Tag: "Sun Broadcast Group"

Thursday, November 7, 2019

| November 7, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, October 7, 2019

| October 7, 2019

Monday Memo: Weekend Talkers, Non-Stop Callers. Callers are crucial to weekend “ask-the-expert” shows and most of those hosts would kill for livelier phones.  In the final installment of a three-part series designed for you weekend personalities, consultant Holland Cooke points to a simple tool you’re already using that can light-up your lines.  Read about it here.

Impeachment Inquiry/Second Whistleblower, Hong Kong Protests/U.S.-China Relations, Iraq Protests, 2020 Presidential Race, and NBA-China Rift Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The controversy surrounding the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry against President Trump and the word of a second whistleblower prepared to come forward with a complaint about the president’s interactions with foreign leaders; the protestors in Hong Kong defying the no-mask law and the related relations between the U.S. and China; the protests taking place in Iraq over mismanaged government and the violent response; the Democrats hoping to challenge Trump in 2020; and the NBA’s China problem after pro-democracy comments made by the Houston Rockets’ general manager were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Sports Talker JT The Brick Joins SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports Channel. Sports talk personality JT The Brick, a.k.a. John Tournour, is joining SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports channel to host the late-night show.  JT The Brick, who exited FOX Sports Radio in September of 2018, will host the Las Vegas-based “Brick at Night” show from 11:00 pm to 3:00 am ET Sunday through Thursday, beginning tonight (Sunday night/Monday morning shows will end at 2:00 am ET).  He comments, “I’m excited to be part of the best lineup in sports radio!  I have wanted to work with this great group of people for a long time.  Special thanks to SiriusXM for this opportunity.  Being on SiriusXM means we’ll be reaching more fans than ever, and I can’t wait!”  SiriusXM SVP of sports programming Steve Cohen says, “JT is a super-talented sports radio personality with the unique voice and strong and informed takes that sports fans love.  We’re very excited to expand his role on Mad Dog Sports Radio and give our listeners great sports talk late into the night coast to coast.”  Tournour also hosts “The Game Plan” podcast for the Oakland Raiders and has been a part of the Oakland Raiders broadcast team since 1998.

Alabama State Bar Declines to Act on Complaint Against Baron Coleman.  Attorney, political operative, and talk host Baron Coleman won’t be facing any action from the Alabama State Bar after a complaint filed by Eagle Forum of Alabama executive director Becky Gerritson.  In her complaint dated September 12, Gerritson stated Coleman violated professional conduct rules when he referred to her as a “big pharma whore” for speaking out against legal marijuana.  Gerritson accused Coleman of “dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation” because Eagle Forum of Alabama has not taken any money from big pharma.  In a radio rant, Coleman said, appearing to reference Gerritson, “And I’m going to destroy this bitch.  I’m going to absolutely destroy her.  Her life will never be the same.”  Coleman wrote in his response to the Alabama State Bar that he did not threaten Gerritson.  “He communicated to third parties, the audience, in a Constitutionally protected manner, a hyperbolic response to a very real threat to his livelihood in radio and law.  Gerritson’s bar complaint and contact of his advertisers were both strategically designed to completely bankrupt Coleman and leave him without a single source of income to care for his stay-at-home wife and seven school-age children.”  Coleman previously hosted a show on Bluewater Broadcasting’s news/talk WACV, Montgomery.  He currently broadcasts with co-host Dave Mowery on Little Engine Broadcasting’s classic hits WRBZ-AM/W238CE, Montgomery.  Read the AL.com story here.

TALKERS News Notes. A new podcast from WWE Hall-of-Famer Jerry Lawler launches on PodcastOne.  “The Jerry Lawler Show” features Lawler and co-host Sean Reedy reflecting on Lawler’s five-decade career as they invite superstar guests to join the conversation on the latest in the wrestling world.  Lawler says, “I’m thrilled to have a new home at PodcastOne, sharing a platform with stars like ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin.  Myself and my co-host, Sean Reedy, are both committed to giving my fans the best podcast possible.”…..Broadcaster and broker Larry Patrick – managing partner of both Legend Communications and Patrick Communications – is appointed to the NAB Radio board of directors by Radio board chair Dave Santrella, effective immediately.  Legend Communications operates 24 small-market radio stations in Wyoming. Larry Patrick is also a founder and investor in NRJ TV, which operates 11 major-market low-power television stations.  Patrick, along with his wife Susan Patrick, also owns Patrick Communications, one of the leading media brokerage firms in the broadcast business…..At its annual “Free Speech America” Gala tonight (10/7) at The Four Seasons Hotel in Washington, D.C., The Media Institute will bestow awards on Frederick J. Ryan, Jr., publisher and CEO of The Washington Post, and Caroline Beasley, CEO of Beasley Media Group, LLC.  Ryan will receive the Freedom of Speech Award for upholding principles of free speech and free press throughout a journalism career that has spanned print, broadcast, cable, and digital media.  Beasley will receive the American Horizon Award for her industry leadership, helping grow a family-owned radio business from a single AM station into a 65-station multi-media corporation.  The award will be presented by Senator Gordon Smith, president and CEO of the National Association of BroadcastersFCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks will deliver keynote remarks…..Envision Networks and Radio PA State Network announce a partnership to deliver EnvisionVirtualServices Weather Reports to more than 50 stations throughout the Keystone State.  Radio PA adds the weather reports following the successful launch of EnvisionVirtualServices Sports in July.  Meteorologist John Wetherbee says, “All the weather extremes hit Pennsylvania and we are dedicated to covering the ice and snow, the heat and the mean thunderstorms that rumble across the mountains down to the Delaware Valley.  And we don’t worry about TV or national forecasts.  Our weather experts have only one client, the local stations on Radio PA.  That way we do a better job!”…..At right are nationally syndicated GCN talk radio host and NBC Sports correspondent Kate Delaney (left) with Westwood One-syndicated late night talk host Jim Bohannon (right) at the recent NAB/RAB Radio Show in Dallas…..Pictured below is “Ground Zero” nationally syndicated talk show host Clyde Lewis at Friday’s Sun Broadcast Group 2020 Upfront Event at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.  SBG says the event was attended by more than 400 guests, including industry executives, programmers, buyers, and advertising agencies.

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

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In San Diego, on-air pro Marty Whitney joins Local Media San Diego’s alternative XETRA-FM “91X” to host the morning drive show with co-host Danielle Stuht.  Whitney served with the station as music director and evening personality back in the early 2000s.  He was most recently special programming producer for Apple Music Beats 1.  He comments, “The kook has come home to roost.  This legendary little station in TJ that hits all of SoCal is once again my home and I’m overwhelmed to join the great family at Local Media SD.”  XETRA program director Garett Michaels says, “Marty is ideal for mornings on ‘91X.’  His enthusiasm is contagious while his passion for the music, lifestyle, and culture of San Diego is always on display.  We love the positive energy he brings and we look forward to his contributions to our team.”…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that air personality Brooke Hunter is soon to be back on the Windy City airwaves as morning drive co-host with Kevin Kollins on Alpha Media’s suburban hot AC WSSR, Joliet.  Hunter will also voice track the evening show at sister country WCCQ, Crest Hill.  She was previously midday personality on iHeartMedia’s adult contemporary WLIT.

 

 

September 2019 PPM Data – September 2019 ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s PPM survey has been released for all 48 PPM markets.  See all the 6+ data from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from the following nine PPM markets.

Middlesex

Spoken-Word Formats – The top five (6+) September 2019 finishers in this metro are separated by six-tenths of a share with Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW setting the pace the eighth straight ratings period. “New Jersey 101.5,” however, has lost roughly 27% (-2.2) of its 6+-share in eight consecutive (January 2019 through September 2019) negative or neutral trends (8.1 – 7.9 – 7.5 – 7.3 – 7.1 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 6.6 – 5.9, 6+).

Leveling off at 3.5 (6+) following August’s gain of six-tenths (2.9 – 3.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” backslides from #12 to #13. New York City news/talk WABC doubled (+.6) its 6+ Middlesex-Somerset-Union share via three upticks in succession (.6 – .7 – .9 – 1.2, 6+), but surrenders four-tenths to .8 (#24 to #25, 6+).

Three straight gains by Entercom sports talk WFAN-FM (Yankees, Giants) yielded eight-tenths (3.6 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.4, 6+) but New York’s “Fan” falters by seven-tenths to 3.7 (ninth to tenth, 6+). Down a collective nine-tenths through three consecutive negative or neutral trends (2.5 – 2.1 – 1.6 – 1.6, 6+), similarly-programmed WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” halts the slide with a +.1 to 1.7 (#23 to #21, 6+).

While flat at #20, Entercom all-news WINS drops two-tenths to 1.9 (6+), thus snapping four consecutive increases that accounted for a one-half share gain (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 2.1, 6+). It is two-tenths ahead of co-owned/similarly-programmed WCBS-AM (Mets), which has lost eight-tenths in three slips in succession (2.5 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.7, #22 to #21+).

August’s increase of one-tenth to 2.0 (6+) by WNYC-FM curtailed three consecutive decreases that accounted for a collective loss of six-tenths (2.5 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+). In September, however, the WNYC Broadcasting Foundation public radio news/talk station regresses by one-half share to 1.5 (#21 to #23, 6+).

Middlesex Music Formats – In addition to posting an impressive +1.1, Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” zooms from eighth to second and is now just one-tenth behind frontrunner WKXW (see above). Four Middlesex upticks in a row by WCBS-FM have netted a +1.8 (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 5.8, 6); “New York’s Greatest Hits” last reached the five-share level (6+) in this New Jersey metro in March 2018 (5.5). Bumping up by eight-tenths each are Pillar of Fire contemporary Christian WAWZ “Star 99.1” and Entercom-owned WNYL “Alt 92.3 New York’s New Alternative” (#15 to #13). “Star” is a combined +.9 in August/September (3.3 – 3.4 – 4.2, 6+) and enters the top ten (#13 to #9) with its best 6+-stat since January (4.2, as well). “Alt 92.3” was down six-tenths in August to 2.7, its lowest 6+-stat since 2.5 in “Holiday” 2018. Stacking a +.7 onto August’s +.6 (4.4 – 5.0 – 5.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WAXQ “Q-104.3 – New York’s Classic Rock” jumps from sixth to third. Co-owned rhythmic CHR WKTU substitutes August’s loss of six-tenths with a September gain of that magnitude (3.1 – 2.5 – 3.1, #17 to #15, 6+). July’s +.3 interrupted three down or flat moves in a row by “103.5 KTU” that led to a loss of two-tenths (3.0 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+). Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” nets a +1.0 in five up or flat moves in succession (2.7 – 2.8 – 3.0 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.7, 6+) and repeats at #10. Off seven-tenths in four straight down or flat trends (3.7 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.0, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1” picks up one-tenth to 3.1 (6+) but backslides from #14 to #15. A combined -3.4 in June/July (3.8 – 2.0 – .4, #22 to #30, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WPLJ “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” disappeared from print in August but the former Cumulus Media-owned hot AC resurfaces in September with a .5 (#26, 6+). Following five successive improvements that yielded a +1.7 (3.4 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.1, 6+), Entercom hot AC WNEW “NEW 102.7” regresses by four-tenths to 4.7 (fifth to sixth, 6+). Immediately after posting an August increase of nine-tenths, Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WMGQ “Magic 98.3 – Today’s Hits/Yesterday’s Favorites” and Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 #1 For R&B” each relinquish eight-tenths in September. “Magic was a collective +1.9 in four consecutive positive or neutral trends (3.4 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 5.3, 6+) but drops to 4.5 (fourth to eighth, 6+); August’s 5.3 is its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2018’s 5.8. The 6.3 that WBLS recorded in August is its highest (6+) Middlesex performance since June’s 6.8. Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ “Mega 97.9” is without an increase the fifth straight time for a -1.1 since April (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.7 – 2.6, #15 to #17, 6+). Townsquare Media hot AC WJLK-FM “94.3 The Point” is down one-half share (.8 – .3, #30, 6+).

Nashville

Spoken-Word Formats – Notwithstanding it is up six-tenths as a result of four successive sweeps without a loss (3.1 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.7, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” downslides from #11 to #12. Steady at #17, iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC “Talk Radio 1510” recaptures one-tenth of August’s -.4 (1.4 – 1.5, 6+). July’s 1.8 is its best 6+-stat in nearly four years (2.0, October 2015).

In addition to being +2.0 as a result of three bumps in a row (2.7 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 4.7, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” (Tennessee Titans) reenters the top ten (#12 to #10). Prior to June, the last time WGFX fell below a three-share (6+) was July 2017 (2.7, as well). Cromwell Group-owned/similarly-formatted WPRT lost nearly two-thirds (-1.2) of its 6+ AQH-share in four straight down or flat moves (1.9 – 1.1 – .8 – .8 – .7, 6+) but “102.5 The Game” applies the brakes with a +.3 to 1.0 (#22 to #20, 6+).

Tacking on seven-tenths to August’s +1.1 (5.1 – 6.2 – 6.9, 6+), Nashville Public Radio’s WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” progresses from fourth to third. The news/talk/classical hybrid outlet was a combined +1.2 in May/June (4.4 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+) but lost one-half share in July (5.6 – 5.1, 6+).

Nashville Music Formats – Notching its third improvement in a row for a collective +1.5 (2.0 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.5, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WLVU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” climbs from #15 to #13 with its best 6+-stat (3.5) since April’s 3.7. Conversely, Salem Media Group’s similarly formatted WFFH “The Fish” has forfeited approximately 47% (-2.1) of its 6+-share as a result of three negative trends in succession (4.5 – 4.4 – 3.2 – 2.4, #12 to #14, 6+). This directly follows a collective +1.0 via four straight increases (3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+). On top the fifth month in a row, Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” is down six-tenths in August/September (9.8 – 9.5 – 9.2, 6+), directly after posting an overall +1.6 in three successive spikes (8.2 – 9.2 – 9.6 – 9.8, 6+). Seven recent (6+) WJXA fluctuations include: +1.9 (December 2018); +3.2 (“Holiday” 2018); -3.5 (January 2019); -1.3 (February); -.5 (March); -.6 (April); and +1.0 (May). WJXA’s “Holiday” 2018’s 14.1 is the highest 6+-share by any Nashville outlet since its 14.4 in “Holiday” 2017. Shifting from third to fourth, iHeartMedia classic rock WNRQ “105.9 The Rock” is a combined -1.3 in August/September (7.8 – 7.6 – 6.5, 6+). A loss of seven-tenths (3.1 – 2.4, unchanged at #14, 6+) takes Cromwell-owned WBUZ “102.9 The Buzz Nashville’s Rock Station” to its lowest 6+showing since March (2.4, as well). Midwest Communications CHR WNFN returns 60% of August’s +1.0 (2.9 – 2.3, -.6, #15 to #16, 6+). Prior to August, “106.7 Nashville’s New Hit Music” logged a 1.9 (6+) in three of the previous four sweeps (1.9 – 1.9 – 1.6 – 1.9, 6+); August’s 2.9 represents its best 6+-showing in nearly two years (3.0, October 2017). Its format rival, iHeartMedia’s WRVW “107.5 The River,” has a March 2019 through September 2019 topline of: 5.3 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 5.7 (seventh to sixth, 6+). An overall +1.3 via four increases in a row (4.2 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 5.5, 6+), Cumulus Media urban AC WQQK “92-Q” falters by three-tenths to 5.2 (seventh to eighth, 6+). In August, “92-Q” reached a five-share for the first time since “Holiday” 2018 (5.5, as well). By picking up four-tenths to 6.0 (flat at #5), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUBT “101.1 The Beat” suspends three reports in succession without an increase that accounted for a -1.2 (6.8 – 6.3 – 5.6 – 5.6, 6+) and its lowest 6+-share (5.6) since December 2016’s 4.9. All three of Nashville’s country FMs record modest August 2019 – September 2019 decreases as the (6+) format share shrinks by one-half share. Falling from fifth to seventh, iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” is a combined -.8 in August/September (6.2 – 5.6 – 5.4, 6+), immediately after its +2.7 in seven consecutive sweeps without a loss (3.5 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 6.2, 6+). “The Big 98” reached the six-share level (July 2019, 6.2, 6+) for the first time since April 2017’s 6.1. An August increase of two-tenths by Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted WKDF interrupted three straight losses that resulted in a -1.6 (6.3 – 5.8 – 5.3 – 4.7, 6+), but “103.3 Nash FM” returns one-tenth to 4.8 (flat at #9, 6+). In advance of the aforementioned negative streak, “Nash FM” was a collective +2.2 in five straight gains (4.1 – 4.2 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.3, 6+). Co-owned WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” has lost an overall seven-tenths in four straight sweeps without an increase (5.2 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 4.5, 6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #11).

Providence

Spoken-Word Formats – August’s three-tenths’ gain by Cumulus Media’s WPRO-AM halted three consecutive down or flat sweeps that accounted for a loss of seven-tenths (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+). “News Talk 630,” however, relinquishes one-half share in September (3.4 – 2.9, seventh to eighth, 6+). Without an increase the seventh time in a row for a two-thirds reduction (-1.4) of its 6+-AQH share (2.1 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.3 – .9 – .9 – .7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news/talk WHJJ “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” drops from a three-way tie at #16 to #19. Flat at #20, Cumulus Media’s WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business” has lost four-tenths via three successive down or flat moves (.7 – .5 – .4 – .3 – .3, 6+).

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

This is the fifth consecutive ratings periods without an increase for iHeartMedia Boston hybrid news – talk WBZ-AM, which has lost four-tenths in that timeframe (1.3 – 1.2 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .9 – .9, 6+). “News Radio 1030” moves from a three-way tie at #17 to #18.

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

Providence Music Formats – After occupying the lead position three months in a row, iHeartMedia-owned WHJY segued to the runner-up slot in August, but “94 HJY Providence’s Home of Rock & Roll” posts a September +.7 (8.6 – 9.3) and is back at #1. A combined -1.6 in July/August (10.2 – 9.8  – 8.6, 6+), WHJY lost nine-tenths in April, forcing it from the penthouse after three straight months there. The decline halted four consecutive positive or flat moves that netted a +2.0 (8.5 – 9.8 – 9.8 – 9.8 – 10.5, 6+). Before taking over at #1 in January, WHJY was at #2 September 2018 through “Holiday” 2018. Ousted from first-place and segueing to third is Hall Broadcasting country WCTK, which erodes by -1.0 (9.3 – 8.3, 6+). Entering the September sweep, “Cat Country 98.1” was a collective +1.7 in three straight upticks (7.6 – 8.5 – 8.6 – 9.3, 6+), with August’s 9.3 representing its highest 6+-share since 10.1, in July 2018 – the last time WCTK reached #1. Cumulus Media rhythmic CHR WWKX “Hot 106,” which was -1.0 in three losses in a row (2.4 – 2.3 – 1.8 – 1.4,  6+), makes up 60% of that deficit with a +.6 to 2.0 (6+) and reenters the top ten (three-way tie at #11 to #10). Notching increases of one-half share each are iHeartMedia-owned hot AC WSNE “Coast 93.3” (unchanged at #6) and Bryant University classical WJMF (#19 to #15). Eight recent (6+) shifts for “Coast” include: -.9 (November 2018); -1.0 (Holiday” 2018); +.5 (March); +.5 (May); -.7 (June); +1.4 (July); -.5 in August; and +.5 in September (5.2 – 5.7, 6+). Prior to June’s loss of seven-tenths, WSNE was a collective +1.2 in three consecutive improvements (3.8 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 5.0, 6+). WJMF quadruples (+.9) its 6+ stat in August/September (.3 – .7 – 1.2, 6+) and reaches the one-share mark (1.2, 6+) for the first time since February’s 1.0. Up an overall full-share as a result of three straight sweeps without a loss (7.2 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.2, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWBB “B-101” surrenders seven-tenths to 7.5 (6+) but carries on in fourth-place. It is a beneficial sweep for the market’s mainstream CHRs as three such stations improve the (6+) format share by a collective nine-tenths. More to the point, Cumulus Media’s WPRO-FM “Today’s Hit Music 92 PRO-FM,” which was down seven-tenths in three straight negative or neutral trends (7.4 – 7.4 – 6.8 – 6.7, 6+), pulls the plug with a +.3 to 7.0 (6+) and continues in fifth-place. Townsquare Media’s WFHN “Fun 107 – The South Coast’s #1 Hit Music Station” adds four-tenths in August and September (1.4 – 1.8 – 2.2, tenth to ninth, 6+). WFHN more than tripled (+3.0) its 6+-stat as a result of six successive up or flat moves (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 4.2, 6+) but then was -2.8 via six consecutive down or flat reports (4.2 – 3.7 – 2.6 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.6 – 1.4, January through July, 6+). Regaining the two-tenths it lost in August (1.6 – 1.4 – 1.6, 6+) iHeartMedia’s WXKS-FM advances from a three-way tie at #11 to #12. Prior to August’s -.2, Boston’s “Kiss 108” was up a collective half-share as a result of five successive positive or neutral Providence moves (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.6, 6+). Unlisted for the third month in a row are Red Wolf Broadcasting Spanish tropical WKKB “Latina 100.3,” which posted a 1.2 in June (#16, 6+) and classic hits-oldies sibling WSKP “Good Times … Great Oldies” (.8, #19, June 2019, 6+).

Norfolk

Spoken-Word Formats – Ever since reappearing in print, Max Broadcast Group sports talk WVSP “ESPN Radio 94.1” has a July-August-September topline of: 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.8 (#14 to #12, 6+).

Norfolk Music Formats – Here’s one for the “What Are The Odds”? Department. Saga Communications-owned WNOR “FM 99 Rocks” (+2.1) was the only station in all 48 PPM-markets to register a (6+) July 2019 – August 2019 increase of at least two full-shares. Other than in all-Christmas music sweeps (December and “Holiday”), such lofty improvements are rare. Now for the oddity: There was only one station in all 48 PPM-markets that posted a (6+) August 2019 – September 2019 increase of at least two full-shares. No, it isn’t WNOR, which would have been quite incredible, but Norfolk again claims the noteworthy accomplishment and it’s by a station accustomed to huge accolades. A combined -2.3 in July/August (11.4 – 10.0 – 9.1, 6+), Entercom urban AC WVKL “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” obliterates that shortfall in one fell swoop with a +2.3 to 11.4 (6+) and is #1 the ninth consecutive month. Prior to August’s 9.1 (6+), WVKL last failed to log double-digits (6+) in January 2014 (9.8). WVKL was a combined -2.4 in March/April (12.9 – 11.6 – 10.5, 6+) and then added a +1.0 in May to 11.5 (6+). “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” had been the market pacesetter 25 successive survey periods before segueing to the runner-up slot in “Holiday” 2018. Its August 2018 15.5 holds the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. Getting back to aforementioned WNOR (repeating at #2), “99 Rocks” hasn’t had a decrease the last six survey periods and is +3.2 in that March 2019 through September 2019 stretch (5.9 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 6.8 – 6.8 – 8.9 – 9.1, 6+). Furthermore, this (9.1) marks the first time in the PPM-era that WNOR has appeared in print with a 6+-share reaching the nine-share level (6+). Erasing August’s six-tenths loss with a September increase of nine-tenths (4.7 – 4.1 – 5.0, 6+), Max Broadcast Group’s country WGH-FM “97.3 The Eagle” flies from seventh to fifth. Adult contemporary sibling WVBW “92.9 The Wave” adds six-tenths to August’s uptick of eight-tenths (3.4 – 4.2 – 4.8, 6+) yet moves from sixth to seventh. Entercom’s similarly-formatted WWDE “101.3 2WD,” which was a combined +.6 in July/August (4.4 – 4.8 – 5.0, 6+), is down one-tenth to 4.9 (fifth to sixth, 6+). Owing to three setbacks in succession, Saga Communications’ WAFX “106.9 The Fox – Hampton Roads’ Classic Rock” is a whopping -3.0 (8.2 – 7.0 – 6.6 – 5.2, 6+) but remains at #4. The last time “The Fox” (5.2) fell below a six-share (6+) was in December 2018 (5.5). A combined +.6 in July/August, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WOWI “103 Jamz” forfeits eight-tenths to 7.5 (flat at #3, 6+). In eight straight survey periods without a loss, iHeartMedia alternative WNOH nearly tripled (+1.4) its 6+-stat (.8 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.9 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+), but “Alt 105.3” drops two-tenths to 2.0 (6+) and continues at #11.

Jacksonville

Spoken-Word Formats – Remaining on fire, Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV-FM is +2.9 in three straight positive spikes (7.5 – 8.0 – 9.0 – 10.4, 6+). Moreover, “104.5 Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” is #1 the third month in a row. July’s increase halted five consecutive down or flat sweeps that accounted for a collective -2.9 (10.4 – 9.7 – 8.8 – 8.6 – 8.6 – 7.5, 6+). Tied for the top spot in May, WOKV-FM had sole possession of first-place in January, February, and April and has its best 6+-stat since January (10.4 as well).

A combined +.5 in August/September (.2 – .5 – .7, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk WFXJ “930 The Game – Jacksonville’s Sports Leader” inches up from #19 to #18. August’s +.3 halted nine consecutive sweeps without an increase that accounted for a net loss of 75% (-.6) of its 6+-stat (.8 – .7 – .6 – .6 – .5 – .3 – .3 -.3 – .2 – .2, 6+).

Public radio news/talk WJCT, which lost nine-tenths in five consecutive down or flat trends (3.7 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+), halts that streak with a +.3 to 3.1 (#13 to #11). Immediately prior to April, “Your Community – Your World” was a cumulative +1.5 in five increases in a row (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.7, 6+).

Jacksonville Music Formats – Ironically, a +1.4 (3.1 – 4.5, 6+) takes iHeartMedia gospel WKSL-HD3 into the top ten (#11 to #9, 6+), but a -1.4 (4.1 – 2.7, 6+) sends co-owned CHR WKSL-FM “97.9 Kiss-FM” out of the top ten (#10 to #13). WKSL-HD3 is +1.2 via three straight gains (2.3 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 4.5, 6+); meanwhile, “Kiss-FM” continues a March-commenced alternating up/down pattern: 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 5.2 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 2.7 (6+). Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL “96.9 The Eagle,” which was -2.1 in three straight decreases (8.6 – 8.1 – 7.3 – 6.5, 6+), interrupts that streak with a +.2 to 6.7 (fourth to third, 6+). Following a March-only stay at #1, “The Eagle” shifted to a second-place tie in April; progressed to a first-place tie in May; and had sole possession of first-place in June. In five consecutive bumps, adult contemporary cluster-mate WEZI was an overall +2.4 (4.5 – 4.9 – 5.1 – 5.9 – 6.3 – 6.9, 6+) but “Easy 102.9” surrenders one-third of that increase (6.1, -.8, third to fourth, 6+). August’s 6.9 represents the highest 6+-showing for “Easy” in its approximately four-year AC history. A combined +1.1 in January/February, WEZI surrendered roughly half that gain with a March loss of six-tenths. An August improvement of three-tenths by Renda Broadcasting’s similarly-programmed WEJZ suspended four decreases in a row that resulted in a collective -1.5 (8.7 – 8.3 – 7.6 – 7.5 – 7.2, 6+) but is followed by a -.1 (7.5 – 7.4, flat at #2, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 16.3 by “Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” is the highest 6+-mark for any station in this Florida market since “Holiday” 2015 when WEJZ notched a 19.5 (6+). Co-owned WGNE “99.9 Gator Country,” a combined +1.2 in July/August (3.5 – 4.3 – 4.7, 6+), surrenders two-tenths to 4.5 (eighth to ninth, 6+).

West Palm Beach

Spoken-Word Formats – An overall +2.0 in six successive sweeps without a loss (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 4.0, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” falters by two-tenths to 3.8 (6+) but continues in sixth-place. June marked the first time WJNO reached the three-share level since December 2017’s 3.3. In addition to being an overall +1.0 via four straight upticks (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.7, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting’s WFTL “News Talk 850” cracks the top ten (#11 to #10) with its strongest 6+-stat (2.7) since December 2018’s 2.9. Flat at #13, iHeartMedia-owned news/talk WZZR “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk For The Palm Beaches” returns one-tenth of its August +.2 (2.1 – 2.0, 6+). August’s gain curtailed three straight down or flat sweeps that accounted for a loss of four-tenths (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+). Miami news/talk sibling WIOD “610 News Radio,” which was +.4 via three straight improvements (.6 – .8 – .9 – 1.0, 6+), is down three-tenths to .7 (6+) and exits the top twenty (#19 to #21).

Unchanged at #22, Hubbard Broadcasting’s WMEN “Fox Sports 640 AM South Florida” doubles (+.3) its 6+ share in three straight sweeps without a loss (.3 – .3 – .4 – .6, 6+). After posting a .1 (6+) in August 2018, iHeartMedia-owned sports talk WBZT “1230 The Zone” has been a “no-show” in the ensuing 14 ratings periods.

The alternating down/up March 2019 through September 2019 topline for Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN is: 3.1 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 3.0 (tenth to ninth, 6+).

West Palm Beach Music Formats – Up a collective seven-tenths in three straight sweeps without a loss (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.7, 6+), iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary WZTU “Tu 94.9” advances from #18 to #15. In three consecutive up or flat trends, co-owned/similarly-formatted WRLX was a collective +1.7 (2.0 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+), but “Mia 92.1” erodes by -1.0 to 2.7 (seventh to tenth, 6+). Moody Bible Institute gospel/religious teaching WRMB “89.3 Moody Radio” gains six-tenths in August/September (.7 – .8 – 1.3, #19, 6+) and has its highest 6+-stat (1.3) since March (1.5). Four successive setbacks by Hubbard Broadcasting hot AC WRMF that resulted in a -3.4 (11.2 – 9.0 – 8.8 – 8.2 – 7.8, 6+) are directly followed by an August/September +.7 (7.8 – 8.3 – 8.5, 6+). Over and above that, WRMF “Variety from the 90s and Now” is #1 the ninth time in a row. Whereas July’s 7.8 is WRMF’s lowest 6+-share – and first time below an eight-share (6+) since “Holiday” 2016 (7.7) – 11.2 in March is its best 6+-share since November 2017 (11.2, as well). In the adult contemporary arena, Hubbard Broadcasting’s WEAT-FM “Sunny 107.9” plummets by -2.2 in August/September (6.6 – 5.1 – 4.4, third to fourth, 6+). The last time WEAT fell below a five-share (6+) was in October 2018 (4.6). When “Sunny” gained one-tenth in July, it suspended three straight decreases that accounted for an overall -1.7 (8.2 – 7.0 – 6.8 – 6.5, 6+). Meanwhile, the three most recent fluctuations for iHeartMedia-owned/similarly-formatted WOLL “Today’s Kool 105.5” are -.8 (July); +1.0 (August); and -.5 in September (7.2 – 6.4 – 7.4 – 6.9, flat at #2, 6+). Whereas August 2019’s 7.4 is the best 6+-showing for “Kool” since July 2016’s 7.5; July 2019’s 6.4 (6+) is its softest since March (6.4, as well). Trending 3.1 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.1 (April through September, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting’s WIRK “New Country 103.1” continues in eighth-place.

