Tag: "siriusXM"

Monday, April 16, 2018

| April 16, 2018

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

      here
.  Five months later though, Bell exited, citing concerns about his family’s safety.  Bell was replaced as weekday host of “Coast to Coast AM” on January 1, 2003 by George Noory, who reacted emotionally on air last Friday night to Bell’s passing. “I’m trying to get my composure here, folks,” a shaken Noory admitted. “Art and I were not that close.  We had our differences, but he was one of those instrumental in me being where I am right now.  He was a very heavy smoker and was hospitalized a year or so ago because of [that].  I don’t know if that played a factor in [his death] or not.”  In 1996, KTRS, St. Louis’ Tim Dorsey hired Noory to be “The Night Hawk” and as Bell decided he needed an emergency replacement, Noory gained national exposure by doing his first “Coast to Coast AM” show in April 2001. “As Art’s back problems became more severe, I started doing more shows, until he decided to retire from fulltime work,” Noory told Inside Radio’s then special features editor/current TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian.  Equating the experience of substituting for – and eventually succeeding – Bell on a fulltime basis to pinch-hitting for Babe Ruth, Noory maintained, “It’s sometimes an unreal feeling. I never showed it on the air, but replacing Art Bell was overwhelming for me. I realized there was no way I could replace him. It wouldn’t work if I tried to duplicate him.” The first time Noory heard Bell was in 1996 when he was driving to work at heritage St. Louis news/talker KMOX. “I said to myself that I wanted to do that program,” Noory confided to Kinosian. “After I concentrated on the show, strange events occurred that made it all happen.  Whatever’s out there in the universe that makes things happen for people is real.”  Now living in Lexington, Kentucky, noted spoken-word consultant/programmer Gabe Hobbs is a former vice president/programming – news, talk, & sports for Clear Channel (now iHeartMedia). “What a special talent Art Bell was – truly unique,” Hobbs declares.  “He helped talk radio evolve from the Larry King-era into the modern era of our format.  He is the man that made overnights meaningful and profitable in radio.”  Longtime iHeartMedia Los Angeles adult contemporary KOST “Coast 103” air talent Ted Ziegenbusch notes on Facebook, “I did a late-night show for about 20 years in the 1980s and 1990s. On a family trip to central California one night, I heard Art on a tiny radio station. That was long before he became popular and I was fascinated with his stories about UFOs; ghosts; pyramids on Mars; climate change; and all sorts of quirky subjects. His shows were almost always riveting and impossible to leave for even a moment. When I returned from my trip north, I told my general manager that Art Bell would be perfect for our AM station. Nobody had ever heard of the guy, so my suggestion fell on deaf ears. Later, he would join our team and score enormous success. The story doesn’t end there. Sadly, there were some real ups and downs in Art’s life and his career; [however], he was sure a trailblazer and one-of-a-kind entertainer.” Brian Whitman, who does morning drive in Los Angeles on Salem Media Group news/talk KRLA, recounts, “Many years ago when I was younger and less experienced, I was doing some on-air work at Premiere Radio Networks. I asked the boss if he would consider me to be a substitute host on ‘Coast to Coast’ when Art Bell was absent. I took the opportunity to mention that when those crazy people called, I’d goof on them and do a really funny show. The boss made me smarter [by telling me], ‘Brian, you don’t understand. On ‘Coast to Coast,’ when someone calls to tell you an alien landed in their swimming pool, you don’t make fun. You say, ‘tell me more.’ [That was] the genius of Art Bell. I always say that the most important thing for a radio performer is to find his voice.  Art Bell’s singular voice, brilliant mind, and master showmanship came together to create his own brand. He understood the intimacy that radio can create [and] the lives it can touch.”  An executive producer at iHeartMedia Los Angeles news/talk KFI, Michelle Kube, comments that, “Even if I thought some of the stories were crazy, you couldn’t deny [Art Bell’s] talent.” He was “a true radio pioneer and a great storyteller. He created ‘Coast to Coast AM’ – it’s his legacy.”  For the past 14 years, Kurt Kretzschmar has been director of affiliate marketing – Premiere Networks. The former executive producer of Los Angeles sports outlet KSPN and cross-town news/talk KABC asserts that tapes of Bell’s shows “that air on Saturday nights are some of the highest-rated weekend hours on several affiliates.” Senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s Northern Ohio region, which includes WHLO “640 Akron’s News Talk,” Keith Kennedy, was among programmers scheduling Art Bell tribute programming this past weekend. Kennedy wrote on Facebook, “Listen to ‘Somewhere in Time’ Saturday at 9:00 pm – we’ll rebroadcast one of his unique programs.”  Bell studied engineering at the University of Maryland in College Park, but dropped out to become a radio chief engineer/board op/occasional on-air talent.  In May 2008, he sold KNYE, Pahrump to station manager Karen Jackson for a reported $600,000. Inducted to the Nevada Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame (2006) and National Radio Hall of Fame (2008), Bell received Radio & Records’ “Lifetime Achievement Award” in 2007. A July 2016 posting on Bell’s website indicated he was hospitalized for pneumonia and that he suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.  Nye County (Nevada) sheriff Sharon Wehrly described Bell as a “longtime resident” of the area and said an autopsy to confirm the cause of death would be performed later this week. Geller Media International Broadcast Consultants president Valerie Geller proclaims, “May his journey continue in peace.”

WWJ, Detroit Names Brooke Allen PM Drive Co-Host. Detroit all-news WWJ-AM “Newsradio 950” announces that Brooke Allen (right) is returning to the station to co-host the afternoon drive daypart (2:00 pm to 6:00 pm) with current afternoon host Greg Bowman (left).  Allen was most recently the producer and local host of “Morning Edition” on public news/talk WKAR-AM/FM, East Lansing, Michigan.  Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “We are excited to welcome Brooke back to WWJ.  In addition to being an award-winning journalist, Brooke is devoted to our local community.   Her passion for the news and connection to the people of the metro Detroit area will be evident each and every day.”

Johnson Named VP of Sports Sales for iHeartMedia Denver. Denver sales pro Jeff Johnson is promoted at iHeartMedia to vice president of sports sales & partnerships.  In this new role, Johnson is charged with “growing and managing iHeartMedia Denver’s sports partnerships, including the Denver Broncos and Colorado Rockies, as well as its Broncos-centric station, KDSP-AM ‘Orange & Blue 760.'”  iHeartMedia Denver SVP of sales Ryan Clune states, “I’m thrilled for Jeff.  Watching him grow over the years from senior account executive to director of sports sales, and now vice president of sports sales & partnerships has been a highlight of my career.  Jeff’s ability to align advertisers with our exclusive sports content, along with delivering unmatched reach, brand affinity, and ROI for our partners makes him the ideal leader to step into this key position.”

Price: Are You Ready for Atlantic Hurricane Season? Former longtime director of business continuity & crisis management for ABC’s news and technology & operations divisions, Howard B. Price, writes today in a piece for TALKERS magazine about the need to be prepared for the Atlantic Hurricane Season.  Price says that tropical researchers at Colorado State University have issued their predictions for this year and have concluded that there will likely be 14 named storms between June 1 and November 30. Of those, researchers expect seven hurricanes, with three of those likely to be major storms (Saffir/Simpson category 3-4-5, with sustained winds of 111 MPH – plus).  Price provides this nine-point preparedness checklist for broadcasters who could be affected by an Atlantic hurricane or any other natural disaster for that matter.  See it here.

Padres Executive Chairman Opens Up About KEGY Format Tweak.  As reported in the San Diego Union Tribune writer Bryce Miller, San Diego Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler says the team had “significant input and impact” on the format and branding changes Entercom made to KEGY, but not so much as to dictate which air talent should go where.  Union Tribune reports Fowler and the Padres had issues with KEGY’s programming as “97.3 The Machine” before air personality Kevin Klein’s promotional Tweet that referenced the city’s Coronado bridge and its history as a site of hundreds of suicides.  Miller quotes Fowler referencing the station’s programming as “shock-jock” radio.  See Miller’s story here.

Comey’s ABC Interview/Trump-Russia Investigation, U.S. Strikes on Syria, Starbucks-Philly Arrests, Mexico Border Issues, Barbara Bush Health Status, MLB and NBA Playoffs Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Former FBI director James Comey’s interview on ABC-TV in which he discussed the investigation into the Hillary Clinton email matter and opined on President Trump’s fitness for office and the related investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the weekend’s U.S. military strikes in Syria; the controversy over the arrest of two black men for trespassing at a Philadelphia Starbucks; the issue of security at the U.S.-Mexico border; former First Lady Barbara Bush’s failing health; and Major League Baseball and NBA playoffs action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes.  According to the most recent list published by The Hollywood Reporter, Premiere Networks and FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity and multi-media personality Ryan Seacrest are two of the 35 most powerful media people in New York. Regarding Hannity, THR says that he regularly commands the largest audience of any cable news host on television, in addition to reaching millions of listeners on his national radio show.  “He also has the ear (and the eyes) of the president…and has the power to make or break Republican political candidates.”  As for Seacrest, the publication says that since Kelly Ripa tapped him as her co-host in May, viewership of ABC’s “LIVE with Kelly & Ryan” has “risen nearly 15% to 3.2 million viewers each day.”  See the whole list here…..Westwood One announces a strategic partnership with American Public Media to increase sales and promotional opportunities for season two of the investigative podcast, “In the Dark.”  The first season of “In the Dark” has driven nearly 12 million downloads to date and continues to receive downloads more than a year later at roughly 465,000 per month.  In this new relationship, Westwood One is providing broadcast radio show promotion and exclusive ad sales representation…..Pictured below is former White House national security adviser Dr. Sebastian Gorka (left) reviewing documents with Ken Lormand (right), Washington bureau chief of Salem Radio Network News.  As a former Trump adviser, Gorka has insight into administration personnel moves, including CIA director Mike Pompeo’s nomination to become the next U.S. Secretary of State.

TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! to Feature Presentation by Salem VP Phil Boyce Titled, “What Has Donald Trump Done to Talk Radio.” There is no doubt that the ascendancy of Donald J. Trump to the U.S. presidency has greatly impacted news/talk radio and its associated platforms of talk media. Salem Media Group SVP of the spoken word format Phil Boyce will deliver an address, backed up by Harker Research data, exploring this phenomenon in detail during the morning sessions of TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! The presentation will be introduced by highly regarded programmer Greg Moceri, CEO of Moceri Media. The 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running, and most important convention takes place on Friday, June 8 at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater in the Chelsea district of Manhattan. The day opens with back-to-back keynote “fireside chats” conducted by Michael Harrison with Premiere Networks and Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity and Beasley Broadcasting CEO Caroline Beasley. The conference will also include presentations by such industry notables as PodcastOne executive chairman, Norm Pattiz; former WFAN, New York sports talk superstar, Mike Francesa; Amplifi Media CEO Steve Goldstein, panel appearances by Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott, Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes and an afternoon keynote address by Infowars and GCN maverick Alex Jones. There will be panels on programming, sales, digital convergence and more featuring a total of 50-plus speakers from all aspects of the talk media industry. The convention is on a fast-track to being an advance sellout and there will be no registrations sold at the door. For more information and the complete up-to-the-minute agenda, read the story below.

TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Agenda Posted. The TALKERS editorial board is pleased to post the basic agenda for the 21stannual installment of the talk media industry’s longest running and most important national convention – TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! takes place on Friday, June 8 at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan. 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, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! 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 up-to-the-minute agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information can be seen here. If you are planning to attend, it would be wise to register NOW. This convention will be an early sellout.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Denver, iHeartMedia names Chelsea Thomas midday host for country KWBL “106.7 The Bull,” effective April 23.   iHeartMedia region SVP of programming JoJo Turnbeaugh says, “An on-air opening with iHeartMedia in Denver always generates strong interest from many talented personalities.  Chelsea was the clear winner. Her authenticity and unique ability to weave storytelling into her show made her the ideal match for the Bull Nation.”  Thomas was most recently music director and air personality at Alpha Media’s CHR WDJX, Louisville…..KAMP, Los Angeles “97.1 AMP Radio” music director and midday personality Michelle Boros exits her position with the Entercom CHR station after an eight-year stint…..Kristina Carlyle signs on with Albany Broadcasting’s country WKLI, Albany “100.9 The Cat” to co-host the morning show and serve as music director. Carlyle – most recently with Scripps’ KVOO, Tulsa – takes over for the departed Dana Race…..There’s a new morning host at California Radio Partners’ triple A KOZT, Fort Bragg “The Coast” as Dred Scott is tapped to work alongside news director Joe Regelski.  Station co-owner and program director Tom Yates says, “We did a job posting and got 41 responses in two days from some really good candidates.  But Dred is a really good fit with the ‘Coast’ crew.”…..At Ingstad Media’s country KXDD, Yakima, Washington, Lindsey Cleveland is promoted from part-time status to full-time as morning drive co-host with Brian Stephenson on “The Good Morning Gang with Brian & Lindsey.” Cleveland fills the role vacated recently by Carey Jacobson…..In Washington, DC, Kala Simmons is named morning show producer for WASH-FM’s “Toby and Chilli” morning show. Simmons has been with the iHeartMedia Washington cluster for the past three years as assistant digital producer for WIHT’s “The Kane Show.”

Friday, April 13, 2018

| April 13, 2018

SiriusXM Satellite Radio Host Karen Hunter Named Recipient of the TALKERS 2018 Freedom of Speech Award. The TALKERS editorial board announced this morning (4/13) that SiriusXM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter has been named the 2018 recipient of the publication’s prestigious Freedom of Speech Award.  Hunter hosts the “Karen Hunter Show” daily between 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm on the Urban View channel in which she discusses politics, public policy, and contemporary culture taking listener calls and interviewing guests.  The Urban Channel is billed as “African American talk… focusing on politics, race and social justice.”  Named one of the “Heavy Hundred” (The 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America) by TALKERS magazine for a number of years, Hunter has blazed a unique trail inspiring her listeners to engage in entrepreneurial endeavors bringing action as well as talk to the medium.  She regularly challenges her listeners to participate in the success they want to be.  A former sports and news reporter with the New York Daily News for 16 years, Hunter served four of those years on the paper’s editorial board, where she was a member of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize- and Polk Award-winning teams.  She was also the paper’s first African American female news columnist.  As the head of Karen Hunter Books, an imprint with Simon & Schuster, she has published several number one New York Times bestsellers including True You by pop icon Janet Jackson, and My Country ‘Tis Of Thee by U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress.  Hunter also published the critically acclaimed autobiographical novel, An Angry-Ass Black Woman, by Karen Quinones Miller, among others.  A New Jersey native and Drew University graduate, Hunter taught at New York University and is currently a full-time professor and distinguished lecturer at Hunter College.  In June of 2015, Hunter authored a petition calling for the removal of the confederate flag from the statehouse of South Carolina in the wake of the massacre of nine people at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. Within three days, more than 500,000 people signed that petition. Within a week, Gov. Nikki Haley vowed to take down the flag.  Within two weeks, the flag was removed.  Past recipients of the Freedom of Speech Award, which goes back 30 years, include Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Howard SternThom Hartmann, Joe Madison, Alan Colmes, G. Gordon Liddy, Brian Lamb, Al Franken, Bob Grant and other top figures in broadcasting.  The award (officially titled “The Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech”) will be presented to Hunter in New York City on Friday, June 8 at TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead!, this year’s installment of the annual talk media convention. The Freedom of Speech Award is the longest-running and most prestigious honor annually bestowed by the publication upon a member of the greater broadcasting community, although not always the most popular.  According to TALKERS publisher, Michael Harrison, “The Freedom of Speech Award is a non-partisan honor presented to a person in the industry who sets a meaningful example of the First Amendment in action, either by having taken a high-profile, risky stand on a controversial issue or working on an exceptional level to make that opportunity available to others.  It does not necessarily indicate this publication’s endorsement of the recipient’s position, only his or her right to express it publicly and our salute to them for having the courage to face the consequences.  The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America is the bedrock of all of this nation’s freedoms and values. Without it, this would not be the country we believe it to be in our minds and hearts.  It is clearly the most important element that makes American talk media vibrant, alive, and indispensable.”  Harrison continues, “Karen Hunter is a clear-cut champion of this concept and a high-profile example of it in action in the talk media industry today.”

New Affiliate Stations in the Southeast for ‘Stacy on the Right.’ The nationally syndicated “Stacy On The Right” program starring the Project 21 co-chairman Stacy Washington, expands into three Southeast markets.  WDDQ-FM, Adel, Georgia; WLBB-AM, Carrollton, Georgia; and WJHC-FM, Jasper, Florida add the daily, two-hour show to their program lineups. The “Stacy On The Right” program is syndicated via Urban Family Radio Network, American Family Radio, America’s Voice TV and now on Talk America Radio, whose owner Ron Phillips says, “We’ve been huge fans of ‘Stacy On The Right’ for a long time.  We’re honored to include her show on Talk America Radio.  She’s the perfect addition to an already stellar schedule of talk shows. She’s professional and powerful, and she’ll fit right in.”  Washington has been a co-chairman of the Project 21 black leadership network since 2016.  In addition to her own radio show, she has been a guest host for shows such as “The Wilkow Majority” on SiriusXM; the Chris Plante and Larry O’Connor shows on WMAL-AM/FM, Washington; “Cam and Company” on NRATV; and “The Dana Show” on Radio America.  She is a decorated veteran of the U.S. Air Force whose commentaries have appeared in FOX News Opinion, RealClearPolitics, The Federalist, and the Washington Times.

Suze Orman’s ‘Women & Money’ Launches on PodcastOne.  This new PodcastOne show stars personal finance expert Suze Orman.  The program, “Suze Orman, Women & Money” is targeted directly to women (and the men who want to understand them) with Orman’s trademark energy and compassion.  The series allows listeners to #AskSuze anything.  In yesterday’s debut show, the tables were turned as Refinery29 work & money director Lindsey Stanberry interviewed Orman about her own journey.  The show is available now on PodcastOne.com, the PodcastOne app and Apple Podcasts, with new episodes every Thursday.

WTOP, Washington Honored with Two Headliner Awards. Washington, DC all-news WTOP-FM wins two National Headliner Awards from the Atlantic City Press Club.  The Hubbard Radio station picked up first place honors for Best Newscast for coverage the day of the Congressional Baseball Shooting in June of 2017.  WTOP national security correspondent J.J. Green won third place in the radio stations news series category for his investigative work in reporting “Anatomy of a Russian Attack,” an in-depth look at what the U.S. Intelligence community has concluded was an attempt by Russian President Vladimir Putin to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.  WTOP director of news and programming Mike McMearty says, “We feel so honored to be recognized for our efforts to bring breaking news coverage to the nation’s capital at the moments when it matters the most.”  Since 1935, the National Headliner Awards are given to outstanding writers, photographers, daily newspapers, magazines, graphic artists, radio and television stations and networks, and news syndicates from across the nation.

TALKERS News Notes. Bay Area Media blogger Rich Lieberman 415 Media – wrote recently wondering if Westwood One nationally syndicated talk star Michael Savage is in contentious contract renegotiations with the company.  Citing recent statements by Savage on his radio show that “in case I’m not here” listeners can hear him on his website and via Twitter, Lieberman says Savage could become the “latest cost-cutting victim” by parent company Cumulus Media (a la Don Imus and Ronn Owens) as it works through Chapter 11 reorganization.  Lieberman says Savage offered him “no comment” when they spoke and notes Savage has “fairly strong” ratings in San Francisco and does very well in PM drive in New York.  He also says Savage’s contract is up this year and suggests both sides may be posturing during contract renegotiations…..Sun Broadcast Group announces that starting in May, it will offer national ad and affiliate sales support for “Remote News Service.”  It has also expanded its partnership with Envision Networks and will offer ad sales support for the new feature, “140 Characters.”  Remote News Service offers high quality, local, real-time news reports across 14+ major markets with a full team of anchors.  Envision Networks’ “140 Characters” is a new service featuring celebrity impersonators, voice and character actors as well as pre-written scripts to use for topic starters, phone scams, parodies and more…..A new memoir titled, Lucky from Virgin: An Unlikely Story (2018, CreateSpace), has been published by 40-year veteran network TV correspondent Lucky Severson.  The book tells “the inside stories of some of the world’s more interesting people, told by a kid who grew up in the tiny Mormon town of Virgin, unaware of the world outside.”  In the book, Severson interviews serial killer Ted Bundy in a jail cell in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, just weeks before his escape and murderous rampage in Florida, for which he was ultimately caught and executed.  It was the only TV interview ever done with Bundy before his death-bed execution.  Severson also traveled with the campaigns of Vice President George H.W. Bush and Jesse Jackson.  He spent time with the Dalai Lama in the shadow of the Himalayas.

Cool Job Opportunity.  Legendary Quad Cities news/talk outlet WOC-AM, Davenport is seeking a new program director.  The iHeartMedia-owned station says that its program director of 20-plus years is retiring, and WOC-AM is searching for the right individual to take the reins of this heritage station.  If you’re interested, email Jim O’Hara and he’ll send you an overview of the job: jimohara@iheartmedia.com.

Trump-Russia Probe and Related Cohen Raid Tied for Top News/Talk Stories for Week of April 9-13.  The investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related raid of the offices of President Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen tied for the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was House Speaker Paul Ryan’s announcement he won’t run for re-election this year.  Coming in at #3 was Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony before Congress about users’ privacy concerns, followed by the allegations that the National Enquirer paid $30,000 to a Trump Tower doorman to suppress a story about Trump fathering a child with a Trump Tower staffer in the late 1980s at #4. The Talkers TenTMis a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Radio Hall of Fame Chairman and Mega-Talent Manager Kraig Kitchin Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. He says, “One of my greatest professional passions is identifying outstanding radio talent and giving them recognition.” Among the radio industry’s most influential, behind-the-scenes players, Kraig Kitchin, head of Los Angeles-based media firm Sound Mind, LLC, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” In addition to being the chairman of the Radio Hall of Fame and consultant to such media production companies as Real World Productions (jingles and imaging), the Mix Group (outsourced station production) and Source Audio (music libraries), Kitchin is one of, if not the, leading managers of radio talent in the business today. His client list includes such names as Rush Limbaugh, Jim Rome, Delilah, George Noory, Bill Handel and more…information he is reluctant to publicly share. He states, “I believe that a manager should always put the talent first and foremost while personally staying in the background.” According to Harrison, “Kraig Kitchin is one of the most level-headed, intelligent, and credible business people in radio that we’ve seen during the industry’s modern era and has quietly and responsibly been one of the most influential.” Regardless, Harrison drags him into the spotlight for a rare interview that takes a conversational deep dive into radio’s history (Kitchin was one of the founders of Premiere Networks and at one time was sales manager for Katz Media) and a look to its future, covering the state of consolidation, the podcasting phenomenon, the tenets of being a great talent, and the challenge of programming commercials in the era of short-term attention span. Do not miss this! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box located in the right hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On Monday (4/16), Joey Vlazny is taking over the morning show on Bonneville’s San Jose classic rock outlet KUFX “98.5 KFOX.” Joey – who was most recently morning host at rhythmic CHR KRBQ, San Francisco “Q102” – bumps Chris Jackson to the afternoon drive daypart.  Jackson fills the afternoon slot left vacant when PD/host Tim Jeffreys exited last month. New PD Brian Figula says, “Joey’s smart work ethic, strong creativity, and passion for our business elevates our brand awareness.  I look forward to adding him to the team with Chris Jackson to dominate the San Jose radio market.”…..Saga Communications adds Courtney Ross (center) to the morning drive show at country WPOR-FM, Portland alongside incumbent morning personalities Jon Shannon (left) and Joe Lerman (right).  Ross fills the role of recently departed morning personality Adam Rondeau…..KHTS-FM, San Diego morning personality Geena The Latina – co-host of “Kramer and Geena Mornings” – is being honored by the City of San Diego on Tuesday (4/17) as the city proclaims it “Geena The Latina Day.”  San Diego City Council president Myrtle Cole will honor Geena for her work with girls and young women in the local community.  Geena is an active volunteer with local organizations and founded the Fearless Empowerment Conference in 2017.  The annual event assembles successful women from the community to share their journey and inspire hundreds of teenage girls to be fearless and confident leaders.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

| April 5, 2018

Nielsen’s Audio Today 2018 Highlights Radio’s Reach. This latest version of Nielsen Audio’s report on audio usage notes that “93% of U.S. adults 18 and older listen to radio every week—more than those watching television or using a smartphone, TV-connected device, tablet or PC.”  Nielsen Audio managing director Brad Kelly’s report underscores the reach of radio across the media-using population.  “According to Nielsen’s ratings data comparing adults18+, AM/FM radio continues to reach more people each week than any other medium in the U.S. at 228.5 million consumers, compared with 216.5 million for TV (live, DVR and time-shifted), 203.8 million for app/web on a smartphone, and 127.6 million for video on a smartphone.  Looking at the audio landscape, broadcast radio’s weekly reach of 228.5 million also outpaces the 68.5 million for streaming audio, 35.7 million using satellite radio and 21.9 million consuming podcasts.”  Industry insiders are well aware that the challenges facing radio as a medium include decreased time spent listening over the past decade or so.   Although certain formats, news/talk and sports talk especially, have maintained TSL better than many music formats.  The graphic here shows the reach of the news/talk format among Gen Xers.  News/talk is the #1 format reached by Boomers (55-64) with a 15% AQH share according to Nielsen’s National Regional Database 2017.

Photo Copyright Issues May Dog Kevin Klein.  In addition to the state of limbo in which Entercom’s new hot talk/sports hybrid KEGY, San Diego “97.3 The Machine” finds itself, yet-to-debut morning personality Kevin Klein may have legal issues involving the photographer who took the photo seen here of the Coronado bridge, used in Klein’s controversial promotional Tweet.  According to a story in the San Diego Union Tribune, local photographer Jesse Cuevas says he’s considering his legal options regarding Klein’s use of the pic.  Cuevas admits the photo wasn’t legally copyrighted but says the negative press associated with the image gives it “no marketability” from this point forward.  In case you missed it, Klein sent out a Tweet to promote his new morning show that showed the Coronado bridge with the phrase, “Jump…to a new morning show.”  There was public outcry over the insensitivity toward suicide – some 400 suicides have taken place on the bridge since it opened.  Klein has not taken to the airwaves at “97.3 The Machine” as of Thursday morning.  It’s assumed, based on a statement from San Diego Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler, that Entercom and the team will sit down and discuss the matter at the end of the team’s home stand.

The Howie Carr Radio Network Promotes Two. Three-year staffers Steve Robinson and Grace Curley are moving up at The Howie Carr Radio Network.  Robinson is named vice president of operations and Curley rises to producer.  Robinson and Curley joined Howie Carr more than three years ago when he began his independent syndication.  Over the years, their roles have grown with the success of the network’s expansion.  Robinson is the regular fill-in host for Carr and Curley performs daily entertaining segments on the program.  Their promotions follow the signing of a major broadcast contract with Carr’s Boston flagship WRKO, now under the ownership of iHeartMediaHowie Carr comments, “Steve and Grace have proven themselves on this network since day one in 2014.  These well-deserved promotions should help us reach even higher levels of performance as we move forward.”

Radio Host Alan Taylor on ‘Live with Kelly & Ryan.’ Nationally syndicated radio personality Alan Taylor, host of “The Drive with Alan Taylor,” is pictured above (left) with Kelly Ripa (center) and Ryan Seacrest (right) on “LIVE with Kelly & Ryan!” showcasing the top crossover vehicles for 2019.  Taylor’s Radio America-syndicated program is a weekly, two-hour show that reveals the latest car news and test-drive results, how-to tips, auto show coverage, automotive expert insights, track-day reporting and behind the scenes action.

SiriusXM Brings Journalism Pro Oliver Knox Aboard.  U.S. political journalist Oliver Knox joins SiriusXM to serve as chief Washington correspondent.  Knox worked for 15 years for Agence France-Presse covering U.S. politics.  He’s covered six presidential campaigns and has deep knowledge of the inner-workings of Capitol Hill and the White House.  In July, he will be appointed president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, for which he currently serves as vice president. In this role for SiriusXM, Knox will cover the day’s top news stories and provide analysis for all of SiriusXM’s political channels, effective Monday, April 16.   In the coming months, Knox will also host his own live, weeknight show on the POTUS channel. About this new gig, Knox says, “I’m thrilled to be joining the team at SiriusXM.  I’ve loved hosting a show on SiriusXM these last few years, bringing its deeply engaged audience in-depth conversations with newsmakers and experts.  I look forward to building on that foundation in the months and years to come.”

TALKERS News Notes.  According to a report by WABC-TV, New York, seven people are being charged in the 2012 murder of WOND-AM, Pleasantville, New Jersey talk show host April Kauffman.  Prosecutors say her murder was orchestrated by her late husband Dr. James Kauffman in order to prevent her from revealing a drug ring he was operating in concert with the Pagans Motorcycle Gang.  Dr. Kauffman committed suicide while in prison earlier this year.  Authorities say that in 2011 April Kauffman threatened to divorce Dr. Kauffman and expose his drug business…..iHeartMedia’s WOR, New York launches a new “Daily Mets Podcast” hosted by New York Mets radio play-by-play man Josh Lewin.  The podcast is an expansion of his popular “What Did We Learn?” segment from Mets radio post-game programs.  Lewin says, “Because we are producing this podcast every day, it will be totally up-to-date with content.  It will be informative and playful at the same time.  It’ll be a fresh perspective on the team and in 10-20 minutes any fan will be completely in-the-know.”

‘Immigrant Caravan’/U.S. Military Plans, Trump-Russia Investigation, Trump on U.S. in Syria, Zuckerberg Before Congress, MLK Assassination Anniversary, Jimmy Kimmel’s Melania Trump Attack, YouTube Shooting, Trump vs Amazon, MLB Action and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/4). The caravan of immigrants from Central America moving through Mexico toward the U.S. and President Trump’s plan to use the military to protect the border; the investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents and Robert Mueller’s notice to President Trump’s lawyers that the investigation continues but the president is not a target right now; President Trump orders the Pentagon to prepare a Syrian exit strategy; Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s April 10 date with Congress on data usage issues; the 50thanniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.; Jimmy Kimmel’s mocking of Melania Trump’s accent; the shooting and apparent suicide at YouTube headquarters in California; President Trump’s attacks on Amazon and Jeff Bezos; and Major League Baseball and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Detroit, Entercom names market media pro JoAnne Purtan morning show co-host at classic hits WOMC, alongside Stephen Clark.  Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says of Purtan, “We are thrilled that JoAnne is part of the new WOMC morning show.  In addition to being a widely respected journalist, she is an integral part of the Detroit community.  JoAnne’s father, Dick Purtan, is a huge part of the heritage of WOMC and it’s exciting to have a Purtan back at the station.” JoAnne Purtan says, “After 27 years in television news [20 years with WXYZ-TV], I’m excited for this new adventure in radio.  I listened to my dad on the radio for much of my life and I’m truly humbled to be at the same station where he spent the last 15 years of his iconic career entertaining people in the morning.  Stephen and I have always worked so well together and we’re so excited to team up again.  After covering a lot of serious news through the years, we look forward to spending mornings with Detroit’s listeners, sharing good news, great music and some fun.”…..In Miami, programming pro Rob Morris exits his role as vice president of programming for the cluster and PD of CHR WPOW “Power 96.”  Assistant program director and music director Will Calder is serving as interim PD for the Entercom station…..Hubbard Radio Seattle names Corey Dillon afternoon drive personality for new country outlet KNUC “98.9 The Bull.”  Dillon says, “I am so excited to join the team at ‘The New 98.9 The Bull’ and a company like Hubbard.  My dream has always been to be able to entertain, inform, or draw some sort of emotion out of listeners on their drive home.  I can’t imagine a better place to have that opportunity than Seattle.” Dillon comes to KNUC from his most recent gig as evening host at Entercom’s country KILT-FM, Houston “100.3 The Bull.”…..Mike V is joining Mikey Esparza on Midwest Television’s classic rock KFMB-FM, San Diego “100.7 KFM-BFM,” effective Monday (4/9) on the afternoon drive show…..Envision Networks’ nationally syndicated “Full Metal Jackie” show, hosted by Jackie Kajzer, announces new affiliate stations, including: KATT-FM, Oklahoma City; KKBZ-FM, Fresno; WTCX-FM, Green Bay-Appleton; and KHYX-HD2/K232EA, Reno.  Kajzer comments, “I’m forever on a mission to bring hard rock and metal to the masses and I’m honored to have these new stations as new affiliates!”…..Premiere Networks nationally syndicated morning personality Bobby Bones is making his ABC-TV debut on Sunday night as he joins the cast of “American Idol” to help mentor the top 24 contestants.  He’ll meet with the first 12 performers this week, followed by the remaining 12 on April 15, to “help them reach the next level in their artistry and performances.”…..iHeartMedia Colorado Springs appoints Samantha Kumm market president. The cluster includes country KCCY, hip hop KIBT, hot AC KVUU, and adult contemporary KLCX, and rock KBPL.

Monday, March 26, 2018

| March 26, 2018

Positioning: The Battle for Your Government.  Consultant Holland Cooke says it’s interesting to note how today’s current political candidates – including Democrat Conor Lamb, recent winner of the Pennsylvania Congressional special election – are using some of the time-proven strategies of “product differentiation” to separate themselves from their opponents.  Read his piece here.

Imus’ ‘CBS Sunday Morning’ Segment Airs.  Radio legend Don Imus appeared on “CBS Sunday Morning” yesterday, interviewed by Anthony Mason about his 50-year radio career, including his fondest memories and his regrets.  Last week, CBS teased the segment, reporting that Imus said he would include Howard Stern in the same group with himself as one of the five greatest radio performers of all time.  If you missed it you can read a partial transcript here and see the video.

Price: Investors May Not Care About Operational Resilience, but Your Listeners and Advertisers Do.  Former longtime director of business continuity & crisis management for ABC’s news and technology & operations divisions, Howard B. Price, says that as recent natural disasters have taught radio and television operators in places like Houston, the U.S. Southeast, and in the Caribbean, both listeners and advertisers care about the operational resilience of your stations.  “Your business has value so long as it operates.  When it doesn’t, it has no meaningful value to your audience or your clients.  And modern technology has made reasonable operational resilience easier and more affordable than ever.  Seems like a no-brainer.”  Yet many operators don’t take the time to prepare and end up regretting it.  Read Price’s piece here.

MIW Radio Group Announces Participants in 2018 Mentoring Program.  The four mentees for this year’s MIW Group Mildred Carter Mentoring Program, sponsored by the Mentoring & Inspiring Women in Radio Group, are announced.  This year’s class consists of: Candy Cintron, assistant program director at El Zol 107.9, Entercom, Washington; Amanda Guest, founder & general manager BFF.fm, Best Frequencies, Inc., San Francisco; Jillene Khan, WMGN afternoon host/social media director, Mid-West Family Broadcasting, Madison; Kimberly Sonneborn, vice president of digital operations, Beasley Media Group, LLC, Charlotte.  Now in its 17th year, the MIW Group’s signature mentoring program matches up-and-coming women in the radio industry with female professionals recognized as leaders in all aspects of radio.  To date, the MIW Group Mildred Carter Mentoring Program has successfully mentored a total of 43 mentees.

TALKERS News Notes.  Pro wrestling icon Jim Ross is taking his podcast to the Westwood One Podcast Network, effective in early April.  Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes states, “This proud partnership is an impressive match between two legendary brands – Jim Ross and Westwood One.  Jim always brings it, which is why he has such a passionate fan base and massive social media following.  We can’t wait to share the first episode of ‘The Jim Ross Report’ with his highly engaged audience.”…..SiriusXM is launching “Urban View Vote” – what it calls “a non-partisan, mid-term election year voter registration campaign designed to raise awareness about voter registration opportunities throughout the 50 states.”  The campaign includes the roll-out of an “Urban View Vote” vehicle to tour multiple states – visiting college campuses, community centers, and other key locations.  Urban View host and programming consultant Karen Hunter states, “This is a crucial time in our country’s history to register new voters, and Urban View listeners will lead the way.  On Urban View, we don’t just talk about issues, we take action.  Now more than ever, we want people to know their voting rights and to empower them to take an active role in their futures.  Our hashtag – #10for2018 – reflects our goal that every listener will inspire 10 people they know to get registered.”

‘March for Our Lives,’ Stormy Daniels’ ‘60 Minutes’ Interview, Trump-Russia Investigation, Bolton Named National Security Adviser-Designate, Trump’s China Tariffs, Craig’s List Shutters Personals, March Madness, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  Saturday’s “March for Our Lives” gun control advocacy demonstrations; the “60 Minutes” interview with porn star Stormy Daniels; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; President Trump names former Ambassador to the UN John Bolton National Security Adviser-Designate; Trump’s tariff threats on Chinese goods and China’s response; Craig’s List closes its personal ads section to prevent human rights violations; the weekend’s NCAA Men’s tournament games; and NBA 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 Tampa, iHeartMedia names the personalities for its “Throwback 94.5, 99.1, and 105.9.”  Morning drive is home to “Big Boy’s Neighborhood.” Queen B hosts middays, DJ Chase is afternoon personality, and DJ Sandman is evening jock.  The three-signal station is fed to W233AV, Gulfport; WVVD-LP, Seffner; and W290BJ, West Tampa via WMTX-HD2.  Station PD Mychal Maguire says, “This is an opportunity for us to give our listeners a great lineup of air personalities along with the great throwback hip-hop songs they grew up listening to and love.  iHeartMedia Tampa is continuously providing our listeners with the music and entertainment they want.”…..Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that Weigel Broadcasting’s Windy City low-power FM, adult contemporary WRME “Me-TV FM” is syndicating its programming to WJMK-AM, Bridgeport, Michigan (Saginaw-Bay City-Midland market).  WJMK-AM station manager Philip Bernstein says, “We are excited to bring the Tri-Cities the proven ‘Me-TV’ music format, which attained ratings far surpassing the heritage stations in Chicago in only one year of being on the air.”…..Three staffers exit Entercom’s San Diego cluster.  Alternative KBZT “ALT 94/9” program director Chris Patyk, cluster promotions director Kiku Boyance, and production assistant Dawne Davis all exit in what’s being termed a restructuring…..Pictured below is “CMT After Midnite” syndicated star Cody Alan (at the standing mic) in the Seacrest Studios at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt speaking with UMG Nashville recording artist Jordan Davis (seated).  In addition to meeting with the young patients and their families, Davis chatted with Alan about the release of his debut album, Home State, and his first headlining “White Wine and Whiskey Tour” that kicks off in April.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

| March 22, 2018

Townsquare to Acquire Three More New Jersey Signals. This deal with Connoisseur Media will transfer ownership of Trenton, New Jersey’s CHR WPST and sports talk WNJE “AM 920 The Jersey” and Christian teaching WCHR, Flemington to Townsquare Media.  The price tag for the three is $17 million.  Townsquare Media co-CEO Dhruv Prasad says in a press release, “We are very excited to announce the acquisition of these radio stations, particularly WPST, one of the Northeast’s most respected and highest-performing CHR stations.  Combined with our market leading news/talk radio station based in Trenton – ‘New Jersey 101.5’ – and our existing portfolio of 10 other stations in the state of New Jersey, we believe these assets will enhance our ability to deliver high-quality, engaging, local content and superior, multi-platform marketing solutions.  This is the third strategic acquisition that we have announced within the past nine months, demonstrating our continuing commitment to investing capital at attractive values in our local media business.”  Connoisseur CEO Jeffrey Warshaw comments, “This is a bittersweet deal for us. We are very proud of our talented team and their accomplishments in New Jersey. I’m confident that these stations will continue to thrive as part of the Townsquare family.”

TALKERS News Notes. Pictured here is former deputy White House assistant to President Trump, Dr. Sebastian Gorka, in the Washington, DC studios of Salem Radio Network as he sits in for nationally syndicated talk show host Dennis Prager on Wednesday’s program.  (Prager was addressing audiences in Australia.)  SRN vice president/News & Talk programming Tom Tradup says that although Gorka is a frequent guest on FOX News Channel, it was his first time hosting a radio show. He says, “His debut was flat out amazing.  Nothing fazed him.  Dr. Gorka was calm, unflappable, and performed as if he’d been a talk radio host for 20 years.”…..Next week, ABC News launches a daily news podcast titled, “Start Here,” hosted by Brad Mielke.  ABC News says the 20-minute episodes will “draw on the global resources of ABC News and deliver meaningful insights on events shaping the world.”  ABC Radio VP and general manager Steve Jones says, “This new venture will provide expertise, curation and credibility as an antidote to information noise.  The median age of podcast listeners is 29.  Brad’s inviting and energetic delivery powered by ABC News gives us the opportunity to reach that next generation of ABC News consumers in a medium they love, and allow them to not just hear the news, but to step inside of it and emerge better equipped for their day.”…..The Dr. Daliah Wachs show, syndicated by Genesis Communications Network, adds a new affiliate station as Wynne Enterprises’ KFLS, Klamath Falls, Oregon adds the show for weekdays and weekends…..ESPN’s WEPN, New York “ESPN 98.7FM New York” is broadcasting the 45th annual NYPD vs. FDNY charity hockey game taking place at Madison Square Garden on Saturday (3/24).  Station personality Don La Greca – co-host of the Michael Kay show – will do the play-by-play alongside Rick DiPietro – co-host of the Humpty & Canty program – who will be color commentator…..iHeartMedia news/talk outlets WGIR, Manchester “NewsRadio 610” and WQSO-FM, Portsmouth, New Hampshire “NewsRadio 96.7” raised more than $160,000 during Wednesday’s fourth annual “Make 12 Hours Count” radiothon – spearheaded by “New Hampshire Today” morning host Jack Heath.  The funds benefit Veterans Count, an organization that provides financial assistance, services and resources to New Hampshire veterans, service members and their families.  Heath says, “‘New Hampshire Today’ is committed to supporting the men and women that selflessly serve our country.  With the help of our generous listeners and sponsors we were able to raise a significant amount of money to help the vets in our local community.”

Gregg ‘Opie’ Hughes Announces Podcast Deal with Westwood One.  Eight months after exiting SiriusXM, Gregg “Opie” Hughes has struck a deal with Westwood One to join the company’s podcast network.  Hughes released a YouTube video in which he talks about the project.  He’ll do a twice-weekly podcast and look for other shows that he can include under the “Opie Radio” umbrella he’s been asked to build.  He says there is a possible radio component to his deal with Westwood One, but that hasn’t been ironed out yet.  He credits Westwood One’s Tim Sabean with brokering the deal.  Sabean worked with Hughes at SiriusXM.  The podcast debuts on April 17.

KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh’s Hometown Heroes Awards Take Place Next Thursday. Next Thursday evening, the “Sixth Annual Larry Hometown Heroes” event takes place at Pittsburgh’s Rivers Casino.  This annual awards program is hosted by KDKA-AM morning host Larry Richert and honors individuals who are giving back and making a difference in their local community.  Each year, the event honors five individuals who receive a $1,000 donation to a charity of their choice.  Former football player Merril Hoge will be the keynote speaker.  Entercom Pittsburgh SVP and market manager Michael Young says, “It is a privilege to give back to our local community and honor our hometown heroes who have been doing extraordinary things for the Pittsburgh community and to place a spotlight on the selfless work they do.  We are looking forward to having Merril Hoge join us as the keynote speaker for this year’s Larry’s Hometown Heroes.”  Also this year, the Larry Hometown Heroes “Lifetime Hero Award” is being presented to local sports broadcaster Bill Hillgrove for his philanthropic efforts within the community and through the University of Pittsburgh.

