Tag: "Syracuse"

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

| August 11, 2020

O’Reilly Set To Land at WABC? It certainly looks as though former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly could soon be in-place to join Red Apple Media New York City’s WABC “Talk Radio 77.” O’Reilly’s attorney, Fred Newman – through his assistant – tells CNBC, “We are in the final stages of a contract and a program should be on in the fall.” O’Reilly’s representative also confirmed the talks were being held with WABC, which New York businessman John Catsimatidis acquired from Cumulus Media in June 2019. Catsimatidis tells CNBC, “I will confirm that; I think he is one common-sense American.” The 70-year-old O’Reilly has been accused by multiple former Fox News employees of sexual harassment. The network ended his “O’Reilly Factor” show three years ago, after the revelation of several costly settlements for the alleged harassment. His follow-up “No Spin News” airs on his website; YouTube; and The First, a conservative streaming channel. O’Reilly has been maintaining a strong radio presence on Key Networks’ syndicated daily feature “The O’Reilly Update,” which has roughly 225 affiliates. WABC’s current weekday lineup consists of: “Red Eye Radio” (1:00 am – 5:00 am); “Fox News Run Down” (5:00 am – 6:00 am); “Bernie & Sid” (6:00 am – 10:00 am); Brian Kilmeade (10:00 am – 12:00 noon); “Curtis & Juliet” (12:00 noon – 3:00 pm); Rudy Giuliani (3:00 pm – 4:00 pm); Ben Shapiro (4:00 pm – 6:00 pm); Mark Levin (6:00 pm – 9:00 pm); and John Batchelor (9:00 pm – 1:00 am).

WBT, Charlotte Morning Host Pat McCrory is this Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  Former North Carolina governor turned WBT, Charlotte talk show host Pat McCrory is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  McCrory is heard weekday mornings on the Entercom-owned heritage station with co-host, newsman Bo Thompson, 8:00 – 10:00 am on a highly-rated show that addresses local, regional and national topics along with a blend of pop culture items and a heavy dose of “fun.”  He has successfully held that position since 2017 after serving a four-year term as the Republican governor of North Carolina.  His gubernatorial service was a wild ride during which he garnered a tremendous amount of national attention, both positive and negative, due to the controversy surrounding his signing of the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act – also referred to as”HB2″ – and became embroiled in the issue of transgender use of public rest rooms.  There was a political backlash against that move which resulted in North Carolina being the target of numerous economic boycotts that resulted in the loss of revenue and jobs for the state.  McCrory, who refers to himself as one of the first victims of the “cancel culture,” lost his bid for re-election following that episode by a razor thin margin.  Prior to that, he had a long track record of being one of North Carolina’s most popular political figures.  Before being elected Governor, he served seven consecutive terms as mayor of Charlotte and presided over the Queen City’s notable growth as a business and cultural center during that period.  Harrison and McCrory candidly discuss a variety of topics from the impact of hyper political correctness on public discourse to current political issues.  Don’t miss this!  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Wrap” located in the right-hand corner on every page of Talkers.com.

Bubba Launches New Podcast – Inks with Crossover Media Group Sales for Ad Representation.  One of the most colorful and, at times, controversial personalities in the talk radio industry, Tampa-based Bubba Clem, is on a positive roll with a revamped nationally syndicated show, “The Bubba Army,” and a brand new podcast titled “The Bubba Army Podcast.”  One of the industry’s fasted rising rep firms, NYC and LA-based Crossover Media Group Sales, has announced signing the podcast to its growing roster of programs. Dropping his longtime “Love Sponge” moniker, Clem now goes by the mononymous handle “Bubba” and has evolved into a more “polished” performer on both his syndicated show and new daily podcast focusing on top-tier guests and pertinent commentary.  The radio show and new podcast are produced and syndicated by his in-house Bubba Radio Network.  Bubba tells TALKERS, “We’re looking forward to delivering a guest-driven podcast that is fresh, current, relevant and that will become a daily destination for folks who want to have a little fun.” Commenting on his new podcast sales deal, Bubba adds, “The Crossover Media team has a great track record; they know the advertising marketplace and they’ve assembled a powerful portfolio of programs.  It’s great to be working with them.” Bubba’s daily morning show is carried on radio stations in Tampa, Orlando, Gainesville, Charleston, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Phoenix and more.  It has a significant social media presence and is carried as an audio and video program on Twitch which confirms it is that platform’s number one radio show.  “Over his decades on air, Bubba has regularly shaken up the audio landscape and, along the way, he has attracted a massive and loyal listenership and high-profile celebrity guests who understand the power of his platforms,” says Sue Freund, Crossover Media Group Sales managing member. “And now Bubba brings that loyal audience to an entirely new, highly polished and potentially game-changing podcast that promises to take him to new heights.  Whether they’re fans or not, people are talking about Bubba – and we expect they’ll be talking about him even more once they hear the new podcast.”

Hewitt Lands Presidential Interview. It happened this morning (Tuesday, 8/11) as Salem Radio Network’s Hugh Hewitt scored an exclusive on-air interview with president Donald Trump. Salem Radio Network vice president/news & talk programming Tom Tradup remarks, “We are thrilled that Hugh Hewitt got to share President Trump’s views on breaking news with our nationwide affiliates today. In the 2016 election cycle, Hugh interviewed Donald Trump 16 times. With today’s interview completed, he only has 15 more to execute between now and November to tie his record.” Among other things, the wide-ranging discussion between Hewitt and Trump covered presidential politics; a potential Supreme Court vacancy; and international relations.

Miraldi Boosted to iHM’s EVP/Digital Content Strategy. Relocating to Nashville where he will oversee iHeartMedia’s new digital content hub, senior vice president of digital content strategy Paul Miraldi is promoted to executive vice president of digital content strategy. “During Paul’s time overseeing the national editorial, social & photo team, our monthly digital audience has enjoyed record growth, hitting a new all-time high last month,” notes iHeartMedia Networks group president Darren Davis. “Under his direction, the iHeart daily newsletter program has grown from four to eight daily mailings, most recently with the launch of the ‘Coronavirus Update,’ which has become our most successful newsletter. Paul will continue to lead the national editorial/social/photo team. The digital content hub will improve the efficiency and quality of our digital and social content across all of our local markets, as well as increase digital audience and social engagement.” Miraldi previously was vice president of editorial operations in New York and Clear Channel’s senior VP/digital programming & marketing. Eight years ago, he and Don MacLeod teamed to create full-service marketing agency Miraldi & MacLeod. The former director of marketing for Clear Channel (now iHeartMedia) New York CHR WHTZ “Z-100” and classic rock WAXQ “Q-04.3,” Miraldi was executive producer of several major station events. His resume also includes stops at New York City’s WPLJ and WCBS-FM; Minneapolis’ KDWB and KEEY; and KSAN, San Francisco.

Entercom Division Cadence13 Launches “Pod Is A Woman.” Three former officials in the Barack Obama administration have initiated “Pod Is A Woman.” The weekly Cadence13 political podcast featuring former White House deputy director of Hispanic Media, Alejandra Campoverdi; ex White House director of press advance, Darienne Page; and former White House director of veterans outreach, Johanna Maska, started yesterday (Monday, 8/10) with Dr. Jill Biden as the first guest. According to Cadence13 chief content officer Chris Corcoran, “Campoverdi, Page, and Maska’s powerful and diverse voices couldn’t be more important to bring to the larger political conversation as we enter the home stretch to the 2020 presidential election and look ahead to the next four years. With their singular White House and campaign experiences, they will inform and engage listeners with wit, wisdom, and candor; we are thrilled to partner with them for this one-of-a-kind show.” In a joint-quote press release, the hosts state, “Throughout our years working in the White House for President Obama, we saw just what was possible when people of all backgrounds come together under a common mission of equality and opportunity. We also experienced firsthand the leadership role women played in getting the job done. This moment will be no different. At this pivotal time for our country, we’re thrilled to partner with Cadence13 to create space for honest, unapologetic, and representative conversations that will cut through the political noise and bring the focus back to the issues that really matter.”

NAB Show’s “Collectively Speaking” Kicks Off Next Month. The NAB online forum will look at issues facing the media and entertainment industries in the pandemic. NAB executive vice president/conventions and business operations Chris Brown comments, “‘Collectively Speaking’ will provide our global community new opportunities to collaborate, explore, and learn about trends and innovations as they develop. We look forward to the conversations that emerge and are committed to making the series an immersive and educational experience for all participants.” The series will debut September 2 with “Collectively Speaking: Production During a Pandemic.” It will feature USC Entertainment Technology Center‘s Erik Weaver discussing the use of advanced technology to re-open television and film sets and implement virtual sets. The series will include pre-recorded and live material in each session with audience questions.

Edison Research Ranks Top 30 Q3 2019 – Q2 2020 Podcasts. As it has been since Edison Research’s “Podcast Consumer Tracker” (PCT) was established last summer, “The Joe Rogan Experience” continues to be America’s number one podcast. The podcasts are ranked by reach – not downloads – among weekly podcast consumers. “Reach” is the percentage of weekly podcast listeners who say they have listened to any one of these shows in the last week. Edison Research senior vice president Tom Webster states, “Even with the work and life disruptions caused by COVID-19, people did continue listening to their favorite podcasts. We ultimately saw little to no reduction in reach among weekly podcast listeners.” The PCT Top 30 ranker is based on 8,080 online interviews with weekly podcast consumers (18+) in the United States. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish. Sampling was conducted continuously from July 7, 2019 to June 24, 2020.The top five podcasts include: “The Joe Rogan Experience”; “The Daily”; “This American Life”; “My Favorite Murder”; and “Crime Junkie.” All respondents were instructed to enter the names of all podcasts they listened to the week before the interview into an online diary and were provided instructions to obtain that information from their podcast client/player of choice.

TALKERS News Notes. Last Thursday (8/6), Sinclair Broadcast Group Seattle’s KOMO “News Radio 1000 & FM 97.7,” news/talk KVI “Talk Radio 570,” hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5,” and KOMO-TV held an all-day “Wishes in Flight” airline miles campaign for Make-A-Wish Alaska and Washington. In addition to $3,700 in cash, the effort brought in nearly ten million miles, which includes a 750,000 match from Alaska Airlines. One couple donated more than 200,000 miles that they were saving for a trip of their dreams, but decided the “wish kids” needed it more. After spending more than a year in isolation for treatment, “wish kid” Brianna visited Hawaii in 2018 with her family. She describes her wish as “a chance to focus on the light at the end of the tunnel, instead of the darkness that surrounds [kids facing critical illnesses].” Over the years, this annual drive has helped to raise over 1,700 plane tickets donated by listeners and partners; however, hundreds of wishes are on hold due to COVID-19. “Make-A-Wish” will book flights as soon as it’s safe for wish kid travel to resume. The local organization continues to grant “safe” wishes, including virtual meetings with celebrities, online shopping sprees, and items that can be delivered to a child’s home … Effective one week from this Thursday (8/24), Premiere Networks/Fox Sports Radio’s weekday, 9:00 am – 12:00 noon (ET) Dan Patrick Show” will begin to be streamed on NBCUniversal’s Peacock. The show’s current YouTube streaming will end coinciding with the Peacock simulcast. Peacock executive vice president/chief revenue officer Rick Cordella comments, “We are excited to welcome Dan and his devoted following to Peacock. Dan adds a distinctive voice to Peacock as we continue to build our live topical sports offering.” Patrick added, “I’m thrilled to be coming back home to the NBC family to continue the show with the ‘Danettes’ and the rest of my talented team. A huge factor in partnering with Peacock is that our loyal fans can watch us for free. Who doesn’t love free? We can’t wait to get started.” His simulcast on AT&T’s Audience Network ended earlier this year … The National Hockey League’s expansion team Seattle Kraken names its first broadcaster – Cincinnati Cyclones (East Coast Hockey League) voice/director of media relations & broadcasting Everett Fitzhugh. While the team says his precise radio and television role “will be crafted as he works for the franchise,” Fitzhugh begins with the Kraken in three weeks (9/1). Prior to his five-year Cyclones tenure, Fitzhugh called games for the United States Hockey League’s Youngstown Phantoms. According to The Kraken, he will be the first full-time black play-by-play announcer in NHL history … Former Denver Nuggets coach George Karl joins Bonneville Denver sports talk KKFN “104.3 The Fan” as a Nuggets analyst for the remainder of the regular- and post-season. KKFN program director Raj Sharan opines, “I’m not sure anyone in Denver was more excited about basketball restarting than Coach Karl. We’re thrilled to have him appearing on all of our shows to give his opinion on what he’s seeing from the Nuggets, delivering the honesty that he’s known for.” Karl previously worked as an analyst at ESPN and TNT … The revised lineup at Cumulus Media Nashville sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” includes Jason Martin-hosted “The Wake-Up Zone” (6:00 am -9:00 am); Jonathan Hutton, Chad Withrow, and Paul Kuharsky “Midday 180” (9:00 am -1:00 pm); Blaine Bishop & Mickey Ryan (1:00 pm – 3:00 pm); and Brent Dougherty and Dawn Davenport (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm). The “Midday 180” returns from 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm for the “180 at 6.” Cumulus Nashville vice president/market manager Allison Warren remarks, “Since its inception, ‘104.5 The Zone’ has been a leader in live and local sports, and the appetite for sports programming keeps growing. With this lineup, ‘104.5 The Zone’ continues to offer the best and most comprehensive sports coverage and local play-by-play sports action to Middle Tennessee fans.” Program director Paul Mason notes, “I am excited that ‘104.5 The Zone’ now has four local shows for our listeners every Monday – Friday. The new lineup will give our on-air talent a larger spotlight to reach their full potential individually and as a team.” …  A central-Texas high school “Football Game of the Week” will air Friday nights on Entercom Austin news/talk KJCE “Talk Radio 1370.” Its partnership with high school sports media company Vype Media includes content sharing on websites and social media platforms and other year-round programming. Entercom Austin senior vice president/market manager Bob Mackay remarks, “High school sports have been a big part of our local programming for the past decade. We are proud to team up with Vype to expand our efforts and take our coverage to the next level. We look forward to bringing to life the stories behind the sports, shining a spotlight on exceptional student athletes across central-Texas and sharing high-quality high school sports coverage with our audience across all of our platforms.” Vype Austin editor Thomas Bingham adds, “[We are] heading into our third straight school year covering the Austin area and central-Texas. This opportunity allows our local web, digital and broadcasting coverage to reach new audiences and continue to promote local high schools, athletes, and coaches across the region.”

DuBois Debuts “Dead Life” Podcast. Medium Allison DuBois, whose aid to the Maricopa County (Arizona) district attorney’s office inspired the television series “Medium,” launches “The Dead Life,” a YEA Networks podcast. YEA Networks president Shawn Nunn notes, “We are so excited to welcome Allison DuBois to the YEA Networks family. Allison’s journey is quite unique and we are excited to bring her voice to a more intimate setting.” DuBois adds, “I wanted to start my podcast so I could reach more people and open people’s minds to life after death. My show will focus on teaching listeners everything I know about the dead, interviewing people who have insight into the afterlife, and our own soul’s journey.” The podcast began today (8/11) – with “Johnjay & Rich” co-host Rich Berra the first guest – and will post each Tuesday at 8:00 am (ET).

Coronavirus Radio Ideas Awards Nominees Announced. These awards will honor those in radio who used their brands and platforms in creative/innovative ways to better serve their listeners, partners, and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sponsors Benztown, P1 Media Group, Radiodays Europe, Radiodays Asia, and RDE Podcast Day are asking radio and podcast individuals worldwide to vote for the best ideas presented by the nominees. Online voting began this morning (Tuesday, 8/11) at 9:30 am (ET) and continues through September 17. Benztown chief executive officer Andreas Sannemann comments, “To all the people who nominated their station, themselves or their ideas, we salute you and we are sorry we couldn’t have all of you as nominees, as the field was incredibly strong. As an industry, we can be proud of how we have supported people in this worldwide pandemic.” Roots of The Coronavirus Radio Ideas Awards can be traced to  Benztown and P1 Media Group’s Coronavirus Radio Ideas Facebook group, launched March 26. P1 Media Group partner Ken Benson remarks, “When we joined Benztown to open this page, we knew the world of radio and podcasting was full of innovative people with a special connection to their audiences and listeners. What has emerged from these awards is that radio is more than ever at the heart of communities and is a place in which listeners put their trust.” The Coronavirus Radio Ideas Awards will recognize the best ideas in ten categories: “Best Social Media Video Content”; “Best Virtual Event”; “Best Parody”; “Best Virtual Concert”; “Best On-Air Promo”; “Best Community Service”; “Best Social Media Visual”; “Best Community Spirit”; “Best Sales Promotion”; and “Best Mega Promotion.” Also part of the awards are “Best Podcast” and “Best Journalistic Content.” Nominees were selected from more than 300 ideas from industry professionals around the world. Awards will be presented in four months (12/14) at the Radiodays Europe conference in Lisbon. US nominees include: Cumulus Media Dallas country KPLX “99.5 The Wolf” (“Best Station Promo”); Entercom New York news WINS (“Best Station Promo”); Hubbard Broadcasting Seattle country KNUC “98.9 The Bull” (“Best Community Spirit”); Beasley Broadcast Group Fort Myers CHR WXKB “B-103.9” (“Best Community Spirit”); iHeartMedia Dallas (“Best Sales Promotion”); iHeartMedia New York City CHR WHTZ “Z-100” (“Best Mega Promotion”); and iHeartMedia Atlanta CHR WWPR “Power 96.1” (“Best Mega Promotion”).

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Labor Day Weekend Marks Cousin Brucie’s WABC Homecoming. The words “icon” and “legend” are often overused; however, they definitely apply to Bruce Morrow, affectionately referred to by millions of fans as “Cousin Brucie.” The 2019 recipient of TALKERS’ “Lifetime Achievement Award” returns to New York’s WABC beginning September 5 for the weekly, three-hour “Cousin Brucie’s Saturday Night Rock & Roll Party.” Although now a Red Apple Media-owned news/talk outlet, WABC is where “Cousin Brucie” introduced listeners of the then Top 40 powerhouse to the Beatles, Motown, and surf music. Morrow’s Saturday night extravaganza will be simulcast in Hampton Bays, New York on WLIR-FM, as well as streaming nationwide on the WABC app. In typical exuberant style, Morrow proclaims, “Cousins, this is literally one of the most exciting projects of my life. It completes a circle – a career circle. It all started at WABC, and here we are all these years later, and the magic is still here. What magic we’re going to make.” According to Red Apple Media owner John Catsimatidis, “Brucie is a national treasure and talent. Listeners everywhere can now hear their favorite music from the early days of rock and roll on our radio stations and streaming on our digital platforms. Red Apple Media is about bringing the best in information and entertainment to New York and all of America however they want to listen – on their phone, radio, smart speaker or computer.” Catsimatidis is busy in securing another major broadcasting talent to WABC, Bill O’Reilly (see separate story above). Regarding Morrow, Red Apple Media and WABC president Chad Lopez comments, “It’s an honor to be part of these two legendary brands coming together and to welcome Cousin Brucie home to WABC.” Senior vice president of programming for Red Apple Media and WABC Dave LaBrozzi notes, “We’re excited to bring ‘Music Radio’ back to WABC every Saturday night with Cousin Brucie. Everyone across America can stream him.” The debut show will be replayed on Labor Day (Monday, 9/7) from 12:00 noon – 3:00 pm (ET). Most recently, “Cousin Brucie” was heard on SiriusXM satellite radio, where he hosted Wednesday and Saturday night programs since 2005. In the 1980s and 1990s, Morrow was a mainstay in New York City on WCBS-FM … The fifth installment of Entercom Los Angeles smooth AC KTWV’s social change “Justice Now! – Communities 2 Unity” (subtitled “Politics to Policy”) airs tomorrow night (Wednesday, 8/12) at 6:00 pm. In addition to being broadcast on “94.7 The Wave,” it will stream nationally via Radio.com and on the station’s website. This particular show will feature candidates for Los Angeles district attorney – incumbent Jackie Lacey and challenger/former San Francisco district attorney George Cascon. It’s expected the two will discuss the American legal system in the wake of George Floyd’s killing by a Minneapolis police officer … Hundreds of listeners to KRWM “Warm 106.9” who drove through the Coal Creek YMCA this past Saturday (8/8) were welcomed with “Warm” virtual bearhugs as the Hubbard Broadcasting Seattle adult contemporary station gave away sealed teddy bears from its “Teddy Bear Patrol.” A second such event – emceed by morning talent “Seth” – is scheduled for this Saturday (8/15) … Nineteen-year Cumulus Media Buffalo WHTT “Classic Hits 104.1” program director Joe Siragusa adds similar duties at co-owned alternative WEDG. Also at “103.3 The Edge,” afternoon drive talent/music director Tiffany Bentley takes on assistant program director duties. Cumulus Media Buffalo vice president/market manager Jim Riley remarks, “I’m thrilled to be able to announce that Joe Siragusa will be taking the reins at WEDG. Joe has been part of Buffalo’s programming leadership for most of [the station’s] 25-year history. His understanding of its heritage and the Buffalo market make him the perfect choice for this opportunity. With Tiffany Bentley as APD, I think we have a formidable team.” Siragusa comments, “‘The Edge’ is a heritage brand with a tremendously talented and passionate staff. I am thrilled to expand my role at Cumulus Buffalo and be part of the future of such a remarkable radio station.” Bentley adds, “I feel honored to work with such a great team and to be able to continue to contribute to and grow such a strong brand in this expanded role.” Siragusa previously programmed WRCL, Richmond; KGOR, Omaha; and WRQN, Toledo. Prior to joining “The Edge,” Bentley did mornings on crosstown alternative WLKK and has held programming and on-air positions in Syracuse and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania …Former morning talent at Radio One Dallas rhythmic CHR KBFB “97.9 The Beat,” Veda Loca, returns to the Radio One Dallas cluster to host “Veda Loca’s House Party” on urban AC KZMJ “Magic 94.5.” The six-hour Friday and Saturday night show will air 6:00 pm – 12:00 midnight …When the contract of morning co-host Brooks Williams expires early next year, he will not be returning to Griffin Communications-owned KVOO “98.5 Tulsa’s Country,” opting instead to pursue a real estate career. Griffin Communications director of radio operations and programming Steve Hunter notes, “We’re sad that Brooks will be leaving us, but we’re excited for him as he starts this new chapter in his life.” Shortly after joining KVOO four months ago to do afternoons, Williams segued to morning drive where he is teamed with Amber Glaze … An Albany, New York format flip finds Pamal Broadcasting hot AC WKBE “107.1 The Point” transitioning to classic country as “Big Country 107.1 – Country’s Biggest Legends.” Pamal Broadcasting general manager Tom Jacobsen remarks, “We are proud to bring these great country memories to the Capital region and north country on a great signal; we expect listeners to really love our new station.” WKBE’s lineup includes: Kevin Richards (mornings); Jacobsen under the air name Jake Thomas (middays); and Sean McMaster (afternoons) …  Work songs, summertime anthems, and current hits are part of Tim McGraw-hosted “Workin’ Hard Country,” a four-hour Labor Day special from Cumulus Media’s Westwood One Nashville. Among those sharing stories about jobs they had before they became successful playing music for a living are: Jason Aldean, Kelsea Ballerini, Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Luke Combs, Florida Georgia Line, and Carrie Underwood. Also featured are songs from McGraw’s “Here on Earth” album, and his recent single, “I Called Mama.” … Following a 49-year radio career – including 26 years at the same station – Forever Media Johnstown, Pennsylvania adult contemporary WKYE “Key 96.5” morning host Jack Michaels retired yesterday (8/10), owing to health issues. Forever Media Johnstown music director Brian Wolfe succeeds Michaels … Fishnet Syndication’s weekly “The Red Dirt Flirt” names Rita Ballou host. Afternoon co-host with Eric Raines on Genuine Austin Radio’s KOKE “Austin’s Country Alternative,” Ballou appears on KOKE’s morning show and manages the station’s social media and digital.

Fatherly Advice from Bob Lonsberry

| December 11, 2019

By Bob Lonsberry
Talk Show Host

 

ROCHESTER, NY — My son signs on today.

His own radio program.

A talk show.  In Salt Lake City.

And on his first day, he will have a bigger audience and a bigger paycheck than I have ever had.

And yet, it is the nature of the elder to lecture the younger, to tell them how the world was in hope that it relates to how the world will be.

Read More

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

| December 11, 2019

Entercom Announces Sale of $100 Million in Second Lien Senior Secured Notes. These notes are being offered as additional notes under an existing indenture, dated April 30, 2019, pursuant to which the Issuer previously issued $325 million in aggregate principal amount of Entercom Media Group’s 6.500% senior secured second-lien notes due 2027.  Net proceeds from the additional $100 million offering will be used to partially repay existing indebtedness under its senior secured term loan facility.  They have the same terms as the existing notes.  They are offered and sold only to persons reasonably believed to be qualified institutional buyers.

AJ Lurie Assumes New Post with Beasley XP. Sales and management pro AJ Lurie is promoted to the newly created position of director of local market integrated partnerships at Beasley XP, Beasley Media Group’s recently created esports division.  Lurie began his career with Beasley Media Group in 2007 in Fort Myers and most recently served as the as vice president and market manager of its Wilmington, Delaware radio cluster.  In his new role, Lurie will be responsible for overseeing all of Beasley Media Group’s local market esports and gaming revenues by leveraging the company’s content and local market gaming-oriented events.  He says, “Beasley Media Group’s entrance into the esports industry is transformative for our company and I am honored to be a part of this initiative.  Leveraging our company’s assets will present tremendous growth opportunities.  I’m excited to work with some of Beasley’s best to help build this division for our organization.”  As Lurie moves to his new position, BMG Philadelphia vice president and market manager Joe Bell will add the Wilmington radio cluster management duties to his current responsibilities under the new structure.

Fatherly Talk Radio Advice from Bob Lonsberry. WHAM, Rochester and WSYR, Syracuse talk radio personality Bob Lonsberry’s son Lee begins his new talk radio show on Bonneville’s KSL-AM/FM, Salt Lake City today (12/11).  In the time honored tradition of fathers imparting advice to their sons, Bob Lonsberry offers his son his views on what it takes to become a successful talk radio host.  He says, “Be you. Know who you are, what you stand for, what your values and priorities are, and build a genuine radio character around that.  Don’t pretend, don’t act.  Entertain, yes.  Accentuate, absolutely. Pose, no.”  Read all of his advice here.

House Files Articles of Impeachment, Trump’s Pennsylvania Rally, Deadly Jersey City Shooting, USMCA, 2020 Presidential Race, Patriots Video Controversy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/10). The Democrat-led House files articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump; the president appears at a rally in Pennsylvania; a shooting at a Jewish market in Jersey City claims the lives of six, including a police officer and the two shooters; the House agrees on the Trump administration’s US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement; the Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in 2020; and the controversy over the taping of the Cincinnati Bengals’ sidelines by a film crew hired by the New England Patriots were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Rush Limbaugh Announces $5 Million-Plus Raised for Tunnel to Towers Foundation. During an appearance on FOX News Channel’s “FOX & Friends” morning program, Premiere Networks nationally syndicated talk radio legend Rush Limbaugh announced that sales from his “Stand Up for Betsy Ross!” merchandise surpassed $5 million dollars.  All proceeds benefit The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation that provides financial assistance to military heroes and their families, as well as first responders.  Limbaugh first launched the line of merchandise with a single T-shirt in July and quickly raised $2 million dollars for Tunnel to Towers.  It paid off the home mortgages of six fallen American heroes.  Limbaugh subsequently decided to expand the merchandise and continue the fundraiser through the end of 2019.  On the program, Limbaugh said, “Our fulfillment center is working around the clock.  The orders have not stopped coming in.  We owe a debt to the people who have participated in this.”

Armstrong & Getty Raise More Than $1 Million for Warrior Foundation-Freedom Station. Sacramento-based, syndicated morning drive duo Armstrong & Getty – Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty – announce that the show’s annual “Warrior Foundation-Freedom Station Radiothon” raised approximately $1.2 million to benefit the Warrior Foundation-Freedom Station charity that purchases plane tickets for injured warriors so they can spend the holidays at home and with their families.  Getty says, “We feel compelled to give back to those who served our country.  We owe it, as Americans, to support these guys.”  Armstrong adds, “In all kinds of different ways, WFFS creates a buffer zone between combat and civilian life, providing our injured warriors with sanctuary, a sense of community and the tools they’ll need to rejoin society.”

TALKERS News Notes. The regionally syndicated late morning talk radio show hosted by Erick Erickson begins airing on Cumulus Media’s WMAC-AM, Macon, Georgia, effective December 16.  Erickson hosts the afternoon drive show on Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta and he launched the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon show in September to focus on Georgia politics and issues.  He says, “Macon is home.  My family goes to church in Macon.  Our kids go to school in Macon.  I broadcast from Macon.  We live here.  Now, I finally have an answer for people when they ask when they can hear me on the radio here.”…..iHeartMedia’s  news/talk KFI, Los Angeles raised a new record of more than $435,000 and 109,000 pounds of pasta during the ninth annual “KFI PastaThon” to benefit Caterina’s Club, a charitable organization that feeds 25,000 underprivileged children, five days a week in more than 30 cities throughout Southern California.  During the 17-hour live broadcast on December 6, all KFI – including Bill Handel, Jennifer Jones Lee, Gary Hoffmann, Shannon Farren, John Kobylt, Ken Chiampou, and Tim Conway Jr. were on site at the Christ Cathedral in Garden Grove encouraging listeners to donate money along with pasta and pasta sauce to help feed underprivileged children that live in motels without access to a kitchen…..Count former WEEI, Boston morning drive personality Gerry Callahan as the latest radio host to move into the podcast space.  Callahan, who was let go from his longtime morning gig in at the Entercom sports talk station in July, will post new shows Monday through Thursday, beginning January 6.  He announced the new venture on Kirk Minihane’s podcast.  Callahan and Minihane co-hosted the WEEI morning show for several years before Minihane’s exit from Entercom last year.  Callahan says the subtitle of his show will be “Politics, Sports, and Revenge.”…..cabana announces it has inked a deal with Critical Frequency Network to exclusively handle podcast ad sales representation.  Critical Frequency was founded by science and gender writer and journalist Amy Westervelt and features a diverse community of hosts – all women, people of color, and/or LGBTQ…..Condolences to the family and friends of former KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh morning news anchor Bob Kopler, who died yesterday (12/10) at the age of 81.  He worked in the Pittsburgh market for more than 40 years and at KDKA from 1988 through his retirement in 2007.

Talking Cryptocurrency on WBZ-AM. On Tuesday (12/10), iHeartMedia all-news WBZ-AM hosted some of Boston’s foremost experts in cryptocurrency to help explain what the savvy businessperson needs to know about the future of commerce.  More than 300 WBZ listeners joined the panel for breakfast as WBZ business reporter and AM drive news anchor Jeff Brown moderated the conversation.  Pictured above (l-r) are: Brown; Sir John Hargrave, author of Blockchain for Everyone; Christian Catalini, head economist at Calibra; Manasi Vora, head of product strategy at Sia; and Frank Makrides, founder & CEO of Tunnel.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At All Pro Broadcasting’s hot AC KHTI, Riverside “HOT 103.9,” midday host Sabrina Ruiz takes on music director duties, effective immediately. Station PD Rick Shaw comments, “It is with great pleasure that I can announce that Sabrina has accepted the position of ‘HOT 103.9’ music director.  Sabrina’s knowledge and passion for the music that we play on ‘HOT’ makes her the perfect person for the task.”…..On-air pro Kayla Morgan joins SummitMedia’s CHR WWST, Knoxville “Star 102.1” as evening personality.  Morgan was most recently with Entercom’s Detroit cluster as a personality on adult contemporary WDZH “98.7 The Breeze.”  SummitMedia Knoxville market president Chris Protzman states, “We are delighted to welcome Kayla to Knoxville and ‘Star 102.1’ nights.  Her personality and passion for the music is infectious. Knoxville is in for a real treat!”

Thursday, September 12, 2019

| September 12, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, July 15, 2019

| July 15, 2019

Sports USA Awarded $2 Million in Breach of Contract Suit. 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. According to Sports USA chief executive officer Larry Kahn, “[Sun CEO] Jason Bailey thought he could breach the contract by filing claims against us which had no factual or legal basis, but under no circumstance would we back down and drop our valid claims. The jury’s decision completely affirms what we have said since day one: Sun breached the agreement and had no valid justification for doing so.” Senior Manatt, Phelps & Phillips litigation partner Robert Platt asserts, “Sports USA is absolutely thrilled with [this] outcome. Despite numerous, non-meritorious countersuits and claims, our client would not be deterred in seeking the recovery of amounts that it was rightfully owed. After fighting tirelessly on behalf of Sports USA for two years, we are happy that the jury arrived at this just conclusion.” Sports USA and Sun signed an advertising rep deal in September 2015, in which Sun agreed to serve as Sports USA’s exclusive sales representative for the 2016 and 2017 college football seasons. In January, 2017, when Sun could not fulfill its financial obligations to Sports USA under the contract, Sun attempted to terminate the agreement and Sports USA filed suit.

Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Videos Continue Posting Today with Panel Discussion “Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio.”  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 (7/15) 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.

Denver’s “Freedom 93.7” Debuts. In addition to positioning itself as “Freedom 93.7,” the iHeartMedia news/talk simulcast of K229BS and KDFD (760 AM, formerly sports talk KDSP ) is using “Real News – Real Talk” as its secondary slogan. President of iHeartMedia’s Denver Region, Tim Hager, comments, “With massive FM coverage, a 50,000 watt AM signal [on 760], and unmatched digital distribution, we are confident that ‘Freedom 93.7’ will quickly become a favorite destination for Colorado talk radio listeners.” The weekday lineup for “Freedom 93.7” includes: “Ground Zero” with Clyde Lewis (12:00 midnight – 5:00 am); “This Morning” with Gordon Deal (5:00 am – 7:00 am); Glenn Beck (7:00 am – 10:00 am); Rush Limbaugh (10:00 am – 1:00 pm); Sean Hannity (1:00 pm – 4:00 pm); Buck Sexton (4:00 pm – 7:00 pm); Dave Ramsey (7:00 pm – 10:00 pm); Ken Coleman (10:00 pm – 11:00 pm); and “Crime Stories with Nancy Grace” (11:00 pm – 12:00 midnight). According to Premiere Networks senior vice president of affiliate sales, talk, and morning shows, Peter Tripi, “The launch of ‘Freedom 93.7’ is an exciting opportunity to showcase some of the most-listened-to national talk radio stars, live in a single lineup, on this far-reaching simulcast. This is a win for Denver area talk radio fans.” Weekend programming, includes “The Jesus Christ Show”; “The Weekend with Joe Pags”; “Coast-to-Coast AM – Somewhere in Time”; “Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk”; and “Live on Sunday Night, It’s Bill Cunningham.” Limbaugh will continue airing on iHeartMedia Denver news/talk KOA through August; Hannity, and Beck will continue on news/talk sibling KHOW through August as well. New live and local programming line-ups for KOA and KHOW will be announced in the coming weeks.

Howie Carr Radio Network Expands With “Dirty Rats” Podcasts. A series of true-crime “Dirty Rats” podcasts will launch on the Howie Carr Radio Network two weeks from Thursday (8/1). According to Carr, the “Dirty Rats” podcast series “will educate and entertain a whole new generation about the vast scope of crime and corruption in recent decades in Boston – murder and mayhem on unprecedented scales.” HCRN president Kathy Carr notes, “This new project allows our sponsors to grow and reach new customers well beyond our current base. With the growth and success of our advertisers, we all continue to prosper.” More than 25 New England stations carry the 3:00 – 7:00 pm “Howie Carr Show.” Newsmax TV airs it weekdays, 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm. In addition to placing #16 on “The Talkers Magazine 2019 Heavy Hundred,” Carr is a New York Times best-selling author of true-crime books “Brothers Bulger,” and “Hitman,” as well as other fiction and non-fiction works.

Monday Memo: Summertime, Summertime, Sum-Sum-Summertime.  Consultant Holland Cooke writes in today’s Monday Memo about this time of the year when programmers can take advantage of people’s atypical routines.  He says, “As every station’s listeners’ routines are altered, they’re exposed to days and dayparts they might not habitually use.  When they discover you, will they instantly ‘get it?’  Is your elevator speech high-profile?”  Get more summertime tips here.

NPR Boosts Nelson to VP/Technology Operations. Overseeing the audio engineering and news flex teams at NPR the past three years, Chris Nelson is promoted to vice president of technology operations. President of operations Loren Mayor remarks, “Chris brings innovative technology leadership to his role. [He drives] collaboration between editorial, production, and technical staff, and promotes a culture of operational excellence and public service. He has focused considerable energy on building talented teams to design, deploy, engineer, and support the complex technology solutions and infrastructure at the operational heart of NPR’s editorial vision and signature sound.” Nelson notes, “I’ve seen this organization and our systems grow over the years – that would not have happened without the dedicated efforts of this team. Our technologists are innovators and leaders in their fields; they deserve recognition for the work they do to support nearly every facet of NPR’s operations. I’m proud to serve them all in this role.” The 1999 Middle Tennessee State University graduate joined NPR as an audio engineer in 2000 and has held roles that include technical director for live and recorded music broadcasts, and oversight of technical operations for multiple seasons of elections coverage. Nelson has produced documentaries for public radio and the National Hockey League, as well as serving as a Tanzania-based audio specialist for the UN’s International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

Media Institute To Honor Beasley. As part of its October 7 “Free Speech America” gala in Washington, DC, the Media Institute will honor Beasley Media Group chief executive officer Caroline Beasley and The Washington Post publisher/chief executive officer Frederick J. Ryan, Jr. Beasley will be bestowed the American Horizon Award, which recognizes an individual for visionary leadership in the communications industry, while Ryan will receive the Freedom of Speech Award, recognizing an individual who has worked to advance free speech and the First Amendment. Beasley has served in her current capacity since January 2017 and has held a number of other posts at the company including executive vice president; chief financial officer; treasurer; and secretary. She most recently served as the joint board chair of the National Association of Broadcasters board of directors. Former FCC chair Richard E. Wiley will be the master of ceremonies at the October 7 event, which will be keynoted by FCC commissioner Geoffrey Starks. The Media Institute is a nonprofit foundation specializing in communications policy and the First Amendment.

Thomson Elevated to Emmis’ Senior VP/Human Resources. During her nearly 15 years at Emmis Communications, Traci Thomson has been vice president of human resources and director of employee services. She is now boosted to senior vice president of human resources. In a staff memo, Emmis chair/chief executive officer Jeff Smulyan writes, “Traci is an integral member of the Emmis senior leadership team and has played a critical role in all actions we’ve taken the past several years to reinvent Emmis. [This] promotion also sets the stage for the important role Traci will play in the months ahead with the formation of Mediaco Holding and the next steps on our path to invest in the future of Emmis.” Before joining Emmis, Thomson spent nine years at the First Indiana Bank.

Radio One Cleveland Gets Rude. The operations manager of Radio One Detroit, Yonni Rude, transfers to Cleveland where he will have similar duties. Rude replaces Bill Black, who left this past spring. Radio One regional vice president Eddie Harrell, Jr. comments, “We are thrilled to have Yonni join our team in Cleveland. His track record and programming acumen make this a perfect fit. We look forward to Yonni furthering our standing as the dominant force with respect to serving African-Americans in Northeast Ohio.” Rude notes, “I’m excited for this opportunity and look forward to working closely with the amazing Radio One Cleveland all-star team.” The company’s Cleveland facilities include news/talk WERE “News Talk 1490”; urban contemporary WENZ “Z-107.9”; urban AC WZAK; and gospel WJMO “Praise 94.5.” Its Detroit operation consists of urban AC WDMK “105.9 Kiss FM” and WDMK-HD2 “Praise” and it operates urban contemporary WGPR “Hot 107.5” under an LMA. Rude previously was the three-year operations manager for Radio One Richmond.

TALKERS News Notes. Nine-year KSL mid-day (12:30 pm – 3:00 pm) talent Jay Mcfarland is departing the Bonneville Salt Lake City news/talk outlet. After being off the air for two weeks, he made the announcement last Friday (7/12) on an appearance with afternoon anchor Jeff Caplan. It has been speculated – but unconfirmed – that Mcfarland will run as a Republican in Utah’s 4th congressional district for the seat currently held by Democrat Ben McAdams. Before going to KSL, Mcfarland worked at Dallas news-talk hybrid KRLD-AM ….. Since joining the Portland Trail Blazers as the NBA team’s radio voice in 1998, Brian Wheeler called 1,823 Blazers’ games, but he will not return next season. Owing to illness, Wheeler missed significant stretches of the last two years on iHeartMedia flagship KPOJ “AM 620” and Portland’s 21-station radio network. The team’s president/chief executive officer Chris McGowan states, “Brian Wheeler has been an integral part of the broadcast team and Trail Blazers family since 1998. His voice is synonymous with all the many great play-by-play calls over that 21-year span. We thank Brian for his contributions to the franchise and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.” Wheeler expresses gratitude to the team “for the incredible opportunity and honor of calling radio play-by-play the past 21 years. I was honored and blessed to be a Blazer for 21 seasons; fortunately,  I’ve accumulated some precious memories that will last a lifetime.” When Wheeler was unavailable, games were called by Travis Demers and Michael Holton.

 

 

June 2019 PPM Data – Part Three. June 2019 ratings information has been released for Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s June 2019 survey period covered May 23 – June 19. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12-PPM markets.

Portland

Spoken Word Formats – News/talk KXL’s March/April -1.0 is officially obliterated by a May/June +1.1 (3.7 – 4.2 – 4.8, 6+) as Alpha Media-owned “FM News 101 – Stay Connected” jumps from tenth to sixth. Down three-tenths in May, iHeartMedia’s KEX “News Radio 1190 – Depend On Us” bounces back with an improvement of two-tenths (2.0 – 2.2, #18 to #17, 6+). In this calendar year’s six survey periods (January 2019 through June 2019), Alpha Media news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970” has logged a 1.0 (6+) three times and a .9 (6+) the other three times: 1.0 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – .9 – 1.0 (#26 to #24, 6+).

Tied at #22 are KUFO’s sports talk sibling KXTG “The Game” (1.4, -.3, #21 to #22, 6+) and Entercom’s similarly-formatted KFXX “1080 The Fan” (1.5 – 1.4, -.1, #23 to #22, 6+). “The Game” had nearly doubled (+.8) its 6+-stat through five successive sweeps without a loss (.9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.7, 6+), while May’s 1.5 by “The Fan” was its best 6+-showing since October 2018’s 1.7. After more than tripling (+1.2) its 6+ AQH share via three straight improvements (.5 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned/Portland Trailblazers flagship KPOJ “Sports Radio 620” forfeits the entire increase in June and is back at .5 (-1.2, #21 to #28, 6+).

A combined -1.2 in May/June (7.9 – 7.0 – 6.7, 6+), after an April gain of six-tenths, Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk KOPB continues in third-place. KOPB has been +1.2 (January 2019); a combined -2.0 in February/March; +.6 (April); and -.9 (May).

Portland Music Formats – A lofty +1.1 tacked onto May’s four-tenths’ increase (4.2 – 4.6 – 5.7, 6+) enables Alpha Media’s KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” to leap from sixth to fourth. The last time KUPL reached the five-share level (6+) was in April 2017 (5.5). Prior to dropping three-tenths in April, “The Bull” was a collective +1.2 in three straight gains (3.3 – 3.6 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+). Conversely, Entercom-owned KWJJ has May’s eight-tenths’ gain erased with a June decrease of nine-tenths; “99.5 The Wolf” – The Northwest’s Hottest Country” drifts from the top ten (#6 to #12). KWJJ continues a down/up pattern that began in December 2018 (3.4 – 2.7 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 4.6 – 3.7, 6+), with May’s 4.6 its best 6+-stat since July 2018 (4.6, as well). Logging gains of six-tenths each are iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW “K-103,” which is up a collective eight-tenths in three straight sweeps without a loss (7.0 – 7.0 – 7.2 – 7.8, steady at #2, 6+) and rhythmic CHR sibling KXJM “Jam’n 107.5,” an overall +1.5 via four successive positive or neutral moves  (2.4 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.9, #15 to #10, 6+). This (7.8) is the best 6+-stat for “K-103” since “Holiday” 2018’s 16.2 when KKCW was #1. KXJM has its strongest 6+-showing since March 2016 (3.9, as well). A combined -1.1 in April/May (8.9 – 8.6 – 7.8, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLTH not only picks up one-tenth to 7.9 (6+), “106.7 The Eagle” is #1 the fifth month in a row. When “the Eagle” faltered by three-tenths in April, it curtailed three consecutive upticks that yielded a +3.5 (5.4 – 7.1 – 8.1 – 8.9, 6+). Prior to February, KLTH last reached the eight-share level (6+) in May 2011 (8.1, as well). A dip of six-tenths (4.5 – 3.9, 6+) sends Alpha Media triple A KINK “101.9 Uniquely Portland” from eighth to tenth and below a four-share (6+) for the first time since March 2018 (3.9, as well). Down one-half share (4.0 – 3.5, 6+), Entercom alternative KNRK tumbles from #11 to #15. All Classical Public Media’s KQAC “All Classical Portland” is a collective -2.4 in five consecutive down or flat moves (4.4 – 4.4 – 3.7 – 2.6 – 2.3 – 2.0, #17 to #19, 6+). Immediately prior to losing seven-tenths in March, KQAC was without a loss four times in a row for a collective +1.8 (2.6 – 2.7 – 3.4 – 4.4 – 4.4, 6+) and reached the four-share level (4.4, 6+) the first time since February 2017’s 4.2.

Charlotte

Spoken-Word Formats – By hanging out a robust June +1.2 to 4.4 (#13 to #12, 6+), Entercom news/talk WBT completely evaporates the overall -1.2 it lost in three straight declines (4.4 – 4.3 – 3.7 – 3.2, 6+). May’s 3.2 was its lowest 6+-showing since September 2018 (2.9).

In an alternating up/down sequence that began in “Holiday” 2018 (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.2 – 1.5 – 1.3, 6+), co-owned WFNZ “The Fan – Charlotte’s Sports Leader” has lost three-tenths in that stretch; the Charlotte Hornets flagship remains at #19.

The last three shifts for University Radio Foundation news/talk WFAE were -.6 (March); +.5 (April); and -.5 (May). “Charlotte’s NPR News Source” is off an additional two-tenths in June to 2.1 (6+) but climbs from #16 to #15. Having logged a .3 (6+) in each of the last three sweeps, South Carolina Educational Television Commission news/talk WNSC gains one-tenth to .4 (6+) and is unchanged at #22.

Charlotte Music Formats – Vaulting from ninth to fourth as a result of a +.9 (4.8 – 5.7, 6+), Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WKQC “K-10.7 More Music/Better Variety” records its strongest 6+-stat (5.7) since “Holiday” 2018’s 12.9 (#1). Notching increases of one-half share each are its urban contemporary sibling WPEG “Power 98” (4.6, #11 to #10, 6+) and Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WRCM “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” (2.6, #18 to #14, 6+). Immediately prior to their respective increases, “Power” was an overall -1.9 in three slips in succession (6.0 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 4.1, 6+), while “K-Love” was a combined -1.2 in April/May (3.3 – 2.6 – 2.1, 6+). Entering the June 2019 sweep, iHeartMedia adult hits WLKO “102.9 The Lake” was -1.2 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.1 (January 2019); -1.4 (February); +.5 (March); -.5 (April); and +.8 (May). Simply by remaining flat at 7.1 (6+) though, “The Lake” rises from second to first. In advance of “Holiday” 2018’s -1.2, WLKO posted eight straight months without a loss for a +3.7 (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 6.4 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+). Beasley Media Group cluster-mates WSOC and WBAV dislodged “The Lake” from #1 in February, after WLKO’s January-only stay on top. Speaking of WSOC, it had been #1 the past four months, but “103.7 Country’s Hottest Hits” (7.5 – 6.9, -.6, 6+) segues to second. A May improvement of eight-tenths delivered WSOC its strongest 6+-stat since November 2018 (7.5, as well). Before gaining nine-tenths in January, WSOC had been without an increase the previous four reports for an overall -1.3 (7.7 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 6.6 – 6.4, 6+). Its format rival, iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country,” is +1.1 in four straight positive or neutral moves (5.3 – 6.1 – 6.3 – 6.4 – 6.4, 6+) and continues in third-place. Prior to logging a +1.2 in January, WKKT was -2.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.7 – 5.8 – 4.4, 6+). A combined +1.9 in April/May (1.2 – 2.0 – 3.1, 6+), Davidson College-owned WDAV “89.9 Classical Public Radio” sees all but two-tenths of that bounty disappear with a -1.7 to 1.4 (#14 to #18, 6+). In four straight December 2018 through March 2019 down or flat trends (1.7 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), WDAV lost a collective half-share. Down six-tenths (3.4 – 2.8, #12 to #13, 6+), iHeartMedia alternative WEND “106.5 The End” is below a three-share (6+) for the first time since February 2017 (2.8, as well). Via four straight gains, Beasley Media Group mainstream CHR WNKS accrued a +2.1 (3.2 – 3.6 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.3, 6+), but “Kiss 95.1” forfeits two-tenths to 5.1 (seventh to eighth, 6+). The positive streak immediately followed four consecutive sweeps without an increase that accounted for a -1.2 (4.4 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.2, 6+).

San Antonio

Spoken-Word Formats – In back-to-back sweeps (May and June), iHeartMedia news/talk WOAI coughs up one-half share (5.3 – 4.8 – 4.3, fourth to sixth, 6+), virtually erasing its +1.1 in April (4.2 – 5.3, 6+). April’s 5.3 marked the first time “News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather” reached the five-share level since August 2016’s 5.2. Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” loses one-tenth in consecutive reports (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3, #21 to #22, 6+). That deficit this time last month halted three successive up or flat trends which netted three-tenths (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.5, 6+).

Tied at #32 are KTSA’s sports talk sibling KZDC “ESPN San Antonio” (flat at .3, #31 to #32, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s KTKR “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” (.2 – .3, +.1, unchanged at #32, 6+).

Off one-tenth (3.1 – 3.0, 6+), Texas Public Radio news/talk KSTX falls from #13 to #16.

San Antonio Music Formats – It’s another month of musical chairs regarding Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KZAR “Air 1 Worship Now” and co-owned/similarly-formatted KZLV “Positive & Encouraging K-Love.” First, the backdrop. In May, KZAR posted a +1.0, pulling the plug on three successive negative trends that accounted for a -1.3 (3.3 – 2.4 – 2.2 -2.0, 6+), while KZLV eroded by -1.0, immediately after April’s half-share increase (2.9 – 3.4, 2.4, #13 to #17, 6+). The June update finds KZLV roaring back with a +1.5 (2.4 – 3.9, 6+) taking “K-Love” into the top ten (#17 to #10), whereas KZAR plummets by -1.1 (3.0 – 1.9, 6+) as “Air 1” departs the top twenty (#14 to #21). By gaining one-tenth to 2.1 (#21 to #20, 6+), Univision Radio rhythmic hot AC KVBH “107.5 The Vibe” halts at four its consecutive string of negative or neutral moves that accounted for a collective -1.4 (3.4 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.0, 6+). Tejano KXTN transitioned to KVBH “The Vibe” in mid-April. Spanish contemporary cluster-mate KMYO “Latino Mix 95.1” dials up a gain of eight-tenths (2.4 – 3.2, 6+) and elevates from #17 to #13. “Latino Mix” had been within two-share range (6+) in each of the last 19 sweeps and finds the three-share threshold (3.2, 6+) for the first time since December 2017’s 3.0. Up a collective nine-tenths via three straight positive or neutral trends (2.3 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 3.2, #16 to #13, 6+), Alpha Media regional Mexican KSAH “Norteno” has its best 6+-showing (3.2) since November 2018 (3.3). Locked on 4.7 (6+) in April and May, Cox Media Group’s KISS “Rocks San Antonio” busts out a one-half share increase to 5.2 (fifth to fourth, 6+). Leading the pack the fourth month in a row, co-owned classic hits-oldies KONO-FM “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” follows May’s +1.1 to 8.5, its highest 6+-stat since September 2018’s 8.8, with a loss of three-tenths (8.5 – 8.2, 6+). KONO-FM had been in the runner-up slot five successive times before progressing to #1 in March. Faltering by one-half share each are Alpha Media adult hits KJXK “102.7 Jack-FM – Playing What We Want” (4.3 – 3.8, 6+), which departs the top ten (#8 to #11), and Univision Radio regional Mexican KROM “Que Buena 92.9” (3.7 – 3.2, #12 to #13, 6+). The last time “Jack” slipped below a four-share (6+) was in “Holiday” 2018 (3.5). Showing decreases of two-tenths each are Cox Media Group-owned KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader” (7.2 – 6.9, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” (6.2 – 6.0, 6+). Remaining separated by nine-tenths, KCYY (+.6 in May) and KAJA (+.4 in May) carry on at second and third, respectively. Recent shifts for “Y-100” include: -.8 (December); -1.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.8 (January 2019); +.6 (February); -.6 (March); and +.6 (May). “KJ-97” has been +.5 (September 2018); -1.1 (October); +1.0 (December); -1.0 (“Holiday” 2018); +3.0 (January 2019); and –1.9 (March).

Sacramento

Spoken-Word Formats – When iHeartMedia-owned news/talk KFBK picked up one-tenth in May, it halted three straight sweeps without an increase that led to a collective -1.6 (7.6 – 7.0 – 6.2 – 6.0, 6+). “Sacramento’s News, Weather and Traffic Station” plunges nine-tenths in June to 5.2 (6+), sliding from second to fifth; KFBK was tied for first (with classic rock KSEG) in January. Flat at #14, co-owned KSTE “Talk 650” continues an alternating down/up pattern that commenced in December 2018 and has remained within 2.3 – 2.7 range: 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 2.3 – 2.6 – 2.5 (6+).

Up three-tenths via three straight gains of one-tenth each (.7 – .8 – .9 – 1.0, 6+), Entercom’s KIFM-AM “ESPN Radio 1320” forfeits the entire three-tenths and is back to .7 (#22 to #24, 6+). In five consecutive sweeps without an increase, Bonneville’s KHTK “Sports 1140” has lost exactly half (-.6) its 6+ AQH share (1.2 – 1.2 – .9 – .8 – .6 – .6, #25 to #26, 6+).

Adding two-tenths to May’s +1.0 (3.5 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+), KXJZ progresses from ninth to seventh. Prior to May, five decreases in succession by the Capital Public Radio news/talk station accounted for a roughly 50% loss (-3.4) of its 6+-share (6.9 – 5.9 – 5.1 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 3.5, 6+); December 2018’s 6.9 is the highest 6+-stat in its PPM-history. Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQEI has an October 2018 through June 2019 topline of .6 – .6 – .7 – .6 – .7 – .7 – .6 – .7 – .5 – .7 (#27 to #24, 6+).

Sacramento Music Formats – Powered by four consecutive upticks accounting for a +1.4 (5.2 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 5.7 – 6.6, 6+), iHeartMedia classic rocker KYRV “93.7 The River” marches from fifth to second. Ahead of it is Entercom-owned KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock,” which despite being off six-tenths (8.9 – 8.3, 6+), is #1 the fifth month in a row. That accomplishment includes January’s first-place tie with iHeartMedia news/talk KFBK. “The Eagle” held the lead position ten consecutive survey periods before shifting to #2 in December. Six of its recent fluctuations include -1.1 (November 2018); -.8 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.0 (February 2019); -.5 (April); +.9 (May); and -.6 (June). Wiping away April/May’s combined loss of eight-tenths (5.6 – 5.1 – 4.8, 6+) with an equal magnitude June bump (4.8 – 5.6, 6+), Bonneville’s KNCI “New Country 105.1” leaps from seventh to fourth. For the 16th successive survey period, Entravision Communications’ similarly-formatted KNTY “101.9 The Wolf” logs a 6+-share between 2.0 – 2.5 (2.0 – 2.1, +.1, 5+) and is anchored at #16. Co-owned Spanish adult hits KXSE “104.3 La Suavecita” (#17 to #15, 6+) posts a half-share increase to 2.3, its best 6+-stat since November 2018’s 2.4. Also in that Entravision Communications cluster, rhythmic CHR KHHM “Hot 103.5” has lost seven-tenths in May/June (2.5 – 2.3 – 1.8, #15 to #17, 6+). Eroding by -1.1 (6.1 – 5.0, 6+), Entercom-owned KRXQ slips from second to sixth. The last time “98 Rock” was under a five-share (6+) was “Holiday” 2018 (4.3). Immediately following April’s nine-tenths’ gain, alternative sibling KKDO “Alt 94.7” is a combined -1.4 in May/June (5.6 – 5.0 – 4.2, sixth to ninth, 6+). CHR cluster-mate KUDL “106.5 The End,” which was an overall +1.9 through four straight up or flat trends (4.1 – 4.1 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 6.0, 6+), relinquishes three-tenths to 5.7 (6+) yet advances from fourth to third. Staying flat from May and thus remaining separated by one-half share from each other are the market’s two AC players – Entercom’s KYMX “Mix 96 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” (4.6, eighth, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s KBEB “92.5 The Breeze” (4.1, #11 to #10, 6+). “Mix” is without a gain the third straight time for a collective -1.6 (6.2 – 5.7 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+); this (4.6) is its weakest 6+-stat since September 2015’s 4.5. Formerly “92.5 The Bull – #1 for New Country,” KBEB transitioned to adult contemporary as “The Breeze” in early-November (2018). It netted a +2.1 in three straight positive spikes (2.4 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 4.5, 6+), in advance of March/April’s -.8 (4.5 – 4.3 – 3.7, 6+).

Pittsburgh

Spoken-Word Formats – Not only is Entercom’s KDKA-AM -1.8 as a result of five straight February through June drops (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 3.3, 6+), “News Radio 1020” exits the top ten (#10 to #11); KDKA-AM was +1.1 in January.

Co-owned sports talk/Pirates flagship KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan,” which dropped seven-tenths in May (6.8 – 6.1, 6+), regains two-tenths to 6.3 (fifth to fourth, 6+). The ultra-consistent September 2018 through June 2019 topline for iHeartMedia sports talk WBGG 970 AM – ESPN Pittsburgh” is 2 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .2 – .2 (#22 to #23, 6+).

Returning in its entirety May’s gain of six-tenths (4.2 – 3.6, -.6, 6+), Essential Public Media news/talk WESA “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” slips from ninth to tenth.

Pittsburgh Music Formats – Repeating in the runner-up slot, Steel City Media adult hits WRRK “96.9 Bob FM” is +2.3 in four straight positive spikes (6.9 – 7.4 – 8.0 – 8.2 – 9.2, 6+) and reaches the nine-share level (9.2, 6+) for the first time since December 2017’s 9.0. This streak directly follows a -1.8 in three consecutive sweeps without an increase (8.7 – 7.7 – 7.7 – 6.9, 6+). A positive spike of eight-tenths takes iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWSW to 8.5 (steady at #3), its best 6+-stat since 13.6 in “Holiday” 2018 when “94.5 3WS” was #1. Replicating May’s increase of six-tenths (8.3 – 8.9 – 9.5, 6+), co-owned rocker WDVE, which lost nine-tenths in April, is #1 the fifth successive month. WDVE posted identical gains of eight-tenths in February and March (7.6 – 8.4 – 9.2, 6+) and spent 11 successive sweeps in the runner-up slot before dropping to third in December. In each of the last 50 ratings periods, Pittsburgh Community Broadcasting triple A WYEP has registered a 6+ AQH share between 1.0 – 1.9, but in June, “91.3 Where The Music Matters” posts a +.6 to 2.3 (unchanged at #14, 6+). As Steel City Media-owned hot WLTJ “Q-92.9” improves by six-tenths and cracks the top ten (3.1 – 3.7, #11 to #9, 6+), Entercom’s similarly-formatted WBZZ “Star 100.7” falters by the same margin (5.0 – 4.4, seventh to eighth, 6+). Consequently, the +1.9 advantage WBZZ held over WLTJ in May is down to seven-tenths. “Q-92.9” gained a combined half-share in February/March (2.9 – 3.1 – 3.4, 6+), while a March loss of one-tenth by “Star” curtailed at three a successive string of increases that led to a +1.2 (3.7 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.9, 6+). Immediately after Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHH “Wish 99.7” records a +1.4, “Wish 99.7” plummets by -1.1 (6.3 – 5.2, fourth to sixth, 6+). May’s gigantic increase suspended four consecutive declines that resulted in a net loss of roughly half (-5.0) of WSHH’s 6+-stat (9.9 – 5.8 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 4.9, 6+). In four straight decreases, iHeartMedia alternative WXDX is an overall -1.8 (4.8 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+) as “105.9 The X” slips from #11 to #12.

Salt Lake City

Spoken-Word Formats – After spiraling by -1.3 this time last month, Bonneville-owned KSL “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” levels off in June by repeating May’s 6+ AQH share (3.9) and market rank (eighth). Prior to May, KSL had never fallen below a four-share (6+) in the PPM-era. Two-tenths behind KSL is iHeartMedia’s KNRS, which is up three-tenths to 3.7 (flat at #10), halting three straight down or flat sweeps that resulted in a collective -1.7 (5.1 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.4, 6+). “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know” was a combined +1.8 in January/February (3.3 – 4.7 – 5.1, 6+). The January 2019 through June 2019 topline for Cumulus Media-owned KKAT “860 AM – Utah’s Big Talker” is .3 – .2 – .3 – .4 – .3 – .3 (unchanged at #21, 6+).

In four straight sweeps without an increase, University of Utah news/talk KUER is an overall -1.0 (3.1 – 2.5 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1, #15 to #16, 6+).

Salt Lake City Music Formats – Stuck on 1.9 (6+) in April and May, Cumulus Media alternative KHTB “Alt 101.9” records a half-share improvement to 2.4 (#16 to #15, 6+), its best 6+-showing since January’s 2.7. Albeit down three-tenths after May’s increase of two-tenths (8.1 – 8.3 – 8.0, 6+), Bonneville adult contemporary KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music/Better Work Day” repeats at #1. Before segueing to the runner-up slot in April, KSFI was on top the previous five ratings periods. “FM 100.3” registered a +1.5 in March, following January/February’s -14.4 (21.8 – 7.9 – 7.4, 6+). Three straight increases netted a massive +16.2 (5.6 – 5.7 – 12.7 – 21.8, 6+) for KSFI, the only PPM-market station in “Holiday” 2018 to reach the 20-share level (6+). On the other hand, in five consecutive negative moves, Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted KBEE “B-98.7 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” is an overall -1.5 (4.2 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 2.7, #11 to #12, 6+). Bonneville-owned classic hits-oldies KRSP “103.5 The Arrow” is a combined -1.4 in May/June (8.2 – 7.6 – 6.8, second to third, 6+). It was an April-only stay at #1 for KRSP, which had been an overall +2.5 in five consecutive increases (5.7 – 6.1 – 6.3 – 7.0 – 7.8 – 8.2, 6+). “The Arrow” is overtaken by its format rival – iHeartMedia-owned KODJ “94.1 Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits” – which is flat at 7.4 (6+) but advances from third to second. “Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits” netted +2.9 via three straight upticks (4.4 – 6.4 – 6.8 – 7.3, 6+); surrendered a -1.1 in April; and was +1.2 in May. An increase of seven-tenths this time last month took Cumulus Media CHR KENZ to 3.0, its highest 6+-stat since September 2018’s 3.5. “Power 94.9 Utah’s New Hit Music,” however, regresses by one-half share in June to 2.5 (#11 to #14, 6+). The market’s two major hot ACs are separated by just two-tenths as Capital Broadcasting’s KBZN “Now 97.9 – Today’s Best Music” is off three-tenths (5.8 – 5.5, steady at #4, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s KJMY “My 99.5” improves by four-tenths to 5.3 (seventh to fifth, 6+). Prior to the May sweep, “Now 97.9” had been down or flat three straight times for a net loss of six-tenths (6.0- 5.6 – 5.4- 5.4, 6+). Meanwhile, “My 99.5” is in an alternating down/up pattern that started in “Holiday” 2018 (3.7 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 5.3 (6+). Independent KSOP-FM “Z-104 Utah’s #1 Country” continues a similar down/up pattern that surfaced in December 2018: 4.2 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 3.6 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 5.4 – 5.2 (sixth to seventh, 6+). May’s 5.4 was its best 6+-showing since December 2017 (5.4, as well). Flat at #11, iHeartMedia-owned KAAZ “106.7 Utah’s Best Rock” is +1.0 in three straight improvements (2.3 – 2.4 – 3.0 – 3.3, 6+).

Las Vegas

Spoken-Word Formats – By gaining two-tenths (1.8 – 2.0, 6+), Entercom’s KXNT, which was off six-tenths in May, returns to the top twenty (#21 to #19). The 2.4 “News Talk Radio 840” logged in February, March, and April was its best 6+-showing since February 2017’s 2.8. Flat at #23, Beasley Media Group news/talk KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk” has a January 2019 through June 2019 topline of 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 (6+).

Following five upticks in a row that nearly doubled (+2.8) its 6+ AQH share since “Holiday” 2018 (3.0 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.6 – 5.8, 6+), Nevada Public Radio’s KNPR forfeits six-tenths to 5.2 (third to fourth, 6+).