Greensboro

Spoken-Word Formats – In July/August, iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI racked up a +1.1 (3.2 – 3.8 – 4.3, 6+). Not only does that vanish in September, owing to a -1.3 to 3.0 (6+), “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” exits the top ten (#10 to #11). August’s 4.3 is its best 6+-stat since February’s 4.4.

Forfeiting the two-tenths it picked up in four straight sweeps without a loss (.8 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0, 6+), Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS “Triad Sports” drops from #14 to #16 (.8, 6+).

Up one-tenth (2.3 – 2.4, 6+), Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” is at #13 the 17th consecutive ratings period. In five successive up or flat moves, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC has more than tripled (+1.2) its 6+ AQH-share (.5 – .8 – .8 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.7, steady at #14, 6+).

Greensboro Music Formats – A whopping +2.1 in August/September (8.8 – 9.5 – 10.9, 6+), WSMW “98.7 Simon Says We Play Everything” repeats at #1 and is in double-digits (10.9, 6+) the first time since July 2018 (10.0). The Entercom adult hits outlet has been on top in March, June, August, and September. Its nine (6+) fluctuations in 2019 are: +.9 (January); -.6 (February); +.9 (March); -1.6 (April); +1.1 (May); +.5 (June); -1.0 (July); +.7 (August); and +1.4 (September). Prior to its March stay at #1, WSMW last reached the top in August 2016 when it logged a 10.5 (6+). Stuck on 6.6 (6+) in July and August, Entercom rhythmic CHR WJMH “102 Jamz” erupts with a +1.0 to 7.6 (fourth to third, 6+). Co-owned country WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” replicates August’s +.8 (5.2 – 6.0 – 6.8, sixth to fourth, 6+) and records its best 6+-stat (6.8) in almost two years (7.1, October 2017). This August/September +1.6 comes directly after being down or flat three reports in a row for an overall loss of one-half share (5.7 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.2, 6+). Before dropping two-tenths in March, “The Wolf” had three consecutive shifts of one-half share: -.5 (“Holiday” 2018); +.5 (January 2019); and +.5 (February). Similarly-formatted/iHeartMedia-owned WTQR “Q-104.1 – #1 for New Country” repeats its August (6+) share (5.9) and market rank (#7). Up six-tenths in August, WTQR has a May 2019 through September topline of: 5.7 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.9 – 5.9 (6+). In three straight sweeps without an increase, “Q-104.1” was a cumulative -1.0 (6.0 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.0, 6+), but erased 70% of that deficit in May with a +.7 to 5.7 (6+). Over the course of the last 17 sweeps (June 2018 through September 2019), WTQR has prevailed over WPAW ten times (June 2018, July, August, September, October, November, “Holiday” 2018, January 2019, May, and July); WPAW has come out on top six times (December 2018, February 2019, March, April, August, and September; and there has been one tie (June 2019 when both stations logged a 5.3, 6+). Improving by one-half share each are two stations on opposite ends of the spectrum: Dick Broadcasting CHR WKZL “107.5 KZL The #1 Hit Music Station” (eighth to sixth) and Positive Alternative Radio gospel WXRI “Joy FM – Real Music/Real Life,” which doubles its 6+ AQH share (.5 – 1.0, #17 to #15). In three straight up or flat trends, WKZL improves by nine-tenths (5.1 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 6.0, 6+) and has its best 6+-stat (6.0) since January’s 6.3. After netting +2.3 via five straight upticks (2.5 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.8, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned rocker WVBZ relinquishes roughly 35% of that increase (4.0, -.8, 6+) but continues in ninth-place. In June, “105.7 – Man Up” reached the four-share level (4.1, 6+) for the first time since November 2018’s 4.0. A combined +.5 in June/July (7.9 – 8.1 – 8.4, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMAG “The Best Variety of the ‘80s, ‘90s, and Today” follows with a -2.1 in August/September (8.4 – 6.9 – 6.3, third to fifth, 6+).

Memphis

Spoken-Word Formats – Not only does iHeartMedia news/talk WREC jump from eighth to sixth, “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” nets +1.1 in four consecutive spikes and crosses the five-share threshold (4.1 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 5.2, 6+).

A gain of three-tenths to 2.6 (#13 to #12, 6+) by Entercom sports talk WMFS “ESPN Sports Radio” halts seven consecutive down or flat trends that led to its lowest 6+-stat since July 2018 (2.3) and a collective -1.7 (4.0 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 2.3, 6+). Without an increase the past 14 sweeps (including twelve consecutive .1 showings) for a collective loss of three-tenths (.4 – .4 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 -.1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1, 6+), co-owned WMC-AM “ESPN 790” breaks the slump with a +.2 to .3 (#21 to #20, 6+).

Memphis Music Formats – Cumulus Media urban-rhythmic oldies WRBO “103.5 The Best Mix of R&B,” which was a collective -.2.7 via four successive downturns (9.1 – 8.7 – 7.5 – 7.1 – 6.4, 6+), roars back with a +1.1 to 7.5 (fifth to third, 6+). Prior to logging August 2019’s 6.4, WRBO last fell below a seven-share (6+) in August 2015 (6.9). Albeit off six-tenths in August/September (10.1 – 9.8 – 9.5, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS “V-101” is #1 the 11th time in a row. July’s increase of three-tenths suspended four straight down or flat trends that accounted for a -1.8 (11.6 – 11.4 – 10.4 – 10.4 – 9.8, 6+). KJMS reached double-digits (6+) 14 successive ratings periods before June’s -.6 to 9.8 (6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 12.8 is the highest 6+-share since December 2012’s 13.5 for “V-101,” which was +2.3 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (10.5 – 11.5 – 12.8, 6+). Despite suffering a -1.0 (9.4 – 8.4, 6+), urban contemporary sibling WHRK “K-97.1” continues in the runner-up slot but has its lowest 6+-stat (8.4) since May’s 7.7. Still in that iHM cluster, gospel WHAL “Halleluiah 95.7 Memphis’ Inspiration Station” drops six-tenths (6.8 – 6.2, 6+), slipping from third to fifth. Three consecutive setbacks by Entercom’s country-formatted WLFP (4.3 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.5, 6+) account for a net loss of eight-tenths as “94.1 The Wolf” departs the top ten (#10 to #11). Its format rival – Cumulus Media’s WGKX – repeats August’s 6+ share (4.1) and market rank (#9). Entering the August sweep, “Kix 106 – Today’s Best Country” had been down or flat four successive reports for a collective -1.2 (4.6 – 4.5 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+) but gained seven-tenths (to 4.1, 6+). Entercom adult contemporary WRVR “104.5 The River,” which was -.8 in July and +.8 in August (6.6 – 5.8 – 6.6, 6+), is off one-tenth to 6.5 (6+) but stays at #4. In advance of June’s +.1, “The River” was an overall -2.4 in three straight declines (8.9 – 7.8 – 7.7 – 6.5, 6+); “Holiday” 2018’s 11.3 is its strongest 6+-performance since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.9 (#6). Recent (6+) WRVR fluctuations include: +2.0 (“Holiday” 2018); -3.1 (January 2019); +.7 (February); -1.1 (March); -1.2 (May); -.8 (July); and +.8 (August). Cumulus Media’s similarly-programmed WKIM “98.9 The Bridge” doubles (+.7) its 6+ AQH share in August/September (.7 – 1.2 – 1.4, #16 to #15, 6+). “The Bridge” reached the five-share level (6+) in “Holiday” 2018, but was a combined -4.0 in January/February (5.1 – 1.3 – 1.1, 6+).

Hartford

Spoken-Word Formats – Powered by a +1.2 (6.2 – 7.4, 6+), Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM “News Talk 1080” leaps from seventh to second. Unchanged at #14, Red Wolf Broadcasting news/talk WDRC-AM “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” continues an alternating down/up pattern that began in April 2019: .9 – .8 – 1.0 – .5 – .6 – .4 (6+). A “no-show” in June 2018, iHeartMedia’s WPOP “News Radio 1410” has logged a .1 (6+) in each of the subsequent 16 survey periods and remains at #16.

Down three-tenths in four straight sweeps without an increase (1.8 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk WUCS “97.9 ESPN Hartford” ends the slump with a +.2 to 1.7 (steady at #12, 6+).

For the third report in a row, Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” has a shift of one-tenth (4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+) and carries on in ninth place. July’s increase interrupted three straight drops that accounted for a collective -1.1 (5.3 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 4.2, 6+). University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio,” whose 6+ AQH share was sliced exactly in half (-.8) via three drops in succession (1.6 – 1.2 – 1.0 – .8, 6+), applies the brakes with a +.3 to 1.1 (flat at #13, 6+).

Hartford Music Formats – Virtually eliminating June/July’s -1.4 (10.8 – 10.4 – 9.4, 6+) with an August/September +1.3 (9.4 – 9.5 – 10.7, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WRCH “Lite 100.5” is #1 the 39th consecutive time. Nine recent (6+) WRCH shifts include: -.8 (November 2018); +1.8 (December); -6.9 (January); +1.0 (February; -1.0 (March); -1.3 (April); +1.0 (May); -1.0 (July); and +1.2 (September). “Holiday” 2018’s +5.6 was to 18.0, the strongest 6+-showing for any Hartford station since WRCH recorded an 18.3 in “Holiday” 2017). Prior to slipping to 9.8 in April, “Lite” was in double-digits (6+) in 30 of the previous 32 sweeps. A setback of seven-tenths (6.8 – 6.1, fifth to seventh, 6+) takes co-owned hot AC WTIC-FM “96.5 TIC” to 6.1, its lowest 6+-showing since 6.0 in “Holiday” 2014. An August +1.0 by Red Wolf Broadcasting alternative WMRQ suspended six straight down or flat trends that resulted in a collective -1.5 (4.6 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 3.4 – 3.1, 6+). In September, however, “Radio 104.1” surrenders one-half share (4.1 – 3.6, 6+) and continues in tenth-place. Entercom adult contemporary WMAS-FM, which ranked #12 in July (1.5, 6+), is unlisted for the second month in a row.

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, May 8, 2019

| May 8, 2019

It’s Official: Rich Zeoli Moves to AM Drive on WPHT, Philadelphia. Afternoon drive personality Rich Zeoli is making the move to the WPHT, Philadelphia’s morning drive daypart, effective May 13. Zeoli is taking over the show most recently hosted by Chris Stigall, who exited the station earlier this year. Entercom Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff says, “Rich is a compelling and thought-provoking radio host and we’re looking forward to seeing him shine in the mornings on WPHT. From interviewing the president to covering what’s hot in pop culture or entertainment, to Rich’s passion for recognizing local police officers, his funny and poignant style always shines a light on what everyone is talking about.” Zeoli comments, “For years I have had one simple goal: to blend information and humor to make entertaining talk radio. Moving to mornings is an honor and a challenge and I’m thrilled that my team will be moving with me.” Zeoli has been with the company since joining as a talk host in 2010.   He became afternoon drive host in 2015.  Zeoli is also the founder of RZC Impact, a communications firm specializing in media training, public speaking, and strategy. His clients have included Fortune 100 C-Suite executives, national television personalities, and bestselling authors. He is the author of The Seven Principles of Public Speaking: Proven Methods of a PR Pro (2008, Skyhorse).  WPHT has made no statement about its plans for the now-open afternoon drive depart.

Nashville Sports Talk Personality George Plaster Launching Daily Show on WSM-AM. The Tennessean reports that Nashville sports talk personality George Plaster is returning to the air full time to host a daily, afternoon sports talk show on Grand Ole Opry’s country WSM-AM, effective July 15.  Plaster has been serving as athletics director at Belmont University since 2016.  Plaster first started doing sports talk radio on WWTN-FM, Nashville in 1989. From 2003 through 2012, he hosted afternoons on crosstown WGFX-FM “The Zone,” and moved to WPRT-FM “102.5 FM The Game” in 2012.  Despite its afternoon drive air time, the show will be called “Sports Night with George Plaster.”

Connoisseur Sells Billings Cluster to Desert Mountain Broadcasting. The Billings, Montana cluster of six stations owned by Connecticut-based Connoisseur Media is going to Desert Mountain Broadcasting for $3 million in a just-announced deal.  The cluster includes news/talk KYYA and sports talk KBLG in addition to four music-formatted brands.  Connoisseur regional vice president and general manager Cameron Maxwell formed Desert Mountain Broadcasting in 2018 with the intention of acquiring the stations.  He says, “And now I’m in the very rare position to be able to launch my new media company by purchasing from these exceptional broadcasters six radio stations I’ve helped to create.  I’m forever grateful for this incredible time with Connoisseur Media and the constant mentoring they’ve provided.  With this first acquisition, Desert Mountain Broadcasting launches today on a solid foundation, built upon the values and best practices embedded in me by [Connoisseur CEO] Jeff [Warshaw], [CFO] Mike [Driscoll], and COO David Bevins.”

TALKERS CONVENTION SPOTLIGHT: Attracting Younger Demos to Talk Radio. Among the challenges news/talk radio faces today is the aging of its audience and the desire by many broadcasters to attract younger listeners to the format. Opinions on how to achieve this – and there are those who question whether it can be achieved at all – vary greatly.  Some believe broadcasting on FM is a necessary first step while others say the whole approach to the format must be re-thought for the Millennial generation.  At Talkers 2019: Telling the Story, set for New York on Friday, June 7, TALKERS executive editor Kevin Casey will moderate a panel of broadcasters to discuss “Attracting Younger Demos to Talk Radio.”  Panelists include (pictured below): Mike “Bax” Baxendale, host, WAQY, Springfield, MA “Rock 102”; Greg Foster, VP of programming and national news/talk brand coordinator, iHeartMedia and KOA, Denver PD; John T. Mullen, operations manager, WRHU-FM, Hofstra University; Sid Rosenberg, host, WABC, New York; Rich Zeoli, host, WPHT, Philadelphia.  The conference is rapidly moving toward being an early sellout.  To see the entire up-to-the-minute agenda and for registration/hotel information, please click here.

TALKERS News Notes. Philadelphia all-news KYW gets a brand refresh as Entercom unveils a new logo and an update to its iconic jingle.  The company says the changes reflect “its multiplatform growth and evolution.”  KYW worked with legendary arranger and Philadelphia native Larry Gold on the modern update to its beloved jingle. Entercom SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff says, “KYW Newsradio has evolved into a modern news organization serving a wide range of listeners across various platforms and we are proud to introduce visual and audio enhancements that reflect who the station is today.  The station is a local treasure that remains an integral part of the city and to honor those roots, we worked with hometown artists to capture its essence and develop the refreshed brand identity.  Everyone in town sings our jingle and we’re thrilled to introduce this new contemporary sound.”  Check it out here…..Sun Broadcast Group announces the opening of its West Coast office in Los Angeles as part of its expansion efforts and the hiring of Ed Moloney as affiliate content director, effective immediately.  The company says Moloney will affiliate stations for all SBG shows and services, maintain relationships with current affiliates, and support other programming efforts for new additions to the SBG line up such as “Ground Zero with Clyde Lewis” and more.  For the past eight years, Moloney programmed the syndicated version of JACK FM.  He has also served with Westwood One, Entertainment Radio Networks, KCBS and KYSR, Los Angeles and WBCN, Boston…..Townsquare Media’s news/talk WPGG-AM, Atlantic City is changing its FM simulcast to 95.5 FM.  The company announces that, effective immediately, the station is being heard there in addition to 104.1 and, of course, 1450 AM.  But, the 104.1 FM simulcast will eventually go away.  Townsquare also says it’s not done making major announcements about the station, saying, “WPG is getting even bigger and better very soon…” Stay tuned!

MIW Radio Group Announces 2019 Mildred Carter Mentoring Program Participants. The Mentoring & Inspiring Women in Radio (MIW) Group announces the four radio professionals selected to participate as mentees in the 2019 MIW Group Mildred Carter Mentoring Program.  They are: Andrea Clay, national sales manager, Beasley Media Group Charlotte; Katy Dempsey, program director and morning show host, Bryan Broadcasting, College Station, Texas; Nicole Jones, manager of sales training & development, Cumulus Media Chicago; and Jennifer Seelig, director of news & programming, Entercom San Francisco.  The MIW Group’s signature mentoring program matches up-and-coming women in the radio industry with female professionals recognized as leaders in all aspects of radio broadcasting.  Beasley Media Group, LLC is, for the second year in a row, serving as the lead sponsor of this year’s program.  Lindsay Cerajewski, chair of the 2019 MIW Group Mentoring Committee and national sales manager/new business development, Entercom Chicago says, “Each year, this coveted program generates more and more interest and therefore applications.  We are very encouraged by the quantity and quality of candidates desiring to grow their careers in radio, and this year’s class definitely reflects the excellence we’re seeing in our applications.  Let the mentoring begin!”

Mueller Report/Barr Contempt Vote, U.S.-China Trade War, Iran Nuclear Deal, NYTimes Trump Losses Story, 2020 Presidential Politics, Colorado School Shooting, and North Korea Missile Test Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/7). The ongoing reactions to the release of the redacted version of the Mueller Report and Democrats’ option to consider Attorney General William Barr in contempt of congress for his refusal to turn over the complete report; the financial markets react to President Trump’s reigniting the tariff war with China; Iran backs out of the nuclear deal it entered into with six other nations; The New York Times’ story about Trump’s business losses from 1985 to 1994; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; Tuesday’s shooting at a Colorado high school that left one dead and several injured; and North Korea’s latest missile test 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 “Todd & Jayde” morning show announced that May 31 will be the last broadcast on WPLJ-FM, New York as a hot AC outlet.  Owner Cumulus Media is selling the iconic FM to Educational Media Foundation and that company will flip the station to a Christian music format…..The Daily Chronicle reports that Bustos Media is acquiring the Centralia, Washington FM KFNY from the Ocean Station II Trust, operated by iHeartMedia.  The station has been airing a smooth jazz format for the past couple of years as it awaited acquisition by another broadcaster.  Bustos owns KDDS-FM in the market that currently airs a regional Mexican format.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

| May 2, 2019

TALKERS CONVENTION SPOTLIGHT: Navigating Year Three of the Trump Presidency. The president’s idiosyncratic governing style, his social media habits, and his war on the media have made the Donald Trump presidency one of the most challenging for talk radio hosts – but they’ve also made his presidency a bonanza for hosts who handle it properly.  Talkers 2019: Telling the Story, set for New York on Friday, June 7, is featuring Phil Boyce, who is Salem Media Group SVP/spoken word format and VP/operations Salem Radio Network, as he delivers a presentation titled, “Navigating Year Three of the Trump Presidency.”  In this session, Boyce explains the programming strategies his Salem personalities use to capitalize on the Trump presidency.  There is still time to register but the conference is rapidly approaching sellout status.  To see the entire up-to-the-minute agenda and for registration/hotel information, please click here.

Changes Take Place at WICC, Bridgeport.  Programmer Mike Bellamy exits news/talk WICC-AM, Bridgeport, Connecticut as Connoisseur Media takes over operation of the station under an LMA.  Connoisseur is acquiring the station as part of a swap with Cumulus Media.  Bellamy, who’d been with the station for 12 years, announced his departure in a Facebook post.  Bellamy also co-hosted the morning drive show with Tony Reno.  He remains on board and air personality Melissa Sheketoff moves to the morning show as his co-host.

KYW, Philadelphia to Present ‘Jill on Money Live.’ Philadelphia all-news outlet KYW Newsradio is presenting “Jill on Money LIVE” – a local event featuring CBS business analyst Jill Schlesinger at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel on May 22.  The live chat is in support of Schlesinger’s first book, The Dumb Things Smart People Do with Their Money: Thirteen Ways to Right Your Financial Wrongs, and will focus on matters pertaining to retirement, college financing, insurance, real estate, and more.  Schlesinger’s presentation will be followed by a question and answer session with audience members.

TALKERS News Notes. Talk show host Joe Madison is being asked to be the keynote speaker at the NAACP’s 110th annual convention taking place in July in Detroit.  Madison hosts a daily morning show on SiriusXM’s Urban View channel.  He’s being asked to address the Membership Luncheon on July 23…..The talk radio scene in Delaware gets a profile from Out & About magazine’s Ken Mammarella, who talks with staffers from WDEL, Wilmington and WXDE-FM, Lewes for the piece.  WDEL’s Rick Jensen, WXDE’s Dan Gaffney, WDEL programmer Chris Carl, and WDEL’s Allan Loudell, all talk with Mammarella for the story you can read here…..TMZ is reporting that Westwood One syndicated talk star and DailyWire founder Ben Shapiro and his family were the target of “serious death threats” and that the FBI has taken a suspect into custody in Kent, Washington.  The investigation and subsequent arrest of the suspect came after Shapiro filed a report with the Los Angeles Police Department…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that WMVP “ESPN 1000” sports talk host David Kaplan has a new deal to remain in his other gig as a personality on NBC Sports Chicago.  He hosts the weeknight “SportsTalk Live” program on the cable channel and his new contract will allow him to take on new duties, including “creating ‘fan-focused content’ over a variety of platforms.”…..Political commentator and activist Charlie Kirk is launching a new podcast on PodcastOne.  “The Charlie Kirk Show” will feature “the inside scoop on the biggest news of the week and what’s really going on behind the headlines.” Kirk says he considers the new show “a report from the frontlines of the culture war, and what’s really going on from America’s college lecture halls to the halls of Congress.”  The debut episode features an unfiltered interview with Donald Trump, Jr. and girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle…..SiriusXM is again offering subscribers comprehensive coverage of the this Saturday’s Kentucky Derby.  The satellite radio service has a deal with Horse Racing Radio Network to cover all Triple Crown races – the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes – as well as the Breeders’ Cup World Championships.  The wire-to-wire race broadcast of the Kentucky Derby is provided by NBC Sports Radio and produced in partnership with HRRN and Westwood One.

WFDF, Detroit Adds Michael Baisden Show for PM Drive Time. Detroit talk station WFDF “910 AM Superstation” is adding the Sun Broadcast Group-syndicated Michael Baisden show for afternoon drive, airing from 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm, starting May 6.  The Baisden show is described as “four hours of music, engaging content, daily thought-provoking conversation, and is the premier destination for listeners to be entertained, inspired, and educated.”  WFDF CEO Kevin Adell says, “I’m excited to bring Michael Baisden back to the State of Michigan on ‘910AM Superstation,’ the full-power station with 50,000 watts, because we do a super job,”

Trish Johnson Promoted to CFO of NAB. The National Association of Broadcasters announces the promotion of Trish Johnson to chief financial officer and SVP of finance.  She rises from her previous SVP and controller, finance position.  NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith says, “In her two years at NAB, Trish and her finance team have demonstrated consistency and keen professionalism in steering our organization’s finances.  NAB member stations are well served by Trish’s competence and leadership, and we are pleased to reward her with this well-deserved promotion.”  Prior to joining NAB in 2017, Trish worked for Public Broadcasting Service and public TV station WETA-TV, Washington DC.

Barr Hearings/Mueller Report Aftermath, 2020 Presidential Politics, Rising Anti-Semitism Statistics, Southern Border Crisis, Trump Tax Returns/Business Records, Venezuela Unrest, NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/1).  The testimony of Attorney General William Barr before the Senate Judiciary Committee in the wake of the release of the Mueller Report; the Democrats vying to face President Trump in 2020; the global rise in anti-Semitism and the attack on the LA synagogue; the status of the migrant influx at the U.S.-Mexico border; the attempts to get President Trump’s tax returns and his suit to prevent Deutsch Bank and Capital One from releasing his business’s records; the political instability in Venezuela; and the NBA playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The deal that transfers ownership of three Panama City, Florida stations – adult hits WASJ-FM, classic rock WRBA-FM and country WKNK-FM – from Powell Broadcasting to Gulf Coast Broadcasting closes.  Powell decided to sell the stations after suffering damages to the facilities and tower from Hurricane Michael in 2018.  Gulf Coast paid $375,000 for the stations.  Prior to the hurricane, Powell had sold WPFM-FM, Panama City to Educational Media Foundation for $472,000…..The Hollywood Reporter is premiering a new video conversation series titled, “Emerging Hollywood,” hosted by The Breakfast Club’s Charlamagne Tha God.  The weekly series will feature “on-the-rise voices in entertainment sharing their views on topics including inclusion, racial politics, gender, and body positivity.” The first guest is “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah.  Charlamagne says, “I don’t do interviews.  I do conversations.  I love conversations because through conversation, you hear people’s stories, and through people’s stories, you get information and inspiration.  That’s all I want people to get out of these conversations is information and inspiration.”

Monday, April 29, 2019

| April 29, 2019

Beasley Broadcast Group Q1 Net Revenue Up 4.6%.  The 2019 first quarter financial report from Beasley Broadcast Group includes the acquisition of WXTU, Philadelphia and reveals net revenue of $57.7 million – an increase of 4.6% over the $55.2 million figure from the first quarter of 2018.  The company says the increase “reflects growth in the company’s Philadelphia cluster primarily related to the September 2018 acquisition of WXTU-FM, growth in the company’s Tampa cluster primarily related to the 2018 acquisition of an event company, and revenue growth in three of the company’s other radio markets, partially offset by declines in the remaining markets where the company operates.”  Station operating income rose $0.6 million or 6.2% year-over-year in the first quarter of 2019 to $10.2 million.  The year-over-year increase reflects the net revenue growth during the period which more than offset a 4.3% year-over-year rise in station operating expenses related to the company’s expanded platform.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley says, “The ongoing execution of our strategies to expand our scale, diversify our revenue mix and leverage the value of our premium local brands and content continued to serve Beasley well in the first quarter of 2019.  The strength of our station clusters in three of our top five largest revenue markets as well as contributions from recent acquisitions and station swaps resulted in a 4.6% revenue increase and more than offset the $0.8 million year-over-year decline in revenue from our prior relationship with United States Traffic Network, which was discontinued in the third quarter of 2018.  As a result, Beasley’s first quarter net income rose to $1.4 million, we generated a 6.2% year-over-year increase in SOI and generated an overall margin improvement.”

TALKERS CONVENTION SPOTLIGHT:  Sports Talk Radio to be Spotlighted at Forthcoming Talkers Convention.  An examination of sports talk radio will be one of the many highlights planned for the forthcoming Talkers 2019: Telling the Story on Friday, June 7 in New York City.  There will be two significantly pertinent sessions addressing spoken-word radio from the sports talk perspective.  The first will be a one-on-one discussion between two leading influencers in the genre.  Mark Chernoff, SVP programming WFAN/Entercom New York and captain/sports format, CBS Sports Radio will be in direct conversation with Mike Thomas, program director, WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” and brand manager for spoken word, podcasts, esports, Beasley Broadcasting.  The introducer/facilitator of this conversation will be nationally syndicated talk generalist Kate Delaney, host of “The Kate Delaney Show” (Genesis Communications Network) and weekend contributor to NBC Sports Radio.  The other major sports talk session featured at Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will be a special keynote address delivered by nationally syndicated CBS Sports Radio superstar Jim Rome, titled, “Engaging the Already Informed.”  Rome will address the challenges presented in the modern era of heightened, amplified, and sped up communications – not just in sports talk but in all forms of talk radio – in which the audience already has the basic information about what’s happening news-wise within the genre before the conversation even begins.  Don’t miss these sessions!  The conference is rapidly moving toward being an early sellout. To see the entire up-to-the-minute agenda and registration/hotel information, please click here.

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s March 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on news/talk radio.  Just 28% of news/talk stations saw their weekly 6+ AQH share increase from February to March, while 51% went down.  Comparing year-over-year ratings, half the stations on our panel were up and half were down, with some notable movement from some of the country’s prominent news/talk outlets.  iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati rose 2.6 shares from March 2018 to March 2019 while Bonneville’s KSL, Salt Lake City and iHM’s WISN, Milwaukee both dropped 2.4 shares year-over-year.  Just two news/talk outlets ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets in March – Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta and Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.” See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Monday Memo: Promotion, Now More Than Ever. Consultant Holland Cooke writes in this week’s Monday Memo that too many radio stations don’t spend enough capital promoting themselves.  “One of radio’s enduring and painful ironies is that we sell advertising, but many stations DO none…which advertisers notice.  And, conversely, they view stations that do promote as ‘big,’ and they feel that stations’ off-air promotion supports the schedules we’ve sold them.”  Need reasons why you should be promoting your station?  Read Cooke’s column here.

AM Signals Profiled in Politico Piece. Different people have different opinions about the efficacy of AM radio in the 21st century, but a piece published recently in Politico presents a view of six AM broadcasters who connect with their audience in unique ways that belie their humble AM platforms.  The gist of the story is that there are audiences being served in very important ways via a broadcast technology that many – including a fair number in the radio industry – believe is past its prime.  But the cases illustrated in the piece indicate that for some, the value of the radio station is immeasurable.  Read it here.

Salem Media Group Profiled by The Hollywood Reporter. The piece is written by Jeremy Barr and is titled, “How Salem Is Quietly Becoming a Conservative Media Giant.”  The story quotes several Salem Media Group execs – including SVP Phil Boyce – as it lays out the company’s philosophy of presenting consistently conservative radio programming and digital conservative news and opinion sites that target politically aware and conservative Americans. The company also offers Christian talk and music programming.  SVP of spoken word programming Phil Boyce says the Salem Radio Network’s lineup was created purposefully.  “Every weekday, from 6:00 am ET to midnight, Salem broadcasts talk radio programming that fits together like a jigsaw puzzle. There is a linkage between all of the shows and while not all stations take our entire lineup, all of them could and you would not get tired of it.”  Read the whole piece here.

Lynn Woolley Show Returns to the Air in Central Texas. Longtime, Texas-based radio talk show host Lynn Woolley is going back on the air in Central Texas.  Via a deal with M&M Broadcasters, the Lynn Woolley show will be heard on sports talk outlets KLRK-AM/K257GO, Waco and KTON-AM/K230CH, Killeen-Temple-Belton, beginning on May 6.  Woolley has broadcast from studios in Temple for the past 23 years but the show will re-locate to Waco and will air live from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.  He says, “I could not be happier to work with some of the biggest names in Central Texas radio.  David Smoak is a nationally known sportscaster and the voice of the Baylor Bears. John Morris also broadcasts with M&M. I’m a Longhorn by nature, but I can guarantee that at least 10 times each season, I’ll be pulling for the Bears!”