Trump-Putin Relationship, Mueller’s Russia Investigation, Trump Women Litigation, Facebook-Analytica Data Misuse, Trump’s China Tariffs Threat, McCabe Firing-FBI Investigation, Austin Bomber Case, Fed Raises Interest Rates, NCAA Tourney, NFL Free Agency, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/21). The controversy over President Trump’s congratulating Vladimir Putin for his “election” victory and speculation about their relationship; the status of Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russia agents; the legal battles being waged against President Trump by porn star Stormy Daniels, former Playboy model Karen McDougal, and Summer Zervos; the data misuse allegations against Cambridge Analytica and Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg’s CNN apology; China’s threat of retaliation if the Trump tariffs go into effect; the firing of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and the movement among conservative lawmakers to open a special counsel investigation into alleged abuses at the FBI; the death of the Austin serial bomber; the Fed raises interest rates; the weekend’s NCAA tourney games; the NFL free agency period; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  On-air pro Jack Daniel joins Beasley Media Group in the Charlotte market to serve as afternoon personality on adult contemporary WKQC “K 104.7” and classic hits “94.7 Smoke.”  Daniel comments, “I’m thrilled to be working with longtime friends John Reynolds, DJ Stout and Bill Schoening.  It will be exciting to host the drive home show on ‘K-104.7’ and ‘94.7 SMOKE’ and be part of the Beasley team in Charlotte.  I can’t wait to get started!”…..Entercom names Chris “DECiPHA” Hernandez program director for CHR KALV, Phoenix “Live 101.5.”  He rises from his role as APD and music director.  Entercom Phoenix SVP and market manager Dave Pugh says, “We are excited to continue to have Chris on the ‘LIVE 101.5′ team.  His hard work and dedication, coupled with his extensive knowledge of the Phoenix community, make him ideal for this role.”…..iHeartMedia Chicago promotes Matthew Harris to promotions director for hip hop WGCI.  Harris has been with the station’s programming since last year.  He will report to iHM Chicago director of marketing and promotions Echo Robinson.

The Jim Brickman Show Welcomes Hannah Rae as Co-Host.  The Envision Networks-syndicated Jim Brickman show announces Hannah Rae joins as the new producer and co-host.  Rae (center) joins award-winning songwriter and best-selling solo pianist Jim Brickman (right) and “formidable slacker and gen-Xer” Bob (left) as the most recent member of the show.  Brickman says, “It’s rare to discover an authentic talent who’s never done radio and yet shines when the mic goes on.  Hannah Rae rounds out the B-team with a refreshing, millennial point of view.”  As well as serving as a co-host, she writes for the show, coordinates in-studio recording, interviews, and handles social media.

Round Three of February PPM Data Released. The third of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s February 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Orlando, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen’s February 2018 survey period covered February 1 – 28. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Portland Spoken Word Formats – Notwithstanding that it returns all of the +1.1 it racked up in January, Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk KOPB (9.6 – 8.5, -1.1, 6+) remains at #1. When it entered the September sweep, KOPB occupied the runner-up position 21 successive times; however, with a +1.4, it finally reached #1. It was a short stay there though as KOPB plummeted by -1.1 (9.1 – 8.0, 6+) and returned to its familiar runner-up spot in October – only to have another one-month run at #1 in November. KOPB ranked second in December and “Holiday” 2017. Its recent trends include +.9 (March 2017); -.8 (May); +.6 (June); -.9 (July); +.6 (August); +1.4 (September); -1.1 (October); +1.1 (January 2018) and now -1.1 (February). Despite posting its third increase in a row for a cumulative +1.7 (3.5 – 3.6 – 5.0 – 5.2, 6+), Alpha Media news/talk KXL “101 FM News – Stay Connected” backslides from fifth to sixth. Prior to January, the last time KXL reached the five-share level (6+) was in October 2013 (5.3). After gaining one-half share in January to 1.7 – its best 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016 (1.7, as well) – iHeartMedia’s similarly programmed KEX “News Radio 1190 – Depend on Us” repeats the 1.7 and stays at #19. Meanwhile, Alpha Media news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970” is off two-tenths (1.1 – .9, #23, 6+). As it returns the four-tenths it picked up in January (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.0, 6+), Entercom sports talk KFXX “1080 The Fan” moves from #17 to #18. Dropping four-tenths as well is Alpha Media’s similarly-formatted KXTG “The Game” (1.4 – 1.0, unchanged at #22, 6+); iHeartMedia’s KPOJ “Sports Radio 620” is trending .6 – .6 – .7 – .7 (#25, 6+).

Portland Music Formats – On the strength of a full-share increase (4.4 – 5.4, eighth to fifth), iHeartMedia’s KFBW “105.9 The Brew – Portland’s Rock Station” reaches the five-share threshold (6+) for the first time since last September’s 5.2. Down or flat the past three sweeps for an overall loss of one-half share (2.7 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+) co-owned KXJM “JAM’N 107.5 – Portland’s #1 for Hip-Hop and Throwbacks” erases the deficit with a +.6 to 2.8 (#18 to #16, 6+). Although steady at #7, Alpha Media triple A KINK “101.9 Uniquely Portland” gains one-half share (4.5 – 5.0, 6+). As the result of gaining one-tenth to 4.0 (6+), Entercom hot AC KRSK “105.1 The Buzz – Today’s Best Mix” (flat at #10) applies the brakes to six straight sweeps without an increase for a collective -1.5 (5.4 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 3.9, 6+). A loss of seven-tenths slices in half the 6+-share of Mount Hood Community College’s KMHD “Jazz Radio 89.1” (1.4 – .7, #25, 6+). Over the course of the last two ratings periods, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW (-9.0) has seen its 6+-share dwindle by more than 50% (16.9 – 8.5 – 7.9, 6+) but “K-103” remains in second-place. Before shifting to #2 in September, “K-103” was #1 in 39 of the previous 41 ratings periods. With its 13.7 in December and 16.9 in “Holiday” 2017, KKCW is the first Portland station to reach double-digits (6+) since it did so with a 15.3 in “Holiday” 2016. Off one-half share (2.7 – 2.2, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KFIS “104.1 The Fish” dips from #16 to #17.

2) Charlotte Spoken-Word Formats – In addition to logging its third uptick in succession for a collective +1.2 (3.1 – 3.2 – 4.0 – 4.3, 6+), Entercom news/talk WBT cracks the top ten (#13 to #8). Earlier, WBT was +1.4 in three consecutive improvements (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.4 – 4.0, July – August – September – October, 6+). Dropping one-tenth to 3.5 (6+), University Radio Foundation news talk WFAE remains at #15; “Charlotte’s NPR News Source” was a combined -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.2 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+). Its recent fluctuations include -.6 (October); +.5 (November); -1.1 (December); and +.6 in January. Off seven-tenths (1.9 – 1.2, 6+), Entercom-owned sports talk WFNZ “The Fan – Charlotte’s Sports Leader” slips from #18 to #19.

Charlotte Music Formats – Not only is Beasley Media Group urban AC WBAV without a loss for the seventh successive sweep for a cumulative +1.7 (5.7 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.4 – 6.5 – 6.5 – 7.4, 6+), “V-101.9” jumps from #2 to #1. This represents the first time that WBAV has reached the seven-share level (6+) in nearly four years (7.2, April 2014). Exiting the top spot and segueing to #4 is iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country,” which surrenders seven-tenths of January’s +1.9 (6.9 – 6.2, 6+). The 6.9 it registered this time last month was the strongest 6+-stat for “The Kat” since 7.0 in May 2016. WKKT hadn’t hit #1 since August 2017, when it registered a 6.1 (6+). Tied at #4 with “The Kat” is its format rival – Beasley Media Group’s WSOC “103.7 Country’s Hottest Hits” – which is off two-tenths, thus ending at three a consecutive string of gains that netted seven-tenths (5.7 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.4, 6+). Notching increases of one-half share each are iHeartMedia’s WRFX “99.7 The Fox – Charlotte’s Classic Rock” (7.0, unchanged at #2, 6+); CHR sibling WHQC “Channel 96.1 – All the Hits” (#16 to #13, 6+); and Radio One urban contemporary WQNC “92.7 The Block” (2.5, steady at #17, 6+). “The Fox” was stuck on 6.9 (6+) in November and December and then on 6.5 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018. “Channel 96.1” has its third straight up or flat trend for an overall +.8 (3.1 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.9, 6+), while “The Block” was -.3 in three successive down or flat moves (2.3 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.0, 6+). A +.9 in January by Radio One gospel outlet WPZS ended three consecutive sweeps without an increase for a -.3 (4.2 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+), but “Praise 100.9 – Charlotte’s Inspiration Station” surrenders six-tenths in February (4.8 – 4.2, sixth to ninth, 6+). In a similar situation, iHeartMedia’s WEND picked up seven-tenths in January to suspend three straight down or flat trends that resulted in a -.6 (4.2 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.6, 6+); however, “106.6 The End – Charlotte’s Alternative Rock” now forfeits one-half share (4.3 – 3.8, 6+) and leaves the top ten (#10 to #14).

3) San Antonio Spoken-Word Formats – Following a January +1.6 to 4.4 – its best 6+-showing since last May (4.4, as well) – iHeartMedia news/talk WOAI “News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather” is flat in both 6+-share (4.4) and 6+-market rank (#9). Before that massive +1.6, WOAI was -.9 as the result of four straight sweeps without an increase (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+). Trending 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.3 – 1.6 – 1.7 (6+), Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” continues at #20. A combined -1.7 in January and February (4.7 – 3.4 – 3.0, 6+), Texas Public Radio news/talk KSTX drops from #13 to #15. With a +1.0 to 4.7 in Holiday2017, KSTX crossed the four-share level (6+) for the first time in its PPM-history. Flat at .5 (6+) iHeartMedia sports talk KTKR “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” checks in at #28.

San Antonio Music Formats – If January’s +1.1 to 5.2 (6+) wasn’t sufficient, iHeartMedia-owned KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” follows with a +1.6 (6.8, 6+) to jump from fourth to second. Prior to January, “KJ-97” was -.9 in four successive down or flat sweeps (5.0 – 5.0 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). In advance of the August 2017 ratings period, KAJA registered three consecutive uptrends for a collective gain of eight-tenths. With a (6+) January 2018 – February 2018 increase half that of KAJA, CHR cluster-mate KXXM “96.1 Now – San Antonio’s #1 Hit Music Station” elevates from #15 to #11 (3.3 – 4.1, +.8, 6+). A January +1.8 by KONO-FM lifted the Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies outlet to #1, as well as suspending three downward moves in succession that produced a -2.0 (7.0 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.0, 6+). In the February report, “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” adds one-half share (6.8 – 7.3, 6+) and repeats in the lead position. After ten straight months at #1, KONO-FM shifted to #2 in December and remained there in “Holiday” 2017. Recent (6+) fluctuations for KONO-FM include January 2017’s +1.1; April’s +.8; May’s -.6; August’s -.5; October’s +.7; December’s -.9; “Holiday” 2017’s -.9; January 2018’s +1.8; and February’s +.5. An overall +1.8 in seven sweeps in a row without a loss (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.0, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KXTN “107.5 Tejano & Proud” remains at #12. By picking up one-tenth to 2.3 (#19 to #18, 6+), co-owned KMYO “Latino Mix 95.1” pulls the plug on four straight decreases that accounted for a -1.3 (3.5 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+). Relinquishing all but one-tenth of January’s +1.1 (5.4 – 4.4, -1.0, 6+), classic rock sibling KTKX “106.7 The Eagle” plummets from third to ninth. Down by one full-share as well (3.4 – 2.4, #13 to #17, 6+) is Alpha Media regional Mexican KSAH “Norteno,” which improved by eight-tenths in January.

4) Pittsburgh Spoken-Word Formats – When Entercom news/talk KDKA-AM broke out a +1.3 in January to 5.3 (6+), it pulled the plug on four down or flat trends in succession that produced a loss of eight-tenths (4.8 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+). Remaining at #7 in February, “News Radio 1020” matches that 5.3 – its highest 6+-share since April 2017’s 5.7. A combined +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 (5.3 – 5.9 – 6.6, 6+), sports talk sibling KDKA-FM surrenders nine-tenths in February to 5.7 (6+) but “93.7 The Fan” remains in sixth-place. January’s 6.6 represents the best 6+-showing for “The Fan” since September 2016’s 7.6. While it is true that iHeartMedia sports talk WBGG is without a loss for the eighth ratings period in a row, “ESPN Pittsburgh” has a net gain of just one-tenth in that stretch (.1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .2 – .2, 6+) and is unchanged at #17. Following a six-tenths gain that halted three successive downward trends resulting in a -1.1 (3.2 – 2.8 – 2.4 – 2.1, 6+), Essential Public Media news/talk WESA “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” is up two-tenths to 2.9 (6+) and stays at #12.

Pittsburgh Music Formats – Not only is iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWSW back in double digits (6+) as it was September through “Holiday” 2017, “94.5 – 3WS” gains nine-tenths and is #1 for the 12th ratings period in succession (9.4 – 10.3, 6+). It is rebounding from January’s loss of seven full-shares. Adding six-tenths to January’s +.4 (6.9 – 7.3 – 7.9, 6+), Steel City Media adult hits WRRK “96.9 Bob FM” inches up from fourth to third. A collective -4.8 in January and February (10.6 – 6.8 – 5.8, 6+), WSHH “Today’s Wish 99.7” carries on in fifth-place. In “Holiday” 2017, the Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary facility posted a 10.6, the station’s best 6+-showing in exactly one year. Stymied on 5.7 (6+) in August and September and then on 5.2 (6+) in October and November, WSHH more than doubled the October and November stat in December and “Holiday” 2017 with a combined +5.4. More major ups and downs for iHeartMedia rocker WDVE, which has been +1.6 (October 2017); -1.0 (November); -.8 (“Holiday 2017”); +.8 (January); and now -.9 in February (9.2 – 8.3, #2, 6+). WDVE has been in second-place in eight of the last nine sweeps. October’s 10.2 marked the first time it reached double-digits (6+) since March 2017 (10.4).

5) Sacramento Spoken-Word Formats – After only a one-month stay at #1, iHeartMedia-owned KFBK “Sacramento’s News, Weather, and Traffic Station” sputters by one-half share (8.6 – 8.1, 6+) and slips to the runner-up slot. Down or flat in October – November – December for an overall loss of seven-tenths (7.8 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 7.1, 6+), KFBK logged a +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and followed in January 2018 with a +.2; January 2018’s 8.6 was its best 6+-stat since January 2017’s 8.7. After three straight improvements netting a combined +1.3 (6.5 – 6.7 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+), KFBK regressed by three-tenths in October. Having posted a 2.7 in January – its highest 6+-share since June 2017’s 2.8 – co-owned KSTE regresses by two-tenths (2.5, #13 to #16). “Talk 650” was +.6 in December; -.5 in “Holiday” 2017; and +.6 in January. By posting a one-half share gain in January, KXJZ recaptured approximately half of its combined -1.1 from December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.3 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+), but the Capital Public Radio news/talk outlet returns three-tenths to 4.4 (6+) to dip from fifth to sixth. There’s little movement in the market’s sports contest as Entercom’s KHTK “Sports 1140” is down or flat for the third time in a row for a -.7 (2.6 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9, #16 to #19, 6+), while co-owned KIFM-AM “ESPN Radio 1320” is trending 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.5 (#21).

Sacramento Music Formats – As part of a steady September 2017 through February 2018 progression, Capital Public Radio classical-formatted KXPR “88.9 The Classical Station” is a collective +1.5 in six straight up or flat trends and reaches the two-share level (1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 2.5, #16 to #15, 6+). Advancing by six-tenths as well in February is Entercom hot AC KZZO “Now 100.5 – Today’s Best Hits” (3.9 – 4.5, ninth to fifth, 6+). Up one-tenth (8.2 – 8.3, 6+), co-owned KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” marches from second to first. Its +2.0 in January basically erased a combined -2.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017; “The Eagle” was an overall -1.6 in September and October (9.7 – 8.7 – 8.1, 6+). Steady at #4, CHR sibling KUDL “106.5 The End” is off two-tenths to 5.2 (6+), ending three positive trends in succession that produced a +1.8 (3.6 – 3.8 – 4.3 – 5.4, 6+).

6) Salt Lake City Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to three straight negative moves, Bonneville’s KSL was a combined -3.2 (8.3 – 6.5 – 5.7 – 5.1, October – November – December – “Holiday” 2017, 6+), but “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” responds with an overall +1.6 in January and February to 6.7 (6+) and continues in second place. After logging a +.7 in January, iHeartMedia’s KNRS “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know” is off one-tenth to 3.9 (flat at #10, 6+). Having trended 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.5 (June through October, 6+), KNRS was +.8 in November, but was a combined -1.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017. Forfeiting all of January’s +.8 and three-tenths more (4.1 – 3.0, -1.1, 6+), University of Utah news/talk KUER exits the top ten (#9 to #12). Owing to a loss of two-tenths (1.7 – 1.5, 6+), Broadway Media-owned KALL “ESPN 700 – Utah’s #1 Sports Talk” slumps from a three-way tie at #19 to #21.

Salt Lake City Music Formats – Rebounding from January’s -.6 (1.8 – 1.2, 6+), Cumulus Media’s KHTB “Alt 101.9” flashes a +.9 to 2.1 (6+) and is back in the top twenty (#23 to #19, 6+). This (2.1) is its best 6+-showing since August 2017 (2.1, as well). In addition to registering a +.6 (2.4 – 3.0, 6+), allowing it to leap from #17 to #12, Brigham Young University’s KBYU “Classical 89” reaches the three-share level for the first time since January 2017’s 3.1. Albeit a whopping -15.9 in January and February (23.2 – 8.1 – 7.3, 6+), Bonneville-owned KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music Better Work Day” is #1 for the fifth ratings period in a row. In “Holiday” 2017, its 23.2 share (6+) was in excess of the sum total of the next five stations after it. “FM 100.3” was #1 each month in calendar year 2017 except January, March, April, and October. A one-half share loss (1.7 – 1.2, 6+) takes Broadway Media adult hits KYMV to its lowest 6+-share in just over one year (1.2, as well in January 2017) as “Rewind 100.7” departs the top twenty (#19 to #23). Given that both stations’ 6+-share is unchanged from January, there’s still a seven-tenths difference between Cumulus Media country outlet KUBL “K-Bull 93 FM” (flat at 5.3, 6+) and independent rival KSOP-FM “Z-104 Utah’s #1 Country” (steady at 4.6, #7, 6+). “K-Bull” was -1.4 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.7 – 4.1 – 3.3, 6+) but logged a +2.0 in January. Up or flat for the tenth sweep in a row – including 1.4 (6+) in each of the last four (.9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+), 1980’s hits KSQN “103.1 The Wave – The Next Wave of New Wave” continues at #22.

7) Las Vegas Spoken-Word Formats – Improving by one-tenth after January’s +.6 (1.9 – 2.5 – 2.6, 6+) Nevada Public Radio news/talk KNPR is this market’s only spoken-word representative to appear in February 2018’s top twenty (#17 to #15). This (2.6) is KNPR’s best 6+-stat since May 2017’s 2.8. Up or flat for the third straight time for a +.2 (1.7 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+) Entercom’s KXNT “News Talk Radio 840” continues at #21, while Beasley Media Group news/talk KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk” doubles its 6+-share via five straight positive or flat trends (.7 – .7 – .7 – .7      – 1.3 – 1.4, 6+) to carry on at #23. Conversely, Lotus Communications sports talk KWWN “ESPN Radio 1100” is a collective -.4 in five consecutive sweeps without an increase (1.2 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .8 – .8, #25, 6+).

Las Vegas Music Formats – A gain of eight-tenths (4.2 – 5.0, sixth to fifth, 6+) takes Beasley Media Group urban-rhythmic oldies KOAS “Old School 105.7” to its strongest 6+-stat since June 2017’s 5.6. Without a loss for the fifth consecutive report (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 4.8 – 5.2, 6+), Entercom rhythmic hot AC KXQQ “Q-100.5” is an overall +2.0, progressing from fifth to fourth. Despite surrendering roughly half of January’s +1.1 (7.6 – 7.1, -.5, 6+), co-owned classic hits-oldies KKLZ “96.3 – 70s, 80s and More” repeats at #1. In December, KKLZ was ousted from #1 after five straight months in the lead position. It previously was +1.0 (October); -.9 (November) and -.7 (December). Down or flat the past six survey periods for a cumulative -2.0 (5.3 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.4 – 3.3, 6+), Lotus Communications’ KXPT “97.1 The Point – #1 for Classic Rock” dials up a +.5 to 3.8 and enters the top ten (#12 to #8, 6+). Without a loss four sweeps in a row for an overall +.9 (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.8, 6+), Faith Communications contemporary Christian KSOS “SOS Radio – Right Song, Right Time” is now a combined -2.2 in January and February (4.8 – 3.9 – 2.6, 6+), spiraling from #8 to #15; 4.8 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-stat since September 2016’s 5.4.

8) Cincinnati Spoken-Word Formats – After logging five straight negative trends for a collective -3.3 (9.6 – 9.4 – 9.2 – 8.0 – 7.2 – 6.3, 6+), WLW is +2.0 in January and February (6.3 – 7.9 – 8.3, flat at #2). The heritage iHeartMedia news/talker fell to #3 in November, following three consecutive months at #1. It returned to the top in August 2017 after back-to-back appearances in the runner-up slot. Even though it adds two-tenths (3.6 – 3.8, 6+), co-owned and similarly-formatted WKRC “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati” backslides from #10 to #11. Its +.3 in January ended three downward moves in a row that accounted for a -.9 (4.2 – 4.2 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+). Following January’s one-half share improvement, Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU adds two-tenths to 3.6 (6+) yet slips from #11 to #12. The market’s 6+-sports talk share shrinks by three-tenths as iHeartMedia-owned WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530” is off one-tenth (1.2 – 1.1, #19 to #20, 6+), while co-owned WSAI “Fox Sports AM 1360” is down two-tenths (.7 – .5, #22, 6+).

Cincinnati Music Formats – Three gains in succession by Hubbard’s WUBE “B-105.1 – Get Your Country On” (unchanged at #3) flips December’s -1.4 into a +2.3 (5.8 – 6.3 – 7.8 – 8.1, 6+). Tacking on seven-tenths to January’s +.5 (2.7 – 3.2 – 3.9, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WFTK “96 Rock” cracks the top ten (#12 to #10) with its strongest 6+-share since August 2017 (3.9, as well). Unchanged at 9.6 (6+), cluster-mate WGRR “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” repeats at #1. The classic hits-oldies facility dusted itself off from a -1.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (9.1 – 8.5 – 7.5, 6+) with a January +2.1. This (9.6) is its strongest 6+-stat since last July’s 9.7. Faltering by one-half share each are co-owned adult contemporary WRRM “Warm 98” (4.9, fifth to sixth, 6+) and Hubbard rhythmic hot AC WREW “Mix 94.9” (4.5, seventh to ninth, 6+). Prior to January’s -7.6, “Warm 98” (#1 in “Holiday” 2017) was an overall +9.1 in five improvements in a row since August (3.9 – 4.0 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 7.5 – 13.0, 6+). A January +1.3 by “Mix” virtually eliminated its -1.4 from five straight down or flat trends (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+). Without an increase four sweeps in a row for a combined -1.0 (2.4 – 2.3 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.4, 6+) – immediately following five consecutive up or flat sweeps that produced a +1.0 (1.4 -1.7 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.4, 6+) – Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies WDBZ picks up one-tenth to 1.5 (6+) as “Soul 101.5” moves from #18 to a four-way tie at #16.

9) Orlando Spoken-Word Formats – No sooner did iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS explode with a January +1.7, “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” immediately follows with a +1.3 (2.2 – 3.9 – 5.2, 6+) and cracks the top ten (#11 to #8). January’s mammoth gain ended three straight down or flat trends that resulted in a -.7 (2.9 – 2.9 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+). WTKS bypasses Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM, which after January’s +1.3, is flat in both 6+-share (4.7) and rank (#10). Entering the January sweep, “News 96.5” was a collective -2.7 via four straight decreases (6.1 – 5.1 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+); WDBO-FM registered a +2.0 in September 2017. Without an increase in five straight ratings periods for a -.7 (1.9 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WFLF gained seven-tenths in January but coughs up three-tenths in February (1.9 – 1.6, flat at #16, 6+). Off two-tenths (3.9 – 3.7, 6+), Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE slides from #11 to #14. In January, “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida” regained the six-tenths it lost in “Holiday” 2017. Tied at #20 are iHeartMedia sports talk WYGM “FM 96.9 The Game – Orlando’s Sports Leader” (1.2 – .7, -.5, 6+) and Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted WDBO-AM “ESPN 580 Orlando” (.8 – .7, -.1, 6+).

Orlando Music Formats – Stuck on 5.0 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 and January, Cox Media Group urban AC WCFB “Star 94.5” erupts with a full-share gain to 6.0 – its best 6+-share June 2017’s 6.1 – progressing from eighth to fifth. After recording four losses in a row for a combined -1.3 (4.3 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+), Entercom’s WQMP was +1.1 in “Holiday” 2017. It faltered by nine-tenths in January but “Alt 101.9 – Orlando’s New Alternative” bounces back in February with a +.7 (4.1 – 3.2 – 3.9, #14 to #13, 6+). Its hot AC sibling WOMX “Mix 105.1” improves by six-tenths (4.8 – 5.4, ninth to sixth, 6+), as does iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMGF “Magic 107.7” (6.6 – 7.2, flat at #3, 6+). After gaining six-tenths in November, “Mix” was -1.7 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.5 – 4.6 – 3.8, 6+) and +1.0 in January. “Magic” spent two months at #1 and was a combined +8.3 in December and “Holiday” 2017 before plummeting -9.3 (15.9 – 6.6, 6+) in January. Co-owned Spanish tropical WRUM is up two-tenths (9.3 – 9.5, 6+) and repeats at #1. Following 11 consecutive months on top, “Rumba 100” dropped to the runner-up slot in December and remained there in “Holiday” 2017. Its +.4 in January ended four negative sweeps in a row that generated a collective -2.7 (11.6 – 11.5 – 11.4 – 11.3 – 8.9, 6+). April 2017s 12.8 is the best-ever 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. At the same time, Entravision Communications’ similarly-formatted WNUE “Salsa 98.1” erodes by nine-tenths (2.7 – 1.8, 6+) but remains at #15. A collective +1.3 in three straight upticks (3.8 – 4.2 – 4.9 – 5.1, 6+), Cox Media Group country-formatted WWKA hands over all but two-tenths of that margin (4.0, -1.1, 6+) as “K-92.3” drifts out of the top ten (#7 to #12). The wild journey keeps going for iHeartMedia CHR WXXL. In October, it ended five straight monthlies without an increase that resulted in a -2.4 (9.9 – 8.8 – 8.1 – 7.8 – 7.5 – 7.5, 6+), a streak that followed a +2.7 as the result of four consecutive positive moves (7.2 – 8.0 – 9.0 – 9.7 – 9.9, 6+). “XL-106.7” was up or flat four sweeps in succession for a +.7 (7.5 – 7.5 – 7.9 – 8.2 – 8.2, 6+), before recording a -.9 in “Holiday” 2017. It logged a +1.6 in January to 8.9 – its best 6+-stat since April 2017’s 9.9 – but is -.6 in February (8.3, unchanged at #2, 6+). Declining by six-tenths as well is University of Central Florida’s WUCF “89.9 Jazz & More” (1.5 – .9. #17 to #19, 6+). In January, iHeartMedia’s WJRR posted a +1.3, obliterating the combined -1.1 from December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.1 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+), but “101.1 Orlando’s Rock Station” returns one-half share in February (5.3 – 4.8, sixth to ninth, 6+).

10) Cleveland Spoken-Word Formats – Having gained one-half share in January to curtail three straight declines for a -3.5 (8.5 – 5.4 – 5.2 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” regresses by two-tenths (5.5 – 5.3, 6+) but moves from eighth to seventh. A major winning streak is snapped as Ideastream-owned news/talk WCPN – which was a cumulative +3.2 in six straight upticks (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 5.3, 6+) – relinquishes roughly half that increase (3.6, -1.7, 6+) and exits the top ten (#9 to #12). In four successive sweeps without a loss (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+), Entercom sports talk WKRK “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” is up six-tenths and enters the top ten (#12 to #10).

Cleveland Music Formats – The loftiest (6+) January 2018 – February 2018 increase logged by any station in the 12 PPM-markets shown here is by iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI (8.4 – 10.3, +1.9, 6+), which progresses from second to first. Ironically, “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” was -1.9 in January, following “Holiday” 2017’s +2.5 (7.8 – 10.3, 6+). When WMJI reached double-digits (6+) in “Holiday” 2017, it was the first time it accomplished that feat since September 2016’s 10.8. November’s +.8 stopped three straight declines that resulted in a -1.3 (9.2 – 8.9 – 8.4 – 7.9, 6+), but WMJI was -.9 in December. In 2017, “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” occupied the top spot from January through April; July through September; and in November. Even though it displays a +.4 (9.1 – 9.5, 6+), Radio One urban AC is displaced from the top spot after a one-month stay and shifts to #2. Having reached #1 in December with a +.9, WZAK fell to third in “Holiday” 2017. A loss of four-tenths in October ended three consecutive positive moves by WZAK for an overall +.9 (7.5 – 7.6 – 8.1 – 8.4, 6+). Its urban contemporary cluster-mate, WENZ “Z-107.9,” posts a +.6 to 6.3 (sixth to fifth, 6+), thus applying the brakes to three straight losses that accounted for a -1.5 (7.2 – 6.7 – 6.1 – 5.7, 6+). Eroding by more than 50% (-5.6) in January and February (10.4 – 5.6 – 4.9, 6+) after being a combined +5.5 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.9 – 7.2 – 10.4, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WDOK “Cleveland’s Star 102” dips from seventh to ninth. In December, “Star 102” halted three straight downward moves that accounted for a -1.1 (6.0 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.9, 6+).

11) Kansas City Spoken-Word Formats – Over and above racking up six positive spikes in succession for a +1.9 (3.7 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.9 – 5.6, 6+), Entercom news talk KMBZ-FM “98.1 News-Traffic-Weather” zooms from eighth to fourth. Co-owned KMBZ-AM “Talk 980” is flat at 2.0 and remains at #19, while Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM “Talk Radio 710” is trending .8 – .9 – 1.1 (#22, 6+). Without a loss for the fourth time in a row for a +.8 (1.9 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+), University of Missouri news/talk KCUR shifts from #17 to a three-way tie at #16. A combined +1.4 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018, Union Broadcasting sports talk WHB “Sports Radio 810” surrenders nine-tenths (4.0 – 3.1, #12 to #14, 6+). When WHB dipped by four-tenths in December, it halted at five a successive string of positive trends that doubled its 6+-stat (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+). Owing to a loss of four-tenths (1.8 – 1.4, 6+), Entercom’s KCSP “610 Sports Radio” falls off the top twenty (#20 to #21).

Kansas City Music Formats – Recapturing all but one-half share of January’s -1.7 (7.4 – 8.6, +1.2, 6+), Cumulus Media classic rock KCFX “The Fox” storms from second to first. A +1.2 in December lifted “The Fox” to 9.6, its strongest 6+-stat since July’s 10.3 and ended four straight down or flat sweeps that generated a -1.9 (10.3 – 8.7 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4, 6+). Prior to November, “The Fox” occupied Kansas City’s top spot for ten consecutive months. It trades places with classic hits-oldies sibling KCMO-FM “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits,” which falters by six-tenths (8.4 – 7.8, first to second, 6+). Its January -2.0 curtailed four straight upticks that netted a +2.7 (7.7 – 8.0 – 8.8 – 9.0 – 10.4, 6+). Frozen on 5.0 (6+) in November and December and then on 4.5 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018, Entercom’s KQRC “98.9 The Rock” registers a one-half share increase and is back at 5.0 (tenth to seventh, 6+). In addition to the aforementioned KCMO-FM, skidding by six-tenths as well are KQRC’s country cluster-mate WDAF “106.5 The Wolf” (5.3 – 4.7, fifth to ninth, 6+), up one-half share in January, and University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian KJNW “Life 88.5” (3.5 – 2.9, flat at #15, 6+), which gained eight-tenths in January. Ups/downs continue for Carter Broadcast Corporation urban contemporary KPRS “Hot 103 Jamz,” which was an overall +1.3 in November and December (4.8 – 5.3 – 6.1, 6+); -1.0 in “Holiday” 2017; +1.0 in January; and now -.5 in February (6.1 – 5.6, third to fourth, 6+).

12) Columbus Spoken-Word Formats – On the heels of January’s +1.5 (5.6 – 7.1, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN “News Radio 610” relinquishes two-thirds of that gain (6.1, -1.0, third to fifth, 6+); WTVN was -.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Prior to January, the last time “News Radio 610” reached the seven-share level (6+) was two years ago (7.3, February 2016). A -.3 in December halted three straight up-trends that netted eight-tenths (5.7 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.5, 6+). Within 3.4 – 3.9 range (6+) for five sweeps in a row, Ohio State University news/talk WOSU registered a +.6 to 4.2 (6+) in January. It follows with a +.1 in February to 4.3 (eighth to seventh), its best 6+-showing since 4.7 in August 2017. Locked on .9 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2017, iHeartMedia sports talk WXZX “105.7 The Zone” repeats January’s .8 (#17 to #16, 6+). This time last month, WBNS-FM “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” ranked seventh with a 4.4 (6+), but the RadiOhio sports talk station has ceased to subscribe to Nielsen ratings and will not appear in this or future public releases of 6+ data from Nielsen.

Columbus Music Formats – Powered by a +1.2 (5.2 – 6.4, 6+), Saga Communications adult contemporary WSNY “Sunny 95” makes up about one-fifth of January’s -5.8 and advances from #5 to #3. “Sunny” exited the top spot in January after just one survey period (“Holiday” 2017). It was +5.1 in “Holiday” 2017 to 11.0, its most potent 6+-stat since reappearing in print over three years ago (December 2014). Notching a February increase half that of WSNY is iHeartMedia adult hits WODC (5.2 – 5.8, 6+). Even with a +.6, however, “93.3 The Bus” backspins from fifth to sixth. Holiday” 2017’s 8.1 is the highest 6+-share for “The Bus” since 11.1 in “Holiday” 2016. “The Bus” was a combined +2.7 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.4 – 6.0 – 8.1, 6+), but -2.9 in January. After spending six months at #1, country-formatted sibling WCOL shifted to second in “Holiday” 2017 but returned to the top spot in January and repeats in February with a 12.3 (6+). It has been in double-digits (6+) each sweep since June. Accustomed to major fluctuations, WCOL was +2.2 (January 2017); -1.2 (February); +.8 (March); -1.3 (May); +1.4 (June); +2.1 (July); -.9 (August); -.6 (September); +.7 (October); -.5 (December); +3.1 (January 2018); and now -1.7 in February. Elsewhere in that cluster, urban contemporary WZCB “106.7 The Beat” drops six-tenths (3.6 – 3.0, ninth to tenth, 6+).

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

| February 27, 2018

Liberty Media Puts in Offer for iHeartMedia Ownership.  Out of the blue, Liberty Media – controlling owner of SiriusXM and minority stakeholder in Pandora – is offering $1.159 billion for a 40% stake in the new iHeartMedia.  This comes as iHeartMedia is very close to defaulting on a $103 million debt payment that could push the company into bankruptcy.  As it stands, iHeartMedia is negotiating with senior creditors to arrive at a pre-packaged bankruptcy that would greatly reduce the company’s $20 billion in debt in exchange for equity.  The Liberty offer is designed not to replace the current offer by senior creditors but to add Liberty to the mix.  Liberty’s offer is for a 20% stake held by Liberty, another 20% held by SiriusXM, four seats on the new company’s nine-member board, and Clear Channel Outdoor would be spun off as a taxable transaction.  Some experts say this offer has no chance of being accepted.  Sources quoted in a New York Post story say the offer undervalues iHM’s 850 radio stations – putting its value of iHeartMedia at $7.5 billion, less than the $8.5 billion Franklin Resources places on it.  Franklin is leading the senior creditors group.  One source expects iHM to proceed with a bankruptcy filing on March 3.

Post Theater Columnist Michael Riedel Named WOR, New York Morning Co-Host.  It’s been four months since radio talk host Todd Schnitt exited iHeartMedia’s news/talk WOR.  He’d been co-hosting the morning program with Len Berman but was unable to come to terms on a renewal agreement.  Now, the company announces that New York Post theater critic Michael Riedel will join Berman on 710 WOR for the “Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning” program.  In addition to his work for the Post, Riedel hosted the PBS program “Theater Talk” for 24 years and published the best-seller, Razzle Dazzle: The Battle for Broadway.  iHeartMedia calls the new show a “four-hour variety show, showcasing the most important stories of the day to New Yorkers, including local news, entertainment, humor, political stories, and interviews with newsmakers and celebrities.”  WOR program director Tom Cuddy says, “After a four-month search, we are super fortunate to have a triple-triple threat like Michael joining WOR.  He has been a successful newspaper writer for decades.  He co-hosted a TV show for over 20 years and now he’s joining us in a full-time capacity to pursue a lifelong passion for radio.”  Len Berman is quoted saying, “I couldn’t be more excited to have Michael as my new co-host,” said Berman.  I loved working with him when he was guest hosting.  We come from two different worlds: Michael from newspaper and Broadway, me from TV and sports.  Factor in that we don’t see eye to eye politically and I’m convinced it all adds up to entertaining morning radio.”

The Honorable Senator from California, Mr. Michael Savage?  Is this just Savage shtick or is Westwood One-syndicated talk show host Michael Savage really serious about being courted to challenge Dianne Feinstein for her U.S. Senate seat?  The Los Angeles Times reports Savage told his audience that “some very important people” are asking him to run for the seat as an independent, and he put the question of whether he should run to his audience.  Though it’s hard to imagine the 76-year-old talk host giving up his radio show (he’d have to, right?) and traveling all over the Golden State to campaign (an exhausting business, to be sure), Savage has wasted no time in using this to express his political wish list for California.  Savage says his platform would include such polarizing issues as eliminating multi-lingual ballots (English only) and building a wall on the Mexican border that would be a “citadel,” all while lowering California’s tax rate (that’s not really up to the U.S. Senate, though).  The Times notes that Feinstein, who was just dealt a blow by the California Democratic Party with its non-endorsement of her as she seeks a fifth full term, has a war chest of $9.8 million.

FOX News Radio’s Todd Starnes to Moderate NRB Conference Panel.  The focus of the panel will be Internet censorship and will talk place Thursday (3/1) as part of the NRB International Christian Media Convention in Nashville.  FOX News Radio nationally syndicated personality Todd Starnes will moderate the panel discussion with panelists including Salem Radio Network personalities Larry Elder and Dennis Prager, plus Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, and Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser.

SRN’s Tom Tradup at World Premiere of New Christian Film. Christian musical artist Brandon Heath (left) is pictured here with Salem Radio Network vice president/news & talk programming Tom Tradup (right) last night (2/26) at the world premiere of the film, I Can Only Imagine, based on the hit song by Mercy Me.  Tradup was joined on the red carpet by stars Dennis Quaid, Trace Adkins, and artists Mandisa, Michael W. Smith and others.

TALKERS News Notes. College station WRHU, Hempstead, New York “Radio Hofstra University 88.7 FM” is airing the Long Island Nets Coach’s Show every Friday at 4:00 pm, hosted by WRHU’s Bryan Clark and featuring Nets coach Ronald Nored.  WRHU airs play-by-play of the NBA G League team that’s affiliated with the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets…..SiriusXM is broadcasting games from 24 NCAA Division I college basketball conference tournaments this postseason, offering live play-by-play of 134 men’s and women’s conference tournament games to a nationwide audience.  It will air every men’s tournament game from the ACC, Big East, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC, American Athletic, and Mountain West conferences, and select games from the Ivy League Tournament.  Listeners also get every game of the Women’s ACC and SEC Tournaments.  Conference tournament broadcasts heard on SiriusXM are produced by ESPN Radio, Westwood One, IMG, Learfield, and Compass Media.

Gun Control Debate, Parkland Shooting Investigation, NRA vs Delta, Trump-Russia Investigation, SCOTUS Declines Trump Request on ‘Dreamers’ Policy, Universal Basic Income Proposals, Xi Jinping Power Grab, PyeongChang Winter Olympics, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/6).  The debate over gun control issues in the aftermath of the Parkland, Florida school massacre; the investigation into prior complaints about Nikolas Cruz and whether police acted appropriately during the shooting; the NRA’s lashing out at Delta and other companies for ending their business relationships with the lobbying organization; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the Supreme Court declines to rule immediately on President Trump’s wish to kill the DACA; the proposals for a universal basic income for those Americans below the poverty line; the move by Chinese president Xi Jinping to eliminate his term limit and remain president indefinitely; the post-mortem on the PyeyongChang Winter Games; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro Nicholaus “Niko” Petrou is named morning co-host at Entercom’s Phoenix country outlet KMLE “@ 107.9.”  Niko is partnering with Nina D. for KMLE’s new “The Breakfast Buzz” program.  He was most recently at the company’s New York alternative station WBMP “Alt 92.3” as APD, music director and midday personality.  He also worked in NYC as evening personality at CHR WHTZ “Z100.”  Niko says, “After almost 20 years in the radio industry, I’m looking forward to taking on the challenge of mornings.  Given the opportunity to work with such a legendary team and station, I’m excited to bring what I have to offer to Phoenix.  A huge thanks to Tim Richards, Dave Pugh, Mike Moore, Chris Oliviero and Pat Paxton for the confidence in me. Nina D. and I are going to have a blast waking up the KMLE Nation.”…..In Albany, Pamal Broadcasting is announcing two new executives who’ve joined the organization.  A.J. Bodden is named market manager for the six-station radio cluster in Albany.  He comes to Pamal from Townsquare Media where he managed a division of the company’s corporate live events business.  Simultaneously, John Damboragian is named Pamal’s new director of digital and will oversee digital sales and assets for all of Pamal’s 23 radio stations.  He was most recently digital manager for Gannett Media in New York’s Westchester County.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

| February 20, 2018

Brian Wilson New Morning Host at WWTN-FM, Nashville.  His exit from on-air work with Cumulus Media was short-lived as former WMAL-AM/FM, Washington personality Brian Wilson is named the host of the morning show on the company’s WWTN-FM, Nashville “SuperTalk 99.7.”   Wilson left his co-host role at WMAL in May of 2017.  WWTN program director Dan Mandis says, “Brian has spent decades telling stories, whether covering the White House in Washington, DC or local stories from America’s heartland and he’s seen it all.  As Brian has been covering ‘Nashville’s Morning News’ on WWTN, listeners have already been responding to his perspective and insights.  I’m thrilled that he’s committed to moving to Nashville and hosting ‘Nashville’s Morning News’ full time.  He’s a great addition to an already outstanding radio station.”  Wilson previously served as a senior correspondent and anchor for the FOX News Channel.  He also co-anchored the Emmy Award-winning “FOX 5 Morning News” on WTTG-TV, Washington.

