Tag: "SummitMedia"

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

| June 17, 2020

TALKERS EXCLUSIVE:  A Conversation with Heidi Harris.  As reported in TALKERS yesterday (6/16), KMZQ, Las Vegas morning host Heidi Harris has tested positive for COVID-19.  She told her listeners on the air and via Facebook yesterday that she’s tested positive for COVID-19.  Harris writes that she started with a cough last Thursday and, after getting worse that night, called in sick on Friday. She says she got considerably sicker over the weekend with intense body aches but did not suffer breathing troubles or nausea. She attempted to do her show yesterday from bed via phone.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison conducted a phone interview with Harris yesterday afternoon.  To listen to the entire conversation, please click here.

PPM Analysis: All-News. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s May 2020 PPM survey, today focusing on all-news. Kinosian notes that “whereas the highly unusual statistical oddity from the March 2020 sweep in which every news station meeting our ratings criteria managed to post a 6+ improvement, all but two eligible news outlets experienced some degree of erosion in the May 2020 survey period (April 23 – May 20).” Hubbard Radio’s WTOP-FM, Washington (+0.3) and Entercom’s business news WDCH, Baltimore (+0.1) were the two news stations to see weekly, 6+ AQH share gains. However, almost 70% of all-news stations saw their 6+ numbers rise from the May 2019 survey to the May 2020 survey. Just one all-news station – Entercom’s WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago ranked #1 in May, though three others ranked #2. See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Art Bell’s Dark Matter Digital Network Re-Launches. The Dark Matter Digital Network that Art Bell created before his death in April of 2018 is re-launching through the efforts of Bell’s former show producer David Rubini who is now serving as DMDN’s operations director and executive producer. Rubini says that beginning today (6/17 – what would have been Bell’s 75th birthday) affiliates can pick up “Best of Art Bell” in addition to the new “Midnight in the Desert” show hosted by Nathan Stolpman on weeknights, Alexis Brooks on Friday nights, famed author and researcher Mike Bara (Ancient Aliens) on Saturday nights, and Hollywood director and actor Sean Stone (Born On The 4th of July, JFK, The Doors) hosting Sundays. Rubini says, “Dark Matter Digital Network has been intoxicating to many PDs who have a desperate need to find a traditionally unique, time-tested, and reliable programming alternative that can serve them both late nights and overnights. Dark Matter Digital Network and “Midnight in the Desert” fills this void.”

Beverlee Brannigan Exits SVP of Programming Post with SummitMedia. In an announcement via Facebook, radio pro Beverlee Brannigan says she’s left her SVP of programming position at SummitMedia less than six months after accepting the promotion from her previous Wichita market president and general manager position and corporate vice president of radio programming post. She writes, “Friday was my last day with SummitMedia. Business. It happens. Here’s what I don’t want you to say about that: ‘Radio sucks. I’ll never listen to those stations again.’ That’s dumb and mean. Business is hard, and my former colleagues and friends are putting their hearts into making their radio stations the best they can be. So please listen more. And advertise there, because it works… Another thing I’d like is more cat pictures and memes about punctuation and grammar showing up on my timeline. You know where to find me. See you soon.”

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that WGN-AM, Chicago is in talks with Garry Meier to take over the afternoon drive daypart on the station after current PM drive host Roe Conn’s contract runs out at the end of this year. Feder says his sources confirm Nexstar Media Group EVP Sean Compton is talking Meier about the move. Meier has been off terrestrial radio since exiting WGN in 2014. He’s been podcasting since 2016. Meier and Conn worked together as “Roe & Garry” on Cumulus Media’s crosstown WLS-AM from 1996 to 2004. Meier left WLS after being unable to come to terms on a new deal…..Nationally syndicated “Free Talk Live” announces two new affiliate stations are adding the show to their program schedules. Missouri Ozarks Radio Network Inc’s KWPM-AM/K286CK, West Plains, Missouri is carrying the “Free Talk Live” Saturday evening show. Dimes Media Corp’s KWWV-HD2/K253BR “K-News 98.5” is adding the Saturday and Sunday programs…..Entercom reports that, according to comScore, RADIO.COM grew its U.S. monthly unique users by 6 million in May 2020 versus May 2019, calling it the “fastest growing digital audio platform in the United States in May.” The company adds that RADIO.COM’s “total monthly active users across (MAU) all platforms is now over 40 million, with strong MAU growth also contributing to the platform’s expanding first-party data set and rapidly growing addressable audio impressions across both streaming and podcast.”…..As reported by The Current, Chicago Public Media announced it has laid off 12 and is ending the production agreement with the music show “Sound Opinions” as a result of the “financial pressures from the pandemic.” “Sound Opinions” is hosted by Chicago-based music critics Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot. The program will continue to air on CPM’s WBEZ-FM, Chicago and its affiliates across the country, but CPM will cease to produce it after August 28…..Minnesota Public Radio and American Public Media announces the two companies have laid off more than two dozen employees and have cancelled, “Live from Here,” the national program that evolved out of Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion.” “Live from Here” was hosted by Chris Thile…..The NFL’s Los Angeles Chargers and Estrella Media have struck a deal for Estrella’s KRCA-TV, Los Angeles and KBUE-FM “Que Buena” to serve as the official Spanish-language TV and radio homes of the Los Angeles Chargers.

SiriusXM Acquires Simplecast Platform. The combination of SiriusXM’s newly acquired podcast management platform Simplecast with its monetization platform AdsWizz “creates an end-to-end solution that enables creators to publish and generate revenue from their podcasts, all in one place.” SiriusXM offers no details on the financial aspect of the acquisition but says, “The acquisition expands and strengthens SiriusXM’s and Pandora’s tools and monetization services for podcasters and publishers.”

COVID-19 Statistics & Projections, Beijing Coronavirus Flareup, BLM Protests/Statues Controversy, Trump’s Police Executive Order, John Bolton Book, Presidential Race/Tulsa Rally, Social Media Censorship, Financial Markets Activity, and China-India Himalayan Battle Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/16). The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., the states with rising and falling numbers, and projections for future cases and deaths; the outbreak of COVID-19 in Beijing; the Black Lives Matter protests, Seattle’s CHOP zone, and the controversy surrounding Confederate and Colonial-era statues; President Trump’s police training executive order; the Trump administration’s suit to prevent former national security adviser John Bolton from publishing his book; the presidential race and President Trump’s planned Tulsa rally; the reactions to Google’s and Facebook’s treatment controversial content and ads; the world’s financial markets react to the pandemic and racial strife; and the battle between China and India over a Himalayan border region were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The weekend country music radio show “Buckwild Saturday Night” – hosted by Bryan “B-Dub” Washington – changes its name to “B-Dub Radio Saturday Night as it transitions to distribution via Skyview Networks. B-Dub says, “I am beyond excited to partner with Skyview Networks for the rebrand into ‘B-Dub Radio Saturday Night.’ The team at Skyview Networks has shared detailed and impressive ideas that will continue growing the show and adding to the listener experience through our amazing affiliates.  I’m thrilled to be part of this new vision!” Skyview Networks president and COO Steve Jones says, “Country radio programmers are constantly seeking partners who offer high-quality content and talent.  B-Dub is the partner for them. With an ability to create a weekly party for his listeners, B-Dub will continue to grow his radio network and offer a smart investment return for his advertisers.”…..Nationally syndicated radio personality Tino Cochino is launching a new podcast titled, “The Aircheck,” in which he sits down with other radio stars from around the country to share stories about radio. Cochino’s recent guests have featured a who’s who of talent, including Bobby Bones, JoJo Wright, Ebro Darden, J-Si Chavez, and more. He says, “I love radio. To me, the personalities are and have always been the stars. The thing is, they’re the ones always doing the interview. No one ever interviews them! That changes now.”

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

| March 3, 2020

Todd Herman Returns to KTTH, Seattle for Mornings. In Seattle, Bonneville moves talk show host Todd Herman across the hall to conservative news/talker KTTH to host the morning show, replacing Saul Spady.  Herman had been the afternoon drive host at KTTH before becoming one-third of the “Candy, Mike and Todd” show that replaced “Ron and Don” in afternoons on sister KIRO-FM in January of 2019.  That show lasted just a year.  Station program director Mike Salk says, “There is no one with more passion for his beliefs than Todd.  He connects with his audience and creates a lasting bond.  We’re thrilled to return his energy to our Northwest listeners.”

Cumulus and Nielsen Extend; Add Continuous Diary Measurement in 14 Markets. This deal between Cumulus Media and Nielsen Audio runs through 2022 and extends Nielsen Audio Measurement services for the company while adding Continuous Diary Measurement for 120 stations in 14 markets and the Local Nielsen Media Impact service for its Dallas, Atlanta and Chicago markets.  Nielsen says Local NMI provides “unparalleled local media planning and cross-platform optimization including TV, radio and digital outlets in each of the 44 Local NMI markets.”  Cumulus EVP operations Bob Walker comments, “We are eager to work with Nielsen to evolve how we measure the changing consumer landscape with audio.  This extension helps us understand how Continuous Diary Measurement and Local Nielsen Media Impact may help drive advertising results while we work together to measure audio engagement for local station content and national network content moving forward.”

Seton Hall Disinvites WABC’s Sid Rosenberg from 2020 Election Panel. In story by Thomas Schwartz posted to Seton Hall’s The Setonian, WABC, New York talk host Sid Rosenberg is being disinvited to the Seton Hall campus for the WABC Town Hall event scheduled for March 10 after students protested.  The “Election Central Decision 2020” discussion was to have included Rosenberg along with WABC midday co-host Juliet Huddy and moderator Seton Hall professor Matthew Hale, Ph.D., but student Stefan Ferreira posted some of the controversial comments Rosenberg made on the air over the years – including the one referencing singer Kylie Minogue’s cancer diagnosis that got him fired from the “Imus in the Morning” program in 2005 – and the backlash caused the school to rescind Rosenberg’s invitation to the campus.  Neither the station nor Rosenberg have commented publicly.

John Catsimatidis’ Red Apple Media, Inc. Closes on WABC, New York. It’s now official. The deal to transfer ownership of news/talk icon WABC, New York from Cumulus Media to Red Apple Media has been completed. WABC announced Monday (3/2) that the iconic New York City news/talk radio station has been acquired by Red Apple Media Inc., a subsidiary of Red Apple Group, Inc. which owns and operates assets in the energy, real estate, finance, insurance, and supermarket industries. John Catsimatidis, founder, chairman, president and CEO, Red Apple Group, confirmed that the transaction to acquire the storied talk radio station was completed, effective today. “We look forward to working with this legendary New York staple radio station with all of its employees and talent,” says Catsimatidis. “It is exciting for our company to be stepping into the broadcasting industry with WABC as the anchor for our growing media assets.” Chad Lopez, VP/market manager, WABC, notes, “This is truly a great day for 77 WABC, its listeners and advertising partners. We’re thrilled that John Catsimatidis, a true New Yorker, has acquired WABC and are excited to move forward together into the bright future of talk radio in New York City. John’s passion for radio, along with his appreciation of the rich history of the station, makes this partnership ideal as we work together to give New York City what it deserves: the best news/talk station in the city.” Dave LaBrozzi, program director, WABC, adds, “John Catsimatidis shares the same vision and passion for building WABC, and having him join us is going to be such a great asset to this station. We know that this new step for WABC will help the station to achieve its highest potential.” WABC will reportedly continue its current programming lineup, which includes a mix of locally produced and nationally syndicated shows. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison issued the following comment on the acquisition: “This is quite possibly the most important radio ownership transaction of the past several years. A local business person with significant assets who has demonstrated a lifetime love for radio acquires a major market heritage station with the promise of strengthening its service. This could be just the model that sets the stage for radio’s next renaissance! The industry’s eyes and ears will be on this one.”

Nathan James Assumes Digital Content Manager Role at SummitMedia Omaha. Marketing and digital content pro Nathan James joins SummitMedia’s Omaha station group to serve as digital content manager.  James was most recently director of marketing partnerships and promotions for Adams Radio Group in Salisbury, Maryland.  The company says that James will “oversee the creation and implementation of a new ‘360’ digital content generation strategy plan, as well as other digital marketing and promotion efforts for each of the Omaha brands.”  He’ll work with new promotions director Rome Voltmer “to create organic digital and promotional content, develop unique tentpole events, and custom campaigns for current and future clients.”

Radio Companies Presenting at Investors Conferences. Both radio and digital giant iHeartMedia and smaller market operator Townsquare Media will be at Deutsche Bank’s 28th Annual Media, Internet & Telecom Conference March 10 in Palm Beach.  iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman and COO/CFO Rich Bressler will participate in a question-and-answer session on that day.  A live webcast of the session will be available to the public through a link on the investors homepage of iHeartMedia’s website.  Townsquare Media executives will appear at both the Deutsche Bank conference and at the Guggenheim Broadcasting Symposium at Guggenheim Partners’ offices on March 5.  At the Guggenheim Broadcasting Symposium, CEO Bill Wilson and CFO Stuart Rosenstein will be available for one-on-one meetings with investors.  At the Deutsche Bank conference, Wilson will participate and be available for one-on-one meetings with investors.

TALKERS News Notes. Georgia talk show host Erick Erickson reports that his daily, statewide syndicated midday show (separate from his PM drive show on WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta) responded to news that Georgia now has two cases of the coronavirus by leveraging his statewide radio presence to help government officials reach listeners across Georgia.  Erickson reports that both Senator David Perdue and Governor Brian Kemp joined him on his show to discuss the situation in Georgia.  This Friday, Vice President Mike Pence is expected to also join the program to talk about the spread of the virus inside the United States.  Erickson’s show is distributed by the Georgia News Network…..Genuine Austin Radio’s sports talker KTXX-FM/KTAE-AM/K270CO, Austin makes a talent shuffle. Midday personalities Brad Kellner and Rod Babers move to PM drive alongside Kevin DunnChad Hastings leaves PM drive to co-host middays with Trey Elling.  Jeff Howe and Craig Way are the new late-morning show.  Bucky Godbolt and Erin Hogan remain the morning drive hosts…..Cumulus Media gives up the licenses for two AM stations.  Gone from the company’s portfolio are WRWM-AM, Macon, Georgia and KSLZ-AM, Amarillo, Texas.  WRWM had been airing a sports talk format as “1500 The Fan.”  KSLZ had been dark for the better part of the last year…..Entercom’s news/talk WCCO-AM, Minneapolis and the MLB’s Minnesota Twins announce a multiyear broadcast extension through the 2023 season. WCCO continues to serve as the team’s flagship station and, for the first time, all spring training, regular season, and postseason games will also air on sister country outlet KMNB-FM “102.9 The Wolf.”…..Talk host Michael Patrick Shiels, whose morning show is syndicated across Michigan, is again producing his show on March 17 live from Benner’s Hotel in Dingle, County Kerry, Ireland in celebration St. Patrick’s Day.  Shiels says, “We will provide live coverage of the Dingle Parade as it passes down Main Street in front of Benner’s Hotel.  We will also interview many of Dingle’s colorful community leaders, characters, musicians, and more.  Benner’s general manager John Foley will discuss Ireland’s world-renowned hospitality and cuisine.  Shiels’ program has, in the past, featured the likes of “Riverdance’s” Michael Flatley, Irish President Mary Robinson, and Irish golf star Darren Clarke.

Beth Nifong Joins CMG Atlanta as GSM. Sales pro Beth Nifong joins Cox Media Group as general sales manager for the Atlanta cluster that includes news/talk juggernaut WSB-AM/WSBB-FM and three music brands.  She was most recently GSM for Beasley Media Group’s Charlotte station group.  CMG Atlanta director of sales Jaleigh Long says, “Beth Nifong is a strategic leader with a proven track record for driving client results and developing top talent.  I’m confident that Beth will propel the CMG integrated media sales organization into the future as we continue to drive a thriving ROI for our clients and partners.”

Coronavirus, Presidential Race/Buttigieg and Klobuchar Exit, Financial Markets Activity, Chris Matthews Retires, Israeli Election, Jack Welch Dies, and Kobe Bryant Crash Scene Scandal Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/2). The status of the coronavirus pandemic; Democratic candidates Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar drop out of the race the day before Super Tuesday; the U.S. financial markets rebound after the previous week’s record losses; MSNBC talk host Chris Matthews retires unexpectedly in the aftermath of allegations of sexist behavior; the Israeli election and Benjamin Netanyahu’s future as Israel’s leader; former General Electric chief Jack Welch dies; and the LA deputies accused of taking and sharing photos of the Kobe Bryant crash scene were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

PPM Analysis: Rhythmic CHRTALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s January 2020 PPM survey, today focusing on the rhythmic CHR format.  While more than 50% of rhythmic CHR stations in PPM markets saw their weekly, 6+ AQH share go up compared to the Holiday 2019 survey, 67% of those stations saw those ratings decrease from January 2019 to January 2020.  See the entire report here.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Dallas country outlet KPLX “99.5 The Wolf” announces that “The All-New Wake Up With the Wolf Show” now features Brian Moote and Tara as co-hosts.  Moote joins the Cumulus Media station from his most recent gig as a cast member of “The Bert Show” and Tara was most recently host of the morning show on iHeartMedia’s crosstown hot AC KDMX “NOW 102.9.”…..Programming pro Brad Steiner is appointed program director for three of Cumulus Media’s New Orleans radio stations: alternative WZRH “ALT 92.3,” country WRKN “NASH Icon 106.1,” and classic hits KKND “106.7 The Krewe.”  He comes to New Orleans from Chattanooga where he was APD and afternoon drive host  at CHR WDOD-FM “Hits 96.”…..WBAB, Babylon, New York (Long Island) morning personality John “JP” Parise is being honored by the Town of Babylon for his 20 years on the air at the station with a road named after him.  Town supervisor Rich Schaffer, deputy supervisor Tony Martinez and the rest of the town board are renaming a portion of West 15th Street in Deer Park “John ‘JP’ Parise Way.”  Parise grew up on the block and lived there until his mid-20s.  He host the rock WBAB morning show with partner Roger Luce…..SummitMedia brings Tamo Sein aboard to host the midday show at hot AC WURV, Richmond “Play 103.7” and KQCH, Omaha “Channel 94.1.”  Sein – who was most recently on air hosting middays at iHeartMedia’s alternative KYSR, Los Angeles “ALT 98.7” until exiting last August – will voice track the show for KQCH.

Friday, January 10, 2020

| January 10, 2020

Starnes Media Group to Purchase KWAM, Memphis. Conservative talk media personality and author Todd Starnes, via his Starnes Media Group, is acquiring historic radio station KWAM-AM, Memphis and translator W300DE, Memphis (107.9 FM) from Legacy Media for $685,000.  Starnes produces his daily talk radio show – currently heard on some 60 affiliate stations – and commentary feature that is distributed by Hamilton Strategies.  Starnes tells TALKERS magazine KWAM will be the flagship for his radio show.  “Memphis is my hometown.  And I’m glad to be coming back to the Mid-South.  Memphis deserves a locally owned and locally run talk radio station.  Our news, traffic and weather will be produced in Memphis by Memphians.  And I can promise that all-new ‘The Mighty 990’ is going to be a blowtorch for freedom across the Mid-South.”  Starnes parted ways with FOX News in October of 2019 after his contract expired and shortly thereafter launched his new radio programs and podcast.