Las Vegas Music Formats – In five consecutive sweeps without an increase, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE was a whopping -8.0 (12.8 – 7.5 – 6.7 – 6.7 – 5.5 – 4.8, 6+). “Sunny 106.5 – Better Music for a Better Workday” rebounds in June though with a +1.2 to 6.0 (6+) and jumps from fifth to second. Prior to May, the last time KSNE fell below a five-share (6+) was October 2017 (4.8, as well). “Sunny” was #1 from September 2018 through January 2019. Its “Holiday” 2018 12.8 is the highest 6+-share for any Las Vegas station since the 14.0 KSNE logged in “Holiday” 2016. KSNE is now just one-tenth behind Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies KKLZ “96.3 – Hits of the Eighties & More,” which is -1.5 in May/June (7.6 – 7.1 – 6.1, 6+) but on top the fifth month in a row. February’s 8.3 marked the first time KKLZ reached the eight-share level (6+) in its PPM-history. There’s considerable shifting in the market’s hot AC battle as KKLZ cluster-mate KVGS “Star 107.9 Vegas’ Best Variety” erupts with a +1.1 (2.8 – 3.9, #13 to #9, 6+) at the same time that Entercom’s KMXB “Mix 94.1” falters by -1.0 (6.5 – 5.5, second to third, 6+). “Star” returned 60% of April’s +1.0 with a -.6 in May. Moreover, this is the best 6+-stat (3.9) for “Star” since it flipped from adult hits “Bob” in January 2015. The loss by “Mix,” meanwhile curtails three consecutive increases that netted +1.0 (5.5 – 5.9 – 6.3 – 6.5, 6+), with May’s 6.5 its strongest 6+-stat since July 2018’s 6.7. Down or flat the past four ratings periods for an overall loss of nine-tenths (2.9 – 2.9 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.0, 6+), Entercom alternative KXTE “X-107.5” answers with a gain of seven-tenths to 2.7 (#17 to #13, 6+). An increase of six-tenths enables Lotus Communications-owned Spanish adult hits KWID “La Buena 101.9” to reach the five-share level (4.5 – 5.1, seventh to fifth, 6+), while a boost of one-half share by KLUC “98.5 Las Vegas’ #1 Hit Music Station” (4.1 – 4.6, eighth to seventh, 6+) gives the Entercom CHR its best 6+-showing (4.6) since September 2018’s 4.8. Its rhythmic hot AC cluster-mate KXQQ was a cumulative +1.1 in five sweeps in a row without a loss (3.9 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 5.0, 6+), but “Q-100.5” craters by -1.4 to 3.6 (fourth to tenth, 6+). In May, KXQQ reached the five-share level (6+) for the first time since May 2018 (5.0, as well). In addition to erasing May’s half-share gain with June’s loss of six-tenths (1.5 – 2.0 – 1.4, 6+), University of Nevada’s KUNV “91.5 FM – Jazz & More” departs the top twenty (#17 to #22). This is the fourth straight decline for Beasley Media Group urban-rhythmic oldies KOAS “Jammin’ 105.7,” which is -1.0 since February (4.1 – 4.0 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.1, #10 to #11, 6+). As a result of five successive setbacks, Faith Communications contemporary Christian KSOS “SOS Radio” is -1.6 (4.3 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 2.7, #12 to #13, 6+).

Orlando

Spoken-Word Formats – Immediately after posting a May +.7 (4.5 – 5.2, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM surrenders eight-tenths to 4.4 (eighth to tenth, 6+). “News 96.5” was a combined +1.9 in January/February (3.6 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+) and -1.0 in March/April. Stuck on 3.9 (6+) in April and May, iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” drops four-tenths in June to 3.5 (#11 to #12, 6+) and is in 3.1 – 3.9 range (6+) for the ninth time in a row. News/talk cluster-mate WFLF has a March 2019 through June 2019 topline of 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.9 – 2.9 (6+) and repeats at #14.

Cox Media Group’s sports talk WDBO-AM “ESPN 580 Orlando” more than doubles May’s .3 (.7, +.4, 6+) and jumps from #23 to #19, while iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WYGM “FM 96.9 The Game – Orlando’s Sports Leader” is down one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (.8 – .7 – .6, #19 to #21, 6+).

Off seven-tenths in three straight slips (4.0 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.3, 6+), Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida” moves from #12 to #13.

Orlando Music Formats – On the heels of May’s eight-tenths’ increase, iHeartMedia-owned WJRR piles on a +1.1 (3.4 – 4.5, 6+) as “101.1 – Orlando’s Rock Station” enters the top ten (#12 to #9) with its best 6+-stat (4.5) since February 2018’s 4.8. Entering the May sweep, WJRR was off nine-tenths through four straight decreases (3.5 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 2.6, 6+). Owing to a +.2 to 8.7 (unchanged at #2), Spanish tropical sibling WRUM “Rumba 100” applies the brakes to three straight down or flat trends that led to a -1.0 (9.5 – 8.9 – 8.5 – 8.5, 6+). “Rumba” spent 11 consecutive ratings periods on top before falling to #2 in December and “Holiday” 2018; in 2019, it was #1 in January, February, and April. Having surrendered one-half share in May to 4.2 (6+), Cox Media Group-owned WWKA “K-92.3 Orlando’s #1 For New Country” follows with a June increase of six-tenths (4.8, tenth to eighth, 6+). Jumping by one-half share from May are iHeartMedia CHR WXXL “XL-106.7 Orlando’s #1 Hit Music Station” (7.5, steady at #3, 6+) and Entercom hot AC WOMX “Mix 105.1” (6.0 – 6.5, fifth to fourth, 6+). Immediately following four improvements in a row that netted a +1.7 (7.3 – 7.4 – 8.1 – 8.4 – 9.0, 6+), “XL-106.7” was a combined -2.0 in April/May (9.0 – 8.4 – 7.0, 6+). Prior to dropping three-tenths in May, “Mix” was a combined +.9 in March/April 5.4 – 5.6 – 6.3, 6+). Via four straight sweeps without a loss, alternative sibling WQMP “101.9 Orlando’s New Alternative” is up eight-tenths (2.1 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 2.9, flat at #14, 6+) and has its best 6+-stat since September 2018 (2.9, as well). Over and above adding four-tenths to May’s +1.1 (7.9 – 9.0 – 9.4, 6+), co-owned classic hits-oldies WOCL “105-9 Sunny FM – We Own The ‘80s” repeats at #1. An April loss of three-tenths interrupted three consecutive increases that netted a +3.3 (4.9 – 6.9 – 7.9 – 8.2, 6+). Eroding by -1.1 each are Cox Media Group urban AC WCFB “Star 94.5” (fourth to sixth) and rhythmic CHR cluster-mate WPYO “Power 95.3” (#7 to #11). “Star” is an overall -2.6 in three straight setbacks (7.8 – 7.6 – 6.3 – 5.2, 6+) and below a six-share (5.2, 6+) for the first time in exactly one year (5.5, June 2018). Meanwhile, “Power” is a combined -1.4 in May/June (5.7 – 5.4 – 4.3, 6+).

Cincinnati

Spoken-Word Formats – While iHeartMedia news/talk WLW “The Big One,” which had a January-only stay on top, is off an overall one-half share in three straight sweeps without an increase (9.9 – 9.5 – 9.4 – 9.4, 6+), the flagship of the Reds continues in the runner-up slot. Co-owned WKRC, whose November 2018 through May 2019 topline was 3.6 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.5 (6+), spirals by eight-tenths to 2.7 (#11 to #13, 6+). It was exactly one year ago when “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati” was below a three-share (2.8, June 2018).

In five straight sweeps without an increase, sports talk cluster-mate WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530” has its 6+-stat carved in half (1.2 – 1.0 – .9 – .9 – .8 – .6, flat at #22, 6+), while co-owned WSAI “Fox Sports 1360” has a similar 50% erosion (-.3) in three successive down or flat ratings periods (.6 – .4 – .3 – .3, #24 to #23, 6+).

A collective -1.2 via three straight drops (3.7 – 3.1 – 2.6 – 2.5, flat at #14, 6+) Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU has wiped away the +1.1 it achieved through three consecutive gains (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+).

Cincinnati Music Formats – When Hubbard Broadcasting-owned WUBE accrued two-tenths in May, it pulled the plug on three straight negative trends that accounted for a -2.1 (9.4 – 8.7 – 7.9 – 7.3, 6+). In June, “B-105.1 Cincinnati’s Country” adds a whopping +1.3 (7.5 – 8.8, 6+) and continues in third-place with its best 6+-stat (8.8) since January’s 9.4. Advancing from #15 to #14, Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted WNNF “94.1 Nash FM” logs its sixth straight up or flat trend for an overall +1.1 (1.4 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.5, 6+). As a result of four drops in a row (6.5 – 6.4 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.5, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting hot AC WKRQ was -1.0, but “Q-102 Cincinnati’s Hit Music” picks up two-tenths in June to 5.7 (sixth to fifth, 6+). A May loss of four-tenths by Radio One urban contemporary WIZF curtailed four consecutive positive or neutral reports that yielded seven-tenths (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4, 6+), but “101.1 The Wiz” bounces back with a June increase of seven-tenths (3.0 – 3.7, 6+) and reenters the top ten (#12 to #9). There’s good and bad news for Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WGRR. On the positive side, “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” is #1 the fifth sweep in succession; however, its -2.1 (11.7 – 9.6, 6+) represents the largest (6+) May 2019 – June 2019 decrease by any station in the 36 PPM-markets whose data has been released thus far. Entering the June ratings period, WGRR was +3.6 in five successive increases (8.1 – 9.6 – 10.2 – 11.1 – 11.3 – 11.7, 6+). After a December-only stay at #1, “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” spiraled by -1.8 in “Holiday” 2018 (9.9 – 8.1, 6+) and shifted to third. Immediately prior to its -1.8, WGRR was an overall +1.3 via four straight gains (8.6 – 9.1 – 9.2 – 9.6 – 9.9, 6+). Co-owned WOFX “92.5 The Fox – Cincinnati’s Classic Rock,” which gained a combined nine-tenths in April/May (5.1 – 5.7 – 6.0, 6+), surrenders a -1.0 to 5.0 (fifth to sixth, 6+), its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2018’s 4.3. Immediately after posting a May improvement of seven-tenths (3.2 – 3.9, 6+), Radio One urban AC WOSL “100.3 Cincy’s R&B Station” relinquishes eight-tenths to 3.1 (#9 to #11, 6+); May’s 3.9 was its best 6+-performance since February 2017 (3.9, as well). The six 2019 fluctuations by Cumulus Media adult contemporary WRRM “Warm 98” are -8.2 (January); +.4 (February); -.6 (March); +.6 (April); +.7 (May); and -.6 in June (7.5 – 6.9, third to fourth, 6+); May’s 7.5 was its highest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2018’s 14.6. Locked on 4.8 (6+) in April and May, Hubbard Broadcasting rhythmic hot AC WREW “Mix 94.9” sputters by one-half share to 4.3 (6+) but remains in seventh-place.

Cleveland

Spoken-Word Formats – After a January/February +1.3 (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk – and Indians flagship – WTAM “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” has logged a -.6 (March); +.9 (April); -.7 (May); and +.5 in June (5.1 – 5.6, ninth to eighth, 6+). Flat at #19, Salem Media Group news/talk WHK “AM 1420 The Answer – News-Opinion-Insight,” which resurfaced in print in April, has a redundant April – May – June topline of .5 – .5 – .5 (6+).

In an alternating down/up pattern that began in January (which includes June’s -1.0), Entercom’s WKRK is a collective -2.4 (5.4 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 3.9 – 4.0 – 3.0, 6+); “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” fades from the top ten (#10 to #14).

Even though WCPN is down one-tenth to 3.6 (6+), thus snapping at five a consecutive string of positive or neutral sweeps that netted a +1.6 (2.1 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.7, 6+), the Ideastream-owned news/talk outlet progresses from #12 to #10.

Cleveland Music Formats – A lofty +1.1 (7.3 – 8.4, 6+) enables Entercom-owned WNCX “98.5 Cleveland’s Classic Rock” to zoom from fifth to second with its strongest 6+-stat since August 2018 (8.4, as well). WNCX is three-tenths ahead of iHeartMedia-owned WGAR “99.5 Cleveland’s #1 For New Country,” which substitutes May’s one-half share loss with a June gain of seven-tenths (7.4 – 8.1, fourth to third, 6+). Its May decrease halted four consecutive gains that accounted for an overall +3.5 (4.4 – 6.1 – 6.6 – 6.8 – 7.9, 6+). That streak directly followed five consecutive losses that resulted in a -3.7 (8.1 – 7.2 – 6.8 – 6.5 – 5.7 – 4.4, 6+). Even though WZAK gains three-tenths to 7.8 (6+), pulling the plug on five successive sweeps without an increase resulting in a -1.2 (8.7 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 7.5, 6+), the Radio One urban AC backslides from second to fourth. May’s 7.5 was its lowest 6+-showing since October 2018 (7.5, as well). Trending 6.4 – 6.6 – 6.6 – 6.4 (February through May, 6+), urban contemporary cluster-mate WENZ “Z-107.9” hangs out a +.6 to 7.0 (sixth to fifth, 6+), its best 6+-showing since November 2017’s 7.2. A combined +1.0 in three straight upticks (4.7 – 4.8 – 5.6 – 5.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WMMS “100.7 Cleveland’s Rock Station” continues in seventh-place. In May, it reached the five-share level for the first time since October 2017’s 5.0. Notwithstanding that it returns May’s gain of four-tenths (9.8 – 10.2 – 9.8, 6+), classic hits-oldies sibling WMJI is #1 the seventh straight sweep. Five  recent fluctuations for “Majic 105.7 – Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” include +2.8 (“Holiday” 2018); -1.7 (January 2019); +.8 (February); +1.0 (March); and -1.0 (April). Entercom adult contemporary WDOK craters by -1.5 to its weakest 6+-stat since January (6.0, as well), as “Cleveland’s Star 102” skids from second to sixth. By losing roughly half its 6+ AQH share (1.1 – .6, -.5, 6+), Moody Bible Institute religious teaching WCRF “Moody Radio 103.3” drops from #16 to #18.

Kansas City

Spoken-Word Formats – Nearly erasing completely March/April’s -.8 (5.6 – 5.4 – 4.8, 6+) with a May/June +.7 (4.8 – 5.2 – 5.5, 6+), Entercom news/talk KMBZ-FM “98.1 News-Traffic-Weather” elevates from fifth to fourth. Co-owned KMBZ-AM “Talk 980” dropped two-tenths in March; gained three-tenths in April; lost two-tenths in May; and regains that two-tenths in June (2.1 to 2.3, #20 to #19, 6+). Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM “Talk Radio 710 AM,” which was off two-tenths through three straight down or flat trends (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+), picks up one-tenth to 1.3 (6+) and continues at #22.

A combined +1.7 in March/April (2.3 – 2.8 – 4.0, 6+), Entercom’s KCSP “610 Sports Radio” has lost seven-tenths in May/June (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+) and fades from the top ten (#10 to #14). One-tenth behind the Royals flagship is Union Broadcasting’s WHB “Sports Radio 810,” which is up two-tenths to 3.2 (#14 to #15, 6+), thus halting four straight negative or flat trends that led to a -2.0 (5.0 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+).

Through five straight up or flat moves (3.0 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.9, 6+), KCUR netted a +1.9, but the University of Missouri news/talk outlet forfeits eight-tenths in June to 4.1 (6+) and drops from sixth to ninth.

Kansas City Music Formats – A stunning +3.8 as a result of five consecutive positive or neutral reports (5.4 – 6.6 – 7.7 – 7.9 – 7.9 – 9.2, 6+), Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies KCMO-FM “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” returns to #1 from the runner-up slot. After a two-month stay in the lead, it was dislodged in May. Five recent KCMO-FM fluctuations include +1.6 (“Holiday” 2018); -1.3 (January 2019); +1.2 (February); +1.1 (March); and +1.3 (June). Turnabout is fair play as KCMO-FM succeeds the station that ousted it in May – co-owned KCFX “101 The Fox – Kansas City’s Classic Rock Station” (8.4 – 8.6, +.2, first to second, 6+). This (8.6) is the highest 6+ showing since January 2019’s 10.1 for KCFX, which is +1.3 in three bumps in succession (7.3 – 7.7 – 8.4 – 8.6, 6+). April’s four-tenths’ increase halted February/March’s combined -2.8 (10.1 – 8.2 – 7.3, 6+). By piling on nine-tenths to May’s +.6 (3.3 – 3.9 – 4.8, 6+), Entercom hot AC KZPT leaps from tenth to fifth as “99.7 The Point” crosses the four-share threshold (4.8) for the first time since September 2018’s 4.3. Owing to five positive or neutral moves in a row, University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian KJNW “Life 88.5” is an overall +2.0 (1.5 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.5, 6+) and climbs from #14 to #12 with its strongest (6+) performance since January 2018 (3.5, as well). Following March/April’s +1.0 (4.9 – 5.1 – 5.9, 6+), Steel City Media’s KBEQ “Q104 New Hit Country” is a combined -1.7 in May/June (5.9 – 5.3 – 4.2, fourth to eighth, 6+). On one hand, April’s 5.9 is its best 6+-stat since June 2018 (5.9, as well), while June’s 4.2 its weakest since December 2018’s 3.7. Remaining flat in June are country challengers co-owned KFKF “Country 94.1” 4.8 (but jumping from seventh to fifth, 6+) and Entercom’s WDAF “106.5 The Wolf” (3.5, but advancing from #13 to #12, 6+). In the Cumulus Media cluster, KCHZ “95.7 The Vibe – All The Hits” is up one-tenth (2.6, flat at #18), ending four successive declines that accounted for a collective -2.0 (4.5 – 3.8 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.5, 6+). That directly followed five consecutive positive or flat moves resulting in a +1.4 (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+). Co-owned urban AC KMJK “Magic 107.3,” however, is -1.2 in three drops in succession (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.0 – 2.8, #14 to #16, 6+).

Columbus

Spoken-Word Formats – Although flat at #6, iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN “News Radio 610” hasn’t had an increase in each of the last five sweeps and is an overall -2.3 in that January through June stretch (7.0 – 5.9 – 5.5 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 4.7, 6+).

Ever since reappearing in print, RadiOhio sports talk outlet WBNS-FM “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” is 4.7 (April); 4.6 (May); and now off seven-tenths to 3.9 in June (seventh to ninth, 6+).

The January through June topline for Ohio State University news/talk WOSU is: 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.8 (seventh to fifth, 6+).

Columbus Music Formats – Three straight upticks by Saga Communications classic hits-oldies WNND yield eight-tenths (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 3.0, 6+) as “Rewind” jumps from #13 to #11 and reaches the three-share level (6+) for the first time since December 2017’s 3.1. A combined -1.4 in April/May (8.7 – 8.4 – 7.3, 6+), co-owned WLVQ is up three-tenths to 7.6 (third to second, 6+). “Iconic Rock Q-FM 96” previously amassed a +1.9 in three straight “Holiday” 2018 through March 2019 increases, (6.8 – 7.2 – 8.1 – 8.7, 6+). This is the 19th sweep in a row that iHeartMedia-owned WCOL is #1 and “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” has been in double-digits (6+) each ratings period since June 2017 (11. 7 – 11.1, 6+). Sample WCOL fluctuations include +3.1 (January 2018); -1.7 (February); +1.1 (March); +1.0 (April); +1.2 (June); +.6 (July); 1.2 (August); -.5 (October); -1.5 (November); -2.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +.8 (January 2019); +.7 (February); +1.2 (April); -1.3 (May); and now -.6 (June). Immediately following May’s +1.4, co-owned CHR WNCI surrenders all but two-tenths of that gain (8.6 – 7.4, -1.2, second to third, 6+). Prior to May, “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music Station” was a collective –1.1 through three successive decreases (8.3 – 8.0 – 7.7 – 7.2, 6+). May’s 8.6 was its strongest 6+-performance since September 2018’s 9.4. As a result of nine consecutive positive or neutral moves, Ohio State University’s WOSA has more than doubled (+.7) its 6+ AQH share (.5 – .9 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2, #18 to #17, 6+).

On the heels of notching a May gain of six-tenths (3.7 – 4.3, 6+), One Connection Media Group contemporary Christian WCVO “104.9 The River” forfeits nine-tenths to 3.4 (ninth to tenth, 6+). Meanwhile, Radio One gospel WJYD, which was +1.0 in nine successive July 2018 through March 2019 up or flat trends (.5 – .8 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.6 – 1.8, 6+), is off six-tenths in June to 1.4 (#15 to #16, 6+); “Joy 107.1” was 1.7 (6+) in April and 2.0 (6+) in May. Three consecutive sweeps without a loss by iHeartMedia adult hits WODC netted +1.0 (4.1 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 5.1, 6+), but “93.3 The Bus” returns half that increase in June (4.6, -.5, fifth to seventh, 6+); May’s 5.1 was its best 6+-stat since 8.7 in “Holiday” 2018.

Pay Inequality Prompts Young To Exit WPXY. “Walking away from a stable paycheck is risky at best and stupid at worst, but for me, it was necessary.” That candid Twitter assessment is how Whitney Young described the decision to leave her role as morning co-host on Entercom Rochester CHR WPXY “98-PXY.” She had been teamed there with Corey James. Exiting wasn’t over often-stated “philosophical differences” or an offer from another station, but for something that’s become prominent in recent headlines – equal pay for equal work. Further quoting her tweet, Young writes, “My male co-host’s salary was nearly double my own, and I was unable to negotiate a raise that would reduce the pay disparity. This inequality is in conflict with my most deeply held beliefs.” Young doesn’t seem to have any animosity whatsoever for James, noting he is “a good friend, a talented showman, a dependable colleague, and fully deserving of his salary.” She promises though to “continue speaking about the things that matter to me – mental health awareness being of utmost importance.” While Young has “no idea” about her next move, she states, “it won’t be on [WPXY] but I’ll talk to you soon.” Young initially worked at WPXY as a social media producer. She exited but rejoined for mid-day duty two years ago and became part of the morning show last year. No Nielsen Audio ratings numbers are available to quote for Entercom’s WPXY, as the market’s only subscribers to the winter 2019 book are seven iHeartMedia stations.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. A special “Meet & Greet” reunion of many of Detroit’s most famous radio personalities will be held September 14 from 1:00 – 6:00 pm at Novi, Michigan’s Suburban Collection Showplace. “Radio’s Best Friend,” Art Vuolo, is hosting the open to the public, fan-based event that will honor 94-year-old Robin Seymour, whose “Motor City” on-air radio credits include WKNR “Keener 13,” CKLW “The Big 8,” and WKMH. His recently-published book, “The DJ Who Launched 1,000 Hits,” will be available ….. The program director of Cumulus Media Houston mainstream CHR KRBE, Leslie Whittle, adds corporate duties as Cumulus Medias vice president/hot AC formats. Cumulus Media executive vice president/content and audience Brian Philips comments, “With great strategy and spirit, Leslie has built a CHR powerhouse in Houston. She understands all nuances of contemporary music radio. We are fortunate to enlist her as VP of our hot AC formats. Her name has hit every list of the ‘Best PDs in America,’ and we are glad to spread Leslie’s brainpower and influence through our important hot AC stations.” Whittle notes, “I’m honored to have this opportunity and look forward to working with these amazing programmers and their teams, along with the talented people at Westwood One. A big ‘high-five’ to our team here at KRBE, led by Alex Cadelago and Dan Bennett as we continue to do great things in Houston.” After starting her radio career at Austin CHR KHFI, where she ultimately became program director, Whittle joined KRBE in 2000 and became PD in 2006 …..  Former Entercom Los Angeles all-news KNX anchor/reporter Karen “Cha Cha” Harlow joins Tegna San Diego adult hits KFMB-FM, where she’ll do a Saturday afternoon (2:00 pm – 7:00 pm) shift and swing work. It is a return to San Diego for Harlow, who has worked at KHTS, XHTZ, and XPRS. Director of FM programming Mike V. Vasquez notes, “I’ve been a fan of [Harlow’s] since first hearing her when I arrived in San Diego in 1998, so I’m thrilled to finally work with her. Her energetic, positive, vibe – combined with her extensive connections in San Diego – make her an ideal fit for us.” Harlow comments, “It is a thrill to join the family at the legendary KFMB-FM. I’m ready to shake the sand out of my beach towel and get back to playing awesome music on the radio – let’s have some fun.” ….. Having spent 31 years with Entercom San Diego, one-year senior director of promotions Chris Turner will be leaving the five-station cluster this Friday (7/19). Turner joined KSON as a part-time member of the country station’s street team in November 1988 and was eventually promoted to assistant promotions director. He later became director of promotions for co-owned alternative KBZT, before having the same title at KSON ….. In two weeks (7/29), Dena Fletcher will join Griffin Communications’ KVOO “98.8 Tulsa Country” as program director. Griffin director of radio operations & programming Steve Hunter comments that, “Dena will be a great addition to our team and a great fit for our culture.” As part of her 20-year resume, Fletcher has programmed cross-town Cox Media Group hot AC KRAV “Mix 96” and hosted afternoon drive on that cluster’s classic rock KJSR “103.3 The Eagle.” ….. In an October 17 ceremony at New York City’s Javits Center, Cumulus Media Syracuse mainstream CHR WNTQ “93-Q” morning team (5:30 am -10:00 am) Ted Long and Amy Robbins will be inducted into the New York State Broadcasters Association’s Hall of Fame. Cumulus Media Syracuse vice president/market manager Beth Coughlin comments, “When two amazing people create and produce a dynamic, platinum- standard product, and fine-tune it for many years on air, it can’t be duplicated. Ted and Amy’s influence as part of not only the ‘93-Q’ family, but also within the central New York community, has set them apart. We congratulate them, and thank the New York State Broadcasters Association for this Hall of Fame recognition.” Long & Robbins have been together for 30 years.

St. Jude’s Cites iHM Boston and Portsmouth “Bull” Siblings. During an event last week at St. Jude’s Children Hospital in Memphis, iHeartMedia Boston country outlet WBWL “101.7 The Bull” and co-owned/similarly-formatted WTBU “95.3 The Bull,” Portsmouth (New Hampshire) were recognized with the Country Cares Radio Stations Of The Year Award. ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital regional development director Jenn Potter states, “St. Jude partners with over 350 radio stations throughout the year and is proud to honor ‘The Bull.’ They are the true definition of incredible partners and are always trying to do more for the kids of St. Jude.” Vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s Boston region, Dylan Sprague, comments, “Receiving this award is a credit to our great teams in Boston and Portsmouth. The funds raised are a true testament to the dedicated listeners and our on-air team who make the St. Jude mission so relevant to the Boston and Portsmouth communities.” Shown (above, left to right) are: New England Region St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital managing director Kim Chisholm; WTBU “95.3 The Bull” program director Tim Moore; Jenn Potter; WBWL “101.7 The Bull” sales manager Ally Klein; WBWL program director Ginny Brophy; St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Country Cares Program director/radio development Scott Hinshelwood; and WBWL and WTBU on-air personality Colton Bradford.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

| February 14, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michael Harrison Explores the Impact of Changing Communications Technology on the Human Nervous System. One of the common themes of the present era is the challenge people face in keeping pace and coping with the exponential changes in communications technology. On this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne production, “The Michael Harrison Interview,” the TALKERS founder interviews theoretical physicist Leonard Mlodinow, Norwegian explorer Erling Kagge, and licensed psychotherapist Dr. Bryan Robinson about the rapid changes taking place in our noisy world. Join them for a deep dive into the realm of neuro-plasticity, the sounds of silence, and escaping from the maddening, non-stop workplace. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and every page on Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Milwaukee CHR WNRG “Energy 106.9” adds the nationally syndicated “Tino Cochino Radio Show” for the afternoon drive daypart.  The program emanates from its home base at Riviera Broadcasting’s KKFR, Mayer, Arizona (Phoenix market)…..Meruelo Media promotes Aimee Bittourna to vice president of its experiential marketing company Actify. In this new position, Bittourna will oversee the development, strategies, and execution of all Actify campaigns.  Meruelo Media president and COO Otto Padron says, “Aimee is a difference maker and a unique brand experience creator. Her energy and creativity are marketing multipliers for our partners seeking original ways to connect their brands to consumers.  She’s a leader in a boundless space and our clients love her.”…..Pictured below is Premiere Networks nationally syndicated adult contemporary personality Delilah on the set of the “TODAY” show (third from left) with show co-hosts Kathie Lee (second from left), Hoda Kotb (left) and psychotherapist Lori Gottlieb (right) discussing ways to overcome fears of being alone on Valentine’s Day.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

| January 17, 2019

WOR, New York to Launch Live and Local Evening Show. Beginning February 4, iHeartMedia’s WOR, New York “The Voice of New York” adds the new “WOR Tonight with Joe Concha & Lis Wiehl” to the program schedule in the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm daypart.  WOR program director Tom Cuddy says, “The New York area is known for its diversity and 710 WOR will be able to offer listeners just that each night with a unique mix of issues.  Joe and Lis come from different sides of the political spectrum, which should make things quite interesting and unpredictable.”  Concha is a reporter and columnist for The Hill and Wiehl is a former federal prosecutor, former investigative counsel for the House Judiciary Committee, a best-selling author and a legal analyst.  The station says the new show “will be a New York-centric show spotlighting a mix of top news stories, politics, movies, television, Broadway, pop culture and consumer issues.  Additionally, the hosts will offer their views on the stories of the day from both sides of the political aisle and will take calls from listeners.”  Concha states, “Our show will obviously talk politics, but we’re also going to offer up the kind of news and views that people deal with every day. We want to tell stories people can relate to as well as empathize with and hope to make you laugh a few times in the process.”  Wiehl adds, “This show is going to be a one-stop shop in a three-hour package, delivered to your radio.  You’ll get hard news shared by two people who are news veterans and experts in the fields of law and media.  Plus, you’ll get ‘water cooler’ news delivered to you by two hosts who are parents, taxpayers, pet owners, and pop culture enthusiasts.”

Radio for the 55+ Listener.  Former WSYR-AM, Syracuse morning host Mark Wainwright writes a piece for TALKERS magazine in which he suggests that successfully reaching Baby Boomers with radio programming requires “rekindling their relationship with radio.”  Wainwright states, “The 55-72 ‘Boomer’ demographic is the last generation that genuinely cared about radio.  They grew up with radio, they were actively engaged with it, and it was an integral part of their lives.  At a time when our industry is struggling to stay relevant, we need to reconnect with listeners who still care about us and what we offer.”  Read the entire story here.

Mary Rogers to Lead Sales at Entercom’s Dallas Station Group.  Sales and management pro Mary Rogers comes to Entercom Dallas from Cox Media Group’s San Antonio cluster where she was most recently director of sales.  Effective January 28, she’ll assume the vice president and director of sales position for the cluster that includes news/talk KRLD-AM “News Radio 1080,” sports talk KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan” and four music-formatted stations.  She says, “I am excited to join Entercom Dallas, working alongside [SVP and market manager] Brian Purdy and his amazing team.  I began my career in Dallas and it is a great feeling to be back working with these iconic brands and audiences.”

TALKERS News Notes. As reported by Chicago media maven Robert FederVioleta Podrumedic has left her role as afternoon traffic reporter on Tribune’s news/talk WGN-AM, Chicago to join the “Eric in the Morning” show – led by Eric Ferguson – on Hubbard Radio’s crosstown hot AC WTMX.  She’s been part of WGN’s afternoon drive Roe Conn program since 2016…..Entercom confirms that Howie Rose will continue to call the play-by-play for the New York Mets as all-news WCBS-AM begins serving as the flagship station for Mets broadcasts this season.  Rose will be joined by color analyst Wayne Randazzo.  He was previously pregame and postgame host for the Mets.  Longtime WFAN Mets beat reporter Ed Coleman will conduct pregame coverage, including the daily “Managers Show with Mickey Callaway.” Randazzo will host the station’s postgame coverage immediately following each game broadcast.  WCBS 880 morning sports anchor Brad Heller will serve as the utility player on the team presenting sports coverage for the station, as well as fill-in on pregame coverage…..In Fredericksburg, Virginia, Alpha Media’s four-station group – including news/talk WNTX-AM/FM – is working to aid furloughed federal workers by creating a web page with listings of businesses from Northern Virginia and Southern Maryland that are assisting federal workers during the government shutdown.  Many businesses are coming together to help the community during this time of need by providing free or reduced fee meals, services, groceries, and even temporary employment opportunities.  Alpha Media Fredericksburg market manager Beth Vickers comments, “The Washington DC market is severely affected by the furlough.  We feel Alpha Media Fredericksburg has a duty to provide support and information to government workers and their families during this time.”…..USA Radio nationally syndicated radio host Wayne Allyn Root reports that his television simulcast seen on Newsmax TV is getting a second daily airing on the cable TV network.  His program airs live at 8:00 pm ET each evening.  Now, repeats of the program will air on Newsmax TV the following day at 1:00 pm.  Additionally, Root says all three hours of his radio show are available on-demand via iHeartRadio.

Border Wall Battle, Government Shutdown, Trump-Russia Investigation, 2020 Presidential Race, Brexit Chaos, U.S. Soldiers Killed in Syria, Nairobi Hotel Attack, Gillette Ad Controversy, Netflix Price Hike, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/16). The political battle over President Trump’s efforts to build a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border; the effects of the federal government shutdown; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the possible candidates for president in 2020; British Prime Minister Theresa May survives a vote of no confidence after her Brexit plan fails; four U.S. soldiers are killed in Syria; the deadly terror attack on a hotel in Nairobi, Kenya; the controversy over Gillette’s ‘toxic masculinity’ ad; consumer backlash over Netflix’s announced price increases; and the NFL 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. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports Entercom’s CHR WBBM-FM names Julia Lepidi its new evening host.  She takes over for Corey B who left the station in November to transfer to the company’s alternative WNYL, New York “ALT 92.3.”…..As reported by Rodney Ho in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Ali Mac has exited the morning drive show on Cumulus Media’s country WKHX “Kicks 101.5” where she worked alongside Cadillac Jack, who remains host of the AM program. Also, at the Cumulus Atlanta cluster, air personality Byron Cooper exits the evening show at CHR WWWQ “Q99.7” after 13 months in the position.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

| August 9, 2018

Tribune Terminates Sinclair Merger Agreement. Included in our story yesterday which dealt with Sinclair Broadcast Group’s second-quarter earnings report (Talkers.com, 8/8) was the following quote from Sinclair president and chief executive officer Chris Ripley who addressed the pending acquisition of Tribune Media Company: “We are working with them to analyze approaches to the regulatory process that are in the best interest of our companies, employees, and shareholders.” It was announced early today that not only is the marriage between the two entities over, Tribune Media is suing Sinclair Broadcast Group for breach of contract; the suit was filed today (Thursday, 8/9) in Delaware Chancery Court. The proposed $3.9 billion deal hit a snag when the FCC designated it for a hearing, a red flag that the transaction would most likely not be approved. Last month, FCC chair Ajit Pai raised “serious concerns” about the deal, which originally would have reached roughly 70% of U.S. households. Tribune is charging that, “In an effort to maintain control over stations it was obligated to sell, Sinclair engaged in unnecessarily aggressive and protracted negotiations with the Department of Justice and the FCC over regulatory requirements; refused to sell stations in the markets as required to obtain approval; and proposed aggressive divestment structures and related-party sales that were either rejected outright or posed a high risk of rejection and delay – all in derogation of Sinclair’s contractual obligations.” Tribune further claims, “Sinclair’s entire course of conduct has been in blatant violation of the merger agreement; but for Sinclair’s actions, the transaction could have closed long ago.” According to Tribune chief executive officer Peter Kern, “In light of the FCC’s unanimous decision, referring the issue of Sinclair’s conduct for a hearing before an administrative law judge, our merger cannot be completed within an acceptable timeframe, if ever. This uncertainty and delay would be detrimental to our company and our shareholders. Accordingly, we have exercised our right to terminate the merger agreement, and, by way of our lawsuit, intend to hold Sinclair accountable.” Revenue for Tribune’s only radio property – Chicago news/talk WGN – is not broken out in the company’s second-quarter financials. “Notwithstanding our disappointment regarding the outcome of the [Sinclair] transaction,” Kern remarks, “we are extremely pleased with our second quarter results, which were very strong. Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA grew 69% versus the prior year period and 84% for the first half of the year. While net core advertising revenues declined 6%, we were able to drive consolidated revenue growth of 6% when excluding the impact of barter revenues, with solid growth in retransmission and carriage fees revenues and political advertising revenue. Our disciplined focus on cost management drove programming expenses down 29% and corporate and other cash expenses, excluding transaction costs, down 19% over the prior year period.”

Rumor Becomes Fact: Warner Is WW One’s Lead MNF Analyst. Just this past Tuesday (Talkers.com, 8/7), we referenced a report by Richard Deitsch in The Athletic, hinting that Hall of Fame QB and NFL Network analyst Kurt Warner would join Kevin Harlan as Westwood One’s lead analyst for “Monday Night Football” and the Super Bowl. It is now official: Warner’s first broadcast will be in a little over four weeks (9/10), when the Oakland Raiders host the Los Angeles Rams. He becomes only the fourth regular “MNF” analyst for Westwood One since its broadcast partnership with the NFL began 40 years ago. The others were Boomer Esiason (2000-2017); Matt Millen (1996-2000); and Hank Stram (1978-1984, 1987-1995). Ever since he retired from the NFL, Warner insists he has “been blessed” with tremendous broadcasting opportunities. “I am grateful to Westwood One for this opportunity and for believing in me with this role. The bar has been set extremely high by Boomer Esiason and others. I look forward to grabbing the torch, working hard, and maintaining the sense of excellence that has become synonymous with Westwood One. I also look forward to continuing my relationship with Kevin Harlan, who I believe is one of the best play-by-play people in the business.” Westwood One president/Cumulus Media executive vice president of marketing Suzanne Grimes states, “We have been proud partners of the NFL for more than four decades and our best-in-class broadcasts feature the brightest stars from the league. Kurt Warner is a keen observer with a great eye and unique analysis. He adds another layer of authenticity, knowledge, and expertise to our roster. He is an incredible asset for our loyal and passionate listeners and engaged advertisers.” Westwood One Sports executive vice president/executive producer Howard Deneroff adds, “To have a player, and person, of Kurt Warner’s caliber become our lead analyst is incredibly exciting. We look forward to Kevin and Kurt working together full-time. We are confident that they will continue the legacy of great Westwood One broadcast teams which have informed and entertained listeners on Monday nights for decades.” A 2017 inductee in the pro football Hall of Fame, Warner played 12 seasons in the NFL, leading two different franchises (St. Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals) to Super Bowl appearances. He was the NFL’s MVP in 1999 and 2001. He and wife, Brenda, created “The First Things First Foundation,” dedicated to impacting lives by promoting Christian values, and “Treasure House,” which provides a supportive living environment for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Multi-Year TuneIn, Cumulus Deal Expands Streaming Partnership. The arrangement between the two principals calls for streaming of Cumulus Media’s 441 stations in 90 markets, as well as shows on co-owned Westwood One Podcast Network on the TuneIn platform. Cumulus Media president and chief executive officer Mary Berner remarks, “We understand that consumers engage with content across multiple platforms and devices. We put our listeners first, and we have made it our mission to provide a modern and platform-agnostic listening experience. Expanding our partnership with TuneIn takes our distribution and promotional opportunities to the next level, exposing our portfolio of leading stations, shows, and programs to new fans.” TuneIn chief executive officer John Donham states, “As the world’s leader in live digital audio, we are thrilled to provide our listeners access to some of the best live-station programming across sports, news, talk, music, and entertainment, as well as popular podcasts and other on-demand content offered by Cumulus Media. We look forward to a long and successful partnership as we grow the next chapter of the audio business together.” Heretofore, Cumulus Media stations have been available through iHeartRadio, as well as TuneIn.

Salem Media Group Reports Mixed Q2 Results. Second-quarter total revenue for Salem Media Group increased .2% to $66.3 million; net broadcast revenue rose 2.7% to $50.6 million; and station operating income held steady at $13.3 million. Conversely, operating income fell 84.4% to $1.3 million and net income spiraled from a gain of $1.3 million to a loss of $2.2 million. In addition, EBITDA dropped 40.8% to $6 million and Adjusted EBITDA fell 9.4% to $11.2 million. A full-slate of Salem Radio Network talk shows aired on news/talk WBIX, Boston but, in early-January (2018), Salem Media Group agreed to sell “The Buzz” for $685,000 to the International Church of the Grace of God, which – through an LMA – flipped the station to a Portuguese format; the sale was finalized approximately two months ago (6/20). The second-quarter included a $5.7 million net loss on the sale of stations in Omaha and land in Covina, California. Salem Media Group projects third-quarter total revenue to be flat or up 2% from 2017’s $65.4 million.


Round Three of July 2018 PPM Data Released. The third of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Orlando, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 survey period covered June 21 – July 18. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

TALKERS News Notes. Under newly-signed five-year deals, Joe Bowen and Jim Ralph will return calling Toronto Maple Leafs hockey games. The NHL team’s radio broadcasts are split between Rogers sports talk CJCL “Sports Net 590 The Fan” and Bell Media sports talk CHUM “TSN Radio 1050.” Per The Toronto Sun, the deal is for radio only. This year’s Hockey Hall of Fame Foster Hewitt award winner – Bowen – has been calling Toronto Maple Leafs games since 1982; Ralph has been on the broadcasts since 1997 ….. Morning driver John Hines is retiring at the end of the month from heritage Entercom Minneapolis news/talk WCCO. Newly-arrived (from Entercom Philadelphia) operations manager Andy Bloom is holding on-air auditions to fill that upcoming “News Radio 830” vacancy. In a station memo obtained by City Pages, Bloom writes, “My only interest is getting someone that will generate an audience. The fact is, the majority of news/talk radio listeners are center-right.” ….. Former San Francisco 49ers defensive end Dennis Brown is named co-host of KNBR’s pregame and postgame NFL coverage. This marks the 14th year of 49ers football on the Cumulus Media San Francisco sports talk outlet. Program director Jeremiah Crowe comments, “We are thrilled to welcome Dennis Brown to the KNBR family. Dennis brings a Super Bowl champion’s perspective to our coverage, and he will maintain a regular analyst role throughout the week during our primetime talk programming. The addition of Dennis further strengthens KNBR’s NFL roster as the strongest in all of sports radio.” Brown, who was a 49ers television analyst from 2012 – 2017, adds, “As a Bay Area native, I’m very excited to be joining KNBR’s game-day broadcast team. I’ve listened to KNBR for decades and jumped at the opportunity to join their pregame and postgame coverage.” Brown was the 47th overall pick in the 1990 NFL draft and played all seven years of his career for San Francisco, including 1995, when he was part of the team that won Super Bowl XXIX ….. Meanwhile, in Seattle, Dave Wyman is named radio analyst for the NFL’s Seahawks on Bonneville-owned flagships KIRO-AM “710 ESPN Seattle” and news/talk KIRO-FM “Radio 97.3.” The former linebacker (Seahawks and Denver Broncos) will work alongside play-by-play announcer Steve Raible during the regular season; Jen Mueller and John Clayton return as sideline reporters ….. Cleveland-based podcast production and radio syndication network Front Porch Media Network acquires Pit Pass Media Group, producers of weekly two-hour motorcycle racing podcast “Pit Pass Moto,” which has had 785,015 episode downloads in the last four years. Front Porch chief executive officer Michael DeAloia notes, “We look forward to enhancing the brand and building new content. We continue to concentrate on building a dynamic and engaging podcast portfolio. ‘Pit Pass Moto’ is a prestigious podcast and one that merits additional resources and investment.” The podcast’s partner and guest host Ed Kuhlenkamp remarks, “We are excited about the Front Porch Media acquisition and what it means for the show’s fans. We believe Front Porch Media has the resources required to take the ‘Pit Pass Moto’ brand to the next level.”

Harrison Podcast Resurrects 36-Year-Old Interview with Apple I and Apple II Inventor Steve Wozniak. In commemoration of Apple, Inc. reaching the historic milestone of a one trillion dollar valuation, TALKERS founder Michael Harrison dug up a 36-year-old interview that he conducted with Apple, Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak, the designer and inventor of the original Apple I and II personal computers. It is the centerpiece of this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Originally aired in 1982 on the pioneering national cable TV talk show “Harrison’s Mic,” the 24-minute conversation explores the beginnings of Apple Computer, Inc. (as it was then called) from what was a relatively recent perspective (it was only six years old). More importantly, it reveals the prescient thinking and perspective of one of the most important electronic designers and computer scientists of the digital era (and eventual philanthropist) when he was only 32 years old and society had merely scratched the surface of the revolution about to change the way people live and think. This fascinating interview is a must-listen for pop culture enthusiasts and media freaks. Michael Harrison states, “I am only first understanding the level of historical and intellectual gold that exists in the thousands of interviews, specials and broadcasts collecting dust in my archives that go back a half-century. We never realized when this content was being created in those early days that it would be of such historical interest and value. It just seemed like disposable pop content of the moment. This gem of a conversation with the great Steve Wozniak, which I hadn’t heard in more than three decades, is a prime example. I am so happy to share it in 2018 upon the milestone of Apple setting such astonishing records.” To listen to the interview in its entirety, please click here.

Mueller Investigation; Ohio Special Election/Primaries; Manafort Trial/Gates Testimony, California Wildfire and the Environment, Trump China Tariffs, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Discussed Yesterday (8/8). The Robert Mueller probe; the special election in Ohio and key primaries in several states, the trial of Paul Manafort highlighted by the damaging testimony of Rick Gates; the deadly California wildfires and their possible causes; and MLB action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday (8/8), according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. “Summer Camp,” a two-day, outdoor music concert showcasing the different sounds of alternative rock, will be held this Saturday (8/11) and Sunday (8/12) at Redmond, Washington’s Marymoor Park. Entercom Seattle’s KNDD “107.7 The End” hosts the tenth annual event, which will feature – among others – AWOLNATION, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, Manchester Orchestra, Robert DeLong, and Elle King. A portion of the ticket sales will go to Pearl Jam’s “Home Fund” to fight homelessness in Seattle. The “Home Fund” is part of the Vitalogy Foundation, which supports the efforts of non-profit organizations and their work in the fields of community health, the environment, arts and education, and social change ….. Changes at Cumulus Media Syracuse find CHR WNTQ “93-Q The #1 Hit Music Station” music director/afternoon drive talent Rick Roberts boosted to assistant program director/digital content manager, while production director Joey Walker takes over as “93-Q” mid-day host/digital content manager for alternative WAQX “95-X” and rock WXTL “105.9 The Rebel.” Operations manager Tom Mitchell comments, “We are pleased to promote from within. In these new roles, both Rick and Joey will apply valuable fresh perspective to market leader ’93-Q.’ Rick assumes all APD duties, along with digital content oversight/management and the afternoon-drive air shift. Joey brings talent and enthusiasm to the ’93-Q’ midday slot. Both will continue to develop new opportunities for us in the digital and social media realm.” ….. Former 12-year vice president of operations for Rubber City Radio Akron’s WQMX “94.9 Your Station – Your Country,” Sue Wilson Cordle, restarts her voiceover business with Sue Wilson Creative. She previously was Cleveland adult contemporary WDOK’s director/programming for 12 years; a programming consultant for McVay Media; and director/programming of Salem Cleveland contemporary Christian WFHM “95.5 The Fish” and co-owned Christian talk WHKW “AM 1220 The Word.” ….. In conjunction with the National Association of Black-Owned Broadcasters (NABOB), Kizart Media Partners (KMP) will present the 18th annual “Power of Urban Radio Forum” October 4th and 5th in Washington, DC. This year’s National Service awardee, Procter & Gamble chief business officer Marc Pritchard, will be the keynote speaker. KMP founder/managing director Sherman Kizart notes, “We continue the tradition of bringing together influential marketers and advertising agencies to discuss the incomparable value that the African-American market and urban radio bring as key communications elements. The event coincides with NABOB’s 42nd annual Fall Broadcast Management Conference. NABOB and PURF conference registrations are $200 for members; $400 for non-members ….. Chicago media reporter Robert Feder is first to report that, sometime next year, legendary “Windy City” programmer/on-air talent Tommy Edwards will publish his memoir, which will feature stories of Edwards’ 54-year radio career. Highlights will surely include his time working with the iconic Larry Lujack and moonlighting as public address announcer for the Chicago Bulls. Four years ago, Edwards retired from CBS Radio’s classic hits-oldies WJMK “K-Hits 104.3” (now Entercom-owned urban-rhythmic oldies WBMX “104.3 Jams”) ….. Grammy-nominated country artist Cam will serve as the first host of Slacker Radio’s “Women Crush Everyday” (#WCE Country), a channel devoted to introducing and elevating female country artists. “Women Crush Everyday” will feature commentary and playlist selections from ladies in the music industry. Slacker’s country format captain Jess Wright declares, “We have amazingly talented women making music in Nashville and they deserve to be heard. In 2017, more than 97% of the artists who appeared on the year-end country top 40 were male. This doesn’t reflect the quality of music created by women – it reflects a lack of support from the gatekeepers of country music who believe that women have limited commercial appeal. Through Slacker, we can bring the music of female country artists directly to our audience, curated by the people who are most passionate about it – the women in Nashville’s music industry.” ….. Interim general manager of Bellevue Community College-owned KBCS, Seattle – Carol Handley – is named director of music programming at Friends of 88.5 FM’s KNKX in the same market and will begin her new duties one week from next Monday (8/20). Director of content Matt Martinez notes, “Carol has proven success in building and nurturing teams and on-air talent; an entrepreneurial spirit; and a love of storytelling. With her deep roots in the Seattle music scene, I am confident she will redouble our commitment to supporting this vital and vibrant community.” Handley succeeds Nick Francis, who is retiring after 13 years in that position. In Seattle’s July 2018 Nielsen Audio PPM report, KNKX ranks #14, dropping the six-tenths it gained in June (3.0 – 3.6 – 3.0, 6+).

Rod Shares Red Roses With Dresdale. During his interview with ABC Radio‘s Andrea Dresdale (r), one of the most prolific pop star interviewers in radio, the ageless Rod Stewart (l) discussed his new album “Blood Red Roses” and his headlining tour with Cyndi Lauper.

 

 

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

| July 24, 2018

Mark Wainwright Exits Morning Gig at WSYR, Syracuse. WSYR, Syracuse morning personality Mark Wainwright says of his departure from the station’s full-time morning host gig, “I’ll skip over a lot of the details, but the end result is that my contract ended in July and I decided to move on.  It was as amicable and as mutually respectful a separation as anyone could want.  We parted on good terms and I would not hesitate to work for iHeartMedia again if the right situation came along.  In fact, the management at WSYR and several other iHeart stations indicated they would be happy to bring me back as a fill-in or guest host as the need arises, and at least one program director told me he definitely plans to call on me at some point. I’m looking forward to that.”  He says in a good-bye message on WSYR.com, “I am leaving iHeartMedia and NewsRadio 570/WSYR.  I hosted my final morning show in Syracuse today (7/20).  While it’s certainly possible that I will return from time to time as a guest host or substitute – come on, at some point [Bob] Lonsberry has to take a vacation.” He relates how he filled in for the ailing Joe Galuski and eventually replaced him on the morning show after his passing.  He also thanks management for sticking by him while he dealt with his own throat cancer.  Read his entire post here.

Stephanie Perl Named Entercom Hartford Market Manager. Before moving into the television business as local sales manager for Tribune’s WTIC-TV and WCCT-TV in the Hartford-New Haven market, Stephanie Perl was general sales manager for CBS RADIO Hartford.  She returns to that radio cluster now owned by Entercom as SVP and market manager.  She’ll lead heritage news/talk WTIC-AM and sister stations CHR WTIC-FM, adult contemporary WRCH “Lite 100.5,” and urban contemporary WZMX “HOT 93.1.”  Entercom regional president Mark Hannon says, “We are happy to welcome Stephanie to the Entercom team and back to our stations in Hartford.  Her business acumen and leadership will help us provide our partners with premier solutions that reach our loyal and engaged audience in Hartford.”

TALKERS News Notes. This fall, award-winning journalist and author Alison Stewart begins hosting a daily 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm program on public radio news/talk WNYC, New York.  New York Public Radio says the show will focus on culture, the arts, local news, and life in the New York area.  New York Public Radio president and CEO Laura Walker comments, “Alison Stewart is the perfect host for our new midday show that will lead the New York conversation.  She is intelligent, lively, and experienced, and has her finger on the pulse of pop culture, the arts, and news in a way that is deeply of the moment.”…..Westwood One reports its plans for this week’s Podcast Movement conference.  It says one key element is the Westwood One “Pitch Pod” on the 5th floor lobby of the Marriott.  “Podcasting talent can tell their story right at the conference, recording a sharable video pitch for consideration for a roster slot on Westwood One Podcast Network.  Reporters and media contacts are also welcome to stop by the booth to record a video about their experience at Podcast Movement.”   Tomorrow, Westwood One Podcast Network’s Tim Sabean, Opie, and Carl Ruiz will present “The Art of Storytelling” for attendees…..The second season of the Jim Breslo-hosted podcast “Hidden Truth” is launched.  Following the first season of the weekly hourlong podcast titled “Hidden Truth:  Las Vegas Shooter,” comes “Hidden Truth: Transgender Movement.”  In this series, Breslo “embarks on a journey to discover what it means to be transgender and what impact the movement is having on society.” Episode one features the first of a three-part interview with Breslo’s fraternity brother Dave Richmond, a divorced accountant and father of two who, much to Breslo’s surprise, recently became Sabrina.  “No subject is left off limits as they discuss everything from sex and surgery, to parenting and pronouns.”…..Changes are coming to ABC-TV’s daytime talk program “The View.”  The New York Post reports that Sara Haines is exiting “The View” to work alongside Michael Strahan on the third hour of “Good Morning America.” It’s being reported that FOX News Channel “rising star” Abby Huntsman is in talks to become a cast member on “The View.”  She is the daughter of former GOP presidential candidate and current Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman Jr.  The Hollywood Reporter writes, “Abby Huntsman, like her father, has some centrist tendencies, and is not reflexively conservative.  She made some headlines on July 15, when she appeared to ding the president’s meeting with Vladimir Putin by tweeting, ‘No negotiation is worth throwing your own people and country under the bus.’”…..The NFL’s Oakland Raiders flagship radio station will still be an Entercom property but it is changing from sports talk KGMZ, San Francisco “95.7 The Game” to all-news KCBS-AM/KFRC-FM.  Games will continue to air on KGMZ as long as there is no conflict.

SRN’s Larry Elder Supporting Angel Tree Camp. Pictured above is Salem Radio Network talk host Larry Elder (right) at the Prison Fellowship’s Angel Tree Camp that provides fresh air and summer camp activities for children whose mother or father are in prison.  Elder is a regular fundraiser for the program.  He tells TALKERS, “Children of prisoners haven’t done anything wrong and they shouldn’t pay for the misdeeds of a parent.”  Elder notes that 70% of prisoners’ children eventually end up behind bars themselves, a cycle that is being broken by the Angel Tree Camp program.  Pictured here with Elder are Calacinto Ranch director Angela Cerda (center) and SRN VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup (left).

KBA-WKU Radio Talent Institute Underway. Taking place this week on the campus of Western Kentucky University is the 6th annual Kentucky Broadcasters Association-Western Kentucky University Radio Talent Institute. All week long, more than 40 broadcasters from Alpha Media, Commonwealth Broadcasting, Forever CommunicationsCapCity Communications, Forcht Broadcasting, The Cromwell Group, Cumulus Media, and iHeartMedia are working with students in sessions dedicated to on-air skills, sports, news, promotions, digital, production, as well as being certified by the RAB as Radio Marketing Professionals.  National Radio Talent System founder and president Dan Vallie comments, “It is great to have the solid support of the KBA, who are such early believers in and supporters of the Talent System, now for 6 years; and WKU, who embraced this from the moment it was introduced to the university.  Working together – broadcasters, universities and the National Radio Talent System – we are building the talent farm for the industry and discovering and preparing the next generation of broadcasters.”

Trump-Russia Investigation/Cohen Recordings, Trump-Iran Rhetoric, Trump Security Clearance Issue, U.S. Illegal Immigration Policies, Ozarks Duck Boat Tragedy, Toronto Shooting/Deadly BART Knife Attack, Southwest Heatwave, Mama Mia 2 and Equalizer 2 Films, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/23).  The investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives and the related 12 tapes of President Trump and former attorney Michael Cohen turned over to Robert Mueller; the war rhetoric between President Trump and Iran; Trump’s desire to remove security clearances from former intelligence officials who are critical of him; the policies relating to treatment of illegal immigrants and their children; the deadly Ozark duck boat capsizing; the fatal shooting in Toronto and the knife slaying on the BART train; the heatwave affecting the U.S. Southwest; the opening weekend for the Mama Mia 2 and Equalizer 2 films; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Cox Media Group’s urban contemporary WHQT, Miami “HOT 105,” Big Lip joins to work alongside Shelby Rushin as co-host of the afternoon drive program, effective July 30…..Cumulus Media names 26-year radio pro Don Brake program director and morning personality for country KAYD-FM, Beaumont, Texas “NASH 101.7.”  Brake joins Cumulus from WKKQ, Morgantown, West Virginia where he was music director and midday personality…..Pictured below are WJBR-FM, Wilmington staffers (from l-r) Brandi Tigani, Chris Leonard, and Diana Beasley volunteering to cook for 50 families staying at the Ronald McDonald House of Delaware.  The effort was part of the radio station’s Beasley Best Day of Caring event.

Monday, March 19, 2018

| March 19, 2018

Mark Wainwright Returns to WSYR, Syracuse Morning Show.  Morning show personality Mark Wainwright is back on the air at iHeartMedia’s Syracuse news/talk WSYR after a 10-month absence while he battled throat cancer.  Wainwright says, “This thing hit me out of nowhere.  It was discovered last April, almost by accident, and it’s been an ongoing medical odyssey ever since.  It was eventually diagnosed as an aggressive form of throat cancer.  It was nasty and had already begun spreading to lymph nodes in my neck.  The recuperation period was long and frustrating.  Even when I started to feel a little better physically, my voice was still a train wreck.  It wasn’t until the end of 2017 that I started to sound better, and my doctors eventually cleared me to try hosting a daily show again.”  Wainwright says his voice is still not 100% and he’ll host from 6:00 to 9:00 to start and hopefully return to doing the full 5:00 to 9:00 show. Meanwhile, he says he’s thankful for his colleagues who filled in while he was out.  “Dave Allen, Ian Wheatley, Jim Donovan, and Nick Russo were put in a very tough spot for months, especially after the sudden passing of our friend and colleague Kevin Schenck.  They had to scramble, rearrange their lives, and pull double and even triple duty to keep the morning show running and cover all the vacant slots.  Thank you, gentlemen. Fine work, and very much appreciated.”

Bloomberg: iHeartMedia Bankruptcy Allows Lenders to Entertain New Offers.  According to the Bloomberg piece by Emma Orr, Eliza Ronalds-Hannon, and Steven Church, certain lenders can discuss any offers presented to them during iHeartMedia’s bankruptcy process.  The story says that creditors “fought hard for language in the restructuring support agreement that lets them continue to explore ‘consistent alternative proposals.’”  It also reports that this language was “heavily contested” in the discussions that led up to the Chapter 11 filing.  That means any prospective buyers, such as Liberty Media, could attempt to strike a deal with senior creditors.  Read the Bloomberg piece here.

Yes, Alexa Is Laughing…But Not at You.  Consultant Holland Cooke says radio should smile about smart speakers.  Writing after the news about NuVoodoo’s recent research that reports one-third of its 3,000-plus, 14-54 survey respondents own a smart speaker, Cooke says, “we’re still early-on in the adoption curve, so this will only become more opportune for broadcasters.”  The data also indicates that almost half of likely PPM panelists own one.  Read Cooke’s entire piece here.

McCabe Fired from FBI, Threats to Robert Mueller Investigation, Putin ‘Re-Elected’/U.K.-Russia Diplomatic Tensions, Miami Bridge Collapse, Rihanna vs Snapchat, Facebook Data Misuse Allegations, First Weekend of March Madness, NFL Free Agency, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The firing of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and President Trump’s weekend Tweets; Trump attorney John Dowd calls for end to Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign-Russian agents matter; Russian president Vladimir Putin wins “re-election” for new six-year term and Putin’s crumbling diplomatic relations with the U.K. and the West; the deadly collapse of a pedestrian bridge in Miami; Rihanna’s criticism of a Snapchat ad for an app that makes light of domestic violence; investigations into allegations of Facebook’s misuse of user data; the first weekend of the NCAA basketball tournament; the beginning of the NFL free agency period; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Broadcast Engineer Eric Small Dead at 71.  An accident at a Publix store in Delray Beach, Florida took the life of Eric Small last Thursday (3/15).  Small was exiting the grocery store when an 80-year-old woman lost control of her car and hit Small before driving into the front of the store.  It’s believed the woman had a heart attack while driving.  Small’s accomplishments in radio engineering are numerous.  He’s famous for having co-invented the Orban Optimod FM processor that became ubiquitous in the industry.  He began his career in 1964 at WNCN, New York.  In 1969, he became a member of the technical department at A&R Recording under Phil Ramone.  He later served as chief engineer at WXLO-FM, New York.  In 1981 he founded Modulation Sciences that developed and manufactured innovative products for radio and TV.

TALKERS News Notes. Former WBAL and WCBM, Baltimore weekend talk show host Jimmy Mathis was dealt a blow by a judge who says Mathis cannot run for the Maryland State Senate representing the 42nd district because he is not a resident of the district.  According to the Maryland Daily Record, Mathis is saying he’ll appeal the ruling…..WTMJ, Milwaukee talk show host Jeff Wagner announces that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and a number of other Wisconsin leaders will be speakers at the upcoming live “Jeff Wagner Insight 2018” on March 28 at Country Springs Hotel in nearby Pewaukee.  The annual conservative political event and live radio show will also include Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel and a number of conservative candidates for statewide office…..The regionally syndicated Illinois talk program “The Michael Koolidge Show” is being added to the program schedule at Cromwell Radio Group’s WCRA, Effingham, Illinois in afternoon drive.  Koolidge’s program is now heard on 14 signals in the state.  WCRA program director Sheila Myers says, “We’re very excited to be adding the Michael Koolidge show to our lineup.  We heard he was doing great things in the afternoon on our sister station, WZUS “Talk 101FM” in Decatur, so we think he’ll be a great addition first thing in the early morning for our Greater Effingham audience on our three separate signals.”…..KIRO-FM, Seattle’s “Your Last Meal with Rachel Belle” podcast has been announced as a nominee for the 2018 James Beard Foundation Awards.  “Your Last Meal” is an original podcast hosted by Rachel Belle, host of KIRO Radio’s “Ring My Belle,” and is produced by Aaron Mason.   James Beard Foundation Broadcast Media Awards winners will be announced on April 27, 2018…..Pictured below are Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup (center) with directors Andy Erwin (left) and Jon Erwin (right).  The duo scored the third-most-viewed film this past weekend as the faith-based film I Can Only Imagine generated $17 million behind weekend leaders The Black Panther and Tomb Raider.  Tradup tells TALKERS magazine that this week SRN News is repeating a multi-part series it produced on the film that tells the back story behind MercyMe’s triple-platinum song, “I Can Only Imagine.”

More Than 50 Industry Leaders Scheduled to Speak TALKERS magazine Conference in NYC in June; Great Hotel Deal Arranged for Attendees. The organizers of TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! TALKERS magazine’s 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention – announce the Friday, June 8 program will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology, as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. See the list of speakers currently scheduled to appear here. The conference takes place at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater in the colorful Chelsea District of Manhattan and organizers have arranged for a special hotel deal for conference attendees right across the street at the Hilton New York Fashion District located at 152 West 26th Street, New York. A special block of remarkably priced rooms has been reserved for convention attendees. They will only be available until May 8 or until they sell out – whichever comes first. The TALKERS editorial board strongly recommends that industry professionals planning on attending the convention make their registrations and hotel reservations as quickly as possible. An early sellout is imminent! For the latest details about TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! please read the story below. To make hotel reservations, please click here.

Cool Job Opportunities. Entercom Charlotte is seeking on-air personalities for its three stations. “If you live to connect with your audience on air, online and in person— you’ll love it here! We are looking for experienced on-air talent. Are you a passionate storyteller who’s authentic, entertaining and a team player? Do you have a strong hand in social media? The ideal candidate should possess strong work ethic, solid show prep and the ability to deliver creative and compelling content. Experience is preferred. Entercom Charlotte is an Equal Opportunity Employer. To be considered for these positions, please apply online at www.entercom.com and click on ‘Careers.’ No phone calls.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. After parting ways with Scotty Lindy on Friday (3/16), Cumulus Media announces that it is bringing programmer Brian Thomas to Atlanta to serve as PD for WKHX “Kicks 101.5.”  Thomas has been program director for the company’s classic hits WLS-FM, Chicago as well as a member of the corporate programming team for the country format and is vice president, programming, classic hits.  Thomas says, “It was always my dream to program WLS-FM in Chicago, but I started in country and everyone knows I love it.  And although I am corporate program director for country at Cumulus, it’s not the same as having a country station down the hall.  I’m beyond thrilled that Sean Shannon, Mike McVay, and Charlie Cook have confidence in me to program ‘Kicks,’ one of America’s leading country stations.”…..Also from Cumulus Media, the company announces that Jim Kurdziel is being promoted to regional vice president, programming – rock, in which he is overseeing the rock and alternative formats for Cumulus’ stations in the Northeast.  Kurdziel continues to serve as program director and midday personality for alternative WEDG-FM, Buffalo “103.3 The Edge” and will now support stations in markets including: Buffalo; Syracuse; Harrisburg, PA; Wilkes Barre, PA; Saginaw, MI; New Orleans, LA; and Appleton, WI…..Pamal Broadcasting flips sports talk WINU, Albany “Win 104.9” to alternative as “ALT 104.9 Albany’s NEW Alternative.” Pamal’s Albany Broadcasting general manager A.J. Bodden states, “Broadcast radio remains the number one medium as it relates to new music discovery and Albany Broadcasting is thrilled to be in a position to now give that opportunity to alternative listeners in Albany.  My team and I, along with our local ownership, could not be more proud to be launching this new format and filling a void that has existed here for a long time.”…..iHeartMedia promotes Echo Robinson to director of marketing and promotions for its Chicago Region.  Robinson joined iHeartMedia Chicago in 1995 and rose from intern to senior promotions coordinator before her appointment to promotions director in 2001.  As director of marketing and promotions, Robinson is responsible for managing the planning and execution of marketing, promotion, sales partnerships and imaging campaigns for the region.  She reports to Tommy Austin, SVP of programming for iHeartMedia’s Chicago Region.

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