Tag: "siriusXM"

Monday, November 12, 2018

| November 12, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

| November 6, 2018

Entercom Q3 Report: Revenue ‘Improved Significantly.’ It was almost a year ago that Entercom closed on its acquisition of the CBS RADIO stations and the addition of that group of stations pushes Entercom’s net revenue from $122.3 million in the third quarter of 2017 to $378.5 million in the third quarter of this year.  But, on a same-station basis, net revenue was down from $395.2 million – a decrease of 4.3%.  Pro forma adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was $86.7 million, compared to $89.7 million in the third quarter of 2017.  Entercom president and CEO David Field says, “As we close in on the one-year anniversary of our transformational merger with CBS RADIO, we are very pleased with our progress and excited about the momentum we are building across multiple growth initiatives.  Revenues have improved significantly since the first half of the year and the fourth quarter is on track for significant growth, currently pacing up 4%.  Expenses are down significantly, driven by synergies, and we anticipate solid double-digit EBITDA growth in the fourth quarter.  In addition, we have now completed all of our previously announced divestitures and land sales, generating roughly $200 million in cash proceeds.”

Townsquare Media Reports ‘Another Strong Quarter.’ The company reports its 2018 third quarter financial results, stating net revenue was $114.1 million – up 1.9% from the same period in 2017 – but was basically flat, excluding political revenue.  Excluding live events net revenue, which was budgeted to decline in 2018, net revenue increased $8.7 million, or 9.5%, to $101.1 million, as compared to $92.3 million in the same period last year.  Townsquare Media co-CEO Dhruv Prasad says, “We are pleased to announce another strong quarter at Townsquare, our fourth since Bill Wilson and I started our partnership as co-chief executive officers one year ago.  We implemented a strategic plan focused on the stability and profitable growth of Townsquare’s local branded media, marketing solutions, and live events businesses, and that plan has helped yield three consecutive quarters of revenue and EBITDA growth so far in 2018.”

Mike Thomas Promoted to National Format Brand Manager for Spoken Word Formats. WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” program director Mike Thomas is elevated to the position of national format brand manager for spoken word formats, including sports talk, talk, podcasting, and Esports content for Beasley Media Group.  He will continue to serve as PD for WBZ-FM.  At the same time, the company makes a similar move upping David Corey – PD of WKLB, Boston – to national format brand manager for country.  Beasley Media Group EVP of programming Justin Chase says, “Mike Thomas and David Corey will join our existing national format brand managers, John Candelaria (urban) from Detroit, Cadillac Jack (AC/CHR) from Boston and Bill Weston (rock) from Philly to round out a first-class programming team to further support and elevate our stations.”

Prosecution Rests in Carton Fraud Trial. According to coverage in Newsday, the feds have rested their case against former WFAN, New York morning personality Craig Carton.  Carton’s defense attorney Robert Gottlieb told U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon that they are having “serious conversations” about Carton taking the stand in his defense but have not reached a decision.  Carton is being charged with fraud, accused of using money from investors in his ticket re-sale business to pay off personal expenses – including alleged gambling debts – as well as to pay off earlier investors.  Carton denies he set out to defraud anyone and argues he was a victim of former partner Joseph Meli, who is serving 6 ½ years after pleading guilty to a previous event tickets Ponzi scheme.

KABC, Los Angeles’ Jillian Barberie Reveals Cancer Diagnosis.  As reported by LARadio.com, KABC, Los Angeles afternoon drive personality Jillian Barberie has announced via social media that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer and is beginning aggressive treatment. She writes, “Results back.  It’s cancer in my right breast but also it has spread to my lymph node.  Appointment at Bedford Breast to assess everything.  I’m going to be super aggressive and do double mastectomy and they said I need chemo for the lymph.  Thanks for coming on this journey with me!”  Barberie hosts the KABC show with John Phillips.  In her absence, Steve Edwards is filling in.

News Pro Mike Parker Dies at 75. Former KFI, Los Angeles news director Mike Parker passed away on Sunday (11/4) at the age of 75.  He spent the last 35-plus years of his career at WBBM-TV, Chicago, but worked in radio in Los Angeles prior to that.  LARadio.com notes that Parker graduated from Los Angeles City College and began working at KBBQ-AM as a newscaster.  He moved to KFI in 1969 and served as news director from 1973-77.

Former SiriusXM Chairman and CEO Joe Clayton Passes at 69.  Media executive Joe Clayton died on Saturday (11/3), three years after retiring from his last position as CEO of Dish Network.  He was the first CEO of Sirius Satellite Radio, serving from 2001 through 2004, and became chairman from 2004 through 2008, exiting after the merger of Sirius and XMSabo Media chairman Walter Sabo tells TALKERS magazine, “Sirius exists because of what Joe did.  Joe got the radios out of the factories and into cars.  He made those consumer electronics deals. He worked that board to get Howard Stern the deal he has and he never relented. He knew Howard was the ticket. Over and over he pulled that company out of the fire and gave it the foundation of success.”  Read the Variety obit here.

Midterm Elections, Migrant Caravan, Post-Election Administration Changes, New Iran Sanctions, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/5).  Today’s midterm elections and the battle for control of the House and the Senate; the caravan of Honduran migrants headed for the U.S. border; chatter about changes in some key Trump Administration posts after the election; the U.S. reimposes sanctions on Iran that were lifted as part of the 2015 nuclear pact; 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.

Doing His Civic Duty. TalkersRadio general manager David Bernstein is pictured above at his polling place at St. Cloud Elementary School in West Orange, New Jersey where he’s volunteering helping voters, putting up signs and making sure the process is going smoothly for voters.  Bernstein says activity was brisk there this morning, calling it a “heavy turnout, a packed house from opening at 6:00 am until 10:00 am.”

Meg Strikes Again!  Dynamic personality Meg McDonald, host of the increasingly popular short-form TalkersRadio series “MEG!” made yet another splash within the Southern California civics community this past Sunday (11/4).  The Studio City Beautification Association hosted a booth at the Studio City Farmers Market giving away free succulents as a thank you to the community.  McDonald (pictured left) is an active board member of both organizations and held down the 11:00 am to 2:00 pm shift telling TALKERS, “We gave away 150 succulents and everyone was so appreciative.  It was a warm sunny 81-degree day so, of course, I wore my favorite Broadcasters General Store cap.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Tulsa, Griffin Communications names Amber Glaze afternoon drive personality and music director for country KVOO-FM. Glaze was most recently with Signal Media’s country KHLR, Little Rock “106.7 The Ride” as host of the “Hot Mess in the Morning” program.  KVOO program director Brian Jennings says, “Amber brings ideas and energy, along with her passion for country music.  We waited for the right candidate to come along and we’re so excited she’s finally here.  Her bright demeanor, silly sense of humor, and trademark boisterous laugh make for an invaluable addition to the KVOO team.”  Griffin recently acquired KVOO and four other Tulsa stations from Scripps Media…..Alpha Media re-brands CHR WDLD-FM Hagerstown, Maryland “Live 96.7.”  The station drops the “Wild 96.7” moniker.  Alpha Media Hagerstown VP and market manager Ed Dorsey says, “We are thrilled to be evolving the station into the ‘Live and Local’ brand that Alpha Media Hagerstown-Chambersburg stands for, to better serve the Hagerstown community.  We are excited about this new image, a ‘fresh coat of paint’ on the WDLD 96.7 brand that the community has learned to know and love over the past 16 years.”…..iHeartMedia alternative WRFF “Radio 104.5” is presenting the “Radio 104.5 Miller Lite Mystery Show presented by Xfinity Live!”  The mystery show will take place on Monday, November 19 at Xfinity Live! in Philadelphia featuring a surprise performance from a top performing artist.  Attendees won’t know who the act is until the show begins.  Tickets can only be had by listening to “Radio 104.5” or via the next free ticket download that will take place on Thursday, November 15 at 12:00 noon.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

| October 25, 2018

Talk Host Lars Larson at Center of Gun Rights Issue in Portland.  According to a piece on Campus Reform’s website, KXL, Portland-based radio talk show host Lars Larson was required by the administration of Portland State University to promise not to bring his permitted gun (legal in Oregon) to a Second Amendment event on the campus being sponsored by the PSU College Republicans.  Larson was vocally critical of the school for making the request and for threatening the College Republicans if they invited Larson knowing he would bring his conceal carry weapon.  Ultimately, the group cancelled the event.  Larson is quoted saying he fought the school’s request for obvious reasons.  “It would be the height of hypocrisy, for me to say ‘I’m going to go talk to these kids about the importance of their Second Amendment rights,’ while voluntarily forfeiting mine.”  Larson also tells Campus Reform he plans to do a broadcast from the school.  “Later this week, my producer and I will walk up, sit down in the student union, and I’m gonna do five or 10 minutes on a Facebook Live stream, explaining the entire background.  I cannot speak to the students unless I give up my civil rights, I cannot do the broadcast that I wanted to do, and the students have been threatened.”

Nielsen Reports Q3 Financials; Net Income Down 32.4%. Ratings and consumer research giant Nielsen Holdings plc releases financial data for the third quarter of 2018 and reports revenue of $1.6 billion, down 2.5%, or 0.6% on a constant currency basis, compared to the third quarter of 2017.  Free cash flow for the third quarter of 2018 decreased to $266 million, compared to $425 million in the third quarter of 2017.  The company’s audio ratings service falls under its Watch segment and for the third quarter, Audio revenue dipped 1.6%, from $127 million in 2017 to $125 million in Q3 of 2018.  However, the company reports “Audience Measurement of Video and Text revenues increased 4.7%, or 5.2% on a constant currency basis, due to continued client adoption of our Total Audience Measurement system and our ongoing investments, including Gracenote.”  Nielsen executive chairman Jim Attwood says, “The third quarter revenue and earnings are consistent with our updated 2018 guidance despite a number of near-term challenges in our markets.  We have a number of key initiatives and actions that we are pursuing to improve our future outlook.  Together with the board of directors, we are aligned on a set of operational priorities to drive the business forward. In addition, the board of directors, with the assistance of our advisors and management team, is focused on the expanded strategic review that we announced in September, which includes a broad review of strategic alternatives for Nielsen and its businesses.”

SiriusXM’s Jim Meyer on Pandora Acquisition. During yesterday’s third quarter investor conference call, SiriusXM chief executive officer Jim Meyer talked about the company’s bid to acquire streaming pure play Pandora. He said the two platforms have the ability to cross-promote.  He adds that the goal, obviously, is not to convince paying SiriusXM subscribers to leave for a cheaper or free version of Pandora.  “At SiriusXM, we are running about 23 million trials in new and used cars this year.  And the truth, as the flip side of our conversion statistics will tell you, is that most people don’t want to pay for radio at the end of the day.  I feel there is a strong opportunity if we can link non-converters back to a Pandora or maybe a Pandora with a bit more content in a way that makes our combined business bigger, better, and more profitable. There are many ways we believe that one plus one will exceed two very quickly and we plan to give you additional color on that over the next few months.”  The company is still waiting for anti-trust approval from the FTC and Justice Department before meetings with Pandora can affect any change there, but it is downplaying the synergies that might be realized from a combined operation. Meyer adds, “Last week, while I was out in Oakland for a Pandora board meeting, I had the privilege of speaking with a large group of Pandora’s talented employees.  It was fantastic to talk about our shared future, what we can do with all of our financial resources, vast troves of data, unmatched content, enormous user bases, and some of the most talented people in radio and technology.  I am confident that together, these two companies will be even stronger.”

TALKERS News Notes. Detroit’s “910 AM Superstation” – Kevin Adell -owned WFDF – brings local media personality Charlie LeDuff aboard to host a weekly, one-hour program airing Mondays at 4:00 pm, titled, “No BS News Hour.”  LeDuff is a former Detroit News and WJBK-TV, Detroit reporter.  The weekly show is being designed as a companion to LeDuff’s Michigan-focused podcast of the same title.  LeDuff says, “If you suffer from insomnia, I recommend you watch the news.  If you want the news, I recommend you tune into the ‘No BS News Hour.’ Original reporting, nowhere else.”…..The “Motley Fool Money” with host Chris Hill adds new affiliates news/talk KGVO-AM/FM and KMPT-AM “Montana’s Progressive Talk” in Missoula for the weekly program. Hill tells TALKERS magazine that the addition of the Townsquare Media stations puts the program at the 52-affiliate mark…..SiriusXM is adding “The Dan Abrams Show: Where Politics Meets The Law” to its P.O.T.U.S. channel programming, effective October 29.  The ABC News chief legal analyst will host a show that will “analyze the biggest news stories of the day from a legal perspective.”  Abrams says, “The legal side of news stories is more important and prominent than ever. I’m thrilled to have this opportunity on SiriusXM to really dig in and separate the legal realities from the wishful spin for listeners and people calling in to the show.”…..New York Public Radio names longtime Viacom executive Depelsha McGruder chief operating officer.  McGruder was most recently senior vice president of programming for BET Networks.  NYPR operates not only public radio news/talk WNYC-AM/FM, but WNYC Studios and New Jersey Public Radio, as well…..Legendary college basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski is hosting the premiere episode of the 14th season of his SiriusXM talk show, “Basketball and Beyond with Coach K,” tonight at 6:00 pm ET.

SRN’s Larry Elder to Attend Meeting of Young Black Conservatives at Trump White House. According to a report in the New York Post, President Trump will entertain a group of hundreds of young, black conservatives gathered for the Young Black Leadership Summit, an event produced by Turning Point USA.  Also attending this evening’s kick-off of the conference will be Salem Radio Network talk show host Larry Elder and actress-turned-conservative-pundit Stacey DashDonald Trump Jr. will also speak to the group this evening, as will HUD Director Ben Carson.

Pipe Bombs Sent to Top Democrats and CNN; Financial Markets Activity, Midterm Elections, Migrant Caravan, Mega Millions Jackpot, Khashoggi Murder Aftermath, Halloween ‘Blackface’ Issue, NFL Action, and World Series Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/24). The news of pipe bombs sent to CNN and top Democrats including the Obamas and the Clintons; the Dow loses 600 points and the activity in other world financial markets; the November midterm elections and the battle for control of the House and the Senate; the migrant caravan making its way through Mexico to the U.S. border; one winning ticket in South Carolina is sold for the $1.6 billion Mega Millions lottery; the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and U.S.-Saudi relations; the issue of schools warning students not to dress in blackface for Halloween; the week’s NFL action; and the World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Boston Red Sox 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. Seattle CHR KBKS-FM “106.1 KISS FM” is stunting in preparation for a format change.  The stunt began on Wednesday with jockless programming peppered with mysteriously worded sweepers teasing the change.  The status of the air staff with owner iHeartMedia is not known but numerous reports indicate AM drive personality Bender has exited…..Entercom hot AC KHMX “Mix 96.5” promotes afternoon drive personality Jason Cage music director, effective immediately.  He’ll continue hosting his 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm program.  Entercom Houston SVP and market manager Sarah Frazier says, “Jason has proven to be a very valuable contributor to the overall sound and feel of KHMX and has helped to lead culture here at Entercom Houston.  We are excited to elevate him to the role of music director.”…..As a result of the flip of SummitMedia’s WJSR, Richmond from classic hits to adult hits as “Jack FM,” morning show team Bill Bevins and Shelly Perkins exits after a four-year stint.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

| October 24, 2018

Steve Dahl to End WLS-AM, Chicago Show on December 21.  After yesterday’s report from Chicago media maven Robert Feder that Cumulus Media news/talk outlet WLS-AM will undergo programming changes in 2019, legendary Chicago radio personality Steve Dahl reached out to Feder in an email to announce his time with the station will end on December 21.  He’s been hosting the afternoon drive show for the past four years.  He says his podcast – that is still growing in terms of subscribers – will continue and will retain its relationship with Cumulus Media Chicago.  Dahl writes, “WLS-AM was always going to be an uphill battle, and circumstances just didn’t lend themselves to us being able to breakout like we hoped we would.  The podcast numbers continue to grow every day, so that’s encouraging.”  Read his entire email here.

SiriusXM Reports Q3 Net Income Up 24%. Satellite radio provider SiriusXM releases its third quarter 2018 numbers today and reports its revenue for the period was $1.5 billion, up 6% over the same period in 2017.  Net income was $343 million in the third quarter – up 24% over the same quarter last year.  Looking at subscriber numbers, SiriusXM says that it added 298,000 net new self-pay subscribers during the quarter to raise its self-pay subscriber total to 28.5 million. CEO Jim Meyer comments, “SiriusXM’s standout third quarter saw continued strength in subscriber additions and churn performance while adjusted EBITDA reached a quarterly record-high $589 million. Our revenue growth, adjusted for the change in generally accepted accounting principles that was effective January 1, totaled 8% in the quarter.  In addition to our operational excellence, we were thrilled this quarter to announce an agreement to acquire Pandora Media, which we expect to close in the first quarter of 2019.  With the end of the year in sight, we are increasing our full-year guidance for self-pay net additions, revenue and adjusted EBITDA.  We have a relentless focus on creating and curating content our subscribers will love — our limited-run Dave Matthews Band Radio was a perfect example.  We also presented fiery live performances just for subscribers, like our recent show by The Killers in New York.  We’ve added provocative talent in talk and sports with a daily show from CNN’s Chris Cuomo, a new show from Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson, the return of Brett Favre’s popular show, and a new program highlighting women in sports hosted by journalist Christine Brennan and retired tennis pro Rennae Stubbs.”

Phil Valentine Voted Best Conservative in Nashville. That’s right, not Best Talk Show Host (there is no such category), but Best Conservative, as voted by the readers of Nashville ScenePhil Valentine’s afternoon drive show is based at Cumulus Media’s WWTN, Nashville “SuperTalk 99.7” and is syndicated nationally via subsidiary Westwood One.  He is also an award-winning filmmaker and bestselling author whose latest book, Barbican: A Sterling McQueen Spy Story, was released earlier this year.  Cumulus Nashville VP and market manager Allison Warren says, “Every year, the editors of Nashville Scene ask their readers what they love best about Nashville and it’s no surprise that Phil Valentine is at the top of the list.  We agree wholeheartedly that Phil brings his best to ‘SuperTalk 99.7 WTN’ and our listeners every afternoon.  His common-sense approach to talk radio cuts through the hype of the day’s news, challenging conventional wisdom on both sides and presenting actionable solutions that people respond to.  It’s gratifying that Nashvillians love Phil as much as we do and we congratulate him on this well-deserved honor.”

Midterm Elections, Migrant Caravan, Mega Millions Jackpot, Khashoggi Murder Aftermath, O’Connor Dementia Diagnosis, Financial Markets Activity, Gender Definition Issue, Trump Threatens to Exit INF Treaty, Trump-Russia Investigation, NFL Action, and the World Series Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/23). The November elections and the battle for control of the House and the Senate; the Honduran migrant caravan headed for the U.S. border; the $1.6 billion Mega Millions lottery jackpot; the aftermath of the slaying of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and U.S.-Saudi relations; former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor announces she’s been diagnosed with dementia; the wild swings in the financial markets and fears of a looming debt bubble; the Trump Administration’s plan to require legal gender based on genitalia at birth; President Trump threatens to exit the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia; the Robert Mueller-led Trump-Russia investigation probes Roger Stone’s Wikileaks contacts; the weekend’s NFL action; and the World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Boston Red Sox were some of the most-talked about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. Almost seven weeks after announcing that he would be taking a leave from his morning drive duties at Entercom’s WEEI-FM, Boston, Kirk Minihane Tweets that he’ll “be back soon.” Minihane took a brief leave in early August after experiencing suicidal thoughts and checked himself into a hospital. In his September 7 message, Minihane said that he would this time take indefinite leave to deal with depression issues, he admitted that he came back to work too soon after the August hospital stay.  However, he Tweets that all is not necessarily well between him and Entercom management. “…I’ve been ready to work for the last week or so and have been kept off the air.  You build a show, take it to number one, step aside to get healthy and expect to be welcomed back. Hasn’t happened.”  During Minihane’s absence, WEEI personality Mike “Mut” Mutnansky has been sitting in with regular co-host Gerry Callahan…..From the podcast world, Westwood One Podcast Network adds the “Team Never Quit” podcast – co-hosted by former Navy SEALs Marcus Luttrell and David Rutherford .  WWO says “Team Never Quit” is “an authentic, positive, and inspiring show that implores listeners to face their greatest challenges” and features “the incredible camaraderie between Mr. ‘Never Quit’ Marcus Luttrell and energetic ‘Instructor Rut’ David Rutherford, that not only comes from their time together on SEAL Teams but also due to their mutual 10 years of inspiring audiences of all types.”…..MSNBC star Rachel Maddow is host of a new podcast from the network titled, “Bag Man: A Rachel Maddow Original Podcast.” The weekly podcast will launch on October 30 with ad sales being handled by TuneIn.  The first episode will center on the corruption scandal that took down Vice President Spiro T. Agnew…..Nationally syndicated radio star Elvis Duran reveals his 4thAnnual Carney Awards – named in honor of the late Art Carney and dedicated to honoring Hollywood’s great character actors – is getting some help from legendary actor Harrison Ford, who will attend the October 28 ceremony in Santa Monica to present the Lifetime Achievement Award to M. Emmett Walsh with whom Ford appeared in 1982’s Blade Runner.

TalkersRadio’s Meg McDonald Active in Los Angeles Community Beautification Projects — Studio City-based media figure Meg McDonald, who hosts the short-form feature titled “MEG!” on TalkersRadio, has become increasingly involved in Los Angeles beautification projects.  She recently played a role at a major fund-raising initiative.  California Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian secured $150,000 in the 2018 – 2019 fiscal year state budget for the long-needed revitalization of the Studio City Greenway along the Los Angeles River from Whitsett Ave. to Laurel Canyon Blvd.  The project will improve bike and pedestrian access points, restore the landscaping by eliminating invasive species, and enhance public health and safety along the Los Angeles River.  Pictured (l-r) joining in the funding celebration is Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy executive director Joe Edmiston; Assemblyman Nazarian; Studio City Beautification Association board member and host of MEG! on TalkersRadio Meg McDonald and Los Angeles City Councilor Paul Krekorian.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Fayetteville, North Carolina market, Kenny J is named program director and brand manager for Beasley Media Group hip hop WZFX-FM “Foxy 99” and brand manager for sister rhythmic oldies WUKS “Old School 107.7.” He most recently served with Cumulus Media as program director at urban contemporary KMJK, Kansas City.  Beasley Fayetteville VP and market manager Erika Beasley comments, “I’m so excited to have Kenny J on the Beasley Fayetteville team.  We welcome his expertise and knowledge in programming both formats in large and small markets.  Kenny’s ability to coach and grow on-air personalities really sets him apart for this position.  We look forward to having his energy and positive attitude in our building and continuing to lead our brands to success!”…..Programming pro Nick Fox joins Cumulus Media as program director and midday personality at country WXBM, Pensacola, Florida “NASH FM 102.7.”  He comes to Cumulus from Saga Communications’ country WVVR, Clarksville, Tennessee where he was an air personality and APD.  He says, “I’m ecstatic to be back home as the PD of WXBM!  This station has a rich legacy and passionate listeners.  I am ready to hit the ground running in Pensacola.”…..SummitMedia is tweaking the format at WJSR, Richmond from classic hits as “Star 100.9” to adult hits as “Jack FM.”

Friday, October 19, 2018

| October 19, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gulf Coast Radio Should Be All About ‘Michael’

| October 10, 2018

by Howard Price
MediaDisasterPrep.com

 

NEW YORK — Ours is a business of superlatives. “The Most Music,” “Your Beacon of Freedom,” “The Hottest Talk.”  Nothing wrong with that…it’s called promotion and marketing and IF you can walk the walk behind your talk, you can successfully build your brand, win listener loyalty, distinguish yourself in the marketplace – and make money.  The operating word there is…IF.

So here’s a superlative for you, courtesy of The Weather Channel.  Posted as I write this on Wednesday morning: “Hurricane Michael Just Hours Away From a Catastrophic, Unprecedented Florida Panhandle, Big Bend Category 4 Landfall”

Read More

#MeToo One Year Later

| October 5, 2018

By Kevin Casey
TALKERS magazine
Executive Editor

 

LONGMEADOW, Mass — It is exactly one year since The New York Times triggered what has come to be known as the #MeToo movement by publishing an exposé by reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey on movie mogul Harvey Weinstein’s sexual improprieties that eventually brought him down along with a list of prominent men in the entertainment, business, media and political industries.  After a couple of turbulent weeks of headline dominating events emanating from Judge Brett Kavanaugh‘s controversial confirmation hearing culminating in what is certain to be a historic and consequential vote by the U.S. Senate, TALKERS looks at the #MeToo movement through lens of some of news/talk radio’s prominent female hosts.

Read More

Monday, October 1, 2018

| October 1, 2018

WPEN-FM, Philadelphia Reveals New Morning and Midday Shows. A little more than a week after rumors in Philly swirled about the departure of Anthony Gargano from the morning drive show at Beasley Media Group’s sports talker WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic,” the company announces its plans.  The new AM drive show is “Farzetta and Tra In the Morning” with Philly sports media personality Marc Farzetta and former Eagles star William “Tra” Thomas.  The new midday program (10:00 am to 2:00 pm) will star Anthony Gargano and current midday host Jason Myrtetus.  Both shows launch on October 8.  Farzetta currently serves as co-host of NBC Sports Philadelphia’s “Philly Sports Talk.”   Previously, he served as an associate producer for NBC’s Sunday Night Football. Farzetta and Thomas will be joined by longtime Philadelphia sports journalist and current morning show co-host Bob Cooney and producer Jamie Lynch.  Station content manager Eric Johnson says, “We are very excited to be adding Marc Farzetta and Tra Thomas to ‘The Fanatic’ lineup.  I’ve been a fan of Marc’s since he started on the air in Philly in the mid 2000s.  He’s evolved into a major talent in town, growing from update anchor and time out entertainer at Temple basketball games to radio talk show anchor and NBC Sports Philadelphia host.  Tra has a natural gift of compelling story telling.  With Anthony Gargano leading our midday show with Jason Myrtetus, these moves will put the station in a much stronger competitive position.  This really ushers in a new era for a great brand…’97.5 The Fanatic!’”

Bob Pittman to Present at Advertising Week New York. The title of this panel discussion is “An America Divided: Are We Listening?” and it takes place this afternoon at day one of Advertising Week New York (AWNY runs through Thursday).  iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman will host a roundtable featuring Amy Brown, co-host of the “Bobby Bones Show”; Enrique Santos, chairman and chief creative officer of iHeartLatino; WHTZ, New York-based syndicated radio star Elvis Duran; and Stephanie Ruhle, the anchor of “MSNBC Live.”  Noting that the ad business is run by those living and working mostly in Manhattan and that often skews its perspective, Pittman’s presentation addresses that fact that “the Hispanic population of America is now 18%; the African American population is now 13%; and a quarter of a billion people live outside New York and Los Angeles.  Effective marketers need to understand everyone – not just their neighbors here [in NYC].”  The panel will explore what the multiple voices are in America today, what marketers don’t understand about this audience, and the best way to reach them.

Bob Brinker Ends Weekend ‘MoneyTalk’ Program.  One of the longest-running weekend financial talk programs wrapped on Sunday (9/30) as Bob Brinker steps away from “MoneyTalk,” the program he’s been hosting for more than 32 years.  Westwood One says that Brinker has decided to spend more weekend time with his family.  He’ll continue to author his award-winning investment letter, “Marketimer.”  Brinker began his radio career as a news anchor on KYW, Philadelphia in 1966.  In 1970 he entered the investment banking business with Provident National Bank as a portfolio manager.  He began a financial investment talk show on WMCA, New York in 1981 and went syndicated with the program in 1986 via the old ABC Radio Network.  The show eventually transitioned to syndication through Westwood One.

Sales Pro Chuck Deskins Returns to iHeartMedia as SVP of Inside Sales. Sales and management pro Chuck Deskins Jr. is rejoining iHeartMedia as senior vice president of inside sales, effective immediately.  He’ll be based in St. Petersburg, Florida and will report to EVP of inside sales, James Donovan.  Deskins was most recently a partner at C3 Media but spent the majority of his career with iHeartMedia. He launched his career as an account executive with Jacor in Cincinnati and became a Clear Channel staffer when it acquired Jacor.  In his new position, Deskins will “manage iHeartMedia’s team of inside sellers and managers and create advertising opportunities for brands and iHeartMedia partners across the company’s vast array of platforms including radio broadcasting, digital, mobile, outdoor, live concerts and events and more.”  He comments, “I spent most of my career at iHeartMedia and couldn’t be more excited to help our clients tap into such a powerful combination of marketing assets.  The iHeartMedia inside sales team is the best in the business and I look forward to working with our great team of professionals.”