NOW POSTED:  New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.”   The vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted. The new episode titled, “Wag the Tongue!” looks back at this past week of January 6-10, 2020 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS;  Michael Berry, talk show host, KTRH, Houston; Bill Brady, talk show host, KFNX, Phoenix; Dom Giordano, talk show host, WPHT, Philadelphia; Lee Elci, talk show host, 94.9 News Now WJJF, Southeast Connecticut; Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company; and Christopher Ruddy, president/CEO, Newsmax Media. This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on: WONK-FM, Washington, DC on Friday evenings between 6:00-7:00 pm.  It also airs throughout the weekend on WRKO, Boston; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA;  KFNX, Phoenix; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; the Virginia Talk Radio Network and Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA as well as appearing on the iHeartRadio App.  To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here.  To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.

Cumulus EVP/CFO John Abbot to Exit in March. An executive-level change takes place at Cumulus Media as executive vice president and chief financial officer John Abbot announces he’ll leave the company in the beginning of March, after the company reports its full-year 2019 financial results.  Meanwhile, the company is conducting a search for his successor.  Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner says, “On behalf of the board and the entire company, I would like to thank John for his many contributions to Cumulus and for the strong finance and accounting organization he has helped build.  After nearly four years of commuting to Atlanta from Connecticut, it’s understandable that John has decided to pursue new opportunities at a company based closer to his home.  We appreciate his continued support through the transition and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”  Abbot says, “It has been a privilege and tremendously rewarding to work with Mary and the rest of the Cumulus team and I am truly proud of our many accomplishments over these past several years.  I am confident in the company’s ongoing ability to achieve its objectives and I look forward to following Cumulus’ continued success in the years ahead.”

WABC, New York Renews Clint Arthur’s Sunday Night Talk Show. New York City news/talk WABC announces it has “extended its commitment” with “The Greatest Show of All Time,” the Sunday evening program that stars celebrity entrepreneur Clint Arthur, to continue to air at 9:30 pm through the end of 2020.  Arthur says, “The mission of this show is personal, professional, and spiritual transformation for entrepreneurs, business owners, CEOs and anyone responsible for improving their own life and who wants to be more, do more, and have more.  As a native New Yorker, I am thrilled by this opportunity to give back to the city that made me who I am today.”  Arthur is the author of best-selling books: What They Teach You at The Wharton Business School; Speaking Game: 7-Figure Speaker Secrets; and The Greatest Book of All Time.  WABC is currently owned by Cumulus Media and is in the process of being sold to John CatsimatidisRed Apple Media for $12.5 million.

Management Changes at ESPN. After 15 years with the company, Traug Keller is retiring from his position as SVP of ESPN Audio.  He moved into that role in 2004 after having served as president of ABC Radio Networks.  He’ll officially exit the company next month.  Also retiring from ESPN Audio is vice president of national radio programming and production Marcia Keegan.  Assuming the leadership of the ESPN Audio division will be Dave Roberts, currently vice president of production, and Amanda Gifford, who holds the coordinating producer title.  At the same time, Tim McCarthy, who leads sports talk radio outlet WEPN-FM, New York as SVP and general manager for the company, is taking on the same responsibilities for ESPN’s sports talk KSPN, Los Angeles “ESPN 710.”

Kachinske Named OM for Cumulus Media Providence. Programming pro Mary Ellen Kachinske comes to Cumulus Media’s Providence cluster after most recently serving as program director at Hubbard Radio’s high-performing hot AC WTMX, Chicago “The Mix” for the past 18-plus years.  In Providence, she’ll be program director for adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” and serve as operations manager for the cluster that includes news/talk outlets WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM and WPRV-AM and two other music brands.  Cumulus Providence vice president and market manager Holly Paras says, “After an exhaustive nationwide search, I am pleased to have Mary Ellen Kachinske joining the Cumulus Providence programming team.  The breadth of Mary Ellen’s experience will no doubt be felt immediately throughout the cluster. We look forward to her leadership and her ability to think strategically, in order to allow these well-established brands to continue to grow into the next decade.”

SummitMedia Ups Brannigan to SVP of Programming; Johnson to Lead Wichita Cluster. Being promoted from president and general manager of SummitMedia’s Wichita operations to senior vice president of programming for the company is Beverlee Brannigan.  As she moves into the corporate role, Todd Johnson is upped from general sales manager to president/GM for the Wichita station group.  Brannigan served as president/GM of Wichita for nearly six years.  Her previous programming experience has earned her a place in Country Radio Hall of Fame and she programmed country KFDI to a CMA Station of the Year Award.  She says, “I am honored to join Bill Tanner and John Olsen on the SummitMedia programming team.  We all share a commitment to radio that strongly connects with our audience.”

Iran Crisis Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 6-10. The killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani by U.S. forces and its diplomatic aftermath was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the impeachment articles against President Trump.  Coming in tied at #3 was the presidential race and the political speeches at last Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards, followed by the Australian bush fires and climate change 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.

Radio Sales Opportunity. Religious broadcaster Pillar of Fire International is seeking a full-time ad salesperson. The company says: “Star 99.1 is looking for our next great radio salesperson! 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.

PPM Analysis Extra: The ‘All Christmas’ Phenomenon. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a “bonus” PPM analysis based on data from Nielsen Audio’s December 2019 survey.  Kinosian says that the shift to all-Christmas music has been a ratings boon for stations that adopt the change.  “In our December 2019 ratings recap ‘extra,’ let’s see if playing wall-to-wall holiday hits is still growing strong or starting to wane.  The following breakouts reflect those stations in the 48 PPM-markets that either increased their 6+ stat by at least one full share or faltered by that margin in the December 2019 sweep (November 7 – December 4).  Hefty positive November 2019 – December 2019 movement is more often than not directly attributable to the all-Christmas music phenomenon.”  See the report here.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. New Haven urban AC WYBC-FM adds the “DeDe in the Morning” show to its program schedule, effective Monday (1/13).  WYBC is operated by Connoisseur Media.  The program is produced by Service Broadcasting’s KKDA, Dallas “K104” and is syndicated by Compass Media NetworksDeDe McGuire says, “It is an absolute honor to be part of the legendary WYBC and we can’t wait to wake up New Haven. Thank you, [director of operations] Juan Castillo and the WYBC team for your support and confidence.  We are going to have some fun together.”  As part of this move, Castillo – who had been morning host – moves to the afternoon drive daypart…..In Nashville, air personality and program director Zigz, a.k.a. Chris Cox, is leaving one of his positions with Cromwell Media’s alternative WBUZ “102.9 The Buzz.”  Zigz will continue to host the midday show but is relocating to Illinois as the result of his wife accepting a new gig.  In the interim, current afternoon drive host and digital/social media coordinator Hayley St. John is handling programming duties.  Station vice president and market manager Dennis Gwiazdon says, “Naturally, a decision like this didn’t come easy for Zigz and we most certainly had to respect his decision to be supportive of his wife’s career and the needs of his family.  There’s no question Zigz will be missed but the good news is he will remain a key part of our team, anchoring the midday show.”…..Pictured below is Ultra Records recording artist Chelsea Cutler (right) appearing in front of a roomful of listeners as air personality Mikey V (left) interviews her on iHeartMedia’s WXKS-FM, Boston “Kiss 108.”

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

| October 1, 2019

TALKERS and The Epoch Times’ Co-Presented “Talk Media Forum on US-China Relations” Takes Place in NYC; Video Available for Viewing.  A 90-minute panel discussion took place in New York today (10/1).  The “Talk Media Forum on US-China Relations” was a panel discussion that included radio talk show hosts Hugh Hewitt of Salem Radio NetworkJohn Batchelor of WABC, New York, and Tom Sullivan of Talk Media Network, as well as a group of experts on the present state of China and its increasingly strained relationship with the United States including Nan Su of NTDTVJoshua Philipp of The Epoch Times and Dr. Dana Cheng of The Epoch Times.  The conversation focused on the US-China trade war, the Hong Kong protests, China’s human rights abuses, Huawei and the worldwide battle for 5G dominance, the North Korea nuclear threat, China’s ongoing intellectual property theft, China’s military buildup, and the long term goals and methods of the Chinese Communist Party, plus more.  See the video of today’s event here.

Ramsey Solutions Addresses National Student Loan Crisis. The company is working to help families avoid  traps of student loans and show them a better way to pay for college. Ramsey Solutions chief executive officer/“Dave Ramsey Show” host Dave Ramsey declares, “Americans have been fed a lie that it is impossible to afford college without student loans. That lie has the average graduate burdened with over $35,000 in student loans from the moment they’re handed their diplomas. The system is broken, and we want people to know the truth: It is possible to pay cash for college.” Thought leaders Ramsey, Mark Cuban, and Seth Godin are among those interviewed in “Borrowed Future,” an eight-episode podcast series featuring real-life stories that explore the student loan crisis. Anthony ONeal, author of “Debt Free-Degree: The Step-By-Step Guide to Getting Your Kid Through College Without Student Loans,” remarks, “Parents and teens believe that student loans are the only option, but debt doesn’t open doors – it closes them. I travel the country speaking to thousands of people each year. I meet students all the time who are working hard, applying for scholarships and grants, and are actually graduating debt-free. I believe more parents and students can do this, but they need a plan. We’re here to provide that plan.”

NAB PILOT Program Announces Internship Grant Recipients. Launched this past spring, PILOT is the National Association of Broadcasters’ technology initiative which has thus far provided paid internships to 13 NAB member organizations for undergraduate students in radio and television engineering/technology positions. The program is provided in partnership with the NAB’s Leadership Foundation as part of an effort to grow technical and engineering talent for the industry. Grants for the spring 2020 term will be provided to the following NAB members: Michigan State University news/talk WKAR-AM, news/talk-classical WKAR-FM, and PBS affiliate WKAR-TV, East Lansing (Michigan); Butler County Radio Network (Butler, Pennsylvania) news/talk WISR, country WBUT, and rock WLER; Scripps Media Phoenix ABC affiliate KNXV-TV; and Marquee Broadcasting Bowling Green, Kentucky’s WNKY-TV. NAB’s executive vice president and chief technology officer Sam Matheny notes, “We have been encouraged by the response to this program and are thrilled to continue it for a second year. PILOT and the NAB Leadership Foundation remain committed to assisting NAB member stations in attracting the best and brightest new candidates to a career in broadcast technology.” NAB Leadership Foundation president Michelle Duke adds, “The NAB Foundation is happy to provide opportunities with PILOT for students in the broadcast technology and engineering fields. Our intent is to continue to expand the pool of talent for our industry.” The program seeks to help NAB members that do not currently offer engineering or media-technology internships. It will provide resources to assist selected stations in identifying and supporting interns, as well as assistance for the selected interns to attend next year’s NAB Show in Las Vegas.

TALKERS News Notes. Celebrities and politicians were omnipresent in Staten Island this past Saturday (9/28) at the nuptials of Salem Media Group New York news/talk WNYM “AM 970 The Answer” executive producer/talk host Frank Morano and his fiancé Rachel O’Brien. “This truly was the most unique assemblage of people ever to come to one party,” he maintains. It’s hard to argue that claim as Morano’s WNYM colleague, Joe Piscopo, got the afternoon started with a Frank Sinatra “New York New York”/“That’s Life” medley reminiscent of how Piscopo did it on “Saturday Night Live.” Morano is quick to note that Piscopo’s date for the affair was none other than supermodel Carol Alt. Among others spotted in the crowd were congressman Dan Donovan; former New York lieutenant governor Betsy McCaughey; billionaire businessman/New York City-based Red Apple Group chair/CEO (and new owner of New York City news/talk WABC) John Catsimatidis; former mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis; and criminal defense attorney Arthur Aidala, currently representing Harvey Weinstein. Syndicated talk host Mike Gallagher was in attendance as were talk host/author Kevin McCulloughRichard Bey, sportscaster Russ Salzberg, and Shelley Goldberg. There were no reports of fisticuffs or violence of any type at the wedding. That is actually quite remarkable and noteworthy, given that John A. Gotti and his sister, reality TV star/author Victoria Gotti, were there along with Guardian Angels founder/talk show host Curtis Sliwa. Things could have gotten particularly dicey as it was Gotti who was charged with ordering the 1992 kidnapping and shooting of Sliwa. Gotti went on trial four times with each trial ending in a hung jury. “Needless to say, we kept John and Curtis on opposite sides of the room,” Morano quips. “It did lead to one of the more interesting quotes of the evening. As Curtis was dancing, John remarked to me, ‘Do you think Curtis would mind if I cut in to dance with his wife?’” Also at the wedding was Maureen Gioeli, the wife of Tommy “Shots” Gioeli, who Morano describes as “the alleged acting boss of the Colombo crime family” ….. Six-year (2003 – 2009) Bernalillo County (New Mexico) sheriff Darren White will join Cumulus Media Albuquerque news/talk KKOB “AM 770 News Radio” as midday host (1:00 pm – 3:00 pm), beginning next Monday (10/7). Cumulus Media Albuquerque vice president/market manager Jeff Berry comments, “Darren is one of the best political minds around, with deep roots in the Albuquerque media market and New Mexico politics. KKOB delivers the best lineup in radio and Darren is going to help us fill out our already amazing roster.” White states, “I’m honored to join the legendary KKOB and host a show in a time slot between a national radio powerhouse in Rush Limbaugh and a radio legend in TJ Trout. I’m grateful to Jeff Berry for this amazing opportunity and excited to get behind the mic to continue the long tradition of engaging talk radio.” Formerly a correspondent for Albuquerque’s KRQE-TV, White was secretary of New Mexico’s Department of Public Safety and Albuquerque’s chief public safety officer ….. Pre-game and post-game host of Cincinnati Reds games, Tommy Thrall, will succeed retired hall of famer Marty Brennaman as the team’s lead radio voice on iHeartMedia Cincinnati news/talk WLW. After calling minor league Pensacola Blue Wahoos games for six years, Thrall joined the Reds crew this season. He previously was the radio voice of the Quad Cities River Bandits ….. Three-year senior producer/audience development & engagement Stephanie Curtis is promoted to Minnesota Public Radio’s MPR News director of programming. Executive director of news & programming Nancy Cassutt comments, “Steph holds a clear vision for what needs to come next in our programming in order to be relevant and engaging with our audiences. She understands our newsroom and where we have the best opportunities to grow and better serve our listeners. Combined with her wealth of talents, this makes her a perfect fit for this role.” Curtis has been with MPR for over 25 years and is the “Movie Maven” on the weekly “Cube Critics” podcast ….. WFPL news editor Jonese Franklin is boosted to local host for NPR’s “All Things Considered” on the Louisville Public Media news/talk station. WFPL director of news and programming Erica Peterson notes, “Jonese brings a diverse depth of experience to the job, including years working as a journalist, editor and broadcaster. I’m excited to hear her on the air every day, and I know our listeners will be as well” ….. Beginning next Monday (10/7), iHeartRadio Broadway debuts “Show & Tell with Frank DiLella,” a weekly Broadway-focused original podcast. New episodes will be available every Monday via the iHeartPodcast Network. Host of “On Stage,” Spectrum News NY1 theater correspondent DiLella is an Emmy Award winning journalist. According to iHeartRadio Broadway director Sarah Jane Arnegger, “We’re thrilled to have Frank DiLella join iHeartRadio Broadway. Frank has been an integral part of the Broadway industry for years. With his built-in audience, this podcast will serve as an extension of what Frank does best with his comprehensive reporting style and celebrity theatrical interviews.” DiLella remarks, “I am truly excited to be teaming up with iHeartMedia and iHeartRadio Broadway as it expands its Broadway programming. I’ve enjoyed getting to know the folks who make up the theater community in New York and abroad. With this new opportunity, I look forward to bringing my in-depth conversations and commentary with the movers and shakers of the industry to a larger audience.”

Cumulus Media Cluster Sets Annual “Christmas For Our Troops.” The fundraiser and series of donation drives that will benefit our service personnel will commence one week from this Friday (10/11) and run through November 12. In partnership with Step Up For Soldiers, Cumulus Media Wilmington, North Carolina will collect items donated by the community for deployed servicemen and women and raise funds to ship the packages overseas in time for Christmas. Cumulus Wilmington vice president and market manager Eric McCart states, “In addition to collecting items, an important need we have is to collect money for our ‘Christmas For Our Troops Postage Fund.’ It costs $14.35 to send each flat-rate box overseas. The more monetary donations we receive, the more Christmas packages we can send to our troops. We will be accepting both ‘Postage Fund’ and suggested item donations while we’re on location at our collection sites. ‘Postage Fund’ donations can also be made online.” Items to be collected will include writing utensils, games, snacks, bottled drinks, and anything else that is easy-to-use, easy-to-wash, and easy-to-store. In addition to WAAV “980 The Wave – News, Talk, & Sports,” the company’s Wilmington, North Carolina cluster includes WWQQ “Double Q-101.3 Cape Fear’s Country Leader,” adult contemporary WGNI “102.7 GNI Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites,” urban contemporary WMNX “Coast 97.3,” and classic rock WKXS “94.5 The Hawk.”

