendary Patsy’s Restaurant in Times Square.  Pictured below are (from l-r): WOR program director Tom Cuddy, talk host Mark Simone, Concha, Wiehl, morning hosts Michael Riedel and Len Berman, assistant program director Scott Lakefield, and news director Joe Bartlett.

Report: Radio Digital Revenue Climbing Towards $1 Billion Mark. A report released by the Radio Advertising Bureau and Borrell Associates indicates that local radio stations brought in $804 million in digital ad revenue during 2018 and projections for 2019 are for an increase as high as $949 million.  The report – to be released to RAB members today – analyzes online ad revenue from 3,121 radio stations in addition to survey responses from 1,715 local radio buyers and a survey of 132 radio managers.  The data indicates that the average radio station earned more than $250,000 in digital revenue in 2018, an increase of 15% over 2017.  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber says, “Digital has been integrated into all facets of broadcast radio’s offering both in programming and sales, and the results are definitely paying off. As radio continues to provide integrated marketing solutions to its advertisers, we expect to see continued growth.  The RAB is focused on providing digital training and continued knowledge-building for our members so they can better serve their clients.”

Celebrating Super Bowl LIII.  In Boston, Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” serves as the official flagship radio station of New England Patriots football.  So, at yesterday’s parade in downtown Boston, Beasley staff was on hand giving out “Never Gets Old” signs all along the parade route. Pictured above are (from l-r): Beasley Boston vice president/market manager Mary Menna, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, and WBZ-FM and national spoken word/esports format brand manager Mike Thomas.

State of the Union Address, Trump-Russia Investigation, 2020 Presidential Candidates, Warren ‘American Indian’ Controversy, Ralph Northam Controversy, North Korea Weapons Report, and Super Bowl LIII Aftermath Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/5).  The State of the Union Address; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the potential candidates for president in 2020; Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Texas Bar registration card in which she identifies as American Indian; the racist photos in Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s medical school yearbook; the report indicating North Korea is developing nuclear weapons and selling weapons to other nations; and the aftermath of Super Bowl LIII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Charley Connolly exits iHeartMedia’s Cleveland station group where he programmed country WGAR and adult hits WHLK “106.5 The Lake.”  Connolly had been with the cluster since 2010…..Condolences to the family and friends of Alpha Media Biloxi-Gulfport production director Chuck Edwards, who died on January 30 at age 49. Alpha notes Edwards started his career at “Surf 107-1” – currently WXYK, Gulfport.  He later moved on to rock WCPR where he was part of the morning show that became “The Cruise, Chuck and Rebecca Show” with Kevin Cruise and Rebecca Allen.  Edwards also served as the PA announcer of the New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans. Alpha Biloxi-Gulfport operations manager Kenny Vest says, “Chuck was one of the most talented production guys in the industry who could literally do it all.  He had such a wide variety of deliveries and was great at writing copy.  He also had the ability to turn on that booming voice that could get any crowd excited as he did at the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans games for so many years.  Chuck was loved by so many and will be sorely missed by all of us who had the pleasure to know him.”

Thursday, January 24, 2019

| January 24, 2019

‘Hannity On Air’ to Launch on FOX Nation Streaming Service. The new on-demand, subscription-based streaming service FOX Nation is making Sean Hannity’s daily radio monologues from his Premiere Networks syndicated show available to fans via livestream.  Hannity says, “I am passionate about my monologues and can’t wait to give the people more.  Thank you to my loyal followers for making me the most-watched show in all of cable and one of the top talk radio programs in the country.”  FOX News SVP of development and production John Finley states, “We could not be more thrilled to have Sean host his own program on FOX Nation.  He has undoubtedly made a permanent mark in the media landscape as a prominent host in both television and talk radio and we are looking forward to our subscribers receiving exclusive content from him.”

Cumulus Media’s ‘The Ticket’ in Dallas Celebrates 25 Years as a Sports Talker. Dallas sports talk duo KTCK-AM/FM “The Ticket” is celebrating its 25th year on the air today (1/24). It will mark the event with a live broadcast from “Texas Motor Speedway Ticketstock 25” tomorrow and Saturday (1/25-26) that will include appearances from Dallas Cowboys legends Troy Aikman and Jay Novacek.  Cumulus Dallas/Houston RVP Dan Bennett states, “‘The Ticket’ has blazed a trail for the format across the country with its unique blend of sports talk, lifestyle talk, commentary, and comedy delivered by the most outstanding lineup in sports radio. Both ‘The Musers’ in morning drive and the ‘Hardline’ in afternoon drive have aired on the station since day one and the ‘newcomers’ to the station, ‘BaD Radio,’ and ‘Norm Hitzges & Donovan Lewis,’ joined ‘The Ticket’ 20 years ago.”  Station program director Jeff Catlin adds, “When ‘The Ticket’ went on the air, the so-called ‘experts’ said we wouldn’t last six months. Here we are 25 years later, thanks to the huge ongoing support of our audience and community partners and the dedication, work ethic, and talent of our on-air staff and programming and promotions teams.”

Podcast Record-Holder Adam Carolla Re-Ups with PodcastOne. Podcasting pioneer and Guinness Most Downloaded Podcast record-holder Adam Carolla renews his deal with PodcastOne for another five years – through 2023.  The new deal continues the joint production, distribution, marketing, and sales for his entire collection of podcasts – totaling more than 15 hours of weekly, original programming – including “The Adam Carolla Show,” “Reasonable Doubt,” “Adam & Drew,” “Carcast,” “Ace on the House,” and more.  Carolla’s own podcast celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.  PodcastOne chairman and CEO Norm Pattiz says, “I met Adam over 25 years ago when I signed him to ‘Loveline’ at Westwood One.  He’s charted the way for the many who have come after him in podcasting and it’s great to continue our partnership.  He is the all-time revenue leader and the all-time most downloaded podcaster.  Plus, he’s the hardest working guy in podcasting.  The next five years are sure to bring more growth, success and surprises.”

David Mayurnik Appointed PD of CBS Sports Radio. Sports radio pro David Mayurnik is named program director for Entercom’s CBS Sports Radio.  Mayurnik, who joined CBS Sports Radio at its inception in 2013 as executive producer, will report to CBS Sports Radio Network and WFAN senior vice president Mark Chernoff.  Mayurnik says, “I am honored to have the opportunity to continue working with the best team in radio.  It truly is a dream job to lead this network and the amazing line up of talent.  I look forward to being a part of the continued growth of CBS Sports Radio.”  Prior to his role as executive producer, Mayurnik was a producer for the Yankees Radio Network as well as newsroom operations manager for all-news WCBS-AM from 2005 to 2012.  He began his radio career at WFAN, New York in 2000.

WMVP, Chicago Announces Title Sponsor for State Street Studio. Windy City sports talk station WMVP “ESPN 1000” announces a new title sponsor for its street-level, State Street Studio.  Illinois-based First Midwest Bank begins a multi-year agreement with the ESPN O&O to serve as title sponsor, effective today (1/24). In addition to the naming rights, First Midwest will have its brand integrated throughout the station’s daily programming.  WMVP vice president and general manager Jim Pastor comments, “It’s an honor to have the First Midwest Bank name on ESPN 1000’s State Street studio.  Two great brands, leaders in their industries, joining forces to serve Chicago sports fans every day.  As our partnership unfolds, we look forward to playing a vital role in enhancing First Midwest Bank’s presence across the community.”

Los Angeles Talk and News Stations Take Home Golden Mike Awards.  Both iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI and Entercom’s all-news KNX won Golden Mike Awards at the Radio & Television News Association of Southern California’s 69th Golden Mike Ceremonies last weekend.  KFI picked up honors for Best News Broadcast and Best Serious Feature Reporting.  It also won Best Continuing Coverage, Best Sports Reporting, Best Business and Consumer Reporting, Best Use of Sound and Best Internet News Reporting.  KNX won Golden Mikes in the following categories: Best News Broadcast Over 15 Minutes, Best Traffic Report, Best “Live” Coverage of a News Story, and Best News Public Affairs Program.

Report: Nielsen Could Fetch $10 Billion in Sale.  According to a report in the New York Post, ratings and research giant Nielsen Holdings is exploring a sale of the company and private equity firm Blackstone Group is interested. According to Josh Kosman’s story, the company is valued at around $10 billion.  Blackstone Group and Hellman & Friedman are reportedly working together on a buyout bid.  It was back in September that the company released an official statement that its board of directors was exploring “a broad range of options” for the company’s future, including going private, separating the Watch and Buy segments, or selling the company altogether.

Elvis Duran Group Partners with SportsGrid. The deal between the Elvis Duran Group and SportsGrid, Inc. will have the former handling programming, marketing, sales, and distribution of SportsGrid’s Fantasy Sports Radio Network.  FNTSY Radio is a free sports-centric digital broadcasting platform available on the FNTSY Radio app, iHeartRadio and TuneIn with more than 75 hours of programming per week.  EDG founder Elvis Duran says, “I’ve seen the growth and fanaticism of fantasy sports and gaming through my own audience and my fellow cast mates.  [SportsGrid president] Lou [Maione] and his team have built fantastic assets that are poised to thrive in the rapidly changing landscape.  I’m excited to help make FNTSY Radio the premier audio destination in the marketplace.”

Hubbard Closes on Alpha Media West Palm Beach Stations. Yesterday, Hubbard Radio closed on its $88 million purchase of six radio stations from Alpha Media in the West Palm Beach, Florida market.  The group includes: news/talk WFTL, sports talk WMEN-AM, hot AC WRMF-FM, country WIRK-FM, classic hits WEAT-FM, and urban contemporary WMBX-FM.  KALIL & CO., INC. was the exclusive broker for this transaction.

PodcastOne Promotes Jim Ballas. Five-year PodcastOne executive Jim Ballas is promoted to chief technology officer and vice president of operations, effective immediately.  In this expanded role, Ballas will continue to oversee network digital initiatives and sales operations, in addition to developing new technology to serve platform consumers and advertisers.  PodcastOne founder Norm Pattiz states, “Jim is a young guy, but he’s been here from the beginning.  He’s smart, savvy, and has grown over the last five years at an amazing rate.  He answers questions before they’re asked and he plots directions for the company’s growth.  It’s a joy to reward Jim Ballas for his service to our company and to the podcasting business.”

Season Two of Suze Orman’s ‘Women & Money’ Debuts. The second season of Suze Orman’s “Women & Money” original podcast debuts via Westwood One.  The program series features two weekly episodes tied into each other.  WWO says that Orman’s interactive approach begins with a weekly lesson each Sunday about a pressing personal finance topic. She invites listeners to call or write the show to ask further questions that will be answered on Thursday’s episode, where she will dive into individual challenges that have relevance to so many.

Westwood One Has Game Day Coverage of Super Bowl LIII. This year will be Westwood One’s 32nd consecutive year broadcasting the play-by-play coverage of the Super Bowl.  In the booth, Kevin Harlan will handle the play-by-play duties with Super Bowl XXXIV MVP and Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner making his debut as the color analyst.  Super Bowl XXXI winning coach Mike Holmgren will contribute throughout the game broadcast – his fourth year as a member of the broadcast crew.  Former All-Pro offensive lineman Tony Boselli returns for a third straight year as sideline reporter and will be joined on the field for the second consecutive year by Hall of Fame reporter Ed WerderJim Gray will anchor the pregame and halftime coverage, with appearances by Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.  Leading up to February 2, Westwood One will produce “Seven Days to Sunday – The Road to Super Bowl LIII” – an hour-long preview show that airs each night during the week leading up to Super Sunday.  It is hosted by Scott Graham, the voice of NFL Films, and features interviews with players from both participating teams as well as coaches and other special guests. Each night’s show will be co-hosted by a different Westwood One NFL analyst and will also feature a flashback to a previous Super Bowl.

Government Shutdown/State of the Union, Border Wall Battle, Trump-Russia Investigation/Cohen Testimony Postponed, 2020 Presidential Candidates, China Surpasses U.S. in Retail Sales, Venezuelan Unrest, Deadly Florida Bank Shooting, Bryan Singer Sex Allegations, NFL Ref Woes and Super Bowl LIII Build-Up Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/23). The federal government shutdown and the related postponement of the State of the Union address; the political battle over President Trump’s plan to build a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents and the related Michael Cohen congressional testimony issue; the growing slate of Democratic candidates for president in 2020; the report indicating China will surpass U.S. in retail sales; the U.S. officially sides with Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido over embattled President Nicolas Maduro; Wednesday’s bank shooting in Florida that left five dead; allegations of predatory behavior on the part of “Bohemian Rhapsody” director Bryan Singer; and the NFL’s referee troubles and the build-up to Super Bowl LIII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Rob Roberts signs a multi-year contract extension with Cumulus Media to continue his roles as vice president of hot AC and program director for WRQX, Washington “MIX 103.7.”  Cumulus Washington vice president and market manager Jake McCann comments, “We are excited and lucky to have Rob Roberts continue to lead WRQX in our nation’s capital.  Rob has done an incredible job bringing ‘MIX’ back into its position as one of DC’s most-listened-to and highest-rated stations.  Rob is a great coach and programmer and has the right vision for continued growth in the years to come.”…..Programmer Jimmy Steal is named vice president of brand and content for Hubbard Radio’s hot AC WTMX “101.9 The Mix.”  Steal was most recently with Meruelo Media’s Los Angeles stations hip hop KPWR “Power 106” and rhythmic CHR KDAY and vice president of programming.  He’d been PD of KPWR for the past 18 years when Emmis Communications owned the station…..Hubbard Radio St. Louis promotes Danny Montana to brand content director for country WIL “New Country 92.9.”  He’s been APD and music director and he’ll continue in the MD role.  Montana says, “I am so grateful and humbled by this opportunity to continue to grow and work with the absolute best team and station in the business.  It is truly an honor to work at Hubbard Radio.”…..The nationally syndicated “Bob & Tom” show adds seven new affiliate stations to its roster, including: KURT-FM, Bend, Oregon; WEGE-FM, Lima, Ohio; and WYFM-FM, Youngstown, Ohio.

“Holiday” 2018 PPM Data – Round Two. “Holiday” 2018 ratings information has been released for Washington (D.C.), Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen Audio’s “Holiday” 2018 survey period covered December 6 (2018) – January 2 (2019). See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM-markets.

Washington, DC

Spoken-Word Formats – Steady at #6, WMAL has lost a combined eight-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+). The Cumulus Media news/talk station was without a loss from June through November for an overall +1.6 (3.5 – 3.7 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.1, 6+). November 2018’s 5.1 represents its best 6+-stat in the PPM-era.

Following four straight down or flat trends that accounted for a collective loss of seven-tenths (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 3.0, 6+), Entercom sports talk WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” picks up two-tenths to 3.2 (6+) but remains at #14. December 2018’s 3.0 is its lowest 6+-stat since March (2.4). The Washington Nationals’ flagship completely erased July’s -.5 with an August +.5 (3.7 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+). Locked on .9 (6+) in November and December, Radio One’s similarly-formatted WTEM “980 The Team” drops one-tenth to .8 (6+) and is unchanged at #21.

Within 9.3 – 9.9 range the past nine sweeps (9.6 – 9.7 – 9.5 – 9.3 – 9.4 – 9.4 – 9.9 – 9.5 – 9.4, 6+), Hubbard all-news WTOP plunges by one full-share to 8.4 (flat at #2). At #1 for 11 straight ratings periods, WTOP segued to the runner-up slot in December.

An overall +1.9 via five straight increases (7.6 – 8.0 – 8.2 – 8.3 – 9.0 – 9.5, 6+), American University-owned news/talk WAMU “The Mind Is Our Medium” has the largest (6+) December 2018 – “Holiday” 2018 erosion of any station in the 24 PPM-markets we’ve seen so far (9.5 – 7.3, -2.2, 6+). Moreover, it tumbles from first to fourth. While December 2018’s 9.5 is the best 6+-stat for WAMU since November 2017 (9.6), its 7.3 in “Holiday” 2018 is its softest 6+-stat in exactly three years (6.9, “Holiday” 2015). “The Mind Is Our Medium” finished at #2 ten (10) times in calendar year 2018.

This is the fifth straight time that Entercom business news outlet WDCH is down or flat for a loss of two-tenths (.5 – .4 – .4 – .4 – .3 – .3, flat at #24, 6+).

Washington, DC Music Formats – By tacking on a +3.1 to December’s +2.5 (4.8 – 7.3 – 10.4, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH “97.1 Washington’s Variety of the ‘80s ‘90s and Today” progresses from third to first with its best 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016 (10.4, as well). Prior to being -1.0 in November, WASH was +2.1 in September and October (3.7 – 4.4 – 5.8, 6+). We’ve obviously seen the huge spikes by stations such as WASH that transitioned to all-Christmas music during the December 2018 and “Holiday” 2018 survey periods. In the Nation’s Capital, urban AC did extremely well in this sweep, boosting its (6+) share by +1.5. Specifically, Howard University’s WHUR racks up a +.9 to 6.2 (steady at #5, 6+), ending three successive down or flat trends that accounted for a -1.5 (6.8 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 5.3, 6+), while Radio One-owned WMMJ “Majic” improves by +.6 (fourth to third) and is a combined +1.0 in three straight gains (6.4 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.4, 6+). Without an increase in four sweeps in succession for an overall -1.4 (7.1 – 6.2 – 6.1 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+), WHUR was a combined +1.1 in June and July (5.7 – 6.3 – 6.8), with July’s 6.8 its best 6+-showing since January 2018’s 7.1. Six straight up or flat reports by “Majic” netted a +2.3 (5.6 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 6.6 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+), but it faltered by nine-tenths in August. July 2018’s 7.9 is the highest 6+-stat in its PPM history. When Greater Washington Educational Telecommunications’ WETA dropped three-tenths in December, it curtailed at five its consecutive string of up or flat trends that accounted for a collective +1.4 (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.6, 6+). Not only does “Classical 90.9” bounce back in “Holiday” 2018 with a gain of seven-tenths (3.3 – 4.0, 6+), it zooms into the top ten (#12 to #7). Prior to September 2018, WETA had been within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) the previous 22 ratings periods. Up or flat the past three sweeps for a gain of six-tenths (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WBIG “BIG 100 – Washington’s Classic Rock Radio Station” erases that increase with a -1.0 to 3.6 (sixth to tenth, 6+). Co-owned alternative WWDC “DC-101” is a collective -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.2 – 2.5 – 2.0, flat at #17, 6+). Entering the December report, WWDC was within 2.4 – 2.9 range (6+) the previous 11 sweeps (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+). In addition to being a collective -1.4 via three straight decreases (4.9 – 4.5 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.5, 6+), Atlantic Gateway Communications contemporary Christian WGTS “91.9 Christian Music Radio” exits the top ten (#10 to #12).

Boston

Spoken-Word Formats – On the heels of its December loss of six-tenths, iHeartMedia news/talk WRKO “AM 680 – The Voice of Boston” regresses by another half-share (3.2 – 2.6 – 2.1, #15 to #17, 6+). November 2018’s 3.2 is the best 6+-stat for WRKO in more than four years (3.3, November 2014). It posted three positive spikes in a row immediately prior to December 2018 for an overall gain of eight-tenths (2.4 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.2, 6+).

At the same time that Beasley Media Group-owned WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” hangs out an increase of one-half share (5.1 – 5.6, fifth to third, 6+), Entercom’s WEEI-FM falters by seven-tenths and departs the top ten (3.7 – 3.0, #9 to #11, 6+). WBZ-FM, which spiraled one full-share in December, is the key station of the Super Bowl-bound New England Patriots, as well as the Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins. The flagship of the 2018 World Series champion Boston Red Sox, WEEI-FM cratered two full-shares in December. A December -1.0 by “The Sports Hub” suspended four straight increases that accounted for a +2.3 (3.8 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 5.3 – 6.1, 6+); WEEI-FM was a collective +1.1 in October and November (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.7, 6+).

As the result of four straight decreases (5.4 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news-talk hybrid WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” is a collective -1.1, yet it actually advances from seventh to sixth.

In five consecutive down or flat ratings periods, Boston University news/talker WBUR is an overall -1.5 (5.7 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.1 – 4.2, fifth to seventh, 6+).

Erasing December’s two-tenths’ gain with a “Holiday” 2018 loss twice that margin (2.8 – 2.4, -.4, 6+), WGBH Educational Foundation news/talk WGBH slips from #13 to #14. WGBH was off eight-tenths in November.

Boston Music Formats – A lofty +9.2 in three straight increases (5.3 – 5.6 – 8.9 – 14.5, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WMJX “Magic 106.7 – Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” repeats at #1 with its strongest 6+-showing (14.5) in three years (14.8, “Holiday” 2015). Entering Boston’s top twenty (#22 to #20) is iHeartMedia Worcester’s similarly-formatted WSRS “96-1 SRS – Worcester’s At-Work Station,” which has more than doubled (+.9) its 6+-share since surfacing in August 2018 (.6 – .6 – .6 – .6 – 1.1 – 1.5, 6+). Nearly wiping away December’s +.8 in its entirety, co-owned WZLX “100.7 Boston’s Classic Rock” falters by seven-tenths (6.0 – 5.3, third to fifth, 6+). WZLX was stuck on 5.2 (6+) in October and November before hitting December 2018’s 6.0, its strongest 6+-performance in more than four years (6.4, September 2014). Still in that iHeartMedia cluster, urban AC WKAF “97.7 Boston’s #1 For R&B” surrenders four-tenths to 2.9 (flat at #12), thus ending five successive increases that netted a +1.2 (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.3, 6+). Right behind it is co-owned rhythmic CHR WJMN “Jam’n 94.5,” which is within 2.2 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 19th straight sweep (2.8 – 2.7, -.1, unchanged at #13, 6+). Even though Beasley Media Group’s WKLB is down or flat for the seventh successive sweep for a combined loss of -1.2 (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.5, 6+), “Country 102.5” manages to climb from ninth to eighth. Its format rival – iHeartMedia’s WBWL “101.7 The Bull – Boston’s #1 For New Hit Country” – has a September 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 topline of 2.1 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.8 (flat at #18, 6+).

Miami

English-Language, Spoken-Word Formats – Off a combined three-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WIOD “News Radio 620 – Miami’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” is anchored at #18. Its loss of one-tenth in December halted three consecutive gains that yielded six-tenths (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.5, 6+).

May 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 6+ stats for Entercom’s WQAM “Sports Radio 560” are an incredibly consistent .9 – .8 – .9 – .8 – .9 – .9 – .8 – .9 – .9 (#26 to #25, 6+). Co-owned WAXY “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket” is unchanged from December in both 6+ share (.6) and 6+-market rank (#30). Its three-tenths’ increase in September pulled the plug on seven straight (mostly) flat or down trends that accounted for a loss of three-tenths (.9 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .8 – .7 – .6, 6+).

After regaining the one-tenth it dropped in November (2.2 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+), Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN forfeits six-tenths and departs the top twenty (1.6, #20 to #21, 6+).

Miami Music Formats – Adult contemporary boasts this market’s top two finishers: Entercom’s WLYF “101.5 Lite FM” (second to first, 6+) and Cox Media Group-owned WFEZ “Easy 93.1” (7.5 – 7.1, -.4, #1 the past seven sweeps to #2, 6+). “Lite FM” is an overall +1.9 through three upticks in a row (5.4 – 5.7 – 6.2 – 7.3, 6+) and has its best 6+-stat (7.3) since January 2018’s 7.4. WLYF wiped away half of October’s -.6 with a November improvement of three-tenths, while “Easy” bounced back from November’s loss of seven-tenths with a December increase of three-tenths. Prior to November, WFEZ was +1.0 through three straight gains (6.9 – 7.4 – 7.8 – 7.9, 6+). Improving by six-tenths each in “Holiday” 2018 are its urban AC sibling WHQT “Hot 105 – Today’s R&B and Old School” (5.9 – 6.5, fourth to third, 6+) and Entercom rhythmic CHR WPOW “Power 96.5 – Miami Pop Music” (3.4, #15 to #11, 6+), which had been down by one-tenth in both November and December (3.0 – 2.9 – 2.8, 6+). Without a loss for the fifth time in a row for a collective +1.0 (3.9 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 4.9, 6+) iHeartMedia’s Spanish contemporary WZTU “Tu 94.9 FM Donde Viven Tus Hits” continues at #6. Trending 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.6 (October-November-December, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System’s WCMQ (fifth to fourth) gains one-half share to 6.1 (6+), which is where “Zeta 92.3” was in September. Meanwhile, co-owned Spanish tropical WXDJ “106.7 El Zol” regresses by seven-tenths to 3.9 (eighth to ninth, 6+). This (3.9) is its lowest 6+ showing since May 2018’s 3.7. The market’s two mainstream CHRs are steady from December 2018: Cox Media Group’s WFLC “Hits 97.3,” without an increase for the third time in a row for an overall loss of three-tenths (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 3.0, unchanged at #13, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station,” likewise down or flat for the third straight sweep for a collective -.5 (3.4 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 2.9, #14 to #15, 6+).

Seattle

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to three straight negative trends, Bonneville news/talk KIRO-FM is an overall -1.7 (6.6 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 4.9, third to fifth, 6+). Its -.6 in November curtailed three straight upticks which netted a +1.5 (5.1 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.6, 6+). A cumulative -1.5 in December and “Holiday” 2018 slices in half the 6+-share of co-owned KTTH “Conservative Talk Radio” (3.0 – 2.1 – 1.5, #21 to #22, 6+). Just before December’s decrease, KTTH put together three increases in a row for a collective +.9 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.9 – 3.0, 6+). Through six straight May through November reports without a loss, Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned KVI was up three-tenths (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.3, 6+), but “Talk Radio 570” is now a collective -.4 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (1.3 – 1.2 – .9, flat at #25, 6+).

Dropping from ninth to tenth, Bonneville sports talk KIRO-AM “ESPN 710” loses three-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.8, 6+), after a collective +.7 in October and November. Immediately prior to October, the flagship of the Seahawks and Mariners was off eight-tenths via three straight down or flat trends (4.2 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+). In four consecutive up or flat sweeps, iHeartMedia-owned KJR-AM nearly tripled (+.9) its 6+ AQH share (.5 – .7 – .9 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+), but “Seattle’s Sports Radio 950” falters by a collective four-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (1.4 – 1.3 – 1.0, #23 to #24, 6+).

Sinclair Broadcast Group all-news KOMO repeats its 2.4 from December and manages to progress from #18 to #17. Off by three-tenths in December, KOMO was -.2 in June (2.6 – 2.4, 6+); +.2 in both August and September (2.3 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+); -.2 in October (2.7 – 2.5, 6+); and +.2 in November (2.5 – 2.7, 6+).

Continuing in the runner-up slot, Northwest Public Radio news/talk KUOW – which was #1 in September 2018 – returns half of December’s two-tenths’ increase (6.0 – 5.9, -.1, 6+). It lost one-half share in November after posting four consecutive up or flat trends that netted an overall nine-tenths (5.4 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 6.3, 6+). October’s 6.3 was its highest 6+-share since April’s 6.5.

