Tag: "Sports Talk Radio"

Monday, August 31, 2020

| August 31, 2020

Monday Memo: Announcers, You Have Been Replaced…for $47.  Seldom at a loss for words, consultant Holland Cooke admits he “won’t even TRY to describe” what he regards as a breakthrough, “after what we, as an industry, have suffered from failed consolidation, and as pandemic remote-broadcast mode has obsoleted the station workspace as we knew it.” Read it here.

Pending Business: The New-Talk of Sports Talk. Sales and marketing consultant Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications, writes today about the dramatic changes in what sports talk hosts are discussing today compared to just a year ago. “Today, players and on-air personalities are tackling complex issues with newer topics up for discussion everywhere from social media to your station’s dial position. Let’s be clear, this is not about play-by-play, this is about selling your local sports talker hitting on topics that last year at this time weren’t up for consideration on a sports talk show sheet.” Read more here.

Madison Advertiser Pulls Ads from News/Talk WIBA-AM. A piece in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel by Daniel Bice indicates that Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin has pulled its ads from iHeartMedia’s news/talk WIBA-AM, Madison after talk host Vicki McKenna voiced support for Kyle Rittenhouse – the 17-year-old Illinois resident charged with homicide in the deaths of two protestors. Group Health Cooperative chief business development officer Allan Wearing tells Bice that McKenna has a right to her opinions and his  company has the right to pull its advertising. McKenna – whose show is also heard on sister station WISN-AM, Milwaukee – says she’s being “smeared” by the newspaper and that Bice wrote that she’s encouraging people to “murder protesters.” Bice says he wrote no such thing.

Cleveland, Tennessee Sportscaster Suspended After Insensitive Comment. Play-by-play broadcaster Gary Ownbey has been suspended by Hartline LLC for a comment made during a high school football game broadcast last week on “101.3 The Buzz” in Cleveland, Tennessee. After Ownbey stumbled over some of the players’ names during the broadcast, he said, “I don’t know where they’re getting these foreigners from.” Hartline and Bradley County Schools issued a joint statement that read, in part, “Now more than ever, it is critical for our organizations to reinforce our public commitment to equity for all. ‘101.3 The Buzz,’ Bradley County Schools, and Bradley Central High School will not condone this type of action or behavior. We believe this is contrary to our overall goals of empathy, affirmation, and creating a culturally responsive environment for all.” Hartline LLC owner Steve Hartline added, “The comments made during Thursday night’s game do not in any way reflect the culture nor views of the station. We respect our student-athletes, and their families and are proud to showcase their accomplishments on and off the field.”

Civil Unrest/Deadly Portland Shooting, Presidential Race, COVID-19 Stats & Projections, School Opening Debate/College Outbreaks, Hurricane Laura Destruction, Actor Chadwick Boseman Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The civil unrest in cities where protests are ongoing and the shooting death in Portland; the November presidential election; the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and projections for future cases; the debate over opening schools to students and the outbreaks on numerous college campuses; the destruction in Louisiana after the landfall of Hurricane Laura; and the death of actor Chadwick Boseman were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

iHeartMedia Expands Black Information Network Across On-Air Signals. The new BIN: Black Information Network launched last month by iHeartMedia is adding four on-air signals to the group of radio stations carrying the 24/7 national audio news service “dedicated to providing an objective, accurate and trusted source of continual news coverage with a Black voice and perspective.” The company has entered into Local Marketing Agreements with M-10 Broadcasting for WQLL-AM, Baltimore; Alexander Broadcasting Company for W257DC, Montgomery, Alabama; Beasley Media Group for WTEL-AM, Philadelphia; and an LMA with an Asset Purchase Agreement with Potomac Radio Group for WUST-AM, Washington, DC. BIN: Black Information Network president Tony Coles says, “BIN’s goal has always been to be the most trusted source for news in the Black community, and part of that strategy is of course to be available on both broadcast and digital stations across America. We’re thrilled to bring BIN, a full-time news service by and for the Black community, to Baltimore, Montgomery, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. and provide millions of listeners there with both the national and local news that impacts their lives.”

TALKERS News Notes. In Springfield, Illinois, Mid-West Family Communications announces that effective tomorrow (9/1) news/talk WMAY-AM begins airing on the 92.7 frequency in the market. Currently the home of country WUSY-FM, the move will put the company’s heritage news/talk station on three signals: 970 AM, 94.7 FM via W234CC, and the full-market class B1 FM WUSY. Station general manager Mike Paterson says in a press release, “Now more than ever, people across Central Illinois are relying on WMAY for breaking news and insightful coverage and commentary of important local, state, and national issues. Moving WMAY to 92.7 FM expands its reach into downtown office buildings and to inform consumers in surrounding counties. The pandemic, the rebuilding of the local economy, the election, statehouse scandals, and more – these are all reasons why people need a reliable way to stay informed and stay connected. Expanding our on-air reach, in addition to our streaming audio and our extensive online and social media presence, brings that vital information to every place that our audience needs it.”…..“The Armstrong & Getty Show” adds a new affiliate station to its roster as Starnes Media Group’s KWAM, Memphis “The Mighty 990” begins airing the KSTE, Sacramento-based program. Starnes Media Group president Todd Starnes comments, “I’ve known Armstrong & Getty since my days at KFBK in Sacramento. I have no doubt that our KWAM listeners across the Mid-South will be thoroughly entertained by their show. Armstrong & Getty are making talk radio fun again.”…..In conjunction with the Seattle Police Foundation’s “Got Your Six” fundraising campaign, Sinclair Broadcast Group’s talk KVI, Seattle helped raise more than $50,000 earmarked for protective eyewear for Seattle police officers. The effort began on August 18 as KVI morning host John Carlson encouraged his listeners to donate funds in the aftermath of reports that police were being targeted with potentially eye-damaging laser pointers…..Former Georgetown University basketball coach and former WTEM, Washington “ESPN 980” sports talk host John Thompson is dead at age 78. Thompson led the Georgetown Hoyas to the 1984 NCAA Championship. After leaving coaching in 1999, he began a 12-year career as a radio sports talk host on WTEM’s midday show alongside Rick “Doc” Walker and Brian Mitchell

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Baltimore hot AC WWMX-FM “Mix 106.5” announces its new morning drive team of Steve Kramer and Jessica Dutra, who will host the “Kramer & Jess” show beginning September 14. Entercom Baltimore SVP and market manager Tracy Brandys says, “Kramer and Jess are both optimistic, energetic and downright entertaining, which is exactly what Baltimore listeners are craving to start their day. Their undeniable passion will be a welcomed addition to our morning drive, and we look forward to introducing them to our audience, both locally and nationally.” The pair were most recently with iHeartMedia’s KHTS-FM, San Diego where Kramer was a morning co-host while Dutra served the station as co-host, producer, and social media coordinator for the morning show…..A new program is being offered in syndication from Cumulus Media’s Westwood One, in partnership with Oceanic Tradewinds and T & T Creative. The show, “Winning with Jekalyn Carr,” features hit music popular in both the inspirational and urban formats as well as interviews, creative features, and a plethora of video lifestyle content. The show premieres on Labor Day (9/7) in both video and audio formats and then launches with a regular hour-long, daily radio program and a two-hour-long weekend offering. All programs are barter free through September 27.

Monday, June 1, 2020

| June 1, 2020

Talk Radio Faces Challenges After Weekend of Urban Strife Across America. The staffs at news and talk radio stations that are in touch with their communities were pulling extra duty over the weekend as protests over the death of George Floyd in cities across the country exploded into violent and destructive events. TALKERS magazine is in contact with programmers and air personalities whose stations have been covering the events, in some cases adding round-the-clock live programming to keep listeners informed. The violent protests come as the nation attempts to safely emerge from a months-long lockdown intended to fight the coronavirus pandemic, complicating an already difficult time in America and around the globe. Talk stations face the challenge of broadcasting to listeners who are living in a time that some observers have noted is like the Great Depression, the nationalist/fascist movements that preceded World War II, and the race riots of the 1960s all rolled into one. As this day progresses, TALKERS will present comments and thoughts about how they’re handling their broadcasting duties during this unique time in human history. We asked broadcasters to tell us how their station or talent are approaching this time of intense unrest. WABC, New York PD Dave LaBrozzi tells TALKERS that the outbreak of violence is the kind of situation that illustrates why it is so important for great news/talk stations to maintain live and local air talent with strong ties to the community and the trust of its citizens. He says, “When you have the founder of the Guardian Angels, Curtis Sliwa, on the streets every day and hosting a three hour midday talk show and you have the former mayor, Rudy Giuliani, on the air every day from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm you get insight and information that no other New York station can provide.” LaBrozzi adds that it is important to book guests of that same caliber stating, “Former New York City Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik and former police detective Bo Dietl share their wisdom and insight along with other high profile experts to keep listeners informed  and safe all day long.” Salem Media Group and Salem Radio Network SVP spoken word format Phil Boyce offered the following to his talent: “As you know, the situation in many of our cities is volatile, thanks primarily due to outside agitators. We all looked at the video of the death of George Floyd and were disturbed. We all know that does not represent how most police officers respond. Here are a few pointers about how we can handle this difficult situation: 1) Be very careful what you say about this. Most of our listeners respect the rule of law and want to support law and order candidates. If you know of a candidate who is sympathizing with the anarchists,  point that out. But be careful how we do it. 2) We can be a calming influence in each of our communities. Let the public know that we hear the pain and hurt they are expressing, but further violence is not the way to express it. Let them know that we all should support the efforts of law enforcement to protect our communities, and also deal with this tragic situation. 3) Think through all of your comments and positions. This is not a time to ‘shoot from the lip.’ Be respectful of the other side, while at the same time being forceful in condemning acts of violence that threaten to tear apart our communities.” At Entercom’s all-news WBBM-AM/WFCS-FM, Chicago, brand manager and news director Ron Gleason says, “Because WBBM is all-news around the clock on a daily basis, our staff is ready at any time for major breaking news. But the magnitude of what’s happening, especially on the coattails of the Covid-19 pandemic, means extraordinary times lead to extraordinary measures.  We’ve not only staffed up on reporters, we’ve also increased the role of traffic which is used to watching the streets on a minute-by-minute basis. When something requires non-stop coverage, that’s what we do.  And while we have reporters live from multiple locations, we stress the importance of safety first.  We have had protesters verbally confront a reporter, and we’ve had police redirect reporters, but I’m happy to say everyone is safe. The toughest part of coverage was getting our anchors and behind-the-scenes producers and editors access to our facility, as the city has shut off the main arteries into the downtown area. Eventually we figured out the work-arounds, and nobody listening would know of any issue – except of course, we’re reporting all the closures.” WPHT, Philadelphia midday host Dom Giordano tells TALKERS, “The way I’m handling the crisis on the air is to be covering it in the field and bringing that sound back to my show, allowing more callers on than usual to be able to vent, and highlighting people who are volunteering to clean up attacked stores, or are banding together to peacefully protect stores from looting.”