Galaxy Media Appoints Dana Loucks CFO.  Taking over as the chief financial officer for Galaxy Media is Dana Loucks.   Galaxy president and CEO Ed Levine says Loucks will assume the CFO duties on May 14.  “We got to know Dana some years back as he was our banker for a period of time.  His tremendous knowledge of finance combined with a wonderful personality made him my first and only choice to succeed our great CFO Mike Lucarelli who is retiring.”  Loucks says, “I am truly looking forward to working with Ed and the rest of the progressive team at Galaxy Media.  Their longstanding commitment to quality in all areas of the business is a testament to the team’s dedication and work ethic. I am excited for the opportunity to join them and contribute to Galaxy’s continued success.”

TALKERS News Notes. The New York State Broadcasters Association announces the winners of its Excellence in Broadcasting awards for 2019.  In the large market category, WABC, New York’s “Bernie & Sid in the Morning” takes home the Outstanding Morning Show award.   In the medium market category, WHAM, Rochester was honored with the Outstanding Newscast award…..Sun Broadcast Group announces that it is handling syndication of “Ground Zero with Clyde Lewis.”  The program has been syndicated by Premiere Networks and it’s unclear from the SBG press release if Premiere is out of the picture and SBG is handling ad sales as well as affiliate sales.  Lewis is quoted saying, “We are so thrilled to partner with Sun Broadcast Group.  This is such a great opportunity for our format to reach new audiences. We have something for everybody no matter what you believe in.  We can’t wait to see what Jason Bailey and his team can do with our show and bring it to the next level. The support and dedication we have received from SBG so far has been incredible.”…..Texas Radio Hall of Famer Roger Emrich died on Saturday (4/27) after suffering a heart attack last week.  The 62-year-old broadcasters was a regular personality on KRLD-AM and the Texas State Network.  Emrich was also the stadium announcer for AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys.

Mueller Report Release Aftermath, 2020 Presidential Politics, Trump’s Wisconsin Rally, California Synagogue Attack, Southern Border Crisis, Game of Thrones, Avengers: Endgame Movie, NBA Playoffs, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The response to the release of the redacted version of the Mueller Report; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020 and the politics surrounding the election; President Trump’s rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin on Saturday; the deadly attack at a California synagogue; the state of the migrant influx at the U.S.-Mexico border; Sunday night’s episode of “Game of Thrones”; 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 over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Seattle, Jon Manley exits Entercom’s alternative KNDD “107.7 The End” where he’d been serving as APD, music director, and afternoon personality for the past five years…..Producer JP Allen joins Entercom’s country KMLE, Phoenix as producer for the “Maria & Chad” morning drive show. Allen has been with the company’s WSTR, Atlanta “Star 94.1” producing the “Jeff and Jenn” show…..Entercom alternative outlet KROQ, Los Angeles reveals the lineup for this year’s 27th annual “KROQ Weenie Roast.”  As the event moves to Doheny State Beach in Dana Point, California on Saturday, June 8, it will feature: The Lumineers, 311, Silversun Pickups, The Revivalists, Catfish and the Bottlemen, X Ambassadors, Flora Cash, Smith & Thell, and The Regrettes.  Entercom Los Angeles SVP Jeff Federman says, “We’ve always believed ‘Weenie Roast’ belonged on the beach and we are thrilled that after 27 years we are finally able to dig our feet in the sand.  We look forward to entertaining our listeners with this amazing lineup featuring some of their favorite artists that they hear on KROQ.”

Monday, April 15, 2019

| April 15, 2019

Brown Parts Ways With iHeartMedia Denver. The approximately 12-year association between talk show host Michael Brown and iHeartMedia Denver has come to an end. While this turn-of-events isn’t something Brown wanted or anticipated, he emphasizes he has “fond memories” of his time in radio and is “looking forward to getting behind the microphone as quickly as possible.” He maintains radio is “a fantastic medium that will never disappear,” and he “readily embraces” the digital aspect of the business. Citing conversations he had with iHeartMedia regional senior vice president of Denver programming JoJo Turnbeaugh, Brown – who served as under-secretary of Homeland Security in both of George W. Bush’s administrations – reports his departure is owing to “format changes.” Brown’s Denver radio career began at news/talk KOA, where he did part-time work before becoming a full-timer. He then spent several years in afternoon drive on news/talk sibling KHOW, and recently returned to KOA. Regarding his highly-publicized experiences during Hurricane Katrina, Brown co-authored June 2011’s “Deadly Indifference, The Perfect (Political) Storm: Hurricane Katrina, The Bush White House, and Beyond.” In it, he criticizes the performance of several people and critiques his own performance by stating that he “failed to be ready for the press and was too timid in his response.” Politically, Brown describes himself as “very clearly center-right, conservative, with a strong libertarian bent.” He appears at #83 on The Talkers Magazine 2018 Heavy Hundred.

Thomas Inducted Into The Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame. In recognition for her career in radio and community service, Entercom Detroit WWJ “News Radio 950” reporter Vickie Thomas was honored yesterday (4/14) in a ceremony at Michigan State University’s Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center. Entercom Detroit senior vice president/market manager Debbie Kenyon states, “For more than 25 years, Vickie Thomas has been informing our listeners on major stories that impact our community in and around Detroit. Vickie is an incredible journalist who isn’t afraid to pose tough questions to city leaders and other officials to report a fair and accurate story. She is well deserving of this honor and we are extremely proud to have Vickie inducted into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame.” Thomas comments, “In thinking about my over 30-year career in radio, with most of that time spent at WWJ, I can’t help but acknowledge all the people who took the time to encourage me and guide me. I’m really a reflection of those outstanding individuals. This award is extremely special because it comes from my peers. I’m blessed to have my body of work in journalism acknowledged by the selection committee; I thank each member who poured over all the applications and deemed me worthy of this honor.” Thomas, who joined WWJ in 1991, has earned awards from the Detroit Press Foundation, the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, the Michigan Associated Press, and the National Association of Black Journalists. She graduated cum laude and with honors in journalism from Wayne State University in 1989.

MONDAY MEMO: The Podcast Consumer 2019.  In our on-demand culture, consumers have taken control of their media.  We call the audio version “podcasting,” something everyone seems to be doing now.  But who is listening?  In this week’s Monday Memo, consultant Holland Cooke summarizes the recently released Edison Research “Podcast Consumer 2019” report. Click here to read how he outlines ways radio broadcasters can exploit this trend.

TALKERS News Notes. All remaining regular season and postseason play of the New York City Football Club will air in Spanish on the ESPN app, along with the iHeart and Tune-in apps. In addition, select games of the American professional soccer team will air locally in New York City on WEPN-AM “ESPN Deportes Radio 1050.” ESPN Radio Group senior vice president Tim McCarthy remarks, “WEPN-AM is proud to be associated with a tremendous brand like NYCFC. We believe giving our  listeners a choice on quality play-by-play has tremendous value; this agreement with NYCFC does just that.” NYCFC chief executive officer Brad Sims notes, “We are excited to have our 2019 matches broadcast in Spanish on ESPN Deportes platforms. We want to give our fans many different ways to follow our club. This is a terrific alliance that will make our games even more accessible. New York’s Hispanic community is extremely passionate about soccer and is an integral part of our fanbase, so it continues to be a priority for us to provide Spanish-language presentations. ESPN is a leader in the sports media landscape and we’re looking forward to working together.” Roberto Abramowitz and Ariel Judas will give their commentary throughout the season ….. Changes to take effect in three weeks (5/6) at Emmis-owned WFNI “Indy’s Sports Center – The Fan” will find Jeff Rickard and “Big JoeStaysniak moving from mid-days (10:00 am – 12:00 noon) to morning drive (7:00 am – 10:00 am). “Jeff & Big Joe” will succeed ESPN Radio’s “(Mike) Golic & (Trey) Wingo,” while ESPN Radio’s “Dan Le Batard with Stugotz” will inherit the vacated 10:00 am – 12:00 noon slot …. A nine-year program director of iHeartMedia-owned WGAR “Cleveland’s Country 99.5,” Charley Connolly is named operations manager of Cumulus Media’s eight Youngstown stations and will be the day-to-day PD of country WQXK “K-105” there. Cumulus Youngstown vice president/market manager Bill Kelly comments, “We are fortunate to have someone of Charley’s background available to us in Youngstown. This is going to be fun.” In addition to WGAR, Connolly programmed iHeartMedia Cleveland’s adult hits WHLK “106.5 The Lake.” Prior to that, he performed similar responsibilities for Cumulus Media Nashville’s news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” and country WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon.” In addition to WPIC “News Talk 790,” WBBW “Sports Radio 1240 AM,” and WLLF “Sports Radio 96.7 FM,” Cumulus Media Youngstown consists of aforementioned WQXK; CHR WHOT “Hot 101”; classic rock WYFM “Y-103”; classic country WSOM “America’s Music”; and classic hits-oldies WWIZ “Z-104.” ….. Approximately 250 guests attended last Friday’s (4/12) eleventh annual “Hurley in the Morning” charity dinner and silent auction, which raised $40,000. Fox News Radio’s Todd Starnes keynoted the festivities at Atlantic City’s Resorts Casino – Hotel. “We are so grateful for the outpouring of support we have received from the highest levels of government, business, and industry sectors,” declares Townsquare Media Atlantic City news/talk WPGG morning talent Harry Hurley. “Todd is a kind and generous friend. He is such a well-respected talent and a wonderful gentleman. Todd took the time to greet every guest, making each one feel like the most important person in the Ocean Ballroom.” Resorts Casino – Hotel president/chief executive officer Mark Giannantonio opines, “Harry could take his iconic event anywhere – it was truly spectacular. Todd Starnes was engaging and entertaining. Our audience enjoyed his humble, friendly, and unifying message. Resorts was happy and proud to once again host this charity dinner and we look forward to hosting Harry’s event again next year.” Starnes did his 12:00 noon – 3:00 pm Fox News Radio talk show onsite. Among dignitaries attending were congressman Jefferson Van Drew; New Jersey Senate president Stephen Sweeney; New Jersey Broadcasters Association president Paul Rotella; and current and past New Jersey state legislature members. Ahead is Hurley’s twelfth annual charity golf open (6/21) in Egg Harbor Township (New Jersey) ….. Following his tenure as Reach Media’s integrated ad sales coordinator, Erick Vilson joins Sun Broadcast Group as national account manager and will be based in New York City. Sun Broadcast Group chief operating officer Julio Aponte, Jr. comments, “I was very impressed with Erick’s background, reputation, and his dedication to excellence. Bringing someone with his digital and event experience on-board will allow our team to offer greater business opportunities for our agencies and a deeper connection with our national audience for our advertisers.” Vilson notes, “Becoming part of the Sun Broadcast Group family is a fantastic opportunity. Their reputation in the industry, new approach to business, and clever ways to market their offerings was very attractive to me. I am very excited to bring my experience to the sales team.” Vilson has held sales and operation positions for iHeartMedia and Emmis.

Mueller Report Anticipation, College Admissions Scandal, 2020 Presidential Race, Assange Case Free Speech Implications Top Stories Discussed on News/Talk Radio This Weekend.  According to the research of TALKERS, news/talk shows across the country this weekend (4/13-14) were largely focused on the topics of anticipation of the Robert Mueller Report’s planned delivery to Congress this Thursday, the next level of the College Admissions Scandal and charges filed against celebrity participants, the 2020 Presidential Race, and the Julian Assange Case’s implications on free speech and the free press going forward.

Progressive Talk Radio Champ Thom Hartmann Is Guest on Harrison Podcast. What is the state of progressive news/talk radio on the commercial and non-commercial dial? What is the liberal talk radio view of the early competition in a crowded field of hopefuls vying for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination? And what is the general status of the “Left” in American politics in 2019? Nationally syndicated radio talk show host Thom Hartmann – consistently ranked the most important progressive talk radio host on the TALKERS Heavy Hundred – is the guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Harrison and Hartmann (heard daily 12:00 noon – 3:00 pm ET) tackle these and other pertinent issues in an illuminating conversation that gets right to the heart of today’s talk media landscape. Harrison states, “Thom Hartmann has not only earned the respect of people on all sides of the political spectrum for his authentic, even-handed approach to today’s issues from the liberal perspective, but the unique and aggressive multi-platform distribution paradigm that he and his team have developed over the years stands as a model for independent radio syndication of all ideological stripes going forward into the digital era. The radio industry should pay attention to this innovative broadcaster.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and every page on Talkers.com.

Survey Says: Social Media Use Unchanged. Notwithstanding privacy controversies, “fake news,” and social media censorship, the share of adults in the United States who say they use certain online platforms or apps is statistically the same as it was this time last year. That is the conclusion of a Pew Research Center study conducted January 8 to February 7 (2019). The shares of adults who say they use Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Twitter are each basically the same as in 2016. Instagram, however, shows an uptick during this same timeframe, growing from 35% of adults to 37%. Roughly seven of every ten adults in this country say they still use Facebook; nearly three of every ten visit Pinterest; and more than one of every five are Twitter users. Of all Facebook users, approximately three of every four visit the site every day – half check that platform several times a day. Those particular numbers identically mirror Pew’s 2018 survey results. At the same time, YouTube use remained at 73%, while LinkedIn users went from 25% to 27%. Slightly more than half of YouTube users (51%) visit the site daily – up from the 45% who said the same in 2018. According to the report, Instagram and Snapchat are especially popular with younger adults, with Instagram used by two of every three 18 – 29-year-olds and Snapchat used by slightly more than two of every five (62%) people in that demo.

Lilly Broadcasting Becomes A Radio Player. As a result of paying $900,000 for three Warren (Pennsylvania) stations it is acquiring from Frank Iorio’s Radio Partners LLC, San Luis Obispo, California-based Lilly Broadcasting enters the radio business. The three Warren-area outlets involved are WNAE “News Talk 96.7,” classic hits-oldies WRRN “92 Gold,” and WKNB “Kinzua Country 104.3.” Lilly owns television facilities in Honolulu, Erie (Pennsylvania), Elmira (New York), Marquette (Michigan), and the Caribbean. According to Lilly Broadcasting president Kevin Lilly, “The Warren radio properties create synergies with our current footprint in our Pennsylvania television DMA, comprised of Erie, Warren, and Crawford counties. They will allow us to better serve our viewers and now our radio listeners while in their homes, cars, and online. We look forward to providing the best content available for our listeners and will improve the news, weather, and sports information on all platforms.”

 

 

San Antonio’s New Vibe. KXTN “Tejano & Proud,” San Antonio transitions to KVBH “Vibe 107.5.” Of the rhythmic hot AC presentation that will mix “pop, hip-hop, and R&B artists from the 1980s and early-2000s,” Univision San Antonio vice president and general manager Chris Morris states, “We are excited to launch a brand-new format that reflects the distinct musical tastes of San Antonio – one of the most diverse communities in the nation. By reformatting and optimizing our audio portfolio, we are able to better serve our audience and give them more of the content they love.” In conjunction with the format flip, the “Tejano & Proud” format shifts to a simulcast on KVBH-HD2 and KCOR, while “Univision Deportes Radio” moves from KCOR to KROM-HD3. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s February 2019 survey period, KXTN ranks #14 (3.1). Its February 2018 through February 2019 high was 4.0 (6+) in February 2018.

More Than A Million Smiles. As part of its fourth annual “Laugh United: A Night of Cocktails and Comedy,” Westwood One’s “The Bob & Tom Show” raised a record $1,053,500 in Vienna, West Virginia for the United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley. Pictured here is show cast member Josh Arnold who performed with fellow veteran touring comics Greg Hahn, Jack Freeman, and Henry Phillips. Parkersburg (West Virginia) rocker WHBR “103.1 The Bear” is the local “Bob & Tom Show” affiliate.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. After nearly four years with iHeartMedia Denver CHR KPTT “95.7 The Party,” morning driver J.J. Kincaid (of “JJ & Nina”) departs. Immediately in advance of his Denver stint, Kincaid had a nine-year afternoon drive run in New York at co-owned/similarly-formatted WHTZ “Z-100” and spent three years in Dallas at another iHeartMedia CHR, KHKS “106.1 Kiss-FM” ….. On the heels of Beasley Media Group Boston flipping WBOS from “Alt 92.9” to “Rock 92.9” last Thursday (4/11), the station eliminates the music director position that was held by Joel Weiss, who exits. After having spent 13 years in a similar position at Cox Media Group Tampa’s WSUN, Weiss joined WBOS less than a year ago ….. Formerly the program director/afternoon drive talent at Martz Communications Group-owned WAMO “Pittsburgh’s #1 for Hip-Hop,” Jonathan Steele, will join Beasley Media Group Detroit’s WMGC “105.1 The Bounce” next Monday (4/22) as afternoon drive personality, using the air name “J. Steele.” According to WMGC vice president and market manager Mac Edwards, “When we heard J.’s demo, he jumped to the top of our list. Having the opportunity to meet him and discover his impressive skill set as both a person and personality, there was no denying J. Steele was the right talent at the right time to help us write the next chapter of success.” Program director John Candelaria comments, “We are very impressed with J.’s experience and his strong desire to entertain the listeners in Detroit. I am excited to hear his high energy interactive show and see him earn the community’s respect.” Steele adds, “This is the job I dreamed about as a little kid. I am beyond excited to light up the airwaves for this incredible radio station.” The revised weekday “Bounce” line-up includes: “The Gello Show with Joanna” (6:00 am – 10:00 am); J. Steele (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm); and DJ Dinero (7:00 pm – 12:00 midnight) ….. With Emmis Indianapolis’ WLHK “97.1 Hank FM” ever since the country outlet launched in 2005, morning talent Dave O’Brien exits, as his contract isn’t renewed. O’Brien started his Indianapolis radio career in 1996 at WRZX, later going to WNOU for two years and to WENS in 2004 ….. Jazz KUVO, Denver program and content director Nikki Swarn is appointed PD for Rocky Mountain Public Media‘s new R&B/hip-hop streaming service, “The Drop.” Swarn comments, “It is such an honor to get to serve the Colorado community through this incredible opportunity. We anticipate engaging Coloradans with an exciting blend of their favorite artists, while providing a platform for new and Colorado-based musicians as well. The audience consuming R&B and hip-hop is vast and hungry for dynamic experiences in music; we want to fill that void.” Swarn previously was Entercom Denver’s director of promotions and marketing and spent six years as Max Media Denver’s director of marketing and promotions ….. In separate fundraisers for their respective communities, two Alpha Media country-formatted properties (WFLS and KZKX) recently combined to bring in nearly $200,000. Completing its eleventh year of working with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, WFLS “93.3 – Today’s Country,” Fredericksburg (Virginia) accounted for $135,479 in a two-day event hosted by the station’s morning team – Steve & Jessica. That figure broke WFLS’ previous records. Alpha Media market manager Beth Vickers states, “It is a privilege to lead a team of individuals who are passionate about helping others. Steve & Jessica were amazing hosts, pulling long hours to make it all happen. Our community and our listeners were so generous with donations – results like this make a difference.” Meanwhile, co-owned/similarly-formatted KZKX “KX-96.9,” Lincoln (Nebraska) – along with the Starlite Event Center – raised over $60,000 for American Red Cross flood relief during a one-night (3/29) benefit concert. Entertainment was provided by local bands Dylan Bloom, Bucka Ruse, and Sack of Lions. Alpha Media Lincoln operations manager Rob Kelley comments, “That night was a humbling experience as the people of Saunders County and surrounding areas – many of them flood victims themselves – came together with auction items and monetary donations to go directly to their friends, family, and neighbors. We are so blessed to have listeners like this in the KZKX family.” Severe flooding began impacting Nebraska in mid-March. The “KX-96.9” donation check was presented to the American Red Cross last Thursday (4/11).

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

| September 5, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TAKEAWAYS

New York City

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

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

Los Angeles

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

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

Chicago

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

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

San Francisco

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

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

Dallas

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

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

Houston

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

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

Atlanta

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

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

Philadelphia

Spoken-Word Formats – Recording gains of seven-tenths each are Entercom sports talk and all-news siblings WIP “Sports Radio 94.1” (5.9, seventh to sixth, 6+) and KYW “News Radio 1060” (5.2, steady at #8, 6+). As a result, both stations end negative streaks. WIP, for example, was a collective -1.7 in three straight decreases (6.9 – 6.1 – 5.6 – 5.2, 6+). The Phillies flagship was an overall -1.1 (December and “Holiday” 2017); +2.6 (January 2018); -.8 (February); -2.9 (March); +1.1 (April); -.8 (May); -.5 (June); and now +.7 in August. In four consecutive down or flat trends (6.0 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+), KYW was -1.5. An increase of nine-tenths in March (5.1 – 6.0, 6+) gave “News Radio 1060” its strongest 6+-showing in three years (6.1, March 2015), but it then surrendered one full-share in April; KYW improved by +1.0 in January. Yet another negative string concludes as public news/talk WHYY posts a +.5 to 3.8 (#12 to #10, 6+), interrupting three successive declines for an overall -1.1 (4.4 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.3, 6+). WHYY was up one full-share in January, but off six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017. Conversely, back in the Entercom cluster, WPHT “Talk Radio 1210” is +1.0 in four straight positive spikes (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 2.2 – 2.5, #17 to #15, 6+). WPHT was stuck on 1.8 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 and then on 1.9 (6+) in February and March, before dropping to 1.5 in April. Without a gain for the fourth time in succession for an overall decline of nine-tenths (2.8 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WPEN-FM actually advances from #19 to #18; “97.5 The Fanatic” was +.9 in January. Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” regains half of July’s -.1 (1.4 – 1.5, +.1, 6+) and remains at #21.

Philadelphia Music Formats – Tacking on nine-tenths to July’s +.6 (5.8 – 6.4 – 7.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WDAS-FM jumps from fourth to second. This (7.3) is the first time “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks” reaches the seven-share level (6+) since September 2017’s 7.1. Immediately prior to a loss of one-half share in June, WDAS-FM was an overall +.8 in three straight positive spikes (5.5 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 6.3, 6+). The rollercoaster ride continues for Beasley Media Group’s WMMR, which all but erases July’s -.7 with an August +.6 (6.1 – 5.4 – 6.0, sixth to fifth, 6+). Immediately prior to July’s loss of seven-tenths, “93.3 Everything That Rocks” cobbled together three straight flat or up trends that yielded six-tenths (5.5 – 5.5 – 5.9 – 6.1, 6+). Down or flat in 16 straight sweeps for a combined -1.0 (1.9 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .9 – .9, 6+), Radio One gospel WPPZ “Praise 107.9 – Philadelphia’s Inspiration Station” picks up two-tenths in August to 1.1 (#24 to #23, 6+). Following six straight gains for a combined +2.9 (5.3 – 6.3 – 6.9 – 7.0 – 7.2 – 7.7 – 8.2, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WOGL “98.1 – Nobody Plays More 80s” surrenders approximately 25% of that increase (7.5, -.7, 6+), but repeats at #1. July 2018’s 8.2 represents its highest-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era. When WOGL reached #1 in that sweep, it was the first time the station occupied that spot since August 2017. Dislodged at #1 in July was WBEB “Today’s 101.1 More FM,” which Entercom is now operating under a Time Brokerage Agreement (TBA), until it officially closes on its $57.5 million purchase of the Jerry Lee Radio adult contemporary outlet. WBEB had been on top from March through June, but is a collective -2.0 in July and August (8.5 – 7.8 – 6.5, 6+) and slumps from second to fourth. The last time WBEB was below a seven-share (6+) was exactly one year ago (6.7, August 2017). As a result of five straight increases before January’s -8.7, “Today’s 101.1 More FM” was a collective +10.3 (6.7 – 7.2 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 12.8 – 17.0, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, WBEB achieved its most potent 6+-share since 17.9 in “Holiday” 2016. In addition to WOGL, Beasley Media Group adult Hits WBEN-FM also falters by seven-tenths (2.7, #11 to #14, 6+); “Ben” was up eight-tenths in June and July (2.6 – 3.0 3.4, 6+). A loss of one-half share to 5.3 (fifth to seventh, 6+) by WXTU pulls the plug on seven straight ratings periods without a loss for an overall +2.2 (3.6 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.8, 6+). Previous to the May sweep, the last time “92.5 Philadelphia’s Country Station” reached the five-share level (6+) was in August 2016 (5.3).

Long Island

Spoken-Word Formats – A boost of three-tenths (4.9 – 5.2, 6+) is enough to elevate Entercom’s WFAN from fourth to first with its strongest 6+-share (5.2) in Long Island since November 2017’s 5.9. “Sports Radio” was -1.1 in February; a collective +1.8 in April and May (2.9 – 4.0 – 4.7, 6+); -.5 in June; and the New York Yankees’ flagship was +.7 in July. This marks the fourth straight time co-owned all-news WINS (2.5 – 2.8, #14 to #13, 6+) shows a month-to-month fluctuation of three-tenths: +.3 (May); -.3 (June); -.3 (July); and +.3 (August). At 2.5 (6+) for the third month in a row, co-owned/similarly-formatted WCBS-AM drops from #14 to #15. WCBS-AM gained two-tenths in January, halting four straight down or flat trends for an overall loss of one full-share (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+). In March, it recaptured the four-tenths it dropped in February. The key station of the New York Mets iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” – is -1.3 in three straight down or flat trends (3.1 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+) and carries on at #22. In advance of surrendering three-tenths in March, WOR was an overall +.8 in three straight gains (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.6 – 2.8, 6+). Bunched together at #23, #24, and #25, respectively, are WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM, which is trending 1.6 – 1.9 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 (February 2018 – August 2018, 6+); WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York,” off seven-tenths in three straight downward trends (2.3 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.6, 6+) after five consecutive upticks for a +1.2 (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+); and Cumulus Media news/talk WABC, up one-tenth to 1.3 (6+), curtailing four consecutive down or flat moves for a -.3 (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.2, 6+).

Long Island Music Formats – More than a dozen stations that appeared in the June 2018 report vanished from print in July. Six notable examples had at least a .6 (6+) in June 2018; were unlisted in July; but have now reappeared in August. They include: Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ (1.3 – 0.0 – 1.2, 6+); co-owned Spanish contemporary WPAT (1.0 – 0.0 – 1.1, 6+); Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLV (.9 – 0.0 – .9, 6+); Univision Radio Spanish contemporary WXNY (.8 – 0.0 – .8, 6+); New York Public Radio classical WQXR (.7 – 0.0 – .4, 6+); and Fordham University alternative WFUV (.6 – 0.0 – .5, 6+). It is still tight at the top, as the first five Nassau-Suffolk August 2018 finishers are separated by six-tenths of a share. In five straight down or flat trends, Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM was a collective -1.2 (4.9 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+), but “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” regains 75% of that loss (4.6, +.9, ninth to fifth, 6+). With an improvement of seven-tenths to 3.9 (#11 to #7, 6+), Emmis urban AC WBLS erases in full the seven-tenths deficit from June and July (3.9 – 3.6 – 3.2, 6+). On the strength of a one-half share gain (4.6 – 5.1, 6+), Connoisseur Media classic hits-oldies WBZO “103.1 Max FM” jumps from sixth to second. A collective +1.4 through four straight improvements (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 5.0 – 5.1, 6+), Cox Media Group CHR WBLI not only forfeits all but two-tenths of that increase (5.1 – 3.9, -1.2, 6+), “Long Island’s #1 For All the Hits”  drifts from first to seventh with its lowest 6+-stat (3.9) since “Holiday” 2017’s 3.4. Conversely, August’s 5.1 is its strongest 6+-performance since September 2017’s 5.2. Format rival, iHeartMedia New York City’s WHTZ “Z-100,” is flat or down slightly for the fourth straight time for a collective loss of three-tenths but stays at #4 (5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.8, 6+). Ousted from the top spot in July after nine straight months there and continuing at #2, Connoisseur Media hot AC WALK-FM “Real Variety 97.5” posts a +.1 to 5.1 (6+), thus ending seven successive sweeps without an increase for an overall -7.6 (12.6 – 7.4 – 7.4 – 7.0 – 6.1 – 5.8 – 5.1 – 5.0, 6+). “Real Variety” was a cumulative +7.2 in October – November – December – “Holiday” 2017 (5.4 – 6.7 – 8.7 – 12.6, 6+). Without a loss three straight months for a +.7 (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 3.0, 6+), co-owned WWSK “94.3 The Shark – Everything That Rocks” slips by -1.1 in July and August (3.0 – 2.9 – 1.9, 6+), fading from #12 to #20. At the same time, Cox Media Group-owned WBAB “102.3 Long Island’s Only Classic Rock” falters by one-half share (5.0 – 4.5, 6+) and tumbles from second to sixth. Flat at 2.5 (6+), Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” (#14 to #15) is within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) for the 46th consecutive ratings period.

Riverside

Spoken-Word Formats – Nearly doubling its 6+-stat in June and July (.9 – 1.1 – 1.7, 6+), San Bernardino Community College news/talk KVCR drops four-tenths in August to 1.3 (#11 to #13). In advance of the February sweep, KVCR was +.4 via three minor upticks in a row (.9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+). Despite its very consistent Inland Empire November 2017 – August 2018 topline of .4 – .4 – .3 – .4 – .4 – .4 – .3 – .5 – .5 – .4 – .4 (6+), Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” slips from #18 to #19. After debuting in July with a .2 (6+), iHeartMedia news talk KKDD “1290 News Talk IE” gains one-tenth (.3, #21, 6+). Part of May’s four-way logjam at #20 with a .3 (6+), co-owned KPWK “Fox Sports Radio 1350 AM” (formerly KUBE) disappeared from print in June; resurfaced in July with a .2 (6+); and drops one-tenth to .1 in August (#22 to #24, 6+). Los Angeles Angels-owned (LAA 1, LLC)/similarly-formatted KLAA “Angels Radio AM 830” is unlisted for the seventh month in a row.