Seattle Music Formats – More than tripling (+7.8) its 6+-stat via three straight gains (3.4 – 4.1 – 8.8 – 11.2, 6+), Hubbard adult contemporary KRWM “Warm 106.9” repeats at #1 with its best 6+-showing (11.2) since “Holiday” 2017 (11.8). Its November improvement of seven-tenths suspended four successive decreases that produced an overall -1.6 (5.0 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+). Its format rival – Entercom’s KSWD (which was country KMPS 14 months ago) – is an overall -1.3 in November and December (5.0 – 4.2 – 3.7, 6+) as “The Sound” drifts from the top ten (#6 to #11). In September, “The Sound” overtook “Warm 106.9” for the first time since KSWD’s format shift. As the result of six successive months without a loss (3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.8 – 4.2 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+), KSWD was +1.7. Locked on 3.8 (6+) in November and December, Sinclair Broadcast Group hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5 Today’s Best Mix” erupts with a +1.3 to 5.1 (6+), rocketing into the top five (#11 to #4) and recording its highest 6+-stat (5.1) in exactly one year (5.7, “Holiday” 2017). As the result of its third straight up or flat trend, CRISTA Media contemporary Christian KCMS-FM “Spirit 105.3” is a collective +.8 (2.9  – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.7, 6+) and leaps from #15 to #11. In four consecutive sweeps without an increase, iHeartMedia-owned KZOK was a collective -1.6 (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 3.7, 6+), but “102.5 Seattle’s Classic Rock Station” picks up two-tenths to 3.9 and is back in the top ten (#12 to #9, 6+). December’s 3.7 is the lowest 6+-showing for KZOK since its 3.6 in December 2017. Down four-tenths in December, Entercom’s KKWF “100.7 The Wolf – #1 For New Country” falters by another six-tenths (3.9 – 3.3, 6+), fading from #9 to #15. Immediately after adding sixth-tenths in December (2.3 – 2.9, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KBKS “106.1 Kiss FM” relinquishes one-half share to 2.4 (#16 to #17, 6+). In the Entercom cluster, KISW “99.9 Seattle Rock Music” is without an improvement for the eighth straight time for a collective -2.2 (6.2 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 4.0, sixth to eighth, 6+), while hot AC sibling KHTP “Hot 103.7” is a collective -1.4 in eight consecutive down or flat reports (3.4 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.0, #19 to #20, 6+).

Detroit

Spoken-Word Formats – Following its December loss of six-tenths, Cumulus Media’s WJR “News Talk 760” erodes by another -1.1 (4.1 – 3.0, 6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #13). Through four straight gains, WJR was a combined +1.1 (3.6 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+).

Having logged three upticks in a row for a +1.8  (4.6 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4, 6+), Entercom sports talk WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” returns all of that increase in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.4 – 5.9 – 4.6, 6+). Despite its “Holiday” 2018 -1.3, the flagship of the Pistons, Red Wings, Tigers actually advances from sixth to fifth.   

A two-tenths’ uptick in December by co-owned WWJ (6.6 – 6.8, 6+) turns into a seven-tenths’ “Holiday” 2018 decline (6.1, steady at #2, 6+). “News Radio 950” was off one-half share in November, halting three consecutive gains that yielded an overall +1.6 (5.5 – 6.3 – 6.5 – 7.1, 6+).

Down one-tenth in back-to-back survey periods (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+), Michigan Public Media news/talk WUOM slips from #19 to #20. By gaining one-tenth in September, WUOM applied the brakes to eight straight survey periods without an increase for a collective -.3 (1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+). Four straight gains by WDET resulted in an overall +.9 (.6 – .7 – .8 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.5, 6+), but the Wayne State University news/talk facility has since dropped a collective three-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (1.5 – 1.3 – 1.2, flat at #22, 6+).

Detroit Music Formats – In four straight increases, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WNIC “The Best Variety of the ‘80s, ‘90s, & Today” has more than tripled (an eye-popping +12.2) its 6+-share since September (5.7 – 6.2 – 6.6 – 12.2 – 17.9, 6+) and repeats at #1. Moreover, this (17.9) is easily the largest 6+ AQH share by any Detroit station in the PPM-era. In addition to recording its third straight positive spike for an overall +1.1 (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 4.4, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WMGC “105.1 The Bounce – Detroit’s Throwback Hip-Hip and R&B” leaps into the top ten (#12      to #7) with its best 6+-stat (4.4) since February 2017’s 5.2. Conversely, while flat at #3, co-owned WCSX “94.7 – Detroit’s Classic Rock” spirals by a collective -1.8 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (7.8 – 6.6 – 6.0, 6+). Its +.5 in November halted three straight declines that led to a cumulative -1.0 (8.3 – 7.9 – 7.4 – 7.3, 6+). WCSX spent four straight months at #1 before being dislodged in September. Independent urban contemporary WGPR “Hot 107.5” improves by one-half share (2.4 – 2.9, #16 to #14, 6+). Even though Entercom classic hits-oldies WOMC erodes by a combined -2.4 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (7.0 – 6.0 – 4.6, 6+), “104.3 Detroit’s Greatest Hits” continues at #5. In three successive declines (5.6 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 3.7, 6+), co-owned WYCD “99.5 – Detroit Country Music” is a cumulative -1.9 and departs the top ten (#7 to #11). The last time WYCD fell below a four-share (6+) was in “Holiday” 2017 (3.8). Despite being off by a collective nine-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.3 – 6.2 – 5.4, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WMXD “Mix 92.3” carries on at #4. Without an increase for the fifth successive sweep for a -1.4 (5.2 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.8, 6+), Cumulus Media hot AC WDVD “96.3 Today’s Best Music and More” nonetheless advances from #11 to #10.

Phoenix

Spoken-Word Formats – After being a collective +1.2 via four increases in a row (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.3, 6+), KTAR-FM is now an overall -1.5 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.3 – 3.5 – 2.8, 6+) and falls out of the top ten (#8 to #12). In November, the Bonneville news/talk outlet reached the four-share level (6+) for the first time since January’s 4.0. Notwithstanding that it is off three-tenths in back-to-back survey periods (2.9 – 2.6 – 2.3, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KFYI remains at #18. After dropping four-tenths in September, “News Talk 550” duplicated October’s gain of two-tenths in November (2.5 – 2.7 – 2.9, 6+).

Immediately following its one-half share September increase to 3.1 (6+), Bonneville sports talk KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona Sports” is now a combined -1.2 in four straight dips (3.1 – 3.0 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.9, flat at #21, 6+).  September 2018 marked the first time the key station of the Phoenix Suns, Arizona Coyotes, and Arizona Diamondbacks reached the three-share level (6+) since October 2017’s 3.0.

Down or flat for the third straight time for an overall loss of six-tenths (3.1 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.5, 6+), Maricopa County Community College news/talk KJZZ slips from #14 to #15. October’s 3.1 was its best 6+-showing since April’s 3.6.

Phoenix Music Formats – Four positive spikes in a row by KESZ result in a collective +8.9 (6.1 – 6.6 – 6.9 – 9.7 – 15.0, 6+) as the iHeartMedia adult contemporary outlet is #1 for the fourth straight time. This (15.0) is its highest 6+-showing since 16.4 in “Holiday” 2017. It entered the October sweep with four consecutive declines (including September’s -1.2) that accounted for an overall -2.9 (9.0 – 8.7 – 7.5 – 7.3 – 6.1, 6+). After spending ten straight sweeps at #1, KESZ shifted to the runner-up slot in September. Entercom’s KOOL “94.5 Phoenix Classic Hits” roars back from December’s -1.2 with a +1.1 (4.5 – 3.3 – 4.4, 6+) and is back in the top ten (#11 to #7). A -1.2 to 5.1 (third to fourth, 6+) by iHeartMedia adult hits KYOT “95.5 The Mountain – We Play Everything” ends three straight up or flat trends that yielded four-tenths (5.9 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+). Having doubled November’s gain of four-tenths with a December increase of eight-tenths (4.7 – 5.1 – 5.9, 6+), co-owned hot AC KMXP “Mix 96.9” returns one full-share of that +1.2 (4.9, fourth to fifth, 6+). Steady at #9, Entercom’s KMLE “Country @ 107.9” picks up one-tenth to 3.5 (6+), halting four straight decreases that led to a collective loss of eight-tenths (4.2 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.4, 6+). In seven straight sweeps without a loss, The Yucaipa Companies’ classic hits-oldies KOAI was a collective +1.2 (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.3 – 2.7, 6+), but “The Oasis” returns one-half share to 2.2 (#16 to #19, 6+). It is tied with hot AC sibling KMVA “Hot,” which is without an increase for the sixth straight sweep for a collective -1.3 since July (3.5 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.2, unchanged at #19, 6+). Off by one-half share as well are Hubbard-owned KDKB “93.3 Arizona’s Alternative” (3.4 – 2.9, #9 to #11, 6+) and Farmworker Education Radio regional Mexican KNAI (2.8, #11 to #12), which was +1.3 in three straight up or flat trends (2.0 – 2.0 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+).

Minneapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – As the result of six straight down or flat moves (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.2, 6+), Entercom-owned WCCO is an overall -1.2, dropping from #12 to #13. “News Radio 830” has been +.8 (April 2018); -.8 (May); -.8  (June); +.5 (July); and now -.6 (“Holiday” 2018). The Timberwolves and Twins flagship is two-tenths ahead of iHeartMedia’s KTLK, which is -1.1 in three successive ratings periods without an increase (4.1 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 3.0, #14 to #15, 6+); “Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130” gained seven-tenths in October. A collective +.4 in October and November (2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+), Hubbard news/talk KTMY is off a cumulative -.7 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (2.9 – 2.4 – 2.2, #17 to #18, 6+). An August improvement of three-tenths by “My Talk 107.1” interrupted three straight down or flat moves that accounted for an overall loss of seven-tenths (3.1 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.4, 6+).

Following four consecutive increases that yielded a cumulative +3.0 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.9 – 6.5 – 6.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KFXN “Sports Radio 100.3 K-Fan” is -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.7 – 5.7 – 5.6,  6+). The flagship of the Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Wild stays at #6. Hubbard sports talk KSTP-AM “ESPN 1500” has a February 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 topline of 1.0 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .8 – .7 – 1.0 – .7 – .6 (#24 to #25, 6+).

After three straight increases that produced a +1.0 (3.7 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+), Minnesota Public Radio news/talk KNOW is -.7 in three straight drops (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.0, #10 to #9, 6+). Immediately prior, KNOW was a collective -2.2 in four negative moves in a row (5.9 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 3.7, 6+).

Minneapolis Music Formats – A collective -1.4 in October and November (8.0 – 6.7 – 6.6, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KQQL “Kool 108 Minnesota’s Greatest Hits” answers with a combined +6.0 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.6 – 8.7 – 12.6, 6+), and repeats at #1. This (12.6) is the strongest 6+-stat for any Minneapolis station since “Kool” logged a 14.2 in “Holiday” 2017. In three straight sweeps without an increase, University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian KTIS-FM “Always Uplifting” KTIS-FM was off a collective eight-tenths (5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.3, 6+) but it erases that deficit with a +.9 to 5.2 (ninth to eighth, 6+). More than doubling (+1.0) its 6+-share in four successive up or flat trends (.8 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.8, 6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WGVX “Love 105 FM” pops on at #19. Owing to five (modest) increases in a row (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.9 – 3.1, 6+) Minnesota Public Radio classical outlet KSJN is a collective +1.1 and shifts from #15 to #14. The market’s (6+) hot AC share dwindles by nearly two full-shares (-1.9), virtually equally divided between Hubbard’s KSTP-FM “KS-95,” which erodes -1.0 in consecutive sweeps (7.3 – 6.3 – 5.3, fourth to seventh, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned KTCZ “Cities 97.1” (4.2 – 3.3, -.9, #10 to #12, 6+), which has its lowest 6+-performance since April 2018 (3.3, as well). Before being a combined +.4 in September and October (7.1 – 7.4 – 7.5, 6+), “KS-95” – which held the lead position seven straight sweeps prior to being ousted in August – logged four downward trends in a row that accounted for a -1.5 (8.6 – 7.9 – 7.8 – 7.5 – 7.1, 6+). Even though it fully erases December’s gain of six-tenths with a “Holiday” 2018 loss of eight-tenths (6.7 – 5.9, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KDWB “101.3 The Twin Cities’ #1 Hit Music Station” remains in the runner-up slot. Prior to December’s +.6, KDWB was a collective -1.7 in three decreases in succession (7.8 – 7.2 – 6.5 – 6.1, 6+). After logging consecutive bumps of two-tenths (5.2 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KEEY “K-102 Minnesota’s Country Station” is a combined -1.6 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.6 – 4.6 – 4.0, eighth to ninth, 6+). An overall +.8 in four straight sweeps without a loss (5.6 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 6.4, 6+), Cumulus Media rocker KXXR “93-X” relinquishes one-half share to 5.9 (6+) yet actually advances from third to a second-place tie with KDWB.

San Diego

Spoken-Word Formats – As a result of three straight sweeps without an increase (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.0 – 3.9, flat at #9, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KOGO “News Radio 600” is off a collective eight-tenths. KOGO was +.8 (January 2018); -.7 (February); +.8 (March); +.6 (May); -.6 (August); and -.7 (December). October 2017’s 7.2 is KOGO’s highest 6+-share in its PPMhistory. Returning the one-tenth it picked up in December (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+), Tegna news/talk KFMB-AM “AM 760” moves from #22 to #21, while iHeartMedia Los Angeles’ similarly-formatted KFI “AM 640” is down a combined half-share in three straight down or flat moves (1.7 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2, steady at #23, 6+).

Flat at #25, Interamericana de Radio’s XPRS-AM “The Mighty 1090” is off three-tenths through three consecutive down or flat reports (1.2 – 1.2 – .9 – .9, 6+). November’s 1.2 was its highest 6+-stat since April (1.2, as well). Finishing at #27 and #28, respectively, are Entercom-owned/San Diego Padres flagship KWFN “97.3 The Fan” (flat at .8, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s KLSD “Fox Sports 1360 San Diego’s Sports Station,” which is down or flat for the third successive time for a -.4 (.9 – .6 – .6 – .5, 6+).

An overall -1.7 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.8 – 6.2 – 5.1, 6+), San Diego State University-owned news/talk KPBS, which was #1 the past three ratings periods, segues to the runner-up slot. Before reaching the top spot in October, KPBS shifted from first to second (April); returned to #1 (May); dropped from first to third (June); slipped from third to fourth (July); returned to first (August); and back-shifted from first to second (September).

San Diego Music Formats – Exceeding its December +2.5 with a “Holiday” 2018 +2.6 (3.3 – 5.8 – 8.4, 6+),  Entercom adult contemporary KYXY marches from third to first. This (8.4) is its highest 6+-stat in exactly one year (9.5, “Holiday” 2017). A one-half share improvement (2.1 – 2.6, 6+) by alternative sibling KBZT propels “Alt 94.9” into the top twenty (#17). Cratering by a collective -2.0 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.6 – 6.0 – 4.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned CHR KHTS “Channel 93.3 – San Diego’s #1 Hit Music Station” fades from the runner-up slot to sixth-place. In seven consecutive sweeps without a loss, KHTS (#1 in September) was a collective +2.8 (3.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+), but it lost two-tenths in October. The 6+ AQH share of classic hits-oldies XPRS-FM is sliced in half (2.4 – 1.2, 6+) as “105.7 Max FM” falls off the top twenty (#17 to #23). Meanwhile, Entercom’s similarly-formatted KXSN “Sunny 98.1 San Diego’s Greatest Hits” regresses by eight-tenths (5.5 – 4.7, fourth to fifth, 6+). Down or flat for the sixth report in a row for a collective -1.3 (5.9 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+), Local Media of San Diego-operated XHRM “Magic 92.5 The Beat of San Diego” actually improves from seventh to sixth. In four negative moves in a row, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVJ is a collective -1.6 (3.7 – 3.0 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.1, #17 to #19, 6+). San Diego’s version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” posted a +1.1 in September when it reached the three-share threshold (3.7, 6+) for the first time since March (3.1). Having registered a .9 (6+) in November and December, MVS International Spanish adult hits XOCL disappears from print.

Tampa

Spoken-Word Formats – A collective -.7 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.8 – 3.4 – 3.1, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news/talk WFLA “970 Tampa Bay’s News Radio” slips from #13 to #14. The flagship of the NHL’s Tampa Lightning was a combined -.9 in September and October (4.2 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+), following August’s +.6.  Through three straight down or flat sweeps (3.6 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 2.6, #14 to #16, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” is -1.0. “The Bone” erased September’s -.2 with an October gain of three-tenths. Prior to September, WHPT was without a loss the previous four sweeps for a +.8 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.5, 6+).

Up one-tenth (2.1 – 2.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WDAE “620 Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” inches up from #20 to #19. WDAE was a combined +.6 in September and October (2.1 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+), but that disappeared in November and December (2.7 – 2.3 – 2.1, 6+).

A December loss of one-tenth by University of South Florida news/talk WUSF snapped at three its string of consecutive increases that netted nine-tenths (1.4 – 1.6 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+). In “Holiday” 2018, WUSF surrenders one-half share to 1.7 (#18 to #20, 6+).

Tampa Music Formats – In addition to ranking #1 for the 77th successive ratings period, Cox Media Group adult contemporary WDUV “Lite Favorites” is +4.8 in three straight upticks (8.9 – 9.7 – 10.8 – 13.7, 6+). This (13.7) is the highest 6+-stat for any Tampa station since WDUV’s 14.9 in “Holiday” 2015. Not only does Beasley Media Group’s WPBB double (+2.3) its 6+-stat via four straight up or flat monthlies (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 3.7 – 4.6, 6+), it catapults into the top ten (#11 to #6). During the December 2018 sweep, WPBB used the “B-98.7” handle, but the day after Christmas (12/26), it changed format and imaging to “98.7 The Shark – The Next Generation Of Classic Rock.” The market’s (6+) country share shrinks by -1.2, equally divided between WPBB sibling WQYK “99.5 QYK” (-.6, third to fourth) and iHeartMedia’s WFUS “US-103.5 Tampa Bay’s #1 For New Country” (4.6, -.6, fifth to sixth). This is the third slip in a row for WQYK for a collective -1.8 (6.7 – 5.8 – 5.5 – 4.9, 6+). Meanwhile, “US-103.5” ends four straight up or flat trends that netted two-tenths (5.0 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.2 – 5.2, 6+). Co-owned hot AC WTMX “Mix 100.7” is a collective +1.4 in five successive sweeps without a loss (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.3, seventh to eighth, 6+). Cox Media Group-owned WXGL “107.3 The Eagle – Tampa Bay’s Classic Hits” is -1.2 in three successive dips (6.9 – 6.6 – 6.0 – 5.7, 6+) but ranks #2 for the sixth sweep in succession.

Denver

Spoken-Word Formats – In three negative moves in succession (6.2 – 5.1 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KOA “Colorado’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” is an overall -1.9 and drops from sixth to seventh. The flagship of the Denver Broncos and Colorado Rockies was +1.1 (October); -1.1 (November); and  -.6 in December. Co-owned news/talk KHOW “Talk Radio 630” is off a collective seven-tenths in three successive reports without an increase (1.8 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.1, #21 to #23, 6+).

After posting four increases in a row for an overall +1.9 (2.5 – 2.9 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.4, 6+), Bonneville-owned KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” is now a combined -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.4 – 3.6 – 3.2, #12 to #13, 6+). November’s 4.4 is its strongest 6+-showing since October 2017 (4.5). In early-September, KSE Radio Ventures transitioned country KWOF “The Wolf” to KKSE-FM “Attitude Sports Radio 92.5.” The flagship of the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche regains the one-tenth it lost in December (.4 – .3 – .4, flat at #29, 6+).

On top in September, October, and November before segueing to #2 in December, Colorado Public Radio news/talk KCFR falters by one-half share (6.9 – 6.4, 6+) but remains in the runner-up slot. A one-tenth November decline ended three consecutive gains that netted +1.5 (5.2 – 6.3 – 6.4 – 6.7, 6+). KCFR was #1 in January 2018, March, and May, as well. Community Radio for Northern Colorado news/talk KUNC forfeits the two-tenths it gained in December (1.2 – 1.4 – 1.2, #22 to #21, 6+).

Denver Music Formats – Adding a +5.2 to December’s +2.7 (7.6 – 12.8, 6+), Bonneville adult contemporary KOSI “101.1 Real-Music-Variety” repeats at #1. Immediately prior to December, KOSI was a collective -1.1 in four successive sweeps without an increase (6.0 – 5.8 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.9, 6+). The last time any Denver station reached the 12-share level (6+) was four years ago (KOSI, 12.4, “Holiday” 2014). Immediately after it adds a +1.0, iHeartMedia’s KRFX “Classic Rock 103.5 The Fox” surrenders it in its entirety (5.0 – 4.0, -1.0, third to tenth, 6+). “The Fox” was stuck on 4.2 (6+) in August and September and then locked on 4.0 (6+) in October and November; December’s 5.0 is its best 6+-stat since March 2018’s 5.2. It’s a somewhat similar scenario for Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLDV “Positive & Encouraging K-Love,” which sees it December gain of nine-tenths (following a -.5 in November) transition to a “Holiday” 2018 loss of six-tenths (2.8 – 2.3 – 3.2 – 2.6, #14 to #17, 6+). A cumulative -1.9 in five consecutive decreases (6.2 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.0 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+), Bonneville’s country KYGO shifts from sixth to seventh.

Baltimore

Spoken-Word Formats – In back-to-back sweeps, independent news/talk WCBM “680 Stimulating Talk – Breaking News” falters by one-half share (3.5 – 3.0 – 2.5, #11 to #12, 6+), while Hearst Television news/talk WBAL “News Radio – Expect More” is off a collective six-tenths in three slips in a row (2.6 – 2.5 – 2.2 – 2.0, #13 to #14, 6+). WCBM was -.5 in September and +1.0 in October. Prior to the December sweep, WBAL had a (6+) fluctuation of one-tenth four times in a row: 2.5 – 2.4; 2.4 – 2.5; 2.5 – 2.6; and 2.6 – 2.5. When WBAL gained one-tenth in September to 2.5 (6+), it halted five straight sweeps without an increase that accounted for a collective -.9 (3.3 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.4, 6+). Since resurfacing in the Baltimore report in May, Cumulus Media Washington, DC news/talk WMAL has a topline of  .7 – .6 – .5 – .4 – .5 – .5 – .4 – .3 – .3 (flat at #29, 6+).

Tacking on three-tenths to December’s +.5 (4.1 – 4.6 – 4.9, 6+), Entercom sports talk WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan” – which was -1.0 in November – advances from seventh to fourth. An overall +1.1 as a result of four consecutive up or flat trends (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.1, 6+), Baltimore’s “Fan” was +.6 (January); -.6 (February); +1.0 (April); a combined -1.0 in May and June; -1.0 in November; and +.5 (December).

Off an overall -1.0 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.3, 6+), Your Public Radio news/talk WYPR “88.1 Your NPR News Station” skids from #11 to #13. November’s +.3 vanished with a December -.3; WYPR was a collective -.5 in August and September (3.1 – 3.0 – 2.6, 6+). After picking up three-tenths (1.4 – 1.7, 6+), American University-owned news/talk WAMU falters by -.4 to 1.3 (6+) and remains at #17. Before slipping to 1.0 (6+) in August, WAMU notched a 1.1 (6+) five consecutive times in the Baltimore report.

Climbing from #27 to #23, Entercom business news WDCH has a March 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 topline of: .8 – .8 – .8 – .6 – .5 – .5 – .6 – .8 – .7 – .6 – .7 ( 6+).

Baltimore Music Formats – Not only has Entercom adult contemporary WLIF more than tripled (+10.2) its 6+-stat via five straight positive spikes (5.0 – 5.3 – 5.8 – 7.1 – 10.1 – 15.2, 6+), “Today’s 101.9” repeats at #1. This (15.2) is the highest 6+-share by any outlet in the market since WLIF posted a 16.3 in “Holiday” 2017. Owing to six up or flat Baltimore reports in succession, iHeartMedia Washington, DC’s similarly programmed WASH “97.1 Washington’s Variety of the ‘80s ‘90s and Today” nearly quadruples (+2.6) its 6+-stat (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 2.1 – 3.6, #15 to #11, 6+). Up a collective seven-tenths in November and December (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.3, 6+), adult hits sibling WQSR “102.7 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” relinquishes one full-share to 4.3 (fifth to seventh, 6+). Entering the November ratings period, “Jack” was without an increase three months in a row, resulting in a loss of nine-tenths (5.5 – 5.5 – 5.1 – 4.6, 6+). In December, Radio One urban AC WWIN-FM “Magic 95.9” shifted to second, following 11 straight survey periods at #1. “Magic” is down seven-tenths (8.6 – 7.9, 6+), but continues in the runner-up slot. Dropping one-half share (each) are Shamrock Communications’ classic rock WZBA “100.7 The Bay” (flat at #4) and iHeartMedia Washington, DC alternative WWDC “DC-101” (2.1 – 1.6, #15 to #16, 6+). “The Bay” is -1.2 in three straight drops (6.1 – 5.8 – 5.4 – 4.9, 6+). This is the fifth time in a row that Peter and John Radio Fellowship contemporary Christian WRBS-FM is unlisted; “95.1 Shine FM – Baltimore’s Positive Hits Station” was #13 in August 2018 (2.6, 6+).

St. Louis

Spoken-Word Formats – Three straight decreases by Entercom news/talk KMOX result in an overall -3.0 (8.4 – 7.5 – 6.9 – 5.4, 6+), as “The Voice of St. Louis” slips from third to sixth. The St. Louis Cardinals’ flagship, which was on top in September and October, entered the November sweep a collective +1.0 via three increases in succession (7.4 – 7.6 – 8.3 – 8.4, 6+). Locked on 2.6 (6+) in August and September and then stuck on 2.8 (6+) in October and November, co-owned KFTK “FM News Talk 97.1” is a collective -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (2.8 – 2.5 – 1.7, #17 to #18, 6+). When KFTK gained two-tenths in October, it curtailed three straight sweeps without an increase that resulted in an overall loss of seven-tenths (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.6 – 2.6, 6+).

An increase of two-tenths (3.6 – 3.8, 6+) sends Hubbard sports talk WXOS “101 Sports” back to the top ten (#12 to #10). Four straight up or flat moves netted WXOS a +1.3 (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.0, 6+) with October’s 4.0 its strongest 6+-showing since January 2018 (4.0, as well).

While flat at 3.2 (6+), KWMU nonetheless progresses from #15 to #13. Before faltering by three-tenths in December, the University of Missouri news/talk outlet had been without a loss for six consecutive ratings periods for a net gain of six-tenths (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+).

St. Louis Music Formats – Not only does Entercom adult contemporary KEZK pile on the second-largest 6+ December 2018 – December 2018 increase by any station in the 24 PPM-markets we’ve analyzed so far (9.8 – 15.6, +5.8, 6+), “The Best Mix of the ‘80s & Today” repeats at #1. Moreover, 15.6 is the loftiest 6+-share by any St. Louis station in the PPM-era. (For the record, the most robust 6+ December 2018 – December 2018 increase so far is the +6.2 by Philadelphia AC WBEB.) Locked on 5.7 (6+) in November and December, Hubbard’s KPNT “105.7 The Point – Everything Alternative” spirals by eight-tenths to 4.9 (6+) but remains in seventh-place. After registering a July 2018 through November 2018 repetitive sequence of 6.3 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.2 – 6.3 (6+), co-owned KSHE “95 Real Rock Radio” improved by one-half share in December – only to surrender seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 (6.8 – 6.1, flat at #4, 6+). Having posted back-to-back improvements in October and November that produced an overall +1.4 (3.3 – 3.8 – 4.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KSD is now a combined -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.7 – 4.2 – 3.6, 6+) as “93.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” departs the top ten (#10 to #12). Slumping by six-tenths as well in “Holiday” 2018 is co-owned KLLT “Alt 104.9 – St. Louis’ New Alternative” (2.3 – 1.7, #19 to #18, 6+). As a result of five consecutive survey periods without an increase, mainstream CHR cluster-mate KSLZ “Z-107.7 – St. Louis’ #1 Hit Music Station” is a collective -1.2 (4.3 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.4 – 3.1, #14 to #15, 6+). Prior to December, the last time KSLZ was below a four-share (6+) was in January 2018 (3.9).

