Tag: "Steve Moore"

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

| June 13, 2017

Ashenden to Lead Entercom Portland. Radio management pro Bill Ashenden is named vice president and market manager for Entercom’s Portland cluster, effective July 10.  That station group includes sports talk duo KFXX-AM and KMTT-AM, classic rock KGON, hot AC KRSK, country KWJJ, alternative KNRK, and AC KYCH.  Ashenden previously served as the market manager and general manager for BiCoastal Media in Medford, Oregon.  He’s also served with Alpha Broadcasting, Rose City Radio, and Great American Broadcasters.

TALKERS News Notes. St. Louis news/talk KMOX is honored with three first-place awards from the Missouri Broadcasters Association.  The CBS RADIO station received the awards at this past weekend’s convention and awards ceremony in Branson.  KMOX received first-place honors for Complete Newscast, Breaking News for the coverage of the shooting of St. Louis County police officer Blake Snyder, and “The Deadly Dish,” a five-part News Series that explored the ever-growing number of those impacted by food allergies in the United States.  KMOX PD Steve Moore, says, “This is a tremendous recognition of the work and dedication that each member of the news team puts into keeping our listeners informed.”…..Beasley Media Group’s rock WDHA-FM, Dover, New Jersey and news/talk WCTC-AM, New Brunswick, New Jersey took top honors in two categories at last Wednesday’s annual New Jersey Ad Club Jersey Awards.  WCTC won Best Podcast for “The State Theatre” (program and creative director/air talent Bert Baron, host and producer).  WDHA-FM won Best Radio Spot for “Oink and Moo BBQ” (written, produced and voiced by Mike Cocheo with additional voice-overs by Dannie Schade).  SVP and regional market manager Dan Finn says, “This is the night where all the best advertising agencies in the state of New Jersey gather and announce winners across all media platforms.  We were honored to be among the winners at this year’s event.”…..Motorsport Network names Kevin Annison president of Motorsport.tv. Annison previously served with FOX Sports.

Sessions Testimony, Trump-Russia Investigation/Mueller Firing Possibility, Trump Cabinet Meeting, Megyn Kelly-Alex Jones Interview Flap, ‘Julius Caesar’ Controversy, Warriors Beat Cavaliers, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/12). Anticipation of today’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee from Attorney General Jeff Sessions; the special counsel investigation of possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related talk of President Donald Trump possibly firing special counsel Robert Mueller; reactions to yesterday’s Trump Cabinet meeting at which members took turns publicly praising the president; the heat NBC is taking for the airing of Megyn Kelly’s upcoming interview with Alex Jones; the controversy surrounding the New York production of Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” in which Caesar is costumed as President Trump; the Golden State Warrior’s game five against the Cleveland Cavaliers; 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. Alternative rock pro Dustin Fletcher is assigned new roles by iHeartMedia.  He’s now director of alternative rock programming for the company’s St. Louis region and program director for KDXA, Des Moines “ALT 106.3.”  He continues to program KLLT, St. Louis “ALT 104.9.”  Fletcher comments, “This is a huge opportunity leading our programming efforts at ‘ALT 106.3’ in Des Moines.  I’m extremely proud of what we’ve done with ‘ALT 104.9.’  The St. Louis region has some of the most talented programming and on-air talent in radio and I’m excited for what we have in store.”  Prior to joining ‘ALT 104.9,’ he served as program director and midday host for the company’s WRXL, Richmond ‘XL102’ and PD for CHR “96.1 The Planet” (W241AP)…..In the Boise market, Impact Radio Group moves programmer Booker from hot AC KZMG “MY 102.7” to sister hip hop KWYD “WILD 101” where he’ll be program director and midday personality.

Duane Doobie, Jr.’s Pop Picks File:  Here’s a personal tip from TALKERS/RadioInfo music editor Duane Doobie, Jr. for curious music programmers always looking for something new and interesting to present to their listeners.  Jacobs Run is a three piece pop/rock ensemble hailing from Melbourne, Australia.  Their music blends layers of guitar and orchestration with organic classical melodies creating a powerful sound that highlights their Brit pop influences while showcasing the Australian indie/alt-rock scene. Duane Doobie, Jr says, “The single ‘Sleepwalking,’ has the drive of a James Bond soundtrack that worms its way into listeners’ ears just as offerings from similar artists Oasis and Snow Patrol have done repeatedly within the genre.”  Pictured at right are (from l-r): Michael Jacobs (guitar & vocals), Fabian Bucci (drums) and Peter Curigliano (bass).  Check out the group’s website for info and music here.

 

 

Round One of May PPM Data Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s May 2017 PPM survey period has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen Audio’s May 2017 survey period covered April 27 – May 24. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) New York – Up a cumulative four-tenths via three consecutive improvements (5.3 – 5.4 – 5.6 – 5.7, 6+), Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 – Your #1 Source for R&B” carries on at #3.  Although the net gain is just two-tenths and it is steady at #10, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1” is without a decrease for the fourth successive sweep (3.6 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.8, 6+). Not only does adult contemporary sibling WLTW’s one-tenth increase to 6.1 (6+) apply the brakes to four straight declines that produced a collective -7.3 since “Holiday” 2016 (13.3 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.2 – 6.0, 6+), “106.7 Lite FM” catches CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” (flat at 6.1, 6+) at #1. April marked the first time “New York’s Greatest Hits” reached #1 since last July, when it scored a 6.2, 6+. It is at 6.1 (6+) for the third time in the last four sweeps, while iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WKTU (steady at #8) records a 4.1 (6+) for the fourth time in the last five survey periods (4.1 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). combined +1.3 (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.5 – 5.9, “Holiday” 2016 – January – February – March, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WHTZ “Z-100” forfeits that gain in its entirety with a -.6 in April and now a -.7 in May (5.3 – 4.6, 6+), falling from fourth to sixth. Albeit managing to stay flat at 2.3 (6+), its format rival, CBS Radio’s WBMP “92.3 Amp,” slides from #17 to #19. A gain of one-tenth in April halted seven successive sweeps without an increase that resulted in a cumulative -.9 (3.1 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+). In 2.2 – 2.7 range (6+) for ten straight survey periods, Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary WPAT “Amor 93.1” dialed up a +.6 in April, only to surrender one-half share in May (3.1 – 2.6, 6+), tumbling from #12 to #14. At #22, Cumulus Media news/talk WABC is without an increase for the fourth successive sweep (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.3, 6+), yet is only off by a collective one-tenth in that time frame. Sliding from a three-way tie at #17 to #20, public news/talk WNYC-FM has its fourth consecutive decline (2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.1, 6+).