Riverside Music Formats – Having logged a .3 (6+) in three of the last four sweeps (.3 – .3 – .5 – .3, 6+), iHeartMedia Spanish adult hits KFOO “La Preciosa 1440 AM” explodes with a +.7 to 1.0 (6+), vaulting from #20 to #14. Progressing by six-tenths each are Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies KOLA (6.6 – 7.2, unchanged at #2); Univision Radio regional Mexican KSCA “Zona Mx 101.9” (2.0 – 2.6, tenth to seventh, 6+); and Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KKLQ “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” (0.0 – .6, #17, 6+). A +.3 by KOLA in July ended four downward trends in succession that generated a -2.1 (8.4 – 7.1 – 6.7 – 6.5 – 6.3, 6+). Similarly, January’s +1.8 applied the brakes to three straight decreases that accounted for a -2.0 (7.5 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.5, 6+). Prior to August, “Zona Mx 101.9” had posted four negative moves in a row for a collective -1.8 (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 2.6 – 2.0, 6+). Over and above finishing first for the third successive sweep, Entravision’s KLYY is +2.8 in four straight positive spikes (4.6 – 6.4 – 6.5 – 6.9 – 7.4, 6+). This follows five sweeps in succession without an increase for an overall -3.0 (7.6 – 7.3 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 5.0 – 4.6, 6+). June 2018 marked the first time “Jose” was in the lead position since “Holiday” 2017 when it scored a 7.3 (6+). Advancing by one-half share as well is Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KRCD “Recuerdo” (1.2 – 1.7, #13 to #12, 6+). A collective +1.5 in June and July (3.4 – 4.1 – 4.9), iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KGGI “99.1 Riverside’s Hottest Hit Music” relinquishes 80% of that increase (3.7, -1.2, 6+), slipping from third to fourth. Despite being -1.5 via three consecutive losses (5.9 – 5.5 – 4.9 – 4.4, 6+), Entercom country outlet KFRG carries on in third-place. When “K-Frog” sputtered by four-tenths in June, it snapped at four a consecutive string of increases that netted an overall +1.3 (4.6 – 4.9 – 5.4 – 5.8 – 5.9, 6+). Flat at #5, Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KLVE “107.5 K-Love” posts its fourth straight Riverside decrease for an overall -1.8 (5.3 – 4.9 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.5, 6+). This marks the fourth time in the last five sweeps that All-Pro Broadcasting adult contemporary KATY “101.3 The Mix” (#16 – #17) logs a .6 (.6 – .6 – .7. – .6 – .6, 6+). Without a gain for the fourth straight month for a collective -.4 (.7 – .6 – .6 – .4 – .3, 6+), Lazer Broadcasting regional Mexican KXSB “Radio Lazer” exits the top twenty (#18 to #21).

San Jose

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to a +.8 to 4.4 (tenth to seventh, 6+), Cumulus Media sports talk KNBR “The Sports Leader halts three decreases in succession that accounted for a cumulative -1.0 (4.6 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+). The San Francisco Giants flagship posted a +1.6 in April, as it reached the four-share level in San Jose (6+) for the first time since May 2017’s 4.2. Tacking on one-half share to July’s +.2 (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.4, 6+), co-owned KGO returns to the top twenty (#22 to #16). July’s increase stopped four successive downward sweeps for a -1.4 (3.1 – 2.9 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.7, 6+); KGO was a combined +.7 in January and February (2.4 – 2.8 – 3.1, 6+). It overtakes news/talk cluster-mate KSFO, which is down two-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+) and exits the top twenty (#20 to #21). Prior to July, KSFO was without a loss the previous five months for an overall +1.0 (1.2 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+). By picking up one-tenth (6.4 – 6.5, 6+), Entercom’s all-news KCBS-AM progresses from third to second. Its -.8 in July applied the brakes to four consecutive up or flat trends that netted +1.4 (5.8 – 5.8 – 6.3 – 6.4 – 7.2, 6+) and its strongest 6+ (San Jose) showing since November 2017 (7.2, as well). Following July’s -1.0, Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED flounders by another six-tenths (7.5 – 6.5 – 5.9, 6+) and shifts from second to sixth. Between January 2018 – June 2018, KQED and KCBS-AM finished first and second, respectively. KQED rebounded from a combined -1.9 in April and May (8.8 – 8.2 – 6.9, 6+) with a June increase of six-tenths. When KQED lost six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it shifted to #2, following five successive sweeps on top; it was +1.0 in January. A setback of one-tenth in December halted three consecutive gains that produced an overall +1.3 (6.9 – 7.3 – 8.0 – 8.2, 6+).

San Jose Music Formats – Similar to what is highlighted in Long Island (see above), seven stations with at least a 1.2 (6+) in the June 2018 ratings period disappeared from print in July. With their (6+) June 2018, July 2018, and August 2018 San Jose stats in parentheses, the seven outlets falling in that category are: Entercom rhythmic hot AC KRBQ (1.9 – 0.0 – 1.8, 6+); University of Southern California classical KDFC (1.7 – 0.0 – 1.8, 6+); Entercom alternative KITS (1.6 – 0.0 – 1.8, 6+); Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican KRZZ (1.2 – 0.0 – 1.3); Entercom urban AC KBLX (1.2 – 0.0 – 1.2, 6+); public contemporary Christian KLVS (1.5 – 0.0 – .8, 6+); and Entercom sports talk KGMZ (1.4 – 0.0 – .6, 6+). Improving by one full-share each are Empire Broadcasting’s KRTY “San Jose Hot Country 95.3,” which records its fifth gain in a row for an overall +2.1 (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 5.1 – 6.1, sixth to fifth, 6+) and Univision Radio’s KBRG “Amor 100.3” (5.2 – 6.2, fifth to fourth, 6+). In three straight positive spikes, KBRG was an overall +1.9 (3.7 – 4.5 – 5.3 – 5.6, 6+), but “Amor 100.3” surrendered roughly 20% of that increase in July (5.2, -.4, 6+). Climbing from fourth to third, Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits” registers a +.9 to 6.4, its strongest 6+ showing since 7.0 in “Holiday” 2017. On the heels of July’s impressive +1.5 (5.2 – 6.7, 6+), Entercom-owned KUFX “98.5 K-Fox, The South Bay’s Classic Rock” adds one-tenth to 6.8 (6+) and repeats at #1. Its August 2018 6.8 more than doubles October 2017’s 6+-share (3.2). A July gain of seven-tenths by iHeartMedia adult contemporary KISQ interrupted four straight negative trends that produced a loss of nine-tenths (4.5 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+), but “98.1 The Breeze” surrenders eight-tenths in August to 3.5 (eighth to ninth, 6+). Within a consistent 3.5 – 3.7 range (6+) between “Holiday” 2017 and July 2018 (3.5 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.7, 6+), hot AC cluster-mate KIOI “Star 101.3” stumbles by seven-tenths to 3.0 (6+) and departs the top ten (#9 to #11). Meanwhile, Alpha Media’s similarly-formatted KEZR “Mix 106 Today’s Best Music,” which had been +.9 in three straight up or flat trends (4.0 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 4.9, 6+), surrenders six-tenths to 4.3 (seventh to eighth, 6+). Off six-tenths and one-half share, respectively, are iHeartMedia’s KYLD “Wild 94.9 The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station” (2.8 – 2.2, #14 to #20, 6+) and Univision Radio regional Mexican KSOL “Que Buena” (3.0 – 2.5, 6+).

Middlesex

Spoken-Word Formats – A third straight increase for a collective +1.1 (6.0 – 6.4 – 6.8 – 7.1, 6+) enables WKXW to repeat at #1. The Townsquare Media news/talker was on top four ratings periods in succession before segueing to #2 in May. “New Jersey 101.5” was a combined -2.1 in April and May (8.1 – 7.3 – 6.0, 6+) and it posted a +.9 in January to advance from second to first with its strongest 6+-stat since April 2016’s 8.5. Conversely, Entercom sports talk WFAN has its third decrease in a row for a -.8 (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.6, 6+) and fades from fifth to tenth. June’s one-tenth setback halted three straight positive spikes that netted a +1.1 (3.3 – 3.4 – 4.1 – 4.4, 6+). Four successive losses by WFAN accounted for a -1.9 (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.3, 6+), but immediately prior to that, the New York Yankees flagship was +1.4 via three straight increases (3.8 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+). The nine most recent topline 6+ stats for sports talk WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” (#21 – #20) are: 1.6 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 1.7 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1. It is tied at #20 with WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM, which logs a +.3 to 2.1 (6+) to curtail five straight losses (3.4 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.2 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+) that accounted for a nearly 50% erosion of its 6+ share (-1.6). Even though it is flat at 2.0 (6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR drops from #20 to #22. The New York Mets flagship was off a collective six-tenths in May and June (2.3 – 1.8 – 1.7, 6+). Frozen on 1.1 (6+) in March and April, Entercom all-news WINS records a 1.7 (flat at #23, 6+) for the fourth straight time. It is one-tenth ahead of Cumulus Media news/talk WABC (#24 to #25, 6+), whose January 2018 – August 2018 6+ topline is: 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.6.

Middlesex Music Formats – Continuing the theme set in Long Island and San Jose (see above), seven stations that registered at least a one-half share (6+) in June 2018 are unlisted in July 2018. With their (6+) June 2018, July 2018, and August 2018 Middlesex-Somerset-Union stats in parentheses, these three outlets return with at least a .5 (6+): Entercom all-news WCBS-AM (1.5 – 0.0 – 1.7, 6+); Press Communications country WKMK (1.2 – 0.0 – .8, 6+); and New York Public Radio classical WQXR (.9 – 0.0 – .6, 6+). Gaining seven-tenths each in August are Entercom hot AC WNEW-FM “NEW 102.7,” which had been trending 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.5 (#17 to #16, 6+), and Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLV “Positive and Encouraging K-Love” (.2 – .0 – .7, #27, 6+). After being within three-share range (6+) in each of the past 13 sweeps, Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” gains three-tenths to 4.1, progressing from tenth to sixth. It is tied with Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits,” which notches a +.4 to 4.1 (#12 to #6, 6+), thus pulling the plug on four decreases in a row that produced a -1.8 (5.5 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+). Having practically tripled its 6+-share (+2.6) as the result of seven up or flat trends (1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 4.0, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary WXNY “X-96.3” returns more than half that increase (4.0 – 2.6, -1.4, 6+), cratering from #7 to #17. A loss of one-half share (4.0 – 3.5, 6+) takes Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WMGQ “Magic 98.3 – Todays Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” to its lowest 6+-share since last October (3.5, as well) and out of the top ten (#7 to #12).

Thursday, August 10, 2017

| August 10, 2017

Bennett Helps WCBS-AM Note Its All-News Golden Anniversary. A special interview and performance this past Tuesday (8/8) by iconic singer Tony Bennett at the PlayStation Theater in Times Square highlighted a celebration of 50 years of news as CBS Radio New York’s WCBS-AM observed its 50th birthday as an all-news outlet. Wayne Cabot (29 years at WCBS-AM, the station’s longest-tenured anchor) and fellow news anchor Alex Silverman (who joined WCBS-AM in April 2011) hosted the event, which included a plethora of stories from WCBS-AM personalities and guests. Senior vice president and market manager for CBS Radio New York Marc Rayfield states that WCBS-AM “is a trusted New York City news outlet with a rich history and legacy of delivering up-to-the-minute news. We will continue to tell the stories of the people, places, and happenings from all around this great city. This special night gathered listeners, station personalities, and prominent figures to celebrate what the station has meant for the past 50 years and will continue to mean into the future.” In addition to Cabot and Silverman, other WCBS-AM personalities there Tuesday night included Craig Allen, Joe Connolly, Pat Farnack, Brad Heller, Tom Kaminski, Paul Murnane, Steve Scott, and Michael Wallace. Among those sharing their New York stories were Lesley Stahl of “60 Minutes,” “Late Show with David Letterman” bandleader (“The World’s Most Dangerous Band” and “CBS Orchestra”) Paul Shaffer, and former New York Mets manager Bobby Valentine. CBS News’ Anthony Mason conducted the Tony Bennett interview. A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales (which ranged from $55 to $150 per person) was donated to Exploring the Arts Foundation, Bennett’s charity organization dedicated to transforming lives of young people through arts education. Following back-to-back 2.4 showings (6+) in Nielsen Audio’s April and May PPM reports, WCBS-AM has registered a 2.7 (6+) in June and July, moving up from #13 in June to #12. Entercom will continue to use the CBS Radio News brand for at least one year after it closes on all of CBS Radio’s AM and FM properties.

KIRO-FM Teams with Seattle Police to Provide “Beds for Kids.” The goal of a joint effort between Bonneville Seattle news/talk KIRO-FM and the Seattle Police Department is to provide 600 needy local children with mattresses, bedframes, sheet sets, comforters, pillows and a Teddy bear. KIRO-FM afternoon drive (3:00 – 7:00 pm) hosts “Ron (Upshaw) & Don (O’Neill)” have been dedicated advocates for the “Beds for Kids” project since its inception, with O’Neill emphasizing, “Now, more than ever, we need to make sure that every child that needs a bed – gets a bed. When a child gets a good night sleep and something to eat, it is proven they stay in school and they do better in school. Help us help police help kids – it’s another way to be a part of something bigger than ourselves.” The “Beds for Kids” cofounder Jeremy Wade notes, “Over the last three years, we have been amazed to see how many kids in our community sleep on the floor. Through the ‘Beds for Kids’ program, we have provided over 500 local kids with a brand-new bed. This year’s goal of 600 beds is our most ambitious yet, but with the support of our partners and the public, we know it can be done.” The project was created in 2014 by Wade and fellow officer Ryan Gallagher, who responded to a 9-1-1 call and discovered two young girls had been sleeping on the floor. Wade and Gallagher returned to that home with new beds purchased with their own money. Since then, hundreds of people have stepped up to assist the two officers in providing beds for children in need. Elsewhere inside that Bonneville cluster, Seattle Seahawks coverage on sports talk KIRO-AM “710 ESPN” will include John Clayton (formerly with ESPN-TV), who will serve as a sideline reporter. In addition, Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon, who called Seahawks pre-season games and was part of Westwood One’s NFL coverage the last two seasons, returns as radio analyst, a role he held for 13 seasons prior to 2015. Back as well for his 36th year on play-by-play is Steve Raible; Jen Mueller is in her ninth season doing sideline reporting.

Stigall Featured on “The Fox News Specialists.” Pictured above at the far right as he made his point yesterday afternoon (Wednesday, 8/9) on “The Fox News Specialists” is CBS Radio-owned WPHT “Talk Radio 1210,” Philadelphia 5:30 am – 9:00 am talent Chris Stigall. Intently looking on (left to right) are another guest specialist Mike Baker, co-host Eboni Williams, guest-host Mark Steyn, and co-host Katherine Timpf.

PPM Data – Part Three. July 2017 ratings information has been released for Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Orlando, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s July 2017 survey period covered June 22 – July 19. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

Gottlieb Kicks Off Training Camp Tour. Gearing up for the start of football season, Fox Sports Radio’s Doug Gottlieb hits the road for on-location coverage from several NFL training sites. The journey began this past Monday (8/7) with a broadcast from the Los Angeles Rams facility at UC Irvine. Still in Southern California (Oxnard-Ventura), Gottlieb is with the Dallas Cowboys today (Thursday, 8/10), and he will visit the Los Angeles Chargers’ camp at the Jack Hammett Sports Complex in Costa Mesa next Wednesday (8/16). Pictured left to right are Fox Sports Radio’s Doug Gottlieb with Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay.

LG To Activate FM Chips in its Smartphones. The announcement that LG phones in North America and Latin America will have FM chips activated moving forward comes from NextRadio parent TagStation, whose president Paul Brenner states, “We are proud and excited to partner with one of the world’s leading Smartphone providers to continue our mission of connecting and exposing users to a fully immersive radio experience. This alliance will give millions of consumers the opportunity to receive real over-the-air FM radio through their phone.” NextRadio will be pre-loaded on some models.

WQBA Named Dolphins’ Spanish-Language Radio Flagship. As part of the multi-year agreement, Univision Radio Miami Spanish news/talk WQBA will air all Miami Dolphins pre-season, regular season, and playoff games. Raul Striker Jr. will handle play-by-play duties, while Eduardo Martell will provide color analysis. WQBA will produce pregame and postgame shows, as well as a weekly show covering Dolphins-related news/events. Sports programming falls under the recently-launched Univision Deportes Radio sports network. WQBA senior vice president and general manager Claudia Puig comments, “We are excited to once again partner with the Miami Dolphins, offering them a terrific opportunity to reach their Spanish-speaking fans through Univision Deportes Radio. Our listeners will now be able to cheer their favorite football team ‘en español.’ The Dolphins broadcasts will be a perfect complement to Univision Deportes Radio’s outstanding sports programming lineup.” Miami Dolphins senior vice president and chief commercial officer Todd Kline adds, “We are proud to partner with Univision Deportes Radio WQBA 1140 AM and are confident they will deliver the most complete and up-to-date coverage of the Miami Dolphins to fans. The Dolphins have a 36-year commitment to broadcast games in Spanish in the South Florida market – this partnership delivers on our strong tradition.” Spanish-language broadcasts of Dolphins games were previously heard on crosstown Deportes Media Spanish Sports WNMA “ESPN Deportes Miami.” The team’s English-language flagships are CBS Radio Miami’s WQAM “Sports Radio 560” and co-owned WKIS “Kiss 99.9 New Country.”

TALKERS News Notes. Citing other media sources, The Tennessean reports that former Tennessee Titans tight end Frank Wycheck will leave his “Wake-Up Zone” morning show co-hosting duties on Cumulus Media Nashville sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” in the next few weeks. Earlier, Wycheck announced he is stepping away from his role as analyst for Titans’ radio broadcasts for a year, owing to cognitive issues related to concussions from his playing days. It is reported, however, that Wycheck will remain with “The Zone” for swing duty ….. In other football-related news, iHeartMedia Tucson’s KTZR “Fox Sports 1450” joins the Arizona Cardinals radio network. Senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia Tucson David Adams comments, “As the new home for Fox Sports in Tucson; the future home of Dan Patrick; and the official broadcast partner of the Tucson Roadrunners, we couldn’t be more excited to solidify our position as ‘Tucson’s Sports Station’ by adding the Cardinals.” The team’s previous Tucson affiliate was Cumulus Media’s KCUB “Sports Radio 1290.”

Checkpoint Radio Adds Houston, Philadelphia, and St. Louis Affiliates. The latest to join Checkpoint Radio – the first nationally syndicated radio show dedicated to the world of e-sports and gaming – are GOW Media’s KFNC “ESPN 97.5 FM,” Houston; Beasley Media Group’s WPEN “97.5 FM The Fanatic, Philadelphia”; and Hubbard’s WXOS “101 ESPN, St Louis.” Westwood One president/Cumulus Media executive vice president of corporate marketing Suzanne Grimes comments, “Checkpoint Radio is the only national show that connects radio stations and listeners to the explosive energy around e-sports. According to Newzoo, e-sports will grow to $696 million in revenue this year, a year-over-year increase of 41%. Brand investment is predicted to grow to $1.5 billion by 2020. This is a space you want to be in. Westwood One is the undeniable leader in sports programming – we know e-sports is an important sector for affiliates and advertisers.” Checkpoint Radio managing partner Rick Scott notes, “We are excited at the rapid growth of Checkpoint Radio in so many quality and big markets. It is a testament to the quality and appeal of the show and the passionate crew working to put it together.” Hosted by Nate Bender, Robbie Landis, Norris Howard, and Joe Sloan, two-hour weekly Checkpoint Radio features insights, news, interviews, and updates designed specifically for the video game and e-sports fan. In addition to the weekly show, Checkpoint also produces a podcast featuring content not heard on the radio program.

WKLB Elevates Santolucito to Director/Music and Marketing. Over and above continuing her oversight of the marketing/promotions department of WKLB “Country 102.5,” Dawn Santolucito is promoted to music and marketing director at the Beasley Media Group Boston property. Program director David Corey states, “Dawn’s passion, dedication, and organizational skills – plus a great ear for music – made her the ideal candidate for the position. We are proud to have Dawn in our ‘Country 102.5’ family.” Santolucito comments, “It truly has been a privilege being a part of the ‘Country 102.5’ family for the past seven years in my role within the marketing/promotions department. I am thrilled to begin this new chapter.” Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s just-released July 2017 PPM report, WKLB is flat at 4.5, but climbs from seventh in June 2017 to sixth, while cross-town format competitor – iHeartMedia-owned WBWL “101.7 The Bull – Boston’s New Hit Country” is up (modestly) for the third straight time (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+) and inches up from #17 to #16. With a 7.7 (6+), WKLB classic hits-oldies sibling WROR “Boston’s Classic Hits” remains at #1 for the seventh successive sweep.

iHR, Understood.org Align to Help Kids Facing Learning/Attention Issues. One of every five children have a learning and attention challenge such as ADHD or dyslexia. A partnership between iHeartMedia and Understood.org explores and raises awareness of learning and attention issues, and breaks stereotypes about these often-misunderstood children. The partnership includes public service announcements voiced by iHeartMedia personalities Ryan Seacrest, Elvis Duran, Mario Lopez, and Bobby Bones, as well as a long-form public affairs show. Commenting about Understood.org, its executive leader/corporate partnerships & alliances Nancy Smith states, “This whole team is deeply committed to helping the millions of children with learning and attention issues get the support they need – support that can help them reverse any downward spiral in school.” From prior experience, Smith felt that iHeartRadio “has a strong belief in win-win partnerships and in helping the world be a better place. I knew collaboration with the iHeart team could take us to new levels of support for kids with learning and attention issues.” Aided by 15 nonprofit organizations, Understood.org launched nearly three years ago. “Today, it supports and empowers millions of parents through personalized resources, daily access to experts, a community of other parents and experts, and interactive tools,” Smith explains. “Many accomplished musicians including Justin Timberlake [ADHD], Lindsey Stirling [dyslexia], and Jewel [dyslexia] have learning and attention issues. Understood is happy to call iHeartRadio a partner in our mission to raise awareness of learning and attention issues. Having the support of a community of musical artists and fans who embrace differences can help build widespread acceptance for kids who are so often misunderstood. Together with iHeartRadio, we want to help even more children with learning and attention issues.”

Sun Broadcast Group Enters the “Country Fried Mix.” A sales and affiliation partnership with Sun Broadcast Group will bring “Country Fried Mix” with national touring artist and producer DJ Sinister to the network in three weeks (9/1). Sun chief executive officer Jason Bailey remarks, “One of the things we have always tried to do at Sun is find exciting and unique programs for our listeners and clients. When I heard ‘Country Fried Mix’ for the first time, I knew we had to have it in our lineup. There is simply nothing [else] like it on the radio – that’s why it is perfect for us. We are honored to represent this incredible product to the industry and the clients who support it.” According to DJ Sinister, “This new opportunity really takes us to the next level with partners that are willing to take risks,” while the program’s producer Charlie Pennachio adds, “Focus created this expansion; this opportunity gives us the ability to become a laser beam with a team.” The weekend show of mashed up/remixed country hits has aired since 2014 and has affiliates in (among other markets) Philadelphia, Miami, Detroit, Phoenix, and Nashville.

Opening “The Vault” Again in Montgomery. Jettisoning its top 40 format in order to return to rock as “107.1 The Vault” is Bluewater Broadcasting Montgomery, Alabama’s WQKS-HD3 W296AI. It abandoned “The Vault” four years ago in favor of classic jams “Yo! 107.1,” but as program director Rick Peters writes on his Facebook page, “The market has spoken and –  contrary to popular belief – we do listen. ‘The Vault’ will try to recreate album and progressive rock stations from the 1970s, such as [Los Angeles’] KMET and KLOS; [Chicago’s] WLUP [‘The Loop’]; [Philadelphia’s] WMMR; [Miami’s] WSHE; and [St. Louis’] KSHE. The format is freeform – the [on-air talent] can program what they like. Every day will be different – it’s a throwback. At the same time, it’s evolutionary for the day [but] it’s not designed to be mass-appeal. For those that ‘lived’ the music the first time, we will try to be worthy. For the rest of you, listen up [because] you might find something you love.” Among persons 12+ in Montgomery’s most recent Nielsen Audio book (spring 2017), WQKS-HD3 checks in at #16 with a .8, while iHeartMedia urban contemporary WZHT “Hot 105.7” is on top with an 11.2 (12+).

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Earlier this week, midday host Danny Dwyer of Alpha Media Portland country outlet KUPL “98.7 The Bull” raised $10,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in his inaugural golf invitational at Salem Oregon’s Creekside Country Club ….. A variety of tomato-themed activities will be included next Saturday (8/19) when Beasley Media Group Philadelphia classic rock WMGK morning personality John DeBella holds his three-hour (11:00 am – 2:00 pm) “Tomato Fest” in Pennsauken, New Jersey. Among the highlights are a biggest-tomato contest; a dunk tank manned by the show’s “Super Steve”; and bobbing for tomatoes. In addition, WMGK’s house band Kategory Five will perform, and there will be a classic car display. Donations of canned goods and fresh produce will be collected to benefit the South Jersey Food Bank. DeBella is said to have thought up the “Tomato Fest” concept while seeing a vast number of farm stands and pondering why the tomato wasn’t being celebrated ….. Three (four-hour) Westwood One Labor Day weekend music specials are in the pipeline. Imagine Dragons front man Dan Reynolds will host rock’s “Summer Wrap Up”; Louis Tomlinson does the same for the pop format’s “Last Big Summer Weekend”; and ACM-award winner Kelsea Ballerini has the honors for “Workin’ Hard Country.”

Ell Talks Up Her Latest “Project.” During her visit to Westwood One’s syndicated “Ty, Kelly, & Chuck” morning show, Lindsay Ell discussed touring with Brad Paisley and creating her new album “The Project” with producer Kristian Bush. Shown left to right are Ty Bentli, Kelly Ford, Lindsay Ell, and Chuck Wicks.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

| July 21, 2016

Roger Ailes Resigns from FOX News.  In a deal that appears to have been orchestrated by 21st Century FOX chairman Rupert Murdoch and FOX News chief Roger Ailes himself after the sexual harassment charge by foxnewschannelformer FNC personality Gretchen Carlson seemed to become too much to overcome, Ailes has resigned and Rupert Murdoch will take over stewardship of the division, according to numerous news reports.  Not much else is known at this time about how the deal was worked out.  What remains to be seen is whether or not there’s any substance to the rumors that numerous FOX News staffers have threatened to follow Ailes out the door.  Names associated with that report include: Bret Baier, Shepard Smith, Sean Hannity and Greta Van Susteren.

Five Radio Companies Collaborate with Shazam for ‘Audience Measurement Solution.’  You can bet that the five radio companies involved here – iHeartMedia, Cumulus Media, Entercom Communications, Cox Media Group, and Sun Broadcast Group – are hoping this venture with audio recognition technologyshazam developer Shazam will result in a listening measurement system that will truly “deliver market- and station-level audience metrics across all radio formats.”  A press release from the firms announces this new “measurement solution for broadcast and digital audio” using the several companies’ “proprietary data assets and measurement capabilities.”  They say the measurement solution will “leverage information collected from tens subramanyamradhaof millions of devices to produce the accurate, stable cross-platform audience metrics that the industry has been waiting for.”  iHeartMedia president of research and insights Radha Subramanyam says, “Shazam delivers unparalleled audio insights that will enable stable measurement across both digitalbouvardpierre and broadcast radio, making this an extremely exciting initiative for both iHeartMedia and the audio industry.  The richness of our data, combined with Shazam’s measurement capabilities, will enable much deeper insights than traditional audio measurement does, and we believe it’s a necessary and valuable addition to the evolving multi-platform audio measurement marketplace.”  Cumulus Media chief insights officer Pierre Bouvard adds, “Shazam’s fielddavidaudio insights can be an empowering measurement tool for Cumulus Media, as well as the audio industry.  Clients are demanding more insights and targeting capabilities from media companies, and radio needs to offer what has become basic table stakes.  Shazam can help us deliver on these expectations.”  Entercom president and CEO David Field says, “With this type of innovation, we believe media strategists and planners will be prompted to re-think their media mix models to give radio its fair share of the media buy.”

The Presidential Race/Republican National Convention, Rio Olympics Troubles/Russian Doping Ban, Wisconsin Transgender Suit, Yiannopoulos Twitter Controversy, Roger Ailes-FOX News Status, Turkey Coup Attempt Aftermath, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/20).  The activities of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump tied with the happenings at the Republican National Convention; the troubles facing Rio De Janeiro as it prepares to host the Olympics and Russia’s failed bid to avoid its track and field athletes being banned for doping; the suit by a Wisconsin transgender teen against his school district; the controversy over Breitbart writer Milo Yiannopoulos being banned from Twitter for criticizing Ghostbusters actress Leslie Jones; speculation about the status of Roger Ailes’ employment as chief of FOX News after being accused of sexual harassment; the aftermath of the failed coup attempt in Turkey; 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.

hurleyharryVideo16TWO MORE VIDEOS POSTED – Talkers 2016: Bridging the Generations.  Two more video recordings of key events at the recent Talkers 2016: Bridging the Generations, that was held at Hofstra University on Long Island May 20, have been posted today (7/20) on Talkers.com.  They are the second and third segments of the four-part Awards Ceremony.  They include the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award to legendary personality Don Imus.  The presentation was made by the ceremony’s emcee/Westwood OneschwalbVideo16 syndicated host (and former recipient of the award) Jim Bohannon.  The award was accepted on behalf of Imus by WABC, New York program director Craig Schwalb. The other presentation posted today is the Sharon L. Harrison Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Involvement by a Radio Talk Show Host (“Humanitarian of the Year”).  The recipient was WPGG, Atlantic City, NJ morning host Harry Hurley and it was presented by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison. It included a special $1000 donation made by Hurley to the Broadcasters Foundation of America.  Accepting on behalf of the Foundation was Renee Cassis. To view these videos in their entirety, plus the convention videos already posted, please click here.  Stay tuned to Talkers.com for more videos from Talkers 2016: Bridging the Generations that will be posted in the days and weeks to come.

kfgoDan Hammer to Exit KFGO, Fargo.  Afternoon talk show host Dan Hammer is leaving his gig with Midwest Communications’ news/talk KFGO, Fargo.  Yesterday (7/20), Hammer told his audience he’s leaving the business and re-locating to Minot, North Dakota for personal reasons.  Hammer joined the station in December of 2015.

WSSP, Milwaukee’s Mike Wickett Exits for KC Opportunity.  After a nine-and-a-half year run onwickettmike Entercom’s sports talk WSSP-AM/W289CB simulcast “Sports Radio 105.7 FM The Fan,” morning drive co-host Mike Wickett is leaving the station for a yet-to-be-announced gig in Kansas City.  Wickett’s been working alongside co-host Chuck Freimund on the “Chuck and Wickett” show and there’s no word yet from Entercom what its plans are for the morning show.

Entercom Ups Reis to VP of Digital Engagement.  Getting VP stripes at Entercom Communications is Kim Reis, who’s now vice president of digital audience engagement.  Entercom notes that since she became director of digital audience engagement in July of 2013, the company’s social following and digital marketingreiskim footprint have grown by more than 500%.  In this new position, Reis will “coach and support the programming, promotions, digital and on-air teams in all 27 markets to better engage with listeners and fans on social media, email, text, websites, on-demand audio, live streaming and other digital assets to grow ratings and revenue.”  Reis joined Entercom after serving as digital media & marketing director for Media General’s WJAR-TV, Providence.  She began her career as a morning radio co-host on WPRO-FM and WWKX in Providence.