TALKERS News Notes. From Chicago media writer Robert Feder comes news that WSCR, Chicago sports director Brendan McCaffrey is exiting the Entercom sports talk station after 10 years there to join SiriusXM’s NFL Radio as a producer.  Feder quotes station operations director Mitch Rosen’s staff memo in which he said, “It is hard putting into words what Brendan McCaffrey has meant to ‘The Score’ for the last 10-plus years because B-Mac has done just about everything at the station and knows more about the inner workings more than anyone.  I, like many of you, will miss Brendan’s humor, wit, and most importantly his interest and care for others around him.”…..Also from Robert Feder is the reported move of urban talk WVON and regional Mexican WRLL to new offices in the South Loop.  Midway Broadcasting is moving the stations from their South Side offices to 800 South Wells Street by the end of this year.  Midway chair Melody Spann-Cooper is quoted saying, “We will miss the South Side terribly, and the sentimental value of being here can’t be overstated.  However, I am excited about the move.  Like Cumulus, WGN, the Trib and the Sun-Times, it is time for Midway to downsize for efficiency and we embrace this new chapter.”…..KXL, Portland associate producer Jackson Sager (right) is leaving his role with the Lars Larson (left) show to launch his own talk show on sister news talk KUFO “Freedom 970.”  The weekend program will air Saturdays at 7:00 am.  Sager tells TALKERS that he’s also doing podcasting and voice-over work and says the time and dedication necessary to produce the Lars Larson show wouldn’t allow him to handle his other duties as he pursues his dream of having his own talk show…..In the screen shot below of this past weekend’s “Saturday Night Live” opening skit, Salem Radio Network East Coast director of affiliate relations Jim Bligh can be seen behind and to the right of host Matt Damon as an extra.  Bligh’s second career has landed him roles in a number of New York-filmed movies as well as an extra on “SNL,” which he’s done several times.  SRN VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup says Bligh told him, “Toughest thing was to keep from laughing at the guy lying on the floor next to me, who you can’t see, holding the Alyssa Milano pop-up on a stick!”

Well-Known Broadcasting Professional and TALKERS Exec Al Herskovitz Pens New Book.  Korean War veteran and renowned broadcasting industry “veteran” Al Herskovitz who, following his service to America, embarked upon a 68-year career in the radio business that’s still going strong, has written a new book published by TALKERS.  In The Tall, Skinny Jewish Kid with Eyeglasses from Bridgeport: A Radio Guy’s Chance Encounters with the Colorful and Famous (Talkers Books, 2018), he recalls the fascinating characters whom he met growing up in Bridgeport, Connecticut as a child of hard-working Jewish, Hungarian immigrants, a young man in the army, and a broadcaster at some of the nation’s leading radio stations.  They include show business celebrities, sports stars, politicians, mysterious international figures (including a couple of spies), and even a few mobsters!  Stories include details about the world famous movie actress who served as his babysitter before she was a star; a local radio co-worker who went on to become a quirky TV actor with a scandalous lifestyle; an articulate young man he met at a dinner party who became a present-day world leader; a major presidential candidate whose campaign he served as media consultant; and the touching story of his family’s search for relatives lost in the Holocaust.  The book also recalls numerous wild and wacky radio promotions and provocative insights into the lives of a parade of celebrities.  Herskovitz’s fascinating life in the idiosyncratic world of radio brought him into contact with an array of hundreds of figures from Kate Smith and Bob Dylan to Steve Forbes and Benjamin Netanyahu.  He writes about everything from skills he employed playing ping pong in the army recreation center to the pain of losing an officer friend accidentally blown up by a hand grenade in a war games maneuver.  It’s a story set against the backdrop of almost nine decades of American history – wars, protests, rapidly evolving pop culture and social norms – all the way to the author’s current activities on the leading edge of the digital era!  Today, pushing 90, Al remains fully engaged in the communications field and serves as senior marketing director for TALKERS.  He lives in Bradenton, Florida and is an active member of the Sarasota-based Media Round Table.  To arrange an interview with Al Herskovitz, please call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Kavanaugh FBI Investigation, Kanye West’s ‘SNL’ Trump Speech, New U.S.-Canada-Mexico Agreement, Midterm Elections, Trump-Russia Investigation, U.S.-China Relations, Warren Re-Considers Presidential Run, California Net Neutrality Law, NFL Action, and MLB Regular Season Finale Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The accusations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the FBI’s investigation into Christine Blasey Ford’s claim; rapper Kanye West’s controversial pro-Trump speech on “SNL”; the U.S., Mexico and Canada agree to new NAFTA deal; November’s midterm elections and the battle for control of congress; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the trade war between the U.S. and China; Senator Elizabeth Warren’s statement she’s considering running for president; the Trump administration sues California over its net neutrality law; the weekend’s NFL action and the final weekend of baseball’s regular season 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. KOST, Los Angeles morning personality Ellen K is launching The Ellen K Podcast Network designed to share “behind-the-scenes stories from Ellen K’s career and dive deeper into the stories of the day.”  The network will launch three new podcasts on iHeartRadio that will give listeners an in-depth look at what really goes on at the Ellen K shows.  Ellen K says, “I’m so excited to invite listeners into our studio through The Ellen K Podcast Network.  The opportunity to explore daily topics and everyday situations in a deeper way is thrilling to me.  I used to get in trouble in school for talking too much during class, and thanks to iHeartRadio I can continue my passion for connecting with listeners after the morning radio show is off air.”…..At Entercom’s classic hits KLUV, Dallas “98.7 K-LUV,” Jeff Miles is the new morning personality alongside Rebekah Black and David Rancken on the new “Miles in the Morning” program. Miles takes over for Jody Dean, who exits the program but will continue with KLUV in other capacities…..iHeartMedia announces the lineup for its 2nd annual ALTerEgo concert taking place on January 19 at the Forum in Los Angeles.  The bill for the event includes: Twenty One Pilots, The Killers, Muse, Weezer, Rise Against, Bishop Briggs, and The Revivalists.  iHeartMedia chief programming officer Tom Poleman says, “This will be one of the strongest alternative performance lineups to ever appear on one stage.  It’s such a strong lineup that it’s impossible to refer to any one of these incredible artists as the headliner – in fact, several of the performers have told us that it’s a show they would want to go to even if they weren’t already on the bill.”

Monday, September 24, 2018

| September 24, 2018

Nielsen Audio Announces Monthly Reporting for Diary Markets Starting in July of 2019. This is a move that broadcasters in diary markets have been waiting for.  Ratings giant Nielsen Audio announces it will “transform the measurement of markets that are measured with the audio diary from a quarterly or two times a year view to year-round measurement with monthly reporting.  This more dynamic measurement solution enables clients to see seasonal shifts and react more quickly to marketplace changes.  With this transition, radio will be able to find new insights and tell its reach story to advertisers each month.”  The implementation of Continuous Diary Measurement will begin in phases with the first starting in July 2019 in the markets currently measured four times a year.  The current four-book markets will convert to 12 currency releases that will comprise three months of data starting with the May/June/July 2019 report period.  Effective with July 2019, approximately 70% of radio’s ad spend will be reported monthly by Nielsen Audio.  Company managing director Brad Kelly says, “Big billion-dollar advertisers leave nothing to chance.  Every decision they make is data driven and updated audience data is crucial for timely decisions.  Nielsen Audio is excited to help diary market clients have a better understanding of the audio landscape and respond faster to dynamic market conditions. Continuous Diary Measurement will help radio reinforce its compelling reach story more often and provide fresh radio data to fuel marketing mix models — the decision tools big advertisers rely on to allocate budgets and evaluate the effect of their ad spend.”  Nielsen plans to deliver monthly reports, covering six months of data in markets with at least 1,000 metro in-tab, and monthly reports covering 12 months of data in the smallest markets.  Currently, Nielsen reports larger diary markets four times a year (winter, spring, summer and fall), mid-sized diary markets twice a year in the spring and fall and the smallest markets with two book averages of Spring/Fall and Fall/Spring.

SiriusXM to Acquire Pandora.  Satellite radio broadcaster SiriusXM announces that it is acquiring internet pure-play Pandora in an all-stock deal valued at about $3.5 billion.  According to today’s statement, Pandora owners will get 1.44 shares of SiriusXM stock for each Pandora share they own.  Both companies issued brief financial statements within the announcement. SiriusXM reiterates its previous outlook of 1.15 million new, self-pay subscribers and an adjusted EBITDA of $2.17 billion for the year.  Pandora reports expected Q3 revenue to be $390 million to $405 million.  SiriusXM says of the deal, “The combination creates the world’s largest audio entertainment company, with more than $7 billion in expected pro-forma revenue in 2018 and strong, long-term growth opportunities.”  SiriusXM says it plans no immediate change in listener offerings but adds that it can “capitalize on cross-promotion opportunities” and leverage its “exclusive content and programming with Pandora’s ad-supported and subscription tiers to create unique audio packages, while also utilizing SiriusXM’s extensive automotive relationships to drive Pandora’s in-car distribution.”  SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer comments, “We have long respected Pandora and their team for their popular consumer offering that has attracted a massive audience and have been impressed by Pandora’s strategic progress and stronger execution.  We believe there are significant opportunities to create value for both companies’ stockholders by combining our complementary businesses.  The addition of Pandora diversifies SiriusXM’s revenue streams with the U.S.’s largest ad-supported audio offering, broadens our technical capabilities, and represents an exciting next step in our efforts to expand our reach out of the car even further.  Through targeted investments, we see significant opportunities to drive innovation that will accelerate growth beyond what would be available to the separate companies, and does so in a way that also benefits consumers, artists, and the broader content communities.  Together, we will deliver even more of the best content on radio to our passionate and loyal listeners, and attract new listeners, across our two platforms.”

Beasley Promotes Buzz Knight to EVP of Strategy and Innovation. Programmer Buzz Knight is promoted from his vice president of programming position to executive vice president of strategy and innovation, effective immediately.  Knight came into the Beasley Media Group organization with the company’s acquisition of Greater Media in 2016.  In his new role, he will be responsible for the company’s existing and future strategic initiatives, along with new opportunities that innovate and diversify its portfolio.  Knight says, “These are transformative times in the company and the media industry.  Beasley Media Group is committed to pursuing and embracing strategy and innovation.  I am grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of helping to shape the company’s next exciting chapter!”

WTAM, Cleveland Adds ‘Geraldo in Cleveland’ Program and Begins 106.7 FM Simulcast. Heritage Cleveland news/talk WTAM unveils a number of programming additions that take effect today (9/24), starting with the AM station’s addition of translator W295DE at 106.7 FM to the station’s signal.  Also, American news and talk icon Geraldo Rivera is launching at daily, one-hour program on WTAM called “Geraldo in Cleveland” that airs at 9:00 am.  The iHeartMedia station says the program will address “a range of local and national headlines, including the latest business, political, and pop culture news.”  Rivera says in a press release, “Cleveland is my home now and so is WTAM.  History put me here by random chance and now I am a part of this great city where I fell in love with my wife of 15 years, Erica Rivera.  I will continue to work on a national level with FOX News [as correspondent-at-large], and I look forward to sharing conversations and perspective locally with you every day.  This is just the beginning of what I hope will be a long relationship with WTAM, iHeartMedia, and most importantly – YOU.”  Also at WTAM, the station adds former Cleveland Indians pitcher and current Indians TV broadcaster Jensen Lewis to the afternoon daypart as co-host of the 6:00 pm sports show “Sports Feed 2.0” with Mike Trivisonno and Nick Camino.  Finally, longtime station personalities Bill Wills – co-host of the morning drive show – and afternoon drive personality Mike Trivisonno have once again renewed their agreements with WTAM, both signing multi-year contract extensions.  Wills will continue his 20-year tenure as anchor of morning drive and Trivisonno will extend his 22-year reign as afternoon drive on-air personality.

Report: Gargano Off Mornings at WPEN-FM.  According to a report by Rob Tornoe at Philly.com, Beasley Broadcast Group’s sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” is removing Anthony Gargano from his post as host of the morning show and set to replace him is NBC Sports Philadelphia (and former crosstown WIP) personality Marc Farzetta. The story says it’s unclear if current morning show cast members Bob Cooney and producer Jamie Lynch will remain with the new lineup. WPEN has not responded publicly to the report.  Gargano left Entercom’s crosstown sports talker WIP in 2015 to take the WPEN gig.  Gargano is still listed as morning host on the station’s website and spots with his voice are still airing.

‘Savage Nation’ Reinvented for the New Year; One-Hour Radio Show and One-Hour Podcast to Replace Current Show. Starting in January, Michael Savage and Westwood One transition his current three-hour, syndicated talk show into two separate entities – a one-hour version of “The Savage Nation” radio show and a new, original podcast (that will also be available for radio broadcast).  Savage currently releases a podcast version of his radio show.  This new podcast will be original content.  Savage states, “As I move into the next phase of my 25-year radio career I hope to bring even more listeners to the medium of audio with ‘The Savage Nation.’  I will be free to innovate in unique ways on my podcast.  The flexibility of the platform will permit me to expand my storytelling and insights into politics, books, food, cars, and rock and roll.  I’m going to change the way talk radio is spoken and consumed.”  WWO adds that the combination of podcast and broadcast will fuel the audience for both shows, saying Savage will cross-promote across “The Savage Nation” radio show and podcast, which will also be heavily promoted by Westwood One Podcast Network.

Westwood One to Produce New, Two-Hour Ben Shapiro Radio Show. A lot has been made about making conservative media figure and Daily Wire editor-in-chief Ben Shapiro’s podcast available to broadcast radio stations. But, the real innovation in today’s news about Westwood One’s new, two-hour radio show being made available to news/talk stations is that the national spots will be restricted to a “limited number of powerful live reads” just as Shapiro does on his podcast.  The new Ben Shapiro show will air live from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET and debut in January. Shapiro says, “I grew up on talk radio and cut my teeth there.  There’s no medium that allows the exchange of ideas and the explanation of detailed narratives better than talk radio and I can’t wait to bring two more live hours to listeners across the country.  And we’re going to bring the values of podcasts – islands of advertising surrounded by oceans of content – to talk radio, too, merging the best of both worlds. Westwood One is a tremendously innovative partner, and I can’t wait to get started!”

RAB/NAB Radio Show Gets Underway This Week in Orlando.  The 2018 Radio Show opens in Orlando tomorrow (9/25).  Radio consultant Holland Cooke offers a little teaser about Edison Research’s “Share of the Ear” study that will be released at the Radio Show this year.  He also has some insight on the new Echo Auto.  Read his piece here.  Among the numerous happenings at this year’s confab is a live broadcast of “The Bob & Tom Show” Wednesday through Friday.  The broadcasts will take place in the North Foyer of the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek and will feature special guests; Frank Caliendo, Drew Hastings, Pat Godwin, and Greg Hahn.

Kavanaugh Assault Allegations, Trump-Russia Investigation/Rosenstein Status, Midterm Elections, New Illegal Population Study, U.S.-China Trade War, Deadly Iran Parade Attack, NFL Action, and MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.This week’s scheduled testimony from Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, and the new allegation from Kavanaugh’s Yale years; President Trump’s attacks on the Russia investigation and speculation about Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein’s job security; the coming midterm elections; a new illegal population study that declares real illegal population is 22 million – double previous estimates; the escalating placement of tariffs on goods by the U.S. and China; the attack on an Iranian military parade being blamed by Iran on the U.S. and Israel; the weekend’s NFL Action and the Major League Baseball playoff push 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 Las Vegas, Beasley Media Group names Kris Fisher the new brand manager for rhythmic oldies KOAS “Old School 105.7” and hot AC KVGS “STAR 107.”   Fisher was most recently PD at the company’s hip hop WCHZ.  Beasley Las Vegas vice president and general manager Dennis Gwiazdon comments, “We’re thrilled that Kris will be joining our team in Las Vegas.  After a lengthy nationwide search, it is especially gratifying to be able to promote someone from within our company.  “HD98.3” and “Hot 95.5/ 93.1” have achieved some of their highest ratings under his direction.  I’m looking forward to watching Kris work his magic for us here!”…..The nationally syndicated “DeDe in the Mornings” show is being added to the program schedule at iHeartMedia’s WHTY-FM, Columbus, Georgia “Hot 100.”  Compass Media Networks officially launched “DeDe in the Mornings” in partnership with Service Broadcasting’s “K104” in Dallas on July 16.  The program is also heard on WJMR-FM, Milwaukee; KATJ-HD2/K242CS, Victorville, California “HD 96.3”; and more…..Chicago on-air pro Brian Peck is named evening personality on Cumulus Media’s classic hits WLS-FM.  Peck has recently shared evening hosting duties with fellow WLS personalities Tom O’Toole and Danny Lake.  They will continue with their weekend shows along with Erin Carmen and Abby Ryan. Peck arrived in Chicago in 1992 as a morning co-host on WKQX “Q101.”  He’s also worked at WTMX, WSHE, and WJMK.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

| September 19, 2018

New Podcast Featuring Anthony Scaramucci Debuts on Radio.com. Will folks be interested in hearing what Anthony Scaramucci and his wife Deidre have to say?  Entercom is hoping so as it launches a new podcast on its Radio.com platform called “Mooch and the Mrs.”  Remember that Scaramucci was Donald Trump’s White House Director of Communications for 10 days.  He also served as a consultant to Trump’s campaign. Entercom says, “The new weekly podcast…will feature the couple discussing the world we live in from opposite sides of the political spectrum, while offering an intimate look into the strength of their marriage.”  Entercom SVP/GM Pam Russo adds, “Anthony Scaramucci’s first-hand political experience from his time in the White House, combined with his and Deidre’s unique points of view, will provide Radio.com listeners with a compelling podcast experience. We’re committed to providing a forum for diverse points of view and look forward to hearing Anthony’s and Deidre’s differing perspectives on the political landscape, through the unique lens of their personal relationship.”  The two have previously contributed to programming on the company’s all-news KNX, Los Angeles and Entercom says “ based on feedback and interest in these appearances, it’s clear that there is an appetite for a candid and refreshing look inside how this couple manages differing perspectives within their relationship.”

PodcasOne Brings Celebrity Gossip Maven Perez Hilton On Board. Digital celebrity news and gossip columnist Perez Hilton launches a new PodcastOne show called, “The Perez Hilton Podcast with Chris Booker.”  The new podcast delves into the world of celebrity news via “the bold and humorous lens of Hilton and fellow pop-culture expert, Booker.” PodcastOne says, “The pair bring their unique, and often clashing perspective and insight to the microphone, in this audio extension of one of the leading go-to sites for celebrity news. Plus, celebrity guests like to drop by to spill it all!  New episodes of the podcast will be released weekly, in line with the biggest news of the week.”  Hilton adds, “We are finally home!  PodcastOne is the leader in the space!  I’m upset we didn’t get here sooner!  Chris Booker and I have been doing ‘The Perez Hilton Podcast’ for over three years now and each week it gets better and better!  Our chemistry is unlike any other!  People keep tuning in every week and catching up on all the old episodes they’ve missed because they don’t just enjoy what’s hot in pop culture, they also love the two of us together.  That relationship with our listeners is so special to us!  And we are so confident and grateful that PodcastOne will help us get heard by even more people!  Tune in!  We’re trending now!”

Chris Cuomo to Host Daily Show on SiriusXM. Journalist and cable television personality Chris Cuomo is beginning a daily, two-hour talk radio program on SiriusXM, effective September 24.  The host of CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time” launches “Let’s Get After It with Chris Cuomo,” to air from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm ET on SiriusXM’s P.O.T.U.S. channel.   SiriusXM SVP news, talk and entertainment Megan Liberman says, “Chris is a remarkable journalist with a history of tough interviews that have everyone talking the next day.  On his new SiriusXM show, Chris will continue that tradition of fostering important, engaging conversations, while also giving listeners the bigger picture about what’s going on in Washington and beyond.”  During his two-decade career, Cuomo has earned Polk and Peabody awards for team coverage, as well as the Edward R. Murrow award for breaking news coverage.

Former CBS RADIO Stations Unveil New Websites. The web presence for the individual CBS RADIO stations was always part of the company’s local broadcast cluster so that a search for a station brought one to a site from which one could then access any of the radio or TV stations in the cluster.  Now, 10 months after Entercom closed on the CBS RADIO merger deal, the radio stations have their own URL. The sites conform to a template that prominently features their relationship to Entercom’s Radio.com digital platform and features news items relevant to the station’s format.  Back in the CBS days, a number of news and news/talk programmers privately complained to TALKERS editors about their dislike of the cluster website format.  They believed it diminished their station and limited their ability to present content relevant to the format.  Search for your favorite former CBS station and check out the new format.

St. Louis Talk Host Jamie Allman Has October 22 Mediation Date. As TALKERS reported on August 29, Federal Judge Jean C. Hamilton ordered St. Louis talk host Jamie Allman and Emmis Communications and Entercom into mediation, to be completed by November 1.  This order is relative to Allman’s suit against the two companies for breach of contract stemming from Allman’s dismissal from news/talk KFTK-FM for his social media post about Parkland, Florida shooting survivor David Hogg.  The parties have agreed to use Richard P. Sher of the St. Louis firm Sher Corwin Winters LLC and they’ll begin meeting on October 22.

Kavanaugh Assault Allegations, Hurricane Florence Aftermath, Trump-Russia Investigation, North-South Korea Summit, Woodward Book, U.S.-China Trade War, Emmy Awards, Ernie & Bert Gay Revelation, NFL Action, and MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/18). The sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh; the devastating flooding in the Carolinas caused by Hurricane Florence; President Trump’s efforts to de-classify certain documents related to the Trump-Russia investigation; the meeting between North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and South Korea’s Moon Jae-in; Bob Woodward’s Fear: Trump in the White House sells 1 million copies; the escalating trade war between China and the U.S.; Monday night’s Emmy Awards show; former Sesame Street writer Mark Saltzman reveals he wrote Ernie & Bert as a gay couple; the weekend’s NFL action; and the Major League Baseball playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Radio exec Alissa Pollack is promoted to EVP of global music marketing at iHeartMedia.  The company says in her expanded role, Pollack will work closely with the company’s brand managers and national programming team to oversee and create custom data-focused roadmaps for artists, brands and advertising partners. She’ll also plan strategic roll-outs with artists, “keeping a strong pulse on what’s connecting with our consumers as well as generating opportunities for music’s current and next superstars in all formats.”  She’ll also retain her current duties and oversight of Mediabase, M-Score, RatetheMusic and BuzzAngle Music…..Geoff Vargo is retiring as president and general manager of Sarkes Tarzian’s triple A WTTS, Indianapolis after a 37-year career with the company.  Rising to the GM post in his place is 16-year station manager Brad Holtz, effective January 1, 2019.  In conjunction with these changes, Laura Duncan rises from APD/music director for WTTS to program director.  (She’s also adding PD responsibilities for sister news/talk WGCL, Bloomington, Indiana.) Holtz comments, “As I move into a new role in my career, I’m delighted that Laura Duncan will take over the programming reigns at WTTS.  As our APD/MD for the past 14 years, Laura has set herself apart as one of the most dedicated and passionate in our business.  She’ll be an outstanding programmer at WTTS.”…..The lineup for this weekend’s iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas includes: Justin TimberlakeFleetwood Mac, Carrie Underwood, Mariah Carey, Imagine Dragons, Jason Aldean, Sam Smith, Luke Bryan, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Panic! At The Disco, Kelly Clarkson, Shawn Mendes, Kygo, Rae Sremmurd, Logic, Childish Gambino and more, plus this year’s Macy’s iHeartRadio Rising Star winner, Heffron Drive.  The annual event takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Friday and Saturday night…..Beasley Media Group’s legendary rock station WMMR-FM, Philadelphia was honored by the city of Philadelphia in recognition of its 50 years of service to the city.  Pictured below is the WMMR staff in the Mayor’s Reception Room at City Hall receiving an official Resolution from Philadelphia City Councilman David Oh and other members of the council.  Beasley says WMMR-FM is regarded by the industry as the longest running rock station in America.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

| September 6, 2018

SEC Critical of iHeartMedia Chapter 11 Plan. The Securities and Exchange Commission has a problem with iHeartMedia’s Third Amended Joint Chapter 11 plan for reorganization on grounds relating largely to its provisions for non-debtor third parties.  If given final approval by the Bankruptcy Court, iHeartMedia would shed some $16 billion in debt via a combination of debt-for-equity to creditors and the issuing of new notes.  The SEC writes in its opinion that the Plan violates the Bankruptcy Code with respect to discharge petitions.  Specifically, it says, “the Plan includes releases that allow non-debtors to benefit from the Debtors’ bankruptcy by effectively obtaining their own discharges with respect to potential claims arising from past wrongdoing, including willful misconduct, gross negligence, and actual fraud.  The exculpation clause in the Plan is also overly broad.  The release and exculpation provisions are at odds with sound public policy considerations underlying the rights of creditors and investors to pursue legitimate claims against wrongdoers.”  The 11-page objection from the SEC also says that iHeartMedia’s disclosure statement “lacks adequate information, as required under Section 1125(b) of the Bankruptcy Code, to support the release, exculpation, and permanent injunction provisions.”

Battle Between USTN and Entercom Comes to an End. With Wednesday’s statement from United States Traffic Network, LLC that it has entered into a wind-down agreement with Entercom (USTN’s largest and only secured creditor), the legal battle between the two companies appears to be over.  USTN says that although the terms of the agreement are confidential, it “has commenced an orderly wind-down of its radio business under the supervision of Gavin/Solmonese, LLC, an independent liquidating agent. In addition, USTN has agreed to cause the dismissal, with prejudice, of its litigation against Entercom.”  USTN’s service to stations will end tomorrow (9/7). USTN says all employees have been released from all non-compete and non-solicitation agreements and every station and client will be given service for a limited wind-down period.

Day Number Two of “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” Burning Up the Airwaves from the Nation’s CapitalThe “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row began the second of its two-day run this morning (9/6) at the Phoenix Park Hotel on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.  The annual broadcasting/political event, now in its 12th year, is presented by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).  A record number of more than 65 radio talk show hosts from across the nation are participating with live remotes interviewing numerous available guests from the fields of politics, law enforcement, media, and business about the state of the immigration reform movement.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison is in attendance and scheduled to appear on 25 radio shows between yesterday and today.  Harrison states, “Immigration reform has been one of the most important topics on talk radio for well over a decade – long before Donald Trump made it a front burner issue.  Many of the concerns of the American people regarding immigration have been expressed on talk shows and especially at this radio row which has grown into an extremely influential industry tradition.  The question no longer is should or if immigration reform is going to be implemented – but rather by what methods.”  Pictured above: Harrison (left) making a point to program host Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo (right) on his nationally syndicated radio show and Newsmax TV simulcast.

Salem Radio News Issues Directive on Phrasing for Coverage of NYT Op-Ed.  The controversial op-ed piece published by The New York Times that the paper says is authored by a Trump Administration insider is causing controversy within the talk radio news reporting business.    Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup tells TALKERS magazine that he had to kill a report by Salem Radio News White House correspondent Greg Clugston for referring to the author as an “official.”  Tradup says, “The person is ALLEGED to be a ‘high official,’ but might also be a deranged nut or the nephew of an intern at the NY Times. Since nobody knows, we should not participate in advancing the identity of this weasel as an ‘official’ in the Trump Administration.  SRN News and TOWNHALL News are solid 24/7 broadcast news operations and will not be accomplices in validating what may be prima facie Fake News generated by the #1 print opponent of President Trump.”

TALKERS News Notes. Sports media pro Tony Bruno is being honored by Barrett Sports Media with an annual award to be given in his name at the 2019 Barrett Sports Media Summit in Los Angeles.  BSM president Jason Barrett says the Tony Bruno Award will be given to a current member of the sports radio industry who is “unique, unafraid, and cutting thru on a national level.”  Barrett adds that Bruno was the first sports radio personality to host a national sports morning show for three different national networks (ESPN, FOX Sports Radio and Sporting News Radio).  He made a mark locally on WIP and WPEN in Philadelphia and was featured in the EA Sports Madden NFL game (2005-2007)…..SiriusXM is expanding the weekend political talk program “Signal Boost,” hosted by Zerlina Maxwell and Jess McIntosh, to a live, daily show airing at 12:00 noon on the Progress channel starting September 10.  Both Maxwell and McIntosh served on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign.  Maxwell is also the senior director of progressive programming for SiriusXM and an MSNBC political analyst…..Entercom announces that sports talk WIP, Philadelphia helped raise $201,632 for the Eagles Charitable Foundation (ECF) during the weekend’s 2018 Eagles Radiothon.  The Philadelphia Eagles’ public charity provides the Philadelphia region with greater access to vision care and autism research.  Entercom Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff says, “It was an honor to have been a part of this incredible initiative for the 19th straight year and to have a hand in making a difference in our local community.  Every dollar counts when it pertains to making a difference in the lives of others and I’m particularly proud of our generous listeners who helped us reach this goal.”…..Sports USA announces it will become the longest-tenured broadcaster of National Football League Sunday afternoon games when it kicks off its 17th NFL season on Sunday, September 9 with a doubleheader featuring the Houston Texans at the New England Patriots followed by the Kansas City Chiefs visiting the San Diego Chargers.  Sports USA Larry Kahn says, “To become the longest-running radio distributor of NFL Sunday afternoon play-by-play is really an honor.  It is a true testament to the talent that we have had on our network and the continued success of the NFL.  The past 17 years have gone by in the proverbial blink of an eye.”

Entercom Names Coyle SVP of Human Resources. Named to the new role of SVP of human resources for Entercom is Martin Coyle.  He joins the company from the tech company XL Catlin where he was vice president of human resources.  Entercom EVP and general counsel Andrew Sutor states, “We are pleased to welcome Martin to Entercom. Martin has a strong track record of developing effective human resources strategies.  We look forward to leveraging Martin’s experience integrating teams as we continue to scale and strengthen our organization.”

