Tag: "The Athletic"

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

| September 10, 2019

KMJ-AM/FM, Fresno Talk Host Chris Daniel ‘Semi-Retires’ from Station.  The afternoon drive host had been on extended leave from the Cumulus Media station but now announces that he’s leaving the station at which he’s worked for the past 10 years.  Chris Daniel states in a letter to listeners: “Hi, everybody.  It’s been a while.  I thought it would be best for me to let you know what’s going on.  Sorry to leave everybody guessing, but it was the best way to go.  Now, it’s time to let my friends and colleagues off the hook with the many questions they have had to field.  Thanks to them for doing it and to you for caring enough to ask.  First of all, I am ok. Truly.  Stop worrying.  I was simply looking hard at some things I have been contemplating for a while now and I wanted to be certain that I was doing the right thing.  So, I took this extended leave I’ve been on to make sure.  Now, I am. For the past couple of years, I had been considering leaving my position at KMJ, for various reasons, none of which have to do with the people I work with and/or for, or the wonderful people who take the time to listen to the show.  Now, I have decided to do so.  I have resigned my position at KMJ and am moving on to some other things that I’d like to do.  I am not going to another station. I guess you could say that I have semi-retired.” KMPH-TV, Fresno reports that Philip Teresi will take over as PM drive host.

Dan Sileo Off the Air at KGME-AM, Phoenix. There’s been no official statement from iHeartMedia, and TALKERS has reached out to sports talk host Dan Sileo for comment, but a week after starting his position as afternoon drive host on sports talk KGME-AM, Phoenix “Fox Sports 910,” Dan Sileo is off the radio.  His information has been scrubbed from the station’s website and the program schedule lists FOX Sports Radio’s “The Odd Couple with Chris Broussard & Rob Parker” in the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm daypart.  It appears that the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes put pressure on the station to oust Sileo.  The Athletic was first to report that the club – which just inked a deal to air its games on KGME – was unhappy with Sileo’s history of making “sexist and racist” social media comments.  The club’s statement was: “When we became aware that Fox Sports 910 had hired Dan Sileo, we immediately reached out to the station’s management to express our deep concern regarding Mr. Sileo’s abhorrent comments.  Our promotion of inclusivity is deeply rooted into the fabric of who we are as an organization and we have no tolerance for racism, sexism, anti-Semitism or any other discriminatory behavior.”

Neil Larrimore Leaves News/Talk WPRO, Providence. After two years in the program director role at Cumulus Media’s news/talk WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM in Providence, Neil Larrimore exits the station.  Prior to joining WPRO, Larrimore served with iHeartMedia, serving as program director for the company’s talk outlets in Phoenix and Tucson.  He’s also programmed KMBZ-AM and FM in Kansas City during his career.  There’s no official word from Cumulus on its strategy to fill the program director role.

WRAW, Reading Flips to News/Talk. Gone from the Reading, Pennsylvania AM station is the Spanish music “Rumba 1340” format and in is news/talk.  iHeartMedia flips the station to talk as “Newsradio 1340 WRAW.”  The program lineup includes a number of Premiere Networks programs, including Rush LimbaughSean Hannity, Glenn Beck, and Buck Sexton, as well as a simulcast of the WHP, Harrisburg morning program, “The RJ Harris Breakfast Show.”  iHeartMedia regional SVP of programming Jeff Hurley comments, “We’re thrilled to bring this all-star lineup of talk radio programs to Reading with the launch of ‘Newsradio 1340 WRAW.’ We’re confident that ‘Newsradio 1340 WRAW’ will become a favorite source for compelling news, talk, and entertainment.”  RJ Harris adds, “WRAW is where I got my start in radio at 16 years old, so I’m excited to contribute to the re-launch of an all-new talk station with some of the biggest names in the format.”

‘ESPN 630’ Washington to Air Kornheiser Podcast. DC sports talk outlet WSBN-AM “ESPN 630” is adding the “The Tony Kornheiser Show” podcast to its on-air schedule in the 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm slot. Kornheiser co-hosts “Pardon the Interruption” on ESPN with Michael Wilbon.  He’s a former Washington Post sports columnist and former DC market sports talk radio host.  Cumulus Media programmer Bill Hess says, “Tony is a legend on sports radio in DC and we’re thrilled to be his new home.  With Tony at noon, followed by ESPN’s ‘The Stephen A. Smith Show’ at 1:00pm, ‘ESPN 630’ has the best one-two midday punch in town!”  The podcast is an exclusive partnership between Cadence13 and Tony Kornheiser.

TALKERS News Notes. A news podcast titled, “Modern Ruhles,” – hosted by MSNBC anchor and NBC News correspondent Stephanie Ruhle – debuts today as an iHeartRadio Original podcast.  A press release states that the show addresses some of today’s most pressing issues and features “conversations between Ruhle and influential guests, who help dissect the sensitive and often complex social topics that impact the state of the world today.”  Some of the first guests include actress and writer Amber Tamblyn, actor and comedian Terry Crews, musician Amir “Questlove” Thompson and more…..Seven Bucks Productions, Andrew Jenks, and Cadence13 announce the launch of season three of the podcast, “What Really Happened?”  The program, written and hosted by award-winning documentarian Andrew Jenks, kicks off the season with a special two-part episode exploring the life and death of accused child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein…..FOX News Radio personality Todd Starnes’ new book, Culture Jihad: How to Stop the Left from Killing a Nation (2019, Post Hill Press) is published today (9/10).  The presser for the book says, “America is on the verge of another Civil War.  Socialism is on the rise. Free Speech is under assault. People of Faith are facing persecution. Gun owners are in the crosshairs. Our public schools have been turned into indoctrination centers.  A leftist mob made up of socialist politicians, academic elites, raging feminists, and effete Pajama Boys has partnered with Antifa, illegal aliens, and other radical groups to finish what President Obama started—a fundamental transformation of our nation. Can America be saved?  Political columnist, commentator, author, and radio host Todd Starnes addresses this issue and more in Culture Jihad. He believes that if good-hearted patriots rise up together, we can stop the jihad. It is possible to keep America great.”

Katz Unveils Programmatic Sales Division. The new division, called Audiology by Katz, and operating under Katz Digital, “was built with the mission to help advertisers and agencies utilize the power of audio to connect with consumers.  The service offers access to a scalable, premium and brand-safe digital audio marketplace with programmatic inventory across 120-plus connected devices and smart speakers.”  Katz says the new sales division will be led by David Krulewich, who also serves as SVP/programmatic sales for Katz Digital.  Katz Media Group CEO Mark Gray adds, “The addition of Audiology is part of Katz’s ever-expanding position in the digital marketplace.  This new digital audio programmatic sales division enables us to continue to invest even more time and resources into evangelizing audio on behalf of our partners in the rapidly expanding programmatic space.”

Bahamas Refugees, NOAA-Alabama Controversy, 2020 Presidential Race, CNN-Russia Spy Report, Gun Control Legislation, and Antonio Brown Antics Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/10). The U.S. position on Bahamian refugees in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian; the controversy over allegations NOAA staffers were threatened not to contradict President Trump’s statement Hurricane Dorian would hit Alabama; the Democrats and Republicans hoping to challenge President Trump in 2020; the CNN report that the U.S. had to extract a Russian spy from Moscow due to the Trump Administration’s mishandling of classified intelligence; current gun legislation that would expand background checks to nearly all gun buyers; and wide receiver Antonio Brown signs with the Patriots after orchestrating a messy exit from Oakland were some of the top news/talk stories yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Broadcasters Foundation of America Raises $250k at Golf Tourney.  The Broadcasters Foundation of America raised more than $250,000 yesterday (9/9) to help broadcasters in need during its 2019 Celebrity Golf Tournament at the Quaker Ridge Golf Club in Scarsdale, New York.  More than 175 broadcasters and celebrities took part in the event that has, since its inception, raised more than $5 million for financially afflicted broadcasters and their families.  Celebrity golfers in attendance were: John Anderson, ESPN; Bruce Beck, NBC TV Sports; Dick Brennan, CBS News; Scott Brunner, New York Giants; Scott Burrell, University of Southern Connecticut; Bobby Carpenter, NHL Stanley Cup Champ; Chad Cascadden, New York Jets; Rick Cerone, MLB great; Ron Claiborne, ABC News; Jon Crispin, UCLA-Big Ten Network; Maurice DuBois, CBS News; Mike Eruzione, 1980 Olympic Gold Medal Team & Captain; Rachel Grant, actress-model; Harold Green, Atlanta Falcons; Brian Leonard, NFL great; Ann Liguori, WFAN, New York; Otis Livingston, CBS Sports; Rob Marciano, ABC News; Donny Marshall, FOX Sports; Sean McDonough, ESPN; Bill Neil, New York Giants; Karl Nelson, New York Giants; CJ Papa, SNY Sports; Sterling Sharpe; Lee Saltz, New England Patriots; Jeremy Schaap, ESPN; Taylor Twellman, ESPN; Tim Welsh, Providence Friars; Bob Wischusen, ESPN; Chris Wragge, CBS News; Larry Roth, MSG Network; plus, Sarah Stone and Liz Caron, LPGA Pros.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Louisville, Kobi Kearney exits iHeartMedia’s CHR WNRW-FM “Radio Now 98.9” where he was program director and afternoon drive personality.  Kearney announced his exit via Facebook saying: “I guess it’s ironic that I’m celebrating 20 years in radio this month and all of a sudden I am no longer on the radio.  Thanks to everyone in Louisville and Southern Indiana who has showed me love and support for last four years.  I am a believer in the old saying everything happens for a reason, so hopefully the universe has something dope in store for me.”…..WWKA, Orlando “K92.3” afternoon drive personality AJ Maguire exited the station last Friday (9/6) after seven years with the Cox Media Group station.  He’s expected to announce a new gig in the near future…..Cumulus Media’s alternative WKQX, Chicago announces the lineup for its annual Christmas shows, “The Nights We Stole Christmas.”  The series of five shows is being held at Chicago’s Byline Bank Aragon Ballroom December 11-15, 2019.  The lineup by date includes: 12/11 – Cage The Elephant, Angles & Airwaves, The Federal Empire; 12/12 – The 1975, Bob Moses, Allan Rayman; 12/13 – Twenty One Pilots, IDKHBTFM; 12/14 – Mumford & Sons, Local Natives; and 12/15 – 311, Highly Suspect, The Glorious Sons.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

