Tag: "Sports Talk"

Friday, November 8, 2019

| November 8, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, November 7, 2019

| November 7, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

October PPM Ratings Takeaways – Round Four

| November 1, 2019

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

Austin

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

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

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

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

Raleigh

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

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

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

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

Indianapolis

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

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

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

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

Milwaukee

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

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

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

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

Nashville

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

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

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

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

Providence

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

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

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

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

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

Norfolk

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

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

Jacksonville

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

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

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

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

West Palm Beach

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

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

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

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

Greensboro

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

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

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

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

Memphis

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

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

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

Hartford

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

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

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

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

Thursday, October 31, 2019

| October 31, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

Impeachment Inquiry, California Wildfires, Twitter Bans Political Ads, 2020 Presidential Race, APEC Summit Canceled/U.S.-China Trade Deal, and Nationals Win World Series Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/30). The testimony for the impeachment inquiry against President Trump; the millions affected by the California wildfires and the PG&E power blackouts; social media platform Twitter announces a ban on political ads; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; Chile cancels the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit due to civil unrest and the related U.S.-China trade deal; and the Washington Nationals upset the Houston Astros to win the World Series were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Jake Thomson rises to program director at Dick Broadcasting’s country WUBB, Savannah-Hilton Head “BOB 106.9,” taking over for Hunter Meyer, who exited the station back in May.  Thomson will continue to host the PM drive daypart…..Air personality Isaac Wenzel exits iHeartMedia’s Madison country outlet WMAD “96.3 Star Country.  He was also in charge of promotions for the company’s Madison station group.

October PPM Ratings Takeaways – Round Three

| October 31, 2019

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

Portland

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

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

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

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

Charlotte

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

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

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

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

San Antonio

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

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

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

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

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

Sacramento

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

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

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

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

Pittsburgh

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

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

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

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

Salt Lake City

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

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

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

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

Las Vegas

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

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

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

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

Orlando

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

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

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

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

Cincinnati

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

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

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

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

Cleveland

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

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

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

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

Kansas City

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

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

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

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

Columbus

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

| October 30, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

| October 23, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

September 2019 PPM Analysis: News/Talk

| October 15, 2019

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

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

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

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

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September 2019 PPM Analysis: Hot AC

| October 14, 2019

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

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

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

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

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

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

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Friday, October 11, 2019

| October 11, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

| October 8, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Impeachment Inquiry, Bidens Investigation, Trump’s Syria Decision, 2020 Presidential Race, Omar Files for Divorce, NBA-China Rift, and Joker Film Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/7). The impeachment inquiry against President Trump and the report of a second whistleblower; the reported activities of Joe and Hunter Biden with regard to business in foreign countries; President Trump’s decision to remove U.S. troops from Northern Syria in deference to Turkey; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar files for divorce amidst rumors of an affair with a Democratic operative; the rift between the NBA and China over the Houston Rockets’ general manager’s comments; and the Joker film were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Bay Area sales pro David Drutz is named vice president and market manager for Alpha Media’s San Jose duo KBAY-FM and KEZR-FM.  Drutz was most recently vice president of sales for Cumulus Media’s sports talk KNBR-AM/FM, San Francisco.  Drutz says, “I’m incredibly excited to be part of a company as visionary as Alpha Media and lead classic hits KBAY and hot AC KEZR.  Both brands not only dominate Silicon Valley but also have tremendous reach throughout the Bay Area.  It’s going to be great fun in managing these stations to even more success!”…..Programming pro JT Bosch is promoted to senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s Greensboro station group, effective October 14.  Bosch will also serve as program director for rock WVBZ-FM “105.7 MAN UP!”  Bosch has been with iHeartMedia since 2001 and most recently served as the assistant program director, music director and afternoon show host for country WKKT, Charlotte “96.9 The Kat.”  He says, “The opportunity to lead our programming efforts in Greensboro is so incredible.  We are ushering in a new era and I’m honored to be a part of it.  Thanks to the entire iHeartMedia senior leadership team for their continued support.”…..Cumulus Media announces that it has appointed Mike Moore program director for country WKHX-FM, Atlanta “Kicks 101.5.”  Moore comes to Atlanta from his most recent position as VP of programming for Entercom’s Portland cluster where he also programmed country KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf.”  Cumulus EVP of content and audience Brian Philips states, “As we met a strong field of senior candidates for WKHX, Mike Moore pushed his way to the front with thoughtful ideas and hard-driving enthusiasm.  His wartime country radio leadership experience will enable him to build the team that changes the Atlanta landscape.”

Thursday, October 3, 2019

| October 3, 2019

Starnes and FOX News Part Company After Speculation About Democrats Worshipping Demons.  A source with knowledge of the situation said that it was in the works well in advance of Monday.  But Todd Starnes’ departure from the FOX News organization came immediately after Monday’s radio show broadcast in which show guest Robert Jeffress suggested that Democrats worship the Canaanite god Moloch (who required child sacrifice) because of their support for abortion rights.  Starnes agreed with Jeffress that he believes Democrats are coming after Christians.  Starnes said via Twitter, “I’m proud to call myself a gun-toting, Bible-clinging, Deplorable Trump supporter.  I am a rock-solid conservative and I do not compromise my beliefs. Period.”  Starnes hosted a daily, three-hour radio show on FOX News Radio as well as “Starnes Country” on the FOX Nation platform.  His radio show is being replaced with a rotating series of hosts for “FOX Across America” for now.

KLBJ-AM, Austin Afternoon Host Jeff Ward Exits.  For the past 22 years, Jeff Ward has hosted the afternoon drive show on news/talk KLBJ-AM, Austin.  That gig ended on October 1 when the station announced new afternoon programming, stating, “Sometimes, it’s just time for a change – and NewsRadio KLBJ keeps reinventing itself with live local shows and the best national programming.”  Emmis Communications sold its 51% stake in the Austin station group that included KLBJ-AM and five music brands to minority partner Sinclair Telecable for $39.3 million.  Last week the FCC waived its ownership cap for Sinclair, allowing the company to keep all six stations in Austin.  Via social media, Ward says, “I’m honored to have given every ounce of intellectual honesty I have for the past 20 years. To anyone who appreciates that, I appreciate you.  Whether I made you laugh or scream, every day I thought about how to make that barstool the most entertaining place you could be. It’s all I ever wanted to do. That part of the job was fun. Thank you for letting me in. I admire you, and I hope you admire me.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go play with my kids.”  Ward’s co-host Ed Clements remains with the station.  The new afternoon programming at KLBJ-AM is as follows: Ed Clements with Mark Caesar and Melynda Brant from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm; Ed Clements with sports talk personality Jason Dick from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm; and Premiere NetworksBuck Sexton show starting at 6:00 pm.

Philippi to Replace Retiring Gade at Alpha Media Lincoln. Longtime Alpha Media Lincoln general manager Julie Gade retires after a 42-year career in the radio business.  Cluster sales manager Katie Philippi is taking over the GM position.  Reflecting on the business, Gade says, “Radio, our websites, and digital advertising products have been evolving, but one thing that has not changed is the family bond you feel with broadcasters anywhere in the country.  They seem to all have a common desire to help, educate, and entertain their listeners and viewers.  I will miss that energy, their intelligence, and insatiable need for humor on a daily basis.”  Philippi has been serving with the Lincoln station group since 2006.  She states, “Over the past 11 years, my day-to-day role as a sales manager has changed often.  This is part of the reason I am still so invigorated by the career.”

Andy Stuart Exits Cumulus Toledo Market Manager Role. According to a piece in the Toledo Blade by Kirk Baird, media executive Andy Stuart has left Cumulus Media and his role with the company as regional vice president and market manager for the Toledo station group that includes sports talk WTOD-FM “The Ticket” and seven music brands.  According to the Blade, Cumulus has not announced its plans for replacing Stuart.  He joined Cumulus in 2014.  He also served with iHeartMedia (then-Clear Channel) in the Toledo market from 2002 through 2012.

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports on the new program being launched by Windy City broadcasters Hannah Stanley, Fred Weintraub, and Justin Kulovsek. The weekly radio program is being called, “Gabby Road with Hannah, Fred and Justin,” and will air from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm on Sundays on GAB Radio Network’s WCGO, Evanston.  Stanley has worked on air at WGN and ESPN Radio.  Weintraub is an executive producer at Weigel Broadcasting, and Kulovsek is vice president of innovation at the Museum of Broadcast Communications…..SiriusXM and producer, TV, and radio host Andy Cohen agree to terms on a three-year contract extension for Cohen to continue as content curator of SiriusXM’s Radio Andy channel.  He’ll also continue to host his twice-weekly show “Andy Cohen Live.”  Cohen says, “I love the freedom of radio, especially long form, uncensored interviews, and the immediate connection with my audience.  Building this channel into a platform to discuss everything from politics with Dan Rather to pop culture with Jeff Lewis has been an incredibly satisfying creative experience.  I’m grateful to have three more years to continue expressing the breadth of my passion and one channel up the dial from my radio hero, Howard Stern.”…..Chicago Public Media’s public radio news/talk WBEZ announces its new midday talk show will be titled, “Reset with Jenn White,” and will air from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm, effective October 14.  White moves from “The Morning Shift” program that is being cancelled along with the “Worldview” program hosted by Jerome McDonnell…..Alpha Media’s Brookings, South Dakota cluster was honored with a visit from FCC chairman Ajit Pai and FCC special counsel Preston Wise on September 17.  The two were in Brookings to visit the Precision Ag Center at South State University.  While there, they took a tour of the stations and met the staff.  Pictured below is Pai (right) with Alpha news director Perry Miller (left).

KMG and iHeartMedia Official Podcast Partners of ‘Politicon 2019.’ When Politicon 2019 gets underway at the Music City Center in Nashville on October 26, Krantz Media Group Networks will be on hand to launch an exclusive “Politicon 2019” audio activation strategy that includes a live 24/7 audio channel – “real time podcasts” – and live audio coverage.  KMG is also partnering with iHeartMedia as official podcast partners of Politicon 2019.   The “Politicon on iHeartRadio” channel will feature in-depth coverage of the convention.  Additionally, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WLAC, Nashville will broadcast live from the convention’s radio row on October 26 and 27.

Impeachment Inquiry/Ukraine Probe, 2020 Presidential Race, Dallas Cop Sentencing Controversy, Immigration Policy, Joker Film, and Hartford B-17 Crash Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/2).  The impeachment inquiry against President Trump and the related investigation into the dealings of Hunter Biden in the Ukraine and Trump’s conversation with Ukraine President Volodomyr Zelensky; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the sentencing of former Dallas cop Amber Guyger and the controversy surrounding the hug she received from the judge; the Trump administration’s immigration policies, including a report it intends to collect DNA samples from immigrants to enter into a criminal database; controversy surrounding the new Joker film; and the crash of a WWII-era B-17 bomber in Hartford that left seven dead were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS and The Epoch Times Co-Presented “Talk Media Forum on US-China Relations” in NYC; Video Posted for On Demand Viewing.  A powerful panel discussion titled, “Talk Media Forum on US-China Relations,” took place in New York City yesterday morning (10/1) that was described by one of its media industry attendees as “a 90-minute PhD on the subject.”  The information-packed co-presentation of TALKERS and The Epoch Times included radio talk show hosts Hugh Hewitt of Salem Radio NetworkJohn Batchelor of WABC, New York, and Tom Sullivan of Talk Media Network, as well as a group of experts on the present state of China and its increasingly strained relationship with the United States that included Nan Su of NTDTVJoshua Philipp of The Epoch Times and Dr. Dana Cheng of The Epoch Times.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison served as moderator.  The conversation focused on the US-China trade war, Hong Kong protests, China’s human rights abuses, Huawei and the worldwide battle for 5G dominance, the North Korea nuclear threat, China’s ongoing intellectual property theft, China’s military buildup, and the long term goals and methods of the Chinese Communist Party, plus more.  According to Harrison, “We produced this event to serve as a serious informational workshop for talk media hosts to absorb the basics of a topic that will be of enormous importance in world events over the coming years.”  Harrison adds, “Based on the response we have received to its live streaming and subsequent on-demand rebroadcasts on NTDTV (New Tang Dynasty TV) and Talkers.com, we seem to have succeeded in achieving that goal.  The panelists were magnificent.” See the video of  event here.

High Profile Book Publisher and Media Figure Judith Regan is this Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.   One of the most successful and bold women in contemporary multi-platform media, Judith Regan, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  She’s a book publisher aptly described as a “publishing powerhouse” having run her own imprint Regan Books with HarperCollins for a number of years and today heading the dynamic firm, ReganArts.  Regan is not afraid to be politically incorrect – especially in matters that involve supporting the rights of controversial figures to write and speak in the public marketplace of ideas. Some of her best-selling books include Gregory Maguire‘s Wicked, which went on to become a world famous musical, Wally Lamb‘s I Know This Much is True, soon to be an HBO series and books by a wide range of authors including Sean Hannity, Howard Stern, Michael Moore, Francis Ford Coppola, Khloe Kardashian as well as cookbooks, design books and hundreds of other award-winning titles. She has hosted talk shows on Fox News Channel and SiriusXM Satellite Radio and produced and hosted the two-hour O.J. Simpson “confession” on Fox which aired last year based on the highly controversial book she published titled, If I Did It.   She also produced the Netflix show The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell.   Her latest book publication – also extremely controversial due to the tarnished reputation of its author –  is How to Beat Trump by former news executive and correspondent Mark Halperin, whose career at mainstream media outlets recently came to a crashing end due to being the focus of a number of high-profile #MeToo accusations. Harrison and Regan candidly discuss her career, controversy, free speech, the #MeToo movement and political correctness.  To listen to this 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 or on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Ft. Myers market, Lil Brownie, a.k.a. Amanda Pizana, is named co-host of the “Big Mama & the Wild Bunch” morning show on Beasley Media Group’s CHR WXKB- FM, effective October 7.  She was most recently the evening personality at Cumulus Media’s CHR KLIF-FM, Dallas.  She says, “I am super excited to be working with ‘Big Mama and The Wild Bunch’ and to start living my best life in Florida.”…..Alpha Media Fredericksburg announces the addition of on-air pro Scott Paulsen to mornings on WWUZ “96.9 The Rock.”  Paulsen has worked at rock WDVE in Pittsburgh during the 1980s and 1990s.  He’s also done voiceover work for Nickelodeon’s “Action League Now!”  Alpha Media Fredericksburg OM and content director Bill West comments, “Having the chance to add someone with Scott’s experience to the ‘96.9 The Rock’ team is very exciting.  His attention to detail with his stories on the morning show, added to his love for the music marks a huge step up for the station.”  Paulsen takes over for Andy Welch who moves to the midday show.

September 2019 PPM Data – September 2019 ratings information has been released for the second round of 12 markets, including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen Audio’s September 2019 survey period covered August 15 – September 11.  See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from nine PPM markets below.

San Francisco

Spoken-Word Formats. Dropping from #21 to #22, Cumulus Media news/talk KSFO is in a June 2019 through September 2019 pattern of 2.0 – 1.7 – 2.0 – 1.7 (6+). July 2019’s 1.7 marked the first time KSFO fell below a two-share for the first time since July 2017’s 1.8. Ironically, cluster-mate KGO records a similar repetitive June 2019 through September 2019 sequence: 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.5 (#24 to #25, 6+). KGO was down one-tenth in June (1.7 – 1.6, 6+), so this is actually the fourth straight time it has had a month-to-month shift of one-tenth. After logging a .2 (6+) in seven of the last eight sweeps, iHeartMedia-owned KKSF-AM “Real Talk 910 – Think Forward” gains one-tenth to .3 (#35 to #34, 6+).

Three straight up or flat sweeps by Cumulus Media sports talk KNBR-AM (Giants, 49ers) yielded a +1.1 (3.3 – 3.3 – 4.1 – 4.4, 6+) but “The Sports Leader” forfeits seven-tenths to 3.7 (6+), falling from third to seventh. Less than a week before the September ratings period concluded (9/6), co-owned triple A KFOG jettisoned its longtime music format and became sports talk KNBR-FM (1.0 – .9, -.1, #28, 6+). By gaining one-tenth to 1.6 (#26 to #24, 6+), Entercom’s similarly-formatted KGMZ “95.7 The Game” halts three consecutive declines that accounted for a -1.8 (3.3 – 3.0 – 1.9 – 1.5, 6+). KGMZ nearly doubled (+1.5) its 6+-stat in three straight sweeps without a loss, (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 3.3, 6+).

Even though KGMZ all-news sibling KCBS-AM (Raiders) drops one-tenth (6.5 – 6.4, 6+), it moves from the runner-up slot to a first-place tie. KCBS-AM last reached #1 in May.

KCBS-AM is deadlocked at the top with Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED, which spirals seven-tenths to 6.4 (#1 the fourth time in a row, 6+), thus almost completely erasing its +.8 in three consecutive improvements (6.3 – 6.6 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+). August’s 7.1 was its best 6+-stat since 7.3 in March. San Francisco Unified School District’s KALW “91.7 Local Public Radio” is trending -1.0 – .9 – .8 – 1.0 – .9 – .7 (April – May – June – July – August – September, #28 to #31, 6+).

San Francisco Music Formats – Not only does Cumulus Media classic rocker KSAN tack on a whopping +1.7 to August’s increase of four-tenths (2.7 – 3.1 – 4.8, 6+), “107.7 The Bone” rockets from tenth to third. KSAN was a combined -1.3 in June/July (4.0 – 3.3 – 2.7, 6+). Off a collective four-tenths via three straight down or flat moves (4.2 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.8, 6+), Entercom hot AC KLLC “Alice @ 97.3” responds with a September increase of nine-tenths to 4.7 (seventh to fourth, 6+). Similarly-formatted/iHeartMedia-owned KIOI “Star 101.3” notches its sixth report in a row without a decrease and has earned six-tenths in that stretch (2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.5, ninth to eighth, 6+). Despite being up an overall six-tenths via three successive modest increases (3.6 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 4.2, 6+) and having its best 6+-stat (4.2) since April’s 4.4, adult contemporary cluster-mate KISQ “98.1 The Breeze” backslides from fourth to fifth. August’s gain of seven-tenths by co-owned rhythmic CHR KYLD vanishes as “Wild 94.9 – The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station” surrenders nine-tenths (4.0 – 3.1, 6+) and fades from the top ten (#5 to #11). Entering the August sweep, KYLD lost eight-tenths as a result of four successive down or flat trends (4.1 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.3, 6+). A dip of one-half share (2.5 – 2.0, 6+) sends Entercom-owned KITS “Alt 105.3 The Bay Area’s Alternative” from #13 to #19. Albeit down three-tenths in three straight sweeps without an increase (3.6 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.3, eighth to tenth, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary KMEL “#1 For Hip-Hop and R&B” is within 3.0 – 3.9 range the 15th time in a row. April 2019’s 3.7 represents its best 6+-stat since October 2018’s 3.9. After logging five straight reports without a loss for a net gain of seven-tenths (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.9 – 2.0, 6+), Bonneville’s KUFX “98.5 K-Fox The South Bay’s Classic Rock” has dropped a cumulative three-tenths in four consecutive down or flat trends (2.0 – 1.9 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7, unchanged at #22, 6+).

Dallas

Spoken-Word Formats – Entering the July sweep, Cumulus Media’s WBAP had been positive or flat six successive survey periods for a +1.8 (2.3 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 4.1, 6+). “News Talk 820” has since been -.6 (July); +.4 (August); and now -.3 in September (3.9 – 3.6, sixth to seventh, 6+). Four successive up or neutral sweeps by Cumulus Media’s KLIF-AM result in a gain of two-tenths (.3 – .3 – .4 – .5 – .5, 6+) as “570 News & Information” remains at #36. It is one-tenth ahead of Salem Media Group-owned KSKY “660 AM The Answer,” which repeats August’s .4 and #37 rank (6+).

After a June/July +.8 (1.5 – 1.8 – 2.3, 6+), Entercom’s KRLD-FM (Rangers, Cowboys) lost two-tenths in August but “105.3 The Fan” rebounds with a +.3 in September (2.1 – 2.4, #20 to #19, 6+). Owing to six reports in succession without an increase, Cumulus Media’s KTCK “The Ticket – All Sports All The Time” has lost nearly half (-1.3) its 6+ AQH share (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.4, flat at #25, 6+). Disney/ESPN’s KESN “103.3 ESPN Dallas,” which had a month-to-month fluctuation of one-tenth four times in a row (.8 – .9, 6+); (.9 – .8, 6+); (.8 – .7, 6+); and (.7 – .8, 6+), picks up two-tenths to 1.0 (#31 to #30, 6+).         

With a July – August – September topline of 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.7 (6+), Entercom news-talk hybrid KRLD-AM “News Radio 1080” carries on at #23.

August’s increase of three-tenths by KERA curtailed four straight negative or neutral moves that resulted in a collective -1.0 (3.9 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 2.9, 6+); the North Texas Public Broadcasting news/talk outlet repeats August’s 6+ AQH share (3.2) and market rank (#11).

Dallas Music Formats – Posting a gain of seven-tenths to 3.3 (6+), Entercom regional Mexican KMVK halts three straight downward moves that accounted for a loss of four-tenths (3.0 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.6, 6+). Moreover, “La Grande 107.5” vaults from #16 to #9. Locked on 3.9 (6+) in July and August, Cumulus Media’s country-formatted KPLX “99.5 The Wolf” hangs out a one-half share improvement to 4.4 (sixth to fourth, 6+). At the same time, co-owned/similarly-formatted KSCS “New Country 96.3” is without an increase the third straight time for a cumulative loss of six-tenths (3.8 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+) and departs the top ten (#9 to #11). Setting the pace the ninth month in a row is iHeartMedia CHR KHKS “106.1 Kiss – Dallas/Fort Worth’s Hit Music” (6.7 – 6.5, -.2, 6+). An August increase of nine-tenths wiped away the collective nine-tenths “Kiss” lost as a result of three straight negative or neutral moves (6.7 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 5.8, 6+). Its May dip of four-tenths brought to a close four successive up or flat sweeps that netted eight-tenths (5.9 – 6.1 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 6.7, 6+). April’s 6.7 was KHKS’ best 6+-stat since May 2018’s 6.9. Continuing in the runner-up slot, Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KLTY “94.9 Your Life … Inspired” is an overall +1.5 via three straight up or flat trends (4.0 – 4.1 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+). KLTY was stymied on 4.2 (6+) in April and May before slipping to 4.0 (6+) in June. Ups/downs continue for WAY Media’s similarly-formatted KAWA “WAY-FM Uplifting-Upbeat-Real,” which was -1.2 in March; a combined +1.2 in April/May (1.1 – 1.6 – 2.3, 6+); -1.4 in June; +.2 in July; -.5 in August; and now +.4 in September (.6 – 1.0, #32 to #30, 6+). A combined +.8 in July/August (1.2 – 1.6 – 2.0, 6+), North Texas Public Broadcasting triple A KKXT “91 KXT” falters by six-tenths to 1.4 (#25, 6+). Tied with KKXT is Liberman Broadcasting regional Mexican KNOR “La Raza 93.7,” which forfeits in its entirety August’s half-share increase (1.4 – 1.9 – 1.4, #23 to #25, 6+).

Houston

Spoken-Word Formats – Down or flat the past four reports for a net loss of one-half share (3.8 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH ends the slide with a one-tenth gain to 3.4 (#15 to #14, 6+). “News Radio 740” was -.7 in December 2018 (4.3 – 3.6, 6+); -.7 in “Holiday” 2018 (3.6 – 2.9, 6+); and +.7 in January 2019 (2.9 – 3.6, 6+). Co-owned KPRC lost half (-.2) its 6+ AQH-share in five straight sweeps without an increase (.4 – .4 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .2, 6+) but “AM 950 – Houston’s More Stimulating Talk Radio” picks up one-tenth to .3 (#31 to #29, 6+).

Cluster-mate KBME “Sports Talk 790” (Astros) returns the three-tenths it acquired in August (1.1 – 1.4 – 1.1, 6+) but continues at #22. Catching KBME is Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” (Texans), which has an April 2019 through September 2019 topline of: 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 (#24 to #22, 6+). For the eighth straight time, Gow Communications’ sports talk KFNC “ESPN 97.5” is without an increase for a net loss of four-tenths (.9 – .9 – .8 – .8 – .8 – .7 – .7 – .5 – .5, flat at #26, 6+).

After relinquishing one-tenth in back-to-back survey periods (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3, 6+), University of Houston news/talk KUHF is up six-tenths to 2.9 (#19 to #17, 6+), its best 6+-showing in nearly a year (3.0, October 2018).

Houston Music Formats – In addition to being a combined +1.2 in August/September (5.3 – 5.5 – 6.5, 6+), Cox Media Group classic rock KGLK “The Eagle” soars from fourth to second with its highest 6+-stat (6.5) in exactly two years (6.7, September 2017). This time last month, Radio One urban AC KMJQ advanced from second to first. “Majic 102.1 The People’s Station” not only repeats at #1, it chalks up an increase of nine-tenths to 7.1 (6+) and is a combined +1.3 in August/September (5.8 – 6.2 – 7.1, 6+). KMJQ last crossed the seven-share threshold (6+) in May 2018 (7.2). A collective +.7 in three straight bumps (4.9 – 5.0 – 5.1 – 5.6, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN “Que Buena 102.9” inches up from fifth to fourth. A September increase of two-tenths by Cumulus Media CHR KRBE “104.1 – Houston’s #1 Hit Music Station” (4.5 to 4.7, eighth to seventh, 6+) suspends five consecutive negative or neutral trends that led to an overall decline of eight-tenths (5.3 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 4.5, 6+). Three straight up or neutral moves by Entercom hot AC KHMX accounted for a +1.7 (3.0 – 3.4 – 4.7 – 4.7, 6+) but September’s loss of nine-tenths to 3.8 (6+) knocks “Mix 96.5” out of the top ten (#7 to #12). Spanish contemporary cluster-mate KLOL “Mega 101 FM” is a combined -1.0 in August/September (4.2 – 3.9 – 3.2, #13 to #15, 6+). This is the sixth time in the last seven survey periods that adult hits sibling KKHH “95.7 The Spot” posts a 6+ AQH share between 5.0 – 5.7 (5.1 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.4 – 5.0 – 5.7 – 5.5, third to fifth, 6+). Dropping from second to third, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA has lost roughly 51% (-6.2) of its 6+ AQH share in nine straight months without an increase (12.1 – 8.6 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 7.5 – 7.3 – 7.1 – 6.6 – 5.9 – 5.9, 6+). “Sunny 99.1” was at #1 16 sweeps in a row before segueing to #2 in August. Immediately in advance of this spiral, KODA was a cumulative +4.9 via three consecutive gains (7.2 – 7.5 – 9.7 – 12.1, 6+). It had been more than two years since KODA slipped below a six-share (June 2017, 5.8, 6+). Urban contemporary cluster-mate KQBT “93.7 The Beat,” which was off an overall eight-tenths in four straight reports without an increase (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 3.6, 6+), pulls the plug with a +.2 to 3.8 (#14 to #12, 6+). As Cox Media Group’s KKBQ “The New Country 93-Q” gains one-tenth to 4.6 (steady at #8, 6+), Entercom’s similarly-formatted KILT-FM “100.3 The Bull” drops one-tenth to 4.2 (6+) yet improves from tenth to ninth. KKBQ is trending 4.8 – 4.7- 4.5 – 4.6 (June – July – August – September, 6+).  Before losing two-tenths in March, KILT-FM had been +1.7 via three bumps in a row (3.5 – 3.8 – 4.5 – 5.2, 6+).