Monday Memo: Carpe Trump

| January 21, 2019

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — To quote acclaimed media strategist George Costanza, Rush Limbaugh affiliates should “do the opposite” of what New York Times opinion columnist Frank Bruni recommends in a thoughtful recent piece entitled, “Will the Media Be Trump’s Accomplice Again in 2020?”

He observes that “readers and viewers, no matter how much they complain about the media’s shallowness, reward it.”  Ditto radio listeners, if we offer them an unambiguous proposition.  Knowing that you are busy, I don’t ask casually.  But reading his piece will be worth your time:

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Friday, December 14, 2018

| December 14, 2018

Alpha Media to Sell Biloxi Stations to TeleSouth.  Portland-based Alpha Media announces it has filed to sell its Biloxi, Mississippi cluster to TeleSouth Communications for $2.5 million.  The deal includes sports talk duo WANG-AM/WTNI-AM “103.5 The Champ,” (no mention is made of translator W278CE, Biloxi on which the sports format is heard) rock WCPR-FM, hip hop WGBL-FM, adult hits WQBB-FM, and CHR WXYK-FM. TeleSouth already owns news/talk WOSM-FM that airs the company’s “SuperTalk” format heard on 11 other stations across the state.  To comply with FCC ownership caps, TeleSouth will divest of WXYK-FM.  Alpha Media president and CEO Bob Proffitt states, “We are happy our group of great broadcasters in Biloxi/Gulfport are being sold to a good operator located in the state of Mississippi that is dedicated to live and local.  We have a special place for everyone at these stations and wish them the very best.”  Kalil & Co., Inc. is the exclusive broker for this transaction.

ESPN’s Dan Le Batard to Launch Podcast. Next Tuesday (12/18), ESPN Radio’s Dan Le Batard is premiering his new podcast called “South Beach Sessions.” That’s being called a “preview episode” and the show will begin in earnest on Tuesday, January 8.  The program will feature a one-on-one interview each week and it’s the first original podcast from the newly created Le Batard and Friends Podcast Network. The guest for the December 18 preview is former ESPN staffer Jemele Hill, who has worked extensively with Le Batard over the years on TV and radio.  Le Batard says, “This is really exciting for us and for people who inexplicably want more of us.  ESPN has given us a digital podcast network to create and control as part of a ‘Le Batard and Friends’ universe that will be in equal measure a part of ESPN and apart from ESPN.”  Le Batard hosts the “Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz” daily from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm as well as the ESPN television show “Highly Questionable” weekday afternoons on ESPN2.

TALKERS News Notes. Public radio pro Jennifer White is named as host of “The Morning Shift” on public radio news/talk WBEZ-FM, Chicago.  She takes over the morning program hosting duties at the NPR member station from Tony Sarabia, who is retiring from the station after almost three decades. White joined WBEZ in 2016 and has been hosting the Friday edition of The Morning Shift, leading its Friday roundtable discussions.  She’s also hosted some of WBEZ’s podcasts, including: “Making Oprah,” “Making Obama,” and “16 Shots.”.….In the Erie, Pennsylvania market, religious broadcaster Inspiration Time, Inc. has re-launched AM signal WZTE, Union City, calling it “Freedom 1530” and is airing “a unique reading of the United States Constitution, mixed with patriotic band music.”  Haydn Tidball, a 2018 graduate of McDowell High School and Jennifer Natalie, 2018 graduate of Northwest Pennsylvania Collegiate Academy, have voiced WZTE’s continuous reading of the entire U.S. Constitution, with amendments included and changes noted. Station manager Joel Natalie states, “We are so excited to present these young voices reading this very old document. We are calling it, ‘Madison’s and Hamilton’s Greatest Hits.’”…..Alpha Media news/talk KTSA, San Antonio hosted the 20th annual “Wrappin’ with Jack” event at Six Flags Fiesta Texas on Tuesday (12/11).  More than 800 people turned out to help KTSA talk show host Jack Riccardi wrap thousands of gifts for needy families in San Antonio served by Family Service Association. While listeners wrapped gifts, they enjoyed live music from the Ken Slavin Band, holiday treats, carousel rides, and pictures with Santa.  Riccardi says, “Our 20th ‘Wrappin’ with Jack’ was our best gift drive, wrapping party, and broadcast yet.  I truly believe people in San Antonio and South Texas have the impulse and instinct to give.  Our event just creates a way to help people that is local and real.”

WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta Shifts Show Times. According to Rodney Ho’s report in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the need for more traffic reports in the 4:00 pm hour to better serve commuters is the reason for shifting two drive-time shows on Cox Media Group‘s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM an hour earlier.  WSB program director Pete Spriggs says as the heavy traffic is beginning earlier than in the past, the need for a clock that allows traffic reports every six minutes means bumping the second two hours of Sean Hannity’s show to the 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot is necessary.  Hannity’s 3:00 pm hour will air live, followed by Erick Erickson’s program now airing from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm and Mark Arum’s show moving to the 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm slot.

Trump-Russia Investigation and Cohen Sentencing Tie for Top News/Talk Story for Week of December 10-14. The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related sentencing of former Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen tied as the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was President Trump’s border wall negotiations and the threat of a federal government shutdown.  Coming in at #3 was the migrants amassed at the U.S.-Mexico border, followed by financial markets activity at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s entire chart here.

Washington Examiner Editorial Director Hugo Gurdon Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  The Washington Examiner, located in the nation’s capital, has built a growing reputation with increasing influence for its coverage of politics, public policy and the federal government from an independent, moderate conservative perspective.  It has evolved through various platform iterations both in print and online since its roots as a group of suburban DC news outlets collectively known as the Journal Newspapers, Inc. which was purchased in 2004 by entrepreneur and philanthropist Philip Anschutz.  Anschutz combined them into a single news entity, the Washington Examiner in 2005 under the umbrella of his holding company Clarity Media Group, which in turn operates the publishing company Media DC.  Today, Media DC owns and operates the Washington Examiner, which has grown into a full-service online news organization, along with its weekly print arm, the Washington Examiner Magazine, that has been functioning effectively as a DC insider’s close up look at the workings of the federal government.  It also owns the separately operated national conservative political opinion print magazine, the Weekly Standard.  The Washington Examiner is currently in the process of boldly expanding its weekly magazine to take on a larger scope both in its subject matter and geographic distribution.  Beginning in 2019, it will remain in print, but be nationally distributed and targeted to political observers across America interested in the goings on in Washington, DC.  Washington Examiner editorial director Hugo Gurdon is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”   Gurdon is a distinguished journalist with an international background.  He joined the Washington Examiner after serving as editor-in-chief of The Hill.  Before that, he was an editor and reporter at the Daily Telegraph of London and the National Post of Canada.  His writing has also appeared in such publications as the European edition of the Wall Street JournalFinancial Times and The Guardian.  In this conversation, Harrison and Gurdon discuss the general state of print journalism in the ever-expanding digital era as well as the inner ideological struggles and debates that impact the media within the American conservative movement during the turbulent Age of Trump.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Boston country outlet WKLB “Country 102.5” names Ayla Brown (left) co-host of “The Jackson and Ayla Brown Show” alongside Jackson Blue (right), effective Monday (12/17).  Brown is a former Boston College basketball star and was a finalist on season five of “American Idol.”  She’s been living in Nashville performing and writing music the past few years.  About joining the Beasley Media Group stations, she says, “Country music has brought me all around the world and back to Boston again.  Many have seen me perform, but I am so excited for our listeners to get to know me in a whole new way.  Thank you to the ‘Country 102.5’ team for this incredible opportunity!”…..In Seattle, Sinclair Broadcast Group flips morning and afternoon talent on hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5.”  Program director Kent Phillips moves to afternoons with cast members Jen Pirak and Marina Rockinger.  However, his longtime partner Alan Budwill retires from the morning show after more than 30 years.  Moving to mornings on January 2 is the current afternoon team “Curt & Corine” with current AM show producer Leonard Barokas…..iHeartMedia nationally syndicated personality and KOST, Los Angeles morning host Ellen K is named the first-ever TCL Chinese Theatre ambassador and permanent master of ceremonies for its famed celebrity handprint-footprint ceremonies. Her first emcee gig is today (12/14) as musical artist Pitbull is honored with a hand and footprint ceremony…..Pictured below is Chicago hit radio legend John Records Landecker with the “Bob & Tom” show.  The Radio Hall of Famer appeared at the show’s Indianapolis studios to surprise cast member Chick McGee on his birthday. From left to right are: Grace Yinger, Tom Griswold, Kristi Lee, Josh Arnold, Landecker, and McGee. (Photo: Art Vuolo)

Thursday, December 14, 2018

| December 13, 2018

FCC to Commence 2018 Quadrennial Review of Ownership Rules. At its open meeting yesterday (12/12), the Federal Communications Commission adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to launch the 2018 Quadrennial Review of the Commission’s media ownership rules.  The rules subject to this quadrennial review obligation are the Local Radio Ownership Rule, the Local Television Ownership Rule, and the Dual Network Rule.  In this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the Commission seeks comment on whether these three rules continue to serve the public interest or whether they should be modified or eliminated in light of changes to the media marketplace.  Republican Chairman Ajit Pai and GOP commissioners Michael O’Rielly and Brendan Carr approved. Democratic commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel approved in part and objected in part.  She wrote in her statement, in part, “Newspapers have collapsed, and stations are increasingly owned by national companies with limited ties to the communities they serve. What is emerging are news deserts – areas of the country where national news dominates but local news is disappearing. Competition matters.  It is axiomatic that more owners in more markets can mean more ideas.  It can mean more news.  The converse is also true.  Too much consolidation can reduce the number of voices, jobs, and the newsgathering that results…We seek comment on a proposal allowing a single company to own an unlimited number of FM and AM radio stations in most communities in this country.  That could mean one company controls every radio station in the town where you live…To the extent this rulemaking offers thoughtful reform, I approve.  But in other aspects, I dissent.  It fails to honestly assess the impact of too many changes we propose on the values of localism, competition, and diversity that have informed this agency’s media policies in the past—and I believe should still inform our efforts in the future.”

FOX News Channel and Hannity Finish 2018 on Top of Cable Ratings. A story in The Hill citing Nielsen data reveals that FOX News Channel finished 2018 in first place in the cable TV battle, posting its best prime-time audience ever: 2.5 million average viewers.  Liberal cable newser MSNBC also enjoyed its best year, wrapping the year in second place behind FNC with 1.8 million average viewers in prime time.  As far as individual personalities go, FNC’s Sean Hannity had the highest-rated show. His average viewership was 3.275 million.  Over at MSNBC, Rachel Maddow’s program was second behind “Hannity” with 2.881 million average viewers.  While both FOX News Channel and MSNBC enjoyed prime-time ratings increases this year over 2017 (up 3% and 12%, respectively), CNN was down 6% from last year with 990,000 average viewers in prime time.  Following Sean Hannity and Rachel Maddow in the list of the top five cable news/talk shows were three more FNC programs: “Tucker Carlson Tonight” with 2.827 million average viewers, “The Ingraham Angle” with Laura Ingraham – 2.61 million, and “The Five” with 2.38 million.

Scripps Media Officially Out of Radio Biz; Lotus Communications, Bustos Media, and Family Life Broadcasting Close. Yesterday (12/12), the closings took place for the sale of stations related to Scripps Media’s exit from the radio station business.  After divesting of the first 26 of its radio station properties earlier in the year, Scripps sold its remaining eight radio properties in the Tucson and Boise markets to Lotus Communications for $8 million.  In order to comply with FCC ownership caps, Lotus spun off news/talk KQTH-FM, Tucson to Family Life Broadcasting and rhythmic oldies KTGV-FM, Tucson “106.3 The Groove” to Bustos Media.  Scripps Media was created in the 2015 merger of Milwaukee-based Journal Communications and Cincinnati-based E.W. Scripps in which the print properties kept the Journal name and the radio stations joined Scripps’ television assets under the Scripps Media banner.

Cumulus to Air Ben Shapiro in PM Drive on WABC, New York.  New York news/talk WABC will air the new Westwood One-syndicated Ben Shapiro two-hour radio show in addition to the one-hour podcast from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm, beginning January 7.  The Cumulus Media station already airs the podcast right after the “Savage Nation” with Michael Savage.  In the New Year, Savage is transitioning to hosting a one-hour, daily live show and a one-hour podcast instead of his current three-hour live show. WABC program director Craig Schwalb comments, “Ben is a fascinating host that completely cuts through the sameness that is political talk radio right now.  It’s the perfect time for us to expand his programming on 77 WABC.”

Paul J Schneider Wraps KBOI, Boise Morning Show Career Tomorrow. As announced earlier this year, longtime KBOI, Boise morning personality Paul J Schneider will leave his morning show duties after his regular broadcast tomorrow (12/14).   Schneider will continue to work with KBOI producing weekly features and a blog as well as continuing to cover Boise State Football for Learfield Sports.  Schneider says, “I have been privileged to work with great morning show partners and to be on AM radio in its heyday.  I was able to call the Boise State games through their growth trajectory and when not all the games were broadcasted live on TV.”

WFNZ, Charlotte Host Frank Garcia Arrested on Assault Charges.  According to a story in the Charlotte Observer, afternoon drive sports talk host Frank Garcia was charged with misdemeanor assault on a female last Saturday (12/8).  The report indicates Garcia is not related to the 29-year-old woman who suffered minor injuries in the incident.  Garcia – a former Carolina Panthers offensive lineman – co-hosts the afternoon show on Entercom’s WFNZ, Charlotte “The Fan” with Kyle Bailey.  He is also an assistant coach for the Charlotte Catholic High School football team.

Harry Hurley Guests on Brian Kilmeade Show. Pictured above is WPGG, Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley (left) with FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio star Brian Kilmeade (right) on Monday morning (12/10).  Hurley is a regular fill-in for Todd Starnes on his FOX News Radio syndicated program.

ABC Radio Offering End-of-Year Programming. Affiliates of ABC Radio are being offered five long-form shows and eight short-form programs for year-end programming. The long-form shows include: “Journeys of Faith” featuring the most memorable moments from ABC News senior national correspondent Paula Faris’ popular podcast of the same name; “Playback 2018,” a one-hour special anchored by ABC News correspondents Cheri Preston and Aaron Katersky featuring an in-depth look at the biggest stories of the year; “2018: As It Happened,” a three-hour retrospective of some of 2018’s top stories, as told through highlights of ABC News Radio’s breaking news coverage; “Perspective” is a special year-end edition of ABC News’ award-winning weekly newsmagazine; and “World News This Year” takes a look back at the major news events of the past year in 2018’s final edition of this weekly show.

Trump-Democrats Meeting, Trump-Russia Investigation, Cohen Sentenced, Immigration Issues, Google Congressional Testimony, May Survives/Brexit Issue, Time’s Person of the Year, Financial Markets Activity, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/12). Tuesday’s White House meeting between President Trump and democrats Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer over funding for the U.S.-Mexico border wall; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen sentenced to three years; the migrants in Tijuana and immigration reform; Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee about political bias; British Prime Minister Theresa May survives a no-confidence vote and the Brexit challenges; Time’s “Person of the Year” are journalists from the U.S., Myanmar, the Philippines, and Jamal Khashoggi; the world’s financial markets activity; and 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. In Miami, Entercom names Jessie Penate, a.k.a. DJ JPS, evening personality and music director for CHR WPOW “Power 96.”  He’s been with the station since 2016 when he joined as a mixer after winning the station’s “Mix Master” competition.  He says, “I’m thrilled to continue this journey on the station I grew up listening to, working with a talented team filled with passion and energy.”…..iHeartMedia and Fox Broadcasting Company announce the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards will air live Thursday, March 14, 2019 on FOX-TV, from Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.  The event will once again broadcast live simultaneously on iHeartMedia radio stations nationwide and on iHeartRadio.  iHeartMedia president of entertainment enterprises John Sykes says, “This is a show that is truly controlled by music fans, because it celebrates the artists and songs that they listened to all year long on our 850 broadcast radio stations and the iHeartRadio app.  FOX has established itself as a premier television destination for music fans, which has made it a natural home for our Awards.”…..February’s 61st GRAMMY Awards will once again include Westwood One as the official broadcast partner in which radio stations will be offered a comprehensive array of special programming and exclusive content.  Westwood One will welcome select local stations and national programs to its Westwood One Backstage at the GRAMMY Awards, which takes place in the days leading up to the February 10 television broadcast.  It will also offer a two-hour “GRAMMYs Nomination Special” airing February 2-3 in CHR/hot AC, AC, and urban formats; “GRAMMYs Week Highlights,” airing February 4-10; and the “GRAMMYs Red Carpet Countdown.”…..Marker Broadcasting’s adult contemporary KJJZ, Palm Springs “KOOL 95.9 FM” adds Premiere Networks’ Delilah for evenings…..Cumulus Media’s CHR WRQX, Washington announces the winning schools in its 2nd Annual mix107.3 Holiday Choir Competition.  The competition was divided into two categories – kindergarten through 8th grade and high school.  North Bethesda Middle School in Bethesda, Maryland won in the first category and gets $2,500 for its music program and Wootton High School in Rockville, Maryland won the high school division and will receive $5,000 for its music education program…..Entercom’s country WUSY, Chattanooga “US 101” is seeking a midday personality. Find all the information about applying here.

Friday, December 7, 2018

| December 7, 2018

Sean Hannity Tops Mediaite ‘Influential’ List. Consumer publication Mediaite unveils its 2018 list of the most influential figures in news media, and Premiere Networks/FOX News Channel superstar Sean Hannity is #1 this year.  Mediate says of Hannity: “There are many figures in media and on the air at FOX News that form what certain critics refer to as President Donald Trump’s ‘shadow cabinet.’  Only one of them has phone calls with the president on a truly regular basis.  When Sean Hannity isn’t chatting with the leader of the free world over the phone – they talk policy, media, ratings, and gossip – he’s speaking to him through his FOX News primetime show.  Did we mention Hannity is the highest-rated cable news show in the United States?  It has been for two years running.  And not by any small measure.  Hannity regularly notches a whopping three million viewers a night and sometimes breaks four.  His three-hour radio show garners millions of listeners too, making Hannity a veritable media empire in and of himself.  He has no shortage of critics who argue that his sort of advocacy doesn’t belong on a news network, but despite that Hannity has emerged as the king of cable news — after playing the long game over two decades at FOX.  Pair that with a direct line to the White House, and there’s simply no one more influential.”  The list – composed of 75 media figures including talk hosts, news anchors, comedians, executives, reporters and more – includes two other personalities doing radio work.  Laura Ingraham, who is transitioning her talk radio show to a podcast in the New Year, is ranked #36, and Westwood One-syndicated radio talk host Mark Levin is #67.

iHeartMedia Chapter 11 Confirmation Hearing Postponed. That December 11 Confirmation Hearing for iHeartMedia’s Chapter 11 reorganization is postponed to “a future date.”  We don’t know what date that is as it’s not been set.  According to a filing with Bankruptcy Court in Houston, iHeartMedia and Wilmington Savings Fund Society are agreeing to the extension. WSFS represents holders of two issues of senior notes and it appears they and iHM have more to hammer out before proceeding with the Confirmation Hearing.  In the meantime, as iHeart moves toward exiting Chapter 11 reorganization (sometime in early 2019, the company hopes) CEO Bob Pittman issues a company-wide pep talk memo reminding staffers they work for a company with a “unique position” in the media business.  Regarding the press the company’s bankruptcy proceeding is getting and the reports of companies like Liberty Media wanting a piece of iHM, Pittman says, consider it a “compliment” that there are those out there who want a piece of iHM’s equity.”

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk Radio. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s November PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk.  A comparison with the October survey indicates about half the sports talkers in PPM markets saw their weekly 6+ AQH share go up and the other half declined.  Entercom’s WSCR, Chicago saw the biggest decline as it was down 1.4 shares. The company’s WBZ-FM, Boston realized the highest gain of 0.8 shares.  Comparing November 2017 to this year, Entercom’s WVEI-FM, Providence was the big winner, up 2.2 shares to a 5.4 share, while Capitol Broadcasting’s WCMC-FM, Raleigh dropped 2.8 shares year-over-year.  WFAN is tops in Long Island as the Entercom sports talker ranked #1 in November.  A big month in sports talk in Boston saw WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” rank #2 with a 6.1 share and crosstown competitor WEEI rank #3 with a 5.7 share.  See the entire report here.

Michael Berry Show Adds Digital Director. The nationally syndicated Michael Berry show announces it adds Josh Benoit to the staff as digital director.  Berry’s KTRH, Houston-based talk show is currently heard in almost 20 markets. Berry states, “I’m adding critical skills to my team so that the Michael Berry show is equipped for the next few years of exciting growth and expansion. I want our on-air content to continue to engage and entertain and I want to use the tools of technology to take that content and share it in more places.  Josh is the perfect talent to do that.  His relationships within the industry, as well as his focus on quality daily content, will prepare for us for an exciting future.” Benoit, who works on air as Josh Reno, will continue his weekend roles with alternative KTBZ, Houston and classic rock KYRV, Sacramento.  The Michael Berry show features executive producer Chad Nakanishi, the “King of Ding” Ramon Robles, “Producer KennyWebster, research director Sandra Peterson, “and a cast of characters and frequent callers.”

Glenn Beck’s Mercury One Charity Assists Lincoln Presidential Library. Upon learning that one-of-a-kind Abraham Lincoln artifacts were in danger of being sold to pay off debt, Glenn Beck’s Mercury One charity launched the “5 4 Lincoln” campaign that raised $50,869. A collection of documents and artifacts, owned by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation and housed at the Lincoln Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois, is not paid off and the foundation still owes $9.2 million.  If the foundation can’t make the payments, artifacts will have to be sold to raise the money.  Beck says, “When I heard about the museum and the help they needed last summer, we started a ‘5 4 Lincoln’ fundraiser.  Thousands of my listeners have signed up to donate $5 a month to help grow the library and preserve these treasures.  I wish we could do it all, but we are excited to play any role in helping.  Join us at 54Lincoln.com. We are committed through the long haul.”

TALKERS News Notes. Los Angeles news/talk KFI is presenting the eighth annual “KFI PastaThon,” an on-air fundraising event to help feed local children in need all day today (12/7) at the Christ Cathedral in Garden Grove. Proceeds will benefit Caterina’s Club, a charitable organization that helps feed, house and educate children in need in the Orange County.  During the 17-hour live broadcast, all of KFI’s on-air personalities – Bill Handel, Jennifer Jones Lee, Gary Hoffmann, Shannon Farren, John Kobylt, Ken Chiampou, and Tim Conway Jr. – are on site encouraging listeners to donate packaged pasta, jars of pasta sauce and money to help feed local children in need.  KFI program director Robin Bertolucci says, “This is an entire station and community effort.  Not only does ‘KFI PastaThon’ help feed children in need but it also aims to end the cycle of poverty.  We are grateful for our incredibly giving listeners.”  Since 2010, KFI has raised more than $1.8 million and 340,000 pounds of pasta and sauce to benefit Caterina’s Club…..CBS-TV’s “The Talk” is replacing Julie Chen – wife of embattled, former CBS Corp. chief Les Moonves – with “Dancing with the Stars” judge Carrie Ann Inaba.  Chen left the show as the allegations of sexual impropriety against Moonves began to heat up…..Westwood One News is producing a series of 20 year-in-review reports – one-minute vignettes showcasing the year’s biggest stories.  Westwood One News is also providing to affiliate stations two long-form, year-in-review programs: “The Year in Review – The Big Stories,” hosted by correspondent Michael Toscano, and “The Year in Review – People and Entertainment,” hosted by correspondent John Trout.  These programs will replace “The Week in Review” and “America This Week,” respectively, the weekends of December 22 and 23 and December 29 and 30, 2018.

Death of George H.W. Bush Top News/Talk Story for Week of December 3-7. The passing of former President George H. W. Bush was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At # 2 this week was the Trump-Russia investigation. Coming in at #3 was the migrant surge at the U.S.-Mexico border, followed by financial markets activity at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

Jim Bohannon Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the longest-running and most highly regarded talk show hosts in radio, Jim Bohannon, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Bohannon broadcasts via Westwood One to hundreds of stations every weekday evening between 10:00 pm and 1:00 am ET. He has been a professional radio personality for 58 years and is still going strong. Along the way, he has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors including the Special Recognition First Amendment Award from the Radio Television Digital News Association and a nomination for the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Marconi Radio Award for Network Syndicated Personality of the Year. He was named by TALKERS as the 2013 recipient of its prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award in addition to being a perennial member of the publication’s “Heavy Hundred” – the 100 most important radio talk show hosts in America. He is also an inductee into the National Radio Hall of Fame. Known for his even-handed approach to the issues and big, friendly personality, Bohannon is an extremely likeable figure, popular with his radio colleagues and listeners alike. He and Harrison engage in an informal discussion about the major issues and interests facing America during the Age of Trump from divisive political polarity and political correctness to the state of the First Amendment and celebrity gossip. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Philadelphia CHR WTDY welcomes new morning drive show “Coop and Casey” to the air.  Sean “Coop” Tabler (left) and Casey Reed (right) take on morning show duties as the station recently transitioned from country to CHR.  Reed comes to WTDY from crosstown CHR WIOQ.  Tabler was most recently morning host at country WGH, Norfolk, Virginia. Entercom Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff states, “We are so excited to bring Coop to Philly and to welcome Casey back to the 96.5 TDY family.  Together, their focus on all things Philadelphia, along with their infectious energy is just what WTDY’s listeners are looking for in the morning.”…..At iHeartMedia’s hot AC WMTX, Tampa “Mix 100.7,” Laura Diaz is leading the new “Mix Morning Show with Laura Diaz,” starting January 3.  She joins “Mix 100.7” from iHeartMedia Orlando’s CHR WXXL “XL106.7,” where she co-hosted “Johnny’s House” with Johnny Magic for the past seven years.  She says, “My great-grandparents emigrated from Spain to Tampa in search of the American Dream.  To think that 103 years later I have the opportunity to be the female lead on a morning show and continue the dream is overwhelming!  I’m grateful and humbled to be able to join a community-focused station like ‘Mix 100.7’ and to continue doing what I love with iHeartMedia.”…..At Hubbard Radio’s country WYGY, Cincinnati “97.3 The Wolf,” air staffers Ernie Brown, Pete Miller, and Jimmy Salzurulo exit as the station appears to be going jockless.  That report comes from WVXU’s John Kiesewetter who also talks with Brown about his career in Cincinnati radio…..Beasley Media Group parts ways with adult contemporary WPBB, Tampa “B98.7” morning team Chadd & Kristi after almost two years.  The station is in Christmas mode and rumors in the market are that a format change may be in store for WPBB…..The Envision Networks-syndicated weekend rock show “Chop Shop Guitar Show” is celebrating the production of the 800th consecutive program.  On this weekend’s program, host Steve Black is joined by Lzzy Hale and Joe Hottinger from Halestorm and Trans-Siberian Orchestra guitar maestro Al Pitrelli…..Superadio Networks and CTC Productions announce an affiliation and sales partnership agreement to syndicate “Explicitly Old School with T-Boz,” a daily radio show hosted by Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins from the legendary super group TLC.  The one-hour, daily show is designed to air on rhythmic, urban, urban AC and throwback stations and features hip hop and R&B artists such as Dr. Dre, Mary J. Blige, LL Cool J, Snoop Dogg, Tupac, Kanye West, Lauryn Hill, P Diddy, and more.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

| December 6, 2018

Longtime Baltimore Talk Show Host/Reporter Les Kinsolving Passes at 90.  Known for his no-holds-barred questioning tactic as a White House reporter and for his regular talk show on WCBM, Baltimore, Les Kinsolving cut a colorful figure in the Baltimore-Washington market and across the talk radio industry. Kinsolving – born Charles Lester Kinsolving – died early Tuesday morning.  He had triple bypass surgery in 2005 after suffering a heart attack. WCBM morning personality and program director Sean Casey said in a message posted on Twitter: “Les was one of the founding fathers of WCBM. I hired him in 1990 after a strong recommendation from out former colleague Tom Marr.  Les was a fearless reporter/broadcaster who confronted the Jim Jones cult, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and covered the White House in his signature red jacket.” Casey notes that Kinsolving hosted “Uninhibited Radio” on the station for 28 years before his health declined and he was forced to retire several months ago.