Philly Radio Legend John DeBella Accused of Sexual Harassment.  Longtime Philadelphia morning radio personality John DeBella is being accused of sexual harassment and groping by former traffic reporter and show cast member Jennifer Neill.  Numerous Philadelphia media outlets are reporting the story. DeBella hosts the morning show at Beasley Media Group’s classic rock WMGK.  Neill filed a suit in federal court alleging that over the course of her employment with WMGK that started in 2002, DeBella engaged in approximately 30 acts of unwanted sexual advancements.  According to the complaint, those incidents include physical groping and verbal requests for oral sex.  The account in the PhillyVoice states that Neill filed complaints with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on September 19, 2016.  “After filing the complaints, management told Neill she could continue working with DeBella or take a leave of absence, the lawsuit claims.  She returned to work for one day before taking a leave of absence.  Management also launched a six-week-long investigation into the situation, according to the lawsuit.  As part of that investigation, DeBella allegedly dismissed his conduct as ‘jokes’ and ‘mutual.’”

WECK, Buffalo Hires Local News Pro. The Radio One Buffalo-owned station is broadcasting a nostalgia/full service format and announces that it is bringing aboard native broadcaster and journalist Steve Cichon to serve as news director, effective February 26.  Cichon will be part of the morning drive “WECK Coffee Club” program with co-hosts Tom Donahue and Gail Ann Huber.  Cichon began his career at crosstown WBEN in 1993.  He’s also served with WIVB-TV/WNLO-TV and WNSA/Empire Sports Network.  Radio One Buffalo president and CEO Buddy Shula says, “We’re very fortunate to have a well-known and respected journalist like Steve at WECK.  He’s a true Buffalonian who is woven into the fabric of our community – and he’s an excellent broadcaster.”  The station simulcasts on WECK-AM and W275BB at 102.9 FM.

TALKERS News Notes.  Nationally syndicated talk host Walter Sterling announces the launch of his new podcast called, “Old Dad Secrets.”  Sterling tells TALKERS magazine, “I have created an authentic, original podcast that is not an edit of my Westwood One network show.”  He says a new episode drops every Wednesday.  “I am in fact the oldest Dad in three different public schools.  My basic position with the schools is, ‘Screw you with your stupid rules.’  I get to live out my revenge fantasies against dumb school rules.  What are they going to do me?  I’m too old to mess with.  Plus, I reveal secrets from my decades in business.  I share the challenges and success of running a successful consulting business that has worked up-close in the C-suite at NBC, ABC, CBS, RKO, Sirius, Conde Nast, National Geographic, AMC Theatres and the top investment banks in the world.  The business books have it ALL wrong, let me tell you stories that will shock even you.”  It’s available at iTunes.  Check it out here…..CBS Sports Radio and SiriusXM have struck a deal to make the radio network’s lineup available on the satellite radio service on its own channel, beginning tomorrow (2/21).  The full CBS Sports Radio slate includes: Jim Rome, Tiki Barber, Brandon Tierney, Scott Ferrall, Amy Lawrence, Damon Amendolara, Bill Reiter, Taz and Marc Malusis, among others…..Hillsdale College has a booth on media row at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference at Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland starting tomorrow (2/21).  During the conference, Hillsdale students will conduct two-to-three-minute interviews with the speakers, personalities, and other CPAC attendees and will make those available for stations to upload and use in their broadcasts.  The FTP site from which to get the audio is here.  It will be updated every two hours throughout the day…..PodcastOne chairman Norm Pattiz made the grade in the Los Angeles Times.  In the paper, he’s pictured wildly gesturing at Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James at the NBA All-Star game as he lobbies James from his courtside seats to join the Los Angeles Lakers.  At the game on Sunday, Pattiz spent time hanging out with PodcastOne Sportsnet podcasters and partners, including Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal, sports personality and actor Rob Riggle, sportscasters Rich Eisen and Suzy Shuster, longtime NBA photographer Andrew D. Bernstein and Lakers owner Jeanie Buss.  See the LA Times story here.

Florida School Massacre Aftermath, Russian Election Meddling, Trump-Russia Investigation, Israel-Iran Tensions, Syrian Civil War Heats Up, Black Panther Film, and PyeongChang Winter Olympics Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/19).  The aftermath of the Florida school massacre, including protests, gun control measures, and FBI failures; the mounting evidence that Russia has been and still is attempting to meddle in U.S. elections; the investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents; tensions between Iran and Israel increase over evidence implicating Iran in providing weapons to the Palestinians; reports of a Syrian government attack on a Damascus suburb; the weekend success of the Black Panther film; and the PyeongChang Winter Olympics were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Chatting it Up with the President.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (right) is pictured engaged in a conversation with President Trump (left) Sunday night (2/18) at a special Presidents Day Weekend dinner at the Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Florida.  Harrison and his wife Bernadette Duncan were the guests of Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy, a personal friend of the Trump family.  Trump was joined at the dinner by First Lady Melania Trump and his children Tiffany Trump and Donald Trump Jr. as well as select friends and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.  Harrison reported back to TALKERS, “Trump was basically in a solemn mood, the weight of the Parkland shooting was obviously on his mind and the breaking story about the Russian election meddling operation was swirling in the air.  However, a lot of the conversation was purely social.  It was interesting seeing the President – amazingly relaxed and informal – among personal friends, associates and family…away from the press.  Up close, he has a snarky sense of humor, like a Millennial, that rivals the best of his comedic media critics.”  Harrison added, “It is clear that Chris Ruddy and Newsmax are held in extremely high regard by this administration.  If you recall, Newsmax was one of the earliest supporters of Trump.  They even ran a cover story speculating on the prospect of a Trump GOP candidacy more than a year before he announced his intentions to run.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Hartford, Connecticut radio personality David Fisch is named morning drive host at iHeartMedia’s adult hits WHCN “The River 105.9.”  Fisch is well known in the market for his work as morning drive co-host and APD at Red Wolf Broadcasting’s crosstown alternative WMRQ “Radio 104.”  iHeartMedia Hartford SVP of programming Dave Symonds states, “After a long national search to find the perfect host for ‘The River’ morning show, he’s right here in Hartford.  Fisch has years of experience entertaining the Hartford audience and being completely engaged in the local community.”  During his career Fisch has also served as the producer for “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” when it was on ESPN Radio…..Programming pro Lee Cagle is the new operations manager for SummitMedia’s four-station Louisville cluster that includes country WQNU “Q-103.1,” classic country WRKA “The Hawk 103.9 FM,” adult contemporary WVEZ “Play 106.9 FM,” and classic rock WSFR “Eagle 107.7.”   SummitMedia Louisville president Todd Pitt comments, “We chose Lee due to his extensive experience in New Orleans; Redding, California; Memphis; and Atlanta.  He is the right person to guide our four stations to their fullest potential.”…..On-air pro Kristy Knight is being named the new midday personality and APD at Cox Media Group’s adult contemporary WWRM, Tampa “Magic 94.9.”  She makes the move from iHeartMedia’s crosstown hot AC WTMX “Mix 100.7” where she’s been hosting the evening show.  WWRM programmer John Larson says, “We are so thrilled to have Kristy join our ‘Magic’ team.  Her experience and well-known name in the Tampa Bay market, along with her stellar reputation, will be an incredible addition to our ‘Magic’ team.”…..Advanced Media Partners announces it has hired Noah Sherwood to assume the program director and morning drive co-host role at triple A WWCT, Peoria.  He’d most recently been operations manager at Cumulus Media’s crosstown country WFYR and CHR WZPW.  About his new gig, Sherwood says, “The timing for this opportunity is incredible, joining Advanced Media Partners and programing WWCT is a huge blessing!  My wife and I really enjoy living in Central Illinois and are very excited to continue raising our family here.”  He takes over for Marc Alghini, who exited the station last month.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

| February 15, 2018

KNBR, San Francisco Cuts Ties with Patrick Connor After Host’s Comments About Teen Olympian.  Sports media personality Patrick Connor has been let go by Cumulus Media’s KNBR, San Francisco after his sexualized comments about U.S. Olympic snowboarder Chloe Kim.  Connor hosted the daily “The Shower Hour with Patrick Connor” at 5:00 am on KNBR but he didn’t make his comments on KNBR.  He did that on SiriusXM’s Barstool Sports channel calling in to the “Dailed In with Dallas Braden” program.  Connor’s radio bit revolved around his opinion of the 17-year-old athlete’s looks and that she would soon be 18.  Connor apologized for his words, calling them “lame and gross.”  Obviously, this latest incident comes as fellow broadcaster Entercom is dealing with the blowback from two recent errors in judgement by talk hosts and will suspend live programming on WEEI, Boston tomorrow (2/16) so the entire staff can attend mandatory sensitivity training.

John Patrick Joins WGAC, Augusta Morning Show.  At Augusta, Georgia news/talk WGAC-AM/FM, Beasley Media Group names John Patrick as a new co-anchor of the station’s morning show.  He joins Steve Smith and Mary Liz Nolan for wake-up duties.  Patrick was most recently hosting the “Buzz on Buzz” show at sister sports talk WRDW-AM “ESPN Augusta 1630.”  Among Patrick’s achievements in his 40-plus-year career is the 2008 creation of “The Augusta Golf Show with John Patrick.”  It will now air on WGAC-FM on Saturday afternoons.  Beasley Augusta VP and market manager Kent Dunn comments, “To have a guy like John with 40-plus years in radio leading the way on the WGAC morning show is quite an honor.  We look forward to what John brings to WGAC and the Beasley Media Group of Augusta.”

Pub Talker Tom Ashbrook Exits WBUR, Boston for ‘Creating Abusive Work Environment.’ Host of the WBUR, Boston talk program “On Point” – Tom Ashbrook – had been on leave from the Boston University-owned public radio news/talk outlet since the school launched an investigation into his behavior back in December.  Now, the school has let him go, citing actions he was reported to have taken that created an “abusive work environment.”  According to a report of his dismissal in Deadspin, “The university said it had conducted two separate reviews after allegations were made by 11 former staffers claiming Ashbrook ‘created a work environment that included verbal assaults, intimidating actions, consistent bullying, and unwanted touching.’ A second probe, conducted by a law firm, determined that the alleged unwelcome conduct was not sexual in nature, and was not sexual harassment under BU’s Title IX polices.”  See the Deadspin piece here.

Atlanta’s ‘The Sports X’ Gets a New Midday Show.  The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports that another local show has been added to Dickey Broadcasting’s WOFM-AM/W292EV, Atlanta “The Sports X.”  The station pairs up Jerry “Tug” Cowart with former University of Georgia quarterback Hutson Mason for the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show.  Cowart also works as a jock at iHeartMedia’s crosstown country outlet WKHX “Kicks 101.5.”  Station owner David Dickey has been retooling the station – a sister station to WCNN “The Fan” – in an effort to draw in younger listeners.  He recently added Mark Zinno to host the afternoon program and the late morning “Hometeam & Hamilton” show with Brandon Leak and Joe Hamilton.

WAXY, Miami Signs Deal for University of Miami Baseball. South Florida sports talker WAXY, Miami “AM 790 The Ticket” enters into a multi-year agreement with University of Miami sports rights holder Learfield to air the school’s baseball games and ancillary baseball programming.  As part of the partnership, ‘The Ticket’ will broadcast at least 15 regular season games, all postseason baseball and various ‘Canes baseball-focused programs throughout the season.  Entercom South Florida SVP and market manager Keriann Worley says, “We’re excited to begin a new partnership with Miami Athletics and are ready to air Canes baseball game broadcasts and various shows for fans this spring.  There’s not a better time than right now to be associated with the University of Miami and as part of our commitment to our listeners, we are always looking to bring them the excitement of the games they love.”  Joe Zagacki – in his 29th season as the voice of the ‘Canes – will continue calling games this season.

Deadly Florida School Shooting, FBI’s China vs US Warning, DACA Status/Immigration Policy, Russian Election Interference, Trump-Stormy Daniels Case, PyeongChang Winter Games, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/14). The Florida school shooting that took the lives of 17 and wounded numerous others; the FBI warns that all of Chinese society is focused on surpassing the U.S. as the world’s foremost global power; the legal status of DACA and the Trump Administration’s immigration policy; intelligence officials’ warning about Russian interference in the 2018 U.S. mid-term elections; the case of porn star Stormy Daniels’ alleged romp with President Trump and Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s claim he paid her $130,000 to stay quiet; the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  In Chattanooga, Entercom brings market radio pro Boner, a.k.a. Randy Smith, aboard to host the “Boner in the Afternoon” program on rock WRXR “Rock 105.”  Entercom Chattanooga SVP and market manager Nicole Hartman says, “Boner is a longtime, local on-air personality and we are thrilled to reunite him with the ‘Rock 105’ listeners.  Boner has been a part of the fabric of the ‘Rock 105’ brand in many roles over the years and we’re excited that he will now be hosting afternoon drive.”  He first joined WRXR when it was owned by then-Clear Channel in 2001 and hosted the morning show and programmed the station for 15 years…..Hubbard Radio Seattle announces the new morning show cast for country KNUC “Country 98.9” is Tim Leary, Claire Beverly and Karen (Red) Daiss (pictured at left).  The three come to the Pacific Northwest from their most recent gig hosting mornings at Alpha Media’s WUBB, Savannah, Georgia “Bob 106.9.”  Hubbard Seattle market manager Marc Kaye comments, “I fell in love with Tim, Claire and Red in the first few minutes of meeting them.  I know the Seattle radio audience will find them entertaining and refreshing, we are in for one heck of a run.”…..Elvis Duran show cast member Bethany Watson is leaving the Premiere Networks-syndicated program to pursue other challenges in the New York entertainment industry.  She says she’s making “the scariest, riskiest decision I’ve ever made.”  She says she’s interested in writing, acting and producing, among other things…..Programming and on-air pro Dave Fields exits Townsquare Media’s country WKDO, Evansville, Indiana where he held the brand manager and morning show host positions to host the morning show at the company’s adult contemporary WMSX, Buffalo “MIX 96.”  That leaves Townsquare seeking a new morning host and brand manager for WKDO…..Sales pro Lindsay Lazar is named general sales manager for iHeartMedia in Chicago.  She will oversee sales at country WEBG “BIG 95.5” and adult contemporary WLIT “93.9 LITE FM.”  iHeartMedia Chicago SVP of sales Adam Kurtz states, “Lindsay has an impeccable reputation in the Chicago market and a glowing track record of success.  She is a proven leader with an exceptional ability to deliver solutions to the advertising community and I am thrilled to welcome her to our team.”…..SiriusXM is adding a new show to the Underground Garage rock channel, hosted by legendary musician, producer and songwriter Lenny Kaye.  The show will air weeknights from 8:00 pm to 12:00 midnight.  In addition to being a member of the Patti Smith Group, Kaye also produced the Nuggets garage rock anthologies that were released on vinyl during the 1970s.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

| February 1, 2018

iHeartCommunications Declines to Make $106 Million Cash Interest Payment. This move, like Cumulus Media’s similar tactic last fall, is designed to spur action in the company’s efforts to restructure its debt.  Today, iHeartCommunications, Inc. (iHeartMedia is the parent company of iHeartCommunications) announced that its board of directors elected not to make a cash interest payment of $106 million (due today, 2/1) to holders of its 14% senior unsecured notes due 2021 as active discussions continue among its lenders, noteholders, and financial sponsors regarding a comprehensive debt restructuring.  “The board elected not to make the payment in connection with ongoing efforts to proactively and comprehensively address the company’s capital structure.  The decision will not trigger an event of default under the indenture as the company will utilize a 30-day grace period under the indenture during which it retains the right to make the interest payment to the holders of the notes and remain in compliance with the indenture governing the notes.  The board is considering options as part of its strategy to achieve a comprehensive restructuring of the company’s debt.”

SiriusXM Q4 Revenue Up 8%.  The satellite radio company did take a loss of $37 million in the fourth quarter of 2017, but that was due to a $185 million charge associated with the revaluation of the company’s deferred tax assets as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. For the year of 2017, SiriusXM’s net revenue was positive to the tune of $648 million.  In the fourth quarter, SiriusXM recorded a decrease of approximately $72 million in the fair value of its investment in Pandora, reversing the prior quarter’s unrealized gains.  The satcaster reports that it gained 1.56 million self-pay subscribers during 2017 to put its total self-pay subscribers at approximately 27.5 million.  SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer says, “The fourth quarter capped a strong year for SiriusXM and was our best quarter for self-pay subscriber growth in five years. We exceeded all of our 2017 subscriber and financial guidance, even after increasing these targets during the year.  I am particularly pleased that we achieved this growth in an environment of slowing auto sales.”

‘Radio War’ Gets KBME, Houston Booted from Super Bowl Radio Row.  A good old-fashioned radio war tactic escalated tensions between iHeartMedia’s KBME, Houston “SportsTalk 790” and Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sportsradio 610,” resulting in KBME losing its credentials to broadcast from the Super Bowl LII radio row.  It all started when KBME morning host Josh Innes sent his producer, Jim Mudd, to video KILT-AM’s Seth Payne and Mike Meltser as they did their show.  It had the intended consequence of riling up Payne, who soon was in a verbal argument with Innes.  Audio from the confrontation ended up on both stations’ airwaves.  WEEI, Boston’s Gerry Callahan and Kirk Minihane (mornings on the Entercom sports talk station) were broadcasting their show nearby and captured the donnybrook on video.  After it was all over, the NFL removed KBME from the radio row.  See the Houston Chronicle’s story and the WEEI-shot video here.

KXL, Portland Announces New Afternoon Team. The new afternoon drive team for Alpha Media’s news/talk KXL-FM, Portland “FM News 101” is Lucinda Kay and Cooper Banks.  Kay is promoted from her part-time position with the station.  She has an extensive background in radio and television news.  She launched her career in journalism in 1994, working as a TV news anchor and reporter – in both English and Spanish – for several years.  She hosted her own talk show in Spokane.  She started freelancing for KXL in 2016.  Cooper Banks worked as an afternoon DJ at KWKJ, Warrensburg, Misourri in 2004.  He was hired as news director for KMXL/KDMO, Joplin, Missouri two years later.  He later jumped to KMBZ, Kansas City as a producer, reporter, and news anchor.  Alpha Media Portland content director Bruce Collins says, “I am extremely excited to work each day with Cooper and Lucinda.  They have the talent that will take KXL to a new level in pm drive.”

Westwood One at Super Bowl LII.  The official network radio partner of the NFL and Super Bowl LII reports that it is on the scene in Minneapolis preparing for its coverage of the game.  Westwood One says it’s been busy taping interviews and special features for the coverage.  In addition, its personalities (and some from partner NBC Sports Radio) have been visiting radio row.  Above is Super Bowl XXXI-winning coach Mike Holmgren (center), one of Westwood One’s Super Bowl LII analysts, doing an interview with KKFN, Minneapolis “K-FAN” personalities Dan Barriero (right) and Justin Gaard (left).

26th Wing Bowl Takes Place Tomorrow Morning.  With SportsRadio 94WIP’s Wing Bowl 26 taking place tomorrow morning at the Wells Fargo Center, the official weigh-in takes place tonight, live on WIP, Philadelphia from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm from Chickie’s and Pete’s.   The Entercom sports talk station has scheduled 29 eaters to record their official “eating” weight and record their age, height, and hometown.  Members from each eater’s entourage and Wingettes will be on hand to cheer on their favorite eaters to victory.  This year, WIP personalities Marc Farzetta, Ava Graham, Al Morganti, and Rhea Hughes will also compete in Wing Bowl 26.  The Overall Winner of Wing Bowl 26 gets a 2018 Hyundai Sonata courtesy of Colonial Hyundai of Downingtown, plus Steven Singer Jewelers is presenting $5,000 cash and a custom Championship Medal and Ring.  The First Responders Champion Prize is a Harley Davidson XL 883N Iron Sportster Motorcycle courtesy of Barb’s Harley Davidson.  The Wingette of the Year walks away with $5,000 Courtesy of Dr. Steven Davis & Davis Cosmetic Surgery, and Best Wing Bowl 26 Entourage wins $5,000 cash, courtesy of Steven Singer Jewelers.

NRG Media Names New General Managers in Omaha and Wausau.  There are new general managers at NRG Media’s Omaha and Wausau station groups.   Kurt Luchs leaves the Wausau, Wisconsin station group where he’s been GM for almost five years to lead the Omaha cluster that includes news/talk KOIL and sports talkers KOZN and KOZT.  In Wausau, Aleese Fielder is promoted from director of sales to general manager.  NRG Media president/CEO Mary Quass says, “The goal of NRG Media is to be a destination company for our team to build a career, so I am very excited to be able to promote from within.  These promotions are well deserved, together Kurt and Aleese turned Wausau around and helped make it one of the most successful markets in the company.  We like to reward a job well done and these moves are a definite win-win for two very talented teams.

Major National Programming Executives Set to Speak at TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! The roster continues to grow as the 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention continues to name what will be a stellar list of some 50 or more leaders from the programming, talent, sales, management, ownership and technical sectors of the field. Convention organizers have named (in alphabetical order): Canadian radio giant Bell Media national news/talk format head (and PD of NEWSTALK 1010, Toronto), Mike Bendixen; iHeartMedia SVP of news/talk/sports programming, Chris Berry; Salem Media Group SVP/director, spoken word format, Phil Boyce; and Cumulus Media EVP of content and programming, Mike McVay. These outstanding individuals join (in alphabetical order) Beasley Broadcasting CEO, Caroline Beasley; Premiere Networks/FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity; Westwood One president, Suzanne Grimes; PodcastOne founder/executive chairman Norm Pattiz; and Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott as conference speakers. More speakers will be announced here in the days and weeks ahead leading up to the event. For more information about TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! see story below.

TALKERS Convention Early Bird Discount Ends Tomorrow! The opportunity to attend the 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important convention at a significantly reduced registration fee comes to an end tomorrow (Friday, February 2 at 5:00 pm ET). Those registering before the deadline will save $50. TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! will take place on Friday, June 8 at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan. 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 new digital age and at the dawn of a rapidly accelerating era. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology – the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing the modern-day talk broadcaster and broadcasting organization. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! 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 2018: Full Speed Ahead! 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.

TALKERS News Notes. In the Winchester, Virginia market, Centennial Broadcasting changes the simulcast of classic country on WZFC-FM, Strasburg, Virginia and will instead simulcast its news/talk WINC, Winchester “Newstalk 1400” on WZFC’s 104.9 FM signal.   Company market manager Larry Weiss says, “Centennial Winchester is excited about the prospects of extending the reach of our highly regarded ‘Newstalk 1400’ station programming further south in the Shenandoah Valley, utilizing the powerful WZFC signal.  This move will allow us to extend the news/talk brand, including our roster of well-established national hosts, south of Winchester into the Warren and Shenandoah County areas.”…..WVLZ, Knoxville “Sports Radio 1180” owner Doug Mathews is selling the station to fellow Knoxville station owner Aaron Ishmael.  He owns crosstown oldies WKCE.  Ishmael begins operating WVLZ under an LMA today (2/1).  The Knoxville News reports that two WVLZ personalities Tony Basilio and Jayson Swain – have ended their brokered arrangements with WVLZ.  It’s not known if Ishmael intends to change the sports talk format…..JVC Media signs an extension to carry Frank MacKay’s two programs – “Breaking it Down” and “52 Players” – on WRCN, Riverhead (Long Island) and WSWN, Belle Glade, Florida (West Palm Beach).

State of the Union Address, FBI Memo Controversy, Trump-Russia Investigation, DACA Status/Immigration Policy, Gowdy to Leave Congress, Flu Epidemic, Social Media Fraud, Black Panther Film, and Super Bowl LII Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/31). Tuesday evening’s State of the Union Address by President Trump; the battle over whether to release the FBI memo that alleges law enforcement abuses and Congressman Adam Schiff’s allegation that Congressman Devin Nunes made changes to the memo; Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives; the status of the Obama-era DACA Act and the Trump administration’s immigration policy; Congressman Trey Gowdy announces he will not seek re-election; the flu epidemic that’s sweeping the U.S.; the social media scandal involving allegations numerous high-profile people bought artificial followers from a firm called Devumi; the new superhero film Black Panther; and the build-up to Super Bowl LII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Powerful Candid Conversation with WABC, New York Personality Curtis Sliwa on Harrison Podcast. New York City radio icon Curtis Sliwa is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” Sliwa, whom Harrison describes as a “performance artist,” is the founder and leader of the grassroots crime fighting organization the Guardian Angels, as well as serving as the chairman of the New York State Reform Party. Sliwa is a longtime Big Apple talk show host heard mostly on WABC during the past few decades. He is currently recovering from serious surgery in the aftermath of an ongoing battle with Crohn’s Disease and other gastroenterological issues – resulting in him having to dry out from opioid addiction. Harrison and Sliwa talk about a range of subjects including prescription drugs, the state of radio, street crime, politics, Donald Trump and the peculiar nature of ego. Don’t miss this! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Some of the performers taking part at the March 11 iHeartRadio Music Awards are being announced by iHeartMedia.  The fifth “fan-fueled” iHeartRadio Music Awards takes place at the Forum in Los Angeles and will feature: Ed Sheeran, Cardi B, Maroon 5, Camila Cabello, Charlie Puth and Backstreet Boys will be among the performers.  The event is being hosted by Hailey Baldwin and DJ Khaled and is being simulcast live on TBS, TNT and truTV at 8:00 pm ET…..Alpha Media Dayton names programming pro Bo Matthews operations manager for the cluster and content director for adult hits WGTZ “92.9 Jack FM” and country WCLI “101.5 Hank FM.”  Matthews was most recently SVP of programming for iHeartMedia Cincinnati.  He began his career in Youngstown, Ohio with then-Jacor and worked his way up the programming ladder at Clear Channel and iHeartMedia.  Alpha Media EVP of content Scott Mahalick comments, “Bo is a world-class, ‘A’-level programmer who is energized, pursues excellence as a habit, and understands the mission and how to achieve it.  We look forward to his leadership on the Alpha content team.”…..Envision Networks announces that its ‘90s rock weekend show “The Core” adds new affiliates, bringing the Envision Rock Network affiliate count to more than 350.  Adding the program are: KUBQ, La Grande, Oregon; WTCX, Ripon, Wisconsin; and WKBH, La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

| January 16, 2018

New KGO, San Francisco Lineup Follows Ronn Owens Move.  On the heels of Friday’s announcement of San Francisco talk legend Ronn Owens’ transition from hosting his daily talk radio show to now hosting the 10-minute “Ronn Owens Report” at 12:50 each weekday, the new talk show schedule is confirmed.  Cumulus Media announces the changes that include the move of the Ethan Bearman program from its previous 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm slot to the 10:00 am to 12:50 pm daypart.  KGO brings medical expert and media personality Dr. Drew Pinsky aboard to host the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm show, and expands the afternoon drive Chip Franklin program by an hour to air from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

Adam Gold Celebrates 20th Anniversary in Triangle Sports Talk Radio.  WCMC-FM, Raleigh sports talk personality Adam Gold is celebrating his 20th year in Triangle sports talk radio this month.  Gold arrived in Raleigh 20 years ago to host afternoons at “850 The Buzz.”  As Capitol Broadcasting notes, Gold has transitioned through various ownership changes and sports talk signal shuffles during his time in the market.  He currently co-hosts the “Adam & Joe” show with his partner of seven-plus years, Joe Ovies.  WCMC general manager Brian Maloney says, “Adam literally showed up on our doorstep at the radio station one afternoon, we gave him a shot and loved what we heard.  Sports talk and hosts giving their opinions about teams and players was a new concept to the area.  Adam has never been shy or afraid to give his honest opinion and that’s one of the reasons he’s been so successful.”

Four Promoted at Westwood One. At syndicator and sales firm Westwood One, four affiliate sales directors are promoted to vice presidents.  Senior vice president of affiliate sales Dennis Green announces that Neal Bird, Rich Burg, Stuart Greenblatt, and Jim Jones are now wearing VP stripes.  Green says, “Neal, Rich, Stuart, and Jim lead the charge each and every day to make sure our affiliates and station partners have the best products available and customer service possible.  We are proud to elevate them as a result of their tireless efforts in helping to make Westwood One America’s largest radio network.”  Neal Bird is in Los Angeles and is responsible for all music and entertainment affiliations, Rich Burg is in New York and is in charge of all sports affiliations, Stuart Greenblatt is in New York and handles all talk affiliations, and Jim Jones is Washington, DC and oversees all Westwood One News affiliations.

Red Wolf Buys Connoisseur Signals in Connecticut for $8 Million.  The big signal in this deal is Hartford classic rock WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale,” but Red Wolf is also acquiring three of the four stations that Connoisseur Media has been using for the “Talk of Connecticut” talk radio format.  Those stations are WDRC-AM, Hartford; WSNG, Torrington; and WMMW, Meriden.  The price tag for the Bergner & Co-brokered deal is $8 million.  The deal also includes translator W272DO that Connoisseur had been using as an alternative rock outlet.  Red Wolf flips that to Spanish tropical and helps protect its longtime Hartford alt-rocker WMRQ (licensed to Waterbury).

TALKERS News Notes. In the Jackson, Tennessee market, Grace Broadcasting flips classic hits WHPP “Hippie Radio 105.3” to talk as “The Talk of Jackson” and changes the calls to WTJK.  Steve Bowers – pictured at right – continues to host the “Blue Suede Forever” morning show live from the Dixie Café on the new format…..Comedy Central is debuting a live, daily show on its SiriusXM channel – Comedy Central Radio.  “You Up with Nikki Glaser” will launch in February and air from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon ET Monday through Thursday…..Tribune’s news/talk radio outlet WGN, Chicago is changing its Sunday programming lineup and is adding the new “Karen Conti Show,” airing from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.  The Chicago attorney has 25 years of TV and radio experience.  She’s been a permanent guest on the Steve Cochran show and the Brian Noonan show where she discusses current legal topics and fields listeners’ legal questions.  Conti comments, “I have been part of the WGN family for 10 years and I’m very excited to host my own show.  Now, with two hours, I can cover legal issues and other topics that are informational and entertaining to WGN listeners.”…..Georgia meteorologist George Wetherbee has been added to this Thursday’s “Coffee with Envision” webinar titled “Weathering the Storm with Hyperlocal Coverage.”  There’s still room to sign up for the Envision Networks-sponsored event here.

Trump DACA Policy-“Shithole” Comment, Hawaii Missile False Alarm, North Korea Nuke Threats, Government Shutdown Threat, California Captive Family, Soaring Dow, MLK Jr. Day, Baghdad Suicide Bombings, and NFL Playoff Games Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/15).  The Trump Administration’s DACA policy and the continuing controversy over allegations of President Trump’s use of the word “shithole” describing Caribbean and African nations; the missile false alarm in Hawaii that caused panic over the weekend; North Korea’s nuclear weapons threats against the U.S.; the possibility of a U.S. government shutdown; the case of a California couple’s shackling of 12 children in their home;  the soaring Dow Jones industrial average and the potential for it to hit 26,000 for the first time; Monday’s Martin Luther King Jr. holiday; a double suicide bombing in Baghdad kills 27 and wounds more than 60; and the weekend’s NFL playoff games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

‘Survivor’ Winner Joins KIDO, Boise’s Kevin Miller.  Pictured above are KIDO, Boise morning drive talk host Kevin Miller (left) with season 35 “Survivor” winner Ben Driebergen (right) after talking on the program about how to win “Survivor” and win $1 million.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The nationally syndicated “Tom Joyner Morning Show” is back on the air in the Atlanta market on Radio One’s FM translator W275BK – fed by WUMJ-HD2 – that’s branded “Classix 102.9 FM, Atlanta’s Classic RnB.”  The company says that, as part of the change, market pro Mitch Faulkner joins Radio One Atlanta as the morning show local producer, as well as hosting his “Classic RnB Show” Saturdays from 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight.  Faulkner says, “I’m proud to join the team at Radio One Atlanta.  ‘Classix 102.9’ plays the music I grew up with and it’s refreshing to work with a company that ‘gets’ urban radio – and they do it right!  Plus, to work with a management team I have known and watched over the years, I feel this year will be the best of my career.”…..Speaking of Tom Joyner, Reach Media says he’s “signed on” for 2018 as host of the “Tom Joyner Morning Show.”  It also says Joyner introduced the “Funny Chair” last year, bringing all-star comedic personalities to the radio show lineup each day.  For 2018, Joyner will feature Guy Torry and Sherri Shepherd as co-hosts…..The “Ace & TJ Show” promotes longtime show producer Rob Miller to the newly created role of vice president of affiliate relations.  Miller says, “There is nowhere else I’d rather be.  When the people you work with become family, it makes growth like this even more special.  Thank you to Ace & TJ for this amazing opportunity.”…..iHeartMedia promotes Adam Kurtz to SVP of sales for the Chicago Region.  With iHeartMedia since 2001, Kurtz has most recently been VP of sales for the six-station cluster.

Friday, January 12, 2018

| January 12, 2018

Most Talk Radio Programmers are Avoiding Use of the Term “Shithole” in Wake of Presidential Sh*tstorm.  Once again, President Donald J. Trump – for better or worse – has shaken up the standards of traditional broadcasting and journalism.  This time, with his controversial remark about immigration using the term “shithole” to describe countries from which he considers immigration particularly undesirable.  The controversial racist aspect of this story notwithstanding, FCC-regulated broadcasters have had to make the quick decision to directly utter the term on the airwaves or buffer it with less offensive and non-potentially rule-breaking words.  This decision has been made more difficult by the fact that many traditional, so-called mainstream cable outlets and online/print news media have chosen to use the word as the President said it.  In conversations around the industry this morning TALKERS has learned that the prevailing tact on terrestrial talk radio has been NOT to use the word directly.  Cumulus Media/Westwood One EVP Mike McVay tells TALKERS, “Despite cable television taking great joy in saying the ‘S’ word on TV, we are not saying the actual word on over the air radio. We recognize it as one of the seven words we cannot say. That has not stopped us from using it on our digital platforms.”   Salem Radio Network senior VP, Phil Boyce says, “The word ‘shit’ is one of the FCC-banned words and our hosts should never use it, no matter if the president did or didn’t.  My morning guy in Los Angeles, Brian Whitman, will be using the word “BLANK hole.”  We want our shows to be safe for the whole family.  No need to have listeners turn off the radio because kids are in the car.”  Bold Gold Media Group CEO Vince Benedetto – owner of a number of stations in Pennsylvania and upstate New York – adds, “We haven’t changed our policy – we still do not say anything on air that violates George Carlin’s ‘Seven words you can’t say on television.'”  ABC Radio VP/GM Steve Jones tells TALKERS, “ABC News Radio anchors and reporters are not speaking that word on air as it could be considered an FCC violation and it also might offend local community standards.  Instead, we are referring to the phrase as an ‘expletive’ or ‘profanity.’   We have 1,650 affiliates and the majority use our ABC ‘Newscall’ service – which provides on-demand audio of reporters and actualities.   We are more permissive in what we provide on that service because it is the decision of the station whether to run the audio – whereas as we control the newscast content and therefore have unilateral decision-making.  If audio existed of any president using a profanity, we would put it on ‘Newscall’ and let stations decide its usage.   If we determined language was so newsworthy we felt obligated to include it in a newscast, we would probably warn stations in advance.  But, that’s hard to effectively control and I don’t recall it being done in many years.”  Although the consensus is to avoid using the word directly on the airwaves, not everyone in talk radio fully agrees that the way to go.  Nationally-famous, station owner/operator (and industry maverick) Michael Zwerling of KSCO/KOME, Santa Cruz tells TALKERS that he will use the word on his own show (“The Saturday Special”) but respects the rights of his air personalities to make their own decisions, “My position is to use the word on the air since it is a bona fide news story – but I just checked with the ‘Good Morning Monterey Bay’ staff [the station’s morning show] and was told they opted to say ‘s-hole’ and to play the Haitian national anthem.”  Zwerling continues, “Trump apparently has denied using that word (which is one of my favorites) but even if he was falsely accused of using it by the news media almost universally out to get him – it has nonetheless become a legitimate news story and therefore would fall into my category of okay to use on the air.  Besides, it moves our industry in the direction of parity with the ‘paid’ services that have been and are allowed to use profanity with impunity!”  Media consultant/TALKERS columnist/and RT America host Holland Cooke says, “It is a big topic with heavy phones at my client stations this morning.  My advice:  Ask listeners, ‘If he said that word, should we, here on the radio?'”  TALKERS legal editor and Bentley University law professor Steven JJ Weisman says, “It is my opinion that the use of the word ‘shithole’ in the context of discussing the president’s comments would be allowed.”  For Weisman’s full comments, please read the story below.

Steve Weisman’s Legal Take on Terrestrial Radio’s Use of Term “Shithole.”  TALKERS legal editor Steve Weisman offers his educated view on the terrestrial radio “shithole” issue prompted by President Donald J. Trump’s use of the term.  To read the piece in its entirety, please click here.

Save the Date! Talkers 2018 Set for Friday, June 8, 2018 in New York City.  The editorial board of TALKERS magazine is pleased to announce the date and location of the 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention.  Titled TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead!, the power-packed, one-day event will take place on Friday, June 8, 2018 at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan in New York City.  This marks the second year in a row that the convention will be held at this very popular venue.  The conference will feature top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry with a focus on talk radio and its role in the new digital age and dawn of a rapidly accelerating era.  This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology – the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing the modern day talk broadcaster and broadcasting organization.  It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals.  The event will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch and a closing cocktail reception.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “As has always been the case with this annual gathering, all the way back to its days as ‘The New Media Seminar,’ TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! will focus on the future.  There is no doubt about it; we are at the dawn of an exciting new era – full of both daunting challenges and fabulous opportunities.  Good things happen at this convention.  We pack three days’ worth of content and activity into one dynamic day and comfortable space. It is not to be missed!”  Complete agenda and hotel details will be posted in the coming days and weeks.  As is customary with TALKERS conventions, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! 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.  However, an early bird special ($279 per person) is available for those who register before 5:00 pm ET on Friday, February 2.  To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Gwiazdon Goes to Beasley Media Group Las Vegas as VP/MM. Most recently vice president and market manager of Midwest Communications’ Nashville adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9”; adult hits WCJK “96.3 Jack FM”; and CHR WNFN “i106.7,” Dennis Gwiazdon began similar duties yesterday (1/11) for Beasley Media Group Las Vegas. According to Beasley Media Group executive vice president and chief operating officer Brian Beasley, “It is a privilege to welcome Dennis to the Beasley Media Group family. His proven track record and leadership skills are the perfect fit for our Las Vegas cluster as we continue to grow and expand our business in the market.” Gwiazdon, who was president of the Nashville Area Radio Association, states, “I am absolutely thrilled about joining the Beasley team. There is tremendous potential for us in Las Vegas and I’m grateful [to be given] the opportunity to make a difference.” Prior to his Nashville duties, Gwiazdon was president of San Diego-based Sales Insights. He previously held the vice president/general manager title at Seattle’s KRWM; San Diego’s KGB-FM and KPOP-AM; San Diego’s KMCG and KXGL; and Salt Lake City’s KKAT. With their Nielsen Audio December 2017 6+ AQH share and market rank in parentheses, Beasley Media Group’s Las Vegas cluster includes classic hits-oldies KKLZ “96.3 70s, 80s, and More” (6.3, #2); urban-rhythmic oldies KOAS “Old School 105.7” (4.0, #6); country KCYE “102.7 The Coyote” (3.7, #9); hot AC KVGS “Star 107.9” (2.8, #15); news/talk KDWN “AM 720” (.7, #26); and KCYE-HD2, which did not appear in the December 2017 sweep. The Las Vegas market leader is iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5” (10.6, 6+), while Midwest Nashville’s WJXA “Mix” is on top (6+) with a 9.9.

WBUR, Reddit Debut “Endless Thread.” That’s the name of the weekly Ben Brock Johnson-hosted podcast done in partnership with Boston University-owned news/talk WBUR and Reddit, “the front page of the internet.” Starting today (1/12), weekly installments will be available every Friday to stream or download. According to Johnson, “Reddit is one of the most formidable communities online. Its lifeblood is people from all over the world sharing and organizing around every imaginable topic, making it an incredibly valuable resource for anyone trying to understand our world. As a journalist, I’ve been fascinated by Reddit for years, but I’ve also become an avid ‘redditor.’ I’m always surprised at what a mystery Reddit is to people who don’t use it. I’m looking forward to solving that mystery for the uninitiated, and helping ‘redditors’ share their incredible, real life stories with the world.” Reddit creative development manager Michael Pope remarks, “Reddit is home to the most authentic conversations on the internet and we know there is a massive opportunity to host thoughtful conversations about these stories in audio form. As one of the leading NPR affiliates in the country, we can’t wait to see what happens when we pair the production polish and talent at WBUR with the most compelling stories online.” The first episode, “No No No No Yes,” explores harrowing tales through first-hand interviews with ‘redditors’ who lived to tell their stories.

TALKERS News Notes. After a brief hiatus from a national platform, Dave Ross returns next Monday (1/15) with a daily, 90-second, CBS News Radio commentary, originally scheduled for a February 5 start date. Heard weekdays (“Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross”) on Bonneville-owned KIRO-FM, Ross is a five-time Edward R. Murrow award winner for best writing … This time next month (2/12), previous morning host of St. Louis hot AC KYKY “Y-98” Guy Phillips begins doing afternoons at news/talk KTRS “Big 550 The Talk of STL”; Julie Buck will be his co-host … Five Entercom Chicago stations – sports talk WSCR “670 The Score,” all-news WBBM-AM, CHR WBBM-FM “B-96,” triple A WXRT “93 XRT,” and country WUSN “US-99” – will be broadcasting from this year’s “Cubs Convention” today (1/12), tomorrow (Saturday, 1/13), and Sunday (1/14). Entercom Chicago senior vice president/market manager Jimmy de Castro comments, “We look forward to this event where our brands can interact with fellow Chicago Cubs fans. We are grateful for our continued partnership with the Chicago Cubs organization as the exclusive radio home of the Chicago Cubs.” This weekend’s event is taking place at Chicago’s Sheraton Grand Hotel. WSCR continues as the team’s radio flagship ….. Former Tribune Broadcasting White House correspondent and Long Island television news anchor/reporter Drew Scott joins JVC Media news/talk WRCN “Long Island News Radio 103.9” as a reporter. JVC Media president/CEO John Caracciolo comments, “Having someone like Drew is a complete win for us. His job will be to use the contact list he has developed over the years to help us open doors; get the story; and get the info Long Islanders need and want. This is live, local and hometown radio the way it is supposed to be.” WRCN operations director Frank Brinka notes, “Drew is a great addition to our staff. His wealth of news reporting and knowledge of the Long Island landscape will be an asset to the station. He will deliver a wealth of information to our listening audience.” Scott adds, “I am thrilled to be part of such a dynamic, live and local radio news organization. I am looking forward to helping ‘LI News Radio’ and JVC continue to grow and prosper.” ….. The flagship of MLB’s Minnesota Twins from 1961 – 2006, Entercom Minneapolis’ WCCO “News Radio 830,” returns in that capacity this year. The first of its 15-game spring training broadcast schedule will be (Thursday) February 22 when the Twins play the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers. Cory Provus, Dan Gladden, and Kris Atteberry comprise WCCO’s on-air team ….. Launching on SiriusXM next Wednesday (1/17) is “Barstool Radio,” the 24/7 channel for Barstool’s unfiltered approach to covering sports, men’s lifestyle, and popular culture. Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy remarks, “We are excited to launch our Barstool channel. It has been a wild ride to get to this point and this is another big step in our plan for total world domination.” SiriusXM senior vice president of sports programming Steve Cohen comments, “In today’s crowded media landscape, Barstool stands out as a unique and compelling voice. Live radio thrives on the kind of spontaneous and entertaining content that Barstool delivers every day. We don’t know what they are going to say next, but Barstool Radio on SiriusXM will be the place to hear it live and talk about it.” Weekday call-in shows will include: “The Barstool Radio Show” with Portnoy and Kevin “KFC” Clancy (4:00 pm – 6:00 pm, ET); “The Heartland Radio Showwith former NFL punter Pat McAfee (10:00 am -1:00 pm, ET); and “The Evening Yak with Dan “Big Cat” Katz (6:00 pm – 7:00 pm, ET). Barstool Radio will be on SiriusXM’s “Power 85” and on the SiriusXM app ….. For over three weeks, Alpha Media Bakersfield (California) news/talk KNZR AM & FM “News-Talk-Dodgers,” mainstream CHR KLLY “Energy 95.3,” and urban-rhythmic oldies KKBB “Groove 99.3” collected food and water for fire victims in Ventura and Santa Barbara. KLLY program director Danny Hill comments, “I am very proud of my community and I love the support they always show. Bakersfield constantly gives to others and is at the forefront of a lot of charity events.” A local veterans chapter helped to deliver the supplies.