| September 5, 2019

Adam Hoge Promoted at WGN; Content Partnership with The Athletic Announced. WGN, Chicago enters into a content partnership with The Athletic that will provide The Athletic subscribers an exclusive, additional podcast from WGN Radio’s Adam Hoge and The Athletic’s Adam Jahns. The “Hoge & Jahns” podcast has been popular with WGN listeners and the addition of the new podcast coincides with Adam Hoge’s promotion to manager of digital sports content for Tribune’s Media’s WGN Radio.  WGN director of marketing & digital innovation Tabitha Green says, “The success of ‘Hoge & Jahns’ is a great example of the innovation Adam will bring to his new role.  His passion for sports and expertise in digital storytelling will take us to a whole new level.”  In this new role, Hoge will oversee online strategies and content created by WGN Radio sports journalists.  Hoge will continue to be the station’s Chicago Bears insider, traveling with the team throughout the season.

Connoisseur Promotes Keith Dakin to VP of Programming. Connecticut-based programmer Keith Dakin has been the regional operations manager for Connoisseur Media. Now, after nine years with the company, Dakin rises to vice president of programming for the entire station group. Connoisseur Media CEO Jeff Warshaw says, “Keith has done a terrific job with our Connecticut stations and has been an extremely valuable resource for Connoisseur.  His ability to work with talent is particularly prized within our company.”  Dakin says, “I am beyond honored to be given a chance to oversee the programming for Connoisseur Media.  Our CEO Jeff Warshaw has assembled a collection of legendary radio stations that I can’t wait to work with. These are huge brands that really connect on a local level and bring unique, interesting and compelling content to our listeners.”  Connoisseur recently acquired news/talk WICC, Bridgeport and AC WEBE, Westport Connecticut, as well as Frederick, Maryland duo news/talk WFMD-AM and country WFRE-FM.

Cumulus Names Eric Mastel to Charleston Market Manager Role; Gigi South to Lead Savannah Station Group. The July passing of Charleston, South Carolina market manager Sherry Dollar put Cumulus Media in the position of searching for her replacement.  Now, the company announces it is moving Eric Mastel from his VP and market manager post in Savannah to the leadership position in Charleston.  The Charleston cluster includes news/talk WTMA-AM and four music outlets.  Cumulus EVP Bob Walker comments, “We are thrilled that Eric will be moving to Charleston to lead our team and our great brands.  He is an accomplished leader and will complement the strong team in Charleston nicely.”  Taking over the cluster management in Savannah is Gigi South, who joins Cumulus Media to serve as vice president and market manager for the six-station group that includes news/talk WBMQ-AM and sports talk WJLG-AM “The Ticket AM900,” as well as four music brands.  South was most recently general manager with Mississippi Broadcasters.  Prior to that, she was vice president of WSCG-TV in Beaufort, South Carolina.  South says, “To say that I am overjoyed to return to the Savannah-Hilton Head market with Cumulus would be an understatement.  A thriving market, a results-focused team, the support and tools available from Cumulus, and our dominant signals are enough to get anyone excited.”

Great Lakes Media Adds Mitch Dolan and Ed Nolan to Leadership Team. The Milwaukee-based firm Great Lakes Media Corp. announces two additions to its leadership team.  Mitch Dolan joins as chief operating officer and Ed Nolan is named chief financial officer.  Dolan was most recently COO of radio & outdoor for Times-Shamrock Communications.  During his career he also served as president of the ABC Radio Station Group and president and general manager of WPLJ-FM, New York.  Nolan was most recently SVP/CFO & treasurer of Greater Media, Inc.  Great Lakes Media CEO Tom Langmyer states, “I’m pleased to welcome two experienced and exceptional leaders to Great Lakes Media.  Mitch is highly respected in the media industry and, whether in New York City, where he operated stations directly, or in the ABC major markets he led across the U.S., his outstanding track-record of achievement was defined by his ability to consistently out-perform the companies and stations with whom he competed.  Ed’s distinguished career is highlighted by his oversight and successful execution of a number of complex M&A transactions while serving on the senior leadership team of one of America’s finest and most-admired media companies.” Great Lakes Media Corp. intends to primarily invest in the acquisition of local radio stations and digital platforms in the U.S., focusing on properties in medium and large markets in the Northeast and Upper Midwest.

Clingerman Appointed Market President for Townsquare’s Wichita Falls Stations. Moving from the television to the radio business is Troy Clingerman, who is named market president and chief revenue officer for Townsquare Media’s Wichita Falls, Texas cluster that includes news/talk KWFS-AM and three music-formatted stations.  Clingerman was most recently local sales manager for Tegna’s KYTX-TV in Tyler, Texas.  Prior to that, he served in the digital sales department at E.W. Scripps’ KJRH-TV, Tulsa.  Clingerman says, “I’m excited to join the Townsquare team in Wichita Falls.  The key to our success will be talented people and all the solutions any small business would ever need, both of which we have in Wichita Falls.”

Sports Talk WOFX-AM, Albany Adds FM Signal. Albany market sports talk outlet WOFX-AM “FOX Sports 980” adds an FM signal to its broadcast via translator W240EC at 95.9.  The iHeartMedia station carries the FOX Sports Radio daily lineup – “Outkick the Coverage with Clay Travis” in mornings, followed by Dan Patrick, “The Herd with Colin Cowherd,” and Doug Gottlieb in afternoon drive. Station program director Jeff Wolf says, “FOX Sports has the best national talent and sports play-by-play programming for sports fans all over the Capital Region.  We are absolutely thrilled to bring FOX Sports programming to even more listeners on 95.9 FM.”

Christine Travaglini to Receive MIW Group’s 2019 Trailblazer Award. The Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Group announces that Katz Radio Group president Christine Travaglini is the recipient of this year’s MIW Group Frances Preston Trailblazer Award.  The MIW Group Trailblazer Award is presented annually to a woman who, through her leadership and success in the industry, creates opportunities for other women in radio to further their careers.  Travaglini will receive the award on September 25 during the Wednesday headliner, “You’re Not Just in the Radio Business Anymore: Stories from Innovators Who’ve Made the Transformation,” session at the NAB/RAB Radio Show.  MIW Group National Spokeswoman Denyse Mesnik says, “Christine began her career with Katz as a sales assistant in the Atlanta office and was the first person to rise from an assistant to a division president within the organization — that personifies a Trailblazer!  When selecting our MIW Trailblazer, we look for a woman who forged her own path to success in our industry while making it a priority to nurture others in their career growth.  Christine embodies those qualities and we look forward to honoring her at the 2019 Radio Show.”

