Tag: "TALKERS 2019: Telling the Story"

Monday, May 13, 2019

| May 13, 2019

Erica Farber Named TALKERS 2019 ‘Woman of the Year.’   The TALKERS editorial board has selected Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) president/CEO Erica Farber as the broadcasting industry trade journal’s 2019 recipient of its 20th annual Judy Jarvis Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to Talk Radio by a Woman, also known as the “Woman of the Year” award. Farber joined the RAB as executive VP in January of 2012 and quickly ascended to its leadership in April of that year.  Prior to that, Farber served more than a dozen years as publisher and CEO of the historic radio trade publication Radio & Records.  Her extraordinary career in the radio business also includes a 12-year stint in various top management capacities at INTEREP, one of radio’s leading rep firms, including serving as its executive vice president/radio development director.  Erica Farber was also a significant pioneer in the history of women breaking the glass ceiling in the management arena of the major market radio station business.  During the early years of her career, she held positions at KRTH-FM, KABC-TV, and KIIS-AM in Los Angeles. In 1975, she was appointed general sales manager of WROR-FM, Boston and was promoted to general manager in June of that year. Her success then led to an appointment as VP/general manager of WXLO-FM, New York in 1976.  In making the announcement of Farber’s selection, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “We have just scratched the surface of this great radio woman’s work history in today’s TALKERS story.  Erica could have justifiably claimed this honor many times during her stellar career and she has been awarded literally dozens of industry awards and accolades since her days in local radio management and sales.”  Harrison adds, “We look forward to day when a specific women’s award in radio becomes an obsolete concept.  We are getting closer to that day but still have a way to go.  But we are certainly a lot closer to it thanks to women such as Erica and the other outstanding female broadcasters who have received this award since it was established in 2000.  It was originally conceived as a tribute to the career of the independently syndicated talk show host Judy Jarvis who was taken from us by cancer that year at the age of 54.”   Past recipients of the award include: Caroline Beasley,  Mary BernerGinny MorrisJulie TalbottRobin QuiversRobin BertolucciHeather CohenGrace BlazerLaurie CantilloStephanie MillerRandi RhodesLaura IngrahamKim KomandoEllen RatnerAdriane GainesLynn DistlerLisa Evers, Gloria Allred and (posthumously) Judy Jarvis.  The award will be presented to Erica Farber at Talkers 2019:  Telling the Story in New York on Friday, June 7.   The event is mere days away from a sellout.  For registration and agenda information, please click here.

Salem Media Group First Quarter Revenue Drops 5.2%. First quarter total net revenue reported by Salem Media Group was $60.5 million, down 5.2% from Q1 of 2018.  Breaking it down by segment, Salem’s broadcast revenue was $46.1 million, down 4.1% compared to the same period in 2018.  Looking even closer, Salem operates 33 news/talk stations and the revenue from those stations was down 10.8% for the quarter.  This quarter they contributed 18% of total broadcast revenue.  Salem CEO Ed Atsinger said during Friday’s earnings call that “the biggest decline came from local revenue, which includes local spot, local program. and miscellaneous broadcast revenue.  Local revenue is down 8.9%.  On a same-station basis, the revenue is down 7.4% or $1.8 million.  About 20% of that decline was due to the absence of political revenue.”  Atsinger said they face two adversaries in the broadcast revenue sector.  “First, we continue to lose local revenue to digital, principally Facebook and Google.  Additionally, in several of our markets, where we play for ratings, we we’re seeing competitors pricing per share by packaging in other related stations into a buy for free. And basically, the other competitors have a larger cluster, they’ve got an advantage there.”  Atsinger also noted that the company’s focus on digital agency initiative Salem Surround has affected performance.  “To a certain extent, this has caused some distraction to sales staff, as we’re seeing some cannibalization of other local revenue streams and also a distraction in terms of time.  But the results that we’ve been seeing from Salem Surround have been quite favorable. Our local digital revenue grew by almost $1 million or 53%.  And Salem Surround showed a modest profit for the first time.”  Revenue for Salem Radio Network was off 6.6% during the quarter and that was attributed primarily to the changeover from the Michael Medved show to the Dr. Sebastian Gorka program.  Atsinger said SRN lost some affiliates initially, but the affiliate count is growing and the show is “progressing well ahead of schedule.”

Monday Memo: Twitter Tips. In the social media jungle, Facebook is still T-Rex.  But people on Twitter seem to live there, Donald Trump included.  With all the new-tech competition AM/FM broadcasters now have – and with so much of it robotic (i.e., Pandora) – social media can help differentiate and personalize us. And listeners are flattered when a celebrity (that’s you) interacts; and, most flattering of all, re-Tweets something they posted.  In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke outlines tips for exploiting this powerful platform.  Read it here.

Free Talk Live Passes 200-Affiliate Mark. The nationally syndicated talk program “Free Talk Live” announces it has surpassed the 200-affiliate mark.  The program is co-hosted by Ian Freeman and Mark Edge.  Freeman says, “It took 15 years, but we made it.  This week we crossed the 200-affiliate milestone! Thanks to all the stations that are currently airing and also have aired Free Talk Live at some point in the past. You have made this possible and I appreciate it.”  Freeman notes that, unlike some other syndicated talk shows, he works to keep his GCN-distributed program’s affiliate roster accurate and up-to-date, otherwise he could claim as many as 400 stations!  He adds that he figures he’s lost about 200 affiliates over 15 years as well so he’s proud to say the show has 203 active AM and FM affiliates.

Joe ‘Pags’ Show to Air in Evenings on WPHT, Philadelphia.  The WOAI, San Antonio-based, nationally syndicated “Joe Pags Show,” with host Joe Pagliarulo, is taking over the evening daypart on Entercom’s news/talk WPHT, Philadelphia.  That slot opened up when Premiere NetworksSean Hannity show moved from evenings down into the live 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm daypart following Rich Zeoli’s promotion to morning drive.  The “Joe Pags Show” is currently heard on more than 70 affiliate stations across the U.S.

TALKERS News Notes. Talk show host Tom Donahue reports that his program is returning in  on-demand form for streaming stations and podcast platforms.  The weekly program can be provided to radio stations and online streaming stations for weekend play.  Donahue says, “I will be joined by a contributing host and producer Angeline Marie who has hosted the ‘Truth Seekers Radio Show’ and created her own online station ‘K-Star Talk Radio.’  This is the first time ever for me to have a regular on-air contributor.  I have always flown solo…I felt taking this new approach for my talk show would infuse a dynamic and real radio feel.”…..Baseball legend Darryl Strawberry recently spent the morning on air with personalities of NRG Media’s KOZN, Omaha “1620 The Zone.” Strawberry appeared on the station’s morning show with Damon Benning and Gary Sharp.  Strawberry was in town to speak at the “Fresh Hope Ministries” banquet and to meet fans and sign autographs at Friday night’s Omaha Storm Chasers game.  Pictured below are (from l-r): Omaha Storm Chasers owner Gary Greene; Benning, Sharp, Strawberry, and KOZN morning show producer Shane Schillerberg.

GAB Radio Talent Institute Begins Today. The Georgia Association of Broadcasters and the National Radio Talent System are announcing the opening of today’s GAB Radio Talent Institute on the campus of University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.  Today’s opening day is hosted by Mercedes Benz Stadium and the Atlanta Falcons.  Cumulus Media EVP of content & programming Mike McVay and Cox Media Group VP of audience content Tim Clarke are speaking at today’s opening session.  Over the next 10 days more than 40 broadcasters from companies such as Cumulus, Cox Media, Beasley Media Group, Entercom, Urban One, iHeartMedia, and others will lead sessions.  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber will lead the closing session titled, “Now is the Time to Start Thinking Like a Pro.”  GAB president Bob Houghton says, “The Georgia Association of Broadcasters is proud of our partnership with the National Radio Talent System.  Over the past five years we have graduated over 100 students who are ready to make a contribution to the future of our industry.  I appreciate the nearly 40 broadcasters each year who give their time and talent to speak in the Institute.  Broadcasting, and specifically radio, has a proud past and, with this program, a bright future.”

2020 Presidential Politics, U.S.-China Trade War, U.S.-Iran Tensions, Tlaib Holocaust Commentary Blowback, Mueller Testimony, and NBA/NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the escalating trade war between the U.S. and China; the U.S. military presence in the Persian Gulf and Iran’s threats; the reaction by Republicans over U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s comments about the Holocaust; House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff’s assurance Robert Mueller will testify before congress; and NBA and NHL playoff action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Connecticut classic rocker WFOX, Southport (Stamford-Norwalk market) tweaks its format, moving away from 60s and 70s rock and re-focusing on rock from the 80s, 90s, and 00s.  It has also re-branded as “Fairfield County Rocks.”   Station program director Kevin Begley states, “The Stamford-Norwalk market, even with the bleed in of New York City radio, is completely underserved with the next generation of classic rock.  The new version of ‘95.9 the FOX’ will supply that demand for those huge rock hits of the last 30 years.”…..Last week’s exit of talent from hot AC WSTR, Atlanta “STAR 94.1” – morning personality Jeff Dauler and afternoon jock Mike Marino – also included the departure of midday host Heather Branch. However, Branch was not let go and had given notice to Entercom in February that she would exit on May 10, the 10th anniversary of her joining WSTR…..iHeartMedia appoints Jared Fallon program director for CHR KBKS, Seattle “106.1 KISS FM.” iHM Seattle SVP of programming Rich Moore says, “We are very excited to add Jared to our programming team here in Seattle.  His passion combined with his enthusiasm and creativity make him a great fit to lead our amazing KISS team and will take the station to new levels.” Fallon moves west from his role with the company at CHR WIOQ, Philadelphia “Q102.”…..In New York City, Bob Bronson announces via social media that he’s left iHeartMedia’s adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 LITE FM” after 10 years as morning drive host.  Bronson hosted the “Bob and Christine” show with Christine Nagy.  No word yet on iHeartMedia’s plans for the morning daypart…..Alpha Media’s CHR KFRX, Lincoln, Nebraska posts the message that it has severed its employment relationship with Matthew Rydberg, a.k.a. Matt McKay.  This comes after Rydberg’s arrest for domestic assault on April 20.