NYT Trump Official Op-Ed, Woodward Book, Trump-Russia Investigation, Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearings, NBC-Weinstein Story Controversy, Nike’s Kaepernick Deal, Allegations of Anti-Conservative Bias by Social Media, Iran’s Currency Collapse, Nicaragua Unrest, 2018 NFL Season, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/5). The New York Times’ publication of an anonymous op-ed piece from a Trump administration insider that’s critical of the president; the publication of Bob Woodward’s new book, Fear: Trump in the White House; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh; the controversy over NBC’s decision not to go forward with Ronan Farrow’s investigative story alleging Harvey Weinstein raped women; Nike’s new “Just Do It” campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick; Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ planned meeting with state attorneys general about anti-free speech actions by social media platforms; Iran’s sinking currency value and allegations of a U.S.-orchestrated attempt at regime change; the political unrest in Nicaragua and fears of more refugees fleeing to the U.S.; week 1 of the 2018 NFL season; and the MLB playoffs 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. Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that Jenny Milkowski leaves Hubbard Radio’s adult contemporary WSHE, Chicago where she’s been afternoon personality for the past five months, for San Diego to become traffic anchor and social media reporter at KFMB-TV.  Milkowski previously did TV traffic reporting at Chicago’s WFLD-TV. Milkowski’s co-host, Jay Styles, will continue as solo star of the WSHE afternoon show in the interim…..In the Greenville-New Bern, North Carolina market, Gina Gray rises to program director at Dick Broadcasting’s CHR WERO “BOB 93.3.”  She’d been APD and music director and now takes over for the departing Chris “Hollywood” Mann.  “BOB 93.3” evening personality and imaging director Austin Moore is assuming the APD/MD duties.  Gray says of her new gig, “It was really great working with Chris Mann.  We did a lot of great things together at ‘BOB 93.3’ and I wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors.  I’m really excited for this next chapter of my radio career with Dick Broadcasting Company.”…..Mid-West Family Broadcasting closes on its purchase of adult contemporary WDKB, DeKalb, Illinois from Tana Knetsch and Ronald G. Klein.  Mid-West paid $610,000 for the FM that makes its Rockford-area cluster now six stations strong. Bob Heymann of Media Services Group was the exclusive broker.

August 2018 PPM Data – Round Two. August 2018 ratings information has been released for Washington, Boston, Miami, Detroit, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Tampa, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen Audio’s August 2018 survey period covered July 19 – August 15. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

Washington, DC

Spoken-Word Formats – A combined +1.0 in July and August (3.5 – 3.7 – 4.5, 6+), WMAL returns to the top ten (#11 to #7). Immediately prior to July, the Cumulus Media news/talk outlet was a combined -1.5 via three consecutive downward moves (5.0 – 4.5 – 3.9 – 3.5, 6+). In March, WMAL reached the five-share level (6+) for the first time in the PPM-era (5.0). Not only does Entercom sports talk WJFK-FM completely erase July’s -.5 with an August +.5, “106.7 The Fan” marches into the top ten (#13 to #9). July’s decrease pulled the plug on three upticks in succession that netted a +1.3 (2.4 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.7, 6+). Before notching a +.6 in January, the Washington Nationals flagship was without an increase in four straight survey periods for a roughly 50% decline (-1.7) of its 6+ AQH share (3.5 – 3.5 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+). After a lengthy hiatus from being listed in print, Radio One’s similarly-formatted WTEM “980 The Team” reappeared in June with a 1.0 (6+); immediately disappeared in July (0.0); but is back in August with a .9 (#19, 6+). The five most recent trends for WTOP are a very steady 9.6 – 9.7 – 9.5 – 9.3 – 9.4 (6+) as the Hubbard all-news operation is #1 for the eighth straight month. WTOP rebounded from April’s -.8 with a +.1 in May (10.4 – 9.6 – 9.7, 6+). Following four consecutive months at #1, it shifted to second-place in “Holiday” 2017. With a +1.3 in January (9.3 – 10.6, 6+), however, WTOP reclaimed the lead position with its best 6+-stat since March 2011’s 10.6. Moreover, that +1.3 halted three successive declines that produced an overall -.5 (9.8 – 9.6 – 9.4 – 9.3, 6+). By gaining four-tenths to 8.0 (6+), American University-owned news/talk WAMU not only moves from third to its familiar runner-up slot, “The Mind Is Our Medium” halts three straight flat or downward trends that resulted in a collective loss of nine-tenths (8.5 – 8.3 – 8.3 – 7.6, 6+). Between January 2018 – June 2018, WTOP and WAMU finished first and second, respectively. Flat at #24, Entercom business news WDCH picks up two-tenths to .5 (6+), thus ending three straight months without an increase (5 – .4 – .3 – .3, 6+).

Washington, DC Music Formats – Without an uptick the past three sweeps for a -.4 (4.8 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WBIG “Big 100 – Washington’s Classic Rock Station” recaptures the three-tenths it lost in July and continues at #5 (4.7, 6+). Within 2.4 – 2.9 territory (6+) for the ninth successive sweep (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.9, 6+), alternative sibling WWDC “DC-101” elevates from #17 to #14. An increase of eight-tenths (3.8 – 4.6, ninth to sixth, 6+) takes Columbia Union College Broadcasting contemporary Christian WGTS “91.9 Christian Music Radio” to its highest 6+-share (4.6) since July 2017’s 4.8. Ever-consistent Greater Washington Educational Telecommunications’  WETA “Classical 90.9” (2.3 – 2.9, +.6, #18 to #14, 6+) is within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 22nd straight ratings period. Following six straight up or flat reports for a collective +2.3 (5.6 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 6.6 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+), Radio One-owned urban AC WMMJ forfeits nine-tenths to 7.0 (6+) and segues from second to third. In July, “Majic”  registered the highest 6+-stat (7.9) in its PPM history, breaking the “old” record set the previous month (June 2018). It has a three-tenths lead over Howard University’s similarly-formatted WHUR (6.8 – 6.7, -.1, 6+), which finishes fourth for the fifth sweep in succession. After four straight reports without an increase for an overall -1.4  (7.1 – 6.2 – 6.1 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+), WHUR was a combined +1.1 in June and July (5.7 – 6.3 – 6.8), with July’s 6.8 its best 6+-showing since January’s 7.1. In April, “Majic” pulled ahead of WHUR for the first time since November 2015, which was when the two rivals were tied at 4.7 (6+). In each sweep since then, WHUR had been on top until WMMJ picked up two-tenths to 5.8, while WHUR faltered by four-tenths to 5.7. A July gain of three-tenths by WKYS erased the -.2 it logged in five straight down or flat surveys (3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+), but the Radio One urban contemporary facility regresses by seven-tenths in August (3.9 – 3.2, 6+) and drifts out of the top ten (#8 to #13). Although flat at 2.9 (6+), iHeartMedia’s WMZQ “98.7 Today’s Best Country” rises from #16 to #14. Elsewhere in the format, Aloha Station Trust’s WFRE “99.9 Free Country” vanished from print in July, but returns in August with a .8 (#22, 6+). Slipping from #11 to #12, Entercom rhythmic CHR WPGC-FM is an overall -.8 via four consecutive decreases (4.1 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.3, 6+).

Boston

Spoken-Word Formats – Displaying its third straight uptick for an overall +1.1 (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 5.1, 6+), Entercom sports talk WEEI-FM progresses from eighth to sixth. The Boston Red Sox flagship was +1.4 in January, halting three decreases in a row that produced an overall -1.9 (5.9 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 4.0, 6+). It roared back from a cumulative -2.0 in February and March (5.4 – 4.1 – 3.4, 6+) with a +1.0 in April. It has a 1.1-share (6+) advantage over Beasley Media Group-owned WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” (3.8 – 4.0, +.2, tenth to ninth, 6+), which was a combined -1.9 in June and July (5.7 – 4.3 – 3.8, 6+) and -1.5 in February. Finishing at third and fifth, respectively, are Boston University’s news/talk WBUR (5.6 – 5.7, +.1, fifth to third, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned news-talk hybrid WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” (5.8 – 5.3, -.5, fourth to fifth, 6+). In June, WBUR surrendered half of May’s +.6 with a loss of three-tenths. It was a collective -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017; +.7 in January; and +1.0 in March. After three straight improvements for a cumulative +1.5 (4.9 – 5.2 – 5.4 – 6.4, 6+), WBZ-AM was -.9 in April; 6.4 in March is its best 6+-stat since January 2017’s 6.6. An overall -1.6 in three decreases in a row (4.7 – 4.1 – 3.5 – 3.1, 6+), WGBH Educational Foundation news/talk WGBH logs a +.1 to 3.2 (#12 to #11, 6+). WGBH improved by seven-tenths in January but was off two-tenths in both February and March. When iHeartMedia news/talk WRKO notched a gain of two-tenths in July (to 2.5, 6+), it ended three downward moves in a row for a collective loss of seven-tenths (3.0 – 2.7 – 2.4 – 2.3, 6+); however, in August, “AM 680 – The Voice of Boston” returns one-tenth (2.4, #13 to #14, 6+).

Boston Music Formats – In addition to ranking first for the eighth consecutive ratings period, iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WXKS-FM is up or flat for the fourth straight time for an overall gain of seven-tenths (7.1 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+). “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” rebounded from a -.8 in “Holiday” 2017 with a +.9 in January (6.4 – 7.3, 6+) but was off one-half share in April. It exited the top spot in December, after three straight months there. The “Holiday” 2017 – August 2018 topline trending for its format challenger, Entercom’s WODS “103.3 Amp Radio” (flat at #16), is 2.6 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 (6+). Up one-half share as a result of five successive months without a loss (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.8, 6+), hot AC cluster-mate WWBX “Mix 104.1 Boston’s Best Variety” cracks the top ten (#11 to #10). Within 2.2 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 14th successive sweep, iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WJMN “JAM’N 94.5” (2.4 – 2.5, +.1, 6+) advances from #15 to #13. As we’ve been seeing in numerous PPM-markets, out-of-market signals and longtime Nielsen Audio nonsubscribers are suddenly showing up in print. The largest market in “The Bay State” is no exception as iHeartMedia Providence’s WHJY “94 HJY” records a +.7 (#26, 6+) and – from “The Heart of the Commonwealth” (Worcester) – co-owned adult contemporary WSRS “96.1 SRS – Worcester’s At-Work Station” appears in the Boston report with a .6 (#28, 6+). While neither of these two outlets was listed in Boston’s July 2018 sweep, they are perennial powerhouses in their respective “home” metros. Surrendering in full the +1.1 it gained in three straight increases (3.0 – 3.4 – 4.0 – 4.1, 6+), Beasley Media Group rhythmic hot AC WBQT “Hot 96.9” departs the top ten (3.0, -1.1, #9 to #12, 6+); July’s 4.1 is its highest 6+-share since January 2017’s 4.4. In a somewhat similar scenario, classic hits-oldies sibling WROR “105.7 Boston’s Greatest Hits” wipes out its overall gain of six-tenths through three positive spikes in succession (6.0 – 6.2 – 6.5 – 6.6, 6+) with an August decrease of nine-tenths to 5.7 (second to third, 6+). Co-owned alternative WBOS “Alt 92.9 – Boston’s Alternative,” which was up two-tenths in four straight up or flat trends (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+), drops one-tenth to 1.9 (6+) and remains at #18. Northeast Broadcasting triple A WXRV “92.5 The River” is off six-tenths in five straight down or flat trends (2.2 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.6, #19 to #20, 6+), while Entercom’s WAAF “The Only Station That Really Rocks” is -.8 in four consecutive sweeps without an increase (2.3 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5, #20 to #21, 6+). While unchanged at #23, Hall Communications’ WCTK “Cat Country 98.1” slips by one-tenth to 1.2 (6+), thus halting seven successive up or flat trends that nearly doubled the Providence station’s 6+ Boston stat (.7 – .8 – .9 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3, 6+).

Miami

English-Language, Spoken-Word Formats – Unchanged at #20, iHeartMedia news/talk WIOD “News Radio 620 – Miami’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” is in a bookend 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 sequence (6+). WIOD’s one-half share loss in May halted seven straight positive or flat trends that netted an overall nine-tenths (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+). It is tied with Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN, which regains half of July’s -.2 (1.8 – 1.9, +.1, #21 to #20, 6+). In advance of a +.5 in January, WLRN was a collective -.7 in three consecutive sweeps without an increase (2.6 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 1.9, 6+). Likewise, the market’s two main sports talk outlets are mirroring each other. The May through August topline for Entercom’s WQAM “Sports Radio 560” is .9 – .8 – .9 – .8, (#25 to #27, 6+), while cluster-mate WAXY “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket” is off one-tenth for the third time in succession (.9 – .8 – .7 – .6, #27 to #28, 6+). When “The Ticket” posted a .8 (6+) in June, it curtailed five consecutive .9 postings (6+); WQAM’s May gain of two-tenths stalled five sweeps in succession without an increase for a collective -.8 (1.5 – 1.2 – .8 – .8 – .8 – .7, 6+).

Miami Music Formats – July’s deadlock at #1 is broken with Cox Media Group adult contemporary WFEZ “Easy 93.1” posting a one-half share gain (6.9 – 7.4, 6+) at the same time that Univision Radio Spanish contemporary WAMR “Amor 107.5” drops six-tenths (6.9 – 6.3, first to second, 6+). “Easy” advanced from second to first in June, but after three straight months without a decrease for an overall gain of eight-tenths (6.7 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 7.5, 6+), it squandered six-tenths in July. Prior to April, “Easy” had been within 6.2 – 6.8 range (6+) in each of the previous 12 sweeps. Meanwhile, in advance of its August decrease, “Amor 107.5” was +1.9 in three straight gains (5.0 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 6.9, 6+). Co-owned Spanish tropical WRTO posts a one-half share improvement (3.5 – 4.0, 6+), enabling “Mix 98.3” to enter the top ten (#11 to #9). In July, it surrendered three-tenths, thus snapping at four a consecutive string of increases that yielded nine-tenths (2.9 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.8, 6+). In three straight sweeps without an increase, Entercom adult contemporary was a cumulative -1.2 (6.7 – 6.4 – 5.8 – 5.5, 6+), but “101.5 Lite FM” notches a +.3 to 5.8 (6+) and climbs from fifth to fourth. July 2018’s 5.5 is the lowest 6+-share for “Lite” since 5.2 in July 2017. West Palm Beach mainstay – Alpha Media hot AC WRMF “97.9 Variety From The ‘90s & Now” – pops up in Miami with a 1.2 (#24, 6+). Separated by one-tenth in April and May, the market’s two mainstream CHRs are tied at #11 in August. Cox Media Group’s WFLC “Hits 97.3” is down in back-to-back sweeps (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.3, 6+), while iHeartMedia-owned WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” is trending 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.3 (March – August, 6+). Down or flat nine reports in a row for a collective -1.4 (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+), WFLC was +.6 in June. Locked on 4.0 (6+) in January and February, “Y-100” eroded by eight-tenths in March. While it remains in third-place, Cox Media Group urban AC WHQT “Hot 105” is a collective -1.4 in three straight downturns (7.5 – 7.1 – 6.8 – 6.1, 6+). As the result of four consecutive upticks, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WMIB was up one-half share (2.5 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.0, 6+), but “103.5 The Beat” returns two-tenths to 2.8 (#14 to #15, 6+), while Cox Media Group’s like-formatted WEDR “99 Jamz” (unchanged at #6) is trending 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.6 (March 2018 – August 2018, 6+). Even though it is down a combined eight-tenths in three straight sweeps without an increase (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.5 – 2.5, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMIA “93.9 MIA – Variety From The ‘80s, ‘90s, & Today” moves from #18 to #17. Entercom rhythmic CHR WPOW “Power 96” is off four-tenths in three consecutive down or flat trends (2.9 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.5, #16 to #17, 6+).

Detroit

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to an increase of eight-tenths (5.5 – 6.3, fourth to third, 6+), Entercom’s WWJ “News Radio 950” registers its best 6+-performance since its 6.5 in January, February, and March. Following four up or flat trends in succession for a collective +1.0, WWJ was -.8 in April; “News Radio 950” was frozen on 5.8 (6+) in May and June. Although unchanged at #9, sports talk sibling WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” is off seven-tenths in three negative moves in succession (5.3 – 5.6 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+). A combined -.6 in February and March, “97.1 The Ticket” was up nine-tenths in April. Prior to January’s +1.0, the Detroit Tigers flagship was -2.2 as a result of four losses in a row. A two-tenths improvement to 3.8 (#12 to #11, 6+) by Cumulus Media’s WJR “News Talk 760” applies the brakes to three straight negative trends that accounted for a loss of seven-tenths (4.3 – 4.2 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+). Prior to the January sweep, WJR was -.9 in three straight declines (4.4 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.5, 6+). Without an increase for the eighth straight survey period for a collective -.3 (1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+), Michigan Public Media news/talk WUOM actually advances from #20 – #19. Steady at #22, Wayne State University news/talk WDET adds one-tenth in consecutive sweeps (.6 – .7 – .8, 6+).

Detroit Music Formats – By logging a +.8 (5.0 – 5.8, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WNIC “100.3 ‘80s ‘til Now” zooms from eighth to fourth with its best 6+-stat (5.8) since April’s 5.9. Mainstream CHR cluster-mate WKQI “Channel 95.5 – Detroit’s #1 Hit Music Station” answers the overall -.9 in six successive sweeps without an increase (4.8 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.9, 6+) with a +.6 to 4.5 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). Meanwhile, Entercom’s similarly-programmed WDZH “98.7 Amp Radio” (steady at #15) is a combined +.4 in three straight up or flat moves (2.4 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), after having suspended three straight setbacks of one-tenth each (2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.4, 6+). Notwithstanding that it returns two-thirds of July’s +.6 (8.3 – 7.9, -.4, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WCSX “94.7 – Detroit’s Classic Rock” is #1 for the fourth month a row. A loss of two-tenths in June ended five straight positive spikes that generated a +2.5 (5.4 – 5.9 – 6.3 – 6.7 – 7.6 – 7.9, 6+). Drifting from third to eighth, co-owned WRIF “Everything That Rocks” is a collective -.8 in July and August (5.6 – 5.3 – 4.8, 6+), immediately after four consecutive improvements that led to a combined +1.5 (4.4 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 5.5 – 5.9, 6+). June’s 5.9 is its strongest 6+-stat since January 2017 (5.9, as well). At the same time that Entercom’s WYCD “99.5 Detroit’s Best Country” picks up three-tenths (5.5 – 5.8, steady at #4, 6+), Cumulus Media’s similarly-programmed WDRQ “93.1 Nash FM” (flat at #17) drops two-tenths to 2.3, its lowest 6+-showing since Holiday 2017’s 2.1. Three down or flat moves in succession by WYCD accounted for a cumulative loss of one-half share but that was fully erased in June with a +.5. When “Nash FM” slipped by two-tenths in June, it halted five consecutive up or flat moves that netted nine-tenths (2.1 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+). Meanwhile, the market’s two main urban ACs sputter by three-tenths each: iHeartMedia’s WMXD “Mix 92.3” (5.5 – 5.2, fourth to sixth, 6+) and Radio One rival, WDMK “105.9 Kiss FM – The Real Sound of ‘The D’” (3.5 – 3.2, #13 to #14, 6+). Early last month, Radio One gospel WPZR “Praise 102.7” became Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WDKL “Positive & Encouraging K-Love.” The change was made with less than one week remaining in the August sweep and Detroit’s frequency at 102.7 records a 2.2 (#18, 6+).

Seattle

Spoken-Word Formats – A very steady October 2017 – June 2018 6+-topline trending of 5.7 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.4 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 5.8 by KIRO-FM suddenly became jarred in July (-.7 to 5.1, 6+) and August (+.8 to 5.9, 6+). The Bonneville news/talk facility zooms from sixth to second. It is tied in the runner-up slot with Northwest Public Radio news/talker KUOW, which posts a +.5 to 5.9 (third to second, 6+). The uptick curtails three straight down or flat sweeps that accounted for an overall -1.1 (6.5 – 6.0 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+). KUOW took over the runner-up slot in May after a one-month stay at #1. On top for four straight months before dropping to second in December, KUOW was +1.5 in January (6.4 – 7.9, 6+) as it returned to #1. When it lost six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, KUOW ended five consecutive up or flat trends that netted a +1.3 (5.7 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.5 – 7.0, 6+). Off eight-tenths in July and August (4.2 – 3.5 – 3.4, 6+), Bonneville sports talk KIRO-AM “ESPN 710” drops from #11 to #14. As a result of four positive spikes in succession (2.3 – 2.9 – 3.6 – 4.1 – 4.2, 6+), the Seattle Mariners flagship was a combined +1.9. Prior to May, the last time KIRO-AM reached the four-share level (6+) was in October 2015 (4.3). Up two-tenths (2.3 – 2.5, 6+), Sinclair Broadcast Group’s all-news KOMO returns to the top twenty (#22 to #19). On the other hand, Bonneville’s KTTH departs the top twenty (#20 to #22) as “Conservative Talk Radio” returns July’s +.3 (2.1, 6+), thus interrupting four up or flat trends in succession for an overall gain of seven-tenths (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.4, 6+). The (6+) topline February 2018 – August 2018 trending for Sinclair-owned KVI “Talk Radio 570” (#25 to #24) is a remarkably consistent 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1. Flat at #28, iHeartMedia-owned KJR-AM  gains two-tenths (.5 – .7, 6+); “Seattle’s Sports Radio 950” was frozen on .6 (6+) in May and June.

Seattle Music Formats – Rebounding from July’s -.4 with an August +.6 (3.0 – 3.6, 6+), Hubbard’s KNUC “98.9 The Bull” (formerly KVRQ) proceeds from #14 to #13. Entering the July 2018 ratings period, “The Bull” more than tripled (+2.4) its 6+-stat as the result of six straight survey periods without a loss (1.0 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 2.0 – 2.8 – 3.4, 6+). Four-tenths ahead of “The Bull” is Entercom’s similarly-formatted KKWF “100.7 The Wolf” (3.9 – 4.0, +.1, tenth to eighth, 6+). By gaining one-tenth, it actually breaks a streak that dates back to October 2017 in which “The Wolf” alternated an up sweep with a down one (3.1 – 2.9 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.9, 6+). These two country stations were tied at #14 in June. There is a two-station Seattle adult contemporary tussle involving these same two group owners as well, with Entercom’s KSWD “The Sound” logging a one-half share increase to 3.8 (#13 to #11, 6+) to halt four straight down or flat trends that resulted in a loss of eight-tenths (4.1 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+). “The Sound” posted a one-half share gain in March as well (3.6 – 4.1, 6+). Even though Hubbard’s KRWM is off by nine-tenths in July and August (5.0 – 4.3 – 4.1, 6+), “Warm 106.9” advances from eighth to seventh. Prior to a +.3 in June, KRWM was -7.1 (or down roughly 60%) in five successive down or flat sweeps (11.8 – 5.5 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). Its 11.8 in “Holiday” 2017 was the AC station’s strongest 6+-stat since 13.4 in “Holiday” 2015; “Warm” was #1 in December and “Holiday” 2017. It is a rollercoaster ride for iHeartMedia’s KUBE “93.3 – Seattle’s #1 For Hip-Hop” (formerly CHR KPWK), which was a collective +.8 in five straight sweeps without a loss (2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.6, 6+); surrendered the entire eight-tenths to 2.8 (6+) in July; and now regains one-half share in August (3.3, #17 to #15, 6+). In a case of major league back-to-back wobbles, KQMV “MOViN 92.5” immediately follows July’s massive +1.7 (6.1 – 7.8, 6+) with a -1.4 to 6.4 (6+). In any case, the Hubbard CHR repeats at #1. Prior to July, the last time KQMV reached the seven-share level (6+) was in February (7.1). A collective +1.4 in four straight up or flat trends (5.0 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.5 – 6.4, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KJR-FM “95.7 The Jet” falters by nine-tenths to 5.5 (6+) and shifts from second to fourth. July’s 6.4 marked the first time KJR-FM crossed the six-share level (6+) in more than two years (6.1, May 2016). As a result of obliterating July’s one-half share increase with an eight-tenths decrease (4.5 – 3.7, 6+), Entercom alternative KNDD “107.7 The End” fades from the top ten (#7 to #12). Its +.5 in July pulled the plug on three straight down or flat moves that generated a -.5 (4.5 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 4.0, 6+).

Phoenix

Spoken-Word Formats – Bonneville news/talk KTAR-FM adds one-tenth in July and August (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3, 6+) and carries on at #11. KTAR-FM was up three-tenths in April but was then a combined -.5 in May and June. It was +.8 in January (3.2 – 4.0, 6+), followed by an overall -.7 in February and March (4.0 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+). While steady at #15, iHeartMedia’s KFYI “News Talk 550” cobbles together four straight gains for an increase of eight-tenths (2.1 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+). When KFYI lost one-tenth in March, it ended at three its successive string of upticks that netted nine-tenths (1.5 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.4, 6+). Close behind are Maricopa County Community College news/talk KJZZ (3.0 – 2.7, -.3, #14 to #16, 6+) and Bonneville sports talk KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona Sports” (2.5 – 2.6, +.1, flat at #17, 6+). A +.6 in July by KJZZ applied the brakes to three consecutive negative moves that accounted for a combined -1.5 (3.9 – 3.6 – 2.7 – 2.4, 6+). Arizona Diamondbacks flagship KMVP-FM was frozen on 2.5 (6+) in June and July. From January through May, it was a collective +1.1 in three straight positive spikes (1.5 – 1.6 – 2.3 – 2.6, 6+).

Phoenix Music Formats – The two-share (6+) advantage iHeartMedia adult contemporary KESZ held over Hubbard’s KSLX “Classic Rock 100.7” in July has been sliced in half as KESZ drops two-tenths, while KSLX hangs out a +.8 (5.5 – 6.3, fifth to second, 6+). This is the third straight decline for KESZ for an overall –1.7 (9.0 – 8.7 – 7.5 – 7.3, 6+), but it remains on top for the tenth straight report. KESZ was up seven-tenths in April and then logged a gigantic +1.7 in May; 16.4 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-showing since 16.5 in “Holiday” 2016. As the result of July’s lofty -1.1 to 5.5 (6+), KSLX erased in its entirety the +1.1 it netted in six straight sweeps without a loss (5.5 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.6, 6+). Moreover, “Classic Rock 100.7,” which had been entrenched in the runner-up slot eight consecutive ratings periods, shifted to fifth. Even though it backslides from second to third, iHeartMedia adult hits KYOT “95.5 The Mountain – We Play Everything” is an astonishing +2.7 in just three straight upticks (3.5 – 4.3 – 5.9 – 6.2, 6+); “The Mountain” was tenth in May. Univision Radio regional Mexican KHOT notches its third straight increase for an overall +.9 (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 3.0, #17 to #14, 6+) as “Que Buena 105.9” has its best 6+-stat since February’s 3.2. Conversely, co-owned Spanish adult hits KOMR “Amor 106.3,” which had been up one-half share in June and July (1.6 – 1.9 – 2.1, 6+), flounders by eight-tenths (1.3, #26, 6+). Immediately after quadrupling its 6+-share (.3 – 1.2, +.9, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVA “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” surrenders two-thirds of that increase and has its 6+-share carved in half (.6, -.6, #26 to #31, 6+). Off six-tenths, as well, is Maricopa County Community College’s classical-formatted KBAQ “89.5 K-Bach” (2.2, #15 to #18, 6+), which had been +.8 in three successive up or flat trends (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.8, 6+). Within 5.2 – 5.7 range (6+) each month this calendar year (5.2 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 5.6 – 5.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KNIX “102.5 Today’s Best Country & All-Time Favorites” segues from third to fourth, while its format challenger – Entercom’s KMLE “Country @ 107.9” – adds four-tenths (3.8 – 4.2, 6+) and remains at #9. A cumulative -1.9 in five successive negative trends (4.1 – 4.0 – 3.2 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.2, 6+), Farmworker Educational Radio regional Mexican KNAI “101.9 Campesina” actually bumps up from #20 to a three-way tie at #18.

Minneapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – After four negative moves in a row for a collective -2.2 (5.9 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 3.7, 6+), Minnesota Public Radio news/talk KNOW bounces back with a +.7 to 4.4 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#12 to #9). Its recent fluctuations include -.7 (February); +.7 (March); -.5 (April) +.7 (May) -.7 (July); and now +.7 (August). It is tied at #9 with Entercom-owned WCCO “News Radio 830,” which is flat at 4.4 (6+). Prior to August, its four previous fluctuations were +.8 (April); -.8 (May); -.8  (June); and +.5 (July). The Minnesota Twins flagship was locked on 4.4 (6+) in December 2017 and “Holiday” 2017 and then on 5.0 (6+) in January 2018 and February. Although flat at #12, iHeartMedia-owned sports talk KFXN “Sports Radio 100.3 K-Fan” posts a +.1 to 3.8 (6+), thus applying the brakes to four decreases in a row that yielded a -2.1 (5.8 – 5.5 – 4.7 – 4.0 – 3.7, 6+); “K-Fan” was -1.5 in February. Up one-tenth (3.6 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KTLK Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130” inches up from #14 to #13. Prior to the June sweep, KTLK was +1.4 in five successive sweeps without a loss (2.5 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+). Regaining the three-tenths it lost in July, Hubbard news/talk KTMY “My Talk 107.1” (2.7, #17 to #16) interrupts three straight down or flat moves that accounted for an overall loss of seven-tenths (3.1 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.4, 6+). Its March decrease of three-tenths stopped four straight up or flat trends that generated a +1.2 (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 3.3, 6+). Trending 1.0 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 (6+), Hubbard sports talk KSTP-AM “ESPN 1500” slips from #20 to #21.