2) Los Angeles – For the second straight survey period, no Los Angeles station appearing in print gains or loses more than one-half share. Progressing from #15 to a three-way logjam at #11, Entercom classic rock KSWD “The Sound” is up a collective full-share in five straight progressive or flat sweeps (1.9 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.9, 6+). Despite logging its fourth successive ratings period without erosion for a +.6 (2.2 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), Mount Wilson FM Broadcasters’ KKGO “Go Country 105” backslides from a tie at #13 to #14. The slim one-tenth advantage front-runner KBIG “My-FM” had over runner-up KTWV “The Wave” in April widens a bit as iHeartMedia hot AC “My-FM” picks up two-tenths (5.6 – 5.8, #1 for the fourth consecutive time, 6+), while CBS Radio smooth AC “The Wave” is off by that same margin and finishes second for the third straight sweep (6+). When “My-FM” dropped one-tenth in April, it ended three straight uptrends (4.7 – 5.1 – 5.2 – 5.7, 6+), which netted a combined full-share gain. February’s +.1 (5.1 – 5.2, 6+) was enough for it to depart the runner-up slot it held the previous three sweeps and take over at #1, unseating adult contemporary sibling KOST “Coast 103.5,” which had been on top in each of the last 16 ratings periods. Meanwhile, “The Wave” sits across the five-share threshold for the fourth time in the last five sweeps (5.0 – 4.8 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.3, 6+). Co-owned classic hits-oldies KRTH regresses by two-tenths to 4.8 (6+) to curtail four straight sweeps without a loss that yielded a gain of nine-tenths (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+). Even so, “K-Earth 101” repeats at #3. Prior to April, “K-Earth” last reached the five-share level in December 2015 (5.1, 6+). Flat at #19, alternative cluster-mate KROQ is up or flat for the fifth consecutive monthly for a +.4 in that period (1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+). Conversely, its format rival, iHeartMedia’s KYSR-FM, is down by a margin of one-tenth for the third straight time (3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.9, 6+), with “ALT 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative” dropping out of the top ten (#10 to #11). The January through May 6+-trending for co-owned news/talk KFI (unchanged at #7) is: 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5. Even though Liberman Broadcasting regional Mexican KBUE slips by one-tenth to 1.8 (6+), thus ending four straight up or flat trends (1.5 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.9, 6+), “Que Buena” actually advances from #23 to #22. Owing to four straight decreases (2.3 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+), Taxi Productions urban AC KJLH is a collective -.7. In each monthly report this calendar year, Cumulus Media news/talk KABC (#36) has registered a .7 (6+). In a similar vein, this marks the ninth time in the last ten sweeps and fifth time in a row that Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KFSH “95.9 The Fish – Safe for the Whole Family” logs a .6 (#37, 6+).

3) Chicago – In the contemporary hit arena, CBS Radio’s WBBM-FM (3.7 – 4.0, sixth to fourth) adds three-tenths to April’s +.5 enabling “B-96” to leapfrog iHeartMedia-owned WKSC “103.5 Kiss FM – Chicago’s #1 Hit Music Station” (3.9 – 3.7, -.2, fourth to fifth). When “B-96” was off by three-tenths in March, it stopped a streak of four successive up or flat trends that netted one-half share (3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+). Before it fell by three-tenths in April, “Kiss” was a combined +.7, which it gained in three consecutive increases (3.5 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 4.2, 6+). Steady at #12 – and a combined +.8 since last November – Merlin Media-owned/Cumulus Media-operated alternative WKQX is up or flat for the seventh straight ratings period (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+). Stuck on 5.6 (6+) in March and April, iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ “V-103 Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” improves by two-tenths to 5.8 (6+) and is #1 for the fourth successive month; 5.6 represented its lowest 6+-share since last July (also 5.6). This represents the fourth straight sweep without an increase for WBBM-AM for a collective -1.5 (6.3 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 4.9 – 4.8, 6+), but the all-news operation remains in the runner-up slot. After registering a +1.5 in April (2.2 – 3.7, 6+) to rocket from #21 to #6, CBS Radio-owned WSCR “670 The Score” perhaps has the greatest non-move as it is unchanged at 3.7 (6+). Nevertheless, the Cubs flagship does manage to elevate to a fifth-place tie. On the heels of slipping by three-tenths in April, stymying three consecutive ratings periods without a loss for a collective gain of one-half share (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+), Tribune Media Company news/talk WGN (once the longtime Cubs flagship) flounders by another six-tenths (3.9 – 3.3, 6+) to drift from fourth to ninth. Having nearly doubled its 6+-stat by posting eight consecutive up or flat trends (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.3, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican WLEY-FM “La Ley 107.9” drops three-tenths to 2.0 (6+) and exits the top 20 (#20 to #23). With a gain of three-tenths (2.0 – 2.3, 6+), public news/talk WBEZ returns to the top 20 (#20). While it remains solid at #3 (two-tenths behind WBBM-AM), Hubbard hot AC WTMX “Mix” hasn’t had an increase in the last four sweeps (5.3 – 49 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+) and is down seven-tenths in that stretch. Strange but true: 30% of the stations finishing in the top 20 can be found at #12 (2.9, 6+, May 2017).

4) San Francisco – Sharing honors for largest (6+) gain (one-half share) by any top-four market PPM-outlet appearing in print are CBS Radio-owned KLLC “Alice @ 97.3” (3.7 – 4.2, seventh to fourth, 6+) and Univision

Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “100.3 Mas Variedad” (2.8 – 3.3, #11 to #8). Prior to dropping two-tenths in April, “Alice @ 97.3” was +.7 in three consecutive up or flat trends (3.1 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+). An improvement of three-tenths to 2.0 (6+) by Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game” puts an end to its 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.7 (6+) trending and the flagship of the Oakland A’s returns to the top twenty (#22 to #19). At the same time, unchanged at #5, the Giants’ key station – Cumulus Media’s KNBR “The Sports Leader” (3.0 – 4.2 in April, 6+) – returns one-tenth of April’s +1.2 to 4.1 (6+). Notwithstanding it has eroded by one full-share in three straight downward trends (7.7 – 7.3 – 7.0 – 6.7, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting’s news/talk KQED-FM is #1 as it has been every month this calendar year. In the runner-up slot for the fifth successive time is CBS Radio all-news KCBS-AM (6.3 – 6.1, -.2, 6+). After posting four consecutive gains netting a +.6 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KOSF “103.7 – 80s Music for San Francisco” forfeits all of it (-.6, 2.1, 6+), spiraling from #12 to #17. Down for the third straight time for a combined -.7 (4.5 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 3.8, 6+), adult contemporary sibling KISQ “98.1 The Breeze” segues from fourth to seventh. For the second straight month, Entercom-owned KUFX is unlisted; “98.5 K-Fox – The South Bay’s Classic Rock” had a 1.5 (6+) in March.