Monday, May 6, 2019

| May 6, 2019

Cumulus Media Names Brian Philips EVP of Content and Audience; Mike McVay to Return to Consulting. Effective today, radio and television executive Brian Philips is being appointed executive vice president, content and audience for Cumulus Media, taking over for Michael McVay, who is returning to full-time consulting, with Cumulus as his first client.  Philips previously served as president of Viacom/MTV Network’s CMT channel.  The press release notes that there, Philips led “the music network’s successful forays into long-form script series, tentpole awards shows, concert specials, and feature films.  He also developed CMT’s successful national radio network.”  Prior to working in TV and film, Philips worked in radio programming with such stations as Cumulus’ WNNX-FM and WWWQ-FM in Atlanta, and KPLX-FM, Dallas.  Cumulus Media CEO Mary Berner says, “We are excited that Brian is joining our leadership team.  A highly accomplished executive, leader, and innovator with substantial experience across today’s media landscape, he comes to us with an impressive and successful track record of growing ratings and expanding audiences.  We look forward to benefiting from the skills and expertise he brings to his new role. I would also like to thank Mike for his significant contributions to Cumulus and for being such a great partner to me.”  McVay underscores that the decision to leave Cumulus and return to consulting was entirely his.  In praising McVay, Berner adds, “Mike’s accomplishments since his appointment as EVP, content and programming in 2015 are too numerous to count.  To name just a few, under Mike’s leadership of the office of programming, we reversed four years of ratings share declines, and saw years of ratings share growth.  We are currently posting the best ratings since 2011 on some of our biggest and most important stations.  Mike has helped to expand Westwood One’s programming, participating in the launch of several new shows, including the very successful ‘The Ben Shapiro Show.’  Mike has also led us in increasing our reach beyond over the air listening to include smart speakers and all online listening.”

Monday Memo: Show Me Your Show. On smart talk stations, weekends are appointment listening and might be the two most profitable days of the week, “NOT incompatible goals” according to consultant Holland Cooke.  “Yet,” he notes, “programming Saturdays and Sundays can be high-maintenance for stations, and getting airtime is challenging for talent.” In this week’s Monday Memo, HC recommends a win-win road map to weekend airtime.  Read it here.

Simonson Named Director of Sales at Hubbard Radio West Palm Beach. Radio sales pro Gregory Simonson is appointed director of sales for Hubbard Radio’s recently acquired West Palm Beach station group that includes news/talk WFTL, Fort Lauderdale and sports talk WMEN, Royal Palm Beach “640 The Hurricane,” and four music-formatted stations.  Simonson was most recently general sales manager with Beasley Media Group’s Fayetteville, North Carolina cluster.  Hubbard Radio SVP and market manager Elizabeth Hamma states, “I’m very happy to welcome Gregory to the Hubbard Radio West Palm Beach family.  His extensive track record of success in traditional and digital media as well as his passion for helping sales people succeed make Gregory a perfect choice to lead our sales team to new heights.”  Last fall, Hubbard agreed to acquire the cluster from Alpha Media for $88 million.

‘Our American Stories’ Passes 180-Affiliate Mark. The nationally syndicated “Our American Stories” program from American Private Radio announces the addition of eight new affiliate stations to the program’s roster, putting over the 180-station mark. APR president and show host Lee Habeeb says, “Stations told us they wanted a radio program that wasn’t always about politics, to give listeners a break from the news cycle.  More importantly, they love the topics we share every night, and we take great pride in putting stories together that touch our listeners’ hearts and minds.  People walk away feeling better when they listen to ‘Our American Stories.’”  New stations include Entercom’s news/talk WCCO-AM, Minneapolis-St. Paul.

TALKERS News Notes. A new podcast is being launched starring iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman, titled, “Math & Magic: Stories From the Frontiers of Marketing,” on the iHeartPodcast Network beginning on May 14.  The program will feature interviews with “visionary executives from the media and entertainment industries.”  In the first two episodes. Pittman talks with Maurice Levy, who, during his tenure as CEO of Publicis Groupe, increased the value of the company by 100 times and expanded a French agency into a true global advertising and communications leader; and Scooter Braun, renowned talent entrepreneur, investor and entertainment executive who boosted the careers of international superstars such as Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, and many others…..Boston Herald-based nationally syndicated columnist and Boston Herald Radio show host Adriana Cohen recently hosted President Trump on her weekly program. Cohen tells TALKERS that the almost-20-minute interview went viral after being picked up by Politico, Boston Globe, Newsweek, Fox News, The Blaze, The Hill, and others…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that staffers at Entercom’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM are getting some backing from fellow union members as they negotiate with the company for raises for the newsroom’s eight assistant producers.  The Writers Guild of America will rally outside the WBBM studios in the Prudential Building today (5/6)…..Washington University in St. Louis is awarding seven people with honorary degrees at a ceremony during the school’s 2019 commencement on May 17 and one of those is SiriusXM Urban View talk host Joe Madison.  The commencement address will be delivered by Michael Bloomberg.  Madison graduated from Washington University with a bachelor’s degree in 1971…..WTMJ, Milwaukee cleaned up at the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Awards Gala in Madison over the weekend.  The Good Karma Brands news/talk station won first place in 21 categories, including: News/Talk Large Market Station of the Year, Radio News Operation of the Year (Large Market); Social and Digital Operation of the Year (Large market); Best Newscast: Wisconsin’s Afternoon News; and more. Pictured below with the station’s awards are WTMJ staffers (from l-r): Nick Van Wagenen, Erik Bilstad, Jordan Gasiorowski, Steve Wexler, Steve Scaffidi, Jane Matenaer, Jay SorgiBrad Lane, Doug Russell, Melissa Barclay, and Mike Spaulding.

Mueller Report/Trump on Mueller Testimony, 2020 Presidential Politics, China Trade War Escalation, U.S.-Iran Tensions, North Korea Missile Test, Israel-Gaza Violence, ‘Game of Thrones,’ Avengers: Endgame, Kentucky Derby Disqualification, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The aftermath of the release of the Mueller Report and President Trump’s tweets saying Robert Mueller should not testify before congress; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; markets react as Trump threatens to ramp up U.S.-China trade war; U.S. carrier group heads to Iran in response to reports of Iranian threats to U.S. interests in the region; reaction to North Korea’s latest missile test; the rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza; Sunday’s episode of “Game of Thrones”; the Avengers: Endgame movie sets new record; the Kentucky Derby winner is disqualified; and the NBA playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

George Beasley Inducted into PA Radio Hall of Fame. Pictured above is Beasley Broadcast Group founder and chairman George Beasley at center with his wife Ann and surrounded by their family at the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters’ 2019 Gold Medal Awards Dinner yesterday (5/5) in Hershey where he was inducted into the PAB’s Hall of Fame.  Beasley was inducted with fellow honorees: comic and actor/director Bob Saget, Pittsburgh Steelers great and Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerome Bettis, and C-SPAN correspondent Steve Scully.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Los Angeles alternative rocker KROQ announces the debut of the afternoon drive “Stryker and Klein” program featuring Ted Stryker (left) and Kevin Klein (right).  Entercom Los Angeles SVP and market manager Jeff Federman says, “Pairing Stryker and Klein is something we could never have imagined just a few years ago.  Individually, they’ve both had tremendous success throughout their careers.  Adding great content to our afternoon programming is something that we’re very committed to and these guys do a fantastic job connecting the music to fun and interesting conversations.”  Stryker has been with the station since 1999.  Klein hosted mornings on the company’s KITS-FM, San Francisco “Live 105.” He was slated to be the morning host at sports talk KWFN, San Diego but the infamous Coronado Bridge social media post bit derailed his gig on that station…..The search is on for the new morning show at Entercom’s country WUSN, Chicago “US99” after Doug Stylz and Justin Roman exited the station on Friday (5/3).  The duo previously hosted the morning show at sister CHR WBBM-FM, “B96” before taking on the morning show role at “US99.”…..Premiere Networks-syndicated evening personality Delilah recently hosted the “Our Town, Our Heroes Celebration,” a local event recognizing listeners for their outstanding work in the Wilmington, Delaware area, produced by Beasley-owned affiliate WJBR, Wilmington “Mix 99.5.”  In addition to helping honor local citizen’s Delilah was surprised by WJBR as the station honored her for her philanthropic efforts with her non-profit foundation, Point Hope, that serves as a voice for forgotten children in the U.S. foster care system and in West Africa.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

| May 2, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, April 26, 2019

| April 26, 2019

Mark Levin to Air Interview with President Trump. Nationally syndicated talk radio host Mark Levin is presenting an exclusive interview with President Trump on his Westwood One program later today (4/26).  In the segment, the president tells Levin he’ll be proud to run on a position that continues prohibiting felons from voting and accuses Democrats of moving to the far left.  Trump also weighed in on the Mueller Report.  Check out some of the audio from the interview here.