Stations Go From One Backyard To Another. Headed by Van A. Michael, Pennsylvania-based Backyard Broadcasting of Pennsylvania, LLC closes on its purchase of seven Pennsylvania stations from … and here’s where it gets tricky … Daniel J. Farr’s (also) Pennsylvania-based Backyard Broadcasting PA, LLC. Neither of these Backyard entities has any other broadcast interests. Stations involved are sports talk WWPA “ESPN Radio 1340”; WWPA’s FM translator W267BJ at 101.3; WILQ “105.1 Today’s Best Country”; and hot AC WLMY – all in Williamsport; rock WZXR, South Williamsport; rock WCXR, Lewisburg (which simulcasts WZXR); and classic hits-oldies WBZD, Muncy. Kalil & Company, Inc. was the exclusive broker for this transaction.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Veteran consultant/programmer John Sebastian signs the first client for his “WOW Factor” format – KOAI, Phoenix – and as part of the deal, he will be the consultant and hands-on program director of the Riviera Broadcasting outlet. Riviera Broadcasting chief executive officer Michael Cutchall remarks, “John has been one of the most innovative programmers in the history of radio. There is no one better to connect with listeners and communities in his approach and philosophy to programming. His excitement to join our team is contagious and his desire to win is relentless.” Sebastian asserts that KOAI will be “the first of many ‘WOW Factor’ stations across America with an eclectic mix of music researched and curated for baby boomers.” His previous Phoenix programming background already includes KUPD, KSLX, and KDKB. Sebastian has programmed in other markets such as Los Angeles (KTWV, KHJ, and KZLA); Chicago (WJMK); Dallas (KPLX); Boston (WCOZ); Seattle (KISW); Minneapolis (KDWB); and Nashville (WSM-FM). According to Nielsen Audio PPM data, the February 2019 through August 2019 (6+) topline for classic hits-oldies KOAI is: 2.1 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.5. It ranks #25 in August 2019; iHeartMedia adult contemporary KESZ is on top (7.0, 6+). ….. Former Bohn Broadcast Services vice president of business development Chris Roth is appointed program director of Entercom Washington, DC classic hits-oldies WIAD “94.7 The Drive.” Roth will “work closely” with Entercom classic hits-oldies format captain Chris Ebbott, who programs Los Angeles’ co-owned/similarly formatted KRTH “K-Earth 101.” Entercom Washington, DC senior vice president and market manager Phil Zachary comments, “One year into the format, we are satisfied with the station’s position, but we are constantly seeking new ways to innovate and improve. Chris Roth brings the vernacular and market knowledge to finetune ‘94.7 The Drive’ to DC’s particular tastes. He’s uniquely-suited for this role; I am excited to see him help our station excel.” Roth notes, “Programming ‘94.7 The Drive’ is a dream job for me. I’m passionate about the classic hits format and I’m looking forward to making it the fun destination for DC listening.” Roth previously was an on-air talent at Baltimore adult contemporary sibling WLIF “Today’s 101.9”; director of programming for WAVA, Washington; a reporter at Washington’s all-news WTOP; and director of programming and operations for Winchester, Virginia hot AC WINC-FM ….. As noted in this space just last Friday (9/27), Scott Roddy exited his brand/content director post with Hubbard Radio St. Louis adult hits WARH “106.5 The Arch” for a “yet-to-be-revealed position.” Well, it didn’t take long for the mystery to be revealed as Roddy will join Entercom Portland next Monday (10/7) as program director/operations manager for country KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf” and hot AC KRSK “105.1 The Buzz.” Entercom Portland senior vice president/market manager Kim Martinez states, “Scott has an impressive track record programming leading stations; we’re fortunate to add him to the team. I am confident his proven leadership will enable him to step in and immediately enhance the programming efforts for our stations.” Roddy notes, “I’m stoked to join the iconic ‘Wolf’ and to bring some electricity back to the ‘Buzz.’ Kim Martinez is building a world-class operation at Entercom Portland. Her passion for our industry, audience, investors, and local team is unparalleled. I’d like to thank Kim; [chief programming officer] Pat Paxton; [regional president] Doug Abernethy; and [senior vice president of programming] Dave Richards for the opportunity.” Prior to joining WARH in February 2016, Roddy programmed stations for Entercom Indianapolis, Oasis Radio Group Fort Wayne (Indiana), and Saga Communications ….. This Saturday (10/5) at 8:00 am, iHeartMedia Chicago urban contemporary WGCI-FM, urban AC WVAZ “V-103,” and gospel WGRB “Inspiration 1390” will hold the third annual “Sista Strut” 3K breast cancer charity walk to benefit the Chicago chapter of the Sisters Network. According to iHeartMedia Chicago director of urban programming Derrick Brown, “We are dedicated to serving the community in which we live and work. We remain committed to doing our part in being a source of support and encouragement for those battling and recovering from this disease.” WGCI-FM morning show member Kendra G and WVAZ midday talent Bionce Foxx will host the event. Special guests will include “Steve Harvey Morning Show” co-host Carla Ferrell ….. Forming the new morning team at Emmis Indianapolis’ country WLHK “97.1 Hank FM” are Caleb James and Mindy Winkler. James most recently programmed NRG Media Omaha rhythmic CHR KOPW “Power 106.9,” while Winkler arrives from WLHK’s adult contemporary sibling WYXB “B-105.7.” Former “Hank” morning driver Dave O’Brien is now doing similar duties at Entercom Denver classic rock KQMT “99.5 The Mountain” ….. Louisville alternative WGHL “Alt 105.1” program director/afternoon talent Phil “PK” Kukawinski tacks on  programming duties for Alpha Media adult hits cluster-mate WXMA “102.3 Jack-FM.” He succeeds Sarah Jordan, who continues as marketing director and mid-day personality (10:00 am – 3:00 pm) on co-owned CHR WDJX “99-7 DJX” ….. To help raise funds, supplies, and awareness for rescue dogs, iHeartMedia Colorado Springs hot AC KVUU “My 99.9” will team with the Lovepup Foundation for the initial “Lovepup Family Fest” one week from Saturday (10/12, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm) at Weidner Field. KVUU morning drive talent Johnjay of the syndicated “Johnjay and Rich” show will host the event. All money and pet supply donations will benefit local Colorado Springs animal rescue organizations …..  Meanwhile, KVUU cluster-mate KCYY “Y-96.9 #1 For New Country” and Oakwood Homes join forces four weeks from today (10/29) for the first-ever “Boo Bash” to benefit HBA Cares. Hosted by “Y-96.9” afternoon drive host Shawn Patrick, the event will feature entertainment from Matt Stell, Noah Schnacky, and Tyler Walker Band. “Boo Bash” proceeds will benefit local transitional and accessible housing in the Colorado Springs area, along with other local community projects. Doors will open at 6:00 pm at Boot Barn Hall ….. WCYQ “100.3 The Wolf” nighttime talent Paul Orr exits the SummitMedia Knoxville country station to focus on his voiceover business. Before joining WCYQ, Orr worked in Birmingham (WZZK); Oklahoma City (KTST); Fort Myers (WWGR); and Shreveport (KRMD) ….. A “goat” is loose in Hagerstown-Chambersburg (Maryland-Pennsylvania) as Verstandig Media transitions CHR WNUZ “Now 92.1” to classic hits-oldies WIKG “92.1 The Goat – The Greatest of All Time.” This comes after a weekend of stunting with all-Christmas music; the station is inviting listeners to “Take Your Goat To Work.” Continuing the theme, the “goat herd” is airing 20 songs in a row in its first week.

Delilah Honored With AFN Challenge Coin. For her unwavering support of service members and veterans, Premiere Networks’ adult contemporary host Delilah received the American Forces Network challenge coin last Thursday (9/26) at the Radio Show in Dallas. Military challenge coins have been issued to servicemen and servicewomen since World War I as a symbol of honor, respect, gratitude, and loyalty. Delilah is heard weeknights at 7:00 pm in Japan, Korea, and central Europe on AFN Radio’s “Today’s Best Hits Adult Contemporary” channel. Pictured left to right are: Tom Arnholt of AFN programming and operations, Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott, Delilah, who co-hosted last week’s NAB Marconi Awards, and Curt Eckstein of AFN programming and operations.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

| September 19, 2019

Nick Reed Back in PD Chair at KSGF, Springfield, Missouri. News/talk KSGF-AM/FM, Springfield, Missouri morning personality Nick Reed is promoted to program director of the SummitMedia station. Reed joined the station in 2010 as PD and morning host but, for the past several years, has focused solely on his morning show.  Now, he again takes on the program director role.  SummitMedia Springfield president Janelle Moffett says, “Nick’s insight and years of experience are a great asset to our group.  We’re fortunate to have him on our team!”  Reed comments, “I am so very happy to be with KSGF under SummitMedia right now.  There really is a positive energy underway that made me want to be back in the saddle as program director of KSGF.”

Cumulus Media Announces Pricing of $525 Million Senior Secured Term Loan B. In the process of announcing in the pricing of a new $525 million senior secured term loan B due March 2026, Cumulus Media says that upon the closing of the new term loan (expected next week), it “will have fully refinanced the $1.3 billion term loan that the company assumed upon emergence from Chapter 11 on June 4, 2018.”  The new term loan will have an interest rate of LIBOR plus 3.75% with a 1.00% LIBOR floor, issued at 99.5% of par. Proceeds from this issuance, along with cash on hand, will be used to pay down and refinance the company’s existing term loan. Cumulus’ debt will then consist of the $525 million new term loan and $500 million of secured bonds issued in June 2019, representing a $275 million reduction in total debt since emergence.  Cumulus says its financial position will be further improved by the lower interest rates and 2026 maturity of the new debt.

Erick Erickson Show Deep-Diving into Georgia Politics. The recently launched, WGAU, Athens, Georgia-based Erick Erickson show reports that it is doing what it intended to do when host Erickson and Cox Media Group first began considering the project – covering Georgia politics. Erickson’s new program is distributed statewide via the Georgia News Network, airing live from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.  The company says, “A month into the new Erick Erickson Radio Show, Georgia political leaders are taking advantage of having a new statewide radio program.  In just the last three days, Erickson has interviewed Governor Brian Kemp, Senator David Perdue, and Congressmen Doug Collins and Jody Hice.  Collins is the ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee and Erickson was able to interview Collins to update listeners on the headline-grabbing proceeding of that committee.”

WOR Live Event to Address ‘Rebuilding NYC’s Skyline.’  Next Wednesday (9/25), the “WOR Live” series at The Cutting Room brings in experts to discuss “Rebuilding NYC’s Skyline: Past, Present & Future.”  This event is being moderated by Len Berman, co-host of “Len Berman & Michael Riedel in the Morning” on WOR, New York. Joining Berman at the lunchtime event will be: Gary LaBarbera, president of Bldg & Construction Trades Council NYC; John Murphy, international rep for United Assoc Plumbers and Pipe Fitters; Thomas Hill, SVP of Boston Properties; and Mark Gregorio, president of TEI Group.

TALKERS News Notes. At the “Drive to Digital 2019” conference taking place at London’s The British Library Knowledge Centre on October 30, Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley will be featured in the “Driving the Digital Dash” automotive portion of the conference. Beasley, along with numerous audio and tech experts from around the world, will share her insights on key automotive technology trends and the impact on radio listening in cars…..Entercom’s RADIO.COM platform is announcing a new, original podcast for New York Yankees fans, hosted by legendary Yankees play-by-play man John Sterling, titled, “Pinstripes & Bright Lights.”  The weekly podcast will focus on baseball and Yankees history.  RADIO.COM SVP and general manager Pam Russo says, “As part of our ongoing content strategy, we seek to diversify on-demand audio offerings on RADIO.COM, the premiere destination for live and on-demand audio and sports content in the U.S.  John is a legendary broadcaster with an unprecedented reputation among baseball fans across the country and we’re looking forward to hearing his insider stories.”…..The nationally syndicated “Around The House with Eric G.” show – syndicated by Envision Networks – is added to the program schedule at Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KVI-AM, Seattle “Talk Radio 570.”  Eric G. says, “After spending most of my design career in Seattle, it is good to be back home.”

Iran’s War Threats/Saudi Oil Attack, 2020 Presidential Race, Kavanaugh Allegations, Dems Impeachment Strategy, and New National Security Adviser Named Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/18). Iran’s threat of “all-out war” after being accused of responsibility for the attack on a Saudi oil production facility; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the allegations of sexual harassment against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and criticism of The New York Times’ opinion editor; the ongoing talk of impeachment of the president by congressional Democrats; and the naming of Robert O’Brien as the new national security adviser 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 Northeastern Wisconsin, Roger Utnhmer is retiring, and his Nicolet Broadcasting is selling its five-station cluster – along with two digital local news platforms – to his sales manager, Bryan Mazur.  Nicolet owns adult standards WBDK, Algoma; classic hits WRKU, Forestville; country WRLU, Algoma; WSBW, Ephraim; and translator W277BP, Sturgeon Bay.   In a Facebook post, Utnhmer says, “I appreciate the great people who have made Nicolet Broadcasting a successful company.  Those include Jeff Wagner in Antigo, Bruce McNeill in Eagle River, Paul Eck in Park Falls and Paul Schmitt and Tim Kowols in Sturgeon Bay.  These guys made me look better than I really am… Thank you for being among the best of the best.  And now to Bryan Mazur I wish you all success going forward. You are inheriting a very solid staff and one of the most beautiful markets in American radio.”…..Pictured below is Beasley Media Philadelphia air personality Kathy Romano (left) with ABC News and “Good Morning America” chief meteorologist Ginger Zee (right) at the 95.7 BEN FM 3rd annual Her Story Luncheon, held yesterday (9/18) in Philadelphia.  Romano is co-host of WMMR’s “Preston and Steve” show as well as the weekly “Her Story” program on sister WBEN-FM. The program showcases dynamic women that are making a significant impact in the community via their business, their charity work or a combination of both.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

| August 14, 2019

And the (Topical) Hits Just Keep on Coming – Stay focused on China!  Although the news itself can hardly be called “good,” news/talk radio continues to be the beneficiary of a non-stop tsunami of intensely compelling topics playing out on multiple tracks that has kept the format a major appointment destination for news junkies as well as people with a casual interest in current events. According to TALKERS research, yesterday’s (8/13) most-discussed topic remained the mysterious and controversial death of Jeffrey Epstein (which it has been all week) followed closely by the economic implications of the US-China trade war.  The Hong Kong protests have generated enormous interest and people are still extremely engrossed in the Dayton/El Paso shootings which have spawned opinions and analysis of gun control legislation, violence in American entertainment and the nation’s handling of mental illness.  According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “It appears that talk show hosts would be wise to stay focused on China and educate themselves to every aspect of its Communist government’s relentless strategy to compete with US interests on all fronts going forward from a position of unfair trade practices to outright hostility for what will likely be years to come.”

Arizona Coyotes Now Skating With KGME. As part of a multi-platform broadcast and streaming agreement between iHeartMedia Phoenix and the Arizona Coyotes, iHM sports talk KGME “Fox Sports 910” takes over as the NHL team’s principal radio outlet. Additionally, the Arizona Coyotes Audio Network will provide exclusive content via the iHeartRadio app (when the NHL season starts on October 3). Coyotes’ games were previously carried by Bonneville Phoenix-owned KMVP-FM “Arizona Sports 98.7.” According to iHeartMedia Phoenix market president Linda Little, “The entire team at iHeartMedia is excited to be the new home for the Arizona Coyotes, especially at such an exciting time for the team. Working together, we will build our all-in agreement between the Arizona Coyotes and ‘Fox Sports 910’ across our entire iHeartMedia platform of well-known audio brands in Phoenix and on our iHeartRadio app.” The Coyotes were recently acquired by California-based Meruelo Group, whose holdings include Meruelo Media. Coyotes president and chief executive officer Ahron Cohen comments, “We are thrilled to partner with ‘Fox Sports 910.’ As we strive to build and cultivate new Coyotes fans, this multi-dimensional partnership – including iHeartMedia’s multitude of media platforms – provides us with unparalleled touchpoints to a broad cross-section of the Valley’s population. Equally important is iHeart’s ability to deliver an exceptional fan entertainment experience for all of our robust Coyotes content that will enhance our fans’ connectivity to the team.” Play-by-play announcer Bob Heethuis will return for his 15th season with the team and Paul Bissonnette will be back as analyst. All 82 regular-season games will air on “Fox Sports 910” and simulcast on Tucson sibling KTZR “Fox Sports 1450 AM.”

KOZN Prepares Severe Homecoming. Host of “The Bottom Line” on SummitMedia-owned sports talk KXSP “AM 590 ESPN Omaha,” Mike’l Severe, returns to cross-town NRG Media’s similarly-formatted KOZN “1620 “The Zone” tomorrow (Thursday, 8/15) after a five-year absence. Severe and Damon Benning will form “Severe and Benning in the Morning” (6:00 am – 10:00 am). NRG Omaha market manager Mark Shecterle comments that University of Nebraska football national champion Benning and local radio/television sports personality Severe “will offer listeners a new blend of morning sports radio. They will be able to give listeners an intense focus on all local sports. We are excited to bring back Mike’l Severe to the NRG family.” Former morning show co-host Gary Sharp transitions to mid-days (10:00 am – 2:00 pm) replacing Nick Bahe. Shecterle notes that Sharp will have “the platform to fully exhibit his expertise in sports analysis and his legendary interviewing skills. Gary has deserved his own show for a while and we are thrilled that he will be anchoring our mid-day slot. By moving [Sharp] to mid-days, we truly believe we have a sports-talk line-up second to none.” John Bishop and Josh Peterson-hosted “Unsportsmanlike Conduct” continues in afternoon drive (2:00 pm – 6:00 pm), while Nebraska football post game show, “Big Red Over Reaction,” will be simulcast on KOZN’s classic rock cluster-mate KOOO “101.9 The Keg.”

iHM Wheeling/Parkersburg Boosts Bommer to MP. The onetime vice president of business operations for the Wheeling Nailers, Craig Bommer, is named market president for iHeartMedia’s West Virginia stations in Wheeling and Parkersburg. Region president for iHeartMedia Pittsburgh and West Virginia Tim McAleer states, “I am excited for Craig to lead and demonstrate his leadership capabilities as market president by helping to grow each market’s revenue.” Bommer remarks, “This opportunity is a new and exciting challenge in my career path. I look forward to working with everyone to help build upon the success each market has achieved.” The West Liberty University alum began his career at iHeartMedia in 2016 as senior vice president of sales for the company’s Wheeling and Parkersburg stations. Those outlets include: news/talk WWVA “News Radio 1170”; news/talk WLTP “News Radio 910”; sports talk WBBD “Fox Sports AM 1400 Wheeling”; WEGW “Eagle 107.5 The Rock Station”; adult contemporary WKWK “Mix 97.3”; WOVK “Country 98.7”; CHR WVKF “Kiss 95.7”; classic hits-oldies WDMX “Mix 100”; WNUS “Country 107”; and CHR WRVB “102 The River.”

TALKERS News Notes. After working at Premiere Networks the past 21 years, senior director of affiliate sales Tom Garrett departs. Garrett previously programmed in Rockford (Illinois) at WROK & WZOK. In addition he was responsible for non-traditional revenue event marketing for Connoisseur’s Rockford and Quad Cities (Illinois-Iowa) stations ….. The relationship between afternoon drive talent George Plaster and Ryman Hospitality Properties’ WSM-AM, Nashville has come to an end after one month. In a tweet sent out yesterday (Tuesday, 8/13), Plaster writes, “Sorry to pass this [a]long, but I have parted ways with WSM-AM. My intention is to begin a podcast with a target around Labor Day. Thanks to all of you who supported us.” Plaster hosted “Sports Night” shows in Nashville on sports talk stations WGFX “104.5 The Zone” and WPRT “102.5 The Game,” as well as WWTN “Super Talk 99.7.” He took a break from radio three years ago but joined WSM-AM in 2017 for a weekend program; Plaster’s weekday effort commenced July 15 ….. Brand manager/morning host of Townsquare Media Bangor (Maine) sports talk WEZQ “92.9 The Ticket,” Dale Duff, will segue to 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm, effective next Monday (8/19). Duff makes room for Wayne Harvey’s 6:00 am – 8:00 am “Morning Line.” Harvey has worked at Bangor stations WABI-TV and WZON-AM “The Zone.”

The Return of the Pitch Pod. For the second straight year, attendees of “Podcast Movement 2019” can venture inside CUMULUS MEDIA’s Westwood One “Pitch Pod” and tell their story for a chance to win consultative services from the Westwood One Podcast Network. This mini-studio is located in the main hallway of the conference. The Podcast Movement kicked off yesterday (Tuesday, 8/13) and runs through this Friday (8/16) in Orlando at Rosen Shingle Creek.

Urban One, Smith Slapped with Sexual Harassment Suit. On the same day “Hurricane” Dave Smith exited as Radio One Atlanta’s vice president of programming/operations, former urban contemporary WHTA “Hot 107.9” on-air personality Feleg Abraham (using the air name Shorty Mack) filed a lawsuit in the (Georgia) state court of Fulton County alleging multiple instances of sexual harassment by her then-boss (Smith). After working at “Hot 107.9” for 14 months, Abraham left in February 2018 and now does mid-days for Davis Broadcasting Columbus, Georgia urban contemporary WFXE “Foxie 105.” Radio One parent, Urban One regional vice president Timothy Davies last week declined to comment about Smith’s dismissal; however, in a published report last Monday (8/5), Smith claims he was terminated owing to “a misunderstanding.” Urban One executive vice president/chief administrative officer Karen Wishart states, “The allegations made by Feleg Abraham against Dave Smith, both former employees of Urban One, are unsettling. As a company founded by an African-American woman [Cathy Hughes] with a long history of empowering women in the workplace, Urban One takes these allegations very seriously. After Ms. Abraham left Urban One to take a new job, we were notified of her complaint and conducted a thorough, independent investigation. In light of the ongoing litigation, we cannot provide further comment on this matter.” Charges in Abraham’s lawsuit include intentional infliction of emotional distress by Smith; negligent infliction of emotional distress by Urban One; negligent hiring, retention, and supervision; assault and battery; and false imprisonment. The suit claims Smith made “unwanted sexual comments about Ms. Abraham’s body and would often ask her when he would be allowed to see her naked.” It references an incident that allegedly took place on May 22, 2017 in which Smith is said to have trapped Abraham in his office. As Rodney Ho reports in The Atlanta Journal Constitution, a statement regarding the lawsuit released yesterday afternoon (Tuesday, 8/13) by Smith reads, “This is an organized attempt by some former employees looking to capitalize on the #MeToo climate. I categorically deny these disgusting statements. I have no further comment.”

