Tag: "Talkers ten"

Friday, February 5, 2021

| February 5, 2021

NOW POSTED:  This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Freedom of Screech,” looks back at this past week of February 1-5, 2021. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Dr. Daliah Wachs, talk show host, Genesis Communications NetworkJoyce Kaufman, talk show host, WFTL, Fort Lauderdale/Miami/West Palm Beach; Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio CompanySteve Weisman, professor of law, Bentley University, Boston / founder Scamicide.com; and Richard Neer, talk show host, WFAN, New York. The acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD (“Freedom 93.7”), Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY;  WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA;  WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED (“Connect FM”), DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; WIZM-AM/FM, La Crosse, WI; WMVA, Martinsville, VA; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkCRN Digital Talk Radio NetworkPioneer Valley Radio, Springfield, MA; Podcast Radio, UK and many more.  To listen to this week’s episode, please click 

      here
. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.  “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

Rudy Giuliani Says WABC Radio Disclaimer ‘Rather Insulting.’ Former New York City mayor and recent Donald Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani lashed out at Red Apple Media’s WABC, New York after the station aired a disclaimer at the end of a commercial break during Giuliani’s one-hour afternoon radio show on the station. On the heels of the announcement by voting systems firm Smartmatic that it is suing FOX News, some of its hosts, former Trump attorney Sidney Powell, and Giuliani for defamation for $2.7 billion, WABC added the disclaimer to his program that stated, “The views, assumptions and opinions expressed by former U.S. attorney, former attorney to the president of the United States, and New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, his guests and callers on his program are strictly their own, and do not necessarily represent the opinions, beliefs or policies of WABC Radio, its owner Red Apple Group, its other hosts or its advertisers.” Giuliani expressed his surprise at the disclaimer stating on the air, “I would have thought they would have told me about that before just doing what they just did. Rather insulting. And gives you a sense of how far this free speech thing has gone. And how they frighten everybody. I mean, we’re in America, we’re not in East Germany… They’ve got to warn you about me? I’m going to have to give that a lot of consideration. I also think putting it on without telling me ― not the right thing to do. Not the right thing to do at all.”

Holiday PPM Ratings Highs & Lows. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian today reports on Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2020 PPM ratings and says, “Virtually nothing in any facet of life was ‘normal’ in the just-concluded calendar year, so it wouldn’t have been a monumental shock if Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2020 numbers strayed from past scripts. Pandemic-caused modified radio listening habits, combined with a completely out-of-the-norm presidential campaign/election/aftermath, accounted for some strange wobbles compared to past Holiday survey periods. Read his complete report here.

Donald Trump Resigns from SAG-AFTRA. As requested by the union after a Disciplinary Committee meeting, Donald Trump has resigned from SAG-AFTRA. However, the former president did not go quietly into the night. He wrote, in part, “Your organization has done little for its members, and nothing for me – besides collecting dues and promoting dangerous un-American policies and ideas – as evident by your massive unemployment rates and lawsuits from celebrated actors, who even recorded a video asking, ‘Why isn’t the union fighting for me?’ These, however, are policy failures. Your disciplinary failures are even more egregious. I no longer wish to be associated with your union. As such, this letter is to inform you of my immediate resignation from SAG-AFTRA. You have done nothing for me.” You can read the entire text of his resignation here. For its part, the union responded, “Thank you.”

TALKERS News Notes. In the Twin Cities, Entercom and the Minnesota Timberwolves announce an extension to their broadcast partnership agreement that keeps WCCO-AM as the flagship station for Timberwolves basketball. The station has served as the radio home of the team since 2011. Entercom Minneapolis SVP and market manager Shannon Knoepke says, “This season we are excited to not only expand our distribution, but also try new content platforms that utilize our incredible talent and give fans an insider’s view into the Timberwolves. The Timberwolves are an organization that’s forward-thinking and innovative, and it’s a perfect partner for 830 WCCO and the unparalleled signal coverage we provide to the Upper Midwest.”…..iHeartMedia is partnering with Paris Hilton to produce a slate of iHeartRadio Original Podcasts as well as a series of PodPosts, what the company calls “a new format that merges social media into voice, and podcasting into a social environment.” The new series will launch February 22 with the “This is Paris” podcast hosted by Hilton herself, “which puts her own creative spin on the podcast format — releasing a blend of both playful, emotional and authentic scripted, scheduled episodes as well as spontaneous, shorter ‘social’ audio episodes each week between segments. This unique audio format will entertain audiences with content that includes candid interviews with influential and inspiring guests around the globe, discussing topics such as beauty, wellness, fashion, pop culture, travel, entrepreneurship, relationships and more.”…..Entercom’s C13Originals announces season three of the Gangster Capitalism documentary podcast franchise: Jerry Falwell Jr. The company says that “Gangster Capitalism, Season 3: Jerry Falwell Jr. and Liberty University” will chart the rise and fall of Jerry Falwell Jr., and the damage left in his wake at Liberty University. The series will launch in the spring and the investigative docuseries will feature more than 30 exclusive interviews from current and former students, staff, faculty, administration, and insiders, as well as authors, historians, journalists, and theologians, some going on the record for the first time to reveal new stories and information that is explosive and revealing…..WNYC Studios and The Atlantic introduce, “The Experiment: Stories From an Unfinished Country,” a weekly podcast that will “give listeners the context they need to understand our country right now.” In each episode, host Julia Longoria is joined by The Atlantic’s writers and editors to “explore America’s promise through riveting, surprising, and even surreal stories that uncover powerful and sometimes invisible forces of history.”

Trump Impeachment, Capitol Insurrection Investigation, and GOP Cheney and Greene Issues Tie for Top News/Talk Story This Week. The looming impeachment trial of Donald Trump, the investigation into the Capitol insurrection, and the GOP’s dealing with attacks on Senator Liz Cheney and the conspiracy theories of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene tied as the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio for the week of February 1-5, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the COVID-19 stats, rollout of vaccines and concern about variants. Coming in at #3 was a tie between the economy, the Biden-GOP stimulus negotiations, and the financial markets activity. At #4 was race relations tied with police reform and the Morgan Wallen racial slur case. #5 was the cable TV ratings war tied with social media censorship and the cancel culture. Following at #6 was climate change tied with immigration reform. At #7 was U.S. relations with China and Russia tied with the Myanmar coup. #8 was the recall effort against California Governor Gavin Newsom, followed by the FBI agents slain while investigating a child porn case. Finally, at #10 was the countdown to Super Bowl LV. 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.

Friday, January 8, 2021

| January 8, 2021

NOW POSTED:  This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Responsibility, Integrity, and Credibility,” looks back at this past week of January 4-8, 2021. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Dr. Daliah Wachs, talk show host, Genesis Communications Network/medical doctor; Erick Erickson, talk show host, WSB, Atlanta / talk show host, regional syndication; Joe Madison, talk show host, SiriusXM Satellite RadioAnne Eller, talk show host / station owner, WCRS, Greenwood, SC; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company.  This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD (“Freedom 93.7”), Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY;  WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA;  WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED (“Connect FM”), DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; WIZM-AM/FM, La Crosse, WI; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkCRN Digital Talk Radio NetworkPioneer Valley Radio, Springfield, MA; Podcast Radio, UK and many more.  To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.  “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

KMJ, Fresno’s Ray Appleton Under Scrutiny for “Hanging” Comment. Fresno talk radio host Ray Appleton – heard daily from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm on Cumulus Media’s news/talk KMJ-AM/FM – is being taken to task, at least by the Fresno Bee, for saying on his program that “certain news editors should be hanged… maybe.” Appleton’s comment came during a monologue in which he complained about the media’s coverage of the attack on the U.S. Capitol compared to coverage of protests and riots in Portland and other cities, implying that reporting on those events was more sympathetic. He posted a clarification to his Facebook page that was later removed. In it, he says the comment was “clearly tongue in cheek.” On his program Thursday, he said, “So if you were upset by that, I didn’t mean it. I humbly apologize. I’m not talking about taking every news editor and hanging them. I mean, come on. Get with it.” The Bee reports that a call to KMJ for comment on Appleton’s comment was not returned.

Del Colliano: Cumulus Corporate Flips on Election Talk Mandate. According to InsideMusicMedia publisher Jerry Del Colliano, who cites an internal memo from Cumulus Media EVP of content Brian Philips, the company did an about-face on Wednesday as the assault on the Capitol building was taking place in Washington, DC. Del Colliano says that contrary to what many of the company’s talk hosts were saying up to that point about the legitimacy of the election results, Philips’ memo ordered all Cumulus and Westwood One personalities not to continue presenting any illegitimacy claim. He wrote, “We need to help induce national calm NOW. Cumulus and Westwood One will not tolerate any suggestion that the election has not ended. The election has been resolved and there are no alternate acceptable ‘paths.’” He adds, “If you transgress this policy, you can expect to separate from the company immediately.” Del Colliano writes, “Some employees felt the sudden change in direction was so onerous that it in effect dictated what air talent could not broach on the air even after many years of tolerating if not encouraging controversial political talk for the purpose of increasing ratings.”

WFAN, New York Debuts Craig Carton-Hosted Gambling Addiction Program. The program is titled, “Hello, My Name is Craig,” and will air on WFAN-AM/FM, New York on Saturday mornings at 9:30. The 30-minute program is being hosted by Craig Carton and is being presented by 1-800-GAMBLER. In the program, Carton will “drive candid conversations with listeners about different aspects of gambling and provide resources and outlets to those seeking help or looking for ways to help their loved ones.” Former New Jersey governor Chris Christie will be a regular contributor and the program will feature various guests to share stories of indulgence, falls from grace, and the fight to overcome gambling addiction. Guests will include medical and therapy experts, members of the 1-800-GAMBLER team, founders of rehabilitation treatment centers, and more. Entercom New York SVP and market manager Chris Oliviero says, “Legalized gambling is a growing part of the modern sports experience and the everyday fans’ conversations. Our obligation and commitment are to serve not only the audience that can responsibly enjoy these gaming elements, but also in a meaningful way help those, like Craig, who have an addiction. With Craig’s voice and unique perspective, along with outstanding partners and the influence of the WFAN platform, we will do just that.” Carton adds, “Each week, we will tackle different aspects of what for some is a fun recreation but for others is an addiction that forever alters and sometimes ends lives. The show will be a raw and revealing look into the fastest-growing vice in the country and I look forward to providing my first-hand perspective for both those dealing with the grip of their gambling compulsions as well as the loved ones in their lives.” Carton, who hosted mornings on WFAN with Boomer Esiason from 2007 to 2017, was convicted of fraud he perpetrated in order to pay off gambling debts. He served a year of a three-year sentence in prison. He returned to WFAN this fall to host the WFAN afternoon show with Evan Roberts.

WCCO-AM, Minneapolis Talk Host Dave Lee Announces Retirement. WCCO-AM, Minneapolis morning drive personality Dave Lee announces he’ll retire from the Entercom news/talk station at the end of April. Lee joined the station in September of 1989 from KFGO, Fargo where he was program director and afternoon drive personality. He first joined the station as a weekend and fill-in host and gradually became part of the Charlie Boone and Roger Erickson morning show. Lee took over sole hosting duties of the morning show in 1997. During his career he’s also done play-by-play for the Minnesota Gophers and he filled in as a Minnesota Twins announcer from 1991 to 1996. He continues to do play-by-play for the television broadcasts of the Minnesota State High School Boys and Girls basketball tournaments, while serving as the radio voice of the University of St. Thomas football on WCCO. He’s been named Minnesota’s Sportscaster of the Year six times and has won three Emmys for his television work.

“Free Talk Live” to Migrate from GCN to Talk Media Network. “Free Talk Live” co-founder Ian Freeman announces that his New Hampshire-based, nationally syndicated program will move from current syndicator Genesis Communications Network to Talk Media Network, effective January 18. Freeman says that while GCN has been “a great radio syndication partner” since 2004, for a few reasons (some of them technical) he’s made the hard decision to sign up with TMN. He says, “Talk Media Network is, like GCN, an affiliate-focused network. They don’t have makegoods or cramdowns or other undesirable, unfriendly corporate syndication crap. TMN’s CEO Josh Leng came up through the industry and has himself been a successful talk radio programmer.  He knows what it’s like in the trenches and has built his company with the desires of radio stations and programmers in mind. Over the years, we’ve gotten to know Josh and I appreciate his passion for radio.” Freeman continues, “TMN’s also an interesting new take on a syndicate – they don’t have a network studio. Their shows feed directly to Westwood One’s uplink facility. That means that TMN’s overhead is reduced and the potential for failures is lower. It also means we had to start producing our show 100% from the FTL studio, which was no problem, since I’ve had that capability here for years but never used it until now. Since we’re now fully in charge of our program content, phones sound better and our feed on XDS should be a little higher quality as the audio won’t be re-encoded and re-processed at the network studio, since there isn’t one… We will stay on GCN for some time in order to give our stations plenty of time to make the jump. I’m grateful to the crew at GCN for their professionalism and support over the years and especially now. I don’t ever want to burn a bridge and I have nothing but respect and appreciation for Ted, George, Adam, and the rest of the crew there and wish them only the best.”

SportsGrid Content to Air on SiriusXM. There’s a new sports betting-oriented channel on SiriusXM as the satellite broadcaster inks a deal with SportsGrid. The new SportsGrid Radio channel will feature personalities including Scott Ferrall, Gabe Morency, Ariel Epstein, and Jared Smith plus expert contributors and guest analysts. The channel streams live from its production facilities adjacent to New York’s Madison Square Garden and at the Meadowlands inside the FanDuel Sportsbook. SportsGrid says its real-time reporting includes the daily odds, lines, matchups, injury reports, news and more across pro football, basketball, baseball, hockey, college sports, golf, tennis, and soccer.

iHeartMedia Completes Warrant Exchange for Stocks. The company announces that it has completed an exchange of iHeartMedia Warrants (financial instruments that give the holder the right to buy underlying shares at a specific price on or before a specified date) into shares of iHeartMedia Class A Common Stock, the Company’s publicly traded equity, or Class B Common Stock. The company reports that as of December 31, 2020, there were approximately 65 million shares of Class A Common Stock, 7 million shares of Class B Common Stock, and  75 million Warrants outstanding. Following the exchange, there will be approximately 110 million shares of Class A Common Stock, 29 million shares of Class B Common Stock, and 7 million Warrants outstanding. The exchange was authorized by a previously issued Declaratory Ruling from the Federal Communications Commission approving an increase in iHeartMedia’s authorized aggregate foreign ownership from 25% to 100%. Certain shares of Class B Common Stock and Warrants were not converted into Class A Common Stock due to current regulatory restrictions applicable to certain shareholders. iHeartMedia expects additional conversions of Class B Common Stock and Warrants into Class A Common Stock.

Attack on Capitol Building Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 4-8, 2021. Wednesday’s assault on the Capitol Building in Washington by hundreds of Donald Trump supporters was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was Donald Trump’s continuing denial of the election results combined with his phone call to the Georgia Secretary of State seeking to overturn his loss there. Coming in at #3 was Tuesday’s Georgia runoff election that saw both Democrats beat their Republican opponents. 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 complete chart here.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

| December 23, 2020

NOW POSTED: Christmas and New Year’s Weekend Installments of Special Two-Part “2020 Year in Review” Edition of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” A two-part special installment of the vibrant, one-hour weekend program, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted on Talkers.com.  This new episode titled, “2020 Year in Review,” looks back at the history-laden past year. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Harry Hurley, talk show host WPG, Atlantic City; Mandy Connell, talk show host, KOA, Denver; Steve Weisman, professor of law, Bentley University, Boston/founder Scamicide.com; Richard Neer, talk show host, WFAN, New York; Kathy Valentine, rock musician, The Go-Go’s; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company. The acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver “Freedom 93.7”; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY;  WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA;  WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED, DuBois, PA “Connect FM”; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; the Virginia Talk Radio Network; CRN Digital Talk Radio Network; Pioneer Valley Radio, Springfield, MA; Podcast Radio, UK and many more.  To listen to the Christmas weekend episode, please click here. To listen to the New Year’s weekend episode, please click here. “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

The Talkers TenTM Top News/Talk Stories and People for 2020. Today (12/23), the editors of TALKERS magazine present the annual Talkers TenTM Top News/Talk Stories and People for 2020. In this annual feature seen above, the editors draw upon the year’s in-house research to reveal the most-talked-about stories and people on news/talk radio in the U.S. TALKERS executive editor Kevin Casey says, “2020 was obviously a year that will go down in history. The pandemic, a polarizing presidential election, coast-to-coast racial protests, and more combined to make this year one that was replete with storylines and personalities that consumed talk hosts and their listeners unlike any other year in the history of modern-day news/talk radio.”

Michael Savage to Leave Radio for Podcasting. Nationally syndicated talk radio star Michael Savage announces that after 26 years on AM/FM radio, he’ll leave the medium in January to focus exclusively on podcasting. Savage says in a press release that “The Savage Nation Podcast” (available on numerous podcast platforms) “will be ‘essential Savage’: news, views, reviews, politics, history, science, nutrition, cooking, movies & TV, literature, philosophy, cars, animals, spirituality, and something more.” He adds that fans can “expect even more ‘edge’ as he frees himself from the constraints of corporate broadcasting.” Savage’s current deal with Cumulus Media’s Westwood One includes the production and distribution of a daily radio show and a companion podcast.

Round Two of December PPMs Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s December 2020 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s December 2020 survey period covered November 5 – December 2. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this batch of markets. Some moves of note include Bonneville’s news/talk KIRO-FM, Seattle adding six-tenths to climb to the #1 rank on the strength of a 7.2 share. In Boston, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WRKO loses eight-tenths, posting a 5.8 share and falling to the #6 rank while all-news sister WBZ-AM loses just two-tenths but retreats from #1 to #4 with a 6.8 share. Hearst Television’s WBAL-AM remains steady with a one-tenth increase for a 4.5 share. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaway for this group of markets here. ALSO, Mike will post his Ratings Takeaways for the third and fourth rounds of markets tomorrow (12/24) and Tuesday (12/29), respectively.

WABC, New York and WLIR, Long Island Raise $174,000 for Cohen Children’s MC. Pictured above are 77WABC talk personalities Sid Rosenberg (left) and Curtis Sliwa (right) broadcasting as WABC, New York and WLIR-FM, Long Island “TALKRADIO 107” raised more than $174,000 last Friday (12/18) during the “Holiday Radiothon for the Kids at Cohen Children’s Medical Center.” Red Apple Media president Chad Lopez says, “We’re honored to partner with Cohen Children’s Medical Center again this year and to raise much-needed funds with our second Holiday Radiothon for The Kids. We have the utmost respect for the team at this world-class pediatric hospital and are happy to bring some holiday cheer during this season of giving. Our hearts go out to each and every family with a child in the hospital during the holidays.”

TALKERS News Notes. The annual White House Christmas Poem by Salem Radio Network White House correspondent Greg Clugston got some love from Austin Statesman-American columnist Ken Herman, who published Clugston’s poem in his column today (12/23). You can see it here…..Talk host and former U.S. Rep J.D. Hayworth is doing some fill-in hosting during the holidays. He sat in for Lars Larson on his Compass Media Networks-syndicated program on Monday (12/21) and hosted the 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm show on Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM, Chicago yesterday (12/22)…..The GCN-syndicated Dr. Daliah Wachs show adds new affiliate WRWH, Cleveland, Georgia to its roster of stations.

COVID Relief Bill, Trump Pardons, Trump Election Challenge, COVID-19 Stats & Projections, Vaccines-Variant, Georgia Runoff Elections, Russian Cyberattack, Israel Government Collapses, and UK-EU Brexit Deal Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/22). The COVID relief and omnibus spending bill and President Trump’s demands; Trump pardons/commutes 20 including political allies; Trump and supporters’ denial of election results; the number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and projections for a post-Christmas spike; the rollout of COVID vaccines in the U.S. and questions about effectiveness against coronavirus variants; the January runoff elections for Georgia’s two U.S. Senate seats; the hack of U.S. government computer networks by Russian agents; Israel’s inability to pass a budget and the collapse of Benjamin Netanyahu’s government; and the Brexit deal ahead of the December 31 deadline 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. Four music outlets change hands in Florida as JVC Media acquires the four-station Fort Walton Beach cluster from Community Broadcasters LLC. In this deal, JVC Media gets CHR WECQ, country WHWY, adult hits WWAV, and classic rock WZLB. This acquisition brings JVC’s Florida holdings to 11 stations, including three in Orlando and four in Gainesville-Ocala. JVC executive Shane Reeve will oversee the integration of the Fort Walton Beach stations into the company and will be responsible for the staffing and operation of the facilities. He says, “I’m thrilled JVC is bringing our live and local approach to the Florida Panhandle and Emerald Coast!”…..Religious broadcaster WayFM announces the retirement of Thom Ewing, longtime station manager for WayFM Huntsville, Alabama. Ewing was hired in 2002 as the founding general manager of WAYH-FM, and has been the only manager in the station’s history. He led additional WayFM expansion into several other Alabama cities, including Birmingham and Gadsden.

Friday, January 17, 2020

| January 17, 2020

KXNO, Des Moines Cutbacks Reversed; PD and Hosts Rehired. According to a report by WHO-TV, Des Moines, after some serious blowback from listeners about the firing of six programming staffers from sports talk KXNO as part of a company-wide downsizing, iHeartMedia Des Moines market manager Joel McCrea sought from corporate and was granted permission to bring them back to their positions. Program director Andrew Downs; “The Morning Rush” personalities Travis Justice, Heather Burnside, and Sean Roberts; and “Sports Fanatics” hosts Chris Williams and Ross Peterson will return to their jobs. The story says in addition to the re-hiring, KXNO will be simulcast on (currently alternative) KDXA-FM at 106.3 FM beginning next week.

Newsmax TV Reports Increasing Viewership. According to recently released Comscore data, Newsmax TV shot past Bloomberg Television in total household reach, household coverage area rating, and average audience for the week of December 9, 2019.  It also topped C-SPAN in household coverage area rating for the same week.  Comscore’s data indicates that for the week of December 9, 2019, Newsmax TV had a total reach of 2.64 million households compared to 1.63 million for Bloomberg Television.  Comscore reports Newsmax had 1.03 million weekly viewers as of August 26, 2019.  By the broadcast week of December 9, 2019 Newsmax TV’s household reach had increased to 2.65 million households, reflecting both an increase in distribution of 21% and a disproportionate increase in reach.  Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy states, “This is a major milestone for us.  Our content is resonating with Americans across the nation who are hungry for a fresh alternative to FOX News, CNN, MSNBC, and other news channels.”  Ruddy adds that the network will make major lineup changes, announcing new programs in the coming weeks and months.

NOW POSTED:  New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.”   The vibrant one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, WONK-FM, Washington, DC. The new episode titled “The Weight of History in an A.D.D. World!” looks back at this past week of January 13-17, 2020 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS;  Thom Hartmann, talk show host, WYD Media; Michael Riedel, talk show host, WOR, New York; Graham Mack, program director, FIX Radio, London, UK; Trevor Smith, radio presenter, Aloha Media Productions, Byron Bay, Australia; and Richard Neer, talk show host, WFAN, New York. This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on WONK-FM, Washington, DC on Friday evenings between 6:00-7:00 pm. It also airs throughout the weekend on WRKO, Boston; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA;  KFNX, Phoenix; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; the Virginia Talk Radio Network and Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA as well as appearing on the iHeart Radio App.  To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here.  To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.

Kilcoyne Exits KFNS, St. Louis. Sports media pro Martin Kilcoyne has left his on-air role with Randy Markel’s sports talk KFNS-AM, St. Louis co-hosting the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show with Frank Cusumano.  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Dan Caesar reports that Kilcoyne, who also works as sports director at KTVI-TV, says his television duties have expanded.  He adds that the time spent producing podcasts with St. Louis Cardinals television announcer Dan McLaughlin played a role in his decision.  Prior to rejoining KFNS, Kilcoyne did a five-year stint with CH Holdings’ crosstown news/talk KTRS, St. Louis as a general issues host.

Allegretto to Lead Cumulus in Fort Walton Beach. Sales and management pro Ashley Allegretto rises from her regional sales manager, digital position with Cumulus Media’s Fort Walton Beach and Pensacola markets to vice president and market manager for the Fort Walton Beach station group that includes news/talk WFTW-AM “NewsTalk 1260” and four music-formatted stations.  Cumulus regional VP Pete De Simone says, “We are thrilled to promote Ashley Allegretto to lead this cluster.  Her passion for this community and her understanding of how to use our brands and our digital assets to help clients grow their businesses make her an effective leader.”  Allegretto adds, “Over the past 13 years I have seen firsthand the positive impact that our radio stations can have for local businesses and organizations in our community. I am eager to build on our past accomplishments and lead this group into our next round of success.”

TALKERS News Notes. Ocala, Florida morning show hosts Larry “The Giant” Whitler and Robin MacBlane are leaving their posts at Generations Broadcasting Corporation’s news/talk WOCA-AM/W242CA after today’s program.  They have been doing mornings at WOCA since 2002.  They’d previously worked together hosting a children’s show on WTMC – a signal that went dark in 2004.  The Ocala Star Banner reports that the two will continue to work together collaborating on children’s books and music…..Entercom all-news KYW, Philadelphia is inviting listeners to its “Executive Briefing” event, presented by Independence Blue Cross, Thursday, January 23 at 7:45 am.  KYW says this invite-only event “offers listeners the opportunity to listen to and take part in an in-depth discussion about the biggest issues facing the Philadelphia area and the nation in 2020.”  KYW Newsradio afternoon drive host Ian Bush will moderate the discussion that includes station anchors and reporters: Pat Loeb, city hall bureau chief; Mike DeNardo, education reporter; Cherri Gregg, community affairs reporter; Jim Melwert, KYW suburban bureau chief; and Kristen Johanson, crime and justice reporter.  Guests will have the opportunity to ask the panel questions during the final 20 minutes of the event.  Breakfast will be served courtesy of Harvest Seasonal Grill and Wine Bar prior to the start of the event.  Listeners interested in attending the event can register online…..Beasley Media Group announces Chris Ornelas is named general counsel for the company, effective February 1.  Ornelas was most recently with the National Association of Broadcasters as chief operating and strategy officer in which he was responsible for overseeing the operations of and providing strategic guidance to NAB’s advocacy teams in addressing the legal and regulatory issues facing broadcasters today…..Lemonada Media announces a new podcast called “Mouthpeace with Michael and Pele Bennett,” hosted and executive produced Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Michael Bennett and his wife Pele.  Lemonada, whose programs are distributed and repped by Westwood One, says “the series explores personal and provocative topics ranging from love, sex, parenting, the NFL, and politics.”  The first episode drops on January 31…..Entercom is being honored at the Project Voice Awards with the “Samsung Bixby Capsule of the Year” for its RADIO.COM integration.  The awards honor global best-in-class achievement across the emerging voice and AI realm and took place at the organization’s annual conference in Chattanooga, Tennessee on January 15.  Entercom VP of corporate business development David Rosenbloom says, “We’re honored to be recognized among industry leaders by Project Voice.  This award is a testament to our ongoing commitment to innovating in voice and to enhancing the consumer experience.  With Bixby, we were able to expand the reach of RADIO.COM to millions of listeners and engage with them whenever and wherever they are with an optimized presence.”

Cox Media Group Gets Deadline Extension to Sell Ohio Newspapers. Due to a ruling by a three-judge panel at the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, Cox Media Group must divest of its Ohio newspapers to avoid said newspapers having to reduce publication to three days per week.  Even though the company had been operating a radio station and newspaper in the southwestern Ohio region since 1935, the Court revived the rule prohibiting operating both.  The FCC appealed the three-judge ruling to the entire Third Circuit Court of Appeals, but the appeal was denied.  Now, CMG has until March 16 to complete a sale to a party that can publish the Dayton Daily News seven days per week.  Cox Media Group CEO Kim Guthrie says, “We applaud the decision by the FCC and are grateful for the extension.  News does not conveniently schedule itself three days a week and we felt a reduced print schedule would negatively and severely impact the newspapers, our employees and the communities we serve.  CMG and Apollo have been pushing for this outcome because we feel that maintaining a daily publication schedule is the absolute best way to continue to produce the solid and timely journalism that our readers deserve.”

Impeachment Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 13-17. Not surprisingly, the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump were the most talked about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the presidential race and the Democratic debate from Des Moines.  Coming in at #3 was the Iran crisis and U.S. foreign policy, followed by the U.S.-China trade war and the economy at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio this 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. At Omaha hot AC KQKQ “Sweet 98.5,” NRG Media launches an all-female morning show with current morning host Nikki Oswald and afternoon drive time personality Laura Blenkush.  The company says it will be the only all-female duo morning show in Omaha.  KQKQ program director Jay Michaels says, “Taking two of our highly talented personalities, and pairing them together for an all-female morning show is the obvious move when targeting women.”  Oswald was most recently partnered with Matt Tompkins, who recently moved over to NRG’s classic hits KOOO “THE NEW 101.9 The KEG” to host the morning show…..Two nationally syndicated programs land on Cumulus Media stations in South Carolina.  First, the Premiere Networks-syndicated “The Breakfast Club” with Charlamagne Tha God, Angela Yee, and DJ Envy is the new morning show at hip hop WDAI-FM, Myrtle Beach.  Programmer and air personality Mike “BigMMike” Bell says, “We are excited to bring ‘The Breakfast Club’ to The Grand Strand.  As Myrtle Beach’s source for hip hop and R&B, what better way to enter a new era than with the “World’s Most Dangerous Morning Show?”  Second, the Compass Media Networks-distributed “DeDe in the Morning” show with DeDe McGuire, Lady Jade, Rudy Rush, and comedian Michael Shawn assumes the morning drive daypart at Cumulus’ hip hop WYNN, Florence.  Bell, who also programs WYNN and handles afternoon drive, says, “We are excited to bring a fresh morning show to Florence.  As the market leader, it was important that we went with a brand that can be trusted to deliver great entertainment our listeners will love.  DeDe is a seasoned vet and I’ve been a fan of her work for years.”

Friday, November 8, 2019

| November 8, 2019

KXL-FM, Portland Talk Host Lars Larson Names Whistleblower on FOX News Channel. KXL-FM, Portland talk radio host Lars Larson – who also hosts a nationally syndicated show via Compass Media Networks – was doing a segment on FOX News Channel’s “Outnumbered Overtime” yesterday (11/7) when he revealed who he believes the whistleblower in the Ukraine affair is.  Larson told KGW-TV, Portland, “I believe all of Washington knows, all of the press corps knows, and the only people in the dark are the American people.  If you’re talking about removing the president, chosen by the American people, you have an obligation of telling them who’s accusing [the president].”  FOX News tells the Hollywood Reporter that it has not confirmed nor independently verified the name of the whistleblower.

Entercom Third Quarter Net Revenue Up 2%. Third quarter 2019 financial data from Entercom Communications is released and the company reports net revenue of $386 million, an increase of 2% over the same period in 2018.  Operating income for the quarter was $79.5 million, compared to $78.7 million in the third quarter of 2018.  For the first three quarters of 2019, net revenue was $1.07 billion, an increase of 2.3% over the same period in 2018.  Entercom chairman, president and CEO David Field comments, “I am pleased to report that Entercom delivered strong organic growth in the third quarter with Adjusted EBITDA up 13% and Adjusted Net Income Per Share up 23%.  Revenues increased 2% (just under 3% ex-political) driven by digital, national, and network.  In October, we announced the launch of DVR-like functionality for live radio on our RADIO.COM app, becoming the first company to offer that important product feature.  This new feature and our recent acquisitions of podcasters Cadence 13 and Pineapple Street Studios highlight the multiple ways we are working to enhance our product line and grow our relationships with our listeners and customers.”

NPR and Edison Research to Unveil Spoken Word Audio Report. The data from the new Spoken Word Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research will be made available via a free webinar on Tuesday (11/12) that you can sign up for here.  The study – derived from a national quantitative survey, one-on-one interviews, and five years of previously-unreleased data from Edison Research’s U.S. Share of Ear study – explores consumer behavior in the spoken word audio category.  It details: How the spoken word audio category has changed in the last five years; how the balance between music and spoken-word content consumption is shifting; the role spoken word audio plays in consumers’ lives today – from where people listen to when people listen; and what people are looking for from spoken-word content on different platforms.  The study concludes that the share of time spent listening to spoken-word audio has increased 20% since 2014.

NOW POSTED:  New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.”   The vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC (11/8).  The new episode titled “Hearings and Smearings!” looks back at this past week of November 4-8, 2019 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Howie Carr, talk show host, Howie Carr Radio NetworkRenee Kohanski, M.D., forensic psychiatrist/medical podcaster; Holland Cooke, media consultant/talk show host RT AmericaDuke Brooks, talk show host, WGMD-FM, Rehoboth Beach, DE; Daliah Wachs, M.D., medical doctor, talk show host, Genesis Communications NetworkJoshua Philipp, senior investigative reporter, The Epoch TimesVictoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company. This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs on WONK-FM on Friday afternoons between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm as well as other stations around the country including KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; and KBKW, Aberdeen, WA as a special week-in-review and during the weekend on the Virginia Talk Radio Network as well as Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA and the iHeartRadio App.  To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here.  To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.

National Campaign Launched to Protect Press Freedom.   The nonprofit organizations the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and the Committee to Protect Journalists, along with a coalition of 23 media, technology and nonprofit partners, including Barron’s, CBSComcast-NBC UniversalCNNFacebook, Los Angeles Times, McClatchy, The New York TimesNPRReutersScrippsSinclairTwitterThe Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones, and The Washington Post, yesterday (11/7) launched the “Protect Press Freedom” campaign to mobilize the public to stand up for press freedom and actively protect their right to be informed.  Through video, radio, digital, print, and social media assets, the campaign communicates the message: In order to be free, we must be informed.  The creative illustrates the crucial role the free press plays in everyday life by depicting a world in which people are unable to access news about issues that are important to them.  On the campaign website, visitors can learn more about the threats to press freedom, explore key moments for the free press in America’s history, and take a quiz to assess their knowledge.  “Americans across the country rely on diverse news sources to help them make informed choices every day, but many don’t see the threats that are putting that information at risk,” Bruce Brown, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press tells TALKERS. “When one journalist or news source is threatened — whether it’s verbally, physically, or legally — it threatens a fundamental American freedom that’s essential to understanding and participating in our communities.  We’re proud to bring news outlets and organizations together to have a conversation with the public about press freedom and encourage people to stand up for their right to information.”  Attacks on journalists’ safety and the public’s right to know occur with troubling regularity.  According to the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, of which the Reporters Committee and CPJ are partners, there were at least 35 physical attacks on journalists last year, most notably the murder of five people working at the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis, Maryland.  So far in 2019, at least 28 journalists have been denied access to government events that are traditionally open to or attended by the press, leaving members of the public without crucial information about their government’s activities.  Relentless disparagement of the media contributes to an increasingly dangerous climate for journalists. For more information about this please click on the website www.ProtectPressFreedom.org.  To listen to a conversation about the campaign between Bruce Brown and TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison click 

      here
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Miltz Named Director of Marketing and Promotions for Bonneville Denver. Marketing pro Melanie Miltz is named director of marketing and promotions for Bonneville’s Denver station group that includes sports talk KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan,” sports KEPN-AM “ESPN Denver,” country KYGO-FM, and adult contemporary KOSI-FM.  She most recently held the same position at Hubbard Radio’s hot AC KSTP-FM, Minneapolis.  Bonneville Denver senior regional vice president and market manager Bob Call states, “We couldn’t be happier to have Mel join Bonneville Denver and take over the leadership of our marketing and promotions department.  Mel is well-recognized and highly respected as a promotions and marketing professional with a high level of branding expertise, attention to detail, and follow-through on both the strategic and tactical elements of marketing.  Mel’s wealth of experience make her the perfect choice for Bonneville Denver.”

TALKERS News Notes. At the end of this year, Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze will shut down its cable television channel.  A story in The Hollywood Reporter says that TheBlaze will focus on its subscription video-on-demand service, its website, and the radio program.  The piece notes that because TheBlaze is largely a digital enterprise and its contracts with cable operators prevent much of the video content presented via cable from being shared online, it makes business sense to focus on the VOD space.  Blaze Media CEO Tyler Cardon tells THR, “Given our record growth this year on our direct-to-consumer SVOD business, podcasts, various web properties and other digital distribution channels, it has become a conflict to continue programming a traditional, legacy cable channel.”…..Entercom announces that its RADIO.COM platform with its collection of premiere sports, entertainment, news, and music audio content is being made available to Samsung’s Bixby scalable intelligence platform.  RADIO.COM will be available in Bixby Marketplace, where Samsung smartphone users in the U.S. can add the capsule to enhance their Bixby experience.   Entercom chief digital officer J.D. Crowley says, “This is an exciting integration with Samsung to bring the RADIO.COM listening experience wherever and however our listeners want it.  With Bixby, we are able to bring RADIO.COM to millions of listeners, making it easier than ever to discover and engage with our premium audio content as part of our listeners’ daily audio habit.”…..ESPN Radio says its October PPM numbers for its daytime sports talk radio shows (men 25-54) are up 7%.  For instance, the morning drive “Golic and Wingo” show saw a monthly increase across platforms of 13% compared to the September 2019 PPM survey and “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz” was up 25% over September on terrestrial radio…..Westwood One Podcast Network’s “Think About This with Shelly Palmer and Ross Martin” hosted Facebook VP global marketing solutions Carolyn Everson to discuss the personal and corporate responsibility of the social media platform.  Responding to a question about why Facebook runs political ads with false claims, Everson stated, “For decades, political advertising has not been monitored.  The FCC has made it very clear by law that broadcasters are not allowed to censor or change political advertising, and we have chosen to follow that, even though we are not required to do so by the FCC – as have all of the other platforms – because we think it’s very dangerous for a tech company, a CEO, or any private or public company to determine what is true and what is false.”…..Cox Media Group’s news/talk KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa welcomed FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio superstar Brian Kilmeade to town today (11/8) for a listener event and book signing for Kilmeade’s new book, Sam Houston and the Alamo Avengers: The Texas Victory That Changed American History (2019, Penguin Publishing).  KRMG director of branding and programming Levi May comments, “KRMG is proud to be able to bring one of our most popular radio and TV hosts to Tulsa for an opportunity to interact with our listeners and give people a chance to see what goes on as part of his live broadcast.”

The Impeachment Process and the Ukraine Affair Tied for Top News/Talk Story of the Week.  The impeachment process against President Trump and the related Ukraine quid pro quo allegations was the top news/talk story for the week of November 4-8, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Tuesday election results in Virginia and Kentucky and the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in the 2020 election.  Coming in at #3 was court ruling that President Trump must turn over eight years of tax returns to a Manhattan Grand Jury, followed by U.S.-China trade negotiations and the U.S. economy 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 chart here.

PPM Analysis: Country. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s October 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on country. From the September 2019 survey to the October 2019 survey, about 60% of country stations in PPM markets are down (weekly, 6+ AQH share).  The year-over-year comparison is split a bit more evenly, with 47% of stations seeing an increase and 51% seeing a decrease.  Just two country stations ranked #1 in their respective markets in the October survey – Bonneville’s KYGO, Denver (6.1 share) and iHeartMedia’s WCOL, Columbus (10.7 share).  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Entercom’s CHR KNOU-FM, St. Louis “Now 96.3,” program director and midday personality Scott Ellis leaves the station to return to Springfield, Missouri with his girlfriend.  Ellis previously worked on air and as PD for CHR KSPW-FM, Springfield.  Assuming his programming duties at KNOU is cluster operations manager Cat Simon…..A round of job cuts at Entercom Seattle include three from the programming department.  Jean Ashley leaves her morning co-host and APD gigs at adult contemporary KSWD “94.1 The Sound.”  Midday personality and rhythmic AC KHTP “HOT 103.7” assistant program director Jamie “Tanch” Tanchykh exits, as does alternative KNDD “107-7 The End” evening personality Cody Whistler.

Friday, July 12, 2019

| July 12, 2019

President Trump Vents About Social Media’s Treatment of Conservatives; Michael Harrison Speaks with Attendee Sebastian Gorka. Yesterday’s White House “Social Media Summit” (7/11) provided a platform for President Trump to complain to numerous invited conservative social media commentators (and a few considered to be “notorious”) that conservatives aren’t getting a fair shake on platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Google.  The president wondered aloud whether Twitter is exerting influence to suppress the popularity of his own Tweets.  He also told the gathering that he would be bringing representative of those social media firms to the White House to talk with them about the problem.  The only person in attendance that TALKERS magazine can confirm has a connection to talk radio was Salem Radio Network’s Sebastian Gorka, himself a former Trump advisor.  (He was involved in a verbal spat in the Rose Garden with Playboy writer Brian Karem.)  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison spoke with Gorka moments after the meeting wrapped and got his thoughts on the summit.  Hear that conversation here.

WEEI, Boston Lets Longtime Morning Host Gerry Callahan Go; WAAF’s Greg Hill to Take Over Morning Duties. Big changes in mornings in Boston as Entercom let’s longtime sports talk WEEI, Boston personality Gerry Callahan go and moves Greg Hill over from sister rock WAAF to handle the morning show, effective July 29.  Callahan had been hosting the show with Mike Mutnansky, who returns to hosting the evening show.  Hill will be joined by co-host Danielle Murr and a rotating group of additional contributors.  Hill says, “I am thrilled to embark on the next chapter in my career in Boston.  WEEI is a legendary Boston station and one of the country’s first sports stations.  I am excited to anchor mornings moving forward.  I also want to thank WAAF and all of the listeners and co-workers who have made the last 28 years so amazing.”  Callahan tweeted the news of his departure Friday afternoon, writing:  “Well, that was fun. After 20 years in morning drive, I did my last show on WEEI this morning.  Thanks to all who listened.  Unfortunately, this ain’t a movie. Sometimes the bad guys win. Much more to come.” Callahan was originally partnered with John Dennis, who exited the station in 2016.  But the WEEI morning show’s best ratings versus Beasley’s WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” came with Callahan partnered with Kirk Minihane. He left the morning show last fall. The Boston Globe reports that the 2019 Spring Book (April, May, June) numbers from Nielsen for Men 25-54 saw “Mut & Callahan” garner a 6.5 share, compared to WBZ-FM crosstown competitors “Toucher & Rich,” who tallied a 9.1 share.  No word yet from WEEI about its plans for morning drive.

Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Videos Continue Posting Today with Sports Talk Superstar Jim Rome’s Keynote Address.  TALKERS is continuing to post key speeches, presentations and sessions from the recent 22nd annual edition of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention – Talkers 2019: Telling the Story.  Today’s (7/12) post presents the special keynote address delivered by CBS Sports Radio syndicated host Jim Rome with an introduction from Yappy Days author/college professor Bernadette Duncan.   Posted yesterday: panel discussion titled “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2019” featuring (in alphabetical order) Asa Andrew, host, AsaRx;  Vince Benedetto, CEO, Bold Gold Media Group;  Suzanne Grimes, EVP/marketing, Cumulus Media and president, Westwood One; and Dave Robinett, chief marketing officer, #250-America’s Mobile Speed Dial.  The panel is moderated by Erica Farber, president and CEO of the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) and introduced by renown independent station owner Michael Zwerling of KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz, CA.   Also already posted: special keynote address by Key Networks syndicated personality Bill O’ Reilly; one-on-one discussion, “Sports Talk Radio’s Role in Popular Culture” featuring a conversation between Mark Chernoff, senior VP/programming WFAN/Entercom, NY and captain/sports format, CBS Sports Radio and Mike Thomas, PD, WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub,” Boston and brand manager/spoken word, podcasts, esports, Beasley Broadcasting with  Kate Delaney, host, GCN and correspondent NBC Sports Radio, serving as facilitator; panel discussion, “Broadcasting and Podcasting,” featuring (in alphabetical order) Greg Batusic, chief operating officer, PodcastOneSteven Goldstein, founder/CEO Amplifi MediaMichael Czarnecki, program director, WONK-FM, Washington, DC and iHeartRadio Podcast Channel; and Craig Schwalb, former program director WABC, New York and WPRO, Providence with moderation by Mike Kinosian, managing editor/West Coast bureau chief, TALKERS; keynote “fireside chat” in which TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison interviews Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity in a casual one-on-one conversation introduced by DC Radio Company executive director Victoria Jones; opening address titled, “Telling the Story,” delivered by Lee Habeeb, host and producer of the successful syndicated program, “Our American Stories;” RAB president/CEO Erica Farber receiving the Woman of the Year award and SiriusXM Satellite Radio star “Cousin” Bruce Morrow receiving the Lifetime Achievement award. The convention took place in New York City on Friday, June 7 and was one of the most positively received in the event’s colorful history.  TALKERS plans to add one or two videos per day to those posted until all the major events of the conference are posted here at Talkers.com where they will remain on view for the rest of the year.  To see the videos and convention video page, please click here.

Soren Petro Promoted to Afternoon Drive at WHB-AM, Kansas City. Midday host Soren Petro is taking his “The Program” to the afternoon drive daypart at Union Broadcasting’s WHB-AM, Kansas City, effective Monday (7/15).  Petro moves to the slot vacated by Kevin Keitzman, who left the station in the aftermath of his controversial comments about Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid’s family. Producer/host Kurtis Seaboldt and technical producer Jed Marshall will be part of the new afternoon show.  Union Broadcasting president Chad Boeger says, “Soren is the consummate professional and is one of the best sports radio talk show hosts in the country.  We are thrilled to have Soren move to the afternoon time slot to what we think is the best lineup of local sports talk anywhere.” The station plans to announce a new midday show in the near future.

New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap” for Week of July 8-12 Now Posted.  The recently launched, one-hour weekend radio show, “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation,” analyzing the hot talk media topics of this past week (July 1-5) is now posted on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia‘s WONK-FM, Washington, DC.  It currently airs on WONK-FM in the key position of Friday at 6:00 pm as a dynamic programming punctuation mark of the week’s conversation and is also heard on several other stations around the country including KSCO, Santa Cruz; the Virginia Talk Radio Network; and Pioneer Valley Radio in Western Massachusetts.  Hosted by TALKERS magazine’s iconic publisher, this week’s installment (titled “Heavy Traffic!”) features a lineup of guests that includes TALKERS executive editor Kevin Casey; radio talk show hosts Sebastian Gorka of Salem Radio NetworkMartha Zoller of WDUN, Athens, GA and Kate Delaney of GCN and NBC Sports Radio; and investigative reporter Petr Svab of the Epoch Times. The non-partisan-but-hard-hitting program explores multiple opinions along the spectrum of contemporary American political and social thought.  For more information about the program, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.  To listen to it in its entirety, please click here.

Public Voting for Radio Hall of Fame Begins Monday. Voting in two categories for induction into the Radio Hall of Fame in which the public participates – Spoken Word Format On Air Personality and Music Format On-Air Personality – begins Monday (7/15) and runs through July 28.  The nominees for Spoken Word Format On-Air Personality are: Joe Madison, Scott Slade, Stephanie Miller, and Suzyn Waldman.  The nominees for Music Format On-Air Personality are: Hollywood Hamilton, Lon Helton, The Mark and Brian Show, and Ryan Seacrest.  The winners will be inducted in November.  Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig Kitchin says, “Listener engagement is an important part of this process as they’re given an opportunity to directly support their favorite on-air personality.”  There are four categories also being voted on by a panel comprised of nearly 1,000 industry professionals.  See more here.

TALKERS News Notes. The appearance at two events in Chicago by former Trump advisor Roger Stone with WLS-AM, Chicago morning host Mancow Muller is getting some attention from Chicago media writer Robert Feder.  He notes that in addition to the “STONE FREE: Mancow & Roger Stone – Uncensored” event taking place on Sunday July 21 (tickets range from $100 to $500), there’s a pricier, separate event happening. Mancow is hosting an already-sold-out, $1,000 per plate fundraiser for Stone’s legal defense.  (He’s been indicted on charges of lying to congress and obstruction of justice.)  Mancow says his motivation in hosting the event isn’t political but about freedom of speech…..Forever Media’s Wilmington, Delaware news/talk WDEL-AM/FM is named Best Station for News, Best Station for Sports in Delaware Today Magazine’s Best of Delaware Upstate awards.  Also, midday talk show host Rick Jensen won the Best Talk Show Host honors…..New York Times and Conde Nast-published travel writer Daniel Scheffler teams with iHeartMedia to debut, “Everywhere,” an iHeartRadio Original travel podcast that will take listeners on an adventure across the globe. The 26-episode series’ mission is to support travelers in their quest to overcome fears and ditch preconceptions about travel…..Westwood One and Subnation announce a new, original podcast called, “The Voice of Esports,” hosted by gaming legend Paul “ReDeYe” Chaloner. WWO says “The Voice of Esports” will “highlight the pioneers of one of today’s hottest lifestyle categories as famous esports industry expert and gameplay commentator ReDeYe entices legends of esports to lift the lid on what’s gone before and what’s to come.”…..SiriusXM and Netflix announce the first original program to broadcast exclusively on the newly launched Netflix Is A Joke Radio channel.  Popular comedians Tom Papa and Fortune Feimster are co-hosting, “What A Joke with Papa and Fortune,” weekdays from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm ET…..Cumulus Media’s sports talk KESN-FM “ESPN Radio Dallas” is “the new official radio broadcast home of the NFL in Dallas-Fort Worth” with the addition of the “Prime Time NFL Package” from Westwood One. The station is airing “Sunday Night Football,” “Thursday Night Football,” and “Monday Night Football.”  It is also airing every NFL playoff game and the 2020 Super Bowl.

Cool News Opportunity: FOX News Headlines 24/7 Seeks Freelance Writer. The job posting says: “We are looking for a freelance writer to join the Fox News Headlines 24/7 team. As a writer, you will be a crucial member of our broadcast team. You will write news for our national news network, conceptualizing, writing, compiling enterprise stories, fact checking, and building show content newscasts for “FOX News Headlines 24/7.”  You may be the right candidate if you have the right attitude and understand the level of commitment required to be successful in this role. Your passion for national and international news is bar none!  Please note this is a shift-based role, including overnight and weekend shifts. You will work some holidays and must be available off-hours in the event of major breaking news.”  See more information and apply here.

Jeffrey Epstein Case Top News/Talk Story for Week of July 8-12. The sex trafficking charges leveled against Jeffrey Epstein and who in his circle of friends might get caught up was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Southern border crisis and the planned ICE raids.  Coming in at #3 was the U.S. Women’s Soccer victory and the related issues of gender, equal pay and more, followed by the 2020 presidential race and race relations 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.

News/Talk Radio Consultant Greg Moceri Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  One of the most influential programmers of the modern era in the news/talk radio format, Greg Moceri, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Moceri is the founder and owner of the Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Moceri Media, a national consultation firm that for the past 20 years has provided programming advice and talent coaching to a number of clients including Cox Media.  Prior to being a consultant, Moceri served eight years as program director of Cox Media’s WSB-AM, Atlanta.  For a couple of years before that he was news and program director of WTIC-AM, Hartford where he and Michael Harrison met and worked together in the early 1990s.  In this long-form conversation, Harrison and Moceri go deep into the nuts and bolts of the talk format (as well as their own backgrounds) discussing the direction and future of spoken word radio, the state of journalism, the role of podcasting as it relates to broadcasters, the care and nurturing of talent and more.  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 every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. A new CHR station debuts in the West Palm Beach market as Hubbard Radio unveils “Party 96.3” on WMBX-HD2 and translator W242CI. The station is being anchored in mornings by the Seattle-based, syndicated “Brooke and Jubal” show.  Core artists include: Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Drake, Ariana Grande, Shawn Mendes, Post Malone, Khalid, Billie Eilish, and more…..Fort Myers adult contemporary WJPT has a new program director as Beasley Media Group bestows that title upon Matt Mangas, who also program the company’s rock WRXK and hosts the midday program there. Beasley Fort Myers operations manager Adam Star says, “Matt has been serving as program director for both stations in the interim and has been doing a tremendous job.  It was an easy decision for us.”  Also, at WJPT, the company names Ralph Marino assistant program director and morning drive personality, effective July 15.  Marino recently exited AC WQRC, Cape Cod where he’d been hosting the morning show…..At Stephens Media Group’s 80s-formatted KTSO, Tulsa, Josh Venable is named program director.  He continues his programming and morning show duties on sister alternative rock KMYZ “Z104.5 The Edge.”  Stephens SVP of programming Bob Thornton comments, “Josh has been involved in the ‘Totally Awesome 80s’ brand since its inception in 2016, so this promotion was an easy one for us.  Josh is smart, passionate, and one of the best programmers in the country.”…..Tampa Bay radio personality Mason Dixon is pictured below (seated) signing a new, multi-year deal to continue hosting the morning show on the company’s classic hits WRBQ “Q105.”  Assisting him with his signature are (from l-r): program director Ted Cannarozzi, VP/market manager Steve Triplett, and operations manager Travis Daily.

June 2019 PPM Data – Round Two. June 2019 ratings information has been released for Washington (D.C.), Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen Audio’s June 2019 survey period covered May 23 – June 19. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets.

Washington, DC

Spoken-Word Formats – The collective +2.5 that Cumulus Media news/talk WMAL accrued through three straight “Holiday” 2018 through March 2019 improvements (4.3 – 5.7 – 6.6 – 6.8, 6+) virtually vanishes (-2.4) in three successive March through June decreases (6.8 – 5.5 – 5.2 – 4.4, fifth to seventh, 6+). Nonetheless, March’s 6.8 is WMAL’s best 6+-stat in the PPM-era. After posting a .2 (6+) in August 2018, Radio One’s WOL “News Talk – Where Information Is Power” is unlisted for the 11th sweep in succession.

Recapturing three-tenths of the eight-tenths squandered in May (3.1 – 3.4, 6+), Entercom sports talk/Nationals flagship WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” jumps from #16 to #13. In four straight sweeps without a loss, Radio One’s similarly-formatted WTEM “980 The Team” nearly doubles (+.4) its 6+ AQH share (.5 – .7 – .8 – .8 – .9, 6+) and cracks the top twenty (#22 to #20).

Setting the pace in the Nation’s Capital the sixth straight time, Hubbard Broadcasting all-news WTOP nevertheless falters for the fifth month in a row and is an overall -2.2 in that January 2019 through June 2019 stretch (10.4 – 9.8 – 9.7 – 8.7 – 8.7 – 8.2, 6+). January 2019’s 10.4 is its best 6+-performance since March 2018 (10.4, as well). The March 2019 through June 2019 topline for Entercom business news WDCH is: .4 – .5 – .4 – .5 (#25 to #24, 6+).

Although down nine-tenths via three successive slips (8.9 – 8.7 – 8.4 – 8.0, 6+), American University-owned news/talk WAMU continues in the runner-up slot. Prior to gaining three-tenths in March, “The Mind Is Our Medium” was -2.2 (“Holiday” 2018); +2.5 (January 2019); and -1.2 (February).

Washington, DC Music Formats – In addition to being an overall +1.4 through three gains in succession (3.2     – 3.6 – 3.7 – 4.6, 6+) and progressing from ninth to sixth, iHeartMedia CHR WITH “Hot 99.5” has its best 6+-showing in nearly two years (4.6, as well in August 2017). Co-owned adult contemporary WASH “97.1 – Washington’s Variety” logs its third straight sweep without a loss for a collective gain of nine-tenths (4.4 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 5.3, seventh to fifth, 6+) and has its strongest 6+-performance (5.3) since “Holiday” 2018 (10.4). Still in that iHeartMedia cluster, WMZQ “98.7 Today’s Best Country” is +1.3 through four consecutive improvements (2.8 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 4.1, 6+) and enters the top ten (#11 to #9). Owing to four straight gains, Entercom rhythmic CHR WPGC is up seven-tenths (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.7, 6+) and continues in tenth-place. When the sale of Cumulus Media hot AC WRQX “Mix 107.3 More Music – More Variety” to Educational Media Foundation was finalized, the station transitioned to contemporary Christian (now WLVW “Positive & Encouraging K-Love”). In its final sweep (May 2019) before the hot AC-to-contemporary Christian transition, “Mix” added six-tenths (3.5 – 4.1, 6+) and exited as a top ten station (#11 to #8). Its January 2019 through May 2019 topline was 3.5 – 4.1 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 4.1 (6+). WLVW erodes by -1.9 (4.1 – 2.2, #8 to #17, 6+), the largest (6+) May 2019 – June 2019 falloff by any station in the 24 PPM-markets we’ve analyzed thus far. When Atlantic Gateway Communications contemporary Christian WGTS dropped one-tenth in May, it halted four straight bumps that yielded an overall +1.8 (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 4.6 – 5.3, 6+). Now in June, however, “91.9 Christian Music Radio” plummets by -1.0 (5.2 – 4.2, fifth to eighth, 6+). WGTS wiped away four straight September 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 declines that resulted in a -1.4 (4.9 – 4.5 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.5, 6+). While it is locked at #3 for the seventh time in a row, Radio One urban AC WMMJ is down a cumulative seven-tenths in three consecutive dips (8.2 – 7.8 – 7.7 – 7.5, 6+). Immediately prior to this skid, “Majic” cobbled together six successive increases that yielded a +1.8 (6.4 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.4 – 7.5 – 7.9 – 8.2, 6+). After dropping one-tenth in back-to-back reports (6.5 – 6.4 – 6.3, 6+), Howard University’s similarly-programmed WHUR regained that deficit with a May pickup of two-tenths but falters by four-tenths in June (6.5 – 6.1, 6+) and repeats in fourth-place. Its March loss of one-tenth suspended three successive increases that accounted for a +1.2 (5.3 – 6.2 – 6.4 – 6.5, 6+). Maryland-licensed Manning Broadcasting classic hits-oldies WWEG surfaced in print in January and reeled off four straight up or flat trends for a net gain of four-tenths (.6 – .9 – .9 – .9 – 1.0, 6+), but “106.9 The Eagle” returns one-tenth to .9 (#19 to #20, 6+).

Boston

Spoken-Word Formats – Steady at #12, iHeartMedia news/talk WRKO “AM 680 – The Voice of Boston” has an overall gain of six-tenths in six successive up or flat trends (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+). November 2018’s 3.2 is its best 6+-stat since 3.3 in November 2014). Down or flat the past four monthlies for a loss of two-tenths (.6 – .5 – .4 – .4 – .4, 6+), co-owned WXKS-AM “Talk 1200” is up one-tenth to .5 (#27 to #26, 6+).

Eight recent shifts for Beasley Media Group-owned WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” include +.9 (October 2018); +.8 (November); -1.0 (December); +.5 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.6 (January 2019); -.8 (February); +.8 (May); and now -1.4 in June (7.0 – 5.6, third to fourth, 6+). “The Sports Hub” is the lead station of the Stanley Cup runner-up Bruins; Super Bowl champion New England Patriots; and the Celtics. A combined eight-tenths in April/May (3.2 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+), Entercom-owned sports talk WEEI-FM is off one-tenth (4.0 – 3.9, 6+) and carries on in eighth-place. The flagship of the 2018 World Series champion Boston Red Sox has been -.5 (September 2018); +.5 (October); +.6 (November); -2.0 (December); -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.7 (January 2019); -1.0 (February); -.5 (March); and +.6 (April).

This marks the fourth successive month that WBZ-AM has logged a 5.0 (6+); “News Radio 1030” is anchored in sixth-place. The iHeartMedia-owned news-talk hybrid was +1.3 in January/February (4.3 – 5.5 – 5.6, 6+).

Flat at #11, Boston University news/talk WBUR forfeits half of the two-tenths it picked up in May (3.5 – 3.4, -.1, 6+). Similarly, WGBH Educational Foundation news/talk WGBH, which gained four-tenths in May, relinquishes 50% of that margin in June (2.4 – 2.2, -.2, #15 to #16, 6+).

Boston Music Formats – In 6.1 – 6.4 range in each of the last five sweeps (6.1 – 6.3 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 6.2, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WMJX “Magic 106.7 – Today’s Hits/Yesterday’s Favorites” (fourth to third, 6+) breaks out a June  improvement of seven-tenths to 6.9, its highest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2018’s 14.5. May’s first-place tie is broken as Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies WROR “105.7 – 80s & More” gains six-tenths (7.6 – 8.2, steady at #1, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned CHR WXKS-FM “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” falters by four-tenths (7.6 – 7.2, first to second, 6+). By dropping two-tenths in May, WROR snapped at four a consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a +2.2 (5.6 – 6.2 – 6.8 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+). A one-half share increase in May took “Kiss 108” to 7.6, its strongest 6+-performance since August 2018’s 7.8. Boston’s (6+) pacesetters thus far this calendar year have been: WXKS-FM (January, 7.3, 6+); WXKS-FM (February, 7.4, 6+); WROR (March, 7.8, 6+); WROR (April, 7.8, 6+); WROR and WXKS-FM (May, 7.6, 6+); and WROR (June, 8.2, 6+). Meanwhile, WXKS-FM’s format rival, Entercom’s WODS “103.3 Amp Radio,” is down or flat the fifth straight time for a net loss of four-tenths (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+) yet advances from #19 to #17. While off one-half share (6.0 – 5.5, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WZLX “Classic Rock 100.7” continues in fifth-place. In the market’s country contest, Beasley Media Group’s WKLB regains all but one-tenth of May’s -.4 (4.4 – 4.7, +.3, 6+) and remains in seventh-place. “Country 102.5” was a cumulative +1.3 in four straight bumps (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 4.2 – 4.8, 6+). Six successive sweeps without a loss by iHeartMedia-owned WBWL netted six-tenths (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 2.2 – 2.4, 6+), but “101.7 The Bull Boston’s #1 For New Hit Country” sputters by three-tenths to 2.1 (#15 to #17, 6+). May’s 2.4 is the highest 6+-share for “The Bull” since July 2018’s 2.5. Up seven-tenths in five successive positive or flat trends (1.3 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+), Cumulus Media hot AC WXLO ends the streak by surrendering three-tenths to 1.7 (flat at #20, 6+). The 2.0 that “104.5 XLO” posted in May is its best 6+-stat since November 2014 (2.0, as well). Falling from #18 to #19, iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WJMN “Jam’n 94.5” cedes a collective -1.1 in five straight down or flat moves (3.1 – 2.8 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0, 6+).

Miami

English-Language Spoken-Word Formats – Repeating May’s 2.6 (6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WIOD “News Radio 620 – Miami’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” falls from #17 to #18.

In seven successive sweeps without a loss, Entercom’s WAXY “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket” nets three-tenths (.6 – .6 – .6 – .7 – .7 – .8 – .9 – .9, 6+) and continues at #25. Flat at #29, co-owned WQAM “Sports Radio 560” has a January 2019 through June 2019 topline of .6 – .5 – .7 – .5 – .6 – .5 (6+).

Up two-tenths in four straight up or flat reports (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+), Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN remains at #20.

Miami Music Formats – Completely erasing April/May’s combined -.6 (7.4 – 7.3 – 6.8, 6+) with a June increase of eight-tenths to 7.6 (6+), WFEZ “Easy 93.1” is #1 the sixth consecutive ratings period (including a three-way tie at #1 in February). Eight-tenths is a common fluctuation for the Cox Media Group-owned adult contemporary outlet as it was down eight-tenths in February and then up by that magnitude in March (7.4 – 6.6 – 7.4, 6+). Entering the “Holiday” 2018 sweep, “Easy 93.1” finished on top seven straight times. On the positive side, Entercom’s similarly-formatted WLYF is in third-place the fourth month in a row. The downside is that “101.5 Lite FM” is an overall -1.2 in four straight sweeps without an increase (6.6 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.1 – 5.4, 6+). Adult contemporary outlets “Easy” and “Lite” traded places with each other in January, as WFEZ went from second to first and WLYF segued from first to second. Consequently, an adult contemporary controls or has a share of Miami’s lead position (6+) for the 14th straight ratings period. Not only is iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary WZTU -1.7 in four straight drops (5.1 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.1 – 3.4, 6+), “Tu 94.9” fades from the top ten (#7 to #12) with its weakest 6+-stat since October 2017 (3.4, as well). By gaining four-tenths in May, Spanish Broadcasting System’s WCMQ interrupted four successive down or flat moves that resulted in a -1.0 (6.1 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.1, 6+). “Zeta 92.3” falters by six-tenths in June (5.5 – 4.9, 6+) but stays in fifth-place. Co-owned Spanish tropical WXDJ is off nine-tenths in four straight down or flat trends (4.9 – 4.8 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.0, 6+) as “El Zol 106.7” falls from a three-way tie at #7 to #8. Still in that SBS cluster, Spanish contemporary WRMA “Ritmo 95.7” falters by seven-tenths in four consecutive sweeps without an increase (3.4 – 3.3 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.7, 6+) but actually climbs from #16 to #15. Repeating in seventh-place, Cox Media Group urban contemporary WEDR “99 Jamz” is a collective -1.1 through five straight negative or neutral moves (5.2 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). Its format challenger, iHeartMedia-owned WMIB “103.5 The Beat,” hasn’t had an increase the last three ratings periods and is down three-tenths in that March through June stretch (2.9 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.6, #17 to #16, 6+). Up a cumulative nine-tenths in three straight up or flat trends (2.9 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.8, 6+), Cox Media Group CHR WFLC “Hits 97.3” advances from tenth to ninth with its best 6+ showing (3.8) since its 4.0 in December 2017. “Hits 97.3” responded to March’s one-tenth loss with an April increase of six-tenths. Meanwhile, iHeartMedia-owned/similarly-formatted WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station,” which posted a half-share increase in May, returns 80% of that improvement (3.0 – 2.6, -.4, 6+) and slips from #15 to #16. When “Y-100” added one-tenth in March, it curtailed five straight reports without an increase for a collective loss of nine-tenths (3.4 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.5, 6+).

Seattle

Spoken-Word Formats – Unchanged in fifth-place, Bonneville news/talk KIRO-FM has a March 2019 through June 2019 topline of 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.9 – 4.6 (6+); this follows February 2019’s 5.9 (6+). Co-owned KTTH lost roughly 43% (-.9) of its 6+-stat due to three straight down or flat trends (2.1 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), but “Conservative Talk Radio” picks up two-tenths to 1.4 (#23 to #22, 6+). This is the fourth straight down or flat report for Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned KVI “Talk Radio 570,” which has lost one-half share since February (1.6 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.1, #23 to #24, 6+).

Having plummeted by nine-tenths in May, Bonneville sports talk/Mariners’ flagship KIRO-AM “ESPN 710” levels off by repeating May’s 6+ AQH share (3.4) and market rank (#13). With its 6+ stat sliced by more than 50% (-.8) via three setbacks in succession (1.4 – 1.3 – 1.2 – .6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KJR-AM “Seattle’s Sports Radio 950” slumps from #23 to #27.

Off four-tenths in April/May (3.1 – 2.8 – 2.7, 6+), Sinclair Broadcast Group all-news KOMO adds one-tenth to 2.8 (#17 to #16, 6+).

It is a May-only stay at #1 for Northwest Public Radio news/talk KUOW, which sputters by one-half share (6.1 – 5.6, 6+) and segues from first to third. In May, KUOW rebounded from March/April’s combined -2.3 with a gain of four-tenths. KUOW shifted to #2 in April after three months in a row at #1.

Seattle Music Formats – A collective -1.0 in four successive down or flat trends (7.0 – 6.8 – 6.8 – 6.6 – 6.0, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting CHR KQMV “MOViN’ 92.5 – Seattle’s #1 Hit Music Station” ends the slide with a gain of one-tenth to 6.1 (6+) and advances from second to a first-place tie. “MOViN’” made it to #1 in April, the first time it reached the lead spot since November 2018. As noted, KQMV isn’t alone in the pacesetter position. It is sharing the penthouse with iHeartMedia-owned KZOK “102.5 Seattle’s Classic Rock Station,” which is +2.4 as a result of seven straight upticks (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 5.6 – 6.0 – 6.1, second to first, 6+). Immediately in advance of this positive run, KZOK was -1.6 in four consecutive ratings periods without an increase (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 3.7, 6+). Just as they were in May, Entercom adult contemporary KSWD “94.1 The Sound” (flat at 4.5, seventh to sixth, 6+) and Hubbard Broadcasting’s similarly-formatted KRWM “Warm 106.9” (unchanged at 4.4 and #9, 6+) are separated by one-tenth. “The Sound” was an overall +1.5 through three consecutive increases (3.7 – 3.8 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+) before eroding by -1.1 in April. Prior to the May sweep, “Warm 106.9” recorded a 4.8 (6+) in three of the previous four reports (4.8 – 4.0 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+) and was #1 in December and “Holiday” 2018. The five most recent shifts for Classic Radio, Inc.-owned KING “98.1 Listener-Supported Classical Music” are +.9 (February); -.5 (March); +.7 (April) -.6 (May); and +.7 in June (2.5 – 3.2, #19 to #14, 6+). By way of contrast, its October 2018 through January 2019 topline was a consistent 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 2.0 (6+). After being an overall -1.1 via four straight sweeps without an increase (4.7 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+), Entercom alternative KNDD “107.7 The End” pulls the plug with a +.4 to 4.0 (steady at #12, 6+). On the heels of posting a +.9 in May (4.1 – 5.0, 6+), Entercom’s KKWF “100.7 The Wolf – #1 For Country” surrenders one-half share to 4.5 (fourth to sixth, 6+). Prior to April, when it regressed by six-tenths, “The Wolf” was a cumulative +1.4 as a result of three straight upticks (3.3- 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+). Just three-tenths behind “The Wolf” is Hubbard Broadcasting’s KNUC “New Country 98.9 The Bull,” which has exactly doubled (+2.1) its 6+ AQH share in seven successive up or flat sweeps (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 4.0 – 4.2, #10 to #11, 6+). In three consecutive positive or neutral trends, co-owned adult standards KIXI almost doubled (+.6) its 6+-stat (.7 – .7 – .7 – 1.3, 6+), but “AM 880” drops one-tenth to 1.2 (#22 to #23, 6+). In six straight sweeps without an increase, Sinclair Broadcast Group hot AC KPLZ  is a collective -2.2 (5.1 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+) but “Star 101.5 Today’s Best Mix” advances from #16 to #15.

Detroit

Spoken-Word Formats – This is the fifth straight sweep in which Cumulus Media’s WJR “News Talk 760” has recorded a negative or neutral trend and is -1.1 since the first of the year (3.7 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.1 – 2.6, #16 to #17, 6+).

Locked on 5.0 (6+) in February and March and then on 5.4 (6+) April and May, Entercom sports talk/Tigers flagship WXYT-FM“97.1 The Ticket” falters by seven-tenths to 4.7 (sixth to ninth, 6+).

For the third time in the last four sweeps, co-owned WWJ “News Radio 950” erodes by eight-tenths (6.2 – 5.4, fourth to fifth, 6+). It did so in both March and April (7.7 – 6.9 – 6.1, 6+). Even with the -.8, WWJ had a March-only stay in first-place.

Michigan Public Media news/talk WUOM regains the one-tenth it dropped in May (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.6, 6+) and remains at #20. May’s -.1 ended four consecutive fluctuations of three-tenths (1.6 – 1.9 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.6, 6+). This is the third time in the last four ratings periods that Wayne State University news/talk WDET has had a shift of one-tenth (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.2, #22 to #21, 6+).

Detroit Music Formats – At the same time that Entercom adult contemporary WDZH “98.7 The Breeze” improves by seven-tenths and cracks the top ten (#12 to #8, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WNIC “The Best Variety of the ‘80s, ‘90s, & Today” forfeits six-tenths (6.5 – 5.9, second to third, 6+). In early-November (2018), CHR WDZH “Amp Radio” became adult contemporary “98.7 The Breeze” and it has more than doubled (+2.5) its 6+ AQH in eight successive reports without a loss (2.3 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.6 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.8, 6+). After its 6+ AQH share eroded by nearly two-thirds (-11.8) in four successive sweeps (17.9 – 7.1 – 6.6 – 6.2 – 6.1, 6+), WNIC answered with a May increase of four-tenths. Its “Holiday” 2018 17.9 is the largest 6+ AQH share by any Detroit station in the PPM-era. On top in December 2018 and “Holiday” 2018, WNIC more than tripled (+12.2) its 6+-share via four straight increases (5.7 – 6.2 – 6.6 – 12.2 – 17.9, 6+). In addition to “The Breeze,” Entercom classic hits-oldies WOMC “104.3 Detroit’s Greatest Hits” notches a May 2019 – June 2019 increase of seven-tenths (5.9, seventh to third, 6+), thus halting three consecutive down or flat reports that resulted in a loss of two-tenths (5.4 – 5.4 – 5.2 – 5.2, 6+). In the country tussle, Entercom-owned WYCD “99.5 – Detroit Country Music” is a combined +.4 in May/June (4.9 – 5.1 – 5.3, eighth to seventh, 6+), while Cumulus Media’s WDRQ “93.1 Nash FM” is +1.2 through four consecutive bumps (1.6 – 1.9 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8, #17 to #16, 6+). This is the best 6+-showing for “Nash FM” since June 2018 (2.8, as well). Ever since iHeartMedia debuted WLLZ as “106.7 – Detroit’s Wheels,” the classic rocker has had a (6+) February 2019 through June 2019 topline of 1.5 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 4.3 (#13 to #11, 6+). Down or flat the past three months for a -1.4 (7.8 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.4, 6+), Beasley Media Group-owned WCSX “94.7 – Detroit’s Classic Rock” ends the slide with a +.1 to 6.5 (third to second, 6+). In March, WCSX eroded by -1.3 to shift from first to second. Its March/April decline of -1.5 followed back-to-back gains of nine-tenths (6.0 – 6.9 – 7.8, 6+). “Detroit’s Classic Rock” spent four straight months at #1 before being dislodged in September 2018. Without a loss the fourth time in succession for an overall +1.4 (5.5 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.9 – 6.9, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WMXD “Mix 92.3” repeats at #1. Its format challenger, Radio One-owned WDMK “105.9 Kiss-FM,” which was +1.0 in four straight improvements (2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+), drops one-tenth to 3.6 (#13 to #14, 6+). In May, “Kiss” had its best 6+-stat since June 2018 (3.7, as well). Unchanged at #9, Beasley Media Group’s WRIF “Rocks Detroit,” which faltered by -1.5 in four successive down or flat sweeps (6.0 – 5.9 – 4.9 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+), pulls the plug with a +.2 to 4.7 (6+). While it is flat at #15, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WJLB “97.9 – Detroit’s Hip-Hop and R&B” is a collective -1.0  through three straight declines (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.3 – 3.1, 6+).

Phoenix

Spoken-Word Formats – A hefty loss of eight-tenths (4.0 – 3.2, 6+) nudges Bonneville news/talk KTAR-FM out of the top ten (#10 to #12). Four-tenths behind KTAR-FM is iHeartMedia’s KFYI “News Talk 550,” which is off three-tenths following May’s half-share increase (3.1 – 2.8, #14 to #13, 6+).

Following three straight gains for a collective +1.1 (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 3.1, 6+), Bonneville sports talk/Arizona Diamondbacks flagship KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona Sports” forfeits nine-tenths to 2.2 (#14 to #20, 6+); May’s 3.1 was its strongest 6+-showing since September 2018 (3.1, as well).

For the fourth straight sweep, Maricopa County Community College news/talk KJZZ has a fluctuation of one-tenth (3.6 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.6, #12 to #11, 6+).

Phoenix Music Formats – The wild ride continues for iHeartMedia adult hits KYOT, whose six most recent shifts are -1.2 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.6 (January/February); -.8 (March); +.7 (April) -1.2 (May); and +1.2 in June (5.4 – 6.2, 6+). Moreover, “95.5 The Mountain – We Play Everything” progresses from third to first. “The Mountain” had been at #1 three ratings periods in succession before being ousted in May. It takes over from Hubbard Broadcasting’s KSLX “Classic Rock 100.7,” which has a May-only stay at the top (flat at 6.1, first to third, 6+). An April +1.2 fully erased its January – February – March -1.2 (6.5 – 5.4 – 5.3 6+). A collective +1.2 via three straight upticks (5.3 – 5.5 – 5.9 – 6.5, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KESZ remains in the runner-up slot. Progressing from fifth to fourth, Entercom classic hits-oldies KOOL “94.5 Phoenix Classic Hits” is a combined +1.3 in three positive spikes in succession (4.0 – 4.1 – 5.0 – 5.3, 6+). Off nine tenths in three straight decreases (5.1 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KNIX “102.5 Today’s Best Country” halts the skid with a +.1 to 4.3 (eighth to seventh, 6+). After being up one-half share in May (2.8 – 3.3, 6+), Entravision regional Mexican KLNZ “La Tricolor 103.5” relinquishes eight-tenths to 2.5 (#13 to #16, 6+). Sputtering by seven-tenths each are iHeartMedia CHR KZZP “104.7 Kiss-FM” (5.3 – 4.6, fourth to fifth, 6+) and Maricopa County Community College classical KBAQ “89.5 K-Bach,” which loses more than half (-1.3) its 6+ AQH share in four straight drops (2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 1.8 – 1.1, #26, 6+). In each of the last 13 sweeps, “Kiss” was between a 5.0 – 5.7 (6+). The three latest shifts by Entercom rhythmic CHR KALV “Live 101.5” are -.6 (April); +1.2 (May); and -.6 in June (4.5 – 3.9, seventh to eighth, 6+). April’s loss curtailed three successive up or flat sweeps that accounted for a gain of nine-tenths (3.0 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.9, 6+).

Minneapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Despite being +2.1 via three consecutive upticks (3.3 – 4.8 – 5.2 – 5.4, 6+), Entercom-owned/Twins flagship WCCO “News Radio 830” backslides from eighth to ninth. Four straight decreases by Hubbard Broadcasting’s KTMY account for a net loss of -1.1 (3.4 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.3, #14 to #17, 6+); “My Talk 107.1” was a combined +1.2 in January/February (2.2 – 3.3 – 3.4, 6+). It is tied with iHeartMedia’s KTLK “Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130,” which is -1.0 in five straight down or flat trends (3.3 – 3.3 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.3, flat at #17, 6+).

Repeating May’s 4.1 (6+), iHeartMedia’s KFXN “Sports Radio 100.3 K-Fan” continues at #12. Likewise, Hubbard Broadcasting sports talk KSTP-AM “ESPN 1500” echoes its May stats of .7 (6+) and a #24 ranking.

A combined -.4 in April/May (4.7 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+), Minnesota Public Radio news/talk KNOW roars back with a robust +1.2 to 5.5 (6+) and leaps back into the top ten (#11 to #7).

Minneapolis Music Formats – Anchored at #13, Entercom’s country-formatted KMNB“102.9 The Wolf,” which lost eight-tenths in four successive down or neutral trends (3.7 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+), halts the skid with a gain of four-tenths to 3.3 (6+). Albeit flat at 6.7 (6+), Hubbard Broadcasting’s KSTP-FM vaults from third to first. “KS-95,” which faltered by eight-tenths in May, held or shared the top spot in January, March, and April. This calendar year, “KS-95” has been +1.9 (January); -.8 (February); +.6 (March); +.5 (April); and -.8 (May). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia-owned/similarly-programmed KTCZ “Cities 97.1,” which lost two-tenths in May, is flat at 4.5 (6+), but departs the top ten (#10 to #11). Shifts this calendar year for “Cities 97.1” include +1.2 (January) -.5 (February); +.2 (March); +.5 (April); and -.2 (May). Dislodged by KSTP-FM from the top spot are iHeartMedia-owned classic hits-oldies outlet KQQL “Kool 108” (6.8 – 6.6, -.2, first to second, 6+) and Cumulus Media-owned KQRS “Minnesota’s Classic Rock” (6.8 – 5.9, -.9, first to fifth, 6+). After approximately 54% (-6.8) of its 6+ AQH share vanished through four straight negative or flat trends (12.6 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 5.8, 6+), “Kool 108” logged a +1.0 in May. Meanwhile, entering the June sweep, “Minnesota’s Classic Rock” was +1.3 in three straight upticks (5.5 – 5.6 – 6.7 – 6.8, 6+). Prior to April’s 6.7, KQRS had been within five-share range (6+) in each of the previous 13 sweeps. May’s 6.8 was the best 6+-stat for “Minnesota’s Classic Rock” since December 2016’s 6.9. Down or flat the fourth time in a row for an overall -1.5 (7.0 – 7.0 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 5.5, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KDWB “101.3 The Twin Cities’ #1 Hit Music Station” skids from fifth to seventh. A loss of eight-tenths (2.2 – 1.4, 6+) by KBEM not only forces “Jazz 88 FM” out of the top twenty (#18 to #21), it takes the Minneapolis Public Schools outlet to its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2018 (1.4, as well).

San Diego

Spoken-Word Formats – Following a +1.0 via three straight increases (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.4 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KOGO “News Radio 600” relinquishes two-tenths to 4.8 (6+) yet advances from sixth to fifth. An overall +.9 as a result of four successive increases (1.6 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+), Tegna news/talk KFMB-AM “AM 760” is now a combined -.5 in May/June (2.5 – 2.3 – 2.0, #17 to #19, 6+). The (ultra-consistent) December 2018 through June 2019 San Diego topline for iHeartMedia Los Angeles’ similarly-formatted KFI “AM 640” is: 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.2 -1.0 – 1.1 – 1.0 (#22 to #23, 6+).

Immediately after tripling (+1.4) its 6+ AQH share in three straight advances (.7 – .9 – 1.7 – 2.1, 6+), Entercom-owned/Padres flagship KWFN “97.3 The Fan” loses one-tenth to 2.0 (6+) but remains at #19.

Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s KLSD “Fox Sports 1360 San Diego’s Sports Station” falters by two-tenths to .8 (#24 to #25, 6+), thus suspending three consecutive improvements that yielded six-tenths (.4 – .5 – .8 – 1.0, 6+).

Significant ups/down continue for San Diego State University-owned news/talk KPBS, which has been -.6 (December 2018); -1.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +2.1 (January 2019); -1.7 (April); +.9 (May); and now -.7 in June (6.9 – 6.2, 6+). Nonetheless, KPBS is #1 for the sixth month in a row.

San Diego Music Formats – A mere one-tenth from the lead, Entercom classic hits-oldies KXSN “Sunny 98.1 – San Diego’s Greatest Hits” is a collective +1.4 in four successive improvements (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.1, steady at #2, 6+). By registering a gain of seven-tenths to 4.2 (#14 to #11, 6+), adult contemporary cluster-mate KYXY applies the brakes to three straight negative or neutral trends that accounted for a loss of seven-tenths (4.2 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.5, 6+). Still in that Entercom cluster, in four upticks in succession, KBZT “Alt 94.9 – San Diego’s Alternative” nets +1.3 (2.6 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 3.9, #11 to #12, 6+). Steady at #3, iHeartMedia CHR KHTS “Channel 93.3 – San Diego’s #1 Hit Music Station” is a combined +1.2 in four consecutive sweeps without a loss (4.3 – 4.8 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+), directly after a cumulative -2.3 as a result of four straight decreases (6.6 – 6.0 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+). Meanwhile, co-owned KGB “San Diego’s Classic Rock” is -1.6 in four drops in a row (5.9 – 5.3 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.3, flat at #10, 6+), following three consecutive improvements that yielded a +2.2 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.5 – 5.9, 6+). A combined +.7 in May/June (2.9 – 3.3 – 3.6, 6+), urban contemporary sibling KSSX “Jam’n 95.7” regresses by nine-tenths to 2.7 (#12 to #15, 6+). Without an increase the fourth time in a row, Entercom-owned KSON “103.7 San Diego’s #1 New Country” is a collective -1.6 since February (6.1 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 5.0 – 4.5, sixth to seventh, 6+). Local Media San Diego-programmed CHR XHTZ “Z-90.3 Today’s Hit Music” (eighth to seventh) continues an alternating up/down pattern that commenced in “Holiday” 2018 (3.8 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 4.7 – 4.5, 6+).

Tampa

Spoken-Word Formats – Slipping from #14 to #15, iHeartMedia-owned WFLA “970 Tampa Bay’s News Radio” is a collective -1.5 in three straight sweeps without an increase (4.5 – 3.6 – 3.0 – 3.0, 6+), immediately after three successive gains led to a +1.4 (3.1 – 3.6 – 4.3 – 4.5, 6+). Four-tenths behind WFLA is Cox Media Group news/talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio,” which rebounds from May’s -.8 with a June increase of three-tenths (2.3 – 2.6, #16 to #17, 6+).

The flagship of the Rays – iHeartMedia-owned WDAE “620 Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” – has been -.4 (March); +.9 (April); -.4 (May); and now +.5 in June (2.2 – 2.7, #17 to #16, 6+).

Following three straight declines in which it lost six-tenths (2.1 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+), University of South Florida news/talk WUSF picks up two-tenths to 1.7 (flat at #20, 6+).

Tampa Music Formats – Owing to three straight improvements (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 5.4, ninth to fifth, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC WMTX “Mix 100.7” is +1.4 and reaches the five-share level (5.4, 6+) for the first time since February 2018’s 5.2. By gaining seven-tenths to 6.1 (third to second, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WQYK “99.5 Tampa Bay’s New Country Hits” suspends three consecutive setbacks that accounted for a -1.0 (6.4 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 5.4, 6+). Notwithstanding that it falters seven-tenths (9.3 – 8.6, 6+), Cox Media Group adult contemporary WDUV “Lite Favorites” is #1 for the 82nd straight time but is below a nine-share (8.6, 6+) for the first time since October 2018’s 8.9. Its May gain of three-tenths curtailed four straight negative trends that resulted in a -4.7 (13.7 – 11.8 – 11.6 – 10.6 – 9.0, 6+). WDUV’s 13.7 in “Holiday” 2018 is the highest 6+-stat for any Tampa station since WDUV’s 14.9 in “Holiday” 2015. Co-owned WXGL “107.3 The Eagle – Tampa Bay’s Classic Hits” is an overall -1.8 in three straight negative or neutral moves (7.5 – 6.6 – 6.6 – 5.7, second to third, 6+). Prior to the March report, “The Eagle” was an overall -1.5 in five successive sweeps without an increase (6.9 – 6.6 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+). Up three-tenths in May, iHeartMedia CHR WFLZ “93.3 Tampa Bay’s #1 Hit Music Channel” surrenders one-half share (4.3 – 3.8, #12 to #13, 6+). Its format foe, Cox Media Group’s WPOI “Hot 101.5 – Tampa Bay’s New Hit Music,” is off four-tenths to 4.1 (seventh to tenth, 6+), thus curtailing three straight bumps that produced a +1.3 (3.2 – 3.4 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+). A collective +1.2 through three consecutive increases (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WXTB “98 Rock” forfeits four-tenths to 4.0 (6+) and departs the top ten (#9 to #12). Unchanged at #9, urban contemporary cluster-mate WBTP “95.7 The Beat,” which was +1.3 in seven successive sweeps without a loss (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4, 6+), loses two-tenths to 4.2 (6+). Beasley Media Group classic rocker WPBB “98.7 The Shark” is up an overall nine-tenths in three straight sweeps without a loss (1.6 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.5, steady at #18, 6+) and has its highest 6+-showing (2.5) since “Holiday” 2018’s 4.6. Having more than doubled (+.7) its 6+ AQH share in four straight sweeps without a loss (.5 – .6 – .7 – .7 – 1.2, 6+), The Diocese of St. Petersburg-owned contemporary Christian WBVM “90.5 Spirit FM – Tampa Bay’s Hit Christian Music” falters by three-tenths to .9 (6+) but stays at #21.

Denver

Spoken-Word Formats – Regaining May’s loss of three-tenths (5.2 – 4.9 – 5.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk and Colorado Rockies flagship KOA “Colorado’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” progresses from sixth to fifth. Co-owned KHOW “Talk Radio 630” has a “Holiday” 2018 through June 2019 topline of 1.1 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.1 (#23 to #21, 6+).

After posting a May gain of four-tenths to halt three straight decreases accounting for a -1.5 (4.1 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 2.6, 6+), Bonneville-owned KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” regresses by six-tenths (3.0 – 2.4, #16 to #18,  6+). KSE Radio Ventures’ KKSE-FM nearly tripled (+.5) February’s 6+ stat in three consecutive bumps (.3 – .4 – .6 – .8, 6+) but “Attitude Sports Radio 92.5” has May’s .8 (6+) sliced in half to .4 (#26 to #29, 6+).

A massive -1.6 (6.2 – 4.6, 6+) sends Colorado Public Radio news/talk KCFR tumbling from first to sixth. A combined +1.2 in January/February (6.4 – 7.1 – 7.6, 6+), KCFR was #1 in September 2018, October, and November before segueing to #2 in December. Community Radio for Northern Colorado news/talk KUNC, which logged a 1.5 (6+) in three of the last four ratings periods (1.5 – 1.8 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+), is off four-tenths to 1.1 (6+) and exits the top twenty (#19 to #21).

Denver Music Formats – After netting +1.4 in four straight up or flat trends (4.3 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+), KYGO regressed by seven-tenths in May. The Bonneville country outlet roars back in June though with a +1.0 (5.0 – 6.0, 6+) and storms from fifth to first with its highest 6+-stat since September 2018 (6.0, as well). It is a similar scenario for iHeartMedia’s KRFX. In four straight sweeps without a loss, “Classic Rock 103.5 The Fox” was +1.4 (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.6 – 5.2 – 5.4, 6+). It dropped one-half share in May only to roar back in June with a +.9 (4.9 – 5.8, sixth to second, 6+). “The Fox” is two-tenths behind frontrunner KYGO and two-tenths ahead of Entercom’s similarly-programmed KQMT “99.5 The Mountain,” which has gained nine-tenths in three straight up or flat sweeps (4.7 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.6, flat at #3, 6+). Immediately after erasing its +.7 in four successive up or flat moves (2.6 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.3, 6+) with a May loss of seven-tenths, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLDV “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” posts a half-gain increase (2.6 – 3.1, #18 to #17, 6+). A combined +.6 in April/May (4.6 – 4.9 – 5.2, 6+), iHeartMedia triple A KBCO “97.3 World Class Rock” flounders by eight-tenths to 4.4 (6+) and drifts from third to tenth. A loss of six-tenths (1.5 – .9, 6+) forces Colorado Public Radio classical KVOD off the top twenty (#19 to #24). Owing to five straight up or flat trends (2.9 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.8 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+), KQKS was a collective +1.7, but the Entercom rhythmic CHR forfeits four-tenths to 4.2 (6+) and departs the top ten (#8 to #12).

Baltimore

Spoken-Word Formats – The heretofore consistent January 2019 through May 2019 topline (2.7 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+) for Hearst Television news/talk WBAL “News Radio – Expect More” is jolted owing to a loss of seven-tenths to 2.1 (#11 to #12, 6+). Off by seven-tenths as well is independent news/talk WCBM “680 Stimulating Talk – Breaking News,” which is a collective -1.9 in five straight sweeps without an increase (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.2 – 1.5, #13 to #15, 6+). Even though it gains one-tenth (.3 – .4, 6+), Cumulus Media Washington, DC news/talk WMAL backslides from #28 to #29.

Returning May’s one-tenth increase (4.4 – 4.5 – 4.4, 6+), Entercom sports talk/Orioles flagship WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan” continues at #9.

On the heels of April/May’s +1.0 (.9 – 1.6 – 1.9, 6+), co-owned business news WDCH coughs up 50% of that increase (1.4, -.5, #15 to #18, 6+).

Down one-half share (each) in back-to-back reports (3.4 – 2.9 – 2.4, 6+), Your Public Radio news/talk WYPR “88.1 Your NPR News Station” is now a combined +.9 in May/June (2.4 – 2.6 – 3.3, #12 to #11, 6+). American University-owned news/talk WAMU recaptures the one-tenth it lost in May (1.2 – 1.1 – 1.2, #20 to #19, 6+).

Baltimore Music Formats – Not only does an increase of eight-tenths (7.3 – 8.1, 6+) propel Radio One urban AC WWIN-FM to its best 6+-stat (8.1) since January 2019’s 9.0, “Magic 95.9” advances from second to first. It  displaces urban contemporary sibling WERQ “92 Q Jams,” which had been the market leader the past four sweeps but trades places with “Magic.” Immediately after posting a +2.2 in March/April (7.6 – 8.3 – 9.8, 6+), “92 Q Jams” slumps to a -1.8 in May/June (9.8 – 8.8 – 8.0, 6+). In May, it reached the nine-share level (9.8, 6+) for the first time since July 2016’s 9.2. As noted above in the Washington, DC summary, Cumulus Media hot AC WRQX “Mix 107.3 More Music – More Variety” is now Educational Media Foundation-owned contemporary Christian WLVW “Positive & Encouraging K-Love.” In its debut contemporary Christian report, the former hot AC – which reached a 1.4 (6+) in May – erodes by nine-tenths to .5 (6+) and fades from Baltimore’s  top twenty (#18 to #27). Shamrock Communications-owned WZBA regresses by nine-tenths as a result of four straight down or flat moves (6.2 – 5.8 – 5.6 – 5.3 – 5.3, 6+) but “100.7 The Bay – Baltimore’s Classic Rock Station” progresses from seventh to sixth. Dropping from fifth to eighth, Hearst Television’s WIYY “98 Rock” (-.6 in June) continues a down/up pattern it started in December 2018 (4.3 – 4.0 – 5.1 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 5.4 – 4.8, 6+). In four straight down or flat moves (6.3 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 5.8 – 5.8, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WPOC “93.1 Today’s Best Country” has lost one-half share and slips from third to fourth, while co-owned CHR WZFT “Z-104.3 Baltimore’s #1 Hit Music Station” is off seven-tenths in four sweeps in a row without an increase (4.6 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.9, flat at #10, 6+). This is the tenth sweep in a row that Peter and John Radio Fellowship contemporary Christian WRBS-FM is unlisted; “95.1 Shine FM – Baltimore’s Positive Hits Station” was #13 in August 2018 (2.6, 6+).

St. Louis

Spoken-Word Formats – April’s gigantic +2.2 by Entercom news/talk KMOX “The Voice of St. Louis” has been whittled by 50% (-1.1) in May/June (7.3 – 6.6 – 6.2, 6+) but the flagship of the Cardinals and Stanley Cup-winning Blues advances from a three-way tie at #3 to #2. KMOX had an April-only stay at #1. Flat at #18, co-owned KFTK “FM News Talk 97.1” wipes away May’s increase of two-tenths (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.1, 6+.

After back-to-back losses of one-half share (4.1 – 3.6 – 3.1, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting sports talk WXOS is a combined +.6 in three straight upticks (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.7, steady at #15, 6+). Starting later this year, “101 Sports” becomes the flagship of the Blues.

University of Missouri news/talk KWMU repeats May’s 6+ AQH share (3.3) and market rank (#16).

St. Louis Music Formats – The eight most recent shifts for Hubbard Broadcasting’s KSHE  are +.5 (December); -.7 (Holiday” 2018); +2.0 (January 2019); -.5 (February); +1.3 (March); -1.6 (April); +.1 (May); and now +.9 in June (7.4 – 8.3, 6+) as “95 Real Rock Radio” repeats at #1. KSHE was tied for February’s top spot with iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLOU, and, in March, took sole possession of first-place. Then, in April, KSHE again had to share the lead – on that occasion with Entercom news/talk KMOX – but has had sole possession of the top spot in May and June. In each of the last 20 ratings periods, iHeartMedia urban AC KATZ-FM has been within two-share territory (6+), but “100.3 The Beat” gains six-tenths to 3.2 (flat at #17, 6+) and reaches the three-share level for the first time since November 2017’s 3.0 (6+). In a bit of a reversal from what happened in May, iHeartMedia’s KSD “93.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” is up one-half share (4.2 – 4.7, #12 to #10, 6+), while Hubbard Broadcasting’s WIL “New Country 92.3” erodes by eight-tenths (6.6 – 5.8, third to sixth, 6+). Compare that to this time last month when KSD regressed by seven-tenths and WIL improved by eight-tenths. The five most recent fluctuations for “The Bull” are +.5 (February); -.5 (March); +.9 (April); -.7 (May); and +.5 (June). The alternating (6+) December 2018 through June 2019 down/up pattern for WIL includes: 6.1 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 5.4 – 6.1 – 5.8 – 6.6 – 5.8. A cumulative -2.0 via four straight decreases (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.8 – 6.2 – 5.9, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLOU “103.3 St. Louis’ Greatest Hits” ends the slide with a +.1 to 6.0 (#6 to the three-way scrum at #3, 6+). In six straight sweeps without a loss, co-owned KLLT “Alt 104.9” nets two-tenths (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9, flat at #19, 6+). After extending its consecutive string of upticks to five – and more than doubling (+2.6) its 6+ AQH share in that timeframe (2.5 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 5.1, 6+) – Entercom CHR WNOU surrenders nearly half (-1.2) that increase (3.9, 6+). “Now 96.3 All The Hits” spirals from the top ten (#9 to #14). Even though its May increase of six-tenths is erased in its entirety (6.0 – 6.6 – 6.0, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting’s KPNT “105.7 The Point – Everything Alternative” remains in third-place. It is tied there with Gateway Creative Broadcasting contemporary Christian KLJY “99.1 Joy FM,” which is a combined -1.2 in May/June (7.2 – 6.7 – 6.0, second to third, 6+). By dropping three-tenths to 5.3 (seventh to eighth, 6+), Entercom hot AC KYKY “Y-98” suspends three straight bumps that netted a +1.0 (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.6, 6+).

Friday, May 10, 2019

| May 10, 2019

Cumulus Media Q1 Report: Net Revenue Rises 1.4%. Reporting on the first quarter of 2019, Cumulus Media’s net revenue was $267.5 million, an increase of 1.4% compared to the same period in 2018.  Net income was $451,000 in the first quarter, compared to 2019 in which Cumulus posted a loss of $5 million.  Cumulus reports in two segments – Cumulus Radio Station Group and Westwood One.  In this first quarter of 2019, the Radio Station Group was down 1% on net revenue of $166.5 million, while Westwood One was up 5.9% on net revenue of $100.4 million.  Chief financial officer John Abbot says on the radio station side that the company continues “to experience a tough, local spot market environment.”  Cumulus Media president and CEO Mary Berner states, “Driven by a steady focus on our key strategic priorities including accelerating digital growth, our strong performance continued in Q1 2019 with year-over-year increases in both revenue and EBITDA.  Additionally, we now have four pending M&A transactions that collectively are expected to generate more than $120 million of net proceeds and bolster our competitive positions in Indianapolis and Allentown. Combined with the $25 million voluntary prepayment made in February, these proceeds will reduce our net leverage to 4.8x on a pro forma basis.  We look forward to continuing our disciplined execution against all our strategic priorities and financial goals in the quarters ahead.”

Podcasting and Digital Efforts Bearing Fruit for Cumulus.  On yesterday’s Q1 earnings call with investors, Cumulus CEO Mary Berner lauded the company’s podcasting and digital segments.  She said, “So far in 2019, we continue to see the same strong growth in podcasting that we have enjoyed since we started the business.  As the exclusive partner for over 40 podcasts we’ve generated nearly 52 million downloads in March 2019, more than doubled the 23 million generated in March 2018.  And that doesn’t include our growing local podcast businesses.  By our estimation, this will put us in the top five largest podcast companies measured by PodTrack in March.  What is particularly notable about this growth, is that, that we have been able to achieve it while maintaining profitability.”  Berner is also pleased with the company’s efforts to grow digital revenue.  She adds, “We are continuing to generate exceptional growth across all of our platforms, with total digital revenue for the quarter growing 79% from the first quarter of last year.  Our streaming audience is growing steadily, driven by both organic listenership and increased distribution on the Tune In platform.  And we’re monetizing this high-margin digital inventory better and more broadly, through all of our channels, local, national network, programmatic exchanges, and remnant networks as well.”

Saga Communications Down 0.7% in Q1. The 2019 first quarter financial report from Saga Communications, Inc. shows the company’s net revenue during the period was $27.8 million, a dip of 0.7% over the same period in 2018.  Free cash flow increased $324 thousand to $2.6 million and station operating expense decreased 1% to $23.2 million.  Same station operating income was down 22% to $1.86 million and net income dipped 11% to $1.4 million.   The company notes that the results for the quarter were affected by its October 2018 acquisition of WOGK-FM, WNDT-FM, WNDD-FM, and WNDN-FM, in the Gainesville-Ocala market from Ocala Broadcasting Corporation, LLC for $9.3 million.  Saga reports having $39.2 million in cash on hand (as of 3/31/19) and $40.7 million in cash on hand (as of 5/6/19).

Hannity to Afternoons on WPHT, Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Business Journal is reporting that Entercom will fill its afternoon drive daypart with Premiere NetworksSean Hannity program starting next week.  Earlier this week, the station announced that current afternoon talk host Rich Zeoli becomes the new morning drive host on Monday (5/13), assuming the role left open when Chris Stigall exited WPHT earlier this year. It appears Entercom will air the Sean Hannity show during its live air time – 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm – on WPHT beginning on Monday as opposed to searching for a local host for the daypart. Hannity’s show has been airing on the station in a delay broadcast in the evening.

PodcastOne and Hubbard Radio Produce True Crime Program ‘22 Hours: An American Nightmare.’ The true-crime genre is a popular one among podcast consumers and now, PodcastOne and partner Hubbard Radio (remember that Hubbard owns 30% of PodcastOne) are producing a new podcast series titled, “22 Hours: An American Nightmare.”  The 10-part series investigates the Washington, DC mansion murders using the talents of WTOP, Washington reporters Megan Cloherty and Jack Moore, and produced by WTOP and its digital news director, Julia Ziegler.  Hubbard podcast strategy manager Wheeler Morris says, “We at Hubbard are excited to bring listeners around the country this story from a team of experienced investigative reporters at WTOP.  Listeners in the Washington, DC region are familiar with WTOP’s high-quality journalism and, with the help of PodcastOne, we are excited to now share that with the nation.”  PodcastOne executive chairman Norm Pattiz adds, “I’ve noticed recently that other major radio companies are promoting their new relationships with podcasters.  The Hubbard Radio/PodcastOne relationship recognized the synergies present over four years ago, and it continues to expand today.  We have a very definite game plan that seeks to take advantage of podcasting’s obvious on-demand advantages to stations, while mining the creativity that radio companies can bring to the table.”

iHeartMedia Promotes Rahul Sabnis to Lead New In-House Creative Group. This promotion comes with a realignment of the company’s in-house creative efforts.  Rahul Sabnis rises from EVP and executive creative director for iHeartMedia to chief creative officer & EVP for the newly branded, in-house creative group “TheStudio at iHeartMedia” operating under the aegis of Darren Davis, president of iHeartRadio and iHeartMedia Networks Group.  The company says that under Rahul’s leadership it will combine its Creative Studio and “CSG” in Atlanta into “TheStudio at iHeartMedia.”  A press release says TheStudio in-house agency will “provide a range of high-level strategy and creative services, helping iHeart’s own brands and the brands of its advertising and marketing partners use the efficiency and efficacy of audio seamlessly across all its company assets at the scale that only iHeart can deliver.”

Marie Harf to Exit FOX News to Join Seth Moulton Campaign.The Daily Beast reports that FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio personality Marie Harf is leaving her positions as political commentator and radio host, respectively, to join the 2020 presidential campaign of U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) as deputy campaign manager for policy and communications.  Harf co-hosts the “Benson and Harf” radio show with Guy Benson.  Harf served on Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign and was a senior communications adviser to former Senator John Kerry (D-MA).

The Mueller Report and Trump’s Claim of Executive Privilege Top News/Talk Story for Week of May 6-10.  Democrats’ request for the unredacted version of the Mueller Report and President Trump’s claim his executive privilege gives him control of the report was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the New York Times piece on Trump’s business losses.  Coming in at #3 was the 2020 presidential races, followed by the China trade war, the effect on the stock market, and North Korea’s missile tests at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

TALKERS CONVENTION SPOTLIGHT: Launching and Growing a Talent Career in 2019. Being a talent in 2019 is not as unique as it was years ago.  Thanks to the Internet, so-called talent is everywhere.  But the digital age has also brought new opportunities for talent that didn’t exist years ago and it’s incumbent upon talk media talent to seize them in order take control of one’s career.  At Talkers 2019: Telling the Story, set for New York on Friday, June 7, ABC News Radio executive director of programming Andrew Kalb will moderate a panel of broadcasters to discuss “Launching and Growing a Talent Career in 2019.”  Panelists include (in alphabetical order): Heather Cohen, EVP, The Weiss Agency; Dom Giordano, host, WPHT, Philadelphia; Danielle Lin, host, “The Art of Living & the Science of Life”; Greg Moceri, CEO, Moceri Media; Michael Riedel, host, WOR, New York; and Todd Starnes, host, FOX News Radio.  The conference is rapidly moving toward being an early sellout.  To see the entire up-to-the-minute agenda and for registration/hotel information, please click here.

Conspiracy Theorist David Icke Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  With Facebook moving to officially ban Alex Jones and other controversial media figures from its platform and President Trump weighing in on the situation on the side of Jones and his InfoWars organization, there has been a lot of talk this week about conspiracy theorists, fake news, and freedom of speech.  One of the world’s most famous and controversial conspiracy theorists, David Icke, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Icke, who hails from Great Britain, has a worldwide following on YouTube and other digital platforms in addition to being the author of more than 20 books whereby he talks and writes about a wide variety of political and metaphysical issues that run the gamut from a scientifically plausible analysis of the vibrational aspects of reality per quantum physics to completely outrageous ideas about the human race being under the hidden control of a lizard-like, reptilian species of interdimensional humanoids that borders on science fiction.  He routinely sells out large meeting spaces on his lecture tours and is banned in a number of venues and countries for what many consider to be his dangerous ideas.  He has been accused on a number of occasions of anti-Semitism for his views on international banking and the turbulent politics of Israel, the Palestinians, and the Middle East – charges he vehemently denies.  There’s a new documentary film about this former English soccer star turned conspiracy theorist titled, “Renegade:  The Life Story of David Icke,” which takes a fly-on-the-wall view of his life as a family man, lecturer, and social/political disrupter.  It was banned by a theater in Los Angeles last week just hours before its premiere there when the theater owners learned about the level of controversy surrounding Icke.  Harrison caught up with Icke this past Thursday (5/2) when he was in New York City to attend the premiere of the film there that evening.  They talk about the media, the First Amendment, and the state of the conspiracy theory business in 2019.  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. Atlanta radio pro Jeff Dauler is out at WSTR, Atlanta “Star 94.1” where he was co-host of the “Jeff & Jenn” show with Jenn Hobby.  She addressed Dauler’s departure on the program but didn’t offer any specifics on his departure.  Hobby will continue to lead the morning show.  At the same time as Dauler departed, afternoon personality Mike Marino also left the air and his info on the station’s website has been scrubbed.  Aside from Hobby addressing it on the air, WSTR has not commented specifically on the changes…..Warner Music Nashville recording artist Cale Dodds (right) took time out of his busy tour schedule with Chase Rice to fill in as a special guest co-host with Jackson (left) on Beasley Media Group’s WKLB, Boston “Country 102.5” morning show.  Dodds helped finn in for morning show co-host Ayla Brown.  He took the opportunity to premier his new single, “I Like Where This Is Going.”  On Monday and Tuesday (5/13-14), Sony Nashville recording artist Rachel Wammack will co-host with Jackson.  WKLB program director David Corey says, “There’s no better way for the country audience to get to know an artist than to bring them into our world and put them on a morning show.  It allows us to go way beyond the typical interview questions that might be asked.  This is real life conversation…and fun!  We are thankful to Cale and Rachel for getting that and jumping all in with us!”

Friday, April 13, 2018

| April 13, 2018

SiriusXM Satellite Radio Host Karen Hunter Named Recipient of the TALKERS 2018 Freedom of Speech Award. The TALKERS editorial board announced this morning (4/13) that SiriusXM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter has been named the 2018 recipient of the publication’s prestigious Freedom of Speech Award.  Hunter hosts the “Karen Hunter Show” daily between 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm on the Urban View channel in which she discusses politics, public policy, and contemporary culture taking listener calls and interviewing guests.  The Urban Channel is billed as “African American talk… focusing on politics, race and social justice.”  Named one of the “Heavy Hundred” (The 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America) by TALKERS magazine for a number of years, Hunter has blazed a unique trail inspiring her listeners to engage in entrepreneurial endeavors bringing action as well as talk to the medium.  She regularly challenges her listeners to participate in the success they want to be.  A former sports and news reporter with the New York Daily News for 16 years, Hunter served four of those years on the paper’s editorial board, where she was a member of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize- and Polk Award-winning teams.  She was also the paper’s first African American female news columnist.  As the head of Karen Hunter Books, an imprint with Simon & Schuster, she has published several number one New York Times bestsellers including True You by pop icon Janet Jackson, and My Country ‘Tis Of Thee by U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress.  Hunter also published the critically acclaimed autobiographical novel, An Angry-Ass Black Woman, by Karen Quinones Miller, among others.  A New Jersey native and Drew University graduate, Hunter taught at New York University and is currently a full-time professor and distinguished lecturer at Hunter College.  In June of 2015, Hunter authored a petition calling for the removal of the confederate flag from the statehouse of South Carolina in the wake of the massacre of nine people at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. Within three days, more than 500,000 people signed that petition. Within a week, Gov. Nikki Haley vowed to take down the flag.  Within two weeks, the flag was removed.  Past recipients of the Freedom of Speech Award, which goes back 30 years, include Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Howard SternThom Hartmann, Joe Madison, Alan Colmes, G. Gordon Liddy, Brian Lamb, Al Franken, Bob Grant and other top figures in broadcasting.  The award (officially titled “The Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech”) will be presented to Hunter in New York City on Friday, June 8 at TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead!, this year’s installment of the annual talk media convention. The Freedom of Speech Award is the longest-running and most prestigious honor annually bestowed by the publication upon a member of the greater broadcasting community, although not always the most popular.  According to TALKERS publisher, Michael Harrison, “The Freedom of Speech Award is a non-partisan honor presented to a person in the industry who sets a meaningful example of the First Amendment in action, either by having taken a high-profile, risky stand on a controversial issue or working on an exceptional level to make that opportunity available to others.  It does not necessarily indicate this publication’s endorsement of the recipient’s position, only his or her right to express it publicly and our salute to them for having the courage to face the consequences.  The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America is the bedrock of all of this nation’s freedoms and values. Without it, this would not be the country we believe it to be in our minds and hearts.  It is clearly the most important element that makes American talk media vibrant, alive, and indispensable.”  Harrison continues, “Karen Hunter is a clear-cut champion of this concept and a high-profile example of it in action in the talk media industry today.”

New Affiliate Stations in the Southeast for ‘Stacy on the Right.’ The nationally syndicated “Stacy On The Right” program starring the Project 21 co-chairman Stacy Washington, expands into three Southeast markets.  WDDQ-FM, Adel, Georgia; WLBB-AM, Carrollton, Georgia; and WJHC-FM, Jasper, Florida add the daily, two-hour show to their program lineups. The “Stacy On The Right” program is syndicated via Urban Family Radio Network, American Family Radio, America’s Voice TV and now on Talk America Radio, whose owner Ron Phillips says, “We’ve been huge fans of ‘Stacy On The Right’ for a long time.  We’re honored to include her show on Talk America Radio.  She’s the perfect addition to an already stellar schedule of talk shows. She’s professional and powerful, and she’ll fit right in.”  Washington has been a co-chairman of the Project 21 black leadership network since 2016.  In addition to her own radio show, she has been a guest host for shows such as “The Wilkow Majority” on SiriusXM; the Chris Plante and Larry O’Connor shows on WMAL-AM/FM, Washington; “Cam and Company” on NRATV; and “The Dana Show” on Radio America.  She is a decorated veteran of the U.S. Air Force whose commentaries have appeared in FOX News Opinion, RealClearPolitics, The Federalist, and the Washington Times.

Suze Orman’s ‘Women & Money’ Launches on PodcastOne.  This new PodcastOne show stars personal finance expert Suze Orman.  The program, “Suze Orman, Women & Money” is targeted directly to women (and the men who want to understand them) with Orman’s trademark energy and compassion.  The series allows listeners to #AskSuze anything.  In yesterday’s debut show, the tables were turned as Refinery29 work & money director Lindsey Stanberry interviewed Orman about her own journey.  The show is available now on PodcastOne.com, the PodcastOne app and Apple Podcasts, with new episodes every Thursday.

WTOP, Washington Honored with Two Headliner Awards. Washington, DC all-news WTOP-FM wins two National Headliner Awards from the Atlantic City Press Club.  The Hubbard Radio station picked up first place honors for Best Newscast for coverage the day of the Congressional Baseball Shooting in June of 2017.  WTOP national security correspondent J.J. Green won third place in the radio stations news series category for his investigative work in reporting “Anatomy of a Russian Attack,” an in-depth look at what the U.S. Intelligence community has concluded was an attempt by Russian President Vladimir Putin to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.  WTOP director of news and programming Mike McMearty says, “We feel so honored to be recognized for our efforts to bring breaking news coverage to the nation’s capital at the moments when it matters the most.”  Since 1935, the National Headliner Awards are given to outstanding writers, photographers, daily newspapers, magazines, graphic artists, radio and television stations and networks, and news syndicates from across the nation.

TALKERS News Notes. Bay Area Media blogger Rich Lieberman 415 Media – wrote recently wondering if Westwood One nationally syndicated talk star Michael Savage is in contentious contract renegotiations with the company.  Citing recent statements by Savage on his radio show that “in case I’m not here” listeners can hear him on his website and via Twitter, Lieberman says Savage could become the “latest cost-cutting victim” by parent company Cumulus Media (a la Don Imus and Ronn Owens) as it works through Chapter 11 reorganization.  Lieberman says Savage offered him “no comment” when they spoke and notes Savage has “fairly strong” ratings in San Francisco and does very well in PM drive in New York.  He also says Savage’s contract is up this year and suggests both sides may be posturing during contract renegotiations…..Sun Broadcast Group announces that starting in May, it will offer national ad and affiliate sales support for “Remote News Service.”  It has also expanded its partnership with Envision Networks and will offer ad sales support for the new feature, “140 Characters.”  Remote News Service offers high quality, local, real-time news reports across 14+ major markets with a full team of anchors.  Envision Networks’ “140 Characters” is a new service featuring celebrity impersonators, voice and character actors as well as pre-written scripts to use for topic starters, phone scams, parodies and more…..A new memoir titled, Lucky from Virgin: An Unlikely Story (2018, CreateSpace), has been published by 40-year veteran network TV correspondent Lucky Severson.  The book tells “the inside stories of some of the world’s more interesting people, told by a kid who grew up in the tiny Mormon town of Virgin, unaware of the world outside.”  In the book, Severson interviews serial killer Ted Bundy in a jail cell in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, just weeks before his escape and murderous rampage in Florida, for which he was ultimately caught and executed.  It was the only TV interview ever done with Bundy before his death-bed execution.  Severson also traveled with the campaigns of Vice President George H.W. Bush and Jesse Jackson.  He spent time with the Dalai Lama in the shadow of the Himalayas.

Cool Job Opportunity.  Legendary Quad Cities news/talk outlet WOC-AM, Davenport is seeking a new program director.  The iHeartMedia-owned station says that its program director of 20-plus years is retiring, and WOC-AM is searching for the right individual to take the reins of this heritage station.  If you’re interested, email Jim O’Hara and he’ll send you an overview of the job: jimohara@iheartmedia.com.

Trump-Russia Probe and Related Cohen Raid Tied for Top News/Talk Stories for Week of April 9-13.  The investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related raid of the offices of President Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen tied for the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was House Speaker Paul Ryan’s announcement he won’t run for re-election this year.  Coming in at #3 was Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony before Congress about users’ privacy concerns, followed by the allegations that the National Enquirer paid $30,000 to a Trump Tower doorman to suppress a story about Trump fathering a child with a Trump Tower staffer in the late 1980s at #4. The Talkers TenTMis a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Radio Hall of Fame Chairman and Mega-Talent Manager Kraig Kitchin Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. He says, “One of my greatest professional passions is identifying outstanding radio talent and giving them recognition.” Among the radio industry’s most influential, behind-the-scenes players, Kraig Kitchin, head of Los Angeles-based media firm Sound Mind, LLC, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” In addition to being the chairman of the Radio Hall of Fame and consultant to such media production companies as Real World Productions (jingles and imaging), the Mix Group (outsourced station production) and Source Audio (music libraries), Kitchin is one of, if not the, leading managers of radio talent in the business today. His client list includes such names as Rush Limbaugh, Jim Rome, Delilah, George Noory, Bill Handel and more…information he is reluctant to publicly share. He states, “I believe that a manager should always put the talent first and foremost while personally staying in the background.” According to Harrison, “Kraig Kitchin is one of the most level-headed, intelligent, and credible business people in radio that we’ve seen during the industry’s modern era and has quietly and responsibly been one of the most influential.” Regardless, Harrison drags him into the spotlight for a rare interview that takes a conversational deep dive into radio’s history (Kitchin was one of the founders of Premiere Networks and at one time was sales manager for Katz Media) and a look to its future, covering the state of consolidation, the podcasting phenomenon, the tenets of being a great talent, and the challenge of programming commercials in the era of short-term attention span. Do not miss this! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box located in the right hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On Monday (4/16), Joey Vlazny is taking over the morning show on Bonneville’s San Jose classic rock outlet KUFX “98.5 KFOX.” Joey – who was most recently morning host at rhythmic CHR KRBQ, San Francisco “Q102” – bumps Chris Jackson to the afternoon drive daypart.  Jackson fills the afternoon slot left vacant when PD/host Tim Jeffreys exited last month. New PD Brian Figula says, “Joey’s smart work ethic, strong creativity, and passion for our business elevates our brand awareness.  I look forward to adding him to the team with Chris Jackson to dominate the San Jose radio market.”…..Saga Communications adds Courtney Ross (center) to the morning drive show at country WPOR-FM, Portland alongside incumbent morning personalities Jon Shannon (left) and Joe Lerman (right).  Ross fills the role of recently departed morning personality Adam Rondeau…..KHTS-FM, San Diego morning personality Geena The Latina – co-host of “Kramer and Geena Mornings” – is being honored by the City of San Diego on Tuesday (4/17) as the city proclaims it “Geena The Latina Day.”  San Diego City Council president Myrtle Cole will honor Geena for her work with girls and young women in the local community.  Geena is an active volunteer with local organizations and founded the Fearless Empowerment Conference in 2017.  The annual event assembles successful women from the community to share their journey and inspire hundreds of teenage girls to be fearless and confident leaders.

Friday, January 19, 2018

| January 19, 2018

Ed McLaughlin Dies at 91.  The man who founded EFM Media Management and launched Rush Limbaugh into national syndication – and consequently changed the face of radio – has died at the age of 91 after a long illness.  Edward F. McLaughlin was in a hospice facility in Palm Beach, Florida.  As TALKERS magazine reported earlier this week, the Broadcasters Foundation of America announced it would be honoring McLaughlin with its 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award on March 5 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City during its Golden Mike Award event.  During McLaughlin’s 14-year career leading the ABC Radio Networks, McLaughlin oversaw the acquisition of “American Top 40 with Casey Kasem,” launched “American Country Countdown with Bob Kingsley,” and grew the affiliate base of the Paul Harvey programs to some 1,000 stations.   In 1984, he formed EFM Media Management and began syndicating the Dr. Dean Edell show.  After hearing Rush Limbaugh on KFBK, Sacramento he moved him to WABC, New York and began syndicating his 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET program.  It provided the launch pad for Limbaugh’s rise to syndication success.  He sold the Rush Limbaugh program to Jacor Media in 1997.  McLaughlin’s work in national radio syndication included numerous achievements, including his teaming ABC with CBS and NBC in 1980 to establish the first digital satellite distribution system  — Americom Digital Delivery System (ADDS) — which replaced telephone lines in connecting networks with affiliated stations, the antiquated system that had been used since the early 1940s.  He also guided the creation and distribution of network music and entertainment programming circa 1979.  Prior to that it had largely been news and information.  McLaughlin was a chairman emeritus of the Broadcasters Foundation of America.  He succeeded Ward L. Quaal as chairman.  BFoA president Jim Thompson says, “He was a genius at creating content and talent development.”  Whitney Global Media chairman William O’Shaughnessey says, “He was a great raconteur who often held court at the ‘21’ bar where he did a lot of business entertaining out-of-town affiliates.”  The McLaughlin family will hold a private service and is planning a memorial celebration in June.

Sabo: ‘Make It Bigger’ Ed McLaughlin.  Consultant Walter Sabo writes today about the qualities that made the late Edward F. McLaughlin the legendary broadcaster that he was.  First and foremost, says Sabo, was his mandate that for a project to succeed, one had to “make it bigger.”  Sabo says, “Ideas that were big enough for Ed inspired him to become fully engaged in the project.  He would marshal every resource of ABC to make a project a success — from legal, to financial, to engineering, to marketing, to the television network.  When Ed called, the corporation cooperated.  He knew that a key part of his job was to give his team access to the resources of the corporation and he was a genius at persuading all of ABC to support the radio network.  When he supported a project, he believed it was his job to find the money.  And he always found the money.”  Read Sabo’s entire column here.

Cumulus Makes Hard Decisions in Chicago.  As reported by Chicago media maven Robert Feder, Cumulus Media has announced it is shedding its unprofitable deals to broadcast Chicago White Sox and Chicago Bulls play-by-play.  It is also choosing not to acquire music-formatted stations alt rocker WKQX and classic rock WLUP-FM from Merlin Media (Cumulus has been operating the duo under an LMA).  As Feder notes, Cumulus is working through Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and president and CEO Mary Berner says in a statement, “As part of our operational turnaround, we have been focused on taking proactive steps to address unprofitable areas of our business.  We are taking this action because the economic terms of these legacy contracts guarantee that we lose money and, as such, continuing them in their current form is not in Cumulus’s best interests.”

WOC, Quad Cities Names Dave Levora Morning Host.  New WOC, Quad Cities morning personality Dave Levora comes to the station from his most recent position as an account executive for WQAD-TV, Quad Cities.  He’s hosted morning radio programs in the market in the past on music-formatted stations, including KJOC, WXLP, and KIIK.  Levora will co-host the morning show at the iHeartMedia news/talk station with program director Dan Kennedy.  He’ll continue to host the half-hour “Quad Cities Brewed” program on WQAD-TV that explores the Midwestern Craft Brew scene.  Kennedy comments, “We’re excited to bring Dave into the WOC ‘News Talk 1420’ family.  He’s already familiar with radio in the Quad Cities and I have no doubt that our listeners will love him!”

WSKO, Syracuse Adds New Local Show to Lineup.  Programmer Tom Mitchell promotes executive producer Paul Esden to air personality with his own afternoon program called “Drive Time Sports” at Cumulus Media’s WSKO, Syracuse “The Score 1260.”  Esden has been the executive producer of the station’s Bud & The Manchild” late morning show for the past two years.  Mitchell says, “This is a marvelous opportunity for Paul.  His unique and energetic style, opens up a fresh perspective to cover not only local sports, but also the best in the national sports arena every day!”  Esden has also covered Syracuse University sports as a senior columnist for Inside the Loud House for the past two years.

SuperTalk Mississippi Adds Country Star Steve Azar to Lineup. The program is called “A Mississippi Minute with Steve Azar” – a reference to his song “Mississippi Minute” – and airs Thursdays and Fridays from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm.  TeleSouth Communications says his show airs on the SuperTalk Mississippi format that’s heard on stations covering all of Mississippi’s 82 counties.  SuperTalk CEO Steve Davenport says, “We’re excited to add Steve Azar to the lineup.  His passion for Mississippi fits right in with our mission – to serve the millions of people who live in our state.”  In a press release, the company says, “Spend five minutes with Steve Azar and you’ll see why he is the Music and Culture Ambassador of Mississippi.  His love for the Magnolia State is evident in everything he does.  This modern-day Renaissance man is a hit songwriter, recording artist, music producer, golfer, philanthropist and now – radio host.”

Trump’s Alleged ‘Shithole’ Comment and Threat of Government Shutdown Tie for Top News/Talk Stories This Week.  The allegations that President Trump called certain Caribbean and African countries “shitholes,” and the threat of a federal government shutdown tied for the most talked about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the status of the Obama era DACA, the Trump Administration’s larger immigration policy, and the issue of the Mexican Wall.  Coming in at #3 was the Trump-Russia probe and the related testimony of former White House senior adviser Stephen K. Bannon, followed by the report that 2017 was the warmest year on record at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Classic rock WMMZ, Berwick, Pennsylvania is purchased by Vince Benedetto’s Bold Gold Media Group for $700,000.  The class A FM’s primary signal covers a region southwest of the Wilkes Barre-Scranton market.  The seller is Joseph Reilly’s Columbia FM Inc.  The station switched calls from WHLM-FM to WMMZ last year…..In New England, Townsquare Media begins airing “The Big Breakfast” – with hosts Bill Fox and Kira Lew (based at country WOKQ, Portsmouth, New Hampshire) – on sister station country WPKQ, Portland, Maine “103.7 The Peak.”  To make room, current WPKQ morning personality Annie Snook moves to the midday show on the station.

Friday, September 1, 2017

| September 1, 2017

Glenn Beck Cuts Workforce at TheBlaze and Mercury Radio Arts.  According to a piece by Benjamin Mullin at Poynter.org, talk radio star Glenn Beck has cut the staff at his Mercury Radio Arts and six-year-old news and opinion digital platform TheBlaze by about 20% due to “structural challenges facing media companies today.”  In announcing the changes being made at his companies, Beck is quoted stating, “This year has been one of the hardest years of my life.  I’ve learned so much about myself, my friends and co-workers, and basic human nature.  I have also learned a lot about my business and what I believe it will take to succeed in tomorrow’s America.  The industrial revolution took 100 years to unfold; industry-altering change now occurs in days, not centuries.”  See the Poynter piece here.

Investigation of Former Financial Talk Show Host Dawn Bennett Turns Up Bizarre Finds.  Sadly, stories of financial experts who broker time on news/talk stations and end up being investigated by the authorities for wrongdoing are too common.  But the case of former financial talk host Dawn J. Bennett is more colorful than most.  Kyle Swenson details the investigation in The Washington PostHe writes that Bennett was being investigated for running a Ponzi scheme when FBI agents gained access to her Chevy Chase, Maryland home last month.  In it they discovered biographical information about SEC officials and a handwritten “Beef Tongue Shut Up Hoodoo Spell” designed to – with the help of an animal tongue – prevent SEC officials from providing information about her.  There were two freezers inside the home in which there were “dozens of sealed jars, many inked on the lids with the initials of SEC staff” for the purpose of silencing SEC investigators via magic.  Arrested on August 25, Bennett is being charged with wire fraud, bank fraud, and making false statements in loan and credit applications.  She’s being accused of using her weekly radio show to raise money targeting “elderly and financially unsophisticated investors by materially misrepresenting the company’s profitability and by claiming the company had the resources to pay annual rates of return as high as 15 percent.”  Read the Post piece here.

KILT, Houston Sports Talk Host John Lopez Rescues Harvey Victims.  KILT, Houston sports talk personality John Lopez is featured in a piece in USA Today after he spent Tuesday afternoon on a 16-foot fishing boat rescuing people stranded by the floodwaters created by Hurricane Harvey.  Lopez told the paper, “These were regular people.  They never thought the water would get that high, so you get them out and they just hug your neck and you never see them again, but you feel good you did it.”  Read the story here.

TALKERS News Notes. There’s controversy in the sports talk radio world in Seattle after the sportswriters for The Seattle Times were banned from any further appearances on local radio or TV, effective September 5.  Why would that happen?  SeattleSportsNet.com reports that the edict comes directly from Times CEO and publisher Frank Blethen and revolves around controversies over sports arena projects in the city.  Blethen has backed one project and sports talk radio – primarily KJR-AM – has been critical of that project (and Blethens/The Times’ support).  Some seven Times writers are affected by this order.  Read more about it here…..In Chicago, WSCR sports talk personality Laurence Holmes is also signed up to host Comcast SportsNet Chicago’s game day coverage of Chicago Bears football, starring on the “Bears Pregame Live” and “Bears Postgame Live” programs.  Holmes will work with Bears greats Lance Briggs, Jim Miller, and Alex Brown on the shows…..ESPN Radio begins presentation of NFL and NCAA football games this season.  Pro football coverage starts on September 10 with a doubleheader – Eagles at Redskins followed by Colts at Rams.  College football play-by-play begins this Saturday (9/2) with #17 Florida vs #11 Michigan, immediately followed by #1 Alabama vs #3 Florida State…..SB Nation Radio is announcing that “The Sports Grind” – with host Calvin Casey and co-hosts Rudy J and Salami – launches on Tuesday (9/5) from flagship KTKR, San Antonio “Ticket 760.”

Pittsburgh’s Sheridan Broadcasting Shuts Down News and Sports Arm.  According to a piece in the Pittsburgh Courier, the Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation has let 10 staffers go with the closure of its news and sports service.  Rob Taylor Jr. writes in the paper that Sheridan COO and general counsel Ron Davenport Jr. said they weren’t able to generate the revenue they needed.  “It’s a little more difficult than selling cars or something.  It’s a unique skill set, so we’ve been searching for some time and we have someone who has been working on our behalf and he’s just been unsuccessful, unfortunately, and we’re not able to continue.”  Sheridan had been providing news and sports broadcasts to about 60 affiliate stations.  The company is continuing to operate the Sheridan Gospel Network.  Read the Courier story here.

Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey Top News/Talk Story for Week of August 28-September 1.  The devastation caused by Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey and the political issues surrounding the disaster were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Trump tax reform plan.  Coming in at #3 was President Trump’s plan to end the ‘Dreamer’ program, followed by the Trump-Russia investigation 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 on ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Promoting Concert for America.  Pictured here in the studio at business talk WAFS, Atlanta “biz talk 1190 AM” is host Dana Barrett (second from left) and performers Hal Sparks (far left) and Seth Rudetsky (second from right).

Walter Sabo Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  Noted radio executive-turned-consultant-turned-talent Walter Sabo joins Michael Harrison as guest on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out.”  In an amazing conversation that spans the depth and breadth of radio as both a business and pop culture institution, the two broadcasters engage in a free-wheeling conversation that explores Sabo’s recent transformation from a behind-the-scenes figure into an innovative radio personality named Walter Sterling.  The three-year-old Sunday late-night show hosted by Sterling, that eschews standard political fare in favor of the day-to-day topics of general life, has grown from a local WPHT, Philadelphia boutique item into a major Westwood One nationally syndicated feature, now clearing on major outlets such as: KMOX, St. Louis; WLS, Chicago; WMAL, Washington, DC; KDKA, Pittsburgh; KARM, Little Rock and many more.  This dialogue is a radio freak’s delight and should not be missed.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Louisville, Alpha Media flips hot AC WXMA “102.3 The Max” to adult hits using the JACK FM format.  Alpha Media VP of programming Ronnie Stanton comments, “What an exciting day for Alpha Media and the great city of Louisville.  ‘Jack’ will be a breath of fresh air both musically and in its fun attitude.”…..Programming pro John Richards is appointed brand manager at Midwest Communications-owned country outlet WDEZ-FM Wausau, Wisconsin.  He’ll also host the midday show.  Richards was most recently serving as operations manager for Instad Radio in the Yakima, Washington market…..Rob Creighton exits the Ramar-owned station group in Lubbock, Texas where he was morning show host on hot AC KLZK “107.7 YES FM” as well as OM for that station and sister classic hits KXTQ “Magic 106.5.”…..Another Alpha Media flip as sports talk is jettisoned from the simulcast of WRNN-AM/W288DK, Myrtle Beach for throwback hip hop and R&B oldies as “G 105.5.” Sister CHR WMYB “Energy 92.1” program director Zack Williams states, “We’re crazy excited to bring throwbacks to Myrtle Beach.  You can take your radio to the beach, cruise up and down Ocean Blvd and have a great time listening to the best throwback hip hop and R&B!”

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