Odds & Sods.  Big Apple news/talk “710 WOR” is making its programming heard on the HD2 channel of sister classic rock WAXQ-FM…..A new deal between E.W. Scripps-owned news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee and MLB’s Brewers continues the relationship that puts play-by-play and special baseball programming on flagship WTMJ.  The length of the deal was not disclosed…..SiriusXM announces actor/producer/director Michael Rapaport will host a weekly fantasy football show on its 24/7 fantasy sports channel.  The show will be called “Ya Never Know” with noted fantasy sports expert John Hansen every Tuesday from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET from July 26 through the end of the 2016 NFL season…..DirecTV sports talk personalities Dan Patrick and Rich Eisen each have released new mobile apps for their respective programs available on both Android and iOS.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutIs There (Extra-)Terrestrial Life Beyond Terrestrial Radio?  Michael Harrison Catches Up With Former Radio Programmer Laurie Cantillo.   Former talk radio program director (WTOP, WABC, KFYI, XTRA, KTAR) Laurie Cantillo is the guest interviewee on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne program, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  The past recipient of the TALKERS Woman of the Year Award left all-news WTOP, Washington, DC a year-and-a-half ago in a fascinating change of career course and became a public affairs officer in the planetary sciences division of the National Aeronautics and Spacecantillolaurie Administration (NASA).  Since joining NASA, Cantillo has been involved in communicating information to the media about a variety of colorful projects including the recent New Horizons fly-by of Pluto and the current Juno Mission to Jupiter.  Harrison and Cantillo discuss a wide range of subjects and issues including the state of commercial radio, the impact of today’s media on the news, the relationship between young people and social media and, of course, leading edge discoveries and NASA projects in science.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box in the right-hand column of every page on Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

| March 16, 2016

cbsradio logoCBS to Explore Options for Radio Division.  The company has always enjoyed the cash flow that the CBS RADIO division brought to its bottom line but CEO Les Moonves has often indicated that radio is not a core business for CBS Corp.  Yesterday’s announcement by Moonves at a CBS investor day that the company will explore “strategic options” for the radio division in order to “hone its asset portfolio” is being greeted by the radio industry with mixed emotions.  Potential buyers are thrilled by the thought of acquiring CBS’ heritage, major market signals, but few operators have piles of cash on hand and it will require taking on debt tomoonvesles buy these stations in a climate where debt can be difficult to pay off.  TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison offers the following comments on the Moonves announcement, “Broadcast (FM/AM) radio can still be a very viable business if stations can be acquired at realistic prices.  There is still a lot of life left in the medium if it can run within a business model that makes sense per the times.  Also, broadcast radio has a large audience and provides a vital set of services for millions of Americans.  It just needs to be relieved of stifling debt.  Radio has to be able to afford to do radio.  Fresh capital within a realistic debt structure and the influx of invigorated, passionate ownership will create a much better product for radio which will further add years of vitality to the industry.”  However, Harrison points out, “CBS has been and still is one of the better-run major companies in radio, so its decision to get out – although advancing the cause of de-consolidation – is not an act of desperation as much as it is indicative of their long-term asset strategy.”  Moonves told investors that it views CBS TV and Showtime as its premium brands.  The company is focusing intently on its digital efforts CBS All Access and Showtime via the Internet to cater to consumers’ growing on-demand preferences.  CBS owns 117 signals in 26 markets, many of those clusters are in major markets.  Given what CBS hopes to get for the stations it is unlikely that one buyer will be able to swallow the whole group.  Since radio is not considered a growth industry by investors, finding favorable financing for radio station acquisitions – especially in light of the enormous debt fellow operators iHeartMedia and Cumulus are dealing with – will be a challenge.  Moonves said all options are on the table, meaning the company would consider a spinoff or a split as well as an outright sale.  CBS RADIO’s net revenue for the fourth quarter of 2015 was down 5% compared to the same period in 2014.

harrisonRadioDays16wcaptionAmerican Broadcasters Participate in Radiodays Europe.  Several prominent US radio broadcasters participated as speakers in the just-concluded seventh annual installment of Radiodays Europe – the growingly popular international radio convention that took place March 13-15 in Paris.  Among them were TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison who delivered a speech titled “Lessons Learned by American Radio During the Dawn of the Digital Era” and moderated a “Fast and Curious” roundtable discussion titled, “Making Radio Indispensable;” Jacobs Media CEO, Fred Jacobs who participated in a group presentation titled, “”Radio in Car: Dashboard Disaster;” Geller Media International  president Valerie Geller who conducted a workshop titled “Create Powerful Radio,” spoke in a group session titled “30 Ideas in 45 Minutes” and debuted the brand new French language edition of her book Creating Powerful Radio; iHeart Media syndicated personality Elvis Duran and VP of talent development Dennis Clark who both appeared on the panel titled “Morning Radio SuperstarsgellerRadiodays16 – In Talent We Trust; NPR producer Bianca Giaeve, who presented a session titled “Storytelling in New Medias” and appeared in the group session titled “30 Ideas in 45 Minutes;” and Futuri Media CEO Daniel Anstandig who presented a session titled “Winning the First Tune-In Occasion of the Day.”  It was announced that next year’s Radiodays Europe will take place in Amsterdam.  Pictured at right is Valerie Geller with her Puissance Radio French publishing team (l-r) Philippe Chapot, Francois Quairel and Frederic Bruhaltour at the debut of the French version of her classic Creating Powerful Radio. 

tidwelllanceCumulus Kansas City Names Lance Tidwell Cluster OM and KCMO PD.  Programmer Lance Tidwell joins Cumulus Media’s Kansas City station group to serve as cluster operations manager and program director for news/talk KCMO-AM.  He’ll also supervise the Chiefs Radio Network.  Tidwell was previously SVP of programming for iHeartMedia’s San Antonio cluster.  On KCMO-AM, Tidwell replaces Steve Sutton who recently exited the PD and talk host roles at the station.

Odds & Sods.  The photo at right shows a billboard in the Tampa market for “102.5 The Bone” morning personalitycaltaBillboard16 Mike CaltaCox Media Group-owned talk outlet WHPT is also promoting the afternoon drive Drew Garabo show with a similar ad.  “Bone” program director John Brennan comments on the Trump-inspired boards saying, “We’re kicking off 102.5 The Bone’s ‘CamPAINFUL’ coverage and have launched a series of parody billboards ‘Trumped’ in ridiculousness only by the 2016 Election itself.”  Calta will appear at the Talkers 2016: hennermariluBridging the Generations conference at Hofstra University on May 20 on the “Millennials and the Media” panel…..It’s being reported that the Marilu Henner talk radio show will wrap after its last broadcast on March 31.  The program is no longer listed on the Sun Broadcast Group site.  It is distributed by Genesis Communications Network.  “Free Talk Live” principal Ian Freeman reports the news to affiliate stations.  His show is also distributed by GCN…..Speaking of “Free Talk Live,”janoffgreg the show announces it has added new affiliates in WWHP-FM, Bloomington, Illinois; KQQQ, Pullman, Washington; simulcast KEIR, KEII, and the four translators in Idaho Falls, Blackfoot, and Pocatello, Idaho; and WSDT, Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee…..Greg Janoff returns to CBS RADIO New York as director of news sales for all-newsers WINS and WCBS-AM.  Janoff was most recently with Townsquare Media as regional VP for New Jersey.

ppmunitRound Two of February PPM Data Released.  The second of four rounds of February 2016 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The survey period was January 28 – February 24.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Twelve Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

Super Tuesday II/Presidential Race, Syrian Conflict-Russian Involvement, Scalia Replacement, U.S Immigration Policy, and ‘Pawn Stars’ Cast Member Bust Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/15).  Yesterday’s Super Tuesday II primary elections and the issues surrounding the presidential race; the Syrian conflict and Russia’s announcement it is removing its troops from the region; the controversy over the replacement of late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia; debate over the immigration policy in the U.S.; and the arrest of “Pawn Stars” cast member Chumlee were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Monday, August 17, 2015

| August 17, 2015

T-MobileT-Mobile Will Activate FM Chip. The decision by T-Mobile was issued Friday (8/14) via Twitter by president and chief executive officer John Legere, whose actual “tweet” reads, “Hey @NextRadio app – We heard you! We’re saying yes to FM and will push our OEM partners to support!” Expanding his remarks, Legere states, “We are excited about T-Mobile joining Sprint and AT&T as the first carriers to officially request their handset makers activate FM radio chipsNextRadio with NextRadio in their device specifications. Activating the FM chip, already present in every Smartphone in America, allows users to download the NextRadio app and engage in a visually compelling, interactive experience with local radio stations, without the data charges and battery drain of streaming.” NextRadio/Tag Station president Paul Brenner instantly and directly replied to Legere with a video message by commenting, “Hey John, we saw your ‘tweet’ and you made our day. It was so great to see T-Mobile say ‘yes’ to the FM chip. The American radio industry is excited to be behind this effort and to work with T-Mobile going forward to make this a great experience for your customers. We have tens of thousands of T-Mobile customers respond to this program. Just like you always said you would do, you listened to those customers. Thank-you and we look forward to working with you in the future.” T-Mobile’s parent company is Deutsche Telekom.

carrhowieThe Howie Carr Northeast Regional Juggernaut Rolls On — Adds WPOP, Hartford.  The independent Howie Carr Radio Network, just over a year old, has added iHeartMedia outlet WPOP, Hartford to its ever-growing roster of affiliates in New England and the Northeast.  That raises the total to 23 with more reportedly about to be signed.  The network is built around the 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET daily program of legendary broadcaster/newspaper columnist/author Howie Carr who tells TALKERS, “We have a lot of listeners in Hartford and now they have an easier way to hear the show on 1410 WPOP.”  The network’s VP/sales and marketing Kathy Carr adds, “We are excited to add WPOP in Hartford.  WPOP is a great addition to the network and will greatly benefit our sponsors.”  Stand by.  More affiliates to be added shortly.

wpop logoWPOP Flips to News/Talk.  It was the flip from sports talk to news/talk that opened up the door for Boston-based Howie Carr to get his show cleared on WPOP, Hartford as noted in the story above.  The iHeartMedia station returns to news/talkpennvinnie after almost 18 years away from the format.  Morning drive features “The Vinnie Penn Project” with host Vinnie Penn – a Connecticut broadcasting pro, comic, and writer who’s worked in local radio on CHR WKCI, New Haven “KC101” and news/talk WELI, New Haven as well as on SiriusXM.  The rest of the station’s lineup includes: Boston-based “The Financial Exchange” with Barry Armstrong; Bloomberg Radio; Westwood One’s Mark Levin; and Premiere Networks’ “America Now with Meghan McCain.”

inc5000 logoSun Broadcast Group Recognized by Inc. Magazine for Second Year in a Row.  The company will be honored at Inc. Magazine’s Inc. 5000 Conference and Awards Ceremony in Orlando later this year for being one of the fastest-growing companies in America.  Sun Broadcast Group also is receiving recognition as the fastest-growing company in the broadcast radio industry and the 11th fastest-growing company in all of media.  The annual list ranks the country’s fastest-growing privatebaileyjasonsun companies according to percentage of revenue growth over three years.  Sun reports during that time its revenue jumped more than 629%.  It also has added 18 full-time positions between its New York City and Boca Raton offices.  SBG CEO Jason Bailey comments, “When we were given the honor of making the Inc. Magazine list in 2014 you could have knocked me over with a feather.  Making the list for a second year and being in the top 20% among some of the most incredibly innovative companies in this country is absolutely mind blowing.  I’m so proud of the incredible team here at Sun and so thankful to the clients, producers and agency partners who have supported us over the last seven years.  The journey has been a mighty one but we always have and will continue to do it our way for the better of our partnerships and for this incredibly industry.  Onward!”

kinosianmikePPM Analysis: MLB Flagships.  TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents this year’s second analysis of the performances of stations serving as flagships for MLB play-by-play – this time based on data from Nielsen Audio’s July 2015 PPM survey (6+).  As is often the case, MLB teams thatMLB Logo appear to be headed for playoff contention (even in June and July) tend to boost ratings for their flagships.  The continuing resurgence of the Kansas City Royals has certainly been good for KCSP – the station performed three full shares better in 2015 than during the same period a year ago.  Although interestingly, the division leading Houston Astros have only nudged flagship KBME up 0.3 share (1.3 share, 6+) from a year ago.  View Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

toucher&rich names‘98.5 The Sports Hub’ Morning Show Now Seen on Comcast SportsNet New England.  The WBZ-FM, Boston morning show “Toucher & Rich” – hosted by Fred Toucher and Rich Shertenlieb – is now being simulcast on regional cable channel Comcast SportsNet.  The CBS RADIO sports station currently has an agreement with Comcast to simulcast the station’s afternoon drive show, “Felger & Mazz.”  Comcast has sold the title sponsorship to UNO Pizzeria & Grill.  Comcast SportsNet New England president Bill Bridgen says, “‘Toucher & Rich’ have been incredibly successful by mixing sports and pop culture into one creative daily show.  We are thrilled to expand our relationship with ‘The Sports Hub’ into the morning and further establish Comcast SportsNet as the go-to television source for Boston sports programming.”

Odds & Sods.  Late Friday afternoon (4:00 pm, 8/14), Cumulus Media Minneapolis flipped trimulcast WGVX,wgvx logo WRXP, WGVZ, “Sports Talk 105 The Ticket” to classic hip hop as “The Vibe 105.”  The latest (July 2015) Nielsen Audio PPM figures for the Twin Cities indicate that “Sports Talk 105 The Ticket” ranked #25 of the 25 stations listed with a .1 (6+).  Locked on .3 from January to May, “The Ticket” dipped to .2 in June and then to .1 in July.  The other two sports stations in Minneapolis-St. Paul are iHeartMedia‘s KFXN “K-Fan” (4.2, #11) and Hubbard‘s KSTP-AM “1500 ESPN” (1.1, #19)…..ESPN Audio announces the return of its “Fantasy Focus” podcast for a ninth season.  Field Yates joins as the new co-host with Matthew BerryStephania Bell continues her role as a contributor to the podcast, which is produced daily throughout the NFL regular season.  “Fantasy Focus” has also accumulated almost 30 million downloads – second all-time among ESPN podcasts.

townsquare logoTownsquare Media to Add to its Live Events Business with NAME Acquisition.  The 2015 second quarter net revenue figure for Townsquare Media, Inc. rose 10.5% on the strength of its Live Events division, which saw a year-over-year increase of 50.4%.  Now, the company announces it has entered into a definitive purchase agreement to acquire North American Midway Entertainment, LLC (NAME) for approximately $75.5 million (subject to certain working capital and other adjustments).   In a press statement, Townsquare says, “NAME entertains more than 15 million people on an annual basis as the owner and operator of amusement attractions, including over 200 state-of-the-art rides, custom-designed food concessions and family-oriented games at approximately 150 fairs per year across the United States and Canada.”  NAME’s management team will join Townsquare and become part of its Live Events division.  Townsquare chairman and CEO Steven Price states, “We are excited to partner with NAME’s management team and add NAME’s market-leading mobile amusement parks to our Live Events portfolio.  Nearly half of NAME’s current events are within 100 miles of a Townsquare market and fit squarely within our core stated strategy of providing affordable, family-friendly entertainment content.”

Friday, June 5, 2015

| June 5, 2015

hivio 2015Henner Among hivio Highlights. To punctuate his point of the “power of audio,” Mark Ramsey Media president Mark Ramsey played several seconds of the unmistakable bumper from Jerry Seinfeld‘s sitcom “Seinfeld,” which debuted in May 1990. It had its last telecast just over eight years later (September 1998) – thus has been in syndication longer than its original NBC primetime run. That and classic clips from Orson Welles‘ legendary “War of the Worlds” (including how purposeful “dead-air” is a potent way of using audio) were cleverly woven in by Ramsey yesterday (Thursday, 6/4) in his scene-setting opening remarks of hivio 2015, the two-day Los Angeles confab focusing on compelling content in a world of limitless distribution. Eight segments – including three 30-minute presentations – followed Ramsey’s 20-minute introduction in a fast-paced four-hour seminar at Hollywood’s landmark comedy venue, the Improv. One of those eight segments was a one-on-one interview Ramsey conducted with Marilu Henner, in which the author, sitcom actress (“Taxi,” “Evening Shade”), “Celebrity Apprentice” participant, Food Network host, and memory expert discussed her daily radio project. Downplaying her celebrity status, Henner insists she is just “a neighborhood girl from Chicago” and in many ways simply “the girl next door.” Enamored with radio’s spontaneity, she states she is “a very auditory person” and that has “always been” her passion. This past May 13 commemorated the one-year anniversary of the radio show fronted by effervescent Los Angeles-based Henner. The daily talk entity is executive-produced by Sun Broadcast Group, which handles affiliations and national sales as well; Genesis Communications Network provides satellite delivery and streaming audio for the show. Unique in today’s talk radio landscape on multiple levels, the three-hour (9:00 am – noon PT) project is female-targeted (rather than geared to angry, white men); it is non-political; and the host, while still relatively new to radio, has amassed sterling accolades on several entertainment platforms. In other words, Henner is anything but a one-trick pony. Perhaps the greatest surprise she encountered in the first year of doing the radio program is the extent of her love of it. “I knew I would like it a lot but I am really passionate about it,” she stresses. “I feel like people are letting me into a very ‘cool-kids’ club.”  Missing from Henner’s daily radio program though is a political concentration because, “That’s not what I am here to do,” she points out. “I love to talk with celebrities, do lifestyle things, and play ‘Defend Your Gender.’ I try Marilu Hennerto stay away from politics and religion.” Each of her programs features as many as seven guests and Henner actually enjoys doing the copious associated daily research. “I can always find that little nugget from their past or a connection I might have with them,” she boasts. Some of her peers might be afraid to do a daily radio show because, as Henner opines, “They feel it is a lot of work and takes a lot of energy. It is hard work and you have got to love it.” Paramount in her role as a host is to be a good listener, especially given that “things happen so quickly and you don’t want to miss” anything important. Recalling what she stated as a keynote speaker at last month’s NAB, Henner says, “Of all the great things I love to do in my life, radio is the best of all of it. It has the immediate feel of a live performance; the personal expression of writing a book; the storytelling of a movie; global reach of a long-running sitcom; and it is like opening night on Broadway – every single day. This is what I get to do.” Each morning, she wakes up wondering how she “can make my show better” and as soon as she gets off the air, she maintains that she cannot wait until the next day’s broadcast. One of the best pieces of advice Henner has received so far came courtesy of veteran talk host Dick Cavett, who suggests she view on-air discussions with guests as “conversations” rather than “interviews.” Another popular talk host’s name was invoked when Henner mentioned her fond admiration for David Letterman. “I did his show many times and he was very good at ‘riding the wave,'” she remarks. “He might have had questions [prepared for him] but being able to be “in the moment” made him such a genius. He did not let anything slide.” Henner’s candor in Thursday’s 20-minute hivioMark Ramsey conversation with Ramsey is consistent with her radio persona. “I had a baby on national television, so I have no secrets,” she proclaims. “You can ask me anything; I will talk about anything; and I will remember anything. I am genuinely interested in people.” Her unique memory capabilities have been frequently chronicled, including several times on “60 Minutes” and Henner comments, “Developing a stronger autobiographical memory is really your [best] line of defense against meaninglessness that you have. You can figure out what is from your past; how to bring it to your present; and how you can inform a better future. Everything you have been through is already on your emotional hard drive. Whether or not you acknowledge it, it’s making you behave in certain ways.” Anticipating there is “a whole new frontier” for her, Henner declares she, “loves radio,” and moreover, she is “obsessed” with it. Also featured on Thursday’s agenda were similar one-on-one Ramsey-conducted discussions with Scott Baker of The Blaze; Mike Schneider of TV Guide; Jake Shapiro of PRX; and Richard Laermer of RLM PR; hivio 2015 concludes later today (Friday, 6/5) with another four-hour block at the Improv.

cookehollandI Want to Be a Part of it, New York, New York.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke is gearing up for next Friday’s Talkers New York 2015 conference at the India House Club in Manhattan’s Financial District and he has some thoughts about how to maximize your trip to New York, from a professional standpoint.  Take it from an intrepid radio pro, there are smart ways to get the most out of industry events such as this one.  Cooke says, “”Reach out NOW to those you’d like to tag-up in New York, and schedule some face time.  If it’s only a latte at that Starbucks diagonally across from India House, you’ll have a more meaningful conversation than ad hoc in the din within.  I’ve been scheduling my Talkers time for weeks now.”  Read more from Holland Cooke here.

iheartradio newiHeartRadio Reports 70 Million Registered Users. The digital audio platform of iHeartMedia is reporting it has hit the 70 million registered users threshold.  Claiming it has reached that mark “faster than Facebook or any other digital music or streaming service,” the company says “its digital footprint alone spans nearly 80 million social media followers across its network, significantly more than any of its competitors and are integrated on 60+ devices (and counting).”  iHeartRadio says that its social engagement (Facebook and Twitter) share is 68% — topping Spotify’s 17%, Tidal’s 12%, Pandora’s 2% and Rdio’s 1%.

Odds & Sods.  The newest podcast from Compass Media Networks features college football and NFL star Craig James.  Titled, “Airing It Out with Craig James,” the weekly program will deliver “unique and compelling insights into the world of college and NFL football.”  The inaugural episode features guests Art Briles – Baylor University football coach – and NFL legend Roger Staubach…..KFI, Los Angeles’ Mo’ Kelly show will broadcast live from Comic-Con at the FOX Sports Grill San Diego on July 11.  The Mo’ Kelly show airs on the iHeartMedia news/talk station Saturdays and Sundays from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.  Last year’s broadcast from Comic-Con featured Orlando Jones of “Sleepy Hollow,” Iron Mike Tyson, AMC’s “Halt and Catch Fire” creator/executive producer Christopher C. Rogers and even Comedy Central’s super duo of Key & Peele…..NFL Hall of Famer Sonny Jurgensen will be back as part of the radio play-by-play team for Washington Redskins Radio Network broadcasts this season.  Red Zebra Broadcasting says Jurgensen, who’s been part of the team’s broadcasts since 1981, will join Larry Michael and Chris Cooley in the booth.

blasingamejimJim Blasingame Wins Axiom Business Book Award.  Talk show host and small business and entrepreneurship expert Jim Blasingame is being honored with the Axiom Business Book Award for his third book, The Age of the Customer: Prepare for the Moment of Relevance (SBN Books 2014).  The book has reportedly sold 40,000 copies.  Blasingame, whose radio show is nationally syndicated by Talk Shows USA, states, “It’s a great honor to receive the Axiom Business Book Award.  Of course, we’re also pleased at the response from business leaders of all size companies, who’re using my book to transport their businesses to where their customers already are, in the Age of the Customer.”

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  The Dave Ramsey show is now airing on Salem Media Groupramseydaveowned KYCR, Minneapolis “Business 1570” from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm daily…..“Legends of Success with John Resnick” joins the lineup at KJCE, Austin, Texas and WBCF, Florence, Alabama…..Tim Constantine’s “The Capitol Hill Show” is now airing on WMEX, Boston in the early evening slot.

hamburgTonys15From Sardi’s in Times Square, Joan Hamburg’s Tony Awards Show.  Pictured here at the iconic New York City eatery is WABC, New York personality Joan Hamburg (right) with actresses Tyne Daly (left) and Harriet Harris (center).  The two are up for Tony Awards for the show “It Shoulda Been You” and joined Hamburg for the special event that took place on Thursday (6/4).  The taped show features special Broadway guests who dropped in to talk about their shows, nominations, and much more.  One hundred of Hamburg’s loyal listeners joined her for the sold-out production.  It will air on WABC on Saturday from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.

talkersten logo2016 Presidential Prospects Top News/Talk Story for Week of June 1-5.  The growing list of candidates for president in 2016 – including the just-announced candidacy of Republicans Rick Perry and Lindsey Graham – was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week.  At #2 was ISIS’ military progress in Iraq and Syria.  Coming in at #3 was the Hillary Clinton email issue followed by the expiration of the Patriot Act tied with the TSA failing the explosives detection tests 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.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

| September 4, 2014

riversjoanComedienne and Talk Host Joan Rivers Dead at 81.  Media personality Joan Rivers will be remembered for her work as a comedienne – most notably for her acerbic red carpet commentary shows and her long stint guest hosting “The Tonight Show” for Johnny Carson – but she was also a radio talk show host who worked for five years both on WOR, New York and the WOR Radio Network.  Former WOR program director David Bernstein – who now serves as GM of TALKERS broadcast operations – hired Rivers for her radio gig to replace Barry Gray at the station.  Bernstein says, “Joan loved radio.  She understood that timing in comedy translates differently on radio than on TV, or any other medium.  And she let me teach.  She was hungry to conquer a new medium.”  Bernstein says Rivers was unlike stars from other media whobernsteindavid dabble in radio.  “She may have been the hardest-working person I’ve ever supervised.  She showed up at the station to do her show even while on vacation.  I asked her, ‘What are you doing here?’  She said, ‘My plane came in early, so why not work?  I love being on the radio!’”  He says Rivers was also very generous to those around her at the radio station.  “She filled in for me in Providence at WPRO.  She came to Rhode Island, bought lunch for the entire six-station cluster and did every TV interview I could set up.  She also hosted Rush’s show for one of the weeks he was out.  She knew she’d upset the apple cart, and that pleased her.”  Bernstein says managing Rivers left him with no end of funny stories.  “I had to tell her she can’t have her nails done during the show because she is not close enough to the mic, not to mention it screws up her concentration.  But, perhaps that most memorable night was when she came in for her show straight from cosmetic surgery, and was…uh, unable to do a comprehensive show.  I pulled her off after the first break, and instead of anger, she expressed gratitude that I protected her image by taking her off the air that night.  As you can imagine, her language had always been an issue.  After three bad words, I had to suspend her for a week.  Although she was angry, I convinced her that she should go on the media tour to discuss the FCC language rules, and she hit “Entertainment Tonight,” “The Today Show,” “Larry King Live” and a slew of others.  It was a Joan Rivers bonanza – great press for WOR – all thanks to Joan’s skilled use of the word ‘shit.’”

hannitySean Hannity to Lead WDBO-FM, Orlando Live Event.  The live stage production is being called “Red, White, & Truth: Solutions for America,” and is presented by Cox Media Group-owned news/talk WDBO-FM, Orlando “News 96.5.”  It will take place October 30 at the CFE Arena at the University of wdbo-FM logoCentral Florida.  Premiere Networks and Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity, along with Radio America-syndicated personality Dana Loesch, Fox News Radio’s Brian Kilmeade and talk host Herman Cain will present “a dynamic on-stage discussion about current issues in the news, including the 2014 Florida Congressional Gubernatorial races.”  Listeners can buy tickets starting at $25 and have the option of a VIP experience that includes a meet-and-greet plus photo op with the hosts.  “News 96.5” program director Drew Anderssen says, “We often tell our listeners, ‘when we’re not doing the news, we’re talking about the news,’ and this event gives listeners an opportunity to engage with our hosts in a live, interactive setting, to hear their off-the-cuff remarks on major topics affecting the nation and Central Florida.”

hughesspencerSpencer Hughes Exits KSFO, San Francisco.  After a six month stint hosting the late morning show on Cumulus Media’s KSFO, San Francisco, talk personality Spencer Hughes resigns from the station.  On his Facebook page and website, Hughes says he refuses to be negative about his departure from the station and says, in part, “I am at peace with my departure from KSFO.  It was the home of my talk radio debut back on December 31, 1994.  I worked and befriended some of the biggest legends in the business.  This New Year’s Eve would have been my 20th anniversary hosting the Spencer Hughes show and I had always envisioned it would be behind the mic of the station that gave birth to my vision and dream 20 years ago.”  Hughes promises fans his show will be back “even bigger and better.”

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Today: 68% of Americans Hear Network Radio.  The latest Nielsen “Audio Today Report” indicates that nearly seven in 10 Americans – 68% — are reached by network radio that emanates from such distributors as AdLarge Media, American Urban Radio Networks, Crystal Media Networks, Premiere Networks, United Stations Radio Networks and Westwood One.  Among the data Nielsen reports includes: Listeners reached by these networks are highly qualified consumers — 74% of all full-time workers listen to network radio; 69% of those with household incomes over $75,000 per year listen to network radio and 66% of college graduates tune in each week, too.  Nielsen also says the study indicates 51.5 million Millennials are “engaging with network radio.”  Read the entire study here.

creative talent logoSteve Gallagher Launches Creative Talent, Inc.  Longtime broadcasting executive Steve Gallagher announces the formation of Creative Talent, Inc. – a broadcast talent agency focused on talent, content management and representation.  Most recently, Gallagher was an EVP with Sun Broadcast Group.  He says in a statement, “We are in a new age andgallaghersteve never before has the power of the personality and content creator been more important.  Never before have there been more platforms, distribution channels and opportunities for all creative talent to advance.  At Creative Talent, we are committed to representing the most talented personalities and content creation companies and provide them with the individual attention for them to amass huge success and reach their full potential.  At the same time, Gallagher announces his company has formed a strategic alliance with ConnectPal – the platform recently debuted by talk media personality Andy Dean.  Dean comments, “Steve Gallagher gets it.  Steve is a forward thinker and his great talent relationships are the key to unlocking the future of content distribution.  I am extremely excited to work with Steve and Creative Talent, Inc.”

patrickdanPremiere Networks and DirecTV Renew Dan Patrick Deal.  The agreement between Clear Channel’s Premiere Networks and DirecTV for the Dan Patrick sports talk show is renewed, though the term of the deal is not announced.  The pact means Premiere Networks will continue providing exclusive ad sales representation and radio distribution for the show and it will continue to be part of the Fox Sports Radio Network lineup.

ppmunitRound Two of August PPM Data Released.  The second of four rounds of August 2014 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The survey period was July 17 through August 13.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

bloomberglogoMichael Bloomberg Returns to Bloomberg LP.  Nine months after leaving the New York City mayor’s office, Michael Bloomberg has a renewed presence at news organization Bloomberg LP.  At the end of this year, current president and CEO Daniel Doctoroff will exit the company and it’s being reported by USA Today that Bloomberg will not seek an immediate successor to Doctoroff but will run the company with the assistance of other company executives.  Doctoroff is a close friend of Bloomberg and served as Deputy Mayor until 2008 when he left to become president of Bloomberg LP.  He became CEO in 2011.  Though the two deny there is any bad blood between them over Bloomberg’s return to the company, it’s being reported that Doctoroff was irked by Bloomberg’s becoming involved again in day-to-day operations.

wexlerlisaOdds & Sods.  WFAS-AM, White Plains, New York talk show host Lisa Wexler is now heard on WGCH, Greenwich, Connecticut as the 4:00 pm hour of her program is being simulcast on the station…..Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington and WTOP.com become the first U.S. radio partner to enter into an agreement with the Waze Broadcast Program – a network of news media using the Waze navigation service’s real-time information to supplement their traffic reporting.  The partnership will allow the WTOP traffic department access to a special version of the Waze app to help reporters identify, capture and report the most newsworthy incidents in real-time.  In exchange, WTOP is branding Waze user content when the information is incorporated into reports…..WING-AM, Dayton “ESPN Radio 1410” is adding another hour to the program “Dayton Sports Scene with Mark Neal” — doubling the show to two hours.  Alpha Media reports the new show time — from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm — comes as the result of Alpha Media’s recent entry into the Dayton market with the commitment of more “live and local” programming.