British Talk Show Host and TalkersRadio Personality Graham Mack Forced to Apologize for On Air Statement that PM Theresa May “Has No Balls.”  It is always fascinating to compare and contrast American radio with broadcasting in other English-speaking countries when it comes to tolerance, freedom of speech and political controversy.  Well-known English talk show host Graham Mack, host of the popular BOB-FM, Herfordshire (greater London) breakfast show got himself into a sticky situation on Wednesday (1/10) by boldly stating that British Prime Minister Theresa May “has no balls.”  According to a report in the Hertfordshire Mercury, The comment came on yesterday’s (January 10)  breakfast show during a lengthy rant about May’s recent Cabinet reshuffle, in which he also claimed that she was the “weakest Prime Minister” the country had ever seen. Mack went on to berate the reshuffle, saying that not enough women and ethnic minority MPs had been promoted to justify promises made by the Prime Minister in the preceding days. However, the maverick radio host appeared to backtrack on his claims this morning (January 11), telling listeners that he had to “correct” his comments. Mr. Mack said that although his remark about Mrs. May’s lack of balls was “anatomically correct,” he should not have made it.  He also clarified that he could not be sure that May was the weakest Prime Minister the country had ever seen, as Clement Attlee or William the Younger could conceivably be weaker.  In a statement, Mr. Mack said: “We received a serious complaint yesterday about what I’d said on the air.  “Someone in a very senior position told me to make an apology. “I cannot reveal who made the complaint. The seriousness of the complaint did take me by surprise because a regular listener would realise that I take a swipe at all politicians regardless of which political party they represent.”  Mr. Mack concluded his on-air correction by issuing an apology directly to the Prime Minister, saying that as the leader of the nation she must be respected.  To listen to the segment of the program that got Graham Mack in trouble, please click here. Graham Mack also hosts “London Calling” a weekly program on TalkersRadioTALKERS publisher Michael Harrison describes Mack as “one of the best radio talk show aahosts in the English-speaking world.”

iHeartMedia, MoviePass Announce Media Partnership. The agreement includes a marketing campaign across iHeartMedia’s multiplatform network to help build further brand awareness of MoviePass and target new subscribers in select United States metros. In addition, iHeartMedia will be an authorized reseller of ad inventory across the MoviePass website and mobile app. According to iHeartMedia Ventures president Joe Robinson, “We have the capability to build significant brand awareness for MoviePass through our unparalleled scale and reach of more than 270 million monthly listeners across the country and our multiplatform assets. We see a unique opportunity with MoviePass, and its ability to understand and analyze audience trends and behavior which is a great asset for our advertisers, especially those looking to further engage with millions of movie-goers.” MoviePass chief executive officer Mitch Lowe comments, “We expect that our partnership with iHeartMedia will fuel our continued growth by targeting more profitable subscribers in low-cost markets, while also opening up a new revenue stream with digital advertising. We also expect that this relationship will be beneficial to movie exhibitors because we hope to drive more traffic into theaters and to advertisers through our strong working intelligence on the preferences and behaviors of a substantial amount of movie-goers. Our subscribers are going to twice as many movies a month as other consumers and are buying one in every 50 movie tickets in the U.S.” MoviePass launched its current $9.95 per month subscription plan this past August.

 

 

Wynter Boosted to iHM EVP Urban/Hip-Hop. Los Angeles urban contemporary KRRL “Real 92.3” program director Doc Wynter adds corporate iHeartMedia duties as executive vice president urban/hip-hop. President/chief operating officer/chief financial officer Rich Bressler states, “No one understands urban and hip-hop programming like Doc. We are thrilled that he is expanding his role leading iHeartMedia’s programming strategy for those key formats. He has been instrumental in launching several of our urban and hip-hop stations nationwide and we’re excited for him to be even more hands-on with all of our urban brands in our over 150 markets.” Wynter adds, “Urban radio has been my passion for as long as I can remember. Having worked with iHeartMedia for almost three decades, I know we have some of the best programmers and on-air personalities in radio. I can’t wait to help our region and market presidents provide their local urban and hip-hop music fans with one-of-a-kind listening experiences that only a company like iHeartMedia can create.” In this newly-created position, Wynter – most recently the company’s senior vice president of urban programming/urban brand manager – will report to chief programming officer Tom Poleman. Wynter began overseeing the company’s urban radio stations in late-1999 and launched several iHeartMedia brands such as “Power 105.1 FM” in New York City (on WWPR); “Real 92.3” in Los Angeles (on KRRL); “V101.5” in Jacksonville (on WSOL); and “The Beat” in various cities.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. After doing four years of night duty on iHeartMedia Los Angeles mainstream CHR KIIS “102.7 Kiss-FM,” Freddy Rivera transfers to co-owned Dallas hot AC KDMX “102.9 Now” for afternoon drive (2:00 pm – 7:00 pm). KDMX program director Jay Shannon comments, “Freddy is an outstanding on-air talent and we are very fortunate to add him to our lineup. Freddy is very much looking forward to calling DFW his home.” Rivera, who starts at KDMX in a little over three weeks (2/5), notes, “I am very excited to write the next chapter in my radio career with ‘102.9 Now.’ I have heard so much about the food, nightlife, and community – I can’t wait to jump right in.” Los Angeles-born/Inland Empire-raised Rivera began his radio career as an intern for former “Kiss-FM” wakeup talent Rick Dees and worked on-air at Riverside-Bernardino-Ontario rhythmic CHR KGGI ….. Changes at Merlin Media-owned/Cumulus Media-operated alternative WKQX, Chicago find morning driver Brian Phillips handling mornings by himself as his former co-host – Lou Lombardo – segues to evenings. In addition, Lombardo adds “digital content captain” duties. Former WKQX evening talent “Marconi” left the station about two weeks ago ….. Two-year KMLE, Phoenix morning show host Chris Matthews departs the Entercom country outlet, but Nina D and producer “Badger Gabe” remain in place ….. Steve Guittari departs Cumulus Media Indianapolis; Guittari was operations manager of the cluster and program director of the company’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” ….. Also in the “Circle City,” according to the Indianapolis Business Journal, iHeartMedia Indianapolis sports talk WNDE pulls the plug on the Dave “Gunner” Gunn and Don Stuck-hosted morning show “Flagrant Foul.” Gunn (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm) and Stuck (7:00 pm – 10:00 pm) continue though on classic rock sibling WFBQ “Q-95.” Clay Travis’ syndicated “Outkick the Coverage” returns to WNDE’s morning drive slot ….. Added to the weekend lineup of iHeartMedia-owned New York City rhythmic CHR WKTU “103.5 KTU” is Astra – who formerly did afternoon drive on cross-town mainstream CHR WBMP “Amp 92.3.”

Odom Out at WRXQ. The evening talent on Coal City, Illinois-licensed WRXQ “100.7 Q-Rock,” Ray “Crazy Ray” Odom, is pink-slipped by the Alpha Media station for remarks he made on CNBC’s “The Profit.” On a promo for that cable television show, Odom said, “I’m a sexist, egotistical, racist pig on the radio.” Alpha Media market manager Brian Foster notes, “We do not condone the views he expressed in the program. The feelings portrayed are that of his own and not of Alpha Media or ‘Q-Rock.’ After an internal review, we have decided to cut ties.” Odom is co-owner of Rayjus Outdoors, but he was placed on leave from that Morris, Illinois business, the subject of Marcus Lamonis-hosted “The Profit,” which offers financial help to struggling businesses. Lamonis acknowledges that Odom had, “a side job. I thought it may be a distraction, but I didn’t realize that the focus of it was to demonize minorities and degrade women.” Odom confirmed the firing, saying he worked hard to keep his radio persona separate from his business. “What I said got taken out of context completely – now I don’t have a radio job over it.” A Rayjus statement on Facebook reads, “Unfortunately, we cannot allow these statements to go unchecked. While an integral part of our organization, Ray will be taking a leave of absence to spend time with his family and reflect on what is in the best interest of his family and company.” Regarding what he has said on radio, Odom tells the (Joliet, Illinois) Herald-News, “Everybody has a different sense of what is funny and not funny.”

Entravision Expands La Suavecita. The Grupero/Cumbia La Suavecita format will be heard in 11 more markets, in addition to its Los Angeles area simulcast of KSSE, KSSC, & KSSD. Entravision president and chief operating officer Jeffery Liberman remarks, “Since its launch a year ago, La Suavecita has built an incredible following of loyal listeners and received strong advertising support in Los Angeles. We are excited to share this unique and exciting format with listeners in 11 new markets and to bring a powerhouse line-up of some of the most recognized on-air personalities in radio to La Suavecita. Los Angeles is the largest Hispanic radio market in the U.S. We believe our format, programming, and talent changes will allow us to better connect with our audiences, and in turn, our advertisers with their customers. La Suavecita is backed by a strong slate of on-air personalities that will drive engagement across our radio and digital platforms.” Coinciding with the national rollout of the La Suavecita format, El Genio will be heard 4:00 am – 10:00 am; “Piolin” (Eddie Sotelo) 10:00 am – 2:00 pm; Armida y La Flaka 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm; and Mayra 7:00 pm -12:00 midnight. Targeting women 25 – 49 and adults 25 – 54, La Suavecita surfaces in Houston (KGOL); Phoenix (KVVA and KDVA); Denver (KJMN and KMXA); Sacramento (KXSE); Las Vegas (KRRN); McAllen (KNVO); El Paso (KINT-FM); Stockton (KTSE); Modesto (KCVR); Palm Springs, California (KLOB); and El Centro, California (KSEH).

Cutbacks at Dick Broadcasting’s Three New Clusters. Back in September, Dick Broadcasting announced it would acquire Alpha Media’s 18 stations and two translators in Kinston-New Bern-Jacksonville (North Carolina); Myrtle Beach (South Carolina); and Savannah (Georgia) for $19.5 million. Staffing cuts have been made in all three markets. Exiting WXQR “Rock 105,” Kinston-New Bern-Jacksonville are program director/afternoon talent Tina Smash and night host Ryan Daniels. Departures at the Myrtle Beach cluster include production director/WXYY “G-100.1” afternoon driver Mark ‘Shark’ Eddis and WFXH “Rock 106.1,” Hilton Head Island assistant program director/night talent Ryan Koch. The business manager position has been eliminated in the three aforementioned markets.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

| January 11, 2018

Emmis Fiscal Q3 Report: Pro Forma Revenue Down 3%.   The August sale of KPWR, Los Angeles – along with the sale of some of its magazine assets – don’t allow for a true year-over-year comparison for Emmis Communications.  But, today the company reports that its pro forma radio revenue in the third quarter would have been down 3%.  As it stands, Emmis reports radio net revenue for the third fiscal quarter was $34 million, down from $42.5 million in the fiscal third quarter a year ago.  Emmis pro forma radio revenue per Miller Kaplan (which excludes barter and syndication revenues), was down 4% in markets that were down 2%.   Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan states, “Overall it was a disappointing quarter, but I am encouraged going forward by the ratings trends at our radio stations.  This fiscal year, our radio stations have been growing their ratings vis-à-vis our competitors, which should manifest itself in better revenue performance in Q4 and into the next fiscal year.”  Smulyan also says that he’s pleased with the progress of the NextRadio app.  “This week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, NextRadio announced a first-to-market connected car solution: JVCKENWOOD has adopted NextRadio’s technology to provide an enhanced local FM radio listening experience.  Samsung, the largest Android handset maker in the world, is the latest device OEM to continue its support for NextRadio by unlocking the FM chip in upcoming smartphone models in the U.S. and Canada.  In addition, NextRadio recently had a significant win when a major prepaid wireless carrier in the United States agreed to begin preloading NextRadio on its devices starting in early 2018.  These are terrific wins and sustain our momentum.”

SiriusXM Teases Q4 Financial Numbers.  As it has done in recent quarters, SiriusXM is revealing some general news about its quarterly achievements ahead of its actual quarterly financial report release.  The satcaster signals that it will announce that it’s beaten guidance for both financial measuring sticks – net revenue, free cash flow, EBITDA and more – as well as subscribers.  SiriusXM says it will have wrapped the year 2017 with 27.5 million self-paying subscribers.  The total subscriber base will be 32.7 million.

Save the Date – TALKERS 2018 Set for NYC. The date has been set for the 21st annual installment of the longest-running and most important national talk media industry convention. TALKERS 2018 will take place on Friday, June 8, 2018 in New York City. Initial details covering venue, registration and sponsorship information will be posted here on Talkers.com this Friday. Save the date, this promises to be one of the most exciting and dynamic installments in the history of this iconic radio-oriented event.

Soechtig Named Market Manager for iHeartMedia Tampa.  There’s a change in management at iHeartMedia Tampa Bay as Chris Soechtig succeeds Sam Nein as market president for the cluster that includes news/talk WFLA and sports talk WDAE.  iHeartMedia North Florida Region president Linda Byrd comments, “I am thrilled to bring Chris home to Tampa Bay.  He’s back where he started his career and now as the market president.  Chris is an amazing leader with a track record of success in every position he has held in iHeartMedia. We’re so happy to have him on the North Florida Region team.”  Soechtig most recently served as the market president for the company’s West Palm Beach/Treasure Coast markets.

New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards Announces Call for Entries. The 2018 New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards is now open for entries.  The New York Festivals began in 1982 and annually presents honors to radio programs from numerous platforms and genres.  NYF president and executive director Rose Anderson says, “From podcasts to audio books and every length in-between, today’s radio audiences are thoroughly invested in listening.  Our new categories embrace that dynamic participation and emphasize the wide range of engaging topics storytellers everywhere are exploring.”  New categories for 2018 include: Best Digital Documentary, Best Digital Special Event, Best Original Music and Miniseries.  The competition also expanded the number of categories focusing on journalism to include Best Extended News Coverage, Best Drama Feature, Best Music Feature, Best News Feature, and Best Sports Feature.  See the rules and how to enter here.

Trump-Russia Probe, Trump DACA and Immigration Policy, Bannon-Breitbart Split, Fire and Fury Book, Joe Arpaio Senate Bid/Birther Claim, Oprah Presidential Run Chatter, DOJ Renews Narcoterror Investigations, Government Shutdown Threats, Bezos Wealthiest Man in the World, Deadly California Mudslides, NBA Action, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/10). The ongoing Robert Mueller-led probe into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; President Trump’s decision to deport 200,000 Salvadorans and the administration’s immigration policy; Stephen K. Bannon’s exit from Breitbart News, controversy over the Fire and Fury book; former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio’s bid for the U.S. Senate and his renewing the questions about Barack Obama’s U.S. birth; the chatter surrounding a presidential run by Oprah Winfrey; the Department of Justice creates new team to investigate narcoterror operations; the threat of a federal government shutdown; Amazon founder Jeffrey Bezos is the world’s wealthiest man; the California mudslides that have taken 17 lives; NBA action; and the NFL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. Oklahoma City news/talk KOKC names morning show producer Mac Mullings as co-host of the afternoon drive program “The Ride,” alongside Chad Alexander.  He replaces the departing Jason Doyle.  KOKC program director Tod Tucker comments, “I’m ecstatic that Mac has agreed to split his day and remain with Frosty the Snowflake and me on the morning show, as well.”…..ESPN Audio launches a new podcast called “Sports? with Katie Nolan.”  ESPN says the show will be “curious and fun.  Guests will include sports fans from all sorts of industries: comedy, film, television, and who knows, maybe even science.  Nolan’s first guest is Adam Pally, the actor, comedian and writer who is most widely known for starring as Max Blum in the ABC comedy series ‘Happy Endings’ and as Dr. Peter Prentice in ‘The Mindy Project,’ and who is currently starring in the off-Broadway play Cardinal.”

SRN’s Mike Gallagher Stumps for GOP Candidate.  Pictured above are Salem Radio Network host Mike Gallagher (left) with WIND, Chicago talk host Dan Proft (right) in suburban Chicago yesterday (1/10).  The two were stumping for conservative Illinois state representative Jeanne Ives, who is challenging incumbent Governor Bruce Rauner for the GOP nomination.

Beasley Broadcasting CEO, Caroline Beasley, Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. The chief executive officer of Beasley Broadcast Group is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” In a wide-ranging discussion covering many aspects of radio broadcasting – past, present and future – Caroline Beasley talks to the TALKERS founder about her company’s colorful history and its ongoing plans for continued “disciplined” growth in the future saying, “The last thing we want to do is over-extend ourselves.” She discusses her company’s devotion to its employees, whom she describes as “its greatest asset” as well as its core values as recently expressed in its mission statement. She also emphasizes the importance of air personalities in terms of the future of music radio’s ability to remain competitive. Other subjects include her view of the role of women in broadcasting and the monetization of digital cross-platforms. To listen to this fascinating and informative podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

MIW Group Mentoring Program Application Window Extended.  The Mentoring & Inspiring Women in Radio (MIW) Group is extending the deadline for applications to January 22, 2018.  This program pairs up-and-coming women who currently work in the radio industry with female professionals recognized as leaders in all aspects of radio broadcasting and media.  A total of four candidates from the radio broadcasting industry – within the sales, marketing, programming and digital disciplines – will be selected for the 2018 program.  Of those, at least one spot will be designated for a programming candidate and one spot designated for a digital candidate. For mentee criteria, and instructions on how to apply, please click here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The pop-centric iHeartRadio Music Awards has announced nominees for the 2018 edition of the awards show to be held on March 11 at the Forum in Los Angeles.  As in past years, the program will be simulcast on TBS, TNT and truTV at 8:00 pm ET/5:00 pm PT.  iHeartMedia Entertainment Enterprises president John Sykes says, “We have a guiding principle at iHeartRadio that fans rule.  In our fifth year, we are still holding true to our original vision of staging an awards show that truly reflects the music fans loved listening to on iHeartRadio all year long.”  Artists receiving multiple nominations include Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars, Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, Justin Bieber, DJ Khaled and The Chainsmokers. See the full list of categories here.…..At KCAL, Riverside, SBR Broadcasting makes changes to the rock station, cutting a number of on-air personalities, including morning drive cast members James “Jimbo” Smith and Tiffany Angelo, as well as morning show producer Steven Kono.  Night jock Michael “Stu Man” Stewart was also let go.  Station GM Jeff Parke says, “The ownership decided they just couldn’t keep operating KCAL with such high expenses.  All of the people we had to let go are like family to me.  This has been really tough, to say the least.”…..The Ace & TJ Show and The Radio Button Network, announces that Tracey Millman is promoted to VP of community relations/sales.  She has been with the show for more than three years in which she has moved from director of operations to this newly created position.  In addition to being lead for network sales for the show and other Radio Button Network partners, she’ll head the outreach program for the newly created charity, Ace & TJ’s Radio Family Charity.

Monday, January 8, 2018

| January 8, 2018

Salem Media to Air Dino Costa-Hosted Sports Talk Show on ‘AM 970 The Answer’ in NYC.  The New York Daily NewsBob Raissman reports that Salem Media Group is bringing controversial sports talk personality Dino Costa to the Big Apple to host a sports talk show on conservative news/talk outlet WNYM “AM 970 The Answer.”  The show will air from 12:00 midnight to 3:00 am and launches tonight (Tuesday, January 9).  Costa tells Raissman, “Obviously there is a lot of great sports radio in New York.  I feel privileged to be a part of the New York sports radio scene and I hope I can do my part to provide another option for sports fans looking for something a little bit different.”  Costa was most recently with Alpha Media’s sports talk KXTG-AM, Portland as afternoon personality.  He joined the station on June 5 but exited two months later after blowback from his on-air comments suggesting motorists should hit Black Lives Matter protesters who block roadways.  During his career, Costa also served with SiriusXM, hosting a program on the Mad Dog Radio channel.

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of stations based on 6+ data from the December 2017 Nielsen Audio PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk radio.  As the NFL regular season winds down toward the playoffs, it’s not unusual to see the flagship stations of playoff-bound teams benefit in the ratings, and that appears to be the case again this year.  Comparing November 2017 data to December 2017, Kinosian says that “six of every 10 stations (60%) on this sports talk panel are down November 2017 – December 2017; 28% improve; and the remaining 12% are flat.”  When comparing station performances from December 2016 to December 2017, “54% of these eligible sports talk stations are up year-to-year, while 34% regress; the remaining 12% are unchanged from a year ago.”  Not a single sports talker ranked #1 (6+) in its market, but five stations ranked in the top five in their respective markets.  Both Entercom’s WIP, Philadelphia and iHeartMedia’s KFXN, Minneapolis ranked #2.  iHeartMedia’s WBZ-FM, Boston and Entercom’s WFAN, New York ranked #4 (WFAN achieved that in the New Jersey market of Middlesex-Somerset-Union counties), and Entercom’s WXYT-FM, Detroit ranked #5.  See Kinosian’s complete report here.

Premiere Networks’ George Noory Celebrates 15 Years as Host of ‘Coast to Coast AM.’  This month marks the 15th year George Noory has been host of the Premiere Networks nationally syndicated late-night show, “Coast to Coast AM.”  This broadcasting milestone comes on the heels of Noory’s renewed long-term contract with Premiere, signed last year.   Noory comments, “I’m so excited about starting year 16 with my same, amazing staff, dedicated advertisers and, of course, our faithful listeners worldwide.”  Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott says, “Entertaining millions of people in the middle of the night is no small feat, but George makes it look easy.  His passion and dedication to delivering the best content for the ‘Coast to Coast AM’ audience is what drives the continued growth and success of the program. We’re proud to celebrate this special milestone with George, and look forward to many more.”

TALKERS News Notes.  The 2018 Consumer Electronics Show gets underway this week in Las Vegas and iHeartMedia is announcing some new integrations for its iHeartRadio digital content platform during the show.  The company says that now listeners will have the ability to access iHeartRadio through a bot for Facebook Messenger; Samsung’s new voice service, Bixby; Jibo, the first social robot for the home; Garmin’s new GPS running watch, the Forerunner 645 Music; and via Roku…..Speaking of the 2018 CES, media consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas covering the show for TALKERS magazine and will be reporting all this week.  Watch for his show notes here at Talkers.com and in our daily emailer…..Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that former longtime WSCR, Chicago midday personality Dan McNeil has been sitting in on the Entercom sports talker recently.  He appeared yesterday morning (1/7) co-hosting with the station’s Danny Parkins.  Feder says McNeil will be back on WSCR next weekend with Tim Doyle.  Feder says that McNeil has been hosting a sports-oriented podcast.  He’s also been the voice of commercials for a Highland, Indiana Ford dealership where he’s on staff as a salesman…..Two former NFL players have been let go by ESPN after an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment.  Donovan McNabb and Eric Davis – both of whom also have worked in sports talk radio since retiring from the NFL – were named in a lawsuit by NFL Network wardrobe stylist Jami Cantor in which she accuses McNabb of sending sexually inappropriate texts and Davis of groping her and making suggestive comments.

Hintz Named Marketing Director at Envision Networks. Syndicator and sales firm Envision Networks announces Dave Hintz returns to the radio industry to serve as the company’s new marketing director.  Hintz has been away from radio for the past 12 years, mostly with Progressive Insurance.  Envision CEO Danno Wolkoff says, “We are thrilled to have Dave join our growing company.  He brings a wealth of marketing and PR experience to our expanding business.  Dave will oversee our marketing team as well as manage additional sales initiatives debuting in 2018.”

Fire and Fury Controversy, Frigid Weather in Eastern U.S., Jeff Sessions vs Legal Marijuana, Computer Vulnerabilities, Golden Globe Awards/#MeToo Movement, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The controversy surrounding Michael Wolff’s new book, Fire and Fury, about the Donald Trump campaign and White House; the extreme cold that affected much of the Eastern United States; Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ move to have the Justice Department reverse the Obama era directive to not apply federal law in states where marijuana has been legalized; the vulnerability of all computers due to flaws in their microprocessors; Sunday night’s Golden Globe Awards and the activism of the #MeToo movement; and the NFL playoff games 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. Pittsburgh country outlet WDSY “Y108” says it is bringing “Texas Country Music to Western Pennsylvania via a new weekly specialty program, ‘Red Dirt Revival.’”  The new program is airing Sunday evenings from 9:00 to 12:00 midnight, hosted by Waynesburg, PA native and Nashville-based singer-songwriter Jackson Gardner.  The program will feature music by artists such as Aaron Watson, Pat Green, and Eli Young Band.   Entercom SVP and Pittsburgh market manager Michael Young states, “These artists are making great contributions to country music overall and we are pleased to bring their great songs to the airwaves of Western Pennsylvania.”…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Alpha Media’s country WCCQ, Crest Hill, Illinois is rebranding as a classic country outlet, using the moniker “Today’s Country & The Legends.”  His report indicates that the station will emphasize artists from the 1990s and the early 2000s…..Saga Communications announces that Paul O’Malley is appointed president and general manager for the company’s Charleston, South Carolina cluster.   O’Malley was most recently SVP/strategic sales partnerships for Westwood One.  Saga CEO Ed Christian comments, “Paul’s world-class reputation and experience, coupled with his love for Charleston, made this a perfect fit for us and our outstanding team in Charleston.”

Thursday, January 4, 2018

| January 4, 2018

CBS News Radio Announces Major Affiliation Deals with Entercom, Alpha Media, and Saga Communications. These three new agreements to provide news, information and entertainment content to radio stations pushes CBS News Radio’s affiliation count over the 450-station mark.  The new deals with Entercom Communications, Alpha Media, and Saga Communications were announced by CBS News CFO Charles Pavlounis. CBS News Radio will continue to be heard on venerable news outlets such as WCBS, New York; KNX, Los Angeles; and WBBM, Chicago – all stations that Entercom acquired in the CBS RADIO deal.  The affiliate agreements are the latest under CBS News Radio’s relationship with Skyview Networks for distribution, inventory management and sales, which went into effect on January 1.  The agreement with Entercom also includes a co-producing arrangement for a one-minute original update each weekday and a two-hour weekend original long-form program addressing veterans’ issues, both titled “Eye on Veterans.”  Entercom programming EVP Chris Oliviero comments, “As America’s premier producer of local news audio content, Entercom is proud to continue our stations’ historic bond with CBS News Radio, which provides our millions of listeners with the best and most-trusted national and international coverage 24/7.  Also, with the launch of ‘Eye on Veterans,’ we are excited to begin collaborating on new programming vehicles with CBS News Radio that will engage and inform audiences on topics that resonate coast to coast.”

Programming Pro Tim Sabean Joins Westwood One as SVP of Digital Content. Former SiriusXM/Howard Stern and Infinity Broadcasting rock programmer Tim Sabean is named to the SVP, digital content position at Westwood One.  The company says that Sabean will be “responsible for talent discovery, content partnership development, and audience growth strategies to engage listenership and drive monetization, particularly in the fast-growing podcast space.”  He’ll be based in NYC and report to WW1 president Suzanne Grimes.  In addition to his time with SiriusXM as SVP for the Howard Stern channels and as SVP, comedy and entertainment, Sabean was VP of rock programming for the old Infinity Broadcasting supervising such heritage rockers as WYSP, Philadelphia; WBCN, Boston; WRKZ, Pittsburgh; and WXRK, New York.  About his new gig, Sabean says, “I’m thrilled to be a part of the Westwood One family.  As the largest radio network in the U.S., we are the destination for new talent opportunities and creative endeavors reaching a quarter of a billion listeners each week. I’m eager to work with Suzanne Grimes and the rest of the Westwood One team to deliver engaging and entertaining programming to our audiences as we build a unique and powerful digital experience.”

Mancow Drops Suit Against Boss.  As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, WLUP-FM morning personality Erich Mancow Muller has dropped the lawsuit he’d filed against his new boss at the Cumulus Media station.  When Marv Nyren was hired to take over the VP/market manager roles at Cumulus Chicago, Muller filed a suit against him in order to prevent “retaliatory” behavior toward him by Nyren.  Muller said his claim was based on his history with Nyren that included Nyren firing him from then-Emmis-owned alt rocker WKQX.  Muller claimed that Nyren executed a series of retaliatory moves against him at that time and he even sued Nyren for $6 million in 2007.  That suit ended in an undisclosed settlement.  Feder’s report indicates Nyren and Muller have since sat down and talked about their history and are moving forward as a team.

Trump-Bannon Rift/Trump Jr.-Russia Meeting, Manafort Sues Mueller-DOJ, North Korea Nuclear Ambitions, Demise of Voter Fraud Commission, Iran Protests, Romney Senate Run, Frigid Winter Weather, NFL Playoffs and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/3).  The caustic response from President Trump to former adviser Stephen K. Bannon’s statements that Donald Trump Jr. committed treason by meeting with a Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign; former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort sues special counsel Robert Mueller and the Department of Justice over the Trump-Russia probe; North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and the war of words between President Trump and Kim Jong Un; Trump shuts down the Voter Fraud Commission saying states aren’t cooperating; Iran cracks down on protest movement; speculation about a possible U.S. Senate run by Mitt Romney; the freezing weather affecting much of the U.S.; the NFL playoffs and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Westwood One Expands Partnership with Veritone for Analytics Services.  The content syndicator and national sales arm of Cumulus Media says that this broadening of its relationship with Veritone is a follow-through on its “promise to provide analytics for native advertising and live reads” by monitoring, verifying, and measuring “in-content audio ad units and sponsorship campaigns across Westwood One’s live programming – from sports and news/talk to music and entertainment.”  WW1 says that working with Veritone to monitor its play-by-play sports content has been so successful that it’s extended the service to its live, syndicated news/talk and music radio shows.  Cumulus EVP corporate marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes states, “This addition to our best-in-class ROI and accountability insights toolset is another first for the radio industry.  Our advertisers can personally ensure their messages are delivered.  In addition to verification, which is crucial, our advertisers can monitor their own campaigns. Voiced reads, in-program interviews, commercial audio, and native brand mentions airing during Westwood One live programming are now captured and made searchable.”

Senator Chris Coons Reads School Closings on WDEL, Wilmington.  WDEL director of news and programming Chris Carl tells TALKERS magazine that U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) appeared on the station’s morning show today after reaching out yesterday to ask if he could come to the station to read the school closings because “it’s something he’s always wanted to do.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Hip hop WKYS, Washington adds DJ 5’9 Davis to the morning drive program “The FAM.”  He moves from the “Night Show” he’d been co-hosting with Shorty Da Prince at the Radio One station.  WKYS program director J1 states, “I’m very excited to have 5’9 on the morning show.  He brings a raw humor, wit, and intellect that just can’t be taught.  I am confident with the addition of 5’9, ‘The FAM Morning Show’ will reach new heights.”…..“NASH Nights Live” co-host Elaina Smith (right) is pictured here with “Nashville” director Tim Busfield (left) on the set of the CMT drama.  She can be seen on tonight’s (8:00 pm ET) episode playing herself as she does a radio interview with show character Juliette Barnes (played by Hayden Panettiere).

 

Round Three of December PPM Ratings. December 2017 ratings information has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Orlando, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s December 2017 survey period covered November 9 – December 6. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets, with a reminder that the vast majority of major November 2017 – December 2017 improvements by music stations is attributable to a transition to all-Christmas music.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Portland – Following a loss of nine-tenths in November, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW “K-103” strikes back with an increase more than quintupling that decrease and is back in first-place (8.3 – 13.7, +4.7, #2 to #1, 6+). “K-103” is the first Portland station to reach double-digits (6+) since it did so in “Holiday” 2016 (15.3). At this time last year (December 2016), KKCW registered a 9.8 (6+). A collective -1.4 in three straight downward trends (9.1 – 8.6 – 8.6 – 7.7, 6+), “K-103” responded in October with a +1.5. Prior to segueing to #2 in September, “K-103” was #1 in 39 of the previous 41 ratings periods. Even though KOPB adds four-tenths in both November and December (8.0 – 8.4 – 8.8, 6+), the Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talker drops from first (after one-month) to second. Entering the September sweep, KOPB occupied the runner-up position 21 successive times, but aided by a +1.4, it finally reached #1. It was a short stay there then as well since KOPB plummeted by -1.1 (9.1 – 8.0, 6+) and returned to its familiar runner-up spot. Seven recent trends for KOPB are +.9 in March; -.8 in May; +.6 in June; -.9 in July; +.6 in August; +1.4 in September; and -1.1 in October. Both “City of Roses” mainstream CHR outlets falter by six-tenths. Specifically, iHeartMedia-owned KKRZ “Z-100 Portland’s #1 Hit Music Station” continues an alternating down/up pattern that began in May (4.1 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 3.8, seventh to ninth, 6+) and is off a collective three-tenths in that stretch. Meanwhile, the -.6 (to 3.7, 6+) by Alpha Media’s KBFF “Live 95.5 – The Station That Sounds Like Portland” halts four straight (slightly) up or flat trends that yielded four-tenths (3.9 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.3, ninth to tenth, 6+). For the fourth time in a row – and fifth time in the last six sweeps – “Z-100” and “Live 95.5” are separated by just one-tenth of a share (6+). Although it is unchanged at #10, this marks the fifth straight month that Entercom-owned KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf – Great Country for the Great Northwest” is without an increase for a combined -1.9 (5.6 – 5.2 – 4.6 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.7, 6+). Prior to gaining three-tenths in June, “The Wolf” was -1.8 in March, April, and May (6.4 – 5.5 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+). Its direct competitor – Alpha Media’s KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” – returns November’s +.3 and one-tenth more (4.4 – 4.0, -.4, 6+), slipping from seventh to eighth. Entering the November sweep, “The Bull” had three straight flat or down monthlies that accounted for a loss of eight-tenths (4.9 – 4.9 – 4.4 – 4.1, 6+). In April – May – June, “The Bull” was down -1.1 (5.5 – 4.5 – 4.4, 6+). The two country rivals finished back-to-back at seventh and eighth, respectively, in both May and June. A loss of nine-tenths (7.2 – 6.3, 6+) takes iHeartMedia-owned KLTH to its lowest 6+-share since June’s 6.1, but “106.7 The Eagle – Portland’s Classic Hits Station” remains at #3. Off one full-share in four straight down or flat moves (5.4 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.4, 6+), Entercom hot AC KRSK “105.1 The Buzz – Today’s Best Mix” continues at #6. Following five successive sweeps without a loss for an overall +.4 (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.6, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KEX “News Radio 1190” slips by three-tenths to 1.3 (6+), but carries on at #21.

2) Charlotte – The market’s top six December 2017 finishers are either up or flat from November 2017. With a mammoth +3.0 (4.0 – 7.0, 6+), Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WKQC “K-104.7 More Music, More Variety” boasts Charlotte’s highest month-to-month improvement and soars from #12 all the way to #2. This is its strongest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016’s 12.3. Trending a very consistent 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.9 (August – September – October – November, 6+), WLKO busts out a +2.3 to 7.2 (6+) as “102.9 The Lake – Charlotte’s We Play Anything Station” marches from seventh to first. This is the best 6+-showing for the iHeartMedia adult hits facility in more than three years (7.4, September 2014). Co-owned classic rocker WRFX “99.7 The Fox,” which had been on top the past three months, segues to #3. Despite exiting the lead position, “The Fox” is without a loss for the fifth straight time for an overall +1.2 (5.7 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.7 – 6.9 – 6.9, 6+). It had been #1 in five consecutive survey periods before getting dislodged in June. In four straight decreases between March and July, however, “The Fox” lost two full-shares (7.7 – 7.6 – 7.2 – 6.2 – 5.7, 6+). Its HD2 channel, which played all-Christmas music during the December 2017 ratings period before shifting to contemporary Christian on Christmas Day (12/25), picks up one-half share (.1 – .6, 6+) and is in a three-way tie at #20. It is a mixed bag for Beasley Media Group urban AC WBAV “V-101.9,” which is up seven-tenths via four successive sweeps without a loss (5.7 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.4, 6+), yet backslides from a second-place tie to fourth. As the result of six consecutive up or flat moves, sports talk cluster-mate WFNZ “Sports Radio The Fan” has more than tripled its 6+-stat (.6 – .7 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.9, steady at #18, 6+). Having logged a 6+-share between 5.5 – 5.9 in each of the last 11 survey periods, Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies WOSF “Old School 105.3” stumbles by -1.1 in December (5.9 – 4.8, 6+), dropping from fourth to eighth. Plummeting by -1.1 as well is University Radio Foundation-owned news/talk WFAE “90.7 Charlotte’s NPR News Source,” which exits the top ten (4.2 – 3.1, #9 to #14, 6+). WFAE was -.6 in October; +.5 in November; and now -1.1 in December. Over the course of nine ratings periods (January through September, however, it was no higher than 4.3 (6+) and no lower than 4.0 (6+); December’s 3.1 is its lowest 6+-showing since 2.8 in “Holiday” 2016. Albeit a collective -.9 in November and December (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.1, 6+), similarly-programmed/Entercom-owned WBT nonetheless manages to move from #16 to #14. WBT was +1.4 in three consecutive improvements (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.4 – 4.0, July – August – September – October, 6+) and hit the four-share mark (6+) in October 2017 for the first time since October 2016’s 4.1. Surrendering all of November’s +.7 plus two-tenths more, iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country” (6.1 – 5.2, -.9, 6+) drifts from a second-place tie to seventh with its lowest 6+-showing since 4.0 in “Holiday” 2016. Steady at #5, Beasley Media Group-owned WSOC “Country’s Hottest Hits” has been trending 5.5 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 6.0 (6+) since September. In advance of October’s +.3, WSOC was flat or down the previous four months for an overall loss of -1.1 (6.6 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 5.6 – 5.5, 6+). While WSOC succeeded WKKT at #1 in July, WKKT supplanted WSOC at #1 the following month. Owing to a -.6 (to 3.1, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WHQC puts an end to a repetitive 3.5 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.7 (6+) pattern but “Channel 96.1” advances from #15 to a three-way tie at #14. By picking up one-tenth to 4.2 (6+), its format rival – Beasley Media Group’s WNKS “Kiss 95.1 – Charlotte’s #1 Hit Music Station” – pulls the plug on five consecutive declines that accounted for a -1.3 (5.4 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 4.1, 6+); “Kiss” is back in the top ten (#11 to #10). Its urban contemporary sibling WPEG, however, is a combined -1.6 in five straight decreases (5.9 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+), as “Power 98” drops from eighth to ninth.

3) San Antonio – Powered by a +3.9 (4.8 – 8.7, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KQXT “Q-101.9 San Antonio’s Variety Station” leaps from fifth to first with its strongest 6+-performance since “Holiday” 2016’s 11.8. Dislodged from the top spot – after ten straight months there – is Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies KONO-FM “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits,” which segues to #2 (6.8 – 5.9, -.9, 6+). Ten recent (6+) fluctuations for “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” include October 2016’s -1.0; November 2016’s +.9; December 2016’s -1.1; “Holiday” 2016’s -1.3; January 2017’s +1.1; April’s +.8; May’s -.6; August’s -.5; October’s +.7; and now December’s -.9. A collective -1.8 in October and November (4.2 – 3.2 – 2.4, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KZLV “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” recaptures half that loss in December with a +.9 to 3.3 (6+), progressing from #19 to #13. In a similar vein, following three straight dips that accounted for a -1.2 (5.5 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.3, 6+), Cox Media Group’s KISS “99 Rocks” erases half that deficit with a +.6 to 4.9 (ninth to fifth, 6+). Yet another negative streak comes to an end as iHeartMedia-owned CHR KXXM “96.1 Now – San Antonio’s #1 Hit Music Station” posts a one-half share gain to 3.7 (#13 to #11, 6+), curtailing four successive down or flat trends that produced a -1.2 (4.4 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+). Format rival – Alpha Media’s KTFM “Energy 94.1” – is off seven-tenths to 2.4 (#16 to #18, 6+), ending three straight (modest) increases that netted an overall gain of one-half share (2.6 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+). Locked on 5.0 (6+) in October and November, Univision Radio rhythmic CHR KBBT “98.5 The Beat” (fourth to seventh, 6+) sputters by eight-tenths to 4.2, its lowest 6+-share since October 2016’s 4.0. Owing to a loss of six-tenths (6.2 – 5.6, 6+), regional Mexican cluster-mate KROM “Que Buena 92.9” shifts from second to third. As was the case in November, the market’s (6+) country share shrinks by eight-tenths as Cox Media Group-owned KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader” regresses by one-half share (5.8 – 5.3, third to fourth, 6+), while iHeartMedia-owned KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” is off three-tenths (sixth to ninth, 6+). After surrendering one-half share in September, “Y-100” registered a +.9 in October. Prior to that sweep, “Y-100” had been within 5.1 – 5.8 range (6+) the previous 11 months; September’s 5.1 was its lowest 6+-share in almost five years (5.0, “Holiday” 2012). The -.5 in September ended three straight sweeps without a decrease that netted two-tenths (5.4 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+). This is the third month in a row that “KJ-97” is without an increase for an overall -.9 (5.0 – 5.0 – 4.4 – 4.1, 6+), but in advance of the August ratings period, KAJA registered three consecutive uptrends for a collective gain of eight-tenths. In a bit of a statistical oddity, Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” and Cox Media Group classic country KKYX “Country Legends” have posted the same topline (6+) stat four months in a row: 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.5. For KTSA, December’s -.2 ends four straight improvements that produced a +.7 since July (1.0 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7, 6+), while the loss of two-tenths this sweep by KKYX halts six straight up or flat trends for an overall +.7 (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7, 6+).