PPM Analysis: All-News. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s November 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on all-news outlets.  Ratings movement (weekly 6+ AQH share) from the October survey to the November survey among all-news stations was pretty much split fifty-fifty – half the stations saw an increase and about half went down.  The same goes for a comparison to last November’s PPM survey, about half the stations were up and the other half were down.  This month, four all-news stations ranked in the top five in their respective markets.  Entercom’s WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago and Hubbard’s WTOP-FM, Washington both ranked #1, while the Entercom’s KCBS-AM ranked #2 in San Francisco and #3 in adjacent San Jose and its WWJ, Detroit also ranked #3.  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Moffett to Lead SummitMedia Springfield. Taking over the leadership of SummitMedia’s new Springfield, Missouri station group is Janelle Moffett, who rises from general sales manager to president.  She begins leading the cluster that includes news/talk KSGF-AM/FM, country KTTS, CHR KSPW, and adult hits KRVI upon the exit of retiring president Rex Hansen.  Moffett says, “We have great stations and a talented, committed team here.  We will make certain we continue to entertain and inform our listeners, deliver results for our clients, and serve our wonderful Springfield community.  I’m very excited about all the possibilities ahead for us!”

Forbes Publishes ‘Highest-Paid Radio Hosts’ Piece. In a story in Forbes by Hayley Cuccinello, the five highest-paid talk hosts are ranked.  Topping the list this year is SiriusXM star Howard Stern, estimated to be making $90 million.  Premiere Networks star Rush Limbaugh is #2 with an estimated $84.5 million made this year.  At #3 is Premiere’s Ryan Seacrest with $74 million, followed by Premiere/FOX News superstar Sean Hannity at #4 with $34 million and Premiere’s Glenn Beck in fifth place with $8.5 million.  The piece also delves into the merger of Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze digital platform and CRTV and other radio talk show issues.

TALKERS News Notes. There’s a publication – currently only available to “lawmakers, decision-makers, and others involved in D.C.’s political process” – that Clarity Media Group announces is expanding to the public arena.  The weekly Washington Examiner magazine will launch on January 1 “with a new look, an expanded editorial range, and an increase in its distribution.”  Under the continued editorial leadership of editorial director Hugo Gurdon, the expanded magazine will publish 44 issues per year.  Clarity Media president and CEO Ryan McKibben says, “Over the years, we’ve frequently been asked if individuals outside of the Beltway could subscribe to the publication. With this expansion and relaunch, our aim is for the new, national Washington Examiner to build on its position as a leader in providing a conservative perspective on the events of the day.”…..Nielsen Audio holds a client webinar today to brief them on the transformation of the measurement of 200-plus small and medium markets measured with the Audio Diary from a quarterly or two times a year static view to monthly reporting.   Nielsen says the change “will enable clients to react more quickly to marketplace changes.”  Continuous diary measurement will be released in stages with the first phase beginning in mid-2019 in 47 markets presently measured four times a year…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that WGN-AM, Chicago news reporter/anchor Dometi Pongo is also hosting a new Twitter Live video titled, “Need to Know.”  The program is produced by MTV News and “offers a ‘deep dive’ on a major story of the day and each afternoon he recaps the day’s top stories.”…..KORE Broadcasting’s sports talk KORE, Eugene, Oregon “FOX Sports Eugene” adds “The Dan Patrick Show” to its weekday morning lineup, effective December 17…..SiriusXM is broadcasting live from the Baseball Winter Meetings beginning Sunday (12/9).  Both the MLB Network Radio and Mad Dog Sports Radio channels will broadcast live from the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas where club owners, front office executives, managers and many others from the major and minor leagues will gather to discuss offseason baseball business.

Bush Ceremonies, Trump-Russia Investigation, Migrants at U.S.-Mexico Border, U.S.-China Trade War, Mercurial Dow, ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ Controversy, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/5). The ceremonies honoring late President George H. W. Bush; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the migrants amassed at the U.S.-Mexico border and the border wall issue; the Trump administration’s tariff policy toward China; the up-and-down Dow and concerns about a returning bear market; radio stations are caught in a controversy over the lyrics to “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”; and the week’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Josh Gebhart, a.k.a. Jay Jay, moves from Cumulus Media’s Twin Cities operations where he was an air personality and producer, to the company’s Eugene, Oregon cluster to serve as program director for hot AC KEHK “Star 102.3” and sister adult contemporary KSCR-AM/FM.  Cumulus Eugene operations manager Al Scott says, “It’s great to finally have a PD here in the building to steer KEHK through this very competitive radio market.  Josh brings a lot of enthusiasm to the table and is breathing fresh life into the station!…..Sheridan Broadcasting names Tracey Harvey creative director.  In her new position, she’ll be charged with developing the company’s new web presence – including audio and video content.  She’ll also be responsible for expanding the company’s social media content and branding footprint by identifying new business partnerships…..Cumulus Media’s urban AC KMEZ is moving from its current 106.7 frequency to the 102.9 frequency it previously occupied, effective today (12/6).  As a result, hip hop KKND “Power 102.9” goes away.   The station is being branded “Z 102.9.”  Program director J’Michael Francois says, “During the first 30 days, ‘Z 102.9’ will be heard both on 102.9 and on 106.7 so that all our current listeners will know that KMEZ will now be heard on 102.9 FM…..Mariah Carey is the special guest host of the Premiere Networks-syndicated R&B show “The Sweat Hotel” with Keith Sweat. In addition to playing R&B slow jams and taking song requests, the award-winning artist will play music from her new album, Caution, as well as some of her fan-favorite hits…..TMZ reports that rock radio and television personality Matt Pinfield was hit by a speeding car while walking in Los Angeles.  The report says Pinfield’s leg was broken in two places and he received a wound to his head that required stitches.  Pinfield was most recently morning host at Cumulus Media’s triple A KFOG, San Francisco.

Interview with Phil Boyce

| November 26, 2018

By Ryan McCormick
Goldman McCormick Public Relations

 

NEW YORK — Phil Boyce has been senior vice president of Salem Radio Network & spoken word formats at Salem Communications since November 2014.  Boyce served as vice president and director of spoken word format of Salem Communications from February 2012 to November 2014.

He is well known for his 14-year stint as program director of WABC, New York. During his time there, he was named vice president of news/talk programming for ABC Radio and later Citadel.  He is credited with hiring Sean Hannity at WABC and taking his show into national syndication for ABC in 2001.  Later he hired Mark Levin at WABC and took him into national syndication in 2006.  He left WABC in October of 2008 shortly after WABC hit a 5 share 12+ in New York (Arbitron PPM Sept. 2008), the highest share the station has achieved since going talk from rock in 1982.

Before joining WABC, he programmed WJR, Detroit where he hired morning host Paul W. Smith and afternoon host Mitch Albom, both of whom are still working there.   Read More

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

| November 14, 2018

Laura Ingraham to Transition Radio Show to Podcast in January. Talk media personality Laura Ingraham will end her 17-plus years of hosting a live radio talk show in January and launch an original podcast via PodcastOne.  Ingraham, who joined FOX News Channel’s prime-time lineup last fall, has also been hosting her late morning radio show syndicated via Courtside Entertainment.  She says, “While hosting a prime-time television show and raising three children on my own, continuing a three-hour morning radio show was no longer feasible.  Although I will greatly miss my radio listeners and affiliates, working late nights and early mornings has taken a toll on my family life.  Plus, my radio audience is smart, savvy and committed, and I know most will follow my new show in the format that is revolutionizing the audio world – digital podcasting.”  She adds, “Without phenomenal producers, a committed sales team, great station managers and program directors — and of course my loyal advertisers – this show wouldn’t have been possible.  Now it’s time for a new adventure.”   PodcastOne chairman and CEO Norm Pattiz states, “Due to her HUGE success on the FOX News channel, daily podcasts are a much better fit for Laura’s hectic schedule and provides her listeners in all markets access at any time to the new Laura Ingraham show podcast.  She’s at the top of her game and her new original podcasts will fit perfectly on PodcastOne.”

Cumulus Q3 Net Revenue Down 1.7%. The third quarter financial numbers for Cumulus Media have been released and the company reports Q3 net revenue of $282.3 million – an dip of 1.7% from the same period in 2017.  Net income was $12.7 million and adjusted EBITDA was $62.1 million.  Due to its emergence from Chapter 11 reorganization earlier this year, the company notes in its report that “for the purposes of the analysis of the results presented herein, the company is presenting the combined results of operations for the period June 4, 2018 to September 30, 2018 of the Successor Company with the period January 1, 2018 to June 3, 2018 of the Predecessor Company.  Although this presentation is not in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States, the company believes presenting and analyzing the combined results allows for a more meaningful comparison of results for the nine month period ended September 30, 2018 to the nine months ended September 30, 2017.”  Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner comments, “In our first full quarter of operations since emerging from Chapter 11, our positive momentum continued and we remain focused on the path ahead.  We delivered another quarter of Adjusted EBITDA growth – approximately 50 basis points on a reported basis and 3.9% when adjusting for the impact of USTN and our exit from WLUP-FM in Chicago.  Additionally, in early October, we completed a $50 million prepayment of our term loan using cash generated from operations, demonstrating both our ability to produce significant free cash flow and our commitment to pay down debt with that cash.  We continue to believe that our key growth initiatives, including our digital businesses at the Cumulus Radio Station Group, our rapidly expanding podcast business and pricing and inventory management improvements across the Company, as well as our substantial free cash flow generation, position the Company well to create value for all our stakeholders.”

iHeartMedia Names Future Board of Directors.  When iHeartMedia emerges from Chapter 11 reorganization, it will have a new board of directors and today the company announces who will sit on the board.  Current board chairman and CEO Bob Pittman and current president, COO and CFO Rich Bressler will continue to serve on the board with five new board members.  They are: former Walt Disney Company executive Jay Rasulo; Spyglass Entertainment co-founder and former MGM Inc. chairman and CEO Gary Barber; Altimeter Capital founder and CEO Brad Gerstner; private investor and director for both Aptiv plc and Arconic Inc Sean Mahoney; and Drawbridge founder and CEO Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan.  Bob Pittman comments, “We are excited about both the depth and range of our new board members.  We know our ability to draw on the experience of this unique combination of leaders in their respective fields will give us an unparalleled competitive advantage as we build our next level of growth.”

Premiere Networks’ Sean Hannity Hits 600-Affiliate Mark. After a little more than 17 years in national syndication, Premiere Networks talk radio superstar Sean Hannity reaches the milestone of 600 affiliate stations.  Premiere states, “Hannity’s provocative, informed, and passionate commentary on news and politics has amassed a loyal following of more than 18 million listeners monthly.  Broadcasting live on weekdays from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET, the 2017 National Radio Hall of Fame inductee and two-time Marconi Award winner is one of the most prominent and influential talk radio hosts in the country, whose political foresight and focus on the American agenda has made him the second most-listened-to talk radio host in the U.S.”  Hannity comments, “I am humbled and appreciative to not only our 600 amazing affiliates, but also to the listeners of this radio show in each and every city. Thank you for this honor!”

Good News for Comrex ACCESS and BRIC-Link II Users; HotSwap Feature Now Available.  This new HotSwap feataure allows users of Comrex’s IP audio codecs ACCESS and BRIC-Link II to back up dedicated links.  This long-sought reliability feature allows users to back up their studio-to-transmitter link or other dedicated link with a wireless modem.  CrossLock is Comrex’s powerful technology for increasing network reliability and allows codecs to use multiple IP networks at once.  CrossLock lets users bond networks together so that more bandwidth is available.  Alternately, in redundancy mode, users can send identical streams down both networks.  Until now, however, it hasn’t been possible to designate one network as primary and a second network to be used only when the primary fails.  HotSwap lets users select a network that will only be engaged if the primary network fails.  The system will warn of this status with a contact closure, and automatically fallback to the primary once it’s restored.  Fall-over to backup happens in a matter of seconds, and fallback is seamless.  For ACCESS codecs, any supported modem can be used as a back-up.  For BRIC-Link II, only Comrex Connect Modems are supported.  4G LTE Comrex Connect Modems are available for purchase through any Comrex dealer.  When ordering, ask for the NX model of Connect Modem.  Verizon, AT&T, and International versions are available.  HotSwap is included in firmware version 4.3, which is available now for all ACCESS and BRIC-Link II codecs.  Users can download it for free using Device Manager.

TALKERS News Notes. Sports talk personality Orlando “Big O Alzugaray exits Entercom’s WQAM, Miami after a four-year stint hosting the 10:00 am to 2:00 pm program.  He’d previously served with the station from 1997 through 2010…..The National Radio Hall of Fame announces it is creating a new award called the “One to Watch,” chosen by the NRHoF nominating committee.  It was inspired by radio legend Art Laboe, the active radio performer with the longest continuous period of service on air for 75 years and a 2012 National Radio Hall of Fame Inductee.  The inaugural “One to Watch” award will be given to Westwood One’s Ben Shapiro…..At Salem Media Group’s Pittsburgh cluster, Brad Marshall is named general manager.  The station group includes news/talk WPGP “1250 The Answer” and its two Christian-formatted outlets.  During his career, Marshall has served with iHeartMedia and Cumulus Media in Youngstown, Ohio…..In more Salem Media Group news, the company chooses software provider Aptivada to power the company’s contesting, promotions, database management, and newsletters…..AdLarge Media’s digital audio advertising unit cabana adds the investigative podcast “Bear Brook” from New Hampshire Public Radio to its content portfolio.  The podcast, hosted by NHPR reporter Jason Moon, centers around a decades-old mystery involving four unidentified bodies found in two barrels in New Hampshire’s Bear Brook State Park in the 1980s. The first six episodes of “Bear Brook” garnered more than 1.1 million downloads…..NuVoodoo Media Services promotes Eric Cohen to the newly created position of executive vice president, finance. New York-based Cohen joined NuVoodoo Media Services earlier this year as vice president of finance…..iHeartMedia’s sports talk KBME, Houston re-ups with the Houston Astros to continue serving as the ballclub’s flagship radio station for play-by-play broadcasts.

Deadly California Wildfire, CNN-White House Suit, Florida Recount/Kemp-Abrams Contest/AZ Senate Race, Melania Trump-Mira Ricardel Matter, New Amazon HQs Revealed, Dow Dips Again, Michelle Obama Book Tour, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/13). The California wildfire that has claimed 48 lives so far; CNN’s suit against the White House requesting the return of Jim Acosta’s WH credentials pass; the re-count troubles in Florida, the Stacey AbramsBrian Kemp Georgia governor’s race, and Kyrsten Sinema’s AZ senate seat victory; Melania Trump’s move to oust deputy national security adviser Mira Ricardel; Amazon reveals new HQ locations; the Dow loses another 100 points; Michelle Obama’s Becoming book tour; and the week’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Program director Derek Harper announces Jarard J is the new evening personality at Urban One’s urban AC WAMJ-FM, Atlanta “MAJIC 107/5/97.5,” effective November 19.   About his new gig, Jarard J says, “When Hurricane Dave and Derek Harper chose me, it illustrated the confidence and faith that the leadership team has in me and I was both humbled and honored.  I feel like a first round draft pick.  I am excited and ready to ball.”…..On-air pro Karen Blake exits Cape Cod Broadcasting’s hot AC WQRC, H “99.9 The Q” after five years as the morning personality…..Envision Networks’ “Full Metal Jackie Radio” joins the program schedule at AJG Corporation’s rock WCLG-FM, Morgantown, West Virginia to air from 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight on Fridays.  And check out host Jackie Kajzer at right holding her KILPOP 2018 Metal Programmer of the Year award.

Monday, November 12, 2018

| November 12, 2018

Saga Communications Reports Q3 Net Revenue Up 4.4%.  The third quarter financial report from Saga Communications reveals net revenue for the company was $31.6 million – up 4.4% from the same period in 2017.  Saga reports broadcast and digital revenue separately.  Broadcast net revenue during the quarter was $28.9 million, up 3.7% from Q3 2017 and digital was $936,000, up 1.2%.  For the first nine months of 2018, net revenue for the company rose 5.8%.  In its report, Saga reveals that five of its 26 markets (the company owns 108 stations) represent a large portion of its consolidated net operating revenue and that “an adverse change in any of these radio markets or our relative market position in those markets could have a significant impact on our operating results as a whole.” Those markets and their consolidated net operating revenue for Q3 2018 are: Milwaukee 12%, Columbus 11%, Des Moines 7%, Norfolk 6%, and Manchester, New Hampshire 5%.

John Fredericks Launches New Virginia Talk Station. Nationally syndicated radio talk show host John Fredericks launches a news/talk format on Richmond-area WJFN-FM.  Fredericks says in a statement, “This recently launched Richmond-area terrestrial radio station boasts a lineup of prominent Virginia and national voices offering fresh and diverse perspectives on the news of the day, what it means for the way our government functions, and how it impacts people’s everyday lives. What makes WJFN unique is its commitment to providing an engaging, listener-oriented, interactive experience that enables audience members to directly connect in real time with the Virginia-based hosts of WJFN 100.5 FM programs, and its goal to showcase voices from both sides of the political spectrum to spark lively and ultimately productive conversations.”  Fredericks says the station – a Class A FM licensed to Goochland, Virginia located northwest of Richmond – will serve as the flagship of the John Fredericks Radio Network. Currently, his morning drive program is also heard in Hampton Roads, Lynchburg, Roanoke, Washington D.C., and Jacksonville, Florida.  From 10:00 am to 12:00 noon is “The Fighting Joe Morrissey Show,” hosted by criminal defense attorney Joe Morrissey, a progressive Democrat who is also a former member of the Virginia House of Delegates and Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney.  Republican and former State Delegate Chris Saxman hosts the weekly “Virginia FREE Radio” program; conservative activist Martha Boneta will be a “frequent voice” on the station; and Democrat Gene Rossi – a former U.S. assistant attorney – will also be heard on the station. Syndicated programming will include Salem Radio Network’s Dennis Prager, Larry Elder, and Joe Walsh, along with Westwood One’s Michael Savage and “Red Eye Radio” are on the program schedule. Fredericks adds, “The airwaves are filled with the voices of professional pundits and political prognosticators convinced of their own insight and acumen.  What sets WJFN and its programming lineup apart is that our hosts don’t talk at the audience. We don’t lecture.  We passionately provide news analysis and commentary that is informed by the frequent guests on our programs.  We let the newsmakers do the talking.  Then we ask them the tough, probing questions our listeners want answered…Like our great nation, this station is built on the belief that a robust exchange of ideas from across the political spectrum is a healthy, necessary, and vital part of the American experience, and that we are a stronger, more united people who are better off from having considered other perspectives.”

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s October 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on news/talk.  It was a good survey month for news/talk stations as some 83% of stations in PPM markets saw their 6+ weekly AQH share rise and just 7% lost ground.  Looking at the year-over-year changes, almost 60% of news/talk stations surveyed went up and 34% took a decrease in AQH share.  A total of seven news/talk stations ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets during the October survey: Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta; Entercom’s KMOX, St. Louis; Bonneville’s KSL-AM/FM Salt Lake City; iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati; Scripps’ (now Good Karma Brands’) WTMJ, Milwaukee; Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton; and CMG’s WOKV, Jacksonville.  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Cumulus Media Confirms Shapiro Show to Air on WLS-AM, Chicago. As predicted by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Cumulus Media will air the Westwood One-syndicated Ben Shapiro two-hour live radio show, followed by the one-hour podcast from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm on news/talk WLS-AM.  That covers three of the four hours of the current Steve Dahl program that will end as of December 21.  It’s not clear what WLS-AM will air from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm, but Michael Savage – also a WWO property – is re-tooling his program to one hour of live radio followed by a one-hour podcast and could land in that open hour.

Harrison on Boycotts:  There Has Been Collateral Damage to Smaller Shows and ‘Innocent’ Broadcasters.  The topic of politically motivated advertiser boycotts was discussed this past weekend on television network RT America’s program “The Big Picture with Holland Cooke.”  Special guest, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (pictured above at right) was asked if the recent string of “pop-up boycotts” has had an adverse effect on radio and TV programs hosted by major stars such as Rush LimbaughSean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham.  Harrison answered that these big shows were adversely impacted to a relatively small extent because although there are many advertising agencies and their clients who look to avoid controversy of any kind, there are also a large number of major national advertisers who actually seek to be associated with these types of programs – so it evens itself out.  However, Harrison pointed out that the real victims of these boycotts are the lesser-known, smaller shows, hosts and stations that lose advertisers who completely pull out of the networks and platforms that carry these big shows stating, “There has been collateral damage due to these boycotts to innocent broadcasters who didn’t say anything controversial” but just happen to be on the same stations and networks that are being punished across the board.  To see the entire segment containing this discussion, please click here.

TALKERS News Notes. There are three one-hour specials available to radio stations for the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend from FOX News Radio.  The programs are: “From Washington: The Next Congress” hosted by Jared Halpern – FOX News Radio’s exploration of the impact President Trump had on the elections and will have on the next Congress with the House’s flip from red to blue; “George H.W. Bush: The Patriarch” hosted by Jon Decker – A look at the life and legacy of President George H.W. Bush, from Navy combat pilot to president and father of a president; and “Give Me Some Good News” hosted by Tonya J Powers – keeping in mind the spirit of the holiday season, Tonya shares moving stories that inspire…..A new podcast from ABC Radio is being launched titled, “Journeys of Faith with Paula Faris.”  The first three episodes are being released on Wednesday (11/14) and will feature interviews with Robin Roberts, co-anchor of ABC News’ “Good Morning America”; country music superstars Luke Bryan and Hillary Scott; and talk radio show host, editor and political commentator Ben Shapiro.  ABC Radio vice president and general manager Steve Jones states, “We are excited to welcome ‘Journeys of Faith’ as the newest addition to ABC Radio’s expanding podcast collection.  We love the passion that Paula brings to each interview and believe listeners will enjoy the illuminating discussions featured in each episode.”…..SiriusXM is presenting a weeklong series (daily this week from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm ET) called “Power Women Summit on Stars” that features highlights from The Wrap’s first-ever Power Women Summit, designed to “raise awareness and have frank conversations about gender equity in entertainment and media.”  Included in the program will be “The Boxer Podcast” with former U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, her daughter Nicole and actress and activist Alyssa Milano; “Activism and Empowering the Next Generation” with Dolores HuertaKatie Hill, and Zoe Saldana; “On the Basis of Sex,” with Felicity Jones; and “Leading by Example: A Conversation,” with Jill Soloway and Rebecca SugarThe Wrap’s 2018 Power Women Summit took place in Los Angeles on November 1 and 2 before a gathering of more than 1,500 women from across the media and entertainment industry.

FLA, GA, and AZ Election Challenges, Deadly California Wildfires, President Trump in France, Trump-Russia Investigation Status, Crenshaw ‘SNL’ Appearance, Acosta WH Credentials Case, Migrant Caravan/October Illegal Immigrant Figures, People’s Choice Awards, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The contested or undecided election races in Florida, Georgia, and Arizona; the deadly Woolsey Fire scorching Southern California; President Trump’s trip to France for WWI remembrance and his sparring with French President Emmanuel Macron over “nationalism”; speculation about the status of Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation; Congressman-elect Dan Crenshaw’s appearance on “Saturday Night Live” a week after Pete Davidson’s joke about the war veteran’s missing eye; President Trump’s withdrawal of CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s White House press credentials; the migrant caravan from Honduras and the October figures indicating higher levels of illegal immigration; Sunday evening’s People’s Choice Awards; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Record Producer Robbie Stevens Is Guest on Harrison Podcast.  Get ready for a deep-dive conversation into the history surrounding 20th century musical icon John Lennon and a provocative look back at his 1971 Imagine album as noted record producer Robbie Stevens is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Stevens served as a key member of a team of black belt engineers and producers who remixed selected tracks on the historic album in the recently released Universal box set titled, John Lennon’s Imagine – the Ultimate Collection.  This expansive, re-examined version of the Imagine album has received critical raves and is delighting Lennon, Beatles and pop music fans around the world, giving historians yet another opportunity to assess the extraordinary impact of Lennon and the love of his life – wife and creative partner Yoko Ono – from a fresh perspective.  Harrison opens the podcast with the observation, “As I follow the news in today’s highly polarized society and talk media idea marketplace, I can’t help but think about the late John Lennon and the challenging political struggles he faced during his brief time on this planet.  For a guy whose contributions to his generation and the world were ultimately priceless, he took a tremendous amount of crap in his time from not only the far right, but the far left as well.  And everybody piled on to give him a ridiculously tough time about the major love of his life, the enigmatic Yoko Ono.”  Harrison and Stevens discuss Lennon’s voice, the studio techniques of his time versus today, the lasting impact of the Beatles, the remarkable influence of Yoko Ono (including her recent string of 13 number one songs on the Billboard Dance Club chart) and a whole lot more.  Don’t miss this!  To listen to the entire podcast, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on the TALKERS email newsletter and every page of Talkers.com.

Premiere Networks Personality Delilah Inducted into Adoption Hall of Fame. Late night radio personality Delilah (pictured above) was recently inducted into the Adoption Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Washington, DC.  The Adoption Hall of Fame Award is given by the National Council for Adoption in recognition of outstanding commitment, service, and sacrifice for the cause of adoption by an individual or organization who has positively impacted the practice of adoption. A mother of 13 children, 10 of whom were adopted, the Premiere Networks syndicated adult contemporary personality was honored for her decades-long commitment to children in need of a family, and for using her national radio platform and her non-profit organization Point Hope to celebrate adoption and raise awareness of children waiting to be adopted from the U.S. foster care system.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Mary Ellen Kachinske exits Hubbard Radio’s hot AC WTMX, Chicago “101.9 The Mix,” effective immediately.  Hubbard Chicago VP and market manager Jeff England says, “We thank Mary Ellen for her contributions to the success of ‘The Mix’ and wish her the best in her future endeavors.”  Music director Nikki Chuminatto is serving as interim PD while the station searches for its next program director. Interested candidates can complete the online application at www.wtmx.com/careers-opportunities/ and contact: jaengland@hubbardradio.com…..The lineup on the “new” CHR KBKS, Seattle “106.1 KISS FM” is revealed by iHeartMedia.  Mornings are being hosted by the Carla Marie and Anthony show.  The rest of the day includes Molly Mesnick in middays, Zann in afternoons, EJ in evenings, and Zach “Mayhem” Wellsandt as music director, APD and overnight jock. Station PD and Pacific Northwest SVP of programming Tim Herbster comments, “We could not be more excited to welcome Carla Marie and Anthony to mornings on KBKS.  They are funny, engaging and have built a true emotional connection with Seattle and its passionate radio listeners.”…..iHeartMedia flips rhythmic oldies WISX, Philadelphia to adult contemporary as “106.1 The Breeze, Philly’s Relaxing Favorites,” effective immediately.  The station flipped to Christmas music on November 9 but transitions to the “Breeze” format immediately.  Station VP of programming Brian Check says, “There is a huge appetite in Philly for a softer, relaxed sound, especially during the workday.  I’m happy to say we’re bringing ‘The Breeze’ to Philadelphia.”…..Entercom announces two new personalities on alternative WNYL, New York “ALT 92.3”  Corey Bonalewicz is the new afternoon drive personality.  He previously served with the company at WBBM-FM, Chicago and WEZB-FM, New Orleans. Transitioning from the Saturday evening host to the daily late night personality (10:00 pm to 2:00 am) is Kevan Kenny.  He also holds positions with Billboard and dick clark productions.  Entercom New York SVP of programming Mike Kaplan comments, “As we continue to grow our dynamic team, it’s vital to have talent that can create memorable content across all platforms.  Corey and Kevan’s innovative minds will add to these efforts.”…..In Detroit, Entercom names Tom “Cadillac Jack” Kapsalis as assistant program director and midday host for country WYCD.  Kapsalis was most recently PM drive personality at WQYK, Tampa.  He returns to Detroit after launching his career at WWWW-FM, Detroit in 1997..…iHeartMedia’s alternative WNOH, Hampton Roads, Virginia “ALT 105.3” adds the nationally syndicated “Woody Show” to the programming lineup for mornings.