TALKERS EXCLUSIVE:  Michael Harrison Talks with SirusXM Satellite Radio ‘Urban View’ Channel Morning Host Joe Madison.  TALKERS founder Michael Harrison engaged in a conversation recorded yesterday afternoon (5/31) with Joe Madison of SiriusXM Satellite Radio, the highest-ranking African American radio talk show host on the publication’s Heavy Hundred list, about the race relations crisis in America. Madison says he suspects President Trump is prepping the country to invoke martial law if the violence continues.  He also thinks the violence is being perpetrated by destructive provocateurs and not the peaceful demonstrators. He believes the violence would be curtailed “if the other three officers involved in the killing of George Floyd were arrested tonight.” To listen to an excerpt of the conversation, please click here The complete interview will be posted tomorrow in the podcast, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”

TALKERS EXCLUSIVE:  WPG, Atlantic City Morning Host Harry Hurley Pulls All-Nighter Dispatching Police, Interviewing Officials, and Taking Calls.  Often referred to as the “Morning Mayor of Atlantic City,” talk show host Harry Hurley proved that he is indeed a community leader by demonstrating exactly to what heights radio can rise in the midst of a community crisis.  Listen to him tell his story to Michael Harrison in a conversation recorded shortly after he completed his program and extended stint this morning (6/1) by clicking here.

Monday Memo: June?  So Soon?  Early March seems forever-ago, yet like yesterday. Life under quarantine has blurred the listener routines we need to be part of. In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke offers plain talk about radio’s challenges pre-, during, and post-pandemic. And why you want to play a song from 1967 on Wednesday. Read it here.

Protests Across America, Trump vs Antifa, COVID-19 Statistics & Projections and Presidential Race Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The violent protests over the police killing of George Floyd that erupted over the weekend in numerous cities across the country; President Trump’s declaration that the Antifa movement will be classified as a terrorist organization; the tally of COVID-19 cases, death toll, and projections for future cases; and the November presidential election were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Pending Business: Yogi Got It. Sales and marketing consultant Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications, writes in today’s column that radio sellers used to promising retailers that their ad campaign would “pack the place,” need to come up with a new goal. What is that goal? “What’s new, different, and important today is your new page in the game plan. ‘New’ can be your best marketing friend as you re-focus on the marketing messaging.” Read his column here.

Joe Walsh Back in Talk Radio on GAB Network and WCGO, Chicago. According to a press release from GAB Radio Network, Joe Walsh – former Illinois congressman and former WIND-AM talk show host – is geting back in the talk radio biz after leaving to challenge President Trump for the Republican nomination. Walsh famously left his position with Salem Media Group’s WIND-AM and the Salem Radio Network last summer saying he’s “done with talk radio.” Now, Walsh will host a live 11:00 am to 1:00 pm ET show in national syndication via GAB Radio Network. His program will air delayed on WCGO, Chicago from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm, local time. Walsh says, “I’m excited to be back on the radio. This country is too divided. We need to get folks out of their corners and listening to each other. That’s what I’ve always done with radio, and I think there’s a hunger for an honest voice out there.” WCGO and GAB Radio Network general manager Chuck Duncan says he feels “Joe’s passion and patriotism come at a critical time in our nation’s history, and it’s important for all perspectives on America’s direction be made available to every city in every state. We are honored to present this important forum to Joe at an essential time and look forward to having Joe’s voice heard throughout Chicago on WCGO as well as making ‘The Joe Walsh Show’ available to every concerned station’s lineup through our GAB Radio Network.”

TALKERS News Notes. WIND-AM, Chicago morning news anchor and co-host Amy Jacobson and employer Salem Media Group are suing Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker for banning Jacobson from his then-daily coronavirus pandemic press briefings after Jacobson spoke at a rally protesting Pritzker’s lockdown order. The governor’s office says Jacobson represents a talk show with a “particular point of view” and as a result she forfeits her status as a “reporter.” Jacobson and Salem argue that the governor’s ban violates Jacobson’s First Amendment rights. Salem and Jacobson are asking the court to take action to immediately allow her back into the briefings…..Former KSL-AM/FM, Salt Lake City talk show host Jay Mcfarland is featured in a piece in the Daily Herald as he runs for a seat in Congress. Mcfarland exited KSL last July and is one of four Republicans in the race for the U.S. Rep. seat in Utah’s 4th Congressional District. Mcfarland says he is positioning himself as someone who can bridge the gulf that separates Republicans and Democrats in Congress…..In another politics-meets-talk-radio story, Minnesota Public Radio reports that former Minneapolis (and nationally syndicated) talk host Jason Lewis secured the Republican nomination to run against U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) in November. Lewis served as a U.S. Rep. for Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District for one term before losing his re-election bid to Democrat Angie Craig in the fall of 2018.…..During times when major news events cause sports talk radio broadcasters to address those issues, they can face criticism from those who tell them to “stick to sports.” Obviously, this is one of those times. Mile High Sports president and CEO Nate Lundy penned an insightful piece that directly confronts that dictate. (Mile High Sports operates KDCO-AM/K248CI in Denver.) In the piece he writes, “I personally do not have any patience for the ‘stick to sports’ crowd. I will never, under any circumstances, tell our team of writers, hosts and staff to do so. Our opinions are not substandard simply because of our job description. And we believe the same about each of you. We may not agree with your opinion about the Rockies, but we support your right to think and share it.”…..Denver is not the only place where sports talk hosts are talking about social and political issues with no apologies. In Buffalo, Jeremy White of the “Howard & Jeremy” show on Entercom’s WGR “550 SportsRadio” told listeners, “I do totally understand someone that says like, ‘I come to you guys to get away from what’s going on.’ But then of course there are going to be times when that is not possible. And today what’s going on in Minneapolis, this is not possible to do, to stay away from all this stuff… There’s just so much that’s built into this. Like, ‘this is a sports station.’ That’s right. We’re also humans on this station. I care about people. I care about a lot of people. What else matters today in the world, right now? The idea that like, ‘Oh it’s just a difference of opinion.’ It’s not anymore. It’s about humanity. It’s not about opinions anymore.”…..A new podcast from Cumulus Media’s Westwood One and spoken media specialty agency Oxford Road is being unveiled called “The Bongino Brief,” hosted by former Secret Service Agent, former NYPD officer and New York Times best-selling author Dan Bongino. WWO says “The Bongino Brief” launches today and is available through smart speakers. Westwood One says it and Oxford Road are partnering to lead the development of personality-driven flash briefing programs in the smart speaker marketplace by offering flash briefings from one of the top podcasters in the world. This marks the next form of short-format streaming media, as personalities and not just news come to the format…..The WRKO, Boston-based “The Financial Exchange with Barry Armstrong, Chuck Zodda and Mike Armstrong” adds a new affiliate station as Townsquare Media’s WBEC-AM, Pittsfield, Massachusetts puts the show in its lineup for the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon slot. The show is heard on 15 stations across New England.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In honor of Black Music Month, iHeartMedia announces it will celebrate with exclusive audio vignettes from some of today’s top urban artists. The company says the celebration will “honor the incredible achievements of Black musicians and their influential contribution to the world of music.” Beginning today (6/1), iHeartMedia will air special audio messages from artists including H.E.R, Flipp Dinero, and Russ and more as they celebrate the impact and  achievements of Black musicians who have influenced their lives such as Beyonce, Dr. Dre, Jay Z, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Lauryn Hill, Ludacris, Michael Jackson, Notorious B.I.G., Prince, Tupac, and many more. iHeartMedia EVP of urban/hip hop programming strategy Doc Wynter says, “With community and personal connection being more important now than ever before, we’re honored to be able to celebrate the significant impact that Black music has had on all of us. We’re thrilled to be able to bring our listeners’ favorite artists together to support one another with inspiring messages from artists like H.E.R. who will pay tribute to the legendary Lauryn Hill, and Russ who will celebrate the important contributions that his fellow Atlanta native, Ludacris has made on Black Music.”…..Radio One launches its “We Are One: Feeding the Community Campaign.” It says it is partnering with the music community to feed hundreds of families as many are feeling the significant financial strain as a result of these tough economic times. Radio One’s 53 stations will come together across its 15 markets to feed families in their localities by giving away meals provided by local minority-owned restaurants.

Monday, May 18, 2020

| May 18, 2020

Monday Memo: Weekend Warriors, Battling the Virus. As the cooped-up are coping, radio talkers are listening. In last week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke polled a panel of weekday hosts, who describe the mood they’re monitoring. This week, HC rounds up weekend ask-the-expert hosts, who describe how callers’ questions flesh-out listeners’ lives during the shutdown now easing in phases. Read it here.

Re-Opening Controversy, Statistics & Projections, Trump IG Firings, Michael Flynn Case, Pressure on China, Ahmaud Arbery Case, Presidential Race, and Fred Willard Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The concerns about safely re-opening the economies in states across the country; the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the death toll, and projections about future infections; the political battle heating up over President Trump’s firing of inspector general Steve Linick; the DOJ’s dropping of the charges against Michael Flynn for lying in court and Republicans’ efforts to involve Barack Obama in the case; some 100 countries pressuring China for an investigation into its coronavirus efforts; the case of murdered Georgia jogger Ahmaud Arbery; the latest poll numbers in the presidential race; and comedian Fred Willard dies at 85 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Pending Business: Get Ready. Sales and marketing consultant Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications, writes in today’s column that as most parts of the country begin transitioning out of mandated self-isolation, your clients are working through a maze of regulations and protocols completely new to them. Go with the “Three-E Theory” – be empathetic, energetic, and easy. Read his column here.

Mancow Asks Court to Toss Defamation Suit. A story in the Daily Herald by Harry Hitzeman reveals that WLS-AM, Chicago morning host Erich “Mancow” Muller is asking a Cook County Circuit Court judge to dismiss the defamation suit filed against him by former Harvest Bible Chapel pastor James MacDonald. If you recall, Mancow aired on his radio show secretly recorded tapes of MacDonald in which he wonders if child porn could be placed on the computer of a Christianity Today editor with whom he had a beef. MacDonald was subsequently ousted by his church’s board in 2019 and in response MacDonald filed suit against Muller late last year. Now, Muller files the Motion to Dismiss arguing that MacDonald is a public figure and it was Muller’s “duty as a Christian and media member to shine a light on MacDonald’s true character.” MacDonald’s lawyer is saying Muller’s motion comes too late, too long, and also argues Muller’s lawyer has a conflict of interest in the case as he once represented MacDonald. The two sides have a court date of June 12.

Josh Wolff Named VP of Programming for iHeartMedia Harrisburg-Lancaster. Programming pro Josh Wolff is promoted to vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s Harrisburg and Lancaster, Pennsylvania markets. In this role Wolff will oversee all on-air content as well as music and digital programming operations for all of the Harrisburg and Lancaster brands. He will continue to program CHR WAEB “B-104” and rock WZZO in Allentown. iHeartMedia area SVP of programming Dave Hovel says, “With Josh’s strong leadership skills in Allentown, it was a no-brainer to elevate him to oversee iHeartMedia Harrisburg and Lancaster. The entire Harrisburg/Lancaster team is excited to have Josh in the role to lead and grow our iHeart footprint in the markets.” Before joining iHeartMedia’s Pennsylvania region, Wolff served as the music director and assistant program director for adult contemporary KESZ and adult hits KYOT “95.5 The Mountain” in Phoenix.

Beasley Delaying 2020 Q1 Financial Report. In a May 15 filing with the SEC, Beasley Broadcast Group, parent of Beasley Media Group, says it is unable to meet its Form 10-Q filing deadline due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on its business operations. The company notes that an order issued by the Securities Exchange Commission grants a 45-day extension to file certain disclosure reports. Beasley says it intends to file its Quarterly Report no later than June 29. In addition to the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on its ability to complete its quarterly review, “the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have caused disruptions to the Company’s business and operations, and the related uncertainty as to when or the manner in which the conditions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic will subside have made it necessary for it to seek an amendment to its credit facility that would, among other things, amend certain financial covenants. For the quarter ended March 31, the Company was in compliance with its financial covenants related to its credit facility. However, at that time the Company was projecting that it was unlikely to be able to comply with its First Lien Leverage Ratio as of June 30. As a result, the Company is seeking and expects to enter into an amendment to its credit facility in the coming weeks, and projects that it will be in compliance with the financial covenants, as amended, over the next 12 months. If the Company is unable to obtain an amendment to its credit facility, it would result in an event of default, which would materially affect its results of operations, liquidity and financial condition.”

Townsquare Media Promotes Dobbins to VP. Sales pro Sarah Dobbins is promoted from director of sales for Townsquare Media’s Portland station group to vice president of sales for Northern New England, including the Portland and Augusta markets as well as the Portsmouth, New Hampshire market. She’ll report to regional market president & chief revenue officer Christine Sieks. Dobbins says, “Townsquare Media has an unbelievable combination of local marketing resources designed to help local businesses grow. Now more than ever, our local brands, digital marketing solutions, and attribution tools make Townsquare a powerhouse in Northern New England. I am excited to partner with Christine Sieks in maximizing our resources to drive sales growth throughout Maine and New Hampshire.”

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago morning personality Erich “Mancow” Muller – host at Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM – was one of the high-profile leaders of Saturday’s “Open Illinois Rally” organized and co-hosted by Josh Ellis of American Revolution 2.0. Mancow and a number of politicians and candidates gathered to “address the governor’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic response.” The intent was to demand the state legislature “work on guidance and provisions to safely open Illinois businesses and resume our work lives.”…..WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive personality Simon Conway tells TALKERS magazine it was a “great honor” to have President Trump call into his radio show on Friday (5/15). Conway says that when Trump was running for office, the two spoke many times but this was the first time they talked with Trump as president. “It doesn’t matter what people think about him, this is the President of the United States who picked up the phone and spoke directly to my audience.” Conway’s show is also heard on WMT-AM, Cedar Rapids and WOC-AM, Quad Cities…..Nexstar Broadcasting is presenting “COVID-19 The Virtual Town Hall” to be aired on its television stations across Connecticut tonight (5/18) at 7:00 pm.  The audio from the event will be carried by iHeartMedia’s 11 Connecticut radio stations. The Town Hall will include: Governor Ned Lamont, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, and numerous state representatives and health care experts…..BIA Advisory Services is presenting a webinar tomorrow (5/19) at 11:00 am called “2020 State of Media Sales Study” that will consist of answering such questions as: What’s on the minds of local media sellers as they operate in a post COVID marketplace? Where do they expect to find ad revenue? What verticals will have the most potential in Q3 and Q4 in 2020? And, which types of accounts will pose the biggest challenges? The webinar will share findings from the April 2020 study of media sales professionals about the past year and current, unusual conditions…..The Talk Shows USA-syndicated “Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk” program adds two new affiliate stations as KBRN-AM/ K280GR, Boerne, Texas and KIVA-AM/ K229CL, Albuquerque, New Mexico add the show to their weekend program schedules…..Westwood One News is presenting “The Summer of COVID-19” as its Memorial Day Weekend special. WWO says, “Barbeques and beaches. Death rates and vaccine hopes. It is going to be a summer like no other. American traditions are under threat, from backstage ball fields to seasonal staples like family vacations and summer camps, while others still plan to hit the road or take to the skies during an unprecedented health and financial crisis… correspondent Christopher Cruise explores how we got here and where we are going, or not going, this summer.” It replaces “The Week in Review” on May 23-24.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On Long Island, Connoisseur Media’s four-station cluster that includes hot AC WALK-FM, rock WWSK-FM “94.3 The Shark,” classic hits WBZO “103.2 MAX,” and adult contemporary WKJY-FM “KJOY 98.3” shined a light on the mental effects of social distancing with a special live stream concert last night (5/17) to benefit The American Foundation For Suicide Prevention Long Island Chapter. The “Be Well Long Island” benefit concert featured performances and appearances by: Johnny Rzenick of the Goo Goo Dolls, Joan Jett, Scott Stapp, DMC from Run DMC, Kevin Martin and Brian Quinn of Candlebox, Fitz and The Tantrums, Vintage Trouble, and more. WWSK music director Brian Orlando says, “There are thousands of people suffering in silence right now. We at Connoisseur Media want them to know that they’re not alone.”

October 2019 PPM Analysis:
Major League Baseball Flagships

| November 6, 2019

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

LOS ANGELES — All set to lead off with our first in a four-part series of extensive October 2019 ratings overviews, we’re in the batter’s box taking our third and final swing this calendar year at the performance of Major League Baseball radio flagships.

The following scoreboards are for an MLB team’s English-language, Nielsen Audio subscribing key station during the October 2019 sweep (September 12 – October 9).

Unlike most of our other such overviews, however, this particular one comes with some unique ground rules and fine-print.

While some MLB teams have an AM and FM flagship and/or an emergency alternative (backup), we show one “designated hitter” per team.

Mirroring the one-station-per-team model, no MLB flagship in this analysis has ratings data from multiple Nielsen Audio metros.

Therefore, stats for the primary stations of the Mets (WCBS-AM) and Yankees (WFAN) are limited to their home market of New York City, even though one or both of those stations may appear in ratings reports for Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island) and/or Middlesex-Somerset-Union.

The same applies to the primary station of the San Francisco Giants, Cumulus Media sports talk KNBR. It is listed in both San Francisco and San Jose but only information from the San Francisco report is used here.

Things get a bit trickier regarding the Los Angeles Angels. Its main radio home – KLAA – has studios and offices at Anaheim Stadium but is unlisted in both the Los Angeles and Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario reports (October 2019). As a result, we are using data from another Angels Radio Network station throughout this entire overview, KSPN “ESPN LA 710.”

No ratings information is available/shown for either the flagship of the American League East’s Toronto Blue Jays (CJCL) or the American League West’s Oakland Athletics (KTRB).

Data cited here is not limited to any specific day-part. All stats are full-week, Monday – Sunday, 6:00 am – 12:00 midnight (6+).

With that out of the way, it’s time for the first pitch.

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Thursday, February 28, 2019

| February 28, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michael Cohen Testimony, Trump-Kim Jong Un Meeting, India-Pakistan Tensions, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, Trump-Russia Investigation, Border Wall/Emergency Declaration, Venezuela Unrest, and NBA/NCAA Hoops Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/27). Wednesday’s congressional testimony by former Trump attorney Michael Cohen; President Trump’s Hanoi meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un; the military tensions between India and Pakistan over the disputed Kashmir region; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in the 2020 election; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the U.S.-Mexico border wall project and challenges to President Trump’s emergency declaration; the situation in Venezuela as Nicolas Maduro clings to power; and NBA and NCAA basketball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. This season of ABC TV’s “American Idol” debuts on March 3 and iHeartMedia is joining ABC in promoting the show with a radio special hosted by Ryan Seacrest and broadcast across more than 90 iHeartMedia AC and hot AC radio stations nationwide.  The thirty-minute special will air Sunday, March 3 and feature songs from current “American Idol” judges and past contestants, exclusive content and information about the iconic series…..Cumulus Media announces that Justin Taylor is the new operations manager for its Oxnard-Ventura, California cluster and program director for country KHAY.  He’s taking over for the retiring Chris Cox, who will step down on March 4 after a 45-year career in radio. Taylor says, “I could not be happier to be joining [RVP] Sommer Frisk and her amazing team as the operations manager for Ventura /Oxnard, and even more excited to take over the ACM nominated K-HAY!”

“Holiday” 2018 PPM Analysis: Sports Talk

| January 31, 2019

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

LOS ANGELES — As we head into Super Bowl Sunday, our four-part series of detailed “Holiday” 2018 PPM overviews continues with a look at sports talk.

The following scoreboards are comprised of sports talk facilities that rank in the top 20 in any of the 48 PPM-markets (6+, “Holiday” 2018).

Given that Nielsen Audio only releases audience estimates for stations that subscribe to its services, ratings information in this exclusive analysis are limited to properties that pay that company for its data.

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Thursday, November 29, 2018

| November 29, 2018

WDAE, Tampa Unveils Midday ‘Pat & Aaron Show.’ A couple of weeks ago, iHeartMedia announced that “Ron & Ian” – Ron Diaz and Ian Beckles – would be the new afternoon drive show on WDAE-AM/W237CW, Tampa Bay “95.3 WDAE.”  Now, the station reveals the new early afternoon program (12:00 noon to 3:00 pm) “The Pat & Aaron Show,” co-hosted by Pat Donovan and Aaron Jacobson.  Both are current staffers with iHeartMedia Tampa. Donovan has been a reporter/producer for WDAE for close to seven years.  He’s been on air as part of the weekend program, “The Insiders,” featuring Rick Stroud from the Tampa Bay Times, Jenna Laine from ESPN and Trevor Sikkema from PewterReport.com.  Jacobson has served as a producer and host for WDAE and sister news/talk WFLA for close to five years.  He’s currently co-host of the “AM Tampa Bay” with legendary broadcaster Jack Harris and he will continue in that role in addition to the new show.  Jacobson says, “Pat and I could not be more excited to start this wild ride.  As hard as we worked for this moment, none of it would be possible without the support of our listeners.  I can’t wait to take on this new journey alongside the entire ‘95.3 WDAE’ team as well as with our listeners in the Bay Area.”

Francesa and Kay in Tight NYC Sports Talk Battle. The New York media is watching the sports talk radio competition and Newsday’s Neil Best notes that WFAN’s Mike Francesa and WEPN’s Michael Kay tied with 6.2 shares (Men 25-54) in afternoon drive for the second straight monthly PPM survey from Nielsen Audio.  The competition between the two afternoon shows has intensified since Francesa’s return to WFAN following a four-month retirement.  Traditionally, Francesa has dominated in the ratings battle, but Kay’s performance is an achievement and station owner ESPN is letting the industry know with an e-blast from its PR department (at right).

TALKERS News Notes. New Salem Radio Network talk show host Dr. Sebastian Gorka got some high praise from President Trump for his new book, Why We Fight (2018, Regnery Publishing).  The president tweeted, “Sebastian Gorka, a very talented man who I got to know well while he was working at the White House, has just written an excellent book, ‘Why We Fight.’  Much will be learned from this very good read.”  Gorka begins hosting the daily 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET show on SRN on January 1…..Richmond market news/talk WJFN-FM announces the addition of the “Find Your Roar” program with host Susan Platt to its weekend schedule.  Platt is a longtime congressional staff leader and award-winning political campaign manager who previously worked for former Vice President Joe Biden during his U.S. Senate tenure.  The station is owned by syndicated talk show host John Fredericks, who says, “Bringing Susan Platt into the WJFN program lineup strengthens our roster of Virginia-based news/talk and political analysis.  This move demonstrates our commitment to offering fresh and diverse perspectives on the news of the day and explaining what it means about the way our government functions and how it impacts people’s everyday lives.”…..Syndicated talk radio show host Walter M Sterling is sitting in on Entercom’s news/talk KMOX, St. Louis from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm this evening (11/29).  Sterling is the host of the syndicated Sunday evening program “Sterling on Sunday,” heard on KMOX.  Sterling says, “Well there is just no explaining this decision.  Blame Steve Moore, the program pirector.”…..SiriusXM talk personality Joe Madison is being honored by The Trayvon Martin Foundation with its 2019 Champion for Justice Award.  Madison will receive the honor at the organization’s “Peace Walk & Talk” on February 9, 2019…..A new business-fueled podcast titled, “The Brink,” premieres on the iHeartRadio platform.  The show is hosted by Jonathan Strickland and Ariel Kristen in which the two discuss their business experiences with listeners.  During each episode, Strickland and Kristen offer advice and suggest mechanisms for making some of the tough business decisions all business leaders eventually make during their careers…..Salem Media Group’s news/talk KHNR, Honolulu “The Answer” adds the “Motley Fool Money” radio show with host Chris Hill to its weekend program schedule.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Dow Soars After Fed Chief Comments, Migrant Caravan/Mexican Border Issue, Pelosi Nominated for Speaker, U.S. Life Expectancy Falls, Trump at G20 Meeting, Les Moonves Allegations, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/28).The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related collapse of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s plea deal; the Dow posts a huge gain after Fed chief Jerome Powell speaks of slower rate hikes, the caravan of Honduran migrants amassed at the U.S.-Mexico border and the related border wall funding issue; Nancy Pelosi secures support for nomination for House Speaker; the latest report from the CDC detailing a decline in life expectancy in the U.S.; President Trump’s appearance at the G20 summit in Argentina and a possible meeting with Russia’s Vladimir Putin; the allegations of rape against former CBS chairman Les Moonves; and the week’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Bobby Duncan is the new program director at Entercom’s classic rock KGON-FM, Portland, effective December 3. Entercom Portland SVP and market manager Bill Ashenden says, “Bobby has a proven track record of managing great on-air teams and stations, as well as their respective digital channels, and we are confident that his experience will translate to success for 92.3 KGON.  We are thrilled to welcome Bobby to the KGON team and are certain he will enhance the heritage rock station that our listeners have come to know and love.” Duncan began his career as an on-air personality for sister station KLOL-FM, Houston. He has also served in management and consulting roles for then-KKRW, Houston; WXMX and WKIM in Memphis; and WGRD, Grand Rapids…..According to Joe Holleman’s report at the St. Louis Post Dispatch, the latest round of cuts at Hubbard Radio are in the St. Louis cluster and include morning show personality Spencer Graves of classic hits WARH’s “Spencer’s Neighborhood,” his co-host Brandon “Brando” Ludmann, longtime rock KSHE program director Rick Balis, and KSHE personality Carl “The Intern” Middleman…..In Indianapolis, Emmis names Ryan Wild the new program director for country WLHK, “97.1 Hank FM.”  Wild was previously with Scripps Media in Milwaukee programming then-country WKTI before its sale to Good Karma Brands and flip to sports talk.  Emmis Indianapolis director of programming David Wood says, “Ryan had everything we were looking for: creativity, passion, great communication skills, and strategic vision.  He has led his stations to success in some very competitive situations. I’m thrilled to have his leadership for our team.”…..Programming pro Gary Nolan announces he’s exiting his position as program director at Cumulus Media’s hot AC KQHN, Shreveport, Louisiana to return to Kansas City to be with family.  Nolan says, “I guess you can call it semi-retirement.  I hope to work part time for a KC station, however if something came up in KC full time that’s as good a fit, I certainly would take a look at it.” During his career, Nolan has programmed such stations as: WLTW, New York; WLTE, Minneapolis; KRWM, Seattle; and KOSI, Denver…..In Providence, Maddie Grimaldi is promoted to midday personality at Hall Communications’ country WCTK “Cat Country 98.1,” taking over for Meredith Thompson who exited the industry.  Grimaldi has been serving as a fill-in host after working with the station in the promotions department.

November 2018 PPM Data – Round One. Information for the November 2018 ratings period has been released for 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 November 2018 survey period covered October 11 – November 7. 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.

New York City Spoken-Word Formats – A cumulative +.6 in September and October (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” returns half that increase in November (2.0, -.3, #16 to #19, 6+). Despite recording its seventh straight month without a loss (1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5, 6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” remains at #23. Down or flat for six consecutive sweeps (February through August) for a collective decrease of three-tenths (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9 – .9, 6+), WABC picked up two-tenths in September and then was unchanged in both 6+ AQH share (1.1) and 6+ AQH rank (#24) in October.  An error on the part of Nielsen in the initial release of this month’s 6+ numbers to the trade press indicated Cumulus Media‘s WABC was unlisted.  Nielsen corrected the mistake.  WABC was up 0.1 from October to a 1.2 share.

After bouncing back from a loss of eight-tenths in September with an October increase of one-half share (3.9 – 4.4, 6+), Entercom sports talk WFAN sputters by seven-tenths to 3.7, moving from a three-way tie at #6 to #8, 6+. The 4.7 logged by the flagship of the Yankees, New York Giants, and Brooklyn Nets in May, July and August is its best 6+-showing since 5.2 in November 2017. Up or flat for the fourth straight month for an overall gain of four-tenths (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1. 7 – 1.8, 6+), WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” advances from #21 to #20; the New York Jets and New York Knicks flagship was locked on 1.7 (6+) in May and June.

Frozen on 4.2 (6+) in July, August, and September, Entercom all-news WINS is now locked on 4.4 (6+) in October and November; it remains at #6. Co-owned/similarly-formatted WCBS-AM is a combined +.6 in three consecutive upticks (2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.2, 6+) and progresses from #14 to a three-way tie at #11. In July, WCBS-AM ended three successive down or flat sweeps that accounted for a loss of eight-tenths (3.3 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.5, 6+).

WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s news/talk WNYC-FM lost a cumulative seven-tenths in May, June, and July (3.4 – 3.0 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+); gained seven-tenths in August; surrendered six-tenths in September; recaptured six-tenths in October (2.8 – 3.4, 6+); but falters by four-tenths in November to 3.0 (#11 to #15, 6+). While flat at .5 (6+), co-owned news/talk WNYC-AM breaks out of a four-way tie at #29 to #28. Prior to September’s .6 (6+), WNYC-AM recorded a .5 (6+) three times in a row.

New York City Music Formats – As the result of four successive up or flat trends (5.3 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 6.0 – 6.5, 6+), Emmis urban AC WBLS climbs from third to second. After being in the five-share range (6+) for 33 sweeps in succession, “107.5 – #1 For R&B” recorded a 6.1 (6+) in June 2018. In back-to-back survey periods, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW is off by four-tenths (7.5 – 7.1 – 6.7, 6+), but “106.7 Lite FM” is #1 for the 16th successive sweep. An overall -1.6 through three setbacks in succession (8.5 – 7.7 – 7.3 – 6.9, 6+), WLTW was a combined +.6 in August and September (6.9 – 7.1 – 7.5, 6+). Prior to November 2018 and July 2018, “Lite FM” previously fell below a six-share (6+) in October 2017 (6.6). Continuing a down/up pattern that began in December 2017 (3.9 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 3.1- 3.2, 6+), co-owned urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1” advances from #13 to #11. After shrinking by three-tenths in October, the market’s (6+) hot AC share bounces back with a collective +.4, as Entercom’s WNEW “NEW 102.7” is up three-tenths (2.8 – 3.1, #15 to #14, 6+), while Cumulus Media-owned WPLJ “New York’s 95.5 PLJ” picks up one-tenth (2.0 – 2.1, #19 to #18, 6+).

Los Angeles Spoken-Word Formats – Notwithstanding that it is down or flat for the sixth time in a row for a collective loss of eight-tenths (4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KFI “AM 640” climbs from eighth to seventh. Off two-tenths (1.3 – 1.1, 6+), Salem Media Group news/talk KRLA “AM 870 The Answer” tumbles from #25 to #31. It is tied there with iHeartMedia news/talk KEIB “AM 1150 The Patriot,” which is flat at 1.1 (#30 to #31, 6+). Following four months in a row at .4 (6+), Cumulus Media-owned KABC “790 News-Talk-Evolved” was off one-tenth to .3 in October but gains two-tenths in November to .5 (#43 to #40, 6+).

In a stunning ten (10) successive sweeps without a loss, iHeartMedia-owned KLAC has more than quintupled (+1.7) its 6+ AQH share (.4 – .4 – .5 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.7 – 2.1, 6+) and is nearing the top twenty (#24 to #22). “AM 570 LA Sports” is the flagship of the NL champion Los Angeles Dodgers, which lost the 2018 World Series (on October 28) to the Boston Red Sox in five games. In addition, KLAC is one of the key stations of the NFL’s Los Angeles Chargers. Meanwhile, similarly-formatted KSPN “710 ESPN,” the Los Angeles Rams’ AM flagship, has practically doubled its 6+-stat (+.7) in three positive spikes in a row (.8 – .9 – 1.3 – 1.5, flat at #25, 6+). Prior to August’s loss of four-tenths, KSPN gained one-tenth in three straight sweeps (.9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.2, 6+).

A collective -.4 in September and October (3.1 – 3.0 – 2.7, 6+), Entercom’s KNX “1070 News Radio” improves by one-tenth in November to 2.8 (#14 to #11, 6+); KNX was up four-tenths in August. The November sweep ended just prior to the mass killings in Thousand Oaks and the devastating wildfires.

The eight most recent 6+ stats for Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” (#15 to #14) are an extremely steady 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.7.

Los Angeles Music Formats – Not only does iHeartMedia adult contemporary KOST register its third straight (albeit modest) uptick in succession for an overall gain of one-half share (4.6 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.1, 6+), “Coast 103.5” marches from second to first. It is a short (October-only) stay at the top for Entercom classic hits-oldies KRTH “K-Earth 101,” which falters by one-half share to 4.5 (6+) and segues to third-place. Entering the November sweep, “K-Earth” was trending 5.0 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0 (6+). Prior to October 2018, the last time a non-iHeartMedia-owned station was #1 in Los Angeles was November 2015 – and it was “K-Earth” with a 5.7 (6+). Sandwiched between KOST and KRTH is iHeartMedia hot AC KBIG “104.3 My-FM,” which is off for the fifth straight month for an overall loss of -1.1 (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+), but climbs from third to second. When “My-FM” was dislodged from the top spot in October, it ended a string of five successive months at #1. Off two-tenths in consecutive monthlies (4.6 – 4.4 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KIIS “102.7 Kiss-FM” gains two-tenths (4.4, steady at #4, 6+). Meanwhile, Entercom’s similarly-formatted KAMP “97.1 Amp Radio” drops one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps and is a collective -.7 in three straight dips (2.8 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.1, #21 to #22, 6+). Following five successive up or flat trends for a net gain of four-tenths (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+), Mt. Wilson FM Broadcasters’ KKGO “Go Country 105” drops one-tenth to 2.4 (#16 to #18, 6+) but is within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 37th time in succession. Two other positive streaks come to an end as Cumulus Media’s  KLOS “95.5 The Rock of Southern California” surrenders one-tenth (2.9, ninth to tenth, 6+), while iHeartMedia-owned urban contemporary KRRL “Real 92.3” forfeits two-tenths (2.8, #9 to #11, 6+). KLOS had been a combined +.5 in three straight gains (2.5 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.0, 6+); “Real” was +.4 in four successive up or flat trends (2.6 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.0, 6+). The June 2018 – September 2018 (6+) topline for KXOS was 2.0 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.3, but regional Mexican “Mega 96.3” is unlisted for the second sweep in a row.

Chicago Spoken-Word Formats – Posting its third straight up or flat trend for a collective +.7 (2.5 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 3.2, 6+), Tribune Media news/talk WGN jumps from #15 to #11. Entering the August sweep, the key station of the Chicago White Sox notched three consecutive upticks for a combined full-share gain (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 3.0, 6+). Unchanged at #22, Cumulus Media news/talk WLS-AM has a May through November topline trending of 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.6. Its +.2 in July ended four consecutive down or flat moves that accounted for a one-half share loss (2.0 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+).

Following a gain of eight-tenths in September, Entercom sports talk WSCR (flagship for both the Cubs and Bulls) plummets by -1.5 in October and November (4.3 – 4.2 – 2.8, 6+), fading from #6 to #18. Prior to September, “670 The Score” logged a fluctuation of one-tenth in each of the previous three months (3.6 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+). ESPN-owned WMVP “ESPN Chicago 1000” (#24 to #23) is up four-tenths in three straight sweeps without a loss (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+).

Over and above being a collective +1.1 in three consecutive upticks (4.6 – 4.8 – 5.6 – 5.7, 6+), Entercom news outlet WBBM-AM storms from second to first. Immediately in advance of this streak, the Chicago Bears flagship logged six straight down or flat showings for a collective -.7 (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+).

Jumping from #19 to #16, Chicago Public Media news/talk WBEZ is up or flat for the third month in a row for a +.7 (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.9, 6+) and has its best 6+-showing (2.9) since April’s 3.0.

Chicago Music Formats – Via four consecutive increases, Univision Radio regional Mexican WOJO “Que Buena 105.1” is +1.4 (4.0 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 5.4, third to second, 6+). It has been a series of ups/downs in one-half share increments lately for WSHE, which had been without a loss five consecutive months for a +.5 (2.6 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+) until surrendering the entire half-share increase in October to 2.6 (6+). In November, however, the Hubbard adult contemporary facility regains that half-share decline in its entirety (3.1 – 2.6 – 3.1, #16 to #13, 6+). Meanwhile, Venture Technologies Group AC WRME-LP is within 3.3 – 3.8 range (6+) for the tenth month in a row, but is without an increase for the third successive time for a collective -.5 (3.8 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 3.3, 6+). Even so, “FM 87.7 Me TV” returns to the top ten (#11 to #9). Surrendering the three-tenths it gained in October (3.2 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary-turned hot AC-turned adult contemporary WLIT “93.9 Lite FM” exits the top ten (#9 to #11). After ten straight months at #1, urban AC cluster-mate WVAZ “V-103 Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” falters by four-tenths (5.7 – 5.3, 6+) and shifts to third. Its gain of one-tenth in June halted four straight down or flat trends that produced a loss of nine-tenths (6.8 – 6.6 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 5.9, 6+). Bumping up from eighth to seventh, Entercom’s WUSN “US-99 Chicago’s Hottest Country” logs its third straight 3.7 (6+) and is within 3.0 – 3.9 range for the 16th consecutive time. Simultaneously, iHeartMedia’s WEBG “Big 95.5 – Chicago’s New Country” has its third (slight) decrease in a row for a collective -.4 (1.8 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.4, #22 to #23, 6+). The last seven topline stats for Entercom’s WBBM-FM “B-96 Chicago’s New Hit Music” (#18 to #20) are: 2.4 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 (6+).

San Francisco Spoken-Word Formats – On the heels of October’s seven-tenths’ increase, KSFO surrenders one-half share (3.1 – 2.6, #11 to #14, 6+). The Cumulus Media news/talker was a combined -1.0 in August and September (3.4 – 3.0- 2.4, 6+). Immediately prior to August, KSFO put together four successive increases for an overall +1.3 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.4, 6+). In an up/down sequence that began in July, cluster-mate KGO is an overall +.4 (1.7 – 2.1 – 1.8  – 2.2 – 2.1, #17 to #18, 6+). August’s increase of four-tenths ended four successive down or flat trends that resulted in a collective loss of three-tenths (2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+).

Without an increase the past three ratings periods for a cumulative -1.2 (3.7 – 3.7 – 2.9 – 2.5, 6+), co-owned KNBR “The Sports Leader” adds four-tenths to 2.9 (#15 to #13, 6+). After being a combined +.6 in three straight up or flat trends (1.5 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1, 6+), Entercom’s similarly-formatted KGMZ forfeits two-tenths to 1.9 (6+) and departs the top twenty (#18 to #21); “95.7 The Game” was -1.1 in July (2.6 – 1.5, 6+).

Erasing October’s +.3 (5.3 – 5.6 – 5.3, 6+), all-news cluster-mate KCBS-AM nonetheless finishes in the runner-up slot for the tenth time in a row. Frozen on 5.4 (6+) in April and May, KCBS-AM was then stuck on 5.5 (6+) in June and July.

On top for the tenth straight month, Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED solidifies that market position with a gain of seven-tenths (6.7 – 7.4, 6+). This (7.4) is its best 6+-performance since May’s 8.1. Its gain of four-tenths in September ended five downward trends in a row that accounted for a -2.5 (8.9 – 8.4 – 8.1 – 7.1 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). San Francisco Unified School District’s KALW “91.7 Local Public Radio” is flat in both 6+ AQH share (.6) and 6+ AQH rank (#31). Entering the October sweep, it logged a one-half share five times in the previous seven monthlies (.5 – .5 – .6 – .4 – .5 – .5 – .5, 6+).

San Francisco Music Formats – A robust gain of eight-tenths (2.8 – 3.6, 6+) propels KOSF “iHeart 80s @ 103.7” into the top ten (#13 to #7). Conversely, a loss of six-tenths (3.6 – 3.0, 6+) sends Bonneville urban AC KBLX “#1 For Today’s R&B and Old School” from #6 to #12. An overall +1.1 in six straight up or flat sweeps (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.4, 6+), Cumulus Media classic rocker KSAN “107.7 The Bone” carries on at #10. Prior to August, “The Bone” recorded a 6+-share between 2.0 – 2.9 in each of the previous 40 sweeps. After having logged a 2.1 in three of the last five sweeps (2.1 – 2.0 – 2.4 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+), University of Southern California-owned classical outlet KDFC posts a one-half share increase to 2.6 (#18 to #14, 6+). Pulling the plug on three down or flat trends in succession (3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.4, 6+), Entercom hot AC KLLC “Alice @ 97.3” is up one-tenth to 3.5 (ninth to eighth, 6+). Improving by two-tenths each are its fellow hot ACs,  iHeartMedia-owned KIOI “Star 101.3” (3.6 – 3.8, sixth to fourth, 6+), and Alpha Media’s KEZR “Mix 106 Today’s Best Music” (1.6 – 1.8, #23, 6+). Meanwhile, in the market’s adult contemporary contest, iHeartMedia’s KISQ “98.1 The Breeze” is off three-tenths (4.7 – 4.4, 6+) and is steady at #3, while Bonneville-owned KOIT-FM loses two-tenths (3.9 – 3.7, 6+), slipping from fourth to sixth.

Dallas Spoken-Word Formats – On a roll, Cumulus Media’s WBAP (#15 to #13) is without a loss for the fifth time in a row and is a collective +1.1 in that stretch (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.2, 6+). Immediately in advance of the September sweep, “News Talk 820” posted a 2.2 (6+) in three of the previous five sweeps (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+). Finishing at #35 and #36, respectively, are Salem Media Group-owned KSKY “660 AM The Answer” (.9 – .7, -.2, 6+) and Cumulus Media’s KLIF-AM “570 News & Information” (flat at .4, 6+).

There is very little movement among the market’s three sports talk outlets, as Cumulus Media-owned KTCK “The Ticket – All Sports, All The Time” is off one-tenth (3.2 – 3.1, #12 to #15, 6+); up one-tenth, Entercom’s KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan” has its fourth straight sweep without a loss for a +.4 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.5, flat at #18, 6+); and ESPN’s KESN “103.3 ESPN Dallas” is a collective +.3 in four straight up or flat moves (.9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), but slips from #30 to #29.

While it is a consistent 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 (6+) from June through November, Entercom news-talk hybrid KRLD-AM “News Radio 1080” departs the top twenty (#19 to #21). Going back to “Holiday” 2016, KRLD-AM is within a high of 2.8 and a low of 2.0.  

North Texas Public Broadcasting news/talk KERA notches its third increase in a row for an overall gain of seven-tenths (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.3, #13 to #11, 6+). Before September’s +.4 to 3.0, KERA logged a 6+-stat in the two-share range for 37 consecutive sweeps.

Dallas Music Formats – After improving by seven-tenths in September and then forfeiting eight-tenths in October, WAY Media contemporary Christian KAWA “WAY-FM Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” bounces back with an increase of six-tenths in November (1.6 – 2.3 – 1.5 – 2.1, #24 to #22, 6+). Also improving by six-tenths in November is Entercom regional Mexican KMVK “La Grande 107.5” (2.2 – 2.8, #19 to 16, 6+), which scores its best 6+-stat since February (2.8, as well). Although down one-half share (6.6 – 6.1, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KHKS “106.1 Kiss – Dallas/Fort Worth’s Hit Music” is on top for the 11th straight time. “Kiss” was +1.1 in August, after a combined -1.4 in June and July (6.9 – 6.3 – 5.5, 6+). Down or flat for the fourth sweep in succession, Service Broadcasting urban AC KRNB “105.7 Smooth R&B” is a combined -.8 in that stretch (3.1 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.3, #15 to #19, 6+) and has its lowest 6+-stat (2.3) since last December’s 2.2. Tied at #4 are Cumulus Media country siblings KPLX “99.5 The Wolf” (4.2 – 4.1, -.1, unchanged at #4, 6+) and KSCS “New Country 96.3” (fifth to fourth, 6+). An October gain by “The Wolf” halted six straight down or flat trends that accounted for an overall loss of three-tenths (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). “New Country” is -1.1 in four straight reports without an increase (5.2 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). July’s 5.2 represents the best-ever 6+ share in KSCS’ PPM history and first time it ever reached the five-share level (6+).

Houston Spoken-Word Formats – A gain of six-tenths (3.7 – 4.3, 6+) enables iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH to crack the top ten (#12 to #7) and to post its strongest 6+-stat (4.3) since February 2017’s 4.4. “News Radio 740” was a combined -.9 in August and September (4.1 – 3.6 – 3.2, 6+) and up one-half share in October.

Among the market’s sports talk competitors, KTRH cluster-mate/Houston Astros flagship KBME “Sports Talk 790” is trending 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.1 (6+). It is flat at #22, where it’s tied with Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610,” as the Houston Texans’ AM flagship logs a 1.1 (#23 to #22, 6+) for the third straight month. Meanwhile, Gow Communications’ KFNC is steady at .8 (#26 to #25, 6+) – “ESPN 97.5” has its best 6+-showing since May (.8, as well).

In four straight down or flat moves, University of Houston news/talk KUHF is off one full-share (3.4 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.4, 6+) and slips from #17 to #20.

Houston Music Formats – In addition to registering its fourth successive uptick for a collective +2.1 (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 6.0 – 6.8, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN “Que Buena 102.9” progresses from third to second. This (6.8) is the highest 6+ share for “Que Buena” since its 7.4 in January 2017. Seven-tenths ahead of it is iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA (7.2 – 7.5, +.3, 6+), which is #1 for the seventh month in a row. The 12.5 by “Sunny 99.1” 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. In the runner-up slot the past six months, Radio One urban AC KMJQ is flat at 6.1 (6+), but slips to #3; “Majic 102.1 – The People’s Station” was tied for #1 in April. A collective -1.5 in three successive downward moves (5.7 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.2, 6+), Entercom adult hits KKHH “95.7 The Spot” drifts from fifth to ninth. Three straight upticks by Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KOVE accounted for an overall +1.7 (2.8 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 4.5, 6+), but “Amor 106.5” sputters by four-tenths to 4.1 and departs the top ten (#8 to #11). In October 2018, KOVE reached the four-share level (4.5, 6+) for the first time since October 2016.

Atlanta Spoken-Word Formats – In addition to being #1 for the 36th consecutive time, Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM is a collective +1.1 in three straight positive spikes (7.5 – 7.9 – 8.2 – 8.6, 6+) after being down three-tenths in July and August (7.8 – 7.6 – 7.5, 6+). Returning October’s +.2 (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.3, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WYAY “106.6 Where Atlanta Comes to Talk” continues at #20; WYAY was -1.0 in August (2.3 – 1.3, 6+). Entercom news/talk WAOK checks in at #27 with its sixth sweep in a row without a loss (.1 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .4 – .5 – .6, 6+).

After being an overall +1.7 in four positive spikes in succession (2.2 – 2.5 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.9,  6+), Entercom sports talk and Atlanta Falcons flagship WZGC “92.9 The Game” relinquishes three-tenths to 3.6 (#11 to #13, 6+). The April 2018 through November 2018 (6+) topline for Dickey Broadcasting’s WCNN “Sports Radio The Fan” is: 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.4 – 2.0 – 1.9; the AM flagship of the Atlanta Braves remains at #18. When WCNN lost two-tenths in July, it halted seven successive sweeps without a decrease that netted eight-tenths (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+).

As a result of four straight up or flat trends (3.1 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+), City of Atlanta Board of Education news/talk WABE is a collective +.8 and enters the top ten (#11 to #10). This directly follows five consecutive down or flat sweeps in a row for an overall -1.4 (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.1, 6+). Georgia State University news/talk WRAS (#26 to #24) improves by four-tenths to 1.0, its best 6+-stat since February (1.0, as well).

Atlanta Music Formats – Following three consecutive decreases that led to a -1.1 (4.0 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 2.9, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WUBL “94.9 The Bull” answers with a gain of six-tenths (3.5, #17 to #14). A combined +.7 in September and October (3.3 – 3.4 – 4.0, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned WKHX “Kicks 101.5 – Atlanta’s #1 For Country Hits” returns three-tenths to 3.7 (6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #12). Approximately halfway through the October sweep, Woman’s World Broadcasting-owned WTSH “Your Georgia Country” transitioned to regional Mexican as “La Raza” (#31 in October) but disappears from print (.6 – .1 – 0.0, 6+). Without a loss for the seventh straight time for a cumulative gain of +1.1 (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.5, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WWPW “Power 96.1 Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” climbs from seventh to sixth, while its format foe – Cumulus Media’s WWWQ “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” – picks up two-tenths (4.2 – 4.4, eighth to seventh, 6+). When “Q-100” lost one-tenth in October, it snapped at four a consecutive string of up or flat moves that netted three-tenths (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.3, 6+). Up one-half share in October to its highest 6+-share (7.2) in more than two years (7.3, April 2016), Entercom urban contemporary WVEE “V-103 The People’s Station” erodes by -1.1 to 6.1 (second to third), its lowest 6+-stat since February’s 5.8. Following a (repetitive 6+) May through August sequence of 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.7, Radio One-owned WHTA “Hot 107.9” is a combined -1.4 in three straight downward moves (4.7 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.3, #13 to #15, 6+). Owing to three negative trends in succession, Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH “The Fish” is an overall -1.5 (5.9 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.4, sixth to seventh, 6+); August’s 5.9 is the strongest 6+-showing for “The Fish” since its 6.0 in January.

Philadelphia Spoken-Word Formats

Anchored at #14, Entercom’s WPHT “Talk Radio 1210” has nearly doubled its 6+ AQH share (+1.4) in seven straight ratings periods without a decrease (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+). Up one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5, 6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” advances into the top twenty (#22 to #20).

It is a quick (October-only) stay at #1 for Entercom’s WIP “Sports Radio 94.1,” which erodes by one full-share (7.3 – 6.3, 66+) and drifts from first to sixth-place. The key station of the Eagles and Phillies was -.8 (February); -2.9 (March); +1.1 (April); -.8 (May); -.5 (June); +.7 (August); +1.4 (October); and now -1.0 (November). Meanwhile, Beasley Media Group-owned WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” adds two-tenths to October’s +.7 (1.8 – 2.5 – 2.7, #16 to #15, 6+). Prior to October, “The Fanatic” was without a gain the previous five months for an overall decline of one full-share (2.8 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+).

Off three-tenths (5.5 – 5.2, 6+), Entercom’s KYW falls from seventh to eighth; “News Radio 1060” was +.7 in August.

Continuing a down/up pattern that began in June, public news/talk WHYY is 3.6 – 3.3 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.4 (6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #12). An August increase of one-half share interrupted three successive declines for an overall -1.1 (4.4 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.3, 6+).

Philadelphia Music Formats – By registering a +.6 to 7.4 (6+), WOGL not only applies the brakes to three straight negative trends that accounted for a combined -1.4 (8.2 – 7.5 – 7.0 – 6.8, 6+), “98.1 – Nobody Plays More 80s” leaps from third to first. The Entercom classic hits-oldies outlet finished first in August and segued to second in September. July’s 8.2 represents its highest-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era. Progressing by six-tenths as well is Beasley Media Group-to-Entercom’s WXTU (5.4, eighth to seventh, 6+). After a September gain of four-tenths, “92.5 Philadelphia’s Country Station” surrendered more than twice that increase with a loss of nine-tenths to 4.8 (6+), its lowest 6+-showing since 4.6 in March. Co-owned adult hits WBEN-FM “95.7 Ben FM” improves by one-half share to 2.6 (#18 to #16, 6+), thus curtailing at three a consecutive string of downward trends that yielded a -1.3 (3.4 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.1, 6+). Jerry Lee Radio-to-Entercom adult contemporary WBEB “Today’s 101.1 More FM” relinquishes all but two-tenths of October’s +.7 (7.0 – 6.5, -.5, second to fourth, 6+). Immediately prior to October, WBEB was a collective -2.2 in three consecutive decreases (8.5 – 7.8 – 6.5 – 6.3, 6+). WBEB was on top from March through June before being dislodged in July. In “Holiday” 2017, WBEB achieved its most potent 6+-share since 17.9 in “Holiday” 2016.

Long Island Spoken-Word Formats – After doubling its 6+ share (+1.8) in September and October (1.8 – 2.8 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” forfeits one-half share to 3.1, fading from #9 to #14. For the fifth time in the last eight months, Cumulus Media news/talk WABC logs a 1.4 (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4, #25, 6+). Its +.1 in August stopped four consecutive down or flat moves that accounted for a loss of three-tenths (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.2, 6+).

Included as part of a three-way tie at #1 is Entercom sports talk WFAN, which is on top for the fourth month in a row. The flagship of the Yankees, Giants, and Brooklyn Nets, however, erases October’s +.6 with a November loss of eight-tenths (5.6 – 4.8, 6+). October’s 5.6 was the strongest 6+-showing in Long Island for WFAN since November 2017’s 5.9. New York Jets flagship WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York,” which gained six-tenths in October as well (1.6 – 2.2, 6+), slips by one-tenth to 2.1 (6+) but stays at #16. WEPN had been off seven-tenths in four straight down or flat trends (2.3 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.6, #22, 6+), immediately after five consecutive upticks for a +1.2 (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+).

Separated by just one-tenth of a share are Entercom all-news WINS (3.3 – 3.4, +.1, #13 to #11, 6+) – which was up six-tenths in October – and co-owned/similarly-formatted WCBS-AM, which is +.9 in six straight up or flat trends (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 3.3, #15 to #12, 6+). Prior to the September sweep, WINS showed a month-to-month fluctuation of three-tenths four straight times: +.3 (May); -.3 (June); -.3 (July); and +.3 (August).

WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM, which had been trending 1.6 – 1.9 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.0 (February 2018 – September 2018, 6+), and ranked #19 in September is unlisted for the second month in a row.

Long Island Music Formats – Following six straight months without an increase that accounted for a collective loss of four-tenths (5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.7, 6+), iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WHTZ  picks up one-tenth to 4.8 (6), which is sufficient to advance “Z-100” from fourth to part of the aforementioned three-way logjam at #1. The third part of that trio at #1 (in addition to WFAN and WHTZ) is Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM. Off one-tenth (4.9 – 4.8, 6+), “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” nonetheless proceeds to the top from the runner-up slot. In three increases in succession, WCBS-AM was +1.2 (3.7 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.9, 6+). Immediately prior to that, however, it was a collective -1.2 via five straight down or flat trends (4.9 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+). Regressing by one-half share each are Connoisseur Media hot AC WALK-FM “97.5 – Real Variety” (4.9 – 4.4, second to fourth, 6+) and iHeartMedia urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1” (2.2 – 1.7, #17 to #21, 6+). Dropping from seventh to ninth, Cox Media Group-owned WBAB “102.3 – Long Island’s Only Classic Rock” is an overall -1.7 in four straight drops (5.0 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 3.7 – 3.3, 6+). Down or flat for the fifth consecutive time for an overall decline of seven-tenths (2.8 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.1, 6+), Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT slips from #15 to #16; “Hot 97” is within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) for the 49th consecutive ratings period.

Riverside Spoken-Word Formats – After dropping four-tenths in August, San Bernardino Community College news/talk KVCR notches its third straight (albeit modest) increase (1.3 – 1.4 – 1.6 – 1.7, 6+) and climbs from #12 to #11. KVCR nearly doubled its 6+-stat in June and July (.9 – 1.1 – 1.7, 6+). Having doubled September’s .3 (6+) to .6 (6+) in October, Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” surrenders two-tenths to .4 (6+) and stays at #17.

Debuting in July with a .2 (6+), iHeartMedia news talk KKDD “1290 News Talk IE” gained one-tenth in August; was flat in September; up one-tenth in October; and now down two-tenths in November (.4 – .2, #18 to #20, 6+).

Co-owned KPWK “Fox Sports Radio 1350 AM” (formerly KUBE) disappeared from print in June; resurfaced in July (.2, 6+); dropped one-tenth in August; added one-tenth in both September and October; but drops one-tenth in November (.3 – .2, 6+) and is tied with KKDD at #20. Similarly-formatted/Los Angeles Angels-owned (LAA 1, LLC) KLAA “Angels Radio AM 830” is unlisted for the tenth month in a row.

Riverside Music Formats – A one-half share increase (1.5 – 2.0, 6+) elevates Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLRD “Air 1 Positive Hits” to its highest 6+-stat since March (2.0, as well). Setting the pace for the sixth successive sweep is Entravision’s KLYY “Jose” (9.5 – 9.4, -.1, 6+), which posted a gigantic +2.5 in September. A loss of four-tenths in October ended five straight increases that netted an astonishing +5.3, more than doubling its 6+-stat since April (4.6 – 6.4 – 6.5 – 6.9 – 7.4 – 9.9, 6+). This follows 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+). June 2018 marked the first time “Jose” was in the lead position since “Holiday” 2017 when it scored a 7.3 (6+). Prior to September, KLYY last reached the nine-share level (6+) in February 2017 (9.2). Recapturing two-tenths of October’s -.3 (7.2 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+), Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies KOLA is anchored in the runner-up slot for the sixth month in a row. KOLA held the lead position in May with a 6.5 (6+). Its +.3 in July ended four downward trends in succession that generated a -2.1 (8.4 – 7.1 – 6.7 – 6.5 – 6.3, 6+). Co-owned KCAL-FM “96.7 Rocks” has lost nearly half (-1.3) its 6+ AQH share as the result of six straight sweeps without an increase (2.8 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.4 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.5, #11 to #12, 6+). Without a gain the past six months for a collective -.6 (.7 – .6 – .6 – .4 – .3 – .1 – .1, 6+), Lazer Broadcasting regional Mexican KXSB “Radio Lazer” picks up one tenth to .2 (#23 to #20, 6+). Down one-half share (1.8 – 1.3, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KRCD “Recuerdo” is in one-share range (6+) for the 15th successive ratings period, but departs the top ten (#10 to #13). Entering the August sweep, iHeartMedia Spanish adult hits KFOO “La Preciosa 1440 AM” recorded a .3 (6+) in three of the previous four sweeps (.3 – .3 – .5 – .3, 6+), before posting a +.7 to 1.0 (6+). Unlisted in September and October, it returns in November with a .1 (#23).

San Jose Spoken-Word Formats – Having logged four positive spikes in succession for a cumulative +1.3 (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+), Cumulus Media’s KGO forfeits eight-tenths to 2.2 (#13 to #17, 6+). July’s increase curtailed four successive downward sweeps for a -1.4 (3.1 – 2.9 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.7, 6+). Flat at 1.2 (6+), co-owned news/talk KSFO progresses from #25 to #24. Its +.1 in October stymied three consecutive downward moves that resulted in the evaporation of exactly half (-1.1) of its 6+-share (2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.1, 6+).

Sports talk cluster-mate KNBR “The Sports Leader” is a combined -1.2 in three straight down or flat moves (4.4 – 3.4 – 3.2 – 3.2, 6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #11). Although flat at #26, Entercom sports talk KGMZ “95.7 The Game” gains one-half share (.6 – 1.1, 6+).

Conversely, all-news sibling KCBS-AM is off by one-half share (6.2 – 5.7, 6+) and – after finishing in second-place the past three months – segues to #3. Its loss of eight-tenths in July halted four consecutive up or flat trends that netted +1.4 (5.8 – 5.8 – 6.3 – 6.4 – 7.2, 6+) and its strongest 6+ (San Jose) showing since November 2017 (7.2, as well).

Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED rebounded from July and August’s -1.6 (7.5 – 6.5 – 5.9, 6+) with a +.3 in September to 6.2 (6+), jumping from sixth to fourth. For the second month in a row, however, KQED is unlisted.

San Jose Music Formats – Not only is Alpha Media hot AC KEZR a collective +2.5 in October and November (4.0 – 5.1 – 6.5, 6+), “Mix 106 Today’s Best Music” vaults from eighth (September) to fifth (October) to second (November). KEZR was +.9 in three straight up or flat trends (4.0 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 4.9, 6+), before a collective -.9 in August and September (4.9 – 4.3 – 4.0, 6+). There is an equal amount of celebration in that Alpha Media cluster regarding classic hits-oldies KBAY, which is an overall +2.0 in October and November (6.3 – 6.9 – 8.3, 6+) and “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits” repeats at #1, reaching the eight-share level (6+) for the first time since “Holiday” 2016’s 8.0. Prior to October, the last time KBAY held the lead spot was “Holiday” 2015 – when it was an adult contemporary outlet. On the heels of October’s +1.2, iHeartMedia hot AC KIOI “Star 101.3” (eighth to fourth) tacks on an additional seven-tenths to 5.1, its strongest San Jose showing in exactly one year (5.3, November 2017). Within 2.2 – 2.8 range in each of the last six sweeps (2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 2.4, 6+), rhythmic CHR sibling KYLD “Wild 94.9 – The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station” posts a one-half share improvement to 2.9 (#16 to #12), its highest 6+-stat since April’s 3.0. An overall -2.4 as the result of three declines in succession (6.2 – 6.0 – 5.4 – 3.8, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “Amor 100.3” tumbles from fourth to sixth. Three increases in a row (5.2 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 6.9, 6+) netted Bonneville-owned KUFX a collective +1.7, but “98.5 K-Fox The South Bay’s Classic Rock” is now -2.1 in October and November (6.9 – 5.9 – 4.8, third to fifth, 6+). Before shifting to #3 in October, KUFX had been #1 for three straight months. Following five successive gains for an overall +2.1 (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 5.1 – 6.1, 6+), Empire Broadcasting’s KRTY is a collective -2.4 in three consecutive negative trends (6.1 – 5.4 – 4.5 – 3.7, sixth to eighth, 6+). It is the first time “San Jose Hot Country 95.3” is below a four-share (6+) since January’s 3.8. Flat at #6, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KISQ “98.1 The Breeze” surrenders 70% (3.8, -.7, 6+) of the +1.0 it gained in September and October (3.5 – 4.2 – 4.5, 6+). A loss of six-tenths (3.2 – 2.6, 6+) drops Univision Radio regional Mexican KSOL “Que Buena” out of the top ten (#10 to #15), while Spanish Broadcasting System’s similarly-programmed KRZZ “93.3 La Raza” falters by one-half share (1.7 – 1.2, #24, 6+).

Middlesex Spoken-Word Formats – The positives continue for Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5,” which is #1 for the fifth month in a row and +2.3 in six straight increases (6.0 – 6.4 – 6.8 – 7.1 – 8.0 – 8.2 – 8.3, 6+). In addition, this is its best 6+-share since January (8.3, as well). “New Jersey 101.5” was on top four ratings periods in succession before segueing to #2 in May. Without a loss for the fifth time in a row and precisely doubling (+1.7) its 6+-share (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.3 – 3.0 – 3.4, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR progresses from #15 to #13. Despite being (slightly) down or flat for the fifth straight sweep for a loss of two-tenths (1.7 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+) Cumulus Media news/talk WABC improves from #24 to #23.

Returning all but two-tenths of October’s +.7 (4.2 – 3.7, -.5, 6+), Entercom sports talk WFAN dips from sixth to seventh. Its October increase ended four Middlesex-Somerset-Union decreases in succession that accounted for a -.9 (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.5, 6+). Similarly-programmed WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” is +1.2 through five consecutive up or flat trends (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.5 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+); the flagship of the New York Jets remains at #17.

While Entercom all-news WCBS-AM gains three-tenths and enters the top twenty (#22 to #19, 6+), co-owned/similarly-formatted WINS drops three-tenths (1.7 – 1.4, #24, 6+). In three upticks in a row, WCBS-AM is up eight-tenths (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.2 – 2.5, 6+); WINS had recorded a 1.7 (6+) in each of the last six Middlesex-Somerset-Union monthlies.

An August gain of three-tenths by WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM halted five straight losses (3.4 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.2 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+) that accounted for a nearly 50% erosion of its 6+ share (-1.6). In September, WNYC-FM dropped two-tenths to 1.9 (6+), but it is unlisted for the second straight month.

Middlesex Music Formats – After six consecutive downward trends that resulted in an overall -1.9 (4.8 – 4.6 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+), Pillar of Fire contemporary Christian WAWZ “Star 99.1” responds with a one-half share increase to 3.4 (#17 to #13, 6+). Improving by one-half share as well are Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 – #1 For R&B” (5.1 – 5.6, steady at #3, 6+) and Entercom hot AC WNEW-FM “NEW 102.7” (3.0 – 3.5, #15 to #10, 6+). WBLS registered an October 2018 – November 2018 half share increase in its home (New York City) metro, as well. In the last 11 survey periods, WKTU “103.5 KTU” has notched a 3.4 (6+) four times and a 3.3 (6+) four times; the iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR is off seven-tenths in November to 2.7 (#13 to #18, 6+). Following four increases in succession for an overall +.8 (4.1 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.9, 6+), iHeartMedia classic rock WAXQ “Q-104.3” forfeits four-tenths to 4.5 (6+), but carries on in fifth-place. Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9” is down or flat for the fifth straight time for an overall loss of nine-tenths (3.9 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0, #14 to #16, 6+). Erasing the four-tenths it gained through three straight up or (mostly) flat trends (3.7 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+) with a -.6 in November to 3.5 (flat at #7, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” has its lowest 6+ Middlesex-Somerset-Union showing since 3.3 in September 2016.

October 2018 PPM Analysis:
Major League Baseball Flagships

| November 8, 2018

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

LOS ANGELES — This is our third and final check this year on Major League Baseball radio flagships.

The following scoreboards are for an MLB team’s English-language, Nielsen Audio subscribing key station during the October 2018 sweep.

While some MLB teams have an AM and FM flagship and/or an emergency alternative (backup), we only show one “designated hitter” per team.

Mirroring the one-station-per-team model, MLB flagships listed here have ratings data from one Nielsen Audio metro.

Specifically, information for the flagships of the Mets (WOR) and Yankees (WFAN) is limited to their home market of New York City, even though they may appear in Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island) and/or Middlesex-Somerset-Union.

Key stations for the two Bay Area teams – the San Francisco Giants (KNBR) and Oakland A’s (KGMZ) – have San Francisco ratings info only here – nothing from San Jose.

The primary flagship for the Los Angeles Angels, KLAA, is unlisted (October 2018) in both the Los Angeles and Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario reports. Therefore, “NA” (“Not Available”) is displayed next to KLAA throughout this entire overview.

No ratings information is shown for the flagship for the American League East’s Toronto Blue Jays (CJCL).

Data cited here is full-week, Monday – Sunday, 6:00 am – 12:00 midnight (6+), so it is not limited to any specific day-part.

With that out of the way, it’s time to throw out the first pitch.

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September 2018 PPM Analysis: Hot AC

| October 15, 2018

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

LOS ANGELES — Following two extensive September 2018 spoken-word arena-focused overviews last week (all-news, Thursday, 10/11 and sports talk Friday, 10/12), we turn our attention to hot AC. Waiting on deck is our thorough examination of news/talk.

Breakouts shown here consist of data from hot ACs that rank in the top 20 in any PPM market (6+, September 2018).

Over and above that particular ratings caveat, Nielsen Audio only releases audience estimates for stations that subscribe to its services. Thus, ratings stats in this analysis are limited to facilities that pay Nielsen Audio for its data.

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September 2018 PPM Analysis:
Sports Talk

| October 12, 2018

By Mike Kinosian,
Managing Editor
TALKERS

LOS ANGELES — Our four-part series of detailed September 2018 PPM overviews continues with a look at sports talk; all-news was in the spotlight yesterday (Thursday, 10/11).

The following scoreboards are comprised of sports talk facilities that rank in the top 20 in any of the 48 PPM-markets (6+, September 2018).

Given that Nielsen Audio only releases audience estimates for stations that subscribe to its services, ratings information in this exclusive analysis are limited to properties that pay that company for its data.

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