ABCComptoncake‘We’ll Miss You, Ann.’  Those are the words on the cake you see being presented to retiring ABC News Radio White House correspondent Ann Compton aboard Air Force 1.  She was toasted in the press cabin en route to Estonia yesterday morning and treated to the rich, chocolate layer cake in celebration of her final flight after 41 years.  Upon landing, Ann was invited for a private visit to the front cabin with President Obama.  She was given a peek at his private quarters – complete with double-sink bathroom, full shower, and living area — which Ann says still looks the same as when President George H.W. Bush gave her a tour back when the Boeing 747 had its first presidential flight 20 years ago!

wtmj logoCool Job Opportunity.  If you love pro sports, have the passion to sell and have a track record of winning, WTMJ Radio may have the opportunity for you.  WTMJ has a rare opening in its sports marketing group for a sports account manager to drive revenue for flagship WTMJ’s Green Bay Packers and Milwaukee Brewers broadcast partnerships. Connect with WTMJ’s director of sales, Tom Sheridan at tsheridan@jrn.com and let him know how you can play a big role on a winning team.

US-UK’s NATO Tactic Against ISIS/Journalist Beheadings, Russia-Ukraine Military Tensions, Hacked Naked Celeb Pics/Apple iCloud Troubles, Mid-Term Elections/2016 Presidential Prospects, Ebola Virus Pandemic Threat, Ferguson PD to Be Investigated by Justice Department, and Start of NFL Season Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/3).  The US and UK’s plans to seek a NATO coalition to fight ISIS and the beheadings of American journalists; the ongoing military tensions between Ukrainian forces and Russia; the controversy over the hacking of celebrities’ naked photos and questions about the security of Apple’s iCloud; the looming mid-term elections and prospects for the 2016 presidential race; the threat of an Ebola virus pandemic; the U.S. Justice Department’s plan to investigate the Ferguson, Missouri police department; and the start of the NFL season were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

| August 20, 2014

Bicentennial SSB Cover 175Views “Rising” on Rock Band’s “Spangled” Song Interpretation. Several months ago, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison — a showman at heart — pondered the advantages of — and reaction to — opening the publication’s annual New York City seminar in June with a rousing, dramatic version of — all things — the National Anthem. The more he deliberated on it, the more he reasoned, why not. It has famously preceded every major sporting event and, truth be told, a multitude of minor ones as well. When done correctly and under optimum circumstances though, a spirited rendition of this country’s anthem can elicit powerfully positive emotions. Such was the case two months ago (6/20) at that very TALKERS confab when patriotic rock band Madison Rising gripped everyone’s attention and brought several to a misty-eye state with their “Star Spangled Banner” performance. The group now boasts sales of over 100,000 of “The Star Spangled Banner,” which celebrates its 200th birthday in about four weeks. Francis Scott Key wrote it on the morning of September 14, 1814, as he watched the American flag rise over Ft. McHenry. Madison Rising has updated and re-energized the anthem just in time for this momentous occasion. Thus far, there have been nearly six million unique YouTube video views of Madison Rising’s “Star Spangled Banner” performance. The band, a creation of New York City entrepreneur Richard Mgrdechian, hopes to reach 10 million views by the September 14 anniversary.  To view it, please click here.

price howardFerguson Wake Up Call: Is your Emergency Planning Proactive or Reactive?  The turmoil in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, MO illustrates the need for radio stations – particularly those in the news/talk/information genre – to be prepared in the event that something like what is happening in Ferguson strikes close to home.  Howard B. Price, director, business continuity, ABC Television Network expert (and one of the huge stars of the recent Talkers New York 2014 seminar) shares his expertise on this subject in a new piece posted today (8/20) writing: “We don’t yet know the full story behind the shooting of an unarmed African-American man by a white police officer in Ferguson…but what has emerged in the days of protest, rioting and looting that have followed is both a cautionary tale and a teachable moment for broadcasters. They – and digital newsgatherers, too – are being tested on their ability to ramp up meaningful coverage of contentious social issues simmering in communities large and small. Also being tested is their preparedness to both report the story while protecting their people and property.  To read Price’s entire priceless piece, please click here.

gallagher mikeGallagher Encourages Listeners to Support Local Police. The call-to-action by Salem talk show host Mike Gallagher comes after last weekend’s fatal shooting by a Ferguson, Missouri police officer of 18-year-old Michael Brown and the aftermath there and elsewhere. Some protesters are calling for retribution for the officer involved in Brown’s death but Gallagher hopes his audience can “turn a negative into a positive” by donating to his 501c3 non-profit “Gallagher’sArmy Fallen Officer Fund,” which provides money to families of officers killed in the line of duty. According to Gallagher, the mission of that endeavor is simple: “We want to get a check into the hands of the surviving family members of a police officer who has been killed in the line of duty as quickly as possible,” he states. “This show of financial support to be used in any way the family sees fit will in no way compensate for their loss; rather, it is a sign of appreciation, respect and support from a grateful nation.” Violence and confrontations in Ferguson are generating headlines, but Gallagher maintains that incidents there are “detracting from the solid work” local police departments do in cities and towns throughout America.

brady billBrady: What Do We Do About AM Radio?  The somber financial and technological state of AM radio as a viable commercial medium going forward is the subject of almost-daily articles both in the consumer media and the media trades. The recent Walt Disney Company  announcement of its intention to sell off 23 of its 24 AM stations only added fuel to these fires of worry and pessimism.  It’s not unusual to read the opinion that AM radio has an “image problem” or is virtually “non-existent” to younger demos — but as Futures & Options, Inc. president and CEO Bill Brady writes in a new TALKERS piece published today (8/20), news/talk radio can step up to the plate and again save AM radio (and itself) in the process.  But in order to do so, there is going to have to be new thinking, creativity and commitment on the part of all involved.  Brady writes:  “News/talk isn’t just a different format, it’s a different business.  News/talk stations used to be stand-alone operations managed by broadcasters who nurtured and cared for them.  They were sold by dedicated sales teams who knew well the format’s ability to bring customers through their client’s doors.  With the dawn of consolidation, news/talk stations suddenly found themselves in big station clusters with managers who were preoccupied with their other stations.  Often, these were music station GMs without news/talk backgrounds — and they weren’t at all prepared for the cranky, petulant, expense-laden news/talk AMs they were suddenly forced to deal with. News/talk stations can be a handful.  Their audiences are vocal, and they complain.  A lot.  Then, there are the hosts.  They are often high-maintenance.  There are pressure groups and PR crises which can’t be ignored.  Then, there’s the expense.  News/talk hosts make a lot of money.  A lot more than FM jocks do.  With news and support staffs, news/talk stations can cost a lot to operate.  To consolidation era GMs, news/talk stations were a pain and the expense reductions were irresistible.  GMs cut the guts out of their news/talk stations.  Gone, too, is the “time suck” of local hosts and their shenanigans.  GMs no longer have to spend their days talking to complaining listeners, or newspaper reporters seeking comment on controversial local hosts. All is now quiet on the western front.  Too quiet.”  To read media management pro Brady’s entire article, please click here.

wckgChicago’s WCKG Relocates. Elmhurst, Illinois-licensed/DuPage Radio-owned talker WCKG “The Voice of DuPage County” is moving to state-of-the-art studios and offices in suburban Chicago. Their facilities will be in Carr Workplaces’ Oak Brook Terrace Tower. With the exception of those in Chicago, it is the tallest building (31 stories) in Illinois. Station manager Matt Dubiel explains, “I wanted to move WCKG to the tallest building in the Chicago suburbs. Carr Workplaces make it possible for small businesses like ours to afford a world-class office environment – smack dab in the middle of Chicago-land, which is exactly what we need to serve the community and our local advertising partners. WCKG program director Leslie Harris remarks, “It is the best place to be in the suburbs. Like [TV’s George & Louise Jefferson said], “We’re moving on up to the east side … of DuPage.” WCKG does not appear in print in Nielsen Audio‘s July 2014 PPM report for Chicago.

WPEN-FM LogoMidday Changes Coming to Philadelphia’s “Fanatic.” WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” will institute football season midday lineup modifications on the Greater Media-owned Philadelphia sports outlet. One constant is that Harry Mayes will be on every day 10:00 am – 12:00 noon. Each Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday — he will be paired with Brian Baldinger. Every Monday and Friday, Mayes’ on-air teammate will be another “Brian,” Brian Westbrook, who has been a regular “Fanatic” contributor in recent years. While a member of the Philadelphia Eagles, he hosted his own show on the station during the 2008 – 2009 NFL season. The Eagles drafted Westbrook in 2002 out of Villanova University. He spent eight seasons with the Eagles; made two NFL Pro Bowl squads; played in four NFC Championship Games; and in one Super Bowl. A “Fanatic” contributor since 2010, Baldinger — or “Baldy” — joined the Eagles in 1992. After his playing career ended in 1993, Baldinger developed a second career in broadcasting. This new “Fanatic” midday roster takes shape in about two weeks (9/2).

Return of Boston’s “Jimmy Fund” Radio-Telethon. Considerably more often than not in recent memory, the Boston Red Sox are serious contenders for post-season play, although the defending (2013) World Series champions have been in a protracted slump this year. That issue notwithstanding, its radio flagship – Entercom‘s WEEI – and the cable network that broadcasts all their games – the New England Sports Network (NESN) – have commenced the 36-year, 13th annual Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon. Dating back to the days of the “Splendid Splinter,” Ted Williams, and when Hall of Famer Curt Gowdy called the games, the Jimmy Fund has been the Red Sox charity of choice. Regardless of a player’s tenure with the club, he becomes immersed in the exemplary effort to support pediatric and adult cancer care/research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. As usual, this year’s broadcast is featuring David Ross croppedheart-tugging, compelling stories from Dana-Farber patients, doctors, researchers and nurses. Interspersed are celebrity guests and athletes, including a huge dose of those with a past or present Red Sox connection. The mission, of course, is to inspire people to contribute to Dana-Farber’s lifesaving mission and, since 2002, more than $34 million has been raised. Every charity nowadays needs corporate sponsorship and the WEEI – NESN Radio-Telethon is no exception. It is being aided by the Arbella Insurance Foundation, which contributes $50 for every strikeout by a Red Sox pitcher (up to $100,000).In addition, whenever a Red Sox player smacks a “Wall Ball” off Fenway Park‘s fabled “Green Monster,” Walgreens will give the Radio-Telethon $100. Perhaps the most touching part of this deeply moving event is seeing wide smiles on faces of young cancer patients when they see their favorite Red Sox stars face-to-face. Case in point is this adorable child with her new best friend, Red Sox catcher David Ross.

CBS Sports RRadio 2CBS Sports Radio Sets Weekend NFL Programming Roster. Beginning next Saturday (8/30), CBS Sports Radio anchor Rich Ackerman will host “Eye on College Football” (2:00 noon – 8:00 pm, ET), which will include reports from all top college games, as well as interviews. Co-hosted on a rotating basis by CBSSports.com senior fantasy football writers Adam Aizer, Dave Richard and Jamey Eisenberg, “Eye on Fantasy Football” will air Saturdays (10:00 pm – 12:00 midnight, ET) and will be broadcast from CBSSports.com’s Fort Lauderdale studios. CBS Radio all-sports WFAN, New York afternoon drive personality Mike Francesca will host “Mike Francesa’s Football Sunday” (9:00 am – 11:00 am). While that show starts on the network September 7, it has been on WFAN the past 25 years. Another show kicking off September 7 – and following Francesca – is a one-hour simulcast of CBSSports.com’s Adam Aizer-hosted “Fantasy Football Today.” Rich Ackerman’s “Eye on Football” (12:00 noon – 8:00 pm) will offer a national perspective on all of that day’s NFL games; it also starts September 7. Beginning with Saturday, here is a complete look at the network’s weekend lineup, with all times listed ET. Marc “Moose” Malusis and Maggie Gray (6:00 am – 10:00 am); “Eye on Baseball” with Adam Gerstenhaber and CJ Nitkowski (10:00 am – 12:00 noon); “Eye on College Football” (12:00 noon – 8:00 pm); Jody McDonald (8:00 pm – 10:00 pm); and “Eye on Fantasy Football” (10:00 pm – 12:00 midnight). The Sunday schedule is: Bill Simonson (12:00 midnight – 2:00 am); Amy Lawrence (2:00 am – 6:00 am); John Kincade (6:00 am – 9:00 am); “Mike Francesa’s Football Sunday” (9:00 am – 11:00 am); “Fantasy Football Today” (11:00 am -12:00 noon); “Eye on Football” (12:00 noon – 8:00 pm); and Jody McDonald (8:00 pm – 10:00 pm).

stephan dougMilking The Ice Bucket Challenge. Ever since going viral via social media, the “Ice Bucket Challenge” to raise awareness and donations for ALS has become nothing short of a legitimate phenomenon. Logistics are simple: After accepting someone’s dare to do so, a person fills a bucket with ice and (presumably) ice water and douses it over their head. They then extend the challenge to others and post the video on their social media site. “Good Day” host Doug Stephan participated, but presented a different twist. Not only is he one of the industry’s most tireless workers, Stephan is also a Massachusetts dairy farmer. So, let’s just say water was not in the bucket. Click  here to see what Stephan dumped on his head instead.

llbws-logo100Tonight’s Taney Dragons Game To Air on Philly’s “Fanatic.” The Philadelphia Taney Dragons Little League World Series game versus the team from Las Vegas will be broadcast tonight (8/20) on Greater Media‘s all-sports outlet WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic.” What makes this so noteworthy is that the Taney Dragons are led by starting pitcher Mo’ne Davis, who owing to her pitching prowess and personality, has become a national media star. In fact, she is the first Little Leaguer ever to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated. WPEN-FM midday personality Jon Marks will host a viewing party at Paganos on Market Street. Tonight’s game begins at 7:30 pm.

SBG LogoSun Broadcast Group Basks in Glow of Inc. Magazine Honor. Specifically, Sun Broadcast Group is proclaimed by Inc. Magazine as being one of America’s fastest growing companies. In rankings released today (8/20), the publication grades America’s quickest- rising private companies, based on percentage of revenue increase over three years. Sun Broadcast Group chief executive officer Jason Bailey proudly enthuses, “I have had the pleasure to announce many great things over these six years, but today I am ecstatic to share this news – what an accomplishment. For the many who never understood our strategy, and for those [who] still do not, receiving this award only affirms to the great people who work at Sun and the amazing agency partners who support us, that we truly are leading the way to a new era of network radio. It is caring about your partners, providing an honest, transparent sales process and always thinking big that will completely change our industry for the better. We are proof that it can be done and we are just getting started.” During the period measured that led to this year’s Inc. Magazine honor, SBG’s revenue jumped more 520%. In that time, the company added 15 fulltime positions between its New York City and Boca Raton (Florida) offices. Bailey and his SBG team will be recognized later this year in Phoenix at the “Inc. 5000 Conference & Awards Ceremony.” Sun’s programming roster includes, among others, “The Marilu Henner Show,” “The Little League World Series,” “Nashville Music Minute,” “Six-Second Reviews with Mr. Movieman,” Accuweather en Español, horse racing’s triple crown, and The Breeders Cup.

 

MVS RadioSD_Logo_Horz_2lines_April2014 lgCross-Border Partnership Involves Stardome and MVS Radio. The result will be an expansion of their respective syndicated branded programming and services in the United States and Mexico. Mexico-based MVS Radio will spearhead ad sales and affiliate relations for Stardome in Mexico; Stardome will do the same for MVS Radio-produced programming/services in the United States. Stardome managing director and chief executive officer Anthony Michael Hernandez states that, “Of all the Mexico-based companies I have worked with throughout the years, none has demonstrated the highest regard for professionalism, strong business ethics, and an undeviating work focus like my friends at MVS Radio. This is truly a partnership and a team effort in the making.” MVS Radio president and chief executive officer Alejandro Vargas remarks, “We are enthusiastic about this alliance with Stardome. We recognize them as ideal strategic partners to expand the coverage of our content in the USA and to represent its brands in Latin America. We are sure this is the beginning of new and prosperous businesses for both companies.” Stardome will service current MVS Radio owned-and-operated stations and affiliates across the southwest border of the United States, while distributing MVS Radio’s branded 24/7 formats, syndicated talk shows and morning shows in the USA Hispanic media marketplace. It adds the entire roster of over 160 MVS Radio affiliates, and owned-and-operated stations in Mexico and Central and South America as part of its duties for Pan Regional Network Radio. MVS Radio will act as Stardome’s in-country Mexico sales office and develop affiliations, network radio, and digital ad sales for Stardome’s soon-to-launch Noti-America radio news network.

Napa lgSite Vows To Keep Pace with Napa. Mention “Napa” to anyone in California and “wine country” will undoubtedly be the instant word-association response. With a 2010 census population of 76,915, Napa is California’s 100th largest city. Maintaining that their site “will not be anything like your father’s radio station or your grandfather’s newspaper, executives at NAPAbroadcasting.com declare, “You won’t hear Katy Perry or Pink ten times a day and you won’t hear sports programs from out of town.” Instead,  local conversations and local voices, “talking, in depth, about local issues” will be emphasized. They will be leaving the “daily police blotter to others” but promise “plenty of controversy” since, “no one here will be afraid to say what is on their minds.” According to a NAPAbroadcasting.com communication, “For years, television was about programs and radio was about formats. Those days are over. Today it’s all about programs and personalities – and it can’t be on someone else’s schedule. Appointment television or radio, is so over. NAPAbroadcasting.com is all about being on demand.” The site is partnering with Napa Valley College. Students, faculty, and staff there will contribute community-focused programming. “On the music side, we will be about music discovery and new kinds of music programs. We will not be another streaming music service, an online jukebox, or a place for mindless patter. Our music programs might be about anything under the musical sun, from jazz to oldies to rock. We will also be interactive, with lots of reviews, samplers and information about the business of contemporary music.” Admitting the site will always be a work in progress, a NAPAbroadcasting.com spokesperson writes, “If you stay with us, you will learn a lot about the wine, food, the hospitality business, and many of the larger-than-life, but often lesser known personalities, who live in this Valley. We think that what is good for the visitors is also good for those of us who live here.”

Ferguson Turmoil, ISIS/US Strife, Rick Perry Indictment, Robin Williams, and Gaza Crisis Among Top Talk Stories Yesterday (8/19).  The stories listed in this headline were some of the most talked about on news/talk radio yesterday  However the breaking story of ISIS beheading American journalist James Wright Foley is dominating conversation on American talk radio today (8/20) according to the ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

| July 17, 2014

2014 NYC logo 150Talkers New York 2014 Videos Being Posted. Up Today: Erica Farber Moderates “The State of Radio Advertising and Sales” Panel. Today (7/17) marks the third day of TALKERS magazine’s video posting of speeches, sessions and presentations made during last month’s 17th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention – Talkers New York 2014. The presentation of these informative and historic recordings is sponsored by WYD Media Sales, LLC., the rep firm recently launched by Ron Hartenbaum and headed by John Murphy, that specializes in the advertising sales of spoken-word media on all popular platforms. The worldwide showing of these very special videos continues today with the event’s powerful “State of Radio Advertising and Sales” panel moderated by Erica Farber, president/CEO of the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB). The panel features an array of heavyweight radio executives including Ron Furman, CRO, Westwood One; Kraig Kitchin, CEO, Sound Mind, LLC; Joe Puglise, president/market manager, Clear Channel, New York; and Julie Talbott, president, Premiere Networks. According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “The scope of important radio sales issues clearly covered and illuminated during this session is nothing short of extraordinary. We are delighted to be able to make such solid and useful content available to the entire industry.” Among the topics covered: Dealing with spoken word radio’s loss of advertisers due to the much-publicized backlash against controversy; selling against andfarberNYC14 still effectively utilizing digital; what’s being done about the need for accurate ratings in the digital era; the role of the on-air personality in driving sales; and the state of small/medium market station revenue, among others. Erica Farber begins the panel by referring to earlier remarks made by Sean Hannity, Phil Boyce and Greg Moceri critical of the present-day Nielsen Audio system that doesn’t include tallies of digital platform listenership. She states, “I don’t want anyone to walk away thinking that this is not being addressed. It is very complicated and we [the RAB, major radio industry leaders and Nielsen] are trying to figure it out.” Regarding advertiser boycotts, Ron Furman admits, “We have hard work to do. [Once you have lost advertisers due to their discomfort with controversy] it is hard to get them back.” On that same topic, Julie Talbott advises, “The key is to find businesses that want to grow.” Kraig Kitchin notes, “Hosts who have the ability and interest in selling products and services will go the longest way.” Joe Puglise points out, “WOR is pacing up [revenues] double digits.” He credits the significant income increase at the heritage talker acquired by Clear Channel in 2012 to its relatively recent addition of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity to its roster – both having been long-time staples of cross-town rival WABC. If any singular statement sums up the basic sentiment expressed by the panel it is Julie Talbott’s observation: “It is a different kind of sale today. It is a more sophisticated sale.” To see “The State of Radio Advertising and Sales” panel, please click here. Coming tomorrow: “Radio: The Big Picture” moderated by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison featuring panelists Steve Goldstein, EVP, Saga Communications; Sam Kimball, CRO, Livestream; Tom Langmyer, VP/news/talk programming, Journal Broadcast Group; Tom Leykis, CEO, The New Normal; Mike McVay, SVP, Cumulus Media; and Walter Sabo, CEO, Sabo Media. The TALKERS conference videos were recorded by Art Vuolo.

minihanekirkBoston Sports Host Apologizes for Calling Erin Andrews a “Gutless Bitch” and Telling Her to “Drop Dead.”  This past Tuesday’s MLB All-Star Game was, in essence, a Derek Jeter tribute.  Retiring at the end of the year, the Yankees shortstop participated in his final mid-year classic.  Fox was elaborate in its coverage; Jeter had success at the plate; and American League/Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell stretched the substitution process for Jeter, enabling the popular infielder to enjoy an isolated, extended standing ovation.  It had all the components of a great story, particularly since the AL won 5-3.  Perhaps only St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright will be the only person to know for certain if he made it a bit easier for Jeter to smack a first-inning double, which was the catalyst for three quick AL runs in that frame.  Social media was buzzing that Wainwright had indicated he might have grooved the pitch Jeter hit.  Fox reporter Erin Andrewsweei logo questioned Wainwright about it and the pitcher backtracked from that notion, and he said Jeter’s hit was on the up-and-up.  Apparently though, the televised exchange between Andrews and Wainwright did not sit well with Entercom-owned sports WEEI-FM, Boston personality Kirk Minihane. On (yesterday) Wednesday morning’s “(John) Dennis & (Gerry) Callahan” program, Minihane declared of Andrews, “What a bitch – I hate her.  What a gutless bitch.  Seriously, go away.  Drop dead.  I mean, seriously, what the hell is wrong with her?  First of all, follow-up.  Second of all, the guy admitted he did it -he admitted it.  He told reporters he threw a couple of ‘pipe-bombs.’  How is that social media’s fault?  I hate her – I seriously hate her so much.”  A Minihane-issued statement was posted last (Wednesday) night on the WEEI website that read: “I used a series of words to describe Erin Andrews’ work at the All-Star Game.  My choice of words was wrong.  I was wrong to have used them.  To all whom I offended – particularly Ms. Andrews – I apologize.  There is no place for what was said.  It was immature and completely uncalled for.  I am often critical of media members and their work and recognize here that I’ve made the kind of mistake I would call out if it was done by another sportscaster or writer.  Again, to all involved, I’m very sorry.”  The Boston Globe is reporting that Entercom VP/market manager Phil Zachary says Minihane was contrite, chose to issue the apology and will not be suspended or fired.  This is not surprising since many media watchers in Boston have credited Minihane’s role on the Dennis & Callahan show as very positive for the show and the station.

garciatonySyndication: Behind-the-Scenes Preparation.  In this next installment of a multi-part series on syndicating radio programs, Global Media Services founder Tony Garcia writes about handling an important – but not so sexy – aspect of syndicating a radio program: being prepared when it comes to the business end of the project.  Those parts of the business include the finances, production, distribution and marketing of the program.  It may seem obvious, but the financial aspect is crucial and making sure all facets of the business are accounted for from a money standpoint is mandatory.  Garcia writes, “Once you have established a budget, you’ll know the entire cost of syndicating your show.  Be prepared to float the show financially for at least two years in order to give the show enough time to find affiliates and audience.”  Read Garcia’s entire piece here.

talkmediaTV logoTalk Media TV Expands Video Platform; WMYT, Wilmington-based Talker Curtis Wright to Be Featured.  North Carolina-based talk media personality Curtis Wright (pictured below) – co-owner and executive producer of Talk Media TV and a personality on WMYT, Wilmington – is continuing his efforts to expand the company’s video production capabilities and web online presence through the establishment of new production ventures with both InNova TV Networks and Nationalwrightcurtis show logo Productions.  Wright announces that to support this effort to expand the creation and distribution of new broadcast and video content, Talk Media TV and WMYT 106.7 FM will be moving to newly constructed broadcast and office facilities which will be shared by all three companies.  He says this allows WMYT to commence ‘live web video streaming’ of its many original, local, live broadcast shows.  Wright says, “We formed Talk Media TV and WMYT 106.7 FM just over a year ago to create a truly multi-media, multi-broadcast company that can create and distribute original broadcast content using all of the emerging communications technologies and platforms.  This new association with both InNova TV Networks, which will be supplying us our web and internet ‘virtual channel’ for live video streaming, and National Productions, which will be supporting our expanding original video productions, takes us closer and closer to reaching our original ‘vision’ for our company and services to our clients.”  Talk Media TV will be taking two recently created segments that appear on Wright’s WMYT show and produce them for the Talk Media TV “virtual channel.”  Those segments are “Constitutional Path to Liberty” with Dr. Greg Brannon and “Cape Fear Capital Connections” with Thomas E. Vass.

sunbroadcastgrouplogoRivlin Joins Sun Broadcast Group.  Former Westwood One vice president of affiliate sales Ron Rivlin is tapped to become Sun Broadcast Group’s senior vice president of programming and affiliate relations.  Rivlin will oversee the affiliate sales department’s focus on “The Marilu Henner Show,” “Nashville Music Minute,” and “AccuWeather en Espanol.”  SBG chief executive officer Jason Bailey comments, “Lately, I have had the honor of welcoming some of the greatest men and women in radio to our team.  Today, I get that pleasure yet again.  As we begin to finalize our 2015 lineup, we needed the best of the best to lead the charge.  Anyone who knows Ron can tell you he is exactly that.  I am honored that he chose to join our family.”  Rivlin states that he is, “over-the-moon excited to be joining [all] the radio pros at Sun Broadcast Group, which represents a new generation of media companies.  [It is] laser-focused on the needs of affiliates, advertisers and, of course, listeners.  I cannot wait to share what is coming next.” Before his Westwood One tenure, Rivlin was Triton Digital Media’s vice president of interactive solutions, and ABC Radio Networks’ senior director.

herskovitzalHeaving Bricks at Radio.  Radio sales maven Al Herskovitz writes today (7/17) about his frustration with radio’s current image crisis that, he says, is largely radio’s own fault.  Herskovitz cites examples from his hometown market in which he hears long-outdated spots on the air as well as old, pre-recorded weather forecasts still on the air and almost no community profile for stations that purport to serve the local market.  The fixes for these problems are not hard to imagine, as Herskovitz illustrates.  Read his piece here.

gamblingjohnrJohn Gambling Laments Loss of Mayoral Sit-Downs.  Stating that he’s been talking with New York City’s mayors for the past 15 years, WOR personality John Gambling Tweeted about his frustrations trying to book Mayor Bill de Blasio, a story picked up by the New York Daily News.  Gambling began his regular chats with the City’s mayors, first with Republican Rudy Giuliani and then with Republican Michael Bloomberg.  But de Blasio, a Democrat, has not responded to repeated requests to join the program.  Gambling tells the paper, “My views of his policies are what they are, and they’re obviously 180 degrees from where he is.  I’ve been sitting with mayors for 15 years… I’m always willing to let somebody speak their mind.  I’d like to have a conversation with the mayor.”  Read the Daily News piece here.

ingrahamlauraIngraham Endorses Tennessee Senate Candidate. Next Tuesday (7/22), Laura Ingraham will be in Nashville where she will attend the “Restore America” rally. The Courtside Entertainment Group host is backing Tennessee Senate candidate Joe Carr, who is trying to unseat incumbent Lamar Alexander in next month’s (8/7) primary.  “Anti-amnesty” conservative talk host Ingraham supported Dave Brat, who – last month – defeated Representative Eric Cantor in Virginia’s seventh Congressional District.  Brat and Carr oppose reform that would grant amnesty to immigrants.  In addition to criticizing Alexander for supporting the comprehensive immigration bill that passed the Senate last year, Ingraham called Carr, who opposes the bill, “terrific” on immigration.  Carr, Alexander, Brat, and Cantor are all Republicans.  Ingraham, and in some instances talk radio in general, has been credited with Brat’s victory by such publications as Politico, and these stories received a lot of attention, especially among political wonks and the cable news/talk channels.  TALKERS believes that the reality is not quite so clear and the conclusion that any talk show host’s support of a candidate that leads to victory in an election – regardless of the party affiliation – is a very difficult thing to prove.