Minneapolis Music Formats – Ending its 7.3 – 7.4 – 7.3 (6+) sequence with a +.5 to 7.8, its highest 6+-share since September 2016’s 8.1, iHeartMedia CHR KDWB “101.3 The Twin Cities’ #1 Hit Music Station” marches from second to first. The last time KDWB occupied the top spot was exactly one year ago – August 2017. It dislodges Hubbard hot AC KSTP-FM, which had occupied the penthouse the past seven sweeps. In addition to dropping from first to second, “KS-95” is -1.5 in four straight downward trends (8.6 – 7.9 – 7.8 – 7.5 – 7.1, 6+). Its -.7 in May halted four successive progressive moves that netted +2.8 (5.8 – 7.6 – 8.2 – 8.3 – 8.6, 6+). Following four consecutive upticks for a collective +1.0 (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed KTCZ “The Cities” forfeits 60% of that increase (3.6, -.6, 6+) and slips out of the top ten (#10 to #14). Following five consecutive months without an increase for a cumulative -.7 (6.2 – 6.1 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.5, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned KQRS “Minnesota’s Classic Rock” logs a +.3 to 5.8 (seventh to fifth, 6+). Ever since debuting in February, Northern Lights Broadcasting rhythmic CHR KZGO “GO 95.3 – GO Radio” has put up a topline of 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 2.3 (#18 to #17, 6+). Minnesota Public Radio triple A KCMP tacks on one-half share to July’s +.3 (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.5, 6+) as “The Current – Great Music Lives Here” carries on at #15. Classical music sibling KSJN erodes by -1.0 (2.0, #15 to #18, 6+), nearly wiping out its collective +1.2 from five consecutive sweeps without a loss (1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.7 – 3.0, 6+). The overall +.9 that Entercom adult hits KZJK “104.1 Jack-FM Playing What We Want” racked up in June and July (5.0 – 5.1 – 5.9, 6+) vanishes in August with a -.9 to 5.0 (fourth to seventh, 6+).

San Diego

Spoken-Word Formats – San Diego State University-owned news/talk KPBS shifted from first to second in April; returned to #1 in May; dropped from first to third in June; slipped from third to fourth to July; and returns to first in August (5.8 – 6.5, +.7, 6+). KPBS was on top four times in 2017: February, August, September, and December. Locked on 5.1 (6+) in June and July, iHeartMedia news/talk KOGO regresses by six-tenths to 4.5 (6+), skidding from fifth to ninth. “News Radio 600” was +.8 in January; -.7 in February; +.8 in March; +.6 in May; and now -.6 in August. October 2017’s 7.2 is KOGO’s highest 6+-share in its PPM-history. Resurfacing in the San Diego report after a lengthy absence, iHeartMedia Los Angeles news/talk KFI “AM 640” is up two-tenths (1.6 – 1.8, #23 to #22, 6+). It is one-tenth ahead of Tegna news/talk KFMB-AM “AM 760,” which returns half of July’s +.2 (1.8 – 1.7, -.1, #21 to #22, 6+). Its June increase of one-tenth curtailed three straight negative moves that accounted for a loss of seven-tenths (2.2 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.5, 6+). Three of the market’s sports talkers produce a complete mixed bag: Interamericana de Radio’s XPRS-AM “The Mighty 1090” gains two-tenths (.8 – 1.0, #24, 6+); Entercom-owned/San Diego Padres flagship KWFN “97.3 The Fan” is flat at .8 (#25, 6+); and iHeartMedia’s KLSD “Fox Sports 1360 San Diego’s Sports Station” drops one-tenth (.6 – .5, #28 to #27, 6+).

San Diego Music Formats – Powered by a +1.5, iHeartMedia-owned CHR KHTS rockets from sixth to second. “Channel 93.3 – San Diego’s #1 Hit Music Station” is a collective +2.8 via six straight sweeps without a loss (3.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 6.3, 6+). Meanwhile, Uni Radio regional Mexican XHTY “Invasora 99.7” is up eight-tenths in five consecutive monthlies without a loss (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 3.1, 6+), catapulting from #18 to #10. Adding six-tenths to July’s +1.0 (3.7 – 4.7 – 5.3, 6+), Univision Radio’s similarly-programmed KLNV “Que Buena 106.5” inches up from seventh to sixth, crossing the five-share level 6+ (5.3) for the first time since “Holiday” 2017’s 5.1. Notching increases of one-half share each are iHeartMedia hot AC KMYI “Star 94.1” (4.2 – 4.7, ninth to seventh, 6+) and Comunicación XERSA-owned/Local Media San Diego-operated alternative XTRA-FM “91-X” (1.7 – 2.2, #20, 6+). “Star” was off one full-share in June and July (5.2 – 4.9 – 4.2, 6+), while “91-X” pulls the plug on six successive sweeps without an increase that produced a loss of nine-tenths (2.6 – 2.3 – 2.2 1.9 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7, 6+). It is a short (one-month) stay at #1 for KXSN “Sunny 98.1 – San Diego’s Greatest Hits,” which segues to third. “Sunny” registered a -1.6 in March, all but erasing its +1.9 through five straight gains (4.8 – 5.3 – 5.8 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 6.7, 6+). The Entercom classic hits-oldies outlet rebounded in April with a +.5; was -.7 in May; answered with a +.8 in June; piled on a +.5 in July; and is -.4 in August (6.2 – 5.8, 6+). Ironically, the station “Sunny” replaced at #1 in July – cluster-mate KSON “103.7 San Diego’s #1 New Country” – was only on top for one month (June), as well. Off three-tenths in August (5.9 – 5.6, 6+), KSON shifts from second to fourth. An April loss of one-tenth by “New Country” ended three straight positive trends that netted a cumulative +2.5 (3.6 – 4.7 – 5.5 – 6.1, 6+). Imagen Spanish contemporary XLTN “104.5 Radio Latina” is a collective -1.6 in three downward moves in a row (4.0 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 2.4, 6+), fading from #11 to #19. Faltering by one-half share each are Tegna rocker KFMB-FM “100.7 KFM BFM” (3.5 – 3.0, #10 to #12, 6+) and iHeartMedia urban contemporary KSSX “JAM’N 95.7” (3.2 – 2.7, #12 to #14, 6+). This is the lowest 6+-showing for KFMB-FM since March (2.9).

Denver

Spoken-Word Formats – Four-tenths of a share separates Denver’s top three August 2018 finishers. Included in that trio is Colorado Public Radio news/talk KCFR, which displays a lofty +1.1 (5.2 – 6.3, 6+) to progress from fifth to second. It was a brief one-month stay at #1 (in May) for KCFR, which lost seven-tenths in June. In addition to being on top in May, KCFR was #1 in January and March. When it faltered by six-tenths in February, the station’s consecutive string of improvements that netted a cumulative +1.5 (4.5 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 6.0, 6+) ended at three. Trending 5.0 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.0 (6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KOA flips from fourth to sixth. Following January’s one-half share loss, “Colorado’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” picked up one-tenth in consecutive sweeps (4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4, 6+) and posted a +1.4 in April to zoom from ninth to first but the flagship of the Colorado Rockies exited the top spot in May after a one-month run. Owing to a +.4 to 2.9 (6+), Bonneville-owned KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” advances from #16 to #14. “The Fan” faltered by one-half share in June and July (3.5 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+), posting its lowest 6+-stat (2.5) since July 2017’s 2.3. Denver’s “Fan” was +1.0 in March. Unchanged at #19, iHeartMedia news/talk KHOW “Talk Radio 630” was up three-tenths in June; down two-tenths in July; and now up one-tenth in August (2.0 – 2.1, 6+). Immediately before the June sweep, KHOW had been down or flat four sweeps in a row for an overall setback of four-tenths (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.0 -1.9, 6+). In back-to-back sweeps, Community Radio for Northern California news/talk KUNC drops one-tenth (1.0 – .9 – .8, #27 to #26, 6+). Prior to June’s 1.0 (6+), KUNC recorded a .7 (6+) in each of the three previous sweeps.

Denver Music Formats – Stuck on 5.7 (6+) in May and June before slipping to 5.6 (6+) in July, Bonneville-owned KYGO “Denver’s #1 For New Country” posts a +.6 to 6.2 (steady at #3), reaching the six-share level (6+) for the first time since last November’s 6.0. Recording a 1.5 (6+) in four of the last six sweeps (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 1.5, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KBPI “107.9 Rocks The Rockies” notches a one-half share increase to 2.0 (6+) and cracks the top twenty (#20). Not only is Entercom classic rocker KQMT #1 for the third month in a row, “99.5 The Mountain – A Mountain of Classics” is a cumulative +1.7 in three upticks in succession (4.9 – 6.1 – 6.5 – 6.6, 6+). A loss of seven-tenths to 2.7 (#14 to #15, 6+) by Entravision regional Mexican KXPK “La Tricolor 96.5” wipes out its +.6 via three straight positive spikes (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.4, 6+). The five most recent 6+-stats (April – May – June – July – August) for Entercom hot AC KALC “Alice 105.9” are 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 3.8. Immediately after logging three consecutive up or flat trends that yielded a +1.0 (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.6, 6+), KSE Radio Ventures classic hits-oldies KXKL “Kool 105 – Denver’s Greatest Hits” is a combined -1.1 in June, July, and August (5.6 – 5.0 – 4.5 – 4.5, seventh to eighth, 6+). While May’s 5.6 is its most potent 6+-stat since December 2016’s 5.7, July and August 2018’s 4.5 is its softest since “Holiday” 2017’s 3.8. Up or flat five months in a row for a collective +1.4 (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 6.0, 6+), Bonneville adult contemporary KOSI “101.1 Real-Music-Variety” drops two-tenths to 5.8 (second to fourth, 6+). July’s 6.0 is the strongest 6+-showing for KOSI since Holiday’s 2017’s 11.5.

Tampa

Spoken-Word Formats – In six of the last seven sweeps, iHeartMedia news/talk WFLA “970 Tampa Bay’s News Radio” has had a (6+) fluctuation of at least four-tenths. In January and February it was +.5 (2.7 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+); -.5 in March (3.7 – 3.2, 6+); +.8 in April (3.2 – 4.0, 6+); +.4 in May (4.0 – 4.4, 6+); -.7 in July; and now +.6 in August (3.6 – 4.2, #11 to #10). Without a loss for the fourth sweep in a row for a +.8 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.5, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” progresses from #16 to #13. A one-tenth setback in April ended three straight increases that produced a gain of one-half share (2.3 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), while a January improvement of three-tenths curtailed four straight down or flat trends for a collective -1.1 (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.3, 6+). Down of flat for the fourth consecutive month for a loss of two-tenths (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WDAE “620 Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” segues from #18 to #19. Starting with the “Holiday” 2017 report, the Tampa Bay Rays flagship was up or flat for the next five survey periods for a +.8 (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+). The March 2018 – August 2018 topline trending for University of South Florida news/talk WUSF (flat at #20) is 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.4 (6+). When WUSF added two-tenths in June, it halted six successive ratings periods without an increase that accounted for a collective -1.6 (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.7, 6+).

Tampa Music Formats – A +.7 (6.4 – 7.1, 6+) enables Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WXGL “107.3 The Eagle” to register its highest 6+-stat in just over a year (7.1, as well, July 2017). Notching gains of one-half share each are iHeartMedia-owned WXTB “98 Rock” (3.8 – 4.3, tenth to ninth, 6+); CHR cluster-mate WFLZ “93.3 – Tampa Bay’s #1 Hit Music Channel” (3.6 – 4.1, unchanged at #11, 6+); and Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WPBB “B-98.7 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” (1.9 – 2.4, #19 to #18, 6+). Four straight up or flat trends by “98 Rock” netted eight-tenths (3.9 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.6 – 4.7, 6+), but it was down nine-tenths in July; June’s 4.7 is its strongest 6+-showing since October 2017 (4.7, as well). It’s a yoyo effect for “B-98.7,” which was +.6 in June; -.6 in July; and now +.5 in August. Its January 2018 – May 2018 topline was 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 1.9 (6+); June’s 2.5 is its best (6+) showing since 4.0 in “Holiday” 2017. Erasing July’s +.4 with August’s -.5, Cox Media Group CHR WPOI “Hot 101.5” departs the top ten (#9 to #14). In July, “Hot” beat WFLZ (6+) for the first time since “Holiday” 2017, when “Hot” scored a 4.0 (6+) to 3.8 (6+) for WFLZ. After logging four straight up or flat trends that accounted for a gain of seven-tenths (8.4 – 8.9 -9.0 – 9.0 – 9.1, 6+), Cox Media Group-owned adult contemporary WDUV slipped three-tenths in July to 8.8 (6+), but “Lite Favorites” picks up one-tenth in August to 8.9 (6+) and leads the pack for the 72nd successive ratings period. WDUV was -3.5 in January and February (11.9 – 8.8 – 8.4, 6+), following a +1.5 in “Holiday” 2017 (10.4 – 11.9, 6+). After adding a +1.0 to June’s four-tenths’ increase (5.0 – 5.4 – 6.4, 6+), co-owned adult contemporary WWRM “Magic 94.9 Tampa Bay’s Best Music” surrenders all but three-tenths of that combined +1.4 (6.4 – 5.3, -1.1, third to fifth, 6+). In July, “Magic” reached the six-share level (6.4) for the first time since May 2017 (6.0).

Baltimore

Spoken-Word Formats – Adding four-tenths to July’s +.3 (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.7. 6+), Entercom sports talk WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan” climbs from tenth to ninth. Baltimore’s “Fan” was +.6 (January); -.6 (February); +1.0 (April); and a combined -1.0 in May and June (5.0 – 4.5 – 4.0, 6+). When the Orioles flagship improved by two-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it brought to a close three straight downward moves producing an overall -1.8 (5.6 – 4.8 – 4.5 – 3.8, 6+). With an April 2018 – August 2018 topline of 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 3.1 (6+), independent news/talk WCBM “680 Stimulating Talk – Breaking News” moves from #12 to #11. One-tenth behind is Your Public Radio news/talk WYPR “88.1 Your NPR News Station” (3.1 – 3.0, -.1, #11 to #12, 6+). Following five decreases in a row for a cumulative -1.7 (4.2 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+), WYPR posted a July increase of six-tenths. A collective -.8 in five straight sweeps without an increase (3.3 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.4, 6+), Hearst Television news/talker WBAL drops from #13 to #14. After five consecutive times of recording a 1.1 (6+) in the Baltimore report, American University-owned news/talker WAMU slips to 1.0 (#18 to #23, 6+).

Baltimore Music Formats – In the runner-up slot for the fourth month in a row, Radio One urban contemporary WERQ “92-Q Jams” hauls out a +.9 to 7.8, its strongest 6+-stat since September 2017 (7.8, as well). Nearly wiping out July’s -.8, Hearst Television’s WIYY dials up a +.6 (4.4 – 5.0, ninth to sixth, 6+). Prior to July’s decrease, “98 Rock” registered six successive ratings periods without a loss for an overall +1.8 (3.4 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.2, 6+). This represents the eighth successive sweep that Shamrock Communications-owned WZBA “100.7 The Bay – Baltimore’s Classic Rock Station” is without a loss for an overall +2.2 (2.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 5.0, 6+); “The Bay” jumps from eighth to sixth. Advancing one-half share as well in August are Baltimore City Community College-owned WBJC “91.5 Maryland’s Classic Music Station” (1.3, #16, 6+) and Entercom’s WLIF-HD2 (.6 – 1.1, #18, 6+). WBJC halts four straight down or flat trends that erodes approximately half (-.7) its 6+-share (1.5 – 1.2 – 1.0 – .8 – .8, 6+). Albeit off eight-tenths from July (9.5 – 8.7, 6+), Radio One urban AC  WWIN-FM “Magic 95.9” finishes on top for the eighth month in a row. In three successive decreases (11.6 – 11.5 – 10.3 – 9.4, 6+), “Magic” was an overall -2.2 but it bounced back with a +.3 in June. WWIN-FM occupied the top spot for four sweeps in succession before segueing to #2 in December. After going eight straight ratings periods without a loss for an overall +3.8 (7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 8.7 – 9.2 – 10.4 – 10.6 – 11.6, 6+), it lost one-tenth in March. Dramatic shifts continue for iHeartMedia-owned WPOC “93.1 – Baltimore’s #1 for New Country,” which was a combined -2.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (7.2 – 6.2 – 4.6, 6+); +2.5 in January; -.9 in February, -1.5 in April; +.6 in May; +.5 in June; +.8 in July; and now -.6 in August (6.8 – 6.2, flat at #3, 6+). Although steady at #6, Entercom adult contemporary WLIF is a collective -1.8 in four successive negative moves (6.8 – 6.5 – 6.1 – 5.2 – 5.0, 6+). “Today’s 101.9” was #1 in December 2017 (9.7, 6+) and “Holiday” 2017 (16.3, 6+).

St. Louis

Spoken-Word Formats – After three straight negative moves that generated a loss of eight-tenths (3.5 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.7, 6+), Hubbard sports talk WXOS “101 Sports” answers with a collective +1.0 in July and August (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.7, #16 to #12, 6+). A combined -.7 from November through “Holiday” 2017 (3.9 – 3.4 – 3.2, 6+), WXOS posted a +.8 in January; -.6 in February; and -.6 in April. Regaining two-tenths of July’s -.6 (8.0 – 7.4 – 7.6, 6+), Entercom news/talk KMOX “The Voice of St. Louis” repeats in the runner-up slot. The St. Louis Cardinals flagship was +2.3 in April; May’s 8.3 represents its highest 6+-stat since September 2017’s 8.4. Following a January +1.0, KMOX was a combined -.6 in February and March. Flat at #14, University of Missouri news/talk KWMU is up six-tenths via three positive spikes in a row (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+). By registering a half-share increase in January, KWMU halted three successive downward moves that accounted for a -.9 (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+). Off by an overall half-share in February and March (3.7 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+), it added one-tenth in April. As a result of declining by one-half share (3.1 – 2.6, 6+), Emmis-to-Entercom’s KFTK “FM News Talk 97.1” slips from #15 to #17. Owing to May’s +.3, “FM News Talk 97.1” ended three straight negative moves that accounted for a loss of eight-tenths (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.6 – 2.5, 6+). Prior to a January gain of seven-tenths, KFTK was a cumulative -1.4 in three consecutive decreases (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 2.6, 6+).

St. Louis Music Formats – Not only did Gateway Creative contemporary Christian KLJY reappear in print in June, after being unlisted for 18 straight sweeps, “99.1 Joy FM” boasts one of the most stunning stories of the year by logging a +1.3 (6.5 – 7.8, 6+) to storm from third to first. It supplants iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLOU “103.3 St. Louis’ Greatest Hits” (7.8 – 6.7, -1.1, first to third, 6+). After sputtering by a combined -1.5 in May and June, KLOU recaptured nine-tenths in July (6.9 – 7.8, 6+). On top for four consecutive months (January through April), “St Louis’ Greatest Hits” shifted to #2 in May. An overall -2.0 in January and February (9.5 – 7.9 – 7.5, 6+), KLOU made up 45% of that loss in March and April (7.5 – 8.3 – 8.4, 6+). It rebounded from December’s -.8 with a +2.2 in “Holiday” 2017. This is the fourth straight uptick for Hubbard’s  KPNT “105.7 The Point – Everything Alternative,” which nets a +1.4 in that stretch (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 5.4, tenth to seventh, 6+). At the same time that co-owned WIL “92.3 – Nobody Plays More New Country” regains the six-tenths it lost in July (6.1 – 5.5 – 6.1, eighth to sixth, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KSD “93.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” erodes by eight-tenths (4.2 – 3.4, #11 to #15, 6+). Entering the June report, WIL was without a loss for six survey periods in succession for a +1.9 (5.3 – 5.4 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 6.8 – 7.2, 6+), but then spiraled by -1.1; “The Bull,” meanwhile, was off three-tenths in July. Following July’s one-half share increase, Radio One urban AC WFUN “95.5 R&B + Old School For The Lou” surrenders nine-tenths (5.8 – 4.9, sixth to ninth, 6+). Prior to July’s one-half share increase, WFUN logged five successive negative moves accounting for an overall -1.5 (6.8 – 6.5 – 6.3 – 6.2 – 6.1 – 5.3, 6+). In the Entercom cluster, hot AC KYKY “Y-98” is off six-tenths (5.1 – 4.5, ninth to tenth, 6+), while adult contemporary KEZK “102.5 The Best Mix of the ‘80s & Today” regresses by one-half share (5.4, fifth to seventh, 6+), halting six consecutive up or flat trends that yielded an overall +1.7 (4.2 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.9 – 5.9, 6+). Without a gain for the fourth sweep in a row, Emmis-to-Entercom CHR KNOU “Now 96.3 All The Hits” (#17 to #16) is off by one full-share (3.7 -3.4 – 3.4 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+).

Thursday, August 30, 2018

| August 30, 2018

Alex Silverman Promoted to Program Director at KYW, Philadelphia. News radio pro Alex Silverman is promoted by Entercom from his assistant director of news and programming role at WCBS-AM, New York to program director for its Philadelphia all-news, KYW.  Silverman joined WCBS Newsradio 880 in 2011 as an anchor. The company says he’s “helped lead the station’s coverage of major news events in New York and around the country, including Hurricane Sandy, the Boston Marathon bombings, and the Orlando nightclub shooting.”  He received a 2018 National Edward R. Murrow Award for his coverage of the transportation crisis in New York and he recently helped guide WCBS through a modern refresh and reimage of its iconic Newsradio brand.  Silverman comments, “KYW Newsradio is the beating heart of Philadelphia. I’m incredibly excited and honored to lead the top-notch team of news professionals who make it vital, both now and into the future.”  Silverman is currently the industry representative to the board of directors for WJPZ Radio in Syracuse, where he provides operational, financial and technical oversight for Syracuse University’s student-run radio station. He has also served as an adjunct professor at Fordham University, where he designed a course titled, “Social Media for Journalists.”

Clay Travis to Host FS1 Sports Wagering Show. Sports talk personality Clay Travis hosts FOX Sports Radio’s daily “Outkick the Coverage” program.  Beginning on Monday, September 10, he’ll appear with a group of co-hosts on FS1’s new television sports gambling show, “Lock It In.”  The program will air from 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm ET and feature co-hosts Rachel Bonnetta, “Cousin Sal” Iacono, and oddsmaker Todd Fuhrman.  FOX Sports says the show “aims to make the avid sports fan smarter and more informed about the world of sports betting.  The show stars an eclectic cast of entertaining, sports-obsessed minds that want to make watching that night’s games as entertaining as possible.  While fans tune in to see what the experts are saying – and who they are putting their hypothetical money on, they will also get smarter about the biggest sports stories of the day.”

TALKERS News Notes. Milwaukee’s news/talk WTMJ and sister country WKTI are holding a fundraiser tomorrow (8/31) to benefit victims of the August’s historic severe weather and flooding around the state of Wisconsin.  Scripps Milwaukee VP and general manager Tom Langmyer says, “Many towns in our state have been ravaged by high winds and major flooding.  We want to encourage our listeners to help our neighbors recover from the major damage left in the wake of these powerful storms.  Through our Radiothon this Friday, story coverage and grassroots volunteerism, we hope to make a positive and quick difference in our region.”  The stations will hold the radiothon from 3:00 pm to 6:30 pm local time…..Sports talk personality Nick Wright joins the Mad Dog Sports Radio channel on SiriusXM when he begins hosting the “What’s Wright” show from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm on Tuesday, September 4.  Wright – who began his radio career at KCSP, Kansas City and served for four years with KILT-AM, Houston – joined FS1 in April of 2016 to host the morning show, “First Things First” with Cris Carter and Jenna Wolfe.  That show is also heard on FOX Sports on SiriusXM.  Wright says, “I couldn’t be more excited to be back hosting a daily radio show and look forward to talking all things sports with SiriusXM subscribers across the country.  Mad Dog Sports Radio is a widely recognized national radio brand and boasts an excellent lineup of hosts that I’m honored to join.”…..ABC News Radio is presenting live coverage of Arizona Senator John McCain’s memorial service and ceremonies on Saturday, September 1 at 8:00 am ET.  Correspondent Aaron Katersky anchors from New York and digital journalist Ali Rogin reports from Washington National Cathedral.  The ABC News Radio team will provide multiple one-minute status reports each hour throughout the morning…..Entercom sports talker WIP-FM, Philadelphia is presenting the annual “Eagles Radiothon,” starting today (8/30) and continuing on Tuesday and Wednesday (9/4 & 5), to benefit the Eagles Charitable Foundation dedicated to serving low-income children in the greater Philly area.  The multi-day auction, sponsored by Santander Bank, offers fans the opportunity to bid on exclusive sports and entertainment experiences, with all proceeds benefitting the ECF.  Highlights of the auction include one-of-a-kind sporting experiences, such as a personal passing clinic with Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, a trip to Super Bowl LIII, and a round of golf with Eagles Hall of Fame and SportsRadio 94WIP radio broadcaster Merrill Reese, among others.

McGahn to Exit WH/Fate of Sessions, Trump-Russia Investigation/Trump vs CNN, John McCain Passing, Tuesday Primaries/Midterm Elections, Ex-Cop Convicted in Black Teen’s Death, Aretha Franklin Service, Aaron Rodgers Contract, First Man Film, the NFL’s pre-season, and Major League Baseball Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/29). The announcement that White House Counsel Don McGahn will leave the administration this fall and the related speculation about the fate of Attorney General Jeff Sessions; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related battle between President Trump and CNN over its reporting of the Trump Tower meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya; the passing of Arizona Senator John McCain; Tuesday’s primary elections and this fall’s midterm elections; ex-cop Roy Oliver is sentenced to 15 years in death of unarmed teen; Friday’s funeral for Aretha Franklin; Aaron Rodgers becomes NFL’s highest-paid player; this weekend’s opening for the film, First Man; the NFL’s pre-season; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Entercom’s urban contemporary KHTP, Seattle “HOT 103.7,” Bre Ruiz is named co-host for the Sir Mix-A-Lot morning show, effective September 4. Ruiz was most recently an air personality and music director at the company’s hip hop KSFM, Sacramento.  He says of his new gig, “I am so blessed and excited to continue my radio journey with a legend like Sir Mix-A-Lot and to work under such a well-respected program director like Eric Powers.  I cannot wait to live the amazing Seattle life and connect with our loyal listeners.”…..The new “Women of iHeartCountry” program hosted by Bobby Bones and Amy Brown debuts this Labor Day weekend.  The one-hour program is being produced by iHeartMedia and is devoted exclusively to female artists. Bones is executive producer of the program that will “feature music from both established female artists and promising up-and-comers, with weekly guest appearances by other iHeartMedia female on-air personalities.”  It will air on 125 iHeartCountry stations as well as on the iHeartRadio app…..Pictured at left is Premiere Networks personality Angela Yee (center) of the WWPR, New York-based “The Breakfast Club” morning show.  She’s with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (left) and First Lady of New York Chirlane McCray (right) as de Blasio names Yee a New York Public Library Ambassador and declared August 28 “Angela Yee Day” in NYC.  In this role, Yee will continue her work encouraging members of the public to get library cards and visit their local public library branches to read, learn, and grow.  Yee is an avid reader and writer who will also participate in New York Public Library events, campaigns, and programs.  She will host her popular “Kickin’ It from The Stoop” book club at library branches across the city.  Mayor de Blasio says, “Public libraries help thousands of New Yorkers explore the world outside our five boroughs, something Angela Yee also does through her book club and radio show.  We are very lucky to add someone as passionate as Angela to our list of library ambassadors.”…..On-air pro Jax joins CHR WWST, Knoxville “Star 102.1” as evening personality.  Jax was most recently with CHR KTXY, Columbia, Missouri…..United Stations Radio Networks reports that its weekly classic rock show “Get the Led Out” will dedicate six full weekly episodes of the show to the 50th anniversary of the founding of Led Zeppelin.  Host Carol Miller will focus the program on such events as the group’s first tour, the recording of Led Zeppelin I, and the band’s landing in New York City, among others…..SiriusXM is broadcasting the entire funeral celebration of the life of Aretha Franklin on Friday (8/31) live, beginning at 10:00 am ET.  The coverage will be heard on the satcaster’s Aretha Franklin Tribute Channel.

Friday, August 10, 2018

| August 10, 2018

WEEI-FM’s Minihane Set to Discuss Depression. The genuine intimacy between a radio talent and the audience will most likely again be strongly in evidence when Entercom Boston sports talk WEEI-FM’s Kirk Minihane returns to the air today (Friday, 8/10) on the 5:30 am – 10:00 am “Kirk & (Gerry) Callahan Show.” In a tweet yesterday (8/9) at 2:47 pm, Minihane wrote, “I’ve talked a lot about my issues with depression, and I’ve battled it the last three months or so. Last Thursday night, I checked into the ER at Winchester Hospital with suicidal thoughts. I was then moved to McLean, where I was treated and released earlier this week.” One minute later (2:48 pm), he followed with, “I’ll be back at work tomorrow, and I’m a little nervous about it – but I’m not ashamed or embarrassed. We’ll do what we do – we’ll talk about it.” McLean Hospital in Belmont (suburban Boston) is regarded as one of the country’s best psychiatric facilities. Highly-controversial and opinionated Minihane joined what was then the “(John) Dennis and Callahan” show in 2013. He was suspended for “unsavory” language toward Fox Sports reporter Erin Andrews. He later made headlines when he said the New England Patriots should “hire someone to murder” Roger Goodell over the NFL commissioner’s handling of “deflategate.” Earlier this year, Minihane claimed he would be taking a year off from sports talk radio, insisting he is “tired of being treated like a child” by station management. In Nielsen Audio’s just-released July 2018 Boston PPM results, WEEI-FM is up one-tenth to 4.2 (#8, 6+), while cross-town rival – Beasley Media Group-owned WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub” regresses by one-half share (3.8, #10, 6+).