4) Pittsburgh – On top for the ninth month in a row, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWSW “94.5 – 3WS” dials up a +2.0 (10.9 – 12.9, 6+) for its best 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016 (13.7). Last year at this time, “3WS” was 9.3 (December 2016, 6+). After posting three consecutive increases for an overall +1.3 (9.1 – 9.9 – 10.3 – 10.4, 6+), WWSW forfeited eight-tenths in June. Two stations in this Pennsylvania market improve by +1.6 (November 2017 – December 2017, 6+): Steel City Media adult hits WRRK “Bob” (unchanged at #3, 6+) and Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHH “Today’s Wish 99.7” (sixth to fourth, 6+). “Bob” was locked on 7.4 (6+) in October and November; “Wish” was stuck on 5.7 (6+) in August and September and then on 5.2 (6+) in October and November. This is the sixth month in a row that iHeartMedia-owned rocker WDVE occupies the runner-up position. Flat at 9.2 (6+), WDVE was +1.6 in October and -1.0 in November. Its 10.2 in October marked the first time WDVE reached double-digits (6+) since March (10.4). Tied for #1 in June, WDVE halted three straight declines in October that accounted for a full-share loss (9.6 – 9.2 – 8.7 – 8.6, 6+); September’s 8.6 was its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 8.4. Surrendering one full-share to 4.0, its lowest 6+-stat since April’s 3.9, Entercom-owned WDSY “Y-108 Pittsburgh’s Country” drops from eighth to a ninth-place tie. In an up/down pattern that started in June, “Y-108” is 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 4.0 (6+). An August loss of one-tenth snapped at three its consecutive string without a decrease that netted seven-tenths (3.9 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.6, 6+). Elsewhere in the format, iHeartMedia-owned WPGB “Big 104.7 – Pittsburgh’s #1 For New Country” falters by a combined half share in November and December (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8, flat at #12, 6+). A cumulative +.9 in June and July (2.9 – 3.5 – 3.8, 6+) and then a collective -.9 in August and September (3.8 – 3.7 – 2.9, 6+), “Big 104.7 gained four-tenths in October. Even though it forfeits all of November’s half-share gain and two-tenths more (4.7 – 4.0, -.7, 6+), alternative cluster-mate WXDX “105.9 The X” advances from tenth to a ninth-place tie; November’s 4.7 was the best 6+-stat for the Pittsburgh Penguins’ flagship since June’s 5.1. After registering a +1.0 in October, co-owned CHR WKST “96.1 Kiss FM – Pittsburgh’s #1 Music Station” erodes by a collective -1.4 in November and December (8.2 – 7.4 – 6.8, 6+), slipping from third to fourth. A +.2 in September concluded a string of three straight decreases that resulted in a -2.1 (9.1 – 8.7 – 7.6 – 7.0, 6+); December’s 6.8 is the lowest 6+-share for “Kiss” since 6.7 in the “Holiday” 2016 report. Sports talk sibling WBGG “ESPN Pittsburgh” is without an increase for the seventh month in a row (.3 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1, 6+) and slumps from #17 to #18.

5) Sacramento – On the strength of a +1.2 (7.6 – 8.8, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary KYMX not only has its best 6+-showing since May’s 9.2, “Mix 96 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” advances from second to first. Displaced from the top spot after a five-month stay and taking over at #2 is co-owned KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock,” which flounders by one full-share (8.4 – 7.4, 6+). The last time “The Eagle” was below a seven-share (6+) was in February (7.5); KSEG was a combined -1.6 in September and October (9.7 – 8.7 – 8.1, 6+). By gaining six-tenths (2.0 – 2.6, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KSTE “Talk 650” climbs from #17 to #15 and has its best 6+-stat since June (2.8). Netting one full-share in seven successive up or flat trends (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.6, 6+), Entercom’s KHTK “Sports 1140” carries on at #15 (where it is tied with KSTE). Five consecutive upticks by co-owned/similarly-formatted KIFM-AM netted a +1.4 (.8 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.6 – 2.2, 6+), but with December’s -.6 to 1.6 (#16 to #20, 6+), “ESPN Radio 1320” forfeits nearly have that bounty; KIFM-AM last reached the two-share level in November 2015 (2.0). Doubling its 6+-share (.5 – 1.0, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” checks in at #24. Fluctuating by at least one-half share in the past four sweeps, co-owned KLVB was -.5 in August; +.5 in September; +.5 in October; and -.8 in November (1.9 – 1.4 – 1.9 – 2.4 – 1.6, 6+). In December, Sacramento’s version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” adds three-tenths to 1.9 (#20 to #17, 6+). After tacking on one-half share in November to October’s +.6 (4.2 -4.8 – 5.3, 6+), California State University – Sacramento news/talk KXJZ “Capital Public Radio” relinquishes all but one-tenth of that combined +1.1 with a -1.0 to 4.3 (fourth to seventh, 6+); November’s 5.3 was its most potent 6+-stat in more than six years (5.3, June 2011). Anchored at #3, iHeartMedia-owned KFBK “Sacramento’s News, Weather, and Traffic Station” is without an increase for the third month in succession for an overall loss of seven-tenths (7.8 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 7.1 (6+). After three straight improvements netting a combined +1.3 (6.5 – 6.7 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+), the news/talk hybrid regressed by three-tenths in October; September’s 7.8 was its strongest 6+-stat since February’s 8.2. In the last three sweeps, Entercom’s KNCI “New Country 105.1” has been -.9 (October); +.9 (November); and now -.5 in December (5.0 – 4.5, unchanged at #5, 6+). November’s increase halted three consecutive declines that accounted for a collective -1.9 (6.0 – 5.4 – 5.0 – 4.1, 6+). Prior to October, KNCI hadn’t been below a five-share (6+) since August 2016 (4.7). After losing more than 40% of its 6+-share (-1.3) in four straight sweeps without an increase (3.1 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KBEB “92.5 The Bull – #1 for New Country” picks up one-tenth to 1.9, inching up from #18 to #17 (6+). The market’s other FM country outlet – Entravision-owned KNTY “101.9 – The Wolf” – adds two-tenths to 2.8 and improves from #14 to #13. “The Wolf” was a combined -.4 in October and November (3.0 – 2.7 – 2.6, 6+). In October, it returned 60% of September’s one-half share gain. September’s +.5 suspended four straight decreases for an overall -.9 (3.4 – 3.3 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.5, 6+).

6) Salt Lake City – No other station in the 36 PPM markets analyzed thus far has a greater (6+) November 2017 – December 2017 improvement and/or higher 6+ AQH share than Bonneville adult contemporary KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music Better Work Day” (7.0 – 13.6, +6.6, 6+). It repeats at #1 after a combined -.8 in October and November (7.8 – 7.3 – 7.0, 6+). “FM 100.3” has been #1 each month this calendar year except January, March, April, and October. By way of comparison, KSFI was 11.4 in December 2016. Two commercial news/talk outlets in the market account for a -1.7, a decrease nearly equally divided between KSFI sibling KSL “NewsRadio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” (5.7, flat at #2, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s KNRS “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know” (3.4, #8 to #11, 6+). Trending 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.5 (June through October, 6+), KNRS was +.8 in November to 4.3. Meanwhile, KSL plummeted from 8.3 to 6.5 (October – November, 6+), moving to the runner-up slot after a one-month stay at #1. In addition, it ended three successive gains netting a cumulative +3.1 (5.2 – 5.8 – 6.9 – 8.3, 6+) with 8.3 its strongest 6+-share since January’s 8.9. Recent KSL fluctuations include +2.0 (October 2016), -.9 (November 2016), +1.1 (December 2016), -1.5 (“Holiday” 2016); +2.1 (January 2017); -2.1 (February 2017); +.6 (April 2017); -1.1 (May 2017); -.9 (July 2017); +.6 (August 2017); +1.1 (September 2017); +1.4 (October 2017); -1.8 (November 2017); and now -.8 in December 2017. An overall +1.9 in seven consecutive sweeps without a loss (3.9 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 5.8, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KODJ “94.1 Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits” relinquishes more than half that increase with a -1.1 to 4.7 (third to fifth, 6+); November’s 5.8 was its highest 6+-share since June 2016’s 6.6. Climbing from #24 to #23,1980’s hits KSQN “103.1 The Wave – The Next Wave of New Wave” is up or flat for the seventh time in a row for a +.5 (.9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4, 6+). Steady at #21, sports talk KALL “ESPN 700” has more than quintupled its 6+-share in six successive gains (.3 – .4 – .5 – .9 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6, #21, 6+). In three straight monthlies without a loss (June through September), iHeartMedia-owned CHR KZHT was a combined +1.5 (5.0 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 6.5, 6+), but “97.1 ZHT – Salt Lake’s #1 Hit Music Station” forfeits -1.8 in October, November, and December (6.5 – 6.0 – 5.4 – 4.7, fourth to fifth, 6+). Moreover, KZHT is below a five-share (6+) for the first time since April’s 4.9. Deflating by six-tenths each are Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted KENZ “Power 94.9 – Utah’s New Hit Music” (1.7, #17 to #18, 6+), which had been up or flat the past three sweeps for a +.2 (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3, 6+), and co-owned country KUBL “K-Bull 93” (trending 4.7 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 4.1, seventh to eighth, 6+). The latter’s format competitor – Broadway Media’s KEGA “101.5 The Eagle – Utah’s Best Country” – is without an increase for the seventh straight time for a collective -.9 (2.0 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.1, 6+). This marks the 13th sweep in a row that iHeartMedia-owned KAAZ “Rock 106.7 – Everything That Rocks” is within 3.1 – 3.9 range (3.8 – 3.7, -.1, #11 to #9, 6+), while after 18 consecutive times within 2.0 – 2.8 range (6+), Broadway Media rhythmic CHR KUUU “U-92” drops four-tenths to 1.7 (#19 to a three-way tie at #18, 6+). Following six consecutive ratings periods of dialing up a .8 (6+), independent KSOP-AM “AM 1370 – Utah’s Home for Classic Country” falls to .6 but remains at #27 (6+).

7) Las Vegas – A +3.7 propels iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE from #2 to #1 as “Sunny 106.5” (6.9 – 10.6, 6+) is the first Las Vegas station to reach double-digits (6+) since it accomplished the feat in “Holiday” 2016 (14.0). A collective -2.7 in four straight (June through October) decreases (7.5 – 6.7 – 6.3 – 5.6 – 4.8, 6+), “Sunny” bounced back in November with a +2.1. Recent fluctuations for “Sunny,” which had been on top between December 2016 and June 2017, are +1.8 in March; -1.1 in April; -1.2 in May; +1.4 in June; -.8 in July; -.7 in September; -.8 in October; +2.1 in November; and now +3.7 in December. Ousted from #1 after five straight months in the lead position and falling to second-place is Beasley Media Group-owned classic hits-oldies KKLZ “96.3 – 70s, 80s and More.” The last three fluctuations for KKLZ are: +1.0 (October); -.9 (November) and now -.7 in December (7.0 – 6.3, 6+). Without a loss for the third month in a row, Faith Communications contemporary Christian KSOS “SOS Radio – Right Song, Right Time” is an overall +.7 (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.6, fifth to fourth, 6+) and registers its strongest 6+-stat since September 2016’s 5.4. Two regional Mexican outlets improve by one-half share each: Entravision’s KQRT “La Tricolor 105.1” (1.8 – 2.3, #20 to #17, 6+) and Univision Radio-owned KISF “Zona MX 103.5” (1.7 – 2.2, #22 to #18, 6+). Owing to a -1.3 (5.4 – 4.1, fourth to fifth, 6+) iHeartMedia country KWNR “95.5 The Bull – Las Vegas New Country Leader” has its lowest 6+-stat since 3.6 in September 2016. Following five successive improvements for a net gain of +2.1 (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.3 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.7, 6+), Entercom hot AC KMXB “Mix 94.1” returns roughly half that increase (5.6, -1.1, 6+) but remains in third-place for the fourth month in a row. In October, “Mix” reached the six-share level (6+) for the first time since December 2015’s 6.1. Flat at #6, Lotus Communications’ KXPT “97.1 The Point – #1 for Classic Rock” is a cumulative -1.3 in four successive down or flat trends (5.3 – 4.5     – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.0, 6+), while co-owned KOMP “92.3 The Rock Station” is off a total of six-tenths in three straight monthlies without an increase (3.5 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 2.9, #13 to #14, 6+). Via three downward trends in succession, Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KRGT “Latino Mix 99.3” has lost nearly half of its 6+-share (-1.5) and exits the top twenty (3.2 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 1.7, #17 to #21, 6+). Having posted five straight sweeps without a loss netting a +1.6 (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 3.1 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits KYMT “93.1 The Mountain – We Play Everything” stumbles by four-tenths to 3.3 (6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #12); 3.7 in November was its best 6+-showing since it flipped from CHR (KPLV) in September 2016. As the result of three (slight) decreases, Kemp Broadcasting rhythmic CHR KVEG “Hot 97.5” is down a collective four-tenths (3.0 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.6, flat at #16, 6+). In five downward moves in a row, University of Nevada-owned KUNC “91.5 The Source” has had its 6+-share sliced by more than 80% (2.5 – 1.2 – .8 – .7 – .6 – .4, #28, 6+).

8) Cincinnati – A cumulative +3.6 in four improvements in a row (3.9 – 4.0 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 7.5, 6+) enables Cumulus Media adult contemporary WRRM “Warm 98” to cruise from seventh to second with its best 6+-stat since 11.7 in “Holiday” 2016. While it repeats at #1, co-owned classic hits-oldies WGRR is off by six-tenths (9.1 – 8.5, 6+). A combined -1.4 in August and September (9.7 – 8.7 – 8.3, 6+), “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” rebounded with a combined +.8 in October and November (8.3 – 9.0 – 9.1, 6+). Also in that Cumulus Media cluster, classic rock WOFX “92.5 The Fox” falters by six-tenths (5.2 – 4.6, 6+) and segues from fifth to seventh. Following four sweeps in succession without a decrease for a +.6 (7.6 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 8.1 – 8.2, 6+), Hubbard’s WUBE “B-105.1 – Get Your Country On” spirals by -1.4 to 6.8, dropping from second to fourth (6+). November’s 8.2 was its highest 6+-share since October 2016’s 8.5; conversely, December’s 6.8 represents its lowest 6+-share since January (6.8, as well). Co-owned WYGY repeats November’s 1.1 (#20 to a tie at #19, 6+). This time last month, “97.3 The Wolf” ended four straight sweeps without an increase that resulted in a loss of nine-tenths (1.9 – 1.9 – 1.3 – 1.0 – 1.0, 6+). Elsewhere in the country format, Cumulus Media’s WNNF “94.1 Nash FM” (#17 to #15) regains the four-tenths it lost in November to end four downward or flat moves in succession for a collective -1.1 (2.9 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.2 – 1.8, 6+). Two iHeartMedia news/talkers combine for a -1.5 (6+), with WLW accounting for a -.8 (flat at #3). Down for the fourth straight time for a collective -2.4 (9.6 – 9.4 – 9.2 – 8.0 – 7.2, 6+), WLW fell to #3 in November following three consecutive months at #1. “The Big One” returned to the top in August 2017 after back-to-back appearances at #2. Departing the top ten (#9 to #11), co-owned/similarly-formatted WKRC “55 KRC – The Talk Station in Cincinnati” regresses by seven-tenths to 3.5 (6+), thus ending at four its successive string of up or flat trends that netted nine-tenths since July (3.3 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+). Dipping from #15 to #16, Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies WDBZ “Soul 101.5” is a combined -.6 in November and December (2.4 – 2.3 – 1.8, 6+), immediately after five consecutive up or flat sweeps that produced a +1.0 (1.4 -1.7 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.4, 6+). By dropping one-tenth to .6 (6+), iHeartMedia sports talk WSAI “Fox Sports 1360” curtails four straight improvements of one-tenth each (.3 – 4. – .5 – .6 – .7, #23 to a tie at #22, 6+).

9) Orlando – With an increase that more than triples November’s -1.3, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMGF “Magic 107.7” (7.6 – 12.0, +4.4, 6+) storms from fourth to first with its strongest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016’s 16.1. At this time last year, “Magic” registered a 10.5 (6+, December 2016). Co-owned Spanish tropical WRUM “Rumba 100,” which is down one-tenth for the third time in a row (11.6 – 11.5 – 11.4 – 11.3, 6+), shifts to the runner-up slot after 11 consecutive months on top. It spiraled by two full-shares in July; was flat in August; and up nine-tenths in September. April’s 12.8 was the best-ever 6+-share in WRUM’s PPM-history. Albeit that it segues from second to third, CHR sibling WXXL “XL-106.7” is up or flat for the fourth time in a row (7.5 – 7.5 – 7.9 – 8.2 – 8.2, 6+) and has its best 6+-stat since May’s 8.8. In October, “XL-106.7” pulled the plug on five straight monthlies without an increase that resulted in a -2.4 (9.9 – 8.8 – 8.1 – 7.8 – 7.5 – 7.5, 6+), a streak that followed a +2.7 as the result of four consecutive progressive trends (7.2 – 8.0 – 9.0 – 9.7 – 9.9, 6+). Off seven-tenths (5.1 – 4.4, 6+), cluster-mate WJRR “101.1 Orlando’s Rock Station” moves from seventh to eighth. Eroding by -1.9, Cox Media Group’s WMMO “98.9 Orlando’s Classic Hits” (8.1 – 6.2, third to fourth, 6+) is below a seven-share for the first time since March (6.8, 6+). Returning all of November’s +.6 plus three-tenths more, Entercom hot AC WOMX (5.5 – 4.6, -.9,) slips from fifth to seventh with its softest 6+-share since April 2015 (4.6, as well). A collective +1.4 in three straight August through November up or flat trends (1.5 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” returns one-half share (2.4, -.5, 6+) and shifts from #14 to #15. Prior to August, WTKS notched six consecutive decreases that accounted for a -2.1 (3.6 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.5, 6+). Off by one-half share as well but flat at #16 is Cox Media Group Spanish contemporary WCFB-HD2 (1.8 – 1.3, 6+). News/talk sibling WDBO-FM is a collective -2.1 in three straight decreases (6.1 – 5.1 – 4.2 – 4.0, 6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #11); WDBO-FM racked up a +2.0 in September. Immediately prior to an August gain of nine-tenths, WDBO-FM was -1.0 via three straight negative trends (4.2 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.2, 6+). Although remaining at #6, Entercom classic hits-oldies WOCL “105.9 Sunny FM” registers its fourth consecutive decrease and is a cumulative -1.8 since August (6.8 – 6.4 – 5.9 – 5.3 – 5.0, 6+). Co-owned WQMP is -1.3 in four losses in a row (4.3 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+) and carries on at #13; however, approximately three weeks into the December sweep (11/29), WQMP transitioned from CHR “Amp” to “Alt 101.9 – Orlando’s New Alternative.”

10) Cleveland – On the strength of a +2.3 to 7.2 (6+), Entercom adult contemporary WDOK not only vaults from tenth to fifth, “Cleveland’s Star 102” applies the brakes to three straight downward moves that accounted for a -1.1 (6.0 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.9, 6+). This is the best 6+-showing for “Star” since its 10.4 in “Holiday” 2016. By picking up three-tenths (to 5.5, 6+), its hot AC cluster-mate WQAL cuts the cord on four negative trends in a row for an overall -1.8 (7.0 – 6.4 – 6.2 – 5.3 – 5.2, 6+); “Q-104 Plays The Hits” remains in eighth-place. Two-tenths from the top spot in November, WZAK tacks on nine-tenths to November’s +.5 and takes over at #1 (9.4, 6+). The Radio One urban AC had been in eight-share range in each of the last four sweeps (8.1 – 8.4 – 8.0 – 8.5, 6+). A loss of four-tenths in October ended three consecutive positive moves by WZAK for an overall +.9 (7.5 – 7.6 – 8.1 – 8.4, 6+). Removed from #1 (after a one-month stay) and falling to #2 is iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits,” which surrenders an eight-tenths gain in November and one-tenth more (8.7 – 7.8, -.9, 6+). November’s +.8 stopped three straight declines that resulted in a -1.3 (9.2 – 8.9 – 8.4 – 7.9, 6+). In 2017, “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” occupied the top spot from January through April; July (with a +1.1 to 9.2, its strongest 6+-share since 9.8 in “Holiday” 2016); August; September (tied with WZAK); and November. Recapturing 60% of November’s full-share loss, co-owned WMMS “100.7 – Cleveland’s Rock Station” (4.0 – 4.6, +.6, 6+) enters the top ten (#11 to #10). Meanwhile, the February through December topline 6+ pattern for alternative WMMS-HD2 is an ultra-steady 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.0. Unchanged at #13, Ideastream-owned WCPN is an overall +1.5 in four straight upticks (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.6, 6+). Owing to a -1.1 (7.5 – 6.4, fourth to seventh, 6+), Entercom-owned WNCX “98.5 Cleveland’s Classic Rock” falls below a seven-share for the first time since February’s 6.8. Off by one-half share each are Radio One urban contemporary WENZ “Z-107.9” (6.7, flat at #6, 6+) and iHeartMedia CHR WAKS “96.5 Kiss FM – Cleveland’s #1 Hit Music Station” (5.0 – 4.5, #9 to #11, 6+). When “Z-107.9” improved by nine-tenths (to 7.2, 6+) in November, it crossed the seven-share level (6+) for the first time in its PPM-history. Following six straight down or flat sweeps that accounted for a combined +1.5 (5.3 – 5.4 – 5.8 – 6.4 – 6.6 – 6.6 – 6.8, 6+), “Z-107.9” was off one-half share in October.

11) Kansas City – Aided by a +1.2 to 9.6, its strongest 6+-stat since July’s 10.3, Cumulus Media classic rock KCFX “The Fox” shifts from second to first, curtailing four straight down or flat sweeps that generated a -1.9 (10.3 – 8.7 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4, 6+). Prior to November, “The Fox” occupied the penthouse for ten consecutive months. A -1.6 in August halted five straight increases netting a +2.8 (7.5 – 8.5 – 8.7 – 9.4 – 10.3, 6+). That aforementioned July 10.3 marked only the fifth time that a Kansas City station registered double-digits (6+) in the PPM era. Even though it is up for the third sweep in a row for a collective +1.3 (7.7 – 8.0 – 8.8 – 9.0, 6+) and has its best 6+-showing since 10.3 in “Holiday” 2016, co-owned classic hits-oldies KCMO “94.9 – Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” moves from first to second. As the result of three increases in a row (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 5.3, 6+), Steel City Media adult contemporary KCKC “KC-102.1 Today’s Best Variety” (ninth to fifth) is an overall +1.3 and notches its best 6+-stat since its 7.0 in “Holiday” 2016. Progressing by eight-tenths each are its CHR cluster-mate KMXV “Mix 93.3 – Kansas City’s #1 Hit Music Station” (5.5 – 6.3, fourth to third, 6+) and Carter Broadcast Corporation urban contemporary KPRS “Hot 103 Jamz” (5.3 – 6.1, 6+). A November gain of seven-tenths by “Mix” stymied four losses in a row that accounted for a -1.0 (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.8, 6+); “Hot 103 Jamz” was up one-half share in November. The last time “Mix” reached the six-share level (6+) was nearly two years ago (6.4, January 2016). A collective +1.1 in four straight sweeps without a loss (3.9 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 5.0 – 5.0, 6+), Entercom’s KQRC “98.9 The Rock” carries on at #7; 5.0 in November and December represents its best 6+-share in more than two years (5.1, October 2015). After seven straight months at #3, Steel City Media’s KFKF “Country 94.1” falls to #6 and is a combined -1.8 in three straight negative moves (6.9 – 6.6 – 6.1 – 5.1, 6+). When “Country 94.1” lost three-tenths in October, it ended five straight increases that netted +1.3 (5.6 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.9, 6+). While unchanged at #8, Entercom’s similarly-formatted WDAF “106.5 The Wolf” is a collective +.5 in three straight up or flat trends (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.9, 6+) and has its best 6+-share since April 2015 (4.9, as well). Also in the country format, KFKF sibling KBEQ drops three-tenths to 3.9 (6+), suspending three upticks in a row that netted eight-tenths (3.4 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.2, 6+) as “Q-104 #1 for New Country” departs the top ten (#10 to #11). A loss of four-tenths in September by “Q-104” ended four successive sweeps without an increase for an overall -1.3 (4.7 – 4.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4, 6+). Off a cumulative full-share in three consecutive decreases (4.3 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+), Entercom alternative KRBZ “96.5 The Buzz” dips from #11 to #14. A collective -2.9 in four straight decreases (4.4 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 2.1 – 1.5, 6+), co-owned KCSP slides from #19 to #20. Prior to this particular negative streak, “610 Sports Radio – Our Teams, Our Town” nearly quadrupled its 6+-share with a +3.2 in five consecutive up or flat trends (1.2 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 4.4, 6+); August’s 4.4 was its highest 6+-share since June 2016’s 4.7. Notwithstanding it loses four-tenths to 2.6 (6+) thus snapping at five its successive string of positive trends that doubled its 6+-stat (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+), Union Broadcasting’s similarly-programmed WHB “Sports Radio 810” climbs from #16 to #15. After posting a +.7 in November, University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian KJNW “Life 88.5 – Kansas City Christian Radio” surrenders six-tenths (3.1 – 2.5, 6+), falling from #15 to #16.

12) Columbus – An increase of eight-tenths (5.1 – 5.9, steady at #6, 6+) takes Saga Communications adult contemporary WSNY “Sunny 95” to its strongest 6+-share since June’s 6.0. Taking positive spikes of six-tenths each are iHeartMedia adult hits WODC “93.3 The Bus” (5.4 – 6.0, steady at #5, 6+) and RadiOhio-owned WBNS-FM “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” (5.6, unchanged at #7, 6+). After a -.6 in August, “93.3 The Bus” responded in September and October with a collective +1.9 (4.5 – 5.5 – 6.4, 6+), but was -1.0 in November. October’s 6.4 was the highest 6+-share for “The Bus” since “Holiday” 2016’s 11.1. When “The Fan” lost three-tenths in November to 5.0 (6+), it closed out three straight gains that produced a +3.4 (1.9 – 2.8 – 4.0 – 5.3, 6+). December’s 5.6 is its best 6+-performance since 5.9 in the “Holiday” 2016 report. Despite sputtering by one-half share to 11.3 (6+), iHeartMedia country outlet WCOL is #1 for the sixth straight time and has been in double-digits (6+) each sweep since June. Off a combined -1.5 in August and September, WCOL regained roughly half of that loss in October with a +.7, but lost one-tenth in November. In June and July, WCOL produced a +3.5 (9.2 – 10.6 – 12.7, 6+). July’s 12.7 was the highest 6+-share by any Columbus station since WCOL reached 12.9 in July 2015. It was +2.2 in January; -1.2 in February; +.8 in March; -1.3 in May; +1.4 in June; +2.1 in July; -.9 in August; -.6 in September; +.7 in October; and now -.5 in December. Without an increase for the fourth ratings period in a row for a collective -1.6 (10.8 – 10.8 – 10.7 – 9.5 – 9.2, 6+), CHR cluster-mate WNCI “97.9 – Columbus’ Hit Music Station and #1 for New Music” nonetheless remains in the runner-up slot. Faltering by one-half share as well and returning roughly one-third of November’s gigantic +1.6 is Saga Communications’ WNND “Rewind – Columbus’ Greatest Hits” (3.6 – 3.1, #9 to #11, 6+). Prior to reaching 3.6 in November, “Rewind” had been within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) in each of the previous ten ratings periods. There are more big ups/downs for co-owned WLVQ “Iconic Rock Q-FM 96,” which was -1.7 in August and September (7.5 – 6.1 – 5.8, 6+); bounced back with a combined +1.7 in October and November (5.8 – 6.3 – 7.5,); and is now -1.3 in December (6.2, 6+), but remains in third-place. Off eight-tenths (4.0 – 3.2, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WZCB “106.7 The Beat – Columbus’ Real Hip-Hop and R&B” records its lowest 6+-share since July (3.2, as well) and slips from eighth to tenth. As a result of a -.3 to 6.2 (6+), news/talk sibling WTVN halts three straight up-trends that netted eight-tenths (5.7 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.5, 6+), but “NewsRadio 610” actually inches up from fourth to third. Steady at #16, Ohio State University’s WOSA “Classical 101” is off one-tenth to .9, curtailing three straight up or flat moves that generated six-tenths (.4 – .4 – .5 – 1.0, 6+). Registering its fifth straight negative trend for a combined -1.4 since July (4.4 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0, 6+), Radio One rhythmic CHR WCKX “Power 107.5” slips from #11 to #12. Co-owned urban AC WXMG “Magic 95.5 – Columbus’ Best R&B,” however, picks up one-tenth (2.4, flat at #14, 6+) thus pulling the plug on six straight sweeps without an increase for a collective -.5 (2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+).

Friday, December 15, 2017

| December 15, 2017

CRTV Expands Content in 2018; Andrew Wilkow to Host Thrice-Weekly Show.  The digital video platform CRTV is announcing new programming to launch in the New Year.  Joining the existing programming will be a program hosted by Andrew Wilkow that will offer new episodes three times per week.  Wilkow hosts the daily satellite radio show, “The Wilkow Majority,” on SiriusXM’s Patriot channel.  He says, “CRTV has been rapidly signing talent and creating content for dedicated followers on constitutional conservative and libertarian thought.  I am honored to join the team led by Mark Levin, Michelle Malkin, Phil Robertson, Steven Crowder, Matt Kibbe, Deneen Borelli, and Gavin McInnes.  For those that love ‘The Wilkow Majority,’ this new TV program will be a natural extension.”  Two other new programs debuting in January are “Roaming Millennial: Uncensored,” starring YouTube sensation Roaming Millennial, and twice-per-week videos from Allie Stuckey.  CRTV is parent of the Conservative Review.

Friends and Stars Abound on Mike Francesa’s Penultimate WFAN Show.  Today’s final show will be a bit more subdued that Thursday’s program done live at the Paley Center for Media.  Mike Francesa says today it’ll be just callers and him, with the last half hour or so just him talking to his fans.  But, Thursday’s show involved a gaggle of friends and fellow broadcasters saluting – and ribbing – Francesa on the second-to-last day of his 30-year career at WFAN, New York.  Newsday reports the count of guests was 85 and included former WFAN partner Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, former WFAN colleague Don Imus, Carl Banks, Tiki Barber, John Calipari, Brian Cashman, Chris Christie, Bob Costas, Tom Coughlin, Victor Cruz, Dick Ebersol, Jim Fassel, Joe Girardi, Keith Hernandez, Eli Manning, Tim McCarver, Jim Nantz, Regis Philbin, Darryl Strawberry, Mike Tannenbaum, Lawrence Taylor, Suzyn Waldman, Bernie Williams and Kurt Warner.

CMG Radio News Pro Jamie Dupree Profiled by Politico.  He serves Cox Media Group as radio news director of the Washington bureau.  But, about a year-and-a-half ago, Jamie Dupree became increasingly unable to speak due to a condition that was eventually diagnosed as tongue protrusion dystonia.  Unfortunately, there is no cure for the rare affliction and it’s unknown if he’ll ever get his speaking voice back.  He still works for CMG covering the DC political beat because, as M. Scott Mahaskey writes in his piece in Politico, his Cox bosses realize that the connections and trust he’s built up in DC over the past 30 years are “really valuable.”  Back when his voice worked, Dupree was a regular contributor to not only CMG stations, but he made regular appearances on Sean Hannity’s Premiere Networks radio show.  Read more about Dupree’s story here.

SRN’s Greg Clugston Delivers Annual Christmas Poem.  News pro Greg Clugston continues the tradition he began 20 years ago – writing a politically tinged Christmas poem to the rhythm of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.  You can read the entire poem here as USA Today printed the poem for international distribution.  Salem Media Group vice president/news & talk programming Tom Tradup says, “We are proud to have Greg as part of our SRN News team and to know he has continued this annual tradition under both Democratic and Republican administrations for two decades.”  Clugston (left) is pictured here with White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders (right) after he read the poem to her and his colleagues from the White House Press Corps.

Roy Moore’s Loss to Doug Jones in Alabama Senate Race Top News/Talk Story for Week of December 11-15.  The special election for the vacant Alabama U.S. Senate seat that saw Democrat Doug Jones beat embattled Republican Roy Moore was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the various allegations of sexual misconduct against celebrities and politicians.  Coming in at #3 was the Republican tax reform plan, followed by 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.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Live from London.  TALKERS founder Michael Harrison sat in this morning for Doug “VB” Goudie, co-hosting with Kim Carrigan from 6:00 am to 10:00 am ET on the WRKO, Boston morning show from his hotel room in central London using his trusted Comrex Access unit.  Harrison has been on a special UK radio tour gathering material on British media.  Harrison says, “It is amazing how reliable and in-studio-sounding Comrex equipment is, not to mention how easy it is to use.  We had to remind listeners throughout the show that I was several thousand miles away from Kim, producer Jim Clerkin and board operator Marita Mackinnon on the other side of the ocean and not in the same room with them.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At country KUPL, Portland “98.7 The Bull,” Alpha Media adds Jenn Hays to the “Tony and Jake in Mornings” and re-brands the show “Bull Mornings with Tony, Jake and Jenn,” effective January 8.  Alpha Portland SVP/market manager Lisa Decker says, “Following an exhaustive nationwide search it was clear that Jennifer Hays is uniquely qualified to join The Bull’s morning show.  She is very talented, a native of Portland, a huge country music fan and growing up, KUPL was her favorite country station.  She will bring her talent, wit, enthusiasm for Portland and country music home.  The next chapter for The Bull’s morning show is about to be written.  We look forward to a fun and compelling local show as Jenn joins her co-hosts Tony Russell and Jake Byron.”…..Spanish music radio pro Rico Hernandez is named by iHeartMedia Phoenix to the position of morning show talent and executive station producer for KOY-AM/K229DB “El Patron.”  Hernandez will continue to serve as midday personality on the company’s KXEW-AM, Tucson “Tejano 1600.”  iHeartMedia EVP of programming West Division Steve Geofferies comments, “We’re looking forward to Rico’s Spanish expertise and experience.  This is the start of a very exciting time for El Patron in Phoenix.”…..SiriusXM is presenting a special, invitation-only show at Los Angeles’ Troubadour on Tuesday (12/19) by Brian Setzer and his 19-piece Brian Setzer Orchestra.  This is the third consecutive year the show will happen.  The “Christmas Rocks!” concert will air Friday, December 22 at 8:00 pm ET on the Outlaw Country channel.

Music and Radio Pro Roxy Myzal to Retire.  Her career in the music and radio businesses spanned 42 years but now, Roxy Myzal is ready to take it a bit easier and is retiring from her current position with United Stations Radio Networks.  During her career, Myzal was music director at long-ago rock station WXLO-FM, New York; she worked promotions at Atlantic and Chrysalis Records; and served with Rolling Stone creating the “Rolling Stones’ Continuous History of Rock and Roll” radio show.  Most recently, she’s been with USRN overseeing its hardDrive brand.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

| December 7, 2017

WNYC Suspends Lopate and Schwartz During Investigation into Sexual Impropriety.  Two of New York Public Radio’s most storied voices are currently on leave from its WNYC, New York while the company investigates allegations of sexual impropriety, reports The New York Times.   Leonard Lopate – host of the WNYC 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm interview program – and American standards expert Jonathan Schwartz are both being investigated by NYPR.  Though the details of allegations against both are not public knowledge at this point, New York Public Radio chief Laura Walker says the company “takes these kinds of allegations very seriously and is reviewing these matters promptly.”  WNYC host Mary Harris hosted the 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm show yesterday (12/6) and NYPR has not announced who might be handling Schwartz’s duties in the interim.

Stephen K. Bannon Returns to Breitbart’s SiriusXM Show.  Before he was part of the Donald Trump campaign and then White House chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon was hosting the morning drive “Breitbart News Daily” radio program on the SiriusXM Patriot channel.  Now, the Breitbart executive chairman is getting back behind the microphone alongside Breitbart editor-in-chief Alex Marlow to again host the program.  In a statement, Bannon says, “As I have said all along, everything I brought to the Trump campaign came directly from the listeners I spoke with every morning on ‘Breitbart News Daily’ on SiriusXM’s Patriot channel.  From the moment I left the White House, getting back behind the microphone was very important to me. To get on the road outside the Beltway and to spend time with the great men and women of America is an honor.”

New Talk Station Debuts on Guam.  As Choice Broadcasting managing partner Ray Gibson says, “Guam is where America’s talk radio day begins!”  Choice Broadcasting announces the re-launch of KUSG, Tamuning, Guam as “ThePOINT” with new programs joining the lineup.  Those new shows include Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh and “Coast to Coast AM.”  Gibson says, “We’ve also signed up Sean Hannity, ‘The Tech Guy with Leo Laporte,’ and we’re really excited about putting ‘Coast to Coast AM’ with George Noory back on the island’s airwaves.”  The new shows add to the lineup that already consisted of hourly FOX News Radio news updates, “Brian Kilmeade & Friends,” John Gibson, and Tom Shillue.  Gibson notes that since acquiring the license for KUSG, Choice Broadcasting has made a number of improvements to the signal, including the addition of dynamic RDS, which allows most radios to display what show is on the air, weather, promotional announcements and breaking news.

TALKERS News Notes.  San Antonio news/talk WOAI “News Radio 1200” raised more than $200,000 during its annual radiothon and silent auction last Friday and Saturday (12/1-2).  The effort benefits the “The Elf Louise Christmas Project,” a local non-profit organization that purchases and delivers toys during the holiday season for Bexar County’s less fortunate children. To date, iHeartMedia’s WOAI has helped raise more than $4.2 million to benefit “The Elf Louise Christmas Project.”  Program founder Louise Locker states, “I can’t begin to thank ‘News Radio 1200 WOAI’ and their listeners enough.  The spirit was amazing and kept everyone going.  So many children will have a happier Christmas this year, thanks to this radiothon.”…..Earlier today (12/7), Salem Radio Network host Larry Elder was honored with the annual “Beacon Of Light” award from the Thousand Oaks, California Republican Women Federated.  The gala took place at the Thousand Oaks Country Club…..SiriusXM announces the launch of “Stanford Legal,” a bi-weekly show that “will get to the core of some of the legal issues making headlines today.”  “Stanford Legal,” part of SiriusXM’s programming arrangement with Stanford University, will premiere on SiriusXM Insight starting Saturday, December 9.  It’s co-hosted by Stanford Law professors Pam Karlan and Joe Bankman.  The series will feature conversations with attorneys, legal scholars, and leading experts on the news-making topics of the day, including the commercialization of marijuana, the power of prosecutors, President Trump’s travel ban, and more…..ABC Radio is offering a slate of end-of-year programming in both long- and short-form formats.  The long-form shows include: “Playback 2017,” a one-hour special looking at the biggest stories of the year and the newsmakers behind those stories; “2017: As It Happened,” a three-hour retrospective of some of 2017’s top stories, as told through highlights of ABC News Radio’s breaking news coverage; “Powerhouse Politics 2017 in Review” features interviews with the top political newsmakers of the year; “Perspective,” a special year-end edition of ABC News Radio’s award-winning weekly news magazine; and “World News This Year,” taking a look back at the major news events of the past year in 2017’s final edition of the weekly show.

Franken Pressured to Resign/Conyers Resignation, Trump Recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital, Roy Moore Campaign, Trump-Russia Investigation, California Wildfires, Looming Government Shutdown, North Korea Bangs War Drums, NFL Suspensions, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/6).  The pressuring of Senator Al Franken to resign his seat in the wake of sexual impropriety allegations and the resignation of Congressman John Conyers; President Trump recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel; the U.S. Senate campaign of former Alabama judge Roy Moore and allegations of sexual predation against him; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the devastating wildfires in Southern California; the possibility of a shutdown of the federal government; North Korea’s statement that war on the Korean peninsula is inevitable; the various suspensions levied against NFL players; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Four programming pros are promoted at the Detroit cluster of Cumulus Media.  In no particular order, Matt Laurenic rises from producer to executive producer of the “Blaine Fowler Morning Show” on hot AC WDVD.  Mike Gagliano is named FM production director and programming coordinator.  He moves up from his production director position.  Adam Ficorelli moves from the cluster’s “Street Team” to promotions manager/swing air talent for country WDRQ “NASH FM 93.1.”  Finally, Kendall Taylor is appointed the permanent midday personality and APD at WDVD.  She’s been interim midday jock and a weekend personality.  Taylor will also serve as a host on Westwood One’s 24-hour hot AC format…..Russ Parr re-ups with Reach Media to continue hosting the nationally syndicated “Russ Parr Morning Show.”  Urban One’s CEO of Radio One’s stations and Reach Media David Kantor says, “Reach Media is excited that Russ has extended his run as one of our premier syndicated talents and as a vital building block for our stations and Radio One’s position as the country’s ‘urban radio specialist.’”  Parr leads the show that includes cast members Alfredas, Supaken, Priya, Vic Jagger, and Albert…..Entercom Communications names former CBS RADIO VP and director of sales Claudia Menegus SVP and market manager for the Orlando cluster that includes alternative WQMP, classic hits WOCL “1059 Sunny FM,” and hot AC WOMX “mix 105.1.”  Entercom regional president Doug Abernethy states, “Claudia is an experienced radio executive who continues to impress us with her business acumen, client relationships and leadership.  We’re confident that she’ll lead Orlando stations to new heights.”…..In the Chattanooga market, Entercom names Nichole Hartman SVP and market manager, overseeing the cluster that includes: CHR WKXJ “103.7 Kiss FM,” adult hits WLND “98.1 The Lake,” rock WRXR “Rock 105,” country WUSY “US 101.”  Hartman comes to Entercom from her previous position as general sales manager for Cox Media Group’s Jacksonville cluster.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

| November 14, 2017

New Entercom Names Format Captains; Newman, Butler and Chernoff to Lead Spoken-Word Formats.  When the EntercomCBS RADIO merger closes – as early as this Friday (11/17) – format captains for the new company will be in place.  The spoken-word formats will continue to be led by Diane Newman (talk), Steve Butler (all-news), and Mark Chernoff (sports).  Newman is the longtime operations manager and program director for Entercom’s WWL, New Orleans.  Butler is director of news and programming at KYW, Philadelphia and vice president of news radio for CBS RADIO.  Chernoff is the longtime program director at WFAN-AM/FM, New York who also holds the vice president of programming title.  Other format captains include: Jimmy Gonzalez –  Spanish Language, Brian Kelly – Top 40, Michael Martin – Alternative, Mike Moore – Country, Nikki Nite – Adult Contemporary, Dave Richards – Rock/Classic Rock, Reggie Rouse – Urban, Jim Ryan – Classic Hits, and Steve Salhany – Hot Adult Contemporary.  Michael Martin will continue in his role as SVP of programming and music initiatives in the new organization.  Format captains will report to president of programming Pat Paxton and EVP of programming Chris Oliviero.  Paxton comments, “We are excited about the best-in-class programming team we are building at Entercom.  This talented team of experts has the skills and experience to take our live, original and local audio content to new heights and compete at the highest level in the media industry.”

Report: Trio of Carlin, Scott and Gray to Take Over Afternoons on WFAN. The stories in the New York media – Newsday and the New York Daily News – indicate an official announcement from WFAN, New York could come today (11/14) regarding the fate of the afternoon drive show after Mike Francesa’s departure next month.  They are reporting that current WIP-FM, Philadelphia afternoon personality Chris Carlin and former New York Jets player Bart Scott will team up with SI.com and CBS Sports Radio staffer Maggie Gray for the new show.  WFAN program director Mark Chernoff had no comment on the reports, according to both papers.  The stories also indicate that NBC SportsChris Simms and the NFL Network’s Kimberly Jones both turned down offers by the station to be part of the new program.

Michael Savage Pens New Book: God, Faith and Reason.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Michael Savage says this new book is a result of his own spiritual journey and his belief that God wants us to question things.  On his website, Savage says that publisher Hachette asked him to write another book after his last release, Trump’s War: His Battle for America.  He says he agreed on the condition that he could “dedicate my next book to God, who has given me everything.”  He also says, “I’m not a holy guy, I’m not a holy roller, I’m not an evangelist.  I’m not better than the next man, I’m just really talking about my odyssey.  I’m still questioning myself and my existence.  What’s it all about?  I believe God wants us to question.”  See more here.