NJBA to Induct Class of 2019 into Hall of Fame.  At this summer’s New Jersey Broadcasters Association convention in Atlantic City, the state broadcasters organization will induct seven into its Hall of Fame.  Being enshrined this year will be: Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley (who will also present a keynote address at the convention), iHeartMedia Networks Group president Darren DavisTownsquare Media CEO Bill Wilson, Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce, Emmis Communications founder and chairman Jeff Smulyan, WFPG-FM, Atlantic City “Lite Rock” morning host Eddie Davis, and late national syndication and WCTC-AM, New Brunswick talk radio legend Bruce Williams.  Also at this year’s event,TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison will address the conference as a featured speaker.

Jim Bohannon Helps WDUN Celebrate 70th Anniversary. Pictured above is Westwood One nationally syndicated late night personality Jim Bohannon (right) with WDUN, Gainesville, Georgia EVP and general manager Bill Maine (left).  Bohannon visited his affiliate station in the market yesterday (4/25) to attend its 70thanniversary celebration luncheon.

Kellie Holeman Named Market President at iHeartMedia Greensboro. Radio executive Kellie Holeman is moving from iHeartMedia’s Toledo operations to the Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point cluster to serve as market president.  The station group consists of news/talk WPTI-FM and seven music formatted stations.  iHeartMedia area president Bill McMartin says, “I am very excited to have Kellie Holeman lead the iHeartMedia team in the Triad and the Virginia-Carolina region.  Kellie has an extensive track record and brings over 25 years of experience managing iHeartMedia stations in a competitive Ohio media environment.  Our Greensboro team is looking forward to Kellie’s strong leadership, positive enthusiasm, and competitive drive to further lead a best-in-class team at iHeartMedia Greensboro.”  Holeman served as market president for a seven-station market for iHeartMedia Toledo for the past seven years.

Detailed Agenda for Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Posted.  Although speakers and sessions are still being added, the basic detailed agenda for the forthcoming 22nd annual installment of the longest-running, most important annual gathering of the talk media industry is now posted and can be accessed here.  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “The sheer quality of this convention’s lineup of speakers is a testimony to the present-day vibrancy of talk radio and the associated talk media industry. This is the place to be for anyone who is serious about their career and business in the field of talk shows.”  The event will take place on Friday, June 7 in New York City at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan.  The conference will feature more than 55 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including influential talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age.  This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations.  It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, one-on-one conversations and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception — all in a single, fast-paced day!  As is customary with TALKERS conventions, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. A full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments, costs $329. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. To take advantage of the hotel discount available to TALKERS convention attendees, contact the Hilton Fashion District Hotel located directly across the street from the venue at 152 W. 26th St, New York, NY 10001 by clicking here.

TALKERS CONVENTION SPOTLIGHT:  Panel Discussion to Address Talk Radio’s Challenges and Opportunities Generating Revenue in 2019.  One of the many highlights planned for the forthcoming Talkers 2019: Telling the Story on Friday, June 7 in New York City will be an extremely useful and pertinent panel discussion focusing on the challenges faced by and opportunities available to talk radio in 2019 in advertising sales, digital marketing, and the generation of non-traditional revenue.  Titled, “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2019,” the session will feature panelists (in alphabetical order) Asa Andrew, host, “AsaRx”; Vince Benedetto, CEO Bold Gold Media GroupSuzanne Grimes, EVP/marketing, Cumulus Media and president, Westwood OneChad Lopez, VP/market manager, Cumulus Media New York; Dave Robinett, chief marketing officer, #250 – America’s Mobile Speed Dial; and Julie Talbott, president, Premiere Networks. The discussion will be moderated by Erica Farber, president/CEO of the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB).  The session will be introduced by Michael Zwerling, owner, KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz.  The panel will identify problems as well as solutions inherent in the sales and marketing of talk radio as the medium integrates its multi-platform assets into the rapidly evolving digital era.   Don’t miss this session!  The TALKERS convention is rapidly heading toward being an early sellout.  To see the entire up-to-the-minute agenda and registration/hotel information, please click here.

WMVP’s Zederman Launches Fitness-Nutrition Podcast. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports some podcast news out of the Windy City. Danny Zederman, who serves ESPN sports talk O&O WMVP-AM as executive producer of the late morning “Kap & Co.” with host David Kaplan, is striking out into the podcast space with the health, nutrition, and fitness-focused “The Armchair Nutritionist” program.  Zederman tells Feder, “I target a demographic that usually goes unserved in the health and nutrition marketplace: the newbies trying to figure out health and nutrition in order to get themselves on track in life with the limited time they have in the day.”

Mueller Report Aftermath/Impeachment Talk Top News/Talk Stories for Week of April 22-26.  The reaction to the release of the redacted version of the Mueller Report and Democrats’ calls for impeachment of President Trump were the top news/talk stories this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Trump Administration’s plan to ignore subpoenas from House leaders.  Coming in at #3 was the 2020 presidential candidates and their political strategies, followed by the Southern border migrant issue at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programmer Dave Numme is promoted to format captain for hot AC and rock brands for Alpha Media.  Numme serves as content director for hot AC KEZR and classic hits KBAY in San Jose, positions he will continue to hold.   Numme says, “Alpha Media is progressive in building a culture that empowers our people to initiate new ideas to grow our brands and audience.  It’s exciting to be asked to help share best practices and collaborate with all of our content managers to have fun and win.”…..In Rhode Island, Hall Communications appoints April Shibley to the position of promotions manager for WCTK-FM, Providence “Cat Country 98.1.”  She previously served with Cumulus Media New York as promotions director.  Hall Communications VP of programming Bob Walker says, “April is a true industry pro and we are thrilled to have her join us in Providence.”…..WCMF, Rochester midday personality Dave Kane is the subject of a feature piece in the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle this week.  The piece reveals Kane’s thoughts on classic rock from the late 1960s and the 1970s and why it still resonates with people.  Kane is being honored by the Rochester Music Hall of Fame for his 38 years of work on the rock station at a ceremony on Sunday (4/28).

PPM Analysis: Mainstream Rock.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian takes a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s March 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on mainstream rock.  Based on weekly 6+ AQH share, about half the rock stations in PPM markets saw their ratings go up and about half saw them go down.  Comparing March 2018 to March 2019 slightly more than half (56%) of rock stations saw ratings improve year-over-year.  Three rock stations ranked #1 in their respective markets during the March survey: Hubbard Radio’s KSHE, St. Louis; and iHeartMedia’s WDVE, Pittsburgh and WHJY, Providence.  See the whole report here.

Friday, April 19, 2019

| April 19, 2019

Talkin’ Trump with Chris Christie at the WPHT Speaker Series. Pictured above at last night’s “1210 WPHT Speaker Series” sold-out, live event are WPHT afternoon personality Rich Zeoli (right) and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (left) at the Scottish Rite Auditorium in Collingswood, New Jersey.  WPHT program director Jared Hart says the event couldn’t have been timed better with the release of the Mueller Report and the latest from the White House.   He adds the 500 attendees were “relentlessly entertained by Christie’s wit and honesty.”

Broncos Great Tom Nalen Named PM Drive Co-Host at KKFN, Denver. After the February departure of longtime afternoon drive personality Alfred “Big Al” Williams – who’s headed to iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk KOA after his non-compete expires – Bonneville finds the new on-air partner for Darren “DMac” McKee (left) on “The Drive” on KKFN “104.3 The Fan.”  Denver Broncos great Tom Nalen (right) joins the program starting Monday (4/22).  McKee says, “I’m still pinching myself.  I cannot believe Tom Nalen is my new radio partner.  Our friendship goes back to his days playing for the Broncos and continued after he retired.  I honestly don’t know if I’ve ever been more excited or happy professionally following this move.  To host ‘The Drive’ every day with Tom Nalen is an absolute dream come true.”  Nalen has done radio in the market co-hosting programs with Kroenke Sports and Entertainment and Front Range Sports Network. Station program director Raj Sharan says, “While Tommy’s football credentials are unquestionable, it’s his personality that made him the perfect fit as our new co-host of ‘The Drive.’  His sense of humor mixed with blunt honesty and a heart of gold add up to one of the most loveable figures in Denver sports history.  During our audition process, his chemistry with DMac was instant and undeniable, as was the overwhelming feedback we received from our listeners.  It was clear and obvious that Tommy was the people’s choice and I’m thrilled all of Broncos Country will enjoy his insight and charm every weekday on their drive home.”

Alpha Media Portland Names Sara Perrin Marketing Director. Marketing pro Sara Perrin is named the new marketing director for Alpha Media’s Portland station group that includes: news/talk KXL, talk KUFO, CHR KBFF, country KUPL, triple A KINK, sports talk KXTG-AM, and hip hop KWEE.  In this position, Perrin will “support efforts created and facilitated by different department and profit centers, including the Bloodworks Live Studio, creative services, and promotions departments.  She will work closely with all departments to design and develop marketing strategies… and be responsible for coordinating and executing all these strategies on-air, online, and on-site.”  Alpha Media Portland SVP/market manager Lisa Decker comments, “Sara is a dynamic leader with 25 years of experience creating ingenious strategies, effective solutions, and unforgettable tactics to attract, activate, and retain target audiences.  Her vast experience working with the biggest brands in Portland, along with her innovative, imaginative, and resourceful problem-solving abilities make her uniquely qualified for this position.  We are thrilled to have Sara join the Alpha team.”

Westwood One News Wins National Headliner Award. The news organization was honored with first place honors for its reporting and coverage of the Parkland school shooting in Florida last year in the “Breaking News or Continuing Coverage of a Single News Event” category.  The National Headliner Award judges stated Westwood One News’ reporting was “precise and eloquent coverage of the Parkland shooting.  Radio at its best: the sound and the actualities tell the story; clear and compelling writing.”  Westwood One News also won third place in the category for its coverage of Hurricane Michael. The National Headliner Awards were founded in 1934 by the Press Club of Atlantic City to recognize journalistic merit in the communications industry.

