Tag: "Sports Talk"

Sports Radio and the Coronavirus Pandemic – Now What?

| March 31, 2020

By Andy Bloom
Andy Bloom Communications
President

 

MINNEAPOLIS — In the days leading up to MLB’s Opening Day, I advised sports radio clients regarding ideas to keep listeners interested in their stations and teams while live sports remains on hiatus due to the coronavirus.

The ideas require franchises and leagues to work with local broadcast rights holders. I didn’t have contact with any of the teams or leagues. I thought, however, it would be logical for these organizations and their local broadcast partners to help keep their brands pertinent during the pandemic. A Wall Street Journal article I read convinced me the teams and leagues will listen to the idea.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2020

| March 25, 2020

‘New Jersey 101.5’ to Hold 2nd Coronavirus Town Hall. The Townsquare Media news/talk station announces it will present its second Town Hall broadcast addressing the COVID-019 pandemic, focusing on health and medical issues Thursday (3/26) at 7:00 pm.  WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” says special projects director and morning news anchor Eric Scott “leads the news and digital departments in linking a statewide audience with New Jersey’s top doctors fighting the pandemic, in a listener-driven, call-in format.”  Scott – who will anchor live from the New Jersey 101.5 studios with guests joining by phone – will speak with: Dr. Margaret Fisher, infectious disease specialist at RWJBarnabas Health (also the medical director at Unterberg Children’s Hospital and chair, Department of Pediatrics, Monmouth Medical Center); Dr. Manisha Parulekar, program director and chief of the Division of Geriatrics at Hackensack University Medical Center; and Dr. Kevin Slavin, director of quality for Hackensack Meridian Health Children’s Services, specializing in pediatric infectious diseases.  The station is streaming the program on Facebook Live and via NJ1015.com.

Triton Digital: News/Talk Gets COVID-19 Streaming Bump. According to data from Triton Digital’s Webcast Metrics service, listening to streams of news/talk-formatted radio stations increased 4% from the week of March 2-6 to the week of March 13-19.  The format’s streaming share grew from 29% to 33%, as news of the COVID-19 disruption hitting the U.S. took over the news cycle.  Triton says from the week of March 2-6 to the week of March 13-19, the share of streaming contributed by sports talk radio held constant at 8%, while music radio’s share of streaming declined from 64% to 59%.  The report adds that consumption patterns by device remain very stable, with streaming on mobile devices increasing from 49% to 51% of the total. The share of streaming on desktops/laptops decreased slightly from 27% to 25%, while smart speaker’s share of consumption held stable at 21%.  Triton Digital president of marketing development John Rosso says, “Radio in every form – broadcast, streaming audio, and podcasts – remains a trusted and relied upon medium for news and entertainment in the United States.  Despite the dislocation of many workers, this data shows the remarkable stability of the medium, as well as the importance of radio in delivering information in a time of crisis.”

Connoisseur Media CEO Jeff Warshaw’s Open Letter to the Industry: “We are in the midst of a crisis. It’s incredibly painful to our business, as it is to countless other industries. Our communities are reeling.  This crisis is going to end.  But radio’s troubles didn’t start a few weeks ago, when the coronavirus began its attack on our country. Competition for our audiences has never been fiercer. National revenue had hit a rough patch. Public radio companies were trading at their lows. Deal-making had ground to a standstill. It was harder than ever to grow our radio revenues. Certainly, there are bright spots and pockets of opportunity, and our industry is doing a terrific job tirelessly serving our communities during this unprecedented time. That having been said, I don’t think many of us were looking fondly at the halcyon days of Q4 2019.  As difficult as this crisis is, we have an opportunity to turn this disease into a cure.  Our logs are wide open. What we allow to happen to our product once things return to ‘normal’ is entirely up to us. Although our company has tried to maintain reasonable commercial loads, we can do much better. Let’s take this opportunity to clean up our clocks, maintain lower spot loads, stop incessant bonus commercials, reduce endless promos. Demonstrate integrity for the value of our products and give our listeners more of what they crave.  The universe is doing for us what we would not and could not do for ourselves. We have the opportunity to emerge from this dark time with a brighter flame than we have seen for years. What we do from here may make all the difference.”

TALKERS News Notes. In Seattle, Bonneville’s KIRO-FM is producing a daily podcast addressing the COVID-19 pandemic titled, “COVID-19: Seattle Podcast.”  Longtime station personality Dave Ross and ‘KIRO Radio’ reporter Aaron Granillo will “condense the most important updates of the day into a short podcast format for the benefit of our community.  Together they will follow government officials, healthcare workers, business leaders, and local residents who are making crucial, early decisions … decisions that will soon guide, or warn, the rest of the country.”  It will be released each afternoon.  Station program director Bryan Buckalew says, “I think Dave Ross, with his decades of news experience, and Aaron Granillo, with his reporter’s sensibility, are uniquely capable of examining the effects of the coronavirus pandemic as it expands in Washington state and across the nation.”…..FOX News Radio launches a new weekday evening edition of the daily podcast “The FOX News Rundown” dedicated to the latest developments of the coronavirus pandemic.  The newly re-titled program “The FOX News Rundown Podcast: Global Pandemic” is being hosted by FNC foreign correspondent Trey Yingst and debuts on March 30.  On the program, Jerusalem-based Yingst will be joined by medical experts and fellow reporters to discuss the wide-ranging impacts of COVID-19 around the world…..The New York Post’s Andrew Marchand reports that Entercom sports talker WFAN, New York is giving weekend show hosting responsibilities to its daily stars in lieu of the usual weekend hosts, presumably to save some payroll expenses during the COVID-19 pandemic.  He says that “Boomer & Gio,” “Moose & Maggie,” and “Joe & Evan” are hosting Saturday and Sunday programs and Mike Francesa – currently only hosting the 6:00 pm to 6:30 pm show on WFAN – is doing a 9:00 am to 1:00 pm show on Sundays.  However, longtime WFAN weekend host Richard Neer will be heard hosting the Sunday night 10:00 pm to 2:00 am show via CBS Sports Radio Network on “The Fan.”…..Cadence13 – a division of RADIO.COM – is unveiling the second season of the podcast “Gangster Capitalism” that it says “offers an unflinching look at white collar corruption and the dark side of the American dream”  This season explores the NRA.  Cadence13 chief content officer Chris Corcoran says, “As we further develop and expand our C13Originals slate, we’re prioritizing impactful and ambitious documentaries geared around culture, business, moments in time, music and more.  Our objective is about finding the right stories, and how we tell and express them, so that the audience can immerse itself in what we believe will create conversation and engagement.”…..AdLarge Media signs a deal with Remote News Service (RNS) to serve as its exclusive ad sales representative.  Remote News Service is owned and led by senior anchor Lesley Lotto…..Pictured below is Westwood One News White House correspondent Bob Costantini in the radio pool seat in the newly re-designed social distancing briefing room awaiting yesterday’s coronavirus task force news conference.  The pink sticker on his lapel is confirmation that the White House took his temperature and it is normal.

Coronavirus Status in U.S., Stimulus Package Debate, Global Stocks Surge, U.S.-China Relations, India Locks Down Entire Country, and Olympics Postponed Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/24). The latest numbers on confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths in the U.S.; the negotiations in the U.S. Senate to craft a coronavirus stimulus package; global stocks surge on news that the Senate is close to a stimulus package; relations between the U.S. and China as the COVID-19 blame game ramps up; Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi orders lock down of 1.3 billion citizens; and the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo are postponed among top news/talk stories yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

NEED CONTENT TO FILL SPORTS GAPS?  ‘Our American Stories’ Reaches Out to Sports Talk Stations with Programming to Temporarily Fill Holes in Their Schedules.  The producers of the highly popular syndicated spoken-word program “Our American Stories” tell TALKERS, “We are pleased to announce we are making ‘Our American Stories’ available to sports stations on a temporary basis with no contract to fill holes in their schedule resulting from the shut downs in the sports industry due to Covid-19.  No strings attached.”  The statement continues, “We have had several sports stations reach out to us and ask if they could use our content temporarily to fill holes in their lineup as so many sporting events have been cancelled.”  A number of the episodes in the archives of the program directly address sports-oriented themes including: “The Heart of Kobe Bryant’s Memorial Service,” “He Made A Wood Bat For His Son… Now He Outsells Louisville Slugger,” “The Bird and Magic Story: Love, Friendship, and Basketball” and “I Shall Not Fail Those With Whom I Serve.”  “Our American Stories” host and founder Lee Habeeb adds, “At this time in our country, Americans need to be encouraged and reminded that our nation is one that has persevered through tumultuous times and have hope that we will again prevail. We can help with that encouragement through the power of storytelling.”  Interested stations should click here or contact Bryan Dawson at 720-737-2950 or bdawson@oanetwork.org.

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 February 2020 PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk.  February is not traditionally a good month for the sports talk format, but the February 2020 PPM survey was especially bad as only two stations in our panel showed any weekly, 6+ AQH share gain from January 2020.  And even there Entercom’s WMC-AM, Memphis (0.1 to 0.3) and iHeartMedia’s WYGM-AM, Orlando (1.1 to 1.2) showed increases that were essentially meaningless.  Year-over-year, about as many stations shows ratings increases (45%) as saw decreases (42%), with big gainers including iHeartMedia’s KXFN, Minneapolis “The Fan” (+2.4), Capitol Broadcasting’s WCMC-FM, Raleigh (+1.3), and Entercom’s KGMZ-FM, San Jose (+1.1) leading the pack.  The highest-ranking sports talk station during the February survey was Entercom’s WFAN in the Long Island market, finishing the month at #3.  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Hotwire Communications Adds Newsmax TV to Video Service. Southeastern U.S. telecom firm Hotwire Communications and Newsmax Media announce a new distribution deal to deliver Newsmax TV to basic tier video service in seven major Florida markets – Miami/Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach/Fort Pierce, Fort Myers/Naples, Jacksonville/Brunswick, Tampa/St. Petersburg/Sarasota, Orlando/Daytona/Melbourne and Tallahassee/Thomasville – as well as the Atlanta and Savannah markets in Georgia, the Raleigh/Durham/Fayetteville and Charlotte markets in North Carolina, and the Greenville/Spartanburg/Ashville/Anderson markets in South Carolina.  Newsmax TV SVP of content distribution Andrew Biggers says, “Newsmax is excited to have Hotwire on board as our newest affiliate, and we look forward to working together to deliver what its customers have been asking for — an alternative voice within news media.  And with Hotwire’s reach throughout these markets, Newsmax will be exposed to a broad audience seeking news they can trust.”  Hotwire Communications is an all-fiber service provider that has been providing triple-play telecommunication services since 2000.  Hotwire offers a full suite of services to residential, commercial, hospitality, government, smart city, and educational customers in 14 states, primarily concentrated in the Southeast.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Taking place in Sunday’s 9:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET timeslot on FOX Television originally for the iHeartRadio Music Awards, iHeartMedia and FOX announce “FOX Presents the iHeart Living Room Concert for America” to provide entertainment relief and support for Americans to help fight the spread of COVID-19 and to celebrate the resilience and strength of the nation during this pandemic.  Hosted by Elton John, the event will feature performances by Alicia Keys, Backstreet Boys, Billie Eilish, Billie Joe Armstrong, Mariah Carey, Tim McGraw, and more, from their own homes, filmed with their personal cell phones, cameras, and audio equipment, to ensure the health and safety of all involved.  In addition to airing on FOX, the program will air across iHeartMedia radio stations nationwide, as well as via the iHeartRadio app. The benefit special will be broadcast commercial-free and, in addition to the music, will pay tribute to the front-line health professionals, first responders, and local heroes who are putting their lives in harm’s way to help their neighbors and fight the spread of the virus.  It also will encourage viewers to support two of the many charitable organizations helping victims and first responders during the pandemic: Feeding America and First Responders Children’s Foundation…..On-air pro Jeff Lewis Neal joins the WHZT, Greenville, South Carolina-based “Dex & Barbie T Morning Show.”  SummitMedia also airs the program on rhythmic CHR WKHT “Hot 104.5” in Knoxville and rhythmic CHR KPHW, Honolulu “Power 104.3.”  SummitMedia Greenville operations manager Mike Klein says, “I’m excited to welcome Jeff Lewis Neal to ‘Dex & Barbie T Morning Show.’  He’s the missing piece of the puzzle to take us to the next level on air and online.”…..Music director Kendall Stewart is promoted to program director for Saga Communications triple A WCNR, Charlottesville, Virginia.  She makes the jump after Jeff Sweatman resigned from the position.  Stewart says, “The last four-and-a-half years at ‘106.1 The Corner’ have been the most formative in my career so far and I can’t express how grateful I am to Jeff Sweatman for everything that he has taught me.  I love this station and the amazing music town that I get to live in – Charlottesville – has been through a lot in recent years, but the tragedy that we faced in 2017 has only made us stronger as a community.  I am honored to be a part of it and to have the opportunity to further serve the people of this city and I can’t wait to hit the ground running.”

Thursday, March 5, 2020

| March 5, 2020

Susan Larkin to Succeed Weezie Kramer as Entercom COO. When Entercom acquired the radio assets of CBS RADIO in 2017, chief operating officer Weezie Kramer put off her planned retirement to help lead the company’s operations “through the integration and critical transformation initiatives to elevate and enhance the company’s competitive position.”  Now, Kramer is leaving her COO position effective May 5 when current New York market manager and regional president Susan Larkin will assume the COO role.  Kramer will continue to serve the company as a senior executive adviser to Entercom president and CEO David Field.  Kramer joined the company in 2000.  The company is already in the process of seeking Larkin’s replacement in New York.  David Field says, “Weezie has been an extraordinary, inspiring leader and a fiercely determined, tireless competitor and strategist who has built an outstanding record of success over the many years in which she has led us forward as our chief operating officer.  She set an uncompromising standard of excellence for all, both professionally and personally, driving us to be our very best while maintaining the highest ethical standards.  She earned the sincere admiration, respect and affection of the entire Entercom team, and much of the industry, for her spirited leadership and decency and for being a full-throated, unapologetic champion for radio.  She has been an extraordinarily successful COO and we are all immensely grateful to her. While she will be deeply missed as COO, I am thrilled that she will be joining the Entercom board where we will continue to benefit from her wisdom and guidance for years to come.”  Speaking about her new role with Entercom, Larkin says, “This is an exciting time for Entercom, and for all audio media.  I am thrilled to be part of Entercom’s forward-thinking strategy as we continue to set ourselves apart as the best operator and creator of audio content in the U.S. and realize the value of our engaged impressions with advertisers.  Weezie has been an incredible mentor and the best leader I could ask for.  I am honored to work with such a strong team and excited about the next phase of Entercom’s continued growth, expansion and strategic vision.”

Emmis/Mediaco SVP Charlie Morgan to Leave for New Opportunity. Senior vice president Charlie Morgan is leaving his role with Emmis/Mediaco for a new opportunity.  Morgan, who served with the company for the past 10 years – six in Indianapolis and the past four years in New York, is credited by the company with “leading the turnaround of Emmis operations in Indianapolis and New York (now Mediaco).  His focus on product quality, operational excellence, innovation and, perhaps most important, on culture and talent development as the ultimate path to winning have been central to our success.  Charlie’s emphasis on building great teams through coaching and development has enhanced the careers of countless colleagues over the years at Mediaco, Emmis, Cumulus, IMS Productions and Susquehanna.  We sincerely thank him for all his efforts and wish him the absolute best in his next endeavor.”  The company says it is beginning a search for a permanent leader for Mediaco New York.  In the meantime, Emmis/Mediaco president Patrick Walsh will serve as interim New York market manager.

George Beasley Honored with Lifetime Achievement Award at Broadcasters Foundation of America Golden Mike Ceremony. New York’s Plaza Hotel was the scene of last night’s Broadcasters Foundation of America 2020 Golden Mike Award Gala.  More than 350 broadcasters and celebrities were there as the BFoA raised more than $400,000 to support broadcasters in need.  At this year’s event, Tegna president and CEO Dave Lougee received the 2020 Golden Mike Award and Beasley Media Group founder and chairman George Beasley received the Lifetime Achievement Award.  Pictured above are (from l-r): BFoA chairman Dan Mason, Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley (accepting for her father George), BFoA president Jim Thompson and event host and “Inside Edition” anchor Deborah Norville.

New York Festivals to Honor the National Press Club.  At the New York Festivals Storytellers Gala taking place on April 21 at the NAB Show in Las Vegas, the National Press Club will be honored with the New York Festivals Lifetime Achievement Award.  NYF says its Lifetime Achievement Award “recognizes prominent industry leaders and driving forces in the broadcast industry whose accomplishment have advanced their field and made a lasting impression on the industry.”  NYF TV & Film Awards/Radio Awards vice president/executive director Rose Anderson says, “For over a century, the National Press Club has upheld responsible journalism, supported freedom of the press worldwide, and provided a forum for the exchange of substantive ideas in our Nation’s Capital.  Their members’ commitment to excellence encompasses all media.  In this year marking the centennial of radio and our inaugural Storyteller’s Gala, we are proud to honor this organization with the New York Festivals Lifetime Achievement Award.”  National Press Club president Michael Freedman will accept the award on behalf of the organization.

Cumulus Nashville Stations to Hold Radiothon for Tornado Relief. The Nashville cluster of Cumulus Media is holding the Cumulus Cares Tornado Relief Radiothon tomorrow (3/6) at Edley’s Bar-B-Que to raise money for the Middle Tennessee Emergency Response Fund.  It started when Will Newman from Edley’s reached out to WGFX-FM “104-5 The Zone” personality Jonathan Hutton about ways to give back to the community in the wake of the devastating tornados.  The radiothon was born and tomorrow WGFX-FM, news/talk WWTN-FM, and Cumulus’ three music stations will broadcast live encouraging cash donations.  In addition, Cumulus is collecting necessities such as diapers, blankets, baby formula, wipes, gloves, toothpaste, Ziploc bags, tide pods, and feminine hygiene products at accessible areas nearby the broadcast site.

WPHT, Philadelphia to Hold Third Annual Liberty USO Radiothon. In Philadelphia tomorrow (3/6), Entercom news/talker WPHT is hosting the 3rd annual “Talk Radio 1210 WPHT Liberty USO Radiothon” to benefit Active, Guard and Reserve military and their families through programs and services at the United Service Organization of Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey (Liberty USO).  The station will broadcast live from Chickie’s & Pete’s Play 2 from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm ET.  The broadcast will be anchored by on-air personalities Rich Zeoli and Dom Giordano.  Entercom Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff says, “We care deeply about serving those who have served our country and I’m proud of the role WPHT plays in supporting Liberty USO.  This annual radiothon aims to raise awareness and funds on behalf of service members and their families right here in our community through the generosity of our listeners.”

Suburban Philly News/Talker to Go Dark. WNPV-AM/W253CA, Lansdale, Pennsylvania “The Talk of the Suburbs” announces it will cease programming on April 30 and go off the air.  WFMZ-TV reports general manager Phil Hunt saying in a press release, “Our mission has always been to serve the public interest by providing top-quality local news, and we have never been willing to compromise on that promise.  In recent years, it has become increasingly difficult to compete for both audience and advertising dollars, and unfortunately it is no longer sustainable to continue to run the business in a way that delivers the service our community expects and deserves.  We are grateful for the support of our loyal listeners, the belief of our advertisers and the commitment from our talented team.  It has been an honor to serve this community.”  The signals are owned and operated by North Penn Valley Broadcasting and serve Bucks and Montgomery counties.

WHO, Des Moines Personality Bonnie Lucas Wraps Radio Career Tomorrow. Des Moines radio personality Bonnie Lucas is retiring from iHeartMedia’s news/talk WHO, Des Moines after tomorrow morning’s show.  She’s been co-hosting the station’s AM drive program with co-host (and station PD) Van Harden since 1994.  Lucas’ final show will take place on the road as she and Harden broadcast live from Meals from the Heartland in West Des Moines for the “2020 Van & Bonnie Hunger Fight,” a non-profit, food-packing event where volunteers package meals for delivery to malnourished people in Iowa, across the United States and around the world.  Beginning Monday (3/9), Van Harden will host the morning show with special feature guests including familiar WHO personalities such as Jeff Angelo, Simon Conway, Emery Songer, and Maxwell Schaeffer as well as prominent central Iowa public figures and entertainers.

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM midday anchor – and host of the “Noon Business Hour” – Cisco Cotto is launching “WBBM In Depth,” a weekly podcast that further explores local business news stories.  The podcast will also include interviews plus reports from contributors.  focusing on trending news stories and their impact on the business world. It also features longer interviews with contributors and experts…..Entercom’s Philadelphia radio stations moved into the company’s new RADIO.COM World Headquarters at 2400 Market Street in Philly last month.  All-news KYW-AM, news/talk WPHT, sports talk WIP-FM, adult contemporary WBEB “B101.1,” CHR WDTY, and classic hits WOGL are all now located in the company’s headquarters.  At the KYW site, videographer Holli Stephens presents a two-minute video of the gleaming new studios and offices.  Check it out here…..The Milwaukee Business Journal reports that former Green Bay Packers fullback and fan favorite John Kuhn is being courted by local and national media organizations for a full-time sports talk role. Kuhn began working in the Packers front office last April as an analyst for digital, broadcast, and game presentations.  He was a sideline reporter for radio flagship WTMJ, Milwaukee’s broadcasts last season.  The MBJ cites sources saying iHeartMedia’s sports talk WRNW-FM “The Game” is talking with him about joining its lineup, though nothing is set in stone yet.

Coronavirus Pandemic, Presidential Race, Financial Markets Activity, SCOTUS Hears Abortion Case/Schumer Comments, Israel Election, Syria-Turkey Violence, and Tennessee Tornado Aftermath Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/4). The status of the coronavirus pandemic and California’s declaring a state of emergency; Joe Biden’s leap to frontrunner in the Democratic primary race; the world’s financial markets react to the coronavirus pandemic; the Supreme Court hears arguments in the Louisiana abortion law case and Senator Chuck Schumer is criticized for threatening Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh; the results of Israel’s most recent election in which Benjamin Netanyahu failed to achieve a majority; the military clashes between Syrian and Turkish forces; and the aftermath of the Tennessee tornadoes were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

‘Inside Edition’ Anchor Deborah Norville Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. “Inside Edition” anchor Deborah Norville is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” The two-time Emmy Award winning broadcaster is celebrating her 25th anniversary as host of the daily news magazine establishing her as the longest-running daily anchor in national television. She is also getting ready to emcee the annual Broadcasters Foundation of America Golden Mike Award Dinner tomorrow evening (3/4) at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. The dinner is the BFoA’s signature fundraising event to help broadcasters who’ve fallen on hard times due to medical crises or natural disasters. Norville is an accomplished broadcaster with outstanding television and radio credentials. She joined “Inside Edition” in 1995 from CBS News where she was an anchor and correspondent. She is the former co-host of NBC’s “Today” and anchor of NBC “News at Sunrise.” During her career she has hosted a primetime show on MSNBC, a national radio show on the ABC Talk Radio Network and has served as an anchor and reporter for WMAQ-TV in Chicago. She began her reporting career at WAGA-TV in Atlanta, while still a student at the University of Georgia, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and graduated summa cum laude, First Honor Graduate with a perfect 4.0 GPA. She is also a prolific best-selling author and active with a number of leading causes and charities. Harrison and Norville discuss the Broadcasters Foundation as well as her career in television, changes in audience attention spans, the state of the media industry, and the #MeToo movement. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Friday, February 21, 2020

| February 21, 2020

Pete Mundo Upped to Program Director for KCMO-AM.  Programming and on-air pro Pete Mundo is promoted from APD to program director for Cumulus Media’s news/talk KCMO-AM/K279BI, Kansas City.  Mundo is also host of the station’s morning show.  Before joining Cumulus Kansas City, Mundo served as a host/anchor for FOX News Radio, CBS Sports Radio, Sports Illustrated’s daily platforms, and WFAN, New York.  Cumulus Kansas City RVP and market manager Donna Baker says, “One of the most fulfilling rewards as a leader is seeing the impact that someone as talented as Pete can make in just two years.  Growth of nearly 75% in audience since his arrival is the result of Pete’s daily focus, drive, passion, and hard work. This well-deserved promotion to program director is an opportunity to continue to expand the brand of KCMO Talk Radio for years to come.”

NOW POSTED:  New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.”   The vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, WONK-FM, Washington, DC. The new episode titled “Billions and Billions!” looks back at this past week of February 17-21, 2020 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Wayne Allyn Root, talk show host, USA Radio Network/Newsmax TV; Howard Monroe, talk show host/owner, WKKX/WVLY, Wheeling, WV; Grace Curley, producer/co-host, the Howie Carr Show; Daliah Wachs, M.D., talk show host, Genesis Communications Network; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company.  This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on WONK-FM, Washington, DC Friday evenings between 6:00 pm-7:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WRKO, Boston; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA;  KFNX, Phoenix; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; the Virginia Talk Radio Network and Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA as well as appearing on the iHeartRadio App.  To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here.  To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.

Zaslow Re-Ups with ‘AM 790 The Ticket’ in Miami. Sports talk host Jonathan Zaslow and Entercom’s WAXY-AM, Miami “AM 790 The Ticket” agree to a new, multiyear contract extension for him to remain host of the 10:00 am to 2:00 pm show, “Zaslow and Amber,” alongside Amber Wilson.  Zaslow will also continue to serve as pregame and postgame host for Miami Heat gameday broadcasts, as part of the station’s flagship coverage.  Zaslow joined “AM 790 The Ticket” in 2004 and has served as an on-air personality for the station for the last 13 years. This year marks Zaslow’s 10th as a part of the station’s Heat gameday broadcasts.  Entercom South Florida SVP and market manager Keriann Worley says, “Jonathan Zaslow is a true Miami sports talent and an original employee of ‘790 The Ticket.’  We are thrilled to have him back for more passionate sports talk and lock him into our impressive weekday programming.”

Cumulus 2019 Q4 Net Revenue Down 7.7%; Same Station Net Revenue Dips 1.7%.  Financial data for the full year and the fourth quarter of 2019 is reported by Cumulus Media.  Net revenue in the fourth quarter of 2019 was $285.5 million, a decrease of 7.7% over the same period in 2018.  However, on a same station basis, net revenue was down just 1.7%.  For the full year of 2019, net revenue was $1.1 billion, down 2.4% from 2018.  On a same station basis, net revenue – excluding political – of $1,103.2 million was up 1.4% from 2018.  Cumulus Media president and CEO Mary Berner comments, “I am very proud of the company’s 2019 results. On a same station basis, our team has now delivered the second year in a row of revenue growth and, excluding the impact of political, the third year in a row of Adjusted EBITDA growth. This performance was driven in large part by the industry-leading growth of our digital businesses and active cost management across our platforms.  Additionally, we made strong progress against our financial goals during the year, paying down $220 million of debt with cash from operations and highly accretive divestitures, reducing net leverage to 4.7x.  This year’s results reflect the success of our consistent focus on key strategies to create value for our investors.  Despite a choppy environment and an expected political headwind, fourth quarter revenue finished in-line with the pacing we shared during our last earnings call, and, with some slight favorability on expenses, we delivered Adjusted EBITDA that was somewhat better than we had indicated. As we move into the new year, we are further expanding our delivery of compelling audio experiences and digital offerings that connect and support our advertisers and listeners.  And, we are optimistic about 2020 and our continuing ability to drive strong operating and financial performance while aggressively reducing net leverage to below 4.0x.”

Round Three of January PPM’s Released.  The third of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s January 2020 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus.  Nielsen’s January 2020 survey period covered January 2 – 29.  Some of the spoken-word stations that performed well in January (weekly, 6+ AQH share) coming off the challenging Holiday survey were: Alpha Media’s KXL-FM, Portland, which racked up a half share increase to finish the January survey with a 5.1 share and the #5 market rank.  Entercom’s WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte adds 1.4 shares to post a 4.9 share and the #8 rank.  iHeartMedia’s WOAI, San Antonio adds four-tenths to finish the month at a 5.7 share and standing steady at the #3 rank.  In Sacramento, iHeartMedia’s KFBK gains an amazing 2.7 shares to leap into a tie for the #1 rank in the market with an 8.6 share.  Bonneville’s KSL-FM, Salt Lake City adds a full share to end the survey with a 5.0 share and the #7 rank in the market.  You can see all of the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, check out TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian’s Ratings Takeaways here.

Wednesday’s Democratic Debate and the Presidential Race Top News/Talk Stories for Week of February 17-21. The Democratic candidates debate in Las Vegas and the presidential race tied for the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was President Trump’s post-impeachment pardons and appointments.  Coming in at #3 was the Department of Justice turmoil and the related Roger Stone sentencing, followed by the covid-19 pandemic, U.S.-China relations, and the deadly flu season tied at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discusses on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s complete chart here.

Diana Boyce Completes Disney Princess 5K. Pictured above left is Diana Boyce, wife of Salem Radio Network SVP of spoken word formats Phil Boyce, braving the chilly temps and drizzle in Orlando this morning (2/21) while finishing the annual Disney Princess 5K race.  The race is part of Disney Half Marathon Weekend that benefits some 17 charities. Pictured at right is Salem Radio Network talk show host Mike Gallagher cheering Diana on.

AWM/F Announce 2020 Board. The Alliance for Women in Media and its Foundation (AWM/F) announce their 2020 National Board of Directors.  Joining the AWM Board are: Katina Arnold, vice president, corporate communications, ESPN; Abby Auerbach, executive vice president, chief communications officer, TVB; Michelle Ray, executive director, The Walter Kaitz Foundation; Sandra Rice, senior vice president, outreach and strategic partnerships, Center for Talent Innovation; and Esther Mireya Tejeda, senior vice president, head of corporate communications & PR, Entercom.  Officers of the board have been announced as Keisha Sutton-James, chair, vice president & CEO, Sutton Button Productions LLC, serving as chair; Heather Cohen, executive vice president, The Weiss Agency, serving as incoming chair; Christine Travaglini, president, Katz Radio Group, serving as immediate past chair; Josie Thomas, CBS, serving as treasurer; and Annie Howell, co-founder and managing partner, The Punch Point Group, serving as incoming treasurer.  The following individuals will serve as Directors at Large of AWM: Joyce Fitch, legal consultant; Abby Greensfelder, founder & CEO, Everywoman Studios; Brenda Hetrick, chief revenue officer, Matrix Solutions; Jinny Laderer, co-founder & CEO, vCreative; Meg LaVigne, president, LaVIGNE MEDIA; Kelly Perdomo, vice president, content, sports, entertainment, and partnership marketing, SiriusXM; and Katherine Wolfgang, head of public relations, CBC.  The following individuals will serve as Directors at Large of AWMF: Deborah Parenti, publisher, RadioInk, RBR and TVBR; Rob Stoddard, SVP program network policy, NCTA – The Internet & Television Association; and Kristen Welch, chief financial officer, Illustrative Mathematics.  AWM executive director Becky Brooks says, “The role of the AWM and Foundation boards is to lead our organizations and industry as we recognize, connect and educate women in radio, television and interactive media.  We have a true working board.  This year’s new directors have voiced their dedication to donating time and resources to take these organizations to the next level. We are thrilled to have these talented, accomplished women joining our leadership for the next two years.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Columbia, South Carolina market, programming pro Chris Connors joins Cumulus Media’s urban contemporary WLXC-FM “Kiss 103.1” as program director.  Connors was most recently with Alpha Media’s Columbia cluster as operations manager.  He says, “We’ve already made ratings history in Columbia, and I’m very fortunate and extremely thankful to have the opportunity to do it again.  Big thanks to John Dimick, Kenny Smoov, and Tammy O’Dell for entrusting me to lead the Columbia team.  No need to pack or move; we’re ready on day one.”…..Nationally syndicated and WBLS-FM, New York afternoon drive host Deja Vu wraps up a month of celebration with the special, “The Deja Vu Show: Black History in Forward Motion,” being syndicated by ABC Audio.  The commercial free, two-hour special celebrates the importance of African American representation in a variety of fields, including Broadway, film, TV and law.  It features Deja Vu sitting down with iconic celebrities, artists, and influencers including: Will Packer, David Alan Grier, Celia Rose Gooding, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, and Isaac Wright Jr…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One syndicated radio host Lon Helton was honored with the Tom Rivers Humanitarian Award at the Country Radio Seminar.  This award – named for Tom Rivers, former WQYK PD and host of Westwood One holiday specials in the 1990s – recognizes an individual in the country radio industry who has given back to the community.  Helton is one of the founders and advocates of the legendary country radiothon program, Country Cares For St. Jude Kids, that has raised almost $1 billion for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital…..iHeartMedia announces that country star Blake Shelton is joining the lineup for the 2020 iHeartCountry Festival Presented by Capital One on Saturday, May 2 at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin.  The seventh annual event will also feature performances from Dierks Bentley, Sam Hunt, Lady Antebellum, Dustin Lynch, Kelsea Ballerini, Kane Brown, Jon Pardi, and Chase Rice, plus Hot Country Knights, Bobby Bones, and more.  The event will livestream exclusively on livexlive.com and broadcast live across iHeartMedia’s country radio stations in their local markets and at iHeartRadio.com.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

| February 20, 2020

Key Networks to Launch Jesse Kelly Show in National Syndication. Syndicator Key Networks says Jesse Kelly is a “fresh voice in conservative talk.”  The U.S. Marine veteran, former congressional candidate, and conservative radio and television host will launch his new, 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET talk radio show on April 6.  Key Networks says network advertising is included within the show, with no additional barter units for stations to run.  Currently, Kelly hosts a two-hour version of “The Jesse Kelly Show” on KPRC, Houston as well as the “I’m Right” program on The First TV, a news and talk channel on Pluto TV.  Kelly was deployed to Iraq as an infantry Marine during the Second Persian Gulf War and received an honorable discharge after four years.  In 2010, he ran for congress and was narrowly defeated by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. The race initially ended in a vote recount.  After his congressional run, Kelly continued to be a major voice among conservatives, using his large social media following as a platform to continue many of the conversations started on the campaign trail.  He says, “I love talk radio and I’m beyond humbled that Key Networks realizes that I’m a generational talent.  While my background might be more blue collar than other radio hosts, I’m confident my huge ego will help make up for my lack of education.  I’m excited to bring something new to stations nationwide.”  iHeartMedia Houston region president Eddie Martiny comments, “Listeners won’t be able to see that Jesse Kelly stands 6 foot 8, but his towering humor and intellect will absolutely captivate the listening audience.  Jesse is an Iraq War veteran who will win the hearts and minds of listeners with the wit of a stand-up comic.  He’s been featured on most major TV networks, especially FOX News with Tucker Carlson who says, ‘Jesse cracks me up.’  Jesse is a fresh voice of a rational conservative for a new generation.  My listening audience and advertising community in Houston embraced Jesse immediately.  Informative, entertaining, but most importantly, unique!”

Kevin Battle Joins KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh’s Morning Show. Radio programmer, host, and journalist Kevin Battle is joining “The KDKA Radio Morning News with Larry Richert” as co-host, effective March 9.  Entercom Pittsburgh SVP and market manager Michael Spacciapolli says, “As we celebrate the centennial of KDKA Radio, the world’s first radio station, we were focused on adding a host that can reflect the energy and pulse of where Pittsburgh is in 2020 and beyond.  Kevin Battle is the perfect person to join Larry Richert on the KDKA morning show and tell the story of our great city.”  During his career, Battle has served as program director and air personality for Entercom’s sports talk WJZ-FM, Baltimore “105.7 The Fan,” been director of marketing and promotions and on-air personality for rock WDVE-FM, and was a member of the inaugural staff of “FOX News Headlines 24/7.”  The Pittsburgh native comments, “There have been three morning hosts at KDKA Radio in my lifetime – Jack Bogut, John Cigna, and Larry Richert, and I am thrilled I get to work with one of them.  Larry is part of the fabric of Pittsburgh.  I have been a fan of KDKA for a long time and fondly remember listening with my family each morning.  I cannot wait to help our listeners start their day off well-informed.”

FCC Permanently Dismisses License Renewal Applications for Four St. Louis Signals. An administrative law judge has ruled that the applications for license renewal for four radio stations owned by Entertainment Media Trust are “dismissed without prejudice due to the applicant’s failure to prosecute.”  Judge Jane Hinckley Halprin states in the ruling that Trustee Dennis J. Watkins’ failure to respond to a January 24 Order that was a final attempt to get information from EMT was the last straw in a series of non-compliances on the part of Watkins.  The stations in question are: KFTK-AM (formerly WQQX-AM), East St. Louis, Illinois; WQQW-AM, Highland, Illinois; KZQZ-AM, St. Louis; and KQQZ-AM, DeSoto, Missouri.  The case goes way back to 2012 when Mark A. Kern filed a petition to deny the license renewals, alleging that talk host and convicted felon Robert Romanik actually controlled the stations, in violation of FCC regulations.  Romanik’s Insane Broadcasting Co. operates the stations under an LMA, but is not allowed to own stations.  The ruling notes that the Media Bureau investigated the allegations and “found evidence that it concluded supports the claim that Mr. Romanik exercises defacto control over the stations.  The Media Bureau also adduced evidence suggesting that Mr. Romanik, who hosts a weekday talk show on one of the stations, has held himself out as the stations’ owner and is personally involved in station business.”  Romanik hosts a show on KQQZ-AM and positions himself as a local raconteur, calling himself “The Grim Reaper of Radio.”  Read the judge’s ruling here.

New Afternoon Show Among Lineup Changes at Sports Talk ‘105.7 The Fan’ in Baltimore. With WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan” afternoon drive personality Scott Garceau named the new play-by-play broadcaster and pre-game and post-game host for Baltimore Orioles broadcasts on cable’s MASN-TV, he leaves his daily talk show duties at the Entercom sports station.  His co-host Jeremy Conn moves to evening show duties and host of “Orioles Baseball Tonight.”  Beginning March 9, the new afternoon drive show is “Inside Access” with co-hosts Jason La Canfora and Ken Weinman.  La Canfora is a RADIO.COM Sports and CBS Sports insider.  Weinman is a longtime WJZ-FM air personality.   Entercom Baltimore SVP and market manager Tracy Brandys says, “This revamped programming schedule will allow us to continue providing around-the-clock content for Baltimore’s biggest sports fans.  Adding Jason and Ken to our already successful lineup is a big win for our market.  We are also excited about Scott and Jeremy’s new roles.  All are an integral part of the success of ‘105.7 The Fan.’”

Presidential Race/Las Vegas Debate, Stone Sentencing/Barr Criticism, Coronavirus Pandemic/Deadly Flu Season, Germany Mass Shooting, and Grenell to Lead Intelligence Agencies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/19). The Democrats battling to take on President Trump in November and last night’s debate in Las Vegas; the controversy surrounding the sentencing recommendation for former Trump adviser Roger Stone and the related criticism of Attorney General William Barr’s leading of the Justice Department; the status of the Covid-19 pandemic and the deadly influenza season in the U.S.; the slaying of nine people in the German city of Hanau by a reported right-wing extremist; and President Trump’s naming Ambassador Richard Grenell acting director of national intelligence were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Round Two of January PPMs Released. The second of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s January 2020 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s January 2020 survey period covered January 2 – 29.  Rebounding from the challenging Holiday 2019 survey, a number of spoken-word stations performed well – weekly, 6+ AQH share – in January.  Cumulus Media’s news/talk WMAL-FM, Washington rises 1.9 shares from the Holiday survey to post a 6.9 share and climbs to the #5 rank in the market. Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP-FM adds five-tenths to finish January with a 7.4 share and the #2 rank.  In Boston, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WRKO tacks on seven-tenths to finish the survey with a 3.5 share, while sister all-news WBZ-AM adds two-tenths for a 6.2 share and the #3 rank in the market.  Bonneville’s KIRO-FM, Seattle breaks out with 1.1 share increase to finish the month with a 6.0 share and the #2 rank. iHeartMedia’s news/talk KDFD-AM, Denver adds eight-tenths to finish the January survey with a 3.3 share, its best since it flipped from sports talk in July of 2019.  You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways here.

TALKERS News Notes. Las Vegas-based, USA Radio-syndicated talk show host Wayne Allyn Root tells TALKERS magazine his Newsmax TV show, “The Wayne Allyn Root Show: Raw & Unfiltered” is moving to a new air time – 10:00 pm ET – effective March 3.  Root says, “It’s a great honor to be part of Newsmax TV’s primetime lineup.  When I first began hosting my show in June 2017 on Newsmax TV it reached 15 million homes.  Then 30 million. Then 50 million. Then 60 million. Now just under 80 million.  And Cox cable added Newsmax TV a few weeks ago – so now my television show reaches the entire Las Vegas area, my hometown!  Kudos to Chris Ruddy, CEO of Newsmax, for building America’s fastest growing cable news network.”…..SiriusXM announces its MLB Network Radio channel presents its annual MLB Spring Training tour beginning Saturday (2/22) and running through March 13.  MLB Network Radio’s experts and insiders will visit all 30 MLB team camps to give fans an in-depth preview of every ball club.  It will consist of 30, two-hour shows, each focused on a single MLB team.  SiriusXM’s hosts – many of whom are former general managers or players – will be on location at each spring training ballpark to interview managers, players and executives, and share an insider’s view of each club as it prepares for the 2020 season…..iHeartMedia announces that it has partnered with Flatiron Books on a book imprint based on iHeartRadio’s popular curiosity podcasts.  The imprint, named “Stuff You Should Read: An iHeartBook,” launches with STUFF YOU SHOULD KNOW: An Incomplete Compendium of Mostly Interesting Things, to recognize “Stuff You Should Know” – one of the first podcasts to reach one billion downloads.  iHeartMedia says it believes that this is the first line of podcast-based books between a major book publisher and leading podcast network.