Stunner: Lanigan Logs Off WTAM. It’s one of those management nightmares when an on-air talent literally quits on the air. It happened in Cleveland two days ago (8/8) when John Lanigan announced Wednesday’s show on WTAM would be his last. For the past four years, Lanigan had done a one-hour (9:00 am – 10:00 am) program called “The Spew” on the iHeartMedia news/talk property. After a segment on the worst presidents in history, however, Lanigan according to a report on WEWS-TV “News 5,” Cleveland “diverted significantly from the show’s scheduled topics” approximately halfway through “The Spew.” Apparently out-of-the-blue, Lanigan ad-libbed to co-host Mike Trivisonno, “Can I talk to you for a second, quickly? I want to tell you what a privilege it has been working with you these last few years. You are the class act in radio. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it [but] I won’t be doing ‘The Spew’ ever again – I’m quitting today. I’m done – I won’t be back. I won’t be on ‘The Spew.’” The 75-year-old Lanigan went on to say (in a clip posted by WKYC-TV, Cleveland) that he’s no longer interested in what the NFL’s Cleveland Browns do and he doesn’t think he’s smart enough to discuss politics. “There’s too divisive an attitude in the country right now; I don’t think I’m qualified to tell listeners what they should be thinking,” Lanigan remarked. WTAM program director Ray Davis finished the rest of that day’s “Spew.” In 1971, Lanigan rather famously replaced Don Imus on Cleveland’s WGAR. For 29 years (1985 – 2014), Nebraska-born Lanigan – a 2013 National Radio Hall of Fame inductee – did morning drive with John Webster and Jimmy Malone on Cleveland classic hits-oldies outlet WMJI.

Entercom Now In TBA With WBEB. Prior to officially closing on its $57.5 million purchase of Jerry Lee Radio Philadelphia’s WBEB “101.1 More FM,” Entercom took over operation of the adult contemporary property yesterday (Thursday, 9/9) under a Time Brokerage Agreement (TBA). It marks the end of an era as WBEB was perhaps the lone genuine standalone property in a PPM-market – no sister station anywhere else. Entercom Philadelphia senior vice president/market manager David Yadgaroff remarks, “I am excited to welcome WBEB, one of the country’s most recognized and awarded stations, to our portfolio of Philadelphia radio stations. The addition of WBEB will be a great complement to our lineup that already includes KYW ‘News Radio 1060’; WIP ‘94 Sports Radio’; WPHT ‘Talk Radio 1210’; [adult contemporary] WTDY; and [classic hits-oldies] WOGL.” Elsewhere in the market, Beasley Media Group approximately three weeks ago (7/23) similarly assumed operations of Entercom’s WXTU “92.5 Philadelphia’s Country Station” under a TBA in advance of finalizing that station’s $38 million purchase. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 Philadelphia PPM report, WBEB regresses by seven-tenths (8.5 – 7.8) to slip from first to second, while WXTU (5.8, sixth to fifth, 6+) is without a loss for the seventh successive sweep for a cumulative gain of +2.2.

Univision Q2: Net Income Up, Radio Ad Revenue Down. For second-quarter 2018, Univision Communications’ net income rose from $106.1 million to $114.3 million; however, radio ad revenue dropped 3.6% to $61.7 million. Overall radio revenue fell 3.1% to $64.7 million, with total radio core revenue off 5.5% to $60.5 million. In addition, Univision’s aggregate revenue declined 2% year-to-year to $749.8 million with total core revenue (excluding political and content licensing revenue) down 3.1% to $730.3 million. Chief executive officer Vince Sadusky observes, “This is a company I have long admired as one of the great franchises in U.S. media and for its important mission to serve the Hispanic community. Despite a rapidly evolving media landscape, the company has a lot to be optimistic about and an incredibly strong foundation to build from. We provide unparalleled access to a coveted and fast growing consumer group with increasing buying power. While our foundation is strong, Univision has gone through a significant amount of change over the last few months. We are starting an exciting new chapter with a singular focus on our core business and mission – to inform, entertain and empower Hispanic America.” Sadusky succeeded Randy Falco as CEO in late-May (2018).

Final Round of July 2018 PPM Data Released. The fourth and final round of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 survey period covered June 21 – July 18. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

Sir Charles In Charge. Once each year, Charles Barkley co-hosts all fours hours of Mike Missanelli’s afternoon drive show (2:00 pm – 6:00 pm) on Beasley Media Group Philadelphia sports talk outlet WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic.” The former NBA star did so yesterday (Thursday, 8/9) and discussed topics like the Eagles first preseason game; the expectations for the Sixers this season; and if the Phillies can keep up their great play. “The Round Mound of Rebound” spent the first eight years of his 16-year NBA career with the Sixers. He also played for the Phoenix Suns and Houston Rockets. For the past 18 years, Barkley has been a studio analyst for Turner Network Television (TNT), appearing on the network’s NBA coverage during pre-game and halftime shows. Pictured in the photo at the right (from left to right) are Missanelli, Natalie Egenolf, Barkley, and Tyrone Johnson.

TALKERS News Notes. Adding radio duties as co-host (with program director Justin Acri) of “The Zone” (10:00 am – 1:00 pm) on Signal Media Little Rock sports talker KABZ “103.7 The Buzz” is Wess Moore, sports director of Little Rock’s KLRT-TV “Fox 16.” He succeeds Pat Bradley, who exits after 11 years to relocate to his native Boston; Bradley played college basketball for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks. Acri comments, “We are going to really miss Pat in ‘The Zone,’ but certainly understand the draw of family. He has been a huge part of ‘The Buzz’ team and our success for more than a decade. He will continue to be a great featured contributor to the station going forward.  I know he will always consider Little Rock and Arkansas a second home – regardless of where he’s living.” Moore adds, “I am excited to be joining such a successful sports talk radio station with a rich history in Arkansas. ‘The Buzz’ has some of the best personalities in the business – I’m honored to get the opportunity to work alongside them. I look forward to being a part of ‘The Zone’ with Justin Acri, who has created an entertaining, smart show engaging sports fans on all levels.” Moore previously hosted “Game On with Wess Moore” for High Plains Radio Network’s Benton, Arkansas-licensed sports talk KAFN “Fox Sports Arkansas”; he begins his KABZ assignment next Monday (8/13) ….. In partnership with SiriusXM, the Charlotte-based Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) is establishing a permanent “Billy Graham Channel.” Headlined by messages of the late Christian evangelist, “The Billy Graham Channel” debuts one week from Monday (8/20), on SiriusXM Channel 460, becoming the satcaster’s fifth spoken-word “Religion” channel and the first featuring a continuous delivery of evangelistic content. BGEA chief executive officer Franklin Graham comments, “We are excited that SiriusXM will have a permanent Billy Graham channel. Many people have told us how much it has meant to them to hear my father’s timeless messages of truth.” Since last November, “The Billy Graham Channel” has appeared as a limited-run offering on four occasions, including a tribute channel in conjunction with Dr. Graham’s passing in February.

Week’s Top Topics.  The Trump-Russia investigation; Paul Manafort trial;  Ohio special election; various state primaries; midterm elections;  trade wars;  China tariffs;  Russia sanctions;  Rep. Chris Collins indictment;  Alex Jones and social media; LeBron James education initiative; California wildfires and their causes; New Mexico compound child abuse;  TribuneSinclair non-deal;  MLB action; and NFL training camps-pre-season games were the most-talked-about-topics on American news/talk radio this past week of August 6-10, 2018 according to the ongoing research of TALKERS magazine. To see the complete list of top topics and most-talked-about people of the week, please click here.

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

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Dubbed “The most-listened-to woman on radio,” Premiere Networks’ nighttime adult contemporary personality Delilah returned to New York City last Thursday (8/2) to host the annual summer performance, “Broadway in Bryant Park.” Presented by Delilah’s NYC affiliate, iHeartMedia AC WLTW “106.7 Lite FM,” the six-week event takes place at noon every Thursday (July 12 – August 16) and features performances of the biggest hits from the most popular shows on and off Broadway. Highlighted last week, for example, were “Aladdin,” “Frozen,” and “The Lion King.” An inductee of both the National Radio Hall of Fame and NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame, Delilah will be back next Thursday (8/16) to close out the series and welcome performances from “Be More Chill,” “Gettin’ The Band Back Together, “Once On This Island” and “School of Rock.” Pictured here from left to right are “Aladdin” cast members Major Attaway (“Genie”); Arielle Jacobs (“Jasmine”); Delilah, and Telly Young (“Aladdin”) …. Specifically targeting mainstream CHRs, rhythmic CHRs, and hip-hop stations, the five-hour “Dana Cortez Show” is the first result of a joint syndication and sales initiative that was announced four months ago between ABC Radio and Skyview Networks. An ensemble cast is led by one of the first Latinas to host a nationally syndicated show. ABC Radio vice president and general manager Steve Jones comments, “Dana is a transformational talent whose voice connects with a very broad audience and women in particular. We are extremely proud to syndicate ‘The Dana Cortez Show’ and help Dana, [her executive producer and husband] ‘DJ Automatic’ and ‘Anthony A’ [comedian Anthony Almanzar] entertain more listeners and drive affiliate revenue.” Skyview Networks president Ken Thiele remarks, “When we started this collaboration with ABC Radio, ‘The Dana Cortez Show’ is exactly the type of gold we were hoping to find – programs and personality with momentum on the rise. We welcome them to the family.” Cortez adds that, “Partnering with ABC Radio and Skyview Networks is the realization of a lifelong dream. From day one, Steve Jones and his team have championed having a female host as the lead for their morning syndication. It sends a very powerful message and I’m excited to help pave the way. Today’s audience expects authenticity, there are no secrets between us – nothing is off limits. Every morning is brimming with culture and content. Originality is at the core of everything we do. We believe our show is radio reimagined. It’s not what we do, it’s how we do it.” Cortez joined Univision Radio San Antonio rhythmic CHR KBBT “98.5 The Beat” three years ago from similarly-formatted KKSS “Kiss 97.3,” Albuquerque ….. Catapulting from his role of program director of iHeartMedia Myrtle Beach (South Carolina) CHR WWXM “Mix 97.7,” Ron Roberts takes on similar duties at Entercom Atlanta hot AC WSTR “Star 94.” He succeeds Tony Lorin, who exited earlier this year; a successor to Roberts at “Mix” is yet to be named … In iHeartMedia’s San Diego cluster, KGB-FM “San Diego’s Classic Rock” and KIOZ “Rock 105.3” program director Shauna Moran is promoted to director of rock programming for both stations. Meanwhile, KGB afternoon co-host Bob Buchmann becomes KGB’s operations manager/music director. According to Moran, “It has been an amazing week for KGB with the triumphant return home of DSC in mornings and the assembling of a powerhouse line up: Clint August in middays; Bob and Coe [Lewis] in afternoons; and Marc Coppola in nights. It also is a privilege to name Bob operations manager and music director for KGB.” Prior to joining KGB-FM and KIOZ in 1996, Moran spent five years in Denver as promotion director for KAZY, KRFX, and KBPI. Buchmann, who did mornings on KGB-FM before shifting to afternoons, has programmed WAXQ, New York; KLOS, Los Angeles; and was vice president of programming for WBAB, Long Island ….. Starting next month (9/4), changes at Bonneville Denver adult contemporary KOSI “Real-Music-Variety” will find three-year afternoon host Jackie Selby shifting to mid-days, replacing Denise Plante, who departed last month. The afternoon slot vacated by Selby will be taken over by Melissa Moore, who will cross the hallway from country sibling KYGO, where she handles mid-days. Selby’s previous Denver background includes alternative KXPK “96.5 The Peak,” hot AC KALC “Alice 106,” classic hits-oldies KXKL “Kool 105,” and adult standards KTNI “101.5 Martini on the Rockies.” Moore returns to KOSI, where she was morning co-host in the late-1990’s. Her resume includes Orlando’s WWKA “Country “K-92,” Minneapolis hot AC KSTP-FM “KS 95,” and afternoons on the contemporary Christian “WAY-FM” network …..Five-year Radio One Indianapolis CHR WNOW “100.9 Radio Now” integrated media specialist Tony Severino will join crosstown Sarkes Tarzian triple A WTTS “92.3 World Class Rock – Experience The Music” next Tuesday (8/14) as director of sales. “His enthusiasm for our industry and what we can do for clients is outstanding,” states WTTS president and general manager Geoff Vargo, while station manager Brad Holtz notes, “The passion he has for the opportunities that lie ahead for our unique brand of local radio was evident upon our first conversation.” Severino succeeds Daryl McIntire, who has left the station ….. To promote the addition of Premiere Networks morning talent Bobby Bones to its on-air lineup (5:00 am – 10:00 am), iHeartMedia Louisville’s WAMZ “97.5 Kentuckiana’s #1 for Country” partnered with “Field of Screams” to showcase a guitar-playing skeleton and “The Bobby Bones Show” logo. Including a six-acre corn maze, the annual haunted house event is open from September 16 through October 27 in Brandenburg, Kentucky ….. Alpha Media Canton, Ohio hot AC WHBC-FM “Mix 94.1” is the latest affiliate of Envision NetworksEnvisionVirtualServices. According to “Mix” program director John Stewart, [meteorologist] John Wetherbee is mindful of Ohio’s ever-changing weather pattern. If our weather changes, he updates his forecasts.”

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

| August 8, 2018

Entercom Q2: “Great Progress.” Owing to the addition of CBS Radio, Entercom Communications’ second-quarter net revenue jumped, but fell on a same-station basis. Revenue nearly tripled from $125 million to $372.1 million; however, on a same-station basis, it decreased from $405.7 million to $372.1 million. Meanwhile, net income dropped from $6.4 million to $1.6 million. Entercom president and chief executive officer David Field notes, “We have made great progress across multiple fronts as we continue our work to capitalize on our transformational merger. We have signed a definitive agreement with Bonneville to complete our last required station divestitures; successfully launched the Entercom Audio Network with strong early revenues; terminated our painful relationship with United States Traffic Network; achieved rapid growth on our burgeoning Radio.com platform; and delivered a 5% reduction in Q2 expenses as we realize our merger-related synergies. Second-quarter revenues were down 8%, exacerbated by the loss of $12 million in revenues from USTN, but revenue performance is improving. We are currently pacing down 2% in the third-quarter, excluding the impact of USTN. For the fourth quarter, we are pacing up 3% on an unadjusted basis. I am proud of the outstanding team we have built and the terrific work they are doing to capitalize on our abundant scale-driven opportunities.”

Local Nielsen Media Impact Debuts. The planning system allows users to understand cross-media reach, frequency, and duplication on a local scale using advanced audience segments from Nielsen Scarborough. In addition, it enables advertisers, agencies, and media owners to reach their desired audience in the country’s 25 “Local People Meter” (LPM) Designated Market Areas (DMAs). Local Nielsen Media Impact is built with respondent level data to allow in-depth cross-platform analyses for both local television and radio separately, as well as TV and radio together. Beasley Media Group vice president of sales Bob McCurdy comments, “Local Nielsen Media Impact offers empirical data supporting radio’s ability to amplify and complement TV campaigns. This is the first time radio is included in this type of multi-channel media mix that enables users to derive cross media insights with currency grade accuracy. Nielsen Scarborough data within the NMI solution allows us to assess campaign scenarios against consumer insights.” According to Nielsen vice president of product leadership Jay Nielsen, “Local Nielsen Media Impact offers a unique lens to the industry, enabling effective decision-making about where and when to engage audiences with content and advertising on local levels. Similar to the solution clients have widely adopted on the national level, this local solution unlocks access to new insights on media allocation and schedule optimization to better reach a cross platform-based audience.”

Q2: Townsquare Media “Exceeds Previously Issued Guidance.” Second-quarter net revenue for Townsquare Media rose 1.9% to $11.96 million. Owing to the divestiture of North American Midway Entertainment, however, net income decreased by 70.6% to $1.6 million; net income from continuing operations improved 29.2% to $10.1 million. Co-chief executive officer Bill Wilson remarks, “Our second-quarter financial results exceeded our previously issued guidance, continuing the momentum we experienced in the first-quarter of the year. In the first six months of 2018, net revenue increased 2.6%, and 2.2% excluding political revenue; Adjusted EBITDA increased 6.6%. Our second-quarter and year-to-date revenue growth was primarily the result of continued stability in our broadcast products and strong revenue growth of our digital solutions.” Co-CEO Dhruv Prasad notes, “Through internal reorganization and the divestiture of North American Midway Entertainment, we have concluded the strategic reset that we initiated in late-2017 and have largely reoriented the company towards the stability, profitable growth, and cash generation of the advertising, marketing solutions, and live events businesses in our local market footprint. Our strong performance in the first half of this year reinforces that this was the right strategy, and we remain committed to this plan moving forward.”

Rush Limbaugh’s Impact on Radio and America Examined by News Site, Who. What. Why. (whowhatwhy.org)  Veteran talk radio programmer and executive Jeff Schechtman of Napa Broadcasting interviews TALKERS founder Michael Harrison about Rush Limbaugh and the state of talk radio for this week’s WhoWhatWhy.org podcast.  It is part of an article titled “The Mouth that Roared – How Rush Limbaugh Changed America” posted yesterday (8/7) marking the milestone of the talk radio superstar’s syndicated radio show reaching its 30th anniversary last week.  Schechtman and Harrison discuss the impact of the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine in 1987, Limbaugh’s major contributions to the rise of news/talk radio, how talk radio has changed over the decades, the driving factors behind those changes, the influence of the video screen on communications devices, and the general future of talk media.  To read the article and listen to the podcast, please click here .

Making Music Great Again.  It seems the talented Mike Gallagher isn’t the only member of the Salem roster of talk show hosts blessed with extraordinary gifts as a musical entertainer.  These two super-suave lounge lizards pictured above are none other than Salem Radio Network host Larry Elder (left) and WNYM (“AM 970 The Answer”), New York morning man Joe Piscopo (right).  The two are off-air buds and like hanging out together when they find themselves on the same coast.  This bit of show biz magic was captured last night (8/7) as the two serenaded thrilled diners at Vitello’s, a swingin’ hot spot in Studio City, California.  The song they were performing – Louis Armstrong’s classic, “What a Wonderful World.”

Sinclair Q2 Revenue Up 11.9%. While stats for its Seattle radio properties (KOMO “News Radio 1000 & 97.7, KVI “Talk Radio 570,” and hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5) are not broken out in its earnings release, Sinclair Broadcast Group saw second-quarter revenue increase 11.9% year-to-year to $730.1 million; net income attributable to the company fell from $44.6 million to $28 million. Regarding the pending acquisition of Tribune Media Company, Sinclair president and chief executive officer Chris Ripley states, “We are working with them to analyze approaches to the regulatory process that are in the best interest of our companies, employees, and shareholders.” In terms of Q2 results, Ripley notes, “[They] came in well ahead of guidance in all key financial metrics, and we expect the second half of the year to continue to be robust, underlined by increasing distribution revenues and strong political advertising spend. This year’s mid-term elections are expected by many to have the most spending in U.S. history with broadcast television a primary beneficiary.”

Urban One Second-Quarter Net Revenue Down 2.1%. The year-to-year total slips to $115.2 million although broadcast and digital operating income is up 6.1% to $44.3 million. Overall operating income doubles to $24.8 million and net income improves from $802,000 to $23.6 million. Attributed to results in Atlanta, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Raleigh, radio advertising fell 6% to $52 million. There was radio growth, however, in Dallas, Washington (D.C.), and Cleveland. Digital advertising, cable TV advertising, and event revenues are all off, as well; cable TV affiliate fees saw increases. Keeping pace with 2017, Tom Joyner’s 19th “Fantastic Voyage” took place in the second-quarter and generated $9.4 million. Company president and chief executive officer Alfred C. Liggins, III remarks, “Our Q2 radio performance was in line with expectation. After a tough April, the quarter improved sequentially, and we are currently pacing approximately flat for third-quarter. We are launching a new network in January 2019 that will target African-American females and feature lifestyle and entertainment programming. The addition of a second network will help us continue to grow our TV business in the longer term, and has great potential synergy with our existing platform. Our digital segment came in below expectation for Q2, but has had a very strong start to third quarter and we remain optimistic for the back half of the year.”

Lotus Acquires Scripps Stations in Tucson and Boise. Eight stations are involved in the $8 million transaction between (buyer) Lotus Communications and (seller) The E.W. Scripps Company. Lotus president Jim Kalmenson remarks, “We are looking forward to getting to know the many talented professionals at these Scripps radio stations. Both companies share a genuine passion for producing excellent local radio and serving the public.” Scripps president and chief executive officer Adam Symson adds, “Lotus Communications’ commitment to serving local communities – with a focus on western region markets in particular – makes it a natural fit to run the Tucson and Boise stations. This deal sets up the stations for continued success.” In Tucson, Lotus picks up and will keep adult contemporary KMXZ “94.9 “Mix FM” and sports talk KFFN “ESPN Tucson,” but will spin urban-rhythmic oldies KTGV “106.3 The Groove” and news/talk KQTH. Its Boise acquisitions include classic rock KJOT “J-105”; rock KQXR “100.3 – The X”; triple A KRVB “94.9 The River”; and classic hits KTHI “107.1 K-Hits.”

TALKERS News Notes. Longtime New York City (WMCA, WINS, WCBS-AM) newscaster and talk host Ralph Howard has died. According to Salem Radio Network vice president of news & talk programming Tom Tradup, “Ralph personified New York City – vibrant, charming, a little edgy, and nonstop energy; I will miss him greatly.” Tradup produced “Ralph & Ryan” on WMCA in the early-1980s; “Ryan” was longtime NBC-TV newsman Bill Ryan. In addition to New York City credentials, Howard worked in Chicago at WIND, WBBM-AM, and WCFL, as well as for The Associated Press and ABC Radio. Until he retired in May 2013, he was a news anchor for Howard Stern, hosting “Howard’s World,” covering Stern’s SiriusXM exploits. This Sunday (8/12) at 3:00 pm, a celebration of Ralph Howard’s life will be observed at New York City’s Riverside Chapel; Howard was 76 years old ….. Alpha Media Portland’s KXL “FM News 101” adds Envision Networks’ two-hour Nik Miles-hosted “Our Auto Expert” to its Sunday afternoon lineup (2:00 pm – 4:00 pm). Alpha Media executive vice president of programming Scott Mahalick remarks, “When it comes to personality and compelling automotive talk, nobody does it better than Nik Miles. We are excited to share ‘Our Auto Expert’ with the world as part of our commitment to bring the best live & local programming to our listener community.” KXL operations manager Bruce Collins notes, “Nobody knows more about the auto industry than Nik. He is both informative and entertaining – we welcome Nik and his show to KXL.” Miles adds, “I am so excited be working with the country’s most forward-thinkers in radio. Being live and local every week gives listeners an opportunity to be the first to hear about groundbreaking automotive stories and stay informed.” ….. The former general manager of Ohana Media Group’s six Anchorage (Alaska) stations – Tom Oakes – is named operations manager for Scripps Radio’s five-station Springfield, Missouri cluster, which consists of KTTS “94.7 Country’s Best”; CHR KSPW “Power 96.5”; adult hits KRVI “106.7 The River”; and KSGF AM & FM “News/Talk 1260 & 104.1.” In addition, he will be the program director of KTTS. Springfield Operations vice president and general manager Rex Hansen notes, “Tom Oakes brings years of experience in all formats we operate here in Springfield. Our listeners, team, and advertisers will benefit greatly from his expertise. His coaching skills will make a difference for our air staff immediately.” Oakes remarks, “A busy fall lies ahead as we prepare for not only the next ratings sweep, but continue to work with our on-going projects, promotions and programming needs across the entire cluster.” Oakes previously was vice president of programming for  Ohana’s 11 stations in Alaska and Oregon; worked for New Northwest Broadcasters in a variety of upper-management roles with their stations in Alaska, Montana, Oregon, and Washington; and has experience in Omaha, Madison, and South Bend (Indiana) ….. The annual Public Radio Program Directors (PRPD) content conference will be held later this month (8/20 – 8/23) at Austin’s Hyatt Regency Hotel. “Pixels and Place” author Kate O’Neill will be a keynote speaker. PRPD is the only national gathering devoted solely to public radio content and programming and this year’s conference, “will be the most format-inclusive in the organization’s history. As every public radio station grapples with consumption, relevance and sustainability, the PRPD is committed to creating a setting where content leaders can learn, network and advance their careers.” ….. Owing to a strategy change regarding original podcasts, Amazon’s Audible Originals senior vice president of original content development Eric Nuzum is departing. The former NPR executive made the announcement in an email earlier this week. Several other Audible Originals staffers – including the entire unit responsible for original spoken-word podcast content – are also exiting, according to published reports. After releasing high-profile shows in its short existence, Audible Originals has more recently shifted to signing major authors to audiobook-first deals.

Round Two of July 2018 PPM Data Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including Washington (D.C), Boston, Miami, Detroit, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Tampa, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 survey period covered June 21 – July 18. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

TEGNA Releases Q2 Financials. The former television division of Gannett, Virginia-based TEGNA, reports that its second-quarter net income from continuing operations was up 87.8% to $92.5 million. “Subscription,” which is the company’s term for television retransmission consent revenue, was up 16%. President/CEO Dave Lougee notes, “Our progress in the quarter gives us confidence that our growth strategy is on track. Our business mix continues to evolve toward predictable and profitable subscription-based revenue streams. Contrary to conventional wisdom, our paid subscriber base is very stable, and in fact, our total number of paid subscribers was up year-over-year for the first time in recent years.” TEGNA owns or operates 47 TV stations in 39 markets. Results for its San Diego radio properties, news/talk KFMB-AM “AM 760 Talk & Breaking News” and rock KFMB-FM “100.7 KFM-BFM,” are not broken out in its earnings releases. The company completed its acquisition of KFMB-AM, KFMB-FM, and KFMB-TV from Midwest Television six months ago for a reported $325 million.

Ohio Special Election/Primaries, Manafort Trial/Gates Testimony, California Wildfire and the Environment, Trump China Tariffs, Alex Jones/InfoWars Banned by YouTube and Facebook, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Discussed Yesterday (8/6). The cliffhanger special election in Ohio and key primaries in several states, the trial of former Donald Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort highlighted by the damaging testimony of Rick Gates; the deadly California wildfire and its connection to the environment; Alex Jones and InfoWars being dropped by several major social media platforms and MLB action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday (8/7), according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Co-host of “The Bob & Tom Show” – Tom Griswold – will host two evenings of live comedy featuring Greg Hahn, Pat Godwin, and Josh Arnold one week from Friday (8/17) at Indianapolis’ Irving Theater and the following night (8/18) at Lafayette, Indiana’s Lafayette Theater. All proceeds from both shows will go to The Nora Dane Fund, which helps defray the costs of medical treatment and related expenses for two-year-old Nora Dane, who is being treated for a rare, aggressive malignant brain tumor. Griswold states, “Three of my favorite comedians are stepping up to help little Nora. I promise a great night of comedy to support the amazing efforts being made to help this wonderful little girl.” Preferred seating tickets for each show are $75 and include early access to the venue; a meet-and-greet with the featured talent; a photo; VIP laminate; and choice of seating. Griswold and co-host Bob Kevoian originate their Westwood One syndicated show from Cumulus Media Indianapolis flagship WFBQ “Q-95 Indy’s Classic Rock.” ….. In honor of mid-day talent Pat Martin’s 30th anniversary with Entercom Sacramento’s KRXQ “98 Rock,” The Pat Martin All-Star Band will perform tonight (Wednesday, 8/8, 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm) as part of a free concert at Folsom, California’s Powerhouse Pub. Guest band members Jeff Keith from Tesla, composer Robert Sabino, and UFO’s “Atomik” Tommy McClendon are among others scheduled to appear. Martin currently fronts the longest consecutive running radio show in Sacramento history ….. As part of an exclusive long-term partnership with Saga Communications, Mediabase and BuzzAngle Music will provide Saga with comprehensive music listening and consumption data for more than 130 radio stations nationwide. Saga Communications vice president of programming Bob Lawrence comments, “Mediabase and BuzzAngle have proven to be essential tools for our many markets and programmers over the years. When presented with the opportunity to put them in our arsenal on a group-wide level, we simply could not resist.” Mediabase president and RCS Worldwide president/CEO Philippe Generali remarks, “We couldn’t be more thrilled to be chosen by the very talented programming team at Saga Communications. This partnership will expand the list of markets covered by Mediabase and complement it with the BuzzAngle sales and streaming data for all Saga stations.” Meanwhile, Jim Lidestri, chief executive officer of Border City Media, the makers of BuzzAngle Music, adds, “Mediabase’s airplay monitoring and BuzzAngle’s extensive consumer analytics is a powerful combination for programmers. We are delighted to partner with Saga to give them the most comprehensive tools to connect with – and engage – their listeners through music.” ….. Tickets go on sale this Friday (8/10) for Stephens Media Group Tulsa alternative KMYZ “Z-104.5 The Edge,”-sponsored “The Edge Halloween Haunt.” The October 31 event will feature The Struts, Meg Myers, and Albert Hammond, Jr. ….. After a four-year hiatus, Corey Garrison will return to Binnie Media Portland, Maine country outlet WTHT “99.9 The Wolf” later this month (8/20) as music director and afternoon driver. Operations manager Stan Bennett notes, “Corey has a great passion for country music. I could not be happier to see him return home and help an already veteran team keep ‘The Wolf’ Maine’s most-listened to country station.” Prior to working for three Blueberry Broadcasting stations in Lewistown-Augusta-Bangor, Maine (WABK, WBAK, and WBKA), Garrison was assistant program director/music director/afternoon talent at “The Wolf” (2007-2014). He takes over for J.C. Coffey, who left WTHT late last month ….. This past Saturday (8/4), 24-year-old Eric Manias was a victim of a home invasion at his New Albany (Ohio) apartment. Manias is a family member of Digi-Dude Nate, who is part of “Bailey and Southside,” the morning team on Cumulus Media Atlanta’s WNNX “Rock 100.5.” Manias was shot twice, beaten, and robbed. Transported to Grant Hospital, he is in critical condition with a fractured jaw and arm; broken hip; and numerous cuts and bruises; he’s had four surgeries thus far. Manias was born with pulmonary atresia, a heart disease in which the pulmonary valve is not properly formed. Shortly after his birth, he had three open-heart procedures. As of noon yesterday (8/7), a fund to help with his medical bills raised more than $5,700 toward a $10,000 goal ….. WOCQ-HD2 “Kool Oldies,” Salisbury-Ocean City (Maryland); WQTL “Kool Oldies 106.1,” Tallahassee (Florida); and KWML “Kool Oldies,” Las Cruces (New Mexico) are the latest affiliates of Envision Networks’Wolfman Jack Radio Show.” All three are Adams Radio Group properties. Its president & chief executive officer Ron Stone states, “We are thrilled to bring ‘The Wolfman’ back in our markets where we have great oldies stations playing the best music of all time. We believe the audience our oldies stations target are going to fall in love with ‘The Wolfman’ all over again.”