 More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Music director and afternoon drive host of Entercom Miami classic hits-oldies WMXJ “102.7 The Beach,” DJ Holiday, adds even more responsibilities as assistant program director. Entercom South Florida senior vice president/market manager Keriann Worley explains, “This is a natural move for DJ Holiday and our station. DJ Holiday has grown up with this music and has an intimate knowledge of the market, having spent many nights spinning at Miami clubs. We’re thrilled to have him step up into the APD role and look forward to his increased contributions to the station’s success.” Holiday, who has been with “The Beach” since it debuted in 2016,  opines, “There’s always something new to learn and room to grow professionally. I’d like to extend my heartfelt thanks to my Entercom family for the opportunity to do so.” … KNDD “107.7 The End” mid-day talent “Alyssa” is promoted to music director at the Entercom Seattle alternative outlet. Program director Leslie Scott remarks that, “In her three years here, Alyssa has proven to be a huge music lover, a supporter of all things ‘107.7 The End,’ and a champion of the power of radio. I can think of no better team in alternative than ours and Alyssa’s new position reinforces that.” Alyssa notes, “It is an honor to be part of this incredible team. I’m looking forward to jumping into this role under the guidance of Leslie and [assistant program director/afternoon drive talent] Walt [Flakus].” … Effective this Friday (8/16), seven-month KXOJ “94.1 Tulsa’s Christian Music Station” evening show host Jeremiah St. James adds assistant program director duties at the Stephens Media Group contemporary Christian station. According to Stephens Media Group owner David Stephens, “Jeremiah is one of those rare talents whose potential seems limitless. He is forward-thinking and is more about where radio is going than where it has been.” SMG senior vice president of programming & technology/KXOJ program director Bob Thornton notes, “Jeremiah is a gifted imaging and branding specialist who is going to bring a tremendous amount of energy and new ideas to our building.” ….. Program director Caleb James exits NRG Media Omaha rhythmic CHR KOPW “Power 106.9” and hot AC KQKQ “Sweet 98.5.”

 

 

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

San Antonio

Spoken-Word Formats – The rollercoaster ride continues for iHeartMedia news/talk WOAI “News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather,” which was +1.1 in April (4.2 – 5.3, 6+); an equally divided -1.0 in May and June (5.3 – 4.8 – 4.3,  6+); and now +.7 in July (5.0, sixth to fifth, 6+). Up until April when it logged a 5.3, WOAI hadn’t reached the five-share level (6+) since August 2016’s 5.2. For the third month in a row, Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” loses one-tenth (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.1, #22 to #24, 6+).

In June, KTSA’s sports talk sibling KZDC “ESPN San Antonio” and iHeartMedia’s KTKR “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” were tied at #32. Both are flat at .3 (6+) and are again deadlocked – this time at #30.

This is the seventh report in a row Texas Public Radio news/talk KSTX (+.3, #16 to #12) logs a 6+-share between 3.3 – 3.7 (3.5 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 3.3, 6+).

San Antonio Music Formats – Roaring back from June’s one-half share loss with a July uptick of eight-tenths (3.8 – 4.6, 6+), Alpha Media adult hits KJXK “102.7 Jack-FM – Playing What We Want” returns to the top ten (#11 to #7). Prior to June – when it slipped to 3.8 – San Antonio’s version of “Jack” last fell below a four-share (6+) in “Holiday” 2018 (3.5). Enjoying a July 2019 jump of eight-tenths as well and zooming from #17 to #11 is iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary KZEP “104.5 Latino Hits,” which records its third bump in succession for a collective +1.4 (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 3.5, 6+). This (3.5) is the first time in exactly one year that “Latino Hits” hits a three-share (3.1, July 2018). Five successive negative or neutral trends resulted in a nearly 50% decline (-.6) of its 6+-stat (1.4 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .8 – .8 – .8, 6+), but iHeartMedia regional Mexican KQXT-HD3 answers with a gain of seven-tenths to 1.5 (#22, 6+). When Univision Radio rhythmic hot AC KVBH gained one-tenth in June (to 2.1, 6+), it suspended at four a consecutive string of negative or neutral moves that accounted for an overall -1.4 (3.4 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.0, 6+). “The Vibe” now adds another six-tenths to 2.7 (#20 to #16, 6+). In mid-April, Tejano KXTN transitioned to KVBH “The Vibe.” While Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies KONO-FM is the market pacesetter the fifth month in a row, “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” erodes by -1.1 (8.2 – 7.1, 6+). Whereas May’s +1.1 took KONO-FM to 8.5, its highest 6+-stat since September 2018’s 8.8, July’s 7.1 is its  lowest 6+-showing since 6.0 in “Holiday” 2018. “San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” had been in the runner-up slot five successive times before progressing to #1 in March. Significant alternating ups/down continue for Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KZLV. In the last four reports, San Antonio’s version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” has been +.5 (April); -1.0 (May); +1.5 (June); and now -1.2 in July (3.9 – 2.7, 6+). KZLV spirals from #10 to #16. Entering the July 2019 sweep, Alpha Media regional Mexican KSAH notched three straight positive or neutral trends netting nine-tenths (2.3 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 3.2, 6+). That entire increase drifts away with a -.9 to 2.3 (#13 to #19, 6+). June’s 3.2 was its best 6+-showing since November 2018 (3.3). Four consecutive up or flat trends by iHeartMedia CHR KXXM accounted for an overall gain of four-tenths (3.4 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 3.8, 6+) but “96.1 Now” (#11 to #14) falters by seven-tenths to 3.1, its lowest 6+-stat since December 2018 (3.1, as well). Within two-share range (6+) 19 sweeps in a row before dialing up a June gain of eight-tenths to 3.2 (6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KMYO regresses by one-half share to 2.7 (#13 to #16, 6+). June’s 3.2 marked the first time since December 2017’s 3.0 that “Latino Mix 95.1” hit a three-share (6+). There’s just no separating Cox Media Group-owned KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader” and iHeartMedia’s KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station.” They both showed June decreases of two-tenths and now July losses of one-half share: KCYY is 7.2 – 6.9 – 6.4 (6+) and KAJA is 6.2 – 6.0 – 5.5 (6+). The country rivals are anchored at second and third, respectively. Recent shifts for “Y-100” include: -.8 (December); -1.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.8 (January 2019); +.6 (February); -.6 (March); +.6 (May); and -.5 (July). “KJ-97” has been +.5 (September 2018); -1.1 (October); +1.0 (December); -1.0 (“Holiday” 2018); +3.0 (January 2019); –1.9 (March); and -.5 (July).

Sacramento

Spoken-Word Formats – Immediately following an erosion of nine-tenths this time last month, iHeartMedia-owned news/talk KFBK “Sacramento’s News, Weather and Traffic Station” repeats its June 6+ AQH-share (5.2) and market rank (fifth). Co-owned KSTE “Talk 650” continues an alternating down/up pattern that commenced in December 2018 and includes July’s positive spike of seven-tenths (2.4 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 2.3 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 3.2 (#14 to #12, 6+).

In five consecutive sweeps without an increase, Bonneville’s KHTK lost exactly half (-.6) its 6+ AQH share (1.2 – 1.2 – .9 – .8 – .6 – .6, 6+), but “Sports 1140” ends the slide with a one-tenth gain to .7 (#26 to #23, 6+). It is now tied with Entercom’s KIFM-AM “ESPN Radio 1320,” which repeats June’s .7 (#24 to #23, 6+).

Albeit flat in seventh-place, Capital Public Radio news/talk KXJZ notches its third straight increase for an overall +1.5 (3.5 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 5.0, 6+); 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 July 2019 topline of .6 – .6 – .7 – .6 – .7 – .7 – .6 – .7 – .5 – .7 – .6 (#24 to #25, 6+).

Sacramento Music Formats – There is interesting June 2019 – July 2019 movement for Lotus Communications regional Mexican stations with the KVMX call letters. On the plus side, KVMX-FM – which notched a .3 (6+) in April, May, and June – hangs out a multiple of seven in July to 2.1 (+1.8, 6+) and pops in the top twenty at #15. On the other hand, KVMX-AM, which was trending .9 – 1.1 – 1.4 – 1.7 (6+) for a collective March 2019 through June 2019 gain of +.8, vanishes from print in July. After checking in with a 1.3 (#20, 6+) in June, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVB disappears as well. Frozen on 4.2 (6+) in March, April, and May before slipping to 4.1 (6+) in June, iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies KHYL adds six-tenths to 4.7 (6+) as “V-101” progresses from tenth to eighth. Notwithstanding it is #1 the sixth month in a row (including January’s first-place tie with iHeartMedia news/talk KFBK), Entercom-owned KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” falters -1.1 in June/July (8.9 – 8.3 – 7.8, 6+). “The Eagle” held the lead position ten consecutive survey periods before shifting to #2 in December. Seven of its recent fluctuations include -1.1 (November 2018); -.8 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.0 (February 2019); -.5 (April); +.9 (May); -.6 (June); and -.5 (July). In each of the last 16 survey periods, Entravision Communications’ KNTY notched a 6+-share between 2.0 – 2.5. That streak comes to an end as KNTY drops eight-tenths to 1.3 (#16 to #19, 6+). That’s not the only thing though that KNTY dropped during the July 2019 sweep: Country “101.9 The Wolf” became regional Mexican La Tricolor and is simulcasting KRCX (1.7 – 1.6, -.1, flat at #18). Returning all of June’s half-share increase and one-tenth more (2.3 – 1.7, -.6, 6+), Spanish adult hits sibling KXSE “104.3 La Suavecita” slips from #15 to #17; June’s 2.3 was its best 6+-stat since 2.4 in November 2018. Three straight downturns (5.6 – 5.0 – 4.2 – 3.7, 6+) by Entercom alternative KKDO produce a combined -1.9 and “Alt 94.7” exits the top ten (#9 to #11). This immediately follows April’s gain of nine-tenths. While it repeats at #2, iHeartMedia classic rocker KYRV “93.7 The River” surrenders three-tenths to 6.3 (6+), thus halting four consecutive upticks that netted a +1.4 (5.2 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 5.7 – 6.6, 6+). Adult contemporary stations hold this California market’s eighth and tenth slots in July 2019. Specifically, Entercom’s KYMX “Mix 96 – Today’s Hits/Yesterday’s Favorites,” without a gain the past three sweeps for a collective -1.6 (6.2 – 5.7 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+), picks up one-tenth to 4.7 (#8, 6+). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s KBEB “92.5 The Breeze” is off two-tenths in June/July (4.1 – 4.1 – 3.9, 6+). “Mix” and “The Breeze” continue at eighth and tenth, respectively. June’s 4.6 was the weakest 6+-stat for “Mix” since September 2015’s 4.5. Formerly “92.5 The Bull – #1 for New Country,” KBEB transitioned to adult contemporary as “The Breeze” in early-November (2018). It netted a +2.1 in three straight positive spikes (2.4 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 4.5, 6+), in advance of March/April’s -.8 (4.5 – 4.3 – 3.7, 6+).

Pittsburgh

Spoken-Word Formats – As a result of six straight February 2019 through July 2019 decreases (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 3.2, 6+), Entercom’s KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020” is -1.9 and slips from #11 to #12.

Co-owned sports talk/Pirates flagship KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan,” which dropped seven-tenths in May (6.8 – 6.1, 6+), forfeits the two-tenths it picked up in June (6.1 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+) but carries on in fourth-place. The ultra-consistent September 2018 through June 2019 topline for iHeartMedia sports talk WBGG 970 AM – ESPN Pittsburgh” is 2 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .2 – .2 – .2 (#23 to #17, 6+).

Bouncing back from June’s loss of six-tenths with a July increase of three-tenths, Essential Public Media news/talk WESA “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” progresses from tenth to ninth and is trending 4.2 – 3.6 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.9 (6+).

Pittsburgh Music Formats – In four straight decreases, iHeartMedia alternative WXDX was an overall -1.8 (4.8 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+); however, “105.9 The X” erases one-third of that deficit with a July uptick of six-tenths (3.6, #12 to #11, 6+). July 2019’s top three “Steel City” finishers are separated by one-half share. The combination of iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWSW “94.5 3WS” gaining four-tenths and co-owned rock WDVE sputtering by twice that margin (9.5 – 8.7, -.8, 6+) results in “3WS” progressing from third to first and WDVE segueing from first to second. WWSW is a combined +1.2 in June/July (7.7 – 8.5 – 8.9, 6+) with July’s 8.9 its best 6+-stat since 13.6 in “Holiday” 2018 when “94.5 3WS” was #1. The six most recent shifts for WDVE, which was #1 the past five reports, are: +.8 (February); +.8 again (March); -.9 (April); +.6 (May); +.6 again (June); and -.8 (July). In four straight upticks, Steel City Media adult hits WRRK was +2.3 (6.9 – 7.4 – 8.0 – 8.2 – 9.2, 6+), but “96.9 Bob FM” relinquishes eight-tenths in July to 8.4, sliding from second to third. In June, “Bob” reached the nine-share level (9.2, 6+) for the first time since December 2017’s 9.0. The just-concluded positive streak directly follows a -1.8 in three consecutive sweeps without an increase (8.7 – 7.7 – 7.7 – 6.9, 6+). As Steel City Media-owned hot AC WLTJ “Q-92.9” records its third straight boost for a net gain of nine-tenths (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 3.9, unchanged at #9, 6+), Entercom’s similarly-formatted WBZZ “Star 100.7” has its third consecutive down or flat report for an overall loss of nine-tenths (5.0 – 5.0 – 4.4 – 4.1, flat at #8, 6+). The +2.0 advantage WBZZ held over WLTJ in April is down to two-tenths. Apparently, it is that time again for Forever Media to pull its Nielsen Audio subscription as five Forever Media stations that have been listed in April, May, and June disappear from print, as they’ve done before. The five are: classic hits-oldies WKPL (1.7, June 2019, 6+); classic country WLYI (1.4, June 2019); country WOGI (.9, June 2019, 6+); country WOGG (.8, June 2019, 6+); and classic hits-oldies WPKL (.7, June 2019, 6+).

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

| July 16, 2019

APOLLO 11 ANNIVERSARY:  CBS News Radio Correspondent Peter King is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing (7/20) and the stellar 45-year career of a CBS News Radio reporter who has been covering the Kennedy Space Center in Florida for the past two decades, Peter King is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Harrison (a passionate space enthusiast) and King discuss a wide variety of topics including NASA, US space exploration, memories of the Apollo 11 mission, their love of radio, and the state of journalism in America.  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 daily TALKERS email newsletter and every page of Talkers.com.

Esiason Gets The Call to NY State Broadcaster’s Association HOF. Twelve-year Entercom New York City sports talk WFAN morning show co-host, Boomer Esiason, has been selected to the New York State Broadcaster’s Association’s Hall of Fame. The legendary former NFL quarterback will be inducted at the Broadcast Leadership and Hall of Fame luncheon during the NAB New York Show in October. Entercom New York regional president/market manager Susan Larkin remarks, “Boomer has been a cornerstone of this station since his arrival. This distinguished recognition represents his invaluable contributions to our station and industry overall.” In thanking the NY State Broadcaster’s Association “for this incredible honor,” Esiason comments, “It is extremely humbling to be recognized alongside hardworking, accomplished individuals in our industry.” He and Gregg Giannotti form “Boomer and Gio” weekday mornings on WFAN, which is the flagship of the Yankees, Giants, Brooklyn Nets, and New Jersey Devils. After his 14-year NFL career, Esiason debuted as a commentator on ABC-TV’s “Monday Night Football.” For nearly two decades, he has called games for Westwood One/CBS Radio Sports and served as a studio analyst for “The NFL Today” on CBS-TV and Showtime’s “Inside the NFL.”

Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Videos Continue Posting Today with Special Luncheon Address by Salem Radio Network Host Sebastian Gorka.  TALKERS is continuing to post key speeches, presentations and sessions from the recent 22nd annual edition of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention – Talkers 2019: Telling the Story.  Today’s (7/16) post presents a special luncheon address by former Trump Administration advisor Sebastian Gorka, now a personality syndicated by Salem Radio Network.  Yesterday’s (7/15) post presents the panel discussion “Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio” featuring Howie Carr, host of the Howie Carr Show (Howie Carr Radio Network and Newsmax TV), Jared Hart, former PD, WPHT, Philadelphia, and  Art Vuolo, president, Vuolo Video.  The session was introduced and facilitated by Scott Lakefield, APD, WOR, New York.  Already posted: the special keynote address delivered by CBS Sports Radio syndicated host Jim Rome with an introduction from Yappy Days author/college professor Bernadette Duncan; the panel discussion, “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2019” featuring (in alphabetical order) Asa Andrew, host, AsaRx;  Vince Benedetto, CEO, Bold Gold Media Group;  Suzanne Grimes, EVP/marketing, Cumulus Media and president, Westwood One; and Dave Robinett, chief marketing officer, #250-America’s Mobile Speed Dial – moderated by Erica Farber, president and CEO of the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) and introduced by renown independent station owner Michael Zwerling of KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz, CA; the special keynote address by Key Networks syndicated personality Bill O’Reilly; the one-on-one discussion, “Sports Talk Radio’s Role in Popular Culture” featuring a conversation between Mark Chernoff, senior VP/programming WFAN/Entercom, NY and captain/sports format, CBS Sports Radio and Mike Thomas, PD, WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub,” Boston and brand manager/spoken word, podcasts, esports, Beasley Broadcasting with  Kate Delaney, host, GCN and correspondent NBC Sports Radio, serving as facilitator; the panel discussion, “Broadcasting and Podcasting,” featuring (in alphabetical order) Greg Batusic, chief operating officer, PodcastOneSteven Goldstein, founder/CEO Amplifi MediaMichael Czarnecki, program director, WONK-FM, Washington, DC and iHeartRadio Podcast Channel; and Craig Schwalb, former program director WABC, New York and WPRO, Providence with moderation by Mike Kinosian, managing editor/West Coast bureau chief, TALKERS; the keynote “fireside chat” in which TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison interviews Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity in a casual one-on-one conversation introduced by DC Radio Company executive director Victoria Jones; the opening address titled, “Telling the Story,” delivered by Lee Habeeb, host and producer of the successful syndicated program, “Our American Stories;” RAB president/CEO Erica Farber receiving the Woman of the Year award and SiriusXM Satellite Radio star “Cousin” Bruce Morrow receiving the Lifetime Achievement award. The convention took place in New York City on Friday, June 7 and was one of the most positively received in the event’s colorful history.  TALKERS plans to add one or two videos per day to those posted until all the major events of the conference are posted here at Talkers.com where they will remain on view for the rest of the year.  To see the videos and convention video page, please click here.

