Tag: "Townsquare Media"

Monday, April 15, 2019

| April 15, 2019

Brown Parts Ways With iHeartMedia Denver. The approximately 12-year association between talk show host Michael Brown and iHeartMedia Denver has come to an end. While this turn-of-events isn’t something Brown wanted or anticipated, he emphasizes he has “fond memories” of his time in radio and is “looking forward to getting behind the microphone as quickly as possible.” He maintains radio is “a fantastic medium that will never disappear,” and he “readily embraces” the digital aspect of the business. Citing conversations he had with iHeartMedia regional senior vice president of Denver programming JoJo Turnbeaugh, Brown – who served as under-secretary of Homeland Security in both of George W. Bush’s administrations – reports his departure is owing to “format changes.” Brown’s Denver radio career began at news/talk KOA, where he did part-time work before becoming a full-timer. He then spent several years in afternoon drive on news/talk sibling KHOW, and recently returned to KOA. Regarding his highly-publicized experiences during Hurricane Katrina, Brown co-authored June 2011’s “Deadly Indifference, The Perfect (Political) Storm: Hurricane Katrina, The Bush White House, and Beyond.” In it, he criticizes the performance of several people and critiques his own performance by stating that he “failed to be ready for the press and was too timid in his response.” Politically, Brown describes himself as “very clearly center-right, conservative, with a strong libertarian bent.” He appears at #83 on The Talkers Magazine 2018 Heavy Hundred.

Thomas Inducted Into The Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame. In recognition for her career in radio and community service, Entercom Detroit WWJ “News Radio 950” reporter Vickie Thomas was honored yesterday (4/14) in a ceremony at Michigan State University’s Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center. Entercom Detroit senior vice president/market manager Debbie Kenyon states, “For more than 25 years, Vickie Thomas has been informing our listeners on major stories that impact our community in and around Detroit. Vickie is an incredible journalist who isn’t afraid to pose tough questions to city leaders and other officials to report a fair and accurate story. She is well deserving of this honor and we are extremely proud to have Vickie inducted into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame.” Thomas comments, “In thinking about my over 30-year career in radio, with most of that time spent at WWJ, I can’t help but acknowledge all the people who took the time to encourage me and guide me. I’m really a reflection of those outstanding individuals. This award is extremely special because it comes from my peers. I’m blessed to have my body of work in journalism acknowledged by the selection committee; I thank each member who poured over all the applications and deemed me worthy of this honor.” Thomas, who joined WWJ in 1991, has earned awards from the Detroit Press Foundation, the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, the Michigan Associated Press, and the National Association of Black Journalists. She graduated cum laude and with honors in journalism from Wayne State University in 1989.

MONDAY MEMO: The Podcast Consumer 2019.  In our on-demand culture, consumers have taken control of their media.  We call the audio version “podcasting,” something everyone seems to be doing now.  But who is listening?  In this week’s Monday Memo, consultant Holland Cooke summarizes the recently released Edison Research “Podcast Consumer 2019” report. Click here to read how he outlines ways radio broadcasters can exploit this trend.

TALKERS News Notes. All remaining regular season and postseason play of the New York City Football Club will air in Spanish on the ESPN app, along with the iHeart and Tune-in apps. In addition, select games of the American professional soccer team will air locally in New York City on WEPN-AM “ESPN Deportes Radio 1050.” ESPN Radio Group senior vice president Tim McCarthy remarks, “WEPN-AM is proud to be associated with a tremendous brand like NYCFC. We believe giving our  listeners a choice on quality play-by-play has tremendous value; this agreement with NYCFC does just that.” NYCFC chief executive officer Brad Sims notes, “We are excited to have our 2019 matches broadcast in Spanish on ESPN Deportes platforms. We want to give our fans many different ways to follow our club. This is a terrific alliance that will make our games even more accessible. New York’s Hispanic community is extremely passionate about soccer and is an integral part of our fanbase, so it continues to be a priority for us to provide Spanish-language presentations. ESPN is a leader in the sports media landscape and we’re looking forward to working together.” Roberto Abramowitz and Ariel Judas will give their commentary throughout the season ….. Changes to take effect in three weeks (5/6) at Emmis-owned WFNI “Indy’s Sports Center – The Fan” will find Jeff Rickard and “Big JoeStaysniak moving from mid-days (10:00 am – 12:00 noon) to morning drive (7:00 am – 10:00 am). “Jeff & Big Joe” will succeed ESPN Radio’s “(Mike) Golic & (Trey) Wingo,” while ESPN Radio’s “Dan Le Batard with Stugotz” will inherit the vacated 10:00 am – 12:00 noon slot …. A nine-year program director of iHeartMedia-owned WGAR “Cleveland’s Country 99.5,” Charley Connolly is named operations manager of Cumulus Media’s eight Youngstown stations and will be the day-to-day PD of country WQXK “K-105” there. Cumulus Youngstown vice president/market manager Bill Kelly comments, “We are fortunate to have someone of Charley’s background available to us in Youngstown. This is going to be fun.” In addition to WGAR, Connolly programmed iHeartMedia Cleveland’s adult hits WHLK “106.5 The Lake.” Prior to that, he performed similar responsibilities for Cumulus Media Nashville’s news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” and country WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon.” In addition to WPIC “News Talk 790,” WBBW “Sports Radio 1240 AM,” and WLLF “Sports Radio 96.7 FM,” Cumulus Media Youngstown consists of aforementioned WQXK; CHR WHOT “Hot 101”; classic rock WYFM “Y-103”; classic country WSOM “America’s Music”; and classic hits-oldies WWIZ “Z-104.” ….. Approximately 250 guests attended last Friday’s (4/12) eleventh annual “Hurley in the Morning” charity dinner and silent auction, which raised $40,000. Fox News Radio’s Todd Starnes keynoted the festivities at Atlantic City’s Resorts Casino – Hotel. “We are so grateful for the outpouring of support we have received from the highest levels of government, business, and industry sectors,” declares Townsquare Media Atlantic City news/talk WPGG morning talent Harry Hurley. “Todd is a kind and generous friend. He is such a well-respected talent and a wonderful gentleman. Todd took the time to greet every guest, making each one feel like the most important person in the Ocean Ballroom.” Resorts Casino – Hotel president/chief executive officer Mark Giannantonio opines, “Harry could take his iconic event anywhere – it was truly spectacular. Todd Starnes was engaging and entertaining. Our audience enjoyed his humble, friendly, and unifying message. Resorts was happy and proud to once again host this charity dinner and we look forward to hosting Harry’s event again next year.” Starnes did his 12:00 noon – 3:00 pm Fox News Radio talk show onsite. Among dignitaries attending were congressman Jefferson Van Drew; New Jersey Senate president Stephen Sweeney; New Jersey Broadcasters Association president Paul Rotella; and current and past New Jersey state legislature members. Ahead is Hurley’s twelfth annual charity golf open (6/21) in Egg Harbor Township (New Jersey) ….. Following his tenure as Reach Media’s integrated ad sales coordinator, Erick Vilson joins Sun Broadcast Group as national account manager and will be based in New York City. Sun Broadcast Group chief operating officer Julio Aponte, Jr. comments, “I was very impressed with Erick’s background, reputation, and his dedication to excellence. Bringing someone with his digital and event experience on-board will allow our team to offer greater business opportunities for our agencies and a deeper connection with our national audience for our advertisers.” Vilson notes, “Becoming part of the Sun Broadcast Group family is a fantastic opportunity. Their reputation in the industry, new approach to business, and clever ways to market their offerings was very attractive to me. I am very excited to bring my experience to the sales team.” Vilson has held sales and operation positions for iHeartMedia and Emmis.

Mueller Report Anticipation, College Admissions Scandal, 2020 Presidential Race, Assange Case Free Speech Implications Top Stories Discussed on News/Talk Radio This Weekend.  According to the research of TALKERS, news/talk shows across the country this weekend (4/13-14) were largely focused on the topics of anticipation of the Robert Mueller Report’s planned delivery to Congress this Thursday, the next level of the College Admissions Scandal and charges filed against celebrity participants, the 2020 Presidential Race, and the Julian Assange Case’s implications on free speech and the free press going forward.

Progressive Talk Radio Champ Thom Hartmann Is Guest on Harrison Podcast. What is the state of progressive news/talk radio on the commercial and non-commercial dial? What is the liberal talk radio view of the early competition in a crowded field of hopefuls vying for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination? And what is the general status of the “Left” in American politics in 2019? Nationally syndicated radio talk show host Thom Hartmann – consistently ranked the most important progressive talk radio host on the TALKERS Heavy Hundred – is the guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Harrison and Hartmann (heard daily 12:00 noon – 3:00 pm ET) tackle these and other pertinent issues in an illuminating conversation that gets right to the heart of today’s talk media landscape. Harrison states, “Thom Hartmann has not only earned the respect of people on all sides of the political spectrum for his authentic, even-handed approach to today’s issues from the liberal perspective, but the unique and aggressive multi-platform distribution paradigm that he and his team have developed over the years stands as a model for independent radio syndication of all ideological stripes going forward into the digital era. The radio industry should pay attention to this innovative broadcaster.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and every page on Talkers.com.

Survey Says: Social Media Use Unchanged. Notwithstanding privacy controversies, “fake news,” and social media censorship, the share of adults in the United States who say they use certain online platforms or apps is statistically the same as it was this time last year. That is the conclusion of a Pew Research Center study conducted January 8 to February 7 (2019). The shares of adults who say they use Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Twitter are each basically the same as in 2016. Instagram, however, shows an uptick during this same timeframe, growing from 35% of adults to 37%. Roughly seven of every ten adults in this country say they still use Facebook; nearly three of every ten visit Pinterest; and more than one of every five are Twitter users. Of all Facebook users, approximately three of every four visit the site every day – half check that platform several times a day. Those particular numbers identically mirror Pew’s 2018 survey results. At the same time, YouTube use remained at 73%, while LinkedIn users went from 25% to 27%. Slightly more than half of YouTube users (51%) visit the site daily – up from the 45% who said the same in 2018. According to the report, Instagram and Snapchat are especially popular with younger adults, with Instagram used by two of every three 18 – 29-year-olds and Snapchat used by slightly more than two of every five (62%) people in that demo.

Lilly Broadcasting Becomes A Radio Player. As a result of paying $900,000 for three Warren (Pennsylvania) stations it is acquiring from Frank Iorio’s Radio Partners LLC, San Luis Obispo, California-based Lilly Broadcasting enters the radio business. The three Warren-area outlets involved are WNAE “News Talk 96.7,” classic hits-oldies WRRN “92 Gold,” and WKNB “Kinzua Country 104.3.” Lilly owns television facilities in Honolulu, Erie (Pennsylvania), Elmira (New York), Marquette (Michigan), and the Caribbean. According to Lilly Broadcasting president Kevin Lilly, “The Warren radio properties create synergies with our current footprint in our Pennsylvania television DMA, comprised of Erie, Warren, and Crawford counties. They will allow us to better serve our viewers and now our radio listeners while in their homes, cars, and online. We look forward to providing the best content available for our listeners and will improve the news, weather, and sports information on all platforms.”

 

 

San Antonio’s New Vibe. KXTN “Tejano & Proud,” San Antonio transitions to KVBH “Vibe 107.5.” Of the rhythmic hot AC presentation that will mix “pop, hip-hop, and R&B artists from the 1980s and early-2000s,” Univision San Antonio vice president and general manager Chris Morris states, “We are excited to launch a brand-new format that reflects the distinct musical tastes of San Antonio – one of the most diverse communities in the nation. By reformatting and optimizing our audio portfolio, we are able to better serve our audience and give them more of the content they love.” In conjunction with the format flip, the “Tejano & Proud” format shifts to a simulcast on KVBH-HD2 and KCOR, while “Univision Deportes Radio” moves from KCOR to KROM-HD3. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s February 2019 survey period, KXTN ranks #14 (3.1). Its February 2018 through February 2019 high was 4.0 (6+) in February 2018.

More Than A Million Smiles. As part of its fourth annual “Laugh United: A Night of Cocktails and Comedy,” Westwood One’s “The Bob & Tom Show” raised a record $1,053,500 in Vienna, West Virginia for the United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley. Pictured here is show cast member Josh Arnold who performed with fellow veteran touring comics Greg Hahn, Jack Freeman, and Henry Phillips. Parkersburg (West Virginia) rocker WHBR “103.1 The Bear” is the local “Bob & Tom Show” affiliate.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. After nearly four years with iHeartMedia Denver CHR KPTT “95.7 The Party,” morning driver J.J. Kincaid (of “JJ & Nina”) departs. Immediately in advance of his Denver stint, Kincaid had a nine-year afternoon drive run in New York at co-owned/similarly-formatted WHTZ “Z-100” and spent three years in Dallas at another iHeartMedia CHR, KHKS “106.1 Kiss-FM” ….. On the heels of Beasley Media Group Boston flipping WBOS from “Alt 92.9” to “Rock 92.9” last Thursday (4/11), the station eliminates the music director position that was held by Joel Weiss, who exits. After having spent 13 years in a similar position at Cox Media Group Tampa’s WSUN, Weiss joined WBOS less than a year ago ….. Formerly the program director/afternoon drive talent at Martz Communications Group-owned WAMO “Pittsburgh’s #1 for Hip-Hop,” Jonathan Steele, will join Beasley Media Group Detroit’s WMGC “105.1 The Bounce” next Monday (4/22) as afternoon drive personality, using the air name “J. Steele.” According to WMGC vice president and market manager Mac Edwards, “When we heard J.’s demo, he jumped to the top of our list. Having the opportunity to meet him and discover his impressive skill set as both a person and personality, there was no denying J. Steele was the right talent at the right time to help us write the next chapter of success.” Program director John Candelaria comments, “We are very impressed with J.’s experience and his strong desire to entertain the listeners in Detroit. I am excited to hear his high energy interactive show and see him earn the community’s respect.” Steele adds, “This is the job I dreamed about as a little kid. I am beyond excited to light up the airwaves for this incredible radio station.” The revised weekday “Bounce” line-up includes: “The Gello Show with Joanna” (6:00 am – 10:00 am); J. Steele (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm); and DJ Dinero (7:00 pm – 12:00 midnight) ….. With Emmis Indianapolis’ WLHK “97.1 Hank FM” ever since the country outlet launched in 2005, morning talent Dave O’Brien exits, as his contract isn’t renewed. O’Brien started his Indianapolis radio career in 1996 at WRZX, later going to WNOU for two years and to WENS in 2004 ….. Jazz KUVO, Denver program and content director Nikki Swarn is appointed PD for Rocky Mountain Public Media‘s new R&B/hip-hop streaming service, “The Drop.” Swarn comments, “It is such an honor to get to serve the Colorado community through this incredible opportunity. We anticipate engaging Coloradans with an exciting blend of their favorite artists, while providing a platform for new and Colorado-based musicians as well. The audience consuming R&B and hip-hop is vast and hungry for dynamic experiences in music; we want to fill that void.” Swarn previously was Entercom Denver’s director of promotions and marketing and spent six years as Max Media Denver’s director of marketing and promotions ….. In separate fundraisers for their respective communities, two Alpha Media country-formatted properties (WFLS and KZKX) recently combined to bring in nearly $200,000. Completing its eleventh year of working with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, WFLS “93.3 – Today’s Country,” Fredericksburg (Virginia) accounted for $135,479 in a two-day event hosted by the station’s morning team – Steve & Jessica. That figure broke WFLS’ previous records. Alpha Media market manager Beth Vickers states, “It is a privilege to lead a team of individuals who are passionate about helping others. Steve & Jessica were amazing hosts, pulling long hours to make it all happen. Our community and our listeners were so generous with donations – results like this make a difference.” Meanwhile, co-owned/similarly-formatted KZKX “KX-96.9,” Lincoln (Nebraska) – along with the Starlite Event Center – raised over $60,000 for American Red Cross flood relief during a one-night (3/29) benefit concert. Entertainment was provided by local bands Dylan Bloom, Bucka Ruse, and Sack of Lions. Alpha Media Lincoln operations manager Rob Kelley comments, “That night was a humbling experience as the people of Saunders County and surrounding areas – many of them flood victims themselves – came together with auction items and monetary donations to go directly to their friends, family, and neighbors. We are so blessed to have listeners like this in the KZKX family.” Severe flooding began impacting Nebraska in mid-March. The “KX-96.9” donation check was presented to the American Red Cross last Thursday (4/11).

Monday, April 8, 2019

| April 8, 2019

Monday Memo: 2019 NAB Show. The NAB Show is underway in Las Vegas, and TALKERS contributor Holland Cooke reports that the convention focus is taking the term “broadcast” quite literally.  He writes: “Huge banners atop the Convention Center proclaim ‘Every story starts here,’ and reiterate the theme of the National Association of Broadcasters’ annual convention these past several Aprils: ‘Where content comes to life.’ As opposed to ‘where content feeds transmitters.’  While the NAB’s mission remains lobbying on behalf of FCC licensees, its unmistakable message to attendees is – as NPR VP/distribution Michael Beach put it – ‘be offering your content anywhere and everywhere you can do it.’”  Read HC’s column here.

Marc Hochman and WQAM, Miami Sign Extension. Miami sports talk personality Marc Hochman signs a new, long-term contract to continue co-hosting the afternoon drive program on Entercom’s sports talk WQAM.  Hochman works on air with former Miami Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder on the “Hoch and Crowder” afternoon drive show.  Hochman says, “I’m so fortunate to be able to continue doing this show with Channing Crowder and our super producer Erick Falero.  The community we’ve built on the air is the most rewarding thing I’ve ever accomplished on radio.”  He previously served in the market as executive producer for the “Dan Le Batard Show,” based at sister sports talker WAXY-AM, Miami.

Carver Appointed to Market President Post at Townsquare Media’s Amarillo Cluster. Sales and management pro Carolyn Carver is named market president and chief revenue officer for Townsquare Media’s Amarillo, Texas cluster that includes news/talk KIXZ and three music-formatted stations.  Carver says, “I’m so excited to be back with Townsquare.  The vision, passion, and commitment of Bill Wilson and Erik Hellum to the industry, its clients, and their people is what has set them apart from all others.  The company has a motto of ‘You Matter’ and they stand behind that.  It starts from the top down and it is refreshing to see leaders who believe in their people and make them feel a part of something grand.”

Mike Gallagher Packs the House at WJJK, Montauk’s Casino Event.  More than 600 listeners of Red Wolf Broadcasting’s news/talk WJJF, Montauk, Long Island packed the cabaret theater at Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut on Saturday (4/6) as Salem Radio Network host Mike Gallagher and an all-star panel saluted the radio station’s seventh anniversary as a news/talk station.  Station officials say it was the best-attended cabaret event in the station’s history.  And to top it all off, since the following day was Gallagher’s birthday, WJJF arranged for a Marilyn Monroe impersonator to sing “Happy Birthday” a la the famous salute to JFK.

Jimbo Visits Janesville. Nationally syndicated late-night talk radio host Jim Bohannon was in Janesville, Wisconsin on Friday (4/5) for an appearance at affiliate WCLO’s remote broadcast.  Pictured above (from l-r) are: Westwood One’s Bohannon, Al Meehan, owner of Barkley’s Burgers, Brews & Dawgs, where the broadcast o originated; Tom Edwards, Tim Bremel, and Tim Beggs of WCLO; and Mark Finnegan of Vets Roll, an organization that provides trips to the Nation’s Capital for veterans.

TALKERS Notes Notes. Satellite receiver changes are taking place for Salem Radio Network and Salem Music Network that affects affiliates of the company’s Christian programming platform.  Salem is switching from satellite to IP and will be upgrading its receiver fleet in mid-2019 to the XDS platform.  Current Wegener satellite receivers will be replaced and upgraded to an XDS Pro receiver that will be fed completely from the internet.  Salem will continue broadcasting on the current Wegener satellite platform while migrating to the new XDS IP receivers and expect to end the SES-2 Wegener satellite feed in early 2020.  This will affect current Salem Wegener affiliates (Christian on SES-2) and NOT current Westwood One XDS (General Market on SES-11) receivers.  Current affiliates should submit a receiver request here…..Mel Wheelerowned news/talk station WFIR, Roanoke, Virginia was honored with top awards by the Associated Press for radio stations in Virginia’s and West Virginia’s largest cities.  “The Roanoke Valley’s Morning News” was honored for “Best Newscast” in competition with stations in Richmond, Norfolk, and Charleston, West Virginia.  WFIR took home second-place honors for its website. WFIR sports earned first-place honors in the “Best Sports Feature” category for their story on “The Making of Negro League Legend Larry LaGrande.”  The judges also gave the station top honors among Virginia stations for “Best Sports Operation” featuring “Greg Roberts Live.”…..New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold is signed up to make weekly live appearances on WEPN, New York’s “Michael Kay Show.”  “98.7 ESPN” program director Ryan Hurley says, “We could not be happier about this partnership.  There is a lot of excitement surrounding one of the NFL’s young rising stars and his future. Listeners will not only get an inside look into his week-to-week journey on the field, but they’ll get to know Sam off the field as another member of the 98.7 family when he joins Michael, Don and Peter every week.”…..Pictured below are KQTM, Albuquerque afternoon personality Jim Villanucci (center) with Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper (left) and Cooper’s childhood friend and former New Mexico Lobos player Daryl Chestnut (right).  The two appeared on Villanucci’s program to promote their youth football camp.

Kirstjen Nielsen Steps Down from DHS/U.S.-Mexico Border Situation, Trump Tax Returns Issue, Libya Military Action, 2020 Democratic Candidates, Venezuela Tensions, ‘SNL’ Mocks Joe Biden, Netanyahu Campaign/U.S.-Israel Relations, NCAA Final Four, and NBA and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The forced resignation of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and the related state of affairs at the U.S.-Mexico border; the House Ways and Means Committee’s request for President Trump’s tax returns; the U.S. pulls out of Tripoli as the Libyan National Army approaches the city; the Democratic candidates vying to challenge President Trump in 2020, the tensions in Venezuela over infrastructure failures and the presence of Russian troops; “Saturday Night Live” pokes fun at Joe Biden’s inappropriate touching troubles; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s re-election bid and the state U.S.-Israel relations; the NCAA Final Four; and NBA and MBL games 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. Los Angeles rock station KLOS is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a special one-time-only reunion of the “Mark & Brian Radio Show” on Thursday April 25 from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  The legendary KLOS morning team retired from the station in August of 2012.  KLOS program director and Cumulus Media rock format captain Keith Cunningham says, “We’re stoked that Mark & Brian have agreed to get the band back together to celebrate the 50th anniversary of KLOS.  If not for the Mark & Brian Show, KLOS may not have reached the 50-year milestone.  The show is an enormous part of the brand’s history and the 25th will be an epic day for Southern California radio listeners.”…..NRG Media’s hip hop KOPW, Omaha “Power 106.9” announces the launch of its new morning show, “Chef West And The Morning Scramble,” featuring Tay Westberry and Alyssa Siebken.  Westberry, a.k.a. Mr. West, previously hosted the evening show.  Siebken is a musician who appeared on season 13 of “American Idol.”  KOPW program director Caleb Farnell says, “Tay has his finger firmly on the pulse of the ‘Power’ listener and Alyssa will be able to bring a valuable perspective to the show.”…..Condolences to the family and friends of Morris Diamond, a legendary music business player who passed away recently at age 97.  Diamond got his start serving as a gofer for the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra.  He later got into song publishing and launched his own label, Beverly Hills Records.  He published a memoir of his encounters with music biz greats from Frank Sinatra to Michael Jackson titled, The Name Dropper or People I Schlepped With……Pictured below at Westwood One‘s Backstage at the ACM Awards on Friday and Saturday (4/5-6) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas are (from l-r): Mike McVay, EVP programming & content, Cumulus Media and Westwood One; Cumulus Country operations manager Charlie Cook, country artist Lauren Alaina; and Cumulus Media VP, label relations John Kilgo.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

| April 4, 2019

Bob Pittman Talks Audio with NBC News. Saying that “audio is hot for the first time in decades,” iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman talks up the audio entertainment industry with NBC News’ Claire Atkinson.  In the piece, Pittman says, “There are two parts to the audio sector.  There’s radio and a music collection, both have done well over the years.  The music collection side of the equation has been impacted by technology and it has transformed it. Spotify is really winning the music collection side of things.  Radio is also benefiting from the technology revolution.  It’s added more and more ways to listen to the radio on hundreds of new platforms and thousands of new devices, from smart speakers to smart TVs and game players. iHeart is leading the radio side of things.”  iHeartMedia is expected to emerge from Chapter 11 reorganization soon.  The company has reduced its debt from close to $20 billion to $5.75 billion.  It is also preparing to do an IPO for Class A common shares.

Aaron Mason Joins Gee Scott on ‘KIRO Nights.’ Air-personality and podcast producer Aaron Mason (right) joins Gee Scott (left) as co-host of “KIRO Nights” on Bonneville’s Seattle news/talk KIRO-FM.  Mason has been serving with the station as a fill-in host and podcast producer, working on KIRO’s “Your Last Meal with Rachel Belle.”  Mason fills the role left open by the departure of Zak Burns last fall.

Cohen Promoted at Salem Media Group. Rising from vice president of local digital to vice president of broadcast digital with Salem Media Group is Jamie Cohen.  He joined Salem Media Group in January of 2018 after serving with Gannett’s USA Today, Chicago Sun-Times owner Wrapports, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  Cohen says, “I’m honored to be able to continue contributing to Salem’s expansion into greater levels of digital content strategy.  With the launch of Salem Surround, we have really taken tremendous strides in strengthening our digital strategies as a company and I’m excited to help expand even further.”  SMG president of broadcast media David Santrella says, “In the 15 months Jamie has worked for Salem building our digital sales model, he has proven to have a depth of understanding that goes far beyond sales.  I am confident that we will see our digital efforts in the broadcast division grow and thrive under Jamie’s leadership.”

TALKERS News Notes. Oklahoma sports talk radio pioneer Al Eschbach is being inducted into the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame tomorrow at the OAB’s annual convention in Oklahoma City.  The OAB notes that Eschbach began his broadcasting career at KTOK, Oklahoma as sports director in 1976.   In 1985, he moved across town to WWLS-AM – the station that would become sports talk “The Sports Animal.”  Eschbach is still with Cumulus’ WWLS-FM “The Sports Animal” and appears on the air as part of the “Dominant Duo Show” with Jim Traber and also as part of the “Total Dominance Hour” at 5:00 pm daily with Jim Traber, Berry Tramel, and Dean Blevins.  Cumulus Oklahoma City VP and market manager Jay Davis says, “Al Eschbach is a true sports radio pioneer and has been the cornerstone of WWLS from the very beginning.  We are proud and honored to work alongside this Hall of Famer.”…..The host gig for the Sunday morning baseball show “Hit & Run” at Entercom’s WSCR, Chicago “The Score” goes to current staffer Matt Spiegel.  He’ll work the show with a rotating cast of co-hosts.  The slot opened when the station and Daily Herald sports columnist Barry Rozner did not come to terms on a contract renewal. Spiegel hosted middays at “The Score” until last year.  He remains a columnist for 670TheScore.com and co-host of the Saturday morning “Inside the Clubhouse” show alongside Bruce Levine…..Podcast producer Cadence13 partners with veterans advocate Paul Rieckhoff – author of Chasing Ghosts– to create the new “Angry Americans” podcast hosted by Rieckhoff.  In the program, the Iraq War veteran “explores the most important issues facing our country with a wide range of influential and compelling guests from Capitol Hill to Hollywood to Silicon Valley.”

Townsquare Media Stations Hit with Ransomware Attack. Officials from Townsquare Media’s corporate office have not made an official public statement about the ransomware attacks, but numerous reports in consumer media outlets indicate that the company suffered from the attacks that began on Monday, leaving several clusters without control of their computer systems, at least for a period Townsquare clusters in Shreveport, Louisiana; Boise, Idaho; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; and Portsmouth, New Hampshire were impacted by the attack.  Ransomware is designed to lock users out of their computers until they pay a ransom to regain control.  News/talk KEEL-AM/K269GO, Shreveport posted on its website: “Townsquare’s engineers and ITs, both local and corporate, continue to work on restoring the operating system to working order, though no time for a return to normal operation is known.  In the meantime, listeners’ patience for things out-of-the-ordinary is greatly appreciated and, hopefully, the interruptions in regular programming will be too small to notice.”

Katz Media Group Raises More Than $45k for Broadcasters Foundation of America. Media sales organization Katz Media Group announces its recently completed 10th annual companywide membership drive raised more than $45,000 for the Broadcasters Foundation of America.  Over the decade Katz has been raising funds for the BFoA it has brought in more than $350,000.  Led by Mark Gray, chief executive officer of Katz Media Group; Christine Travaglini, president of Katz Radio Group; and Leo MacCourtney, president of Katz Television Group — all money raised during the annual two-week campaign goes toward the Stu Olds Memorial Fund that commemorates Katz’s former CEO and supports the foundation’s mission to provide financial support to radio and television professionals in acute need. Last year, the Broadcasters Foundation gave out a record amount of grants to broadcasters for necessities ranging from medical care to everyday essentials. This includes one-time emergency grants given to victims of natural disasters, such as hurricanes, earthquakes and wildfires.  Mark Gray says, “It’s an honor to continue Stu’s legacy and give back to our incredible industry.  As a board member, I have seen firsthand all the good the foundation does.  I’m incredibly proud and appreciative of the continued generosity of the Katz team to support the Foundation, and give to colleagues in need.”

Trump Tax Returns Issue, Joe Biden Allegations, Mueller Report Aftermath, U.S.-Mexico Border Issues, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, NCAA Final Four, and NBA and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/3). The House Ways and Means chairman officially files request for President Trump’s tax returns; the inappropriate touching allegations against Joe Biden; the aftermath of the Mueller Report completion; the border wall and migrant  problems at the U.S.-Mexico border; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the NCAA Final Four; and NBA and MLB action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Taylor Jukes is named program director for iHeartMedia’s CHR WHYI, Miami “Y100.”  Jukes was most recently senior manager of national content for iHeartRadio Canada.  iHeartMedia regional SVP of programming Rob Miller says, “Taylor is a passionate leader who has programmed multiple successful brands in Canada.  Her fresh perspective on collaborating with talent and innovative social media strategies, paired with strong relationships with artists and our label partners will reinforce the dominant position we have at ‘Y100.’  I am excited for Taylor and me to make history together in Miami!”…..Sun Broadcast Group adds of “The Weekend Throwdown with Jagger” to its 2019 offerings.  The four-hour weekly show is hosted by current iHeartMedia programmer (WKSS, Hartford and WKCI, New Haven) and former WKTU, New York night jock Jagger.  He says, “I’m excited to join the team at Sun Broadcast Group!  Jay Bailey has a great vision and the future is bright.  Plus, we are thrilled to have [VP programming and affiliate relations] Rich O’ Brien back on our team.  We look forward to taking ‘The Weekend Throwdown with Jagger’ to the next level!”

Monday, April 1, 2019

| April 1, 2019

Monday Memo: “Here’s What’s Happening…” In today’s Monday Memo, consultant Holland Cooke reminds radio news people that “local information is something radio’s non-local, new-tech competitors just can’t deliver.  And if recent cutbacks have competing stations mailing-it-in yours will be conspicuous by comparison.  And if you’re relevant and user-friendly to those busy in-car listeners advertisers want to meet, you’re gold.”  Read HC’s Monday Memo here.

iHeartMedia Revenue Rises 6% from January to February.  Those following iHeartMedia’s Chapter 11 reorganization process are aware the company has been filing monthly revenue reports since April of last year – a month after it declared Chapter 11.  The most recent report filed with U.S Bankruptcy Court in Houston on March 28 shows revenue of $246.2 million for the month of February, up 6% from January.  Most of the figures in the report – revenue, operating income, net income (loss) – have bounced around a lot since April 2018.  Although revenue was up in February, that followed a drop in revenue of almost $100 million from December to January.  Net income in February was $14.3 million, a turnaround from January’s loss of $9.5 million.  Operating income was $24.1 million in February, a bounceback from January’s $7.6 million figure, the lowest reported number since April of 2018.

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s February 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on news/talk.  Half of the news/talk stations on our panel improved (weekly 6+ AQH share) from the January survey to the February survey, led by Entercom’s KMBZ-FM, Kansas City (+1.0).  Comparing February 2018 to February 2019, about half the stations showed improvement with Emmis’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis leading the pack (+2.2) and Cumulus’s WMAL-AM/FM, Washington (+2.0) close behind.  Three stations ranked #1 in their markets in February: Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta; Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5”; and CMG’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville.  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

2019 Radio Mercury Awards Deadline Is Now April 19. The deadline for submitting entries for the RAB’s 2019 Radio Mercury Awards is being extended to April 19.  The “biggest creative awards show for radio and audio” will honor broadcasters’ efforts in numerous categories.  They include: Radio station produced commercials and campaigns; radio station produced promotional spots; creative use of audio: podcasts, branded content and activations, interactive audio, and more; creative use of sound/music: sonic branding, jingles, songs and music, etc.; integrated campaigns with radio/audio; PSA spots/campaigns; and Spanish-language spots/campaigns.  You can listen to last year’s winners, learn about the prize money, get more information, and enter by clicking here.

TALKERS News Notes.  Washington, DC all-news station WTOP is celebrating 50 years as an all-news radio station and features a nice, historical piece on its website that chronicles the station’s evolution.  The idea for making the station a news-intensive one came from Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham who’d been listening to suburban AM WAVA present an all-news format and instructed WTOP’s managers to focus on news.  WTOP was owned by the Post at the time…..A piece published at NJ.com speculates about whether former WFAN, New York morning personality Craig Carton could pop back up at the Entercom-owned sports talk station if Carton avoids jail time at his sentencing on Friday (4/5).  Citing a comment by WFAN program director Mark Chernoff in Newsday in which he said the station would welcome a discussion about a chance to return if he avoids prison, writer James Kratch reports Carton’s attorneys suggest Carton would be able to pay restitution if he’s allowed to work.  However, Newsday also reports that the judge is unlikely to be so lenient about such serious fraud crimes.  According to a story in the New York Daily News, prosecutors are seeking six to seven years in prison…..As per Chicago media maven Robert Feder’s reportErich Mancow Muller’s morning drive show on Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM is starting a bit earlier as the station makes a minor schedule change.  Instead of starting at 6:00 am, the Mancow show starts at 5:30, effective today (4/1)…..Sports talk radio host Dan Sileo – who hosts the morning drive show at Entercom’s San Diego sports talk station KWFN “97.3 The Fan” – is also hosting a new, two-hour weekend show at the company’s WEEI-FM, Boston. Sileo’s show – airing from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm – debuted over the weekend.  Sileo is a Connecticut native who played college football at Miami and was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1987.    

Podcasting Is Now Mainstream (or Is It?).  According to a new study by Edison Research, podcasting continues to permeate and gain ground within the general public’s media usage.  Media consultant and TALKERS columnist Holland Cooke sited these latest stats on his RT America “The Big Picture” TV show (3/29) and examined their implications by interviewing TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Jacobs Media president Fred Jacobs.  To view the segment in its entirety, please click here.

Central American Aid Cuts, Joe Biden Inappropriateness Allegation, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, Border Wall/Immigration Issues, Mueller Report Aftermath, AOC FDR Snafu, Trump vs Obamacare, NCAA Tourney, and NBA and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The Trump administration plans aid cuts to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras; allegation about inappropriate touching by Joe Biden; the Democrats vying to face President Trump in 2020; the status of the U.S.-Mexico border wall and the flow of migrants to the border; the aftermath of the Trump-Russia investigation report from Robert Mueller; Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez’s statement that Republicans engineered the 22nd Amendment to force FDR from office; the Trump administration’s effort to repeal Obamacare; the NCAA tournament action; and NBA and MLB action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Radio pro Danita Maldonado is named afternoon personality and web/social media manager for Cumulus Media’s country KXKC, Lafayette, Louisiana “NASH FM 99.1.”  She previously served on air at country KMRK-FM, Odessa, Texas and country KFTX, Corpus Christi, Texas as well as with production companies and ad agencies in New York City…..Swick Broadcasting adds the “O’Reilly In The Morning” program with Phil O’Reilly to WLKI-FM, Angola, Indiana. This is a move of flagships for O’Reilly who most recently broadcast his syndicated show from Midwest Communications’ WNWN-FM, Battle Creek, Michigan.   O’Reilly says, “I am very excited to be part of the teams at Swick Broadcasting and Local Radio Networks.  My family and I reside just up the road in Battle Creek, Michigan and we are very happy to stay right here and continue to have fun on the radio!”…..Programming pro Brian Stephenson is named operations manager for Townsquare Media’s six-station Yakima, Washington cluster that includes rock KATS-FM, CHR KFFM-FM, and country KDBL-FM…..Resonate Hawaii LLC is buying adult hits KBGX-FM, Keaau and country KKOA, Volcano from Mahalo Multimedia LLC for $550,000.  Susan Patrick and Jason James of Patrick Communications were the exclusive brokers for this transaction…..Westwood One’s new urban AC morning stars Rick Party (left) and Sasha the Diva (center), attended the NAACP Image Awards this weekend.  Below, they pose for a pic with “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah (right).

Friday, March 15, 2019

| March 15, 2019

Bubba the Love Sponge Lashes Out at ‘Speech Police’ in WSJ Op-Ed Piece. There’s been a lot of chatter on news/talk radio this week about Media Matters’ attack on Tucker Carlson for stuff he said on the Bubba the Love Sponge show during the period of 2006-2011 when he was a regular guest.  Carlson took an unusual tack and not only didn’t apologize but used the Media Matters attack on him to call out the “speech police.”  Now, Bubba the Love Sponge also rips Media Matters and others in an op-ed piece published in the Wall Street Journal that compares Carlson’s battle with that of comic Lenny Bruce some 50 years ago.  The crux of Bubba’s piece is that entertainers in the U.S. have the right to be edgy and to push boundaries even if that includes being rude or profane.  He says that in our culture we accept that kind of language within the context of comedy where we wouldn’t accept it in other facets of life – or at least we used to.   Read Bubba’s piece here.

Mitchinson Exits KFBK, Sacramento Mornings. Sacramento news/talk KFBK parts ways with morning drive co-anchor Dan Mitchinson after almost four years.  Mitchinson worked alongside co-anchor Cristina Mendosa on the “KFBK Morning News” program.  The iHeartMedia station will announce a new co-anchor soon.  Mitchinson posted news of his exit on Facebook.  He wrote, in part, “‘Everything’s got to end sometime.  Otherwise nothing would ever get started.’ And with that (semi) favorite quote of mine, my time here at KFBK has come to an end.  I can’t say it was easy getting up most mornings around 1, but once I was in the car, heading to work, I looked forward to connecting with all of you on air and through social media and sharing stories.”

McCredden Named OM at Townsquare Media Quad Cities. Programming pro Ryan McCredden joins Townsquare Media as operations manager for the company’s five-station cluster in the Quad Cities that includes sports talk KJOC-FM “ESPN 93.5” and four music-formatted stations.  McCredden was most recently programming Houston sports talk outlets KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” and KIKK “CBS Sports Radio 650.”  He’s also programmed news/talk KQTH-FM, Tucson.  He says, “I’m thrilled to be able to work with the entire team at Townsquare Quad Cities and their great local brands.  We will have a lot of fun and I look forward to growing upon the success they’ve already achieved.”

Jacksonville Sports Talker Gets FM Translator. “930 The Game” gets an FM translator added to its signal.  iHeartMedia announces that sports talk WFXJ-AM, Jacksonville is now also heard on W247CF (licensed to Orange Park, Florida) at 97.3 FM.  The 99-watt signal covers the southeast portion of the Jacksonville metro. iHeartMedia SVP of programming Geewiz says, “Jacksonville was in need of a strong FM sports station.  We are very fortunate to have the legendary morning show with Mike Bianchi and ‘Harp on Sports with Seth Harp’ leading the sports world in Jacksonville.  The strong FM signal will allow ‘930 The Game’ to have an even wider reach.”

Manafort Sentencing and Trump-Russia Investigation Top News/Talk Stories for Week of March 11-15. The second sentencing of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and the related Trump-Russia investigation tied for the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the college entrance cheating scandal.  Coming in at #3 was the looming national emergency vote in the senate and the related border wall project, followed by the 2020 Democratic hopefuls and Beto O’Rourke’s entrance at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s entire chart here.

TALKERS News Notes. It’s been just over a year since ESPN returned Stephen A. Smith to a full-time, national radio show with ESPN Radio.  Now, the sports media giant is happy to report the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm Stephen A. Smith Show (simulcast on cable’s ESPNEWS) is enjoying a positive uptick in Nielsen’s PPM ratings.  ESPN says since August 2018 the show was up 23% in AQH share (men 25-54)…..The NFL’s Carolina Panthers are moving forward without longtime analyst Eugene Robinson in the radio booth alongside Mick Mixon and Jim Szoke.  Robinson – who was part of the Panthers Radio Network for 17 years – also co-hosts “Charlotte Today” on WCNC-TV, Charlotte.  Entercom’s WBT-AM/FM serves as the flagship station for Panthers radio play-by-play…..Westwood One is the official network radio partner of the NCAA and will present exclusive live coverage of the 2019 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, starting with First Four action on Tuesday, March 19.  WWO is producing radio play-by-play for all 67 games – including eight first-round and second-round games, plus regional semifinals and finals.  Westwood One is broadcasting live coverage of NCAA Men’s Final Four on Saturday, April 6 and the National Championship Game on Monday, April 8, in both English and Spanish…..Cumulus Media’s sports talk KBGG-AM, Des Moines “1700 The Champ” is the newest affiliate station of the Minnesota Twins’ Treasure Island Radio Network via Learfield.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. San Francisco morning personality Vinnie Hasson re-ups with Entercom’s hot AC KLLC “Alice @ 97.3” to continue co-hosting the station “Sarah and Vinnie” program with Sarah Clark.   Hasson says, “A thousand thanks to [Entercom SVP of programming] Michael Martin and [market manager] Greg Nemitz for their support and leadership, and to my wonderful partner Sarah – you are the best and I look forward to chopping it up with you every day.  I’m stoked to keep rolling with our great team and continue waking up the Bay Area every day.”…..On-air personality and programmer Cameron Moore is adding another set of music director duties to her responsibilities with Beasley Media Group’s Charlotte cluster.  Moore is now MD for WSOC “Country 1037” in addition to her role as midday personality and music director for sister CHR WNKS “KISS 95.1.”  WSOC program director Jack Daniel comments, “Cameron is experienced in the country music format.  She has a great work ethic and I’m very excited to have her on the ‘Country 1037’ team and cannot wait to utilize all of her creative input and perspective.”…..Beasley Media Group announces that the “Déjà vu Show” takes over the midday daypart on rhythmic oldies WUKS, Fayetteville, North Carolina “Old School 1077,” effective March 25.  As a result, Teddy Bear moves to the evening show (6:00 pm to 10:00 pm).  WUKS brand manager Kenny J says, “We are extremely excited to have the ‘Déjà vu Show’ here in Fayetteville.  Deja will bring lots of experience, high energy girlfriend talk and lots of fun!  She will take middays to a whole new level.”…..Premiere Networks-syndicated personality Elvis Duran is publishing his new memoir, Where Do I Begin? Stories (I Sort of Remember) From a Life Lived Out Loud, (October 2019, Atria) In promoting the book, Duran chatted with People magazine about his rise to fame, how he took control of his health, losing more than 100 pounds with the help of celebrity medico Dr. Oz, coming out as gay man on the radio, and how he manages to get major pop stars to talk so candidly about their personal lives.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

| March 12, 2019

Townsquare Media Reports Q4 2018 Net Revenue Up 12%; Net Revenue Rises 4.7% for Full Year of 2018.  Note that those figures are not pro forma – they include the revenue from Townsquare Media’s July 2018 closing on three Trenton stations that didn’t exist for the company in 2017 – and they also include political advertising.  Pro forma net revenue for the fourth quarter was $109 million – up 9.7% over the same period in 2017.  Excluding political revenue, the figure was $103.3 million, an increase of 5.2%.  For all of 2018, net revenue was $430.6 million.  That’s up 4.7% from all of 2017.  The pro forma figure for the whole of 2018 was $434.2 million, up 3.7%.  Excluding political revenue, the yearly figure was $420.6 million, an increase of 2.8% over 2017.  For all of 2018, Townsquare reports a pro forma net loss of $30.6 million, as compared to $8.2 million in the same period in 2017.  The company says the decline in net income was driven by an increase in non-cash impairment charges in 2018, due in part to the revision of certain assumptions in the company’s annual testing for intangible impairment as a result of the company’s depressed stock price and market capitalization as compared to the prior year, among other factors.  Net income was also impacted by a $9 million decline in income tax benefit, primarily related to the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act.  Townsquare CEO Bill Wilson states, “In 2018, we delivered net revenue growth of approximately 5% and Adjusted EBITDA growth of over 7%, driven by the impressive growth of our digital businesses, which now total $120 million in annual net revenue and thus nearly 30% of our total net revenue.  Further, we beat our previously issued 2018 revenue guidance.  The fourth quarter delivered the strongest year over year growth in 2018, with net revenue growth of 12%, and we saw sequential improvement in our advertising business throughout the year.”

Saga Communications’ Fourth Quarter Net Revenue Rises 4.7%. Reporting on both the fourth quarter and the full year of 2018, Saga Communications indicates net revenue was $32.9 million – up 4.7% — in the fourth quarter, compared to the same period in 2017.  Income from continuing operations before tax increased $2.3 million to $6 million compared to $3.7 million last year.   Operating income increased $2.1 million to $6 million and station operating expense increased $523 thousand to $23.8 million for the quarter.  During the fourth quarter of 2017 Saga recognized an income tax benefit of $11.2 million compared to an income tax expense of $1.7 million for the same period in 2018. The income tax benefit in 2017 was primarily due to an $11.5 million reduction in our deferred tax liability as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.  Looking at the full-year 2018 report, net revenue increased 5.7% to $124.8 million.  Income from continuing operations before tax increased $3.1 million to $19.4 million compared to $16.3 million last year.  Operating income increased $2.5 million to $19.7 million and station operating expense increased $6 million to $93.7 million for the twelve-month period.  On a same station basis for the twelve months ended December 31, 2018 net revenue increased 1.1% to $116.5 million. Operating income increased $2.6 million to $19.4 million and station operating expense increased $642 thousand to $86 million.  Saga Communications reports total bank debt of $20 million as of December 31, 2018 and had $40.7 million cash in hand as of March 11, 2019.

Erika Beasley Moves to Corporate Digital Content Director Role. Most recently, Erika Beasley has been serving as vice president and market manager for Beasley Media Group’s Fayetteville, North Carolina cluster.  Now, she takes on the Tampa-based position corporate digital content director for local markets, reporting to chief digital content officer Lori Burgess.  In this role she’ll be responsible for leading the company’s digital content expansion at the local level as well as working in tandem with digital program directors, programming teams, and talent on locally relevant content development and marketing initiatives.  Burgess says, “Erika brings a positive, can-do attitude, and locally-centric focus to our digital initiatives.  She was quick to embrace the company’s content transformation this past fall and expanded Fayetteville’s digital presence and audience growth for both WKML and WZFX.  We fully expect Erika to leverage her experience to further our live and local mission in an effort to grow digital value for consumers and advertisers alike.”

Beasley Promotes Kent Dunn to RVP for Augusta and Fayetteville. Radio management pro Kent Dunn has been leading Beasley Media Group’s Augusta, Georgia station group that includes news/talk WGAC-AM/FM and sports talk WRDW since December of 2017.  Now, he takes on leadership of the company’s Fayetteville, North Carolina cluster as Erika Beasley moves into a corporate position (see story above).  Prior to returning Augusta, Dunn served as vice president and market manager of the company’s Tampa cluster.  Beasley EVP and COO Brian Beasley states, “It is a privilege to promote Kent to the position of Regional Vice President within the company.  His vast experience and leadership continue to raise the bar within the organization.  We look forward to him continuing to lead Augusta and now Fayetteville into the future.”

Cumulus Star Larry O’ Connor Joins the Washington Examiner as Podcaster and Columnist.  Bi-coastal, local talk radio host Larry O’ Connor, who is heard in mid-mornings on KABC, Los Angeles and in afternoon drive on WMAL-AM/FM, Washington, DC, is expanding his media footprint to the Washington Examiner news organization where he will be launching a regular print column and audio podcast.  O’ Connor will also be helping spearhead a new Washington Examiner podcast channel that is currently on the drawing board.

Jennifer Keiper Lands at All-News WBBM in Chicago.  Just a day after reporting news pro Jennifer Keiper had exited Cumulus Media’s crosstown news/talk WLS-AM, Windy City media writer Robert Feder reports that Keiper has signed with Entercom’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM as a news anchor and reporter.  Keiper served with WBBM in the past as a traffic reporter and part-time anchor/reporter. The Chicagoland native had done two stints with WLS-AM as well as having served as a Midwest correspondent for FOX News Radio.

WJR, Detroit Grabs Numerous Honors at MAB Broadcast Excellence Awards. Detroit news/talker WJR was honored with the Radio Station of the Year honor from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters at last week’s Great Lakes Media Show in Lansing.  The Cumulus Media station has won the award three out of the last four years.  WJR also took home nine other Best awards – including for Best Breaking News Story, Best Morning Show Broadcast (Frank Beckman), and Best Weekday Broadcast, Personality or Team (Mitch Albom) – as well as seven Merit awards. Cumulus Detroit VP and market manager Steve Finateri says, “We here at Cumulus Detroit couldn’t be prouder of our WJR team.  The level of creativity and professionalism at all levels rivals that of any station in the country.

Sook Honored at 2019 Golden Mike Award Gala. Pictured above is honoree Perry Sook – the founder, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Nexstar Media Group – at the Broadcasters Foundation of America’s 2019 Golden Mike Award gala at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.  The event raised more than $450,000, a record-breaker, including a $100,000 personal donation from Sook and his wife, Dr. Sandy Sook.  The evening was hosted by NBC News’ Craig Melvin and featured a performance by country superstar duo Sugarland. Pictured above are (from l-r): BFoA chairman Dan Mason, Melvin, BFoA president Jim Thompson, Perry Sook, and his wife Dr. Sandy Sook.

Comrex Announces Firmware Updates. Users of Comrex’s ACCESS and BRIC-Link codecs should know that the company is releasing firmware version 4.3-p6 that includes an experimental version of a new HTML5-based user interface along with bug fixes and improvements.  The company says that given that Adobe has announced the end of Flash support, and because most browsers disable Flash by default, it is providing an alternative to the Flash-based GUI with this new, fresh, more user-friendly interface.  All current Comrex IP audio codecs by default still use the Flash interface, as well as Toolbox, Codec Commander, and Fleet Commander.  Users who try the new HTML5 interface are encouraged to send a note to techies@comrex.com if they notice potential bugs not listed in the “known issues” section of the 4.3-p6 Changelog.  Firmware version 4.3-p6 also includes Comrex’s new HotSwap feature that lets users back up studio-to-transmitter links (STL) or other dedicated links with a wireless modem.  ACCESS NX Rack and ACCESS MultiRack will both have the new HTML5 user interface, and will be featured at NAB 2019.

Trump Budget Request/Border Wall Funds, Sanders Press Briefing, Pelosi Impeachment Comment, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls/Young Dems Socialist Movement, Boeing 737 Max 8 Worries, Brexit Vote, Carlson-MMA Flap, Venezuela Blackout, and NBA/NCAA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/11).  The 2020 budget proposal from President Trump and the inclusion of funds for the U.S.-Mexico border wall; yesterday’s contentious press briefing from White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s statement declining to consider impeachment of President Trump; the group of Democrats vying for the 2020 nomination and the related socialist movement of younger Democrats; Boeing’s troubles with the new 737 Max 8; today’s Brexit vote and concerns Britain’s exit from the EU may never actually happen; FOX News Channel star Tucker Carlson’s spat with Media Matters over past radio show comments; the blackout in Venezuela continues as the U.S. recalls diplomatic staff; and NBA and NCAA basketball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Thursday night’s iHeartRadio Music Awards, the Backstreet Boys, Ella Mai, lovelytheband, and Marshmello with special guest Lauv will perform.  Additionally, Travis Barker and Yungblud will join Halsey as special guest performers.  The awards show takes place at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles and is being broadcast live on FOX Television and iHeartMediastations across the country…..Syracuse radio personality Scott “dXn” Dixon was inducted into the Syracuse Area Music Awards (SAMMYS) Hall of Fame on Thursday, March 7.  Dixon is afternoon personality, APD/MD, and “Locals Only” show host at Cumulus Media’s alternative WAQX “95X.” Dixon has been covering and supporting the local music scene in Syracuse for the past 20 years…..Programming pro Chris Patyk is leading the curation of alternative and rock stations for TuneIn. He was most recently with Entercom in the San Diego market programming alternative KBZT “ALT 94.9” then-CHR KEGY “Energy 97.3” and adult contemporary KYXY…..Cox Media Group names David Abel vice president/market manager of its six San Antonio music-formatted radio stations.  Abel joins the CMG San Antonio team from his most recent position as vice president of radio with Tulsa-based Griffin Communications…..LARadio.com is reporting the death of former KMET-FM, Los Angeles program director Richard Kimball.  He was believed to have been 82.  Programmed KMET and KWST “K-West” in the mid-1970s.  He managed music acts including Emerson, Lake, and Palmer and David Cassidy before returning to radio with Westwood One in 1980.  He later founded Artist Acquisitions Service Kompany…..Pictured below you can see the WWPR, New York-based, Premiere Networks-syndicated “The Breakfast Club” show as guests on FOX News Channel’s “FOX News @ Night” with anchor Shannon Bream.  The trio of (from l-r) DJ Envy, Angela Yee & Charlamagne Tha God talked about their role hosting presidential candidates on their influential radio program.

Friday, March 8, 2019

| March 8, 2019

WGN, Chicago Brings Back ‘Extension 720’ with Host Justin Kaufmann. The original “Extension 720” was hosted by the late Milt Rosenberg for 40 years but was canceled by station management in 2012.  Now, the Tribune Media station announces that Justin Kaufmann will leave his role with the morning drive Steve Cochran program to take over hosting the new 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm show.  Pete Zimmerman will serve as producer.  WGN station manager and VP on content Todd Manley says the new show will honor the format of Rosenberg’s program with long-form interviews.  Kaufmann will also “meet Chicago voices on location in the communities and neighborhoods where they live and work and will focus on a variety of topics, from arts & culture to politics and innovation.”  Monday evenings will still belong to “Andrea Darlas & The Reporters” and sports play-by-play will bump the show from time to time.  Kaufmann has been with WGN since joining from public media outlet WBEZ-FM in 2015.  He says, “I’m honored and humbled to be at the helm of one of the best radio shows in Chicago history.”

WHO, Des Moines Goes ‘All-Female’ in Honor of International Women’s Day. In recognition of today’s International Women’s Day, iHeartMedia news/talk WHO, Des Moines is presenting a lineup of entirely female hosts.  WHO’s International Women’s Day program lineup will include: Bonnie Lucas, Leila Rush, and Heather Burnside-Parizek from 1460 KXnO as hosts for “Van and Bonnie in the Morning,” with WHO personality Adrianne Branstad and WHO news director Wendy Wilde as hosts for “Need to Know with Jeff Angelo,” and WHO news anchor Sue Danielson as the host for “The Simon Conway Show.”  WHO program director Michael Dorwart says, “As a company we aim to celebrate the contributions of women in music and radio year-round and on International Women’s Day we are highlighting our accomplished radio personalities even more as we support and promote gender balance in the workplace and the world.”  The station adds that in addition to broadcasting 1040 WHO’s most renowned on-air personalities and hosts, the International Women’s Day programming will showcase a variety of different topics that inspire women – ranging from sports, business, and agriculture.  Cristen Clark, a successful farmer and founder of agricultural website Food and Swine, will be featured on-air with several successful women in Iowa agriculture and will be joined by co-host and producer, Morgan McEnany.  To end the day, 1040 WHO will also broadcast coverage of the nationally ranked University of Iowa women’s basketball team as they play their first game of the Big 10 Conference Tournament.

KYW, Philadelphia Personalities Seek Federal Mediator in Union Negotiations. A report by Philadelphia Business Journal’s Jeff Blumenthal indicates that the SAG-AFTRA-represented on-air staffers at Entercom’s all-news KYW, Philadelphia are asking for federal mediation to resolve their issues in contract negotiations with the company. As TALKERS reported previously, SAG-AFTRA publicly called out Entercom for what it is now calling “low-balling” during negotiations for the all-news stations previously owned by CBS RADIO.  Entercom responded, saying: “These discussions include contracts that had been open for years prior to our merger with CBS RADIO, as well as more recently expired agreements.  We prefer to negotiate directly with SAG-AFTRA and our employees, not publicly, and do not intend to comment further.”  Local SAG-AFTRA president Sam Clover tells the PBJ, “We’ve bargained for years with CBS RADIO and never had to take this step, but now we’re dealing with a new company who won’t compromise, so we’re reaching out for help.”  Most cutting to KYW talent is the company’s desire to cut severance benefits by 50% to 90%, according to the story.  Read it here.

PPM Analysis: January 2019 Pacesetters. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian looks at the January 2019 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio to see which formats/specific stations are in the lead (#1 and #2) positions in their respective markets.  Interestingly, while no news/talk station finished #2 in its market, five news/talk stations ranked #1 (6+) in the market during the January survey.  They were: Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta; iHeartMedia’s KFBK, Sacramento and WLW, Cincinnati; Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5”; and Cox’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville. See the whole report here.

PodcastOne and Law & Crime Network Team Up. A new deal between PodcastOne and the Dan Abrams-founded Law & Crime will include a series of new podcasts focusing on the worlds of law and true-crime.   Law & Crime is a 24/7 linear and OTT live trial network.  The first podcast to debut is the self-titled “Dan Abrams Podcast,” set to release new episodes every Thursday.  Abrams says, “Law & Crime is excited to expand its distribution to yet another important medium.  Our partnership with PodcastOne will allow us share some amazing stories with expert legal analysis to a new audience.”

TALKERS News Notes. Boston sports media personality Kirk Minihane is the subject of a profile piece in Boston Magazine.  Last fall, Minihane refused to sign a document promising to not attack the Boston Red Sox or the Boston Globe and to “not be mean-spirited” on the radio and that led to his departure from the WEEI, Boston morning show with co-host Gerry Callahan.  But, he’s still with Entercom, working on his own program emanating from the company’s RADIO.COM platform.  The piece recounts Minihane’s battle with depression and how WEEI changed its morning show…..Envision Networks and the GAB Radio Network are partnering to distribute 14 of the latter’s talk programs to radio stations.  GAB’s shows cover topics including news, sports, music, lifestyle, and more.  GAB general manager Chuck Duncan says, “GAB Radio has become one of the premier production and distribution companies in network radio.  Partnering with Envision was the natural progression to our growth strategy.  Their unbridled vision and outstanding team are an extension of GAB Radio Network.”…..iHeartMedia announces Annette Geiser is promoted to SVP of sales for its Colorado Springs and Pueblo markets that include news/talk KCSJ, Pueblo.  Geiser was most recently a senior account executive.  Market president Jessica Farias says, “I’m excited to have Annette step up and take on this leadership role as the senior vice president of sales.  Annette’s depth of knowledge in the Colorado Springs and Pueblo markets along with her deep relationships are key in leading a best-in-class sales team at iHeartMedia Colorado Springs and Pueblo.”…..Entercom sports talker WIP, Philadelphia is presenting the annual live event “SportsRadio 94WIP Birds Town Hall” – a discussion about the state of the Philadelphia Eagles led by WIP on-air personalities and featuring various NFL and Eagles experts.  It’s taking place all day at MaGerks Pub & Grill in Horsham, Pennsylvania…..Podcast company Cadence13, is presenting the SXSW Podcast Stage at this year’s SXSW in Austin taking place today through March 17. The SXSW Podcast Stage presented by Cadence13 will host podcasts across a number of genres — music, film, technology, comedy, politics, and more — recorded in front of a live audience during the SXSW conference…..The Genesis Communications Network-syndicated “Dr. Daliah Wachs” show is added to the daily lineup of Spirit Broadcasting’s WINT-AM, Willoughby, Ohio (Cleveland market).

Cohen Sues Trump Organization Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 4-8, 2019. Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s suit against the Trump Organization and his congressional testimony about President Trump was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the U.S. House investigation into President Trump for obstruction of justice and more.  Coming in at #3 was the Trump-Russia probe and the related sentencing of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, followed by the state of the U.S.-Mexico border 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 and Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

Morning Talk on a Classic Rock Station: Mike “Bax” Baxendale is this Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  The co-host of what is pound-for-pound one of the most successful talk shows on American radio, Mike “Bax” Baxendale, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  For the past 24 years, Baxendale has co-hosted the “Bax & O’ Brien Show” with his team-mate, John O’ Brien in mornings on the Saga Communications powerhouse classic rock station, WAQY, Springfield, Massachusetts.  The all-talk show is an eclectic blend of local and national politics, regional issues, pop culture, lifestyle trends, frivolous “locker room” banter and compellingly candid insights into the personal lives of the show’s participants.  “Rock 102” boasts a “flame thrower” signal that radiates far beyond Springfield and Western Massachusetts to blanket the neighboring market of Hartford, Connecticut – going far north into Vermont, south to New Haven and west into parts of New York State.  Michael Harrison says, “Saga doesn’t need to subscribe to the ratings to sell advertising on this gem of a property in its primary listening area – the team of Bax and O’ Brien are superstars in this heavily populated region of New England.  Their success and impact are self-evident.  They are household names and two of the most beloved ‘bad boys’ I’ve ever seen in radio.  They are examples of the sheer power of this medium when done properly with authenticity and consistency.  They are also wonderful examples of the growing number of ‘all-talk’ shows that have popped up over the years on FM music stations – shows that defy the narrow, self-imposed restrictions that have come to define programming on traditional AM news/talk outlets.”  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right hand-column of the TALKERS email newsletter or on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Jacksonville station WWJK-FM flips from adult hits to rock as “107.3 Planet Radio,” anchored by the morning drive “Lex and Terry” show.  The station is featuring core artists such as: AC/DC, Nirvana, Metallica, Linkin Park, and Sublime. iHeartMedia Jacksonville SVP of programming G-Wiz says, “Planet Radio is Jacksonville’s best rock station ever.  The legendary Planet Radio not only features Jacksonville’s highest rated morning show, ‘Lex and Terry,’ but has the hardest working, 24/7 radio staff.  I’m excited to have ‘Planet Radio’ back at its original frequency 107.3.”…..In San Francisco, morning personality Elvis Medina exits Entercom’s alternative KITS “ALT 105.3” and co-host Daena “DK” Kramer continues as solo host.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

| February 12, 2019

Alpha Media Deals in Chicagoland Market. Regular TALKERS readers are aware that Alpha Media has been wheeling and dealing – recently selling entire clusters such as West Palm Beach and Bluefield, West Virginia.  Now it files to acquire two Chicagoland stations. FCC records indicate Alpha will pay $4.7 million for suburban classic rocker WFXF-FM, Dundee “103.9 The Fox” and adult contemporary WZSR, Woodstock “Star 105.5,” both serving the Northwest Suburbs. The company has been operating the stations under an LMA from Matrix Media, a company going through Chapter 11.  In order to comply with FCC ownership regulations, Alpha Media will turn around and sell WFXF to religious broadcaster Education Media Foundation for $900,000 and spin-off rock WRXQ, Coal City (far southwest side) to Walnut Radio for $300,000.  In the Chicago market Alpha also owns country WCCQ-FM, Crest Hill; classic hits WERV-FM, Aurora “95.9 The River”; adult contemporary WSSR, Joliet “Star 96.7”; hot AC WXLC, Waukegan; news/talk/sports WJOL-AM, Joliet; news/talk WLIP, Kenosha, Wisconsin; and Spanish sports WKRS, Waukegan “ESPN Deportes 1220.”

WIBA-AM, Madison Adds Dan O’Donnell Show. The WISN, Milwaukee-based Dan O’Donnell show is now heard in the Madison market on news/talk WIBA-AM “News Talk 1310” as iHeartMedia simulcasts the late morning program.  The Dan O’Donnell show airs from 9:00 am to 11:00 am daily.  On WIBA, O’Donnell takes over for Dan Conry, whostepped away from his daily show for health and family reasons.  Conry will continue to host his Sunday program and serve as a fill-in host at the station.  WISN program director Jerry Bott states, “Dan O’Donnell has made his mark with a hard-hitting show that is factually based, providing the foundation for Dan’s cutting-edge opinions, insights, and analysis.  He’s tough, yet fair, and Dan explores all elements of current events, politics, public policy, and pop culture with unmatched energy.”

‘TheDailyCentrist’ Digital Platform Launches Targeting Independents. A new multi-media platform called TheDailyCentrist is being launched in a joint venture by Crossover Media Group, 921 Associates LLC, and media personality Rick Ungar.  A press release says, “While there are no shortages of news and opinion destinations serving the interests of the far left and far right, there has – until now – been little available to appeal to those who identify in the middle: the center-right and the center-left of the political spectrum.”  They say the platform is “crafted to serve the wide plurality of Americans who identify as political independents and the even larger numbers who, regardless of party affiliation, can be considered center-right and center-left Americans in search of solutions.”  Rick Ungar will serve as editor-in-chief.  He’s a one-time senior political contributor at Forbes.com, political analyst at Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network, and recently co-hosted the SiriusXM program “Steele & Ungar” with former RNC chairman and current MSNBC political contributor Michael Steele, who is among TheDailyCentrist’s contributors.  Ungar says, “If you like to find company online at the far right or left wings of the political spectrum, you’ve got plenty of places to go.  But when you look at the data it’s not simply a plurality but really a majority of Americans whose views are in the center-right/center-left bandwidth.  We plan to be the water cooler for that great silent majority of Americans who are underserved by political opinion – or attitude – that speaks to their sensibilities.  We will offer intelligent, thoughtful, provocative and fun conversation and engagement.  And we will scrutinize and criticize commentators, personalities, politicians and candidates who embrace either extreme political pole.”  TheDailyCentrist will offer daily columns, blogs, podcasts, and video clips from an array of political writers, commentators, and experts whose political perspectives reflect the center-right or center-left schools of American political thought.

Godwin Rises to SVP at Townsquare Media. Radio management pro Kevin Godwin is upped to senior vice president for Townsquare Media from his Northwest regional VP role and will leave his role as president of the Boise market operations.  In this new post he’ll have multiple market oversight responsibilities. The Boise cluster consists of news/talk KIDO and sports talk KFXD-AM “630 The Fan” in addition to four music radio outlets.  Taking over the Boise supervision duties is Grand Junction, Colorado market president Rick Carmean.  That move requires a new manager in Grand Junction and current director of sales Natalie Redding is promoted to lead that station group.

John Wordock Named Executive Editor, Podcasting for Westwood One. This is a newly created position for Westwood One and its new executive editor, podcasting – John Wordock – comes to the company from The Wall Street Journal where he held the title, executive producer, podcasts.  Wordock previously served as executive editor of The Wall Street Journal and Marketwatch.com Radio Networks when they were syndicated by Westwood One. Most recently, the Wordock-led division at The Wall Street Journal grew total monthly audience over 2000%, guided the multi-department team that launched the chart-topping podcast “The Future of Everything,” and developed “many other successful shows from planning to distribution.”  Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “As the fastest organically growing podcast network in the U.S. in 2018, Westwood One is thrilled to welcome John to the leadership team.  With almost 15 years of experience in podcast development, production, and distribution, coupled with his journalistic roots, John will help us expand our content portfolio with a commitment to quality and scale.”

Rare and Fascinating Air Check of Bruce Williams Surfaces.  Since the death of talk show host Bruce Williams was reported this past weekend, TALKERS has received more than a dozen personal stories from our readers citing experiences they’ve had with the legendary radio personality.  Among them, we received a fascinating air check submitted by KMZQ, Las Vegas morning host Heidi Harris that she recorded back in 1995 when she called in to Williams’ NBC Talknet program seeking advice about the sale of her pet snake.  This took place prior to Harris’ radio career, when she was working as a cocktail waitress at a Las Vegas casino.  It captures the feeling, style and tone of Williams’ work, not to mention a glimpse back at the way talk radio sounded almost a quarter century ago.  To listen, please click 

      here
.

Federal Government Funding Deal, Trump El Paso Rally/Border Wall Battle, ‘Green New Deal,’ 2020 Presidential Hopefuls, Iran’s Anti-U.S. Rally, Rep. Omar Apology, Venezuela Unrest, Grammy Awards, Alliance of American Football Debut, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/11). The tentative deal to avoid another partial shutdown of the federal government; President Trump’s El Paso rally and the deal for 55 miles of U.S.-Mexico border fence; the controversial “Green New Deal” promoted by freshman Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez; the growing number of Democrats declaring their candidacy for president in 2020; the anti-U.S. sentiments expressed at Iran’s 40th anniversary celebration of the Islamic Revolution; Rep. Ilhan Omar apologizes for anti-Israel statement; the ongoing political unrest in Venezuela; Sunday night’s Grammy Awards show; the debut of the Alliance of American Football league; and NBA Action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. “The Big Interview” program hosted by legendary newsman Dan Rather is expanding into radio.  Krantz Media Group announces that, via a successful partnership with AXS TV and its own KMG Networks, they will a expand the reach of the AXS TV series, distributing additional episodes to radio.  Advertising sales will be handled by Westwood One.  As part of the agreement, stations will receive an audio version of the archived AXS TV series in addition to a corresponding video segment, that stations may post on their websites, mobile apps, and social media channels.  Radio stations will also receive customized promotional liners and promos from Rather. This year’s guest list features beloved music icons such as The Doobie Brothers, Geddy Lee, Steve Miller, Peter FramptonLindsey Buckingham, Robert Plant, John Mellencamp, Ringo Starr, and members of The Doors, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Kansas…..Radio pro Gary Alan reports that his podcast “The Sunday Express” – heard for the past seven years on Tmvcafe.com – is now airing on Salem Media Group’s Miami business talker WZAB-AM “The Biz.” Alan says that over the years he’s welcomed such guests as Loretta Swit, Ray AbruzzoTim Robbie and more to the program…..Genesis Communications Network-syndicated talk radio personality Dr. Daliah Wachs is pictured below with the members of the Tenors of Rock at last Saturday night’s S.H.E.R.O Foundation Gala.  The S.H.E.R.O. Foundation provides resources needed to support, sustain, and empower young girls and women under the age of 25 who have been abused, abandoned, and exploited.  Dr. Wachs served as emcee for the event.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The Source magazine is out with its annual “Power 30” list of the most powerful players in hip hop culture and the nationally syndicated urban radio morning show “The Breakfast Club” – hosted by Charlamagne Tha God, DJ Envy, and Angela Yee – was on top of the list for the 6th year in a row.   Their entry says they “not only mix the music but also command the streets, represent their hoods, break new artists, deliver news and information, reign at the top of the ratings, and are social media influencers.”…..Blaine Thompson from Indiana Radio Watch tips us that Dave North exits his role as program director at Star City Broadcasting’s country WYCM, Attica, Indiana (Lafayette market) yet stays on with the company to serve as chief photographer for WPBI-TV.

Monday, January 28, 2019

| January 28, 2019

Monday Memo: Improving Results from Endorsement Spots. Consultant Holland Cooke writes today in his Monday Memo for TALKERS magazine about getting better results from endorsement spots done on talk radio.  He has some tips for avoiding copy mistakes that won’t help the advertiser, for eliminating the error of too much copy, and for zeroing in on the listeners’ needs. Read it here.

Entercom Names 2019 Format Captains.  The new format captains for Entercom Communications have been named for the year 2019.  These duties are assigned for one-year terms and are in addition to their existing roles. In the spoken-word realm, Mark Chernoff and Matt Nahagian are format captains for sports talk, Alan Furst holds that title for talk, and Ben Mevorak and Ken Charles are format captains for news.  The following are format captains for music formats: Chris Ebbot – classic hits; Jimmy Gonzalez – Spanish language; Michael Kaplan – alternative; Brian Kelly – CHR; Dave Richards – rock /classic rock; Tim Roberts – country; Reggie Rouse – urban; Jim Ryan and Nikki Nite – adult contemporary; Steve Salhany – hot AC.  Michael Martin continues his role as SVP of programming and music initiatives, overseeing all national artist bookings and routing efforts for the company, along with other music industry initiatives coming this year.

WRNL, Richmond Re-Brands; Adds ‘Sports Junkies’ for Morning Drive. Richmond, Virginia sports talk outlet WRNL-AM continues as an affiliate of FOX Sports Radio, but drops the name from its brand, changing to “Richmond Sports Radio 910 The Fan.”  As part of the change, the Entercom station adds the WJFK-FM, Washington-based “Sports Junkies” morning show to the program schedule.  Entercom Virginia SVP and market manager Bennett Zier says, “We’re delighted to welcome the ‘Sports Junkies’ to Richmond.  Their signature provocative and interesting take on sports, built over 20 years, will be a welcome addition to our stellar lineup that includes talented hosts like Wes McElroy.”   McElroy is the afternoon drive personality and he says, “I’m ecstatic and honored that Entercom has asked me to be part of their exciting new lineup.  After a dozen years on air in Virginia, this is home and there’s no other place I’d rather be.  I’m equally excited to welcome one of the best sports radio teams ‘The Junkies’ to the Richmond, Virginia area.”  The station also serves as the flagship station for the minor league baseball club the Richmond Flying Squirrels, Virginia Tech football and Virginia Commonwealth University.

Lieberman to Lead Townsquare Media’s Tri-Cities Operations. Sales and management pro Ryan Lieberman is named market president and chief revenue officer for Townsquare Media’s Tri-Cities, Washington station group that includes: news/talk KFLD-AM; country KORD-FM, hot AC KEYW-FM “98.3 The Key,” rock KXRX-FM, and CHR KOLW “Hot 97.5.” Lieberman previously served with both CBS RADIO and Emmis Communications. Townsquare regional vice president Kevin Godwin says, “Ryan brings nearly 20 years of media leadership and performance to Townsquare and, fortunately for us, the Tri-Cities opportunity is a perfect fit.  Ryan grew up in Washington and has family in and around Tri-Cities.  Ryan brings highly competitive experiences, a true sales focus and strong local community awareness and relationships to our Tri-Cities operation.  His dynamic background and skillset add strong leadership to a key market for Townsquare.”

Grady Exits Sports Talk WFNI, Indianapolis. The Indianapolis Star reports on the exit from Emmis Communications sports talk WFNI “The Fan” of Michael Grady from the “Grady & Big Joe” late morning program.  Grady said good-bye to his listeners on Friday and noted that although he and the station negotiated to continue his employment with the station, it didn’t pan out.  The station is replacing him with Jeff Rickard for the new “Jeff & Big Joe” show.  The Indianapolis native told listeners, “You all have allowed me to live out a dream.  It’s been an honor and a privilege to talk, debate, and joke with you all these past eight years.”  In 2017, Grady moved to New York to serve as a courtside reporter for the Brooklyn Nets with the YES Network.  He continued to work the WFNI show from New York.

TALKERS News Notes. As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Chicago sports radio figure Mike North is writing his autobiography with the assistance of his current business partner Aldo Gandia.  North, who rose from the hot dog vending business to becoming one of the founding personalities of WSCR “The Score,” tells Feder, “I’m doing this by writing 26 chapters.  Each begins with a letter of the alphabet.  So under ‘A,’ for instance, I will share a part of my life and connect it with the letter ‘A.’  Believe me, this book will be fun, it will be raw and it will be real.”…..Retired radio trade writer Tom Taylor is being honored by the National Association of Broadcasters with the presentation of its Spirit of Broadcasting Award to him at the NAB Show in Las Vegas on Monday, April 8.  Taylor retired in December after three decades in the trade biz including his own Tom Taylor NOW newsletter and stints with Radio-Info.com, M Street Journal/M Street Daily, and Inside Radio.

Trump Ends Shutdown, Border Wall Battle, Trump-Russia Investigation, 2020 Democratic Candidates, Venezuelan Crisis, ‘El Chapo’ Trial, SAG Awards, and Super Bowl LIII Build-Up Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The federal government shutdown ends as President Trump agrees to re-open it; the ongoing battle for a U.S.-Mexico border wall; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents and the related indictment of former Trump adviser Roger Stone; the Democratic candidates lining up to challenge Donald Trump in 2020; the political crisis in Venezuela as the U.S. recognizes Juan Guaido as leader over President Nicolas Maduro; the trial of Mexican drug lord Juaquin “El Chapo” Guzman; Sunday night’s Screen Actors Guild awards; and the build-up to Super Bowl LIII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Political Consultant, Pundit and Author Dick Morris Is Guest on Harrison Podcast. The man who had President Bill Clinton’s ear for several years during his presidency and wielded tremendous political influence in the 1990s, Dick Morris, is the guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Morris, a prolific author, has just published his latest book, 50 Shades of Politics (Triangulation Publishing, 2019). It consists of 100 short stories covering highlights of his 50-year career in politics and follows his evolution from being a “blue,” liberal Democrat to a “purple,” moderate bi-partisan, to a “red,” conservative Republican covering many political “shades” along the way. Harrison and Morris discuss some of the juicy, behind-the-scenes stories contained in the book and then some, including the “dirt” dished in its pages about Bill and Hillary Clinton. Check it out! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on the TALKERS email newsletter and every page of Talkers.com.

Elizabeth Fazio Rises at Premiere Networks. In the span of six years, Elizabeth Fazio has risen from operations manager for Premiere Networks’ “Elvis Duran and the Morning Show” to her new post as vice president of national talent engagement and events.  She reports to Premiere EVP of entertainment programming, Jennifer Leimgruber.  The company says that in this newly created position, Fazio will continue to work closely with Premiere’s national entertainment radio programs – including “Elvis Duran and the Morning Show,” “On Air with Ryan Seacrest,” “The Bobby Bones Show,” “The Breakfast Club,” and “Brooke & Jubal,” to develop and coach producers and on-air talent, guide audience research projects, identify and help create digital/social content, and increase engagement.  She’ll also manage affiliate talent endorsements and evaluate show performance and listener engagement while serving as broadcast talent manager and talent producer for the live radio broadcasts of iHeartMedia’s events, such as the iHeartRadio Music Festival and the iHeartRadio Music Awards.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. San Diego media personality Meryl Klemow is joining Tegna’s adult hits KFMB-FM as a cast member of “The Cantore Show” with host Chris Cantore.  The station notes that she is currently the co-host of the podcasts “Campfire Sht Show” and “What’s Good” on the ListenSD platform.  KFMB-FM program director Mike V. Vasquez says, “Meryl lights up the room when she walks into it.  I know that her loveable and hilarious personality will similarly light up the airwaves every morning too!  Chris and Meryl are long-time friends, so they already have natural chemistry.  I’m excited to have her join our 100.7 San Diego family.”…..Station owner Bob Kieve is taking classic country KLIV-AM, San Jose dark after attempts to sell the signal brought in only one lowball offer.  Kieve is selling his company’s sister station, country KRTY-FM.  KLIV-AM has been located at the same site since it first went on the air in 1946…..Benztown and The National Radio Talent System, the system of Radio Talent Institutes across America, announce the launch of the Benztown Mentorship Program that offers one-to-one mentoring to select students accepted into The Radio Talent Institutes.  The program’s first quarter mentee is Susquehanna University student Carly Rogers, who will be personally mentored by WRQX, Washington “Mix 107.3” morning personality Jack Diamond this month through March…..TALKERS magazine sends condolences to the family and friends of Westwood One mainstream country format personality Scott Simon, a.k.a. Scott Smith, who died suddenly on January 25.  Simon had worked at the company’s 24/7 formats division since October 2017.  Country programming VP George King says, “All of us at Westwood One are very saddened about the news and our hearts are with his family. Scott was an incredible jock and just a great person.  He will be missed.”…..Pictured below is country artist Scotty McCreery (center) in the studios at the nationally syndicated Ty Bentli morning show with Bentli (left) and Chuck Wicks (right).  Bentli talked about how a kid from Carolina became a Patriots fan, about his music, the video for “This Is It,” and more.

“Holiday” 2018 PPM Data – Part Four. “Holiday” 2018 ratings information has been released for Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s “Holiday” 2018 survey period covered December 6 (2018) – January 2 (2019). 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 below.

Austin

Spoken-Word Formats – In back-to-back sweeps, Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM is a combined -1.8 (4.5 – 3.7 – 2.7, 6+) as “News Radio 590 AM” drifts out of the top ten (#9 to #14). The last time KLBJ-AM, which gained nine-tenths in November, fell below a three-share (6+) was in “Holiday” 2017 (2.8).

Off one-half share to 1.9 (#15 to #15, 6+), Genuine Austin Radio sports talk KTXX “The Horn” breaks a repetitive September 2018 – December 2018 pattern of 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.4 (6+). While it continues at #24, iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” drops one-tenth to .6 (6+), thus ending seven straight sweeps without a loss in which it more than doubled (+.4) its 6+-share (.3 – .3 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .6 – .7 – .7, 6+).

A combined +1.5 in September and October (7.1 – 7.9 – 8.6, 6+), University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk KUT is now off an overall eight-tenths in three straight declines (8.6 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 7.8, second to third, 6+). Before dropping to second in December, KUT was #1 for three consecutive months.

Austin Music Formats – The five most recent fluctuations for Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ are -1.2 (September); +1.2 (October); -.5 (November); +1.2 (December); and now +2.1 in “Holiday” 2018 (7.4 – 9.5, 6+) as “Majic 95.5” marches from third to first. Its current 9.5 represents the strongest 6+-stat for KKMJ since “Holiday” 2017 (12.4). Despite being a cumulative +2.0 in five straight up or flat moves (7.3 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 8.3 – 8.3 – 9.3, 6+), Emmis adult hits KPBA “103.5 Bob-FM” segues from first to the runner-up slot it held three straight months before advancing to #1 in December. Prior to December, the last time “Bob” held the top spot was in August. There is plenty of movement in the market’s three-way country battle. Specifically, Genuine Austin Radio-owned KOKE-FM “Austin’s Country Alternative” has nearly doubled (+1.1) its 6+-stat in three straight bumps (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.4, #18 to #15, 6+), while iHeartMedia-owned KVET-FM “98.1 The Austin, Texas Original” improves by one-half share to 5.0 (seventh to fifth, 6+), thus curtailing three straight decreases that accounted for a collective loss of eight-tenths (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.6 – 4.5, 6+). Before posting a +.6 in September, KVET-FM was an overall -1.7 in four straight downward trends (6.4 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 5.6 – 4.7, 6+). Conversely, co-owned KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country,” which had been trending 5.3 – 5.4 – 5.6 (6+), erodes by -1.9 to 3.7 (fourth to seventh, 6+). Rhythmic CHR cluster-mate KPEZ “102.3 The Beat” recaptures in its entirety the one-half share it lost in December (3.4 – 2.9 – 3.4, #13 to #11, 6+). When Emmis’ KLBJ-FM gained three-tenths in December, it halted three consecutive down or flat trends that yielded a collective -1.3 (4.7 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.4, 6+) but “93.7 The Rock of Austin” falters by one-half share in “Holiday” 2018 (3.7 – 3.2) and departs the top ten (#9 to #12). In addition to being a cumulative +1.4 in three straight increases (2.1 – 2.7 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+), University of Texas at Austin-owned triple A KUTX enters the top ten (#11 to #10). Prior to dropping three-tenths in October, “98.9 The Austin Music Experience” was up an overall six-tenths via six straight sweeps without a loss (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+).

Raleigh

Spoken-Word Formats – This marks iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK’s third straight negative trend for a -1.7 (6.3 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 4.6, 6+) as “106.1 Stay Connected” drops from sixth to eighth. WTKK was a combined +1.2 (5.1 – 5.5 – 6.3, 6+) in September and October. With a loss of two-tenths (1.7 – 1.5, 6+), Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF slips from #18 to #20. Prior to faltering by two-tenths in November, “News Radio 680” had nearly doubled (+.8) its 6+-share in eight straight sweeps without a loss (1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+).