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

| August 7, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

Thursday, July 26, 2018

| July 26, 2018

Former KFTK-FM, St. Louis Host Jamie Allman, Emmis and Entercom Argue Over Motion to Dismiss His Breach of Contract Suit.  If you’ve been following the legal case in which talk show host Jamie Allman is suing Emmis and Entercom for his firing from news/talk KFTK-FM, St. Louis, there’s an update to report.  Remember that Allman was let go after the blowback from his tweet in which he referenced Florida school shooting survivor and activist David Hogg saying, “I’ve been hanging out getting ready to ram a hot poker up David Hogg’s ass tomorrow.”  Emmis/Entercom asked the court to dismiss the case and on Tuesday (7/24), each side filed arguments for and against the motion to dismiss.  Allman argues to convert the Motion to Dismiss to a motion for summary judgement due to Emmis/Entercom’s attachment of the contract’s Assignment and Assumption Agreement and news stories about his tweet to its argument and second, due to his claim that he’s a third-party beneficiary of the contract because of FCC ownership cap issues affecting the Emmis-Entercom stations sale.  Emmis/Entercom argue that their attachments comply with the rules for filing for the Motion and that Allman’s ownership cap argument is irrelevant because that matter is governed by the FCC.  Allman also argues that whether Emmis/Entercom legally fired him based on the language of his contract should be decided by a jury, not by a judge in the form of a dismissal.  It appears Jamie Allman is in this fight for the long haul.

‘New Jersey 101.5’ Suspends Dennis Malloy and Judi Franco for ‘Turban Man’ Comment. After catching heat for comments made by midday personalities Dennis Malloy (right) and Judi Franco (left) about New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” has suspended the pair “until further notice.”  During a radio conversation about Gurbir’s decision to not prosecute low-level marijuana arrests for the next month, the duo referred to Gurbi – a practicing Sikh – as “turban man.”  The comments went viral on social media and the station posted its response on its website. It says, “We are aware of the offensive comments made by Dennis and Judi during today’s broadcast.  We have taken immediate action and have taken them off the air until further notice.  We are investigating the matter and will have further comment shortly.”

Mike Pintek Takes Leave from KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh. After being off the air for a few weeks, KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh talk host Mike Pintek announces he’s on leave from the station to focus on his health.  In May of 2017, Pintek announced he’s been diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer and is under the care of Dr. Nathan Bahary at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center.  He says in a statement posted on the KDKA website, “At this point, I need to take some time and really focus on my health.  I know a number of listeners have reached out to the station to get an update on my condition since I haven’t been on the air for a few weeks.  I want everyone to know how much I appreciate all your prayers, kind words, encouragement and support.”  Pintek recently suffered a stroke but his doctors believe his rehab from that will be successful and he’ll return to his course of chemotherapy.

SiriusXM CEO Says AM/FM Must Improve Its Product to Survive. Commenting on the competitive nature of today’s audio services industry during Wednesday’s Q2 investor conference call, SiriusXM chief executive officer Jim Meyer says that his company has been addressing the threats of new and improved audio services since he’s been with the company.  In talking about that, he also gave his opinion about AM/FM radio’s future.  “I’ve been here almost 14 years, and during those 14 years I’ve seen a couple of moments where people have said, ‘Oh, competition and what’s it going to do?’  And yet, you look at the unbelievable things that have occurred over the last 10 years – the unbelievable surge in technology and yet you still look at the number of people that listen to AM/FM radio every day, okay?  And honestly, that’s the area I think that’s got a problem.  If they don’t vastly improve their product, that’s the area where I think listener hours are finally going to come or finally going to shift away to other things.  If you really want to know where I think it inevitably shakes out.”

SiriusXM Second Quarter Revenue Up 6%.  CEO Jim Meyer wasn’t taking a potshot at radio in the story above, but he makes his comments standing on pretty firm ground as far as SiriusXM’s business is concerned.  The company announces its 2018 second quarter revenue was $1.4 billion, up 6% over Q2 of 2017.  Net income for the quarter was $292 million, a gain of 42% over last year’s $202 million figure.  Jim Meyer states, “SiriusXM’s strong start to 2018 accelerated in the second quarter.  We added 483,000 net new self-pay subscribers in the quarter with an impressive 1.6% self-pay churn rate, our best-ever performance.  Our 6% growth in revenue would have been 8% absent the change in generally accepted accounting principles that was effective January 1, and we are thrilled to increase our full-year guidance for self-pay net additions, revenue and adjusted EBITDA.”

Nielsen 2018 Q2 Revenue Flat. Ratings and research giant Nielsen Holdings plc announces 2018 second quarter financial results.  Nielsen was basically flat on revenue of $1.6 billion, up 0.2% compared the same period in 2017.  Nielsen Audio is part of the company’s Watch segment that was up 4.5%, but the audio revenue was basically flat for the quarter.  The Audience Measurement of Video and Text and Marketing Effectiveness revenues accounted for a large portion of the Watch segment’s growth.

Nielsen’s Mitch Barns to Retire at Year’s End. Also on Wednesday (7/25), Nielsen’s board of directors announced that CEO and board member Mitch Barns will retire from the company at the end of 2018.  James Attwood, current chairman of the board, is named executive chairman.  Barns will remain through the end of the year and Attwood, a managing director at The Carlyle Group will assume a more active role and will direct the search for the new CEO.  Attwood says, “Mitch has left an indelible mark on Nielsen – his commitment to integrity, openness, values and engagement will continue to be the heart of this company for years to come.  I, along with the rest of the board of directors, thank him for his service.”

Salem Selling KOTK-AM, Omaha to Hickory Radio. Omaha-market news/talk KOTK-AM “The Answer” and religious KCRO-AM (and their translators) are being sold by Salem Media Group to Hickory Radio, an affiliate of Walnut Radio.  The deal includes the stations continuing to operate in those formats and with their respective brands, as Salem is licensing “The Word” and “The Answer” to Hickory.  Salem president/broadcast Dave Santrella says, “We are thrilled to put these radio stations in the capable hands of Walnut Radio, a broadcaster with deep roots in the area and with a commitment to maintain the quality of broadcast our ministry partners, advertisers and listeners have come to expect.”  No price has been announced yet.

News/Talk KVOI, Tucson Sold to Bustos Media. The Doug and Mary Martin-owned company Good News Communications agrees to sell news/talk KVOI, Tucson to Amador Bustos’ Bustos Media Holdings.  No sale price has been announced yet but Bustos says in a statement, “As a long-time Spanish language broadcaster, we are excited to step into the arena of news/talk radio in Tucson, Arizona, a city we have worked in before and have loved for many years.”  KALIL & CO., INC. is the exclusive broker for this transaction.

TALKERS News Notes. The new voice of the New Orleans Saints is former Saints player Zach Strief, who begins handling play-by-play duties on flagship Entercom’s WWL-AM/FM, New Orleans. Strief will work alongside former teammate Deuce McAllister.  Entercom New Orleans SVP and market manager Chris Wegman states, “When we set the criteria for the new ‘Voice of the Saints’ we were looking for someone who would make the professional play calls, as well as someone who has a deep connection to the team, the fans, and our community.  Zach possesses all of those qualities, knows the game firsthand and is a fixture in the New Orleans community. We’re very excited about adding him to the team.”…..Envision Networks announces that it has brought aboard new affiliate relations manager Josh Friedman.  He comments, “After being able to intern with Envision Networks, I was excited to join the team full time when the opportunity came.  I look forward to working with Danno, Laura, and the rest of the team and to continue to grow Envision’s affiliate base while upholding the superlative level of customer service established by Envision.”…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that iHeartMedia Chicago chief engineer Bob Fukuda has exited the station group. Feder notes that Fukuda was a 30-year veteran of iHeartMedia, as well as its predecessors Clear Channel and Evergreen Media…..WBUR, Boston names Meghna Chakrabarti and David Folkenflik co-hosts of the NPR-syndicated midday program “On Point.”  They will assume their new on-air duties on August 20. They take over for Tom Ashbrook, who exited back in February after allegations of workplace abuse.  Folkenflik is an NPR correspondent and Chakrabarti is host of WBUR’s “Radio Boston.”…..The “Motley Fool Money” radio show, hosted by Chris Hill, adds new affiliate station WTAX, Springfield, Illinois.

Trump-Cohen Tapes/Russia Investigation, U.S.-E.U. Meeting, Trump Pushes Back Putin Meeting, Rosenstein Impeachment, YouTube Bans Alex Jones Videos, Trump-Iran Rhetoric, U.S.-China Trade War, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/25).  The release of some of the recordings made of Michael Cohen’s conversations with President Trump and the investigation into possible Russian connections with the Trump campaign; President Trump’s meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker over trade issues; the next Trump-Putin meeting is pushed off into 2019; GOP House members introduce articles of impeachment against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein; YouTube bans three Alex Jones videos from its platform; the war rhetoric between President Trump and Iran; the effects of the U.S.-China trade war; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. A new, nationally syndicated weekend program featuring Ellen K is being launched by iHeartMedia.  Dubbed “The Ellen K Weekend Show,” it will be a four-hour adult contemporary weekend program emanating from Los Angeles where Ellen K also hosts morning on the company’s KOST.  The company calls it “custom-tailored content for an audience that wants to feel informed on lifestyle trends, inspired by ‘feel good’ moments and enhanced by shareable factoids.  Listeners will also enjoy the latest showbiz news and interviews with the biggest names in music like John Legend, Lady Gaga, Meghan Trainor, Kelly Clarkson and more.”…..Beasley Media Group names Joel Weiss music director for alternative WBOS “ALT 92.9,” effective August 6.  Weiss spent the past 13 years as music director and air personality at Cox Media Group’s alternative WSUN, Tampa “97X.” WBOS program director Ken West says, “I’m excited to welcome Joel to ‘ALT 92.9.’ He loves music, loves radio, and loves Boston.  His passion and energy for the alternative format will help push ‘ALT 92.9’ to new heights!”

Thursday, June 21, 2018

| June 21, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

Illegal Immigration Policy/Peter Fonda Tweet, Trump Trade War, U.S.-North Korea Meeting, Cops Kills Black Teen in Pittsburgh, World Cup, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/20).  The controversy over the separation of children from parents in the crackdown on illegal immigration and the related case of Peter Fonda’s Tweet about separating President Trump’s son from his family; the tariffs being tacked on foreign goods and concerns about  global trade war; the aftermath of President Trump’s meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un; the death of an unarmed black teenager at the hands of a police officer in Pittsburgh; the World Cup tournament in Russia; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

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

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

| June 20, 2018

RTDNA Announces National Edward R. Murrow Award Winners. From more than 4,400 entries, the awards recognize 89 local and network radio, television and digital news organizations for 118 examples of outstanding journalism in 16 categories. The leader in overall Radio Television Digital News Association awards with five – NPR – scores wins in “Continuing Coverage,” “Excellence in Social Media,” “Excellence in Sound,” “Excellence in Hard News,” and “News Documentary.” Hubbard Washington, DC all-news WTOP and New Hampshire Public Radio repeated their 2017 wins for “Overall Excellence” in large market radio and small market radio, respectively. RTDNA executive director Dan Shelley notes, “Winning an RTDNA National Edward R. Murrow Award means that a news organization has provided exemplary public service to its viewers, listeners, and readers. These honorees truly represent the very best in broadcast and digital journalism around the world. We cannot make our communities better unless we understand them, and these stories from news organizations large and small have educated, uplifted, inspired, uncovered, and enlightened. These winning pieces revealed the tragedies of human trafficking, kept audiences safe and informed during devastating hurricanes and fires, and provided desperately sought information and context during too-common moments of violence. They provided insight into healthcare, homelessness and immigration issues, engaged communities in learning about mental health and dug deep into election interference.” In addition to the “Overall Excellence” award won for the second time straight and 12th over 18 years, CBS News Radio was recognized for “Best Audio Newscast” for the sixth time in succession. This year, it was for “World News Roundup” coverage of Hurricane Harvey with Norah O’Donnell reporting from Houston and Steve Kathan anchoring from New York. Coverage of the mass shooting of concertgoers on the Las Vegas Strip last October earned the staff the “Breaking News” award for a report by Steve Futterman, Steve Dorsey, and Deborah Rodriguez. This year’s “Excellence in Writing” award went to Dave Ross for his daily feature. CBS News Radio general manager Craig Swagler states, “It is because of our great radio station affiliates that we are a better, stronger radio network.” Entercom was honored with three awards: Large Market Radio “Excellence in Sound” to all-news KCBS-AM, San Francisco for “Wine Country on Fire”; News Series to all-news WCBS-AM, New York for “The Breaking Point”; and the same station scored for “Newscast” (October 31, 2017, 5:00 pm). The national awards will be presented in four months (10/22) at the RTDNA “Edward R. Murrow Awards Gala” in New York City’s Gotham Hall.

KBME To Shuffle Its Lineup. Former National Football League quarterback Sean Salisbury will join the weekday lineup of iHeartMedia Houston’s KBME “Sports Talk 790” in afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm), starting in less than three weeks (Monday, 7/9). Director of AM programming for iHeartMedia Houston, Bryan Erickson, notes, “We are thrilled to be adding Salisbury to the team. The former quarterback brings a unique perspective from his days on the gridiron. We have put together an all-star lineup of guys who know sports and love talking about sports. [KBME] is truly the best destination for compelling local sports content in Houston.” Salisbury adds, “I have been blessed with a full career. This opportunity to work with iHeart and ‘Sports Talk 790’ was too good to pass up in so many ways. I don’t take these great moments lightly. The last five years have been special. I fully expect this new journey to be filled with ‘wow’ moments that make our listeners feel like they are getting the show they deserve.” Following his ten-year professional football career, Salisbury was an NFL analyst on ESPN, and served as a consultant for the 2005 remake of “The Longest Yard.” KBME’s revised lineup as of July 9 will include Josh Innes (6:00 am – 10:00 am); “In the Trenches with Koch & Kalu” (10:00 am – 12:00 noon); Matt Thomas (12:00 noon – 3:00 pm); and Salisbury from 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm. The station will continue its broadcast partnerships with the Houston Astros, Houston Rockets, and the University of Texas football and basketball teams.

MacFarlane Donates $2 Million to NPR; $500,000 to KPCC. Opting to answer Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s comments about dishonesty in the media with his wallet, “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane is making a $2 million donation to NPR and $500,000 to Los Angeles’ NPR membership station, KPCC. MacFarlane’s contribution will directly benefit NPR’s Collaborative Journalism Network, which connects NPR’s nearly 1,800 journalists so they are able to share resources and eliminate “news deserts” in the United States. An NPR spokesperson writes, “We are deeply appreciative of the generous gift from Seth MacFarlane, which will go to supporting local news coverage, allowing NPR and member stations to continue working together to tell the story of the whole country from everywhere in the country.” Southern California Public Radio president and CEO Bill Davis states, “We are deeply moved by Seth’s generous contribution to Southern California Public Radio, KPCC, and NPR. It is this local/national partnership that is the heart of our shared public service mission and we are committed to more fully realizing that mission thanks to this gift and his challenge for others to join us.” Last Thursday, Carlson stated, “If you’re looking to understand what’s actually happening in this country, always assume the opposite of whatever they’re telling you on the big news stations.” In a tweet, MacFarlane wrote that statements like Carlson’s “make me embarrassed to work for this company,” referring to Fox for whom MacFarlane has provided “Family Guy,” “American Dad,” “Cleveland,” and “Orville.” As a direct rebuke to Carlson’s remarks, MacFarlane further told his Twitter followers, “In other words, don’t think critically, don’t consult multiple news sources, and in general, don’t use your brain.”

TALKERS Founder Michael Harrison Says Fox News Channel Hosts Present “Legitimate” Point of View on the Current Border Controversy.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison spoke this morning (6/20) on CNN’s Headline News Channel (HLN) program “Across America with Carol Costello” about the media’s role in the current border immigration controversy (pictured above).  Costello asked Harrison for his perspective on threats by 21st Century Fox show business producers such as Seth MacFarlane (“Family Guy”) and Steve Levitan (“Modern Family”) as well as director Paul Feig who have publicly expressed “disgust” and “embarrassment” over the way Fox News Channel has been covering the family-separation issue with hosts Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham and others showing support of President Trump’s stringent policy.  Harrison said that he doesn’t take these threats seriously and the situation will probably be resolved with the country moving on to the next issue before they could even make good on them.  If anything, Harrison said, this issue will force Trump to further tweak and define murky areas of his immigration policy.  Harrison went on to say that the Hollywood establishment “which includes show business across the board such as Broadway and what took place at the Tony Awards” is hurting its own cause as well as its business interests by speaking out so vehemently for one side in what is a highly-charged polarized situation.  Harrison stated, “Famous people whose media products are not directly involved in politics would be wise to stay out of the fray because they will only further alienate the significant segment of the public and electorate that is supportive of Trump… even to the point of strengthening its resolve.”  When asked if he thinks the potential acquisition of Fox by Walt Disney Co. or Comcast could result in the Fox News Channel modifying its conservative stand, Harrison replied, “Probably not – they are in business and it is doubtful that they would do something to diminish the formidable earnings of a viable news venue serving a large portion of the population.”  Harrison concluded, “No matter how harsh or even cruel Trump’s handling of this situation might be, there are many millions of Americans who support him on it and, thus, Fox News Channel is presenting a legitimate point of view within the highly diverse American marketplace of ideas.  If Fox were to back off on its pro-Trump stance, you can be sure other venues such as Newsmax would be more than happy to swoop in and fill the void that would be waiting to be served.”

Westwood One News’ Vietnam Retrospective Nabs Gold Medal Award. Among the five citations Westwood One News received Monday night (6/18) from the New York International Radio Festival was a gold medal award for “Pain & Pride: Remembering Vietnam – 50 Years Later,” which aired during Veterans Day weekend (November, 2017). Westwood One host/Vietnam veteran Jim Bohannon narrated “Pain & Pride.” Bohannon, who served with the 856th Radio Research Detachment in Cat Lai and Long Binh from 1967 -1968, won a NY Festival prize 30 years ago for his first “Pain & Pride news special. He comments, “I am very gratified that producer David Oziel, the Westwood One News team, and I have received this recognition. For me, there is special meaning in that we did a 20-year look back special that won the New York Festival’s Grand Award in 1988. Also, I’ll be the keynote speaker [tomorrow, Thursday, 6/21] at the Branson, Missouri reunion of my Vietnam unit, the 199th Light Infantry Brigade. It is a delightful manifestation of what Vietnam vets say to each other – ‘welcome home.’” Bohannon gave the keynote address at the Vietnam Wall Memorial in Washington in 1990; was the principal MC for the Vietnam Veterans reunion in Branson in 2002; and hosted the “Rumble” at “TALKERS 2018” less than two weeks ago (6/8) in New York City.

PPM Analysis: All-News. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents four analyses of the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s May PPM survey. Today’s report focuses on the all-news format. A year-to-year improvement of nine-tenths (8.8 – 9.7, 6+) enables Hubbard’s WTOP to move from second to third in Washington, DC. It is the only all-news station in a PPM-market to rank first in May 2018. Moreover, with a 9.6 (6+), it once again boasts the strongest 6+-share among its all-news peers. The category’s runner-up in all six survey periods highlighted in this analysis (“Holiday” 2017 – May 2018) is iHeartMedia Sacramento’s KFBK (6.7, 6+, May 2018). See the entire all-news overview here.

Edison Research Releases 2018 Q1 “Share of Ear” Report. The study quantifies reach and time spent with of all forms of audio. Results indicate terrestrial AM and FM radio remains the centerpiece of audio. Among nuggets from the quarterly report as summarized on the Westwood One website by director of content marketing Lauren Vetrano: AM/FM accounts for 47% of all audio time spent among persons 18+. “Owned music” is next at 12%, followed by YouTube videos (9%); ad-free SiriusXM (5%) and TV music channels (5%). AM/FM’s share has been consistently strong throughout the last few years. Edison reports AM/FM radio’s daily reach also remains stable, while Pandora continues to see losses in share and reach; Spotify has grown 36% (3% to 4.1%). Since 2016, Pandora’s “Share of Ear” dropped 17%. From 2016 to 2018, millennials 18-34 daily reach jumped 39%. Daily reach among 25-54s increased 52%. In addition, podcasting’s daily reach is growing, especially among younger audiences, with listening share +39% in two years to 15.2% among those 18-34 and +52% to 9.7% in the same timeframe among 25-54s.

Salem Radio Network Sets Midterm Election Coverage. With its vice president of news & talk programming Tom Tradup commenting, “There is unprecedented interest in this year’s midterms,” Salem Radio Network will feed live Mike Gallagher-anchored coverage on (Tuesday) November 6 beginning at 7:00 pm (ET). Adding their perspective as well that night will be SRN host Hugh Hewitt; White House correspondent Greg Clugston; Senate correspondent Linda Kenyon; Congress correspondent Wally Hindes; Pentagon/military affairs correspondent Colonel Robert Maginnis; and SRN analyst/former presidential candidate Gary Bauer.

TALKERS News Notes. Having overseen the programming content strategy for 54 radio stations in Radio One’s 15 markets and Reach Media‘s nationally syndicated programming since January 2007, senior vice president of programming content Jay Stevens will leave the company when his contract expires the middle of next month. Immediately prior to joining Radio One, Stevens spent 16 years as vice president of programming for CBS Radio ….. It’s a busy week for Westwood One “Sterling on Sunday” host Walter (Sabo) Sterling who is filling in for Westwood One teammate Jim Bohannon tonight (Wednesday, 6/20) and tomorrow night (Thursday, 6/21). Sterling will be originating those shows from Entercom Pittsburgh news/talk KDKA-AM. Then, in approximately two weeks (7/5 and 7/6), he will guest host for Cumulus Media Little Rock news/talk KARN-FM afternoon drive talent Doc Washburn ….. Chicago media writer Robert Feder (RobertFeder.com) is first to report that veteran “Windy City” news anchor Dave Stewart (WGN, WLS-AM, WIND) will retire at the end of the month … Word from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Rodney Ho is that Elly Yu is remaining in the public news/talk arena but shifting from Atlanta Public Schools-owned WABE to American University’s WAMU as a general assignment reporter.

ABC Radio To Air Four July 4th Specials. All will be three hours in length for broadcast over the upcoming holiday weekend. In “America’s Pastimes,” ABC News Radio correspondent Aaron Katersky enjoys the pastimes that comprise a classic American summer such as the back porch, barbeque, sports, and a day at the beach. Katersky will explore not only the traditional American summer hobbies, but also those that are new. ABC News Radio correspondent Alex Stone hosts “Great American Car Show” in which he examines America’s love affair with the automobile. He tours the presidential limousine that John F. Kennedy was in on that fateful day in Dallas; visits an assembly line making the Ford Mustang (pictured at left); and ponders a future with flying cars. Stone will take listeners on a tour down historic Route 66, do donuts with a Hollywood stunt car driver and learn about the latest in car technology. “Red, White and True-Blue Country Fan Salute” is hosted by Dustin Lynch, who reveals the special relationship between country artists and their fans. Among those included are Jason Aldean, Kelsea Ballerini, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Little Big Town, and Darius Rucker. They discuss their most memorable and strangest fan encounters, how they engage with fans on social media and what sets country fans apart from partisans of other musical genres. Eddie Money-hosted “Red, White & Rock 2018” celebrates cities, artists, and songs that comprise the landscape of American rock and roll. It will feature music from Aerosmith, Allman Brothers Band, Cheap Trick, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Tom Petty, Bob Seger, Bruce Springsteen, Van Halen, and ZZ Top.

Coleman Insights To Present Podcast Engagement Study. Results will be shared next month (7/25) in Philadelphia at Podcast Movement as part of the conference’s Industry Track. The study will reportedly offer second-by-second data in an analysis on listener reactions to “The Ben & Ashley Almost Famous Podcast,” hosted by former contestants from ABC-TV’s “The Bachelor.” Coleman Insights executive vice president/senior consultant Sam Milkman notes, “We will go well beyond the simple measures of listener and download counts that podcasters are used to seeing and examine content engagement. By looking at how the audience responds to specific content, podcasters can more effectively develop engaging content.” Podcast Movement co-founder Dan Franks remarks, “One of the biggest challenges for a podcaster is to figure out who their listener is, and what their listener wants. Coleman’s solutions for this problem are very exciting for us as organizers, as we get to help spread the word throughout the entire podcast community this July.” Milkman will present the findings with John Boyne and will be joined by iHeartRadio senior vice president of podcasting Chris Peterson.

For The Record. An item in yesterday’s TALKERS (Tuesday, 6/19) noted that “CBS World News Roundup” earned a “gold” medal in the New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards; “CBS World News Roundup” actually won a “bronze.” We apologize for the error.

 

NYC’s “Alt 92.3” Adds Segall, Stone. In two separate moves, Entercom New York’s WNYL “Alt 92.3” names Bryce Segall music director/evening talent and Dan Stone imaging director. Segall begins in less than two weeks (Monday, 7/2); Stone starts next Monday (6/25). Entercom New York regional president and market manager Susan Larkin comments, “Bryce has continuously displayed the ability to be innovative in the programming end of our industry; we are excited to add his talents. Dan’s previous imaging and voiceover experience will pay great dividends as he joins us in the same capacity.” According to Segall, “New York City is an iconic pillar of alternative culture. It has long deserved a radio station that not only pays tribute, but adds to that legacy. I am looking forward to working with the ‘Alt 92.3’ team to develop an outlet that truly adds value to the thriving, pre-existing music community.” Stone notes, “Helping to build an ‘Alt’ radio brand for New York City is a dream come true. This station’s passion for the format is unequalled; I can’t wait to wake up and be a part of that.” Segall previously was assistant program director/air personality for Seattle’s KNDD “107.7 The End,” and label manager for Mad Zoo. Stone was an imaging contributor/consultant for Cumulus Media Chicago. WNYL is the former WBMP – its calls were changed last Tuesday (6/12). Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s May 2018 sweep, the station ranked #19 (2.0).

Bevvy of Beasley Media Group Philly Activities. Several community-oriented activities undertaken by Beasley Media Group Philadelphia seemingly converged all at once. Many employees at the cluster were involved in its recent “Best Day of Caring event to help the City of Philadelphia Community Life Improvement Program (CLIP). Team members from WMMR “93.3 Everything That Rocks”; WMGK “102.9 Philadelphia’s Classic Rock”;  adult hits WBEN-FM “95.7 Ben FM”; sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic”; sports talk WTEL “610 ESPN”; and WWDB “Talk 860” divided into two shifts to clean up a block in the city’s Frankford section. While there, they picked up trash and removed graffiti to help support the organization’s beautification project. Vice president and market manager Joe Bell comments, “This is truly what being a part of a local community is all about. I could not be more proud of our employees for paying it forward and helping our beloved city. I am proud to be on their team.” Meanwhile, last Friday (6/15), WMGK’s John DeBella raised over $143,000 for local veterans as part of his 13th annual radiothon at the National Constitution Center. Over the past decade, the station has raised over one million dollars to support vets in need. Among those donating items used in a series of eBay auctions that occurred in conjunction with the radiothon were Def Leppard’s Rick Allen, Jimmy Buffett, Phil Collins, Eagles, Billy Joel, and Yes. Former leader of Creedence Clearwater Revival, John Fogerty, called the station to voice his support. The following day (Saturday, 6/16), the 13th annual WMMR “I Bleed For Preston & Steve Blood Drive” produced 1,128 units of blood to benefit The American Red Cross Penn-Jersey Blood Services Region. Listeners showed up during a time when the American Red Cross needs blood the most and they received “Preston & Steve” T-shirts and “I Bleed For Preston & Steve pint glass. Hundreds of donors were randomly selected to receive a pair of tickets to a summer concert. Free food and samples were also provided. Thus far, the annual event has collected nearly 15,000 pints of blood.

O’Brien Inks Multi-Year WCSX Extension. Four-year WCSX “94.7 The Classic Rock Station” morning drive personality (Big) Jim O’Brien signs a multi-year deal to continue hosting “Big Jim’s Houseon the Beasley Media Group Detroit outlet. Vice president/market manager Mac Edwards comments, “It is really a pleasure to be associated with Jim and the healthy combination of creativity, wit, and passion for cars and classic rock he brings to his morning listeners in the ‘Motor City.’ Jim’s work to establish Glenn Frey Drive in Royal Oak and soon Bob Seger Boulevard in Ann Arbor; his tireless efforts on behalf of veterans; and his respect for all things Detroit prove he is an extraordinary ambassador for both WCSX and the city he calls home.” Program director JT Tarrants states, “I have been a ‘Big Jim’ fan since I arrived here. We are so glad to have him buttoned up to lead our morning show into the future.” O’Brien adds, “It is an honor to be part of the Beasley Media Group family in Detroit. I look forward to continue entertaining our dedicated ‘Motor City’ listeners for years to come.” O’Brien has been with WCSX since 2002 and is joined on the morning show by co-host Erin V and producer Ryan Logan.