Washington, DC

Spoken-Word Formats – Stuck on 5.3 (6+) in July and August, Cumulus Media news/talk WMAL forfeits two-tenths to 5.1 (fifth to seventh, 6+). July’s increase of nine-tenths halted three successive March through June declines that accounted for an overall 2.4 (6.8 – 5.5 – 5.2 – 4.4, 6+); March’s 6.8 represents its best 6+-stat in the PPM-era. After posting a .2 (6+) in August 2018, Radio One’s WOL “News Talk – Where Information Is Power” is unlisted for the 14th sweep in succession.

Following three consecutive reports of a 3.4 (6+), Entercom sports talk WJFK-FM (Nationals) adds one-tenth to 3.5 (#12 to #11, 6+). In June, “106.7 The Fan” recaptured almost half (three-tenths) the eight-tenths lost in May. Replacing July/August’s combined -.3 with a September +.3 (.9 – .7 – .6 – .9, 6+), Radio One’s similarly-formatted WTEM “980 The Team” moves from #23 to #21. Cumulus Media suspended its news/talk simulcast of WMAL-AM & WMAL-FM on July 1, with the former becoming sports talk WSBN “ESPN 630 AM The Sports Capitol.” WSBN checked in with a .1 (#29, July, 6+); was unlisted in August; and resurfaces in September (.1, #30, 6+).

Notwithstanding that it drops one-half share (8.0 – 7.5, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting all-news WTOP-FM jumps from third to first. Prior to gaining one-tenth in August, WTOP-FM was an overall -2.5 in six successive down or flat sweeps (10.4 – 9.8 – 9.7 – 8.7 – 8.7 – 8.2 – 7.9, 6+). It shifted to the runner-up slot in July after six straight months at #1. More than doubling (+.5) its 6+ stat through four consecutive up or flat moves (.4 – .5 – .6 – .6 – .9, 6+), Entercom business news WDCH progresses from #23 to a four-way tie at #21.

Tied for the top spot in August, American University-owned news/talk WAMU “The Mind Is Our Medium” sputters by eight-tenths in September and slips to a second-place tie (8.2 – 7.4, 6+). July’s boost of four-tenths suspended three successive slips that accounted for a loss of nine-tenths (8.9 – 8.7 – 8.4 – 8.0, 6+). Immediately prior to gaining three-tenths in March, WAMU was -2.2 (“Holiday” 2018); +2.5 (January 2019); and -1.2 (February).

Washington, DC Music Formats – Three upticks in succession by Atlantic Gateway Communications contemporary Christian WGTS have produced a +2.0 (4.2 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 6.2, 6+) as “91.9 Christian Music Radio” leaps from seventh to fourth. Drifting from the top ten (#9 to #16) is iHeartMedia’s WMZQ “98.7 Today’s Best Country,” which falters by -1.0 (3.7 – 2.7, 6+) and falls below a three-share (2.7, 6+) for the first time since February (2.8). This time last month, Radio One urban AC WMMJ “Majic” and public radio news/talk WAMU were deadlocked at #1. They are still tied in September but not at #1 as both suffer an identical loss of eight-tenths (8.2 – 7.4, first to second, 6+). When WMMJ added two-tenths in July, it interrupted three consecutive dips that resulted in a cumulative loss of seven-tenths (8.2 – 7.8 – 7.7 – 7.5, 6+). Immediately prior to that skid, “Majic” put together six successive increases that netted a +1.8 (6.4 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.4 – 7.5 – 7.9 – 8.2, 6+). Howard University’s similarly-programmed WHUR is off an overall seven-tenths in four monthlies in succession without an increase (6.5 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 5.9 – 5.8, 6+). After finishing in fourth-place the past four sweeps, WHUR shifts to fifth. Down one-tenth in back-to-back reports (6.5 – 6.4 – 6.3, 6+), WHUR regained that deficit with a May pickup of two-tenths. Its March loss of one-tenth stymied three successive increases that accounted for a +1.2 (5.3 – 6.2 – 6.4 – 6.5, 6+). An overall -1.2 as a result of three consecutive down or neutral reports (4.6 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.4, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WIHT “Hot 99.5” exits the top ten (#9 to #12) with its lowest 6+-stat (3.4) since March (3.2). Anchored in ninth-place, Entercom rhythmic CHR WPGC notches a 3.7 the third time in the last four sweeps (3.7 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+). Classic hits-oldies sibling WIAD “94.7 The Drive – DC’s Greatest Hits” is off a cumulative eight-tenths in three downward trends in a row (3.4 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.6, #16 to #17, 6+).

Atlanta

Spoken-Word Formats – An overall +1.3 via three straight up or flat trends (6.3 – 6.6 – 7.6 – 7.6, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM repeats at #1. Following three consecutive months on top, WSB-AM slipped to the runner-up slot in April. Entercom’s WAOK “1380 The Voice of the Community” doubles its 6+ stat in three successive reports without a loss (.2 – .2 – .3 – .4, #29 to #27, 6+). In a tie just below WAOK are Salem Media Group-owned WGKA “AM 920 The Answer” (.3 – .2, -.1 flat at #29, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned WGST “Talk Radio 640.” The latter had lost three-tenths via twelve straight down or flat trends (.4 – .3 – .3 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1, 6+) but picks up one-tenth .2 (#33 to #29, 6+).

Piling on nine-tenths to August’s +.6 (2.8 – 3.4 – 4.3, 6+), Entercom sports talk WZGC “92.9 The Game” (Falcons) cruises into the top ten (#11 to #8), reaching the four-share level (4.3, 6+) for the first time since February (4.0). Before August’s increase, “The Game” was an overall -1.2 in five straight negative or neutral sweeps (4.0 – 3.7 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.8, 6+). Dickey Broadcasting’s WCNN (Braves) makes it seven consecutive monthlies without a loss for a net gain of +1.1 (1.6 – 1.7 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+), as “Sports Radio The Fan” climbs from #17 to #16.

Within 3.3 – 3.7 range the seventh sweep in a row (3.4 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.3, 6+), City of Atlanta Board of Education news/talk WABE slips from #11 to #12. Georgia State University news/talk WRAS gains a total of two-tenths via four successive up or flat moves (.5 – .5 – .6 – .6 – .7, unchanged at #25, 6+).

Atlanta Music Formats – Not only does Radio One gospel WPZE fully obliterate the nine-tenths lost in four straight down or flat trends (3.7 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+) with an increase of nine-tenths to 3.7 (6+), “Praise 102.5 Atlanta’s Inspiration Station” zooms into the top ten (#16 to #10). Conversely, an August 2019 – September 2019 fluctuation of nine-tenths is unlucky for iHeartMedia CHR WWPW “Power 96.1 Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” (3.8 – 2.9, -.9, 6+), which departs the top ten (#9 to #14). “Power” gained seven-tenths in March and six-tenths in May. Answering August’s half-share loss with a September boost of three-tenths is WWPW’s format rival, Cumulus Media-owned WWWQ “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits,” which leapfrogs “Power” (3.1 – 3.4, #13 to #11, 6+).  In July, “Q-100” returned the four-tenths it gained the previous sweep. It logged a +.7 in January; relinquished six-tenths in February; and had a February 2019 through May 2019 topline of 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.6 (6+). Anchored at #8 the past three months, iHeartMedia’s country-formatted WUBL “94.9 The Bull” pushes up to #7 and gains an overall nine-tenths via its third successive positive spike (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.5 – 4.9, 6+). WUBL’s April 2019 through July 2019 topline was 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 4.1 (6+). When “The Bull” dropped one-tenth in June, it interrupted three straight increases that produced a +.8 (3.3 – 3.5 – 4.0 – 4.1, 6+). Meanwhile, Cumulus Media’s WKHX “Kicks 101.5 – Atlanta’s #1 For Country Hits” is a collective +.4 in August/September (2.5 – 2.9 – 2.9, flat at #14, 6+). August’s increase of four-tenths by “Kicks” halted three straight dips that accounted for a net loss of six-tenths (3.1 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5, 6+). Off three-tenths in March, “Kicks” later faltered by four-tenths in May. Following four upticks in a row that yielded a +1.2 (5.2 – 5.6 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.4, 6+), Cox Media Group urban AC WALR “Kiss 104.1 Atlanta’s R&B” relinquishes half that bounty with a -.6 to 5.8 (second to fifth, 6+). Three straight setbacks by Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH “104.7 The Fish” have resulted in an approximately 52% erosion (-4.6) of its 6+ AQH share (8.8 – 8.5 – 4.7 – 4.2, seventh to ninth, 6+). WFSH had been at #1 four straight months before shifting to seventh in August. When “The Fish” lost three-tenths in July, it halted at five a consecutive string of bumps that netted an overall +3.9 (4.9 – 5.4 – 5.7 – 7.0 – 7.9 – 8.8, 6+). A cumulative +1.3 in three straight upticks (4.7 – 5.2 – 5.4 – 6.0, 6+), Cox Media Group adult contemporary WSB-FM sputters by two-tenths to 5.8 (6+) but inches up from sixth to a fifth-place tie. In August, “B-98.5” reached the six-share level (6.0, 6+) for the first time in more than four years (May 2015, 6.1, 6+). Entercom hot AC WSTR “Star 94.1” is down a collective seven-tenths in three straight negative or neutral sweeps (3.4 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 2.7, #14 to #16, 6+).

Philadelphia

Spoken-Word Formats – Off three-tenths (1.8 – 1.5, 6+), Entercom’s WPHT “Talk Radio 1210” once again departs the top twenty (#20 to #22). Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” repeats August’s .8 (#25 to #24, 6+).

Even though Entercom sports talk WIP (Phillies, Eagles) surrenders one-tenth (6.7 – 6.6, 6+), “Sports Radio 94.1” marches from second to a first-place tie; WIP gained eight-tenths in August. In three straight sweeps without a loss, Beasley Media Group-owned WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” nets three-tenths (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.4, #18 to #17, 6+). June’s 2.1 was its lowest 6+-stat since September 2018’s 1.8.     

An overall -1.6 in eight sweeps in succession without an increase (5.0 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.4, 6+), Entercom’s KYW “News Radio 1060” is locked at #10.  

While public radio news/talk WHYY is up a cumulative four-tenths in three straight up or neutral reports (2.5 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+), it slips from a four-way tie at #12 to #14.

Philadelphia Music Formats – The rollercoaster ride continues for iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUSL “Power 99,” which netted eight-tenths in four successive up or flat trends (3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.5, 6+); surrendered six-tenths in July/August (4.5 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+); and now posts a robust +1.1 (5.0, ninth to eighth, 6+). September’s 5.0 is its best 6+-performance in more than two years (5.6, July 2017). A combined +.6 in August/September (5.5 – 5.6 – 6.1, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WBEB “B-101.1 More Music/More Variety” jumps from sixth to fourth. Over and above being +1.3 via three upticks in a row (5.3 – 5.8 – 6.3 – 6.6, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WDAS-FM “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks” progresses from third to a first-place tie with Entercom sports talk WIP (see above). Prior to July, WDAS-FM lost a collective eight-tenths since March via three consecutive negative or neutral moves (6.1 – 6.1 – 5.9 – 5.3, 6+). The station ousted at #1 by WIP and WDAS-FM, Beasley Media Group classic rock WMGK, falters by four-tenths (6.9 – 6.5, 6+) and segues to third. Frozen on 6.6 (6+) in May and June, WMGK gained four-tenths in July to 7.0, its highest 6+-stat since February 2018’s 7.1, but lost one-tenth in August. Dropping from fourth to fifth, co-owned WMMR “93.3 Everything That Rocks” has squandered four-tenths in four successive sweeps without an increase (6.4 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 6.0, 6+). So far in 2019, Entercom sports talk WIP was on top in January; its classic hits-oldies sibling WOGL “98.1 – Nobody Plays More 80s” was #1 in February; AC cluster-mate WBEB was #1 in March; WMGK set the pace in April; WBEB did so in May and June; WMGK returned to #1 in July and August; and now WIP and WDAS-FM are tied for the lead in September. In the market’s CHR contest, iHeartMedia-owned WIOQ “Q-102” fails to show an increase the sixth time in a row and is down six-tenths in that stretch (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.7, #12 to #15, 6+). Flat at #16, Entercom’s WTDY “Today’s Hits 96.5 TDY” is up one-tenth in consecutive reports (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+). WTDY was -1.0 in four straight March 2019 through July 2019 decreases and its profile in that timeframe was very similar to WIOQ’s (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 2.4 – 2.3, 6+). Six straight sweeps without a loss netted University of Pennsylvania triple A WXPN a +1.2 (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.3 – 2.6, 6+), but “88.5 Vinyl At Heart” is now -.8 in three straight down or flat moves (2.6 – 2.4 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+) and exits the top twenty (#20 to #21). After logging a .5 in back-to-back sweeps (July and August, 6+), Forever Media country WXCY is unlisted.

Boston

Spoken-Word Formats – There just doesn’t seem to be any stopping iHeartMedia news/talk WRKO “AM 680 – The Voice of Boston,” which is +1.8 via nine positive or neutral trends in succession (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.9, unchanged at #8, 6+). Co-owned WXKS-AM “Talk 1200,” which added one-tenth three months in a row (.4 – .5 – .6 – .7, 6+), forfeits that collective three-tenths (.4, #25 to #29, 6+).

Three setbacks in succession by Beasley Media Group-owned sports talk WBZ-FM (Patriots, Celtics, Bruins) resulted in a roughly 47% loss (-3.3) of its 6+ AQH-share (7.0 – 5.6 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+). In September though, “98.5 The Sports Hub” roars back with a +1.3 to 5.0 (eighth to sixth, 6+). Seven recent shifts for “The Sports Hub” include: -1.0 (December 2018); +1.6 (January 2019); -.8 (February); +.8 (May); -1.4 (June); -1.8 (July); and +1.3 (September). WBZ-FM bypasses Entercom-owned sports talk WEEI-FM (Red Sox), which is flat at 3.7 but backslides from eighth to ninth. Seven sample shifts for WEEI-FM include: -2.0 (December); -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.7 (January 2019); -1.0 (February); -.5 (March); +.6 (April); and -.6 (July).

Unchanged at #5, iHeartMedia-owned news-talk hybrid WBZ-AM returns 40% of August’s half-share increase (5.5 – 5.3, -.2, 6+). Prior to that +.5, “News Radio 1030” was stuck on 5.0 (6+) five months in a row.

Trending 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.4 (June – July – August – September, 6+), Boston University news/talk WBUR falls from seventh to tenth. WGBH Educational Foundation news/talk WGBH nets eight-tenths in three consecutive up or flat trends (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.8 – 3.0, #14 to #13, 6+) and reaches the three-share level (3.0, 6+) the first time in nearly a year (3.4, October 2018).

Boston Music Formats – A combined -1.2 in August/September (8.8 – 7.7 – 7.6, 6+), Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies WROR “105.7 – 80s & More” is nonetheless #1 the sixth month in a row. The July/August decrease completely eliminates back-to-back (June and July) increases of six-tenths (7.6 – 8.2 – 8.8, 6+). When WROR dropped two-tenths in May, it snapped at four a consecutive string of up or flat trends that delivered a +2.2 (5.6 – 6.2 – 6.8 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+). Cluster-mate WBOS “Boston’s Rock 92.9 Rocks” is up eight-tenths in four straight sweeps without a loss (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 3.2 – 3.2, #13 to #12, 6+). Boston’s (6+) pacesetters thus far this calendar year have been: iHeartMedia-owned CHR WXKS-FM “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” (January, 7.3, and February, 7.4, 6+); WROR (March and April, 7.8 – both times, 6+); WROR and WXKS-FM (May, 7.6, 6+); and WROR (June, 8.2; July, 8.8; August, 7.7; and September, 7.6, 6+). In the market’s CHR contest, iHeartMedia’s aforementioned WXKS-FM is an overall -1.3 in four consecutive negative or neutral moves (7.6 – 7.2 – 6.9 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+) but “Kiss 108” retains the runner-up slot the fourth straight month. A one-half share increase in May took “Kiss 108” to 7.6, its strongest 6+-performance since August 2018’s 7.8. Entercom’s similarly-formatted WODS “103.3 Amp Radio” is without an increase the eighth consecutive time for a net loss of nine-tenths (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.6, #19 to #20, 6+). In addition to dropping from third to fourth, Entercom adult contemporary WMJX “Magic 106.7 – Today’s Hits/Yesterday’s Favorites” is an overall -1.1 in three dips in succession (6.9 – 6.4 – 6.0 – 5.8, 6+). “Magic” was a combined +.8 in May/June (6.1 – 6.2 – 6.9, 6+), with June’s 6.9 the highest 6+-stat for WMJX since “Holiday” 2018’s 14.5. The April 2019 through September 2019 (6+) profiles of Beasley Media Group rhythmic hot AC WBQT “Hot 96.9” and Entercom hot AC WWBX “Mix 104.1” remain similar. “Hot,” which was -1.0 in four straight down or flat moves (4.3 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+), picks up one-tenth to 3.4 (#11 to #10, 6+), while “Mix” is -.9 in five consecutive months without an increase (3.9 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.0, #11 to #13, 6+).

Miami

Spoken-Word Formats – The April 2019 through September 2019 topline for iHeartMedia news/talk WIOD “News Radio 620 – Miami’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” is an extremely steady 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.5 (#17 to #18, 6+).

Doubling its 6+ AQH share as a result of three straight spikes (.5 – 6 – .7 – 1.0, 6+), Entercom-owned WQAM “560 The Joe,” (Dolphins) elevates from #28 to #25. Conversely, co-owned WAXY “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket” is down 67% (-.6) in three setbacks in succession (.9 – .8 – .6 – .3, #29 to #30, 6+).

Off seven-tenths in July/August (2.3 – 1.9 – 1.6, 6+), Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN answers with a half-share increase to 2.1 (steady at #21, 6+).

While we usually limit our spoken-word coverage to English-language stations, it’s worth noting that Grupo Latino de Radio- GLR Spanish news/talk WSUA Radio Caracol 1260,” which posted a .8 (6+) in July but was unlisted in August, reappears in September with a .8 (#28, 6+).

Miami Music Formats – A combined +1.2 in August/September (4.6 – 4.9 – 5.8, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WMXJ “102.7 The Beach” jumps from fifth to third. Continuing a down/up pattern that commenced in May (4.1 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 4.0, 6+), iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary WZTU “Tu 94.9 FM – Joven Como Tu” advances from tenth to eighth. Tied at #12 are mainstream CHR rivals iHeartMedia-owned WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” (flat at 3.1, #11 to #12, 6+) and Cox Media Group’s WFLC “Hits 97.3” (3.0 – 3.1, +.1, #13 to #12, 6+). “Y-100” gained three-tenths in August, while “Hits 97.3” lost three-tenths the same sweep. On top the ninth consecutive ratings period (including a three-way tie at #1 in February), Cox Media Group-owned adult contemporary WFEZ “Easy 93.1” drops six-tenths and has a June 2019 through September 2019 topline of 7.6 – 7.3 – 7.6 – 7.0 (6+). “Easy” was down eight-tenths in February; up by that same magnitude in March; and notched an improvement of … eight-tenths in June. Entering the “Holiday” 2018 sweep, “Easy 93.1” finished on top seven straight times. Entercom’s similarly-formatted WLYF “101.5 Lite FM” was up one-tenth in July/August (5.4 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+), but forfeits two-tenths in September to 5.3 (fourth to fifth, 6+). July’s one-tenth increase curtailed four straight down or flat sweeps that led to an overall -1.2 (6.6 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.1 – 5.4, 6+). “Lite” was in third-place March, April, May, and June. Despite being down or flat the fourth time in succession for a net loss of three-tenths (3.1 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), Entercom’s WKIS “Kiss Country 99.9” climbs from #16 to #15. Spanish Broadcasting System-owned Spanish tropical WXDJ “El Zol 106.7” is an overall -1.4 in seven straight down or flat trends (4.9 – 4.8 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.5, 6+) and carries on in ninth-place.

Seattle

Spoken-Word Formats – Even though KIRO-FM drops one-tenth (5.1 – 5.0, 6+), the Bonneville news/talk facility progresses from fifth to fourth. Co-owned KTTH “Conservative Talk Radio” repeats August’s 6+ AQH share (1.5) and market rank (#22). When Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned KVI picked up two-tenths in August, it halted five successive negative or neutral reports that accounted for a more than 50% loss (-.9) of its 6+ AQH share since February (1.6 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.1 – .7, 6+); “Talk Radio 570” is off one-tenth in September (.9 – .8, #25 to #26, 6+).

Rebounding from a collective -1.3 as a result of four straight down or flat trends (4.3 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 3.0, 6+), Bonneville sports talk KIRO-AM “ESPN 710” (Mariners, Seahawks) logs an increase of seven-tenths to 3.7 (6+) and jumps from #17 to #12. Adding one-half share to August’s +.3 (.5 – .8 – 1.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KJR-AM “Seattle’s Sports Radio 950” improves from #28 to #23.

Returning 75% of August’s increase of four-tenths (3.2 – 2.9, -.3, 6+), Sinclair Broadcast Group all-news KOMO drops from #13 to #15; August’s 3.2 was its best 6+-stat since November 2017’s 3.4.

As a result of four consecutive decreases (6.1 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 5.2 – 4.5, 6+), Northwest Public Radio news/talk KUOW is a collective -1.6 and drifts from fourth to ninth.

Seattle Music Formats – An uptick of one-half share to 2.4 (6+) by Crista Ministries contemporary Christian KCMS-FM pulls the plug on five setbacks in succession that resulted in an overall -1.4 (3.3 – 2.7 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 1.9, 6+) and returns “Spirit 105.3” to the top twenty (#21 to #18). There’s another tie at #1 and it’s a familiar scenario with the Seattle stations involved. The incumbent – Hubbard Broadcasting CHR KQMV “MOViN’ 92.5 – Seattle’s #1 Hit Music Station” – drops four-tenths (6.4 – 6.0, 6+), while iHeartMedia-owned KZOK “102.5 Seattle’s Classic Rock Station” is flat at 6.0 (6+) but moves from second to a first-place tie. June’s first-place deadlock between these same two outlets was emphatically broken in July when KZOK gained nine-tenths while KQMV spiraled by eight-tenths. The roles were reversed in August as “MOViN’ 92.5” logged a +1.1 (5.3 – 6.4, third to first, 6+) while “Seattle’s Classic Rock Station” eroded by -1.0 (7.0 – 6.0, first to second, 6+). An overall -1.0 in four successive down or flat trends (7.0 – 6.8 – 6.8 – 6.6 – 6.0, 6+), KQMV ended the slump in June with a gain of one-tenth. “MOViN’” made it to #1 in April, the first time it reached the lead spot since November 2018. As a result of August’s -1.0, KZOK snapped its consecutive string of eight straight positive spikes that produced a +3.3 (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 5.6 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 7.0, 6+). Immediately in advance of that particular run, KZOK was -1.6 in four consecutive ratings periods without an increase (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 3.7, 6+). Repeating in third-place, Entercom adult contemporary KSWD “94.1 The Sound” is a combined +1.1 in August/September (4.4 – 5.4 – 5.5, 6+), while Hubbard Broadcasting’s similarly-formatted KRWM “Warm 106.9” is up six-tenths in the comparable period (4.3 – 4.9 – 4.9, sixth to fifth, 6+). “The Sound” and “Warm” were separated by one-tenth in May (4.5 – 4.3, 6+); June (also 4.5 – 4.4, 6+); and July (4.4 – 4.3, 6+). Prior to plummeting by -1.1 in April, “The Sound” was an overall +1.5 through three consecutive increases (3.7 – 3.8 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+). Entering the May sweep, “Warm 106.9” recorded a 4.8 (6+) in three of the previous four reports (4.8 – 4.0 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+) and was #1 in December and “Holiday” 2018. Tight as well is the country battle between Entercom’s KKWF “100.7 The Wolf – #1 For Country” (4.3 – 4.6, +.3, ninth to seventh, 6+) and Hubbard Broadcasting-owned KNUC “New Country 98.9 The Bull” (4.2 – 4.4, +.2, #12 to #10, 6+). “The Wolf” erased May’s +.9 with June/July’s combined -.9 (5.0 – 4.5 – 4.1, 6+). Prior to April, when it regressed by six-tenths, KKWF was a cumulative +1.4 as a result of three straight upticks (3.3- 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+). Meanwhile, after more than doubling (+2.2) its 6+ AQH share in eight successive up or flat sweeps (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.3, 6+), “The Bull” surrendered one-tenth in August. Spiraling by one-half share each are iHeartMedia CHR KBKS “106.1 Kiss-FM” (3.2 – 2.7, #13 to #17, 6+); Classic Radio’s KING “Classical Radio 98.1” (#18 to #19); and Bustos Media regional Mexican KDDS “La Grand 99.3” (.9 – .4, #28, 6+).This (2.7) is the lowest 6+-stat for “Kiss” since February’s 2.3. KING is now -1.0 in three straight decreases (3.2 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.2) and has its weakest 6+-showing since January (2.0).

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

| September 25, 2019

Newsmax TV Announces Major Expansion and Seeks Talent and Staff. Chief executive officer Christopher Ruddy says Newsmax has spent the past several years building out the Newsmax TV network’s distribution and they are close to “mission accomplished.”  As a result, Newsmax TV is expanding and hiring dozens of producers, bookers, correspondents, anchors, and show hosts.  Newsmax tells TALKERS magazine that it has signed with all major cable carriers – including DirecTV, Xfinity, Dish, Fios, U-verse, Spectrum, Optimum, and dozens of others – putting Newsmax TV in more than 70 million U.S. cable homes.  Newsmax has been experiencing meteoric growth and Ruddy says he believes there’s room for more conservatives in American media.  He states, “I like FOX News Channel, but we believe the country needs more conservative voices, not less.  Imagine if there was just one conservative website or just one talk radio network.”  Ruddy says the network’s goals are to beef up news and programming shows as 2020 nears.  The TV operation is based in New York and interested parties sould send their resumes to jobs@newsmax.com.