Preliminary iHM Q2 Results, NASDAQ Listing. Under the Global Select Market ticker symbol “IHRT,” NASDAQ approves the listing of iHeartMedia’s Class A common stock, par valued at $0.001 per share. Class A shares are expected to begin trading on NASDAQ this Thursday (7/18). Meanwhile, preliminary SEC-filed second-quarter financial show year-to-year revenue rose 2.4% to $913 million. Operating income (OI) was off $1 million to $180, while Adjusted EBITDA grew 3.1% ($255 million to $263 million). Preliminary results have not been audited or reviewed by the company’s independent accountants, and remain subject to review by iHeartMedia’s management and audit committee. Results may differ from actual results, which remain subject to completion of management’s and the audit committee’s final review, as well as the interim review by its independent accountants.

Study: Podcast Ads Least Likely To Be Skipped. Monthly podcast listeners skip digital ad formats the most – online pop-up ads, online banner ads, e-mail advertising, direct mail, and online video. That’s among the nuggets Westwood One uncovered when it teamed with Canadian media research consultancy Audience Insights in a study focused on podcast consumers and their listening habits. Fielded this past March, the report examines podcast consumption habits of 1,407 monthly podcast listeners. It addresses four distinct segments based on when people began listening to podcasts: 313 “Podcast Pioneers” who started listening four or more years ago; 415 who began listening two to three years ago; 327 who began listening in the past seven to 12 months; and 352 “Podcast Newcomers” who began listening within the last six months. Westwood One president/Cumulus Media executive vice president of marketing Suzanne Grimes states, “The finding that emerging podcast listeners are using a diverse number of platforms signals a turning point for the podcast industry. When compared to the ‘Podcast Pioneers,’ who use Apple Podcasts almost exclusively, ‘Podcast Newcomers’ are open to using multiple platforms to access podcasts.” Audience Insights president Jeff Vidler notes, “This podcast download report expands on much of what we have seen as we put our microscope on Canadian podcast listeners. Podcasting is uniquely engaging, on trend with on-demand content platforms like Netflix or paid music streaming services, but the only one accessible to advertisers.” Other study highlights include: Roughly three of ten (31%) “Podcast Newcomers” typically discover podcasts by hearing about them on terrestrial radio. While the average monthly podcast listener accesses 2.7 podcast platforms, “Podcast Newcomers” use 3.5 platforms. Two of three “Power” podcast listeners follow their favorite podcast hosts on social media. Podcast listeners equally use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube to follow their favorite hosts. Approximately two of five (42%) “Power” podcast listeners follow their favorite podcast host on Twitter, compared to 22% of U.S. adults who ever use Twitter. Spotify and Google Podcasts are attracting consumers who recently began listening to podcasts. Among those listening to podcasts over four years, Apple is the leading destination.

SBG President: “Case Is Far From Over.” As we reported yesterday (TALKERS, 7/15), a Los Angeles superior court jury ruled unanimously in favor of independent syndicator of radio live play-by-play Sports USA in its multi-year violation of contract suit against Sun Broadcasting Group. The jury awarded Sports USA damages in excess of $2 million as compensation for Sun’s breach of its advertising representation agreement with Sports USA. Sun Broadcast Group president Jason Bailey, however, stresses, “This case is far from over. We were shocked and saddened by the verdict in Pacific West Radio Sports, LLC (d/b/a Sports USA) v. Sun Broadcast Group, Inc. Despite establishing wrongdoing by Sports USA from even before the inception of the agreement between the parties, the jury granted judgment in favor of Sports USA. The jury reached that verdict without the benefit of being able to consider key evidence of Sports USA’s wrongdoing. Sun was barred from introducing that evidence at trial on hearsay grounds. We remain determined to see that justice is done, and plan to pursue every available avenue to overturn this result so that Sports USA’s improper business practices are exposed and no other company falls victim. This verdict involves the old Sun, which has not traded since late 2018. It does not involve the current SBG-owned and operated by Gen Media Partners.” Bailey further notes, “This will be the only statement I will make on the matter while we work through the appeal process.”

Three Moody Radio AM Stations Are On The Block. With plans to exit the AM radio business, Moody Radio is set to spin off its three AM facilities. Chicago-based operator Moody Bible Institute will focus on FM network expansion. Senior vice president of media Greg Thornton writes, “Moody Radio seeks to transform the world for Jesus Christ, one listener at a time, by producing and delivering quality, creative, biblical content, which helps people take the next step in their journey with Jesus. In looking to the future, Moody Radio is committed to double [our] overall impact by  2030. Our strategic roadmap to achieving this bold vision includes audience growth through market expansion/realignment, and content development strategies.” Thornton recognizes “the limitations of AM broadcasting today, including [that] many AM stations only broadcast in the daytime.” Thus, Moody Radio will be selling Spanish religion WMBI W268AY “Moody Radio – AM 1110,” Chicago; Spanish religion WDLM “Moody Radio – AM 960,” East Moline/Quad Cities, Illinois; and Spanish religion WGNR “Moody Radio – AM 1470,” Anderson, Indiana. According to Thornton, “Listeners in these cities will still hear Moody Radio 24 hours a day on our strong FM signals. Proceeds from the sale of these three AM licenses will be used to further the expansion of Moody Radio through the addition of digital/online content, new apps in both English and Spanish, and the acquisition of select FM broadcast licenses.”

TALKERS News Notes.  As part of a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing investigating charges of bias against conservatives, Salem Radio Network host Dennis Prager will testify at 2:30 pm (ET) today (Tuesday, 7/16). Prager’s opening statement has already been submitted and, in part, he states, “I have been communicating this appreciation of America for 35 years as a radio talk show host, the last 20 in national syndication with the Salem Radio Network, an organization that is a blessing in American life.” According to Salem Radio Network vice president of news & talk programming Tom Tradup, videos from Prager’s “online Prager University have been blocked as ‘controversial’ by Google and other search engines. Google officials deny any political bias or filtering of conservative viewpoints.” Texas Republican senator Ted Cruz is the chair of today’s hearing ….. In two weeks (7/30 & 7/31), Westwood One News’ coverage of the Democratic National Committee-sanctioned/CNN-produced Democratic Presidential Debates will air from Detroit. Westwood One News correspondent Evan Haning will anchor, starting at 7:59 pm (ET) both nights, while Bob Costantini handles on-scene reporting and will be available for live Q&A from the Motor City. The network will offer stations an unanchored feed and one-minute special reports each night at the top and bottom of the hour (8:00 pm – 12:00 midnight) ….. Set to rejoin WTEM “980 The Team” in three weeks (8/5) is Kevin Sheehan, who wasn’t retained when Radio One acquired the Washington (DC) sports talk outlet late last year. Sheehan co-hosted mornings with Chris Cooley and will return for 7:00 am – 10:00 am duty. Radio One senior regional vice president Jeff Wilson comments, “I’m elated to have Kevin Sheehan back home on ‘The Team.’ His unique approach to the sports landscape, combined with his overwhelming passion, provides an entertainment destination for listeners throughout the Nation’s Capital.” Prior to departing last year, Sheehan had been with WTEM 14 years and states, “I’m looking forward to coming home – it’s great to be back.” ….. The first three Jim Rutt Show podcasts went live yesterday (Monday, July 15) on JimRuttShow.com. The series will examine “cutting-edge thinking” in science and technology, and the future of our economic, political and social systems and institutions. The past chair of The Santa Fe Institute; former chief executive officer of Network Solutions; and first CTO of Thomson-Reuters, Rutt was called “the internet’s bad boy” by The New York Times for his reputation for creative mischief. A complete collection of Rutt’s podcasts, including show transcripts, episode highlights, guest biographies, and links are available on the aforementioned website.

Line Drives. This past weekend, NBC Sports Radio produced seven radio shows from the driving range at Edgewood Tahoe golf course in Lake Tahoe (Nevada), site of the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament. Flanking MLB Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz (center) are Tim Murray and Michael Jenkins, hosts of NBC Sports Radio’s “The Daily Line.” Launched this past January in conjunction with Westwood One, “The Daily Line” is a weekday, 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm sports talk show, focusing on sports betting.

Trump’s Controversial Tweets; US Immigration Policy/Detention Facilities; 2020 Presidential Race; and US-China Trade War Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/15). President Donald Trump’s Tweets attacking four Congressional Democratic women of color; conditions for migrants detained at the border; the relative standing and contributions raised by Democratic Party presidential candidates; and the US-China trade war’s impact on the Chinese economy were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

CRB Elects 2019 – 2020 Board of Directors. Returning as board president of the Country Radio Broadcasters is Townsquare Media’s Kurt Johnson; Cumulus Media’s John Shomby is elected vice president; and SummitMedia’s Beverlee Brannigan returns as secretary. Johnson remarks, “This is one of the strongest boards CRB has ever had. [I am] so proud to work with this group of radio and Music Row leaders to present country with the best CRS ever – February 19 – 21, 2020.” This year’s board of directors are: Chuck Aly (Country Aircheck); Beverlee Brannigan (SummitMedia); Becky Brenner (Albright & O’Malley & Brenner Consulting); Johnny Chiang (KKBQ-FM, Houston); George Couri (Triple 8 Management); Andy Denemark (United Stations); Ryan Dokke (Curb); Mike Dungan (UMG); John Esposito (Warner Music Nashville); Dan Halyburton (Falls Media); Debra Herman (Apple); Steve Hodges (Sony Nashville); Clay Hunnicutt, Dave Kelly (Big Machine Label Group); Jon Loba (BBR/BMG); Mike McVay (McVay Media); Charlie Morgan (Emmis Communications); Rod Phillips (iHeartCountry); Tim Roberts (WYCD, Detroit); Royce Risser (UMG); Bob Richards (Emmis Communications/WLHK, Indianapolis); Brittany Schaffer (Spotify); John Shomby (Cumulus Media); Lesly Simon (Pearl Records); Matt Sunshine (CFSS); Joel Raab (Joel Raab Country Radio/Media); Ryan Redington (Amazon Music); Kristen Williams (Warner); and Charlie Monk continues as a lifetime director emeritus.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Many stations are noting the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong’s first-ever “moon walk” (July 20, 1969) with Apollo lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin. Without question, one of the cleverest promotions is being done by the program director of Cumulus Media Salt Lake City country-formatted KUBL “K-Bull 93” … Travis Moon. As part of the “Travis Moon Walk,” which began today (Tuesday, 7/16) at 7:00 am and is expected to end Saturday (7/20) coinciding with that history-making mission, Moon plans to “walk” more than 80 miles to raise money for Salt Lake City-based Shriner’s Hospitals For Children. Hoping to travel approximately 16 miles a day, Moon admits it will be a “long, tough walk. The exciting part is the unknown – if I can actually do this physically. I guess we will all find out.” While on foot from (Utah cities) Provo to Ogden, Moon will discuss the hospital’s purpose and invite listeners to make donations ….. “California Live,” a 30-minute lifestyle/entertainment show, which airs on Los Angeles’ KNBC-TV (as well as KNTV-TV, San Jose and KNSD-TV, San Diego) has added “On Air with Ryan Seacrest” co-host Sisanie as a correspondent. In her latest segment, Sisanie visits Los Angeles’ first cat cafe experience, where customers can drink coffee while cuddling rescue cats that are up for adoption ….. Starting next Monday (7/22), Sytonnia “Toni” Moore joins Cox Media Group Atlanta urban AC WALR “Kiss 104.1” as co-host/news anchor on the (5:00 am – 9:00 am) “Morning Groove” with Art Terrell and Corey “Zooman” Miller. The station’s director/branding and programming, Terri Avery, declares, “Toni Moore is the real deal. Her experience and passion for radio is beyond compare and will take ‘Kiss 104.1’ to new levels.” Moore remarks, “This is an incredible opportunity: I’m thrilled and honored to be joining the powerhouse that is Cox Media Group and ‘Kiss 104.1.’ It’s a dream I’ve had for a few years. It’s beyond exciting to see it come to fruition.” Moore previously was an on-air personality for cross-town Entercom urban contemporary and sports talk siblings WVEE “V-103” and WZGC “92.9 The Game,” as well as a sports reporter for the Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta Falcons ….. Continuing his role as afternoon-drive host, Andy Chanley adds music director duties at California State University – Northridge’s KCSN & Saddleback College’s KSBR, Mission Viejo (both California, simulcast on 88.5). General manager Patrick Osborn proclaims, “Andy has done it all in this market – mornings, middays, afternoon drive – and has vast experience in all the rock format genres. I’m happy to say we are operating at full strength with great, experienced broadcasters in every position.” Program director Marc “Mookie” Kaczor notes, “Andy is such an asset for us. He’s an incredible personality and he’s been a great sounding-board for me. We’re constantly bouncing ideas off of each other.” Chanley adds, “There’s no station in the world like 88.5 FM. It’s a special blend of music and people — on both sides of the transmitter — that makes radio fun again. I’m really proud to be on this team, and beyond excited at the opportunity to help steer the rudder even more.” KCSN and KSBR began simulcasting just over two years ago …. Three-year WUSN “US-99” nighttime talent Kimmie Caruba departs the Entercom country outlet. Caruba was previously heard in the same day-part in Phoenix on co-owned KMLE “Country @ 107.9,” and she did mid-days in that Arizona market on cluster-mate KALV “Live 101.5.” ….. A six-episode podcast on Milwaukee’s hip-hop history, “Backspin,” debuted yesterday (Monday, 7/15) on Radio Milwaukee triple A WYMS “88Nine.” Hosted by hip-hop expert Tyrone Miller (“DJ Bizzon”) and “88Nine” music director Justin Barney, “Backspin” provides an insightful view into black America in the late-1970s and early-1980s, through the lens of hip-hop. Miller comments, “The series is about so much more than who recorded Milwaukee’s first hip-hop song. It’s about the journey of getting to that song. Hip-hop is more than a genre: It’s connected everywhere – radio, movies, TV, and fashion. It’s in every piece of culture.” ….. After departing two months ago from Townsquare Media, “Taste of Country Nights” host Sam Alex surfaced yesterday (Monday, 7/15) on the eponymous “Sam Alex Show.” Affiliate licensing and sales for the syndicated program are being handled by Sun Broadcast Group. Alex notes (in Forbes Magazine) that he’s “so excited about this new chapter. The world of radio,” he opines, “has changed so much in the past decade, with continued consolidations, new technology, and increased competition to discover new music. This change positions me to have full creative control and reach listeners in new ways.” ….. KDVV “V-100 Topeka’s Rock Leader” 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm talent Randy Raley adds PD duties at the Cumulus Media rocker and classic hits cluster-mate KWIC “99.3 The Eagle.” Cumulus Topeka operations manager Amber Lee notes, “Randy brings significant on-air experience and format knowledge to these stations and to our programming team.” According to Raley, “I’ve been a radio geek since an early age – I’m happy to be taking the programming reins at the legendary ‘V-100.’ Amber Lee has put together an incredible staff and we’re going to do great things together.” St. Louis Classic Rock Hall of Famer Raley did afternoon drive on St. Louis’ KSHE  for 13 years and has worked in Kansas City at KYYS “KY-102,” and KCFX “101 The Fox.” ….. Among the latest affiliates for Envision Networks’ “The Wolfman Jack Radio Show” is Metro Radio Berkeley Springs, West Virginia classic hits-oldies WXDC. The show airs Saturday nights starting at 7:00 pm on “Cool 92.9 – Good Times/Great Oldies.”

 

 

June 2019 PPM Data – Part Four. June 2019 ratings information has been released for Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s June 2019 survey period covered May 23 – June 19. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

| June 12, 2019

Mike Calta and Cox Media Group’s ‘The Bone’ Extend Their Relationship. Tampa Bay talk host Mike Calta and Cox Media Group have signed a new, multi-year deal for Calta to continue as host of the morning program on WPHT “102.5 The Bone.”  CMG Tampa director of branding and programming John Brennan says, “Mike Calta leads the most entertaining weekday talk show in Tampa Bay.  We are excited that ‘The Mike Calta Show’ will continue to call ‘102.5 The Bone’ home for many years to come.”  Calta comments, “I’m excited to call both Tampa Bay and CMG my home and my family for the next couple of years and hopefully plenty more beyond that.”

Round Two of May PPMs Released.  The second round of Nielsen Audio’s May 2019 PPM survey results is released for the group of 12 markets that includes: Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis-St.Paul, San Diego, Tampa-St. Petersburg, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations hereTALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Takeaways from this group of markets tomorrow (6/13).

Entercom Chicago Cuts Staff. According to Chicago media reporter Robert Feder, a number of off-air positions have been eliminated at Entercom’s Chicago operations that includes all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM and sports talk WSCR “The Score.”  He writes that eight staffers were let go – five in the traffic/continuity department and three in sales.  Apparently, there are more cuts to come as Feder’s sources say “another four positions in finance will be cut in August with numerous additional staff reductions on the way.”

Brummel Appointed Group National Sales Manager at SummitMedia. Radio sales pro Jeff Brummel joins SummitMedia as group national sales director, effective June 24.  He’s most recently been serving in a similar capacity with Townsquare Media. During his career he’s served with radio stations in Dallas, Chicago and Philadelphia as well as working on the national radio rep sales side in New York, Atlanta, and Chicago.  He says, “I am very excited to join SummitMedia as group national sales manager.  The enviable roster of top performing stations in each of Summit’s markets coupled with the company’s entrepreneurial culture aligned perfectly with my skill set and career goals.”

WREC-AM, Memphis PD and Morning Host Forrest Goodman Dies at 48. The details are few but the Daily Memphian reports that Forrest Goodman, PD and morning drive co-host at iHeartMedia’s WREC-AM, Memphis died Monday night (6/10) from “multiple health problems” at the age of 48.  Goodman also hosted the pre-game and post-game shows for University of Memphis football and basketball for almost 20 years.

ESPN Will Shutter ESPN Deportes in September.  The Spanish-language sports talk network launched in 2005 and currently has 44 affiliate stations across the U.S.  ESPN offers its reasoning for the decision to shut down the radio network.  “Hispanic audience consumer habits are changing rapidly, and this requires ESPN to evolve as well.  It’s no secret Hispanic fans skew heavily on digital and social which is why we made the decision to discontinue ESPN Deportes terrestrial radio (ESPN Deportes Radio) in September.  Moving forward, ESPN will continue serving Hispanic sports fans with the widest variety of sports through multiple platforms including television, digital, social, mobile, and audio podcasts.”

TALKERS News Notes. Former one-term congressman Jason Lewis – a longtime talk radio host and current part-time personality on iHeartMedia’s KTLK, Minneapolis-St. Paul – may run for office again.  The Pioneer Press reports that Lewis is being urged by Republican leaders to run for either Minnesota’s 2nd congressional district seat (he lost that seat in a re-election bid to Democrat Angie Craig last year) or to challenge U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) in 2020…..Programming pro Don Parker takes on new duties as iHeartMedia names him general manager for its “PRIDE Radio, The Pulse of LGBTQ America.”  Parker is regional SVP of programming for the company’s Northern California Region and will continue in that role.  As GM for “PRIDE Radio,” he’ll “oversee the day-to-day programming, marketing, sales, and operations of PRIDE Radio’ and help further expand the brand’s reach and business development to the LGBTQ+ community on the iHeartRadio app and HD2 stations across the country.  Additionally, iHeartMedia will soon conduct a national search for a program director for PRIDE Radio, reporting into Parker.”…..ABC News is presenting a new series titled, “Faith Under Fire” – a look at the violence waged against houses of worship in recent years.  The series is being hosted by chief justice correspondent Pierre Thomas and features interviews with: Rev. Frank Pomeroy from First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas and his wife, Sherri; Pastor Eric Manning from Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina; and Alan Hausman, vice president of Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania…..cabana adds 10 podcasts to its digital audio library with new titles coming from publishers such as Inc. Magazine, New Hampshire Public Radio, and celebrity hosts like Jen Kirkman.  cabana SVP of business development Frank DeSantis says, “We’re excited to welcome these engaging hosts and topics to cabana.  As podcast advertising matures, we have a variety of options and opportunities to help our advertisers engage with targeted listeners.”…..Pictured at right is Westwood One nationally syndicated late night host Jim Bohannon emceeing the annual awards dinner for the Society of Professional Journalists, Washington professional chapter on Tuesday (6/11) at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

Beasley Honored at 2019 Service to America Awards. WMMR-FM, Philadelphia’s “Preston & Steve Morning Show” was honored with the “Service to Community Award for Radio-Major Market” for its Camp Out for Hunger Initiative and Beasley Media Group received the 2019 “Service to Community Award for Radio-Ownership Group” for its yearlong, company-wide Beasley Best Community of Caring Initiative, that shined the spotlight on issues including bullying, hunger, autism, and the opioid epidemic.  Pictured above at Tuesday’s event at the Anthem in Washington, DC are (from l-r): WMMR-FM program director & rock format brand manager Bill Weston, chief communications officer Heidi Raphael, Philadelphia VP/market manager Joe Bell, Cullen WilsonPreston Elliot, CEO Caroline Beasley, Steve Morrison, Philadelphia community affairs director Lora Lewis, Ft. Myers director of sales Allyson Hillman, vice president of digital marketing Jennifer Williams, and EVP of programming Justin Chase.

