Tag: "Sports Talk"

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 Results from that format’s May 2019 performance were posted on (Thursday) June 20 and have been archived on our website.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.

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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. Programmer Bo Matthews can add rhythm format captain to his c.v. after Alpha Media promotes him.  Matthews serves as Ohio operations manager (Dayton and Canton/Akron markets). He continues to oversee his respective stations there but now is responsible for assisting in the growth of all stations in the rhythm music format.  He comments, “The first station I ever programmed was a rhythm station – WBTT, Fort Myers – which was some of the most fun I’ve ever had in my programming career. I am super excited to be working with our rhythm stations and creating some magic with the many talented people we have.  Thanks to [EVP of content] Phil Becker for the confidence and continued partnership and collaboration.”…..At Cox Media Group’s WALR, Atlanta “KISS 104.1,” Dyron Ducati is officially named the midday personality.  He’s been with the station since last year filling in on weekend and in middays.  WALR director of branding and programming Terri Avery says, “It’s good to know that after searching all over the country, the person for the job was right in our camp.  Dyron brings a smooth, unobtrusive sound to the ‘KISS 104.1’ midday.  We are proud to have him represent us.”…..Cumulus Media appoints Alana Lynn midday host at country KIZN, Boise “Kissin’ 92.3.”  She was most recently with Entercom’s country KMLE, Phoenix as music director and morning host.  KIZN program director Hank Aaron states, “When I heard Alana Lynn was coming back to the Treasure Valley, I had one thought: She needs to be on my team at ‘Kissin’ 92.3!’ Alana is going to be a great fit in middays on ‘Kissin’ 92.3.’”…..On-air pro Rick Adams announces he’s exited iHeartMedia’s WMSI-FM, Jackson, Mississippi “MISS 103” after more than three decades with the station.  He’s pursuing a new career in the real estate field…..Another radio pro is out after more than 30 years at the station.  This news is from Los Angeles as urban AC KTWV “94.7 The Wave” midday personality Talaya Trigueros is the victim of budget cuts at the Entercom station…..Rock radio history buffs will want to see the new documentary about the early years of Boston’s WBCN from producer/director Bill Lichtenstein.  The two-hour film, WBCN and The American Revolution, debuts next weekend (4/27) at the Somerville Theatre as the Centerpiece Spotlight Documentary at the Independent Film Festival Boston.  You can read WBUR-FM, Boston’s preview of the film here.

March 2019 PPM Data – Part Three. March 2019 ratings information has been released for Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s March 2019 survey period covered February 28 – March 27. See all the 6+ Numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12-PPM markets below.

Portland

Spoken Word Formats – On the heels of January/February’s nine-tenths’ gain  (3.8 – 4.2 – 4.7, Alpha Media news/talk KXL surrenders all but one-tenth of that increase (4.7 – 3.9, -.8, 6+) and departs the top ten (#6 to #11). Immediately prior to January, “FM News 101 – Stay Connected” was -1.5 via three straight negative moves (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.5 – 3.8, 6+). Even though iHeartMedia’s KEX returns February’s one-tenth increase (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+), “News Radio 1190 – Depend On Us” progresses from #19 to #18. Alpha Media news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970” is unchanged from February in 6+-share (.9) and 6+-rank (#25).

Co-owned sports talk KXTG “The Game” is without a loss the third report in a row for a net gain of four-tenths (.9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.3, #23 to #21, 6+). That follows four consecutive decreases that accounted for a -.6 (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1 – .9, 6+). “The Game” overtakes Entercom sports talk KFXX “1080 The Fan” (#22 to #23), whose November 2018 through March 2019 (6+) topline is 1.3 – 1.1 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.2. A gain of three-tenths takes iHeartMedia-owned KPOJ “Sports Radio 620” to .8 (#28 to #26), the highest 6+-showing for the Portland Trailblazers flagship since June 2018 (.9).

Even though it is a combined -2.0 in February/March (9.3 – 7.7 – 7.3, 6+), Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk KOPB repeats in the runner-up slot, after a one-month (January 2019) stay at #1. It previously was on top from January 2018 to August 2018 (including a tie in April), before dropping to second in September. Recent KOPB fluctuations include: +1.1 (January 2018); -1.1 (February); +1.0 (March); -1.0 (April); -.5 (May); +.7 (October); -1.2 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.2 (January 2019); and -1.6 (February).

Portland Music Formats – Not only is Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KFIS a whopping (combined) +2.3 in back-to-back sweeps (2.6 – 3.6 – 4.9, 6+), “104.1 The Fish” rockets into the top ten (#13 to #6). The last time KFIS reached the four-share level (6+) was November 2018 (6+). By way of perspective, “The Fish” ranked #18 in January. Trending 2.3 – 2.7 – 2.4 (“Holiday” 2018 – January 2019 – February, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KXJM “Jam’n 107.5” posts a +.9 to 3.3 (#18 to #16), its best 6+-showing since September 2018 (3.3, as well). Powered by three consecutive positive spikes, classic hits-oldies sibling KLTH nets a robust +3.5 (5.4 – 7.1 – 8.1 – 8.9, 6+) with “106.7 The Eagle” repeating at #1. Prior to February, KLTH last reached the eight-share level (6+) nearly eight years ago (May 2011, 8.1, as well). Improving by eight-tenths in addition to “The Eagle” are Alpha Media’s KBFF “Live 95.5” (tenth to fifth) and Entercom-owned KWJJ “The Northwest’s Hottest Country – 99.5 The Wolf” (3.4 – 4.2, #14 to #9, 6+). “Live” is now +1.1 in three consecutive increases (3.9 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 5.0, 6+), while “The Wolf” logs its best 6+-stat (4.2) since July 2018’s 4.6. Posting its highest 6+-stat (4.5) since February 2018, KWJJ’s format foe – Alpha Media’s KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” – is a collective +1.2 in three straight gains (3.3 – 3.6 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+) and cracks the top ten (#11 to #8). It continues to be a rollercoaster ride for Entercom-owned KGON. Entering the December 2018 sweep, “92.3 Portland’s Classic Rock” was a collective -1.0 through four straight July through November decreases (5.6 – 5.4 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+). It followed with a cumulative +1.2 in three gains in a row (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 5.8, 6+) before faltering by a full-share in February. Wiping away half of that -1.0 with a +.5 to 5.3 (6+), KGON advances from fifth to fourth. The September 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 topline for Salem Media Group regional Mexican KRYP was a steady 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0 (6+), but “El Rey 93.1” erupted with a +1.3 in January to 3.3 (6+). In February/March though it is a combined -1.4 (3.3 – 3.0 – 1.9, #17 to #19, 6+). Returning in full February’s increase of seven-tenths (7.0 – 7.7 – 7.0, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW “K-103,” which was -9.2 in January, drops from a second-place tie to third. In “Holiday” 2018, “K-103” had its strongest 6+-showing (16.2) since “Holiday” 2017 (16.9); KKCW was on top in April 2018, September, December, and “Holiday” 2018. Faltering by seven-tenths as well are Alpha Media triple A KINK “101.9 Uniquely Portland” and All Classical Public Media’s KQAC “All Classical Portland.” Significant shifts continue for KINK, which has been a collective -1.7 (October 2018/November); +7 (December); -.5 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.2 (January 2019); -.8 (February); and -.7 in March (4.7 – 4.0, sixth to tenth, 6+). Immediately prior to dropping seven-tenths in March (3.7, #8 to #14, 6+), KQAC was up or flat four times in a row for a collective +1.8 (2.6 – 2.7 – 3.4 – 4.4 – 4.4, 6+) and reached the four-share level (4.4, 6+) for the first time since February 2017’s 4.2. Off six-tenths following February’s +.7 (3.7 – 4.4 – 3.8, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KFBW “105.9 The Brew – Portland’s Rock Station” exits the top ten (#8 to #12). When Mount Hood Community College District’s KMHD displayed a “Holiday” 2018 increase of +1.0 to 1.1 (6+), it erased its -1.0 via four straight negative moves (1.1 – .8 – .7 – .6 – .1, 6+) and began a successive string of increases that netted a +1.4 (.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.5, 6+). In March, however, the jazz outlet regresses by one-half share to 1.0 (#20 to #24, 6+).

Charlotte

Spoken-Word Formats – After back-to-back gains of four-tenths (3.6 – 4.0 – 4.4, 6+), Entercom news/talk WBT slips by one-tenth to 4.3 (6+) and leaves the top ten (#9 to #11).

With a March increase of two-tenths, co-owned sports talk WFNZ “The Fan – Charlotte’s Sports Leader” makes up half of February’s -.4 (1.3 – 1.5, 6+) and repeats at #18. Entering the February report, the Charlotte Hornets flagship logged seven straight positive or flat moves that nearly tripled (+1.1) its 6+ share (.6 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.7, 6+).

A combined +1.1 in January/February (1.8 – 2.7 – 2.9, 6+), University Radio Foundation news/talk WFAE “Charlotte’s NPR News Source” returns roughly half that increase (2.3, -.6, 6+) and continues at #16. While it remains at #21, South Carolina Educational Television Commission news/talk WNSC is up one-tenth to .3 (6+), thus curtailing five straight down or flat trends accounting for a one-half share loss (.7 – .6 – .4 – .3 – .3 – .2, 6+).

Charlotte Music Formats – Four consecutive sweeps without an increase by Beasley Media Group mainstream CHR WNKS resulted in a -1.2 (4.4 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.2, 6+); however, “Kiss 95.1” is now a combined +1.5 in February/March (3.2 – 3.6 – 4.7, 6+) and enters the top ten (#12 to #9). By notching a +1.0 to 5.5 (6+), adult contemporary sibling WKQC not only advances from eighth to sixth, “K-104.7 More Music, Better Variety” ends a January/February slide that resulted in a -8.4 (12.9 – 4.6 – 4.5, 6+). Entering the November 2018 sweep, iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country” was an overall +1.1 in four successive months without a loss (6.0 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.8 – 7.1, 6+). It was then a combined -2.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.7 – 5.8 – 4.4, 6+). “The Kat” was +1.2 in January; lost three-tenths in February; and answers with a +.8 in March (5.3 – 6.1, sixth to fourth, 6+). There’s more good news for the country format in “The Queen City” as Beasley Media Group’s WSOC “103.7 Country’s Hottest Hits” adds two-tenths (6.8 – 7.0, 6+) and takes sole possession of first-place. It was tied for the lead in February with urban AC cluster-mate WBAV “V-101.9.” Prior to gaining nine-tenths in January, WSOC had been without an increase the previous four reports for an overall -1.3 (7.7 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 6.6 – 6.4, 6+). On top in September 2018, October, and November, WSOC segued to third in December. Meanwhile, “V-101.9,” which notched a collective gain of nine-tenths via three consecutive increases (5.9 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.8, 6+), drops six-tenths to 6.2 (first to third, 6+). The four most recent fluctuations for iHeartMedia adult hits WLKO “102.9 The Lake” are -1.2 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.1 (January 2019); -1.4 (February); and +.5 in March (6.3 – 6.8, third to second, 6+). Immediately in advance of that “Holiday” 2018 -1.2, WLKO posted eight straight months without a loss for a +3.7 (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 6.4 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+). WSOC and WBAV dislodged “The Lake” from #1 in February after WLKO’s January-only stay on top. A combined January/February +2.1 (3.9 – 4.8 – 6.0, 6+), Beasley Media Group urban contemporary WPEG “Power 98” forfeits eight-tenths to 5.2 (fifth to seventh, 6+); February’s 6.0 is its best 6+-stat since August 2015’s 6.5. Slipping by seven-tenths and one-half share, respectively, are Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WLFJ “HIS Radio” (1.0 – .3, flat at #20, 6+) and Radio One gospel WPZS “Praise 100.9 Charlotte’s Inspiration Station” (3.4 – 2.9, #14 to #15, 6+).

San Antonio

Spoken-Word Formats – An overall +1.0 in three straight sweeps without a loss (3.3 – 3.6 – 4.3 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk and San Antonio Spurs’ flagship WOAI “News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather” drops one-tenth to 4.2 (seventh to eighth, 6+). The July 2018 – March 2019 topline for Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” is extremely steady: 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.3 (#24 to #23, 6+).

Unchanged at #28, iHeartMedia sports talk KTKR “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” is up one-tenth for the third time in a row (.3 – .4 – .5 – .6, 6+), doubling (+.3) its 6+-stat in the process.

Following a January/February +1.0 (2.7 – 3.5 – 3.7, 6+), Texas Public Radio news/talk KSTX is off three-tenths to 3.4 (#11 to #12, 6+).  

San Antonio Music Formats – Within 4.0 – 4.6 range (6+) in each of the last seven survey periods (4.5 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 4.1, 6+), Cox Media Group KISS “Rocks San Antonio” hangs out a +.9 to 5.0 (6+) and leaps from eighth to fourth. Hot AC sibling KSMG wiped away nearly half of January’s +1.2 with a February loss of one-half share, but “Magic 105.3 – Today’s Best Music” rebounds with a +.7 in March (4.0 – 4.7, ninth to sixth, 6+). Despite returning February’s gain of one-tenth (7.9 – 8.0 – 7.9, 6+), co-owned classic hits-oldies KONO-FM “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” advances from second to first. KONO-FM had been in the runner-up slot the past five sweeps. Before slipping to #2 in November, KONO-FM finished at #1 the previous ten sweeps. Dropping out of the penthouse and segueing to third-place is iHeartMedia-owned KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” (8.1 – 6.2, -1.9, 6+). Hefty fluctuations are common for “KJ-97” as evidenced by +.5 (September 2018); -1.1 (October); +1.0 (December); -1.0 (“Holiday” 2018); a mammoth +3.0 (January 2019); and –1.9 (March). The same may be stated about Cox Media Group-owned KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader,” which has been +.9 (August 2018); -.8 (September); +.9 (November); -.8 (December); -1.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.8 (January 2019); +.6 (February); and -.6 in March (7.5 – 6.9, third to second, 6+). September’s loss ended three straight gains that accounted for a +1.5 (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.8, 6+). Country rivals “KJ-97” and “Y-100” were tied in June 2018 and separated by just one-tenth in April, September, and “Holiday” 2018. After bouncing back from January’s colossal -10.7 (14.9 – 4.2, 6+) with a February increase of four-tenths to 4.6 (6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KQXT “Q-101.9” sputters by six-tenths (4.0, fourth to ninth, 6+). Without an increase the sixth straight time for a collective -2.6 (5.4 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.1 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KROM Que Buena 92.9” drifts from #13 to #16.

Sacramento

 Spoken-Word Formats – Following February’s loss of six-tenths iHeartMedia-owned news/talk KFBK further falters by eight-tenths (7.6 – 7.0 – 6.2, 6+) but carries on in the runner-up slot. “Sacramento’s News, Weather, and Traffic Station” was tied for first in January. Steady at #14, co-owned KSTE “Talk 650” has a December 2018 through March 2019 topline of 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.7 (6+).

This is the third time in the last five sweeps that Bonneville’s KHTK “Sports 1140” logs a .9 (.9 – .9 – 1.2 – 1.2 – .9, #20 to #21, 6+). In four successive down or flat reports, Entercom’s KIFM-AM spiraled by more than 50% (1.6 – 1.0 – .9 – .9 – .7, 6+) but “ESPN Radio 1320” is up one-tenth to .8 (flat at #25, 6+).

As a result of four consecutive decreases, Capital Public Radio news/talk KXJZ is -2.7 (6.9 – 5.9 – 5.1 – 4.4 – 4.2, ninth to tenth, 6+), although December 2018’s 6.9 is the highest 6+-stat in its PPM-history. Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQEI has an October 2018 through March 2019 topline of: .6 – .6 – .7 – .6 – .7 – .7 – .6 (#25 to #26, 6+).

Sacramento Music Formats – Owing to three consecutive improvements, Bonneville’s KNCI “New Country 105.1” is an overall +1.4  (4.2 – 4.7 – 5.5 – 5.6, 6+) and continues in fifth-place. Its recent fluctuations include a combined -.9 in August/September; a collective +1.5 in three straight September–October–November-December gains; -1.5 (“Holiday” 2018); +.5 (January 2019); and +.8 (February). Having posted a 4.1 in three of the last four sweeps (4.1 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+), Entercom CHR KUDL “106.5 The End” explodes with a +1.2 to 5.3 (tenth to sixth, 6+), its strongest 6+-stat since May 2018’s 5.6. Albeit down one-tenth (8.6 – 8.5, 6+) after February’s +1.0, co-owned KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” is on top for the third month in a row (including January’s first-place tie with news/talk KFBK). In the lead ten consecutive survey periods before shifting to #2 in December, “The Eagle” faltered by eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2018. Its recent fluctuations include +1.0 (May 2018); +.9 (June); -.9 (July); +.6 (September); -.5 (October); -1.1 (November); -.8 (“Holiday” 2018); and +1.0 (February 2019). A combined +2.1 in three straight positive spikes (2.4 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 4.5, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KBEB “92.5 The Breeze” has that streak broken with a two-tenths drop to 4.3 (eighth to ninth, 6+). Formerly “92.5 The Bull – #1 for New Country,” KBEB transitioned to adult contemporary in early-November (2018). It was up two-tenths in consecutive sweeps (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.5, September – October – November, 6+) but then off one-tenth to 2.4 (6+) in December. The market’s incumbent AC, Entercom-owned KYMX “Mix 96 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites,” is up two-tenths (6.2, third to second, 6+), after being a combined -7.8 in January/February (13.8 – 6.2 – 6.0, 6+). For the 13th successive survey period, Entravision Communications’ similarly-formatted KNTY logs a 6+-share between 2.0 – 2.5; “101.9 The Wolf” is unchanged from February in 6+-share (2.1) and 6+-rank (#15).

Pittsburgh

Spoken-Word Formats – Steady in ninth-place, Entercom news/talk KDKA-AM  is a combined -.8 in February/March (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+). “News Radio 1020” was -.7 (“Holiday” 2018) and +1.1 (January 2019).

Co-owned sports talk KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” remains in fourth-place but is -.7 in February/March (7.1 – 6.5 – 6.4, 6+), after notching a +1.6 in “Holiday” 2018/January 2019. If you are looking for consistency, consider iHeartMedia sports talk WBGG 970 AM – ESPN Pittsburgh” whose September 2018 through March 2019 topline is: .2 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .2 (unchanged at #17, 6+).

Off one-tenth to 4.2 (6+), Essential Public Media news/talk WESA “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” continues at #11.

Pittsburgh Music Formats – Not only does WDVE replicate February’s eight-tenths’ increase (7.6 – 8.4 – 9.2, 6+), the iHeartMedia-owned rocker repeats at #1. Its December loss of one-half share suspended three straight gains that netted a +1.0 (7.7 – 8.0 – 8.3 – 8.7, 6+). In “Holiday” 2018, WDVE tumbled by -1.0 (8.2 – 7.2, 6+). WDVE spent 11 successive sweeps in the runner-up slot before dropping to third in December. An uptick of one-half share to 7.4 (unchanged at #3, 6+) by Steel City Media adult hits WRRK “96.9 Bob FM” pulls the plug on three straight sweeps without an increase that resulted in a -1.8 (8.7 – 7.7 – 7.7 – 6.9, 6+). Frozen on 6.1 (6+) in January and February, iHeartMedia CHR WKST “96.1 Kiss FM Pittsburgh’s #1 Hit Music Station” sputters by six-tenths to 5.5 (6+) but remains in fifth-place. Co-owned alternative (and Pittsburgh Penguins flagship) WXDX “105.9 The X,” which had been up eight-tenths in January/February (4.0 – 4.4 – 4.8, 6+), surrenders one-half share to 4.3 (eighth to ninth, 6+). While it remains in seventh-place, Entercom hot AC WBZZ “Star 100.7” is off one-tenth to 4.8 (6+), thus ending at three a successive string of increases that led to a +1.2 (3.7 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.9, 6+); February’s 4.9 is its best 6+-number since July 2018 (4.9, as well). Unchanged at #12, Steel City Media’s similarly-programmed WLTJ “Q-92.9” is a combined +.5 in February/March (2.9 – 3.1 – 3.4, 6+).

Salt Lake City

Spoken-Word Formats – In three of the last four sweeps, Bonneville’s KSL has logged a 5.2 (5.2 – 4.6 – 5.2 – 5.2, 6+) but “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” sputters in March by seven-tenths to 4.5 (6+) and carries on at #6. KSL was -.6 in “Holiday” 2018 and +.6 in January, Four-tenths behind is iHeartMedia’s KNRS “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know,” which had been +1.8 in January/February (3.3 – 4.7 – 5.1, 6+), but plummets by -1.0 to 4.1 (seventh to eighth, 6+). KNRS eliminated “Holiday” 2018’s -1.4 with a January +1.4.

After posting an August 2018 – December 2018 topline of 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.8, Broadway Media-owned KALL lost seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 to 1.1 (#20 to #22, 6+); “ESPN 700 – Utah’s #1 Sports Talk” is unlisted for the third month in a row.

In February, KUER had its largest 6+-stat (3.1) since August 2018’s 3.5, but the University of Utah news/talk facility slips six-tenths to 2.5 (#12 to #14, 6+).

Salt Lake City Music Formats – Applying the brakes to January/February’s -14.4 (21.8 – 7.9 – 7.4, 6+), Bonneville adult contemporary KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music/Better Work Day” roars back with a +1.5 to 8.9 (6+) and is on top for the fifth consecutive ratings period. Three straight increases netted a +16.2 (5.6 – 5.7 – 12.7 – 21.8, 6+) for KSFI, the only PPM-market station in “Holiday” 2018 to reach the 20-share level (6+). Flashing gains of eight-tenths are co-owned KRSP “103.5 The Arrow,” which repeats in the runner-up slot, and independent KSOP-FM “Z-104 Utah’s #1 Country” (3.6 – 4.4, #11 to #7, 6+). “The Arrow” is now an overall +2.1 as a result of four consecutive increases (5.7 – 6.1 – 6.3 – 7.0 – 7.8, 6+), while “Z-104” has its highest 6+-stat (4.4) since November 2018’s 4.7. Owing to three straight positive spikes (4.4 – 6.4 – 6.8 – 7.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned classic hits-oldies KODJ “94.1 Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits” nets a +2.9 and remains in third-place. Three successive gains by Cumulus Media country KUBL yielded a +1.7 (3.1 – 3.4 – 4.3 – 4.8, 6+), but “K-Bull 93” erodes in March by -1.3 to 3.5 (eighth to tenth, 6+). Immediately prior to this particular streak, KUBL was an overall -2.8 via five consecutive decreases (5.9 – 5.7 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.1, 6+).

Las Vegas

Spoken-Word Formats – Without a decrease the third month in a row for a net gain of eight-tenths (1.6 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+), Entercom’s KXNT “News Talk Radio 840” repeats at #15 with its best 6+-performance (2.4) in two years (2.8, February 2017). That figure more than doubles the 6+-stat of Beasley Media Group news/talk KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk,” which is off one-tenth (1.2 – 1.1, flat at #23, 6+).

In addition to being +1.1 in three straight improvements (3.0 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 4.1, 6+), Nevada Public Radio’s KNPR reenters the top ten (#11 to #7).

Las Vegas Music Formats – Recapturing the one-half share it squandered in February (5.5 – 5.0 – 5.5, 6+), Lotus Communications’ KXPT “97.1 The Point – #1 For Classic Rock” repeats at #4. In eight straight up or flat survey periods prior to February, “The Point” was an overall +1.8 (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+) with 5.5 its best 6+-performance since October 2016 (5.9). Notching a gain of one-half share as well is Nevada Public Radio’s KCNV “Classical 89.7” (.5 – 1.0, #25, 6+), which reaches the one-share level (1.0, 6+) for the first time in nearly three years (1.1, July 2016). The 1.6-share advantage (6+) that Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies KKLZ “96.3 – Hits of the Eighties & More” held over iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5 – Better Music for a Better Workday” in February is cut roughly in half as KKLZ (+1.2 in February) erodes by nine-tenths (8.3 – 7.4, 6+) while “Sunny” (-.8 in February) remains flat at 6.7 (6+). They repeat at #1 and #2, respectively. The 8.3 in February marked the first time KKLZ reached the eight-share level (6+) in its PPM-history; it hadn’t been at #1 since August 2018. A combined +4.5 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (8.3 – 9.1 – 12.8, 6+), “Sunny” is now -6.1 in three straight down or flat moves (12.8 – 7.5 – 6.7 – 6.7, 6+). Prior to being #1 from September through January 2019, “Sunny” set the pace in March, May, June, and July. Its “Holiday” 2018 12.8 is the highest 6+-share for any Las Vegas station since the 14.0 KSNE logged in “Holiday” 2016. Following five successive monthlies without a loss for a net gain of eight-tenths (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.9, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s KCYE has that streak curtailed with a one-half share dip to 3.4 (6+); “102.7 The Coyote – #1 For New Hit Country” departs the top ten (#10 to #12).

Orlando

Spoken-Word Formats – A combined +1.9 in January/February (3.6 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+), following a December/“Holiday” 2018 -1.6  (5.2 – 4.5 – 3.6, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM “News 96.5” is off three-tenths to 5.2 (seventh to eighth, 6+). Up seven tenths in January/February (3.1 – 3.7 – 3.8, 6+), directly after five straight declines that resulted in a -1.6 (4.7 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.1, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” forfeits one-tenth to 3.7 (#11 to #12, 6+). Completing the theme, news/talk cluster-mate WFLF, +1.0 in January/February (1.8 – 2.2 – 2.8, 6+), sheds three-tenths to 2.5 (#14 to #15). Its January gain of four-tenths suspended three successive decreases that accounted for a loss of nine-tenths (2.7 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 1.8, 6+).

In six consecutive down or flat trends (1.3 – 1.1 – .9 – .6 – .6 – .5 – .4, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WYGM lost roughly 70% (-.9) of its 6+ AQH share but “FM 96.9 The Game – Orlando’s Sports Leader” picks up one-tenth to .5 (flat at #22, 6+). For the second straight sweep, Cox Media Group sports talk WDBO-AM “ESPN 580 Orlando” has its 6+-stat carved in half (.8 – .4 – .2, #22 to #23, 6+).

In three straight positive moves (2.7 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 4.0, 6+), Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida” is a collective +1.3 and reaches the top ten (#12 to #8).

Orlando Music Formats – It took Entercom classic hits-oldies WOCL “105-9 Sunny FM – We Own The ‘80s” just three reports to build a mighty +3.3 (4.9 – 6.9 – 7.9 – 8.2, unchanged at #3, 6+). Immediately prior to this streak, “Sunny” was a cumulative -2.2 via four down or flat moves in succession (7.1 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 5.8 – 4.9, 6+). Steady in fourth-place, Cox Media Group urban AC WCFB “Star 94.5” rolls out a gain of eight-tenths (7.0 – 7.8, 6+). The combination of iHeartMedia CHR WXXL “XL-106.7 Orlando’s #1 Hit Music Station” gaining six-tenths and co-owned WRUM “Rumba 100” showing a decrease of that magnitude (9.5 – 8.9, -.6, 6+) results in “XL-106.7” shifting from second to first and “Rumba 100” segueing from first to second. This represents WXXL’s fourth improvement in a row for a +1.7 (7.3 – 7.4 – 8.1 – 8.4 – 9.0, 6+). Preceding its January/February +1.7 (7.8 – 9.3 – 9.5, 6+), Rumba was -1.1 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (8.9 – 8.3 – 7.8, 6+). The Spanish tropical outlet spent 11 consecutive ratings periods on top, before falling to #2 in December and “Holiday” 2018. April 2017s 12.8 is the best-ever 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. A one-half share boost to 2.6 (#15 to #14, 6+) by Entercom-owned WQMP “FM 101.9 Orlando’s New Alternative” fully clears out three straight (modest) declines (2.6 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.1, 6+). Erasing half of February’s +1.2 with a March loss of six-tenths (4.2 – 5.4 – 4.8, 6+), Cox Media Group rhythmic CHR WPYO slips from eighth to ninth; “Power 95.3 – Orlando’s New #1 For All The Hits” was off eight-tenths “Holiday” 2018/January 2019 (5.0 – 4.4 – 4.2, 6+). An overall -8.5 in three straight setbacks (14.3 – 6.9 – 5.9 – flat at #5, 5.8, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMGF “Magic 107.7” was a combined +8.5 December/“Holiday” 2018 (5.8 – 9.8 – 14.3, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 14.3 is its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 15.9.

Cincinnati

Spoken-Word Formats – Recapturing the two-tenths it lost in February (9.9 – 9.7 – 9.9, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WLW continues in second-place, immediately after a one-month (January) stay at #1. The Reds’ flagship was –2.1 in “Holiday” 2018, followed by a +2.4 in January. Co-owned WKRC “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati” regains the one-tenth it surrendered in February (3.5 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+) but exits the top ten (tie at #10 to #11).

Still in that iHeartMedia cluster, sports talk WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530” is off one-tenth (1.0 – .9, 6+), falling from #17 to #18.

A collective +1.1 via three consecutive gains (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+), Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU cracks the top ten (#12 to #9). Immediately prior, it lost nine-tenths in five successive sweeps without an increase, (3.5 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.6, 6+).

Cincinnati Music Formats – Winning ways continue for Cumulus Media-owned classic hits-oldies WGRR, which is not only an impressive +3.0 in three successive upticks (8.1 – 9.6 – 10.2 – 11.1, 6+), “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” repeats at #1. Following a December-only stay at #1, WGRR eroded by -1.8 in “Holiday” 2018 (9.9 – 8.1, 6+) and shifted to third. Immediately prior to its -1.8, WGRR was an overall +1.3 via four straight gains (8.6 – 9.1 – 9.2 – 9.6 – 9.9, 6+). The three latest shifts for Hubbard-owned WUBE “B-105.1 Cincinnati’s Country” are +1.0 (January); -.7 (February); and -.8 in March (8.7 – 7.9, unchanged at #3, 6+). Co-owned hot AC WKRQ “Q-102 Cincinnati’s Hit Music” drops seven-tenths (6.4 – 5.7, 6+) but carries on in fifth-place. Immediately after plummeting by -8.2 (14.6 – 6.4, 6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WRRM answered with a February gain of four-tenths. “Warm 98,” however, relinquishes six-tenths in March (6.8 – 6.2, flat at #4, 6+). Owing to three straight increases, Radio One urban AC WOSL was +1.0 (2.5 – 2.6 – 3.1 – 3.6, 6+), but “100.3 R&B + Old School” falters by two-tenths to 3.4 (6+) and exits the top ten (#9 to #12). February’s 3.6 is its best 6+-number since 3.6 in March 2017. It has been an interesting November 2018 through March 2019 topline for Educational Community Radio-owned WOBO “The Station With Something For Everyone”: 1.1 – 0.2 – 0.0 – 1.3     – .9 – .4 (#19 to #24, 6+). Grant County Broadcasters’ WNKN “Classic Country 105.9 & 106.7,” which was an overall +.7 in three consecutive sweeps without a loss (1.9 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.6, 6+), forfeits four-tenths to 2.2 (6+) and remains at #15. WDBZ “Soul 101.5” registered a .9 (6+) in August 2018 to finish at #20, but the Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies outlet is unlisted for the eighth time in a row.