FAIR Kicks Off 13th Annual ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ Radio Row.  Some 60-plus radio talk show hosts from around the nation are gathered in Washington, DC for the 13th annual “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row.  The event, presented by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), is taking place today and tomorrow (9/25-26) at the Phoenix Park Hotel on Capitol Hill.  As in years past, this gathering brings together talk hosts from across the nation to broadcast live while debating immigration policy, interviewing members of Congress, law enforcement officials, experts, activists, administration officials, and those who live and work along the Southern border.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison is among the guests being interviewed at the event, personally appearing on more than 25 local and network programs during the two-day marathon.  Harrison is pictured below with Gordon Deal, host of the Compass Media Networks tremendously successful “This Morning – America’s First News” show at an opening reception presented by the company last night (9/24) at the world famous Irish pub, The Dubliner, located adjacent to the hotel.

KMG Networks to Syndicate Chris Hahn Show in 2020. Currently, in addition to work as a contributor to FOX News, lawyer and author Chris Hahn hosts a weekly, two-hour talk show on JVC Media’s WRCN, Long Island “103.9 FM LI News Radio” that airs from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm on Thursday nights.  Now, Krantz Media Group Networks, announces a new partnership with Hahn to syndicate his show nationally.  Hahn says, “I’m excited to be partnering with [KMG CEO] Gary [Krantz] and KMG to bring my show to a broader national audience.  2020 is going to be the most consequential year in recent American political history and I’m looking forward to the national conversation we are about to have regarding the future of our nation.”  Krantz says, “For years, listeners, advertisers, and radio programmers, have asked me when we will see another powerful progressive radio voice on the radio.  Now we have it. Chris speaks to a new generation of listeners who now want to identify with an aggressive, intelligent, and entertaining point of view.  He is well respected on both sides of the aisle and appears regularly on conservative radio and TV programs well.”

Cox Media Group Names Katie Reid to Lead Jacksonville Radio Group. Sales and management pro Katie Reid is promoted to vice president and general manager for Cox Media Group’s Jacksonville radio stations that include news/talk WOKV-FM and sports talk WOKV-AM, as well as six music brands.   She has been serving CMG as executive director of revenue.  Current Jacksonville VP/GM Bob Longo remains in the market overseeing the company’s two TV stations, WFOX-TV and WJAX-TV.  CMG EVP Bill Hendrich states, “Katie is a dynamic leader who inspires her teams and everyone around her to reach their fullest potential.  Paired with her extensive background and strategic vision, I am confident Katie and her talented team will continue to grow and deliver the best news and entertainment in Jacksonville.”

Jason Meder to Manage Orlando Radio Assets for Cox Media Group. In the Orlando market, Cox Media Group separates its TV and radio management as in the Jacksonville story above.  Paul Briggs moves south from the company’s Atlanta offices where he was VP of content and broadcast operations to become VP/GM for Orlando television stations WFTV-TV and WRDQ-TV.  Meanwhile, Jason Meder continues his vice president and general manager position, leading the company’s radio outlets in Orlando that include news/talk WDBO-FM “News 96.5” and sports talk WDBO-AM “ESPN 580 Orlando.”  Meder says, “The CMG Orlando radio team is a talent-rich group that I am fortunate to get to work with every single day.  I am confident that our continued partnership with TV will yield even greater results as we forge ahead.”

MSN and Radio Ink Radio Sales Compensation Study Results Are In. The results of the 2019 Radio Sales Compensation Study from Media Staffing Network (MSN) and radio trade publication Radio Ink are in.  The press release says, “The study’s findings provide useful insights that help radio owners, operators, and managers develop competitive compensation packages and sharpen their budgeting process.”  Over a three-week period, the study surveyed 334 respondents, of which 72.5% were managers and 27.5% were sellers.  Representing a wide range of market sizes from across the country, 29.3% were from top 20 markets, 15.9% from markets 21-50, 6.3% from markets 51-70, and the largest amount, 48.5%, came from markets 75+.  Among the findings is that 27.5% of stations surveyed have sellers earning $150,000-plus while only 12.6% have their highest seller earning what is also the radio station average of $40,000 to $59,000.  MSN founder and CEO Laurie Kahn says, “Recruiting and hiring the best candidates is crucial to generating revenue success.  It all starts with the recruitment process and culminates in offering compensation packages that compete successfully in the current marketplace.  With relocation extremely difficult, stations need to recruit more in their markets, often out of radio.  We’re grateful to Radio Ink for their support in delivering this important study to radio.  I look forward to partnering again next year so we can track changes in the compensation of sellers going forward.”  See the results of the study here.

Seen and Heard at the Radio ShowTALKERS magazine special features correspondent Jeff McKay reports from the 2019 NAB/RAB Radio Show in Dallas and says that a lot of the talk in the halls – not to mention in the panels and presentations themselves – revolves around podcasting.  NAB EVP of communications Dennis Wharton says, “We have a lot of sessions on podcasting this year.  People see the growth of listenership and the monetization of podcasting is now taking root.  The reason the NAB is doing so much this year here is it gives people more ways to learn, network ideas, create potential business relationships.  It’s clearly something that’s on everybody’s mind in the industry right now.”  Read Jeff McKay’s entire report here.

TALKERS News Notes. Comedian and former U.S. Senator Al Franken is getting back in the talk show game with a weekly talk show on SiriusXM’s Progress channel, beginning this Saturday (9/28).  The hourlong program will air at 10:00 am ET.  SiriusXM says the show “will feature the five-time Emmy winner hosting thought-provoking conversations with headliners and experts in the fields of politics, entertainment, media, technology, global affairs, and more.”  Franken says, “I’m excited to be back on SiriusXM, which carried my Air America show back in the day.  Listeners can expect a mix of guests from my comedian friends like Chris Rock, to my political pals like former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, to policy experts on the issues in play in 2020.  When I’m interviewing Harry or former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, I’ll be the funny one.  When I interview Rock or Patton Oswalt, I’ll be the one who served eight-and-a-half years in the Senate.”…..With the new iOS13 update for the iPhone, Entercom announces a collaboration with Apple to integrate its portfolio of news, sports, and music stations into the iOS13 software so that they are available via Apple Music and Siri.  Entercom chairman, president and CEO David Field says, “Today marks an exciting new day in audio.  We are delighted to partner with Apple to provide listeners with enhanced access to our lineup of many of the country’s leading radio brands and personalities and other rich audio content.  By integrating radio directly into their latest technology, Apple sends a clear message about the importance of local radio, the country’s number one reach medium.”…..Also from Entercom, the company appoints Elizabeth Bramowski chief accounting officer and controller.  In this role, Bramowski will oversee corporate accounting functions including regulatory reporting, accounting policy and corporate tax.  She joined the company in June of 2018 as VP of business operations.  Prior to that, she served with PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP for 15 years…..Pictured below are Salem Radio Network v.p./News& Talk Programming Tom Tradup (left) and Westwood One late night talk radio legend Jim Bohannon (right) huddling under an image of Premiere Networks superstar Rush Limbaugh at the NAB/RAB Radio Show in Dallas as they react to House Democrats launching a formal impeachment inquiry against President Trump.

Trump Impeachment Inquiry, 2020 Presidential Race, Trump at UN, Climate Change, Brexit Chaos, Mass. Vaping Ban, and Joker Film Violence Criticism Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/24). The Democrats’ move to begin an impeachment inquiry into President Trump; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the president addresses the UN General Assembly; the UN climate change speech by Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg; the political chaos in Britain over Boris Johnson’s Brexit tactics; Massachusetts puts a four-month ban on the sale of vaping products; and criticism of the violence in the soon-to-be-released film, The Joker, were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Kansas City, Cumulus Media brings programming pro Jowcol “Boogie D” Dolby aboard as PD for urban AC KMJK “Magic 107.3.”  Dolby was most recently with Radio One’s Detroit station group as OM/PD for WGPR, WPZR and WDMK.  Cumulus Kansas City RVP and market manager Donna Baker states, “Boogie D brings a wealth of knowledge and a passion to win to our outstanding ‘Magic 107.3’ team.  We are fortunate to have his creativity and leadership as we continue robust growth generating results for advertisers and even more focus serving our listeners in the KC community.”…..iHeartMedia Philadelphia names Matt Michaels digital program director for its six radio stations.  iHeartMedia Philadelphia RVP of programming Brian Check states, “Matt has already proven he is a leader and is well respected by both programming and sales.  Five years ago, he made an immediate mark as an intern and it has been incredibly rewarding to watch him grow and step into this new role.”…..Musician and “Tonight Show” musical director Questlove partners with iHeartMedia to bring new seasons of his podcast “Questlove Supreme” to the iHeartPodcast Network.  In addition, the famed Roots drummer will hand curate and produce a new slate of iHeartRadio Original content, that will go beyond just music, early next year.  Previous guests on “Questlove Supreme” have included Usher, Michelle Obama, Chris Rock, Maya Rudolph, Weird Al, Chaka Khan, and many more.

August 2019 Spoken-Word Pacesetters: DC, Boston, Minneapolis

| September 23, 2019

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

LOS ANGELES — Earlier this month, we posted August 2019 ratings overviews for all-news (9/12); sports talk (9/13); and public radio news/talk (9/16).

Given that our definition of spoken-word includes commercial English-language news/talk outlets; all-news facilities (including business news); sports talk; and public radio news/talk operations, the following August 2019 “Ratings Extra” marks the first time in our years of doing such comprehensive individual monthly format synopses that we gauge the temperature of spoken-word stations as a complete entity in all 48 PPM-markets.

Admittedly, that last category – “public radio news/talk” – can be tricky.

Some stations falling under that banner are much broader in scope and could easily be labeled “variety,” as it is highly-possible listeners will hear those outlets air jazz, classical, bluegrass, and/or several other musical genres in various dayparts.

Nonetheless, programming on the majority of “public radio news/talk” stations listed here falls predominantly (if not exclusively) under the news/talk umbrella.

Nielsen Audio only releases audience estimates for stations subscribing to its services.

As a result, stats in this analysis are limited to facilities paying Nielsen Audio for its information.

There’s only other disclaimer: For the sake of across-the-board consistency, we have established the criteria in this particular analysis as a top 20 finish in any of the 48 PPM-markets.

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Thursday, September 12, 2019

| September 12, 2019

Chris Carlin Exits WFAN, New York.  Sports talk personality Chris Carlin (left) was one-third of the team brought in to host the afternoon drive show on Entercom’s WFAN, New York after Mike Francesa left at the end of 2017.  Now, a year and a half later, Carlin announces he’s leaving the midday “CMB” show he’s co-hosted with Bart Scott (right) and Maggie Gray (center).  Regular TALKERS readers are aware that when Mike Francesa returned to WFAN in April of 2018, station brass placed him in PM drive and bumped “CMB” to the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm slot.  This appears to be a fiscal move on Entercom’s part but it’s not clear why Carlin drew the short straw. He tweeted news of his departure on Wednesday: “I’m sad to say today was my last day at WFAN. I want to thank CBS Radio and Entercom for giving me an incredible opportunity for the last 2 years.  I’m proud to count Bart and Maggie among my closest friends. They truly are what my brother calls ‘back alley people,’ those who you want with you in the toughest situations. I’ll always know we had a chance to do something special, but sometimes things just don’t work out the way you hope. Still, we bonded and responded, and I’m so proud of what we accomplished by finishing in the top 3 in four consecutive ratings books.  I can’t wait to see them take the show to the next level and finish what we started.”

PPM Analysis: All-News. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s August 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on all-news stations.  After a down survey for the format in July, almost 70% of all-news stations saw their weekly, 6+ AQH shares improve from July to August, led by Entercom’s WWJ-AM, Detroit (+1.1).  Year-over-year numbers are a mixed bag, with half the stations on our panel improving and the other half declining.  During the August survey, not a single all-news station ranked #1 in its market, however two – Entercom’s KCBS-AM, San Francisco and WWJ-AM, Detroit both ranked #2 (6+) in their respective markets.  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

New Programs Debut at WTLA, Syracuse. Sports talk WTLA “ESPN Syracuse” adds two new shows to the late morning daypart.  In place of the now defunct Daniel Baldwin show, Galaxy Media launches “The Seth Everett Show” featuring Seth Everett and Paulie Scibilia (10:00 am to 11:00 am) followed by “Centers of Attention,” co-hosted by former Syracuse University basketball players Etan Thomas and Danny Schayes (11:00 am to 12:00 noon).  As Syracuse.com reports, the additions complement the other local shows on the station, including: “Orange Nation” hosted by Steve Infanti and Seth Goldberg (12:00 noon to 2:00 pm) “In the Booth” with Matt Park and Brian Higgins (2:00 pm to 3:00 pm), and “On the Block” starring Brent Axe (4:00 pm to 6:00 pm).   Galaxy president and CEO Ed Levine tells the paper the station has plans for the 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm slot, saying, “We will be doing something that to the best of my knowledge has never been done.”

Bolton Leaves Trump Administration/Iran Relations, 9/11 Anniversary, 2020 Presidential Race/NC Special Election, SCOTUS Asylum Ruling, Bahamas Devastation, Brexit Chaos, Vaping Illnesses-Deaths, and Antonio Brown Rape Allegations Among News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/11). National Security Advisor John Bolton’s exit from the Trump Administration and its effect on U.S.-Iran policy; the anniversary of the terror attacks of 9/11; the Democrats and Republicans vying to challenge President Trump in 2020 and the results of the North Carolina special congressional election; the Supreme Court’s ruling that nixes a lower court stay on President Trump’s “third country” asylum ban; the refugee status in the Bahamas; the political chaos in Great Britain over Brexit; the rash of illnesses and deaths blamed on vaping; and the rape allegations being leveled at Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. There’s a new podcast from Cadence13 titled, “Campaign HQ,” hosted by former Obama campaign manager and White House senior advisor David Plouffe.  Cadence13 says that on the weekly show, Plouffe will offer insight and seasoned analysis on the strategies and decisions driving the Trump re-election efforts and the presidential campaigns of the Democratic challengers.  It premieres on September 19, 2019…..ESPN is reporting that in August its podcasts garnered more than 7 million listeners.  The company says the total represents an increase of 49% over August 2018.  It credits the “30 for 30: The Sterling Affairs” series for driving growth, saying the podcasts registered a unique audience of more than one million, a first, and an increase over the same month last year of 172%, according to Podtrac…..PodcastOne is celebrating the success of Tip “T.I.” Harris’ “expeditiously” podcast after it reached #1 on the Apple Podcasts chart for all podcast categories.  The first two episodes feature conversations with LL Cool J and Ice Cube…..iHeartMedia is also popping the champagne after Podtrac released its August 2019 publisher rankings of the top 10 podcast publishers and placed its iHeartRadio as the #1 podcast publisher by US unique monthly audience, surpassing NPR.  iHeartRadio says it has seen a more than 300% increase in unique podcast visits year-over-year.  Note that ranking data only includes publishers that participate in Podtrac measurement for the full month for which the ranking is being released…..Beasley Media Philadelphia personality Kathy Romano – cast member on WMMR-FM’s “Preston and Steve” show – is also host of the weekly “Her Story” program that airs on the company’s adult hits WBEN-FM on Sunday mornings.  Next Wednesday (9/18), she’ll host the “3rd annual Her Story Luncheon” that will feature ABC News and “Good Morning America” chief meteorologist Ginger Zee as keynote speaker.  Attendees of the event will include CEOs, influencers in arts and cultural worlds, directors of non-profit organizations, and public relations professionals, as well as WBEN-FM listeners who won tickets to the event.  The “Her Story” program showcases dynamic women that are making a significant impact in the community via their business, their charity work, or a combination of both.

Music Mogul Mathew Knowles Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  The CEO of Music World Entertainment, college professor, best-selling author and cannabis industry entrepreneur, Mathew Knowles, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Knowles was the creator and manager of the historic female singing group Destiny’s Child and is the father of pop stars Beyoncé and Solange. He is also the father-in-law of rap giant Jay-Z (Shawn Corey Carter).  Knowles, who recently earned his doctorate, and is a widely respected college professor and lecturer who has written books about entrepreneurism as well as racism, recently became involved in the burgeoning cannabis industry as an investor and chief marketing officer of a publicly-traded company called Bangi (which means marijuana in Swahili). Harrison and Knowles discuss a wide range of topics and issues including music, marijuana and race relations.  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 on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At the San Francisco operations of Bonneville International, programmer Brian Figula adds to his current role as PD of adult contemporary KOIT and classic rock KUFX, San Jose “98.5 K-Fox.”  Effective immediately, he is programming urban contemporary KBLX-FM and CHR KMVQ. Bonneville San Francisco vice president and market manager Carl Gardner says, “Fig will continue his direct programming responsibility over KOIT and KUFX.  In addition, he’ll take a bigger role overseeing digital content, digital audience development, and serve as a senior member of our programming and marketing brain trust for each of our four brands.  We’ve all come to respect and rely on his keen thinking about how to win in a competitive marketplace.”…..Programming pro Nick Cash exits iHeartMedia’s country KHGE, Fresno “102.7 The Wolf” where he was PD and afternoon drive personality.  He also served as brand manager for sports talk KCBL-AM “FOX Sports Radio 1340” and religion KRDU…..iHeartMedia reveals that alt rock icons Green Day are joining the lineup of the 2019 iHeartRadioMusic Festival taking place September 20 and 21 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas…..Condolences to the family, friends and co-workers of rock WRBR, South Bend, Indiana “103.9 The Bear” program director Ron Stryker, who passed away.  The Federated Media station posted the following message on the WRBR website: “It is with incredible sadness and heavy hearts that we announce that our friend and colleague Ron  Stryker has passed away. Ron has been a part of 103.9 The Bear and Federated Media family as long as any of us can remember. His personality and passion are irreplaceable. Out of respect for his family, friends and coworkers who are grieving his loss we are asking for privacy at this time.”

Thursday, August 29, 2019

| August 29, 2019

Good Karma Brands Inks Deal to Operate ESPN’s WMVP-AM, Chicago. Yesterday’s announcement by sports talk radio WMVP-AM owner ESPN that Craig Karmazin’s Good Karma Brands would begin operating “ESPN 1000” beginning next month took the industry by surprise.  But as ESPN Audio SVP Traug Keller says, Karmazin’s company has a long track record with ESPN.  “Good Karma has proven to be an excellent local affiliate that has shown expertise in local media operations and sales while being a strong steward of the ESPN brand.”  Keller adds, “This is a smart business decision that allows us to continue to serve local sports fans with the compelling content they crave.”  As a result of this long-term LMA between ESPN Radio and Good Karma, the latter will “expand its affiliate relationship with ESPN Radio and the station will retain the ‘ESPN 1000’ name.  ESPN Radio Chicago will feature a lineup of local and national sports talk programming and ESPN Radio’s national play-by-play lineup that includes NBA, MLB, NFL and college football, including the College Football Playoff.”  The LMA begins on September 29.  Longtime ‘ESPN 1000’ VP and general manager Jim Pastor will exit his role.  He says, “Few people will ever match the experience I’ve had over 27 incredible years with Disney, including the last 15 with ESPN.  I could not be more proud of what we have accomplished at ‘ESPN 1000’ or be more supportive of the decision to affiliate with Good Karma.  Walking away now becomes infinitely easier knowing [Good Karma Brands president] Steve Politziner, Craig Karmazin, and the rest of the Good Karma team will be running the show.  For me, I’m ready to dial it back, spend more time with the family and go back to sitting in the cheap seats.”  Craig Karmazin – whose company also owns operates ESPN-affiliated stations in Cleveland, Madison, Milwaukee, and West Palm Beach – says, “Our Midwest roots have afforded us the opportunity to see the passion of Chicago sports fans up close for over two decades.  We are so excited to extend our commitment to being ESPN’s best-in-class local operator into what will now be our largest market.”  ESPN Audio continues to operate WEPN-FM, New York and KSPN-AM, Los Angeles.

WJBC, Bloomington’s Laughlin Retires; Miller Takes Over AM Drive Show. At Cumulus Media’s news/talk WJBC, Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, longtime morning personality Scott Laughlin is retiring from the station and afternoon drive personality Scott Miller will take over as morning drive host. Miller – who inked a new, multi-year deal with the company – will work with news director Katherine Murphy on the morning show.  Back in May, Laughlin announced he was taking a leave of absence from the WJBC morning show for health reasons.  He has since decided to make his leave permanent.  He says, “I had planned to retire next summer.  My circumstances have speeded up that plan.”  Station operations manager Dan Westhoff says, “We wish nothing but the best for Scott Laughlin as he focuses on his health.  Emotionally, it’s not easy to move forward in a situation like this, but we must.  We look forward to having Scott Miller in the morning and know he will do a great job.” The station is searching for a new afternoon talk host.

‘FOX Sports 910’ in Phoenix Makes Drive Time Changes; Dan Sileo Joins for Afternoons. Beginning Tuesday (9/3), iHeartMedia’s KGME, Phoenix “FOX Sports 910” is moving afternoon drive personality Jody Oehler’s “The Drive” program to the 5:00 am to 10:00 am daypart, replacing FOX Sports Radio’s Dan Patrick.  The station says that Oehler’s “‘The Drive’ has brought a signature blend of truth, humor and originality to the Phoenix airwaves.  Throughout the run of the show, Oehler has had some of the biggest names in sports on-air regularly, including: Donovan McNabb, Jake Plummer, Ian Rapoport, Kent Somers, and Greg Amsinger, as well as everyone’s favorite radio segment, ‘Top 5 Thursday,’ which ranks the top five sports stories every Thursday.”  Oehler says, “I’m incredibly excited to be moving to mornings. In a city like Phoenix with all the local teams and transplant residents, I relish the opportunity to offer my reaction to the biggest local and national sporting events.  We’ll do it better than anyone in the market with truth, humor, and fun.  And as a bonus, I won’t get into a near fist fight with myself on the air.”  The station is expected to announce its plans for the afternoon drive daypart very soon. Taking over the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm slot is sports talk host Dan Sileo, most recently with Entercom at KWFN-FM, San Diego “97.3 The Fan.”  The station says Sileo’s show “will feature engaging sports talk with features such as ‘Cardinals Rewind,’ where Sileo analyzes the Cardinals by recapping the biggest hits and misses from each game, and ‘Stump Sileo,’ a daily segment where listeners have the opportunity to challenge Sileo to a game of six degrees of separation, in which Sileo has to find a way to connect himself to the listener’s favorite sports icon.”  Sileo says, “It’s an honor to come home to iHeartMedia, where I spent the majority of my 24-year radio career, for this amazing opportunity to host afternoons on ‘FOX Sports 910.’  I will promise my listeners this – we will have the most compelling sports show in The Valley.  It will be a show for Phoenix, about Phoenix.  We’re going to bring on the biggest stars in sports and entertainment and give listeners a show they’ll never forget.”

WLAC, Nashville Host Steve Gill Remains in Jail; ‘Terrified’ Wife Files for Divorce. More legal woes arise for embattled WLAC, Nashville talk radio host Steve Gill, who remains in jail in Williamson County, Tennessee for failure to pay $170,000 in child support to ex-wife Kathryn Gill.  Now, Gill’s current wife – who is not named by The Tennessean in its report since she’s under an order of protection from the court – is filing for divorce from Gill and told the court in her request for the order, “I need protection.  I am terrified.  He is ‘influenced’ and ‘powerful’ and he used that to try to keep me from escaping.”  As a witness in Gill’s child support case, she testified that he was lying under oath in court.  The court has ordered Gill not to contact his current wife; to stay away from her home and workplace; to vacate the family home; undergo a certified batterers’ intervention program; and cannot possess any firearms (the order notes he has numerous weapons).

Palm Springs Morning Host Bill Feingold Off the Air for Cancer Treatment. Coachella Valley morning drive personality Bill Feingold is on medical leave from Alpha Media’s news/talk brand “K-News” – KNWZ-AM/KNWQ-AM/K232CX/K274DA – after being diagnosed with stage four liver cancer.  Feingold tells the Desert Sun that he’s aware of the gravity of his diagnosis but is hopeful he can return to the air after undergoing chemotherapy, which begins on September 12.  He and co-host Kevin Holmes have been together on the radio in Palm Springs since 2004.  Feingold says, “Alpha Media is hoping for a semi-miracle so I can come back.  I would come back in a second.”

TALKERS News Notes. Detroit journalist Bankole Thompson is returning to Kevin Adell-run WFDF-AM, Detroit “910AM Superstation” to host the 11:00 am to 1:00 pm program, beginning September 9.  Previously, the Detroit News columnist hosted the program, “Redline,” on the station.  Thompson says, “I’m happy to be back at ‘910AM Superstation’ and I’m looking forward to making Detroit’s recovery and poverty the front and center of our conversation.”…..The conservative Christian K-Star Talk Radio Network announces it is adding independent journalist and radio host Will Johnson’s newly syndicated talk radio program, “Fire Power News,” to its 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET slot, effective September 9.   K-Star program director Angeline Marie says, “I am so excited to add Will Johnson’s program to the K-Star schedule.  He is young, energetic, intelligent, and really passionate about making a difference.”…..Entravision Communications announces it’s bringing listeners “the most extensive Spanish-language radio broadcast coverage” of the upcoming 2019 NFL Centennial season.  The company will broadcast 46 games across 17 U.S. markets on its owned-and-operated stations, as well as on affiliate stations across the country.  Entravision president and COO Jeffrey Liberman says, “The start of the NFL season is always exciting and this year we’re especially proud to have the most extensive Spanish radio broadcast coverage of the NFL. The game of football has really found a home in the Latino market and there are more passionate NFL fans than ever.”…..Actors Gabrielle Carteris and Camryn Manheim have been chosen by SAG-AFTRA’s national membership to fulfill the respective roles of president and secretary-treasurer, two of the union’s highest ranking offices.  Their two-year terms begin today.

Legendary Radio Executive Dwight Case Dies at 90.  Earlier this month, Dwight Case – onetime publisher of Radio & Records and general manager of KHJ, Los Angeles – died at the age of 90. Case started in radio in 1948 KFRE-AM, Fresno.  During his long career, he also managed KROY, Sacramento; served as president of RKO’s radio division; founded Transtar Satellite Radio Network; and served as publisher and CEO of R&R from 1983-1987.  Read more at LARadio.com.