Radio News Pro Steve Swenson Joins Nashville Public Radio.  Radio executive Steve Swenson is named the president and chief executive officer for Nashville Public Radio, effective April 29.  Swenson served with CBS RADIO for years as vice president and general manager for New York all-newsers WINS and WCBS-AM.  He was most recently SVP and market manager for CBS’ Washington, DC stations prior to the radio division’s sale to Entercom.  Before joining CBS RADIO, he served as general manager for all-news WTOP-FM, Washington, DC.  Nashville Public Radio board chairman Bill Carpenter says, “We are delighted to have attracted Steve Swenson to Nashville Public Radio during this period of accomplishment and opportunity for our stations WPLN and ‘91Classical.’  Steve is well-recognized for bringing engaging content rooted in community partnership to grow the markets he has served.  Nashville Public Radio’s award-winning team is known for their ingenuity in providing in-depth reporting and programming that engages our long-standing and new listeners.  We believe that Steve’s proven abilities will be a terrific complement to our station and our broader community as we continue to expand our offerings throughout Middle Tennessee.”

St. Louis Radio Host Don Marsh Says ‘No Thanks’ to Lifetime Achievement Award. Regular TALKERS readers remember the story about St. Louis public radio host Don Marsh we published a few weeks ago.  Marsh resigned from his job at St. Louis Public Radio’s KWMU-FM after being called out by management for telling his guest (iconic St. Louis TV newswoman Karen Floss) that she “looked great.”  Floss did not complain, in fact, she told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that people of her age often greet each other with such a compliment.  The complaint to station management was made by the show’s producer.  After being told by his boss that his greeting bordered on being inappropriate, Marsh quit the station.  Fast-forward to today, Marsh was scheduled to receive the 2019 Millard S. Cohen Lifetime Achievement Award from St. Louis Public Radio on May 2, however, he tells the Post-Dispatch he won’t be there and accepting the award now would be “inappropriate.”  KWMU tells the paper that as a result, no one will receive the award this year.

Release of Mueller Report Top News/Talk Story for Week of April 15-19.  The public release of the redacted version of the Mueller Report was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the migrant crisis at the Southern border and the related political maneuvers.  Coming in at #3 was the politics and the people surrounding the 2020 presidential election, followed by the Notre Dame Cathedral fire at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s entire chart here.

Joe Madison Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  One of the top 10 ranking members of the TALKERS Heavy Hundred list of the Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America, Joe Madison, who hosts mornings on SiriusXM Satellite Radio’s “Urban View” channel, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Longtime friends and colleagues, the two seasoned broadcasters engage in a spirited conversation about Madison’s TV appearance this month on the season finale of the highly acclaimed PBS program, “Finding Your Roots.” The show delves into the biological ancestry of interesting and famous people.  The touching episode, which opens with audio, and later video, of Madison (also known as The Black Eagle) broadcasting from his SiriusXM studios in Washington, DC, follows the broadcaster as he discovers ancestral secrets with the help and support of his dear friend (and host of the show), Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.   Some of the surprises revealed include identifying his biological father; his lineage’s shocking connection to the Tuskegee experiments; and his relation to the Confederacy – as he jokes he may “join the Sons of the Confederacy” because it would “shake things up.”  The episode will re-air throughout April on PBS.  Commenting on the podcast, Harrison says, “The first time I had the Black Eagle on this program was about four years ago and he supported my view then and now about the diversity of opinion, lifestyle and humanity that exists within the African American population of the United States.  But he also keenly understands those elements, characteristics, and common experiences that tie these 46 million-plus people into what we refer to as the African American community.   In my opinion, this is a man who has transcended the role of simply being a radio entertainer or personality and has become over the years a political, cultural, and inspirational leader.  A watchdog and defender of a people.”  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and every page on Talkers.com.

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

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

Portland

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

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

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

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

Charlotte

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

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

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

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

San Antonio

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

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

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

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

Sacramento

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

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

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

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

Pittsburgh

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

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

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

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

Salt Lake City

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

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

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

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

Las Vegas

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

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

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

Orlando

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

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

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

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

Cincinnati

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

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

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

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

Cleveland

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

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

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

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

Kansas City

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

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

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

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

Columbus

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

| March 6, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

| February 6, 2019

Forever Broadcasting Buys Delmarva’s Radio Assets for $18.5 Million. The acquisition of Delmarva Broadcasting’s 10 radio stations in the Mid-Atlantic by Forever Broadcasting will, when consummated, mean the end of Delmarva’s radio business. Delmarva is a subsidiary of Steinman Communications and that company continues in the media business as publisher of LPN/Lancaster Online.  Forever Media will be getting news/talk WDEL-AM/FM, hot AC WSTW-FM and Gospel WFAI-AM in the Wilmington, Delaware market; country WXCY, Havre de Grace, Maryland; classic hits WAVD-FM, Ocean Pines, Maryland; classic hits WNCL, hot AC WAFL-FM, and sports talk WYUS-AM in Milford, Delaware; and news/talk WXDE-FM, Lewes, Delaware.  Forever Media owns radio stations in Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.

Talk Host Doc Thompson Killed in Jogging Accident. Talk radio host Doc Thompson, a.k.a., Michael Thompson, was killed on Tuesday (2/5) while jogging near railroad tracks in Haltom City, Texas.  The 50-year-old radio personality was hit by an Amtrak train.  Thompson was hosting his own digital “Daily MoJo 5.0” program. Previously, he’d worked for Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze Radio Network as well as iHeartMedia’s WRVA, Richmond.  Thompson leaves behind his wife, Yuna, and three young children.  A GoFundMe page has been set up to assist his family here.

Spotify to Acquire Gimlet Media and Anchor. As reported this morning by Variety and numerous other sources, music streaming giant Spotify is acquiring New York-based podcasting platform Gimlet Media for $230 million as it positions itself to become a major player in the podcasting industry.  The report indicates that Spotify also is acquiring Anchor FM Inc., a platform that assists in podcast creating, publishing, and monetization.  Spotify chief Daniel Ek says his company is in a merger and acquisition mode, seeking to spend up to $500 million on deals this year.  He’s quoted saying, “These acquisitions will meaningfully accelerate our path to becoming the world’s leading audio platform, give users around the world access to the best podcast content, and improve the quality of our listening experience as well as enhance the Spotify brand.”  At the same time as it announced these deals, Spotify released fourth quarter 2018 and full-year financial data.  Although Spotify produced its first-ever quarterly operating profit of $107 million in Q4 of 2018, it expects to return to losses due to its M&A mode.  However, Spotify is reporting 96 million premium subscribers globally – an increase of 36% compared to 2017 figures.  It also saw its total monthly active users rise to 207 million during Q4, an increase of 29% over the same period in 2017.

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated talk show host Dana Loesch is delving into possible mysteries surrounding the arrest of former Trump campaign official Roger Stone.  Loesch interviewed Stone on her Radio America-syndicated talk show, discussing his indictment and the special counsel’s investigation, and he suggests the special counsel’s office may have tipped off CNN to his arrest.  Hear it here…..As reported by Chicago media maven Robert Feder, sports media personality Barry Rozner is leaving the fill-in and weekend host position he’s held with sports talk WSCR “The Score” for the past 10 years.  Rozner was co-host of the Sunday morning baseball show “Hit & Run” with Joe Ostrowski.  In addition to fill-in work, Rozner continues to serve as a sports columnist for the suburban Daily Herald…..Public radio news/talk KQED, San Francisco names Vinnee Tong managing editor, news.  In her new role, Tong will “help deepen KQED’s commitment to regional news on broadcast and digital platforms and work to increase representation of underrepresented voices and perspectives in KQED’s coverage.”  Tong has worked at KQED since 2011 in editor and producer roles.  Before working in public radio, she was a reporter at the Associated Press…..SAG-AFTRA is launching a new podcast hosted by president Gabrielle Carteris and national executive director David White featuring in-depth interviews, industry insights, and compelling stories affecting the entertainment and media industry.  New shows are released every other Tuesday…..The “Motley Fool Money” weekend radio show with host Chris Hill adds new affiliate WLBR-AM, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to its roster of stations…..SiriusXM is presenting a new audio documentary celebrating the Comedy Grammy Award category.  The show is timed to air in conjunction with this Sunday’s Grammy award show.  Comedy producer Dan Pasternack hosts “Obsessive Comedy Disorder: The 60 Year History of the Comedy Grammy Award,” that premieres Thursday (2/7) at 5:00 pm ET on SiriusXM Comedy Greats…..The staff of iHeartMedia news/talk WOR, New York celebrated this week’s debut of the new evening program “WOR Tonight with Joe Concha & Lis Wiehl” with a lunch at the legendary Patsy’s Restaurant in Times Square.  Pictured below are (from l-r): WOR program director Tom Cuddy, talk host Mark Simone, Concha, Wiehl, morning hosts Michael Riedel and Len Berman, assistant program director Scott Lakefield, and news director Joe Bartlett.

Report: Radio Digital Revenue Climbing Towards $1 Billion Mark. A report released by the Radio Advertising Bureau and Borrell Associates indicates that local radio stations brought in $804 million in digital ad revenue during 2018 and projections for 2019 are for an increase as high as $949 million.  The report – to be released to RAB members today – analyzes online ad revenue from 3,121 radio stations in addition to survey responses from 1,715 local radio buyers and a survey of 132 radio managers.  The data indicates that the average radio station earned more than $250,000 in digital revenue in 2018, an increase of 15% over 2017.  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber says, “Digital has been integrated into all facets of broadcast radio’s offering both in programming and sales, and the results are definitely paying off. As radio continues to provide integrated marketing solutions to its advertisers, we expect to see continued growth.  The RAB is focused on providing digital training and continued knowledge-building for our members so they can better serve their clients.”

