Tag: "Sports Talk"

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

| January 16, 2019

SPOTLIGHT CHINA: Award-Winning Investigative Reporter Joshua Philipp of The Epoch Times Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  Is the world’s most populous country, with a rich cultural history dating back thousands of years, a friend or foe to the United States?  Joshua Philipp is one of America’s most knowledgeable journalists on the subject of China and the existential threats it poses to US interests in the arenas of politics, economics, cybersecurity, and defense.  He is a recognized expert on unrestricted warfare, asymmetrical hybrid warfare and subversion.  Philipp is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  His on-the-ground investigations in 2008 onward into connections between Chinese consulates, spy networks, and organized crime circles in New York City – and more than a decade of research and investigations on this and related topics – give him unique insight into the global threat presented by today’s repressive Communist Chinese government.  Harrison and Philipp take a deep dive into the subversive ways in which China and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) operate both domestically and behind the scenes on the world stage giving clear insight into such lightly covered news topics as the nefarious activities of its telecommunications giant Huawei and its recently arrested CFO, Meng Wanzou, in Canada.  Harrison states, “The Epoch Times is an amazing worldwide news organization founded by Chinese-Americans as an objective counterpoint to Communist propaganda that should be on the radar of every American news/talk media host interested in the facts about the serious threat presented to US interests by our so-called ‘frenemy’ – China – and other worldwide events.”  To listen to this extremely important podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS daily newsletter and every page of Talkers.com.

Cumulus Names Divello Market Manager for Abilene Cluster. Management and sales pro Paula Divello rises from director of sales for Cumulus Media’s Shreveport, Louisiana station group to vice president and market manager for its Abilene, Texas cluster that includes KTLT-FM “SportsRadio 98.1 FM The Ticket” and three music outlets. Divello says, “Thank you to Mary Berner and the Cumulus leadership team for this opportunity.  I am enthusiastically looking forward to leading from the front in Abilene.  It’s a strong cluster with an invested team, in a great market with tons of potential.  I’ve learned and grown so much with Cumulus, experienced FORCE values and culture – and how consistently they drive success. It’s a privilege to have the opportunity to drive revenue, ratings, and community involvement for Cumulus as the new vice president/market manager in Abilene.”

Urban One Founder Cathy Hughes to Inducted into the NAB Hall of Fame. The founder and chairperson of Urban One, Cathy Hughes, will be inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Broadcasting Hall of Fame at the 2019 NAB Show during the “Achievement in Broadcasting Dinner” on Monday, April 8 at the Encore in Las Vegas.  Hughes built what was formerly Radio One after buying her first radio station – WOL-AM, Washington – in 1980.  She became the first black woman to own a station in a major market.  At WOL-AM, she created the “24-Hour Talk from a Black Perspective” format.  Today’s Urban One is a publicly traded company operated by Hughes’ son Alfred Liggins III.  NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith says, “Cathy Hughes is a truly remarkable broadcaster and entrepreneur whose contributions continue to greatly influence and drive our industry.  We look forward to honoring Cathy with this well-deserved award at this year’s NAB Show.”

Facebook Announces Local News Initiative. Via a blog post by vice president of global news partnerships (former NBC and CNN news personality) Campbell Brown, social media behemoth Facebook announces “an expanded effort around local news in the years ahead.”  Brown writes that the goal of the initiative is two-fold: to support “local journalists and newsrooms with their newsgathering needs in the immediate future; and helping local news organizations build sustainable business models, through both our product and partnership work.  Over time, we think this work can have the added benefit of fostering civic engagement, which research suggests is directly correlated with people’s reading of local news.”  She says Facebook will invest $300 million over the next three years.  You can read about the breakdown of where that money is being spent here.  Brown also says Facebook will hold a two-day “Accelerate: Local News” summit early this year that will be “devoted to local news, in partnership with Knight Foundation and the Online News Association.  Our goal is to bring together top local US news organization leaders, entrepreneurs, technologists and funders to discuss, design and drive towards solutions that address today’s most pressing local news challenges.”

TALKERS News Notes. This Friday night (1/18), sports talk personality Dan Sileo – who hosts mornings on Entercom’s sports talk KWFN, San Diego “97.3 The Fan” – will star on the evening show at the company’s WEEI-FM, Boston.  The former University of Miami defensive tackle, who played his high school ball in Connecticut, will host “WEEI at Night” from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm two days before the hometown New England Patriots take on the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship game…..Twin Cities sports media personality Mike Max is named the new sports director at CBS’ WCCO-TV.  He is currently host of “Sports to the Max with Mike Max” on Entercom’s news/talk WCCO-AM.  There’s no official statement from Entercom about his status with the station but it appears he’ll leave his radio show to focus on the new gig…..Detroit sports talk host Matt Shepard – host of the “Shep, Shower ‘n’ Shave” morning program based at iHeartMedia’s sports talk WDFN-AM – is named the new play-by-play personality for Detroit Tigers television broadcasts, according to numerous Motor City media reports.  Shepard’s radio program is syndicated regionally to a number of affiliate stations via the Michigan Media Network…..A number of new FM signals are added to the main 970 AM signal of iHeartMedia’s news/talk WFLA, Tampa.  The company drops the classic hip hop format on a trio of translators – W233AV, Gulfport at 94.5; W256CT, Bayonet Point at 99.1; and W290BJ, West Tampa at 105.9 – and assigns them to WFLA-AM.

Border Wall Battle, Government Shutdown, Russian Sanctions, Trump-Russia Investigation, Gillette Ad Controversy, Barr Confirmation Hearing, Rep. Steve King Troubles, Brexit Deal Fails, ‘El Chapo’ Case, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/15). The political battle over President Trump’s efforts to build a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border; the effects of the federal government shutdown; Republicans join the Dem-led effort to rescind Trump’s easing of sanctions on Russian firms; the controversy over Gillette’s ‘toxic masculinity’ ad; the senate confirmation hearing for attorney general nominee William Barr; the status of Rep. Steve King’s committee assignments in the aftermath of his ‘white supremacist’ comments; the failure of British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plan; the trial of Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin Guzman Loera; and the NFL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

PLAN AHEAD, DON’T BE SHUT OUT!  2019 Talkers Convention Set for NYC.  The 22nd annual installment of the longest-running, most-important national talk media convention has been set for Friday, June 7, 2019 in New York City. Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will take place at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan. The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age.  This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations.  It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, one-on-one conversations and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception — all in a single, power-packed day! Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited, and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments, costs $329 per person.  To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Longtime WTIC-FM, Hartford morning personality Gary Craig is retiring from the station after a 39-year career in morning drive radio.  He tells his listeners he’s leaving the “Craig and Company” program in June.  The 68-year-old Craig first worked for WTIC-FM in 1981.  He left in 1992 to go across town to competitor WKSS, where he would stay for four years.  He returned to WTIC-FM in 1996 and teamed up with John Elliottand has been there ever since…..iHeartMedia appoints announced Barry Allen program director for adult contemporary KBFP “Sunny 105.3, Bakersfield’s Feel-Good Station,” effective January 22.  He was most recently program director at the company’s CHR duo KCEZ-FM, Chico and KEWB-FM, Redding.  iHeartMedia area SVP of programming Steve Weed says, “We’re excited to have Barry joining our iHeartMedia Bakersfield family.  When we launched ‘SUNNY 105.3’ last year, we filled a major void for Bakersfield listeners and we’re confident that Barry will continue to build out the ‘SUNNY 105.3’ brand.”…..Cumulus Media makes a time shift for hot AC WPLJ’s “Todd & Jayde in the Morning.”  It now airs from 5:30 to 8:30 to allow for the new “95 Minutes & More,” commercial-free music block from 8:30 am to 10:15 am.

WDRV, Chicago Seeks Associate Producer for ‘Sherman & Tingle’ Show. There’s a prime producer gig open in Chicago as Hubbard Radio is seeking an “incomparable call screener, celebrity guest-booker, street reporter, and content architect to join ‘The Sherman & Tingle Show’ as associate producer.  Applicants should have at least five years of on-air experience in an ensemble setting; exemplary audio production skills are required in this position, specifically time sensitive, on-the-fly editing aptitudes; robust social media savvy essential, including real time integration and a clear understanding of the ever-evolving nature of the medium; proven record of accomplishment in locating/booking/delivering premiere celebrities from major league sports, television, movies, and other arenas of pop culture preferred.  To see the entire job posting, click here.

Monday, January 14, 2018

| January 14, 2019

Talk Radio Host Lars Larson Banned from Twitter for 12 Hours. The story in the Willamette Week has the details of KXL, Portland-based, nationally syndicated talk host Lars Larson’s 12-hour ban from Twitter for his exchange with a Portland activist over a recent police shooting that resulted in the death of man reportedly schizophrenic and legally blind.  Former Portland mayoral candidate Sarah Iannarone tweeted, “We know the police kill. [The] question is whether we will ever stop funding this deadly paramilitary force and start funding things that actually keep the people of Portland safe.”  Larson was suspended for the following response, “Gee @sarahforpdx you think the cops make PDX dangerous? Read the story and you find the dead man was 1) paranoid schizophrenic 2) invaded a stranger’s home 3) fought with the officer 4) pulled a knife. What’s your millennial snowflake solution to that situation without the cops?”  Responding to the ban Larson received for the tweet, Iannarone said Larson’s words “may not seem like much on the surface.”  But complained that “whenever that account retweets me, it brings commenters into my sphere who hurl insult and innuendo my direction. I reported three other accounts resulting from the retweet that day that Twitter admins agreed were abusive or harmful.”

Ron & Don Fans Baffled by Show’s Abrupt, Unexplained Exit. This story in the Seattle Times was published on Saturday (1/12) and includes comments from TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison.  Friday’s launch of a new afternoon drive program – “Candy, Mike and Todd” – on Bonneville’s KIRO-FM Seattle caught fans of the “Ron and Don” show off guard.  The story notes some 1,000 comments on the “Ron and Don Nation” Facebook page expressing their dismay at the show’s departure and anger with the lack of Bonneville’s explanation.  Ron Upshaw and Don O’Neill had been with the station for 13 years.  They didn’t shed much light on the controversy, either, probably due to a non-disparagement clause in their contracts.  They wrote, “Life is not about what you got, it’s what you give. We are very appreciative to all our great advertisers and everyone in the Ron and Don Nation for giving so much of your time, your energy, and your resources over the last 22 years. Together we raised over 11 million dollars for causes in the community we all care about. From our families to yours, Thank You Seattle, Tacoma, Fife, and Fremont.”

KSTP-AM, Minneapolis Re-Brands as ‘SKOR North.’  Tomorrow (1/15) will be sports talk KSTP-AM’s first day as “SKOR North” as it shucks the “1500 ESPN” brand.  Hubbard Radio says in a press release that the brand is now “a digital-first sports brand that will create and distribute content across multiple traditional and digital platforms, including 1500 AM, 94.5 FM HD2, streaming, a dedicated SKOR North app, podcasts, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.”  In September, Hubbard dropped the “Garage Logic” show with host Joe Soucheray from the lineup, as well as Patrick Reusse’s show (PD Brad Lane exited as well).  The new program schedule will still consist of ESPN Radio’s “Golic & Wingo” in morning drive, followed by the “Dan Le Batard with Stugotz” show.  Local afternoon program includes the new “SKOR North Live with Matthew Coller,” followed by the drive time “[PhilMackie and Judd [Zulgad] Show with Ramie,” and a return to the airwaves of Patrick Reusse as one of the four 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm programs that will rotate throughout the year, depending on the season.

Monday Memo: CES 2019.  Consultant Holland Cooke’s Monday Memo here at TALKERS magazine summarizes some of his takeaways from last week’s enormous CES 2019 in Las Vegas.  Cooke reports that Consumer Technology Association vice president of market research Steve Koenig says we’re at the beginning of the “Data Age of Consumer Tech” and that means, “information about our listeners – whom advertisers want as customers – is gold.” See his entire report here.

WICC, Bridgeport Announces Programming News. Connecticut news/talk WICC-AM, Bridgeport announces it will continue to serve as an affiliate for New York Yankees baseball.  In addition, the Cumulus Media station is adding FOX News Radio’s Brian Kilmeade show for the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm slot.  It also is carrying Westwood One’s Ben Shapiro in the 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight daypart.

Mike Rich to Lead Townsquare Media Danbury. Radio management pro Mike Rich is named market president and chief revenue officer for Townsquare Media’s Danbury, Connecticut group of sports talk WINE-AM “Sports Radio 940,” rock WRKI-FM “i95,” and WDBY-FM “Kicks 105.5.”  Rich comes to Townsquare from his most recent position as CEO of digital media firm Irish Studio.  He’s also served with Time Inc., Radio One, and AOL.

TALKERS News Notes. Albuquerque news/talk KKOB-AM’s new afternoon drive personality – former, longtime rock KZRR “94 Rock” morning personality T.J. Trout – is an unabashed “left of center,” “social liberal” who will take over 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm program on Cumulus Media’s conservative news/talk station on January 22.  Trout talks about getting the gig and how he views his role on the station in a piece with Albuquerque Journal here…..The podcast “Red Pilled America” – an iHeartRadio original podcast – got some love from The Washington Times recently in an article about story-focused podcasts that target conservative listeners.  The podcast is the work of husband and wife creative duo Patrick Courrielche and Adryana Cortez and the piece delves into how the program highlights stories rather than monologues to get the message across to listeners…..The NHL’s Boston Bruins and the Boston Bruins Foundation are holding the second annual Patrice Bergeron & 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Pucks & Paddles event on Thursday, February 7.  The table tennis tournament will feature players from the active Boston Bruins roster, on-air personalities from Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub,” and patients from Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center with all proceeds to benefit the hospital…..Beasley Media Group announces Jennifer Sulik is named to the newly created position of vice president of strategic partnerships at Beasley XP, the company’s esports division.  Sulik was most recently founder and chief executive officer of Go Media Detroit, a digital media advertising agency.  Previously, she worked in the digital sales division at WXYZ-TV, Detroit and UBM Tech in San Francisco, where she developed integrated business-to-business media campaigns targeting game developers and game industry influencers, including Game Developer Magazine, Gamasutra.com and Indiegames.com…..Across the pond, “Fix Radio” – the station for builders and tradespeople – will launch in Manchester, England today (1/14).  Fix Radio is programmed by British talk radio pro Graham Mack and is based in London.  Mack and Gaz Drinkwater present the daily morning show on the format.

The Trump-Putin Relationship, U.S.-Mexico Border Wall, Government Shutdown, Jayme Closs Case, Paris Bakery Bombing, Bezos Divorce, 2020 Presidential Race, Dems in Puerto Rico, Winter Snow Storm, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Reaction to weekend stories indicating the FBI was concerned about President Trump’s relationship with Russia’s Vladimir Putin; the battle over funding for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border; the ongoing government shutdown; missing teen Jayme Closs is found after escaping her captor; the deadly bombing at a bakery in Paris; the divorce of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos; potential presidential candidates in the 2020 election; Democrat legislators are criticized for “partying” in Puerto Rico with lobbyists; the winter storm that swept across the Midwest to the Mid-Atlantic; and the weekend’s NFL playoff action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend according to ongoing research from TALKER magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Terri Avery is the new PD at Cox Media Group’s urban contemporary WALR, Atlanta “Kiss 104.1,” effective January 22. Avery was most recently radio station manager and an instructor at Carolina School of Broadcasting in Charlotte.  Prior to that, she was OM/PD at WPEG and WBAV in Charlotte for 14 years. CMG Atlanta director of operations Chris Eagan says, “Terri is well-regarded in the radio industry.  She is smart, engaging, a champion in talent coaching and an expert in urban AC.  Her years of diverse experience make her a great addition to the ‘Kiss 104.1’ team.”…..Cumulus Media rock KSAN, San Francisco “107.7 The Bone” officially names Chasta Michaelis midday personality.  She’s been interim host of the daypart since Steven “The Weedman” Seaweed in 2017.  Chasta also serves as a cast member on the station’s “Lamont& Tonelli Morning Show,” a role she will continue along with her daily production of her daily Facebook Live chats from “The Bone” studios following each morning show…..Through a partnership between iHeartMedia and LiveXLive Media Inc – a global digital media company focused on live entertainment – the 2019 iHeartRadio ALTer Ego concert at the Forum in Los Angeles on January 19 – will stream live. LiveXLive chairman and CEO Rob Ellin comments, “Our mission is to bring our global audience of music fans the ‘best seat in the house’ for musically diverse concerts by the most popular artists.  iHeartMedia, with its massive reach across radio, digital and social, and its culture-defining marquee events such as ALTer Ego, is undeniably a perfect fit.”…..According to a report by Chicago media maven Robert Feder, the “Rock ‘n’ Roll Roots” show with Bob Stroud that’s heard weekly on Hubbard Radio’s classic rock WDRV “97.1 The Drive” is getting another play.  The show has been airing Sunday mornings from 7:00 am to 10:00 am but, as program director Rob Cressman says, “The ‘Stroud Crowd’ has been relentless in their quest to get ‘Roots’ scheduled a bit later in the day.”  So, now the show also airs from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm…..Kelly J moves from evening jock to a member of the Jeff Pope morning show on All Pro Broadcasting’s hot AC KHTI, Riverside-San Bernardino…..Condolences to the family and friends of radio personality Michael “Mike” Walker, who died on January 7 at the age of 60.  Walker worked at numerous radio stations during his career, including WIFM, Elkin; WKBC North Wilkesboro; and WWWC, Wilkesboro in North Carolina.  He was the founder/operator of The Production Room where he produced and voiced more than 530 weekly episodes of the syndicated “Saving the 70s” show that focused on 1970s music and pop culture.

PPM Analysis: Contemporary Christian. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s December 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on contemporary Christian. See the report here.

December 2018 PPM Analysis:
Contemporary Christian

| January 14, 2019

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

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

Having already posted December 2018 PPM overviews last week of all-news (Wednesday, 1/9); sports talk (Thursday, 1/10); and public radio news/talk (Friday, 1/11), we unveil our first-ever look at contemporary Christian.

As is the case with the three aforementioned spoken-word formats, the following scoreboards are comprised of contemporary Christian stations that rank in the top 20 in any of the 48 PPM-markets (6+, December 2018).

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

Read More

December 2018 PPM Analysis:
Sports Talk

| January 10, 2019

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

LOS ANGELES — Our four-part series of detailed December 2018 PPM overviews continues with a look at sports talk; all-news was in the spotlight yesterday (Wednesday, 1/9).

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

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

Read More

Thursday, January 10, 2018

| January 10, 2019

iHeartMedia’s New WONK-FM in DC to Deliver ‘Inside-the-Beltway’ News and Talk. The new station will air on WWDC-HD2 (101.1) and W284CQ at 104.7 FM and is branded “WONK-FM, Smart People. News.”  iHeartMedia says the launch of the new station comes after its recent on-air and online celebration of “National WONK Day” – a day created for listeners that have a keen interest in inside-the-Beltway news – and WONK-FM will be “a news and talk station serving thought leaders, influencers, and stakeholders inside the Washington, DC beltway.”  The press release states, “The new station will broadcast renowned anchors Stacy Lyn and Alexandra Lane weekdays from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm and will feature the latest breaking news and headlines from Washington, DC.  In addition, WONK-FM will air instant reactions from opinion leaders and on-air talk personalities originating from iHeartMedia’s 130-plus news and talk stations throughout the United States.” iHeartMedia region president Michael Preacher comments, “WONKs are the behind-the-scenes people in DC who are innovators, experts, and are passionate about their work.  DC’s WONKs are the unsung heroes who solve the world’s most difficult problems and they deserve to have a dedicated platform.”  Programming the new station is current WRKO, Boston programmer Michael Czarnecki, who will work in Washington. He adds, “With the accelerated pace of today’s news cycle, we look forward to providing a contemporary approach to delivering a ‘wonk-centric’ and uniquely DC view of the news.  I’m thrilled to be joining the iHeartMedia team in Washington DC as part of Washington’s WONK-FM.”  You can see a video the company made to promote the station and their targeting of “wonks” here.

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 December 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk.  The drop off in cume from end of the 2018 baseball season affected some sports talk outlets negatively as 61% of those stations in PPM markets saw their weekly, 6+ AQH share diminish from the November to the December surveys.  However, year-over-year, 62% of sports talk stations realized improved 6+ numbers. In the market rank category, RadiOhio’s WBNS-FM, Columbus takes the blue ribbon, ranking #3 in the market with a 7.3 share.  Entercom’s WIP-FM, Philadelphia ranked #4 in December with a 6.3 share; and three stations – Beasley’s WBZ-FM, Boston; Entercom’s WFAN-AM/FM (Long Island); and Entercom’s KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh – all ranked #5 in their respective markets.  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Emmis Communications Releases Fiscal Q3 Numbers; Pro Forma Revenue Up 5%. The third fiscal quarter for Emmis Communications Corporation ended November 30, 2018.  The company notes that, due to the recent sale of five stations (KPWR, Los Angeles in August 2017 and four radio stations in St. Louis on April 30, 2018), its reported results are not comparable year over year.  Emmis’ radio net revenue for fiscal Q3 was $28.7 million, down from $34 million in the prior year.   However, pro forma for all radio station sales, revenue “was up 5% in markets that were up 2%.”  Emmis chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan comments, “With this quarter’s strong performance, Emmis is now outperforming its markets through the first nine months of this fiscal year – quite an achievement.  Political revenues certainly helped, but we also saw growth in our core advertising categories, all of which contributed to Emmis having its strongest quarter in four years.  New York and Indianapolis both outperformed their markets and continue to produce strong ratings, which should help sustain Emmis’ revenue growth.  That certainly appears to be the case in January and February, where both months are pacing up mid-to-high single digits.”

#250 Working on Ways to Overcome Obstacles in Maximizing Direct Response Spot Success.  It is no secret that a significant percentage of talk radio advertising consists of direct response advertising and the results are tallied by the sponsors – making it even more imperative that the spots get measurable action.  Considering the fact that much of the listening is done while driving, it makes it even more of a challenge to get people to make the leap from hearing an 800 phone number and actually placing the call while the thought is top of mind.  The firm #250 – America’s Mobile Speed Dial has been making progress in simplifying this process for talk shows, stations and networks across the nation by creating simple word prompted codes and phrases designed to simplify the act of calling while behind the wheel.  Now they have taken it one step further addressing another problem.  #250 chief marketing officer Dave Robinett tells TALKERS, “Accomplishing the task of making your advertiser’s phone ring is tough enough.  But there are many points of ‘breakage’ after that.  Phone reps can be poorly trained or rude.  Client phone systems or call centers might have technical issues.  Long hold times might encourage abandonment.  The #250 platform recently solved a major-yet-unrealized problem for a Premiere Networks advertiser.  A timeshare exit company’s ad was working well – so well that when the spot ran and calls came pouring in, they exceeded the 15 available call center agents.  The ‘overflow’ callers then got a busy signal.  Since these callers came in via dialing #250, for the first time ever, this advertiser has visibility to how many calls they were blocking.  It was also revealed that only one in 15 of these blocked callers bothered to attempt to call the advertiser later that day or next day.  This was clearly significant lost revenue – that the advertiser never knew they were missing – since they never before had visibility to calls they never received!”  Robinett continues, “But #250 was able to implement a call saver feature to detect the busy signal, take back the call, and prompt the caller to leave their name and number for a callback.  This voice message was set up to be emailed immediately to a designated sales manager back at the advertiser.  The advertiser was extremely pleased with the proactive discovery of a way to increase revenue by the Premiere sales executive, John Buckley.  Loyalty established.  Media spend secured.”  Dave Robinett will be one of 55 industry leaders speaking at the forthcoming convention Talkers 2019: Telling the Story in NYC on Friday, June 7.  He can be reached at 816-559-0620.

2019 New York Festivals Radio Awards Issues Call for Entries. The 37th New York Festivals Radio Awards is open for entries.  Established in 1982, New York Festivals Radio Awards is an international audio awards competition in which entries are judged on production values, organization, presentation of information, creativity, and use of the medium. New York Festivals enlists jurists from around the world to become members of their world-class Radio Awards Grand Jury.  Jurors include some of the world’s most recognizable voices and captivating content producers in the radio industry.  Building on last year’s category reorganization, the competition once again added new categories with respect to today’s robust radio industry. New categories for 2019 include: Best Audio Book – Children’s, Best Digital Esports, and Human Rights Documentary.  NYF expanded its Podcast categories to include Serialized Podcast, Companion Podcast, and Narrative/ Documentary Podcast.  NYF Radio Awards VP and executive director Rose Anderson states, “Listeners everywhere are embracing the expanded audio universe and they are clamoring for authentic storytelling experiences from direct-to-digital podcasts and documentaries, to audiobooks and esports coverage.  Our advisory board and industry leaders have been a great help as we continue to recognize innovation and excellence.”  The deadline to enter the 2019 Radio Awards competition is March 15, 2019 and you can do that here.  Winners will be honored at the annual gala in New York taking place on June 24.

TALKERS News Notes.  On Tuesday (1/8), iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman appeared on Bloomberg TV’s “Bloomberg Markets” program with Vonnie Quinn and addressed a number of radio business topics, including: iHeart’s exit from Chapter 11, the company being open to partnerships with other media companies, iHeart being ‘under-monetized’ compared to its reach, TSL and return on investment, and more.  Watch the segment here…..CRN Digital Talk Radio adds “The Dr. Mitch Show” to its network roster.  Dr. Mitchell Ghen hosts an interactive health talk show relying on his 38 years of experience in anti-aging, holistic, and integrative medicine to answer listeners’ health-related questions…..“Amazing Race” winner, “Big Brother” contestant, and reality star Jessica Graf launches a new podcast called, “Now What?” via PodcastOne.  Graf says, “Having a podcast for me is like having a very public diary!  And I’m really excited about that!  Up until now, I’ve really focused on staying active on Instagram, but there’s so much that goes on in life that I feel like Instagram doesn’t always provide the opportunity to share.  So now I have this brand-new podcast platform to be brutally honest on!”…..Reality TV stars Brandi Redmond and Stephanie Hollman of Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Dallas” are jumping into the podcast world via YEA Networks.  The program, “Weekly Dose of B.S.,” is an “anything-goes, unedited, uncensored weekly podcast.”…..Cadence13 partners with “Comments by Celebs” founders Emma Diamond and Julie Kramer to produce a podcast of the same name.  The friends and recent Syracuse University grads took advantage of Instagram’s 2017 algorithm changes that make it easier to see comments by verified accounts across the platform to create the @CommentsbyCelebs account that captures the “cheeky and witty comments” celebrities post on one another’s posts. Since its inception, @CommentsbyCelebs has amassed a following of almost one million people and worldwide recognition, with media and celebrity followers including: Gwyneth Paltrow, Katie Couric, John Mayer, Kelly Ripa, and Chrissy Teigen.…..WBUR, Boston announces the public media stations selected to participate in BizLab’s initiative to design and conduct revenue experiments for public radio in the digital age.  The project is funded with $750,000 from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and $250,000 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.  Each participating station will work with WBUR’s BizLab for six months, “using lean, user-centered design methodologies to identify and test new sources of revenue for that station.  By engaging audiences and quickly testing concepts in-market, each station will generate quantitative results to inform their near-term strategic investments. Collaborating stations will share results and best practices with each other and the broader public radio system.”  The selected stations are: WAMU, Washington D.C.; Louisville Public Media (WFPL, WFPK, WUOL); Capital Public Radio, Sacramento; WLRN-FM, Miami; Vermont Public Radio; and WDET-FM, Detroit…..Yesterday (1/9), Genesis Communications Network-syndicated talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs celebrated her 10th anniversary as a talk radio show host…..Appearing on Lou Simon’s “The Diner” program on SiriusXM’s “Volume” channel (talk programming dedicated to music and the music business) recently were legendary radio personalities John Records Landecker, Shotgun Tom Kelly, and Joey Reynolds, as well as “Radio’s Best Friend” Art Vuolo.  The three jocks were together for the Radio Dream Lunch in Los Angeles and, according to Vuolo, the show was so much fun that Simon is adding guests to his program. He’s already interviewed Paul Peterson of “Donna Reed Show” fame and singer/songwriter Jackie DeShannon.  You can see video of the show here.  Pictured below are Landecker (left) and Kelly (right) in the studio.

Trump’s Border Wall Address, Government Shutdown, Trump-Russia Investigation, 2020 Presidential Race, Ed Buck Case, Bezos Divorce, Showtime’s Roger Ailes Series, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/9). Tuesday night’s presidential address on the U.S.-Mexico border wall issue and President Trump’s battle against Democrats on the matter; the ongoing government shutdown; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; possible 2020 presidential candidates including Elizabeth Warren, Michelle Obama, and Kamala Harris; the case of Democratic donor Ed Buck and the recent deaths of men at his California home; Amazon chief Jeff Bezos and wife divorce amidst speculation about infidelity; the legal battles surrounding the Showtime series about late FOX News Channel chief Roger Ailes; and the NFL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The nominees for the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards presented by iHeartMedia and Fox Broadcasting Company on Thursday, March 14 live from Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles have been announced.  This is the sixth year of the iHeartRadio Music Awards and the 2019 telecast will feature live performances from today’s star performers, artist collaborations, celebrity guest appearances, and live award presentations in multiple categories.  iHeartMedia Entertainment Enterprises president John Sykes says, “It’s no secret why this year’s iHeartRadio Music Awards nominees are a Who’s Who of music.  These are the artists and the songs iHeartRadio listeners couldn’t get enough of this past year.  It’s going to be an unforgettable show.”  See the whole list here…..San Diego radio personality Chris Cantore is officially named morning drive host on Tegna Inc’s adult hits KFMB-FM “100.7 San Diego.” Cantore – who’s served with KPRI, KBZT, and XTRA-FM in the market – has been filling in hosting the morning show for several months.  KFMB-FM program director Mike V. Vasquez says, “Cantore has that cool, laid-back vibe that is so easy to connect with. He’s not only entertaining, but he’s an authentic guy who cares about our community.  He epitomizes all things San Diego and is an ideal ambassador for our station.  I’m thrilled to have him joining our ‘100.7 San Diego’ family!”…..iHeartMedia Sacramento announces that Paul Robins is the new afternoon drive host on KBEB “92.5 The Breeze, Sacramento’s #1 For Relaxing Favorites at Work,” effective Friday, February 1.  Robins also heads up William Jessup University’s Digital Communication and Design Bachelor of Arts degree program.  He’ll host his show from the university’s studio while giving his students the opportunity to earn hands-on training with broadcast and digital content for the station.  During his career, Robins has worked in Detroit, Dallas and Sacramento, including for 20 years as half of “The Paul and Phil Show” on KGBY “Y92.”…..Cumulus Media’s urban contemporary WLXC, Columbia, South Carolina “KISS 10-3.1” adds the Westwood One-syndicated “Rick and Sasha” program for morning drive. WWO just the launched the program starring Rick Party and Sasha the Diva into national syndication…..TALKERS magazine sends condolences to the family and friends of programmer pro Harve Alan, who passed away on January 6.  During his career he’s served with CBS RADIO, iHeartMedia, ABC Radio Networks, NextMedia, and Metro Networks.  He also operated his own consulting firm.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

| January 8, 2019

iHeartMedia Reorganization Plan Awaits Confirmation. The Modified Fifth Amended Joint Chapter 11 Plan of Reorganization for iHeartMedia is awaiting confirmation by United States Bankruptcy Court Judge Marvin Isgur.  Yesterday’s filing of the confirmed plan will allow iHeartMedia to erase $10.3 billion in debt off its books, leaving it with $5.75 billion in debt once Judge Isgur has signed the order.  Last month, the court approved iHeartMedia’s separation from Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings as part of the reorganization plan.  Yesterday’s filing will permit iHeartMedia to begin to implement the plan without seeking authorization from the court.  As is usual in bankruptcy cases, once the plan is confirmed by the court, most other claims against the debtor are discharged.  In this case, the judge rules that certain liabilities the company is required to honor after the effective date – called a Cure Claim – and that includes the BMI license agreements, an almost $600,000 payment to SoundExchange LLC, and its Framework Digital Distribution Agreement with Sony Music Entertainment.   Additionally, the new iHeartMedia must honor all SAG-AFTRA contracts and must assume all contractual agreements with the Denver Broncos.  Once signed, iHeartMedia will be in a period between Confirmation and the Effective Date.  There are several hearing dates scheduled and they are: January 10 to consider all confirmation issues other than those scheduled to be heard on January 17, and January 22; January 17 to consider all issues concerning the CCOH separation settlement, other than those issues scheduled to be heard on January 22, and any issues continued from the January 10, hearing; January 22 to consider all remaining issues concerning consideration of the class action settlement related to the CCOH Separation Settlement and the GAMCO Motion; and January 23 to consider all remaining confirmation issues.

‘Our American Stories’ Surpasses 160-Affiliate Mark. The nationally syndicated “Our American Stories” program adds a number of new affiliate stations and now has 163 total affiliates. The program is hosted by Lee Habeeb who is also president of program producer American Private Radio.  He says, “Stations told us they wanted a radio program that wasn’t always about politics, to give listeners a break from the news cycle.  More importantly they love the topics we share every night and we take great pride in putting stories together that touch our listeners’ hearts and minds.  People walk away feeling better when they listen to ‘Our American Stories.’”  The program is described as “a two-hour, daily radio magazine program that showcases Americans from various industries, including sports heroes, musicians, film performers, political or cultural icons, business leaders, military heroes and more.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison is extremely fond of this program stating, “I fully expect ‘Our American Stories’ to be the surprise breakout program of 2019. It is the classiest, best-researched, meticulously produced, dependable piece of quality content to come down the pike in years.  It is conservative news/talk’s knock out answer to public radio and will become an institutional part of the genre for years to come.”

Wayne Allyn Root: I ‘Got the Ball Rolling’ on Trump’s Wall Option.  Las Vegas-based, nationally syndicated talk show host Wayne Allyn Root says he first talked about the idea that President Trump can declare a national security emergency and use $25 billion from the Pentagon budget to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.  Root points to his November 17 column in the Las Vegas Review-Journal that details, among other things, that the president can declare a “national security emergency” and use military money for the project.  Root says, “I shared this column and my idea with my audience on both my Newsmax TV show and USA Radio show in the days before publication.  Then I flew to Wyoming as keynote speaker for the Wyoming GOP annual dinner on Friday 11/16/18.  I shared my idea with that audience.  Result. Two standing ovations.  That column was handed directly to President Trump by my great friend Lee Lipton at Mar a Lago on 11/18/18.  President Trump has talked about this exact option all week in the media.  It’s the hottest topic in the country.  My idea started this all… I’m sure it will come up in Tuesday night’s national presidential address.”

Mike Gallagher Films LifeLock Ad on NYC Streets. Nationally syndicated talk radio star Mike Gallagher is pictured above on the streets of New York filming commercials for identity theft prevention firm LifeLock.  Gallagher has been voicing spots for LifeLock – as have many talk radio hosts since LifeLock is a big advertiser on talk radio – but not long ago he needed the company’s services.  The Salem Radio Network talk host was the victim of a personal security breach when someone accessed his personal information, changed his cellphone number, and tried withdrawing $25,000 from Gallagher’s checking account.  He credits LifeLock with alerting him to the compromises and acting to protect his personal assets.  He says, “I’ve proudly done their commercials for years.  But after seeing for myself how they swing into action, I believe anyone is stupid not to have LifeLock protection.”

Eric Zane Launches Daily Podcast.  After being let go by Cumulus Media last week due to the format flip of WBBL, Grand Rapids from sports talk to country music, morning personality Eric Zane tells Mlive.com he’s doing a daily podcast designed to pick up where his radio show left off.  He’s offering the show to listeners for free and for a fee with various options, including video.  Zane tells MLive he hopes to reach a sizable audience via his 18,000 Twitter followers.  He says, “Most people get some content via podcast or streaming content and they’re a different audience.  They’re zeroed in because of the programming. They seek it out as opposed to background noise.  I won’t ever say radio has no place because it’s still great to get in your car and push a button and there it is.  This medium (podcasts), which was laughed at five, 10 years ago, isn’t laughed at anymore because it’s very viable.”

Steve Triplett to Lead Beasley’s Tampa Stations. Sales and management pro Steve Triplett is named vice president and market manager for Beasley Media Group’s Tampa cluster that includes financial talk outlet WHFS-AM and six music radio stations.  Triplett has been serving as interim market manager and director of sales for the Tampa operations.  He says, “Over the past four years, Beasley Media Group has created something truly special in Tampa.  We have a team of the finest media professionals in the industry and it’s an honor to continuing serving them in this new capacity.”

PodcastOne Partners with LadyGang for Podcast Network.  “The LadyGang” podcast recently celebrated its 200th episode and 40 millionth download.  Now, PodcastOne is entering into a deal with the brand for a podcast development, production, and marketing deal to launch The LadyGang Network on PodcastOne.  The network will feature a female-driven, all-star lineup of pop culture, reality television, and motherhood trend-setters.  PodcastOne says the deal combines its vast resources and reach with The LadyGang’s brand power and curated talent lineup.  The inaugural program under this new network will be “Mama Said with Jamie and Jenna,” hosted by Jamie Lynn Sigler and Jenna Parris. Additional programs will be announced soon.

Hogenson Communications to Rep Americans for Tax Reform Campaign. Talk media is the target for Americans for Tax Reform and it has hired Hogenson Communications to represent the organization to talk media for its 12-month campaign.  Scott Hogenson states, “We’re proud to have been selected by Americans for Tax Reform as their talk media partner.  As America’s preeminent tax policy organization, ATR brings a lot to talk media audiences by breaking down complicated policy issues in a way that everyone can understand.”

KNUS, Denver Hosts Boyles and Tubbs to Broadcast from Vancouver, BC During Fact-Finding Mission.  Talk show hosts Peter Boyles and Steffan Tubbs – air personalities on Salem Media Group’s news/talk KNUS, Denver – will broadcast live from Vancouver, British Columbia during their fact-finding mission to the city’s safe injection sites.  The Denver City Council passed an ordinance that will create safe or supervised injection sites for users to inject heroin, opioids and cocaine in locations that will employ trained medical personnel.  The KNUS remote broadcasts will take place on Friday (1/11).

iHeartMedia Unveils New iHeartRadio Features at CES. The company announces a number of new consumer technology integrations for its digital platform, iHeartRadio.  At the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, iHeartMedia unveiled new integrations including the Honda Dream Drive Platform, the new Bixby from Samsung, Roku devices, and Google’s Android TV and Android Auto.  It also launched the fully redesigned iHeartRadio Family app on Amazon Fire Tablet with iOS and Android coming soon.

Border Wall-Government Shutdown, U.S.-Syria Policy, Tlaib Israel Statement, Kim Jong Un-Xi Jinping Meeting, NCAA Football Championship, and NFL Playoffs Action Among Top News-Talk Stories Yesterday (1/7). The battle over funding for the U.S.-Mexico border wall and the related government shutdown; the Trump administration’s military policy in Syria; the controversy over freshman congresswoman Rashida Tlaib’s comments that GOP senators are more loyal to Israel than the U.S.; North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s visit with Chinese President Xi Jinping; Monday night’s NCAA football championship game; and the NFL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The nationally syndicated Ty Bentli show is off Cumulus Media’s New York City country outlet WNSH “NASH FM 94.7.”  What was originally called “America’s Morning Show” back when Blair Garner was lead host and has twice morphed since then has been the only morning show on the stations since its inception.  Now, afternoon drive host Jesse Addy is sitting in hosting mornings as the station teases a new program…..In Los Angeles, “volunteer” air personality Greg Beharrell is named evening host on Cumulus Media’s classic rock 95.5 KLOS…..Afternoon drive host, APD and music director Mark Razz is promoted to program director for Beasley Media Group’s country WXTU, Philadelphia.  With this new role, Razz will move from afternoon drive to middays.  Beasley Philly market manager Joe Bell comments, “Nobody deserves this opportunity more than Razz.  He has been an integral part of 92.5 XTU’s success for years and has demonstrated the leadership, commitment and creativity that you look for in a PD.  Plus, he’s an amazing talent, is loved by listeners and respected within the industry.”…..Midday personality Corey O’Brien is named assistant program director and music director at Broadway Media’s alternative KXRK, Salt Lake City “X96.”…..Buffalo market radio pro Joe Chille is named morning drive host at Townsquare Media’s adult contemporary WMSX, Buffalo “96.1 The Breeze.”  Chille was a longtime personality at WJYE prior to its becoming WMSX.  Most recently, he’d been handling part-time duties at Radio One Buffalo’s oldies WECK-AM…..Beasley Media Group names Sean Varicalli host of the “KICKS Wake up Crew” morning show on country WKXC-FM, Augusta, Georgia.  Varicalli was most recently midday jock and APD at Curtis Media Group’s country WQDR, Raleigh…..Alpha Media’s WKXI, Jackson, Mississippi “107.5 Kixie” replaces the Tom Joyner show with the Premiere Networks-syndicated “Steve Harvey Morning Show.”

Friday, January 4, 2019

| January 4, 2019

KABC, Los Angeles Unveils New Talk Show Lineup. With last month’s departure of longtime morning personality Doug McIntyre from the lineup, there was a hole to be filled in the KABC, Los Angeles program schedule.  Cumulus Media moves John Phillips and Jillian Barberie from afternoons to host “The Morning Drive” show and fills the afternoon daypart with a live airing of the Westwood One-syndicated Ben Shapiro show (two radio hours plus his podcast) from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm, effective Monday (1/7).  Additionally, WMAL-AM/FM, Washington talk host Larry O’Connor will host the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon program and Leeann Tweeden moves from mornings to middays to co-host “Dr. Drew Midday Live” with Dr. Drew Pinsky, taking the place of current co-host Lauren Sivan.  Finally, Peter Tilden returns to his early evening program airing from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.  KABC operations director Drew Hayes comments, “Ben Shapiro has become the voice of his generation, delivering fact-based, fearless analysis of the issues challenging America.  We are thrilled to welcome Ben to afternoon drive on KABC, in his hometown.  He will fit right in with our reloaded lineup: John and Jillian now waking up SoCal, Leeann teaming with Dr. Drew, Peter Tilden for the extended commute home, and Larry O’Connor, who will energize middays.”

Dave Ramsey Show a Top Podcast in 2018.  According to data from Apple, the podcast edition of the nationally syndicated Dave Ramsey radio show (airing on more than 600 stations across the country) was the fifth most-downloaded podcast of 2018.  Ramsey Media senior vice president Brian Mayfield says, “It’s significant.  Just as our audience continues to grow on terrestrial radio, a whole new generation of listeners has joined us on the digital side.  We couldn’t be happier.”  Dave Ramsey comments, “We’ve always determined success based on how many people are getting helped.  The podcast allows people to listen where they want and when they want. And that means they can take control of the money and improve their lives.  It’s awesome.”

WBAL, Baltimore Adds New Midday Show; Moves Hollander to PM Drive. The afternoon news block is gone from Hearst’s news/talk WBAL-AM, Baltimore “NewsRadio 1090 and FM 101.5” and the Brett Hollander show moves to the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm daypart.  Simultaneously, weekend personality Yuripzy Morgan moves to the daily 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm slot.  WBAL president and general manager Cary Pahigian states, “Insightful talk and analysis, aggressive news coverage, and a staff that understands Baltimore and Maryland has been WBAL’s calling card for 93 years.”

Gene Rossi Program Debuts on WJFN-FM, Richmond.  Tomorrow (1/5), the Gene Rossi show debuts on news/talk WJFN-FM, Richmond, Virginia. The station is operated by nationally syndicated talk show host John Fredericks – whose program airs from 6:00 am to 10:00 am on the station. Fredericks has created a lineup of talk shows dedicated to Virginia-oriented political talk from across the ideological spectrum.  Gene Rossi is a Northern Virginia-based attorney in private practice with a national law firm.  He spent nearly three decades as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia.  In 2017, he was a Democratic candidate for Virginia lieutenant governor and currently teaches constitutional law at George Mason University and trial advocacy at Harvard Law School.   Fredericks says, “The addition of ‘The Gene Rossi Show’ to the WJFN programming lineup is an exciting development for the listening public that also demonstrates our commitment to bringing diverse voices and perspectives to the airwaves. Gene has been an insightful guest on my show over the years and I look forward to listening to him as the host of his own show on our growing news/talk network.”

Armen Williams Appointed PD for KILT-AM and KIKK-AM in Houston. Sports radio pro Armen Williams is the new program director at Entercom’s sports talk duo KILT-AM “SportsRadio 610” and KIKK-AM “CBS Sports Radio 650.”  Williams was most recently PD at Bonneville’s KKFN, Denver “104.3 The Fan.”  He takes over for the recently departed Ryan McCreddden.  Entercom Houston SVP and market manager Sarah Frazier says, “Armen is a born leader and we know that he is the right person to guide ‘SportsRadio’ forward.  His passion, enthusiasm and strategic thinking will help take us to the next level of Houston sports talk.”

Kathy Byerly Named GM at Neuhoff Decatur. Sales and management pro Kathy Byerly is promoted to vice president and general manager for Neuhoff Media’s Decatur, Illinois station group that includes award-wining news/talk outlet WSOY-AM and sports talk WDZ-AM, as well as three music-formatted stations.  Byerly has been serving as director of sales and associate GM for the cluster.  Byerly comments, “I’m thrilled to be leading a team that has proven time and again the core values of our company: grit, community, innovation and excellence.  Every day we are winning for our listeners, clients, community, and resetting the bar for what a local media company looks like in our local market.”

TALKERS News Notes. In Kansas City, KCMO-AM adds Westwood One’s Ben Shapiro to the program schedule in afternoon drive, replacing the Phil Valentine show that ended its syndication run (Valentine still hosts his afternoon drive show on WWTN-FM, Nashville).  KCMO program director Pete Mundo tells TALKERS, “Our ability to have my local AM drive show with Ben in PM drive gives us two conservative millennials to bring more youth to the news talk radio space.  We’re excited!”…..Houmatoday.com reports that talk radio host Moon Griffon – independently syndicated daily across the state of Louisiana to some 10 affiliates – is being added to the WJBO, Baton Rouge lineup for a Saturday program.  Griffon tells LaPolitics, “I’m tickled to death. We think that we need to be there. I feel like our program talks more about what goes on in Baton Rouge, at the Capitol and in the governor’s office, more than anybody else.”…..It’s the end of an era at Townsquare Media’s WOBM, Lakewood Township, New Jersey as Marianne Levy exits the station.  She joined WOBM in 1997 with her late husband Bob Levy.  Their show wrapped in 2015 when Bob Levy semi-retired.  Marianne continued to work for the station until last month, when she was let go…..Bay Area sports play-by-play pro Greg Papa will be calling games for the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers next season on Cumulus Media’s KNBR, San Francisco, the team’s flagship station. Papa previously was play-by-play voice for the Oakland Raiders until exiting that role before the 2018 season.  Papa takes over for Ted Robinson who is now handling community affairs for the 49ers…..After telling his listeners that he’s willing do their laundry for them since he does his nationally syndicated Westwood One program from his basement laundry room, more than one listener took Walter Sterling up on it, including retired Air Force sargent Liz Thomison, who sent her military fatigues to Sterling.  Pictured below is Sterling’s 13-year-old daughter Meredith posing with the clean fatigues.  Sterling comments, “Anyone can say ‘thank you for your service.’  Real gratitude is in the spin cycle.”

William Shatner Guests on New Mancow Program.  Legendary actor William Shatner, pictured above with Erich Mancow Muller, was one of the guests on Mancow’s inaugural morning program on Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM, Chicago yesterday (1/3).  Shatner announced his upcoming debut performance on the Grand Ole Opry, where he’ll be promoting his new country album Why Not Me, recorded with Jeff Cook of the band Alabama.

New Congress and Pelosi House Speaker Top News/Talk Story for Week of December 31-January 4.  The 116th Congress and Democrat Nancy Pelosi’s return to Speaker of the House was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At # 2 this week was the border wall battle and the government shutdown.  Coming in at #3 was Mitt Romney’s attacks on President Trump, followed by U.S. military strategy in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan 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. Programmer James Howard joins iHeartMedia Chicago as senior vice president of programming and PD for CHR WKSC “103.5 KISS FM.” Howard most recently held the same position in the company’s Washington, DC region…..Gone from Cumulus Media’s KKND, New Orleans is the urban AC format and in is classic hits as the station is re-formatted and re-branded “106.7 The Krewe.” The station also unveils its new morning show, “The Spud Show,” hosted by New Orleans icon Spud McConnell.  KKND program director Paul Cannell comments, “What a great way to kick off the New Year!  This 100,000-watt classic hits station, featuring incredible personalities like Spud – and the best music ever made – is sure to be a hit here in New Orleans.”…..Entercom adds two personalities to the morning program on urban contemporary WVEE “V-103.”  Jade Novah and JR will join current morning host Frank Ski, effective January 22. Entercom says that in addition to their morning show duties, Novah and JR will create content for V-103’s digital platforms.  Novah is a singer, songwriter, and actress.  She was vocal producer and mentor on FOX TV’s music competition show, “The Four: Battle for Stardom.”  She also released her debut album, All Blue.  JR most recently was on-air at WFAN, New York “The Fan” and has served with NBC Nonstop TV, CNN Headline News, and Bleacher Report…..Alpha Media Dayton’s urban contemporary WROU adds the Premiere Networks syndicated Steve Harvey show to the station’s program schedule for morning drive…..United Stations Radio Networks announces Audrey Parets is taking over hosting “The Acoustic Storm,” the show created and hosted by her late husband Jeff Parets.  Jeff Parets died unexpectedly in November and USRN says he left behind a great music library, an archive of his program and the wish that his wife continue the show. The new show will debut in February…..Pictured below are some of the country’s top voice over artists at the 10th – and likely last – Radio Dream Lunch produced by Art Vuolo.  It took place at the home of radio and record memorabilia museum curator Steve Resnik in Shadow Hills, California on December 30. Seen below are (from l-r): Joe Cipriano, Neil Ross, Randy Thomas, Shadoe Stevens, and John Leader.

 

December 2018 PPM Data – Part Three. December 2018 ratings information 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 December 2018 survey period covered November 8 – December 5. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12-PPM markets.

Portland

Spoken Word Formats – After being within 5.0 – 5.3 range July through November (5.0 – 5.3 – 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.1,  6+), Alpha Media news/talk KXL falters by six-tenths to 4.5 (fourth to seventh, 6+). From June – September, “101 FM News – Stay Connected” was at #5. Locked on 2.2 (6+) in October and November, iHeartMedia’s KEX “News Radio 1190 – Depend On Us” slips two-tenths (2.0, #18 to #19, 6+); 2.2 is its best 6+-showing since August 2016 (2.2, as well). A collective +.3 in October and November (.8 – .9 – 1.1, 6+), Alpha Media news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970” drops one-tenth (1.0, #23 to #24, 6+).

Entercom sports talk KFXX “1080 The Fan” is an overall -1.2 via three straight decreases (2.3 – 1.7 – 1.3 – 1.1, #21 to #22, 6+). Portland’s “Fan” was a collective +.9 in August and September (1.4 – 1.7 – 2.3, 6+). KFXX is now tied with Alpha Media-owned KXTG “The Game,” which (like “The Fan”) is down for the third consecutive month; “The Game” has a cumulative loss of four-tenths in that stretch (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1, flat at #22, 6+). Meanwhile, after logging three increases in a row for a +.3 (.4 – .5 – .5 – .7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KPOJ “Sports Radio 620” – the flagship of the Portland Trailblazers – forfeits one-tenth (.6 #25 to #27, 6+).

Notwithstanding that it is without a loss for the fifth time in a row for a collective +1.2 (8.1 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.9 – 9.2 – 9.3, 6+) and has its best 6+-stat (9.3) since March 2018 (9.5), Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk KOPB segues from first to second. KOPB had been on top from January 2018 to August 2018 (including a tie in April), before dropping to second in September. Earlier, it was +1.1 (January 2018); -1.1 (February); +1.0 (March); -1.0 (April); -.5 (May); and +.7 (October). Its internet stream gains one-half share (.3 – .8, #26, 6+).

Portland Music Formats – Roaring back from November’s loss of six-tenths with a rousing +3.2 (8.2 – 11.4, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW advances from second to first. “K-103” was #1 in December 2017 (13.0, 6+); “Holiday” 2017 (16.9, 6+); and tied for first (with KOPB) in April 2018 (8.5, 6+). Prior to November 2018, KKCW was a +1.6 via four successive reports without a loss (7.2 – 7.7 -7.9 – 8.8 – 8.8, 6+). In December 2017, “K-103” notched a 13.0 (6+). As a result of three straight upticks (2.4 – 3.0 – 3.6 – 3.8, 6+), Alpha Media-owned KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 for New Country” is an overall +1.4 and enters the top ten (#12 to #9). In advance of the October sweep, “The Bull” was -1.6 in three straight months without an increase (4.0 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 2.9 – 2.4, 6+). Even though Entercom’s similarly-formatted KWJJ is a cumulative -1.2 in six straight down or flat trends (4.6 – 4.6 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.4, 6+), “99.5 The Wolf – The Northwest’s Hottest Country” advances from #13 to #11. A collective -1.7 in October and November (5.8 – 4.4 – 4.1, 6+), Alpha Media triple A KINK “101.9 Uniquely Portland” erases seven-tenths of that loss in December (4.8, ninth to sixth, 6+). Four decreases in a row by Entercom-owned KGON accounted for a collective -1.0 (5.6 – 5.4 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+), but “92.3 Portland’s Classic Rock” counters with a one-half share December increase to 5.1 (sixth to fourth, 6+). Immediately prior to the aforementioned negative streak, KGON had been without a loss four straight times for a +1.6 (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.6 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+). Conversely, its adult hits sibling – KYCH “97.1 Charlie We Play Everything” – wipes away its October and November +.7 (3.6 – 4.2 – 4.3, 6+) with a December -1.1 (3.2, 6+) and fades from the top ten (#8 to #14). A downturn of eight-tenths (4.1 – 3.3, 6+) sends co-owned alternative KNRK “94.7 Portland Alternative Music” to its lowest 6+-stat since February 2018 (3.3, as well). As the result of four straight negative moves, Mount Hood Community College District jazz outlet KMHD has eroded by one full-share (1.1 – .8 – .7 – .6      – .1, 6+, #34, 6+). Having more than doubled (+2.3) its 6+-stat in four straight up or flat trends (1.7 – 2.5 – 3.0 – 4.0 – 4.0, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KFIS “104.1 The Fish” surrenders four-tenths to 3.6 (6+) yet returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). Entering the August sweep, “The Fish” had been down in each of the previous four monthlies for a cumulative -.8 (2.5 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7, 6+).

Charlotte

Spoken-Word Formats – A December loss of six-tenths by Entercom news/talk WBT follows October’s +.9 and November’s +.5 (2.9 – 3.8 – 4.3 – 3.7, 6+), as the flagship of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers exits the top ten (#10 to #12). November’s 4.3 is WBT’s highest 6+-share since February (4.3, as well).

Locked at #19, co-owned sports talk WFNZ “The Fan – Charlotte’s Sports Leader” has nearly tripled (+1.0) its 6+ share as a result of five straight up or flat moves (.6 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.6, 6+). This particular streak follows four straight sweeps without an increase that resulted in a -1.1 (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.1 – .7 – .6, 6+) for the key station of the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets.

Four downward trends in succession by University Radio Foundation news/talk WFAE accounted for a combined -1.6 (4.1 – 3.7 – 3.0 – 2.7 – 2.5, 6+), but “Charlotte’s NPR News Source” repeats November’s 2.7 (#15 to #17, 6+). The July through December topline for South Carolina Educational Television Commission news/talk WNSC is: .5 – .6 – .5 – .7 – .6 – .4 (flat at #20, 6+).

Charlotte Music Formats – Busting out of an August 2018 through November 2018 topline of 5.3 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.2 (6+) with a +2.8 to 8.0 (6+), Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WKQC vaults from seventh to first. This time last year, “K-104.7 More Music/Better Variety” notched a 7.0 (6+, December 2017). Progressing by seven-tenths (each) are iHeartMedia adult hits WLKO “102.9 The Lake” and CHR sibling WHQC “Channel 96.1.” Repeating at #2, “The Lake” boasts its eighth straight month without a loss (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 6.4 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+) for a whopping +3.7. Meanwhile, “Channel 96.1,” which was a combined +1.3 in September and October (2.7 – 3.5 – 4.0, 6+), completely obliterates November’s -.6 (4.0 – 3.4 – 4.1, 6+) and is back in the top ten (#13 to #10). Additionally, it overtakes Beasley Media Group’s similarly-formatted WNKS “Kiss 95.1,” which is down three-tenths in back-to-back months (4.4 – 4.1 – 3.8, flat at #11, 6+). In five straight decreases, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WRCM was a collective -1.9 (4.3 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 2.4, 6+), but “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” posts a December improvement of six-tenths (3.0, #17 to #15, 6+). December 2018 proves to be a rough sweep for the market’s two major country FMs: Beasley Media Group’s WSOC “103.7 Country’s Hottest Hits” (7.5 – 6.6, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country” (6.7 – 5.8, fourth to fifth, 6+) both falter by nine-tenths. On top for the past three months, “Country’s Hottest Hits” segues to third. An October loss of two-tenths ended four straight up or flat reports that netted a +1.5 (6.2 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 7.5 – 7.7, 6+). Prior to August, the last time WSOC reached the seven-share level (6+) was “Holiday” 2016 (7.0). Entering the November sweep, “The Kat” was an overall +1.1 in four successive months without a loss (6.0 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.8 – 7.1, 6+). Up (modestly) or flat in each of the last three ratings periods for an overall gain of four-tenths (5.1 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 5.5, 6+), Entercom hot AC WLNK “107.9 The Link – Charlotte’s Best Mix” surrenders eight-tenths (4.7, sixth to seventh, 6+). This marks the third straight slip for iHeartMedia’s WRFX “99.7 The Fox – Charlotte’s Classic Rock” for a collective -1.3 (6.4 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.1, fifth to sixth, 6+). Anchored in fourth-place, Beasley Media Group urban AC WBAV “V-101.9” is -2.0 as the result of five straight negative moves (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.9 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 5.9, 6+). “V-101.9” was +1.4 in May; eroded by -1.2 in June; and erased that -1.2 in its entirety in July with a +1.2.

San Antonio

Spoken-Word Formats – A -1.1 to 3.3 (6+) forces iHeartMedia news/talk and San Antonio Spurs’ flagship WOAI “News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather” out of the top ten (#7 to #11). WOAI’s November loss of one-tenth halted at three its consecutive string of improvements that yielded one full-share (3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.5, 6+). October’s 4.5 was its best 6+-showing since April 2017 (4.5, as well). Flat at #22, Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” has a July 2018 – December 2018 topline of 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.6 (6+).

Without an increase for the fourth straight month (.7 – .7 – .6 – .5 – .4, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk KTKR “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” carries on at #28.

Four consecutive up or flat trends netted KSTX one full-share (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6, 6+), but the Texas Public Radio news/talk outlet sputters by four-tenths to 3.2 (flat at #12, 6+).

San Antonio Music Formats – Down (marginally) or flat the past three sweeps for a loss of two-tenths (4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KQXT answers with a whopping +5.2 to 9.5 as “Q-101.9” rockets from ninth to first. In December 2017, KQXT notched an 8.7 (6+). Ousted from the top spot after a one-month (November 2018) stay and dropping to third is Cox Media Group-owned KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader,” which returns all but one-tenth of November’s +.9 (7.0 – 6.2, -.8, 6+). September’s loss of eight-tenths curtailed three straight gains that accounted for a +1.5 (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.8, 6+). In August, KCYY reached the six-share level (6.8) for the first time since October 2017’s 6.0. Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” improves by +1.0 (5.0 – 6.0, sixth to fourth, 6+) and trails “Y-100” by just two-tenths; “KJ-97” spiraled by -1.1 in October. A loss of seven-tenths takes Alpha Media adult hits KJXK “102.7 Jack FM Playing What We Want” to 4.6 (fifth to seventh, 6+). November’s +.7 by iHeartMedia CHR KXXM “96.1 Now – San Antonio’s #1 Hit Music Station” all but completely dissipates December’s loss of six-tenths (3.7 – 3.1, #11 to #14, 6+). Its one-tenth gain in October interrupted five April through September decreases that accounted for an overall -2.1 (5.0 – 4.9 – 4.4 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 2.9, 6+). On the heels of November’s -1.4, Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies KONO-FM “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” is off by an additional one-half share (6.9 – 6.4, 6+) but continues in the runner-up slot. Before slipping to #2 in November, KONO-FM had been on top the previous ten sweeps. When “San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” dropped one-half share in October, it halted at four a consecutive string of increases that yielded a +2.2 (6.6 – 7.0 – 7.7 – 7.8 – 8.8, 6+). In September, KONO-FM reached the eight-share threshold (8.8) for the first time since November 2016’s 8.2. Within 3.0 – 3.5 range (6+) in each of the last six sweeps (3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.3, 6+), Alpha Media regional Mexican KSAH “Norteňo 104.1” slumps by one-half share to 2.8 (#13 to #15, 6+). Faltering by one-half share as well – with each having identical 2.7 – 2.2, #16 to #18 (6+) profiles – are Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KMYO “Latino Mix 95.1” and Alpha Media rhythmic CHR KTFM “Energy 94.1.” December 2018’s 2.2 represents recent lows for KMYO (January 2018, 2.2, as well) and KTFM (2.1, May 2018).

Sacramento

Spoken-Word Formats – Following October’s +1.4 (5.6 – 7.0, 6+) iHeartMedia-owned news/talk KFBK “Sacramento’s News, Weather, and Traffic Station” is a collective -.5 in November and December (7.0 – 6.8 – 6.5, second to fourth, 6+). Immediately prior to the October ratings period, KFBK hadn’t posted an increase in the eight previous reports resulting in an overall -3.0 (8.6 – 8.1 – 8.1 – 7.8 – 6.7 – 6.3 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 5.6, 6+). Co-owned KSTE “Talk 650,” which was a collective +.7 via three consecutive sweeps without a loss (2.3 – 2.6 – 3.0- 3.0, 6+), falters by six-tenths (2.4, flat at #13).

After doubling (+.8) its 6+-share since August (.8 – 1.2 – 1.5 – 1.6, 6+), Entercom’s KIFM-AM surrenders six-tenths in December (1.0, #19 to #22, 6+). Just before this particular streak, “ESPN Radio 1320” lost 50% of its 6+-share (-.8) in three straight decreases (1.6 – 1.4 – 1.1 – .8, 6+). For the third sweep in succession, Bonneville’s KHTK “Sports 1140” is without an increase for an overall loss of four-tenths (1.3, 1.3 – 1.2 – .9, #21 to #25, 6+).

Even though Capital Public Radio news/talk KXJZ tacks on one-half share to November’s +1.1 and is without a loss for the fifth straight time for an overall +2.4 since July (4.5 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 6.4 – 6.9, 6+), it remains at #3. Moreover, this (6.9) is the highest 6+-stat in its PPM-history. Stable at #26, Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQEI gains one-tenth (.6 – .7, 6+).

Sacramento Music Formats – Rebounding in a huge way from November’s four-tenths’ loss, Entercom adult contemporary KYMX “Mix 96 – Today’s Hits/Yesterday’s Favorites” dials up a +2.6 (6.2 – 8.8, 6+) and advances from fourth to first. This time last year, “Mix 96” recorded an 8.8 (December 2017). Despite picking up one-tenth (8.1 – 8.2, 6+), co-owned KSEG backslides from first to second; “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” had been on top the past 10 months. A cumulative -1.6 in October and November (9.7 – 9.2 – 8.1, 6+), KSEG had its lowest 6+-share (8.1) since April’s 8.0. “The Eagle” was +1.0 (May); +.9 (June); -.9 (July); +.6 (September); -.5 (October); and -1.1 (November). California’s Capital City has one less country challenger as of early-November (2018). That’s when iHeartMedia transitioned KBEB “92.5 The Bull – #1 for New Country” to adult contemporary “92.5 The Breeze” (2.5 – 2.4, #14 to #13, 6+); KBEB had been up two-tenths in consecutive sweeps (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.5, September-October-November, 6+). Remaining in the country format are Bonneville’s KNCI “New Country 105.1” (steady at #5, 6+) and Entravision Communications-owned KNTY “101.9 The Wolf” (2.0 – 2.3, +.3, #17 to #15, 6+ ). The combined +1.5 by “New Country” in three straight gains (4.2 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.7, September-October-November-December, 6+) obliterates its combined -.9 in August and September (5.1 – 4.4 – 4.2, 6+). Meanwhile, this (2.3) is the best 6+-stat for “The Wolf” since June 2018’s 2.5. With a one-half share increase to 1.6 (6+), Capital Public Radio classical KXPR erases in its entirety October and November’s collective -.5 (1.6 – 1.3 – 1.1, 6+) and enters the top twenty at #18. A combined -.8 via three down or flat months in succession (4.2 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+), Entercom-owned KKDO “Alt 94.7 – Sacramento’s Alternative” picks up two-tenths to 3.6 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#12 to #10); November’s 3.4 was its lowest 6+-share since May (3.4, as well). When KUDL gained six-tenths in November, it took the Entercom CHR to 5.0, its best 6+-showing since May’s 5.6. In December though, “106.5 The End” spirals by nine-tenths (4.1, sixth to eighth, 6+). After being within 2.2 – 2.9 range the past 13 sweeps, Entravision Communications rhythmic CHR KHHM “Hot 103.5” forfeits six-tenths to 1.9 (#14 to #17, 6+).

Pittsburgh

Spoken-Word Formats – Trending 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.7 (October-November-December, 6+), Entercom news/talk KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020” climbs from eighth to seventh with its best 6+-stat (4.7) since February 2018’s 5.3.

After picking up three-tenths in October, co-owned sports talk KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” regresses by a collective nine-tenths in November and December (6.4 – 5.7 – 5.5, 6+) yet advances from sixth to fifth. “The Fan” was +2.0 in April (5.8 – 7.8, 6+); -2.0 in three straight May – June – July declines (7.8 – 7.4 – 6.5 – 5.8, 6+); +1.4 in August (5.8 – 7.2, 6+); and -1.1 in September. Having posted either a .1 (6+) or a .2 (6+) in each of the previous 19 ratings periods, iHeartMedia sports talk WBGG “970 AM – ESPN Pittsburgh” is up one-tenth to .3 (6+) and stays at #23.

An increase of four-tenths by Essential Public Media news/talk WESA takes “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” from #13 to #11 (3.2 – 3.6, 6+).

Pittsburgh Music Formats – The January 2018 through November 2018 (6+) high/low range for Steel City Media adult hits WRRK was 7.9/7.0, but “96.9 Bob FM – We Play Anything” follows November’s one-half share loss with a +1.7 to 8.7 (third to second, 6+). “Bob” has its best 6+-performance in exactly one year (9.0, December 2017). Even though it is an overall +2.4 as the result of four straight positive spikes (5.3 – 5.6 – 6.3 – 6.8 – 7.7, 6+), Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHH “Wish 99.7” remains at #4 with its highest 6+-stat since 10.4 in “Holiday” 2017. At the same time that Forever Media’s WPKL “Oldies Radio – Pickle 99.3” more than doubles its 6+-share  and enters the top twenty (.5 – 1.1, +.6, #20, 6+), co-owned country WOGG “Froggy 94.9” falters by one-half share (1.9 – 1.4, #14 to #16, 6+). Elsewhere in the country format, Entercom-owned WDSY “Y-108” Pittsburgh’s Country” relinquishes four-tenths in consecutive sweeps (4.8 – 4.4 – 4.0, -.4, flat at #9, 6+); iHeartMedia’s WPGB “Big 104.7 – Pittsburgh’s #1 For New Country” has a four-tenths decrease as well (3.7 – 3.3,  #11 to #12, 6+); and WOGG cluster-mate and fellow “Froggy,” WOGI, is up two-tenths (1.0 – 1.2, #20 to #18, 6+). Stuck on 9.5 (6+) in October and November, after October’s loss of seven-tenths, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWSW “94.5 – 3WS” gains two-tenths to 9.7 (6+) and is on top for the 22nd consecutive ratings period. Following 11 successive sweeps in the runner-up slot, co-owned rocker WDVE drops to third. Its December loss of one-half share to 8.2 (6+) curtails three straight increases for a +1.0 (7.7 – 8.0 – 8.3 – 8.7, 6+); WDVE was off eight-tenths in August. Co-owned alternative WXDX “105.9 The X” sputters by six-tenths to 4.3 (seventh to eighth, 6+) as the flagship of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins suspends three straight gains that netted nine-tenths (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 4.9, 6+).

Salt Lake City

Spoken-Word Formats – Stabilizing after October’s +2.4 and November’s -1.8 with a more modest December loss of two-tenths (5.4 – 5.2, 6+), Bonneville’s KSL progresses from fifth to fourth. November’s 7.2 is its highest 6+-share since April’s 8.1. “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” had a one-month stay (October) at #1; prior to that, the last time KSL reached #1 was in April. Like KSL, iHeartMedia’s KNRS is off two-tenths in December (4.9 – 4.7, 6+) but proceeds from seventh to sixth. “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know” was a combined +1.0 in October and November (3.9 – 4.7 – 4.9, 6+) and had its strongest 6+-showing (4.9) since March 2017’s 5.6.

The August 2018 – December 2018 topline for Broadway Media-owned KALL is 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.8 (6+), with “ESPN 700 – Utah’s #1 Sports Talk” cracking the top twenty (#21 to #20). Immediately in advance of that, KALL was an overall +.5 via four consecutive positive or flat moves (1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+).

After picking up one-tenth in November, University of Utah news/talk KUER forfeits two-tenths (2.8 – 2.6, #13 to #14, 6+); KUER was a collective -.8 in September and October (3.5 – 3.0 – 2.7, 6+).

Salt Lake City Music Formats – No station in the 36 PPM-markets we’ve analyzed thus far has made a more dramatic (6+) November 2018 – December increase (+7.0) or has a greater December 2018 (6+) AQH share (12.7) than Bonneville adult contemporary KSFI, which marches from third to first. Tied for the lead in August, “FM 100.3 – Better Music/Better Work Day” logged a 13.6 (6+) in December 2017. Its format rival – Cumulus Media adult contemporary KBEE “B-98.7 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” – slumps by six-tenths to 3.9 (ninth to tenth, 6+), thus halting three straight gains that netted a +1.8 (2.7 – 3.6 – 4.3 – 4.5, 6+). The rollercoaster ride continues for iHeartMedia-owned classic hits-oldies KODJ “94.1 Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits,” which was -1.1 (October); +1.5 (November); and now -1.4 in December (7.1 – 5.7, #1 to #2, 6+). Previously in calendar year 2018, KODJ held sole possession of the top spot or was tied for the lead in June, July, August, and September. Its gain of three-tenths in September curtailed three straight decreases that accounted for a one-half share loss (6.9 – 6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). Nearly erasing in its entirety October and November’s collective -.8 (4.7 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KJMY “My 99.5” posts a gain of seven-tenths to 4.6 (6+) and enters the top ten (#11 to #7). As a result, it bypasses Capital Broadcasting’s similarly-programmed KBZN “Now 97.9 – Today’s Best Music” (5.4 – 4.5, -.9, fifth to eighth, 6+). Off eight-tenths (2.4 – 1.6, 6+) Brigham Young University’s KBYU “Classical 89” fades from the top twenty (#18 to #22). Flat at #12, Cumulus Media country KUBL “K-Bull 93” is an overall -2.8 in five consecutive decreases (5.9 – 5.7 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.1, 6+). As is the case with “K-Bull,” co-owned KBER “Utah’s Rock Station” falters by seven-tenths in December (2.6 – 1.9, #14 to #19, 6+). On the heels of recording one-half share October – November gains, independent KSOP-FM “Z-104 Utah’s #1 Country” (4.2 – 4.7 – 4.2, eighth to ninth, 6+) and Broadway Media-owned KXRK “X-96 Utah’s Original Alternative” (3.8 – 4.3 – 3.8, #10 to #11, 6+) each regress by one-half share in December.

Las Vegas

Spoken-Word Formats – This marks the fourth occasion in the last five sweeps – and third time in succession -that Entercom’s KXNT posts a 1.9 (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9, #21 to #20, 6+). Prior to gaining two-tenths in August, “News Talk Radio 840” had been down or flat the previous three ratings periods for a net loss of four-tenths (2.1 – 2.0 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+). Meanwhile, after recording a 1.1 (6+) four times in the last seven survey periods (1.1 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.1, 6+), Beasley Media Group news/talk KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk” drops one-tenth to 1.0 (6+) and remains at #25.

Two-tenths behind KDWN is Lotus Communications sports talk KWWN “ESPN Radio 1100,” which had doubled (+.5) its 6+ share through four up or flat trends (.5 – .6 – .9 – .9 – 1.0, 6+), but falters by two-tenths to .8 (#25 to #26).

An overall +1.3 in six consecutive upticks (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.3, 6+), Nevada Public Radio’s KNPR is off two-tenths in December and departs the top ten (3.1, #10 to #13, 6+).

Las Vegas Music Formats – Not only is iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE on top for the fourth month in a row, “Sunny 106.5 Better Music for a Better Workday” posts a +.8 to 9.1, its best 6+-stat since 12.5 in “Holiday” 2017. A year ago, KSNE logged a 10.6 (December 2017, 6+). In calendar year 2018, it has been #1 in March, May, June, July, September, October, November, and December. Erasing November’s six-tenths’ loss with a December gain of the same magnitude, Entercom rhythmic hot AC KXQQ climbs from ninth to seventh (4.2, 6+). Entering the December 2018 sweep, “Q-100.5” was a collective -1.3 in three losses in succession (4.9 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 3.6, 6+). It is a similar story for co-owned hot AC KMXB “Mix 94.1,” which flips November’s -.5 into a December +.6 (5.4 – 6.0, fourth to third, 6+); November’s 5.4 is its lowest 6+-showing since February (5.4, as well). Flat at #15, Beasley Media Group’s similarly formatted KVGS “Star 107.9” is off three-tenths (3.0 – 2.7, 6+). Even though it is without a loss in six straight months for an overall +1.8 (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+), Lotus Communications’ KXPT “97.1 The Point – #1 For Classic Rock” backslides from third to fourth; 5.5 is its best 6+-performance in more than two years (5.9, October 2016). Down a combined -1.5 in October and November, Beasley Media Group urban-rhythmic oldies KOAS “Old School 105.7” regains three-tenths in December (4.3 – 4.6, flat at #6, 6+). As it entered the October ratings period, “Old School 105.7” was a cumulative +1.7 through five straight gains (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.1 – 5.8, 6+).

Orlando

Spoken-Word Formats – As a result of five consecutive increases, Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM was an overall +1.9 (3.3 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+), but “News 96.5” surrenders seven-tenths in December (4.5, eighth to tenth, 6+). November’s 5.2 is its best 6+-performance in more than a year (6.1, September 2017). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” has lost a collective full-share in four declines in succession (4.7 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 3.9 – 3.7, 6+) and continues at #11. Its +1.0 in August interrupted three straight decreases that resulted in a -1.8 (5.5 – 5.3 – 4.0 – 3.7, 6+). Having nearly doubled (+1.2) its 6+-share as the result of four successive sweeps without a loss (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.7, 6+), news/talk cluster-mate WFLF is now off a combined one-half share in November and December (2.7 – 2.4 – 2.2, #14 to #15, 6+).

Precisely doubling (+.7) its 6+-share via three straight up or flat moves (.7 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.4, 6+), Cox Media Group sports talk WDBO-AM ESPN 580 Orlando” forfeits eight-tenths (.6, #17 to #23, 6+). It is now tied with iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WYGM “FM 96.9 The Game – Orlando’s Sports Leader,” which has lost roughly half (-.7) of its 6+ AQH share in three consecutive dips (1.3 – 1.1 – .9 – .6, #21 to #23, 6+).

Repeating at #12, Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida” is in an August 2018 – December 2018 up/down pattern of 3.5 – 4.0 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.5 (6+).

Orlando Music Formats – Roaring back from October and November’s collective -.7 (6.5 – 6.0 – 5.8, 6+) with a robust +4.0, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMGF zooms from sixth to first with its strongest 6+-stat (9.8) since “Holiday” 2017’s 15.9. This time last year, “Magic 107.7” registered a 12.0 (December 2017, 6+). On top the past 11 ratings periods, its Spanish tropical sibling – WRUM “Rumba 100” – stumbles by six-tenths to 8.3 and segues to #2. WRUM’s +.8 in December halted at three a consecutive string of downturns that resulted in an overall -3.5 (11.6 – 10.1 – 8.2 – 8.1, 6+). April 2017s 12.8 is the best-ever 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. The last time “Rumba” wasn’t #1 was “Holiday” 2017 when “Magic” set the pace. Spiraling by nine-tenths is co-owned CHR WXXL (8.2 – 7.3, second to third, 6+). A one-half share September increase by “XL-106.7 Orlando’s #1 Hit Music Station” halted three downward moves in a row that accounted for a collective -1.7 (8.9 – 8.4 – 7.8 – 7.2, 6+). At the same time that Cox Media Group-owned WMMO “98.9 Orlando’s Classic Hits” erases November’s increase of seven-tenths with a December loss of eight-tenths (7.1 – 6.3, third to fifth, 6+), its internet “stream” debuts with a .7 (#22, 6+). November 2018’s 7.1 is WMMO’s highest 6+-stat since November 2017’s 8.1. The station was locked on 6.6 (6+) in July, August, and September, before dropping to 6.4 (6+) in October. A cumulative -1.3 via three down or flat moves in a row (7.1 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 5.8, fifth to sixth, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WOCL “105-9 Sunny FM – We Own The ‘80s” has its lowest 6+-stat (5.8) since July 2018’s 5.4. An overall -.7 as a result of being without an increase for the fifth consecutive sweep (3.4 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WJRR “101.1 Orlando’s Rock Station” continues at #13. Two positive streaks involving Orland stations come to a close in December 2018. While it stays at #4, Cox Media Group urban AC WCFB “Star 94.5 – Orlando’s Only R&B,” which was an overall +1.4 in five straight sweeps without a loss (5.5 – 6.0 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 6.8 – 6.9, 6+), forfeits four-tenths to 6.5 (6+). A modest +.2, owing to three consecutive up or flat moves (5.2 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.4, 6+), Entercom hot AC WOMX “Mix 105.1” slumps three-tenths to 5.1 but carries on at #7.

Cincinnati

Spoken-Word Formats – After six consecutive months at #1 iHeartMedia news/talk WLW shifts to #2 (10.0 – 9.6, -.4, 6+). Some recent fluctuations for the flagship of MLB’s Reds and NFL’s Bengals include a combined +2.0 (January and February); -1.0 (March); +1.6 (April); -1.2 (May); -1.4 (September); +1.7 (October); and -.8 (November). October’s 10.8 was its highest 6+-share in more than two years (10.8, as well, in June 2016). Co-owned WKRC “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati” falters by three-tenths and departs the top ten (3.6 – 3.3, #10 to #11, 6+). July’s increase of eight-tenths halted four straight monthly reports without an increase for a collective -1.0 (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+).

Anchored at #17, sports talk sibling WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530” surrenders four-tenths (1.4 – 1.0, 6+); 1.4 (October and November) is its best 6+-stat since May (1.4, as well).

An overall -.7 via four successive sweeps without an increase (3.5 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 2.8, 6+), Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU dips from #12 to #13.

Cincinnati Music Formats – Owing to a +3.1 (5.2 – 8.3, 6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WRRM progresses from fifth to third; “Warm 98.5” posted a 7.5 (6+) in December 2017. By putting together four straight gains for an overall +1.3 (8.6 – 9.1 – 9.2 – 9.6 – 9.9, 6+), co-owned classic hits-oldies WGRR “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” marches from second to first with its strongest 6+-stat (9.9) since March 2018’s 10.4. The 1.1 (6+) that Educational Community Radio’s WOBO “The Station With Something For Everyone” logged in November dwindles by nine-tenths to .2 (#24, 6+). Owing to three straight up or flat monthlies, Hubbard country WUBE was +1.0 (7.9 – 8.3 – 8.9 – 8.9, 6+), but “B-105” returns 80% of that increase in December (8.1, -.8, third to fourth, 6+). November’s 8.9 is the strongest 6+-stat for “B-105” in more than two years (8.9, as well, August 2016). Elsewhere in the market’s country format, Cumulus Media’s WNNF “94.1 Nash-FM” is trending (1.9 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.6, flat at 16, 6+), while WUBE cluster-mate WYGY “97.3 The Wolf” drops one-tenth (1.0 – .9, unchanged at #18, 6+). In each sweep between March 2018 and October 2018, “The Wolf” recorded either a .8 (6+) or a .9 (6+). Hubbard hot AC WKRQ “Q-102 Cincinnati’s Hit Music” is down or flat for the fourth successive time for a collective -1.9 (7.9 – 7.4 – 6.6 – 6.6 – 6.0, fourth to fifth, 6+). Immediately after gaining seven-tenths in November, iHeartMedia CHR WKFS “Kiss 107.1 Cincinnati’s #1 Hit Music Station” relinquishes that increase in its entirety (4.1 – 3.4, ninth to tenth, 6+). Prior to November’s +.7, “Kiss” recorded six straight down or flat sweeps that resulted in an overall -1.5 (4.9 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.4, 6+). In August, WDBZ registered a .9 (6+) to finish at #20, but the Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies outlet is unlisted for the fourth month in a row.

Cleveland

Spoken-Word Formats –An overall -1.6 in November and December (6.8 – 6.3 – 5.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” drops from fifth to eighth. An October increase of eight-tenths halted four successive sweeps without an increase for a collective -.6 (6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.0 – 6.0, 6+).

Following five successive improvements that netted a +2.0 (3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.4, 6+), Entercom’s WKRK “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” returns four-tenths (5.0, ninth to tenth, 6+). That positive streak directly followed a combined -1.8 in three straight (March through June) setbacks (5.2 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 3.4, 6+).

In back-to-back sweeps (November and December), Ideastream-owned news/talk outlet WCPN gains two-tenths (2.8 – 3.0 – 3.2, #13 to #14, 6+); WCPN was off four-tenths in October.

Cleveland Music Formats – As a result of three negative moves in a row, Entercom adult contemporary WDOK was down eight-tenths (6.4- 6.2 – 6.0 – 5.6, 6+), but “Cleveland’s Star 102” dials up a +2.6 to 8.2 (6+) and zooms from eighth to second. In December 2017, “Star” notched a 7.2 (6+). Co-owned WNCX “98.5 Cleveland’s Classic Rock,” which was an overall -2.1 (8.4 – 6.9 – 6.8 – 6.3, 6+) via three straight dips, gains two-tenths to 6.5 (fifth to sixth, 6+). November’s 6.3 is its lowest 6+-stat since April’s 6.0. A gain of seven-tenths (6.2 – 6.9, 6+) elevates iHeartMedia adult hits WHLK “106.5 The Lake – We Play Anything” from seventh to fourth. After being a collective +2.8 in three straight increases (6.0 – 6.5 – 7.5 – 8.8, 6+), WZAK returns four-tenths to 8.4 (6+); nonetheless, the Radio One urban AC repeats at #1. Prior to that streak, WZAK lost roughly 40% (-4.1) of its 6+ AQH share in five straight March 2018 through August 2018 down or flat trends (10.1 – 9.6 – 8.1 – 6.8 – 6.8 – 6.0, 6+). Owing to four consecutive decreases (8.1 – 7.2 – 6.8 – 6.5 – 5.7, fourth to seventh, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WGAR “99.5 Cleveland’s #1 For New Country” is a collective -2.4.

Kansas City

Spoken-Word Formats – This proves to be a particularly tough sweep for Entercom news/talk KMBZ-FM “98.1 News-Traffic-Weather” (5.1 – 4.0, -1.1, #4 to #11, 6+) and co-owned KMBZ-AM “Talk 980” (2.6 – 1.8, -.8, #19 to #20, 6+). KMBZ-FM was a combined +.7 (4.4 – 4.7 – 5.1, 6+) in October and November, while KMBZ-AM was up four-tenths in October. Flat at #23, Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM “Talk Radio 710 AM” regains the one-tenth it lost in November (.6 – .7, 6+).

After more than doubling (+2.2) its 6+-share in six straight positive spikes (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 4.0 – 4.2, Union Broadcasting’s WHB falters by four-tenths to 3.8 (6+) and departs the top ten (#9 to #12). “Sports Radio 810” was -.9 in February; +.9 in March; an overall -2.0 in April and May (4.0 – 2.9 – 2.0, 6+); and +1.2 in October. Even though it erases October’s +.4 with a collective -.4 in November and December (3.5 – 3.2 – 3.1, -.3, 6+), Entercom’s KCSP “610 Sports Radio” climbs from #17 to #16.

Tacking on three-tenths to November’s +.5 (3.0 – 3.5 – 3.8, 6+), University of Missouri news/talk KCUR improves from #14 to #12.

Kansas City Music Formats – An overall -.9 through six straight April 2018 through October 2018 sweeps without an increase (4.9 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 4.0, 6+), Entercom’s WDAF “106.5 The Wolf” has answered with a cumulative +1.3 in November and December (4.0 – 4.3 – 5.3, seventh to fourth, 6+). This is the highest 6+-share for “The Wolf” since January 2018 (5.3, as well). Cross-town rival, Steel City Media’s KBEQ “Q-104 New Hit Country,” is a combined -1.6 in three straight downturns (5.6 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 3.7, 6+), drifting from #7 to #14. Also in the format, KBEQ cluster-mate KFKF “Country 94.1” is a combined -2.1 as a result of four consecutive sweeps without an increase (6.2 – 5.3 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.1, #11 to #9, 6+). Reaching the four-share level (6+) for the first time since February’s 4.0, Cumulus Media urban AC KMJK “Magic 107.3 – Kansas City’s Best Mix of R&B” is an overall +1.7 via three straight upticks (2.7 – 2.8 – 3.4 – 4.4, 6+), rocketing into the top ten (#15 to #8). In eight successive March through November declines (8.1 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.8 – 6.4 – 6.3 – 5.4 – 5.0, 6+), classic hits-oldies sibling KCMO-FM was a combined -3.1, but “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” picks up one-tenth in December to 5.1 (sixth to fifth, 6+). KCMO-FM was #1 in March 2018, April, and May. Wiping away November’s one-half share decrease with a December gain of nine-tenths (4.7 – 4.2 – 5.1, ninth to fifth 6+), Steel City Media adult contemporary KCKC “KC-102.1 Today’s Best Variety” has its best 6+ showing (5.1) since January 2018’s 5.2. On the heels of November’s one-half share loss, Entercom-owned KQRC “98.9 The Rock” erodes by another nine-tenths (7.0 – 6.1, flat at #2, 6+). Its one-half share loss in November halted three straight increases that netted a +2.0 (5.5 – 6.5 – 7.3 – 7.5, 6+). Notwithstanding that it falters by seven-tenths to 9.0 (6+), thus pulling the plug on six straight sweeps without a loss for an overall +2.7 (7.0 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.8 – 8.8 – 9.6 – 9.7, 6+), Cumulus Media’s KCFX “101 The Fox – Kansas City’s Classic Rock Station” is #1 for the seventh time in a row. November’s 9.7 is the highest 6+-stat for the Kansas City Chiefs’ flagship since July 2017’s 10.3. Unchanged at #18, University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian KJNW “Life 88.5” regresses by eight-tenths to 1.9 (6+), thus interrupting its July 2018 through November 2018 topline of 2.4 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.4 – 2.7 (6+). The one-half share increase that Steel City Media CHR KMXV “Mix 93.3” collected in October and November (4.6 – 5.0 – 5.1, 6+) is erased with a December loss of six-tenths (4.5, fourth to seventh, 6+).

Columbus

Spoken-Word Formats – An overall +.9 in three straight positive spikes (5.4 – 5.5 – 6.1 – 6.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN “News Radio 610” returns two-tenths (6.1, fourth to sixth, 6+).

Ever since reappearing in print, RadiOhio sports talk outlet – and flagship of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets – WBNS-FM “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” has been +1.1 (October); -.4 (November); and now +1.0 (6.3 – 7.3, fourth to third, 6+). Recapturing the three-tenths it lost in November (.9 – .6 – .9, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk WXZX “105.7 The Zone” continues at #18.

The August 2018 through December 2018 up/down pattern of Ohio State University news/talk WOSU is 4.5 – 4.6 – 3.5 – 4.0 – 3.6 (eighth to ninth, 6+). Immediately prior to the October sweep, WOSU had a net gain of seven-tenths via three straight up or flat monthlies (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 4.6, 6+).

Columbus Music Formats – Tacking on a +1.4 to November’s +.4 (6.3 – 7.7, 6+), Saga Communications adult contemporary WSNY “Sunny 95” jumps from fourth to second with its best 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 11.0. A combined +1.2 in four straight increases (2.7 – 2.8 – 3.0 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+), Radio One’s WCKX “Power 107.5” inches up from ninth to eighth. An uptick of eight-tenths to 5.8 (steady at #7, 6+) by iHeartMedia adult hits WODC “93.3 The Bus – We Play Anything” applies the brakes to three consecutive dips that generated an overall -1.7 (6.7 – 6.4 – 5.3 – 5.0, 6+). That particular streak immediately followed four consecutive improvements that netted a +1.6 (5.1 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.7, 6+). Co-owned WCOL is #1 for the 12th sweep in a row and has been in double-digits (6+) each ratings period since June 2017. On the flipside though, “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” is a collective -3.6 through five straight setbacks (16.3 – 15.1 – 15.0 – 14.5 – 13.0 – 12.7, 6+). When WCOL was -1.2 in August, it concluded five consecutive increases for an overall +4.0 (12.3 – 13.4 – 14.4 – 14.5 – 15.7 – 16.3, 6+). Among the major fluctuations for “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” in calendar year 2018 are +3.1 (January); -1.7 (February); +1.1 (March); +1.0 (April); +1.2 (June); +.6 (July); 1.2 (August); -.5 (October); and -1.5 (November). A -1.3 (3.8 – 2.5, #9 to #11, 6+) takes One Connection Media Group contemporary Christian WCVO “Uplifting & Encouraging 104.9 The River” below a three-share (6+) for the first time since October 2018’s 2.3. Off six-tenths (2.8 – 2.2, #12 to #13, 6+), Saga Communications hot AC WVMX “Mix 107.9” has its weakest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017 (2.2, as well). After posting gains of six-tenths in October and November (6.5 – 7.1 – 7.7, 6+), co-owned WLVQ “Q-FM 96 – Iconic Rock” surrenders one-half share (7.2, second to fourth, 6+). November’s 7.7 is its highest 6+-stat since January 2017’s 7.9. Following four up or flat trends in a row that accounted for a +1.1 (2.4 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WZCB “106.7 The Beat” returns two-tenths to 3.3 (6+) but improves from #11 to #10.

November 2018 PPM Analysis: News/Talk

| December 11, 2018

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

LOS ANGELES — Our four-part series of detailed November 2018 PPM overviews concludes with a look at commercial, English-language news/talk.

It had been frequently stated that the 2018 mid-term elections (on November 6) would perhaps be the most important in our lifetime – if not in the country’s history.

Any hyperbole notwithstanding, such statements play right into news/talk’s wheelhouse. Therefore, for a variety of reasons, the format’s month-to-month (October 2018 – November 2018) and year-to-year (November 2017 – November 2018) results were even more highly anticipated than usual.

Concurrent with the critically important nature of the November 2018 sweep, which covered October 11 through November 7, the following constitutes our most thorough overview and analysis of any format to date as there are no ratings restrictions whatsoever.

All commercial, English-language news/talk outlets (including their online stream, when applicable) that appeared in any of the 48 PPM-markets are included (6+, November 2018).

If Nielsen Audio listed a commercial, English-language news/talk station (or stream) in November 2018, it appears below and its information was factored into all of our highlighted charts, if applicable.

Thus, the only fine-print is for “DNA,” meaning a station or its stream “Did Not Appear” (was unlisted) in a particular survey period.

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November 2018 PPM Analysis:
Urban Contemporary

| December 10, 2018

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

LOS ANGELES — Having already posted November 2018 PPM overviews of all-news (last Thursday, 12/6) and sports talk (last Friday, 12/7), we turn our attention to urban contemporary.

Our four-part series will conclude tomorrow (Tuesday, 12/11) with a thorough look at news/talk.

Meanwhile though, the following scoreboards are comprised of urban contemporary stations that rank in the top 20 in any of the 48 PPM-markets (6+, November 2018).

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

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Friday, December 7, 2018

| December 7, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

| November 27, 2018

iHeartMedia Launches New FM Sports Talker in Milwaukee. The sports talk radio battle in Brew Town is getting serious as iHeartMedia flips CHR WRNW to sports talk as “97.3 The Game, Sports Talk That Rocks,” effective immediately.  iHM already owns WOKY “The Big 920” that carries primarily FOX Sports Radio content.  Across town is Entercom’s WSSP-AM/W289CB “105.7 FM The Fan” airing local sports talk during the day and syndicated fare at night.  And, of course, there’s Good Karma Brands’ new FM sports talker WKTI “ESPN Milwaukee 94.5” that’s airing the same mix of local and ESPN Radio programming as sister suburban AM WAUK, Waukesha.  Good Karma also owns news/talk WTMJ (thanks to its recent $16 million acquisition of the two stations from Scripps Media) which has the play-by-play broadcast rights to Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers, and Milwaukee Bucks games.  Getting back to “97.3 The Game,” the station will air a blend of local and syndicated content including: former Brewers beat writer and Milwaukee radio host Drew Olson, Milwaukee Bucks radio voice Ted Davis, WISN-TV sports director Dan Needles, FOX Sports Wisconsin’s Dario Melendez, Spectrum SportsBob Brainerd, longtime market morning personality Kevin Brandt, a.k.a. KB, and Wisconsin Badgers sports voice Mike Heller.  “The Game” program director Tim Scott says, “Sports talk in Milwaukee is about to change.  Milwaukee is more than just a great sports town and ‘97.3 The Game’ will reflect that.”

Salem Launches Multimedia Ad Agency. In order to effectively sell its broad range of media options, Salem Media Group announces it has developed Salem Surround, “a nationwide multimedia ad agency with locations in 35 markets across the country.”  The press release says that “in addition to selling audio and digital advertising on its 116 radio stations and websites, Salem Surround offers a comprehensive suite of digital marketing services to develop and execute audience-based marketing strategies for clients on both the local and national levels.”  Salem Media Group CEO Edward Atsinger adds, “From our beginning as just a few local radio stations to the nationwide multi-platform media company we are today, Salem has worked hard to stay in tune with our listeners, readers, clients, and partners to meet their growing needs.  Salem Surround is yet another way for us to serve with excellence nationwide, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.”  Company VP of digital marketing Jamie Cohen states, “With consumers spending more and more time on smart phones and tablets, the media landscape has become significantly more complicated for business owners and marketers to navigate.  The one-size-fits-all marketing approach of just a decade ago has quickly become outdated.  Combining the power of Salem Radio with a full-service digital advertising strategy will allow us to go above and beyond in meeting the needs of advertisers around the country.”

NBA’s Spurs Sign with Skyview Networks for Broadcast Services. The NBA’s San Antonio Spurs are working with Skyview Networks, using the latter’s radio distribution network and AdView Inventory Management software for its WOAI, San Antonio-based play-by-play broadcasts.  Skyview says its “AdView system provides inventory scheduling, revenue reporting, and affidavit reconciliation in one consolidated system. This allows the organization’s front office to manage the complex nature of play-by-play contracts with ease.  Now the Spurs have access to detailed inventory tracking, which in turn generates instant affidavits to speed the billing and receivables process.”  Skyview VP of business development Matt Stys says, “I am thrilled to call the San Antonio Spurs a partner.  We are proud of the package of services we provide, and I am confident in the value the Spurs will receive with our high-quality distribution and streamlined inventory management system.”

Programmer/Researcher Roberts Succumbs to Cancer. Programmer and research expert Dave Roberts (Kelliher) lost his long battle against cancer last Saturday (11/24). The former architect and PD of San Francisco’s KRQR “The Rocker” became vice president of programming for the RKO Radio Networks and vice president of FM programming for CBS. He and RKO news vice president Dave Cooke formed Roberts/Cooke Media Research. In addition to consulting news/talk outlets, Roberts provided research to television stations and retailers. His on-air credits included stops in San Francisco (KYA and KIOI “K-101”); Anaheim (KEZY); Riverside-San Bernardino (KMEN); Fresno (KYNO); and Honolulu (KPOI). SoundOut president/North America Rob Sisco hired Roberts at “K-101” in 1981. “Dave went on to host national radio shows and filled-in several times for Casey Kasem on ‘American Top 40,’” Sisco points out. “Jo [Interrante] and I hired him when we had IS Inc to host RKO Radio Networks artist profiles we produced, ‘Music Star Special,’ and ‘The Hot Ones.’ Dave narrated more than 250 shows for RKO. He was an amazing talent, a brilliant programmer and researcher, a delightfully nice man, and a dear friend to all who knew him. Rest in peace my dear friend – you are missed.”  Of Roberts, veteran programmer (WGN, Chicago; WBAP, Dallas; WCCO, Minneapolis; NRG Media) Bob Shomper comments, “The absolute best research guy around – and an even better person.”  RKO Radio Networks’ former director of affiliate relations Julie Spira states, “My heart aches seeing this news.  I loved working with Dave at RKO Radio Networks.  May he rest in peace.” John Evans notes, “We’ve lost another brilliant broadcaster.  I was lucky to have worked with Dave at KYA from 1979 until [Rob] Sisco grabbed him for ‘K-101.’ We were doing great radio in those storied days and Dave was one of the best. His shows for RKO and IS Inc were top notch.” Owing to the fact Roberts held a Ph.D. in communications research from the University of Oregon, he was often called “Dr. Dave.” Surviving Roberts, who turned 70 earlier this month, is his wife – Walsh College (Troy, Michigan) president Marsha Kelliher. A private funeral for Roberts will be held later this week, followed by a memorial.

Talking Trump. Pictured above are former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski (right) and Citizens United president (and former Trump deputy campaign manager) David Bossie (left) at the ABC News Radio studios where they talked to affiliate stations about their new book, Trump’s Enemies: How the Deep State Is Undermining the Presidency (2018, Center Street).  (Photo: ABC News)

Trump-Russia Investigation/Manafort Allegedly Violates Plea Deal, GM Announces Job Cuts, Climate Change Report, U.K. Facebook Documents, Undecided Congressional Races, Russia-Ukraine Aggression, Mars Landing, the Brexit Deal, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/26). The anticipated release of Robert Mueller’s report on the investigation into potential connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related allegation from Mueller that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort lied to investigators after making his plea deal; General Motors announces job cuts and plant closings in the U.S.; the U.S. government’s ominous climate change report and President Trump’s response; the U.K.’s possession of Facebook documents relative to the Cambridge Analytica data use scandal; the status of the remaining 2018 election results; global response to Russia’s military aggression in the Ukraine; NASA’s successful Mars InSight landing mission; the U.K.’s latest Brexit deal with the EU nations and its implications for U.S.-U.K. trade; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Pittsburgh Entercom-owned radio stations WBZZ-FM, “100.7 STAR” and country WDSY “Y108” are presenting “A Concert for Unity” to benefit the rebuilding of Tree of Life – Or L’Simcha Congregation in Pittsburgh, the site of the deadly assault on worshippers there on October 27.  The event, live from Pittsburgh’s Byham Theater on Sunday, December 2, will feature Dan + Shay, FRZY, and The Andy Davis Band and will be broadcast live on both stations.  All proceeds from the show are going to rebuild Tree of Life. Entercom Pittsburgh SVP and market manager Michael Spacciapolli says, “Pittsburgh suffered an unfathomable tragedy and our community has come together to support our neighbors in their time of need.  Through the generosity of local Pittsburgh artists and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, ‘A Concert for Unity’ will directly support the rebuilding of Tree of Life.”…..Morning show personality Frank Lario exits Beasley Media Group’s country WXTU, Philadelphia where he was working alongside Andie Summers, who is holding down the show solo while a search is on for a partner…..Programming pro Robyn Simone is named PD at Cumulus Media’s urban AC WLXC, Columbia, South Carolina “KISS 103.1,” effective December 10.  During her career, Simone has served for 10 years with Radio One in markets including Detroit and Cleveland…..Sales pro Kimberly Parker is named general sales manager at Cumulus Media’s country WIVK, Knoxville.  She most recently served as VP of advertising with the Las Vegas Media Group.  She comments, “It’s great to be back in Knoxville.  This is my home.  I know the wonderful history and significance of WIVK in East Tennessee and I am honored and thrilled to have the opportunity to work with this talented and well-established staff.”…..Big Broadcasting’s KOKO-FM, Fresno flips from oldies to classic hip hop and R&B as “Jammin’ 94.3” entering into a deal with Envision Networks for programming and ad sales.  Station program director Mike Marino says, “Our unique blend of old school and R&B throwbacks super serves an adult female audience ignored by other contemporary and gold-based radio stations in the market.  Passion levels for this music are off the charts. Fresno will get the ‘feels’ from Jammin.’”…..Tragic news strikes iHeartMedia’s hip hop WWWZ, Charleston, South Carolina “Z93 Jamz” as authorities in Beaufort County report finding the body of 28-year-old Nathaniel Scott Jr., known on the radio as DJ Tough Love, in a wooded area where he’d been shot to death.  Authorities are still investigating the matter.

Monday, November 19, 2018

| November 19, 2018

Kim Carrigan Out as Kuhner Returns to AMs on WRKO, Boston; Doug “V.B.” Goudie Moves to Middays. The new program schedule on iHeartMedia’s news/talk WRKO, Boston launches on Monday (11/26) and in morning drive will be “The Kuhner Report” with Jeff Kuhner.  He moves from the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart and replaces the “Boston’s Morning Show” with Kim Carrigan and Doug “V.B.” Goudie.  V.B. moves to the early afternoon show hosting “V.B. in the Middle” and Carrigan apparently departs.  The station says in a press release, “‘The Kuhner Report’ will continue to cover today’s latest headlines and breaking political news.  Conservative Jeff Kuhner will continue to tackle cutting-edge, hot-button, political, social and foreign policy issues.  ‘V.B. in the Middle’ will also discuss today’s biggest political headlines, showcasing V.B.’s humorous, creative opinions as well as his connection with the Boston listeners.”  WRKO program director and iHeartMedia Boston VP of news/talk Robert Sanchez adds, “Jeff Kuhner believes what he says and says what he believes.  Bostonians need an energy burst in the morning and with Jeff, their commute just erupted.”

Alan Stock to Exit Afternoon Drive on KXNT, Las Vegas for New Role at Station.  Although still not confirmed at press time, TALKERS sources indicate that a programming shuffle is about to take place at Entercom’s heritage talk outlet in Las Vegas, KXNT with the official announcement coming this week.  Local market mainstay (and TALKERS Heavy Hundred luminary) Alan Stock will move out of the 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm afternoon drive position to be replaced by a yet-to-be-named syndicated program and play a reduced, but still-important, role at the station as its “commentator.”  Stock will deliver a live, daily, early afternoon, short-form political commentary that will be replayed several times later in the day.  Word is that Stock’s on-air presence at the station will also include a live, long-form weekend program to be announced at a later date.  Further unconfirmed rumors indicate Stock might be replaced in afternoon drive by Radio America syndicated host Chad Benson.  Stay tuned!

iHeartMedia Files Fifth Amended Joint Chapter 11 Plan with Bankruptcy Court. December 11 is still the date that iHeartMedia will be in Bankruptcy Court in Houston for confirmation of its Chapter 11 reorganization plan.  Ahead of that, the company has filed the Fifth Amended Joint Chapter 11 Plan with the court and the deadline for filing objections with this latest plan is November 28.  The plan outlines the New Term Loans to be issued by parent company iHeartCommunications. They include: an Asset-Based Loan of $450 million with a five-year term; a Term Loan of $3.5 billion with a seven-year term; $800 million in secured notes with a seven-year term; and $1.45 billion in unsecured bonds with an eight-year term.  The Plan also lays out the salaries of chairman and CEO Bob Pittman and COO and CFO Rich Bressler – both of whom who will make $1.5 million in salary per year and whose annual Target Bonuses will be $3.4 million.  Note that these figures are for the year 2019 and beyond that changes in the employment terms are at the discretion of the board of directors.

iHeartMedia to Acquire Jelli Inc. This move takes the relationship between iHeartMedia and cloud-based ad platform developer Jelli Inc. to the next level, with iHM acquiring the company whose technology powers its SoundPoint programmatic platform.  iHeartMedia goes on to say that this deal will enable it to “further leverage Jelli’s assets to continue to create for brands a digital-compatible buying platform for broadcast radio that includes targeting and creative optimization based on data and attribution tools compatible with the offerings of the major digital players. In addition, ‘Expressway from Katz,’ the industry’s programmatic buying ad exchange for the country’s leading radio groups, will continue to remain independently run by Katz, powered by Jelli.”  Brian Kaminsky, president of SmartAudio and analytics group for iHeartMedia, says, “Facebook and Google pioneered a new way for advertisers to interface with media partners to improve targetability, the ease of buying and measurement of results, and our programmatic platform puts us in the position to participate in the modern data driven ecosystem for our broadcast radio audience as well as our digital audiences.  We have been excited by the advances we made with Jelli as our partner and the acceptance from our advertising partners.”  The press release makes no mention of the terms of the deal, but says that “Jelli will continue to operate as a company within iHeartMedia, Inc. led by president and CEO Michael Dougherty and his team.  The Jelli division will continue to be based in Silicon Valley and will become iHeartMedia’s primary ad technology operation.”

Larry King Weighs In with Strong Opinions on Jim Acosta Story and the State of Journalism.  Veteran radio and TV talk show host Larry King dropped in on Friday (11/16) for an unplanned chat during the recording of this past weekend’s RT America show “The Big Picture with Holland Cooke.”  The impromptu, seven-minute interview took place while King was visiting the network’s Washington, DC headquarters.  During the provocative conversation that delved into the state and future of journalism in America, King candidly described the daily briefings and press conferences held at the Donald Trump White House as “a sideshow… reality TV… that has nothing to do with governing.”  King elaborated, “The whole thing is a show and when Jim Acosta [engaged in the argument with the President] he became part of the show.  Trump loves that!”  To view the entire conversation between King and Cooke, please click here.  King hosts a nightly show, “Larry King Now,” on RT America from his studio in Los Angeles via a licensing agreement between the network and his program that originates on Ora TV and is also seen on Hulu. Holland Cooke is also a senior correspondent for TALKERS.

Hoffman to Lead Entercom Indianapolis. Rising from vice president of sales for Entercom’s Indianapolis cluster to SVP and general manager is Ben Hoffman.  He is now in charge of the cluster that includes sports talk WXNT-AM “CBS Sports 1430 AM,” CHR WZPL, and adult contemporary WNTR “107.9 The Mix.” Entercom region president Dave Alpert states, “For the past seven years at Entercom Indianapolis, Ben has demonstrated strong leadership qualities, high energy and the ability to be a collaborative team leader with a strong ability to win.  This is a well-deserved promotion for Ben to senior vice president and market manager and we are looking forward to the great work that Ben will continue to produce.”  Prior to joining Entercom, Hoffman served as station manager and director of sales for Townsquare Media in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Judge’s Ruling in CNN-White House Suit, Trump-Russia Investigation, Trump FOX News Interview/Schiff Attack, House Speaker Battle, California Wildfires, Migrant Caravan, U.K.’s Brexit Chaos, U.S.-China Trade War/Pence at APEC Summit, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  A judge rules the White House must return CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s press credentials; the status of the investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents; President Trump’s FOX News interview with Chris Wallace and his Twitter attack on Congressman Adam Schiff; the internal battle among Democrats over the next Speaker of the House; the status of the California wildfires and the latest death toll; the caravan of migrants arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border; the political chaos surrounding Britain’s exit from the E.U.; the U.S. trade war with China and Vice President Mike Pence’s appearance at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. St. Louis country outlet KSD-FM “93-7 The Bull” announces Gail Austin is the new program director for the station.  Back in April, Jules Riley was promoted from PD for KSD and sister classic hits KLOU to senior vice president of programming for the entire iHeartMedia St. Louis cluster.  Austin previously served with the company in the programming departments of both WQIK, Jacksonville and WCOL, Columbus.  Riley comments, “We are thrilled to welcome Gail back to iHeartmedia and excited to watch her take ‘The Bull’ to new heights.  We spoke with a number of talented programmers, but Gail’s competitive drive, creativity, and talent development made her our ideal candidate.”…..At morphing WTDY, Philadelphia, Entercom moves program director Bobby Smith off the air and “Coop & Casey” are the new morning show.  The station is transitioning into a CHR as the result of the company’s recent acquisition of hot AC WBEB “B101.1.”…..Air personality Brian Holmes exits Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s rhythmic CHR WJQM, Madison “93.1 Jamz” after three-and-a-half years hosting “The Freak Show” in the evenings…..ABC Radio is offering a Thanksgiving holiday radio show for country stations called, “Holiday Season Serenade.” The three-hour program is hosted by country star Martina McBride, who will take a look at stars’ holiday favorites including food, decorations, traditions, gifts and music.  The special will feature Christmas songs by top country artists such as Dan + ShayLittle Big Town, Lady Antebellum, Carrie Underwood, Kelsea Ballerini, Tim McGraw, Reba McEntire, Brad Paisley, Brett EldredgeChris Young, Scotty McCreery, and more.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

| November 7, 2018

Brown Moves to Nights on KOA, Denver; ‘Caplis and Kafer’ Launches on KHOW in PM Drive. Programming changes at iHeartMedia Denver take place as former Under Secretary of Homeland Security and Director of FEMA Michael Brown moves from KHOW to sister KOA to launch the live “Heckuva Show with Michael Brown,” airing weekday nights from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm at first, then expanding to 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm on December 3.  On KHOW, the new “Caplis and Kafer” show with Dan Caplis (left) and Krista Kafer (right) assumes the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm daypart.  iHeartMedia Denver region president Tim Hager says, “Adding these new shows on both KOA NewsRadio 850 AM & 94.1 FM and TalkRadio 630 KHOW further enhances our commitment to original, local content.  We’re fortunate to have Michael, Dan, and Krista in these key roles and I’m confident they will quickly become a trusted source of information and entertainment for our listeners, clients and partners.”  Brown tells TALKERS magazine, “The opportunity to create a live, local evening program on iconic KOA News Radio is a chance most radio hosts rarely get to pursue.  I am especially grateful for iHeart’s confidence in this venture by entering into a multi-year contract extension, allowing me to build a live show in this unique time slot.  AM radio needs live evening programming and this is a fantastic opportunity to fill that need and eventually grow the program to a broader audience outside the Denver metropolitan area.  KOA News Radio is heard in 38 states during the evening hours and that is a solid foundation for building a broader program.  It is great to be back on the ‘blowtorch’ of Denver radio.”

KTRS, St. Louis Announces Air Talent Changes After Jon Grayson’s Exit.  Last week, station general manager Mark Dorsey told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch after letting late morning talk host Jon Grayson go, “Jon is a great guy and a great broadcaster.  We just decided to go in a different direction.”  Grayson had been co-hosting the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon program with Jennifer Blome.  He joined CH Holdings‘ KTRS in 2017 after 16 years as overnight host at crosstown KMOX. Now, KTRS moves Jay Kanzler from the 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight show to co-host the “Jennifer & Jay” program in the late morning daypart.  The Post-Dispatch reports that station on-air producer Josh Gilbert takes over the late night show as host.  Unrelated to the previous moves, KTRS announces market radio personality Wendy Wiese is joining the morning drive McGraw Milhaven show as a Monday co-host, with Kelly Jackson continuing to co-host Tuesday through Friday.

Cox Media Group to Split WOKV-AM/FM, Jacksonville Simulcast; AM to Become ESPN Radio Affiliate. The change will take effect in January and will end the AM/FM simulcast of Cox Media Group’s successful “News 104.5 WOKV.”  While the FM will continue as a news/talk outlet, the AM becomes “ESPN 690AM.”  CMG Jacksonville market VP Dan Lawrie says, “We’re very excited to expand the coverage of ESPN Sports in Jacksonville.  From NFL football, to college sports, to high school football, we can cover more sports for Jacksonville sports fans than any other local radio station.”  The station will air the bulk of the ESPN Radio lineup but appears to be considering a local afternoon drive show as the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm slot is still to-be-determined.

Bustos Experimenting with Local Talk/Brokered Format on KVOI, Tucson. The recent closing on Bustos Media’s purchase of news/talk KVOI, Tucson took place last week and the company swiftly dropped the network programming and added local talk shows to make the station all local from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm (Bloomberg Radio airs the rest of the time). Although it’s not clear from the piece posted at Tucson.com how many hosts are brokering their programs, it quotes company president Amador Bustos saying, “It’s an experiment for all of us.  I don’t necessarily know if it’s going to take root in this market.”  He adds he’ll give it about a year to see if it’s financially tenable.  The piece notes local talk personality John C. Scott assisted putting the lineup together. He’ll also host the 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm show.  As for the rest of the shows, management expanded morning host Chris DeSimone’s program to 6:00 am to 10:00 am.  Mark Bishop hosts a “local variety show” from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon.  Bill Buckmaster continues his local talk show from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm, followed by Steve Rivera’s sports talk program from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm, and Dawn English’s local cultural programming from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

Hannity Appearance at Trump Rally Results in Public Statement from FNC; Tweets from Hannity. Nationally syndicated talk radio host and FOX News Channel superstar Sean Hannity appeared on the stage at President Trump’s rally in Cape Girardeau, Missouri on Monday evening after stating in a Tweet earlier in the day that he was only there to cover it and interview the president.  When he took the stage Monday night, he referred to the press in the back of the room – which included FOX News reporters – as the “fake news.” On Tuesday, FOX News issued the following statement: “FOX News does not condone any talent participating in campaign events.  We have an extraordinary team of journalists helming our coverage tonight and we are extremely proud of their work.  This was an unfortunate distraction and has been addressed.”  Hannity later Tweeted about the issue, saying, “What I said in my tweet yesterday was 100% truthful.  When the POTUS invited me on stage to give a few remarks last night, I was surprised, yet honored by the president’s request. This was NOT planned.”  He also addressed the “fake news” comment: “To be clear, I was not referring to my journalist colleagues at FOX News in those remarks.  They do amazing work day in and day out in a fair and balanced way and it is an honor to work with such great professionals.”

Entercom Names Kevin Cassidy NOLA Cluster Chief. Moving from Entercom’s Dallas station group to New Orleans to assume the SVP and market manager position is Kevin Cassidy.  He’ll lead the cluster that includes legendary news/talk WWL-AM/FM and music outlets CHR WEZB “B97,” classic rock WKBU “Bayou 95.7,” AC WLMG “Magic 101.9,” and rhythmic oldies WWWL-AM/W225CZ “New Hot 92.9 FM.”  Cassidy says, “I am excited to start the next chapter of my career overseeing this strong portfolio of stations in New Orleans.  I relish this opportunity to work with the team and I look forward to leading our stations to anticipated growth in this market.” Cassidy previously served as president of D&R National Radio Sales and vice president and director of sales for iHeartMedia in Dallas.

Midterm Elections Dominate News/Talk Radio on Tuesday.  As happens every so often when the big news story of the day is so all-encompassing, talk about the midterm elections and the battle for control of the House and Senate dominated the topics on news/talk radio yesterday (11/6), according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  Other campaign-related topics such as the migrant caravan, foreign relations, and financial markets activity were also part of the larger discussion.

TALKERS News Notes. “New Jersey 101.5” evening talk host Steve Trevelise tells TALKERS magazine that comic and former Howard Stern cast member Artie Lange (pictured here in the “New Jersey 101.5” studios) revealed on his radio show that he’s seeking inpatient treatment for addiction. Trevelise writes, “Monday night, Artie met with City Of Angels founder Kevin Meara, who just returned from the first-ever DOJ Opioid Summit in Washington DC, and with Artie’s good friend and comedian ‘The Reverend’ Bob Levy in the ‘New Jersey 101.5’ conference room.  Now a recovery coach, actress Amy Locane shared her story making a connection, saying that even in the darkest place, through recovery you begin to see light.”  Read the whole story here…..Tomorrow night (11/8), Walter M. Sterling, host of network radio’s “Sterling on Sunday,” is guest starring on Entercom’s news/talk KMOX, St. Louis from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm…..Westwood One is now the exclusive radio partner of 24/7 weather reporting service Weatherology.  WWO is handling affiliate sales for the service to build on its “existing 600 affiliates in the Upper Midwest.”  Cumulus Media EVP marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes states, “We’re partnering with Weatherology because of their unparalleled immediacy, currency, and quality.  From day-to-day forecasts to storm emergencies, weather on the radio is a vital service to local communities.  Winter is coming soon and Westwood One is ready to offer this service to stations everywhere, including our massive 24-hour format customer base.”…..Entercom sports talk outlet KGMZ-AM, San Francisco “1550-AM The Game” agrees to extend its partnership with the University of San Francisco to broadcast the school’s men’s basketball games.  As part of the deal, select games will be simulcast on KGMZ-FM “95.7 The Game.”  Pat Olson, longtime play-by-play voice of the Dons, and former USF men’s basketball head coach Jim Brovelli will continue to call the action…..United Stations Radio Networks announces that Bloomberg Radio Network is again producing the series “Tax Tips” to be broadcast during the 2019 tax season.  The 30-second segments are written and anchored by Bloomberg’s team leader for tax coverage, Alexis Leondis…..Entercom’s Pittsburgh stations – including news/talk KDKA-AM and sports talk KDKA-FM are supporting the 20th annual “NRG Santa Spectacular” on November 16 at Point State Park in Pittsburgh  This year’s event will feature a musical performance by “American Idol” contestant and Pittsburgh native Gabby Barrett, as well as other family friendly activities.  Entercom Pittsburgh SVP and market manager Michael Spacciapolli says, “Since 1998, ‘Santa Spectacular’ has been a staple for families in Pittsburgh and we are excited to continue this tradition.  We are looking forward to bringing the city together for this great event.”

PPM Analysis: Public Radio News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on 6+ data from Nielsen Audio’s October 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on public radio news/talk.  The survey month was generally good to public radio news/talk stations with 57% seeing an increase in their weekly 6+ AQH share compared to the September survey.  The comparison to the October 2017 survey shows about half the stations went up, less than half went down and two stations saw no change.  A total of five public radio news/talk stations ranked #1 in their respective markets during the October survey: KQED, San Francisco; KPBS, San Diego; KCFR, Denver; KOPB, Portland; and KUT, Austin.  See Kinosian’s entire report here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Boston, iHeartMedia promotes Amanda Jo Parker to assistant program director for country WBWL “101.7 The Bull.” She’ll continue hosting her evening show there as well as her duties as afternoon personality on the company’s WRNX, Springfield, Massachusetts “KIX 100.9.”…..Orlando Rosa joins iHeartMedia as program director for regional Mexican WBZY, Atlanta “El Patron 105.3.”  He was most recently operations manager at Phoenix-based Riviera Communications.  Regional SVP of programming Brian Michel says, “We are thrilled to welcome Orlando to the iHeartMedia Atlanta team because of his wealth of experience and vast market knowledge.  Orlando brings passion, energy, and a strong commitment to super-serving our listeners, partners, and the Atlanta community.”

Friday, October 26, 2018

| October 26, 2018

Good Karma to Flip WKTI-FM, Milwaukee to Sports Talk as ‘ESPN Milwaukee 94.5.’ When Craig Kamazin’s Good Karma Brands takes ownership of country WKTI-FM and news/talk WTMJ-AM, Milwaukee on November 1, it will flip WKTI to sports talk as “ESPN Milwaukee 94.5.”  Good Karma is buying the duo from E.W. Scripps for $16 million.  In a press release, Karmazin says, “This is a natural evolution of our sports marketing, event and broadcast business in Wisconsin.  94.5 FM’s powerful signal, along with the synergy of its legendary sister station WTMJ-AM, will provide new and exciting ways for fans to stay close to their favorite teams and provide new ways for our marketing partners to engage with Wisconsin sports fans.”  WTMJ-AM is the flagship station of the Green Bay Packers, the Milwaukee Brewers, and the Milwaukee Bucks and Good Karma’s WAUK-AM “540 ESPN” airs Marquette University basketball play-by-play.  Initially, both WKTI and WAUK will carry the same programming, including the “Wilde and Tausch” show featuring Packers Hall of Famer Mark Tauscher and award-winning Packers writer Jason Wilde – as well as the “Homer & Gabe” show, hosted by Steve “The Homer” True and Gabe Neitzel.  This move adds another station to the sports talk battle in Milwaukee with Entercom’s WSSP-AM/W289CB “105.7 The Fan” and iHeartMedia’s WOKY-AM “The Big 920.”

WMAL-AM/FM, Washington Evacuated After Mail Bomb Scare. After receiving a suspicious package at its Jenifer St. NW offices in Washington, Cumulus Media DC called authorities and the building was evacuated from about 4:00 pm to 5:45 pm on Thursday.  WRC-TV reports that police arrived and after a period determined the package was not a threat. WMAL and sister WRQX-FM staffers were allowed to return to the offices.  The package was addressed to WMAL personalities, according to afternoon host Larry O’Connor, who Tweeted, “Though it does not look like the other packages we have seen the past day or two, there were some similarities. DC police examined it and immediately ordered full evacuation.”  Ultimately, WMAL reporter Heather Curtis Tweeted that the package appears to have contained pieces of the Berlin Wall intended as gifts to WMAL talk show hosts.

iHeartMedia Seeks Exclusivity Extension. The company is asking the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Houston for more time in the exclusivity window – the period during which only it can submit reorganization plans – because it says it’s making progress after successfully negotiating with a “vast majority of creditors.”  iHeartMedia’s current exclusivity window expires on November 24 but would like the court to give it until February 7 of next year.  The company says it is seeking “a further extension to ensure that the Debtors can build upon the substantial progress made to date without distraction from other competing plans.”  The company further states that although this Fifth Amended Plan has not been confirmed, it and its advisers are “diligently working toward the Confirmation Hearing on December 11, 2018 and are currently in the midst of the solicitation process.”  This means it’s likely that iHeartMedia will not exit Chapter 11 until sometime in early 2019.

Jed Burns to Lead Bighorn Radio Network. Radio management pro Jed Burns is promoted to vice president and general manager for Legend Communications of Wyoming’s Big Horn Radio Network.  Legend Communications owners Larry and Susan Patrick say, “Jed has been with us for nearly 10 years now and he has significant management and marketing experience.  Jed’s leadership will enable the Big Horn Radio Network to continue to super serve our communities, our listeners, and our advertisers throughout the Big Horn Basin.” Big Horn Radio Network operates news/talk KODI-AM, Cody; news/talk KWOR-AM, Worland and six other music outlets.

Tampa Bay Times Runs Feature Piece on Bubba the Love Sponge.  The story by feature writer Christopher Spata tells that tale of the rise and fall of Tampa-based shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge, a.k.a., Todd Clem.  In the piece, Bubba is very honest about his standing in the radio industry, his huge legal bills defending himself in the Nielsen ratings tampering suit, and the fallout from the Hulk Hogan sex tape case.  Though he recently said during a guest appearance on the Howard Stern show that he lost his house, the truth is that his St. Petersburg mansion is on the market for $1.3 million.  Read the Times piece here.

Beasley Media Group’s Caroline Beasley Joins ‘Most Influential Business Leaders.’ The honor comes from Florida Trend magazine as the publication releases its list of 500 executives in the state it deems the “Most Influential Business Leaders.” Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley was named among the “500 executives selected based on extensive contacts in regional business circles, hundreds of interviews and months of research, culminating in a highly selective biographical guide to the people who really run Florida.”

Democrat-Targeted Mail Bombs Top News/Talk Story for Week of October 22-26. The 10 package bombs sent to high-level Democrats and CNN was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the midterm elections and the battle for control of the House and Senate. Coming in at #3 was the migrant caravan moving through Mexico toward the U.S. border, followed by global financial markets activity and the wildly fluctuating Dow 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.

 

KIRO-FM, Seattle Seeks Night Host. As the Bonneville station says, this is a “golden opportunity with one of the nation’s most established and respected news/talk stations. We’re looking for a fun, entertaining, and well-informed individual who can deliver remarkable content that attracts an adults 25-54 audience. In addition, qualified candidates should be able to regularly contribute to the various digital platforms including, but not limited to regular blogs, podcasts, and/or videos, online listener chats, and use of other social media platforms in addition to emerging digital technologies.” KIRO-FM would prefer candidates have one to two years of major market hosting experience. Check out the application info and full job description here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Three changes to report at Beasley’s country WSOC, Charlotte.  First, Jack Daniel takes on the program director role for both WSOC and sister Americana WBCN-AM/W234BY “94.7 Smoke” in addition to his current role as afternoon host on sister adult contemporary WKQC “K104.7.”  Second, Philip Tabakelis, a.k.a. Big Sexy, is named as assistant program director for WSOC in addition to his current role as evening personality.  Finally, Mimi Wheeler adds WSOC music director to her responsibilities that include serving as co-host of the “Tanner in the Morning” show and her work as assistant digital PD.  Beasley EVP of programming Justin Chase says, “After an exhaustive nationwide search, we found the most ideal and experienced programming team for WSOC within the walls of the station.  At Beasley, we always look for ways to promote from within.  I’m proud that we were able to this time with Mimi, Phillip and Jack.”…..Programmer Chris Eagan is promoted to senior director of operations at Cox Media Group’s Atlanta cluster.  In this new role he’ll oversee programming for CHR WSB-FM “B98.5,” classic hits WSRV “97-1 The River,” and urban contemporary WALR “Kiss 104.1.”  Eagan joined Cox Media Group in 2008 as the program director at WEZN.  In 2012, he assumed the role of director of branding and programming, responsible for on-air programming for WSB-FM and WSRV-FM.  In addition, he also provides expert consultation and collaborates with six of CMG’s radio markets as AC/hot AC format leader to achieve target ratings in the adult contemporary brand…..At Entercom’s Seattle adult contemporary KSWD “94.1 The Sound,” Jeanne Ashley joins to serve as morning show co-host and assistant program director.  On air, she’s partnering with John Fisher for the “John and Jeanne” show.  Entercom Seattle SVP and market manager Jack Hutchison says, “Jeanne is an exceptional radio talent and we are happy to have her join The Sound’s air team because of her deep understanding of the values of the adult contemporary format, from the interests of its fans to its music library.  She is fresh, engaging, and a great fit with John’s wit and local wisdom.  Her music programming skills will provide us with greater creative power in packaging and presenting The Sound’s unique blend of relaxing favorites.”…..In the Akron/Canton, Ohio market, iHeartMedia names Scott Davidson program director country WHOF-HD2/W259BW “99.7 Canton’s New Country” and adult hits WHOF “My 101.7, The 80s and More,” effective immediately.  Davidson will continue his morning host role on WHOF…..Hubbard Radio’s legendary St. Louis rock outlet KSHE is launching its first official podcast that will cull the archives of its more than 50 years of interviews with rock royalty.  “The KSHE Tapes” is hosted by the KSHE Morning Rock Show’s John “The U-Man” Ulett and assistant program director and afternoon drive host Favazz. They will explore the back-stories and interviews heard on KSHE over the years.  Ulett is a 42-year veteran of KSHE and Favazz has been with the station for 27 years.  Ulett says, “It’s fun bringing back so many great interviews that were buried in storage for so many years.  Now they can live forever in the light of day.”  To date, the duo has produced two podcasts, one exploring a Sammy Hagar interview and one exploring a Paul McCartney interview.  Slash and Duff from Guns n’ Roses is posted today (10/26…..iHeartMedia announces what it is calling the “first ever nationwide song roadblock” in which it will play Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” across its 650 radio stations and their websites at 9:00 am (local time) on November 1 to promote the November 2 release of the Twentieth Century Fox and Regency Enterprises film, Bohemian Rhapsody…..Cumulus Media’s CHR KLIF-FM, Dallas “HOT 93.3” is adding the YEA Networks-syndicated nationally syndicated “Tino Cochino Radio” program for afternoon drive, effective October 29…..Sun Broadcast Group promotes interactive project manager Alex Quintero to affiliate content manager, effective immediately.  In his new position, Quintero will affiliate stations for all SBG shows and services, maintain relationships with current affiliates, assist in development of marketing materials for new affiliates and monitor effectiveness of marketing campaigns, among other duties…..Last night (10/25), superstar singer Kelly Clarkson performed at an intimate event hosted by iHeartMedia at the Rosen Shingle Creek during ANA Master of Marketing in Orlando, Florida.  The night also featured a fireside chat with Clarkson and iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman.  Pictured below are (from l-r): iHeartMedia president/COO/CFO Rich Bressler; iHM president, entertainment enterprises John Sykes; Clarkson; Pittman; iHM president, national programming group Tom Poleman; MediaLink founder and CEO Michael Kassan.  (Photo: Getty Images for iHeartMedia)

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

| October 16, 2018

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from the September 2018 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio, today focusing on news/talk. Among news/talk stations in PPM markets, some 47% see a dip in their 6+ weekly AQH share while 39% improve and 14% remain unchanged.  Looking back to last September, 53% of news/talk stations improve from September 2017 to September 2018 with 42% losing ground.  Four news/talk stations ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets in the September survey: Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta rolls with a 7.9 share; Entercom’s KMOX, St. Louis shoots up to an 8.3 share; iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati dips to a 9.1 share (but stays in first place); and Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” stays on top with an 8 share. See Kinosian’s entire report here.

Cox Media Group Unveils its Broadcast Analytics Service. This platform for radio advertisers from Cox Media Group is called Cox Analytics for Broadcast and promises that “through rich audience data and insights, this new solution helps advertisers target active consumers in their product category and track the effectiveness of their campaigns through detailed analysis of their website traffic.”  The press release explains further: Data has always been used in the broadcast industry to determine results, and by leveraging the power of social media to identify these insights, CMG can tap into its massive digital audience – matching offline to online audiences.  Results are collected by combing listener data with social audiences, leading to a clearly defined, hyper-specific audience for radio advertisers to target.  These numbers are then generated through a custom dashboard, which allows advertisers to improve performance and understand what is driving their results. CMG executive director of revenue Katie Reid says, “These new capabilities will transform the way our clients target consumers and advertise with our radio platforms. Through Cox Analytics for Broadcast, we can measure the effectiveness of these audience segments, attribute actions taken by consumers and provide insightful research and data to reach ROI and help meet our clients’ goals.”

WVMT-AM, Burlington and Sister CHR Sold to Vox AM/FM LLC. Burlington, Vermont news/talk WVMT-AM and sister CHR WXXX-FM “95 TripleX” are being sold by Sison Broadcasting to Vox AM/FM, LLC for an as yet undisclosed price.  Vox currently owns sports talk duo WCPV-FM “101.3 The Game” and WEAV-AM “960 The Zone,” and classic hits WVTK-FM.  Vox will begin operating the stations under an LMA on January 1, 2019.  Sison owner Paul Goldman says, “WVMT and ‘95 TripleX’ have been my life and passion for over 40 years.  There is no player in our market better equipped to ensure their future than Vox.  My valued employees and stations are in great hands.”  Meanwhile, Vox partner and principal Ken Barlow states, “The people and stations at Sison are terrific! They have enormous market history and blend very well with our current cluster.  We look forward to merging our operations to better serve the Burlington-Plattsburgh radio market.”  This transaction was arranged by Doug Ferber of DEFcom Advisors on an exclusive brokerage basis.

Oakland A’s and KGMZ Breakup Not Pretty. The Oakland A’s announced their parting from flagship station KGMZ-FM, San Francisco with a Tweet showing radio equipment being wheeled away and the phrase, “It’s not us; it’s you.” Ouch!  But as the San Jose Mercury News writes, the parting was not a surprise since the team announced in April that this was the last year of the deal and asked fans if they thought the sides should renew with the Entercom sports talker.  There’s no word where the A’s radio broadcasts will end up for the 2019 season.

Missing Saudi Journalist, Paul Allen Dies, November Midterms, Hurricane Michael Aftermath, Warren Ancestry Video, Trump ‘60 Minutes’ Interview, Portland Patriots-Antifa Skirmish, Stormy Daniels Suit Tossed, NFL Action, and MLB Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/15). The case of missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s trip to Saudi Arabia; Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen dies at 65 after battle with cancer; the November midterm elections and the battle for control of the house and senate; the devastation in the Florida panhandle after Hurricane Michael; Senator Elizabeth Warren produces video proving Native American ancestry, taunts President Trump; the president’s interview on “60 Minutes” with Lesley Stahl; the weekend’s clash between Patriot Prayer demonstrators and Antifa protestors; a judge tosses Stormy Daniels’ suit against President Trump; the weekend’s NFL action and the MLB Playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Triangle radio personality Madison Lane returns to the air on Curtis Media Group’s adult hits WBBB-FM, Raleigh “96BBB” to host the morning drive program.  Lane previously was the morning personality at iHeartMedia’s CHR WDCG “G105” and WRSN-FM.  She left the business in 2006 to raise her children.  Lane says, “It was such a blessing to be able to have some time away to raise my kids and focus on my family.  This new chapter of my life is exciting and WBBB feels like home.  I love the awesome variety of music and the loyalty to the community.  I’m so excited to be a part of the team.”  Curtis Media Group SVP and general manager David Stuckey comments, “From our very first meeting, I knew Madison was the perfect fit for mornings on WBBB.  Madison brings familiarity and star power to the fastest growing station in the Triangle.  Her life experiences and knowledge of the Raleigh-Durham market make her the right person to solidify WBBB as the dominant radio brand in the Triangle.”…..Indiana Radio Watch’s Blaine Thompson reports that Adams Radio Group’s rhythmic CHR WJFX, New Haven, Indiana (Fort Wayne market) promotes late night and weekend host Taylor Morgan to middays…..Entercom announces the dates for the “Not So Silent Night” concert events in New York, San Francisco, and San Diego.  The alternative music festival debuted in San Francisco in 1991 and has grown from a small acoustic concert to a large arena show hosting some of the biggest alternative acts in three cities.  This year, the show will debut at New York’s Barclays Center and will be co-headlined by Muse and Florence + The Machine. WNYL, New York ALT 92.3’s holiday event will also feature musical performances by AJR, Bastille, Chvrches, Death Cab for Cutie, Foster The People, and Mike Shinoda on Thursday, December 6…..Entercom triple A WXRT, Chicago is announcing its 10th annual “Holiday Jam” will feature music from The Head and the Heart with special guest Mt. Joy…..WCSX, Detroit morning host Big Jim has been on a six-month mission to get a street named after Motor City music legend Bob Seger and this Friday (10/19) it’s going to happen.  The Beasley Media Group station, “The Big Jim’s House Morning Show,” and the City of Allen Park will officially unveil Bob Seger Boulevard during a two-hour event and ceremony at Allen Park City Hall that will include a special performance by a Bob Seger tribute band as well as a video screen featuring fans and celebrities congratulating the rock legend!

Friday, October 12, 2018

| October 12, 2018

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on 6+ data from Nielsen Audio’s September 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk radio.  More than half (54%) of the sports talk stations on Kinosian’s panel saw their weekly AQH share go up from the August 2018 survey to the September 2018 survey, led by Cumulus Media’s WGFX-FM, Nashville “104.5 The Zone,” which enjoyed a 1.4 share increase.  Comparing September 2017 to September 2018, some 55% of sports talkers improved.  Interestingly, Cumulus’ KNBR enjoyed a 1.2 share increase year-over-year in the San Jose market but dipped a tenth in the adjacent San Francisco market.  Entercom’s WFAN, New York “The Fan” ranked #1 (6+) in the September PPM survey in the Long Island market – the only sports talker to achieve a #1 ranking.  See the entire report here.

Cumulus Makes Prepayment of Portion of Loan. This $50 million discounted prepayment means Cumulus Media has paid off a portion of its $1.3 billion senior secured term loan facility due May 2022. Cumulus successfully purchases $50.2 million aggregate principal amount of term loans under the facility for $50 million (a discount to par value of 0.40%).  The transaction closed on October 11, 2018 and was funded with cash from operations.  The company notes that it will recognize a one-time, non-operating gain of approximately $0.2 million in its fourth quarter 2018 earnings, and its annual interest expense will be reduced as a result of this transaction.

KVI, Seattle Hosts Listener Appreciation Event. Seattle news/talk station KVI held a listener appreciation party on Tuesday (10/9) at Sinclair Broadcasting’s KOMO Plaza.  The station’s local hosts joined producer Phil Vandervort on stage for a discussion of such topics as the coming midterm elections and their favorite local restaurants.  Pictured (from l-r) are: KVI program director Rick Van Cise, station manager Gary Greenberg, morning host John Carlson, late morning duo Jamie Markley and David van Camp, early afternoon host Lars Larson, afternoon drive personality Kirby Wilbur, and Compass Media Networks VP of affiliate sales Adam Wilbur.

Doug Stephan Celebrates 30th Anniversary as a Continuously Running Independent Syndicated Host.  It began as a morning show titled “Good Day” in a basement studio at WCKY, Cincinnati 30 years ago this week and has been on the air as a general news/talk weekday show hosted and managed by veteran broadcaster Doug Stephan ever since.  Along the way, it evolved under different names and has been co-hosted by a variety of personalities alongside Stephan in addition to spawning a number of specialty shows under the corporate banner of Stephan Multimedia.  The program is currently titled the “DJV Show” and, in addition to central figure Doug Stephan, is co-hosted by Jennifer Horn and Victoria Keelan.  In marking the milestone, Stephan tells TALKERS, “I think for the first few months, I was talking to myself, and now after all these years, I have spoken to millions of listeners…how many…who really knows?  Plus being on over 1,400 stations in the collective over the years, I am humbled by the support of so many station managers and program directors.  If my count is correct, we still have some 24 stations who were on at the beginning or close to the beginning of this fabulous ride, and to all of them, and all of you, I say thank you from the bottom of my heart.  I could not remain as the only host/producer of these programs which have nothing but advertiser support… no big company, no big advertiser, no big benefactor – just me and the folks on the team made this happen…wow!”

TALKERS News Notes. Programming pro Michael Cross is named operations manager for Cherry Creek Media’s seven-station cluster in Wenatchee, Washington that includes news/talk KPQ, talk simulcast KKWN-FM/KWNC-AM, and sports talk KYSP in addition to four music-formatted stations. Cross – who starts his new gig on November 5 – was most recently OM with NRG Media’s rock KFMW and classic hits KOKZ duo in Waterloo, Iowa.  Cherry Creek Wenatchee market manager Kevin Andrus says, “Michael has a passion for radio and clearly understands the influence radio has in our listeners lives.  He understands how to win ratings, coach talent, and manage those under his direction.  Cherry Creek Media is excited to have Michael join the team.”…..Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM, Hartford inks a deal with Division III school University of Saint Joseph to broadcast the team’s home games during the school’s men’s basketball team’s inaugural season.  The partnership will run through the 2018-19 collegiate season.  The school recruited former University of Connecticut basketball coach Jim Calhoun as its head coach to launch its men’s basketball program.  As part of the partnership, Joe D’Ambrosio, co-host of the station’s “Mornings with Ray Dunaway” program, will handle play-by-play duties for the games…..SiriusXM is debuting a new, weekly show hosted by former open-wheel racing star Danny Sullivan – winner of the 1985 Indy 500 and 1988 CART Series champion – on the Dan Patrick Radio channel.   Titled, “The Real Spin with Danny Sullivan and Bill Armour” it will debut on October 15 and air every Monday…..The nationally syndicated “Motley Fool Money” radio program with host Chris Hill adds new affiliate KSOO-AM, Sioux Falls, South Dakota to its roster of stations.

Hurricane Michael Top News/Talk Story for Week of October 8-12.  The destruction in the Florida panhandle from Hurricane Michael was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the release of the UN Climate Change Report and its dire warning about continued global warming. Coming in at #3 was the global stock selloff and the related interest rate hikes, followed by the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation aftermath and the related issue of Democrats accused of incivility 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.

“Cousin” Bruce Morrow Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. The legendary “Cousin” Bruce Morrow is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Morrow is one of the most celebrated radio personalities of all time whose remarkable career as a big-time disc jockey goes all the way back to the late 1950s when he broke into New York City radio at WINS and is still going strong today as a featured host on the SiriusXM Satellite Radio ‘60s on 6’ channel. Harrison and Morrow take a deep conversational dive into the early days of rock ‘n’ roll, their shared memories of growing up in Brooklyn, the great top 40 stations, the universals of radio communication, Morrow’s successful years in station ownership and the importance of keeping up with advances in technology. This is a must-listen for anyone who loves radio! Harrison says, “It was a thrill for me to be able to spend so much time in conversation with one of the true greats of our industry and culture. Cousin Brucie is full of joy – it pours out of him and that’s what keeps him going at such a remarkable and admirable level. It is deeply gratifying for me as a radio student, historian, and professional broadcaster to present this episode of my podcast to the world.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.

Operations Manager Position Open at Dick Broadcasting’s Eastern NC Cluster. The five-station cluster of Dick Broadcasting in the Greenville/New Bern/Jacksonville, North Carolina market is seeking an operations manager. The company says the successful candidate will “manage a team of great program directors, air talent, and promotional personnel. We need someone that knows what leadership means! Someone who can inspire a team!” Dick Broadcasting operates sports talk WRNS-AM “The Bull,” CHR WERO-FM “Bob 93.3,” rock WXQR, country WRNS-FM, and adult hits WQSL/WQZL. The company says candidates must have experience as a supervisor, leader, music programmer, strategic thinker, and the ability to coach air talent. On air experienced preferred. The cluster is managed by market manager Tony Denton and vice president of programming Jason Goodman. E-mail all materials to newbernresumes@dbcradio.com. DBC is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

WQYK, Tampa Seeks AM Drive Co-Host. Tampa country outlet WQYK is seeking a morning show co-host. The Beasley Media Group station says the successful candidate must possess strong digital skills. “We’re seeking a great communicator and story teller with a great sense of how to create great content that will be displayed across all of our platforms. The perfect candidate is great on the air, great digitally, is forward thinking and is a true content innovator. This is a very active station, heavily involved in the community and requires someone who is fearless and willing to get out of the studio and meet listeners. If you are ready to work in a building full of incredible talent with a family atmosphere and a must-win attitude, we would love to hear from you.” Qualifications include: At least three years of proven success as a morning show co-host; full understanding of PPM best practice as it applies to an on-air show; proficient with Vox-Pro, WordPress social networking platforms, interviewing, and LIVE broadcasts; and more. Send materials to operations manager Travis Daily at: Travis.daily@bbgi.com. Beasley is an EOE.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Phoenix-based, nationally syndicated morning duo “Johnjay & Rich” – Johnjay Van Es and Rich Berra – were inducted into the Arizona Broadcasters Hall of Fame at a ceremony last night at the Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale.  The program is heard in Phoenix on iHeartMedia-owned flagship CHR KZZP “104.7 KISS FM” and is syndicated by Premiere Networks.  The program debuted in Tucson on KRQ.  It moved to KZZP in 2006.  It’s currently heard in 20 markets across the country…..The Envision Networks-syndicated weekly Wolfman Jack show adds new affiliates” WCCW-FM, Traverse City, Michigan; WOWY, State College, Pennsylvania; and KMGZ, Lawton, Oklahoma.  The stations add the classic radio program in time to also air the two-hour special “Wolfman Jack Halloween Party.”  WOWY program director Bob Steele says, “I have been searching for this show for years.  Knowing what a legend he was and how much fun the show was, I knew it was going to be an instant listener favorite!  He is probably the most referenced DJ in history. Everyone has heard of him.  I think it’s his personality that resonates with people.  He makes people laugh and feel good.  He often had a shocking side and I think that may be what keeps people glued to his every word.”…..Country artist Jessie Ritter from Fort Walton Beach, Florida is named the winner of Cumulus Media’s 4th annual “NASH Next” competition.  The final competition event took place last night (10/11) at Nashville’s Wildhorse Saloon and featured live performances from the top 10 national finalists, and a special performance by Radio Romance, last year’s “NASH Next” winner whose single “Weekend” rose to the top 40 on the country airplay charts.  Ritter will receive national radio airplay on Cumulus stations and gets a recording contract with Nash Next Records under the Big Machine Label Group umbrella…..Country music legend Dolly Parton was on the NASH campus in Nashville yesterday joining “Ty, Kelly and Chuck” in-studio to talk about her latest Netflix project, “Dumplin’,” in which she found herself working with Jennifer Aniston and Sia. Pictured below are (from l-r): Ty Bentli, Parton, Kelly Ford, and Chuck Wicks.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

| October 10, 2018

Price: Today’s Radio Handle Is ‘Michael.’ Continuity and crisis management expert Howard Price writes today that Gulf Coast stations should be all about Hurricane Michael.  With the storm expected to make landfall later today, Price is shocked that so many Gulf Coast radio stations were still in regular programming mode with a potential category 4 hurricane headed straight for them.  Hopefully, those stations have prepared for the worst.  Price offers some advice to those stations who have not prepared for an emergency with a simple outline of how to create an emergency plan that all station staffers can understand and execute in a short amount of time. Remember, not all emergencies come with the days of warnings that hurricanes do.  Some weather events come seemingly out of nowhere.  Man-made emergencies such as shootings or other forms of civil unrest also leave little time to plan ahead.  Read Price’s entire piece here.

KKOB-AM Is Voice of Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.  Pictured above is the KKOB-AM, Albuquerque hot air balloon (center) among the dozens of other balloons lifting off at the 47th Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.  The event opened on October 6 and runs through the 14th.  The Cumulus Media news/talk station is the official radio voice of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. The station is broadcasting live every day from the event with traffic, weather, and official updates starting at 4:57 am each day.

JVC Media Expands KC Armstrong’s ‘WMAP Radio’ Show to Orlando. The daily, one-hour radio program “WMAP Radio” starring former, longtime Howard Stern show cast member KC Armstrong is branching out from its home on WRCN, Riverhead, Long Island “103.9 LI News.”  JVC Media is syndicating Armstrong’s program and the first affiliate station is the company’s rock WOTW-HD2/W231CT “BUD 94.1” in Orlando.  The program’s full title is “World’s Most Amazing People with KC Armstrong,” and the station says, “In this era of bad news, fake news, Internet trolls, and general weary cynicism, KC is making quite a positive impression on Long Island and expansion of his show is the next evolution.  KC, who many people remember as a cast member of Howard Stern’s terrestrial radio show back in the day, comes to this pursuit carrying some damn dramatic baggage.”  KC adds, “My first book comes out on October 27.  It’s called Simply Amazing and it includes my struggle with mental illness and health problems along with 11 of my most inspirational interviews.  This will be a wonderful opportunity to share this with listeners all over the country.” WRCN general manager Bruce Shepard says, “‘LI News Radio’ is proud to have served as the flagship station for KC Armstrong over the past year.  We look forward to the next evolution as his show’s expansion is sure to bring more access to celebrity guests and entertainment.”

TALKERS News Notes. The New York Daily News reports that former WFAN, New York morning show co-host Craig Carton is asking the court not to use the phrase “Ponzi scheme” during his coming trial on fraud charges, arguing that it would prejudice the jury against him.  Carton is facing charges in federal court in New York for allegedly using millions of dollars from investors in his after-market concert ticket business to pay off personal expenses, including large gambling debts.  But prosecutors argue that a search of his cell phone indicates Carton himself executed several online searches for the terms “Ponzi scheme” and “Ponzi” in the months prior to his arrest.  Jury selection for his trial is to begin on October 29…..iHeartRadio and HowStuffWorks in partnership with School of Humans launch a new, true-crime podcast called “Hell and Gone.”  This podcast dives deep into the murder of Rebekah Gould, a 22-year old college student who was mysteriously murdered on her way to a gas station in Ozarks, Arkansas 14 years ago.  It’s hosted by Catherine Townsend…..Entercom all-news WCBS-AM, New York names Anita Bonita to the station’s staff as a weekend news anchor…..Cumulus Media names Scotty Bastable VP and director of sales for its San Francisco cluster that includes news/talk station KGO and KSFO. Bastable was most recently agency and corporate development manager for CBS 360.  He also served in the Bay Area as general manager of Entercom’s adult contemporary KOIT.  He begins his new role with Cumulus on November 15.

Nikki Haley to Step Down, Kavanaugh Confirmation Aftermath, Tracking Hurricane Michael, AMAs/Taylor Swift Speech, U.S.-China Trade War, Sears to Enter Bankruptcy, Missing Saudi Journalist, NFL Action, and MLB Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/9). The announcement that Nikki Haley will leave her Ambassador to the UN position at the end of the year; the aftermath of the contentious nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court; the tracking of Hurricane Michael as it heads toward the Florida panhandle; Tuesday night’s American Music Awards and Taylor Swift’s “get out the vote” speech; the trade war between the U.S. and China; a report Sears has hired a firm to begin bankruptcy proceedings; concerns missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered by the Saudi regime; the weekend’s NFL action; and the Major League Baseball playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Pioneer Valley Radio Reaches Special Milestone.  Now in its fourth year of service to Western Massachusetts, hyper-local online radio station, Pioneer Valley Radio (www.pioneervalleyradio.com) has reached a milestone that GM/morning host Brad Shepard describes as “extremely gratifying.”  Yesterday (10/9), the station posted its 200th on demand special feature program.  Pioneer Valley Radio’s “special feature” programs include interviews with community leaders and in-depth reports on local people and activities that are presented to its listenership above and beyond its daily fare of a morning show, regularly scheduled specialty hosts, video events, and live, local sports play-by-play.  The outlet was launched in 2014 by Shepard and TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison as an experiment in digital era “media station” development.  Shepard – a former longtime Springfield, MA morning host on iHeartMedia’s WHYN and Cumulus Media’s WMAS – describes Pioneer Valley Radio’s format as “non-partisan, personality-oriented public affairs covering local politics, business, public safety, health care, and arts & entertainment.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. After the recent resignation of long-time program director Ron Valeri, Entercom names Joe Calgaro program director for its active rock WAAF, Boston.  Calgaro leaves his post at Saga Communications’ WHQG, Milwaukee “102.9 The Hog” to make the move to Boston…..iHeartMedia announces Marc Anthony is being honored with the third annual iHeartRadio Premio Corazón Latino Award at the 2018 iHeartRadio Fiesta Latina on November 3 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami.  In addition, Marc Anthony, Manuel Turizo and Mau y Ricky are joining the lineup that includes previously announced performers Pitbull, Nicky Jam, Steve Aoki, Farruko, Nacho, Becky G, and Zion & Lennox…..Friends, family, and co-workers are mourning the death of classic rock WBVX, Lexington, Kentucky air personality Shea Maddox, who committed suicide early Monday morning.  Maddox was the midday host at the LM Communications’ station…..Pictured below is “NASH Nights Live” co-host Elaina Smith (left) with country star Kane Brown (right) backstage at the American Music Awards in Los Angeles.  Brown picked up three awards at last night’s ceremonies: Favorite Male Artist – Country; Favorite Album – Country (for his self-titled album), and Favorite Song – Country (for “Heaven”).

Thursday, October 4, 2018

| October 4, 2018

iHeartMedia Enters into $10 Million Ad Deal with High Times. Via the Form 1-U filing with the SEC by Hightimes Holdings Corp, we learn that iHeartMedia has entered into a deal with the marijuana-centric media firm to provide advertising – initially $5 million worth of ad inventory with the option for another $5 million – in exchange for an 8% convertible note due September 26, 2020.  Hightimes Holdings plans to use the inventory to publicize – via radio, digital and outdoor – its pending maximum $50 million Regulation A+ initial public offering.  The 1-U filing explains that “upon completion of the Hightimes Pubic Offering, provided that a minimum of $15,000,000 of gross proceeds are raised and Hightimes Class A voting common stock trades on an ‘Approved Securities Market’ (as defined in the convertible note), all iHeart Ad Inventory purchased and the entire outstanding amount of the BMH [Broader Media Holdings] Note shall automatically convert into shares of Hightimes Class A common stock at a conversion price equal to the volume weighted average closing prices, as traded on such Approved Securities Market for the 10 trading days immediately following completion of the Hightimes Public Offering.”

FOX Sports Radio Adds New Talent to Weekend Programming. The new fall weekend lineup for FOX Sports Radio is announced by Premiere Networks.  Focusing on college and NFL football, the network adds five-year NFL veteran Bucky Brooks, who teams up with FSR personality Mark Willard to host Saturdays from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET, and sports radio and TV pro Kelvin Washington partners with FSR’s Steve Hartman on Saturdays from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET.  Washington will also join FSR weekend host and 13-year NFL veteran Ephraim Salaam on Sundays to host “Red Zone Radio” from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET.  Premiere Networks VP of sports programming Scott Shapiro states, “Coupled with the recent additions of RJ Bell, Chris Broussard, and Rob Parker to our weekday lineup, FOX Sports Radio has the best array of talent to provide thoughtful insight and entertaining commentary for all sports fans both on weekdays and weekends.  When sports news breaks or action on the field develops, we are live 24/7 to provide instantaneous reaction with perspective and opinions from the best minds in the game.”

Kicking off the Upfront Season. Executives and talent representing Skyview Networks, CBS Audio and ABC Radio were present on Tuesday night at The Onyx Room in New York kicking off the upfront season at an event positioned as “Experience Beyond,” drawing the largest spenders in network radio. The event focused on new integrations and experiential opportunities for 2019 across Skyview Networks’ sales portfolio.  The night was capped with an exclusive, live acoustic performance from country music star, Cassadee Pope.  Pictured above (from l-r) are: Steve Jones, vice president/GM ABC Radio; David Muir, anchor, “World News Tonight”; Sara Haines, co-host, “GMA Day”; Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC News chief health and medical correspondent; Brad Mielke, host of ABC’s “Start Here” podcast; and Aaron Katersky, ABC News correspondent.

Michael Harrison Guests on Journalist Joe Strupp’s New Podcast Series.  Noted journalist Joe Strupp, whose long list of credits includes serving as senior editor/investigative reporter for Media Matters for America and senior editor for Editor & Publisher has launched a new media-focused podcast series titled “Joe’s Media Corner” (that features extensive interviews with leading figures in the news and communications industries).  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison is his guest on episode 3.  In this deep-dive interview, Harrison talks extensively about the challenges facing spoken-word radio in the 21st century, the role of news/talk within the talk radio spectrum, why conservative programming has worked more successfully than progressive on commercial news/talk radio, and how the radio industry has arrived in its present financial predicament.  He also shares a historical overview about his role as a pioneer in FM progressive rock radio and the rise of album oriented rock (AOR) radio which later evolved into present-day classic rock radio.  Don’t miss this fascinating, unvarnished conversation.  To listen to this podcast in its entirety, please click here.

Bruce Law Named VP/GM for Cumulus Media’s Grand Rapids Cluster. Michigan native Bruce Law returns home to join Cumulus Media as vice president and general manager of the company’s Grand Rapids stations, including news/talk WJRW and sports talk WBBL-FM. Law previously served as president of Saga Communications’ Asheville, North Carolina cluster.  Cumulus Media EVP of operations Bob Walker states, “We are thrilled to welcome Bruce back home to Grand Rapids.  His passion for these brands and for Western Michigan is obvious and we are glad to have him on the team.”

TALKERS News Notes. As part of a new deal with the NHL’s New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders, Entercom announces that all regular-season and postseason games for both teams will stream live from Radio.com, the exclusive digital home for all Entercom content.  The broadcasts will be available free via Radio.com’s app and website as well as the NHL, New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders mobile apps and website.  In addition, WFAN, New York will promote all live, digital streams and air select head-to-head matchups between the two teams. Entercom SVP Jeff Sottolano says, “We’re excited to expand our partnership with the New Jersey Devils and add the New York Islanders.  As the fastest growing digital audio app in the United States and unrivaled leader in local sports coverage, Radio.com aims to become a daily habit for the millions of users we reach each month, including tri-state hockey fans.”…..iHeartMedia-owned Total Traffic and Weather Network inks a deal to provide public radio news/talk WBEZ, Chicago with real-time traffic data and services, including TrafficNet, a 24-7 dashboard covering live breaking traffic information…..For its 21st consecutive season, ESPN Radio is broadcasting every game of the MLB Postseason.  A rotating team of Marc Kestecher, Kevin Winter, John Brickley, and Jim Basquil will host 30-minute pre-game shows during the Division Series and a one-hour show during the Championship Series and World Series broadcasts.

Michael Harrison Podcast Poses Provocative Question:  Does the Human Brain Act as a Kind of Radio/Television Antenna?  Silicon Valley high-tech industry financial expert Mark Gober is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Gober is the author of a provocative new book titled “An End to Upside Down Thinking: Dispelling the Myth That the Brain Produces Consciousness, and the Implications for Everyday Life” (Waterside Press, 2018).  In it, he presents the latest scientific research and evidence suggesting that, contrary to popular belief and mainstream science dogma, human consciousness doesn’t originate in the brain but, rather, in a higher universal dimension – perhaps even beyond time and space as we perceive them.  The implications of such a possibility are profound.  Harrison states, “I’ve always been fascinated by the obvious connections between human biology and our technological extensions of it.  In other words, our inventions are enhanced mechanical versions of what nature has already provided us.  Is it not possible that just as the content of radio and TV programs does not originate in the physical appliances that pluck it out of the air for us, our consciousness – thoughts, words and creativity – comes from some other invisible source outside the brain?  Maybe the brain is a biological radio antenna processing signals from elsewhere?  Mark Gober’s book tackles this issue in a direct, credible and understandable way.  He’s a great guest!”  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.

Kavanaugh Investigation, NYTimes‘ Trump Wealth Story, U.S.-China Tensions, Trump-Russia Investigation, Midterm Elections, South Carolina Cop Attack, NFL Action, and MLB Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/3). The accusations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the FBI’s investigation into Christine Blasey Ford’s claim; the New York Times story alleging Donald Trump’s family engaged in tax schemes to achieve its wealth; U.S.-China tensions over tariffs and China’s military programs in the South China Sea; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; November’s midterm elections and speculation about which party will have control of congress; the deadly attack on police attempting to execute a search warrant in South Carolina; NFL action; and the Major League Baseball playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Classic hits it is for Entercom’s former hot AC WIAD, Washington “94.7 Fresh FM.”  The new format and brand – “94.7 The Drive” – launched yesterday afternoon with the station promising “expertly curated classic hits, including rock, pop, and R&B hits from the 1980s, as well as mass appeal titles from the 1970s and 1990s.”  Entercom Washington SVP and market manager Phil Zachary says, “Washington D.C. is the only major market without a classic hits radio station.  With Entercom’s track record in the format from New York to L.A., we have the wherewithal to capitalize on this unique opportunity.  It’s no stretch to launch with a high level of confidence when Pat Paxton, Jim Ryan, and Jeff Sottolano are part of the brain trust.”  The station launched with limited commercial inventory and will announce programming updates in the coming months…..On-air pro Amy Reed is appointed morning drive co-host at Entercom’s country WPAW, Greensboro alongside Dale O’Brian on the “Wake Up with the Wolf” program.  She had most recently been with Alpha Media’s CHR WARQ, Columbia, South Carolina as midday host and assistant program director…..Kelly Ford, co-host of the nationally syndicated “Ty, Kelly and Chuck” morning drive program is serving as host committee chair of the Play Like a Girl Honors Gala. The black-tie event will benefit the national non-profit organization, Play Like a Girl, and is being held on Monday, November 26 at the Marriott Hotel in Franklin, Tennessee.  Ford joins fellow host committee chair (and WKRN-TV, Nashville chief meteorologist) Danielle Breezy, and honorary chair, Trisha Yearwood for the gala evening that will celebrate the achievements of leading women and men in sports and the girls they inspire.  The Play Like a Girl Honors Gala will raise funds for programs that inspire leadership through sport and build confidence in girls on and off the field.

September 2018 PPM Data – Part Three. September 2018 ratings information has been released for Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Orlando, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s September 2018 survey period covered August 16 – September 12. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

Portland

Spoken Word Formats – With a May – September topline of 5.3 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 5.2 (6+), Alpha Media news/talk KXL “101 FM News – Stay Connected” carries on in fifth-place for the fourth straight month. KXL was up six-tenths in April and then off a combined one-half share in May and June. When “101 FM News – Stay Connected” faltered by four-tenths in March, it ended three consecutive increases that produced a cumulative +1.7. By way of comparison, the January through September trending for iHeartMedia’s KEX “News Radio 1190 – Depend on Us” is 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 2.0 – 1.9 (#18 – #20, 6+), with August’s 2.0 marking the first time it reached the two-share level (6+) in nearly two years (2.1, November 2015). An April improvement of two-tenths interrupted three straight up or flat trends that netted six-tenths (1.2 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+). Returning two-tenths of August’s +.3 (1.0 – .8, 6+), Alpha Media news/talk KUFO falls from #24 to #26. “Freedom 970” posted a 1.0 (6+) four times in a row before dropping three-tenths to .7 (6+) in July. After six straight down or flat moves that resulted in a -1.0 (2.4 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4, 6+), Entercom’s KFXX “1080 The Fan” regains 90% of that loss with a collective +.9 in August and September (1.4 – 1.7 – 2.3, #20 to #18, 6+). Flat at #22, Alpha Media-owned KXTG “The Game” erases August’s -.2 with September’s +.3 (1.2 – 1.5, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s KPOJ “Sports Radio 620” recovers from August’s loss of seven-tenths with a +.1 (1.1 – .4 – .5, #29 to #28, 6+). Despite adding one-tenth (8.1 – 8.2, 6+), Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk KOPB shifts from first – where it has been each month this calendar year – to second. KOPB was +1.1 (January); -1.1 (February); +1.0 (March); -1.0 (April); and -.5 (May).

Portland Music Formats – Succeeding KOPB at #1 (see above) is iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW “K-103,” which advances from the runner-up slot. In addition to logging its best 6+-stat (8.8) since “Holiday” 2017’s 16.9, “K-103” is an overall +1.6 in three upticks in a row (7.2 – 7.7 -7.9 – 8.8, 6+). KKCW was #1 in December 2017 (13.0, 6+); “Holiday” 2017 (16.9, 6+); and tied for first (with KOPB) in April 2018 (8.5, 6+). By tacking on one-half share to August’s +.9 (4.4 – 5.3 – 5.8, 6+), Alpha Media triple A KINK “101.9 Uniquely Portland” progresses from fifth to fourth. Prior to August, KINK last reached the five-share level (6+) in February (5.0). In a somewhat similar boat is Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KFIS “104.1 The Fish,” which jumps by one-half share in September after posting a +.8 in August (1.7 – 2.5 – 3.0, #17 to #16, 6+). Entering the August sweep, “The Fish” had been down in each of the previous four sweeps for a cumulative -.8 (2.5 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7, 6+). Following four straight up or flat trends that netted a +1.6 (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.6 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+), Entercom-owned KGON “92.3 Portland’s Classic Rock” is a collective -.8 in August and September (5.6 – 5.4 – 4.8, 6+), slipping from fourth to sixth. July’s 5.6 is the highest 6+-showing for KGON since June 2017 (5.6, as well). Off by one-half share each are KGON’s adult hits cluster-mate KYCH “97.1 Charlie – We Play Everything,” which falls out of the top ten (#10 to #11); iHeartMedia-owned KXJM “Jam’n 107.5 Portland’s #1 For Hip-Hop” (3.3, #12 to #13); and Alpha Media’s KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 for New Country” (#16 to #17). “Charlie” is -1.0 in three straight down or flat trends (4.6 – 4.6 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+) and is below a four-share for the first time since April 2016’s 3.9. “Jam’n” had been a collective +.4 in four straight up or flat moves (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.8, 6+), while “The Bull” is -1.6 in three straight sweeps without an increase (4.0 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 2.9 – 2.4, 6+). Even though iHeartMedia-owned CHR KKRZ is without a gain for the fourth sweep in a row for a combined loss of nine-tenths (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+), “Z-100 Portland’s #1 Hit Music Station” climbs from #15 to #14.

Charlotte

Spoken-Word Formats – Backsliding from #14 to #15, Entercom news/talk WBT has a May – September (6+) topline of 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 2.9. When WBT gained two-tenths in June, it halted three straight losses that accounted for a -1.7 (4.3 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 2.6, 6+). Immediately prior to that particular streak, WBT was a collective +1.2 in three increases in succession  (3.1 – 3.2 – 4.0 – 4.3, 6+). Following four straight down or flat sweeps that led to a -1.1 (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.1 – .7 – .6, 6+), co-owned sports talk WFNZ “The Fan – Charlotte’s Sports Leader” improves by a collective one-half share in August and September (.6 – 1.0 – 1.1, 6+) and is unchanged at #19. “The Fan” bounced back from February’s -.7 with a one-half share gain in March. A combined -1.4 in three downward moves in succession (4.1 – 3.7 – 3.0 – 2.7, 6+), University Radio Foundation news/talk WFAE drifts from #13 to #17. Up one-half share in June, “Charlotte’s NPR News Source” had a consistent January – May topline trending of 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 3.6 (6+). Having tripled its 6+-share as a result of three gains in a row (.2 – .4 – .5 – .6, 6+), South Carolina Educational Television Commission news/talk WNSC is off one-tenth to .5 (6+) but remains at #20.

Charlotte Music Formats – Continuing a down/up pattern that began in March and includes September’s +.8 (3.9 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 2.7 – 3.5, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WHQC “Channel 96.1” (#15 to #12) is a combined -.4 in that stretch. Steady at #5, adult hits sibling WLKO “102.9 The Lake – Charlotte’s We Play Anything Station” is up or flat for the fifth straight month for an overall +1.4 (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+). By posting a gain of six-tenths to 1.7 (flat at #18, 6+), Davidson College-owned WDAV “Classical Public Radio” erases the six-tenths it lost in three straight sweeps without an increase (1.7 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1, 6+). Advancing by six-tenths as well is iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country,” which is an overall +.8 in three straight up or flat moves (6.0 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.8, 6+) and continues in third-place. Before gaining two-tenths in July, “The Kat” was a combined -1.0 in May and June (7.0 – 6.4 – 6.0, 6+). Format rival – Beasley Media Group’s WSOC – is not only up or flat for the fourth time in a row for an overall +1.5 (6.2 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 7.5 – 7.7, 6+) – “103.7 Country’s Hottest Hits” advances from second to first. Prior to August, the last time WSOC reached the seven-share level (6+) was in “Holiday” 2016 (7.0). Changing places with WSOC is its urban AC sibling WBAV “V-101.9,” which is -1.0 in August and September (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.9, first to second, 6+). WBAV stayed at #1 in back-to-back ratings periods, a highly-unusual occurrence in Charlotte. Prior to the August 2018 sweep, no station in this North Carolina metro had repeated at #1 since September 2017/October/November when iHeartMedia classic rocker WRFX “The Fox” accomplished the feat. It has been a revolving door for the market’s top spot which has been held by (in chronological order) iHeartMedia adult hits WLKO (December 2017); Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WKQC (“Holiday” 2017); iHeartMedia country WKKT (January 2018); Beasley Media Group urban AC WBAV (February); WRFX (March); WKKT (April); WBAV (May); WSOC (June); WBAV (July and August); and WSOC (September). “V-101.9” was +1.4 in May; eroded by -1.2 in June; and erased that -1.2 in its entirety in July with a +1.2. After notching five positive spikes in succession for an overall gain of nine-tenths (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.9, 6+), Beasley Media Group urban contemporary WPEG slips by one-tenth in September to 4.8 (6+). “Power 98” remains at #8 for the fourth straight month; August 2018’s 4.9 is its best 6+-showing since 5.9 in August 2017.

San Antonio

Spoken-Word Formats – An uptick of one-tenth (3.8 – 3.9, 6+) is enough to propel iHeartMedia news/talk WOAI News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather” from #11 into the top ten (#9). July’s 3.5 was its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 2.8. Repeating at #22, Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” returns the three-tenths it gained in August (1.4 – 1.7 – 1.4, 6+). KTSA was a collective -.5 in June and July (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.4, 6+), after not having a loss for five reports in a row for a collective +.6 (1.3 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9, 6+). Unchanged from August in 6+ AQH share (.7), iHeartMedia sports talk KTKR moves from #30 to #27. This time last month, “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” wiped away its combined -.3 from three straight one-tenth decreases (.7 – .6 – .5 – .4, 6+) with a +.3. Texas Public Radio news/talk KSTX duplicates August’s +.4 (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.4, 6+), climbing from #14 to #12. A July loss of seven-tenths suspended three up or flat moves that led to a +.5 (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+). With a +1.0 to 4.7 in Holiday2017, KSTX crossed the four-share level (6+) for the first time in its PPM-history.

San Antonio Music Formats – Not only is Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies KONO-FM the market leader for the ninth successive sweep, “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” is +2.2 in four straight increases (6.6 – 7.0 – 7.7 – 7.8 – 8.8, 6+) and reaches the eight-share threshold (8.8) for the first time since November 2016’s 8.2. Its +.4 in June stalled three consecutive downward moves for an overall -.7 (7.3 – 7.2 – 6.9 – 6.6, 6+). Country-formatted stations continue to hold down the #2 and #3 slots, however, iHeartMedia’s KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” (5.6 – 6.1, +.5, third to second, 6+) overtakes Cox Media Group-owned KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader” (6.8 – 6.0, -.8, second to third, 6+). The +2.7 that “KJ-97” racked up in January and February (4.1 – 5.2 – 6.8, 6+) was cut virtually in half in March and April with a collective -1.3; “KJ-97” answered with a +.6 in May. September’s -.8 by “Y-100” suspends three straight gains that netted +1.5 (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.8, 6+). In August, it reached the six-share level (6.8) for the first time since October 2017’s 6.0. Off one-tenth in May, KCYY curtailed four straight up or flat trends that accounted for a +1.3 (4.1 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.4, 6+). These two country adversaries were locked together in the runner-up slot in June. Three straight decreases by KROM accounted for a -1.7 (6.1 – 5.5 – 4.7 – 4.4, 6+), but the Univision Radio regional Mexican outlet answers with a +.6 to 5.0 (seventh to fourth, 6+). “Que Buena 92.9” was a combined +.5 in April and May. Improving by six-tenths as well is Cox Media Group’s KISS “Rocks San Antonio,” which is an overall +.9 in three consecutive up or flat moves (3.6 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 4.5, tenth to seventh, 6+). Bouncing back from August’s -.6 with a September increase of one-half share (4.3 – 4.8, 6+), classic rock cluster-mate KTKX  advances from eighth to sixth. Entering the August sweep, “106.7 The Eagle” gained nine-tenths in four straight up or flat trends (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.9, 6+). Gaining one-half share as well are Alpha Media regional Mexican KSAH “Norteno 104.1,” up a collective six-tenths in four straight sweeps without a loss (2.9 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.5, #14 to #11, 6+) and Univision Radio’s KXTN “107.5 Tejano & Proud” (2.7 – 3.2, #17 to #15, 6+). On the heels of August’s +.5, which ended three straight decreases that produced a loss of seven-tenths (4.7 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 4.0, 6+), Univision Radio rhythmic CHR KBBT surrenders more than twice that increase with a -1.1 to 3.4 (6+); “98.5 The Beat” plummets from #5 to #12. The wild ride continues for Cox Media Group hot AC KSMG, which was -.9 in three straight March through June downtrends (5.1 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+); +.7 in July; -.9 in August; and now -.7 in September (4.0 – 3.3, 6+). “Magic 105.3 Today’s Best Music,” fades from #9 to #14 with its lowest 6+-share (3.3) in nearly three years (3.1, November 2015). Following four straight gains that accounted for a +1.8 (3.2 – 3.3 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KXXM is an overall -2.1 in five April through September decreases (5.0 – 4.9 – 4.4 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 2.9, 6+); “96.1 Now – San Antonio’s #1 Hit Music Station” falls from #13 to #16. Meanwhile, Alpha Media’s similarly-formatted KTFM “Energy 94.1,” which was +.7 via three straight increases (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.8, 6+), falters by one-half share to 2.3 (#16 to #19, 6+).

Pittsburgh

Spoken-Word Formats – Flat at #10, Entercom news/talk KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020” is off four-tenths in three straight down of flat sweeps (4.4 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 4.0, 6+). A gain of two-tenths in June halted four sweeps in a row without an increase that produced a -1.1 (5.3 – 5.3 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.2, 6+). Co-owned sports talk KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” was a combined +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018; -.9 in February; +2.0 in April (5.8 – 7.8, 6+); -2.0 in three straight May – June – July declines (7.8 – 7.4 – 6.5 – 5.8, 6+); +1.4 in August (5.8 – 7.2, 6+); and now -1.1 in September (7.2 – 6.1, fourth to fifth, 6+). April’s 7.8 is the strongest 6+-showing for the Pittsburgh Pirates flagship since October 2015 when it scored a 10.1. A model of consistency – iHeartMedia sports talk WBGG “970 AM – ESPN Pittsburgh” (.1 – .2, +.1, flat at #18, 6+) has logged either a .1 (6+) or a .2 (6+) in each of the last 17 ratings periods. Adding six-tenths to August’s +.4 (2.0 – 2.4 – 3.0, 6+), Essential Public Media news/talk WESA carries on at #13 with its best 6+-showing (3.0) since October 2017’s 3.2. Before faltering by one-half share in April, “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” was an overall +.8 as a result of three consecutive up or flat moves (2.1 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+).

Pittsburgh Music Formats – A collective -1.7 in three negative moves in a row (7.3 – 6.9 – 6.3 – 5.6, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WKST “96.1 Kiss FM Pittsburgh’s #1 Hit Music Station” dials up a +1.1 to 6.7 (fifth to fourth, 6+). Prior to August, the last time “Kiss” fell below a six-share (6+) was nearly five years ago (5.6, October 2013). Co-owned classic hits-oldies WWSW “94.5 – 3WS” (9.3 – 10.2, +.9, 6+) is #1 for the 19th consecutive ratings period and in double-digits (6+) for the fifth time this calendar year. WWSW was a combined +.9 in March and April (10.3 – 11.1 – 11.2, 6+), but forfeited -1.3 in May. In the runner-up slot for the ninth successive sweep, co-owned rocker WDVE erases nearly half of August’s -.8 with a September gain of three-tenths (8.5 – 7.7 – 8.0, 6+). WDVE was +1.6 (October 2017); -1.0 (November); -.8 (“Holiday 2017”); +.8 (January 2018); -.9 (February); -.5 in March; and -.8 in August. Debuting in August with a .4 (6+), Entercom’s urban contemporary WBZZ-HD3 adds six-tenths to 1.0 (6+) and remains at #17. After recording six straight up or flat trends since February for a collective +1.9 (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WPGB surrenders seven-tenths (3.5, 6+) and exits the top ten (#9 to #11). With a 4.2 in August, “Big 104.7 – Pittsburgh’s #1 For New Country” reached the four-share threshold (6+) for the first time since February 2017’s 4.0. A one-half share loss to 3.4 (6+) by Steel City Media hot AC WLTJ suspends three consecutive improvements for a collective +1.1 (2.8 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 3.9, 6+), but “Q-92.9” continues at #12. After having their March 2018 – June 2018 information displayed, five stations are unlisted for the third straight month: classic hits-oldies WKPL and WPKL; and country-formatted WLYI, WOGG, and WOGI.

Sacramento

Spoken-Word Formats – Once again finishing in third-place, KFBK “Sacramento’s News, Weather, and Traffic Station” is down or flat for the eighth straight report for an overall -3.0 (8.6 – 8.1 – 8.1 – 7.8 – 6.7 – 6.3 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 5.6, 6+). The iHeartMedia-owned news/talk station was third in December 2017; second in “Holiday” 2017; first in January 2018; second in February; first in March (tied with KSEG); second in April, May, June, and July; and third in August and September. Meanwhile, the February – September topline trending for co-owned KSTE (moving from a three-way tie at #13 to #14) is: 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.6 (6+). In January, “Talk 650” notched a 2.7, its highest 6+-share since June 2017’s 2.8. Entercom’s KHTK “Sports 1140” is up one-tenth (1.1 – 1.2, #22 to #21, 6+). It is tied with co-owned KIFM-AM “ESPN Radio 1320,” which had lost 50% of its 6+-share (-.8) in three straight decreases (1.6 – 1.4 – 1.1 – .8, 6+), but adds four-tenths in September to 1.2 (#25 to #21, 6+). Capital Public Radio news/talk KXJZ tacks on two-tenths to August’s +.6 (4.5 – 5.1 – 5.3, 6+) and carries on in fourth-place. KXJZ was up a collective seven-tenths in May and June (4.3 – 4.7 – 5.0, 6+). After three straight up or flat trends that produced a net gain of four-tenths (.3 – .6 – .7 – .7, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQEI drops one-tenth to .5 (#27, 6+).

Sacramento Music Formats – Bragging rights for largest (6+) August 2018 – September 2018 increase by any station in the 12 PPM-markets noted here go to Entercom’s KRXQ “98 Rock” (3.9 – 5.2, +1.3, ninth to fifth, 6+). The last time “98 Rock” hit the five-share threshold (6+) was in December 2016 (5.1). Not only is co-owned KSEG #1 for the eighth successive sweep, “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” adds six-tenths to August’s +.1 (9.0 – 9.1 – 9.7, +.1, 6+). “The Eagle” was +1.0 in May; +.9 in June to 9.9, its strongest 6+-showing since July 2016’s 10.3; -.9 in July; and now +.6 in September. This marks the eleventh straight monthly report that Entravision Communications rhythmic CHR KHHM “Hot 103.5” (+.5, #16 to #13) is within 2.2 – 2.9 range: 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.2 – 2.7 (6+). Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVB “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” falters by one-half share (2.0 – 1.5, #18 to #19, 6+). In terms of 6+ AQH share, there is very little movement in the market’s country contest: Entravision Communications-owned KNTY “101.9 The Wolf” improves by one-tenth to 2.2 (#17 to #16, 6+), while Entercom’s KNCI “New Country 105.1” (4.4 – 4.2, sixth to eighth, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s KBEB “92.5 The Bull – #1 for New Country” (2.3 – 2.1, #13 to #17) are each down by two-tenths. “The Wolf” was off one-half share in April; lost one-tenth in May; regained one-tenth in June; was down four-tenths in July; and was flat in August. This time last month, “New Country” forfeited seven-tenths of July’s +.8. KNCI had been within 4.1 – 4.4 range (6+) between January and June (4.2 – 4.2 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.3, 6+); July’s 5.1 is its highest 6+-share since August 2017 (5.4). An August -1.1 by “The Bull” erased July’s +1.0. Immediately prior to being off four-tenths in May, “The Bull” was up or flat the previous four reports for an overall gain of seven-tenths (1.8 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.5, 6+).

Salt Lake City

Spoken-Word Formats – Even though Bonneville’s KSL drops two-tenths (5.0 – 4.8, 6+), “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” advances from seventh to sixth. By picking up four-tenths in August, KSL pulled the plug on three consecutive declines that accounted for a -3.5 (8.1 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.6, 6+). Immediately prior to the May sweep, KSL, which was #1 in April, was +3.0 as a result of four consecutive increases (5.1 – 6.4 – 6.7 – 6.9 – 8.1, 6+). Following a May-August (bookend) topline of 4.1 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.1 (6+), iHeartMedia’s KNRS “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know” is off two-tenths to 3.9 (ninth to tenth, 6+). A +.3 in May ended three successive down or flat moves that accounted for a loss of two-tenths (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.8, 6+). Broadway Media-owned KALL recaptures half of August’s -.2 with a +.1 to 1.8 (#22 to #21, 6+). In advance of the August sweep, “ESPN 700 – Utah’s #1 Sports Talk” was an overall +.5 via four consecutive positive or flat moves (1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+). After four successive sweeps without a decrease that netted seven-tenths (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+), University of Utah news/talk KUER falters by one-half share to 3.0 (#11 to #14, 6+). It previously was an overall -1.3 from three straight down or flat ratings periods (4.1 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.8, 6+). Brigham Young University news/talk KUMT debuts with a .9 (#26, 6+).

Salt Lake City Music Formats – Simultaneous with independent KSOP-FM “Z-104 Utah’s #1 Country” busting out a +1.1 (3.5 – 4.6, #11 to #8, 6+), Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted KUBL “K-Bull 93 FM” freefalls by -1.5 (5.7 – 4.2, third to ninth, 6+). A combined -1.2 in June and July (4.6 – 3.9 – 3.4, 6+), “Z-104” added one-tenth in August. Meanwhile, when “The Bull” dropped two-tenths in August, it snapped a string of three straight improvements for a +1.1 (4.8 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.9, 6+). More than erasing August’s -.6 with a September gain of nine-tenths (2.7 – 3.6, 6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary KBEE “B-98.7 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” jumps from #15 to #11. “B-98.7” gained six-tenths between April and July (2.7 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+). Carrying on at #13, CHR cluster-mate KENZ “Power 94.9 Utah’s New Hit Music” posts its fifth consecutive increase for a +1.1 (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+). Up eight-tenths (3.9 – 4.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned hot AC KJMY progresses from tenth to seventh. A one-tenth decline in August by “MY-99.5” ended at three a consecutive string of increases that netted a +1.1 (2.9 – 3.0 – 3.2 – 4.0, 6+). A collective +.9 in three straight sweeps without a loss (4.8 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.7, 6+) Capital Broadcasting’s similarly-programmed KBZN “Now 97.9 Today’s Best Music” leaps from sixth to fourth. After sharing the #1 slot in August, iHeartMedia’s KODJ regains the three-tenths it squandered in August (6.7, 6+) as “94.1 Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits” takes sole possession of first place. It was #1 this past June and July, as well. Moreover, September’s +.3 brings to a close three straight decreases that accounted for a loss of one-half share (6.9 – 6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). Prior to June’s -.1, KODJ nearly doubled (+3.4) its 6+ AQH share through five successive up or flat trends (3.5 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.4 – 5.8 – 6.9, 6+). May marked the first time KODJ reached the six-share level (6+) since its 6.6 in June 2016. The station with which it shared August’s penthouse – Bonneville adult contemporary KSFI – loses two-tenths (6.4 – 6.2, 6+) and takes over at #2. “FM 100.3 – Better Music, Better Work Day” gained one-half share in August. Immediately prior to August, KSFI was -2.3 in four successive down or flat trends (8.2 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 6.3 – 5.9, 6+) with August’s 5.9 its lowest 6+-showing since May 2016’s 5.7. Up nine-tenths in March – only to lose nine-tenths in April – “FM 100.3” was on top for six straight ratings periods (November 2017 through March 2018). After trending 4.4 – 4.2 – 4.4 (6+), Broadway Media’s KXRK “X-96 – Utah’s Original Alternative” stumbles by eight-tenths to 3.6 (6+) and exits the top ten (#8 to #11). By faltering six-tenths to 2.1 (6+), rhythmic CHR sibling KUUU “U-92” (#15 to #19) has its consecutive string of increases that produced a +.7 end at four (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.7, 6+).

Las Vegas

Spoken-Word Formats – Returning half of August’s +.2 (1.9 – 1.8, -.1, 6+), Entercom’s KXNT  remains at #20. Before August’s increase, “News Talk Radio 840” had been down or flat the previous three ratings periods for a net loss of four-tenths (2.1 – 2.0 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+). The March – September topline for Beasley Media Group news/talk KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk” (#23 to #24 ) is .9 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 (6+). A one-half share decrease in March concluded five straight positive or flat trends (.7 – .7 – .7 – .7 – 1.3 – 1.4, 6+) that doubled KDWN’s 6+-share. A combined -.3 in June and July (.8 – .6 – .5, 6+), Lotus Communications sports talk KWWN “ESPN Radio 1100” is now +.4 in August and September (.5 – .6 – .9, #27 to #25, 6+). Nevada Public Radio’s KNPR is an overall +.9 through four consecutive improvements (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9, #15 to #13, 6+) and has its best 6+-showing since March (2.9, as well). A cumulative -.9 in April and May (2.9 – 2.6 – 2.0, 6+) directly followed three consecutive improvements that accounted for a +1.0 (1.9 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.9, 6+).

Las Vegas Music Formats – It’s another game of music chairs atop the leaderboard between Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies KKLZ “96.3 – 70s, 80s and More” (7.5 – 6.9, -.6, first to second, 6+) and iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5 Better Music for a Better Workday” (6.3 – 7.5, +1.2, second to first, 6+). Whereas KKLZ gained eight-tenths in August, “Sunny” spiraled by -1.3. The end result was KKLZ succeeding KSNE at #1. It is a familiar pattern between these two properties as “Sunny” was off six-tenths in April and replaced by KKLZ at #1. In May, “Sunny” succeeded KKLZ at #1. The two swapped places at the top in March as well. Back in December, KKLZ was ousted from the penthouse by “Sunny” after five straight months there. August marked the ninth time between July 2017 and August 2018 that KKLZ has been #1: July 2017 through November 2017, January 2018, February 2018, April 2018, and August 2018. KKLZ, which was up nine-tenths in July, has its best 6+-performance (7.5) since January’s 7.6. “Sunny” had been on top in May, June, and July, with July’s 7.6 its highest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.5. Unchanged at #4, Beasley Media Group urban-rhythmic oldies KOAS “Old School 105.7” is a cumulative +1.7 in five consecutive upticks (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.1 – 5.8, 6+). Adding one-half share to August’s +.2 (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.8, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KWNR “95.5 The Bull – Las Vegas’ New Country Leader” advances from eighth to sixth. Within 2.2 – 2.9 range (6+) in each of the last six survey periods (2.9 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.6, 6+), Lotus Communications’ KOMP “92.3 The Rock Station” erodes by nine-tenths to 1.7 (6+) and departs the top twenty (#16 to #22). Forfeiting one-half share each are iHeartMedia adult hits KYMT “93.1 The Mountain” (3.2 – 2.7, #12 to #14, 6+) and Entercom alternative KXTE “X-107.5” (3.0 – 2.5, #13 to #16, 6+).

Cincinnati

Spoken-Word Formats – An overall +2.8 in three straight positive spikes (7.7 – 9.1 – 10.4 – 10.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WLW has that bounty slivered exactly in half (9.1, -1.4, 6+). Nonetheless, the Cincinnati Reds flagship is #1 for the fourth month in a row although it shares the honor with Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WGRR (see below). August 2018’s 10.5 is WLW’s highest 6+-share in more than two years (10.8, June 2016). “The Big One” was a combined +2.0 in January and February; -1.0 in March; +1.6 in April; -1.2 in May; and now -1.4 in September. Off four-tenths to 3.7 (6+), co-owned WKRC “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati” slips from eighth to tenth. It was a collective +1.3 in July and August (2.8 – 3.6 – 4.1, 6+), with July’s increase stopping four straight monthly reports without an increase for a collective -1.0 (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+). Sports talk sibling WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530” is flat at .9 (6+), but climbs from #20 to #19. Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU is unchanged from August in both 6+ AQH share (3.5, its best 6+-stat since February’s 3.6) and 6+ market rank (#12).

Cincinnati Music Formats – A gain of eight-tenths (to 4.8, ninth to seventh, 6+) by iHeartMedia’s WEBN “Cincinnati’s Rock Station” all but eliminates its -.9 in four straight down or flat trends (4.9 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.0, 6+). Adding six-tenths to August’s one-half share increase (4.1 – 4.6 – 5.2, 6+), Hubbard rhythmic hot AC WREW “Mix 94.9” inches up from seventh to sixth. Stuck on 4.9 (6+) in May and June, “Mix” was off eight-tenths in July, with 4.1 its lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2017’s 3.7. Over and above continuing a down/up pattern that surfaced in May (9.6 – 8.2 – 8.7 – 8.6 – 9.1, 6+), Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WGRR “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” proceeds from the runner-up slot to a first-place tie with iHeartMedia news/talk WLW. After posting a one-half share gain in August to 1.3, its best 6+-stat since February’s 1.5, Cincinnati Public Radio’s classical-formatted WGUC surrenders six-tenths to .7 (6+) and leaves the top twenty (#18 to #22). Between March and July, “90.9 Music For Your Heart, Mind, & Spirit” registered a .8 (6+) four times (.8 – .8  – .8 – .9  – .8, 6+). Having trended 7.9 – 8.1 – 7.9 (June-July-August, 6+), Hubbard hot AC WKRQ “Q-102 Cincinnati’s Hit Music” slumps by one-half share in September to 7.4 (third to fourth, 6+). Off eight-tenths in four straight sweeps without an increase (5.6 – 5.2 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WOFX “92.5 The Fox – Cincinnati’s Classic Rock” shifts from sixth to seventh, while iHeartMedia CHR WKFS “Kiss 107.1 Cincinnati’s #1 Hit Music Station” is -1.0 in five straight down or flat sweeps (4.9 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9, tenth to ninth, 6+).

Orlando

Spoken-Word Formats – Off one-tenth (4.7 – 4.6, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” slips from ninth to tenth. Its +1.0 in August suspended three straight decreases that resulted in a -1.8 (5.5 – 5.3 – 4.0 – 3.7, 6+). July’s 3.7 is the lowest 6+-showing for “Real Radio” since “Holiday” 2017’s 2.2. Steady at #11, Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM “News 96.5” is +.8 in three consecutive increases (3.3 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 4.1, 6+). Before gaining four-tenths in July, WDBO-FM was -1.4 in five straight down or flat trends (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+). As the result of three successive sweeps without a loss, iHeartMedia news/talk WFLF is a collective +.6 (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 2.1, #16 to #15, 6+). Unhanged at #18, co-owned sports talk WYGM “FM 96.9 The Game – Orlando’s Sports Leader” is likewise a collective +.6 via seven successive up or flat trends (.7 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.3, 6+). It is two-tenths ahead of Cox Media Group sports talk WDBO-AM “ESPN 580 Orlando” (.7 – 1.1, #22 to #20, 6+). Owing to September’s +.5 (to 4.0, steady at #12, 6+), Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida” halts a down/up pattern that began in February: 3.7 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 3.5.

Orlando Music Formats – Substituting August’s -.5 with September’s +.7 (4.3 – 5.0, 6+), Cox Media Group rhythmic CHR WPYO “Power 95.3” jumps from tenth to eighth with its strongest 6+-stat (5.0) in more than two years (5.3, August 2016). Prior to August, “Power” was a collective +1.2 in four successive sweeps without a loss (3.6 – 3.6 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.8, 6+). As a result of four straight negative moves (6.3 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.2, 6+), Entercom hot AC WOMX was an overall -1.1, but “Mix 105.1” picks up one-tenth to 5.3 (6+) and climbs from eighth to seventh. An increase of one-half share to 7.7 (steady at #2, 6+) by iHeartMedia-owned CHR WXXL “XL-106.7 Orlando’s #1 Hit Music Station” applies the brakes to three downward moves in a row that accounted for a collective -1.7 (8.9 – 8.4 – 7.8 – 7.2, 6+). Between February and May, WXXL was up an overall six-tenths via three increases of two tenths each (8.3 – 8.5 – 8.7 – 8.9, 6+). While co-owned Spanish tropical WRUM is #1 for the ninth month in a row, “Rumba 100” is an overall -3.4 in August and September (11.6 – 10.1 – 8.2, 6+), with September’s -1.9 the largest (6+) August 2018 – September 2018 erosion by any station in the 12 PPM-markets noted here. Prior to the May sweep, WRUM was +1.8 in four upticks in succession (8.9 – 9.3 – 9.5 – 9.9 – 10.7, 6+). April 2017s 12.8 is the best-ever 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. An overall +2.1 in six straight up or flat trends (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 6.1, 6+), Cox Media Group country WWKA “K-92.3” surrenders roughly half that increase (5.0, -1.1, sixth to eighth, 6+).

Cleveland

Spoken-Word Formats – This is the fourth successive sweep without an increase for iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” (6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.0 – 6.0, seventh to eighth, 6+), which is -.6 in that stretch. A loss of one-tenth in June interrupted three consecutive increases that netted +1.3 (5.3 – 5.5 – 6.3 – 6.6, 6+); May’s 6.6 is the best 6+-stat for the Cleveland Indians flagship since October 2017’s 8.3. Not only is Entercom’s WKRK +1.3 in three upticks in a row (3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 4.7, 6+), “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” cracks the top ten (#12 to #9). Cleveland’s “Fan” was a combined -1.8 in three straight (March through June) setbacks (5.2 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 3.4, 6+). A gain of one-half share (2.7 – 3.2, steady at #13, 6+) takes Ideastream-owned news/talk outlet WCPN to its best 6+-showing (3.2) since February’s 3.6. WCPN was a combined -2.5 in February and March (5.3 – 3.6 – 2.8, 6+).

Cleveland Music Formats – In addition to notching four straight improvements for an overall +1.5 (7.8 – 8.4 – 8.5 – 8.7 – 9.3, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” is #1 for the fourth consecutive sweep. Ten recent WMJI fluctuations include: +.8 (November); -.9 (December); +2.5 (Holiday” 2017); -1.9 (January); +1.9 (February); -2.0 (March); +1.0 (April); -1.5 (May); +.6 (June); and +.6 (September).  When “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” reached double-digits (6+) in “Holiday” 2017, it was the first time WMJI accomplished that feat since September 2016 (10.8). Having lost roughly 40% of its 6+ AQH share (-4.1) in five straight down or flat trends since March (10.1 – 9.6 – 8.1 – 6.8 – 6.8 – 6.0, 6+), Radio One urban AC WZAK notches a +.5 to 6.5 (seventh to fifth, 6+). With a +.9, WZAK reached the top spot in December, but fell to third in “Holiday” 2017. Down two-tenths to 6.6 (yet progressing from fifth to fourth, 6+), urban contemporary cluster-mate WENZ “Z-107.9” concludes four straight improvements that netted +1.9 (4.9 – 5.6 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.8, 6+). Relinquishing more than half of the +2.4 generated via four successive upticks (6.0 – 7.1 – 8.0 – 8.2 – 8.4, 6+), Entercom-owned WNCX “98.5 Cleveland’s Classic Rock” (6.9, -1.5, 6+) slips from second to third. August’s 8.4 is its finest 6+-performance since June 2017 (8.4, as well). A collective +1.7 in July and August (6.4 – 7.4 – 8.1, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WGAR “99.5 – Cleveland’s #1 for New Country” surrenders nine-tenths to 7.2 (6+), yet actually advances from third to second. Three straight negative January through April moves resulting in a -1.0 (7.2 – 6.8 – 6.3 – 6.2, 6+) were largely halted by a +.8 in May; WGAR was -.6 in June.

Kansas City

Spoken-Word Formats – Up seven-tenths in August to curtail five straight February through July decreases that accounted for a -1.7 (5.6 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.1 – 3.9, 6+), Entercom news/talk KMBZ-FM “98.1 News-Traffic-Weather” drops two-tenths in September to 4.4 (eighth to ninth, 6+). Forfeiting two-tenths as well is co-owned KMBZ-AM “Talk 980” (2.4 – 2.2, flat at #19, 6+). “Talk 980” was locked on 2.2 (6+) in April and May before slipping one-tenth in June. Down or flat for the third sweep in a row for a loss of two-tenths (.7 – .6 – .6 – .5, 6+), Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM “Talk Radio 710 AM” remains at #23. Entercom’s KCSP “610 Sports Radio,” which was up three-tenths in July and August (2.9 – 3.0 – 3.2, 6+), is off one-tenth to 3.1 (#12 to #15, 6+). The Kansas City Royals flagship more than doubled its 6+-share with a combined +1.9 in April and May (1.8 – 3.1 3.7, 6+). Three-tenths behind KCSP is Union Broadcasting’s WHB “Sports Radio 810,” which is a collective +.8 in four straight increases (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8, #18 to #16, 6+). WHB was -.9 in February; +.9 in March; and an overall -2.0 in April and May (4.0 – 2.9 – 2.0, 6+). Locked on 3.0 (6+) in July and August, University of Missouri news/talk KCUR gains three-tenths to 3.3 (#14 to #12, 6+). Prior to May, KCUR was up nine-tenths as a result of six straight November 2017 through April 2018 up or flat trends (1.9 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+).

Kansas City Music Formats – Not only is Cumulus Media’s KCFX #1 for the fourth month in a row, “101 The Fox – Kansas City’s Classic Rock Station” is a cumulative +1.8 in four straight sweeps without a loss (7.0 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.8 – 8.8, 6+). Moreover, this (8.8) is the strongest 6+-performance for KCFX since 9.1 in “Holiday” 2017. Prior to June, “The Fox” – last held the #1 position in February. It was -1.6 through three February through May decreases in succession (8.6 – 8.0 – 7.6 – 7.0, 6+). Tacking on eight-tenths to August’s +1.0 (5.5 – 6.5 – 7.3, 6+), Entercom-owned KQRC repeats in the runner-up slot. In six consecutive Holiday 2017 – June 2018 monthlies without a loss, “98.9 The Rock” was a combined +1.7 (4.5 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 6.2, 6+) and then dropped seven-tenths in July. In addition to entering the top ten (#11 to #7) with a gain of six-tenths (4.0 – 4.6, 6+), Steel City Media adult contemporary KCKC “KC-102.1 Today’s Best Variety” has its highest 6+-stat (4.6) since 4.7 in March. At the same time that KCKC sibling KBEQ “Q-104 New Hit Country” gains six-tenths to 5.6 (sixth to fifth, 6+), co-owned KFKF “Country 94.1” regresses by nine-tenths (6.2 – 5.3, fourth to sixth, 6+). “Q-104” was off a combined nine-tenths in July and August (5.9 – 5.8 – 5.0, 6+). It was up or flat in seven straight December 2017 through June 2018 sweeps for an overall +2.0 (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.8 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 5.9, 6+). Meanwhile, “Country 94.1” improved by six-tenths in July (5.9 – 6.5, 6+). When KFKF posted a one-half share increase in May, it erased the -.5 it recorded through three decreases in a row (6.0 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.5, 6+). The market’s other country FM – Entercom’s WDAF “106.5 The Wolf” – is down or flat for the fifth time in a row for a net loss of six-tenths (4.9 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+), dipping from eighth to tenth. Flat at #3, Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies KCMO-FM “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” is a combined -1.8 in six successive March through September declines (8.1 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.8 – 6.4 – 6.3, 6+). “Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” was #1 in March, April, and May.

Columbus

Spoken-Word Formats – The extremely steady March – September topline of iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN is 5.4 – 5.6 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 5.4 – 5.5 (unchanged at #6, 6+). Earlier this year though, “News Radio 610” was +1.5 in January; -1.0 in February; and -.7 in March. A collective +.6 in August and September (.5 – .9 – 1.1, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk WXZX “105.7 The Zone” progresses from #15 to #14. Following four down or flat sweeps in succession for a -.2 (.9 – .9 – .8 – .8 – .7, 6+), “The Zone” was +.3 in April and May, but dropped a collective one-half share in June and July for a 50% reduction of its 6+-share (1.0 – .9 – .5, 6+). Ohio State University news/talk WOSU is without a loss for the third month in a row for a net gain of seven-tenths (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 4.6, flat at #7, 6+). September’s 4.6 is its strongest 6+-stat since 4.7 in August 2017.

Columbus Music Formats – Anchored in the runner-up slot for the ninth time in succession, iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WNCI “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music Station” – which was +1.3 in June and -1.8 in July and August (10.7 – 10.0 – 8.9, 6+) – gains one-half share to 9.4 (6+). WNCI lost seven-tenths in July, curtailing three successive up or flat March through June monthlies that yielded a +1.7 (9.0 – 9.4 – 9.4 – 10.7, 6+). June’s 10.7 is the strongest 6+-stat for WNCI since October 2017 (10.7, as well). Well ahead of WNCI is co-owned WCOL (15.0, -.1, 6+), which is #1 for the ninth consecutive sweep. When “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” eroded by -1.2 in August, it concluded five consecutive increases for an overall +4.0 (12.3 – 13.4 – 14.4 – 14.5 – 15.7 – 16.3, 6+). WCOL has been in double-digits (6+) each sweep since June 2017. Among the major fluctuations for “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” this calendar year are +3.1 (January); -1.7 (February); +1.1 (March); +1.0 (April); +1.2 (June); +.6 (July); and 1.2 (August). Regressing by six-tenths each are One Connection Media Group contemporary Christian WCVO “104.9 The River” (4.1 – 3.5, steady at #8, 6+) and Saga Communications hot AC WVMX “Mix 107.9” (3.3 – 2.7, ninth to tenth, 6+). Following four consecutive improvements that netted a +1.6 (5.1 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.7, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits WODC “93.3 The Bus – We Play Anything” falters by three-tenths to 6.4 (third to fourth, 6+); 6.7 in August is its highest 6+-share since 8.1 in “Holiday” 2017.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

| September 27, 2018

Alpha Media to Sell West Palm Beach Cluster to Hubbard Radio. The press release notes that a definitive sales contract between Alpha Media and Minneapolis-based Hubbard Radio has yet to be signed, but they have reached an agreement in principle to transfer Alpha’s six stations in the West Palm Beach market to Hubbard for a yet-to-be-disclosed sum.  Alpha says it employs about 105 people at the cluster that includes: news/talk WFTL; sports talk WMEN-AM/WIRK-HD2; adult contemporary WEAT-FM; hot AC WRMF; country WIRK-FM; and urban contemporary WMBX-FM. Alpha acquired the cluster in February of 2016 with its purchase of Digity LLC.   After the deal is consummated, Alpha will own 213 stations in 46 markets.  The company says it has been selling off assets to lower its debt leverage.

Good Karma Announces Investors in WTMJ-AM and WKTI-FM, Milwaukee Acquisition. The recently announced acquisition of E.W. Scripps’ Milwaukee duo – heritage news/talk WTMJ-AM/W277CV and country WKTI-FM – by Craig Karmazin’s Good Karma Brands LLC is being fleshed out a bit more from the financial perspective.  Good Karma announces that Wisconsin-based Morgan Murphy Media – owner of WISC-TV, Madison and WKBT-TV, La Crosse – is investing in the deal along with a group of local investors that includes: Ted Kellner, chairman and CEO of T&M Partners, LLC; Gale and Judi Klappa (Gale Klappa is chairman and chief executive of WEC Energy Group); David Marcus, CEO of Marcus Investments; and Greg Marcus, CEO of Marcus Corporation.  Morgan Murphy Media EVP and COO Brian Burns states, “Craig and his team at Good Karma Brands truly understand what it means to serve a local community.  We are excited to be in business with a group of people we’ve known for years who have an outstanding track record of success.” It’s already been announced that upon closing, Milwaukee broadcasting management pro Steve Wexler will assume the vice president and market manager role with the two stations as well as Good Karma’s sports WAUK, Waukesha “540 ESPN,” ESPN Digital, the Wisconsin Sports Awards, and the Tundra Trio.  Craig Karmazin adds, “We’re thrilled to welcome longtime friends, business partners, and members of the community to the Good Karma Brands team.  The addition of prominent local investors will further our relationship with the Milwaukee community and, paired with Steve Wexler’s leadership, will help guide our businesses to greater heights.  Good Karma’s focus has always been serving our marketing partners, fans and teammates, and today’s announcement is a huge boost for all three.”

Rich Zeoli Hosts FOX News’ Gregg Jarrett for WPHT Speaker Series. Pictured above is WPHT, Philadelphia afternoon drive host Rich Zeoli (left) with FOX News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett (right) after Zeoli interviewed Jarrett at the sold-out WPHT Speaker Series live event that included a discussion of Jarrett’s book The Russia Hoax.

Seen & Heard at the Radio Show: Day 2.  The National Association of Broadcasters reports that attendance at this year’s 2018 RAB/NAB Radio Show is up 8% with 2,130 persons registered.  TALKERS magazine special features correspondent Jeff McKay is in Orlando reporting from Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek.  McKay says that monetizing podcasting, the connected car, the state of news/talk radio and more were topics of discussion.  Read his report here.

TALKERS News Notes. From a report in Variety comes news that FOX News is unveiling a new tagline for its subscription service FOX Nation: “Opinion Done Right.”  The story says, “The slogan would suggest the new service, said to be aimed at FOX News ‘superfans,’ will emphasize the opinion programming that brings top ratings to the 21st Century FOX cable news network’s primetime lineup.”  FOX TV will promote the new service during tonight’s “Thursday Night Football” broadcast…..The NBA’s Boston Celtics and Beasley Media Group’s WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” announce a multi-year extension for the station to continue serving as the official flagship for the club’s radio broadcasts.  Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell continue their play-by-play duties while Celtics general manager and president of operations Danny Ainge will appear on the “Toucher & Rich Show” Thursday mornings at 9:00 during the season and head coach Brad Stevens will join “Zolak & Bertrand” each Wednesday around 12:00 noon…..The Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas acquires the papers of reporter and columnist Paul Colford – a journalist who, in addition to numerous accomplishments, wrote biographies of Rush Limbaugh and Howard Stern.  During his career, Colford reported for New York Newsday and the New York Daily News and served as vice president for media relations at the Associated Press.  The papers include considerable research materials on the subjects of his biographies, The Rush Limbaugh Story (1993) and Howard Stern: King of All Media (1996).  Colford says, “As a media columnist and biographer, I’ve often found gold and indispensable details in libraries and archives around the country, including the Briscoe Center.  I’m honored and thrilled to know my files, photos, clippings, and other documents will be preserved and made available before long to media historians, students, and other journalists for their work in years to come.”  The Briscoe Center’s news media holdings include the papers of New York newspapermen Jack Newfield and Wayne Barrett, as well as those of social columnists Walter Winchell and Liz Smith…..ESPN senior writer Mina Kimes agrees to a multiyear extension with the sports media giant.  Along with news of the signing comes the launch of her NFL-themed podcast, “Bootleg with Mina Kimes.”  Kimes continues to write for ESPN The Magazine as well as continuing to appear on shows such as “Around the Horn”; as a co-host on “The Morning Roast on ESPN Radio with Domonique Foxworth and Clinton Yates”; guesting on “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz” and “Highly Questionable”; as a debater on “First Take”; as a contributor to “E:6”; appearances on “Get Up”; and more…..iHeartMedia, in collaboration with HowStuffWorks, is launching a new, original podcast on October 3 called, “Unobscured,” that focuses on the Salem witch trials.  Aaron Mahnke – host of the popular podcast “Lore” – is hosting “Unobscured.”…..California-based not-for-profit Christian broadcaster Educational Media Foundation is acquiring another Chicagoland signal – this time it’s WCPT-FM, DeKalb from WDEK Inc – and the purchase price is $1.6 million.  Bob Heymann of the Chicago office of Media Services Group served as the exclusive broker.  If you recall, EMF was the recent surprise buyer of heritage Windy City FM WLUP, for which it paid $21.5 million.  WCPT-FM has been airing progressive talk, also heard on WCPT-AM, Willow Springs, Illinois…..SiriusXM is airing live, hole-by-hole coverage of the 2018 Ryder Cup tomorrow through Sunday from Le Golf National near Paris.  Listeners will hear a combination of SiriusXM’s exclusive broadcast featuring calls by Earl Forcey, Mark CarnevaleFred Albers, John Maginnes and Carl Paulson, as well as the IMG-produced broadcast led by longtime European golf broadcaster Richard Kaufman.  After each day’s play, listeners will hear post-match shows hosted by SiriusXM’s Taylor Zarzour, John Maginnes and Ron Green…..Pictured below are some of the participants on the Wednesday Headliner Session at the 2018 RAB/NAB Radio Show at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek.  The panel, moderated by PodcastOne founder and chairman Norm Pattiz, was titled, “The Podcast Boom.”  From left to right are: Elaina Smith, co-host, “NASH Nights Live”; singer-songwriter Jewel; Suzanne Grimes, president, Westwood One and EVP, corporate marketing, Cumulus Media; and Kaitlyn Bristowe from television’s “The Bachelorette.”

Kavanaugh Hearing, Trump-Russia Investigation/Rosenstein Status, Trump’s China Election Interference Accusation/Press Conference, China Trade War, Midterm Elections, Fed Hikes Interest Rates, NFL Action, and MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/26). Today’s Senate hearing for the accusation made by Christine Blasey Ford against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related status of Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein; President Trump’s claim during his UN speech that China is trying to interfere with U.S. elections and the president’s subsequent press conference; the tariffs being placed on U.S. and Chinese goods; the November midterm elections and which party will control congress; the Fed raises interest rates again and speculation about the strength of the U.S. economy; NFL action; and the Major League Baseball playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Another entrant into the world of podcasting is iHeartMedia personality Mario Lopez.  iHeartRadio and iHeartMedia Networks Group president Darren Davis says that the “iHeartRadio Countdown” host will launch a new podcast network this fall that will be available on the iHeartRadio Podcast Network platform.  The network will feature several iHeartRadio Original podcasts including an up-close-and-personal look into the life of Mario Lopez.  He’ll also executive produce an additional slate of podcasts to roll out in the near future…..Air personality Heather Davis joins Curtis Media’s country WQDR, Raleigh to host middays and serve as APD and music director.  She comes to Curtis from Cumulus Media’s WKDF, Nashville…..At E.W. Scripps’ rock KQXR, Boise “100.3 The X,” morning personalities Jeremy “Nic” Nicolato and Jeremi “Big J” Schlader sign new, two-year deals to continue hosting “The Morning After.”  Nic, who also serves as program director, says, “It’s an honor to wake up every morning and deliver this show to the Treasure Valley.  Knowing we will be able to mark 13 years of doing it feels fantastic.”

August 2018 PPM Analysis: Mainstream CHR

| September 18, 2018

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

LOS ANGELES — A thorough examination of mainstream CHR wraps up our four-part series reviewing August 2018 ratings performances.

Earlier recaps addressed all-news (last Thursday, 9/13); public radio news/talk (last Friday, 9/14); and sports talk (yesterday, 9/17).

As was the case with those other three overviews, our mainstream CHR analysis is comprised of data from PPM-market facilities that rank in the top 20 (6+, August 2018).

Nielsen Audio only releases audience estimates for facilities that subscribe to its services. Owing to that reason, ratings stats in this exclusive mainstream CHR breakdown are limited to stations that pay Nielsen Audio for its data.

The company’s August 2018 ratings period covered July 19 – August 15.

Read More

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

| September 12, 2018

Longtime KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh Talk Host Mike Pintek Dead at 65.  Talk radio host Mike Pintek took leave of his radio talk show on Entercom’s KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh in late June after his treatment for cancer was interrupted by a stroke he suffered.  He would not return to the air and the station reports that Pintek died early today (9/12).  Pintek, who served with the legendary Pittsburgh news/talk station for more than 30 years, announced back in May of 2017 that he’d been diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer.  KDKA-AM reports that after receiving the diagnosis, Pintek began “an aggressive form of chemotherapy and radiation treatments and participated in experimental drug studies to ward off the illness, all while continuing to entertain his thousands of listeners daily on KDKA Radio.”  Pintek Joined KDKA-AM in 1982 as a reporter and in 1985 shifted to the role of talk host.  During his career he also served with KDKA-TV as a news break anchor and as host of “Pittsburgh 2-Day.”  See KDKA-AM’s obit here.

Bill Gentry to Lead Cumulus Media Birmingham. Radio management pro Bill Gentry is named vice president and general manager for Cumulus Media’s Birmingham, Alabama cluster that includes news/talk WAPI-AM/WZZR-FM “Talk 99.5” and sports talk trio WJOX-AM, WJOX-FM, and WJQX-FM.  Gentry was most recently SVP and market manager at Alpha Media’s Louisville cluster. Prior to that, he was regional market president for iHeartMedia overseeing Louisville, Lexington, and Nashville.  Gentry says, “I am thrilled to join the Cumulus team in Birmingham and grateful to Mary and the leadership team for this opportunity.  I am particularly excited to be starting just as college football is kicking off in the heart of the SEC, as we are the sports authority in the market.  Given my experience within news/talk and recent time working within the urban arena, I can’t wait to get started!  And I hope the staff won’t mind if I hang a UK jersey in my office.  Looking forward to this new adventure.  This is going to be fun!”

Report: Nielsen Exploring Sale of Entire Company. According to a report by Reuters, Nielsen Holdings Plc is working with JPMorgan Chase & Co and Guggenheim Securities LLC, “as well as law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, on an ‘expanded’ review of strategic alternatives.”  Previously, the company said it was looking at selling its “Buy” segment, but pressure from hedge fund Elliott Management Corp. has it now exploring a sale of the entire company.  (The “Buy” segment provides data on consumer behavior and the “Watch” segment is the TV, radio, and digital ratings side of the company.)  Not unlike some radio companies, Nielsen is dogged by a 2006 leveraged buyout by six PE firms and its debt is tagged at $8.66 billion while its market capitalization is estimated to be around $9.4 billion.

Julie Talbott to Be Honored with MIW Radio Group 2018 Trailblazer Award. The honor from the Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio (MIW) Group will be awarded to Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott on September 26 at the RAB/NAB Radio Show in Orlando during the Wednesday Headliner “The Podcast Boom” session.  The MIW Radio Group Trailblazer Award is presented annually to a woman who, through her leadership and success in the industry, creates opportunities for other women in radio to further their careers.  In 2012, it was renamed the “Frances Preston Trailblazer Award” in honor of Frances Preston, longtime president and CEO of Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI).  Talbott started her career at BBDO Advertising, before moving on and becoming COO of MJI Broadcasting, which was bought by Premiere Networks/Clear Channel in 1999.   After serving in various capacities at Premiere, she was named president of the company in January 2014.  She has received numerous industry awards over the years, including TALKERS magazine’s Judy Jarvis Memorial “Woman of the Year” Award.  MIW Group spokeswoman Denyse Mesnik says, “The highest honor the MIW Group bestows is our Trailblazer Award and Julie Talbott epitomizes its very essence.  Julie is a powerful force that combines genuine Southern charm and graciousness with intellectual prowess and business acumen.  She has blazed many trails throughout her career and continues today to leave her indelible mark on radio. We are grateful for her efforts.”

BFoA Prepares for Emergency Grants Due to Hurricane Florence. With the approach of Hurricane Florence, the Broadcasters Foundation of America says it is preparing for an influx of emergency grant applications.  It reminds broadcasters whose personal lives or property are acutely affected by Hurricane Florence that they are encouraged to find out if they quality for an emergency grant by visiting https://broadcastersfoundation.org/hurricaneflorence/.  The Broadcasters Foundation Emergency Grant Relief Program provides an expedited application process that is streamlined to deliver emergency funds as quickly as possible to qualifying individuals who work (or have worked) in broadcasting.  Emergency grants are based on financial need.  This year, the Broadcasters Foundation board of directors elected to double the maximum amount of an individual emergency grant from $1,000 to $2,000.  This increase is particularly significant when considering that last year more than $300,000 was awarded to individual victims of a rash of disasters that included Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, as well as wildfires and floods.

TALKERS News Notes. Former WTEM, Washington personality Kevin Sheehan is launching an eponymous, daily podcast about the Washington sports scene.  As the Washington Post reports, Sheehan – along with several other staffers – was let go from the Radio One sports talk station when his contract expired on August 1…..Crossover Media Group Sales reports that it has added four new political-talk programs to its growing roster of client shows and personalities.  The first is “Honestly Speaking” with Tara Setmayer, a CNN political commentator, ABC News contributor, frequent guest host on “The View,” and a former Republican communications director.  Her show “brings her voice of reason and signature ‘tell it like it is’ commentary to hot-button political and cultural topics from a ‘common sense’ conservative point of view.”  The second program is “Roland Martin Unfiltered,” a newly launched, 60-minute show streamed live daily at 6:00 pm from Washington, D.C. on podcast and video-on-demand platforms including Facebook,YouTube, Periscope, and InstagramTV.  Former CNN political analyst Martin “will cover news, politics, culture, entertainment, social justice, sports, education, business, and finance.”  CMGS is assisting in the production of and handling advertising sales for the shows…..E.W. Scripps reorganizes its podcasting segment, making Stitcher the parent company.  In addition to giving the podcast platform a new logo, Stitcher is now parent to advertising arm Midroll and comedy podcast segment Earwolf.  Stitcher CEO Erik Diehn says, “Our combined brands and companies – Midroll, Earwolf, and Stitcher – were all individually early pioneers and leaders in podcasting.  Earwolf was one of the first podcast networks; Midroll helped create and grow the podcast ad sales marketplace; and Stitcher was one of the first true podcast apps.  Each of these has evolved and thrived individually and today we mark the beginning of those pieces coming together to form the world’s strongest end-to-end podcast company.”…..Pubcaster WAMU, Washington is announcing a new, two-year project in which 10 broadcast journalists will engage in a collaborative reporting effort on the role of guns in American life titled, “Guns & America.”  The Audion Fellowship is being funded by a $5.3 million grant from the Kendeda Fund.   The 10 fellows hired for the project are: Adhiti Bandlamudi at North Carolina Public Radio; Anthony Cave at KERA, Dallas; Heath Druzin at Boise State Public Radio; Lisa Hagen at WABE, Atlanta; Chris Haxel at KCUR, Kansas City; Jonathan Levinson at Oregon Public Broadcasting; Ryan Lindsay at Connecticut Public Radio; Leigh Paterson at KUNC, Greeley, Colorado; Matt Richmond at ideastream in Cleveland; and Alana Wise at WAMU.  WAMU senior director of content and news Andi McDaniel says, “It’s hard to think of a conversation that’s more entrenched than the one around guns – Americans are polarized, frustrated, and stuck.  With ‘Guns & America,’ we’ll have 10 talented journalists from diverse communities around the nation taking a deep and unflinching look at the role guns play in American life.  We believe this kind of in-depth and nuanced storytelling has the potential to change the national conversation.”

‘Think! America with Terry Gilberg’ Is Added to KBNP, Portland and KTAR, Phoenix.  The nationally syndicated Radio America show “Think! America with Terry Gilberg” continues to show healthy growth across the nation with two important Western states clearances – KTAR, Phoenix and KBNP, Portland.  The Saturday evening show (8:00 pm – 10:00 pm ET) is produced and hosted by journalist-turned-commentator Terry Gilberg with regular on-air appearances by attorney Megan Porth.  Gilberg has been a longtime news reporter and talk show host on a number of Southwest platforms including KFYI, Phoenix.  She is pictured above (center) with conservative social media star pundits Diamond & Silk at last week’s “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row in Washington, DC.

Hurricane Florence Approaches, Trump-Russia Investigation, Midterm Elections, 9/11 Anniversary, Positive Economic News, Bob Woodward Book, Russia-China War Games, Serena Williams Cartoon Backlash, NFL Action, and MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/11). The preparation for Hurricane Florence as it approaches the Carolinas; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the midterm elections and the battle to control congress; the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks; the positive U.S. economic data; Bob Woodward’s new book, Fear: Trump in the White House; Russia and China take part in joint war games; the backlash over the racist depiction of Serena Williams in a Melbourne newspaper; the first week of the NFL season; and the Major League Baseball playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At the Orlando cluster of Entercom, Dana Taylor is named program director for hot AC WOMX “MIX 105.1” and John O’Connell is appointed PD for alternative WQMP “FM 101.9.”  Taylor has been with WOMX since 1994, most recently serving as APD/music director. O’Connell adds WQMP programming duties to his current responsibility as program director for country WKIS and alternative WSFS “104.3 The Shark” in Miami.  Entercom SVP and market manager Claudia Menegus says, “I’m excited to elevate Dana and John to these roles.  They are both talented leaders with infectious passion for our brands and I am confident they will continue to raise the bar.” Meanwhile, taking on the assistant program director position at WQMP is music director and midday host Melissa “Mel” Leigh-Sorrentino…..The KXTE, Las Vegas-based alternative morning program “The Dave and Mahoney Show” finds its first affiliate station in Townsquare Media’s alt rock WQSH, Albany “ALT 105.7.”  The program – just beginning its syndication effort – consists of hosts Dave Farra and Jason Mahoney with cast member Sylvia Alvarado and producer Ian Schebel.  Farra comments, “It’s a dream come true to be able to grow the program like this…we are thrilled to be working with Steve Richards and Townsquare Media and look forward to delivering a great morning show with compelling content to the Albany audience.”…..ABC Radio and Skyview Networks announce syndication of “The Deja Vu Show,” featuring WBLS-FM, New York afternoon personality Deja Vu.  This new show for urban AC music formats “provides female listeners a mixture of entertainment, lifestyle, and positive affirmation that helps them find their passion and accomplish their dreams.”  Skyview Networks EVP and GM Jeanne-Marie Condo says, “Deja is a diamond who instantly connects with her audience, especially the female audience.  This is a strategic step towards the custom sales integrations that are vital to our agencies and their clients.”…..At iHeartMedia’s classic hits, KGOR, Omama, morning personality Tim Sheridan exits after a two-plus years stint with the station and its sister news/talk KFAB…..Albany Broadcasting alternative WINU “ALT 104.9” adds the Premiere Networks-syndicated “The Woody Show” to its program schedule for morning drive…..Cumulus Media alternative rock WKQX teams up with the local Church Street Brewing Company to introduce Q Street, a “righteously good” alternative India Pale Ale to Chicagoland’s craft beer fans.  A portion of the proceeds from the sale of Q Street beer go to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention…..Cumulus country outlet WNSH, New York “NASH FM 94.7” is presenting a private, live album launch event for Carrie Underwood’s new album Cry Pretty at Opry City Stage in Times Square on Friday (9/14) at 1:00 pm.  The event will be broadcast on all 82 “NASH” country radio stations…..iHeartMedia Detroit is presenting the “Who’s Got Next Hip Hop Conference” – a conference dedicated to showcasing and educating up-and-coming hip hop and R&B artists in the greater Detriot area.  This inaugural music conference takes place on Sunday, October 14 and will feature educational music industry panels as well as a variety of performances from local breakout artists.  Artists will be selected to perform at the conference during 97.9 WJLB’s “Who’s Got Next?” open mic nights that take place every Wednesday at 311 Ultra Lounge. WJLB program director Nate Bell says, “The hip hop scene in Detroit is on fire right now.  We’re excited to bring our local artists, the community, and national label reps together to advance Detroit as a city and as a culture within the industry.  As the heritage urban stations in Detroit, artists continually come to us for resources on how to get their music played and we want to help.”

Monday, September 10, 2018

| September 10, 2018

iHeartMedia Reports July Financial Figures.  As is required by the US Bankruptcy Court, iHeartMedia has been filing its 8-K form with the US Securities and Exchange Commission each month that provides basic financial information.  The latest monthly operating report for July 2018 shows revenue was $281.1 million, an 8.4% decrease from the June 2018 period where that figure was $305.9 million. However, net income was $55.2 million, a change from June’s loss of $119.7 million.  During July, the company’s payments to professionals leaped from $1.4 million the month prior to $15.7 million.

WPG, Atlantic City Unveils New Programming. Atlantic City news/talk WPGG-AM/W281BH announces a new program lineup that includes the addition of the Compass Media Networks-syndicated “Markley and Van Camp” program – hosted by Jamie Markley and David Van Camp – in the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm slot.  Also, Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo’s San Antonio-based syndicated program is added for the 12:00 midnight to 2:00 am program.  The Townsquare Media station says it has enhanced its weekend programming with the addition of Radio America’s Dana LoeschFOX News Radio’s Todd Starnes, Compass Media Networks’ Lars Larson, and Westwood One’s Walter Sterling.  The station is also beefing up its news reporting with newscasts four times per hour during middays.

Judge Denies Craig Carton’s Request to Keep Documents from Prosecutors.  New York radio personality Craig Carton’s attorneys wanted to submit required documents (detailing subpoenas) only to Judge Colleen McMahon and away from the prosecutors charging Carton with fraud in the trial that will get underway on October 29.  The argument from Carton’s side was that his defense team’s strategy would be revealed to prosecutors.  But Judge McMahon cited Carton’s own words in The New York Post in shooting down that request.  She said the defense’s strategy to argue that Carton was running a legitimate ticket business and was duped by associate Joe Meli is already public knowledge because Carton said as much in a story in the Post.  In that story, Carton said, “I’m not pleading to anything because I firmly believe that when the facts come out, you’ll see I was running a legitimate, legal business.” The September 6 Post story by Kaja Whitehouse reports that Carton’s lawyer will argue that Carton “was a professional gambler who placed bets at casinos around the world on behalf of investors — not someone who used investor money to pay off his own gambling debts, as the feds have charged.”

Joe Benigno Returns to WFAN Air.  Midday sports talk personality Joe Benigno was back on WFAN, New York after being off the air since July in the aftermath of being named in a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a former sales exec who worked at WFAN when it was owned by CBS RADIOLauren Lockwood’s suit alleges a frat house-like atmosphere at WFAN – an allegation current owner Entercom denies.  She further alleges that Benigno propositioned her to take part in threesomes and that he carried out an affair with a female subordinate.  Benigno said he couldn’t talk about the suit but thanked his wife, PD Mark Chernoff, and Entercom executives before getting back to sports talk with co-host Evan Roberts.

Westwood One Announces News Additions. News pro Linda Kenyon joins Westwood One News as a full-time Washington correspondent. She was most recently with Salem Radio Network News covering congress. At the same time, WWO announces that Bob Costantini is now White House correspondent. Kenyon comes to Westwood One with more than 25 years of broadcast news experience.  She has served as a Capitol Hill correspondent, White House correspondent, anchor, and general assignment reporter, writer and editor at three national news networks, including the Associated Press and Salem.  Costantini has been covering Capitol Hill and other beats since joining Westwood One in 2015.  His career includes reporting for FOX News Channel, Tribune Television, NBC News Radio, and CNN Radio.

Beasley Names Gregg Stiansen NSM for New Jersey Group.  Sales pro Gregg Stiansen comes to Beasley Media Group from his most recent position with Salem Media Group in Philadelphia to take on the national sales manager position for the company’s New Jersey stations, including news/talk WCTC, New Brunswick.  Beasley SVP and regional market manager Dan Finn says, “Gregg is a perfect fit for Beasley Media Group New Jersey.  He is synonymous with New Jersey radio, especially on the national front.  Gregg understands the uniqueness of the job and we’re confident he will hit the ground running in his new position.”

Ivy Savoy-Smith Promoted to VP/Director of Sales for Entercom Washington DC. Rising from director of local sales for the company’s hip hop WPGC and Spanish pop WLZL in Washington, DC is Ivy Savoy-Smith, who is now vice president and director of sales for Entercom Washington’s cluster that also includes sports talk WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan.” Senior vice president and market manager Phil Zachary states, “Ivy is a natural leader who has embraced every challenge and earned the respect and admiration of her colleagues and her competitors.  Those privileged to benefit from Ivy’s mentorship are not only better professionals but better people, and her positive influence casts a wide net across the region and the industry.  I can’t think of a better person to lead DC’s elite radio and digital marketing team.”

Cooke: Podcast Listeners Like Booze.  Media consultant Holland Cooke writes today citing Edison Research and Nielsen Audio data that indicates avid fans of podcasting are consumers of spirits. Of all of the product categories that moved podcast listeners, liquor is one that was either tops or close to tops for many of the podcast categories cited.  See Holland Cooke’s piece here.

TALKERS News Notes. WKNR, Cleveland sports talk personality Aaron Goldhammer said back in April that he’d eat horse poop if the Cleveland Browns chose Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield with the first pick of the draft.  Well, they did and last week Goldhammer followed through on his promise (pictured here).  WKRC-TV has the story here…..A more appetizing story from Cleveland comes courtesy of iHeartMedia as its news/talk WTAM adds an FM translator to its broadcast as W295DE at 106.9 FM begins carrying the signal.  The 195-watt translator gives the station an FM presence in the central Cleveland area. iHeartMedia North Ohio president Keith Hotchkiss says, “As the need for accurate news and information increases, we’re proud to be able to share the great reporting, content, and sports play-by-play with listeners on the FM dial.  And listeners all over the US can always hear WTAM on the free iHeartRadio app and more than 200 devices and smart speakers.  Quite simply, WTAM is everywhere, as it should be.”…..For people who love podcasts and fly Southwest Airlines, iHeartMedia has good news: iHeartRadio Podcasts are now available on all Southwest Airlines in-flight entertainment experience portals. Passengers can now not only listen to their favorite iHeartRadio music but can now also choose from iHeartRadio’s massive library of podcasts from 35,000 feet in the air – without purchasing WiFi!

Trump-Russia Investigation, NYT Opinion Piece/Woodward Book, Obama Campaign Speech, Trump vs Google, China’s Anti-Religion Actions, Les Moonves Resignation, Hurricane Florence Threat, NFL’s Opening Weekend, and MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump administration operatives and Russia agents; the controversy surrounding the anonymous op-ed piece the NYT says was written by an administration official and the new Bob Woodward book about the Trump White House; President Obama’s campaign speech in Illinois criticizing the Trump administration; President Trump’s battle with Google and the possibility of a GOP-led look into the company’s practices; reports of China’s crackdown on churches and mosques; CBS chief Les Moonves resigns in the wake of sexual misbehavior allegations; Hurricane Florence threatens the East Coast; the opening weekend of the NFL season; and the Major League Baseball playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Country radio pro Rod Phillips is promoted to executive vice president of country programming strategy for iHeartMedia.  The company says that in his new role, Phillips will continue to lead the Nashville-based iHeartCountry team in overseeing iHeartMedia’s country formats and further extend the company’s country brands across the broadcast, digital, social, and live events platforms.  He will continue to guide and develop the company’s roster of country programmers and on-air talent, as well as book artists and produce events for iHeartMedia including the iHeartCountry Music Festival.  He will also continue to head up iHeartCountry’s music discovery and emerging artist initiatives, including the Artist Integration Program and the On the Verge program, that has played a key role in breaking artists such Granger Smith, Maren Morris, Luke Combs, Lauren Alaina, Devin DawsonCarly Pearce, and Morgan Evans…..iHeartMedia’s Dallas classic rock KZPS “Lone Star 92.5” announces that Bo Roberts and Jim White, hosts of “The Bo and Jim Show,” are being inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame.  Roberts and White will officially be inducted on November 3, 2018.  iHeartMedia region president Kelly Kibler says, “Bo and Jim are true radio legends but more than that, they are outstanding people.”

August 2018 PPM Data – Part Four. August 2018 ratings information has been released for Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s August 2018 survey period covered July 19 – August 15. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM-markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

Austin

Spoken-Word Formats – On top in both May (with 8.2 that month its best 6+-showing since November 2016’s 9.0) and July, University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talker KUT erodes by one full-share in August (8.1 – 7.1, 6+) and segues from first to second. Immediately in advance of being a combined +1.0 in January and February (6.5 – 7.2 – 7.5, 6+), KUT was -1.4 as the result of three straight decreases (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.8 – 6.5, 6+). Albeit flat at #10, Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590 AM” is up two-tenths to 4.4, its highest 6+-share since March (4.6). Three straight increases by KLBJ-AM prior to April’s -.5 resulted in a +1.8 (2.8 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.6, 6+). Just prior to that streak, “News Radio 590 AM” was -1.3 in four straight decreases (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+). Genuine Austin Radio sports talk KTXX “The Horn,” off nine-tenths in July after being up one-half share in June, gains one-tenth (2.3 – 1.4 – 1.5, 6+) and remains at #18. A one-tenth gain in May halted three straight January through April down or flat trends that accounted for a -.3 (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+). The March 2018 – August 2018 topline for iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” is .5 – .3 – .3 – .5 – .5 – .5, flat at #24 (6+). Its +.2 in June halted four straight down or flat trends that accounted for a 50% loss (-.3) of its 6+-share (.6 – .6 – .5 – .3 – .3, 6+).

Austin Music Formats – A July -1.1 (5.8 – 4.7, 6+) by Entercom hot AC KAMX completely erased a collective +1.1 in April, May, and June (4.7 – 5.1 – 5.2 – 5.8, 6+), but “Mix 94.7” responds in August with a gain of seven-tenths (5.4, seventh to fifth, 6+). June 2018’s 5.8 is its strongest 6+-stat in seven years (6.1, August 2011). Improving by seven-tenths as well is KLZT “107.1 La Z” (4.4 – 5.1, eighth to seventh, 6+). KLZT was off one full-share in June, following a May increase of six-tenths to 5.3 – the highest 6+-stat for the Emmis regional Mexican station since November 2017’s 5.4. A one-half share increase (6.2 – 6.7, 6+) takes Entercom hot AC KKMJ “Majic 95.5” to its strongest 6+-stat (6.7, steady at #3) since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.4. In five straight sweeps without a loss (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+) University of Texas at Austin-owned triple A KUTX “98.9 The Austin Music Experience” has improved by a cumulative six-tenths and climbs from  #16 to #14. Despite a loss of two-tenths to 7.3 (6+), Emmis adult hits KBPA “103.5 Bob FM” advances from second to first. It was a brief one-month (June) stay at #1 for “Bob,” which – in July – returned all of June’s +.6 (7.5 – 8.1 – 7.5, 6+). On top four months in a row, Austin’s version of “Bob” segued to second in May, owing to a massive -1.4 (8.9 – 7.5, 6+); KBPA was +1.0 in April. Prior to picking up one-tenth in March, “Bob” was -.6 (February); +1.7 (January); and -1.7 (“Holiday” 2017). In four straight downward trends, iHeartMedia-owned country KVET-FM (fourth to eighth) is an overall -1.7 (6.4 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 5.6 – 4.7, 6+). While April’s +1.1 enabled KVET-FM to notch its best 6+-stat since last December’s 6.2, this (4.7) is its lowest 6+-performance in over two years (4.6, April 2016). As it is in August, “The Austin Texas Original” was -.9 in February. It is overtaken by co-owned and similarly-formatted KASE, which was -.5 (May); +.5 (June); -.5 (July) and now +.4 in August (5.6 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 5.1 – 5.5, sixth to fourth, 6+). Immediately before May’s one-half share decline, “Austin’s #1 For New Country” was +1.7 in four straight upticks (3.9 – 4.6 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.6, 6+). Racking up a +.7 in January ended three consecutive decreases for an overall -1.2 (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+). KASE and KVET-FM were tied for fifth in March (5.3, 6+). Meanwhile, Genuine Austin Radio-owned KOKE “Austin’s Country Alternative” picks up two-tenths to 1.0 (#23 to #21, 6+), halting three straight dips that produced a -.6 (1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1 – .8, 6+). Forfeiting in full July’s +.5, Crista Media contemporary Christian KFMK (2.4 – 2.9 – 2.4, 6+) slips from #13 #14. Prior to July, “Spirit 105.9” logged a 2.4 in three of the previous four survey periods (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.4, 6+); July’s 2.9 is its best 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 3.1. Univision Radio-owned Spanish adult hits KLJA “Amor 107.7” is an overall -1.0 in five straight down or flat trends (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+) and drops from #18 to #19.

Raleigh

Spoken-Word Formats – Three consecutive significate fluctuations have University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” going from third to first in June (+9); first to third in July (-1.1); and third to first in August (7.6 – 8.8, +1.2, 6+). Prior to that, WUNC was -1.0 in April. January 2018’s 9.1 is its strongest 6+-share since January 2014’s 9.4. WUNC fell to third-place in “Holiday” 2017 after four consecutive months in the runner-up slot. Off three-tenths and slipping from eighth to ninth, iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK “106.1 Stay Connected” logs a 5.1 for the third time in the last five ratings periods (5.1 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 5.4 – 5.1, 6+). Its +.4 in July curtailed three down or flat trends that produced a loss of three tenths (5.3 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.0, 6+), while an April decline of two-tenths ended three consecutive upticks that yielded a +1.5 (3.8 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.3, 6+). Just before that, WTKK was -1.4 via three straight decreases (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 3.8, 6+). Steady at #19, Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF “News Radio 680” is up by a collective half-share in six straight sweeps without a loss (1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5, 6+). In May, WPTF finished at #18, but prior to that, it occupied the #19 slot for nine straight sweeps. As a result of three losses in a row, Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC “99.9 The Fan” has surrendered more than 50% (-2.1) of its 6+-share (3.9 – 2.6 – 2.0 – 1.8, #14 to #16, 6+). Raleigh’s “Fan” was -1.3 in January; +.5 in March; -.5 in April; +.5 in May; -1.3 in June; and -.6 in July.

Raleigh Music Formats – Consistently within 4.5 – 4.8 range between “Holiday” 2017 and July 2018 (4.5 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WRDU erupts with a +1.5 to 6.2 (6+), jumping from tenth to sixth. This marks the first time that “Classic Rock 100.7” has reached the six-share level (6+) in almost three years (6.1, October 2015). Nearly slicing in half July’s -1.3 (7.7 – 6.4, 6+) with a +.6 to 7.0 (6+), Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL progresses from fifth to fourth. “Mix 101.5” was a collective +2.6 via three major April, May, and June improvements (5.1 – 5.8 – 7.1 – 7.7, 6+). That streak, however, was immediately preceded by three negative moves in succession that accounted for a roughly 50% decline (-5.3) in WRAL’s 6+-share (10.4 – 6.1 – 5.4 – 5.1, 6+). June’s 7.7 is its strongest 6+-showing since 10.4 in “Holiday” 2017. In the market’s country race, Curtis Media Group’s WQDR “94.7 QDR Today’s Best Country” is a collective -1.2 in three straight downward moves (8.1 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 6.9, fourth to fifth, 6+), whereas iHeartMedia-owned WNCB “B-93.9 #1 For New Country” (#13 to #12) is up six-tenths through four straight (modest) increases (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3, 6+). Following a string of six straight up or flat trends that generated a +3.1 (5.9 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 7.6 – 9.0, 6+) and enabled Radio One urban contemporary WQOK to leap from fifth to first in July, “K-97.5” drops three-tenths to 8.7 (6+) and shifts to second. Virtually erasing July’s increase of seven-tenths with an August -.6 (4.1 – 4.8 – 4.2, 6+), Curtis Media Group classic hits-oldies WKIX “Kix 102.9 Carolina’s Greatest Hits” exits the top ten (#9 to #11). Having posted a 6+-share between 3.0 – 3.9 in each of the last 13 sweeps, CHR cluster-mate WPLW “Pulse FM” is off by six-tenths as well to 2.8 (#12 to #13, 6+). A combined -1.1 in three straight down or flat trends (6.3 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.2, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WDCG “G-105 Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” slips from seventh to eighth.

Indianapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Not only is Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI a combined +1.8 in four straight increases (2.6 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.8 – 4.4, 6+), it enters the top ten (#12 to #10). WFYI was down seven-tenths in April and +1.1 in January. Recapturing two-tenths of July’s -.7 (6.0 – 6.2, 6+), Emmis news/talk WIBC “93.1 Indy’s News Center,” which posted a +1.1 in June, remains in sixth-place. Prior to May’s -.3, WIBC was a combined +2.5 via four straight positive spikes (3.4 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.6 – 5.9, 6+), preceded by an overall -1.8 in four straight downward moves (5.2 – 4.9 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Co-owned sports talk WFNI (#17 to #18) is a collective -.7 in five consecutive sweeps without an increase (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 1.6 – 1.6, 6+). Jumping ahead of it (#17 to #16) is iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station,” which notches a +.1 in back-to-back reports (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7, 6+). July’s +.1 ended three down or flat sweeps in succession for a loss of three-tenths (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+).

Indianapolis Music Formats – A combined -1.7 in June and July (4.9 – 4.3 – 3.2, 6+), Entercom hot AC WNTR “107.9 The Mix – Better Variety for a Better Workday” slices that deficit roughly in half in August with a +.9 to 4.1 (#14 to #12, 6+). Its +.6 in May stopped three downward moves in a row that accounted for a collective -1.2 (5.5 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+). It is a history-making month for Cumulus Media’s WJJK. In addition to repeating at #1, “Classic Hits 104.5” registers a +.7 to 8.6, the most potent 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history – and first time in eight-share range (6+). On top of that, this is WJJK’s third uptrend in a row for a cumulative +1.8 (6.8 – 7.3 – 7.9 – 8.6, 6+). Inching up from third to second, iHeartMedia-owned WFBQ “Q-95 – Indy’s Classic Rock” displays a one-half share increase to 7.4 (6+), thus wiping away a loss of three-tenths in three straight down or flat trends (7.2 – 7.0 – 7.0 – 6.9, 6+). While unchanged at #8, Entercom CHR WZPL “99.5 ZPL – Indy’s #1 Hit Music Station” is up one-tenth to 5.6 (6+), snapping at four a successive string of down or flat trends that led to an overall -2.0 (7.5 – 6.8 – 6.6 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+). On top in April, May, and June before being displaced by co-owned WJJK in July, Cumulus Media’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” is a cumulative -1.2 in July and August (8.2 – 7.7 – 7.0, second to third, 6+). July’s one-half share loss suspended four straight upticks that netted +2.3 (5.9 – 6.2 – 7.3 – 7.8 – 8.2, 6+). Prior to April, the last time WFMS reached #1 was November 2013; June’s 8.2 is its highest 6+-stat since 8.3 in October 2013. Its representative July 2017 – August 2018 fluctuations include: -.9 (July 2017); +.8 (August); +.5 (September); -.7 (October); +1.1 (November); -.9 (December); -.6 (“Holiday” 2017); -.5 (February 2018); +1.0 (April); +.5 (May); -.5 (July); and now -.7 (August). Four-tenths behind WFMS is Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM,” flat at 6.6 (6+) but slipping from fourth to fifth. In July, “Hank” regained four-tenths of June’s -.9. Immediately prior to that, WLHK was +1.6 in five consecutive monthlies without a loss (5.5 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.1, 6+). On the strength of a January gain of seven-tenths, “Hank” ended three straight down or flat sweeps that led to a -1.6 (7.1 – 7.1 – 6.4 – 5.5, 6+). May’s 7.1 is its strongest 6+-showing since 7.6 in September 2015. A collective +1.2 via four consecutive increases (4.7 – 4.8 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 5.9, 6+), Radio One rhythmic CHR WHHH “Hot 96.3” returns two-tenths to 5.7 but remains at #7 (6+). After logging a 1.3 (June, 6+) and .5 (#22, July, 6+), co-owned urban-rhythmic oldies WNOW-HD2 disappears from print in August.

Milwaukee

Spoken-Word Formats – Surrendering one-half share each and finishing third and fourth, respectively, are Scripps news/talk WTMJ “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” (7.8 – 7.3, second to third, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WISN “News/Talk 1130” (flat at #4, 6+). In April, Milwaukee Brewers flagship WTMJ more than doubled February’s +.9 with a whopping +1.9; two months later (June), WTMJ virtually eliminated May’s -.6 with a +.5. After posting a +.9 in May (6.8 – 7.7, 6+), WISN is a combined -1.5 in three decreases in succession (7.7 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 6.2, 6+). With downward trends in three straight January through April sweeps (8.4 – 8.3 – 7.5 – 6.8, 6+), “News Talk 1130” was an overall –1.6. Up one full-share in January, WISN was a combined -.9 in February and March. Anchored at #14, University of Wisconsin news/talk WUWM is within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 16th consecutive sweep (2.9 – 2.8, -.1, 6+). Immediately prior to June’s loss of one-tenth, WUWM was up eight-tenths in five sweeps in a row without a loss (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+). The March 2018 – August 2018 topline trending for Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” is 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.4 (unchanged at #16, 6+).

Milwaukee Music Formats – Significant wobbles continue for Saga Communications’ WKLH, which was -.9 (“Holiday” 2017); +.5 (January 2008); -.9 (February); +1.1 (March); -.5 (April); -.5 (May); +.9 in June; and now +1.2 in August (7.2 – 8.4, third to second); “96.5 Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” was a modest -.1 in July. Milwaukee Radio Alliance adult contemporary WLDB “B-93.3” tacks on eight-tenths to July’s +.3 (4.0 – 4.3 – 5.1, 6+) and moves from tenth to eighth. In the lead position for the 42nd consecutive ratings period, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” regains four-tenths of July’s -.7 (9.8 – 10.2, 6+). Prior to July’s decline, “Big FM” had been +1.7 in four straight February through June increases (8.8 – 9.4 – 9.9 – 10.3 – 10.5, 6+). Over the past 13 sweeps, WRIT has been in double-digits (6+) five times: November (10.0); “Holiday” 2017 (11.6); May (10.3); June (10.5); and August (10.2). The market’s (6+) country share deflates by seven-tenths as WRIT cluster-mate WMIL “FM 106.1 – Milwaukee’s Best Country” is down three-tenths (5.6 – 5.3, fifth to seventh, 6+), while Scripps’ WKTI “94.5 KTI Country” dips four-tenths to 3.8 (6+), but stays at #11. WMIL rebounded from June’s -1.0 with a +.5 in July. Prior to June’s loss, “FM 106.1 – Milwaukee’s Best Country” was a cumulative +2.5 in five straight “Holiday” 2017 through May 2018 increases (3.6 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.4 – 5.5 – 6.1, 6+). Entering the August sweep, WKTI had been within 4.0 – 4.4 range the past six months (4.0 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2, February through July, 6+). Its +.6 in February interrupted six successive down or flat survey periods for a collective -1.4 (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Even though Entercom CHR WXSS posts its third gain in succession for an overall +.9 (4.1 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+) and has its best 6+-showing (5.0) since December 2016’s 5.5, “103.7 Kiss FM” backslides from eighth to ninth. At the same time, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WRNW “97.3 Now” (flat at #15) is without an increase for the third straight month for an overall -.8 (3.1 – 2.7 – 2.4 – 2.3, 6+). Through six straight February through August down or flat trends (1.0 – .8 – .7 – .6 – .6 – .5 – .4, 6+), Milwaukee Radio Alliance classic hits-oldies WZTI has eroded by more than 50% (-.6, 6+), as “Fonz FM” drops out of the top twenty (#20 to #21).

Nashville

Spoken-Word Formats – A combined -.9 in five straight down or flat trends (5.3 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.4, 6+), Nashville Public Radio news/talk/classical hybrid WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” improves by one-half share to 4.9 (ninth to seventh, 6+). January’s full-share gain ended three decreases in succession that resulted in a -2.4 (6.4 – 5.7 – 4.6 – 4.0, 6+). WPLN-FM was +1.2 in October 2017 to 6.4, its best 6+-share in the PPM-era. Without an increase the past six monthlies for a -3.5 (6.5 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 3.0, 6+), Cumulus Media sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” trots out a +.6 to 3.6 (#13 to #11, 6+). “The Zone” followed “Holiday” 2017’s loss of six-tenths with a January gain of nine-tenths. It trails co-owned news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” (3.5 – 3.8, +.3, #12 to #10, 6+) by two-tenths. Entering the August ratings period, “Super Talk” had a fluctuation of two-tenths in April, May, June, and July (3.5 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+). January’s half-share improvement halted three straight declines that yielded a -2.0 (5.0 – 4.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+). With a (6+) high of 1.4 and low of .8, the topline May 2017 – August 2018 trending for iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC “Talk Radio 1510” (#18 to #20, 6+) is 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.2 – .8. Flat at #21, Cromwell Group-owned sports talk WPRT “102.5 The Game” is an overall -1.9 in four straight decreases – three of which are by one-tenth (2.6 – 2.5 – .9 – .8 – .7, 6+); “The Game” recorded a +.7 in April.

Nashville Music Formats – In addition to notching its fourth straight uptick that has a produced an overall +1.5 (6.3 – 6.4 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.8, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WNRQ “105.9 The Rock – Nashville’s Classic Rock” marches from fourth to second with its best 6+-stat since January (7.8, as well). Nearly two full-shares ahead of WNRQ is Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” (8.8 – 9.7, +.9, 6+), which is #1 for the seventh month in a row. “Mix,” which was +1.0 in June and -.5 in May, ranked first in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017. It shifted to second in January, but returned to #1 in February. The last five 6+-stats for iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUBT are 7.5 – 7.1 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 7.3, but with a loss of seven-tenths in August to 6.6 (6+), “101.1 The Beat” (third to fifth) has its lowest 6+-showing since February (6.7, as well). The market’s (July to August, 6+) country share is off seven-tenths, compared to -1.4 (June to July, 6+). Improving by four-tenths (6.2 – 6.6, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” advances from sixth to fifth. “Nash Icon” faltered by one-half share in April, following March’s -.3. A January and February +1.9 (4.2 – 5.6 – 6.1, 6+) erased its -1.7 from December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.9 – 5.6 – 4.2, 6+). Without an increase for the fourth sweep in succession, iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” (eighth to ninth) is a collective -1.6 since April (5.9 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 4.3, 6+) and has its lowest 6+-stat (4.3) since “Holiday” 2017 (4.1). “The Big 98” registered a +.6 in February; -.5 in March; and +.6 in April. Its +1.1 in January ended three straight setbacks that accounted for a -1.4 (5.5 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.1, 6+). Following three straight up or flat trends that netted a +1.1 (3.5 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.6, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” is a combined -1.0 in July and August (4.6 – 3.8 – 3.6, flat at #11, 6+). “Nash FM” was off a collective -1.5 (5.0 – 4.7 – 3.5, January – February – March, 6+) and then stuck on 4.0 (6+) in April and May.

Providence

Spoken-Word Formats – Erasing July’s -.6 with an August +.7 (3.4 – 4.1, 6+), Entercom sports talk WVEI climbs from eighth to seventh. In advance of July’s decrease, WVEI was a collective +1.2 in three upticks in a row (2.8 – 3.4 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+). Similarly, as it entered the February sweep, WVEI was an overall +1.8 via three consecutive up or flat trends (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 5.0, 6+). It then , however, was a cumulative -2.2 in February and March (5.0 – 3.6 – 2.8, 6+). Notwithstanding that it gains three-tenths to 4.0 (6+), thus ending three straight sweeps without an increase for a -1.0 (4.7 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM “News Talk 630” backslides from seventh to eighth. May’s eight-tenths’ loss wiped out the eight-tenths it collected via three consecutive upticks (3.9 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.7, 6+). When WPRO-AM lost one-tenth in January, it curtailed four straight upward moves of two-tenths each, for a collective +.8 (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+). The combination of WGBH Educational Foundation news/talk WGBH gaining four-tenths (1.8 – 2.2, #11 to #10, 6+) and The Wheeler School’s news/talk WELH dropping two-tenths (#10 to #11, 6+) results in the two swapping places. Immediately prior to the May sweep, these two outlets finished back-to-back four straight times and were tied in May at #10. WELH is -.5 in six straight sweeps without an increase (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+). A two-tenths’ improvement to 1.3 (#16 to #14, 6+) by iHeartMedia news/talk WHJJ applies the brakes to five straight decreases that accounted for an overall loss of nine-tenths (2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.3 – 1.1, 6+). That streak started immediately after “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” picked up six-tenths in February. Originating from Boston, co-owned WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” appears again in the Providence report, following an approximately 6.5-year absence: Its four latest 6+-stats in the Rhode Island metro are 1.4 – .8 – .8 – 1.0 (flat at #18). One-half share behind WBZ-AM is Cumulus Media-owned WPRV, whose January 2018 – August 2018 topline is .4 – .5 – .6 – .5 – .6 – .6 -.6 – .5 (6+); “AM 790 Talk & Business” remains at #20.

Providence Music Formats – After being down seven-tenths in July, Cumulus Media CHR WPRO-FM racks up a positive spike of one full-share to 9.1, its best 6+-showing in more than a year (9.1, as well, in June 2017). Moreover, “92 PRO FM – Today’s Hit Music,” which had been within 8.1 – 8.8 range (6+) in each of the previous five sweeps (8.1 – 8.7 – 8.5 – 8.8 – 8.1, 6+), progresses from fourth to second. An increase of one-tenth (9.9 – 10.0, 6+) is enough to propel adult contemporary cluster-mate WWLI from the runner-up slot to #1. “Lite Rock 105,” which has been in double-digits (6+) in ten of the last 16 sweeps, was on top in May and June, with June’s 10.3 its highest 6+-stat since 12.3 in “Holiday” 2017. Dislodged at #1 and tumbling to #4 is Hall Communications’ WCTK (10.1 – 7.9, -2.2, 6+). The -2.2 in August negatives a healthy chunk of the +2.9 “Cat Country 98.1” garnered in seven straight sweeps without a decrease (7.2 – 7.4 – 7.5 – 8.3 – 8.3 – 8.8 – 9.8 – 10.1, 6+) and is the largest (6+) July 2018 – August 2018 decrease by any station in the 48 PPM-markets. July’s 10.1 marked the first time WCTK reached double-digits (6+) since March 2012 (10.0). Consistently posting a 6+-share between 9.0 – 9.8 since December 2017 ( 9.5 – 9.2 – 9.5 – 9.6 – 9.2 – 9.4 – 9.0 – 9.8 – 9.5, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WHJY “94 HJY Providence’s Home of Rock & Roll” (flat at #3) erodes by -1.2 to 8.3, its lowest 6+-stat since July 2017 (8.3, as well). Spiraling by eight-tenths each are WHJY’s classic hits-oldies and hot AC siblings WWBB “B-101” (7.3, fourth to fifth, 6+) and WSNE “Coast 93.3” (4.5, flat at #6, 6+). Entering the August sweep, “B-101” was +.3.1 in five upticks in a row (5.0 – 5.9 – 6.5 – 6.9 – 7.2 – 8.1, 6+) and reached the eight-share level (8.1, July 2018) for the first time in nearly three years (August 2015, 8.0). The last three fluctuations for “Coast 93.3” are -1.2 (June); +1.1 (July); and now August’s -.8 (5.4 – 4.2 – 5.3 – 4.5, 6+). June’s large decrease directly followed three upticks in a row that netted seven-tenths (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.4, 6+). A combined -1.8 in four straight monthlies without an increase (2.8 – 2.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.0, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting Spanish tropical WKKB is up one-tenth to 1.1 (#17 to #16, 6+); “Latina 100.3” was a cumulative +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018. Down one-half share each are Townsquare Media CHR WFHN “Fun 107 – The Southcoast’s #1 Hit Music Station” (1.7 – 1.2, #12 to #15, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned WCIB “Cool 102 – Cape Cod’s Classic Rock Station” (1.6 – 1.1, #13 to #16, 6+) – both re-appearing in the Providence report in July 2018 after a roughly 6.5-year absence.

Norfolk – It is yet another history-setting month for Entercom urban AC WVKL “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today,” which is a collective +3.4 in five straight increases (12.1 – 12.3 – 13.2 – 14.3 – 14.6 – 15.5, 6+) and posts a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 29th time in the last 30 sweeps. On top of that, it is #1 for the 21st time in a row and – with a 15.5 – sets the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era, breaking the old mark of 14.6 (6+) WVKL tied this time last month (July 2018). CHR sibling WNVZ “Z-104” continues its own positive string by being a collective +1.2 in four straight sweeps without a loss (4.1 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 5.3, sixth to fifth, 6+). In addition, August’s 5.3 is its highest 6+-share in more than four years (5.4, May 2014). Conversely, Saga Communications’ classic rock WAFX “106.9 The Fox” is a cumulative -1.8 via four dips in succession (7.1 – 6.7 – 6.0 – 5.9 – 5.3, 6+) and is tied with WNVZ at #5. When “The Fox” dropped four-tenths in May, it halted three upticks in a row that netted +2.4 (4.7 – 5.9 – 6.3 – 6.4 – 7.1, 6+). An overall +1.3 in June and July (5.0 – 5.5 – 6.3, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WWDE “101.3 2WD” drops one-tenth to 6.2 but carries on in third-place. Just prior to May’s -1.1, WWDE posted three upticks in succession that generated a +1.8 (4.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.1, 6+). After losing 86% of its 6+-share (-4.3) through seven successive sweeps without an increase, (5.0 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .9 – .7, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMOV “Movin’ 107.7” picks up three-tenths in August (1.0 #12 to #11, 6+). While flat at #4, Saga Communications’ WNOR “99 Rocks” is -2.3 in three straight declines (8.3 – 7.3 – 6.1 – 6.0, 6+); this is the lowest 6+-showing for WNOR since “Holiday” 2017 (6.0, as well). Up a combined six-tenths in May and June (.9 – 1.0 – 1.5, 6+), Norfolk State University urban contemporary WNSB “Hot 91.1” erases  that gain completely in July and August (1.5 – 1.0 – .9, #11 to #12, 6+). Entering the May sweep, “Hot” was without a gain for seven successive ratings periods for a roughly 50% loss (-.8) of its 6+-share (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .9, 6+). Similarly, Entercom hot AC WPTE “94.9 The Point” (unchanged at #7) was +1.0 in back-to-back sweeps, (2.9 – 2.6 – 3.9, April-May-June, 6+), but hands back 90% of that increase (-.9) in July and August (3.9 – 3.4 – 3.0, 6+).

Greensboro

Spoken-Word Formats – Despite adding two-tenths (4.1 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” backslides from ninth to tenth. WPTI posted a gain of two-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (3.8 – 4.0 – 4.2, April – May – June, 6+), before dropping one-tenth in July. Its +.2 in May ended three decreases in succession that produced a cumulative -2.1 (5.9 – 5.2 – 4.6 – 3.8, 6+). For the fourth sweep in succession, Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC finish at #13 and #14, respectively. WFDD is up one-tenth to 2.1 (6+), suspending at four a consecutive string of down or flat monthlies for an overall -.5 (2.5 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+). The May 2018 through August 2018 topline for WUNC is 1.1 – 1.0 – .9 – 1.0 (6+). Prior to April, WUNC registered a .9 (6+) in three of the previous four sweeps (.9 – .9 – 1.1 – .9, 6+). In five straight down or flat sweeps, Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS has lost 75% (-.6) of its 6+ AQH share (.8 – .6 – .5 – .4 – .2 – .2, 6+) and stays at #16. Immediately before that, owing to three straight increases, “Triad Sports” quadrupled its 6+-share (.2 – .3 – .6 – .8, 6+).

Greensboro Music Formats – With a March 2018 through July 2018 topline of 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 3.6 (6+), iHeartMedia rock WVBZ “105.7 Man Up!” breaks out a .9 to 4.5 (tenth to ninth) and has its best 6+-showing since November 2017’s 4.9. Anchored at #12, CHR cluster-mate WMKS “100.3 Kiss FM All the Hits,” a collective -1.4 in three downward moves in a row (4.1 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 2.7, 6+), is up two-tenths in August to 2.9 (6+). Immediately prior to April, “Kiss” was +1.5 as the result of six successive sweeps without a loss (2.6 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.1, 6+). Albeit -1.7 in four straight decreases (12.2 – 12.0 – 11.2 – 10.9 – 10.5, 6+) Entercom urban AC WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” is #1 for the eighth straight sweep and is in double-digits (6+) for the 22nd time in succession. WQMG was -1.1 in March, but then +1.2 in April. In the runner-up slot for the eighth consecutive time, co-owned adult hits WSMW “98.7 Simon Says We Play Everything” is off three-tenths to 9.7 (6+). A July gain of nine-tenths halted five consecutive decreases that generated a -2.5 in (11.6 – 11.4 – 10.4 – 10.3 – 9.4 – 9.1, 6+). Wiping away July’s -.3 with an August +.4 (6.9 – 7.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WTQR “Q-104.1 – #1 for New Country” jumps from fifth to third. July’s decrease ended its streak of three straight upticks for an overall +2.3 (4.9 – 5.0 – 6.2 – 7.2, 6+); June’s 7.2 is the highest 6+-share for “Q-104.1” since October 2017’s 7.3. Meanwhile, Entercom’s similarly-formatted WPAW levels off at 5.6 (steady at #7, 6+), following July’s +.9 (4.7 – 5.6, 6+); “93.1 The Wolf” spiraled by -1.5 in June (6.2 – 4.7, 6+). Immediately prior to that loss, “The Wolf was +1.1 (May) and -.9 (April), with April’s decrease curtailing three successive upticks that accounted for an overall gain of seven-tenths (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.8 – 6.0, 6+). May’s 6.2 is the highest 6+-share for “The Wolf” since October 2017’s 7.1. After a lengthy hiatus, Dick Broadcasting cluster-mates WKRR “Rock 92” and CHR WKZL 107.5 KZL – The #1 Hit Music Station” recently returned in print. The February through August topline for “Rock 92” is 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 6.3 – 5.9 – 6.6 – 5.7, unchanged at #6, (6+) for a collective +.6, while WKZL is 4.0 – 5.4 – 5.0 – 4.3 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.6 (flat at #8, 6+) and an overall -.6 in that same timeframe.

West Palm Beach

Spoken-Word Formats – Down or flat the past three ratings periods for a -.6 (2.1 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WZZR “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk for the Palm Beaches” bounces back with an August +.5 to 2.0 (#16 to #13). “Real Radio” posted a +.3 in April, stopping four consecutive down or flat trends that resulted in a -.9 (2.7 – 2.3 – 2.1- 2.1 – 1.8, 6+). Out of Miami, co-owned news/talk WIOD is trending 1.1 – .9 – 1.0 (#19, 6+) as it returns to print in West Palm Beach. Clumped together are Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN, which regains the two-tenths it lost in July (3.1 – 2.9 – 3.1, flat at #9, 6+); iHeartMedia news/talk WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” (2.9 – 2.3, -.6, ninth to tenth, 6+); and Alpha Media’s WFTL “News Talk 850,” which gains two-tenths for the third month in a row (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.3, #11 to #10, 6+). The -.6 by WJNO halts four straight up or flat trends that netted nine-tenths (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 2.9, 6+). Before posting a +.3 in April, WJNO was a collective -1.3 via four successive decreases (3.3 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.1 – 2.0, 6+). A June slip of four-tenths by WLRN ended five consecutive up or flat monthlies that generated a +1.2 (2.3 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+). WFTL had been +1.0 in four straight “Holiday” 2017 through April 2018 sweeps without a loss (1.0 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 2.0, 6+). Sports talk sibling WMEN “Sports Radio 640 The Hurricane” – up seven-tenths in four straight increases (.1 – .2 – .3 – .5 – .8, 6+) – has its 6+-share sliced in half in August to .4 and is flat at #22 (6+).

West Palm Beach Music Formats – After logging five successive sweeps without an increase that accounted for a loss of one full-share (4.9 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+), Alpha Media-owned WIRK “Country 103.1” obliterates that deficit completely with a +1.2 to 5.1 – its best 6+-stat since June 2017 – and advances from sixth to fourth. Even though iHeartMedia classic rock WKGR answers July’s -1.1 with an August gain of one-half share (4.1 – 4.6, 6+), “Gater 98.7” backslides from fifth to sixth; July’s 6+-showing was its lowest since April 2016 (4.1, as well). Spanish contemporary cluster-mate WRLX “Mia 92.1” (#14 to #12) is up one-half share to 2.1, its strongest 6+-stat since February (2.1, as well). A combined +.4 in three straight up or flat trends (9.0 – 9.3 – 9.3 – 9.4, 6+), Alpha Media hot AC WRMF sets the pace for the eighth month in a row. When “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” logged a +.3 in June, it pulled the plug on three straight decreases that produced a collective -1.2 (10.2 – 9.9 – 9.2 – 9.0, 6+). Prior to January’s +1.6, WRMF was down or flat in three consecutive ratings periods for an overall -3.0 (11.2 – 11.2 – 8.9 – 8.2, 6+). It spent 12 consecutive ratings periods on top before dropping to the runner-up slot in “Holiday” 2017. Down by -1.6 in May and June (4.3 – 3.1 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WLDI “Wild 95.5” responds with a collective +1.3 in July and August (2.7 – 3.8 – 4.0, flat at #7, 6+). In the market’s adult contemporary battle, Alpha Media’s WEAT “Sunny 107.9” is up four-tenths after July’s half-share loss (4.4 – 4.8 fifth to fourth, 6+), while iHeartMedia-owned WOLL “Today’s Kool 105.5” dips two-tenths (6.3 – 6.1, steady at #2, 6+). July’s 4.4 by “Sunny” was its lowest 6+-showing since October 2017’s 4.1. Frozen on 5.9 (6+) in April and May, after having climbed to 6.9 in March, “Kool” was +.6 in June. Prior to April, it was +2.0 in three consecutive upticks (4.9 – 5.4 – 6.4 – 6.9, 6+).

Jacksonville

Spoken-Word Formats – A one-half share gain in August by Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV (8.7 – 9.2, 6+) nearly erases July’s -.7; “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” continues in the runner-up slot. Immediately in advance of July’s decline, WOKV was +2.1 in three upticks in a row (7.3 – 8.2 – 9.3 – 9.4, 6+). Four straight negative trends (9.7 – 8.5 – 7.7 – 7.0 – 6.9, 6+) accounted for a -2.8, but WOKV wiped out nearly half that margin in January and February (6.9 – 8.1 – 8.2, +1.2, 6+). Off nine-tenths in March, WOKV was #1 in May. Anchored at #12, public news/talk WJCT has a very steady January 2018 – August 2018 topline: 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.4 (6+). WJCT was a combined +.9 in January and February (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.5, 6+) with January’s +.4 halting five straight down or flat sweeps for a collective -.7 (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.6, 6+). Up two-tenths to .5 – its best 6+-stat since January’s .7 – iHeartMedia sports talk WFXJ “Sports Radio 930” climbs from #20 to #19.

Jacksonville Music Formats – A collective -1.2 in three straight down or flat trends (4.6 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 3.4, 6+), Cox Media Group adult contemporary WEZI makes up two-thirds of the deficit with a +.8 to 4.2 (6+) as “Easy 102.9” returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). More than six full-shares ahead of “Easy” though is Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WEJZ (10.3 – 10.6, +.3, 6+), which is #1 for the third month in a row and in double-digits (6+) for the same number of successive months. This (10.6) is the best 6+-showing for “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” since “Holiday” 2017’s 11.9. A loss of two-tenths in May knocked WJEZ (which was +1.4 in June) from first after just a one-month stay on top; it was #1 in “Holiday” 2017 and February 2018. Having recorded a March 2018 through July 2018 topline of 3.5 – 3.1 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.9 (6+), iHeartMedia CHR WKSL “97.9 Kiss-FM” dials up a one-half share increase to 4.4 (ninth to eighth), its strongest 6+-share since January’s 4.7. Dropping from second to third, Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL “96.9 The Eagle” was -.5 in June; +.8 in July; and now -.7 in August (8.7 – 8.0, 6+). Immediately in advance of June’s one-half share loss, “The Eagle” was a combined +1.8 in five straight up or flat trends (6.6 – 7.1 – 7.7 – 8.2 – 8.2 – 8.4, 6+). It is even more of an up/down affair for iHeartMedia urban contemporary WJBT “93.3 The Beat,” which was off a cumulative -1.0 in March and April (5.2 – 4.6 – 4.2, 6+); +.8 in May; -.5 in June; +1.0 in July; and now -.4 in August (5.5 – 5.1, flat at #6, 6+). July 2018’s 5.5 is the highest 6+-share for “The Beat” since June 2017’s 5.6. Down three-tenths (7.1 – 6.8, 6+) iHeartMedia-owned WQIK “99.1 Jacksonville’s Country” carries on in fourth-place. A collective -2.3 in April and May (9.0 – 8.2 – 6.7, 6+), “Jacksonville’s Country” bounced back with a one-half share increase to 7.2 (June, 6+). Its +1.1 in March suspended four straight decreases that accounted for an overall -5.7 (13.6 – 12.3 – 11.0 – 10.6 – 8.2 – 7.9, 6+). October 2017’s 13.6 is the best-ever (6+) PPM-performance for WQIK, which was #1 in January 2018 and March. In four straight negative moves (5.9 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+), Renda Broadcasting’s similarly-formatted WGNE is an overall -1.3 and remains at #7; “Gator Country 99.9” was +1.1 in April.

Memphis

Spoken-Word Formats – Adding four-tenths to July’s +.2 (3.1 – 3.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WREC “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” cracks the top ten (#11 to #10). July’s increase pulled the plug on five straight sweeps without an increase for an overall deficit of six-tenths (3.5 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.9, 6+). January 2018’s 3.5 is the best 6+-share for WREC since 3.6 in February 2017. After slumping six-tenths in July (2.9 – 2.3, 6+), Entercom sports talk WMFS “ESPN Sports Radio” adds one-tenth in August to 2.4 and stays at #12 (6+). Immediately prior to dropping one-tenth in April, WMFS was up or flat three monthlies in a row for an overall gain of eight-tenths (2.5 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.3, 6+). Co-owned sports talk WMC-AM “Sports 790 AM” is up or flat for the fifth time in succession for a net gain of three-tenths (.1 – .1 – .1 – .3 – .3 – .4, 6+).

Memphis Music Formats – On the strength of a mammoth +1.5 (4.8 – 6.3, sixth to fifth, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WDIA “1070 The Heart & Soul of Memphis” reaches the six-share level (6.3, 6+) for the first time in more than two years (6.2, July 2016). Owing to three straight increases (3.4 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 5.2, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned WGKX “Kix 106 Today’s Best Country” is an overall +1.8, climbing from ninth to seventh. June’s +.5 halted four decreases in a row that accounted for a loss of seven-tenths (4.4 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.4, 6+). Up two-tenths (1.6 – 1.8, 6+), Entercom’s similarly-programmed WLFP “94.1 The Wolf” remains at #13. While iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS is on the top for the fourth month in a row, “V-101” regresses by seven-tenths to 10.4 (6+), halting three straight up or flat trends for a +1.7 (9.4 – 10.1 – 11.1 – 11.1, 6+). After four consecutive months at #1, “V-101” departed the top spot in “Holiday” 2017; it rebounded from January’s -.6 with a +.7 in February. A loss of nine-tenths to 3.1 (6+) drops Cumulus Media’s WXMX “98.1 The Max – Maximum Rock” out of the top ten (#10 to #11) and interrupts its April 2018 – July 2018 (6+) sequence of 3.9 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 4.0. Following four straight gains that produced a collective +1.7 (3.0 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WEGR “Rock 102.7 – Memphis’ Classic Rock” erodes by eight-tenths to 3.9 (eighth to ninth, 6+). A combined -1.5 in July and August (6.8 – 6.0 – 5.3, 6+), Entercom hot AC WMC-FM slips from fifth to sixth. Entering the July sweep, “FM 100 Today’s Best Mix” was an overall +2.3 in four straight increases (4.5 – 4.9 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 6.8, 6+); June 2018’s 6.8 is its strongest 6+-showing since May 2017’s 7.0. Without an increase for the third successive sweep for a combined -1.2 (10.0 – 9.3 – 8.8 – 8.8, 6+), Cumulus Media urban-rhythmic oldies WRBO “Soul Classics and Today’s R&B” nonetheless continues at #2. Immediately in advance of the June sweep, WRBO was +2.3 in three straight positive trends (7.7 – 8.0 – 9.2 – 10.0, 6+); May’s 10.0 is its finest 6+-performance since October 2017’s 10.2. A combined -1.7 in four downward moves in a row (9.8 – 9.4 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 8.1, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WHRK “K-97.1 – Memphis’ Only Hip-Hop and R&B” remains at #3. By gaining six-tenths in April (following a +1.0 in March), “K-97.1” succeeded urban AC cluster-mate “V-101” at #1. Co-owned gospel WHAL “95.7 Halleluiah – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” is down or flat for the sixth time in a row for a collective -2.7 (7.3 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.1 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.6, sixth to eighth, 6+); this is its lowest 6+-stat since September 2017 (4.6, as well). Continuing in fourth-place, Entercom adult contemporary WRVR “104.5 The River” is off one-tenth to 8.0 (6+), after July’s +.6 to 8.1, its best 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.9. Even though Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted WKIM improves in back-to-back reports for a +.3 (1.4 – 1.6 – 1.7, 6+), “98.9 The Bridge” backslides from #13 to #14.

Hartford

Spoken-Word Formats – Following July’s one-half share gain, which stopped three straight down or flat trends in succession for a -.2 (5.9 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 5.7, 6+), Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM is unchanged in 6+ AQH share (6.2) and 6+ AQH market rank (seventh). Prior to July 2018 and August 2018, “News Talk 1080” last reached the six-share level (6+) in June 2017 (6.7). An April loss of one-tenth halted three increases in a row that netted +1.5 (4.4 – 5.1 – 5.5 – 5.9). Just before that, WTIC-AM was a collective -1.4 in three straight dips (5.8 – 5.6 – 5.0 – 4.4, 6+). Remaining at #9, Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR records its seventh straight down or flat trend for a -2.4 (5.9 – 5.9 – 5.5 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+). “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” followed “Holiday” 2017’s -1.3 with a +.9 in January. Prior to May, the last time WNPR was below a five-share (6+) was in August 2017 (4.7). Up three-tenths to 1.6 (flat at #13, 6+), University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio” halts five successive down or flat trends that led to a -1.2 (2.5 – 1.8 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3, 6+). Immediately before that, it was an overall +1.1 in three straight December through February gains (1.4 – 1.7 – 2.3 – 2.5, 6+). The January 2018 through August 2018 topline trending for Red Wolf Broadcasting news/talk WDRC- AM “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” is 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.1, flat at #14 (6+).

Hartford Music Formats – In three straight up or flat trends, Red Wolf Broadcasting’s WDRC-FM (steady at #8) is a cumulative +1.9 (3.8 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 5.7, 6+) as “102.9 The Whale – Hartford’s Classic Rock” scores its best 6+-stat since last October’s 6.0. Fighting back from July’s -2.2, Entercom adult contemporary WRCH cuts that decrease roughly in half with a +1.2 to 11.4 (6+). “Lite 100.5” is #1 for the 25th consecutive ratings period and is in double-digits (6+) for the 22nd time in the last 24 sweeps. August’s +1.2 applies the brakes to four straight March through July downward moves that accounted for a -4.1 (14.3 – 13.2 – 13.1 – 12.4 – 10.2, 6+). WRCH was  +1.1 in March, but then -1.1 in April. The three latest fluctuations for hot AC sibling WTIC-FM “96.5 ‘TIC – Today’s Best Variety” are -.7 (June); +1.5 (July); and now -1.4 in August (8.6 – 7.2, second to third, 6+). July 2018’s 8.6 marked the first time WTIC-FM reached the eight-share level (6+) since its 8.3 in July 2017. “Today’s Best Variety” was a collective +1.1 in April and May ( 6.7 – 7.5 – 7.8, 6+). Rhythmic CHR sibling WZMX “Hot 93.7” (unchanged at #4) is -1.3 in three straight decreases (8.3 – 8.2 – 7.8 – 7.0, 6+). Faltering by seven-tenths (7.1 – 6.4, fifth to sixth, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WWYZ “Country 92.5” has its lowest 6+-share (6.4) since 6.0 in March. Even though mainstream CHR cluster-mate WKSS sputters by six-tenths to 7.3 (6+) to curtail three straight upticks that netted +1.0 (6.9 – 7.3 – 7.6 – 7.9, 6+), “Kiss 95.7 – All The Hits” manages to inch up from third to second.

Friday, September 7, 2018

| September 7, 2018

Kirk Minihane Goes on Leave from WEEI, Boston Morning Show. It was early last month that WEEI-FM, Boston morning personality Kirk Minihane announced he’d hospitalized himself after experiencing suicidal thoughts.  He spoke openly on the radio about his battle with depression.  But now he Tweets that he’s again taking time off from the “Kirk & Callahan” morning show on the Entercom sports talker as he goes on indefinite leave of absence.  He writes, “I’m going on an indefinite leave from the show.  Still battling mental health issues.  Truth is I came back to work too fast.  Wish I could be there with @GerryCallahan, @ChrisCurtis and @KenLairdWEEI – I love those guys very much.  I’ll be OK and sorry I’m leaving you all with Mut [Mike Mutnansky].”

‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ Wraps in Washington, DC.  The 2018 edition of the two-day “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row in Washington, DC wrapped yesterday (9/6) at the Phoenix Park Hotel on Capitol Hill.  This was the 12th year of the annual broadcasting/political event, presented by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).  FAIR says a record number of more than 65 radio talk show hosts from across the nation participated via live remotes interviewing numerous available guests from the fields of politics, law enforcement, media, and business about the state of the immigration reform movement.  Pictured above is WINA, Charlottesville talk show host Rob Schilling interviewing Arizona ranchers Fred and Peggy Davis.

Twitter Permanently Suspends Alex Jones and InfoWars. After being recently suspended from Twitter for a week for conduct that violates Twitter’s policies, radio personality Alex Jones and his InfoWars organization are being permanently banned from the social media platform for “abusive behavior.”  Austin, Texas-based Jones was in Washington this week covering congressional hearings about social media policy and allegations of conservative censorship and got into an exchange with CNN reporter Oliver Darcy that was live-streamed via Twitter-owned Periscope.  (He got into a verbal spat with Senator Marco Rubio in a separate exchange.)  Twitter’s statement said, in part, “We took this action based on new reports of Tweets and videos posted yesterday that violate our abusive behavior policy, in addition to the accounts’ past violations. We wanted to be open about this action given the broad interest in this case.”

Compass Media Networks Names Jim Chesko New ‘Your Money Now’ Anchor. News radio pro Jim Chesko is named the new anchor for the Compass Media Networks-syndicated “Your Money Now” business reports, effective Monday (9/10). He’ll anchor the 12:00 noon to 7:00 pm reports.  Chesko says, “I’m really excited to join the amazing team of broadcast professionals at Compass Media Networks.  I’ve worked with all of the ‘Your Money Now’ and ‘This Morning’ staff previously during our Wall Street Journal Radio days and being reunited with them is truly a dream come true.  My passion for money news remains strong and I’m sure listeners around the country will pick up on that.”  Chesko served for seven years with Bloomberg News.  He takes over for the retiring Bruce Vale.

Westwood One Launches Female Targeted ‘The Empow(h)er Podcast Network.’ The content creator and syndicator announced the launch of this new podcast network at yesterday’s IAB Podcast Upfront in New York. Westwood One says “The Empow(h)er Podcast Network” is getting off the ground with nine podcast series that will “inspire the medium’s rapidly growing female audience. Growth in time spent by women listening to podcasts weekly is 6x faster than that of men over the last year — and for the same time period, women’s average weekly time spent with podcasts is up 20%, according to the recently released ‘Westwood One’s Podcast Download — Fall 2018 report.’”  Podcast series in the network include: “Run Like a Girl” a series that shines a non-partisan light on women running for office; “On Her Turf,” from NBC Sports Group; Suze Orman’s “Women & Money” show; “Straight Talk with Ross Mathews”; “Pop Talk with Ross Mathews”; “Women Want to Hear Women with Elaina Smith”; “Bad Mamas with Jayde”; “40 Weeks with Jayde Donovan”; and “BLK + in Grad School,” hosted by Allanté Whitmore.

VSiN Strikes Network Deal for Pre-Game Gambling Show with Sports USA. Already providing one-minute “Action Updates” to some 40 AM/FM radio stations, Vegas Stats & Information Network (VSiN) inks its first network deal with sports play-by-play syndicator Sports USA.  Under the terms of this deal, VSiN will create a sports gambling pre-game show to air ahead of Sports USA’s presentation of its weekly NFL doubleheader, carried by close to 500 radio stations.  The one-hour “VSiN Sunday Preview” will air at 11:30 am ET, prior to Sports USA’s play-by-play coverage of its early Sunday NFL game.  VSiN CEO Brian Musberger states, “As expanding legalization introduces more Americans to sports gambling, those fans need credible, actionable news, and exclusive insights to help inform their betting decisions.  We’re thrilled to partner with Sports USA to get that credible information to millions of NFL fans just ahead of kick-off.”

Boston Herald Editor-in-Chief Joe Sciacca Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. The highly innovative editor-in-chief of the Boston Herald, Joe Sciacca, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Harrison and Sciacca discuss changes taking place at the major New England daily in the aftermath of an ownership change. The newspaper has accrued a number of major journalism awards and distinctions for its innovative leadership in integrating digital platform technology into its multimedia approach to news reporting. Harrison and Sciacca go deep in a discussion about the state of newspapers, media, and journalism in the digital age and Trump era. This is a must-listen! 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.

TALKERS News Notes. When Sid Rosenberg’s new weekend program, “Sid Sports Sunday,” debuts Sunday (9/9) morning at 8:00 am on WABC, New York, he’ll have two special guests on the program – New York Giants rookie running back Sequon Barkley and former FOX News Channel superstar Bill O’Reilly.  This new program is in addition to his work co-hosting morning drive with Bernard McGuirk on 77 WABC…..Entercom’s Bay Area sports talk duo KGMZ-FM and KGMZ-AM inks a deal to air Westwood One’s Sunday NFL play-by-play broadcasts.  The stations will air select regular season games as well as playoff games and Super Bowl LIII.

New York Times Anti-Trump Op-Ed Top News/Talk Story for Week of September 4-7. The publication of an anonymous op-ed piece critical of President Trump that The New York Times says was penned by a Trump Administration official was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the publication of Bob Woodward’s new book Fear: Trump in the White House.  Coming in at #3 was the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, followed by the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign officials and Russian agents at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is 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. On-air pro Lani Q takes over the midday show on Cumulus Media’s rhythmic CHR simulcast KWNN, Stockton-Modesto/KWIN, Lodi.  Station program director Daniel “Jiggy” Diaz says, “Lani Q is the definition of what KWIN is about.  She’s a local, homegrown talent that lives the rhythmic lifestyle and wants to be better every day. I’ve watched Lani grow in leaps and bounds since she started at our sister station KHOP-FM five years ago.  I couldn’t be happier with our new lineup at KWIN!”…..Cumulus classic rocker KGGO, Des Moines adds the nationally syndicated evening program “Nights with Alice Cooper” to the station’s program schedule.

August 2018 PPM Data – Part Three. August 2018 ratings information has been released for Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Orlando, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s August 2018 survey period covered July 19 – August 15. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12-PPM markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

Portland

Spoken Word Formats – Flat at 8.1 (6+), Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk KOPB remains on top – as it has been each month this calendar year (including sharing April’s lead with iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW “K-103”). KOPB was +1.1 (January 2018); -1.1 (February); +1.0 (March); -1.0 (April); and -.5 (May). Securing the #5 spot for the third month in succession, Alpha Media news/talk KXL “101 FM News – Stay Connected” has a May 2018 – August 2018 topline of 5.3 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.3 (6+). KXL was up six-tenths in April and was then off a combined one-half share in May and June. When “101 FM News – Stay Connected” faltered by four-tenths in March, it ended three consecutive increases that produced a cumulative +1.7. Prior to January, the last time KXL reached the five-share level (6+) was in October 2013 (5.3). An April improvement of two-tenths by iHeartMedia’s KEX “News Radio 1190 – Depend on Us” suspended three straight up or flat trends that netted six-tenths (1.2 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+). Its January 2018 through August 2018 trending is 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 2.0 (#20 to #18, 6+), with August’s 2.0 marking the first time it reached the two-share level (6+) in nearly two years (2.1, November 2016). After posting a 1.0 (6+) four times in a row, Alpha Media news/talk KUFO dropped three-tenths to .7 (6+) in July, but “Freedom 970” regains that three-tenths in August and is back at 1.0 (#27 to #24, 6+). Among the market’s sports talkers, Entercom’s KFXX “1080 The Fan” picks up three-tenths to 1.7 (#21 to #20, 6+) ending six straight down or flat moves that resulted in a -1.0 (2.4 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4, 6+); Alpha Media-owned KXTG “The Game” drops two-tenths to 1.2 (#21 to #22, 6+), terminating three straight up or flat trends (1.1 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4, 6+); and iHeartMedia’s KPOJ “Sports Radio 620” forfeits seven-tenths (1.1 – .4, #23 to #29, 6+).

Portland Music Formats – Logging a +.9 (4.4 – 5.3, 6+) enables KINK “101.9 Uniquely Portland” to reach the five-share level (6+) for the first time since February (5.0). Moreover, the Alpha Media triple A cruises from ninth to fifth. Down in each of the past four sweeps for a cumulative -.8 (2.5 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KFIS “104.1 The Fish” erases the entire deficit with a +.8 to 2.5 (#19 to #17, 6+). Improving by six-tenths each are Alpha Media CHR KBFF “Live 95.5” (3.7 – 4.3, #12 to #8, 6+) and All Classical Public Media-owned KQAC “All Classical Portland” (2.8 – 3.4, #16 to #14, 6+). “Live 95.5” faltered by six-tenths in July. Flat at #15, its format rival – iHeartMedia-owned KKRZ “Z-100 Portland’s #1 Hit Music Station” – has its fourth decrease in a row for a combined loss of nine-tenths (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.1, 6+). A June 2018 setback of three-tenths by its adult contemporary sibling KKCW is followed by back-to-back gains totaling seven-tenths (7.2 – 7.7 – 7.9, 6+) as “K-103” continues at #2. KKCW was #1 in December 2017 (13.0, 6+); “Holiday” 2017 (16.9, 6+); and tied for first (with KOPB) in April 2018 (8.5, 6+). It proves to be a rough sweep for the market’s two country FMs as Alpha Media’s KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 for New Country” erodes by one full-share (#11 to #16, 6+) and Entercom-owned KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf, Great Country for the Great Northwest” sputters by seven-tenths to 3.9 (6+) as it departs the top ten (#7 to #11). Stuck on 3.3 (6+) in March and April and then on 4.0 (6+) in May and June, “The Bull” is -1.1 in three straight sweeps without an increase (4.0 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 2.9, 6+). August’s 2.9 is its lowest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017 (2.9, as well). Down or flat in three successive sweeps for a -1.6 (4.9 – 4.7 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+), “The Bull” wiped out nearly half that deficit in May with a +.7. Meanwhile, “The Wolf” was up eight-tenths in June to 4.6, its finest 6+-showing since September 2017 (4.6, as well); KWJJ was then locked on 4.6 (6+) in June and July. A loss of one-half share (4.6 – 4.1, seventh to tenth, 6+) takes Entercom adult hits KYCH “97.1 Charlie – We Play Everything” to its lowest 6+-share (4.1) since February 2017’s 4.0. A collective +1.6 in four straight up or flat trends (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.6 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+), co-owned KGON “92.3 Portland’s Classic Rock” is off two-tenths to 5.4 (6+) but remains in fourth-place. July’s 5.6 is the highest 6+-showing for KGON since June 2017 (5.6, as well). Up or flat the past five sweeps for an overall +.7 (1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.9, 6+), Alpha Media rhythmic CHR KWEE “WE-96.3” – Portland’s Real Hip-Hop Station” slips by one-tenth to 1.8 (#17 to #19, 6+). July’s 1.9 is KWEE’s highest 6+-share since November 2017’s 2.0. More than two full-shares ahead of it is iHeartMedia’s KXJM “JAM’N 107.5 Portland’s #1 For Hip-Hop,” which is a collective +.4 in four straight up or flat moves (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.8, #14 to #12, 6+).

Charlotte

Spoken-Word Formats – A combined -1.1 in July and August (4.1 – 3.7 – 3.0, 6+), University Radio Foundation news talk WFAE slips from #12 to #13. The very consistent January 2018 – May 2018 topline trending for WFAE, which was up one-half share in June, was 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 3.6 (6+). “Charlotte’s NPR News Source” was a combined -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.2 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+). Meanwhile, Entercom news/talk WBT is trending 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.9 (May – June – July – August, 6+) and progresses from #17 to #14. When WBT gained two-tenths in June, it curtailed three straight losses that accounted for a -1.7 (4.3 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 2.6, 6+). Immediately prior to that particular streak, WBT was a collective +1.2 in three increases in succession  (3.1 – 3.2 – 4.0 – 4.3, 6+). Unchanged at #19, co-owned sports talk WFNZ “The Fan – Charlotte’s Sports Leader” improves by four-tenths to 1.0 (6+), snapping four successive down or flat sweeps that led to a -1.1 (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.1 – .7 – .6, 6+); “The Fan” bounced back from February’s -.7 with a one-half share gain in March.

Charlotte Music Formats – After three decreases in a row for a -1.1 (4.3 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WEND is up nine-tenths in July and August (3.2 – 3.3 – 4.1, 6+). Moreover, “106.5 The End – Charlotte’s Alternative Rock” cracks the top ten (#13 to #9). Four positive spikes in succession by adult hits cluster-mate WLKO “102.9 The Lake Charlotte’s We Play Anything Station” (sixth to fifth) have produced a +1.4 (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 5.2 – 5.5, 6+). At #8 for the third straight month, Beasley Media Group urban contemporary WPEG “Power 98” notches its fifth uptick in a row for an overall gain of nine-tenths (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.9, 6+) and has its best 6+-share (4.9) in exactly one year (5.9, August 2017). While repeating in the runner-up slot, co-owned WSOC “103.7 Country’s Hottest Hits” is up or flat for the third time in a row for an overall +1.3 (6.2 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 7.5, 6+). The last time WSOC reached the seven-share level (6+) was in “Holiday” 2016 (7.0). While unchanged with a 6.2 (6+), its format challenger, iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country,” progresses from fourth to a third-place tie; “The Kat” was a combined -1.0 in May and June (7.0 – 6.4 – 6.0, 6+), before gaining two-tenths in July. Albeit down three-tenths (7.9 – 7.6, #1, 6+) and holding a slim one-tenth lead over country sibling WSOC, Beasley Media Group urban AC WBAV “V-101.9” makes a little bit of history by staying at #1 in back-to-back ratings periods. Prior to this (August 2018) sweep, no Charlotte station had repeated at #1 since September 2017/October/November when iHeartMedia classic rocker WRFX “The Fox” accomplished the feat. It has been a revolving door for the market’s top spot which has been held (in chronological order) by iHeartMedia adult hits WLKO (December 2017); Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WKQC (“Holiday” 2017); iHeartMedia country WKKT (January 2018); Beasley Media Group urban AC WBAV (February); WRFX (March); WKKT (April); WBAV (May); WSOC (June); WBAV (July); and WBAV again in August. “V-101.9” was +1.4 in May; eroded by -1.2 in June; and erased that -1.2 in its entirety in July with a +1.2. Continuing a down/up pattern that began in March, iHeartMedia CHR WHQC “Channel 96.1” (#14 to #15) is a combined -1.2 in that stretch. After not suffering a loss between March 2018 – July 2018 netting one-half share in the process (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WQNC “92.7 The Block” surrenders four-tenths to 2.5 (#15 to #17, 6+); 2.9 in July 2018 is the strongest 6+-stat for “The Block” since its 3.4 in July 2017.

San Antonio

Spoken-Word Formats – Bouncing back from July’s -.5 with August’s +.3 (3.5 – 3.8, 6+), +), iHeartMedia news/talk WOAI News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather” climbs from #12 to #11. July’s 3.5 was its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 2.8. A January +1.6 enabled WOAI to have its best 6+-showing since May 2017 (4.4, as well). An increase of four-tenths (2.6 – 3.0, 6+) takes Texas Public Radio news/talk KSTX from #17 to #14. A July loss of seven tenths suspended three up or flat moves that led to a +.5 (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+). Immediately before April’s +1, KSTX was a combined -1.9 through three consecutive negative trends (4.7 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+). With a +1.0 to 4.7 in Holiday2017, KSTX crossed the four-share level (6+) for the first time in its PPM-history. Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” gains three-tenths to 1.7 (6+) but is flat at #22. KTSA was a collective -.5 in June and July (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.4, 6+), after not having a loss for five reports in a row for a collective +.6 (1.3 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9, 6+). Erasing its combined -.3 from three straight one-tenth decreases (.7 – .6 – .5 – .4, 6+) with a +.3 to .7 (6+), iHeartMedia sports talk KTKR “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” advances from #27 to #30.

San Antonio Music Formats – The four-tenths of a share lead that Cox Media Group-owned KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader” had in July over iHeartMedia’s KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” triples to 1.2 as “Y-100” hauls out a +.9, while “KJ-97” improves by one-tenth (5.5 – 5.6, 6+). The country adversaries that were locked together in the runner-up slot in June remain at #2 and #3, respectively, in August. This is the third straight gain for “Y-100,” which reaches the six-share level (6.8) for the first time since October 2017’s 6.0, and is a cumulative +1.5 in that stretch (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.8, 6+). Slipping one-tenth in May halted four straight up or flat trends that netted a +1.3 (4.1 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.4, 6+). The +2.7 that KAJA racked up in January and February (4.1 – 5.2 – 6.8, 6+) was cut virtually in half in March and April with a collective -1.3; however, “KJ-97” answered with a +.6 in May. Prior to January, “KJ-97” was -.9 in four successive down or flat sweeps (5.0 – 5.0 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). After logging a 4.2 (6+) in each of the last four sweeps, its adult contemporary sibling – KQXT “Q101.9” – gains three-tenths to 4.5 (6+) and proceeds from eighth to fifth. Owing to a half share increase to 4.5 (6+), Univision Radio rhythmic CHR KBBT not only pulls the plug on three straight decreases that produced a loss of seven-tenths (4.7 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 4.0, 6+), “98.5 The Beat” jumps from ninth to fifth. Posting a gain for the third sweep in a row is Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies KONO-FM, which is +1.2 since May (6.6 – 7.0 – 7.7 – 7.8, 6+). Moreover, “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” sets the pace in San Antonio for the eighth successive sweep. Its +.4 in June stalled three consecutive downward moves for an overall -.7 (7.3 – 7.2 – 6.9 – 6.6, 6+). KONO-FM spent ten straight months at #1 before shifting to #2 in December 2017 and remained there in “Holiday” 2017. It’s a bit of a rollercoaster ride though for hot AC sibling KSMG “Magic 105.3 Today’s Best Music,” which lost nine-tenths in three March through June downtrends in succession (5.1 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+); regained seven-tenths in July; but is now -.9 in August (4.9 – 4.0, fourth to ninth, 6+). This (4.0) is the lowest 6+-stat for “Magic” since 3.8 in “Holiday” 2017. Having recorded a 3.1 (6+) in three of the last five sweeps (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+), iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary KZEP “104.5 Latino Hits” spirals by nine-tenths in August (2.2, #14 to #19, 6+). Off six-tenths to 4.3 and dipping from fourth to eighth (6+), Cox Media Group classic rock KTKX “106.7 The Eagle” interrupts four straight up or flat trends that netted nine-tenths (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.9, 6+). A combined +.5 in April and May, Univision Radio regional Mexican KROM “Que Buena 92.9” (flat at #7) is now -1.7 in three straight decreases (6.1 – 5.5 – 4.7 – 4.4, 6+). In that same vein, following four upticks in succession that netted +1.8 (3.2 – 3.3 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KXXM is an overall -1.7 in four straight decreases (5.0 – 4.9 – 4.4 – 3.7 – 3.3, April – May – June – July – August, 6+); “96.1 Now – San Antonio’s #1 Hit Music Station” departs the top ten (#10 to #13).

Pittsburgh

Spoken-Word Formats – It is more of a wild ride for Entercom sports talk KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan,” which was a combined +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018; -.9 in February; +2.0 in April (5.8 – 7.8, 6+); -2.0 in three straight May – June – July declines (7.8 – 7.4 – 6.5 – 5.8, 6+); and now +1.4 in August (5.8 – 7.2, sixth to fourth, 6+). April’s 7.8 is the strongest 6+-showing for the Pittsburgh Pirates flagship since October 2015 when it scored a 10.1. By contrast, the March 2018 – August 2018 topline for co-owned news/talk KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020” (ninth to tenth) is very steady: 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 4.0 (6+). June’s +.2 pulled the plug on four sweeps in a row without an increase that produced a -1.1 (5.3 – 5.3 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.2, 6+). Similarly, a +1.3 in January halted four down or flat trends in succession that resulted in a loss of eight-tenths (4.8 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+). Answering July’s -.6 (2.6 – 2.0, 6+) with a +.4 to 2.4 (6+), Essential Public Media news/talk WESA remains at #13. Before faltering by one-half share in April, “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” was an overall +.8 as a result of three consecutive up or flat moves (2.1 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+). January’s +.6 halted three successive downward trends that resulted in a -1.1 (3.2 – 2.8 – 2.4 – 2.1, 6+). After eight straight times of notching a .2 ( 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk WBGG drops to .1 (#17 to #18, 6+). Immediately preceding that streak, “970 AM – ESPN Pittsburgh” had logged a .1 (6+) six consecutive times.

Pittsburgh Music Formats – Winning ways continue for iHeartMedia-owned WPGB, which is a collective +1.9 as the result of six straight up or flat trends since February (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 4.2, 6+). Moreover, “Big 104.7 – Pittsburgh’s #1 For New Country” enters the top ten (#11 to #9) and reaches the four-share threshold (6+) for the first time since February 2017’s 4.0. Despite being down one-tenth after July’s -1.0 (10.4 – 9.4 – 9.3, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWSW “94.5 – 3WS” is #1 for the 18th consecutive ratings period. A combined +.9 in March and April (10.3 – 11.1 – 11.2, 6+), “3WS” forfeited -1.3 in May and lost seven full-shares in January (16.4 – 9.4, 6+). This (9.3) is the lowest 6+-stat for WWSW since 9.1 in February 2017. On the heels of July’s +.6 (5.6 – 6.2, 6+), Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHH “Wish 99.7” relinquishes nine-tenths to 5.3 (fifth to sixth, 6+). Even though it records its third consecutive improvement for a collective +1.1 (2.8 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 3.9, 6+), Steel City Media hot AC WLTJ “Q-92.9 backslides from #11 to #12. Within 4.6 – 5.0 range between January 2018 – July 2018 (4.9 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.9, 6+), its format foe – Entercom’s  WBZZ “Star 100.7” – regresses by one-half share to 4.4 (seventh to eighth, 6+). In the runner-up slot for the eighth successive sweep, iHeartMedia rocker WDVE (8.5 – 7.7, 6+) and CHR cluster-mate WKST “96.1 Kiss FM Pittsburgh’s #1 Hit Music Station” (fourth to fifth, 6+) decline by eight-tenths and seven-tenths, respectively. WDVE was +1.6 (October 2017); -1.0 (November); -.8 (“Holiday 2017”); +.8 (January 2018); -.9 (February); -.5 in March; and now -.8 in August. October’s 10.2 marked the first time WDVE reached double-digits (6+) since March 2017 (10.4). “Kiss” is a collective -1.7 in three negative moves in a row (7.3 – 6.9 – 6.3 – 5.6, 6+). The last time WKST fell below a six-share (6+) was nearly five years ago (5.6, October 2013). After having their March 2018 – June 2018 information displayed, five stations are unlisted for the second straight month: classic hits-oldies WKPL and WPKL; and country-formatted WLYI, WOGG, and WOGI.

Sacramento

Spoken-Word Formats – An August +.6 by Capital Public Radio news/talk KXJZ wipes out July’s -.5 (4.5 – 5.1, sixth to fourth, 6+). KXJZ was up a collective seven-tenths in May and June (4.3 – 4.7 – 5.0, 6+). It posted a one-half share gain in January but was a combined -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.3 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+). Without an increase for the seventh straight sweep for an overall -2.6 (8.6 – 8.1 – 8.1 – 7.8 – 6.7 – 6.3 – 6.0 – 6.0, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KFBK shifts from second to third. “Sacramento’s News, Weather, and Traffic Station” was third in December 2017; second in “Holiday” 2017; up to first in January 2018; back to second in February; up again to first in March (tied with KSEG); back to second in April, May, June, and July; and third in August. KFBK logged a +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and followed with a +.2 in January 2018 to 8.6 – its best 6+-stat since January 2017’s 8.7. Meanwhile, the February 2018 – August 2018 topline trending for co-owned KSTE (#16 to a three-way tie at #13) is: 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.3 (6+). “Talk 650” was +.6 in December; -.5 in “Holiday” 2017; and +.6 in January to 2.7, its highest 6+-share since June 2017’s 2.8. Entercom’s KHTK “Sports 1140” is down two-tenths (1.3 – 1.1, #20 to #22, 6+), while co-owned KIFM-AM “ESPN Radio 1320” loses 50% of its 6+-share (-.8) in three straight decreases (1.6 – 1.4 – 1.1 – .8, #22 to #25, 6+).

Sacramento Music Formats – Powered by a +.9 (2.9 – 3.8, 6+), Entercom rhythmic CHR KSFM enters the top ten (#13 to #10) and logs its highest 6+-share since November 2017 (3.8, as well). Adult contemporary sibling KYMX “Mix 96 – Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” dials up a one-half share increase to 6.1 (third to second, 6+), applying the brakes to three straight downward moves that led to a loss of six-tenths (6.2 – 6.0 – 5.9 – 5.6, 6+). “Mix” is three full-shares behind cluster-mate KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” (9.0 – 9.1, +.1, 6+), which is on top for the seventh successive sweep. “The Eagle” was +1.0 in May; +.9 in June to 9.9, its strongest 6+-showing since July 2016’s 10.3; and -.9 in July. A January gain of +2.0 essentially erased a combined -2.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017. Despite picking up one-tenth to 3.7 (6+) which suspends three straight decreases that produced a -1.0 (4.6 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+), hot AC sibling KZZO “Now 100.5 Today’s Best Hits” backslides from #10 to #12. An August -1.1 by iHeartMedia’s KBEB “92.5 The Bull – #1 for New Country” (#12 to #13) erases July’s +1.0 (2.4 – 3.4 – 2.3, 6+). Immediately prior to being off four-tenths in May, “The Bull” was up or flat the previous four reports for an overall gain of seven-tenths (1.8 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.5, 6+). A similar story of a Sacramento country outlet returning a sizeable July increase in August involves Entercom’s KNCI “New Country 105.1,” which forfeits seven-tenths of its July +.8 (5.1 – 4.4, fourth to sixth, 6+). KNCI had been within 4.1 – 4.4 range (6+) between January and June (4.2 – 4.2 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.3, 6+); July’s 5.1 is its highest 6+-share since August 2017 (5.4). Before surrendering two-tenths in April, “New Country” was an overall +.9 in three consecutive positive or flat trends (3.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.4, 6+). Elsewhere in the country format, Entravision-owned KNTY “101.9 The Wolf” was off one-half share in in April; lost one-tenth in May; regained one-tenth in June; was down four-tenths in July; and is now flat in August (2.1, #17, 6+). As a result of three successive “Holiday” 2017 – March 2018 increases, “The Wolf” gained seven-tenths (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+).

Salt Lake City

Spoken-Word Formats – Albeit steady at #7, Bonneville’s KSL “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” picks up four-tenths to 5.0 (6+), thus curtailing three consecutive declines that accounted for a -3.5 (8.1 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.6, 6+). Immediately prior to the May sweep, KSL – #1 in April – was +3.0 as a result of four consecutive increases (5.1 – 6.4 – 6.7 – 6.9 – 8.1, 6+). The bookend May 2018 – August 2018 topline for iHeartMedia’s KNRS “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know” is 4.1 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.1 (6+). A +.3 in May ended three successive down or flat moves that accounted for a -.2 (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.8, 6+). KNRS was a combined -1.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 and +.7 in January. In four successive sweeps without a decrease (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+), University of Utah news/talk KUER (flat at #11) is up seven-tenths. This immediately follows an overall -1.3 from three straight down or flat ratings periods (4.1 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.8, 6+). After posting four consecutive positive or flat moves for a collective gain of one-half share (1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+), Broadway Media-owned KALL “ESPN 700 – Utah’s #1 Sports Talk” dips two-tenths to 1.7 (6+) and exits the top twenty (#20 to #22).

Salt Lake City Music Formats – At the same time that Bonneville-owned adult contemporary KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music, Better Work Day” gains one-half share to 6.4 (6+) and marches from third to a first-place tie, Cumulus Media’s similarly-programmed KBEE “B-98.7 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” regresses by six-tenths (3.3 – 2.7, #13 to #15, 6+). Immediately prior to August, “FM 100.3” was a collective -2.3 in four successive down or flat trends (8.2 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 6.3 – 5.9, 6+) with August’s 5.9 its lowest 6+-showing since May 2016’s 5.7. Up nine-tenths in March – only to lose nine-tenths in April – “FM 100.3” had been on top for six straight ratings periods (November 2017 through March 2018). “B-98.7” gained six-tenths between April and July (2.7 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+), with 3.3 its best 6+-stat since September 2017’s 3.5. Sharing the #1 slot with KSFI is iHeartMedia’s KODJ “94.1 Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits,” which is down a total of one-half share in three straight decreases (6.9 – 6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). Prior to June’s -.1, KODJ nearly doubled (+3.4) its 6+ AQH share through five successive up or flat trends (3.5 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.4 – 5.8 – 6.9, 6+). May 2018 marked the first time KODJ reached the six-share level (6+) since its 6.6 in June 2016. It was #1 in June 2018 and July 2018. Broadway Media adult hits KYMV tacks on eight-tenths to July’s +.6 (1.0 – 1.6 – 2.4, 6+) as “Rewind 100.7” cracks the top twenty (#23 to #19) and crosses the two-share level (6+) for the first time since May 2017’s 2.3. Flat at #13, Cumulus Media CHR KENZ “Power 94.9 Utah’s New Hit Music” logs its fourth increase in a row for a +1.0 (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.4, 6+). Frozen on 3.2 (6+) in June and July, iHeartMedia’s KAAZ “Rock 106.7 – Everything That Rocks” falters by seven-tenths to 2.5 (#15 to #18, 6+). Off one-tenth to 3.9 (6+), co-owned hot AC KJMY “MY-99.5” (ninth to tenth) concludes at three a consecutive string of increases that netted a +1.1 (2.9 – 3.0 – 3.2 – 4.0, 6+). Steady at #3, Cumulus Media country outlet KUBL “K-Bull 93 FM” drops two-tenths to 5.7 (6+), thus snapping three straight improvements for a +1.1 (4.8 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.9, 6+). Independent KSOP-FM “Z-104 Utah’s #1 Country” – a combined -1.2 in June and July (4.6 – 3.9 – 3.4, 6+) – adds one-tenth to 3.5 (6+) and climbs from #12 to #11.

Las Vegas

Spoken-Word Formats – Steady at #15, Nevada Public Radio’s KNPR is up eight-tenths as a result of three upticks in a row (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8, 6+) and has its best 6+-showing (2.8) since March (2.9). A -.9 in April and May (2.9 – 2.6 – 2.0, 6+) directly followed three consecutive improvements that accounted for a +1.0 (1.9 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.9, 6+). Down or flat the past three ratings periods for a loss of four-tenths (2.1 – 2.0 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+), Entercom’s KXNT “News Talk Radio 840” adds two-tenths to 1.9 (6+) and continues at #20. Before dropping one-tenth in March, KXNT was up or flat in three successive sweeps for a +.2 (1.7 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+). The March 2018 – August 2018 topline for Beasley Media Group news/talk KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk” (#24 to #23 ) is .9 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 (6+). A one-half share decrease in March concluded five straight positive or flat trends (.7 – .7 – .7 – .7 – 1.3 – 1.4, 6+) that doubled KDWN’s 6+-share. A combined -.3 in June and July (.8 – .6 – .5, 6+), Lotus Communications sports talk KWWN “ESPN Radio 1100” is up one-tenth to .6 (flat at #27, 6+).

Las Vegas Music Formats – In tandem with Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies KKLZ “96.3 – 70s, 80s and More” gaining eight-tenths (6.7 – 7.5, second to first, 6+) and iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5 Better Music for a Better Workday” eroding by -1.3 (7.6 – 6.3, first to second, 6+), KKLZ succeeds KSNE at #1. It is a familiar pattern between these two properties as “Sunny” was off six-tenths in April and replaced by KKLZ at #1. In May, “Sunny” succeeded KKLZ at #1. The two swapped places at the top in March as well. Back in December, KKLZ was ousted from the penthouse by “Sunny” after five straight months there. This is the ninth time between July 2017 and August 2018 that KKLZ has been #1: July 2017 through November 2017, January 2018, February 2018, April 2018, and August 2018. KKLZ, which was up nine-tenths in July, has its best 6+-performance (7.5) since January’s 7.6. “Sunny” had been on top the last three months with July’s 7.6 its highest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2017, when it logged a 12.5. In addition to KKLZ, Lotus Communications Spanish adult hits KWID notches a +.8 (3.9, 6+) and returns to the top ten (#12 to #9) as it roars back from July’s -1.3 (4.4 – 3.1, 6+). Entering the June sweep, “La Buena 101.9” was within three-share range 18 straight times; however, that streak ended when KWID gained six-tenths to 4.4, its strongest 6+-showing since 4.5 in “Holiday” 2016. Increasing by six-tenths each are Faith Communications contemporary Christian KSOS “SOS Radio” (3.0 – 3.6, 6+), which joins the top ten (#13 to #10) and Lotus Communications’ KXPT “97.1 The Point #1 For Classic Rock” (3.9 – 4.5, ninth to seventh, 6+). When KSOS added six-tenths in July, it pulled the plug on three straight down or flat trends that accounted for a loss of seven-tenths (3.1 – 3.1 – 2.7 – 2.4, 6+). A decrease of six-tenths (1.4 – .8, 6+) takes Entravision Spanish contemporary KRRN “La Suavecita 107.1” (#25) to its lowest 6+-showing since November 2017 (.8, as well). Nearly negating the +.6 it gained via three straight up or flat trends (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 4.0, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s KCYE “102.7 The Coyote #1 For New Hit Country” falters by one-half share to 3.5 (6+) and departs the top ten (#8 to #11); July’s 4.0 is its highest 6+-share since June 2017’s 4.7.

Cincinnati

Spoken-Word Formats – Piling on one-half share to July’s +.8 (2.8 – 3.6 – 4.1, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WKRC “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati” enters the top ten (#11 to #8). July’s increase halted four straight monthly reports without an increase for a collective -1.0 (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+). When WKRC gained three-tenths in January, it ended three downward moves in a row that accounted for a -.9 (4.2 – 4.2 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+). Co-owned news/talk and Cincinnati Reds flagship WLW is #1 for the third month in a row and is +2.8 in as many successive upticks (7.7 – 9.1 – 10.4 – 10.5, 6+). “The Big One” was a combined +2.0 in January and February; -1.0 in March; +1.6 in April; and -1.2 in May. August 2018’s 10.5 is its highest 6+-share in more than two years (10.8, June 2016). Prior to January, WLW was a collective -3.3 as the result of five straight negative trends (9.6 – 9.4 – 9.2 – 8.0 – 7.2 – 6.3, 6+). A gain of four-tenths (3.1 – 3.5, #13 to #12, 6+) takes Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU to its best 6+-stat since February’s 3.6; WVXU was a collective +.7 in January and February. In the sports talk field, iHeartMedia-owned WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530,” which had its 6+-share carved nearly in half in June and July (1.4 – 1.2 – .8, 6+), is up one-tenth to .9 (#20). Co-owned WSAI “Fox Sports AM 1360” hasn’t had an increase in the past five months (.7 – .4 – .4 – .3 – .2 – .2, flat at #25, 6+).

Cincinnati Music Formats – Off eight-tenths in July to 4.1, its softest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2017’s 3.7, Hubbard rhythmic hot AC WREW “Mix 94.9” answers with a one-half share increase to 4.6 (eighth to seventh, 6+). “Mix” was stuck on 4.9 (6+) in May and June. Registering a .8 (6+) in four of the last five ratings periods (.8 – .8  – .8 – .9  – .8, 6+), Cincinnati Public Radio’s classical-formatted WGUC “90.9 Music For Your Heart, Mind, & Spirit” breaks out a one-half share gain to 1.3 (#19 to #18, 6+), its best 6+-stat since February’s 1.5. There is no change from July in the AQH share (8.1, 6+) or AQH rank (#3) for WUBE “B-105.1 – Get Your Country On.” The Hubbard-owned station gained four-tenths in July. In June, “B-105.1” was -.9, which halted five consecutive upticks that netted +2.8 (5.8 – 6.3 – 7.8 – 8.1 – 8.3 – 8.5 – 8.6, 6+). After three flat or down trends that led to a -.6 (2.3 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 1.7, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WNNF “94.1 Nash-FM” is up two-tenths to 1.9 (#16 to #15, 6+). After notching a .8 (6+) in May, June, and July, Hubbard’s WYGY “97.3 The Wolf” improves to .9 (6+) and moves from a five-way deadlock at #19 to a four-way tie at #20. Unchanged at #6, Cumulus Media’s WOFX “92.5 The Fox – Cincinnati’s Classic Rock” is off eight-tenths in three straight down or flat trends (5.6 – 5.2 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+). In the iHeartMedia cluster, WEBN “Cincinnati’s Rock Station” has lost a collective nine-tenths as the result of four straight monthlies without an increase (4.9 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.0, seventh to ninth, 6+), while CHR sibling WKFS “Kiss 107.1 Cincinnati’s #1 Hit Music Station” is -1.0 in four straight down or flat sweeps (4.9 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.9, ninth to tenth, 6+).

Orlando

Spoken-Word Formats – A +1.0 to 4.7 (tenth to ninth, 6+) by iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” pulls the plug on three straight decreases that resulted in a -1.8 (5.5 – 5.3 – 4.0 – 3.7, 6+). July’s 3.7 is the lowest 6+-showing for “Real Radio” since “Holiday” 2017’s 2.2. A combined +3.0 in January and February (2.2 – 3.9 – 5.2, 6+), WTKS dropped three-tenths in March and was +.6 in April. January’s +1.7 ended three straight down or flat trends that resulted in a -.7 (2.9 – 2.9 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+). Despite gaining one-tenth (3.7 – 3.8, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM “News 96.5” backslides from #10 to #11. Before gaining four-tenths in July, WDBO-FM was -1.4 in five straight sweeps without an increase (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+). Entering the January sweep (in which it notched a +1.3), “News 96.5” was a collective -2.7 via four straight decreases (6.1 – 5.1 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+). “News 96.5” is three-tenths ahead of Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida,” which continues a down/up pattern that it began in February: 3.7 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 3.5 (flat at #12, 6+). After being locked on 1.5 (6+) in June and July, iHeartMedia news/talk WFLF adds four-tenths to 1.9 (#17 to #16, 6+). Co-owned sports talk WYGM “FM 96.9 The Game – Orlando’s Sports Leader” is a collective +.3 via six successive sweeps without a loss (.7 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0, #19 to #18, 6+), while Cox Media Group sports talk WDBO-AM “ESPN 580 Orlando” is off one-tenth (.8 – .7, #21 to #22, 6+).

Orlando Music Formats – Tied with San Diego CHR KHTS for registering the largest (6+) July 2018 – August 2018 increase of any station in the 36 PPM-markets we’ve highlighted thus far, Entercom classic hits-oldies WOCL “105.9 Sunny FM” (5.4 – 6.9, +1.5, 6+) rockets from eighth to third. The last time “Sunny” reached the six-share level (6+) was in September 2017 (6.4). Advancing from seventh to sixth, Cox Media Group country WWKA “K-92.3” logs its sixth straight up or flat trend for an overall +2.1 (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 6.1, 6+). Whereas WOCL is +1.5 in August, iHeartMedia Spanish tropical WRUM “Rumba 100” is -1.5 (11.6 – 10.1, 6+) but is #1 for the eighth month in a row. Prior to the May sweep, WRUM was +1.8 in four upticks in succession (8.9 – 9.3 – 9.5 – 9.9 – 10.7, 6+). Following 11 consecutive months at #1, WRUM dropped to the runner-up slot in December and remained there in “Holiday” 2017. Its +.4 in January 2018 ended four negative sweeps in a row that generated a collective -2.7 (11.6 – 11.5 – 11.4 – 11.3 – 8.9, 6+). April 2017s 12.8 is the best-ever 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. Faltering by six-tenths each are its CHR and adult contemporary cluster-mates WXXL “XL-106.7 Orlando’s #1 Hit Music Station” (flat at #2) and WMGF “Magic 107.7” (6.1, third to sixth, 6+). “XL-106.7” is a collective -1.7 in three downward moves in a row (8.9 – 8.4 – 7.8 – 7.2, 6+). Between February and May, it was up an overall six-tenths via three increases of two tenths each (8.3 – 8.5 – 8.7 – 8.9, 6+). “Magic” was locked on 6.7 (6+) in June and July, after notching a 6.2 (6+) in May. A collective +1.2 in four successive sweeps without a loss (3.6 – 3.6 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.8, 6+), Cox Media Group rhythmic CHR WPYO “Power 95.3” forfeits one-half share of that increase (4.3, -.5, 6+) and drops from ninth to tenth. After sputtering by six-tenths in July (3.9 – 3.3, 6+), Entercom-owned WQMP regresses by an additional one-half share to 2.8 (6+) but “FM 101.9 Orlando’s New Alternative” stays at #14. Hot AC cluster-mate WOMX “Mix 105.1” is -1.1 in four straight negative moves (6.3 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.2, sixth to eighth, 6+).

Cleveland

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to three consecutive declines (6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.0, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” drops six-tenths and slips from fifth to seventh. June’s -.1 suspended three consecutive increases that netted +1.3 (5.3 – 5.5 – 6.3 – 6.6, 6+); May’s 6.6 is the best 6+-stat for the Cleveland Indians flagship since October 2017’s 8.3. A one-half share gain in January halted three straight declines for a -3.5 (8.5 – 5.4 – 5.2 – 5.0, 6+). A combined -1.8 in three straight (March through June) setbacks (5.2 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 3.4, 6+), Entercom’s WKRK “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” is up four-tenths in July and August (3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8, 6+) and carries on at #12. Between November 2017 and March 2018, Cleveland’s “Fan” had five successive up or flat sweeps that netted +1.2 (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 5.2, 6+). Steady at #13, Ideastream-owned WCPN is up one-tenth to 2.7 (6+), curtailing three straight sweeps of a 2.6 (6+). The public news/talk outlet was a combined -2.5 in February and March (5.3 – 3.6 – 2.8, 6+).

Cleveland Music Formats – Six-tenths of a share separates August 2018’s top three Cleveland finishers. Four successive positive spikes by Entercom-owned WNCX (steady at #2) generate a +2.4 (6.0 – 7.1 – 8.0 – 8.2 – 8.4, 6+) as “98.5 Cleveland’s Classic Rock” has its finest 6+-performance since June 2017 (8.4, as well). Immediately in advance of the May ratings period, WNCX was a cumulative -.3 as the result of three straight sweeps without an increase (6.3 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.0, 6+). While not quite matching July’s +1.0, iHeartMedia’s WGAR tacks on a +.7 (6.4 – 7.4 – 8.1, 6+), with “99.5 – Cleveland’s #1 for New Country” remaining in third-place. Three straight negative January through April moves resulting in a -1.0 (7.2 – 6.8 – 6.3 – 6.2, 6+) were largely halted by a +.8 in May; WGAR was -.6 in June. Picking up seven-tenths in August and jumping from eighth to fifth is Radio One urban contemporary WENZ “Z-107.9,” which is an overall +1.9 in four straight improvements (4.9 – 5.6 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.8, 6+). Not only does iHeartMedia adult hits WHLK “106.5 The Lake – We Play Anything” fully erase July’s -.6 with an August +.6 to 6.9 (sixth to fourth, 6+), the increase halts five straight decreases that led to a -1.5 (7.8 – 7.5 – 7.2 – 6.9 – 6.3, 6+). In addition to notching three straight upticks for an overall +.9 (7.8 – 8.4 – 8.5 – 8.7, 6+), classic hits-oldies sibling WMJI “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” is on top for the third consecutive sweep. Nine recent WMJI fluctuations include: +.8 (November); -.9 (December); +2.5 (Holiday” 2017); -1.9 (January); +1.9 (February); -2.0 (March); +1.0 (April); -1.5 (May); and +.6 in June. When “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” reached double-digits (6+) in “Holiday” 2017, it was the first time WMJI accomplished that feat since September 2016 (10.8). As the result of five straight down or flat trends, Radio One urban AC WZAK (fourth to seventh) is -4.1 or a roughly 40% loss of its 6+-share since March (10.1 – 9.6 – 8.1 – 6.8 – 6.8 – 6.0, 6+). After three consecutive increases for an overall +1.5 (8.6 – 9.1 – 9.5 – 10.1, 6+), WZAK faltered by one-half share in April. Having reached the top spot in December with a +.9, it fell to third in “Holiday” 2017. The consistent February 2018 – July 2018 topline of Entercom hot AC WQAL (5.2 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 5.3, 6+) gets a bit of an August jolt with a one-half share loss to 4.8 (6+); nonetheless, “Q-104” remains at #9.

Kansas City

Spoken-Word Formats – By gaining seven-tenths to 4.6 (6+), Entercom news/talk KMBZ-FM not only applies the brakes to five straight February through July decreases for a -1.7 (5.6 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.1 – 3.9, 6+), “98.1 News-Traffic-Weather” returns to the top ten (#11 to #8). Prior to that streak, KMBZ-FM had six successive September 2017 through February 2018 increases for a +1.9 (3.7 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.9 – 5.6, 6+). Having surrendered eight-tenths in June, co-owned KCSP “610 Sports Radio” is up three-tenths in July and August (2.9 – 3.0 – 3.2, #13 to #12, 6+). More than doubling its 6+-share with a combined +1.9 in April and May (1.8 – 3.1 3.7, 6+), the Kansas City Royals flagship erased February’s -.4 with a +.4 in March. Within 2.2 – 2.8 range (6+) between December 2017 and June 2018, University of Missouri news/talk KCUR is locked on 3.0 (#13 to #14, 6+) in July and August. Prior to May, KCUR was up nine-tenths as a result of six straight November 2017 through April 2018 up or flat trends (1.9 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+). Separated by two-tenths are Union Broadcasting’s WHB “Sports Radio 810,” which is up six-tenths in three straight upticks (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.6, +.2, #17 to #18, 6+), and Entercom’s KMBZ-AM “Talk 980” (2.3 – 2.4, +.1, flat at #19, 6+). WHB was an overall +1.4 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018; -.9 in February; +.9 in March; and -2.0 in April and May (4.0 – 2.9 – 2.0, 6+). Meanwhile, “Talk 980” was locked on 2.2 (6+) in April and May before slipping one-tenth to 2.1 (6+) in June. With an April 2018 – August 2018 topline of .7 – .6 – .7 – .6 – .6 (6+), Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM remains at #23. Three February through May decreases in a row accounted for a -.5 (1.1 – 1.0 – .7 -.6, 6+).

Kansas City Music Formats – Storming back from July’s -.7 with a +1.0 (5.5 – 6.5, 6+), Entercom-owned KQRC leaps from sixth to second. In six consecutive Holiday 2017 – June 2018 monthlies without a loss, “98.9 The Rock” was a combined +1.7 (4.5 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 6.2, 6+). In addition to being #1 for the third month in a row, Cumulus Media’s KCFX “101 The Fox – Kansas City’s Classic Rock Station” is a cumulative +.8 in three straight sweeps without a loss (7.0 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.8, 6+). Prior to June, “The Fox” – last held the #1 position in February. It was -1.6 through three February through May decreases in succession (8.6 – 8.0 – 7.6 – 7.0, 6+). Relinquishing more than half of the +1.9 it garnered in three straight positive spikes (5.2 – 5.9 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+), Carter Broadcast Corporation urban contemporary KPRS “Hot 103” spirals by -1.1 to 6.0 (second to fifth, 6+). “Hot” was off nine-tenths as the result of three January through April downward trends in a row (6.1 – 5.6 – 5.4 – 5.2, 6+). Having set the pace in March, April, and May, Cumulus Media’s classic hits-oldies KCMO-FM “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” is now a combined -1.7 in five successive March through August dips (8.1 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.8 – 6.4, 6+) and remains at #3. KCMO-FM faltered by six-tenths in February (8.4 – 7.8, 6+), but regained half that deficit (+.3) in March. Without a loss in each sweep between December 2017 and June 2018 for an overall +2.0 (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.8 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 5.9, 6+), Steel City Media’s KBEQ “Q-104 New Hit Country” is off a combined nine-tenths in July and August (5.9 -5.8 – 5.0, fifth to sixth, 6+). After improving by six-tenths in July (5.9 – 6.5, 6+), co-owned KFKF “Country 94.1” returns half that increase in August (6.2, -.3, 6+) and remains in fourth-place. When KFKF posted a one-half share increase in May, it erased the -.5 it recorded through three decreases in a row (6.0 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.5, 6+). Anchored at #8, the market’s other country FM – Entercom’s WDAF “106.5 The Wolf” – is down (slightly) or flat for the fourth time in a row for a -.3 (4.9 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+).

Columbus

Spoken-Word Formats – Locked on 3.9 (6+) in June and July, Ohio State University news/talk WOSU (flat at #7) erupts with a +.6 in August to 4.5, its strongest 6+-stat in exactly one year (4.7, August 2017). Up seven-tenths via three consecutive “Holiday” 2017 – March 2018 sweeps without a loss (3.6 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.3, 6+), it dropped six-tenths in April; rebounded in May with a +.5; and surrendered three-tenths in June. WOSU’s 4.3 in March was the station’s best 6+-showing since 4.7 in August 2017. Anchored at #6, iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN has a very consistent March – August topline of 5.4 – 5.6 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 5.4 (6+). “News Radio 610” was -.7 in March; -1.0 in February; +1.5 in January; and -.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Prior to January 2018, the last time WTVN reached the seven-share level (6+) was February 2016 (7.3). Regaining the four-tenths it squandered in July (.9 – .5 – .9, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk WXZX “105.7 The Zone” continues at #15. Following four reports in a row without an increase for a -.2 (.9 – .9 – .8 – .8 – .7, 6+), “The Zone” was +.3 in April and May, but dropped a collective one-half share in June and July for a 50% reduction of its 6+-share (1.0 – .9 – .5, 6+).

Columbus Music Formats – Four consecutive positive spikes by iHeartMedia adult hits WODC generate a +1.6 (5.1 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.7, 6+) as “93.3 The Bus – We Play Anything” travels from fifth to third with its highest 6+-share (6.7) since 8.1 in “Holiday” 2017. While co-owned WCOL is on top for the eighth consecutive sweep, its consecutive string of upticks for an overall +4.0 (12.3 – 13.4 – 14.4 – 14.5 – 15.7 – 16.3, 6+) ends at five as “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” returns 30% of the increase (15.1, -1.2, 6+). After spending six months on top, WCOL shifted to second in “Holiday” 2017 but regained the lead in January 2018. It has been in double-digits (6+) each sweep since June 2017 and most likely has the largest 6+-stat (16.3, July 2018) in PPM-history in a sweep that did not include all-Christmas music. Accustomed to major fluctuations, “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” just this calendar year has been: +3.1 (January 2018); -1.7 (February); +1.1 (March); +1.0 (April); +1.2 (June); +.6 (July); and now 1.2 (August). Directly following June’s +1.3, mainstream CHR WNCI is -1.8 in July and August (10.7 – 10.0 – 8.9, 6+), but “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music Station” occupies the runner-up slot for the eighth time in succession. The loss of seven-tenths in July pulled the plug on three successive up or flat March through June monthlies that yielded a +1.7 (9.0 – 9.4 – 9.4 – 10.7, 6+). June’s 10.7 is the strongest 6+-stat for WNCI since October 2017 (10.7, as well); “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music Station” was a combined +1.5 in January and February (8.0 – 9.2 – 9.5, 6+). A loss of three-tenths to 6.0 (third to fifth, 6+) by Saga Communications’ adult contemporary WSNY “Sunny 95” halts three straight April through July up or flat trends that netted one-half share (5.8 – 6.1 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+).

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

| September 5, 2018

iHeartMedia Relaunches Sports Talker ‘930 The Game’ in Jacksonville. Jacksonville sports talker WFXJ-AM gets a makeover as iHeartMedia announces the debut of the new “930 The Game Jacksonville’s Sports Leader.”  The lineup includes current Orlando Sentinel columnist and former Florida Times-Union sports columnist Mike Bianchi hosting “Open Mike with Mike Bianchi” in morning drive, FOX Sports Radio’s Dan Patrick from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon, FSRN’s “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm, and station program director Seth Harp hosting “Harp on Sports with Seth Harp” for afternoon drive. Bianchi’s morning program is based at iHM’s WYGM-AM/W245CL, Orlando “FM 96.9 The Game.”  WFXJ serves as the home for Florida Gators football, basketball, and baseball.  It will also broadcast NFL games (including playoffs and the Super Bowl), the SEC basketball tournament, and more play-by-play.  Harp says of the new Mike Bianchi show, “Mike is a fantastic addition to our daily lineup.  His show focuses on the topics and stories the people of northeast Florida want to hear. The people of Jacksonville deserve a great morning drive show and Mike will deliver that tenfold.”

Hold Their Feet to the Fire Kicks Off Today in the Nation’s Capital.  The “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row began its two-day run this morning (9/5) at the Phoenix Park Hotel on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.  The annual broadcasting/political event, now in its 12th year, is presented by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).  A record number of more than 60 radio talk show hosts from across the nation are participating with live remotes interviewing numerous available guests from the fields of politics, law enforcement, media, and business about the state of the immigration reform movement.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison is in attendance and scheduled to appear on 25 radio shows between today and tomorrow.  Harrison states, “Immigration reform has been one of the most important topics on talk radio for well over a decade – long before Donald Trump made it a front-burner issue.  Many of the concerns of the American people regarding immigration have been expressed on talk shows and especially at this radio row which has grown into an extremely influential industry tradition.”  Pictured below: Harrison (right) kicked off his rigorous interview schedule by appearing on the WSBA, York, Pennsylvania morning show with host Gary Sutton (left).

Salem’s Mid-Term Madness Launches on September 10. Last month TALKERS reported that Salem Media Group has partnered with Loyal Ears Digital to create a fantasy game for this year’s midterm elections. Now, Salem Radio Network announces that the “Mid-Term Madness” game begins on September 10.  It allows listeners to the network’s Hugh Hewitt show to select who they think will win key races in the midterm elections.  Hewitt says, “I’ve been a fan of fantasy football leagues for years, but this is the first time anybody has figured out how to apply those basic rules to a national election.  My listeners are incredibly smart, especially about all these races.  The winner will get to co-host a radio show with me.  What could be better?”  Fans can go to Hugh Hewitt’s website and register to play.  The winning contestant will win a trip to Washington to be on the Hugh Hewitt radio program.  Salem SVP of spoken word Phil Boyce adds, “This midterm election is perhaps the most important non-presidential election in history, shaping the direction of the country for years to come. Adding this element of listener engagement has never been tried before, but the Hugh Hewitt show is the perfect platform to make this work.”

iHeartMedia, HowStuffWorks, and Tenderfoot TV Partner on ‘Monster: The Zodiac Killer.’ This will be the second season for the true crime podcast series from HowStuffWorks and Tenderfoot TV.  The first was “Atlanta Monster” and realized more than 30 million downloads.  For the second season, the two firms are working with iHeartMedia where the new season will debut on iHeartMedia’s radio stations on January 3, 2019, before being made available on the iHeartRadio digital platform and elsewhere.  iHeartMedia will become the primary distribution partner for all “Atlanta Monster” and “Monster: The Zodiac Killer” episodes.  The partnership also includes plans for additional seasons to come.  iHeartRadio and iHeartMedia Networks Group president Darren Davis states, “It’s evident that our listeners across the country continue to have a huge appetite for true crime programs – stories involving real people and actual real crimes.  ‘Monster: The Zodiac Killer’ is not just about exploring the crime, it’s about the people and communities around the crime.  ‘Atlanta Monster’ told a powerful story that delved deep into the societal context and cultural significance of the events that took place.  This is true crime flipped on its head, and we know season two will be even more captivating and compelling than the first.  We are excited about this partnership and being able to introduce this program to our hundreds of millions of listeners.”

TeshMedia and Compass Media Networks Partner for Ad Sales Representation.  The stable of radio programs created by John Tesh and Connie Sellecca under the TeshMedia brand are now being repped by Compass Media Networks.  The programs include: “The John Tesh Radio Show,” a.k.a. “Intelligence for Your Life,” “The Best of the John Tesh Radio Show,” “Intelligence for Your Health with Connie Sellecca,” “The Weekend Show with John Tesh,” “Gib Gerard and Intelligence for Your Life Minute,” and “Intelligence For Your Life: The Podcast.”  Compass founder and CEO Peter Kosann says, “We are over the moon and honored that John, Connie, and Gib have selected us.  As fellow entrepreneurs, we know the blood, sweat, and tears that go into building a household brand the way the Tesh family has. So this is truly an incredible honor.”

Gen Media Partners Acquires Sun Broadcast Group. Two independent syndicators join forces as Gen Media Partners announces it has acquired Sun Broadcast Group, Inc.  Gen Media Partners says that “with this latest achievement, GMP has a commanding presence across national and network General Market and Hispanic radio, radio automation, malls media, and more.”  SBG founder and president Jason Bailey, as well as COO Julio Aponte Jr. will retain partial ownership of the company and will continue to run the day-to-day operations from its offices in New York City and Boca Raton.  GMP CEO Kevin Garrity says, “The purchase of Sun Broadcast Group marks another major milestone for our company.  From our roots in heritage radio representation firm McGavren Guild Media to our early expansion with the purchase of small market radio specialist Local Focus, we continue to build our portfolio with highly respected companies and advanced technology.  Sun Broadcast Group is known for innovation, originality, and creativity in network radio.  Jason has assembled an amazing team that will continue to flourish as we join forces to grow our combined platforms to new levels. I am proud to welcome them to the GMP family of companies.”

TALKERS News Notes. Football season is here and that means football-related podcasts!  The new “RapSheet and Friends” podcast starring NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport debuts on the Westwood One Podcast Network.  The first episode is a rare media interview with New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick.  The podcast is a joint venture between Westwood One and NFL Network.  Each week “RapSheet and Friends” features “exclusive information and in-depth analysis on the biggest news in the National Football League.”  Co-hosting with Rapoport are fellow NFL reporters Mike Garafolo and Tom Pelissero…..The Washington Post is enhancing its audio division and brings former NPR News executive editor Madhulika Sikka to serve as executive producer.  She will develop a new “flagship podcast” for the news organization…..Windy City talk show host William J. Kelly and Evanston Broadcasting come to terms on a renewal of the “Citizen Kelly Show” on WCGO, Evanston for another year.  Kelly says, “At AM 1590 WCGO, we’re making Chicago radio great again, and there’s more work to do.”  Kelly is also a contributor to Daily Caller and Newsmax…..Comic Michael Yo is launching a new, two-hour talk show on SiriusXM’s Entertainment Weekly Radio channel.   Yo already appears on the satcaster’s “Hits 1 in Hollywood with Tony Fly and Symon” program.  Now, he’s hosting a weekly pop culture/lifestyle show, the first episode of which features Rose Byrne, Topher Grace, Rob RiggleDerek Hough, and many more…..ABC News’ “No Limits with Rebecca Jarvis” podcast is celebrating its 100th episode.  The first 100 episodes featured interviews with the most influential women, including 32 female CEOs and 52 founders.  Notable interviews include: Jessica Alba, Tory Burch, Brooklyn Decker, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Kate Hudson, Arianna Huffington, Rebecca Minkoff, Nicole Richie, Diane SawyerWendy Williams, and many more…..Sports talk radio pro Craig Shemon has joined ESPN Radio to handle fill-in work for its nationally syndicated programs. Shemon’s day job is as co-host of the “Shemon & Sheppard” program on Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WWCN, Fort Myers “ESPN Southwest Florida” with Pete Sheppard…..Beasley Media Group Wilmington, Delaware vice president and market manager AJ Laurie is named among the Delaware Business Times’ 2018 DBT40 Awards winners. The DBT40 Awards program recognizes 40 of Delaware’s most accomplished leaders under 40 years old for their professional accomplishments, community service, leadership and vision…..Last Friday’s three-hour radiothon on E.W. Scripps’ news/talk WTMJ and country WKTI in Milwaukee raised more than $40,000 for American Red Cross to aid victims impacted by the region’s recent historic flooding.  Pictured at left are WTMJ-TV’s Carole Meekins (left) with WTMJ-AM personality John Mercure (right).

Trump-Russia Investigation, Bob Woodward Trump Book, Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearings, Trump Approval Ratings, Nike’s Kaepernick Deal, U.S. Warns Syria, NFL Pre-season, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/4). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the publication of Bob Woodward’s new book, Fear: Trump in the White House; the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh; the president’s current approval ratings; Nike’s use of national anthem protestor Colin Kaepernick in its new “Just Do It” campaign; the U.S. warns Syria not to attack the last rebel stronghold in Idlib; the build-up to the NFL’s week 1; and the MLB playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Louisville has a new alternative rock outlet as Alpha Media flips classic hip hop WGHL “G 106.1 The Throwback Station” to “ALT 105.1.”  Alpha Media EVP of content Scott Mahalick comments, “Alternative rock is an explosive growth format and ‘ALT 105.1’ is a perfect fit in our group of stations in Louisville.  Alt Louisville marks the return of contemporary rock to Louisville on 105.1 FM.”.…..Entercom is bringing Southern California’s 80s rock station back via the KROQ-HD2 channel and Radio.com.  The “Roq of the 80s” launches with a Flashback 500 countdown featuring classic hits from artists and bands like U2, Blondie, Duran Duran, and Nine Inch Nails.  Entercom Los Angeles SVP and market manager Jeff Federman says, “KROQ came to prominence in the early 80s and we are excited to honor the iconic station with the launch of ‘Roq of the 80s.’  This new channel will give fans the opportunity to relive the station as it sounded then, while exposing new consumers to the magic of early alternative music.”  “Roq of the 80s” kicks off with KROQ on-air alumni Freddy Snakeskin and Tami Heide as well as original station imaging.

August 2018 PPM Data – Round One. Information for the August 2018 ratings period has been released for New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen Audio’s August 2018 survey period covered July 19 – August 15. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below.

TAKEAWAYS

New York City

Spoken-Word Formats – With a +.7 to 3.4 (#13 to #11, 6+), WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM recaptures in its entirety the seven-tenths it lost in May, June, and July (3.4 – 3.0 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+). Meanwhile, co-owned fellow public news/talker WNYC-AM records a .5 (6+) for the third time in a row, but slips from #29 to #30. A combined -2.0 in five consecutive decreases (6.2 – 5.5 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+), Entercom all-news WINS remains in seventh-place. Co-owned/similarly-formatted WCBS-AM returns half of July’s +.2 (2.7 – 2.6, -.1, #13 to #15, 6+). In July, it ended three successive down or flat sweeps that accounted for a loss of eight-tenths (3.3 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.5, 6+). Despite being flat at 4.7 (6+), their sports talk sibling, WFAN “Sports Radio,” advances from sixth to fifth; 4.7 in May and July is its best 6+-showing since 5.2 in November 2017. The Yankees’ flagship logged back-to-back gains of +.8 (3.1 – 3.9 – 4.7, March – April – May, 6+). Following five survey periods in a row without an increase resulting in a nearly 50% loss (-2.5) of its 6+-share (5.2 – 5.2 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 2.7, 6+), WFAN picked up four-tenths in March. Flat at #20, iHeartMedia news/talk WOR is off for the fourth straight time for a collective loss of eight-tenths (2.5 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7, 6+). The key station of the Mets, “710 The Voice of New York,” was +.6 in April. A March gain of one-tenth ended five straight down or flat reports for a -.4 (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+). Locked on 1.7 (6+) in May and June, WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” is now frozen on 1.4 in July and August (#21 to #22, 6+). When WEPN picked up two-tenths in February, it halted three downward moves in succession that produced a loss of seven-tenths (1.8 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1, 6+). The 16 most recent New York City (6+) trends for Townsquare Media’s news/talk WKXW (flat at #23) are: 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1. Two-tenths behind “New Jersey 101.5” is Cumulus Media news/talk WABC, which is without an increase for the sixth consecutive sweep for a collective loss of three-tenths (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9 -.9, #24 to #25, 6+).

New York City Music Formats – An overall -1.6 via three setbacks in succession (8.5 – 7.7 – 7.3 – 6.9, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” adds two-tenths to 7.1 (6+) and is #1 for the 13th successive sweep. Prior to July 2018, the last time WLTW fell below a six-share (6+) was in October 2017 (6.6). A collective +7.1 in five consecutive gains (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.6 – 7.0 – 8.8 – 13.1, 6+), WLTW was -5.1 in January and February (13.1 – 8.5 – 8.0, 6+) but rebounded in March and April with a +.5 (8.0 – 8.4 – 8.5, 6+). Its urban contemporary sibling, WWPR, continues a down/up pattern that began in December 2017 (3.9 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+) as “Power 105.1” departs the top ten (#10 to #12). Following five straight sweeps in a row without a loss for an overall +1.0 (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.6 , 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary WXNY “X-96.3” returns 70% of that increase (1.9, -.7, #16 to #19, 6+). July’s 2.6 is its best 6+-showing since May 2017’s 2.8. In July, “X-96.3” leapfrogged Spanish Broadcasting System’s similarly-formatted WPAT-FM “Amor 93.1” for the first time since November 2017 when “X-96.3” held a 2.1 (6+) to 2.0 (6+) advantage over “Amor 93.1.” Now in August, however, “Amor” gains four-tenths to 2.9 (6+) and moves from #17 to #14. When WPAT-FM dropped four-tenths in June, it snapped at three its consecutive string of up or flat trends that produced a +.3 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+). Up or flat for the fifth time in succession for an overall +.4 (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.8, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WKTU “103.5 The Beat of New York” re-enters the top ten (#11 to #10). “The Beat of New York” is one-tenth behind Emmis’ similar-formatted WQHT “Hot 97 – #1 for Hip-Hop,” which is flat at 3.9 (6+) and steady at #9. After posting four straight modest gains for an overall boost of one-half share (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+), “Hot” dropped one-tenth in July. Off two-tenths to 2.6 (#12 to #15, 6+), Entercom-owned WNYL “Alt 92.3 – New York’s New Alternative” ends three straight gains that netted nine-tenths (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.3 – 2.8, 6+).

Los Angeles

Spoken-Word Formats – Adding four-tenths to 3.1 (6+), Entercom’s KNX “1070 News Radio” progresses from a three-way scrum at #11 to #9. Down six-tenths in April, KNX had been in an alternating 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.7 pattern (April – May – June – July, 6+). Having recorded a 4.1 (6+) in three of the last four sweeps (4.1 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1), iHeartMedia news/talk KFI “AM 640” drops three-tenths to 3.8 (6+) but continues in sixth-place. When KFI dipped by two-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it ended at six a consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a collective eight-tenths (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). The six most recent topline (6+) stats for Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” are 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.5 (#15 to #16, 6+). Up two-tenths in June and July (.9 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+), Salem Media Group news/talk KRLA “AM 870 The Answer” returns one-tenth to 1.2 (#27 – #28, 6+). Catching KRLA is iHeartMedia-owned Los Angeles Dodgers flagship KLAC “AM 570 LA Sports,” which triples its 6+-stat (+.8) through seven successive sweeps without a loss (.4 – .4 – .5 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.2, #31 to #28, 6+). Co-owned news/talk KEIB “AM 1150 The Patriot” is up one-tenth in June, July, and August (.8 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.1, #33 to #32, 6+). Having gained one-tenth in three straight sweeps (.9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.2, 6+), sports talk KSPN “710 ESPN” falters by four-tenths to .8 (#30 to #33, 6+), while Cumulus Media-owned KABC “790 News-Talk-Evolved” logs a .4 for the third month in a row and remains at #41 (6+).

Los Angeles Music Formats – In six straight up or flat trends (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+), Entercom-owned alternative KROQ is a combined +.7, but backslides from #10 to #11. On the other hand, its format foe, iHeartMedia’s KYSR-FM “Alt 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative,” is off a combined eight-tenths in three declines in a succession (3.2 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.4, #15 to #19, 6+). Recapturing in full the six-tenths it lost in three successive down or flat trends (3.7 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.1, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KLVE “107.5 K-Love” climbs from eighth to seventh (3.7, +.6, 6+). Even though iHeartMedia hot AC KBIG is off one-tenth in July and August, “104.3 My-FM” finishes on top for the fourth straight sweep; its six most recent trends are: 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 5.6 (6+). The one-half share lead it held in July over co-owned adult contemporary KOST “Coast 103.5” lengthens to one full-share in August, as “Coast” sputters by six-tenths and slips from second to third (5.2 – 4.6, 6+). Having lost more than half (-6.6) of its 6+-stat in consecutive surveys since the “Holiday” 2017 report (11.9 – 5.5 – 5.3, 6+), KOST bounced back in March and April with a combined +.7 (5.3 – 5.9 – 6.0, 6+). Over the past 36 Los Angeles sweeps dating back to December 2015, KOST and KBIG have dominated the #1 position. “Coast 103.5” has been on top 20 times (December 2015 through January 2017; December 2017; “Holiday” 2017; March 2018; and April 2018), while “My-FM” has set the pace on 16 occasions (February 2017 through November 2017; January and February 2018; and May 2018 through August 2018. With a repetitive 5.0 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 5.1 (6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies KRTH “K-Earth 101” progresses from third to second. Smooth AC cluster-mate KTWV was a collective +.7 in five straight months without a loss (4.1 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+), but “94.7 The Wave” is now off a combined six-tenths in three straight dips (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+) and slides from fourth to fifth. An overall -.7 in six consecutive down or flat trends (4.9 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KIIS “102.7 Kiss-FM” picks up four-tenths to 4.6 (6+), progressing from fifth to third. At the same time, Entercom’s similarly-programmed KAMP “97.1 Amp Radio” – which had logged a 2.7 (6+) in May, June, and July – is up one-tenth to 2.8 (6+), yet backslides from #11 to #12. A combined +.7 in June and July to double its 6+-share (.7 – 1.0 – 1.4, 6+), Entravision Spanish adult hits KLYY “Jose 97.5” returns six-tenths (.8, #33, 6+). Trending .4 – .6 – 1.0 (6+) since May 2018, co-owned KDLD “Super Estrella 103.1” surrenders seven-tenths to .3 (#43, 6+). Logging a 2.1 (6+) for the third consecutive month, Univision Radio regional Mexican KSCA is within 2.1 – 2.8 range (6+) for the 19th ratings period in a row; “Zona Mx 101.9” moves from a three-way tie at #20 to a tie at #21. Similarly, Mt. Wilson FM Broadcasters’ KKGO “Go Country 105” (2.3 – 2.4, +.1, #19 to #20, 6+) is within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 34th time in succession; March 2018’s 2.0 is its lowest 6+-stat since January 2016 (2.0, as well). Hitting a 2.8 (November 2017, 6+) in its final days as classic rock KSWD “The Sound,” the Los Angeles frequency at 100.3 became Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KKLQ. Following the format change, it immediately slumped to 1.2 (December 2017, 6+). “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” didn’t reach a 1.0-share (6+) in the next seven sweeps (January 2018 – June 2018), including June’s .7. KKLQ disappeared from print in July 2018, but resurfaces in August 2018 with a .7 (#36, 6+).

Chicago

Spoken-Word Formats – This is the sixth time in a row that Entercom’s WBBM-AM (fifth to sixth) is without a gain for a collective -.7 (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+). The all-news outlet was up an overall eight-tenths in January and February (4.5 – 4.7 – 5.3, 6+) with February’s 5.3 its finest 6+-stat since March 2017’s 5.4. A March 2018 increase of three-tenths ended six straight down or flat sweeps that resulted in a collective -.7 (2.9 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+). For the third straight month, sports talk sibling WSCR has a fluctuation of one-tenth (3.6 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+); “670 The Score” returns to the top ten (#11 to #8). Off two-tenths in back-to-back reports (2.7 – 2.5 – 2.3, 6+), the Chicago Cubs flagship rebounded with a +1.3 in April and May (2.3 – 3.2 – 3.6, 6+). After three consecutive upticks for a combined full-share gain (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 3.0, 6+), Tribune Media news/talk WGN returns half that increase (2.5, -.5, #14 to #17, 6+). When the Chicago White Sox flagship picked up two-tenths in May, it halted three successive decreases that accounted for a collective -1.3 (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.2 – 2.0, 6+). An overall +.8 in March and April (2.2 – 2.5 – 3.0, 6+), Chicago Public Media news/talk WBEZ is now -.8 in four straight decreases (3.0 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.2, flat at #20, 6+). Flat at 1.7 (6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WLS-AM slips from #22 to #23. Its +.2 in July ended four consecutive down or flat moves that accounted for a one-half share loss (2.0 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+). Immediately prior to that, WLS-AM registered seven straight up or flat ratings periods and was +.7 in that stretch (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+). Unchanged at #26, ESPN-owned WMVP “ESPN Chicago 1000,” is without an increase for the seventh sweep in a row for an overall loss of six-tenths (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.0, 6+).

Chicago Music Formats – The incredible run for Hubbard’s WDRV motors on as “97.1 The Drive – Chicago’s Classic Rock” more than doubles its 6+-stat (a combined +3.0) via eight straight up or flat trends (2.5 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.9 – 5.5, 6+) and carries on in second-place. Through May 2018, Cumulus Media-owned WLS-FM was an overall +1.6 in seven consecutive sweeps without a loss (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 4.3, 6+), but “94.7 Chicago’s Classic Hits” surrendered one-tenth in June. It rebounds with a cumulative +1.1 in July and August (4.2 – 4.9 – 5.3, 6+), although it segues from a second-place tie with WDRV to third. The 1.2-share advantage iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ “V-103 Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” had over “The Drive” in July is down to one-half share as “V-103” is off one-tenth to 6.0 (6+); even so, it is on top for the eighth month in a row. WVAZ was up one-tenth in back-to-back ratings periods (5.9 – 6.0 – 6.1, May – June – July, 6+). Its gain of one-tenth in June halted four straight down or flat trends that produced a -.9 (6.8 – 6.6 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 5.9, 6+). Enjoying leaps of eight-tenths each are Univision Radio regional Mexican WOJO “Que Buena 105.1” (4.8, sixth to fifth, 6+) and Moody Bible Institute religious teaching WMBI “90.1 Moody Radio” (.9 – 1.7, 6+). This ends three downward moves in a row for “Que Buena” that accounted for an overall loss of one full-share (5.0 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 4.0, 6+). Up or flat for the fourth consecutive month for a +.4 (2.6 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0, Hubbard adult contemporary WSHE “100.3 SHE” advances from #14 to #13. Eight-tenths ahead of WSHE and jumping from ninth to seventh is Venture Technologies Group adult contemporary WRME-LP “FM 87.7 Me TV,” which is within 3.3 – 3.8 range (6+) for the seventh month in a row (3.6 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.7 – 3.8, 6+). Making identical 3.9 – 3.3 (-.6) seventh to tenth moves are Entercom siblings “US-99 Chicago’s Hottest Country” and WBMX “104.3 Jams – Chicago Rhythmic Music.” This is the 13th straight time that “US-99” is within 3.0 – 3.9 range. It leads iHeartMedia’s WEBG “Big 95.5 – Chicago’s New Country” (1.7 – 1.8, +.1, #23 to #22, 6+) by 1.5 shares. No higher than 5.1 (6+) and no lower than 4.7 (6+) in each of the last seven sweeps, Hubbard-owned hot AC WTMX “101.9 The Mix” regains the one-tenth it lost in July (4.8 – 4.9, +.1, 6+) and remains at #4. Having notched three increases in succession for a +.4 (3.1 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WLIT “93.9 Lite FM” is down a combined six-tenths in July and August (3.5 – 3.1 – 2.9, #13 to #15, 6+).

San Francisco

Spoken-Word Formats – While on top for the eighth straight month, Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED is nonetheless down for the fifth time in a row for a collective -2.5 (8.9 – 8.4 – 8.1 – 7.1 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). Finishing first and second, respectively, the past seven reports are KQED and Entercom all-news KCBS-AM (5.7, +.2, 6+). The latter was locked on 5.5 (6+) in June and July after being frozen on 5.4 (6+) in April and May. In advance of posting a one-tenth gain in June, KCBS-AM had been down or flat the previous four sweeps for a net loss of eight-tenths (6.2 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+). Following four successive increases for an overall +1.3 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.4, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk KSFO falters by four-tenths to 3.0 (6+) and exits the top ten (#8 to #12). Prior to gaining two-tenths in March, KSFO was a combined -1.3 in five straight decreases, (3.4 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+). Meanwhile, a gain of four-tenths to 2.1 (#21 to #20, 6+) by cluster-mate KGO curtails four successive down or flat trends that resulted in a -.3 (2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+). Trending 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.7 (6+) since April, co-owned San Francisco Giants flagship KNBR inches up from sixth to fifth; “The Sports Leader” gained nine-tenths in April. After spiraling by -1.1 in July (2.6 – 1.5, 6+), Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game” answers with a +.3 to 1.8 (#24 to #22, 6+). Before the June report, when it lost one-tenth, the key station of the Oakland A’s had been without a loss the previous nine ratings periods, nearly tripling (+1.7) its 6+-stat in that timeframe (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.7, 6+).

San Francisco Music Formats – After a May – June – July trending of 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.5 (6+), Entercom-owned KITS breaks out a +.6 to 2.1 (#20, 6+) as “Alt 105.3 The Bay Area’s Alternative” reaches the two-share level (6+) for the first time since April 2016’s 2.2. On the heels of July’s +.6, iHeartMedia’s KMEL “106.1 – #1 For Hip-Hop and R&B in the Bay Area” surrenders seven-tenths (4.4 – 3.7, fourth to fifth, 6+). July’s 4.4 is its finest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2014 (4.4, as well). Having recorded a 6+-share between 2.0 – 2.9 in each of the last 40 sweeps, Cumulus Media classic rocker KSAN adds one-tenth to 3.0 (#14 to #12, 6+). This is the third straight increase for “107.7 The Bone” for an overall +.7 (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.0, 6+). Climbing from fifth to fourth, Entercom-owned hot AC KLLC is up or flat for the third straight time for a +.5 (3.3 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 3.8, 6+). Prior to June’s increase, “Alice @ 97.3” was off eight-tenths via four successive declines (4.1 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+). Adult contemporary sibling KOIT-FM “96.5 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” regresses by a collective one-half share in three straight down or flat moves (3.9 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 3.4, eighth to ninth, 6+). Steady in third-place is iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KISQ “98.1 The Breeze,” which is -.3 in July and August (5.0 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+), after being an overall +.6 via four straight up or flat trends (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+).

Dallas

Spoken-Word Formats – Even though it regains the one-tenth it lost in July (2.9 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+), Cumulus Media sports talk KTCK “The Ticket – All Sports, All The Time” moves from a three-way tie at #15 to #16. The +1.2 (2.9 – 3.3 – 4.1, 6+) “The Ticket” racked up in April and May was fully erased in June by a -1.2. Locked on 2.8 (6+) in June and July, North Texas Public Broadcasting news/talk KERA drops two-tenths to 2.6 (#15 to #18, 6+) as it posts a 6+-share in the two-share range for the 37th consecutive sweep. Entercom sports talk and news-talk hybrid siblings KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan” and KRLD-AM “News Radio 1080” are tied with identical profiles (2.1 – 2.3, +.2, unchanged at #19, 6+). “The Fan” had been down by one-tenth in each of the last three sweeps (2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+). In advance of a +.5 in April, the Texas Rangers flagship posted five straight negative trends that resulted in a -1.2 (3.1 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 1.9, 6+). Prior to August’s +.2, “News Radio 1080” was a collective -.7 through five straight months without an increase (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+). Going back to “Holiday” 2016, KRLD-AM is within a high of 2.8 and a low of 2.0. A loss of two-tenths in March ended at seven a consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted seven-tenths (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+). Posting a 2.2 (6+) for the third time in the last five sweeps (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WBAP “News Talk 820” falls off the top twenty (three-way tie at #19 to a tie at #21). The nine most recent 6+-stats for ESPN’s KESN “103.3 ESPN Dallas” (unchanged at #33) are 1.1 – 1.0 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9 – .9. As they did in July, Salem Media Group-owned KSKY “660 AM The Answer” (flat at .7, 6+) and Cumulus Media’s KLIF-AM “570 News & Information” (.5 – .4, -.1, 6+) finish at #34 and #5, respectively.

Dallas Music Formats – A +1.5 via three positive spikes in a row (5.4 – 6.0 – 6.7 – 6.9, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KHKS was a combined -1.4 in June and July (6.9 – 6.3 – 5.5, 6+). Roaring back in August with a +1.1 (5.5 – 6.6, 6+), “106.1 Kiss – Dallas/Fort Worth’s Hit Music” is on top for the eighth straight month. When “Kiss” reached #1 in January, it was the first time the mainstream CHR held the lead position since March 2017. As the result of four straight sweeps without a loss, City of Dallas-owned WRR “Classical 101” more than doubles (+1.6) its 6+ share (1.4 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 3.0, 6+) and enters the top twenty at #15. Trending 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.7 (May – June – July, 6+), Entercom adult hits KJKK posts a +.6 to 4.3, as “100.3 Jack-FM” jumps from #8 to a three-way tie at #3. Co-owned KVIL “Alt 103.7 – DFW’s New Alternative” is without a loss for the fifth sweep in a row for a +.7 (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 3.1, 6+) and advances from #15 to #13. Despite having its successive string of up or flat trends end at three (4.4 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.6, 6+), classic hits-oldies cluster-mate KLUV “98.7 K-LUV” (4.3, -.3, 6+) moves from #4 to a three-way tie at #3. Owing to a -.9 to 4.3 (second to third, 6+), Cumulus Media’s KSCS “96.3 New Country” halts seven successive up or flat trends that accounted for a +1.3 (3.9 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 5.2, 6+). July’s 5.2 represents the best-ever 6+ share in KSCS’ PPM history and first time it ever reached the five-share level (6+). Flat at #6, co-owned and similarly-programmed KPLX “99.5 The Wolf” is without an increase for the fifth time in a row for an overall loss of three-tenths (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). Dropping one-half share each are Radio One rhythmic CHR KBFB “97.9 The Beat” (2.8, #11 to #17, 6+) and Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KYDA “Air 1 Positive Hits” (#27 to #31, 6+). “The Beat” had been without a decrease the past three ratings periods for a +.4 (2.9 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.3, 6+). A collective +.9 in May and June (1.2 – 1.4 – 2.1, 6+), KYDA is now -1.1 in July and August (2.1 – 1.5 – 1.0, 6+). In June, it reached the two-share level (2.1, 6+) for the first time since March 2017’s 2.0.

Houston

Spoken-Word Formats – Continuing a March 2018 – July 2018 down/up pattern (3.4 – 3.3 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH falls from #11 to #13; “News Radio 740” improved by six-tenths in January. In advance of that particular gain, KTRH was down or flat the previous four monthlies for an overall -1.4 (3.9 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+). Returning the two-tenths it gained in July (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.2, 6+), University of Houston news/talk KUHF skids from #15 to #17. Mirroring KTRH, KUHF was +.6 in January. Among the market’s sports talk competitors, iHeartMedia-owned Houston Astros flagship KBME “Sports Talk 790” is trending 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.1 (unchanged at #22, 6+); Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” is flat at .9 but advances from #24 to #23, 6+); and Gow Communications’ KFNC adds one-tenth (.6 – .7, 6+) as “ESPN 97.5” remains at #27.

Houston Music Formats – A cumulative -1.5 in June and July (7.2 – 6.5 – 5.7, 6+), Radio One urban AC KMJQ “Majic 102.1 – The People’s Station” responds with a +.6 in August to 6.3 (6+) and remains in the runner-up slot for the fourth month in a row. Stuck on 7.0 (6+) in January and February, “Majic” dropped to 6.8 (6+) in March; it was tied for #1 in April. Racking up an August 2018 gain of six-tenths as well is Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KOVE (3.4, #17 to #16, 6+); “Amor 106.5” had been trending 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.8 (6+). The topline (6+) April – May – June – July – August trending for KODA is 7.0 – 7.4 – 7.0 – 7.3 – 7.3, as the iHeartMedia adult contemporary facility is #1 for the fourth month in a row. Having finished first in four successive sweeps, “Sunny 99.1” segued to second in March, but then rebounded from a -1.1 in March with an April +.8 to return to the top spot. Its 12.5 in “Holiday” 2017 is its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 10.3 and the first time any Houston station reached double-digits (6+) since that ratings period. Although registering its eighth straight up or flat trend for an overall +1.4 dating back to “Holiday” 2017 (4.3 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.9 – 5.2 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+), Cox Media Group classic rock KGLK “Houston’s Eagle” backslides from a second-place tie to third. KGLK’s 5.7 in July and August is its strongest 6+-performance since 5.9 in October 2017. It is tied with Entercom adult hits KKHH “95.7 The Spot,” which is +1.2 in four straight positive spikes (4.5 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.3 – 5.7, fourth to third, 6+). A cumulative -1.9 via six straight sweeps without an increase (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.3 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.3, 6+), KSBJ Educational Foundation’s KSBJ “89.3 Contemporary Christian Music – God Listens” applies the brakes with a +.4 to 3.7 (6+), jumping from #16 to #11. Not only does Radio One rhythmic CHR KBXX drop out of the top ten (#10 to #14), “97.9 The Box” is -1.3 in three straight negative moves (4.8 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 3.5, 6+) and is below a four-share (3.5, 6+) for the first time since July 2017’s 3.9. Three straight down or flat trends resulted in a -1.2 for Cox Media Group’s KKBQ (6.4 – 5.7 – 5.2 – 5.2, 6+), but “Country 93-Q” adds one-tenth in August to 5.3 (6+) and remains in fifth place. KKBQ was a combined +1.5 in March and April (4.9 – 6.0 – 6.4, 6+). An August loss of six-tenths to 3.9 (6+) by format rival – Entercom’s KILT-FM – wipes out 60% of its +1.0 in June and July (3.5 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+) as “New Country 100.3 The Bull” slips from ninth to tenth. Prior to June’s +.6, “The Bull” had three straight declines for a cumulative -.6 (4.1 – 4.0 – 3.7 – 3.5, 6+). At the same time that Entercom Spanish contemporary KLOL “Mega 101” gains four-tenths to 4.2 (#14 to #9, 6+), Univision Radio’s similarly-formatted KAMA “Latino Mix” drops four-tenths to 2.4 (#17 to #20, 6+). In advance of the August sweep, “Mega 101” had a March 2018 – July 2018 6+ topline of 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.8, while in that same period, “Latino Mix” was 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.8 (6+).

Atlanta

Spoken-Word Formats – A combined -1.1 in May and June (3.3 – 2.7 – 2.2, 6+), following an April increase of seven-tenths, Entercom sports talk WZGC “92.9 The Game” is now an overall +1.0 in July and August (2.2 – 2.5 – 3.2, #17 to #16, 6+). Immediately in advance of a -1.1 in February, “The Game” was a combined +.7 in three straight gains (3.0 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.7, 6+). Although down three-tenths in July and August (7.8 – 7.6 – 7.5, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM is on top for the 33rd consecutive time. When WSB-AM gained three-tenths in June, it halted three consecutive negative moves that accounted for a -2.7 (10.2 – 9.4 – 8.4 – 7.7 – 7.5, 6+). WSB-AM, which was +1.6 in January, notched three straight increases for a collective +1.6 (8.6 – 8.9 – 9.9 – 10.2, 6+) but then was a combined -1.6 in three consecutive drops (10.2 – 10.0 – 9.1 – 8.6, October – November – December – “Holiday” 2017, 6+). Down or flat the past five sweeps for an overall -1.4 (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.1, 6+), City of Atlanta Board of Education news/talk WABE gains four-tenths to 3.5 (#15 to #12, 6+). Recapturing the two-tenths it lost in July (2.0 – 1.8 – 2.0, 6+), Dickey Broadcasting’s WCNN “Sports Radio The Fan” progresses from #19 to #18. When the AM flagship of the Atlanta Braves lost two-tenths in July, it stymied seven successive sweeps without a decrease that netted eight-tenths (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+). An August -1.0 by Cumulus Media’s WYAY (2.3 – 1.3, 6+) doubly erases June and July’s +.5 (1.8 – 2.1 – 2.3, 6+) as “106.6 Where Atlanta Comes to Talk” departs the top twenty (#18 to #21). Prior to April’s 2.0, WYAY recorded a 1.8 (6+) in January, February, and March. April 2018 – August 2018 stats for Georgia State University news/talk WRAS (#26 to #25) are .6 – .7 – .6 – .8 – .8 (6+).

Atlanta Music Formats – As the result of three straight upticks (4.0 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 5.9, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH “The Fish” (sixth to fourth) is a collective +1.9 and has its strongest 6+-showing (5.9) since January’s 6.0. Stuck on 6.6 (6+) in June and July, Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WSRV “97.1 The River” hangs out a one-half share increase to 7.1 (6+) and repeats in the runner-up slot. After the market’s two urban contemporary outlets were off a combined one-half share in July, they are up a collective four-tenths in August. Three-quarters of that increase comes from Entercom’s WVEE “V-103 The People’s Station” (6.6 – 6.9, second to third, 6+), while the other one-tenth is from Radio One-owned WHTA “Hot 107.9” (4.6 – 4.7, flat at #7, 6+). “V-103” was off four-tenths in July; “Hot,” which had been up six-tenths in three straight upticks (4.1 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.7, 6+), regains the one-tenth in lost in July. Before losing one-tenth in June, WVEE logged four sweeps in a row without a loss for a combined +1.3 (5.8 – 5.8 – 6.3 – 6.7 – 7.1, 6+); May’s 7.1 is its best 6+-performance in more than two years (7.3, April 2016). Following three negative trends in succession for an overall loss of nine-tenths (4.5 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+), Cox Media Group urban AC WALR wiped away seven-tenths of the loss in June; however, “Kiss 104.1 – Atlanta’s R&B” is a collective -.9 (again) in July and August (4.3 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #13). Its rival – Radio One’s WAMJ “Majic The Real Sound of Atlanta” – bounces back from its half-share loss in July with an August gain of one-tenth (5.6 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+) and continues in fifth-place. In addition to WALR, Cumulus Media-owned WKHX “Kicks 101.5 – Atlanta’s #1 For Country Hits” regresses by six-tenths as well (3.9 – 3.3, #12 to #14, 6+). Its 3.9 in July is the station’s  best 6+-showing since August 2017 (3.9, as well). Off two-tenths (4.0 – 3.8, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WUBL “94.9 The Bull” exits the top ten (#10 to #11) with its lowest 6+-performance since September 2017 (3.8, as well). A one-tenth May setback by “The Bull” ended four increases in a row for an overall gain of six-tenths (4.1 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.7, 6+); it was -.7 in June. There is zero movement in the CHR contest in terms of 6+ AQH share and market rank. Specifically, iHeartMedia’s WWPW “Power 96.1 Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” is without a loss for the fourth straight time for a cumulative gain of seven-tenths (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 4.1 – 4.1, steady at #9, 6+) and repeats its best 6+-stat (4.1) since February’s 4.3, while Cumulus Media’s WWWQ “Q-100, Atlanta’s New Hits” is flat at 4.2 and continues in eighth-place. “Q-100” was locked on 4.0 (6+) in May and June. At the same time that Entercom hot AC WSTR “Star 94.1 – Today’s Hits” is up or flat for the fourth time in a row for a collective +1.4 (2.5 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 3.9, #12 to #10, 6+), Cox Media Group adult contemporary WSB-FM “B-98.5” is without an increase in the same timeframe for a loss of seven-tenths (5.9 – 5.8 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 5.2, 6+) and slips from fourth to fifth. Having logged seven straight up or flat moves (1.3 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.1, 6+) and finishing #19 in May, Cox Media Group urban contemporary WSTR-HD3 is unlisted for the third month in a row.

Philadelphia

Spoken-Word Formats – Recording gains of seven-tenths