Trump vs the Media, 2020 Presidential Race, U.S.-China Trade War, Queen Suspends UK Parliament, Jessi Combs Dies in Crash, and Hurricane Dorian Heads for Florida Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/28). The president’s renewed frustration with the media’s coverage of his presidency; the Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in 2020; the war of tariffs between the U.S. and China; the Queen agrees to suspend the UK Parliament; driver and television personality Jessi Combs dies trying to set a land speed record; and Hurricane Dorian’s projected path toward Florida 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. Media executive Winter Horton joins Meruelo Media as chief operating officer, reporting to president and CEO Otto Padron.   Horton was most recently COO for LBI Media Inc.  Padron says, “Meruelo Media has enjoyed extraordinary growth in the past few months.  The task to solidify our L.A. super cluster position and continue our expansion is my highest priority.  To achieve this, I’m proud to announce the addition of Winter Horton as our chief operating officer.  Winter brings a wealth of experience and a unique skill set to help us create even greater value as we optimize our strategy of growth.”…..Cumulus Media’s rock WNDX, Indianapolis “93.9X” announces that Abe Kanan takes over as morning drive personality, effective September 3.  Kanan has served with stations including WLUP-FM and WKQX in Chicago and WBGG in Miami, as well as on the Howard 101 channel on SiriusXM.  He says, “If I could create my own radio station, it would sound just like ‘93.9X.’ In 2019, this is exactly how a rock station should sound.  I am beyond excited and honored to be chosen as the first morning show host on the soon-to-be world-famous 93.9X!”…..SummitMedia names Sheba Foxx news & community affairs director for the Greenville, South Carolina cluster.  Foxx takes over for Rhonda Rawlings who left the position to serve as South Carolina media rep for Cory Booker’s presidential campaign…..Alternative KTBZ, Houston “94.5 The Buzz” morning personality Dinah Powers is leaving the station’s Rod Ryan show after Friday’s broadcast.  She tells the Houston Chronicle that she elected not to renew her contract and is leaving the radio business and hopes to go back to school and work in the mental health field…..After 62 years in the same Takoma Park, Maryland location, Washington Adventist University’s WGTS-FM, Washington, DC celebrates the grand opening of its new broadcast ministry center in Rockville, Maryland.  The new 13,000 square-foot facility contains two identical on-air studios, three production rooms and a television studio.  It replaces the 3,000 square-foot World War II-era building that has served as the headquarters of the ministry since 1957…..Former, longtime WDVE, Pittsburgh air personality Jack Maloy died yesterday (8/28).  Maloy spent 36 years on the air at the iHeartMedia rock outlet, mostly in overnights.  The station says Maloy loved the shift so much that when he was promoted to the evening show, he was miserable and requested to return to the overnight show where he stayed until his retirement in 2013.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

| August 20, 2019

WGAU, Athens Debuts Erick Erickson Midday Show. Back in April, WSB-AM, Atlanta afternoon drive talk show host Erick Erickson announced he was planning to launch a midday talk radio show based at Cox Media Group’s WGAU-AM/W254CJ, Athens, Georgia.  That has become a reality with his new show now airing from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon, following the station’s morning drive program and leading into Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh program.  Back in April, Erickson said he believes that local news outlets are failing to give enough attention to Georgia news and the drive time shows focus too much on the national political scene.  Erickson hopes to syndicate the new show to other talk stations in Georgia.  He is continuing to host his 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm program on WSB-AM.

Darren Smith Co-Hosts Nightly Show on KOGO, San Diego.  San Diego sports talk personality Darren Smith – who just started his new midday gig with iHeartMedia’s sports talk KLSD-AM “XTRA 1360” – is delving into news/talk with the company’s sister KOGO-AM.  Smith is co-hosting an hour-long 7:00 pm program with “KOGO Evening News” anchor Jack Cronin titled, “Not Sports.”  Smith was a longtime sports talk host on former sports talk XEPRS-AM “The Mighty 1090.”  This addition to the KOGO program schedule pushed the Chris Merrill-hosted “KOGO at Night” back to an 8:00 pm start.

KGME-AM, Phoenix Adds ‘Roc & Manuch’ to Weekday Lineup. Phoenix sports talk duo “Roc & Manuch” – Mike “Roc” Muraco (left) and Dan “Manuch” Manucci (right) – are joining iHeartMedia’s sports talk KGME-AM “Fox Sports 910” to host the 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm daypart, effective September 3.  The two have been on the air in the Phoenix market for more than 15 years, including on KQFN-AM “1580 The Fanatic” and KDUS-AM “NBC Sports Radio.”  The program is being produced by Chris Schubert.  iHeartMedia Phoenix market president Linda Little says, “We’re excited to add ‘Roc & Manuch’ to our expanding local lineup on ‘Fox Sports 910.’ With over 15 years of experience in Phoenix, Roc and Manuch bring with them a vast knowledge of local sports.”

Fargo Sports Anchor Dom Izzo Launching Talk Show.  In Fargo, WDAY-TV sports reporter and anchor Dom Izzo is leaving his 6:00 pm and 10:00 duties with the Forum Communications television station to host the 9:00 am to 11:00 am program on the company’s news/talk WDAY-AM/K226CL. Izzo, who’s been with the television station for the past 10 years, will continue to handle the Friday high school football wrap-up and the “Sports Sunday” show on the TV side.  His new radio show appears to replace the last two hours of “AM Fargo-Moorhead with Mike Kapel.”

‘Jet Stream Sports Report’ Launches.  A new, daily two-minute sports feature called “The Jet Stream Sports Report” is being distributed by USA Radio Network.  The program – available via FTP – is hosted by Jason “The Jet” Williams and “brings the fire and energy that is required for the world of sports.”  USA Radio Network says, “Jason’s passion and love for sports and his sharp wit make him a unique brand ambassador.”

2020 Presidential Race, Trump Greenland Purchase Inquiry, Immigration Policy, U.S.-China Trade War/Hong Kong Protests, Epstein Suicide Ruling, NYPD Fires Cop in Garner Death Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/19). The Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in the 2020 election; President Trump’s reported interest in buying Greenland for its natural resources; the state of the U.S.-Mexico border and U.S. immigration policy; the trade war between the U.S. and China and the related Hong Kong protests; the official ruling of suicide in the death of alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein; and the firing of New York City police officer Daniel Pantaleo in choke-hold death of Eric Garner were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Celebrating 50 Years in Radio.  KDXE-FM, Little Rock “101.1 The Answer” afternoon drive talk show host Dave Elswick (right) is pictured above with Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson (left) – one of many visitors to the station to help Elswick celebrate his 50th anniversary in the radio business.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  In the Washington, DC market, Howard University-owned urban contemporary WHUR-FM names Al Payne program director.  He was most recently with Cumulus Media as PD at urban contemporary KMJK, Kansas City “Magic 107.3.”  He says, “Growing up as an I-95 ‘radio kid,’ there were a few iconic stations that you could only dream of one day having the opportunity to program and influence. 96.3 WHUR is at the pinnacle of my personal list and to say that this is a blessing is a huge understatement.  I look forward to working with the incredible GM, Sean Plater, to help this amazing team of world class broadcasters continue to entertain and serve the DMV under the umbrella of Howard University.”…..iHeartMedia’s CHR WIOQ, Philadelphia “Q102” announces that Eliott King becomes the new evening personality as host of  “Q102 Tonight with Eliott,” effective September 9. Station program director Buster Satterfield says, “Eliott’s passion and level of creativity make him the perfect candidate to lead ‘Q102’ nights.  ‘Q102’ is a heritage station in the Philly community and we’re certain that he’ll help shake things up for the iconic brand.”  King was most recently afternoon drive host at Radio One’s CHR WNOW-FM, Indianapolis…..Alpha Media names DJ Q content director for hip hop WGZB “B96” and urban contemporary WMJM “Magic 101.3,” effective September 1. He’s been serving as assistant program director for the stations for the past five years.  He states, “There is no purpose without a plan.  Success is doing what you love, focusing on your goals, and never giving up the strength and determination to succeed.  I’m excited to be a proud Alpha Media family member and I look forward to bringing a positive culture and creative ideas to the forefront.”…..At Hubbard Radio’s country WIRK-FM, West Palm Beach “New Country 101.3,” Sammy Cruise rises to APD and music director.  He also hosts the afternoon drive show.  Operations manager and brand content director Bruce Logan says, “I am thrilled to have Sammy on the team.  His brand knowledge of WIRK, his talent as an air personality, and his relationships with artists, artist managers and label friends is second to none. Sammy has been invaluable to me as we work to build ‘New Country 103-1’ into South Florida’s home for new country.”

27 Graduate from 12th RTTR Women in Radio Management & Leadership Training Program. Pictured above are the 27 women who took part in the Rising Through the Ranks Women in Radio Management & Leadership Training Program in Nashville August 13-15. The program was presented by the Radio Advertising Bureau, in conjunction with BMI and the Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Group.  The graduates are (in alphabetical order): Luisa Banks, Cox Media Group; Jill Bernhardt, Cumulus MediaTaylor Brown, Neuhoff Media; Alexandra Byrnes, Entercom Communications; Yvonne Cheng, iHeartMedia, Inc.; Katy Dempsey, Bryan Broadcasting; Jaime Frankel, Beasley Media Group; Adella Fremstad-Nolden, Radio One; Pamela HallKindred Communications; Andrea Hansen, Entercom CommunicationsNichole Hansen, Saga Communications; Traci Harris-Mason, Forcht Broadcasting; Dara Kalvort, Entercom Communications; Tori Kahl, iHeartMedia, Inc.; Shannon Kenefick, Townsquare Media; Adria Lawrence, Emmis Communications; Michelle Mazzara, BMI; Kate Maguire, Summit Media; Elizabeth Nifong, Beasley Media Group; Debbie Payne, Cumulus MediaKristina Schoenbeck, Entercom Communications; Crista St. JohnBonneville International/Mariners Radio; Ava Suppelsa, BMIBrianne Thompson, Leighton Broadcasting; Denise Tolzman, Queen B Radio; Dianna Towns, Neuhoff Media; and Ashley WilliamsCox Media Group.

Nielsen Audio’s July 2019 PPM Data. July 2019 ratings information has been released for Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s July 2019 survey period covered June 20 – July 17. Managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these three PPM-markets.

Greensboro

Spoken-Word Formats – A collective -1.2 via four successive down or flat trends (4.4 – 3.6 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” ends the slide with an increase of six-tenths to 3.8 (#11 to #10), its best 6+-stat since February’s 4.4.

Up two-tenths in three straight sweeps without a loss (.8 – .9 – .9 – 1.0, 6+), Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS “Triad Sports” advances from #16 to #14.

Recording its third uptick in a row for a collective gain of nine-tenths (1.6 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.5, 6+), Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” holds down the #13 position the 15th consecutive ratings period. This is the fourth time in the last five reports that University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC logs a .8 (.8 – .5 – .8 – .8 – .8, #17 to #15, 6+).

Greensboro Music Formats – Repeating in ninth-place, iHeartMedia-owned rocker WVBZ is a collective +1.7 in four straight bumps (2.5 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 4.2, 6+). In June, “105.7 – Man Up” reached the four-share level (4.1, 6+) for the first time since November 2018’s 4.0. This marks the fifth occurrence in 2019’s seven monthly survey periods that Entercom urban AC WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” (9.3 – 9.5, +.2, 6+) ranks #1. An April increase of six-tenths curtailed five straight declines that resulted in a -2.3 (11.4 – 10.8 – 10.3 – 9.9 – 9.6 – 9.1, 6+). WQMG’s consecutive streak of reaching double-digits (6+) was snapped at 26 in January. It has been within 9.1 – 9.9 (6+) range ever since. The two exceptions to WQMG’s 2019 reign at #1 are March and June when co-owned adult hits WSMW held the lead. In July, however, “98.7 Simon Says We Play Everything” spirals by -1.0, erasing June’s improvement of one-half share (9.3 – 9.8 – 8.8, first to second, 6+). Its seven fluctuations this calendar year are: +.9 (January); -.6 (February); +.9 (March); -1.6 (April); +1.1 (May); +.5 (June); and -1.0 (July). Prior to its March stay at #1, WSMW last reached #1 in August 2016 when it logged a 10.5 (6+). Still within that Entercom cluster, rhythmic CHR WJMH “102 Jamz” drops six-tenths (7.2 – 6.6, 6+) but remains in fourth-place. A one-half share loss (4.0 – 3.5, 6+) forces Curtis Media Group regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1 FM” out of the top ten (#10 to #11) with its lowest 6+-stat since November 2018 (3.5, as well). June’s sixth-place tie between the market’s two country rivals is broken as iHeartMedia’s WTQR “Q-104.1 – #1 for New Country” is flat at 5.3 (sixth to seventh, 6+), while Entercom’s WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” is down or flat the third straight time for a cumulative decline of one-half share (5.7 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.2, sixth to eighth, 6+). In three straight sweeps without an increase, WTQR was a cumulative -1.0 (6.0 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.0, 6+), but erased 70% of that deficit in May with a +.7 to 5.7 (6+). Flat in March, “Q-104.1” cancelled out January’s +.7 with a February -.7 (5.3 – 6.0 – 5.3, 6+). Before dropping two-tenths in March, “The Wolf” had three consecutive shifts of one-half share: -.5 (“Holiday” 2018); +.5 (January 2019); and +.5 (February). Over the course of the last 15 sweeps (June 2018 through July 2019), WTQR has prevailed over WPAW ten times (June 2018, July, August, September, October, November, “Holiday” 2018, January 2019, May, and July); WPAW has come out on top four times (December 2018, February 2019, March, and April; and the two were tied in June 2019 (5.3, 6+).

Memphis

Spoken-Word Formats – Up four-tenths in June/July (4.1 – 4.2 – 4.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WREC “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” progresses from ninth to eighth.

In six consecutive negative or neutral reports, Entercom sports talk WMFS “ESPN Sports Radio” has lost one full-share (4.0 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.0, 6+) and falls from #11 to #13. Its internet stream appeared with a .1 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2018; disappeared from print in January and February; logged a .1 (6+) four straight times; and vanishes in July. Co-owned WMC-AM “ESPN 790” is without an increase the 13th straight time (including eleven consecutive .1 showings) for a collective loss of three-tenths (.4 – .4 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 -.1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1, 6+) and is locked at #18.

Memphis Music Formats – Over and above the fact it has nearly doubled (+1.2) its 6+ AQH share since May (1.3 – 1.7 – 2.5, unchanged at #14, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KWNW “101.9 Kiss FM” registers its best-ever 6+-stat (2.5) in the PPM-era. In five successive setbacks (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+), co-owned WDIA was -2.1 but “AM 1070 – The Heart & Soul of Memphis” ends the slide with a +.2 to 3.4 (6+) and proceeds from #13 to #11. A one-half share rise (4.7 – 5.2, seventh to sixth, 6+) takes Entercom hot AC WMC-FM “FM 100 Today’s Best Mix” to the five-share level (6+) for the first time since January (5.6). By gaining three-tenths to 10.1 (6+), iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS pulls the plug on four straight down or flat trends that accounted for a -1.8 (11.6 – 11.4 – 10.4 – 10.4 – 9.8, 6+); “V-101” is #1 the ninth time in a row. Prior to June’s loss of six-tenths to 9.8 (6+), KJMS reached double-digits (6+) in each of the previous 14 ratings periods. “Holiday” 2018’s 12.8 is the highest 6+-share since December 2012’s 13.5 for “V-101,” which was +2.3 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (10.5 – 11.5 – 12.8, 6+). Gospel cluster-mate WHAL “Hallelujah 95.7 – Memphis’ Inspiration Station,” which notched four consecutive increases for a +1.6 (5.8 – 6.4 – 7.0 – 7.1 – 7.4, 6+), forfeits nine-tenths to 6.5 (flat at #4, 6+). June’s 7.4 was its best 6+-showing since August 2015’s 7.5. The market’s (6+) adult contemporary share improved by two-tenths in June but is -1.1 (6+) in July. Absorbing the brunt of the decrease is Entercom’s WRVR “104.5 The River” (6.6 – 5.8, -.8, steady in fifth-place, 6+). Until picking up one-tenth in June, “The River” was an overall -2.4 in three straight declines (8.9 – 7.8 – 7.7 – 6.5, 6+). While “Holiday” 2018’s 11.3 is its strongest 6+-performance since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.9 (#6), this (5.8) is its lowest since May 2017’s 5.7. Eight recent WRVR fluctuations include: +2.4 (October 2018); -1.6 (December); +2.0 (“Holiday” 2018); -3.1 (January 2019); +.7 (February); -1.1 (March); -1.2 (May); and -.8 (July). After adding one-tenth in June, Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted WKIM “98.9 The Bridge” (unchanged at #16) sputters by  three-tenths to .7, its lowest 6+-stat since transitioning from urban-rhythmic oldies to AC in late-2017. WKIM surrendered nearly half (-.7) its 6+ AQH-share in April/May (1.6 – 1.1 – .9, 6+). “The Bridge” reached the five-share level (6+) in “Holiday” 2018, but was a combined -4.0 in January/February (5.1 – 1.3 – 1.1, 6+). While it repeats in the runner-up slot, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WHRK “K-97.1” is off three-tenths to 9.2 (6+), thus curtailing five straight bumps that resulted in a +2.7 (6.8 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 7.7 – 8.5 – 9.5, 6+). In June, WHRK reached the nine-share level (9.5, 6+) for the first time since May 2018’s 9.4.

Hartford

Spoken-Word Formats – July’s -1.1 (7.4 – 6.3, 6+) sends Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM “News Talk 1080” from second to seventh with its lowest 6+-stat (6.3) since February’s 5.9. By gaining two-tenths in June, Red Wolf Broadcasting news/talk WDRC-AM suspended four consecutive sweeps without an increase that resulted in a one-half share loss (1.3 – 1.3 – 1.1 – .9 – .8, 6+); however, “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” now regresses by one-half share (1.0 – .5, flat at #15). Ever steady, iHeartMedia’s WPOP “News Radio 1410” logs a .1 (#17 to #18, 6+) the 14th report in a row; it was a “no-show” in June 2018.

Frozen on 1.8 (6+) in March and April, iHeartMedia sports talk WUCS “97.9 ESPN Hartford” follows with three straight sweeps without an increase for an overall loss of three-tenths (1.8 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5, flat at #12, 6+).

Up one-tenth to 4.3 (unchanged at #9, 6+), Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” halts three straight drops that accounted for a collective -1.1 (5.3 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 4.2, 6+). University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio” has lost six-tenths in June/July (1.6 – 1.2 – 1.0, 6+) and slips from #13 to #14.

Hartford Music Formats – An overall -1.0 in five consecutive sweeps without an increase (7.7 – 7.0 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 6.8 – 6.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WWYZ “Country 92.5” obliterates that deficit with a +1.2 to 7.9 (fifth to second, 6+), its highest 6+-share in nearly two years (8.3, August 2017). Level at #3, classic hits-oldies sibling WHCN “105.9 The River” is a combined +1.9 in three straight reports without a loss (5.3 – 5.7 – 7.2 – 7.2, 6+) and has its best 6+-showing (7.2) since May 2018’s 7.7. Adding six-tenths to June’s +.1 (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.7, 6+), Entercom rhythmic CHR WZMX jumps from eighth to fifth. Entering the June sweep, “Hot 93.7” was -1.9 via three drops in a row (7.9 – 6.6 – 6.5 – 6.0, 6+). The just-concluded negative streak directly tailed January/February’s +1.1 (6.8 – 7.7 – 7.9, 6+). Having followed April’s increase of nine-tenths with a combined -2.0 in May/June  (8.5 – 7.7 – 6.5, 6+), hot AC sibling WTIC-FM “96.5 TIC-FM” picks up two-tenths (6.7, sixth to fifth, 6+). Albeit a -1.4 in June/July (10.8 – 10.4 – 9.4, 6+), adult contemporary cluster-mate WRCH is #1 the 37th consecutive time. Recent “Lite 100.5” fluctuations include: -.8 (November 2018); +1.8 (December); +5.6 (“Holiday” 2018 to 18.0, the strongest 6+-showing for any Hartford station since WRCH recorded an 18.3 in “Holiday” 2017); -6.9 (January); +1.0 (February; -1.0 (March); -1.3 (April); +1.0 (May); and -1.0 (July). Prior to slipping to 9.8 in April, WRCH was in double-digits (6+) in 30 of the previous 32 sweeps. Without an increase the sixth straight time for a collective -1.5 (4.6 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 3.4 – 3.1, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting alternative WMRQ “Radio 104.1” continues at #10. Co-owned Spanish tropical WMRQ-HD2 is down or flat the third report in succession and is -1.0 in that stretch (2.6 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 1.6, flat at #11, 6+). The last time WMRQ-HD2 fell below a two-share (6+) was May 2018 (1.9).

Friday, August 2, 2019

| August 2, 2019

Michael Savage Petitions Boris Johnson to Lift His British Travel Ban. Back in 2009, then-Home Secretary Jacqui Smith put Westwood One talk show host Michael Savage on a list of people banned from traveling to Great Britain for “fostering hatred.”  Now, Savage’s attorney, Daniel Horowitz, has petitioned newly elected Prime Minister Boris Johnson seeking to have the ban lifted.  In a recent conversation with TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison on the PodcastOne show, “The Michael Harrison Interview,” Savage spoke about the ban.  He said that although he’s a bit of a homebody and doesn’t travel much these days, he loves the English people and the architecture and might like to visit again someday.  In his petition, Horowitz writes, “The ban has stood in place for a decade.  Now is the time to lift the ban and take a stand for the rights of free speech that have come under assault in the land of the Magna Carta.”  Read the Washington Examiner’s coverage here.

Big Radio Closes on Janesville, Wisconsin Duo. The deal that transfers news/talk WCLO-AM, and country WJVL-FM in Janesville, Wisconsin from Southern Wisconsin Broadcasting, a subsidiary of Bliss Communications to Ben Thompson, CEO of Big Radio for $5.75 million closes.  Kalil & Co. represented Thompson in this transaction.  Thompson is the son of Scott Thompson, whose Big Radio owns and operates 8 signals in Southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois.  These are the last radio stations to be divested by Bliss.  The company sold four Milwaukee market signals to Magnum Broadcasting in 2014.

Grimsley to Retire from Townsquare Lafayette; Burley to Take Over Cluster Leadership. Media executive Mike Grimsley is retiring from his position as market president and chief revenue officer for Townsquare Media’s Lafayette, Louisiana, a post he’s held for the past 25 years.  Grimsley began his career in radio at the age of 18 and also worked in the Charleston, South Carolina and Phoenix markets.  Townsquare is promoting Brad Burley from his post as market president and chief revenue officer in the Lake Charles, Louisiana station group to lead the Lafayette cluster.  Townsquare COO Erik Hellum says, “Mike Grimsley broke the mold.  He has uniquely combined leadership, passion, and drive with the sincerest care for his people and dedication to his community – all with a great sense of humor on top.  Mike is one of the original Townsquare leaders and helped build our company with a steadfast commitment to great local radio while building a vibrant digital and event business.  He is a broadcast legend. Thank you, Mike!”

New Installment Posted of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The recently launched, one-hour weekend program, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” produced by Goodphone Communications that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC.  The new episode titled, “Infestation and Other Fighting Words!,” looks back at this past week of July 29 – August 2, 2019 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Gary Sutton, host, WSBA, York, PA; Larry Young, host, WOLB, Baltimore; Scott Masteller, program director, WBAL, Baltimore; Graham Mack, program director, Fix Radio, London, UK; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company.   The news/talk media show airs on WONK-FM on Friday afternoons between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm as a recap and exclamation mark for the week-in-review as well as several other stations around the country including KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA and during the weekend on the Virginia Talk Radio Network as well as Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA. Hosted by Michael Harrison, this excellent show is now being made available as a service to terrestrial news/talk stations from TALKERS for on-air or online presentation on a market-exclusive basis.  For information call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.  To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here.

TALKERS News Notes. A few changes take place at Townsquare Media’s sports talk WEZQ-FM, Bangor, Maine “92.9 The Ticket.”  Station brand manager Dale Duff is leaving his 6:00 am to 8:00 am show and former WABI-TV morning news co-anchor Wayne Harvey begins hosting “The Morning Line” in the time slot.  Duff’s show will move to the 3:00 pm hour, leading into the Jim Churchill-hosted afternoon drive program….Emmis Communications’ sports talk WFNI-AM, Indianapolis “The Fan” adds another FM signal to its broadcast. The company had removed translator W228CX from the simulcast of WFNI-AM two years ago to do some engineering work on the signal.  Now, “The Fan” is back on the 93.5 FM frequency in addition to AM 1070 and translator W298BB at 107.5 FM.  Emmis Indianapolis vice president and market manager Bob Richards says, “We’re thrilled to have ‘The Fan’ on loud and proud at 93.5, reaching even more fans with the sports and personalities they love, especially in the western and southern areas of central Indiana.”

The 2020 Presidential Race and the CNN Debates Top News/Talk Stories for Week of July 29 – August 2. The Democrats hoping to face President Trump in 2020 and this week’s Democratic debates in Detroit were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Tied at #2 this week was President Trump’s criticism of Baltimore, race relations in general, and the NixonReagan recording. Coming in at #3 was immigration and health care reform, followed by Boris Johnson, Brexit, and the British-U.S. economies tied 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.