Pop Music Historian and Curator Barry Scott of “The Lost 45s” Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  One of the true legends of oldies radio, Barry Scott, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Scott is the host of the long-running, Boston-based music radio show, “The Lost 45s,” which has been on the radio since 1981 and in national syndication since 1993.  The premise of the show is that top 40 radio of the golden era (1960s – 1990s) missed a tremendous number of valid hit records that deserved airplay due to faulty research, closed-mindedness and a lazy, follow-the-leader mentality.  (“It’s not on the list suggested by our consultant.”)  Many of these songs have gone on to be completely forgotten within music radio culture.  Harrison states, “I had the pleasure of programming Barry’s flagship station in Boston back in the 80s and was amazed at the loyal following this weekend show generated – even within the context of a classic rock format.  Barry’s excellent curation and fascinating storytelling created tremendous interest in songs that were either obscure or considered unprogrammable within standard format categories. In today’s music radio desert, where pop music history is largely ignored or generally forgotten, this show is a priceless beacon of the culture that originally illuminated music radio.”  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Detroit rock outlet WRIF, Beasley Media Group promotes Jade Springart to assistant program director and midday host.  She has served with WRIF for the past 12 years, most recently as music director and weekend personality. Springart says, “This is an amazing opportunity for me to continue working and winning with a brand that I have grown up with.  It has been a privilege to learn from some of the best in the industry.  I’m very grateful for the support of everyone in the Beasley Media Group family and am excited to be able to continue 101 WRIF’s legacy in the active rock format here in the Motor City.”…..Air personality J.R. joins Beasley Media Group’s country WQYK, Tampa Bay to host “Tampa Bay’s Morning Krewe with J.R. and Melanie,” effective March 2. He’ll join station air personality Melanie Mineau for the 6:00 am to 10:00 am program.  He was most recently co-host of the “J.R. & Beth Show” on Cox Media Group’s country KCYY, San Antonio “Y100.”  He also currently serves as the host of United Station Radio Networks’ syndicated “Twenty Country Countdown.”  J.R. says, “This is a very exciting time for me.  To be able to build a show under the direction of [operations manager] Travis Daily and alongside a talented co-host like Melanie Mineau is the opportunity I have been looking for.  We are going to have a lot of fun in an amazing city!  I am very grateful to Travis and the Beasley family for this opportunity and can’t wait to create live, local, and unique radio for the Tampa area.”…..Entercom stations and staffers are honored with three Academy of Country Music (ACM) Radio Awards.  KILT-FM, Houston “100.3 The Bull” (KILT-FM) was named Major Market Station of the Year and WUSY-FM, Chattanooga “U.S. 101” was named Medium Market Station of the Year – the 8th time the station has received this honor.  WYCD, Detroit’s afternoon drive show “Rob and Holly” program was given the Major Market Personality of the Year honor.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

| February 18, 2020

Beasley Broadcast Group 2019 Q4 Net Revenue Dips 4.6%; Full Year Net Revenue Up 1.6%.  In reporting 2019 fourth quarter financial results, Beasley Broadcast Group states that “the $3.5 million, or 4.6%, year-over-year decrease in net revenue during the three months ended December 31, 2019 reflects the cyclical impact of strong political advertising revenue recorded in the prior year period, partially offset by fourth quarter 2019 revenue increases in six of the company’s market clusters.”  The decrease in operating income in Q4 reflects “the year-over-year decrease in station operating income, in addition to higher corporate expenses related to digital growth investments and a $12.4 million non-cash impairment charge related to Beasley’s AM stations in Boca Raton and Atlanta and a $1.3 million impairment loss on an investment, partially offset by a $17.1 million gain from land and tower sales during the period.”  Net revenue for all of 2019 was $261.1 million, an increase of 1.6% over 2018.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley says, “Fiscal year 2019 was an active and productive period for Beasley as we continued to make significant progress rolling out our digital expansion and transformation initiatives across the company, while advancing our revenue diversification strategies and actively managing our local radio platform to drive long-term SOI growth and margin expansion. Beasley’s fourth quarter net revenue decline of $3.5 million primarily reflects a $2.8 million reduction in political advertising revenue compared to the prior year period. While we were not able to fully offset the cyclical impact of political revenue, the fourth quarter radio advertising environment remained healthy with six of our markets generating year-over-year revenue increases.  By opportunistically divesting several non-core land and tower assets in 2019, Beasley generated a 31% increase in full year free cash flow over the prior year period, which enabled us to complete several strategic growth and diversification investments in our broadcast, digital, technology and esports platforms throughout the year.  Our fourth quarter results highlight the value we have begun extracting from our digital transformation strategy investments.  In the fourth quarter, Beasley generated digital revenue growth of approximately 44% on a year-over-year basis, with digital now accounting for 9.2% of total revenue, compared to 6.1% of total revenue in the prior year period.  With our focus on quality content production and consumer engagement, we are growing audience share across our digital platforms while delivering multi-platform turnkey marketing solutions to advertisers and brands. Overall, we are pleased with the momentum and trajectory of our digital initiatives and look forward to this growth trend continuing in 2020.”

Jim Louth Rises to APD at Boston’s ‘98.5 The Sports Hub.’ Eleven-year station programming staffer Jim Louth is promoted from midday show executive producer to assistant program director at Beasley Media Group’s sports talker WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub.”  During his career, Louth produced New England Patriots broadcasts for 16 seasons, spent six years as a producer at sports talk WSKO-AM, Providence “790 The Score,” and two years at ESPN in Bristol.  The APD position opened after Rick Radzik was promoted to program director following Mike Thomas’ departure for WMVP-AM, Chicago “ESPN 1000.”  Radzik says, “Jim has been with the station since day one.  He’s done a great job, not only producing our midday programming, but also overseeing our New England Patriots game day broadcasts over the past decade.  His institutional knowledge of the Sports Hub’s operation and relationships with the staff make Jim the perfect choice for the APD position.”

TALKERS News Notes. A new report from marketing firm Claritas and sales force Market Enginuity concludes that “podcast advertising campaigns result in an average 10 times lift relative to print, digital, and TV.”  The white paper reports that “new marketing tools are allowing advertisers and marketers to gain deeper insights into the effectiveness of podcast channels.  In November 2018, Claritas acquired the omni-channel attribution platform Barometric and has since collected and reported on campaign results across more than 100 advertisers, which drove a deeper analysis in the channel’s effectiveness as compared to non-podcast channels.  This analysis, across industries such as consumer packaged goods, automotive, direct brands, finance and insurance, shows that while non-podcast channels historically result in a 2.6% lift in conversions – with common channels such as digital display at 1.1% lift, print at 2.4% and linear TV at 3.1% – podcast channels are driving 34% lift on average.”  See more here…..Cadence13 announces an exclusive partnership with The Dolan Twins – brothers Ethan and Grayson Dolan – for the launch of their first-ever podcast, “Deeper with The Dolan Twins.”  The Dolan Twins have a combined following of over fifty million followers across all platforms, have won five Teen Choice Awards in three years, and earned a spot on Time magazine’s list of Most Influential Teens.  The weekly podcast debuts on Tuesday, February 25…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One News has once again won the Golden Mike Award from the Southern California Radio Television News Association.  Pictured at right is Los Angeles-based correspondent Jim Roope, who traveled to Normandy for the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion.  This is the fifth consecutive year that Westwood One News and Roope have won the Golden Mike award.

Presidential Race, Covid-19 Pandemic/Locust Plague, DOJ Contoversy, Boy Scouts File for Bankruptcy, and U.S. vs Huawei Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/17). The Democrats battling to take on President Trump in November and tomorrow night’s debate in Las Vegas; the coronavirus pandemic and the locust plague that affected East Africa moves to China; the controversy over Attorney General William Barr’s administration of the Justice Department and accusations it’s reducing Roger Stone’s sentencing recommendation under pressure from President Trump; under financial pressure from sex abuse lawsuits, the Boy Scouts of America files for bankruptcy; and the U.S.’s battle against China’s Huawei over its 5G platform were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Girls Night Out.  A great conversation between longtime radio pals took place along the waterway in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida as Compass Media Networks senior director of news/talk affiliate sales Susan O’Connell visited TALKERS South during her travels through the Sunshine State.  Pictured (l-r): Former ABC Radio Networks executive Gloria Briggs, O’ Connell, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, and author/professor, Bernadette Duncan.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Detroit’s “Mojo in the Morning” show is celebrating its 20th anniversary at iHeartMedia’s WKQI “Channel 955” with a special broadcast on Friday (2/21). The program, hosted by Mojo and Spike with co-host Shannon, will be broadcast live on WKQI as well as sister stations WSNX, Muskegon, Michigan and WVKS-FM, Toledo “92.5 KISS-FM.”  Also appearing on the special broadcast will be original cast members Sara Fouracre, Chad Mitchell, and Eric Harthen.  iHeartMedia Detroit SVP of programming Tony Travatto says, “‘Mojo in the Morning’ is the Mount Rushmore of Detroit radio.  The talented cast and show are continually striving to do bigger and better things than before and have evolved over the years to connect even more with the Detroit community.  ‘Mojo in the Morning’ is one of the most accessible, cutting-edge, and successful shows in Detroit and we’re honored to have it on our program lineup.”

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

| February 11, 2020

Pete Spriggs Retires from WSB, Atlanta; Drew Anderssen to Assume PD Duties. Longtime Cox Media Group programmer Pete Spriggs is retiring as director of branding and programming for news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta.  Current senior manager of programming and operations Drew Anderssen will step into Spriggs’ role, effective February 28.  Spriggs began his career with Cox at Dayton’s news/talk WHIO-AM.  He spent three years at the company’s WDBO-AM, Orlando before taking on programming duties at WSB, Atlanta in 2000.  Spriggs says, “WSB will go down in history as one of the greatest radio stations in the world, and I’m humbled to have been the program director there for 19 years.  I’ve worked with some of the finest talent in this business.  Several of them are in either the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame or the National Radio Hall of Fame and we’ve all worked together to make life better for our listeners in Atlanta and Georgia.  It has been an awe-inspiring experience for me, and I’m so grateful to CMG for trusting me with the ‘keys’ to such a great ‘kingdom.’”  CMG EVP radio Bill Hendrich says, “I have had the pleasure of working with Pete for over 25 years.  Along with being the best news/talk program director in the business, Pete is also one of the nicest people you will ever meet.  Cox Media Group has benefited greatly from Pete’s leadership in Dayton, Orlando, Atlanta, and as our news/talk format leader.  We are definitely a better company because Pete Spriggs was on our team.  He will be missed, and we all wish him the best going forward.”  Prior to joining WSB, Drew Anderssen spent years in programming and research for Cox Media Group in Orlando, Florida and Tulsa, Oklahoma.  The company says, “Anderssen brings an immense amount of experience and devotion to his role and CMG looks forward to continuing their partnership to ensure WSB remains an industry leader.”

Newsmax TV Names Emerald Robinson White House Correspondent.  Broadcast journalist Emerald Robinson joins Newsmax TV as White House correspondent where she’ll work alongside Newsmax chief White House correspondent John Gizzi.  Robinson was most recently chief White House correspondent for One America News Network.  Speaking about her new position, Robinson says, “Newsmax TV has become a major force in Washington’s media universe and I’m thrilled to be a part of its major expansion.  Americans trust Newsmax to deliver truthful, unbiased reporting – and that’s what we do every day.”  Robinson began her journalism career as host of “The Daily Orbit,” a syndicated science and technology news show. Her experience also includes entertainment, political, and economic beats. ​ During her tenure on the White House beat, Robinson has covered presidential foreign trips including the Helsinki and Singapore Summits.

Dallas’ ‘The Ticket’ Moves Bob Sturm to ‘The Hardline’ Afternoon Show. In the wake of the recent retirement of longtime afternoon drive station personality Mike Rhyner, Cumulus Media’s KTCK-AM/FM, Dallas “The Ticket” announces midday co-host Bob Sturm moves to afternoon drive to partner with Corby Davidson as co-hosts of “The Hardline.”  Danny Balis continues to produce the PM drive show.  Sturm has co-hosted the midday “BaD Radio” with Dan McDowell since 2000.  Filling Sturm’s role on “BaD Radio” is show producer Jake Kemp, who moves up to the co-host role.  Cumulus Dallas/Houston RVP Dan Bennett says, “Bob Sturm has earned the trust and following from our listeners for over 20 years and is one of the finest sports talk talents in America.  This move made perfect sense and we are excited to entertain our listeners with the new afternoon drive team of Bob Sturm and Corby Davidson, and with Jake Kemp and Dan McDowell for ‘BaD Radio’ in middays.”  Sturm adds, “Our station lost an absolute icon in Mike Rhyner to retirement and we must all pull together to bridge that gap.  I am honored to join forces with The Hardline’s Corby Davidson and Danny Balis to see what we can dream up from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm and we can’t wait to get to our mighty challenge.  Dan McDowell and Jake Kemp will make a fantastic duo themselves from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm. Dan McDowell is the closest friend I might ever find in this business and I owe him an immeasurable debt.”

SiriusXM Drops $75 Million into SoundCloud. Audio entertainment giant SiriusXM builds up its relationship with SoundCloud via a purchase of $75 million of securities for a minority stake in the open audio platform.  SiriusXM, via subsidiary Pandora, began an ad sales relationship with SoundCloud in 2019 in which advertisers and brands could purchase SoundCloud’s U.S. ad inventory directly through Pandora, leveraging Pandora’s direct sales capabilities, targeting data, and audio programmatic platform.  SiriusXM says that SoundCloud and Pandora’s combined U.S. audience constitutes more than 100 million unique listeners.  SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer says, “SoundCloud’s unique platform serves a vital role in today’s music ecosystem where new artists are discovered and build their fan base, and established artists experiment and connect directly with their fans in highly effective ways.  We admire SoundCloud’s loyal and growing audience, its offering for creators, and its reputation and popularity in global music communities. We believe this is another opportunity to continue creating value for SiriusXM stockholders by investing in expanding digital audio platforms.”  As part of the minority stake acquisition, the SoundCloud board of directors will expand to include two individuals designated by SiriusXM.

World Radio Day Honor Goes to WTOP.  In celebration of the forthcoming observance of World Radio Day coming up this Thursday (2/13), the American Academy of Radio – a subsidiary of the Academia Española de la Radio (Spanish Academy of Radio) – presented the World Radio Day “American Radio Station of the Year” award  to Hubbard Radio’s all-news outlet WTOP, Washington, DC.  The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) executive board recommended to the General Conference the proclamation of World Radio Day, on the basis of a wide consultation process, carried out in 2011.  The leader of the project, the Academia Española de la Radio, received support for the proposal from diverse stakeholders, including major international broadcasters and broadcasting unions and associations. The date of February 13, the day United Nations Radio was established in 1946, was proposed by the Director-General of UNESCO which proclaimed February 13 as World Radio Day.  The objectives of the day are to raise greater awareness among the public and the media of the importance of radio; to encourage decision-makers to establish and provide access to information through radio; as well as to enhance networking and international cooperation among broadcasters.  The jury appointed to judge stations for the American honor are: Heather Cohen, EVP  of The Weiss AgencyDeborah Parenti, publisher of Radio Ink/RBR/TVBR/Podcast Business JournalFrancisco R. Montero, managing partner of Fletcher, Heald & HildrethPaul MacLane, managing director of content, B2B media technology brands and editor-in-chief of Radio WorldMichael Harrison, editor and publisher of TALKERS magazine; and Paul Rotella, president and CEO of the New Jersey Broadcasters Association. In addition to WTOP, nominated stations were KIIS-FM, Los Angeles; WRHU, Hofstra University; and WFUV, Fordham University.  Pictured at this morning’s (2/11) ceremony in the station’s offices and studios are jurists Frank Montero (l) and Paul McLane (r) delivering the trophy to WTOP general manager Joel Oxley (c).

Trump Budget Proposes Elimination of CPB Funding.  In the Trump Administration’s budget for Fiscal 2021 and Fiscal 2022, the line item for funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting would be reduced from about $445 million to about $30 million.  CPB president and CEO Patricia Harrison says, “We look forward to working with Congress in the continued pursuit of our statutory public service mission of supporting educational, informational and diverse content that addresses the needs of our nation’s citizens – a mission the American people overwhelmingly trust in and support.  The federal appropriation to CPB is the foundation of our uniquely American, public-private partnership that supports our nation’s public media system – a system of more than 1,500 locally controlled and operated public television and radio stations across the country. This seed money pays invaluable dividends to millions of Americans and their families in the form of content and resources that educate, inform and inspire.  Through public media initiatives such as American Graduate and Ready To Learn, stations provide high-quality educational content and community engagement that helps Americans prepare for success in school and career. As the most trusted news source in America, local public media stations offer journalism that elevates local stories to a national audience.  Further, public media stations’ infrastructure provides critical communications functions during local and national emergencies to first responders and emergency management officials.”  Of course, funding is ultimately left to Congress which has historically ignored such calls for CPB defunding.

TALKERS News Notes. Conservative media personality and author Todd Starnes has been chosen to moderate a Fathom Events panel discussion for the upcoming theatrical documentary, Patterns of Evidence: The Red Sea Mystery.  The panel discussion was recently filmed at the Ark Encounter and will be shown nationwide in theaters on February 18.  Starnes is host of the nationally syndicated, daily talk radio program, “The Todd Starnes Show” and the short-form “Todd Starnes News & Commentary” – both distributed by Hamilton Strategies. The long-form show recently added new affiliate stations KARN-FM, Little Rock; KWAM, Memphis; and KLUP-AM, San Antonio…..The “Always in Fashion” radio program, starring fashion industry pro Mark Weber (left) and his son Jesse (right), moves from Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York to iHeartMedia’s WOR, New York.  The show airs Saturday nights from 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm and Sundays from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm.  Weber says, “Throughout my career, I have worked with the best and that’s precisely what has led me to iHeartMedia’s 710 WOR.  We’re thrilled to join the number one audio company and broadcast on one of the leading talk stations in NYC.”…..Nashville sports talk hosts Derrick Mason and Braden Gall announce via Twitter that they have been let go from their morning show duties on The Cromwell Group’s sports talk WPRT-FM “102.5 The Game.”  Back in December, third host Nick Kayal exited the station.  The WPRT website offers no indication of the station’s intentions for the daypart.  Mason played wide receiver for the Tennessee Titans from 1997 through 2004…..ABC Audio will officially launch the ABC Power Portal at the Country Radio Seminar in Nashville on February 19.  ABC says the ABC Power Portal is “the first on-demand, original video service for distribution to radio station websites, apps and social media platforms.  ABC Power Portal will house a wide range of music and entertainment videos as well as breaking news and obituary content, all produced by ABC Audio.  These new videos, along with social media teasers, will be available daily for download by Power Portal affiliates as white label content, allowing stations to add their own logos and sponsor ads to the videos prior to publication.  ABC Audio executive director business strategies, programming and distribution Heidi Oringer says, “I’m thrilled to debut the ABC Power Portal and offer stations the type of digital content television outlets have had access to for so long.  This turn-key platform is essential for radio’s digital expansion and allows affiliates to take advantage of ABC Audio’s unmatched array of content.”  ABC Audio posted content from last Sunday’s Oscars.  Below is an image of the Power Portal dashboard.

Presidential Race, Wuhan Coronavirus, Trump Budget-Border Wall, Oscars Political Speeches, Russians Track U.S. Satellites, Chinese Equifax Hackers, and MLB Playoffs Proposal Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/10). The New Hampshire primary and the Democrats’ race to take on President Trump in November; the status of the Wuhan coronavirus and the effects on China’s economy; President Trump’s budget and the cuts to services and increase in border wall funding; the political speeches at Sunday evening’s Oscars ceremony; the report the Russian’s are tracking U.S. military satellites; Chinese military hackers are accused of executing the Equifax breach; and MLB floats a new playoff format in which division winners get to choose opponents among top news/talk stories yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Shreveport, Louisiana programmer and air personality Nina Montgomery – who serves as PD and DJ on Cumulus Media’s urban AC KVMA “Magic 102.9” – was recently honored for her significant contributions to Shreveport’s African-American Community.  Montgomery was recognized at the Shreveport-Bossier-DeSoto African-American Scholarship Awards Banquet.  Cumulus Shreveport VP and market manager Aaron Criswell says, “Nina has been a spark of light for the African-American Community in Shreveport and Bossier City for many years.  Nina has committed to spread this light to the community and listeners of urban AC powerhouse KVMA-FM, day in and day out.”…..Entercom appoints Lisa Powell SVP and market manager for its Greensboro, North Carolina cluster that includes hip hop WJMH “102 JAMZ,” country WPAW “93.1 The Wolf,” urban AC WQMG, adult contemporary WSMW “98.7 Simon,” and Gospel outlets WEAL-AM and WPET-AM.  Entercom regional president Doug Abernethy says, “For over two decades, Lisa has faithfully led our sales efforts in the Triad and obtained outstanding results.  We are excited to recognize her accomplishments with a well-deserved promotion and are confident in her ability to lead our cluster to further growth.”…..The Kidd Kraddick Morning Show” cast member Kellie Rasberry is launching her second podcast, this one based on the morning show’s “Love Letters to Kellie” segment.  It’s being produced by longtime show producer Robert Ehrman.  Rasberry says, “Robert and I have been working on this project for quite some time and I’m so excited that we finally get to share it with the world! While we’ll be having a lot of fun on this podcast, I realize people are trusting me to give them advice that can often have serious consequences. I don’t take that lightly.”  She already hosts a podcast titled, “A Sandwich and Some Lovin.’”…..SiriusXM announces that Harry Styles will perform for SiriusXM and Pandora on Friday, February 28 at a secret location in New York City.  The intimate set for SiriusXM subscribers and Pandora listeners will feature Styles performing songs from his recent sophomore album, Fine Line, released via Columbia Records. The event will also include an interview with Harry Styles and “The Morning Mash Up” hosts Ryan Sampson, Nicole Ryan, and Stanley T.

PPM Analysis: Holiday 2019 ExtraTALKERS magazine manager editor Mike Kinosian offers this “extra” look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2019 PPM survey.  This report looks at the weekly 6+ AQH share movement from the December 2019 survey to the Holiday 2019 survey, based on degree of improvement or loss, by format and more.  See the analysis here.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

| February 6, 2020

Tom Bauerle Solo Again in WBEN-AM, Buffalo Afternoons; Report Alleges Internal Strife and More. According to a report in the Buffalo Chronicle, talk show host Tom Bauerle is back to being a solo performer in afternoon drive on Entercom’s WBEN 930 AM after co-host David Bellavia left the show with no explanation.  The piece says a rift between Bauerle and Bellavia is the reason for the change.  It also reports speculation that Bellavia is in line to take over the late morning show from Sandy Beach as he is considering retirement.  However, what’s far more bizarre is the Chronicle piece accuses Bauerle of “lashing out at members of his audience” and alleges that Bauerle sexually harassed the wife of a caller to the show. David Bellavia is still with WBEN. A station spokesperson tells TALKERS, “We have adjusted his duties to allow him the flexibility to continue with his Medal of Honor duties.  We are incredibly proud to continue our relationship with him and will soon be announcing a new venture with him.”

Quote of the Week.  There has been a lot of reaction, positive and negative, to Rush Limbaugh receiving the Medal of Freedom at the recent State of the Union Address.  The following quote deemed “brilliant” by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison is attributed to Steve Lapa (pictured above), president of South Florida-based Lapcom Communication Corp.: “How ironic is the talk radio world?!  The man who was #1 on the ‘No Buy’ list received the #1 civilian honor by the President of the United States. How many agency marketing directors will open their thinking to what great talk radio is about… and the deep influence of great talent?”

iHeartMedia and VSiN Partner with XFL for Sports Betting Audio Content. The new XFL inaugural season begins on Saturday (2/8) and the league has teamed with Vegas Stats & Information Network and iHeartMedia to create audio BetCasts for two games each week during the 2020 10-week regular season and two-week post-season.  The BetCasts will feature VSiN sports betting experts covering XFL games live from VSiN’s studios in Las Vegas through a wagering lens.  These digital audio broadcasts, available on the iHeartRadio app, will deliver real-time odds, as well as in-depth analysis of the events behind those changing lines to inform fans during the live action of the games.  VSiN founder and CEO Brian Musburger says, “It’s great to see a league like the XFL embrace sports betting as a way to drive fan engagement and interest.  We couldn’t be more excited to partner with the forward-thinking executives at both the XFL and iHeart to deliver the most credible and actionable sports betting content to football fans around the country on the number one audio platform.”

TALKERS News Notes. Retired Orlando talk radio personality Jim Philips authored an op ed piece in the Orlando Sentinel that decries the loss of local talent in radio.  Pointing to the recent staff cutbacks and radio leaders such as iHeartMedia and Entercom, Philips says he’s a realist who understands the business is changing, but says, “This doesn’t mean I have to like it.”  Philips hosted “The Philips Phile” on WTKS-FM “Real Radio 104.1” for 30 years prior to his retirement in 2018…..Lazer Broadcasting and MLB’s San Francisco Giants extend their radio partnership for three‐years – through the 2022 season – for games to air on its newly launched Spanish sports talk KSFN-AM, San Francisco “Unanimo Deportes.” Lazer Broadcasting chief revenue officer Gerardo Martinez says, “The San Francisco Giants are a first-class organization with legions of faithful Latino fans, and we’re excited to be the official home of the SF Gigantes in Español.  The professional sports journalism that ‘Unanimo Deportes’ brings to sports fans is unmatched.”…..The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces that “Inside Edition” Emmy Award-winning anchor Deborah Norville will host its 2020 Golden Mike Award dinner taking place Wednesday, March 4, at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.  This annual event is a major fundraiser for the mission of the Broadcasters Foundation to help broadcasters in acute need.  As previously announced, this year’s Golden Mike Award honoree will be Dave Lougee, president and chief executive officer of TEGNA Inc. and the Lifetime Achievment Award will be presented to George Beasley, founder and chairman of Beasley Media Group.

Puckett Named Sales Manager for Beasley Southwest Florida; Johnson Rises to National Sales Manager. Radio sales pro Ellen Puckett is promoted to sales manager for Beasley Media Group’s Ft. Myers station group that includes news/talk WJBX, sports talk WWCN “ESPN Southwest Florida,” and four music brands.  She’s been with the cluster since September of 2016, most recently as a senior AE.  She comments, “As I move into this new phase with Beasley Media Group, I’m delighted to be working with a strong existing sales team.  I look forward to using my skills in training and development to help our team introduce new products into the marketplace while continuing to grow our existing core business to provide results for our advertisers.” At the same time, Todd Johnston is upped from his account executive position to national sales manager for the cluster.  Director of sales Allyson Hillman says, “We are thrilled to be able to promote Todd to his new role.  His talent in negotiating and research are guaranteed to help us win in the national arena in the Ft. Myers market!”

WELI-AM, New Haven Adds FM Signal. New Haven, Connecticut news/talk WELI-AM adds FM translator W245DK to its broadcast, giving listeners to the iHeartMedia station the option to hear it on the 96.9 FM frequency.  iHeartMedia Hartford Region president Steve Honeycomb says, “We are thrilled to be able to increase the reach of these heritage programs to listeners in the northern part of Connecticut.  With this new signal, listeners will get to experience our unique programming like never before.”

Impeachment Ends in Acquittal, Iowa Caucuses/Presidential Race, Russian ‘Information Warfare,’ Wuhan Coronavirus, Financial Markets Activity/Macy’s Announces Closures, and Kirk Douglas Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/5). The Senate votes to acquit President Donald Trump of the impeachment charges against him; the Iowa caucuses technical woes and the race for the Democratic nomination; FBI Director Chris Wray’s warming that the Russians are engaging in “information warfare” over the 2020 election; the status of the Wuhan coronavirus; activity on the world’s financial markets and Macy’s news it will shutter 125 stores; and actor Kirk Douglas dies at 103 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At the Cox Media Group stations on Long Island, longtime VP and general manager John Shea is retiring and the company announces that current director of sales Katelin Tinley will assume the VP/GM role.  Tinley began her career with CMG as an AE back in 2005.  The CMG Long Island operations includes CHR WBLI, classic rock WBAB and its digital media platforms.  CMG EVP radio Bill Hendrich says of Shea, “John is the kind of passionate leader that we love at CMG.  John loves his team.  He loves his stations. And he loves Long Island.  We are losing a friend and a great business partner but know that he has worked hard for this day and wish him the absolute best in his retirement.”…..SiriusXM announces that Pearl Jam will perform at Harlem’s world-famous Apollo Theater in a special invitation-only concert for SiriusXM subscribers and Pandora listeners on Thursday, March 26.  The special event comes days before the band embarks on the U.S. leg of their Pearl Jam 2020 tour.  The concert will take place just hours ahead of the release of the band’s new album Gigaton, that goes on sale at midnight.  The concert will air live on the band’s dedicated SiriusXM’s Pearl Jam Radio channel.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

| February 4, 2020

Joyce Kaufman Reduces Show to One Hour in New WFTL, West Palm Beach Schedule. Longtime South Florida talk show host Joyce Kaufman is moving to a new start time and will host a one-hour show as Hubbard Radio reveals “News/Talk 850” WFTL’s new program schedule.  Kaufman says, “I am definitely not being pushed out.  In fact, I wanted to retire, and the station management said you can’t leave completely.  So, I am very grateful that they have been so gracious and accommodating.”  The new lineup is as follows: “The South Florida Morning Show with Jennifer Ross and Bill Adams” from 5:30 to 10:00 am; FOX News Radio’s “The Brian Kilmeade Show” from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon; Joyce Kaufman from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm; Radio America’s “The Dana Show” from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm; Westwood One’s “The Ben Shapiro Show” from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm; and “The Dave Ramsey Show” from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm.   Hubbard Radio SVP and market manager Elizabeth Hamma says, “Joyce Kaufman has been an important piece to 850 WFTL for nearly 30 years.  We are happy she remains part of our very exciting new lineup.”

Former KRLD-FM, Dallas Duo ‘Ben & Skin’ Land at Classic Rock ‘97.1 The Eagle.’ Sports talk duo “Ben & Skin” left Entercom’s KRLD-FM, Dallas “The Fan” in October saying they had a new gig lined up.  Now, we learn that the duo is the new afternoon show at iHeartMedia’s classic rock KEGL, Dallas “97.1 The Eagle,” effective Monday (2/10).  Ben Rogers and Jeff “Skin” Wade will be on the air from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm.  Kevin “KT” Turner will handle news duties and Krystina Ray will serve as producer.  Rogers says, “We’re beyond excited to reconnect with listeners.  They’ve always been the fuel for our rocket ship, and we think they’re absolutely going to love this no-holds-barred version of our show.  We’ll have complete freedom to combine everything we’re passionate about into three hours of unfiltered comedy, pop culture and sports talk. We plan to explore it all in the funniest and most entertaining ways possible.”  Wade adds, “When we were offered the opportunity to be on a station that we grew up listening to, it got our creative juices flowing in a way that we hadn’t felt in a long time.  This is huge for us.”

FOX Nation’s Abby Hornacek Debuts ‘Getting Schooled’ Podcast. A new podcast from FOX News Radio launches, hosted by FOX Nation travel, lifestyle and sports personality Abby Hornacek, titled “Getting Schooled.”  FNR says, “With a new episode released every Monday, Hornacek will be joined by guests and experts in the field to uncover the origins behind popular buzz words and phrases.  Episode one features FOX News Channel’s politics editor Chris Stirewalt as he dives into the definition of ‘caucus’ and why Iowa is the first in the nation to cast their vote and more.”  Hornacek is the host of three series on FOX Nation: “PARK’D,” in which  Hornacek takes viewers behind-the-scenes of United States national parks; “Ride to Work,” in which she conducts light-hearted interviews with various FOX Nation hosts and FNC personalities as she drives them to work; and “American Arenas,” in which she embraces her passion for sports and travels to the country’s most beloved fields and sporting venues.

Julie Landry Named VP of Consumer Engagement for ‘New Jersey 101.5.’ Marketing and sales pro Julie Landry is named vice president for consumer engagement for Townsquare Media’s WKXW-FM, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.”  In this role, Landry will lead Townsquare Accelerate, that works with key local and regional clients to develop creative approaches that will address their business needs.  ‘NJ 101.5’ president and chief revenue officer Ron deCastro says, “Julie has a long track record of working across diverse client industries at several NYC advertising agencies and is a leading voice in the influencer marketing and branded content field.  She will be leading the process to develop breakthrough, cross-channel programs that deliver results for our key clients.”  Prior to joining Townsquare, she co-founded Wellness Amplified, an influencer marketing agency in New York, and was VP group account director at the Integer Group and VP account director at Wunderman in New York.  Landry will work with Kristin Roderick, recently named vice president of partnership sales, “in order to help local and regional clients unlock great results, using the full range of Townsquare’s multiplatform marketing offerings.”  She says, “I’m looking forward to partnering with Ron, Kristin, and the Townsquare ‘New Jersey 101.5’ sales team to bring Townsquare’s innovative broadcast and digital capabilities to life, to engage consumers and deliver superior business results for our local customers.”

TALKERS News Notes. Broadcast executive and podcast pioneer Gary Leland joins BizTalkRadio as executive vice president, a move the company says “recognizes the need to increase the digital footprint and marketing of the brand.  Company COO Scott Miller says, “BizTalkRadio has been a strong option for business and lifestyle content.  We continue to grow our radio footprint, but to support our affiliates we felt we needed a stronger digital and social media focus.  Gary is well known in the radio podcasting space and is a marketer by nature.”…..Former WOR, New York; WRKO, Boston; and WTKK-FM, Boston talk host Jay Severin comes out of retirement to host a weekly, Sunday evening show throughout the 2020 election cycle on Westport Communications’ WBOQ-FM, Gloucester, Massachusetts.  The 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm program will be available as a podcast after broadcast via North of Boston Podcast Services…..The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that University of Kentucky football and men’s basketball radio play-by-play announcer Tom Leach is brokering the three-hour Sunday morning block on iHeartMedia’s WLAP-AM, Lexington in order to continue the “Sunday Morning Sports Talk” show that was cancelled as part of iHeartMedia’s recent workforce reduction.  Leach brought back two of the three hosts – Larry Vaught and Anthony White – as Mark Buerger elected not to return.  Instead, show producer Curtis Burch is joining Vaught and White.  Leach already brokers his daily, one-hour “The Leach Report” show on WLAP-AM and WKJK, Louisville…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that former WSCR, Chicago morning drive personality Brian Hanley has joined Good Karma Brands-operated WMVP “ESPN 1000” to serve as a weekend and fill-in host.  He’ll also co-host the weekly “ESPN 1000 Hockey Show.”  Hanley co-hosted AMs on “The Score” before exiting 18 months ago…..MLB’s Minnesota Twins sign a multi-year partnership with Skyview Networks to use the company’s Skyview Networks’ AdView inventory management and live read capture software.  This allows the process of scheduling ads and reporting them for billing to be fully controlled by the franchise’s broadcast team and front office.  Twins senior broadcast manager Andrew Halverson says, “After thoroughly researching the market, it is clear that Skyview Networks’ industry-leading AdView software is best suited to enhance our day-to-day broadcast operations, while also driving greatly-improved efficiencies in our reporting processes.  We are eager to partner with Skyview’s team to maximize their resources for the betterment of our broadcasts and our advertisers alike.”

Sun Broadcast Group Acquires Envision Networks. Cleveland-based Envision Networks is being acquired by Sun Broadcast Group, a Gen Media Partners company.  SBG says that this acquisition increases its national footprint with an additional 1,300 affiliates in both general market and Hispanic.  It also adds to SBG’s portfolio of programming and services “Paul Shaffer’s Day in Rock,” BOB FM, MeTV FM, “The Rooster,” and more.  As part of the transaction, Envision co-founders Danno Wolkoff and Laura Orkin become stockholders in the expanded SBG.  They also join the executive team with Wolkoff serving as SBG’s chief development officer and Orkin accepting the position of vice president of business operations.

Iowa Caucus Problems/Presidential Race, Impeachment Trial, Coronavirus Concerns/Financial Markets Reactions, State of the Union Address, Rush Limbaugh Cancer Revelation, and Super Bowl LIV Aftermath Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/3). The issues affecting the results of the Iowa Caucuses; the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump; concerns about a possible coronavirus pandemic and the financial markets’ reactions to it; tonight’s State of the Union address to Congress; the talk radio and political world’s reaction to Rush Limbaugh’s announcement of his lung cancer diagnosis; and reaction to the Kansas City Chiefs’ victory over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

PPM Analysis: Adult Contemporary. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on adult contemporary.  Needless to say, the Holiday book is generally huge for AC stations that flip to Christmas music.  Which AC station made the biggest weekly 6+ AQH share jump from the December 2019 survey?  Check out the report here.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Cumulus Media’s WFYR, Peoria announces it has re-branded as “97.3 River Country” from its previous “97.3 NASH FM.”  The station’s new weekday lineup is: “The Ty Bentli Show” in mornings, Wes from 9:00 am to 10:00 am; Cathy Taylor from 10:00 am to 11:00 am and 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm; Doc Watson from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm; Biscuit from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm; and Brian from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

Friday, January 31, 2020

| January 31, 2020

NOW POSTED:  New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.”   The vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, WONK-FM, Washington, DC.  The new episode titled, “Can I Get a Witness?” looks back at this past week of January 27-31, 2020 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERSChris Stigall, talk show host, WNTP, Philadelphia “AM 990 The Answer”; Howard Monroe, talk show host/owner WKKX/WVLY, Wheeling, WV; Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company; Joshua Philipp, senior investigative reporter, The Epoch TimesPamela Garber, counselor and therapist, New York City; and Bali Samra, human resources consultant/commentator, Pioneer Valley Radio, Springfield, MA.  This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on WONK-FM, Washington, DC on Friday evenings between 6:00-7:00 pm ET.  It also airs throughout the weekend on WRKO, Boston; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA;  KFNX, Phoenix; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; the Virginia Talk Radio Network and Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA as well as appearing on the iHeartRadio App.  To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here.  To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.

iHeartMedia Re-Brands Sports WTSO, Madison; Cancels Two Local Shows. In Madison, Wisconsin, iHeartMedia makes changes to sports talker WTSO-AM, re-branding the station from its current “The Big 1070” to “1070 The Game,” and altering the daily lineup.  Effective Monday (2/3), “The Crossover with Ted Davis & Dan Needles” and “Drew & K.B.” are gone from the lineup.  Longtime Wisconsin sports media personality Mike Heller moves from mornings to afternoon drive (without current morning co-host Dolphin), and Steve Czaban takes over the 6:00 am to 9:00 am daypart.  Czaban also hosts the afternoon drive show on Radio One’s WTEM, Washington, DC “The Team.”  In middays, “The Dan Patrick Show” airs from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon, followed by FOX Sports Radio’s “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm.  iHeartMedia Madison market president Drew Lautner says, “Wisconsin has a strong and diverse sports fan base.  We believe we have assembled the best of the best to deliver news, commentary, differing opinions, on-field insight and an occasional laugh to our loyal listeners.”

Townsquare Media Begins Operating Duluth Sports Talk Station. Ahead of its intended purchase of WWAX-FM, Duluth, Townsquare Media enters into a time brokerage agreement with owner Twin Ports Radio and will move the sports format to its own WEBC-AM.  It will also move its classic rock format from translator W293CT to WWAX-FM as “Sasquatch 92-1.”  the changes are expected to take place the week of February 17.  WWAX “92.1 The Fan” airs content from iHeartMedia’s The Fan Radio Network” emanating from KFXN, Minneapolis.  Townsquare has acquired the Duluth-Superior radio broadcast rights for the Minnesota Vikings for the next four seasons.  Townsquare Media Duluth market president and chief revenue officer Mary Niemeyer says, “All of these programming moves greatly improve the experience for our local listeners and the marketing solutions we can provide for our local advertising partners, enhancing our position as a premiere local media company in the Northland.  We are thrilled to bring ‘The Fan’ back home to WEBC along with the Minnesota Vikings, while providing our rabid ‘Sasquatch’ audience extended reach on 92.1 FM.”

Report: Changes on Tap for Sports Talk KFNS-AM, St. Louis. According to Dan Caesar’s story in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, KFNS-AM, St. Louis co-owner Randy Markel has reached an agreement to sell a 50% interest in the station to local attorney Mark Goldenberg and Archford Capital Strategies CEO Jim Maher.  The story indicates that lineup changes are a possibility as the newly constituted ownership group considers the station’s future.  Markel tells the paper that afternoon host – longtime St. Louis talk radio figure – Frank O. Pinion currently hosts the afternoon drive show but his general interest show is not as sports intensive as the new ownership may desire.  Other St. Louis sports talk personalities mentioned as possible additions to the station include Kevin Slaten, Brian McKenna, and Jeff Gordon.

PPM Analysis: All-News. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on the all-news format.  Not surprisingly, 87% of all-news stations saw their weekly 6+ AQH share decline from the December survey to the Holiday survey.  Sixty percent of all-news stations lost weekly 6+ AQH share from Holiday 2018 to Holiday 2019.  Entercom’s KCBS-AM, San Francisco was the highest ranked all-news station during the Holiday PPM survey, ranking #2 in the market.  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Impeachment Trial Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 27-31. The impeachment trial of President Donald Trump was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the status of the Wuhan coronavirus, tied with U.S.-China Relations and the economy.  Coming in at #3 was the Democrats battling to challenge President Trump in November, followed by the death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s complete chart here.

Kal Rudman Shutters FMQB. After almost 52 years in business, founder and publisher Kal Rudman is shutting down the radio industry tip sheet Friday Morning Quarterback, better known as FMQB.  Rudman has sold the assets of the publication to Deane Media Solutions.  In a statement, Rudman says, “I am retiring from the music industry, but not the radio business.  For a long time, I have focused much of my philanthropic efforts in the medical world, and now I am merging that with radio.  For over 50 years, I have been the specialist in predicting countless hits for numerous artists, and I’ve received unique recognition by the music industry as not only a tastemaker but a star maker.  However, times have changed drastically, along with the industry, and it was time for me to move on to my original passion, medicine.”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Waterloo Media’s classic rock KLBJ-FM, Austin shifts the “Dudley & Bob with Matt” show from morning drive to afternoon drive, effective Monday (2/3).  Station program director and PM drive host LA Lloyd moves to mornings.  Waterloo SVP and market manager Scott Gillmore states, “Austinites listen to the radio in their cars.  Afternoon traffic is worse and afternoon commutes are longer.  Now, the drive home just got way more fun with ‘Dudley & Bob with Matt’ – and the boys get to sleep in for the first time in decades, too.  Everybody’s talking in the mornings.  But now there’s a true Austin pro playing great classic rock and getting you to work in a great mood.  LA Lloyd on 93.7 KLBJ-FM.”…..iHeartMedia launches a classic hits station on translator W265CV, Madison, Wisconsin as “U-100.9, Madison’s Super ‘60s and ‘70s Station, effective tomorrow (2/1).  iHeartMedia Madison market president Drew Lautner says, “I’m extremely excited to be part of this new station launch.  Madison missed having a station that is dedicated to airing top ‘60s and ‘70s music – so we’re excited to step up and give listeners what they want with the new ‘U-100.9.’”…..NRG Media flips KPTY-AM/K297BS from CHR to country as “107.3 HANK FM – Playing the Legends of Country.”  NRG Media operations manager Jeff Winfield says, “Country music is about great stories.  In addition to playing classic county on ‘HANK’ we will go behind the music and share those stories with our listeners.  We’ll have features like ‘HANK’s Music Vault,’ ‘Stories Made the Music,’ ‘HANK Artist Spotlight’ and ‘Rewind County.’”

Thursday, January 30, 2020

| January 30, 2020

Air Personalities Out at Tyler Media’s Oklahoma City News/Talk and Sports Stations. A number of air personalities at Tyler Media’s Oklahoma City stations have been let go in what appears to be a major money-saving move.  News/talk KOKC-AM/K237GE morning drive host Jack Elliott posted the news on his Facebook page that he and the “entire air staff” have been let go.  The station’s website now indicates an all-syndicated lineup.  Afternoon host and program director Mac Mullings, PM drive personality Chad Alexander, and sister sports talk KRXO “107.7 The Franchise” morning host Andrew Gilman and afternoon sports talk host Colby Daniels also have been let go.  KOKC has replaced the local morning show with “America in the Morning” and Radio America’s “The Dana Show” with Dana Loesch occupies the afternoon drive daypart.

Report: Shannon Burke and Kara Stockton to Host Mornings on WTZA-AM, Atlanta. According to Rodney Ho at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, talk personalities Shannon Burke and Kara Stockton are joining the new talk station being launched on WTZA-AM/ W271CV, Atlanta on Monday (2/3).  Station co-operators Will Regan and Jamie Chapman are leasing the signals from K&Z Broadcasting.  Atlanta talk personalities Kim “The Kimmer” Peterson and Mike Brooks are also joining the station’s lineup.  Burke and Stockton worked together at Cumulus Media‘s talk WYAY-FM, Atlanta prior to the company selling that signal to Educational Media Foundation.  Burke also hosts afternoons at JVC Media‘s WDYZ-AM/W288CJ, Orlando “Florida Man Radio.”  He’ll work both shows, hosting the WZTA program from Orlando.  Ho’s story also indicates that the station is holding two-week tryouts for the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm daypart and former Phoenix talk host (and Arizona congressman) J.D. Hayworth will give it a go as will radio personality Rich Sullivan.