Roy Moore Allegations, Uranium One/Clinton Foundation Investigation, GOP Tax Plan, North Korea Nukes/U.S. Carrier Exercises, Saudi Arabia-Iran Tensions, Roger Goodell-Jerry Jones Battle, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/13).  The allegations of contact with underage girls against Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore; Republicans’ request to investigate possible connections between the Uranium One deal and the Clinton Family Foundation; the details of the Republican tax reform plan; North Korea’s nuclear program and the presence of U.S. aircraft carriers in the region participating in drills with South Korea and Japan; tensions in the Middle East as Saudi Arabia accuses Iran of fomenting war; speculation that Jerry Jones leaked NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s new contract requests in an effort put him in a bad light; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Democrats Request Probe into FCC’s Treatment of Sinclair.  With the proposed acquisition of Tribune Media’s 42 television stations by Sinclair Broadcast Group (owner of 193 TV stations) hanging in the balance, U.S. Reps. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Elijah Cumming (D-MD) are asking the FCC’s inspector general to look into whether FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is giving favor to Sinclair because of its perceived conservative slant.  As Reuters reports, the advocacy group Free Press stated in an FCC filing that Sinclair’s stations “air pro-Trump propaganda” and then seek favors from the administration.  Politico published a piece purporting that Sinclair struck a deal with then-candidate Donald Trump to get access in exchange for favorable coverage from its news departments.  While this is largely a TV story, Sinclair owns three radio stations in Seattle it acquired in the Fisher deal.  Two of them are all-news KOMO-AM/FM and news/talk KVI.  Tribune owns Chicago news/talk WGN-AM.

KIDO, Boise’s Kevin Miller Talking Turkey. For the sixth consecutive year, KIDO, Boise morning drive personality Kevin Miller is living outside a local Walmart for an entire week to raise awareness of homelessness and hunger and to get donations to benefit the Boise Rescue Mission.  Pictured above, Miller is dressed in a turkey suit while being interviewed by KTVB-TV’s Larry Gebert.  Over the past six years, Miller has helped raise more than $400,000 in cash, food, and clothing.

TALKERS News Notes. In recognition of the current “Saturday Night Live” exhibition at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago, Tribune’s WGN Radio will be doing a series of live broadcasts from the museum.  Next Tuesday (11/21), the Steve Cochran morning show will produce a remote broadcast that will include special guests and former “SNL” cast members Nora Dunn, Tim Kazurinsky and Julia Sweeney.  Later in January and February, “The Bill and Wendy Show,” “The John Williams Show,” and “The Roe Conn Show with Anna Davlantes” will also originate live broadcasts from the “SNL” exhibit at the museum…..Crawford Broadcasting Company announces the addition of WMUZ-AM, Taylor, Michigan “1200 The Salt” to its lineup of Christian stations in the Detroit area.  The company says the station will be ministry talk, featuring local and national pastors and teachers, including Alistair Begg and Dr. David Jeremiah…..The Coffee With Kenobi podcasting network is joining BlogTalkRadio, moving some four years of shows to the platform.  Creator of the Star Wars-themed podcast outfit Dan Z says, “We are thrilled to bring members of our Coffee With Kenobi family network to BlogTalkRadio.  If you love analysis and Star Wars conversation, this is the podcast you’re looking for!”

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  On-air and programming pro Rich DeSisto is appointed to the program director position at Beasley Media Group’s adult contemporary WJBR-FM, Wilmington, Delaware.  DeSisto has been serving Beasley as APD and afternoon personality at adult hits WBEN-FM, Philadelphia and as a weekend jock on classic rock WMGK (a role he’ll continue).  The company says that DeSisto has spent most of his 30-year radio career in the region, working at such stations as WYSP-FM, Q104.3-FM, WPST-FM, WZXL-FM and WSJO-FM.  In addition, DeSisto served as the director of programming of the WMGM-FM/WJSE-FM/WTKU-FM cluster in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  Beasley VP/market manager AJ Lurie says, “I have learned to hire people brighter than myself, and Rich is one of those people!”…..iHeartMedia promotes Jacob “Tight Pants” Bowling to assistant program director, music director and afternoon personality for alternative rock KTHR, Wichita “ALT 107.3,” effective November 20.  iHeartMedia Wichita SVP of programming Jim Dorman says, “We are very excited at what ‘Tight Pants’ will be bringing to Wichita.  His work ethic and passion for music is second to none and I am looking forward to working with him on ‘ALT 107.3.’  He truly deserves this promotion.”…..Curtis Media Group brings Morgan Thomas back to the Raleigh market to host the morning show on adult hits WBBB-FM “96.1 BBB.”  Thomas co-hosted the successful “Mike & Morgan” show on the company’s country WQDR from 2001 through 2004.  She left the market to take on the morning co-host role at KSON, San Diego, working there until 2010.  Station SVP/general manager David Stuckey says, “Morgan is a proven major market personality and I am very pleased to welcome her back to Raleigh on ‘96.1 BBB.’”…..This year’s “The Night Before” show at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul (the night before Super Bowl LII) will feature the Dave Matthews BandCBS RADIO and On Location Experiences are co-producing the show…..Content producer and syndicator Westwood One is presenting 12 holiday-themed, weekend music specials for affiliate stations to air from Thanksgiving weekend through Christmas weekend.  The first is the four-hour “A Thanksgiving Weekend Celebration with Chris Young.”  Christmas-themed shows are being hosted by such stars as Brett Eldredge, Gwen Stefani, Josh Groban, Kelly Clarkson, Dave Koz, and more…..iHeartMedia’s Phoenix adult contemporary signal KEZ brings the Premiere Networks syndicated “Delilah” show back to the program schedule for the evening daypart.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

| October 26, 2017

Will November 16 Be the Day the Radio-Newspaper Cross-Ownership Ban Dies?  Testifying before the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Communications and Technology yesterday, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai explained that serval proposals to ease regulations on broadcasters will be taken up at the Commission’s November 16 Open Meeting, the cross-ownership ban among them.  Radio operators and newspapers have long sought to end the ban on cross-ownership of their media platforms and it seems likely – with a 3-2 Republican majority on the Commission – that the 42-year-old rule will be eliminated.  Arguing that the rule – designed to ensure a diversity of news sources for consumers – is outdated, Pai told the subcommittee, “If you believe as I do that the federal government has no business intervening in the news, then we must stop the federal government from intervening in the news business.”  Pai said the media landscape has changed dramatically over the years and pointed to Google and Facebook and an example of that.  “Online competition for the collection and distribution of news is greater than ever and just two internet companies claim 100% of recent online advertising growth.  Indeed, their digital ad revenue this year alone will be greater than the market cap of the entire broadcasting industry.”

Westwood One Unveils Radio’s First ROI Guarantee.  In an effort to build confidence in the power of radio to give a return on investment to advertisers, Westwood One is announcing the “first-ever, industry-wide ROI Guarantee in the audio space based upon irrefutable evidence of radio’s powerful return on advertising spend.”  WW1 says that “the results, as proven by Nielsen, have continually shown exceptionally strong evidence of radio’s positive ROI across 23 national studies measuring sales results for multiple brand category campaigns.”  The press release explains how the program works.  “Westwood One will partner with qualifying clients to accomplish their business objectives.  Additionally, because campaign creative influences 50% of sales lift, the commercial creative will be pre-tested and benchmarked against industry audio creative test norms to ensure consumer impact and resonance.  Nielsen will measure return on advertising spend on behalf of the radio campaign, which includes all media that run across the entire broadcast radio landscape, as well as Westwood One, by matching Media Monitors ad occurrences with Portable People Meter listening, Nielsen credit card data and in-store CPG purchase data from Nielsen Catalina Solutions.  If ROI is not positive, Westwood One will run no-cost supplemental media weight sufficient to deliver the guaranteed ROI.”  Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “We have seen stunning radio ROI data across the board and are convinced of radio’s ability to generate a positive return, so much so that we are offering the ROI Guarantee to our advertisers.  Given secular trends across the media landscape, brands are deeply concerned over ad fraud, viewability, and questionable metrics.  Marketers demand solutions that reach their target customers and generate results. The Westwood One ROI Guarantee elevates radio as the measurable mass reach medium that, simply put, delivers.”

Cumulus Offers Preliminary Operating Results for Third Quarter.  Ahead of the November 9 release of official financial figures and the subsequent investor conference call, Cumulus Media is presenting some “preliminary operating results” along with some commentary from CEO Mary Berner.  Today’s press release says the company expects to report net revenue in a range of $286 million to $288 million with net income in a range of a loss of $0.3 million to a gain of $1.7 million…Adjusted EBITDA performance for the three months ended September 30, 2017 is expected to show growth in a range of 3% to 6% year-over-year.  Berner states, “The strong preliminary results for the third quarter provide further evidence that our turnaround plan is taking hold.  We are encouraged by our continuing operating and financial momentum in the face of negative industry trends.  This quarter, we delivered our seventh straight quarter of ratings share growth at the station group along with revenue share gains for our fifth straight quarter at the station group and third straight quarter at Westwood One.  Most importantly, it was the second straight quarter of year-over-year growth in revenue and Adjusted EBITDA.  While the company has ample cash to operate our business, Cumulus continues to be constrained by an excessive debt load.  With the assistance of outside advisors, we are proactively exploring a range of alternatives with our lenders and noteholders to restructure the balance sheet and reduce debt.  Our objective is to be able to redirect more of our time and resources to where they can have the greatest impact on our future – investing in our employees, in key technologies and in initiatives that drive growth.”

SiriusXM Q3 Revenue Up 8%.  Reporting on third quarter results, SiriusXM announces that its revenue for the period was up 8% over the same period a year ago.  Revenue for the quarter was $1.4 billion.  The company reports, “Net income totaled $276 million in the third quarter 2017, up 42% from $194 million in the third quarter 2016….free cash flow in the third quarter 2017 grew 22% to $434 million, compared to $357 million in the third quarter 2016.”  SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer states, “SiriusXM delivered a very strong third quarter despite headwinds from slowing auto sales and the impact of severe weather in many parts of the United States. We recorded our best-ever quarter for adjusted EBITDA and its corresponding margin — which reached 39.9%.  SiriusXM is pleased to once again raise our full-year guidance for revenue, adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow.  In September, we also completed our $480 million strategic investment in Pandora and recently announced a 10% hike in our quarterly dividend.”  SiriusXM says total subscribers reached 32.2 million during the quarter and 27 million self-paying subscribers.

Radio Talent to Appear on C-Endorsement Videos for Cumulus.  The power of radio talent endorsements is being harnessed by Cumulus Media for its C-Endorsement Videos – “local personality-branded video endorsements will appear as pre-roll video ads before content on popular and reputable third-party websites visited by consumers within a local advertiser’s specific target audience including age, gender, geography, and behavioral characteristics.”  Cumulus VP, digital operations and business development Larry Linietsky states, “Radio personality endorsements are effective marketing solutions because of the trusted relationship listeners have with their favorite local DJs and hosts.  With audiences spending up to four hours every day with these personalities, research shows that nearly 80% trust on-air personalities like friends.  Given the combination of the time spent and the trust built, it is no wonder that over 50% of the audience reports their favorite personalities influence their opinions.  Now is the perfect time to harness the tremendous influence our talent has with local audiences into the digital world via C-Endorsement Videos as part of the growing Cumulus Digital C-Suite.”

Sean Hannity Executive Producer of Faith-Themed Film, Let There Be Light.  Actor and director Kevin Sorbo tells FOX News about his new film called, Let There Be Light, a production involving FOX News Channel and Premiere Networks superstar Sean Hannity.  Sorbo tells FOX that he and Hannity have known each other for years and Hannity approached him about doing a project together because he likes Sorbo’s movies.  Sorbo says the protagonist is an atheist who undergoes a transformation after the death of his son and his failed marriage. Hannity calls the film a real-life emotional rollercoaster.  “If you want to avoid the typical formulaic Hollywood movie model of sex, violence and cartoon characters and watch a movie that can truly impact your life, this is the movie for you and your entire family.”  See the FOX News piece here.

Menendez Promoted at WGN, Chicago. Windy City news pro Stephanie Menendez is being promoted by Tribune news/talk WGN to director of news and operations for the station.  Menendez joined the station in 2008 as a producer.  She then was elevated to executive producer, assistant program director and operations manager.  She is quoted saying, “I am excited for this opportunity to lead our news team as we continue to curate strong content 24/7.  We have the best team of journalists, hosts and producers in the city and I look forward to seeking innovative ways to further expand WGN Radio’s presence in the digital space.”  WGN vice president of content & programming Todd Manley states, “Stephanie has the zest our team needs to tell remarkable Chicago stories.  Every day I’m grateful for the way she leads and collaborates.”

NPR Seeing Growth in Content Consumption.  It wasn’t that long ago that The Current, the trade publication that reports on public media, wrote a piece detailing the listenership woes the content provider was experiencing: an aging listenership to NPR Member stations and five years of declining listenership to its morning and afternoon programs.  That article was published in October of 2015.  Today, NPR is gleefully reporting that via radio, podcast listenership and visits to NPR.org, it is reaching 99 million people per month.  Moreover, NPR states that, based on spring 2017 numbers from Nielsen Audio, “the total weekly listeners for all programming on NPR stations reached an all-time high of 37.7 million.”  The Fall 2016 election cycle brought a lot of listeners to news and news/talk radio stations.  NPR says it still isn’t seeing any falloff almost one year later.  “Both ‘Morning Edition’ and ‘All Things Considered’ retained the remarkable growth seen during the Fall 2016 election cycle.  Their weekly audience is at 14.63 million and 14.6 million listeners, respectively.  NPR is also happy with its younger demos, reporting that 28% of all 25-54 year olds listened to an NPR Member station at least once a month, 16% listened at least once a week, and 6% of all 25-54 listened at least once a day.”  Read more here.

Clinton-DNC Trump Dossier Case, Trump Tax Overhaul, Sexual Harassment Accusations, North Korea Nuclear Threats, Uranium One Investigation, Deadly Niger Ambush, and MLB World Series Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/25).  The revelation that the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee funded the Trump-Russia dossier; the Trump-GOP tax overhaul process; the numerous public allegations of sexual harassment; North Korea’s nuclear threats against the U.S.; the investigation into the Obama Administration’s deal with Russia-backed Uranium One and whether the Clinton Foundation benefitted from the deal; the aftermath of the ambush on U.S. troops in Niger that left four dead; and the Dodgers-Astros World Series were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

WHO, Des Moines’ Van Harden and Bonnie Lucas Spend Night in Scariest Place Ever.  Pictured here are WHO, Des Moines morning personalities Van Harden (right) and Bonnie Lucas (left) broadcasting from the place Google ranked the scariest place in America.  The two spent the night in the Villisca, Iowa home of the Moore family who, along with two house guests, were bludgeoned to death with an axe in 1912.  The killer(s) of the eight victims were never found.  Harden tells TALKERS, “Very odd things have been happening in the house ever since the murders.  We were not allowed to sleep on the beds, so we slept on the floor in sleeping bags, although between creepy sounds, unexplained happenings and the radio engineer’s loud snoring, there wasn’t much sleep.  Axe marks still remain on the walls and the case remains unsolved.  Footsteps were heard in other parts of the house when all the broadcast crew was accounted for. Weird things popped up on cell phones, including a picture of a room ceiling with 2 arms hanging out of it.  And when play balls were put on the floor, they mysterious started moving on their own in different directions.”

 

 

Kelsea Ballerini Thanks the NASH Folks!  Country sensation Kelsea Ballerini is pictured above on the NASH Campus of Cumulus Media in Nashville presenting a platinum record in recognition of her debut album, The First Time (Black River Group).  Pictured here are (from l-r): John Shomby, NASH director of programming and PD for WKDF “NASH FM 103.3”; Ballerini; Mike McVay, EVP, content & programming, Cumulus Media and Westwood One; and John Kilgo, VP, label relations, Cumulus Media.

Friday, October 13, 2017

| October 13, 2017

WPHT’s Chris Stigall Hosts Laura Ingraham. Philly morning drive personality Chris Stigall (left) is pictured above with conservative media figure Laura Ingraham (right) on stage at a live appearance last night (10/12).  Stigall hosts morning drive at CBS RADIO’s WPHT.  Ingraham – a nationally syndicated talk radio host via Courtside Entertainment – is preparing to begin her new, 10:00 pm ET show on FOX News Channel.  She’s currently touring to promote her new book, Billionaire at the Barricades: The Populist Revolution from Reagan to Trump (St. Martin’s Press).

Entercom Keeps Garcia at WFNZ, Charlotte. Midday personality Frank Garcia signs a new contract to continue hosting on Entercom’s Charlotte sports talker WFNZ “The Fan.”  The former Carolina Panthers offensive lineman co-hosts the “Garcia and Bailey Show” with Kyle Bailey from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.  Entercom Charlotte vice president and market manager Matt Hanlon comments, “Frank Garcia brings over 10 years of professional broadcast experience to WFNZ.  He remains a valuable resource from his professional playing days and his overall knowledge of sports.  We are thrilled he’s committed to WFNZ and Entercom for the future.”

TALKERS News Notes. On Long Island, JVC Broadcasting’s “LI News Radio” – WRCN, Riverhead – is presenting a live, remote broadcast of Tom Schiliro’s “Your Island” show on Wednesday (10/18) from the Rockabilly Barbershop in Smithtown from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm.   The station says the program will “allow customers to share their thoughts live on the radio while Vinny – the shop’s owner – does a razor skin fade or a hot shave…the barbershop is about more than just politicians and elections.  It brings humor, firsthand experience and candid interviews with the most knowledgeable political minds on Long Island.”  The station has invited a number of local politicians and political candidates to drop by the broadcast…..Duke University basketball coaching legend Mike Krzyzewski is hosting the premiere episode of the 13th season of his weekly SiriusXM show, “Basketball and Beyond with Coach K,” on Thursday, October 19.  The program features Coach K and co-host Dave Sims interviewing successful people from many different walks of life, including sports, pop culture, politics and more.

Covering California’s Wildfires. Pictured above reporting from the deadly wildfires in Santa Rosa, California is ABC News Radio correspondent Alex Stone.

Harvey Weinstein Scandal Top News/Talk Story for Week of October 9-13.  The allegations of sexual predation and rape against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talker TenTM.  At #2 this week was the political feud between President Trump and Senator Bob Corker.  Coming in at #3 was President Trump’s attack on NBC and the threat to its broadcast licenses, followed by Trump’s executive order to change some of the rules of the Affordable Care Act 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 and Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Radio’s Ongoing Humanitarian Efforts.  The radio industry – via its close relationships with listeners and sponsors – continues to build creative avenues in which to help those in need.  This piece highlights some of the initiatives that are going on right now:  In Detroit, at Beasley Media’s rock WCSX, the “Big Jim’s House Morning Show” is working to help the men and women who serve our country find work when they come home through the “94.7 WCSX-FM Employment After Deployment” initiative.  Members of the military who have returned home from a recent deployment and are looking for a job are encouraged to go to “Employment After Deployment” for information at the station’s website or email to Big Jim O’Brien to share their job experience, skill set and type of position they’re looking for.  They’re also featuring one veteran selected from all submissions received each week on the morning show and will work to match the individual up with employers located throughout the Metro Detroit area. O’Brien says, “As a proud veteran of the U.S. Naval Submarine Service, I’ve always wanted to find ways to give back and support fellow veterans.”…..Beasley Media Group’s urban contemporary WBQT, Boston “HOT 96.9” recently presented a free concert featuring the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Pops while collecting donations for the people of Puerto Rico.  “HOT 96.9” personalities Ramiro, Pebbles, Melissa and Wiggy were all on-hand to help fill four trucks with items that included: water, flashlights with batteries, first aid kits, baby formula, food, clothing, pet supplies and more…..The National Association of Broadcasters sent 10,000 battery-operated radios to Puerto Rico for distribution to residents affected by Hurricane Maria.  NAB, the National Alliance of State Broadcasters Associations, and multiple U.S. broadcasters funded the initiative.  NAB is working with FEMA and local Puerto Rican authorities to ensure that the radios are properly distributed to those most in need. NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith states, “Time and again, broadcast radio has served as a lifeline to communities desperate for information and support.  Our fellow Americans in the Caribbean now face a once-in-a-generation humanitarian crisis and radio is one of the only communications resources available. We admire the resolve of our friends in Puerto Rico and are proud to undertake this effort with help from FEMA to keep citizens safe and informed.”…..Nationally syndicated urban radio morning host Tom Joyner distributed $50,000 to 50 Houston-area families who have been affected by Hurricane Harvey.  The effort was one example of Joyner’s distribution of more than $500,000 raised to date for the BlackAmericaWeb.com Relief Fund supporting families, friends and those in the community that have taken in people impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma…..Pop star Ed Sheeran is partnering with (RED), Coke, Omaze and iHeartMedia to host a pizza party and love song serenade for lucky winners at the KIIS-FM, Los Angeles Jingle Ball 2017 on December 1 – World AIDS Day.  All donations are being matched up to $2 million dollars by Coca-Cola and will benefit (RED) for the fight to end AIDS.  iHeartMedia is promoting the experience across its more than 850 radio stations encouraging listeners to bid at Omaze.com/JingleBall for a chance to win a trip to Los Angeles and meet Ed Sheeran.

 

 

PPM Analysis: Classic Hits-Oldies.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the third of four analyses of the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s September 2017 PPM survey.  Two previous reports focused on all-news and news/talk.  Today, he looks at classic hits-oldies.  As a format, there wasn’t much movement from the August survey to September’s.  Kinosian says, “Just over half the stations (52%) on our classic hits-oldies sample are down between August 2017 – September 2017 (6+) while 42% improve; the remaining 6% of the panel is flat (6+).”  It’s pretty much the same looking at year-over-year numbers.  “Nearly the same number of stations on this classic hits-oldies panel are up year-to-year (47%) as are down (44%), while the remaining 9% are flat.”  However, an impressive 30 classic hits-oldies stations ranked in the top five in their respective markets in September and seven stations ranked #1. They are: KQQL, Minneapolis; KONO-FM, San Antonio; WWSW, Pittsburgh; KKLZ, Las Vegas; WMJI, Cleveland; WJJK, Indianapolis; WRIT, Milwaukee.  See Kinosian’s entire report here.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Urban radio morning star Rickey Smiley and Reach Media announce they’ve agreed to a multi-year contract extension to continue syndicating the “Rickey Smiley Morning Show.”  Urban One’s CEO of Radio One Stations and Reach Media David Kantor says, “We are delighted to extend our relationship with Rickey Smiley.  He has established himself as a leader and entertaining communicator in his 10 years of syndication.  He continues to grow in audience, followers, affiliates, but most importantly, with an affinity with his listeners that’s unparalleled.”…..Premiere Networks says it has added nine new affiliate stations for “The Rendezvous with Simon and Angi,” that include: WNIC, Detroit; KMXP, Phoenix; KMIY, Tucson; and WRVE, Albany.  The program is hosted by Simon Marcel and Angi Taylor.  Premiere says, “‘The Rendezvous’ is a nightly radio experience filled with insightful love and relationship advice, coupled with radio station music playlists.  The two-hour show is available for air between 7:00 pm and 12:00 midnight…..iHeartMedia is re-branding CHR KOSY, Cedar Rapids with a new “HOT 95.7” handle and a revamped lineup that consists of Premiere Networks’ Elvis Duran for mornings, “On Air with Ryan Seacrest” in middays, Sean Strife in afternoon drive, and “Brady At Night.”…..Envision Networks is offering the 2017 updated edition of the award-winning “100 Greatest Christmas Hits of All Time” 10-hour radio countdown special hosted by television icon Wink Martindale.

Miranda Lambert Plays at Cumulus New York’s Stage 17.  On Wednesday evening, country superstar Miranda Lambert performed before an intimate group of country fans and WNSH, New York “NASH FM 94.7” listeners at Cumulus Media New York’s Stage 17.  Lambert’s six-song set included her chart-topping single, “Heart Like Mine,” “Automatic,” and her latest radio single, “Tim Man.”  She’s pictured here with staff of WNSH.  From left to right: Crystal Dishmon, ShopKeeper Management; Dennis Reese, SVP/promotion, RCA Nashville; Lambert; John Kilgo, VP, label relations, Cumulus Media; Mike Allan, APD, “NASH FM 94.7”; and Randy Goodman, chairman/CEO, SONY Music Nashville.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

| September 12, 2017

Report: Laura Ingraham Set to Host Prime Time FNC Show.  According to a CNN Money report, talk radio host and conservative media figure Laura Ingraham is joining FOX News Channel for a prime-time show.  The report cites sources who requested anonymity because the deal is not official just yet.  But, the story says Ingraham will take over the 10:00 pm ET slot and the Sean Hannity show will move to 9:00 pm ET.  The program “The Five” moves back to the 5:00 pm hour, replacing the “FOX News Specialists” – the show that was canceled with the exit of Eric Bolling from the network last Friday.  FNC told CNN Money there is no deal in place, but that’s standard operating procedure prior to an official announcement.  Ingraham, who has hosted a nationally syndicated talk radio program for almost two decades, is a regular contributor to FOX News Channel.

WLW, Cincinnati Lets Tracy Jones Go. It appears that this is another budget-related move on the part of iHeartMedia management as former Cincinnati Reds player Tracy Jones was fired from his WLW, Cincinnati afternoon drive gig alongside Eddie Fingers on Friday (9/8).  WVXU’s John Kiesewetter reports that early afternoon personality Bill Cunningham told his listeners yesterday (9/11) that it was a corporate decision and was not a reflection of Tracy Jones’ performance.  Jones started with WLW hosting the “Extra Innings” post-game show after weekend Reds games.  In 2008, he was partnered with Eddie Fingers (who moved over from sister rock station WEBN) to host afternoons, replacing the retired Gary Burbank.

Entercom Debuts Newell Normand Show on WWL-AM/FM, New Orleans.  Yesterday (9/11) was the official debut of the Newell Normand show on Entercom’s New Orleans news/talk WWL-AM/FM.  The program features retired Jefferson Parish sheriff Newell Normand and airs from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm.  Normand takes over the daypart from Garland Robinette, who recently retired from the station.  Entercom New Orleans VP/market manager Chris Wegmann comments, “Today marks a historic day for WWL.  Newell commands the respect needed to host middays on WWL.  He was a popular and powerful leader in politics who wants to continue to be a positive influence on our community.  We have every belief that Newell will be an opinion leader, and his legacy of excellence will grow on the most powerful station in the Gulf South.”

Nielsen Announces Delay in Ratings Reports.  With its headquarters in the Tampa area affected by Hurricane Irma, Nielsen issued the following statement about the issuance of ratings reports: “Our first priority and thoughts are for the safety of our clients, Nielsen associates, and communities in which we operate and serve.  The team that reports ratings has evacuated the Tampa Bay area due to Hurricane Irma.  Therefore, our ratings will be delayed in the near term. We are actively monitoring the situation in Florida and will provide another update as soon as we know more.”

Beasley Florida Stations in Good Shape.  Based on Monday morning’s report from Beasley Media Group, it sounded as though the Fort Myers studios had sustained some serious flood damage, but today the company is reporting that the studio building “has some minor damage, but is in good condition otherwise.”  Although both CHR WXKB “B103.9” and sports talk WWCN-FM “99.3 ESPN” are both off the air.  The company says the engineering team will be installing a new transmitter in Fort Myers this morning.  Beasley’s Tampa stations are all on the air.

iHeartRadio to Broadcast Fundraiser for Harvey Relief.  The program was initiated by Houston rapper Bun B and SB Projects founder Scooter Braun.  It’s called “Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Harvey Relief” and it will air on 150 iHeartMedia stations as well as the iHeartRadio “Hit Nation” channel at both 8:00 pm ET and a re-broadcast at 8:00 pm PT.  The one-hour special takes place in Los Angeles, with remote stages in New York and Nashville, and will include appearances, performances and taped messages from: several dozen A-list actors, musicians and entertainment industry personalities.  Proceeds will be donated to United Way of Greater Houston, Habitat for Humanity, Save the Children, Direct Relief, Feeding Texas and The Mayor’s Fund for Hurricane Harvey Relief (administered by the Greater Houston Community Fund) through the Hand in Hand Hurricane Relief Fund managed by Comic Relief USA.

Dave Ramsey Presence on SiriusXM Expands.  The Dave Ramsey Network grows on SiriusXM with the addition of new programming on the satcaster’s Triumph Channel.  Daily from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm ET, Ramsey programming now includes, in addition to the Dave Ramsey show (heard on SiriusXM for the past year), Ramsey personalities Chris Hogan, Christy Wright, Chris Brown and Ken Coleman, plus the popular EntreLeadership podcast.  EntreLeadership, hosted by Ken Coleman, features discussion and tips on leadership and business by some of the top minds in business, including Mark Cuban, Seth Godin, Jim Collins and Simon Sinek.  Chris Hogan is the best-selling author of Retire Inspired: It’s Not an Age; It’s a Financial Number and host of the “Retire Inspired Podcast.”  Christy Wright is the author of the best-selling book, Business Boutique, and host of the “Business Boutique” podcast.  Chris Brown is a pastor and dynamic speaker carrying the message of intentional living nationwide.  He hosts the “Life, Money and Hope Podcast.”

Cumulus Appeals NASDAQ De-Listing.  With its current share price (as of closing on 9/11) of 39 cents per share and a market cap of less than $12 million, Cumulus Media is in danger of being tossed from the NASDAQ.  But, CEO Mary Berner has filed another appeal of the company’s failure to meet the minimum stockholders equity requirement.  Theoretically, the company has until October 2 to get its share price above $1 dollar, but there are other avenues that Berner and CFO John Abbot can explore.

TALKERS News Notes.  Ahead of this year’s Veterans Day (11/11), CBS RADIO’s ConnectingVets.com is celebrating the holiday through its first ever “Veterans Community Showcase” – a three month, two-part program focused on honoring Veterans for everything they do both during and after military service.  During the first phase of the program, ConnectingVets.com will accept public nominations of local veterans online.  An internal programming committee will then select and profile one veteran each weekday from November 1 to Veterans Day. The profiles will be posted on ConnectingVets.com and Facebook.  The sites will also feature sponsored editorial content giving companies with dedicated veterans’ initiatives a unique chance to share the good work they do and praise their own employees, many of whom are veterans themselves.  University of Maryland University College and United Rentals will sponsor the inaugural “Veterans Showcase” alongside ConnectingVets.com sponsor Freedom Mortgage…..Former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Miesha Tate and former Green Bay Packers linebacker and devoted MMA enthusiast A.J. Hawk join the roster of hosts covering the world of mixed martial arts on the SiriusXM Rush channel.  Tate and Hawk will be featured hosts on “MMA Today,” an exclusive new show airing every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET.

Irma Aftermath/Harvey Recovery, Climate Change Controversy, New Sanctions on North Korea, Hillary Clinton Book, Bannon ’60 Minutes’ Interview, Retiring Congressional Republicans, IT Movie, NFL Opening Weekend, and MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/11).  The aftermath of Hurricane Irma and the recovery from Hurricane Harvey; the renewed debate over man-made climate change; the U.N. Security Council imposes new sanctions on North Korea and the hermit kingdom’s threat against the U.S.; Hillary Clinton’s new book detailing her loss to Donald Trump; former White House adviser Stephen K. Bannon’s Sunday evening interview with Charlie Rose on “60 Minutes”; the growing list of Republican Senators and U.S. Reps announcing they will not run for re-election; the Stephen King film IT smashes box-office expectations; the NFL’s 2017 opening weekend; 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.  Programming pro Tim Maranville is exiting Curtis Media’s adult hits WBBB, Raleigh to join Cornerstone Church-owned KGGN, San Jacinto, California as president and general manager.  Maranville says, “I would like to thank my team at WBBB for an extraordinary run from worst to best in Raleigh, a true blessing.  Looking to the future, I could not be happier to be working with Cornerstone to bring the Gospel to the San Jacinto valley through a local radio presence.”…..The Johnjay and Rich #LoveUp Foundation presented the American Red Cross with a check for $50,000 to benefit the hurricane relief effort.  Last week, the hosts of the popular Premiere Networks-syndicated show invited listeners nationally to “love up” and purchase #LoveUp T-shirts with all proceeds benefitting victims of the recent hurricanes.  In just eight days, thousands of shirts were sold.  The #LoveUp Foundation also contributed additional funds to achieve the $50,000 total donation.  Rich Berra says, “We couldn’t do this without the giving hearts and loyal followers of the #LoveUp movement.”…..The local Nashville country band Radio Romance won the “NASH Next 2017 Country Challenge Showcase” live country music talent competition held on September 7, 2017 at 3rd & Lindsley in Nashville.  The band was one of 10 that made it past the challenge round in the Cumulus Media-sponsored competition.  Radio Romance won over the judges and crowd with their performance of “Cheap Beer Years” and will advance as a semi-finalist to the national NASH Next 2017 video competition, to be held this fall.  Cumulus Media VP of country programming Charlie Cook says, “What a great night showcasing fantastic talent from Nashville!  The crowd went crazy when we announced Radio Romance as the winners for the night.  I can hear their song ‘Cheap Beer Years’ on our stations.”

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

| August 16, 2017

Harrison Podcast Examines Charlottesville from a Talk Radio Perspective.  Charlottesville, VA was the home of two early U.S. presidents – Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe.  It is also the home of two talented radio talk show hosts heard on two significant, separately owned news/talk stations.  Joe Thomas is the PD and morning host at Monticello Media’s WCHV.  Rob Schilling is the 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm host on Saga Communications’ WINA.  Both are guests on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”   They discuss, in great detail, the talk radio perspective on the tragic and troubling events that took place in their city this past weekend, and then some.  Don’t miss this.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Lundberg: New Tech Gives Hosts Control and Breeds Engagement.  Sports talk radio and TV personality Robin Lundberg writes today about a new technology for videocasting that puts control of video callers, images and more right in his hands while he hosts his Internet show, “Stick to Sports.”  He says, “Having video callers on air knocks down the wall between me and my audience.  The experience is a blast for everyone…what’s amazing is that I feel the same way, every show.  I’ve had the good fortune to be on some of the biggest sports networks and ‘Stick-to-Sports’ is like no hosting experience I’ve had before.  Putting a couple of people on air via Skype or FaceTime is not new, but the VCC platform is the first time I’ve seen it done reliably with many callers in each show.”  See more of what Lundberg has to say about this here.

Pennsylvania Host Suspended for Participation in White Nationalist Rally.  The son of WHLM, Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania general manager is on suspension from his evening talk show at the station after he posted video of himself joining the white nationalists at the rally in Charlottesville. Dave Reilly is the son of Joe Reilly, who manages the Columbia Broadcasting Company talk station.  Joe Reilly said in a statement, “WHLM and the Columbia Broadcasting Company denounces, detests, disavows, condemns and has never condoned any form of racism, white supremacism, bigotry or political violence towards anyone or any group.  WHLM is currently conducting a full, internal investigation regarding allegations brought against David Reilly…We are taking this matter seriously and since it will take time to investigate this situation, we, the Columbia Broadcasting Company, have suspended David Reilly without pay until further notice.”  WNEP-TV, Scranton reports that several advertisers cancelled their buys and protests took place outside the station on Monday and Tuesday prior to the announcement of the suspension.

TALKERS News Notes. In Albany, the Daily Gazette reports that WOFX “FOX Sports 980” afternoon drive host Tred Hulse has exited the iHeartMedia station.  The piece notes that Hulse had been a DJ on the company’s hot AC WRVE “99.5 The River” prior to joining WOFX in June of 2016 after Rodger Wyland left the daypart to go across the street to host a show at Townsquare Media’s sports talk WTMM “ESPN Radio 104.5 The Team.”  WOFX is now airing FOX Sports Radio’s Doug Gottlieb show in the afternoon slot…..Major League Soccer’s Portland Timbers have moved to distance the team – whose matches are heard on Alpha Media’s sports talk KXTG, Portland “750/102.9 The Game” – from comments made in June by new afternoon personality Dino Costa.  The sports talk personality made comments suggesting that drivers should run over Black Lives Matter protestors blocking traffic.  Alpha Media issued a statement to KOIN-TV, Portland saying, “Alpha Media holds the relationships with the Portland Timbers and the University of Oregon in high regard.  The ‘750/102.9 The Game’ management team took immediate and aggressive action with Dino Costa regarding the comment made during his June 7 broadcast.”  The soccer club said it would not take any action regarding its relationship with the station but wanted to clarify its stance on the matter…..Former Washington State and NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf is joining the roster of college football experts appearing on SiriusXM.  Leaf makes his debut today, alongside co-host Jason Horowitz and will be heard multiple times each week on SiriusXM’s College Sports Nation channel.

Trump’s Charlottesville Response, CEOs Exit Trump Manufacturing Council, Confederate Statues Removed, U.S.-North Korea Tensions, Iran Nuclear Deal Threatened, MLB Action, and NFL Pre-Season Activity Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/15).  Analysis of President Trump’s responses to the Charlottesville rally violence; the numerous business leaders who’ve resigned from President Trump’s manufacturing council in response to his comments on the Charlottesville violence; the destruction of a Confederate memorial in Durham, NC and the plans for removal of similar monuments in other cities; threats against the U.S. by North Korea and Kim Jong Un’s nuclear weapons program; Iran’s threat to ignore the nuclear pact if it is slapped with more sanctions; Major League Baseball action; and NFL pre-season activity were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Beasley Launches ‘Community of Caring’ Initiative. The new company-wide “Community of Caring” public service initiative will run across Beasley Media Group’s 63 radio stations.  It will consist of a rotating PSA series aimed at shining a spotlight on important issues impacting our communities, including the on-going opioid epidemic, bullying, racism and mental health awareness. The PSAs will also be supported via social media campaigns. Beasley will also host specific “Day of Caring” events throughout the year in which teams, made up of employees from each market, will adopt specific non-profit organizations within the communities they serve and volunteer during company supported work hours over the course of the year in an effort to make a difference for those in need.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley comments, “As a company, we take all of these issues very seriously.  The rotating PSA and social media campaigns, combined with our ‘Day of Caring’ events across all of our markets, underscores our company’s strong commitment to making a difference in the communities we serve.”

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  New York air personality Jay Dabhi adds music director duties at CBS RADIO‘s CHR WBMP “92.3 AMP Radio” where he also hosts the afternoon mix show.  Dabhi states, “As a born and raised New Yorker, I used to run home from elementary school to record mix shows by the Latin Rascals and Red Alert,” said Dabhi. “I get that same feeling of excitement walking through the doors of 92.3 AMP Radio every day. AMP breaks new music in NYC and I am beyond thrilled to be a part of it. Thank you Michael Martin and Jim Ryan for this amazing opportunity.”…..Urban One’s Radio One division announces two programming promotions.  First, Bill Black, the current OM for the Cleveland and Cincinnati markets adds responsibility for the Columbus market.  Also, Theodore ‘Big Bink’ moves from his OM post at the Columbus cluster to Indianapolis in the same position…..The 17th annual Power of Urban Radio Forum takes place on October 11 and 12 in Washington, DC hosted by Kizart Media Partners in association with the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters.  Kizart Media Partners founder and managing director Sherman Kizart says “The 17th annual forum offers attendees the opportunity to hear from and interact with an exceptionally powerful group of national leading advertisers, media agencies, broadcast owners and executives. Each year the Power of Urban Radio Forum is referred to as best-in-class and this year is expected to be tremendously impactful.”  Companies and organizations attending will include:  Procter and Gamble, the U.S. Army Cadet Command, Toyota USA, AARP, Burrell Communications Group, Carol H. Williams Advertising, Hearts & Science Marketing Agency, Grow Now Social Media Agency, and Uniworld Group Advertising.

 

 

July PPM Takeaways. Below are TALKERS magazine editor Mike Kinosian‘s “Twelve Takeaways” based on the July PPM ratings information released by Nielsen Audio last week.  The 12 markets addressed today are: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Orlando, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen’s July 2017 survey period covered June 22 – July 19.  You can view all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Portland – Nearly equally divided between Entercom-owned KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf – Great Country for the Great Northwest” (4.9 – 5.6, +.7, seventh to fourth, 6+) and Alpha Media’s KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” (4.4 – 4.9, +.5, eighth to sixth, 6+), the market’s (6+) country swells by +1.2. Prior to gaining three-tenths in June, “The Wolf” was a combined -1.8 in March, April, and May (6.4 – 5.5 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+), while “The Bull” was down in consecutive sweeps (April – May – June) for a -1.1 (5.5 – 4.5 – 4.4, 6+). The two country rivals finished back-to-back at seventh and eighth, respectively, in both May and June. Recapturing all but one-tenth of the seven-tenths it lost in June, Entercom adult hits KYCH “97.1 Charlie – We Play Everything” (4.3 – 4.9, +6, 6+) advances from ninth to a sixth-place tie with KUPL “The Bull.” As the result of four straight up or flat trends between January and May (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+), “Charlie” gained one full-share. Co-owned KNRK “94/7 Alternative Portland” progresses by six-tenths as well (3.3 – 3.9, #15 to #12, 6+) and posts its highest 6+-share since 4.6 in February 2014. Unchanged at #3, iHeartMedia-owned KLTH gains one-half share (6.1 – 6.6, 6+) as “106.7 The Eagle – Portland’s Classic Hits Station” has its strongest 6+-showing since January 2016’s 7.0. Although down by one-half share (9.1 – 8.6, 6+), adult contemporary cluster-mate KKCW “K-103” is #1 for the 38th time in the last 40 ratings periods. June’s 9.1 was its highest 6+-share since the 15.3 it posted in “Holiday” 2016. After progressing by six-tenths in June, Oregon Public Broadcasting’s KOPB surrenders nine-tenths in July but remains at #2 (8.0 – 7.1, 6+). Down eight-tenths in May, KOPB was +.9 in March. As the result of six negative trends in a row (4.9 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 2.8, 6+), Alpha Media news/talk KXL-FM (#13 to #15) erodes by more than two full-shares. After gaining six-tenths in June, triple A sibling KINK “Uniquely Portland” forfeits one-half share (3.8 – 3.3, 6+) and slips from #11 to #13. Entering the June sweep, KINK didn’t have an increase since January and was a collective -.7 in that stretch (3.9 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.2, 6+). Moving from fourth to fifth, Entercom classic rocker KGON is off three-tenths (5.6 – 5.3, 6+), thus ending at five its string of successive sweeps without a loss for a collective +2.4, (3.2 – 4.0 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.6, 6+). When KGON registered a +.8 in February, it brought to an end eight straight sweeps without a gain that resulted in a combined -1.7 dating back to June 2016 (4.9 – 4.3 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.2, 6+).