Child Immigration Crisis, Israel-Hamas Violence, ISIS Campaign in Iraq and Syria, Eric Holder Racism Controversy, Clinton and Warren Potential Presidential Bids, Obama Lawsuit Move, and Summer Polar Vortex Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/16).  The ongoing influx of child illegal immigrants and the Obama Administration’s policy dealing with the crisis; the heightened violence in the Gaza strip; the continuing campaign by ISIS to bring about a caliphate in Iraq and Syria; chatter about Eric Holder’s comments that criticism of the Obama Administration is based in racism; the potential 2016 presidential bids by Hillary Clinton and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren; the move in the U.S. House to sue President Obama over his unilateral actions regarding the Affordable Care Act; and the summer polar vortex affecting much of the Midwest were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, April 28, 2014

| April 28, 2014

wfan logoCBS RADIO Puts Kibosh on WFAN-Francesa YouTube Channel.  According to a piece in the New York Daily News, a fan channel for sports talk WFAN-AM/FM and PM drive host Mike Francesa will no longer present audio or video of the station’s programming after the operator of Twitter’s @WFANAudio agreed to cease and desist putting audio or video on his YouTube channel.  The story says CBS reached out to YouTube to protect its copyright on the content and YouTube let the operator know it would suspend his account if he didn’t cease.  The paper reports it connected with @WFANAudio who said he made no money off the venture.  He says he’s merely a big fan of the station but he understands the copyright issue and will stop putting audio on YouTube.

hitzgesnorm‘The Ticket’ in Dallas Extends Norm Hitzges for Three Years.  The Dallas Morning News has the story and it focuses on Norm Hitzges’ age – he’ll turn 70 this summer.  If Hitzges stays through the end of his new three-year deal at the Cumulus Media station, he’ll be 73 when he signs off for good…if he does.  Hitzges holds down the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon slot on the station that, the paper points out, is populated by younger hosts trying to capture that all-important men 25-54 demographic.  As for Hitzges’ response to his success after 17 years on KTCK, Dallas, he simply says, “I landed in a really good spot.”

odonnellterryO’Donnell Set to Transfer to Clear Channel Springfield as OM/PD.  In two weeks (5/12), Clear Channel Poughkeepsie program director Terry O’Donnell will relocate to Springfield, where he will become operations manager and program director of the company’s cluster in that western Massachusetts market.  Regional programming manager Rob Anthony comments, “I am thrilled to have Terry joining the team in Springfield.  His knowledge of the formats and track record of making great radio speaks for itself.”  O’Donnell states, “I can’t thank my current team in Poughkeepsie enough.  I am looking forward to this new opportunity.”  O’Donnell will oversee news/talk WHYN-AM, hot AC WHYN-FM “Mix 93.1,” and WRNX “Pioneer Valley’s Country.”

nielsen logoNielsen Presents Radio ROI Research to Group Heads in NYC.  The meeting at Clear Channel New York headquarters announced on Friday took place as planned with Nielsen and the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) hosting an event featuring panel discussions and speakers titled “Nielsen Cracks the Code on Radio ROI.  As noted in TALKERS/RadioInfo on Friday, the event was to focus on Nielsen’s ROI measurement tool for radio.  Radio group heads attending the event were joined by key marketers and advertisers.  Clear Channel chairman and CEO Bob Pittman and CBS RADIO president and CEO Dan Mason welcomed advertiser, agency and industry attendees.  Nielsen EVP of global product leadership Steve Hasker presented the study’s findings.  Two panel discussions followed — the first, moderated by Michael Kassan, chairman and CEO of MediaLink, discussed the power of radio for marketers and how it should best be considered in the marketing mix.  Panelists from across the media landscape included: Gayle Fuguitt, president and CEO, The ARF; Matt MacDonald, BBDO; John Nitti, ZenithOptimedia; Ritu Trivedi, MediaVest and Mary Ellen Johnson Jalenek, American Express.  The second panel was moderated by Bob Pittman and featured the heads of major radio groups, including Lew Dickey, CEO, Cumulus Media; David Field, CEO, Entercom; and Dan Mason.  The group discussed Nielsen’s study and how they believe it will improve the perception of radio within the ad community.

doughertyelizabethGenesis to Syndicate Weekly Elizabeth Dougherty Show.  The weekly “Dougherty Report” program, hosted by culinary expert Elizabeth Dougherty, will air live from 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight on Saturdays beginning May 10 and will be syndicated by Genesis Communications Network.  The company says Dougherty’s program “sends listeners on an adventure of good food, along with interviews and a unique take on the news of the day, for parents in particular.”  It also says Dougherty has an extensive background in food writing and culinary arts training.  The program is based out of flagship WAMT, Orlando.

biakelseyadchartBIA/Kelsey Delivers U.S. Local Spend Estimate for 2013-2018.  Just what will local radio’s slice of the advertising pie look like in 2018?  According to BIA/Kelsey’s “U.S. Local Media Forecast,” radio advertising accounted for 11.1% of the total $133.2 billion spent in 2013 (direct mail, newspapers, and TV led the category).  The primary sources of revenue for local radio in 2013 were automobile dealers ($1.43 billion), wireless telecommunications ($650.8 million), and full-service restaurants ($647.8 million).  Based on changes in the overall local media marketplace, BIA/Kelsey estimates that the overall local media market will grow faster than previously thought through 2018.  By 2018 the total will be $158.6 billion, of which $16.7 billion – or 10.5% – will go to local radio.  Obviously, the big growth is expected to be in digital.  BIA/Kelsey predicts, “Digital media continues to increase its share of total local media revenues, growing from $31.7 billion (23 percent) in 2014 to $52.7 billion (33.2 percent) in 2018.”  Find out more about the forecast here.

“Armed American Radio” Celebrates Fifth Anniversary.  Last night (4/27) marked the benchmark broadcast for the Salem Radio Network-distributed and Mark Walters-hosted program.  “It was no surprise to me that the time was right for a program of this type,” Walters comments.  “While the mainstream media continues to promote an anti-gun agenda, millions of law-abiding gun owners have found a new home on the radio dial that talks about their decision to carry a firearm.  We provide a hard-hitting, fact based, entertaining discussion about all things related to the pro-gun rights movement.”  The now three-hour syndicated program was launched in April 2009 as a one-hour, Atlanta only-based show.

gallaghersteveOdds & Sods.  Six-year Sun Broadcast Group exec Steve Gallagher departs.  Most recently, Gallagher was SBG’s executive vice president.  He joined the company in February 2008 as vice president of programming.  Gallagher’s prior credits include being director of operations for Citadel Communications Harrisburg (2005 – 2008); operations manager/program director of Nassau Broadcasting stations in Monmouth-Ocean, New Jersey (WOBM-AM, WOBM-FM and WADB) and in Allentown (WWYY “Lite 107”)…..Religious/Christian broadcaster Starboard Media Foundation (also known as Relevant Radio) agrees to acquire Multicultural Broadcasting‘s Spanish-formatted WNSW.  Purchase price for the New York City AM outlet is reportedly $10.1 million.  Michael J. Bergner (Bergner & Co.) was the exclusive broker for the transaction.  Starboard owns stations in Chicago, Austin, and Providence, as well as several Wisconsin outlets in Madison, Green Bay, and Eau Claire…..The Public Radio Program Directors Association announces the association’s president and CEO, Arthur Cohen, has decided to retire effective January 1, 2015 after an orderly leadership transition process of eight months.  The PRPD says Cohen, a veteran public radio programmer and manager will retire after a remarkable career of more than 35 years of service in public media.

risingthroughtheranksAugust Dates Set for Rising Through the Ranks Course.  The Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB), Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), and the Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Group (MIW) are presenting the seventh annual “Rising Through the Ranks” seminar, August 27-28, at the BMI Nashville headquarters in Tennessee.  The organizations say that, as in years past, BMI will offer 20 scholarships for this year’s program.  These scholarships cover the cost of the professional development course, which is designed to foster and educate emerging female radio sellers and managers within broadcast radio.  This year’s course will focus primarily on women in the radio workplace and sales and management techniques; including problem solving, budget reviews, managing team personalities, and personal brand building.  Scholarship winners will also have the opportunity to hear from leading radio industry executives across various station groups and industry backgrounds. Confirmed speakers include: Lynn Anderson, CEO, Integrated Media Solutions Group; Lindsay Cerajewski, general sales manager, CBS Radio; Tincy Crouse, market manager, Cromwell Radio; Erica Farber, president and CEO, RAB; Katie Gambill, president and general manager, 5-Star Radio; Kim Guthrie, executive vice president, Cox Media Group; Brandeis C. Hall, vice president, professional development, RAB; Emily Hunt, local sales manager, KSL Broadcast Group; Laurie Kahn, president and CEO, Media Staffing Networks; Sue McNamara, senior vice president, sales, CBS Radio; Kay Olin; partner, Olin & Associates; and Dan Spears, vice president, licensing, BMI.  Kay Olin says, “’Rising Through the Ranks’ is the epitome of the Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Group.  With the generous help from BMI and the RAB, this two-day training workshop allows us to continue to develop, and help foster female sales managers to senior positions in the radio industry.”

jiggyjohnsonGettin’ Jiggy with Gary Johnson.  At the Kansas Libertarian Convention held over the weekend, internet radio personality Jiggy Jaguar a.k.a. James Lowe (right) sat down with the Libertarian Party’s former presidential nominee Gary Johnson (left) to discuss issues near and dear to the libertarians.  Lowe’s program is heard via his own KJAGRadio.com and the Transmedia World Wide network.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

| March 26, 2014

sportstalkboston logoInside SportsTalkBoston.com.   The surprising exit of longtime WEEI sports talk personality Glenn Ordway last year and the departure some months later of station programmer Jason Wolfe saw big changes in the Boston sports talk scene.  Those changes are becoming even more high profile with the debut of Ordway’s new multi-platform sports talk destination wolfejasonSportsTalkBoston.com.  Regular TALKERS readers are aware Wolfe is signing on with the venture to serve as chief content officer.  In this exclusive story, Wolfe goes into a bit more detail about not only what the future will bring to SportsTalkBoston.com, but he writes about Ordway’s place in the hearts and minds of Boston sports media fans and how that plays into the execution of the content.  As Wolfe says, “Personality breeds engagement.  Engagement breeds loyalty.  Loyalty breeds ratings and ratings breed revenue.  That is the formula hosts and shows need to embrace today if they want to win.”  Read this entire piece here.

wtoplogoWTOP, Washington Takes ‘Top Biller’ Crown for Fourth Year Straight.  The annual top radio billers report from BIA/Kelsey is out and although Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP, Washington dropped a little over $1 million in billing from 2012 to 2013, at a reported $63.5 million it still was the nation’s #1 biller, beating Clear Channel’s CHR KIIS-FM, Los Angeles by about $2 million.  KIIS-FM had a good year, adding almost $5 million to its revenue total to report in at $61.6 million.  Rounding out the top 10 for 2013 were:  Clear Channel’s CHR WHTZ, New York “Z100” at $51 million; CBS RADIO’s all-news WCBS-AM at $50 million; Clear Channel’s AC WLTW, New York “106.7 Lite FM” at $45.5 million; CBS RADIO all-news WINS at $45 million; Clear Channel’s hot AC KBIG, Los Angeles “104.3 MYfm” at $44.5 million; CBS RADIO’s sports talk WFAN, New York “The Fan” at $43 million; CBS RADIO’s alternative KROQ, Los Angeles at $42.8 million; and CBS RADIO’s all-news WBBM, Chicago wraps the top 10 at $42 million.

mckinneygregEntercom Loosens Load on ‘ESPN Upstate’ Personality Greg McKinney.  In addition to his work at Entercom Greenville’s sports talk duo WORD-AM/WYRD-AM “ESPN Upstate” where he’s host of “In The Huddle with Greg McKinney” from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm, McKinney had been doing mornings on sister AC WSPA “Magicespnupstate 98.9.”  (He also handles anchoring the “College Football Today” pregame show on rock WTPT “93.3 The Planet.”)  The company adds “Murphy, Sam and Jodi” on WSPA for morning drive and relieves McKinney of the daily double duty.  Entercom Greenville VP and market manager Steve Sinicropi comments, “Our sports coverage in terms of talent, teams and signal coverage is unmatched in this market.  We are thrilled that the person who will become the local face of ‘ESPN Upstate’ was already in our stable.  Putting Greg McKinney on ESPN with a live and local show, not only plays to his strengths and talents, but it provides our clients with an additional and valuable touch point to connect with a highly sought after consumer.”

entercomEntercom Sets Milwaukee and Madison Managers.  Former Cumulus Mobile vice president/market manager Chuck Sullivan is tapped for similar duties at Entercom Milwaukee, while Entercom Madison director of sales Ed Schulz is elevated to vice president/market manager of that Wisconsin market.  They succeed Michael Keck (see next story), who was overseeing both markets.  Regional president Michael Doyle comments, “Entercom is proud to add two of the strongest people in radio to our leadership team.  Chuck and Ed bring with them a wealth of experience, unique perspectives and a passion to make their powerful brands and their clusters not only the strongest in the state, but in all of radio.”  Meanwhile, Sullivan remarks, “Entercom Milwaukee has some of the most powerful and iconic brands from [CHR WXSS] ‘Kiss-FM’ to [hot AC WMYX] ‘Mix’ to [WSSP] ‘SportsRadio 1250.”  Schulz adds, “Madison is a special place and Entercom has distinct brands that not only connect with the community, but deliver results for our clients.  I am proud of what we have accomplished in Madison and am excited for the future.  Before joining Cumulus, Sullivan spent nine years as managing partner of Wilmington, North Carolina’s Ocean Broadcasting.  Schulz joined Entercom two years ago and will be responsible for adult alternative WMMM “Triple M,” classic hits WOLX, and hot AC WMHX “Mix 105.1.”

keckmichaelCBS RADIO Twin Cities Names Keck VP/DOS.  As referenced in the story above, sales pro Michael Keck moves northwest from Entercom Milwaukee to the Twin Cities where he’s the new vice president/director of sales at CBS RADIO Minneapolis, effective April 7.  The company says that in this role, he will be responsible for overseeing sales in the market for news/talk WCCO, adult hits KZJK “104.1 Jack FM,” and country KMNB “BUZ’N@102.9.”  Keck will work closely with Michael Weiss, CBS RADIO’s president of sales and report to Mick Anselmo, senior vice president and market manager for the Minneapolis cluster.  Keck comments, “I am thrilled to be coming back to the Twin Cities.  It’s a tremendous privilege to be associated with two powerful FM stations and one of America’s most legendary and successful AM brands in WCCO.  I can’t wait to be a part of the CBS RADIO team in this vibrant radio and media marketplace.”

envisionnetworks newSun Broadcast Group to Rep Envision Networks’ Spanish Content.  An exclusive ad sales agreement has been struck between Sun Broadcast Group, Inc. and Envision Networks for Sun to rep Envision’s Spanish-language inventory that includes: CNN en Español, Fox Deportes and AccuWeather ensunbroadcastgrouplogo Español.  Envision president and CEO Danno Wolkoff states, “Jason Bailey and his team at Sun Broadcast will increase our presence in the Spanish advertising arena.  They will represent our programming, services and online audio product lineups to Hispanic advertisers and maximize the scope of our network’s reach and frequency and the amount of impressions it delivers for clients.”

pretzellodebbieBeasley Honors Pretzello with President’s Club Award.  This in-house sales award for the calendar year 2013 goes to Beasley Broadcast Augusta senior account executive Debbie Pretzello for the third time.  The President’s Club consists of Beasley sales executives inducted annually for their abilities to meet or exceed individual and market goals, attain accreditation from the Radio Advertising Bureau as Certified Radio Marketing Consultants (CRMC), and over-deliver their clients’ expectations on a daily basis.  One account executive in each market in which Beasley operates is named to the Club monthly.  At year’s end, each market names a winner based on overall performance.  Additionally, the individual with the highest ranking from this notable pool of top-performers is named Beasley’s “President’s Club Overall Winner” for the previous calendar year.  Beasley EVP of sales Heather Monahan says, “We are thrilled that Debbie Pretzello continues to lead our Augusta sales team and is recognized for her third time as our ‘Overall President’s Club Winner.’  Retaining talent in our business is of the utmost importance to Beasley.  Debbie forges ahead year after year, raising the bar for our sales organization.  Her ability to win multiple awards signifies her vast talent for delivering results for her local clients.  Debbie Pretzello earned the title ‘Overall President’s Club Winner’ again this year by providing ROI for her customers, that’s something that makes us very proud.”

robbinsmarkleyOdds & Sods.  When the New York Yankees’ season kicks off on April 1, Spanish-speaking listeners in the New York area will be able to hear the games in Spanish on Univsion-owned WADO, New York.  CBS RADIO’s WFAN-AM/FM – the new rights holder for Yankees games, agrees to the deal that will have WFAN producing the games with Rickie Ricardo and Francisco Rivera in the booth for the Spanish-language broadcast…..WMBD, Peoria afternoon duo “Robbins & Markley” – (pictured here) Scott Robbins (l) and Jamie Markley (r) – are sitting in for the vacationing Jim Villanucci on Alpha Broadcasting’s KXL, Portland this week…..The weekly two-hour “Both Sides Now” program – hosted by Mark Green and featuring talk media personalities including: Ron Reagan, Katrina van den Heuvel, Eliot Spitzer, Bob Shrum, Jonathan Alter, Mary Matalin, Erick Erickson, David Frum, Rich Lowry and Torie Clarke – signs up with Focus 360 to handle ad sales for the program.

elswickettingerTackling Big Issues.  KARN-FM, Little Rock program director and afternoon drive host Dave Elswick (right) poses for a photo with former Israeli Ambassador Yoram Ettinger (left) after two spoke on Elswick’s program about Israel and the country’s complex relationship with the U.S., Iran and the Palestinians.  Ettinger served as Minister for Congressional Affairs at Israel’s Embassy in Washington.  Elswick will be speaking on the “Big Picture” panel at Talkers New York 2014 in New York City on Friday, June 20.

ObamaCare Criticism, Michelle Obama in China, Hague Nuke Summit, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Fate, Mid-Term Elections/ 2016 Presidential Race, NSA Bulk Data Collection Policy and Nick Cannon ‘Whiteface’ Controversy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/25).  Scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; coverage of First Lady Michelle Obama’s trip to China and her speech about America’s discriminatory past; President Obama’s comments about Russia and a possible NYC nuclear threat made at the Nuclear Security Summit at the Hague; the possible fate of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370; prognostication about the fall mid-term elections and the 2016 presidential race; the fate of the NSA’s bulk data collection policy; and musician/TV personality Nick Cannon’s “whiteface” photo controversy were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, October 14, 2013

| October 14, 2013

trn logoTalk Radio Network Sues Epic Times in U.S. District Court for Tortious Interference and Misuse of Trade Secrets.  EpicTimes.com is the website developed around talk show host Jerry Doyle – who is currently embroiled in legal issues surrounding the recent dramatic changes and financial issues at Talk Radio Networkepictimes logo At the core of this most recent action is a two-pronged complaint by TRN.  It alleges Epic – the company of which Jerry Doyle is president and CEO – is interfering with contracts TRN has with both Doyle himself and talk host Rusty Humphries by using their services for content for the EpicTimes.com site.  The interference claim is based on TRN’s assertion that it has exclusive content creation deals still in effect with Doyle and Humphries.  The complaint also alleges that Epic is misusing trade secrets through Epic’s conversion to its own use of the “confidential and proprietary business information of plaintiffs provided to Doyle in confidence and subject to nondisclosure agreements.”  TRN is seeking an injunction to prevent further use of the proprietary information and $150,000 in damages plus legal fees.

L&L logoL&L Broadcasting Acquires Border Media Trust San Antonio Stations.  What’s been rumored to have been in the works turns out to be true as Larry Wilson’s Portland, Oregon-based L&L Broadcastingktsa announces its buying the San Antonio radio stations from the Border Media Business Trust.  The stations include adult hits KJXK “102.7 Jack FM,” regional Mexican tri-mulcast KLEY “La Ley 95.7,” KSAH-AM/FM, CHR KTFM, news/talk KTSA, sports talk KZDC and Spanish KHHL.  The additions put the L&L station count at 43.  Wilson says, “This is a great cluster of radio stations located in a beautiful market operated by a very talented group of people.  We are excited to add them to our growing company.”  Trustee Larry Patrick adds, “We could not be happier to have found a wonderful home for our San Antonio stations.  Larry Wilson and his L&L Broadcasting represent the best in broadcasting. We wish him continued great success with this cluster.”  Piper Jaffray & Co. assisted L&L Broadcasting in the transaction and Patrick Communications was the broker for the Border Media Business Trust.

TalkersLA2013Talkers Los Angeles 2013 a Success.  More than 250 radio and associated industry professionals gathered and 55 speakers participated in a non-stop day of speeches, special presentations, and panel discussions tackling the major issues facing the talk media industry at Talkers Los Angeles 2013 this past Thursday (10/10).  Among the major issues covered are the growing need for the radio industry to have an accurate cross-platform ratings system; develop new ways to program commercials that generate results for the advertisers without chasing away listeners; explore new spoken-word formats that tap into unfulfilled opportunities; attract younger demos to talk radio; and bring back more live and local programming to the broadcast day.  To read an overview of the event and see photos of its key sessions, speeches and attractions, please click here.

wwwl logoEntercom Debuts Hybrid Talker in New Orleans.  Today is launch day for Entercom’s new hybrid talk station WWWL, New Orleans “3WL.”  Calling it an extension of its “Gulf South POWERhouse” WWL-AM/FM, the company says it “builds on the success of this legendary New Orleans station by offering a branch focused on the passions of New Orleans.”  Vice president and general manager Chris Claus says, “‘3WL 1350’ celebrates the three greatest passions of New Orleanians: sports, food and fun!  Think of ‘3WL’ as a radio station as tasty as gumbo, as fun as Mardi Gras and as passionate as Saints fans on Sundays.  In the three weeks since we announced ‘3WL,’ the response has been overwhelming.  ‘3WL’ is perfectly set up to succeed and deliver real results for our advertisers.”  WWL operations and program director Diane Newman is overseeing the station’s programming.  The lineup is as follows:  “Morning Drive with T-Bob Hebert and Kristian Garic”; NBC Sports Radio’s Erick Kuselias in late mornings; “The Food Show” with Tom Fitzmorris from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm; and “The Lighter Side of The Spud Show” with John Spud McConnell from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  NBC Sports Radio rounds out the rest of the day.  Newman says, “Today is the culmination of a lot of hard work and planning.  Our lineup from top to bottom is as good as any in the country.  With sports in the morning, food at lunch, and a larger-than-life personality, Spud McConnell, in the afternoon, ‘3WL’ launches with tremendous strength, proven talent, and unquestioned passion.”

kkoblogoAnother #1 Finish for KKOB.  The Cumulus Media Albuquerque news/talker finished #1 12+ for the 53rd straight Nielsen Audio book in a row.  Program director Pat Frisch tells TALKERS magazine, the station finished #5 in Adults 25-54 and #2 in Men 25-54.  “Our TSL is a high 9:15 minutes a week in Adults 25-54, that’s #1 in the market.”  Frisch also reports that he’s especially proud of afternoon talk show host Scott Stiegler who took over the afternoon program seven months ago and has taken it to #1 Adults 25-54.  Frisch says, “Morning drive personality Bob Clark finished #1 again in mornings.  He’s been #1 for seven straight years in that daypart.”

wgmd logoTalent Shuffle at WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.  Resort Broadcasting’s FM news/talk WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware “The Talk of Delmarva” makes some personality changes as late morning host Mike Bradley becomes part of the morning drive show alongside Judy ManginiBill Colley leaves the morning program and now heads up the PM drive show.  Jim Rash moves from afternoons to the late morning slot.

switzerbryanBryan Switzer to Exit Cumulus Media Networks.  After eight years in the radio business, Bryan Switzer announces he’s leaving his VP of affiliate sales position with Cumulus Media Networks.  Switzer started his career in network radio with ABC Radio Networks in April of 2006.  During his time in the music industry, he served as VP/GM of Atlantic Records and senior VP of national promotion at Universal South.  He says, “Since moving from records to broadcast eight years ago, this is without a doubt the most exciting company I’ve been associated with.  I have a great deal of respect for what Lew and John Dickey have built and are building.  I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s time for me to move on and turn a page.  I can’t thank Dennis Green enough for the opportunity to continue my role through the Cumulus acquisition of Citadel two years ago.  It’s been a privilege to work under his leadership.  As for me, it’s time I get back to serving my creative genes, and though I’ve made no commitments as of yet, I’m extremely excited by the prospects!”  Switzer can be reached at bryanbenjamin1@gmail.com or 615-838-0809.

kiroBonneville’s KIRO, Seattle Turns 78 Tomorrow.  Radio history buffs can learn more about the history of one of the Emerald City’s most famous radio signals at Bonneville’s MyNorthwest.com right here.  The station – now a sports talker – began its life spinning records on October 15, 1935 and would play second fiddle to the Fisher family’s KOMO until getting a power upgrade to 50,000 just prior to Japan’s bombing of Pearl Harbor.  The war kept the FCC from handling any power upgrade requests and KIRO was, for some time, the most powerful signal in the Pacific Northwest.

hennerbaileyMarilu Henner Rocks Sun Broadcast Group Upfront Party.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Marilu Henner (pictured here with SBG CEO Jason Bailey) appeared at the Sun Broadcast Group’s 2014 Upfront Party at the Penthouse Lounge in New York City on October 11.  The day after making an appearance at the Talkers Los Angeles 2013 conference where the TV and film star introduced herself to the talk radio industry, Henner was one of the stars representing her show before the hundreds of media people in NYC including agency reps, programmers, station managers, and network suppliers who attended the party.  Speaking about the now-five-year-old event, Bailey told the attendees, “I am so humbled as I look around at all the people here supporting us.  We’ve been working so hard to be a very different kind of network for all of you over the last five years and tonight you’ve welcomed us into your busy lives with open arms.  I can’t thank you enough for standing by us and believing in our mission as we aim to transform radio.”

bryantdelBroadcasters Foundation of America Names BMI’s Del Bryant ‘Golden Mike’ Recipient.  The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces Broadcast Music Inc. president Del Bryant is its recipient of the 2014 Golden Mike Award.  The award will be presented on Monday, February 24, 2014, at a black-tie fundraising gala at the Plaza Hotel in New York City to benefit the Foundation’s mission of helping broadcasters in need.  BFoA chairman Phil Lombardo says, “Del has been an admirable and inspiring supporter of the mission of the Broadcasters Foundation for many years.  Well-known and respected across the broadcasting and music industries, his contribution as a longtime member of the Foundation’s board of directors is immeasurable.  We are proud to award him the 2014 Golden Mike.”  Bryant comments, “I am honored to be recognized by the Broadcasters Foundation of America with the Golden Mike Award.  I have always felt strongly about giving back to the community, both from a professional and personal standpoint.  It has been a privilege to support the Foundation and to collaborate with them throughout the years.  I commend them for the exceptional work they do for broadcasters and the sweet and understanding attitude with which they do it.”  The son of Boudleaux and Felice Bryant – the legendary songwriters who penned classics such as “Bye, Bye Love,” “Wake Up Little Susie,” All I Have To Do Is Dream,” the Tennessee state song, “Rocky Top,” and more – Bryant’s rich musical heritage inspired his accomplishments and passion for the business.  He joined BMI in 1972, and worked in numerous areas of the company for 32 years, rising to president and chief executive officer in 2004.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

| September 24, 2013

nielsenarbitronNielsen Speaks to Investors About Arbitron Acquisition.  Nielsen CEO David Calhoun reiterates he expects the deal for his company to close on the $1.3 billion cash acquisition of radio ratings giant Arbitron by Monday, September 30 after receiving FTC approval on Friday.  As had been reported for some time, the holdup was the FTC’s scrutiny of “Project Blueprint” in which Arbitron worked with comScore on a cross-platform, out-of-home measurement system for client ESPN.  The consent decree planted in this deal means that Nielsen will be required to provide PPM data to the software for eight years going forward.  Nielsen chief legal officer James Cuminale says, “The obligation on the part of the licensee is to use thecalhoundavid components that we’re providing solely for cross-platform service and cross-platform service is defined as the measurement of the audience across many number of platforms including radio, online, tablets and TV, but at the least online and TV.”  But the relationship between Arbitron and ESPN changes now.  As Cuminale states, “We will become a provider of capabilities to a licensee and in the case of ESPN — and assuming it’s comScore who is the licensee — comScore will be a party that delivers that service to ESPN.  So, there is a difference there.  It transforms that relationship as defined in the decree.”  The bigger picture for Nielsen in explaining why it wanted to acquire Arbitron is, as Calhoun states,  it gives them the ability to “blend radio audience data with retail data allowing us to demonstrate ROI for the radio clients in our world and for the advertising clients in our world” and supply more complete data in mixed marketing models.  As for Arbitron employees in the aftermath of this deal, there will be job losses as Nielsen has stated it expects to achieve about $20 million in synergies, although David Calhoun says there is nothing that says anything has to be done immediately.  “So we’re going to do this at a logical and steady pace as we move forward.”

hennermariluProfile: Sun Broadcast Group Talk Show Host Marilu Henner.  Most radio programmers and managers know actress, author and healthy lifestyle activist Marilu Henner from her television and movie career starring in such classics as TV’s “Taxi” and “Evening Shade” and big screen flicks “Johnny Dangerously” and “L.A. Story.”  But Henner’s experience in hosting a talk show goes back to the mid-1990s when her TV program “Marilu” had its 165-episode run.  Henner says she’s talk host material because, “I am a talker, I am a listener, and I love sharing information.”  “Marilu” went off the air because producers said the way to success was tabloid content a la Jerry Springer and Ricki Lake and she didn’t want to go that route.  Now, Henner describes her philosophy in delivering three hours of content daily for her Sun Broadcast Group produced, nationally syndicated show this way: “I call it ‘life through the prism of health.’  ‘Prism’ is kind of a cool word.  When you put something through a filter, it is not just a single thing; it grows exponentially so it has many angles to it.  I have many points of view.  I have collected all this information in my head.”  There’s probably a lot more you didn’t know about this teacher, author and actress who’s charging into the syndicated radio talk show biz.  Read TALKERS managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian’s profile of Marilu Henner here.

groundtesterRemote Studio 101: $5 Ground Tester Can Save Your Life.  “Freedom Feens” talk show co-host Michael W. Dean  — nationally distributed by GCN – has been contributing columns to TALKERS on building and maintaining home and remote studios for radio pros who want to do it themselves.  In this latest piece, Dean underscores the importance of getting the electric right from the very beginning.  “Faulty grounding is more common than you’d think.  In many states, a home or office can be sold without requiring ground testing.  And many homeowners and businesspeople don’t think to test.  They should, even where it’s not required by law.  Compared to the other tests one would do when buying a property (foundations, termites, ground water, radon, etc.) testing for improper grounding of outlets is the cheapest, easiest test you can perform.  You can do it yourself.  And if you find any problems, hire a qualified electrician to fix things.”  Read Dean’s entire column here.

bergmansandiMEDIA BROKER SPOTLIGHT: Jon Yinger – Broadcast Properties, LLC.  In this week’s installment of Media Broker Spotlight, Sandi Bergman of RadioTVDeals.com interviews media broker Jon Yinger of Broadcast Properties, LLC located in Eastern Michigan.  Like many of the professional media brokers spotlighted in this feature, Miller is extremely friendly to displaced radio personnel looking to go into ownership for themselves as well as first-time buyers.  In addition to being a media broker he also owns a group of radio stations under the corporate name, The Christian Broadcasting System, Ltd., and owns and operates CBSat, a satellite network.  Yinger says, “Sales prices are still low.  There are a lot of great opportunities out there for the savvy buyer.  It is a great time to buy.”  To read the entire installment of Media Broker Spotlight, please click here.

knx logoKNX Spotlight to Shine on South Los Angeles.  CBS Radio Los Angeles’ KNX will devote a daylong string of South Los Angeles-focused special reports, as well as a 10-hour primetime live broadcast on Friday, October 18 as part of its ongoing “On Your Corner” series.  The talk outlet will focus on local history, diversity, and stories of South Los Angeles neighborhoods, including Baldwin Hills, Crenshaw, University Park, Watts, and West Adams.  Council member Bernard Parks is among the community leaders scheduled to appear.  KNX will bring its broadcast operation to the headquarters of The Los Angeles Sentinel, the area’s community newspaper.  Dick Helton and Vicky Moore will anchor the news (5:00 am – 9:00 am); Frank Mottek hosts “The KNX Business Hour” (1:00 pm – 2:00 pm); and Diane Thompson and Chris Sedens will anchor a five-hour news block, starting at 2:00 pm.  The KNX limelight on South Los Angeles is on the eve of one of Southern California’s largest family festivals – the eighth annual “Taste of Soul.”  Talaya Trigueros of KNX smooth AC sibling KTWV “The Wave” will do her show live from the Sentinel alongside KNX from 5:00 am – 9:00 am.  “KNX On Your Corner” profiles eight Southern California communities each year.  In January, it won a Golden Mike Award in the category of “Best Feature – News” from the Radio & Television News Association of Southern California.