Wayne Allyn Root is this Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  One of the most ardent supporters of Donald Trump in today’s talk media, Wayne Allyn Root, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  The Las Vegas-based talk show host, heard daily on the USA Radio Network between 6:00 pm and 9:00 pm ET with the third hour (8:00 pm to 9:00 pm) simulcast on Newsmax TV, is one of the fastest rising stars in today’s news/talk media – catapulting within three years of the launch of his show in local radio to the number 62 position on the TALKERS Heavy Hundred.  Harrison and Root discuss the colorful “in-your-face” host’s political and media background going all the way back to his days in Westchester, New York as a three-year old child handing out flyers for then-presidential candidate Barry Goldwater’s campaign.  Root’s working-class parents were among the founding members who launched the New York State Conservative Party.  In 2008, Root entered national politics and received the Libertarian Party’s vice-presidential nomination to serve as its presidential candidate Bob Barr’s running mate. 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 on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Entercom’s Baltimore cluster, air personality Maria Dennis moves from hosting the midday show on CHR WWMX “MIX 106.7” to the company’s adult contemporary WLIF “Today’s 101.9.”  At the same time Corinna Delgado – who also hosts the morning drive show on Entercom’s classic hits WIAD, Washington “94.7 The Drive” – is named the new midday personality for “MIX 106.7.”  Entercom Baltimore SVP and market manager Tracy Brandys says, “I’ve worked with Maria for over 20 years.  She’s a consummate professional and an amazing on-air talent.  All of us are thrilled to have her in our Entercom family and we are excited that she’ll now bring her cheerful persona and enthusiasm to ‘Today’s 101.9.’  I’m equally excited to have Corinna Delgado, who is also already part of our Entercom family, join us to take over the midday shift at MIX 106.5.”…..Townsquare Media flips a pair of FM stations in Albany that had been simulcasting a classic rock format branded “Q103.”  First, WQBK-FM becomes adult contemporary as “103.9 The Breeze.”  That station will feature core artists such as Elton John, Fleetwood Mac, Boyz II MenAdele, Alicia Keys, and Kelly Clarkson.  Second, WQBJ-FM is now alternative rock as “ALT 103.5.”   Operations manager and program director Steve Richards says, “We are excited to launch ‘103.9 The Breeze.’  We know the station will be the perfect choice to relax to at work and anytime.  We are thrilled to have ‘ALT’ back on the air playing great alternative music for the Capital region and ‘Dave & Mahoney’ in the morning.”…..On-air pro Brian Moote exits Entercom’s Los Angeles CHR KAMP “AMP 97.1” where he’d been co-hosting mornings with Edgar Sotelo for the past 18 months…..iHeartMedia’s rock WDVE, Pittsburgh honored longtime air personality Sean McDowell for his 41-year career with the station.  He retired from WDVE on Wednesday (7/31).  McDowell’s final broadcast party included special guests such as Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, current WDVE personalities Randy Baumann, Val Porter and Michele Michaels and past WDVE personalities Jimmy Roach, Herschel, and Kenny Gibbs.  He’s pictured here with the honorary jersey sent by the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Photo: Tyler Sing.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

| July 31, 2019

Mitch Rosen Adds PD Duties for Sports Talk WSSP, Milwaukee.  WSCR, Chicago “The Score” program director Mitch Rosen is going to begin double duty with Entercom and add programming responsibilities for sister sports talker WSSP-AM/W289CB, Milwaukee “105.7 The Fan.”  He’s taking over for WSSP program director Tom Parker, who is retiring on August 1.  Parker will continue as a programming consultant.  Entercom Milwaukee SVP and market manager Chuck Sullivan says, “Having worked closely with Jimmy de Castro and the Entercom Chicago team over the last year and a half, it was the logical next step in the partnership. Mitch has become quite familiar with the market and the WSSP staff over that time and we are very fortunate to now have him calling the plays in Milwaukee as well.”  Rosen has been with “The Score” for almost 15 years.  He adds, “It’s an honor to be part of this great Milwaukee sports brand.  ‘The Fan’ team has great personalities who identify with the sports fans who live and breathe Milwaukee and Wisconsin sports.  I plan to be here to help in any way I can to expand the brand both on the air and through all the digital platforms, including RADIO.COM Sports.”

SiriusXM Q2 Pro Forma Revenue Up 9%. Although SiriusXM is reporting its net income was down 10.8% in the second quarter of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018 ($263 million versus $293 million), the company’s pro forma revenue was up 9%.  The acquisition of Pandora pushed SiriusXM’s revenue to $2 billion – an increase of 38% over Q2 in 2018.  Chief executive officerJim Meyer says, “Our company produced outstanding financial and operating results once again this quarter, and I’m pleased by the quick progress we’ve made in integrating Pandora.  Revenues and adjusted EBITDA each reached records in the period.  We’re thrilled with the results in the first half of the year, and we are raising 2019 guidance for revenue and adjusted EBITDA and reiterating our guidance for net subscriber additions and free cash flow.” The satcaster reports that it added 290,000 self-pay subscribers during the second quarter that puts its total at 29.3 million.

Nielsen Second Quarter Revenue Rises 1.2%.  That 1.2% figure is for the company as a whole.  The company reports that its Media segment – the one that includes radio ratings – is being driven by Total Audience Measurement and that during the second quarter of 2019 its audience measurement business is up 4.2% over the same period in 2018.  Nielsen predicts that its audience measurement segment will finish 2019 up 2% to 3%.

Salem Selling Seven Florida Signals for $8.2 Million. Continuing to follow through on its plan to sell certain assets in order to reduce its debt, Salem Media Group is agreeing to divest itself of seven signals in the state of Florida. It has filed with the FCC to sell Spanish Christian-formatted WKAT-AM, business talk WZAB-AM, and FM translator W249DM in Miami and Spanish Christian-formatted WLCC-AM, business talk WWMI, and FM translator W282CI in the Tampa market (plus the construction permit for translator W260DM, St. Petersburg) to Immaculate Heart Media for $8.2 million.  Immaculate Heart Media will not get the WKAT call letters or that station’s intellectual property.  These moves will leave Salem with Spanish Christian WOCN, Miami, plus news/talk WGUL, Tampa “AM 860 The Answer” and religious duo WTBN-AM/WTWD-AM, Tampa.

2020 Presidential Race/Democratic Debates, Capital One Hack, Immigration Policy/Border Conditions, North Korea Missile Tests, California Festival Shooting/Mississippi Walmart Shooting, and Katy Perry Song Copying Verdict Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/30). The Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020 and the first Democratic debate from Detroit; the hack of Capital One that made data from 100 million credit applicants vulnerable; the Trump Administration’s immigration policies and controversy over conditions at the U.S.-Mexico border; North Korea tests more short-range missiles; the deadly shootings at the Gilroy, California Garlic Festival and at a Walmart in Mississippi; and the jury’s ruling that Katy Perry copied aspects of a Christian rap song in her hit ‘Dark Horse’ were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. Last week’s 19th annual “WSB Care-A-Thon 37-hour radio broadcast event raised more than $1.7 million for research and programs for the Aflac Cancer & Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, nearly breaking the record set in 2017. In the 19 years Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM and CHR WSB-FM have been hosting the fundraising broadcast, more than $24 million has been collected to support patients and families.  WSB Radio director of branding and programming Pete Spriggs says, “There is an extraordinary local story to tell at the Aflac Cancer Center — one that is filled with emotion and hope.  Our entire team considers it the honor of their careers to be able to tell that story and to meet the kids, parents, families, doctors, nurses, and caregivers there.  But our listeners deserve all the credit, due to their incredible generosity year after year.”  WSB personalities Scott Slade, Clark Howard, Eric Von Haessler, Mark Arum, Erick Erickson, Neal Boortz, and Brian Kilmeade took part in the broadcast…..ESPN Radio is reporting that its programming saw a 6% increase in listening with men 25-54 from the winter 2019 period (Jan., Feb., March) to the spring  book (April, May, June).  Breaking it down, the network’s “Golic and Wingo” saw a 6% combined increase for M25-54 in total audience across Nielsen subscribing stations in PPM markets on radio plus all platforms combined including television simulcasts.  “The Will Cain Show” also had year-over-year increases across M25-54 PPM audience on terrestrial radio and ESPNEWS simulcast for both June and the spring book.  The M25-54 total audience across all platforms for “The Stephen A Smith Show,” with the addition of its television simulcast which began August 13, 2018, grew 38% in June and 32% percent for the quarter from the same time periods in 2018.  For the quarter, the ESPNEWS simulcast of “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz” was up 33% from last year.  In June, the show saw a 9% year-over-year increase on ESPNEWS…..KTLK-AM, Minneapolis morning drive co-host Jon Justice has published his second sci-fi novel – part two of a series – titled, Embark: Treasure In Darkness.  Justice has self-published the book that follows the story’s protagonists after humanity is forced to leave the Earth following an industrial disaster.  Check out the Amazon listing here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Rhythmic oldies WPPZ, Philadelphia “Classix 107.9 FM” announces that “The Russ Parr Morning Show” is airing in the AM drive daypart. The Radio One station is programmed by Jay Dixon, who says, “This guy is fun, funny, and all about winning.  I’ve heard about Russ Parr for years.  He lives up to his reputation as a first-class broadcaster and content king.  He’ll be the icing on the cake to make ‘Classix 107.9’ one of the greatest classic R&B brands in history.  We are too happy to have him on board.”…..iHeartMedia’s hip hop “104.5 The BEAT” WTKS-HD2/W283AN, Orlando announces the lineup for its “The BEAT Music Fest” on Saturday, October 5 will feature DaBaby, YK Osiris, Afro BShordie Shordie, Summerella, Trap Beckham, with more to be announced.  iHeartMedia Orlando partnerships manager Chianna Ray says, “The entire Greater Orlando area has been patiently waiting for a music festival that highlights the hip-hop culture.  ‘The BEAT Music Fest’ could not have come at a better time and we are thrilled to give our listeners this experience.”…..iHeartMedia announces the lineup for the 2019 iHeartRadio Fiesta Latina at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on Saturday, November 2 will include: Jennifer Lopez, Daddy Yankee, and Ozuna, with more artists to follow.  For the fourth straight year, the concert event will be hosted by Enrique Santos, chairman and chief creative officer of iHeartLatino and on-air personality for iHeartRadio.

Friday, July 26, 2019

| July 26, 2019

NY Post: Pitaro and Le Batard ‘On the Same Page.’ According to Andrew Marchand’s column in the New York Post, ESPN radio and TV personality Dan Le Batard and ESPN chief Jimmy Pitaro are “on the same page” regarding the media organization’s stance on purely political content after yesterday’s face-to-face meeting in New York City.  Le Batard violated that directive last week when he chose to comment on the “Send her back” chants shouted at President Trump’s campaign rally, calling them “un-American.”  After being called out by management, Le Batard criticized ESPN, calling it “cowardly” for avoiding such issues with the blanket policy.  Marchand’s source for today’s story offers no details on yesterday’s meeting other than that the two have an understanding and Le Batard will continue his work on the company’s radio, cable, and podcast platforms.

New Air Talent Join ‘ESPN 630’ in Washington, DC. Washington sports radio pros Andy Pollin and Bram Weinstein are joining Cumulus Media’s new sports talk WMAL-AM “ESPN 630.”  Weinstein is a 10-year veteran of the DC sports scene as a reporter and talk host. He also spent seven years as an ESPN anchor.  He is the new afternoon drive talk host.  Additionally, he’ll host the 6:00 pm “Redskins Today” show.  Pollin, a longtime crosstown WTEM personality, will serve as morning drive sports update anchor during the “Golic & Wingo” show.  He’ll also be a features correspondent for the station.  Program director Bill Hess says, “We’re thrilled to welcome these DC sports radio icons to ‘ESPN 630’ and look forward to sharing news of further additions to our team in the very near future.”  Pictured above are (from l-r): Cumulus Washington DC vice president/market manager Jake McCann, Weinstein, Pollin, and Hess.

Chessare Named Market President for Townsquare’s Princeton Cluster. Radio sales pro Steve Chessare is named market president and chief revenue officer for Townsquare Media’s Princeton, New Jersey station group that includes sports talk WNJE “920 The Jersey,” as well as CHR WPST and religion WCHR-AM.  Chessare – whose resume includes service with Westwood One, WLTW-FM and WCBS-FM in New York, and Greater Media – was most recently vice president and market manager for Cumulus Media’s Bridgeport, Connecticut operations.  Townsquare senior vice president Rob Williams says, “Steve Chessare is among the most talented media executives I have worked with. He has led some of the biggest brands in our industry and has an extraordinary ability to build winning teams that deliver consistently strong results for our clients.”

‘ESPN Upstate’ Host Mark Sturgis Recovering from Stroke. Sports talk host Mark Sturgis is recuperating after suffering a stroke earlier this week (7/23).  Sturgis hosts the “Straight Up ith Sturg” afternoon drive program on Entercom’s sports talk multi-cast “ESPN Upstate” (WORD-AM/WYRD-AM/W246CV/W249DL). Sturgis’ wife Theresa posted the following message on his Twitter account: “I am sorry to inform y’all Mark had a stroke yesterday morning. He’s in ICU and will be off the air for some time.  Hopefully will be able to go home from the hospital, but short-term rehab in a nursing home is a possibility.  Just send him a positive thought.”

New Installment Posted of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The recently launched one-hour weekend program, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” produced by Goodphone Communications that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC.  The new episode titled, “Political Theater on Both Sides of the Pond!,” looks back at this past week of July 22-26, 2019 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Wayne Allyn Root, talk show host, USA Radio Network/Newsmax TVVictoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio CompanyThom Hartmann, talk show host, WYD Media/Free Speech TVKaren Hunter, talk show host, SiriusXM Satellite Radio “Urban View Channel;” Heidi Harris, talk show host, KMZQ, Las Vegas; and Joyce Kaufman, talk show host, WFTL, Miami/Fort Lauderdale/Palm Beaches.   The news/talk media show airs on WONK-FM on Friday afternoons between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm as a recap and exclamation mark for the week-in-review as well as several other stations around the country including KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA and during the weekend on the Virginia Talk Radio Network as well as Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, Massachusetts. Hosted by Michael Harrison, this excellent show is now being made available as a service to terrestrial news/talk stations from TALKERS for on-air or online presentation on a market-exclusive basis.  For information call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.  To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here.

Lisa Wexler Show Moves to WICC, Bridgeport. In Connecticut, “The Lisa Wexler Show” begins airing on Connoisseur Media’s WICC, Bridgeport, from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon, effective August 5.  Wexler’s program launched on WSTC/WNLK in Fairfield County in 2006.  And most recently has been airing on WGCH, Greenwich from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Wexler is an attorney admitted to the Connecticut and New York Bars.  She’s been serving as the Westport/Weston Probate Judge since 2013.  She comments, “I am thrilled to be joining the legendary WICC AM 600.  The WICC audience is incredibly knowledgeable and engaged.  I will be discussing the issues that occupy our thoughts and bringing to the airwaves the people that influence our lives.  Our emphasis will be on what is happening right here in our own communities.  Listeners are encouraged to call into the show to air their opinions and provide their own perspectives.”

Nik Miles Moves to New Portland Flagship. Portland, Oregon-based automotive radio host Nik Miles moves his flagship station affiliation from Alpha Media’s KXL-FM to Salem Media Group’s crosstown KPAM “860 The Answer.”  His program, “Our Auto Expert,” is nationally syndicated via Envision Networks.  Salem Portland general manager Dennis Hayes says, “Not only are we excited to add ‘Our Auto Expert’ to the ‘AM860 The Answer’ weekend lineup, but we are honored to be the ‘home station’ for the show, Nik Miles, and his team in Portland. We enthusiastically welcome them to the Salem Media Group and look forward to a long and prosperous relationship!”

Sports Garten Network’s ‘Wanna Bet!?’ Enters Syndication Via Envision.  The sports talk and betting show “Wanna Bet!?” – hosted by Tom Barton – is being syndicated by Envision Networks and will launch in four markets: Chicago, Las Vegas, Richmond, and Paducah-Cape Girardeau.  Sports Garten Network’s Wanna Bet?! debuted on WRCN-FM, Long Island “103.9 FM LI Radio” in September 2018.  Now, it’s joined the Envision Networks lineup as a four-hour, daily show.  Barton says, “The time is now for sports talk to reach an audience craving not just wagering news but knowledgeable information.  The response to what we’re doing is phenomenal. Radio is ripe for a transition from arguing hosts and home team bias to important decision-making information and guests whose opinions are not only entertaining but informative. This is a game changer.”

Brad Carson Upped at Entercom Memphis. Programming pro Brad Carson rises from his director of branding and sports programming to operations manager/sports brands, effective immediately.  Carson has been leading the programming on Entercom’s Memphis sports stations WMFS-AM/FM and WMC-AM “ESPN 92.9.”  Carson has served with the Memphis station group for the past 15 years.

Museum of Broadcast Communications Names Susy Schultz Executive Director. Chicago’s Museum of Broadcast Communications names Susy Schultz its executive director, effective August 19.  Museum board chairman David Plier says, “Susy is experienced in developing and implementing innovative programs with key stakeholders.  She also has demonstrated the ability to initiate and foster robust partnerships and strategic alliances with community, journalists, sponsors and donors.”  Schultz has been serving as president of the nonprofit community media training organization Public Narrative since 2013.  She takes over for Julian Jackson, who resigned from the post this March. Schultz comments, “I look forward to working with the board in developing a strong curriculum to discuss the history, the impact, and the relevance of broadcast and digital media.  Chicago has and always will be integral to the history and future of television, radio, and beyond.”

Mueller Testimony Top News/Talk Story for Week of July 22-26. Wednesday’s testimony from special counsel Robert Mueller before the House judiciary and intelligence committees was the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the 2020 Presidential race and President Trump’s war of words with the Democratic congresswomen known as “the Squad.”  Coming in at #3 this week was Boris Johnson’s election as the UK’s new prime minister, followed by the resignation of Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello 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.

Britain’s Fix Radio Produces Boris Johnson Viral Video. “Fix Radio” is a radio station for tradespeople working in Great Britain.  It’s led by broadcaster Graham Mack, who also serves as a TalkersRadio personality and as The Michael Harrison Wrap’s British correspondent. The organization got a lot of attention after creating a video purporting to show newly elected Prime Minister Boris Johnson auctioning off items left at 10 Downing Street by former PM Theresa May.  Check it out here.

Ancient Interview with George Harrison Played on This Week’s Installment of Michael Harrison Podcast.  Inspired by the recently released film, “Yesterday,” and the ongoing popularity of the 2011 Martin Scorsese documentary, “George Harrison: Living in the Material World,” TALKERS founder Michael Harrison dug into the archives and pulled out a 43-year-old interview he conducted with the late Beatles lead guitarist back in 1976.  It was originally recorded at the Warner Bros. studios in Los Angeles to be a promotional radio special (“A Personal Musical Dialogue with George Harrison”) released by Dark Horse Records in conjunction with the debut of George’s solo album, “33 1/3,” and aired on hundreds of stations around the world.  It serves as this week’s “retro” installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  This recording is widely regarded as one of the best interviews ever conducted with George and contains fascinating information and insights into his life at that time as well as the never-ending Beatles story.  The segment in which George discusses his legal battle over the “My Sweet Lord”/“He’s So Fine” plagiarism case holds up today as one of the most-thorough explanations of the historic intellectual property rights clash ever recorded.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here www.MHInterview.com or click on the player box located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and every page of Talkers.com.

Cool Promotion and Marketing Position. In Baltimore, Hearst Television is seeking a highly motivated promotion and marketing manager for news/talk WBAL and rock WIYY “98Rock.” The company says, “This person must be able to manage numerous projects simultaneously while elevating the sound and image of our legacy brands.  This person will also be a key player in helping develop and produce targeted, promotional campaigns that connect with our audiences across all platforms.  Among other duties, you will oversee, manage and lead marketing & promotion department; identify and implement strategies for increasing station brand awareness and resonance; develop ongoing marketing strategies on all platforms including production & placement of television commercials; manage, along with news & program directors, production of compelling image & special event campaigns and topical promotion for all platforms; attend outside community functions and meetings and manage our Baltimore Ravens promotional partnership, including on-site events.  See more and apply here.

PPM Analysis: Alternative.TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s June 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on alternative.  The June ratings period saw more alternative stations go up (weekly AQH share) than down. Entercom’s KXTE, Las Vegas led that group with a +0.7.  Comparing June 2018 to this year, about half the alt rock stations in our panel were down, but big gainers during that period include Hubbard Radio’s KPNT, St. Louis “105.7 The Point” (+1.6), Entercom’s KITS “Live 105” in San Jose (+1.2), and iHeartMedia’s KTCL, Denver “Channel 93.3” (+1.0).  KPNT was the highest-ranking alternative station in the June survey, coming in at #3 in the St. Louis market (6+).  See the entire piece here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At the Memphis operations of Entercom, programmer Chris Michaels is promoted to operations manager/music brands. Michaels has been the director of branding and programming for hot AC WMC-FM, adult contemporary WRVR “104.5 The River,” and country WLFP “94.1 The Wolf.”…..In Raleigh, PMC Broadcasting names Brian “B” Paiz director of branding for hip hop WAUG-AM/W250AZ “Hot 97.9.”  Paiz was most recently with iHeartMedia as SVP of programming in the Columbus-Albany, Georgia market…..Atlanta radio personality Jeff Dauler and his wife Callie have launched a podcast titled, “The Upside with Callie and Jeff.” Dauler was most recently morning drive co-host on WSTR “Star 94.”  Prior to that he was executive producer and air talent on the syndicated “The Bert Show.”  In a press release, the two say, “We’ve had the idea for a while to create something to spread the message about gratitude and finding the positive in every single situation.  That mindset has changed our lives for the better… and we want everyone to understand what we have learned.  It was just an idea… until Jeff lost his job.  We decided just a few days later that now is the time.”

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

| July 23, 2019

Blair Garner’s Pete Buttigieg Interview Kept Off Westwood One Show. After Cumulus Media denied nationally syndicated overnight country radio host Blair Garner (left) permission to air segments of his interview with Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg (center) (but allowed him to post it on his personal Soundcloud account) the company is facing public scrutiny over its decision.  Cumulus’s official statement was that equal-time concerns – especially considering the large number of Democratic candidates running – were the only reasons for not allowing the interview on the air. Regarding the equal-time rule, TALKERS magazine legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman says, “As it applies to advertising, the rule means that if a station sells advertising to one candidate, it must offer the same amount of time to other candidates.  Where the rule gets confusing to some is that if the station offers free air time to a candidate, it must offer free air time to other candidates.  However, the [four] exceptions to the rule effectively eliminate this as a concern because free air time to other candidates is not required if the air time being used – as with the Buttigieg interview – is a bona fide news interview.  Other candidates are not required to be given equal time.  Therefore, the position of Cumulus Media that they are not running the interview because the provisions of the equal time rule would require them to provide air time for interviews with all of the other candidates, is an inaccurate interpretation of the rule.”  It’s possible that Cumulus is choosing to avoid the political “can of worms” entirely by not engaging in political content on a country music show.  Some critics, perhaps cynically, are suggesting the company’s true motive centers on the fact that Buttigieg is openly gay and the country music audience is traditionally conservative.  Garner said it all started when he was approached by Buttigieg’s campaign ahead of his appearance in Nashville.  Garner agreed to the interview because Buttigieg requested it.  Garner told Buttigieg during the interview, “I think that our base tends to be more conservative.  And the fact that you, from the Democratic ticket, are the singular candidate to reach out and to say, ‘May I please be on your show?’  That you are reaching out to our listeners, I think we all have to embrace that and be appreciative of that.”

Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Videos Continue Posting Today with the Panel Discussion, “Overcoming Distrust of the Media.  TALKERS is continuing to post key speeches, presentations and sessions from the recent 22nd annual edition of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention – Talkers 2019: Telling the Story.  Today’s (7/23) post: the panel discussion, “Overcoming Distrust of the Media” featuring panelists (in alphabetical order) Thom Hartmann, host, WYD Media; Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo, host, the Joe Pags Show; Doug Stephan, CEO/host, Stephan Multimedia; and Rick Ungar, host, the Rick Ungar Program/editor-in-chief, TheDalyCentrist.com.  The session was moderated by Jim Bohannon, host, Westwood One.  Posted yesterday (7/22): the presentation of the TALKERS Freedom of Speech award to Brian Kilmeade of Fox News Radio/Fox News Channel.  Posted Friday (7/19): the discussion “Attracting Younger Demos to Talk Radio” featuring panelists (in alphabetical order) Mike “Bax” Baxendale, morning co-host, WAQY (Rock 102), Springfield, MA; Greg Foster, VP/programming and national news/talk brand coordinator, iHeart Media/PD, KOA, Denver; John T. Mullen, operations manager, WRHU, Hofstra UniversitySid Rosenberg, morning co-host, WABC, New York; and Rich Zeoli, host, WPHT, Philadelphia. The session was moderated by Kevin Casey, VP/executive editor, TALKERS.   Also already posted: discussion “Talk Radio in the Era of Watch What You Say” featuring panelists (in alphabetical order) Michael Berry, host, Michael Berry Show; Grace Blazer, national brand coordinator of news/talk/sports programming and director of AM programming Miami/Fort Lauderdale, iHeart Media;  Karen Hunter, host SiriusXM Satellite RadioBrett Winterble, host KFMB, San Diego; Larry Young, host, WOLB, Baltimore; and Dan Yorke, host WPRO, Providence.  Also already posted: WPG, Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley saluting the Broadcasters Foundation of America and Vince Benedetto, CEO of Bold Gold Media Group receiving the Sharon L. Harrison Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service by a Talk Radio Broadcaster (“Humanitarian of the Year”); a special luncheon address by former Trump Administration advisor Sebastian Gorka, now a personality syndicated by Salem Radio Network; panel discussion “Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio” featuring Howie Carr, host of the Howie Carr Show (Howie Carr Radio Network and Newsmax TV), Jared Hart, former PD, WPHT, Philadelphia, and  Art Vuolo, president, Vuolo Video.  The session was introduced and facilitated by Scott Lakefield, APD, WOR, New York.   Also posted: special keynote address delivered by CBS Sports Radio syndicated host Jim Rome with an introduction from Yappy Days author/college professor Bernadette Duncan; the panel discussion, “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2019” featuring (in alphabetical order) Asa Andrew, host, AsaRx;  Vince Benedetto, CEO, Bold Gold Media Group;  Suzanne Grimes, EVP/marketing, Cumulus Media and president, Westwood One; and Dave Robinett, chief marketing officer, #250-America’s Mobile Speed Dial – moderated by Erica Farber, president and CEO of the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) and introduced by renown independent station owner Michael Zwerling of KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz, CA; the special keynote address by Key Networks syndicated personality Bill O’Reilly; the one-on-one discussion, “Sports Talk Radio’s Role in Popular Culture” featuring a conversation between Mark Chernoff, senior VP/programming WFAN/Entercom, NY and captain/sports format, CBS Sports Radio and Mike Thomas, PD, WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub,” Boston and brand manager/spoken word, podcasts, esports, Beasley Broadcasting with  Kate Delaney, host, GCN and correspondent NBC Sports Radio, serving as facilitator; the panel discussion, “Broadcasting and Podcasting,” featuring (in alphabetical order) Greg Batusic, chief operating officer, PodcastOneSteven Goldstein, founder/CEO Amplifi MediaMichael Czarnecki, program director, WONK-FM, Washington, DC and iHeartRadio Podcast Channel; and Craig Schwalb, former program director WABC, New York and WPRO, Providence with moderation by Mike Kinosian, managing editor/West Coast bureau chief, TALKERS; the keynote “fireside chat” in which TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison interviews Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity in a casual one-on-one conversation introduced by DC Radio Company executive director Victoria Jones; the opening address titled, “Telling the Story,” delivered by Lee Habeeb, host and producer of the successful syndicated program, “Our American Stories;” RAB president/CEO Erica Farber receiving the Woman of the Year award and SiriusXM Satellite Radio star “Cousin” Bruce Morrow receiving the Lifetime Achievement award. The convention took place in New York City on Friday, June 7 and was one of the most positively received in the event’s colorful history.  TALKERS plans to add one or two videos per day to those posted until all the major events of the conference are posted here at Talkers.com where they will remain on view for the rest of the year.  To see the videos and convention video page, please click here.

Gallagher Broadcasts from ‘Teen Student Action Summit.’ Pictured above is Salem Radio Network talk radio host Mike Gallagher (left) speaking with Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk (right) live from the group’s “Teen Student Action Summit” in Washington, DC.  Scheduled speakers at the three-day event include: President Trump, U.S. Senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, plus Gallagher’s SRN colleague, Dr. Sebastian Gorka.

Sports Talk WNDE-AM, Indianapolis Losing FM Translator. According to a piece in the Indianapolis Star, iHeartMedia has new plans for FM translator W248AW at 97.5. Local management is only saying they will debut a new format on the signal “very shortly.”  iHeartMedia Indianapolis SVP of programming Dave Hill tells the paper that the programming on sports talk WNDE-AM remains the same.  WNDE-AM airs FOX Sports Radio programming, the local “Query & Schultz” PM drive show plus Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh.

Mueller Testimony, Immigration-Asylum Policy, 2020 Presidential Race, U.S.-Iran Tensions, Louisiana Cops’ AOC Threat, $320B Budget Deal/Debt Ceiling Rises, Puerto Rico Protests, UK PM Race, and Brady-Daughter Cliff Jump Flap Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/22). Wednesday’s testimony before the House judiciary and intelligence committees by special counsel Robert Mueller; the Trump administration’s immigration and asylum policies and the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border; the Democrats vying for the nomination to challenge President Trump in 2020; Iran’s claim to have arrested 17 CIA operatives; two Louisiana police officers are fired for social media post suggesting Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez should be shot; the two-year budget deal that raises the debt ceiling and allows for $320 billion in new spending; the protests roiling Puerto Rico over Governor Ricardo Rossello’s leaked chat messages; Britain’s prime minister race between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt; and the flap over video of Tom Brady and his daughter jumping off a cliff into water were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming and on-air pro Walter Flakus moves from Cumulus Media’s alternative WKQX, Chicago to Entercom’s KNDD, Seattle “107.7 The End” where he’s taking on assistant program director and afternoon drive duties, effective August 6.  He’d been APD, music director and evening personality at WKQX. Entercom Seattle SVP and market manager Jack Hutchison says, “We’re thrilled to welcome such a talented programmer to the ‘107.7 The End’ team.  Walter brings extensive experience and leadership both on and off the air which will benefit listeners and partners.”…..In Atlanta, Cox Media Group names Chris Centore assistant program director for urban contemporary WALR, CHR WSB-FM “B98.5,” and classic hits WSRV.  Additionally, he’s hosting the PM drive program on “B98.5.”  Centore joined WSB-FM in April of this year.  He’d previously worked in Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC.  He says, “I am excited for this new opportunity with ‘B98.5’ and to work alongside Chris Eagan and the CMGA team.  I look forward to being part of our listeners’ afternoon commute and to help our radio stations continue to deliver the best, most compelling on-air content in Atlanta.”…..Hubbard Radio St. Louis inks morning man Scott Rizzuto to a multi-year contract renewal to stay with alternative rock KPNT “105.7 The Point” with castmates Tony Patrico, Jeff Burton, Phillip Sneed, and Scott McNew.  Hubbard St. Louis VP and market manager John Kijowski says, “Hubbard Radio believes in live and local talent.  The Rizzuto show is undeniable when it comes to connecting with listeners, mirroring their lifestyles, and talking about things that matter locally.  ‘The Rizzuto Show’ love is real!  We’re excited to partner with Scott for another four years.”…..Radio One programming pro Arthur “A-Plus” Willis – currently PD for hip hop WIZF, Cincinnati “The Wiz 101.1” – is adding programming responsibilities for the company’s rhythmic CHR WCKX, Columbus “Power 107.3/106.3.”…..All day today, Beasley Media Group’s classic rock WMGK-FM, Philadelphia is playing exclusively Rolling Stones songs as “102.9MCK – All Stones All the Time” in recognition of the band’s show this evening at Lincoln Financial Field.  “102.9MCK” is also providing complete concert coverage with afternoon drive host Andre Gardner broadcasting live from the venue.

May 2019 PPM Analysis: DC Repeats As Spoken-Word Champ

| July 2, 2019

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

LOS ANGELES — On numerous occasions the past several years, we have depicted the top news/talk markets in a specific ratings sweep.

This, however, is our most ambitious project to date, as we assess the temperature of spoken-word stations as a complete entity in all 48 PPM-markets.

Especially as it relates to this particular exercise, our definition of spoken-word includes commercial English-language news/talk outlets; all-newsas well as business news – facilities; and public radio news/talk operations.

That last category can be acutely thorny, since by their very noncommercial nature, some stations falling under that banner are – admittedly – much broader in scope and could be ascribed as “variety.”

As a result, even though these stations are tagged “public radio news/talk,” it is highly-possible that listeners could hear them air jazz, classical, bluegrass, and/or several other musical genres in various dayparts. It is our intention that programming on stations listed here as “public radio news/talk” falls predominantly (if not exclusively) under the news, news/talk umbrella.

Another member of the spoken-word family, sports talk, is purposefully excluded from this analysis. Results from that format’s May 2019 performance were posted on (Thursday) June 20 and have been archived on our website.

Nielsen Audio only releases audience estimates for stations subscribing to its services.

As a result, stats in this analysis are limited to facilities paying Nielsen Audio for its information.

In the last bit of fine-print for this comprehensive overview, we have applied absolutely no ratings restrictions for the May 2019 sweep, which covered April 25 through May 22. Every news; news-talk; and public radio news/talk station notching at least a .1 (6+, May 2019) is included in this comprehensive recap.

Read More

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

| June 26, 2019

WHB-AM, Kansas City Suspends Host Kevin Kietzman Over Controversial Comments. Sports talk WHB-AM, Kansas City owner Union Broadcasting is suspending longtime station talk host Kevin Kietzman indefinitely after comments he made on his show were deemed by some to be inappropriate.  During a discussion about the Kansas City Chiefs’ suspension of Tyreek Hill due to an incident involving his fiancé and three-year-old son that led to a child abuse investigation, Kietzman criticized head coach Andy Reid’s abilities “fixing [troubled] players.”  In doing so, Kietzman said Reid had the same troubles dealing with his sons Britt and Garrett.  Garrett died of a heroin overdose in 2012.  Awful Announcing first called Kietzman out on his comments and Kietzman replied to clarify his statements saying, “I never once mentioned anything about Andy Reid’s son’s death and never once had it on my mind.  A caller called in later and said something about the death and I quickly corrected him and pointed out that I was referencing two sons that were convicted drug dealers and drug addicts that he chose to try to fix by hiring them to work for his football teams.”  You can see that here.  But, Kietzman has issued a lengthy apology to the Reid family that you can read here. He maintains his intent was not to tie Reid’s son’s death to the team’s issues but says in his apology, “This is on me.  I’m paid as a broadcaster to be concise in what I say.  My words on Monday’s show left open way too many interpretations and I’m the only person responsible for that, and the only person to blame.  I’ll learn from this mistake and I’ll work hard to do better, and I hope to one day regain the trust of Coach Reid and the Chiefs organization.”

NPR and Edison Research Smart Speaker Study Reveals Security Concerns Hamper Potential Future Adopters. The data from the new research in “The Smart Audio Report” series from NPR and Edison Research gives insights into “how smart speaker user behavior and perceptions are evolving as owners ‘settle in’ with their devices and the market matures out of its introductory phase.”  This Spring 2019 survey indicates seven-in-10 smart speaker owners use their device daily despite common concerns around security and privacy, while those same factors are leading reasons non-owners have not acquired a device.  Edison SVP Tom Webster says, “We are starting to see more pragmatic usage of these devices.  The longer people have these devices, the less experimentation they do with them — but the more ingrained into everyday life these devices become.”  The study found that smart speaker owners who have owned the device for 2-plus years use an average seven skills per week, compared to an average 12 skills per week among those who have owned the device for less than three months.  But the report also finds there is a slowing of interest among non-owners in getting one and the two most-cited reasons are: 1) 63% are concerned that hackers could use a smart speaker to gain access to their home or personal information; and 2) 55% are bothered that smart speakers are always listening.  See more from the study here

Duff Lindsey Retiring from Beasley Boca Raton. Programmer Duff Lindsey is retiring from his operations manager position with Beasley Media Group’s Boca Raton, Florida cluster that includes talk WWNN, financial talk WSBR, and foreign language WHSR.  Taking over as operations manager for the cluster is station staffer A.J. Gunn.  Lindsey – who turns 70 on July 1 – says he’s spent more than 30 years of his 50-year career with Beasley.  His last day is June 30.

TALKERS News Notes. At public media firm KQED, San Francisco, Lesley Grossblatt joins to serve in the newly created role of chief product officer.  She’ll be in charge of KQED’s digital activities – including product management, user experience and design, software engineering, and the KQED Lab, the station’s in-house innovation incubator.  During her career she’s led product and technology initiatives at companies including: Netflix, Intuit, CreativeLive and theBoardlist, among others…..Krantz Media Group Networks announces its new partnership with “Politicon” – the annual bipartisan “UnconventionalPolitical Convention” that’s taking place in Nashville October 26 and 27.  The partnership will bring a wide array of audio programming to listeners around the world in the lead-up to event, as well as live-programming on site at the event. KMG says “The fifth annual ‘Politicon’ brings Republicans, Democrats, and people of all political stripes together to banter and spar over the most topical issues in smart and entertaining ways that often poke fun at both sides of the aisle.  Last year, more than 10,000 fans flocked to the 4th annual Politicon at the Los Angeles Convention Center, enjoying participants such as Kathy Griffin, Michael Avenatti, the Baby Trump Balloon, Adam Carolla, Carter Page, Ann CoulterDennis Rodman, Alyssa Milano, Tucker Carlson, Ana Kasparian, Ben Shapiro, Eddie Izzard, James Carville, Tomi Lahren, Henry Winkler, and more.”…..WXDE-FM, Lewes, Delaware talk show host Dan Gaffney had the opportunity to assist a listener whom he helped do a good deed more than 20 years ago. He says, “Twenty-three years ago, Ann Cox called ‘The Dan Gaffney Show’ for help giving away a mobile home. I put her on the air and helped her give the home away to a needy local family.  On June 4 of this year, that same woman – now disabled and caring for her five-year-old grandson – lost her home and all belongings in a fire.”  Last Friday, Gaffney appealed to his listeners for aid and – with the assistance of WXDE advertiser Jim Weller who agreed to match donations up to $5,000 – raised more than $11,000 to assist Cox and her grandson.  Gaffney adds, “The power of radio, the power of talk radio, the power of a connected community.”…..Pictured below is FOX News Radio talk host and FOX News Channel star Brian Kilmeade posing for a photo at affiliate KDWN, Las Vegas from where he recently broadcast his nationally syndicated program.  From left to right are: KDWN program director John Shaffer, Kilmeade and Beasley VP and market manager Peter Burton.

Former WLIB, New York Talk Host Kae Thompson Dies at 83. Former urban talk radio personality Kae Thompson died last Friday at age 83 after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage.  The New York Daily News reports that Thompson hosted the “Urban Notebook” and “Kae Thompson Payne Live” programs on WLIB-AM, New York during her 25-year career with the station.  WBLS-FM and WLIB-AM assistant program director Cynthia Smith tells the Daily News, “Kae Thompson was a true journalist [who] asked the hard questions but always with a smile.  Her guests couldn’t help but answer her.  Such a classy lady, teacher and true professional who I enjoyed working with on ‘The Kae Thompson Show’ on WLIB.  Her smile is permanently etched in my memory!  She will be missed tremendously.”

2020 Presidential Race/Democrat Debates, Iran Tensions, Southern Border Migrant Issues, Mueller to Testify, G20 Summit, and Trump-Kim Meeting Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/25).The Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in 2020 taking part in this week’s televised debates; the war of words between Tehran and Washington over the breakdown of the Iran nuclear deal and recent attacks on oil tankers and a U.S. drone; the conditions for detained migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border and Trump administration policy; former special counsel Robert Mueller agrees to testify before a House Judiciary subcommittee in July; this weekend’s G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan; and the progress toward more talks between President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Training the Next Generation of Talk Media Broadcasters: Hofstra University’s WRHU Interviews Talk Media Stars at TALKERS ConventionTALKERS recruited a video team from Long Island-based Hofstra University’s multi-award-winning radio station WRHU-FM/WRHU.org to record select one-on-one conversations with a variety of the talk media stars from both sides of the microphone who were in attendance at the recent Talkers 2019: Telling the Story convention in New York City (6/7). The team consisted of student broadcasters Eliorah Finkelson and Jon SanelliTALKERS founder (and Hofstra alumnus) Michael Harrison, a charter inductee in the Hofstra Radio Hall of Fame and member of the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication Dean’s Advisory Board, says, “I am so proud of the widely recognized accomplishments being made by Hofstra in the field of radio and communications.  It is one of the preeminent schools in the nation in this arena and the number of outstanding professionals that it continues to produce is nothing short of remarkable.”  Hofstra Radio operations director John T. Mullen adds, ““WRHU has one mission – professional development of students so they can become productive members of the radio / media industry. The foundation for most of the on-air personality content on radio is talk. Whether it’s a music air personality talking about artists and culture, a political talk show host breaking down the news of the day, a newscaster delivering timely info, a sportscaster discussing games, or a love show host talking about romance and relationship advice. Therefore it makes sense that the leading college radio station (WRHU) would team up with the world’s most informative and innovative talk media conference in New York City for Talkers 2019.  WRHU and Talkers 2019 are telling the story of students learning from icons in the talk media industry.”  To view the video interviews recorded by the Hofstra team please click here.  Pictured below (l-r): Key Networks commentator Bill O’ Reilly being interviewed by WRHU’s Eliorah Finkelson and Jon Sanelli at the TALKERS convention.

Music Radio News and Career MovesFour-year KRRL-FM, Los Angeles “REAL 92.3” air personality DJ Amen is promoted to music director at the iHeartMedia hip hop station. DJ Amen began working for iHeartMedia in 2006 on the turntables for the legendary 106 KMEL in San Francisco.  In 2015, he joined ‘REAL 92.3’ as a DJ, mixing daily for the newly launched station and in 2016, contributed to the launch of REAL 92.3’s top-rated show, “Young California Radio.”…..In Detroit, assistant program director Cheron Sanders is being promoted to PD for iHeartMedia’s urban contemporary WMXD “Mix 92.3.”  Sanders joined iHeartMedia in 2001 and has held various positions at sister hip hop station WJLB AND WMXD over the years, including traffic reporter and midday host…..At Cumulus Media’s alternative KFOG, San Francisco, Alicia Tyler exits the midday host/music director position she’s held since 2016.  Station program director Jacent Jackson takes on the music director duties and evening personality Dayna Keyes is promoted to the midday show.  Also promoted is Danica Lopez who moves from part-timer to evening personality and social media director…..In the Springfield, Illinois market, Neuhoff Media teams Taylor Brown up with John Spalding for the “John and Taylor in the Morning” program on country WFMB. Brown has been handling the midday duties on sister hot AC WXAJ-FM in addition to her director of promotions position with the stations…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that classic hits WLS-FM morning personality Dave Fogel was off the air for a couple of days for treatment for an aneurysm.  Fogel was treated for the same issue while working the afternoon show at crosstown hot AC WTMX in 2003…..Adams Radio appoints Nathan James director of marketing partnerships and promotions for the company’s five-station operation in the Salisbury-Ocean City, Maryland market. He was most recently director of marketing at iHeartMedia Philadelphia…..Pride Live and iHeartMedia New York announce the second annual Stonewall Day – a global campaign to elevate awareness and support for the Stonewall legacy and the continuing fight for full LGBTQ+ equality.  In observance of the 50th anniversary of Stonewall, Pride Live and iHeartMedia New York are bringing “multi-generational LGBTQ+ communities and allies together through the power of music at Pride Live’s Stonewall Day concert, presented by United Airlines.”  Taking place on Friday (6/28), it will be hosted by Elvis Duran.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

| June 20, 2019

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s May 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk. As the Major League Baseball season moved into its second month of the season and NBA Playoffs were in full swing, 41% of sports talk stations on our panel were up (weekly 6+ AQH share) from the April PPM survey, led by Entercom’s KGMZ, San Francisco (+1.4), while 39% were down.  Comparing May 2018 to May 2019, 47% of sports talk stations were up, but 44% were down.  Just one station ranked #1 in its market – Entercom’s WFAN, New York accomplished that in the Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island) market.  See Kinosian’s entire report here.

iHeartMedia Commissioned Ipsos Study: Audio Interest at All-Time High; AM/FM Radio Reaches 85% of Consumers. This new study – conducted by Ipsos and commissioned by iHeartMedia – concludes that “consumer interest in audio is now at an all-time high, with listeners enjoying more audio content across a vast array of platforms including broadcast radio, digital streaming, podcasts, and smart speakers.  The in-depth multi-platform study explores daily audio usage and habits of Americans ranging from 13 to 64 years old and captures when, where, and how these various generations are consuming their favorite audio.”  The press release goes on to say that the study finds broadcast radio reaches 85% of consumers, “surpassing all other audio channels including social media (68%) and live television (56%).  The research also showed that radio has two times the daily listening of streaming services, reaching 69% of consumers compared to streaming music’s 34%.”  iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman says, “Contrary to some misperceptions, it shows we are living in an audio-first world by drilling down a more granular overview of audio listenership and showing what a day-in-the-life of the average listener is like when it comes to media consumption.”  Regarding podcasting consumption, the study found that growth is strong among Millennials and Gen Z.  “iHeartMedia’s study further found that podcasts now represent almost 10% of audio listening among Millennials and that podcast listeners are also radio listeners, with 82% also listening to radio on a weekly basis.  The study, conducted in March 2019, surveyed a nationally representative sample of 6,016 consumers aged 13–64 who listen to more than one audio platform at least once a week.

Emmis Enters Podcast Space with Sound That BRANDS Backing. After a series of cash-raising downsizing moves (the recent sales of radio stations and much of its publishing assets), Emmis Communications is entering the podcasting space through funding for Los Angeles-based podcasting studio Sound That BRANDS. The firm specializes in branded audio content for national advertisers.  Sound That BRANDS CEO Dave Beasing says, “At Sound That BRANDS, our motto is ‘Be the content, not the interruption.’  With Emmis’ support, we’ll grow quickly, producing audio that is not only entertaining and informative, but builds brand loyalty.”  Emmis chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan says, “We’ve monitored the early stages of global brands telling audio stories through branded podcasts that dramatically enhances loyalty and preference.  Sound that BRANDS has already become a leader in branded podcasting and is uniquely positioned to work with marquee brands to build episodes that make you laugh, feel and think in a way that reinforces the brand.  Dave is a great audio storyteller, and we look forward to helping him accelerate Sound that BRANDS growth.”  The press release announcing the relationship also notes that Sound That BRANDS is “seeking motivated talent for several key roles, including VP/revenue and brand partnerships.” Former KPWR-FM, Los Angeles SVP/GM Val Maki is heading the search and those interested can learn more and apply at: SoundThatBRANDS.com.

Stan Bennett Rises to VP of Programming for Binnie Media. At Binnie Media – operator of stations in Maine and New Hampshire – Stan Bennett is promoted to vice president of programming for the company. Bennett – a 25-year company veteran – has been serving as director of programming for the company’s Maine stations and as morning drive co-host at classic hits WFNK, Lewiston, Maine. Binnie Media president Massimo Rosati says, “I’ve had the pleasure of working with Stan the past few years.  His passion and commitment to our stations, team, audiences, and clients is unmatched.”

Salem Atlanta’s Moran to Retire. After 15 years with Salem Media Group – most recently as vice president and general manager for the company’s Atlanta operations – Mike Moran is retiring at the end of July.  Moran also served as regional VP for Salem’s Cleveland, Miami, Orlando, and Tampa markets.  SMG says Val Carolin will take over the Atlanta VP/GM position, moving in from the company’s Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina operations.  Salem’s president of radio David Santrella states, “Mike has been an important part of Salem’s leadership team and we wish him well as he moves into retirement.  We are pleased with the depth of leadership within our company, which allows us to quickly fill his role and provide the opportunity for others to advance within Salem Media Group.”

Hofstra University’s WRHU Interviews Talk Media Stars at TALKERS Convention.  TALKERS recruited a video team from Long Island-based Hofstra University’s multi-award-winning radio station WRHU-FM/WRHU.org to record select one-on-one conversations with a variety of the talk media stars from both sides of the microphone who were in attendance at the recent Talkers 2019: Telling the Story convention in New York City (6/7).  TALKERS founder (and Hofstra alumnus) Michael Harrison, a charter inductee in the Hofstra Radio Hall of Fame and member of the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication Dean’s Advisory Board, says, “I am so proud of the widely recognized accomplishments being made by Hofstra in the field of radio and communications.  It is one of the preeminent schools in the nation in this arena and the number of outstanding professionals that it continues to produce is nothing short of remarkable.”  The Hofstra videos will be posted to Talkers.com next week along with the beginning of daily, updated video overage of the convention’s key sessions and presentations recorded by the industry’s legendary videographer Art Vuolo.  Pictured above (l-r) are: Key Networks commentator Bill O’ Reilly being interviewed by WRHU’s Eliorah Finkelson and Jon Sanelli at the TALKERS convention.

PodcastOne and WTOP’s 22 Hours: An American Nightmare Tops 2.3 Million Downloads. Officials at PodcastOne and Hubbard Radio are thrilled to be promoting the fact that their new, true-crime podcast series, “22 Hours: An American Nightmare,” has accrued more than 2.3 million downloads since its June 10 debut. The series is being produced by WTOP-FM, Washington and investigates the murders of DC power couple Amy and Savvas Savopoulos, and their son and housekeeper in their DC mansion in 2015.  On the Apple podcast charts, the program has maintained its #3 ranking for all categories and #1 in-category ranking with episode two, as well.   PodcastOne executive chairman Norm Pattiz says, “We’re no strangers to the category, with successful podcasts like ‘Cold Case Files,’ ‘Murder Made Me Famous,’ ‘Serial Killer,’ ‘First Degree’ and ‘We’re Alive.’  But this is our initial foray into original, owned-and-distributed content, complete with derivative rights.  We’ve planned this move very carefully and will follow up with great content and second-to-none marketing resources.  This is just the beginning.  To my knowledge, we’re the only podcast network producer and distributor with programming representing every category on Apple Podcasts.  Congrats to our great production partners at WTOP and Hubbard Broadcasting.  Our four-year-old partnership continues to pay big dividends.”

WOR Examines the Changing Face of News Coverage. At the recent “WOR Live” event held yesterday afternoon (6/19) at The Cutting Room in New York City, WOR morning drive co-host Len Berman moderated a discussion about how news coverage is changing due to technology and socio-political forces.  Pictured above at the event are (from l-r): WOR assistant program director Scott Lakefield, Berman, WNYW-TV “FOX 5” anchors Rosanna Scotto and Ernie Anastos, and WOR program director Tom Cuddy.

ABC Radio Offers Affiliates 4th of July Programming. News/talk stations affiliated with ABC Radio can air the 4th of July special titled, “Cherished America,” hosted by ABC News Radio correspondent Aaron Katersky that takes listeners to national monuments, national parks, and places both familiar and obscure on the National Register of Historic Places.  The special examines why each place is important to the country and how each shapes and defines it.  ABC Radio is also offering “Red, White and Rock 2019,” hosted by rock legend George Thorogood to rock stations and “Homemade Hometown Salute,” hosted by country star Jake Owen, to country affiliates.  All shows are three hours in length.

Westwood One News Offers ‘The Lunar Conquest’ for 4th of July Special. Ahead of the July 20 50th anniversary of the lunar landing, Westwood One News is presenting a 4th of July weekend special titled, “The Lunar Conquest,” and hosted by correspondent Michael Toscano.  The program, available to affiliate stations, salutes this historic event with archived audio clips, news reports, and interviews.  WWO says, “The lunar landing was one of the most challenging endeavors ever launched. With millions of people glued to their tiny TVs, Neil Armstrong and fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin bounded across the eerie landscape for more than two hours.”

Trump Campaign Rally/2020 Presidential Race, Iran Downs U.S. Drone, Hicks Testimony, Reparations Hearing, Southern Border Crisis, and Nxivm Trial Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/19). Tuesday’s Orlando rally to kick off President Trump’s 2020 campaign and the Democrats competing for their party’s nomination; Iran shoots down a U.S. drone over the Strait of Hormuz; former Trump aide Hope Hicks refuses to talk about her White House tenure in closed-door testimony; the slavery reparations hearing before a House Judiciary subcommittee; the illegal immigrant status at the Southern border and President Trump’s statement ICE will deport millions; and the conviction of Nxivm founder Keith Raniere on racketeering and sex trafficking charges were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Atlanta, programmer Ron Roberts announces he’s left his position as program director of Entercom’s hot AC WSTR “Star 94.1.”  Roberts has been with the station since last August and arrived there after serving with iHeartMedia at CHR WWXM, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina “Mix 97.7.”

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

| June 11, 2019

Cumulus Media Announces Offer of $300 Million in Senior Secured First-Lien Notes. This Issue of notes is a private offering made only to “persons reasonably believed to be qualified institutional buyers.”  The new offering is $300 million in Cumulus Media New Holdings, Inc, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cumulus Media, in aggregate principal amount of senior secured first-lien notes due 2026.  Cumulus reports that it expects to use the net proceeds of the offering to partially repay existing indebtedness under its senior secured term loan facility.

Keith Memloy Appointed PD for WDBO-FM and ‘ESPN 580.’ Rising from assistant program director at Cox Media Group’s news/talk WDBO-FM, Orlando to PD for that and sister sports talker WDBO-AM “ESPN 580” is Keith Memoly.  CMG Orlando director of programming operations Steve Stewart says, “Keith brings a diverse amount of experience and passion to his role.  I look forward to seeing him and the WDBO team help shape the future of Orlando’s iconic radio brand.”  Memoly started his career with CMG in 2010 as the marketing director for WPYO, WCFB, and WMMO in Orlando.  In 2017, he was promoted to assistant program director at WDBO.  He says, “I’m beyond thrilled for the opportunity to lead an amazing, award-winning team of talent that is the fabric of the ‘News 96.5’ and ‘ESPN 580’ brands.  WDBO is a legendary brand in the industry and I would like to thank Jason Meder, Steve Stewart and Tim Clarke for believing and entrusting in me and my leadership.”

Round One of May PPMs Released.  The first round of Nielsen Audio’s May 2019 PPM survey results is being released, starting with 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside-San Bernardino, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations hereTALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Takeaways from this round of ratings beginning tomorrow (6/12).

WBEN-AM, Buffalo Talk Host David Bellavia to Receive Medal of Honor. Buffalo talk radio host and decorated Iraq War veteran David Bellavia is being presented with the Medal of Honor by President Trump in a ceremony to take place on June 25 at the White House.  Bellavia co-hosts the afternoon drive show with Tom Bauerle on Entercom’s WBEN-AM, Buffalo.  He’s being presented with the Medal of Honor for “conspicuous gallantry while serving as a Staff Sergeant in the United States Army.”  You can read the account of what happened in Fallujah, Iraq on November 10, 2004 and Bellavia’s actions at the White House site here. In a story on the WBEN website, Bellavia is quoted saying, “There’s so much love on the battlefield, and you really do care.  You care for your hometown, you care for your country, you care for your friends, but that’s something that separates us from all the other enemies we fight…we love what we do and we love who we are protecting.”

Michael Castner Out at Entercom’s KXNT, Las Vegas.  Talk and news radio pro Michael Castner has exited his role as morning drive host at Entercom’s news/talk KXNT, Las Vegas.  Castner’s previous experience includes service at iHeartMedia’s WRNO-FM, New Orleans and KEX-AM, Portland, as well as a stint with the Wall Street Journal Radio Network.  Castner says he’s happy to re-locate and is also available for fill-in work.  He can be reached at michael@michaelcastner.com.

TEGNA Doubles Radio Holdings with Dispatch Broadcast Group Acquisition. The television-centric company TEGNA Inc. owns adult hits KFMB-FM and news/talk KFMB-AM in San Diego in addition to its 49 television stations.  TEGNA has just entered into a definitive agreement with the Dispatch Broadcast Group to acquire two television stations – WTHR-TV, Indianapolis and WBNS-TV, Columbus for $535 million in cash.  That deal also includes Dispatch’s two sports talk radio stations in Columbus – WBNS-FM and WBNS-AM – and that would give TEGNA four radio properties.  In a press release announcing the agreement, TEGNA says of the sports talk duo, “WBNS Radio is Ohio’s sports destination.  97.1 is the flagship home of the Ohio State Buckeyes, Columbus Crew, Columbus Blue Jackets, and teams across the state and features popular shows and podcasts including ‘Bishop and Laurinaitis,’ ‘Carpenter & Rothman,’ ‘Common Man & T-Bone,’ and ‘The Buckeye Show.’  1460 AM is the flagship station of Ohio State (OSBI) athletics and the home of ESPN Radio in Columbus.”

ABC Radio Ups Stacia Philips Deshishku to VP/GM. The “interim” is removed from Stacia Philips Deshishku’s title as she becomes vice president and general manager of ABC Radio in which she’ll oversee the company’s audio businesses – from traditional terrestrial radio serving more than 1,650 stations nationwide to podcasts and digital audio.  She had been serving as deputy bureau chief for Washington prior to being asked to be interim leader two months ago.  ABC News president James Goldston says, “Stacia is a terrific mentor, providing wise and candid counsel to all, including me.  She helped successfully transform the Washington bureau and was instrumental in ensuring it maintained its competitive edge and high standards in this non-stop news cycle.”

Chris Moreau Named Market Manager for Cumulus Green Bay. Radio sales and management pro Chris Moreau is promoted from his director of sales post with Cumulus Media Appleton/Oshkosh to vice president and market manager for the company’s Green Bay station group that includes: sports talk WDUZ-AM/FM, country WPCK-FM, hot AC WQLH-FM, classic rock WKRU-FM, and classic hits WOGB-FM.  He’s previously served as business development/account manager for Journal Broadcast Group/E.W. Scripps, vice president/general manager for Bliss Communications in Racine, Wisconsin, and more.

TALKERS News Notes. The San Antonio-based, nationally syndicated “Joe Pags Show” adds new affiliate stations KSEV-AM, Houston and WLOB, Portland to its roster.  “The Joe Pags Show” is syndicated by Compass Media Networks…..Hubbard Radio’s WTOP News in Washington, D.C. and PodcastOne have partnered to produce a new, true-crime podcast series titled, “22 Hours: An American Nightmare,” that details the horrific events that led to a D.C. power couple, their 10-year-old son and housekeeper being held hostage, tortured and brutally murdered inside their own home in May of 2015.  Daron Wint was found guilty of the crimes – known as the DC Mansion Murders – in 2018…..FOX Sports is presenting multiplatform coverage of the 119th U.S. Open Championship.  FOX Sports Radio has on-site coverage from Pebble Beach Golf Links on Thursday and Friday (6/13-14) via “The Doug Gottlieb Show” from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm while FOX Sports Radio news anchor Dan Beyer reports live from the course…..CBS News senior foreign affairs correspondent and “Face the Nation” moderator Margaret Brennan is serving as the keynote speaker of KYW Newsradio’s “Women’s Achievement Awards 2019,” being held at Loews Philadelphia Hotel on June 27.  This is the 10th annual edition of the awards from the Entercom all-news station that serve to celebrate women making a positive impact on the Philadelphia region.  This year’s event will honor the accomplishments of five exceptional women, all under the age of 40, who were nominated by KYW Newsradio listeners. Entercom Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff says, “We are thrilled to have a journalist as insightful and respected as Margaret on KYW Newsradio every week and honored to have her share her experience and perspective at our event. She embodies what the ‘Women’s Achievement Awards’ stand for and I look forward to her sharing a special evening with our deserving honorees.”

Sterling Swoons Over Swag Bag.  Nationally syndicated Westwood One personality Walter M. Sterling was so impressed with the quality of items in the Talkers 2019 convention “goodie bag” that he devoted a segment of this past weekend’s “Sterling on Sunday” show to talking about it.  Check it out here.

2020 Presidential Race, Trump Impeachment Talk, Southern Border Issues/Mexico Tariffs Threat, U.S.-China Trade War, and Big Papi Shot Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/10).  The Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the Democrats’ talk of beginning impeachment proceedings against the president; the immigration issues at the U.S.-Mexico border and the threat of tariffs on Mexican exports; the U.S.-China trade war and the looming G20 summit in Japan; retired Red Sox star David Ortiz is shot in a bar in the Dominican Republic 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. Motor City urban contemporary WDMK-FM is being sold by Urban One to Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc. for $13.5 million in a deal that Beasley expects “to be immediately accretive to Beasley’s free cash flow without materially altering the Company’s leverage.  Beasley intends to fund the acquisition through borrowings under its credit facility and cash generated from operations.”  Beasley currently operates three stations in the Detroit market: rock WRIF, classic rock WCSX, and rhythmic oldies WMGC. Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley comments, “The accretive acquisition of WDMK-FM significantly enhances our revenue and competitive position in Detroit.  Detroit is undergoing an exciting renaissance as a result of billions of dollars of new investments in the city’s residential, commercial, entertainment and cultural centers, all of which are driving new residents, businesses, tourists, employment and economic activity.  We entered the Detroit market in late 2016 and have consistently improved the operating results of the three stations we acquired, and we believe the proposed transaction is a strategically and financially compelling growth opportunity for our shareholders.  The addition of WDMK-FM will mark further progress toward our goal of capturing 30% revenue share in each of our markets while delivering valuable synergies and the potential for SOI margin improvement.”…..Entercom names Kevin Callahan program director for country simulcast KFRG-FM/KXFG-FM, Riverside “K-FROG.”  He says, “I’m honored to be afforded the opportunity to expand my role with Entercom in the Riverside market.  I’ve been fortunate to oversee programming efforts for KSON and I look forward to taking ‘K-FROG’ to new heights in the next chapter of my career.”  Callahan now oversees programming efforts for all Entercom Southern California country stations.  He continues in his role as program operations manager for sister stations KSON, sports talk KWFN “97.3 The Fan,” alternative KBZT-FM “ALT 949,” adult contemporary KYXY-FM, and classic hits KXSN-FM “Sunny 98.1” in San Diego…..Westwood One announces that Nashville-based personality Elaina Smith is re-branding her original podcast, “Breaking Thru With Elaina.”  It was previously titled, “Women Want to Hear Women with Elaina Smith.”  The program returned with new stories from female artists breaking through the music industry on June 9 on The Empow(h)er Podcast Network on Westwood One. Smith won a 2019 Gracie Award for the first season of the show.  She says, “I’ve been itching to get season two going all year long.  I’m so thankful to everyone for being so patient as I worked on launching my new radio show, ‘With Elaina.’  Now that it is off the ground, it’s time to keep this conversation going, and with a new name!”

Thursday, May 9, 2019

| May 9, 2019

Emmis Revenue Down 4% in Fiscal Q4.  Radio revenue in the fourth fiscal quarter of 2018 for Emmis Communications was $22.2 million, down 4% pro forma for the sale of its Los Angeles and St. Louis radio stations.  For the full fiscal year of 2018, pro forma revenue was $108 million, down 2% in markets that were down 1%, according to Miller Kaplan data.  Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan says, “While the fourth quarter didn’t finish as strongly as we would have liked, we are seeing significant strength as we commence the new fiscal year.  Emmis’ first fiscal quarter is pacing up 5%, and ticket and sponsorship sales for Hot 97’s Summer Jam, Emmis’ largest event which occurs in June, are pacing well ahead of last year.  Our renewed focus on digital is bearing immediate fruit, with Q1 digital revenues pacing up 50%.  Ratings remain strong across all our brands and I’m confident that our ratings success will allow us to sustain this growth.  With the scaling down of NextRadio that occurred last year, coupled with the company’s recent refinancing, Emmis has one of the best balance sheets in the radio industry, which has been enhanced by our strong operational start to this fiscal year.”  In the report, Emmis noted that it completed a refinancing of its credit facility on April 12.  The refinancing lowered the company’s cost of capital from 10.5% to 5.8%.

Urban One Q1 Broadcast and Digital Net Revenue Up 6.1%. First quarter financial data from Urban One, Inc. shows the company as a whole posted net revenue of approximately $98.4 million, a decrease of 1.2% from the same period in 2018.  However, the broadcast and digital sector’s operating income was approximately $34.5 million, an increase of 6.1% over Q1 in 2018. Operating income during 2019’s first quarter was approximately $16.1 million compared to approximately $7.3 million for the same period in 2018.  Net loss was approximately $6.7 compared to net loss of approximately $22.6 million for the same period in 2018.  Urban One CEO and president Alfred C. Liggins, III comments, “While our radio division finished the quarter a little softer than expected, the Q2 pacings show a strong rebound, with April up mid-teens and Q2 overall pacing up high single-digits.  TV One advertising revenues performed nicely, with ratings remaining relatively stable, and subscriber churn was largely offset by contractual rate increases. Our digital segment was impacted by the timing of a tent-pole event, which caused some revenue to spill over into Q2, however the reorganization of expenses that occurred at the end of 2018 meant that the division delivered a much-improved EBITDA performance. Our investment in MGM National Harbor continues to perform well, with first quarter net gaming revenues up by 5.6% year-over-year. We remain focused on deleveraging, and during the first quarter we reduced indebtedness by $21.8 million.”

Beasley Ups Heidi Raphael to Chief Communications Officer. Corporate communications pro Heidi Raphael is promoted to chief communications officer at Beasley Media Group.  Raphael had been VP of corporate communications. She joined Beasley in 2017, coming over from Greater Media – where she’d been for two decades – after Beasley acquired its assets.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley says, “Heidi has proven time and time again that she is most deserving of being promoted to the position of chief communications officer. While she’s only been at our company for two years, she’s accomplished more than others would in five!  We are so very proud and lucky to have her in our Beasley Media Group family.”  Raphael currently serves on the boards of the Library of American Broadcasting Foundation, the Broadcast Education Association and the Florida Association of Broadcasters.  In addition, she is a member of the Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Group executive committee.

Chelsey Waddell Named Director of Marketing for iHeartMedia Raleigh. Marketing pro Chelsey Waddell is appointed director of marketing and promotions at iHeartMedia’s Raleigh station group that includes WTKK-FM “106.1 FM Talk” and four music-formatted stations.  Waddell previously served in marketing and promotions positions with Radio One in St. Louis and Cumulus Media in Melbourne, Florida.  In this position she’ll work closely with the promotions, events, sales, and programming teams in developing and executing marketing for the Raleigh market’s iconic brands and franchises and will be responsible for developing and creating marketing strategies to increase brand awareness, enhance business relationships, and will assist with increasing revenue growth for the market. She says, “I’m excited to join the iHeartMedia market-leading team in Raleigh.  I’m looking forward to growing brand engagement among our audiences while driving continued revenue for the stations.”

Shosh Abromovich to Lead iHeartMedia Toledo. Radio sales pro Shosh Abromovich is promoted from SVP of sales for iHeartMedia’s Toledo operations to market president.  iHeartMedia region president Paul Corvino says, “Shosh has done an excellent job at leading our sales teams in the Toledo market.  She truly understands the value of iHeart’s full spectrum of services and unmatched assets, including radio, podcast, digital streaming, social media and mobile as well as OTT in relation to creating effective branding and results-driven marketing programs.”  The Toledo cluster includes news/talk WSPD-AM/W225AM and sports talk WCWA-AM “FOX Sports Toledo” in addition to five music brands.

TALKERS News Notes. The nationally syndicated Chad Benson show announces it adds a number of affiliate stations to its roster.  Recently adding the Radio America-syndicated show to their program schedules are: Hubbard Radio’s WFTL-AM, West Palm Beach and KSLM-AM/FM, Portland and Townsquare Media’s KKAM-AM, Lubbock, Texas; KTPI-AM/FM, Lancaster, California; and WNWF-AM, Evergreen, Alabama…..SiriusXM is presenting comprehensive play-by-play and talk coverage of the PGA Championship taking place next week at Bethpage Black Course on Long Island. Live hole-by-hole coverage, which SiriusXM will co-produce with Westwood One, will air starting at 12:00 pm ET all four days of Championship play. The broadcast will be hosted by Brian Katrek and Taylor Zarzour who will handle the play-by-play.

The Mueller Report/Trump’s Executive Privilege, NYTimes Trump Piece, 2020 Presidential Politics, U.S.-China Trade War, Facebook Bans; Gaza-Israel Violence, and the Royal Baby Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/8).  The claim by President Trump that the release of the unredacted Mueller Report is up to him; the New York Times piece on Trump’s business losses from 1985 to 1994; the Democrats vying to challenge Trump in 2020; the trade war between the U.S. and China and the reactions of the world’s financial markets; Facebook’s ban of “dangerous individuals and organizations”; the violence between Gaza and Israel; and the birth of the royal baby were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Radio programming pro Dustin Kross joins Radio One to serve as CHR format director in charge of the company’s WNOW-FM, Indianapolis “RadioNOW 100.9” and KROI-FM, Houston “RadioNOW 92.1.”  Kross comes to Radio One from his most recent position as program director and morning host for Cumulus Media’s CHR KLIF-FM, Dallas “HOT 93.3.”  Radio One vice president of programming Colby Tyner says, “We are excited to be working with Dustin, his expertise and passion for the top 40 format is just what we need in Houston and Indy.”…..The WHQC, Charlotte-based, regionally syndicated “Ace & TJ Show” announces it has officially named Laura Vinson, a.k.a. Intern Sass, a permanent member of The Ace & TJ Show.  She began her career with The Ace & TJ Show as an intern in January 2018.  Vinson says, “I’m excited and honored to be the newest member of ‘The Ace and TJ Show.’  I’m thankful for the overwhelming amount of support.  I can’t wait to bring more sass and continue this journey with our radio family.”…..United Stations Radio Networks is distributing “The Summer of 1969,” produced and hosted by Dick Bartley, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the summer of 1969.   The radio special will be available for air this summer and is perfect for classic hits/oldies-formatted stations.  Music in the special will include many of the biggest songs of that summer, including major hits from The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder, Creedence Clearwater RevivalBlood, Sweat and Tears, and Crosby, Stills and Nash, as well as great novelty hits like “Sugar Sugar” from The Archies.

Monday, May 6, 2019

| May 6, 2019

Cumulus Media Names Brian Philips EVP of Content and Audience; Mike McVay to Return to Consulting. Effective today, radio and television executive Brian Philips is being appointed executive vice president, content and audience for Cumulus Media, taking over for Michael McVay, who is returning to full-time consulting, with Cumulus as his first client.  Philips previously served as president of Viacom/MTV Network’s CMT channel.  The press release notes that there, Philips led “the music network’s successful forays into long-form script series, tentpole awards shows, concert specials, and feature films.  He also developed CMT’s successful national radio network.”  Prior to working in TV and film, Philips worked in radio programming with such stations as Cumulus’ WNNX-FM and WWWQ-FM in Atlanta, and KPLX-FM, Dallas.  Cumulus Media CEO Mary Berner says, “We are excited that Brian is joining our leadership team.  A highly accomplished executive, leader, and innovator with substantial experience across today’s media landscape, he comes to us with an impressive and successful track record of growing ratings and expanding audiences.  We look forward to benefiting from the skills and expertise he brings to his new role. I would also like to thank Mike for his significant contributions to Cumulus and for being such a great partner to me.”  McVay underscores that the decision to leave Cumulus and return to consulting was entirely his.  In praising McVay, Berner adds, “Mike’s accomplishments since his appointment as EVP, content and programming in 2015 are too numerous to count.  To name just a few, under Mike’s leadership of the office of programming, we reversed four years of ratings share declines, and saw years of ratings share growth.  We are currently posting the best ratings since 2011 on some of our biggest and most important stations.  Mike has helped to expand Westwood One’s programming, participating in the launch of several new shows, including the very successful ‘The Ben Shapiro Show.’  Mike has also led us in increasing our reach beyond over the air listening to include smart speakers and all online listening.”

Monday Memo: Show Me Your Show. On smart talk stations, weekends are appointment listening and might be the two most profitable days of the week, “NOT incompatible goals” according to consultant Holland Cooke.  “Yet,” he notes, “programming Saturdays and Sundays can be high-maintenance for stations, and getting airtime is challenging for talent.” In this week’s Monday Memo, HC recommends a win-win road map to weekend airtime.  Read it here.

Simonson Named Director of Sales at Hubbard Radio West Palm Beach. Radio sales pro Gregory Simonson is appointed director of sales for Hubbard Radio’s recently acquired West Palm Beach station group that includes news/talk WFTL, Fort Lauderdale and sports talk WMEN, Royal Palm Beach “640 The Hurricane,” and four music-formatted stations.  Simonson was most recently general sales manager with Beasley Media Group’s Fayetteville, North Carolina cluster.  Hubbard Radio SVP and market manager Elizabeth Hamma states, “I’m very happy to welcome Gregory to the Hubbard Radio West Palm Beach family.  His extensive track record of success in traditional and digital media as well as his passion for helping sales people succeed make Gregory a perfect choice to lead our sales team to new heights.”  Last fall, Hubbard agreed to acquire the cluster from Alpha Media for $88 million.

‘Our American Stories’ Passes 180-Affiliate Mark. The nationally syndicated “Our American Stories” program from American Private Radio announces the addition of eight new affiliate stations to the program’s roster, putting over the 180-station mark. APR president and show host Lee Habeeb 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.’”  New stations include Entercom’s news/talk WCCO-AM, Minneapolis-St. Paul.

TALKERS News Notes. A new podcast is being launched starring iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman, titled, “Math & Magic: Stories From the Frontiers of Marketing,” on the iHeartPodcast Network beginning on May 14.  The program will feature interviews with “visionary executives from the media and entertainment industries.”  In the first two episodes. Pittman talks with Maurice Levy, who, during his tenure as CEO of Publicis Groupe, increased the value of the company by 100 times and expanded a French agency into a true global advertising and communications leader; and Scooter Braun, renowned talent entrepreneur, investor and entertainment executive who boosted the careers of international superstars such as Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, and many others…..Boston Herald-based nationally syndicated columnist and Boston Herald Radio show host Adriana Cohen recently hosted President Trump on her weekly program. Cohen tells TALKERS that the almost-20-minute interview went viral after being picked up by Politico, Boston Globe, Newsweek, Fox News, The Blaze, The Hill, and others…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that staffers at Entercom’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM are getting some backing from fellow union members as they negotiate with the company for raises for the newsroom’s eight assistant producers.  The Writers Guild of America will rally outside the WBBM studios in the Prudential Building today (5/6)…..Washington University in St. Louis is awarding seven people with honorary degrees at a ceremony during the school’s 2019 commencement on May 17 and one of those is SiriusXM Urban View talk host Joe Madison.  The commencement address will be delivered by Michael Bloomberg.  Madison graduated from Washington University with a bachelor’s degree in 1971…..WTMJ, Milwaukee cleaned up at the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Awards Gala in Madison over the weekend.  The Good Karma Brands news/talk station won first place in 21 categories, including: News/Talk Large Market Station of the Year, Radio News Operation of the Year (Large Market); Social and Digital Operation of the Year (Large market); Best Newscast: Wisconsin’s Afternoon News; and more. Pictured below with the station’s awards are WTMJ staffers (from l-r): Nick Van Wagenen, Erik Bilstad, Jordan Gasiorowski, Steve Wexler, Steve Scaffidi, Jane Matenaer, Jay SorgiBrad Lane, Doug Russell, Melissa Barclay, and Mike Spaulding.

Mueller Report/Trump on Mueller Testimony, 2020 Presidential Politics, China Trade War Escalation, U.S.-Iran Tensions, North Korea Missile Test, Israel-Gaza Violence, ‘Game of Thrones,’ Avengers: Endgame, Kentucky Derby Disqualification, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The aftermath of the release of the Mueller Report and President Trump’s tweets saying Robert Mueller should not testify before congress; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; markets react as Trump threatens to ramp up U.S.-China trade war; U.S. carrier group heads to Iran in response to reports of Iranian threats to U.S. interests in the region; reaction to North Korea’s latest missile test; the rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza; Sunday’s episode of “Game of Thrones”; the Avengers: Endgame movie sets new record; the Kentucky Derby winner is disqualified; and the NBA playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

George Beasley Inducted into PA Radio Hall of Fame. Pictured above is Beasley Broadcast Group founder and chairman George Beasley at center with his wife Ann and surrounded by their family at the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters’ 2019 Gold Medal Awards Dinner yesterday (5/5) in Hershey where he was inducted into the PAB’s Hall of Fame.  Beasley was inducted with fellow honorees: comic and actor/director Bob Saget, Pittsburgh Steelers great and Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerome Bettis, and C-SPAN correspondent Steve Scully.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Los Angeles alternative rocker KROQ announces the debut of the afternoon drive “Stryker and Klein” program featuring Ted Stryker (left) and Kevin Klein (right).  Entercom Los Angeles SVP and market manager Jeff Federman says, “Pairing Stryker and Klein is something we could never have imagined just a few years ago.  Individually, they’ve both had tremendous success throughout their careers.  Adding great content to our afternoon programming is something that we’re very committed to and these guys do a fantastic job connecting the music to fun and interesting conversations.”  Stryker has been with the station since 1999.  Klein hosted mornings on the company’s KITS-FM, San Francisco “Live 105.” He was slated to be the morning host at sports talk KWFN, San Diego but the infamous Coronado Bridge social media post bit derailed his gig on that station…..The search is on for the new morning show at Entercom’s country WUSN, Chicago “US99” after Doug Stylz and Justin Roman exited the station on Friday (5/3).  The duo previously hosted the morning show at sister CHR WBBM-FM, “B96” before taking on the morning show role at “US99.”…..Premiere Networks-syndicated evening personality Delilah recently hosted the “Our Town, Our Heroes Celebration,” a local event recognizing listeners for their outstanding work in the Wilmington, Delaware area, produced by Beasley-owned affiliate WJBR, Wilmington “Mix 99.5.”  In addition to helping honor local citizen’s Delilah was surprised by WJBR as the station honored her for her philanthropic efforts with her non-profit foundation, Point Hope, that serves as a voice for forgotten children in the U.S. foster care system and in West Africa.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

| May 1, 2019

iHeartMedia Announces Completion of Restructuring. Almost 14 months after entering into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, iHeartMedia announces it has “successfully completed its restructuring process.  As a result of the comprehensive balance sheet restructuring, iHeartMedia’s debt has been significantly reduced – from $16.1 billion to $5.75 billion.”  With the balance sheet reorganization comes the separation of iHeartMedia and Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings into two independent, publicly traded companies.  iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman says, “We are pleased that iHeartMedia now has a capital structure that matches our exciting operating business.  The focused dedication of our employees and the unwavering support of our new owners and advertising partners enabled iHeartMedia to seamlessly complete the restructuring process and reach this final milestone.  iHeartMedia enters this next phase of growth as a multi-platform audio company with a vastly improved financial profile. We are well-positioned to continue to innovate and offer cutting-edge technologies, products, and services to our audiences and advertisers.”  Pittman continues to serve as chairman and chief executive officer of the new iHeartMedia, Inc.  Rich Bressler continues to serve as president, chief operating officer and chief financial officer.  A new board of directors has been appointed, including Bob Pittman, Rich Bressler, and the following members: Jay Rasulo, Gary Barber, Brad Gerstner, Sean Mahoney, and Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan.

David Field on Spoken-Word Radio and Sports Gambling.  During the first quarter earnings call with analysts yesterday (4/30), Entercom president and CEO David Field talked about the value of his spoken-word formatted radio stations, saying the group – all-news, news/talk, and sports talk – account for “roughly about 40% of our revenue mix across our stations.”  The company operates 235 stations and, by TALKERS‘ count, approximately 30% of its stations are spoken-word.  Separately and responding to a question about the gambling category and the trend towards legal sports gambling across the country, Field expressed hopes for the future of the sports gambling advertising category, saying the company’s large group of sports talk stations should be able to capitalize on that.  He stated, “We have seen estimates that the sports gambling advertising market could be in the neighborhood of $2 billion.  If you think about radio getting a chunk of that, a reasonable chunk of it and Entercom’s prowess in the sports market, we think this could become a $1 million or $2 million category for Entercom over time.  That is certainly a reasonable aspirational goal.”  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the transcript.  Subscribers can see the rest of the transcript here.