Monday, November 5, 2018

| November 5, 2018

Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh to Appear at Tonight’s Trump Rally in Missouri. The president’s final rally before tomorrow’s midterm elections takes place tonight in Cape Girardeau, Missouri – hometown of Premiere Networks talk radio legend Rush Limbaugh – and the favorite son will make a “special guest appearance” there, as will Premiere and FOX News Channel superstar Sean Hannity.  Hannity is hosting his 9:00 pm ET FNC show from the rally, similar to the way he did at a Trump rally in Las Vegas in September.  Not surprisingly, the move has media observers analyzing the relationship between the Donald Trump White House and conservative media outlets.  CNN.com’s report on Hannity’s and Limbaugh’s appearances writes that “the Trump campaign isn’t making a distinction between interviewing the president and showing up at the rally as a ‘special guest.’”  For its part, FOX News says that Hannity is not “sponsoring the rally or campaigning for Trump,” but will be interviewing Trump as part of his show.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison addressed this development during this morning’s editorial conference call stating, “Regardless of one’s political take on Donald Trump and the positions of conservative talk radio – from a purely industrial perspective and the value of access to the big players on the world stage – Sean Hannity has solidly positioned himself in the eye of the storm on a level that is remarkable from a historical perspective.  He is contributing immeasurably to keeping radio and television talk media at the forefront of the nation’s political conversation – a gift that keeps on giving to his colleagues in the business on all sides of the spectrum.”

Mike Gallagher to Host Salem Radio Network’s Election Night Program. Tomorrow evening’s coverage of the midterm elections on the Salem Radio Network is being anchored by nationally syndicated talk show host Mike Gallagher from New York City.  The “TOWNHALL News 2018 MIDTERM ELECTION NIGHT” broadcast will air from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm ET and will also be simulcast on a live, nationwide video stream on Townhall.com. Also featured on the program will be White House correspondent Greg Clugston reporting live from Kansas City where he’ll be following key Midwestern contests.  Capitol Hill correspondent Wally Hindes will be posted in Phoenix. Anchor Bob Agnew will report live from SRN’s Washington bureau.  Southwestern correspondent Val DeOre will be filing reports from the Dallas County Republican Party headquarters.  Special guests will include Alfredo Ortiz, CEO of Job Creators Alliance, SRN political contributor and former presidential candidate Gary Bauer, and My Pillow inventor and Trump rally fixture Mike Lindell.

New Bern Talk Station Has New Frequency; Adds Limbaugh. In the New Bern, North Carolina market, Inner Banks Media announces the swap of frequencies between country WRHT and news/talk WNBU.  WNBU is now airing on the stronger, Class C1 100,000-watt signal at 96.3 and WRHT slides to the Class C3 11,000-watt signal at 94.1.  At the same time, Inner Banks announces that it is adding Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh to WNBU’s program schedule in place of the Dan Patrick sports talk show.  Limbaugh had been heard on Atlantic Ridge Telecasters’ WTKF-FM.  That station replaces Limbaugh with FOX News Radio’s Todd Starnes.

SummitMedia Names Val Nicholas SVP, Creative Director. This is a new position at SummitMedia in which Val Nicholas is tasked with accelerating creative innovation in partnership with SummitMedia sales, marketing, programming and event leadership teams as senior vice president, creative director.  Nicholas comes to SummitMedia from his most recent position with NBC News as vice president creative director. SummitMedia chairman and CEO Carl Parmer comments, “We are very excited for Val to join the SummitMedia team and are confident his enthusiasm and creative talent will bolster our efforts to inspire our audiences and support our client’s needs.”  During his time at NBC News, the organization launched new digital properties for NBCNews.com and 360 initiatives such as “Hiring Our Heroes,” created to remedy the unemployment crisis for post-9/11 veterans.

TALKERS News Notes. Tomorrow night, ABC News Radio is providing live coverage of the midterm elections from 7:00 pm ET through at least 1:00 am ET, anchored by correspondent Aaron Katersky from New York with correspondents Karen Travers, Alex Stone, Jim Ryan, Pete Combs, and Mark Remillard reporting from various races across the country.  Correspondent Lana Zak will monitor the House and Senate races from Washington, correspondent Scott Goldberg will report from the ABC News Decision Desk, and contributor Steve Roberts will provide political analysis.  ABC News Radio will also provide one-minute updates on ‘Your Vote 2018’ four times an hour, from 5:00 am ET on Tuesday through 12:00 midnight on November 7…..Westwood One News is providing affiliates with continuous election night coverage from 7:00 pm ET until at least 1:00 am ET, plus four special reports per hour and live reports from the headquarters of key candidates.  Jim Bohannon is anchoring the coverage (which will also be simulcast to all Jim Bohannon show affiliates as a special edition of his broadcast).  White House correspondent Bob Costantini will report from the White House on Trump Administration reaction; Capitol Hill correspondent Linda Kenyon will follow the races and congressional control; and correspondent Steve Kastenbaum in New York, Jim Roope in Los Angeles, and Clayton Neville in Houston will report on important regional races, turnout, and ballot referenda…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that former hot AC WTMX morning personality Kathy Hart will be appearing on Tribune’s news/talk WGN-AM a bit more after recently sitting in with weekend host Frank Fontana a few times.  Station manager Todd Manley says she’ll appear on the station “multiple times” over the next couple of months.  Feder says Hart appeared on the station on Sunday for an “in-studio Botox party” with Wendy Snyder, Judy Pielach, and Mary Van De Velde…..Townsquare Media names Suzanne Montoya vice president and station manager for the Princeton, New Jersey cluster that includes sports talk WNJE-AM, CHR WPST-FM, and religion WCHR-AM…..Bustos Media Holdings LLC closes on its purchase of news/talk KVOI-AM, Tucson from Good News Communications.  Most of Bustos Media’s stations are Spanish-language outlets.  This is the company’s first foray into English news/talk.  Kalil & Co. was the exclusive broker for the deal.

Midterm Elections, Migrant Caravan, New Iran Sanctions, Financial Markets Activity, Bohemian Rhapsody Film, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Tuesday’s midterm elections and the battle over control of the House and Senate; the caravan of Honduran migrants traveling through Mexico toward the U.S. border; the U.S. places new sanctions on Iran; activity in the world’s financial markets; the Queen bio-pic film, Bohemian Rhapsody; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Richard Neer Is Guest on Harrison Podcast.  As the just-concluded 2018 World Series indicated, so many things about sports are changing – the way the games are played, the way we root for our favorite teams and players, the way we bet on them, and the way we cover them in the media.  Thirty-year WFAN, New York veteran sports talk show host Richard Neer is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Harrison and Neer have been friends and colleagues going all the way back to their days together in the formative years of the album rock format at WLIR, Long Island and WNEW-FM, New York.  Neer wrote the milestone book about that era titled FM: The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio (Villard 2001).  In this podcast, these prolific conversationalists take a thoughtful, deep dive into the X’s and O’s of the changing culture of sports in our rapidly accelerating society.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Dallas hot AC KDMX-FM “102.9 Now” moves air personality Carter from evenings to afternoon drive and names him assistant program director.  Station PD Jay Shannon states, “I’m thrilled to have Carter transition to afternoon drive host on ‘102.9 Now.’  Carter has a true connection with our listeners and his upbeat personality really makes him the perfect fit.”  Filling the evening show host role is Brooke Morrison.  She’s served with iHeartMedia’s CHR WHQC, Charlotte and CHR KSLZ, St. Louis…..The Premiere Networks nationally syndicated Brooke & Jubal show hits the 50-affiliate mark after recent additions to its roster that include: KNOU, St. Louis; KKRG, Albuquerque; and KLLY, Bakersfield.  Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott states, “We’re excited by the fast-paced growth and success of Brooke & Jubal nationwide.  Brooke and Jubal, along with their team, are incredibly hard working and they have an undeniable ability to entertain and engage listeners with topical conversations and a whole lot of laughs.  We look forward to celebrating many more milestones together.”…..Beasley Media Group rock outlet WRAT-FM, Point Pleasant, New Jersey is celebrating 20 years of the Sunday night specialty show, “The Electric Ballroom,” with a commemorative anniversary concert on Sunday, December 30 at the House of Independents in Asbury Park, New Jersey.  The event will feature Monster Magnet, along with members of Blue Oyster Cult and the Alice Cooper Band. The lineup will also include a performance by radio show host Keith Roth’s band, Frankenstein 3000…..Entercom’s alternative KROQ, Los Angeles is presenting the 29th annual “KROQ Absolut Almost Acoustic Christmas 2018” shows at the Forum on December 8 and 9.  The concerts will feature: Smashing Pumpkins, Florence + The Machine, Death Cab for Cutie, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Mike Shinoda, and Third Eye Blind, among others. Entercom Los Angeles SVP and market manager Jeff Federman says, “We are so proud of ‘Acoustic Christmas’ and its unprecedented 29-year history.  This end of the year holiday show is a special time for all of us in Southern California and we’re pleased to support Para Los Niños and the Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center this year.  We are thrilled to deliver an incredible two nights of music where fans, brands, and artists come together.”

Friday, October 19, 2018

| October 19, 2018

Limbaugh Sits Down with Hannity on FNC.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Rush Limbaugh sat down with Sean Hannity on the latter’s FOX News Channel program last night (10/18) for a freewheeling hour in which the two talked about everything from Limbaugh’s historic success as a radio personality, the radical left’s alleged “mob violence” tactics, the importance of the midterm elections, the Kavanaugh confirmation, Limbaugh’s concern for the future of America, and more.

Dibs Re-Ups with ‘The Game’ in San Francisco. Morning drive personality Dan Dibley signs a long-term deal to continue as a host on the “Joe, Lo & Dibs” show on Entercom sports talker KGMZ-FM, San Francisco “95.7 The Game.”  Entercom San Francisco SVP and market manager Gregory Nemitz says, “Dan brings a unique style full of knowledge and humor to ‘95.7 The Game.’  He plays an important role on our morning team and we are excited to keep him around for years to come.”  Dibley was part of the first morning show when the station was launched in 2011. He left the station in 2014 and returned the following year.  Dibley works with co-hosts Joe Fortenbaugh and Lorenzo Neal.

Former Radio Financial Advice Host Convicted of Fraud.  This story is even stranger than so many of the past cases of financial advisers who bilked listeners to their (usually brokered) financial advice talk shows out of their life savings.  The backdrop to the case against Dawn Bennett was tinged with allegations of her use of “hoodoo” spells to prevent authorities from catching her.  The jurors who convicted Bennett on 17 counts of securities fraud, bank fraud, wire fraud and others did not hear about her attempts to keep investigators silent through the use of a “hold your tongue” spell using cow tongues nor her spending some $800,000 to pay Hindu priests to pray to keep investigators at bay.  But it certainly gave the press something to add to its coverage of the case.  Bennett was convicted of diverting millions of dollars from investors – both radio listeners and personal friends – to pay for her “lavish lifestyle.”  Her weekly “Financial Myth Buster” program was heard on WWRC, Washington.

More Than 500 Attend OAS and WHO, Des Moines Newt Gingrich Event.  Pictured above is former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on stage before a crowd of 500-plus at the Iowa Historical Building in Des Moines.  “An Evening with Newt Gingrich” was presented by iHeartMedia news/talk WHO-AM and Lee Habeeb’s rapidly growing, nationally syndicated “Our American Stories” program (heard evenings at 10:00 pm on WHO).

TALKERS News Notes. Two tidbits of news from Chicago from media journalist Robert Feder.  First, all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM weekend anchor Regine Schlesinger is stepping away from the station after a 45-year career there.  She left her full-time anchor role with the radio news outlet in 2016 and has been handling weekend anchor duties since then.  She first joined the station as an anchor and producer in 1973.  Also from the Windy City, at urban talk outlet WVON-AM, general manager Melody Spann-Cooper gets some relief from a Cook County Circuit Court judge who issues a stalking no-contact order against a former station account executive whom Spann-Cooper and her husband Pierre Cooper say has been harassing them.  She issued a public statement, “This has been a difficult chapter, having to prosecute someone who once had such great potential in our industry.  But history has shown that you cannot take threats and intimidation lightly, especially in the workplace.  My priority has been and will always be protecting my staff, my family, and myself.”…..A new podcast is launched on the iHeartRadio platform.  “Alchemy This,” a new improv comedy podcast hosted by award-winning comedian Kevin Pollak makes its debut.  Pollak is the star of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and was named one of the Top 100 Comedians of All Time by Comedy Central.  Each episode his team of alchemists will act out bizarre comical scenarios, giving listeners the opportunity to choose the settings/scenes…..SiriusXM is unveiling its new Big Ten Radio channel in cooperation with the Big Ten Network and the Big Ten Conference.  Big Ten Radio will feature live play-by-play broadcasts from several Big Ten men’s and women’s sports including football, basketball, baseball, softball and more. The new channel’s programming will feature exclusive new shows hosted by former Big Ten athletes, journalists and conference insiders, including former Ohio State star and 2005 Lombardi Award winner A.J. Hawk; former Illinois All-America offensive lineman Brad Hopkins; former Iowa defensive lineman Anthony Herron; former Penn State basketball player Jon Crispin; former Ohio State tight end Ben Hartsock; as well as Jason Goff, Tom Luginbill, Pete Pistone and Matt Schick…..Also from SiriusXM, the satcaster is presenting a special stand-up show, “Ricky Gervais and Friends: A Work In Progress,” featuring actor and comic Ricky Gervais.  It will take place at The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College on November 8.  “Ricky Gervais Is Deadly Sirius” premiered on the Comedy Greats channel in October 2017 and featured Gervais interviewing an eclectic group of guests, including musician Noel Gallagher and renowned scientist Richard Dawkins. In the second year, Gervais is expected to sit down with Jerry Seinfeld and other celebrities, as well as friends and fellow comedians…..In the Florence-Muscle Shoals, Alabama market, Singing River Group is buying a station group from URBAN Radio Broadcasting that includes news WVNA-AM, rock WVNA-FM, hip hop WMSR, country WLAY, and urban contemporary WMXV.  The price has not been announced.  George Reed of Media Services Group was the exclusive broker for the transaction.

The Case of Presumed-Dead Saudi Journalist Top News Talk Story for Week of October 15-19.  The case of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi – presumed murdered for his criticism of the Saudi regime – and the effect on U.S.-Saudi relations, tied with the numerous parties who’ve backed out of attending an investment conference in Saudi Arabia in response was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the November midterm elections and speculation about the 2020 presidential race.  Coming in at #3 was Senator Elizabeth Warren’s video revealing her ancestry test results, followed by the Robert Mueller’s expected release of a report on the Trump-Russia investigation at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s entire chart here.

Radio, Real Estate and Real Life: Former ‘Shock Jock’ Carolyn Fox Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  One of the first female radio personalities to be called a “shock jock,” former New England disc jockey and talk show host Carolyn Fox, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Back in the 70s, 80s and 90s, Fox was a major personality on a variety of leading radio stations in Boston and Providence with a growing national reputation in the industry.  She is a two-time recipient of Billboard’s Radio Personality of the Year award and has been inducted into the Rhode Island Radio Hall of Fame. But when the 21st century rolled around, things began to unravel for Fox in terms of both her career and marriage.  Her career sputtering and simultaneously going through a painful divorce, this mother of two decided to make a major change.  She packed up and headed to New York where she launched a new career and life as a real estate salesperson in Manhattan.  Playing upon her connections in radio, colorful history, and superb communication skills, she forged a dynamic career in the lucrative but highly competitive Manhattan real estate market as a member of the prestigious Corcoran Group’s sales team.  Harrison and Fox talk candidly about changes in radio including what it takes to “move on” and explore the fascinating idiosyncrasies of Manhattan real estate.  Harrison says, “Let’s not hide from the fact that the shrinking of the radio industry since consolidation has forced thousands of broadcasting pros to reinvent themselves and find new ways to make a living, not to mention keep their heads on straight.  I think this conversation provides an enlightening and even inspirational glimpse into that process.”  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” in the right-hand column of the TALKERS newsletter and on every page on Talkers.com.

Envision Networks Seeks Talent Booker. If you’ve got the talent, we’ve got the cash. Do you have the contacts to book top celebrities for morning radio shows across the U.S.?  We’re seeking a highly motivated, freelance, go-get-’em type to book tours with everyone from Hollywood and TV types to classic rock artists and quirky people making headlines or going viral.  Good commissions and there’s no limit to the amount of $$ you can make.  Please have at least three years of experience as a talent booker.  If you have the connections, we want to connect with you.  Send a resume along with a list of celebrities you’ve booked in the past to celebsonradio@envisionnetworks.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Rock programming pro Borna Velic is promoted to program director for Saga Communications’ WHQG, Milwaukee “102.9 The Hog,” taking over for Joe Calgaro, who recently left the station to program Entercom’s rock WAAF, Boston.  Velic has been serving as music director and afternoon drive personality (with co-host Mitch Paget).  He’ll remain on the afternoon show in his new position.  WHQG general manager Annmarie Topel says, “Borna has been a major contributor since he joined us and an integral part of The Hog’s success.  He has great music intuition and knowledge of the format, coupled with a solid analytical ability that is essential in programming. It doesn’t hurt that the staff likes and respects him.”…..Farther north at Cumulus Media’s alternative WWWX, Appleton, Wisconsin “96.6 The Fox,” the station brings air personality Max back to host the afternoon drive show, effective Monday (10/22). He’s most recently been serving as operations manager at Case Communications’ triple A WLGE “FM 106.9 The Lodge” and classic hits WQDC “Rewind 97.7” in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.  He worked at the Cumulus Appleton station group from 2002 through 2009.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

| October 18, 2018

Hannity to Have Limbaugh on FNC Program for Full Hour.  This evening (10/18), FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity will have fellow Premiere Networks syndicated radio superstar Rush Limbaugh on his 9:00 pm ET show for the full hour.  According to the Washington Times, the two “will chat for a full hour about President Trump, the midterm elections and the ever-changing prism of vital information, political and otherwise.”  This is noteworthy because Limbaugh does not make a habit of appearing on other peoples’ programs.  In fact, he is very particular about making television appearances in the first place. Industry watchers remember that it was on Limbaugh’s radio program that an up-and-coming Sean Hannity first reached a national audience as a substitute host.

New Jersey Devils and Skyview Networks Expand Relationship. The National Hockey League’s New Jersey Devils are working with Skyview Networks to produce their radio broadcasts.  Skyview will continue to supply its AdView Inventory Management application while adding full production services to the partnership.  Skyview Networks’ Scottsdale, Arizona production studios provide remote production services for professional and collegiate sports properties, news networks and syndicators.  Skyview says that with state-of-the-art studios and a dedicated producer for each client, all responsibilities and quality control of the broadcast are maintained by Skyview Networks to deliver a polished product.  Skyview VP of business development Matt Stys adds, “We are pleased to deepen our relationship with the Devils and their broadcast team.  We have exceptional studios and producers out of our corporate office and feel the franchise will benefit by moving these responsibilities to our team. As rights deals and distribution channels change in the sports broadcast industry, I see this as a valuable service we can provide at the highest level.”

TALKERS News Notes. The Apollo Theater and SiriusXM are presenting a live forum on Thursday, November 1 called “Say It Loud…With Your VOTE!” that will be broadcast the following day across a number of SiriusXM channels.  The discussion, obviously centered around political and social issues, is being moderated by Urban View channel hosts Karen Hunter and Reverend Al Sharpton and will feature a panel of SiriusXM hosts and contributors including Urban View host Joe Madison, former chairman of the Republican National Committee Michael Steele; Progress channel hosts Zerlina Maxwell and Jess McIntosh; SiriusXM chief Washington correspondent Olivier Knox; and Breitbart contributor and Patriot channel host Sonnie Johnson.…..Former WIOD, Miami talk show host Rick Sanchez is joining cable channel RT America to host “The News with Rick Sanchez,” launching at 7:00 pm on Monday (10/22).  Sanchez was a longtime television news personality in Miami before serving with CNNMSNBC, FOX News Channel, FOX News Latino, and Mundo FOX…..Northern California public media company KQED announces that president and CEO John Boland is retiring in September 2019 and the board of directors is selecting current EVP and COO Michael Isip as his successor.  He’s been appointed president elect.  KQED notes that during Boland’s tenure, it “prioritized investment in local content and services, increasing the staff by 40% and growing the newsroom to become one of the largest in the Bay Area and among all public media stations.  As a result, KQED audiences, membership and community financial support are at all-time highs. KQED Pubic Radio has become the number one-rated station in Northern California and commands the largest audience among all public radio stations nationally.  KQED is also now home to the largest science unit on the West Coast, an expanded arts and culture team, and an education division that develops digital media tools and media literacy products for youth educators and students.”  Isip joined KQED in June 2001 as executive producer in TV productions and rose through the ranks, attaining SVP and chief content officer status in 2014 and his current EVP/COO post in 2017…..A recent poll conducted by Edison Research and public media platform Marketplace reveals fewer Americans describe themselves as anxious about their financial situation than they have in the past three years.  Decreases in economic anxiety are across demographics and are most significant among Independents and African-Americans.  Since 2015, Marketplace and Edison Research have used responses to the poll to develop the Economic Anxiety Index, a unique measure of the American economy.  The number, on a scale from 0-100, is calculated from answers to a battery of questions. They say the Economic Anxiety Index describes just how stressed out people feel about their personal financial situations. The higher the number, the more economic stress someone is feeling. Another finding from the study indicate that nearly three-quarters of Americans (74%) are worried about the spread of false information on social media websites like Facebook and Twitter. See the study results here.

Taking in to the Streets in Tampa. Pictured above are Salem Radio Network syndicated talk show hosts Hugh Hewitt (left) and Mike Gallagher (right) mugging for the camera ahead of this evening’s Midterm Battleground Talkers tour taking place tonight in Tampa, Florida. Also taking part in the live event at the Straz Center will be Sebastian Gorka and Kayleigh McEneny.

Saudi Journalist Case, Trump-Russia Report, November Midterms/2020 Presidential Race, Migrant Caravan, Treasury Leaker Case, Warren Ancestry Video, NFL Action, and MLB Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/17). The case of presumed-dead Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the Trump Administration’s response; news that after the November elections, Robert Mueller will release his findings so far in the Trump-Russia investigation; the battle for control of the house and senate in the November midterms and speculation about who will run for president in 2020; the caravan of Central American migrants headed toward the U.S.; the case of Treasury official Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards’ alleged theft of sensitive documents about former Trump campaign officials; criticism over Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Native American heritage video; NFL action; and the Major League Baseball playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The new morning show at iHeartMedia country station WGAR, Cleveland is the “LeeAnn and Wazz Show,” starring incumbent morning talent LeeAnn Sommers (left) and Steve Wazz (right).  The new program will launch on Monday (10/22) and replaces the show hosted by the departed Brian Fowler and Sommers. iHeartMedia North Ohio Region president Keith Hotchkiss says, “Bringing Wazz back home to Cleveland is an important step for WGAR as we develop a fresh new morning show for Clevelanders by Clevelanders.  We are thrilled to pair Wazz with LeeAnn Sommers, who is already a fan favorite on WGAR.  Wazz is not only an engaging on-air talent but he also possesses incredible talents off-air and in the social space.”  Wazz was most recently afternoon personality and APD at iHeartMedia’s CHR WDCG, Raleigh “G105.”…..At Cumulus Media’s country KSCS, Dallas Jasmine Sadry exits her role on the “Hawkeye in the Morning” program where she worked with Mark “Hawkeye” Louis and Katelyn “Connected K” Maida…..Pictured below at the NASH campus in Nashville is country artist Jimmie Allen (second from right) with Ty Bentli, Kelly Ford, and Chuck Wicks (l-r) after Allen’s appearance on the syndicated “Ty, Kelly, and Chuck” morning show.  Allen spoke about his new album, Mercury Lane, advice he’s gotten from Charley Pride, racism in the country music world, and recording his favorite song from Keith Urban’s Ripcord album.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

| September 13, 2018

PPM Analysis: All-News. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s August 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on the all-news format.  Almost 63% of all-news station saw their 6+ weekly AQH shares go up compared to the July 2018 PPM survey.  Comparing August 2018 data to that from August 2017, more stations were down than up this year with Entercom’s WWJ, Detroit leading the pack with an improvement of almost a full share.  Five all-news stations ranked in the top five in their respective markets during the August survey: Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington was the sole all-newser to rank #1 in its market; Entercom’s KCBS-AM was #2 in both San Francisco and the adjacent San Jose market; WWJ, Detroit and iHeartMedia’s KFBK, Sacramento ranked #3 in their respective markets and iHeartMedia’s WBZ-AM, Boston ranked #5.  See the entire report here.

iHeartMedia to Acquire Podcast Firm Stuff Media.  The companies are not commenting on the price, but The Wall Street Journal is reporting that a source familiar with the deal says iHeartMedia is paying $55 million for Stuff Media LLC, producer of the HowStuffWorks podcasts.  Today’s press release notes that HowStuffWorks was founded in 1998 as a reference site.  “HowStuffWorks pioneered the podcast space and was one of the first companies to turn podcasting into a revenue-generating business, bringing the medium to a mainstream audience with its informative, easy-to-understand explanations of how the world works.  Today, Stuff Media is one of the nation’s largest podcast publishers, with more than 61 million global downloads and streams per month.” Its signature podcast, “Stuff You Should Know” surpassed 500 million downloads this year.   iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman says, “This strategic acquisition will pair Stuff Media’s wildly popular content and strong creative capabilities with iHeartMedia’s extensive resources and massive scale through our digital platforms, social reach, and broadcast radio stations, introducing podcasts to the vast majority of the country and offering even more unique opportunities for advertisers to reach their consumers.”  Stuff Media president and CEO Conal Byrne will join iHeartMedia as head of its podcast division and will report to iHeartMedia Networks Group president Darren Davis.

Beasley Fayetteville, North Carolina Preps for Hurricane Florence.  As stations all across the Southeast (hopefully) prepare to serve their listening areas during Hurricane Florence’s arrival, Beasley Media Fayetteville, North Carolina checks in to share its preparation. Vice president and market manager Erika Beasley and operations manager Randy Bliss state, “Our stations are in full preparation mode here in Fayetteville.  This is the time we as local broadcasters do what we do best, serve our local communities that we live and work in!  The Beasley Fayetteville cluster has a very robust plan in place for our six radio stations. Of course, this region is still reeling from the effects of Hurricane Mathew that took place less than two years ago.  We are developing a timeline for going into full, wall-to-wall coverage, and have TV partners in the Raleigh market that we will be using for additional information…Essential personnel staff will most likely be coming in Friday morning and staying for some time.  We have made arrangements for water, food, and other important necessities. The stations all have newly updated mobile apps and we are actively pushing downloads of the apps, that will allow folks to stay tuned in even after they lose power.  Our team plans to continue to broadcast via streaming should any or all of our stations face off-air situations.  We also have a contingency plan to combine some our brands into a simulcast at some point so we can consolidate staff and pool our efforts together.