5) Dallas –For the seventh successive ratings period, Service Broadcasting urban contemporary KKDA-FM is either up or flat for a full-share gain (2.4 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+). “K-104” jumps from tenth to eighth and is tied there with iHeartMedia’s KEGL “97.1 The Eagle Rocks” (3.4, +.4, 6+), which improves from #13 and curtails a streak of three consecutive downward moves that generated a -.9 (3.9 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.0, 6+). By dialing up a gain of eight-tenths (2.3 – 3.1, 6+), CBS Radio regional Mexican KMVK “La Grande 107.5” breaks out of a three-way logjam at #18 to climb to #13. Frozen on 2.9 (6+) the past four sweeps, Cumulus Media’s KTCK not only gains four-tenths to 3.3 (6+), “The Ticket” cracks the top ten (#14 to #10). Without a decrease for four successive sweeps netting a collective +1.1 (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.3 – 4.3, 6+), co-owned KSCS faltered by one-half share in April but “New Country 96.3” recaptures all of it (3.8 – 4.3, 6+) and carries on at #6. Similarly-formatted cluster-mate KPLX “The Wolf” adds one-tenth to the two-tenths it picked up in April (6.0 – 6.2 – 6.3, 6+) and finishes first for the fifth successive time. Tied at #1 with “The Wolf” in March – iHeartMedia CHR KHKS “106.1 Kiss-FM” – sputters by seven-tenths (5.9 – 5.2, 6+) and slips from second in April to third. Continuing on a seesaw, CBS Radio classic hits-oldies KLUV “98.7 K-LUV” surrenders every bit of the eight-tenths it gained in April and an additional one-tenth (4.7 – 5.5 – 4.6, -.9, 6+), sliding from third back to fourth. April’s +.8 halted a loss of over two full-shares in three straight downward moves (6.8 – 5.2 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). Plummeting from the top ten (#10 to #15), adult contemporary sibling KDGE “Star 102.1” is off by one-half share to 2.9 (6+), thus pulling the plug on three successive up or flat trends (2.8 – 2.8 – 3.3 – 3.4, 6+) that produced a gain of six-tenths. In mid-November (2016), KDGE jettisoned its alternative format and “Edge” identity and in “Holiday” 2016, “Star 102.1” more than doubled December’s 3.3 to 7.7, rocketing from tenth to first.

6) Houston – The wild ride is ongoing for Radio One-owned urban AC KMJQ “Majic 102.1 The People’s Station,” which is #1 for the fourth consecutive sweep. Up a combined full-share in back-to-back monthlies (6.9 – 7.2 – 7.9, January-February-March, 6+), “Majic” returned all of it in April (6.9, 6+), but it rebounds with a +1.4 (7.9 – 6.9 – 8.3, 6+), the heftiest (6+) increase of any station in the 12 PPM-markets whose data was released on Monday. Five successive up or flat trends by KQQK “El Norte 107.9” have netted a +1.1 (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+), as the Liberman regional Mexican advances from #18 to #17. This is the finest 6+-showing for “El Norte” since last August (2.7, as well). Debuting with a one-half share, the HD2 channel of University of Houston-owned KUHF checks in at #27. Trending 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.2 (6+) since January, CBS Radio Spanish contemporary KLOL “Mega 101” falters by seven-tenths to 3.5 – its weakest 6+-showing since April 2016’s 2.9 – as it departs the top ten (#9 to #13). After progressing by seven-tenths in April, noncommercial contemporary Christian KSBJ “God Listens” returns all but one-tenth (5.6 – 5.0, -.6, 6+), falling from fourth to fifth. KSBJ improved by +1.0 in January to 5.9, its highest 6+-share in more than four years (6.0, November 2012); was -.5 in both February and March (5.9 – 5.4 – 4.9, 6+); +.7 in April; and now -.6 in May. Following a massive +1.6 in March, Cox Media Group-owned country KKBQ “The New 93-Q” forfeited just over half of it in April (4.2 – 5.8 – 4.9, -.9, 6+) and flounders by another half-share in May to 4.4 (6+) as it moves from sixth to seventh; 5.8 was the strongest 6+-showing for KKBQ since last July’s 5.9 (6+). Off by one-half share as well is classic country cluster-mate KTHT “Country Legends” (2.5 – 2.0, 6+), which departs the top 20 (#19 to #21). Following four straight gains that yielded a cumulative +1.3 (2.3 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 3.6, 6+), CBS Radio hot AC KHMX “Mix 96.5” (#13 to #15) slumps by four-tenths to 3.2 (6+).

7) Atlanta – Winning ways continue for Cox Media Group-owned WSRV “Classic Hits 97.1 The River” and Cumulus Media’s WNNX “100.5 – Atlanta’s Rock Station,” as both stations log their fifth consecutive gain. In the case of the former, “The River” is a +2.3 in that stretch (4.4 – 4.6 – 5.1 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 6.7, 6+) and moves from a second-place tie to sole possession of the runner-up slot. A combined +1.5 since the “Holiday” 2016 report (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.7 – 3.2, 6+), WNNX, meanwhile, inches up from #16 to #15. Notching a one-half share gain as well (to 4.7, ninth to fifth, 6+) is Radio One urban contemporary WHTA “Hot 107.9,” which – conversely – hadn’t had an increase since last November (5.9 – 5.4 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.2, 6+) and was a combined -1.7. Shifting to the market’s country tussle, the two players were tied at #12 in April and both are up in May; however, iHeartMedia’s WUBL “94.9 The Bull” (3.6 – 4.0, +.4, #11, 6+) pulls ahead of Cumulus Media’s WKHX “Kicks 101.5” (3.6 – 3.9, +.3, #13, 6+). As noted above with WSRV and WNNX, five also proves to be a lucky number for “The Bull” as this represents its fifth straight improvement (2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.0, 6+) for a collective +1.4. At #30, news/talk sibling WGST is up one-tenth to .3 (6+), thus ending eight consecutive ratings periods without an increase (.4 – .4 – .4 – .4 – .4 – .3 – .2 – .2 – .2, 6+). Although down or flat for the fourth straight sweep for a combined loss of more than two full-shares (10.7 – 9.9 – 9.5 – 9.5 – 8.6, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM is #1 for the 17th straight ratings period. Prior to March, its most recent fluctuations were -2.3 (“Holiday” 2016); +2.8 (January); and -.8 (February). January’s 10.7 represents the station’s best-ever (6+) performance, eclipsing the 10.2 in December 2016; 8.6 though is the station’s weakest 6+-showing since the “Holiday” 2016 report (7.9). Likewise, Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH “The Fish” has its softest 6+-performance in more than a year (4.3, April 2016) as a result of regressing by one-half share (5.0 – 4.5, fifth to sixth, 6+).