2) Charlotte – Whereas four-tenths of a share separated Charlotte’s top four June 2017 finishers, a mere three-tenths of a share is the difference for its first six July 2017 finishers. As was the case in June, a country station is Charlotte’s pacesetter, but in July, it’s Beasley Media Group-owned WSOC. While flat at 6.0 (6+), “Country’s Hottest Hits” leapfrogs from fourth to first, supplanting iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 For New Country” (6.4 – 5.7, -.7, 6+), which trades places with WSOC at #4. Having logged a very consistent (6+) January 2017 through May 2017 line of 5.7 – 5.9 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 5.8, “The Kat” was up six-tenths in June to 6.4 (6+). Consequently, “The Kat” bypassed “Country’s Hottest Hits,” which (in June) relinquished the six-tenths it gained in May (6.0 – 6.6 – 6.0, 6+), shifting from second to fourth. Prior to April (when it was +.8), WSOC was a cumulative -1.8 in three successive downward moves dating back to the “Holiday” 2016 report (7.0 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 5.2, 6+). Moreover, 5.2 in March was the lowest 6+-share in its PPM-history. In “Holiday” 2016, “The Kat” trailed “Country’s Hottest Hits” by three full-shares (7.0 to 4.0, 6+). After a lengthy absence and under several different formats, the call letters of Radio One’s WQNC reappeared in November 2016. Urban contemporary “92.7 The Block” hangs out a whopping +1.2 to 3.4, its highest 6+-stat since again being listed and advances from #17 to #14. In addition to having its fourth successive downward trend for a collective -1.3 (4.9 – 4.7 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WHQC “Channel 96.1” departs the top ten (#10 to #13). In March, “Channel 96.1” had its string of consecutive increases that produced a cumulative +1.4 snapped at three (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.9, 6+). While down three-tenths (5.4 – 5.1, 6+), its format foe – Beasley Media Group-owned WNKS “Kiss 95.1 – Charlotte’s #1 Hit Music Station” – remains at #7. Without a decrease for four straight sweeps netting a full-share (3.8 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+), “Kiss” lost two-tenths in May but rebounded in June with a gain four times that margin, +.8. Following four straight increases for a net +1.4 (4.9 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 6.0 – 6.3, 6+), urban AC cluster-mate WBAV “V-101.9” falters by one-half share to 5.8 (6+), slipping from second back to third. Regressing by one-half share as well and tied at #4 with WKKT is its classic rock sibling WRFX “99.7 The Fox,” which has lost two full-shares since March via four straight decreases (7.7 – 7.6 – 7.2 – 6.2 – 5.7, 6+). Ousted from the top spot in June and moving to third, “The Fox” had been #1 in each of the past five survey periods. Immediately in advance of its current string of four straight declines, WRFX posted three consecutive positive trends that accounted for a +1.3 (6.4 – 7.2 – 7.3 – 7.7, 6+). Its +.8 in January curtailed a series of three consecutive downward moves that yielded a -1.5 (7.9 – 7.3 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). Down or flat for the sixth straight time, Davidson College’s WDAV “Classical Public Radio” (#16 to #18) is a combined -1.3 (3.6 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+).

3) San Antonio – The rollercoaster ride keeps on going for KQXT. Specifically, the iHeartMedia adult contemporary property (steady at #2) lost one full-share (-1.0) in February; was a collective +1.5 in March and April (5.2 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 5.6, 6+); regressed by -1.0 in May (5.6 – 4.6, 6+); regained May’s loss in its entirety in June (5.6, +1.0, 6+); and is now +.5 in July to 6.1. With an 11.8 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2016 report, “Q-101.9 – San Antonio’s Best Variety” finished at #1. The six-tenths of a share advantage in June that Cox Media Group’s KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader” had over iHeartMedia-owned KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” is down to two-tenths. Stuck on 5.4 (6+) for the third month in a row, “Y-100” nonetheless inches up from fourth to a third-place tie, while “KJ-97” posts its third consecutive gain for a collective +.8 (4.4 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 5.2, 6+) and carries on at #5. Stymied at 7.0 (6+) in May and June, KONO-FM “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” adds one-tenth in July to 7.1 (6+) and is #1 for the sixth successive time. The Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies outlet departed the lead position in October after nine straight sweeps there. Recent (6+) fluctuations for “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” include October 2016’s -1.0; November’s +.9; December’s -1.1; “Holiday” 2016’s -1.3; January’s +1.1; April’s +.8; and May’s -.6. Displaying identical 3.2 – 2.7 (-.5, #16 to #17) 6+-profiles are Alpha Media CHR KTFM “Energy 94.1” and iHeartMedia’s KZEP “104.5 Latino Hits.” It is the softest 6+-showing for “Energy” since its 2.6 in November 2016. Owing to three straight increases, including May’s +1.3, KSTX nearly doubled its 6+-share (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.5 – 3.8, 6+). The Texas Public Radio news/talk outlet though regresses by one-half share in back-to-back sweeps (3.8 – 3.3 – 2.8, May – June – July, 6+) and slips from #14 to #16 It had been almost two years since KSTX reached the three-share level (August 2015, 3.0, 6+). For the sixth time in a row, iHeartMedia news/talk WOAI (unchanged at #4) is without an increase for a -1.6 (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 3.3 – 3.1, 6+). Prior to June, the last time WOAI fell below a four-share (6+) was September 2014 (3.7).

4) Pittsburgh – Following a June improvement of six-tenths, Steel City Media adult hits WRRK “Bob FM” tacks on an additional half-share (7.3 – 7.8, 6+), inching up from fourth to third. Prior to June’s +.6, “Bob” had faltered by -1.8 in four consecutive declines (8.5 – 8.3 – 8.1 – 7.5 – 6.7, 6+). Without a decrease for the third consecutive time for a gain of seven-tenths (3.9 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.6, 6+), CBS Radio-owned WDSY “Y-108 Pittsburgh’s Country” advances from tenth to ninth, while iHeartMedia’s WPGB “Big 104.7 – Pittsburgh’s #1 For New Country” is up a combined nine-tenths in June and July to progress from #11 to #10 (2.9 – 3.5 – 3.8, 6+). Down or flat the past four months and off one full-share in that stretch (2.1 – 2.1 – 1.5 – 1.1 – 1.1, 6+), Renda Broadcasting-owned WHJB “Classic Hits 107.1” adds two-tenths to 1.3 (6+), climbing from #15 to #14. June’s penthouse deadlock between iHeartMedia siblings WWSW “94.5 – 3WS” and WDVE is broken as classic hits-oldies “94.5 – 3WS” repeats its 9.6 (6+) and remains on top for the fourth straight month; however, rock WDVE drops four-tenths to 9.2 (6+), shifting to the runner-up slot. After posting three consecutive increases netting a +1.3 (9.1 – 9.9 – 10.3 – 10.4, 6+), WWSW forfeited eight-tenths in June. This time last month, WDVE regained the three-tenths it lost in May (9.6 – 9.3 – 9.6, 6+) to return to #1 from the runner-up slot. Immediately before picking up eight-tenths in March, “3WS” was -4.6 since “Holiday” 2016 (13.7 – 9.3 – 9.1, 6+). A collective +1.8 as the result of four successive up or flat trends between February and June (3.3 – 3.3 – 4.1 – 5.1 – 5.1, 6+), alternative sibling WXDX “The X at 105.9” amazingly plummets by -1.8 in July and is back at 3.3 (6+), spiraling from the top ten (#7 to #11). Co-owned CHR WKST “96.1 Kiss FM – Pittsburgh’s #1 Music Station” erodes by -1.1 to 7.6, its lowest 6+-share since January’s 7.3, and falls from third to fourth. After logging a combined +2.1 in three straight increases (4.3 – 6.1 – 6.3 – 6.4, 6+), CBS Radio sports talk/Pittsburgh Pirates flagship KDKA-FM stumbles by nine-tenths to 5.5 (6+) but carries on in fifth-place.

5) Sacramento – This marks the third consecutive up or flat trend for CBS Radio hot AC KZZO for a combined gain of six-tenths (3.9 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.5, 6+) as “Now 100.5 – Today’s Best Hits Without the Rap” advances from seventh to sixth. Swapping places at #1 and #2 are its adult contemporary cluster-mate KYMX “Mix 96” (8.7 – 7.8, -.9, first to second, 6+) and Entercom-owned KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock (second to first), which is actually down two-tenths and posting an 8.3 for the third time in the last four ratings periods (8.3 – 8.3 – 8.5 – 8.3, 6+). “Mix 96” had been #1 in each of the previous five sweeps. A combined -.6 in back-to-back monthlies (9.2 – 9.0 – 8.6, 6+, February – March – April), KYMX recaptured all of it in May only to drop one-half share in June (9.2 – 8.7, 6+). Ranked third for five straight sweeps before reaching #1 in “Holiday” 2016, “Mix” rebounded from January’s -4.8 with a full-share February increase (13.0 – 8.2 – 9.2, 6+). In addition to “Mix,” iHeartMedia-owned KSTE is off by nine-tenths (2.8 – 1.9, #15 to #16, 6+). When it gained four-tenths in June, “650 – Sacramento’s Talk Station” snapped at four its successive streak of downward trends that yielded a -1.5 since January (3.9 – 3.6 – 3.0 – 2.6 – 2.4, 6+). Two-tenths is the common thread in July for the market’s three FM country signals, with CBS Radio’s KNCI “New Country 105.1” up two-tenths in consecutive sweeps (5.6 – 5.8 – 6.0, 6+) and steady in fourth-place, while iHeartMedia’s KBEB “The Bull” regains the two-tenths it lost in June (3.1 – 2.9 – 3.1, #14 to #12, 6+). Conversely, Entravision-owned KNTY “101.9 – The Wolf” drops two-tenths (2.8 – 2.6, 6+) but remains at #15. As a result of a -.1 in May, “The Wolf” had its streak of successive increases which generated a +1.5 (1.9 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 3.4, 6+) end at five. June’s -.2 by “The Bull” concluded three straight improvements that netted eight-tenths (2.3 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1, 6+). Down or flat for seven ratings periods in a row for a collective -2.6 (5.8 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.4 – 3.2, 6+), Entercom’s KRXQ answered back in June by making up more than half the deficit with a resounding +1.4, but “98 Rock” regresses by one-half share in July to 4.1 (6+) and slides from sixth to seventh.

6) Salt Lake City – Over and above occupying the #1 slot for the third straight month, Bonneville adult contemporary KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music Better Work Day” boasts a +1.1 to 8.0, matching its February 6+-stat. Following three straight sweeps on top, “FM 100.3” shifted to #2, having dropped 12.3 shares in January (20.6 – 8.3, 6+). Until that massive spiral, “FM 100.3” didn’t have a decrease since April 2016 (5.3 – 5.7 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.7 – 7.0 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 11.4 – 20.6, 6+), nearly quadrupling its 6+-stat since then with a staggering +15.3. On a roll as well is co-owned KRSP, which displays its strongest 6+-share (6.2) since last November’s 6.8. Not only is it a combined +1.6 as the result of four successive monthlies without a loss (4.6 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 5.5 – 6.2, 6+), “103.5 The Arrow – Utah’s Classic Rock” vaults from sixth to second behind “FM 100.3.” It is a different story though for news/talk cluster-mate KSL, which spirals by nine-tenths (6.1 – 5.2, 6+), leaving the runner-up slot and falling to fifth. Nine recent KSL fluctuations include +2.0 (October 2016), -.9 (November), +1.1 (December), -1.5 (“Holiday” 2016); +2.1 (January 2017); -2.1 (February); +.6 (April); -1.1 (May); and now -.9 in July. Locked on 2.7 (6+) in May and June, iHeartMedia hot AC KJMY improves by one-half share to 3.2 (6+) as “My 99.5 More Music, More Variety” bumps up from #16 to #14. Declining by six-tenths are Capital Broadcasting hot AC KBZN “Now 97.9 Today’s Best Music” (5.9 – 5.3, flat at #4, 6+); University of Utah news/talk KUER, down for the third straight time for a -1.2 (3.6 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 2.4, #14 to #16, 6+); and Broadway Media rhythmic CHR KUUU “U-92,” which is within 2.0 – 2.8 range for the 14th consecutive sweep (2.8 – 2.2, #15 to #18, 6+). Major ups/downs continue for its CHR sibling KUDD, which was a combined +1.5 in March and April; -.9 in May; +1.6 in June; and now -.5 in July (5.7 – 5.2, 6+). “Mix 105.1 – All the Hits” proceeds at #5 – June’s 5.7 was the highest 6+-stat in its PPM-history. Prior to March, “Mix” was trending 3.5 – 3.9 – 3.5 (6+). With an extremely steady January through June line of 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 (6+), Cumulus Media alternative KHTB “Alt 101.9’ regresses by one-half share as well and exits the top twenty (1.7, #18 to #21). Owing to a -.1 to 6.0, 6+), independent KSOP-FM “Z-104 Utah’s #1 Country” halts at four its skein of consecutive improvements that netted a +2.1 (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 5.3 – 6.1, 6+) and shifts from second to third; June’s 6.1 represents KSOP-FM’s strongest ever 6+ PPM share. Similarly, a loss of two-tenths to 3.6 (6+) by Cumulus Media-owned KBER “101 Utah’s Rock Station” (#10 to #11) ends three straight increases that accounted for a cumulative +1.4 (2.4 – 2.8 – 3.0 – 3.8, 6+).

7) Las Vegas – In tandem with Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies KKLZ gaining one full-share (6.1 – 7.1, 6+) and iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5” sputtering by eight-tenths (7.5 – 6.7, 6+), the two exchange places with KKLZ moving from second to first. This is the strongest 6+-share for KKLZ “96.3 – 70s, 80s and More” since last November’s 7.2. The five most recent fluctuations (since February 2017) for “Sunny,” which had been on top in each of the last eight ratings periods, are +1.8 in March; -1.1 in April; -1.2 in May; +1.4 in June; and now -.8 in July (6.8 – 8.6 – 7.5 – 6.3 – 7.5 – 6.7, 6+). Five straight up or flat trends generated a +8.3 for “Sunny” to 7.5 (6.4 – 7.0 – 7.0 – 8.1 – 14.0, 6+) before January’s -.7.3 to 6.7 (6+). Following three successive downward trends (8.1 – 7.4 – 6.0 – 5.7, 6+), KSNE was +.7 in September and +.6 in October, climbing to first – where it had been for 22 successive ratings periods. Improving by one-half share (2.4 – 2.9, 6+), Kemp Broadcasting rhythmic CHR KVEG “Hot 97.5” advances from #17 to #14. Having notched three straight gains for a collective +1.8 (3.1 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 4.9, 6+), Beasley Media Group-owned KCYE “The Coyote – We Are Country” is off by a combined -1.2 in June and July (4.9 – 4.7 – 3.7, 6+), drifting from sixth to tenth. A loss of nine-tenths (5.6 – 4.7, 6+) takes co-owned KOAS “Old School 105.7” from third to fifth with its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 4.3. Regressing by six-tenths each are Lotus classic rock and Spanish adult hits siblings KXPT “97.1 The Point” (5.4 – 4.8, flat at #4, 6+) and KWID “La Buena 101.9” (3.7 – 3.1, #11 to #13, 6+). After being down or flat in each of the three previous sweeps (1.9 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+), Entravision regional Mexican KQRT gained three-tenths in June, but “La Tricolor 105.1” relinquishes one-half share in July (1.9 – 1.4, 6+) and departs the top twenty (#20 to #22).

8) Cincinnati – Two stations representing opposite ends of the music spectrum hang out increases of eight-tenths each: Radio One urban contemporary WIZF “101.1 The Wiz” moves from seventh to sixth (4.4 – 5.2, 6+), while Cincinnati Public Radio classical WGUC “Music For Your Heart, Mind, and Spirit” climbs from #18 to #16 (1.3 – 2.1, 6+). Meanwhile, a boost of seven-tenths (3.1 – 3.8, 6+) enables Cumulus Media’s WFTK “96 Rock” to crack the top ten (#13 to #10). In the lead each month this calendar year, its classic hits-oldies sibling WGRR remains at #1 and is a combined +.7 in June and July (9.0 – 9.3 – 9.7, 6+); 9.7 is the station’s best 6+-performance since last October’s 9.8. Following a -.7 in March, WGRR posted a full-share gain in April (9.2 – 8.5 – 9.5, 6+). Prior to the “Holiday” 2016 sweep, it occupied the top spot for four straight months. A +.8 in January ended four successive down or flat sweeps that produced a -1.6 (9.8 – 9.8 – 9.6 – 8.8 – 8.2, 6+) as WGRR progressed from second to first. Not only has WKRC lost two full-shares in three straight declines (5.3 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.3, 6+), the iHeartMedia news/talk outlet leaves the top ten (#9 to #12). With similar call letters, Hubbard hot AC WKRQ follows June’s -.7 with a -.6 (6.8 – 6.1 – 5.5, 6+) but “Q-102 Cincinnati’s Hit Music” continues in fourth-place. Prior to logging a +.5 in May, the three most recent trends for “Q-102” were 6.3 – 6.4 – 6.3 – 6.3 (6+). Dropping six-tenths as well (5.0, fifth to seventh, 6+) is rhythmic hot AC sibling WREW “Mix 94.9,” which had been a combined +1.3 in May and June (4.3 – 5.3 – 5.6, 6+). Still in that Hubbard cluster, WUBE “B-105, Get Your Country On” is off by one-half share (8.1 – 7.6, 6+) but remains in third-place. June’s +.7 to 8.1 enabled WUBE to reach the eight-share level (6+) for the first time since last October’s 8.5. Off for the fourth successive sweep for a -1.5 (3.9 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.4, 6+), Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies WOSL “100.3 R&B + Old School” slides from #14 to #15.

9) Orlando – Although it remains at #8, CBS Radio-owned WOMX recaptures in its entirety the seven-tenths it squandered in June (5.4 – 4.7 – 5.4, 6+). Furthermore, “Mix 105.1” applies the brakes to four straight down or flat sweeps that accounted for a -1.4 (6.1 – 6.1 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 4.7, 6+). With four straight increases accounting for a +1.9 (3.7 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 5.5 – 5.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WJRR “Orlando’s Rock Station” moves from seventh to sixth. It previously showed a (6+) December 2016 – March 2017 line of 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 3.7. Nearly doubling its 6+ share (.7 – 1.3, +.6, 6+), University of Central Florida’s WUCF “89.9 Jazz and More” climbs from #20 to #18. In a genuine statistical (if not technological) noteworthy oddity, Cox Media Group’s WCFB-HD2 (Spanish contemporary) channel regains the one-half share it lost in June (1.2 – 1.7, #18 to #16, 6+); the stream of urban AC WCFB debuts with a one-half share (.0 – .5, #22); but the primary FM signal of urban AC WCFB “Star 94.5” is down by … one-half share (6.1 – 5.6, fifth to sixth, 6+). In June, WCFB-FM bounced back from May’s -.9 with a +.6. Co-owned WMMO “98.9 – Orlando’s Classic Hits” regains all but two-tenths of May’s -.7 (7.5 – 8.0, +.5, 6+), shifting from fourth to a second-place tie. The loss of seven-tenths in June halted at three WMMO’s successive increases that generated a +1.6 (6.6 – 6.8 – 7.0 – 8.2, 6+). In a similar scenario, WNUE “98.1 Salsa y Mas” dropped two-tenths in June, ending at six its successive string of increases that netted seven-tenths (1.8 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.5, 6+), but the Entravision-owned Spanish tropical answers with a +.5 (2.3 – 2.8, 6+) and moves from #14 to #13. Nearly eight full-shares ahead of “98.1 Salsa y Mas” is its direct competitor – iHeartMedia’s WRUM and, while “Rumba 100” is #1 for the seventh consecutive month, it is the only station in the 36 PPM-markets we have analyzed so far to have a 6+ June 2017 – July 2017 erosion of at least two full-shares (12.7 – 10.7, -2.0, 6+). The 12.8 it registered in April was the best-ever 6+-share in its PPM-history. Prior to January, “Rumba” was on top in October, November, and December. Slipping from second to fourth, co-owned CHR WXXL “XL-106.7” is -2.1 in three straight dips (9.9 – 8.8 – 8.1 – 7.8, 6+), following a +2.7 via four consecutive progressive trends (7.2 – 8.0 – 9.0 – 9.7 – 9.9, 6+). April’s 9.9 was its strongest 6+-share since September’s 10.4. Still in that iHeartMedia cluster, as the result of five consecutive decreases (3.6 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+), FM talk WTKS (flat at #15) has lost exactly 50% of its 6+-share. Within 2.0 – 2.9 range for the 34th straight time, Community Communications’ similarly-programmed WMFE (2.7 – 2.4, -.3, 6+) drops from #13 to #14. A collective -1.6 in four straight negative trends (5.0 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 3.4, 6+), Cox Media Group country WWKA “K-92.3,” departs the top ten (#10 to #11).

10) Cleveland – In addition to enjoying a spike of +1.1 to 9.1, its strongest 6+-share since 9.8 in “Holiday” 2016, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI progresses from second to first. “Majic 105.7 Cleveland’s Greatest Hits had been at #1 from January through April and in the runner-up slot May and June. Displaced at #1 after back-to-back months there is CBS Radio-owned WNCX “98.5 Cleveland’s Classic Rock,” which returns the half-share it picked up in June (7.9 – 8.4 – 7.9, 6+) and takes over in second-place. Following a 6+-trending of 5.9 – 6.0 – 5.9, co-owned hot AC WQAL “Q-104” zooms from ninth to fifth, exploding by +1.1 to 7.0, its finest 6+-showing since December 2013’s 7.1. A combined +1.3 via four straight increases (5.3 – 5.4 – 5.8 – 6.4 – 6.6, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WENZ “Z-107.9” carries on in seventh-place. Having notched six successive sweeps without a loss that netted a +1.9 (5.4 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 7.0 – 7.0 – 7.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk and Cleveland Indians’ flagship WTAM relinquishes six-tenths to 6.7 (6+) and slips from fifth to sixth. The last six (6+) trends for adult hits sibling WHLK “106.5 The Lake – We Play Anything” (unchanged at #3) are 7.3 – 7.6 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 7.6 – 7.7. Trending 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 4.5 (February through May, 6+), CHR cluster-mate WAKS flashed a full-share increase to 5.5, its strongest 6+-share since December’s 5.9. Even though it returns half of it (5.4, -.5, 6+), “96.5 Kiss FM – Cleveland’s #1 Hit Music Station” nonetheless continues at #10. Cluster-mate WGAR “99.5 Cleveland’s Country” (sixth to seventh) is off seven-tenths in three consecutive decreases (7.3 – 7.1 – 6.9 – 6.6, 6+). Flat at #11, co-owned WMMS “100.7 – Cleveland’s Rock Station” is -1.4 in three successive declines (6.2 – 5.8 – 5.1 – 4.8, 6+), while its alternative HD2 channel (flat at #15) is down or flat for the tenth straight time (1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .9 – .9, 6+) yet is only off four-tenths in the period that began last October. Continuing in that same vein, Ideastream news/talk WCPN (#12 to #13) loses nine-tenths in three negative trends in a row (3.4 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.5, 6+), while Moody Bible Institute’s WCRF “Moody Radio Cleveland” (#15 to #16) is without an increase for the fifth straight sweep for an overall -1.4 (2.3 – 1.9 – 1.2 – 1.2 – .9 – .7, 6+).

11) Kansas City – In what proves to be a highly-memorable sweep for Cumulus Media classic rocker KCFX, “The Fox” posts its fifth straight increase for a whopping cumulative +2.8 (7.5 – 8.5 – 8.7 – 9.4 – 10.3, 6+); is #1 for the seventh consecutive time; and reaches double-digits 6+ (10.3) – only the fifth time a Kansas City station has done that since PPM became the market’s ratings currency. In that regard, “The Fox” joins KFKF (11.4 and 11.0, 6+); KCMO-FM (10.8, 6+); and KCSP (10.6, 6+). “The Fox” bounced back from a -.8 in March with a full-share gain in April. Before that, KCFX registered three consecutive declines accounting for a -1.5 (9.0 – 8.5 – 8.3 – 7.5, 6+). Without a loss for the fourth consecutive sweep and up one full-share in that stretch (3.8 – 3.9 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+), co-owned urban AC KMJK “Magic 107.3 Kansas City’s Best Mix of R&B” elevates from seventh to sixth, while sibling KCJK “X-105.1 Kansas City’s Alternative” (#17 to #16) is up or flat for the sixth straight time for an overall gain of seven-tenths (1.9 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.6, 6+). Aforementioned KCSP posts its fourth consecutive up or flat trend more than tripling its 6+-share in that stretch (1.2 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 3.7, 6+) as Entercom’s “610 Sports Radio” inches up from #15 to #13 with its highest 6+-share since last September’s 4.3. After faltering the past three sweeps for a combined loss of more than two full-shares (3.6 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 1.5, 6+), its format rival – Union Broadcasting’s WHB “Sports Radio 810” – adds one-tenth to 1.6 (6+) and remains at #20. More than making up for a one-half share loss in May, Cumulus Media CHR KCHZ is an overall +1.3 in June and July (3.3 – 4.1 – 4.6, 6+) with “95-7 The Vibe – All the Hits” cruising from tenth to seventh. Prior to May’s -.5, “The Vibe” had been without a loss in each of the past six survey periods netting a +1.2 (2.6 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 3.8, 6+). Picking up one-half share as well is Steel City Media adult contemporary KCKC “KC 102.1 Today’s Best Variety,” which enters the top ten (3.7 – 4.2, #13 to #9, 6+). Up or flat the previous three ratings periods for a gain of four-tenths (4.8 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 5.2, 6+), Entercom hot AC KZPT “99.7 The Point” flounders by twice that increase (5.2 – 4.4, -.8, sixth to eighth, 6+). Within 7.3 – 7.8 range (6+) since January, Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies KCMO-FM boasted a +1.5 in June to 8.9, the strongest 6+-stat for “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” since “Holiday” 2016’s 10.8. Surrendering roughly half of that gain in July (8.9 – 8.1, -.8, 6+), “KC’s Greatest Hits” is nevertheless steady in the runner-up slot. Owing to a loss of three-tenths to 4.2 (6+), Entercom-owned KQRC “98.8 Kansas City’s Rock Station” (eighth to ninth) halts at six its successive string of up or flat trends that generated a +1.1 (3.4 – 3.8 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+). Without an increase for the sixth successive time, University of Missouri-owned news/talk KCUR is down by two full-shares (3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.2 – 1.9, 6+), but stays at #18.

12) Columbus – In just two back-to-back ratings periods, iHeartMedia country property WCOL rather remarkably produces a whopping +3.5 (9.2 – 10.6 – 12.7, 6+), as it easily grabs honors for largest 6+ June 2017 – July 2017 increase (+2.1) in the 36 PPM-markets we have summarized thus far in our three “Takeaway” overviews. Moreover, WCOL advances from second to first, succeeding CHR sibling WNCI “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music” (10.6, -1.1, first to second, 6+), and boasting the highest 6+-share by any Columbus station in exactly two years – when WCOL reached 12.9 in July 2015. It was +2.2 in January; -1.2 in February; +.8 in March; -1.3 in May; +1.4 in June; and now +2.1 in July (10.5 – 9.3 – 10.1 – 10.5 – 9.2 – 10.6 – 12.7, 6+). As for WNCI, its July -1.1 curtails at three a consecutive skein of upticks that yielded a +2.8 (8.9 – 9.4 – 9.9 – 11.7, 6+). With a combined improvement of two full-shares over the January and February sweeps (7.8 – 9.1 – 9.8, 6+), “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music” advanced from second to first in February. Prior to January, however, WNCI was down or flat in each of the previous six surveys for a collective -4.4 (12.2 – 12.1 -11.1 – 9.8 – 9.4 – 9.4 – 7.8, 6+). From January through June, Saga Communications classic hits-oldies WNND has been trending 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.2, (6+), but a spike of six-tenths takes “Rewind” to 2.8, its best 6+-performance since June 2016’s 2.9, and into the top ten (#14 to #10). Climbing from ninth to eighth, Ohio State University news/talk WOSU is up a combined seven-tenths in three straight up or flat trends (2.8 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.5, 6+). Spiraling by seven-tenths for the second straight month is Saga Communications adult contemporary WSNY “Sunny” (5.3, unchanged at #5, 6+). After back-to-back upticks in April and May (6.1 – 6.6 – 6.7, 6+), “Sunny” was off by seven-tenths in June and now by the same margin in July. Down by seven-tenths in July as well is Radiohio-owned WBNS-FM “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” (1.9, #11 to #14, 6+), which ended its (6+) February through May sequence of 3.9 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 4.1 by plummeting -1.5 (to 2.6, 6+) in June. Without an increase in each of the last four sweeps for a -1.3 (4.5 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.2, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WZCB “106.7 The Beat – Columbus Real Hip-Hop and R&B” slips from eighth to ninth.

Monday, August 14, 2017

| August 14, 2017

Report: iHeartMedia Creditor May Submit Plan to Avoid Bankruptcy This Week.  According to a story in the New York Post, Franklin Resources – holder of $2.3 billion of iHeartMedia’s $20 billion of debt – may propose a restructuring plan for iHM that may require controlling equity in the company and more cash guarantees.  Franklin Resources had been holding firm against any refinancing, possibly with the hope that the company would be forced into bankruptcy and Franklin could then “cash out” after the sale of iHM assets.  But the Post story indicates that Franklin adviser PJT Partners is recommending that Franklin not push iHM into bankruptcy, hence the report of a possible debt-for-equity deal.  The report also hints that current CEO Bob Pittman will remain in his position.  Read the Post story here.

Cash Infusion for TuneIn.  According to Bloomberg, digital audio aggregator TuneIn has just raised another $50 million in investment, reportedly from Marker LLC, IVP and Comcast Ventures – which led the funding – plus Sequoia Capital, Causeway Media Partners LLC and General Catalyst Partners LLCBloomberg writes that so far TuneIn has raised $140 million.  Chief executive officer John Donham says, “Two years ago we launched a premium subscription with a play by play of every game from every league, home and away, with worldwide rights for every connected device.  It turns out those deals are not cheap.  We’re excited about building a subscription base. But in the meantime, we’re paying for that content.”  Donham declined to tell Bloomberg how many paying subscribers the service has but stated that “the model under which we operate has a very clear path to profitability versus most in [the] streaming audio space.”  The 15-year-old service has yet to turn a profit.   Read the Bloomberg piece here.

Connolly New Head of Advertising Sales for SiriusXM.  Moving from ESPN where he was VP of advertising sales and affiliates sales for the ESPN Audio Network to SiriusXM is Mike Connolly.  He is the satcaster’s new head of advertising sales, taking over for Bette Rockmore who is taking a teaching position at Pace University.  A press release states that Connolly “brings broad experience working with varied on-air audio content in his three decades in media sales.”  SiriusXM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein comments, “Mike is a proven ad industry executive and we are excited to have him lead SiriusXM’s ad sales team and continue its strong sustained growth.  Mike’s extensive experience in audio entertainment will be of crucial importance to SiriusXM as our programming depth and variety expand and the national audience of subscribers and listeners continues to rise.”

TALKERS News Notes.  All this week, David van Camp will broadcast live from Guam on theMarkley and van Camp” show based at Alpha Media’s news/talk WMBD, Peoria, and heard on KXL, Portland; KFQD, Anchorage; as well as Tyler Media’s KOKC, Oklahoma City.  Speaking about broadcasting from Guam, van Camp says, “What I’m most interested in is talking to everyday people.  What do they think about when they see all of this coverage when they see how much focus there is on their home?  And, really, just tell their story.”…..This Sunday (8/20), CBS Sports Radio will broadcast a live, special edition of “The Taz Show” from 11:00 pm to 2:00 am ET following the WWE Summer Slam at the Barclays Center earlier that evening.  Former pro wrestler Taz will talk about “the results of the night’s championship matches, including the winners, losers and biggest surprises.”  CBS RADIO stations carrying the program will include WFAN, New York; WSCR, Chicago; KRLD, Dallas; and more…..College football legend Steve Spurrier joins SiriusXM as a college football analyst.  Beginning August 15, Spurrier will appear three times per week on the SiriusXM College Sports Nation channel.

Charlottesville Violence/Trump Response, Bannon’s White House Status, U.S.-North Korea Tensions, NFL Players Sit During Anthem, Taylor Swift Suit, Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Sequel Film, MLB Action, and NFL Pre-season Games Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The death and injuries at the Charlottesville white supremacist rally and criticism of President Trump’s response; speculation about the future of White House strategist Stephen K. Bannon and reports that Trump believes Bannon may be involved in leaks; the ongoing threats by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Trump’s responses; the failure to stand during the National Anthem by Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch and Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett prior to pre-season games; a judge’s decision to throw out David Mueller’s suit against Taylor Swift and the remaining aspects of the legal battle; Al Gore’s new global warming film An Inconvenient Sequel debuts; Major League Baseball action, and the weekend’s pre-season NFL games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.

Longtime WBZ, Boston/CBS RADIO Personality Neil Chayet Passes.  Talk and news radio listeners across the country knew attorney Neil Chayet as host of the long-running legal feature “Looking at the Law,” that was heard on CBS RADIO’s WBZ, Boston and on CBS stations across the country.  Chayet passed away on Friday (8/11) after a nine-month battle with small cell cancer.  He was 78.  He retired from the radio program in June due to his illness.

Tubbs Exits KOA, Denver.  According to KCNC-TV, Denver, morning personality Steffan Tubbs has been let go by iHeartMedia and will “no longer be part of ‘Colorado’s Morning News on KOA.”  Tubbs was arrested on July 30 on a domestic violence charge after authorities suspected him of harassing and threatening his ex-girlfriend.  He has pleaded not guilty and will be back in court for a trial on October 18.  The station issued a memo stating, “The morning show will continue on schedule with April Zesbaugh and guest host (KCNC-TV weatherman) Ed Greene beginning the week of 8/14.”

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. WQDR, Raleigh morning personality Mike Wheless celebrates 25 years with the Curtis Media Group country station.  “The Q Morning Crew” consists of Wheless, Janie Carothers, and Marty “The One-Man Party.”  The program has won industry awards, including the Country Music Association “Personality of the Year” and Academy of Country Music “Personality of the Year” honors.  Curtis Media Group president and COO Trip Savery comments, “Mike Wheless is a tremendous contributor to WQDR’s ongoing success.  Mike has grown from overnight jock to the foundation of the most successful morning show in the region and as he celebrates a quarter century in that role, we all acknowledge his passion, talent, and success.”…..iHeartMedia’s rock KBRQ, Waco, Texas “102.5 The Bear” names Aaron Zytle host of the “AZ in the Morning Rumble” program.  He takes over for Keith Junker, a.k.a. Fish, who exited the radio biz.  Zytle’s program will be simulcast to iHM’s Killeen active rocker KLFX “107.3 The Fox.”  Zytle was most recently with Bahakel Communications in Colorado Springs programming alternative KRXP and serving as afternoon personality…..Mark Shepperd is the new afternoon drive host at Jerry Lee-owned adult contemporary WBEB, Philadelphia “Today’s 101.1 More FM.”  Shepperd assumes the daypart previously held by Logan, now with Fort Myers Broadcasting Company handling mornings at adult contemporary WINK-FM.

 

 

July PPM Takeaways. Below are TALKERS magazine editor Mike Kinosian‘s “Twelve Takeaways” based on the July PPM ratings information released by Nielsen Audio last week.  The 12 markets addressed today are: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s July 2017 survey period covered June 22 – July 19.  Meanwhile, you can view all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) New York – Albeit the net gain is just two-tenths, this nonetheless represents the fourth successive sweep in which WPLJ “95.5 PLJ” has not had a decrease (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.6, 6+). As a result, the Cumulus Media hot AC climbs from #15 to #13, catching its format rival – CBS Radio’s WNEW-FM “Fresh 102.7” – which is off one-tenth (2.7 – 2.6, flat at #13). “Fresh” had held the advantage over WPLJ in each of the last seven ratings periods. Steady at #8, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1 New York’s Hip-Hop and R&B” is without a decrease for the sixth successive sweep (3.6 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+) and is up six-tenths in that stretch. Not only does iHeartMedia adult contemporary cluster-mate WLTW register its third straight gain for a cumulative +.7 (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.5 – 6.7, 6+), “106.7 Lite FM” finishes at #1 for the third consecutive time. A one-tenth increase by “Lite” in May halted four straight declines that produced a collective -7.3 since “Holiday” 2016 (13.3 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.2 – 6.0, 6+). One-tenth off the top and repeating in the runner-up slot is CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “New York’s Greatest Hits,” which posts its fourth successive up or flat trend for a combined +.7 (5.9 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.6, 6+). After logging three straight increases for a collective gain of eight-tenths since March (1.7 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR regresses by one-half share to 2.0 (6+), tumbling from #15 to #19. June 2017’s 2.5 was the highest 6+-stat for the New York Mets flagship in nearly seven years when it reached 2.6 (#19) in November 2010. Having gained nine-tenths in June to 3.0 (6+), WYNC-FM put an end to four straight downward trends that produced a -.6 (2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.1, 6+); however, like WOR – the public news/talk station drops one-half share (3.0 – 2.5, 6+) and shifts from #12 to #15. Meanwhile, Cumulus Media news/talk WABC is down or flat for the sixth straight time yet the net loss is just two-tenths (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+) and it is unchanged at #22. Following back-to-back 2.4 showings (6+) in April and May, CBS Radio all-news WCBS-AM registers a 2.7 (6+) in June and July, moving up from #13 in June to #12. Flat at #6, co-owned and similarly formatted WINS is a collective -1.1 in four straight dips (5.8 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+), while iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WKTU (ninth to tenth) is -.2 in four consecutive sweeps without an increase (4.1 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+).

2) Los Angeles – The 12 stations ranking between #9 and #20 in July 2017 are separated by just eight-tenths of a share Within those rankers, there are ties at #11, #13, #15, and #17. Jumping from #18 to #11, Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary KXOL “Mega 96.3 – LA’s #1 Party Station” cobbles together five gains in succession for a +.9 (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.9, 6+). Three straight increases by regional Mexican cluster-mate KLAX have yielded a +1.1 (1.6 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 2.7, 6+), with “97.9 La Raza” notching its strongest 6+-share since February 2016’s 2.9 and reentering the top twenty at #15. Down or flat in each of the past four months for a -.4 (3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KLVE “107.5 K-Love” (unchanged at #6) busts out a July 2017 gain more than twice that margin (+.9, 6+) and has its highest 6+-share since last October’s 4.5. Climbing back into the top ten (#11 to #9), Meruelo Media Holdings rhythmic CHR KPWR “Power 106” gains a collective half-share in four successive up or flat trends (2.6 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 3.1, 6+). Unchanged at #10, CBS Radio CHR KAMP “Amp” hasn’t had a decrease in the past five sweeps (2.4 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.0, 6+). Co-owned alternative KROQ moves from #19 to #17 and is up or flat for the seventh consecutive monthly for a +.7 in that period (1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+). Conversely, its format rival, iHeartMedia’s KYSR-FM “ALT 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative,” is down or flat for the fifth time in a row for a collective loss of one-half share (3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.7, 6+) and slips from #11 to #15. As a result, the 1.5-share (6+) advantage KYSR held over KROQ in December is now down to two-tenths. This is the fifth successive ratings period without erosion for Mount Wilson FM Broadcasters’ KKGO “Go Country 105” (#14 to #13) which has generated a cumulative gain of six-tenths since January (2.2 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+). Stuck on 5.8 (6+) in May and June, iHeartMedia hot AC “My-FM” picks up three-tenths to 6.1 (6+) and is #1 for the sixth consecutive time. When “My-FM” dropped one-tenth in April, it ended three straight uptrends (4.7 – 5.1 – 5.2 – 5.7, 6+), which netted a combined full-share gain. February’s +.1 (5.1 – 5.2, 6+) was enough for it to depart the runner-up slot it held the previous three sweeps and take over at #1. Trending a very consistent 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.4 – 5.3 (6+) March 2017 to July 2017, CBS Radio smooth AC KTWV “The Wave” occupies the runner-up position for the fifth straight sweep. Similarly, the January 2017 through July 2017 6+-trending for iHeartMedia news/talk KFI (eighth to seventh) is 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.4. Owing to six straight decreases (2.3 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.4, 6+), Taxi Productions urban AC KJLH (#25 to #24) is a collective -.9.  Not only is KNX without an increase for the fifth straight time for a loss of nine-tenths (3.8 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 2.9, 6+), the CBS Radio all-news property exits the top ten (#8 to #11).

3) Chicago – It’s a strong “Windy City” sweep for the market’s two country stations as each improve by seven-tenths. In the case of CBS Radio-owned WUSN, adds a +.7 in July to June’s half share increase as “US-99 Chicago’s Hottest Country” zooms from ninth to fifth. In addition to notching its fourth straight up or flat trend (2.6 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 3.4 – 4.1, 6+), WUSN has its best 6+-showing since the 4.1 it recorded in November 2014. Meanwhile, dating back to the first of the year, its format rival – iHeartMedia’s WEBG “Big 95.5 Chicago’s New Country” – was trending 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.1 (January 2017 – June 2017, 6+), but jumps to 2.8, catapulting from #22 to #14. This represents the fourth consecutive time urban AC sibling WVAZ is without a decrease for a +1.1 (5.6 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 6.1 – 6.7, 6+). Moreover, “V-103 Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” is #1 for the sixth successive month. In the runner-up slot from February through June, CBS Radio all-news operation WBBM-AM slips to third and is down or flat for the sixth straight sweep for a collective -1.9 (6.3 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.4, 6+). Jumping over it is Hubbard hot AC WTMX “Mix,” which picks up one-tenth to 4.7 (6+), thus snapping at five a consecutive string of sweeps without an increase that accounted for a loss of seven-tenths (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+). Similarly-formatted, iHeartMedia-owned WLIT “93.9 My-FM The Best Variety” is -1.3 via four successive declines (3.7 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.4, 6+), spiraling from #15 to #20. For the fourth successive time, its urban contemporary sibling WGCI-FM “Chicago’s #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” gains two-tenths (2.6 – 2.8 – 3.0 – 3.2 – 3.4, 6+) and advances from tenth to ninth. Unchanged at #4, Hubbard-owned WDRV “97.1 The Drive – Chicago’s Classic Rock” registers its fifth consecutive up or flat trend (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 4.2, 6+) and is up eight-tenths since February. Following five straight (modest) increases that netted a full-share (2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.7, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican WOJO “105.1 Que Buena” drops three-tenths to 3.4 (eighth to ninth, 6+). Tied at #18 doing various shades of adult contemporary are WRME-LP (2.9 – 2.7, down from #14 in June, 6+) and Hubbard’s WSHE, #17 in June and down or flat for the fourth straight month for a net loss of one half-share (3.2 – 3.0 – 2.9- 2.7 – 2.7, 6+). Slipping from sixth to eighth, CBS Radio sports talk WSCR “The Score” notches a 3.7 for the third time in the last four sweeps. Down or flat for the fifth straight ratings period for a collective -1.4 (4.2 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 2.8, 6+), after three consecutive sweeps without a loss for a +.5 (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+), Tribune Media Company news/talk WGN drops from #11 to #14. The 15 stations occupying rankers 9 through 23 in July 2017 are separated by 1.2 shares (2.2 – 3.4, 6+). Trending 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.6, April – May – June (6+), Window to the World classical WFMT is unlisted in July.