FOX News Announces New Streaming Video Service.  The conservative news organization announces that in the fourth quarter of this year it will debut FOX Nation – an on-demand, subscription-based streaming service that will feature its top talent, including Sean Hannity, Laura IngrahamTucker Carlson, and more.  FOX News SVP of development and production John Finley says, “FOX News has an incredibly loyal audience and we are confident our super fans will enjoy exclusive content helmed by the personalities they know and trust, which they will have access to watch anytime and anywhere.”  On demand access will be available on phones, tablets, computers, smart TVs, and anywhere else that allows streaming video.  The company says that “FOX & Friends” co-hosts Ainsley Earhardt, Brian Kilmeade, Steve Doocy, “The Five” co-hosts Greg Gutfeld, Jesse Watters, Dana Perino and Judge Jeanine Pirro will all play significant roles on the platform, as will online commentator Tomi Lahren.

Zena Burns Named to Futuri Media’s Executive Team. Media executive Zena Burns joins Futuri Media’s executive team as SVP, strategic marketing and brand development.  Futuri says Burns has “a 20-year history of developing strategies for driving growth for traditional media properties through digital innovation.  After running all entertainment editorial for the print edition of PEOPLE Magazine’s iconic TEEN PEOPLE Magazine, as well as overseeing its digital properties, she joined the company now known as iHeartMedia as the radio industry’s first digital program director in 2006.  Later, she became a key part of the team that developed and launched the iHeartRadio brand and app before founding the consulting agency Moxie Coalition.”  Burns will retain her equity in the company which will remain active under the leadership of associates.  The company says that in this newly created role, Burns will lead high-level marketing initiatives for Futuri, direct its marketing and communications investments, and collaborate with CEO Daniel Anstandig and Futuri’s leadership team on the development of Futuri’s suite of audience engagement and sales intelligence technology solutions.  Burns will remain based in Chicago where she will spearhead the opening of a Futuri office in the major media market for the Cleveland-based company.

TALKERS News Notes. Milwaukee news/talk outlet WTMJ extends its deal with the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks to continue serving as the flagship station for the BMO Harris Bucks Radio Network.  Added to the agreement this time are two new programs: a one-hour “Bucks Weekly Show” and a half-hour “Coach’s Show” that will air on WTMJ each week during the season.  WTMJ and sister country WKTI are owned by E.W. Scripps but are in the process of being sold to Craig Karmazin’s Good Karma BrandsTed Davis and Dennis Krause are the radio play-by-play on-air team…..Entercom announces two new football podcasts – one for Oakland Raiders fans titled, “The Silver and Black Podcast,” and one for the San Francisco 49ers faithful called, “Overtime.”  Both are available on Bay Area sports talker KGMZ 95.7 The Game’s website and via the company’s digital platform Radio.com.  “The Silver and Black Podcast” air every Monday and Friday throughout the season and is hosted by “95.7 The Game” on-air host and Oakland Raiders Radio Network sideline reporter Chris Townsend.  “Overtime” airs weekly and will be co-hosted by KGMZ personalities Bonta Hill and Joe “Butcher Boy” Shasky…..Baseball Hall-of-Famer Reggie Jackson is launching a new talk show on SiriusXM.  The weekly program is called “Swing Away with Reggie Jackson” and airs Saturdays at 11:00 am on the Mad Dog Sports Radio channel.  SiriusXM says, “Fueled by his love of all sports, Jackson will cover a broad spectrum of sports topics on ‘Swing Away,’ and he will be joined regularly by well-known athletes and celebrities on his program, where they will discuss the headline news in baseball, football, basketball, golf and much more.”

Hurricane Florence Approaches, Bob Woodward’s Trump Book, Trump-Russia Investigation, Russian War Games, Kavanaugh Nomination, Fager Exits ‘60 Minutes’/Moonves Allegations, Positive U.S. Economic News, New iPhones Revealed, NFL Action, and MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/12). The preparation for Hurricane Florence as it approaches the Carolinas; the reaction to Bob Woodward’s new book, Fear: Trump in the White House; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; Russia’s war games and China’s joint participation; the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for Supreme Court Justice; embattled “60 Minutes” producer Jeff Fager is fired and the sexual misbehavior allegations leveled at Les Moonves; the positive U.S. economic news; Apple unveils new iPhones; the week’s NFL action; 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.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the immediate build-up to the 2018 American Music Awards on October 9, official national radio partners Westwood One and Cumulus Media will present special programming as it covers the fan-voted awards show.  The program takes place at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles and is being aired live on ABC-TV.  Westwood One will produce “Backstage at the AMAs” for more than 25 local stations and network groups.  Through its partnership with the American Music Awards and dick clark productions, WWO will also create exclusive AMA branded long-form and short-form content leading up to and following the awards…..Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that the Reach Media nationally syndicated Tom Joyner show is returning to Chicago radio on Future Vision Entertainment’s “95.1 FM Clubsteppin” heard on WLEY-HD2 and translators W236CF, Chicago and W236CG, Bolingbrook in the market.  LaMont Watts owns Future Vision and tells Feder, “Bringing Tom back to Chicago was just as important as the launch of this historic station. Tom is Chicago. The listeners love him and 95.1 is excited to welcome him home.”…..Imaging pro Mark Rider is joining Entercom’s alternative WSFS, Miami “104.3 The Shark” to handle imaging voice duties. Station PD John O’Connell says Rider has “a unique, versatile and powerful voice that fits the alternative format like a glove.  His delivery and style are warm, yet authoritative and that’s what set him apart from the rest.”…..Dick Broadcasting is now simulcasting CHR WKZL, Greensboro morning show “Jared and Katie in the Morning” on its Savannah, Georgia CHR WGCO “HOT 98.3.” The show consists of hosts Jared Pike and Katie Tesh with cast members Matt Wells, Thomas Marvin, and Jason Goodman…..SiriusXM is launching the limited-run Rod Stewart Radio channel on September 20.  The channel will feature music from all aspects of Stewart’s career, including from his new album, Blood Red Roses.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

| August 1, 2018

Emmis Pursues Zoning Change for Land Containing WFNI, Indianapolis Towers. A report in the Indianapolis Business Journal says the 70-acre parcel of land owned by Emmis and currently home to the six-tower array of sports talk WFNI “1070 The Fan” (formerly WIBC-AM) could fetch as much as $28 million in a sale.  The land is near a proposed I-65 freeway exit that should be open in 2021 and the zoning change from light industrial to urban business would enhance the value. If Emmis is able to sell the land, it would have to relocate the towers for WFNI, but with a possible gross of $28 million, it would be well worth it for Emmis.

Sean Hannity’s Status Atop Cable News Ratings Noted in New Forbes Piece. A new interview piece by Mark Joyella was published yesterday (7/31) in Forbes and cites Sean Hannity’s recent four-month stretch as top cable television personality – number one in both Total Viewers and Adults 25-54, according to Nielsen – with an average audience of 3.4 million during July.  The piece touches on Hannity’s reported relationship with President Trump, how he handles his critics, and what motivates him each day on his FOX News Channel TV program and Premiere Networks-syndicated radio show.  Read it here.

Attorney: Houston Sports Talker’s Career Hampered by iHeartMedia Bankruptcy.  According to Houston attorney Ed Burwell (as reported in the Houston Chronicle), his client, sports talk personality Jayson Braddock’s ability to work in the market is being adversely affected by the iHeartMedia bankruptcy.  Braddock was let go from iHM’s sports talk KBME in June with the company citing revenue and ratings shortfalls.  However, Burwell says ratings for the first five months of 2018 indicated Braddock’s show was the highest-rated of the station’s programs.  Complicating matters is that he was offered work at crosstown Gow Media, but iHM threatened to enforce his no-compete clause.  Burwell says any legal action he could take to allow Braddock to fight his case is complicated by having to go through the bankruptcy court.  In the end, Braddock may be forced stay unemployed to wait out his no-compete.  Read the story here.

TALKERS News Notes. The midday ESPN Radio show hosted by Stephen A. Smith joins some of its fellow shows in simulcast on the ESPNews television channel, effective August 13. “The Stephen A. Smith Show” join “Golic and Wingo,” “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz,” and “The Will Cain Show,” making the channel the TV home of all four of ESPN’s weekday national radio simulcasts.  Smith also appears on “First Take” with Max Kellerman and moderator Molly Qerim on ESPN from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon ET…..Cox Enterprises announces the hiring of Luis Avila-Marco as SVP of strategy and corporate development. The company notes Avila-Marco has served with Juniper Networks and Scientific-Atlanta in addition to working as an independent consultant…..Westwood One promotes Julie Kim from senior traffic director to VP, traffic.  She oversees the traffic and continuity departments responsible for managing the commercial quality control and audio content delivery to more than 8,000 affiliates and satellites, client and agency partners, producers, and engineers.  She also works closely with Westwood One’s sales planning team to manage commercial inventory and maximize revenue…..Entercom sports talk KIFM, Sacramento “ESPN 1320” signs a multi-year broadcast partnership with Sacramento State University and Learfield’s Hornets Sports Properties to air play-by-play of the school’s football and men’s basketball…..Delta Communications’ WNTN, Boston adds “Reel Talk w/ The Hollywood Kid” to its lineup.  The program is hosted by Mike Di Stasio, a.k.k The Hollywood Kid, and targets lovers of “movies and television, especially retro lovers.”  Di Stasio says, “My show brings listeners back to a time when five or six channels was all they had on their TV sets.”  He interviews showbiz greats such as: George Hamilton, Paul Sorvino, Linda GrayKen Wahl, Gianni Russo, Ann JillianBernie Kopell, Stacy Keach, and many more…..WTOP, Washington film critic Jason Fraley is publishing his “ultimate list for movie lovers” – a list of 750 of the best movies of all time across 30 genres.  He says, “I’ve always wanted to put together my own ‘definitive’ ranking because my love of movies was sparked by devouring countless ‘best’ lists by other publications, from the American Film Institute to Sight & Sound Magazine.  In an era where you can pull up any movie on Netflix or Amazon Prime, such lists are no longer a historical exercise, but rather a living, breathing guide to what you can rent on any given night.”  View the full list here.

Hubbard Acquires TiWi Digital’s TriggerEx Ad Delivery Technology. There is no mention of a sale price or any other compensation, but Hubbard Radio and subsidiary 2060 Digital are purchasing the TriggerEX ad delivery technology from TiWi Digital.  Hubbard is a client currently using TriggerEx.  The press release says, “With the acquisition of the TriggerEX ad technology, Hubbard Radio and 2060 Digital will expand their digital solutions platform by offering advertising partners this unique and productive digital advertisement delivery solution.”  Hubbard Interactive Twin Cities director of digital sales Bernie Laur comments, “We have been using the TriggerEX tech for four or five years and not only does it deliver consistently more productive ad campaigns, but it also provides a nimble and timely ad message that our clients have come to expect.  And to prove it, our clients come back year after year.”

Salem and Loyal Ears Digital Collaborate for Hugh Hewitt’s ‘Midterm Fantasy’ Contest. Fantasy sports and entertainment provider Loyal Ears Digital is providing its “Midterm Madness” fantasy platform to Salem Radio Network’s Hugh Hewitt to run his “Midterm Fantasy” contest.  Listeners will handicap 25 key congressional, senatorial and gubernatorial races fantasy-style, all chosen by Hugh Hewitt, including research pages to aid the user who will be trying to win a coveted “winners” guest spot on Hewitt’s show right after the election.  Hewitt says, “Everybody’s an expert in a bar or when watching their favorite cable news show.  Everybody thinks they know who is going to win which race.  Well, we are going to find out who really knows the score…the political score.”  Salem Media Group SVP spoken word radio Phil Boyce – who commissioned the fantasy approach to the midterms – says, “We know there is intense interest amongst our listeners in the midterm elections.  No radio show is more on top of this than Hugh Hewitt.  This is a fun and engaging way for Hugh’s listeners to take a stake in following these races, all the way to election night.”

Walter Sterling Launches ‘Sterling Express’ – a Novel New Form of ‘On Demand’ Programming.  Ever since radio consultant Walter Sabo assumed the air name “Walter M. Sterling” several years ago and launched a Sunday night show on WPHT, Philadelphia, he has begun to take on the yappy characteristics of a radio talk show host who continues to incessantly comment on things even after the mic has been turned off.  Sterling, whose weekly show “Sterling on Sunday” is now heard on almost 60 stations, tells TALKERS, “My wife Katie asks me to please not do my show in the house.  Do it on the air.”  In a recent phone conversation with his old friend Michael Harrison, the TALKERS publisher agreed with Katie, telling Sterling, “Geez, Walter, do I have to hear a commentary about life every time we talk on the phone?  You’re starting to sound like a talk show host.”  “The problem,” explained Sterling, “is that I’m only on once a week, yet every day dozens of emails and notes come in wondering why I’m not on daily.”  Harrison replied, “Well, when I talk to you on the phone now, it’s like hearing an abbreviated, fast-food version of your radio show… sort of like those restaurant and hotel ‘outposts’ called ‘express’ versions of their larger incarnations.  I’m going to begin referring to my phone conversations with you as ‘Sterling Express.’  You should make yourself available to your P1 listeners this way during the week.  Call ‘em on the phone and bend their ears for a few minutes.”  Sterling replied, “That’s a great idea!”  This past Sunday night “Sterling on Sunday” listeners got to sign up for the Sterling Express.  Sterling told the first 10 callers he would call them during the week and perform a Sterling Express, one-on-one show.   Sterling will call 10 listeners per week and share his “deep thoughts” with them during the course of a few minutes — Express!  Sterling says, “Katie and the kids will be a lot happier that I’m not doing the show in the house and listeners get their wish of hearing me all week.”  He plans to turn recordings of Sterling Express into a weekly podcast to serve as a companion piece to his “Midnight Misfits” podcast.  “Sterling on Sunday” is distributed by Westwood One.  The website is  www.waltermsterling.com.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Manafort Trial, Trump Tampa Rally/Mid-Term Elections, New China Tariffs, Portland ICE Protests, Russian Election Interference, Apple Nears $1 Trillion Value, California Wildfire, European Heatwave, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/31).  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents; the trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort; President 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; the protests against Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials in Portland and criticism of Mayor Ted Wheeler’s treatment of ICE officers; Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and intelligence indicating it intends to meddle again this fall; Apple’s quarterly report indicating its value is close to $1 trillion; the raging Northern California wildfire; the heatwave setting record temps in Western Europe; 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. Radio syndicator Westwood One is assuming the syndication of the two mix shows featuring The Baka Boyz.  The company says the two shows – “All Star Hit Mix” and “Hip Hop Master Mix” – feature researched and tested hit records and air on more than 60 stations nationwide.  Baka Boyz agent Gary Bernstein says, “The Baka’s have been PPM friendly well before PPM was even the measurement of choice.  They deliver quality, reliability, and an unmatched track record of success across all the contemporary music formats. We are excited to be with the Westwood One family and are looking forward to expanding our relationship in the future if the marketplace calls for a daily program.”

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.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

| June 13, 2018

Hannity Gets First Post-North Korea Meeting Sit-Down with Trump. On his Premiere Networks nationally syndicated radio program yesterday afternoon, Sean Hannity aired excerpts from his sit-down interview with President Trump after the president’s historic meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.  The full interview was aired on Hannity’s FOX News Channel program later in the evening.  Pictured above is a still shot from the interview.  Hannity traveled to Singapore to cover the meeting and is hosting his programs from Singapore this week.

Rob Sanchez Appointed Regional VP of News, Talk and Sports for iHeartMedia Boston.  Spoken-word radio pro Rob Sanchez joins the iHeartMedia Boston as vice president of news, talk and sports programming, effective July 1.  In this position, Sanchez will be responsible for overseeing all programming for all-news WBZ-AM “NewsRadio 1030,” and news/talk outlets WRKO “The Voice of Boston” and WXKS-AM “Talk 1200 Boston’s Conservative Talk.”  He’ll report to iHM Boston VP of programming Dylan Sprague.  After beginning his radio career in Miami, Sanchez joined CBS RADIO’s WINS-AM, New York in 1996 as a news production assistant, writer and producer.  He moved over to the company’s WCBS-AM “NewsRadio 880” in 2000.  For several years, he served as a director of news and programming for news, talk, and sports, as well as Spanish CHR stations, in Washington. Sanchez comments, “I can’t wait to join the extraordinary team of journalists and talk show hosts at iHeartMedia Boston.  The more I learned about iHeartMedia’s bold vision for their iconic Boston brands, the more it became clear that this is where I needed to be.”  In conjunction with Sanchez’s appointment, iHeartMedia Boston names Bill Flaherty director of operations for news, talk and sports and will work closely with WBZ “NewsRadio 1030” and other Boston Region brands.

Entercom Asks Court to Dismiss Former KFTK-FM, St. Louis Hosts Jamie Allman’s Breach of Contract Suit. Regular TALKERS readers remember that morning talk show host Jamie Allman was let go from (at the time in question) Emmis-owned and Entercom-operated news/talk KFTK-FM, St. Louis in the aftermath of his Tweet expressing the desire to “ram a hot poker up (Parkland, Fla. student) David Hogg’s ass.”  Allman is suing both companies – Entercom has since closed on the station and owns it – for breach of contract related to his firing.  Not surprisingly, Entercom just filed a Motion to Dismiss, arguing that Allman’s contract clearly gave the company the right to terminate him, saying it “unambiguously permitted his termination for indecent or immoral conduct, or any other conduct that brought the station into ‘public disrepute, scandal, contempt, or ridicule,’ or which ‘disparage[d] or reflect[ed] adversely upon Station or any of its advertisers.’ The substance of the tweet is not in dispute, nor are the consequences.  The primary question presented is one of contract interpretation, which is particularly well-suited for an early dispositive motion.”  Since his firing, Allman has been streaming a daily morning talk program on his own website.

Tillotson Named OM/PD at Cumulus Pensacola. Radio programming pro Greg Tillotson joins Cumulus Media’s Pensacola station group to serve as operations manager for the five stations and as program director for news/talk WCOA-AM, adult contemporary WMEZ-FM, and classic hits WJTQ.  Tillotson was most recently station manager/OM/PD at Mapleton Communications’ Spokane cluster.  Cumulus Media Pensacola VP and market manager Jackie Rinker says, “We are thrilled to have Greg Tillotson joining the programming team of Cumulus Radio Group Pensacola as our operations manager/program director. Greg’s track record of success and his drive and expertise will perfectly serve the needs of our market.”

Jack Lessenberry Joins WFDF, Detroit. Motor City journalism pro Jack Lessenberry is hosting a two-hour talk show on Kevin Adell’s WFDF “910AM Superstation,” beginning July 9.  Lessenberry recently resigned from his positions with Michigan Public Radio and the Metro Times in May after more than a dozen women publicly alleged that Lessenberry engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior.  He also serves as head of the journalism department at Wayne State University and the school says it is conducting an investigation into allegations of inappropriate behavior during his time there.  Adell tells the Detroit Free Press that the allegations against Lessenberry “were from some time ago.  Also, in our city, our state, our country, we give people the benefit of the doubt.”  Regarding his hiring, Adell adds, “I’m excited to have Jack, the father of journalism, who taught many of my staff here at my media companies, join the ‘910AM Superstation’ family.  Jack will bring a wealth of in-depth knowledge and expertise to the station.”  Lessenberry says, “For my part, I am excited to be part of the exciting future that Kevin and his team are building at 910.  We’re going to be doing some things you might never expect, shake people up and make them think, and the goal is never to be boring.”

TALKERS News Notes. Milwaukee sports talker WAUK-AM “540 ESPN” re-ups its deal with Learfield’s Marquette Sports Properties to continue to serve as the flagship for Marquette University men’s basketball.  The Good Karma-owned station has aired Golden Eagles play-by-play since 2006…..Hubbard Radio’s WFED-AM and FederalNewsRadio.com are expanding their “Ask the CIO” franchise. Hubbard calls it “the longest running federal IT program in the industry,” and reveals the new website, AskTheCIO.com, features audio of the program as well as an expanded look at federal IT and CIO news, podcasts, plus a new feature – “Ask the CIO Insider” – which allows users to register to receive federal IT-specific news and events.

Trump-Kim Jong Un Meeting, G-7 Summit/Trump-Trudeau Spat, Tuesday Primaries, Trump-Russia Investigation, DeNiro Tony Awards Speech, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/12). The aftermath of President Trump’s summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un; last weekend’s G-7 Summit and Trump’s social media feud with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau; Tuesday’s primary elections in Maine, Nevada, North Dakota, South Carolina and Virginia; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; Robert DeNiro’s anti-Trump speech at Sunday’s Tony Awards; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Janda Lane is joining Hubbard Radio’s Windy City classic rock WDRV “97.1 FM The Drive” to work alongside afternoon personality Steve Seaver, beginning July 9.  Lane will also have other duties in the programming department.  She was most recently with Fender Musical Instruments Company serving as content director…..Delmarva’s country WXCY, Havre de Grace “New Country 103.7” ups Jeff Hunt, tasking him with music director duties.  Hunt will continue hosting the evening program he’s been doing for the past year.  Station OM/PD Brad Austin says, “With the ever-increasing demand on my time, it makes great sense to bring someone into the decision-making process who is passionate and experienced.  Jeff has worked with many in the Nashville music community and is a great advocate for new and established artists.”…..In Miami, Entercom’s alternative WSFS “104.3 The Shark” officially adds Spanish to “The Big Mistake with Ashley O and Spanish” morning program.  The change comes after Toast exited his on-air roles with the station earlier this year.

Round Two of May PPM Data Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s May 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Detroit, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Tampa, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s May 2018 survey period covered April 26 – May 23. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all of these PPM markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

Washington, DC

Spoken-Word Formats – Having posted a 2.4 (6+) in January, February, and March, Entercom sports talk WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” is now +1.0 in April and May (2.4 – 3.1 – 3.4, 6+), as the Washington Nationals flagship repeats at #13. Before notching a +.6 in January, “The Fan” was without an increase in four straight survey periods for a roughly 50% decline of its 6+ AQH share (3.5 – 3.5 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.8, -1.7, 6+). Setting the pace in the Nation’s Capital for the fifth time in a row, Hubbard all-news WTOP rebounds from April’s -.8 with a +.1 (10.4 – 9.6 – 9.7, 6+). Following four consecutive months at #1, WTOP shifted to second-place in “Holiday” 2017. With a +1.3 in January (9.3 – 10.6, 6+), however, it reclaimed the top spot with its best 6+-stat since March 2011’s 10.6. Moreover, that +1.3 halted three successive declines that produced an overall -.5 (9.8 – 9.6 – 9.4 – 9.3, 6+). Prior to November, WTOP was +1.6 in three straight upticks (8.2 – 8.9 – 9.4 – 9.8, 6+). Although down two-tenths (8.5 – 8.3, 6+), American University-owned news/talk WAMU is anchored in the runner-up slot for the fifth successive sweep; “The Mind Is Our Medium” was -1.1 in March. A collective -2.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (9.6 – 8.9 – 7.6, 6+), WAMU gained back 85% of that loss in January with a +1.7. It exited the top spot in September, after spending eight straight months there. February 2017’s 11.5 matches the highest 6+-share in its PPM-history first reached in December 2016. Having reached the five-share level (6+) for the first time in the PPM-era (5.0, March 2018), Cumulus Media news/talk WMAL is now a combined -1.1 in April and May (5.0 – 4.5 – 3.9, sixth to ninth, 6+). WMAL was without an increase in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017 for an overall -1.0 (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.0 – 3.7, 6+) before dialing up a +1.1 in January. Since surfacing in May 2017, Entercom business news WDCH is trending .3 – .4 – .3 – .4 – .5 – .4 – .4 – .3 – .4 – .3 – .5 – .4 – .5 – .4 (#21 to #23, 6+).

Washington, DC Music Formats – At this time last month, Radio One-owned urban AC WMMJ “Majic” pulled ahead of Howard University’s similarly-formatted WHUR for the first time since November 2015, which was when the two rivals were tied at 4.7 (6+). In each sweep since then, WHUR had been on top. In April 2018, however, “Majic” picked up two-tenths to 5.8 (fourth to third, 6+), while WHUR faltered by four-tenths to 5.7 (third to fourth, 6+). The momentum continues for WMMJ in May as it surges by eight-tenths (5.8 – 6.6, steady at #3, 6+), while WHUR is flat at 5.7 (unchanged at #4). “Majic” was locked on 5.6 (6+) in January, February, and March. As the result of four straight reports without a gain (7.1 – 6.2 – 6.1 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+), WHUR is -1.4. Not only is Cumulus Media hot AC WRQX an overall +1.7 in six consecutive up or flat trends (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.4, 6+), “Mix 107.3” cracks the top ten (#11 to #7). Meanwhile, its format rival – Entercom’s WIAD “94.7 Fresh FM” – is trending 3.0 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.3 (6+) and continues at #14. Down or flat the past four sweeps for an overall loss of more than half (-5.4) of its 6+-share (9.7 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH “97.1 – Washington’s Variety of the 80s, 90s, and Today” notches a one-half share increase to 4.8 (seventh to fifth, 6+). Following four successive positive spikes that netted a +1.3 (2.9 – 3.0 – 3.2 – 4.0 – 4.2, 6+), Columbia Union College Broadcasting’s WGTS “91.9 – Christian Music Radio for Washington” is off three-tenths to 3.9 (eighth to ninth, 6+); April’s 4.2 is its highest 6+-share since July 2017’s 4.8. Having registered a 3.8 (6+) in each of the last four ratings periods, Radio One urban contemporary WKYS drops one-tenth to 3.7 (#11 to #12, 6+). In the nine survey periods that it has appeared in print prior to May 2018 (September 2017 – April 2018), Signal Above Spanish contemporary WDCN-LP has posted either a .4 or .6 (.4 – .4 – .6 – .6 – .4 – .4 – .6 – .6 – .6, 6+); however, in May, “La Nueva 87.7” is off one-tenth to .5 (#20 to #21, 6+). Four (modest) gains in succession by iHeartMedia alternative WWDC produced a +.5 (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+) but “DC-101” falters by three-tenths to 2.6 (#16 to #17, 6+). New to the top twenty (at #20) is Hubbard regional Mexican WBQH “La Mera Mera 1050,” whose only trending thus far is .3 – .3 – .3 – .6 (+.3, 6+).

Boston

Spoken-Word Formats – At the same time that Boston University-owned WBUR improves by six-tenths (5.6 – 6.2, fourth to third, 6+), WGBH Educational Foundation’s WGBH falters by that same margin (4.7 – 4.1, seventh to eighth, 6+). WBUR was a collective -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017; +.7 in January; and +1.0 in March. WGBH had been off by two-tenths in both February and March and (as was the case with WBUR) improved by seven-tenths in January. Finishing back-to-back at #5 and #6, respectively, are Beasley Media Group-owned sports talk WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” (5.5 – 5.7, +.2, #3 in April, 6+), which was -1.5 in February, and iHeartMedia-owned news-talk hybrid WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” (5.5 – 5.3, -.2, 6+). After three straight improvements for a cumulative +1.5 (4.9 – 5.2 – 5.4 – 6.4, 6+), WBZ-AM was -.9 in April; 6.4 in March was its best 6+-stat since January 2017’s 6.6. News/talk sibling WRKO “AM 680 – The Voice of Boston” is trending 2.9 – 2.6 – 3.0 – 2.7 – 2.4 (#13 to #14, 6+). Faltering by four-tenths (4.4 – 4.0, 6+), Entercom-owned sports talk WEEI-FM slips from seventh to ninth. The Boston Red Sox flagship was +1.0 in April, as it bounced back from a cumulative -2.0 in February and March (5.4 – 4.1 – 3.4, 6+). WEEI-FM was +1.4 in January, halting three decreases in a row that produced an overall -1.9 (5.9 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 4.0, 6+). This is the eighth straight time that co-owned/similarly-formatted WEEI-AM is without an increase (.2 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1, 6+).