Cleveland

Spoken-Word Formats – After logging a January/February +1.3 (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” returns roughly half that increase with a -.6 to 4.9 (flat at #8, 6+). Leading up to that, WTAM was an overall -2.6 in three straight declines (6.8 – 6.3 – 5.2 – 4.2, 6+).

Making up one-third of February’s -1.2 by notching a +.4 (5.4 – 4.2 – 4.6, 6+), Entercom’s WKRK “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” remains at #10.

Anchored at #13, Ideastream-owned news/talk outlet WCPN posts a 3.2 for the third month in a row; WCPN was +1.1 in January after “Holiday” 2018’s -1.1.

Cleveland Music Formats – The four most recent fluctuations by iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI are +2.8 (“Holiday” 2018); -1.7 (January 2019); +.8 (February); and +1.0 in March (9.8 – 10.8, 6+). “Majic 105.7 – Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” is on top for the fourth sweep in succession. Tacking on nine-tenths to February’s +.8 (6.0 – 6.8 – 7.7, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WDOK “Cleveland’s Star 102” continues in third-place. “Star” was a combined +4.7 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (5.6 – 8.2 – 10.3, 6+) but eroded by -4.3 in January. Co-owned WNCX “98.5 – Cleveland’s Classic Rock” was -.4 (“Holiday” 2018); +.8 (January 2019); -.5 (February) and is now +.6 (6.4 – 7.0, fifth to fourth, 6+). By gaining three-tenths to 3.9 (flat at #11, 6+), hot AC cluster-mate WQAL “Q-104 Plays The Hits” interrupts three successive negative moves that led to an overall -1.6 (5.2 – 4.7 – 4.3 – 3.6, 6+). Notwithstanding that it nets +2.4 in three improvements in a row (4.4 – 6.1 – 6.6 – 6.8, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WGAR “99.5 Cleveland’s #1 For New Country” backslides from fourth to fifth. WGAR had been a cumulative -3.7 through five consecutive losses (8.1 – 7.2 – 6.8 – 6.5 – 5.7 – 4.4, 6+). Following five straight up or flat reports for a net gain of six-tenths (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.2, 6+), Ideastream’s WCLV “Classical 104.9” has a setback of eight-tenths to 1.4 (#14 to #15, 6+). Resurfacing in print in October 2018, Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFHM trended 5.4 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 5.4 (#7, 6+), but “95.5 The Fish” is unlisted for the third straight month.

Kansas City

Spoken-Word Formats – Steady at #4, KMBZ-FM “98.1 News-Traffic-Weather” is off two-tenths to 5.4 (6+). The Entercom news/talker was a +2.2 in January/February (3.4 – 4.6 – 5.6, 6+), following a -1.7 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (5.1 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+). On the heels of January/February’s +.9 (1.3 – 1.9 – 2.2, 6+), co-owned KMBZ-AM drops two-tenths to 2.0 (#18 to #19, 6+). “Talk 980” lost half (-1.3) its 6+ AQH share in December/“Holiday” 2018 (2.6 – 1.8 – 1.3, 6+). In February, Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM doubled January’s .7 (1.4, +.7, 6+); “Talk Radio 710 AM” repeats that 1.4 (6+) and advances from #22 o #21.

Leveling off at 3.8 (6+) after February’s -1.2 (5.0 – 3.8, 6+), Union Broadcasting’s WHB “Sports Radio 810” slips from #11 to #12. A combined -.5 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (4.2 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+), WHB erupted in January with a +1.3. Meanwhile, Entercom’s KCSP regains all but one-tenth of February’s loss of six-tenths (2.3 – 2.8, +.5, #17 to #16, 6+). In three consecutive decreases, “610 Sports Radio” faltered by nine-tenths (3.5 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 2.6, 6+) but was up three-tenths in January.

As a result of three straight gains (3.0 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 3.9, 6+), University of Missouri news/talk KCUR nets nine-tenths, more than compensating for the -.7 logged in “Holiday” 2018.

Kansas City Music Formats – There is another significant monthly shift for Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies KCMO-FM, which has been +1.6 (“Holiday” 2018); -1.3 (January 2019); +1.2 (February); and is +1.1 in March (6.6 – 7.7, 6+). There is a bonus for “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits,” as it progresses from third to first. Picking up one-tenth in December curtailed eight successive March through November declines that accounted for an overall -3.1 (8.1 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.8 – 6.4 – 6.3 – 5.4 – 5.0, 6+); KCMO-FM was #1 in March 2018, April, and May. Departing the top spot after ten consecutive sweeps there is cluster-mate KCFX “101 The Fox – Kansas City’s Classic Rock Station,” which erodes by -2.8 in February/March (10.1 – 8.2 – 7.3, first to second, 6+). January’s 10.1 is its strongest 6+-stat since July 2017’s 10.3. December’s seven-tenths’ decrease by the Kansas City Chiefs’ flagship halted six straight positive or flat sweeps that yielded an overall +2.7 (7.0 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.8 – 8.8 – 9.6 – 9.7, 6+). Still in that Cumulus Media cluster, urban AC KMJK “Magic 107.3 – Kansas City’s Best Mix of R&B” responds to February’s -.8 with a +.6 (4.2 – 3.4 – 4.0, 6+) and is back in the top ten (#14 to #10). “Magic,” which was +2.0 in four consecutive gains (2.7 – 2.8 – 3.4 – 4.4 – 4.7, 6+), lost one-half share in January. Trending 4.2 – 3.9 – 4.1 (“Holiday” 2018 – January 2019 – February, 6+), Entercom country outlet WDAF “106.5 The Wolf” sputters by eight-tenths to 3.3 (6+) and drifts out of the top ten (#9 to #14, 6+). Cumulus Media adult hits KCMO-HD2, which was +.5 in three straight (modest) gains (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.7, 6+) returns that increase in its entirety (1.2, -.5, #22, 6+). Four upticks in a row by Carter Broadcast Group urban contemporary KPRS “Hot 103 Jamz” accounted for a +1.5 (5.4 – 5.7 – 5.8 – 6.2 – 6.9, 6+), but “Hot 103” forfeits three-tenths to 6.6 (6+) and segues from second to third. February’s 6.9 is its highest 6+share since July 2018’s 7.1. Through five consecutive positive or flat moves (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+), Cumulus Media CHR KCHZ was +1.4 but “95.7 The Vibe – All The Hits” is now a collective -1.5 via three successive downturns (4.5 – 3.8 – 3.1 – 3.0, flat at #15, 6+).

Columbus

Spoken-Word Formats – Unchanged at #5, iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN is -1.5 in February/March (7.0 – 5.9 – 5.5, 6+); “News Radio 610” was +1.3 in January (5.7 – 7.0, 6+).

This is the third time in a row that RadiOhio sports talk outlet WBNS-FM “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” is unlisted. Among fluctuations for the Columbus Blue Jackets flagship since reappearing in print in August 2018 are: +1.1 (October); -.4 (November); +1.0 (December); and -2.0 in “Holiday” 2018 (7.3 – 5.3, seventh, 6+).

While it returns the two-tenths it scored in February (4.5 – 4.7 – 4.5, 6+), Ohio State University news/talk WOSU continues in sixth-place; WOSU was +1.1 in January.

Columbus Music Formats – On a roll, Saga Communications’ WLVQ “Iconic Rock Q-FM 96” logs its third increase in succession for a +1.9 (6.8 – 7.2 – 8.1 – 8.7, 6+) and repeats at #2. Locked on 7.8 (6+) in January and February, co-owned adult contemporary WSNY “Sunny 95” posts a +.2 to 8.0 (fourth to third, 6+). Hot AC cluster-mate WVMX “Mix 107.9” is without a loss the fourth report in a row for a net increase of three-tenths (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.5, unchanged at #12, 6+). Four straight gains by classic hits-oldies sibling WNND nearly doubled (+1.2) its 6+-stat (1.3 – 1.4 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.5, 6+) but “Rewind” surrenders three-tenths to 2.2 (6+), falling from #12 to #13. Albeit off three-tenths (12.1 – 11.8, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WCOL “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” is #1 for the 16th sweep in a row and has been in double-digits (6+) each ratings period since June 2017. Its January +.8 halted six straight setbacks that resulted in a collective -5.7 (16.3 – 15.1 – 15.0 – 14.5 – 13.0 – 12.7 – 10.6, 6+). Recent WCOL fluctuations include +3.1 (January 2018); -1.7 (February); +1.1 (March); +1.0 (April); +1.2 (June); +.6 (July); 1.2 (August); -.5 (October); -1.5 (November); -2.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +.8 (January 2019); and +.7 (February). Two especially long (positive) streaks continue. More than tripling (+1.3) its 6+-figure, Radio One gospel WJYD “Joy 107.1” hasn’t had a loss in nine straight sweeps (.5 – .8 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.6 – 1.8, 6+) and is steady at #14. Meanwhile, Ohio State University’s WOSA “Classical 101” doubles (+.5) its 6+ AQH share in five consecutive up or flat moves (.5 – .9 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0, tie at #15 to #16, 6+). Immediately after recording a February improvement of seven-tenths, One Connection Media Group contemporary Christian WCVO “104.9 The River” surrenders that increase in its entirety (3.3 – 4.0 – 3.3, 6+) but remains in eighth-place. February’s 4.0 is its best 6+-stat since October 2018’s 4.1. In addition to having its consecutive string of positive spikes which netted eight-tenths end at three (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.1, 6+), Radio One urban AC WXMG “Magic 95.5” (2.8, -.3, 6+) leaves the top ten (#9 to #11).

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

| April 16, 2019

Round One of Nielsen’s March PPM Survey Released.  The first round of (6+) data from Nielsen Audio’s March PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey).  You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations hereTALKERS magazine editor Mike Kinosian’s “Takeaways” from the March survey will appear at Talkers.com beginning tomorrow (4/17).

Francesa-Kay Battle at Center of New York Sports Talk Wars.  With the release of the March PPM survey data from Nielsen Audio yesterday, the battle between WFAN’s Mike Francesa and WEPN’s Michael Kay is back in the news.  Both afternoon drive sports talk shows are claiming victory in the “Winter Book” that uses the January, February and March PPM survey data.  The controversy lies in how one counts the numbers.  As Newsday reports, the issue here is whether not each station’s stream ratings are added to the over-the-air numbers.  Counting streams, Francesa beats Kay in Men 25-64 with 6.2 share to Kay’s 5.9 share.  But unlike WEPN, WFAN airs different spots in its stream and, WEPN would argue, WFAN doesn’t qualify for Total Line Reporting.  Taking away Francesa’s streaming numbers gives Kay a 5.9 to 5.5 (M 25-54) share advantage over Francesa.  No matter how one slices up the Nielsen numbers, neither host’s other avenues, such as Kay’s TV simulcast nor Francesa’s app data are taken into account in the “Winter Book” ratings.

Connoisseur and Cumulus Swap Stations in Allentown and Connecticut. This swap of assets gets Connoisseur Media two stations in the state of Connecticut in which it’s based – news/talk WICC-AM, Bridgeport and adult contemporary WEBE-FM, Westport – and it gives Cumulus Media four more stations for its Northeast Pennsylvania presence.  That group includes sports talk duo WEEX-AM and WTKZ-AM/W234AX, plus classic rock WODE-FM and alternative WWYY-FM.  The stations will begin being managed by the respective buyers under an LMA, effective May 1.  Connoisseur Media SVP and market manager Kristin Okesson says, “As a lifelong Connecticut resident and the former general sales manager of WEBE/WICC, it is my privilege to lead these stations.  The combined reach of our portfolio will offer exciting opportunities for our partners and to the communities we serve.”

WBRP, Baton Rouge Cuts Three Talk Personalities. Baton Rouge news/talk station WBRP “Talk 107.3” made what general manager Gordy Rush tells local TV outlet WAFB was a “business decision” and let go of morning show team Kevin Gallagher and Bill Profita as well as late morning talk host Clarence Buggs.  The Guaranty Media station’s morning show is cut to two hours and is now being hosted by program director Brian Haldane.  The late morning daypart is being filled by FOX News Radio host Brian Kilmeade from 8:00 am to 11:00 am, followed by Todd Starnes from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm.

SiriusXM Making Its Talk Hosts Available Via Podcasts on Pandora. This content sharing will make audio from SiriusXM’s talk talent – from its entertainment, talk, comedy, music, and sports programming – available to Pandora subscribers via the newly announced Podcasts on Pandora platform.  The service will use the company’s Podcast Genome Project technology to recommend podcasts. SiriusXM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein says, “We’re excited that some of our most popular talk shows are now being made available to Pandora users.  This will be a great opportunity for new audiences to discover these SiriusXM shows, while providing Pandora with great programming, as we continue to collaborate on content opportunities for both platforms.”

2019 Gracie Award Winners Announced. The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation announces the winners of the 44th annual Gracie Awards being celebrated at The Gracie Awards Gala in Beverly Hills on Tuesday, May 21 and at the Gracie Awards Luncheon in New York on June 26.   Some of the honorees include Sean Hannity radio show producer Lynda McLaughlinAngela Yee of the urban morning drive show “The Breakfast Club”; syndicated country radio star Elaina Smith; Jayde Donovan of “The Jayde Show”; Jillian Barberie of “The Morning Drive” on KABC-AM, Los Angeles and more.  Alliance for Women in Media Foundation executive director Becky Brooks says, “Our leadership is proud to honor the best of the best who embody the spirit and intention of the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation’s Gracie Awards.”  Christine Travaglini, president of Katz Radio Group and chair of the board of directors adds, “In the more than four decades since the inception of the Gracie Awards – what stands out in 2019 is bravery.  The courage of storytellers to share poignant, relevant and compelling content. This will be a year of true celebration.” See all the winners here.

TALKERS News Notes. The KTRH, Houston-based Michael Berry show called on its listeners to assist military veterans with PTSD – seeking the donation of 1,000 suits – and brought in more than 5,000. Berry says, “The reason talk radio is a great format for advertisers is the reason it is the best platform for charitable events: community engagement.  It’s not a passive medium.  Listeners are engaged; they share our values.  They respond when we put out the call.  In this case, it was for our veterans, but it’s also the case when we endorse goods and services provided by people who share our values.” Berry is the national spokesman for PTSD Foundation of America, that operates Camp Hope, a residential treatment center committed to reducing the 22 suicides per day our veteran community is experiencing.  The suits are being donated to assist veterans who are seeking employment after coming home from a war zone…..Today is Chicago newsman Bob Roberts’ last day on the job at Entercom’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM.  Roberts is retiring after a long career in the radio news biz.  WBBM director of news and programming Ron Gleason says Roberts is “one of Chicago’s best reporters” and “an invaluable member of our team thanks to his tremendous knowledge of the Chicago area and its transit system.  He’s second to none during breaking news situations.”  See highlights from Roberts’ career here…..Pubcaster WHYY in Philadelphia is acquiring the digital news publication Billy Penn.   The Philadelphia Business Journal reports that the millennial-targeted publication’s staffers will become WHYY employees…..The podcast “Crime Junkie” expands on its relationship with cabana, the digital audio business of AdLarge Media, and is now the exclusive ad sales partner for “Crime Junkie.”…..The Omaha World-Herald reports the death of KLIN, Lincoln, Nebraska talk show host Coby Mach.  He hosted the daily 5:00 pm “Drive Time Lincoln” program on the NRG Media news/talk station. He also served as the president of the Lincoln Independent Business Association.  The paper reports that he was ending his show due to his dealing with tinnitus and his wife’s ongoing battle with breast cancer.  Lincoln police are saying the death of the 53-year-old host was an apparent suicide.  He wrote in a Facebook post, “It’s time to slow down…Thanks to the KLIN crew for some great years and a lot of fun.  Thanks to the listeners and advertisers who made it all possible!”

KIRO-FM, Seattle’s Dori Monson Performs Sold-Out Stage Show. KIRO-FM midday talk show host Dori Monson (pictured above on stage) packed the Kirkland Performance Center on Friday (4/12) for his inaugural “What Are The Odds? An Evening with Dori Monson” one-man stage show.  The sold-out event did include guest appearances by other KIRO Radio talent, including news anchor Ursula Reutin, Monson’s longtime friend Dave Wyman, show producer Nicole Thompson and more.  KIRO-FM promoted the show with the following: “Sometimes a hustler. Frequently incorrigible. Often a rascal. What are the odds that an aimless kid from old-school Ballard would grow up to become Seattle’s most fiery and most-listened-to radio talk show host?  Find out when you reserve a seat as KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson introduces you to the remarkable people who helped shape his improbable career.”

Southern Border Issue/Sanctuary Cities Proposal, Redacted Mueller Report Expected, Notre Dame Fire, 2020 Presidential Politics/Weld to Challenge Trump for GOP Nom, ‘Game of Thrones’ Season Premiere, Tiger Woods’ Masters Victory, NBA Playoffs and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/15).  The Southern Border migrant issue and the related proposal by President Trump to transport migrants to sanctuary cities; the anticipated release of the redacted version of the Mueller Report; the fire at the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020 and Republican Bill Weld’s announced challenge to Trump’s GOP nomination; the premiere of the final season of “Game of Thrones”; Tiger Woods’ stunning Masters victory; NBA playoff action; and MLB action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Hannity, O’ Reilly and Rome Set to Keynote Talkers 2019: Telling the Story. The agenda continues to grow as the 22nd annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important annual convention takes shape for Friday, June 7 in New York City. Heading up a roster of more than 55 speakers will be Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel superstar Sean Hannity, Key Networks radio commentator, best-selling author and former FNC personality Bill O’Reilly, and CBS Sports Radio giant Jim Rome. Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will take place at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan. Radio Advertising Bureau CEO Erica Farber will moderate a special panel focusing on the challenges facing talk radio sales and marketing in 2019. Senior VP programming WFAN and Entercom NY and CBS Sports Radio, captain/sports format Mark Chernoff will participate in a discussion about the state of sports talk radio. A general programming discussion will include Mike McVay, EVP, content and programming, Cumulus Media and Justin Chase, EVP programming, Beasley Media Group; Some of the other speakers already set to participate in the program include (in alphabetical order): Dr. Asa Andrew, host, Asa RX; Greg Batusic, chief operations officer, PodcastOne; Mike “Bax” Baxendale, host, WAQY, Springfield, MA “Rock 102”; Vince Benedetto, CEO, Bold Gold Media Group; Michael Berry, host, The Michael Berry Show; Grace Blazer, national brand coordinator, news/talk/sports programming and director of AM programming Miami/Fort Lauderdale, iHeartMedia; Jim Bohannon, host, Westwood One; Phil Boyce, SVP spoken word format, Salem Media Group and VP/operations, Salem Radio Network, New York Region; Howie Carr, host, The Howie Carr Show; Kathy Carr, president, The Howie Carr Show; Heather Cohen, EVP, The Weiss Agency; Michael Czarnecki, program director, WONK-FM, Washington, DC; Kate Delaney, host, NBC Sports; Alex Fife, VP/regional operations, Total Traffic & Weather Network – Southeast; Greg Foster, VP programming and national news/talk brand coordinator, iHeartMedia/PD, KOA, Denver; Dom Giordano, host, WPHT, Philadelphia; Steven Goldstein, founder/CEO, Amplifi Media; Sebastian Gorka, host, Salem Radio Network; Suzanne Grimes, EVP/marketing, Cumulus Media and president, Westwood One; Lee Habeeb, host/producer, Our American Stories; Thom Hartmann, host WYD Media; Bill Hess, VP of news/talk, Cumulus Media and program director, WMAL, Washington, DC; Harry Hurley, host, WPGG, Atlantic City; Andrew Kalb, executive director of programming, ABC News Radio; Brian Kilmeade, host, FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel; Scott Lakefield, assistant program director, WOR, New York; Greg Moceri, CEO, Moceri Media; John T. Mullen, operations manager, WRHU, Hofstra University; Bill O’ Reilly, commentator, Key Networks; Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo, host, The Joe Pags Show; Michael Riedel, host, WOR, New York; Dave Robinett, Chief Marketing Officer, #250 – America’s Mobile Speed Dial; Jim Rome, host, CBS Sports Radio; Sid Rosenberg, host, WABC, New York; Todd Starnes, host, Fox News Radio; Walter M. Sterling, host, Westwood One; Julie Talbott, president, Premiere Networks; Mike Thomas, program director, WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub,” Boston/brand manager for spoken word, podcasts, esports, Beasley Broadcasting; Rick Ungar, host, The Rick Ungar Program/editor-in-chief, TheDailyCentrist.com; Dr. Daliah Wachs, host, Genesis Communications Network; Brett Winterble, host KFMB-AM, San Diego; Dan Yorke, host, WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM, Providence; Rich Zeoli, host, WPHT, Philadelphia; and Michael Zwerling, owner, KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz. More speakers to be named in the days and weeks ahead along with a complete agenda. The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, one-on-one conversations and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception — all in a single, power-packed day! Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments, costs $329 per person. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. To take advantage of the hotel discount available to TALKERS convention attendees, contact the Hilton Fashion District Hotel located directly across the street from the venue at 152 W. 26th St, New York, NY 10001 by clicking here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  The big music radio story is Cumulus Media’s announced sale of classic rock KLOS, Los Angeles to Meruelo Media for $43 million in cash.  The deal was announced at the same time as the Connoisseur swap noted above.  Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner says, “These transactions are part of the continued execution of our portfolio optimization strategy.  Both transactions are accretive, and the sale of KLOS-FM to Meruelo Media at an attractive multiple allows us to generate substantial cash, which can be used to further pay down debt and invest in high-potential business opportunities.  The Connoisseur Media swap significantly strengthens our presence in Allentown and the Lehigh Valley.”  There’s no indication from Meruelo if it intends to make programming changes to KLOS or not…..Two big moves take place in the Seattle market as former Alpha Media EVP of programming Scott Mahalick joins Hubbard Radio’s cluster there as brand/content director for country KNUC “98.9 The Bull.”  At the same time, Hubbard Radio Seattle VP/market manager Ann Marie Mulholland announces the return of “Fitz in the Morning” to the Seattle airwaves. Mulholland says, “The country audience in Seattle has been without their favorite morning show host for too long.  I believe the dynamic duo of Fitz backed by Scott Mahalick will change the face of radio in Seattle.”…..Back in Los Angeles, iHeartMedia’s hip hop KRRL “REAL 92.3” grabs J Cruz away from crosstown competitor KPWR to host the afternoon show.  “The Cruz Show” had been heard in mornings on Meruelo’s Media’s KPWR.  Joining Cruz on his show will be executive producerJeff Garcia, DJ Lechero and DJ Lezlee.   KRRL program director Doc Wynter says, “iHeartMedia is all about attracting the very best on-air talent and I’m excited to add J Cruz to the growing list of super talents in our thriving Los Angeles market.  Big Boy in the mornings and J Cruz in the afternoons – I get chills just saying it!”…..Entercom names Boston radio personality Karen Blake the new afternoon drive host at adult contemporary WMJX-FM “Magic 106.7.”  Blake was most recently morning drive host on WQRC, Cape Cod.  In Boston she’d previously served in drive time at WODS-FM and the old WQSX-FM (now WEEI-FM). Blake says, “It is a privilege to return to the Entercom family.  I am looking forward to being part of an air staff that I’ve admired for years and am thrilled to be continuing my career in my hometown of Boston.”

Friday, April 12, 2019

| April 12, 2019

Sean Hannity Named Among Top 35 Most Powerful People in New York Media. This 2019 edition is the ninth annual list of the 35 Most Powerful People in New York Media published by The Hollywood Reporter, and Premiere Networks syndicated radio personality and FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity is once again on the list.  The Hollywood Reporter points out Hannity’s achievements, including his status as a member of the National Radio Hall of Fame and winner of a Marconi Award, and his hosting 2018’s most-watched cable news show.  It also writes that his “closeness with Trump has bestowed unprecedented influence — not to mention well-watched exclusive interviews. Even his time slot rival, CNN’s Chris Cuomo, calls Hannity ‘the most powerful person in the media.’”  The only other FNC personalities to make the list are FOX & Friends hosts Steve Doocy, Ainsley Earhardt, and Brian Kilmeade and FOX News’ Shepard Smith.  See the list here.

KNBR, San Francisco Renews Midday Personality Larry Krueger. Twenty-two-year KNBR sports talk personality Larry Krueger signs a multi-year contract extension with the Cumulus Media station to continue co-hosting the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm show with Gary Radnich.  Krueger also serves as host of the pre- and post-game shows for San Francisco 49ers and Stanford Cardinal football broadcasts.  KNBR program director Jeremiah Crowe says, “Larry is a cornerstone of KNBR ‘The Sports Leader.’  He brings a tremendous work ethic and ability to connect with Bay Area sports fans weekdays on ‘Gary & Larry,’ while also providing listeners with first-class coverage across KNBR’s San Francisco 49ers and Stanford Cardinal game day broadcasts.  We are extremely proud to extend our relationship with Larry for years to come.”

WLS-AM, Chicago Celebrates 95 Years on the Air. Today, Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM, Chicago is celebrating its 95th birthday on the air and will mark the milestone with live interviews, contests, as well as “throw-backs showing WLS’s long legacy serving Chicago, Illinois, and much of the lower 48 for 95 years.”  The station first launched on April 12, 1924, as Sears-Roebuck and Company’s own broadcast outlet to reach and market to farmers.  Shortly after 6:00 pm that day, Edgar Bill stepped to the microphone and exclaimed: “Here ye, here ye, here ye! WLS, the Sears-Roebuck station is on the air!”  The call letters WLS stood for “World’s Largest Store” and first aired farm and civic programming, popular music, comedies and radio serials.  Guests on the station today will include numerous former WLS-AM staffers and Chicago media icons including: John Records Landecker, Roe Conn, John Gehron, Garry Meier, Tom Tradup, Tim Sabean, and more.

Beasley Names Burton Las Vegas Cluster Manager. Media management pro Peter Burton is named vice president and market manager for Beasley Media Group’s Las Vegas operations that includes news/talk KDWN and four music-formatted stations.  Burton was most recent COO of California-based Converze Media.  Prior to that he’d served with Entercom as VP/GM of its Los Angeles stations.  He also worked in the rep firm end of the business with both Katz and CBS.  Burton says, “Las Vegas is one of the most dynamic growth markets in the country.  The Beasley family has assembled a group of radio stations with amazing potential. I’m thankful for the opportunity to join their team.”

Mueller Report Aftermath Remains Top News/Talk Story for Week of April 8-12. The events following Robert Mueller’s report to the AG’s office were again the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Southern border crisis and the related shakeup at the Department of Homeland Security.  Coming in tied at #3 were 2020 presidential politics and the attempts to get President Trump’s tax returns, followed by the college admissions scandal 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.

TALKERS News Notes. Per Rodney Ho’s report in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, WYAY-FM “Talk 106.7” afternoon drive host Kim “The Kimmer” Peterson and co-host Pete Davis were suspended for three days this week by Cumulus Media management for his on-air comment about U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath that was deemed sexist.  Ho reports the on-air conversation was about gun laws and Rep. McBath and included Davis saying to Peterson, “You’re there to knock Lucy McBath back into the kitchen.” With Peterson replying, “Yeah, go back to sewing stuff and leave my guns alone!” The company issued a statement condemning Peterson’s comments.  As regular TALKERS readers are aware, WYAY is being sold to Educational Media Foundation and will flip to a Christian music format.  Closing is expected to take place as early as next month…..The New Orleans Advocate is reporting that a local ownership group that includes actor Wendell Pierce, local PR firm owner Cleveland Spears, business consultant Troy Henry and local media entrepreneur Jeff Thomas are buying urban talk station WBOK, New Orleans.  The group has formed Equity Media and expects to close the deal within a few months.  Bakewell Media is the current owner of the station.  Equity Media says in a statement, “The opportunity to elevate the station by ensuring that it provides a well-rounded view of major issues that affect the day-to-day lives of African Americans is something that we all feel immensely passionate about.”  After taking over the station, the new owners say they will launch “a full assessment of the organization, programming and brand identity, with plans for a relaunch of the station in mid-summer.”…..In Western Massachusetts, the radio and television public media outlets are merging into one company called New England Public Media. Coming together are New England Public Radio’s WFCR-FM, Amherst and WGBY-TV, Springfield.  A statement from the organizations says they will merge to form an independent non-profit, expected to close near July 1.