San Andres Ascends to “Z-90” APD. XHTZ “Z-90 – Today’s Hit Music,” the Comunicación XERSA-owned mainstream CHR covering San Diego, promotes music director Kat San Andres to assistant program director. Program director R Dub comments, “It is team members behind the spotlight like Kat San Andres who are responsible for the incredible success of ‘Z-90’ and the other brands in this building. Kat’s relentless work ethic and passion for the business helps propel ‘Z-90’ forward every day; expanding her role here was overdue. Add to that, she is the ‘Z-90’ listener; has a great set of ears; and is a lot cooler than I will ever be.” With the station since 2004, San Andres remarks, “Fourteen years later, I am still in love with this career. I am always so thankful and grateful that I decided to take a risk to follow my dreams because it has led me to this wonderful adventure. I am so excited for this opportunity and cannot wait to start this new chapter.” Meanwhile, Kalyna Astrinos of San Diego’s KGTV-TV joins “Z-90” for weekends. She and R Dub worked together at iHeartMedia Los Angeles in 2009.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. After 16 years in the CBS Radio Los Angeles – now Entercom – cluster, John Michael resigns. During his tenure, he was assistant program director/music director at mainstream CHR KAMP “97.1 Amp Radio”; music director for adult hits KCBS-FM “93.1 Jack FM’: and music coordinator/weekend air talent at alternative KROQ ….. Digital program director for iHeartMedia San Francisco Matty Staudt is elevated to iHeartRadio’s vice president of podcast programming. Staudt has launched more than 30 original locally-focused podcasts and hosts iHeartRadio’s “Access Podcast.” In 2008, he became part of the startup team and first director of content and community for the podcasting app Stitcher before moving to Premiere Networks as a consulting producer. A teacher at the Academy of Art University, Staudt will report directly to senior vice president of podcasting Chris Peterson …..Exiting Saga Columbus adult contemporary WSNY “Sunny 95” after 24 years is morning talent Dino Tripodis. Co-host Stacy McKay is the interim replacement named by program director Michelle Matthews …..  Morning drivers Chaz & AJ of Connoisseur Media New Haven’s WPLR “99.1 Connecticut’s #1 Rock Station” raised $18,000 for Connecticut based “Homes for the Brave.” WPLR operations manager Keith Dakin states, “It was truly inspiring to look at a packed house of people who were there not only for laughs but to help out a great organization making a difference in our community. ‘Homes for the Brave’ is doing great things in our state and we are so happy to write them this check.” Chaz adds, “With over a million U.S. veterans at risk of homelessness, this is the least we could do. It is up to us to help take care of those that gave for their country.” All money raised will go to help build homes, teach vocational training, and work with homeless veterans ….. The co-host of Cumulus Media’s “Nash Nights Live” – Elaina Smith – teams up with Nash Country Daily for an ongoing conversation about women in country music. Each article will feature a female county artist with an accompanying opinion piece, interview, podcast, or playlist. Profiled female artists will be featured on 90 Cumulus Media websites and more than 130 radio stations nationwide, with a reach of 400,000 people on Twitter and 180,000 on Facebook.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

| June 12, 2018

TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Rocks New York City.  The 21st installment of the TALKERS magazine national convention took place on Friday (6/8) in New York City’s Chelsea District, drawing some 250 talk media industry players to the Big Apple.  The TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! conference featured a record-breaking 71 speakers in a non-stop, power-packed day of solo addresses, panel discussions, presentations, workshops, and networking/meal receptions.  The majority of the program was streamed live in real time on Talkers.com by Livestream and video of the event is currently available to view on the main page of Talkers.com.  In the weeks ahead, TALKERS will present standalone videos of key panels and presentations along with additional coverage of the event.  Visit Talkers.com regularly for details.  Pictured below is TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (left) conducting the opening-session fireside chat with FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio star Brian Kilmeade (right).

Chris Plante Hits Chicago for ‘Politics and a Pint.’ Pictured above is Westwood One and WMAL-AM/FM, Washington talk show host Chris Plante (center) on stage at Rock ‘N Ravioli in the Chicago suburb of Evanston.  He was taking part in a discussion about politics and current events at WLS-AM, Chicago’s “Politics and a Pint” live event with WLS morning show personalities Big John Howell (right) and Ramblin’ Ray Stevens (left).

WSB-AM, Atlanta’s Jamie Dupree Gets a ‘Voice’ Thanks to Text-to-Speech App. Industry insiders are aware of the case of WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta Washington correspondent Jamie Dupree: due to a rare disorder called tongue protrusion dystonia – in which the tongue slips forward and out of the mouth during attempts to speak – that has all but eliminated Dupree’s ability to speak clearly, his continued future as a radio news correspondent has become tenuous.  But, employer Cox Media Group and Dupree have been searching for a possible solution in the form of text-to-voice technology and have found one made by a Scottish company called CereProc, and it works pretty well.  Yes, Dupree’s “voice” sounds a bit robotic, but not as much as you’d expect. Read Dupree’s blog about his situation and hear a sample of his “voice” here.

Gow Media Announces Simulcasts on Houston Sports Talkers. As reported by David Barron in the Houston Chronicle, Gow Media’s Houston sports talk stations announce a new simulcast and programming schedule.  The company operates KFNC-FM “ESPN 97.5” and KFNC-HD2/K231CN “Sportsmap 94.1.”  Simulcast on both signals will be “The Bench” with John Granato and Lance Zierlein from 7:00 am to 9:00 am; Charlie Pallilo from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm; and “The Blitz” with Fred Faour and A.J. Hoffman from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  The rest of ESPN 97.5’s lineup is John Granato with Raheel Ramzanali from 9:00 am to 11:00 am, and “The Usual Suspects” with Joel Blank and Barry Laminack from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.  On “Sportsmap 94.1” it’s “Golic & Wingo” from 9:00 am to 11:00 am, Stephen A. Smith from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm, and Sean Salisbury from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

Shaq Expands Role at PodcastOne. Four-time NBA champion and entrepreneur Shaquille O’Neal is expanding his role at PodcastOne – the podcast platform on which he hosts “The BIG Podcast with Shaq.”  PodcastOne founder and CEO Norm Pattiz is promoting Shaq to general.  In this role, he’ll establish greater visibility for his own podcast and will also take part in the promotion and curation of the sports network’s programming slate.  Shaq says, “I have a blast doing my podcast every week and I always like to have my hand in the hottest businesses. Podcasting continues to heat up and now is the time for me to take the next step into the space – who better to do it with than PodcastOne, who has led the way in podcasting since its inception? They have a phenomenal vision for the sports community.  So here I am.  The general of PodcastOne Sportsnet.”  Pattiz comments, “As someone who wears one of Shaq’s championship rings on my finger, I know firsthand of his passion for success.  There is no one bigger – in size or spirit.  Shaq will stand for everything PodcastOne Sportsnet is – quality, sports IQ, big fun, and a connection to fans everywhere.”

TALKERS News Notes. Buffalo talk radio personality Sandy Beach is celebrating his 50th anniversary in the radio business this Friday (6/15) and Entercom Buffalo’s WBEN-AM is throwing a special party for him that day.  The station and Beach are welcoming special guests as well as members of the local media in studio during his Friday program.  Plus, a reception will be held on-site following the conclusion of the show where he’ll be available for interviews with confirmed media. In-studio guests will include: legendary DJ and talk host Joey Reynolds, former WKBW (now WWKB) personality and NYSB Hall-of-Famer Danny Neaverth, and former WKBW jock Stan Roberts…..In the Lamar, Colorado market 25-7 Media flips KLMR-AM from classic country to news/talk.  The station is serving up local programs including morning shows “Ag on the High Plains” with host Ty Harmon, “High Plains Morning News” and “Agri Talk.”  It is also airing Westwood One’s “First Light” and Clark Howard shows, plus Salem Radio Network’s Michael Medved.  25-7 recently closed on the station as part of a deal with Cherry Creek Media…..Salem Media Group promotes Laura Sheaffer to the general sales manager position at New York duo news/talk WNYM “AM 970 The Answer” and Christian teaching WMCA “AM 570 The Mission.” Sheaffer joined Salem New York in the spring of 2015 and has since been promoted to national sales manager and digital sales manager.  Salem New York VP and general manager Jerry Crowley says, “I have rarely worked with anyone who has Laura’s drive and determination and I am ecstatic to have her in this position.  Her work has been beyond exceptional and crucial to our operation.  I am positive that she will lead our team to new levels of success.”…..iHeartMedia‘s new Bay Area progressive talk outlet KKSF “Talk 910” is airing Westwood One‘s “Sterling on Sunday” program hosted by Walter Sterling…..SiriusXM is presenting exclusive national radio coverage of the 118th U.S. Open Championship, June 14 through June 17.  SiriusXM’s programming will feature a minimum of 32 hours of live hole-by-hole coverage across all four rounds of play.  Brian Katrek will anchor the play-by-play broadcast with former PGA Tour pro Mark Carnevale serving as the analyst in the booth…..FOX Sports announces its multiplatform coverage of the 118th U.S. Open Championship that includes nine live hours of programming originating from Shinnecock Hills on Thursday and Friday (6/14-15) during the first and second rounds of the tournament, with broadcasts by “Outkick the Coverage with Clay Travis,” the Doug Gottlieb show,” and JT ‘The Brick.’  FOX Sports Radio news anchor Dan Beyer also reports live from the course throughout the duration of the championship and will host his Sunday program on location.

Salem Syndicated Hosts Larry Elder and Dennis Prager Named to Jewish Newspaper The Algemeiner’s List of Top 100 Individuals Who Have Positively Influenced Jewish Life This Past Year (2017).  Nationally syndicated radio talk show hosts Larry Elder and Dennis Prager – both members of the TALKERS Heavy Hundred – have been named by the Jewish newspaper The Algemeiner as two of the top 100 individuals who have had a positive influence on Jewish life in 2017.  The Salem Radio Networks hosts are joined on the prestigious “J100” list by such high-profile figures as President Donald Trump, noted attorney Alan Dershowitz, and legendary folk singer/songwriter Bob Dylan. To see the entire list, please click here.

Trump-Kim Jong Un Meeting, Trump G-7 Aftermath, Trump-Russia Investigation, Net Neutrality, Tony Awards, Tuesday Primary Elections, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/11).  The meeting in Singapore between President Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un; the aftermath of President Trump’s criticism of U.S.-Canada trade relations and his exit from the G-7 meeting; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the repeal of the Obama-era net neutrality rules; Sunday evening’s Tony Awards and Robert DeNiro’s anti-Trump speech; today’s primary elections in Virginia, Maine, Nevada, and South Carolina; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Louisville market, Alpha Media names Steve Bearance SVP and market manager for its five-music-station cluster. Bearance was most recently with Cumulus Media as VP and market manager. Prior to that gig, he served with Cumulus in Louisville…..iHeartRadio has opened up voice voting for the top five finalists in the Macy’s iHeartRadio Rising Star Competition.  For the past seven years iHeartMedia has partnered with Macy’s to host the music competition that introduces fans to up-and-coming artists.  Listeners vote for their favorite act and the winner performs at the iHeartRadio Music Festival.  Beginning today, fans can now cast their votes for the finalists using Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.  After they ask to “Talk to iHeart Rising Star,” users can hear the five finalists introduce themselves and listen to a clip from their song before voting.  At the end, voters will enjoy Macy’s mstyle Radio on iHeartRadio which features all of the finalists. The whole experience is “hosted” by James Maslow, the winner of last year’s competition…..25-7 Media flips classic rock KLMR-FM to hot AC and re-brands the station “The Heat 93.5.”  The station adds the “Kidd Kraddick Morning Show” to the lineup with local personalities Aaron Leiker in middays and Amy Jacobs in afternoon drive.

Round One of May PPM Data Released. Ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s May 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s May 2018 survey period covered April 26 – May 23. You can 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.

TAKEAWAYS

New York City

Spoken-Word Formats – Duplicating its April 2018 +.8 performance (3.1 – 3.9 – 4.7, 6+), Entercom’s WFAN “Sports Radio” jumps into the top five (eighth to fifth) with its best +-showing since 5.2 in November 2017. Following five survey periods in a row without an increase resulting in a nearly 50% loss (-2.5) of its 6+-share (5.2 – 5.2 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 2.7, 6+), the Yankees’ flagship picked up four-tenths in March. Prior to February, the last time WFAN dropped below a three-share (6+) was March 2017 (2.9). Meanwhile, the key station of the MetsiHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” – returns two-thirds of April’s +.6 (1.9 – 2.5 – 2.1, -.4, 6+), dipping from #15 to #18. A March +.1 by WOR ended five straight down or flat reports for a -.4 (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+). In the all-news arena, Entercom’s WINS is a combined -1.2 in April and May (6.2 – 5.5 – 5.0, 6+) and remains at #4, while co-owned and similarly-formatted WCBS-AM is off a cumulative six-tenths in those same two sweeps (3.3 – 2.9 – 2.7, #13 to #14, 6+). Prior to March, WCBS-AM was stuck on 2.8 (6+) the previous three survey periods; 3.3 (March 2018) is the station’s strongest 6+-showing in more than three years (4.0, February 2015). Following three months in succession at 1.3 (6+), Emmis-owned/ESPN-operated WEPN posts a +.4 to 1.7 as “98.7 ESPN New York” climbs from #22 to #21. When WEPN picked up two-tenths in February, it halted three downward moves in succession that produced a loss of seven-tenths (1.8 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1, 6+). This marks the third time in a row that Cumulus Media news/talk WABC (1.2 – 1.1 – 1.1, #23, 6+) and Townsquare Media’s similarly-programmed WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” (1.2 – 1.1 – 1.1, #23, 6+) mirror each other. The latter’s last 13 New York City report trends are 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.1 (6+). In the public news/talk arena, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM is off four-tenths (3.4 – 3.0, flat at #12, 6+), while co-owned WNYC-AM is flat at .6 (#28 to #27, 6+).

New York City Music Formats – A loss of eight-tenths (8.5 – 7.7, 6+) drops iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW to its lowest 6+-stat since November 2017’s 7.0. Nonetheless, “106.7 Lite FM” remains at #1 for the tenth successive sweep. A collective +7.1 in five consecutive gains (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.6 – 7.0 – 8.8 – 13.1, 6+), WLTW was -5.1 in January and February (13.1 – 8.5 – 8.0, 6+) but rebounded in March and April with a +.5 (8.0 – 8.4 – 8.5, 6+). The market’s rhythmic CHR tussle remains tight. In the last eight survey periods, Emmis-owned WQHT “Hot 97 – #1 for Hip-Hop” is trending 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.9 (flat at #9, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WKTU “103.5 The Beat of New York” is 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6 over the same (November 2017 – May 2018) stretch and is unchanged at #10 (6+). This is the fourth time in the last six survey periods that Emmis urban AC WBLS “#1 for R&B” posts a 5.7 (5.7 – 5.4 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 5.7 – 5.7, steady at #3, 6+).

Los Angeles

Spoken-Word Formats – Rebounding from April’s -.6 with a +.1 (2.6 – 2.7, 6+), Entercom’s KNX “1070 News Radio” is back in the top ten (#13 to #10); February’s 3.3 was its best 6+-stat since June 2017 (3.3, as well). With an identical 2.6 – 2.7, #13 to #10 6+-profile as KNX is Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California.” Meanwhile, iHeartMedia news/talk KFI continues a down/up pattern that commenced in December (4.1 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.4, 6+), as “AM 640” advances from seventh to sixth. When KFI dipped by two-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it ended at six a consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a collective eight-tenths (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). The December 2017 – May 2018 topline 6+-trending for sports talk KSPN “710 ESPN” (#29) is 1.0 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .9 – 1.0. Tied at #30 are iHeartMedia-owned Los Angeles Dodgers flagship KLAC “AM 570 LA Sports” (flat at .9, #31 in April, 6+) and Salem Media Group news/talk KRLA “AM 870 The Answer” (1.0 – .9, -.1, #29 in April, 6+). Elsewhere in the news/talk format, iHeartMedia’s KEIB “AM 1150 The Patriot,” which was stuck on 1.0 (6+) for six straight sweeps, is now off a collective two-tenths in three consecutive down or flat trends (1.0 – .9 – .8 – .8, #34 to #32, 6+), while Cumulus Media-owned KABC “790 News-Talk-Evolved” dips from #39 to #40 (.5 – .4, 6+).

Los Angeles Music Formats – Albeit flat at 5.7 (second to first, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KBIG “104.3 My-FM” supplants adult contemporary sibling KOST “Coast 103.5” (6.0 – 5.6, -.4, first to second, 6+) at #1. Having lost more than half (-6.6) of its 6+-share in consecutive surveys since the “Holiday” 2017 report (11.9 – 5.5 – 5.3, 6+), KOST bounced back in March and April with a combined +.7 (5.3 – 5.9 – 6.0, 6+). Over the past 33 Los Angeles sweeps (dating back to December 2015), KOST and KBIG have had a stranglehold on the #1 position. “Coast 103.5” has been on top 20 times (December 2015 through January 2017; December 2017; “Holiday” 2017; March 2018; and April 2018), while “My-FM” has set the pace on 13 occasions (February 2017 through November 2017; January 2018; February 2018; and May 2018. Flat at #4, Entercom smooth AC KTWV “The Wave” is a collective +.7 in five straight months without a loss (4.1 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+). After four successive increases for a collective +1.7 (2.7 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.4, 6+), co-owned adult hits KCBS-FM “93.1 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” slips two-tenths to 4.2 (sixth to seventh, 6+). There is a massive seven-way logjam at #10 that includes mainstream CHR cluster-mate KAMP “97.1 Amp Radio” (2.5 – 2.7, +.2, #16 to #10, 6+). Its format rival – iHeartMedia’s KIIS “102.7 Kiss-FM” – is flat at 4.5 (6+) and carries on at #5. Unchanged at #19, Entercom alternative KROQ is a combined +.2 in three straight up or flat trends (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+), whereas format foe – iHeartMedia’s KYSR-FM “Alt 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative” – gains four-tenths (2.8 – 3.2, 6+), climbing from tenth to ninth. Within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 31st time in succession, Mt. Wilson FM Broadcasters’ KKGO “Go Country 105” (2.2 – 2.1, -.1, 6+) departs the top twenty (#20 to #21); March 2018’s 2.0 is its lowest 6+-stat since January 2016 (2.0, as well). Debuting at #40 is Entravision regional Mexican KDLD “La Tricolor 103.1.

Chicago

Spoken-Word Formats – While it was up an overall eight-tenths in January and February (4.5 – 4.7 – 5.3, 6+), WBBM-AM is now a collective -.4 in three straight sweeps without a gain (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9, 6+). Nonetheless, the Entercom all-news operation actually manages to progress from fourth to second; February’s 5.3 was its finest 6+-stat since March 2017’s 5.4. Down two-tenths in back-to-back reports (2.7 – 2.5 – 2.3, 6+), Entercom sports talk WSCR “670 The Score” is now +1.3 in April and May (2.3 – 3.2 – 3.6, 6+) as the Chicago Cubs flagship cracks the top ten (#13 to #7). “The Score” posted a full-share gain in October (3.9 – 4.9, 6+) and improved by six-tenths in January but was a combined -2.8 between October 2017 – “Holiday” 2017 (4.9 – 3.6 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+). An overall +.8 in March and April (2.2 – 2.5 – 3.0, 6+), Chicago Public Media news/talk WBEZ falters by two-tenths to 2.8 (#15 to #16, 6+). Owing to a +.2 to 2.2 (flat at #21, 6+), Tribune Media news/talk WGN pulls the plug on three successive decreases that produced a collective -1.3 (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.2 – 2.0, 6+). A gain of three-tenths in March by the Chicago White Sox key station ended six straight down or flat sweeps that resulted in a collective -.7 (2.9 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+). Format rival – Cumulus Media news/talk WLS-AM – is off three-tenths in three consecutive down or flat moves (2.0 – 2.0 – 1.8 1.7, #22 to #23, 6+). Immediately prior to this, WLS-AM registered seven straight up or flat ratings periods and was +.7 in that stretch (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+). For the fourth sweep in a row, ESPN-owned WMVP “ESPN Chicago 1000” is without an increase (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3, #24 to #25, 6+).

Chicago Music Formats – In five straight up or flat trends (2.5 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.8, 6+), Hubbard’s WDRV “97.1 The Drive – Chicago’s Classic Rock” nearly doubles its 6+-stat (a combined +2.3) and elevates from fifth to third. Albeit anchored at #6, Cumulus Media-owned WLS-FM “94.7 Chicago’s Classic Hits” is an overall +1.6 in seven consecutive sweeps without a loss (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 4.3, 6+). Off two-tenths to 5.9 (6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ “V-103 Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” is on top for the fifth month in succession; WVAZ ranked first from February 2017 through September, as well. In addition to snapping at four its consecutive string of increases that netted a +1.7 (3.3 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.2 – 5.0, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican WOJO “Que Buena 105.1” (4.6, -.4, 6+) slips from second to fifth. Prior to March, “Que Buena” had been within 3.3 – 3.9 range (6+) in each of the previous 12 sweeps. This is the third time in succession that Venture Technologies Group adult contemporary WRME-LP “FM 87.7 Me TV” posts a 3.5 (seventh to ninth). It has an eight-tenths lead over Hubbard AC WSHE “100.3 SHE” (2.6 – 2.7, +.1, #19 to #17, 6+), which was off by one-half share in April. Approximately one-third into the March ratings period, Merlin Media-owned classic rock WLUP “The Loop” transitioned to contemporary Christian WCKL “Positive, Encouraging K-Love,” which Educational Media Foundation is operating until the sale is finalized. WCKL eroded by -1.9 in that sweep (3.2 – 1.3, #11 to #26, 6+); disappeared from print in April; but resurfaces in May with a 1.5 (#24). At the same time, similarly-formatted WJKL (using the same “Positive, Encouraging K-Love” branding) plummets from 1.3 to .1 (-1.2, #41, 6+). Gone as well in April was Window to the World’s WFMT, which had been trending 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.2 (6+) since “Holiday” 2017; however, the classical outlet is back in May with a .9 (#28, 6+).

San Francisco

Spoken-Word Formats – While #1 for the fifth time in succession, KQED sputters by three-tenths (8.4 – 8.1, 6+). The Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talker was a combined +1.3 via three straight positive spikes (7.6 – 8.1 – 8.8 – 8.9, 6+) and had been on top 12 consecutive times before “Holiday” 2017. A gain of four-tenths in July halted at four a successive streak without an increase that produced a -1.0 (7.7 – 7.3 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.7, 6+). KQED added one-half share in August (7.1 – 7.6, 6+); relinquished 60% of that increase in September (7.3, -.3, 6+); and was +1.3 in November (7.3 – 8.6, 6+). Down or flat for the fourth time in a row for a net loss of eight-tenths (6.2 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+), Entercom all-news KCBS-AM nevertheless continues in the runner-up slot. Up eight-tenths in October, KCBS-AM was a combined -1.2 via three straight drops in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017 (6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 5.6, 6+). October’s 6.8 was its strongest 6+-performance since February 2017 (6.8, as well). Following an April gain of nine-tenths, Cumulus Media-owned San Francisco Giants flagship KNBR “The Sports Leader” falters by one-tenth (3.8 – 3.7, fifth to sixth, 6+). Tied at #13 are the key station of the Oakland A’s – Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game”- and Cumulus Media news/talker KSFO. “The Game” is without a loss for the ninth time in a row, nearly tripling (+1.7) its 6+-stat in that timeframe (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.7, up from #16 in April, 6+). KSFO’s (6+) March – April – May trending is identical to that of KGMZ (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.7). Prior to gaining two-tenths in March, KSFO was a combined -1.3 in five straight decreases, (3.4 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+). News/talk sibling KGO is trending 2.0 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 (6+) and exits the top twenty (#20 to #23).

San Francisco Music Formats – Licensed to Vacaville, Alpha Media-owned adult contemporary KUIC nearly doubles its 6+-share (.7 – 1.3, +.6, 6+) as “95.3 Your Hometown Station” checks in at #26. Also in the AC format, iHeartMedia’s KISQ is an overall +.5 via three straight up or flat trends (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.9, 6+) with “98.1 The Breeze” carrying on in third-place. Simultaneously, Entercom adult contemporary KOIT “96.5 Today’s Hits – Yesterday’s Favorites” registers a positive spike of one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (3.7 – 3.8 – 3.9, fifth to fourth, 6+). By way of a one-tenth uptick to 3.3 (ninth to eighth, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KIOI “Star 101.3 – More Music, More Variety” applies the brakes to three consecutive losses that accounted for a -1.0 (4.2 – 3.8 – 3.3 – 3.2, 6+). It is tied with similarly-formatted/Entercom-owned KLLC “Alice @ 97.3,” which is -.8 in four straight (modest) declines (4.1 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3, seventh to eighth, 6+). Unchanged in fourth-place, iHeartMedia urban contemporary KMEL “#1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” is down two-tenths to 3.9 (6+), ending three increases in a row that netted nine-tenths (3.2 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.1, 6+). After each was without an increase the past four ratings periods, Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay FM The Bay’s Greatest Hits” (1.7, #24, 6+) and hot AC sibling KEZR “Mix 106 Today’s Best Music” (1.4, #25, 6+) are up two-tenths and one-tenth, respectively. “Bay FM” was -.6 in that stretch (2.1 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+), while “Mix” was -.2 (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.3, 6+).

Dallas

Spoken-Word Formats – After dropping three-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (3.5 – 3.2 – 2.9, 6+), Cumulus Media’s KTCK “The Ticket – All Sports, All The Time” is +1.2 in April and May (2.9 – 3.3 – 4.1, 6+). Over and above that, KTCK vaults from #12 to #6. “The Ticket” was stuck on 3.0 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2017 and registered a +.5 in January. Bunched together this month are North Texas Public Broadcasting news/talk KERA (2.3 – 2.5, +.2, #21 to #18, 6+); Entercom news – talk hybrid KRLD-AM (2.6 – 2.4, -.2, #17 to #20); sports talk sibling KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan” (2.4 – 2.3, -.1, #18 to #21, 6+); and Cumulus Media’s WBAP “News Talk 820” (flat at 2.2 and continuing at #22). KRLD-AM’s -.2 in March ended at seven a consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted seven-tenths (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+). Going back to “Holiday” 2016, KRLD-AM is within a high of 2.8 and a low of 2.0. Before a +.5 in April, Texas Rangers flagship “The Fan” posted five straight negative trends that resulted in a -1.2 (3.1 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 1.9, 6+). Although flat at 1.1 (6+), ESPN’s KESN “103.3 ESPN Dallas” progresses from #32 to #30. Salem Media Group-owned KSKY “660 AM The Answer” is down two-tenths (1.0 – .8, #33 to #34, 6+), while Cumulus Media’s KLIF-AM “570 News & Information” is flat at .6 (steady at #35, 6+).

Dallas Music Formats – Not only is iHeartMedia-owned KHKS #1 for the fifth straight month, “106.1 Kiss – Dallas/Fort Worth’s Hit Music” is an overall +1.5 in three positive spikes in a row (5.4 – 6.0 – 6.7 – 6.9, 6+). When “Kiss” reached #1 in January, it was the first time the mainstream CHR held the lead position since March 2017. In five straight up or flat trends (3.9 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.6, steady at #3, 6+), Cumulus Media’s KSCS “96.3 New Country” is a +.7. Co-owned/similarly-programmed KPLX “99.5 The Wolf” slips by one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2, flat at #5, 6+). In three straight monthlies without a loss, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KDGE was up six-tenths (2.5 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 3.1, 6+), but “Star 102.1 – More Music, More Variety” is off four-tenths in May to 2.7 (#14 to #15, 6+). Trending 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.5 (February – March – April, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KLTY “94.9 Your Life … Inspired” regresses by one-half share to 3.0 and exits the top ten (#10 to #12, 6+). Having recorded a 3.9 (6+) in February, March, and April, iHeartMedia’s KEGL adds one-tenth to 4.0 as “97.1 The Eagle Rocks” continues at #7. Co-owned hot AC KDMX “Now 102.9” is a collective -.7 in four successive sweeps without an increase (4.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.8, sixth to eighth, 6+).

Houston

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to a gain of six-tenths (3.3 – 3.9, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH rockets from #16 to #11; “News Radio 740” improved by six-tenths in January. In advance of its January +.6, KTRH was without an increase in the previous four monthlies for an overall -1.4 (3.9 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+). Flat at 3.6 (6+), University of Houston news/talk KUHF – which was +.6 in January – remains at #15. After recording a .7 (6+) in four ratings periods in a row, iHeartMedia’s KBME “Sports Talk 790” nearly doubled it in April to 1.3, but the flagship of the Houston Astros drops one-tenth in May (to 1.2, flat at #22, 6+). Tied at #25 are Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” (flat at .8, #26 in April, 6+) and Gow Communications’ KFNC “ESPN 97.5” (.7 – .8, +.1, #27 in April, 6+).

Houston Music Formats – In five of the last seven reports, Liberman regional Mexican KTJM has notched a 2.1 (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 2.1, 6+), but “La Raza” busts out a +.7 in May to 2.8 (#20 to #17, 6+), its best 6+-showing since September 2017’s 2.9. Meanwhile, a gain of one-half share (4.3 – 4.8, ninth to seventh, 6+) takes Radio One rhythmic CHR KBXX “97.9 The Box” to its best 6+-stat (4.8) since 5.1 in “Holiday” 2017. Its urban AC sibling KMJQ “Majic 102.1 – The People’s Station” improves by two-tenths (7.0 – 7.2, 6+), but iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA “Sunny 99.1” gains twice as much (7.0 – 7.4, +.4, 6+), thus breaking April’s #1 tie between the two; “Majic” shifts to #2. Having finished first in four successive sweeps, “Sunny” segued to second in March. It answered March’s -1.1 with an April +.8 to return to the top spot tied with KMJQ. KODA, which finished second in October and November, was -5.4 in January but gained two-tenths in February. Its 12.5 in “Holiday” 2017 is its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 10.3 and the first time any Houston station reached double-digits (6+) since that ratings period. Immediately prior to September’s -.8, KODA was a collective +1.7 via four straight up or flat monthlies (5.5 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4 – 7.2, 6+). Meanwhile, “Majic” was stuck on 7.0 (6+) in January and February, dropping to 6.8 (6+) in March. In five straight sweeps without a loss (3.8 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KTBZ was +1.7 but “94.5 The Buzz – Houston’s Rock and Alternative” is now -1.1 in April and May (5.5 – 5.2 – 4.4, 6+), drifting from fourth to ninth. A combined +1.5 in March and April (4.9 – 6.0 – 6.4, 6+), Cox Media Group’s KKBQ “Country 93-Q” surrenders roughly half that gain in May (5.7, -.7, unchanged at #3, 6+). As the result of four straight sweeps without an increase (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.3 – 3.7 – 3.7, #13 to #14, 6+), KSBJ Educational Foundation’s KSBJ “89.3 Contemporary Christian Music – God Listens” tumbles by a cumulative -1.5.

Atlanta

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to seven successive sweeps without a decrease (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.0, 6+), Dickey Broadcasting’s WCNN “Sports Radio The Fan” is +.8 as the AM flagship of the Atlanta Braves continues at #20. On the heels of April’s +.7, Entercom sports talk WZGC surrenders all but one-tenth of that increase (3.3 – 2.7, -.6, #14 to #18+); “92.9 The Game” was -1.1 in February. In advance of February’s loss, “The Game” was a combined +.7 in three straight gains (3.0 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.7, 6+). On top for the 30th successive ratings period, WSB-AM is nonetheless -2.7 in three consecutive negative moves (10.2 – 9.4 – 8.4 – 7.7 – 7.5, 6+). The Cox Media Group news/talk facility – which was +1.6 in January – notched three straight increases for a collective +1.6 (8.6 – 8.9 – 9.9 – 10.2, 6+) but then was a combined -1.6 in three consecutive drops (10.2 – 10.0 – 9.1 – 8.6, October – November – December – “Holiday” 2017, 6+). January 2017’s 10.7 represents the best-ever (6+) PPM-performance for WSB-AM. Without an increase for the third sweep in succession for a -.5 (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.0, 6+), City of Atlanta Board of Education news/talk WABE remains at #8. A loss of two-tenths (2.0 – 1.8, 6+) drops Cumulus Media’s WYAY “106.6 Where Atlanta Comes to Talk” from the top twenty (#19 to #21). Prior to April’s 2.0, WYAY recorded a 1.8 (6+) in January, February, and March. Up one-tenth (.6 – .7, 6+), Georgia State University news/talk WRAS moves from #29 to #28.

Atlanta Music Formats – Due to three downward trends in succession (3.9 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+), Entercom hot AC WSTR was a cumulative -1.4, but “Star 94.1 Today’s Hits” wipes out all but three-tenths of that deficit with a +1.1 to 3.6, jumping from #17 to #11 (6+). Three consecutive positive spikes by Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WVFJ “The Joy FM” account for a +1.1 (1.8 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.9, #18 to #16, 6+). At the same time, this is the fifth negative move in a row for Salem Media Group’s similarly-formatted WFSH “104.7 The Fish” (8.5 – 6.0 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 4.2 – 4.0, flat at #8, 6+), which is -4.5 in that stretch (more than a 50% loss). “The Fish” was a combined +2.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.6 – 7.2 – 8.5, 6+). Steady at #2, Entercom urban contemporary WVEE “V-103 The People’s Station” has its fourth sweep in a row without a loss for a combined +1.3 (5.8 – 5.8 – 6.3 – 6.7 – 7.1, 6+). Not only is this (7.1) WVEE’s best 6+-performance in more than two years (7.3, April 2016), “V-103” now trails frontrunner WSB-AM by just four-tenths of a share. A one-tenth gain by iHeartMedia alternative WRDA “Alt 105.7” (1.6, steady at #22, 6+) halts four straight down or flat trends that accounted for a combined loss of one-half share (2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+). In five straight positive or flat trends (4.1 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 4.6, 6+), Cumulus Media CHR WWWQ was +.5, but “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” returns all of that and one-tenth more (4.0, -.6, seventh to eighth, 6+). Flat at #11, Cox Media Group urban AC WALR “Kiss 104.1 – Atlanta’s R&B” is off for the third time in a row for a collective loss of nine tenths (4.5 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+). After generating a +2.0 via five up or flat trends in succession (3.9 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 5.5 – 5.9, 6+), its adult contemporary sibling, WSB-FM “B-98.5,” slips by one-tenth to 5.8 (6+) but remains at #4. Unchanged at #6, iHeartMedia’s country WUBL “94.9 The Bull” also drops one-tenth (to 4.6, 6+), curtailing four increases in a row for an overall gain of six-tenths (4.1 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.7, 6+). In a continuation of the theme, Cumulus Media-owned country WKHX “Kicks 101.5” loses one-tenth as well (to 3.5, #12 to #14, 6+), thus pulling the plug on four successive up or flat trends that accounted for an overall +.7 (2.9 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.6, 6+)

Philadelphia

Spoken-Word Formats – The market’s FM sports talk format erodes by -1.3 as Entercom’s WIP is -.8 (6.9 – 6.1, fourth to fifth, 6+) and Beasley Media Group’s WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” is -.5 (2.8 – 2.3, #14 to #17, 6+). Huge shifts have been common lately for Phillies flagship WIP, including an overall -1.1 (December and “Holiday” 2017); +2.6 (January 2018); -.8 (February); -2.9 (March); +1.1 (April); and now -.8 (May). “The Fanatic” was +.9 in January. Public news/talk WHYY sputters by seven-tenths (4.4 – 3.7, 6+) but remains at #9. WHYY chalked up a +1.0 in January and was -.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Down three-tenths (5.0 – 4.7, 6+), Entercom’s KYW falls from seventh to eighth. The all-news outlet was +.9 in March (5.1 – 6.0, 6+) for its strongest 6+-showing in three years (6.1, March 2015), but then surrendered one full-share in April; KYW improved by +1.0 in January. Entercom’s WPHT “Talk Radio 1210” gains one-tenth (1.5 – 1.6, #23 to #20, 6+), while Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” loses one-tenth (1.6 – 1.5, flat at #21, 6+). WPHT was stuck on 1.8 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 and then on 1.9 (6+) in February and March before dropping to 1.5 in April. Meanwhile, WKXW was a collective +.6 in six straight up or flat Philadelphia sweeps (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+) but lost two-tenths in April.

Philadelphia Music Formats – The winning ways continue for Entercom-owned WXTU, which posts its fifth straight improvement for an overall +2.1 (3.6 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.7, eighth to seventh, 6+). The last time “92.5 Philadelphia’s Country Station” reached the five-share level (6+) was in August 2016 (5.3). There is a seven-tenths April 2018 – May 2018 surge in the market’s (6+) urban AC share, basically equally split between Radio One’s WRNB “100.3 RNB” (2.6 – 3.0, +.4, #16 to #13, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned WDAS-FM “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks,” which is an overall +.8 in three straight positive spikes (5.5 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 6.3, fifth to fourth, 6+). Regaining the one-tenth it lost in April, Jerry Lee-owned adult contemporary WBEB “Today’s 101.1 More FM” is #1 for the third straight month. Its January 2018 – May 2018 topline is an ultra-consistent 8.3 – 8.4 – 8.4 – 8.3 – 8.4 (6+). WBEB was -8.7 in January, but in five straight increases before that, “Today’s 101.1 More FM” was a collective +10.3 (6.7 – 7.2 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 12.8 – 17.0, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, WBEB achieved its most potent 6+-share since 17.9 in “Holiday” 2016. Even though it is a combined +1.9 in four upticks in succession (5.3 – 6.3 – 6.9 – 7.0 – 7.2, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WOGL “98.1 – Nobody Plays More 80s” shifts from second to third; this (7.2) is its best 6+-stat since September 2017’s 7.4. As the result of eight consecutive up or flat trends, Connoisseur Media hot AC WPST “94.5 PST” has nearly doubled its 6+-share (.7 – .7 – .8 – .8 – 1.0 -1.0 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3, steady at #24, 6+). An April increase of six-tenths to 3.4 (6+) gave Beasley Media Group adult hits WBEN-FM its best 6+-showing since October 2016 (3.4, as well), but “95.7 BEN-FM” stumbles by -.8 in May to 2.6 (#12 to #14, 6+). The dry spell continues for Radio One gospel WPPZ “Praise 107.9 – Philadelphia’s Inspiration Station,” which is -.9 is 14 straight down or flat sweeps (1.9 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0, #26, 6+).

Long Island

Spoken-Word Formats – Having posted a +1.1 in April (2.9 – 4.0, 6+), Entercom’s WFAN “Sports Radio” follows with a +.7 to 4.7, leaping from seventh to third (6+); the New York Yankees’ flagship was -1.1 in February. Meanwhile, the key station of the New York MetsiHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” – forfeits all of April’s +.6 and two-tenths more (3.1 – 2.3, -.8, #13 to #17). WOR was an overall +.8 in three straight gains (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.6 – 2.8, 6+), before returning three-tenths in March. Five consecutive upticks by Emmis-owned WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” (+1.2) more than double its 6+-share (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.3, #19 to #17, 6+). Bouncing back from April’s -.5 with a May gain of three-tenths (2.8 – 3.1, #15 to #12, 6+), Entercom all-news WINS is once again ahead of co-owned/similarly-formatted WCBS-AM (2.9 – 2.4, -.5, #14 to #17, 6+). WCBS-AM gained two-tenths in January, curtailing four straight down or flat trends for an overall loss of one full-share (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+). In March, it recaptured the four-tenths it dropped in February. Without an increase in Long Island for six successive survey periods for a -1.3 (4.2 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+), WINS was +.4 in March. Trending 1.6 – 1.9 – 1.6 – 1.7 (6+), WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM moves from #24 to #23. Flat at 1.4 (6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WABC slips from #25 to #26.

Long Island Music Formats – Trending 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.4 (6+) in Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), iHeartMedia New York City rhythmic CHR WKTU breaks out a +.8 to 4.2 (tenth to eighth, 6+). A gain of seven-tenths (3.2 – 3.9, 6+) enables Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 – #1 for R&B” to crack the top ten (#12 to #10). While it is #1 for the eighth consecutive time, Connoisseur Media hot AC WALK-FM “Real Variety 97.5” is -6.8 in five successive sweeps without an increase (12.6 – 7.4 – 7.4 – 7.0 – 6.1 – 5.8, 6+). “Real Variety” was an overall +7.2 in October – November – December – “Holiday” 2017 (5.4 – 6.7 – 8.7 – 12.6, 6+). Off by nine-tenths in October, WALK-FM was on top between June and September. After three consecutive increases that generated a +2.1 (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 6.3, 6+), it dropped one-tenth in July; rebounded with a +.7 in August; but surrendered six-tenths in September. As a result of dropping eight-tenths (3.7 – 2.9, #9 to #13, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” has its lowest 6+-share in Long Island since November 2017 (2.9, as well), while a loss of seven-tenths (2.5 – 1.8, 6+) drops Cumulus Media country outlet WNSH “94.7 Nash FM” from the top twenty (#16 to #21). Off one-half share (4.9 – 4.4, 6+), Cox Media Group-owned WBAB “102.3 Long Island’s Only Classic Rock” dips from third to fourth. Within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) for the 43rd consecutive ratings period, Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” regains the one-tenth it lost in April (2.6 – 2.5 – 2.6, #16 to #14, 6+).

Riverside

Spoken-Word Formats – Flat at #13, San Bernardino Community College news/talk KVCR is off one-tenth (1.0 – .9, 6+). Immediately prior to February, KVCR was +.4 via three minor upticks in a row (.9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+). With a very consistent Inland Empire November 2017 – May 2018 topline of .4 – .4 – .3 – .4 – .4 – .4 – .3 – .5 (6+), Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” finishes at #17. Part of a four-way pileup at #20 is the former KUBE – iHeartMedia’s KPWK “Fox Sports Radio 1350 AM” – which is flat at .3 (6+).

Riverside Music Formats – Following five sweeps in succession without an increase for an overall -3.0 (7.6 – 7.3 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 5.0 – 4.6, 6+), Entravision’s KLYY “Jose” erases more than half the deficit with a +1.8 to 6.4 (fourth to second, 6+). It now trails Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies KOLA by a mere one-tenth. While the market pacesetter for the fifth month in succession, KOLA is -1.9 via three downward trends in succession (8.4 – 7.1 – 6.7 – 6.5, 6+). January’s +1.8 pulled the plug on three straight decreases that accounted for a -2.0 (7.5 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.5, 6+). Prior to January (2018), KOLA last occupied the #1 slot in January 2016 with a 6.9 (6+). Even though it is an overall +1.3 as the result of four positive spikes in a row (4.6 – 4.9 – 5.4 – 5.8 – 5.9, 6+), Entercom country outlet KFRG “K-Frog” falls from the runner-up slot to #3. Unchanged at #12, Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KRCD “Recuerdo” is an overall +.5 in three (modest) gains in a row (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.7, 6+). On the heels of April’s -.5, Liberman Broadcasting regional Mexican KRQB surrenders another six-tenths (3.0 – 2.5 – 1.9, 6+) but carries on at #10. “Que Buena 96.1” was +.9 in March and 3.0 in March is its best 6+-performance since 4.2 in August 2017. This is the fourth straight sweep without an increase for All-Pro Broadcasting’s KHTI “Hot 103.9 – Move to the Music” (flat at #14), which is -.5 in that timeframe (1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .9 – .8, 6+).

San Jose

Spoken-Word Formats – Although down in April and May by a combined -1.9 (8.8 – 8.2 – 6.9, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED is #1 for the fifth straight month. When KQED lost six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it shifted to #2, following five successive sweeps on top; it was +1.0 in January. A loss of one-tenth in December halted three consecutive gains that produced an overall +1.3 (6.9 – 7.3 – 8.0 – 8.2, 6+). Unlisted in San Jose since posting a 5.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2015 report, KQED returned in January 2017 by recording a 6.9 (6+) to finish at #1 and it stayed on top through April 2017. One-half share behind KQED is Entercom’s KCBS-AM, which finishes second for the fourth time in a row (6.3 – 6.4, +.1, 6+). The all-news operation was -.8 in February and up one-half share in April. After posting a +1.6 in April, Cumulus Media sports talk and San Francisco Giants flagship KNBR “The Sports Leader” falters by three-tenths to 4.3 (fourth to seventh, 6+). In April, KNBR reached the four-share level in San Jose (6+) for the first time since May 2017’s 4.2. Cumulus Media-owned news/talk KSFO is without a loss for the fifth month in a row for an overall +1.0 (1.2 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.2, #18 to #17, 6+). On the other hand, cluster-mate KGO is down for the third time in a row for a -1.1 (3.1 – 2.9 – 2.1 – 2.0, #17 to #20, 6+); KGO was a combined +.7 in January and February (2.4 – 2.8 – 3.1, 6+). Regaining the one-tenth it lost in April (1.1 – 1.0 – 1.1, 6+), Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game” remains at #29. Frozen on 1.0 (6+) in December, “Holiday” 2017, and January 2018, the key station of the Oakland A’s gained two-tenths in February but dropped one-tenth in March and April.

San Jose Music Formats – No other station in the San Jose report makes a larger (6+) April 2018 – May 2018 increase than Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVS. “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” nearly triples April’s .6 to 1.7 (+1.1) and finishes at #26. Replicating April’s +.8 (3.7 – 4.5 – 5.3, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “Amor 100.3” surges from fifth to third. Gaining eight-tenths as well in May are Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits” (4.4 – 5.2, sixth to fifth, 6+) and Entercom rhythmic hot AC KRBQ “Q-102.1 The Bay Area’s Throwback Station” (2.3, #16, 6+), which was down four-tenths in three (slight) decreases in a row (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+). A cumulative -1.1 in four straight decreases (5.1 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.0, 6+), Alpha Media-owned hot KEZR recaptures one-half share to 4.5 (ninth to sixth, 6+). Lazer Broadcasting regional Mexican KXZM “Radio Lazer 93.7” falters by eight-tenths, roughly cutting its 6+-share in half (1.5 – .8, #30, 6+). A combined +2.6 in six successive up or flat sweeps (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.8 – 5.8, 6+), Bonneville-owned KUFX “98.5 K-Fox, The South Bay’s Classic Rock” surrenders one-half share to 5.3 and carries on in third-place. Forfeiting one-half share as well in May is iHeartMedia-owned KYLD “Wild 94.9 – The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station” (3.0 – 2.5, #13 to #15, 6+).

Middlesex

Spoken-Word Formats – Four successive losses by WFAN accounted for a -1.9 (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.3, 6+), but the Entercom sports talk facility and New York Yankees flagship is an overall +1.1 in three straight upticks (3.3 – 3.4 – 4.1 – 4.4, ninth to eighth, 6+). Immediately prior to the -1.9, WFAN was +1.4 via three straight increases (3.8 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+). Trending 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 (6+), all-news sibling WINS breaks out a +.6 to 1.7 (#25 to #24, 6+). Off nine-tenths in April, co-owned/similarly-programmed WCBS-AM drops another two-tenths to 1.8 (#21 to #22, 6+). Following three consecutive downward moves for a loss of six-tenths (2.8 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.2, 6+), WCBS-AM answered with a +.7 in March. It is tied at #22 with iHeartMedia news/talk WOR (1.8, -.5, #18 in April, 6+). The New York Mets flagship had been without a loss the past four Middlesex sweeps for a net gain of eight-tenths (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.3, 6+). Sports talk WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” is trending 1.6 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 1.7 – 2.0 – 2.1 (#21 to #20, 6+). After being on top in each of the previous four ratings periods, Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” is a combined -2.1 in April and May (8.1 – 7.3 – 6.0, 6+) and segues to #2. “New Jersey 101.5” posted a +.9 in January to advance from second to first with its strongest 6+-stat since April 2016’s 8.5. WKXW held the lead position from January 2017 through November 2017. The five latest (6+) trends for Cumulus Media news/talk WABC are 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.4 (#24 to #25); WABC was +.4 in January. Down three-tenths (2.5 – 2.2, 6+), WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM falls from #16 to #19. In three straight improvements (2.2 – 2.5 – 3.1 – 3.4, 6+), the public news/talker was a cumulative +1.2 but was -.8 in March.

Middlesex Music Formats – Not only does this represent the third successive Middlesex-Somerset-Union uptick for Cumulus Media country outlet WNSH for a +1.8 (2.2 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 4.0, 6+), “94.7 Nash FM” enters the top ten (#14 to #10). Moreover, 4.0 is the strongest 6+-showing for WNSH in this New Jersey market since June 2016 (4.0, as well). A gain of seven-tenths (4.2 – 4.9, 6+) elevates iHeartMedia-owned WAXQ from seventh to fifth; this (4.9) is the best 6+-stat for “Q-104.3” – New York’s Classic Rock” since 5.3 in November 2017. Improving by one-half share each are co-owned mainstream CHR WHTZ “Z-100” (4.5 – 5.0, sixth to fourth, 6+); Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ “Mega 97.9” (2.9 – 3.4, #15 to #12, 6+); and Cumulus Media hot AC WPLJ “New York’s 95.5 PLJ” (2.1 – 2.6, #20 to #15, 6+). After trending 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.4 (6+), “Mega 97.9” regressed by one-half share in April. When WPLJ picked up two-tenths in April, it ended five straight down or flat trends that accounted for an overall -1.2 (3.1 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 1.9, 6+). Notwithstanding that it is an overall -5.3 as the result of five straight down or flat trends (11.5 – 7.4 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 6.7 – 6.2, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” advances from second to first. Returning in its entirety the one-half share gained in April (2.9 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+), Entercom-owned WBMP “Alt 92.3 New York’s New Alternative” drops from #12 to #15; April’s 3.4 is the best 6+-share for WBMP since June 2017 when it was a mainstream CHR (“Amp”).

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

| April 25, 2018

PPM Analysis: All-News. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his monthly look at the performances of radio stations based on 6+ ratings from Nielsen Audio’s March 2018 PPM survey.  Today’s report focuses on all-news stations.  Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington remains the highest-rated all-newser with a 10.4 AQH share (6+).  Big gainers include iHeartMedia’s WBZ-AM, Boston; Entercom’s KYW, Philadelphia; and New York news duo WCBS-AM and WINS-AM.   The biggest improvement from the March 2017 survey to this March was iHeartMedia’s KFBK, Sacramento – up by 1.4 shares to an 8.1 AQH share.  Both KFBK and WTOP ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets in March.  See Kinosian’s entire report here.

Francesa: ‘Time to Return to WFAN.’ After yesterday’s report in the New York Post that former WFAN-AM/FM, New York afternoon drive host Mike Francesa is “desperate” to get back on the air in New York comes Neil Best’s story in Newsday quoting Francesa himself saying, “It is time to return to WFAN.”  Best reports that WFAN confirmed “ongoing discussions” with Francesa.  A source says Francesa would likely be back in a portion of his old 1:00 pm to 6:30 pm slot.  A statement from WFAN adds, “We are very proud of our current lineup at WFAN and that any potential future engagement with Mike will not result in any talent departures.”  Entercom hired Chris Carlin, Maggie Gray, and Bart Scott for the 2:00 pm to 6:30 pm show that launched in January.  The Newsday piece notes that Carlin, Gray, and Scott talked about Francesa’s return on their Tuesday program and admitted that it looks like Francesa will return to some portion of afternoon drive but said they are planning to be with the station “for a long time.” Read the Newsday piece here.

Missouri State Senator Seeks Action on KQQZ, St. Louis Personality Bob Romanik.  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Missouri State Senator Jamilah Nasheed has petitioned the FCC to take action against KQQZ-AM, St. Louis and radio host Bob Romanik for language used on his program.  Although the story does not report Romanik’s exact words, Jack Suntrup writes that Romanik’s program “has used the n-word and various misogynistic and homophobic slurs over the years.”  Nasheed’s letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai states, in part, “Our nation has witnessed a horrific increase in white nationalist activity, due in part to the normalization and toleration of hate-speech.  Too often, racist views are turned into violent action through the encouragement of racist personalities like Mr. Romanik and radio stations like 1190 KQQZ-AM.” She is asking the FCC to fine Romanik and revoke KQQZ’s license.  The story quotes station assistant GM Bill Thomas saying, “As soon as they take the n-word off all the black radio stations throughout this country — on all the rap stations, on all the comedic routines that the blacks use the n-word — then we’ll quit using it.”  Read the story here.

SiriusXM Reports Q1 2018 Net Income Up 6%. Net income in the first quarter of 2018 for satellite radio operator SiriusXM was $289 million, up from $207 million a year ago (an increase of 6%).  It added 330,000 total net subscribers and says that it hit the 33 million-mark for total subscribers for the first time.  Operating cash flow climbed 34% to $415 million.  SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer says, “SiriusXM has come out of the gate strong in 2018.  Our 6% growth in revenue would have been 8% absent the change in generally accepted accounting principles that was effective January 1st, and we are pleased with our 6% growth in adjusted EBITDA given the sharp increase in our music royalties also beginning January 1st.  We are on-track to meet all of our full-year guidance, and I’m thrilled to announce we topped 33 million paying subscribers.”

WBZ-AM, Boston Reporter Lana Jones Dies Suddenly at 62.  The circumstances surrounding her death have not been made public but longtime radio news pro Lana Jones – a reporter for WBZ-AM, Boston – collapsed at her home late Tuesday and died early this morning (4/25).  On its website, WBZ-AM wrote: WBZ News Radio 1030 is deeply saddened by the passing of one of their veteran news reporters, Lana Jones.  Lana died suddenly this morning at UMass Medical Center in Worcester.  She was an outstanding journalist who will be severely missed by her colleagues and friends in the Boston media.  “Lana was the consummate professional who could take a hundred-page Supreme Court Decision and boil it down into a concise report for our listeners,” said Bill Flaherty, WBZ Program Director. “She knew everyone and everything. She will be greatly missed.”  Alan Chartrand, President of the iHeartMedia Boston Region, said “I’ve always admired Lana’s work on WBZ Radio. She took the tough stories and made them easy to understand. Our deepest sympathies go out to Lana’s family and the newsroom.”  Lana Jones was a general assignment reporter for WBZ Newsradio 1030.  Jones began her broadcast career in Toledo, Ohio while studying Special Education at Bowling Green State University. A native of Warren, Ohio, Jones moved to Worcester, Massachusetts in 1981 to join the staff of WAAF. There she anchored the news and hosted a weekly talk show on local youth issues. From 1983 to 1988, Jones was a news anchor and reporter for WMJX, Boston. She worked as a reporter for the former WHDH radio from 1989 to 1991. Jones is survived by her husband Steve who resides in Worcester, Massachusetts.

TALKERS News Notes. The acquisition of Tribune’s television and radio assets by Sinclair Broadcast Group is getting a little closer to a done deal after Sinclair agreed to divest of 23 television stations in 18 markets in order to assuage the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission.  As a result, WGN-AM (along with WGN-TV) will be part of the new Sinclair.  Previously, the company had planned to sell the Chicago radio and TV stations but operate them via joint sales and shared services agreements…..Entercom Communications will announce its first quarter 2018 financial results on Tuesday, May 8.  This will be the first full quarter Entercom has been operating the former CBS RADIO stations since that acquisition closed in November of 2017…..Cumulus Media news/talk WBAP, Dallas “News/Talk 820 AM” is hosting the third annual WeatherCon at the Frontiers of Flight Museum this Saturday, April 28.  The event is a free, family-friendly event that features informative and entertaining weather seminars throughout the day, including a session hosted by WBAP chief meteorologist Brad Barton with WFAA-TV chief meteorologist Pete Delkus…..Nationally syndicated “Motley Fool Money” with host Chris Hill adds new affiliate stations WNTK-FM, New London and WUVR-AM, Lebanon in New Hampshire…..The “Financial Focus Radio” show moves from affiliate KUIK to crosstown KBNP in Portland.  The weekly show is hosted by Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management partners Troy Reinhart and Tyler Simones…..The long-running “Freakonomics Radio” podcast is moving from the WNYC platform to Midroll Media’s Stitcher platform. Stitcher has inked journalist and best-selling author Stephen J. Dubner to co-produce the podcast and to expand the “Freakonomics Radio” brand through existing and new content.

Trump-Macron Visit, Trump’s Kim Jong Un Comment, Judge’s DACA Decision, Trump-Russia Investigation/Comey Book, Ronny Jackson Nomination, Deadly Toronto Van Attack, NRA-Yeti Flap, and MLB Action and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/24). The official state visit by French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte with President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania; criticism of President Trump’s statement calling North Korea dictator Kim Jong Un “very honorable”; U.S. District Judge John D. Bates rules against President Trump’s attempt to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related book by fired FBI Director James Comey; White House physician Ronny Jackson’s imperiled secretary of veteran affairs nomination due to allegations of professional misconduct; the case of accused Toronto van attacker Alek Minassian; the destruction of Yeti products by NRA members upset over a change in the company’s discount programs; and Major League Baseball action and the NBA playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Three programming pros get new roles with iHeartMedia’s Arizona region, all effective May 3.  Reid Spivey is named assistant program director and PM drive host for country KNIX, Phoenix.  He was most recently APD for sister CHR KZZP and hot AC KMXP.  Spivey will work with music director Lois “Double L” Lewis and program director Steve GeofferiesRameen Madani joins iHeartMedia Phoenix as assistant program director for KZZP and KMXP.  David Adams has added duties as program director for KDWR-LP “My 92.9,” where he will be responsible for the day-to-day programming operations and work closely with on-air personalities and sales to oversee the station’s on-air content, digital footprint and music programming.  He will continue to serve as senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia Tucson…..Josh Martinez is named program director for iHeartMedia’s CHR WKFS, Cincinnati “Kiss 107.1.”  Previously, Martinez served as program director for stations in Dayton and Cedar Rapids and as a music director in Des Moines.  Cincinnati market president DJ Hodge says, “We knew this was the right time to promote Josh Martinez to program director.  Since the time he arrived, he has made significant inroads to improve both the trajectory of the station and our ability to successfully engage with our growing audience.  The future is very bright for both Josh and ‘Kiss 107.1.’”…..Max Kachinske takes on the newly-created position of corporate programming assistant at Midwest Communications. The position is based in Green Bay and Kachinske will leave his evening show gig at Neuhoff Media’s WFMB-FM, Springfield, Illinois.  Kachinske says, I’m beyond excited to begin working with such a respected programmer in Jeff McCarthy and the amazing group at Midwest Communications.  This is something I couldn’t begin to dream up that became a reality.  I can’t wait to get started.”…..Pittsburgh country outlet WDSY “Y108” announces the lineup for the station’s 7thannual “Y108 8 Man Jam” concert.  The show will feature: Joe Nichols, David Lee Murphy, Eric Paslay, Jordan Davis, Michael Tyler, Cale DoddsRyan Hurd, and Mitchell Tenpenny on Thursday, May 24 at Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh’s North Shore.

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 re