Celebrating Super Bowl LIII.  In Boston, Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” serves as the official flagship radio station of New England Patriots football.  So, at yesterday’s parade in downtown Boston, Beasley staff was on hand giving out “Never Gets Old” signs all along the parade route. Pictured above are (from l-r): Beasley Boston vice president/market manager Mary Menna, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, and WBZ-FM and national spoken word/esports format brand manager Mike Thomas.

State of the Union Address, Trump-Russia Investigation, 2020 Presidential Candidates, Warren ‘American Indian’ Controversy, Ralph Northam Controversy, North Korea Weapons Report, and Super Bowl LIII Aftermath Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/5).  The State of the Union Address; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the potential candidates for president in 2020; Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Texas Bar registration card in which she identifies as American Indian; the racist photos in Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s medical school yearbook; the report indicating North Korea is developing nuclear weapons and selling weapons to other nations; and the aftermath of Super Bowl LIII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Charley Connolly exits iHeartMedia’s Cleveland station group where he programmed country WGAR and adult hits WHLK “106.5 The Lake.”  Connolly had been with the cluster since 2010…..Condolences to the family and friends of Alpha Media Biloxi-Gulfport production director Chuck Edwards, who died on January 30 at age 49. Alpha notes Edwards started his career at “Surf 107-1” – currently WXYK, Gulfport.  He later moved on to rock WCPR where he was part of the morning show that became “The Cruise, Chuck and Rebecca Show” with Kevin Cruise and Rebecca Allen.  Edwards also served as the PA announcer of the New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans. Alpha Biloxi-Gulfport operations manager Kenny Vest says, “Chuck was one of the most talented production guys in the industry who could literally do it all.  He had such a wide variety of deliveries and was great at writing copy.  He also had the ability to turn on that booming voice that could get any crowd excited as he did at the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans games for so many years.  Chuck was loved by so many and will be sorely missed by all of us who had the pleasure to know him.”

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

| January 8, 2019

iHeartMedia Reorganization Plan Awaits Confirmation. The Modified Fifth Amended Joint Chapter 11 Plan of Reorganization for iHeartMedia is awaiting confirmation by United States Bankruptcy Court Judge Marvin Isgur.  Yesterday’s filing of the confirmed plan will allow iHeartMedia to erase $10.3 billion in debt off its books, leaving it with $5.75 billion in debt once Judge Isgur has signed the order.  Last month, the court approved iHeartMedia’s separation from Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings as part of the reorganization plan.  Yesterday’s filing will permit iHeartMedia to begin to implement the plan without seeking authorization from the court.  As is usual in bankruptcy cases, once the plan is confirmed by the court, most other claims against the debtor are discharged.  In this case, the judge rules that certain liabilities the company is required to honor after the effective date – called a Cure Claim – and that includes the BMI license agreements, an almost $600,000 payment to SoundExchange LLC, and its Framework Digital Distribution Agreement with Sony Music Entertainment.   Additionally, the new iHeartMedia must honor all SAG-AFTRA contracts and must assume all contractual agreements with the Denver Broncos.  Once signed, iHeartMedia will be in a period between Confirmation and the Effective Date.  There are several hearing dates scheduled and they are: January 10 to consider all confirmation issues other than those scheduled to be heard on January 17, and January 22; January 17 to consider all issues concerning the CCOH separation settlement, other than those issues scheduled to be heard on January 22, and any issues continued from the January 10, hearing; January 22 to consider all remaining issues concerning consideration of the class action settlement related to the CCOH Separation Settlement and the GAMCO Motion; and January 23 to consider all remaining confirmation issues.

‘Our American Stories’ Surpasses 160-Affiliate Mark. The nationally syndicated “Our American Stories” program adds a number of new affiliate stations and now has 163 total affiliates. The program is hosted by Lee Habeeb who is also president of program producer American Private Radio.  He says, “Stations told us they wanted a radio program that wasn’t always about politics, to give listeners a break from the news cycle.  More importantly they love the topics we share every night and we take great pride in putting stories together that touch our listeners’ hearts and minds.  People walk away feeling better when they listen to ‘Our American Stories.’”  The program is described as “a two-hour, daily radio magazine program that showcases Americans from various industries, including sports heroes, musicians, film performers, political or cultural icons, business leaders, military heroes and more.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison is extremely fond of this program stating, “I fully expect ‘Our American Stories’ to be the surprise breakout program of 2019. It is the classiest, best-researched, meticulously produced, dependable piece of quality content to come down the pike in years.  It is conservative news/talk’s knock out answer to public radio and will become an institutional part of the genre for years to come.”

Wayne Allyn Root: I ‘Got the Ball Rolling’ on Trump’s Wall Option.  Las Vegas-based, nationally syndicated talk show host Wayne Allyn Root says he first talked about the idea that President Trump can declare a national security emergency and use $25 billion from the Pentagon budget to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.  Root points to his November 17 column in the Las Vegas Review-Journal that details, among other things, that the president can declare a “national security emergency” and use military money for the project.  Root says, “I shared this column and my idea with my audience on both my Newsmax TV show and USA Radio show in the days before publication.  Then I flew to Wyoming as keynote speaker for the Wyoming GOP annual dinner on Friday 11/16/18.  I shared my idea with that audience.  Result. Two standing ovations.  That column was handed directly to President Trump by my great friend Lee Lipton at Mar a Lago on 11/18/18.  President Trump has talked about this exact option all week in the media.  It’s the hottest topic in the country.  My idea started this all… I’m sure it will come up in Tuesday night’s national presidential address.”

Mike Gallagher Films LifeLock Ad on NYC Streets. Nationally syndicated talk radio star Mike Gallagher is pictured above on the streets of New York filming commercials for identity theft prevention firm LifeLock.  Gallagher has been voicing spots for LifeLock – as have many talk radio hosts since LifeLock is a big advertiser on talk radio – but not long ago he needed the company’s services.  The Salem Radio Network talk host was the victim of a personal security breach when someone accessed his personal information, changed his cellphone number, and tried withdrawing $25,000 from Gallagher’s checking account.  He credits LifeLock with alerting him to the compromises and acting to protect his personal assets.  He says, “I’ve proudly done their commercials for years.  But after seeing for myself how they swing into action, I believe anyone is stupid not to have LifeLock protection.”

Eric Zane Launches Daily Podcast.  After being let go by Cumulus Media last week due to the format flip of WBBL, Grand Rapids from sports talk to country music, morning personality Eric Zane tells Mlive.com he’s doing a daily podcast designed to pick up where his radio show left off.  He’s offering the show to listeners for free and for a fee with various options, including video.  Zane tells MLive he hopes to reach a sizable audience via his 18,000 Twitter followers.  He says, “Most people get some content via podcast or streaming content and they’re a different audience.  They’re zeroed in because of the programming. They seek it out as opposed to background noise.  I won’t ever say radio has no place because it’s still great to get in your car and push a button and there it is.  This medium (podcasts), which was laughed at five, 10 years ago, isn’t laughed at anymore because it’s very viable.”

Steve Triplett to Lead Beasley’s Tampa Stations. Sales and management pro Steve Triplett is named vice president and market manager for Beasley Media Group’s Tampa cluster that includes financial talk outlet WHFS-AM and six music radio stations.  Triplett has been serving as interim market manager and director of sales for the Tampa operations.  He says, “Over the past four years, Beasley Media Group has created something truly special in Tampa.  We have a team of the finest media professionals in the industry and it’s an honor to continuing serving them in this new capacity.”

PodcastOne Partners with LadyGang for Podcast Network.  “The LadyGang” podcast recently celebrated its 200th episode and 40 millionth download.  Now, PodcastOne is entering into a deal with the brand for a podcast development, production, and marketing deal to launch The LadyGang Network on PodcastOne.  The network will feature a female-driven, all-star lineup of pop culture, reality television, and motherhood trend-setters.  PodcastOne says the deal combines its vast resources and reach with The LadyGang’s brand power and curated talent lineup.  The inaugural program under this new network will be “Mama Said with Jamie and Jenna,” hosted by Jamie Lynn Sigler and Jenna Parris. Additional programs will be announced soon.

Hogenson Communications to Rep Americans for Tax Reform Campaign. Talk media is the target for Americans for Tax Reform and it has hired Hogenson Communications to represent the organization to talk media for its 12-month campaign.  Scott Hogenson states, “We’re proud to have been selected by Americans for Tax Reform as their talk media partner.  As America’s preeminent tax policy organization, ATR brings a lot to talk media audiences by breaking down complicated policy issues in a way that everyone can understand.”

KNUS, Denver Hosts Boyles and Tubbs to Broadcast from Vancouver, BC During Fact-Finding Mission.  Talk show hosts Peter Boyles and Steffan Tubbs – air personalities on Salem Media Group’s news/talk KNUS, Denver – will broadcast live from Vancouver, British Columbia during their fact-finding mission to the city’s safe injection sites.  The Denver City Council passed an ordinance that will create safe or supervised injection sites for users to inject heroin, opioids and cocaine in locations that will employ trained medical personnel.  The KNUS remote broadcasts will take place on Friday (1/11).

iHeartMedia Unveils New iHeartRadio Features at CES. The company announces a number of new consumer technology integrations for its digital platform, iHeartRadio.  At the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, iHeartMedia unveiled new integrations including the Honda Dream Drive Platform, the new Bixby from Samsung, Roku devices, and Google’s Android TV and Android Auto.  It also launched the fully redesigned iHeartRadio Family app on Amazon Fire Tablet with iOS and Android coming soon.

Border Wall-Government Shutdown, U.S.-Syria Policy, Tlaib Israel Statement, Kim Jong Un-Xi Jinping Meeting, NCAA Football Championship, and NFL Playoffs Action Among Top News-Talk Stories Yesterday (1/7). The battle over funding for the U.S.-Mexico border wall and the related government shutdown; the Trump administration’s military policy in Syria; the controversy over freshman congresswoman Rashida Tlaib’s comments that GOP senators are more loyal to Israel than the U.S.; North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s visit with Chinese President Xi Jinping; Monday night’s NCAA football championship game; 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. The nationally syndicated Ty Bentli show is off Cumulus Media’s New York City country outlet WNSH “NASH FM 94.7.”  What was originally called “America’s Morning Show” back when Blair Garner was lead host and has twice morphed since then has been the only morning show on the stations since its inception.  Now, afternoon drive host Jesse Addy is sitting in hosting mornings as the station teases a new program…..In Los Angeles, “volunteer” air personality Greg Beharrell is named evening host on Cumulus Media’s classic rock 95.5 KLOS…..Afternoon drive host, APD and music director Mark Razz is promoted to program director for Beasley Media Group’s country WXTU, Philadelphia.  With this new role, Razz will move from afternoon drive to middays.  Beasley Philly market manager Joe Bell comments, “Nobody deserves this opportunity more than Razz.  He has been an integral part of 92.5 XTU’s success for years and has demonstrated the leadership, commitment and creativity that you look for in a PD.  Plus, he’s an amazing talent, is loved by listeners and respected within the industry.”…..Midday personality Corey O’Brien is named assistant program director and music director at Broadway Media’s alternative KXRK, Salt Lake City “X96.”…..Buffalo market radio pro Joe Chille is named morning drive host at Townsquare Media’s adult contemporary WMSX, Buffalo “96.1 The Breeze.”  Chille was a longtime personality at WJYE prior to its becoming WMSX.  Most recently, he’d been handling part-time duties at Radio One Buffalo’s oldies WECK-AM…..Beasley Media Group names Sean Varicalli host of the “KICKS Wake up Crew” morning show on country WKXC-FM, Augusta, Georgia.  Varicalli was most recently midday jock and APD at Curtis Media Group’s country WQDR, Raleigh…..Alpha Media’s WKXI, Jackson, Mississippi “107.5 Kixie” replaces the Tom Joyner show with the Premiere Networks-syndicated “Steve Harvey Morning Show.”

Friday, December 21, 2018

| December 21, 2018

The Top News/Talk Radio Stories of 2018.  Today, TALKERS magazine presents its annual year-end feature ranking the most-talked-about news/talk radio stories and people of the year.  Not surprisingly, the Trump-Russia investigation was at the top of the stories list this year and President Donald Trump was the most-talked-about person.  Immigration issues, mass shootings, the midterm elections, and the Kavanaugh confirmation rounded out the top five stories on this year’s chart while Robert Mueller, Vladimir Putin, Mitch McConnell, and Nancy Pelosi followed President Trump as the most-talked-about people on the chart. In all, there are 20 stories and the people related to those stories listed on this year’s chart.  See it in its entirety here.

iHeartMedia Announces Deal to Split from Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings. The separation of iHeartMedia – the radio and digital business – from billboard segment Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings is part of iHM’s Fifth Amended Plan for reorganization.  Today the companies announce they’ve agreed to terms for the separation.  iHeartMedia currently owns 89.1% of CCOH’s outstanding common stock.  William Eccleshare – currently as chairman and CEO of Clear Channel International – will become chief executive officer of CCOH. Eccleshare joined CCI in 2009 and went on to lead Clear Channel Outdoor, including full operational responsibility for CCI and Clear Channel Outdoor Americas, before assuming his current role. Eccleshare will be based in London and will also continue to lead CCI as part of his new role.  Scott Wells will continue to lead CCOA as CEO.  iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman says, “Today’s announcement is recognition that while iHeartMedia and CCOH are both very strong in their respective areas – iHeartMedia is America’s number one audio company and CCOH is one of the world’s largest outdoor advertising companies – their key constituencies have little strategic overlap. We believe that the separation of the two businesses makes strategic and financial sense and will allow each company to better achieve their individual missions.”  CCOH’s current leadership and board of directors will remain in place until iHeartMedia exits its restructuring process, at which time the new executives and board will assume their responsibilities.

TODAY IS THE LAST DAY to Register as an Early Bird for Talkers 2019 Convention!   The opportunity to save $50 in registering for Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will end TODAY Friday, December 21 at 5:00 pm ET.  The 22nd annual installment of the longest-running, most-important national talk media convention has been set for Friday, June 7, 2019 in New York City. Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will take place again at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan. The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age.  This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations.  It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, one-on-one conversations and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception — all in a single, power-packed day! Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited, and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments, costs $329 per person. However, those registering before 5:00 pm ET on December 21, 2018 pay only $279. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh Announces New Program Schedule. Pittsburgh news/talk KDKA-AM announces its new lineup for 2019 with the addition of Wendy Bell and Lynne Hayes-Freeland as afternoon drive host and midday host respectively.   The Entercom station says it is also expanding its local weekday news coverage to 8:00 pm and will add local morning newscasts on the weekends.  KDKA is moving current afternoon drive host Robert Mangino to the 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot (with weekend duties as well). It moves current late morning host Marty Griffin to the afternoon drive daypart with new co-host Wendy Bell.   It combines the late morning and early afternoon shows into one 10:00 am to 2:00 pm program hosted by Lynne Hayes-Freeland.  Bell – a 21-time Emmy and five-time Edward R. Murrow Award winner – says, “KDKA is a powerhouse radio station and Marty Griffin is a trusted friend who, like me, loves helping people.  Spending four hours a day with a team that truly cares about this city is a tremendous honor and I look forward to the opportunity to serve our listeners.” Hayes-Freeland began her career with KDKA-AM as a producer back in 1976.  She worked at KDKA-TV as a reporter, producer, and talk show host since 1977.  She comments, “Radio is a perfect place to learn, explore, and grow, and I look forward to the chance to do just that with listeners just as curious as me every day. It feels great to be back home on KDKA.” The station lost longtime early afternoon host Mike Pintek back in September. He passed away after a battle with cancer.

Beasley Inks 98.5 The Sports Hub’s ‘Toucher and Rich’ to Contract Extension. Morning drive duo Fred Toucher (right) and Rich Shertenlieb (left) re-up with Beasley Media Group to continue hosting their morning program on sports talk WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub.”  They have been the hosts of the morning show since the station launched as a sports talk outlet in 2009.  Station program director Mike Thomas (who also serves Beasley as national format brand manager for spoken-word programming and esports) says, “‘Toucher & Rich’ are the most creative guys I know with real raw talent that you cannot teach.  ‘Toucher & Rich’ will always be one of the biggest success stories in the history of ‘The Sports Hub.’

Gonzalez to Lead Sales at iHeartMedia Wilmington. Sales and management pro Steve Gonzalez is returning to iHeartMedia to take on the senior vice president of sales position at the Wilmington, Delaware station group that includes heritage news/talk WILM-AM, sister news/talk WDOV-AM, and sports talk WWTX-AM. Gonzalez was most recently an EVP with Target Media.  He previously served with iHeartMedia as a general sales manager in the Philadelphia cluster.  He says, “I truly appreciate the opportunity to come back to iHeartMedia.  I look forward to leading the strong team [retiring SVP] Martha [Masters] has developed and trained over the past years and my goal is to continue to provide the Delmarva business community with the numerous iHeart assets and platforms that will increase consumer engagement and grow their business.”

CMG Unveils Cox Trading Desk. This new service comes from Cox Media Group’s CMG Local Solutions and provides its clients with programmatic advertising technologies and a team of traders to eliminate charges for fraudulent advertising impressions.  Vice president of digital media Joe Weir explains, “At Cox Media Group, we understand the importance of avoiding fraudulent impressions and providing a transparent ecosystem for our clients.  The Cox Trading Desk is designed to protect our clients by delivering the highest quality of inventory that translates into an industry-leading return on investment.”  Cox says in its press release, “Because Cox owns and operates newspaper, television, radio and digital assets across the country, CMG Local Solutions knows the current landscape of premium publishers and the challenges this industry faces with malicious activity.  Senior director of data and programmatic Joseph Naylor adds, “With CMG being TAG registered and an active member of the IAB, it is our publisher-centric mindset that compels us to make this pledge to all of our advertising clients.

Neely Joins Entercom Board. Chairman, president and CEO David Field says that Susan K. Neely “brings an outstanding breadth of expertise to the board and we look forward to having her join us at such an exciting time in our company’s growth and transformation.”  Neely is the president and chief executive officer of the American Council of Life Insurers and she brings an impressive set of credentials with her.  She served as special assistant to President George W. Bush and helped create the U.S Department of Homeland Security.  She later became the first DHS assistant secretary for public affairs.  Neely led the American Beverage Association for 13 years as president and CEO before joining ACLI in September 2018.  Neely’s appointment is an expansion as the board now is comprised of nine people.

TALKERS News Notes.  Today (12/21) is the final Steve Dahl show on Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM, Chicago. As previously announced, Dahl is leaving the news/talk station where he’s been hosting the afternoon drive show, although he’ll continue to do his regular podcast with co-hosts Dag Juhlin and Brendan Greeley.  Chicago media maven Robert Feder writes about it here…..Entercom’s WSCR, Chicago, “670 The Score” announces that the MLB’s Chicago Cubs and Pat Hughes have signed a multi-year contract extension for him to remain in the play-by-play booth beginning with his 24th season with the team in 2019.  Ron Coomer serves as color analyst. Entercom Chicago SVP and market manager Jimmy de Castro says, “Pat is the iconic voice of the Chicago Cubs. We are both proud and honored to have him on our team at ‘670 The Score’ and Entercom Chicago.  Pat is the eyes and ears for so many Cubs fans both in Chicago and worldwide.  We are thrilled he will continue as the radio voice for multiple years to come.”…..CBS News Radio is distributing “Eye On Travel” with host Peter Greenberg.  “Eye On Travel” is a new series of short- and long-form shows featuring CBS News senior travel advisor Peter Greenberg.  CBS News Radio general manager Craig Swagler comments, “We’re delighted to offer Peter Greenberg’s insightful programs and expertise to our affiliates and listeners.  Peter brings a unique perspective to the world of travel and empowers listeners so that they may make informed decisions when traveling throughout the world.”

Wade and Abel Join National Radio Talent System.  The National Radio Talent System names Taylor Anne Wade and Aimee Abel to the newly created position of institutes director.  Wade has worked with Don Anthony’s Morning Show Boot Camp and Talk Show Boot Camp, was a volunteer at the Country Radio Seminar, and was a Student Scholar at the NAB/RAB Radio Show.  Abel moves from part time to full time.  She was previously an anchor for iHeartMedia’s Total Traffic and Weather Network.  National Radio Talent System president Dan Vallie says, “Both Taylor Anne and Aimee completed the Kellar Radio Talent Institute when they were students at Appalachian State University.  They bring a passion for the industry and for helping people.  We wanted them to be on the team and they wanted to be here.  Things worked out well.  I’m thrilled they are on the team.”  The National Radio Talent System is currently producing eight Radio Talent Institutes annually.

Trump-Russia Investigation Top News/Talk Story Again This Week. The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents remained the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the battle over the border wall and the related short-term spending bill. Coming in at #3 was President Trump’s order to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, followed by activity on the world’s financial markets and the Fed’s decision to raise interest rates at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

Armstrong & Getty Are This Week’s Guests on Harrison Podcast.  Syndicated morning show hosts Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty are this week’s guests on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  They started out as a couple of music radio DJs who joined forces in the early 90s in Wichita and worked their way up to landing a big-time slot in 1998 as the morning team on news/talk station KSTE in Sacramento.  They quickly developed a reputation throughout the radio industry for their freshness and youthful dynamics.  Their show became a huge success in the California state capital and began to spread into regional syndication up and down the west coast where today – 20 years later – it still emanates from KSTE but is also heard in the mornings on such major radio stations as KGO, San Francisco; KFMB, San Diego; KHHO, Seattle; KEX, Portland; KMJ, Fresno; KKAT, Salt Lake City, and KTBL, Albuquerque, not to mention stations in Eugene, Monterey-Salinas, Palm Springs, Reno, Riverside and Ventura.  And now, as we enter 2019, the show is being offered to stations around the country as a full-fledged nationally syndicated radio show.  Michael Harrison says, “When I first heard Armstrong & Getty, they sounded to me more like the kind of talk show hosts one would expect to hear on a rock station than on a ‘serious’ news outlet.  They were funny and irreverent and surrounded with a cast of characters that gave their show more of the feeling of a morning zoo than a roundtable of stuffy panelists.  But even though they were zany and played the goofball roll to a certain degree, their antics were offset by obvious intelligence, keen insight, biting satire, excellent interviewing skills and a ton of information about what was happening in the news.”  Harrison caught up with Jack and Joe last week to discuss their fabulous radio partnership… where it’s been, where it’s at, and where it hopes to be going – set against the backdrop of turbulent political times and extraordinary social/technological change.  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 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. He’s been away from Entercom country outlet WDSY, Pittsburgh “Y108” for five years, but Stoney Richards (center)is making his return to a full-time air shift on the station.  He begins co-hosting the morning show – titled “Y’d Awake” – with co-host Kristen Buccigrossi (left) and producer Cowboy Curt (right).  Entercom Pittsburgh SVP and market manager Michael Spacciapolli says, “Stoney Richards means country in Western PA.  He’s beloved by Pittsburgh country fans and the Nashville hitmakers alike.  We are thrilled to bring Stoney back home to ‘Y108’ every weekday.”  Richards has been serving with the station (and sister news/talk KDKA-AM) as a fill-in personality…..iHeartMedia Asheville unveils new alternative rock outlet “ALT 101.1” The station is heard on translator W266CP but it’s not immediately clear which station is feeding the translator. Senior vice president of programming Brian Hall states, “There is a huge appetite for alternative music in Asheville. So many of the artists that you will hear on ‘ALT 101.1’ have already performed live in Asheville and I’m excited to know that local fans now have a radio station to listen to their favorite musicians and to call their home.”…..Entercom’s “Hot 92.9” (WWWL-AM, WEZB-HD2, and W225 CZ) announces the addition of the nationally syndicated Tom Joyner show to its program schedule in morning drive.  Senior vice president and market manager Kevin Cassidy comments, “We are absolutely thrilled to have legendary morning man Tom Joyner on ‘The New Hot 92.9.’  Tom is already well known to listeners across New Orleans and we look forward to expanding his audience in 2019 and beyond.”

Monday, December 17, 2018

| December 17, 2018

WLS-AM, Chicago Moves Big John Howell to PM Drive. Friday’s announcement by Cumulus Media solidifies the afternoon program schedule, but the question still remains who will end up hosting mornings on news/talk WLS-AM in the New Year.  Current morning drive personality Big John Howell is moving to the 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm slot – he’s following Westwood One syndicated talk host Ben Shapiro who’s on from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm.  Howell’s co-host Ramblin’ Ray Stevens appears headed out the door.  Rumors in the Windy City are that Erich Mancow Muller is negotiating to be the station’s next morning show host. Cumulus Chicago vice president and market manager Marv Nyren says, “As part of the new lineup at WLS-AM 890, keeping an experienced Chicago talent like John Howell solidifies the lineup and will give our audience a reason to stay tuned throughout the entire day.  John has been entertaining Chicagoland for over 30 years and his program will be the perfect way to wrap up the day on your way home.”  Before joining WLS-AM four years ago, Howell served with Salem Media Group on news/talk WIND-AM.  Prior to that he spent 17 years as a jock on country WUSN-FM. He says, “I’m very excited about hosting the new afternoon show at WLS-AM 890.  I intend to present Chicago with a quick-paced, informative, honest, and intelligent summary of the day’s biggest stories – an afternoon wrap of the day’s biggest events featuring prominent newsmakers, reporters, experts, and stars.  Of course, our town’s most colorful characters will also be welcome.  In addition, I’m looking forward to (finally) golfing when the sun’s in the east.”

Media Action Center Targets Alex Jones Saying Radio Show Violates FCC’s Hoax Rules. The Media Action Center was founded by journalist and activist Sue Wilson.  She was instrumental in forcing Entercom to give up the license for KDND-FM, Sacramento in the wake of the “Hold Your Wee for a Wii” contest.  Now, Wilson’s MAC is encouraging people who live in markets that carry the Alex Jones radio show to file a complaint with the local station and the FCC that accuses Jones of violating the FCC’s hoax rules by insisting that the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax.  You can see the form letter here that outlines the FCC’s language: “Section 73.1217 of the Federal Communications Commission’s rules, 47 C.F.R. § 73.1217, prohibits broadcast licensees or permittees from broadcasting false information concerning a crime or a catastrophe if: (1) the licensee knows this information is false; (2) it is foreseeable that broadcast of the information will cause substantial public harm; and (3) broadcast of the information does in fact directly cause substantial public harm.”  Wilson cites the parents of some of the victims whose pain has been worsened by harassment they’ve suffered from Jones’ listeners, thus the public harm.  MAC notes the FCC rules would permit Jones’ comments if the stations airing the program aired a disclaimer before the program clearly characterizing it as fiction. See the MAC site here.

WQAM, Miami Names New Midday Show. Replacing Orlando “The Big O” Alzugaray (who exited early last month) in the midday slot at Entercom’s WQAM, Miami is the duo of Alex Donno (left) and Josh Friedman (right).  The “Donno & Friedo” show airs from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.  Friedman moves over to WQAM from sister sports talker WAXY-AM where he was evening host.  Alex Donno has been hosting the evening program on WQAM.  Entercom South Florida SVP and market manager Keriann Worley states, “Alex and Josh both bring unique experiences that will lead to great content for this new show, which will touch on sports and beyond.  Their vast knowledge of Miami sports and high energy will undoubtedly resonate with South Florida listeners.”

Spector Upped to Program Director at Sports Talk KCSP, Kansas City. Rising from assistant program director and afternoon show producer to program director at Entercom’s KCSP-AM “610 Sports Radio” is Steven Spector.  Entercom Kansas City regional president and market manager Dave Alpert says, “I am very pleased to announce Steven Spector as the next program director of ‘610 Sports Radio.’  This is a well-deserved and well-earned promotion and I’m confident that Steven will continue to elevate ‘610 Sports Radio’ in the Kansas City market.”  Spector joined Entercom Kansas City in 2013 as a producer for 610 Sports Radio’s “Fescoe in the Morning.”  He began his radio career with WTEM, Washington in 2008.