Golf Tourney Raises $100k for Broadcasters Foundation of America. Concurrent with this week’s NAB Show in Las Vegas, broadcasters took part in the Philip J. Lombardo Charity Golf Tournament at Bali Hai Golf Club that raised a record $100,000 in support of the mission of the Broadcasters Foundation of America to help broadcasters in need. Pictured above (l-r) are: Leo MacCourtney, president of Katz Television Group; Michael O’Brien, VP distribution, E.W. Scripps CompanyRalph Oakley, president/CEO of Quincy Media, Inc.; Matthew Johnson, director of sales, Katz Television Group; and Jim Thompson, president of the Broadcasters Foundation of America.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Houston, Cumulus Media inks night jock Tyler Frye to a new deal to continue his role with CHR KRBE-FM.  Program director Leslie Whittle says, “Tyler launched ‘H-Town Live with Tyler Frye’ on KRBE four years ago and hasn’t looked back.  When you listen to him each night you know exactly what’s happening in our great city at that moment, plus his social game is second to none.  He’s truly formed a relationship with our listeners because he understands how to communicate on all levels.  I’m thrilled to continue our partnership!  I am beyond excited and extremely humbled to sign an extension with one of the most successful and legendary radio stations in the country.  This city and my coworkers are truly second to none.”…..Lon Helton, host of Westwood One’s “Country Countdown USA” and publisher of Country Aircheck, was honored for his impact on country music with the Bob Kingsley Living Legend Award during an event held Wednesday (4/10) at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.  The award was created in 2014 to recognize the most deserving individuals across the spectrum of record label/industry, creative/production and radio/media.  The evening benefitted the Opry Trust Fund, which for more than 50 years has supported members of the country music community in need.  Among the artists who performed at the event were: Dierks Bentley, Garth Brooks, Luke Bryan, Eli Young Band, Vince GillRandy Owen, Carly Pearce, Steve WarinerMark Wills, Trisha Yearwood, Chris Young and a special appearance by Randy Travis. The award was presented by Bob Kingsley himself.  Pictured below are (from l-r): Kingsley; country star Trisha Yearwood; Helton; the Grand Old Opry’s Sally Williams; and country legend Garth Brooks.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

| April 11, 2019

San Diego Sports Talker ‘Mighty 1090’ Off the Air. As reported by the San Diego Union Tribune, contract negotiations gone awry appears to be the reason the Mexican owner of XEPRS-AM in Rosarito, Mexico – for the last 16 years branded as sports talk “The Mighty 1090” – on Wednesday literally pulled the plug on Broadcast Company of the Americas’s deal to air their sports talk format on the signal.  BCA manager Mike Glickenhaus told the paper, “We have lost our connection in Mexico and are working to get this resolved.”  But he also reportedly told the staff the signal owners “no longer are interested in being partners with BCA Radio.”  “Mighty 1090” personality Darren Smith, who’s been with the station since its inception in 2003, said in a social media post that he was aware that this outcome was a possibility. He wrote: “I’m sure you are wondering if this is it for ‘The Mighty 1090.’  We are wondering if this is it for ‘The Mighty 1090.’  I will tell you that there is not a lot of optimism about our future as a sports radio station… It’s heartbreaking.”  Smith said negotiations with the transmitter owner have been going on for some time, but obviously something broke down.  The Ben & Woods morning show intend to broadcast via the station’s app and web stream.

WGN, Chicago’s Andrea Darlas Accepts Position with U of I.  From a story by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, we learn that WGN-AM news anchor and program host Andrea Darlas is leaving her full-time position with the Tribune Broadcasting station to step into the role of senior director of constituent engagement at the University of Illinois.  In this position, she’ll spearhead the school’s “engagement and outreach efforts” in the Chicago area.  However, she will continue to host the weekly “Andrea Darlas and The Reporters” program that airs Monday evenings on WGN.

Joe Madison Finds His Roots on PBS Show. Radio talk show host Joe Madison – heard nationally on SiriusXM – was featured on the latest episode of the PBS genealogy show “Finding Your Roots” that aired last night (4/10).  Pictured here (left) with program host Henry Louis Gates Jr. (right), Madison discovered some interesting surprises about his heritage.  A piece in The Crisis Magazine reports the program “revealed that Madison had ‘roots’ in states such as Alabama, where he didn’t know he had family, in multiple countries and as with most African Americans, across racial lines.”  Madison discovered that he had a grandfather who fought in the Civil War for the Confederacy and a relative who was victim of the Tuskegee Experiment.

‘Flashpoint with Cherri Gregg’ Expands at Entercom Philly. The weekly program hosted by KYW, Philadelphia’s Cherri Gregg is now being heard on four other Entercom stations in the Philadelphia market.   Beginning Sunday (4/14), “Flashpoint with Cherri Gregg” will also air on hot AC WBEB “B101.1,” classic hits WOGL, CHR WTDY, and news/talk WPHT.  Entercom Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff states, “We couldn’t be prouder of what ‘Flashpoint with Cherri Gregg’ has accomplished in just over a year. The program has become an integral part of KYW Newsradio’s connection to the station’s diverse audience.  We’re confident that the show will connect with new audiences in the Philadelphia area in a meaningful way.”  Entercom says the weekly program “provides a forum for local and national influencers, as well as listeners, to share their points of view on the most relevant news stories of the week.  Guests are encouraged to speak openly about their shared goals and differing viewpoints in an effort to move the community forward.  The show is presented in three segments: ‘The Flashpoint Debate,’ a newsmaker interview, and a non-profit ‘Change Maker of the Week,’ that highlights an individual or group making a difference in the community.”

FOX Sports Radio Unveils Spring/Summer Weekend Lineup. The network announces changes and additions to its weekend programming schedule for the spring and summer sports season.  Eleven-year NBA vet Cuttino “Cat” Mobley is partnering with FOX Sports Radio personality Jonas Knox on Saturdays for the 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET show from May through the NBA Finals, when NBA Champion and two-time All-Star Caron Butler steps in for a second season on FSR, joining Knox during the NBA Draft and free agency periods.  Five-year NFL veteran Bucky Brooks also returns as a co-host with Knox during the NFL Draft this month and will resume when NFL training camps commence in July.  NBA Champion and 13-year basketball veteran Dahntay Jones joins weekend personality Steve Hartman for the Sunday 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm show.  Additionally, award-winning Los Angeles Times columnist Bill Plaschke partners with Mike Harmon on Sundays from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm ET and FS1 basketball analyst and former University of Kansas and Creighton University guard Nick Bahe will join Dan Beyer on Sundays from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET.  Finally, “Outkick the Coverage with Clay Travis” contributor and WGFX-FM, Nashville weekday personality Jason Martin joins the network to host his own show on Sundays from 3:00 am to 6:00 am ET.

Isip Named KQED President and CEO. San Francisco’s public media corporation KQED formally introduces Michael Isip as the new president and CEO.  The PBS and NPR member broadcast outlets tapped Isip to succeed John Boland, who is retiring but will serve as president emeritus through September of this year.  Isip has been with KQED since 2001 in various capacities. KQED board chair Hank Barry states, “We couldn’t be more excited and fortunate to elevate Michael to president and CEO.  Working closely alongside John, Michael led and executed many of the strategic initiatives that have enabled KQED to become one of the largest and most successful public media institutions in the country.  KQED and the people of the Bay Area will benefit from Michael’s tremendous leadership abilities and strategic vision, and especially his deep commitment and passion for public service.”

Jessica Sherman Re-Joins AdLarge Media. After serving most recently with CBS Radio News, Jessica Sherman is returning to AdLarge Media as vice president of affiliate sales and content.  She was previously with AdLarge as senior director of affiliate marketing from 2014 to 2017. In this new executive position, she will oversee all aspects of affiliate sales and marketing for AdLarge Media’s radio station offerings from Good Parts Media, A-List Comedy, and IMGR, including management of the content creation teams and websites.  Sherman will handle similar duties for new radio content from AdLarge, as it emerges.

Mueller Report Aftermath/Barr’s Trump Campaign Spying Suspicions, U.S.-Mexico Border Issues, 2020 Democratic Candidates, Trump Tax Returns Issue, Netanyahu Re-Election Bid, Brexit, Black Hole Image Released, NBA Playoffs and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/10). The aftermath of the Mueller Report and Attorney General William Barr’s suspicions about illegal surveillance of the Trump campaign; the migrant status at the U.S.-Mexico border; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the attempts to get Trump’s tax returns released; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s re-election bid; the political chaos surrounding Brexit; the public release of the first image of a black hole; the NBA playoffs; and MLB 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. Boston’s longtime alternative WBOS-FM flips to classic rock as “Rock 92.9.”  Beasley Media Group announces the format change saying the “Dave & Chuck The Freak” morning show remains in place.  Core artists of the new format will include: Guns & Roses, Pearl Jam, AC/DC, Def Leppard, Nirvana, Ozzy Osbourne, Bon Jovi, Green Day, Metallica, Foo Fighters, Led ZeppelinStone Temple Pilots, Van Halen, and Red Hot Chili Peppers.” Station PD Ken West says, “Boston rock fans told us they wanted a classic rock station that rocks.  With Dave & Chuck The Freak’s fast-moving morning show and tons of rock from the 80s and 90s and more…they’re going to get it every day!”  WBOS ranked 12th (persons 6+) in the February PPM ratings from Nielsen Audio with a 3.3 share. Entercom’s crosstown classic rock WZLX ranked #6 with a 5.3 share in the February survey…..Detroit classic rock station WLLZ “106.7 Detroit’s Wheels” is bringing the “Drew & Mike Show” back to the airwaves effective this weekend.  The program will air Saturdays and Sundays from 8:00 am to 11:00 am and feature Drew Lane and “Marc Fellhauer, Tom Mazaway, Brandon McAfee, and WLLZ personality Trudi Daniels as well as a rotating cast of radio and television personalities who will offer their one-of-a-kind  take on music, sports, politics, pop culture and topics centered around Detroit.”  The duo hosted mornings on WRIF for 25 years until their exit in 2013.  They launched a podcast show in the spring of 2016.  Mike Clark passed away at age 63 in October of last year.  Drew Lane says, “I’m thrilled to be back on-air in a city I love.  I know my friend Mike would’ve loved to be back on the air and to broadcast on the iconic 106.7 WLLZ would’ve blown his mind.  Our show is authentic and a Detroit on-air staple.  I can’t wait to return to radio and engage with the Detroit community once again.”…..iHeartMedia’s Miami classic rocker WBGG “BIG 105.9” names Ross MacLeod program director, effective immediately.  iHeartMedia South Florida SVP of programming Rob Miller says, “Ross has had an extensive track record of success and has programmed multiple rock format brands across North America and genuinely understands our market.  His vision, creativity and innovative social media strategies, paired with his strong leadership with on-air talent will further solidify BIG 105.9’s legacy in South Florida.”  MacLeod was most recently program director for Rogers Media’s adult hits CJAC, Calgary “Jack 96.9.” in Canada…..Urban contemporary WDAS, Philadelphia names Adimu Colon the new host of “The Quiet Storm” program.  The nightly show features contemporary R&B performed in a smooth, romantic, jazz-influenced style from artists such as Luther VandrossMarvin Gaye, Mary J. Blige, and Toni Braxton.  Colon joins the iHeartMedia station from his most recent gig as on-air personality at Entercom’s hip hop WPGC, Washington, DC…..Cumulus Media announces its San Francisco rock station KSAN “107.7 The Bone” is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the “Lamont & Tonelli Morning Show” with a concert event featuring: Sammy Hagar & The Circle, Don Felder, and The Stone Foxes at the Concord Pavilion on Saturday, April 20.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

| March 27, 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 February PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk radio.  The period between the end of the NFL season and the start of the MLB season usually means a dip in ratings for sports talk radio stations and this year is no different as 73% of sports talkers see a decrease in their weekly 6+ AQH share from the January 2019 survey to the February 2019 PPM survey.  Comparing last February to this, about half of the sports talk stations on our panel are up with the other half down or unchanged.  Beasley Media Group’s WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” was the highest-ranking station (6+) during the February survey, finishing the month at #3 in the Boston market with a 6.4 share.  Entercom’s KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh “93.7 FM The Fan” is the sports station with the highest 6+ share in February with a 6.5.  See all the data here.

Mike Gallagher and Salem Radio Network Renew Through 2023. Talk radio pro Mike Gallagher and Salem Radio Network will continue to work together through 2023 as Salem announces the company and Gallagher have agreed to a new contract.  Gallagher’s 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET show is heard on more than 420 affiliate stations via SRN.  Salem SVP Phil Boyce says, “We are honored to have had Mike Gallagher in our Salem family for over two decades and thrilled to continue our long and fruitful relationship with him.  Mike’s thoughtful and expert commentary is exactly what America needs in these turbulent times we live in, and it’s no wonder he is Salem’s highest-rated program.”  Gallagher comments, “Every broadcaster should be lucky enough to work for Salem Media Group.  I’ve worked hard and they’ve rewarded me with a partnership that will have spanned at least 22 years, a rarity in our business.  I’m so grateful to Ed Atsinger, Dave Santrella, and Phil Boyce for their support and visionary leadership.  And I will always appreciate Greg Anderson, who has since retired, for believing in me back in 2001 and bringing me into the Salem family.”

Jason Page Joins iHub Radio in Palm Springs. As the Palm Springs locally focused internet radio station iHub Radio approaches its first birthday, it announces that sports talk personality Jason Page is taking over the afternoon drive program, effective April 1.  Page has served with NBC Sports Radio, ESPN, and SiriusXM.  iHub Radio was founded by programmer John McMullen who asked Page to help with coverage of the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.  McMullen says, “Jason brought his A-game for the entirety of his stay in February and March.  After two weeks of upsets on the tennis courts, I felt that the timing was right on our final broadcast from Indian Wells to wrap up with a positive surprise. We offered Jason a full-time opportunity to not only take our 3 to 6 pm weekday slot, but to join our management team and put his vision in play for social media and other multimedia opportunities that are likely to involve expanding some of our local talent beyond the iHub Radio platform and local market.” In addition to hosting afternoons, Page will be director of multimedia platforms for the media outlet.  McMullen is giving up hosting the afternoon show to focus on management responsibilities. McMullen says iHub Radio is hyper-focused on its local connection to a marketplace rather than proactively seeking a national or global audience.  He adds that as the platform nears its first anniversary and continues to increase its weekly unique audience numbers that rival the terrestrial competition and double the time spent listening of most traditional talk stations, the company will enter its second year with an eye towards creating a handful of programming products that could ultimately be part of the terrestrial radio landscape by 2020.

Cox Media Group: Study Shows Our Customers Are ‘More Satisfied.’ The results of a three-year study designed to measure advertiser expectations and perceptions of traditional and digital advertising at CMG indicates CMG customers rate many CMG advertising solutions at least two to three-times higher than non-CMG advertisers rate similar competitor services on return on investment.  The survey of more than 450 businesses – including CMG customers and non-CMG customers – was done by research firm Magid. The advertising solutions include programmatic advertising, digital video, native, and traditional media.  Cox Media Group EVP of content, digital strategy, technology, and research Marian Pittman says, “This is part of the culture and commitment at Cox Media Group.  Our entire team is focused on driving results for our advertisers, providing innovative solutions and being a true partner for our clients.  We have a relentless focus on tracking, monitoring and optimizing every advertisers’ campaign.  The results of the survey show our clients agree.”

Westwood One’s 2019 Audioscape Report Highlights Podcasting and Smart Speaker Data. The company says this report examines the podcast and smart speaker consumer, listener, and user trends, podcast consumption among smart speaker users, and marketer and agency sentiment for advertising in podcasts and smart speaker environments.  Westwood One reveals some of what it calls the key findings on podcasting and smart speakers: 1) The podcast audience is maturing with the median age advancing from 29 in 2017 to 35 in 2018.  However, 2) podcast listeners are far more engaged and one-and-a-half times more attentive than social media audiences.  3) Smart speaker ownership has tripled in two years with 23% of U.S. households owning a smart speaker, and 4) GenXers – adults between the ages of 35 and 54 – represent the largest segment of smart speaker owners (38%). See more here.

TALKERS News Notes.  WIBC-FM, Indianapolis-based, independently syndicated talk host Tony Katz adds Emmis Communications’ KLBJ-AM, Austin to his roster of affiliate stations for his “Tony Katz Today” program, effective April 15. Katz hosts the “Tony Katz and the Morning News” on WIBC-FM and his “Tony Katz Today” talk show airs live from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET.  KLBJ-AM program director Mark Caesar says, “We are very excited about Tony Katz joining the NewsRadio KLBJ lineup.  Tony is a great guy who knows how to blend his excellent sense of humor with his strong insight on the day’s biggest stories.”…..MSG Networks and ESPN O&O WEPN, New York “ESPN New York 98.7FM” announce a new multi-year agreement that ensures the station continues to serve as the radio home of the New York Knicks and New York Rangers.   WEPN has served in this role since 2004.  “ESPN New York” vice president and general manager Tim McCarthy says, “We are proud to continue our 15-year relationship with the New York Knicks and New York Rangers.  As ‘98.7 ESPN’ continues to expand our listener base, the Knicks and Rangers serve as an integral component of our programming lineup.”…..Bonneville International’s sports talk KMVP-FM, Phoenix “Arizona Sports” inks a deal to serve as the radio and digital home for the Phoenix Rising FC for the 2019 season.  As part of the deal, “Arizona Sports” will stream all Phoenix Rising FC games live on ArizonaSports.com as well as air three Phoenix Rising FC games on sister KTAR-AM “ESPN 620,” beginning in June.  The partnership will also include a dedicated page of Rising coverage on ArizonaSports.com along with a weekly podcast hosted by Kellan Olson.

Mueller Investigation Aftermath, Obamacare Battle, Jussie Smollett Case, Green New Deal Vote, Israel-Gaza Tensions, Brexit Redux, NBA Action and NCAA Tournament Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/26).The aftermath of Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation; the battle between the Trump administration and Democrats over the status of the Affordable Care Act; the Illinois state prosecutor’s decision not to charge actor Jussie Smollett; the U.S. Senate vote on the Green New Deal; the tensions in Israel over the missile strike from the Gaza Strip; the uncertainty surrounding the Brexit status; and NBA action and the NCAA Tournament 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 Charese Fruge is no longer with Radio One as the CHR format captain and program director for CHR outlets KROI, Houston and WNOW, Indianapolis.  Fruge had previously served with the old CBS RADIO in Houston as vice president of programming and operations manager as well as PD for KHMX and KKHH…..On-air personality Amber “Alabama” Cole is the new morning show contributor for iHeartMedia’s CHR KBKS, Seattle “106.1 Kiss FM.”  She exited the company’s Chicago country outlet WEBG “Big 95.5” where she was midday host back in December…..Griffin Communications announces that country recording artist Joe Diffie is joining the KXBL, Tulsa “Big Country 99.5” air staff, hosting the midday show.  Diffie is based in Nashville and will voice track the program, even when he’s on the road this summer.  Station program director Brian Jennings says, “Joe’s music is a reflection of the dominance of Oklahoma artists that have become part of the country music soundtrack across the nation. And ‘Big Country’ is the only station in Tulsa that is positioned to properly celebrate that legacy.  Think about the influence that Oklahoma music has on the nation: Joe Diffie, Reba,Garth, Vince Gill, Toby Keith, Ronnie Dunn, Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood…shall I go on? Having Joe on as part of the team brings Tulsa pride to his national status.  I am so proud.”

Friday, March 15, 2019

| March 15, 2019

Bubba the Love Sponge Lashes Out at ‘Speech Police’ in WSJ Op-Ed Piece. There’s been a lot of chatter on news/talk radio this week about Media Matters’ attack on Tucker Carlson for stuff he said on the Bubba the Love Sponge show during the period of 2006-2011 when he was a regular guest.  Carlson took an unusual tack and not only didn’t apologize but used the Media Matters attack on him to call out the “speech police.”  Now, Bubba the Love Sponge also rips Media Matters and others in an op-ed piece published in the Wall Street Journal that compares Carlson’s battle with that of comic Lenny Bruce some 50 years ago.  The crux of Bubba’s piece is that entertainers in the U.S. have the right to be edgy and to push boundaries even if that includes being rude or profane.  He says that in our culture we accept that kind of language within the context of comedy where we wouldn’t accept it in other facets of life – or at least we used to.   Read Bubba’s piece here.

Mitchinson Exits KFBK, Sacramento Mornings. Sacramento news/talk KFBK parts ways with morning drive co-anchor Dan Mitchinson after almost four years.  Mitchinson worked alongside co-anchor Cristina Mendosa on the “KFBK Morning News” program.  The iHeartMedia station will announce a new co-anchor soon.  Mitchinson posted news of his exit on Facebook.  He wrote, in part, “‘Everything’s got to end sometime.  Otherwise nothing would ever get started.’ And with that (semi) favorite quote of mine, my time here at KFBK has come to an end.  I can’t say it was easy getting up most mornings around 1, but once I was in the car, heading to work, I looked forward to connecting with all of you on air and through social media and sharing stories.”

McCredden Named OM at Townsquare Media Quad Cities. Programming pro Ryan McCredden joins Townsquare Media as operations manager for the company’s five-station cluster in the Quad Cities that includes sports talk KJOC-FM “ESPN 93.5” and four music-formatted stations.  McCredden was most recently programming Houston sports talk outlets KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” and KIKK “CBS Sports Radio 650.”  He’s also programmed news/talk KQTH-FM, Tucson.  He says, “I’m thrilled to be able to work with the entire team at Townsquare Quad Cities and their great local brands.  We will have a lot of fun and I look forward to growing upon the success they’ve already achieved.”

Jacksonville Sports Talker Gets FM Translator. “930 The Game” gets an FM translator added to its signal.  iHeartMedia announces that sports talk WFXJ-AM, Jacksonville is now also heard on W247CF (licensed to Orange Park, Florida) at 97.3 FM.  The 99-watt signal covers the southeast portion of the Jacksonville metro. iHeartMedia SVP of programming Geewiz says, “Jacksonville was in need of a strong FM sports station.  We are very fortunate to have the legendary morning show with Mike Bianchi and ‘Harp on Sports with Seth Harp’ leading the sports world in Jacksonville.  The strong FM signal will allow ‘930 The Game’ to have an even wider reach.”

Manafort Sentencing and Trump-Russia Investigation Top News/Talk Stories for Week of March 11-15. The second sentencing of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and the related Trump-Russia investigation tied for the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the college entrance cheating scandal.  Coming in at #3 was the looming national emergency vote in the senate and the related border wall project, followed by the 2020 Democratic hopefuls and Beto O’Rourke’s entrance 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.

TALKERS News Notes. It’s been just over a year since ESPN returned Stephen A. Smith to a full-time, national radio show with ESPN Radio.  Now, the sports media giant is happy to report the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm Stephen A. Smith Show (simulcast on cable’s ESPNEWS) is enjoying a positive uptick in Nielsen’s PPM ratings.  ESPN says since August 2018 the show was up 23% in AQH share (men 25-54)…..The NFL’s Carolina Panthers are moving forward without longtime analyst Eugene Robinson in the radio booth alongside Mick Mixon and Jim Szoke.  Robinson – who was part of the Panthers Radio Network for 17 years – also co-hosts “Charlotte Today” on WCNC-TV, Charlotte.  Entercom’s WBT-AM/FM serves as the flagship station for Panthers radio play-by-play…..Westwood One is the official network radio partner of the NCAA and will present exclusive live coverage of the 2019 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, starting with First Four action on Tuesday, March 19.  WWO is producing radio play-by-play for all 67 games – including eight first-round and second-round games, plus regional semifinals and finals.  Westwood One is broadcasting live coverage of NCAA Men’s Final Four on Saturday, April 6 and the National Championship Game on Monday, April 8, in both English and Spanish…..Cumulus Media’s sports talk KBGG-AM, Des Moines “1700 The Champ” is the newest affiliate station of the Minnesota Twins’ Treasure Island Radio Network via Learfield.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. San Francisco morning personality Vinnie Hasson re-ups with Entercom’s hot AC KLLC “Alice @ 97.3” to continue co-hosting the station “Sarah and Vinnie” program with Sarah Clark.   Hasson says, “A thousand thanks to [Entercom SVP of programming] Michael Martin and [market manager] Greg Nemitz for their support and leadership, and to my wonderful partner Sarah – you are the best and I look forward to chopping it up with you every day.  I’m stoked to keep rolling with our great team and continue waking up the Bay Area every day.”…..On-air personality and programmer Cameron Moore is adding another set of music director duties to her responsibilities with Beasley Media Group’s Charlotte cluster.  Moore is now MD for WSOC “Country 1037” in addition to her role as midday personality and music director for sister CHR WNKS “KISS 95.1.”  WSOC program director Jack Daniel comments, “Cameron is experienced in the country music format.  She has a great work ethic and I’m very excited to have her on the ‘Country 1037’ team and cannot wait to utilize all of her creative input and perspective.”…..Beasley Media Group announces that the “Déjà vu Show” takes over the midday daypart on rhythmic oldies WUKS, Fayetteville, North Carolina “Old School 1077,” effective March 25.  As a result, Teddy Bear moves to the evening show (6:00 pm to 10:00 pm).  WUKS brand manager Kenny J says, “We are extremely excited to have the ‘Déjà vu Show’ here in Fayetteville.  Deja will bring lots of experience, high energy girlfriend talk and lots of fun!  She will take middays to a whole new level.”…..Premiere Networks-syndicated personality Elvis Duran is publishing his new memoir, Where Do I Begin? Stories (I Sort of Remember) From a Life Lived Out Loud, (October 2019, Atria) In promoting the book, Duran chatted with People magazine about his rise to fame, how he took control of his health, losing more than 100 pounds with the help of celebrity medico Dr. Oz, coming out as gay man on the radio, and how he manages to get major pop stars to talk so candidly about their personal lives.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

| March 7, 2019

KGO, San Francisco Announces New Lineup.  Bay Area news/talk icon KGO 810 is unveiling its new lineup of talk show hosts that will begin on Monday (3/11).  Earlier this week the station elected not to renew the contract of midday host Ethan Bearman.  Now, the Cumulus Media station announces three personalities are joining the daily lineup: Mark Thompson, Pat Thurston, and John Rothman. Thompson’s show airs from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon, Thurston is on from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm, and Rothman holds down the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm shift.  KGO program director and operations manager Lee Hammer says, “I’m excited to be able to add more live and local programming to KGO.  KGO is talking about the major stories of the day and the impact they have on our daily life.  To get those conversations started, we’ve added three outstanding and veteran talk show hosts, each with their own unique style of engaging, informing and entertaining our listeners.”  Mark Thompson has worked at KGO previously, in addition to KABC and KFI in Los Angeles. He’s also a veteran TV weather reporter and worked at KRON-TV, San Francisco.  Pat Thurston has been a weekend host at KGO for the past 12 years. She is an Army veteran who also worked for the Secret Service.  John Rothman has a varied professional background as a former college professor, author, lecturer, foreign policy consultant and expert on the U.S. presidency.  Rothman hosted various shows on KGO since 1996.

Chris Stigall and WPHT, Philadelphia Part Company.  Talk radio host Chris Stigall has exited Entercom’s news/talk WPHT, Philadelphia after almost nine years with the station.  As of Wednesday (3/6), Stigall’s bio, etc. was gone from the WPHT website and Jeff Bolton was sitting in on the morning show. Philadelphia Magazine reports it has confirmed that Stigall is no longer with the station.  Reporter Victor Fiorillo writes that “according to sources close to the Stigall situation, the split wasn’t ugly.  Those sources say that 1210AM simply decided not to renew Stigall’s contract.”  There’s been no public comment by Entercom about its plans to replace Stigall.  He’d arrived in Philly from Kansas City in 2010 where’d hosted a show on KCMO-AM.

Mike North Returns to Chicago Airwaves for Weekly Sports Betting Show on ‘ESPN 1000.’ Chicago sports radio icon Mike North is returning to the air as co-host of “The ODDS Couple” with Carmen DeFalco on ESPN’s WMVP “ESPN 1000.”   The weekly, one-hour program focused on sports betting debuts tomorrow (3/8) at 6:00 pm. WMVP vice president and general manager Jim Pastor says, “As sports betting moves from the shadows to the spotlight, we expect to be a destination for those who participate and those who want to be entertained.  This isn’t only going to be about updated betting lines and hot tips.  It’s about the highs, the lows, and how to succeed and have fun whether you’re a grizzled veteran or a newcomer to sports betting.  Those in betting circles already know of Mike’s incredible track record as a long-time gambling expert.  Bringing Mike back to Chicago’s airwaves to become a lead voice in local sports betting was too good to pass up.  Pairing him with ESPN1000’s resident gambling guru, Carmen DeFalco, was a no brainer.”  North spent most of his radio career on the air at crosstown sports talker WSCR “The Score.”  DeFalco co-hosts WMVP’s midday “Carmen & Jurko” show with John Jurkovic.

Details of Cox Media Group Assets Sale Revealed. Last month’s announcement by Cox Enterprises that it is selling its television assets, the Dayton Daily News and radio stations news/talk WHIO-AM/FM, classic hits WZLR, and country WHKO in Dayton to Apollo Global Management did not come with a price tag.  Now that details have been filed and made public, we know that Apollo will pay $3.1 billion for the media properties.  Technically, the buyer is Terrier Media Buyer Inc. and the two radio stations will operate under the Camelot Radio name.

Edison Research and Triton Digital Unveil The Infinite Dial 2019. The 2019 Infinite Dial study from Edison Research and Triton Digital has been made public and the companies say that the growth of podcasting is evident as among the U.S. population ages 12 and older, the total number of people who have ever listened to a podcast passes 50% for the first time. Edison Research SVP Tom Webster says, “This is a watershed moment for podcasting–a true milestone.  With over half of Americans 12+ saying that they have ever listened to a podcast, the medium has firmly crossed into the mainstream.”  Other findings from this year’s study include that more than half the U.S. population now reports having used YouTube specifically for music in the last week.  That number is now 70% among 12 to 34-year-olds.  It also found that the percentage of Americans who listen to online audio (defined as listening to AM/FM radio stations online and/or listening to streamed audio content available only on the internet) has doubled since 2012, growing from one-third of the population to two-thirds.  See more here.

Alana Lujan Named Director of Sales for CMG Jacksonville. Rising from integrated digital sales manager to director of sales for Cox Media Group’s Jacksonville radio cluster is Alana Lujan.  In her new role, she’ll lead the sales effort for the market’s radio and Local Solutions brands, including news/talk WOKV-FM, sports talk WOKV-AM “ESPN 690,” and six music radio outlets.  She says, “It’s an honor to have the opportunity to lead our strong and talented sales team in Jacksonville.  I’m excited for this new adventure and to bring my experience in broadcast and digital sales as well as my love of radio to help this team achieve new levels of success.”

MIW Group Extends Mentoring Program Application Deadline to March 11. Persons interested in applying for the Mentoring & Inspiring Women in Radio (MIW) Group’s 2019 MIW Group Mildred Carter Mentoring Program have until Monday, March 11 to do so.  This notable experience pairs up-and-coming women, who have spent a minimum of five years in the radio industry, with female professionals recognized as leaders in all aspects of radio broadcasting and media.  A total of four candidates from within the radio broadcasting industry – including management, sales, marketing, programming and digital disciplines – will be selected for the 2019 program. For mentee criteria, and instructions on how to apply, please visit www.radiomiw.com.

WOR’s Berman and Riedel Turn One!  Pictured above is the WOR, New York morning show team celebrating the one-year anniversary of the “Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning” show.  Pictured (from l-r) are: Michael Riedel, executive producer Natalie Vacca, and Len Berman.