Theisen Promoted to VP of Sales and Marketing for Leighton Broadcasting. Sales pro Stephanie Theisen is named vice president of sales and marketing for Leighton Broadcasting.  She currently serves the company as general sales manager for the company’s St. Cloud, Minnesota market and will continue in that role through 2020.  Leighton operates 26 radio stations in seven markets and also produces events and is an interactive design and marketing company.  Leighton Enterprises CEO Bob Leighton says, “The addition of Theisen as VP of sales and marketing will support the structure of our company as we continue to grow and expand.  Stephanie has a successful track record in sales, team building, and hiring.  We are looking forward to her focus in those areas in markets outside of our corporate headquarters, in 2020 and beyond.”  Theisen adds, “In the coming months I will focus on amplifying the impact Leighton Broadcasting has in the communities we serve.  Leighton is a robust company with talented employees throughout our locations and divisions.  I am thrilled to serve as the VP of sales and marketing for this incredible company.”

‘Grant & Danny’ to Air on WRNL, Richmond. The WJFK-FM, Washington-based “Grant & Danny” Show featuring Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier is now being simulcast on Entercom’s Richmond, Virginia sports talk outlet WRNL-AM “Sports Radio 910 The Fan” from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm.  Paulsen and Rouhier both joined WJFK-FM in 2009 and have been partners on the midday show since 2014.  Entercom Virginia SVP and market manager Bennett Zier says, “I’m excited to welcome Grant and Danny to the Capital City.  They are a welcomed addition as we continue serving Richmond and the surrounding markets with premier sports content and coverage of local and regional teams.”

TALKERS News Notes. Sports media personality Jorge Sedano’s Los Angeles radio show on ESPN-owned KSPN “ESPNLA” is moving to a new daypart effective Monday (2/3).  Sedano has been hosting the early evening show that’s often pre-empted by Lakers games.  He tweets that effective Monday the “Sedano Show” will air from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon PT…..Entercom’s Philadelphia sports talker WIP-FM “SportsRadio 94WIP” is holding a daylong “Andy Reid Appreciation Day” today (1/30) to celebrate the career and accomplishments of former Eagles and current Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid.  Reid took the Eagles to Super Bowl XXXIX in 2005, losing to the New England Patriots 24-21.  The station says that today it will “break down Reid’s career through discussions with former NFL players and on-air hosts Ike Reese and Jon Ritchie, both of whom were on Reid’s Super Bowl team.”  Program director Spike Eskin says, “It’s finally time to give Andy credit where credit is due.  I look forward to celebrating his great career and reminiscing on old Eagles memories with our on-air staff as we root for ‘Big Red’ to win his first Super Bowl.”…..iHeartMedia and OZY Media have entered into a multi-year deal to co-produce and promote a slate of iHeartRadio Original Podcasts, with three shows set to be released this year and distributed through the iHeartPodcast Network.  The first co-produced podcast will be “Around the World,” a travel and culture podcast featuring stories of changemakers and renegades from around the world who are doing the unexpected in the face of adversity.  The content will originate from OZY’s groundbreaking year-long editorial project that saw them report three stories from every country on earth.  The two additional podcasts set to launch this year include a spin-off series from OZY’s “The Thread” and a scripted series.

Impeachment, Wuhan Coronavirus, Presidential Race, Trump Middle East Peace Plan, Kobe Bryant Death, and Weinstein Trial Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/29). The impeachment trial of President Donald Trump; concerns about a global outbreak of the Wuhan coronavirus; the Democrats battling to face Donald Trump in November; reaction to the Trump Administration’s Middle East peace plan; the aftermath of the death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant; and the rape trial of former movie mogul Harvey Weinstein were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

WUHAN CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: Investigative Reporter Joshua Philipp Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the most knowledgeable journalists covering U.S.-China relations, Joshua Philipp, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Philipp is the senior investigative reporter with the New York City-based international news organization, The Epoch Times – the multi-language, global newspaper launched in 2000 by freedom-seeking Chinese-Americans – that specializes, among its many beats, in fearlessly keeping tabs on China and the Chinese Communist Party. The podcast was recorded on January 27 and presents an up-to-date account of what is currently known about the still-unnamed “coronavirus” that burst on the scene in the past few weeks emanating from the central Chinese city of Wuhan and has begun to spread and cause illness at an alarming pace putting health officials all around the world on increasingly high alert. The crisis offers tremendous insight into the methodology of the Chinese Communist Party and will, undoubtedly have an impact on the superpower’s activities in world affairs in the coming months. This is a major news/talk media story with serious health, political, and economic implications. To listen to the entire podcast NOW, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. It’s in the immediate aftermath of two related tragedies that morning drive personality Gary Smith is retiring from Neversink Radio’s classic hits, WABT-FM, Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania “Pocono 96.7.”  On January 7, Smith’s co-host Elisa Chase died suddenly after a brief illness at the age of 38.  Then, the day after Chase’ memorial service, her husband died at their home.  The station says, “Smith took time off after his colleague’s death and went back on the air with his ‘Gary in the Morning Show’ last week to do a memorial.  It turned out it would be his last show.”  On its website, the station writes to its listeners, “As you likely have heard, we lost our beloved Elisa in early January.  Between this and the sudden death of her husband, our entire organization is in pain over these losses.  Gary has taken this quite hard as Elisa was his ‘radio wife.’”…..Colorado Public Radio’s triple A KVOQ-FM, Denver “Indie 102.3” hired on-air pro Jason Thomas to host the afternoon drive show, effective February 5.  Thomas hosted afternoons at Entercom’s triple A WXRT, Chicago for the past 12 years.  “Indie 102.3” program director Willobee Carlin says, “We are thrilled to have Jason join our ‘Indie 102.3’ team.  His background and success in the radio world will be incredible assets to both the station and Colorado’s music scene.  He has an obsession for music that is truly contagious, and I can’t wait to see how that translates onto our airwaves.” Thomas comments, “The team at ‘Indie 102.3’ has been incredibly welcoming, and it’s been eye-opening to see how committed everyone is to Colorado and its music scene.  I can’t think of a station/city combo that’s a better fit for me, and I’m excited to work and learn alongside a team that’s loaded with true music junkies that want to serve and connect with our listeners.”

Monday, January 27, 2020

| January 27, 2020

Monday Memo: Format Solution?  Ever get a song stuck in your head?  Consultant Holland Cooke shares one that stuck in his 40 years ago.  And when you click-to-listen in this week’s column, HC thinks you could hear an opportunity. Check it out here.

Impeachment/Bolton Manuscript, Presidential Race, Coronavirus Concerns, U.S.-Iran Tensions/Rocket Attack on Baghdad Embassy, the Grammy Awards, and Kobe Bryant Death Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The impeachment trial of President Trump and the related manuscript by former Trump national security adviser John Bolton in which he suggests there was a quid pro quo; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in November; the Wuhan coronavirus and concerns about a global epidemic; the tensions between the U.S. and Iran and the rocket attack on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad; Sunday night’s Grammy Awards ceremony; and the death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others in a helicopter crash were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

New Sports Talk Station ‘The Gambler’ Launches in Akron-Cleveland. This new gambling-centric sports talk outlet on WARF-AM, Akron launched by iHeartMedia Cleveland airs a mix of traditional sports talk shows and wagering-focused programs.  iHeartMedia says, “‘FOX Sports 1350 AM, The Gambler’ will focus on sports talk with a concentration on gambling, including top-of-the-hour wagering updates from the VSiN (Vegas Stats and Information Network) and will feature programming from the BetR Network, including ‘My Guys in the Desert,’ hosted by American sportscaster, Brent Musberger.  The station will also broadcast a mix of programming offering betting guides, handicapping, and betting strategies as well as signature programming from FOX Sports Radio, including ‘The Herd with Colin Cowherd’ and ‘FOX NFL Kickoff Simulcast,’ as well as ‘The Red Zone’ and ‘The Lombardi Line,’ hosted by former Cleveland Browns general manager Mike Lombardi.”

Karyn Cerulli Succeeds Bob Bolinger at Entercom San Diego. The Times of San Diego has the story from the market’s Entercom cluster.  Director of sales Karyn Cerulli is promoted to SVP and market manager for the station group as Bob Bolinger is leaving the role he’s held with the cluster since 2015.  Bolinger tells the paper he’s not retiring.  “The last four and a half years I have spent with Entercom have been among the most rewarding of my career.  I am very proud and grateful for what this amazing Entercom San Diego team has accomplished and wish them and Karyn only the very best.”  Bolinger joined Entercom from CBS RADIO.  He’d been with the San Diego stations since 2009.

iHeartMedia Names News Executives. In Pennsylvania, iHeartMedia announces that Brit Goldstein is named area president for iHeartMedia Pennsylvania.   At the same time, Nick Mickley is the new market president of iHeartMedia Harrisburg, Reading, and Lancaster; and Dave Hovel is named area SVP of programming for iHeartMedia Pennsylvania.  In this new position, Goldstein is responsible for creating new business and revenue opportunities, overseeing all programming, business and sales teams for iHeartMedia Pennsylvania, Delaware and the Eastern Shore stations.  He reports to division president Shosh Abromovich.  In his new role, Hovel oversees all on-air content as well as music and digital programming operations for the Salisbury, Wilmington, Allentown, Harrisburg, Erie, Reading, Lancaster, and Williamsport markets.

New Lineup at KIRO-FM, Seattle; ‘Tom & Curley’ Move to PM Drive.  It was a year ago that the “Candy, Mike & Todd” show – co-hosted by Candy Harper, Mike Lewis, and Todd Herman – took over for the “Ron & Don” – featuring Ron Upshaw and Don O’Neill – in afternoon drive on Bonneville International’s KIRO-FM, Seattle.  Now, that show is gone and the late morning “Tom & Curley” program hosted by Tom Tangney and John Curley moves to afternoon drive, effective Wednesday (1/29).  While both Candy Harper and Todd Herman exit the station, Mike Lewis partners with the station’s Aaron Mason to host the new 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm program.  The new late morning show (9:00 am to 12:00 noon) features award-winning Seattle journalist Ursula Reutin and the station’s Gee Scott, who moves from the evening daypart.  Regarding the afternoon drive change, KIRO-FM program director Bryan Buckalew says, “Tom and John are at the top of their game.  They have a unique ability to tackle the news from both sides of the issue, which consistently connects with listeners.”

Tim Weisberg New Host of Art Bell’s ‘Midnight in the Desert.’ Beginning tonight (1/27), radio pro Tim Weisberg takes over the hosting duties on the late-night radio show, “Midnight in the Desert,” the last program created by the late Art Bell.  Weisberg has been filling in on the program since 2018.  He currently serves as digital managing editor for Townsquare Media’s New Bedford, Massachusetts stations.  He’s also hosted the paranormal radio program/podcast “Spooky Southcoast” for 14 years – a project he’ll continue in addition to his new duties.  Weisberg has served as a writer/researcher/producer on paranormal television programs such as “Ghost Stalkers,” “Ghost Asylum,” and “Haunted Towns.”  He has also been featured in front of the camera on programs such as “Ghost Adventures,” “My Ghost Story,” “MonsterQuest,” “Most Haunted Towns,” and will be featured in two upcoming television series in 2020.  He is also the author of two books on the paranormal and is an award-winning sportswriter covering the New England Patriots and previously covering the Boston Celtics.  “Midnight in the Desert” was started by Art Bell in 2015.  The title of the program comes from a song written specifically for Bell by country music superstar Crystal Gayle.  Bell and subsequent hosts have continued to use the song, with Gayle’s blessing, as the program’s closing theme, something Weisberg said will continue.  “Although nobody will ever replace Art Bell, we at MITD think it’s important to honor his memory as the one who started it at all, especially this program.  While the best way we can pay tribute is to just continue to discuss these topics in a long-form, objective style, keeping the name and the theme song is just a small touch to make sure Art is never far from our thoughts.”

Round Three of Holiday PPMs Released. The third of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus.  The survey period was December 5 through January 1.  Spoken-word radio always faces a challenge during the calendar month of December due to holiday-related lifestyle changes and Christmas music listening.  In this batch of markets, the most positive news comes out of Kansas City where, thanks to the success of the Super Bowl bound Chiefs, sports talk radio enjoyed increased listening.  Union Broadcasting’s WHB got a three-tenths bounce to finish with a weekly 6+ AHQ share of 3.9 – good for the #9 ranking.  Entercom’s KCSP adds a half share to land at 2.7 and the #15 ranking in the market.  See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways here.

TALKERS News Notes. Journalist Don Steinberg wrote a piece – published Saturday (1/25) – for Philadelphia Magazine that’s a deep-dive into Philly-based Entercom.  Interviewed for the piece are CEO David Field, Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff, and others.  The story addresses the company’s struggling stock price, its efforts to establish a leading position in the digital audio entertainment realm, and former employees’ gripes about management style, among others.  Read it here…..WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive talk host Simon Conway is being asked by the U.S. State Department – via its Foreign Press Centers – to host a telephone briefing for foreign journalists to explain the Iowa Caucuses.  The briefing is non-partisan.  Conway says, “It’s a great honor to be asked.  The point is to make sure that journalists around the world understand the process and report it accurately.”…..Sports media personalities Mark Titus and Tate Frazier are joining FOX Sports and Cumulus Media’s Westwood One for the new “Titus and Tate” podcast, available in visual formats on FOXSports.com, the FOX Sports app and social media platforms.  The audio version from Westwood One is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, and more.  Westwood One is the exclusive audio distribution and ad sales representation partner of the “Titus & Tate” podcast..…Barstool Radio on SiriusXM is broadcasting live from Miami Beach today through Friday, ahead of Super Bowl LIV.  Barstool’s biggest personalities, including Dave Portnoy, Dan ‘Big Cat’ Katz, Kevin ‘KFC’ Clancy, PFT Commenter, Kayce Smith, Willie Colon and others – will host their shows live from Tequila Chicas in the heart of South Beach…..The Mayo Clinic Radio team unveils the new “Mayo Clinic Q&A” podcast.  It features Mayo Clinic physicians, researchers, and care teams sharing knowledge about topics including cancer, heart health, scientific advances, artificial intelligence, and wellness.  Mayo Clinic Radio co-hosts Thomas Shives, M.D., and Tracy McCray anchor the new podcast.  Mayo Clinic Radio says, “While the weekly, hour-long ‘Mayo Clinic Radio’ program will continue to deliver easy-to-understand answers on more than 250 outlets across the U.S., each episode of the ‘Mayo Clinic Q&A’ podcast will highlight one subject.”  Dr. Shives adds, “With the resources of Mayo Clinic and thousands of physicians and medical experts supporting us, this tool is one more way to educate busy consumers on how to stay healthy and also help them learn more about serious or complex health topics.”…..iHeartMedia Denver announces that Mike Rice is the new play-by-play announcer for the Colorado Rockies baseball on flagship KOA, Denver.  Rice has been with KOA since 2002, serving in a number of sports roles, including studio host for the Denver Broncos, fill-in play-by-play announcer for the Colorado Rockies, and anchoring morning sportscasts.  He also serves as sports director for KOA, a position he will retain.  Rice joins Jack Corrigan, who is entering his 18th season as a play-by-play announcer for the Rockies.  In addition to play-by-play duties, Rice will host “Rockies All Access,” airing every Saturday on KOA…..Entercom sports talk outlet KRLD-FM, Dallas and the MLB’s Texas Rangers extend their broadcast deal to have the station continue to serve as the team’s radio flagship for the Texas Rangers Radio Network and the team’s English language radio play-by-play broadcasts…..The nationally syndicated “Motley Fool Money” show with host Chris Hill adds new stations KIFG-AM and KIFG-FM in Iowa City and WPVC-LPFM, in Charlottesville, Virginia to its roster of affiliates.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Chicago, Premiere Networks announces today that “The Sweat Hotel” – starring Keith Sweat – will move from the overnight daypart to the evening slot on iHeartMedia’s urban contemporary WVAZ “V103.”…..Dallas rock outlet KEGL “97.1 The Eagle” unveils the lineup for BFD 2020, taking place Sunday, May 24 at Dos Equis Pavilion.  Featured acts will be: Disturbed, Chevelle, The Pretty Reckless, Dirty Honey, The HU, Puddle of Mudd, Badflower, and Dinosaur Pile-UpiHeartMedia regional SVP of programming Patrick Davis says, “‘The Eagle’ is delivering yet another stellar lineup to kick off the summer concert season with BFD 2020.  Fans of ‘97.1 The Eagle’ always expect a great lineup and this year’s will not disappoint them.”

Monday, January 13, 2020

| January 13, 2020

Monday Memo: CES2020.  In his annual TALKERS report on the massive tech event formerly-known-as “The Consumer Electronics Show,” consultant Holland Cooke sees opportunities for radio broadcasters.  Read it here.

U.S.-Iran Tensions, UIA Flight PS752 Downing/Tehran Protests, 2020 Presidential Race, Harry and Meghan Saga, Australia Bushfires/Climate Change, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The tensions between the U.S. and Iran in the aftermath of the U.S.’ killing of Qassem Soleimani; Iran’s shooting down of Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 and protests in Tehran against the Iranian regime; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in November; the royal saga in Great Britain as Harry and Meghan look to leave their royal roles; the devastating Australian bushfires and the question of whether climate change is a factor; and the NFL’s playoff games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Bob Mackay to Lead Entercom Austin. Sales and management pro Bob Mackay is promoted to senior vice president and market manager for Entercom’s Austin station group that includes news/talk KJCE “Talk Radio 1370” and music brands KKMJ “Majic 95.5,” KAMX “Mix 94.7,” and KKMJ-HD3 “The New Hot 95.9.”  He was most recently general sales manager for Entercom’s Houston operations.  Entercom regional president Brian Purdy states, “Bob has earned the trust and respect of his teams and clients alike and we are thrilled he is remaining at Entercom.  As general sales manager he delivered outstanding results and we are excited for him to bring his energy and drive to Austin.”

Alana Lujan Joins Entercom for DOS Role in Houston. As referenced in the story above, Bob Mackay’s promotion to lead Entercom’s Austin cluster left his director of sales post open at the company’s Houston station group.  The company announces that Alana Lujan will assume the DOS post, effective January 27.  She’ll oversee sales for sports talk outlets KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” and KIKK-AM “CBS Sports Radio 650” and four music-formatted stations. She was most recently director of sales for Cox Media Group.  Entercom Houston SVP and market manager Sarah Frazier comments. “Alana is well respected in the market due to her extraordinary ability to lead sales efforts and I’m happy to bring her back home to Houston.  Her recent experience in digital sales will be an especially valuable asset as we continue to develop new and innovative ways to serve our clients through RADIO.COM.”

KMG Utopia Studios to Launch Podcast for Bourbon Aficionados. Louisville-based bourbon expert and editor-in-chief of Bourbon+ Magazine Fred Minnick will host “The Fred Minnick Show” being produced by Krantz Media Group’s KMG Utopia Studios.  Minnick also produces the Bourbon & Beyond music festival and just inked a deal with Shelter Music Group management firm.  A story by Sarah Shadburne in Louisville Business First says the podcasts consist of interviews with musicians for whom he paired a bourbon.  “Minnick got the bulk of his interviews at [music festivals] Bourbon & Beyond, Hometown Rising, and Louder Than Life, with the help of Gary Krantz, founder of Krantz Media Group.  It set up a small studio in the artist area each weekend of festivals for Minnick’s interviews.”  Shadburne quotes Krantz saying, “We feel [it’s] a unique offering.  Those three festivals are so unique in combining the bourbon lifestyle and music …that’s why artists love to talk with Fred, because it’s a different kind of interview.”

Former AE Sues Entercom for Sex-Based Discrimination, Breach of Contract and More.  As an account executive, Maria McBride worked for sports talk WIP-FM, Philadelphia from April 2011 through September 2018.  The station was owned by CBS RADIO for most of that period.  In her suit against Entercom, she alleges she was overworked tending to promotions because of failure on the promotions department to staff events.  When she asked for help and complained, she says her complaints were met with hostility.  She states she developed health issues as a result of her working conditions and alleges the company did nothing to help.  She also claims she was denied a bonus in violation of her contract and eventually fired.  She’s seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

Galaxy Communications Makes Upstate NY Programming Moves. Syracuse radio personality and programmer Rainman is leaving his afternoon drive show on Galaxy’s simulcast WKRL, Syracuse/WKLL, Utica  “KROCK” and will focus on “The Sportszilla Show” heard on WTLB-AM/WRNY-AM/W243DY, Utica “ESPN” from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm and on WTLA-AM, Syracuse from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm.  Meanwhile, Big Smoothie moves from evenings on “KROCK” to PM drive and Rainman shifts to the evening show.  Galaxy CEO and president Ed Levine comments, “With these two promotions, we get to improve both ‘ESPN’ and ‘KROCK.’   Rainman is getting to fulfill his longtime dream of doing sports talk fulltime and Big Smoothie is getting to fulfill his goal to be back on the radio in afternoons fulltime.”

TALKERS News Notes. Via a press release, Premiere Sports Network’s says FOX Sports Radio personality Colin Cowherd had a successful 2019.  Premiere reports that “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” podcast amassed more than 70 million total listens in 2019.  “The Herd” radio show experienced “double-digit growth in December 2019,” with average quarter hour audience increasing +43% with Adults 25-54 and +51% with Men 25-54. (Source: Nielsen Audio, PPM, Exact Times, AQH, Dec. ‘19 vs. Dec. ’18).  The radio show airs simultaneously on FOX Sports Radio, iHeartRadio, and FS1 from 12:00 to 3:00 pm ET…..The nationally syndicated “Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk” show adds new affiliates KMZQ-AM, Las Vegas and KMAD-AM, Madill, Oklahoma to its roster of stations…..Podcast producer Cadence13 is launching a new program called, Unlocking Us, hosted by internationally renowned researcher and five-time #1 New York Times bestselling author, Dr. Brené Brown.  The series is scheduled to debut at SXSW in March with two stage appearances featuring Brown in conversations with activist and #MeToo founder Tarana Burke, on the topic of empathy, and with Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness, on the topic of vulnerability…..Broadcasting industry executive Joel Chaseman died on Saturday (1/11) in North Bethesda, Maryland at age 93.  Chaseman was the manager of WINS-AM, New York when the station dropped the CHR format and flipped to all-news in 1965.  Shortly thereafter, he was promoted to vice president for radio for the Westinghouse Broadcasting Station Group.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Omaha, NRG Media flips KOOO from classic rock to adult hits as “101.9 The Keg.”  NRG says the station has been playing in the classic rock arena for several years, but with the addition of long-time programmer Jay Michaels, NRG Media is taking the station adult hits.  Former sister KQKQ personality Matt Tompkins will host the morning show. Crash Davis will handle middays and Mike Neville hosts afternoon drive.  NRG Media market manager Mark Shecterle says, “I am beyond excited to have Jay leading the charge from the programming and music side, while veteran on-air talent Matt Tompkins will kick-off the day with a fun, new, and entertaining morning show on ‘The NEW 101.9 The KEG.’”…..Two programming staffers have exited Cumulus Media’s New Orleans station group.  Program director Paul “Gonzo” Cannell – who was in charge of alternative WZRH “ALT 92.3,” country WRKN, and classic hits KKND – is out as is WZRH music director and afternoon drive personality Ashley Hollier…..In the Virginia Beach market, Jay West joins Max Media as afternoon drive host for adult contemporary WVBW “92.9 The Wave.”  Max Media Hampton Roads VP/GM Keith Barton says, “We at Max Media are more than thrilled to have Jay join our team.  He’s a talented and passionate radio guy through and through.”…..WWRZ, Fort Meade, Florida morning personality Eric Michaels adds program director duties for the Hall Communications-owned adult hits station.  Michael, who has been with the station for more than 19 years, says, “I’m thankful to Hall Communications for their faith and trust in me to help this family owned company continue to grow.”

December 2019 PPM Analysis:
Public Radio News/Talk

| January 8, 2020

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

LOS ANGELES —  A detailed look at public radio news/talk concludes our comprehensive four-part summary of the December 2019 ratings period.

Breakouts shown here consist of data from public radio news/talk facilities that rank in the top 20 (6+) in any PPM-market during the aforementioned November 7 through December 4-conducted sweep.

Nielsen Audio only releases audience estimates for stations subscribing to its services. As a result, ratings stats in this analysis are limited to facilities paying that company for its information.

Read More

December 2019 PPM Analysis:
Contemporary Christian

| January 7, 2020

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

LOS ANGELES — Each month, we analyze PPM ratings performances from four different formats – three in the spoken-word arena and one from the music-intensive genre.

Having already posted December 2019 PPM overviews of all-news (Friday, 1/3) and sports talk (yesterday, 1/6), we turn our attention to contemporary Christian.

The following scoreboards are comprised of contemporary Christian stations that rank in the top 20 (6+) in any of the 48 PPM-markets during the December 2019 sweep (November 7 – December 4).

In light of the fact Nielsen Audio only releases audience estimates for stations subscribing to its service, ratings information in this exclusive analysis is limited to properties paying that company for its data.

Read More

Monday, January 6, 2020

| January 6, 2020

Mike Broomhead exits KFYI, Phoenix.  In a social media post yesterday (1/5), morning drive talk show host Mike Broomhead told his listeners he will not return to the air after his holiday vacation and is leaving his talk host duties at iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFYI, Phoenix.  Broomhead had been KFYI before moving into the morning drive slot 10 years ago after Barry Young retired from the station where he’d been on air for decades.  Broomhead says in his post, “After 10 amazing years I have decided to leave KFYI.  As sure as I am that God put me there I am as sure that this is the right decision for me.  This is 100% my decision Thank all of you who have listened. I have some time to figure out what is next. Will keep you posted God Bless.”  AZCentral reports that news anchor and morning show staff member Rob Hunter appears to be handling the morning show duties for now.

Steve Cortes to Host Afternoons on WIND-AM, Chicago. According to a report by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, CNN political commentator Steve Cortes – also a member of Trump’s Hispanic Advisory Council – is the new afternoon drive host at Salem Media Group’s WIND-AM, Chicago “AM 560 The Answer.”  The 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm show had been hosted by former U.S. Rep Joe Walsh (who also hosted the 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight show on the Salem Radio Network) who left his post to run for president as a Republican.  In a statement, Salem Media Group RVP and general manager Jeff Reisman says, “The insight and political acumen that Steve will bring to our audience each day will be second to none.  As we enter this election year, Steve will provide an inside perspective on what’s happening on the campaign trail.”

WPGG Talk Radio Host Harry Hurley Signs Multi-Year Contract Extension to Remain with Townsquare MediaTALKERS magazine Heavy Hundred member Harry Hurley signs a multi-year contract extension with Townsquare Media to continue to host his long-running “Hurley in the Morning” program.  Hurley also serves as the senior programming consultant for WPGG.  Hurley, who has been with Townsquare Media since July of 1992, says, “I am pleased to have enjoyed such rare longevity with one company.  It’s a blessing that I have never taken for granted.  I love the people that I have the privilege to work with at all levels of the company for nearly three decades.  We are presently living history.  I appreciate the opportunity to continue to be a part of the vital spoken-word format in our country.” Hurley presently serves as one of the rotating hosts for the FOX News Radio nationally syndicated radio show, “FOX Across America,” that airs from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET and fills in on other FOX News Radio programs.

Mike Francesa’s ‘Mike’s On’ Show Debuts on RADIO.COM Today at 5:00 pm ET. We knew that New York sports talk radio star Mike Francesa was destined for Entercom’s RADIO.COM platform in addition to his half-hour show airing on WFAN.  Now, Entercom reveals that his “Mike’s On” show will stream live from 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm daily, with the 6:00 pm to 6:30 pm portion also airing on WFAN.  Entercom chief digital officer J.D. Crowley says, “Mike Francesa is a pillar in sports radio who has played an integral part in driving sports conversations in New York.  We’re excited to continue our partnership with Mike and offer the same unrivaled sports content our New York listeners love to a broader audience on RADIO.COM.”  Francesa says, “I’m looking forward to working with RADIO.COM in a variety of new ways and continuing my tenure on WFAN.  This new opportunity will allow me to connect with loyal listeners all over the country on both broadcast and digital and I’m looking forward to making this new show a success.”

Cumulus Flips Classic Country KBZU to FM Simulcast of KKOB-AM, Albuquerque. Albuquerque news/talk KKOB-AM already has a 50,000-watt “blowtorch” AM signal.  That signal is getting an FM partner as Cumulus Media drops the classic country format on KBZU-FM and adds the class C signal to the KKOB broadcast.  KKOB had been heard on FM translator K233CG at 94.5 FM.  Cumulus says the station “will cover all of Albuquerque, as well as Santa Fe and the adjacent suburbs.”  Cumulus Albuquerque VP and market manager Jeff Berry says, “KKOB is approaching its 100th year of serving New Mexico and what better way to celebrate than to expand our platform to a full-strength 100,000-watt FM signal?  The KKOB News Radio ‘blowtorch’ will be blasted on both AM and FM signals, giving New Mexicans easy access for news, information, UNM football and basketball, and the best on-air talent in the business.  This is a huge win for our listeners, advertisers, and partners.”  In addition to the new FM signal, KKOB is upping the news programming with a new, 30-minute morning newscast called, “The KKOB Morning Briefing,” at 5:00 am starting next Monday (1/13).  Spoken-word operations manager Jared Hart adds, “I feel fortunate to be a part of such an important moment for one of New Mexico’s biggest brands.  There are so many potential listeners who never sample AM stations, so we can now put our amazing programs in front of the largest possible audience.”

PPM Analysis: Sports TalkTALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s December 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk.  The period leading up to the holidays usually does not help spoken-word stations in the ratings battle and this year was no different, with 67% of sports stations in PPM markets faltering from the November survey to the December survey while just 20% improved.  Stations showing increased weekly 6+ AQH shares were linked to successful football campaigns. Entercom’s WJZ-FM, Baltimore (the NFL’s Ravens) was up by six-tenths; iHeartMedia’s KFXN, Minneapolis (the NFL’s Vikings) rose five-tenths; and Tegna’s WBNS-FM, Columbus (Ohio State Buckeyes) was also up five-tenths.  However, comparing year-over-year ratings, 65% of sports talkers improved, led by KFXN, Minneapolis (up 2.1 shares); Entercom’s KWFN, San Diego (up 1.5 shares); and Cumulus Media’s KNBR, San Francisco (up 1.1 shares).  KFXN was the only sports station to rank #1 in its market in December.  WBNS-FM ranked #2 and Entercom’s WIP-FM, Philadelphia ranked #3.  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Monday Memo: Pay Attention (They don’t).  Broadcasters have never had more competition for listener mind-share.  In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke offers some NEWS Year’s Resolutions.  Read it here.

U.S.-Iran Tensions, Trump Impeachment, 2020 Presidential Race, Financial Markets and the Economy, Weinstein Trial, and 2020 Golden Globe Awards Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The aftermath of the U.S.’ killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani; the impeachment articles against President Trump; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in November and the rise of Michael Bloomberg in the polls; financial markets activity and the state of the U.S. economy; today’s start of the trial of Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein; and Sunday night’s Golden Globe Awards were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. The nationally syndicated Chad Benson show announces it is moving its live broadcast time to 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET, effective Monday. January 20.  Radio America says that a re-feed at 6:00 pm ET will continue.  Radio America says, “Since launching Chad into national syndication in 2015, the show has increased in popularity and audience growth and has been a major factor in building audience growth on its affiliates in the A25-54 demo.  As a result, many stations have requested the show’s live feed time be earlier in the day going into this important election year.”  Stations wishing to upgrade to the new time slot may contact Radio America at affiliates@radioamerica.com…..It appears as if President Trump tipped America that Rush Limbaugh and syndicator Premiere Networks have agreed to a new, four-year deal to continue the nationally syndicated “Rush Limbaugh Program.”  At his Miami rally, Trump told the crowd that Limbaugh had signed the new deal.  Premiere confirmed to CNN Business that there is a new contract but did not specify its length…..PodcastOne is announcing that three of its podcasts are reaching the 100-episode milestone.  Celebrity/influencer-headlined podcasts, “House of Kim” with Bravo star Kim Zolciak; “Make Speidi Famous Again” with the reality TV couple Spencer and Heidi Pratt; and “Cold Case Files,” in partnership with A&E, all hit the 100-episode mark this month.  PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz says, “PodcastOne’s great strength has always been picking the hits and future hits while building our network and creating financial success for our partners.  Congrats to Kim, Spencer and Heidi, and A&E on this terrific achievement.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Philadelphia, Beasley Media Group names Matt Cord host of the midday show at classic rock WMGK, taking over for Debbi Calton, who retired last month after 26 years on the station.  Cord has been on air in Philly on rock WMMR-FM and WBEN-FM.  He says, “I’m so thrilled to continue Debbi Calton’s incredible legacy with the WMGK workplace audience.  I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to work side-by-side with Philly radio legend John DeBella and longtime afternoon drive personality Andre Gardner!”…..Entercom ups Orphan Andrew to assistant program director and music director for CHR KUDL, Sacramento “106.5 The End.”  He’ll continue to host the station’s midday show.   Entercom Sacramento SVP and market manager Stacey Kauffman says, “Since joining ‘106.5 The End,’ Orphan Andrew has demonstrated his passion for the station and our listeners, and his promotion to APD and music director is a direct result of that.  His long-standing relationship with his audience and broad understanding of pop culture makes him the ideal candidate.  I’m excited to continue to see his positive energy and spirit in the hallways and hear what he can add to one of America’s most successful top 40 brands.”…..Cumulus Media announces a new air talent lineup at country KRMD, Shreveport, Louisiana that includes morning show “Melinda and Mason” – with Melinda Coyer and Mason Stanfield.  Stanfield joins Coyer and Cumulus Shreveport from Adams Radio Group in Las Cruces, New Mexico where he was afternoon personality and music director at country KGRT and morning host for classic rock KSNM.  Current morning co-host Mike Martindale is moving to afternoon drive on KRMD…..WSYR-TV, Syracuse news anchor Christie Casciano is providing news updates three times each morning on Galaxy Media’s adult contemporary WZUN, Syracuse “Sunny 102.”  Casciano will join morning host Rick Gary at 7:00 am, 7:30 am, and 8:00 am each day.  She says, “Even though I anchor the late-night news on television, I still have a passion for morning radio – which is where I got my start in this business, thanks to Rick.  Rick and I will be committed to delivering you up to date local news and events that touch our community, keeping you informed, and hopefully giving you a reason to smile on your way to work and school.”…..Reach Media launches the hip hop morning radio show, “The Morning Hustle,” now available in syndication.  Reach calls it “the freshest program in broadcasting with an entertaining, humorous, and informative take on urban pop culture from the Millennial and Generation Z point of view – meant to wake up its audience to the beat of today’s hip hop.  The talent lineup includes: HeadKrack, Angie Ange, “On-Air” Jordan, Lore’l, and Billy Sorrells.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

| December 19, 2019

KNUS, Denver’s Chuck Bonniwell and Julie Hayden Fired for School Shooting Joke. The midday “Chuck & Julie” show has been cancelled from the program lineup at Salem Media Group’s news/talk KNUS, Denver after Chuck Bonniwell’s ill-advised joke about school shootings.  Bonniwell, who co-hosts the show with his wife Julie Hayden, was transitioning from a break back into programming and said – in an effort to express his weariness with the impeachment story – “You wish for a nice school shooting to interrupt.”  Julie Hayden was quick to interject, “Don’t even – don’t even say that. No, don’t even say that.  Don’t call us. Chuck didn’t say that.”  Then Bonniwell added “…which no one would be hurt.”  Station management later issued the following statement: “Given the history of school violence that has plagued our community, 710 KNUS confirms that an inappropriate comment was made on the ‘Chuck & Julie’ show by co-host Chuck Bonniwell.  A programming decision was made to end the program immediately.”  For his part, Bonniwell said via Twitter: “I made an inappropriate comment meant as a joke.  I’m sorry it was not received that way.”

Jim Vicevich Retires from WTIC-AM, Hartford; Will Mariotti to Assume Late Morning Show. Hartford talk radio host Jim Vicevich is leaving his role as late morning talk host on Entercom’s news/talk WTIC-AM due to his ongoing battle with Lupus.  Today is his last show.  WTIC personality Will Mariotti will become the permanent 9:00 am to 12:00 noon host.  Entercom Hartford SVP and market manager Stephanie Perl says, “We would like to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to Jim, who has dedicated over 15 years of his career to the people of Hartford.  He has developed a strong bond with the local community through the show ‘Sound Off Connecticut’ and is a true media icon in the market.  We thank him for all of his contributions to our station and local community and wish him all of the best.”  Vicevich says, “While I’m sad to be leaving due to my Lupus, I’m happy that I’ve had the opportunity to entertain and interact with our audience for over 15 years.  I’m honored to be a part of this station’s great history.  Very few people have had the chance to get behind the same microphone of other WTIC greats like Bob Steele and Ray Dunaway.  Thank you to everyone who has played a role in making my time here special.”  Will Mariotti adds, “From the time I first filled in for Jim and all the way through working with him weekly in 2017 and 2018, I was always impressed by his knowledge and professionalism.  I know I have huge shoes to fill, but my time with Jim has prepared me for the next chapter of our daytime show.  I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to connect with our listeners every day.”

Chris Carlin to Host Nights at ‘ESPN New York.’ After months of speculation about what the New York City sports talk scene will look like in the New Year, another piece of the puzzle fits into place as former WFAN “The Fan” personality Chris Carlin will assume hosting the evening show at ESPN’s WEPN-FM “ESPN New York” on January 2.  “Carlin at Night” will air from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm.  Carlin was one-third of the show hired to replace Mike Francesa in afternoons on Entercom’s WFAN.  But Francesa returned to WFAN a few months after leaving and Carlin, Bart Scott and Maggie Gray were moved to the early afternoon daypart.  Then, in August Carlin was let go.  Back at WEPN, Alan Hahn is moving from nights to middays, reportedly to co-host with Bart Scott, who leaves WFAN and partner Maggie Gray this month to join WEPN.  Across town, WFAN has already announced that Gray and Marc Malusis are the new midday show and Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts are the new PM drive show.

Ivy Savoy-Smith to Lead Entercom Washington, DC. Vice president and director of sales Ivy Savoy-Smith is promoted to SVP and market manager for Entercom’s Washington, DC station group that includes sports talk WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan,” four music brands, and more.  She takes over for Phil Zachary, who exited the position last month. Entercom CRO and regional president Bob Philips says, “During her time here at Entercom, Ivy has embodied leadership, strategic thinking, accountability and hard work.  She is a forward thinker who has produced undeniable results and we are excited to have her lead Entercom Washington D.C. into the new decade.”  Savoy-Smith comments, “I’m grateful to Bob for giving me this opportunity to begin this new chapter of my career.  Working at Entercom has been an unbelievable experience and I look forward to putting my stamp on the D.C. cluster and leveraging the power of radio to continue to give back to the local community.”

Edison: Moms Have ‘Complicated Relationship’ with Social Media. According to a new study from Edison Research titled, “Moms on Social Media 2019,” mothers are big social media users – 92% of U.S. moms use social media compared to 79% to the 12+ U.S. population.  And although Facebook usage has fallen among users in the U.S. according to Edison’s “The Infinite Dial 2019,” moms are not dropping Facebook.  Eighty-one percent of U.S. moms use Facebook compared to 61% of the total U.S. population.  Edison says, “Moms have two major motivators for continuing to use social media: the emotional connection it provides and the practical ways it helps them in their busy lives.  The study finds that on the emotional side, moms are using social media to stay up to date with friends, share aspects of their lives, and share their opinions.  On the practical side, moms are using social media to get information on school events, details on extracurricular activities, health and parenting advice, and find product recommendations.”  Other findings from the study include: Pinterest and Instagram have seen significant gains year-over-year.  Among U.S. moms, 63% are using Pinterest in 2019 compared to 47% in 2017, and 53% are using Instagram in 2019 compared to 37% in 2017; 80% of moms on social media say they turn to it for product recommendations, and 58% of moms on social media said Facebook is the platform they turn to first for product recommendations; 53% of moms who use social medial say there is too much negativity on social media; and regarding how they feel about social media, 26% of moms on social media say they feel annoyed, 25% say they feel addicted, and 24% say they feel concerned.  See more from the study here.

PodcastOne Shows Named to CarMoney’s Top Podcasts List. Three of PodcastOne’s car-related podcasts were named to the international list of top car podcasts by the UK-based site CarMoney.  The shows named are: “Carcast” hosted by Adam Carolla and Matt D’Andria; “Everyday Driver,” with hosts Paul and Todd; and “Spike’s Car Radio” with car enthusiast and former “Seinfeld” writer Spike Feresten.  PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz says, “Adam Carolla is the king of podcasts, so I am not surprised to see his car show on the list. ‘Everyday Driver’ has been a great partner, and Spike knows cars and he knows funny.  That’s exactly the reason why his podcast has been a solid hit for the past 2 ½ years here at PodcastOne.  I’d say more, but I’ve gotta call Spike now for some car advice and laughs.”