4) San Francisco – Having registered a 2.5 (6+) in four of the previous five ratings periods, Entercom urban AC KBLX added two-tenths in June; “102.9 The Bay’s R&B” follows in July with a gain of six-tenths (2.5 – 2.7 – 3.3, 6+) and cracks the top ten (#12 to #9). The last time KBLX reached the three-share level (6+) was in April 2016 with a 3.0. Its sports talk sibling KGMZ “95.7 The Game” though falters by one-full share (2.1 – 1.1, 6+) as the Oakland A’s flagship disappears from the top twenty (#18 to #25). May’s +.3 by “The Game” put an end to its 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.7 (6+) trending. At the same time, Entercom-owned San Francisco Giants flagship KNBR “The Sports Leader,” off for the third time in a row (4.2 – 4.1 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+) for a cumulative -1.0, slips from eighth to tenth. Notwithstanding that Cumulus Media classic rocker KSAN “107.7 The Bone” remains at #14, its string of consecutive ratings periods without a decrease extends to seven (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+). The October 2016 through July 2017 6+-line for iHeartMedia urban contemporary KMEL “#1 for Hip-Hop and R&B in the Bay Area” is 3.3 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 3.0 (#11 to #12). Finishing first and second (6+) are stations in the news/talk (KQED-FM) and news genres (CBS Radio-owned KCBS-AM, down for the third straight time, 6.3 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 5.8, 6+), while adult contemporary is at #3 and #4 with Entercom’s KOIT-FM, off for the third consecutive time, 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.8, 6+ and iHeartMedia-owned KISQ “98.1 The Breeze” (4.1, -.2, 6+) Hot AC is represented at #5 and #6 with iHeartMedia’s KIOI “Star 101.3” (4.0, -.3, 6+) and CBS Radio-owned KLLC “Alice @ 97.3” (3.7, -.2, 6+), while contemporary hit radio occupies #7 and #8 with KMVQ and iHeartMedia’s KYLD “Wild 94.9 – The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station” (3.4, +.2, 6+). Frozen on 3.8 (6+) in February and March and then on 3.2 (6+) in April and May, CBS Radio’s KMVQ slipped to 3.0 in June but “99.7 – New Hit Music Now” bounces back with a one-half share gain to 3.5 (6+), leaping from tenth to seventh. With a spike of four-tenths to 7.1 (6+), KQED-FM halts at four a successive streak without an increase that produced a -1.0 (7.7 – 7.3 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.7, 6+). Moreover, just as it has been every month this calendar year, the Northern California Public Broadcasting facility is on top in San Francisco. Slipping from seventh to tenth, Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “100.3 Mas Variedad” forfeits four-tenths to 3.2 (6+), ending three straight increases that netted nine-tenths (2.7 – 2.8 – 3.3 – 3.6, 6+). While it remains at #21, Cumulus Media news/talk KSFO is without an increase for the sixth time in a row for a loss of more than one-full share (2.8 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.7, 6+). This is the fourth straight month that Entercom-owned KUFX “98.5 K-Fox – The South Bay’s Classic Rock” is unlisted in San Francisco, but it still appears in print in San Jose (see below). The station’s March 2017 6+-San Francisco stat was 1.5.

5) Dallas – Over and above halting three straight negative trends that yielded a loss of eight-tenths (3.9 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.1, 6+) CBS Radio adult hits KJKK “100.3 Jack-FM” (tenth to sixth) recaptures that loss in its entirety – and two-tenths to spare- with a +1.0 to 4.1. This is the strongest 6+-performance for Dallas’ version of “Jack” since last December’s 4.2. In what we believe are the first trends in the PPM-era for The City of Dallas’ WRR, the classical facility checks in at #21 with a 2.1 (6+), which represents a one-half share increase over June’s (unlisted) 1.6 (6+). Up two-tenths to 2.3 (#20 to #18, 6+), Northwest Texas Public Broadcasting news/talk KERA curtails at four a successive string of down or flat trends that produced a loss of one-half share (2.6 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+). A mere two-tenths of a share separates the top three July 2017 finishers, which includes Cumulus Media country outlet KPLX, while down one-half share (6.1 – 5.6, 6+), is #1 for the seventh successive time. This, however, is the lowest 6+-share for “The Wolf” since the “Holiday” 2016 report’s 4.7. Right on its heels and remaining at #2 and #3, respectively, are iHeartMedia CHR and classic rock siblings KHKS “106.1 Kiss-FM” (surrendering half of June’s +.6, 5.8 – 5.5, -.3, 6+) and KZPS “Lone Star 92.5.” After four straight increases that netted nine-tenths (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.5, 6+), “Lone Star 92.5” lost one-tenth in June and is flat in July at 5.4 (6+). On hiatus from the KHKS-originated, syndicated “Kidd Kraddick Show,” Elena Davies remains one of the Season 19 houseguests on CBS-TV’s “Big Brother,” which premiered June 28; “Kiss” was tied for the top spot with KPLX in March. Following June 2017’s +1.1, Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KLTY “94.9 – Your Life … Inspired” relinquishes roughly one-half of it (4.3 – 3.7, -.6, 6+), slipping from fifth to eighth; June 2017’s 4.3 was its strongest 6+-stat since 4.4 in “Holiday” 2015. Without an increase for the sixth time in a row for a collective -1.6 since January (3.6 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WBAP fades from #22 to #24. Three stations are flat at 3.0 and continue to be linked at #11: Cumulus Media sports talk KTCK “The Ticket”; iHeartMedia’s KEGL “97.1 The Eagle Rocks”; and Service Broadcasting urban AC KRNB “105.7 Smooth R&B.” Progressing from #17 to join them at #11 is Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KDXX “Latino Mix,” which registers its fifth consecutive up or flat trend for a +1.1 (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 3.0, 6+). From the first of the year through July 2017, the 6+-line for Radio One rhythmic CHR KBFB “97.9 The Beat” (steady at #16) is 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.7.

6) Houston – Not only does CBS Radio country KILT-FM end at four its string of down or flat trends that produced a -.6 (3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.0, 6+), by posting a +.9 (to 3.9, 6+) “100.3 The Bull” rockets from #16 to a four-way tie at #10. This is the best 6+-showing for “The Bull” since last December’s 4.0. Although it remains at #3, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA picks up six-tenths to 6.4 (6+), its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016 (10.3). Between March 2017 and June 2017, “Sunny 99.1” had a 6+-pattern of 5.8 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.8. A +1.1 via four straight up or flat trends (3.7 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.6 – 4.8, 6+), Cumulus Media CHR KRBE “Houston’s #1 Hit Music Station” inches up from sixth to fifth with its highest 6+-share since December 2015 (4.8, as well). One-half share away from the top is Cox Media Group classic rock KGLK “The Eagle,” which hasn’t had a decrease since February and is +1.2 in that timeframe (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 6.5 – 6.5, 6+). Notwithstanding that it is #1 for the sixth consecutive ratings period, Radio One-owned urban AC KMJQ “Majic 102.1 The People’s Station” continues its wild ride as its last three trends have been +1.4 (May 2017); -.6 (June); and now -.7 in July (8.3 – 7.7 – 7.0, 6+). Up a combined +1.0 in back-to-back monthlies (6.9 – 7.2 – 7.9, January-February-March, 6+), “Majic” returned all of it in April (6.9, 6+) before notching May’s +1.4. It is a bit of a similar scenario for Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN, which is also down seven-tenths (5.0 – 4.3, 6+) and slips from fifth to seventh. Following three straight negative trends that yielded a combined -1.5 (8.0 – 7.4 – 6.7 – 6.5, 6+), KLTN brought back 60% of that deficit in January (+.9), jumping from third to first. It was a very quick stay there though as KLTN surrendered -1.3 in February (7.4 – 6.1, 6+) and dropped to third. In March, KLTN was -.5; +.7 in April; -.2 in May; -1.1 in June; and now -.7 in July. The last time KLTN fell below a five-share (6+) was March 2016 (4.9). Similarly-formatted, Liberman Broadcasting-owned KTJM “La Raza,” which had been up or flat the past five sweeps for a cumulative gain of one full-share (1.3 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+), is off four-tenths to 1.9 (#19 to #20, 6+). Surrendering in its entirety the six-tenths it gained in June (3.2 – 3.8 – 3.2, 6+), CBS Radio hot AC KHMX “Houston’s Mix 96-5” segues from #12 to #15. Following four straight gains that yielded a cumulative +1.3 (2.3 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 3.6, 6+), “Mix” lost four-tenths in May.

7) Atlanta – Following four successive sweeps without an increase for a -1.4 (5.3 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 3.9, 6+), Cox Media Group adult contemporary WSB-FM “B-98.5” breaks out a gain of eight-tenths to 4.7 (6+) and zooms back into the top ten (#11 to #6). Simultaneous with Cumulus Media’s country-formatted WKHX “Kicks 101.5” improving by seven-tenths to advance from ninth to fifth, Woman’s World Broadcasting’s WTSH “Your Georgia Country” falters by one-half share (1.8 – 1.3, #21 to #23, 6+). This is the third straight increase for “Kicks” for a cumulative +1.2 (3.6 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.8, 6+). Meanwhile, the market’s other country player – iHeartMedia’s WUBL “94.9 The Bull” – is a collective +1.9 via seven successive upticks (2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.5, 6+) and carries on at #7 with its best 6+-showing in exactly one year (4.6, 6+, July 2016). Continuing at #15, Cumulus Media’s WNNX “100.5 – Atlanta’s Rock Station” is without a loss for the seventh time in a row as well and is a combined +1.6 since the “Holiday” 2016 report (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.7 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.3, 6+). With a gain of one-half share, City of Atlanta Board of Education news/talk WABE (unchanged at #16) continues its up/down pattern that it began last October (3.5 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 3.8 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 2.6 – 3.1, 6+). Four consecutive positive trends by Entercom hot AC WSTR “Star 94.1 – Today’s Best Mix” (steady at #13) have produced a gain of eight-tenths (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.7 – 3.8, 6+). Returning the two-tenths it garnered in June, Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM is nonetheless #1 for the 19th straight ratings period (8.6 – 8.8 – 8.6, 6+). Prior to June’s +.2, WSB-AM had been down or flat the previous four sweeps for a combined loss of more than two full-shares (10.7 – 9.9 – 9.5 – 9.5 – 8.6, 6+). January 2017’s 10.7 represents the station’s best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. With a loss of one-tenth in June, co-owned WSRV concluded at five its streak of consecutive gains that netted a +2.3 (4.4 – 4.6 – 5.1 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 6.7, 6+). Now, “Classic Hits 97.1 The River” sputters by seven-tenths to 5.9 (6+), slipping from second to third. The market’s (6+) urban AC share erodes by seven tenths. Specifically: Cox Media Group’s WALR “Kiss 104.1” is off three-tenths (6.2 – 5.9, 6+) and remains at #3, where it is tied with classic rock sibling WSRV, while Radio One-owned WAMJ “Majic – The Real Sound of Atlanta” regresses by four-tenths (4.8 – 4.4, 6+), dipping from fifth to eighth. Even though Cumulus Media CHR WWWQ “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” picks up two-tenths (4.2 – 4.4, 6+), it drops from seventh to eighth; similarly-programmed, iHeartMedia-owned WWPW “Power 96.1 Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” is flat at 4.1, but departs the top ten (#9 to #11). A combined -1.5 in four straight down or flat trends (5.4 – 5.0 – 4.5 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH “The Fish” moves from #11 to #12.

8) Philadelphia – In the last ten ratings periods, ever-consistent WUSL “Power 99” has ranged from a low of 4.0 to a high of 4.4 (4.1 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.4, 6+). The iHeartMedia urban contemporary facility though busts out a +1.2 to 5.6, the first time it crosses the five-share level (6+) in nearly three years (5.2, 6+, August 2014) and progresses from ninth to fifth. At least in terms of 6+-share, the steady upward pattern continues for Radio One’s WPHI, which registers its ninth successive sweep without a decrease that has resulted in a net gain of nine-tenths (1.1 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.0, 6+); “Boom 103.9” carries on at #19. Having logged a 3.0 (6+) in March, CBS Radio’s WTDY followed with a 2.9 (6+) in April, May, and June but “Today’s 96.5” adds two-tenths to 3.1 (6+) and climbs from #15 to #13. Up three-tenths (7.2 – 7.5, 6+) and repeating at #1 is classic hits-oldies sibling WOGL, which returned to the top spot in June after transitioning from first to third in May. Off by one full-share (3.1 – 2.1, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKVP “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” has its softest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016 (2.1, as well) and slips from #14 to #18. Locked on 3.3 (6+) in May and June, public news/talk WHYY (#13 to #15) spirals by eight-tenths to 2.5 – and like WKVP – this is WHYY’s lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016 when it recorded a 2.3. A decrease of seven-tenths by Beasley Media Group’s WXTU “92.5 Philadelphia’s Country Station” (4.0, seventh to tenth, 6+) curtails at six a successive string of up or flat trends that netted a +1.1 (3.6 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.7, 6+). As the result of three straight downward moves, co-owned WMMR is -1.2 (6.0 – 5.7 – 5.3 – 4.8, 6+) and “93.3 Everything That Rocks” drops from fifth to seventh. A combined -.8 since May when it was #1 (7.0 – 6.8 – 6.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned urban AC WDAS-FM “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks” slides from third in June to fourth. This marks the fifth straight month that Connoisseur Media hot AC WPST “94.5 PST” is either down or flat (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.1 -.9 – .8 – .8, #25, 6+).

9) Long Island – It isn’t often that a station’s “stream” is the lead item in these market “Takeaways,” but such is the case with CBS Radio hot AC WNEW-FM “Fresh 102.7” – and there’s an added twist. From a “no show” in June (.4 in May, 6+), the station’s “stream” bounces back with a +.5 (to .5, #32, 6+); however, the actual FM signal is off by seven-tenths to 1.7. Furthermore, “Fresh” exits the top twenty (#17 to #21, 6+) and ends at ten its successive string of being within 2.0 – 2.5 range (6+). Over and above extending to seven its consecutive string of up or flat trends for a +2.2 since the “Holiday” 2016 report (4.0 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 5.4 – 5.8 – 6.2, 6+), Cox Media Group-owned CHR WBLI “Long Island’s #1 For All the Hits” climbs from #2 to #1, which is where it was in May. It is tied there with Connoisseur Media hot AC WALK-FM “Real Variety 97.5,” which after three consecutive gains that netted a +2.1 (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 6.3, 6+), drops one-tenth to 6.2 (6+). A full-share loss in March (5.2 – 4.2, 6+) resulted in “Real Variety” tumbling from fourth to seventh, but it jumped from seventh to first in April with a gain of nine-tenths. Albeit off by six-tenths (3.4 – 2.8, 6+), co-owned adult contemporary WKJY “Long Island’s K-98.3” remains at #12. Having sandwiched a 3.3 (6+) in May between 3.5 (6+) in April and another 3.5 (6+) in June, iHeartMedia news/talk WOR erodes by nine-tenths to 2.6 as the New York Mets flagship skids from #11 to #15. Steady at #5, Cox Media Group-owned WBAB “Long Island’s Only Classic Rock” posts a 4.5 (6+) for the third time in the last four ratings periods. In five consecutive sweeps without an increase (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 1.6 – 1.6, 6+) Cumulus Media’s WNSH is a combined -.9 yet “94.7 Nash FM” actually improves from #23 to #22, while CBS Radio sports talk WFAN (sixth to seventh) is down or flat for the fourth time in a row for a -.8 (4.8 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+). In 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 32nd straight sweep, Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” picks up one-tenth (2.3 – 2.4, 6+), improving from #18 to #16. In three straight (modest) losses (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+), Connoisseur Media classic hits oldies WBZO is down four-tenths but “103.1 Max FM” remains at #6.

10) Riverside – Following five straight up or flat trends which netted one full-share (3.7 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.7, 6+), CBS Radio’s KFRG forfeited 70% of that increase in June with a -.7; however, “New Country K-Frog” leaps back with a full-share gain in July (4.0 – 5.0, 6+) to progress from fifth to third. Posting an increase half that much (3.5 – 4.0, +.5, 6+), Liberman Broadcasting regional Mexican KRQB “Que Buena 96.1” jumps from seventh to fifth. In the runner-up slot for the seventh successive ratings period, KOLA was a combined +1.0 in April and May (5.2 – 5.6 – 6.2, 6+), but the Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies outlet repeat’s June’s -.2 (6.2 – 6.0 – 5.8, 6+). A four-tenths loss in March ended at five KOLA’s string of consecutive fluctuations by one-half share (7.1 – 6.6 – 6.1 – 5.6 – 6.1 – 5.6, 6+) for a collective -1.5; KOLA was at #2 six straight times before dropping to third in “Holiday” 2016. Prior to November, it was up or flat the previous six times for a net gain of +2.2 (4.9 – 4.9 – 5.6 – 6.5 – 6.8 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+). On the plus side regarding Entravision Spanish adult hits KLYY – it is #1 for the 21st consecutive ratings period and leads KOLA by nine-tenths. Conversely though, “Jose” registers its sixth consecutive decrease for a net loss of nearly three full-shares (9.4 – 9.2 – 8.6 – 8.3 – 8.1 – 7.9 – 6.7, 6+) and is below a seven-share for the first time since May 2016’s 6.5. After five consecutive sweeps without a decrease which produced a +2.2 (7.2 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 8.3 – 8.7 – 9.4, 6+), “Jose” lost two-tenths in February. Going back to the “Holiday” 2016 report, Univision Radio’s similarly-formatted KRCD has been trending a very consistent 1.4 -1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.1 (6+), but “Recuerado” falters by one-half share to .6, slipping from #13 to #14. The five most recent trends for iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KGGI are 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.5 (third back to fourth, 6+), while Good News Radio contemporary Christian KSGN “89.7 Family Friendly” is trending 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.6 (flat at #9, 6+).

11) San Jose – Over and above recapturing 80% of the cumulative -1.5 it has lost in four straight downward sweeps (7.6 – 7.5 – 7.2 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED-FM (6.1 – 7.3, +1.2, 6+) advances from third to first. Unlisted in San Jose since posting a 5.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2015 report, KQED-FM returned in January 2017 by recording a 6.9 (6+) to finish at #1 and had been on top through April. The +1.2 ties KQED-FM with Philadelphia’s WUSL (see above) for the largest (6+) June 2017 – July 2017 gain by any station in these particular 12 PPM-markets. Dislodged from #1 after back-to-back months there and segueing to #2 is CBS Radio all-news operation KCBS-AM (6.5 – 6.2, -.3, 6+). When KCBS-AM added three-tenths in May, it ended a string of three consecutive down or flat trends that produced a -.6 (6.7 – 6.7 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+). Steady in its trending since March (3.6 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.6, 6+), Entercom classic rock KUFX “98.5 K-Fox – The South Bay’s Classic Rock” dials up a +.7 to 4.3 (6+) to advance from ninth to seventh. Improving by seven-tenths as well and entering the top ten is iHeartMedia’s KYLD “Wild 94.9 The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station” (2.9 – 3.6, #13 to #10, 6+).  Picking up one-half share each are adult contemporary cluster-mate KISQ “98.1 Breeze” (3.9 – 4.4, unchanged at #6, 6+) and KGO (2.6, 6+), which not only ends at five its string of successive sweeps without an increase that generated a -1.2 (3.3 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+), the Cumulus Media news/talk stations jumps back into San Jose’s top twenty (#21 to #15). Steady at #14, Univision Radio regional Mexican KSOL “Que Buena” picks up two-tenths to 3.0 (6+), thus applying the brakes to five straight downward or negative trends that produced a loss of one full-share (3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 2.8, 6+). Declining for the third month in a row (1.6 – 1.4 – 1.1 – .4, 6+), Entercom sports talk and Oakland A’s flagship KGMZ “95.7 The Game” (#31) is a collective -1.2 since April.

12) Middlesex – Owing to a gain of six-tenths (3.4 – 4.0, 6+), CBS Radio New York City sports talk WFAN-FM “The Fan” is back in the Middlesex-Somerset-Union top ten (#13 to #9). Without a decrease for the seventh straight sweep for a net improvement of +2.4 (2.4 – 2.7 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.8, 6+), Emmis New York City rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” carries on at #5. Picking up one half share (4.5 – 5.0, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9” has its highest 6+-share in this New Jersey market since January’s 5.3 and progresses from sixth to third. In its fourth consecutive increase (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 3.2 – 3.5, 6+), Cumulus Media New York City hot AC WPLJ is a collective +1.4 and progresses from #14 to #12. At the same time, following three straight gains netting nine-tenths (2.6 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+), CBS Radio’s similarly-programmed WNEW-FM “Fresh 102.7” relinquishes all but one-tenth of it (2.7, -.8, 6+) and drifts from #11 to #16. Despite ceding June’s +.3 (6.8 – 7.1 – 6.8, 6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW is #1 for the seventh consecutive ratings period. As a result of a “Holiday” 2016 – January 2017 increase of one-full-share (6.8 – 7.8, 6+), “New Jersey 101.5” returned to #1 following one month in the runner-up slot. Prior to “Holiday” 2016, when it was -.7 (6+), WKXW spent 12 consecutive ratings periods on top. A combined +.7 in back-to-back sweeps (2.1 – 2.7 – 2.8), iHeartMedia news/talk and New York Mets flagship WOR surrenders nine-tenths to 1.9 (6+) and exits the top twenty (#17 to #21). Entering the June 2017 sweep, CBS Radio-owned WBMP was down or flat the previous nine times and -1.6 since September (4.5 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 2.9, 6+). The CHR bounced back in June by registering a +.6, but “Amp” returns all of it in July (3.5 – 2.9, -.6, 6+), dipping from #11 to #14. Sputtering by six-tenths as well is iHeartMedia-owned WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock” (second to third), which curtails at six a successive string of up or flat trends that yielded a +.9 (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.2 – 5.6, 6+). The nine-tenths lead that iHeartMedia New York City adult contemporary WLTW “Lite FM” (4.8 – 4.3, -.5, fourth to seventh, 6+) held over Beasley Media Group’s similarly-formatted WMGQ (3.9 – 4.2, +.3, steady at #8, 6+) is down to one-tenth.

Friday, July 28, 2017

| July 28, 2017

Entercom Reports Second Quarter Net Revenue Rises 3%.  With the pending EntercomCBS RADIO merger front-and-center in the radio news these days, when Entercom president and CEO David Field talks, people listen.  Analysts and industry watchers were no doubt eager to hear what Field had to say about the merger process and here’s what he told them on this morning’s conference call.  “We’ve made good progress towards completing the transaction. We’re well along in our post-merger integration work, developing our plans to optimize our structure, practices and strategies to ensure we move quickly and effectively to capitalize on the opportunities in front of us.  And we have entered into letters of intent on all of our planned divestitures with strong interest from a significant number of various parties for the various stations and we’re pleased with the outcome of this process.  That said, we’re still working to achieve approval from the Department of Justice on the divestiture plan and are in the midst of that process.  We believe we’ll remain on schedule for closing in the second half of this year.”  To the numbers, Entercom reports net revenue of $125 million during the second quarter of 2017, an increase of 3% compared to the same period a year ago.   Same station net revenue was up 1%, excluding political.  In a statement, Field says, “We continue to make great progress in our planning for our transformational merger with CBS RADIO that will make us the #1 provider of original, local audio content in the U.S. and create the scale to compete with other media for a larger share of ad spending.  As we meet with clients, agencies, and strategic partners, we are more confident than ever about the value-creating opportunities ahead.  Second quarter revenues increased 3% as reported, and up 1% on a same-station basis ex-political.  Expenses were up more than usual due to our acquisition in Charlotte, some significant one-time-only expenses and additional costs related to building the organization in anticipation of the merger.  We expect expense growth to recede in the third quarter and look for meaningful margin expansion post-closing.”  As of June 30, Entercom had outstanding $467.6 million of senior debt under its credit facilities and $27.7 million in perpetual cumulative convertible preferred stock.  The company reports $8.6 million in cash on hand.

SiriusXM Q2 Revenue Up 9%; Subscribers Top 32 Million. Satellite radio operator SiriusXM is reporting 2017 second quarter financial numbers, led by “record” revenue of $1.3 billion, up 9% compared to Q2 of 2016.  Net income was $202 million in the second quarter, up 16% from $175 million in 2016.  The company’s free cash flow rose 6% to $417 million.  During the quarter, SiriusXM added 466,000 net new self-pay subscribers, putting its total self-pay subscribers at nearly 26.7 million.  SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer states, “In the second quarter, SiriusXM continued its strong track record of execution and demand for our premium content bundle pushed our listener base to an all-time high of more than 32 million paying subscribers. We are pleased to raise our full-year guidance for net self-pay subscriber additions, revenue, and adjusted EBITDA. We also made tremendous progress on strategic initiatives in the second quarter with the closing of our recapitalization of SiriusXM Canada, our acquisition of Automatic Labs, and our agreement to acquire a minority stake in Pandora Media.”

TALKERS Hears: Westwood One Signs Syndication Agreement with Walter Sabo.  TALKERS magazine hears that, according to unconfirmed inside sources, Westwood One has signed an agreement to syndicate a three-hour radio show hosted by Walter Sabo.  Sabo, CEO of the New York-based consultation firm Sabo Media, has been hosting a live, weekly two-hour talk show at 11:00 pm on Sunday nights on CBS O&O WPHT, Philadelphia for the past several years.  He uses the on-air name Walter Sterling.  The pact is the result of conversations between CBS RADIO and Cumulus Media to make the Walter Sterling Show (a CBS property) available to Cumulus stations and others in the late night weekend slot including an extra third hour.  TALKERS editors who have been listening describe the show as a departure from typical “left versus right” political news/talk fare focusing largely on social, family, and cultural issues of current life.  Noted radio impresario Kraig Kitchin is reportedly managing Sabo’s emerging on-air career and negotiated the deal. NEXT WEEK:  TALKERS will be presenting a special feature story by managing editor Mike Kinosian detailing the history of Walter Sabo’s colorful career from being a wunderkind 20-something radio executive in the 1970s and 1980s with ABC and NBC through his work as a leading consultant in the 1990s and early 2000s – culminating with his emerging presence as an on-air talent today.

Longtime KTRS, St. Louis Personality Frank O. Pinion Exiting.  After more than 20 years onFrank the St. Louis talk station, afternoon drive host Frank O. Pinion, a.k.a. John Craddock, will wrap his deal with CH Holding’s KTRS on September 14. The St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that Craddock told his listeners that the parting was not amicable – he’s resigned – and that he’s not retiring either.  The paper reports that Craddock is not a KTRS employee but an independent contractor who brokers the show, getting inventory to sell.  Read the Post-Dispatch story here.

Jon Kelly Takes Control of SummitMedia LLC.  The company announces that shareholder and private investor Jon Kelly reaches an agreement to purchase the controlling interest in SummitMedia LLC held by Highpoint Holdings.  SummitMedia chairman/CEO Carl Parmer states, “Jon has been our largest individual shareholder since inception and we are delighted he will become our controlling shareholder, pending FCC approval.  Not only is he a good friend, but he and his family have a long and incredibly successful history in broadcasting in the United States.  His commitment to SummitMedia positions us to take advantage of strategic opportunities and grow our platform in the years ahead.”

Conclave 42.  Consultant Holland Cooke (pictured above with conference chair Lori Lewis, VP/social for Cumulus Media/Westwood One) reports from Minneapolis with his notes on the Conclave Summer Learning Conference.  Among the topics discussed at this year’s conference were: the possibilities for radio with the growth of smart speakers, podcast strategies for radio personalities, the future of radio’s place in the car, and more.  See Cooke’s coverage here.

Salem Hosts at the White House.  Pictured above are some of the Salem Radio Network personalities and some of the hosts whose shows air on Salem Media Group-owned news/talk stations at this week’s “Made In America” radio remote from the White House.  Clockwise from left: Kevin McCullough (WNYM, New York), Joe Piscopo (WNYM, New York), Salem SVP spoken word format Phil Boyce, Craig Silverman (KNUS, Denver) and his son, SRN’s Eric Metaxas and Larry Elder.

Talking Issues with Jon Lovitz. “Saturday Night Live” alum Jon Lovitz (right) is pictured here with talk radio star Lars Larson (left) at Alpha Media’s KXL, Portland studios. Larson tells TALKERS magazine that Lovitz appeared on his radio show and talked “Trump, guns, Caitlyn Jenner and a lot of other things.”

TALKERS News Notes. With the goal of making its 34 radio stations in 13 states available on to Amazon Alexa-supported devices, E.W. Scripps enlists XAPPmedia.  XAPP VP of sales Ryan Higbie says, “We are honored to work with Scripps to bring Amazon Alexa users access to its radio stations’ original audio content.  The technology offers an immersive experience for users to listen to their favorite radio programs on demand.  XAPP is committed to helping Scripps make the most of this new distribution channel and build deeper listener relationships at the same time.”…..SiriusXM announces comedian and actor Godfrey begins hosting a daily show on the Urban View channel on Monday (7/31).  “The Power Hour” will air daily from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm and feature “dynamic and often provocative conversations on politics, pop culture, and social issues in Godfrey’s relaxed, comedic style.”

ObamaCare Repeal and Replace Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of July 24-28.  The GOP’s attempts to vote on the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and efforts to craft a replacement health care plan tied for the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week.  At #2 was the threat by new White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci to fire the entire West Wing to stop leaks to the press.  Coming in at #3 was President Trump’s ban on transgender soldiers in the military, followed by the announcement by Foxconn of plans for a new plant in Wisconsin 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.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (7/28) with Memorial Tribute to Alan Colmes by Jim Bohannon.  The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and its sessions are being posted to Talkers.com – one event per day.  Already posted are:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

–          The series of four “one-on-one” dialogues collectively titled, “Where Does Talk Media Go From Here?” featuring a conversation between WRHU, Hofstra University OM John T. Mullen and WRFH, Hillsdale College GM Scot Bertram; a conversation between The New Normal CEO/founder/host Tom Leykis and syndicated host Michael Berry; a conversation between The Weiss AgencyEVP Heather Cohen and Fox News Radio/Fox News Channel host Brian Kilmeade; and a conversation between WPHT, Philadelphia host Dom Giordano and GCN syndicated host Dr. Daliah Wachs  (facilitated by WOR, New York APD Scott Lakefield). At the conclusion, Dr. Wachs is presented the TALKERS “Humanitarian of the Year” award by Michael Harrison.

–          TODAY (7/28) we posted the second of a series of three memorial tributes by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon dedicated to major talk show personalities and longtime TALKERS Convention participants who passed away this past year:  Tom MarrDr. Joy Browne and Alan Colmes.  Today’s posted tribute is for Alan Colmes. Dr. Joy Browne’s tribute will be posted on Monday.  (Introduction by Stephan Multimedia CEO/host, Doug Stephan.)

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

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Charlotte, air personality JT Bosch is named the afternoon drive host and assistant program director at iHeartMedia’s country WKKT “96.9 The Kat.”  Effective August 14, Bosch begins hosting the 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm show.  Bosch was most recently with the company as APD/evening personality at WMZQ, Washington.  iHeartMedia Virginia-Carolina Region president Dave Carwile states, “I’m excited to have JT in Charlotte and involved in the programming of WKKT.  He is familiar with the area and his experience in both programming and on-air is unrivaled.”…..Carson Daly is resigning from his morning show duties at CBS RADIO’s KAMP, Los Angeles “97.1 AMP Radio,” in order to focus on his television projects and his other radio work.  He told his radio listeners that his desire to spend more time with his wife and three kids was a big factor in the decision.  “I just want to have breakfast with my kids,” he said.  Daly will still produce the weekend radio countdown show “Daly Download” while handling television duties that include hosting “The Voice,” anchoring on the “Today” show, and hosting “Last Call with Darson Daly.”…..The mystery surrounding the April disappearance of Kathy Hart from WTMX, Chicago’s popular “Eric & Kathy” AM drive show may soon be revealed to some degree or another, according to Chicago media writer Robert Feder.  He writes today that sources say action on her relationship with the station should come soon and it sounds as though she’s negotiating an end to her contract.  However, everyone seems mystified as to what caused her to choose to take a leave from the highly rated program 12 weeks ago, including radio partner Eric Ferguson.  Read Feder’s piece here…..Entercom’s WLNK, Charlotte “The Link 107.9” inks a new deal with Bob Lacey and Sheri Lynch (pictured at right) for the two to continue hosting their syndicated “Bob & Sheri” show on the station.  Entercom Charlotte VP/GM Matt Hanlon states, “This is the top-rated show in the market and one of the best, most unique morning shows in America.  We’re fortunate to have the caliber of talent and creative engagement the ‘Bob & Sheri’ show brings to the airwaves every day.”

Friday, July 7, 2017

| July 7, 2017

BREAKING NEWS: Legendary Radio Trade Publication Writer Claude Hall Dies.  Details are sketchy and TALKERS will have more details on Monday morning (7/10), but reports indicate that Claude Hall, the legendary radio trade publication writer who presided over Billboard magazine’s historic “Vox Jox” column during the 1970s and is credited with coining the longtime popular term “Easy Listening” for that particular radio format has died at Sunrise Medical Center in Las Vegas due to injuries suffered from a fall earlier in the week.  He had continued to publish the “Vox Jox” column in partnership with veteran talk show host and radio station owner Rollye James as a weekly online newsletter published Mondays specializing in the activities of older and retired radio broadcasters (www.voxjox.org).  According to James, “His family was with him and loved him dearly. He loved his friends, students, and colleagues. He remained proud of radio and music stemming from his days listening to radio as a kid.”  James reports that she will devote this coming Monday’s column to the life of Claude Hall and post reactions and reflections on his life from many of the broadcasters who knew him.  Hall was a prolific writer who wrote books about radio as well as novels.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison says, “There was once a time when Claude Hall was the major source of all information pertaining to the radio industry.  He is the founding father of the style of radio trade publishing that has set the tone of this business for the past five decades.  I am lucky to have known him and remember what a thrill it was to appear in his columns back when I was a young DJ and PD in my 20s.  His love of radio and contributions to this industry are incalculable.  He is number one with a bullet!”

Townsquare Media to Acquire Six Western Massachusetts Signals. This deal between Townsquare Media and Gamma Broadcasting LLC and Berkshire Broadcasting Co., Inc. will add six stations and two FM translators to Townsquare’s portfolio.  Those stations are: hot AC WBEC-FM, news/talk WBEC-AM, classic hits WUPE-AM/FM (and an FM translator at 94.1 FM), adult contemporary WNAW-AM, adult contemporary WSBS-AM (and translator W277CJ at 103.3 FM).  Townsquare chairman and CEO Steven Price states, “We are very excited to announce this transaction which will strengthen our footprint in the Northeast.  We look forward to partnering with the Pittsfield team to bring our resources, including our digital and live event products, to Berkshire County’s advertisers and audience, and further build upon their success in the market.”  Townsquare expects the acquisition to close in the third quarter of 2017, subject to closing conditions and customary regulatory approvals.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to Sub at WFAN Next Week.  When out-going New Jersey Governor Chris Christie co-hosts the 2:00 pm to 6:30 pm show at CBS RADIO’s sports talk WFAN, New York with the station’s Evan Roberts on Monday and Tuesday (7/10-11), it won’t be the first time he’s appeared there.  Christie – a big sports fan and unabashed Dallas Cowboys backer – has appeared on the AM drive “Boomer & Carton” show as a guest.  With PM driver Mike Francesa leaving the station at the end of the year, there’s speculation about whether Christie is a candidate for the afternoon show.  A piece in NJ.com references WFAN program director Mark Chernoff’s February 2017 comment that Christie is “among many names being considered” as a replacement for Francesa.

SiriusXM Severs Ties with Gregg “Opie” Hughes. After 13 years with SiriusXM, Gregg “Opie” Hughes is let go by the satcaster.  He posts on Facebook, “Humbled by the love and support. Wish I can write everyone back. There is absolutely no justification for my firing. Thats why their statement is so vague. Won’t be sitting out long. Although may take a few days to fish.”  The chatter on social media among Opie fans hints that a supposed video of a fellow staffer using the bathroom may be the reason for the dismissal.  Regardless, as Hughes indicates above, he plans to continue hosting a show on some platform.  When Opie and then-partner Anthony Cumia joined SiriusXM, they had their own channel.  A couple of years ago, SiriusXM changed that and the “Opie Radio” show had been available on its Faction channel.  Industry watchers remember that Cumia was fired from the satcaster in 2014 after his Times Square altercation with a black woman that devolved into a social media post involving racial epithets.

KTRH, Houston Talk Host Matt Patrick Ends Cancer Treatment. Sad news this week as KTRH, Houston morning drive personality Matt Patrick announces to his audience that he’s ending his treatment for an aggressive case of esophageal cancer.  The station’s Facebook page posted the following: “On ‘Houston’s Morning News’ this morning, Matt revealed he has exhausted all options and has discontinued cancer treatments.  Matt and all of us at NewsRadio 740 KTRH, and the iHeartMedia family, thank you all for your constant love and support during this difficult time.”  Patrick was diagnosed in 2015 and this week’s news comes at the time of Patrick’s six-year anniversary at the station.

Gerry V Returns to Sports Talk Radio in Charlotte. The Charlotte Observer calls Gerry Vaillancourt “one of the first sports talk radio hosts in Charlotte.”  Gerry V left the market when the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets left for New Orleans back in 2002, but he’ll return on Monday, July 17 to host the afternoon drive show on HRN Broadcasting’s WZGV-AM “ESPN 730.”  Current afternoon host Bobby Rosinski is moving to the AM drive daypart for the new “Wake Up Call” show with co-hosts Molly Cotten and Walker Mehl.  Gerry V launched his sports talk career in 1990, working at both WFNZ-AM and WBT-AM prior to leaving the market 12 years later.  Read the Observer piece here.

Chicago Stations to Simulcast Spot Promoting Radio Advertising. On Monday (7/10), more than 40 Chicago market radio stations will simultaneously air a :60-second spot consisting of an interview with Wintrust Financial Corporation founder, president and CEO Ed Wehmer speaking about radio as the most effective medium for advertisers.  Matt Scarano is chairman of the Illinois Broadcasters Association’s Radio Broadcasters of Chicagoland Committee and he states, “The Radio Broadcasters of Chicagoland are proud to unite as a group to highlight Wintrust and their investment in radio.  Wintrust is a valued partner to our industry and a testament to the results that radio delivers for an advertiser.”  The spot will air on a diverse group of radio stations, involving all formats, including music, news, sports, and Spanish language.

CNN-Trump Wrestling Video Top News/Talk Story for Week of July 3-7. The controversy over the CNN-Trump wrestling video, including the blowback the news organization faced after finding the video’s creator, was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was North Korea’s apparently successful test of an ICBM and President Trump’s warning to the hermit kingdom.  Coming in at #3 was Trump’s trip to Europe for the G20 summit, and following at #4 was the allegations of Russia’s meddling in the U.S. election.  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.

TALKERS News Notes. From Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch comes the news that Federated Media’s news/talk WOWO, Fort Wayne promotes news director Kayla Blakeslee to program director, taking over for Ryan Wrecker who left to take a talk host position at KMOX, St. Louis.  Blakeslee continues to serve as news director…..Kevin McCullough’s Saturday evening “Radio Night Live” supercast (radio and TV) adds new affiliate stations KJPW, Lebanon/Waynesville, Missouri; KVBR, Brainerd, Minnesota; WKRO, Cairo, Illinois; and WGNU, St Louis…..The Newsmax TV video simulcast of the nationally syndicated Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo program adds another hour to its carriage of the show.  Pags tells TALKERS that Newsmax TV – which can be seen on DirecTV 349, UVerse 1220 (among other cable systems) and online at Newsmaxtv.com – begins broadcasting hours one and two of the show, effective Monday (7/10)…..The Compass Media Networks-syndicated Lars Larson program is now heard on Entercom’s news/talk KMBZ-AM, Kansas City as program director Alan Furst adds the show to the station’s lineup…..SiriusXM is presenting subscribers comprehensive coverage of Major League Baseball’s 2017 All-Star Week from Miami, featuring coverage of the 88th All-Star Game.  In addition, on Sunday (7/9), it will air the exclusive radio broadcast of the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, featuring the top minor league prospects from the U.S. facing off against their counterparts from around the world.

KSPN, Los Angeles Transmitter Site Damaged by Driver Under the Influence. The Thursday incident did not cause any damage to the “ESPN LA” transmitter but the man police took into custody after the incident caused damage to the site’s perimeter fence and started a brush fire in the grass that scorched about an acre.  Authorities were on the scene quickly and arrested the man they believe was under the influence.  The suspect’s vehicle was in flames when fire personnel arrived and was consumed by the fire.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (7/7) with Karen Hunter, Craig Schwalb and Ethan Bearman.  The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and its sessions are being posted to Talkers.com – one event per day.  Already posted are the “Welcoming Remarks” by WMAL, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Larry O’ Connor (including an introduction by TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein); the special presentation “You HAVE Options” by consultant Holland Cooke (including an introduction by Yappy Days author Bernadette Duncan); the “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity (with introduction by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon); the “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS managing editor  Mike Kinosian and WFAN, New York sports talk show host Mike Francesa (with introduction by Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo); the special presentation “The Trump Effect: Latest Research of Interest to News/Talk Radio” by Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce (with introduction by Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host Brad Shepard); and the special presentation “Podcasting and Local Radio” by PodcastOne excutive chairman Norm Pattiz (with introduction by Hubbard Radio SVP/programming Greg Strassell).  Today (7/7), the first series of “one-on-one” sessions discussing the topic “Maximizing Talk Radio’s Multi-Platform Potential for Reach and Revenue” begins with a conversation between WABC, New York, PD Craig Schwalb and KGO, San Francisco host Ethan Bearman (facilitated by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter).   Within the following days and weeks, every session will be posted and will remain on Talkers.com for the rest of the year.  The Talkers 2017: A New Era video page is sponsored by Backbone NetworksBroadcasters General Store and Comrex Corp.  To view the video page of Talkers 2017: A New Era, please click here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. More from Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch as we’re tipped that Swick Broadcasting’s hot AC WLKI, Angola drops the syndicated Jeremy Robinson-hosted “The Jeremy Show” and will install air personality Tiny in the daypart with news director Sheila McCrea joining him…..IRW also reports that Federated Media’s Fort Wayne promotions director Sally Allgeier is exiting the cluster and will be replaced by Paige Fransen…..Rincon Broadcasting’s rock KTYD, Santa Barbara announces the addition of Bill Pesso to the air staff as morning drive co-host with current station APD Lin Aubuchon for the “Morning Mojo” program.  Pesso was most recently afternoon personality at the company’s sister adult contemporary KSBL “K-Lite.”  Program director Dennis Mitchell comments, “We’re thrilled to have two of the most fun and locally tuned-in people to host the new ‘Morning Mojo.’ It’s been a long time coming and we know our listeners will love it.”…..Beasley Media Group’s classic rock WCSX, Detroit re-brands the Jim O’Brien-led morning program as “Big Jim’s House.”  The station recently added air personality Erin Vermeulen to the program and O’Brien comments, “I am so excited to welcome all our listeners into ‘Big Jim’s House’ with Erin V. and Producer Ryan.  This will be my 15th year at WCSX.  Everyone on the show has a deep-felt love for Detroit and believes in where we’re going.  Our house is full of fun and great classic rock!”

Monday, June 12, 2017

| June 12, 2017

More Negative Press for Cumulus Media.  The New York Post story published over the weekend and shared across the radio biz didn’t delve into the company’s ratings or revenue numbers, it zeroed in on the biggest problem CEO Mary Berner is facing right now – its abysmal stock price.  Last fall’s one-for-eight reverse stock split was designed to prop up the company’s ailing stock, but that has not happened and it closed at 52 cents per share on Friday.  Read Claire Atkinson’s Post story here.

Cooke: Bat-Signal from Talk Radio. As consultant Holland Cooke writes today, the death of actor Adam West over the weekend doesn’t have anything specifically to do with radio, but there are lessons for r