U.S.-Mexico Border Situation, Trump-Russia Investigation/Manafort Sentencing, Democrats’ Anti-Semitism Resolution, North Korea Weapons Program, DNC Bars FOX, Anti-Vaxer Controversies, Alex Trebek Cancer Diagnosis, ‘Leaving Neverland’ Controversy, and NBA and NCAA Basketball Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/6). The large number of illegals reportedly crossing the U.S.-Mexico border; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related sentencing of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort; the fracture in the Democratic Party with no vote on the anti-Semitism resolution; reports of North Korea’s re-boot of its missile program; the Democratic National Committee’s barring FOX News from covering the Democratic primary debates; the various controversies over anti-vaccination beliefs; “Jeopary!” host Alex Trebek announces his diagnosis of stage four prostate cancer; the banning of Michael Jackson records and the aftermath of HBO’s “Leaving Neverland” film; and NBA and NCAA basketball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Metaphorical shock waves were felt across Southern California yesterday (3/6) when KROQ, Los Angeles morning personality Gene “Bean” Baxter announced he’d be leaving the “Kevin & Bean” show by the end of this year.  Baxter has hosted the show with Kevin Ryder on Entercom’s alternative station since 1990.  Telling his audience that “30 years is a good time to stop,” he says he plans to re-locate to England after he finishes his career with the station…..Cumulus Media and Westwood One announce that air personality Stew James will assume the afternoon drive host duties on WSM-FM, Nashville “95.5 NASH Icon and the national Westwood One NASH Icon Network. James has most recently served with the company as weekend air talent and technical producer of “The Ty Bentli Show.”…..The syndicated weekend radio show “Sunday Night Slow Jams” adds new affiliates to bring its total affiliate roster to 175 stations worldwide.  New stations include: XHTO-FM, El Paso; WLMI-FM, Lansing, Michigan; and KHTH-FM, Santa Rosa, California…..iHeartMedia and FOX Broadcasting Company announce that Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter T-Pain will serve as host of the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards taking place on March 14 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.  The live two-hour event will be broadcast live on FOX TV, iHeartMedia radio stations, and the iHeartRadio platform.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

| March 6, 2019

Great Lakes Media Names Leadership Team. The new media firm Great Lakes Media Corp. – founded by radio executive Tom Langmyer last year – announces the first of several appointments to its board of advisors and senior leadership team.  At the same time, the company says it is shifting its focus toward larger market acquisition opportunities.  CEO Langmyer adds the following media professionals to his team: John Gehron, chairman of AccuRadio, joins as board advisor;Gabe Hobbs joins as SVP, broadcast in which he’ll contribute from his experience in the areas of audience acquisition, content creation, talent development; and leadership; Chris Petersen joins as SVP, business & corporate development; and Bill Zaccheo joins as SVP, digital.  Langmyer says, “In building our company, we’ve been fortunate to partner with some of the most successful, respected, and admired leaders in media.  John Gehron, Chris Petersen, Bill Zaccheo, and Gabe Hobbs represent the first announced in a stellar group of people that will build tomorrow’s LOCAL media platform model…The current media model we’ve seen has been ‘top-down’ and focused on national distribution of national and white-labelled content.  The Great Lakes difference is a media model built from the ‘bottom-up’ and focused on local people creating local content and driving local revenue, while benefitting from the efficiencies that technology provides us all.  Radio and digital complement each other, as it’s not an either/or proposition. There’s great open space in creating more personal local experiences by leveraging these platforms and expanding the emotional connection between local consumers and brands.”

Urban One Reports 2018 Q4 Net Revenue Up 4.1%. The parent company of Radio OneUrban One, Inc. – reports financial data for the fourth quarter of 2018 and for the full year of 2018.  In Q4, Urban One’s net revenue was $113.5 million, up 4.1% from $109 million during the same period in 2017.  The company reports, “Net revenues from our radio broadcasting segment increased 16.5% compared to the same period in 2017. We experienced net revenue growth most significantly in our Atlanta, Baltimore, Charlotte, Cleveland, Detroit, Indianapolis, Raleigh, St. Louis, and Washington DC markets, with our Richmond market experiencing a decline for the quarter.” Urban One president and CEO Alfred C. Liggins III says, “I was pleased that we came in slightly ahead of our Adjusted EBITDA guidance, led by extremely strong radio performance.  Our radio segment revenue was up by 16.5% including political advertising, and by 8.8% excluding political.  For the quarter, we outperformed the radio markets in which we operate by 850 bps.  Our Cable TV operation posted strong growth in advertising revenues, up 9.3%, driven by increased direct response rates, and additional ad units, which was offset by a modest decline in affiliate revenues (-2.0%).  Our digital revenues underperformed expectations, and we have taken significant steps to remediate.  I expect improved performance from the division in 2019.  In December, we substantially completed the refinancing of our 2020 Notes, which significantly extends the Company’s debt maturity profile.  On January 19, 2019 we successfully launched our new Women’s lifestyle channel, Cleo TV, which will further enhance our ability to entertain and inform our core consumers.”

Ben Shapiro Showing ‘Significant Growth’ for Westwood One. Conservative media star Ben Shapiro is “experiencing significant growth with a growing lineup of new station affiliates, major markets reporting ratings lifts, and an accumulation of engaged younger listeners – all coming out of the gate in his first PPM ratings report,” according to syndicator Westwood One.  The company says Shapiro’s shows are now heard on 200 stations, including in nine of the top 10 markets.   Cumulus Media EVP of marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “We knew that Ben was a hot commodity among millennials and younger demos, and now we have the numbers to prove it.  In less than 60 days Ben has amassed an impressive portfolio of more than 200 stations. We are excited to fuel this exponential growth as he continues to resonate with radio listeners and advertisers.” Shapiro is editor-in-chief of DailyWire.com.  His two-hour live radio show is preceded by a one-hour podcast broadcast, that airs at 3:00 pm ET.  Stations have the option to take the one-hour podcast broadcast, the two-hour live show, or the three-hour combination.

Bob Matthews Returns to Air After a Month Away from WHAM, Rochester. Sports talk host Bob Matthews was back on the air on iHeartMedia’s WHAM, Rochester hosting his show after more than a month away from the mic.  Matthews slipped on ice leaving the radio station on February 1 and broke his ankle in three places.  He tells the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle that he’s still unable to put weight on it but is thankful to be able to return to hosting his show.  The story notes that in Matthews’ absence, the station has been using sister WHTK personality Carl Falk, former Democrat & Chronicle sports writers Kevin Oklobzija and Jeff DiVeronica, Democrat & Chronicle content editor Steve Bradley, Rochester Red Wings public relations director Nate Rowan, and Salvatore “Soccer Sam” Fantauzzo as fill-in hosts.

PPM Analysis: January’s Major Movers. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian looks at the stations that experienced “major moves” as a result of coming off the Holiday 2018 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio and returning to “normal” listening patterns reflected in the January 2019 survey.  As is usual, stations that went all-Christmas come down to earth in January.  But their loss is someone else’s gain to some degree or another.  In this report you can see which stations gained the most — and lost the most — from Holiday to January by format, by market and more.  See it all here.

Sun & Fun to Launch Key Networks Syndication Company. The press release from Sun & Fun Media gives no indication of the type of programming it intends to syndicated under the new Key Networks banner – whether it’s music, talk, or sports – but Sun & Fun co-founder Rob Koblasz says, “We have launched Key Networks with a limited exclusive roster that we look forward to begin rolling out shortly.  Key Networks will provide dedicated marketing and promotional opportunities for every show we partner with through Sun & Fun Media, enabling Key Networks’ affiliates to sell these promotions in their local markets.  This turnkey solution connects great programming to custom promotions – a first for radio, and one we are proud to introduce.”   Sun & Fun chief revenue officer Dennis Green adds, “Key Networks is the answer to the radio industry’s increasing need for creative, engaging, and diverse programming to markets of all sizes.  I am excited to build Key Networks’ product offerings and grow the company’s affiliate base through Key Networks.  To all our current and future Key Networks partners and affiliates: Get ready for greatness!”

TALKERS News Notes. Longtime FOX News Channel star Bill O’Reilly was victorious in federal court recently after a judge tossed a defamation suit filed against him by former FOX News Channel producer Rachel Witlieb Bernstein.  O’Reilly, who exited FNC in 2017 after a series of sexual harassment allegations by former FNC staffers, was accused along with the network of disparaging her by saying no employees had taken advantage of a FOX human resources hotline for reporting improper behavior when that hotline didn’t exist at the time of her complaint and settlement back in 2002.  According to Variety’s report on the matter, the judge ruled Bernstein failed to prove she suffered any harm as a result of the comments by O’Reilly and the network…..SiriusXM is presenting play-by-play coverage of 27 NCAA Division I college basketball conference tournaments this postseason, totaling more than 140 men’s and women’s games.   Listeners will get every men’s tournament game from the ACC, Big East, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC, American Athletic, Ivy League, Missouri Valley and Mountain West conferences, and every game of the women’s ACC and SEC Tournaments…..iHeartMedia is launching a tornado relief effort for victims of the recent Alabama storms through its stations in Birmingham, Auburn, Gadsden, and Tuscaloosa.  It’s partnering with the Alabama Broadcasting Association for the iHeartRadio Lee County Tornado Relief fundraiser to benefit Community Foundation of East Alabama’s Long-Term Recovery Fund.  ABA president Sharon M. Tinsley says, “As residents of Alabama and members of the broadcast community, we are devastated by the loss of life and the many homes, businesses and churches destroyed by tornadoes this Sunday.  It’s always difficult to look at the images after a disaster but, when it’s your neighbors and so many of them are gone, it’s especially hard to accept.  Broadcasters are always there for the communities they serve and at times like these, we bring everyone together in a way like no other.”

House Trump Investigation/Cohen Testimony, Trump-Russia Probe, AOC Campaign Finance Allegations, Increased Illegal Border Activity, House Anti-Semitism Resolution, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, North Korea Rocket Program, and NBA and NCAA Basketball Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/5).  The expansive U.S. House investigation into President Trump’s businesses, his campaign, and more and the related new testimony from former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen; the status of the probe into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the allegations of campaign finance violations against Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez; the intense increase in illegal activity at the U.S.-Mexico border; the U.S. House’s anti-Semitism resolution being taken up on the heels of comments by Rep. Ilhan Omar; the list of Democratic candidates vying to take on President Trump in 2020; new evidence indicating North Korean is reigniting its rocket program; and NBA and NCAA basketball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Michael Killbrew moves from iHeartMedia’s Indianapolis cluster where he was SVP of programming to the company’s Washington, DC operations to take on the director of rock programming position for alternative WWDC “DC101” and classic rock WBIG “BIG 100.”  iHeartMedia region SVP of programming for iHeartMedia Washington and Baltimore Jeff Kapugi says, “I am excited to have Mike Killabrew join iHeartMedia Washington D.C. to lead our iconic rock brands, ‘BIG 100’ and ‘DC101.’  Along with his impressive tenure of experience with iHeartMedia, Mike has an unparalleled passion and energy for the rock formats that will elevate and impact our brands from day one.”…..Detroit radio personality Sandy Kovach is the new evening host on Entercom’s adult contemporary WDZH “98.7 The Breeze.”  Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “‘The Breeze’ was launched to offer Detroit relaxing favorites to help the day breeze by.  We are pleased to introduce an equally relaxing evening show.  Sandy Kovach is already well-known to the Motor City community and we are excited to welcome her to the station.  Her show will be a unique blend of soft favorites and positive lifestyle content that our listeners will be able to unwind to.”  Kovach has served in on-air roles for Smooth Jazz Network, The eScapes Network, as well as Motor City stations WDVD WMGC.…..On-air pro Jon Kleeman, a.k.a. Jax, joins Radio FM Media’s CHR KLTA, Fargo “Big 98.7” as afternoon drive personality and music director, effective March 19.  He comes to Fargo from his most recent gig with Cumulus Media’s CHR KKCT, Bismarck, North Dakota…..Entravision Communications strikes a steaming audio distribution agreement with iHeartMedia to make its radio stations available via the iHeartRadio platform.  Under the agreement, Entravision’s 49 owned-and-operated stations will be available on iHeartRadio, effective immediately.

Cool Sales Position. WAWZ, Zarephath, New Jersey “Star 99.1” is seeing a full-time advertising sales person. This full-time position includes work in the office and travel throughout the NY metropolitan area to meet with customers and prospects.  Over-achievers strongly encouraged to apply!  A proven track record in radio or media sales is a pre-requisite, and high standards of business integrity are expected.  We offer a positive working environment, and the satisfaction of doing a job that “counts.”  Qualified candidates should send letter and resume to jobs@star991.com or mail to: Jobs, Star 99.1, P.O. Box 9058, Zarephath, NJ 08890. No calls please.  Star 99.1 is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

January 2019 PPM Analysis: Rhythmic CHR

| March 1, 2019

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

Our four-part series reviewing January 2019 ratings performances continues with a thorough examination of rhythmic CHR.

Earlier recaps addressed all-news (Wednesday, 2/27) and sports talk (yesterday, 2/28).

Our rhythmic CHR analysis is comprised of data from PPM-market facilities that rank in the top 20 (6+, January 2019).

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

The company’s January 2019 ratings period covered January 3 – 30.

Read More

Friday, March 1, 2019

| March 1, 2019

Cumulus Assumes Operation of Entercom’s Indy Stations; Initial Staff Cuts Take Place. The recent deal that will see Cumulus Media take over ownership of three of Entercom’s Indianapolis stations enters the LMA phase.  Cumulus took over operations at 12:01 am (3/1) and staff being let go were told of their dismissal.  According to Blaine Thompson of Indiana Radio Watch, gone from sports talk WXNT is program director and afternoon drive host Kent Sterling.  He’d been with the station since 2014.  Also exiting their posts are social media coordinator Chelsie Nickell and adult contemporary WNTR-FM afternoon personality and APD Kari “KJ” Johll.

‘Big Al’ Williams Exits ‘104.3 The Fan’ in Denver. Sports talk personality Alfred Williams, a.k.a. Big Al, leaves his role with Bonneville’s KKFN-FM, Denver “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan.”  The station says via social media that “Alfred ‘Big Al’ Williams has chosen to leave the station effective today.  We thank Alfred for his many contributions during his years with The Fan and wish him the best in his future endeavors.”  He hosted “The Drive” with Darren McKee.  Unknown at this time is who will join McKee on KKFN’s afternoon show and whether or not former Broncos linebacker Williams is soon to pop up on another Denver sports talk station.

Armstrong & Getty Out Front on Call for Firing of UC Davis Prof. The story of University of California Davis professor Joshua Clover’s statement, “Police officers need to be killed,” is making national news but it’s happening right in the backyard of KSTE, Sacramento-based, nationally syndicated talk hosts Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty.  The University has condemned the words of Clover, but Armstrong & Getty are calling for his dismissal from the school.  The duo hosted the school paper’s associate opinion editor Nick Irvin on their radio show for a discussion about the story that you can hear here.

WLS-AM, Chicago Adds Jenniffer Weigel to Mancow Morning Show. As reported by Chicago media maven Robert Feder, Windy City media personality Jenniffer Weigel is joining WLS-AM’s morning show alongside host Erich Mancow Muller as sidekick and traffic reporter.  Weigel is an author, broadcaster, and journalist who most recently was serving with the Chicago Sun-Times as director of community development and a content contributor.  Another accomplished Chicago media personality – former WGN-AM news anchor Judy Pielach – sat in with Mancow in late January auditioning for a contributor role on the program.  It’s unclear if Weigel’s position (she begins on Monday, March 4) is the same one for which Pielach auditioned.

WABC, New York/Westwood One’s John Batchelor Battles Cancer While Continuing His On-Air Work.  Late night radio host John Batchelor has been handling his duties at Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York and Westwood One‘s affiliate stations while dealing with the effects of surgery and radiation treatments for oropharyngeal cancer that affected his tongue and, consequently, his ability to speak without effort.  Batchelor’s ordeal is the focus of a piece in the current edition of the publication Princeton Alumni Weekly.  Batchelor is a 1970 graduate of the Ivy League school.  He had surgery back in early November and that was followed by six weeks of radiation treatments that took a toll on his voice.  All the while, Batchelor was determined not to let it affect his work at WABC.  He intends to follow through on the plan to take his show on the road to Azerbaijan this month.

Entercom Responds to SAG-AFTRA’s Public Statement.  On Wednesday, TALKERS magazine reported a statement from the SAG-AFTRA union that its members working for Entercom in the Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and San Francisco markets are disappointed with the company’s proposals for new union contracts.  Specifically, the union says they are unhappy the company is “seeking to dramatically slash severance benefits and eliminate jobs with the expanded use of pre-recorded and non-local shows.”  Entercom has replied with the following public statement it shared with TALKERS magazine. “We are incredibly proud of the award-winning work of our on-air teams and value their contributions to the company and the communities we serve.  We have been negotiating with SAG-AFTRA in good faith to reach fair agreements.  These discussions include contracts that had been open for years prior to our merger with CBS Radio, as well as more recently expired agreements.  We prefer to negotiate directly with SAG-AFTRA and our employees, not publicly, and do not intend to comment further.”

Sean Hannity Airs Exclusive Trump Interview. Nationally syndicated radio star and FOX News Channel personality Sean Hannity traveled to Hanoi, Vietnam to cover President Trump’s meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.  Hannity was able to meet with the president for an exclusive interview and a portion of that was broadcast during his Premiere Networks radio program yesterday with additional coverage airing on his FNC program last night (2/28).  Hannity also broadcast from Singapore during last year’s first summit between the two leaders.

TeleSouth Closes on Biloxi Station Group. The deal that transfers ownership of six Biloxi, Mississippi radio stations from Alpha Media to TeleSouth Communications for $2.5 million has closed.  The stations are: sports talk duo WANG-AM/WTNI-AM, rock WCPR-FM, hip hop WGBL-FM, adult hits WQBB-FM, and CHR WXYK-FM.  As noted back in December when the sale was first announced, TeleSouth already owns news/talk WOSM-FM that airs the company’s “SuperTalk” format heard on 11 other stations across the state.  To comply with FCC ownership caps, TeleSouth will divest of WXYK-FM.  Kalil & Co., Inc. was the exclusive broker for this transaction.

Lineup Changes Announced at WKRD, Louisville. Sports talk WKRD, Louisville “Cards Radio 790” announces that “The Red Zone with Nick Coffey” moves from the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot to mornings, airing from 7:00 am to 10:00 am, effective immediately. Taking over the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart is FOX Sports Radio’s “The Herd with Colin Cowherd.”

WGY, Albany Launches ‘Upstate Unsolved’ Podcast. The new iHeartRadio Original Podcast “Upstate Unsolved” is hosted by iHeartMedia’s WGY, Albany reporter Phoebe LaFave.  It investigates the March 2, 1998 disappearance of University of Albany student Suzanne Lyall that remains unsolved.  The debut episode is airing on WGY at 5:00 pm on March 2 with new episodes posting every Thursday on iHeartRadio.

Bill Clark to Be Honored with Lowry Mays Award from the Broadcasters Foundation of America. The 2019 Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award will be given to Bill Clark – the previous president of Shamrock Broadcasting and chairman of Chancellor Broadcasting – at the Broadcasters Foundation of America’s annual breakfast on Wednesday, April 10 in the Brahms Room of the Encore Hotel in Las Vegas, during the NAB Show.  The Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award is bestowed annually on an individual in broadcasting whose work exemplifies innovation, community service, advocacy, and entrepreneurship.  It salutes its namesake Lowry Mays and is underwritten by The Mays Family Foundation.  As president of Shamrock Broadcasting’s radio division, Clark created one of the first ‘super groups,’ decades before consolidation.  Under his leadership, Shamrock grew from nine radio stations to 21, with outlets in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Detroit, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, Denver, Kansas City, and Minneapolis.  When the company was sold to Chancellor Broadcasting, Clark was named its chairman with responsibilities for both radio and television.

Michael Cohen Testimony Top News/Talk Story for Week of February 25 – March 1.  The congressional testimony of former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the summit between President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.  Coming in at #3 was the status of the Trump-Russia investigation, followed by the trade war with China 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.

A Powerful Conversation Connecting the Dots Between Robert Kraft, Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Huawei, 5G and the Chinese Communist Party’s Unrestricted War to Control the World.  The story about New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s ensnarement in a Florida police sting busting a prostitution ring prompted TALKERS publisher and Pats fan Michael Harrison to produce a special installment of his weekly podcast inspired by the event.  Harrison states, “I annually spend a few months during the winter at my home and office in the small beachside town of Jupiter, Florida.  That’s where I was on Friday, February 22 – the day a local news story of national interest rocked the community…Robert Kraft getting busted for patronizing an allegedly illicit massage parlor operating under the seemingly innocent name, Orchids of Asia Day Spa, just one mile from my home here.  At first, the story seemed like another celebrity gossip story…a rich, powerful man gets in trouble for breaking the law regarding the victimless crime of prostitution – fodder for snickers and sports talk show speculation.  But it didn’t take long before the underlying seriousness of the story began to surface – the issue of sex trafficking and the broader issue of human trafficking.  It seems this so-called day spa was suspected of employing the services of female sex slaves – some possibly underage.  Whether Robert Kraft understood or cared about the connection of his activity to this nasty subject is to be determined at another time and another place. My thoughts on it, however, immediately turned to the China connection on human trafficking and its broader implications in the ongoing story of US/China relations – the Donald Trump trade war, the tariffs, the meeting this past week between US and Chinese leaders working toward a trade agreement, the impact of the giant Chinese telecom company Huawei at the recent MWC Barcelona in Spain, the world’s leading mobile electronics trade show, and the role of that murky technological innovation called 5G in determining who will in fact control the world going forward into the 21st century.”  Harrison turned to his “go-to” guy on US/China affairs, Joshua Philipp, to be his guest on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Philipp is a senior investigative reporter at the New York-based, multi-language, international news organization The Epoch Times that specializes in keeping tabs on the Chinese Communist Party. The result is a fascinating and remarkably informative conversation that is a must-listen for talk show hosts and reporters seeking to gain a better understanding of a complex web of intrigue that significantly threatens United States national security.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro Suzi Hanks exits her role on Houston classic rocker KGLK where she was a cast member on “The Dean and Rog Show.”  Hanks spent 17 years with the Cox Media Group station in a number of programming capacities.….The “BOB FM” format returns to the Panama City, Florida market after last October’s Hurricane Michael damaged Powell Broadcasting’s WASJ-FM, knocking it off the air.  Powell sold the station to Gulf Coast Broadcasting who is returning the Envision Networks-repped format to the station’s air.  Gulf Coast owner Sam Rogatinsky says, “We faced multiple hurdles getting these stations back up, but we are now ready to have fun and we invite the local community to call us with feedback.”…..Westwood One announces that Country Radio Hall of Famer Steve Harmon is the new morning host on its 24/7 Mainstream Country format, effective on Monday (3/4).  Harmon has served with KPLX, Dallas; WXTU, Philadelphia; KNIX, Phoenix and earned a CMA “Major Market Personality of the Year” award…..Pictured below is WAY-FM Mid-South regional manager & Dallas/Ft. Worth general manager Tim Dukes and his wife Susan posing for a photo with former President George W. Bush at a recent fundraiser held in Austin, Texas.

PPM Analysis: Rhythmic CHR. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s January PPM survey, today focusing on rhythmic CHR.  See how stations performed (6+) compared to the Holiday 2018 survey, compared to January 2017, and where stations ranked in their respective markets here.

Cool Morning Radio Opportunity. There’s a full-time morning show opportunity at Connoisseur Media’s rock WPLR, New Haven on the “Chaz and AJ” show.  The company seeks a passionate, open, digital savvy, connected talent as the third voice, traffic reporter, and guest booker for “Chaz and AJ.”  This morning show personality must be a creative thinker and have the ability to be topical, relevant, connected, and authentic in their on-air work and connected to the demographics of PLR.  This candidate will also be expected to book guests, stay on top of current events, pitch topics/stunts and show arcs as well as build a relationship with the major players in the Connecticut political, entertainment, and news world.  Qualifications include: a minimum of 3 years on-air (TV or radio) experience; deliver traffic reports; an understanding of all aspects of social media; interact with the public at major events and an ability to demonstrate a professional appearance and demeanor in/outside of the radio station; and more.  If you are a qualified candidate, send a 3-minute demo with your resume and salary requirements to: connoisseurctjobs@gmail.com with “CHAZ AND AJ” in the subject line.

January 2019 PPM Analysis: Sports Talk

| February 28, 2019

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

LOS ANGELES — Our four-part series of comprehensive January 2019 PPM overviews continues with a look at sports talk.

The following scoreboards are comprised of sports talk facilities that rank in the top 20 in any of the 48 PPM-markets (6+, January 2019).

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

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Thursday, February 28, 2019

| February 28, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

| February 26, 2019

Cumulus Media Preliminary Q4 2018 Net Revenue Up Near 5%. The company will not release its actual fourth quarter 2018 and full-year financial data until March 18.  But Cumulus Media filed an 8-K form with the Securities Exchange Commission on Monday (2/25) that indicates it expects net revenue for the fourth quarter of 2018 to be up in the 4.5% to 5.2% range.  For the full year of 2018, it expects net revenue to be in the $1.14 billion neighborhood – basically flat compared to the full year of 2017 when net revenue was $1.135 billion.  Cumulus notes that these preliminary unaudited results are not adjusted to reflect the impact of the recently announced divestiture of six stations to Educational Media Foundation.  That would have lopped $23 million to $25 million off the full-year net revenue figure.  The filing also reveals that the company is pacing flat for the first quarter of 2019.

Henry Lake to Host Late Nights on WCCO-AM, Minneapolis. The Entercom Twin Cities news/talker adds a new, late-night show to its program schedule hosted by Henry Lake.  WCCO-AM’s new “Lake Night” will debut on March 11.  Lake comes to Entercom from his most recent gig as an air personality at the company’s sports talk KCSP, Kansas City.  He’s served with Upper Midwest sports talk giant KFXN, Minneapolis “KFAN” as a host in the past.  Entercom Minneapolis SVP and market manager Shannon Knoepke says, “The introduction of a new late-night show allows for our station to better serve our listeners as they are winding down their days.  We are thrilled to welcome Henry to our broadcast team in the Twin Cities and look forward to his fresh perspective on the daily events and topics that matter most.”

KIRO-AM, Seattle Announces New Programming Additions. Seattle sports talk KIRO-AM is adding air personalities Stacy Rost and Jake Heaps to the evening “Seattle Sports At Night” show hosted by Curtis Rogers.  Rost is a reporter, website content provider and Seattle Seahawks insider for the Bonneville station and former Seahawk Heaps joined KIRO-AM last year as a part-time host and weekly guest on the “Bob, Groz, and Tom” midday show.  KIRO-AM program director Mike Salk says, “Curtis has done an incredible job hosting this spot solo, but we are excited to add Stacy and Jake as hosts as well.  Stacy has made a huge impact on our building and we are thrilled to add a regular hosting spot to her 710Sports.com writing duties. Jake has been a huge contributor as a guest host, football analyst, and digital/video star.” Curtis Rogers is also part of the new weekend show, “Seattle Sports Saturday,” with co-hosts Lydia Cruz and Taylor Jacobs that debuts on March 2 in the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon slot.

iHeartMedia Acquires Audio Tech Firm Radiojar. The press release makes no mention of the financial aspects of this deal but iHeartMedia says that, through its subsidiary RCS, it will acquire Greece-based Radiojar Information Technology S.A. – a firm whose technology is “a centralized, cloud-based audio playout platform.”  The release further states that “with Radiojar’s sophisticated cloud-based assets and engineering, iHeartMedia and other RCS clients, will now have a platform to easily combine or parse individual audio elements such as DJ voice tracks, music, and broadcast spots to create, manage, distribute, and monetize streams, podcasts, and other audio content in real-time from anywhere.”  iHeartMedia COO Rich Bressler says, “We recognize that broadcast radio has a very unique set of programming tools that make listening a smoother and more enjoyable experience.  These new capabilities will allow for the seamless nature that has only been available on radio to transition to other audio mediums including digital stations and podcasts.”

SiriusXM Talk Host Dean Obeidallah Sues Neo-Nazi for $1 Million.  According to a story in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Muslim-American comic and SiriusXM talk show host Dean Obeidallah is suing neo-nazi Andrew Anglin – founder of The Daily Stormer – for $1 million for falsely accusing him of being the mastermind behind the May 2017 terror attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England.  Obeidallah is asking the court for $250,000 in compensatory damages and $1 million in punitive damages from Anglin.  Obeidallah’s complaint charges that Anglin libeled him by falsely naming him as mastermind of the attack and went so far as to plant fake Twitter messages claiming responsibility that appeared to come from Obeidallah’s account.

TALKERS News Notes. This week’s summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un is being covered extensively by the news networks. ABC News is broadcasting from Hanoi, Vietnam and will present coverage and analysis via ABCNews.com (in addition to regularly scheduled TV coverage) and ABC News Radio will provide extensive coverage anchored by correspondent Aaron Katersky with reporting by correspondent Karen Travers, including special reports and one-minute status reports.  The “Start Here” podcast will provide a special episode focusing on the summit…..Westwood One News is also in Hanoi for the summit.  White House correspondent Bob Costantini is there providing dozens of live custom reports for affiliates, appearing on Westwood One long-form news and talk programs, and reporting on Westwood One newscasts.…..Bay Area progressive news/talk KKSF-AM “Real Talk 910” adds “The Big Interview” with Dan Rather to its program schedule.  The show is being produced by AXS TV and is distributed by KMG Networks…..According to a report by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, two new podcasts are coming from radio broadcasters in the Windy City.  First, WSCR “The Score” personality Julie DiCaro is launching “The Score: Behind the Headlines.”  The first subject will be the 1993 murder of Michael Jordan’s father, James.  Second, urban talk WVON morning host Maze Jackson and Salem Radio Network/WIND host Joe Walsh are producing a weekly podcast titled, “Uncomfortable Conversations,” an extension of their recent co-hosted live events of the same name…..Crossover Media Group is taking on ad sales responsibilities for the new podcast from Dr. Laura Schlessinger called, “Dr. Laura Call of the Day.”  CMG is also handling ad sales and sponsorship support for the show’s social-media channels.