House Votes to Impeach Trump, 2020 Presidential Race, Obamacare Ruling, FBI Report/FISA, U.S.-China Trade Talks, Financial Markets Activity, and New Obesity Report Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/19). The vote in the U.S. House to impeach President Donald Trump on two counts and the president’s response from his rally in Michigan; the Democrats vying to challenge Trump in 2020 and the build-up to this evening’s Democratic debate; an appeals court rules the Obamacare mandate unconstitutional; the aftermath of the inspector general’s report on the FBI’s use of the FISA; the Trump administration’s trade talks with China; the record setting performances of the financial markets; and the New England Journal of Medicine report indicating half of all American adults will be obese by 2030 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. Tulsa news/talker KRMG-FM and KOKI-TV “FOX23” organized the 12th Annual Tulsa Holiday Blood Drive for the American Red Cross, taking place today (12/19).  In the past 11 drives, the program has collected 2,254 units of life-saving products (blood and platelets).  KRMG director of branding and programming Levi May says, “During the crazy holiday travel season, the American Red Cross sees a big drop in its scheduled donations and that could create a real problem for people seeking medical help during this time.  We are honored to partner with our news partners at ‘FOX23’ to help drive awareness and donations to help ensure that Green Country medical facilities have everything they need to treat our neighbors.”…..The NFL’s Minnesota Vikings and iHeartMedia Minneapolis’ KFXN, Minneapolis “KFAN 100.3” and news/talk KTLK have agreed to a five-year extension renewing the stations’ broadcast rights for Vikings preseason, regular season and postseason games.  The 2020 season will mark the 20th consecutive year “KFAN” will serve as the flagship station for the Vikings Radio Network.  iHeartMedia market president Jeff Tyler says, “My thanks to the Wilf family and all the great people we work with at the Minnesota Vikings.  They are at the top level of sports franchises and our entire team at iHeartMedia Minneapolis is thrilled to have the opportunity to continue our partnership for another five years.  Both organizations are dedicated to innovation and excellence which makes this partnership so unique and valuable.”…..SiriusXM is presenting live play-by-play broadcasts of all 41 Division I FBS and FCS bowl games this college football postseason, including ESPN Radio’s coverage of the College Football Playoff Semifinals and National Championship.  The schedule begins Friday, December 20 and concludes with the crowning of the national champion on January 13…..Former CBS News reporter and anchor Peter Maer was recently honored with a lifetime achievement award from the St. Louis Press Club.  During his more than 25 years covering national news for CBS, Maer received numerous awards, including an Edward R. Murrow Award, five Merriman Smith Awards, the IAF Cronkite Award, and more.  Maer retired from CBS News in 2015.  He was interviewed on CBS News Radio affiliate KMOX, St. Louis.  He’s pictured here (left) with St. Louis Press Club president Bill Greenblatt (right)…..Pictured below are ESPN Radio’s “Golic and Wingo” hosts Mike Golic (third from right), Trey Wingo (second from right), and Mike Golic Jr. (second from left) after teaming up with Mercedes-Benz Vans to benefit the Salvation Army.  ESPN employees in Bristol, Connecticut donated more than 300 toys and Mercedes-Benz Vans donated a new Sprinter Passenger Van for the Salvation Army to use to transport students to after-school activities. In addition to the Sprinter Passenger Van that was donated, Mercedes-Benz provided a Cargo Van that was utilized to transport the toys from ESPN’s Bristol campus to the Salvation Army.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Chicago triple A WXRT-FM, the longtime morning show with Lin Brehmer and Mary Dixon wraps, with Brehmer moving to the midday show and current midday personality Richard Milne moving to mornings.  Dixon, who according to a report in the Chicago Tribune was offered the evening/overnight news anchor position with sister all-news WBBM-AM/WCFO-FM but declined, leaves the station.  Brehmer says, “Like a veteran centerfielder who moves to first base, I look forward to batting second.  The exhilaration of being a morning companion to the families that support 93XRT offset the brutal schedule of someone who likes to go to concerts at night.  I’m not 29 anymore.  May the phrase, ‘Isn’t it past your bedtime?’ be applied to someone else for a while.”  Entercom Chicago OM and program director Greg Solk says, “93XRT has long held the reputation for playing Chicago’s finest rock, but also has enjoyed hosting Chicago’s finest jocks.  Lin Brehmer is a Chicago treasure.  All of us at the station are indebted to Lin for his 28 years of wrestling with his alarm clock.  His morning fans will now get to enjoy their best friend in the whole world sharing their workday as Lin accompanies their middle of the day rituals.  We are also blessed to have someone of Richard’s character, charm, music knowledge and wit to take over for Lin.  It’s Richard’s turn to get in early and Rock Chicago.”…..Classic hits KONO-FM, San Antonio morning drive personality Dave Rios is retiring from the station after 26 years in the position.  Prior to joining KONO-FM, Rios worked in the market as news director for rock outlet KXZL – now Spanish hits KZEP-FM…..Hubbard Radio personality Fitz is named the permanent host of “Bob Kingsley’s Country Top 40.”  He becomes the third host in the 45-year history of the national radio show.  Kingsley died in October after a battle with cancer.  The new “Bob Kingsley’s Country Top 40 with Fitz” airs on more than 300 stations worldwide and features audio from the Kingsley archives.  Skyview Networks is the exclusive network sales rep for the show.  Fitz says, “I listened to Bob Kingsley every weekend when I was a kid.  His loss is still sinking in, but I am honored to be taking the reins from the man who instilled in me a lifelong love of country music and the love of the ‘countdown.’  This moment is surreal, and I do not take the responsibility lightly.  I am excited and honored to carry his torch and hope that I can do for the next generation of country music fans what the legendary Bob Kingsley did for me…..Entercom announces that Zac Brown Band is headlining the 5th annual “The Night Before” concert at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida on February 1, 2020 – the night before the Super Bowl.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

| December 18, 2019

Cox Enterprises’ Deal with Apollo Global Management Closes. According to Jessica Saundersreport in the Atlanta Business Chronicle, Cox Enterprises’ sale of its radio, TV, Ohio print brands, and affiliated businesses to an Apollo Global Management-controlled company has closed.  The new company goes by an old name – Cox Media Group – and Cox Enterprises maintains a minority stake in the new firm.  The company is led by president and CEO Kim Guthrie and Bill Hendrich is EVP of radio.  CMG now consists of 13 television stations in 10 markets; 54 radio stations in 10 markets; three Ohio newspapers, the CoxReps TV sales division; digital ad and OTT products and services segment Gamut; and the Northwest Broadcasting 20 TV station group.

Wilson Re-Ups with Entercom’s ‘Ticket’ in Miami. South Florida sports talk host Amber Wilson signs a multiyear contract extension to continue co-hosting the midday show on Entercom’s WAXY, Miami “AM 790 The Ticket.”  Wilson co-hosts the 10:00 am to 2:00 pm “Zaslow & Amber” show with Jonathan Zaslow.  She joined the station in 2016 after serving with CBS Television in Miami and SNY in New York.  She says, “I’m very fortunate to have a job that I enjoy doing every single day and I’m thrilled to be continuing my career at Entercom.  It is an honor that [program director] Len Weiner and [SVP/market manager] Keriann Worley continue to trust me to entertain South Florida with sports talk.”

Matthew Jarecki Named PM Drive Host at ‘FOX Sports 910’ in Phoenix. At iHeartMedia’s Phoenix sports talker KGME-AM “FOX Sports 910,” Matthew Jarecki is named host of the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm show.  Jarecki comes to KGME from his most recent position with Northern Arizona University’s KLJX-LP, Flagstaff.  He also handled play-by-play and color analyst work for Lumberjacks athletics.  KGME program director Aaron Trimmer says, “Matthew is a future superstar in the sport talk world.  His perspective and unique commentary on sports make him the perfect fit to lead afternoon drive on ‘FOX Sports 910.’  We are thrilled to have him join our lineup.”  KGME briefly hired Dan Sileo to host afternoons, but he lasted just a week in the role in early September after the Phoenix Coyotes hockey club objected to Sileo’s hiring based on some of his controversial social media posts.  KGME is the flagship for Coyotes play-by-play.

Nielsen: News/Talk Top 6+ Format in PPM Markets This Year. The data from Nielsen Audio’s year-end tally of the most-listened-to formats in radio in its PPM markets shows news/talk is #1 in the 6+ demographic (9.5% weekly AQH share).  In the 25-54 demo, news/talk ranked #4 (6.7%), behind only AC (7.7%), CHR (7.6%), and country (6.8%).  However, there is an asterisk of sorts associated with these figures as Nielsen includes non-commercial, public radio news/talk in its definition of the format.  Public news/talk skews younger than commercial news/talk.  Sports talk ranked #9 in the 6+ demo and #8 in the 25-54 demo.  Nielsen used an average of data from the January through November PPM surveys.

Magnum to Acquire Three Wisconsin Signals from NRG Media. The deal between Wisconsin’s Magnum Communications and Iowa-based NRG Media will transfer news/talk WFAW-AM and adult contemporary WSJC-FM in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, along with classic hits WKCH, Whitewater, Wisconsin to Magnum.  NRG president and CEO Mary Quass says, “We have been fortunate to have worked with the great people at the stations in Fort Atkinson for many years.  The dedicated broadcasters at the stations will continue to provide the Fort Atkinson community with great local radio and know they will contribute to the success of Magnum Communications going forward.”  Magnum chief Dave Magnum adds, “I’m a sentimental person so two aspects of these acquisitions really struck me.  First, my maternal grandmother grew up on a Fort Atkinson farm.  My Mom and her remaining siblings get together at Lake Ripley each summer in her honor.  Second, we’re again getting to work with NRG.  Back in the 90s, my late wife Lynn had the chance to speak with Mary Quass several times at conventions.  She considered Mary a role model.  In 2007, five years after Lynn passed, I acquired three stations from NRG.  That transaction went as smooth as silk.  We look forward to the same outcome with the acquisitions of WFAW, WSJY and WKCH.”  KALIL & CO., INC. is the exclusive broker for this transaction.

KSCO, Santa Cruz Initiates Its Own ‘Person of the Year.’ On the heels of the controversy over youthful Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg being named Time magazine’s “Person of the Year,” Michael Zwerling-owned news/talk KSCO, Santa Cruz is creating its own “Person of the Year” award and naming President Donald Trump for the past four years.  Zwerling says, “I empathize with the president’s frustration of not being named Time magazine’s person of the year.  After all, the designation does not necessarily indicate an endorsement of its recipient’s policies – just acknowledgement that they have made the biggest impact on the news. Clearly, Donald Trump has been the most influential person in the news since 2016.  And that has not stopped.”  See all four “Person of the Year” covers here.

Impeachment, IG FBI Report Aftermath, 2020 Presidential Race, U.S.-China Trade Negotiations, Financial Markets Activity, Fiat Chrysler-Peugeot Merger Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/17). The impeachment against President Donald Trump; the aftermath of the inspector general’s report on the FBI’s use of the secret FISA court; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the trade negotiations between the U.S. and China; the record high Dow and activity in the world’s financial markets; and the merger of Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot to make the third largest auto firm were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. Appearing on fubosportsnetwork.com’s “Call It A Night” program with host Julie Stewart-Binks, WFAN, New York and Radio.com sports talk personality Mike Francesa says he’ll delve into politics during his daily, one-hour Radio.com show.  Asked why, Francesa said, “There’s not a show, there’s no political coverage anywhere that is unbiased.  It’s all biased.  It’s either left or right.  It is so significantly left or right.  Give me a network, I’ll tell you – FOX is right, MSNBC is left.  Everybody has a bias. Everybody is one or the other, most on the left, there are some rights.  There’s nothing down the middle.” Francesa’s Radio.com show will stream from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET prior to his half-hour WFAN program airing at 6:00 pm ET…..Talk radio pro Phil Valentine and his son Campbell Valentine are celebrating the fact that their podcast “The PodGOATs” has been named one of the Top 10 History Podcasts for 2019 by Podbean – a global podcast hosting site.  “The PodGOATs” is produced by Comworld Media.  Phil Valentine says, “I’m in shock, to be honest with you.  Campbell and I have worked really hard this year on this podcast.  We bill it as ‘The History of Everything,’ which is a lofty goal.  We’re closing in on episode 100 and we have over 360,000 downloads, so we’re getting’ there.”  Comworld Media will launch two more Phil Valentine podcasts in 2020…..Westwood One adds “Esports 30 with Kevin Knocke” to its Westwood One Podcast Network.  The show is an original podcast covering esports news and in-depth interviews with industry personalities, celebrities, athletes, influencers, and enthusiasts. Knocke says, “Esports is now big enough that it can’t rely on the sunshine and rainbows perspective that it’s the ‘next big thing’ so we need to understand how to develop a sustainable infrastructure for the long term.  I’ll be inviting on guests with a broad viewpoint of the industry as a whole as well as game-specific experts who are willing to take an honest look at their game and reflect on improvements needed.”…..Longtime New York City radio news pro Pat Farnack retires from Entercom’s WCBS-AM “Newsradio 880.”  Farnack also served with KYW-AM and KYW-TV in Philadelphia as well as WWDB-FM, Philly during her career.  She joined WCBS-AM in December 2000.  The WCBS website notes that Farnack also “spent time at WNBC in New York delivering news in the days of Don Imus and Howard Stern and even did a several-month stint as traffic reporter in the flying ‘N’ copter.”…..iHeartMedia and NostalgiaCon, LLC are working together to produce the NostalgiaCon Miami ‘80s pop culture convention on April 25-26 at the MANA Convention Center in Miami’s Wynwood arts district.  iHeartMedia’s participation includes sponsorship collaborations for branded activations, VIP fan experiences, contests, giveaways, and grassroots promotions…..Pictured below are actors Jamie Foxx (left) and Michael B. Jordan (center) with SiriusXM Urban View host Mike Muse (right) chatting before a live audience at SiriusXM studios in New York.  Foxx and Jordan visited on a promotion tour for their new film, Just Mercy, hitting theaters on Christmas Day.  Photo: Cindy Ord/ Getty Images for SiriusXM.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programmer and air personality Adam “Kash” Kashner moves from Cumulus Media’s Indianapolis cluster where he was APD at country WFMS-FM to Pensacola where he’s the new program director for country radio station WXBM-FM “NASH 102.7 FM.”  At the same time, Cumulus adds APD stripes to current WXBM afternoon host Matt Fisher.  Cumulus Pensacola VP and market manager Gary Mertins says, “Kash is such an up-and-coming programming talent within Cumulus and we’re so proud to have him join us in Pensacola.  He’s really done some great things and proven himself in Indianapolis.  WXBM is a heritage country station and we know that we’ve found the right person in Kash to lead it to further greatness.”…..Air personality Amanda Valentine is leaving her radio gig at Hubbard Broadcasting’s country WUBE, Cincinnati “B105” to work full time on her fitness career.  Valentine was co-host of the afternoon show with Jesse Tack, who continues the show solo.  Valentine noted on her Facebook page: “Health and fitness is a huge passion of mine.  After going through a significant weight loss journey myself, helping others on their own journeys fills my heart in ways I can’t even describe.  So, I’ve made the decision to follow my heart and devote my time and energy into helping as many people as possible discover just how life changing a healthy lifestyle can be.”…..Milwaukee non-commercial triple A WYMS-FM “88Nine” bestowed honors on the winners of its 2019 Radio Milwaukee Music Awards last Saturday (12/14).  Winners of the awards covered a wide swath of musical genres.  WYMS-FM’s 12th annual music awards were based on 6,278 votes online by area music fans and selections of ‘88Nine’ music staff and local music writers.  Station program director Jordan Lee says, “This year’s awards reflect the strong avant-garde sound that is developing here in Milwaukee.  It’s really hard to put the music of Klassik, SistaStrings, or Browns Crew in a genre box.  These new sounds are defining the sound of our city in an exciting and inspiring way.”

Thursday, December 12, 2019

| December 12, 2019

TALKERS and The Epoch Times Co-Present the Second in a Series of Talk Media Forums on US-China Relations at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.  In response to the positive feedback received about the recent “Talk Media Forum on US-China Relations” co-presented by TALKERS and The Epoch Times in New York City this past October 1 (see video here), a second installment of the event was successfully presented Tuesday morning (12/10) at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.  The conversation again focused on the US-China trade war, the Hong Kong protests, China’s human rights abuses, Huawei and the worldwide battle for 5G dominance, the North Korea nuclear threat, China’s ongoing intellectual property theft, and the long term goals and methods of the Chinese Communist Party, plus more. The 90-minute event featured a panel of three experts on the state of US-Chinese relations including Nan Su of NTDTVJoshua Philipp and Dr. Dana Cheng of The Epoch Times, plus four leading talk radio hosts – John Fredericks of the John Fredericks Radio NetworkDr. Sebastian Gorka of the Salem Radio NetworkLarry O’ Connor of WMAL, Washington, DC; and Doug Stephan of Stephan Multimedia. According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, who again moderated the discussion, “The numerous pressing issues that exist under the umbrella of US-China relations promise to be a major component of talk media conversation for years to come and it is important that its practitioners stay on top of these complex concerns free of the spin and propaganda constantly manufactured by the Communist regime in Beijing.  Our colleagues at The Epoch Times are firmly situated on the leading edge of the Chinese resistance to the Communist grasp on their homeland and serve the culture’s diaspora in the United States and around the world with bold, truthful reporting of the facts.” The Epoch Times was formed in 2000 by Chinese Americans and is now published in multiple languages around the world.  A video of the entire forum will be posted on Talkers.com within the next few days. Pictured below are (from l-r): moderator, Michael Harrison, TALKERS; Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Salem Radio Network; Dr. Dana Cheng, The Epoch Times; John Fredericks, The John Fredericks Radio Network; Doug Stephan, Stephan Multimedia; Larry O’ Connor, WMAL, Washington, DC; Josh Philipp, The Epoch Times; and Nan Su, The Epoch Times/NTDTVPhoto: Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times

KYW-AM, Philadelphia Reporter Barred from Press Conference. Maybe it was a snafu, but the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office’s explanation for KYW-AM, Philadelphia crime and justice reporter Kristen Johanson being barred from the press conference for a criminal case is inconsistent.  DA Larry Krasner was asked by fellow FOX 29 journalist Jeff Cole if Johanson had been barred from the conference and he replied, “What I can tell you is I did not bar anybody from coming to a conference.  We always enjoy having Kristen Johanson here and if there’s been some kind of miscommunication, then I’m sorry to hear that that has occurred.”  The DA offices’ spokesperson later said only reporters who requested comment on the case were notified of the press conference.  However, a reporter from the Philadelphia Inquirer who did request a comment was not invited to the press conference either.  The spokesperson then said “security protocols” were the reason Johanson was denied access to the conference.  KYW program director Alex Silverman says, “A press conference open to some members of the media should be open to all.  To deny access to a reporter who covers the crime and justice beat in our city raises serious questions about how the District Attorney’s Office views a free and fair press.”

Opinion: Gen Z Is Excited About Radio. Georgia College lecturer Chad Whittle writes in an opinion piece for TALKERS magazine about the intertest in radio he’s hearing from his students.  He says, “This semester, I have had the honor and privilege of getting to teach a course on radio broadcasting to students ranging from freshmen to sophomores.  In this course, multiple students are excited about learning more about the radio industry.  I know because they told me last semester they were interested and eager to take the class.”  Read his story here.

Slater Joins Entercom for Digital Sales Role. Sales pro Andy Slater joins Entercom as SVP of digital sales, East Coast.  He was most recently regional VP of sales for Stitcher’s Midroll Media ad sales division.  Entercom EVP of digital sales Ken Lagana says, “Andy has a tremendous track record leading sales strategy across numerous digital platforms, most recently in podcasting.  His unique combination of experience in broadcast radio and digital will prove to be a major asset as we continue developing and expanding our position as leaders in the digital audio marketplace.”

Articles of Impeachment, Inspector General’s FBI Report, 2020 Presidential Race, Jersey City Shooting, USMCA Trade Deal, and UK Election Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/11). The articles of impeachment against President Trump; the inspector general’s report on the failures within the FBI; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the aftermath of the deadly shooting in Jersey City; the Trump administration’s United States-Mexico-Canada trade deal; and Britain’s prime minister election were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. In Kansas City, Entercom appoints Josh Vernier to the Royals insider position.  Vernier had been co-host of the “Show and Vern” midday program on sports talk KCSP “610 Sports Radio” prior to the exit of co-host Ron “Show” Hughley last month.  This is a return to the Royals insider position for Vernier, who will also host the pre- and post-game shows for Royals play-by-play on KCSP.  He’ll also host the “Royals Hot Stove Show” this winter…..ESPN reports that last month, ESPN Podcasts set a new record for the month with a verified unique audience of 7.3 million, according to Podtrac.  ESPN says the total represents an increase of 28% over November 2018 and is the 11th consecutive month of year-over-year growth.  In addition, ESPN podcasts had 45.6 million downloads, up 24% from November 2018 and just shy of last month’s all-time record of 46.1 million…..iHeartMedia sports talk WYGM-AM/W245CL, Orlando “FM 96.9 The Game” is hosting a live holiday show special during the “Open Mike” morning show to benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Florida.  Former Orlando Magic head coach and current NBA TV analyst Stan Van Gundy will join the show dressed up as Santa Claus and will encourage listeners to stop by, take pictures, and donate new unwrapped toys or cash for children in the local community.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Dustin Matthews is named director of rock programming for iHeartMedia’s Washington, DC stations classic rock WBIG “BIG 100” and alternative WWDC “DC 101,” effective January 13. He comes to Washington from iHeartMedia’s Charlotte operations where he was program director and afternoon drive personality at WEND “106.5 The End.”  iHeartMedia regional SVP of programming Jeff Kapugi says, “Dustin is one of the most dynamic rock programmers in the country.  His programming expertise combined with his creativity and passion for our rock brands is unparalleled and we look forward to welcoming him to Washington, D.C.”…..Entercom announces that it has signed a new, multiyear deal with WPOW, Miami “Power 96” program director and midday host Miguel “Mijo” Irizarry for him to continue in those roles.  Entercom South Florida SVP and market manager Keriann Worley says, “‘Mijo’ has been a strong force in the ‘Power 96’ studio over the last year.  We are thrilled that he will continue to lead one of our most iconic brands in our cluster.”  ‘Mijo’ joined ‘Power 96’ in August 2017.  He assumed the role of program director in October 2018…..Tegna’s adult hits KFMB-FM, San Diego names Soleil Spigelman the new producer of “The Cantore Show.”  She says, “Becoming a part of ‘The Cantore Show’ is a big step in joining the San Diego community.  I’m from a small surfing town in the San Francisco Bay Area and I immediately feel at home here in SD.  I’m looking forward to showcasing my passion for entertaining people and sharing my kooky-yet relatable-personality with this on-air family and our listeners.”

November 2019 PPM Analysis:
Urban Contemporary

| December 9, 2019

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

LOS ANGELES — Having already posted November 2019 PPM overviews of all-news (last Thursday, 12/5) and sports talk (last Friday, 12/6), we turn our attention to a music-intensive format; this month, it’s urban contemporary.

Our four-part series will conclude with a thorough look at news/talk.

Meanwhile though, the following urban contemporary scoreboards are comprised of stations that rank in the top 20 in any of the 48 PPM-markets (6+, November 2019).

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.

Read More

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

| November 27, 2019

Round Two of November PPM’s Released. The second of four rounds of November 2019 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The November 2019 rating period covered October 10 – November 6.  Some 6+ ratings gains of note for spoken-word stations during the November survey include: Cumulus Media’s news/talk WMAL-AM/FM, Washington adds 0.6 to its weekly, AQH share for 5.7 and #4 in the market; Entercom’s sports talk WJFK-FM, Washington adds a half share to its October increase for a 4.8 share and the #8 rank; Patriots football is good to Beasley Media Group’s WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” as it adds 2.5 shares over the last three surveys for a 6.2 share and the #3 rank in the market; Entercom’s sports WXYT-FM, Detroit adds 0.8 tenths in November to land at a 5.5 share and #6 in the market; and iHeartMedia’s KFXN, Minneapolis “100.3 K-FAN” tacks a 0.5 share onto its six-month, 3.4 share surge to finish November with a 7.3 share and the #3 rank.  See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Takeaways” from these markets here.

John Shumway Leaves KDKA-AM to Focus on Television Role. Pittsburgh news pro John Shumway is giving up his role as co-host of the morning drive show on Entercom’s KDKA-AM in order to focus on his reporting position with KDKA-TV, effective today (11/27).  In a memo to staff, Entercom Pittsburgh market manager Michael Spacciapolli says, “We have worked with John to determine it is best for him to relinquish his radio responsibilities and focus his time on his extraordinary work as a general assignment reporter at KDKA-TV.  John has been the cohost of the KDKA Radio morning news for over 15 years – his tireless work ethic and news judgment has been a cornerstone of KDKA Radio mornings.  His integrity is unquestionable. Simply put, John is one the most gifted, well-respected journalists in our city.  I want to personally thank John for his tireless work over the years with us, it has been an honor to work alongside him.”  Larry Richert remains host of the morning program.

Staskiewicz Promoted to Digital PD for Beasley Boston. At Beasley Media Group’s Boston station group, Tim Staskiewicz is promoted to digital program director.  He’d most recently been responsible for managing the digital programming efforts for sports talk WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” and WKLB “Country 102.5” for the past two years.  In his new role, he adds similar duties for urban contemporary WBQT “HOT 96.9,” classic hits WROR, and classic rock WBOS “ROCK 92.9.”  Prior to joining Beasley Media Group, Staskiewicz spent six years as the digital content director for CBS RADIO’s Boston operations.

COMING FRIDAY:  Holiday Weekend Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.”   The Thanksgiving installment of the vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, will be posted Friday afternoon (11/29) on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC.  The new episode titled “Thanksgiving Weekend Edition!” will look back at the week of November 25-29, 2019 and feature guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERSBrian Sussman, talk show host, KSFO, San Francisco; Thom Hartmann, talk show host, WYD Media NetworkDoug Stephan, talk show host, Stephan MultimediaBrian Weigand, talk show host, WIQO, Lynchburg, VA; Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company; and Dr. Renee Kohanski, forensic psychiatrist/medical profession podcaster.  This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on WONK-FM, Washington, DC; WRKO, Boston; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; the Virginia Talk Radio Network and Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA. It also appears on the iHeart Radio App.  To listen to this weekend’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here.  To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.

Grayson Headed to Full-Time KMBZ-FM, Kansas City Gig? Several radio trades are reporting that longtime St. Louis-based talk radio host Jon Grayson is soon to be co-hosting the midday show with Jayme Monacelli at Entercom’s KMBZ-FM, Kansas City.  Grayson has been handling fill-in duties at the station since he exited CH Holdings’ KTRS, St. Louis a year ago.  Prior to his work with KTRS, he hosted the overnight show at Entercom’s KMOX, St. Louis that was, for a time nationally syndicated as “Overnight America.”  The KMBZ-FM website still lists Mike Wickett as co-host of the 10:00 am to 2:00 pm show.

Impeachment Hearings, 2020 Presidential Election, U.S.-China Trade Talks, Financial Markets Activity, UN Climate Change Report, Storms and Holiday Travel Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/26). The testimony in the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020 and Democrat Michael Bloomberg’s entrance into the race; the on-again trade talks between the U.S. and China; the world’s financial markets react to the U.S.-China talks; the alarming conclusions in the latest UN climate change report; and the storms affecting Thanksgiving holiday travel were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that WLS-AM personality Jenniffer Weigel is moving her late night show to the earlier 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm slot, bumping the Westwood One-syndicated Mark Levin show to 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight.  Weigel started working with the Cumulus Media station earlier this year contributing to the morning drive Mancow show…..The Long Island Nets and Hofstra University’s WRHU “Radio Hofstra University” are expanding their partnership to incorporate television production for the 2019-20 season.  The three-time Marconi Award winning station will continue as the team’s flagship radio station.  This is the first season that WRHU will partner with the Nets to produce the televised broadcasts of all 24 home games.  Students, led by WRHU’s director of operations John Mullen and general manager Bruce Avery, will work and learn as producers, audio engineers, 3-play/replay engineers, and graphics operators and coordinators.  Mark Lukasiewicz, Dean of Hofstra University’s Lawrence Herbert School of Communication, says, “The Long Island Nets have had a very fruitful relationship with Bruce Avery, John Mullen and the students of WRHU.  We look forward to working with Hofstra University on creating a best-in-league television production with our talented in-house production team.”…..In Charlotte, Entercom’s sports talk WFNZ is hosting “WFNZ’s 17th Annual Street Turkeys” – its annual food drive to benefit Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina and Loaves & Fishes.  Today, WFNZ is broadcasting 13 hours of live programming and encouraging listeners to donate turkeys, canned food, monetary donations, and non-perishable items…..Entercom news/talk WCCO, Minneapolis produced its 17th annual Union Gospel Mission Hunger Radiothon on November 18, raising more than $342,000 to benefit Union Gospel Mission Twin Cities.  Since 2003, the station has raised more than $3 million.  Pictured below is WCCO morning personality Dave Lee (right) speaking with a guest resident of the Union Gospel Mission.

Robert F.X. Sillerman Dead at 71. The former radio station owner passed away on Sunday (11/24) after suffering from respiratory illness.  Robert F.X. Sillerman is remembered in the radio business for the several radio companies he built and sold, starting with Sillerman-Morrow Broadcasting with partner “Cousin Brucie” Morrow.  He also built Capstar, partnered with Carl Hirsch’s Legacy Broadcasting, and built SFX Broadcasting, all of which he sold at considerable profits both before and during the era of consolidation.  He created SFX Entertainment after acquiring concert promotion businesses and sold it to then-Clear Channel which ultimately renamed it Live Nation.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. After recently announcing their Las Vegas residency presented by SiriusXM and their 50th anniversary tour, The Doobie Brothers are taking over SiriusXM’s Classic Vinyl channel this Thanksgiving weekend. The band will share insight behind their biggest hits and play music from their own catalogue as well as other artists and friends…..Yesterday morning (11/26), Westwood One’s internationally syndicated “The Ty Bentli Show” hosted a ‘Family Invasion’ with ACM Artist of the Decade Jason Aldean.  The whole morning was spent with Ty, TJ, and Chuck Wicks sharing a behind-the-scenes look at Aldean’s personal and road life as he prepares to spend Thanksgiving at brother-in-law Chuck’s house! Pictured below are (from l-r): Wicks, Aldean, Bentli, and TJ.

November PPM Ratings Takeaways – Round Two

| November 27, 2019

November 2019 PPM Data. Information for the November 2019 ratings period has been released for Washington (DC), Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen Audio’s November 2019 survey period covered October 10 – November 6. Managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from the PPM-markets below.

Washington, DC

Spoken-Word Formats – This proves to be a particularly strong ratings period for several spoken-word facilities in the Nation’s Capital. Included in that group is Cumulus Media news/talk WMAL, which notches a +. 6 to 5.7 (seventh to fourth, 6+), thus pulling the plug on a mini-skid in which it lost two-tenths via three down or flat trends (5.3 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 5.1, 6+). March 2019’s 6.8 represents its best 6+-stat in the PPM-era. After posting a .2 (6+) in August 2018, Radio One’s WOL “News Talk – Where Information Is Power” is unlisted for the 16th sweep in succession.

An overall +1.7 in six straight up or flat moves (3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 4.3 – 4.8, 6+), Entercom sports talk WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” continues in eighth-place. The flagship of the 2019 World Series champion Nationals registers the highest 6+-share (4.8) by any D.C. sports talk outlet in the PPM-era, besting the “old” record of 4.3, which WJFK-FM set this time last month. Radio One’s similarly-formatted WTEM “980 The Team,” which gained one-half share in September/October (.6 – .9 – 1.1, 6+), is off one-tenth to 1.0 (#19 to #20, 6+). Cumulus Media sports talk WSBN “ESPN 630 AM The Sports Capitol” adds one-tenth in back-to-back reports (.1 – .2 – .3, #30 to #29, 6+). Up until July 1, WSBN was news/talk WMAL-AM.

Wiping away September/October’s -.6 (8.0 – 7.5 – 7.4, 6+) with a November uptick of seven-tenths to 8.1 (6+),  Hubbard Broadcasting all-news WTOP-FM inches up from third to second. Before gaining one-tenth in August, WTOP-FM was an overall -2.5 in six successive down or flat sweeps (10.4 – 9.8 – 9.7 – 8.7 – 8.7 – 8.2 – 7.9, 6+). It segued to the runner-up slot in July following six straight months at #1. Having nearly tripled (+.7) its 6+ stat through five straight up or flat moves (.4 – .5 – .6 – .6 – .9 – 1.1, 6+), Entercom business news WDCH surrenders six-tenths and departs the top twenty (.5, #19 to #24).

The three most recent fluctuations by American University-owned news/talk WAMU are -.8 (8.2 – 7.4, September, 6+); +.7 (7.4 – 8.1, October, 6+); and +.8 (8.1 – 8.9, September, 6+). “The Mind Is Our Medium” repeats at #1 with its best 6+-stat since March (8.9, as well); it was tied for the top spot in August.

Washington, DC Music Formats – By adding one-half share to October’s increase of three-tenths (2.6 – 2.9 – 3.4, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WIAD completely expunges its cumulative -.8 via three downward trends in a row (3.4 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.6, 6+) as “94.7 The Drive – DC’s Greatest Hits” enters the top ten (#13 to #10). Four straight sweeps without a loss by Atlantic Gateway Communications contemporary Christian WGTS yielded an overall +2.0 (4.2 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 6.2 – 6.2, 6+), but “91.9 Christian Music Radio” forfeits 60% of that growth (5.0, -1.2, , 6+) and drops from fourth to seventh. After being a combined +.8 in September/October (5.3 – 5.6 – 6.1, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH sputters by seven-tenths to 5.4 (steady at #5, 6+); October’s 6.1 was its best 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2018’s 10.4. The September-October-November rollercoaster ride for Radio One urban AC WMMJ “Majic” has included a -.8 (8.2 – 7.4, September, 6+); +.6 (7.4 – 8.0, October, 6+); and -.6 (8.0 – 7.4, November, second to third, 6+). When WMMJ added two-tenths in July, it suspended three consecutive dips that resulted in a cumulative loss of seven-tenths (8.2 – 7.8 – 7.7 – 7.5, 6+). In addition to advancing from sixth to fifth, Howard University’s similarly-programmed WHUR adds two-tenths to 5.4 (6+), thus halting five down or flat reports in a row that accounted for a collective -1.3 (6.5 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 5.9 – 5.8 – 5.2, 6+). Off one-tenth in back-to-back reports (6.5 – 6.4 – 6.3, 6+), WHUR regained that deficit with a May pickup of two-tenths. Greater Washington Educational Telecommunications’ WETA “Classical 90.9,” which gained one-half share in September/October (3.3 – 3.6 – 3.8, 6+), returns that entire sum in November (3.3, -.5, 6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #12).

Boston

Spoken-Word Formats – Repeating October’s 3.4 (6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WRKO climbs from #12 to #11. Prior to dropping one-half share this time last month, “AM 680 – The Voice of Boston” logged nine successive up or flat trends that netted a +1.8 (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.9, 6+). Co-owned WXKS-AM “Talk 1200” loses roughly 57% (-.4) of its 6+ AQH share via three successive sweeps without an increase (.7 – .4 – .3 – .3, #29 to #30, 6+).

Owing to three upticks in succession, Beasley Media Group-owned WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” (Patriots, Celtics, Bruins) is an overall +2.5 (3.7 – 5.0 – 6.1 – 6.2, fourth to third, 6+) and has its best 6+-stat (6.2) since May’s 7.0. At the same time, Entercom-owned WEEI-FM nets +1.6 via four consecutive sweeps without a loss (3.3 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 4.4 – 4.9, seventh to sixth, 6+). This (4.9) represents the strongest 6+-showing for the Red Sox flagship in exactly one year (5.7, November 2018).

From March through July, iHeartMedia-owned news-talk hybrid WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” was locked on 5.0 (6+). It picked up one-half share in August but is down seven-tenths in three straight drops (5.5 – 5.3 – 5.2 – 4.8, fifth to seventh, 6+).

Simultaneous with Boston University news/talk WBUR recording a +1.0 (3.5 – 4.5, #11 to #8, 6+), WGBH Educational Foundation news/talk WGBH surrenders six-tenths to 3.1 (#10 to #13, 6+), thus snapping at four its consecutive string of up or flat trends that yielded a +1.5 (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.8 – 3.0 – 3.7, 6+).

Boston Music Formats – Getting a head-start on its all-Christmas music programming, Entercom adult contemporary WMJX hangs out a +1.1 to 5.8 (sixth to fourth, 6+). In the process, “Magic 106.7 – Today’s Hits/Yesterday’s Favorites” pulls the plug on four setbacks in a row that resulted in a net loss of -2.2 (6.9 – 6.4 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 4.7, 6+). “Magic” was a combined +.8 in May/June (6.1 – 6.2 – 6.9, 6+), with June’s 6.9 its highest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2018’s 14.5. Having been without an increase the past nine survey periods for a net loss of -1.1 or approximately 44% of its 6+ AQH share (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.4, 6+), Entercom CHR WODS “103.3 Amp Radio” applies the brakes with a +.3 to 1.7 (#20 to #19, 6+). The station it is chasing – iHeartMedia’s WXKS-FM “Kiss 108” – drops one-tenth (6.5 – 6.4, 6+) but is in the runner-up slot the sixth straight month. Prior to picking up two-tenths this time last month, “Kiss” was an overall -1.3 in four consecutive negative or neutral moves (7.6 – 7.2 – 6.9 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+). Stacking six-tenths onto the three-tenths it picked up in October (7.6 – 7.9 – 8.5, 6+), Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies WROR “105.7 – 80s & More” is #1 the eighth month in a row. October’s increase followed WROR’s combined -1.2 in August/September (8.8 – 7.7 – 7.6, 6+). Off a total of two-tenths in September/October (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.5, 6+), Northeast Broadcasting triple A WXRV “92.5 The River – Independent Radio” bounces back with a half-share improvement to 3.0 (#15 to #14, 6+). After gaining eight-tenths in September/October (5.6 – 5.9 – 6.4, 6+) and reaching the six-share level (6+) the third time in the last eight sweeps, iHeartMedia-owned WZLX “100.7 Boston’s Classic Rock” erodes by -1.1 to 5.3 (third to fifth, 6+). It is a somewhat similar scenario for Beasley Media Group rhythmic hot AC WBQT “Hot 96.9.” Immediately following four straight down or flat moves that led to a -1.0 (4.3 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+), “Hot” was up six-tenths in September/October (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.9, 6+) only to drop six-tenths in November (3.3, #8 to #12, 6+).

Miami

English-Language Spoken-Word Formats – The April 2019 through November 2019 topline for iHeartMedia news/talk WIOD “News Radio 610 – Miami’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” is: 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.7 (#17 to #16, 6+).

Nearly tripling its 6+ AQH share (+.7) via five consecutive upticks (.5 – 6 – .7 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4, 6+), Entercom-owned WQAM “560 The Joe” (Dolphins) continues at #23. Co-owned WAXY “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket” more than doubles its 6+-stat in October/November (.3 – .5 – .7, #29 to #27, 6+).

Albeit off one-tenth (2.3 – 2.2, 6+), Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN remains at #18.

Miami Music Formats – Within 3.0 – 3.9 range (6+) in each of the last 28 sweeps, iHeartMedia-owned WBGG dials up a half-share increase to 4.3 (ninth to eighth), as “Big 105.9 – South Florida’s Classic Rock” reaches the four-share level for the first time since August 2017’s 4.1. This marks the 11th consecutive ratings period at #1 (including a three-way tie for the lead in February) for Cox Media Group-owned adult contemporary WFEZ “Easy 93.1” and its third successive month of notching a 7.0 (6+). In fact, its June 2019 through November 2019 topline is: 7.6 – 7.3 – 7.6 – 7.0 – 7.0 – 7.0 (6+). “Easy” was down eight-tenths in February; up by that same magnitude in March; and notched an improvement of … eight-tenths in June. Entering the “Holiday” 2018 sweep, “Easy 93.1” finished on top seven straight times. Up seven-tenths in September/October (3.5 – 4.0 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary WZTU “Tu 94.9 FM” erodes by nine-tenths to 3.3 (6+) and exits the top ten (#8 to #12). Despite picking up one-tenth to 3.6 (6+), suspending eight straight negative or neutral reports that resulted in an overall -1.4 (4.9 – 4.8 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System-owned Spanish tropical WXDJ “El Zol 106.7” dips from a three-way tie at #10 to #11. Regressing by one-half share each are Entercom classic hits-oldies WMXJ “102.7 The Beach” (unchanged at #5) and Cox Media Group urban contemporary WEDR “99 Jamz” (4.7, sixth to seventh, 6+). “The Beach” is now a combined -.6 in October/November (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.2, 6+). WEDR finishes five successive up or flat reports that netted a +1.1 (4.1 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 5.2, 6+) with October’s 5.2 its best 6+-showing since January (5.2, as well). Without an increase the sixth successive sweep for a net loss of nine-tenths (3.1 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.3 – 2.2, flat at #18, 6+), Entercom’s WKIS “Kiss Country 99.9” records its lowest 6+-stat (2.2) since October 2017’s 2.1. In October, the market’s two CHRs were separated by one-tenth of a share (6+). That margin widens a bit to six-tenths in November as Cox Media Group’s WFLC “Hits 97.3” is up seven-tenths via three bumps in succession (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 3.7, tenth to ninth, 6+), while iHeartMedia-owned WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station,” which gained a collective eight-tenths in four straight up or flat trends (2.6 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.4, 6+), surrenders three-tenths (3.1, #13 to #14, 6+).

Seattle

Spoken-Word Formats – Despite being off a total of two-tenths in three successive sweeps without an increase (5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 4.9, 6+), Bonneville-owned KIRO-FM “97.3 Seattle’s News/Seattle’s Talk” moves from a three-way tie at #4 to a conventional tie at #3. At the same time, news/talk cluster-mate KTTH “Conservative Talk Radio” picks up a cumulative three-tenths via three straight positive or neutral moves (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+) and carries on at #22. Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned KVI “Talk Radio 570” posts a gain of two-tenths in back-to-back reports (.8 – 1.0 – 1.2, flat at 25, 6+).

Even though Bonneville sports talk KIRO-AM “ESPN 710” (Seahawks) notches consecutive improvements of one-tenth (3.7 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+), it backslides out of the top ten (#9 to #11). September’s increase of seven-tenths halted four straight down or flat trends that resulted in a collective -1.3 (4.3 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 3.0, 6+). Likewise, notwithstanding that iHeartMedia-owned KJR-AM more than triples (+1.2) its 6+ AQH share in four straight up or flat moves (.5 – .8 – 1.3 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+), “Seattle’s Sports Radio 950” slips from #22 to #23.  

Sinclair Broadcast Group all-news KOMO repeats October’s 3.1 (6+) and advances from #15 to #14; August’s 3.2 was its best 6+-stat since November 2017’s 3.4.

A collective -1.6 via four consecutive decreases (6.1 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 5.2 – 4.5, 6+), Northwest Public Radio news/talk KUOW answers by notching back-to-back spikes of one-half share (4.5 – 5.0 – 5.5 (fourth to second, 6+).

Seattle Music Formats – Stuck on 4.3 (6+) in August and September, Entercom-owned KISW regressed by six-tenths in October only to improve by seven-tenths in November (3.7 – 4.4, 6+); “Rock 99.9” re-enters the top ten (#11 to #8). October’s 3.7 was its lowest 6+-stat since March (3.7, as well). Tied for the lead in September and breaking the deadlock with gusto in October with a +1.4 (6.0 – 7.4, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting CHR KQMV “MOViN’ 92.5 – Seattle’s #1 Hit Music Station” tacks on four-tenths to 7.8 (6+) and is #1 the third month in a row. An overall -1.0 in four successive down or flat trends (7.0 – 6.8 – 6.8 – 6.6 – 6.0, 6+), KQMV ended the slump in June with a gain of one-tenth. “MOViN’” made it to #1 in April, the first time it reached the lead spot since November 2018. Its September penthouse partner, iHeartMedia-owned KZOK “102.5 Seattle’s Classic Rock Station,” erodes by -1.2 in November (6.1 – 4.9, 6+) and continues in second-place. June’s first-place stalemate between these two outlets was settled when KZOK gained nine-tenths in July while KQMV spiraled by eight-tenths. The roles were reversed in August as “MOViN’ 92.5” logged a +1.1 (5.3 – 6.4, third to first, 6+) but “Seattle’s Classic Rock Station” plummeted by -1.0 (7.0 – 6.0, first to second, 6+). As a result of August’s -1.0, KZOK snapped its consecutive string of eight straight spikes that produced a +3.3 (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 5.6 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 7.0, 6+). Immediately in advance of that particular run, KZOK was -1.6 in four consecutive ratings periods without an increase (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 3.7, 6+). After being up a collective seven-tenths in three consecutive reports without a decrease (4.3 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting adult contemporary KRWM “Warm 106.9” drops two-tenths to 4.8 (fourth to fifth, 6+). “Warm” was #1 in December and “Holiday” 2018. It leapfrogs Entercom’s similarly-formatted KSWD “94.1 The Sound,” which is a combined -1.1 in October/November (5.5 – 5.2 – 4.4, third to eighth, 6+), directly following its +1.1 in August/September (4.4 – 5.4 – 5.5, 6+). Prior to plummeting by -1.1 in April, KSWD was an overall +1.5 through three consecutive increases (3.7 – 3.8 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+). “The Sound” and “Warm” were separated by one-tenth in May (4.5 – 4.4, 6+); June (4.5 – 4.4, as well, 6+); and July (4.4 – 4.3, 6+). Entercom’s KNDD “107.7 The End Alternative Seattle” is a cumulative -1.3 via four straight down or flat moves (4.3 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.4 – 3.0, #13 to #15, 6+). Three improvements in a row by Entercom’s KKWF delivered eight-tenths (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.9, 6+) but “100.7 The Wolf – #1 For Country” surrenders three-tenths in November to 4.6 (6+) yet climbs from seventh to sixth. June/July’s combined -.9 (5.0 – 4.5 – 4.1, 6+) neutralized KKWF’s +.9 in May. Prior to April when it regressed by six-tenths, “The Wolf” was a cumulative +1.4 as a result of three straight upticks (3.3- 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+). Flat at #12, Hubbard Broadcasting-owned KNUC “New Country 98.9 The Bull” is a combined -1.0 in October/November (4.4 – 3.5 – 3.4, 6+). After more than doubling (+2.2) its 6+ AQH share in eight successive up or flat sweeps (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.3, 6+), “The Bull” surrendered one-tenth in August and gained two-tenths in September.