Boston Music Formats – Owing to a one-half share gain (4.7 – 5.2, steady at #7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WZLX notes its best 6+-showing since 5.3 in September 2017. With a +1.2 in January, “100.7 Boston’s Classic Rock” ended six downward moves in succession accounting for a collective -2.2 (5.6 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 3.4, 6+). Dusting itself off from April’s one-half share decline with a May gain of two-tenths (7.6 – 7.1 – 7.3, 6+), CHR sibling WXKS-FM “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” is on top for the fifth straight sweep. “Kiss” rebounded from a -.8 in “Holiday” 2017 with a +.9 in January (6.4 – 7.3, 6+). It exited the top spot in December, after three straight months there. In five consecutive increases prior to the August 2017 sweep, WXKS-FM was a cumulative +1.9 (5.6 – 5.7 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.9 – 7.5, 6+). The “Holiday” 2017 – May 2018 topline trending for its format challenger – Entercom’s WODS “103.3 Amp Radio” – is 2.6 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.1, #15 to #17, 6+). One full-share behind “Kiss” and repeating at #2 is Entercom adult contemporary WMJX “Magic 106.7 Todays Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites,” which is up nine-tenths in four successive upticks (5.4 – 5.6 – 6.0 – 6.2 – 6.3, 6+). By gaining two-tenths to 6.2 (flat at #3, 6+), Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies WROR “105.7 Boston’s Greatest Hits” pulls the plug on three straight negative moves that resulted in an overall loss of seven-tenths (6.7 – 6.5 – 6.1 – 6.0, 6+). For the third sweep in a row, iHeartMedia’s WBWL “101.7 The Bull – Boston’s #1 for New Hit Country” records a move of one-tenth (2.3 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.2, #18 to #16, 6+). An overall +1.1 via four consecutive up or flat trends that nearly doubled its 6+-share since “Holiday” 2017 (1.2 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 2.3, 6+), co-owned WAAF “107.3 The Only Station That Really Rocks” surrenders roughly half that increase (1.8, -.5, #16 to #20, 6+). April’s 2.3 marked the first time WAAF reached the two-share level (6+) since May 2017’s 2.0.

Miami

English-Language, Spoken-Word Formats – Seven straight positive or flat trends by iHeartMedia news/talk WIOD netted an overall nine-tenths (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+), but “News Radio 620 – Miami’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” surrenders approximately half that increase in May (1.9, -.5, 6+) and departs the top twenty (#18 to #21). It trails Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN by two-tenths (2.3 – 2.1, -.2, flat at #20, 6+). Prior to a +.5 in January, WLRN was a collective -.7 in three consecutive sweeps without an increase (2.6 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 1.9, 6+). Notching its fifth consecutive .9 (6+), Entercom’s WAXY “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket” is anchored at #25, where it is tied with co-owned WQAM “Sports Radio 560” (.9, +.2, #26 to #25, 6+). WQAM had been without an increase the past five sweeps for a total loss of eight-tenths (1.5 – 1.2 – .8 – .8 – .8 – .7, 6+).

Miami Music Formats – Powered by a full-share increase (2.3 – 3.3, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMIA “93.9 MIA – Variety from the 80s, 90s, and Today” catapults from #20 to #12 with its best 6+-showing (3.3) since September 2015’s 3.5. There is no May 2018 movement in this market’s always-tight CHR battle, with one-tenth again separating the two participants. Specifically, WMIA sibling WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” stays at 3.2 (#12 to #13, 6+), while Cox Media Group’s WFLC “Hits 97.3” (#13 to #14) is without an increase for the ninth sweep in a row for a collective -1.4 (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+). “Y-100” was stuck on 4.0 (6+) in January and February and eroded by eight-tenths in March. Prior to a loss of four-tenths in September, “Y-100” was a collective +.6 in three consecutive up or flat monthlies (3.7 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 4.3, 6+). These two CHRs were tied for eighth-place in July 2017 and December 2017, and separated by one-tenth in August. Adding three-tenths to April’s +.4, Cox Media Group urban AC WHQT “Hot 105” advances from second to first (6.8 – 7.2 – 7.5, 6+). Its February +1.1 curtailed four decreases in a row that accounted for a -1.6 (7.8 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.5 – 6.2, 6+). “Hot” spent seven consecutive months at #1 before being ousted in December. Displaced from the top spot and segueing to second is co-owned adult contemporary WFEZ “Easy 93.1,” which is flat at 7.3 (6+). By adding an April +.6 to March’s +.3 (6.4 – 6.7 – 7.3, 6+), “Easy” (ironically) replaced “Hot” at #1. Prior to April, “Easy” had been within 6.2 – 6.8 range (6+) in each of the previous 12 sweeps. It is nine-tenths ahead of fellow AC – Entercom’s WLYF “101.5 Lite FM” (6.7 – 6.4, -.3, unchanged at #3). Continuing an up/down pattern that began in “Holiday” 2017 (5.1 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 5.9 – 5.0 – 5.1, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary WAMR “Amor 107.5” is flat at #5. An overall +1.3 in four straight sweeps without a loss (3.5 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WXDJ “106.7 El Zol” forfeits all but two-tenths of that increase (3.7, -1.1, sixth to ninth, 6+). Prior to March, the last time “El Zol” reached the four-share level (6+) was February 2017 (4.1).

Detroit

Spoken-Word Formats – A one-tenth uptick (5.7 – 5.8, 6+) is enough to elevate Entercom’s WWJ “News Radio 950” from fourth to third. Following four up or flat trends in succession for a collective +1.0, WWJ was -.8 in April. “News Radio 950” was within 5.2 – 5.9 territory (6+) between June 2017 and “Holiday” 2017. Unchanged at #5, sports talk cluster-mate WXYT-FM drops one-tenth (5.4 – 5.3, 6+). A combined -.6 in February and March, “97.1 The Ticket” was up nine-tenths in April. Prior to January’s +1.0, the Detroit Tigers flagship was a collective -2.2 as a result of four losses in a row. Albeit off one-tenth (4.3 – 4.2, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WJR “News Talk 760” remains at #10. Prior to the January sweep, WJR was -.9 in three straight declines (4.4 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.5, 6+). After three successive times of notching a 1.9 (6+), Michigan Public Media news/talk WUOM has posted a 1.8 (unchanged at #19, 6+) for the third straight month. Down two-tenths (.9 – .7, 6+), Wayne State University news/talk WDET remains at #22.

Detroit Music Formats – In addition to recording its third straight uptick for a combined +1.1 (4.4 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 5.5, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WRIF “Everything That Rocks” zooms from ninth to fourth with its strongest 6+-stat (5.5) since January 2017’s 5.9. Co-owned urban-rhythmic oldies WMGC “105.1 The Bounce” improves by eight-tenths as well (3.0 – 3.8, April – May, #14 to #12, 6+). “Bounce” was stuck on 3.5 (6+) in four sweeps in succession before regressing by one-half share in April. Within 2.3 – 2.8 range since October 2017 (2.5 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.7, 6+) independent urban contemporary WGPR “Hot 107.5” registers a +.5 to 3.2 (#16 to #15, 6+). This (3.2) is the highest 6+-share for “Hot” since September 2017’s 3.5. After four straight months at #1, Entercom classic hits-oldies WOMC “Detroit’s Greatest Hits” falls to #2. In addition, a loss of eight-tenths (to 7.1, 6+) curtails four consecutive up or flat sweeps that netted an overall +1.8 (6.1 – 6.7 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.9, 6+). Succeeding “Detroit’s Greatest Hits” at #1 (up from the runner-up slot in April) is Beasley Media Group’s WCSX “94.7 – Detroit’s Classic Rock,” which is +2.5 in five straight progressive trends (5.4 – 5.9 – 6.3 – 6.7 – 7.6 – 7.9, 6+). The rollercoaster ride continues for iHeartMedia adult contemporary WNIC “100.3 The ‘80s ‘til Now,” which was -.5 (February); +.8 (March); -1.0 (April); and is now -.6 in May (6.6 – 6.1 – 6.9 – 5.9 – 5.3, third to fifth, 6+). Immediately prior to January’s -9.2, WNIC was +9.8 in five straight increases (6.0 – 6.4 – 6.9 – 7.7 – 11.8 – 15.8, 6+) and was the market leader from October 2017 through “Holiday” 2017. As a result of a one-half share decrease (5.4 – 4.9, 6+), Cumulus Media hot AC WDVD “96.3 Today’s Best Music and More” drifts from fifth to ninth.

Seattle

Spoken-Word Formats – The three upticks in a row by Bonneville sports talk KIRO-AM have been by +.7 (March), +.6 (April), and +.5 (May) for a combined +1.8 (2.3 – 2.9 – 3.6 – 4.1, 6+) as “ESPN 710” rockets into the top ten (#13 to #7). The last time the Seattle Mariners flagship reached the four-share level (6+) was October 2015 (4.3). The nine most recent (6+) trends for news/talk sibling KIRO-FM (fifth to fourth) are 5.7 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.4 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 5.8. It is just a one-month stay at #1 for Northwest Public Radio news/talker KUOW, which takes over the runner-up slot (6.5 – 6.0, -.5, first to second, 6+). On top for four straight months before dropping to second in December, KUOW was +1.5 in January (6.4 – 7.9, 6+) as it returned to #1. When it lost six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, KUOW ended five consecutive up or flat trends that netted a +1.3 (5.7 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.5 – 7.0, 6+). Down or flat the past three sweeps for a combined -.6 (2.9 – 2.7 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+), Sinclair Broadcast Group’s all-news KOMO adds three-tenths to 2.6 and continues at #19. While flat at 2.0 (6+), Bonneville’s KTTH “Conservative Talk Radio” falls from #21 to #22. As a result of four losses in a row, KTTH was -.8 (2.6 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 1.8, October 2017 – January 2018, 6+). Meanwhile, Sinclair’s KVI “Talk Radio 570” drops the one-tenth it gained in April (1.1 – 1.0, flat at #24, 6+), while iHeartMedia-owned KJR-AM “Seattle’s Sports Radio 950” picks up two-tenths (.4 – .6, #31 to #27, 6+).

Seattle Music Formats – In five straight sweeps without a loss, Hubbard country KNUC “98.9 The Bull” (formerly KVRQ) has nearly tripled (+1.8) its 6+-stat (1.0 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 2.0 – 2.8, 6+) and has its best performance since October 2017 (2.8, as well). Registering an uptick for the sixth time in the last seven sweeps for an overall +2.5 (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.6 – 5.5 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.2, 6+), Entercom’s KISW “99.9 The Rock of Seattle” progresses from second to first. Consistently within 3.6 – 3.9 territory in each of the last nine sweeps (3.8 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.7, 6+), public KNKX falters by seven-tenths to 3.0 – its lowest 6+-share since January 2017’s 3.0. “Your Connection to Jazz and Blues” spirals from the top ten (#10 to #17, 6+). Down or flat for the fourth time in a row for a cumulative -1.0 (4.1 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.1, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KBKS “106.1 Kiss FM – Seattle’s New Hit Music” skids from #10 to #16. At the same time, Sinclair Broadcast Group’s similarly-programmed KPLZ “Star” picks up three-tenths (3.7 – 4.0, tenth to ninth, 6+). An overall +2.1 via five straight positive spikes, (3.6 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 5.2 – 5.7, 6+) iHeartMedia-owned KZOK “102.5 Seattle’s Classic Rock Station” falters by three-tenths to 5.4 (third to fifth, 6+); April’s 5.7 is its strongest 6+-stat since November 2015 (5.7, as well). Albeit steady at #7, Hubbard adult contemporary KRWM “Warm 106.9” is -7.1 (or roughly -60%) in five successive down or flat sweeps (11.8 – 5.5 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). Its 11.8 in “Holiday” 2017 was the station’s strongest 6+-stat since 13.4 in “Holiday” 2015. Owing to a +.4 in November, “Warm” – which was #1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 – halted three straight down or flat trends that generated a combined -1.2 (6.1 – 6.1 – 5.5 – 4.9, 6+). In early-December (2017), Entercom transitioned country KMPS to adult contemporary KSWD “The Sound” (calls and imagery formerly used in Los Angeles). Having posted a one-half share gain in March (3.6 – 4.1, 6+), “The Sound” surrenders a combined eight-tenths in April and May (4.1 – 3.5 – 3.3, flat at #14, 6+).

Phoenix

Spoken-Word Formats – Falling from #11 to #14, Maricopa County Community College news/talk KJZZ is a combined -1.2 in April and May (3.9 – 3.6 – 2.7, -.3, 6+). Flat at #11, Bonneville news/talk KTAR-FM drops two-tenths after April’s +.3 (3.3 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Up eight-tenths in January (3.2 – 4.0, 6+), KTAR-FM was a combined -.7 in February and March (4.0 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+). Sports talk sibling KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona Sports” is a collective +1.1 in three straight positive spikes (1.5 – 1.6 – 2.3 – 2.6, #18 to #16, 6+). Prior to this streak, the Arizona Diamondbacks flagship registered four consecutive down or flat trends in which it lost 50% of its 6+ AQH share (3.0 – 2.7 – 2.1 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+). KMVP-FM faltered by one-half share in August and was a combined +1.5 in September and October (1.5 – 2.4 – 3.0, 6+). It is one-tenth ahead of iHeartMedia’s KFYI “News Talk 550” (2.1 – 2.5, +.4, #19 to #17, 6+). When KFYI lost one-tenth in March, it ended at three its successive string of upticks that netted nine-tenths (1.5 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.4, 6+). Co-owned KGME “Fox Sports 910” is flat at .5 (#32 to #33, 6+).

Phoenix Music Formats – Not only does KESZ boast the second-largest (6+) April 2018 – May 2018 increase of any station in the 24 PPM-markets whose data has been highlighted thus far, the iHeartMedia adult contemporary property is #1 for the seventh time in a row (7.3 – 9.0, +1.7, 6+). A combined -9.8 in three straight declines (16.4 – 7.3 – 7.1 – 6.6, 6+), KESZ was up seven-tenths in April; 16.4 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-showing since 16.5 in “Holiday” 2016. KESZ was an overall +10.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017. Notching a sizeable month-month increase as well is KOOL “94.5 – The Valley’s Greatest Hits” (4.8, +1.0, ninth to fifth, 6+). The Entercom classic hits-oldies outlet was off eight-tenths in three straight down or flat trends (4.6 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 3.8, 6+). Two streaks continue for Hubbard’s KSLX: It is secure in the runner-up slot for the seventh consecutive sweep and “Classic Rock 100.7” is without a loss for the fifth time in succession for a +.7 (5.5 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.2, 6+). By duplicating its April +.5 (3.0 – 3.5 – 4.0, 6+), co-owned rhythmic CHR KALV “Live 101.5” enters the top ten (#13 to #9). In five straight improvements, iHeartMedia mainstream CHR KZZP “104.7 Kiss FM – The #1 Hit Music Station in Phoenix” has precisely doubled (+3.0) its 6+-share (3.0 – 4.0 – 4.8 – 4.9 – 5.4 – 6.0, 6+), climbing from fourth to third. As a result of an eight-tenths erosion (4.0 – 3.2, 6+), Farmworker Educational Radio regional Mexican KNAI “101.9 Campesina” exits the top ten (#8 to #12). Trending 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 3.2 (6+) since December 2017, Hubbard’s KDKB “Alt 93.3 – Arizona’s Alternative” regresses by one-half share to 2.7 (6+) but continues at #14.

Minneapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Albeit flat at #12, iHeartMedia’s KTLK “Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130” is an overall +1.4 in five successive sweeps without a loss (2.5 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+). Surrendering in its entirety the eight-tenths it gained in April (4.7 – 5.5 – 4.7, 6+), Entercom-owned WCCO “News Radio 830” slips from sixth to eighth. The Minnesota Twins flagship was frozen on 4.4 (6+) in December 2017 and “Holiday” 2017 and then on 5.0 (6+) in January 2018 and February. With an identical (to WCCO) 5.5 – 4.7 (-.8, sixth to eighth, 6+) April 2018 – May 2018 profile is iHeartMedia-owned sports talk KFXN; “Sports Radio 100.3 K-Fan” was -1.5 in February. The four most recent fluctuations for Minnesota Public Radio news/talk KNOW are -.7 (February); +.7 (March); -.5 (April) and +.7 in May (5.4 – 4.7, flat at #8, 6+). Until it reached 5.9 (6+) in January, KNOW’s September 2017 – “Holiday” 2017 topline 6+ trending was 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.2. Down four-tenths (3.1 – 2.7, 6+), Hubbard news/talk KTMY “My Talk 107.1” slips from #15 to #16. Its loss of three-tenths in March stopped four straight up or flat moves that generated a +1.2 (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 3.3, 6+). Trending 1.0 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 (6+), Hubbard’s KSTP-AM “ESPN 1500” moves from #22 to #21.

Minneapolis Music Formats – Off a combined four-tenths in three straight sweeps without an increase (6.4 – 6.3 – 6.0 – 6.0, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KDWB erupts with a +1.3 to 7.3 (6+) and continues in third-place. This (7.3) is the strongest 6+-showing for “The Twin Cities’ #1 Hit Music Station” since last July’s 7.5. Unchanged in the runner-up slot, co-owned KQQL “Kool 108 – Minnesota’s Greatest Hits” registers its third straight improvement for a combined +1.4 (6.3 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 7.7, 6+) and the station’s best 6+-stat since 14.2 in “Holiday” 2017. Jumping from eighth to fifth, cluster-mate KEEY “K-102 Minnesota’s Country Station” is +2.3 via five upticks in a row (3.4 – 4.5 – 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.4 – 5.7, 6+). January’s +1.1 halted six straight down or flat trends that accounted for a combined -2.9 (6.3 – 6.2 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 3.4, 6+). A collective +2.8 in four successive progressive moves (5.8 – 7.6 – 8.2 – 8.3 – 8.6, 6+), Hubbard hot AC KSTP-FM “KS-95” regresses by seven-tenths to 7.9 (6+), but is on top for the fifth sweep in a row. Following three straight up or flat trends that netted one-half share (6.6 – 6.6 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+), “KS-95” was a combined -1.3 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (7.1 – 6.5 – 5.8, 6+). This is the third down or flat move for University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian KTIS-FM “98.8 Twin Cities Christian Radio” for an overall loss of six-tenths (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.1, flat at #11, 6+).

San Diego

Spoken-Word Formats – Erasing April’s -.4 with a May +.6 (4.7 – 5.3, 6+) enables iHeartMedia news/talk KOGO “News Radio 600” to elevate from sixth to third. KOGO was -3.0 in three successive major declines (7.2 – 6.6 – 5.4 – 4.2, 6+); +.8 in January; -.7 in February; +.8 in March; and is now +.6 in May. When KOGO lost six-tenths in November, its successive string of up or flat monthlies that generated a collective +1.9 was snapped at four (5.3 – 5.5 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 7.2, 6+); October 2017’s 7.2 is KOGO’s highest 6+-share in its PPM-history. The ping-pong game plays on for San Diego State University-owned news/talk KPBS, which shifted from first to second in April and now returns to #1 (5.9 – 6.4, +.5, 6+). Its December increase of four-tenths applied the brakes to three straight monthlies without an increase that accounted for an overall -.6 (6.2 – 6.2 – 6.0 – 5.6, 6+). November’s +.5 (to 5.3, 6+) ended four straight decreases that yielded a cumulative -1.4 (6.2 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 5.2 – 4.8, 6+). KPBS was on top four times in 2017: February, August, September, and December. As the result of three straight negative moves (2.2 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.5, flat at #22, 6+), Tegna news/talk KFMB-AM is a combined -.7. Earlier, “AM 760” netted one half-share in three straight up or flat trends (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.2, 6+). Tied at #24 are Interamericana de Radio’s XPRS-AM “The Mighty 1090” (1.2 – 1.0, -.2, #23 in April, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned KLSD “Fox Sports 1360 San Diego’s Sports Station” (.8 – 1.0, +.2, #25 in April, 6+). After gaining four-tenths in April, the flagship of the San Diego Padres – Entercom’s KWFN “97.3 The Fan” – drops one-tenth (.8 – .7, #25 to #27, 6+).

San Diego Music Formats – Recapturing in full the six-tenths it squandered in April (5.2 – 4.6 – 5.2, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KMYI “Star 94.1” jumps from seventh to fourth. Despite regaining the one-tenth it lost in April (6.1 – 6.0 – 6.1, 6+), Entercom-owned KSON “103.7 San Diego’s #1 New Country” leaves the top spot after a one-month stay and segues to #2. Its -.1 in April ended three straight positive trends that netted a cumulative +2.5 (3.6 – 4.7 – 5.5 – 6.1, 6+). KSON was -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.6 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+). Significant ups/downs continue for classic hits-oldies sibling KXSN “Sunny 98.1 – San Diego’s Greatest Hits,” which registered a -1.6 in March, all but erasing its +1.9 through five straight gains (4.8 – 5.3 – 5.8 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 6.7, 6+). “Sunny” rebounded in April with a +.5, but is now -.7 in May (5.6 – 4.9, 6+), falling from third to sixth. Up one full-share via four consecutive positive or flat trends (2.1 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.1, 6+), Media Sports de Mexico classic hits-oldies XPRS-FM “105.7 Max FM” hands over 60% of that increase (2.5, -.6, #14 to #19, 6+). A loss of one-half share (3.1 – 2.6, 6+) takes iHeartMedia urban contemporary KSSX “JAM’N 95.7” from #14 to #16. After three upticks in a row that produced a +1.1 (3.8 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 4.9, 6+), Local Media San Diego-operated Comunicación XERSA XHRM “Magic 92.5” stumbles by four-tenths to 4.5 (fifth to seventh, 6+).

Denver

Spoken-Word Formats – A news/talk station again occupies the top spot in the “Mile High City,” but in May, it’s Colorado Public Radio’s KCFR (5.6 – 6.0, +.4, second to first, 6+); KCFR was #1 in January and March, as well. When it lost six-tenths in February, the station’s consecutive string of improvements that netted a cumulative +1.5 (4.5 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 6.0, 6+) ended at three. Departing the penthouse after a one-month visit is iHeartMedia news/talk KOA, which shifts from first to fifth (5.8 – 5.0, -.8, 6+). After January’s one-half share loss, the flagship of the Colorado Rockies picked up one-tenth in consecutive sweeps (4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4, 6+) and posted a +1.4 in April to zoom from ninth to first. Prior to April, “Colorado’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” last reached the five-share level (6+) in October (5.2). January’s 4.2 was its lowest 6+-share since 3.5 in March 2017. Regaining half the four-tenths it lost in April (3.3 – 3.5, +.2, 6+), Bonneville-owned KKFN inches up from #14 to #13. “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” was +1.0 in March – its +.4 in January curtailed three straight down or flat sweeps that accounted for a cumulative -1.3 (4.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 3.2, 6+). Without an increase for the fourth time in succession, iHeartMedia news/talk KHOW “Talk Radio 630” is off four-tenths in that stretch (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.0 -1.9, #19 to #20, 6+). Flat at #27, Community Radio for Northern California news/talk KUNC records a .7 (6+) for the third month in a row.

Denver Music Formats – Since appearing in print in February, iHeartMedia’s KBWL “106.7 The Bull – Colorado’s New Country” has racked up three straight increases for a collective gain of seven-tenths (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 3.0, #18 to #15). Holding a nearly two-to-one (6+) advantage though is Bonneville’s KYGO “98.5 – Denver’s #1 For New Country” (5.3 – 5.7, +.4, third to second, 6+). Following five successive sweeps without an increase for a cumulative loss of nine-tenths (2.6 – 2.4 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.7, 6+), Colorado Public Radio classical KVOD wipes up roughly half the deficit with a +.5 to 2.2 (#20 to #19, 6+). Owing to three straight up or flat trends (4.6   – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.6, 6+), KSE Radio Ventures classic hits-oldies KXKL “Kool 105 – Denver’s Greatest Hits” leaps from sixth to third. This (5.6) is its most potent 6+-stat since December 2016’s 5.7. While May 2018 represents the third time in succession without a loss for Bonneville adult contemporary KOSI for an overall +.7 (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.3 – 5.3, 6+), “101.1 Real-Music-Variety” moves from a three-way tie at #3 to #4. Carrying on at #12, Entercom rhythmic CHR KQKS “KS-107.5” loses two-tenths to 3.8 (6+), thus ending three straight time sweeps without a loss for a +1.3 (2.7 – 3.4 – 4.0 – 4.0, 6+); “KS-107.5” was -.5 in January. In the market’s hot AC contest, KQKS sibling KIMN “Mix 100 – Today’s Best Mix” is off three-tenths (4.3 – 4.0, 6+) but stays at #10, whereas Entercom’s KALC “Alice 105.9” is right behind continuing at #11 (4.1 – 3.9, -.2, 6+). A combined -1.4 in three straight decreases (4.3 – 3.9 – 3.3 – 2.9, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLDV “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” slips from #14 to #16.

Tampa

Spoken-Word Formats – For the fifth sweep in a row, iHeartMedia news/talk WFLA “970 Tampa Bay’s News Radio” has a (6+) fluctuation of at least four-tenths. In January and February it was a +.5 (2.7 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+); -.5 in March (3.7 – 3.2, 6+); +.8 in April (3.2 – 4.0, 6+); and now +.4 in May (4.0 – 4.4, ninth to tenth, 6+). Although backsliding from #17 to #18, co-owned WDAE “620 Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” (Tampa Bay Rays flagship) is up or flat in each of the last five survey periods for a +.8 (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+). Flat at 2.7 (6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” carries on at #16+. Its -.1 in April stopped three straight (modest) increases that netted one-half share (2.3 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), while a January gain of three-tenths applied the brakes to four straight down or flat trends for a collective -1.1 (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.3, 6+). As a result of six successive ratings periods without an increase, University of South Florida news/talk WUSF is a collective -1.6 (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.7, unchanged at #20, 6+).

Tampa Music Formats – For the fourth time in succession, iHeartMedia’s WFUS is without a loss for a net gain of eight-tenths (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 5.3, sixth to fifth, 6+). This (5.3) is the strongest 6+-stat for “US-103.5 Tampa Bay’s #1 for New Country” since 6.0 in December 2017. Meanwhile, as the result of three straight up or flat trends (3.9 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.6, ninth to seventh, 6+), co-owned WXTB is a combined +.7 as “98 Rock” has its best 6+-showing since October 2017’s 4.7. Setting the pace for the 69th successive ratings period, Cox Media Group adult contemporary WDUV “Lite Favorites” posts its third straight up or flat trend (8.4 – 8.9 -9.0 – 9.0, 6+) and is +.6 in that timeframe. “Lite Favorites” was -3.5 in January and February (11.9 – 8.8 – 8.4, 6+), following a +1.5 in “Holiday” 2017 (10.4 – 11.9, 6+). After three positive spikes in succession that yielded a +1.3 (2.4 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.7, 6+), Beasley Media Group Spanish contemporary WYUU “92.5 Maxima” forfeits approximately half that bounty (3.0 -.7, 6+) but stays at #15. Off one-half share (3.8 – 3.3, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC WMTX “Mix 100.7” slips from #13 to #14.