Trump-Kim Summit, Trump-Russia Investigation, Cohen Testimony, Border Wall/Emergency Declaration Vote, Kraft Arrest-Sex Trafficking Issue, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, Venezuela Violence, Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Scandals, Sunday Night’s Oscars Show, and NBA/NCAA Hoops Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/25).  This week’s meeting in Vietnam of President Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un; the status of the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; former Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s scheduled congressional testimony; the U.S.-Mexico border wall and the effort to stop President Trump’s emergency declaration to pay for it; the arrest of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft on prostitution soliciting charges and the larger issue of human sex trafficking; the Democrats hoping to challenge Trump in the 2020 election; the violence in Venezuela as Nicolas Maduro tries to remain in power; Pope Francis addresses the numerous sexual abuse scandals within the Catholic Church; Sunday night’s Academy Awards telecast; and NBA and NCAA basketball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Kashon Powell is promoted to vice president of programming for Radio One’s Washington, Baltimore, and Philadelphia markets.  She’s been serving as operations manager for the six-station DC cluster while programming its urban contemporary WMMJ as well as the syndicated “Russ Parr Morning Show” and “Love and R&B with John Monds” programs.  Radio One CEO David Kantor says, “I’m delighted to have Kashon in this position.  Not only has she proved to be an outstanding programmer with the huge success of our Washington cluster, but it will be great to have the voice of a woman, our primary demographic, among our senior programmers.  I know Kashon’s contributions to the company will be enormous.”…..At Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s country WRTB, Rockford, Illinois “95.3 The Bull” promotes afternoon drive personality Gordon Mays to assistant program director.

Friday, February 22, 2019

| February 22, 2019

Entercom Q4 Same-Station Net Revenue Up 4%.  Since Entercom closed the CBS RADIO deal in mid-November of 2017, comparisons of fourth quarter 2018 to fourth quarter of 2017 are only relevant on a same-station basis.  Entercom certainly became a much bigger player in the radio business from a revenue standpoint as a result of the CBS merger. Its net revenue for the full year of 2018 was $1.46 billion – almost three times as much as the full year of 2017 that totaled $593 million.  On a same-station basis, the fourth quarter of 2018 was good – up 4% on same-station net revenue of $411 million.  But for the whole of 2018, same-station net revenue shrank 3.9% – from $1.52 billion in 2017 to $1.46 billion in 2018.  Entercom president and CEO David Field says, “I am pleased to report that Entercom delivered strong organic revenue and EBITDA growth in Q4 as our performance continues to accelerate across the organization and we gain traction on our various scale-driven growth initiatives.  2018 was a year of transformational enhancements on many fronts and we begin 2019 as a much stronger organization than we were a year ago.  We are making excellent progress across our strategic focus areas, including Radio.com which is now the fastest growing digital audio app in the US, Entercom Analytics which has grown to exceed 5,000 connected customers, and the Entercom Audio Network which is gaining significant momentum.  2019 is off to a good start with solid pacing growth in the first and second quarters and we are excited about the year ahead.”

Juliet Huddy Joins Curtis Sliwa for WABC Middays. Beginning Monday, 77 WABC Radio adds former FOX News Channel personality Juliet Huddy to the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show with Curtis Sliwa for the new “Curtis and Juliet” show.  Most recently, WABC had paired Sliwa with Rita Cosby – who had been with the station as political editor, as well – but she exited the station in late December.  Huddy began her career with FOX News Channel in 1998 working out of its Miami and Los Angeles bureaus.  She moved to the NYC headquarters in 2001 and worked on “FOX & Friends,” “DaySide,” and her own nationally syndicated talk show, “The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet.”  She left FNC in September of 2016 to launch the music website, BlondeAndCrossbones.com – dedicated to hard rock and heavy metal.   Sliwa says, “I worked with Juliet Huddy for four years on ‘Good Day Early Call NY.’  We were like a brother and sister arguing and discussing the issues of the day.  They were not just political.  We delved into cultural, social, and personal issues, especially male/female issues that most people are interested in.  WABC is giving us that opportunity to talk about those same issues in this age where Trump talk dominates the airwaves from a male/female perspective.”  Huddy adds, “I’m genuinely so excited to host alongside Curtis.  We’ve become more than colleagues over the years; we’re friends.”

Entercom Brings Cox Media Group and Bonneville Content Aboard RADIO.COM. In content distribution deals with both Cox Media Group and Bonneville, live channels for all of those companies’ stations as well as on-demand audio will be available on Entercom’s RADIO.COM platform. Entercom chief digital officer J.D. Crowley says, “We are pleased to welcome Cox Media Group’s radio stations and Bonneville and their great content to the RADIO.COM platform as we continue to expand our premium content offerings to super-serve our large and rapidly growing audience of listeners across hundreds of devices.  Great partnerships like these further strengthen RADIO.COM’s position as the premiere destination for live and on-demand audio news, entertainment, music and sports content in markets all across the U.S.”  CMG content on RADIO.COM includes live-stream broadcasts from 55 stations in 11 markets in addition to leading podcasts like “The Von Haessler Doctrine” and “The Mark Kaye Show.”  Bonneville content includes live streams from 22 local radio stations in six markets, as well as leading podcasts such as “Above & Beyond: The Intersection of Faith and Sports,” “Your Last Meal,” “Mindfulness, Wellness & You,” and “Stuff Your Dad Knows.”

Border Wall Emergency Declaration Top News/Talk Story for Week of February 18-22. The political battle over President Trump’s emergency declaration to fund the U.S.-Mexico wall project was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the status of the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents.  Coming in at #3 was the slate of Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020, followed by the Jussie Smollett “attack” case 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.

TALKERS News Notes. Radio pro Bob Stei joins Media Staffing Network as account manager and recruiter.  The media staffing and consulting firm says that Stei is charged with guiding a variety of functions.  Founder and CEO Laurie Kahn says, “Over the past two years, MSN has significantly increased its number of hiring solutions, ranging from placing a wider array of positions across media to developing hands-on and online tools that help media companies hire more effectively, strategically, and proactively.  Bob brings a passion and knowledge about broadcasting and recruiting that will help MSN expand into new areas.”   During his career, Stei has served at such stations as WNEW-FM, New York; WMGK, Philadelphia; WBAB, Long Island; and WCHR, Toms River, New Jersey…..Singer and actor Joey Fantone launches a new podcast with manager and longtime friend Joe Mulvihill via PodcastOne called “Two Cups of Joe.”  The former NSYNC singer was recently “unmasked” on the hit TV show “The Masked Singer” and in the premiere episode he talks with Donnie Wahlberg, who was rumored to be under the rabbit mask as the show’s suspense built…..Tenderfoot TV and Cadence13 announce the launch of a new true crime podcast called, “To Live and Die in LA,” hosted by award-winning journalist and Rolling Stone contributing editor Neil Strauss.  The series takes a deep dive into the mysterious disappearance of 25-year-old aspiring actress Adea Shabani, who disappeared from her apartment complex near Hollywood’s famous Walk of Fame in February of last year…..Westwood One and NBC Sports Radio announce a rare hockey hat trick happening this weekend as broadcasters Kenny Albert and Joe Micheletti will call three NHL games during a 24-hour period for MSG Networks, Westwood One, and NBC Sports Radio.  On Saturday at 1:00 pm ET, the New York Rangers host the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Micheletti will be joined in the broadcast booth by play-by-play announcer Sam Rosen.  Albert, now in his 23rd season as the radio voice of the Rangers, will simultaneously call the play-by-play action on WEPN “ESPN 98.7,” the radio home of the Rangers, alongside analyst Dave Maloney.  Following the game, Albert and Micheletti will go straight to Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia and team up to broadcast Westwood One/NBC Sports Radio’s national radio coverage of the NHL Stadium Series matchup between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night at 8:00 pm ET.  Albert and Micheletti will be joined onsite by rinkside reporter Kelly Chase and host Steve Mears.  After the game, the duo will then travel down south to Washington, DC for MSG Networks’ television and radio broadcast of the New York Rangers/Washington Capitals game on Sunday at 12:30 pm ET at Capital One Arena.  Albert and Micheletti serve as Westwood One/NBC Sports Radio’s lead NHL broadcast crew and will be on the call together for select playoff games this year, including their fourth straight season calling the Stanley Cup Final.

TALKERS Publisher Visits Hubbard Cluster in West Palm Beach.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison paid a visit to longtime colleagues at the Hubbard Radio cluster headquarters in West Palm Beach, Florida yesterday (2/21).  While there, he guested for an hour of on-air conversation about the hot issues with WFTL, Fort Lauderdale/Miami/West Palm Beach midday host (and TALKERS Heavy Hundred member) Joyce Kaufman (above, left). He also visited with the cluster’s creative director (and production wizard) Mick McCabe (below, right) who worked with Harrison as producer/board op for the legendary “Harrison’s Mic” talk show on KMET, Los Angeles back in the early 1980s.

BFoA Announces New Time for Lombardo Charity Golf Tournament. The Broadcasters Foundation of America reports that this year’s Philip J. Lombardo Charity Golf Tournament will begin at 8:00 am for registration and breakfast, followed by a shot-gun start at 9:00 am on Sunday, April 7, at the Bali Hai Golf Club in Las Vegas.  The annual fundraiser is held during the NAB Show in honor of the Broadcasters Foundation chairman emeritus Philip J. Lombardo and raises money to help broadcasters in acute need.  The BFoA says, “Every year, top-level broadcast industry leaders and celebrities turn out in support of the Foundation’s mission and to enjoy a morning of golf with their colleagues before the NAB kicks into high gear.”  For more information on purchasing a spot or a foursome, please click here.

Cumulus Rising Talk Radio Star Larry O’Connor Is This Week’s Guests on Harrison Podcast. WMAL, Washington, DC/KABC, Los Angeles radio talk show host Larry O’Connor is this week’s guest on the PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  For the past several years, O’Connor, based in the nation’s capital, has been successfully hosting the 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm afternoon drive show on Cumulus Media’s Washington, DC powerhouse WMAL-AM/FM. Six weeks ago, he added a separate mid-morning 10:00 am -12:00 noon show on Cumulus’s KABC, Los Angeles, via remote, to his weekday schedule.  Harrison and O’Connor discuss his new two-station, bi-coastal schedule and the differences he perceives between talk audiences in these markets.  The discussion also explores Donald Trump’s impact on the media as well as society in general and delves back to the days of O’Connor’s pre-radio career in the legitimate theater where he spent a number of years as the general manager of the Schubert Theater in Los Angeles before joining the early incarnation of Breitbart News as an online writer and radio commentator.  O’Connor reflects on his relationship with the late Andrew Breitbart. 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 daily email newsletter and every page on Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Chicago CHR WBBM-FM “B96” names Kenzie K midday personality, taking over for Nikki Imbrascio, who exited the Entercom station last week after 10 years.  Kenzie K comes to Chicago from Tampa where she was midday host at Beasley Media Group’s hip hop WLLD “WiLD 94.1.”  She says, “I cannot wait to join the amazing Entercom team in the city I’ve always dreamt of.  Thank you to [market manager] Jimmy de Castro, [VP of programming] Todd Cavanah and [music director] Erik Bradley for this incredible opportunity.  I’m looking forward to getting to know listeners in the Windy City.”…..Beasley Media Group appoints Philly radio pro Nicole Siberry digital program director for classic rock WMGK-FM and country WXTU-FM in Philadelphia.  Siberry was most recently promotions and programming coordinator for Entercom’s CHR WTDY and classic hits WOGL.  There she was responsible for creating content and video for the stations’ social media platforms…..Max Media Denver names Jowcol “Boogie D” Dolby operations and program director for hip hop KFCO “Flo 107.1” and rhythmic oldies KJHM-FM “Jammin 101.5,” effective March 11.  Previously, Boogie D served with Radio One in markets including: Detroit, St. Louis, Philadelphia, Washington, and Charlotte.  Max Media president and GM Jeff Norman says, “We are thrilled to have Boogie D on board, he’ll bring a fresh prospective and approach to our programming department.  Boogie D has demonstrated an ability to win in competitive environments and our radio stations are poised to grow to the next level under his leadership.”

January 2019 PPM Data – Part Three. January 2019 ratings information has been released for Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s January 2019 survey period covered January 3 – 30. See all the 6+ numbers here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12-PPM markets.

Portland

Spoken Word Formats – An improvement of four-tenths to 4.2 (ninth to eighth, 6+) by Alpha Media news/talk KXL “FM News 101 – Stay Connected” pulls the plug on three straight negative moves that accounted for a -1.5 (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.5 – 3.8, 6+). Off two-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KEX “News Radio 1190 – Depend On Us” gains three-tenths in January 2019 to 2.1 (6+) and remains at #19. Recapturing the three-tenths it squandered in “Holiday” 2018 (1.0 – .7 – 1.0, 6+), Alpha Media news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970” jumps from #26 to #23.

An overall -1.4 via four consecutive decreases (2.3 – 1.7 – 1.3 – 1.1 – .9, 6+), Entercom sports talk KFXX “1080 The Fan” concludes that slump with a +.2 to 1.1 (#23 to #22, 6+). It is one-tenth ahead of Alpha Media-owned KXTG “The Game,” which was down four consecutive times as well, losing a cumulative six-tenths in that stretch (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1 – .9, 6+). “The Game” picks up one-tenth to 1.0 (6+) and continues at #23. For the third time in the last four sweeps, iHeartMedia’s KPOJ “Sports Radio 620”/Portland Trailblazers flagship logs a .7 (.7 – .6 – .7 – .7, #26 to #27, 6+).

Blowing up “Holiday” 2018’s -1.2 with a January 2019 +1.2, Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk KOPB advances from second to first (9.3 – 8.1 – 9.3, 6+). Continuing the “1.2” theme, prior to “Holiday” 2018’s -1.2, KOPB was a collective +1.2 in five straight up or flat trends (8.1 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.9 – 9.2 – 9.3, 6+). KOPB had been on top from January 2018 to August 2018 (including a tie in April), before dropping to second in September. Its recent fluctuations include: +1.1 (January 2018); -1.1 (February); +1.0 (March); -1.0 (April); -.5 (May); +.7 (October); -1.2 (“Holiday” 2018); and +1.2 (January 2019.

Portland Music Formats – It took iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies outlet KLTH exactly one report to obliterate “Holiday” 2018’s -1.6 (7.0 – 5.4, 6+) as “106.7 The Eagle” soars to a January 2019 +1.7 (7.1, fifth to second, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 5.4 marked the first time “The Eagle” was below a six-share (6+) since March 2018’s 5.5. A collective -1.7 in October and November (5.8 – 4.4 – 4.1, 6+), Alpha Media triple A KINK “101.9 Uniquely Portland” has followed with a +7 (December); -.5 (“Holiday” 2018); and now a +1.2 (4.3 – 5.5, sixth to fifth, 6+). The September 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 topline for Salem Media Group regional KRYP was 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0 (6+), but “El Rey 93.1” erupts with a +1.3 to 3.3 (#18 to #15, 6+). Not only is All Classical Public Media’s KQAC a collective +1.8 through three straight positive spikes (2.6 – 2.7 – 3.4 – 4.4, 6+), “All Classical Portland” enters the top ten (#11 to #7). In addition, it reaches the four-share level (4.4, 6+) for the first time in nearly two years ago (4.2, February 2017). Seven straight down or flat trends by Entercom’s KWJJ resulted in a -1.9 (4.6 – 4.6 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 2.7, 6+), but “99.5 The Wolf – The Northwest’s Hottest Country” suspends that streak with a +1.1 to 3.8 (#15 to #11, 6+). Its alternative and hot AC cluster-mates KNRK “94/7 Portland Alternative” (3.5 – 4.2, tenth to eighth, 6+) and KRSK “105.1 The Buzz – Today’s Best Mix” (3.1 – 3.6, unchanged at #13, 6+) are up seven-tenths and one-half share, respectively. Even though co-owned KGON is +1.2 in three straight gains (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 5.8, 6+), “92.3 Portland’s Classic Rock” backslides from third to fourth. Entering the December sweep, KGON was a collective -1.0 through four decreases in a row  (5.6 – 5.4 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+). Immediately prior to that negative streak, “Portland’s Classic Rock” had been without a loss four straight times for a +1.6 (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.6 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+). Following back-to-back stays at #1 and a combined +8.0 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (8.2 – 11.4 – 16.2, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW is -9.2 (7.0, first to third, 6+). In “Holiday” 2018, “K-103” had its strongest 6+-showing (16.2) since “Holiday” 2017 (16.9). On the heels of a massive “Holiday” 2018 +2.4 (3.2 – 5.6, 6+), Entercom adult hits KYCH “97.1 Charlie We Play Everything” surrenders seven-tenths to 4.9 (third to sixth, 6+).

Charlotte

Spoken-Word Formats – A January gain of four-tenths (3.6 – 4.0, 6+) enables Entercom news/talk WBT to progress from #12 to #11. The Carolina Panthers flagship was a combined -.7 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.3 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+), after being +1.4 in October and November (2.9 – 3.8 – 4.3, 6+).

Nearly tripling (+1.1) its 6+ share via seven straight positive or flat moves (.6 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.7, 6+), co-owned sports talk (and Charlotte Hornets key station) WFNZ “The Fan – Charlotte’s Sports Leader” climbs from #19 to #18.

Regaining in full “Holiday” 2018’s nine-tenths’ loss, University Radio Foundation news/talk WFAE “Charlotte’s NPR News Source” moves from #17 to #16 (1.8 – 2.7, +.9, 6+). Flat at #21, South Carolina Educational Television Commission news/talk WNSC is without an increase for the fourth straight time and is down four-tenths in that stretch (.7 – .6 – .4 – .3 – .3, 6+).

Charlotte Music Formats – It is a strong sweep for the market’s two country FMs as iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country” is +1.2 (4.4 – 5.6, eighth to fifth, 6+), while Beasley Media Group’s WSOC “103.7 Country’s Hottest Hits” posts a gain of nine-tenths (6.4 – 7.3, third to second, 6+). Entering the November sweep, “The Kat” was an overall +1.1 in four successive months without a loss (6.0 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.8 – 7.1, 6+), but was then a combined -2.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.7 – 5.8 – 4.4, 6+). Prior to January 2019’s +.9, WSOC had been without an increase the past four reports for an overall -1.3 (7.7 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 6.6 – 6.4, 6+). On top in September, October, and November, WSOC segued to third in December. Four-tenths ahead of “Country’s Hottest Hits” is iHeartMedia adult hits WLKO, which all but erases “Holiday” 2018’s -1.2 with a +1.1 (6.6 – 7.7, 6+) to march from second to first. Immediately in advance of that -1.2, “102.9 The Lake” posted eight straight months without a loss for a +3.7 (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 6.4 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+). Notching a January 2019 +1.1 as well is Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WRCM “Positive & Encouraging K-Love,” whose five most recent fluctuations are -.5 (October); -.5 (November); +.6 (2.4 – 3.0, 6+, December); -.6 (3.0 – 2.4, 6+, “Holiday” 2018); and +1.1 in January 2019 (2.4 – 3.5, #16 to #12, 6+). At the conclusion of the November sweep, WRCM was a collective -1.9 in five straight decreases (4.3 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 2.4, 6+). Owing to four consecutive setbacks, iHeartMedia’s WRFX was a collective -1.7 (6.4 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.1 – 4.7, 6+), but “99.7 The Fox – Charlotte’s Classic Rock” suspends that streak with a +1.0 to 5.7 (fifth to fourth, 6+). Having faltered by eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2018, Beasley Media Group urban contemporary WPEG “Power 98” roars back with a gain of nine-tenths (3.9 – 4.8, tenth to seventh, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 3.9 was its lowest 6+-stat in exactly one year (3.8, “Holiday” 2017). Radio One’s WOSF had been in a May 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 down/up pattern (4.1 – 3.7 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.7, 6+). In January 2019, “105.3 RnB” adds six-tenths to its “Holiday” 2018 half-share increase (5.3, 6+), but backslides from a three-way tie at #5 to #6. In addition to having its consecutive string of positive or flat moves which produced an overall +7.8 halted at four (5.1 – 5.1 – 5.2 – 8.0 – 12.9, 6+), Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WKQC “K-104.7 More Music/Better Variety” slumps from first to eighth (12.9 – 4.6, -8.3, 6+). Its 12.9 in “Holiday” 2018 is the highest 6+-showing by any Charlotte station since “Holiday” 2015, when WKQC logged a 13.2. Co-owned mainstream CHR WNKS “Kiss 95.1” is -1.2 via four consecutive negative or flat trends (4.4 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.2, #11 to #14, 6+).

San Antonio

Spoken-Word Formats – Adding seven-tenths to its “Holiday” 2018 gain of three-tenths (3.3 – 3.6 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk and San Antonio Spurs’ flagship WOAI “News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather” cruises from ninth to sixth. WOAI’s November loss of one-tenth halted at three a consecutive string of improvements that yielded a +1.0 (3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.5, 6+). Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” has a July 2018 – “January 2019 topline of: 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.2 (#24, 6+).

While it stays at #29, iHeartMedia sports talk KTKR “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” is up one-tenth to .4 (6+), thus curtailing five straight down or flat reports that resulted in a loss of four-tenths (.7 – .7 – .6 – .5 – .4 – .3, 6+).

A combined -.9 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.6 – 3.2 – 2.7, 6+), Texas Public Radio news/talk KSTX bounces back with a +.8 (3.5, #16 to #12, 6+).   

San Antonio Music Formats – Virtually each of the 36 PPM-markets we’ve analyzed thus far has produced its share of substantial “Holiday” 2018 – January 2019 increases, although we hadn’t seen a single station register an increase of three full-shares … until now. Accomplishing that truly noteworthy accomplishment is iHeartMedia-owned KAJA. Major shifts aren’t new for “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station,” which was +.5 (September); -1.1 (October); +1.0 (December); -1.0 (“Holiday” 2018); and now +3.0 in January 2019 (6.0 – 9.0, 6+). Moreover, KAJA leaps from fourth to first. Continuing in third-place is similarly-formatted, Cox Media Group-owned KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader.” Six of its recent fluctuations include: +.9 (August); -.8 (September); +.9 (November); -.8 (December); -1.1 (“Holiday” 2018); and now +1.8 (5.1 – 6.9, 6+). September’s loss ended three straight gains that accounted for a +1.5 (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.8, 6+). These two country combatants were tied in June and separated by just one-tenth in April, September, and “Holiday” 2018. Applying the brakes to four straight setbacks that accounted for an overall -2.8 (8.8 – 8.3 – 6.9 – 6.4 – 6.0, 6+), Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies KONO-FM “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” displays a +1.9 to 7.9 (6+) and is in the runner-up slot for the fourth straight time. Prior to dropping to #2 in November, KONO-FM had been on top the previous ten sweeps. Meanwhile, its internet stream improves by one-half share (.2 – .7, #27, 6+). A combined -1.8 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.3 – 4.6 – 3.5, 6+), Alpha Media adult hits KJXK “102.7 Jack FM Playing What We Want” answers with a January 2019 +1.3 to 4.8 (tenth to fourth, 6+). A +1.2 enables Cox Media Group hot AC KSMG to vault into the top five (#11 to #5). “Magic 105.3 – Today’s Best Music” had been down six-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.9 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+). Adding six-tenths to its “Holiday” 2018 +.1 (2.6 – 3.2, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KZLV advances from #18 to #16. When the December 2018 sweep concluded, San Antonio’s version of “Positive & Inspiring K-Love” was -1.3 in three consecutive negative or flat trends (3.8 – 3.4 – 2.5 – 2.5, 6+). Somewhat mirroring KZLV, iHeartMedia CHR KXXM “96.1 Now – San Antonio’s #1 Hit Music Station” tacks on one-half share to “Holiday” 2018’s +.2 (3.1 – 3.3 – 3.8, #11 to #10, 6+). Owing to three positive spikes in succession, adult contemporary cluster-mate KQXT was +10.6 (4.3 – 9.5 – 14.9, 6+) and #1 in December and “Holiday” 2018. In January 2019 though, “Q-101.9” plunges by -10.7 to 4.2 (6+), drifting from first to seventh. KQXT’s “Holiday” 2018 14.9 is the highest 6+-share by any San Antonio station in the PPM-era. In four consecutive down or flat survey periods, Univision Radio regional Mexican KROM is a collective -1.9 (5.4 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.1 – 3.5, 6+) as “Que Buena 92.9” departs the top ten (#7 to #12). Off six-tenths as well in January 2019 is Alpha Media’s similarly-formatted KSAH “Norteno,” which is -1.1 in three successive down or flat trends (3.3 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.2, #15 to #19, 6+).

Sacramento

Spoken-Word Formats – Not only does a +1.5 to 7.6 (6+) by iHeartMedia-owned news/talk KFBK completely eliminate its cumulative -.9 in three straight declines (7.0 – 6.8 – 6.5 – 6.1, 6+), “Sacramento’s News, Weather, and Traffic Station” jumps from third to a first-place tie. KFBK was +1.4 in October (5.6 – 7.0, 6+). Up two-tenths to 2.5 (6+), co-owned KSTE remains at #14. “Talk 650” was an overall +.7 via three consecutive sweeps without a loss (2.3 – 2.6 – 3.0- 3.0, 6+) and then a combined -.7 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.0 – 2.4 – 2.3, 6+).

Following four straight sweeps without an increase that resulted in an overall loss of four-tenths (1.3, 1.3 – 1.2 – .9 – .9, 6+), Bonneville’s KHTK “Sports 1140” gains three-tenths to 1.2 (#23 to #22, 6+). Slipping from #23 to #25, Entercom’s KIFM-AM “ESPN Radio 1320” is a collective -.7 in three successive down or flat reports (1.6 – 1.0 – .9 – .9, 6+).

On the heels of forfeiting one full-share, Capital Public Radio news/talk KXJZ sputters by another eight-tenths (5.9 – 5.1, fourth to sixth, 6+). Prior to “Holiday” 2018’s -1.0, KXJZ notched five successive sweeps without a loss, netting a +2.4 since July (4.5 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 6.4 – 6.9, 6+); December 2018’s 6.9 is the highest 6+-stat in its PPM-history. Flat at #26, Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQEI has an October 2018 through January 2019 topline of: .6 – .6 – .7 – .6 – .7 (6+).

Sacramento Music Formats – Trending 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.4 (November – December – “Holiday” 2018, 6+), Entercom’s KKDO erupts with a +1.2 to 4.6 (6+) sending “Alt 94.7 Sacramento’s Alternative” into the top ten (#11 to #8). Co-owned KRXQ “98 Rock,” which was off one-half share in “Holiday” 2018 (4.8 – 4.3, 6+) answers with a +1.1 to 5.4 (sixth to fourth, 6+). In early-November (2018), iHeartMedia transitioned KBEB “92.5 The Bull – #1 for New Country” to adult contemporary as “92.5 The Breeze.” KBEB had been up two-tenths in consecutive sweeps (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.5, September – October – November, 6+) but then off one-tenth to 2.4 (6+) in December. Now, however, “The Breeze” is a combined +1.3 in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019 (3.1 – 3.7, 6+), advancing from #13 to #12. Making January 2019 leaps of six-tenths in addition to KBEB are iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies KHYL “V-101” (3.7 – 4.3, flat at #9, 6+) and Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVB “Positive & Inspiring K-Love” (.8 – 1.4, #18, 6+). The wild ride continues for Bonneville’s KNCI. A combined -.9 in August and September (5.1 – 4.4 – 4.2, 6+), “New Country 105.1” was an overall +1.5 in three straight gains (4.2 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.7, September – October – November – December, 6+); -1.5 (“Holiday” 2018); and now +.5 in January 2019 (4.2 – 4.7, steady at #7, 6+). Improving by one-half share as well is iHeartMedia classic rocker KYRV “93.7 The River,” which is +1.1 in three upticks in succession (4.2 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 5.3, unchanged at #5, 6+). A boost of two-tenths (7.4 – 7.6, 6+) is enough to lift Entercom-owned KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” from second to a first-place tie. On top for ten consecutive survey periods before shifting to #2 in December, “The Eagle” faltered by eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2018. Its recent fluctuations include +1.0 (May 2018); +.9 (June); -.9 (July); +.6 (September); -.5 (October); -1.1 (November); and -.8 (“Holiday” 2018). After notching a combined December and “Holiday” 2018 +7.6 (6.2 – 8.8 – 13.8, 6+) and occupying the #1 slot in both of those sweeps, adult contemporary sibling KYMX “Mix 96 – Today’s Hits/Yesterday’s Favorites” returns in its entirety that increase (6.2, -7.6, first to third, 6+). Its “Holiday” 2018 13.8 is the highest 6+-share by any Sacramento station since “Mix” logged a 14.2 in “Holiday” 2017. Lotus Communications regional Mexican KVMX “La Ranchera,” which had been trending 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5 (6+), drops one-half share to 1.0 (#18 to #23, 6+).

Pittsburgh

Spoken-Word Formats – Roaring back from “Holiday” 2018’s -.7 with a +1.1 (4.0 – 5.1, 6+), Entercom news/talk KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020” progresses from eighth to seventh.

Co-owned sports talk KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan,” which was off nine-tenths in November and December (6.4 – 5.7 – 5.5, 6+), is now a combined +1.6 in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019 (5.5 – 5.8 – 7.1, fifth to fourth, 6+). The September 2018 through January 2019 topline for iHeartMedia sports talk WBGG 970 AM – ESPN Pittsburgh” is: .2 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .2 – .2 (#19 to #17, 6+).

Continuing at #11, Essential Public Media news/talk WESA “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” bounces back from a one-half share “Holiday” 2018 loss with a +1.1 (3.1 – 4.2, 6+).

Pittsburgh Music Formats – A collective -1.6 via four straight decreases (5.1 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 3.5, 6+), Entercom-owned WDSY “Y-108” Pittsburgh’s Country” answers with a +1.1 to 4.6 (tenth to eighth, 6+). Off a combined seven tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.8 – 5.4 – 5.1, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WKST “96.1 Kiss FM – Pittsburgh’s #1 Hit Music Station” wipes away that shortfall with a +1.0 to 6.1 (sixth to fifth, 6+). After being without a loss the past three reports for a cumulative +4.1 (9.5 – 9.5 – 9.7 – 13.6, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWSW erodes by -5.5 to 8.1 (6+), but “94.5 – 3WS” is #1 for the 24th consecutive ratings period. “Holiday” 2018’s 13.6 is the best 6+-showing for any Pittsburgh station since “3WS” posted a 16.4 in “Holiday” 2017. Via five straight positive spikes (5.3 – 5.6 – 6.3 – 6.8 – 7.7 – 9.9, 6+), Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHH was an overall +4.6, but “Wish 99.7” falters by -4.1 to 5.8 (second to sixth, 6+).

Salt Lake City

Spoken-Word Formats – Even though Bonneville’s KSL substitutes “Holiday” 2018’s -.6 with a January 2019 +.6 (5.2 – 4.6 – 5.2, 6+), “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” backslides from fourth to sixth. KSL was +2.4 in October to 7.2 (#1), its highest 6+-share since April’s 8.1, but then -1.8 in November. Likewise, iHeartMedia’s KNRS completely eradicates “Holiday” 2018’s -1.4 with a January 2019 +1.4 (4.7 – 3.3 – 4.7, 6+). In this case though, “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know” progresses from #12 to #7. KNRS was a combined +1.0 in October and November (3.9 – 4.7 – 4.9, 6+) and had its strongest 6+-showing (4.9) since March 2017’s 5.6.

After posting an August 2018 – December 2018 topline of 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.8, Broadway Media-owned KALL sputtered by seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 to 1.1 (#20 to #22, 6+); “ESPN 700 – Utah’s #1 Sports Talk” vanishes from print in January 2019.

A combined -.5 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.3, 6+), University of Utah news/talk KUER recaptures all of it in January 2019 – and one-tenth more – with a +.6 to 2.9 (#14 to #12, 6+).

Salt Lake City Music Formats – Albeit the height of understatement – but nonetheless – iHeartMedia-owned classic hits-oldies KODJ “94.1 Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits” is on an incredible rollercoaster ride. It was -1.1 (October); +1.5 (November); -1.4 (December); -1.3 (“Holiday” 2018); and now +2.0 in January 2019 (4.4 – 6.4, sixth to second, 6+). In calendar year 2018, KODJ held sole possession of the top spot or was tied for the lead in June, July, August, September, and November. Registering robust increases of +1.3 (each) are Capital Broadcasting hot AC KBZN “Now 97.9 Today’s Best Music” (6.0, third to fourth, 6+) and iHeartMedia CHR KZHT “97.1 ZHT – Salt Lake’s #1 Hit Music Station” (5.8, unchanged at #5, 6+). “Now” gained two-tenths in “Holiday” 2018, while KZHT was a collective -1.4 in four negative moves in succession (5.9 – 5.7 – 5.5 – 5.1 – 4.5, 6+). Five consecutive decreases by Cumulus Media country KUBL accounted for an overall -2.8 (5.9 – 5.7 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.1, 6+) but “K-Bull 93” is now +1.2 in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019 (3.1 – 3.4 – 4.3, ninth to eighth, 6+). Gaining eight-tenths each are its adult contemporary and rock siblings, KBEE “B-98.7 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” (4.2, steady at #9, 6+) and KUER “Utah’s Rock Station (2.7, #18 to #13, 6+). A combined -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.5 – 3.9 – 3.4, 6+), KBEE had a December decrease that interrupted three straight gains netting +1.8 (2.7 – 3.6 – 4.3 – 4.5, 6+). “Utah’s Rock Station” was -1.0 in three straight sweeps without an increase (2.9 – 2.6 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+). Up six-tenths (each) are iHeartMedia’s KAAZ “Rock 106.7” (2.3, #20 to #16, 6+) and Capital Broadcasting’s KSQN “103.1 The Wave – The Next Wave of New Wave” (1.3, #18, 6+). “Rock 106.7” was -.9 in three straight decreases (2.6 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 1.7, 6+), while “The Wave” was -.5 via four successive setbacks (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.0 – .9 – .7, 6+). Progressing from #16 to #13, Cumulus Media’s KHTB “101.9 Alternative Utah” has more than doubled (+1.4) its 6+-stat through five straight sweeps without a decrease (1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 2.2 – 2.7, 6+). The good news first for Bonneville adult contemporary KSFI is that it is #1 for the third straight report. After three straight increases that netted a staggering +16.2 (5.6 – 5.7 – 12.7 – 21.8, 6+), however, “FM 100.3 – Better Music/Better Work Day” craters by an eyepopping -13.9 to 7.9 (6+). KSFI was the only PPM-market station in “Holiday” 2018 to reach the 20-share level (6+).

Las Vegas

Spoken-Word Formats – Transforming its “Holiday” 2018 loss of three-tenths into a January 2019 increase twice that magnitude (1.6 – 2.2, +.6, 6+), Entercom’s KXNT “News Talk Radio 840” returns to the top twenty (#21 to #17). Off a collective four-tenths in three slips in succession (1.3 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9, 6+), Beasley Media Group news/talk KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk” gains two-tenths to 1.1 (#25 to #23, 6+).

Regaining the one-tenth it lost in “Holiday” 2018 (.8 – .7 – .8, 6+), Lotus Communications sports talk KWWN “ESPN Radio 1100” advances from #28 to #25.

A combined -.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.3 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+), directly following a +1.3 via six consecutive increases (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.3, 6+), Nevada Public Radio’s KNPR posts a +.7 to 3.7 (6+) and enters the top ten (#12 to #10).

Las Vegas Music Formats – An improvement of one full-share by KKLZ “96.3 – Hits of the Eighties & More” (6.1 – 7.1, steady at #2, 6+) takes the Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies outlet to its highest 6+-share (7.1) since August 2018’s 7.5. An overall +1.1 through three consecutive positive or flat trends (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 4.3, 6+), Faith Communications contemporary Christian KSOS “SOS Radio” leaps into the top ten (#11 to #6). By adding seven-tenths to “Holiday” 2018’s +.1 (1.5 – 1.6 – 2.3, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KISF “Zona Mx 103.5 ” pops back into the top twenty at #16. Notching gains of six-tenths (each) are Kemp Broadcasting rhythmic CHR KVEG “Hot 97.5” (2.7 – 3.3, unchanged at #13, 6+) and the University of Nevada’s KUNV “91.5 – Jazz and More” (1.4 – 2.0, #20, 6+). “Hot,” which was a combined +1.1 in November and December (2.4 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+), rebounds from a -.8 in “Holiday” 2018. Even though Lotus Communications’ KXPT is without a loss for the eighth straight survey period for an overall +1.8 (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+), “97.1 The Point – #1 For Classic Rock” backslides from third to fourth; 5.5 is its best 6+-performance in more than two years (5.9, October 2016). A one-half share increase by cluster-mate KOMP “92.3 The Rock Station” to 2.6 (#17 to #15, 6+) ends a mini-slide that resulted in a one-half share decrease (2.6 – 2.4 – 2.1, 6+). A combined +4.5 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (8.3 – 9.1 – 12.8, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE surrenders a -5.3 to 7.5 (6+) but “Sunny 106.5 – Better Music for a Better Workday” is #1 for the sixth time in a row. Prior to being #1 from September through January 2019, “Sunny” set the pace in March, May, June, and July. “Holiday” 2018’s 12.8 is the highest 6+-share for any Las Vegas station since the 14.0 KSNE logged in “Holiday” 2016. With a November – December – “Holiday” 2018 topline of 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.3 (6+), Beasley Media Group urban-rhythmic oldies KOAS regresses by eight-tenths to 3.5 (6+) and drifts from the top ten (#6 to #11). “Old School 105.7 – #1 For Throwbacks” is under a four-share (6+) for the first time since “Holiday 2017’s 3.8.

Orlando

Spoken-Word Formats – All but wiping away its combined -1.6 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.2 – 4.5 – 3.6, 6+) with a January 2019 +1.5 to 5.1 (6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM progresses from tenth to eighth. At the conclusion of the November 2018 sweep, “News 96.5” was an overall +1.9 due to five consecutive increases (3.3 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+). Meanwhile, a six-tenths’ boost to 3.7 (#12 to #11, 6+) by iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” suspends five straight declines that resulted in a -1.6 (4.7 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.1, 6+). Its August +1.0 curtailed three straight decreases that generated a -1.8 (5.5 – 5.3 – 4.0 – 3.7, 6+). Anchored at #15, news/talk cluster-mate WFLF is up four-tenths to 2.2 (6+), halting three successive setbacks that accounted for a loss of nine-tenths (2.7 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 1.8, 6+). Just before that, in four consecutive reports without a loss, WFLF nearly doubled (+1.2) its 6+-share (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.7, 6+).

An increase of two-tenths (.6 – .8, 6+) propels Cox Media Group sports talk WDBO-AM “ESPN 580 Orlando” into the top twenty (#23 to #20). While it advances from #23 to #22, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WYGM “FM 96.9 The Game – Orlando’s Sports Leader” has lost more than half (-.8) of its 6+ AQH share in five straight down or flat trends (1.3 – 1.1 – .9 – .6 – .6 – .5, 6+).

Regaining just over half of its “Holiday” 2018 loss of eight-tenths (2.7 – 3.2, +.5, 6+), Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida” carries on at #13.

Orlando Music Formats – A cumulative -2.2 via four down or flat moves in a row (7.1 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 5.8 – 4.9, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WOCL “105-9 Sunny FM – We Own The ‘80s” wipes away nearly all that shortfall with a whopping +2.0 (6.9, seventh to fourth, 6+). After spending 11 consecutive ratings periods at #1, iHeartMedia Spanish tropical WRUM was in the runner-up slot in December and “Holiday” 2018, with a combined -1.1 in those two reports (8.9 – 8.3 – 7.8, 6+). “Rumba 100” breaks out a +1.5 in January 2019 (7.8 – 9.3, 6+) and returns to the lead position. April 2017s 12.8 is the best-ever 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. Co-owned CHR WXXL “XL-106.7 Orlando’s #1 Hit Music Station” tacks on seven-tenths to “Holiday” 2018’s +.1 (7.3 – 7.4 – 8.1, 6+) and climbs from third to second. Notwithstanding that it nearly replicates “Holiday” 2018’s increase of seven-tenths with a January 2019 +.6 (5.8 – 6.4, 6+), Entercom hot AC WOMX “Mix 105.1” backslides from fifth to sixth. A December decline of three-tenths halted three consecutive up or flat moves that yielded two-tenths (5.2 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.4, 6+). Slightly similar to “Mix,” Cox Media Group urban AC WCFB adds one-half share to “Holiday” 2018’s +.2 (6.5 – 6.7 – 7.2, 6+) but “Star 94.5” is able to jump from fourth to third. In addition to being a combined +8.5 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.8 – 9.8 – 14.3, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMGF was #1 in those two sweeps. In January, however, “Magic 107.7” erodes by -7.4 to 6.9 (6+) and drops to fourth. “Holiday” 2018’s 14.3 is its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 15.9. The internet stream of Cox Media Group-owned WMMO “98.9 Orlando’s Classic Hits,” which appeared with a .7 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2018, vanishes from print in January 2019.

Cincinnati

Spoken-Word Formats – Not only does iHeartMedia news/talk WLW manage to obliterate “Holiday” 2018’s -2.1 in one fell swoop with a +2.4 (7.5 – 9.9, 6+), the flagship of the Reds and Bengals zooms from fourth to first. WLW spent six consecutive months at #1 before segueing to #2 in December. Its recent shifts include a combined +2.0 (January and February); -1.0 (March); +1.6 (April); -1.2 (May); -1.4 (September); +1.7 (October); -.8 (November); -2.1 (“Holiday” 2018); and now +2.4 (January 2019). Co-owned WKRC “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati,” which was down three-tenths in consecutive sweeps (3.6 – 3.3 – 3.0, 6+), adds one-half share to 3.5 (6+), yet departs the top ten (#10 to #11).

Even though sports talk sibling WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530” picks up two-tenths (1.0 – 1.2, 6+) it backslides from #17 to #18.

Down nine-tenths through five successive sweeps without an increase (3.5 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.6, 6+), Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU ends that skid with a +.4 to 3.0, but remains at #13.

Cincinnati Music Formats – Following a December-only stay at #1, Cumulus Media-owned classic hits-oldies WGRR shifted to third in “Holiday” 2018, as a result of a -1.8 (9.9 – 8.1, 6+). Roaring back with a January 2019 +1.5 (to 9.6, 6+), “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” climbs to second. Immediately prior to its -1.8, WGRR was an overall +1.3 via four straight gains (8.6 – 9.1 – 9.2 – 9.6 – 9.9, 6+), with December’s 9.9 its strongest 6+-stat since March 2018’s 10.4. In three successive sweeps without an increase, its classic rock sibling – WOFX – had a collective loss of nine-tenths (5.2 – 5.2 – 4.8 – 4.3, 6+), but “92.5 The Fox” dials up a +1.4 to 5.7 (eighth to sixth, 6+). Down or flat the past five survey periods for a collective -2.6 (7.9 – 7.4 – 6.6 – 6.6 – 6.0 – 5.3, 6+), Hubbard hot AC WKRQ “Q-102 Cincinnati’s Hit Music” answers with a +1.2 to 6.5 (fifth to fourth, 6+). Even though co-owned WUBE adds a +1.0 to “Holiday” 2018’s +.3 (8.1 – 8.4 – 9.4, 6+),“B-105.1 Cincinnati’s Country” shifts from second to third. The four most recent fluctuations for iHeartMedia CHR WKFS are +.7 (November); -.7 (December) another -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); and now +.9 in January 2019 (2.7 – 3.6, 6+) as “Kiss 107.1 Cincinnati’s #1 Hit Music Station” returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). In advance of November’s +.7, “Kiss” recorded six straight down or flat sweeps that resulted in an overall -1.5 (4.9 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.4, 6+). Radio One urban AC WOSL “100.3 R&B + Old School” is a combined +.6 in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019 (2.5 – 2.6 – 3.1, #13 to #12, 6+). A collective +9.4 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.2 – 8.3 – 14.6), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WRRM “Warm 98.5” spirals by -.8.2 to 6.4 (first to fifth, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 14.6 is the highest 6+-share by any Cincinnati station in the PPM-era. On the heels of its “Holiday” 2018 +.7, iHeartMedia-owned WEBN “Cincinnati’s Rock Station” regresses by one-half share (5.0 – 4.5, sixth to seventh, 6+). After posting a September 2018 – December 2018 topline of 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.0 – .7 (#20, 6+), Grant County Broadcasters’ classic country WNKR disappeared from print in “Holiday” 2018, but it resurfaces with a 1.2 (#18, 6+). At the same time, Educational Community Radio’s WOBO “88.7 The Station For Something For Everyone,” which had an October through “Holiday” 2018 topline of 1.2 – 1.1 – .2 – .0 (6+), reemerges with a 1.3 (#17, 6+). In August, WDBZ “Soul 101.5” registered a .9 (6+) to finish at #20, but the Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies outlet is unlisted for the sixth month in a row.

Cleveland

Spoken-Word Formats – In three straight declines (6.8 – 6.3 – 5.2 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM was an overall -2.6, but “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” responds with a +.9 to 5.1 and is back in the top ten (#11 to #9, 6+). An October increase of eight-tenths halted four successive sweeps without an increase for a collective -.6 (6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.0 – 6.0, 6+).

Flat at 5.4 (6+), Entercom sports talk WKRK slips from seventh to eighth. Just prior to December, “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” netted a +2.0 in five successive improvements (3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.4, 6+).

Substituting “Holiday” 2018’s -1.1 with January 2019’s +1.1 (2.1 – 3.2, 6+), Ideastream-owned news/talk outlet WCPN progresses from #14 to #13.

Cleveland Music Formats – A cumulative -3.7 through five consecutive decreases (8.1 – 7.2 – 6.8 – 6.5 – 5.7 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WGAR “99.5 Cleveland’s #1 For New Country” bounces back with a +1.7 to 6.1 (tenth to fourth, 6+). Similarly, after three consecutive decreases that resulted in a -1.3 (4.5 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.2, 6+), co-owned WMMS “100.7 – Cleveland’s Rock Station” erupts with a +1.6 to 4.8 (6+) and lands in the top ten (#13 to #10, 6+). Off four-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 (6.5 – 6.1, 6+), Entercom’s WNCX “98.5 – Cleveland’s Classic Rock” posts a positive spike twice that magnitude (6.9, +.8, fifth to third, 6+). Displaying gains of seven-tenths (each) are iHeartMedia CHR WAKS “96.5 Kiss FM – Cleveland’s #1 Hit Music Station” (3.3 – 4.0, steady at #12, 6+) and co-owned urban contemporary WAKS-HD2 (.7 – 1.4, #17 to #15, 6+). “Kiss” was down one-half share in “Holiday” 2018. WAKS-HD2 surfaced in July with a .1 (6+); failed to appear in the next five reports; but reemerged in “Holiday” 2018. While it repeats at #1, co-owned classic hits-oldies WMJI “Majic 105.7 – Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” follows “Holiday” 2018’s massive +2.8 with a -1.7 (10.7 – 9.0, 6+). A combined +4.7 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.6 – 8.2 – 10.3, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WDOK “Cleveland’s Star 102” surrenders a -4.3 to 6.0 (6+) and segues from second to sixth. In advance of the December sweep, “Star” was off eight-tenths in three negative moves in a row (6.4- 6.2 – 6.0 – 5.6, 6+). Dropping from fourth to seventh, Radio One urban contemporary WENZ “Z-107.9” is a collective -1.0 in four successive setbacks (6.8 – 6.7 – 6.6 – 6.4 – 5.8, 6+). Resurfacing in print in October, Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFHM trended 5.4 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 5.4 (#7, 6+), but “95.5 The Fish” vanishes in January 2019.

Kansas City

Spoken-Word Formats – Two big bounce-backs in the Entercom cluster find news/talk KMBZ-FM “98.1 News-Traffic-Weather,” a combined -1.7 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.1 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+) logging a +1.2 to 4.6 (#14 to #7, 6+), while KMBZ-AM “Talk 980,” which lost half (-1.3) its 6+ AQH share in December and “Holiday” 2018 (2.6 – 1.8 – 1.3, 6+) notches a +.6 to 1.9 (#20 to #18, 6+). KMBZ-FM was a combined +.7 in October and November (4.4 – 4.7 – 5.1, 6+), while KMBZ-AM was up four-tenths in October. Steady at #22, Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM “Talk Radio 710 AM” is trending .7 – .6 – .7 – .6 – .7 (6+).

A combined -.5 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.2 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+), Union Broadcasting’s WHB “Sports Radio 810,” breaks out a +1.3 to 5.0 (6+) and vaults into the top ten (#12 to #6). WHB more than doubled (+2.2) its 6+-share in six straight gains (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 4.0 – 4.2, 6+). In three consecutive decreases, Entercom’s KCSP lost nine-tenths (3.5 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 2.6, 6+) but “610 Sports Radio” adds three-tenths in January 2019 to 2.9 (#17 to #16, 6+).

Down seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2018, KCUR responds with a +.3 to 3.4 (#15 to #14, 6+). The University of Missouri news/talk outlet was a collective +.8 in November and December.

Kansas City Music Formats – An overall -1.6 in three straight downturns (5.6 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 3.7, 6+), Steel City Media’s KBEQ “Q-104 New Hit Country” roars back with a combined +2.0 in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019 (3.7 – 5.0 – 5.7, fifth to third, 6+). Over and above adding six-tenths to “Holiday” 2018’s half-share increase (9.0 – 9.5 – 10.1, 6+), Cumulus Media’s KCFX “101 The Fox – Kansas City’s Classic Rock Station” is #1 for the ninth straight time and has its strongest 6+-stat (10.1) since July 2017’s 10.3. The December loss of seven-tenths by the Kansas City Chiefs’ flagship halted six straight sweeps without a loss for an overall +2.7 (7.0 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.8 – 8.8 – 9.6 – 9.7, 6+). Over the course of the last three ratings periods, Entercom-owned KQRC spiraled by an overall -2.8 (7.5 – 7.0 – 6.1 – 4.7, 6+) but “98.9 The Rock” picks up four-tenths to 5.1 (sixth to fifth, 6+). Its November one-half share loss suspended three straight increases that yielded a +2.0 (5.5 – 6.5 – 7.3 – 7.5, 6+). A combined +2.8 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.2 – 5.1 – 7.0, 6+), Steel City Media adult contemporary KCKC relinquishes a -3.8 to (3.2, 6+) as “KC-102.1 Today’s Best Variety” freefalls from #2 to #15. “Holiday” 2018’s 7.0 is its best 6+ showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 8.1. Immediately after posting a +1.6, Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies KCMO-FM falters by -1.3 (6.7 – 5.4, third to fourth, 6+). By picking up one-tenth in December, “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” pulled the plug on eight successive March through November declines that accounted for a combined -3.1 (8.1 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.8 – 6.4 – 6.3 – 5.4 – 5.0, 6+); KCMO-FM was #1 in March 2018, April, and May. As a result of five consecutive positive or flat sweeps, CHR sibling KCHZ was +1.4 (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+), but “95.7 The Vibe – All The Hits” sputters by seven-tenths to 3.8 (6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #12). Urban AC cluster-mate KMJK “Magic 107.3 – Kansas City’s Best Mix of R&B,” which was an overall +2.0 in four consecutive upticks (2.7 – 2.8 – 3.4 – 4.4 – 4.7, 6+), forfeits 25% of that bounty (4.2, -.5, sixth to tenth, 6+).

Columbus

Spoken-Word Formats – Off a combined six-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.3 – 6.1 – 5.7, 6+), directly after an overall +.9 in three straight increases (5.4 – 5.5 – 6.1 – 6.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN “News Radio 610” dials up a +1.3 to 7.0 (sixth to fifth, 6+).

Among the fluctuations for RadiOhio sports talk outlet – and flagship of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets – WBNS-FM since it reappeared in print in August 2018 are: +1.1 (October); -.4 (November); +1.0 (December) and -2.0 in “Holiday” 2018 (7.3 – 5.3, seventh, 6+). “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” is unlisted in January 2019. Climbing from #18 to #17, iHeartMedia sports talk WXZX “105.7 The Zone” is trending (.9 – .6 – .9 – .7 – .7, 6+).

By posting a +1.1 to 4.5 (eighth to seventh, 6+), Ohio State University news/talk WOSU ends a mini-slide that resulted in a loss of six-tenths (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+).

Columbus Music Formats – Tacking on a +1.1 to its “Holiday” 2018 improvement of four-tenths (6.8 – 7.2 – 8.3, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WNCI “97.9 Columbus Hit Music” jumps from fourth to second with its highest 6+-share (8.3) since September 2018’s 9.4. Slightly more than three full-shares ahead of it is co-owned WCOL “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” (11.4, +.8, 6+), which is #1 for the 14th sweep in a row and has been in double-digits (6+) each ratings period since June 2017. Its January 2019 uptick applies the brakes to six straight downturns that resulted in a collective -5.7 (16.3 – 15.1 – 15.0 – 14.5 – 13.0 – 12.7 – 10.6, 6+). Recent WCOL fluctuations include +3.1 (January); -1.7 (February); +1.1 (March); +1.0 (April); +1.2 (June); +.6 (July); 1.2 (August); -.5 (October); -1.5 (November); -2.1 (“Holiday” 2018); and +.8 (January 2019). Still in that iHeartMedia cluster, adult hits WODC, which was a combined +3.7 in back-to-back (December and “Holiday” 2018) improvements (5.0 – 5.8 – 8.7, 6+), surrenders a -4.1 to 4.6 (6+) as “93.3 The Bus – We Play Anything” skids from third to sixth. Its December increase halted three consecutive declines that generated an overall -1.7 (6.7 – 6.4 – 5.3 – 5.0, 6+). That particular sequence immediately followed four consecutive boosts that netted a +1.6 (5.1 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.7, 6+). As a result of three positive spikes in a row (5.9 – 6.3 – 7.7 – 9.7, 6+), Saga Communications adult contemporary WSNY was a cumulative +3.8, but “Sunny 95” relinquishes exactly half that increase with a -1.9 to 7.8 (second to third, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 9.7 is WSNY’s best 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 11.0.

Monday, February 18, 2019

| February 18, 2019

Hannity and Limbaugh Cited as Talk Media’s Political Influence Gains Attention. Multi-media news/talk superstar Sean Hannity is often said by some Trump administration critics to be an unofficial member of the president’s cabinet.  However one feels about that sentiment, it is clear that the conservative news/talk media has some degree of influence in Trump administration policy.  That becomes more evident when President Trump says such things as, “Sean Hannity has been a terrific, terrific supporter of what I do.”  And about Rush Limbaugh: “He can speak for three hours without a phone call.  Try doing that sometime.  For three hours he speaks.  He’s got one of the biggest audiences in the history of the world.  I mean, this guy is unbelievable.”  Those quotes come from a New York Times piece covering the president’s Rose Garden press event on Friday (2/15).  Although Trump also said, “They don’t decide policy,” there’s a general sentiment among political and media types that the president looks to conservative talk media to understand what his base is thinking.  At this morning’s meeting of the TALKERS editorial staff, publisher Michael Harrison stated, “One of the most significant yardsticks in determining a communication platform’s success is influence.  How much of a difference does it make in the scheme of things?  Does it move the needle?  Since the modern era of talk radio began with the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine in 1987, the medium and its hosts have been judged heavily by the level of influence they wield in their communities and markets. Taking this into account, the influence Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and others maintain in the Age of Trump is remarkable and certainly a boon to talk media of all political flavors.”

New Evening Lineup at KNBR, San Francisco. Bay Area sports talk outlet KNBR announces changes to its evening “KNBR Tonight” programming that airs from 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight.  The Cumulus Media station bring Bay Area native Mark Willard aboard to host the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm portion of the show and moves current evening personality Drew Hoffar to the 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight portion.  KNBR program director Jeremiah Crowe states, “I’m extremely excited to welcome Mark back to the Bay Area and into our KNBR family.  ‘KNBR Tonight’ is about connecting with fans as the games are being played and Mark will excel in that arena across all KNBR platforms.  Listeners now also get to hear Drew shine as a solo host in his own time slot.  ‘KNBR Tonight’ will continue to serve as THE nightly destination for local sports talk and I can’t wait to hear these two dynamic personalities back-to-back on ‘The Sports Leader!’”  Willard comes to KNBR from his most recent gig with iHeartMedia’s KLSD, San Diego “XTRA Sports” where he was midday host.  He’s also served with FOX Sports Radio Network; KSPN, Los Angeles “710 ESPN”; and ESPN’s SportsNation based in LA.

Woodward Makes Programming Moves at WHBY and WSCO in Green Bay/Appleton, Wisconsin. The news/talk and sports talk stations in the Green Bay-Appleton market operated by Woodward Radio Group have a new brand manager as Jonathan Krause assumes the role.  Krause comes to news/talk WHBY and sports talk WSCO “The Score” from his most recent position with Cumulus Media’s news/talk WOSH, Oshkosh.  Krause says, “I look forward to continuing the traditions of WHBY and WSCO providing high-quality information and entertainment for the Fox Valley.  And I hope to expand our community involvement throughout the region.”  At the same time, the company welcomes Appleton native Brian Butch to WSCO as a member of the “B.J. and The Bear” morning drive show with host B.J. DeGroot.  Butch will also serve as a part-time sales executive for WHBY and WSCO.

Monday Memo: YOUR Four?  Consultant Holland Cooke’s Monday Memo offers up a call-in topic for today’s President’s Day holiday.  There are four (generally) revered U.S. presidents depicted on Mt. Rushmore – Washington, Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Lincoln. What if your listeners could vote for their four favorite presidents to be immortalized in stone?  Read Cooke’s Monday Memo column here.

WPHT Radiothon Raises $151,000 for Liberty USO. Friday’s second annual WPHT Radiothon to benefit Liberty USO – an organization that provides active, Guard, and Reserve military and their families with programs and services at the United Service Organization of Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey – raised $151,535.  Air personalities from Entercom’s news/talk WPHT are pictured above taking part in the daylong broadcast.  They are (from l-r): afternoon drive host Rich Zeoli, late morning personality Dom Giordano, and morning talk host Chris Stigall.

TALKERS News Notes. As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, WGN-AM weekend radio personality Amy Guth is embarking on a daily podcast project for Crain’s Chicago Business.  The show is called “The Daily Gist” and will consist of “a mix of the day’s top stories and an in-depth segment in which Guth will interview a Crain’s reporter or columnist.”…..Major League Baseball’s Oakland Athletics are announcing they have radio broadcast deals for the 2019 season.  The team has a three-company deal that will see games air on Salem Media Group’s news/talk KTRB-AM, San Francisco “The Answer,” Bonneville’s sports talk KHTK, Sacramento, and digital platform Tune In.  In the broadcast booth will be play-by-play team Ken Korach and Vince CotroneoChris Townsend is serving as studio host with Ray Fosse making guest appearances…..In Baltimore, longtime Baltimore Orioles play-by-play voice Joe Angel is retiring after 19 years with the team (and 42 years in the business).  Games are broadcast on Entercom’s WJZ-FM “The Fan.”…..The MLB’s Pittsburgh Pirates have a new broadcast team for games that air on Entercom’s KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan.”  The station says Dan Zangrilli will return to host the station’s pregame and postgame broadcasts, a role he held from 2012 to 2016.  Jack Zduriencik will return for his fourth season as an analyst.  Station veteran Kraig Riley, who has been with “93.7 The Fan” since 2010 as a producer, will join the broadcast team for the first time alongside Zangrilli and Zduriencik.

Border Wall Emergency Declaration, Trump-vs ‘SNL,’ McCabe on ’60 Minutes,’ 2020 Presidential Hopefuls, Fatal Chicago Workplace Shooting, Amazon/NYC Breakup, Jussie Smollett Case, Payless Shutters U.S. Stores, and NBA/NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The aftermath of President Trump’s emergency declaration to use Pentagon funds for the U.S.-Mexico wall project; President Trump’s attack on “Saturday Night Live” for its parody of his emergency declaration presser; former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s interview on Sunday’s “60 Minutes”; the Democrats lining up to challenge President Trump in 2020 and former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld considers challenging Trump in the Republican primary; the workplace shooting in Aurora, Illinois that took the lives of five; Amazon’s decision to back out of its proposed Queens operations after political pressure from Democrats; the controversy surrounding actor Jussie Smollett’s assault accusations; retail icon Payless Shoes to close U.S. stores; and NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Dallas programming and on-air pro Jesse Salazar adds assistant program director duties to his afternoon on-air role and music director responsibilities at Radio One’s rhythmic CHR KBFB “97.9 The Beat.”  Radio One Dallas vice president of programming operations Mark McCray says, “Jesse has the experience, attitude, and work ethic that makes his graduation to APD an easy decision.”…..On-air pro Chris Payne joins Evans Broadcasting’s alternative KRAT, Reno, “ALT 92.9” to host the morning drive program.  Payne was most recently in an on-air role with Shamrock Communications’ crosstown KRZQ prior to it flipping from alternative to adult contemporary in July of 2017.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

| February 14, 2019

Cumulus Sells Six – Including WPLJ, New York and WRQX, Washington – to EMF for $103.5 Million; Swaps Three stations with Entercom.  Seller Cumulus Media Inc. calls these deals “strategic portfolio optimization transactions.”  The sale of six stations to religious broadcaster Educational Media Foundation will bring Cumulus $103.5 million in cash for hot AC WPLJ, New York; news/talk WYAY, Atlanta; triple A KFFG, San Francisco; hot AC WRQX, Washington; hot AC WZAT, Savannah; and classic rock WXTL, Syracuse.  When EMF takes control, the stations will all flip to its K-Love Christian music format.  The second deal is with Entercom and involves the swap of Cumulus’ country WNSH, New York “NASH FM”; hot AC WMAS-FM, Springfield, Massachusetts and sports talk WHLL-AM, Springfield in exchange for Entercom’s Indianapolis cluster of adult contemporary WNTR “107.9 The Mix,” CHR WZPL, and sports talk WXNT-AM.  This means Entercom exits the Indy market and those three stations join Cumulus’ existing three stations there: classic hits WJJK, country WFMS, and CHR WYRG “Energy 93.9.” Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner says, “These transactions are consistent with our portfolio optimization strategy and both deals are accretive.  The Entercom swap significantly bolsters our competitive position in Indianapolis and the EMF transaction generates substantial cash for debt repayment and investment in other business opportunities.”  The company notes that EMF will acquire all transmission equipment and assume all tower leases associated with the stations which collectively contribute approximately $5 million to $7 million of EBITDA to Cumulus annually.  Regarding the Entercom swap, both companies will begin operating the other’s stations under LMAs on March 1.