2020 Presidential Race, Impeachment Talk, Hong Kong Protests, Kim Jong Nam-CIA Connection, and Dominican Deaths/Big Papi Shot Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/11). The war of words between President Trump and Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden; Democrats talk of impeachment; the protests taking place in Hong Kong against China’s new extradition law; the report that assassinated half-brother of Kim Jong UnKim Jong Nam – was a CIA informant; and the mysterious deaths of tourists in the Dominican Republic and the shooting of retired Red Sox slugger David Ortiz 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. One staffer in the Westwood One music & entertainment division is promoted and a new one joins the company.  Todd Alan becomes vice president, affiliate sales, music & entertainment. He was most recently director, affiliate sales.  In his new role, he’ll manage and develop the company’s station relationships and distribution partnerships across its music and entertainment programming, including Westwood One Backstage live marquee events and radio row activations.  At the same time, the company brings Julie Bell aboard as director, affiliate sales, music & entertainment.   Westwood One’s Stuart Greenblatt says, “I’m thrilled that Todd will take command of our music & entertainment division here at Westwood One.  I’ve worked closely with him for many years and know him to be one of the best in the business, with solid industry relationships and impressive sales expertise.  I’m also delighted to welcome Julie Bell to our music & entertainment team.  Her 20 years’ experience selling entertainment programs make her the perfect person to round out our team, along with Westwood One veteran Neal Weiner.”…..Pictured below are iHeartMedia execs (from l-r) president, COO, CFO Rich Bressler; chairman and CEO Bob Pittman; chief programming officer and president, national programming group Tom Poleman; and president, entertainment enterprises John Sykes with their Music Visionary of the Year awards from the UJA-Federation of New York.  Tuesday’s luncheon was attended by 700 guests from the music industry and the event raised more than $1.6 million to benefit UJA-Federation.

Round One of May 2019 PPM Data. Information for the May 2019 ratings period has been released for New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen Audio’s May 2019 survey period covered April 25 – May 22. Managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets.

New York City

Spoken-Word Formats – Despite being off a collective three-tenths in four straight down or flat reports (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” climbs from #22 to #21. An overall -.4 as a result of five straight down or flat sweeps (1.6 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), Townsquare Media’s similarly-formatted WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” ends the slide with a gain of one-tenth to 1.3 (#23 to #22, 6+). Three straight dips by Cumulus Media-owned news/talk WABC have led to a loss of one-half share (1.5 – 1.3 -1.2 – 1.0, #23 to #24, 6+).

An April spike of +1.2 by Entercom sports talk WFAN is followed by a decline of two-tenths (3.0 – 4.2 – 4.0, 6+), but the Yankees’ flagship continues in sixth-place. Having posted a 1.8 (6+) in three of the last four sweeps (1.8 – 1.8 – 2.2 – 1.8, 6+), WEPN gains two-tenths to 2.0 (#20 to #19, 6+). By dropping four-tenths in April, “98.7 ESPN New York” curtailed three consecutive up or flat trends that yielded eight-tenths (1.4 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.2, 6+).

Entercom all-news WINS, which was -1.1 in three successive down or flat reports (4.8 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+), pulls the plug by adding two-tenths to 3.9 (6+) and repeats at #9. Co-owned/similarly-programmed Mets flagship WCBS-AM is a combined -.8 in April/May (3.4 – 2.9 – 2.6, #13 to #15, 6+). WINS was -1.1 in February/March (4.8 – 4.1 – 3.7, 6+), while WCBS-AM gained three-tenths in March (3.1 – 3.4, 6+).

When WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM gained three-tenths in April, it halted four successive down or flat sweeps that resulted in an overall -1.0 (3.6 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.6, 6+). In May, however, WNYC-FM falters by one-half share (2.9 – 2.4, #13 to #17, 6+). The February 2019 through May 2019 topline for co-owned news/talk WNYC-AM is .4 – .3 – .4 – .3 (#31 to #34, 6+).

New York City Music Formats – The combination of Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 #1 For R&B” adding three-tenths (6.5 – 6.8, 6+) and iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” dropping two-tenths (7.0 – 6.8, 6+) results in the two becoming tangled in a first-place tie. This is the 23rd consecutive ratings period that “Lite” has been on top. It posted a one-half share increase in March, but surrendered seven-tenths in April. A combined -5.3 in January/February (12.5 – 7.6 – 7.2, 6+), WLTW was +5.8 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (6.7 – 9.1 – 12.5, 6+). Meanwhile, an April decrease of four-tenths by WBLS interrupted three straight gains that accounted for a collective +1.3 (5.6 – 6.3 – 6.8 – 6.9, 6+). A very legitimate argument could be made that the Big Apple’s co-top story is the fact this marks the final hot AC monthly for WPLJ, which flips to contemporary Christian, following the sale from Cumulus Media to Educational Media Foundation. Legendary WPLJ goes out on a very positive note, as it is without a loss for the fifth straight New York City sweep for a cumulative gain of +1.1 (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 3.1, #17 to #13, 6+). It eclipses by one-tenth Entercom’s similarly formatted WNEW-FM “NEW 102.7,” which follows April’s gain of one-half share with a dip of one-tenth (3.1 – 3.0, #11 to #14, 6+). Steady at #4, Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9” has a February 2019 through May 2019 topline of 5.3 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 5.3 (6+). Advancing from eighth to sixth, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1” gains eight-tenths through four straight bumps (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+). Tied in tenth-place are WWPR rhythmic CHR cluster-mate WKTU “103.5 KTU” (#11 to #10, 6+) and its format rival – Emmis’ WQHT “Hot 97” (3.5 – 3.4, -.1, flat at #10, 6+). This is the ninth time in a row that WKTU is within 3.1 – 3.6 range (3.6 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.4, 6+). “Hot 97” is a collective -.4 in April/May (3.8 – 3.5 – 3.4, 6+). Before gaining one-tenth in March to 3.8 (6+), “Hot” notched a 3.7 (6+) in five of the previous six sweeps (3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.7, 6+); WKTU logged a 3.1 (6+) in “Holiday” 2018, January 2019, and February 2019. Without a loss the past four ratings periods for an overall net of eight-tenths (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WNSH “New York’s Country 94.7” forfeits two-tenths to 2.6 (6+) yet inches up from #16 to #15. While unchanged in third-place, Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” is down one full-share via four successive down or flat moves (6.4 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.4, 6+), while iHeartMedia classic rocker WAXQ “Q-104.3” is off one-half share in three consecutive dips (4.5 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 4.0, flat at #6, 6+).

Los Angeles

Spoken-Word Formats – Having lost three-tenths in March/April (4.0 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KFI “AM 640” picks up two-tenths to 3.9 (6+) and continues in seventh-place. Ever since debuting in February, its internet stream has notched three straight up or flat moves (.6 – .6 – .7 – .8, #36 to #34, 6+). Co-owned news/talk KEIB “AM 1150 The Patriot,” which logged a .8 (6+) in five of the last six ratings periods (.8 – .8 – .9 – .8 – .8 – .8, 6+) improves by two-tenths to 1.0 (#33 to #31, 6+). Off one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (1.0 – .9 – .8, 6+), Salem Media Group news/talk KRLA “AM 870 The Answer” erases half that deficit with a one-tenth progression to .9 (#33 to #32, 6+). The November 2018 through May 2019 topline for Cumulus Media-owned KABC “790 News-Talk-Evolved” is .5 – .7 – .7 – .6 – .6 – .5 – .6 – .5 (#39 to #38, 6+).

Three down or flat moves in a row by Disney-owned KSPN accounted for a one-half share decline (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.1 – 1.1, 6+), but “710 ESPN” benefits with a +.2 to 1.3 (#29 to #27, 6+). After nearly doubling March’s 6+-stat with an April +.6 (.7 – 1.3, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk/Dodgers flagship KLAC “AM 570 LA Sports” basically levels off with a one-tenth loss to 1.2 (#27 to #28, 6+).

Without an increase the fourth time in a row, Entercom’s KNX “1070 News Radio” falters by nine-tenths in that stretch (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.8, #12 to #13, 6+).

After an April gain of two-tenths, Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” is unchanged in May in 6+-share (2.3) and 6+-market rank (#18).

Los Angeles Music Formats – Via six straight sweeps without a loss, Entercom classic hits-oldies KRTH  is a cumulative +1.4 (4.4 – 4.4 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.8, 6+) as “K-Earth 101” repeats in the runner-up slot.  While unchanged in third-place, smooth AC sibling KTWV “94-7 The Wave” is a collective +1.6 owing to five consecutive positive spikes (3.6 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2, 6+). Notwithstanding that it backslides from eighth to ninth, Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican KLAX “97.9 La Raza” is a collective +1.0 in six consecutive up or flat moves (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+). KLOS notches its fifth straight up or flat trend for a net gain of one-half share (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+) and advances from #12 to #11. Meruelo Media Holdings acquired KLOS from Cumulus Media for $43 million and is programming the station under a Local Marketing Agreement (LMA). Pulling the plug on three straight setbacks that resulted in a net loss of nine-tenths (5.0 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.1, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KBIG “104.3 My-FM” registers an improvement of four-tenths to 4.5 (fifth to fourth, 6+). In addition to recording an increase of three-tenths (6.3 – 6.6, 6+), co-owned adult contemporary KOST “Coast 103.5” sets the pace in the “City of Angels” for the eighth straight time. After its “Holiday” 2018 13.0 (6+), “Coast” has followed with 6.2 – 6.5 – 6.5 – 6.3 – 6.6 (6+). Prior to January when it surrendered a -6.8 to 6.2 (6+), KOST was an overall +8.4 via five improvements in a row (4.6 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.1 – 9.0 – 13.0, 6+). In four consecutive bumps, Entravision Riverside Spanish adult hits KLYY “Jose” has more than doubled (+1.5) its Los Angeles 6+-stat (1.1 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.5 – 2.6, 6+) and progresses from #17 to #16. Four straight increases by Entercom adult hits KCBS-FM “93.1 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” netted nine-tenths (3.3 – 3.5 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2, 6+), but Los Angeles’ version of “Jack” relinquishes two-tenths to 4.0 (fourth to fifth, 6+). April’s 4.2 is its best 6+-stat since May 2018 (4.2, as well). Steady in eighth-place, Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary KXOL “Mega 96.3” has improved by one-half share through three straight upticks (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2, 6+). In the market’s CHR contest, iHeartMedia’s KIIS “102.7 Kiss FM” is off four-tenths in three successive sweeps without an increase (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 4.0, sixth to fifth, 6+), while Entercom-owned KAMP “97.1 Amp Radio” is within 2.0 – 2.9 territory for the 24th time in a row (2.4, +.1, #18 to #17, 6+). “Kiss” lost four-tenths in March/April (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.0, 6+); “Amp” was off one-half share in the same stretch (2.8 – 2.7 – 2.3, 6+). As a result of four consecutive sweeps without an increase, Entercom-owned KROQ regresses by a collective half-share (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 1.9, #22 to #21, 6+). Its format rival – iHeartMedia’s KYSR “Alt 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative” – is down one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2, #18 to #19, 6+). Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KFSH “95.9 The Fish” records a .7 (6+) for the fourth time in the last five reports (.7 – .7 – .7 – .8 – .7, #36, 6+).

Chicago

Spoken-Word Formats – While flat at #14, Tribune Media news/talk WGN has surrendered six-tenths in three straight down or flat trends (3.5 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+); the White Sox flagship gained one-half share in February. This marks the fifth consecutive report without a loss for Cumulus Media news/talk WLS-AM, which is up seven-tenths in that stretch (1.1 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8, #21 to #22, 6+).

Tacking on one-half share to April’s increase of nine-tenth (2.8 – 3.7 – 4.2, 6+), Entercom sports talk/Cubs key station WSCR “670 The Score” jumps from eighth to sixth with its best 6+-showing since October 2018 (4.2, as well). Even though Disney/ESPN-owned WMVP is up a collective four-tenths in three straight bumps (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.4, 6+), “ESPN Chicago 1000” slips from #24 to #26.

Conversely, Entercom news outlet WBBM-AM, which has lost an overall nine-tenths in four successive down or flat moves (6.2 – 6.1 – 5.8 – 5.3 – 5.3, 6+), advances from fourth to second. Prior to April, WBBM-AM had been at #1 the previous three sweeps.

Repeating April’s 2.8 (6+), Chicago Public Media news/talk WBEZ drops from #15 to #16.

Chicago Music Formats – Not only is iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WKSC without a loss the sixth successive time for an overall +.7 (2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.6, 6+), “103.5 Kiss FM Chicago’s #1 Hit Music Station” cracks the top ten (#12 to #9). A combined +.9 in March/April (2.2 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+), Entercom CHR WBBM-FM “B-96” falters by four-tenths to 2.7 (6+), skidding from #13 to #18. Up or flat the seventh straight time for an overall gain of four-tenths (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WEBG “Big 95.5 Chicago’s New Country” inches up from #23 to #22. It is chasing Entercom-owned WUSN “US-99 Chicago’s Hottest Country,” whose February 2019 through May 2019 topline is 3.0 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 3.0 (#18 to #12, 6+). Recapturing in its entirety the six-tenths it forfeited in April (4.5 – 3.9 – 4.5, 6+), Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WLS-FM “94.7 Chicago’s Classic Hits” remains in fifth-place. Entering the April sweep, “Chicago’s Classic Hits” was up nine-tenths in three straight improvements (3.6 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 4.5, 6+). Even though it returns 60% of April’s one-half share gain (5.9 – 5.6, -.3, 6+), Hubbard hot AC WTMX “101.9 The Mix” repeats at #1. April’s 5.9 is its highest 6+-stat since November 2017’s 6.3. Owing to four successive setbacks (5.5 – 5.0 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.1, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican WOJO is -2.4 as “Que Buena 105.1” fades from the top ten (#5 to #11). Its January increase of nine-tenths halted a December/“Holiday” 2018 mini-slide that resulted in a loss of eight-tenths (5.4 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+). Spanish Broadcasting System’s similarly-formatted WLEY “La Ley 107.9” has lost seven-tenths in three straight down or flat moves (2.6 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 1.9, #21, 6+). A collective +1.5 in four successive increases (3.9 – 4.5 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.4, 6+), Hubbard classic rock WDRV “97.1 The Drive” returns roughly half that increase (4.7, -.7, 6+) and slips from third to fourth. April’s 5.4 is its strongest 6+-showing since August 2018’s 5.5. Adult contemporary sibling WSHE “100.3 SHE,” which notched an overall eight-tenths via four consecutive up or flat moves (2.5 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.3, 6+), falters by one-half share to 2.8 (6+), spiraling from #9 to #16. Its format rival, iHeartMedia’s WLIT, is an overall -9.4 as a result of five successive reports without an increase (13.3 – 5.0 – 4.4 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9, fifth to seventh, 6+); “93.9 Lite FM” was a combined +10.1 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (3.2 – 8.4 – 13.3, 6+).

San Francisco

Spoken-Word Formats – Stuck on 2.3 (6+) in March and April, Cumulus Media news/talk KSFO drops two-tenths to 2.1 (6+), falling from #16 to a three-way tie at #18. With a gain of three-tenths to 1.7 (#26 to #24, 6+), cluster-mate KGO applies the brakes to seven successive down or flat sweeps that resulted in a loss of eight-tenths (2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4, 6+). For the fifth consecutive time, iHeartMedia-owned KKSF-AM “Real Talk 910 – Think Forward” records a .2 (#34 to #36, 6+).

In addition to catapulting from #19 to #8 and boasting the largest (6+) April 2019 to May 2019 increase (+1.4) of any station in the 12 PPM-markets highlighted here, Entercom sports talk KGMZ “95.7 The Game” catches Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted KNBR “The Sports Leader” (3.6 – 3.3, -.3, seventh to eighth, 6+). Furthermore, “The Game,” which is the flagship of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, nearly doubles (+1.5) its 6+-stat in three straight sweeps without a loss (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 3.3, 6+). Meanwhile, Giants’ key station KNBR was +1.0 in April.

Following four straight months in the runner-up slot, KCBS-AM picks up three-tenths (6.3 – 6.6, 6+) and marches to #1. The Entercom all-news operation had been off a collective seven-tenths in three straight dips (7.0 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.3, 6+), directly after three consecutive gains for an overall +1.7 (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.8 – 7.0, 6+).

It succeeds Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED, which had been on top the past four sweeps, but falters by one-half share in back-to-back sweeps (7.3 – 6.8 – 6.3, -.5, 6+), segueing to #2. San Francisco Unified School District’s KALW “91.7 Local Public Radio” is off four-tenths in three straight drops (1.3 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9, #28 to #29, 6+), directly after more than tripling (+.9) its 6+-share in nine successive sweeps without a loss (.4 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .6 – .6 – .7 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.3, 6+).