Detroit

Spoken-Word Formats – Immediately after logging six consecutive reports without an increase that resulted in a -1.7 (3.7 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.1 – 2.6 – 2.0, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WJR “News Talk 760” (Lions) has bounced back with four straight gains netting a +1.1 (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.9 – 3.1, #17 to #15, 6+).

In a similar situation, Entercom sports talk WXYT-FM was an overall -1.5 through three successive decreases (5.4 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+) but “97.1 The Ticket” vaporizes that deficit with a collective +1.6 in three bumps in succession (3.9 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 5.5, ninth to sixth, 6+).

Co-owned WWJ “News Radio 950,” however, is an overall -1.5 as a result of three successive setbacks (5.9 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.4, fifth to ninth, 6+). WWJ was #1 in March and posted a +1.1 in August.

Flat at #20, Michigan Public Media news/talk WUOM is trending 2.1 – 1.9 – 2.0 (September – October – November, 6+). Prior to September, WUOM last reached the two-share level (6+) in November 2017 (2.1, as well). As a result of four successive modest gains (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5, 6+), Wayne State University news/talk WDET is up a collective half-share and remains at #21.

Detroit Music Formats – Improving by seven-tenths each are iHeartMedia urban AC WMXD “Mix 92.3” (4.9 – 5.6, sixth to fourth, 6+) and its urban contemporary cluster-mate WJLB “97.9 – Detroit’s Hip-Hop and R&B” (#13 to #9). After trending 5.7 – 5.4 – 5.7 (July-August-September, 6+), “Mix” faltered by eight-tenths in October. Its 4.9 in October marked the first time “Mix” fell below a four-share (6+) since February 2018 (4.6). WJLB is now +1.3 through four straight upticks (3.1 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 4.4, 6+). This directly follows four straight survey periods without an increase that led to a -1.0 (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+). Not only is WNIC up six-tenths through three successive modest gains (5.6 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.2, 6+), the iHeartMedia adult contemporary marches from second to first. WNIC lost six-tenths in August (6.2 – 5.6, 6+). After its 6+ AQH share eroded by nearly two-thirds (-11.8) in four successive negative trends (17.9 – 7.1 – 6.6 – 6.2 – 6.1, 6+), WNIC answered with a May increase of four-tenths. Its “Holiday” 2018 17.9 is the largest 6+ AQH share by any Detroit station in the PPM-era. On top in December 2018 and “Holiday” 2018, WNIC more than tripled (+12.2) its 6+-share via four straight increases (5.7 – 6.2 – 6.6 – 12.2 – 17.9, 6+). Dislodged from the top spot after four consecutive months there and segueing to #4 is Beasley Media Group-owned WCSX “94.7 – Detroit’s Classic Rock,” which is -1.5 in October/November (7.1 – 6.5 – 5.6, 6+). Its June/July +.8 (6.4 – 6.5 – 7.2, 6+) followed three successive down or flat months that accounted for a -1.4 (7.8 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.4, 6+). In March, WCSX eroded by -1.3, shifting from first to second. Four straight drops by iHeartMedia classic rock WLLZ led to a collective -1.0 (4.3 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+), but “106.7 Detroit’s Wheels” ends the slide with a +.1 to 3.4 (flat at #14, 6+); WLLZ debuted in March with a 3.4 (6+). Independent urban contemporary WGPR “Hot 107.5,” which had been trending 3.0 – 2.9 – 3.0 (6+), falters by one-half share to 2.5 (#16 to #18, 6+). Even though Entercom’s WYCD has lost nine-tenths in five consecutive sweeps without an increase (5.3 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.4, 6+), “99.5 Detroit Country Music” advances from #10 to a three-way tie at #9 (with aforementioned WWJ and WJLB). Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted WDRQ “93.1 Nash FM,” which had been +1.3 through seven consecutive positive or neutral sweeps (1.6 – 1.9 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+), drops one-tenth in back-to-back reports (2.9 – 2.8 – 2.7, #18 to #17, 6+). September’s 2.9 was its best 6+-stat since May 2018’s 3.0. After posting a .8 (6+) in October, Radio One gospel WDMK-HD2 disappears from print.

Phoenix

Spoken-Word Formats – A gain of one-tenth (3.9 – 4.0, 6+) enables Bonneville news/talk KTAR-FM (Arizona Cardinals) to progress from eighth to sixth. Following October’s half-share increase, iHeartMedia’s KFYI  surrenders two-tenths to 2.5 (#15 to #16, 6+). Entering the October sweep, “News Talk 550” had lost nine-tenths via four drops in succession (3.1 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+).

A combined -1.0 in June/July (3.1 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+) and then +1.0 via three straight up or flat trends (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 3.1, Bonneville sports talk KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona Sports” is off one-tenth to 3.0 (6+) but remains at #13.

In four consecutive reports without a loss, Maricopa County Community College news/talk KJZZ gains one-half share (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+) and climbs from ninth to seventh.

Phoenix Music Formats – Down one full-share as a result of four successive sweeps without an increase (2.6 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.8 – 1.6, 6+), Farmworker Educational Radio regional Mexican KNAI “La Network Campesina” wipes away 70% of that deficit (2.3, +.7, 6+) and re-enters the top twenty (#19). Notching gains of six-tenths each are Entravision Communications’ KVVA “La Suavecita 92.7” (3.0, #18 to #13) and Family Life Communications contemporary Christian KFLR “Family Life Radio” (#23 to #19). KVVA had been trending 2.4 – 2.7 – 2.4 (6+) and has its best 6+-stat (3.0) since February’s 3.1. Before slipping by one-tenth in October, KFLR earned seven-tenths as a result of three consecutive up or flat trends (1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.8, 6+). On top the fifth time in a row, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KESZ has an August 2019 through November 2019 topline of: 7.0 – 6.7 – 7.0 – 7.1, 6+). This (7.1) is its best 6+-performance since “Holiday” 2018’s 15.0. September’s decrease suspended five consecutive improvements that netted a +1.7 (5.3 – 5.5 – 5.9 – 6.5 – 6.8 – 7.0, 6+). In four consecutive positive or neutral trends, Entercom rhythmic CHR KALV gained four-tenths (3.9 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.3, 6+), but “Live 101.5” regresses by six-tenths to 3.7 (fifth to ninth, 6+). It is tied with iHeartMedia CHR KZZP, which picks up four-tenths (3.7, 6+) and is back in the top ten (#11 to #9). Moreover, “104.7 Kiss-FM” applies the brakes to five straight decreases that accounted for a -2.0 (5.3 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.3, 6+). Prior to August’s 3.7, the last time “Kiss” fell below a four-share (6+) was “Holiday” 2017 (3.0).

Minneapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Three straight positive or neutral moves netted Entercom-owned WCCO seven-tenths (5.3 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.0, 6+), but the Minnesota Twins flagship erodes in November by -1.8 to 4.2 (6+) as “News Radio 830” fades from the top ten (#5 to #12). Hubbard Broadcasting news/talk KTMY “My Talk 107.1” posts its third consecutive modest increase for a collective gain of one-half share (2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 3.0, #16 to #14, 6+). Dropping from #14 to #15, iHeartMedia’s KTLK “Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130,” which gained six-tenths in August, has an August 2019 through November 2019 topline of: 3.0 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 2.9 (6+).

Despite being an overall +3.4 in seven straight positive or neutral moves (3.9 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 5.3 – 6.1 – 6.8 – 7.3, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KFXN “Sports Radio 100.3 K-Fan” (Minnesota Vikings) slumps from second to third. After losing two-tenths in four down or flat reports (.8 – .7 – .7 -.6 – .6, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting sports talk KSTP-AM “ESPN 1500” is up three-tenths in three sweeps in a row without a loss (.6 – .7 – .9 – .9, steady at #22, 6+).

After being off one-tenth in consecutive sweeps (6.5 – 6.4 – 6.3, 6+), Minnesota Public Radio news/talk KNOW repeats October’s 6+ AQH share (6.3) and market rank (#4).

Minneapolis Music Formats – Continuing its positive roll, University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian KTIS-FM “Always Uplifting” crosses the seven-share level (7.4, 6+) and is now an overall +1.9 in three straight upticks (5.5 – 6.0 – 6.5 – 7.4, third to second, 6+). KTIS-FM was up a combined three-tenths in June/July (6.1 – 6.2 – 6.4, 6+) but lost nine-tenths in August. Following three large decreases in a row for an overall -1.8 (7.5 – 7.0 – 6.5 – 5.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned classic hits-oldies KQQL, which was up nine-tenths in July, improves by two-tenths to 5.9 (sixth to fifth, 6+). Ousted from the penthouse in June by Hubbard Broadcasting hot AC KSTP-FM, “Kool 108” returned the favor in July, but was (again) dislodged by KSTP-FM in August. Before logging a +1.0 in May, KQQL had approximately 54% (-6.8) of its 6+ AQH share vanish through four straight negative or flat trends (12.6 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 5.8, 6+). After losing approximately half (-1.5) its 6+ AQH-share as a result of six consecutive sweeps without an increase (3.1 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 1.6, 6+), Northern Lights Broadcasting rhythmic CHR KZGO “GO-95.3” bounces back with a +.9 in October/November (1.6 – 1.9 – 2.5, unchanged at #18, 6+). Setting the pace the fourth month in succession, (aforementioned) Hubbard Broadcasting hot AC KSTP-FM is up three-tenths has gained four-tenths in October/November (7.2 – 7.5 – 7.6, 6+). “KS-95” held (or shared) the top spot in January, March, April, June, August, September, October, and November. It was +1.9 (January); -.8 (February); +.6 (March); +.5 (April); -.8 (May); and +1.1 (August). Similarly-formatted/iHeartMedia-owned KTCZ “Cities 97.1,” which logged a September 2019 – October 2019 increase of one-half share (4.5 – 5.0, 6+), forfeits seven-tenths to 4.3 (#10 to #11, 6+). Shifts this year for “Cities 97.1” include +1.2 (January) -.5 (February); +.5 (April); +.6 (July); -.9 (August); +5 (October); and -.7 (November). Off seven-tenths in November as well is Entercom country KMNB “102.9 The Wolf” (2.7, #13 to #16, 6+), which had been a combined +.6 in September/October (2.8 – 3.1 – 3.4, 6+). Flat in eighth-place, Cumulus Media rocker KXXR “93-X” is -1.4 through five straight down or flat moves (6.4 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.0, 6+).

San Diego

Spoken-Word Formats – While it repeats October’s 5.0 (6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KOGO slips from fifth to sixth. “News Radio 600” was +1.0 via three straight February through May increases; a combined -.5 in June/July; +.5 (August); -.7 (September); and +.7 (October). Tegna news/talk KFMB-AM is off four-tenths via three consecutive down or flat moves (2.5 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.1, #17 to #19, 6+). “AM 760” was an overall -.6 via three slips in succession (2.5 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+), but erased that deficit in August with a +.6 to 2.5 (6+). Following four consecutive San Diego improvements that netted seven-tenths (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.7, 6+), iHeartMedia Los Angeles news/talk KFI “AM 640” forfeits one tenth to 1.6 (6+) and continues at #22.

Down three-tenths in September/October (2.2 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+), Entercom-owned sports talk KWFN “97.3 The Fan” regains two-tenths to 2.1 (#21 to #19, 6+). In five successive reports without a loss (.8 – .8 – .8 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KLSD “Fox Sports 1360 San Diego’s Sports Station” nearly doubles (+.7) its 6+ AQH share and is anchored at #23.

Not only is San Diego State University-owned news/talk KPBS up a collective four-tenths in four straight reports without a loss (5.9 – 6.0 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+), it repeats at #1. Before falling to third in July, KPBS was on top the previous six months.

San Diego Music Formats – It has been a rollercoaster ride lately for Univision Radio regional Mexican KLNV “Que Buena 106.5,” which was +1.0 in four consecutive positive or neutral moves (5.0 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 6.0, 6+); then -1.7 via three consecutive dips (6.0 – 5.8 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+); and now +.7 in November (5.0, eighth to sixth, 6+). With its best 6+-stat (3.5) since May’s 3.6 (6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary KSSX “JAM’N 95.7” notches its third straight spike for an overall +1.0 (2.5 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.5, #15 to #11, 6+). Conversely, co-owned KIOZ “Rock 105.3” has lost a collective nine-tenths as a result of three dips in succession (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.4, #16 to #18, 6+). Sliding from seventh to eighth, Entercom’s KSON “103.7 San Diego’s #1 New Country” carries on its alternating down/up pattern that began in June (4.5 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.7 – 4.3, 6+). Four decreases in a row by iHeartMedia-owned KGB-FM “101.5 San Diego’s Classic Rock” account for a cumulative -1.1 (4.5 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 3.5 – 3.4, #11 to #12, 6+). When KGB-FM posted a 3.5 (6+) in October, it marked the first time since “Holiday” 2018’s 3.8 that the station had fallen below a four-share.

Tampa

Spoken-Word Formats – Down one-tenth in October, Cox Media Group news/talk WHPT responds with a November uptick of six-tenths (2.7 – 3.3, #17 to #14, 6+). Entering the October sweep, “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” gained one-half share through four consecutive up or flat trends (2.3 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+). Slipping from #13 to #15, iHeartMedia-owned WFLA “970 Tampa Bay’s News Radio” is off a combined six-tenths in October/November (3.8 – 3.6 – 3.2, 6+), immediately after three successive increases netted eight-tenths (3.0 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.8, 6+).

A loss of six-tenths (2.6 – 2.0, #18 to #19, 6+) takes iHeartMedia-owned sports talk WDAE “620 Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” (Buccaneers) to its lowest 6+-showing (2.0) since March’s 1.7.

In three consecutive (modest) spikes, University of South Florida news/talk WUSF is up one-half share (1.7 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 2.2, 6+) and advances from #20 to #18.

Tampa Music Formats – An overall -1.6 in three drops in a row (6.7 – 6.6 – 5.2 – 5.1, 6+), Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies WRBQ “Q-105” ends the slide with a +.4 to 5.5 (fifth to third, 6+). Adult contemporary boasts a #1/#2 November 2019 finish, with both stations in the Cox Media Group cluster. Recapturing slightly more than one-third of October’s mammoth -2.0 with a +.7 (7.9 – 8.6, 6+), WDUV “Lite Favorites” is #1 the 87th straight time. It’s not the first time that “Lite Favorites” has had a shift of seven-tenths recently. Up seven-tenths in September (9.2 – 9.9, 6+), WDUV faltered by seven-tenths in June. WDUV’s 13.7 in “Holiday” 2018 is the highest 6+-stat by any Tampa station since its 14.9 in “Holiday” 2015. Meanwhile, co-owned fellow AC WWRM “Magic 94.9 Tampa Bay’s Best Music,” which had been +1.3 via three successive positive or neutral moves (4.7 – 5.2 – 6.0 – 6.0, 6+), drops four-tenths to 5.6 (6+) yet progresses from third to second. “Magic” eroded by -1.0 in July to 4.7, its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 3.9. September and October’s 6.0 is WWRM’s best 6+-showing since April’s 6.2. Improving by one-half share each are co-owned CHR WPOI “Hot 101.5” (4.2- 4.7, tenth to sixth, 6+) and iHeartMedia hot AC WMTX “Mix 100.7” (3.8, #14 to #12, 6+). WPOI’s half-share increase in October curtailed four successive down or flat sweeps that accounted for a loss of eight-tenths (4.5 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+). Directly after logging three straight improvements that yielded a +1.4 (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 5.4, 6+), “Mix” was -2.1 in four successive decreases  (5.4 – 5.0 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+). On the heels of being an overall +1.0 through three upticks in succession (5.1 – 5.4 – 6.0 – 6.1, 6+), Cox Media Group’s WXGL surrenders eight-tenths to 5.3 (second to fourth, 6+). Just prior, “107.3 The Eagle – Tampa Bay’s Classic Hits” was a cumulative -2.4 in four straight negative or neutral moves, (7.5 – 6.6 – 6.6 – 5.7 – 5.1, 6+). From February through August, Beasley Media Group rhythmic CHR WLLD was an overall +1.1 via six successive up or flat trends (3.6 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.7, 6+). “Wild 94.1” was off three-tenths in September; up one-half share in October; and now sputters by six-tenths in November (4.9 – 4.3, sixth to ninth, 6+). Co-owned WQYK “99.5 Tampa Bay’s New Country Hits” spirals by -2.2 in four drops in succession (6.6 – 6.3 – 6.1 – 4.9 – 4.4, 6+), tumbling from sixth to eighth. It is overtaken by iHeartMedia’s WFUS “US-103.5 Tampa Bay’s #1 for New Country,” which is up a combined six-tenths in October/November (3.9 – 4.3 – 4.5, ninth to seventh, 6+). October’s improvement interrupted three successive dips that accounted for a cumulative loss of eight-tenths (4.7 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 3.9, 6+), Prior to September 2019 (3.9), the last time WFUS dropped below a four-share (6+) was September 2017 (3.8, 6+).

Denver

Spoken-Word Formats – The ascension of iHeartMedia news/talk KDFD continues as “Freedom 93.7 – Real News, Real Talk” registers its fifth spike in succession for a +2.5 since June (.1 – .2 – .8 – 1.1 – 2.1 – 2.6, 6+) and progresses from #18 to #17. It overtakes news/talk cluster-mate KOA “Colorado’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” (Broncos), which picks up one-tenth to 2.5 (#17 to #18, 6+), thus snapping at four its consecutive string of decreases that accounted for an approximately 54% erosion (-2.6) of its 6+ AQH share (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.0 – 3.0 – 2.4, 6+). Owing to four successive down or flat reports, co-owned KHOW “Talk Radio 630” has lost one-half share (1.5 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.0 – 1.0, flat at #23, 6+).

An overall +1.3 through four gains in a row (2.4 – 2.5 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.7, 6+), Bonneville-owned KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” surrenders one-half share to 3.2 (#13 to #14, 6+). KSE Radio Ventures’ KKSE-FM “Attitude Sports Radio 92.5” is off one-half share (1.4 – 1.3 – .9, #22 to #24, 6+), following September’s +1.0. Prior to September (2019), KKSE-FM last reached a one-share (6+) in September 2018 (1.0).

Although down one-tenth (5.4 – 5.3, 6+), Colorado Public Radio news/talk KCFR progresses from third to second. KCFR was -1.6 in June and +.8 in July. In six consecutive reports without an increase, KUNC lost more than 70% (-1.3) of its 6+ AQH-share but the Community Radio for Northern Colorado news/talk outlet is now up three-tenths via three straight sweeps without a loss (.5 – .5 – .7 – .8, flat at #26, 6+).

Denver Music Formats – Not only does Entercom hot AC KALC jump from ninth to fourth, “Alice 105.9” gains eight-tenths in three consecutive sweeps without a loss (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.9, 6+). This is the fifth successive up or flat report for Colorado Public Radio classical-formatted KVOD, which is +1.6 in that stretch (.9 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.5, #19 to #18, 6+). Tied at #15 are two stations pulling the plug on fairly similar negative streaks. More specifically, Entercom rhythmic CHR KQKS was an overall -2.0 in six consecutive sweeps without an increase (4.6 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 2.6, 6+), but “KS-107.5” ends the skid with a +.3 to 2.9 (#16 to #15, 6+). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s country-formatted KWBL “106.7 The Bull” was off nine-tenths in three successive dips (3.7 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 2.8, 6+) but picks up one-tenth (2.9, flat at #15, 6+). Immediately prior to this streak, “The Bull” notched a +1.7 in three straight improvements (2.0 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+). July’s 3.7 was KWBL’s highest 6+-stat since it switched to country in mid-December 2017. Entercom-owned KQMT is up one-tenth to 4.7 (6+) and continues in sixth-place. Following an August-only stay at #1, “The Mountain” was a combined -1.6 in September/October (6.2 – 5.6 – 4.6, 6+). Its successive string of positive or neutral moves that produced a +1.5 ended at five (4.7 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 6.2, 6+). August 2019’s 6.2 was the highest 6+-stat for KQMT since 6.6 in August 2018. By gaining one-half share (1.4 – 1.9, 6+), Max Broadcast Group Holdings’ rhythmic hot AC KJHM “Jammin’ 101.5” has its best 6+-stat (1.9) since February’s 2.1 and cracks the top twenty (#20). After back-to-back (September and October) stays at #1, KYGO segues to a tie at #2; the Bonneville-owned country station is a combined -.9 in October/November (6.2 – 6.1 – 5.3, 6+). KYGO occupied the top spot in June and July, as well. KYGO regressed by seven-tenths in May and then posted a +1.0 in June. Taking over the lead position is iHeartMedia’s KRFX “Classic Rock 103.5 The Fox,” which crosses the six-share threshold and is up a collective four-tenths as a result of four successive positive or neutral trends (5.7 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 6.1, second to first, 6+). In addition to KYGO, iHeartMedia alternative KTCL “Channel 93.3” falters by eight-tenths as well (5.2 – 4.4, fourth to eighth).

Baltimore

Spoken-Word Formats – In addition to racking up an overall +1.1 via four jumps in succession (1.8 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.9, unchanged at #12, 6+), Hearst Television’s news/talk WBAL “News Radio – Expect More” (Ravens) posts its strongest 6+-stat (2.9) since March 2018’s 3.3. It has a lead of eight-tenths over similarly-formatted independent news/talk WCBM “680 Stimulating Talk – Breaking News,” which was up eight-tenths in September/October (1.4 – 1.7 – 2.2, 6+), but drops one-tenth to 2.1 (flat at #13, 6+). Cumulus Media Washington, DC news/talk WMAL-FM returns October’s +.1 (.1 – .2 – .1, 6+) but stays at #29.

Within 2.2 – 2.8 range (6+) in each of the last eight sweeps, Entercom sports talk WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan” is flat at 4.3 (6+), slipping from eighth to ninth.

WJZ-FM’s business news sibling WDCH loses more than 60% of its 6+ AQH share (1.3 – .5, -.8, 6+) and plummets from the top twenty (#16 to #27).

In addition to netting +1.2 through four successive increases (2.6 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8, 6+), Your Public Radio news/talk WYPR “88.1 Your NPR News Station” cracks the top ten (#11 to #10). Down or flat in four straight Baltimore reports that led to a loss of one-half share (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – .8 – .7, 6+), American University-owned news/talk WAMU picks up one-tenth to .8 (#25 to #21, 6+).

Baltimore Music Formats – Five consecutive Baltimore sweeps without a loss by iHeartMedia-owned WBIG “Big 100 – Washington’s Classic Rock Station” have netted one-half share (.7 – .8 – .8 – .9 – 1.1 -1.2, #17 #16, 6+). Answering  October’s loss of eight-tenths with a November uptick of six-tenths (9.1 – 8.3 – 8.9, 6+), Radio One urban AC WWIN-FM “Magic 95.9” is #1 the sixth successive month. A combined +1.8 in June/July (7.3 – 8.1 – 9.1, 6+), “Magic” reached the nine-share level (9.1, 6+, July) for the first time since January’s 9.0. Meanwhile, three setbacks in succession by co-owned urban contemporary WERQ account for a collective -1.5 (8.4 – 7.5 – 7.4 – 6.9, 6+) and “92-Q Jams” has its lowest 6+-showing (6.9) since “Holiday” 2018’s 6.7. Nonetheless, WERQ is in the runner-up slot the sixth time in a row. As a result of posting three consecutive gains, Hearst Television’s WIYY was a collective +1.7 (4.7 – 5.1 – 5.5 – 6.4, 6+) but “98 Rock” falters by one-half share in November to 5.9 (third to fourth, 6+). The July 2019 through October 2019 topline of iHeartMedia CHR WZFT was 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.7 (6+) but “Z-104.3 Baltimore’s #1 Hit Music Station” drops three-tenths to 3.4 (6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #11). In the Baltimore report, co-owned Washington, DC adult contemporary WASH is trending 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.1 (July – August – September – October – November, #17 to #18, 6+). Entercom gospel WLIF-HD2 has lost 65% (-1.3) of its 6+ AQH share in four consecutive slips (2.0 – 1.9 – 1.5 – 1.0 – .7, #21 to #23, 6+). This is the 16th sweep in a row that Peter and John Radio Fellowship contemporary Christian WRBS-FM is unlisted; “95.1 Shine FM – Baltimore’s Positive Hits Station” was #13 in August 2018 (2.6, 6+).

St. Louis

Spoken-Word Formats – The truly wild ride continues for Entercom news/talk KMOX. “The Voice of St. Louis” was an overall -2.3 in four successive April through August losses (7.3 – 6.6 – 6.2 – 5.2 – 5.0, 6+); then +2.2 in September/October (5.0 – 6.4 – 7.2, 6+); but is now -2.5 in November (7.2 – 4.7, second to ninth, 6+). Its -2.5 is the largest October 2019 to November 2019 decrease by any station in the 24 PPM-markets released thus far. In four successive sweeps without a loss, co-owned KFTK “FM News Talk 97.1” is a collective +1.3 (2.3 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.6, #17 to #16, 6+).

Not only is Hubbard Broadcasting sports talk WXOS an overall +1.8 as a result of four successive upticks (3.1 – 3.3 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.9, 6+), “101 Sports” rockets into the top ten (#15 to #7).

On the heels of October’s increase of eight-tenths (3.3 – 4.1, 6+), University of Missouri news/talk KWMU drops one-tenth to 4.0 (#13 to #15, 6+).

St. Louis Music Formats – The four most recent shifts by iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLOU “103.3 St. Louis’ Greatest Hits” are +.9 (August); -.9 (September); +.9 (October); and +.5 in November (5.9 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 6.8 – 7.3, third to second, 6+). This (7.3) is its best 6+-stat since February’s 7.6. In addition to being an overall +1.2 in three successive spikes (8.6 – 9.3 – 9.5 – 9.8, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting-owned KSHE “95 Real Rock Radio” is #1 the seventh consecutive month. In February, KSHE was tied at the top with aforementioned KLOU and took sole possession of first-place the following month. “Real Rock Radio” had to share the lead again in April but that time, it was with Entercom news/talk KMOX. Some of KSHE’s recent shifts include: +2.0 (January 2019); -.5 (February); +1.3 (March); -1.6 (April); +.9 (June); and +.7 (September). Following three consecutive down or flat reports for an overall loss of eight-tenths (5.4 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.6, 6+), Entercom hot AC KYKY “Y-98” notches a +.2 to 4.8 (ninth to eighth, 6+). October’s 4.6 was its lowest 6+-stat since February (4.6, as well). Regressing by one-half share each are Hubbard Broadcasting adult hits WARH “106.5 The Arch” (flat at #6) and Gateway Creative Broadcasting contemporary Christian KLJY “99.1 Joy FM” (#8 to #12). WARH has lost a combined six-tenths in October/November (5.6 – 5.5 – 5.0, 6+), while KLJY is down eight-tenths in that comparable period (5.2 – 4.9 – 4.4, 6+). In addition to being off a collective seven-tenths via three consecutive declines (5.0 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KSD “93.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” departs the top ten (#10 to #13). A combined -1.1 in September/October (6.4 – 5.5 – 5.3), Hubbard Broadcasting’s similarly-formatted WIL “New Country 92.3” is up three-tenths to 5.6 (seventh to fourth, 6+).

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

| November 26, 2019

Round One of November PPMs Released. The first of four rounds of November 2019 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Long Island (Nassau-Suffolk), Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey).  The November 2019 rating period covered October 10 – November 6.  Some 6+ ratings gains of note for spoken-word stations during the November survey include: Nexstar Media Group’s WGN-AM, Chicago adds another 0.5 share to its two previous increases for a 4.0 share and a #8 ranking in the market while Cumulus Media’s crosstown WLS-AM is flat at a 2.3 share; Cumulus’ WBAP, Dallas continues its upward trend, posting a 4.4 share good for #5 in the market; iHeartMedia’s KTRH, Houston posts its third consecutive ratings gain with a 4.1 share, keeping it at #11 in the market; Cox Media Group’s Atlanta juggernaut WSB-AM/WSBB-FM is up 3.0 full shares over the past five surveys with November’s 9.3 share keeping it locked at #1 for the fourth straight month; and Entercom’s sports talk WIP-FM, Philadelphia lands at #1 in the market for the third straight month after finishing with an 8.2 share.  See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Takeaways” from each market here.

Eric Johnson Exits WPEN-FM, Philadelphia.  Programmer Eric Johnson exits Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WPEN-FM, Philadelphia “97.5 FM The Fanatic” after two years with the station.  Numerous Philly news outlets have picked up on the story but there’s little to report beyond Johnson’s own post to his Facebook page that simply says he left the station yesterday (11/25).  Johnson joined “The Fanatic” in 2017 after serving for many years as program director for Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.”

Impeachment Testimony, 2020 Presidential Race, SCOTUS Trump Financial Records Ruling, McGahn Ruling, Trump’s Navy Seal Controversy, Hong Kong Election, and German Jewel Heist Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/25). The testimony in the impeachment inquiry against President Trump; the Democrats vying for the nomination to challenge President Trump in 2020 and Democrat Michael Bloomberg’s entrance into the race; the Supreme Court sides with Trump on a request to block a subpoena from House Democrats seeking data from the president’s accounting firm; a judge rules former White House counsel Don McGahn must obey a subpoena for his testimony; the controversy over Trump’s order to remove Navy Secretary Richard Spencer over the Eddie Gallagher case; the results of the Hong Kong elections in which pro-democracy candidates won; and the theft of priceless historical jewels from Dresden’s Royal Palace were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. New York Post sports columnist Andrew Marchand reports that former WFAN, New York personality Chris Carlin appears headed to ESPN’s crosstown WEPN-FM to host the evening show.  Current evening host Alan Hahn is reportedly set to be promoted to middays alongside Bart Scott, who is currently co-hosting middays with Maggie Gray at WFAN.  See Marchand’s column here…..Sports talker Matt Jones – who left his gig hosting the WLAP, Lexington-based “Kentucky Sports Radio” while considering a run for Mitch McConnell’s U.S. Senate seat – announces he’s inked a new, five-year deal with iHeartMedia to return to the show on December 26.  Jones made national news in August when he was let go from his “Hey Kentucky!” TV show on WLEX-TV, Lexington after announcing his plans to publish a political book titled, Mitch, Please!  Earlier this month he was ousted from “Kentucky Sports Radio” after an election rules complaint from the Kentucky Republican Party.  See WLEX-TV’s report here…..iHeartMedia announces chairman and CEO Bob Pittman and president, COO, and CFO Rich Bressler will participate in a question and answer session during the Wells Fargo TMT Summit in Las Vegas on Wednesday, December 4.  Wells Fargo says “senior executives from more than 140 leading public and private technology, media, and telecom companies are already confirmed to attend the third annual” event.

Study Indicates AM/FM Campaigns Can Drive Web Traffic for Retailers.  Data from a study by marketing attribution platform LeadsRx for Westwood One measured the website visitor traffic increases after consumers were exposed to an AM/FM radio campaign by a major jewelry retailer.  WWO says the results offer retailers a way to understand how their advertising performs on a granular level so that plans can be optimized in the future.  Some of the findings include: As a result of the AM/FM radio campaign, the jewelry retailer saw an +11% increase in their site traffic.  The boost was +38% greater than the average for the jewelry category as measured by Analytic Owl’s analysis of 92 AM/FM radio campaigns reported by the Radio Advertising Bureau; throughout the course of the AM/FM radio campaign, the highest rate of conversion occurred in early December.  The greatest share of attributed web sessions (27%) occurred from December 3rd through the 9th, followed by 20% of attributed web sessions taking place the following week; and the jewelry retailer saw spikes in web sessions in the middle of the week and on Sundays.  On Thursdays, ad occurrences comprised 16% of the total impressions of the jewelry retailer’s campaign, while accounting for 19% of the attributed web sessions. On Sundays, 12% of total campaign impressions ran, driving 14% share of the attributed web sessions to the jewelry retailer site.  See more here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In St. Louis, Entercom’s hot AC KZPT “99.7 The Point” announces that Shaylee Henning is promoted to midday personality.  Henning takes over for Leigh McNabb, who exited recently to take on the program director role at Saga Communications’ classic hits KIOA, Des Moines.  Henning continues in her role as production assistant for the station group…..At Cox Media Group’s CHR WFLC, Miami “Hits 97.3,” DJ Laz exits the morning drive show.  Cluster director of operations Jill Strada is expected to announce the plans for the station’s morning show in the near future…..Saga Communications classic rock outlet WAQY, Springfield, Massachusetts “Rock 102” is underway with the 25th Annual Mayflower Marathon to collect nonperishable food donations to benefit the region’s Open Pantry Community Services organization.  Morning show team Mike Baxendale and John O’Brien – “Bax & O’Brien” – along with producer Steve Nagle, will be on the radio for 52 hours broadcasting live from the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame.  The goal is to fill three 48-foot Mayflower moving van trailers by 10:00 am Wednesday.

Friday, November 8, 2019

| November 8, 2019

KXL-FM, Portland Talk Host Lars Larson Names Whistleblower on FOX News Channel. KXL-FM, Portland talk radio host Lars Larson – who also hosts a nationally syndicated show via Compass Media Networks – was doing a segment on FOX News Channel’s “Outnumbered Overtime” yesterday (11/7) when he revealed who he believes the whistleblower in the Ukraine affair is.  Larson told KGW-TV, Portland, “I believe all of Washington knows, all of the press corps knows, and the only people in the dark are the American people.  If you’re talking about removing the president, chosen by the American people, you have an obligation of telling them who’s accusing [the president].”  FOX News tells the Hollywood Reporter that it has not confirmed nor independently verified the name of the whistleblower.

Entercom Third Quarter Net Revenue Up 2%. Third quarter 2019 financial data from Entercom Communications is released and the company reports net revenue of $386 million, an increase of 2% over the same period in 2018.  Operating income for the quarter was $79.5 million, compared to $78.7 million in the third quarter of 2018.  For the first three quarters of 2019, net revenue was $1.07 billion, an increase of 2.3% over the same period in 2018.  Entercom chairman, president and CEO David Field comments, “I am pleased to report that Entercom delivered strong organic growth in the third quarter with Adjusted EBITDA up 13% and Adjusted Net Income Per Share up 23%.  Revenues increased 2% (just under 3% ex-political) driven by digital, national, and network.  In October, we announced the launch of DVR-like functionality for live radio on our RADIO.COM app, becoming the first company to offer that important product feature.  This new feature and our recent acquisitions of podcasters Cadence 13 and Pineapple Street Studios highlight the multiple ways we are working to enhance our product line and grow our relationships with our listeners and customers.”

NPR and Edison Research to Unveil Spoken Word Audio Report. The data from the new Spoken Word Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research will be made available via a free webinar on Tuesday (11/12) that you can sign up for here.  The study – derived from a national quantitative survey, one-on-one interviews, and five years of previously-unreleased data from Edison Research’s U.S. Share of Ear study – explores consumer behavior in the spoken word audio category.  It details: How the spoken word audio category has changed in the last five years; how the balance between music and spoken-word content consumption is shifting; the role spoken word audio plays in consumers’ lives today – from where people listen to when people listen; and what people are looking for from spoken-word content on different platforms.  The study concludes that the share of time spent listening to spoken-word audio has increased 20% since 2014.

NOW POSTED:  New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.”   The vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC (11/8).  The new episode titled “Hearings and Smearings!” looks back at this past week of November 4-8, 2019 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Howie Carr, talk show host, Howie Carr Radio NetworkRenee Kohanski, M.D., forensic psychiatrist/medical podcaster; Holland Cooke, media consultant/talk show host RT AmericaDuke Brooks, talk show host, WGMD-FM, Rehoboth Beach, DE; Daliah Wachs, M.D., medical doctor, talk show host, Genesis Communications NetworkJoshua Philipp, senior investigative reporter, The Epoch TimesVictoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company. This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs on WONK-FM on Friday afternoons between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm as well as other stations around the country including KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; and KBKW, Aberdeen, WA as a special week-in-review and during the weekend on the Virginia Talk Radio Network as well as Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA and the iHeartRadio App.  To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here.  To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.

National Campaign Launched to Protect Press Freedom.   The nonprofit organizations the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and the Committee to Protect Journalists, along with a coalition of 23 media, technology and nonprofit partners, including Barron’s, CBSComcast-NBC UniversalCNNFacebook, Los Angeles Times, McClatchy, The New York TimesNPRReutersScrippsSinclairTwitterThe Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones, and The Washington Post, yesterday (11/7) launched the “Protect Press Freedom” campaign to mobilize the public to stand up for press freedom and actively protect their right to be informed.  Through video, radio, digital, print, and social media assets, the campaign communicates the message: In order to be free, we must be informed.  The creative illustrates the crucial role the free press plays in everyday life by depicting a world in which people are unable to access news about issues that are important to them.  On the campaign website, visitors can learn more about the threats to press freedom, explore key moments for the free press in America’s history, and take a quiz to assess their knowledge.  “Americans across the country rely on diverse news sources to help them make informed choices every day, but many don’t see the threats that are putting that information at risk,” Bruce Brown, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press tells TALKERS. “When one journalist or news source is threatened — whether it’s verbally, physically, or legally — it threatens a fundamental American freedom that’s essential to understanding and participating in our communities.  We’re proud to bring news outlets and organizations together to have a conversation with the public about press freedom and encourage people to stand up for their right to information.”  Attacks on journalists’ safety and the public’s right to know occur with troubling regularity.  According to the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, of which the Reporters Committee and CPJ are partners, there were at least 35 physical attacks on journalists last year, most notably the murder of five people working at the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis, Maryland.  So far in 2019, at least 28 journalists have been denied access to government events that are traditionally open to or attended by the press, leaving members of the public without crucial information about their government’s activities.  Relentless disparagement of the media contributes to an increasingly dangerous climate for journalists. For more information about this please click on the website www.ProtectPressFreedom.org.  To listen to a conversation about the campaign between Bruce Brown and TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison click 

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Miltz Named Director of Marketing and Promotions for Bonneville Denver. Marketing pro Melanie Miltz is named director of marketing and promotions for Bonneville’s Denver station group that includes sports talk KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan,” sports KEPN-AM “ESPN Denver,” country KYGO-FM, and adult contemporary KOSI-FM.  She most recently held the same position at Hubbard Radio’s hot AC KSTP-FM, Minneapolis.  Bonneville Denver senior regional vice president and market manager Bob Call states, “We couldn’t be happier to have Mel join Bonneville Denver and take over the leadership of our marketing and promotions department.  Mel is well-recognized and highly respected as a promotions and marketing professional with a high level of branding expertise, attention to detail, and follow-through on both the strategic and tactical elements of marketing.  Mel’s wealth of experience make her the perfect choice for Bonneville Denver.”

TALKERS News Notes. At the end of this year, Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze will shut down its cable television channel.  A story in The Hollywood Reporter says that TheBlaze will focus on its subscription video-on-demand service, its website, and the radio program.  The piece notes that because TheBlaze is largely a digital enterprise and its contracts with cable operators prevent much of the video content presented via cable from being shared online, it makes business sense to focus on the VOD space.  Blaze Media CEO Tyler Cardon tells THR, “Given our record growth this year on our direct-to-consumer SVOD business, podcasts, various web properties and other digital distribution channels, it has become a conflict to continue programming a traditional, legacy cable channel.”…..Entercom announces that its RADIO.COM platform with its collection of premiere sports, entertainment, news, and music audio content is being made available to Samsung’s Bixby scalable intelligence platform.  RADIO.COM will be available in Bixby Marketplace, where Samsung smartphone users in the U.S. can add the capsule to enhance their Bixby experience.   Entercom chief digital officer J.D. Crowley says, “This is an exciting integration with Samsung to bring the RADIO.COM listening experience wherever and however our listeners want it.  With Bixby, we are able to bring RADIO.COM to millions of listeners, making it easier than ever to discover and engage with our premium audio content as part of our listeners’ daily audio habit.”…..ESPN Radio says its October PPM numbers for its daytime sports talk radio shows (men 25-54) are up 7%.  For instance, the morning drive “Golic and Wingo” show saw a monthly increase across platforms of 13% compared to the September 2019 PPM survey and “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz” was up 25% over September on terrestrial radio…..Westwood One Podcast Network’s “Think About This with Shelly Palmer and Ross Martin” hosted Facebook VP global marketing solutions Carolyn Everson to discuss the personal and corporate responsibility of the social media platform.  Responding to a question about why Facebook runs political ads with false claims, Everson stated, “For decades, political advertising has not been monitored.  The FCC has made it very clear by law that broadcasters are not allowed to censor or change political advertising, and we have chosen to follow that, even though we are not required to do so by the FCC – as have all of the other platforms – because we think it’s very dangerous for a tech company, a CEO, or any private or public company to determine what is true and what is false.”…..Cox Media Group’s news/talk KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa welcomed FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio superstar Brian Kilmeade to town today (11/8) for a listener event and book signing for Kilmeade’s new book, Sam Houston and the Alamo Avengers: The Texas Victory That Changed American History (2019, Penguin Publishing).  KRMG director of branding and programming Levi May comments, “KRMG is proud to be able to bring one of our most popular radio and TV hosts to Tulsa for an opportunity to interact with our listeners and give people a chance to see what goes on as part of his live broadcast.”

The Impeachment Process and the Ukraine Affair Tied for Top News/Talk Story of the Week.  The impeachment process against President Trump and the related Ukraine quid pro quo allegations was the top news/talk story for the week of November 4-8, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Tuesday election results in Virginia and Kentucky and the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in the 2020 election.  Coming in at #3 was court ruling that President Trump must turn over eight years of tax returns to a Manhattan Grand Jury, followed by U.S.-China trade negotiations and the U.S. economy at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s chart here.

PPM Analysis: Country. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s October 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on country. From the September 2019 survey to the October 2019 survey, about 60% of country stations in PPM markets are down (weekly, 6+ AQH share).  The year-over-year comparison is split a bit more evenly, with 47% of stations seeing an increase and 51% seeing a decrease.  Just two country stations ranked #1 in their respective markets in the October survey – Bonneville’s KYGO, Denver (6.1 share) and iHeartMedia’s WCOL, Columbus (10.7 share).  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Entercom’s CHR KNOU-FM, St. Louis “Now 96.3,” program director and midday personality Scott Ellis leaves the station to return to Springfield, Missouri with his girlfriend.  Ellis previously worked on air and as PD for CHR KSPW-FM, Springfield.  Assuming his programming duties at KNOU is cluster operations manager Cat Simon…..A round of job cuts at Entercom Seattle include three from the programming department.  Jean Ashley leaves her morning co-host and APD gigs at adult contemporary KSWD “94.1 The Sound.”  Midday personality and rhythmic AC KHTP “HOT 103.7” assistant program director Jamie “Tanch” Tanchykh exits, as does alternative KNDD “107-7 The End” evening personality Cody Whistler.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

| November 7, 2019

iHeartMedia Third Quarter Revenue Rises 3%. Revenue for iHeartMedia, Inc. – whose shares became listed on the NASDAQ on July 18 of this year – was $948.3 million, an increase of 3% compared to the same period in 2018.  Digital revenue increased 33.4%.  Looking at the first three quarters of 2019, revenue was $2.66 billion – an increase of 2.8% over the same period in 2018.  The company says, “Our traditional radio business, which is comprised of our Broadcast and Networks revenue streams, is stable and growing.  Broadcast revenue declined by 0.6% on a reported basis and increased 0.4% excluding the impact of political revenue, while Networks grew 9.2% year-over-year driven primarily by growth in our Total Traffic & Weather network.  Networks also grew sequentially by almost 300 basis points over the second quarter. Our growth was also driven by our Digital revenue stream, which grew 33.4%.  Digital revenue growth was primarily driven by growth in podcasting, as well as other digital revenue.  Audio & Media Services declined 14.3% on a reported basis and increased by 0.2% excluding the impact of political revenue.  Political revenue primarily impacts our Broadcast and Audio & Media Services revenue, and therefore these revenue streams tend to show greater variance in non-political years.  Sponsorships increased by 4.4% year-over-year. Importantly, all of our revenue streams grew year-over-year excluding the impact of political revenue, demonstrating the continued momentum in our business.”