DG-logoHorizontalNew York Securities Firm Investigating Cumulus-Dial Global Deal.  Stating in a press release that it is investigating the board of directors of Dial Global, Faruqi & Faruqi LLC, says it’s looking into the board’s actions “for potential breaches of fiduciary duties in connection with their conduct related to the sale of the company to Cumulus Media, Inc.”  The firm says, “Under the terms of the proposed transaction, Dial’s stockholders will receive $0.155 for each share of Dial common stock they own.  This is despite the fact that Dial has traded as high as $3.40 per share over the past year.”  Keep in mind that no suit has been filed – this is an investigation – and Faruqi & Faruqi specializes in class action suits.

scba logoSouthern California Broadcasters Association Begins Sales Classes Tonight.  The Southern California Broadcasters Association begins its fall 2013 Radio Sales Training Classes tonight in Los Angeles.  SCBA president Thom Callahan states, “We are thrilled with the innovative and interactive series of radio sales training courses that we have planned for new sellers to Southern California Radio this fall.”  Based on input from SCBA’s General Sales Managers Council, the course will focus on a variety of topics taught by industry experts including Mary Beth Garber, EVP radio analysis & insights/KATZ Radio Group (product knowledge); Karl Meyer, EVP/integrated marketing solutions/Entravision Communications (integrated media sales); Jeff Thomas, VP of sales L.A./Clear Channel; Cynthia Gilmore, senior training service consultant, Radio Station Services/Arbitron-Scarborough (selling with numbers); Chet Thompson, general sales manager/870 KRLA (managing  everyday business challenges); James Fink, CMO/SVP of sales/Converze Media (getting to decision makers); David Criscitelli, local sales manager/KPWR, (interactive selling skills) and Thom Callahan, president/SCBA (strategic selling and new business development.)  KRTH, Los Angeles GSM Amber Perry states, “Our new SCBU sales training courses are a must for any new seller to our business or someone who wants to sharpen their skills or needs a refresher course in selling their radio and digital platforms.  As a graduate of these sales training classes, I can tell you it works!”

ObamaCare Defunding/Implementation, Immigration Legislation, Kenya Mall Siege, U.S.-Iran Relations and Emmy Awards Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/23).  The Republican move to defund the Affordable Care Act before aspects of the law kick in fully; wrangling over the details of the Gang of Eight immigration bill that would grant amnesty to illegal aliens in the U.S.; the ongoing deadly siege of a mall in Nairobi, Kenya; the state of U.S.-Iran relations as the latter’s nuclear program continues to raise suspicions; and Sunday’s Primetime Emmy Awards were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Memorable Marilu Is One Unforgettable Babe

| September 24, 2013

Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS magazine

Marilu HennerLOS ANGELESAnyone hosting a mega-dinner party or similar major celebratory event generally grapples with several thorny dynamics.

There is the matter of the smartest person in the room, who regrettably tends to display Dr. Sheldon Cooper’s litany of quirky behaviorisms, an instant buzz-kill in the personality department, although massive ratings for CBS-TV’s “Big Bang Theory”.

Conversely, one particular attendee is bound to exude a certain magnetism that commands instant attention, making them the clear-cut focal point.

Often, although not always, an overwhelming contributing factor to that charisma is a person’s striking good looks and/or extraordinary talent.

One would hit the proverbial jackpot by inviting Marilu Henner, as she would be the most astute person in virtually any setting yet free of all baggage – social graces or otherwise. Unquestionably, she would be the most exuberant one there with numerous qualities including an indescribable spark that lures interest. If that were not already sufficient, the well-known actress remains extremely stunning.

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The Only Thing We Have To Fear Is… Ourselves.

| September 13, 2013

Jason Bailey
Sun Broadcast Group, Inc.
CEO

baileyjasonNEW YORK — It was another sad week for network radio as more great people: mothers, fathers, sons and daughters… dreamers of great ideas, writers of great content, communicators of the stories that shape our world, were sent to the unemployment line. Was it greed? Was it failure to evolve? Was it competition? Maybe. But in my humble opinion it was something simpler yet more devastating… Fear. Fear to be bold, fear to take risks and most important, fear to defend.

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Thursday, September 5, 2013

| September 5, 2013

hennermariluMarilu Henner Show Joins Sun Broadcast Group Lineup.  Actress, healthy lifestyle champion and talk show host Marilu Henner becomes part of the Sun Broadcast Group as her daily show is added to the syndicator’s program schedule.  SBG says the entertainment- and lifestyle-oriented show is “designed as a brand-new approach to talk radio and is non-political and non-controversial.”  Henner is a seven-time New York Times bestselling author, and famously, one of 12 people in the world verified with Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory.  Sun EVP Steve Gallagher states, “The sunbroadcastgrouplogolisteners, the clients and the agencies are all saying the same thing; that talk radio needs to be reinvented.  We are excited beyond belief to be able to be working with Marilu Henner, whose boundless energy and love of life will be shared on radio, the most personal of all mediums.  She is a natural!”  Henner’s program will be fed live from its Los Angeles base from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET and, according to Sun, its format is compliant to PPM methodology.  It will consist of celebrity interviews, lifestyle and health segments, phone calls and fun benchmark segments like “Healthy Hollywood Tips,” “Marilu’s Memory Minute,” and “Backstage Pass” where Marilu’s celebrity friends pull back the curtain on show biz!  Speaking about this new venture, Henner says, “I love to share life-empowering information that inspires positive changes in people, and there’s no better way to do that than through a daily radio show.  Its impact is immediate, global, and intimate, all at once!  That’s why I’m thrilled to be part of Sun Broadcast Group.  Their philosophy — that radio should be ‘helpful, not hurtful’ – is totally in sync with the way I live my life!”

trn logoTalk Radio Network Companies Issue Official Statement on Cumulus Acquisition of Dial Global.  Radio industry watchers are aware of the pending suit filed by Talk Radio Network involving a number of the parties and people involved with Dial Global (now Westwood One and from now on referred to in this publication by that name) and few would be surprised that TRN is against the acquisition of Westwood One by Cumulus.  Today, TRN issued this official statement: “Over the past five years, Dial Global has become a monopoly.  Dial engaged in a long list of illegal and unethical behavior, including failing to pay us our share of advertising revenues generated by our programming.  We have detailed that conduct in two cases pending against Dial (and others) in federal court in Manhattan and Oregon.  Dial’s illegal conduct has continued recently, as it has refused even to pay to us our advertising revenues, which Dial collected as our ad rep.  We believe that discovery in our actions will show that Dial’s conduct was part of a deliberate strategy to acquire or destroy viable companies by interfering with revenue streams that Dial controls as a result of its monopoly power.  Dial’s history shows that all members of the industry should be concerned about, and should act to prevent, Cumulus’ proposed acquisition of Dial.  In our view, if the transaction goes forward, the combined company could dominate both the radio station platforms in the top 100 markets and the talk and news content for broadcast in those markets.  At the same time, we are concerned that Dial’s history of illegal and unethical conduct could infect Cumulus and affect the way the merged entity does business.  The threat that this merger poses is not just to us.  It is to every independent content provider, to many other members of the industry, and more generally to a vibrant marketplace of ideas on radio.  We will continue to pursue our claims against Dial vigorously, and we will take all necessary actions to oppose Cumulus’ proposed acquisition, including in our pending litigation with Dial, with appropriate governmental authorities, and in the media.  We have heard from other members of the industry with similar concerns.  Given the implications for others, we encourage all independent content providers and other affected members of the industry to rise up and express opposition in every proper forum.”

maxjaredJared Max Exits ‘ESPN New York 98.7.’  Sports radio personality and news anchor Jared Max leaves ESPN’s New York City O&O WEPN where he was co-hosting the early morning “Maxed Out” show (3:00 am to 6:00 am) alongside Robin Lundberg.  Prior to his work with ESPN, Max had served with CBS Radio at all-news WCBS, New York.  Robin Lundberg continues hosting the early morning show from 4:00 am to 6:00 am solo.  On his website, Max says, “In the past two-and-a-half years at ESPN, I have achieved seismic growth – professionally and personally…While I will greatly miss my listeners and friends who regularly called the show, I hope that our relationship will remain intact through my next venture.”

boomercartonBoomer & Carton Being Wooed by YES Network.  WFAN, New York morning drive duo Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton are currently seen hosting their radio program on the MSG Network.  But, according to a report in the New York Daily News, that could change as the YES Network is in talks to bring the duo to their platform.  The Daily News says the current deal between CBS Radio and MSG expires this month and that MSG has the right to match any offer.  Daily News columnist Bob Raissman says the only way he sees the duo leaving for the Yankees-owned YES is if it offers CBS “stupid money” for the simulcast rights.  He further opines that the three biggest attractions on MSG’s programming lineup are Knicks games, Rangers games and Boomer & Carton, so MSG would be nuts not to match any reasonable offer.  Stay tuned.

raytomDISURBING TREND: Where Are All the Radio Engineers?  Multi-lettered radio engineer Tom Ray – principle of Tom Ray Consulting – writes about what sees as a trend that bodes ill for the radio business: a dearth of qualified radio engineers.  In this piece published today, Ray states, “Because of the shortage, there are stations hiring IT people and sending them to the transmitter site.  Sure, many things at the transmitter are IT based these days.  But the output of the transmitter and the antenna system isn’t.  These people are untrained at working around high voltage and RF.  Someone is eventually going to get badly hurt or killed because they do not know how to work around high voltage and current.”  Ray enumerates the long list of duties today’s engineer is expected to handle – not to mention the wide array of technologies about which he’s expected to have expertise – and it becomes pretty clear the future of radio station facilities could be in deep doo-doo.  Read Tom Ray’s column here.

westwoodonesports logoOdds & Sods.  The 2013 NFL season begins tonight with the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens at the Denver Broncos.  WestwoodOne Sports announces its coverage of the game as well as its slate of 97 NFL games over the course of the season, including playoffs and Super Bowl XLVIII…..ESPN Radio is also airing NFL play-by-play this season on Sunday afternoons.  The network is debuting some new football programming including “Football Sunday on ESPN Radio” which airs from 1:00 pm to 7:30 pm ET hosted by Jonathan Coachman and featuring Eric Allen, Tim Hasselbeck and Tom Waddle providing analysis.

cc9-11Clear Channel Again Partners with 9/11 Day.  Clear Channel Media and Entertainment was the media partner with 9/11 Day for the inaugural 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance in 2011 and will serve in that capacity again this year.  MyGoodDeed is the respected 9/11 nonprofit which annually organizes the federally recognized 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance.  Over the last three years, Clear Channel has committed over $10 million in support, the single largest media contribution by any 9/11 Day partner.  Now through September 11, Clear Channel’s 840 radio stations will air a series of on-air public service messages in support of 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance.  Listeners who want to participate can choose options including volunteering, donating to charities of their choice, or simply making a voluntary pledge to dedicate time on 9/11, or another day, to performing good deeds that help others in need.

U.S. Debates Syria Action, G-20 Summit, ‘Common Core’ Controversy, Weiner Heckler Encounter, and Bill Clinton Vegan Claim Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/4).  The testimony before Congress regarding military action against Syria; President Obama’s arrival at the G-20 Summit; controversy over the federal mandate of “Common Core” for United States public schools; Anthony Weiner’s encounter with a heckler in NYC and Bill Clinton’s alleged claim of being a vegan were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

| February 28, 2013

sunbroadcastgrouplogoTalk Radio Network Signs Sun Broadcast Group as Rep Firm.  Boca Raton, Florida-based Sun Broadcast Group and Talk Radio Network agree to have the former provide national advertising salestrn logo representation and assist in station affiliation for all products of Talk Radio Network effective immediately.  Sun CEO Jason Bailey says, “In this day of safe, personality-driven radio, the stable of talent that TRN continues to expand is something we are very proud to present to our agency partners.  From new entertaining talk products to amazingly produced long-form news, I believe the iconic brands that have put their faith and trust in Sun over these last several years will be excited to become part of this new direction in network programming.”  Talk Radio Network CEO Mark Masters states, “We look forward to a long and prosperous alliance with Sun Broadcast Group.  Jason and his team understand what it takes to succeed in radio today.  We are pleased that our products will be well represented with Sun as we continue to grow each and every one of the TRN companies.”

wqso logoClear Channel Simulcasts New Hampshire News/Talk Outlets.  With the arrival of New Hampshire news and talk pro Jack Heath for mornings at WGIR, Manchester and WQSO, Rochester-Portsmouth, New Hampshire two weeks ago, the stations are now a complete simulcast and WQSO re-brands as “News Radio 96.7”  It had been branded “96.7 The Wave.”  Heath joined the stations from WTPL, Concord, New Hampshire where he’d been for the past five years.

franklinharveyKOGO, San Diego Moves LaDona Harvey to AM Drive with Chip Franklin.  Early afternoon talk host LaDona Harvey moves to the AM drive show alongside Chip Franklin at Clear Channel’s news/talk KOGO, San Diego.  Taking Harvey’s place in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot is evening host Bob “Sully” Sullivan.

beckatom2012Odds & Sods.  Omaha talk show host Tom Becka, who recently returned to the market at NRG Media’s KOIL after a year heading up an FM talk station in Fargo, is profiled in the March/April edition of Omaha Magazine…..WGN, Chicago “Noon Show” host Carol Roth is hired by cable business news/talk network CNBC as a regular on-air contributor.  Roth says she will contribute written pieces for CNBC.com.  She will continue her role at WGN…..Journal Broadcasting’s WTMJ, Milwaukee brings Jon Meerdink aboard as a news reporter.  He comes to Brew Town Bliss Communications’ Janesville, Wisconsin stations.

bfoa2013Broadcasters Foundation of America Raises $375,000 at “Golden Mike Award” Ceremony.  The Broadcasters Foundation of America raised $375,000 to help broadcasters in need at the BFoA 2013 Golden Mike Award ceremony honoring David J. Barrett, chairman and CEO of Hearst Television, Inc at the Plaza Hotel in New York City on Monday evening.  The event was hosted by legendary sports broadcaster and voice of the San Francisco Giants Jon Miller.  Joining him as presenters were popular media personalities Steve Harvey and Dr. Mehmet Oz along with Barrett’s son Casey, former president and CEO of Post-Newsweek Stations.  Also taking part were 2011 Golden Mike winner Alan Frank and Hearst Television president Jordan WertliebEllen DeGeneres provided some laughs via a video presentation, as did Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan.  Singer Darlene Love provided entertainment.  Pictured here are (from l-r): Phil Lombardo, chairman, Broadcasters Foundation of America; Steve Harvey; Jim Thompson, president Broadcasters Foundation; Dr. Mehmet Oz; Darlene Love; 2013 Golden Mike Award Recipient David J. Barrett and Jon Miller.  The Broadcasters Foundation has provided millions of dollars in aid to colleagues who lost their livelihood through a catastrophic event, debilitating disease, or unforeseen family tragedy.  Individual membership is only $150 a year.  Donations also can be made to the Guardian Fund, and corporate contributions are accepted through the Angel Initiative.  For more information, to apply for a grant, or to make a contribution, please visit www.broadcastersfoundation.org or call 212-373-8250.

patrickdanbuffwildDan Patrick Show at Buffalo Wild Wings.  KLAC, Los Angeles “AM570 Fox Sports LA” listeners and DIRECTV viewers turned up nearly 2,000-strong to meet sports media personality Dan Patrick and the cast of his DIRECTV/Fox Sports Radio program at Buffalo Wild Wings in Huntington Beach, California on Saturday, February 23.  Fans lined up to meet Patrick and the Danettes, who spent three hours shaking hands, taking photos, and signing memorabilia during the event.  Attendees were treated to the restaurant’s infamous wings and Patrick even stepped behind the bar to serve a few drinks.  Patrick is pictured here posing with the staff of the restaurant.

Sequestration Battle, Manti Te’o Gay Controversy, ICE Undocumenteds Release, BP Civil Trial, and Cannibal Cop Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/27).  The Washington PR battle over the looming sequester; the issue of football star Manti Te’o and homosexuality in pro sports; the release of undocumented aliens in response to the sequester; the BP civil trial; and the cannibal cop case were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

millerkevinnancygraceOld Pals.  KIDO, Boise morning show host Kevin Miller (right) poses for a shot with HLN star Nancy Grace (left).  Miller has contributed to Grace’s program over the years and had the opportunity recently to catch up with her.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

| June 7, 2012

New Media Seminar Takes Place in NYC Today.  The first of this year’s two one-day installments of the New Media Seminar kicks off at 9:00 am ET today on Manhattan’s East Side with more than 70 industry leaders set to address a capacity crowd of more than 350.  Attendees include professionals from all aspects of the talk media industry including talk radio, television, satellite and internet shows, stations, networks, syndicators and companies. The keynote speaker is Premiere Networks and Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity with solo addresses being presented by MSNBC‘s Ed Schultz, Cumulus Media‘s Governor Mike Huckabee, WFAN morning co-host Boomer Esiason, TRN and CRN legend Barry Farber, consultants Walter Sabo and Holland Cooke, CBS News VP Harvey Nagler, WTOP VP Jim Farley and WOR afternoon drive host Governor David Paterson.  Panels will tackle such topics as the “General State and Future of Spoken Word Radio,” “Challenges Facing News/Talk PDs,” “How to Make Money Doing Talk,” “Managing a Talk Hosting Career,” and “Finding Digital Success in Talk.” The event will also feature the ever-popular “Talk Rumble” moderated this year by Dial Global star Jim BohannonTALKERS magazine will provide full coverage of the event in the days and weeks ahead.

G. Gordon Liddy to Retire from Talk Radio Career; Financial Expert Peter Schiff to Fill Time Slot for Syndicator Radio America. It’s been almost 20 years since Watergate figure G. Gordon Liddy got behind the microphone to do his first talk radio show. He began a regular program with then-Infinity Broadcasting‘s WJFK-FM, Washington, DC before moving into national syndication via Westwood One. His program began a syndication run with Radio America in 2003. Radio America announces the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon ET daypart will be filled by financial expert Peter Schiff – investor and author of three best-selling books including his most recent, The Real Crash: America’s Coming Bankruptcy – and How to Save Yourself and Your Country (St. Martin’s Press 2012). In fact, today (6/7) Schiff is testifying before a Congressional subcommittee giving about the potential negative impact of more generous FHA loan guarantees currently being considered by Congress. Radio America states, “Schiff’s program combines his unique outlook on current events, economics and political developments.  Unlike other radio hosts who only view the world through the prism of politics, Schiff connects today’s news to the world’s of business and finance.  Schiff’s daily program has been airing on Radio America since August, 2011. Liddy’s last program for the network will be July 27 although he will still work for the network as a commentator and on special projects.

Michele McPhee Returns to the Air at WRKO, Boston.  Former Boston Herald crime reporter and author Michele McPhee gets back on the Boston talk radio scene when she takes over the midday slot on Entercom‘s WRKO, Boston Monday, June 11. McPhee hosted the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm show on WRKO in 2011 for seven months and worked at crosstown WTKK-FM for three years prior to that. Program director Jason Wolfe says, “It’s great to have Michele back at WRKO. She did a terrific job for us before and I’m very excited about getting her back on the air in this expanded midday role. Michele is Boston. An outstanding reporter with tremendous credibility, she will provide our listeners with high energy and passion every day.” On returning to WRKO, McPhee says, “While I loved breaking stories for ‘Team 5 Investigates’ and worked alongside some of Boston’s legendary TV personalities, I missed fighting for the common man in the Commonwealth on WRKO. So much outrage, so little time. I’m looking forward to engaging in the conversation again.”

Program Director Steve Holbrook is Out at WDBO-AM/FM, Orlando.  No comments yet from Cox Media‘s Orlando cluster or from Holbrook, but Radio-Info‘s Tom Taylor is reporting that the Orlando message board is full of comments about the departure of Holbrook from the program director role at the news/talk station. The report is Holbrook’s exit was not voluntary. He’d been with Cox for 30 years and also programmed the cluster’s two country stations WCFB-FM and WWKA-FM.

Sun Broadcast Group to Handle Network Sales for Ben Ferguson Show.  The Sunday evening Ben Ferguson show is produced by Ferguson’s own ICON Radio Network and is heard on more than 100 stations across the country. Now, Sun Broadcast Group announces Ferguson’s program joins its roster with Sun handling network sales for the program. Ferguson also hosts the 9:00 am to 11:00 am program on Cumulus Media‘s WBAP-AM/FM, Dallas.

Odds ‘n’ Sods.  Hubbard Radio‘s WTOP, Washington, DC and sister station WFED pick up more than a dozen Associated Press awards from the Chesapeake Associated Press Broadcasters Association. WTOP was recognized for Outstanding News Operation; Outstanding Website; Year Round Sports Coverage; Outstanding Spot News and more…..Football writer and SportsUSA game analyst Ross Tucker begins writing an exclusive column for the SportsUSAMedia.com website. Tucker, a popular NFL expert, is writing a Tuesday column and will add a Friday column once the NFL season begins…..SiriusXM is providing coverage of the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship, commonly known as Euro 2012, offering play-by-play broadcasts of every match to listeners nationwide. Subscribers will have access to both English and Spanish-language broadcasts, provided by ESPN Radio and ESPN Deportes Radio, from the Group Stage matches starting Friday, June 8, through the Final on Sunday, July 1…..Entercom‘s sports KGMZ-FM, San Francisco is giving listeners a chance to win “The Ultimate Bay Area Baseball Package” that includes 4 tickets to the entire As vs. Giants series June 22-24, the chance to meet players and two Southwest Airline ticket round-trip vouchers for being the contestant who uses Facebook, Twitter or some other means to get a celebrity to call 95.7 The Game on their behalf and go on the air next week. PD Jason Barrett says, ““It will be fun, unpredictable and the winner will get an amazing baseball experience.”…..WITF-FM, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania is the latest non-commercial station to drop its music format – in this case classical – to air a news/talk format. The change takes place on June 25.

Walker Survives Wisconsin Recall Election, 2012 Presidential Race, Financial Markets Activity, Al Qaeda Drone Strike and Ray Bradbury Death Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/6).  Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker‘s victory in a recall election; the 2012 presidential campaign, the turbulent global financial markets, the recent drone strike that killed a high-level al-Qaeda leader, and the death of author Ray Bradbury were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

| October 6, 2011

iHeartRadio to Invade American Living Rooms.  In an innovative development that significantly bolsters traditional radio programming’s digital distribution potential, Clear Channel’s expanded deal with Microsoft to include its iHeartRadio in the Xbox LIVE service could put CC stations into the homes of millions of Americans.  Clear Channel says this is an expansion of its multi-year deal with Microsoft that integrates iHeartRadio on Windows Phone 7 and brought the recent two-day iHeartRadio music festival into homes exclusively on the Xbox 360.  Beginning this winter it will work this way: The New iHeartRadio will be available for free to Xbox LIVE Gold members.  Through this new agreement, Gold members who have Kinect for Xbox 360 can use the product’s revolutionary sensor to experience an entertainment first: the ability to control digital radio in their living room using their voice and body.  Gold members who have Xbox 360, but do not have Kinect, can operate the New iHeartRadio using their controller.  Regardless of whether they have Kinect or not, all Xbox 360 Gold members will have access to the New iHeartRadio’s features, including more than 800 of the nation’s most popular live broadcast and digital-only radio stations from 150 cities, plus custom stations with more songs, better music intelligence and more user control.  The deal will also give users access to social features through CC’s deal with Facebook.  Clear Channel CEO John Hogan tells TALKERS, “Clear Channel is committed to innovation and deep social integration.  We want to continually deliver new experiences that consumers have never seen before – like the recent launch of the New iHeartRadio, which combines broadcast and digital-only stations and user-created stations in one service for the first time.  The New iHeartRadio’s integration with the Xbox 360 enables Kinect users to control digital radio in their living room using just their voice and body.  There is nothing else like it on the market and it’s another example of how we are committed to being wherever our listeners are with the programming and services they want and expect.”

Financial Expert Charles Payne to Launch National Radio Show Via Sun Broadcast Group.  Charles Payne is well known to viewers of Fox Business Network and Fox News Channel as well as to KFI, Los Angeles where he’s hosted a Saturday afternoon program.  Now, Payne partners with Sun Broadcast Group to begin a nationally syndicated two-hour financial talk show airing from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm daily starting October 17.  “Payne Nation with Charles Payne” will emanate from Fox studios in New York.  Chad Wilkinson is named executive producer, Gabe Hobbs and Jim Robinson are aboard in a consulting capacity and the show will feature the voice talents of Edd Hall.  Sun CEO and founder Jay Bailey states, “We’re very excited to welcome Charles to the Sun Broadcast lineup.  We believe the industry is ready for an uplifting, positive financial show that will provide real answers for real people in this turbulent time in our nation.”  Payne says, “Everyone asks me how I am going to be different from other hosts out there, and I tell them that I am simply going to be real.  No scare tactics.  I’m not going to sugarcoat anything in fact I go right at the issues by digging beneath the surface, seeking facts, relying on history and connecting all the dots for real assessments and real solutions.”

Michigan Talk Host Michael Patrick Shiels Scores Exclusive Perspective of Airline Passenger Arrest.  WJIM, Lansing-based talk show host Michael Patrick Shiels happened to be returning from Amsterdam to Detroit when a man on the Delta plane began ranting about a hijacking.  The man was quickly restrained by air marshals.  Shiels tells TALKERS, “While observing from up close, I discreetly used the e-mail function of Delta’s in-flight entertainment system to send e-mails and texts to my producer and other media outlets.  The result was an exclusive story for my radio network and a press gaggle waiting for me when I emerged from the aircraft, resulting in national publicity on the major TV networks.”  Shiels says the man appeared to be American and in his 30s.  He says many passengers became agitated since it was an Amsterdam to Detroit flight that the infamous “underwear bomber” Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab allegedly tried to blow up on Christmas Day 2009.

Paul Finebaum Gets Favorable Ruling in Legal Tussle with Cumulus.  Regionally syndicated and WJOX-FM, Birmingham-based sports talk host Paul Finebaum was successful in getting his civil suit against Citadel – now Cumulus – returned to state court in Alabama.  Federal judge L. Scott Coogler ruled Cumulus was not able to prove the dispute went above the $75,000 threshold to make it a federal civil suit.  Legal experts say Finebaum stands a better chance in state court due to the legal standards.  Finebaum has two suits filed against Cumulus: one in which Citadel agreed to bankruptcy reorganization without his consent and the other that he was coerced into amending his contract and that Citadel violated its deal with him by manipulating revenue for his program away from him.

KNBR, San Francisco Host Ralph Barbieri Comes Out with Parkinson’s Diagnosis.  In a story in the San Francisco Chronicle, KNBR sports talk host Ralph Barbieri – co-host of “The Razor and Mr. T” alongside Tom Tolbert – confesses to having been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2002 and telling no one except Tolbert until now.  Barbieri tells the paper he decided to reveal his diagnosis now since he is coming to the end of his contract and wanted to be honest as he and Cumulus negotiate a new deal.  He tells the paper, “If I am to continue at KNBR, I’d like to start with all our cards on the table, face-up.  I’ve gotten to know Lew Dickey a little bit, and my gut feeling was that he could deal with my situation at an honorable level, so I gave him a call and told him everything.  He let me know that KNBR wants me back.  He didn’t say on what terms, but the fact that he didn’t view the Parkinson’s as a red flag, that was a huge relief to me.”

Premiere Networks Scores Large Market Add for Glenn Beck: Phoenix.  Clear Channel’s KFYI, Phoenix agrees to add the Glenn Beck show to its daily program schedule in the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm time slot bumping Talk Radio Network’s Michael Savage from the slot.  Clear Channel Phoenix director of programming and operations Smokey Rivers states, “Glenn has a sizeable and loyal local following.   His unique and stimulating perspectives will be a welcome addition to the station.”

WROK, Rockford-Based Michael Koolidge Show Names New Producer.  Michael Koolidge’s regionally and independently syndicated talk show is based out of Cumulus-owned WROK, Rockford, Illinois and syndicated to WRHL, Rochelle, Illinois and WLBK, DeKalb, Illinois.  Koolidge announces he brings on Natalie Zee Fenwick as his program’s first full-time producer.  “Thanks specifically to our outstanding advertiser support over the last year, we can afford to officially create our first bona fide job.  Even though it’s just a single job, we’re proud to join the ranks of ‘job creators’ of America.  I’ve had a rotation of great part-time producers and interns over the years, but we’re finally in a position where we’re ready to hire a regular producer.  And we’re thrilled that we found Natalie.”  Koolidge’s business model – serving as an independent contractor to regional radio stations – is one the industry is likely to see more of as companies and stations seek quality local or regional talent without taking on the expenses of traditional employees.  Koolidge’s highly rated program is one industry watchers are keeping an eye on.

Talk Host Jim Walsh and KFYR, Bismarck Part Company.  It’s only been two weeks since talk personality Jim Walsh returned to Clear Channel’s KFYR, Bismarck – a station he worked at in 2003 and 2004 – to host the 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm program formerly held by Scott Bachmeier.  Not sure what happened there but Walsh cryptically tells TALKERS, “I have stepped down from the afternoon talk show at KFYR, Bismarck by mutual consent.  I’m still there part-time, at least for the time being.  I’m currently exploring my options and can be reached at 701-226-8449.”  Bachmeier had exited the full-time shift to concentrate on non-radio work but the station lists him as host of the time slot – at least for now.

Occupy Wall Street, Steve Jobs Passes, 2012 GOP Candidates and Obama Jobs Plan Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/5).  The growing ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement, the death of Apple innovator Steve Jobs, the Republican candidates for president in 2012 and President Obama’s job creation plan were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS.