Tag: "Tom Tradup"

Monday, October 1, 2018

| October 1, 2018

WPEN-FM, Philadelphia Reveals New Morning and Midday Shows. A little more than a week after rumors in Philly swirled about the departure of Anthony Gargano from the morning drive show at Beasley Media Group’s sports talker WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic,” the company announces its plans.  The new AM drive show is “Farzetta and Tra In the Morning” with Philly sports media personality Marc Farzetta and former Eagles star William “Tra” Thomas.  The new midday program (10:00 am to 2:00 pm) will star Anthony Gargano and current midday host Jason Myrtetus.  Both shows launch on October 8.  Farzetta currently serves as co-host of NBC Sports Philadelphia’s “Philly Sports Talk.”   Previously, he served as an associate producer for NBC’s Sunday Night Football. Farzetta and Thomas will be joined by longtime Philadelphia sports journalist and current morning show co-host Bob Cooney and producer Jamie Lynch.  Station content manager Eric Johnson says, “We are very excited to be adding Marc Farzetta and Tra Thomas to ‘The Fanatic’ lineup.  I’ve been a fan of Marc’s since he started on the air in Philly in the mid 2000s.  He’s evolved into a major talent in town, growing from update anchor and time out entertainer at Temple basketball games to radio talk show anchor and NBC Sports Philadelphia host.  Tra has a natural gift of compelling story telling.  With Anthony Gargano leading our midday show with Jason Myrtetus, these moves will put the station in a much stronger competitive position.  This really ushers in a new era for a great brand…’97.5 The Fanatic!’”

Bob Pittman to Present at Advertising Week New York. The title of this panel discussion is “An America Divided: Are We Listening?” and it takes place this afternoon at day one of Advertising Week New York (AWNY runs through Thursday).  iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman will host a roundtable featuring Amy Brown, co-host of the “Bobby Bones Show”; Enrique Santos, chairman and chief creative officer of iHeartLatino; WHTZ, New York-based syndicated radio star Elvis Duran; and Stephanie Ruhle, the anchor of “MSNBC Live.”  Noting that the ad business is run by those living and working mostly in Manhattan and that often skews its perspective, Pittman’s presentation addresses that fact that “the Hispanic population of America is now 18%; the African American population is now 13%; and a quarter of a billion people live outside New York and Los Angeles.  Effective marketers need to understand everyone – not just their neighbors here [in NYC].”  The panel will explore what the multiple voices are in America today, what marketers don’t understand about this audience, and the best way to reach them.

Bob Brinker Ends Weekend ‘MoneyTalk’ Program.  One of the longest-running weekend financial talk programs wrapped on Sunday (9/30) as Bob Brinker steps away from “MoneyTalk,” the program he’s been hosting for more than 32 years.  Westwood One says that Brinker has decided to spend more weekend time with his family.  He’ll continue to author his award-winning investment letter, “Marketimer.”  Brinker began his radio career as a news anchor on KYW, Philadelphia in 1966.  In 1970 he entered the investment banking business with Provident National Bank as a portfolio manager.  He began a financial investment talk show on WMCA, New York in 1981 and went syndicated with the program in 1986 via the old ABC Radio Network.  The show eventually transitioned to syndication through Westwood One.

Sales Pro Chuck Deskins Returns to iHeartMedia as SVP of Inside Sales. Sales and management pro Chuck Deskins Jr. is rejoining iHeartMedia as senior vice president of inside sales, effective immediately.  He’ll be based in St. Petersburg, Florida and will report to EVP of inside sales, James Donovan.  Deskins was most recently a partner at C3 Media but spent the majority of his career with iHeartMedia. He launched his career as an account executive with Jacor in Cincinnati and became a Clear Channel staffer when it acquired Jacor.  In his new position, Deskins will “manage iHeartMedia’s team of inside sellers and managers and create advertising opportunities for brands and iHeartMedia partners across the company’s vast array of platforms including radio broadcasting, digital, mobile, outdoor, live concerts and events and more.”  He comments, “I spent most of my career at iHeartMedia and couldn’t be more excited to help our clients tap into such a powerful combination of marketing assets.  The iHeartMedia inside sales team is the best in the business and I look forward to working with our great team of professionals.”

TALKERS News Notes. From Chicago media writer Robert Feder comes news that WSCR, Chicago sports director Brendan McCaffrey is exiting the Entercom sports talk station after 10 years there to join SiriusXM’s NFL Radio as a producer.  Feder quotes station operations director Mitch Rosen’s staff memo in which he said, “It is hard putting into words what Brendan McCaffrey has meant to ‘The Score’ for the last 10-plus years because B-Mac has done just about everything at the station and knows more about the inner workings more than anyone.  I, like many of you, will miss Brendan’s humor, wit, and most importantly his interest and care for others around him.”…..Also from Robert Feder is the reported move of urban talk WVON and regional Mexican WRLL to new offices in the South Loop.  Midway Broadcasting is moving the stations from their South Side offices to 800 South Wells Street by the end of this year.  Midway chair Melody Spann-Cooper is quoted saying, “We will miss the South Side terribly, and the sentimental value of being here can’t be overstated.  However, I am excited about the move.  Like Cumulus, WGN, the Trib and the Sun-Times, it is time for Midway to downsize for efficiency and we embrace this new chapter.”…..KXL, Portland associate producer Jackson Sager (right) is leaving his role with the Lars Larson (left) show to launch his own talk show on sister news talk KUFO “Freedom 970.”  The weekend program will air Saturdays at 7:00 am.  Sager tells TALKERS that he’s also doing podcasting and voice-over work and says the time and dedication necessary to produce the Lars Larson show wouldn’t allow him to handle his other duties as he pursues his dream of having his own talk show…..In the screen shot below of this past weekend’s “Saturday Night Live” opening skit, Salem Radio Network East Coast director of affiliate relations Jim Bligh can be seen behind and to the right of host Matt Damon as an extra.  Bligh’s second career has landed him roles in a number of New York-filmed movies as well as an extra on “SNL,” which he’s done several times.  SRN VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup says Bligh told him, “Toughest thing was to keep from laughing at the guy lying on the floor next to me, who you can’t see, holding the Alyssa Milano pop-up on a stick!”

Well-Known Broadcasting Professional and TALKERS Exec Al Herskovitz Pens New Book.  Korean War veteran and renowned broadcasting industry “veteran” Al Herskovitz who, following his service to America, embarked upon a 68-year career in the radio business that’s still going strong, has written a new book published by TALKERS.  In The Tall, Skinny Jewish Kid with Eyeglasses from Bridgeport: A Radio Guy’s Chance Encounters with the Colorful and Famous (Talkers Books, 2018), he recalls the fascinating characters whom he met growing up in Bridgeport, Connecticut as a child of hard-working Jewish, Hungarian immigrants, a young man in the army, and a broadcaster at some of the nation’s leading radio stations.  They include show business celebrities, sports stars, politicians, mysterious international figures (including a couple of spies), and even a few mobsters!  Stories include details about the world famous movie actress who served as his babysitter before she was a star; a local radio co-worker who went on to become a quirky TV actor with a scandalous lifestyle; an articulate young man he met at a dinner party who became a present-day world leader; a major presidential candidate whose campaign he served as media consultant; and the touching story of his family’s search for relatives lost in the Holocaust.  The book also recalls numerous wild and wacky radio promotions and provocative insights into the lives of a parade of celebrities.  Herskovitz’s fascinating life in the idiosyncratic world of radio brought him into contact with an array of hundreds of figures from Kate Smith and Bob Dylan to Steve Forbes and Benjamin Netanyahu.  He writes about everything from skills he employed playing ping pong in the army recreation center to the pain of losing an officer friend accidentally blown up by a hand grenade in a war games maneuver.  It’s a story set against the backdrop of almost nine decades of American history – wars, protests, rapidly evolving pop culture and social norms – all the way to the author’s current activities on the leading edge of the digital era!  Today, pushing 90, Al remains fully engaged in the communications field and serves as senior marketing director for TALKERS.  He lives in Bradenton, Florida and is an active member of the Sarasota-based Media Round Table.  To arrange an interview with Al Herskovitz, please call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Kavanaugh FBI Investigation, Kanye West’s ‘SNL’ Trump Speech, New U.S.-Canada-Mexico Agreement, Midterm Elections, Trump-Russia Investigation, U.S.-China Relations, Warren Re-Considers Presidential Run, California Net Neutrality Law, NFL Action, and MLB Regular Season Finale Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The accusations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the FBI’s investigation into Christine Blasey Ford’s claim; rapper Kanye West’s controversial pro-Trump speech on “SNL”; the U.S., Mexico and Canada agree to new NAFTA deal; November’s midterm elections and the battle for control of congress; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the trade war between the U.S. and China; Senator Elizabeth Warren’s statement she’s considering running for president; the Trump administration sues California over its net neutrality law; the weekend’s NFL action and the final weekend of baseball’s regular season were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. KOST, Los Angeles morning personality Ellen K is launching The Ellen K Podcast Network designed to share “behind-the-scenes stories from Ellen K’s career and dive deeper into the stories of the day.”  The network will launch three new podcasts on iHeartRadio that will give listeners an in-depth look at what really goes on at the Ellen K shows.  Ellen K says, “I’m so excited to invite listeners into our studio through The Ellen K Podcast Network.  The opportunity to explore daily topics and everyday situations in a deeper way is thrilling to me.  I used to get in trouble in school for talking too much during class, and thanks to iHeartRadio I can continue my passion for connecting with listeners after the morning radio show is off air.”…..At Entercom’s classic hits KLUV, Dallas “98.7 K-LUV,” Jeff Miles is the new morning personality alongside Rebekah Black and David Rancken on the new “Miles in the Morning” program. Miles takes over for Jody Dean, who exits the program but will continue with KLUV in other capacities…..iHeartMedia announces the lineup for its 2nd annual ALTerEgo concert taking place on January 19 at the Forum in Los Angeles.  The bill for the event includes: Twenty One Pilots, The Killers, Muse, Weezer, Rise Against, Bishop Briggs, and The Revivalists.  iHeartMedia chief programming officer Tom Poleman says, “This will be one of the strongest alternative performance lineups to ever appear on one stage.  It’s such a strong lineup that it’s impossible to refer to any one of these incredible artists as the headliner – in fact, several of the performers have told us that it’s a show they would want to go to even if they weren’t already on the bill.”

Thursday, September 6, 2018

| September 6, 2018

SEC Critical of iHeartMedia Chapter 11 Plan. The Securities and Exchange Commission has a problem with iHeartMedia’s Third Amended Joint Chapter 11 plan for reorganization on grounds relating largely to its provisions for non-debtor third parties.  If given final approval by the Bankruptcy Court, iHeartMedia would shed some $16 billion in debt via a combination of debt-for-equity to creditors and the issuing of new notes.  The SEC writes in its opinion that the Plan violates the Bankruptcy Code with respect to discharge petitions.  Specifically, it says, “the Plan includes releases that allow non-debtors to benefit from the Debtors’ bankruptcy by effectively obtaining their own discharges with respect to potential claims arising from past wrongdoing, including willful misconduct, gross negligence, and actual fraud.  The exculpation clause in the Plan is also overly broad.  The release and exculpation provisions are at odds with sound public policy considerations underlying the rights of creditors and investors to pursue legitimate claims against wrongdoers.”  The 11-page objection from the SEC also says that iHeartMedia’s disclosure statement “lacks adequate information, as required under Section 1125(b) of the Bankruptcy Code, to support the release, exculpation, and permanent injunction provisions.”

Battle Between USTN and Entercom Comes to an End. With Wednesday’s statement from United States Traffic Network, LLC that it has entered into a wind-down agreement with Entercom (USTN’s largest and only secured creditor), the legal battle between the two companies appears to be over.  USTN says that although the terms of the agreement are confidential, it “has commenced an orderly wind-down of its radio business under the supervision of Gavin/Solmonese, LLC, an independent liquidating agent. In addition, USTN has agreed to cause the dismissal, with prejudice, of its litigation against Entercom.”  USTN’s service to stations will end tomorrow (9/7). USTN says all employees have been released from all non-compete and non-solicitation agreements and every station and client will be given service for a limited wind-down period.

Day Number Two of “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” Burning Up the Airwaves from the Nation’s CapitalThe “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row began the second of its two-day run this morning (9/6) at the Phoenix Park Hotel on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.  The annual broadcasting/political event, now in its 12th year, is presented by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).  A record number of more than 65 radio talk show hosts from across the nation are participating with live remotes interviewing numerous available guests from the fields of politics, law enforcement, media, and business about the state of the immigration reform movement.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison is in attendance and scheduled to appear on 25 radio shows between yesterday and today.  Harrison states, “Immigration reform has been one of the most important topics on talk radio for well over a decade – long before Donald Trump made it a front burner issue.  Many of the concerns of the American people regarding immigration have been expressed on talk shows and especially at this radio row which has grown into an extremely influential industry tradition.  The question no longer is should or if immigration reform is going to be implemented – but rather by what methods.”  Pictured above: Harrison (left) making a point to program host Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo (right) on his nationally syndicated radio show and Newsmax TV simulcast.

Salem Radio News Issues Directive on Phrasing for Coverage of NYT Op-Ed.  The controversial op-ed piece published by The New York Times that the paper says is authored by a Trump Administration insider is causing controversy within the talk radio news reporting business.    Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup tells TALKERS magazine that he had to kill a report by Salem Radio News White House correspondent Greg Clugston for referring to the author as an “official.”  Tradup says, “The person is ALLEGED to be a ‘high official,’ but might also be a deranged nut or the nephew of an intern at the NY Times. Since nobody knows, we should not participate in advancing the identity of this weasel as an ‘official’ in the Trump Administration.  SRN News and TOWNHALL News are solid 24/7 broadcast news operations and will not be accomplices in validating what may be prima facie Fake News generated by the #1 print opponent of President Trump.”

TALKERS News Notes. Sports media pro Tony Bruno is being honored by Barrett Sports Media with an annual award to be given in his name at the 2019 Barrett Sports Media Summit in Los Angeles.  BSM president Jason Barrett says the Tony Bruno Award will be given to a current member of the sports radio industry who is “unique, unafraid, and cutting thru on a national level.”  Barrett adds that Bruno was the first sports radio personality to host a national sports morning show for three different national networks (ESPN, FOX Sports Radio and Sporting News Radio).  He made a mark locally on WIP and WPEN in Philadelphia and was featured in the EA Sports Madden NFL game (2005-2007)…..SiriusXM is expanding the weekend political talk program “Signal Boost,” hosted by Zerlina Maxwell and Jess McIntosh, to a live, daily show airing at 12:00 noon on the Progress channel starting September 10.  Both Maxwell and McIntosh served on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign.  Maxwell is also the senior director of progressive programming for SiriusXM and an MSNBC political analyst…..Entercom announces that sports talk WIP, Philadelphia helped raise $201,632 for the Eagles Charitable Foundation (ECF) during the weekend’s 2018 Eagles Radiothon.  The Philadelphia Eagles’ public charity provides the Philadelphia region with greater access to vision care and autism research.  Entercom Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff says, “It was an honor to have been a part of this incredible initiative for the 19th straight year and to have a hand in making a difference in our local community.  Every dollar counts when it pertains to making a difference in the lives of others and I’m particularly proud of our generous listeners who helped us reach this goal.”…..Sports USA announces it will become the longest-tenured broadcaster of National Football League Sunday afternoon games when it kicks off its 17th NFL season on Sunday, September 9 with a doubleheader featuring the Houston Texans at the New England Patriots followed by the Kansas City Chiefs visiting the San Diego Chargers.  Sports USA Larry Kahn says, “To become the longest-running radio distributor of NFL Sunday afternoon play-by-play is really an honor.  It is a true testament to the talent that we have had on our network and the continued success of the NFL.  The past 17 years have gone by in the proverbial blink of an eye.”

Entercom Names Coyle SVP of Human Resources. Named to the new role of SVP of human resources for Entercom is Martin Coyle.  He joins the company from the tech company XL Catlin where he was vice president of human resources.  Entercom EVP and general counsel Andrew Sutor states, “We are pleased to welcome Martin to Entercom. Martin has a strong track record of developing effective human resources strategies.  We look forward to leveraging Martin’s experience integrating teams as we continue to scale and strengthen our organization.”

NYT Trump Official Op-Ed, Woodward Book, Trump-Russia Investigation, Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearings, NBC-Weinstein Story Controversy, Nike’s Kaepernick Deal, Allegations of Anti-Conservative Bias by Social Media, Iran’s Currency Collapse, Nicaragua Unrest, 2018 NFL Season, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/5). The New York Times’ publication of an anonymous op-ed piece from a Trump administration insider that’s critical of the president; the publication of Bob Woodward’s new book, Fear: Trump in the White House; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh; the controversy over NBC’s decision not to go forward with Ronan Farrow’s investigative story alleging Harvey Weinstein raped women; Nike’s new “Just Do It” campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick; Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ planned meeting with state attorneys general about anti-free speech actions by social media platforms; Iran’s sinking currency value and allegations of a U.S.-orchestrated attempt at regime change; the political unrest in Nicaragua and fears of more refugees fleeing to the U.S.; week 1 of the 2018 NFL season; and the MLB playoffs push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that Jenny Milkowski leaves Hubbard Radio’s adult contemporary WSHE, Chicago where she’s been afternoon personality for the past five months, for San Diego to become traffic anchor and social media reporter at KFMB-TV.  Milkowski previously did TV traffic reporting at Chicago’s WFLD-TV. Milkowski’s co-host, Jay Styles, will continue as solo star of the WSHE afternoon show in the interim…..In the Greenville-New Bern, North Carolina market, Gina Gray rises to program director at Dick Broadcasting’s CHR WERO “BOB 93.3.”  She’d been APD and music director and now takes over for the departing Chris “Hollywood” Mann.  “BOB 93.3” evening personality and imaging director Austin Moore is assuming the APD/MD duties.  Gray says of her new gig, “It was really great working with Chris Mann.  We did a lot of great things together at ‘BOB 93.3’ and I wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors.  I’m really excited for this next chapter of my radio career with Dick Broadcasting Company.”…..Mid-West Family Broadcasting closes on its purchase of adult contemporary WDKB, DeKalb, Illinois from Tana Knetsch and Ronald G. Klein.  Mid-West paid $610,000 for the FM that makes its Rockford-area cluster now six stations strong. Bob Heymann of Media Services Group was the exclusive broker.

August 2018 PPM Data – Round Two. August 2018 ratings information has been released for Washington, Boston, Miami, Detroit, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Tampa, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen Audio’s August 2018 survey period covered July 19 – August 15. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

Washington, DC

Spoken-Word Formats – A combined +1.0 in July and August (3.5 – 3.7 – 4.5, 6+), WMAL returns to the top ten (#11 to #7). Immediately prior to July, the Cumulus Media news/talk outlet was a combined -1.5 via three consecutive downward moves (5.0 – 4.5 – 3.9 – 3.5, 6+). In March, WMAL reached the five-share level (6+) for the first time in the PPM-era (5.0). Not only does Entercom sports talk WJFK-FM completely erase July’s -.5 with an August +.5, “106.7 The Fan” marches into the top ten (#13 to #9). July’s decrease pulled the plug on three upticks in succession that netted a +1.3 (2.4 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.7, 6+). Before notching a +.6 in January, the Washington Nationals flagship was without an increase in four straight survey periods for a roughly 50% decline (-1.7) of its 6+ AQH share (3.5 – 3.5 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+). After a lengthy hiatus from being listed in print, Radio One’s similarly-formatted WTEM “980 The Team” reappeared in June with a 1.0 (6+); immediately disappeared in July (0.0); but is back in August with a .9 (#19, 6+). The five most recent trends for WTOP are a very steady 9.6 – 9.7 – 9.5 – 9.3 – 9.4 (6+) as the Hubbard all-news operation is #1 for the eighth straight month. WTOP rebounded from April’s -.8 with a +.1 in May (10.4 – 9.6 – 9.7, 6+). Following four consecutive months at #1, it shifted to second-place in “Holiday” 2017. With a +1.3 in January (9.3 – 10.6, 6+), however, WTOP reclaimed the lead position with its best 6+-stat since March 2011’s 10.6. Moreover, that +1.3 halted three successive declines that produced an overall -.5 (9.8 – 9.6 – 9.4 – 9.3, 6+). By gaining four-tenths to 8.0 (6+), American University-owned news/talk WAMU not only moves from third to its familiar runner-up slot, “The Mind Is Our Medium” halts three straight flat or downward trends that resulted in a collective loss of nine-tenths (8.5 – 8.3 – 8.3 – 7.6, 6+). Between January 2018 – June 2018, WTOP and WAMU finished first and second, respectively. Flat at #24, Entercom business news WDCH picks up two-tenths to .5 (6+), thus ending three straight months without an increase (5 – .4 – .3 – .3, 6+).

Washington, DC Music Formats – Without an uptick the past three sweeps for a -.4 (4.8 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WBIG “Big 100 – Washington’s Classic Rock Station” recaptures the three-tenths it lost in July and continues at #5 (4.7, 6+). Within 2.4 – 2.9 territory (6+) for the ninth successive sweep (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.9, 6+), alternative sibling WWDC “DC-101” elevates from #17 to #14. An increase of eight-tenths (3.8 – 4.6, ninth to sixth, 6+) takes Columbia Union College Broadcasting contemporary Christian WGTS “91.9 Christian Music Radio” to its highest 6+-share (4.6) since July 2017’s 4.8. Ever-consistent Greater Washington Educational Telecommunications’  WETA “Classical 90.9” (2.3 – 2.9, +.6, #18 to #14, 6+) is within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 22nd straight ratings period. Following six straight up or flat reports for a collective +2.3 (5.6 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 6.6 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+), Radio One-owned urban AC WMMJ forfeits nine-tenths to 7.0 (6+) and segues from second to third. In July, “Majic”  registered the highest 6+-stat (7.9) in its PPM history, breaking the “old” record set the previous month (June 2018). It has a three-tenths lead over Howard University’s similarly-formatted WHUR (6.8 – 6.7, -.1, 6+), which finishes fourth for the fifth sweep in succession. After four straight reports without an increase for an overall -1.4  (7.1 – 6.2 – 6.1 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+), WHUR was a combined +1.1 in June and July (5.7 – 6.3 – 6.8), with July’s 6.8 its best 6+-showing since January’s 7.1. In April, “Majic” pulled ahead of WHUR for the first time since November 2015, which was when the two rivals were tied at 4.7 (6+). In each sweep since then, WHUR had been on top until WMMJ picked up two-tenths to 5.8, while WHUR faltered by four-tenths to 5.7. A July gain of three-tenths by WKYS erased the -.2 it logged in five straight down or flat surveys (3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+), but the Radio One urban contemporary facility regresses by seven-tenths in August (3.9 – 3.2, 6+) and drifts out of the top ten (#8 to #13). Although flat at 2.9 (6+), iHeartMedia’s WMZQ “98.7 Today’s Best Country” rises from #16 to #14. Elsewhere in the format, Aloha Station Trust’s WFRE “99.9 Free Country” vanished from print in July, but returns in August with a .8 (#22, 6+). Slipping from #11 to #12, Entercom rhythmic CHR WPGC-FM is an overall -.8 via four consecutive decreases (4.1 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.3, 6+).

Boston

Spoken-Word Formats – Displaying its third straight uptick for an overall +1.1 (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 5.1, 6+), Entercom sports talk WEEI-FM progresses from eighth to sixth. The Boston Red Sox flagship was +1.4 in January, halting three decreases in a row that produced an overall -1.9 (5.9 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 4.0, 6+). It roared back from a cumulative -2.0 in February and March (5.4 – 4.1 – 3.4, 6+) with a +1.0 in April. It has a 1.1-share (6+) advantage over Beasley Media Group-owned WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” (3.8 – 4.0, +.2, tenth to ninth, 6+), which was a combined -1.9 in June and July (5.7 – 4.3 – 3.8, 6+) and -1.5 in February. Finishing at third and fifth, respectively, are Boston University’s news/talk WBUR (5.6 – 5.7, +.1, fifth to third, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned news-talk hybrid WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” (5.8 – 5.3, -.5, fourth to fifth, 6+). In June, WBUR surrendered half of May’s +.6 with a loss of three-tenths. It was a collective -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017; +.7 in January; and +1.0 in March. After three straight improvements for a cumulative +1.5 (4.9 – 5.2 – 5.4 – 6.4, 6+), WBZ-AM was -.9 in April; 6.4 in March is its best 6+-stat since January 2017’s 6.6. An overall -1.6 in three decreases in a row (4.7 – 4.1 – 3.5 – 3.1, 6+), WGBH Educational Foundation news/talk WGBH logs a +.1 to 3.2 (#12 to #11, 6+). WGBH improved by seven-tenths in January but was off two-tenths in both February and March. When iHeartMedia news/talk WRKO notched a gain of two-tenths in July (to 2.5, 6+), it ended three downward moves in a row for a collective loss of seven-tenths (3.0 – 2.7 – 2.4 – 2.3, 6+); however, in August, “AM 680 – The Voice of Boston” returns one-tenth (2.4, #13 to #14, 6+).

Boston Music Formats – In addition to ranking first for the eighth consecutive ratings period, iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WXKS-FM is up or flat for the fourth straight time for an overall gain of seven-tenths (7.1 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+). “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” rebounded from a -.8 in “Holiday” 2017 with a +.9 in January (6.4 – 7.3, 6+) but was off one-half share in April. It exited the top spot in December, after three straight months there. The “Holiday” 2017 – August 2018 topline trending for its format challenger, Entercom’s WODS “103.3 Amp Radio” (flat at #16), is 2.6 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 (6+). Up one-half share as a result of five successive months without a loss (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.8, 6+), hot AC cluster-mate WWBX “Mix 104.1 Boston’s Best Variety” cracks the top ten (#11 to #10). Within 2.2 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 14th successive sweep, iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WJMN “JAM’N 94.5” (2.4 – 2.5, +.1, 6+) advances from #15 to #13. As we’ve been seeing in numerous PPM-markets, out-of-market signals and longtime Nielsen Audio nonsubscribers are suddenly showing up in print. The largest market in “The Bay State” is no exception as iHeartMedia Providence’s WHJY “94 HJY” records a +.7 (#26, 6+) and – from “The Heart of the Commonwealth” (Worcester) – co-owned adult contemporary WSRS “96.1 SRS – Worcester’s At-Work Station” appears in the Boston report with a .6 (#28, 6+). While neither of these two outlets was listed in Boston’s July 2018 sweep, they are perennial powerhouses in their respective “home” metros. Surrendering in full the +1.1 it gained in three straight increases (3.0 – 3.4 – 4.0 – 4.1, 6+), Beasley Media Group rhythmic hot AC WBQT “Hot 96.9” departs the top ten (3.0, -1.1, #9 to #12, 6+); July’s 4.1 is its highest 6+-share since January 2017’s 4.4. In a somewhat similar scenario, classic hits-oldies sibling WROR “105.7 Boston’s Greatest Hits” wipes out its overall gain of six-tenths through three positive spikes in succession (6.0 – 6.2 – 6.5 – 6.6, 6+) with an August decrease of nine-tenths to 5.7 (second to third, 6+). Co-owned alternative WBOS “Alt 92.9 – Boston’s Alternative,” which was up two-tenths in four straight up or flat trends (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+), drops one-tenth to 1.9 (6+) and remains at #18. Northeast Broadcasting triple A WXRV “92.5 The River” is off six-tenths in five straight down or flat trends (2.2 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.6, #19 to #20, 6+), while Entercom’s WAAF “The Only Station That Really Rocks” is -.8 in four consecutive sweeps without an increase (2.3 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5, #20 to #21, 6+). While unchanged at #23, Hall Communications’ WCTK “Cat Country 98.1” slips by one-tenth to 1.2 (6+), thus halting seven successive up or flat trends that nearly doubled the Providence station’s 6+ Boston stat (.7 – .8 – .9 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3, 6+).

Miami

English-Language, Spoken-Word Formats – Unchanged at #20, iHeartMedia news/talk WIOD “News Radio 620 – Miami’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” is in a bookend 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 sequence (6+). WIOD’s one-half share loss in May halted seven straight positive or flat trends that netted an overall nine-tenths (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+). It is tied with Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN, which regains half of July’s -.2 (1.8 – 1.9, +.1, #21 to #20, 6+). In advance of a +.5 in January, WLRN was a collective -.7 in three consecutive sweeps without an increase (2.6 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 1.9, 6+). Likewise, the market’s two main sports talk outlets are mirroring each other. The May through August topline for Entercom’s WQAM “Sports Radio 560” is .9 – .8 – .9 – .8, (#25 to #27, 6+), while cluster-mate WAXY “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket” is off one-tenth for the third time in succession (.9 – .8 – .7 – .6, #27 to #28, 6+). When “The Ticket” posted a .8 (6+) in June, it curtailed five consecutive .9 postings (6+); WQAM’s May gain of two-tenths stalled five sweeps in succession without an increase for a collective -.8 (1.5 – 1.2 – .8 – .8 – .8 – .7, 6+).

Miami Music Formats – July’s deadlock at #1 is broken with Cox Media Group adult contemporary WFEZ “Easy 93.1” posting a one-half share gain (6.9 – 7.4, 6+) at the same time that Univision Radio Spanish contemporary WAMR “Amor 107.5” drops six-tenths (6.9 – 6.3, first to second, 6+). “Easy” advanced from second to first in June, but after three straight months without a decrease for an overall gain of eight-tenths (6.7 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 7.5, 6+), it squandered six-tenths in July. Prior to April, “Easy” had been within 6.2 – 6.8 range (6+) in each of the previous 12 sweeps. Meanwhile, in advance of its August decrease, “Amor 107.5” was +1.9 in three straight gains (5.0 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 6.9, 6+). Co-owned Spanish tropical WRTO posts a one-half share improvement (3.5 – 4.0, 6+), enabling “Mix 98.3” to enter the top ten (#11 to #9). In July, it surrendered three-tenths, thus snapping at four a consecutive string of increases that yielded nine-tenths (2.9 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.8, 6+). In three straight sweeps without an increase, Entercom adult contemporary was a cumulative -1.2 (6.7 – 6.4 – 5.8 – 5.5, 6+), but “101.5 Lite FM” notches a +.3 to 5.8 (6+) and climbs from fifth to fourth. July 2018’s 5.5 is the lowest 6+-share for “Lite” since 5.2 in July 2017. West Palm Beach mainstay – Alpha Media hot AC WRMF “97.9 Variety From The ‘90s & Now” – pops up in Miami with a 1.2 (#24, 6+). Separated by one-tenth in April and May, the market’s two mainstream CHRs are tied at #11 in August. Cox Media Group’s WFLC “Hits 97.3” is down in back-to-back sweeps (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.3, 6+), while iHeartMedia-owned WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” is trending 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.3 (March – August, 6+). Down or flat nine reports in a row for a collective -1.4 (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+), WFLC was +.6 in June. Locked on 4.0 (6+) in January and February, “Y-100” eroded by eight-tenths in March. While it remains in third-place, Cox Media Group urban AC WHQT “Hot 105” is a collective -1.4 in three straight downturns (7.5 – 7.1 – 6.8 – 6.1, 6+). As the result of four consecutive upticks, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WMIB was up one-half share (2.5 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.0, 6+), but “103.5 The Beat” returns two-tenths to 2.8 (#14 to #15, 6+), while Cox Media Group’s like-formatted WEDR “99 Jamz” (unchanged at #6) is trending 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.6 (March 2018 – August 2018, 6+). Even though it is down a combined eight-tenths in three straight sweeps without an increase (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.5 – 2.5, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMIA “93.9 MIA – Variety From The ‘80s, ‘90s, & Today” moves from #18 to #17. Entercom rhythmic CHR WPOW “Power 96” is off four-tenths in three consecutive down or flat trends (2.9 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.5, #16 to #17, 6+).

Detroit

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to an increase of eight-tenths (5.5 – 6.3, fourth to third, 6+), Entercom’s WWJ “News Radio 950” registers its best 6+-performance since its 6.5 in January, February, and March. Following four up or flat trends in succession for a collective +1.0, WWJ was -.8 in April; “News Radio 950” was frozen on 5.8 (6+) in May and June. Although unchanged at #9, sports talk sibling WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” is off seven-tenths in three negative moves in succession (5.3 – 5.6 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+). A combined -.6 in February and March, “97.1 The Ticket” was up nine-tenths in April. Prior to January’s +1.0, the Detroit Tigers flagship was -2.2 as a result of four losses in a row. A two-tenths improvement to 3.8 (#12 to #11, 6+) by Cumulus Media’s WJR “News Talk 760” applies the brakes to three straight negative trends that accounted for a loss of seven-tenths (4.3 – 4.2 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+). Prior to the January sweep, WJR was -.9 in three straight declines (4.4 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.5, 6+). Without an increase for the eighth straight survey period for a collective -.3 (1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+), Michigan Public Media news/talk WUOM actually advances from #20 – #19. Steady at #22, Wayne State University news/talk WDET adds one-tenth in consecutive sweeps (.6 – .7 – .8, 6+).

Detroit Music Formats – By logging a +.8 (5.0 – 5.8, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WNIC “100.3 ‘80s ‘til Now” zooms from eighth to fourth with its best 6+-stat (5.8) since April’s 5.9. Mainstream CHR cluster-mate WKQI “Channel 95.5 – Detroit’s #1 Hit Music Station” answers the overall -.9 in six successive sweeps without an increase (4.8 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.9, 6+) with a +.6 to 4.5 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). Meanwhile, Entercom’s similarly-programmed WDZH “98.7 Amp Radio” (steady at #15) is a combined +.4 in three straight up or flat moves (2.4 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), after having suspended three straight setbacks of one-tenth each (2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.4, 6+). Notwithstanding that it returns two-thirds of July’s +.6 (8.3 – 7.9, -.4, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WCSX “94.7 – Detroit’s Classic Rock” is #1 for the fourth month a row. A loss of two-tenths in June ended five straight positive spikes that generated a +2.5 (5.4 – 5.9 – 6.3 – 6.7 – 7.6 – 7.9, 6+). Drifting from third to eighth, co-owned WRIF “Everything That Rocks” is a collective -.8 in July and August (5.6 – 5.3 – 4.8, 6+), immediately after four consecutive improvements that led to a combined +1.5 (4.4 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 5.5 – 5.9, 6+). June’s 5.9 is its strongest 6+-stat since January 2017 (5.9, as well). At the same time that Entercom’s WYCD “99.5 Detroit’s Best Country” picks up three-tenths (5.5 – 5.8, steady at #4, 6+), Cumulus Media’s similarly-programmed WDRQ “93.1 Nash FM” (flat at #17) drops two-tenths to 2.3, its lowest 6+-showing since Holiday 2017’s 2.1. Three down or flat moves in succession by WYCD accounted for a cumulative loss of one-half share but that was fully erased in June with a +.5. When “Nash FM” slipped by two-tenths in June, it halted five consecutive up or flat moves that netted nine-tenths (2.1 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+). Meanwhile, the market’s two main urban ACs sputter by three-tenths each: iHeartMedia’s WMXD “Mix 92.3” (5.5 – 5.2, fourth to sixth, 6+) and Radio One rival, WDMK “105.9 Kiss FM – The Real Sound of ‘The D’” (3.5 – 3.2, #13 to #14, 6+). Early last month, Radio One gospel WPZR “Praise 102.7” became Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WDKL “Positive & Encouraging K-Love.” The change was made with less than one week remaining in the August sweep and Detroit’s frequency at 102.7 records a 2.2 (#18, 6+).

Seattle

Spoken-Word Formats – A very steady October 2017 – June 2018 6+-topline trending of 5.7 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.4 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 5.8 by KIRO-FM suddenly became jarred in July (-.7 to 5.1, 6+) and August (+.8 to 5.9, 6+). The Bonneville news/talk facility zooms from sixth to second. It is tied in the runner-up slot with Northwest Public Radio news/talker KUOW, which posts a +.5 to 5.9 (third to second, 6+). The uptick curtails three straight down or flat sweeps that accounted for an overall -1.1 (6.5 – 6.0 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+). KUOW took over the runner-up slot in May after a one-month stay at #1. On top for four straight months before dropping to second in December, KUOW was +1.5 in January (6.4 – 7.9, 6+) as it returned to #1. When it lost six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, KUOW ended five consecutive up or flat trends that netted a +1.3 (5.7 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.5 – 7.0, 6+). Off eight-tenths in July and August (4.2 – 3.5 – 3.4, 6+), Bonneville sports talk KIRO-AM “ESPN 710” drops from #11 to #14. As a result of four positive spikes in succession (2.3 – 2.9 – 3.6 – 4.1 – 4.2, 6+), the Seattle Mariners flagship was a combined +1.9. Prior to May, the last time KIRO-AM reached the four-share level (6+) was in October 2015 (4.3). Up two-tenths (2.3 – 2.5, 6+), Sinclair Broadcast Group’s all-news KOMO returns to the top twenty (#22 to #19). On the other hand, Bonneville’s KTTH departs the top twenty (#20 to #22) as “Conservative Talk Radio” returns July’s +.3 (2.1, 6+), thus interrupting four up or flat trends in succession for an overall gain of seven-tenths (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.4, 6+). The (6+) topline February 2018 – August 2018 trending for Sinclair-owned KVI “Talk Radio 570” (#25 to #24) is a remarkably consistent 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1. Flat at #28, iHeartMedia-owned KJR-AM  gains two-tenths (.5 – .7, 6+); “Seattle’s Sports Radio 950” was frozen on .6 (6+) in May and June.

Seattle Music Formats – Rebounding from July’s -.4 with an August +.6 (3.0 – 3.6, 6+), Hubbard’s KNUC “98.9 The Bull” (formerly KVRQ) proceeds from #14 to #13. Entering the July 2018 ratings period, “The Bull” more than tripled (+2.4) its 6+-stat as the result of six straight survey periods without a loss (1.0 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 2.0 – 2.8 – 3.4, 6+). Four-tenths ahead of “The Bull” is Entercom’s similarly-formatted KKWF “100.7 The Wolf” (3.9 – 4.0, +.1, tenth to eighth, 6+). By gaining one-tenth, it actually breaks a streak that dates back to October 2017 in which “The Wolf” alternated an up sweep with a down one (3.1 – 2.9 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.9, 6+). These two country stations were tied at #14 in June. There is a two-station Seattle adult contemporary tussle involving these same two group owners as well, with Entercom’s KSWD “The Sound” logging a one-half share increase to 3.8 (#13 to #11, 6+) to halt four straight down or flat trends that resulted in a loss of eight-tenths (4.1 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+). “The Sound” posted a one-half share gain in March as well (3.6 – 4.1, 6+). Even though Hubbard’s KRWM is off by nine-tenths in July and August (5.0 – 4.3 – 4.1, 6+), “Warm 106.9” advances from eighth to seventh. Prior to a +.3 in June, KRWM was -7.1 (or down roughly 60%) in five successive down or flat sweeps (11.8 – 5.5 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). Its 11.8 in “Holiday” 2017 was the AC station’s strongest 6+-stat since 13.4 in “Holiday” 2015; “Warm” was #1 in December and “Holiday” 2017. It is a rollercoaster ride for iHeartMedia’s KUBE “93.3 – Seattle’s #1 For Hip-Hop” (formerly CHR KPWK), which was a collective +.8 in five straight sweeps without a loss (2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.6, 6+); surrendered the entire eight-tenths to 2.8 (6+) in July; and now regains one-half share in August (3.3, #17 to #15, 6+). In a case of major league back-to-back wobbles, KQMV “MOViN 92.5” immediately follows July’s massive +1.7 (6.1 – 7.8, 6+) with a -1.4 to 6.4 (6+). In any case, the Hubbard CHR repeats at #1. Prior to July, the last time KQMV reached the seven-share level (6+) was in February (7.1). A collective +1.4 in four straight up or flat trends (5.0 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.5 – 6.4, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KJR-FM “95.7 The Jet” falters by nine-tenths to 5.5 (6+) and shifts from second to fourth. July’s 6.4 marked the first time KJR-FM crossed the six-share level (6+) in more than two years (6.1, May 2016). As a result of obliterating July’s one-half share increase with an eight-tenths decrease (4.5 – 3.7, 6+), Entercom alternative KNDD “107.7 The End” fades from the top ten (#7 to #12). Its +.5 in July pulled the plug on three straight down or flat moves that generated a -.5 (4.5 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 4.0, 6+).

Phoenix

Spoken-Word Formats – Bonneville news/talk KTAR-FM adds one-tenth in July and August (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3, 6+) and carries on at #11. KTAR-FM was up three-tenths in April but was then a combined -.5 in May and June. It was +.8 in January (3.2 – 4.0, 6+), followed by an overall -.7 in February and March (4.0 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+). While steady at #15, iHeartMedia’s KFYI “News Talk 550” cobbles together four straight gains for an increase of eight-tenths (2.1 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+). When KFYI lost one-tenth in March, it ended at three its successive string of upticks that netted nine-tenths (1.5 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.4, 6+). Close behind are Maricopa County Community College news/talk KJZZ (3.0 – 2.7, -.3, #14 to #16, 6+) and Bonneville sports talk KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona Sports” (2.5 – 2.6, +.1, flat at #17, 6+). A +.6 in July by KJZZ applied the brakes to three consecutive negative moves that accounted for a combined -1.5 (3.9 – 3.6 – 2.7 – 2.4, 6+). Arizona Diamondbacks flagship KMVP-FM was frozen on 2.5 (6+) in June and July. From January through May, it was a collective +1.1 in three straight positive spikes (1.5 – 1.6 – 2.3 – 2.6, 6+).

Phoenix Music Formats – The two-share (6+) advantage iHeartMedia adult contemporary KESZ held over Hubbard’s KSLX “Classic Rock 100.7” in July has been sliced in half as KESZ drops two-tenths, while KSLX hangs out a +.8 (5.5 – 6.3, fifth to second, 6+). This is the third straight decline for KESZ for an overall –1.7 (9.0 – 8.7 – 7.5 – 7.3, 6+), but it remains on top for the tenth straight report. KESZ was up seven-tenths in April and then logged a gigantic +1.7 in May; 16.4 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-showing since 16.5 in “Holiday” 2016. As the result of July’s lofty -1.1 to 5.5 (6+), KSLX erased in its entirety the +1.1 it netted in six straight sweeps without a loss (5.5 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.6, 6+). Moreover, “Classic Rock 100.7,” which had been entrenched in the runner-up slot eight consecutive ratings periods, shifted to fifth. Even though it backslides from second to third, iHeartMedia adult hits KYOT “95.5 The Mountain – We Play Everything” is an astonishing +2.7 in just three straight upticks (3.5 – 4.3 – 5.9 – 6.2, 6+); “The Mountain” was tenth in May. Univision Radio regional Mexican KHOT notches its third straight increase for an overall +.9 (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 3.0, #17 to #14, 6+) as “Que Buena 105.9” has its best 6+-stat since February’s 3.2. Conversely, co-owned Spanish adult hits KOMR “Amor 106.3,” which had been up one-half share in June and July (1.6 – 1.9 – 2.1, 6+), flounders by eight-tenths (1.3, #26, 6+). Immediately after quadrupling its 6+-share (.3 – 1.2, +.9, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVA “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” surrenders two-thirds of that increase and has its 6+-share carved in half (.6, -.6, #26 to #31, 6+). Off six-tenths, as well, is Maricopa County Community College’s classical-formatted KBAQ “89.5 K-Bach” (2.2, #15 to #18, 6+), which had been +.8 in three successive up or flat trends (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.8, 6+). Within 5.2 – 5.7 range (6+) each month this calendar year (5.2 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 5.6 – 5.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KNIX “102.5 Today’s Best Country & All-Time Favorites” segues from third to fourth, while its format challenger – Entercom’s KMLE “Country @ 107.9” – adds four-tenths (3.8 – 4.2, 6+) and remains at #9. A cumulative -1.9 in five successive negative trends (4.1 – 4.0 – 3.2 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.2, 6+), Farmworker Educational Radio regional Mexican KNAI “101.9 Campesina” actually bumps up from #20 to a three-way tie at #18.

Minneapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – After four negative moves in a row for a collective -2.2 (5.9 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 3.7, 6+), Minnesota Public Radio news/talk KNOW bounces back with a +.7 to 4.4 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#12 to #9). Its recent fluctuations include -.7 (February); +.7 (March); -.5 (April) +.7 (May) -.7 (July); and now +.7 (August). It is tied at #9 with Entercom-owned WCCO “News Radio 830,” which is flat at 4.4 (6+). Prior to August, its four previous fluctuations were +.8 (April); -.8 (May); -.8  (June); and +.5 (July). The Minnesota Twins flagship was locked on 4.4 (6+) in December 2017 and “Holiday” 2017 and then on 5.0 (6+) in January 2018 and February. Although flat at #12, iHeartMedia-owned sports talk KFXN “Sports Radio 100.3 K-Fan” posts a +.1 to 3.8 (6+), thus applying the brakes to four decreases in a row that yielded a -2.1 (5.8 – 5.5 – 4.7 – 4.0 – 3.7, 6+); “K-Fan” was -1.5 in February. Up one-tenth (3.6 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KTLK Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130” inches up from #14 to #13. Prior to the June sweep, KTLK was +1.4 in five successive sweeps without a loss (2.5 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+). Regaining the three-tenths it lost in July, Hubbard news/talk KTMY “My Talk 107.1” (2.7, #17 to #16) interrupts three straight down or flat moves that accounted for an overall loss of seven-tenths (3.1 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.4, 6+). Its March decrease of three-tenths stopped four straight up or flat trends that generated a +1.2 (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 3.3, 6+). Trending 1.0 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 (6+), Hubbard sports talk KSTP-AM “ESPN 1500” slips from #20 to #21.

Minneapolis Music Formats – Ending its 7.3 – 7.4 – 7.3 (6+) sequence with a +.5 to 7.8, its highest 6+-share since September 2016’s 8.1, iHeartMedia CHR KDWB “101.3 The Twin Cities’ #1 Hit Music Station” marches from second to first. The last time KDWB occupied the top spot was exactly one year ago – August 2017. It dislodges Hubbard hot AC KSTP-FM, which had occupied the penthouse the past seven sweeps. In addition to dropping from first to second, “KS-95” is -1.5 in four straight downward trends (8.6 – 7.9 – 7.8 – 7.5 – 7.1, 6+). Its -.7 in May halted four successive progressive moves that netted +2.8 (5.8 – 7.6 – 8.2 – 8.3 – 8.6, 6+). Following four consecutive upticks for a collective +1.0 (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed KTCZ “The Cities” forfeits 60% of that increase (3.6, -.6, 6+) and slips out of the top ten (#10 to #14). Following five consecutive months without an increase for a cumulative -.7 (6.2 – 6.1 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.5, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned KQRS “Minnesota’s Classic Rock” logs a +.3 to 5.8 (seventh to fifth, 6+). Ever since debuting in February, Northern Lights Broadcasting rhythmic CHR KZGO “GO 95.3 – GO Radio” has put up a topline of 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 2.3 (#18 to #17, 6+). Minnesota Public Radio triple A KCMP tacks on one-half share to July’s +.3 (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.5, 6+) as “The Current – Great Music Lives Here” carries on at #15. Classical music sibling KSJN erodes by -1.0 (2.0, #15 to #18, 6+), nearly wiping out its collective +1.2 from five consecutive sweeps without a loss (1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.7 – 3.0, 6+). The overall +.9 that Entercom adult hits KZJK “104.1 Jack-FM Playing What We Want” racked up in June and July (5.0 – 5.1 – 5.9, 6+) vanishes in August with a -.9 to 5.0 (fourth to seventh, 6+).

San Diego

Spoken-Word Formats – San Diego State University-owned news/talk KPBS shifted from first to second in April; returned to #1 in May; dropped from first to third in June; slipped from third to fourth to July; and returns to first in August (5.8 – 6.5, +.7, 6+). KPBS was on top four times in 2017: February, August, September, and December. Locked on 5.1 (6+) in June and July, iHeartMedia news/talk KOGO regresses by six-tenths to 4.5 (6+), skidding from fifth to ninth. “News Radio 600” was +.8 in January; -.7 in February; +.8 in March; +.6 in May; and now -.6 in August. October 2017’s 7.2 is KOGO’s highest 6+-share in its PPM-history. Resurfacing in the San Diego report after a lengthy absence, iHeartMedia Los Angeles news/talk KFI “AM 640” is up two-tenths (1.6 – 1.8, #23 to #22, 6+). It is one-tenth ahead of Tegna news/talk KFMB-AM “AM 760,” which returns half of July’s +.2 (1.8 – 1.7, -.1, #21 to #22, 6+). Its June increase of one-tenth curtailed three straight negative moves that accounted for a loss of seven-tenths (2.2 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.5, 6+). Three of the market’s sports talkers produce a complete mixed bag: Interamericana de Radio’s XPRS-AM “The Mighty 1090” gains two-tenths (.8 – 1.0, #24, 6+); Entercom-owned/San Diego Padres flagship KWFN “97.3 The Fan” is flat at .8 (#25, 6+); and iHeartMedia’s KLSD “Fox Sports 1360 San Diego’s Sports Station” drops one-tenth (.6 – .5, #28 to #27, 6+).

San Diego Music Formats – Powered by a +1.5, iHeartMedia-owned CHR KHTS rockets from sixth to second. “Channel 93.3 – San Diego’s #1 Hit Music Station” is a collective +2.8 via six straight sweeps without a loss (3.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 6.3, 6+). Meanwhile, Uni Radio regional Mexican XHTY “Invasora 99.7” is up eight-tenths in five consecutive monthlies without a loss (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 3.1, 6+), catapulting from #18 to #10. Adding six-tenths to July’s +1.0 (3.7 – 4.7 – 5.3, 6+), Univision Radio’s similarly-programmed KLNV “Que Buena 106.5” inches up from seventh to sixth, crossing the five-share level 6+ (5.3) for the first time since “Holiday” 2017’s 5.1. Notching increases of one-half share each are iHeartMedia hot AC KMYI “Star 94.1” (4.2 – 4.7, ninth to seventh, 6+) and Comunicación XERSA-owned/Local Media San Diego-operated alternative XTRA-FM “91-X” (1.7 – 2.2, #20, 6+). “Star” was off one full-share in June and July (5.2 – 4.9 – 4.2, 6+), while “91-X” pulls the plug on six successive sweeps without an increase that produced a loss of nine-tenths (2.6 – 2.3 – 2.2 1.9 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7, 6+). It is a short (one-month) stay at #1 for KXSN “Sunny 98.1 – San Diego’s Greatest Hits,” which segues to third. “Sunny” registered a -1.6 in March, all but erasing its +1.9 through five straight gains (4.8 – 5.3 – 5.8 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 6.7, 6+). The Entercom classic hits-oldies outlet rebounded in April with a +.5; was -.7 in May; answered with a +.8 in June; piled on a +.5 in July; and is -.4 in August (6.2 – 5.8, 6+). Ironically, the station “Sunny” replaced at #1 in July – cluster-mate KSON “103.7 San Diego’s #1 New Country” – was only on top for one month (June), as well. Off three-tenths in August (5.9 – 5.6, 6+), KSON shifts from second to fourth. An April loss of one-tenth by “New Country” ended three straight positive trends that netted a cumulative +2.5 (3.6 – 4.7 – 5.5 – 6.1, 6+). Imagen Spanish contemporary XLTN “104.5 Radio Latina” is a collective -1.6 in three downward moves in a row (4.0 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 2.4, 6+), fading from #11 to #19. Faltering by one-half share each are Tegna rocker KFMB-FM “100.7 KFM BFM” (3.5 – 3.0, #10 to #12, 6+) and iHeartMedia urban contemporary KSSX “JAM’N 95.7” (3.2 – 2.7, #12 to #14, 6+). This is the lowest 6+-showing for KFMB-FM since March (2.9).

Denver

Spoken-Word Formats – Four-tenths of a share separates Denver’s top three August 2018 finishers. Included in that trio is Colorado Public Radio news/talk KCFR, which displays a lofty +1.1 (5.2 – 6.3, 6+) to progress from fifth to second. It was a brief one-month stay at #1 (in May) for KCFR, which lost seven-tenths in June. In addition to being on top in May, KCFR was #1 in January and March. When it faltered by six-tenths in February, the station’s consecutive string of improvements that netted a cumulative +1.5 (4.5 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 6.0, 6+) ended at three. Trending 5.0 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.0 (6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KOA flips from fourth to sixth. Following January’s one-half share loss, “Colorado’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” picked up one-tenth in consecutive sweeps (4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4, 6+) and posted a +1.4 in April to zoom from ninth to first but the flagship of the Colorado Rockies exited the top spot in May after a one-month run. Owing to a +.4 to 2.9 (6+), Bonneville-owned KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” advances from #16 to #14. “The Fan” faltered by one-half share in June and July (3.5 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+), posting its lowest 6+-stat (2.5) since July 2017’s 2.3. Denver’s “Fan” was +1.0 in March. Unchanged at #19, iHeartMedia news/talk KHOW “Talk Radio 630” was up three-tenths in June; down two-tenths in July; and now up one-tenth in August (2.0 – 2.1, 6+). Immediately before the June sweep, KHOW had been down or flat four sweeps in a row for an overall setback of four-tenths (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.0 -1.9, 6+). In back-to-back sweeps, Community Radio for Northern California news/talk KUNC drops one-tenth (1.0 – .9 – .8, #27 to #26, 6+). Prior to June’s 1.0 (6+), KUNC recorded a .7 (6+) in each of the three previous sweeps.

Denver Music Formats – Stuck on 5.7 (6+) in May and June before slipping to 5.6 (6+) in July, Bonneville-owned KYGO “Denver’s #1 For New Country” posts a +.6 to 6.2 (steady at #3), reaching the six-share level (6+) for the first time since last November’s 6.0. Recording a 1.5 (6+) in four of the last six sweeps (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 1.5, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KBPI “107.9 Rocks The Rockies” notches a one-half share increase to 2.0 (6+) and cracks the top twenty (#20). Not only is Entercom classic rocker KQMT #1 for the third month in a row, “99.5 The Mountain – A Mountain of Classics” is a cumulative +1.7 in three upticks in succession (4.9 – 6.1 – 6.5 – 6.6, 6+). A loss of seven-tenths to 2.7 (#14 to #15, 6+) by Entravision regional Mexican KXPK “La Tricolor 96.5” wipes out its +.6 via three straight positive spikes (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.4, 6+). The five most recent 6+-stats (April – May – June – July – August) for Entercom hot AC KALC “Alice 105.9” are 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 3.8. Immediately after logging three consecutive up or flat trends that yielded a +1.0 (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.6, 6+), KSE Radio Ventures classic hits-oldies KXKL “Kool 105 – Denver’s Greatest Hits” is a combined -1.1 in June, July, and August (5.6 – 5.0 – 4.5 – 4.5, seventh to eighth, 6+). While May’s 5.6 is its most potent 6+-stat since December 2016’s 5.7, July and August 2018’s 4.5 is its softest since “Holiday” 2017’s 3.8. Up or flat five months in a row for a collective +1.4 (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 6.0, 6+), Bonneville adult contemporary KOSI “101.1 Real-Music-Variety” drops two-tenths to 5.8 (second to fourth, 6+). July’s 6.0 is the strongest 6+-showing for KOSI since Holiday’s 2017’s 11.5.

Tampa

Spoken-Word Formats – In six of the last seven sweeps, iHeartMedia news/talk WFLA “970 Tampa Bay’s News Radio” has had a (6+) fluctuation of at least four-tenths. In January and February it was +.5 (2.7 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+); -.5 in March (3.7 – 3.2, 6+); +.8 in April (3.2 – 4.0, 6+); +.4 in May (4.0 – 4.4, 6+); -.7 in July; and now +.6 in August (3.6 – 4.2, #11 to #10). Without a loss for the fourth sweep in a row for a +.8 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.5, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” progresses from #16 to #13. A one-tenth setback in April ended three straight increases that produced a gain of one-half share (2.3 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), while a January improvement of three-tenths curtailed four straight down or flat trends for a collective -1.1 (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.3, 6+). Down of flat for the fourth consecutive month for a loss of two-tenths (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WDAE “620 Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” segues from #18 to #19. Starting with the “Holiday” 2017 report, the Tampa Bay Rays flagship was up or flat for the next five survey periods for a +.8 (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+). The March 2018 – August 2018 topline trending for University of South Florida news/talk WUSF (flat at #20) is 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.4 (6+). When WUSF added two-tenths in June, it halted six successive ratings periods without an increase that accounted for a collective -1.6 (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.7, 6+).

Tampa Music Formats – A +.7 (6.4 – 7.1, 6+) enables Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WXGL “107.3 The Eagle” to register its highest 6+-stat in just over a year (7.1, as well, July 2017). Notching gains of one-half share each are iHeartMedia-owned WXTB “98 Rock” (3.8 – 4.3, tenth to ninth, 6+); CHR cluster-mate WFLZ “93.3 – Tampa Bay’s #1 Hit Music Channel” (3.6 – 4.1, unchanged at #11, 6+); and Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WPBB “B-98.7 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” (1.9 – 2.4, #19 to #18, 6+). Four straight up or flat trends by “98 Rock” netted eight-tenths (3.9 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.6 – 4.7, 6+), but it was down nine-tenths in July; June’s 4.7 is its strongest 6+-showing since October 2017 (4.7, as well). It’s a yoyo effect for “B-98.7,” which was +.6 in June; -.6 in July; and now +.5 in August. Its January 2018 – May 2018 topline was 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 1.9 (6+); June’s 2.5 is its best (6+) showing since 4.0 in “Holiday” 2017. Erasing July’s +.4 with August’s -.5, Cox Media Group CHR WPOI “Hot 101.5” departs the top ten (#9 to #14). In July, “Hot” beat WFLZ (6+) for the first time since “Holiday” 2017, when “Hot” scored a 4.0 (6+) to 3.8 (6+) for WFLZ. After logging four straight up or flat trends that accounted for a gain of seven-tenths (8.4 – 8.9 -9.0 – 9.0 – 9.1, 6+), Cox Media Group-owned adult contemporary WDUV slipped three-tenths in July to 8.8 (6+), but “Lite Favorites” picks up one-tenth in August to 8.9 (6+) and leads the pack for the 72nd successive ratings period. WDUV was -3.5 in January and February (11.9 – 8.8 – 8.4, 6+), following a +1.5 in “Holiday” 2017 (10.4 – 11.9, 6+). After adding a +1.0 to June’s four-tenths’ increase (5.0 – 5.4 – 6.4, 6+), co-owned adult contemporary WWRM “Magic 94.9 Tampa Bay’s Best Music” surrenders all but three-tenths of that combined +1.4 (6.4 – 5.3, -1.1, third to fifth, 6+). In July, “Magic” reached the six-share level (6.4) for the first time since May 2017 (6.0).

Baltimore

Spoken-Word Formats – Adding four-tenths to July’s +.3 (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.7. 6+), Entercom sports talk WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan” climbs from tenth to ninth. Baltimore’s “Fan” was +.6 (January); -.6 (February); +1.0 (April); and a combined -1.0 in May and June (5.0 – 4.5 – 4.0, 6+). When the Orioles flagship improved by two-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it brought to a close three straight downward moves producing an overall -1.8 (5.6 – 4.8 – 4.5 – 3.8, 6+). With an April 2018 – August 2018 topline of 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 3.1 (6+), independent news/talk WCBM “680 Stimulating Talk – Breaking News” moves from #12 to #11. One-tenth behind is Your Public Radio news/talk WYPR “88.1 Your NPR News Station” (3.1 – 3.0, -.1, #11 to #12, 6+). Following five decreases in a row for a cumulative -1.7 (4.2 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+), WYPR posted a July increase of six-tenths. A collective -.8 in five straight sweeps without an increase (3.3 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.4, 6+), Hearst Television news/talker WBAL drops from #13 to #14. After five consecutive times of recording a 1.1 (6+) in the Baltimore report, American University-owned news/talker WAMU slips to 1.0 (#18 to #23, 6+).

Baltimore Music Formats – In the runner-up slot for the fourth month in a row, Radio One urban contemporary WERQ “92-Q Jams” hauls out a +.9 to 7.8, its strongest 6+-stat since September 2017 (7.8, as well). Nearly wiping out July’s -.8, Hearst Television’s WIYY dials up a +.6 (4.4 – 5.0, ninth to sixth, 6+). Prior to July’s decrease, “98 Rock” registered six successive ratings periods without a loss for an overall +1.8 (3.4 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.2, 6+). This represents the eighth successive sweep that Shamrock Communications-owned WZBA “100.7 The Bay – Baltimore’s Classic Rock Station” is without a loss for an overall +2.2 (2.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 5.0, 6+); “The Bay” jumps from eighth to sixth. Advancing one-half share as well in August are Baltimore City Community College-owned WBJC “91.5 Maryland’s Classic Music Station” (1.3, #16, 6+) and Entercom’s WLIF-HD2 (.6 – 1.1, #18, 6+). WBJC halts four straight down or flat trends that erodes approximately half (-.7) its 6+-share (1.5 – 1.2 – 1.0 – .8 – .8, 6+). Albeit off eight-tenths from July (9.5 – 8.7, 6+), Radio One urban AC  WWIN-FM “Magic 95.9” finishes on top for the eighth month in a row. In three successive decreases (11.6 – 11.5 – 10.3 – 9.4, 6+), “Magic” was an overall -2.2 but it bounced back with a +.3 in June. WWIN-FM occupied the top spot for four sweeps in succession before segueing to #2 in December. After going eight straight ratings periods without a loss for an overall +3.8 (7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 8.7 – 9.2 – 10.4 – 10.6 – 11.6, 6+), it lost one-tenth in March. Dramatic shifts continue for iHeartMedia-owned WPOC “93.1 – Baltimore’s #1 for New Country,” which was a combined -2.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (7.2 – 6.2 – 4.6, 6+); +2.5 in January; -.9 in February, -1.5 in April; +.6 in May; +.5 in June; +.8 in July; and now -.6 in August (6.8 – 6.2, flat at #3, 6+). Although steady at #6, Entercom adult contemporary WLIF is a collective -1.8 in four successive negative moves (6.8 – 6.5 – 6.1 – 5.2 – 5.0, 6+). “Today’s 101.9” was #1 in December 2017 (9.7, 6+) and “Holiday” 2017 (16.3, 6+).

St. Louis

Spoken-Word Formats – After three straight negative moves that generated a loss of eight-tenths (3.5 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.7, 6+), Hubbard sports talk WXOS “101 Sports” answers with a collective +1.0 in July and August (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.7, #16 to #12, 6+). A combined -.7 from November through “Holiday” 2017 (3.9 – 3.4 – 3.2, 6+), WXOS posted a +.8 in January; -.6 in February; and -.6 in April. Regaining two-tenths of July’s -.6 (8.0 – 7.4 – 7.6, 6+), Entercom news/talk KMOX “The Voice of St. Louis” repeats in the runner-up slot. The St. Louis Cardinals flagship was +2.3 in April; May’s 8.3 represents its highest 6+-stat since September 2017’s 8.4. Following a January +1.0, KMOX was a combined -.6 in February and March. Flat at #14, University of Missouri news/talk KWMU is up six-tenths via three positive spikes in a row (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+). By registering a half-share increase in January, KWMU halted three successive downward moves that accounted for a -.9 (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+). Off by an overall half-share in February and March (3.7 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+), it added one-tenth in April. As a result of declining by one-half share (3.1 – 2.6, 6+), Emmis-to-Entercom’s KFTK “FM News Talk 97.1” slips from #15 to #17. Owing to May’s +.3, “FM News Talk 97.1” ended three straight negative moves that accounted for a loss of eight-tenths (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.6 – 2.5, 6+). Prior to a January gain of seven-tenths, KFTK was a cumulative -1.4 in three consecutive decreases (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 2.6, 6+).

St. Louis Music Formats – Not only did Gateway Creative contemporary Christian KLJY reappear in print in June, after being unlisted for 18 straight sweeps, “99.1 Joy FM” boasts one of the most stunning stories of the year by logging a +1.3 (6.5 – 7.8, 6+) to storm from third to first. It supplants iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLOU “103.3 St. Louis’ Greatest Hits” (7.8 – 6.7, -1.1, first to third, 6+). After sputtering by a combined -1.5 in May and June, KLOU recaptured nine-tenths in July (6.9 – 7.8, 6+). On top for four consecutive months (January through April), “St Louis’ Greatest Hits” shifted to #2 in May. An overall -2.0 in January and February (9.5 – 7.9 – 7.5, 6+), KLOU made up 45% of that loss in March and April (7.5 – 8.3 – 8.4, 6+). It rebounded from December’s -.8 with a +2.2 in “Holiday” 2017. This is the fourth straight uptick for Hubbard’s  KPNT “105.7 The Point – Everything Alternative,” which nets a +1.4 in that stretch (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 5.4, tenth to seventh, 6+). At the same time that co-owned WIL “92.3 – Nobody Plays More New Country” regains the six-tenths it lost in July (6.1 – 5.5 – 6.1, eighth to sixth, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KSD “93.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” erodes by eight-tenths (4.2 – 3.4, #11 to #15, 6+). Entering the June report, WIL was without a loss for six survey periods in succession for a +1.9 (5.3 – 5.4 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 6.8 – 7.2, 6+), but then spiraled by -1.1; “The Bull,” meanwhile, was off three-tenths in July. Following July’s one-half share increase, Radio One urban AC WFUN “95.5 R&B + Old School For The Lou” surrenders nine-tenths (5.8 – 4.9, sixth to ninth, 6+). Prior to July’s one-half share increase, WFUN logged five successive negative moves accounting for an overall -1.5 (6.8 – 6.5 – 6.3 – 6.2 – 6.1 – 5.3, 6+). In the Entercom cluster, hot AC KYKY “Y-98” is off six-tenths (5.1 – 4.5, ninth to tenth, 6+), while adult contemporary KEZK “102.5 The Best Mix of the ‘80s & Today” regresses by one-half share (5.4, fifth to seventh, 6+), halting six consecutive up or flat trends that yielded an overall +1.7 (4.2 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.9 – 5.9, 6+). Without a gain for the fourth sweep in a row, Emmis-to-Entercom CHR KNOU “Now 96.3 All The Hits” (#17 to #16) is off by one full-share (3.7 -3.4 – 3.4 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+).

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

| August 8, 2018

Entercom Q2: “Great Progress.” Owing to the addition of CBS Radio, Entercom Communications’ second-quarter net revenue jumped, but fell on a same-station basis. Revenue nearly tripled from $125 million to $372.1 million; however, on a same-station basis, it decreased from $405.7 million to $372.1 million. Meanwhile, net income dropped from $6.4 million to $1.6 million. Entercom president and chief executive officer David Field notes, “We have made great progress across multiple fronts as we continue our work to capitalize on our transformational merger. We have signed a definitive agreement with Bonneville to complete our last required station divestitures; successfully launched the Entercom Audio Network with strong early revenues; terminated our painful relationship with United States Traffic Network; achieved rapid growth on our burgeoning Radio.com platform; and delivered a 5% reduction in Q2 expenses as we realize our merger-related synergies. Second-quarter revenues were down 8%, exacerbated by the loss of $12 million in revenues from USTN, but revenue performance is improving. We are currently pacing down 2% in the third-quarter, excluding the impact of USTN. For the fourth quarter, we are pacing up 3% on an unadjusted basis. I am proud of the outstanding team we have built and the terrific work they are doing to capitalize on our abundant scale-driven opportunities.”

Local Nielsen Media Impact Debuts. The planning system allows users to understand cross-media reach, frequency, and duplication on a local scale using advanced audience segments from Nielsen Scarborough. In addition, it enables advertisers, agencies, and media owners to reach their desired audience in the country’s 25 “Local People Meter” (LPM) Designated Market Areas (DMAs). Local Nielsen Media Impact is built with respondent level data to allow in-depth cross-platform analyses for both local television and radio separately, as well as TV and radio together. Beasley Media Group vice president of sales Bob McCurdy comments, “Local Nielsen Media Impact offers empirical data supporting radio’s ability to amplify and complement TV campaigns. This is the first time radio is included in this type of multi-channel media mix that enables users to derive cross media insights with currency grade accuracy. Nielsen Scarborough data within the NMI solution allows us to assess campaign scenarios against consumer insights.” According to Nielsen vice president of product leadership Jay Nielsen, “Local Nielsen Media Impact offers a unique lens to the industry, enabling effective decision-making about where and when to engage audiences with content and advertising on local levels. Similar to the solution clients have widely adopted on the national level, this local solution unlocks access to new insights on media allocation and schedule optimization to better reach a cross platform-based audience.”

Q2: Townsquare Media “Exceeds Previously Issued Guidance.” Second-quarter net revenue for Townsquare Media rose 1.9% to $11.96 million. Owing to the divestiture of North American Midway Entertainment, however, net income decreased by 70.6% to $1.6 million; net income from continuing operations improved 29.2% to $10.1 million. Co-chief executive officer Bill Wilson remarks, “Our second-quarter financial results exceeded our previously issued guidance, continuing the momentum we experienced in the first-quarter of the year. In the first six months of 2018, net revenue increased 2.6%, and 2.2% excluding political revenue; Adjusted EBITDA increased 6.6%. Our second-quarter and year-to-date revenue growth was primarily the result of continued stability in our broadcast products and strong revenue growth of our digital solutions.” Co-CEO Dhruv Prasad notes, “Through internal reorganization and the divestiture of North American Midway Entertainment, we have concluded the strategic reset that we initiated in late-2017 and have largely reoriented the company towards the stability, profitable growth, and cash generation of the advertising, marketing solutions, and live events businesses in our local market footprint. Our strong performance in the first half of this year reinforces that this was the right strategy, and we remain committed to this plan moving forward.”

Rush Limbaugh’s Impact on Radio and America Examined by News Site, Who. What. Why. (whowhatwhy.org)  Veteran talk radio programmer and executive Jeff Schechtman of Napa Broadcasting interviews TALKERS founder Michael Harrison about Rush Limbaugh and the state of talk radio for this week’s WhoWhatWhy.org podcast.  It is part of an article titled “The Mouth that Roared – How Rush Limbaugh Changed America” posted yesterday (8/7) marking the milestone of the talk radio superstar’s syndicated radio show reaching its 30th anniversary last week.  Schechtman and Harrison discuss the impact of the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine in 1987, Limbaugh’s major contributions to the rise of news/talk radio, how talk radio has changed over the decades, the driving factors behind those changes, the influence of the video screen on communications devices, and the general future of talk media.  To read the article and listen to the podcast, please click here .

Making Music Great Again.  It seems the talented Mike Gallagher isn’t the only member of the Salem roster of talk show hosts blessed with extraordinary gifts as a musical entertainer.  These two super-suave lounge lizards pictured above are none other than Salem Radio Network host Larry Elder (left) and WNYM (“AM 970 The Answer”), New York morning man Joe Piscopo (right).  The two are off-air buds and like hanging out together when they find themselves on the same coast.  This bit of show biz magic was captured last night (8/7) as the two serenaded thrilled diners at Vitello’s, a swingin’ hot spot in Studio City, California.  The song they were performing – Louis Armstrong’s classic, “What a Wonderful World.”

Sinclair Q2 Revenue Up 11.9%. While stats for its Seattle radio properties (KOMO “News Radio 1000 & 97.7, KVI “Talk Radio 570,” and hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5) are not broken out in its earnings release, Sinclair Broadcast Group saw second-quarter revenue increase 11.9% year-to-year to $730.1 million; net income attributable to the company fell from $44.6 million to $28 million. Regarding the pending acquisition of Tribune Media Company, Sinclair president and chief executive officer Chris Ripley states, “We are working with them to analyze approaches to the regulatory process that are in the best interest of our companies, employees, and shareholders.” In terms of Q2 results, Ripley notes, “[They] came in well ahead of guidance in all key financial metrics, and we expect the second half of the year to continue to be robust, underlined by increasing distribution revenues and strong political advertising spend. This year’s mid-term elections are expected by many to have the most spending in U.S. history with broadcast television a primary beneficiary.”

Urban One Second-Quarter Net Revenue Down 2.1%. The year-to-year total slips to $115.2 million although broadcast and digital operating income is up 6.1% to $44.3 million. Overall operating income doubles to $24.8 million and net income improves from $802,000 to $23.6 million. Attributed to results in Atlanta, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Raleigh, radio advertising fell 6% to $52 million. There was radio growth, however, in Dallas, Washington (D.C.), and Cleveland. Digital advertising, cable TV advertising, and event revenues are all off, as well; cable TV affiliate fees saw increases. Keeping pace with 2017, Tom Joyner’s 19th “Fantastic Voyage” took place in the second-quarter and generated $9.4 million. Company president and chief executive officer Alfred C. Liggins, III remarks, “Our Q2 radio performance was in line with expectation. After a tough April, the quarter improved sequentially, and we are currently pacing approximately flat for third-quarter. We are launching a new network in January 2019 that will target African-American females and feature lifestyle and entertainment programming. The addition of a second network will help us continue to grow our TV business in the longer term, and has great potential synergy with our existing platform. Our digital segment came in below expectation for Q2, but has had a very strong start to third quarter and we remain optimistic for the back half of the year.”

Lotus Acquires Scripps Stations in Tucson and Boise. Eight stations are involved in the $8 million transaction between (buyer) Lotus Communications and (seller) The E.W. Scripps Company. Lotus president Jim Kalmenson remarks, “We are looking forward to getting to know the many talented professionals at these Scripps radio stations. Both companies share a genuine passion for producing excellent local radio and serving the public.” Scripps president and chief executive officer Adam Symson adds, “Lotus Communications’ commitment to serving local communities – with a focus on western region markets in particular – makes it a natural fit to run the Tucson and Boise stations. This deal sets up the stations for continued success.” In Tucson, Lotus picks up and will keep adult contemporary KMXZ “94.9 “Mix FM” and sports talk KFFN “ESPN Tucson,” but will spin urban-rhythmic oldies KTGV “106.3 The Groove” and news/talk KQTH. Its Boise acquisitions include classic rock KJOT “J-105”; rock KQXR “100.3 – The X”; triple A KRVB “94.9 The River”; and classic hits KTHI “107.1 K-Hits.”

TALKERS News Notes. Longtime New York City (WMCA, WINS, WCBS-AM) newscaster and talk host Ralph Howard has died. According to Salem Radio Network vice president of news & talk programming Tom Tradup, “Ralph personified New York City – vibrant, charming, a little edgy, and nonstop energy; I will miss him greatly.” Tradup produced “Ralph & Ryan” on WMCA in the early-1980s; “Ryan” was longtime NBC-TV newsman Bill Ryan. In addition to New York City credentials, Howard worked in Chicago at WIND, WBBM-AM, and WCFL, as well as for The Associated Press and ABC Radio. Until he retired in May 2013, he was a news anchor for Howard Stern, hosting “Howard’s World,” covering Stern’s SiriusXM exploits. This Sunday (8/12) at 3:00 pm, a celebration of Ralph Howard’s life will be observed at New York City’s Riverside Chapel; Howard was 76 years old ….. Alpha Media Portland’s KXL “FM News 101” adds Envision Networks’ two-hour Nik Miles-hosted “Our Auto Expert” to its Sunday afternoon lineup (2:00 pm – 4:00 pm). Alpha Media executive vice president of programming Scott Mahalick remarks, “When it comes to personality and compelling automotive talk, nobody does it better than Nik Miles. We are excited to share ‘Our Auto Expert’ with the world as part of our commitment to bring the best live & local programming to our listener community.” KXL operations manager Bruce Collins notes, “Nobody knows more about the auto industry than Nik. He is both informative and entertaining – we welcome Nik and his show to KXL.” Miles adds, “I am so excited be working with the country’s most forward-thinkers in radio. Being live and local every week gives listeners an opportunity to be the first to hear about groundbreaking automotive stories and stay informed.” ….. The former general manager of Ohana Media Group’s six Anchorage (Alaska) stations – Tom Oakes – is named operations manager for Scripps Radio’s five-station Springfield, Missouri cluster, which consists of KTTS “94.7 Country’s Best”; CHR KSPW “Power 96.5”; adult hits KRVI “106.7 The River”; and KSGF AM & FM “News/Talk 1260 & 104.1.” In addition, he will be the program director of KTTS. Springfield Operations vice president and general manager Rex Hansen notes, “Tom Oakes brings years of experience in all formats we operate here in Springfield. Our listeners, team, and advertisers will benefit greatly from his expertise. His coaching skills will make a difference for our air staff immediately.” Oakes remarks, “A busy fall lies ahead as we prepare for not only the next ratings sweep, but continue to work with our on-going projects, promotions and programming needs across the entire cluster.” Oakes previously was vice president of programming for  Ohana’s 11 stations in Alaska and Oregon; worked for New Northwest Broadcasters in a variety of upper-management roles with their stations in Alaska, Montana, Oregon, and Washington; and has experience in Omaha, Madison, and South Bend (Indiana) ….. The annual Public Radio Program Directors (PRPD) content conference will be held later this month (8/20 – 8/23) at Austin’s Hyatt Regency Hotel. “Pixels and Place” author Kate O’Neill will be a keynote speaker. PRPD is the only national gathering devoted solely to public radio content and programming and this year’s conference, “will be the most format-inclusive in the organization’s history. As every public radio station grapples with consumption, relevance and sustainability, the PRPD is committed to creating a setting where content leaders can learn, network and advance their careers.” ….. Owing to a strategy change regarding original podcasts, Amazon’s Audible Originals senior vice president of original content development Eric Nuzum is departing. The former NPR executive made the announcement in an email earlier this week. Several other Audible Originals staffers – including the entire unit responsible for original spoken-word podcast content – are also exiting, according to published reports. After releasing high-profile shows in its short existence, Audible Originals has more recently shifted to signing major authors to audiobook-first deals.

Round Two of July 2018 PPM Data Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including Washington (D.C), Boston, Miami, Detroit, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Tampa, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 survey period covered June 21 – July 18. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

TEGNA Releases Q2 Financials. The former television division of Gannett, Virginia-based TEGNA, reports that its second-quarter net income from continuing operations was up 87.8% to $92.5 million. “Subscription,” which is the company’s term for television retransmission consent revenue, was up 16%. President/CEO Dave Lougee notes, “Our progress in the quarter gives us confidence that our growth strategy is on track. Our business mix continues to evolve toward predictable and profitable subscription-based revenue streams. Contrary to conventional wisdom, our paid subscriber base is very stable, and in fact, our total number of paid subscribers was up year-over-year for the first time in recent years.” TEGNA owns or operates 47 TV stations in 39 markets. Results for its San Diego radio properties, news/talk KFMB-AM “AM 760 Talk & Breaking News” and rock KFMB-FM “100.7 KFM-BFM,” are not broken out in its earnings releases. The company completed its acquisition of KFMB-AM, KFMB-FM, and KFMB-TV from Midwest Television six months ago for a reported $325 million.

Ohio Special Election/Primaries, Manafort Trial/Gates Testimony, California Wildfire and the Environment, Trump China Tariffs, Alex Jones/InfoWars Banned by YouTube and Facebook, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Discussed Yesterday (8/6). The cliffhanger special election in Ohio and key primaries in several states, the trial of former Donald Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort highlighted by the damaging testimony of Rick Gates; the deadly California wildfire and its connection to the environment; Alex Jones and InfoWars being dropped by several major social media platforms and MLB action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday (8/7), according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Co-host of “The Bob & Tom Show” – Tom Griswold – will host two evenings of live comedy featuring Greg Hahn, Pat Godwin, and Josh Arnold one week from Friday (8/17) at Indianapolis’ Irving Theater and the following night (8/18) at Lafayette, Indiana’s Lafayette Theater. All proceeds from both shows will go to The Nora Dane Fund, which helps defray the costs of medical treatment and related expenses for two-year-old Nora Dane, who is being treated for a rare, aggressive malignant brain tumor. Griswold states, “Three of my favorite comedians are stepping up to help little Nora. I promise a great night of comedy to support the amazing efforts being made to help this wonderful little girl.” Preferred seating tickets for each show are $75 and include early access to the venue; a meet-and-greet with the featured talent; a photo; VIP laminate; and choice of seating. Griswold and co-host Bob Kevoian originate their Westwood One syndicated show from Cumulus Media Indianapolis flagship WFBQ “Q-95 Indy’s Classic Rock.” ….. In honor of mid-day talent Pat Martin’s 30th anniversary with Entercom Sacramento’s KRXQ “98 Rock,” The Pat Martin All-Star Band will perform tonight (Wednesday, 8/8, 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm) as part of a free concert at Folsom, California’s Powerhouse Pub. Guest band members Jeff Keith from Tesla, composer Robert Sabino, and UFO’s “Atomik” Tommy McClendon are among others scheduled to appear. Martin currently fronts the longest consecutive running radio show in Sacramento history ….. As part of an exclusive long-term partnership with Saga Communications, Mediabase and BuzzAngle Music will provide Saga with comprehensive music listening and consumption data for more than 130 radio stations nationwide. Saga Communications vice president of programming Bob Lawrence comments, “Mediabase and BuzzAngle have proven to be essential tools for our many markets and programmers over the years. When presented with the opportunity to put them in our arsenal on a group-wide level, we simply could not resist.” Mediabase president and RCS Worldwide president/CEO Philippe Generali remarks, “We couldn’t be more thrilled to be chosen by the very talented programming team at Saga Communications. This partnership will expand the list of markets covered by Mediabase and complement it with the BuzzAngle sales and streaming data for all Saga stations.” Meanwhile, Jim Lidestri, chief executive officer of Border City Media, the makers of BuzzAngle Music, adds, “Mediabase’s airplay monitoring and BuzzAngle’s extensive consumer analytics is a powerful combination for programmers. We are delighted to partner with Saga to give them the most comprehensive tools to connect with – and engage – their listeners through music.” ….. Tickets go on sale this Friday (8/10) for Stephens Media Group Tulsa alternative KMYZ “Z-104.5 The Edge,”-sponsored “The Edge Halloween Haunt.” The October 31 event will feature The Struts, Meg Myers, and Albert Hammond, Jr. ….. After a four-year hiatus, Corey Garrison will return to Binnie Media Portland, Maine country outlet WTHT “99.9 The Wolf” later this month (8/20) as music director and afternoon driver. Operations manager Stan Bennett notes, “Corey has a great passion for country music. I could not be happier to see him return home and help an already veteran team keep ‘The Wolf’ Maine’s most-listened to country station.” Prior to working for three Blueberry Broadcasting stations in Lewistown-Augusta-Bangor, Maine (WABK, WBAK, and WBKA), Garrison was assistant program director/music director/afternoon talent at “The Wolf” (2007-2014). He takes over for J.C. Coffey, who left WTHT late last month ….. This past Saturday (8/4), 24-year-old Eric Manias was a victim of a home invasion at his New Albany (Ohio) apartment. Manias is a family member of Digi-Dude Nate, who is part of “Bailey and Southside,” the morning team on Cumulus Media Atlanta’s WNNX “Rock 100.5.” Manias was shot twice, beaten, and robbed. Transported to Grant Hospital, he is in critical condition with a fractured jaw and arm; broken hip; and numerous cuts and bruises; he’s had four surgeries thus far. Manias was born with pulmonary atresia, a heart disease in which the pulmonary valve is not properly formed. Shortly after his birth, he had three open-heart procedures. As of noon yesterday (8/7), a fund to help with his medical bills raised more than $5,700 toward a $10,000 goal ….. WOCQ-HD2 “Kool Oldies,” Salisbury-Ocean City (Maryland); WQTL “Kool Oldies 106.1,” Tallahassee (Florida); and KWML “Kool Oldies,” Las Cruces (New Mexico) are the latest affiliates of Envision Networks’Wolfman Jack Radio Show.” All three are Adams Radio Group properties. Its president & chief executive officer Ron Stone states, “We are thrilled to bring ‘The Wolfman’ back in our markets where we have great oldies stations playing the best music of all time. We believe the audience our oldies stations target are going to fall in love with ‘The Wolfman’ all over again.”

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

| July 24, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

| June 20, 2018

RTDNA Announces National Edward R. Murrow Award Winners. From more than 4,400 entries, the awards recognize 89 local and network radio, television and digital news organizations for 118 examples of outstanding journalism in 16 categories. The leader in overall Radio Television Digital News Association awards with five – NPR – scores wins in “Continuing Coverage,” “Excellence in Social Media,” “Excellence in Sound,” “Excellence in Hard News,” and “News Documentary.” Hubbard Washington, DC all-news WTOP and New Hampshire Public Radio repeated their 2017 wins for “Overall Excellence” in large market radio and small market radio, respectively. RTDNA executive director Dan Shelley notes, “Winning an RTDNA National Edward R. Murrow Award means that a news organization has provided exemplary public service to its viewers, listeners, and readers. These honorees truly represent the very best in broadcast and digital journalism around the world. We cannot make our communities better unless we understand them, and these stories from news organizations large and small have educated, uplifted, inspired, uncovered, and enlightened. These winning pieces revealed the tragedies of human trafficking, kept audiences safe and informed during devastating hurricanes and fires, and provided desperately sought information and context during too-common moments of violence. They provided insight into healthcare, homelessness and immigration issues, engaged communities in learning about mental health and dug deep into election interference.” In addition to the “Overall Excellence” award won for the second time straight and 12th over 18 years, CBS News Radio was recognized for “Best Audio Newscast” for the sixth time in succession. This year, it was for “World News Roundup” coverage of Hurricane Harvey with Norah O’Donnell reporting from Houston and Steve Kathan anchoring from New York. Coverage of the mass shooting of concertgoers on the Las Vegas Strip last October earned the staff the “Breaking News” award for a report by Steve Futterman, Steve Dorsey, and Deborah Rodriguez. This year’s “Excellence in Writing” award went to Dave Ross for his daily feature. CBS News Radio general manager Craig Swagler states, “It is because of our great radio station affiliates that we are a better, stronger radio network.” Entercom was honored with three awards: Large Market Radio “Excellence in Sound” to all-news KCBS-AM, San Francisco for “Wine Country on Fire”; News Series to all-news WCBS-AM, New York for “The Breaking Point”; and the same station scored for “Newscast” (October 31, 2017, 5:00 pm). The national awards will be presented in four months (10/22) at the RTDNA “Edward R. Murrow Awards Gala” in New York City’s Gotham Hall.

KBME To Shuffle Its Lineup. Former National Football League quarterback Sean Salisbury will join the weekday lineup of iHeartMedia Houston’s KBME “Sports Talk 790” in afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm), starting in less than three weeks (Monday, 7/9). Director of AM programming for iHeartMedia Houston, Bryan Erickson, notes, “We are thrilled to be adding Salisbury to the team. The former quarterback brings a unique perspective from his days on the gridiron. We have put together an all-star lineup of guys who know sports and love talking about sports. [KBME] is truly the best destination for compelling local sports content in Houston.” Salisbury adds, “I have been blessed with a full career. This opportunity to work with iHeart and ‘Sports Talk 790’ was too good to pass up in so many ways. I don’t take these great moments lightly. The last five years have been special. I fully expect this new journey to be filled with ‘wow’ moments that make our listeners feel like they are getting the show they deserve.” Following his ten-year professional football career, Salisbury was an NFL analyst on ESPN, and served as a consultant for the 2005 remake of “The Longest Yard.” KBME’s revised lineup as of July 9 will include Josh Innes (6:00 am – 10:00 am); “In the Trenches with Koch & Kalu” (10:00 am – 12:00 noon); Matt Thomas (12:00 noon – 3:00 pm); and Salisbury from 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm. The station will continue its broadcast partnerships with the Houston Astros, Houston Rockets, and the University of Texas football and basketball teams.

MacFarlane Donates $2 Million to NPR; $500,000 to KPCC. Opting to answer Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s comments about dishonesty in the media with his wallet, “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane is making a $2 million donation to NPR and $500,000 to Los Angeles’ NPR membership station, KPCC. MacFarlane’s contribution will directly benefit NPR’s Collaborative Journalism Network, which connects NPR’s nearly 1,800 journalists so they are able to share resources and eliminate “news deserts” in the United States. An NPR spokesperson writes, “We are deeply appreciative of the generous gift from Seth MacFarlane, which will go to supporting local news coverage, allowing NPR and member stations to continue working together to tell the story of the whole country from everywhere in the country.” Southern California Public Radio president and CEO Bill Davis states, “We are deeply moved by Seth’s generous contribution to Southern California Public Radio, KPCC, and NPR. It is this local/national partnership that is the heart of our shared public service mission and we are committed to more fully realizing that mission thanks to this gift and his challenge for others to join us.” Last Thursday, Carlson stated, “If you’re looking to understand what’s actually happening in this country, always assume the opposite of whatever they’re telling you on the big news stations.” In a tweet, MacFarlane wrote that statements like Carlson’s “make me embarrassed to work for this company,” referring to Fox for whom MacFarlane has provided “Family Guy,” “American Dad,” “Cleveland,” and “Orville.” As a direct rebuke to Carlson’s remarks, MacFarlane further told his Twitter followers, “In other words, don’t think critically, don’t consult multiple news sources, and in general, don’t use your brain.”

TALKERS Founder Michael Harrison Says Fox News Channel Hosts Present “Legitimate” Point of View on the Current Border Controversy.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison spoke this morning (6/20) on CNN’s Headline News Channel (HLN) program “Across America with Carol Costello” about the media’s role in the current border immigration controversy (pictured above).  Costello asked Harrison for his perspective on threats by 21st Century Fox show business producers such as Seth MacFarlane (“Family Guy”) and Steve Levitan (“Modern Family”) as well as director Paul Feig who have publicly expressed “disgust” and “embarrassment” over the way Fox News Channel has been covering the family-separation issue with hosts Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham and others showing support of President Trump’s stringent policy.  Harrison said that he doesn’t take these threats seriously and the situation will probably be resolved with the country moving on to the next issue before they could even make good on them.  If anything, Harrison said, this issue will force Trump to further tweak and define murky areas of his immigration policy.  Harrison went on to say that the Hollywood establishment “which includes show business across the board such as Broadway and what took place at the Tony Awards” is hurting its own cause as well as its business interests by speaking out so vehemently for one side in what is a highly-charged polarized situation.  Harrison stated, “Famous people whose media products are not directly involved in politics would be wise to stay out of the fray because they will only further alienate the significant segment of the public and electorate that is supportive of Trump… even to the point of strengthening its resolve.”  When asked if he thinks the potential acquisition of Fox by Walt Disney Co. or Comcast could result in the Fox News Channel modifying its conservative stand, Harrison replied, “Probably not – they are in business and it is doubtful that they would do something to diminish the formidable earnings of a viable news venue serving a large portion of the population.”  Harrison concluded, “No matter how harsh or even cruel Trump’s handling of this situation might be, there are many millions of Americans who support him on it and, thus, Fox News Channel is presenting a legitimate point of view within the highly diverse American marketplace of ideas.  If Fox were to back off on its pro-Trump stance, you can be sure other venues such as Newsmax would be more than happy to swoop in and fill the void that would be waiting to be served.”

Westwood One News’ Vietnam Retrospective Nabs Gold Medal Award. Among the five citations Westwood One News received Monday night (6/18) from the New York International Radio Festival was a gold medal award for “Pain & Pride: Remembering Vietnam – 50 Years Later,” which aired during Veterans Day weekend (November, 2017). Westwood One host/Vietnam veteran Jim Bohannon narrated “Pain & Pride.” Bohannon, who served with the 856th Radio Research Detachment in Cat Lai and Long Binh from 1967 -1968, won a NY Festival prize 30 years ago for his first “Pain & Pride news special. He comments, “I am very gratified that producer David Oziel, the Westwood One News team, and I have received this recognition. For me, there is special meaning in that we did a 20-year look back special that won the New York Festival’s Grand Award in 1988. Also, I’ll be the keynote speaker [tomorrow, Thursday, 6/21] at the Branson, Missouri reunion of my Vietnam unit, the 199th Light Infantry Brigade. It is a delightful manifestation of what Vietnam vets say to each other – ‘welcome home.’” Bohannon gave the keynote address at the Vietnam Wall Memorial in Washington in 1990; was the principal MC for the Vietnam Veterans reunion in Branson in 2002; and hosted the “Rumble” at “TALKERS 2018” less than two weeks ago (6/8) in New York City.

PPM Analysis: All-News. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents four analyses of the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s May PPM survey. Today’s report focuses on the all-news format. A year-to-year improvement of nine-tenths (8.8 – 9.7, 6+) enables Hubbard’s WTOP to move from second to third in Washington, DC. It is the only all-news station in a PPM-market to rank first in May 2018. Moreover, with a 9.6 (6+), it once again boasts the strongest 6+-share among its all-news peers. The category’s runner-up in all six survey periods highlighted in this analysis (“Holiday” 2017 – May 2018) is iHeartMedia Sacramento’s KFBK (6.7, 6+, May 2018). See the entire all-news overview here.

Edison Research Releases 2018 Q1 “Share of Ear” Report. The study quantifies reach and time spent with of all forms of audio. Results indicate terrestrial AM and FM radio remains the centerpiece of audio. Among nuggets from the quarterly report as summarized on the Westwood One website by director of content marketing Lauren Vetrano: AM/FM accounts for 47% of all audio time spent among persons 18+. “Owned music” is next at 12%, followed by YouTube videos (9%); ad-free SiriusXM (5%) and TV music channels (5%). AM/FM’s share has been consistently strong throughout the last few years. Edison reports AM/FM radio’s daily reach also remains stable, while Pandora continues to see losses in share and reach; Spotify has grown 36% (3% to 4.1%). Since 2016, Pandora’s “Share of Ear” dropped 17%. From 2016 to 2018, millennials 18-34 daily reach jumped 39%. Daily reach among 25-54s increased 52%. In addition, podcasting’s daily reach is growing, especially among younger audiences, with listening share +39% in two years to 15.2% among those 18-34 and +52% to 9.7% in the same timeframe among 25-54s.

Salem Radio Network Sets Midterm Election Coverage. With its vice president of news & talk programming Tom Tradup commenting, “There is unprecedented interest in this year’s midterms,” Salem Radio Network will feed live Mike Gallagher-anchored coverage on (Tuesday) November 6 beginning at 7:00 pm (ET). Adding their perspective as well that night will be SRN host Hugh Hewitt; White House correspondent Greg Clugston; Senate correspondent Linda Kenyon; Congress correspondent Wally Hindes; Pentagon/military affairs correspondent Colonel Robert Maginnis; and SRN analyst/former presidential candidate Gary Bauer.

TALKERS News Notes. Having overseen the programming content strategy for 54 radio stations in Radio One’s 15 markets and Reach Media‘s nationally syndicated programming since January 2007, senior vice president of programming content Jay Stevens will leave the company when his contract expires the middle of next month. Immediately prior to joining Radio One, Stevens spent 16 years as vice president of programming for CBS Radio ….. It’s a busy week for Westwood One “Sterling on Sunday” host Walter (Sabo) Sterling who is filling in for Westwood One teammate Jim Bohannon tonight (Wednesday, 6/20) and tomorrow night (Thursday, 6/21). Sterling will be originating those shows from Entercom Pittsburgh news/talk KDKA-AM. Then, in approximately two weeks (7/5 and 7/6), he will guest host for Cumulus Media Little Rock news/talk KARN-FM afternoon drive talent Doc Washburn ….. Chicago media writer Robert Feder (RobertFeder.com) is first to report that veteran “Windy City” news anchor Dave Stewart (WGN, WLS-AM, WIND) will retire at the end of the month … Word from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Rodney Ho is that Elly Yu is remaining in the public news/talk arena but shifting from Atlanta Public Schools-owned WABE to American University’s WAMU as a general assignment reporter.

ABC Radio To Air Four July 4th Specials. All will be three hours in length for broadcast over the upcoming holiday weekend. In “America’s Pastimes,” ABC News Radio correspondent Aaron Katersky enjoys the pastimes that comprise a classic American summer such as the back porch, barbeque, sports, and a day at the beach. Katersky will explore not only the traditional American summer hobbies, but also those that are new. ABC News Radio correspondent Alex Stone hosts “Great American Car Show” in which he examines America’s love affair with the automobile. He tours the presidential limousine that John F. Kennedy was in on that fateful day in Dallas; visits an assembly line making the Ford Mustang (pictured at left); and ponders a future with flying cars. Stone will take listeners on a tour down historic Route 66, do donuts with a Hollywood stunt car driver and learn about the latest in car technology. “Red, White and True-Blue Country Fan Salute” is hosted by Dustin Lynch, who reveals the special relationship between country artists and their fans. Among those included are Jason Aldean, Kelsea Ballerini, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Little Big Town, and Darius Rucker. They discuss their most memorable and strangest fan encounters, how they engage with fans on social media and what sets country fans apart from partisans of other musical genres. Eddie Money-hosted “Red, White & Rock 2018” celebrates cities, artists, and songs that comprise the landscape of American rock and roll. It will feature music from Aerosmith, Allman Brothers Band, Cheap Trick, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Tom Petty, Bob Seger, Bruce Springsteen, Van Halen, and ZZ Top.

Coleman Insights To Present Podcast Engagement Study. Results will be shared next month (7/25) in Philadelphia at Podcast Movement as part of the conference’s Industry Track. The study will reportedly offer second-by-second data in an analysis on listener reactions to “The Ben & Ashley Almost Famous Podcast,” hosted by former contestants from ABC-TV’s “The Bachelor.” Coleman Insights executive vice president/senior consultant Sam Milkman notes, “We will go well beyond the simple measures of listener and download counts that podcasters are used to seeing and examine content engagement. By looking at how the audience responds to specific content, podcasters can more effectively develop engaging content.” Podcast Movement co-founder Dan Franks remarks, “One of the biggest challenges for a podcaster is to figure out who their listener is, and what their listener wants. Coleman’s solutions for this problem are very exciting for us as organizers, as we get to help spread the word throughout the entire podcast community this July.” Milkman will present the findings with John Boyne and will be joined by iHeartRadio senior vice president of podcasting Chris Peterson.

For The Record. An item in yesterday’s TALKERS (Tuesday, 6/19) noted that “CBS World News Roundup” earned a “gold” medal in the New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards; “CBS World News Roundup” actually won a “bronze.” We apologize for the error.

 

NYC’s “Alt 92.3” Adds Segall, Stone. In two separate moves, Entercom New York’s WNYL “Alt 92.3” names Bryce Segall music director/evening talent and Dan Stone imaging director. Segall begins in less than two weeks (Monday, 7/2); Stone starts next Monday (6/25). Entercom New York regional president and market manager Susan Larkin comments, “Bryce has continuously displayed the ability to be innovative in the programming end of our industry; we are excited to add his talents. Dan’s previous imaging and voiceover experience will pay great dividends as he joins us in the same capacity.” According to Segall, “New York City is an iconic pillar of alternative culture. It has long deserved a radio station that not only pays tribute, but adds to that legacy. I am looking forward to working with the ‘Alt 92.3’ team to develop an outlet that truly adds value to the thriving, pre-existing music community.” Stone notes, “Helping to build an ‘Alt’ radio brand for New York City is a dream come true. This station’s passion for the format is unequalled; I can’t wait to wake up and be a part of that.” Segall previously was assistant program director/air personality for Seattle’s KNDD “107.7 The End,” and label manager for Mad Zoo. Stone was an imaging contributor/consultant for Cumulus Media Chicago. WNYL is the former WBMP – its calls were changed last Tuesday (6/12). Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s May 2018 sweep, the station ranked #19 (2.0).

Bevvy of Beasley Media Group Philly Activities. Several community-oriented activities undertaken by Beasley Media Group Philadelphia seemingly converged all at once. Many employees at the cluster were involved in its recent “Best Day of Caring event to help the City of Philadelphia Community Life Improvement Program (CLIP). Team members from WMMR “93.3 Everything That Rocks”; WMGK “102.9 Philadelphia’s Classic Rock”;  adult hits WBEN-FM “95.7 Ben FM”; sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic”; sports talk WTEL “610 ESPN”; and WWDB “Talk 860” divided into two shifts to clean up a block in the city’s Frankford section. While there, they picked up trash and removed graffiti to help support the organization’s beautification project. Vice president and market manager Joe Bell comments, “This is truly what being a part of a local community is all about. I could not be more proud of our employees for paying it forward and helping our beloved city. I am proud to be on their team.” Meanwhile, last Friday (6/15), WMGK’s John DeBella raised over $143,000 for local veterans as part of his 13th annual radiothon at the National Constitution Center. Over the past decade, the station has raised over one million dollars to support vets in need. Among those donating items used in a series of eBay auctions that occurred in conjunction with the radiothon were Def Leppard’s Rick Allen, Jimmy Buffett, Phil Collins, Eagles, Billy Joel, and Yes. Former leader of Creedence Clearwater Revival, John Fogerty, called the station to voice his support. The following day (Saturday, 6/16), the 13th annual WMMR “I Bleed For Preston & Steve Blood Drive” produced 1,128 units of blood to benefit The American Red Cross Penn-Jersey Blood Services Region. Listeners showed up during a time when the American Red Cross needs blood the most and they received “Preston & Steve” T-shirts and “I Bleed For Preston & Steve pint glass. Hundreds of donors were randomly selected to receive a pair of tickets to a summer concert. Free food and samples were also provided. Thus far, the annual event has collected nearly 15,000 pints of blood.

O’Brien Inks Multi-Year WCSX Extension. Four-year WCSX “94.7 The Classic Rock Station” morning drive personality (Big) Jim O’Brien signs a multi-year deal to continue hosting “Big Jim’s Houseon the Beasley Media Group Detroit outlet. Vice president/market manager Mac Edwards comments, “It is really a pleasure to be associated with Jim and the healthy combination of creativity, wit, and passion for cars and classic rock he brings to his morning listeners in the ‘Motor City.’ Jim’s work to establish Glenn Frey Drive in Royal Oak and soon Bob Seger Boulevard in Ann Arbor; his tireless efforts on behalf of veterans; and his respect for all things Detroit prove he is an extraordinary ambassador for both WCSX and the city he calls home.” Program director JT Tarrants states, “I have been a ‘Big Jim’ fan since I arrived here. We are so glad to have him buttoned up to lead our morning show into the future.” O’Brien adds, “It is an honor to be part of the Beasley Media Group family in Detroit. I look forward to continue entertaining our dedicated ‘Motor City’ listeners for years to come.” O’Brien has been with WCSX since 2002 and is joined on the morning show by co-host Erin V and producer Ryan Logan.

San Andres Ascends to “Z-90” APD. XHTZ “Z-90 – Today’s Hit Music,” the Comunicación XERSA-owned mainstream CHR covering San Diego, promotes music director Kat San Andres to assistant program director. Program director R Dub comments, “It is team members behind the spotlight like Kat San Andres who are responsible for the incredible success of ‘Z-90’ and the other brands in this building. Kat’s relentless work ethic and passion for the business helps propel ‘Z-90’ forward every day; expanding her role here was overdue. Add to that, she is the ‘Z-90’ listener; has a great set of ears; and is a lot cooler than I will ever be.” With the station since 2004, San Andres remarks, “Fourteen years later, I am still in love with this career. I am always so thankful and grateful that I decided to take a risk to follow my dreams because it has led me to this wonderful adventure. I am so excited for this opportunity and cannot wait to start this new chapter.” Meanwhile, Kalyna Astrinos of San Diego’s KGTV-TV joins “Z-90” for weekends. She and R Dub worked together at iHeartMedia Los Angeles in 2009.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. After 16 years in the CBS Radio Los Angeles – now Entercom – cluster, John Michael resigns. During his tenure, he was assistant program director/music director at mainstream CHR KAMP “97.1 Amp Radio”; music director for adult hits KCBS-FM “93.1 Jack FM’: and music coordinator/weekend air talent at alternative KROQ ….. Digital program director for iHeartMedia San Francisco Matty Staudt is elevated to iHeartRadio’s vice president of podcast programming. Staudt has launched more than 30 original locally-focused podcasts and hosts iHeartRadio’s “Access Podcast.” In 2008, he became part of the startup team and first director of content and community for the podcasting app Stitcher before moving to Premiere Networks as a consulting producer. A teacher at the Academy of Art University, Staudt will report directly to senior vice president of podcasting Chris Peterson …..Exiting Saga Columbus adult contemporary WSNY “Sunny 95” after 24 years is morning talent Dino Tripodis. Co-host Stacy McKay is the interim replacement named by program director Michelle Matthews …..  Morning drivers Chaz & AJ of Connoisseur Media New Haven’s WPLR “99.1 Connecticut’s #1 Rock Station” raised $18,000 for Connecticut based “Homes for the Brave.” WPLR operations manager Keith Dakin states, “It was truly inspiring to look at a packed house of people who were there not only for laughs but to help out a great organization making a difference in our community. ‘Homes for the Brave’ is doing great things in our state and we are so happy to write them this check.” Chaz adds, “With over a million U.S. veterans at risk of homelessness, this is the least we could do. It is up to us to help take care of those that gave for their country.” All money raised will go to help build homes, teach vocational training, and work with homeless veterans ….. The co-host of Cumulus Media’s “Nash Nights Live” – Elaina Smith – teams up with Nash Country Daily for an ongoing conversation about women in country music. Each article will feature a female county artist with an accompanying opinion piece, interview, podcast, or playlist. Profiled female artists will be featured on 90 Cumulus Media websites and more than 130 radio stations nationwide, with a reach of 400,000 people on Twitter and 180,000 on Facebook.

Monday, April 30, 2018

| April 30, 2018

Conservative News/Talk Radio Takes on the White House Correspondents Dinner.  While listeners of news/talk radio were venting about what they overwhelmingly saw as unnecessary attacks on President Trump’s administration – most especially comedian Michelle Wolf’s targeting of White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders – at Saturday’s White House Correspondents Dinner, some news/talk radio industry players were also making their thoughts about the evening’s program known.  WABC, New York news and talk personality Rita Cosby attended the event.  (She’s seen above with Sarah Huckabee Sanders at a WHCD party and below with Kellyanne Conway at the event itself) Cosby tells TALKERS magazine that she’ll be offering her take to WABC listeners on the “Curtis and Cosby” show today.  Meanwhile, Salem Radio Network V.P./news & talk programming Tom Tradup shares the letter he penned to Bloomberg White House correspondent and White House Correspondents Association president Margaret Talev:

Hi, Margaret…and congratulations!

 After viewing the disgraceful White House Correspondents Dinner on Saturday—and your refusal on CNN this morning to denounce “comedian” Michelle Wolf and the mortifying, obscenity-laced attacks she directed at White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders,  White House counselor KellyAnne Conway and other Trump Administration officials in attendance last evening…you have actually achieved what I had always thought impossible: displaying less professional journalism and more outrageous bias than even The Associated Press.  An astonishing accomplishment.

 Given the fact that you, personally, invited the vile Michelle Wolf as the evening’s entertainment…and that rather than booing or leaving,  members of your Association were seen on television guffawing over an onslaught of stupid “pussy” references, lame jokes about President Trump’s performance in bed, the suggestion that President Trump’s daughter is “full of shit” and sophomoric F-bombs for nearly 20 minutes…I hope President Trump never attends another White house Correspondents Dinner.

 I know I won’t.

 Tom Tradup

iHeartMedia Files Joint Chapter 11 Plan of Reorganization.  This Saturday (4/28) filing in iHeartMedia’s Chapter 11 reorganization lays out the current plan for the company’s exit from bankruptcy protection.  The Disclosure Statement states, in part, that “the proposed Plan achieves a value-maximizing restructuring that comprehensively addresses the Debtors’ funded debt obligations and positions their businesses for continued growth and long-term success.  As a result of extensive negotiations with groups representing their primary stakeholders, the Debtors entered into a restructuring support agreement on March 16, 2018.  As a result, the transactions embodied by the Plan enjoy the support of Holders of nearly $12 billion of outstanding debt obligations across the Debtors’ capital structure (including outstanding indebtedness held by the Debtors and their Affiliates), as well as the Debtors’ equity sponsors.  The Plan will reduce the Debtors’ funded debt by nearly two-thirds – approximately $10.3 billion – and will result in the separation of the iHeart business and CCOH businesses through either a Tax-Free Separation or a Taxable Separation (the ‘CCOH Separation’).”…Reorganized iHeart will emerge from chapter 11 with New Secured Debt of $5.75 billion that will be secured by substantially all assets of Reorganized iHeart with a 5 – 7 year maturity, as well as a new ABL facility that will, among other things, provide working capital and fund distributions under the Plan; Senior Creditors collectively will share, in the manner described in detail below, in (i) 100% of iHeart’s equity interests in CCOH (as separated from iHeart), (ii) $5.55 billion of the New Secured Debt, (iii) all Excess Cash, and (iv) 94% of the equity in Reorganized iHeart; Holders of Unsecured Debt Claims will receive their Pro Rata share of (i) $200 million of the New Secured Debt and (ii) 5% of the equity in Reorganized iHeart; and Holders of iHeart Interests will receive 1% of the equity in Reorganized iHeart.”

PPM Analysis: News/Talk.  In this final analysis of Nielsen’s March 2018 PPM survey, managing editor Mike Kinosian takes a look at the 6+ performances of news/talk stations.  iHeartMedia’s KOGO, San Diego and Emmis Communications’ WIBC, Indianapolis each record 6+ AQH share increases of more than half a share (+0.8 and +0.6, respectively) from the February 2018 survey.  This during a period when only 34% of news/talk stations saw ratings increases. WIBC (+1.8) was one of five stations to see a year-over-year (March 2017 to March 2018) increase of more than one full share.  Others were: iHeartMedia’s hot talk WTKS-FM, Orlando (+1.6); Cumulus Media’s WMAL-AM/FM, Washington (1.3); and iHeartMedia news/talkers KTLK, Minneapolis (+1.0); and WHJJ, Providence (+1.0).  During Nielsen’s March PPM survey, only two news/talk outlets ranked #1 in their respective markets: Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta and Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.”  See Kinosian’s complete report here.

Russo and Rosen Appointed to Executive Posts at Entercom’s Radio.com.  The moves signal what Entercom is calling its “renewed commitment and strategic shift” regarding the Radio.com platform.  Critics say that CBS’s focus on TV and video allowed the digital audio platform Radio.com to languish under its watch.  Now, new owner Entercom is bringing aboard Pamela Russo as SVP and general manager and Christopher Rosen as editorial director.  Russo will report to Entercom EVP of digital JD Crowley, who says, “This is an exciting time for Radio.com.  We welcome both Pam and Chris’s expertise as we accelerate our strategy to make Radio.com a daily habit for the millions of fans across our family of brands, entertaining and informing users with spoken-word audio, curated music and premium editorial.”  Russo joins Entercom from Meredith Corporation (formerly Time Inc.) where she led digital strategy and operations for the company’s portfolio of entertainment, travel and luxury brands, including People.com, EntertainmentWeekly.com, TravelandLeisure.com and Departures.com, among others.  Rosen is being charged with leading the content development, editorial and video strategy for Radio.com, overseeing content teams in New York and Philadelphia. The company says that “working alongside Entercom programming executives Jeff Sotolano and Liana Huth, Rosen will focus on developing exclusive and original national content for Radio.com’s national platform and portfolio of stations, while also working with local markets to surface their best content for national audiences.”  Rosen joins Entercom from Entertainment Weekly, where he served as executive editor for the brand’s digital properties.

Michael Harrison Says Advertiser Boycotts Infringe Upon the Spirit of the First Amendment, If Not Its Letter.  During a provocative conversation Friday evening (4/27) about advertiser boycotts being waged against the hosts of talk radio and television commentators such as Rush Limbaugh and Laura Ingraham by their political critics, RT America “The Big Picture” host Holland Cooke asked TALKERS founder Michael Harrison if this practice infringes upon Freedom of Speech as guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Cooke suggested that boycotts are also an expression of free speech.  Harrison agreed, but only to a point stating, “The First Amendment guarantees you not to be censored by the government, with a few limitations here and there, but basically the First Amendment gives you free speech separate from government control and government censorship.  It doesn’t provide you with a soap box and it doesn’t guarantee that other people can’t express their free speech rights in protest of what you said.  So, the boycotts are a form of free speech – however, because commercial media today is so dependent on advertising revenue as its life blood, boycotts may not be an infringement of the letter of the First Amendment but they certainly are an infringement of the spirit of the First Amendment.”  Harrison continued, “It’s hitting below the belt…it’s part of the game but it’s playing very dirty and it does threaten free speech in America because so many of our vehicles of free speech are dependent upon advertising.”  To see the entire segment of Friday’s conversation, please click here.

WFAN-AM/FM, New York Keeps ‘CMB’ for Early Afternoons.  With the return of Mike Francesa to the WFAN-AM/FM, New York “The Fan” program schedule tomorrow, the Entercom station announces the new program lineup. Current 2:00 pm to 6:30 PM hosts Chris Carlin, Maggie Gray, and Bart Scott – “CMB” – remain with the station hosting the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm show. An hour is cut off the “Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts” program (now heard 10:00 am to 1:00 pm), and Francesa’s “Mike On” show airs from 3:00 pm to 6:30 pm.  Prior to Francesa’s December departure from WFAN, his show aired daily from 1:00 pm to 6:30 pm.

Price: All I Learned About Resilience I Learned from ABBA.  Business continuity expert Howard B. Price writes today to explain that all he’s learned about dealing as a broadcaster with the challenges of natural disasters and made-made calamities he learned from the pop supergroup ABBA.   The former, longtime ABC news and technology & operations director of business continuity and crisis management says that within the titles of the group’s iconic songs lie the “inspiration and guidance for every resilience practitioner who aspires to rock-star status in the craft.”  Read his piece here.

Michiana’s WTRC Raises $174,000 for Five Star Life. Pictured above is the staff of WTRC, Niles, Michigan “95.3 MNC” celebrating the $174,100 grand total raised recently during the radiothon to benefit Five Star Life – an organization that teaches middle-school children five core values of respect, responsibility, integrity, sacrifice, and courage in after-school programs.  This is the eighth year that the Pathfinder Communications news/talk station has raised funds for Five Star Life.

TALKERS News Notes.  Former Atlanta Braves outfielder Jeff Francoeur is joining Dickey Broadcasting Company’s sports talker WCNN, Atlanta “680 The Fan” for a regular Tuesday appearance on the late morning show with Nick Cellini and Chris Dimino.   WCNN general manager David Dickey says, “I’m excited that Jeff will continue to help ‘The Fan’ provide Braves fans with the best coverage and most in-depth analysis of the Atlanta Braves.  And we are thrilled that Jeff will continue to be an important member of the Dickey Broadcasting Company family…both in prime-time and in game-time content.”…..The NAB Education Foundation announces the election of six new members of the NABEF board of directors.  They are: Graham Media Group’s Emily Barr, Cox Media Group’s Kim Guthrie, Sinclair Broadcasting’s Rebecca Hanson, Univision Communications Inc.’s Rosemary Mercedes, Perry Publishing and Broadcasting’s Kevin Perry and NBCUniversal’s Craig Robinson.  The National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to “serving broadcasters and the public interest by supporting and advocating community service, diversity, education and broadcasting issues and trends.”…..Wishes for a speedy recovery go out to New Jersey Broadcasters Association president and CEO Paul Rotella who recently underwent emergency surgery for acute diverticulitis.  Rotella says that although there were complications, he’s on the mend and expects to be back working from his home office by next week…..Bonneville’s news/talk KTTH, Seattle hosted the quarterly “Freedom Series” debate on April 24, this time addressing the issue, “Guns and Our Children.”  The station says the intent of the live community discussion “was to give the public an opportunity to talk through and find common ground on what’s normally a polarizing issue.  The two-hour panel event was hosted at the Edmonds Center for the Arts in front of a sold-out audience of more than 600 people.  Pictured below (photo courtesy of Ashten Linkhart) The panel featured KTTH hosts Jason Rantz (far right) and Todd Herman (second from right), King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht (center), and KIRO-FM morning host Dave Ross (second from left).  KCPQ-TV, Seattle reporter Brandi Kruse (left) served as the moderator.   Bonneville Seattle VP and market manager Dave Pridemore says, “Through the ‘KTTH Freedom Series’ events, it is our hope to help our communities work through the issues that are important to them, especially issues that directly affect their families.  I was proud of how the station respectfully addressed this timely and highly emotional topic.  It was clear from the size of the audience, as well as their passion for the station, our KTTH hosts are connecting with our listeners about these matters on a daily basis.”

White House Correspondents Dinner, Trump Threatens Government Shutdown/Caravan Asylum Seekers, Sprint and T-Mobile Announce Merger, Texas Voter ID Ruling, Pompeo Confirmed as Secretary of State, MLB Action and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The flap over Michelle Wolf’s routine at the White House Correspondents Dinner; President Trump’s threat to let the federal government close in September if he doesn’t get funding for the Mexico wall, along with the related issue of “caravan asylum seekers” at the border; T-Mobile and Sprint announce plans to merge; a federal panel of judges rules Texas voter ID law does not violate rights of blacks and Hispanics; Mike Pompeo’s confirmation as Secretary of State; the weekend’s MLB action and NBA playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At San Francisco hip hop outlet KRBQ “Q102.1,”Entercom promotes midday personality and music director Billy Vidal to program director.  Entercom San Francisco SVP and market manager Gregory Nemitz, says, “Billy has a great understanding of this format and, more importantly, the Bay Area market.  I have no doubt he will excel in his new role and will continue the upward trajectory of ‘Q102.1.’”  Vidal has been with the station for the past three years.  He rose to music director in June of 2017…..Alpha Media appoints Dave Numme content director for classic hits KBAY and hot AC KEZR.  Numme was most recently serving with Hubbard Radio in Seattle.  He previously worked in the Bay Area as program director for KITS, San Francisco and was vice president of rock/alternative formats for CBS RADIO.  Alpha Media San Jose market manager Lori Heeren comments, “I am honored to be able to work with someone with Dave’s breadth of experience in radio and the Bay Area.  He’s a perfect fit for our team in Silicon Valley!”…..Gene “Bean” Baxter returned to the air on Entercom’s alternative KROQ, Los Angeles on the “Kevin & Bean” show after more than a month off to deal with an undisclosed medical issue.  Stryker had been sitting in on the morning show and returns to his afternoon drive show…..At the same time as Cox Media Group’s WPYO “Power 95.3” shifts from hip hop to CHR, operations manager and WPYO program director Steve DeMann exits…..Neuhoff Media brings Miggy Santos to Illinois to program CHR WSOY-FM, Decatur “Y103” and rhythmic CHR WWHX, Bloomington “Hits 100.7.”  Neuhoff VP/programming Mike Shamus says, “Miggy brings experience and energy to a new concept for us. We’ve developed a special brand in the Twin Cities, Miggy has experience in winning with these types of projects. We’re excited to have him on our team.”

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

| April 3, 2018

Day Four of Where’s Kevin Klein?  The website for Entercom’s sports/guy talk/rock hybrid still lists Kevin Klein as morning drive host.  In fact, it says he’s on the air now.  But, he’s not; the station is still playing rock music as of this morning.  Klein was supposed to start his morning show stint on KEGY, San Diego “97.3 The Machine” last Thursday.  But, after the ill-fated Tweet poking fun at the city’s Coronado Bridge and its history as a site of so many suicides, Klein’s fate appears to be up in the air.  The station is the flagship for San Diego Padres baseball, but the team was upset with the Tweet as well as the station’s general tenor, according to recent local media reports.  Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler last week told the Union Tribune that the team would get through the opening series of the season and then “sit down and evaluate it,” meaning the team’s relationship with the station.  It seems safe to assume that Entercom and the Padres are still in discussions about their deal.  Programming execs may be re-evaluating the station’s image, or they could be waiting for the issue to blow over.

FNC Backs Laura Ingraham with Strong Statement. Despite reports of advertisers fleeing FOX News Channel’s “The Ingraham Angle” program starring Laura Ingraham, FNC co-president Jack Abernethy issued a strong statement in support of her.  As talk media watchers are aware, Ingraham’s social media comments about Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School senior David Hogg’s college applications drew criticism from some quarters.  Hogg posted a list of Ingraham’s advertisers, suggesting a boycott, and the feud gained momentum.  Ingraham is on a planned vacation this week, and Abernethy issued the following statement: “We cannot and will not allow voices to be censored by agenda-driven intimidation efforts.  We look forward to having Laura Ingraham back hosting her program next Monday when she returns from spring vacation with her children.”  Read Variety’s take on the matter here.

Former WWTN-FM, Nashville Morning Host Ralph Bristol to Run for Nashville Mayor.  According to a report in The Tennessean, former WWTN-FM, Nashville “SuperTalk 99.7” morning host Ralph Bristol will run as a Republican in the August election for the Nashville mayoral position.  Megan Barry recently resigned from the mayor’s office after pleading guilty to felony theft over $10,000 in connection with her extra-marital affair with her former security chief.  The 68-year-old Bristol tells that paper that he left his gig with Cumulus Media’s WWTN due to and “editorial difference of opinions” with station management.  (Brian Wilson recently assumed AM drive duties at the station.)  Bristol is opposed to a $9 billion transit bill that is intended to alleviate Nashville’s traffic problems and is banking on his opposition to the controversial proposal to fuel his campaign.

Longtime Washington News Pro Connie Lawn Dies at 73.  News pro Connie Lawn died this morning at her home in Falls Church, Virginia at age 73 after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease.  Lawn was the longest-credentialed member of the White House press corps, having served for 50 years.  Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup says Lawn served with him during the 1990s at USA Radio Network and, more recently, worked for SRN News on a part-time basis.  Tradup says he told his staff, “All of us at SRN News and TOWNHALL News send our condolences to Connie’s husband, Dr. Charles Sneiderman, and to her many friends and colleagues throughout the radio news industry.  She was one-in-a-million.”

TALKERS News Notes. Tomorrow (4/4), SiriusXM is honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King on the anniversary of his assassination in Memphis 50 years ago.  SiriusXM host and human rights activist Joe Madison will broadcast his daily show live from Ben’s Chili Bowl.  The popular D.C. restaurant was frequented by Dr. King during his life and remained open during the riots that ensued following his assassination.  Other programming will take place across the satcaster’s Progress and POTUS channels…..Westwood One is presenting coverage of the 2018 Masters Tournament this Thursday through Sunday.  In addition to hole-by-hole coverage, Westwood One will present hourly updates and a nightly, half-hour preview and recap show, “The Masters Tonight.”  Bob Papa and Charlie Rymer are the anchors for live coverage from Augusta National Golf Club…..ESPN Deportes Radio (WEPN-AM, New York) launches a new, local afternoon show called “Zona NYC,” airing from 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm, hosted by Tenchy Rodriquez and Nestor Rosario.   ESPN says the show will focus on the sports themes most relevant to the New York City Hispanic community.  Rodriquez brings years of experience as a reporter in the Dominican Republic covering MLB and Dominican League Baseball.  Rosario serves as Spanish-language color commentator for the New York Mets and as play-by-play announcer for the New York Giants.

Trump Mexico Criticism, U.S.-China Tariffs, Financial Markets Activity, Trump-Russia Investigation, Ingraham-Hogg Feud, Iran Nukes Deal, Steven Bochco and Winnie Mandela Die, NCAA Championship Game, and MLB and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/2).  U.S. immigration policy and President Trump’s criticism of Mexico’s policing of illegal immigration; China slaps tariffs on U.S. goods in response to President Trump’s tariffs on Chinese exports; Monday’s sharp Dow drop and the financial markets’ responses to U.S. policy; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the feud between FOX News Channel personality Laura Ingraham and Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg; criticism of the Iran nuclear deal from Israel and Saudi Arabia; the deaths of television producer/writer Steven Bochco and Nelson Mandela’s ex-wife Winnie Mandela; Monday night’s NCAA championship game between Villanova and Michigan; and MLB and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERSmagazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Detroit on-air and programming pro Jessica Tyler adds music director duties for Cumulus Media’s hot AC WDVD to her responsibilities at the cluster.  Tyler continues to serve as APD, music director, and midday jock at sister country outlet WDRQ-FM “NASH FM 93.1.”  Cumulus Detroit director of programming Robby Bridges says, “Jessica’s passion for music and her relationships with artists and the label community is unparalleled.  I’m pleased she’ll work with me, APD Kendall Taylor, and our corporate team on the sound of Detroit’s 96.3 WDVD going forward!”…..At Connoisseur Media’s Connecticut operations, Allan Lamberti is named morning host at rock WFOX, Stamford/Norwalk “95.9 The FOX.”  He’s been with the cluster since 2003 in a variety of positions.  Station PD Kevin Begley says, “Allan is a walking trivia night.  He knows more about pop culture and music than anyone I’ve ever met.  Being a lifelong resident of Fairfield County, Allan is a perfect person to entertain ‘FOX’ listeners on their way to work in the morning.”  Begley adds that Lamberti leads a re-tooled lineup that includes the addition of Keith Dakin in afternoons…..Cumulus Media promotes programming pro Dayton Kane to operations manager and program director for country WPKR-FM and alternative WWWX-FM “96.9 The Fox.”  Kane was most recently program director for the company’s classic rock WKRU and classic hits WOGB in Green Bay.  Cumulus VP and market managerJohn Rowe says, “Dayton has demonstrated strong programming leadership qualities and produced outstanding results within Cumulus Wisconsin. We’re excited to expand his role and take advantage of his success and experience.”

West Coast Jock John Mack Flanagan Dies at 71.  As reported in LARP.com, John Mack Flanagan, who spent most of his career at KFRC, San Francisco – but also did part of 1975 at KHJ, Los Angeles – passed away after a battle with congestive heart failure on March 31.  In addition to his work at KFRC, he also worked on air at KWSS, San Jose; KSFO, San Francisco; KYA, San Francisco; and KBGG-FM, San Francisco.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

| February 21, 2018

Len Weiner Adds PD Duties at WQAM, Miami. Sports talk pro Len Weiner adds programming duties for WQAM, Miami to his current role as PD for sister sports talker WAXY “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket.”  Weiner takes over after WQAM programmer Ryan Maguire exited to program Bonneville’s KIRO-FM, Seattle.  Entercom South Florida SVP and market manager Keriann Worley says, “Len’s leadership ability and knowledge of sports radio make him the perfect candidate to take on our two major sport stations in Miami.  Adding the 560 WQAM program director responsibilities to Len’s current role is a natural fit.  I’m confident both stations will continue as the top choice for Miami’s sports fans with Len on board.”

McCloud Named EVP of National Business Development for Entercom.  Sales and marketing pro Jim McCloud comes to Entercom from Major League Baseball, where he was most recently group director & vice president of sponsorship sales & client services.  In his new role with Entercom, he’ll be EVP of national business development.  Company COO Weezie Kramer comments, “We are so pleased to welcome Jim to Entercom.  Jim’s deep experience in sports, corporate sponsorships, and advertising will help us unlock the full potential of our national platform across radio, digital and events.”

Westwood One Adds Four Sales Pros.  President of national sales Bryan Forbes says, “2017 was a transformative year for Westwood One as we made significant revenue gains, launched the Audio Active Group to focus on business development, and announced the Westwood One ROI Guarantee.”  He says that as the company “continues to build upon its business momentum by bolstering revenue power and expertise within the network sales organization,” it announces the addition of four sales pros to the firm.  Joining Westwood One are: Stephen Gary as director, national sports partnerships (based in Los Angeles), Gina LaBanco, as director, national partnerships (based in Chicago), Wesley O’Dell, as director, national partnerships and Craig Rossi, VP, spoken word (based in Los Angeles).  Forbes says, “I have complete confidence that Stephen, Gina, Wes and Craig will hit the ground running to drive revenue growth while bringing maximum value to our clients and agency partners.”

Martinez Joins Alpha Media as National Director of Digital Content.  Joining Alpha Media to lead its digital content creators as national director of digital content is Ernie Martinez.  Alpha says he’ll work closely “with the programming team to ensure on-air and digital platforms are complementary to each other, developing a national strategy, voice, and aesthetic for each format, and more.” Alpha Media VP of content Phil Becker says, “The addition of Ernie to Alpha Media is yet another example of our commitment to our digital offerings.  His strategic thinking and fan first approach are exactly what our industry needs to thrive.”

Jewell Named DOS for Cumulus KC. In Kansas City, Cumulus Media appoints Eric Jewell general sales manager for its Kansas City cluster that includes news/talk KCMO-AM.  Jewell joins Cumulus from iHeartMedia’s Memphis operations where he was SVP of sales.  Cumulus Midwest RVP Donna Baker states, “Eric is a passionate leader with a history of delivering revenue goals while building strong teams and having fun doing it.  Cumulus stations in Kansas City have enjoyed record-level audience growth.  We are thrilled to welcome Eric to our talented GSM team to lead the expansion of our sales force and create even more results for advertisers.”

TALKERS News Notes. Tonight’s CNN Town Hall “Stand Up: The Students of Stoneman Douglas Demand Action” is being simulcast for radio by Westwood One News.  The program will air from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm ET.  The event will be moderated by CNN’s Jake Tapper and guests scheduled to appear at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida include: U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)…..The “Motley Fool Money” weekend financial show hosted by Chris Hill adds a new affiliate station as Penn State University’s WPSE-AM/W296BW, Erie, Pennsylvania adds the show to its programming schedule…..Pictured below is Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup on a California movie set that recreates the historic “tent crusade” Revered Bill Graham led in Los Angeles in 1949.  Tradup tells TALKERS that both SRN News and TOWNHALL News are providing special reports on Graham’s passing hourly – including audio obituaries and perspective on Dr. Graham’s life – and other special programming.  In addition, SRN News White House correspondent Greg Clugston has been dispatched to North Carolina where he will get local perspective as well as set the stage for the memorial service being organized by the Billy Graham Evangelical Association.

POP CULTURE ALERT:  American Songbook Superstar Steve Tyrell Releases New Album, Embarks on Tour and Doing Talk Radio Interviews.  Last week’s death of legendary crooner Vic Damone served as a sad reminder that most of the original generations of “crooners” responsible for popularizing the “Great American Songbook” have passed on, leaving only a handful of younger current-generation performers such as  Harry Connick Jr., and Michael Bublé to carry on and keep the style alive.  Interestingly, music of the Big Band Era – also known as the “Swing Era” – has become increasingly popular with younger generations of listeners during the past decade… a trend that shows no sign of stopping anytime soon.  Major record producer-turned-singer Steve Tyrell is one of today’s handful of superstars in the “crooner” genre selling gold albums and filling major venues around the country, drawing multi-generational fans.  This popular Grammy Award winner and two-time Emmy nominee has released his latest album, A Song For You (New Design Records and East/West Records). The 12-track release features Tyrell’s takes on classic love songs by Van MorrisonLeon RussellJackie WilsonHarold ArlenJohnny Mercer and more. In support of the release, Tyrell has kicked off a major national concert tour.  As a producer, Tyrell was instrumental in the careers of such artists as Rod StewartLinda Ronstadt and Diana Ross, when they explored reviving the old style of music popular in the 1940s and ‘50s, to name just a few.  A lover of radio (he hosts a daily jazz show in Los Angeles), Tyrell is doing a number of interviews on talk shows and stations around the country.  For a refreshing change of pace and some fascinating conversation about his colorful career and timeless music across the decades of the past half-century-plus, Steve Tyrell can be reached by calling Melody Heath at the DC Radio Company at 202-549-4713.

Florida School Massacre/Gun Control, Russian Election Meddling Allegations, Trump-Russia Investigation, PyeongChang Winter Olympics, Middle East Tensions, and San Francisco Blight Survey Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/20).  The aftermath of the Parkland, Florida mass shooting and the related gun control issues; the FBI’s conclusion that Russian agents have been and still are trying to influence U.S. elections; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into potential connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea; the strong words between U.S. ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas over peace negotiations; White House adviser Jared Kushner’s reported effort to keep his national security clearance; and the recent survey documenting urban blight in San Francisco as the result of liberal policies were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Detroit on-air pro Nick Wize exits the afternoon drive position at iHeartMedia’s CHR WKQI “Channel 955.”  Wize also served as the station’s assistant program director and music director…..Programmer Wes Styles joins Community Broadcasters to serve as PD for alternative rock WZLB “103.1 The Blaze” and adult hits WWAV “102.1 The Wave.”  Styles previously served with Mid-West Family Broadcasting in the Springfield, Illinois market.  Community Broadcasters VP and market manager Ron Raybourne states, “Wes will be a great fit.  He has programmed rock stations very successfully around the country and is ready to help lead our brands to the next level.”

 

Round One of January PPM Data Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s January 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 (New Jersey). Nielsen’s January 2018 PPM survey period covered January 4 – 31. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) New York – Within 2.4 – 2.7 range (6+) in each of the last seven sweeps, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM hangs out a +1.0 to 3.4 (#15 to #11, 6+), reaching the three-share level (6+) for the first time since June’s 3.0. A collective +7.1 in five consecutive gains (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.6 – 7.0 – 8.8 – 13.1, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” falters by -4.6 to 8.5 (6+) but remains on top for the sixth straight time. Co-owned CHR WHTZ “Z-100” improves by eight-tenths to 5.0 (sixth to fourth, 6+), thus curtailing three straight down or flat trends that accounted for a combined loss of six-tenths (4.8 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+). Likewise, a gain of six-tenths by sibling WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock” (4.7, seventh to sixth, 6+) pulls the plug on seven successive down or flat moves for an overall -1.4 (5.5 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.1, 6+). Still in that iHeartMedia cluster, rhythmic CHR WKTU “Top Music & News from the Beat of New York” notches a one-half share uptick to 3.7 (tenth to eighth, 6+), its best 6+-stat since August’s 4.0. More than three months ago (11/9/2017), Entercom transitioned CHR WBMP “Amp” to “Alt 92.3 – New York’s New Alternative.” The station’s June 2017 through January 2018 6+ topline is 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.4; WBMP moves from #18 to a three-way logjam at #16.

2) Los Angeles – Three iHeartMedia outlets in the City of Angels have positive spikes of six-tenths: hot AC KBIG “104.3 My-FM” (6.3, second to first, 6+); CHR KIIS “102.7 Kiss FM” (4.9, fourth to third, 6+); and news/talk KFI “AM 640” (3.9 – 4.5, sixth to fifth, 6+). “My-FM” was -.7 in three consecutive sweeps without an increase (6.4 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 5.7, 6+), while “Kiss” was off a combined half-share in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+). When KFI lost two-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it ended at six its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a collective +.8 (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). Their adult contemporary sibling – KOST – forfeits (by double) the +3.2 in “Holiday” 2017 (11.9 – 5.5, -6.4, 6+), with “Coast 103” trading places with “My-FM” (first to second). By recording an 11.9 in “Holiday” 2017, KOST was in double-digits for the first time in exactly one year (10.7, “Holiday” 2016, 6+). It finished first in December and “Holiday” 2017; KBIG had been on top from February through November. As a result of picking up two-tenths in October, KOST halted three consecutive negative trends that resulted in a combined decrease of one-half share (4.8 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+). Down or flat in the last three sweeps for a collective -1.3 (3.2 – 3.2 – 2.9 -1.9, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican KLAX recaptures all of it with a +1.3 to 3.2 (6+), as “97.9 La Raza” rockets from #22 to #9. The 1.9 in “Holiday” 2017 was the lowest 6+-showing for “La Raza” since June (1.9, as well). Although flat at #7, Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KLVE “K-Love 107.5” racks up a +.8 to 3.9 (6+), ending three straight down or flat moves that resulted in a -.5 (3.6 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.1, 6+). Having trended 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.2 (September – December, 6+), Entercom adult hits KCBS-FM “93.1 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” dropped one-half share in “Holiday” 2017 to 2.7 (6+), but posts a +.7 to 3.4 (6+) in January 2018 and returns to the top ten (#11 to #8). Even though it gains three-tenths to 4.4 (6+), halting five successive down or flat trends for a collective -1.8 (5.9 – 5.2 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.1, 6+), co-owned smooth AC KTWV backslides from fifth to sixth; “The Wave” occupied the runner-up slot from March through September. After faltering by six-tenths, 93.9 License regional Mexican KXOS “Radio Centro 93.9” recoups all but one-tenth of that loss (1.4 – 1.9, +.5, #26 to #22, 6+). Conversely, Mount Wilson FM Broadcasters’ KKGO “Go Country 105” returns more than half of its +.8 from “Holiday” 2017 (2.9 – 2.4, -.5, 6+), plummeting from #8 to #18. Prior to “Holiday” 2017, KKGO was off the previous three sweeps for an overall -.7 (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.1, 6+). In three successive upticks, TAXI Productions urban AC KJLH improved by seven-tenths (1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 2.0, 6+) reaching a two-share (6+) for the first time since February’s 2.1; however, “Radio Free 102.3” drops three-tenths to 1.7 (#21 – #25, 6+).

3) Chicago – In addition to falling from first to sixth, iHeartMedia-owned hot AC WLIT “93.9 My-FM” suffers the largest (6+) “Holiday” 2017 – January 2018 decrease of any station in the 12 PPM-markets highlighted here (13.7 – 4.7, -9.0, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, “My-FM” was the first station in the market to reach double-figures (6+) since it did so with a 13.7 in “Holiday” 2016. In three straight increases (2.2 – 2.8 – 8.5 – 12.4, 6+), WLIT was an overall +10.2. It fell off the top twenty in October (2.5 – 2.2, -.3, #21, 6+), but recovered in November with a gain of six-tenths. It is supplanted at #1 by co-owned urban AC WVAZ “V-103 Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” (5.7 – 6.8, +1.1, second to first, 6+), which had been on top from February through September. Registering a +1.1 as well in January 2018 is WLIT’s format foe, Hubbard’s WTMX “101.9 The Mix” (5.4, fifth to second, 6+). An overall -2.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (6.3 – 5.5 – 4.3, 6+), “Mix” finished in the runner-up slot in July, August, and September before reaching #1 in October and November. Prior to November, the last time “Mix” reached the six-share level (6+) was in May 2013 (6.4). In three successive declines (3.9 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+), classic rock cluster-mate WDRV was -1.4, but “97.1 The Drive” makes up more than half of it with a +.8 to 3.3 and returns to the top ten (#15 to #9, 6+). It is tied there with Tribune Media news/talk WGN, which has notched a 2.8 (6+) in four of the last seven sweeps, but gains one-half share to 3.3 (6+), its best 6+-stat since May (3.3, as well). Without an increase since September for an overall -.6 (3.1 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.5, 6+), Entercom triple A WXRT “93 XRT Chicago’s Finest Rock” is up seven-tenths to 3.2 (#15 to #11, 6+). Gaining six-tenths each are co-owned sports talk WSCR “670 The Score” (2.7, #21 to #17, 6+) and Venture Technologies adult contemporary WRME-LP “Me TV FM – Me Music” (1.8 – 2.4, #22 to #21, 6+). WSCR was a combined -2.8 in the previous three sweeps (4.9 – 3.6 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+); the Chicago Cubs flagship posted a full-share gain in October (3.9 – 4.9, 6+). At the same time, Merlin Media alternative WKQX (2.5 – 3.0, #15 to #13, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned WEBG “Big 95.5 – Chicago’s New Country” (2.0, unchanged at #23, 6+) gain one-half share each. By picking up three-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, WKQX curtailed four straight down or flat trends that accounted for a cumulative -.8 (3.0 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.2, 6+); “Big 95.5” had been -.8 in four straight sweeps without an increase (2.3 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.5, 6+). Down or flat the past three ratings periods for a collective -.7 (3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2, 6+), its format challenger – Entercom-owned WUSN “US-99 Chicago’s Hottest Country” picks up two-tenths to 3.4, advancing from seventh to sixth (6+). Following a combined +3.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (2.4 – 4.4 – 5.4, 6+), sibling WBMX “104.3 Jams” drops six-tenths to 4.8 (6+) but stays in third-place. Up until November 9, Chicago’s 104.3 dial position was the home of classic hits-oldies WJMK “K-Hits,” but that’s when Entercom transitioned “K-Hits” to WBMX, call letters formerly used in Boston.

4) San Francisco – Progressing by seven-tenths each are iHeartMedia adult contemporary KISQ “98.1 The Breeze” (4.0 – 4.7, fourth to third, 6+); co-owned 1980’s hits KOSF “iHeart 80s @103.7” (2.5, #19 to #14, 6+); and Entercom hot AC KLLC “Alice @ 97.3” (3.4 – 4.1, sixth to fifth, 6+). This (4.7) is the strongest 6+-stat for “The Breeze” since it flipped to adult contemporary in April 2016, while KOSF ends six straight sweeps without an increase that accounted for a -.9 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.1 – 1.8, 6+). Gaining six-tenths are Entercom all-news KCBS-AM (6.2, third to second, 6+) and iHeartMedia hot AC KIOI “Star 101.3” (3.6 – 4.2, fifth to fourth, 6+). After being up eight-tenths in October, KCBS-AM was a combined -1.2 via three straight drops in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017 (6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 5.6, 6+). October’s 6.8 was its strongest 6+-performance since February 2017 (6.8, as well). The combination of Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk outlet KQED gaining one-half share (7.6 – 8.1, 6+) and Entercom adult contemporary KOIT “Better Music for a Better Workday” spiraling by -5.2 (9.2 – 4.0, 6+) results in KQED progressing from second to first and KOIT dropping from first to sixth. It only lasted for one sweep, but KOIT occupied the top spot for the first time since “Holiday” 2016, accomplishing the feat in each case by logging a 9.2 (6+). When KOIT moved from second to first in “Holiday” 2017, it ended 12 successive times on top for KQED, which was off nine-tenths in December. A gain of four-tenths in July halted at four a successive streak without an increase that produced a -1.0 (7.7 – 7.3 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.7, 6+). It added one-half share in August (7.1 – 7.6, 6+); relinquished 60% of that increase in September (7.3, -.3, 6+); and was +1.3 in November (7.3 – 8.6, 6+). Meanwhile, when KOIT finished second in December 2017, it halted 11 straight months of aforementioned KCBS-AM occupying that runner-up slot. Regaining the one-half share that it lost in “Holiday” 2017 (3.0 – 2.5 – 3.0, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “Amor 100.3” returns to the top ten (#12 to #10). Down or flat the past three survey periods for a -1.0 (2.9 – 2.9 – 2.4 – 1.9, 6+), regional Mexican sibling KSOL “Que Buena” adds four-tenths to 2.3 (#18 to #17, 6+). Following four straight positive spikes that doubled (+1.7) its 6+ stat (1.7 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.4, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk KSFO surrenders a combined -1.2 in December, “Holiday” 2017, and January 2018 (3.4 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 2.2, #14 to #18, 6+).

5) Dallas – Not only is iHeartMedia-owned CHR KHKS up or flat for the fourth straight time for a cumulative +1.3 (4.4 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.7, 6+), “106.1 Kiss – Dallas/Fort Worth’s Hit Music” progresses from #3 to #1, its first time in the lead position since March 2017. Ousted from the top (and falling to third) is Entercom classic hits-oldies KLUV “98.7 K-LUV” (7.2 – 4.9, -2.3, 6+). A combined +3.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017, KLUV logged a 7.2 in “Holiday” 2017, its highest 6+-share since 10.6 in “Holiday 2015”; November’s 4.2 was its lowest since January 2015 (4.2, as well). Improving by one full-share (3.1 – 4.1, 6+) lifts Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KLTY back into the top ten (#13 to #7), as “94.9 Your Life … Inspired” has its finest 6+-showing since 4.3 in June. Similarly-formatted/First Dallas Media-owned KCBI “90.9 Encouraging Music – Words of Hope” gains one-half share (1.3 – 1.8, #24, 6+). After six successive sweeps without an increase (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+), Liberman regional Mexican KNOR “93.7 La Raza” erupts with a +.7 to 1.9 (#23, 6+). Locked on 3.0 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2017, Cumulus Media sports talk KTCK “The Ticket – All Sports, All The Time” registers a one-half share uptick to 3.5 (#14 to #11, 6+). In 15 monthly reports since “Holiday” 2016, Entercom-owned news – talk hybrid KRLD-AM (#17 to #16) has been within a high of 2.7 and a low of 2.0 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+); it is up or flat for the sixth time in a row. There’s some big news in the market’s country arena as KTCK sibling KSCS “New Country 96.3” (3.9 – 4.3, +.4, sixth to fifth, 6+) bounces back from a -.6 in “Holiday” 2017 to beat co-owned/similarly-formatted KPLX “The Wolf” (3.9 – 4.2, +.3, steady at #6, 6+) for the first time in nearly six years (February 2012). The two were tied in “Holiday” 2017. Nonetheless, with a +.3, “The Wolf” applies the brakes to five straight negative trends for a collective -1.9 (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 3.9, 6+). After 11 successive months on top, “The Wolf” tumbled to fifth in December. A once heritage adult contemporary – Entercom’s KVIL – has repositioned itself in recent years to hot AC, CHR as “Amp,” and on November 11, as “Alt 103.7 DFW’s New Alternative.” On the heels of a +.5 in “Holiday” 2017, “Alt” adds four-tenths to 3.2 (#16 to #13, 6+). After being a combined +3.8 in December 2017 and “Holiday” 2017 (2.6 – 5.0 – 6.4, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KDGE “Star 102.1 – More Music, More Variety” surrenders that entire gain and one-tenth more (2.5, -3.9, 6+), freefalling from #2 to #17; 6.4 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-stat since 7.7 in “Holiday” 2016. Having recorded a +.6 in “Holiday” 2017, Radio One rhythmic CHR KBFB “97.9 The Beat” returns one-half share and departs the top ten (3.7 – 3.2, #10 to #13, 6+).

6) Houston – Displaying positive spikes of +1.0 each are Cox Media Group’s KKBQ “The New 93-Q Country” (5.2, eighth to fifth, 6+) and Entercom adult hits KKHH “95.7 The Spot” (4.1 – 5.1, ninth to sixth, 6+). KKBQ was off one-half share in “Holiday” 2017, after three consecutive upticks that accounted for a +.6 (4.1 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+). This (5.1) is the best 6+-showing for “The Spot” since June and July (5.1, as well). Owing to an increase of nine-tenths (4.3 – 5.3, sixth to fourth, 6+), KSBJ Educational Foundation contemporary Christian KSBJ “89.3 – God Listens” has its most potent 6+-stat since 5.6 in April. Up six-tenths each are University of Houston news/talk KUHF (3.2 – 3.8, #14 to #13, 6+) and iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH “News Radio 740” (3.1, #19 to #17, 6+), which was without an increase in each of the last four monthlies for an overall -1.4 (3.9 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+). Co-owned KTBZ “94.5 The Buzz – Houston’s Rock and Alternative” gains six-tenths as well and is +1.5 in three straight increases (3.8 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 5.3, fourth to third, 6+). On the rise by one-half share are Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN (4.6, ninth to eighth, 6+); Entercom hot AC KHMX “Mix 96.5” (4.2, #12 to #11, 6+); and Spanish contemporary cluster-mate KLOL “Mega 101” (3.6, #16 to #15, 6+). Following October’s +1.6, KLTN was a combined -2.2 in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017 (4.7 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 4.5 – 4.1, 6+). It was -.5 in March; +.7 in April; -1.1 in June; -.7 in July; +.7 in August; -.5 in November; and -1.3 in December. In each of the previous 11 survey periods, “Mix” was within 3.1 – 3.8 range (6+). “Mega” was a collective +1.1 in three straight up or flat trends (3.0 – 3.0 – 3.8 – 4.1, 6+) before dropping one full-share in “Holiday” 2017. Although spiraling by -5.4 (12.5 – 7.1, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA “Sunny 99.1” is #1 for the third time in succession; “Sunny” finished second in October and November. Its 12.5 in “Holiday” 2017 is its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 10.3 and the first time any Houston station reached double-digits (6+) since that ratings period. Immediately prior to September’s -.8, KODA was a collective +1.7 via four straight up or flat monthlies (5.5 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4 – 7.2, 6+). Immediately after Radio One rhythmic CHR KBXX gains one-half share, “97.9 The Box” forfeits eight-tenths (5.1 – 4.3, 6+) as it drifts from third to tenth. The (classical) HD2 channel of KUHF, which was .6 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2017, disappears from print.

7) Atlanta – On top for the 26th successive ratings period, WSB-AM trots out a +1.6 to 10.2 (6+). The Cox Media Group news/talker notched three straight increases for a collective +1.6 (8.6 – 8.9 – 9.9 – 10.2, 6+) but then was a combined -1.6 in three consecutive drops (10.2 – 10.0 – 9.1 – 8.6, 6+); January 2017’s 10.7 represents WSB-AM’s best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. Climbing by one-half share each are iHeartMedia CHR WWPW “Power 96.1 – Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” (3.6 – 4.1, unchanged at #11, 6+); Entercom hot AC WSTR “Star 94.1 – Today’s Hits” (3.4 – 3.9, #15 to #12, 6+); and Cumulus Media-owned WNNX “100.5 Atlanta’s Rock Station” (2.9, #17 to #16, 6+), which was -.7 in four straight sweeps without an increase (3.1 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.4, 6+). A combined +2.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.6 – 7.2 – 8.5, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH “104.7 Fish” returns all but four-tenths of that bounty (6.0, -2.5, 6+) but remains in the runner-up slot. A November decrease of one-tenth stopped at four its string of successive trends without a loss that netted a +1.8 (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.3 – 5.3 – 5.7, 6+). Inching up from ninth to eighth, Cumulus Media CHR WWWQ “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” picks up one-tenth to 4.2 (6+), ending four straight down or flat moves for an overall loss of six-tenths (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). Regressing by seven-tenths each are Entercom urban contemporary WVEE “V-103 The People’s Station” (5.8, flat at #3, 6+) and Cox Media Group urban AC WALR “Kiss 104.1” (4.9 – 4.2, fifth to eighth, 6+). “V-103” had been a collective +.8 in three gains in a row (5.7 – 5.8 – 6.3 – 6.5, 6+). Prior to its -1.6 in “Holiday” 2017, “Kiss 104.1” was up seven-tenths in both November and December (5.1 – 5.8 – 6.5, 6+). Its gain of seven-tenths in November ended four consecutive declines that resulted in a cumulative -1.1 (6.2 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.3 – 5.1, 6+).

8) Philadelphia – In what would become a Super Bowl-winning season for the Philadelphia Eagles, the team’s flagship – Entercom sports talk WIP – bounces back from an overall -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (8.0 – 7.1 – 6.9, 6+) with a +2.6 in January 2018 to 9.5 (6+) as WIP marches from second to first. The market’s sports talk format balloons by another nine-tenths courtesy of Beasley Media Group’s WPEN-FM (2.2 – 3.1, 6+), with “97.5 The Fanatic” vaulting from #17 to #12. Elsewhere in the spoken word arena, Entercom all-news KYW “News Radio 1060 All News – All The Time” (4.2 – 5.2, sixth to seventh, 6+) and public news/talk WHYY (3.2 – 4.2, #12 to #8, 6+) each improve by one full-share; WHYY was -.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Dislodged by WIP from the top spot is Jerry Lee-owned adult contemporary WBEB “Today’s 101.1 More FM,” which has the second-largest (6+) “Holiday” 2017 – January 2018 decrease of any station in the 12 PPM-markets showcased here (17.0 – 8.3, -8.7, first to second, 6+). In five straight increases, “Today’s 101.1 More FM” was a collective +10.3 (6.7 – 7.2 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 12.8 – 17.0, 6+) and, in “Holiday” 2017, WBEB noted its most potent 6+-share since 17.9 in “Holiday” 2016. Prior to September, the last time “More FM” occupied the top spot was February when it ended a seven-straight month run there. Meanwhile, its format rival – Entercom-owned WTDY “Today’s 96.5” – regains 80% of its -.5 from “Holiday” 2017 (2.3 – 2.7, +.4, 6+) yet backslides from a tie at #15 to a tie at #16. Owing to a +1.4 (4.2 – 5.6, sixth to fifth, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WMMR “93.3 Everything That Rocks” scores its best 6+-stat since May’s 5.7. Co-owned WMGK “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK” regains in its entirety (and two-tenths more) the “Holiday” 2017 loss of one full-share (5.2 – 6.4, +1.2, fifth to fourth, 6+); 5.2 in “Holiday” 2017 put WMGK below a six-share (6+) for the first time since February’s 5.9. A gain of eight-tenths takes Beasley Media Group adult hits WBEN-FM “95.7 BEN-FM Playing Anything We Feel Like” (2.3 – 3.1, #15 to #12, 6+) to its best 6+-showing since August (3.1, as well). Showing increases of six-tenths are iHeartMedia urban AC WDAS-FM “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks” (6.0 – 6.6, steady at #3, 6+) and Entercom-owned WXTU “92.5 Philadelphia’s Country Station” (4.2, unchanged at #8), which was -.5 in three straight down or flat ratings periods (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+).

9) Long Island – Within 3.3 – 3.9 range (6+) in each of the last 11 sweeps, iHeartMedia’s WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock” busts out a +1.3 (3.6 – 4.9, 6+) to jump from seventh to second. Slipping by seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, Connoisseur Media classic hits-oldies WBZO “103.1 Max FM” shakes it off with a +1.2 (3.0 – 4.2, tenth to fifth, 6+) for its best 6+-stat since 4.3 in July and August. Having disappeared from print in “Holiday” 2017 (following a .4, 6+, in December), the stream of Cox Media Group’s WBAB “Long Island’s Only Classic Rock” reappears with a 1.1 (#27, 6+). As for the primary FM signal itself, WBAB gained one-half share in November to 5.5, its best-ever 6+ PPM-performance, but has since faltered by -1.8 in three dips in a row (5.5 – 4.5 – 4.0 – 3.8, fifth to ninth, 6+). Co-owned CHR WBLI “Long Island’s #1 for All the Hits” (#8 to a three-way tie at #6) notches a +.6 to 4.0 (6+), thus ending five downward sweeps in succession that accounted for a collective -2.8 (6.2 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.4, 6+). Up by six-tenths as well are iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WKTU (2.4 – 3.0, #14 to #11, 6+) and Cumulus Media country outlet WNSH “94.7 Nash FM” (2.1, #23 to #20, 6+), which ends at four a consecutive string of down trends that produced a loss of one-half share (2.0 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.5, 6+). Improving by one-half share are iHeartMedia news/talk WOR (2.1 – 2.6, #18 to #16, 6+) and Connoisseur Media’s WWSK “94.3 The Shark – Everything That Rocks” (#19 to #18, 6+), which is +1.0 in four straight sweeps without a loss (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.4, 6+). Albeit -5.2 (12.6 – 7.4, 6+), hot AC cluster-mate WALK-FM “Real Variety 97.5” is #1 for the fourth consecutive time; it was an overall +7.2 in November, December, “Holiday” 2017 (5.4 – 6.7 – 8.7 – 12.6, 6+). Off by nine-tenths in October, “Real Variety 97.5” was on top between June and September. After three consecutive increases that generated a +2.1 (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 6.3, 6+), WALK-FM dropped one-tenth in July; bounced back with a +.7 in August; but surrendered six-tenths in September. After six consecutive sweeps without a loss, easily more than tripling its 6+-share for a +6.1 (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 4.5 – 8.5, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW erodes by -4.1 to 4.4 (second to fourth, 6+). Flat at #3, CHR sibling WHTZ “Z-100” is down for the fourth straight time for a collective -1.1 (5.8 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). Within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) for the 39th consecutive ratings period, Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” adds four-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.8, 6+) and is steady at #14. On the heels of forfeiting six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” coughs up another seven-tenths (4.7 – 4.0, fourth to sixth, 6+). Co-owned all-news WCBS-AM, which was down or flat the past four sweeps for an overall loss of one full-share (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), gains two-tenths to 3.0 (6+), advancing from #12 to #11.

10) Riverside – With some isolated exceptions over the last four years or so, it is fairly commonplace in Southern California’s Inland Empire to pencil in Entravision Spanish adult hits KLYY “Jose” at #1 and Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies KOLA at #2. There is a big switch here in January 2018, however, as KOLA dials up a +1.8 to 7.3 (second to first, 6+), while “Jose” sputters by -1.5 (7.3 – 5.8, first to second, 6+). The increase by KOLA pulls the plug on three straight decreases that accounted for a -2.0 (7.5 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.5, 6+). It last occupied the #1 slot two years ago (January 2016) with a 6.9 (6+). “Jose” had been at #1 each sweep since then and has its lowest 6+-showing since 4.5 in May 2011. When KLYY gained three-tenths in August, it ended six consecutive decreases for a net loss of -2.7 (9.4 – 9.2 – 8.6 – 8.3 – 8.1 – 7.9 – 6.7, 6+). An overall -1.2 in four straight survey periods without an increase (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.1 – 4.1, fourth to fifth, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KLVE “K-Love 107.5” gained one-tenth in “Holiday” 2017 and tacks on another +1.1 in January 2018 (4.2 – 5.3, fourth to third, 6+), thus erasing that -1.2. Carrying on at #7, Good News Radio contemporary Christian KSGN “89.7 Family Friendly” nearly doubles its 6+-stat (an overall +1.5) in six successive ratings periods without a decrease (1.6 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 3.1, 6+). In September, KSGN reached the two-share level (6+) for the first time since December 2015’s 2.0. A combined -1.7 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (3.9 – 2.6 – 2.2, 6+), LC Media urban-rhythmic oldies KQIE “Old School 104.7” posts a gain of one-half share to 2.7 (ninth to eighth, 6+). Conversely, Entercom country KFRG “K-Frog” (4.6, third to fourth, 6+); iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KGGI “99.1 Riverside’s Hottest Hit Music” (4.1 – 3.6, fifth to sixth, 6+); and All-Pro adult contemporary KATY “101.3 The Mix” (1.1 -.6, #13 to #15, 6+) all falter by one-half share. Prior to January 2018, “K-Frog” was +1.0 in four straight increases (4.1 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 5.1, 6+).

11) San Jose – In tandem with Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED notching a +1.0 (7.5 – 8.5, 6+) and Entercom adult contemporary KOIT “Better Music for a Better Workday” slumping by -3.9 or more than 50% (7.6 – 3.7, 6+), KQED advances from second to first while KOIT slides from first to ninth. When KQED lost six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it shifted to #2, following five straight sweeps on top. A loss of one-tenth in December halted three consecutive gains that produced an overall +1.3 (6.9 – 7.3 – 8.0 – 8.2, 6+). Back in July, KQED recaptured 80% of the cumulative -1.5 it lost in four straight downward moves (7.6 – 7.5 – 7.2 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+) to advance from third to first. Unlisted in San Jose since posting a 5.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2015 report, KQED returned in January 2017 by recording a 6.9 (6+) to finish at #1 and had been on top through April. Registering a combined +3.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017, KOIT advanced from third to first in “Holiday” 2017 with its strongest 6+-showing since 8.4 in “Holiday” 2016. As the result of four increases in succession (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.7, eighth to fifth, 6+), co-owned KUFX “98.5 K-Fox, The South Bay’s Classic Rock” is a combined +1.5 and has its best 6+-showing since February 2017’s 4.8. Improving by one-half share each are Univision Radio regional Mexican KSOL “Que Buena” (2.8, #15 to #14, 6+), which was -1.6 in three downward trends in a row (3.9 – 3.8 – 2.7 – 2.3, 6+); iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KYLD “Wild 94.9 – The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station” (2.7, steady at #16, 6+), which was -1.1 in four straight negative moves (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.2, 6+); and Entercom hot AC KLLC “Alice @ 97.3” (1.7 – 2.2, #25 to #17, 6+). A simulcast partner of Cumulus Media sports talk KNBR “The Sports Leader,” co-owned KTCT triples its .3 to .9 (#30, 6+). Major ups/downs continue for Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits,” which was a combined +2.3 in August and September (3.7 – 4.8 – 6.0, 6+); a collective -2.0 in October and November (6.0 – 4.9 – 4.0, 6+); an overall +3.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.0 – 5.6 – 7.0, 6+); and now -1.9 in January 2018 (7.0 – 5.1, flat at #3, 6+). Its 7.0 in “Holiday” 2017 represents the station’s strongest 6+-stat since 8.0 in the “Holiday” 2016 report. After doubling its 6+-share since October in three successive up or flat trends (.9 – 1.2 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican KRZZ “93.3 La Raza” relinquishes one-half share to 1.3 (#27, 6+).

12) Middlesex – As a result of adding nine-tenths (7.4 – 8.3, 6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” marches from second to first with its strongest 6+-stat since April 2016’s 8.5. “New Jersey 101.5” held the lead position from January 2017 through November 2017. It takes over for iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite-FM,” which was #1 in December and “Holiday” 2017, but segues to second (11.5 – 7.4, -4.1, 6+). Its -4.1 curtails six straight Middlesex-Somerset-Union gains which netted +7.2 (4.3 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.9 – 8.5 – 11.5, 6+). In the “Holiday” 2017 reports for New York City, Long Island, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union, “Lite-FM was a collective +11.3 from December 2017. Flat at #4, Beasley Media Group-owned/similarly-formatted WMGQ “Magic 98.3 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” is off two-tenths to 4.8 (6+), halting three consecutive progressive trends that netted a +1.5 (3.5 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 5.0, 6+). In addition to WKXW, Pillar of Fire contemporary Christian WAWZ “Star 99.1” posts a +.9, as well (3.7 – 4.6, eighth to sixth, 6+). It is the first time “Star” has crossed the four-share level (6+) since reappearing in print in “Holiday” 2015: 4.6 is the highest 6+-share in that more than two-year period. In its third straight up or flat trend, iHeartMedia CHR WHTZ “Z-100” is a collective +.9 (3.5 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.4, eighth to seventh, 6+). Co-owned rhythmic CHR WKTU, which had been up or flat the past five sweeps for a collective +.6 (2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.4, 6+), drops one-tenth to 3.3 (6+), yet advances from #11 to a tie at #10. A combined -2.0 in four straight sweeps without a gain (6.0 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.0, 6+), co-owned WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock” improves by four-tenths to 4.4 and carries on in seventh-place. Jumping six-tenths (2.5 – 3.1, 6+) enables WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM to sail from #18 to #14. While Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” gains one-half share stretching its successive string of up or flat moves to three for an overall +.7 (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.7, steady at #5, 6+), Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 #1 for R&B” regresses by one-half share (6.3 – 5.8, flat at #3, 6+). Following three straight increases for an overall +1.4 (3.8 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+), Entercom sports talk WFAN is -1.1 in three successive losses (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.2 – 4.1, fifth to ninth, 6+). This is the fourth downward trend in a row for Spanish Broadcasting System-owned Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9” for an overall -2.1 (5.3 – 4.3 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.2, #12 to #13, 6+). Tied at #22 are Univision Radio Spanish tropical WXNY “X-96.3” (1.5, +.1, 6+) and iHeartMedia news/talk WOR (1.5, flat, 6+). In three dips in succession, “X-96.3” had lost more than 50% (-1.8) of its 6+-share (3.2 – 2.4 – 1.9 – 1.4, 6+), while WOR is -.5 in five straight sweeps without an increase (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+).

Monday, October 9, 2017

| October 9, 2017

Moskowitz, Siegel Named VP/Sales for iHM New York. The appointment of Todd Moskowitz as vice president of sales of iHeartMedia New York City news/talk WOR “The Voice of New York” and the promotion of Marc Siegel from sales manager to VP/Sales of co-owned WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock Station” are effective immediately. Both will report to senior vice president of sales for iHeartMedia New York Bernie Weiss who states, “Marc and Todd are proven sales leaders with a long track record of delivering results for clients, teams and stations. They have the talent and experience to coach their teams in coming up with the most effective marketing solutions to maximize the ROI for their clients.” Moskowitz remarks, “I am excited to lead sales for one the most legendary radio stations in New York City and work with some of the best and brightest people in our business.” Siegel comments, “Classic rock is a format that transcends time and is as popular as it has ever been. I am very excited for this opportunity and I look forward to the next step in the journey with my iHeartMedia colleagues.” Moskowitz most recently was market president for Townsquare Media’s Danbury, Connecticut cluster. He began his career with CBS Radio Hartford, before joining Cumulus Media Bridgeport, Connecticut and eventually CBS Radio New York City all-news WINS. Before arriving at iHeartMedia New York at the end of 2016, Siegel was head of global audio sales at Bloomberg Media, and was local sales manager for New York public outlet WNYC, where he managed radio, podcasting, digital, and events sales.

TALKERS Founder Michael Harrison Guests on Debut Holland Cooke Show on RT America.  Says Donald Trump Has Been A Boon to Talk Media Business.  As reported last week in TALKERS, noted media consultant and TALKERS correspondent Holland Cooke was named to fill the big shoes of Thom Hartmann as host of television network RT America’s long-running “The Big Picture” program.  His debut installment of the half hour weekend show aired this past Friday (10/6) and is being met with positive reviews.  Cooke divides the opening show into two segments.  In the first, he welcomes panelists Brian Keane and Harvey Wasserman to discuss renewable energy… which could be the silver lining as Puerto Rico recovers from Hurricane Maria. And in the second segment, he asks TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison and talk media pundit Steve Malzberg, “Are we really THAT angry?” referring to the tone of today’s conversation in talk media.  Asked if Donald Trump is the best thing that could happen to talk radio and television, Harrison replies, “From a purely business standpoint – getting ratings, giving us material to use, creating interest, keeping people tuned to their radios and TVs – he’s the best thing that’s happened in years. I don’t remember anything like it.”  To view the entire program, please click here

Sirott Selected to Call Bruins Action. Inbound from Tribune Chicago news/talk WGN-AM, where he was studio host for the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks, Judd Sirott becomes the game caller for the Boston Bruins, whose NHL games are carried on CBS Radio Boston sports talk WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub.” CBS Radio Boston vice president of programming/CBS Radio vice president of sports programming Mike Thomas comments, “We are very excited to have someone with the exceptional reputation and experience that Judd has join our team at ‘The Sports Hub.’” Sirott adds, “I am incredibly fortunate, privileged, and humbled to be the radio voice of the Boston Bruins on ‘98.5 The Sports Hub.’ I didn’t just hit the lottery – I hit the Powerball. [The Bruins are] an ‘Original Six’ [NHL] team in a spectacular hockey market and one of the world’s greatest cities.” He succeeds Dave Goucher, who left last summer to become the television play-by-play voice for the Vegas Golden Knights, and joins analyst Bob Beers. An interesting note about Bruins’ radio play-by-play announcers: The only ones serving in that capacity going back to 1924 are Frank Ryan (28 years); Bob Wilson (25.5 years); Goucher (16 years); Fred Cusick (13 years); Bob Neumeier (five years); Bill Harrington (three years); Jim Laing (one year); and Dale Arnold (one-half year).

Cumulus DC Combo Arranges Blood Drive for Vegas Shooting Victims. Coordinated by Cumulus Media Washington D.C. news/talk and hot AC cluster-mates WMAL “Where Washington Comes to Talk” and WRQX “Mix 107.3,” the “Vegas Victims’ Blood Drive” will be held this Wednesday (10/11) from 2:00 pm – 8:00 pm at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner in suburban Washington D.C. (McLean, Virginia). WMAL program director Bill Hess states, “The injured – including some from our area – face a lengthy recovery. This is one thing we can come together and do to help in our own individual way. We invite our friends and listeners to roll up their sleeves and join us in this effort.” WRQX program director Rob Roberts notes, “Distance doesn’t lessen the impact of what happened in Las Vegas. This is our chance to help someone and it costs nothing but a little time. We’re proud to do our part.” On a side note, “Mix” assistant program director/music director/mid-day talent Ashley Nickels is a Las Vegas native. Excluding the shooter, 58 people were killed last Sunday night (10/1) in Las Vegas. The dead included 36 women and 22 men; the oldest was 67, the youngest 20. Six of the dead were from Nevada, 35 from California, 13 from other states, and 4 from Canada. An additional 489 people were injured. The attack became the deadliest mass shooting committed by an individual in the United States, having surpassed the death toll of the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting, where 50 died, including the gunman.

Broadcast Station Mergers, Acquisitions Hit $4.47 billion in Q2. The top radio deal was the $82.8 million sale of Emmis Communications’ Los Angeles rhythmic CHR KPWR “Power 106” to Meruelo Media. According to estimates from Kagan, a media research group within S&P Global Market Intelligence, the transaction was the largest single radio station sale since 2012 and represents nearly 34% of the quarter’s $245 million radio deal total. The second-largest radio transaction was the radio portion of Sinclair’s acquisition of Tribune Media with an estimated value of $58.4 million for news/talk WGN-AM, Chicago and the programming of one additional FM station. That was followed by Educational Media Foundation‘s purchase of three FMs from Entercom for $57.5 million – classic rock KSWD “100.3 The Sound,” Los Angeles; KSOQ-FM, which simulcasts KSON-FM “New Country,” San Diego; and WGGI, which simulcasts WGGY “Today’s Best Country – Froggy,” Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Next was the sale of four Alpha Media AM stations, 14 FM outlets, and two FM translators to Dick Broadcasting Company for $19.5 million. Saga Communications sold its six-remaining owned-and-operated television stations and three LMAs to Morgan Murphy Media for $66.6 million, while at the same time, expanded its radio business with the third-largest radio deal of the quarter, paying $23 million to Apex Media for seven FM stations, one AM, and four translators.

Levy Exits KJR-AM. Related to his August 26 arrest for soliciting a prostitute, KJR-AM morning show host Mitch Levy departs the iHeartMedia Seattle sports talk outlet after a 23-year tenure there. According to a report in The Seattle Times, Levy entered which is known as an “Alford plea,” an acknowledgment of enough evidence for conviction without a formal guilty plea. He was sentenced to two years of probation plus a deferred sentence that will be dismissed if he completes probation without being charged with another crime. Levy was one of 110 men arrested in an undercover operation called “Operation on Demand.” The 50-year-old Levy reportedly placed $160 in cash on a bedside table in anticipation of a half-hour of sex. On Twitter, he wrote, “As most of you realize by now, my 23-year tenure at KJR is over. I am fully aware that I have disappointed so many from the loved ones closest to me to all of you who have given me the opportunity to entertain you on weekday mornings. I’m deeply sorry. I’d like to thank KJR and iHeartMedia for the golden opportunity that was never taken for granted. Now, I must continue tending to me, my emotional demons and my family. Some day I hope you’ll allow me the opportunity to earn back your trust and respect.”

CPR’s Wycisk Sets Retirement Plans. It won’t become effective for another eight months, but 40-year Colorado Public Radio (CPR) president Max Wycisk is announcing he will retire on June 30 (2018). Board chair Dean Salter remarks, “On behalf of the CPR board of directors, we thank Max for his service and for the many notable accomplishments achieved during his tenure. Max is recognized as a pioneer in public broadcasting and his vision set CPR on the path to its current success. He leaves one of the strongest public radio organizations in the country with a sound financial base, a talented and committed staff, and loyal listeners. We look forward to an orderly transition to ensure the continued success of CPR.” According to Wycisk, “While the world has undoubtedly changed over the past 40 years, CPR’s mission has remained steadfast and our importance has grown. The organization is stronger than it has ever been – a testament to our dedicated staff, the donors who support us, and the hundreds of thousands of people who rely on us each and every day. It has been an honor to lead the development of a vital community resource that’s uniquely positioned to have an even greater future ahead.” Prior to becoming CPR’s president, Wycisk was a program director and an on-air announcer there. Among other things, he is responsible for transforming CPR from a single-signal station to a statewide network, which includes CPR News, CPR Classical, and CPR’s triple A Open Air, which are broadcast on 34 statewide signals and online.

WGN Slots Chicago Inno Tech Briefs. Starting today (10/9), Tribune Chicago news/talk WGN-AM adds “The Inno Minute,” a 60-second breakdown of Chicago’s top tech news. Airing weekdays in the 5:00 am hour on “The Opening Bell with Steve Grzanich,” the segment is a snapshot of topics covered at ChicagoInno.com. WGN-AM vice president of programming & content Todd Manley notes, “The stories that the team at Chicago Inno chases and shares are so powerful we wanted them on WGN every day.” Reporter Katherine Davis and Chicago Inno associate editor Jim Dallke will serve as producers. “Chicago Inno is incredibly excited to be working with WGN radio on ‘The Inno Minute,’” Dallke comments. “Chicago’s entrepreneurship scene is thriving, and we are thrilled to be able to work with WGN to inform Chicagoans on the innovation that is driving the city forward.” Elsewhere on the station, former Chicago Bears head coach Mike Ditka will appear for football commentary each Monday in morning drive with Steve Cochran and every Friday with afternoon driver Roe Conn. Ditka formerly had a similar radio arrangement in the market on WMVP “ESPN 1000.”

Salem Talk Hosts Headed Back to the White House. Approximately two and a half months ago (7/25), Salem Radio Network talk hosts Mike Gallagher and Hugh Hewitt conducted day-long broadcasts from the White House. The two will return to the Nation’s Capital next Tuesday (10/17) for live “Tax Reform Day” broadcasts from the White House. Hewitt (right) and Salem Radio Network vice president of news & talk programming Tom Tradup are planning for invited guests including treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin and commerce secretary Wilbur Ross, as well as other senior White House and administration staff.

Cavaliers, Monsters, iHM Cleveland Sign Multi-Year Extensions. As part of the new pact, all 82 regular-season contests, as well as five preseason and all playoff games of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers will air on iHeartMedia Cleveland news/talk WTAM and co-owned rocker WMMS. In addition to these two flagships, the Cavs are on a 30-station radio network. John Michael returns for his seventh season as the franchise’s play-by-play announcer, while Jim Chones is back for his eighth year as analyst. The Cavs have reached an extended agreement with Murray Hill Broadcasting to continue broadcasting all of its games in Spanish. Meanwhile, for the second consecutive year, all 76 regular-season games of the AHL Cleveland Monsters will be broadcast on iHeartMedia Cleveland alternative WMMS-HD2. Tony Brown returns for his third season as the radio and television play-by-play voice of the Monsters. Brown spent two years in the NAHL as the voice of the Odessa Jackalopes; one season in the USHL with the Omaha Lancers; became the radio voice of the Indy Fuel in the ECHL; and then came to the Monsters in their Calder Cup-winning season of 2015-2016.

Osgood As It Gets. The longtime host of Westwood One’s “The Osgood File” – Charles Osgood – was presented with the “Lifetime Achievement Award” last night (Sunday, 10/8) from the News and Documentary Emmys. Celebrating with Osgood (in the center with his trademark bowtie) backstage were his family and colleagues, including Westwood One executive vice president of news and talk Bart Tessler, and senior vice president of Affiliate Sales Dennis Green.

 

TALKERS News Notes. Fill-in host Rob Carson – who will be on iHeartMedia Phoenix news/talk KFYI and CBS Radio Las Vegas’ similarly-formatted KNXT next week – recently joined the conservative-leaning LibertyOne TV/video podcasting network and he explains, “My experience as an audio/video podcaster and live Facebook/YouTube podcaster is propelling my career forward in many ways. I hope to consult talk hosts about the new digital platforms. I’ve only been on for two weeks and my LibertyOneTV.com show attracted 18,000 viewers last Friday [10/6]. After two months, my daily podcast on PodcastRadioNetwork.com is their second-biggest podcast. This journey beyond terrestrial radio is incredible.” ….. The appointment of Karen Wishart as an Urban One executive vice president becomes official on January 1, 2018, when she replaces Linda Vilardo as chief administrative officer. In the meantime, those two will work together to transition Vilardo’s duties. According to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Wishart will be paid a base salary of $425,000 with an opportunity to make up to $150,000 in bonuses ….. The official charity of iHeartMedia Des Moines news/talk WHO afternoon drive talent Simon Conway is The Puppy Jake Foundation, which acquires, raises, and trains service dogs for physically and mentally wounded veterans. Last Friday (10/6), the fourth annual, two-hour free sandwich giveaway to benefit The Puppy Jake Foundation raised more than $28,500. The event brought in $4,000 in year one; $6,000 the second year; and $23,000 last year. Conway remarks, “People drove long distances and handed over huge sums of money. My show’s sponsors stepped up too, one of them called in and doubled his initial $1,000 donation.” Over 200 pounds of meat, buns, and sauce were all donated. So far, 22 service dogs have been provided to veterans; five more dogs will graduate the program in March ….. As of next Monday (10/16), Genesee Media Brockport-Rochester, New York sports talk WRSB “97.5 The Team” will transition to Spanish variety as “Mi 97.5.”

 

 

Delilah Taking Leave of Absence Following Her Son’s Suicide. On Saturday (10/7), the 7:00 pm – 12:00 midnight host posted on Facebook about the suicide, which occurred early Tuesday morning (October 3). “I will be absent from the radio and on social media for a time as I grieve and try to process this loss with my family,” Delilah (Rene) wrote as she grieves the loss of her teenage son Zachariah, who battled a long bout against depression. In what reportedly will be the only statement at this time by the Premiere Networks’ personality, Delilah states, “My dear friends, I need to share some devastating news with you. My son, Zachariah, took his life. He was being treated, counseled, and embraced fiercely by family and friends while battling depression. My heart is broken beyond repair and I cannot fathom how to go on, but I have to believe he is at peace with the Lord and that God will get us through. We will be playing some of my favorite shows from the recent past. I’ll look forward to my return, as you all lift me up so very much. Please pray for my beloved Zacky, and I will pray for all suffering from this debilitating disease called depression.” In a Facebook post earlier this year, Delilah revealed that Zack was autistic. The mother of 13 children, including ten she adopted, Delilah previously lost a son, Sammy, who died in 2012 from complications of sickle-cell anemia. According to The New York Daily News, Sammy’s death came two years after he was adopted from a Ghanaian refugee camp in West Africa. Delilah’s nightly show is heard on 180 (mainly adult contemporary) stations and on the American Forces Network. She was inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Broadcasting Hall of Fame in April, following her November 2016 induction into the National Radio Hall of Fame. Delilah has updated her Facebook home page to include the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255), which offers free, 24-hour emotional support for people in distress, as well as resources that provide aid.

iHeartMedia Philadelphia Taking Bids to Beat Breast Cancer. The cluster is doing so in its annual “Bid for Breast Cancer” fundraiser to benefit the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). It begins today (10/9) and will include an auction through next Monday (10/16). According to iHeartMedia Philadelphia vice president of programming Brian Check, “We have again pulled together all the resources of our six stations to collect one-of-a-kind autographed items to benefit a cause that affects many women in our community. AACR is known for bringing together the greatest minds in cancer research and helping patients worldwide, as well as right here in the Philadelphia area.” AACR Foundation executive director Mitch Stoller explains that this year, “More than 300,000 women will hear the words, ‘You have breast cancer.’ The AACR’s mission is to prevent and cure all cancers, including breast cancer which is the second-most common cause of cancer-related death among women in the United States. We are grateful to iHeartMedia Philadelphia and the community for their support in this ‘Bid for Breast Cancer.’ Proceeds will enable the AACR to fund groundbreaking cancer research that will lead to more cancer discoveries, saving more lives.” Auction items include an Ed Sheeran-autographed guitar; a guitar autographed by Brad Paisley; a Green Day-autographed guitar; jacket autographed by Bruno Mars; Rolling Stone Magazine autographed by Harry Styles; and a Red Hot Chili Peppers-autographed guitar. In a similar “Bid for Breast Cancer” event last year, iHeartMedia Philadelphia raised over $15,000.

Chicago’s “B-96” Reveals “Jingle Bash” Lineup. The 18th annual Pepsi “Jingle Bash” from CBS Radio Chicago CHR WBBM-FM “B-96” is roughly two months away (12/7) and will be headlined by Taylor Swift, along with Backstreet Boys, Fifth Harmony, Khalid, Logic, and Sabrina Carpenter. Vice president of programming for CBS Radio Chicago/WBBM-FM program director Todd Cavanah states that the “B-96” “Jingle Bash” has been a “must-see holiday event in Chicago for almost two decades. This year, we are thrilled to have the world’s biggest superstar – Taylor Swift – as our headliner. In the holiday season, the ‘Jingle Bash’ is a wonderful way for our community to come together and celebrate an exceptional night of pop music.” Breaking the news on-air was “B-96” afternoon air talent “Tyler.” The station’s December 7 “Jingle Bash” will be held in Rosemont (Illinois) at the Allstate Arena. In other station concert news, Emmis New York rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” will present “Hot for the Holidays” on December 14 at the Prudential Center. Scheduled to appear are Chris Brown, 21 Savage, Meek Mill, Cardi B, and Dave East & Tee Grizzley. Meanwhile, CBS Radio San Francisco CHR KMVQ “99.7 Now” will have Taylor Swift headline its December 2 “Poptopia” concert at San Jose’s Sap Center. Slated to perform as well are Ed Sheeran, The Chainsmokers, Fifth Harmony, Niall Horan, Khalid, Logic, and Dua Lipa.

WDVE Radio-thon Raises $814,000. Easily surpassing last year’s total of $605,000, iHeartMedia Pittsburgh’s WDVE “102.5 Rocks” raised just over $814,000 during the tenth annual “DVE Rocks for Children’s Radio-thon.” The beneficiary is Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation, which is the fundraising arm of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. WDVE morning show personalities Randy Baumann, Bill Crawford, Val Porter, and Mike Prisuta, as well as Michele Michaels and Sean McDowell, shared stories from patients, families, and staff from Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh during the two-day radio-thon. Market president for iHeartMedia Pittsburgh – West Virginia Tim McAleer comments, “The ‘DVE Rocks for Children’s Radio-thon’ continues to exceed our expectations. WDVE has terrific listeners who rally for the kids. I am in awe of the dedication and efforts of our on-air talents to raise funds for the children in our Pittsburgh community.” Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation president Greg Barrett adds, “It is truly unbelievable to witness the generosity of WDVE, their loyal listeners, the corporate sponsors and partners, and this amazing Pittsburgh community who have supported the radio-thon over the past ten years. Without this remarkable support each and every year, providing this level of expert, compassionate care to our patients and their families simply would not be possible.” Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, comedian Billy Gardell (“Mike & Molly”), and WWE chief brand officer Stephanie McMahon made donations by phone. The “DVE Rocks for Children’s Radio-thon” has raised nearly $5 million to benefit Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, leading provider of pediatric care in the Pittsburgh community.

Duran Supports Third Annual “Carney Awards.” A joint production between The Elvis Duran Group and Radcliffe Road Pictures, the third annual “Carney Awards” will be held in approximately three weeks (10/29) at Santa Monica’s Broad Stage. Named in honor of the Oscar and six-time Emmy winning actor Art Carney, the Carney Awards were created by Elvis Duran Group CEO David Katz, his brother – Emmy-winning producer Jim Katz, and Carney’s son – actor voice-over artist, Brian Carney. Duran is morning personality on iHeartMedia New York CHR WHTZ “Z-100” and syndicated by Premiere Networks. “I never understood why the hardest-working actors in Hollywood were almost always excluded from receiving awards and recognition for the great work that they do,” Duran comments. “We created the Carney Awards to rectify that injustice. Character actors are the backbone of almost every movie and television show ever made. It’s time for them to get the recognition they so deserve. I don’t want people pointing anymore saying ‘Hey, it’s that guy.’” David Katz notes, “Elvis is the first to admit that his co-hosts are the backbone of his radio show. Our desire to celebrate those in supporting roles has picked up great momentum and has caught the attention of Hollywood, which is always good for radio.” This year’s honorees are Xander Berkeley, William Fichtner, Richard Kind, William H. Macy, and Wendie Malick. Past honorees include Bob Balaban, Steve Buscemi, Gary Cole, Conchata Ferrell, Dan Hedaya, and David Paymer. Tom Bergeron of ABC-TV’s “Dancing with the Stars” will host the awards program. Tickets are complimentary to radio industry members.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. The guest emcee at the 73rd annual Congressional Correspondents Dinner in just over two weeks (10/25) at the National Building Museum will be Bobby Bones, whose eponymous weekday morning show originating from iHeartMedia Nashville’s country WSIX-FM is heard on more than 100 affiliates. In addition to his Monday through Friday Premiere Networks’ syndicated morning program, Bones hosts a weekend “Country Top 30” countdown and authored “Bare Bones: I’m Not Lonely If You’re Reading This Book.” The event’s headline entertainer will be “Daily Show with Trevor Noah” correspondent Roy Wood, Jr.; house speaker Paul Ryan will deliver keynote remarks ….. General sales manager of iHeartMedia Pittsburgh classic rock WDVE and country WPGB “Big 104.7” Bobbie Loesch is promoted to regional senior vice president of sales for the Pittsburgh-West Virginia region. The company’s region president Tim McAleer remarks, “Bobbie’s extensive experience in our region makes her the perfect fit to oversee sales for our robust media and entertainment assets. We are lucky to have her; she is an expert at multiplatform sales and consistently helps our partners reach their goals.” Loesch – who begins her new duties next Monday (10/16) – adds, “I have worked with the iHeartMedia Pittsburgh team for over a decade, so I am excited to lead such a talented group. It is great that we are such a tight-knit team and that we are all passionate about helping our partners succeed.” ….. Starting next Monday (10/16), Cameron Moore takes over 10:00 am – 3:00 pm duties on Beasley Media Group Charlotte CHR WNKS “Kiss 95.1.” Operations manager/program director John Reynolds comments, “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Cameron to Beasley’s Charlotte team. [Her] expanded experience in every aspect of radio programming will help ‘Kiss’ continue the solid growth we have been having all year. Cameron is a great example of our goal to mentor and groom excellent talent within our company.” Moore adds, “It is an honor to be part of the ‘Kiss’ team. I look forward to playing all of the hottest hit music and getting out on the streets to meet all of [our] loyal listeners.” Winston-Salem native Moore most recently worked at Midwest Family Broadcasting’s Springfield, Missouri cluster ….. The yearly signature event for CBS Radio Chicago triple A WXRT “93-XRT” is its Goose Island Holiday Jam. The ninth such event will feature performances by Spoon with special guest Real Estate and takes place in two months (12/10) at the Chicago Theatre. WXRT program director and operations manager Greg Solk explains, “The WXRT Goose Island Holiday Jam was created to showcase some of the most dynamic talents around, and to offer a memorable annual holiday event for Chicago music fans. This year’s fabulous double bill of Spoon and Real Estate will certainly accomplish that goal.” ….. As of today (10/9), 2016 Texas Radio Hall of Fame inductee Gary Lee Love joins John Walton classic country KXXF “105.3 Free,” Beaumont (Texas) for afternoon drive duties. Station owner John Walton states, “It is quite a coup for [us] to acquire a partnership with the Gary Lee Love Show. Gary is a bigger-than-life personality who is a household name in Southeast Texas and a great entertainer. Love most recently did a similar shift on cross-town Cumulus Media-owned KAYD “Nash-FM.”

Hundreds Attend “The House FM” and “My Praise FM” Kid DJ Day. The sixth annual “Kid DJ Day” was held over a week ago (9/30) at the 89.7 “The House FM Where Christian Hits Live” and 88.7 “My Praise FM” studios. More than 550 Kid DJs and 888 total family members attended the free event. “The House FM” and “My Praise FM” founder and chief executive officer Doyle Brewer remarks, “We had such a great day hosting 888 guests. The families were making such great memories with the petting zoo and so many other activities. Our ministry has always been focused on supporting families on the air with our programming and any other way we can.” Kids were invited to be DJs for a day, receiving a tour of the radio station and having a turn on-air. They were asked to discuss a variety of different topics, prompted by the DJ; parents received an email recording of their child’s on-air time. Listener-supported Christian radio network “The House FM” broadcasts from Oklahoma City to Wichita; sister network “My Praise FM” broadcasts in northern Oklahoma and southern Kansas.

Austin’s September 2017 Report to be Re-Released. Owing to audience estimates being inadvertently omitted for Austin subscribing HD-multicast KKMJ-HD3, Nielsen Audio will issue a revised September 2017 PPM ratings report for that Texas market this Wednesday (10/11) at 12:00 noon. Reporting for Entercom urban AC KKMJ-HD3 apparently had not been entered into one of Nielsen Audio’s internal systems. Audience estimates for other Austin stations will reportedly not be affected. Prior to August’s +.1 to 1.6 (#19, 6+), KKMJ-HD3 hadn’t had an increase in five consecutive sweeps for a net loss of nine-tenths (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+) but disappeared from print in the September sweep that was released last week.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

| July 25, 2017

WWL, New Orleans Names Sheriff Newell Normand to Replace Garland Robinette. The midday show at Entercom’s news/talk WWL-AM/FM, New Orleans has been open since Garland Robinette retired.  Now, the station surprises the market by convincing Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand to trade in his badge for a microphone.  Normand will retire from his sheriff’s position on August 31 and join the radio station on September 11. Normand says, “It was a tough decision because I love my work, my officers, and the people of Jefferson Parish.  But, this is an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.  I always listened to Garland and admired his voice in our community.  He played a pivotal role in New Orleans’ recovery and rebirth from Katrina.  Plus, good leaders know when it’s time to move on.  I’m satisfied that Jefferson Parish is in great shape.  The crime rate hasn’t been this low since 1974.  And strong leadership is ready to step in and take over a great team – one I care about deeply and will miss dearly.”  WWL operations and program director Diane Newman states, “I can honestly say we surprised Sheriff Normand.  Called him out of the blue one day and asked if he’d consider a career change.  It was a long shot – he’s one of our most popular and effective leaders – a powerful man with one powerful voice.  But, just as Garland always seemed bigger than the box called television, Newell always seemed more than the uniform.  His voice will be amplified behind the WWL mic, allowing him and us to make even deeper connections with our community.  There are sides to Newell Normand that most people don’t know.  This show will give him room to expand – to display not just his unmatched smarts and institutional knowledge, but that passion and love of community that he always had to reign in as sheriff.  Talent as big as the stage.”

iHM Promotes Tony Molaee to iHeartRadio Post. New York-based iHeartMedia staffer Tony Molaee is promoted to VP of digital programming and operations for iHeartRadio.  The company says that in this new role, he will support the national digital programming team as well as continue to support iHeartRadio’s local New York market as digital lead.  “Molaee’s local experience and digital expertise will serve the overall organization by identifying what content will help continue to drive more traffic to iHeartRadio’s individual local radio station websites, as well as nationally.”

Salem’s ‘Made in America’ Day at the White House. Pictured above are Salem Radio Network vice president/news & talk programming Tom Tradup (left) and SRN talk show host Hugh Hewitt (right) getting ready to kick off yesterday’s “Made in America” day broadcasts from the White House.  Guests on yesterday’s shows included new White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci, Energy Secretary Rick Perry and State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert.

WMBD, Peoria’s Power Failure Plan Keeps Station On Air.  Much of downtown Peoria lost power last Tuesday (7/18) but Alpha Media’s stations in the market moved quickly to remain on the air.  News/talk WMBD went old school by broadcasting at the transmitter site. Greg Batton – of the “Greg and Dan” morning show – went with WMBD traffic reporter Ken Zurski and chief engineer Wayne Miller and other staffers to the transmitter in Tazewell County.  Batton (pictured here in the transmitter building) and Zurski were on the air commercial free during the outage.  Other staffers sent WMBD’s content via Marti to another tower site for three more Alpha stations.  Then “Mix 106.9” program director and morning host Randy Rundle joined Batton and Zurski for the unique show. Dan DiOrio, Batton’s co-host, along with news anchor Ed Hammond and producer Cory Wara, remained at the studio facility in case the power came back on, and along with morning shows from the other Alpha stations, fed content to social media and station websites via cell data. Alpha Media Peoria SVP/market manager Mike Wild comments, “Our number one priority is serving the community and I’m extra proud of our team for how they handled this unscripted situation.  They moved quickly and were able to keep our listeners and users well informed.  This is what Alpha Media is all about – live and local!”

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated late-night talk show host Jim Bohannon is scheduled to deliver the summer commencement address at University of North Georgia in Dahlonega, Georgia on Saturday, July 29.  The Westwood One personality says that he will “forgo the big picture so popular in commencement addresses, and will tell graduates about the ‘little picture.’”…..WHO, Des Moines-based talk show host Simon Conway makes a change to his work on WMT, Cedar Rapids.  Conway had been hosting a separate 9:00 am to 11:00 am program on WMT for some time while doing his afternoon show on WHO.  Now, iHeartMedia is simulcasting his 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm show on both stations and Conway is giving up the late morning show on WMT as he ramps up efforts to spread his program across Iowa…..Seven new podcasts have joined the Earwolf comedy network on the Midroll Media podcast platform owned by Scripps.  The shows include: “Off Book,” the “first-ever improvised musical podcast,” Jessica McKenna and Zach Reino; “Homophilia,” featuring MTV host Dave Holmes, comedian Matt McConkey and a celebrity guest for a candid conversation on what they’re loving in pop culture and who they are loving in their romantic lives; episodes of the popular 1960s comedy radio show “Chickenman”; “Cracked Movie Club”; “Cracked Gets Personal”; “Throwing Shade”; and “James Bonding.”…..Grammy Award-winning musician Darius Rucker begins a new golf show airing monthly on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio titled, “On Par with Darius Rucker” on July 26…..Pantsuit Nation and DGital Media launch a new weekly podcast titled, “This Pod is Your Pod,” featuring co-hosts Libby Chamberlain and Cortney Tunis.

Hangin’ Out with Mama. Nationally syndicated talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs (right) poses for a pic with iconic comic actress Vicki Lawrence (left) in Las Vegas.  Lawrence – well-known for her work on the “Carol Burnett Show” and creating the character “Mama” – was in Vegas doing “Vicki Lawrence and Mama:  A Two Woman Show.”  Lawrence is also a spokeswoman for CIUandYou that raises awareness for Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria – a condition that produces chronic hives with no known cause.  Lawrence appeared on Wachs’ GCN-syndicated program during her stop in Las Vegas.

CMG’s Gamut Names Four Executives. The Cox Media Group subsidiary Gamut – a “solutions-based” advertising organization – names four to new positions.  Soo Jin Oh is Gamut’s new vice president of client strategy & solutions; Meghan Bentley is now director of business development; Jason Whidby is regional director of sales, West; and Blake McClean is regional director of sales, Southeast.

GOP Renews Plans to Vote on Health Care, Trump-Russia Investigation, Russia Sanctions Vote, NYTimes-Fox News Tiff, China Beefing Up N. Korea Border, Smuggled Illegals Deaths/Sanctuary Cities Controversy, Sister Livestreams Sister’s Death, Jeff Sessions’ Job Security, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/24). Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s effort to force a vote in the Senate to repeal ObamaCare; the controversy over meetings between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the House bill that would increase sanctions on Russia, as well as Iran and North Korea; the skirmish between The New York Times and Fox News over the latter’s reporting that the NYT published information that hindered the U.S.’s search for ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi; speculation about what China’s increased activity near its North Korean border means; the deaths of 10 illegals in a tractor trailer in San Antonio and the related criticism of sanctuary cities; a Fresno teen is arrested on DUI charges after livestreaming the car crash that killed her younger sister; rumors that President Trump wants to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions; 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.

Dana Barrett Appears on HLN with Lynn Smith.  Pictured above are WAFS, Atlanta “biz1190” mid-morning personality Dana Barrett (right) during her recent appearance on HLN’s “Weekend Express” with host Lynn Smith (left).  Barrett spoke about the gender pay gap relative to the recent story revealing the BBC’s disparate gender pay stats.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (7/25) with Heather Cohen, Brian Kilmeade and Scott Lakefield.  The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and its sessions are being posted to Talkers.com – one event per day.  Already posted are:

–          The “Welcoming Remarks” by WMAL, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Larry O’ Connor (including an introduction by TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein).

–          The special presentation “You HAVE Options” by consultant Holland Cooke (including an introduction by Yappy Days author Bernadette Duncan).

–          The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity (with introduction by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon).

–          The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS managing editor  Mike Kinosian and WFAN, New York sports talk show host Mike Francesa (with introduction by Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo).

–          The special presentation “The Trump Effect: Latest Research of Interest to News/Talk Radio” by Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce (with introduction by Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host Brad Shepard).

–          The special presentation “Podcasting and Local Radio” by PodcastOne excutive chairman Norm Pattiz (with introduction by Hubbard Radio SVP/programming Greg Strassell).

–          The first, second and third in a series of three consecutive “one-on-one” sessions discussing the topic “Maximizing Talk Radio’s Multi-Platform Potential for Reach and Revenue” featuring conversations between WABC, New York, PD Craig Schwalb and KGO, San Francisco host Ethan BearmanBold Gold Media Group president/CEO Vince Benedetto and DGital Media managing partner Ron Hartenbaum, and nationally syndicated host Dr. Asa Andrew and TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein.  All three sessions are facilitated by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter.

–          A “one-on-one” dialogue titled “Radio That Makes a Difference” featuring the SiriusXM Satellite Radio husband/wife team of host Joe Madison and executive producer Sharon Madison (introduced by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio VP/GM talk programming Dave Gorab).

–          A “Fireside Chat” featuring former CBS Radio president/CEO and Broadcasters Foundation of America chairman Dan Mason being interviewed by WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley (with introduction by BOB-FM, London morning host Graham Mack).

–          A “Fireside Chat” featuring Emmis Communications CEO/chairman Jeff Smulyan being interviewed by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey (with an introduction by Bentley University professor/TALKERS legal editor Steve Weisman).

–          The first two in a series of four “one-on-one” dialogues titled “The Challenges of Doing Talk Radio in 2017.”  They feature a conversation between WYD Media syndicated host Thom Hartmann and Cumulus Media corporate PD/WMAL, Washington PD Bill Hess (introduced by Moceri Media president Greg Moceri), a conversation between morning co-host of WAQY-FM (Rock102), Springfield, MA  Mike “Bax” Baxendale and morning host of WOLB, Baltimore Larry Young, and a conversation between Cumulus Media EVP programming and content Mike McVay and Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott (facilitated by ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones).

–          The first two in a series of four “one-on-one” dialogues collectively titled, “Where Does Talk Media Go From Here?” featuring a conversation between WRHU, Hofstra University OM John T. Mullen and WRFH, Hillsdale College GM Scot Bertram, and a conversation between The New Normal CEO/founder/host Tom Leykis and syndicated host Michael Berry (facilitated by WOR, New York APD Scott Lakefield).

–          TODAY (7/25) we posted the third of four in the above series of “one-on-one” dialogues “Where Does Talk Media Go From Here?” featuring a conversation between The Weiss Agency EVP Heather Cohen and Fox News Radio/Fox News Channel host Brian Kilmeade (again, facilitated by WOR, New York APD Scott Lakefield).

Within the following days and weeks, every session will be posted and will remain on Talkers.com for the rest of the year.  The Talkers 2017: A New Era video page is sponsored by Backbone NetworksBroadcasters General Store and Comrex Corp.  To view the video page of Talkers 2017: A New Era, please click here.

 

 

PPM Analysis: Urban Contemporary. The third of our four-part series examining the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s June 2017 PPM survey turns to the urban contemporary format.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian writes that when looking at 6+ share, “nearly half (48%) of this urban contemporary panel regresses year-to-year; 45% improve (the same percentage as month-to-month); and 6% are unchanged from June 2016.” Urban One’s WERQ, Baltimore “92 Q Jams” is the only urban contemporary station in a PPM market to rank #1 in June.  However, eight other stations ranked in the top five in their respective markets.  Check out the whole report here.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. In San Diego, Midwest Television’s rock “100.7 KFM-BFM” names Mikey Esparza the host of the 3:00 pm to 7:30 pm PM drive show.  Program director Mike V. Vasquez says, “Mikey’s passion for creating compelling content and his love of rock and roll make him the ideal choice to entertain San Diego during the afternoon commute. With ‘The DSC’ entertaining our fans in the morning, the legendary Robin Roth rockin’ the workday and ‘The Mikey Show’ on the drive home, ‘KFM-BFM’ is committed to delivering quality programming.”…..Matt Derrick becomes operations manager for NRG Media’s Omaha FM stations, including hot AC KQKQ “Sweet 98.5,” hip hop KOPW “Power 106.9,” and classic rock KOOO “101.9 The Keg.”  Previously, Derrick served with iHeartMedia as SVP of programming in Norfolk-Virginia Beach…..Emmis’ CHR KNOU, St. Louis signs up with Focus 360’s programmatic networks “Powered by Jelli” – repped by Envision Networks.  The cloud-based ad platform traffics, serves and reports campaigns using Jelli’s RadioSpot.

Monday, March 20, 2017

| March 20, 2017

ESPN Moves Craig to Network PD; Ups Hurley to WEPN, New York PD.  Sports programmer Justin Craig is promoted from PD of WEPN, New York to senior director, programming and operations for the ESPN Radio network.  The sports giant says that Craig will be responsible for all aspects of ESPN Radio programming and production, including oversight of “Mike & Mike,” “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz,” “Russillo & Kanell,” and nighttime and weekend programming.  Craig is now based at ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol and reports to David Roberts, vice president, ESPN Network Content.  With Craig’s move to Bristol, WEPN APD Ryan Hurley is elevated to program director.  Jonathan Winthrop, who has previously served as a producer at WEPN, adds APD duties and continues to produce the Stephen A. Smith show.

TALKERS Personality Profile: KSCO, Santa Cruz Owner, Michael Zwerling. One of the most colorful owner/operators of a local radio broadcasting company, Michael Zwerling, is the subject of an audio personality profile posted today (3/20) on Talkers.com.  Since 1991, Zwerling (known to his friends and colleagues as “MZ”) has owned heritage news/talk 10k flamethrower KSCO-AM 1080.   The station puts out a giant signal covering the Monterey Bay area as well as huge swath of Northern California territory.  KSCO first went on the air in 1947.  Zwerling has subsequently gained a national reputation for his unique ownership and management style that has turned KSCO into a dynamic combination of mostly locally produced content punctuated by carefully selected national programming.  Under Zwerling’s guidance, KSCO is financially fueled by a potent combination of traditional advertising sales and the generation of non-traditional revenue.  In the hour-and-a-half interview conducted by TALKERS founder Michael Harrison, Zwerling discusses what it has been like operating a conservatively oriented station (featuring Rush Limbaugh) in a predominantly liberal market.  He talks about his early, quirky days in broadcasting, the nuts-and-bolts of local radio station ownership in the modern era, the pros and cons of carrying Limbaugh over the years, his late mother and locally beloved broadcaster, Kay Zwerling, and his remarkably lucrative relationship with the multi-level marketing health products company, Youngevity.  To listen to this candid dialogue with the man described by Michael Harrison as one of the most interesting and eccentric owners in radio today, please click here.

‘The Big Talker’ Returns to Wilmington, NC.  Talk show host Chad Adams is reviving “The Big Talker” on WFBT-FM, Wilmington, North Carolina (licensed to Carolina Beach) under an LMA from Carolina Christian Radio.  His Red Wolf Broadcasting will operate the station and his regionally syndicated talk show – also heard in Charlotte and Greensboro – will be heard from 9:00 am to 11:00 am.  It will follow the local “Mornings With Pam and John” program with husband-and-wife team John and Pam Dismukes.  Other shows to air on the station include: Radio America’s Dana Loesch, the Dave Ramsey show, SRN’s Mike Gallagher, and Premiere NetworksSean Hannity and the overnight “Coast to Coast AM” with George Noory.  Originally, “The Big Talker” was heard on WNTB-FM and WUDE-FM.  WFBT-FM’s frequency is 106.7.  It was formerly WMYT and was put on the air by Curtis Wright’s and George Bell’s Talk Media TV in 2013.

TALKERS News Notes. The morning drive show at Cumulus Media’s news/talk WGOW-FM, Chattanooga – hosted by Jeff Styles, Jim Reynolds and Bill Lockhart – expands by an hour to air from 6:00 am to 10:00 am, eliminating the Reynolds-hosted hour, “The Nth Degree.”  At the same time, Styles – who had also been hosting the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon program, “Fred The Show,” gives up that program to new host Brad Giese…..WGN, Chicago launched a new weekend program on Saturday (3/18).  The two-hour show “On the Road with Dane Neal” airs from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.  WGN says that this program is more than just a car show, “Neal will explore the relationship of people and their cars.  Topics will include motorsports, day trips, cruise nights, technology in the car and more.”  His first guests were Food Network’s Guy Fieri, Expedia’s Sarah Gavin, and NASCAR champion Kevin Harvick.  Neal comments, “I’m excited to be able to take a radio road trip with listeners each week.  We’ll share great stories about racing, innovation in driving and the great car culture of Chicago.”

Rising Country Music Star Pens and Records Inspirational Patriot Song for Both Music and Talk Radio.  Singer/songwriter Dede Wedekind is a rising star in country music circles (Indie Music Channel’s 2016 Best New Female Artist, plus a number of other music industry honors) and she is now attracting the attention of talk radio hosts doing interviews about her new soul-stirring, patriotic release titled “America United.”  The song was originally written by Wedekind and her husband in a flash of inspiration coming from the pulpit while attending church on a Sunday in 2012.  Garnering attention across her fan base for years, the couple then tweaked the song in the wake of the 2016 presidential election, resulting in another IMEA Award for the independent artist.  She tells CCM Magazine, “To me, everyone who hears ‘America United’ seems to like and relate to the overwhelming message of this song—which is the necessity of uniting all Americans once again. This song isn’t about a particular political party, being conservative or liberal, or even being Democrat or Republican—it’s about making America a great nation once again. ‘One nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.’” Wedekind continues, “In the original version written in 2012, it features President Ronald Reagan‘s message of making America great quoting the line, ‘Once again, make America Great. When President Donald Trump decided to run last year, my husband Larry and I had already decided to update ‘America United’ to make it a better song with a more concise message and better production. We then decided to also incorporate Trump’s slogan, which, again was completely based on Reagan’s original message. We repeated the slogan in the chorus of the 2016 version, since it was already a part of the original song, and more importantly felt strongly that God had given it to President Reagan, and now again to President Trump.”  To listen to and download Dede Wedekind’s “America United” and obtain contact information to book an interview with her, please click here.

Trump’s Obama Wiretapping Accusations, Gorsuch Confirmation Hearings, GOP Health Care Bill, U.S.-Germany Relations, North Korea Missile Program, Rock Legend Chuck Berry Dies, and March Madness Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  President Donald Trump’s accusation that former President Barack Obama ordered wiretaps of Trump Tower during the 2016 campaign; Supreme Court judge nominee Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation hearings begin today; speculation about the fate of the GOP health care bill; President Trump’s belief that Germany owes the U.S. money for its NATO membership and his meeting last week with Angela Merkel; North Korea’s nuclear missile program and its threats to hit American targets; rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Chuck Berry dies at age 90; and the action during the first weekend of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Stephanie Miller Announces ‘Sexy Liberal Resistance Tour’ 2017.  Progressive radio talk show host and comedienne Stephanie Miller is announcing the 2017 version of her Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour – this year titled the “Sexy Liberal Resistance Tour 2017.”  On this tour will be Miller, John Fugelsang and Frangela.  A press statement from Miller reads, “Touring for several years as the Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour, the election forced us to rethink early retirement and return to the stage for a multiple-city tour.  We face Washington and laugh out loud at the tragic comedy of politics, to throw our finest, most scathing satire at the feet of our not-so-elected politicians.  To fight on with comedy…to offer the real fake news…to offer true alternative facts.”  The tour does 10 dates this year beginning in Madison on April 22 and ending in Maui, Hawaii on December 23.  Cities include Phoenix, Albuquerque, Seattle, Denver, Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

SRN’s Tradup Promoting Brantley Rescue Documentary.  Next Thursday night (3/30) is the one-night-only Fathom national movie theater screening of the film Facing Darkness.  The film was the result of a trip to the Ebola virus “hot Zone” in Liberia last summer during which Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup (pictured at right) accompanied a film crew from non-profit charity Samaritan’s Purse to chronicle the successful, high-tech rescue of Dr. Kent Brantley during the deadly 2014 outbreak.  Tradup, who is actively promoting the film via social media, says, “The courage of the Samairtan’s Purse team (including Dr. Brantley) who risked their own lives as the Ebola outbreak claimed thousands of lives all around them, is a truly inspirational story that is the centerpiece of a stunning documentary.”

TALKERS magazine Publishes the 2017 Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk. On Monday, March 13, we published the fifth annual TALKERS Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk – formally known as the 100 Most Important Sports Talk Radio Hosts in America. This annual list is compiled and ranked by the editors of TALKERS magazine – with input from industry leaders. As with our publication’s “sister list,” the 100 Most Important Talk Radio Hosts in America, the criteria are a number of hard factors – including ratings and revenue – as well as such soft factors as talent, recognition, impact, service and more. Executive editor Kevin Casey states, “This annual ranking of the most important sports talk radio hosts is one of the most difficult – but enjoyable – projects we undertake at TALKERS. The reason for that is the partially subjective nature of the criteria combined with the enormous number of talented and successful sports talk hosts working in America. Paring that pool of talent down to 100 is no easy task!” Casey also notes that TALKERS will be publishing the 2017 Heavy Hundred of News/Talk Radio in April. See the 2017 Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Beginning this Friday (3/24), Entercom Austin is shifting its urban adult contemporary contemporary outlet to a new frequency as it changes translator K242CC from the 96.3 frequency to 95.9.  Appropriately, the station’s new brand is “95.9FM RnB.”  Entercom Austin VP/market manager Stephanie Callihan states, “We are looking forward to welcoming all of our loyal listeners at our new home on the dial.  We continue to be committed to providing the unparalleled radio experience that our fans have come to expect from us and will keep delivering for our fans at our new frequency.”…..Bonneville’s country KYGO, Denver welcomes Guy David aboard as the new co-host of the morning drive show with current AM personality Tracy Dixon.  David heads to Denver from his current position at RBH Enterprises-owned country WFON-FM, Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin “107.1 The Bull.”…..Wesley Miller returns to his hometown of Youngstown, Ohio to program adult contemporary WMXY “MIX 98.9” and CHR WAKZ for iHeartMedia.  Miller was most recently with Forever Media’s WGYY, Meadville, Pennsylvania “Froggy 100.3” hosting the morning show and serving as program director…..CBS RADIO country outlet WDSY, Pittsburgh “Y108” is hosting its annual Wine & Boots Bash to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital on Thursday, April 13 at The Twentieth Century Club in Oakland.  The event will feature Warner Music Nashville country singer and songwriter Michael Ray.  CBS RADIO Pittsburgh VP of programming Mark Anderson says, “Michael Ray was a part of Y108’s ‘Eight Man Jam’ concert two years ago.  Michael’s career is on fire as he just achieved his second #1 hit single and we are thrilled to have him perform at Y108’s Wine and Boots Bash on April 13.”  Ray broke into music as a contestant on The CW’s “The Next: Fame Is At Your Doorstep.”  He co-wrote the 2015 Big & Rich hit “Run Away With You” and made his solo artist debut that same year with the #1 hit “Kiss You In The Morning.”  He scored his second #1 hit just this week with his song, “Think A Little Less.”

Josh Turner Plays Stage 17 LIVE.  The brand-new Cumulus Media New York performance space Stage 17 LIVE hosted country star Josh Turner on March 15.  WNSH “NASH FM 94.7” air personality Jesse Addy spoke with Turner on the air the same day Turner spent his morning hosting the fourth hour of NBC TV’s “Today Show.”  Pictured here are (from l-r): Jesse Addy, Josh Turner; WNSH program director John Foxx, and WNSH APD Mike Alan.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

| December 16, 2015

price howardPrice: Weighing Public Safety vs Risk of Assisting Threatmongers in Reporting to Your Listeners.  The recent terroristic threats against the New York City and Los Angeles public school districts – which turned out not to be true – present a bit of a potential problem for radio stations and news organizations.  ABC Television director, business continuity Howard B. Price writes today in TALKERS, “Critical to the discussion is the hard reality that those who make these threats are banking on a response from both authorities AND the media.  Thankfully, even in these troubled times, most threats are hoaxes made to seize on public fear.  The hoaxers find out about that response the same way the rest of us do – through the media.  SO what to do?  As with most professional challenges, the process begins with an internal conversation, specific to your station and market.  For example, do you have a policy document to guide your decision making in such dynamic breaking news situations?”  Read more here.

grimessuzanneCumulus Media Names Suzanne Grimes to President of the Westwood One Division and EVP of Corporate Marketing Roles.  According to Cumulus Media, this new role of president of the Westwood One Division “creates a unified structure that maximizes opportunities across the division’s national content and sales platform.”  Steve Shaw, president of Westwood One, will continue to lead ad sales, and Charles Steinhauer, COO of Westwood One, will continue to lead operations, both reporting directly to Grimes, who in turn reports to company CEO Mary Berner.  Grimes was most recently president and COO of Clear Channel Outdoor.  Berner states, “When it comes to anything in media, Suzanne’s the full package.  With 30 years of experience building content businesses into high-performing brands, she brings valuable perspectives from leadership roles in outdoor, mobile, social, digital, print and experiential sectors for both public and private companies, so she’s a natural choice for these important roles.  I look forward to her contribution as we build a stronger, more operationally focused organization.”

Newly Re-Organized Corporate Structure at Cumulus Includes Tommy Page and Mike McVay Taking on New Responsibilities.  As part of her memo to Cumulus Media staff of Suzanne Grimes’ new role, CEO Mary Berner also explained some of the other changes atop the corporate structure at the company.  Working forbouvardpierre Grimes will be the company’s chief marketing officer Pierre Bouvard and VP of social media Lori Lewis.  Berner announces Tommy Page’s new title will be SVP of brand partnerships & NASH in which he’ll continue his role as leader of platform events initiatives and brand partnerships, corporate mcvaymikemarketing function, and new duties including the development and execution of the NASH brand strategy.  Berner says the company is creating a new Office of Programming in which SVP of content & programming Mike McVay will operate to “lead our content strategy across the platform, including talent recruitment and development and label relations.”  Tom Schurr, SVP ofschurrtom operations, will work with McVay in a new role overseeing the business aspects of programming, including organization and prioritization, resource allocation, and budget responsibilities.  Berner concludes, “Our belief with regard to ratings is that more local insight and more effective corporate support will result in an improved outcome.  The new Office of Programming will be responsible for executing this strategy to drive ratings growth and will be rolling out more details in the coming weeks.”

bohannonjimJim Bohannon to Exit ‘America in the Morning’; Continues Late Night Show.  Hall of Fame broadcaster Jim Bohannon is cutting back on his duties for Westwood One and is leaving the hosting role for “America in the Morning” after the December 18 broadcast.  He is continuing his work as host of the late night Jim Bohannon show.  He signed a multi-year contract extension with Westwood One in February of this year.  Bohannon has been the sole host of “America in the Morning” since its firsttroutjohn broadcast in 1984.  The morning magazine program airs on more than 250 stations nationwide.  Taking over for Bohannon is the show’s regular guest host John Trout.  He officially begins on Monday, January 18, 2016.  Bohannon comments, “It’s time for me to cut back the daily schedule a bit and focus my attention on the research, interviews, and calls for my weeknight Jim Bohannon show.  But I’ll still be contributing my daily feature, the ‘Offbeat,’ and my newsmaker interviews to ‘America in the Morning.’  Listeners will love John Trout as host.  He’s got a stellar track record and he’s been a terrific fill-in.  The show is in great hands and I wish him much success.”

leykistomTom Leykis’ New Normal Projecting Another Profitable Year.  New Year’s Eve will be the sixth anniversary of The New Normal – the audio content company founded by radio legend Tom Leykis after exiting his CBS RADIO talk show in 2009.  Leykis has long been a vocal proponent of the digital delivery system for taking audio content into the future.  Today, he reports that as 2015 winds down, The New Normal is financially continuing on an upward trend.  Leykis tells TALKERS that revenue is up for the third straight year.  Profits will increase from $23,000 in 2014 to almost $100,000 in 2015.  He adds, “This means that, for the second year in a row, we will be more profitable than the top two radio companies combined.”

Odds & Sods.  Are there wrinkles in the future of the Bob & Tom Show post-Bob KevoianTALKERS sources arebobandtom labeled hearing that negotiations between the syndicated program’s management and staff are hitting snags.  Kevoian announced his retirement at the recent Radio Hall of Fame induction ceremony and although the show is moving forward with Tom Griswold continuing his role, rumors are that negotiations for contract renewals with longtime cast member Kristi Lee and contributor Ron Sexton are facing challenges…..Software platform provider Mediaocean announces it is integrating iHeartMedia within its Spectra platform.  As a result, within one central system, ad agencies are able to seamlessly manage, research, and buy local digital audio inventory across the iHeartMedia digital platform.  Mediaocean says users will be able to compare iHeartMedia’s audience data side-by-side with other digital audio platforms to better plan campaigns and engage the right audiences at the local level.

tradupTrump15Covering the GOP Debate.  Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is seen here gesturing as he makes a point while speaking with Salem Radio Network personalities Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager and Michael Medved (who are out of the picture to the right) while SRN VP news & talk programming Tom Tradup holds the mic.  The exchange took place during SRN’s exclusive radio distribution of the Republican presidential debate.  SRN talk host Hugh Hewitt appeared on the CNN debate panel asking questions of the GOP hopefuls.

Run-Up to Last Night’s GOP Debate/2016 Presidential Race, Refugee and Immigration Policy, Los Angeles and New York Schools Terror Threats, Battle Against Islamic State, Freddie Gray Trial, Government Shutdown Threat, and New Star Wars Film Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/15). The build-up to last night’s GOP primary debate in Las Vegas and the activities of the candidates for president in 2016; debate over policy regarding refugees from Syria and over immigration in general; terror threats against the New York and Los Angeles public school districts and criticism over LA’s decision to cancel school; the battle against Islamic State; the wait for the verdict in the case against the first of six Baltimore police officers in the death of Freddie Gray; the move in Congress to avert a government shutdown; and the hype over the new Star Wars film were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday September 10, 2015

| September 10, 2015

francesamikeWFAN’s Mike Francesa Show to End Fox Sports Cable Simulcast.  New York sports talk legend Mike Francesa told his WFAN listeners on Wednesday that his show would cease being simulcast on Fox Sports’ cable channel after this Friday.  As the New York Post reports, Francesa had problems with the relationship almost from the beginning and griped to listeners about being pre-empted by soccer or moved to the FS2 channel.  Francesa said, “First, let me say that the blame is mine.  I tried to do something a little different.  The Fox guys were eager and I’m not going to say money wasn’t an issue, because it was the biggest.  I had some trepidation, but I saw some promise and it just didn’t work.”  The Post reports that Francesa is beginning to look for a new cable simulcast partner and MSG Network is a possible destination.

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corralangelaCorral Named News Director at KGO, San Francisco.  This is a promotion from assignment editor to news director for Angela Corral.  She’s been with Cumulus Media’s KGO since October of 2013.  She’s worked in news in the Bay Area for the past 17 years, having joined CBS RADIO’s crosstown all-news KCBS in 1998 as a production assistant.  On her new gig, Corral comments, “It’s a true honor to be selected as news director of this legendary station.  I’m looking forward to working with an amazing staff of dedicated journalists as we move KGO forward.”

fairRadio Pro Bob Dane Rises to Executive Director at FAIR.  The Federation for American Immigration Reform announces Bob Dane is promoted to executive director of the organization after approval from the board of directors.  Dane, whose years of experience in network radio, marketing and communications led him to join FAIR in 2006 as director of communications, will be just the fourth executivedanebob director of FAIR since its founding in 1979.  In this new role, Dane will oversee the organization’s Washington, D.C.-based and national operations.  FAIR president Dan Stein comments, “With nearly a decade of experience in FAIR’s media department, Bob has spearheaded valuable and unique initiatives, bringing to light the public’s often-overlooked concerns about immigration.”  Chairman of the Board Donald Collins Jr. adds, “For many years, Bob has continually demonstrated media expertise, innovative ideas and able management.”  During his career, Dane also served in a policy and budgeting position within the Reagan administration.  He received a degree in public administration and management from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.

Odds & Sods.  After retiring from full-time work at Chicago all-news outlet WBBM-AM in 2004 after a 35-year career, Sheman Kaplan returned to the station on a freelance basis, according to Chicago media writer Robert Feder.  In a column today, Feder reports that Kaplan is again retiring from the station where he was co-anchoring midday newscasts and “The WBBM Noon Business Hour” alongside Kris Kridel…..Los Angeles-based talkelderlarryNEW1-15 personality Larry Elder will host presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson on his show today (9/10).  Elder’s program airs on CRN Digital Talk Radio at 3:00 pm ET and on Salem-owned KRLA, Los Angeles at 9:00 pm PT…..United Stations Radio Networks is now offering a sports radio prep service called Total Sports Prep.  USRN says it is intended for use by air personalities in sports talk or any krntprogramming that delves into sports content…..Bob Kempf  joins TV and online public media producer WGBH Boston as vice president for digital services.  Kempf was previously VP/general manager of digital services for NPR…..Saga Communications drops adult standards on KRNT, Des Moines and goes sports talk as “ESPN Des Moines.”  In addition to carrying ESPN Radio programming, it will carry Chicago Cubs baseball, Drake University play-by-play, and be an affiliate of the Green Bay Packers Radio Network…..Entercom flips from business talk on KWOD, Kansas City to sports talk using both CBS Sports Radio and Fox Sports Radio.

wipRadiothon15WIP, Philadelphia’s Eagles Radiothon Raises $200,000.  Another Eagles Radiothon is in the books and the event organized by the NFL club and CBS RADIO’s WIP-FM, “SportsRadio 94WIP raised $200,000 for the Eagles Youth Partnership.  As part of the annual radiothon, Eagles fans and 94WIP callers were provided the opportunity to bid on exclusive experiences involving their favorite Eagles players and 94WIP radio personalities.  Eagles Youth Partnership, Eagles Social Responsibility president Christina Weiss Lurie says, “We continue to be amazed each year by the generous contributions and devoted support from our fans during the Eagles Radiothon.  As an organization, we are always looking to deliver one-of-a-kind experiences for our fans.  The annual Radiothon provides us with the opportunity to do that, while also supporting the vital health and education programs of Eagles Youth Partnership.  On behalf of EYP, I would like to express a heartfelt thank you to 94WIP for their steadfast commitment and support of this event.”

tradupBosworth15Salem Radio Network at 90 Minutes in Heaven Premiere.  The new film 90 Minutes in Heaven – based on the New York Times bestselling book by Don Piper – opens this weekend and Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup (left) was in Atlanta this week for the media premiere of the film.  Tradup says that on the heels of the Christian-themed film War Room being tops at the Labor Day weekend box office last week, fans of faith-based movies are also expected to turn out this weekend for the nationwide opening of 90 Minutes in Heaven.  Tradup is seen here speaking with actress Kate Bosworth (right) who plays Piper’s wife Eva Piper.  In a story based on Don Piper’s own experiences, she helps him recover from a car crash after being pronounced legally dead for 90 minutes.  The film also stars Hayden Christensen and Fred Thompson.

ewscrippsConspiracy Theory Gets Two Suspended from Scripps Springfield, MO Stations.  The host and the on-air producer of the Sunday morning “Cracker Barrel” show have been suspended by E.W. Scripps after suggesting the on-air slayings of Roanoke TV crew Alison Parker and Adam Ward were a hoax designed to spur stricter gun control laws.  Host Joe Rios and producer Rick Masters are heard on the both company’s country KTTS and news/talk KSGF-AM/FM.  Station manager Rex Hansen apologized to the station’s listeners for the commentary.  It’s not known how long the two will be suspended from the weekly community forum program.

Hillary Clinton Emails Apology, Trump Candidacy, 2016 Presidential Candidates, European Migrant Crisis, Brandon Marshall’s Brady vs NFL Racism Charge/ESPN Spygate Story, Iran Nuclear Deal, and Russia-Syria Military Connection Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/9).  Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton apologizes for use of private email server for State Department business; the criticism and analysis of the top-polling Trump for President campaign; the activities of the candidates for president in 2016; the migrant crisis affecting European nations; the aftermath of the Tom Brady vs the NFL case and Brandon Marshall’s charge that Tom Brady is treated different because he’s white, plus the related ESPN Spygate story; the controversy over the Iran nuclear deal; and reports of Russia sending military aid to Syria were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

| August 11, 2015

Crowder, ChanningFor WQAM – Three’s A Crowd in PM Drive. Today’s arrival (Tuesday, 8/11) of Channing Crowder will transform the afternoon drive program (2:00 pm – 6:00 pm) of CBS Radio-owned WQAM “Miami Sports Radio 560” into a three-person affair, as the former Miami Dolphins linebacker joins Marc Hochman and Zach Krantz. Regarding Crowder, program director Ryan Maguire comments, “His insight as a former college and professional football player – as well as his one-of-a-kind brand of humor – will be a great addition to what MarcWQAM and Zach bring to the table every day. This is going to be a very unique, locally focused program that will be entertaining and insightful.” Crowder remarks, “I am excited for the opportunity to work with ‘Hoch’ and Zach. We are going to bring listeners a different kind of show they won’t be able to find anywhere else.” A former all-South East Conference player at the University of Florida, Crowder began at WQAM in 2009 as a contributor. Prior to becoming part of “Hochman, Crowder, & Krantz,” he co-hosted the station’s mid-day (1:00 pm – 3:00 pm) program.

Vassilaros, DimitriPittsburgh Broadcaster in Online “Crowd-funding” Campaign. The “Don’t Spy on Me” project, which began last Monday (8/3) and ends in three weeks (9/1), creates an internet show for Pittsburgh talk host Dimitri Vassilaros. Online programs, of course, are not subject to Federal Communications Commission regulations, so callers are able to speak freely. Vassilaros tells TALKERS, “Forgoing short-term revenue to create long-term value has helped many internet startups become desirable to investors. This new radio show will provide people with a platform where they can express their thoughts, amplify their voices, and talk back to all authoritarians. Internet freedom means unlimited choices, not government restrictions. Your right of privacy is worth fighting for.” Vassilaros’ background includes being a talk show host on Pittsburgh stations KDKA-AM and WTAE, as well as a columnist/reporter for The Pittsburgh Tribune Review.

Rogers, Mike“Something To Think About” Notes Affiliate Benchmark. Seven months after its debut, the weekday vignettes that its syndicator – Westwood One – labels a “slice of Americana” eclipse the 150-station mark. In fact, the station count for the segments voiced by former Michigan congressman/ex-FBI agent Mike Rogers that stations air thrice daily is up to 156. Westwood One senior vice president of affiliate sales Dennis Green states, “We have been searching for a strong voice that provides a common sense and thought-provoking take on relatable topics that concern all Americans. Mike Rogers brings that home in his commentary, which gives listeners a chance to pause and reflect on the ideals that are important to us all and are without any political bias.” Outgoing House IntelligenceWestwood One Committee chair Rogers remarks that surpassing the 150-station mark so fast is “really exciting” and that listener feedback is inspiring. “It truly is an honor to be welcomed into cars, homes, and businesses of so many people across the country.  Sometimes, it is the simplest message that has the greatest impact.” Among those airing the commentaries are Cumulus Media New York talker WABC; co-owned Chicago talker WLS-AM; San Francisco talk sibling KSFO; iHeartMedia-owned Miami talk outlet WIOD; and CBS Radio Pittsburgh talker KDKA-AM.

McGraw-Milhaven-PicOdds & Sods. The lucky guy who is all smiles is McGraw Milhaven. The KTRS, St Louis morning man recently took 40 listeners on a 12-day, six-country, 11-city tour of Europe including stops in Berlin, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and London. Milhaven is seen here capturing a memory at the Tower Bridge over the Thames.

Glenn Beck2Beck in the War Room. Sporting an orange ball cap, Premiere Radio Networks host Glenn Beck was among hundreds who turned out last night (Monday, 8/10) in Dallas for the world premiere of the Kendrick Brothers’ film “War Room.” Salem Radio Network vice president of news & talk programming Tom Tradup (on Beck’s left) interviewed Beck, as well as area dignitaries and “War Room” cast members. The red carpet event was held at Dallas’ Majestic Theatre.

Barack Obama, Donald Trump and Megyn Kelly were the Most Talked About People on News/Talk Radio Yesterday (8/9).  Top topics included GOP Debate(s) on Fox, the Iran Nukes Deal and Immigration Reform.  According to TALKERS research, fallout from last week’s audience record-breaking GOP debate on Fox News Channel continues to dominate conversation on news/talk radio across America.  Other hot topics include the presidential election in general – especially Bernie Sanders’ encounters with the Black Lives Matter movement, Hillary Clinton’s email controversy and Jeb Bush’s problems gaining (or holding onto) traction.

Friday, April 24, 2015

| April 24, 2015

swansonjackJack Swanson to Lead KCBS, San Francisco Programming.  Legendary spoken-word programmer Jack Swanson is named director of news and programming for KCBS “All News Radio 740AM and 106.9FM.”  CBS RADIO SVP and market manager Doug Harvill says, “Jack has a distinguished track record of leading iconic radio stations.  He’s a terrific leader with a deep understanding of how a marketkcbs-am logo leading station such as KCBS can be a trusted and active member of its community.”  Swanson served for years as vice president of programming at Cumulus Media’s KGO and KSFO, San Francisco.  He began his radio career as a news anchor/reporter for WLS, Chicago before becoming the news and program director for KGO, San Francisco.  From there he became president and general manager for KING-FM, Seattle.  He says, “Being asked to lead one of the best news teams in the country is one of those rare situations that don’t present themselves often.  I’m looking forward to contributing to the amazing growth of this legendary station in the years ahead.”

CBS RadiFruge, Thomas Involved in CBS Radio Programming Changes. Concurrent with CBS Radio Las Vegas vice president of programming Charese Fruge transferring to Houston for similar duties (and to be operations manager there), the company promotes Cat Thomas to succeed Fruge in Las Vegas. Thomas will continue as day-to-day programmer of Las Vegas’ KXTE “X107.5 – Alternative First”; talk KXNT AM & FM; and KXST “CBS Sports Radio 1140.” Senior vice president and CBS Radio Houston market manager Sarah Frazier comments, “Charese is a talented programmer and leader. Her longstanding relationships in the music industry, passion for radio, and ability to create special experiences for the listener are an integral part of why she is such a great fit for Houston. We are thrilled to have her join the Houston team, as we continue to grow and build upon our brands under her guidance.” Frugefrugecharese remarks, “This role is the opportunity of a lifetime and a chance to finally be back in the south. I am honored and am looking forward to working with the Houston team to help take these amazing brands to the next level. I have made lifelong friends in Las Vegas and appreciate them always making me look good.” Meanwhile, senior vice president and CBS Radio Las Vegas market manager Jerry McKenna states, “Cat Thomas is a veteran programming executive whose experience in this market is unmatched. He has thomascatsuccessfully programmed [CHR] KLUC for the better part of two decades and most recently, has been the driving force behind the success of our spoken-word brands. Our stations are in very capable hands.” According to Thomas, “This is a dream come true. We have the biggest brands in the market. I have loved this group since we put these stations together in 1996. None of this would be possible without the passion of our staff. As [the late Ohio State University football coach] Woody Hayes said, ‘You win with people,’ and we have great people from top to bottom.” A member of the Nevada Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame, Fruge will oversee programming for hot AC KHMX “Mix 96.5”; sports outlets KIKK-AM and KILT-AM; country KILT-FM “The Bull”; CHR KKHH “Hot 95-7”; and Spanish contemporary KLOL “Mega 101.” She starts her new assignment – which will include day-to-day PD responsibilities for “Mix” and “Hot” – one week from Monday (5/4). Her resume includes on-air and programming stops in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, San Diego, Denver, and New Orleans. In addition to KXTE, KXNT AM & FM, and KXST, Ohio State University alum Thomas will oversee CHR KLUC “Las Vegas’ #1 Hit Music Station” and hot AC KMXB “Mix 94.1.” Eight years after being night personality at KLUC, Thomas was elevated to program director (1996); he became PD of KXNT AM & FM, KXST, and KXTE last year. Similar to Fruge, Thomas’ first day on his new job is one week from Monday (5/4). Elsewhere at CBS Radio Las Vegas, KLUC assistant program director John “J.B. King” Bernard is promoted to program director and “Mix” assistant program director/music director Jonathan “J. Love” Campbell is boosted to PD of that station. Bernard joined KLUC 17 years ago and has been APD since 2001. He previously worked in San Francisco, Phoenix, and Sacramento. With CBS Radio Las Vegas the past three years, Campbell formerly programmed in Providence, Oxnard-Ventura (California), and Reno (Nevada).

carrhowieThe Howie Carr New England Juggernaut Rolls On.  In a remarkable display of just how potent an independent regional talk radio network can be, radio/newspaper/author phenomenon Howie Carr continues to expand the reach of his Howie Carr Radio Network north into New Hampshire and southeast into Connecticut.  Bringing the growing lineup to 22 radio stations (including flagship WRKO, Boston) are WASR, Wolfeboro, New Hampshire as well as Connecticut’s WMRD, Middletown and WLIS, Old Saybrook.  On penetrating the Nutmeg State, Carr tells TALKERS, “I’ve always had a sizable audience inwliswmrd logo Connecticut, and I’m happy that my listeners there can now find me even more easily.  As a kid, I wanted to go to Wesleyan, and now I’m in Middletown — and Old Saybrook.”  Don DeCesare, president/GM of WLIS/WMRD adds, “We’re thrilled to have Howie Carr as part of our onair lineup.  Howie has been New England’s voice for years.  We’re proud to add that voice now and be his stations in Connecticut.”  Regarding this latest expansion of Carr’s network, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “It is only going to be a matter of months before the flood dam bursts and Howie Carr becomes a major national host eventually heard in all 50 states.  He is at the top of his game.”  Meet Howie Carr at Talkers New York 2015 on Friday, June 12.  The annual conference is on the verge of a sellout.  For registration and sponsorship information call 413-565-5413 or click here.

medvedmichaelSalem Radio Network Welcomes Michael Medved Back. It’s a gradual return to his daily, syndicated talk radio show, but Michael Medved is slowly working his way back after treatment for throat cancer.  Medved announced his hiatus from the program back on January 30.  Now, SRN VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup says, “We are SO grateful to have Michael Medved transitioning back into his SRN talk show.  Monday he appeared by phone, and Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday he has been in his Seattle studio, hosting guests like U.S. Senator John McCain for discussion of today’s Obama apology for U.S. raids killing two hostages, plus the Senate confirmation of Loretta Lynch as Attorney General of the United States.”  Medved has been a nationally syndicated host for the past 18 years.

nj1015BattleshipNJJim Gearhart and New Jersey 101.5 Morning Show to Broadcast from Battelship New Jersey.  In recognition of Memorial Day, WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” morning host Jim Gearhart and the rest of the morning show will broadcast from the deck of the Battleship New Jersey on May 22.  In a letter inviting listeners to attend the broadcast, Gearhart writes, in part, “While the nation celebrates the start of summer this year, I invite you, your family and friends to honor the service and sacrifice of our veterans and active military during a special live broadcast of the ‘New Jersey 101.5 Morning Show’ aboard America’s most decorated battleship.  The morning show team will be on the deck of Battleship New Jersey, located on the waterfront in Camden on Friday, May 22 joined by veterans, honor guards, military agencies and state dignitaries for patriotic music, discussions and storytelling…As a Naval veteran and the father of two enlisted men, it is my privilege to commemorate our military this Memorial Day Weekend, and I encourage all active and retired servicemen and women, as well as civilians, to come enjoy the show and share their appreciation for those who make America the land of the free and home of the brave.”

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Update.  The Genesis Communications Network-syndicated Dr. Joy Brownebrownejoy show is added to the program schedule on WOMI, Owensboro, Kentucky…..Tom Gresham’s greshamtom“Gun Talk” adds new affiliate stations WCGO, Evanston, Illinois; WMXI-FM, Laurel, Mississippi; KFEQ, Saint Joseph, Missouri; and KELY, Ely, Nevada to its roster…..AdLarge Media reports “The National Marijuana News” program is added to the lineup at: WHIG, Colorado Springs; WPEK-AM, Asheville, North Carolina; and WNOS, New Bern, North Carolina…..Christian radio offering “The HopeLine with Dawson McAllister” is two months into syndication and already heard on nearly 100 stations including recent new affiliates: WGEN-FM, Chicago and the MyGen Radio Network; WTRJ-FM, Jacksonville; and WCLN-FM, Fayetteville, North Carolina.

talkersten logoIran Nuclear Negotiations Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of April 20-24.  The negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the ISIS violence tied with the military action taking place in Yemen.  Coming in at #3 was the 2016 presidential prospects tied with the scrutiny of the operation of the Clinton Foundation, followed by the death of two hostages at the hands of American drones at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

| April 9, 2015

naglerharveyCBS Radio News VP Harvey Nagler to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award at Talkers New York 2015. The editorial board of TALKERS magazine has named longtime radio news executive Harvey Nagler, VP of CBS Radio News, the recipient of the publication’s 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award. The award will be presented to Nagler during the Awards Ceremony at the forthcoming Talkers New York 2015 convention on Friday, June 12. Nagler, a native of Brooklyn, New York began his distinguished career in 1966 as a reporter for WCTC-AM, New Brunswick, NJ upon graduating from Rutgers University with a degree in American History. He was named Vice President, CBS Radio News in January, 1998. In this position, he is responsible for CBS News’ radio operations worldwide, including news gathering and2015 NYC 150 programming and its relationship with its thousands of affiliated stations around the country. In his distinguished career, Nagler had served as general manager, CBS Radio News (1997-98). During his tenure at CBS Radio News, the network has won dozens of national and international awards. He was chosen Radio News Executive of the Year in 2006 and 2008 in a poll taken by Radio & Records magazine. In 2010, CBS Radio News won the coveted Edward R. Murrow “Overall Excellence Award” from the Radio Television News Directors Association for the fourth year in a row. In March, 2010, Nagler was honored with the RTNDA’s First Amendment Service Award, which is presented to a person of distinction who works in an off-air, management capacity. In 2014, he received the Radio Television Digital News John F. Hogan Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes an individual’s contributions to the journalism profession and freedom of the press. Prior to joining CBS Radio News, Nagler was director, news and programming for WCBS-AM, New York “Newsradio 88,” (1987-97). During that time, the station achieved record ratings and was honored with many national and local awards for excellence in reporting. Nagler developed and implemented several practices which have since been adopted or imitated by hundreds of stations across the country, including the slogan, “traffic and weather, together on the ‘eights’” and “guaranteed weather,” as well as the broadcast of the Standard & Poor’s future numbers in each morning’s business report. He joined WCBS-AM from the United Stations Radio Networks, where he had been VP, news and sports (1985-87) and director of news operations (1979-84, when it was the RKO Radio Networks). The network grew from a small group of stations to a news organization serving 500 affiliates. Before that, Nagler worked for the ABC Radio Network in a variety of capacities (1968-79). Upon making the announcement of the board’s decision, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison stated, “What a wonderful choice! Harvey is the face of and force behind one of the finest operations in all of radio. At a time when the very reputation of journalism is in jeopardy and its role as a distinguished, vital institution in a great nation is in flux, CBS Radio News has stood proudly and strong as a bastion of consistency, quality and dependability. We are all indebted to Harvey Nagler for being a champion of all that is good about our business, not to mention humanity in general. We are honored that he will be attending our event and receiving this award.” Former recipients of this award include Norm Pattiz, Jim Bohannon, Barry Farber and Don Barrett. The award will be presented at Talkers New York 2015 along with awards for Humanitarian of the Year, Woman of the Year and Freedom of Speech. WOLB, Baltimore host Larry Young has been named recipient of the Humanitarian of the Year Award. The recipients of the other two will be named in the coming days. Talkers New York 2015 is on the verge of a sell-out. For information, call 413-565-5413 or click here.

Bob SchiefferCBS’ Schieffer Calling it Quits. Speaking last night (Wednesday, 4/8) at the annual Schieffer Symposium at his alma mater (Texas Christian University), CBS News‘ “Face the Nation” anchor Bob Schieffer revealed a major career decision. “Because this is where my professional career began, this is where I wanted all of you to be the first to know: This summer I am going to retire,” states the 78-year-old Schieffer, who has interviewed every president since Richard Nixon. After Schieffer’s intentions were made public, CBS News president David Rhodes issued a memo to staff, which reads, in part, “[Bob] has been an inspiration and a mentor to so many colleagues – and frankly – to me [but] it is not over yet. He will be on the air this Sunday from the Washington, DC bureau – and for a number of Sundays to come. An important 2016 campaign season is beginning, but this is Bob’s night and I hope we can all celebrate with him the remarkable achievement which is his career here at CBS.” In his 46 years with CBS News, Schieffer has been the network’s chief Washington, DC correspondent since 1982 and has hosted “Face the Nation” (which has a radio edition) since 1991. Schieffer anchored the Saturday edition of “CBS Evening News” for 23 years and was interim anchor of the “CBS Evening News” from March 2005 to August 2006. He is one of the few reporters in Washington, DC to have covered the Pentagon, the White House, Congress, and the State Department.

Saga LogoSaga Acquires Harrisonburg Quintet. The amount of the transaction was not disclosed, but Saga Communications is purchasing five VerStandig Broadcasting outlets and one translator in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Saga Communications president and chief executive officer Ed Christian comments, “These stations fit very well into our model of owning heritage radio stations that are very tightly focused on serving their local communities. We look forward to working with the existing staff to continue the great heritage that these stations have established. Saga intends to continue building its business in both the radio and television markets by identifying and acquiring middle market stations.” Involved in the sale are WHBG “ESPN 1360″; adult contemporary WJDV “Fresh 96.1”; CHR WQPO “Q-101”; talk WSVA; and rock WTGD “105.1 Bob.” The translator is W221CF. Saga’s other two Virginia clusters are in Norfolk and Charlottesville. While subject to FCC approval, the deal is expected to be finalized in two months. VerStandig keeps its four Hagerstown, Maryland facilities.

cbssportsradiologoCBS Sports Radio Brings Two ‘Eye On’ Shows to Roster.  Returning to the CBS Sports Radio Network program schedule are two of the network’s “Eye On” programs.  “Eye On Baseball,” begins this Saturday, April 11, with CBS Sports Radio’s Adam Gerstenhaber and baseball analyst CJ Nitkowski co-hosting.  It will air every Saturday from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon ET through the World Series.  The first show will feature former Colorado Rockies general manager and current MLB Network analyst, Dan O’Dowd.  “Eye On Basketball” will focus on everything basketball and features CBS Sports Radio’s Jody McDonald and CBSSports.com’s Ken Berger.  That show debuts Saturday, April 25 and will air every Saturday from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET through the end of the NBA playoffs.

Odds & Sods.  A familiar voice to Boston news junkies will be gone after June when 36-year station news personality Anthony Silva retires from CBS RADIO-owned all-news WBZ, Boston.  Silva turns 65 and stationsilvaanthony director of news and programming Peter Casey says in a memo to staff: “While I’m happy that Anthony is able to determine his own fate and announce his retirement, I’m also thinking that the loss of his voice, experience, and his gentlemanly manner will be a challenge for us to replace.  We could not be happier for him to be able to plan the next phase of his life on his own terms.”…..The weekly sports talk show “Talk of Fame” begins airing on Dickey Broadcasting-owned WCNN, Atlanta this Saturday (4/11).  The two-hour show is hosted by award-winning sports journalists and Pro Football Hall of Fame Board of Selectors Ron Borges, Rick Gosselin and Clark Judge.  Dickey Broadcasting president David Dickey says, “Dickey Broadcasting Company is thrilled to team up with Skyview Networks to carry ‘Talk of Fame’ on WCNN.  The content is compelling, and we look forward to making it available to our many loyal listeners.”…..CBS RADIO’s WCCO, Minneapolis will receive the 2015 Service to America Award from the National Association of Broadcasters’ Education Foundation (NABEF).

SRNtradupJesusSalem Radio News Investigates Hollywood and Christianity.  Pictured here with Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup (left) is Argentina-born actor Juan Pablo DiPace (right) who is currently seen in the role of Jesus Christ in the NBC series, “A.D.: The Bible Continues.”  DiPace sat for an interview with Tradup in Dallas as SRN is producing a series of reports on how Hollywood depicts scriptural passages in films and on TV.

Iran Nuclear Negotiations, South Carolina Black Motorist Slaying, Rand Paul Bid/2016 Presidential Prospects, Russian Hack of White House, Tsarnaev Verdict, Yemen Military Action, Clinton White House Years, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/8). The negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program; the case of the shooting death of a black motorist by a South Carolina police officer; Rand Paul’s bid for president and other 2016 prospects; allegations the Russians hacked the White House computers; the guilty verdicts for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev; the Saudi-led military action in Yemen; Kate Andersen Brower’s book about the White House behind the scenes; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

| August 21, 2014

Ferguson Provides News/Talk Radio with Red Meat on Controversial Issues for Both Left and Right.  The tragic events that have unfolded in Ferguson, MO have provided talk radio opinion leaders from the left, right and in-between with more than enough fresh material on mainstay topics around which to build their cases.  Some see it as another horrific indication of unjust racial inequality in America and the troubling expansion of a militarized police state.  Others see it as further infuriating evidence of the rise of crime, unwarranted traduptomplaying of the race card and growing disrespect and lack of support for law enforcement.  Almost all are concerned about its reflection of the declining state of journalism and increasing suppression of the press and First Amendment rights.  Asked by Salem Radio Network VP news & talk programming, Tom Tradup (for a forthcoming article in September’s Townhall Magazine) his take on talk radio’s role in the matter and whether he sees it as negative or positive, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “Ferguson contains a tempest of pressing and controversial American issues. There’s red meat for both the left and right in this tragedy.  Talk radio – collectively – has played a positive role in responding to and covering it by airing all the different ideologies, including those that are politically incorrect, and moving the vital discussion forward.  Some hosts have gone directly to the scene putting local people on the air to present  real life perspectives, thus bringing the public closer to the disturbingly obscured truth.”  The article will contain comments from Sean Hannity, Mike Gallagher, and SiriusXM personality David Webb who went to Ferguson where he interviewed a wide variety of residents including African American businesspeople.  Tradup tells TALKERS, “I’m proud of our industry leading the national conversation on this issue, and look forward to highlighting the great work many shows did inviting audience members to experience the story-behind-the-headlines.”

gallagher mikeMike Gallagher: “I Can – and Will – Do Better.”  On his Salem-syndicated talk program yesterday (Wednesday, 8/20), Mike Gallagher became embroiled with one of his callers (“James”). The two discussed James’ opinion that releasing surveillance video of 18-year-old Michael Brown robbing a convenience store prior to the shooting that took Brown’s life was, in and of itself, a “violent act.” There was considerable shouting between host Gallagher and caller “James” with the latter hanging up. Gallagher maintains the on-air exchange bothered him the rest of the day and it prompted him to write on Facebook Wednesday night, “Today on my radio show, my emotions got the best of me. I have been bothered by that exchange all day and I wanted to formally apologize. While I steadfastly disagree with [caller James’] contention that the surveillance video of Michael Brown robbing a convenience store was not a ‘violent act,’ I should not have interrupted James as I did. I will give a more detailed and specific apology on the air tomorrow, but I wanted to put it in writing tonight. I should not have reacted the way I did, and I certainly should not invite people to call my show and then disagree so passionately that I don’t give them much of a chance to talk. I am sorry. I can – and will – do better.”

mason danDan Mason To Cox Media Group Tampa As OM. To clarify, the Dan Mason appointed operations manager for three Cox Media Group Tampa facilities is the former WODS, Boston program director – not the CBS Radio president and chief executive officer with the same name. CMG vice president and market manager Keith Lawless comments, “Dan’s approach to programming is firmly in line with ours and he is a welcome addition to our team. I am confident his contributions will help us continue to compete and win.” Cox Media Group vice president of programming Steve Smith explains, “We took our time searching for the right fit, and Dan is that guy. He will add his expertise in management and talent development to some of our other super-brands in Tampa. We welcome Dan to the CMG family.” Mason – who begins his new assignment in about two weeks (9/8) – states that he is “thrilled” to join the “fantastic team” in Tampa on “three of the most exciting and unique brands not just within Cox Media Group, but the country. I am grateful to Keith Lawless and Steve Smith for the opportunity to lead the team.” Mason’s Tampa OM duties involve alternative WSUN “97-X,” CHR WPOI “Hot 101.5,” and talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone.” He will also be director of branding & programming for “Hot 101.5.” Mason’s previous programming background includes Clear Channel Miami CHR WHYI “Y-100”; Entercom Sacramento outlets CHR KDND-FM “107.9 The End” and hot AC KBZC “Star 106.5”; and Clear Channel Cleveland CHR WAKS, “96.5 Kiss-FM.”

loesch danaCMG Talkers Clear “The Dana Show.” The agreement for Radio America‘s “The Dana Show” includes Cox Media Group talk outlets in Atlanta (WSB-AM); Orlando (WDBO-FM); Jacksonville (WOKV-AM/FM); Dayton (WHIO-AM/FM); Tulsa (KRMG-AM/FM); and Athens, Georgia (WGAU). Cox Media Group vice president of marketing/news-talk-sports format leader Nick Roberts comments that, “Cox Media Group strongly believes in growing new talk talent — people who can be the next superstars. We believe Dana has the ability to reach the next generation of listeners.” Radio America chief operating officer Mike Paradiso states, “The growth of ‘The Dana Show’ has been outstanding. Dana and all of us at Radio America are excited about her success across the country. It is a privilege to be working with a great company like Cox and their heritage stations.” Host Dana Loesch originates her daily program from Emmis St. Louis’ KFTK.

sabowalterWhen Broadened Aspirations Deserve a Thank-You. For well over one-half century (1926 – 1983), New York City’s female-targeted WOR was America’s #1 rated radio station and the country’s top-biller. Similarly-programmed talkers KABC, Los Angeles and WGN, Chicago were typically second and third. Partnership pioneer Tom O’Neil understood that his business was show business and grew the crown jewel of the RKO Radio Network – WOR – by hiring major stars from other media. Nowadays though, when topflight radio personalities seek to broaden their horizons in other media, most radio managers try to quash such plans. Tipping his cap to the O’Neil model, Sabo Media chief executive officer Walter Sabo strongly suggests that when on-air personalities possess the ambition to do more than radio, management should reward them with a hearty “Thank-You.” Click here to read Sabo’s exclusive TALKERS article.

donahue harryDonahue to Retire from KYW. After a five-decade Philadelphia broadcasting career, Harry Donahue is retiring. Tomorrow (8/22) is the last day on the job for the morning drive co-anchor at CBS Radio-owned all-news KYW. CBS Radio Philadelphia senior vice president and market manager Marc Rayfield states, “Harry’s voice is one of Philadelphia’s most familiar. His contributions to KYW are immeasurable. He is a consummate professional and will be sorely missed by those who have worked with him all these years, as well as our many listeners who set their alarms to 1060 each morning.” Donahue reflects that when he was hired at KYW, “I couldn’t believe it. It was, and remains, the preeminent radio station in Philadelphia. I have done what I always wanted to do. To work in my hometown and having been part of this iconic radio station – it just doesn’t get any better.” Donahue joined KYW in 1973. He began his career as an announcer for Philadelphia’s former WPBS (now WUSL) and as a manager of media relations for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Donahue is the longtime play-by-play voice for Temple University athletics – men’s football and basketball. The latter is heard on KYW’s talk sibling WPHT; he will continue those responsibilities.

hartmann thomTree Media Releases Climate Crisis Film “CARBON.” Production company Tree Media is supported by the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (DiCaprio is the film’s narrator). Made in collaboration with nationally syndicated, WYD Media progressive talk host (and recipient of the 2014 TALKERS Freedom of Speech Award) Thom Hartmann, CARBON explores crucial issues related to the climate crisis. Hartmann stresses, “We need serious action to address the most pressing issue of our time. Communities across the world have taken action in the most direct and effective ways possible by taxing and trading carbon. For us to beat this crisis, many more need to join.” According to DiCaprio, “97% of climate scientists agree: Climate change is happening now and humans are responsible. We cannot sit idly by and watch the fossil fuel industry make billions at our collective expense.  We must put a price on carbon — now.” This is the first film in the “Green World Rising” series that will include three additional ones covering solutions to the climate crisis. Director Leila Connors explains, “This film is meant to be an asset for the climate movement and to generate momentum for the global reduction of carbon emissions. We must move toward renewable energy and to create a real solution.” CARBON was produced by George DiCaprio, Mathew Schmid, Roee Sharon and Earl Katz, and presented by Thom Hartmann.

Mark Hochman 250Return of the Hochman Burger. For the second year, Beasley Broadcast Group Miami’s WQAM “Sports Radio 560” afternoon (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm) driver Marc Hochman can go into a certain Boca Raton establishment – Red’s Backwoods BBQ – and order a burger that is named after him. “As a guy, I don’t think there is a bigger honor than [that],” he contends. “In my radio career, I have interviewed everyone from Hulk Hogan and Mike Tyson to Pat Sajak and Al Roker. As a program director, I have been nominated twice for ‘Sports Radio Station of the Year’ for the Marconi Awards, but I have never been more proud of anything than [this]. For the record, the “Hochman Burger” is accompanied with cheddar cheese, barbeque sauce, and is topped with Funyuns.

NFL LogoTrojans Live 125Los Angeles’ KFWB to Air NFL and NCAA Slate. Set to launch the station’s all-sports format early next month, KFWB, Los Angeles newly-named program director Owen Murphy reveals KFWB will carry a complete schedule of NFL and NCAA play-by-play. In addition, the hour-long USC sports spotlight “Trojans Live” will return for its second season. The Tuesday evening (6:00 pm – 7:00 pm) program devoted to USC sports features men’s head football coach Steve Sarkisian. This is KFWB’s fifth year as flagship of the NBA‘s Los Angeles Clippers and it becomes the exclusive Los Angeles home for Westwood One‘s coverage of all NFL Sunday night, Monday night and Thursday night games. That schedule begins in two weeks (9/4) when Green Bay takes on reigning champion Seattle. Murphy states, “With rumors swirling about the NFL draft coming to Los Angeles in 2015, and maybe an NFL team as well, we could not be more excited to deliver great Westwood One football programming to a football hungry town so deserving of its own team. There is no better product than Westwood One’s March Madness play-by-play and we are proud to have the opportunity to present it to the most passionate and knowledgeable hoops fans in America.” The station’s broadcast schedule will include the NFC and AFC Championship games, Pro Bowl, and next February’s Super Bowl.

ragozino mike“Ragz” To Program Portland’s “Game.” Alpha Media Portland sports outlet KXTG “750 The Game” names Mike “Ragz” Ragozino program director and afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm) host. Executive vice president of programming Scott Mahalick comments, “‘Ragz’ is uniquely qualified to lead the staff of ‘The Game’ and practice what he preaches everyday on the air. He ‘gets’ the entertainment factor in sports radio like no one else in this business.” Ragozino reflects that ever since he got into the radio business, “It was always about taking a new challenge head on, without fear of failure, having fun and most importantly, entertaining the audience. Joining Alpha Media – and more specifically ‘750 The Game’ – offers me a chance to do what I love for an incredible company in a beautiful city that has the same passion for sports as I do.” The Queens, New York native has 12 years of classic rock programming/on-air experience at WNNJ, Sussex, New Jersey and WAOR, South Bend, Indiana. When WAOR flipped to sports in May 2012, it enabled “Ragz” to accomplish his dream of programming an all-sports station. In addition to programming it, he co-hosted a weekly one-hour show with Heisman Trophy winner Tim Brown. Ragozino begins his Portland assignment in just over two weeks (Monday, 9/8).

BOB Logo 125BOB-FM to the Romantic Rescue. “You’ll hear all sorts of stuff” is the way BOB-FM positions itself and a recent audio clip from the station underscores that positioning statement. This particular BOB-FM though is not an adult hits outlet here in the United States, but a radio station broadcasting at 106.7 and 106.9 in Knebworth, Hertford, Ware, Hatfield, Stevenage, Hitchin, Letchworth Garden City, Welwyn Garden City and Watton-at-Stone. Knebworth most likely gave away the location as the United Kingdom. Reminiscent of something syndicated personality “Delilah” or Karen Sharp on her nightly “Love Songs” show on Los Angeles adult contemporary KOST “Coast 103” might do, BOB-FM morning talents (or “breakfast presenters,” as they are more elegantly called) Graham Mack and Amy Stevenson came to the aid of a young woman (“Sarah”) yearning to reconnect with her dream man (“Sam”). The back-story is that Sarah met Sam at a music festival that featured Justin Timberlake and it was love at first sight. The snafu was that Sarah didn’t get Sam’s number, so she did what was only logical – call BOB-FM to track him down. Her email to Mack and Stevenson recapped that part of the story and stated her desire to meet the 25-year-old, 6′ 5″ Hertfordshire dog trainer. It took Mack and Stevenson all of two days to locate him. Especially if you are a hopeless romantic, click here to listen to the complete interchange.

marshall robin“Proactive” Patient Will Overcome Ovarian Cancer. That is what Robin Marshall optimistically writes on her Facebook page. Cumulus Media‘s “Sound Solutions” production manager states that, “Short and sweet,” she has stage two or slight stage three Ovarian cancer but “all was removed.” Doctors “did snippets” from her other organs for biopsy purposes and regardless of the results,” Marshall will be treated with “a very strong regiment of chemo.” As she laments, “It is nothing that anyone looks forward to.” Realizing she has a difficult road ahead, Marshall will remain in the hospital until this Saturday (8/23), but she declares, “I have hope.” At the “end of the day,” however, Marshall stresses, she will survive Ovarian cancer because, “I was proactive. There are no options – I want to live.”   

ISIS Beheading, Ferguson Turmoil, Rick Perry Indictment, Gaza Crisis and ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Among Top Talk Stories Yesterday (8/20).  The stories listed in this headline were some of the most talked about on news/talk radio yesterday  However the breaking story of ISIS beheading American journalist James Wright Foley was by far the most-dominating conversation on American talk radio according to the ongoing research from TALKERS.  Check here tomorrow for the complete top stories and most-talked-about people listings for the entire week.

Le3007_texas_a&m_aggies-alternate-2012arfield Launches Spanish Network for Texas A&M Football. Beginning with next week’s (8/28) season opener against South Carolina, fans of the Texas A&M Aggies will hear complete Texas A&M pigskin game coverage in Spanish on Univision Radio Houston’s KLAT; Salem Espanol San Antonio’s KRDY; KAMA, El Paso; and MBM Radio McAllen’s KVJY. Aggies games will also be on SiriusXM Deportes en Vivo Channel 551. Chancellor John Sharp of The Texas A&M University System explains, “It is important we share the Texas A&M brand across the state, To do so, we need a Spanish language option for our fans. We believe this is a real step forward for Aggie sports as we begin our third season in the SEC.” The Texas A&M Spanish Network will feature Pedro Vela Almaguer on play-by-play and Alberto Rodriguez doing color commentary. There are 55 English-language radio affiliates on the Texas A&M Sports Network. All 12 Aggies’ regular season and any postseason games will be carried on the Texas A&M Spanish Network.

TALKERS Affiliate Roundup. Rich Beem & Sandy McIlree-hosted “Beemer & the Bald Guy” welcome Cumulus Myrtle Beach, South Carolina’s WSEA “100.3 The Team” as an affiliate to its Nineball Radio Networks-distributed Sunday morning golf show.

Monday, July 15, 2013

| July 15, 2013

Talk Radio Stations Answer Call for Live Radio After Zimmerman Verdict.  The number of talk radio stations that rose to the occasion after the George Zimmerman verdict late Saturday night and the following day was, according to TALKERS sources around the country, surprisingly large considering the time (especially in the East) that the verdict was announced.  Certainly there were many stations caught unaware at that late hour but even many of those that were not able to bring local talent in for a live program were prepared enough to air network coverage of the news.  Several TALKERS sources report hearing local talent take to the air in the Pacific Time Zone and put callers on the air to discuss the case.

madisonjoeSiriusXM’s Joe Madison Races to Cover Zimmerman Verdict; Broadcast Response to Case.  High-profile talk media personality Joe Madison lived up to his moniker “The Black Eagle” late Saturday night after the Sanford, Florida jury reached its verdict and found George Zimmerman not guilty of the charges against him in the death of Trayvon Martin.  Minutes after the verdict was announced, Madison went to the SiriusXM Washington, DC broadcast facility to do a live broadcast that aired from 11:00 pm Saturday evening to 1:00 am Sunday morning on the satcaster’s “Urban View Channel.”  Madison opened up the lines to callers to, as he said, “give people a platform to react and share their feelings.”  SiriusXM reports, “It was a powerful show.  Major figures joined the show by telephone – among them Rev. Jesse Jackson; Ben Jealous, president/CEO, NAACP; Marc Morial, president National Urban League; attorney Daryl Parks, co-attorney for the family of Trayvon Martin; and Roslyn Brock, chairwoman of the NAACP.  ‘Urban View’ then went into a special schedule all day Sunday, serving as a sounding board for listener response.  The channel aired live shows taking calls from around the country throughout the day.”

traduptomMedia Coverage of Zimmerman Verdict Analyzed and Criticized.  In the immediate aftermath of the George Zimmerman verdict, the news/talk radio industry is analyzing media coverage of the case – especially from cable news/talk outlets and what some talk radio practitioners tend to call the “left-leaning mainstream media.”  In a somewhat high-profile incident, former temporary Associated Press staffer Cristina Silva, who had left the news organization before the incident, according to the AP, Tweeted: “So we can all kill teenagers now?  Just checking.”  Salem Radio Networks VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup tells TALKERS magazine that after learning about this he, as a member of the TV Digital News Directors Association, as well as an AP subscriber, contacted AP executive editor Kathleen Carroll.  She informed Tradup that Silva was “a temp who no longer works for us.”  Breitbart.com reports Silva worked for the AP for the past three years with her last byline being July 9 of this year.  Tradup has more to say about the coverage he witnessed and the radio broadcasts he heard to those he saw on cable TV.  He writes, “Radio (gasp) simply covered the verdict.  ABC, SRN, CBS, local stations…all pretty much the same model:  No scary theme music, no weird camera angles, and no need to manufacture emotions or distort what happened.  Just the facts…Not on cable.  Kate Bolduan and Chis Cuomo on, of course, a special edition of CNN’s “New Day” program, reporting on the verdict with agonized scowls on their faces…presenting video of ‘major cities’ all over America where protesters marched after the verdict had been announced.  An objective viewing of the ‘protests’ revealed turnout to be literally dozens of people.  Cuomo physically wrung his hands as he opined that people nationwide are ‘disturbed’ by the verdict.  Kate Bolduan sat stoically next to him, nodding and grimacing over the jury’s verdict on this travesty of a ‘news’ program.  On MSNBC, Melissa Harris-Perry suggested that ‘all over America, African-American parents are hugging their children tighter’…implying that they are trembling in their homes as a result of the Sanford, Florida jury action.  What unsubstantiated baloney. How insulting to African-Americans.  How insulting to our entire legal system.  The state of broadcast journalism in America has always been pretty low, an occasional Edward R. Murrow notwithstanding.  But the deifying of Trayvon Martin by CNN and other cable myna birds simply to generate ratings makes me happy to instead operate in radio news…where actual facts still matter.  Our TV counterparts have served up disgraceful bias and doctored opinions disguised as ‘news coverage.’”

marconiawardSports Talkers Outshine News/Talkers in 2013 NAB Marconi Award Personality Honors Finalists.  The National Association of Broadcasters announces the finalists for the 2013 NAB Marconi Awards honoring personalities and radio stations for excellence.  The winners will be announced at the NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner & Show at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel in Orlando on September 18.  This year, in the major market and syndicated categories, news/talk personalities are noticeably absent while sports talk talent is prominent.  Fox Sports Radio/Premiere Networks’ Petros & Money are finalists in the syndicated category and in the major market category, WFAN, New York’s Boomer & Carton and KTCK, Dallas’ “The Musers” (George Dunham and Craig Miller) are finalists.  Clear Channel news/talk KFI, Los Angeles is up for Legendary Station, as is Entercom’s sports talk WEEI, Boston and CBS Radio all-newsers KYW, Philadelphia and WBBM, Chicago.  News/talk and sports are dominant in the Large Market Station of the Year category with CBS Radio’s WCCO, Minneapolis; Cumulus Media’s WPRO-AM, Providence; Entercom’s WWL-AM, New Orleans; and CBS Radio’s WXYT-FM, Detroit all in contention.  View all of the finalists here.

sedanojorgeJorge Sedano to Exit WQAM, Miami to Join ESPN.  The Florida SunSentinel reports that WQAM, Miami program director and afternoon drive personality Jorge Sedano will leave the station he’s been with for 11 months to take a multi-platform position with sports giant ESPN.  The specifics of his new position with ESPN are unclear but he is expected to start there in the fall.  Sedano is a fixture in sports media in South Florida and has also worked at Lincoln Financial Media’s WAXY.  He took over the program director position at WQAM after four months away from radio in the market during which he pursued TV opportunities.  He replaced Lee Feldman who exited the WQAM PD post for opportunities outside the radio business.  Sedano also hosted the pre- and post-game shows for Miami Heat games on the Sun Sports telecasts.  Obviously, this opens up a great sports talk radio opportunity in South Florida.

imusdonMerlin Media’s WWIQ, Philadelphia Replaces Lionel with Don Imus in AM Drive.  New York-based media personality Lionel – seen by New Yorkers both in the early morning and during evening news casts on WPIX-TV – waslionel piped in alongside former morning host Al Gardner when Merlin turned the station into a talk-formatted outlet after purchasing it from Family Stations, Inc.  Gardner exited the station in March of this year and Lionel remained in AM drive.  In addition to his work with WPIX-TV, Lionel also operates the successful internet venture lionelmedia.com.

millerchrisFeeding the Endlessly Hungry Mouth: Coming Up with Content for Your Social Media Outreach.  Content gathering is a massive headache for a lot of social media experts.  It can take over two hours a day to do it effectively.  Considering the fact that in radio there are a lot fewer full-time social media folks and a lot more people have added some social media duties to their already long job descriptions, it is even tougher to be consistently interesting, funny or helpful.  In a new column posted today by noted digital radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller, he suggests several types of content.  These include 1) using a lot of photos (they are more convenient and often more effective than videos); 2) posting in-depth articles (all you need is to click to them); 3) posing questions about hot-button stories (talk radio is more adept at this than music radio); and 4) employing the services of Google Alert to help gather material.  To read Chris Miller’s entire piece, please click here.

kernenbobBob Kernen to Serve as VP/COO for jacAPPS.  Jabobs Media’s jacAPPS division – developer of mobile applications – announces internet veteran Bob Kernen will join the company as vice president and chief operating officer.  The company reports that “this move marks a major step in the growth of the company, ranked by Crain’s Detroit Business as the number #2 mobile application developer in Southeast Michigan, and the industry leader in the Business-to-Business category.”  President Paul Jacobs says, “Since its inception in 2008, jacAPPS has been on a consistent, upward trajectory.  As our company nears its fifth anniversary, we needed a visionary with the right blend of media and web experience – and Bob’s the guy.”  Kernen has served as VP/product development and data for Sharecare, creating a digital database, mobile applications, and a comprehensive back-end data system.  Prior to that, he was the co-founder of GrokMusic, oversaw digital product development for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, developed emerging media platforms for A&E Television Networks, and helped develop the digital strategies for Hearst’s Women.com and Microsoft’s Web TV Networks.

katzjeffspeaksJeff Katz Subs in Morning Drive at WRNO, New Orleans.  Former “TALK 1200” Boston (WXKS-AM) morning man Jeff Katz sets his alarm clock pretty early tomorrow morning — if only for a day – as he’ll fill in on Clear Channel’s news/talk WRNO-FM, New Orleans.  Katz provides a thrice-daily commentary heard on WCAP, Lowell-Boston and has recently been heard filling in for Compass Media Networks nationally syndicated host Todd Schnitt and New England Talk Network regional host Michael Graham.

trautmannconradDial Global’s Conrad Trautmann Given ‘Engineer of the Year’ Honor.  Dial Global announces chief technology officer Conrad Trautmann has been named “Chapter Engineer of the Year” by the Society of Broadcast Engineers’ Chapter 15 (SBE 15), which serves the New York City metro area.  Trautmann is the first recipient of this new award, which recognizes the efforts of a specific individual who best furthers the goals and objectives of their SBE Chapter and provides an outstanding example of local/regional leadership and ethics.  SBE 15 chapter chairman Jeff Smith states, “We are thrilled to honor Conrad with our first ‘Chapter Engineer of the Year’ award.  Within Conrad’s 30-plus years of service to SBE 15, he was instrumental in reestablishing the chapter in the 1980s after declining membership and financial troubles caused the Chapter to cease operations.  Conrad is recognized for implementing a model that has made SBE 15 the largest and most financially stable SBE local chapter in the country.”  Trautmann oversees the company’s broadcast engineering, program distribution, back-office IT, and software development.  He is a nationally recognized and respected leader in the broadcast engineering field, with prior senior engineering positions at Dial Global, Westwood One, Metro Networks, Cox Radio, and Chancellor Media.

kroibarajasconductsHe Was Born in a Crossfire Hurricane.  All-news KROI, Houston’s Mike Barajas show off his conducting and Mick Jagger moves as he leads the Houston Symphony Orchestra in a rendition of the Rolling Stones’ classic “Jumpin’ Jack Flash.”  The “News 92 FM” afternoon anchor received a little help from Symphony conductor Brent Havens as he assisted the performance of the works of the Rolling Stones at Jesse H. Jones Hall.  Photo by Robert Land Productions.

Monday, February 25, 2013

| February 25, 2013

nms2013logoMike Francesa to Address Industry at Talkers New York 2013.  The list of major speakers continues to grow as WFAN, New York afternoon drive sports talk goliath Mike Francesa joins the roster of industry leaders who will be speaking at “TALKERS New York 2013,” the 16th annual installment of talk radio’s longest-running and most important francesamikeannual convention.  Francesa will deliver a solo keynote address titled, “The Sports Talk Radio Phenomenon.”  He will discuss how sports talk fits into the general radio industry, where it is going both locally and nationally and how it operates within the business model of the PPM world.  Francesa, who has been a major host on WFAN since the late 1980s, is also seen across the nation on the YES Network simulcast of his radio show and hosts a syndicated weekend program “The NFL Now” in addition to participating in numerous other sports broadcasting projects.  He is currently ranked number one on the TALKERS Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk Radio Hosts holding the position as the Most Important Sports Talk Radio Host in America.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “The addition of Mike Francesa as the sports talk radio keynote speaker at this year’s conference puts it over the moon.  One of the big buzzes of the business is the relentless growth of this exciting branch of the talk radio universe.  Who better than the king of the format to give insights into the genre’s place in the scheme of things?  We are delighted!”  More headliners will be named in the coming days along with the 50-plus speakers that will be participating in the conference.  The event is set for Thursday, June 6, 2013 at the Concierge Conference Center on Manhattan’s East Side.  Registration for the day including all activities and food service is $199 per person.  An advance sellout is expected due to space limitations.  Registration is limited to members of the working media and can only be taken via telephone.  For registration and sponsorship information call 413-565-5413.  Complete agenda details are being posted daily.  Stay tuned.

schnitttoddTodd Schnitt Not Giving Up on Bubba the Love Sponge Lawsuit.  The Tampa Bay Times reports talk show host Todd Schnitt has fired his legal team, hired a new lawyer and is continuing to pursue legal action against former crosstown rival Bubba the Love Sponge (Todd Clem).  The first trial ended in a victory for Bubba as the jury decided not to awardbubba Schnitt and wife Michelle damages for defamation over a series of criticisms and accusations Bubba leveled at Schnitt when he competed with Bubba in morning drive as MJ Kelli.  Now, Schnitt has fired C. Phillip Campbell and Jonathan J. Ellis and has hired Wil Florin to represent him and his wife.  Regular TALKERS readers are aware of the bizarre elements of the previous trial:  Campbell being pulled over for DUI while driving the car of a young paralegal who, unbeknownst to him, worked for Bubba’s lawyer’s firm; the tip-off to police that Campbell was driving the car was made by someone from that same firm; and Bubba’s lawyers had possession of Campbell’s briefcase for 18 hours (though they say they didn’t open it).  That missing briefcase is the basis for the new suit.  How this will end is anybody’s guess, but one thing is for sure: Both Schnitt and Clem are spending a lot of money on legal fees.  Yes, they are getting a lot of publicity for their radio programs but it is very expensive publicity.

ingrahamlauraLaura Ingraham Added to American Forces Network.  Courtside Entertainment Group announces today that the Laura Ingraham show is being added to the American Forces Network with the opportunity to be heard by more than one million U.S. service members and their families.  Ingraham states, “It is fantastic to be back on the air – and it feels even more special knowing that all of our friends listening on Armed Forces Network can hear us around the globe.  The energy and enthusiasm from listeners, affiliates and advertisers since I returned to the airwaves has been overwhelming.  From Tucson to Jacksonville, from Washington, DC to Seattle, Americans are energized and enthusiastic about our daily conversation about our country’s past, present and future.  Politics is important – but so is the culture around us.  As a single parent of young children and a cancer survivor, I have a unique perspective that connects me with listeners of all political stripes.  Our conversation is a fun-filled ride that moves beyond the Beltway to the real-life ups and downs we all face.”

constantinilynneVeteran Media Executive Lynne Constantini Joins Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze.  The former EVP of affiliate sales and marketing at Scripps Networks Interactive and SVP of programming at Time Warner Cable joins TheBlaze as president of business development.  In her new position Lynne Constantini will oversee the growing network’s content distribution efforts, as well as affiliate marketing, advocacy, business affairs and business development initiatives.  She previously negotiated TheBlaze’s successful carriage deal with DISH as an outside consultant.  Constantini says, “As a cable industry executive and consultant, I have been attracted to the rare independent network that has strong, unique content and a passionate engaged audience that drives results for operators and that is what I have found with TheBlaze.  TheBlaze is unlike other start-up networks; it has a built-in loyal audience, a full slate of live, original programming, speaks to an underserved and growing conservative audience and has extensive marketing reach through affiliated media assets including on radio and on the web.  I am excited to work with Glenn, Chris Balfe and the rest of the team on building TheBlaze and continuing the network’s success in improving the businesses of its distribution partners.”

cookehollandListeners Are Busy and Talent Is Spooked.  That’s the assessment of radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Holland Cooke who asks broadcasters the provocative question:  “RU@Speed-of-Life?’  In today’s article, Cooke says radio programmers must get up to speed (literally) with the intense pace of modern life which, when coupled with the PPM, puts tremendous pressure to manage air time in a way that is in keeping with today’s breakneck tempo.  For example he advises hosts not to begin their shows by listing all the things they’ll be doing before the show ends.  He says programming clock designers should go the extra step in designing transitions between programming elements (such as newscaster to talk show host segments) in a completely seamless manner.  Never stop the action through over-explanation.  Don’t miss this timely and informative piece.  Read it here.

baileyralphTalk Host Ralph Bailey Begins KERN, Bakersfield Program Next Monday.  After quitting his talk show at Buckley Broadcasting’s crosstown KNZR on Thursday after an eight-year stint, Ralph Bailey will take over the PM drive program on American General Media’s KERN.  Bailey wrote on his Facebook page, “It is official!!!  I signed a contract today to join American General Media.  I’ll be Scott Cox‘s guest today at three and begin my own 3-6 p.m. drive time show on Monday, March 4.  I could not be happier!  I have security in a business that is not that secure and for the first time in my life I’m making a little scratch!  I’d like to thank Rogers Brandon and Toni Snyder.  It is great to feel wanted and appreciated.”

californian logoKERN, Bakersfield’s Scott Cox to Anchor The Californian-AGM Morning Show Endeavor.  Talk radio personality Scott Cox is moving away from the PM drive slot that Ralph Bailey is taking over in order to host a new morning program that is a joint effort of American General Media and The Bakersfield Californian.  The show – “First Look with Scott Cox” – will emanate from The Californian newsroom in which a radio studio has been built.  While KERN will coxscottprovide the producers and technical expertise, the newspaper’s reporters will be regular guests during talk segments.  Californian CEO Richard Beene says of the initiative, “The Bakersfield Californian has always prided itself about being on the cutting edge of technology (our website bakersfield.com was launched back in 1995) and we are keenly aware that readers and advertisers are finding new ways to obtain content and reach their advertisers.  That’s why change is part of our company culture, and serving our readers and advertisers on multiple platforms is something we talk about every day.”  The program will also be streamed live in high-definition video on the paper’s website.  Beene writes in his editorial in the paper, “’First Look’ will add to The Californian‘s existing video programming, which includes ‘BVarsity Live,’ live local sports and breaking news.  The Californian plans to expand its live video programming later this year.  So yes, newspapers are alive and well, changing and evolving.  Join us in March for ‘First Look.’”

millerchrisNot All That Glitters is Gold.  According to radio digital consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller, broadcasters should avoid falling under the spell of Facebook “likes” and the impulse to “go viral” — which he describes as “shiny, distracting objects.”  He advises, “The number of Facebook ‘likes’ you have is almost completely without meaning.  In addition, working to have something go viral is probably taking you away from what you should be doing!”  Read Chris Miller’s informative and valuable article here.

benandskinESPN O&O KESN, Dallas Parts Company with Ben & Skin.  Sports talk KESN, Dallas and midday personalities Ben Rogers and Jeff “Skin” Wade were not able to come to terms on a new contract and the duo have left the station.  They wrote on their Facebook page. “We have declined a final offer from ESPN on a new deal.  We’re parting ways with them for now.  Future is unwritten.  Thank you for your support throughout the years.  We are eager to write the next chapter of our adventure.  Stay tuned.”

sweeneyjohnJohn Sweeney Exits WGDJ, Albany.  The former Republican congressman from New York began a one-hour daily talk show at Capital Broadcasting’s “Talk 1300” two weeks ago but has left the station.  The Albany Times-Union reports John Sweeney’s exit comes after it became apparent that the 11:00 am to 12:00 noon time slot was too much for the attorney and political consultant.  Owner and GM Paul Vandenburgh told the paper too many unforeseen scheduling conflicts have made the show untenable.

raytomTECHNICAL WATCH: Radio Moves Beyond ISDN to Deliver Studio Quality Remote Audio.  Welcome to the Age of the IP Codec.  Back in the “good old days,” if you wanted to get audio from point A to point B you had basically two choices: a dedicated land line from good old Ma Bell (a.k.a, the phone company) or you sent a tape.  Then, Ma Bell decided to get rid of dedicated equalized services – at least interstate.  These days, it’s very difficult if not impossible to get a dedicated broadcast service even in the same city.  This prompted devices like the Comrex two-line and three-line frequency extender systems.  These allowed someone to utilize two or three dial-up lines to get audio from one place to another with reasonable audio quality.  The next step was ISDN – a digital dial-up service.  With the development of devices such as the Telos Zephyr, FM quality audio was easily passed, with very little audio delay, between two locations.  This has been the norm now for close to 20 years.  Enter the IP codec – essentially ISDN on steroids.  IP codecs utilize the internet as the transport medium.  Now, for just the cost of the internet service you already have installed, you can literally transport audio all around the world – in many instances with slightly more round-trip delay than with ISDN, but that is easy to work around using mix minus.  Noted radio technical consultant and TALKERS columnist Tom Ray brings us all up to speed on this new era in remote audio delivery in a must-read clear and concise article, here.

tradupguatemalaSalem Radio News Series Spotlights “The Poorest of the Poor.”  SRN vice president/news & talk programming Tom Tradup (pictured here in Guatemala) spent the last week in that Central American country as Salem Radio News prepared a news series titled, “The Poorest of the Poor.”  Speaking about his experience there, Tradup tells TALKERS, “Guatemala is only a few hours by plane from the U.S., but living conditions for youngsters are light years away.  And the statistics take on heartbreaking new meaning when you actually spend time with children there.  We embedded with the American relief agency Food for The Poor to cover both the tragedy and the hope for impoverished children in Guatemala.”  Tradup says Guatemala has the highest malnutrition rate of any country in the Western Hemisphere.  The week-long SRN News special series will profile the challenges facing government and private agencies targeting ways to reverse the grim statistics on malnutrition and infant mortality in Guatemala.

bloomlisaOdds & Sods.  Lisa Bloom – daughter of former radio and television talk show host (and high-profile attorney) Gloria Allred – is joining NBC’s “Today” show as a legal analyst says TVNewser.  Bloom hosted the CourtTV show “Lisa Bloom: Open Court” from 2001 to 2009…..Arbitron’s Carol Hanley is named to the Allliance for Women in Media board of directors.  Hanley serves as SVP, chief sales officer for Arbitron.

kdkaharlemshakeHarlem Shake Takes Over KDKA.  The YouTube phenomenon “Harlem Shake” invades the newsroom at CBS Radio’s KDKA, Pittsburgh.  This still shot is from a video posted on the KDKA-TV website and shows late morning talk host Marty Griffin (in the Santa hat) leading the rest of the crew – including morning hosts Larry Richert and John Shumway and Shelley Duffy, PM drive host Bill Rehkopf, midday host Mike Pintek, sports reporter and weekend host Rob Pratte and creative services director Kelly Pidgeon – in boogeying to the tune.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

| September 6, 2012

Glenn Beck’s The Blaze Fires Up Digital Audio Network; Jay Severin Among Talk Talent.  It’s called – what else? – TheBlaze Radio Network and the new online radio channel will be heard via Beck’s own TheBlaze iPhone and iPad apps as well as via iHeartRadio and at TheBlaze.com.  Beck’s company says the network will be the new exclusive home for “renowned nationally syndicated talk radio personality and Marconi Award-nominee Jay Severin.”  The lineup will also include a simulcast of Beck’s radio show, a re-launched show hosted by Stu Burguiere and Pat Gray as well as audio simulcasts of TheBlaze TV shows.  Dom Theodore, through his consulting firm RadioAnimal, LLC, will serve as the network’s program director.  When the network launches later this month, the lineup will be: the Glenn Beck program from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET;  Pat and Stu from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm; Jay Severin from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm; the simulcast of Beck’s TV show from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm and a simulcast of “Real News from the Blaze” from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  TheBlaze chief content officer Joel Cheatwood states, “We are excited to continue making TheBlaze a destination for news, information and entertainment programming across multiple platforms.  Jay is an incredible talent and is the perfect host to launch The Blaze Network.”

SEC Charging Financial Talker Ray Lucia with Violating Laws, Conducting Misleading Investment Seminars.  The Securities and Exchange Commission announces it is charging nationally syndicated talk host and financial advice author Ray Lucia with violating several sections of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.  The SEC says Lucia’s investment seminars, dubbed “Buckets of Money,” mislead potential investors when Lucia claimed his strategy “had been empirically ‘backtested’ over actual bear market periods.”  Further, the SEC states, “Lucia and RJL have admitted during the SEC’s investigation that the only testing they actually performed were some calculations that Lucia made in the late 1990s – copies of which no longer exist – and two two-page spreadsheets.”  The upshot, according to the FCC, is “Lucia and RJL left their seminar attendees with a false sense of comfort about the Buckets of Money strategy.”  SEC Los Angeles regional director Michele Wein Layne says, “The so-called backtests weren’t really backtests, and the strategy wasn’t proven as they claimed.”  The SEC is seeking “financial penalties and other remedial action in the proceedings.”

KTRH, Houston Talk Host Michael Berry’s the Flashpoint of Controversy in Houston After Tweet.  Former Houston city councilman Michael Berry and talk host at Clear Channel’s news/talk KTRH is the subject of chatter in Houston after a tweet he sent during Michelle Obama’s speech on Tuesday evening has some charging Berry used racist lingo.  Here’s what Berry tweeted: “Several black people were shot by other black people in Chicago while Michelle was speaking.”  He hash tagged it #knuckadeads.  Some say “knucka” or “nucka” is substitute slang for “nigga.”  Berry replies to My Fox Houston reporter Isiah Carey that he meant no racist intent and said Mrs. Obama has used the term to mean hard-headed, like knucklehead.  Carey writes Berry said he was trying to show the Obama administration’s lack of concern over the black-on-black violence in Chicago.

KMJ-FM, Fresno Names Jennifer Lipp AM Drive Host.  Peak Broadcasting brings popular Fresno radio personality Jennifer Lipp to morning drive on the FM side of its KMJ news/talk duo.  Lipp and former co-host Chris Daniel dominated mornings at crosstown rock KRZR in the late 1990s and early 2000s.  Daniel moved on to KMJ and Lipp worked at classic rock KKBZ, Fresno until Lotus Broadcasting let her go in November of 2011.  Now Lipp will host the morning show and Chris Daniel moves from the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm slot to 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm on KMJ-FM.  On her new gig, Lipp states, “It is a dream come true to grow with the KMJ brand.  This is the most exciting endeavor of my career and I am looking forward to the journey with both the listeners who have joined me in the past and those I have not yet had the pleasure of meeting.”  Lipp begins her new show on September 10.

Use Twitter to Help Save Your Job!  Consultant Holland Cooke explains how the Twitter era is forcing talk hosts, news staffers and DJs to “keep it moving” to keep the listener/reader engaged and make money in the process – if those media people use social media efficiently and wisely.  Cooke explains how he advised his clients covering the Republican and Democratic National Conventions to use Twitter to deliver content like no one else and how to make money with it.  Read this enlightening and smart advice here.

Clear Channel Albany Names Josh Everett Program Director for WGY and WOFX.  In addition to programming news/talk WGY-AM/FM and sports talk WOFX, Josh Everett will oversee the News Hub which provides news for 10 Clear Channel Media and Entertainment markets in the Northeast.  CC regional programming manager John Cooper states, “Josh’s extensive background in news/talk as well as sports programming will be an invaluable addition to WGY’s rich heritage and will help us grow WGY, Fox Sports and our News Hub.”  Everett comes to Albany from Clear Channel’s Lexington, Kentucky cluster where he programmed news/talk WLAP and managed local production of the University of Kentucky Wildcats coverage.

Michael Harrison to Speak at the NAB/RAB Radio Show in Dallas.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison will deliver an address provocatively titled, “Can Terrestrial Radio Thrive in the Digital Era?” at the forthcoming NAB/RAB Radio Show in Dallas.  According to Harrison, “The main challenge concerning FM and AM broadcasting at this perilous time in its rich and colorful history is making the transition to the digital age without prematurely sacrificing the value of the stick which is still the economic foundation of this industry and main source of livelihood for its practitioners.”  Harrison also believes that it is important for “radio to be smart and use its traditional on-air assets in confident balanced harmony with its unlimited online potential.”  He states, “The cultural heritage of what we all grew up to think of as ‘radio’ is deeply rooted in the traditions of over -the-air transmission and it is vitally important that in its rush to put everything it has into one internet basket, radio avoids losing its core identity, its soul, that separates it from being just another online music or informational utility.”  Harrison advises that just as talk radio has claimed “ownership” of politics in America and sports radio has claimed “ownership” of the country’s sports juggernaut, “music radio must reclaim its lost ownership of the music culture.”  He says the first step in accomplishing this is to bring back the colorful DJ as the backbone of the radio station’s presentation and the street savvy music director as its ear to what’s really going on out there.  Radio must not only ‘relate’ to this element, it must aggressively lead it as well.”  Harrison will be speaking at a special info-session sponsored by TALKERS magazine on Wednesday, September 19 between 10:15 am and 11:15 am.  All Radio Show registrants are encouraged to attend.

Day Three at DNC in Charlotte.  President Obama’s nomination acceptance speech will cap the three-day Democratic National Convention this evening and talk hosts, news networks and reporters spent yesterday covering the political chatter, campaigning and critiques of this convention.  Talk Radio Network O&O news organization America’s Radio News Network is one of the national radio news operations on the ground at this convention.  ARNN tells TALKERS co-anchors Lori Lundin and Rachel Crowson along with producers and technical staff, have been supplying live interviews and news updates to all five of the three-hour, long-form news programs the network offers.  Guests on the network from yesterday included: Eleanor Smeal, a two-time president of the National Organization for Women; Diana Degette (D-CO), chief deputy whip; Cumulus Media Networks host and journalist Geraldo Rivera; and acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank, among others.  ABC News Radio and Salem Radio Network are also covering the convention and ABC’s Steve Jones (l) and Salem’s Tom Tradup (r) took a moment to pose for this shot from the convention center for TALKERS.

Talent Shuffle at Alpha Broadcasting’s Sports KXTG, Portland.  A programming shift at “750 The Game” in Portland brings DirecTV/Fox Sports Radio syndicated host Dan Patrick to the station for morning drive beginning today.  The move bumps morning host Chad Doing to the PM drive slot and current afternoon host John Canzano to the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show.  Business and marketing expert Brian Berger gives up his midday show but remains with the station to dispense his wisdom on the station’s various programs and online.

DirecTV Gives “The Nick and Artie Show” a TV Simulcast.  The syndicated radio version of the sports and entertainment-centric show hosted by comedians Nick Di Paolo and Artie Lange has been produced by DirecTV since its inception.  Now DirecTV does for “Nick and Artie” what the company’s Dan Patrick has enjoyed – a TV simulcast on DirecTV’s Audience Network channel.  Airing from 10:00 pm to 1:00 pm ET beginning tomorrow night, the company says the duo will “tackle TV with the most outrageous observational humor to be found anywhere.  The guys will review and give their unique takes on the day’s top sports and entertainment stories, along with celebrity interviews, movie reviews, live musical performances and a variety of in-studio segments, from cooking with Artie’s Mom to a game of pool.”

WTOP Promotes Dick Uliano to Full-Time Anchor/Reporter.  The veteran Washington newsman has been working with Hubbard Radio’s WTOP part time as well as contributing to SiriusXM’s POTUS channel and doing part-time anchoring at NPR.  Now, Dick Uliano joins the full-time staff at WTOP.  Uliano’s previous experience includes time spent with the Associated Press and CNN Radio.

Odds & Sods.  NFL great Joe Namath – who is part of Michael Kay’s show on ESPN O&O WEPN-FM, New York where he hosts the “Joe Namath Hour” – discusses the upcoming NFL season in a media conference call today at 10:00 am ET….. Former New Jersey 101.5 night host Tommy G returns to host “New Jersey Today” on Greater Media’s WCTC, New Brunswick from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm on Monday, September 10 and Friday, September 14.  He fills in for station PD Bert Baron, who says, “Tommy G is one of the biggest stars in all of New Jersey radio.  I’m blessed that a talent of his caliber, record of success and current following is a mere phone call away.  He’s a ratings winner that simply makes my station sound better.”…..JC Corcoran has been heard on the airwaves in Chicago as he’s been filling in on Tribune’s WGN.  The longtime St. Louis personality most recently hosted a program at KTRS.  Corcoran tells TALKERS he’ll have Fox Sports star Joe Buck on his show on WGN on Sunday morning at 10:00 am.  Corcoran says Buck is already predicting trouble with the NFL replacement officials, telling him, “I think something catastrophic could happen early in the season that could cost a team a ballgame.”….. Cumulus Media’s sports talk KNBR, San Francisco will serve as the flagship station for Golden State Warriors basketball through the 2015-16 season, the station announces.  It’s been the flagship of the NBA club since the 1976-77 season with the exception of one season in the 1980s.  Cumulus president and CEO Lew Dickey and Warriors co-executive chairman and CEO Joe Lacob appeared on the Murph & Mac show on Wednesday to announce the new deal.

Talk Radio Network’s Jerry Doyle Featured Speaker at Liberty PAC.  The Liberty Political Action Conference takes place September 13-15 in Chantilly, Virginia and funds “Congressman Ron Paul’s political activities as he travels the country to fight for the principles that many hold dear: Liberty, Limited Government and a strong, pro-American foreign policy.”  The three-day conference will include training sessions and personal one-on-one meetings with various speakers and supporters.  Jerry Doyle will be one of the speakers at the conference.

Presidential Campaign/Democratic National Convention, Arizona Immigration Ruling and Hillary Clinton in China Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/5).  The coverage of the Democratic National Convention and the presidential campaign; a federal judge’s ruling that Arizona officers can inquire about immigration status while pursuing information about other crimes; and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s trip to China were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, August 27, 2012

| August 27, 2012

Talk Hosts and News Operations Deal with Logistical Issues and Weather as Republican National Convention Begins in Tampa Today.  The Republican National Convention, a huge “radio row” and live broadcast draw for many radio stations and networks around the country, begins today and talk hosts, programmers and news staffers are dealing with what is already a complex couple of days of remote broadcasting being amplified by the threat from Tropical Storm Issac.  Today’s first day of the RNC is being canceled due to the storm and broadcasters are having to make contingency plans as a result.  From a logistical standpoint, hosts and news staffers may be forced to cram planned interviews and guest appearances originally scheduled across three days into two days on Tuesday and Wednesday.  As for live broadcasts scheduled from the convention center for today, that will depend on how quickly the storm moves through the area.  Salem Radio Network VP of news & talk programming Tom Tradup tells TALKERS SRN’s equipment on radio row is set up but its two early Monday shows – Mike Gallagher and Dennis Prager – will originate from Salem Communications O&O WGUL, Tampa and the Michael Medved and Hugh Hewitt programs will broadcast from the convention center radio row later today.

Lincoln Financial Media Buys Miami FM for Sports Talk Simulcast with WAXY.  West Palm Beach FM WMSF at 104.3 will change hands from Palm Beach Broadcasting to Lincoln Financial Media for a reported $13 million and the latter will use the signal to give sports talk “790 The Ticket” WAXY an FM presence in the South Florida market.  Palm Beach acquired the station from CBS Radio earlier this year.  Palm Beach has applied to move the 104.3 signal from West Palm Beach to Miami and that application is still pending the FCC.  LFM will begin operating the station under an LMA prior to FCC approval of the sale.

Program Director Jay Bohannon Exits Clear Channel’s WPGB, Pittsburgh.  When Clear Channel fired up the Pittsburgh FM talk outlet in January 2004, Jay Bohannon was named the program director.  During his tenure at the station, he was responsible for working with morning show team Jim Quinn and Rose Tennent and bringing the program into syndication.  He also led news/talk branding and imaging for the company.  Bohannon is available for his next opportunity.  Reach out to him at radiojaybo@comcast.net.

Salem Communications to Buy WMUU, Greenville from Bob Jones University.  The station – owned by the Christian college’s Gospel Fellowship Association – currently programs a combo of Christian teaching and beautiful music but that will end when Salem Communications takes over and turns the Greenville, South Carolina FM at 94.5 into a news/talk outlet using programming from the Salem Radio Network.  No price has been announced nor has a start date for an LMA.

WOR Low Price Tag Cause of Angst for AM Radio Owners.  As the dust settles in the aftermath of the recently announced sale of Buckley Broadcastings’ heritage outlet WOR, New York to Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, the cold hard reality of the low price tag is beginning to settle in and it is being perceived as a seriously bad indicator about the value and future of AM sticks.  Industry observers and players alike remember stories about the late Buckley Broadcasting CEO Rick Buckley turning down offers as high as $150 million for the station as recently as a decade ago.  In 2001, Disney paid then-owner The Forward newspaper $78 million for WEVD (1050 AM) to find a New York City outlet for ESPN Radio – a station with a significantly inferior signal than WOR’s.  An article in the New York Daily News reports on the topic: “One of the many nervous discussions in radio these days revolves around the future of AM stations — that is, if they have a future.”  Perhaps the revelations of the WOR deal will usher in an industry station deal cycle marked by what TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison describes as the “lesser fool” theory.

Former Eagles Star Brian Dawkins Joins 97.5 The Fanatic for NFL Coverage.  Former Philadelphia Eagles star Brian Dawkins will be part of the Friday coverage of NFL football on Mike Missanelli’s program each week at 4:10 pm on Greater Media’s WPEN-AM/FM, Philadelphia.  Program director Matt Nahigian says, “There is no one that Eagle fans love and relate to more than Brian Dawkins.  We had him on our air about a month ago and the response we received via Twitter and Facebook about wanting to hear him each week was staggering.  I am thrilled to bring his passion and insight to the Delaware Valley on a week to week basis.”

KLIN, Lincoln Nebraska Names David Dwinell AM Drive Co-Host; Kevin Thomas Promoted to PD.  Dwinell has been working at KLKN-TV, Lincoln as promotions director.  He leaves that position to return to radio where he’ll take the radio moniker Dave Miller as he sits beside Jack Mitchell on NRG Media’s Lincoln news/talker.  The slot on the station’s morning show opened up when John Bishop left the show to go across the hall and join NRG’s 1620 The Zone for its “Unsportsmanlike Conduct” program.  At the same time, KLIN PM drive host Kevin Thomas takes on the program director duties at the station that were previously held by John Bishop.  He’ll continue to host the 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm “Drive Time Lincoln” show.  Also, the sports director post – also previously held by Bishop – goes to Chris Whitney.

Buckley Broadcasting Flips KYZZ, Salinas, California to Sports.  The classic hits format disappears from KYZZ as the former “Z97.9” becomes part of the simulcast of “630 ESPN” KIDD, Monterey and becomes known as “97.9 ESPN Central Coast.”

Programmers Owe it to Themselves to See Obama Movie.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke says of the new movie “Obama’s America 2016,” “If you work in talk radio, you owe it to your audience to understand what all those network commercials in your show are selling.  And as an insider, you’ll recognize the event you’re attending as a theatrical ‘infomercial,’ a rented theater.”  Cooke says that regardless of your personal political viewpoint, as a content creator the film is instructive in numerous ways.  Read Holland Cooke’s analysis here.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie Cuts Ribbon at NJ 101.5 Studio.  Townsquare Media’s New Jersey 101.5 celebrated the opening of its refurbished main studio on August 23 and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was on hand to cut the ribbon.  NJ 101.5 program director Eric Johnson reports the main studio got some brand new carpeting and – more important – new broadcasting equipment to bring the station into the digital era.  PM drive hosts Deminski &Doyle were on the air when the switch was made and the monthly “Ask the Governor” program followed.  Christie was there for the program and made the new studio “official” with his gubernatorial ribbon cutting and he even worked the new digital board (pictured here) during the station’s 8:00 pm newscast.

Dale “The Truckin’ Bozo” Sommers Dies at 68.  The cause of death is not yet public but Dale Sommers had been dealing with unspecified health issues since he left the WLW, Cincinnati overnight program in 2004.  Although he retired from the show at that time, he resumed the program on satellite radio and hosted it until earlier this year when he again gave it up.  As the Cincinnati Enquirer’s John Kiesewetter reports, Sommers’ program made national news twice when it helped solve crimes.  The first time was in 1984 when he was talking off the air with a regular caller who went by the name of “Mississippi Lady,” a convenience store clerk in Camilla, Georgia “when he heard her tell someone, ‘You can’t come back here’ before quickly hanging up the phone.  Sommers called Camilla police, who were familiar with his ‘Bozo Show’ and a store clerk known as the ‘Mississippi Lady.’ Within minutes, an officer apprehended the robber.”  His program was also credited with assisting police is catching the DC sniper in 2002 after a listener heard Sommers give the car’s license plate number over the radio.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

| August 23, 2012

Tom Owens Out at Clear Channel.  With the constant comings and goings of radio people these days – even executives – it’s tough to call anything a “shocker,” but Tom Owens has been part of the Clear Channel organization since its merger with the old Jacor back in 1998.  Owens began with Jacor as programmer at rocker WEBN, Cincinnati and moved up to the top of the corporate programming ladder there before the merger.  He was the head of Clear Channel programming until last fall when Tom Poleman was named president of national programming platforms and Owens was given the EVP of programming research and strategy title.  During his time there, Owens was no stranger to the pink slip process – of course, participating in it from the position of handing them out.  Now, as CC consolidates its programming research and ratings research groups into the national programming platforms division under Poleman, Owens leaves the company.  The official word from Clear Channel is that Owens will still contribute to its strategic programming on a “consultant basis.”  Sometimes in modern-day corporate jargon, that’s a nice way of saying, sayonara.

Emmis Picks Up Two Stations in Terre Haute.  The purchase of sports talk combo WSDM-FM at 92.7 and WSDX-AM at 1130 (both licensed to Brazil, Indiana) from Crossroads Investments must be approved by the FCC but Emmis will be operating the duo under an LMA beginning September 1.  Emmis Terre Haute general manager James Connor says in a statement, “We are excited to add the ESPN brand to the Emmis Terre Haute cluster of stations which includes WWVR-FM classic rock 105.5 The River and HI-99 WTHI-FM the Wabash Valley’s Country Station.  We will continue to serve the listeners of Terre Haute, Brazil and the surrounding communities with quality programming and our continued commitment to community service.”  In addition to ESPN programming, the combo airs local sports talk host Vaso Michels’ 5:00 am to 7:00 am program.

Talk Host Martha Zoller Loses Bid for Congress in Runoff Election.  Gainesville, Georgia-based talk host Martha Zoller – who left her talk radio career to run for the new 9th Congressional District seat in Georgia – lost the Republican primary runoff to Georgia State Representative Doug Collins.  In a message to supporters, Zoller stated, “I do not know what the future holds for me but I do know that there’s still work to be done.  Don’t stop fighting for what you believe … don’t give up hope in the future of this great nation … and don’t for a second believe that your efforts over the last year were in vain.”  Whether or not Zoller makes a talk host comeback is uncertain but she has hinted to the Georgia media that she is not done with her political aspirations.

Super Agent Eric Weiss Played Significant Role in Heidi & Frank/KLOS Marriage.  One of the most prominent behind-the-scenes movers and shakers in the radio talent rep business, Eric Weiss of the LA-based Weiss Agency, first had the idea that Heidi and Frank would make a good fit in mornings at KLOS as far back as one year ago.  According to Southern California radio historian Don Barrett of LARadio.com, Weiss had the idea that the duo would be perfect for mornings at the heritage LA album rocker when rumors began to surface that Mark & Brian might be heading into their final contract year before he even represented them stating, “I pursued the idea – spoke with both sides about it, and was able to help bring it to fruition.”  There’s a huge lesson and insight in this for those who wonder how big time media talent agents operate.  It is not just a matter of “get me a job.”  Top agents smell potential connections and often put themselves in the mix as catalysts to a marriage before the main parties involved even think of it themselves.  At RadioInfo and TALKERS, we are often asked by zealous-but-unproven talent yet to earn a track record if we can “recommend a good agent.”  Our answer:  “Any agent who would sign you as a client at this point in your career wouldn’t be a ‘good’ one.”

Karel Program to Air on CRN Digital Talk Radio.  San Francisco-based talk host Charles Karel Bouley’s “The Karel Show” begins daily distribution via CRN Digital Talk Radio.  The famously liberal and openly gay talk host began his talk career in 1998 on KFI, Los Angeles with his late partner Andrew Howard.  Since then he’s also worked at KGO, San Francisco.  CRN president and CEO Mike Horn states, “Karel raises questions, brings humor and creates compelling conversation with listeners and guests alike and we’re especially pleased to bring his outstanding show to CRN.”  Karel has a national profile through his radio career, his books, blogs, syndicated columns (Huffington Post) and television appearances as both commentator and actor.  He says, “CRN continues to blaze a trail in delivering content to listeners across America.  I’m so glad they are taking the show.  From the beginning, Mike Horn has been an advocate and I knew we’d get to this day.”  The program airs live on CRN 2 from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET.

SiriusXM Board of Directors Sued by Shareholders; Suit Has No Merit Says TALKERS Legal Editor.  The City of Miami Police Relief and Pension Fund, a SiriusXM shareholder, is contending that the SiriusXM board of directors has failed to prevent John Malone-led Liberty Media from assuming control over the satcaster.  The suit, filed in Delaware Chancery Court, contends Malone and other Liberty-appointed members of the board are preventing other board members from “adopting anti-takeover provisions even if doing so would be in the best interests” of shareholders.  Late yesterday, Delaware Chancery Court Judge Leo Strine ruled he would not stop Liberty from acquiring more shares as the plaintiffs had requested.  He further stated he would hear expedited motions within the next month to decide if the investors’ case should go forward.  But TALKERS legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman says what Liberty is doing is within its legal rights.  In fact, Weisman says SiriusXM could be in breach of contract if it attempted to stop Liberty’s actions.  Read Weisman’s exclusive analysis here.

Fox NFL Analyst Mike Pereira to Appear on KNBR, San Francisco This Season.  NFL fans know former NFL VP of officiating Mike Pereira as the guy the Fox play-by-play team cuts away to when there’s a questionable call on the field that needs illumination.  Now, Pereira will be part of the KNBR morning show with Gary Radnich and Larry Krueger for “The Rule Book” show Monday mornings at 9:30 during the NFL season.  Program director Lee Hammer states, “We’re excited to have Mike join the KNBR family.  In every NFL game, we see calls that leave fans in total disbelief.  As the former head of officiating for the NFL, Mike will not only explain the rule, but try to explain why the official made the call.  Mike no longer works for the league, so he’ll be critical when necessary and have the freedom to say when the officials clearly missed the call.”  With the possibility of the league’s officials sitting out due to a contract dispute with the league and replacement officials working games, this could be a huge programming coup on Monday mornings for KNBR!

Mancow Chicago Video Simulcast a Done Deal.  The “Mancow Experience” will be seen by Chicagoans on WPWR-TV – channel 50 in Chicago – from 6:00 am to 8:00 am beginning this fall .  The Chicago Tribune reports what was teased earlier this summer is being confirmed by station management.  The other aspect of this news for Erich “Mancow” Muller is that his show will have a new physical home base as production of the TRN nationally syndicated radio program will move to WPWR’s North Michigan Avenue studios.  WPWR VP and general manager Mike Renda says, “This fall, Chicagoans will get a backstage pass into one of the most provocative radio programs in this market.  Viewers will have unlimited access into Mancow’s madness, with a live, unedited simulcast that will bring this dynamic voice to life.”  Mancow’s show is heard in the market on suburban WJJG.

New York’s WFAN Scores Eli Manning Appearances.  New York Football Giants flagship WFAN, New York signs Giants QB Eli Manning to a multi-year deal to have Manning join PM drive host Mike Francesa at 5:05 the day after every Giants game during the season and the post-season.  Vice president of programming for CBS Radio New York and WFAN operations manager Mark Chernoff says, “As the team’s flagship radio station, we’re proud to be the leading source of Giants news for football fans across the tri-state area.  Having Eli every week is guaranteed to give listeners the best commentary, insight and discussion with a perspective only he can offer on the New York Giants.  This will be appointment radio at its best.”

Salem Radio Network Gears Up for Convention Coverage.  Dallas-based Salem Radio Network is prepping to cover the Republican National Convention in Tampa beginning on Monday. SRN vice president of news & talk programming Tom Tradup reports a full battery of SRN news staffers — including White House correspondent Greg Clugston and SRN U.S. Senate correspondent Linda Kenyon — will join SRN talk hosts Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, Michael Medved and others at the network’s broadcast headquarters in the Tampa Bay Times Forum.  Tradup tells TALKERS magazine, “We’ll either present superb Republican Convention coverage or the most over-staffed hurricane coverage in the history of 21st century radio…or both!”  Tradup states the organization will also cover the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte the following week, and will include what it calls a “truth squad” led by former Secretary of Education Bill Bennett who hosts SRN’s “Morning in America” program.

NRG Media’s “The Zone” Omaha Sports Outlet Launches “Fully Interactive” Post-Game Show.  Sports talk KOZN, Omaha announces the debut of the “Big Red Over-Reaction” post-game show that will immediately follow Nebraska Cornhuskers football games this season.  The station is touting the program as  “fully interactive” saying it “will immediately feature fan reaction via on-air and digital and social media, providing instant vent-and-release by Cornhusker fans nationwide via over-the-air call-in, Twitter tweets, Facebook posts, Huskermax.com and e-mails.”  The show will feature The Zone’s legendary former Husker National Champion Blackshirt Jason Peter.  Peter will be joined by “Unsportsmanlike Conduct” co-hosts John Bishop and Mike’l Severe and Jason’s morning show co-host Gary Sharp of “Sharp & Peter in the Morning.”  NRG Media Omaha general manger Andy Ruback says, “We have the talent and the capability to deliver a program that the market has never seen before.  Our personalities have a combined total of nearly 100 years of experience with Nebraska football and we believe that fans will appreciate our unique approach to post-game programming that they have never had before.”

Yahoo! Sports Radio Names Doug Russell and Mark Carman PM Drive Hosts.  The slot opened up when Yahoo! host Travis Rodgers was moved to the 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET slot on the network.  Doug Russell moves up from the network’s evening program and Mark Carman has worked at Houston Texans flagship KILT, Houston as well as WGN, Chicago.

Organization Files Petitions with FCC to Deny Renewal of Fox-Owned TV Stations.  The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington is asking the FCC to deny renewal of the broadcast licenses of three Fox TV stations – two in Washington, DC and one in Baltimore – because of News Corp.’s involvement in hacking scandals in England, according to The Hill.  TV licenses, like radio broadcast licenses, come up for renewal every eight years and the three stations in question applied for renewal in June.  Their licenses are set to expire in October.  According to the story, CREW asked the commission to pull the licenses to all 27 Fox-owned TV stations back in May – citing the clause in FCC regulations that it only grants licenses to those of “good character” – but the FCC has taken no action.  The commission rarely takes action in cases of ethics complaints and it is not expected to act on CREW’s complaint.

Presidential Campaign, Todd Akins Campaign Status, Prince Harry Naked Partying Incident, Merkel-Euro Zone Tensions, and Hurricane Threatens Tampa GOP Convention Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/22).  The U.S. presidential campaign; Missouri Rep. Todd Akins campaign status in wake of “legitimate rape” comment; the fallout over Prince Harry’s naked partying in Las Vegas; German chancellor Angela Merkel’s difficult decision regarding Greece and the future of the euro zone; and the hurricane threat to next week’s GOP convention in Tampa were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

| August 9, 2012

Pioneering Radio Owner Peter Straus Dies at 89.  His Straus Communications owned WMCA, New York when it was a part of the golden age of rock ‘n’ roll radio and after it became a talk radio outlet in 1970 until the time it was sold in 1986.  From a talk radio perspective Straus’ WMCA employed legendary talk hosts including Barry Gray, Barry Farber, Bob Grant and Bruce Williams.  The station is now owned by Salem Communications and broadcasts a Christian format.  Salem Radio Network vice president of news & talk programming Tom Tradup tells TALKERS he has fond memories of working for Straus as executive producer of the talk shows in the early 1980s.  “I worked with Peter at a time when WMCA was a petri dish of talk radio creativity.  Legendary hosts like Barry Gray, Bob Grant, Bruce Williams and Barry Farber were all local hosts on WMCA…and our 5,000-watt station (albeit in the middle of Midtown Manhattan!) was the home of every important New York politician including NYC mayor Ed Koch, New York Lt. Governor (and later Governor) Mario Cuomo, New York city clerk (and future mayor) David Dinkins and many more.  The hallways of WMCA were always full, and it was a rare day one didn’t run into a guest like Marlon Brando or Woody Allen or Tony Randall or Robert Vaughn.”  Tradup says the station was “vibrant but challenged” during his time there as it battled WOR and WABC but Straus was “one in a million.  Peter instituted a ‘first radio in New York’ policy, meaning if an author appeared on another NYC station before WMCA, we wouldn’t book him.  And son of a gun, we started getting all the big authors first because publishers knew he meant it.  This taught me a lesson I’ve never forgotten: If you act as if your radio station is #1, people will treat you like #1.  Peter was a winner, an exceptional leader, and the talk radio industry owes him respect and gratitude.”

Howard Stern Appeals Suit Dismissal in Beef with SiriusXM.  Talk radio legend Howard Stern and agent Don Buchwald are not going to let one dismissal get in the way of their goal of getting some $300 million in stock bonuses they say is due them as the result of the satcaster’s success.  According to the New York Daily News, Stern and Buchwald – through Stern’s 112 Inc. production company – filed suit in the New York Supreme Court Appellate Division.  The Daily News reports the suit hasn’t even been processed yet so the documents aren’t available but we have a pretty good idea what Stern is claiming: That he is owed the $300 million in stock bonuses because his program is responsible for a large degree of SiriusXM’s success, even the success that came after the merger of Sirius and XM.  In April of this year though, New York Supreme Court Justice Barbara Kapnick disagreed with Stern’s logic and dismissed the case ruling the language in Stern’s contract is “clear” and “unambiguous.”  In other words, he’s gotten everything the contract promised him.

Howard Eskin Returns to TV Sports Anchor Role.  Longtime WIP, Philadelphia sports talk personality Howard Eskin goes back to the little screen as sports anchor at WTXF-TV Fox 29 in Philadelphia.  The station says Eskin helped launch its 10:00 pm news back in 1986 and now he’ll be behind the sports desk for the Fox News 29 at 5:00 pm, 6:00 pm and 10:00 pm newscasts as well as “Fox 29 Sports Sunday,” “Game Time Live,” and he’ll contribute to “Good Day Philadelphia.”  After leaving his full-time talk show position at WIP, Eskin continued to work with the station as part of the Eagles pre- and post-game shows and as a sideline reporter.  Eskin will remain with WIP to host programs, the Eagles pre-game show and handle sideline reporting for the station.

Shara Fryer Added to KTRH, Houston AM Drive Show.  Longtime Houston market television news personality Shara Fryer will join Matt Patrick as co-host of KTRH’s “Houston’s Morning News.”  Fryer is currently director of the World Affairs Council of Houston but served as co-anchor of KTRK-TV, Houston’s 6:00 pm and 10:00 pm evening newscasts for more than 25 years.  Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s Houston president and market manager Eddie Martiny says, “Over 25 years of major-market broadcast excellence combined with her commitment to numerous charities in Houston make Shara the perfect choice for mornings on KTRH.”  Fryer says, “I’m excited by the energy and raw spirit of radio.  It’s a brand new world for me…There’s a spark with Matt and the entire KTRH team that I hope listeners will feel and join us weekday mornings.”  She begins her new duties on September 4.

Al Gore to Anchor Current TV’s Convention Coverage.  Former Vice President Al Gore – founder of the cable news/talk channel Current TV taps himself to anchor the channel’s coverage of the two political conventions.  Current TV states, “Gore will be joined by former Michigan governor and ‘The War Room’ host, Jennifer Granholm, former New York governor and ‘Viewpoint’ host, Eliot Spitzer and ‘The Young Turks’ host, Cenk Uygur.  Additionally, California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom will join the panel for the RNC coverage.”  Current TV hosts Joy Behar and John Fugelsang will also assist in the coverage of the RNC beginning August 27 and the DNC beginning September 4.  In a statement, Gore says, “I’m pleased to be participating in Current TV’s impressive lineup throughout the Republican and Democratic National Conventions.  Cenk, Jennifer and Eliot provide the keen insight and spot-on analysis our viewers have come to expect, combined with decades of experience in public service and a deep understanding of politics.  I have no doubt that our coverage will be innovative and informative, and I look forward to working with them.”

Olympian Brings Home the Gold.  Bethesda, Maryland teen Katie Ledecky (pictured here with WTOP, Washington program director Laurie Cantillo) stopped by WTOP to talk with the news organization about her experiences at the London Olympics.  The gold-medal-winning 15-year-old won the 800-meter freestyle and spoke with WTOP anchors Shawn Anderson and John Aaron about the games and answered her critics who predicted she swam too fast in the beginning of the race and would tire before the end.  Obviously, she didn’t.

Odds & Sods.  SiriusXM’s Opie & Anthony bring their program to Chicago for a live remote broadcast tomorrow from the 115 Bourbon Street Bar in suburban Merrionette Park.  The special afternoon edition of the program kicks off at 3:00 pm CT…..CBS Radio names Laura Gonzalez local sales manager for sports talk WJFK, Washington, DC…..Cumulus Media splits off the AM side of sports simulcast WLQR, Toledo to go talk using all Cumulus Media Networks programs: Imus, Geraldo, Mike Huckabee, Mark Levin, John Batchelor and “Red Eye Radio”…..Clear Channel’s sports WPOP, Hartford will carry Central Connecticut State football and basketball play-by-play for the next four seasons…..Attorney Eddie Gadrix begins hosting a Monday hour-long program focused on senior issues on WVNJ, Washington Township, New Jersey (Philadelphia market) on Monday mornings at 9:00.  Gadrix has been hosting the “Divorce & Custody Show” on Fridays at 9:00 am on the station and continues that program…..Talk host Matt Bruce fills in on the AM drive show on the simulcast of WWJB, Brooksville and WXJB, Homosassa Springs, Florida today through August 14.

A Sign of the Times.  WRKO, Boston talk host Barry Armstrong – Boston-area financial advisor and host of the daily “The Financial Exchange” program – is pictured here during one of the presentations that was part of the two-day financial seminar event on the economy, social security and estate planning.  More than 1,000 people attended the seminars that were only promoted on Armstrong’s show on WRKO.  Many listeners decided to also get an inside look into the production of Armstrong’s program as he conducted the entire program in front of a live audience.

Presidential Campaign Ads, Neo-Nazi Hate Groups, London Olympics, Mars ‘Curiosity’ Mission and Randy Travis Arrest Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/8).  The state of the presidential campaign ads in the 2012 election; neo-Nazi groups and the aftermath of the Wisconsin Sikh temple shootings; the London Olympics; the ‘Curiosity’ mission on Mars; and the arrest of country star Randy Travis were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

 

Monday, July 23, 2012

| July 23, 2012

Aurora Tragedy Sparks and Challenges Talk Radio.  There are few events that news/talk radio programmers in the age of cutbacks fear more than a major story that captures the entire nation’s consciousness breaking on a weekend when their stations’ key stars are off and brokered or syndicated “how-to” shows are on.  The Aurora, Colorado movie theater massacre came very close to being such a story, except that it technically broke on a Friday morning, giving weekday hosts the opportunity to at least address it in the early stages of information being available and programmers a full day to organize a weekend strategy.  This type of blood-chilling, high-drama story takes days to develop as information slowly disseminates amidst knee-jerk speculation, leaving a number of news/talk outlets incapable of fully diving into it on a Saturday and Sunday when personnel is at a minimum and “regular” programming takes a break from core stationality.   Regardless, the industry has had all too many unfortunate chances to learn from this problem in recent years and according to TALKERS monitors across the country and conversations with programmers, there was a far better state of readiness to appropriately handle the Aurora tragedy than for similar instances in the past.  Initial reports indicate that the main topics and debates being fueled by this mega-story are gun control, violence in entertainment, and the relationship between mental illness and crime.  There has also been strong interest in talking about appropriate parenting prompted by the fact that a child and an infant were in attendance at the midnight movie.  As an example of news/talk radio taking control of this situation, Salem Radio Networks VP of programming, Tom Tradup tells TALKERS, “On SRN News, we gave the shooting priority coverage — including three hours of Special Reports — and we are featuring perspective from Murphy Wells, a KNUS, Denver reporter who is part of the local morning show at KNUS with studios in Aurora. Also Larry O’Connor, editor-in-chief of Breitbart.TV guest-hosted a special edition of the Hugh Hewitt show on Friday from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET focusing exclusively on the deaths and injuries in the shootings.”   At WGN, Chicago, program director Bill White tells TALKERS, “On Friday Jonathon Brandmeierlead with the story throughout his morning show after it broke during our live overnight show.  Jonathon spoke with witnesses who were in the multiplex when the shooting occurred and authorities from Aurora, and he actually confirmed the death count to 12 before most media outlets.  He also took calls from Chicago and throughout the Midwest as listeners coped with the tragic news.”  In Boston at Greater Media‘s WTKK, program director Grace Blazer says the station was live and local from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm both Friday and Saturday.  “We ran the important new conferences from Denver with President Obama and Mitt Romney.  We spoke with reporters live from Denver plus local experts such as Jack Levin, Professor of Sociology and Criminology at Northeastern University and author of several mass murder books, and Ty Burr, film critic from the Boston Globe, who discussed violence in the Batman movies.  On Saturday, Paul Ferrazzani, a registered instructor from the Firearm Safety Academy in Medford, Massachusetts gave listeners the inside scoop on our gun statutes.”

Fox Sports Radio and Mile High Sports Remember Colorado Shooting Victim.  By now, most of us who work in the media are aware that one of the victims of Thursday’s movie-theater shootings was a young woman named Jessica Ghawi who had just missed being a potential victim of a similar shooting in Toronto in June.  The San Antonio native had interned at Lincoln Financial Media’s KKFN, Denver earlier this year and was due to speak with Mile High Sports Magazine editor-in-chief Doug Ottewill about her sports media career the next day.  On Friday, Mile High Sports and Fox Sports Radio talk host Peter Burns spoke with Fox Sports Radio’s “Loose Cannons” about Jessica.  Burns told the program’s listeners, “Her mom told me early this morning, ‘I want you to talk as much as you can.  Celebrate everything that Jessica did, and celebrate everything that these victims did.’  And I’m glad that you guys are giving me the time to celebrate that and talk about how amazing of a person she is, rather than giving a minute or 30 seconds to this coward that did this.”  Burns recounted how Ghawi wanted to set up a charity to help the victims of the Colorado wildfires and was working toward that goal when her life ended tragically on Thursday night.

Cox Media Group Realigns Corporate Management to Fit New TV Signals and Announces Radio and TV Properties to Be Sold.  Twenty-seven radio signals in six markets are going on the block as Cox Media Group announces a realignment of its business strategy that will include the sale of several TV operations and some corporate officer changes to dovetail with the recent acquisition of several TV stations.  The only spoken-word format up for sale is the new sports talk FM WZNN, Birmingham that had been part of the Paul FinebuamCumulus contract dispute that’s since been settled.  The rest of the signals are music FMs and AMs or ethnic outlets in Birmingham, Alabama; Greenville, South Carolina; Hawaii; Louisville, Kentucky; Richmond, Virginia; and Southern Connecticut.  There are five TV signals in four cities going on the market.  As to the corporate structure changes, former group VP Kim Guthrie is named Cox’s new senior vice president responsible for radio markets, and former Austin American-Statesman publisher Jane Williams is the company’s new senior vice president responsible for TV markets, both reporting to Bill Hoffman, EVP over broadcast.  Other additional leadership changes effective immediately include: former group VP Rich Reis who becomes VP and GM of digital operations reporting to EVP Neil Johnston; former group VP Ben Reed is now VP and market manager of Atlanta radio reporting to Kim Guthrie; former group VP Jay O’Connor, as previously announced, is the new VP and GM at KIRO-TV, Seattle.  EVP Mike Joseph continues to oversee CMG’s newspaper operations and CMG Ohio.   Cox Media Group president Doug Franklin states, “This simplified structure will enable CMG to capitalize on continued growth and synergies, while retaining its size financially.  All of our media outlets, regardless of size, are valuable, profitable brands with strong futures thanks to the hard work and dedication of our talented professionals who serve their audiences, advertisers and communities.  We thank the leaders and employees in the locations we’re selling for their outstanding contributions to this company over the years and the valuable service they will continue to provide their respective communities.”

Cuts Hit St. Paul-Based American Public Media.  MinnPost.com’s David Brauer reports 10 employees of the St. Paul, Minnesota public radio company American Public Media are being let go as the organization deals with the changes in the contemporary media business.  Brauer reports engineer Rick “Scooter” Hebzynski, public relations staffer Christina Schmitt and digital archivist Jenel Farrell are three of the casualties and that Current.org is saying “Marketplace” D.C. chief John Dimsdale also is being let go.  Minnesota Public Radio CEO John McTaggart writes to staffers in a memo: “There’s no question today’s constantly changing media landscape presents challenges, but we at APM also see opportunities.  The changes we are making today are really about APM’s future and help to position us for future audience service and growth.  We are reorganizing around two key areas: content and development.  We are aligning our priorities to focus on two main divisions that create value for our audiences and cultivate vital relationships with our members, donors and funders.  The result is a more streamlined organization design that gives us a strong footing as we look ahead.”  To that end McTaggart announces MPR COO Dave Kansas leads the content division SVP and chief development officer Randi Yoder heads up the development division.

Longtime KFI, Los Angeles Traffic Reporter Recovering After Crash.  Los Angeles traffic reporter Mike Nolan suffered fractured ribs and a broken collar bone in the Friday evening crash of a Cessna single engine plane he was piloting near the Corona Municipal Airport.  KFI’s Neil Saavedra tells the Los Angeles Times Nolan was flying with a student and family friend – who was not seriously injured – when the crash occurred in Riverside County.  Saavedra tells the paper Nolan – a KFI employee since the mid-1980s – had more than 40 years of experience as a pilot.  He was headed home to land in time to take off again for his two last traffic newscasts when the accident took place.  The plane lost power and hit electricity lines.

Odds ‘n’ Sods.  WTKK, Boston talk host Doug Meehan is broadcasting live from Camp Harbor View this Thursday morning to help raise awareness and funds for the special camp that offers hundreds of children who live in Boston’s at-risk neighborhoods the opportunity to have fun and learn at summer camp.  Thursday’s broadcast will feature coverage of the camp’s 5k road race event…..WFAS, Westchester, New York talk host Lisa Wexler, whose program airs live on the station from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm daily, will have her show re-broadcast  from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm daily beginning tonight.  WFAS GM Marty Sheehan says, “We are very proud of all that Lisa has accomplished in the short time she has been with us.  We want to meet the demand to hear more of Lisa and introduce more of our audience to her show.”…..Sports USA is making the Little League World Series U.S. Championship and International Championship games available to radio stations across the country.  The games are being played the weekend of August 25 and 26.  Ad sales are being handled by Skyview Networks.

Sirius About Fantasy Football.  Sports talk hosts and celebrities invaded the Hard Rock Café in New York City’s Times Square over the weekend for SiriusXM’s Celebrity Fantasy Football Draft broadcast.  In addition to SiriusXM talk hosts Steve Phillips, Jay Thomas, Scott Ferrall, Steve Covino and Rich Davis, celebrities including actor George Wendt, guitarist Zakk Wylde and Jaguars running back Maurice Drew-Jones took part in the promotion.  Pictured here are DirecTV/Premiere Networks talk hosts Nick Di Paolo and Artie Lange who also took part.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

| June 21, 2012

CBS Radio Announces Plans to Put Sports Talk on FM in Tampa.  This one’s been long-anticipated with industry watchers speculating about which signal CBS Radio would use to put sports talk on FM in the market.  So Hot AC WSJT-FM, will be replaced by sports talk in August as “SPORTSRADIO 98.7 The Fan.”  Currently, CBS operates WQYK – 1010 Sports – with Mike Pepper serving as assistant PD and co-host of the “Hooters Nation Morning Show” with Lynne Austin.  He is promoted to program director for the new combo.  CBS Radio SVP and market manager Ben Hill states, “Never before has there been a station for Tampa Bay’s passionate sports fans with such reach and ties to the community as SPORTSRADIO 98.7 The Fan.  Locally based on-air personalities and a programming team with years of experience in Tampa will help shape the station as a place listeners can trust for the most honest, engaging and interactive sports talk.”  A release from CBS states hosts and reporters for the station will be announced at a later date.  Currently, 1010 Sports airs DirecTV/Fox Sports Radio’s Dan Patrick; “The Commish with Justin Pawlowski”; J.P. Peterson in PM drive and Toby David in evenings in addition to the morning drive show.  It’s not clear how or if CBS will integrate the current programming heard on 1010 Sports.  About the new FM signal, Pepper says, “Being this closely involved in a radio first for Tampa listeners has been one of the most exciting opportunities in my career.  Our sports landscape has changed dramatically over the last 10 years highlighted by a Super Bowl Championship for the Buccaneers, a Stanley Cup for the Lightning, and an American League title for the Rays, as well as the rise of USF football.  The timing couldn’t be better for the launch of SPORTSRADIO 98.7 The Fan.”

Glenn Beck Visits Dave Ramsey Show.  It’s pretty unusual for talk show hosts of their stature to be guests on one another’s shows but that’s what happened yesterday as Premiere Networks star (and multi-media pioneer) Glenn Beck was a featured guest on the nationally syndicated Dave Ramsey show.  Beck appeared to speak with Ramsey about his new book, Cowards: What Politicians, Radicals, and the Media Refuse to Say (Threshold Editions 2012).  The two friends complimented each other on their success and Beck told Ramsey he constantly hears from fans of his who also listen to Ramsey and tell him how he’s helped them.  Beck said, “You have changed millions of peoples’ lives…I can’t tell you how many people I’ve met who said, ‘You know, I was out of control, started listening to Dave and thank God, he has changed my life.  Congratulations.”

Listener Driven Radio Buys Out Mike McVay.  Cumulus Media senior vice president of programming Mike McVay was one of four founding members and a shareholder of LDR – Listener Driven Radio.  Now, in an effort to make sure the company is not confronted with issues of conflict of interest, the company has bought the shares McVay owns back from him.  McVay left his seat on the board of directors when he took the Cumulus post last fall.  In a statement, president and CEO Daniel Anstandig said, “Our LDR team is often involved in strategic discussions with our station partners.  We want to be beyond reproach with our clients when it comes to confidential and proprietary information.  Our move to buy out Mike McVay eliminates potential conflicts for McVay in his role as a senior manager for Cumulus.”  LDR has created software that allows listeners to stations to have a say in the actual programming of the music as well as software that provides hot topic data for spoken-word stations.

Arbitron Shows Efforts to Satisfy Agencies’ Desire for ROI Data.  Due to the nature of the way radio has always been rated, it’s been very difficult to give advertisers who bought time via agencies the data they desire about the effectiveness of their ads.  Arbitron has been working on using its PPM technology to improve advertisers’ marketing mix models with what it calls more “granular” data.  Arbitron’s Bill Rose told clients in a webinar yesterday, “Buyers want more specific information – granular – about who is listening when their spots aired.”  Arbitron is working with Media Monitors to provide exact times spots aired.  Using marketing mix models, advertisers analyze how effective their marketing is and Rose showed three case studies of specific products or services conducted over relatively long periods of time in which granular PPM data was able to improve the scores of radio ads relative to their impact on sales.  Rose also notes that in the past, any attempt to provide marketers with data on radio’s performance was time consuming and labor intensive.  PPM’s granular data changes that.  “After two years of intense study and experimentation, we’re happy to see that the more granular radio data can improve our ability to evaluate radio’s contribution in marketing mix models.”

Talk Radio Mobile Service Aggregator Stitcher Unveils Redesigned App.  The new Stitcher app for iPhone and Android operating systems includes some new functions – the coolest of which is what it calls “Smart Station.”  The Smart Station function makes recommendations for shows to check out based upon the programming to which you’re already listening – sort of like a Pandora for spoken-word shows.  Stitcher CEO Noah Shanok says, “Stitcher Smart Station is designed to give our listeners more tools for discovery and personalization.  Our goal is to make talk radio more accessible than ever, and listeners are responding.  Since our launch of the Stitcher Election Center in May, we’ve seen an increase in listening by an average of an hour per month.  We’re hoping Stitcher Smart Station gives listeners just as much, if not more, access to new, relevant content within the app.”

Salem Radio Network News Covers Plight of Dalits.  Salem Radio Network vice president of news & talk programming Tom Tradup is pictured here in a slum in Hyderabad, India getting a close-up look at the nation’s dalits – or “untouchables.”  Tradup tells TALKERS magazine that, beginning next week, SRN News will present a weeklong series on the challenges these people – especially the children – face that include malnutrition, filthy living conditions and India’s sex-trafficking trade.  SRN worked with the Dalit Action Network to cover this story.  Tradup says, “The most amazing thing about these children is that with so little going for them in material terms their faith nevertheless remains strong and they are some of the most outgoing, loving youngsters I’ve ever met.”

2012 Presidential Race, ‘Fast and Furious’ Battle/Executive Privilege, Trayvon Martin Case/Police Chief Fired, and Obama’s DREAM Act Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/20).  The 2012 presidential campaign; the Congressional battle over Attorney General Eric Holder’s contempt charges and President Obama’s declaring executive privilege in the ‘Fast and Furious’ case; the firing of Sanford, Florida police chief Bill Lee in the Trayvon Martin case; and President Obama’s DREAM Act and the expected Supreme Court decision on Arizona’s illegal immigration law were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

 

Monday, June 4, 2012

| June 4, 2012

Tom Leykis and Lionel to Discuss Their High-Profile Pioneering Digital Efforts at NMS.  Two questions (or variations thereof) regularly fielded by the TALKERS editorial staff these days are “How’s Tom Leykis doing with his new online talk show?” and “What’s Lionel up to these days with his online project?”  Both will be answered in detail straight from the horses’ mouths at the New Media Seminar’s Digital Workshop in New York City this Thursday, June 7.  As West Coast-based Leykis approaches the two-month mark into the launch of his “New Normal Network” online project and East Coast-based Lionel chalks up two years of operating “LionelMedia.com,” both individualistic graduates of the terrestrial talk show scene continue to gain traction on both the audience and revenue fronts as the industry watches with great interest.  Leykis tells TALKERS, “We had over 1.1 million sessions from our debut on April 2nd until April 30th. That number would most closely approximate cume. In our first week of 24/7 streaming, we had exactly 401,180 listeners. That was more listeners than the weekly cumes of 14 L.A./Orange County radio stations in March.”  On the revenue front, Leykis is also very pleased with immediate results saying, “At the current pace, we will make over 100K in revenue, but we are conservatively estimating 100K for the year.”  Leykis explains the key to making an online radio operation work is to provide specific listeners something they cannot get anywhere else.  He tells TALKERS, “You really have to super-serve your P1s…even in the process of selling advertising.  We go out into the marketplace and ask radio-friendly businesses the question, ‘Are you being priced out of radio?’  Because our operating costs are so much lower than radio we can offer these small businesses very affordable deals.  And when you specifically target business owners who are already in your audience as listeners, well it just makes a lot of sense.  This is what we are doing and it is working.”  Lionel describes his digital effort to TALKERS as follows: “This month is the second anniversary of the launch of LionelMedia.com, a paid subscription podcasting outlet. I podcast an hour daily of uninterrupted, unedited, commercial and break-free freeform-yet-structured spoken word. It, frankly, knows no peer. Every day I post news stories, columns, ideas, opinions and the like that supplement the subject or content of that day’s podcast. I’ll also attach a YouTube video of my latest PIX11 commentary on myriad subjects. To be most precise: I do exactly what I want. Let that sink in. My podcasts are not profane or blue in the least — in fact they could be played in their entirety on terrestrial radio. That, I feel, is a drawing point and basis for much of our success.”  Although Lionel no longer does a terrestrial radio talk show, he does regularly scheduled commentaries on Tribune television stations including New York’s WPIX channel 11 and Merlin Media’s all-news FMs in New York, Philadelphia and Chicago in addition to appearing as a regular guest on a number of terrestrial radio talk shows…exposure that helps drive traffic to his online media station.  The Digital Workshop will be moderated by Ellen Ratner of Talk Radio News Service and Dan Patterson of KoPoint.  The June 7 industry-only New Media Seminar/NYC is an advance sellout.  For information call 413-565-5413.

Wisconsin Recall Spurs Question of “Equal Time” on Milwaukee News/Talk Outlets – and Beyond.  Progressive political groups are charging Clear Channel‘s WISN, Milwaukee and Journal Broadcasting‘s WTMJ, Milwaukee with violating the FCC‘s “Zapple Doctrine” which mandates “equal time” to all qualified political candidates within 60 days of an election under certain circumstances. TALKERS legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes that talk hosts often benefit from exemption from the “Zapple Doctrine” by qualifying as a “news interview program.” But that exemption is not always a slam dunk. Read Weisman’s column about how the courts tend to interpret this section of FCC regulations here.

WPLJ-FM, New York OM Tony Mascaro to Program WABC?  Some posts on the New York Radio Message Board indicate inside sources are reporting Cumulus Media New York is naming CHR WPLJ-FM operations manager Tony Mascaro program director of its news/talk WABC. As of the posting of this item, there is no confirmation or denying of the report from Cumulus. WABC APD Chuck Armstrong has been serving as interim program director for the station filling the role left vacant when Laurie Cantillo exited the post last fall. Stay tuned.

Tony Kornheiser Re-Ups with WTEM, Washington for Two Years.  The Red Zebra Broadcasting station announces high-profile personality Tony Kornheiser renews his deal to remain host of the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon program on ESPN 980 WTEM, Washington, DC. As part of the new contract, Kornheiser will contribute to the Washington Redskins Radio Network‘s “Official Pre-Game Show” during the football season. WTEM CEO Rick Carmean states, “Tony’s unique brand of humor and entertainment fits perfectly into our strong and highly rated midday lineup.” Kornheiser is joined weekdays by a rotating cast of co-hosts including Gary Braun, Jeanne McManus, Torie Clark, David Aldridge and longtime producer Nigel. Frequent contributors include Tony’s “Pardon the Interruption”co-host Michael Wilbon.

WSB-AM/FM, Atlanta Gives Adam Goldfein Nightly Program.  Local attorney and auto dealership owner Adam Goldfein has hosted a weekend program about cars on Cox Media‘s WSB-AM/FM for some time. Now, the station adds more air time to his schedule. The consumer issues expert begins hosting a program airing nightly from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Goldfein had been filling in for Clark Howard on the station and Cox Radio Atlanta VP and market manager Dan Kearney tells the Atlanta Journal Constitution, “He was doing a great job filling in for Clark Howard and his Sunday show was getting great ratings. We wanted him on more consistently.” 

Stephen King’s WZON, Bangor Drops Local Sports Talk; Dismisses Two.  Give WZON, Bangor owner Stephen King credit for manning up and personally delivering the news to sports talk hosts Dale Duff and Clem LaBree that they were being