Beasley Broadcast Group Reports Q3 Net Income Up 1.5%. Net income for Beasley Broadcast Group’s 2019 third quarter was $66.1 million, an increase of 1.5% over the same period in 2018 and the company says that “reflects increased revenue in the Company’s Philadelphia, Detroit, Boston, Charlotte, Fayetteville, and Wilmington market clusters. Net revenue for the three months ended September 30, 2019 was comparable to net revenue for the same period in 2018 at the Company’s other market clusters.”  For the first nine months of 2019, net income was $189.5 million, an increase of 4.1% over the same nine-month period in 2018.  Station Operating Income increased 12.7% year-over-year in the third quarter of 2019.  The company says the year-over-year increase is primarily attributable to higher revenue in the 2019 third quarter and lower station operating expenses related to $1.7 million of non-recurring bad debt expense that was recorded in the comparable 2018 period, partially offset by higher expenses at recently acquired stations.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley states, “Throughout the third quarter, we continued to advance our revenue diversification initiatives and actively manage our local radio broadcasting and digital platforms, while implementing our operating disciplines at recently acquired stations to drive SOI growth and margin expansion.  Record third quarter net revenue of $66.1 million was driven by the strength of our station clusters in four of our top five largest revenue markets, as well as contributions from recent acquisitions and more than offset the approximate $0.9 million of combined political, spectrum and United States Traffic Network traffic revenue recorded in the 2018 third quarter, which did not recur in the 2019 third quarter…Third quarter results also began to reflect financial contributions related to our new and expanding digital development and diversification initiatives. Beasley generated a year-over-year increase in digital revenue of approximately 37%, with digital now accounting for 7.4% of total revenue, compared to 5.4% of total revenue in the prior year period. Going forward, we remain committed to increasing digital share of total revenue as we continue to aggressively roll out our digital transformation strategy across the organization.”

Urban One Third Quarter Net Revenue Basically Flat at $111.1 Million.  While third quarter net revenue was up just 0.3%, Urban One’s broadcast and digital operating income was up 3.2% on $44.8 million, compared to the same period in 2018.  Operating income was approximately $32.5 million for the three months ended September 30, 2019, compared to approximately $32.1 million for the same period in 2018.  Urban One CEO and president Alfred Liggins III says, “During the third quarter we completed the sale of WDMK to Beasley Broadcasting, as a result of which our cash position improved, and net leverage was reduced. On a same station basis, our third quarter radio revenues were up 4.2%, and I was pleased that we were able to grow the Radio Broadcasting segment Adjusted EBITDA by 6.6%.  Same station core radio revenues, excluding political, are currently pacing down low single digits for the fourth quarter.  Cable Television advertising was robust in the quarter, up 7.8%. While digital revenues decreased by 6.4%, we were able to post significant Adjusted EBITDA growth in that segment as a result of improved cost control.  Overall, we were able to grow Adjusted EBITDA by 5.8% for the quarter, and I believe we are well positioned to achieve our strategic goals for the year, with Adjusted EBITDA in the range of $138-$140 million.”

Nielsen Announces Plans to Split into Two Companies.  Along with its third quarter financial results, Nielsen Holdings Plc is announcing that it will “separate the Global Media and Global Connect businesses through a spin-off of the Global Connect business.”  Global Media is the audience measurement division and Global Connect is the consumer data division.  CEO David Kenny says, “We are pleased with our third quarter results.  Both Media and Connect revenues were ahead of our expectations, reflecting strong execution as well as our focus on driving faster, bolder decisions to enhance value for Nielsen and for our clients.  We also announced today the conclusion of our strategic review and our decision to separate Global Media and Global Connect.  As we look forward, we remain focused on executing on our growth strategies and positioning both businesses to create value for our shareholders.”  The strategic review was led by chairman of the board of directors James Attwood, who says, “Nielsen has two strong and global franchises — Global Media and Global Connect.  Following an extensive review process, which included an in-depth analysis of our businesses, strategies and market opportunities, the Board concluded that separating into two independent, publicly traded companies is the best path to position each business for long term success and maximize value creation.  As independent companies, both Nielsen — the Global Media business — and the new company consisting of Global Connect will enjoy added flexibility and further strengthen their paths toward a new phase of growth, productivity and industry leadership.”

Q3 2019 Flat for Saga Communications. Third quarter net revenue for Saga Communications, Inc. was $31.3 million, basically flat compared to 2018’s Q3 figure of $31.7 million.  Station operating expense increased $171 thousand to $23.6 million and operating income decreased $520 thousand to $4.8 million compared to $5.3 million for the same period in 2018.  Net Income decreased $361 thousand to $3.3 million for the quarter.  On a same-station basis, third quarter net revenue decreased $1.4 million to $30.3 million.  Looking at the first three quarters of 2019, net income was flat with the same period in 2018 at $9.4 million.  Net revenue decreased $610 thousand to $91.3 million.  On a same-station basis for the nine-month period, net revenue decreased $3.8 million to $88.1 million.  Saga reports having $42.3 million in cash on hand as of November 4, 2019.  The company’s total bank debt was $10 million as of the end of the quarter.

PPM Analysis: Public Radio News/Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s October PPM survey, today focusing on the public radio news/talk format.  More than 60% of public radio news/talk stations were up (weekly 6+ AQH share) compared to the September 2019 survey.  Year-over-year, the results were split about 50/50, with half the stations up and half down. Four high-performing public outlets ranked #1 in their respective markets in October.  They were: WAMU-FM, Washington; KPBS-FM, San Diego; KOPB-FM, Portland; and KUT-FM, Austin.  Perennially top-ranked public outlet KQED, San Francisco ceded the #1 spot to Entercom’s all-news KCBS-AM, San Francisco in October.  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Sun Broadcast Group to Rep All of Envision Networks’ Products in 2020. This agreement between Sun Broadcast Group and Envision Networks is an expanded sales representation agreement that now includes all Envision Networks shows and services.  Envision Networks CEO and president Danno Wolkoff says, “We started with Sun Broadcast Group selling all of our Spanish inventory and began adding more general market advertising to their networks as we grew.  SBG’s ability to maximize our lineups and create networks with such high advertiser demand fueled the development of many new shows and services.  It’s only fitting that Jay [Bailey], Julio [Aponte] and the Sun team now represent all of Envision Networks’ advertising sales in 2020 … we’re thrilled to be working together.”

TALKERS News Notes. Greenville, South Carolina news/talk WYRD-FM “106.3 WORD” adds a translator to its broadcast.  Now carrying the station’s signal is W270AM, Anderson, South Carolina at 101.5 FM. Anderson is about 25 miles southwest of Greenville.  Entercom Greenville-Spartanburg SVP and market manager Steve Sinicropi says, “We’re happy to meet the demand from listeners and advertisers to expand 106.3 WORD’s over-the-air signal to Anderson County using 101.5 FM.  Anderson is a fast-growing market that we are looking forward to serving with 106.3 WORD’s programming on all of our platforms.”…..Kentucky sports talk host Matt Jones will be off his WLAP-AM, Lexington-based program after U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission.  Jones has announced he’s exploring the possibility of running as a Democrat for McConnell’s senate seat.  The iHeartMedia station asked Jones to step away from the program after the complaint was issued.  Jones was relieved of his duties at WLEX-TV, Lexington in July after he made his political ambitions known…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One is presenting a news special titled, “30 Years After the Fall: The Legacy of the Berlin Wall,” that explores the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.  Correspondent Chas Henry hosts the program as he reports from the site where the Berlin Wall once stood.  He talks to scholars about why the wall was constructed and with residents who watched it come down.  The half-hour program airs Thanksgiving weekend.  Stations interested can contact Jim Jones at jimjones@westwoodone.com or 202-840-7933 for more information.

Impeachment Process, Ukraine Affair, 2020 Presidential Race, Tuesday’s Election Results, Mormon Family Massacre, China-Hong Kong Tensions, New HIV Strain, and OK Boomer Meme Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/6). The impeachment process against President Trump; the testimony about President Trump’s alleged quid pro quo offer to Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; Democratic victories in Virginia and Kentucky in Tuesday’s elections; the massacre of nine members of a Mormon family by drug cartel members in Mexico; the ongoing tensions between Hong Kong and China; the discovery of a new strain of HIV; and the controversy over the “Ok Boomer” meme were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Fresno market, iHeartMedia names Angel “Visa” Jarquin program director for hip hop KBOS “B95.”  He comes to “B95” from his most recent position with the company’s CHR KDON, Monterey where he was afternoon drive personality and assistant program director.   iHeartMedia SVP of programming for Central California and Nevada Tony Matteo says, “Angel’s incredible track record of success and his experience in the format make him an ideal fit to spearhead this market’s leading brand in Fresno.  We’re excited to bring his energy to the ‘B95’ team.”…..JVC Media announces the addition of Long Island radio personality Bill “The Wiseman” Wise as morning host at WPTY-HD2/W251BY, Patchogue, New York “Oldies 98.1”  JVC New York general manager Bruce Shepard says, “The Wiseman is a great addition to our staff.  He will not only be on the airwaves of ‘Oldies 98.1,’ he will also work with the team to develop new and exciting live events and concerts for ‘Oldies 98.1.’  I am thrilled to have him on board.”…..Country outlet WYCD, Detroit  hosted last night’s “Stars and Strings Presented by RAM Trucks Built to Serve” event that raised more than $25,000 for Folds of Honor, the organization that provides educational scholarships to spouses and children of America’s fallen and disabled service members. Entercom has now raised more than $275,000 to support the cause.  The RADIO.COM event featured performances by Keith Urban, Maren Morris, Lady Antebellum, Kelsea Ballerini, Jon Pardi, Brett Young, and Ryan Hurd…..iHeartMedia’s rock WJRR, Cocoa Beach, Florida announces the all-star lineup for its “Earthday Birthday Number 27” music festival taking place on Saturday, April 18, 2020 at the Central Florida Fairgrounds and Orlando Amphitheater.  Performing will be: Shinedown, Halestorm, Theory Of A Deadman, Beartooth, Fozzy, Dirty Honey, New Years Day, Crobot, and Dinosaur Pile-Up, with more to be announced…..Cox Media Group classic hits WSRV, Atlanta “97.1 The River” will celebrate its 14th birthday with “The River’s Rockin’ Birthday Bash Presents: Journey with Pretenders” on Thursday, August 13 at Cellairis Amphitheatre at Lakewood in Atlanta.  Station director of branding and programming Chris Eagan says, “We can’t wait to celebrate The River’s 14th birthday with our awesome fans.  Journey and Pretenders will definitely put on an unbelievable show to help us party on August 13!”

October PPM Ratings Takeaways – Round Four

| November 1, 2019

October 2019 PPM Data – Information for the October 2019 ratings period has been released for Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s October 2019 survey period covered September 12 – October 9. Managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from the PPM-markets below.

Austin

Spoken-Word Formats – When Sinclair Telecable news/talk KLBJ-AM gained six-tenths in August to 4.8 (6+), it marked the station’s best 6+-performance in more than six years (5.0, June 2013). Bouncing back from September’s half-share loss with an October +.7 (4.8 – 4.3 – 5.0, tenth to sixth, 6+), “News Radio 590” matches that June 2013 5.0 (6+). Entercom’s KJCE “Talk Radio 1370” repeats September’s .3 (#26, 6+).

An overall +1.1 through four straight improvements (1.3 – 1.6 – 1.9 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+), Genuine Austin Radio sports talk KTXX “The Horn” advances from #15 to #14. More than doubling (+.5) its 6+ AQH-share in five straight reports without a loss (.4 – .5 – .5 – .7 – .8 – .9, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” continues at #25.

Truly roaring back from September’s loss of six-tenths with an astonishing +2.0 (7.3 – 9.3, 6+), University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk KUT progresses from second to first with its highest 6+-performance (9.3) since March (9.5). Among KUT’s shifts this calendar year include: +1.6 (January); -.6 (February); +.7 (March); -2.0 (April); -1.6 (June); +.9 (July); +1.2 (August) -.6 (September); and +2.0 (October).

Austin Music Formats – On the heels of September’s massive +1.7 to 5.0 (6+), iHeartMedia’s country KVET-FM adds another half-share (5.5, 6+) and leaps from sixth to third. September’s 5.5 is the best 6+-showing for “98.1 The Austin Texas Original” since May, when it gained nine-tenths to 5.8 (6+). Following that uptick, however, KVET-FM was an overall -2.5 via three successive significant setbacks (5.8 – 5.2 – 4.5 – 3.3, 6+). Prior to August’s 3.3, “98.1 The Austin Texas Original,” which was +1.2 in January (5.0 – 6.2, 6+), hadn’t been below a four-share (6+) in more than six years (3.1, February 2013). Also boosting by one-half share in October is Crista Ministries contemporary Christian KFMK “Spirit 105.9,” which reaches the five-share level (6+) and posts its fourth straight increase for an overall +2.2 (2.8 – 3.1 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 5.0, ninth to sixth, 6+). In addition to being a collective -1.2 in four straight dips (9.3 – 9.2 – 8.7 – 8.4 – 8.1, 6+), Emmis Austin Radio Broadcasting Company adult hits KBPA “103.5 Bob-FM” segues to #2 after six consecutive months at #1. June’s 9.3 was its highest 6+ share since “Holiday” 2018 (also 9.3). Prior to this past April, the last time “Bob” occupied the top spot was December 2018 (8.3, 6+). More than doubling (+.9) its 6+ AQH-share in four consecutive up or flat moves (.7 – .8 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.6, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KLJA “Amor 107.7” advances from #19 to #18. Immediately after logging September’s +1.1 to 3.1, its highest 6+-stat since November 2018 (3.1, as well), regional Mexican cluster-mate KLQB surrenders -1.0 (2.1, #14 to #15, 6+). Entering the September sweep, “Que Buena 104.3” was off an overall four-tenths in four straight down or flat moves (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0, 6+). Similarly-formatted KLZT, which was a combined +1.3 in August/September (4.0 – 4.3 – 5.3, 6+), falters by one-half share to 4.8 (fourth to eighth, 6+). Directly following March’s +1.2, “107.1 La Z” was a collective -2.7 in four straight decreases (6.7 – 5.9 – 5.1 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+). A combined +.6 in August/September (4.6 – 4.8 – 5.2, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KHFI surrenders seven-tenths (fifth to ninth) as “96.7 Kiss-FM Austin’s #1 Hit Music Station” has its lowest 6+-stat (4.5) since January’s 4.3. As a result of six successive reports without a loss, Emmis Austin Radio Broadcasting Company alternative KROX was a collective +2.1 (2.6 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.7, 6+); however “101-X” drops four-tenths in October (4.3, seventh to tenth, 6+). With a 4.7 in September 2019, KROX reached the four-share level (6+) for the first time since September 2018’s 4.0). Directly after May/June’s combined +1.1 (5.3 – 5.8 – 6.4, 6+), Entercom hot AC KAMX “Mix 94.7” is an overall -2.8 in four straight setbacks (6.4 – 5.9 – 4.6 – 4.0 – 3.6, #11 to #12, 6+).

Raleigh

Spoken-Word Formats – Progressing from eighth to seventh, iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK “106.1 Stay Connected” is an overall +1.3 in three straight upticks (4.7 – 5.2 -5.4 – 6.0, 6+). On the other hand, Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF “News Radio 680” has lost nine-tenths as a result of four consecutive reports without an increase (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.3 – 1.0, #17 to #18, 6+).

In consecutive months, Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC “99.9 The Fan” notches a gain of four-tenths (2.1 – 2.5 – 2.9, 6+). After finishing at #15 five months in a row, Raleigh’s “Fan” now repeats at #14. September’s increase halted five straight down or flat moves that resulted in a loss of three tenths (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+). Co-owned/similarly-formatted model of consistency WDNC “620 The Ticket” has an August 2018 through October 2019 topline of: .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1 (flat at #25, 6+).

After posting an August +1.0 and then a September -1.1, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” levels off with a +.1 (7.4 – 7.5, flat at #3), 6+). August 2019’s 8.5 was its best 6+-stat since 8.8 in August 2018.

Raleigh Music Formats – Making September’s loss of seven-tenths disappear is Radio One gospel WNNL “The Light 103.9 – The Triangle’s Inspiration Station,” which posts an October increase of the same magnitude (5.2 – 4.5 – 5.2, +.7, tenth to ninth, 6+). The 5.2 in August 2019 and October 2019 is WNNL’s strongest 6+-stat since October 2018 (5.2, as well). Immediately prior to the September ratings period, “The Light” was a collective +1.5 via seven consecutive up or flat moves (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 5.2, 6+). Jumping seven-tenths as well in October is Curtis Media Group CHR WPLW-FM “Pulse FM” (4.2 – 4.9, unchanged at #11, 6+), which records its best 6+-stat since June 2017 (also 4.9). Replicating September’s increase of six-tenths, iHeartMedia’s WNCB “B-93.9 #1 For New Country” crosses the four-share level and climbs from #13 to #12 (3.5 – 4.1, 6+). Its April 2019 through August 2019 topline was: 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.9 (6+). After having its 6+ AQH share sliced by roughly 72% (-2.3) as a result of nine negative or neutral Raleigh reports in succession (3.2 – 2.9 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.3 – .9, 6+), Curtis Media Group-owned regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1” applies the brakes with a +.1 to 1.0 (#20 to #18, 6+). While it repeats at #1, Radio One urban AC WFXC “Foxy – Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” erases August/September’s +.6 (8.2 – 8.4 – 8.8, 6+) with a -.6 to 8.2 (6+). “Foxy” spent 12 consecutive survey periods on top; had an August-only stay at #2; and returned to #1 in September. Its August gain of two-tenths ended six straight down or flat sweeps that resulted in an overall -2.8 (11.0 – 9.9 – 9.5 – 9.5 – 9.1 – 8.8 – 8.2, 6+). Seven recent WFXC (6+) fluctuations include: +.9 (November 2018); -1.5 (December); +1.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.1 (January 2019); -1.1 (February); -.6 (July); and -.6 (October). January’s +1.1 took WFXC to 11.0, its highest 6+-stat in the PPM-era. Remaining in fourth-place, Curtis Media Group adult hits WBBB “96.1 BBB Your Life – Your Music” is in an up/down pattern that began in June (6.0 – 6.6 – 6.4 – 6.8 – 6.3, 6+).

Indianapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Down a combined seven tenths in September/October (6.5 – 6.3 – 5.8, 6+), Emmis news/talk WIBC “Indy’s Mobile News 93.1” falls from fourth to sixth. Recent WIBC shifts include: +1.0 (October 2018); +.7 (November); -.9 (December); -.9 (“Holiday” 2018); +.9 (January 2019); +.9 (February); -.8 (March); -1.2 (April); +.9 (June); +.5 (August); and -.5 (October).

Adding one-tenth to September’s +.8 (1.7 – 2.5 – 2.6, 6+), Emmis-owned WFNI “The Fan – Indy’s Sports Center” climbs from #16 to #15. The June 2019 through October 2019 topline for iHeartMedia’s WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station” is: 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.1 (flat at #18, 6+). Cumulus Media’s WXNT “CBS Sports AM 1430” logged a .1 (6+) in July and August; disappeared from print in September; and returns in October with a .1 (#22, 6+).

After surrendering one-half share in September, Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI bounces back with a +.4 (4.8 – 5.2, eighth to seventh, 6+).

Indianapolis Music Formats – It is a mixed bag for the market’s two major FM country players as Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank” obliterates August/September’s -1.2 (7.2 – 7.1 – 6.0, 6+) with a robust +1.3 to 7.3 (sixth to third, 6+). Prior to July’s 7.2, “Hank” last reached the seven-share threshold in May 2018 (7.1); WLHK was a combined +1.1 in June/July (6.1 – 6.2 – 7.2, 6+). Its format rival, Cumulus Media’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station,” was a combined -.7 in July/August (7.6 – 7.5 – 6.9, 6+); up four-tenths in September to 7.3 (6+); but is -.8 in October (6.5, third to fifth, 6+). October’s 6.5 is its lowest 6+-stat since 6.1 in “Holiday” 2018. In three straight drops, WTLC-FM was a collective -1.1 (5.5 – 4.8 – 4.5 – 4.4, 6+) but the Radio One urban AC halts the slide with a +.8 to 5.2 (ninth to seventh, 6+). Steady at #4, iHeartMedia classic rock WFBQ “Q-95 Rocks” (+.6 in October) is in an alternating down/up pattern that commenced in June: 6.7 – 5.9 – 6.4 – 6.3 – 6.9 (6+). Having lost roughly 42% (-2.1) of its 6+ AQH share via four straight down or flat moves (5.0 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 2.9, 6+), Cumulus Media hot AC WNTR “107.9 The Mix” curtails that streak with a gain of four-tenths to 3.3 (#13 to #11, 6+). Despite its October loss of seven-tenths (11.1 – 10.4, 6+), its classic hits-oldies sibling, WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5,” is #1 the tenth report in a row. WJJK’s 11.1 (July and September) represents the highest 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history, eclipsing April’s 10.2. After spending six straight ratings periods on top, “Classic Hits 104.5” slipped to third in “Holiday” 2018 but returned to #1 this past January. WJJK has had some dramatic fluctuations this year including: +2.9 (January); -.7 (February); -.6 (March); +1.7 (April); +1.4 (July); -1.1 (August); +1.1 (September); and -.7 (October). The overall +.9 that Emmis adult contemporary WYXB racked up in three straight spikes (7.4 – 7.8 – 8.0 – 8.3, 6+) vanishes as “B-105.7” sputters by nine-tenths and returns to 7.4 (flat at #2, 6+). Radio One rhythmic CHR WHHH “Hot 96.3” is off a combined eight-tenths in September/October (4.2 – 3.9 – 3.4, 6+) and is unchanged in tenth-place. Logging its fourth loss in a row for an overall -1.5 (6.2 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 4.9 – 4.7, 6+), Entercom CHR WZPL “99.5 ZPL” slips from seventh to ninth.

Milwaukee

Spoken-Word Formats – Not only does Good Karma Brands’ news/talk WTMJ tack on nine-tenths to September’s +.4 (7.5 – 8.4, 6+), “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” darts from third to first. Immediately prior to this, the flagship of the Brewers and Packers was -2.3 in three straight setbacks (9.4 – 8.7 – 7.6 – 7.1, 6+). Repeating in eighth-place, iHeartMedia’s WISN “News/Talk 1130” is up four-tenths in September/October (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.0, 6+), directly after a collective -1.1 through three decreases in succession (5.7 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.6, 6+).

By breaking out a +.9 to 1.6 (6+), iHeartMedia’s WRNW more than doubles September’s .7 (6+) as “97.3 The Game – Milwaukee’s Sports Talk That Rocks” jumps from #18 to #14. Its last time in double-digits was December 2018 (2.8, 6+) when WRNW was a CHR. Tied at #20 – all with .7 (6+) – are Good Karma Brands’ WKTI “94.5 ESPN”; Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan”; and iHeartMedia’s WOKY “The Big 920.” WKTI had gained two-tenths in three straight up or flat moves (.6 – .7 – .7 – .8, 6+). “The Fan” has improved by one-tenth in three sweeps in a row (.4 – .5 – .6 – .7, 6+). Until posting a half-share increase to October’s .7 (6+), “The Big 920” logged a .2 (6+) in six straight sweeps and eight of the last nine.

Up one-half share in three straight positive or neutral moves (3.0 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+), University of Wisconsin news/talk WUWM remains at #13. Despite being up six-tenths in three consecutive sweeps without a loss (.8 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.4, 6+), Wisconsin Public Radio news/talk WHAD backslides from #15 to #17.

Milwaukee Music Formats – Adding six-tenths to September’s +.3 (4.1 – 4.4 – 5.0, 6+), Saga Communications’ WHQG “102.9 The Hog Everything That Rocks” advances from ninth to eighth. Debuting in print with a 1.1 (6+), Magnum Radio’s WVTY “Country 92.1 VTY” checks in at #19. After four months in a row at #1, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” (9.6 – 8.3, -1.3, 6+) segues to #2 with its lowest 6+-figure (8.3) since December 2018’s 7.7. A combined +1.1 in June/July (8.6 – 9.4 – 9.7, 6+), WRIT occupied the lead position five straight sweeps before dropping to second in May. Having spent 43 consecutive ratings periods at #1, “Big FM” shifted to #2 in October 2018. “Holiday” 2018’s 11.5 is the strongest 6+-stat for any Milwaukee station since WRIT’s 11.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Nine of its recent (6+) moves are: -1.0 (December); +3.8 (“Holiday” 2018); – 1.9 (January 2019); +.6 (February); -.8 (March); +.7 (April); -1.5 (May); +.8 (June); and -1.3 (October). Repeating at #10, Entercom CHR WXSS “103.7 Kiss-FM” is an overall -1.4 as a result of four straight down or flat trends (5.5 – 5.4 – 5.0 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+) and has its softest 6+-stat since May 2018 (4.1, as well). This is the eighth straight sweep without an increase for Alpha Media’s WIIL, which has lost three-tenths in that February 2019 through October 2019 timeframe (.8 – .8 – .6 – .6 – .6 – .6 – .5 – .5 – .5, 6+); “95 WIIL Rock” falls from #21 to #23.

Nashville

Spoken-Word Formats – It’s another good month for Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN, which is now +1.1 as a result of five successive sweeps without a loss (3.1 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 4.2, 6+); “Super Talk 99.7” repeats at #12. A combined +.4 in September/October (1.4 – 1.5 – 1.8, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC “Talk Radio 1510” remains at #17; 1.8 (in July and October) is its best 6+-stat in four years (2.0, October 2015).

As a result of four straight spikes, Cumulus Media-owned sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” (Tennessee Titans) is a collective +2.4 (2.7 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 4.7 – 5.1, 6+) and jumps from tenth to eighth. Prior to June, the last time WGFX fell below a three-share (6+) was July 2017 (2.7, as well). By adding three-tenths in consecutive sweeps, Cromwell Group-owned/similarly-formatted WPRT “102.5 The Game” nearly doubles August’s 6+ share (.7 – 1.0 – 1.3, #20 to #19, 6+).

Following August/September’s combined +1.8 (5.1 – 6.2 – 6.9, 6+), Nashville Public Radio’s WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” relinquishes more than half that increase (5.9, -1.0, third to sixth, 6+). The news/talk/classical hybrid outlet was a combined +1.2 in May/June (4.4 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+) but lost one-half share in July (5.6 – 5.1, 6+).

Nashville Music Formats – Substituting September’s loss of seven-tenths (3.1 – 2.4, 6+) with an October +1.0 (3.4, 6+), Cromwell-owned WBUZ “102.9 The Buzz – Nashville’s Rock Station” proceeds from #14 to #13 with its best 6+-stat since last November (3.4, as well). There’s good news/bad news in the Midwest Communications cluster involving adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” and adult hits WCJK “96.3 Jack FM Playing What We Want.” After being on top the past five months, “Mix” – a collective -2.2 in three straight setbacks (9.8 – 9.5 – 9.2 – 7.6, 6+) – falls to the runner-up slot. This particular streak directly follows an overall +1.6 in three successive spikes (8.2 – 9.2 – 9.6 – 9.8, 6+). Eight recent (6+) WJXA fluctuations include: +1.9 (December 2018); +3.2 (“Holiday” 2018); -3.5 (January 2019); -1.3 (February); -.5 (March); -.6 (April); +1.0 (May); and -1.6 (October). WJXA’s “Holiday” 2018’s 14.1 is the highest 6+-share by any Nashville outlet since its 14.4 in “Holiday” 2017. Prior to its current 7.6, “Mix” last fell below an eight-share (6+) in January 2018 (7.7). Succeeding WJXA is (aforementioned) co-owned “Jack,” which is +2.1 in three successive upticks (6.8 – 8.0 – 8.1 – 8.9, 6+). It is the first time at #1 for Nashville’s version of “Jack” since April, when WCJK logged an 8.4 (6+). Improving by one-half share each are iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUBT “101.1 The Beat” (fifth to third); its CHR sibling WRVW “107.5 The River” (sixth to fourth); and Cumulus Media country WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” (5.0, #11 to #9, 6+). In three straight up or flat trends “The Beat” has gained nine-tenths (5.6 – 5.6 – 6.0 – 6.5, 6+), while “The River” has picked up nine-tenths as well in four successive reports without a loss (5.3 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 5.7 – 6.2, 6+). Meanwhile, “Nash Icon” had lost an overall seven-tenths in four straight down or flat sweeps (5.2 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 4.5, 6+). Unchanged at #7, iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” is a collective -1.0 as a result of three drops in a row (6.2 – 5.6 – 5.4 – 5.2, 6+), immediately after its +2.7 in seven consecutive sweeps without a loss (3.5 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 6.2, 6+). “The Big 98” reached the six-share level (July 2019, 6.2, 6+) for the first time since April 2017’s 6.1. Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WLVU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love,” which notched three improvements in a row for a collective +1.5 (2.0 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.5, 6+), forfeits 60% of that increase (2.6, -.9, #13 to #14, 6+); September’s 3.5 was its highest 6+-stat since April’s 3.7. Meanwhile, Salem Media Group’s similarly formatted WFFH “The Fish” has relinquished approximately 47% (-2.1) of its 6+-share as a result of four down or flat moves in a row (4.5 – 4.4 – 3.2 – 2.4 – 2.4, #14 to #16, 6+). This directly follows a collective +1.0 via four straight increases (3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+). An overall +1.3 via four bumps in a row (4.2 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 5.5, 6+), Cumulus Media urban AC WQQK “92-Q” is now a combined -.8 in September/October (5.5 – 5.2 – 4.7 (eighth to tenth, 6+). In August, “92-Q” reached the five-share level (6+) for the first time since “Holiday” 2018 (5.5, as well). An overall -1.6 in three straight setbacks (7.8 – 7.6 – 6.5 – 6.2, 6+), iHeartMedia classic rock WNRQ “105.9 The Rock” repeats in fourth-place.

Providence

Spoken-Word Formats –Down six-tenths in September/October (3.4 – 2.9 – 2.8, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WPRO-AM “News Talk 630” carries on in eighth-place. August’s +.3 halted three consecutive down or flat sweeps that accounted for a loss of seven-tenths (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+). Without an increase the eighth time in a row for an approximately three-fourths reduction (-1.6) of its 6+-AQH share (2.1 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.3 – .9 – .9 – .7 – .5, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news/talk WHJJ “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” repeats at #19. Flat at #20, Cumulus Media’s WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business” has lost four-tenths via five consecutive negative or neutral moves (.7 – .5 – .4 – .3 – .3 – .3, 6+).

Anchored in seventh-place, Entercom sports talker WVEI continues an alternating down/up pattern that began in February: 4.1- 3.6 – 4.0 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.8 (6+). July’s 3.1 is its lowest 6+-stat since March 2018’s 2.8.

Following five consecutive ratings periods without an increase that led to a loss of four-tenths in that timeframe (1.3 – 1.2 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .9 – .9, 6+), iHeartMedia Boston news – talk hybrid WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” posts a half-share increase to 1.4 (#18 to #13, 6+).

A combined -.4 in August/September (2.2 – 2.1 – 1.8, 6+) following July’s +.6, WGBH Educational Foundation Boston news/talk WGBH busts out a +.8 to 2.6 (6+) and reenters Providence’s top ten (#11 to #9). In six consecutive sweeps without an increase (2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+), The Wheeler School’s news/talk WELH has lost six-tenths but advances from #14 to #13.

Providence Music Formats – Albeit down one-tenth (9.3 – 9.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WHJY “94 HJY Providence’s Home of Rock & Roll” repeats at #1. After occupying the lead position three months in a row, WHJY shifted to the runner-up slot in August; “94 HJY” was +.7 in September. A combined -1.6 in July/August (10.2 – 9.8  – 8.6, 6+), WHJY lost nine-tenths in April, forcing it from the penthouse after three straight months there. The decline halted four consecutive positive or flat moves that netted a +2.0 (8.5 – 9.8 – 9.8 – 9.8 – 10.5, 6+). Nine recent (6+) shifts for co-owned hot AC WSNE “Coast 93.3” include: -.9 (November 2018); -1.0 (Holiday” 2018); +.5 (March); +.5 (May); -.7 (June); +1.4 (July); -.5 (August); +.5 (September); and -.6 in October (5.7 – 5.1, flat at #6, 6+). Prior to June’s loss of seven-tenths, WSNE was a collective +1.2 in three consecutive improvements (3.8 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 5.0, 6+). Hall Broadcasting country WCTK follows September’s -1.0 (9.3 – 8.3, 6+) with a -.5 to 7.8 (flat at #3, 6+). Entering the September sweep, “Cat Country 98.1” was a collective +1.7 in three straight upticks (7.6 – 8.5 – 8.6 – 9.3, 6+), with August’s 9.3 (#1, 6+) representing its highest 6+-share since 10.1 in July 2018. Unlisted for the fourth month in a row are Red Wolf Broadcasting Spanish tropical WKKB “Latina 100.3,” which posted a 1.2 in June (#16, 6+) and classic hits-oldies sibling WSKP “Good Times … Great Oldies” (.8, #19, June 2019, 6+).

Norfolk

Spoken-Word Formats – Although flat at #12, Max Broadcast Group sports talk WVSP “ESPN Radio 94.1” has nearly doubled (+1.0) its 6+-stat in three straight bumps (1.2 – 1.4 – 1.8 – 2.2, 6+).

Norfolk Music Formats – Not only is Entercom urban AC WVKL #1 the tenth consecutive month, “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” adds six-tenths to September’s massive +2.3 (9.1 – 11.4 – 12.0, 6+). A combined -2.3 in July/August (11.4 – 10.0 – 9.1, 6+), WVKL last failed to log double-digits (6+) in January 2014 (9.8). “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” had been the market pacesetter 25 successive survey periods before segueing to the runner-up slot in “Holiday” 2018. Its August 2018 15.5 holds the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. Saga Communications’ WAFX “106.9 The Fox – Hampton Roads’ Classic Rock,” which was -3.0 in three setbacks in succession (8.2 – 7.0 – 6.6 – 5.2, 6+), ends the slide with a +.5 to 5.7 (6+) and continues at #4. Prior to September’s 5.2, “The Fox” last fell below a six-share (6+) in December 2018 (5.5). Three straight spikes by Max Broadcast Group adult contemporary WVBW yield a +1.7 (3.4 – 4.2 – 4.8 – 5.1, 6+) as “92.9 The Wave” progresses from seventh to fifth. It is tied with Entercom’s similarly-formatted WWDE “101.3 2WD” (4.9 – 5.1, +.2, sixth to fifth, 6+). WWDE was a combined +.6 in July/August (4.4 – 4.8 – 5.0, 6+) and then off one-tenth in September. Without a decrease March 2019 through September 2019 and +3.2 in that stretch (5.9 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 6.8 – 6.8 – 8.9 – 9.1, 6+), Saga Communications’ WNOR “FM 99 Rocks” forfeits exactly half that bounty with an October -1.6 to 7.5 (second to third, 6+). September’s 9.1 marked the first time in the PPM-era that WNOR appeared in print with a 6+-share reaching the nine-share level (6+). Adult standards cluster-mate WJOI “Great Songs – Great Memories,” which had been trending 1.2 – .9 – 1.2 (6+), erodes by nine-tenths to .3 (#16 to #17, 6+). The three most recent shifts by Max Broadcast Group’s country WGH-FM “97.3 The Eagle” are: -.6 (August); +.9 (September); and -.8 in October (4.7 – 4.1 – 5.0 – 4.2, fifth to seventh, 6+).

Jacksonville

Spoken-Word Formats – Three straight positive spikes by WOKV-FM netted a +2.9 (7.5 – 8.0 – 9.0 – 10.4, 6+), but the Cox Media Group news/talk outlet surrenders a -1.0 in October to 9.4 (6+). Nonetheless, “104.5 Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” is #1 the fourth month in a row. July’s increase halted five consecutive down or flat sweeps that accounted for a collective -2.9 (10.4 – 9.7 – 8.8 – 8.6 – 8.6 – 7.5, 6+).

More than quadrupling (+.7) its 6+ AQH share since June in three straight gains (.2 – .5 – .7 – .9, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk WFXJ “97.3 The Game – Jacksonville’s Sports Leader” repeats at #18. August’s +.3 halted nine consecutive sweeps without an increase that accounted for a net loss of 75% (-.6) of its 6+-stat (.8 – .7 – .6 – .6 – .5 – .3 – .3 -.3 – .2 – .2, 6+).

Unchanged at #11, public radio news/talk WJCT, which lost nine-tenths in five consecutive down or flat trends (3.7 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+), is a combined +.4 in September/October (2.8 – 3.1 – 3.2, 6+).

Jacksonville Music Formats – Boasting September 2019 – October 2019 improvements of nine-tenths each are iHeartMedia-owned WQIK “99.1 Jacksonville’s Country” (fifth to fourth) and Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WCRJ “HIS Radio” (2.1, #17 to #15). WQIK is a combined +1.1 in September/October (5.4 – 5.6 – 6.5, 6+); WCRJ had been trending 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.2 (6+). WQIK’s format rival, Renda Broadcasting’s WGNE “99.9 Jacksonville’s Hottest Country,” is down six-tenths in September/October (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.1, ninth to tenth, 6+). Up a cumulative eight-tenths via three straight up or flat trends (4.6 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.4, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WSOL “V-101.5” pushes up from eighth to sixth with its best 6+-stat (5.4) since May’s 5.7. Conversely, urban contemporary sibling WJBT “93.3 The Beat” sputters the third time in a row for an overall –1.6 (6.6 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.0, fifth to eighth, 6+). Repeating in ninth-place, co-owned gospel WKSL-HD3 is +1.2 via four straight up or flat moves (2.3 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+). Even though cluster-mate WWJK  is without an increase the fourth consecutive report for a net loss of seven-tenths (3.6 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.9, 6+), “107.3 Planet Radio – Jacksonville’s Rock Station” climbs from #13 to #12.

West Palm Beach

Spoken-Word Formats – Regaining the two-tenths it lost in September (4.0 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” pushes up from sixth to fifth. Prior to September, WJNO was an overall +2.0 in six successive sweeps without a loss (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 4.0, 6+). Co-owned news/talk WZZR “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk For The Palm Beaches,” which was down one-tenth in September, picks up four-tenths (2.0 – 2.4, 2.4, #13 to #10, 6+). August’s +.2 halted three straight down or flat sweeps that accounted for a loss of four-tenths (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+). By dropping nine-tenths to 1.8 (6+), Hubbard Broadcasting’s WFTL not only suspends four straight boosts that netted a +1.0 (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.7, 6+), “News Talk 850” drifts from #10 to #14. September’s 2.7 was its strongest 6+-stat since December 2018’s 2.9. Repeating at #21, iHeartMedia Miami news/talk WIOD “610 News Radio” is trending 1.0 – .7 – .8 (6+).

After doubling (+.3) its 6+ share in three straight sweeps without a loss (.3 – .3 – .4 – .6, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting’s WMEN “Fox Sports 640 AM South Florida” drops one-tenth to .5 (flat at #22, 6+). This is the 15th sweep in a row iHeartMedia-owned sports talk WBZT “1230 The Zone” has been a “no-show.”

The alternating down/up March 2019 through October 2019 topline for Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN is: 3.1 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 2.8 (flat at #9, 6+).

West Palm Beach Music Formats – Bouncing back from September’s loss of one-half share (3.6 – 3.1, 6+) with an October spike of nine-tenths to 4.0 (6+), Hubbard Broadcasting’s WIRK “New Country 103.1” jumps from eighth to fifth. This (4.0) is its best 6+-showing since September 2018’s 4.2. Four consecutive decreases by hot AC cluster-mate WRMF that resulted in a -3.4 (11.2 – 9.0 – 8.8 – 8.2 – 7.8, 6+) are directly followed by an overall +1.4 via three straight gains (7.8 – 8.3 – 8.5 – 9.2, 6+). Moreover, WRMF “Variety from the 90s and Now” is #1 the tenth time in a row. Whereas July’s 7.8 is WRMF’s lowest 6+-share and first time below an eight-share (6+) since “Holiday” 2016 (7.7), 11.2 in March is its best 6+-showing since November 2017 (11.2, as well). Emphatically wiping out its August/September +.7 (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.7, 6+) with an October -1.4, iHeartMedia CHR WLDI “Wild 95.5” slips from third to seventh with its lowest 6+-figure (3.3) since February’s 3.0. Miami CHR sibling WHYI “Y-100,” which had been within 2.0 – 2.6 range (6+) the last five ratings periods (2.4 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 2.6 – 2.5, 6+), falters by six-tenths to 1.9 (6+) but continues at #12. A collective +.7 in three straight sweeps without a loss (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.7, 6+), iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary WZTU “Tu 94.9” surrenders two-tenths to 1.5 (6+) but remains at #15. In the adult contemporary arena, iHeartMedia-owned WOLL “Today’s Kool 105.5” loses one-tenth (6.9 – 6.8, unchanged at #2, 6+), while Hubbard Broadcasting’s WEAT-FM “Sunny 107.9” adds two-tenths (4.4 – 4.6, fourth to third, 6+). WOLL was -.8 (July); +1.0 (August); and -.5 in September. Whereas August 2019’s 7.4 is the best 6+-showing for “Kool” since July 2016’s 7.5, July 2019’s 6.4 (6+) is its softest since March (6.4, as well). “Sunny” was a massive -2.2 in August/September (6.6 – 5.1 – 4.4, 6+). Prior to September, the last time WEAT fell below a five-share (6+) was in October 2018 (4.6). When “Sunny” gained one-tenth in July, it suspended three straight decreases that accounted for an overall -1.7 (8.2 – 7.0 – 6.8 – 6.5, 6+). In three improvements in succession, Moody Bible Institute gospel/religious teaching WRMB “89.3 Moody Radio” doubles (+.7) its 6+-figure (.7 – .8 – 1.3 – 1.4, #19 to #16 , 6+) and has its highest 6+-stat (1.4) since March (1.5).

Greensboro

Spoken-Word Formats – Answering September’s -1.3 with an October improvement of six-tenths (to 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). August’s 4.3 is its best 6+-stat since February (4.4).

Up one-tenth (.8 – .9, 6+), Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS “Triad Sports” climbs from #16 to #15.

Even though it drops three-tenths (2.4 – 2.1, 6+), Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” is locked at #13 the 18th consecutive ratings period. In six consecutive reports without a loss, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC has more than tripled (+1.2) its 6+ AQH-share (.5 – .8 – .8 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.7 – 1.7, steady at #14, 6+).