8) Philadelphia – Via three straight increases (3.9 – 4.1 – 4.8 – 5.5, sixth, 6+), CBS Radio sports outlet/Philadelphia Phillies’ flagship WIP (unchanged at #6) is a collective +1.6. When WIP improved by two-tenths in March, it ended at five a consecutive string of downward or flat trends that yielded a cumulative -1.1 (5.0 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+). Putting together its third successive positive trend as well is WMGK “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK,” which nets one full share in that stretch (5.9 – 6.2 – 6.4 – 6.9, 6+). The Beasley Media Group property advances from fourth to second, trailing iHeartMedia-owned urban AC WDAS-FM “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks” (6.7 – 7.0, +.3, second to first). WDAS-FM unseats CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WOGL (6.9 – 6.8, -.1, 6+), which transitions from first to third. WOGL registered a +1.3 in January; +.5 in February; and unseated Jerry Lee Radio adult contemporary WBEB “Today’s 101 More FM” at #1 in March. A model of consistency over the last nine ratings periods, (4.1 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUSL “Power 99” progresses from tenth to eighth. Dropping from eighth to tenth, co-owned WRFF “Radio 104.5 – Philadelphia’s Alternative Rock” forfeits all but one-tenth of April’s +.6 (4.1 – 4.7 – 4.2, -.5, 6+); 4.7 was its strongest 6+-showing since last October’s 4.9. A combined +1.1 “Holiday” 2016 – January – February (2.9 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+), CBS Radio news/talk WPHT is now -1.2 in February – March – April – May (4.0 – 3.5 – 2.9 – 2.8, 6+), sliding from #15 to #17.

9) Long Island – Six-tenths of a share separated the top seven stations in April. It’s still incredibly tight at the top, where one-tenth is the margin among the top three, including a bona fide rarity where format foes share the lead – each posting identical profiles (5.0 – 5.4, +.4, second to first, 6+). Specifically, Cox Media Group-owned CHR WBLI “Long Island’s #1 For All the Hits” has gained +1.4 in five straight up or flat trends, (4.0 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 5.4, 6+), while iHeartMedia New York City’s similarly-programmed WHTZ “Z-100” rebounds from April’s -1.1 (6.1 – 5.0, 6+). Having registered 11 successive sweeps at #1 in the Long Island report, “Z-100” spiraled by -1.5 in “Holiday” 2016 (6.6 – 5.1, 6+), sliding to third. It then gained eight-tenths in January 2017 to reappear at #1 and repeated at the top in February and March. Just one-tenth behind the two CHRs – and actually up two-tenths (5.1 – 5.3, first to third, 6+) – is Connoisseur Media hot AC WALK-FM “Real Variety 97.5.” The tables have turned on WALK-FM, which gained nine-tenths in April to rocket from seventh to first, clinging in April to a one-tenth advantage over WBLI and WHTZ. A full-share loss by WALK-FM in March (5.2 – 4.2, 6+) resulted in “Real Variety 97.5” tumbling from fourth to seventh. By posting a gain of six-tenths to 4.2 (6+), CBS Radio New York City all-news property WINS (eighth to seventh) terminates a mini-skid that resulted in a loss of eight-tenths (4.4 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+). Similarly, iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WKTU – which had been down or flat the past three sweeps (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+) – improves by one-half share to 2.8, climbing from #17 to #15. For the 30th straight sweep, Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” is in 2.0 – 2.9 range (2.3 – 2.4, +.1, #17 to #18, 6+).

10) Riverside – In the runner-up slot for the fifth successive ratings period, Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies outlet KOLA tacks on six-tenths to the four-tenths it regained in April (5.6 – 5.2 – 5.6 – 6.2, 6+). The loss of four-tenths in March ended at five KOLA’s string of consecutive fluctuations by one-half share (7.1 – 6.6 – 6.1 – 5.6 – 6.1 – 5.6, 6+) for a collective -1.5; KOLA was at #2 six straight times before dropping to third in “Holiday” 2016. Prior to November, it was up or flat the previous six times for a net gain of +2.2 (4.9 – 4.9 – 5.6 – 6.5 – 6.8 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+). It is chasing Entravision Spanish adult hits KLYY, which is #1 for the 19th consecutive ratings period, although “Jose” registers its fourth consecutive decrease for a -1.3 (9.4 – 9.2 – 8.6 – 8.3 – 8.1, 6+). Following five consecutive sweeps without a decrease which produced a +2.2 (7.2 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 8.3 – 8.7 – 9.4, 6+), “Jose” lost two-tenths in February. The dubious distinction for recording the largest (6+) decrease of any station in the 12 PPM-markets whose data was released on Monday falls to Univision Radio regional Mexican KSCA “Zona MX 101.9” (4.9 – 3.5, -1.4, third to sixth, 6+). It is the first time “Zona MX 101.9” has fallen below a four-share (6+) in Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario since November 2015 (3.1). After more than doubling its 6+-share by way of three straight increases (.9 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 2.1, 6+), All-Pro Broadcasting’s KHTI “Hot 103.9 – Move to the Music” erodes by three-tenths to 1.8 (6+) and dips from ninth to tenth. A combined +.7 in the past two sweeps, adult contemporary cluster-mate KATY “Mix 101.3” surrenders that increase in its entirety (.8 – 1.0 – 1.5 – .8, 6+), dropping from #12 to #14; the 1.0 in March represented the first time “Mix 101.3” crossed the one-share level (6+) since December 2015’s 1.1.

11) San Jose – Without an increase the last three ratings periods for a net loss of one-half share (2.5 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0, 6+), CBS Radio hot AC KLLC “Alice @ 97.3” recaptures all of that decrease plus one-tenth (2.6, +.6, 6+) and cracks the top twenty at #17. Meanwhile, Univision Radio rhythmic CHR KVVF “San Jose’s Hottest Music” (#18 to #16) notches its third straight gain and is up one full-share since February (1.9 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.9, 6+). A combined -1.2 since September via eight straight down or flat trends (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+), Entercom rhythmic hot AC KRBQ “The Beat of the Bay” adds one-tenth in May to 1.7 (6+) and carries on at #25. Not only does KCBS-AM pick up three-tenths (6.4, 6+) to end a string of three consecutive down or flat trends that produced a -.6 (6.7 – 6.7 – 6.3 – 6.1 (6+), the CBS Radio all-news operation marches from second to first. It dislodges Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED, which falters for the third straight sweep for a cumulative -1.3 (7.6 – 7.5 – 7.2 – 6.3) and slides to #2. Unlisted in San Jose since posting a 5.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2015 report, KQED returned in January 2017 by recording a 6.9 (6+) to finish at #1 and had been there ever since. Slipping from fifth to sixth, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KISQ “98.1 The Breeze” falters by three-tenths to 4.3 (6+), curtailing at four a consecutive string of increases that netted more than two full-shares (2.3 – 2.4 – 3.2 – 4.1 – 4.6, 6+).

12) Middlesex – In addition to pulling the plug on three straight negative trends that accounted for a loss of one-half share (2.6 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.1, 6+), iHeartMedia New York City news/talker-New York Mets flagship WOR gains six-tenths to 2.7 (6+) and enters the top twenty at #20. At the same time, CBS Radio New York City sports outlet-New York Yankees key station WFAN “The Fan” adds one-half share in back-to-back sweeps (2.6 – 3.1 – 3.6, 6+), jumping from #15 to #11. Without a decrease for the fifth straight sweep for a net gain of +1.8 (2.4 – 2.7 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.2, 6+), Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” inches up from eighth to sixth. Its format rival – iHeartMedia’s WKTU (#19 – #16) – is up or flat for the sixth consecutive ratings period scoring a +.8 in that stretch (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+). Following a combined loss of -1.4 in back-to-back sweeps (7.9 – 7.4 – 6.5, 6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW gains three-tenths to 6.8 (6+) and is #1 for the fifth consecutive ratings period. As a result of hanging out a “Holiday” 2016 – January 2017 increase of one-full-share (6.8 – 7.8, 6+), “New Jersey 101.5” returned to #1 following one turn in the runner-up slot. Prior to “Holiday” 2016, when it was -.7, (6+), “New Jersey 101.5” spent 12 consecutive ratings periods on top. While it is in the runner-up slot for the third consecutive time, Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 – Your #1 Source for R&B” regresses by eight-tenths to 5.2, its lowest 6+-share in this New Jersey market since its 5.2 last September. Off for the third straight sweep in Middlesex-Somerset-Union – this time by a whopping -1.1 – iHeartMedia New York City CHR WHTZ “Z-100” freefalls from #6 to #14. Dating back to March, “Z-100” is -2.2 (5.4 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 3.2, 6+). Down or flat for the ninth straight time and -1.6 since September (4.5 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 2.9, 6+), CBS Radio New York City’s similarly-formatted WBMP “Amp” skids from #14 to #17.

Friday, April 14, 2017

| April 14, 2017

Cumulus Media Promotes Three to Executive Vice President. Three current Cumulus Media executives are promoted to newly created EVP positions: Mike McVay rises from senior vice president, content & programming to executive vice president, content & programming; Dave Milner, moves up from senior vice president, operations to executive vice president, operations; and Bob Walker is elevated from senior vice president, operations to executive vice president, operations.  Cumulus Media president and chief executive officer Mary Berner states, “These promotions recognize the strong performance of these key members of our senior leadership team.  Mike, Dave and Bob are terrific executives and have each been instrumental to the success we’ve achieved during the first year of executing our turnaround plan for the company.”

Ryan Wrecker Joins KMOX, St. Louis as ‘Overnight America’ Host. Talk radio pro Ryan Wrecker moves from his most recent gig as PD at Pathfinder Communications’ WOWO, Fort Wayne to CBS RADIO’s heritage St. Louis news/talker KMOX to host the station’s late-night program, “Overnight America,” beginning Monday (4/17).   The program airs from 10:00 pm to 3:00 am.  KMOX program director Steve Moore comments, “Ryan is a passionate advocate of local radio who comes to us from a legacy station and brings a great appreciation for KMOX and its role in the community.  In addition, Ryan understands how creating unique digital and social media content can quickly expand his reach in the market and grow his listener base.”  Speaking about his new gig, Wrecker states, “We’re going to have fun on ‘Overnight America.’  It’s a show that’s inclusive to new voices and topics.  Every night we will present fresh and unique ideas to the audience and explore them in a way that’s different from any other radio show.”  The “Overnight America” show had been hosted by Jon Grayson, who exited KMOX in February to host the midday show at crosstown news/talk KTRS.

Kaplan Promoted to Marketing Director for Cumulus Media Dallas. For the past two years, Rebecca Kaplan has been promotions director for Cumulus Media’s Dallas country signals KSCS and KPLX “99.5 The Wolf.”  Now, she is promoted to marketing director for the seven-station cluster that includes news/talk WBAP, news/talk KLIF-AM, sports talker KTCK-AM and KESN-FM, and CHR KLIF-FM “HOT 93.3.”  Cumulus regional vice president Dan Bennett states, “Rebecca has proven herself with outstanding event execution for our country stations KPLX and KSCS. Our seven-station cluster will benefit greatly from her involvement in the future with all our stations.”

TALKERS News Notes. The NBA Playoffs begin this weekend and ESPN Radio is presenting its coverage starting with the Cavaliers versus the Pacers Saturday at 2:00 pm ET.  Marc Kestecher and Jon Barry will call the action.  Sunday’s contest will be the Warriors vs Trailblazers with Adam Amin and P.J. Carlesimo on the call…..When the NHL’s new franchise the Vegas Golden Knights takes to the ice next fall, Lotus Communications’ KRLV, Las Vegas “FOX Sports 1340” will serve as the flagship station for radio.  Lotus plans to begin simulcasting the station on FM translator K255CT, Henderson, Nevada.  As part of the deal, some of the games will also be broadcast in Spanish on Lotus’ KENO-AM “1460 ESPN Deportes.”…..In podcasting news, Apple is changing the name of its podcast platform from “iTunes Podcasts” to “Apple Podcasts.”…..TALKERS magazine sends condolences to the family and friends of longtime Cleveland sports media personality Kendall Lewis, a.k.a. The BSK — the Big Sports Kahuna, who died on April 11 at the age of 56.  Lewis’ most recent work was on digital platforms, but for years he was a host on sports talk WKNR, Cleveland “ESPN 850.”  He also was a fixture at FOX Sports Net Ohio and served with WOIO-TV, Cleveland.

U.S.-Russia Relations/Syria Gas Attack Top News/Talk Stories This Week.  The tense relations between the U.S. and Russia over the Syria sarin attack and the U.S.’s airstrikes in Syria were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio for the week of April 10-14.  At #2 this week was the North Korea nuclear missile threats.  Coming in at #3 was the United Airlines passenger removal case and the resulting PR blowback, followed by the FBI’s monitoring of Trump adviser Carter Page 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. View this week’s entire chart here.

Michael Harrison Interviews Judy Collins on this Week’s Podcast. Folk singing/pop music legend Judy Collins is this week’s special guest on the award-winning PodcastOne hit series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” In the words of Harrison, “Although she sings like an angel and performed on a number of hits and concert stages across the nation, creating a total of more than 50 albums along the way – not to mention authoring books, painting, and even directing a film – she lived a deeply troubled existence. We’re talking about severe depression and emotional disturbance that nearly drove her to suicide. We’re talking about substance abuse and eating disorders…and on top of everything, coping with the suicide of her son in 1992.” The TALKERS founder continues, “This amazing woman has survived to not only overcome these challenges but to be of great service and help to others, as well. She is a tireless advocate of those who suffer from similar emotional afflictions and has made significant contributions in bringing public awareness of mental illness out of the shadows and into the open.” On April 27, in recognition of her service to others, Collins will receive the 2017 Beatrice Stern Media Award at a major gathering in Los Angeles – The Erasing the Stigma Leadership Awards. It is an annual event thrown by Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, a leading non-profit provider of free community mental health and substance abuse services for children and adults for over 75 years. Harrison and Collins engage in a remarkably candid and informative discussion about the state of mental illness in our healthcare system and culture. They also talk about the early days of her career, her relationship with rock legend Stephen Stills and her storied connection to his Crosby, Stills and Nash masterpiece, “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Audio content syndicator Westwood One is partnering with dick clark productions to help promote the 2017 Billboard Music Awards and offer its broadcast partners branded, long-form and short-form content and promotions.  Westwood One will welcome more than 20 radio stations to its Westwood One Backstage at the BBMAs event with live performances and celebrity interviews during rehearsals the day before the 2017 Billboard Music Awards (Saturday, May 20) at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.  Talent taking part in the Saturday event include WPLJ, New York personality Jayde Donovan; WPLJ and WPRO-FM, Providence host Ralphie Aversa; and syndicated personalities Adam Bomb and Zach Sang…..The three urban-formatted Philadelphia stations owned by iHeartMedia – urban contemporary WDAS-FM “Philly’s Best R&B & Throwbacks,” hip hop WUSL “Power 99,” and smooth jazz WDAS-AM “Smooth Jazz ‘JJZ 1480” – are organizing the inaugural “Sista Strut 3K Breast Cancer Walk” taking place on Saturday, June 17 at Xfinity Live! in Philadelphia.  Proceeds will benefit The American Association for Cancer Research.  The stations note that the walk aims to raise breast cancer awareness among African American women, who are 41% more likely to die from the disease than white women, making screenings and early detection crucial.  WDAS-FM personality Frankie Darcell comments, “As one of the founders of Detroit’s ‘Sista Strut,’ I’m ecstatic that nearly 20 years later the event will be held in our Philadelphia community.”…..Country KNIX, Phoenix and Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire are cooperating on a “Rise From The Fire” Concert Flyaway Sweepstakes.  Consumers ages 21+ can enter for a chance to win a trip for two to New York for a benefit concert featuring a top music act.  The event concludes an 11-city iHeartRadio concert series to benefit firefighters and communities affected by fire. The Phoenix stop in the concert series will feature national recording artist, Brett Young, and will take place on April 19 at the Hall of Flame Fire Museum.  The sweepstakes and concert series are part of an effort by Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire to raise funds in support of the Fire Family Foundation, an organization that offers immediate assistance to firefighters and their families, fire victims, fire departments and charities. The Foundation believes that by coming together as a “Fire Family,” assistance can be provided by those impacted by fire.

Friday, February 17, 2017

| February 17, 2017

KMOX, St. Louis Extends Calhoun and Ackerman.  St. Louis heritage news/talk KMOX announces it has signed staffers Michael Calhoun and Tom Ackerman to new, multi-year contracts that include some new duties for both.  Calhoun and Ackerman are part of the CBS RADIO station’s “Total Information AM” morning drive program – Calhoun as co-host and news reporter and Ackerman as a personality and the station’s sports director.  KMOX program director Steve Moore states, “Tom and Michael are talented personalities who play integral roles at the station. Tom was born and raised in St. Louis so reporting the news and sports in the city he loves is a natural progression for him.  Michael is an award-winning field reporter who brings a unique voice to KMOX that instantly connects with listeners.”  Ackerman expands his role to serve as co-host of “Total Information AM” alongside Debbie Monterrey and Calhoun.  Calhoun adds field and spot news reporting to his responsibilities.  Calhoun will also continue to serve as KMOX’s lead reporter on St. Louis’ “Start Up, Entrepreneurs and Innovation” initiatives and continue to host “Nothing Impossible,” a show that informs listeners about how innovators are transforming and revitalizing the St. Louis region.

Grayson Exits KMOX; Headed for Crosstown KTRS?  A report by Joe Holleman in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says that Jon Grayson has exited CBS RADIO’s news/talk KMOX where he was hosting the 12:00 midnight to 4:00 am show.  Grayson’s “Overnight America” show had been syndicated nationally in a deal with Westwood One but that was shut down at the end of 2016.  Now, after 16 years at KMOX, Grayson may be headed across the street to news/talker KTRS.  Holleman reports that’s the industry chatter.  KTRS reportedly has an opening for the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm show.  The station also recently hired former KMOX personality Doug McElvein.

Madison Talk Host Mitch Henck Moves Forward on Digital Platform.  TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian writes about Madison talk radio personality Mitch Henck – one of a number of personalities cut free with the demise of the progressive talk format on iHeartMedia’s WXXM, Madison last fall.  Henck has recently launched the web-based platform MadisonTalks.com, where his program and others continue to provide the market with “outside the box” digital content.  Though he was heard on WXXM for years, Henck says his political leanings are not so easily qualified.  “I am center-right on economics and more libertarian on social issues.  I like splitting hairs and challenging callers to make their argument.”  Read the whole story here.

11th Annual ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ Radio Row Scheduled for June 28-29.  This year’s 11th annual Hold Their Feet to the Fire/Let’s Make America Great Again radio row broadcast will take place on June 28 and 29 at the Phoenix Park Hotel in Washington.  The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) is again producing the event at which talk hosts from across the country will broadcast live, debating immigration policy while interviewing members of congress, law enforcement officials, experts, activists, White House officials and those who live and work along the southern border.  FAIR executive director Bob Dane states, “This event has always been about holding our elected leaders accountable and educating the public.  In particular, this year, lawmakers must be reminded that Americans strongly support President Trump’s immigration policies.  Otherwise, the noise made by vocal special interests – which the mainstream media loves to amplify – will dominate.  Talk radio remains the bullhorn of the ‘silent’ majority.”  Reservations are required and hosts/producers should contact event manager Cassie Williams at 202-328-7004 or cawilliams@fairus.org to reserve their spot.  There is no cost to attend and all technical engineering and expenses are taken care of by FAIR.  Congressional guests, activists, high-profile media personalities, and immigration experts will be in attendance and available throughout the event for wall-to-wall interviews with an expected crowd of 60 talk hosts.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Touts AM Revitalization at NABA Symposium.  The new chairman of the Federal Communications Commission addressed the attendees at yesterday’s “Future of Radio and Audio” symposium presented by the North American Broadcasters Association.  Among the topics he discussed was AM revitalization.  He kicked that off by stating, “It’s no secret that many stations in the AM band are struggling.  The band’s overall listenership has declined, and advertising revenues along with it.  This stems mainly from the band’s technical problems.  Every day, it seems harder to get a quality AM signal.”  Pai boiled his solution down to the two-pronged approach of making it easier for AM operators to acquire FM translators and encouraging the activation and use of FM chips in smartphones.  Regarding FM translators, Pai said AM station owners have complained that it can be difficult finding a location for translators.  “That’s why we’ve proposed a new reform that my fellow Commissioners and I will vote on next week.  This measure would give AM stations greater flexibility in siting their translators.  It’s a small step that would be a big help to AM broadcasters.  This year, we also plan to open two new windows in which AM stations that still don’t have an FM translator can apply directly to the FCC to get one authorized.  And we’ll keep working on ways to improve signal quality on the AM band and reduce AM broadcasters’ operating costs.”  As for FM chips in smartphones, Pai said he’s against mandating those chips be activated – he’s a free-market guy who doesn’t approve of such a heavy-handed approach, and he thinks it’s outside of the FCC’s purview.  He noted that in the U.S., “only about 44% of the top-selling smartphones in the United States have activated FM chips, and the percentage is lower in Canada.  By comparison, in Mexico that number is about 80%…[but] despite the low numbers, we are seeing progress; in the last two years, the percentage of top-selling smartphones in the United States that have activated FM chips has risen from less than 25% to 44%.”

Andy Pollin Joins WJFK-FM, Washington for Weekends and Fill-Ins.  Washington, DC sports talk personality Andy Pollin is no longer a free agent.  The market sports media figure was recently set free by Red Zebra’s WTEM “ESPN 908” after almost 25 years at the signal.  Now, he’s being heard on CBS RADIO’s crosstown WJFK-FM on weekends and in fill-in situations.  The Washington Post reports that Pollin will host a regular Saturday show with (also former WTEM) personality Thom Loverro from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon starting February 25.  WJFK-FM program director Chris Kinard tells the Post, “It just gives us more great talent.  You can never have enough good people, and to have someone the caliber of Andy Pollin available is a pretty rare thing.  He hasn’t been available for 25 years, because he’s done such a good job.  So to have someone like that available, we’d be crazy not to work something out with him.”

WQAM, Miami Re-Ups with the Miami Hurricanes.  Miami sports talker WQAM inks a new multi-year deal to continue serving as the flagship station for University of Miami football and men’s basketball.  Pictured at the contract signing in Coral Gables on Thursday (2/16) are (from l-r): WQAM program director Ryan Maguire, “The Voice of the Hurricanes” Joe Zagacki, WQAM host Curtis Stevenson, Miami football coach Mark Richt, Miami athletic director Blake James, and WQAM host Joe Rose.

Nielsen: 2016 Election Year Good for News Radio.  Ratings giant Nielsen issues data – illustrated in the graphic above – showing the rise in listenership to news radio during the 2016 election year.  Nielsen notes that just as in the previous election year of 2012, the number of people tuning in to all-news stations, news/talk stations and public radio NPR affiliates spiked, making it the most-listened-to radio format by persons 6+ in PPM markets during 2016.

Allegations of Trump Campaign’s Russia Connections and Michael T. Flynn’s Resignation Top News Talk Stories for Week of February 13-17.  The allegations that members of the Trump campaign were in contact with Russian agents prior to Donald Trump’s inauguration and the subsequent resignation of National Security Advisor Michael T. Flynn tied for the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the Trump travel ban issue and the related Mexican wall matter.  Coming in at #3 was President Trump’s contentious relationship with the news media, followed by Andrew Puzder’s withdrawal as nominee for labor secretary 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.  View this week’s entire chart here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that Windy City radio programming pro Patty Martin is joining digital platform AccuRadio to program its world music and Celtic channels.  He says she’ll also be involved in programming adult rock and adult alternative formats.  Martin – who served in the market programming Hubbard’s classic hits WDRV and CBS RADIO’s triple A WXRT – tells Feder, “It’s all the fun of radio programming without the headaches!”…..KSWD, Los Angeles “100.3 The Sound” midday personality “Uncle Joe” Benson signs a new contract to continue with the Entercom classic rock station.  Program director Dave Beasing says, “Joe is the best-known and most-loved classic rock DJ in Los Angeles.  The reason is simple.  He’s literally written the book on classic rock, and he’s one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.”…..A new Sunday night show dedicated to the women of alternative rock is launching on Cumulus Media’s alternative KCJK, Kansas City “X1015” featuring host Lauren O’Neil…..iHeartMedia Fort Myers announces media personalities Lulu and Lala are joining hot AC WZJZ “Y100.1, 90s to Now” as 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight hosts effective immediately.  The station says, “The ‘Y100.1’ night show with Lulu and Lala will feature the dynamic pair’s unique take on pop culture news and fun antics with listeners, along with special celebrity guest interviews and Y100.1’s unique blend of today’s hits and 90’s throwbacks.”

The State of News in News/Talk Radio

| May 21, 2012

By Kevin Casey
TALKERS magazine
VP/Managing Editor

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — It’s understood by anyone in the radio business that the big news stories of the day – whether they are local or national stories – generate the topics that drive the conversation on news/talk radio.  But what are the roles of the newsroom, the reporter and the regular newscasts on today’s news/talk stations?  The move of all-news to FM signals, the development of more national and regional radio news products and the addition of newswheel programs to some of the country’s most respected talk stations seem to indicate radio news has received a shot in the arm.  But the decimation of many radio news departments that occurred in conjunction with consolidation still affects many radio operations and raises questions about the relevance of news elements to the successful operation of the modern news/talk station.

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Friday, May 18, 2012

| May 18, 2012

Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio Hits 10 Million Registered Users in Eight Months.  The digital media player that Clear Channel Media and Entertainment has been vigorously promoting is growing, according to CC, “faster than nearly all other entertainment platforms, including Pandora, Facebook, Spotify and Instagram.”  The iHeartRadio player has more than 10 million users since the 10 million figure includes just registered users – only required for the custom station service.  Brian Lekamp, president of digital for CCME, states, “iHeartRadio has demonstrated incredibly rapid adoption, more than two times faster than other leading entertainment services – it’s mind-blowing.  We are thrilled with the consumer reaction and feedback.  Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, using the tremendous promotional power of our broadcast radio properties, has been able to drive this adoption like no other company could.  iHeartRadio offers a great product supported by unparalleled promotional capabilities.”

NPR Facing Fiscal Downturn; May End Year in the Red.  In a piece by Paul Farhi for the Washington Post, the challenging financial situation NPR is dealing with as the U.S. economy continues to struggle is brought to light.  New CEO Gary Knell tells Farhi NPR has operated at a deficit three out of the past four years and had to dip into its endowment fund to cover expenses.  This comes after the brutal 2008 fiscal year in which NPR was forced to cut 7% of its workforce after coming up $23 million short.  The situation for NPR is that corporate underwriting – or advertising – has fallen dramatically.  Instability in some of the corporate positions responsible for fundraising and underwriting have not helped the content provider, either.  NPR states that through March of this year, it was operating at a deficit of $2.6 million beyond what the endowment covers and when the end of its fiscal year rolls around in September, it may still be in the red.  Knell has told employees the last thing he wants to do is cut staffing and programming but he also states NPR cannot continue to operate as it is.  He tells the Post, “NPR has been withdrawing from the bank and we can’t keep doing that,” he said. “We have to be at break-even or be in a positive position on an annual basis, or I can tell you at some point we’re going to have to turn the lights off.”

CNN Suffers Lowest Prime Time Rating in 15 Years.  Time Warner’s CNN is getting more bad news after getting clobbered in the April Nielsen’s released last week.  Now, TVNewser reports “Piers Morgan Tonight” – which aired at 9:00 ET – pulled in just 39,000 viewers in the 25-54 demo on Tuesday, May 15.  The show garnered 284,000 total viewers which was not a record low.  The piece notes the program faced competition in the form of the season finale of “NCIS: L.A.,” “America’s Got Talent” and “Dancing with the Stars” which, all together, had 39 million total viewers.

WOWO, Fort Wayne Reporter Held in Contempt for Phone Use in Court.  WOWO, Fort Wayne news director Dave Wheaton was found in contempt at the Allen County Superior Court for using a station-owned iPhone while covering a guilty plea at a murder case at the courthouse.  Two sheriff’s deputies noticed Wheaton texting on the phone – a violation of court rules – and confiscated the phone.  Wheaton told Judge Fran Gull he did not see the numerous signs warning of the ban on phones in the courtroom to which the judge replied, “Candidly, I don’t believe you,” reports the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette.  The ban has been in effect since 2007 after courtroom attendees were found taking photos.  The judge ordered the phone destroyed but allowed WOWO owner Federated Media to download the contents first.

The State and Future of News on America’s News/Talk Radio Stations.  The rise of digital news sources, today’s quickening news cycle and the economic realities of our times are forcing news/talk radio stations to evaluate their news product and adapt to continue to serve their listeners.  In a feature story by TALKERS managing editor Kevin Casey coming to Talkers.com next week, programmers speak on the record about their news philosophy and its practical application.  KMOX, St. Louis operations director Steve Moore says despite the factors some think puts radio at a disadvantage for news, it’s still a very important element.  “Local news is the foundation for everything we do and that includes providing content and information for our programming staffs.  That relationship goes both ways.  Talent use their connections to flesh out stories that are heard on our newscasts.  A strong, local news department should be the perfect complement to a good talk show host.”  Read what some of today’s top news/talk programmers are saying about the state of news on their stations and in the larger media mix at Talkers.com next week.

Michael Harrison to Speak at New Jersey Broadcasters Association Conference.  June promises to be a busy month for Michael Harrison.  Less than one short week after the New Media Seminar in NYC, the publisher and founder of TALKERS magazine will deliver a special address at the 65th Annual New Jersey Broadcasters Association Conference on June 13.  The address titled, “The Future of the Stick and the Shtick: How Terrestrial Radio can Thrive in the Digital Age,” will provide a realistic focus on the key issues and challenges facing AM and FM radio today as it finds its place in the new and exotic landscape of 21st century technology and culture.  One of the key points that Harrison plans to make is that even though talk radio broadcasters are licking their chops at the prospect of music radio’s demise, one of the keys to talk radio’s growth in the coming years will actually be the survival and revival of music radio as a commercial and cultural force.  Harrison says, “An AM and FM band of only spoken word programming will not be enough to keep terrestrial radio afloat.  For terrestrial radio of all formats to have a healthy place from which to operate, it must reclaim ownership of the music scene – no doubt a daunting task.”  Harrison goes on to say that this can actually be done.  “The music scene in America has a desperate need for big-time leadership in terms of breaking new artists and product as well as defining and creating a cultural environment in which a healthy and  purposeful industry can operate.  This is something that radio has historically done effectively and can do again in the new century.”  Harrison suggests the key to doing this is to bring back the disc jockey as a viable broadcasting art form and the plugged-in music director as a connection to the street and marketplace.  “When music radio gave up its franchise on personalities – on-air talents who can present, deliver, and ‘sell’ a song, it set in motion its own destruction as well as inflicting damage to the music business itself.  It is not too late to correct this.”  The 65th Annual NJBA Conference will take place at Caesar’s Atlantic City June 12-13.  For information call 888-657-2346.

2012 Presidential Race Tops Talkers TenTM for 7th Consecutive Week.  The race for president between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney once again was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week of May 14-18, 2012.  Following at #2 was the Greece and Euro Zone fiscal crisis; at #3 was world financial markets activity; and at #4 was President Obama’s gay marriage stance.  The Talkers TenTM is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart of the top stories and people on news/talk radio here.

Commentators of the Year.  That’s ESPN’s Mike Golic – co-host of ESPN Radio’s and ESPN2’s “Mike & Mike in the Morning” show (c) – holding the awards given to him and co-host Mike Greenberg (not pictured) for being named Team ESPN’s Volunteer Commentators of the Year.  Next to Golic are ESPN EVP of production John Wildhack (l) and president of ESPN, Inc. John Skipper (r).  Golic and Greenberg were honored at a luncheon yesterday (5/17) with the award given to an ESPN commentator “who provides positive impact in the community through his or her volunteer efforts.”  The duo led the way on ESPN Radio for the “Don’t Give Up ESPYs V Foundation Auction” which raised more than $800,000 for The V Foundation for Cancer Research.  They have contributed their personal time to emcee the Jimmy V Basketball dinner, and visit military sites, like the Intrepid this year for ESPN’s Veterans Week.  Each received $1,000 to be donated to the charity of their choice and both elected to give it to The V Foundation.