Baltimore

Spoken-Word Formats – It’s a seesaw lately for Entercom sports talk WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan,” which was +.6 (January); -.6 (February); +1.0 (April); and is now -.5 in May (5.0 – 4.5, fifth to seventh, 6+). When the Orioles flagship improved by two-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it brought to a close three straight downward moves producing an overall -1.8 (5.6 – 4.8 – 4.5 – 3.8, 6+). Tied at #12 are Hearst Television news/talker WBAL (flat at 2.8, #14 in April, 6+) and independent news/talk WCBM “680 Stimulating Talk – Breaking News” (3.1 – 2.8, -.3, #11 in April, 6+). Immediately prior to January 2018, WBAL’s (6+) topline included five successive sweeps without an increase for a collective -.4. Flat at #11, Your Public Radio news/talk WYPR “88.1 Your NPR News Station” has its third decrease in a row for a cumulative -1.1 (4.2 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 3.1, 6+). This is the third consecutive time that American University-owned news/talk WAMU records a 1.1 in Baltimore (#16 to #15, 6+). Radio One news/talk WOLB “1010 News Radio,” which was trending .3 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .2 (6+), vanished in February in March; resurfaced in April with a .2 (#22, 6+); and disappears again in May.

Baltimore Music Formats – Major ups/downs are nothing new for iHeartMedia-owned WPOC “93.1 – Baltimore’s #1 for New Country,” which was a combined -2.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (7.2 – 6.2 – 4.6, 6+); +2.5 in January; -.9 in February, -1.5 in April; and now +.6 in May (4.9 – 5.5, sixth to fifth, 6+). On the other hand, WPOC was consistently within 7.2 – 7.7 range (7.7 – 7.7 – 7.4 – 7.4 – 7.2 – 7.4 – 7.2, 6+) from May 2017 through November. Without a loss for the fifth consecutive ratings period for a collective +1.5 (3.4 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.9, 6+), Hearst Television’s WIYY “98 Rock” climbs from seventh to sixth. In three successive decreases (11.6 – 11.5 – 10.3 – 9.4, 6+), Radio One urban AC WWIN is an overall -2.2; nonetheless, “Magic 95.9” is #1 for the fifth month in a row. It occupied the top spot for four sweeps in succession before segueing to #2 in December. After going eight straight sweeps without a loss for an overall +3.8 (7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 8.7 – 9.2 – 10.4 – 10.6 – 11.6, 6+), “Magic” lost one-tenth in March. Entering the November 2017 ratings period, WWIN-FM was down or flat in each of the previous four monthlies for a collective -.6 (8.4 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+). In a bit of an odd topline, iHeartMedia CHR WZFT “Z-104.3 Baltimore’s #1 Hit Music Station” hasn’t had an increase the past four sweeps yet is down just one-tenth (4.3 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.2, eighth to tenth, 6+).

St. Louis

Spoken-Word Formats – A gain of two-tenths (8.1 – 8.3, 6+) propels Entercom news/talk KMOX “News Radio 1120 The Voice of St. Louis” from second to first. The St. Louis Cardinals flagship was a whopping +2.3 in April. This (8.3) is the most potent 6+-stat for KMOX since September 2017’s 8.4. Following a January +1.0, KMOX was a combined -.6 in February and March. As a result of four decreases in succession (8.4 – 8.0 – 6.0 – 5.5 – 5.4, 6+), “The Voice of St. Louis” was a cumulative -3.0 and had its lowest 6+-share since January’s 5.0. An October loss of four-tenths ended at three its consecutive winning streak which generated a collective +1.1 since June (7.3 – 7.5 – 7.7 – 8.4, 6+). Bunched together in the May 2018 report are University of Missouri news/talk KWMU (3.3 – 2.9, -.4, flat at #14, 6+); Entercom-owned KFTK “FM News Talk 97.1” (2.5 – 2.8, +.3, #16 to #15, 6+); and Hubbard sports talk WXOS “101 Sports” (2.9 – 2.8, -.1, steady at #15, 6+). By registering a half-share increase in January, KWMU halted three successive downward moves that accounted for a -.9 (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+). Off by an overall half-share in February and March (3.7 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+), it added one-tenth in April. Owing to May’s +.3, KFTK ends three straight negative moves that accounted for a loss of eight-tenths (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.6 – 2.5, 6+). Prior to January’s +.7, KFTK was a cumulative -1.4 in three consecutive decreases (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 2.6, 6+). A combined -.7 from November through “Holiday” 2017 (3.9 – 3.4 – 3.2, 6+), “101 Sports” posted a +.8 in January; -.6 in February; +.1 in March; and -.6 in April.

St. Louis Music Formats – Without a loss for the sixth sweep in succession for a +1.9 (5.3 – 5.4 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 6.8 – 7.2, 6+), Hubbard’s WIL “92.3 – Nobody Plays More New Country” repeats in third-place. By logging a one-half share increase to 6.2 (sixth to fourth, 6+), rock cluster-mate KSHE pulls the plug on three consecutive downward trends that accounted for a -1.2 (6.9      – 6.7 – 5.9 – 5.7, 6+). Improving by one-half share as well is Radio One urban contemporary WHHL “Hot 104.1” (3.4 – 3.9, #13 to #12, 6+), which has its best 6+-showing since 4.3 in “Holiday” 2017. After being #1 the past four months, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLOU “103.3 St. Louis’ Greatest Hits” sputters by one-half share (8.4 – 7.9, 6+) and shifts to the runner-up slot. A combined -2.0 in January and February (9.5 – 7.9 – 7.5, 6+), KLOU made up 45% of that loss in March and April (7.5 – 8.3 – 8.4, 6+). It rebounded from December’s -.8 with a +2.2 in “Holiday” 2017. Prior to November, when it gained nine-tenths, “103.3 St. Louis’ Greatest Hits” was down or flat the previous three monthlies for a -1.3 (8.5 – 8.5 – 7.7 – 7.2, 6+). Directly on the heels of April’s +1.3, Hubbard adult hits WARH “106.5 The Arch” coughs up nine-tenths (6.7 – 5.8, 6+), falling from fourth to sixth. Prior to April, “The Arch” was within 5.2 – 5.6 range (6+) in each of the previous four survey periods. April’s 6.7 is its best 6+-stat since December 2017 (6.7, as well).

Monday, June 11, 2018

| June 11, 2018

Premiere Networks’ Sean Hannity to Broadcast Show from Singapore.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Sean Hannity is in Singapore all this week covering President Trump’s Tuesday summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and his Premiere Networks program will emanate from Singapore all week. Hannity, whom Premiere Networks notes was named one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2018, will also host his prime-time FOX News Channel programfrom Singapore tonight through Wednesday.  In addition to his programs, Hannity will be Tweeting real-time updates during the week-long broadcast special, including breaking news and guest appearances.

iHeartMedia Powers Up Progressive Talk on KKSF, San Francisco. Tomorrow (6/12), Spanish-language sports will disappear from the air on KKSF, San Francisco and iHeartMedia will debut new progressive talk outlet “Real Talk 910” that the company says will feature “forward-thinking political talk and opinions that embrace the values of social, economic, and environmental justice, along with human rights, democracy, and multiculturalism.”  The prime-time lineup includes WYD Media’s Stephanie Miller in AM drive, WYD’s Thom Hartmann in late mornings, Cox Media’s consumer advocate Clark Howard in early afternoon, followed by Norman Goldman in afternoon drive.  iHeartMedia says the station will present podcast-formatted content, beginning with the iHeartRadio “Daily Dive” news podcast that will air weekdays at 5:40 am, “giving listeners a deeper insight to the news of the prior 24 hours.”  Additional podcast originated content will be added to weekend programming in the weeks to come.  iHeartMedia San Francisco SVP of programming Don Parker says, “Hosts like Stephanie Miller, Thom Hartmann, and Norman Goldman have a history in the market from a time that was nowhere near as politically charged as today’s environment.  Given their alignment with the liberal-leaning make-up of the Bay Area, we believe they will resonate well with listeners.  In addition, our forward-thinking programming approach will take advantage of being based in the tech capital of the world with an ever-increasing amount of podcast content featured as part of our weekly broadcast schedule.”  The company names Cory Callewaert program director of the station.

WLS-AM, Chicago Adds ‘DriveChicago’ Program to Saturday Schedule. A new weekend program dedicated to the automobile has launched on Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM, Chicago titled, “DriveChicago.”  The program is a partnership between the station and the Chicago Automobile Association (CATA) to create Chicago’s newest radio show all about the city’s storied car culture.   It debuted this past Saturday from 8:00 am to 9:00 am. WLS says the show – hosted by station news anchor Jennifer Keiper – is designed to “deliver a lively and frank discussion of everything automotive.” Joining Keiper on the program are long-time automotive expert Mark Bilek and car enthusiast Jim OBrill.  WLS-AM OM and program director Pete Bolger says, “Cars are top of mind to our upscale audience.  Combining the connections of CATA and our award-winning automotive industry expert, WLS-AM news anchor Jennifer Keiper, ‘DriveChicago’ will be an informative but fun show; one that creates strong on-air and digital content, relevant to our listeners and advertisers.”

iHeartMedia Launches New Asheville Sports Talker. The trimulcast is called “ESPN Asheville 92.9 FM/880 AM/1400 AM, First for Sports in Western North Carolina” and is based at WPEK-AM. It’s also heard on translator W225CJ at 92.9 FM and WMXF-AM at 1400. iHeartMedia Asheville SVP of programming Brian Hall says, “I’m really excited we’re bringing the ESPN format back to sports talk listeners here in Western North Carolina.  The ESPN brand aligns perfectly with our platform of top-rated iHeartMedia radio stations here in Asheville.”  Programming will include “Golic and Wingo” in mornings.  The regionally syndicated David Glenn show airs from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm and the SEC-centric Paul Finebaum show airs from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  The station is also airing University of North Carolina football and basketball play-by-play.

Kellar Radio Talent Institute Opens Today at Appalachian State University. Today in Boone, North Carolina, the Kellar Radio Talent Institute at Appalachian State University starts as the Beasley Radio Talent Institute continues at Emerson College in Boston and the TAB Radio Talent Institute poises to start next week at the University of Tennessee.  The mission of the National Radio Talent System is to “discover and coach the talent who can be hired today and be the next generation of leaders in broadcasting.”  This program has the broadcast profession, the universities, and the National Radio Talent System working together in a collaborative effort to accomplish this unified mission. More than 40 veteran broadcasters from Beasley Media Group, EntercomCurtis Media, iHeartMedia, Capitol Broadcasting, and others will be leading sessions.  Twenty-five students from four universities have been accepted into the Institute.  There are no breakout sessions – every student will be in every session, including the RAB Radio Marketing Professional Certification course.  NRTS founder Dan Vallie says, “It’s invigorating to all of us to see so many students with a desire for a career in radio.  The talent is there, and they are as excited as you and I were when we got into the industry.  The collaborative effort from the industry shows the commitment to young talent and the future of the industry.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Pictured at right are Westwood One EVP news/talk Bart Tessler (right) and VP of news/talk Kevin DeLany after receiving the Sigma Delta Chi award from the Society of Professional Journalists for Westwood One News’ coverage of last year’s mass shooting in Las Vegas.  The award was bestowed at the National Press Club in Washington, DC on June 8…..Former WILK-AM, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton talk show host Sue Henry is throwing her hat in the ring, challenging fellow Republican Eddie Day Pashinski for his Pennsylvania State Representative seat in the 121st District.  Henry was a talk host at Entercom’s WILK for the past 16 years before her exit last month after contract renegotiations stalled.

Trump-Kim Jong Un in Singapore, Trump Overture to Putin, G7 Summit/Trump-Trudeau Spat, Anthony Bourdain Suicide, Tony Awards, Ocean’s 8 Film, Warriors Sweep Cavs for NBA Title, and Capitals Top Golden Knights to Claim Stanley Cup Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The preparation for the summit between President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un; Trump makes an overture to Russia’s Vladimir Putin; the tense G-7 Summit in Canada and the tiff between President Trump and Justin Trudeau; celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain dead of apparent suicide at 61; Sunday night’s Tony Awards broadcast; the opening weekend of theOcean’s 8 film; the Golden State Warriors sweep the Cleveland Cavaliers to claim the NBA title; and the Washington Capitals beat the Vegas Golden Knights for the Stanley Cup were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Detroit CHR WDZH “98.7 AMP Radio” names Chris Cruise and Julia Lepidi hosts of “The Morning Show with Cruise and Julia,” starting Monday June 18.  They replace Jeff Daly and Josh Foreman, hosts of the “Rat & Puff” show.  Cruise is a Detroit native who comes back to the Motor City after having most recently served at Townsquare Media’s country KAWO, Boise “WOW 104.3.”  Lepidi has been hosting evenings at WDZH since 2015.  Entercom Detroit president and market manager Debbie Kenyon comments, “As the leaders in live, local, original audio content, we are excited to bring our community a new show to tune in to while getting their day started.  I’m looking forward to hearing Chris and Julia on air together.  They have a chemistry that will have listeners laughing out loud and are sure to make for a great morning tandem.  I look forward to their success in Detroit.”…..Cort Johnson returns to Alpha Media’s triple A KINK-FM, Portland to serve as afternoon drive host and assistant program director.  Johnson joined KINK and sister news/talk KXL in 2011.  He’s most recently been a member of Alpha’s corporate digital content team.  KINK content director Ronnie Stanton says, “I am so thrilled to work beside a talent like Cort who brings local knowledge, on-air and digital skills to the table and already understands and loves the intricacies of the KINK brand.”…..In Fredericksburg, Virginia, Alpha Media rebrands CHR WVBX-FM as “LIVE 99.3” from the “99.3 The Vibe” handle.  Alpha Media Fredericksburg market manager Beth Vickers comments, “We are very excited to have launched a radio station in Fredericksburg that plays the hit music of today’s hottest artists. Alpha Fredericksburg continues to deliver top quality programming with local and live personalities.”…..In the Land of Lincoln, radio exec Pat Kelley is named market manager for Townsquare Media’s Rockford cluster.  He’s been serving in the same capacity at the company’s Fort Collins, Colorado station group.  Kelley had served as manager of WLFM-FM, Chicago when it aired smooth jazz…..Entercom announces the call letters WNYL-FM replace the WBMP-FM calls for alternative rock “ALT 92.3.”

Friday, June 1, 2018

| June 1, 2018

KVI, Seattle Unveils New Program Schedule.  With the addition of the Compass Media Networks-syndicated “Markley and van Camp” program to the late morning daypart announced earlier this week, Sinclair Broadcasting news/talk KVI, Seattle “Talk Radio 570” unveils its adjusted program schedule, effective Monday (6/4).  The addition of “Markley and van Camp” to the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon slot creates a new opportunity for market talk icon Kirby Wilbur as he takes on the afternoon drive daypart.  That bumps Premiere NetworksSean Hannity to the early evening slot (6:00 pm to 9:00 pm).  In promoting Wilbur’s new time to listeners, the station says, “Kirby has been into politics since he was a teenager, culminating with his election to state chairman of the Republican Party in 2011.  Along the way he helped build KVI into America’s preeminent conservative talk station with his unique blend of politics, entertainment, and historical anecdotes.  Catch you up on what happened while you were at work and loosen up on the way home with KVI’s Kirby Wilbur!”

Newsmax TV Free Trial Offered on Sling TV.  Cable news/talk channel Newsmax TV announces a new deal that helps it expand its reach via over-the-top (OTT) live TV service Sling TV.  Newsmax TV says that effective immediately, a three-month showcase of Newsmax TV is available to Sling TV customers who subscribe to the Sling Orange and/or Sling Blue service.  After the three-month showcase, Newsmax TV will be available in Sling TV’s News Extra add-on, $5 per month for Sling Orange and/or Sling Blue subscribers.  Newsmax Media Inc CEO Christopher Ruddy states, “Sling TV is the number-one live TV streaming service in the nation and we are proud to be carried on their platform.”  Conservative media personalities whose programs air on Newsmax TV include: Joe Walsh, Brett Winterble, Howie CarrWayne Allyn Root, Todd Schnitt, Joe Pags, Jesse Lee Peterson as well as Newsmax anchors John Bachman and Miranda Khan.

Comrex Unveils FieldTap for iOS. This free app – compatible with all Comrex IP codecs and the EarShot IFB – provides studio quality audio from the user’s cell phone with very low delay.  Comrex says that FieldTap is ideal for reporters and street team contributors for short drop-ins.  FieldTap features a very simple user interface (iPhone screen shot at right).  The company says its one-button control screen allows users of any technical ability to connect from the field to the station by simply pressing a single button.  FieldTap is a simple SIP client that uses Voice over IP (VoIP) to make it possible for field users to send wideband audio from their cellphones over cellular and Wi-Fi networks.  Comrex says an Android version of FieldTap will be available next week.  Comrex’s EarShot IFB (interruptible foldback monitoring and cueing system) was recently unveiled and will be available later this summer.  It is for live ENG applications as it provides four audio feeds and can support up to 10 wideband calls (or 30 regular calls).  Visit Comrex.com for more details.

ABC-TV’s Cancellation of ‘Roseanne’ Top News/Talk Story for Week of May 28 – June 1. The cancellation of the re-boot of “Roseanne” after a series of controversial Tweets from Roseanne Barr was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the status of the U.S.-North Korea talks.  Coming in at #3 was the ongoing Trump-Russia investigation, followed by President Trump’s plans to pardon Dinesh D’Souza, Rod Blagojevich, and Martha Stewart 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.

Westwood One Announces RFK Assassination Anniversary Programming. The news arm of Westwood One is presenting special programming on the 50thanniversary of the June 5, 1968, assassination of presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy.  At Los Angeles’ Ambassador Hotel that evening was Mutual News correspondent Andrew West, who filed a nearly seven-minute, on-scene report during the chaos.  West’s historic report (which is owned by Westwood One News) will be part of the extensive coverage planned on Tuesday, June 5, as the network remembers the assassination of RFK.  Westwood One News correspondent Michael Toscano will present longform and short-form reports throughout the day, along with West’s report and additional 50th anniversary sound. Additionally, the Westwood One News Memorial Day weekend special, “1968: The Year that Shook America,” with reporting and perspective on the RFK assassination, will continue to be available for broadcast by affiliates through the June 5 anniversary of the shooting.

Emmy Award-Winning TV News Cameraman and Producer Tim Ortman Joins Michael Harrison in Discussion About Fake News.  37-year TV news veteran Tim Ortman, who served as a staff cameraman and producer covering breaking news on five continents for the major TV networks, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Ortman has just written a memoir titled Newsreal: A View Through the Lens When… (Incorgnito, 2018).  He recalls his adventures on the front lines of wars, major stories and political upheavals around the world analyzing the significant changes in journalism since the big four networks were the dominant platforms of information dissemination in America. Harrison and Ortman focus on the consequences of widespread misuse of the term “fake news” undermining the public’s confidence in the vital institution of the press.  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.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. After Nielsen Audio removed PPMs in four Hispanic households in the Los Angeles market and re-issued April’s PPM survey results, Spanish Broadcasting System is accusing the ratings giant of bias.  SBS was a loser in the re-issued ratings with regional Mexican KLAX dipping a full share (Mon-Sun, 6+), from a 3.4 to a 2.4. Competitor Radio Centro’s regional Mexican KXOS also slid – from a 2.2 (Mon-Sun, 6+) to a 1.9.  SBS general counsel Richard Lara’s public statement says, “Earlier this week, Spanish Broadcasting System, the owner and operator of 17 radio stations serving the top Hispanic markets throughout the United States for over 30 years, received disconcerting news from The Nielsen Company.  Nielsen announced its intention to make sweeping, retroactive changes to its audience measurement service based on an internal decision to remove a number of Hispanic households from its ratings sampling pool.  SBS, and other Spanish-language broadcasters, vehemently object and protest such unilateral, and seemingly, discriminatory actions taken by Nielsen, which unfairly and disproportionally exclude Hispanic-listener households from the ratings methodology.  The restated ratings and rankings reports are, in SBS’s view unreliable, and inaccurately suggest that Spanish-language stations have dropped from top 5 rankings to number 15 or lower.  This cannot stand.  SBS will continue to faithfully serve its Hispanic-listener communities and will not tolerate unfair and discriminatory attacks on Spanish language broadcasters.  We will not stop until Nielsen’s prejudicial and discriminatory attacks on U.S.-based Hispanics ceases.”…..Cumulus Media names David LaBrozzi as program director for hot AC WPLJ, New York.  LaBrozzi comes to Cumulus Media from Entercom Baltimore where he was vice president of programming for the company’s four-station cluster there for 14 years.  LaBrozzi states, “WPLJ is truly one of America’s iconic radio stations.  I am thrilled, honored, and humbled to join Chad Lopez, Dave Milner, Mike McVay, and the incredible team at 95.5 PLJ. While I can’t wait to get started in New York, I want to thank Entercom and CBS for a great experience and for being an important part of my life.”…..Air personality Megan Holiday is the new midday host at Entercom’s alternative KITS-FM, San Francisco “ALT 105.3,” effective Monday (6/4). Holiday was most recently evening personality on KROQ, Los Angeles.  She began her career at KITS in 2010 hosting the evening program.  Entercom San Francisco SVP and market manager Gregory Nemitz says, “Megan is well known in the Bay Area and we know our listeners will be happy to hear her back on the air. She’s passionate and energetic and we’re looking forward to her return to KITS.”…..On-air pro Corey Calhoun is the new evening personality and music director at iHeartMedia’s country WMZQ, Washington.  RVP of programming for Baltimore and Washington Jeff Kapugi states, “Corey completes the WMZQ team.  He brings a fresh new energy to the station and some great experience spanning multiple markets and formats.”…..The recent Digital Diaper Drive orchestrated by Hubbard Radio’s adult hits WARH, St. Louis “106.5 The Arch” was successful beyond the station’s expectations, collecting almost 2,000 diapers for the St. Louis Area Diaper Bank.  Led by the station’s “Spencer’s Neighborhood” morning show, the drive’s goal was 1,000 diapers but show fans blew away their initial goal.  Pictured at right are the show’s Spencer, Cassiday, and Brando presenting the diapers to Kathy Meyer of the St. Louis Area Diaper Bank…..Award-winning radio and CMT personality Cody Alan is pictured below with country duo Thompson Square at the Seacrest Studios at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.  Keifer and Shawna Thompson met with patients, gave away autographed copies of their new children’s book, and performed songs from their new album.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

| April 17, 2018

Sean Hannity Revealed in Court as Michael Cohen Client; Hannity Explains Relationship with Embattled Attorney.  The first thing FOX News Channel and Premiere Networks syndicated radio personality Sean Hannity addressed on his programs on Monday was the New York court revelation that Donald Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen – under investigation by the FBI for possible bank fraud and campaign finance violations – describes Hannity as one of his three clients.  Hannity said on his radio show, “Michael never represented me in any matter.  I never retained him in the traditional sense…I never received an invoice from Michael.  I never paid legal fees to Michael but, I have occasionally had brief discussions with him about legal questions about which I wanted his input and perspective.  And I assume that those questions were attorney-client confidential…not one of any issue I ever dealt with Michael Cohen on ever, ever involved a matter between me and any third party.”  Cohen’s attorney asked U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood to keep the name of Cohen’s third client under seal because he might be “embarrassed” by the connection.  Judge Wood agreed with a lawyer representing several media outlets who said “embarrassment” was not enough to keep that information sealed.  At the end of the session Judge Wood ruled the prosecutor’s office will – without reading the documents seized from Cohen – put them all on a searchable database and share them with lawyers for Cohen and Trump.

WTVN, Columbus Names Woody Johnson Afternoon Host. In Columbus, iHeartMedia names Woody Johnson afternoon drive host at news/talk WTVN.  Johnson is the host of the “Woody and Company” in morning drive at the cluster’s country WCOL.  Now, he’ll add the afternoon show on WTVN, taking over for the late John Corby, who died unexpectedly at age 61 back in January.

WYAY, Atlanta ‘Talk 106.7’ Re-Vamps Daily Lineup. Atlanta news/talk WYAY-FM “Talk 106.7” makes lineup changes, most notably announcing new morning host Shelley Wynter and moving midday Atlanta talk pro Kim “The Kimmer” Peterson into the afternoon drive daypart. Wynter is a former, longtime WAOK, Atlanta personality.  Shannon Burke remains in the late morning daypart. Mike Brooks is the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm host, followed by The Kimmer. The Cumulus Media station is also airing Westwood One’s Ben Shapiro “podcast” in the 5:00 am to 6:00 am slot.  Brian Joyce had been hosting both afternoons at WYAY-FM and middays at the company’s WGOW-FM, Chattanooga. He continues his WGOW show.

WOR, New York Morning Show Celebrates 2018 Mets Season. Pictured above in the radio booth at Citi Field is WOR, New York’s “Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning” program celebrating the beginning of the 2018 New York Mets season.  WOR is the flagship station for Mets radio play-by-play.  From left to right are: Mets studio engineer Mark Weiner, Berman and Riedel show executive producer Natalie Vacca, Mets pre- and post-game host Wayne Randazzo, Michael Riedel and Len Berman.

Alex Jones Sued by Sandy Hook Parents.  Radio talk host and digital publisher Alex Jones is being sued by three parents of children who died in the attack on Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012.  The New York Times reports that Houston attorney Mark Bankston is handling the case for the three parents.  Jones is being sued for defamation for pushing the theory that the parents are actors in a scheme to enact stricter gun laws in the U.S.  The suits have been filed by Leonard Pozner, his former wife Veronique De La Rosa, and Neil Heslin.  The parents claim that since Jones began presenting his narrative, they’ve been attacked and threatened by Jones’ supporters.

TALKERS News Notes.  A new Internet talk program from Think Realty is launching on Wall Street Radio featuring Think Realty coach and regular Forbes contributor Abhi Golhar.  The program airs from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm daily and features interviews with two industry influencers and professionals, covering topics including investment and business strategies, current market analysis, identifying potential real estate investment deals, property acquisition, and lending.….Global Radio, LLC is selling ethnic WNWR-AM, Philadelphia to Aztec Capital Partners, Inc. for an undisclosed sum.  Aztec Capital Partners, Inc., is a Philadelphia-based corporation owned by Ken Trujillo and managed by Art Camiolo. Aztec also owns WHAT-AM and FM translator W260CZ in Philadelphia.

Rich Shertenlieb’s Wife Mary Runs Boston Marathon Five Years After Leukemia Diagnosis.  Five years after being diagnosed with leukemia, Mary Shertenlieb  (pictured here with husband Rich), the wife of WBZ-FM, Boston morning personality Rich Shertenlieb, ran the Boston Marathon in an effort to raise more than $33,000 for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.  But it wasn’t easy.  After 15.5 miles, Mary began to shiver uncontrollably due to her compromised immune system and she followed her doctors’ orders to stop.  But, she didn’t quit – she paused.  With husband Rich by her side, Mary continued and finished the 26.2 mile run just after midnight.  See the pics and complete story here.

2018 Radio Gracie Award Winners Announced.  The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation says that in “an already incredible and historic year for women, the AWMF continues to celebrate programming and individual achievement by, for, and about women in radio, television, and interactive media by announcing winners of the 43rd annual Gracie Awards.”  The Gracie Awards Gala will take place on Tuesday, May 22 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California where national radio will be recognized, and the Gracie Awards Luncheon will take place on Tuesday, June 27 at Cipriani on 42nd Street in New York, New York with local and student winners being acknowledged.  Some of the winners being recognized this year include: Shirley Strawberry of “The Steve Harvey Show” syndicated by Premiere Networks; Jayde Donovan of “Todd and Jayde in the Morning” on WPLJ, New York; Nina Hajian of “Shoboy In The Morning” on WBMP, New York, Cooper Lawrence of “The Cooper Lawrence Show” on WBLI, New York; Whitney Allen of “The Big Time with Whitney Allen” on Westwood One/Oh I Gotta; April Ryan of “On the Record” on American Urban Radio Networks; and Hoda Kotb of “The Hoda Show” on SiriusXM.  Outstanding programming from groups including Beasley Media Group, Cox Media Group, iHeartMedia, Hubbard RadioEntercom, Westwood One, NPR and students including Fordham University and Hofstra University will also be honored.  AWMF chair (and Katz Radio Group president) Christine Travaglini says, “In an historic and momentous year for women, on and off the camera and in front of a