Greensboro Music Formats – Powered by a +1.4 (8.9 – 10.3, steady at #2, 6+), Entercom urban AC WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” is back in double-digits (6+) for the first time since “Holiday” 2018 (10.3, as well). In the market’s CHR contest, iHeartMedia-owned WMKS “100.3 Kiss-FM All the Hits” is +1.1 in September/October (2.9 – 3.1 – 4.0, tenth to ninth, 6+), reaching the four-share level (4.0, 6+) for the first time since April (4.6). At the same time that “Kiss” notches an October +.9, Dick Broadcasting’s similarly-formatted WKZL “107.5 KZL The #1 Hit Music Station” erodes by that magnitude (6.0 – 5.1, sixth to eighth, 6+). The loss curtails three straight up or flat trends that (appropriately) netted nine-tenths (5.1 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 6.0, 6+). September’s 6.0 is its best 6+-stat since January’s 6.3. WKZL has prevailed over WMKS in all 10 head-to-head battles this year; the closest was in April when WKZL beat “Kiss” by six-tenths (5.2 to 4.6, 6+). As a result of adding eight-tenths (5.9 – 6.7, 6+), WKZL’s sibling, WKRR “Rock 92,” leaps from seventh to fourth. Without a loss three times in succession for a collective +2.1 (8.8 – 9.5 – 10.9 – 10.9, 6+), Entercom adult hits WSMW “98.7 Simon Says We Play Everything” has been on top in March, June, August, September, and October. Among its 2019 (6+) fluctuations are: +.9 (January); -.6 (February); +.9 (March); -1.6 (April); +1.1 (May); +.5 (June); -1.0 (July); +.7 (August); and +1.4 (September). Prior to its March stay at #1, WSMW last reached the top in August 2016 when it logged a 10.5 (6+). In addition to the market’s (6+) country share shrinking by -2.3, the two key players are deadlocked. More to the point, Entercom’s WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” takes the bulk of the hit (6.8 – 5.2, -1.6, fourth to sixth, 6+), while iHeartMedia-owned WTQR “Q-104.1 – #1 for New Country” is -.7 (5.9 – 5.2, seventh to sixth, 6+). In September, “The Wolf” replicated August’s +.8 and posted its best 6+-stat (6.8) since October 2017’s 7.1. August/September’s +1.6 came directly after WPAW was down or flat three reports in a row for an overall loss of one-half share (5.7 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.2, 6+). Up six-tenths in August, WTQR had a May 2019 through September topline of: 5.7 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.9 – 5.9 (6+). In three straight sweeps without an increase, “Q-104.1” was a cumulative -1.0 (6.0 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.0, 6+), but erased 70% of that deficit in May with a +.7 to 5.7 (6+). Over the course of the last 18 sweeps (June 2018 through October 2019), WTQR has triumphed over WPAW ten times (June 2018, July, August, September, October, November, “Holiday” 2018, January 2019, May, and July); WPAW has come out on top six times (December 2018, February 2019, March, April, August, and September; and there have been two ties (June 2019 and October 2019). Immediately after busting out a September +1.0 to 7.6 (6+), Entercom rhythmic CHR WJMH “102 Jamz” relinquishes 70% of the increase (6.9, -.7, flat at #3, 6+). Five straight upticks by WVBZ netted +2.3 (2.5 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.8, 6+) but the iHeartMedia-owned rocker is now a combined -1.3 in September/October (4.8 – 4.0 – 3.5, 6+); “105.7 – Man Up” exits the top ten (#9 to #11). WVBZ reached the four-share level (4.1, 6+) for the first time since November 2018’s 4.0.

Memphis

Spoken-Word Formats – Following four consecutive increases that yielded a +1.1 (4.1 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 5.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WREC “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” drops seven-tenths to 4.5 (sixth to seventh, 6+).

Repeating at #12, Entercom sports talk WMFS “ESPN Sports Radio” is a combined +.7 in September/October (2.3 – 2.6 – 3.0, 6+). September’s increase suspended seven consecutive down or flat trends that led to a collective -1.7 (4.0 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 2.3, 6+) as well as its lowest 6+-stat (2.3) since July 2018. Co-owned WMC-AM “ESPN 790” is now up or (mostly) flat the 13th straight time for a net gain of three-tenths (.1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 -.1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .3 – .4 , flat at #20, 6+).

Memphis Music Formats – Off six-tenths in August/September (10.1 – 9.8 – 9.5, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS “V-101” responds with a +1.0 in October to 10.5 (6+) and is #1 the 12th time in a row. July’s increase of three-tenths ended four straight down or flat trends that accounted for a -1.8 (11.6 – 11.4 – 10.4 – 10.4 – 9.8, 6+). Prior to June’s loss of six-tenths to 9.8 (6+), KJMS reached double-digits (6+) 14 successive ratings periods. “Holiday” 2018’s 12.8 is the highest 6+-share since December 2012’s 13.5 for “V-101,” which was +2.3 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (10.5 – 11.5 – 12.8, 6+). Cumulus Media’s WXMX “Maximum Rock 98.1 The Max” is +1.2 (3.5 – 3.8 – 4.7, 6+) in September/October and jumps from tenth to sixth. After logging three consecutive downturns that accounted for a net loss of eight-tenths (4.3 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.5, 6+), Entercom’s country-formatted WLFP “94.1 The Wolf” recaptures seven-tenths (4.2, 6+) and reenters the top ten (#11 to #9). In addition to exiting the top ten (#8 to #11), hot AC cluster-mate WMC-FM “FM 100 Today’s Best Mix” is an overall -1.5 via three drops in succession (5.2 – 4.9 – 4.5 – 3.7, 6+) and falls below a four-share (3.7) for the first time since April’s 3.8. Off one-half share each are iHeartMedia classic rock and urban-rhythmic siblings WEGR “Rock 102.7” (seventh to eighth) and WDIA “1070 The Heart & Soul of Memphis” (flat at #13). “Rock 102.7” is down nine-tenths in September/October (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.4, 6+), while WDIA is an overall –1.5 as a result of three straight decreases (3.4 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 1.9, 6+).

Hartford

Spoken-Word Formats – On the heels of September’s robust +1.2 (6.2 – 7.4, 6+), Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM “News Talk 1080” is level at 7.4 (6+) but slips from second to third. Red Wolf Broadcasting news/talk WDRC-AM “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” continues an alternating down/up pattern that began in April:  .9 – .8 – 1.0 – .5 – .6 – .4 – .7 (steady at #14, 6+). For the 17th survey period in a row, iHeartMedia’s WPOP “News Radio 1410” logs a .1 (6+) and is anchored at #16; WPOP was a “no-show” in June 2018.

Off one-tenth (1.7 – 1.6, 6+) after September’s increase of two-tenths, iHeartMedia sports talk WUCS “97.9 ESPN Hartford” continues at #12.

In the last three sweeps, Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR had a shift of one-tenth (4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+). In October, “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” gains two-tenths to 4.5 and is steady at #9. Flat at #13, University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio” returns September’s spike of three-tenths (.8 – 1.1 – .8, 6+).

Hartford Music Formats – An increase of seven-tenths enables Red Wolf Broadcasting classic rock WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale” to cross the seven-share threshold (6.5 – 7.2, fifth to fourth, 6+). Off seven-tenths in August/September (7.9 – 7.2 – 7.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WWYZ “Country 92.5” bounces back with a half-share increase to 7.7 (third to second, 6+). Although down six-tenths to 10.1 (6+), Entercom adult contemporary WRCH “Lite 100.5” is #1 the 40th consecutive time. Its August/September +1.3 (9.4 – 9.5 – 10.7, 6+) basically wiped away June/July’s -1.4 (10.8 – 10.4 – 9.4, 6+). Eight recent (6+) WRCH shifts include: +1.8 (December 2018); -6.9 (January 2019); +1.0 (February); -1.0 (March); -1.3 (April); +1.0 (May); -1.0 (July); and +1.2 (September). “Holiday” 2018’s +5.6 was to 18.0, the strongest 6+-showing for any Hartford station since WRCH recorded an 18.3 in “Holiday” 2017). Prior to slipping to 9.8 in April, “Lite” was in double-digits (6+) in 30 of the previous 32 sweeps. Owing to four straight negative or neutral sweeps, iHeartMedia CHR WKSS “Kiss 95.7 All The Hits” is an overall -1.2 and falls below a six-share (6.9 – 6.8 – 6.5 – 6.5 – 5.7, fifth to eighth, 6+). Entercom adult contemporary WMAS-FM, which ranked #12 in July (1.5, 6+), is unlisted for the third month in a row. Down or flat the fourth time in a row for a cumulative -1.4 (7.2 – 7.2 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 5.8, 6+), classic hits-oldies cluster-mate WHCN “105.9 The River” continues in seventh-place.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

| October 31, 2019

Round Three of October PPM Ratings Released. The third of four rounds of October 2019 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. The October 2019 rating period covered September 12 to October 9.  Here are some of the ratings gains (6+) of note from this group of markets: Bonneville’s KSL-AM/FM, Salt Lake City puts up an astonishing 2.4 share increase from last month to finish at a 6.4 share and a #3 rank in the market; Alpha Media’s news/talk KXL-FM, Portland adds 0.4 to its September number for a 5.1 share and a rise to the #5 rank in the market; iHeartMedia’s WOAI, San Antonio adds to its four-sweep, upward trend to finish the October survey at a 5.7 share and a #2 rank in the market; in Pittsburgh, Entercom’s news/talk KDKA-AM adds 0.4 tenths to finish at a 4.1 share and the #10 rank while sports talk sister KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” increases 0.8 for 7.1 share and remains ranked #4; and Entercom’s sports talk WKRK, Cleveland adds 0.9 tenths to its four-month upward trend to finish with a 5.3 share, good for a #8 rank in the market.  TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian, as he does each month, presents his “Takeaways” from the performances of each market’s spoken-word and music stations.  See his “Takeaways” from this first round here.  You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

Cumulus Names Robert Berju Vice President of Finance and Strategy. Media finance pro Robert Berju joins Cumulus Media in the newly created position VP, finance and strategy. In this role, Cumulus says Berju “will lead financial planning and analysis, budgeting and forecasting, capital management, and modeling of strategic initiatives, while having financial oversight of Westwood One.”  Berju is based in New York City.  Berju was most recently with Clever Devices as SVP, finance and accounting.  He previously served with iHeartMedia as VP, corporate finance and as VP, finance and operations for AMC Networks.  Cumulus Media EVP, marketing and president, Westwood One, Suzanne Grimes says, “Robert is a highly accomplished media veteran with over two decades of finance, accounting, and strategic planning experience.  He will play an important role in building upon the success of Westwood One and propelling the organization to new heights in 2020 and beyond.”

SiriusXM Reports Third Quarter Pro Forma Revenue Up 7%. Reporting 2019 third quarter financial data, SiriusXM says revenue jumped 36.7% to $2.01 billion due to the impact of the February acquisition of Pandora.  Revenue was up 7% on a pro forma basis.  However, net income was $246 million – down from $343 million during the same period a year ago – due largely to expenses tied to redeeming its 6% senior notes due 2024 alongside prior-year non-recurring tax benefits.  Still, the satellite/internet radio business added 210,000 net subscribers, pushing the service’s total to 34.6 million.  Self-pay subscribers now total 29.6 million.  Pandora’s ad revenue rose 8% to $315 million, an all-time high for the service.

TALKERS News Notes. As the wildfires in California continue to create havoc, ABC News Radio says that it is providing extensive coverage with correspondent Alex Stone having spent two days on the fire lines in Northern California covering the Kincaid Fire and correspondent Jason Nathanson on the fire lines in Southern California.  Stone will also host the ‘Start Here’ podcast on Thursday and Friday morning from Los Angeles with a heavy focus on the wildfires…..The content creators at public media organization WHYY-FM in Philadelphia voted overwhelmingly to recognize SAG-AFTRA as their union with 99% voting in support.  The election was conducted by the National Labor Relations Board.  The move allows the unit to proceed with negotiating a first contract.  The new bargaining unit will cover the public media professionals who create content for all areas of the station, including radio, television and digital.  It also covers those working in the news department, on the digital team, on podcasts, in the production departments and on “Fresh Air with Terry Gross,” “The Pulse,” “Billy Penn,” “PlanPhilly,” and “Radio Times.”…..iHeartMedia announces the premiere of “Second Oil Age,” a new, scripted sci-fi podcast set in a deep-sea adventure in a post-energy crisis world.  The first three episodes are available on the iHeartPodcast Network and new episodes debut every Tuesday and Thursday.  The podcast is written by host Robert Lamb and follows Synøve Pan, voiced by Angèle Masters, a specially conditioned agent of the UDEX Oil Corporation as she investigates the disappearance of an oil executive on the deep-sea Atlas Station.  iHM says, “The 10-episode scripted podcast will have true sci-fi fans not only hooked but left with their blood pumping.”

Al Herskovitz Honored by the Media Roundtable in Sarasota.  TALKERS marketing director Al Herskovitz was honored yesterday (10/30) at the monthly luncheon gathering of the Media Roundtable, a Sarasota, FL-based, 300-plus member organization of active and retired media professionals.  Herskovitz (right) pictured with the organization’s chairman Dick Miller (left) was honored for his “years of success in the media and great service to the Media Roundtable.”  TALKERS founder Michael Harrison states, “We are so proud of Al and indeed lucky to have his knowledge and wisdom to draw upon.  At 88, he is still going strong and brings a wealth of career experience to our ‘table’ that spans the decades and centuries.  He is indeed an industry treasure and we love him.”

Impeachment Inquiry, California Wildfires, Twitter Bans Political Ads, 2020 Presidential Race, APEC Summit Canceled/U.S.-China Trade Deal, and Nationals Win World Series Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/30). The testimony for the impeachment inquiry against President Trump; the millions affected by the California wildfires and the PG&E power blackouts; social media platform Twitter announces a ban on political ads; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; Chile cancels the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit due to civil unrest and the related U.S.-China trade deal; and the Washington Nationals upset the Houston Astros to win the World Series 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 Jake Thomson rises to program director at Dick Broadcasting’s country WUBB, Savannah-Hilton Head “BOB 106.9,” taking over for Hunter Meyer, who exited the station back in May.  Thomson will continue to host the PM drive daypart…..Air personality Isaac Wenzel exits iHeartMedia’s Madison country outlet WMAD “96.3 Star Country.  He was also in charge of promotions for the company’s Madison station group.

October PPM Ratings Takeaways – Round Three

| October 31, 2019

October 2019 PPM Data – Information for the October 2019 ratings period has been released for Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s October 2019 survey period covered September 12 – October 9. Managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these PPM-markets below.

Portland

Spoken Word Formats – Locked on 4.7 (6+) in August and September, Alpha Media-owned news/talk KXL “FM News 101 – Stay Connected” adds four-tenths in October (5.1, sixth to fifth, 6+). Its recent fluctuations include: -1.0 (March/April); +1.1 (May/June); -.7 (July); and +.6 (August). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s KEX “News Radio 1190 – Depend On Us” repeats September’s 6+ AQH share (2.3) and market rank (#19). In the ten monthly reports thus far in this calendar year, Alpha Media news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970” has logged a 1.0 (6+) five times and a .9 (6+) the other five times: 1.0 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 (#24 to #23, 6+). After posting a .3 (6+) in June, July, August, and September, Salem Media Group’s KPAM “AM 860 The Answer” is up two-tenths to .5 (#26, 6+).

Not only does Alpha Media’s sports talk KXTG gain an overall half-share in three successive sweeps without a loss (1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.8, 6+), “The Game” returns to the top twenty (#22 to #20). Up one-tenth (1.5 – 1.6, 6+), Entercom’s similarly-formatted KFXX “1080 The Fan” repeats at #21. Advancing from #28 to #27, iHeartMedia-owned KPOJ “Sports Radio 620” has a July 2019 through October 2019 topline of: .3 – .4 – .3 – .4 (6+).

Over and above being a collective +2.0 via three bumps in succession (6.5 – 7.0 – 7.4 – 8.5, 6+), Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk KOPB marches from the runner-up slot to #1. This particular streak follows three downturns in a row that led to a collective -1.4 (7.9 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.5, 6+). KOPB has been +1.2 (January); -2.0 (February/March); +.6 (April); -.9 (May); +.5 (August); and +1.1 (October).

Portland Music Formats – One-half share separates Portland’s top three October 2019 finishers. A combined +1.1 in September/October (6.9 – 7.1, 8.0, 6+) iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLTH “106.7 The Eagle” remains in third-place and has its best 6+-showing (8.0) since April’s 8.6. It is a mixed bag for the market’s two country outlets, resulting in the pair being deadlocked. Specifically, Alpha Media’s KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” rebounds from September’s -1.2 with a +.8 (3.7, #17 to #8), while Entercom-owned KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf” – The Northwest’s Hottest Country” completely reverses September’s +1.3 with a -1.3 (3.7 – 5.0 – 3.7, fifth to eighth). “The Bull” pulls the plug on three consecutive setbacks in which it lost roughly half (-2.8) its 6+ AQH share (5.7 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 2.9, 6+). Meanwhile, “The Wolf” was a combined +1.5 in August/September (3.5 – 3.7 – 5.0, 6+), with September’s 5.0 its strongest (6+) showing since August 2017’s 5.2. As a result of five straight spikes, Salem Media Group regional Mexican KRYP “93.1 El Rey” (1.8 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.8 – 3.0 – 3.4, 6+) is a collective +1.6 and jumps from #16 to #12. The rollercoaster ride continues for All Classical Public Media’s KQAC “All Classical Portland,” which was +.5 (July); +.7 (August); -.5 (September); and now +.7 in October (2.7 – 3.4, #18 to #12, 6+). July’s increase halted five consecutive down or flat moves that resulted in a -2.4 (4.4 – 4.4 – 3.7 – 2.6 – 2.3 – 2.0, 6+). Stuck on 5.1 (6+) in August and September, Entercom adult hits KYCH “97.1 Charlie We Play Everything” flashes a +.6 to 5.7, its best 6+-figure since February 2018’s 5.8; “Charlie” continues in fourth-place. Albeit flat at 8.2 (6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW “K-103,” which was #1 the past three months, segues to #2. Its September +1.1 expunged July/August’s -.7 (7.8 – 7.4 – 7.1, 6+). July marked the first time “K-103” held the lead position since “Holiday” 2018. Ironically, it returned to the top despite having its consecutive string of increases that yielded eight-tenths snapped at three (7.0 – 7.0 – 7.2 – 7.8, 6+). This (8.2 in September and October) is the best 6+-stat for “K-103” since “Holiday” 2018’s 16.2. Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KFIS “104.1 The Fish” has its 6+ AQH share slivered virtually in half (-2.6) in September/October (5.1 – 4.0 – 2.5, 6+) and fades from the top ten (#10 to #18). When “The Fish” picked up four-tenths in July, it ended three consecutive down or flat trends that led to a loss of nine-tenths (4.9 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.0, 6+). After logging three consecutive increases netting eight-tenths (5.1 – 5.5 – 5.6 – 5.9, 6+), Entercom-owned KGON “92.3 Portland’s Classic Rock” is an overall -2.1 in three drops in succession (5.9 – 5.5 – 4.7 – 3.8, sixth to seventh, 6+). Off seven-tenths each are iHeartMedia CHR KKRZ “Z-100 Portland” (3.6, #9 to #11, 6+) and Entercom’s KNRK “94.7 Portland Alternative” (#12 to #14, 6+). The loss by “Z-100” curtails five successive positive or neutral sweeps that netted a +1.0 (3.3 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.3, 6+); KNRK has lost seven-tenths in three consecutive reports without an increase (3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.0, 6+). After posting a 1.8 in June (#20, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVP “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” is unlisted the fourth month in succession.

Charlotte

Spoken-Word Formats – Adding three-tenths to September’s +.4 (3.3 – 3.7 – 4.0, 6+), Entercom news/talk WBT (Carolina Panthers) repeats at #11; WBT was -.9 in June and +1.2 in July.

Co-owned WFNZ “The Fan – Charlotte’s Sports Leader” has a July 2019 through October 2019 topline of: 1.3 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.9 (#18 to #17, 6+).

In all ten of this year’s monthly reports, University Radio Foundation news/talk WFAE has remained in two-share range: 2.7 – 2.9 – 2.3 – 2.8 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.2 (flat at #15, 6+). Adding one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (.1 – .2 – .3, 6+), South Carolina Educational Television Commission news/talk WNSC advances from #23 to #22.

Charlotte Music Formats – Not only does iHeartMedia classic rock WRFX repeat at #1, “99.7 The Fox” is a collective +2.9 via four straight spikes (5.4 – 6.4 – 6.7 – 7.5 – 8.3, 6+). Prior to September, “The Fox” last occupied the top spot in March 2018 (7.3, 6+). Advancing by one-half share each are Beasley Media Group urban AC WBAV “V-101.9” (5.9 – 6.4, third to second, 6+) and iHeartMedia adult hits WLKO “102.9 The Lake” (third to a second-place tie with WBAV). A combined +1.4 in July/August (5.5 – 6.2 – 6.9, 6+), “V-101.9,” which had an August-only stay at #1, spiraled by -1.0 in September. August’s 6.9 was its best 6+-stat since September 2018 (6.9, as well). “The Lake” is now a combined +.7 in September/October (5.7 – 5.9 – 6.4, 6+). Continuing an alternating up/down pattern that began in April (5.1 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 6.8 – 4.9 – 5.3 – 4.7, 6+),  Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies WOSF “105.3 R n B” falls from sixth to eighth with its lowest 6+-stat since February (4.7, as well). In four straight down or flat reports, Entercom hot AC WLNK “107.9 The Link Charlotte’s Best Mix” is an overall -1.2 (4.6 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 3.7 – 3.4, #11 to #12, 6+). On the heels of September’s -.7, Beasley Media Group-owned WSOC “103.7 Country’s Hottest Hits” falters by another half share (6.1 – 5.6, 6+), skidding from second to fifth. A combined -1.5 in June/July (7.5 – 6.9 – 6.0, 6+), WSOC was up eight-tenths in August. Prior to segueing to #2 in June, “103.7 Country’s Hottest Hits” was on top the previous four months. May’s improvement of eight-tenths delivered WSOC its strongest 6+-stat since November 2018 (7.5, as well). Overtaking WSOC is iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country” (5.5 – 5.7, +.2, fifth to fourth, 6+). In five successive positive or neutral moves, “The Kat” was +1.3 (5.3 – 6.1 – 6.3 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 6.6, 6+), before dropping a combined -1.1 in August/September (6.6 – 6.0 – 5.5, 6+). After recording a one-half share increase in June (2.1 – 2.6, #14, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WRCM “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” is unlisted for the fourth month in a row.

San Antonio

Spoken-Word Formats – Winning ways continue for iHeartMedia-owned WOAI “News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather,” which is an overall +1.4 in four straight sweeps without a loss (4.3 – 5.0 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 5.7, third to second, 6+). Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” is up three-tenths (1.7 – 2.0, 6+) and reenters the top twenty (#21 to #19).

Despite logging five successive up or flat moves and more than tripling (+.5) its 6+ AQH-share (.2 – .3 – .3 – .5 – .7 – .7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KTKR “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” backslides from #27 to #28. The July 2019 through October 2019 topline for Alpha Media’s KZDC “ESPN San Antonio” is: .3 – .2 – .3 – .3 (#32 to #33, 6+).

Up one-tenth in consecutive reports (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2, 6+), Texas Public Radio news/talk KSTX advances from #15 to #14.

San Antonio Music Formats – Owing to four upticks in succession, Univision Radio regional Mexican KROM is a collective +1.3 (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 4.5, 6+). “Que Buena 92.9” enters the top ten (#11 to #8) and crosses the four-share threshold (4.5) for the first time since “Holiday” 2018 (4.1). An overall +2.0 through four straight bumps (2.6 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 4.2 – 4.6, 6+), Alpha Media CHR KTFM “Energy 94.1” pushes up from eighth to sixth.

Adding six-tenths to September’s +.5 (6.7 – 7.2 – 7.8, 6+), Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies KONO-FM “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” is #1 the eighth month in a row. Its September increase halted three dips in succession that accounted for an overall -1.8 (8.5 – 8.2 – 7.1 – 6.7, 6+). Whereas May’s 8.5 is its highest 6+-stat since September 2018’s 8.8, August’s 6.7 (6+) is KONO-FM’s lowest since 6.0 (6+) in “Holiday” 2018. “San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” had been the runner-up five successive times before progressing to #1 in March. We are accustomed to seeing San Antonio’s two consistently competitive country FMs on top of each either. In October though, there is actually a bit of distance between them – albeit just a bit. For openers, Cox Media Group-owned KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader” is an overall -1.5 in five straight drops (7.2 – 6.9 – 6.4 – 6.2 – 6.1 – 5.7, 6+) but remains in the runner-up slot. Recent shifts for “Y-100” include: -.8 (December 2018); -1.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.8 (January 2019); +.6 (February); -.6 (March); +.6 (May); and -.5 (July). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” spirals by -1.1 (5.4 – 4.3, fourth to ninth, 6+). Before gaining three-tenths in September, KAJA was -1.1 in three consecutive losses (6.2 – 6.0 – 5.5 – 5.1, 6+). “KJ-97” has been +1.0 (December 2018); -1.0 (“Holiday” 2018); +3.0 (January 2019); –1.9 (March); -.5 (July); and -1.1 (October). Sputtering by seven-tenths each are Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KZLV “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” (#13 to #16, 6+) and Cox Media Group classic country KKYX “Country Legends” (2.5 – 1.8, #17 to #21, 6+). KZLV is trending 2.7 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 2.7 (6+); KKYX falls below a two-share (1.8, 6+) for the first time since December 2018 (1.9).

Sacramento

Spoken-Word Formats – Frozen on 5.2 (6+) in June and July and then on 5.7 (6+) in August and September, iHeartMedia-owned news/talk KFBK “Sacramento’s News, Weather and Traffic Station” gains two-tenths to 5.9 (fourth to third, 6+). Co-owned KSTE “Talk 650” is off a combined half-share in September/October (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+) and repeats at #14; August’s 3.3 was its highest 6+-stat since February 2017’s 3.6.

Joined together at #21 are Bonneville’s KHTK “Sports 1140,” which is without a loss the fifth successive sweep for a +.3 (.6 – .6 – .7 – .8 – .9 – .9, #22 to #21, 6+) and Entercom’s KIFM-AM “ESPN Radio 1320,” which had been up or flat the past three reports for a net gain of three-tenths (.7 – .7 – .8 -1.0, 6+), but drops one-tenth to .9 (6+). The two sports talkers were tied in August with identical (.7 – .8, +.1, 6+) profiles.

Flat at #5, Capital Public Radio news/talk KXJZ follows September’s half-share increase with an October loss of two-tenths (5.3 – 5.1, 6+); December 2018’s 6.9 is the highest 6+-stat in its PPM-history. Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQEI, which had been down or flat the past three months for a -.3 (.7 – .6 – .4 – .4, 6+), is up one-tenth to .5 (flat at #25, 6+).

Sacramento Music Formats – In addition to being an overall +1.2 in three straight upticks (3.2 – 3.6 – 4.1 – 4.4, 6+), Bonneville hot AC KZZO “Now 100.5 Today’s Best Hits” cracks the top ten (#11 to #10) and has its highest 6+-figure since May 2018 (4.4, as well). Down a collective six-tenths in three drops in succession (1.7 – 1.6 – 1.2 – 1.1, 6+), Entravision Communications regional Mexican KRCX “La Tricolor” erases the deficit completely with an October +.6 to 1.7 (#19 to #16). Bouncing back from September’s loss of eight-tenths with an October increase of one-half share (4.0 – 4.5, 6+), iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies KHYL “V-101” reenters the top ten (#12 to #8). September’s 4.0 was its lowest 6+-stat since February (4.0, as well). With a July 2019 through October 2019 topline of 7.8 – 7.9 – 7.6 – 7.8 (6+), Entercom-owned KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” is #1 the ninth month in a row. “The Eagle” held the lead position ten consecutive survey periods before shifting to #2 in December. Seven of its recent fluctuations include: -1.1 (November 2018); -.8 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.0 (February 2019); -.5 (April); +.9 (May); -.6 (June); and -.5 (July). A combined +.9 in August/September (3.9 – 4.4 – 4.8, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KBEB forfeits that entire increase with an October decline of nine-tenths to 3.9 (6+) as “92.5 The Breeze” departs the top ten (#7 to #12). KBEB switched from country to adult contemporary in mid-November (2018). In advance of March/April’s -.8 (4.5 – 4.3 – 3.7, 6+), “The Breeze” netted a +2.1 in three straight positive spikes (2.4 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 4.5, 6+). Following three successive boosts that yielded a +1.1 (5.0 – 5.2 – 6.0 – 6.1, 6+), Entercom’s KRXQ “98 Rock” sputters by eight-tenths to 5.3 (third to fourth, 6+). A combined +.8 in August/September (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.8, 6+), Capital Public Radio classical KXPR forfeits one-half share in October (1.3, #16 to #18, 6+); 1.8 (September) was its strongest 6+-performance since April 2018’s 2.2. Through five negative or neutral moves in a row (6.0 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.5 – 4.9 – 4.7, 6+), Entercom CHR KUDL is an overall -1.3; “106.5 The End” repeats at #6. Immediately after posting four consecutive gains that netted a +1.4 (5.2 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 5.7 – 6.6, 6+), iHeartMedia classic rocker KYRV “93.7 The River” is -2.0 in four straight setbacks (6.6 – 6.3 – 5.2 – 4.8 – 4.6, flat at #7, 6+).

Pittsburgh

Spoken-Word Formats – Tacking on one-half share to September’s +.4 (3.2 – 3.6 – 4.1, 6+), Entercom’s KDKA-AM returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). This time last month, “News Radio 1020” curtailed seven straight negative or neutral reports that accounted for a -1.9 (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.2, 6+).

Co-owned sports talk KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” (Pirates), which was a combined -.6 in July/August (6.3 – 6.1 – 5.7, 6+), is now +1.4 in September/October (5.7 – 6.3 – 7.1, unchanged at #4, 6+). August’s 5.7 was its lowest 6+-share since December 2018’s 5.5. After an amazingly consistent September 2018 through September 2019 topline of: .2 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .2 (6+), iHeartMedia sports talk WBGG 970 AM – ESPN Pittsburgh” (Steelers) logs a +.3 to .5 (6+) but backslides from #19 to #24.

A collective +.6 in three straight improvements (3.6 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.2, 6+), Essential Public Media news/talk WESA “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” surrenders one-half share to 3.7 (6+) and departs the top ten (#9 to #11).

Pittsburgh Music Formats – Virtually obliterating the overall -1.2 via three setbacks in a row (9.5 – 8.7 – 8.6 – 8.3, 6+) with an October +1.1 (to 9.4, 6), iHeartMedia-owned rocker WDVE (Steelers) marches from second to first. Following three straight months at #1, classic hits-oldies sibling WWSW “94.5 3WS,” a combined -1.0 in September/October (8.8 – 8.2, -.6, 6+), segues to the runner-up slot. Its -.4 in September interrupted three increases in succession that led to an overall +1.5 (7.7 – 8.5 – 8.9 – 9.2, 6+); August’s 9.2 was its best 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2018 (13.6). Four straight jumps by alternative sibling WXDX have netted a +1.9 (3.0 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 4.9, 6+) as “105.9 The X” progresses from eighth to seventh. Also in that iHeartMedia cluster, WKST “96.1 Kiss – Pittsburgh’s #1 Hit Music Station” has a fluctuation of seven-tenths for the third month in a row. “Kiss” was +.7 (August); -.7 (September); and -.7 (again) in October (5.9 – 6.6 – 5.9 – 5.2, flat at #5, 6+). August’s 6.6 was the best 6+-showing for “Kiss” since September 2018’s 6.7. Off eight-tenths in October and remaining at #12, Steel City Media hot AC WLTJ “Q-92.9” has a June 2019 through October 2019 down/up pattern of 3.7 – 3.9 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 2.7 (6+). Through five negative or neutral moves in a row (6.3 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.0 – 4.8, 6+), Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHH is a cumulative -1.5; “Wish 99.7” slips from sixth to eighth. Unlisted in July, August, and September, several Forever Media outlets reappear in print in the October report: classic country WLYI (1.2, #16, 6+); country WOGI (1.0, #19, 6+); country WOGG (.7, #22, 6+); and classic hits-oldies WPKL (.7, #22, 6+).

Salt Lake City

Spoken-Word Formats – Among all stations in the 36 PPM markets whose data has been released so far this week, only Bonneville-owned KSL has made a September 2019 – October 2019 (6+) increase of at least two full shares (4.0 – 6.4, +2.4, 6+). Furthermore, “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” vaults from ninth to third. When KSL gained six-tenths in September (3.4 – 4.0, 6+), it pulled the plug on four consecutive down or flat moves that led to a collective -1.8 (5.2 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). August’s 3.4 represents KSL’s lowest-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era. In three straight sweeps without an increase, similarly-formatted/iHeartMedia-owned KNRS lost nine-tenths (3.7 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+) but “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know” ends the slide with an October +.4 to 3.2 (#13 to #12, 6+). Unchanged at #21, Cumulus Media-owned KKAT “860 AM – Utah’s Big Talker” is without a loss in five survey periods in a row for a net gain of two-tenths (.3 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .5, 6+).

For the tenth sweep in a row, Broadway Media sports talk KALL “ESPN 700” is unlisted.

Flat at #16, University of Utah news/talk KUER is trending 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.1 (June – July – August – September – October, 6+).

Salt Lake City Music Formats – It is an excellent sweep for the market’s two main adult contemporary outlets. More to the point, Bonneville’s KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music/Better Work Day” gains four-tenths to 6.7 (6+), jumping from third to first. Entering this ratings period, “FM 100.3” was -2.0 via four straight negative moves (8.3 – 8.0 – 6.7 – 6.6 – 6.3, 6+). KSFI was on top five months in a row; segued to the runner-up slot in April; and returned to #1 in May and June. Three straight increases netted a massive +16.2 (5.6 – 5.7 – 12.7 – 21.8, 6+) for “FM 100.3,” the only PPM-market station in “Holiday” 2018 to reach the 20-share level (6+). Meanwhile, Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted KBEE “B-98.7 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” improves by six-tenths (3.4 – 4.0, 6+) and reenters the top ten (#11 to #10), reaching the four-share level (4.0) for the first time since January’s 4.2. Co-owned country KUBL “K-Bull 93” notches a half share improvement (4.3 – 4.8, steady in eighth-place, 6+) and has its best 6+-stat since February (4.8, as well). The four most recent fluctuations for Capital Broadcasting hot AC KBZN “Now 97.9 – Today’s Best Music” are +.7 (July); -1.1 (August); +1.0 (September); and now -1.3 in October (6.1 – 4.8, fourth to eighth, 6+). Before the May sweep, KBZN had been down or flat three straight times for a net loss of six-tenths (6.0 – 5.6 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+). A combined +.9 in August/September (3.0 – 3.3 – 3.9, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KAAZ forfeits that entire increase (3.0, -.9, 6+) and drifts from the top ten (#10 to #14). In September, “Rock 106.7” had its highest 6+-stat since May 2017 (3.9, as well). Not only does its classic hits-oldies sibling KODJ drop six-tenths (7.1 – 6.5, 6+), “94.1 Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits” has a September-only stay at #1 and segues to second. Prior to September’s increase of four-tenths, KODJ was an overall -.7 in three consecutive down or flat moves (7.4 – 7.4 – 7.0 – 6.7, 6+). “Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits” netted +2.9 via three straight gains (4.4 – 6.4 – 6.8 – 7.3, 6+); surrendered a -1.1 in April; and was +1.2 in May. Bonneville-owned/similarly-formatted KRSP “103.5 The Arrow” is a combined -1.7 in three setbacks in succession (7.6 – 7.2 – 6.3 – 5.9, 6+) with 5.9 its lowest 6+-showing since December 2018’s 5.7. Its July improvement of eight-tenths interrupted May/June’s -1.4 (8.2 – 7.6 – 6.8, 6+), which followed five consecutive increases resulting in an overall +2.5 (5.7 – 6.1 – 6.3 – 7.0 – 7.8 – 8.2, 6+). Before reaching the lead position in July, “Arrow” had an April-only stay at #1. For the tenth sweep in a row, these Broadway Media music-intensive stations are unlisted: adult hits KYMV; alternative KXRK; CHR KUDD; country KEGA; and rhythmic CHR KUUU.

Las Vegas

Spoken-Word Formats – Following four successive sweeps without a loss that led to a +.5 (1.8 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+), Entercom’s KXNT “News Talk Radio 840” drops one-tenth to 2.2 (6+) and is unchanged at #18. Beasley Media Group news/talk KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk” is up a total of two-tenths in September/October (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.2, #25 to #24, 6+).

In five consecutive positive or neutral reports, Lotus Communications sports talk KWWN “ESPN Radio 1100” has more than tripled (+1.0) its 6+ AQH-share (.4 – .5 – .5 – .8 – 1.3 – 1.4, #24 to #22, 6+). After posting a .5 (6+) in each of the last four sweeps, co-owned KRLV “Fox Sports Radio Las Vegas” gains one-tenth to .6 (#27 to  #26, 6+).

On the heels of September’s loss of seven-tenths, Nevada Public Radio news/talk KNPR falters by another eight-tenths (4.8 – 4.1 – 3.3, fifth to eighth, 6+). An August improvement of three-tenths followed its combined -1.3 in June/July (5.8 – 5.2 – 4.5, 6+).

Las Vegas Music Formats – A cumulative +1.3 through three upticks in a row (4.5 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 5.8, 6+), Lotus Communications’ KXPT “97.1 The Point #1 For Classic Rock” bumps up from fourth to third, reaching the five-share level (5.8, 6+) for the first time since March (5.5). Following four straight sweeps without an increase that resulted in a -2.1 (5.0 – 3.6 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+), Entercom rhythmic hot AC KXQQ “Q-100.5” erases one-third of that deficit with a +.7 to 3.6 (6+) and leaps into the top ten (#11 to #6). That particular streak immediately trailed its cumulative +1.1 in five consecutive up or flat moves (3.9 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 5.0, 6+). In May 2019, KXQQ reached the five-share level (6+) for the first time since May 2018 (5.0, as well). A combined -.7 in August/September (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.6, 6+), Beasley Media Group urban-rhythmic oldies KOAS “Jammin’ 105.7” regains all but one-tenth of that loss with a +.6 to 3.2 (6+) and cracks the top ten (#15 to #10). A September dip of six-tenths by KISF took “Zona Mx 103.5” to its lowest 6+-stat (1.7) since “Holiday” 2018’s 1.6. In October, however, the Univision Radio regional Mexican outlet improves by one-half share (1.7 – 2.2, #20 to #18, 6+). Setting the pace the fourth month in a row is iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5 – Better Music For A Better Workday,” which shakes off September’s -.9 with an increase of three-tenths (7.7 – 8.0, 6+). The decrease this time last month snapped at three its consecutive string of positive spikes that netted a +3.8 (4.8 – 6.0 – 7.6 – 8.6, 6+). “Sunny” was #1 from September 2018 through January 2019. Prior to May, it last fell below a five-share (6+) in October 2017 (4.8, as well). “Holiday” 2018’s 12.8 is the highest 6+-share for any Las Vegas station since the 14.0 KSNE logged in “Holiday” 2016. After that “Holiday” 2018 12.8 though, “Sunny” was -8.0 in five successive negative or neutral trends (12.8 – 7.5 – 6.7 – 6.7 – 5.5 – 4.8, 6+). Down six-tenths, co-owned KWNR “95.5 The Bull – Las Vegas’ New Country Leader” falls below a three-share (3.4 – 2.8, 6+) and departs the top ten (#8 to #11). Exiting the top ten as well (#10 to #13) is its format rival, Beasley Media Group’s KCYE “102.7 The Coyote, which is a collective -1.5 via four setbacks in a row (4.1 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.0 – 2.6, 6+).

Orlando

Spoken-Word Formats – An overall +1.0 via three straight improvements (3.5 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news/talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” forfeits one-tenth to 4.4 (6+) yet pushes up from tenth to ninth. Not only does Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM return in full September’s +.9 (5.1 – 4.2, -.9, 6+), “News 96.5” exits the top ten (#8 to #11). WDBO-FM was a combined -1.4 in June/July (5.2 – 4.4 – 3.8, 6+). Having recorded a very consistent March 2019 through September 2019 topline of 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.5 (6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WFLF “News Radio Orlando” posts a +.6 to 3.1 (#15 to #14, 6+).

Tied at #16 are Cox Media Group sports talk WDBO-AM “ESPN 580 Orlando” (1.0 – 1.1, +.1, #18 to #16, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned/similarly-formatted WYGM “FM 96.9 The Game – Orlando’s Sports Leader” (.8 – 1.1, +.3, #20 to #16, 6+).

Up a combined nine-tenths in September/October (2.5 – 3.3 – 3.4, 6+), Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida” progresses from #14 to #13.

Orlando Music Formats – Piling on nine-tenths to September’s +1.6 (4.9 – 6.5 – 7.4, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMGF “Magic 107.7” rockets from fifth to second. This (7.4) is the highest 6+-showing for “Magic” since “Holiday” 2018’s 14.3. Prior to September, WMGF was -1.0 via four straight sweeps without an increase (5.9 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.9, 6+). Improving by six-tenths each are its CHR and rock cluster-mates WXXL “XL-106.7 Orlando’s #1 Hit Music Station” (6.7 – 7.3, fourth to third, 6+) and WJRR “101.1 Orlando’s Rock Station,” which enters the top ten (4.2 – 4.8, #11 to #8, 6+). “XL-106.7” is rebounding from September’s -1.6, which followed three straight sweeps without a loss netting a +1.3 (7.0 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 8.3, 6+). It has been a wild ride lately for Entercom classic hits-oldies WOCL “105-9 Sunny FM – We Own The ‘80s.” A combined -2.5 in September/October (11.0 – 9.5 – 8.5, 6+), “Sunny” is nonetheless #1 the sixth month in a row. Immediately in advance of the September sweep, WOCL produced a whopping +3.1 through four consecutive spikes (7.9 – 9.0 – 9.4 – 10.8 – 11.0, 6+). July’s 10.8 marked the first time any Orlando station hit double-digits (6+) since “Holiday” 2018 when (aforementioned) iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMGF reached 14.3 (6+). WOCL’s April loss of three-tenths interrupted three consecutive increases that netted a +3.3 (4.9 – 6.9 – 7.9 – 8.2, 6+). Dropping from second to fourth, iHeartMedia Spanish tropical WRUM “Rumba 100.3” has its fourth setback in succession for a collective -1.7 (8.7 – 8.5 – 7.8 – 7.1 – 7.0, 6+). WRUM occupied the runner-up slot three months in a row but fell to third in August. Entering the August sweep, “Rumba” notched an 8.5 (6+) in three of the previous four reports (8.5 – 8.5 – 8.7 – 8.5, 6+). Several recent fluctuations by Cox Media Group-owned WWKA include: -.4 (March); +.4 (April); -.5 (May); +.6 (June); -.5 (August); +.6 in September; and now -.9 in October (4.7 – 3.8, 6+); “K-92.3 Orlando’s #1 For New Country” exits the top ten (#9 to #12). Also eroding by nine-tenths in October is Entercom hot AC WOMX “Mix 105.1” (6.8 – 5.9, third to fifth, 6+), which drops below a six-share (5.9, 6+) for the first time since March (5.6). Cluster-mate WQMP “101.9 Orlando’s New Alternative” sputters by one-half share to 3.0 (#13 to #15, 6+), thus snapping at seven its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a +1.4 (2.1 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+).