San Francisco Music Formats – Not only does Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican KRZZ gain seven-tenths to 2.3 (6+), thus curtailing three straight decreases that resulted in an overall loss of nine-tenths (2.5 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 1.6, 6+), “La Raza 93.3” enters the top twenty (#23 to #16). On the other hand, despite posting its fifth straight up or flat trend for a gain of seven-tenths (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.9 – 2.0, 6+), Bonneville’s KUFX “98.5 K-Fox The South Bay’s Classic Rock” departs the top twenty (#19 to #21). Down one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+), Entercom hot AC KLLC “Alice @ 97.3” answers with a +.6 to 4.2 (seventh to third, 6+). At the same time, its internet stream picks up one-half share (.3 – .8, #31, 6+). Flat at #12, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KIOI “Star 101.3” is off one-half share in four successive down or flat trends (3.4 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+). Before sputtering by two-tenths in April, Cumulus Media classic rocker KSAN was +1.1 in three successive improvements (2.6 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.7, 6+), but “107.7 The Bone” bounces back with a May increase of one-half share (3.5 – 4.0, #9 to a three-way tie at #4, 6+). The other players in that three-way, fourth-place logjam are Bonneville-owned adult contemporary KOIT-FM “96.5 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” (4.6 – 4.0, -.6, third to fourth, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KISQ “98.1 The Breeze,” which is a combined -1.0 in April/May (5.0 – 4.4 – 4.0, flat at #4, 6+). KOIT-FM, which completely erased February’s -.5 with a March +.5, improved its 6+-stat by seven full-shares in December/“Holiday” 2018, (3.7 – 6.4 – 10.7, 6+), but was a combined -6.4 in January/February (10.7 – 4.8 – 4.3, 6+). Prior to April’s loss of six-tenths, “The Breeze” was an overall +1.2 via three straight gains (3.8 – 4.3 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+). While iHeartMedia urban contemporary KMEL “#1 For Hip-Hop and R&B” is within 3.0 – 3.9 range for the 11th time in a row (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 3.0, 6+), it forfeits seven-tenths and departs the top ten (#5 to #11). April’s 3.7 represents its best 6+-stat since October 2018’s 3.9. Forfeiting one-half share each are Bonneville urban AC KBLX “Today’s R&B and Old School,” which surrenders nine-tenths in four straight sweeps without an increase (3.3 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.4, #12 to #14, 6+), and Univision Radio regional Mexican KSOL “Que Buena” (2.7 – 2.2, #14 to #17, 6+). KSOL’s Spanish adult hits cluster-mate KBRG “Amor 100.3,” which was +1.0 in three straight sweeps without a loss (2.0 – 2.4 – 3.0 – 3.0, 6+), cedes four-tenths to 2.6 (#11 to #13, 6+). In April, “Amor” had its best 6+-showing (3.0) since September 2018’s 3.1.

Dallas

Spoken-Word Formats – Without a loss the fifth time in a row for a +1.4 (2.3 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WBAP “News Talk 820” jumps from ninth to sixth. The overall “Holiday” 2018 through May 2019 +1.4 completely obliterates its December/“Holiday” 2018 loss of nine-tenths (3.2 – 2.7 – 2.3, 6+). Down one-tenth each are Salem Media Group-owned KSKY “660 AM The Answer” (.9 – .8, #32 to #35, 6+) and Cumulus Media’s KLIF-AM “570 News & Information” (.4 – .3, flat at #37, 6+).

Sports talk cluster-mate KTCK “The Ticket All Sports All The Time” notches a 2.7 (6+) for the third report in succession and downslides from #16 to #17. As a result of four straight declines (3.1 – 2.5 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.5, 6+), Entercom’s KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan” has lost roughly 52% (-1.6) of its 6+-share as the flagship of the Texas Rangers drops from #23 to #26. After six straight down or flat trends that resulted in its 6+-share being sliced in half (-.6) over that October 2018 through March 2019 duration (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9 – .8 – .6, 6+), Disney/ESPN’s KESN “103.3 ESPN Dallas” is a combined +.3 in April/May (.6 – .8 – .9, #34 to #33, 6+).

In addition to snapping at four its consecutive string of up or flat trends that produced a net gain of one-half share (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.5, 6+), Entercom news-talk hybrid KRLD-AM (2.3, -.2, 6+) exits the top twenty (#17 to #21). Dating back to “Holiday” 2016, “News Radio 1080” has been within a (6+) high of 2.8 and a low of 2.0.

Repeating April’s 3.6 (6+), North Texas Public Broadcasting news/talk outlet KERA advances from tenth to a four-way tie at eighth. Before faltering by three-tenths in April, KERA was a collective +.8 via three improvements in a row (3.1 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.9, 6+).

Dallas Music Formats – Once again, contemporary Christian grabs the headlines in this Texas market. Specifically, WAY Media’s KAWA “WAY-FM Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” wipes away March’s -1.2 with a combined April/May +1.2 (1.1 – 1.6 – 2.3, #23 to #21, 6+), while Educational Media Foundation’s KYDA “Air 1 Worship Now” regains the one-half share it lost in April (2.4 – 1.9 – 2.4, #21 to #20, 6+). This directly follows a March increase of six-tenths to 2.4, its strongest 6+-showing since December 2016 (2.4, as well). Elsewhere in the format, following an April bump of seven-tenths, Salem Media Group’s KLTY “94.9 Your Life … Inspired” is flat in 6+-share (4.2) and market rank (fifth), while First Dallas Media-owned KCBI is up one-tenth to 1.0 (#32 to #30, 6+). Entering the May 2019 sweep, “90.0 Encouraging Music/Words of Hope” had its 6+-stat whittled exactly in half (-.9) via three successive dips (1.8 – 1.6 – 1.5 – .9, 6+). On the heels of surrendering six-tenths in April, Service Broadcasting urban contemporary KKDA-FM “K-104” erases that deficit completely with a similar-size increase (3.0 – 3.6, +.6, 6+) and rockets back into the top ten (#15 to #8). “K-104” was a combined +.9 in February/March (2.7 – 3.2 – 3.6, 6+). Up an overall eight-tenths in April/May (2.2 – 2.5 – 3.0, 6+), Entercom regional Mexican KMVK “La Grande 107.5” progresses from #17 to #15. Conversely, Univision Radio’s similarly-programmed KLNO “Que Buena 94.1” is a combined -1.3 in April/May (4.2 – 3.8 – 2.9, 6+), plummeting from #8 to #16. The two Cumulus-owned country outlets gain one-tenth each: KPLX “99.5 The Wolf” is 4.2 – 4.3 (fifth to fourth, 6+), while KSCS “New Country 96.3” is 3.5 – 3.6 (#13 to #8, 6+). In addition to returning the four-tenths it accrued in April (6.7 – 6.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned CHR KHKS halts at four a successive string of up or flat sweeps that netted eight-tenths (5.9 – 6.1 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 6.7, 6+). Nonetheless, “106.1 Kiss – Dallas/Fort Worth’s Hit Music” is #1 for the fifth month in a row; April’s 6.7 is its best 6+-stat since May 2018’s 6.9. On top 12 straight times, “Kiss” shifted to #3 in “Holiday” 2018. Immediately after posting an April improvement of nine-tenths, adult contemporary sibling KDGE “Star 102.1” forfeits eight-tenths (4.4 – 3.6, third to eighth, 6+). In eight successive May 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 sweeps without a loss, KDGE almost tripled (+4.4) its 6+-stat (2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 5.1 – 7.1, 6+), but then experienced three successive “Holiday” 2018 through March 2019 drops (7.1 – 4.2 – 3.7 – 3.5, 6+). Cluster-mate KEGL “97.1 The Eagle Rocks” has lost six-tenths in five straight (slightly) down or flat moves (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.2, #10 to #12, 6+). Departing the top ten in addition to “The Eagle” is Entercom adult hits KJKK “100.3 Jack-FM” (3.6 – 3.1, -.5, #10 to #14, 6+). Alternative sibling KVIL is up one-half share in four straight sweeps without a loss (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.5, 6+) but “Alt 103.7” backslides from a three-way tie at #17 to #19.

Houston

Spoken-Word Formats – Off three-tenths (3.8 – 3.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH slips from #12 to #13. “News Radio 740” was -.7 in December (4.3 – 3.6, 6+); -.7 in “Holiday” 2018 (3.6 – 2.9, 6+); and +.7 in January 2019 (2.9 – 3.6, 6+). Stuck on .4 (6+) in March and April, co-owned KPRC “AM 950 – Houston’s More Stimulating Talk Radio” loses one-tenth in May to .3 (#29 to #30, 6+).

The flagship of the Houston Astros – iHeartMedia-owned KBME – has more than doubled (+.7) its 6+-stat in three upticks in succession (.5 – .6 – 1.0 – 1.2, #23 to #22, 6+). “Sports Talk 790” is one-tenth ahead of Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610,” which gains two-tenths via three straight up or flat moves (.9 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.1, flat at #23, 6+). Meanwhile, Gow Communications’ sports talk KFNC “ESPN 97.5” logs a .8 (#24 to #25, 6+) for the seventh time in the last nine ratings periods (.8 – .8 – .8 – .8 – .9 – .9 – .8 – .8 – .8, 6+).

Despite being off an overall six-tenths in four straight slips (2.7 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+), University of Houston news/talk KUHF proceeds from #20 to #19.

Houston Music Formats – Up a combined nine-tenths in April/May (5.0 – 5.2 – 5.9, 6+), Cox Media Group classic rock KGLK “The Eagle” advances from fourth to second with its strongest 6+-showing since October 2017 (5.9, as well). Unchanged at #11, iHeartMedia’s KQBT “93.7 The Beat” extends its consecutive up or flat streak to seven and is +1.1 in that November 2018 through May 2019 period (3.3 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.4 – 4.4, 6+). Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KHJK “Air 1 Worship Now” doubles its 6+-stat (.5 – 1.0, +.5, 6+) and checks in at #24. An overall -4.8 in four straight setbacks (12.1 – 8.6 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 7.5 – 7.3, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA “Sunny 99.1” is nonetheless #1 for the 14th sweep in a row. Immediately in advance of this skid, KODA was a cumulative +4.9 via three consecutive gains (7.2 – 7.5 – 9.7 – 12.1, 6+). Seven successive up or flat reports by Cox Media Group classic country KTHT resulted in a net gain of eight-tenths (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.5 – 2.6, 6+) but “Country Legends 97.1” relinquishes that entire increase (1.8, -.8, 6+) and falls from #18 to #20. The five most recent fluctuations for Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN “Que Buena 102.9” are: +.5 (January,  6.5 – 7.0, 6+); -.8 (February, 7.0 – 6.2, 6+); +.5 (March, 6.2 – 6.7, 6+); -.6 (April, 6.7 – 6.1, 6+); and now -.6 (6.1 – 5.5, second to fourth, 6+). Prior to plummeting -1.5 in “Holiday” 2018, “Que Buena 102.9” was a collective +3.3 through five successive increases (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 6.0 – 6.8 – 8.0, 6+). Flat at #17, Liberman Broadcasting’s similarly-formatted KQQK “El Norte 107.9” has lost six-tenths in three consecutive reports without an increase (3.4 – 3.3 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+).

Both of the market’s country FMs are off one-tenth in May with each dropping one ranker: Entercom’s KILT-FM “100.3 The Bull” is trending 5.2 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.1 (fourth to fifth, 6+), while Cox Media Group’s KKBQ “93-Q” has a March 2019 through May 2019 topline of 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.6 (ninth to tenth, 6+). Before losing two-tenths in March, “The Bull” had been +1.7 via three upticks in a row (3.5 – 3.8 – 4.5 – 5.2, 6+); “93-Q” gained eight-tenths in March. This is the fourth report in a row that iHeartMedia alternative KTBZ is without an increase; “94.5 The Buzz” (flat at #14) is off six-tenths in that stretch (3.9 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.3, 6+).

Atlanta

Spoken-Word Formats – Down a combined eight-tenths in April/May (7.1 – 6.6 – 6.3, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM drops from second to third. It had slipped to the runner-up slot in April, following three straight months at #1. WSB-AM had been on top 37 sweeps in a row before segueing to #2 in “Holiday” 2018. In its final report in the spoken-word format, WYAY “106.6 Where Atlanta Comes to Talk” repeats April’s 6+ market share (#25) and 6+share (.9), taking the station below a one-share for the first time in nearly seven-years (.8, July 2012). Coinciding with the sale from Cumulus Media to Educational Media Foundation, WYAY is now contemporary Christian. Tied with a .3 (6+) are Salem Media Group-owned WGKA “AM 920 The Answer” (.1 – .3, +.2, #31 to #29, 6+) and Entercom’s WAOK “1380 The Voice of the Community” (.4 – .3, -.1, flat at #29, 6+). Elsewhere in the format, iHeartMedia-owned WGST “Talk Radio 640” has lost three-tenths via nine straight down or flat trends (.4 – .3 – .3 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1, #31 to #34, 6+).

While unchanged at #14, Entercom sports talk WZGC “92.9 The Game” is an overall -1.1 in three setbacks in succession (4.0 – 3.7 – 3.1 – 2.9, 6+). At the same time, Dickey Broadcasting’s WCNN “Sports Radio The Fan” is up one-half share in three straight up or flat moves (1.6 – 1.7 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+), as the AM flagship of the Atlanta Braves carries on at #18.

Following a March decrease of -1.4 (4.8 – 3.4, 6+), City of Atlanta Board of Education news/talk WABE is up three-tenths in April/May (3.4 – 3.6 – 3.7, steady at #11, 6+). Despite dropping three-tenths in April/May (.8 – .6 – .5, 6+), Georgia State University news/talk WRAS advances from #28 to #27.

Atlanta Music Formats – Good news continues for Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH “104.7 The Fish,” which is an overall +3.0 (4.9 – 5.4 – 5.7 – 7.0 – 7.9, 6+) via four successive upticks and repeats at #1. Furthermore, this (7.9) is its best 6+-showing since 8.6 in “Holiday” 2018. The market’s (6+) urban AC share improved by +1.4 (March); deflated by -1.5 (April); and now expands by six-tenths in May as both main format players jump one ranker. Specifically, Radio One’s WAMJ “Majic” is up two-tenths (6.1 – 6.3, fourth to third, 6+), while Cox Media Group-owned WALR “Kiss 104.1 Atlanta’s R&B” improves by four-tenths (5.2 – 5.6, seventh to sixth, 6+). “Majic” was +2.5 via three successive increases (4.4 – 5.4 – 6.3 – 6.9, 6+) but eroded by eight-tenths in April. A combined +1.4 in February/March (4.5 – 5.1 – 5.9, 6+), “Kiss” returned half that increase (-.7) this time last month. For the third time in a row, Entercom urban contemporary WVEE “V-103 The People’s Station” posts a positive bump of two-tenths (5.9 – 6.1 – 6.3 – 6.5, third to second, 6+). On the other hand, Radio One’s similarly-programmed WHTA “Hot 107.9” is an overall -1.3 via three consecutive negative moves (5.2 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 3.9, eighth to tenth, 6+). Frozen on 3.4 (6+) in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019 before dropping to 3.0 (6+) in February, iHeartMedia’s WWPW gained seven-tenths in March; was down one-tenth in April; and now busts out a +.6 to 4.2 (6+) as “Power 96.1 Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” is back in the top ten (#11 to #8). Its format rival – Cumulus Media-owned WWWQ “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” – has a February 2019 through May 2019 topline of 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.6 (#13 to #12, 6+). “Q-100” logged a +.7 in January, but forfeited six-tenths in February. A combined -1.0 in April/May (5.7 – 5.4 – 4.7, 6+), Cox Media Group adult contemporary WSB-FM “B-98.5” drops from sixth to seventh. Unchanged in ninth-place, iHeartMedia’s WUBL “94.9 The Bull” nets eight-tenths in three straight bumps (3.3 – 3.5 – 4.0 – 4.1, 6+). Before eroding by -1.0 in February, “The Bull” was a collective +1.4 through four straight increases (2.9 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.3, 6+). Its country rival, Cumulus Media-owned WKHX “Kicks 101.5 – Atlanta’s #1 For Country Hits,” forfeits four-tenths (3.1 – 2.7, #14 to #16, 6+). Off three-tenths in March, “Kicks” rebounded from January’s loss of six-tenths with an identical magnitude increase in February (2.6 – 3.2, +.6).

Philadelphia

Spoken-Word Formats – By adding one-tenth to 2.2 (unchanged at #20, 6+), Entercom’s WPHT “Talk Radio 1210” suspends three straight down or flat moves that accounted for an overall loss of four-tenths (2.5 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.1, 6+). Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” has dropped one-tenth three reports in a row (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.2, #23 to #24, 6+).

After improving by two-tenths in consecutive ratings periods (5.9 – 6.1 – 6.3, 6+), Entercom’s WIP “Sports Radio 94.1” sputters by seven-tenths to 5.6 (third to sixth, 6+); the Phillies’ flagship was -1.3 in February. The October 2018 through May 2019 topline for Beasley Media Group-owned WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” (#14 to #15) is 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 2.6 – 2.7 (6+); “The Fanatic” is the key station of the 76ers and Flyers.   

Off a collective -1.0 via four straight sweeps without an increase (5.0 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 4.0, 6+), Entercom’s KYW remains in ninth-place. “News Radio 1060” was down eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2018, but responded in January with a gain of seven-tenths (4.3 – 5.0, 6+).

The three most recent fluctuations for public news/talk WHYY have been by four-tenths (3.0 – 2.6 – 2.2 – 2.6, #18 to #16, 6+).

Philadelphia Music Formats – Having relinquished seven-tenths in April, Beasley Media Group-owned WMMR regains one-half share (5.9 – 6.4, sixth to third, 6+). Prior to April, “93.3 Everything That Rocks” was an overall +1.7 in three successive improvements (4.9 – 6.0 – 6.4 – 6.6, 6+). Ever since Entercom-owned adult contemporary WBEB “Today’s 101.1 More FM” WBEB repeated at #1 in December and “Holiday” 2018, it has been a revolving door for the top spot. Entercom sports talk WIP was there in January; classic hits-oldies sibling WOGL in February; WBEB in March; and Beasley Media Group classic rock WMGK was on top in April. While trending 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.7 (6+), WBEB has its turn again in May. “Today’s 101.1 More FM” was Philly’s market leader from March 2018 through June before being dislodged in July, WBEB was +10.1 (6.5 – 10.4 – 16.6, 6+) just prior to January 2019’s -10.3 (16.3 – 6.3, 6+); it gained one-half share in March. Four up or flat trends in succession by format challenger, iHeartMedia’s WISX “106.1 The Breeze – Relaxing Favorites,” yielded a cumulative +2.3 (2.5 – 3.0 – 4.4 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+). “The Breeze” surrendered three-tenths in April but regains two-tenths in May (4.5 – 4.7, 6+) and carries on in eighth-place. Formerly rhythmic hot AC “Real 106.1,” WISX became adult contemporary “106.1 The Breeze” in mid-November (2018). Meanwhile, the station WBEB succeeds at #1 – “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK” – follows April’s +1.0 to 6.8 (6+) with a loss of two-tenths (6.6, first to second, 6+). WMGK was a combined -1.3 in February/March (7.1 – 6.7 – 5.8, 6+). After busting out April’s +1.2 to 3.4 (6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKVP “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” returns all but two-tenths of that increase (2.4, -1.0, #12 to #18, 6+). Even though Beasley Media Group-owned WXTU falters by two-tenths to 5.6 (6+), thus interrupting four straight gains that netted +2.2 (3.6 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.8, 6+),“92.5 Philly’s Country Station” progresses from seventh to a sixth-place tie. April’s 5.8 is its strongest 6+-showing since July 2018 (5.8, as well). After its +2.1 in January/February (5.0 – 6.3 – 7.1, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WOGL “98.1 – Nobody Plays More 80s” is a combined -1.1 in March/April/May (7.1 – 6.8 – 6.0 – 6.0, fifth to fourth, 6+).

Long Island

Spoken-Word Formats – Repeating at #15, iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” is up four-tenths in April/May (2.2 – 2.5 – 2.6, 6+). Off one-tenth in consecutive sweeps (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WABC remains at #25.

In addition to repeating at #1, Entercom sports talk WFAN is +1.0 in three straight positive spikes (4.3 – 4.4 – 5.1 – 5.3, 6+). The Yankees’ flagship has its highest 6+-share in Long Island (5.3) since October 2018’s 5.6. Similarly-programmed WEPN not only picks up one-half share (1.8 – 2.3, 6+), “98.7 ESPN New York” cracks the top twenty (#21 to #17).

In three straight slips, WINS lost eight-tenths (3.6 – 3.5 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+) but the Entercom all-news outlet is up two-tenths in May to 3.0 (#14 to #12, 6+). After logging a one-half share April increase (3.3 – 3.8, 6+), co-owned/similarly-formatted WCBS-AM spirals by nine-tenths to 2.9 (6+) and departs the top ten (#8 to #13).