‘The O’Reilly Update’ Show Launches. This is the week “The O’Reilly Update” – the new, 15-minute daily radio program featuring Bill O’Reilly – debuts on more than 100 stations.  Key Networks is syndicating the program and reports that inaugural affiliates include: WBAL, Baltimore; WDTK, Detroit; WHK, Cleveland; KUFO, Portland; and KTSA, San Antonio.  Key Networks says the program is airing in four of the top 10 DMAs, nine of the top 20 DMAs and 18 of the top 50 DMAs.  It is also being rolled out on 21 non-news/talk stations, including on country and classic hits outlets.  The show – with all network spots included within the show and two minutes of local avails – is delivered daily at 11:30 am ET.  WBAL president and general manager Cary Pahigian says, “Bill O’Reilly has a track record of insightful and unfiltered commentary on vital topics and issues.  His familiar voice and dynamic point of view augments our lineup of outspoken hosts and commentators.”  Alpha Media news/talk/sports content director Bruce Collins says, “Bill is a true natural storyteller.  I’m extremely excited to have him on-air in Portland on ‘Freedom 970.’” Meet Bill O’ Reilly at the forthcoming Talkers 2019: Telling the Storywhere he will be delivering a special keynote address.  The convention is rapidly nearing a sellout.  For registration information, please click here.

 

TALKERS CONVENTION SPOTLIGHT:  Overcoming the Public’s Distrust of the Media Spotlighted at Forthcoming Talkers Convention.   The highly polarized nature of today’s political climate has created a widespread public distrust of the media in general.  Dealing with this complex issue has become one of the fundamental challenges facing news/talk hosts of all political stripes.  It also creates new opportunities.  Talkers 2019: Telling the Story, set for New York on Friday, June 7, is featuring a panel discussion addressing this concern and all matters of credibility titled “Overcoming Distrust of the Media.”  Panelists include (in alphabetical order): Thom Hartmann, host, WYD MediaJoe “Pags” Pagliarulo, host, “The Joe Pags Show;” Doug Stephan, CEO/host, Stephan Multimedia; and Rick Ungar, host, “The Rick Ungar Program”/editor-in-chief, TheDailyCentrist.com.  Don’t miss this session!  The discussion will be moderated by Jim Bohannon, host, Westwood One.  The conference is rapidly moving toward being an early sellout.  To see the entire up-to-the-minute agenda and registration/hotel information, please click here.

Midwest Closes on Alpha Media Acquisitions. The $21.6 million deal between Alpha Media and Midwest Communications that gives Midwest six Peoria market radio stations closes.  The station group includes news/talk WMBD-AM/W262BY and five music-formatted signals.  The Duke Wright-led Midwest Communications owns 75 other radio stations in states including: Tennessee, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota.  This is its first Illinois acquisition.  At the time the sale was announced, Wright stated, “The first time my wife and I visited Peoria was to visit son Michael enrolled at Bradley University.  We were most impressed with the city and its radio stations.  My thought was that here was a market that would probably nicely fit into the Midwest Communications radio group.”  KALIL & CO., INC. was the exclusive broker for this transaction.

Indiana’s Legendary WHBU-AM Relaunches as Talk-Music Hybrid.  The Anderson, Indiana-licensed station is owned by Woof Boom Radio and the company is re-launching the “oldest commercial station” in the state to more intensely serve the Muncie-Marion market.  The station will feature talk shows to focus on Anderson and Madison counties plus classic hits from the 60s and 70s.  New morning host (and Hoosier native) Mitch Henck handles the 7:00 am to 9:00 am show.  He says, “I am really excited to help launch a new morning news/talk show on WHBU. We really put Anderson and Madison county first. We want to capture stories about the special people who live here as they pursue their hopes and dreams every day.”

Dan Mason Named Chairman of VSiN.  Longtime radio executive Dan Mason is named chairman of VSiN (Vegas Stats & Information Network) the media network dedicated to sports betting information.  In this role, Mason will “work closely with VSiN’s management team to capitalize on the emerging growth and partnership opportunities in the sports betting and media space.”  VSiN founder and CEO Brian Musburger says, “There are few media executives with both the experience and reputation that Dan brings to the table.  He’s already brought invaluable guidance to our team as a senior adviser and investor, and we look forward to having even greater access to his unmatched depth of knowledge and relationships in this industry.  We’re thrilled to work even more closely with this consummate leader and better leverage his C-level expertise to build on and accelerate the recent growth we are experiencing at VSiN.”  Mason adds, “Brian and his team have caught lightning in a bottle here. Besides establishing itself on the satellite platform, recently extending its agreement with SiriusXM, VSiN has made tremendous inroads into the OTT space with Sling TV and fuboTV, as well as growing its own subscription offerings.  We will now look to further expand our reach across video and audio channels, including terrestrial radio where sports have thrived for decades.”

TALKERS News Notes. The National Association of Broadcasters is announcing it is accepting nominations for the 2019 NAB Marconi Radio Awards through May 31.  The NAB’s Marconi Radio Awards recognize overall excellence and performance in radio. Finalists will be announced in July and winners will be honored at the NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner & Show at the Radio Show in Dallas on September 26.  Stations and on-air personalities may nominate themselves in the categories of “Station of the Year by Market Size,” “Station of the Year by Format,” “Personality of the Year by Market Size,” “Legendary Station,” and “Best College Radio Station of the Year,” which has been renamed from “Noncommercial Station of the Year.”  Nominations will also be accepted for new awards categories of “Legendary Manager of the Year” and “Best Radio Station Podcast.”  Syndicators and affiliates may also submit nominations for the category of “Network/Syndicated Personality of the Year.”  Nominations must be submitted online here…..Radio America‘s nationally syndicated  “The Dana Show” starring Dana Loesch announces new affiliate stations WJJF-FM, Nassau (Long Island); WSIC-AM/FM Charlotte; WFTW-AM Ft. Walton Beach, Florida; and KPNW-AM/FM Eugene, Oregon all add the program to their daily lineups…..Bustos Media’s news/talk KVOI, Tucson announces that two of its programs – “Eye on the Ball” with Steve Rivera and “Around the Table” with Dawn and Jennifer English – are swapping dayparts.  Rivera moves to the 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm slot and the English’s move to the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm slot.  Also, the station adds the independently syndicated Dave Ramsey show to the program schedule, airing from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm…..This month is being declared the Second Annual Maryland Podcast Month.  Brian Griffiths founded Maryland Podcast Month last May in order to “bring together podcasts of all stripes and cross-collaborate and cross-promote in order to create more opportunities for podcasts to get new listeners.”  It’s non-partisan and non-ideological and consists of all sorts of locally produced content, including podcasts about news, politics, sports, life, culture, food, wrestling, and other shows.  Being featured in Maryland Podcast Month are a couple of shows from WBAL, Baltimore personalities…..Team Broadcasting‘s sports talk KQTM, Albuquerque “ESPN Radio 101.7 The Team” is partnering with local soccer club New Mexico United to bring 15 of the team’s matches to the station’s airwaves.  New Mexico United is in its inaugural season in the USL Championship, a professional soccer league that has a partnership with Major League Soccer…..Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” recently hosted The Stanley Cup, the oldest trophy in professional sports, on the “Felger & Massarotti” show.  Pictured below in the “Sports Hub” studio in Boston are (From l-r): host Mike Felger985thesportshub.com hockey writer Ty Anderson, WBZ-FM personality Big Jim Murray, and host Tony Massarotti.

Mueller Report Release/Barr Testimony Request, 2020 Presidential Politics, Trump Tax Returns/Business Earnings Issues, Venezuela Unrest, Deadly UNCC Shooting, Southern Border Crisis, NBA Playoffs, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/30). The release of the Mueller report, Robert Mueller’s disagreement with Attorney General William Barr’s summary of the report and Barr’s requested testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee; the Democrats vying to run against President Trump in 2020; the request by New York State for Trump’s tax returns and the investigation into Trump business deals with foreign governments; the political unrest in Venezuela; the shooting at University of North Carolina Charlotte that took the lives of two and injured others; the migrant influx status at the U.S.-Mexico border; the NBA playoffs; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Phoenix, midday personality and music director Tom Peake is leaving his on-air role with Entercom’s classic hits KOOL-FM.  He’ll continue to serve as music director.  Peake tells the Arizona Republic that it was not his idea to give up his air shift, but he understands the reasons and has no ill feelings.  Peake started at the station as a part-time jock in 1979.  He became the full-time evening personality in 1981…..Beasley Media Group’s hot AC WJBR, Wilmington, Delaware “The New Mix 99.5” names John Baublis, a.k.a.Johnny B, program director.   Beasley EVP of programming Justin Chase says, “Johnny’s a programming veteran with years of proven success and past experience in the Wilmington market.  Plus, he shares our values of great local radio with an emphasis on serving the community.  We’re proud to have someone like Johnny on our team at JBR.”…..Two programming announcements from Midwest Communications.  First, Ryan Fantozzi is named brand manager for rock WOZZ, Wausau, Wisconsin “Rock 94.7,” effective May 13.  Fantozzi comes to Midwest from NRG Media where he was PD at rock WBWB, Bloomington, Illinois.  Fantozzi replaces Terry Stevens, who is promoted to operations manager for the company’s Lansing, Michigan cluster.  Stevens will oversee the operations of rock WJXQ, CHR WLMI, country WWDK and adult hits WQTX.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

| April 25, 2019

Hubbard Radio’s All-News WTOP, Washington Takes 2018 Revenue Crown. The 2019 edition of the annual BIA Advisory Services Investing in Radio Market Report is released and accompanying that is the ranking of radio’s top revenue-earning stations from 2018. Once again, Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP, Washington was #1, earning $69 million in ad revenue.  As seen in the graphic above, iHeartMedia music-formatted stations in Los Angeles and New York take the next four slots.  But Entercom’s all-newsers in New York and Chicago – along with sports talk WFAN, New York – show their earning power consistency with return appearances at the same spots in the top 10.  One news/talk station – iHeartMedia’s KFI, Los Angeles – makes the list in the #10 spot as it did last year.  BIA notes that over-the-air advertising remained relatively flat at $13.3 billion (down 1.6% from $13.5 billion in 2017).  It was digital advertising platforms at local radio stations that saw revenue growth across the industry.   The report indicates digital income rose 8.1% to $923 million.  Putting over-the-air advertising together with digital revenue gave radio a 2018 revenue figure of $14.2 billion and, BIA says, “positioned radio as the fifth most significant local advertising platform, behind direct mail, mobile, online/digital, and local television.”  BIA Advisory Services SVP and chief economist Mark Fratrik states, “Although local radio stations are still important players in their markets and are managing to maintain their position in the top five advertising platforms, we do expect the OTA advertising revenue of U.S. radio stations to decrease this year by 1% to 2% and through the next few years.”  He adds that combined radio revenues will remain relatively flat for at least the next five years, while digital platforms will hit $1 billion by 2020.  See more about the report here.

PPM Analysis: Public Radio News/Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his analysis of the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s March 2019 PPM survey, today zeroing in on public radio news/talk. A slight dip in weekly 6+ AQH share affects the format as 53% of stations go down and just 38% see a ratings increase from the February 2019 to the March 2019 survey.  The same situation applies to the year-over-year comparison – 53% of stations saw their 6+ number decrease from the March 2018 survey. There were four public radio news/talk stations that ranked #1 in their respective markets in March: KQED, San Francisco; KUOW, Seattle; KPBS, San Diego; and KUT, Austin.  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

iHeartMedia Q1 Radio Biz Revenue Up 2.9%.  In a 10-Q filing with the Securities Exchange Commission, iHeartMedia releases financial data from the first quarter of 2019 that indicates the company’s radio and streaming revenue was $766 million, up almost 3% compared to the same period in 2018.  The company as a whole reports first quarter revenue of $1.38 billion, an increase of slightly less than 1% compared to the first quarter of 2018.  Consolidated operating income dropped from $60.9 million in Q1 2018 to $28.3 million this year due to impairment charges of $91.4 million.

SiriusXM First Quarter Pro Forma Revenue Up 10%. The acquisition of Pandora by SiriusXM adds a little wrinkle to the company’s 2019 first quarter financial report.  The company reports total revenue of $1.7 billion, an increase of 27% over the same period in 2018, that was driven by bringing Pandora into the fold.  On a pro forma basis, revenue increased 10%, hitting $1.9 billion in the first quarter.  But the Pandora acquisition impacted the company’s bottom line as net income was $162 million in Q1 of 2019, down from $289 million during the same period a year ago. During the quarter, SiriusXM added 131,000 net new self-pay subscribers, bringing its total above the 29 million mark.

TALKERS News Notes. Another major national award for Westwood One News comes on the heels of its recent National Headliner honor from the Press Club of Atlantic City. Now, the Society of Professional Journalists is bestowing its Sigma Delta Chi award upon Westwood One News for “Radio Breaking News Reporting” for the network’s coverage of the Parkland Florida School shooting and aftermath in February of 2018.  The award recognizes “resourceful and complete coverage of a major breaking news event, emphasizing both deadline reporting and continuing coverage as the story develops over succeeding days.”  Last year, Westwood One News won the honor for its coverage of the 2017 Las Vegas shooting…..Former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Jarret Johnson is joining the WBAL-AM and WIYY-FM-based Ravens Radio Network as color analyst alongside play-by-play voice Gerry Sandusky for this season.  Johnson worked on game broadcasts during the past two seasons and earns the promotion to the booth.  Cary Pahigian manages the Hearst radio stations and says, “Jarret’s NFL experience, unique insight, and enthusiasm is a major component of our superb Ravens broadcast team.”…..Bay Area public media corporation KQED announces that DeLinda Mrowka is promoted to the newly created position of chief audience officer.  In this executive role, Mrowka is “responsible for extending brand, deepening audience engagement and growth, and strengthening the membership and corporate sponsorship programs for one of the largest stations in public media.”  Mrowka started her KQED career in 2013 as the station’s executive director of marketing and communications before being promoted to vice president of corporate sponsorship in 2015.  In 2017 she was again promoted to vice president of marketing, with broad responsibilities overseeing the audience development, marketing, digital fundraising and corporate sponsorship teams.

PodcastOne Issues Request to Luminary. The subscription podcast start-up Luminary is facing the issue of a number of content creators requesting their shows be removed from its service for various reasons.  PodcastOne is one of those companies.  It made the move when it became aware that Luminary was carrying PodcastOne’s podcasts without permission.  PodcastOne executive chairman Norm Pattiz says, “Since Luminary’s focus has been promoted solely as a paid subscription model, we were surprised to see them also use the free model which they have spoken negatively about and compete against.  If they want to reach our audience to promote their site, then they should do the ‘unthinkable’ and advertise in our podcasts as hundreds of other advertisers do.”

WPG, Atlantic City’s Harry Hurley to Receive Inaugural Broadcaster of the Year Award from NJBA. Atlantic City morning drive personality Harry Hurley – heard daily on Townsquare Media’s news/talk WPGG-AM – is being honored by the New Jersey Broadcasters Association at its 71st Conference and Gala this summer with the first-ever “Broadcaster of the Year” award.  NJBA president and CEO Paul S. Rotella, Esq. says Hurley meets all of the criteria for this award “with a high degree of professionalism and a passionate dedication to his craft and the NJBA is very proud of our inaugural ‘Broadcaster of the Year’ recipient!”

Mueller Report Aftermath/Impeachment Talk, Trump vs Subpoenas, 2020 Presidential Politics/Biden Enters Race, Financial Markets Rally, Southern Border Crisis, Sri Lanka Bombings Aftermath, Putin-Kim Meeting, ‘Jeopardy!’ Record Breaker, Avengers: Endgame Film, NBA Playoffs, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/24). The response to the release of the redacted version of the Mueller Report and Democrats’ debate over impeachment possibilities; President Trump’s rejection of subpoenas from the U.S. House; the Democrats vying to challenge Trump in 2020, including Joe Biden’s entry into the race; U.S. financial markets hit records in latest rally; the state of the migrant influx at the U.S.-Mexico border; ISIS claims responsibility for Sri Lanka bombings; Russia’s Vladimir Putin meets with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un; the record-breaking “Jeopardy!” streak by James Holzhauer; the new Marvel Comics film Avengers: Endgame; the NBA playoffs; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS CONVENTION SPOTLIGHT:  Panel Discussion to Address the Challenges Facing Talk Radio by Heightened Political Correctness.  One of the many highlights planned for the forthcoming Talkers 2019: Telling the Story on Friday, June 7 in New York City will be an extremely timely and pertinent panel discussion focusing on the challenges being faced by talk radio during the current era of heightened political correctness.  Titled “Talk Radio in the Era of ‘Watch What You Say,’” the session will feature panelists Michael Berry, host, “The Michael Berry Show”; Grace Blazer, national brand coordinator, news/talk/sports programming and director of AM programming Miami/Fort Lauderdale, iHeart MediaBrett Winterble, host KFMB-AM, San Diego; Larry Young, host, WOLB-AM, Baltimore; and Dan Yorke, host WPRO-AM, Providence. The session will be moderated by Bill Hess, VP of news/talk, Cumulus Media and program director, WMAL, Washington, DC.  Talk radio depends on the free-wheeling exchange of ideas, tolerance for controversy, and, most important, a healthy understanding of and respect for the First Amendment in order to operate effectively. These tenets are clearly under assault in the age of advertiser boycotts, righteous indignation and widespread hypocrisy.  This session will earnestly attempt to identify the issues at play and offer solutions to overcome the challenges and obstacles they present. Don’t miss this session!  The TALKERS convention is rapidly heading toward being an early sellout.  To see the entire up-to-the-minute agenda and registration/hotel information, please click here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Phoenix classic hits outlet KOOL-FM adds market radio personality Dee Garcia to its morning drive “The Niko Show” with host Nicholaus “Niko” Petrou.  She joins the Entercom station after having worked in the Valley at such stations as hot AC KMVA-FM and hip hop KKFR.  She says of her new gig, “I am honored to join Niko on ‘The Niko Show’ on KOOL.  Niko and [producer Abe] are positive, fun, and hardworking.  They are exactly the kind of people that you want to share your mornings with.”…..Alpha Media’s hot AC KEEZ, Mankato, Minnesota “Mix 99.1” names Zannie Kaye program director and morning drive personality.  Cluster operations manager Jeff Spence says, “We are more than excited to add Zannie Kaye to our Alpha Mankato team as our new host for the ‘Mix 99.1’ morning show and PD duties.  Zannie has a lot of experience and has had a terrific career in lots of different markets, including Minneapolis.  His energy is contagious and his warm and funny nature will win fans over immediately.”…..SummitMedia appoints sales pro Larry Jennings general sales manager for its Birmingham, Alabama stations that include: urban contemporary WBHK “98.7 KISS FM,” hip hop WBHJ “95.7 JAMZ,” and Gospel WAGG-AM “HEAVEN 610.” SummitMedia market president John Walker says, “Larry is exactly the professional we were looking for to lead our outstanding team. He has a proven track record of team building, talent development, client relations, community involvement, and revenue performance.”…..Beasley Media Group’s Philadelphia rock station WMMR-FM signs morning team “Preston and Steve” – Preston Elliot and Steve Morrison – to a new, multiyear contract extension.  The duo joined WMMR in May of 2005 and Beasley says the show has “maintained the top-rated morning show position in Philadelphia” since it launched.  The company says the show has “led the way in embracing innovative multi-platform initiatives, including creating daily, full-show and highlight episode podcasts, inventing their own ringtone service, producing daily/weekly video programs, and cultivating a formidable social media audience.”  Pictured below (from l-r) are: agent Glenn Goldstein, BBGI president Bruce Beasley, Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley, Elliot, Morrison, Beasley Philly market manager Joe Bell, Beasley EVP of strategy and innovation Buzz Knight, and Beasley rock format brand manager Bill WestonPhoto: BP Miller/Chorus Photography

Friday, April 19, 2019

| April 19, 2019

Talkin’ Trump with Chris Christie at the WPHT Speaker Series. Pictured above at last night’s “1210 WPHT Speaker Series” sold-out, live event are WPHT afternoon personality Rich Zeoli (right) and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (left) at the Scottish Rite Auditorium in Collingswood, New Jersey.  WPHT program director Jared Hart says the event couldn’t have been timed better with the release of the Mueller Report and the latest from the White House.   He adds the 500 attendees were “relentlessly entertained by Christie’s wit and honesty.”

Broncos Great Tom Nalen Named PM Drive Co-Host at KKFN, Denver. After the February departure of longtime afternoon drive personality Alfred “Big Al” Williams – who’s headed to iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk KOA after his non-compete expires – Bonneville finds the new on-air partner for Darren “DMac” McKee (left) on “The Drive” on KKFN “104.3 The Fan.”  Denver Broncos great Tom Nalen (right) joins the program starting Monday (4/22).  McKee says, “I’m still pinching myself.  I cannot believe Tom Nalen is my new radio partner.  Our friendship goes back to his days playing for the Broncos and continued after he retired.  I honestly don’t know if I’ve ever been more excited or happy professionally following this move.  To host ‘The Drive’ every day with Tom Nalen is an absolute dream come true.”  Nalen has done radio in the market co-hosting programs with Kroenke Sports and Entertainment and Front Range Sports Network. Station program director Raj Sharan says, “While Tommy’s football credentials are unquestionable, it’s his personality that made him the perfect fit as our new co-host of ‘The Drive.’  His sense of humor mixed with blunt honesty and a heart of gold add up to one of the most loveable figures in Denver sports history.  During our audition process, his chemistry with DMac was instant and undeniable, as was the overwhelming feedback we received from our listeners.  It was clear and obvious that Tommy was the people’s choice and I’m thrilled all of Broncos Country will enjoy his insight and charm every weekday on their drive home.”

Alpha Media Portland Names Sara Perrin Marketing Director. Marketing pro Sara Perrin is named the new marketing director for Alpha Media’s Portland station group that includes: news/talk KXL, talk KUFO, CHR KBFF, country KUPL, triple A KINK, sports talk KXTG-AM, and hip hop KWEE.  In this position, Perrin will “support efforts created and facilitated by different department and profit centers, including the Bloodworks Live Studio, creative services, and promotions departments.  She will work closely with all departments to design and develop marketing strategies… and be responsible for coordinating and executing all these strategies on-air, online, and on-site.”  Alpha Media Portland SVP/market manager Lisa Decker comments, “Sara is a dynamic leader with 25 years of experience creating ingenious strategies, effective solutions, and unforgettable tactics to attract, activate, and retain target audiences.  Her vast experience working with the biggest brands in Portland, along with her innovative, imaginative, and resourceful problem-solving abilities make her uniquely qualified for this position.  We are thrilled to have Sara join the Alpha team.”

Westwood One News Wins National Headliner Award. The news organization was honored with first place honors for its reporting and coverage of the Parkland school shooting in Florida last year in the “Breaking News or Continuing Coverage of a Single News Event” category.  The National Headliner Award judges stated Westwood One News’ reporting was “precise and eloquent coverage of the Parkland shooting.  Radio at its best: the sound and the actualities tell the story; clear and compelling writing.”  Westwood One News also won third place in the category for its coverage of Hurricane Michael. The National Headliner Awards were founded in 1934 by the Press Club of Atlantic City to recognize journalistic merit in the communications industry.

Radio News Pro Steve Swenson Joins Nashville Public Radio.  Radio executive Steve Swenson is named the president and chief executive officer for Nashville Public Radio, effective April 29.  Swenson served with CBS RADIO for years as vice president and general manager for New York all-newsers WINS and WCBS-AM.  He was most recently SVP and market manager for CBS’ Washington, DC stations prior to the radio division’s sale to Entercom.  Before joining CBS RADIO, he served as general manager for all-news WTOP-FM, Washington, DC.  Nashville Public Radio board chairman Bill Carpenter says, “We are delighted to have attracted Steve Swenson to Nashville Public Radio during this period of accomplishment and opportunity for our stations WPLN and ‘91Classical.’  Steve is well-recognized for bringing engaging content rooted in community partnership to grow the markets he has served.  Nashville Public Radio’s award-winning team is known for their ingenuity in providing in-depth reporting and programming that engages our long-standing and new listeners.  We believe that Steve’s proven abilities will be a terrific complement to our station and our broader community as we continue to expand our offerings throughout Middle Tennessee.”

St. Louis Radio Host Don Marsh Says ‘No Thanks’ to Lifetime Achievement Award. Regular TALKERS readers remember the story about St. Louis public radio host Don Marsh we published a few weeks ago.  Marsh resigned from his job at St. Louis Public Radio’s KWMU-FM after being called out by management for telling his guest (iconic St. Louis TV newswoman Karen Floss) that she “looked great.”  Floss did not complain, in fact, she told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that people of her age often greet each other with such a compliment.  The complaint to station management was made by the show’s producer.  After being told by his boss that his greeting bordered on being inappropriate, Marsh quit the station.  Fast-forward to today, Marsh was scheduled to receive the 2019 Millard S. Cohen Lifetime Achievement Award from St. Louis Public Radio on May 2, however, he tells the Post-Dispatch he won’t be there and accepting the award now would be “inappropriate.”  KWMU tells the paper that as a result, no one will receive the award this year.

Release of Mueller Report Top News/Talk Story for Week of April 15-19.  The public release of the redacted version of the Mueller Report was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the migrant crisis at the Southern border and the related political maneuvers.  Coming in at #3 was the politics and the people surrounding the 2020 presidential election, followed by the Notre Dame Cathedral fire 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.

Joe Madison Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  One of the top 10 ranking members of the TALKERS Heavy Hundred list of the Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America, Joe Madison, who hosts mornings on SiriusXM Satellite Radio’s “Urban View” channel, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Longtime friends and colleagues, the two seasoned broadcasters engage in a spirited conversation about Madison’s TV appearance this month on the season finale of the highly acclaimed PBS program, “Finding Your Roots.” The show delves into the biological ancestry of interesting and famous people.  The touching episode, which opens with audio, and later video, of Madison (also known as The Black Eagle) broadcasting from his SiriusXM studios in Washington, DC, follows the broadcaster as he discovers ancestral secrets with the help and support of his dear friend (and host of the show), Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.   Some of the surprises revealed include identifying his biological father; his lineage’s shocking connection to the Tuskegee experiments; and his relation to the Confederacy – as he jokes he may “join the Sons of the Confederacy” because it would “shake things up.”  The episode will re-air throughout April on PBS.  Commenting on the podcast, Harrison says, “The first time I had the Black Eagle on this program was about four years ago and he supported my view then and now about the diversity of opinion, lifestyle and humanity that exists within the African American population of the United States.  But he also keenly understands those elements, characteristics, and common experiences that tie these 46 million-plus people into what we refer to as the African American community.   In my opinion, this is a man who has transcended the role of simply being a radio entertainer or personality and has become over the years a political, cultural, and inspirational leader.  A watchdog and defender of a people.”  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 on Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.