Chuck Peterson Rises to Area President for iHeartMedia. Executive Chuck Peterson is promoted to area president for iHeartMedia’s Winchester, Harrisonburg, and Roanoke-Lynchburg, Virginia markets, effective immediately. The markets contain 16 news/talk, sports and music-formatted stations.  Peterson is promoted to area president after serving as market president for the Winchester and Harrisonburg markets.  He began his career at WFTR, Front Royal, Virginia and is a graduate of American University and William & Mary Law School.  He says, “iHeartMedia is the leader in the audio and mulit-platform space and I am thrilled to step into my new role in the Virginia/Carolina region. I am proud of our company’s commitment to growing our advertiser’s businesses and serving our communities.”

PPM Analysis: November’s Top-Ranked Stations. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian offers a tip of the hat to the stations that finished first and second (6+) in their respective markets in Nielsen Audio’s November 2018 survey.  In this report, you’ll find charts detailing the performances of the top two stations in each market, as well as a look at the top performers arranged by format.  Spoiler alert – adult contemporary stations comprised 22% of the #1 stations in the PPM markets while classic hits accounted for 22.9% of the #2-ranked stations. See the full report here.

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally-syndicated midday program “The Dana Show” with host Dana Loesch will air on Cumulus Media’s news/talk KLIF-AM, Dallas, beginning in the New Year.  KLIF-AM and WBAP program director Kevin Graham says, “We’re thrilled to bring Dana to 570 KLIF.  Dallas-Fort Worth listeners are really going to connect with her honest opinions and authenticity.  And the fact she lives here in the Metroplex will also allow our listeners to easily relate to her.”  “The Dana Show” is syndicated nationally via Radio America…..Premiere Networkssyndicated Buck Sexton show begins airing on WCBM, Baltimore in the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm daypart, effective January 1.  The show will be followed by the Westwood One-syndicated Mark Levin program in the 10:00 pm to 1:00 am slot.  The station currently airs Michael Savage in evenings and he departs the station after 16 years as his three-hour show is re-configured into a one-hour live show and a one-hour podcast. WCBM program director Sean Casey adds, “This is the next chapter in our endless pursuit to bring the most powerful names in talk to Baltimore.  We’re really pumped to add Buck, an up-and-coming star and to have Levin, a Hall of Famer anchor our evenings!  I’d like to thank Michael Savage for a great run and continued success in his new venture.”…..The unique town of Tangier Island, Virginia – population 460 and shrinking – is the subject of a five-part podcast series from Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP, Washington titled, “Going Under: The Story of Tangier Island.”  The series, hosted by WTOP’s Michelle Basch, takes an in-depth look at the “quirky, isolated place located smack dab in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay” that is gradually vanishing and could be uninhabitable in 25 years…..First Media Services closes on its purchase of two AMs and four FMs in the Bluefield, West Virginia market from Alpha Media for $1.8 million.  The stations are: news/talk WHIS-AM, hip hop WKEZ-AM, hot AC WHAJ-FM, country WHQX-FM, country WHKX-FM, and classic rock WKOY-FM.  First Media managing partner Bob Spencer says, “We feel extremely blessed and honored to have the torch passed to us from well-respected former owners, including Mike Shott and the Shott Family, and David Benjamin of Triad Broadcasting Company.  In my opinion, these stations have one of the best and most talented staffs in the region.  Many, of whom, have worked there for over two and even three decades.  It’s an amazing opportunity to continue great radio and first-class customer service throughout our corner of the Virginias.” Kalil & Co., Inc. was the exclusive broker for this transaction…..WNIC, Detroit morning personality Jay Towers and Capedwonder.com founder Jim Bowers are co-hosting a podcast series dedicated to all things Superman in “The Caped Wonder Superman Podcast.”  In the third podcast of the series, the hosts released never-before-heard audio of iconic Superman actor Christopher Reeve.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Border Wall-Government Shutdown, the Trumps vs the Media, ObamaCare Ruling, Financial Markets Activity/Recession Concerns, Aquaman Film, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; President Trump’s threat to allow the federal government to shut down if congress doesn’t fund the Mexico border wall; President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump’s complaints about the media’s treatment of them; a federal judge rules the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional; Friday’s Dow drops 400 points and talk about a recession in 2019; the new Aquaman film; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro Jay Cruze joins the morning show at Bonneville’s adult contemporary KOSI, Denver alongside current morning host Jenny D.  Program director Jim Lawson says, “Jay’s experience, energy, and authentic personality is exactly what we were looking for to create compelling content in the morning.  Jay has been on our part-time staff and has been a tremendous asset.  He’s a natural fit.”…..An apparent abundance of programmers in the Entercom Philadelphia cluster has forced the company’s hand and longtime hot AC WBEB “B101” PD Chuck Knight exits the station.  Entercom acquired the station from Jerry Lee Radio back in September…..KDGS-FM, Wichita APD, music director, and afternoon host “Rolls” Royce Stevenson re-ups with Entercom to continue his work at the rhythmic CHR outlet.

Monday, November 26, 2018

| November 26, 2018

Legendary KGO Talk Host Ray Taliaferro Missing; Last Seen in Paducah Pizza Joint. Retired talk show host Ray Taliaferro – an overnight personality on KGO, San Francisco from 1977 to 2011 – has been missing for 15 days now after last being seen at The Mellow Mushroom pizza restaurant in Paducah, Kentucky.  Media reports indicate Taliaferro was last seen talking with the manager of the restaurant and was wearing black pants, a black turtleneck and a black leather jacket.  Authorities say the 79-year-old may have been experiencing symptoms of dementia.

TALKERS News Notes. According to a report by Chicago media writer Robert FederTribune Media is offering its employees – including those at its only radio property, WGN-AM – voluntary buyouts as part of a year-end staff reduction program. Feder quotes Tribune Media SVP of corporate relations Gary Weitman saying it is a “very small program that will ultimately affect a little more than 1 percent of our employees.”  Feder notes that it’s not clear if layoffs would be the result of the voluntary program not meeting its goals…..Baltimore news/talk WBAL-AM now has an FM presence as Hearst fires up translator W268BA at 101.5 FM.  Station president and general manager Cary Pahigian comments, “While WBAL radio will continue to serve Maryland at 1090 AM with our powerful 50,000-watt signal, our new FM signal at 101.5 is a monumental advancement for the region’s most influential radio station.  FM 101.5, along with our popular mobile app, will help WBAL connect with significantly more listeners.  WBAL is now available on every available broadcast, mobile and digital platform.”…..Radio news pro Sean Hall was killed in a car crash in Richmond County, New Hampshire.  He was 63.  Hall – whose career experience included positions with CNN Radio; NBC Radio; Mutual Broadcasting System; WTOP, Washington; and more – was working as a weekend news reporter for Saga Communications’ news/talk WKBK, Keene, New Hampshire…..Pictured below is Pioneer Valley Radio general manager Brad Shepard (on set, at left) with Massachusetts State Senator Eric Lesser (right) during a co-production between hyper-local digital media platform, Springfield, Mass.-based Pioneer Valley Radio and East Longmeadow Cable Access Television.  During the program, Shepard and Lesser discussed the Senator’s continued efforts in an east-west rail connection in the state, the ongoing opioid crisis, efforts to keep seniors in their homes with appropriate care, recreational marijuana, and a controversial stance on the electoral college.

Interview: Salem Media Group’s Phil Boyce. Programming pro Phil Boyce, SVP at Salem Radio Network chats with Goldman McCormick Public Relations co-founder Ryan McCormick  about programming news/talk radio in the current era.  Boyce tells McCormick that his years in the business have taught him important lessons about what news/talk audiences want.  He says when analyzing effective talk talent, he looks for three basic things: “Are they teaching me something I want to learn about an important topic or are they doing a show focused on themselves and assuming listeners are into their every waking moment?  Second, are they able to take a complicated issue and break it down in a way that makes me understand and, in some cases, want to pump my fist in agreement?  And third is formatics: do they set up a topic well with a brilliant monologue?  Do they tease around the break to make me come back?  Do they give me the sense that this is the most fun a human being can have and they are having it?  If it is a team show, do they have that elusive ‘chemistry, camaraderie, and rapport?’” Read the entire interview here.

Migrants Arrive at Tijuana, Global Warming Report, Trump-Russia Investigation, Mississippi Run-Off Election, Chinese Gene-Edited Babies, U.K.’s Facebook Investigation, Thanksgiving Holiday/Midwest Blizzard, Russia-Ukraine Tensions, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The U.S. closes the San Diego-Mexico border as the migrant caravan attempts to overrun border security; the U.S. Global Change Research Program climate report that predicts dire natural and economic consequences from global warming; the expectation of a Trump-Russia report from special counsel Robert Mueller; the Mississippi special senate election between Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith and Democrat Mike Espy; a Chinese researcher claims success in first gene-edited babies; the U.K. gains Facebook documents related to the Cambridge Analytica case; the Thanksgiving holiday and the Midwest blizzard that affected holiday travel; Russia seizes Ukrainian ships in military skirmish; and the NFL’s weekend action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the holiday weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  A format flip appears to be in the works for Entercom’s country KMNB, Minneapolis “BUZ*N @ 102.9” after seven years as a country station.  The KMNB website says, “Thanks for BUZ*N with us Minnesota and western Wisconsin!  Sadly, though the buzz is about to wear off…on Monday, December 3rd at 7am.”  The station has been a consistent runner-up in the ratings (Persons 6+) to iHeartMedia’s KEEY.  Prior to adopting a country format, the station was an adult contemporary outlet as WLTE – a format that lives on on the KZJK-HD2 channel – and speculation is the AC format will return.  Will it be a “Breeze?”…..El Paso programming pro Ted “Bobcat” Brown is retiring from iHeartMedia’s country KHEY after a 10-year stint to relocate to Biloxi to help his wife care for her aging mother, he announces in a Facebook post.