Down or flat the fourth time in succession for a net loss of eight-tenths (2.1 – 2.0 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.3, 6+), WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM slips from #24 to #25.

Long Island Music Formats – Tied in fourth-place are Cox Media Group CHR WBLI, up seven-tenths in three bumps in a row (3.9 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.6, fifth to fourth, 6+), and iHeartMedia New York’s similarly-formatted WHTZ “Z-100” (4.5 – 4.6, +.1, flat at #4, 6+). These same two group owners are keeping the classic rock contest tight as well. Cox Media Group’s WBAB “102.3 – Long Island’s Only Classic Rock” picks up one-tenth (4.0 – 4.1, steady at #6, 6+), while iHeartMedia New York’s WAXQ “Q-104.3,” which had lost one-half share in three straight decreases (4.0 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.5, 6+), adds four-tenths (3.9, ninth to seventh, 6+). Having shared the lead in April with sports talk cluster-mate WFAN, Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM is flat at 5.1 (6+) and drops to a second-place tie. An April gain of six-tenths by “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” suspended four successive sweeps without an increase that accounted for an overall loss of eight-tenths (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+). Up or flat the fifth report in a row for a net gain of seven-tenths (2.6 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+), iHeartMedia New York rhythmic CHR WKTU advances into the top ten (#11 to #10). Co-owned New York City urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1” hasn’t had a decrease in each of the last four reports for a half-share increase (1.6 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 2.1, 6+) and enters Long Island’s top twenty (#21 to #19). Connoisseur Media-owned adult contemporary WKJY “98.3 K-JOY – Long Island’s Place to Relax” falters by a combined eight-tenths in April/May (4.3 – 4.0 – 3.5, sixth to eighth, 6+). In four consecutive declines, hot AC sibling WALK-FM lost over half (-5.5) its 6+-share (10.5 – 6.0 – 5.9 – 5.1 – 5.0, 6+) but “97.5 – Real Variety” applies the brakes with a gain of one-tenth to 5.1 (steady at #2, 6+). A combined +6.1 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (4.4 – 6.5 – 10.5, 6+), WALK-FM spent five straight sweeps at #1 before shifting to the runner-up slot. Entering the top twenty at #20, Entercom alternative WNYL “Alt 92.3” has a September 2018 through May 2019 topline of 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.9 (6+).

Riverside

Spoken-Word Formats – Following seven consecutive sweeps without an increase (.4 – .2 – .2 -.2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1, #23, 6+), iHeartMedia news talk KKDD “1290 News Talk IE” disappears from print.

The November 2018 through May 2019 topline for co-owned KPWK “Fox Sports Radio 1350 AM” is: .2 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .1 – .2 (unchanged at #23, 6+). For the 17th straight sweep, similarly-formatted/Los Angeles Angels-owned (LAA 1, LLC) KLAA “Angels Radio AM 830” is unlisted.

In April/May, San Bernardino Community College news/talk KVCR has lost more than three-quarters (-1.3) of its 6+-share (1.7 – .8 – .4, #13 to #17, 6+). Down or flat the past three monthlies for a net decrease of two-tenths (.3 – .2 – .1 – .1, 6+), Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” erases that shortfall with a +.2 to .3 (#23 to #21, 6+).

Riverside Music Formats – Over and above being a combined +1.2 in April/May (6.8 – 7.2 – 8.0, 6+), KOLA repeats at #1. The Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies outlet last reached the eight-share level (6+) was February 2018 (8.4). Prior to April, KOLA had been at #2 in each of the previous 11 survey periods. It hit #1 exactly one year ago (6.5, May 2018, 6+). Tacking on seven-tenths to April’s +.9 (.3 – 1.2 – 1.9, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLRD enters the top ten (#12 to #10). Entering the April sweep, “Air 1 Worship Now” was a collective -1.9 via four successive negative trends (2.2 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.2 – .3, 6+). Even though Good News Radio’s similarly-formatted KSGN is off eight-tenths in four setbacks in succession (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.3, 6+),“Family Friendly 89.7” progresses from sixth to fifth. Wiping away the collective +.7 it recorded in February/March/April (3.3 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+) with a May loss of nine-tenths to 3.1 (6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KGGI “99.1 Riverside’s Hottest Hit Music” slips from fifth to sixth. In three successive improvements, LC Media urban-rhythmic oldies KQIE was a collective +1.6 (2.1 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.7, 6+), but “Old School 104.7” is now a combined -1.0 in April/May (3.7 – 3.4 – 2.7, seventh to ninth, 6+). A cumulative -4.1 in six straight declines (10.5 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 8.1 – 7.4 – 7.0 – 6.4, 6+), Entravision’s KLYY “Jose” repeats at #2. In advance of the April ratings period, “Jose” occupied the #1 spot 11 sweeps in succession. December 2018’s 10.5 marked the first time any Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario station reached double-figures (6+) since April 2015, when KLYY recorded a 10.4. All-Pro rhythmic hot AC KHTI “Hot 103.9 – The I.E.’s Best Mix” is without an increase the fourth straight time for a net loss of three-tenths (.8 – .8 – .8 – .7 – .5, #15 to #16, 6+).

San Jose

Spoken-Word Formats – In addition to this being its eighth straight San Jose sweep without an increase for an overall -1.3 (3.0 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.7, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk KGO’s departs the top twenty (#19 to #21). Co-owned news/talk KSFO, which netted a one-half share increase via four straight up or flat moves (.9 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+), surrenders two-tenths to 1.3 (6+) but continues at #23.

Sports talk cluster-mate KNBR “The Sports Leader” repeats April’s 6+-share (4.2) and 6+ market rank (seventh); the Giants flagship was +1.1 in April. In three consecutive positive spikes (1.5 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.9, 6+), Entercom sports talk KGMZ “95.7 The Game” nearly doubles (+1.4) its 6+-stat as the key station of the Golden State Warriors zooms from #19 to #11.

All-news sibling KCBS-AM is -1.9 in March/April/May (7.1 – 6.7 – 5.6 – 5.2, fourth to sixth, 6+), directly after a collective +1.4 in four straight ratings periods without a loss (5.7 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 7.1 – 7.1, 6+).

After an April-only stay at #1, Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED falters by eight-tenths (6.9 – 6.1, 6+) and segues to #2. A combined -.9 in January and February (7.1 – 6.9 – 6.2, 6+), KQED erased that deficit in its entirety with a March gain of nine-tenths. Off two-tenths (.9 – .7, 6+), San Francisco Unified School District news/talk KALW falls from #26 to #27.

San Jose Music Formats – There is considerable movement within San Jose’s top five this month. Most notably is Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY roaring back from April’s -1.5 with a rousing +1.3 (6.2 – 7.5, 6+), allowing “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits” to return to #1 after an April-only stay at #2. Prior to the April sweep, “Bay FM” had been +1.5 via three upticks in a row (6.2 – 6.9 – 7.3 – 7.7, 6+). It was a combined -1.8 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (8.0 – 6.9 – 6.2, 6+), after an overall +1.7 in October/November (6.3 – 6.9 – 8.0, 6+). Hot AC sibling KEZR “Mix 106 – Today’s Best Music” erases April’s loss of eight-tenths with a similar magnitude May increase (5.6 – 4.8 – 5.6, sixth to fourth, 6+). In three straight “Holiday” 2018 through March 2019 up or flat trends, “Mix 106” gained six-tenths (5.0 – 5.0 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+). Format rival, iHeartMedia’s KIOI “Star 101.3,” is a collective -1.1 in four straight sweeps without a gain (4.6 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.5, flat at #8, 6+). “Star” was -.8 (4.6 – 3.8, “Holiday” 2018, 6+); +.8 (3.8 – 4.6, January 2019, 6+); and -.8 (4.6 – 3.8, February, 6+). Steady at #15 is yet another hot AC, Entercom’s KLLC “Alice @ 97.3,” which is trending 2.5 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.5 (6+). Piling on one-half share to April’s massive +1.5 (3.8 – 5.3 – 5.8, 6+), Bonneville’s KUFX “98.5 K-Fox The South Bay’s Classic Rock” jumps from fifth to third. Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “Amor 100.3” is a combined -.8 in April/May (6.1 – 6.0 – 5.3, third to fifth, 6+), while co-owned regional Mexican KSOL “Que Buena” falters by one-half share (3.4 – 2.9, 6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #11). University of Southern California classical KDFC is -1.7 in four drops in a row (3.6 – 2.9 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 1.9, #18 to #19, 6+). For the fifth straight month, KOIT-FM “Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” is unlisted in San Jose. As the result of five straight increases (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 6.0 – 10.1, 6+), it was a cumulative +7.1 and reached #1 in “Holiday” 2018. The Bonneville adult contemporary outlet remains in print in the San Francisco report.

Middlesex

Spoken-Word Formats – As a result of four successive setbacks, Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW is -1.0 (8.1 – 7.9 – 7.5 – 7.3 – 7.1, 6+), but is #1 for the fifth month in a row; “New Jersey 101.5” was +1.2 in January. Up two-tenths (2.8 – 3.0, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR climbs from #18 to #16. Cumulus Media news/talk WABC is down or flat the fourth month and has a 40% (-.4) reduction of its 6+-stat (1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .7 – .6, flat at #27, 6+).

Off one-tenth (3.7 – 3.6, 6+), Entercom sports talk/Yankees key station WFAN departs the top ten (#10 to #13). A collective -1.1 in six straight ratings periods without an increase (2.9 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+), similarly-programmed WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” answers with a May gain of seven-tenths to 2.5 (6+) and jumps into the top twenty (#24 to #19).

Having improved by seven-tenths in March/April (2.2 – 2.4 – 2.9, 6+), Entercom all-news/Mets flagship WCBS-AM forfeits one-half share to 2.4 (#16 to #20, 6+). Co-owned/similarly-programmed WINS has an August 2018 through May 2019 topline of: 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.4 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.7 (6+). WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM stumbles by three-tenths (2.5 – 2.2, #20 to #21, 6+); WNYC was up a combined eight-tenths in January/February (2.0 – 2.5 – 2.8, 6+).

Middlesex Music Formats – By registering a May uptick of seven-tenths (3.4 – 4.1, 6+), Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WMGQ “Magic 98.3 – Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” catapults into the top five (#14 to #5) and pulls the plug on four straight decreases that led to an overall -2.4 (5.8 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 3.5 – 3.4, 6+). Entercom alternative WNYL “Alt 92.3” is a cumulative +1.2 as a result of five consecutive monthlies without a decrease (2.5 – 3.0 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.7, #13 to #12, 6+). As noted above in the New York City summary, Cumulus Media hot AC WPLJ has been sold to Educational Media Foundation and flips to contemporary Christian. In its last Middlesex-Somerset-Union sweep as a hot AC, however, “New York’s 95.5 PLJ” notches a one-half share uptick (3.3 – 3.8, #15 to #11, 6+). WPLJ posted a +1.0 in April. Moving from an eighth-place tie to a ninth-place stalemate is Entercom’s WNEW “NEW 102.7” (3.8 – 3.9, +.1, 6+), which carries on in the hot AC format. The combination of iHeartMedia’s WKTU “103.5 KTU” dropping one-tenth (2.9 – 2.8, #16 to #17, 6+) and Emmis’ similarly-formatted WQHT “Hot 97” adding one-tenth (2.7 – 2.8, #19 to #17, 6+) results in the two rhythmic CHRs deadlocked at #17. While remaining in the runner-up slot, iHeartMedia New York mainstream CHR WHTZ “Z-100” falters by four-tenths to 5.8 (6+), thus curtailing four straight improvements that netted +1.9 (4.3 – 4.5 – 5.2 – 5.8 – 6.2, 6+). Immediately before this streak, “Z-100” was without an increase four successive times for a collective -1.1 (5.4 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.3, 6+).

Friday, June 7, 2019

| June 7, 2019

TALKERS Convention Opens Today in New York City. The 22nd annual installment of the longest-running and most important convention in the talk media industry (radio, television, satellite, internet) – Talkers 2019: Telling the Story – opens today in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater. More than 67 speakers will address the hottest issues, challenges and opportunities facing talk radio and its related media and business communities before a sold-out crowd of media professionals. TALKERS will provide on demand video coverage of the key sessions of this colorful event shortly after it takes place for those who have been locked out due to on-site space limitations. For the latest agenda and information about this historic convention, please click here.

2019 Radio Mercury Winners Crowned.  Last night (6/6) at SONY Hall in New York City, the winners of the 2019 Radio Mercury Awards were announced, and this year’s $50,000 Best of Show award was presented to Wieden + Kennedy for their Old Spice Pomade Radio campaign.  In addition to the other winners that you can see here, Progressive Insurance was named the Radio Marketer of the Year.  Chief judge (and chief creative officer at TBWA\Chiat\Day NY) Chris Beresford-Hill says, “We have tremendous diversity in tonight’s winning audio, and what impressed the final round judges most was the power of storytelling and the various ways advertisers were able to convey a brand’s message through innovative and unique creative.”  Radio Advertising Bureau president and CEO Erica Farber – who also serves as chair of the Radio Creative Fund – says, “It was another great night for radio and the strength of the audio medium in conveying a brand’s message.  The Radio Mercury Awards continue to advance the medium forward by showcasing innovative and effective radio commercial work.”  Pictured below are (from l-r): Beresford-Hill, copywriter Adam Crouch, Wieden + Kennedy art director Alex McClelland, and Farber.


Matt Derrick Named Operations Manager for SummitMedia Omaha. Programming pro Matt Derrick joins SummitMedia to serve as operations manager for the Omaha cluster that includes CHR KQCH (for which he’ll serve as PD), sports talk KXSP, rock KEZO, adult contemporary KSRZ, and classic rock KKCD. SummitMedia Omaha president Kathy Higgins says, “We are excited to have Matt join the SummitMedia Omaha team. He has deep experience across multiple formats in numerous markets where he served as program director, operations manager and regional SVP of programming.  I look forward to his positive energy and creativity to help us continually better serve our local community and engage and entertain our audiences.”

Stolnis Rises to News Manager for Westwood One. News pro John Stolnis is promoted from executive editor at Westwood One News to news manager.  The company says that in this newly created role, Stolnis will be responsible for day-to-day assignments, coverage, and newsroom operations.  He reports to WWO News vice president Kevin DeLany.  Stolnis is a 20-year veteran of radio news and talk programming, with the last 15 years spent at Westwood One.  He has served as executive editor and reporter for Westwood One News since its debut in 2015. Prior to that he produced for NBC News Radio as well as multiple national talk radio programs under the Westwood One umbrella, including “The Jim Bohannon Show,” “The Fred Thompson Show,” and “The Douglas Urbanski Show.”   Stolnis says, “I’m extremely honored to be able to work with such an incredible staff of anchors, correspondents, editors, and newsroom managers, all of whom are the heartbeat of Westwood One News.  Westwood One News has quickly become a leader in network radio news, and I look forward to continuing to serve our affiliates and listeners with the best coverage and programming in the industry.”

New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap” Posted.  The brand-new installment of the weekly news roundup, “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation,” is posted.  This edition looks back at the week of June 3-7, 2019 with a focus on President Trump’s visit to England, the U.S. trade wars, big tech under fire, and a salute to the heroes of D-Day, plus more.  Guests include (in order of appearance):  Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Graham Mack, program director/morning host, Fix Radio, London; Heidi Harris, morning host, KMZQ, Las Vegas; Steve Weisman, law professor, Bentley University, Boston; Doug Stephan, host, DJV Show/American Family Farmer; Chip Franklin, host, KGO, San Francisco; and Victoria Jones, executive director/chief Washington correspondent, DC Radio Company.  The one-hour program, hosted by the iconic founder of TALKERS, is aired weekends on iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC and KSCO, Santa Cruz, California and is now available on a market-exclusive basis to stations interested in running it.  Call 413-565-5413 for information.  To listen to the show, please click here.

TALKERS 2019 Heavy Hundred Published. The 2019 edition of TALKERS magazine’s “100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America” – also known as the Heavy Hundred – has been published. This is the 25th edition of the Heavy Hundred that is compiled by the editors of TALKERS magazine and inclusion is based upon a combination of hard factors such as ratings, revenue and longevity, plus soft factors including effort, impact, recognition, service, talent and uniqueness. Executive editor Kevin Casey says, “As the editorial staff was preparing to publish the Heavy Hundred, we reflected on the 25-year history of this list – especially how challenging it is to whittle the thousands of hosts doing a talk radio program in America today down to the 100 most important. That said, we are excited to publish this year’s list and we believe it represents an honest reflection of the state of talk radio today.” See 2019 Heavy Hundred here.

TALKERS News Notes. The most recent podcast from iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman – titled “Math & Magic: Stories From the Frontiers of Marketing,” features former MTV CEO and current Amazon board directorJudy McGrath.  The program includes McGrath discussing “her front-row seat experiencing two business phenomena in one lifetime: MTV and Amazon, and how the two are similar in culture…McGrath also discusses her early years at Conde Nast, how she convinced advertisers to get behind ‘The Daily Show’ and ‘South Park’ and the importance of always supporting your talent.”…..A deal between President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground production company and Spotify has the former First Couple producing podcasts exclusively for the audio platform.  Barack Obama is quoted saying, “We’ve always believed in the value of entertaining, thought-provoking conversation.  It helps us build connections with each other and open ourselves up to new ideas. We’re excited about Higher Ground Audio because podcasts offer an extraordinary opportunity to foster productive dialogue, make people smile and make people think, and, hopefully, bring us all a little closer together.”…..A report in the New York Post by Andrew Marchand indicates the MLB’s New York Yankees are talking about creating YES Radio that could change the future of the way Yankees games are heard. Marchand’s report notes that as the team – with the financial backing of Amazon and Sinclair Broadcasting – navigates buying back the YES Network from Disney for $3.5 billion, it is in talks with SiriusXM about a new channel for YES Radio. Currently, Yankees games are heard on Entercom’s WFAN, New York.  Marchand writes that if YES Radio becomes a reality it could start “a series of moves that could have huge implications not only locally, but on the future of sports media.”…..SiriusXM is presenting the exclusive national radio coverage of the 119th U.S. Open Championship from Pebble Beach Golf Links in California.  SiriusXM’s programming will feature 44 hours of live hole-by-hole coverage June 13-16…..Pictured below grabbing some lunch  in New York City is Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup (right) with FOX Business Network personality Lou Dobbs (left).  Texas-based Tradup is in the Big Apple to attend today’s Talkers 2019: Telling the Story conference.

Trump in England/75th D-Day Anniversary Top News/Talk Story for Week of June 3-7.  The state visit to Great Britain by President Trump and the related 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the U.S. trade wars with China and Mexico.  Coming in at #3 was the House Judiciary Committee’s planned investigations into possible anti-trust activity by big tech firms, followed by the Virginia Beach shootings, the Australia shootings, and the charging of former Parkland, Florida deputy Scot Peterson tied at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Adult hits KPRT-FM, Kirkland, New Mexico “107.9 Pirate Radio” adds the Envision Networks-syndicated “Ashley & Brad Show” for the morning drive daypart.  Program director Shawn Kelly says, “The Ashley & Brad Show is a great addition to our mornings.  It’s easy to make it sound local and they relate to our local audience.  Great move, glad we did it.”…..KFRG, Riverside programmer and air personality Scott Ward exits the Entercom country station after 24 years with the station.  Ward had been programming the station for the past two years and hosted the afternoon show.

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

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