Cincinnati

Spoken-Word Formats – Despite spiraling by nine-tenths (10.7 – 9.8, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WLW “The Big One” (Reds, Bengals) is #1 the third month in a row. Prior to August, the last time WLW reached #1 was January. Co-owned WKRC “55 KRC The Talk Station,” which was down three-tenths in September, recaptures two-tenths (2.9 – 3.1, 6+) and reenters the top ten (#12 to #10).

Sports talk cluster-mate WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530” more than doubles (+.6) its 6+ AQH Share in three straight sweeps without a loss (.5 – .8 – .8 – 1.1, #20 to #17, 6+). Steady at #23, co-owned WSAI “Fox Sports 1360” has an April 2019 through October 2019 topline of: .4 – .3 – .3 – .4 – .3 – .3 – .4 (6+).

Despite remaining flat at 2.9 (6+), Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU is propelled into the top ten (#12 to #8).

Cincinnati Music Formats – A collective -.6 in four straight sweeps without an increase (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 3.2, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WKFS “Kiss 107.1” answers with a combined +.9 in September/October (3.2 – 3.5 – 4.1, tenth to eighth, 6+). The last time “Kiss” reached the four-share level (6+) was nearly a year ago (November 2018, also 4.1). Leaping from #16 to #12 is Cumulus Media’s WNNF “Cat Country 94.1,” which is +1.0 in September/October (1.9 – 2.3 – 2.9, 6+). Radio One urban contemporary WIZF was -.4 (May); +.7 (June); -.7 (July); a combined +1.2 in August/September; and now -1.5 in October (4.2 – 2.7, 6+); “101.1 The Wiz” slumps from #8 to #15. Immediately after iHeartMedia-owned WEBN posted a September increase of nine-tenths (3.8 – 4.7, 6+), “Cincinnati’s Rock Station” surrenders it in total (3.8, -.9, seventh to ninth, 6+). September’s 4.7 was its highest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2018’s 5.0. For the second time in the last three sweeps, Radio One urban AC WOSL “100.3 Cinci’s R&B Station” drops one-half share and is a collective -1.0 since July (4.0 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.0, #10 to #11, 6+). This (3.0) is its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2018’s 2.6. Steady in fifth-place, Hubbard Broadcasting hot AC WKRQ “Q-102 Cincinnati’s Hit Music” is within 5.4 – 5.9 range (6+) the eighth straight time (5.7 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 5.7 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 5.7 – 5.9, 6+).

Cleveland

Spoken-Word Formats –The eight most recent fluctuations for iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM (Indians) are: -.6 (March); +.9 (April); -.7 (May); +.5 (June); another +.5 (July); +1.1 (August); -.7 (September) and another -.7 in October (6.5 – 5.8, flat at #6, 6+). August’s 7.2 was the strongest 6+-stat for “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” since October 2017’s 8.5. Unlisted the past three months, Salem Media Group news/talk WHK “AM 1420 The Answer – News-Opinion-Insight” resurfaces in print with a .9 (#17, 6+).

Through four positive spikes in succession, Entercom’s WKRK “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” (Browns) nets a +2.3 (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 4.4 – 5.3, tenth to eighth, 6+) and has its best 6+-stat (5.3) since January’s 5.4.

Following September’s -1.3 (4.0 – 2.7, 6+), Ideastream-owned news/talk WCPN posts a gain of six-tenths to 3.3 (#13 to #12, 6+). September’s 2.7 marked the first time WCPN fell below a three-share since “Holiday” 2018’s 2.1.

Cleveland Music Formats – Shaking off September’s -.9 with an October +.8 (8.3 – 7.4 – 8.2, 6+), Entercom-owned WNCX advances from fourth to second; “98.5 Cleveland’s Classic Rock” shared the lead in August. Prior to August/September’s -1.1 (8.5 – 8.3 – 7.4, 6+), WNCX was a collective +2.1 via five straight upticks (6.4 – 7.0 – 7.6 – 7.3 – 8.4 – 8.5, 6+). While it remains at #15, Ideastream-owned WCLV “Classical 104.9” logs its third uptick in succession for a collective gain of seven-tenths (.9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.6, 6+) and has its best 6+-showing (1.6) since February’s 2.2. Notwithstanding that it drops four-tenths (9.0 – 8.6, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI “Majic 105.7 – Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” repeats at #1. Immediately before falling to third in August, WMJI was the market leader for eight straight sweeps. August’s 8.2 was its lowest 6+-stat since December 2018’s 7.9. Eight recent “Majic” shifts include: +2.8 (“Holiday” 2018); -1.7 (January 2019); +.8 (February); +1.0 (March); -1.0 (April); -.6 (July); -1.0 (August); and +.8 (September). Off one-half share (8.2 – 7.7, 6+), immediately after posting a September gain of six-tenths, Radio One urban AC WZAK slips from second to fourth. WZAK was -1.1 in July (7.8 – 6.7) and then a combined +1.5 in August/September (6.7 – 7.6 – 8.2, 6+). When WZAK gained three-tenths in June, it halted five successive sweeps without an increase that resulted in a -1.2 (8.7 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 7.5, 6+). Within 3.1 – 3.9 range the ninth successive time (3.6 – 3.9 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.1 – 3.2, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WAKS “96.5 Kiss FM” drops from #12 to #13.

Kansas City

Spoken-Word Formats – By tacking seven-tenths onto September’s +.9, Entercom news/talk KMBZ-FM “98.1 News-Traffic-Weather” crosses the six-share level and repeats at #4 (4.5 – 5.4 – 6.1, 6+). Co-owned KMBZ-AM “Talk 980” has lost a cumulative one-half share in four consecutive down or flat reports (2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 1.8 – 1.8, flat at #20, 6+). Unchanged at #21, Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM “Talk Radio 710 AM” is trending 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.0 (July – August – September – October, 6+).

After posting shifts of four-tenths three months in a row (3.2 – 2.8, July, 6+; 2.8 – 3.2, August, 6+; and 3.2 – 3.6, September, 6+), Union Broadcasting’s WHB “Sports Radio 810” notches a +.6 to 4.2 (6+) and zooms into the top ten (#12 to #7). October’s 4.2 is its best 6+-stat since January (5.0). Meanwhile, Entercom-owned KCSP “610 Sports Radio” (Royals) is a collective +.9 in three straight gains (2.5 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4, #13 to #12, 6+). This directly follows three drops in succession that resulted in a -1.5 (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.3 – 2.5, 6+).

Flat at #8, University of Missouri news/talk KCUR has a June 2019 through October 2019 topline of: 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.4 – 4.1 (6+).

Kansas City Music Formats – Following three reports in a row without an increase that accounted for an overall -1.0 (9.2 – 9.2 – 8.6 – 8.2, 6+), Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies KCMO-FM “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” erases 60% of the deficit (8.8, +.6, 6+) and remains at #2. KCMO-FM had been +3.8 via six successive sweeps without a loss (5.4 – 6.6 – 7.7 – 7.9 – 7.9 – 9.2 – 9.2, 6+). Seven of its recent fluctuations include: +1.6 (“Holiday” 2018); -1.3 (January 2019); +1.2 (February); +1.1 (March); +1.3 (June); -.6 (August); and +.6 (October). A half-share spike to 3.4 (#15 to #12, 6+) by Steel City Media adult contemporary KCKC “KC-102.1 Today’s Best Variety” applies the brakes to five successive negative or neutral trends that led to a collective -1.5 (4.4 – 4.0 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.2 – 2.9, 6+). Powered by its combined +1.2 in September/October (9.3 – 10.3 – 10.5, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned KCFX “101 The Fox – Kansas City’s Classic Rock Station” (Chiefs) is #1 the fourth month in a row. An August -.6 interrupted four positive spikes in succession that netted a +2.6 (7.3 – 7.7 – 8.4 – 8.6 – 9.9, 6+). In this year’s ten survey periods, KCFX has been on top seven times (January, February, May, July, August, September, and October), while (aforementioned) cluster-mate KCMO-FM has set the pace the other three (March, April, and June). A combined +1.6 in August/September (2.9 – 4.2 – 4.5, 6+), University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian KJNW “Life 88.5” relinquishes all but three-tenths of that increase (3.2, -1.3, 6+) and plummets from #6 to #14. Immediately after posting a September +.8 to 7.0 (6+), Carter Broadcast urban contemporary KPRS “Hot 103 Jamz” falters by seven-tenths (6.3, 6+) but continues in third-place. Entercom’s KQRC “98.9 The Rock” has its third decrease in a row for a collective -1.2 and falls below a four-share (4.9 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.7, ninth to tenth, 6+).

Columbus

Spoken-Word Formats – More than making up for August’s loss of three-tenths, iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN “News Radio 610” is a combined +1.4 in September/October (5.0 – 5.6 – 6.4, fifth to fourth, 6+).

Unlisted in July, August, and September, Tegna’s WBNS-FM “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” reappears in second-place with a topline of 4.0 – 5.7 – 7.0 (6+). October’s 7.0 represents its best printed 6+-stat since December 2018’s 7.3. Co-owned/similarly formatted WBNS-AM resurfaces as well with a .2 (#19, 6+).

Although up a combined half-share in September/October (4.3 – 4.6 – 4.8, 6+), Ohio State University news/talk WOSU slips from sixth to seventh.

Columbus Music Formats – An overall -2.2 in three straight declines (13.0 -11.7 – 11.1 – 10.8, 6+) but then up a combined seven-tenths in August/September (10.8 – 11.2 – 11.5, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WCOL falters by eight-tenths to 10.7 (6+). Nonetheless, “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” is #1 the 23rd sweep in a row and has been in double-digits (6+) each ratings period since June 2017. Sample fluctuations for WCOL include +3.1 (January 2018); -2.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +.8 (January 2019); +.7 (February); +1.2 (April); -1.3 (May); -.6 (June); and -.8 (October). Directly after gaining nine-tenths via three successive up or flat trends (6.7 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 7.6, 6+), Saga Communications adult contemporary WSNY is a combined -1.4 in September/October (7.6 – 6.9 – 6.2, 6+) as “Sunny 95” slumps from second to sixth. It’s a somewhat similar scenario for hot AC cluster-mate WVMX “Mix 107.9,” which was +.8 in August but regresses by -1.4 in September/October and dips below a two-share (3.3 – 2.4 – 1.9, #12 to #14, 6+). August 2019’s 3.3 was its highest 6+-stat since 3.3 in August 2018. Conversely, co-owned classic hits-oldies WNND “Rewind,” which was a combined -1.3 in August/September (3.4 – 2.8 – 2.1, 6+), directly following a collective +1.2 through four consecutive positive spikes (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 3.0 – 3.4, 6+), is up three-tenths to 2.4 (flat at #13, 6+). WNND reached the three-share level (June, 3.0, 6+) for the first time since December 2017’s 3.1. Falling from second to third is iHeartMedia CHR WNCI, which is an overall -1.7 in five straight down or flat moves (8.6 – 7.4 – 7.1 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 6.9, 6+); “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music Station” was +.1.4 in May. Adult hits sibling WODC “93.3 The Bus” is a collective -1.8 in three straight drops (5.6 – 4.7 – 4.2 – 3.8, seventh to eighth, 6+). WODC has been +3.7 (December 2018/“Holiday” 2018); -4.1 (January 2019); +.9 (May); -.5 (June); +1.0 (July); -.9 (August); and -.5 (September). Prior to the June sweep, “The Bus” notched three consecutive up or flat sweeps that yielded a +1.0 (4.1 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 5.1, 6+). July’s 5.6 was its best 6+-stat since 8.7 in “Holiday” 2018.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

| October 30, 2019

Round Two of October PPM Ratings Released. The second of four rounds of October 2019 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The October 2019 rating period covered September 12 to October 9.  Some (6+) ratings gains of note from these markets include: Entercom’s sports talk WJFK-FM, Washington rises 0.8 to a 4.3 share and a #8 ranking in the market; both Boston sports talkers see positive movement as Beasley Media Group’s WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” climbs 1.1 to a 6.1 share and #4 in the market while Entercom’s WEEI goes up 0.7  to 4.4 share and #7 in the market; Cumulus Media’s news/talk WJR, Detroit climbs 0.6 to a 2.9 share; Bonneville’s KMVP, Phoenix “98.7 Arizona Sports” gains 0.7 to a 3.1 share; iHeartMedia’s news/talk KOGO, San Diego ranked #5 in the market after a 0.7 increase to a 5.0 share; and recent programming changes at iHeartMedia’s KDFD, Denver “Freedom 93.7” push it up a full share to a 2.1 and #18 in the market.  TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian, as he does each month, presents his “Takeaways” from the performances of each market’s spoken-word and music stations. See his “Takeaways” from this second round here.  You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

TALKERS News Notes. Tomorrow (10/31), C-SPAN2 will air a one-hour special television program about the new book by nationally syndicated radio host Todd Starnes titled, Culture Jihad: How to Stop the Left From Killing a Nation (2019, Post Hill Press).  Former longtime FOX News Radio host Starnes is launching a new, three-hour talk show on Monday (11/4).  Interested stations can inquire about the program by emailing: media@hamiltonstrategies.com…..The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that WIP, Philadelphia overnight on-air personality Big Daddy Graham is dealing with a setback in his health situation that began with a spinal cord injury back in July.  His daughter Ava Graham, who works on the Angelo Cataldi morning show on the station, told listeners her father is back in the hospital suffering with double pneumonia, an inflamed kidney, and a necrotic femur.  He spent 88 days in the hospital recovering from the spinal cord injury that has left him paralyzed from the waist down…..Tomorrow night (10/31), Premiere Networks personality George Noory will continue his traditional “Ghost to Ghost AM” version of the “Coast to Coast AM” show.  It will feature ghost stories, open-line callers, and a Halloween greeting from actor Bill Mumy (“Lost in Space” and “Babylon 5”), as well as a deceased guest.  He’ll also welcome special guests, including The Haunted Housewives – Theresa Argie and Cathi Weber…..WSCO-AM, Appleton, Wisconsin “The Score” morning personality Brian Butch is adding duties with the Big Ten Network this season as a game and studio analyst.  The former University of Wisconsin basketball star says, “I’m excited for this opportunity and for a chance to get back to my Big Ten roots.  I look forward to continuing my growth as a broadcaster and sharing my knowledge of basketball with the viewers.”  Butch co-hosts the “BJ and the Bear” program on the Woodward Radio Group sports talk outlet.  He’s also filled in on FOX Sports Radio’s Rich Eisen show…..Premiere Networks and Dr. Dave Creative Entertainment announce the launch of the “Legit Check” podcast, hosted by Yeezy Busta.  The program is “a journey through the evolving and influential world of sneaker culture.  Each week, Yeezy Busta will invite celebrities, musicians, comedians, athletes, and other sneaker enthusiasts to discuss the state of sneaker culture –where it’s going, the people who influence it, the latest trends, its effect on music, and much more.”

Westwood One: Boomers Are a Demographic Brands Shouldn’t Ignore. In its weekly blog post, Westwood One states that while so many advertisers are focusing on targeting Millennials, “Boomers account for 54% of all disposable income, making them an important demographic brands can’t afford to ignore.  Using AM/FM radio, they can reach and influence this desirable consumer group.” Some of the data points in the report include: Boomers 50+ spend nearly $550 billion annually on their home and personal retail. Boomers have a more active lifestyle than Millennials, spending 56% more time doing leisure activities and sports and 22% more time shopping than Millennials 25-34, according to the Video Advertising Bureau; Weekly, persons 50-64 spend an average of 14 hours and 35 minutes with AM/FM radio.  Daily, they are clocking an average of 2 hours and 5 minutes with AM/FM radio; and Boomers especially connect with classic rock, the music of their formative years, as well as news/talk and sports format stations.  See the blog here.

Impeachment Inquiry Testimony, California Wildfires, 2020 Presidential Race, Boeing CEO Testimony, Rising Sea Levels/Global Warming, and Brexit Election Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/29). Tuesday’s testimony from National Security Council member Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman before the House Intelligence Committee about President Trump’s plea to Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden; the California wildfires that have some 25 million people on edge and the PG&E power blackouts; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg’s testimony before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee; the latest report on climate change and rising sea levels; and Britain’s December 12 elections in which Prime Minister Boris Johnson hopes to gain conservative PMs to push his Brexit plan through were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Nominations Open for 2020 NAB Technology Awards. The National Association of Broadcasters announces it is opening nominations for the 2020 Technology Awards to be presented at the NAB Show in Las Vegas.  The Radio and Television Engineering Achievement Awards are presented to individuals for their outstanding accomplishments in the radio or television broadcast industry and include the following honors: Radio Engineering Achievement Award; Television Engineering Achievement Award; Technology Innovation Award; and Best Paper Award.  NAB executive vice president and chief technology officer Sam Matheny says, “It is an annual highlight to present these awards to deserving individuals and organizations in celebration of our industry’s technical and engineering achievements.  I look forward to again recognizing the successes that foster progress in broadcast technology and broadcaster innovation at the 2020 NAB Show.”  The deadline for nominations is January 13, 2020. Nomination forms and detailed award rules are available at nab.org/events/awards.asp, along with listings of past recipients.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. WKSC, Chicago “103.5 KISS FM” promotes overnight and weekend personality JRDN to the 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight show.  iHeartMedia Chicago SVP of programming James Howard says, “He brings a level of energy to events that no one can match.  Through his charisma and passion for both music and radio, JRND creates inviting and exciting experiences for listeners on the air and in person.”…..Eight-year iHeartMedia New York engineer Tony Peiffer returns to Lewistown, Pennsylvania to take on the market manager role at Mifflin County Communications/Nittany Media where he’ll be in charge of active rock WCHX-FM, country WVNW-FM “Star Country 96.7,” and classic hits WKVA-AM/W262DO “Big 100.3.”  He says, “This is sort of a homecoming, as I had worked with this company prior to my move to the Big Apple.  I’m looking forward to rejoining and now leading the team in Lewistown.  I’d like to thank Ann Hain, Jon Hain, and the entire leadership team at Nittany Media for putting their faith in me to rebuild their hometown heritage stations and brands.”…..Entercom announces the lineups and dates for the “Stars and Strings” concerts in New York (12/4), Detroit (12/6), and Chicago (12/8).  Entercom SVP of programming and music initiatives Michael Martin says, “‘Stars and Strings’ has been consistently sold out in Chicago every year since its inception and sold out in under 30 minutes in its debut in Detroit.  We look forward to expanding the show to additional cities to reflect the strength and mass appeal reach of country music.”  The Detroit lineup includes: Keith Urban, Maren Morris, Lady Antebellum, Kelsea Ballerini, Jon Pardi, Brett Young and Ryan Hurd and a portion of the proceeds will benefit Folds of Honor – a charity that provides educational scholarships to spouses and children of America’s fallen and disabled service members.  To date, Entercom has raised more than $250,000 for Folds of Honor.  The New York show will feature: Sam Hunt, Dustin Lynch, Chris Janson, Blanco Brown, Runaway June, Gone West, and Matt Stell.  The Chicago event will feature: Kane BrownChris Janson, Scotty McCreery, Lindsay Ell, and Seaforth…..Google and SiriusXM announce that SiriusXM will be available on Google Nest smart speakers and displays via the Google Assistant.  Rolling out over the next week, users will see SiriusXM’s extensive lineup of programming in the Google Home app, available on iOS and Android devices…..Last night (10/29), Big Sean took the stage at the Apollo Theater in Harlem for iHeartRadio LIVE.  He performed hits including” “Bezerk,” “Single Again,” and “Bounce Back,” as well as some of his earlier hits.  Pictured backstage at the Apollo are (from l-r): iHeartMedia EVP of programming Thea Mitchem; iHeartMedia manager, artist relations, urban programs Newal Dehan; Big Sean; iHeartMedia president of entertainment enterprises John Sykes; and iHeartMedia artist operations and production Natasha Lees. Photo: Rachel Kaplan.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

| October 23, 2019

Steve Bannon Launches Impeachment-Focused Radio Show and Podcast. Politico is reporting that former Breitbart executive and former Donald Trump strategist Stephen K. Bannon has launched a daily, one-hour radio show and podcast called, “War Room: Impeachment.”  The story indicates that show is airing on six conservative talk stations in Virginia and Florida, though no call letters are cited.  Bannon tells Politico that “the show will be about the impeachment process, specifically the witnesses and the evidence, and ‘is going to get very granular.’”  Bannon says he aims “to break news and make the show an outlet for people to leak information related to impeachment.”  The program includes two co-hosts – former Trump campaign communications director Jason Miller and former Breitbart London bureau chief Raheem Kassam.  Bannon hosted a daily morning political talk show on SiriusXM when he was with Breitbart.

Todd Starnes to Moderate SRN Political Event.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Todd Starnes is moderating Salem Radio Network’s “Countdown 2020: The Race to the White House” on November 5 in San Antonio.  The panelists include SRN talk show hosts Dennis Prager and Dr. Sebastian Gorka.  Starnes – a best-selling author and syndicated political columnist who recently left FOX News – is launching his new, three-hour talk radio program via Hamilton Strategies on Monday, November 4.  Interested parties can contact media@hamiltonstrategies.com for more information.

Report: Stephen A. Smith to Leave ESPN Radio as Part of New Contract.  The New York Post is reporting on the story broken by The Big Lead that ESPN and Stephen A. Smith are negotiating a contract extension that would pay him $40 million to $50 million over a five-year period.  According to the Post, Smith will continue his “First Take” duties, add more “SportsCenter” appearances, and host his own edition of “SportsCenter” on Wednesdays before NBA games.  He would, however, exit his daily midday show on ESPN Radio.  The story also says that ESPN talent who might take over the radio show include Max Kellerman or Mina Kimes.

KYW, Philadelphia’s Cherri Gregg Named Journalist of the Year. KYW, Philadelphia community affairs reporter and on-air host Cherri Gregg is named Journalist of the Year by the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists.  Gregg is recognized by the organization in the broadcast and online category and will be honored at the PABJ’s annual Awards and Scholarship Gala on November 2 in Philadelphia.  Entercom Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff says, “Cherri is extremely deserving of this award.  She is a champion of the community who is constantly searching for and reporting on the stories and issues that matter most to KYW Newsradio listeners across the Philadelphia area.  I’m proud to call her a member of our team.”  Gregg joined KYW Newsradio as a reporter in 2010 and has served as the station’s community affairs reporter since 2013.  In addition to that role, Gregg hosts “Flashpoint with Cherri Gregg,” a weekly program that focuses on the most relevant issues affecting the Philadelphia area.  The program airs on five Entercom Philadelphia stations.  Earlier this year, Gregg was recognized with two National Association of Black Journalists Salute To Excellence Awards for radio investigative reporting and podcasting.

TALKERS News Notes. On November 15, the Black News Channel will debut in 30 million American homes and one of the personalities on the new network will be Salem Radio Network talk host Larry Elder.  BNC hasn’t specifically stated what program or daypart Elder will host, just that he’s a “show host/commentator.”  Vibe.com says, “Everyone loves a wildcard and BNC has found one in Larry Elder.  The radio staple and attorney has over 25 years in the industry from news programs on NBC and ABC News & Talk.  He also starred as a judge on ‘Moral Court,’ an early production by TMZ creator Harvey Levin in 2001.”…..Gone from the air on Bonneville’s news/talk KTAR-FM, Phoenix is afternoon drive personality Mac Watson – one half of the “Mac & Gaydos” show.  The station made no announcement about the change, but Larry Gaydos continues in the daypart as solo host of “Gaydos in the Afternoon.”  Watson had been partnered with Gaydos since 2008…..In Cleveland, Good Karma Brands announces two new staffers for its sports talk duo of WKNR-AM “ESPN 850” and WWGK-AM “ESPN 1540 KNR2.”  Brock Thompson joins from MAVTV where he was VP of media sales to become general sales manager for Good Karma.  At the same time, Amy Crossman is named marketing director for the stations.  She was most recently director of partnerships for the Pro Football Hall of Fame…..The Radio America nationally syndicated “Passport Mommy” program, hosted by veteran talk show host and mom Michelle Jerson, welcomes WGCH-AM, Greenwich, Connecticut to its growing list of affiliates.  “Passport Mommy” is heard on more than 50 radio stations nationwide.  On the show, Jerson covers the topics on everyone’s mind as a new parent.  This nationally syndicated lifestyle, interview format show for women, features interesting guests with cool products and advice for parents.

Impeachment Inquiry, Ukraine ‘Quid Pro Quo,’ 2020 Presidential Race/Clinton-Gabbard Feud, A Warning Book to Be Published, U.S.-Syria Policy, Hong Kong Extradition Bill, and Brexit Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/22). The status of the impeachment inquiry against President Trump; the testimony from U.S. diplomat Bill Taylor regarding allegations President Trump would withhold military aid to Ukraine until it opened an investigation into Joe and Hunter Biden; the Democrats hoping to challenge Trump in 2020, speculation Hillary Clinton will join the race, and Clinton’s feud with U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard; the anonymous Trump administration official announces November 15 for publication of tell-all book, A Warning; the U.S.’ military exit from Syria; Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam announces extradition bill is dead; and the U.K.’s Brexit chaos were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. A surprise at Entercom’s country KMLE, Phoenix as Maria Knight and Chad Mitchell exit the morning show months after moving over from the company’s classic hits KOOL.  It’s not clear what the station’s plans are for replacing the duo but the show is now called “Country Music Mornings.”…..On-air pro Ryan Lacosse is exiting the Cumulus Media Peoria station group at the end of this month to pursue a career outside of the radio business.  Lacosse hosts the morning show on rhythmic CHR WZPW “Power 92.3” as Oryan and the midday show on sister rock WIXO “105.7 The X Rocks” as Ryan Black.….Cumulus Media’s Westwood One is presenting “A Salute to Our Military Veterans,” the annual Veterans Day special that honors “generations of men and women who answered the call to serve in the U.S. armed forces.”  The show is hosted by Kix Brooks, host of “America’s Country Countdown,” and includes appearances from Florida Georgia Line, Tim McGraw, Chris Young, Chris Janson, Justin Moore, Brantley Gilbert, and more.  The program can air any time on Saturday, November 9 through Monday, November 11, 2019, between 6:00 am and 12:00 midnight…..Yesterday (10/22), WMMR, Philadelphia midday personality Pierre Robert was honored as one of the 2019 inductees into the Philadelphia Music Alliance’s Annual Walk of Fame.  Other honorees included the Philadelphia Orchestra, The O’Jays, The Hooters, Evelyn “Champagne” King, Jody Gerson, and Dorrance “Dodo” Hamilton.

September 2019 PPM Analysis: News/Talk

| October 15, 2019

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

LOS ANGELES —  An in-depth analysis of (commercial, English-language) news/talk stations concludes our four-part series of September 2019 overviews.

If a commercial, English-language news/talk outlet (including its online stream, if applicable) appeared in any of Nielsen Audio’s 48 PPM-markets (6+, September 2019), it is included in this wide-ranging overview. Thus, there are no ratings restrictions in this particular synopsis.

Unless otherwise noted, information for each station and stream was factored into all of our highlighted charts.

Read More

September 2019 PPM Analysis: Hot AC

| October 14, 2019

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

LOS ANGELES — Last week’s extensive September 2019 ratings overviews dealt with two spoken-word arena formats: all-news (Thursday, 10/10) and sports talk (Friday, 10/11).

Waiting on deck is our thorough examination of news/talk; however, in advance of that, we turn our attention to hot AC.

Breakouts shown here consist of data from hot AC stations that rank in the top 20 in any PPM market (6+, September 2019).

Over and above that ratings caveat, Nielsen Audio only releases audience estimates for stations that subscribe to its services.

Thus, ratings stats in this and our other analyses are limited to facilities that pay Nielsen Audio for its data.

Read More

Friday, October 11, 2019

| October 11, 2019

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 September 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk radio.  As the NFL began its 100th season of play, 65% of the sports talk stations on our panel saw their weekly, 6+ AQH share increase from the August survey to the September survey, with big gainers Cumulus Media’s WGFX-FM, Nashville (+1.5), Beasley Media Group’s WBZ-FM, Boston (+1.3), and Entercom’s WKRK-FM, Cleveland (+1.0) leading the way.  Comparing September 2018 to September 2019, 50% of the sports talk stations on our panel are up, with 43% down and 7% steady.  Just one sports talk outlet ranked #1 in its market during the September survey – Entercom’s WIP-FM, Philadelphia.  The company’s WFAN, New York ranked #2 in the Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island) market.  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Envision Networks Adds to Sales and Marketing Teams in Cleveland. Two personnel changes take place in Envision Networks’ Cleveland office.  First, Jen Weisfeld moves from her role as assistant marketing manager to affiliate relations manager.  In this role, Weisfeld consults and assists Envision Networks’ affiliates and potential radio stations throughout the northwest states on their programming, sales, and production needs.  Second, Lara Weidner joins Envision Networks as the assistant marketing manager following a stint as a marketing intern.  In this role, Weidner handles public relations and other marketing aspects for the company’s shows, features, and services.  Speaking about Weisfeld, Envision senior affiliate relations manager Ryan Verardi says, “Super serving our affiliates is our most important job. Jen’s radio experience and knowledge of our shows and services makes her an incredible resource to stations across the country.”  Envision Networks marketing director Dave Hintz adds, “Lara Weidner brings a strong work ethic to our team.  She has done a great job building better processes for the public relations function and produces quality marketing pieces for our sales team.”

Former WCTC, New Brunswick Personality to Receive Easter Seals Honor. Radio pro Bert Baron left Beasley Media Group’s news/talk WCTC-AM, New Brunswick where he was the longtime morning drive host to take on the public information officer role with the City of New Brunswick.  On Wednesday, October 16, Baron will receive the 2019 Champion Award from Easter Seals NJ, recognizing Baron’s ongoing commitment to providing opportunities to individuals living with disabilities and special needs.  Baron says, “It’s truly an honor to receive this special recognition from Easter Seals NJ.  It’s one of the many lifelong connections I’ve been fortunate to make through the three ‘ships’ of broadcasting: partnerships, friendships, and relationships. It’s moments like these that make live-and-local radio simply irreplaceable.” During this radio career Baron was elected into the New Jersey Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame and received a Marconi Award nomination for Best Large Market Personality from the NAB.

New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation” Posted.  The recently launched, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC (10/11).  The new episode titled, “DC Reality Show!” looks back at this past week of October 7-11, 2019 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine;  Hugh Hewitt, talk show host, Salem Radio Network); Dick Morris, political strategist/author/pundit; Nan Su, reporter, NTDTV/The Epoch TimesChip Franklin, talk show host, KGO, San Francisco; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company.  This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs on WONK-FM on Friday afternoons between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm as well as other stations around the country including KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; and KBKW, Aberdeen, WA as a special week-in-review and during the weekend on the Virginia Talk Radio Network as well as Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA and the iHeartRadio App.  To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here.  To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.

Howard Stern Commemorates Opening of SiriusXM Hollywood Studios. Pictured above is SiriusXM personality Howard Stern (left) with actor Seth Rogen (center) and rap artist Snoop Dogg (right) at the official grand opening of the SiriusXM Hollywood Studios this week.   Other stars appearing with Stern during his broadcasts from California included: Jennifer Aniston, Robert Downey, Jr., Jimmy Kimmel, Adam Levine, Demi Moore, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

TALKERS News Notes. Former Golden State Warriors player Chris Mullin is joining Cumulus Media’s sports talk KNBR-AM/FM, San Francisco as an on-air contributor.  KNBR program director Jeremiah Crowe says, “We are thrilled to welcome Chris into the KNBR family.  Chris brings a unique perspective to both our Warriors coverage and overall NBA coverage, given his great success as a player, coach, and executive.”…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports Nexstar Media Group’s WGN-AM is adding Sunday afternoon football to its programming via Compass Media Networks.  But WGN listeners won’t hear the Bears – those rights belong to Entercom’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM.  Robert Feder also reports that WGN is changing part of its business model and is now airing a full simulcast online, instead of airing different commercials on the stream.  Because of this, the station qualifies for Nielsen’s Total Line Reporting in which its over-the-air and streaming ratings can be combined…..The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that former WGST, Atlanta talk radio host Dana Barrett is running for congress as a democrat.  The piece notes that Barrett considers herself socially liberal and “fiscally responsible.”  She hopes to challenge Republican Barry Loudermilk for the 11th Congressional District seat.

Impeachment Inquiry/Ukraine Scandal Top News/Talk Story for Week of October 7-11. The Democrats’ impeachment inquiry against President Trump and the related issue of whether the president implied he’d release Ukraine financial aid in exchange for President Volodymyr Zelensky investigating Hunter and Joe Biden’s energy dealings there was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the 2020 presidential election.  Coming in at #3 was Turkey’s invasion of Syria, followed by U.S.-China relations at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Alpha Media’s Lincoln, Nebraska station group, Double J is named content director for CHR KFRX.  Double J was most recently with SummitMedia’s rhythmic CHR KPHW, Honolulu “POWER 104.3” as APD and morning drive host.  Alpha Lincoln operations manager Rob Kelley says, “We are very excited to bring Double J’s excitement, energy, and knowledge to lead heritage KFRX into the next decade with our Alpha Lincoln operation!”…..NRG Media announces that programming pro Jay Michaels is joining the company’s Omaha cluster to serve as program director for hot AC KQKQ “SWEET 98.5” and hip hop KOPW “POWER 106.9.”  NRG Media Omaha general manager Mark Shecterle comments, “I am thrilled to have Jay join our incredibly talented and award-winning staff.  Jay’s music knowledge, creativity, passion for radio and his competitive spirit is second to none.  Jay has a great programming mind, as well as a strong sales mentality, which is important in our business.  I am very fortunate to once again work with Jay, as he is truly one of the best programmers in the business.”…..PennLive.com reports on cuts at Cumulus Media’s Pennsylvania stations WZCY, Mechanicsburg, “Nash 93.5 FM” and CHR WWKL, Hershey “Hot 106.7.”  At WZCY, morning radio host Charles “Chachi” Angelo exits and at WWKL, morning personalities Ryan “DJ Puff” Downes and Steph Pagliaro also exit.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

| October 8, 2019

Mike Thomas Exits Boston’s ‘Sports Hub’ for WMVP, Chicago Market Manager Role. This move means a program director role at one of the top-performing sports talk radio stations in America is open.  Beasley Media Group announces that it is “looking for the Bill Belichick of sports radio” as it seeks a PD for WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub.”  Mike Thomas, who also serves as Beasley Media Group’s national spoken word and podcast brand manager, announces he’s leaving Boston to accept a new position in Chicago – market manager for Good Karma-operated WMVP “ESPN 1000” – in order to be closer to his family and fulfill a career goal of becoming a market manager.   Beasley says he will continue to remain as a consultant to the station and actively participate in the search process.  Thomas says, “This was an incredibly difficult decision.  This radio station is a once-in-a-career station, with a once-in-a-career staff.  I would like to thank Caroline and Brian Beasley and the entire corporate team for everything. Locally, Mary Menna, Cadillac Jack, and Buzz Knight have been fantastic to work with!  I also want to thank every single ‘Sports Hub’ employee for 10 years of winning!  I know our relationships won’t end here.”  Beasley Boston director of programming Cadillac Jack says, “I want to thank Mike for the instrumental part he has played in leading our award-winning brand throughout its first decade and wish him continued success in his next chapter.  They’re big shoes to fill and we look forward to meeting a lot of great talent in the process as the coming days and weeks unfold.”

Ex-FOX News Radio Personality Todd Starnes Launches Syndicated Commentary.  Former FOX News Radio personality Todd Starnes – who exited the company last week – announces he’s unveiling a syndicated commentary that “more than 750 radio stations have signed on to carry.”  The “Todd Starnes News & Commentary” short-form program is produced by his Starnes Media Group and syndicated by Hamilton Strategies.  Additionally, a three-hour, caller-driven radio talk show will debut on November 4.  Starnes says that program will feature major newsmakers, entertainers, artists, and Christian leaders.  He says, “I am first and foremost a radio guy.  I love the format and I believe that radio will continue to have a lasting impact on the nation.  We are also deeply committed to super-serving our radio affiliates with first class service.”  The commentaries are broadcasting on Bott Radio Network, American Family Radio, CSN Network, and a number of commercial radio stations.  For information about broadcasting Starnes’ commentaries or his talk show, contact Deborah Hamilton at Media@HamiltonStrategies.com.

Tammy O’Dell Assumes VP/Market Manager Role at Cumulus Columbia. Sales and management pro Tammy O’Dell is named vice president and market manager for Cumulus Media’s Columbia, South Carolina cluster.  This is a return to Cumulus after serving most recently as local sales manager for Spectrum Reach in Cary, North Carolina.  She was formerly Cumulus’ VP/MM in Charleston, South Carolina.  The Columbia cluster includes sports talk duo WNKT-FM “107.5 The Game” and WISW-AM “1320 The Fan” and three music brands.    Cumulus Media EVP of operations Bob Walker says, “We are excited to welcome Tammy back to the Cumulus family in Columbia.  Her passion for the Carolina region and her success in building a winning sales culture make her a great addition to the team in Columbia.”

SiriusXM Woos Denise Karkos from TD Ameritrade. Marketing pro Denise Karkos is joining SiriusXM as the new chief marketing officer, a position in which she’ll be responsible for brand and digital marketing of both the SiriusXM and Pandora brands and helping support and drive the growth of SiriusXM subscribers and Pandora listeners.   Karkos was most recently CMO at TD Ameritrade where she was named 2019 CMO of the Year by Ad Age.  SiriusXM president, sales, marketing and operations Jennifer Witz says, “Denise is exceptionally innovative and forward thinking and we are very pleased and excited that she will be leading our marketing efforts as we continue to grow the SiriusXM and Pandora brands.  She and her team will execute a cohesive marketing strategy to drive brand relevance and consideration through to customer conversion, with a deep focus on digital, social, and mobile marketing.”

FOX Sports Radio Reports Digital Audience Gains. Citing data from August and September of this year, FOX Sports Radio – a division of Premiere Networks – is announcing audience growth “across several digital platforms, including podcasts, streaming and www.FOXSportsRadio.com.”  FOX Sports Radio says it set a new record for total monthly podcast listens in September, reaching more than 11 million monthly listens.  It also notes total podcast listens have grown nearly 60% since January.  FSR says it experienced its third-highest streaming audience in the history of the network with the streaming numbers growing 8% from August of 2018 to August 2019 and a 25% increase over August 2017.

Cumulus CEO Mary Berner to Receive Gracies Leadership Award. The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation is honoring Cumulus Media president and CEO Mary Berner with a 2019 Gracies Leadership Award.  The Gracies Leadership Awards are presented annually to women executives who have made a significant impact on the media industry, while also spurring to action and emboldening other female leaders.  The award will be presented to Berner and five other female media executives at the Gracies Leadership Awards luncheon at the Plaza Hotel in New York City on Thursday, November 21, 2019.  AFWMF executive director Becky Brooks says, “The Alliance for Women in Media is proud to showcase female executives for their extraordinary accomplishments and deep contributions across the media landscape.  The Gracies Leadership Awards are one way AWM recognizes and connects women who serve in all areas of the media and entertainment industry.  By honoring these outstanding women, including Mary Berner, we are empowering all women, at every level, to take that next step in elevating their careers and their contributions.”

TALKERS News Notes. In Denver, Bonneville brings former Denver Broncos offensive tackle Tyler Polumbus aboard as co-host of “The Drive” on sports talk KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan.”  Polumbus joins hosts Darren “DMac” McKee and Nick Ferguson on the afternoon drive show.  He takes over for Tom Nalen who exits the station for personal reasons…..A “Free Talk Live” co-host is making news as he takes on two other candidates for mayor of Keene, New Hampshire.  But there’s more to the story.  In August, Rich Paul filed in New Hampshire probate court to change his name to Nobody.  Today’s ballot gives voters three choices for mayor: Mitchell “Mitch” Greenwald, George S. Hansel, and Nobody.  “Free Talk Live” host Ian Freeman tells TALKERS magazine Nobody’s mayoral campaign is just the beginning.  He’s already announced his 2020 campaign to take on New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu and is even considering a presidential run in a few more years.  Check out his campaign website: ElectNobody.com…..Edison Research is making three of its presentations originally delivered at the recent NAB/RAB Radio Show in Dallas available to the industry at its website. Available for your perusal are: “The Top 10 Findings from Edison Research in 2019 (so far)”; “The Secret to Longer TSL”; and “What Does it Mean for Radio to Be Local.” Check them out here…..In Northern Michigan, an application is filed with the FCC to transfer the licenses of eight stations from Sovereign Communications, LLC to AMC Partners Escanaba, LLC.  The stations are: news/talk WMIQ-AM, classic rock WIMK-FM, and hot AC WZNL-FM in the Iron Mountain/Escanaba area and news/talk WDMJ-AM and WIAN-AM, country WJPD-FM, classic rock WUPK-FM, and oldies WNGE-FM in the Marquette area.  Sovereign Communications is headed by Bill Gleich.  AMC Partners Escanaba is a Wisconsin-based company headed by Terry Shockley and Chris BernierKALIL & CO., INC. is the exclusive broker for this transaction…..The University of San Francisco and Cumulus Media San Francisco announce a multi-year agreement for KTCT-AM “KNBR 1050 The Sports Leader” to serve as flagship station for the school’s men’s basketball games.  Pat Olson will serve as play-by-play voice for broadcasts of the USF Dons games.

Impeachment Inquiry, Bidens Investigation, Trump’s Syria Decision, 2020 Presidential Race, Omar Files for Divorce, NBA-China Rift, and Joker Film Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/7). The impeachment inquiry against President Trump and the report of a second whistleblower; the reported activities of Joe and Hunter Biden with regard to business in foreign countries; President Trump’s decision to remove U.S. troops from Northern Syria in deference to Turkey; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar files for divorce amidst rumors of an affair with a Democratic operative; the rift between the NBA and China over the Houston Rockets’ general manager’s comments; and the Joker film 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. Bay Area sales pro David Drutz is named vice president and market manager for Alpha Media’s San Jose duo KBAY-FM and KEZR-FM.  Drutz was most recently vice president of sales for Cumulus Media’s sports talk KNBR-AM/FM, San Francisco.  Drutz says, “I’m incredibly excited to be part of a company as visionary as Alpha Media and lead classic hits KBAY and hot AC KEZR.  Both brands not only dominate Silicon Valley but also have tremendous reach throughout the Bay Area.  It’s going to be great fun in managing these stations to even more success!”…..Programming pro JT Bosch is promoted to senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s Greensboro station group, effective October 14.  Bosch will also serve as program director for rock WVBZ-FM “105.7 MAN UP!”  Bosch has been with iHeartMedia since 2001 and most recently served as the assistant program director, music director and afternoon show host for country WKKT, Charlotte “96.9 The Kat.”  He says, “The opportunity to lead our programming efforts in Greensboro is so incredible.  We are ushering in a new era and I’m honored to be a part of it.  Thanks to the entire iHeartMedia senior leadership team for their continued support.”…..Cumulus Media announces that it has appointed Mike Moore program director for country WKHX-FM, Atlanta “Kicks 101.5.”  Moore comes to Atlanta from his most recent position as VP of programming for Entercom’s Portland cluster where he also programmed country KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf.”  Cumulus EVP of content and audience Brian Philips states, “As we met a strong field of senior candidates for WKHX, Mike Moore pushed his way to the front with thoughtful ideas and hard-driving enthusiasm.  His wartime country radio leadership experience will enable him to build the team that changes the Atlanta landscape.”