TALKERS News Notes. On October 7, Howard Stern will commemorate the official opening of SiriusXM Hollywood, the company’s new Hollywood complex that features artist-first studios, with his first broadcast from the West Coast in almost 20 years.  The new broadcast and performance space is located in the heart of the burgeoning Hollywood Media District at 953 N. Sycamore Ave.  SiriusXM/Pandora says it “has been built from the ground up to reflect the company’s commitment to the West Coast artist community and audience, and to be the base for originating great talk, compelling entertainment, world class music, and exclusive performances for the more than 100 million listeners of the United States’ leading audio entertainment company.”…..The Westwood One-distributed “BOB & TOM Show” begins airing in Chicago on Monday (9/9) on Cumulus Media’s WKQX-HD2.  Cumulus says, “The popular show will broadcast with limited commercial interruption via a full metro market signal broadcasting from the top of the John Hancock Building.  The nearly 1.8 million HD Radio-equipped cars in the Chicago DMA will make ‘The BOB & TOM Show’ accessible for scores of people in the Chicagoland area who grew up listening to the legendary morning comedy show in markets across the Midwest and beyond.”…..iHeartMedia Milwaukee announces it has joined forces with The Wisconsin Podcast Festival to promote one listener’s podcast on-air with the “iHeart Your Podcast” contest.  The promotional contest will give the winner the opportunity to have their podcast advertised on all six of iHeartMedia Milwaukee’s stations including, news/talk WISN and sports talk WRNW-FM “97.3 The Game.”  The festival is the first of its kind and will feature live podcasts and special guests, including ‘95.7 BIG FM’ personality Eric Paulsen.  Wisconsin Podcast Festival founder Allison Phillips says, “It only made sense to partner with iHeartMedia Milwaukee for the Wisconsin Podcast Festival.  We can’t wait to bring Wisconsin’s podcasters and aspiring podcasters together for a weekend of learning and sharing.”…..Rapper and actor Tip “T.I.” Harris drops his first two “expeditiously” podcast episodes in partnership with PodcastOne.  In one episode, hip hop legends LL Cool J and Ice Cube join Harris to share never-before-heard stories of transitioning from kids who rapped in the hood, into mega superstar MCs, along with their evolution into successful businessmen…..iHeartMedia Riverside’s KPWK “FOX Sports AM 1350” enters into a  broadcast agreement with the California Baptist University athletics department, effective for the 2019-2021 athletic seasons.  As part of the deal, “FOX Sports AM 1350” will serve as the official flagship radio station for the school’s men’s basketball team.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Chicago, Hubbard Radio names Rachel Kelso associate producer of the morning drive “Sherman & Tingle Show” on classic rock WDRV “97-1 FM The Drive.”  Kelso previously served as producer for the “Jenn & Friends Show” at Entercom’s CHR WSTR, Atlanta “Star 94.”…..Pictured below (l-r) are WMMR, Philadelphia’s Bill Weston, Jacky Bam Bam, and Bill Burns assembling boxes of food at Metropolitan Area Neighborhood Nutrition Alliance as part of Beasley Media Group Philadelphia’s 2019 Day of Caring Initiative.  Three shifts of Beasley volunteers peeled and chopped vegetables, prepared and packaged soups, and assembled breakfast, lunch and dinner meal trays for freezing.  The organization provides medically appropriate meals, three a day, seven days a week, for area residents affected by chronic, life-threatening illnesses.

 

 

August 2019 PPM Data – Information for the August 2019 ratings period has been released for Washington (D.C.), Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union. Nielsen Audio’s August 2019 survey period covered July 18 – August 14. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these nine PPM markets.

Washington, DC

Spoken-Word Formats – On the heels of July’s +.9, Cumulus Media news/talk WMAL is steady at 5.3 (6+) but pushes up from sixth to fifth. July’s increase halted three successive March through June declines that accounted for an overall 2.4 (6.8 – 5.5 – 5.2 – 4.4, 6+). Immediately before that streak, WMAL posted three straight (“Holiday” 2018 through March 2019) improvements for a collective +2.5 (4.3 – 5.7 – 6.6 – 6.8, 6+), with March’s 6.8 its 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 13th sweep in succession.

This is the third consecutive report that Entercom sports talk WJFK-FM (Nationals) has logged a 3.4 (#13 to #12, 6+). In June, “106.7 The Fan” recaptured almost half (three-tenths) the eight-tenths lost in May. After nearly doubling (+.4) its 6+ AQH share via four straight sweeps without a loss (.5 – .7 – .8 – .8 – .9, 6+), Radio One’s similarly-formatted WTEM “980 The Team” is off 33% (-.3) in July/August (.9 – .7 – .6, #21 to #23, 6+). On July 1, Cumulus Media suspended its news/talk simulcast of WMAL-AM & WMAL-FM; WMAL-AM became sports talk WSBN “ESPN 630 AM The Sports Capitol.” WSBN checked in with a .1 (#29, 6+) in the July report but is unlisted in August.

An overall -2.5 in six successive down or flat sweeps (10.4 – 9.8 – 9.7 – 8.7 – 8.7 – 8.2 – 7.9, 6+), WTOP applies the brakes with a +.1 to 8.0 (6+) but backslides from second to third. The Hubbard Broadcasting all-news operation shifted to the runner-up slot in July after six straight months at #1. January’s 10.4 was its best 6+-performance since March 2018 (10.4, as well). Entercom business news WDCH gains two-tenths via three consecutive up or flat moves (.4 – .5 – .6 – .6, #24 to #23, 6+).

A July boost of four-tenths by American University-owned news/talk WAMU (8.0 – 8.4, 6+) interrupted three successive slips that accounted for a loss of nine-tenths (8.9 – 8.7 – 8.4 – 8.0, 6+). “The Mind Is Our Medium,” which progressed from the runner-up slot to #1 this time last month, forfeits two-tenths to 8.2 (6+) and is tied for the lead position. Immediately prior to gaining three-tenths in March, WAMU was -2.2 (“Holiday” 2018); +2.5 (January 2019); and -1.2 (February).

Washington, DC Music Formats – Over and above adding one-half share to July’s +.2 (7.5 – 7.7 – 8.2, 6+), Radio One urban AC WMMJ “Majic” – which had been anchored in third-place the past eight reports – marches to a first-place tie (with public news/talk WAMU – see above). July’s increase applied the brakes to three consecutive dips that resulted in a cumulative loss of seven-tenths (8.2 – 7.8 – 7.7 – 7.5, 6+). Immediately prior to that skid, “Majic” put together six successive increases that netted a +1.8 (6.4 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.4 – 7.5 – 7.9 – 8.2, 6+). This is its highest 6+-showing since March (8.2, as well). Howard University’s similarly-programmed WHUR is off six-tenths in three down or flat monthlies in succession (6.5 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 5.9, 6+) and is in fourth-place the fourth consecutive time. Down one-tenth in back-to-back reports (6.5 – 6.4 – 6.3, 6+), WHUR regained that deficit with a May pickup of two-tenths. 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+). Tacking on eight-tenths to July’s +.1 (4.2 – 4.3 – 5.1, 6+), Atlantic Gateway Communications contemporary Christian WGTS “91.9 Christian Music Radio” carries on at #7. Myersville, Maryland-licensed WWEG “106.9 The Eagle” surfaced in print in January with a .6 (6+). The Manning Broadcasting classic hits-oldies station cracked the top twenty in February, April, May, and June. “The Eagle” is up one-half share to 1.2, its highest 6+-stat since debuting in January, and lands at #19. A loss of one-half share (3.8 – 3.3, 6+) sends Greater Washington Educational Telecommunications’ WETA “90.9 – Washington’s Classical Music Station” off the top ten (#9 to #13). While it remains in fifth-place, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH “97.1 – Washington’s Variety” surrenders one-tenth to 5.3 (6+), thus snapping four straight sweeps without a loss that accounted for a +1.0 (4.4 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 5.3 – 5.4, 6+). July’s 5.4 was its best 6+-performance since “Holiday” 2018 (10.4). On May 31, Cumulus Media hot AC WRQX “Mix 107.3 More Music – More Variety” transitioned to an Educational Media Foundation-owned contemporary Christian as WLVW “Positive & Encouraging K-Love.” May 2019 marked the final sweep before the format/ownership switch and “Mix” added six-tenths (3.5 – 4.1, 6+) to exit 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+). In its new format, WLVW eroded by roughly 78% (-3.2) in June/July (4.1 – 2.2 – .9, #17 to #19, 6+); however, WLVW adds four-tenths in August to 1.3 (6+) and inches up to #18.

Boston

Spoken-Word FormatsEight positive or neutral trends in succession by iHeartMedia news/talk WRKO have yielded a +1.6 (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.6 – 3.7, 6+); “AM 680 – The Voice of Boston” repeats at #8. For the third month in a row, co-owned WXKS-AM “Talk 1200” adds one-tenth (.4 – .5 – .6 – .7, #26 to #25, 6+).

Up four-tenths (3.3 – 3.7, tenth to eighth, 6+) Entercom-owned sports talk WEEI-FM (Red Sox) catches Beasley Media Group-owned (Patriots, Celtics, Bruins) WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub,” which has lost nearly half (-3.3) its 6+ AQH-share in three drops in a row (7.0 – 5.6 – 3.8 – 3.7, seventh to eighth, 6+). Sample shifts for WEEI-FM include: -.5 (September 2018); +.5 (October); +.6 (November); -2.0 (December); -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.7 (January 2019); -1.0 (February); -.5 (March); +.6 (April); and -.6 (July). Nine recent shifts for “The Sports Hub” include: +.9 (October 2018); +.8 (November); -1.0 (December); +.5 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.6 (January 2019); -.8 (February); +.8 (May); -1.4 (June); and -1.8 (July).

Frozen on 5.0 (6+) the past five months, iHeartMedia-owned news-talk hybrid WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” busts out a one-half share increase to 5.5 (6+) and continues in fifth-place; WBZ-AM was +1.3 in January/February (4.3 – 5.5 – 5.6, 6+).

Up four-tenths in July/August (3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8, 6+), Boston University news/talk WBUR moves from ninth to seventh. In addition to advancing from #16 to #14, WGBH Educational Foundation news/talk WGBH picks up six-tenths to 2.8, its best (6+) showing since December 2018 (2.8, as well).

Boston Music Formats – Improving by six-tenths each are Beasley Media Group’s WBOS “Boston’s Rock 92.9 Rocks” (#14 to #13) and Northeast Broadcasting triple A WXRV “92.5 The River – Boston’s Independent Radio” (2.1 – 2.7, #17 to #15, 6+). “Rock 92.9” is up eight-tenths in three straight increases (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 3.2, 6+). When “The River” relinquished six-tenths in July, it curtailed four consecutive upticks that netted nine-tenths (1.8 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.7, 6+). A gain of three-tenths to 2.2 (flat at #18, 6+) by iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WJMN “Jam’n 94.5” pulls the plug on six straight down or flat moves that resulted in a -1.2 (3.1 – 2.8 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+). Notwithstanding that it is #1 the fifth month in a row, Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies WROR “105.7 – 80s & More” falters by -1.1 (8.8 – 7.7, 6+). This follows – and basically wipes away – back-to-back (June and July) increases of six-tenths (7.6 – 8.2 – 8.8, 6+). When WROR dropped two-tenths in May, it 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+). Boston’s (6+) pacesetters thus far this calendar year have been: iHeartMedia-owned CHR WXKS-FM “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” (January, 7.3, and February, 7.4, 6+); WROR (March and April, 7.8 – both times, 6+); WROR and WXKS-FM (May, 7.6, 6+); and WROR (June, 8.2, July, 8.8, and August, 7.7, 6+). In the market’s CHR arena, iHeartMedia’s aforementioned WXKS-FM “Kiss 108” is an overall -1.3 in three setbacks in succession (7.6 – 7.2 – 6.9 – 6.3, 6+) but is in the runner-up slot the third straight month. A one-half share increase in May took “Kiss 108” to 7.6, its strongest 6+-performance since August 2018’s 7.8. Entercom’s similarly-formatted WODS “103.3 Amp Radio” is without an increase the seventh consecutive time for a net loss of seven-tenths (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 1.8, #16 to #19, 6+). The combined +.8 that Entercom adult contemporary WMJX “Magic 106.7 – Today’s Hits/Yesterday’s Favorites” racked up in May/June (6.1 – 6.2 – 6.9, 6+) is vaporized in July/August with a -.9 (6.9 – 6.4 – 6.0, 6+). June’s 6.9 was its highest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2018’s 14.5. The April 2019 through August 2019 (6+) profiles of Beasley Media Group rhythmic hot AC WBQT “Hot 96.9” and Entercom hot AC WWBX “Mix 104.1” are extremely similar. “Hot” is -1.0 in four straight down or flat moves (4.3 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 3.3, #10 to #11, 6+), while “Mix” is -.6 in four consecutive months without an increase (3.9 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.3, #10 to #11, 6+).

Miami

English-Language Spoken-Word Formats – The April 2019 through August 2019 topline for iHeartMedia news/talk WIOD “News Radio 620 – Miami’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” is a very consistent 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.6 (#18 to #17, 6+).

Recently rebranded from “Sports Radio 560” to “560 The Joe,” Entercom-owned WQAM (Dolphins) gains one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (.5 – 6 – .7, #30 to #28, 6+). It leapfrogs co-owned WAXY “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket,” which is down 33% (-.3) in July/August (.9 – .8 – .6, #26 to #29, 6+).

After logging four straight up or flat reports that produced two-tenths (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+), Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN falters by seven-tenths in July/August (2.3 – 1.9 – 1.6, 6+) and departs the top twenty (#20 to #21).

Miami Music Formats – Within 6.3 – 6.6 range in each of the last eight survey periods (6.5 – 6.4 – 6.6 – 6.4 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 6.6 – 6.3, 6+), Cox Media Group urban AC WHQT “Hot 105” breaks out a +.7 to 7.0 (6+) and continues in the runner-up slot. This (7.0) is the highest 6+-stat for “Hot” in just over one year (June 2018, 7.1, 6+). A collective -1.1 through six straight negative or neutral moves (5.2 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+), urban contemporary sibling WEDR ends the slump with a +.3 to 4.4 (6+); “99 Jamz” is anchored at #7. By gaining six-tenths (3.2 – 3.8, 6+), iHeartMedia classic rock WBGG “Big 105.9” cracks the top ten (#12 to #8) and records its best 6+-showing (3.8) since November 2017’s 3.9. In addition to regaining the three-tenths it lost in July (7.6 – 7.3 – 7.6, 6+), Cox Media Group-owned adult contemporary WFEZ “Easy 93.1” is #1 the eighth consecutive ratings period (including a three-way tie at #1 in February). Eight-tenths has been a common fluctuation recently for “Easy” as it was down eight-tenths in February; up by that magnitude in March; and up again by eight-tenths in June. Entering the “Holiday” 2018 sweep, “Easy 93.1” finished on top seven straight times. Entercom’s similarly-formatted WLYF repeats July’s (6+) AQH-share (5.5) and market rank (fourth). When “101.5 Lite FM” picked up one-tenth in July, it curtailed four straight sweeps without an increase that led to an overall -1.2 (6.6 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.1 – 5.4, 6+). It was in third-place March, April, May, and June. Following four upticks in succession that produced a +1.3 (2.8 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 4.1, 6+), rhythmic CHR cluster-mate WPOW “Power 96” surrenders all but one-tenth of that increase and fades from the top ten (2.9, -1.2, #7 to #15, 6+). While it continues at #9, Spanish Broadcasting System-owned Spanish tropical WXDJ “El Zol 106.7” is -1.2 in six straight down or flat trends (4.9 – 4.8 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+). In the market’s CHR contest, iHeartMedia-owned WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” gains three-tenths (2.8 – 3.1, 6+) at the same time that Cox Media Group’s WFLC “Hits 97.3” forfeits three-tenths (3.3 – 3.0, 6+). As a result, “Y-100” (#15 to #11) overtakes “Hits 97.3” (#11 to #13).

Seattle

Spoken-Word Formats – Steady in fifth-place, Bonneville news/talk KIRO-FM gains one-half share in July/August (4.6 – 4.9 – 5.1, 6+). Co-owned KTTH “Conservative Talk Radio,” which logged a +.5 in three straight sweeps without a loss (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.7, 6+), drops two-tenths to 1.5 (flat at #22, 6+). In five successive negative or neutral reports, Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned KVI lost more than half (-.9) of its 6+ AQH share since February (1.6 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.1 – .7, 6+), but “Talk Radio 570” ends the slide by picking up two-tenths to .9 (#26 to #25, 6+).

A collective -1.3 in four straight down or flat trends (4.3 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 3.0, 6+), Bonneville sports talk KIRO-AM “ESPN 710” (Mariners, Seahawks) slumps from #14 to #17. After having its 6+ stat sliced by more than 60% (-.9) via four consecutive slips (1.4 – 1.3 – 1.2 – .6 – .5, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KJR-AM “Seattle’s Sports Radio 950” improves by three-tenths to .8 (6+) and repeats at #28.

An increase of four-tenths (2.8 – 3.2, #15 to #13, 6+) takes Sinclair Broadcast Group all-news KOMO to its best 6+-stat (3.2) since November 2017’s 3.4.

In three consecutive decreases (6.1 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 5.2, 6+), Northwest Public Radio news/talk KUOW has lost nine-tenths and drops from second to fourth.

Seattle Music FormatsJune’s first-place tie between iHeartMedia-owned KZOK “102.5 Seattle’s Classic Rock Station” and Hubbard Broadcasting CHR KQMV “MOViN’ 92.5 – Seattle’s #1 Hit Music Station” was broken with emphasis in July when the former gained nine-tenths and the later spiraled by eight-tenths. The roles are reversed in August though as “MOViN’ 92.5” hangs out a +1.1 (5.3 – 6.4, third to first, 6+) while “Seattle’s Classic Rock Station” plummets by -1.0 (7.0 – 6.0, first to second, 6+). An overall -1.0 in four successive down or flat trends (7.0 – 6.8 – 6.8 – 6.6 – 6.0, 6+), KQMV ended the slump in June with a gain of one-tenth. “MOViN’” made it to #1 in April, the first time it reached the lead spot since November 2018. As a result of August’s -1.0, KZOK snaps its consecutive string of eight straight positive spikes that produced a +3.3 (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 5.6 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 7.0, 6+). Immediately in advance of that particular run, KZOK was -1.6 in four consecutive ratings periods without an increase (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 3.7, 6+). It’s a strong sweep for the market’s two adult contemporary outlets as Entercom’s KSWD “94.1 The Sound” logs a +1.0 (4.4 – 5.4, sixth to third, 6+), while Hubbard Broadcasting’s KRWM “Warm 106.9” improves by six-tenths (4.3 – 4.9, eighth to sixth, 6+). In each of the last three sweeps, “The Sound” and “Warm” were separated by one-tenth. Prior to eroding by -1.1 in April, “The Sound” was an overall +1.5 through three consecutive increases (3.7 – 3.8 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+). Entering 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. By notching a +.3 to 3.1 (flat at #15, 6+), Sinclair Broadcast Group hot AC KPLZ  “Star 101.5 Today’s Best Mix” halts seven straight down or flat reports that accounted for a collective -2.3 (5.1 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.8, 6+). A combined +1.4 in July/August (3.7 – 4.5 – 5.1, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits KJAQ “96.5 Jack FM Playing What We Want” surrenders half that increase (4.4 -.7, fourth to eighth, 6+). In July, Seattle’s version of “Jack” reached the five-share threshold (5.1, 6+) for the first time in nearly ten years (5.0, October 2009). After a lengthy hiatus from being in print, Hubbard Broadcasting adult standards KIXI resurfaced with three straight .7 showings (February, March, and April, 6+). It elevated to 1.3 (6+) in May; 1.2 (June, 6+); and 1.4 (July, 6+). In August, however, “AM 880 – Music As Cool Now As It Was Then” drops to .9 (#25, 6+). After more than doubling (+2.2) its 6+ AQH share in eight successive up or flat sweeps (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.3, 6+), co-owned KNUC “New Country 98.9 The Bull” returns one-tenth to 4.2 (6+) and departs the top ten (#8 to #12). One-tenth ahead of “The Bull” is Entercom’s KKWF “100.7 The Wolf – #1 For Country” (4.1 – 4.3, +.2, #12 to #9, 6+), which wiped away May’s +.9 with June/July’s combined -.9 (5.0 – 4.5 – 4.1, 6+). Prior to April, when it regressed by six-tenths, KKWF was a cumulative +1.4 as a result of three straight upticks (3.3- 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+).

Detroit

Spoken-Word Formats – Six straight sweeps without an increase by Cumulus Media’s WJR led to a -1.7 (3.7 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.1 – 2.6 – 2.0, 6+), but “News Talk 760” (Lions) applies the brakes with a +.2 to 2.2 (6+) and is flat at #19.

Stuck on 5.0 (6+) in February and March and then on 5.4 (6+) in April and May, Entercom sports talk WXYT-FM (Tigers) is a combined -1.5 in three successive setbacks (5.4 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+); “97.1 The Ticket” exits the top ten (#9 to #11).

A combined -1.4 in June/July (6.2 – 5.4 – 4.8, 6+), co-owned WWJ “News Radio 950” roars back with a +1.1 to 5.9 (6+) and vaults from sixth to second; WWJ was #1 in March.

The (repetitive) April 2019 through August 2019 topline for Michigan Public Media news/talk WUOM is: 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.6 (flat at #20, 6+). Unchanged at #21, Wayne State University news/talk WDET regains the two-tenths it dropped in July (1.2 – 1.0 – 1.2, 6+).

Detroit Music Formats – Not only is Beasley Media Group urban-rhythmic oldies WMGC +1.3 in July/August (3.9 – 4.1 – 5.2, 6+), “105.1 The Bounce” jumps into the top ten (#11 to #7) and reaches the five-share level for the first time since February 2017 (5.2, as well). Co-owned WRIF “Everything That Rocks” improves by six-tenths (4.6 – 5.2, 6+) to advance from eighth to seventh. This (5.2) is its highest 6+-showing since February’s 5.9. Still in that Beasley Media Group cluster, WCSX “94.7 – Detroit’s Classic Rock” is off three-tenths (7.2 – 6.9, 6+) but repeats at #1. Its June/July +.8 (6.4 – 6.5 – 7.2, 6+) followed three successive down or flat months that accounted for a -1.4 (7.8 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.4, 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. Off a full-share through four straight survey periods without an increase (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WJLB “97.9 – Detroit’s Hip-Hop and R&B” halts the slide with a +.4 to 3.5 (#15 to #14, 6+). A loss of six-tenths (6.2 – 5.6, 6+) sends adult contemporary cluster-mate WNIC “The Best Variety of the ‘80s, ‘90s, & Today” from second to fifth. 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. WNIC’s “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+). Unchanged at #10 is its format rival – Entercom’s WDZH “98.7 The Breeze” – which is off a combined eight-tenths in July/August (4.8 – 4.3 – 4.0, 6+). CHR WDZH “Amp Radio” became adult contemporary “The Breeze” in early-November (2018) and, 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+), it more than doubled (+2.5) its 6+ AQH share. The streak, however, ended in July. Even though Cumulus Media’s country-formatted WDRQ is +1.3 through six consecutive positive or neutral sweeps (1.6 – 1.9 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+), “93.1 Nash FM” backslides from #16 to #17. This (2.9) is its best 6+-stat since May 2018’s 3.0. Entercom’s similarly-formatted WYCD “99.5 Detroit Country Music” is off seven-tenths in July/August (5.3 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+) and slides from sixth to ninth.

Phoenix

Spoken-Word Formats – On the heels of June’s -.8 (4.0 – 3.2, 6+), Bonneville news/talk KTAR-FM (Arizona Cardinals) is a combined +1.0 in July/August (3.2 – 3.3 – 4.2, 6+) and zooms into the top ten (#11 to #6). Despite being off seven-tenths via three drops in succession (3.1 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.4, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KFYI “News Talk 550” climbs from #16 to #15.

Off -1.0 in June/July (3.1 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+) Bonneville sports talk KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona Sports” (Arizona Diamondbacks) notches an August +.3 to 2.4 (6+) and leaps from #19 to #15 (tied with KFYI).

Albeit that Maricopa County Community College news/talk KJZZ repeats July’s 3.4 (6+), it departs the top ten (#10 to #11).

Phoenix Music Formats – Recording increases of one-half share each are Entercom classic hits-oldies KOOL “94.5 Phoenix Classic Hits” (third to second) and iHeartMedia’s KNIX “102.5 Today’s Best Country” (steady at #5). KOOL is an overall +2.3 in five bumps in succession (4.0 – 4.1 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 5.8 – 6.3, 6+) and has its best 6+-stat (6.3) in more than two years (July 2017, 6.4, 6+). KNIX “Today’s Best Country” gains nine-tenths in three successive spikes (4.2 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 5.1, 6+), obliterating its -.9 in three straight decreases (5.1 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+) and matches February’s 5.1. Adult contemporary sibling KESZ is an overall +1.7 via five consecutive upticks (5.3 – 5.5 – 5.9 – 6.5 – 6.8 – 7.0, 6+) and repeats at #1 with its strongest 6+-showing since January (7.0, as well). Owing to three drops in a row (5.3 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 3.7, 6+), CHR cluster-mate KZZP “104.7 Kiss-FM” is a cumulative -1.6 and shifts from seventh to tenth. The last time “Kiss” fell below a four-share (6+) was “Holiday” 2017 (3.0). Univision Radio regional Mexican KHOT “Que Buena 105.9,” which was -1.1 in four straight sweeps without an increase (3.0 – 3.0 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 1.9, 6+), ends the slide with a +.3 to 2.2 (6+) and reenters the top twenty (#21 to #18). Off seven-tenths (2.7 – 2.0, 6+), Entravision’s similarly-formatted  KLNZ “La Tricolor 103.5” fades from the top twenty (#14 to #21). Faltering by one-half share each are iHeartMedia adult hits KYOT “95.5 The Mountain – We Play Everything” (6.7 – 6.2, second to third, 6+); Hubbard Broadcasting-owned KUPD “Arizona’s Real Rock” (4.6 – 4.1, fifth to seventh, 6+); and iHeartMedia hot AC KMXP “Mix 96.9” (4.4 – 3.9, eighth to ninth, 6+). Recent shifts for KYOT “The Mountain” include: -1.2 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.6 (January/February); -.8 (March); +.7 (April) -1.2 (May); +1.2 (June); and -.5 (August). “The Mountain” ranked first three ratings periods in succession before being ousted in May. KUPD “Arizona’s Real Rock” has its lowest 6+-stat (4.1) since “Holiday” 2016’s 4.0. In July, KMXP “Mix” gained one-half share to halt seven successive down or flat reports that accounted for a -2.0 (5.9 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 3.9, 6+).

Riverside

Spoken-Word Formats – After three ratings periods in a row of being unlisted, iHeartMedia news talk KKDD “1290 News Talk IE” resurfaces with a .1 (#20, 6+).

Unchanged at #20, co-owned KPWK “Fox Sports Radio 1350 AM” has a November 2018 through August 2019 topline of: .2 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .1 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1 (6+). For the 20th straight sweep, similarly-formatted/Los Angeles Angels-owned (LAA 1, LLC) KLAA “Angels Radio AM 830” is unlisted.

This is the fourth report in a row that San Bernardino Community College news/talk KVCR is below a one-share (.8 – .4 – .6 – .5 – .8, flat at #14, 6+). Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” posts a .3 (6+) for the third time in the last five reports (.1 – .3 – .1 – .3 – .3, 6+) and repeats at #16.

Riverside Music Formats – Off six-tenths in June/July (3.0 – 2.9 – 2.4, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KSCA “LA 101.9” erases that shortfall with an increase of nine-tenths to 3.3 (eighth to sixth, 6+). In three down or flat trends in a row (4.6 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 3.5, 6+), Spanish contemporary cluster-mate KLVE was a collective -1.1 but “107.5 K-Love” picks up two-tenths to 3.7 (6+) and carries on at #5. Not only does KLYY add eight-tenths to July’s one-half share increase (6.2 – 6.7 – 7.5, 6+), “Jose” marches from second to first. Prior to July, the Entravision Spanish adult hits outlet was an overall -4.3 in seven straight declines (10.5 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 8.1 – 7.4 – 7.0 – 6.4 – 6.2, 6+). It had been in the runner-up slot in April, May, June, and July. In advance of the April ratings period, “Jose” occupied the #1 spot 11 sweeps in succession. December 2018’s 10.5 marked the first time any Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario station reached double-figures (6+) since April 2015, when KLYY recorded a 10.4. After four straight months at #1, KOLA segues to #2. The Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies station is -1.7 in July/August (8.6 – 7.6 – 6.9, 6+), immediately after being +1.8 via three successive positive spikes (6.8 – 7.2 – 8.0 – 8.6, 6+). Prior to May, the last time KOLA reached the eight-share level (6+) was February 2018 (8.4). KOLA finished second in 11 successive survey periods and went to #1 in April. Good News Radio contemporary Christian KSGN falters for the sixth time in the last seven sweeps and is a collective -1.7 in that stretch (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.2 – 2.4, sixth to eighth, 6+). “Family Friendly 89.7” falls below a three-share (2.4, 6+) for the first time since November 2018’s 2.7. Two of its format rivals – Educational Media Foundation-owned KLRD “Air 1 – Worship Now” (1.6, #11, June 2019, 6+) and KKLQ “Positive, Encouraging 100.3” (.7, #15, June 2019, 6+) – are unlisted for the second month in succession. After reaching the five-share level in July (5.1, 6+), Entercom’s KFRG “New Country K-Frog” sputters by seven-tenths to 4.4 (6+) but continues at #3. In four consecutive down or flat trends, Liberman Broadcasting regional Mexican KRQB is down eight-tenths (3.3 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+) but stays in seventh-place. This (2.5) is the lowest 6+-showing for “Que Buena 96.1” since 2.3 in November 2018. The +1.6 that LC Media urban-rhythmic oldies KQIE “Old School 104.7” chalked up in three successive improvements (2.1 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.7, 6+) becomes a -1.6 in five consecutive setbacks (3.7 – 3.4 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.3 – 2.1, flat at #9, 6+).

San Jose

Spoken-Word Formats – In ten straight San Jose sweeps without an increase (3.0 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.4, 6+), KGO lost more than 50% of its 6+ AQH share (-1.6). The Cumulus Media news/talk station answers with an August gain of four-tenths to 1.8 (6+) and reenters the top twenty (#23 to #19). There is a similar turnaround for co-owned news/talk KSFO, which is up two-tenths to 1.0 (#27 to #24, 6+), thus pulling the plug on three successive declines that accounted for a loss of roughly half (-.7) its 6+-stat (1.5 – 1.3 – 1.2 – .8, 6+). In July, KSFO fell below a one-share (.8, 6+) for the first time since “Holiday” 2018 (.9).

Regressing by six-tenths each are KGO and KSFO sports talk cluster-mate KNBR “The Sports Leader” (4.2 – 3.6, seventh to eighth, 6+) and Entercom’s similarly-formatted KGMZ “95.7 The Game” (#21 to #24, 6+). Giants flagship KNBR erased June’s half-share decrease and had posted a 4.2 (6+) three times in the previous four reports (4.2 – 4.2 – 3.7 – 4.2, 6+); KNBR was +1.1 in April. “The Game” erodes by nearly two-thirds (-1.9) in three straight sharp declines (2.9 – 2.4 – 1.6 – 1.0, 6+), immediately after a +1.4 as a result of three consecutive positive spikes (1.5 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.9, 6+).

The (repetitive) April 2019 through August 2019 topline for all-news sibling KCBS-AM is: 5.6 – 5.2 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 5.6 (fifth to fourth, 6+). KCBS-AM was -1.9 in three straight March through May decreases.

Even though it returns the three-tenths it added in July (6.0 – 6.3 – 6.0, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED remains at #3. Three straight slips by KQED accounted for a collective -1.1 (7.1 – 6.9 – 6.1 – 6.0, 6+). San Francisco Unified School District news/talk KALW follows July’s +.6 with an August drop-off of three-tenths (1.3 – 1.0, flat at #24, 6+).

San Jose Music Formats – Positive news continues for Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits,” which not only is #1 the fourth consecutive month but hauls out a +1.3 (7.3 – 8.6, 6+). “Bay FM” answered April’s -1.5 with a +1.3 in May (6.2 – 7.5, 6+), returning to #1 after an April-only stay at #2. Prior to the April sweep, KBAY had been +1.5 via three bumps in a row (6.2 – 6.9 – 7.3 – 7.7, 6+). Notching increases of six-tenths each are Univision Radio regional Mexican KSOL “Que Buena” (3.0 – 3.6, tenth to eighth); iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KYLD “Wild 94.9” (2.9, #13 to #11, 6+); and Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KJLV “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” (.1 – .7, #31 to #28, 6+). “Que Buena” has its best 6+-stat (3.6) in nearly two years (3.8, November 2017). “Wild” was a combined -1.1 in June/July (3.4 – 3.0 – 2.3, 6+), falling below a three-share (2.3, 6+, July 2019) for the first time since November 2018 (2.9). “K-Love” popped on with a .6 (6+) in June and then lost one-half share in July. Up one-half share (3.6 – 4.1, 6+), Empire Broadcasting’s KRTY “95.3 San Jose Hot Country” has its best 6+-performance since December 2018 (4.1, as well) and advances from ninth to sixth. Major ups/downs continue for Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “Amor 100.3,” which was an overall -1.1 in three successive declines (6.1 – 6.0 – 5.3 – 5.0, 6+); rebounded in July with a +.9 to 5.9 (6+); but now craters by -1.5 (4.4, fourth to fifth, 6+). In three straight drops, Bonneville-owned KUFX “98.5 K-Fox – The South Bay’s Classic Rock” falters by an overall -1.9 (5.8 – 5.3 – 4.9 – 3.9, sixth to seventh, 6+). This is the eighth month in a row that adult contemporary sibling KOIT-FM is unlisted in San Jose. As the result of five straight increases (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 6.0 – 10.1, 6+), “Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” was a cumulative +7.1 and reached #1 in “Holiday” 2018. KOIT-FM remains in print in the San Francisco report.

Middlesex

Spoken-Word Formats – In a bit of an oddity, Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW is #1 the seventh successive month yet hasn’t had an increase the seventh time in a row. “New Jersey 101.5” is -1.5 in that January 2019 through August 2019 timeframe (8.1 – 7.9 – 7.5 – 7.3 – 7.1 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 6.6, 6+). A boost of six-tenths (2.9 – 3.5, 6+) enables iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” to rocket from #17 to #12. Owing to three Middlesex-Somerset-Union upticks in succession, Cumulus Media news/talk WABC doubles (+.6) its 6+ AQH-share (.6 – .7 – .9 – 1.2, #25 to #24, 6+).

Three successive bumps by Entercom sports talk WFAN (Yankees, Giants) result in a net gain of eight-tenths (3.6 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.4, tenth to ninth, 6+). Similarly-programmed WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York,” which added seven-tenths in May, is down an overall nine-tenths in June/July/August (2.5 – 2.1 – 1.6 – 1.6, flat at #23, 6+).

In addition to being up one-half share via four consecutive positive spikes (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 2.1, 6+), Entercom all-news WINS enters the top twenty (#21 to #20). Conversely, co-owned/similarly-programmed WCBS-AM (Mets) is off seven-tenths in July/August (2.5 – 2.1 – 1.8, 6+) and departs the top twenty (#19 to #22).

After losing six-tenths in three consecutive decreases (2.5 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.9, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM ends the slide with a +.1 to 2.0 (6+) and repeats at #21.

Middlesex Music Formats – In addition to jumping from sixth to fourth, Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WMGQ “Magic 98.3 – Today’s Hits/Yesterday’s Favorites” is a collective +1.9 in four consecutive positive or neutral trends (3.4 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 5.3, 6+). This (5.3) is the strongest 6+-stat for “Magic” since “Holiday” 2018’s 5.8. Posting a robust August 2019 increase of nine-tenths as well is Emmis urban AC WBLS (5.4 – 6.3, third to second). WBLS now trails market frontrunner (news/talk) WKXW by just three-tenths. Three up or flat moves in succession by rhythmic CHR cluster-mate WQHT yield a +1.1 (2.7 – 2.8 – 3.0 – 3.6 – 3.6, 6+) as “Hot 97” enters the top ten (#11 to #10). This is its best 6+ Middlesex-Somerset-Union performance since November 2018 (3.6, as well). An uptick of six-tenths by iHeartMedia-owned WAXQ enables “Q-104.3 – New York’s Classic Rock” to reach the five-share level (4.4 – 5.0, unchanged at #6, 6+). On the other hand, off by six-tenths each are Entercom-owned WNYL “Alt 92.3 New York’s New Alternative” (3.3 – 2.7, #12 to #15) and iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WKTU “103.5 KTU” (3.1 – 2.5, #15 to #17, 6+). This (2.7) is the lowest 6+-stat for “Alt” since 2.5 in “Holiday” 2018. When WKTU posted a July gain of three-tenths, it interrupted three down or flat moves in a row that led to a loss of two-tenths (3.0 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+). Faltering by one-half share (4.1 – 3.6, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WNSH “New York’s Country 94.7” slips from ninth to tenth. Unchanged at #14, iHeartMedia-owned urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1” is off seven-tenths in four straight down or flat trends (3.7 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.0, 6+). While Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ is without an increase the fourth straight time for a -1.0 since April (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.7, 6+), “Mega 97.9” actually climbs from #16 to #15. Five successive improvements by Entercom hot AC WNEW net a +1.7 (3.4 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.1, 6+) as “NEW 102.7” continues in fifth-place. A combined -3.4 in June/July (3.8 – 2.0 – .4, #22 to #30, 6+), WNEW’s former hot AC competitor, WPLJ, disappears from print. Cumulus Media sold WPLJ to Educational Media Foundation, which shifted the station from hot AC to contemporary Christian on May 31.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

| August 9, 2018

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

 

 

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

| August 7, 2018

Field Answers USTN Lawsuit: “Ridiculous allegations.” As we reported last Monday (Talkers.com, 7/30), in a complaint filed in Harris County, Texas District Court, United States Traffic Network is suing Entercom for material and punitive damages “in excess of $5 million.” USTN alleges that Entercom entered into negotiations to buy the company and walked away from the deal at the last minute with the intent of developing a directly competitive business. Yesterday (Monday, 8/6), Entercom president/CEO David Field addressed the lawsuit in an internal memo. He writes, “The truth is we have acted in good faith and made every reasonable effort and then some to assist USTN in fixing their challenging issues.” Entercom released a statement including the following quote on the situation: “We are relieved to no longer be mired by the difficult USTN situation that was inherited as part of the CBS Radio merger. We will move quickly to augment our strong internal sales organization to ensure that we realize the full value of this inventory. With leading news brands like WINS, New York; KNX, Los Angeles; and WBBM, Chicago, Entercom has the industry’s most valuable traffic inventory. We are pleased to be in control of our own destiny as we pursue opportunities in this attractive market segment.” In response to the lawsuit, Field states, “Entercom believes it is entirely baseless, frivolous and frankly insulting. Entercom has worked tirelessly and constructively with USTN over the past six months to help USTN work through its significant financial issues. Entercom is owed substantial amounts of money by USTN, and the company intends to defend itself vigorously and assert all of its rights.” In yesterday’s memo, Field states, “To say the least, it is disappointing to read the ridiculous allegations that USTN has made when the truth is that we have acted in good faith and made every reasonable effort and then some to assist USTN in fixing their challenging issues. In order to set the record straight and ensure that you have all the facts regarding our relationship with USTN, I have included a summary of the events over the past 8 ½ months.” Click here to read the rest of Field’s memo.

Bortnick Joins iHeartMedia D.C. as Senior VP/Sales. Six-year vice president of sales for Entercom Washington (D.C.), Danny Bortnick crosses the street to become senior vice president of sales for iHeartMedia’s five stations in the Nation’s Capital. Region president Michael Preacher remarks, “We couldn’t be more pleased to welcome Danny to iHeartMedia. Danny has earned a great reputation building client-centric sales organizations while creating a positive work culture. He is the perfect fit for us.” Bortnick adds, “I am thrilled to be joining some of the most iconic brands in [the market], as well as one of the most recognizable media brands in the country.” Bortnick, who has a marketing and management degree from the University of Miami – School of Business, began his radio career 13 years ago as an account executive at Katz Radio in New York City and Atlanta. After a year at Katz, he became an account executive – and later, digital sales manager – at New York City all-news outlet WINS and then, director of sales for Salem Media Group New York City.

Saga Reports 6.5% Q2 Net Revenue Increase. For the quarter ending June 30, Saga Communications net revenue increased to $32.2 million. Meanwhile, operating income increased 2.7% to $6 million and station operating expense increased 8% to $23.1 million. Free cash flow from continuing operations was $6 million for the quarter, compared to $4.8 million for the same period last year. On a same station basis, net revenue decreased .6% to $30.1 million; operating income increased 1.5% to $6 million; and station operating expense decreased 1% to $21.2 million. The company had $52.9 million in cash on hand as of June 30, and $53.3 million as of yesterday (8/6). The company’s total long-term debt was $25 million as of June 30. Results for the quarter and six-month period were affected by the sale of the company’s television stations and purchase of radio stations in Charleston and Hilton Head (South Carolina) on September 1, 2017. Saga’s 2018 Q2 conference call will be at 11:00 am (ET) today (Tuesday, 8/7). Saga owns or operates 75 FM and 33 AM radio stations.

Gregg Receives Salute to Excellence Award. For the second consecutive year, Entercom Philadelphia’s KYW “News Radio 1060” community affairs reporter Cherri Gregg is recognized by the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ). This time, she will receive a “Salute to Excellence Award” at the NABJ’s gala in Detroit. Entercom Philadelphia senior vice president and market manager David Yadgaroff states, “It comes as no surprise that Cherri has been recognized once again for the exemplary work she contributes to KYW. The hard work she has committed in less than a year demonstrates why she is deserving of this honor.” Gregg remarks, “I am honored and humbled by this great recognition. This acknowledgment validates the importance of creating conversation around social issues.” Gregg was recognized in the “Public Affairs” category in “Top 15 Markets, Radio.” The specific segment – “Police Transparency – When Should Names of Officers Who Kill Be Released?” – was from her weekly program “Flashpoint,” which airs Saturdays (9:30 pm) and Sundays (8:30 am). Launched in 2017, “Flashpoint” discusses community affairs, political news, civil rights and social issues. Last year, NABJ honored Gregg with a “Salute to Excellence Award” in “TV Investigative – Top 15 Markets” for her piece “Driving While Black,” a collaboration between Entercom and KYW-TV, Philadelphia (Channel 3). Gregg, who joined Entercom in 2010, was president of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists (2015 – 2016) and vice president of broadcast in 2013. A member of the Pennsylvania and Georgia Bars, she has an undergraduate degree (B.S.) from Boston University; a J.D. from Howard University School of Law; and an M.J. from Temple University’s College of Communications and Theater. Gregg was named one of the Philadelphia NAACP’s Most Influential Black Women and PABJ’s Journalist of the Year in 2013.

Remembering Bill Wattenburg. Cancer has claimed the life of 82-year-old Bill Wattenburg, who died last Thursday (8/2). For 39 years (1972 – 2011), “Dr. Bill” hosted a late night show on KGO, San Francisco where the former nuclear weapons designer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory would answer questions about everything from car repairs to physics. Show promos often referred to him as “The smartest man in the world.” The three-hour program (“Open Line to the West Coast,” 10:00 pm – 1:00 am) aired Saturday and Sunday nights and originated from his home in the Sierras. An occasional caller was Clint Eastwood, who gave Wattenburg a few cameos in the “Dirty Harry” movies. Using the nom de plume Will Harvey, the inventor and former physics professor at the University of California – Berkeley authored an early-1970s best-selling book “How to Find and Fascinate a Mistress.” The success of that book led to him being booked on numerous television talk shows where he debated the merits of feminism with people such as the Gabor sisters and Gloria Steinem. As an inventor, Wattenburg had eight patents to his credit, one reportedly being the first home alarm system using electrical wiring for its communication medium. A 2011 KGO format modification from news/talk to news resulted in several hosts – including Wattenburg – exiting the station. Shortly thereafter, Wattenburg hosted a show on Zwerling Broadcasting System news/talk KSCO-AM, Santa Cruz (California), which – after his death – aired a two-hour retrospective of his radio career.

Spanish Broadcasting System Forecasts Q2 Sales, OIBDA Increases. Preliminary estimated quarter two financial results for Spanish Broadcasting System estimates that consolidated net revenue will be between $34.5 million and $34.8 million, an increase of between 1% and 2% over the same period in 2017. Adjusted OIBDA, excluding non-cash stock-based compensation, is projected at $10.8 million – $11.6 million, an increase of 34% – 44% over last year. SBS chair/chief executive officer Raul Alarcon notes, “The company has continued its positive operational momentum throughout the second quarter with strong OIBDA growth and operating margins that continue to be among the highest in the industry.  In addition, the announced $14 million sale of our surplus real estate in New York City has successfully closed, allowing for our move to newer and more suitable facilities in midtown Manhattan. A correlated and corresponding repayment of the company’s 12.5% senior secured notes from the net proceeds of the real estate sale has been undertaken, as previously envisioned. We maintain our positive view as to the continuing momentum in 2018 and will be filing our finalized second-quarter results within the next week.”

Ten Radio Groups Support NAB’s Owner Cap Modification Stance. Represented in this particular assemblage of group owners is “a cross-section of the industry” with minority-owned and family-owned entities that have stations in large and small markets. In alphabetical order by group owner, the open letter is signed by Alpha Media CEO Bob Proffitt; Connoisseur Media founder/CEO Jeff Warshaw; Emmis Communications chair/CEO Jeff Smulyan; Midwest Communications COO Michael Wright; Mid-West Family Stations president Thomas Walker; Neuhoff Communications president/CEO Beth Neuhoff; NRG Media president/CEO Mary Quass; Perry Publishing and Broadcasting chair Russell Perry; Townsquare Media co-CEOs Dhruv Prasad and Bill Wilson; and Zimmer Radio of Mid-Missouri president/owner John Zimmer. Read the entire letter here.

Round One of July 2018 PPM Data Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union. Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 survey period covered June 21 – July 18. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

TALKERS News Notes. Following stints on New Jersey outlets WMTR and WCTC, Jonathan Friedman’s “Talking Sports” (8:00 pm – 10:00 pm) debuts this Saturday (8/11) on Salem Media Group New York City’s news/talk WNYM “AM 970, The Answer.” The 52-year-old New Jersey resident notes, “I wanted to bring the show to a bigger stage. Growing up in Atlanta and being a huge fan of the Atlanta Falcons, Hawks, and Braves, my love for sports started early in my life. No matter who I talk to, the topic always seems to go to sports; that’s how I connect with people.” A 30-year advertising executive, Friedman has been with Success Communications Group the last 15 years and created the “Gotta Go To Mo’s” campaign for Modell’s Sporting Goods ….. St. Louis-based Project 21 co-chair Stacy Washington is broadcasting “Stacy on the Right” live nationwide. The first hour of the weekday talk program is available on all 180 stations of the American Family Radio Network. The national hour is 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm (ET) and can be streamed through the AFR website, TuneInRadio, Facebook, and YouTube. Decorated Air Force veteran and Emmy-nominated TV personality Washington began her broadcasting career several years ago as a fill-in host on news/talk KFTK, St. Louis and began a two-hour program on the Urban Family Talk Network in 2016 ….. Having added ten million listeners over the last few months, iHeartRadio officially surpasses 120 million registered users. It has over 20,000 podcasts in 20 different unique categories, including 750 iHeartRadio original podcasts ….. According to a report by Richard Deitsch in The Athletic, former NFL quarterback (St. Louis Rams, New York Giants, Arizona Cardinals) Kurt Warner will succeed Boomer Esiason as analyst on Westwood One’s “Monday Night Football” broadcasts. Hall of Famer Warner – who has filled-in when Esiason wasn’t available – would work alongside play-by-play announcer Kevin Harlan. According to Deitsch, a formal announcement of the deal is forthcoming ….. In a situation that will have him relocating to the network’s Chicago headquarters, Scott Krus – station manager of religious teaching WCRF “Moody Radio,” Cleveland – is promoted to general manager of the national Moody Radio Network. Three-month vice president, and former GM, Doug Hastings states, “Scott has the background, skills, and passion to take Moody Radio into our next season. He is very well known at Moody Radio; respected by staff and industry leaders; and has proven that he will effectively lead Moody Radio as general manager.” Krus, who begins his new duties in approximately four weeks (9/1), comments, “I am grateful for the opportunity to serve our teams and [am] energized by the challenge of navigating this ever-changing landscape of media ministry. I believe that Moody is strategically-positioned to expand on its role as a leader in the industry and uniquely equipped to inspire listeners to take that next step in their walk with Jesus Christ. I am looking forward with great excitement to all that God will do in the days to come.”

Paul Manafort Trial/Gates Testimony, Kushner Deleted Stories, Midterm Races, California Wildfire, MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/6). The trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort highlighted by the juicy testimony of Rick Gates; claims that Jared Kushner deleted sensitive stories at his newspaper; the attempted drone assassination attempt of Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro;  this fall’s midterm elections; the deadly California wildfire; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Premiere Promotes Silcock to VP/Affiliate Relations – Morning Shows. Six-year, New York City-based director of affiliate relations Casey Silcock receives vice president stripes from Premiere Networks. In the newly-created position of vice president of affiliate relations – morning shows, Silcock will oversee affiliate sales and serve as the syndicator’s brand manager for programs featuring Elvis Duran; Bobby Bones; Brooke & JubalJohnjay & Rich; and Kane. Senior vice president of affiliate relations/talk and morning shows Peter Tripi comments, “Casey has been a valuable member of our team for the past six years, and he has made significant contributions to the growth of our industry-leading morning shows. I’m confident his leadership, sound judgment, and solid relationships with affiliate stations and talent alike will drive continued success for our programming.” Silcock previously was head of promotion for Verve Music Group, a division of Universal Music Group, and held management promotion and marketing positions at Virgin Records America.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Weekend WTXF-TV “Fox 29,” Philadelphia sports anchor Sean Brace will appear each Friday at 8:20 am on iHeartMedia Philadelphia rhythmic hot AC WISX “Real 106.1” during “Chio in the AM.” In addition, Brace will contribute to the station’s website and host a Saturday night (7:00 pm – 12:00 midnight) music show. He formerly was heard on cross-town Greater Media (now Beasley Media Group) sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” ….. It is an eventful day for San Antonio air-on talent named “Cortez.” Taking to Facebook, Tony Cortez announces he is leaving his position as assistant program director/afternoon drive talent at Alpha Media’s  CHR KTFM “Energy 94.1,” while “The Dana Cortez Show” was missing this morning at cross-town Univision Radio-owned rhythmic CHR KBBT “98.5 The Beat.” On Twitter, Dana Cortez tweets, “We have some exciting things in the works & want you to be part of.” ….. Promotions coordinator/night personality Edwin Guevara is elevated to promotions director/afternoon host at Townsquare Media Trenton, New Jersey CHR WPST “94.5 – Your New #1 Hit Music Station.” He replaces Tom Shinn, who exited last month. Guevara is approaching his third year at the station, arriving from Kemp Broadcasting Las Vegas rhythmic CHR KVEG “Hot 97.5” ….. Former Bonneville country KYGO, Denver program director Eddie Haskell is named senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s Fort Collins (Colorado) stations. According to iHeartMedia Denver area president Amy Griesheimer, “I am thrilled to have someone of Eddie’s caliber and expertise partner with us to lead [our] Northern Colorado dynasty. Eddie’s passion and brand knowledge are unmatched.” Denver region senior vice president of programming Jason McCollim notes, “Eddie’s knowledge and experience in Colorado radio are second to none. His addition to the Fort Collins team will only help to increase our already strong footprint in Northern Colorado.” Haskell adds, “I am so stoked to join the team at iHeartMedia Fort Collins. We have great brands, great programmers, and a great management team.” His prior background includes being operations manager for Cumulus Media Albuquerque and he has held various programming roles in Detroit (WYCD) and Salt Lake City (KKAT-AM). The iHM cluster in Fort Collins includes country KXBG “Big 97.9”; classic hits-oldies KXBG-HD2 “B-107.3”; classic country KIIX “AM 1410 – Country’s Greatest Hits”; CHR KSME “96.1 – Kiss-FM”; classic rock KPAW “92.9 – The Bear”; alternative KPAW-HD2 “Radio 94.9”; and news/talk KCOL “Fox News Radio 600” ….. Grammy winner – and the first “American Idol” – Kelly Clarkson is filming a pilot for a daytime (TV) talk show.  Clarkson has a deal with NBC Entertainment, but the pilot is currently not attached to any network; it is potentially being shopped for a fall 2019 debut.