Format Flip Likely as the Result of Cumulus-Entercom Deal.  The acquisition of Entercom’s CHR WZPL – the clear ratings leader in top 40 radio in the market – means a format change is imminent for Cumulus’ WYRG which has been bubbling under a 2 share (6+) while WZPL has been scoring more than a 5 share in recent PPM surveys from Nielsen Audio.  In New York, there’s no reason to think Entercom will flip WNSH from country.  While it’s been hovering around a 2.2 share (6+), it’s the only country signal in New York and it’s hard to imagine Entercom giving up on it.  Stay tuned.

What Will Cumulus Do with WABC and New York Stations?  Maybe nothing, but yesterday’s surprise sale of six of its signals to EMF and the swap with Entercom indicates Cumulus is willing to deal if it has strategic significance.  Now that the company’s New York cluster is destined to consist of news/talk WABC-AM, urban AC WNBM – a class A FM licensed to Bronxville – and suburban sports talk WFAS-AM, Westchester, some industry watchers are wondering if the three-station cluster brings in enough revenue to continue operating in the Big Apple.  WFAS-AM isn’t listed in the Nielsen New York PPMs and WNBM has been garnering 6+ ratings of less than a full share in recent PPM surveys.  WABC-AM is a venerable signal with obvious history in the market but appears to be underperforming with 6+ numbers in the 1.0-1.5 share range.  One wonders if Mary Berner and company are weighing finding buyers for the three signals.

Judge: Alex Jones Can Be Deposed in Sandy Hook Case. According to a report in the Hartford Courant, Connecticut Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis ruled that talk show host and Infowars chief Alex Jones must take part in a sworn deposition in the defamation case filed against him by the families of eight victims of the Sandy Hook shootings. The judge ruled that after Jones’ counsel filed a Motion to Dismiss, the families are entitled to conduct discovery “likely to lead to admissible evidence for opposing the motions.”  Three other Infowars staffers will have to sit for depositions that, combined with Jones’ deposition, will total 19 hours of testimony. Jones and Infowars are being sued separately by two different Newtown, Connecticut families in Texas.  The families’ lawsuits allege that Jones engaged in a lengthy campaign “abusive and outrageous false statements” that the Sandy Hook shootings were staged by paid actors.  The suit alleges Jones knew what he was perpetrating was false but he continued because it drew an audience and made money for his company.  Jones argues his First Amendment rights are enough to toss the suits.  He is also being ordered deposed in Texas, but those depositions have not taken place yet.

WPHT, Philadelphia to Produce Liberty USO Radiothon. Tomorrow’s daylong radiothon will take place at Chickie’s & Pete’s Play 2 in Philadelphia from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm. It’s called the “Talk Radio 1210 WPHT Liberty USO Radiothon” and it will benefit Active, Guard and Reserve military and their families through programs and services at the United Service Organization of Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey (Liberty USO).  It will be anchored by WPHT personalities Chris Stigall, Dom Giordano and Rich Zeoli.  Entercom Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff says, “I am proud of the role our station plays in supporting our military through the efforts of Liberty USO.  Last year’s radiothon raised over $120,000 and is a testament to the power local radio plays in bringing our community together for a great cause.  We are looking forward to partnering with Liberty USO once again.”

Actor Wendell Pierce Part of Group Seeking to Buy WBOK, New Orleans. According to a report by WGNO-TV, New Orleans, native son and actor Wendell Pierce is part of a group of investors bidding on the license for urban news/talk outlet WBOK, New Orleans.  The station is owned by Los Angeles-based Bakewell Media which has the station on the market. Pierce, known for his work on “The Wire” and Amazon Prime’s “Jack Ryan” series, says in a statement, “Through all the substantial change New Orleans has faced in recent history, WBOK has served as a steadfast and indispensable platform for our community.  The people trust them, they depend on them, and they believe in them.  WBOK Radio is the glue that brings and holds our city together.”  The story says the other investors are listed as: Cleveland Spears III, Troy Henry, and Jeff Thomas.

Salem Media Group Promotes Three. At Camarillo, California-based Salem Media Group, three executive promotions take place. First, 16-year Salem exec Chris Gould rises from his VP, national programming, to senior vice president, national programming.  Second, Mark Durkin is promoted from general manager of the company’s Sacramento cluster to a regional vice president position that adds oversight of Seattle, San Francisco and Oxnard, California to his Sacramento duties.  Finally, Franc Boza is named general manager for the Salem Miami cluster. He was most recently with Deadcenter Marketing as VP of sales and marketing.

Skyview Networks Announces Staff Promotions. Scottsdale, Arizona-based Skyview Networks announces a series of promotions among staffers.  In the production department, Joe Felz is upped to vice president of production.  Elsewhere, Denise Krause rises from client service director to senior director of client services and co-chair promotions, based in New York City.  Ethan Aragon takes on the new title of senior director of client services.  Jordan Thorlin is named creative director.  In the same department, Alexandria Landry is appointed multimedia designer.  In the sales department, Alex Warrick takes on the new role of director of agency services.  Finally, radio industry pro Mary Stoddard moves into the client service director and co-chair promotions position.

TALKERS News Notes. Minnesota sports talk station KFXN-FM, Minneapolis gets some love from City Pages as the alt-weekly does a big feature on the station in honor of “KFAN” capturing “the highest market share percentage of any top-50 sports talk station in the country, according to Nielsen” last fall…..Boston Red Sox aficionados have been waiting to find out who will be in the broadcast booth this year for games broadcast on Entercom’s Red Sox flagship WEEI, Boston and now it’s confirmed that play-by-play legend Joe Castiglione has signed for his 37th season with the team.  As for the color analysts?  Those duties will be split among three principal broadcasters: Sean McDonough, Josh Lewin, and Mario Impemba, with several more also in the rotation.  They include: ESPN broadcaster Chris Berman, WEEI personalities Lou Merloni and Dale ArnoldNESN studio host Tom Caron, and NESN Red Sox television broadcaster Dave O’Brien…..KCAA, Loma Linda, California owner Fred Lundgren tells TALKERS magazine that after many years of producing and distributing radio programs and podcasts for hundreds of broadcasters, his family has decided to produce its own podcast series, hosted by his wife, Linda Carol Lundgren, titled, “Don’t Be Afraid To Ask.” Lundgren says the show will address many of life’s difficult subjects such as money, sex, drugs, bullying, long term relationships, the changing culture, and the problems facing the next generation of young adults as they leave home and enter the workplace.  The first show visits the tragic origins of Valentine’s Day and how the importance of that day has evolved over the centuries. Check it out here…..WGCH, Greenwich, Connecticut afternoon talk show host Lisa Wexler was recently honored by cable channel News 12 Connecticut as one of its “Hometown Heroes.”  Wexler serves as a local probate judge and donates each $50 wedding fee she receives to the local Westport Animal Shelter Advocates organization. Check it out here…..Motor Racing Network is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its first coverage of the Daytona 500 this Sunday (2/17).  In honor of that event, MRN will broadcast its 50th Daytona 500 and the 61st running of “The Great American Race” on over 400 radio stations nationwide.  Sunday’s race also marks the culmination of more than 30 hours of programming produced by MRN during Daytona Speedweeks, NASCAR’s annual kickoff at Daytona International Speedway.  The broadcast is the first event in a two-year celebration of the founding of the network by Bill France, Sr. and Ken Squier in 1970.

TalkersRadio Personality Meg McDonald Installed as President of the Studio City Beautification Association.  Legendary Southern California PR executive Meg McDonald, who hosts the short-form feature MEG! on TalkersRadio, was recently installed as the new president of the Studio City Beautification Association.  Studio City is a section of Los Angeles with a colorful show business history located between Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley.  Standing with Meg in front of the Mack Sennett Conference Room on the CBS Studio Center lot in Studio City where the monthly SCBA board meetings are held are (l-r): Studio City Beautification Association officers secretary Connie Elliot (wearing hat), McDonald, vice president Beth Dymond and treasurer Charles Blakeslee.  Meg McDonald is the daughter of golden era Hollywood movie stars Elisabeth Fraser and Ray McDonald.  To listen to MEG!, please click here.

Trump-Russia Investigation/Manafort Ruling, Border Wall Deal, Parkland Shooting Anniversary/Gun Control, Green New Deal, California Bullet Train Controversy, Iran-Israel Tensions, Brexit Complications, Venezuela Unrest, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/13). The investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related ruling by a judge that Paul Manafort lied to investigators; the ongoing controversy over the tentative U.S.-Mexico border wall deal; the anniversary of the Parkland, Florida shootings and the status of gun control measures; the GOP’s criticism of the Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez sponsored Green New Deal; President Trump’s demand for the return of $3.7 billion in federal money from California after Governor Gavin Newsome spiked the remainder of the bullet train project; the heightened rhetoric between Iran and Israel; the complications of Britain’s exit from the EU and possible economic consequences; the political unrest in Venezuela; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Michael Harrison Explores the Impact of Changing Communications Technology on the Human Nervous System. One of the common themes of the present era is the challenge people face in keeping pace and coping with the exponential changes in communications technology. On this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne production, “The Michael Harrison Interview,” the TALKERS founder interviews theoretical physicist Leonard Mlodinow, Norwegian explorer Erling Kagge, and licensed psychotherapist Dr. Bryan Robinson about the rapid changes taking place in our noisy world. Join them for a deep dive into the realm of neuro-plasticity, the sounds of silence, and escaping from the maddening, non-stop workplace. 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. Milwaukee CHR WNRG “Energy 106.9” adds the nationally syndicated “Tino Cochino Radio Show” for the afternoon drive daypart.  The program emanates from its home base at Riviera Broadcasting’s KKFR, Mayer, Arizona (Phoenix market)…..Meruelo Media promotes Aimee Bittourna to vice president of its experiential marketing company Actify. In this new position, Bittourna will oversee the development, strategies, and execution of all Actify campaigns.  Meruelo Media president and COO Otto Padron says, “Aimee is a difference maker and a unique brand experience creator. Her energy and creativity are marketing multipliers for our partners seeking original ways to connect their brands to consumers.  She’s a leader in a boundless space and our clients love her.”…..Pictured below is Premiere Networks nationally syndicated adult contemporary personality Delilah on the set of the “TODAY” show (third from left) with show co-hosts Kathie Lee (second from left), Hoda Kotb (left) and psychotherapist Lori Gottlieb (right) discussing ways to overcome fears of being alone on Valentine’s Day.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

| February 12, 2019

Alpha Media Deals in Chicagoland Market. Regular TALKERS readers are aware that Alpha Media has been wheeling and dealing – recently selling entire clusters such as West Palm Beach and Bluefield, West Virginia.  Now it files to acquire two Chicagoland stations. FCC records indicate Alpha will pay $4.7 million for suburban classic rocker WFXF-FM, Dundee “103.9 The Fox” and adult contemporary WZSR, Woodstock “Star 105.5,” both serving the Northwest Suburbs. The company has been operating the stations under an LMA from Matrix Media, a company going through Chapter 11.  In order to comply with FCC ownership regulations, Alpha Media will turn around and sell WFXF to religious broadcaster Education Media Foundation for $900,000 and spin-off rock WRXQ, Coal City (far southwest side) to Walnut Radio for $300,000.  In the Chicago market Alpha also owns country WCCQ-FM, Crest Hill; classic hits WERV-FM, Aurora “95.9 The River”; adult contemporary WSSR, Joliet “Star 96.7”; hot AC WXLC, Waukegan; news/talk/sports WJOL-AM, Joliet; news/talk WLIP, Kenosha, Wisconsin; and Spanish sports WKRS, Waukegan “ESPN Deportes 1220.”

WIBA-AM, Madison Adds Dan O’Donnell Show. The WISN, Milwaukee-based Dan O’Donnell show is now heard in the Madison market on news/talk WIBA-AM “News Talk 1310” as iHeartMedia simulcasts the late morning program.  The Dan O’Donnell show airs from 9:00 am to 11:00 am daily.  On WIBA, O’Donnell takes over for Dan Conry, whostepped away from his daily show for health and family reasons.  Conry will continue to host his Sunday program and serve as a fill-in host at the station.  WISN program director Jerry Bott states, “Dan O’Donnell has made his mark with a hard-hitting show that is factually based, providing the foundation for Dan’s cutting-edge opinions, insights, and analysis.  He’s tough, yet fair, and Dan explores all elements of current events, politics, public policy, and pop culture with unmatched energy.”

‘TheDailyCentrist’ Digital Platform Launches Targeting Independents. A new multi-media platform called TheDailyCentrist is being launched in a joint venture by Crossover Media Group, 921 Associates LLC, and media personality Rick Ungar.  A press release says, “While there are no shortages of news and opinion destinations serving the interests of the far left and far right, there has – until now – been little available to appeal to those who identify in the middle: the center-right and the center-left of the political spectrum.”  They say the platform is “crafted to serve the wide plurality of Americans who identify as political independents and the even larger numbers who, regardless of party affiliation, can be considered center-right and center-left Americans in search of solutions.”  Rick Ungar will serve as editor-in-chief.  He’s a one-time senior political contributor at Forbes.com, political analyst at Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network, and recently co-hosted the SiriusXM program “Steele & Ungar” with former RNC chairman and current MSNBC political contributor Michael Steele, who is among TheDailyCentrist’s contributors.  Ungar says, “If you like to find company online at the far right or left wings of the political spectrum, you’ve got plenty of places to go.  But when you look at the data it’s not simply a plurality but really a majority of Americans whose views are in the center-right/center-left bandwidth.  We plan to be the water cooler for that great silent majority of Americans who are underserved by political opinion – or attitude – that speaks to their sensibilities.  We will offer intelligent, thoughtful, provocative and fun conversation and engagement.  And we will scrutinize and criticize commentators, personalities, politicians and candidates who embrace either extreme political pole.”  TheDailyCentrist will offer daily columns, blogs, podcasts, and video clips from an array of political writers, commentators, and experts whose political perspectives reflect the center-right or center-left schools of American political thought.

Godwin Rises to SVP at Townsquare Media. Radio management pro Kevin Godwin is upped to senior vice president for Townsquare Media from his Northwest regional VP role and will leave his role as president of the Boise market operations.  In this new post he’ll have multiple market oversight responsibilities. The Boise cluster consists of news/talk KIDO and sports talk KFXD-AM “630 The Fan” in addition to four music radio outlets.  Taking over the Boise supervision duties is Grand Junction, Colorado market president Rick Carmean.  That move requires a new manager in Grand Junction and current director of sales Natalie Redding is promoted to lead that station group.

John Wordock Named Executive Editor, Podcasting for Westwood One. This is a newly created position for Westwood One and its new executive editor, podcasting – John Wordock – comes to the company from The Wall Street Journal where he held the title, executive producer, podcasts.  Wordock previously served as executive editor of The Wall Street Journal and Marketwatch.com Radio Networks when they were syndicated by Westwood One. Most recently, the Wordock-led division at The Wall Street Journal grew total monthly audience over 2000%, guided the multi-department team that launched the chart-topping podcast “The Future of Everything,” and developed “many other successful shows from planning to distribution.”  Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “As the fastest organically growing podcast network in the U.S. in 2018, Westwood One is thrilled to welcome John to the leadership team.  With almost 15 years of experience in podcast development, production, and distribution, coupled with his journalistic roots, John will help us expand our content portfolio with a commitment to quality and scale.”

Rare and Fascinating Air Check of Bruce Williams Surfaces.  Since the death of talk show host Bruce Williams was reported this past weekend, TALKERS has received more than a dozen personal stories from our readers citing experiences they’ve had with the legendary radio personality.  Among them, we received a fascinating air check submitted by KMZQ, Las Vegas morning host Heidi Harris that she recorded back in 1995 when she called in to Williams’ NBC Talknet program seeking advice about the sale of her pet snake.  This took place prior to Harris’ radio career, when she was working as a cocktail waitress at a Las Vegas casino.  It captures the feeling, style and tone of Williams’ work, not to mention a glimpse back at the way talk radio sounded almost a quarter century ago.  To listen, please click 

      here
.

Federal Government Funding Deal, Trump El Paso Rally/Border Wall Battle, ‘Green New Deal,’ 2020 Presidential Hopefuls, Iran’s Anti-U.S. Rally, Rep. Omar Apology, Venezuela Unrest, Grammy Awards, Alliance of American Football Debut, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/11). The tentative deal to avoid another partial shutdown of the federal government; President Trump’s El Paso rally and the deal for 55 miles of U.S.-Mexico border fence; the controversial “Green New Deal” promoted by freshman Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez; the growing number of Democrats declaring their candidacy for president in 2020; the anti-U.S. sentiments expressed at Iran’s 40th anniversary celebration of the Islamic Revolution; Rep. Ilhan Omar apologizes for anti-Israel statement; the ongoing political unrest in Venezuela; Sunday night’s Grammy Awards show; the debut of the Alliance of American Football league; and NBA Action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. “The Big Interview” program hosted by legendary newsman Dan Rather is expanding into radio.  Krantz Media Group announces that, via a successful partnership with AXS TV and its own KMG Networks, they will a expand the reach of the AXS TV series, distributing additional episodes to radio.  Advertising sales will be handled by Westwood One.  As part of the agreement, stations will receive an audio version of the archived AXS TV series in addition to a corresponding video segment, that stations may post on their websites, mobile apps, and social media channels.  Radio stations will also receive customized promotional liners and promos from Rather. This year’s guest list features beloved music icons such as The Doobie Brothers, Geddy Lee, Steve Miller, Peter FramptonLindsey Buckingham, Robert Plant, John Mellencamp, Ringo Starr, and members of The Doors, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Kansas…..Radio pro Gary Alan reports that his podcast “The Sunday Express” – heard for the past seven years on Tmvcafe.com – is now airing on Salem Media Group’s Miami business talker WZAB-AM “The Biz.” Alan says that over the years he’s welcomed such guests as Loretta Swit, Ray AbruzzoTim Robbie and more to the program…..Genesis Communications Network-syndicated talk radio personality Dr. Daliah Wachs is pictured below with the members of the Tenors of Rock at last Saturday night’s S.H.E.R.O Foundation Gala.  The S.H.E.R.O. Foundation provides resources needed to support, sustain, and empower young girls and women under the age of 25 who have been abused, abandoned, and exploited.  Dr. Wachs served as emcee for the event.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The Source magazine is out with its annual “Power 30” list of the most powerful players in hip hop culture and the nationally syndicated urban radio morning show “The Breakfast Club” – hosted by Charlamagne Tha God, DJ Envy, and Angela Yee – was on top of the list for the 6th year in a row.   Their entry says they “not only mix the music but also command the streets, represent their hoods, break new artists, deliver news and information, reign at the top of the ratings, and are social media influencers.”…..Blaine Thompson from Indiana Radio Watch tips us that Dave North exits his role as program director at Star City Broadcasting’s country WYCM, Attica, Indiana (Lafayette market) yet stays on with the company to serve as chief photographer for WPBI-TV.

Monday, February 11, 2019

| February 11, 2019

Legendary Talk Show Host Bruce Williams Dead at 86.  “Welcome my friends, welcome to my world.” It was with those words radio talk show host legend Bruce Williams began his nationally syndicated show for more than 29 years. Williams died on Saturday (2/9), at his home near Tampa, FL after a brief illness.  Spanning a career that lasted more than three decades, Bruce Williams created a loyal listenership of hundreds of thousands of people strong with his informative and entertaining program, delivered in his signature deep, warm, welcoming voice.  But, one of the most unusual and remarkable facts surrounding Williams’ National Radio Hall of Fame career is that it did not begin until he was well into his 40s.  Born February 18, 1932, Williams grew up in East Orange, NJ.  Blessed with an innate sense of business, at age 11, he devised a way to address one of the many shortages common at the end of World War II by melting down lead pipes and casting them into toy soldiers. Eyes wide open, he was off and running, pursuing every avenue where he believed a profit could be made.  After serving in the US Air Force during the Korean conflict and graduating from Newark State College (now Kean University), he opened a pre-school named after his children. He spent time driving an ice cream truck in New York City. He was also a taxi driver and drove a beer truck. For 70 years of his life, he spent the holiday season selling Christmas trees in New Jersey.  On the white-collar side, Williams sold insurance, owned a flower shop, a car rental agency, a barber shop and he owned and operated several nightclubs.  There was even a whirlwind tour into the world of politics where the Honorable Bruce H. Williams was elected to the Franklin, NJ Township Council, as well as serving terms as Deputy Mayor and Mayor between 1967 and 1975.  It was the weight and wealth of these life experiences that Williams relied on throughout his accomplished radio career and gave depth to his on-air persona.  His outstanding career began in 1975 at WCTC 1450 Talk Radio, The Voice of Central New Jersey, where Williams hosted a show called “At Your Service.”  After some time, his success took him to WMCA, New York where his momentum and audience continued to build. Williams’ growing popularity brought him to the attention of radio executives at NBC who were searching for a host of a national nightly advice-oriented talk show. After a long selection process, Williams was chosen and his program launched in November of 1981. It was from this platform, his reputation as a broadcaster blossomed.  That blossom was almost nipped a year later, when a plane he was piloting crashed into some trees during an aborted landing attempt. Critically injured and nearly dead when he arrived at the Medical Center of Princeton, Williams rallied and was back on the air broadcasting again from his hospital room, just four weeks after the accident. Over the next three decades, Williams’ voice was heard coast-to-coast as he became one of the most listened to talk show hosts in radio history.  The industry recognized Williams’ accomplishments in 1999 when he was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in Chicago. TALKERS magazine also honored Williams in 2002 by including him at Number Six in its list of the Greatest Radio Talk Show Hosts of all Time.  He authored six financial and real estate advice books as well as a syndicated advice column called Smart Money.  Bruce Williams was 81 years old when he hung up his head phones for the final time in 2013, signing off as he always did by saying, “Keep in touch.”  Upon learning of Williams’ death, TALKERS founder Michael Harrison stated, “He was one of a kind and represented a breed of radio talk show host that made the genre truly special among all formats – a seemingly ‘regular guy’ who simply knew the answer to just about every problem that people face in day-to-day life and was happy to share it in completely understandable terms when asked for advice.”  Radio consultant Valerie Geller shared the following thoughts about Williams with TALKERS, “Bruce influenced my career. In the early days he kindly and generously spent time encouraging me.  This man was the original radio late night ‘companion, personality and  expert…’ helping thousands of listeners with personal advice, business advice and more importantly, being a ‘friend in the night.’ A powerful storyteller and powerful communicator, we have lost  a true talent.”

More on the Great Bruce WilliamsTALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the profile piece he did on Bruce Williams years ago while writing for Inside Radio.  In the piece, Williams is very frank about the success he achieved in the talk radio business and talks openly about the ups and downs he experienced in radio.  Williams told Kinosian at the time, “I don’t know many people who’ve been successful who haven’t also failed.  We’re blessed to be in a society where failure isn’t a condemnation.” Read this insightful piece here.

Monday Memo: PPM Myths Debunked. Consultant Holland Cooke presents this week’s Monday Memo in which he offers some advice on station identification and keeping listeners in order to maximize ratings.  In some circles, post-PPM thought was that the meter diminished – or even eliminated! – the need to say the calls/frequency because now the meter registered “true” listening.  Cooke says there are still very good reasons to ID the station.  Read his memo on this matter here.

WLS-AM, Chicago Program Director Peter Bolger to Retire. As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, five-year WLS-AM operations manager and program director Peter Bolger announces he’s retiring from the station and the radio business, effective March 15.  There is no predestined successor to Bolger.  Cumulus Media Chicago vice president and market manager Marv Nyren says, “I cannot begin to tell you how appreciative I am for all that Peter has done for this station over the years and the recent rebuild of the on-air lineup.  I can only thank him for all he’s done and wish him the best as he enjoys life.  With many years in radio…he has been a proponent of our medium and we will miss his calm personality and talent in the hallways.” As Feder notes, the last five years have seen a lot of change at the venerable AM signal and there’s nowhere else to go but up for struggling news/talker.  Read Feder’s thoughts on the matter here

Raj Sharan Rises to Program Bonneville’s Denver Sports Talk Duo. Assistant program director and executive producer Raj Sharan is promoted to program director for Bonneville’s Denver sports talk stations KKFN-FM “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” and KEPN-AM “ESPN Denver 1600,” effective immediately.  The PD position opened after Armen Williams joined Entercom’s sports talk KILT-AM, Houston.  Bonneville Denver VP/market manager Bob Call states, “I couldn’t be happier to give Raj the opportunity to program Denver’s biggest sports brand, ‘104.3 The Fan.’  Raj has a natural leadership quality that is apparent the moment you meet him.  His creativity, superb coaching skills, and knowledge of winning sports content makes him the perfect choice to lead ‘104.3 The Fan’ into the future.”

Chris Ganoudis to Lead Curtis Media’s Raleigh News/Talk and Oldies Duo. Moving from JVC Broadcasting’s Orlando operations to Curtis Media Group’s Raleigh offices is radio sales and management pro Chris Ganoudis.  He assumes the general manager position for the company’s news/talk WPTF, oldies WPTK-AM/W284CP “Just Right Radio,” and Triangle Traffic Network.  Curtis Media Group president/COO, Trip Savery comments, “I am very pleased to welcome Chris to North Carolina and Curtis Media Group.  Chris brings a proven track record of success and is a great addition to our Raleigh management team.  I am confident he will lead these brands to even greater success.”

Entercom Launches Digital Sports Platform ‘Radio.com Sports.’ A new digital sports platform is being unveiled by Entercom called RADIO.COM Sports.  Entercom says this will serve “to magnify the company’s unmatched local business to a more prominent national scale in order to better serve its listeners and advertisers.  RADIO.COM Sports will sit atop Entercom’s deep roster of leading local sports stations and will also be fully integrated into RADIO.COM.” Entercom president of sports Mike Dee adds, “RADIO.COM Sports is a strategic initiative to further elevate our existing portfolio of local brands and personalities and provide a more robust and unified experience for fans coast to coast.  The platform also offers our advertisers an efficient way to tap into Entercom’s scale and multiplatform content.”  As part of the launch, RADIO.COM Sports will kick off its RADIO.COM Sports Insiders program, a network of experts across all major sports who will make appearances on Entercom sports stations nationwide to provide insight and commentary.  This premium content will also be available on demand.  Sports Insiders will include Joe Girardi, former Major League Baseball player, manager and current analyst for the MLB Network; Ross Tucker, former National Football League offensive lineman and current national sports broadcaster; Bob Nightengale, USA Today MLB columnist; Jason La Canfora, CBSSports.com NFL columnist; Armando Salguero, Miami Herald sports columnist; as well as others who will soon be added.  Dee says, “We are going to be aggressive to expand our depth chart of new talent as well as use our existing stars in new ways on multiple distribution channels outside of their home market, and in many cases, on our expanding digital and editorial platforms.”  Entercom inks Mercedes-Benz as its launch partner.

Beasley Reveals Q4 2018 and Full-Year Financial Data; Pro Forma Net Revenue Up 9.9%. The fourth quarter and 2018 full-year financial report for Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc indicates net revenue for Q4 was $75.6 million, an increase of 29.1%.  For all of 2018, net revenue was $257.5 million, an increase of 10.3% over 2017.  These numbers reflect the sale of Beasley’s six-station Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville cluster, the exchange of WMJX-FM and $12 million for sports talk WBZ-FM in Boston, and the acquisition of country WXTU-FM, Philadelphia from Entercom.  The company’s pro forma net revenue cited here reflects the operations and results from WBZ-FM in the three and 12 months ended December 31, 2018 and WMJX-FM in the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2017, prior to its divestiture. The results also reflect a full quarter’s contribution from WXTU-FM in the three months ended December 31, 2018 and approximately five months of contribution from WXTU-FM in the 12 months ended December 31, 2018 and four months of contribution from the Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville stations in the 12-month period ended December 31, 2017.  Beasley’s pro forma net revenue for Q4 was up 9.4%.  For the full year of 2018, pro forma net revenue was $263.5 million, an increase of 4.7% over 2017.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley says, “Our record 2018 fourth quarter and full-year revenue and strong operating results, despite the benefit of non-cash transaction related and tax items in the 2017 period, highlight the value being created as we execute strategies to expand our scale, diversify our revenue mix, and leverage the value of our local brands in our core and ancillary verticals.  Actual fourth quarter revenue rose by 29.1% on a year-over-year basis driven by net revenue increases at 10 of our clusters, recent acquisitions and station swaps and approximately $3.9 million of fourth quarter gross political revenue.  While we remain focused on diversifying our operating base, our fourth quarter pro-forma revenue rose an impressive 9.9%.  Fourth quarter net income declined from 2017 levels solely because of gains and tax benefits in the year-ago period that did not recur in the 2018 fourth quarter.”

Jeff Foxworthy Visits Old Pal Jim Villanucci on ‘101.7 The Team’ in Albuquerque. Pictured above is comic Jeff Foxworthy with afternoon drive talk show host Jim Villanucci at Team Broadcasting’s sports talk KQTM-FM, “101.7 The Team” studios. Foxworthy is an old friend of Villanucci’s from the stand-up circuit and stopped by to chat on Villanucci’s radio show while appearing in the Albuquerque area.  Pictured above are (from l-r): Villanucci, Foxworthy, show special correspondent Sam Hauser, and show producer Robert Maler.  Hauser is new to Villanucci’s show, officially joining today as special correspondent from his most recent gig with Alpha Media’s Austin, Minnesota station group where he managed the sports department at its news/talk outlet for three years.

Border Wall Battle, New Government Shutdown, Warren in Iowa/2020 Presidential Hopefuls, Ilhan Omar Anti-Israel Statements, Virginia Political Chaos, Venezuela Unrest, Grammy Awards, Alliance of American Football Debut, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The political battle over President Trump’s plan for a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border; the threat of another federal government shutdown; Senator Elizabeth Warren announces presidential campaign and the related story of the Democratic field of contenders; the flap over Muslim U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar’s accusation AIPAC buys off U.S. politicians to support Israel; the political chaos in Virginia over the blackface scandals involving Governor Ralph Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring and the sexual assault accusation against Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax; the unstable political situation in Venezuela; Sunday night’s Grammy Awards show; the debut of the Alliance of American Football league; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

SEAN HANNITY TO KEYNOTE: 2019 Talkers Convention Set for NYC. The 22nd annual installment of the longest-running, most-important national talk media convention has been set for Friday, June 7, 2019 in New York City. Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will take place at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan.  It has just been confirmed that Premiere Networks and FOX News Channel superstar Sean Hannity will reprise his long-standing role as the morning breakfast host and kickoff speaker for this convention.  Hannity will be joined by TALKERS founder Michael Harrison in the event’s annual one-on-one opening keynote conversation.  The rest of the stellar agenda of speakers and sessions will begin to be announced next week.  The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, one-on-one conversations and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception — all in a single, power-packed day! Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments, costs $329 per person. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. To take advantage of the hotel discount available to TALKERS convention attendees, contact the Hilton Fashion District Hotel located directly across the street from the venue at 152 W. 26th St, New York, NY 10001 by clicking here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. A new rock outlet debuts in Columbus as iHeartMedia flips WXZX-FM from sports talk to classic rock as “105.7 The Brew, The New Generation of Classic Rock.”  iHeartMedia Columbus VP of programming Michael McCoy says the station’s playlist will focus on rock from the 80s into the 2000s, including songs from core artists such as AC/DCFoo Fighters, Tom Petty, Soundgarden, Van Halen, Metallica, Mötley Crüe, and Guns N’ Roses.  The station is bringing Columbus radio personalities Mark Blazor and DaveMan aboard.  McCoy says, “We are excited to offer a unique station for Columbus’ rock listeners.  The Brew’s mission is to provide one great rock song after another and that’s why we call it the new generation of Classic Rock.”…..Programmer Randy Hawke is promoted to vice president of programming at Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s Madison, Wisconsin cluster.  He’s been serving as PD for rock WJJO and OM for the cluster that includes rhythmic CHR WJQM “93.1 Jamz,” alternative WRIS “106.7 The Resistance,” and sports talk WOZN. In this new role, he’ll serve as PD for adult contemporary WMGM “Magic 98,” country WWQM “Q106,” and classic country WHIT “Hank.”  At the same time, the company ups APD/MD Jennifer “Ski” Crowell to program director for WJJO…..On-air pro Bill Mitchell adds to his morning gig on Magnum Media’s country WMBZ, West Bend, Wisconsin by also handling the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show at the company’s country WVTY, Racine, Wisconsin.   Magnum Media owner Dave Magnum says, “Factoring in market-wide remote broadcasts and promotions, we wanted some personality cross pollination between ‘Buzz Country’ and ‘VTY Country.’  With [morning host] Mitch Morgan and Bill Mitchell on both stations, we’ve achieved that objective.”…..A number of staff changes take place at Griffin Communications’ Tulsa cluster.  First, Dave “Wavy Davy” Michaels joins the company as PD and afternoon personality at classic hits KBEZ “92.9 The Drive.”  Wavy Davy comes from Cox Media Group’s crosstown classic rock KJSR “103.3 The Eagle.” Second, Tanner Messer is promoted to host of the afternoon drive shift at classic country KXBL “Big Country 99.5” and the evening jock at country KVOO.  Finally, Nikki Reid is now host of afternoons on KVOO and night jock at CHR KHTT “K-HITS 106.9.”…..Pictured below is the staff of rhythmic oldies XHRM, San Diego “Magic 92.5” bestowing the first-ever “Magic 92.5 Lifetime Achievement Award” to radio legend Art Laboe.  The award recognizes Laboe’s many achievements over his legendary 75-year radio broadcasting career and was presented in front of an audience of more than 6,000 people at the station’s 2019 Valentine’s Super Love Jam concert on February 9.  Pictured (from l-r) are: Magic 92.5’s Greg Mack, Rick Nuhn, Xavier “The X-Man,” R Dub!, Laboe, Jagger & Kristi, Sheryl Love, Hurricane Andrew, Jammin’ Jay Michaels, Kelly Cole, and Billy Blast. Photo: Alan Hess

“Holiday” 2018 PPM Analysis: News/Talk

| February 4, 2019

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

LOS ANGELES — A thorough analysis of commercial, English-language news/talk properties concludes our four-part series of “Holiday” 2018 PPM overviews.

All commercial, English-language news/talk outlets (including their online stream, if applicable) that appeared in any of the 48 PPM-markets (6+, “Holiday” 2018) are included – there are no ratings restrictions whatsoever.

Thus, if Nielsen Audio listed a commercial, English-language news/talk station (or stream) in “Holiday” 2018, it appears below and, unless otherwise noted, its information was factored into all of our highlighted charts.

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

Read More

Thursday, January 31, 2019

| January 31, 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 Holiday 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk.  The annual Holiday PPM survey is generally not kind to spoken-word formats and sports talk took a hit to the chin as just 26% of stations saw their weekly, 6+ AQH share increase and 62% went down.  However, comparing Holiday 2017 to Holiday 2018, 57% of stations improved, led by Entercom’s WJFK-FM, Washington (+1.4) and WKRK, Cleveland (+1.2), and RadiOhio’s WBNS-FM, Columbus (+1.1).  Two sports talk stations ranked in the top three in their respective markets during the Holiday 2018 survey – Entercom’s WIP, Philadelphia at #2 with a 7.1 share and Beasley Media Group’s WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” at #3 with 5.6 share.  See the whole report here.

Cumulus Names Steve Finateri to Lead Detroit Cluster. Director of sales Steve Finateri is promoted to vice president and market manager for Cumulus Media’s Detroit station group that includes heritage news/talker WJR, country WDRQ, CHR WDVD, and classic country WDRQ-HD2.  Finateri joined Cumulus in 2006 as national sales manager for WJR and transitioned to local sales manager for the station in 2008. Finateri says, “It’s a privilege and an honor to represent such an elite team of media professionals.  Our Cumulus Detroit radio stations reach over 1.6 million listeners weekly, delivering over 42% of Metro Detroit’s total population, even more when you include WJR’s booming regional signal that adds significant listenership throughout Michigan. Cumulus Detroit has Michigan’s most well-known and beloved radio personalities and is the home of the Detroit Lions Radio Network and flagship for Michigan State University football and basketball.  Those assets, coupled with Cumulus Media’s robust suite of sophisticated digital offerings, give us all the horsepower we need to be the one-stop shop for effective marketing campaigns for our customers who range from local businesses on up to Michigan’s largest companies.”

Kim Martinez Elevated to SVP/Market Manager for Entercom Portland.  Media sales pro Kim Martinez is named senior vice president and market manager for Entercom’s Portland, Oregon station group that includes sports talk outlets KFXX “1080 The Fan” and KMTT “910 ESPN” plus seven music brands.  Martinez was most recently vice president of digital sales for the company.  She says, “It is such a great time to be in radio, the number one reach medium in the U.S. I’m looking forward to joining this team and to be associated with these incredible brands that make a positive impact on the Portland community every day.”

John Boehner No Fan of Talk Radio. Former House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) told the Caxambas Republican Club of Marco Island, Florida that the recent federal government shutdown was caused by Republicans in Congress who listen to talk radio.  According to a report in The Hill, Boehner was speaking to the group on Monday (1/28) when he called accused “talk radio  people” of influencing legislators – “goofballs on the right” – who agreed to President Trump’s demand for $5 billion for a U.S.-Mexico border wall.  He went on to say, “When I was looking for legislative strategy, the last place I looked was talk radio.  The second last place I looked was the knucklehead caucus, who don’t know how to vote ‘yes’ on anything.  They did the president a total disservice.”

SiriusXM 2018 Q4 Revenue Up 7%. Fourth quarter 2018 and full-year financial data for SiriusXM has been released and the satellite radio company announces it hit record revenue of $1.5 billion in Q4 and $5.8 billion for the year – increases of 7% and 6% respectively.  Net income for the fourth quarter of 2018 was $251 million, compared to the loss of $37 million the company reported in Q4 of 2017.  Net income for 2018 was $1.2 billion, up from $648 million for all of 2017. SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer says, “SiriusXM had a strong finish to 2018, a year that saw our ninth consecutive year of one-million-plus net subscriber adds and our lowest full-year churn rate in the past decade.  We have set even more ambitious goals for the company to continue growing in 2019.  In addition, we were pleased that yesterday Pandora’s stockholders voted in favor of our proposed merger and expect to close the transaction shortly.”

THE TALKERS INTERVIEW: A Conversation with ‘Our American Stories’ Founder and Host, Lee Habeeb. A longtime radio innovator, Salem Radio Network VP/content Lee Habeeb longed to create something new and different for commercial news/talk radio listeners – a show that would tell stories about American life. They would be stories about our nation’s past and present including sports, the arts, business, innovation, science and everything in-between. It would be a show that would tell the story of America to Americans. “This is a great country precisely because it is a good country,” Habeeb tells TALKERS. “The American people are longing for programming that’s positive, beautiful and good to lift their spirits, and tell the story of the country we all love – because the schools and colleges sure as heck aren’t doing it. And radio will attract a whole bunch of new listeners if we do it right.” Thanks to some significant donor support, and the blessing of his bosses at Salem, Habeeb founded American Private Radio (APR), an independent non-profit alternative to National Public Radio (NPR). APR’s debut show is, by all accounts, doing it right – at least if its impressive growth is any indication. Titled “Our American Stories,” the innovative program debuted on two stations in 2015 and recently passed the 170-affiliate mark, recently announcing some big new additions, including daily slots on KABC, Los Angeles and WHO, Des Moines. It is a meticulously produced show, with a wide range of subjects targeted to a wide audience. It is designed, according to Habeeb, to reach Americans who long for a show to reinforce their values and beliefs. However, he seeks to accomplish this “without all the debate and anger that political debates engender and without the pretentiousness and elitism of public radio.” It is also designed to be a safe space for advertisers to wrap their brand around and be extremely business friendly. “It is entrepreneurs who built the country, who employ people, and generate the taxes that help pay our teachers, police and our safety net,” Habeeb adds. “We celebrate our entrepreneurs, old and new, and their risk taking and their spirit on our show. American life is unimaginable without them.” TALKERS caught up with Habeeb to talk about the show we believe will be one of the big break-out hits of 2019. To read the entire TALKERS interview with Lee Habeeb conducted by Michael Harrison, please click here.

TALKERS News Notes. A new iHeartRadio Original Podcast is launched titled, “Sore Losers,” featuring The Bobby Bones Show’s Lunchbox, Eddie, and RayPremiere Networks says the new show is part of Bobby Bones’ Nashville Podcast Network.  It’s a daily podcast featuring the trio of 30-something friends as they discuss all things sports.  Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott says, “Lunchbox, Eddie, and Ray give listeners a front-row seat to real, and often hilarious, conversations among friends who have at least one thing in common – their love of sports.  We’re excited to have this fun and relatable podcast as part of our entertaining and diverse roster of audio content.”…..Beasley Media Group adds the “TwistedPhilly” podcast to its bPod Studios platform.  The program was created and is hosted by Deana Marie in which she “uncovers bone-chilling tales of mischief, mayhem, and nefarious goings on in the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection.” The podcast has a growing listenership that has it rapidly approaching one million downloads to date…..TM Studios announces that Dave Bethell joins the company as creative director/new business development and Chris Stevens comes aboard as vice president, affiliate management.  The company says these moves “play into a new affiliation strategy for jingles at TM, where creative staff will be directly involved with clients from the beginning of the affiliation process.”  TM Studios general manager and vice president of creative Greg Clancy says, “Both of these guys truly understand the art of sung jingles and they know that jingles are the most effective branding tools on the radio.  These moves ensure that programmers are given VIP treatment in their search for the perfect sounds for their stations. Our creatives will be involved in every step of the process.”…..SiriusXM welcomes PGA Tour pro Brad Faxon to its PGA Tour Radio channel where he’ll debut his new show, “Just the Fax,” on February 4…..TALKERS sends condolences to the family and friends of Chuck Edwards, who died recently at age 49.  Edwards was the creative services director at Alpha Media’s Biloxi-Gulfport cluster and also served as the stadium voice of the New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans.

Trump Attacks Intel Chiefs, Trump-Russia Investigation, Midwest Record Cold, Virginia Abortion Bill Controversy, 2020 Presidential Candidates, Christie Book, Venezuela Unrest, and Super Bowl LIII Build-Up Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/30). The criticism of U.S. military intelligence chiefs on North Korean and Iran by President Trump; the indictment of Trump adviser Roger Stone and the Robert Mueller-led Trump-Russia investigation; the record cold affecting much of the U.S. Midwest; the controversial Virginia late-term abortion bill; the candidates for president in 2020; former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s new book, Let Me Finish; the political unrest in Venezuela; and the build-up to Super Bowl LIII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Veteran Talk Programmer and Communications Professor David Bernstein Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the most seasoned radio programmers in the industry, David Bernstein, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Bernstein, who’s programmed such heritage outlets as WOR, New York; WRKO and WBZ-AM, Boston; WTIC-AM, Hartford; and WPRO-AM, Providence, is currently the general manager of TALKERS magazine’s experimental radio showcase TalkersRadio and has been serving as a professor in the Department of Communication at Caldwell University in New Jersey for the past three years. Harrison and Bernstein engage in an informal chat about his view of our changing society from the front-line perspective of teaching a college communications class. Check it out! 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.

PLAN AHEAD, DON’T BE SHUT OUT! 2019 Talkers Convention Set for NYC. The 22nd annual installment of the longest-running, most-important national talk media convention has been set for Friday, June 7, 2019 in New York City. Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will take place at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan. The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, one-on-one conversations and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception — all in a single, power-packed day! Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited, and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments, costs $329 per person. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. To take advantage of the hotel discount available to TALKERS convention attendees, contact the Hilton Fashion District Hotel located directly across the street from the venue at 152 W. 26th St, New York, NY 10001 by clicking here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Former WARH, St. Louis “The Arch” morning personality Spencer Graves is joining Atlanta’s country WUBL “94.9 The Bull” to co-host mornings with current morning personality Kristen Gates.  Graves takes over for Jason Pullman, who recently exited “The Bull.”…..Programmer and music industry pro Willobee Carlan joins Colorado Public Radio’s triple A OpenAir format as program director. The format is currently heard on stations and translators in Denver, Colorado Springs, Boulder, and more than a dozen other signals across the state.  Carlan was most recently with Nevada Public Radio’s KVNV, Sun Valley, Nevada “NV89.”  CPR president and CEO Stewart Vanderwilt says, “We are thrilled to welcome Willobee as OpenAir’s next leader and begin a new chapter in the station’s ongoing development.  Music discovery is an essential part of the Colorado experience and likewise CPR’s service.  We’re confident Willobee’s experience and leadership will help elevate OpenAir and the distinct mix of new, independent and local music important to Colorado.”…..Mid-West Family Broadcasting launches a new classic rock station in the Benton Harbor/St. Joseph, Michigan market on WQLQ-HD2 and translator W239CJ branded as “95.7 The Lake.”  Director of programming and content Bill Gamble is quoted in a story by sister news/talk station WSJM-FM saying, “One of the things when we decided to put this radio station together is we didn’t want to make it like every other radio station across the country.  There’s 50 years-plus of great rock music and a lot of it doesn’t get played on the radio.”…..Starlite Broadcasting agrees to buy hot AC KLTG-FM, Corpus Christi and country KHLB-FM, Mason, Texas from Tejas Broadcasting for $600,000.  Media Services Group represented the seller.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

| January 30, 2019

Brad Lane to Program WTMJ and WKTI/WAUK in Milwaukee.  Programming pro Brad Lane is named program director for Good Karma Brands’ news/talk WTMJ and sports talk duo WKTI-FM/WAUK-AM “ESPN 94.5” and “540 ESPN,” effective February 6.  He was most recently program director as Hubbard Radio’s sports talk KSTP-AM, Minneapolis.  Lane says, “This is a dream role to work with a legacy station like WTMJ and the powerful brand of ‘ESPN Milwaukee.’  I’m excited to work with the incredible team and resources available to make our content more engaging, relevant, and obtainable on all platforms, along with helping to cultivate and foster development of personalities on all our stations.  I’m enormously grateful to Craig Karmazin, [VP/GM] Steve Wexler, and all of Good Karma Brands for the chance to lead these content teams and join one of the most innovative companies in the country.”  Steve Wexler adds, “We are thrilled to welcome Brad to the Good Karma Brands family.  His leadership, vision and creativity will help us continue to grow our news, sports and event marketing brands in Wisconsin.”

FNR’s New Podcast: ‘The Candidates with Bret Baier.’ A new podcast series is debuting from FOX News Radio called “The Candidates with Bret Baier,” beginning February 12.  The weekly podcast will focus on the 2020 field of presidential candidates.  Each week, Baier will be joined by a rotating panel of experts who will discuss “the latest on each candidate, their motivation towards entering the race, their possible campaign strategy and potential path to victory.”

iHeartMedia Debuts New Afternoon Show at ‘The Game’ in Orlando. Sports talk outlet WYGM-AM/W245CL “FM 96.9 The Game” announced the launch of the new “In the Zone with Brandon Kravitz and The Shot Doctor” program to air in afternoon drive beginning on February 11.  The program will star Brandon Kravitz along with “The Shot Doctor” Austin Pistulka who serves as the executive producer.  iHeartMedia RVP of programming for iHeartMedia North Florida Rick Everett says, “We’re extremely excited about the new era of ‘FM 96.9 The Game.’  When you’re looking for the best live sports talk, this is the place to tune in.”  Kravitz says, “For the last several years, I’ve been honing my craft and working towards this goal.  I plan to bring a fresh approach to afternoon drive, while engaging with our interactive audience.  I cannot wait to link back up with The Shot Doctor – we have chemistry from two years of doing afternoon drive together in the past and I look forward to picking up where we left off and taking it to the next level.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Houston sports talker KFNC-FM “ESPN 97.5” gets some love from the Houston Press as the Best Radio Station in its Best of Houston 2019 feature.  The paper says of the Gow Media sports talk outlet: “After some rough patches, Gow has built a mini media empire in Houston that includes ‘ESPN 97.5,’ a station that not only has content from the biggest sports network on the planet, but has some of the most talented personalities in the city, including guys like Lance Zierlein and John Granato, still the best pairing of morning sports talk hosts in the city’s history, and Raheel Ramzanali and Del Olaleye, who managed to stick out the myriad number of changes at the various Gow stations over the years.”…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that longtime WGN-AM news anchor Judy Pielach – who recently left the station after taking a Tribune Broadcasting-offered buyout – was on the air with new WLS-AM morning personality Erich Mancow Muller yesterday (1/29) auditioning for a contributor role with the program.  Feder quotes Muller saying of Pielach’s performance, “I thought she was fantastic! A pro. Talent trumps all.”…..The Post and Courier is reporting that the South Carolina college sports-focused “SportsTalk” show with host Phil Kornblut is ending its run on the S.C. Radio Network because Learfield/IMG is shutting the network down, saying it has been “underperforming.”  Kornblut has hosted a sports talk show on the network since it launched 35 years ago.  The story indicated he is working to continue the show and for now it appears it’ll still air on Glory Communications’ WQXL-AM/W264DF “The Point” from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm nightly…..Back in the Windy City, William J. Kelly, host of the “Citizen Kelly Show,” announces his show will soon have an FM presence in the Chicagoland market.  His show is heard on WCGO, Evanston and he says it will “soon be heard on Pollack Broadcasting’s soon-to-be launched FM talk station, 95.9 FM.”…..Nationally syndicated talk radio host, author, and clinical psychologist Dr. Ellen Kenner – who calls herself a “romance guide” – is celebrating her 22nd anniversary as a talk radio host this weekend.  Dr. Kenner is also available for Valentine’s Day interviews…..Public media company KQED in San Francisco promotes Maria Miller to the position of chief administrative officer in which she’ll be responsible for “ensuring the efficient and effective performance of KQED by strategizing, developing, planning, and implementing effective operational and administrative functions.”  Since June 2016 she has been vice president, human resources & chief labor/employment council.

PPM Analysis: All-News. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on 6+ data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on the all-news format. The annual Holiday ratings period usually sees boosts for the music stations playing Christmas music and dips for spoken-word stations and that was the case for all-news as nine of the nation’s news stations declined (weekly 6+ AQH share). Comparing the Holiday 2017 data to Holiday 2018, it was a wash with half the stations improving and half declining. Entercom’s WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago and WWJ, Detroit, along with Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington all held onto their #2 ranking in their respective markets during the Holiday survey.  See the whole report here.

FOX News Channel Marks 17 Years as Top Cable Newser; ‘Hannity’ Most-Watched, Non-College Football Cable Program in January. According to data from Nielsen Media Research, FOX News Channel was the most-watched cable news network for the 17th year straight, besting its competition – CNN and MSNBC – in total viewers and the 25-54 demo.  January viewing figures indicated the prime time “Hannity” show with host Sean Hannity, was the most-watched, non-college football cable telecast during the month.  Hannity was the top cable news prime time show with total viewers of 3 million-plus and 538,000 viewers in the 25-54 demo.  For all of prime time, FNC averaged 2.2 million total viewers (beating MSNBC’s 1.97 million and CNN’s 1.2 million) and in the 25-54 demo averaged 382,000 (topping CNN’s 363,000 and MSNBC’s 349,000).  It’s worth noting, however, that FNC’s January 2019 total day rating of total viewers – 1.32 million – was down from January 2018 by 11%.  Primetime total viewers – 2.2 million – was also down 10%, year over year.  For both total day and primetime in January 2019, FNC’s 25-54 viewers were down 20% from last year.

iHeartMedia Announces Ohio Management Promotions. Two sales pros rise at iHeartMedia as Jeff Rovinsky is promoted from his vice president of sales position at iHeartMedia North Ohio to market president for the Akron and Canton markets.  At the same time, Matt Razzante is upped from his account executive position with the company’s Cleveland station group to general sales manager for the Akron, Canton, and Cleveland markets.  iHeartMedia North Ohio SVP of sales George Allen comments, “I could not be more excited for Jeff and Matt.  Jeff has a proven track record of success with iHeartMedia and he will excel as market president for Akron and Canton.  Matt has demonstrated tremendous leadership abilities and this elevated role is well earned. Congratulations to both of them.”

Border Wall Battle, Trump-Russia Investigation, North Korea-Iran Report, U.S.-China Trade War-Huawei Allegations, Brokaw ‘Hispanic Assimilation’ Controversy, Record Cold Hits Midwest, 2020 Presidential Candidates, the AOC Movement, Venezuela Unrest, and Super Bowl LIII Build-Up Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/29). The political battle over President Trump’s plan for a U.S.-Mexico border wall; the indictment of Trump adviser Roger Stone and the Robert Mueller-led Trump-Russia investigation; the U.S. military intelligence report indicating North Korea still has active nuclear weapons projects and that Iran is not trying to build a bomb; the U.S.-China trade war and the charges against Huawei and CEO Meng Wanzhou; the controversy over newsman Tom Brokaw’s statement that Hispanics in the U.S. should try harder to assimilate; the record cold hitting the U.S. Midwest today; the 2020 presidential candidates; the attention being paid to freshman Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez’s socialist policies; the political unrest in Venezuela; and the build-up to Super Bowl LIII 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 third personality joins the Westwood One-syndicated Ty Bentli country morning show based at Cumulus Media’s NASH campus.  Tricia Jenkins will join Bentli and co-host Chuck Wicks in mid-February.  She was most recently the midday personality and music director at Entercom’s country KMNB, Minneapolis.  Late last year, Kelly Ford exited the formerly named “Ty, Kelly and Chuck” show and it was renamed the Ty Bentli show.  Ford is back in NYC as morning host on Cumulus’ WNSH “NASH FM 94.7.”  Speaking about Tricia Jenkins, Bentli says, “TJ is one of the most amazing women I know. Her value goes beyond the magic she will bring on-air with the Ty Bentli show – she’s hilariously honest, strategically focused, and innately curious about others.  Tricia Jenkins, welcome to the Music City!”…..Quad Cities morning duo “Dwyer & Michaels” – Greg Dwyer and Bill Michaels – re-sign with Townsquare Media’s classic rock WXLP “97X” to continue hosting their program through 2023…..The Envision Networks-syndicated program “The Country Oldies Show” is celebrating its 25th anniversary.  The program was launched by host Steve Warren in 1994 from studios in New York City.  Warren says, “I guess when we first started the show, the country music world had tilted toward all the ‘hot, young, new’ artists.  It was crazy.  Since I started in country radio very young, my career was parallel to many of the superstars of an earlier era. Now, every week, as I sit in our studio to produce the show, I feel like I’m in the company of old friends.”

Friday, January 25, 2019

| January 25, 2019

Brad Hardin Rises to COO for National Programming Group. The new title for iHeartMedia executive programmer Brad Hardin is chief operating officer for the National Programming Group.  In this expanded role, Hardin will report to chief programming officer Tom Poleman.  He’ll continue to manage programming efforts for the company’s radio brands and provide a vast array of national programming assets, services, and resources to local programmers across the U.S.  He’ll also oversee iHeartMedia’s executive vice presidents of programming, the brand management in-house format team, talent development, research and marketing.  Poleman says, “I couldn’t ask for a better partner than Brad in leading the programming for our stations.  His extensive programming experience gives us tremendous insights into the nuances of station dynamics and opportunities.  I’m excited to get to collaborate with him for years to come as we continue to grow iHeart’s programming.”  Hardin has served iHM in programming leadership roles for more than 20 years.

iHeart’s WONK-FM, Washington Adds ‘Armstrong & Getty’ for Evenings. The KSTE, Sacramento-based “Armstrong & Getty” morning show – with hosts Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty – grabs an East Coast affiliate as Entercom’s new DC news/talker WONK-FM adds the program to the schedule in the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot.  “Armstrong & Getty” has been airing on affiliate stations in the West for years and recently announced plans to expand nationally. WONK-FM launched earlier this month on WWDC-HD2 at 101.1 FM and W284CQ at 104.7 FM.  Program director Michael Czarnecki says the station is “a contemporary approach to delivering a ‘wonk-centric’ and uniquely DC view of the news.”

DC’s ‘Sports Junkies’ Airing in Hampton Roads Market. When Entercom announced the re-signing of the morning drive “Sports Junkies” show (John Auville, Eric BickelJason Bishop, and John-Paul Flaim) that airs on sports talk WJFK-FM, Washington, it noted the program would seek to add affiliate stations in the Mid-Atlantic region. Now, Sinclair Communications (not to be confused with Baltimore-based Sinclair Broadcasting) adds the program to its Hampton Roads sports talker WTAR-AM/W243DJ, Norfolk.  The program will replace FOX Sports Radio’s “Outkick the Coverage” with Clay Travis and the 9:00 am hour of the Dan Patrick show.  Sinclair’s Bob Sinclair says, “We are thrilled to bring the ‘Sports Junkies’ to Hampton Roads and add them to our already stellar lineup. The show has been one of the best sports programs in the country for over 20 years and provides amazing coverage of the Redskins, Capitals, Nationals, Wizards, and more.  And with so many of our listeners being fans of those teams, they will fit in perfectly here in the 757.”

Bo Mattingly Radio Show to End. Arkansas sports media pro Bo Mattingly is ending his 12-year-old regional sports talk radio show to focus on podcasting and video. Mattingly’s radio show is heard on KARN-AM, Little Rock “The Sports Animal” and several other stations in the state.  It’s produced by his Sport&Story company.  The show will wrap after the February 28 edition. Mattingly says, “Our plans include producing premier content for sports fans all over the world, starting right here in Arkansas.  As part of our expansion, it has become obvious that Razorback fans want more. This format will allow us to give Arkansas fans content in a way they’ve never had it before.  It’s time to take the next step.  We are investing all of our access, interviews, and resources into giving Hog fans a whole new experience, filled with insights, stories they can tell and so much more.  As a company, we’ve always been interested in producing creative content beyond radio. I look forward to the new stories we are going to be able to tell on these wide-reaching platforms, but our listeners and Razorback fans will always be important to us and we remain committed to developing local content for them in exciting new ways.”

Zaslowsky Upped at WGN-AM. Four-year White Sox radio network staffer David Zaslowsky is promoted to manager and executive producer of the WGN Radio Sports Network.  In this role, Zaslowsky will oversee relations for the WGN Radio White Sox Radio Network of 15 affiliate stations, coordinate feature content on the network, and integrate play-by-play talent and White Sox personalities into WGN Radio’s daily programming.  WGN begins broadcasting Chicago White Sox games from Spring Training on February 23.

RTDNF Names 2019 First Amendment Award Honorees.  The Radio Television Digital News Foundation will honor the recipients of its 2019 First Amendment Awards at a ceremony on March 13 at the Marriott Marquis Washington, DC.  This year’s honorees are: First Amendment Award: CNN; First Amendment Service Award: James Goldston, ABC News; First Amendment Leadership Award: David Begnaud, CBS News; Leonard Zeidenberg First Amendment Award; Shepard Smith, FOX News; First Amendment Clarity Award: 2018 “Road Warriors” of NBC News; Lifetime Achievement Award: Dale Hansen, WFAA-TV – Tegna; Citation of Courage: Jamal Khashoggi of The Washington Post and the journalists of The Capital Gazette.

TALKERS News Notes.  –  The annual Infinite Dial study will be released on March 6 at 2:00 pm during a live, online broadcast.  The study from Triton Digital and Edison Research is “the longest running study of consumer behaviors related to media and technology in America.  As in previous years, the study will provide a comprehensive look at the dig