Having been a combined +.6 in September and October (1.8 – 2.2 – 2.4, 6+), Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC “99.9 The Fan” is now an overall -.8 in three straight decreases (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 1.6, #17 to #18, 6+). Its September gain of four-tenths stopped three losses in a row that accounted for more than a 50% reduction (-2.1) of its 6+-share (3.9 – 2.6 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+).

This is the fifth loss in a row for University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” for a collective -1.7 (8.8 – 8.4 – 8.3 – 7.4 – 7.2 – 7.1, third to fourth, 6+). Recently, WUNC has gone from third to first (June, +9); first to third (July, -1.1); third to first (August, +1.2, 6+); first to second (September, -.4+); and second to third (November, -.9, 6+).

Raleigh Music Formats – Owing to a cumulative +4.3 via three consecutive up or flat trends (5.3 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 9.6, 6+), Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5” advances from fourth to second. This (9.6) is its strongest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 10.4. From Greensboro, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WMAG “99.5 The Best Variety of the ‘80s, ’90s, & Today” is an overall +2.1 in four straight sweeps without a loss (.4 .4 – .4 – 1.4 – 2.5, 6+), jumping from #20 to #15. The three most recent moves for Radio One urban AC WFXC are +.9 (November); -1.5 (December); and now +1.1 in “Holiday” 2018 (8.8 – 9.9, 6+) as “Foxy Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is #1 for the fifth straight time. November’s 10.3 is its strongest 6+-stat since January 2018’s 10.7. As a result of three straight increases, Educational Information Corporation’s WCPE “89.7 The Classical Station” is up +1.0 (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.2 – 2.7, #16 to #14, 6+). Immediately after posting a +1.0 in December, Curtis Media Group classic hits-oldies WKIX erases it with a -1.0 (4.1 – 5.1 – 4.1, 6+) as “KIX 102.9 Carolina’s Greatest Hits” departs the top ten (#10 to #11). In December, WKIX reached the five-share level (5.1) for the first time since March 2018’s 5.0. While it remains at #9, iHeartMedia CHR WDCG “G-105 Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” is a collective -1.0 in three straight losses (5.5 – 5.4 – 5.2 – 4.5, 6+). Co-owned WRDU “Classic Rock 100.7,” which was trending 5.8 – 5.6 – 5.8 (6+), falters by six-tenths to 5.2 (6+) and remains at #6. Off one-half share (each) are Curtis Media Group adult hits WBBB “96.1 Your Life – Your Music” (5.6 – 5.1, flat at #7, 6+) and Radio One gospel WNNL “103.9 The Light,” which actually advances from #11 to #10. December’s +.7 by WBBB ended a mini-slide that accounted for a -1.2 (6.1 – 5.2 – 4.9, 6+). “The Light” is a collective -1.0 in four successive sweeps without an increase (5.2 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.2, 6+). Even though it is a cumulative -2.3 as the result of three negative moves in succession (8.0 – 6.3 – 6.1 – 5.7, 6+), Curtis Media Group’s WQDR “94.7 QDR Today’s Best Country” remains at #5. With a +1.0 in September, WQDR suspended three straight downward moves that led to a -1.2 (8.1 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 6.9, 6+).

Indianapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Replicating December’s -.9 (7.2 – 6.3 – 5.4, 6+), Emmis news/talk WIBC skids from fourth to sixth. “Indy’s Mobile News 93.1” was -.7 (September); +1.0 (October); and +.7 (November).

Following five straight up or flat trends for an overall +1.2 (1.6 – 1.6 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.8,  6+), WIBC’s sports talk sibling, WFNI “The Fan – Indy’s Sports Center,” is off three-tenths to 2.5 (#14 to #15, 6+). December 2018’s 2.8 is its best 6+-stat since 3.1 in December 2017. A combined -.9 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (2.3 – 1.9 – 1.4, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WNDE drops from #17 to #18. Entering the December sweep, “Indy’s Sports Station” netted eight-tenths via five straight sweeps without a loss (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 2.2 – 2.3, 6+).

Wiping away all but one-tenth of November and December’s combined +.8 with a “Holiday” 2018 loss of seven-tenths (4.1 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 4.2, 6+), Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI falls from eighth to tenth.

Indianapolis Music Formats – Boasting a combined +9.6 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.8 – 9.0 – 16.4, 6+), Emmis adult contemporary WYXB “B-105.7” progresses from second to first. This (16.4) is the highest 6+-stat by any Indianapolis station since “B-105.7” notched a 17.7 in “Holiday” 2016. Prior to its combined -.7 in October and November (7.5 – 7.1 – 6.8, 6+), WYXB was an overall +1.4 in four consecutive up or flat moves (6.1 – 6.6 – 6.6 – 6.8 – 7.5, 6+). After spending the last six ratings periods at #1, Cumulus Media’s WJJK drops to third, as “Classic Hits 104.5” craters by a combined -2.9 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (9.9 – 9.2 – 6.9, 6+). Its November decrease of one-tenth suspended five successive uptrends which netted a +3.2 (6.8 – 7.3 – 7.9 – 8.6 – 9.7 – 10.0, 6+). In October, WJJK reached 10.0, the highest 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. Off eight-tenths in a down/up pattern that started in June (4.3 – 3.2 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 3.5 – 4.3 – 3.5, 6+), Entercom hot AC WNTR shifts from #12 to #13; “107.9 The Mix” was up eight-tenths in December. Faltering by seven-tenths (each) are its CHR sibling WZPL “99.5 ZPL” (5.3 – 4.6, unchanged at #7, 6+) and iHeartMedia alternative WOLT “Alt 103.3” (3.9, #10 to #11, 6+), which had been up one-half share through three successive gains (4.1 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.6, 6+). There are similar scenarios for the market’s two country players, including Cumulus Media’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station,” which is a cumulative -2.2 in three downturns in succession (8.3 – 8.0 – 6.2 – 6.1, 6+) yet advances from fifth to fourth. WFMS finished at #2 in October and November and was #1 in April 2018, May, and June. It has been -.5 (February 2018); +1.0 (April); +.5 (May); -.5 (July); -.7 (August); +.9 (October); and -1.8 (December). Meanwhile, notwithstanding that it is an overall -1.3 in three straight decreases (5.7 – 5.0 – 4.6 – 4.4, 6+), Emmis-owned WLHK proceeds from tenth to ninth. “Country 97.1 Hank FM” was -1.5 (September); +.6 (October); and -.7 (November). Flat at #16, Radio One CHR WNOW “100.9 Radio Now” is down or flat for the seventh straight time for a collective -1.4 (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+).

Milwaukee

Spoken-Word Formats – Even though WTMJ “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” is down for the third straight time for an overall -3.8 (10.4 – 9.4 – 6.8 – 6.6, 6+), the Good Karma Brands news/talk outlet advances from fifth to fourth. This (6.2) is the lowest 6+-showing for the flagship of the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Bucks, and Milwaukee Brewers since March 2018 (6.0). Its rollercoaster ride has included -.8 (January 2018); +.9 (February); +1.9 (April); -.6 (May); +.5 (June); -.5 (August); +.6 (September); +2.5 (October); -1.0 (November); -2.6 (December); and -.6 (“Holiday” 2018). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WISN “News/Talk 1130,” a combined +1.3 in October and November, follows with a -2.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.9 – 6.3 – 4.6, sixth to eighth, 6+). Immediately before October, WISN was -2.1 in four straight decreases (7.7 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 6.2 – 5.6, 6+).

Off a cumulative eight-tenths in three straight downturns (1.9 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.1, 6+), Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” nonetheless moves from #16 to #15. Its November loss of four-tenths ended four consecutive increases that accounted for a collective gain of seven-tenths (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.9, 6+).

Good Karma Brands’ recent country-to-sports talk convert WKTI “94.5 ESPN” is an overall -3.7 in eight straight sweeps without an increase (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 2.3 – .8 – .7, #18 to #17, 6+). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia flipped CHR WRNW “97.7 Now” to sports talk “97.3 The Game” in late-November.” Up one-tenth in back-to-back reports (2.6 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), “The Game” craters by -2.5 to .3 (6+) and exits the top twenty (#14 to #21, 6+). A gain of one-tenth to .3 (6+) sends co-owned WOKY from #24 to #21, where it is tied with “The Game.” Before dropping three-tenths in December, “The Big 920” quintupled (+.4) its 6+-share in seven successive sweeps without a loss (.1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .4 – .5, 6+).

Three straight upticks by WUWM accounted for a collective +1.5 (2.7 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.2, 6+), but the University of Wisconsin news/talk station forfeits six-tenths to 3.6 (6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #11). Prior to October, WUWM ranked #14 for three straight months and had been within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for 17 consecutive sweeps. The June 2018 – “Holiday” 2018 topline for Wisconsin Public Radio news/talk WHAD is .9 – .9 – .7 – .9 – .7 – .8 – .8 – .6 (#18 to #19, 6+).

Milwaukee Music Formats – Dislodged from the top spot back in October, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” returns there by roaring back from December’s -1.0 with a rousing +3.8 (7.7 – 11.5, 6+). WRIT spent 43 consecutive ratings periods at #1 before shifting to the #2 slot in October, November, and December. This (11.5) is the strongest 6+-stat for any Milwaukee station since WRIT’s 11.6 in “Holiday” 2017. It is a brief (December-only) stay at #1 for Saga Communications’ WKLH (7.8 – 7.7, -.1, first to third, 6+). A December increase of six-tenths propelled “Hometown Rock 96.5” from fourth to first. Over and above matching December’s +2.6 (5.1 – 7.7 – 10.3, 6+) and remaining in second-place, Milwaukee Radio Alliance adult contemporary WLDB “B-93.3 The ‘80s to Today” reaches double-digits (10.3, 6+) for the first time in its PPM-history, doubling its November 2018 6+ AQH-share. Trending between 4.5 – 4.9 (6+) from July through December, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WKKV “V-100.7” busts out a +1.2 to 5.9 (eighth to seventh, 6+). Without a loss for the fifth straight report for an overall +1.3 (.8 – 1.2 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+), Saga Communications’ rhythmic CHR WNRG “Energy 106.9” bumps up from #15 to #14. Dropping from eighth to tenth, co-owned WHQG “102.9 The Hog – Everything That Rocks” is a cumulative -2.0 in five successive decreases (5.8 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.7 – 3.8, 6+). Three gains in succession by co-owned WMIL yielded a +2.2 (5.3 – 5.6 – 6.2 – 7.5, 6+), but “FM 106.1 Milwaukee’s Best Country” is a combined -1.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (7.5 – 7.3 – 6.2, flat at #4, 6+).

Nashville

Spoken-Word Formats – Flat at #14, Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN has lost eight-tenths via three straight dips (4.0 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+). In 13 of the last 14 sweeps, “Super Talk 99.7” has been within 3.0 – 3.9 range (6+); the exception was October 2018 when it logged a 4.0 (6+).

Having nearly doubled (+.6) its 6+-stat through three gains in a row (7 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC “Talk Radio 1510” is off three-tenths to 1.0 (6+) but remains at #19.

In the last six sweeps, Cumulus Media sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” is +.6 (August); +1.4 (September); +1.3 (October); -.9 (November); +.2 (December); and now -.8 in “Holiday 2018” (5.6 – 4.8, sixth to eighth, 6+). The Tennessee Titans’ flagship was a collective +3.3 in four consecutive up or flat moves (3.0 – 3.0 – 3.6 – 5.0 – 6.3, 6+), with October’s 6.3 its highest 6+-share since January 2018’s 6.5. Cromwell Group-owned sports talk WPRT “102.5 The Game” erases December’s -.1 with a +.2 (1.6 – 1.8, #18 to #17, 6+). December’s loss of one-tenth pulled the plug on three consecutive improvements that netted a +1.0 (.7 – .8 – 1.3 – 1.7, 6+). That streak immediately followed four straight decreases that accounted for a -1.9 (2.6 – 2.5 – .9 – .8 – .7, 6+).

Following a December increase of four-tenths, which halted three down moves in a row for a collective -1.5 (4.9 – 4.6 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+), Nashville Public Radio news/talk/classical hybrid WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” returns two-tenths (3.8 – 3.6, flat at #11, 6+). Its internet “stream” is up seven-tenths since surfacing in September 2018 (.2 – .6 – .7 – .9 – .9, #20 to #22, 6+).

Nashville Music Formats – Holding down the top spot for the 12th successive ratings period is Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA (10.9 – 14.1, 6+). This (14.1) is the highest 6+-share for any Nashville outlet since the 14.4 “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” notched in “Holiday” 2017. Among its recent fluctuations are: -6.7 (January 2018); +1.0 (February); -.5 (May); +1.0 (June); +.9 (August); -.9 (September); -.7 (October); +.9 (November); +1.9 (December); and +3.2 (“Holiday” 2018). With a +1.2 to 7.3 (fourth to second, 6+), co-owned adult hits WCJK “96.3 Jack FM Playing What We Want” applies the brakes to five downturns in succession that led to a cumulative -2.0 (8.1- 7.8 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+). Resurfacing in print in August (2018), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFFH “The Fish” logs four straight positive spikes accounting for a +1.9 (2.8 – 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.7, September through “Holiday” 2018, 6+) and enters the top ten (#11 to #9). The market’s (6+) mainstream CHR share shrinks by -2.4, as iHeartMedia CHR WRVW “107.5 The River” is -1.8 (second to seventh, 6+) and Midwest Communications’ WNFN “106.7 Nashville’s New Hit Music” drops six-tenths (2.6 – 2.0, flat at #16, 6+). “The River” had been a combined +2.4 through five straight gains (4.4 – 4.8 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4 – 6.8, 6+); December’s 6.8 is its best 6+-stat in over a year (7.2, October 2017). In addition to being -2.0 via three consecutive setbacks (5.5 – 5.0 – 4.6 – 3.5, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WSIX drops out of the top ten (#9 to #12). “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” was a combined +1.2 in September and October (4.3 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+). Gaining one-tenth (each) are the market’s other two country FMs – Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” (5.1 – 5.2, eighth to sixth, 6+) and “Nash Icon” sibling WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” (4.1 – 4.2, steady at #10, 6+). WSM-FM is rebounding from December’s -1.5; it was +.8 in November and -1.0 in September. After posting three increases in a row for a +.7 (3.6 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.3, 6+), WKDF surrendered two-tenths in December. After recording a 1.1 (#17, 6+) in March 2018, country WSIX-HD2 is unlisted for the tenth time in a row. By dropping one-half share to 2.5 (unchanged at #15, 6+), Cromwell Group alternative WBUZ “102.9 The Buzz” ends its October-November-December (6+) sequence of 3.0 – 3.4 – 3.0. Stable at #3, iHeartMedia-owned WNRQ “105.9 The Rock – Nashville’s Classic Rock” is nonetheless without an increase for the fifth consecutive time for a combined -1.4 (7.8 – 7.6 – 6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.4, 6+). August’s 7.8 was the best 6+-stat for WNRQ, which was an overall +1.5 via four consecutive increases (6.3 – 6.4 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.8, 6+), since January (7.8, as well).

Providence

Spoken-Word Formats – Even though it returns roughly half of the +1.1 it accrued in four straight sweeps without a loss (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM “News Talk 630” (4.2, -.6, 6+) remains at #6. Its August increase of three-tenths halted three straight down or flat sweeps for a -1.0 (4.7 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7, 6+). Up six-tenths in seven straight Providence sweeps without a loss (.8 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 -1.1 – 1.3 – 1.4), iHeartMedia Boston hybrid news-talk WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” is steady at #14. Following four consecutive up or flat moves that yielded six-tenths (1.1 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+), its news/talk sibling, WHJJ “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather,” is now down a combined half-share in December and “Holiday” 2018 (1.7 – 1.3 – 1.2, #14 to #18, 6+). Having its 6+-share sliced in half (.6 – .5 – .3, October-November-December, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business” picks up one-tenth to .4 (flat at #21, 6+).

Stable at #8, Entercom sports talk WVEI is a combined -1.9 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.4 – 3.8 – 3.5, 6+), directly after four successive up or flat trends that accounted for a net gain of +2.0 (3.4 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.8 – 5.4, 6+).

A loss of seven-tenths (2.3 – 1.6, 6+) sends WGBH Educational Foundation Boston news/talk WGBH out of Providence’s top ten (#9 to #12); WGBH was up one-half share in October. Down or flat for the third straight time for an overall loss of eight-tenths (2.6 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+), The Wheeler School’s news/talk WELH nonetheless remains at #10; WELH was down six-tenths in November. Immediately prior to the May sweep, public radio news/talk outlets WELH and WGBH finished back-to-back four straight times.

Providence Music Formats – Without a loss for the third straight time netting +6.8 in that stretch (9.4 – 9.4 – 12.1 – 16.2, 6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” is #1 for the sixth consecutive sweep. This (16.2) is the highest 6+-stat for any Providence station since WWLI’s 18.0 in “Holiday” 2016. In addition to continuing in the runner-up slot for the fifth time in a row and matching its best 6+-stat since June, iHeartMedia’s WHJY “94 HJY – Providence’s Home of Rock & Roll” (9.8, +1.2, 6+) ends three consecutive slides that accounted for a -.6 (9.1 – 8.7 – 8.6 – 8.5, 6+). A collective -3.1 in three straight setbacks (8.7 – 8.2 – 6.9 – 5.6 (6+), Hall Communications’ WCTK “Cat Country 98.1” slips from third to fifth. Continuing a September 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 up/down pattern of 5.1 – 5.5 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 3.8 (6+), iHeartMedia hot AC WSNE “Coast 93.3” falls from sixth to seventh. In the same vein, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWBB “B-101” has been down/up since September: -.9 (September) +.5 (October); -.5 (November); +.5 (December); and now -.2 (6.9 – 6.7, flat at #3, 6+).

 Norfolk – More than quadrupling December’s +1.5 (7.2 – 13.6, +6.4, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WWDE advances to second to first. Prior to December, “101.3 2WD” was off a collective six-tenths via four consecutive decreases (6.3 – 6.2 – 5.9 – 5.8 – 5.7, 6+). Over and above that, this (13.6) is the strongest 6+-showing in WWDE’s PPM-history. There’s yet greater significance as “2WD” displaces urban AC cluster-mate WVKL, which had been on top the past 25 survey periods. While it posts a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 34th time in the last 35 sweeps, “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” is without an increase for the fifth straight time for a -3.5 (15.5 – 13.7 – 13.7 – 13.1 – 12.9 – 12.0, 6+) and segues from first to second. Its 15.5 in August 2018 sets the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. Saga Communications’ WAFX “Classic Rock 106.9 The Fox” erases 60% of December’s -1.0 with a gain of six-tenths (6.5 – 5.5 – 6.1, 6+) and climbs from sixth to fourth; December’s 5.5 is its weakest 6+-stat since 4.7 in “Holiday” 2017. Steady at #3, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WOWI “103 JAMZ” posts a one-half share improvement (6.5 – 7.0, 6+). On the other hand, co-owned rhythmic hot AC WMOV, whose 6+ stat swelled more than nine-fold (a whopping +5.7) through five straight increases (.7 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 6.4, 6+), surrenders a -1.5 to 4.9 (fourth to sixth, 6+). Immediately prior to this particular run, “Movin’ 107.7” lost 86% of its 6+-share (-4.3) through seven successive sweeps without an increase, (5.0 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .9 – .7, 6+). As a result of five consecutive down or flat reports, including -.5 in “Holiday” 2018, Entercom-owned WNVZ “Z-104 Norfolk Rhythmic Music” is an overall -1.7 (5.3 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+) but remains at #7. Off by one-half share (each) as well in “Holiday” 2018 are Z-104’s hot AC sibling WPTE “94.9 The Point” (flat at #8) and iHeartMedia’s WNOH “Alt 105.3” (1.3 – .8, #10 to #12, 6+ ). This represent WPTE’s fourth straight decline for a collective -1.5 (3.5 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 2.5 – 2.0, 6+).

Jacksonville

Spoken-Word Formats – Off four-tenths (10.4 – 10.0, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV repeats at #2. In the previous six survey periods, “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” was -.7 (July); +.5 (August); -.6 (September); +2.0 (October); +.6 (November) and -.8 (December). November’s 11.2 is its best-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era.

Up or flat four straight sweeps for a collective gain of one-half share (.3 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .8, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk WFXJ “930 The Game – Jacksonville’s Sports Leader” is off one-tenth in back-to-back (December and “Holiday” 2018) reports (.8 – .7 – .6, flat at #20, 6+).

As it did in December, public news/talk WJCT picks up one-tenth (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+) and continues at #13. Its December gain of one-tenth halted three consecutive downward moves that led to -1.2 (3.4 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.2, 6+).

Jacksonville Music Formats – Precisely doubling December’s +2.8 with a +5.6 (10.7 – 16.3, 6+), Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WEJZ “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” repeats at #1. This (16.3) is the highest 6+-mark for any Jacksonville station since “Holiday” 2015 when WEJZ notched a 19.5. Prior to December’s increase, WEJZ was a collective -2.7 via three straight setbacks (10.6 – 9.8 – 8.6 – 7.9, 6+). Its format challenger – Cox Media Group’s WEZI “Easy 102.9” – is a combined -1.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.0, flat at #8, 6+). This follows four straight improvements that netted a +1.9 (3.4 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 5.3, 6+). In the iHeartMedia cluster, mainstream CHR WKSL “97.9 Kiss FM” wipes away November and December’s combined -.5 (3.7 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+) with a “Holiday” 2018 increase of seven-tenths (3.9, unchanged at #10, 6+), while gospel WKSL-HD3 is up six-tenths (1.9 – 2.5, #15 to #11, 6+). After racking up a +1.6 through five straight upticks (5.4 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.4 – 7.0, 6+), Cox Media Group CHR WAPE “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station” is a combined -1.8 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (7.0 – 6.5 – 5.2, fifth to sixth, 6+). November’s 7.0 is its strongest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016’s 7.4. Classic hits-oldies sibling WJGL “96.9 The Eagle” is an overall -2.0 in four consecutive slips (9.3 – 9.2 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 7.3, 6+) but stays at #3. A combined -1.4 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.6 – 2.8 – 2.2, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits WWJK “107.3 The River – We Play Anything” drops from #11 to #14. Up four-tenths in November and December (3.7 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+), Renda Broadcasting-owned WGNE “Gator Country 99.9” forfeits one-half share to 4.0 (6+) yet advances from ninth to eighth. November’s increase curtailed six successive downward moves that resulted in an overall -2.2 (5.9 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 3.7, 6+).

West Palm Beach

Spoken-Word Formats – Without an increase the past four sweeps for a loss of one-half share (2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WZZR roars back with a +1.0 to 2.5 (6+) and rockets into the top ten (#15 to a three-way tie at #9). “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk for the Palm Beaches” improved by one-half share in August. In addition to dropping seven-tenths (2.9 – 2.2, 6+), Alpha Media’s WFTL “News Talk 850” departs the top ten (#9 to #12). An October loss of four-tenths suspended at four its consecutive string of increases that netted seven-tenths (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+). Right behind WFTL, iHeartMedia news/talk WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” is a cumulative -.6 in three straight declines (2.4 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 1.8, #12 to #13, 6+). A combined -1.0 in August and September (2.9 – 2.3 – 1.9, 6+), WJNO gained one-half share in October. Miami news/talk sibling WIOD is off four-tenths (1.0 – .6, 6+) and exits the top twenty (#18 to #21, 6+).

The four most recent shifts for Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN are +.5 (October); -.6 (November); +.5 (December) and now -.8 in December (3.8 – 3.0, sixth to seventh, 6+). Immediately prior to the November sweep, WLRN posted three straight improvements resulting in a collective +1.0 (2.9 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.9, 6+).

West Palm Beach Music Formats – Not only does Alpha Media adult contemporary WEAT net a +6.1 in three straight upticks (4.6 – 5.0 – 6.9 – 10.7, 6+), “Sunny 107.9” progresses from second to first with the best 6+-stat (10.7) in its PPM-history. WEAT was off six-tenths in October. Despite picking up a combined +1.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (8.9 – 9.9 – 10.2, 6+), hot AC cluster-mate WRMF “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” drops to #2, following 12 straight sweeps at #1. Before eroding -1.8 in November, WRMF was an overall +1.7 in five consecutive up or flat reports (9.0 – 9.3 – 9.3 – 9.4 – 10.0 – 10.7, 6+), with October’s 10.7 its highest 6+-share since November 2017 (11.2). A collective -1.2 in three consecutive negative trends (5.0 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 3.8, 6+), iHeartMedia classic rock WKGR “Gater 98.7” erases two-thirds of the deficit with an eight-tenths’ increase to 4.6 (sixth to fifth, 6+).

Greensboro

Spoken-Word Formats – On the heels of December’s one-half share loss (4.2 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” falters by another seven-tenths (3.7 – 3.0, ninth to tenth, 6+); WPTI was down eight-tenths in September.

Steady at #16, Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS “Triad Sports” returns one-tenth of December’s +.2 (.3 – .5 – .4, 6+).

Off three-tenths (2.1 – 1.8, 6+), Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” finishes at #13 for the eighth consecutive time. After four successive up or flat trends that netted four-tenths (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+), WFDD was down one-half share in November. Without an increase for the third straight time for roughly a one-half loss (-.5) of its 6+-stat (1.1 – .8 – .6 – .6, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC continues at #15.

Greensboro Music Formats – Repeating at #1, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMAG “99.5 – The Triad’s Best Variety” is an overall +9.7 since August via five straight positive spikes (6.8 – 7.9 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 13.9 – 16.5, 6+). This (16.5) is its highest 6+-showing for any Greensboro station since WMAG posted a 16.7 in “Holiday” 2013. After six straight sweeps without an increase for an overall -2.1 (8.2 – 7.4 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 6.1, 6+), Entercom rhythmic CHR WJMH “102 JAMZ” gains one-tenth and continues in fourth-place. In three straight improvements (3.1 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.4, unchanged at #9, 6+), Curtis Media Group regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1” is a collective +1.3. Sputtering by one-half share (each) are Entercom urban AC and country cluster-mates WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” (10.8 – 10.3, flat at #2, 6+) and WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” (seventh to eighth). In double-digits (6+) for the 26th straight time (10.3), WQMG – which was +1.0 in November – spent 11 straight sweeps at #1 before segueing to #2 in December. Up one-half share in October, “The Wolf” is a cumulative -1.2 in three setbacks in succession (5.9 – 5.5 – 5.2 – 4.7, 6+). Down by a combined eight-tenths in October and September, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WTQR “Q-104.1 – #1 for New Country” gained three-tenths in November; spiraled by -1.6 in December; and in “Holiday” 2018, gains two-tenths to 5.3 (eighth to sixth, 6+), again overtaking “The Wolf.” Recent shifts for iHeartMedia CHR WMKS “100.3 Kiss FM All the Hits” include: +.5 (August); another +.5 (September); -.6 (October); +.9 (November); and a combined -.9 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.7 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+). It slips from #11 to #12; prior to November, “Kiss” occupied the #12 position for five consecutive sweeps.

Memphis

Spoken-Word Formats – While down two-tenths to 2.6 (6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WREC repeats at #13. Entering the “Holiday” 2018 sweep, “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” had been in a September-October-November-December down/up pattern in which time it lost eight-tenths (3.4 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 2.8 – 2.6, 6+).

Following five straight gains for an overall +1.4 (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+), Entercom sports talk WMFS “ESPN Sports Radio” forfeits three-tenths to 3.4 (6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #12).

Memphis Music Formats – The market’s (6+) adult contemporary share balloons by +3.6. Specifically, Entercom’s WRVR “104.5 The River” answers December -1.6 with a +2.0 (9.3 – 11.3, 6+) to remain in the runner-up slot. “The River,” which was +2.4 in October, has its strongest 6+-performance (11.3) since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.9. Meanwhile, Cumulus Media’s similarly-programmed WKIM “98.9 The Bridge” is an overall +3.7 in seven consecutive reports without a loss (1.4 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 3.5 – 5.1, 6+) and cracks the top ten (#11 to #6). In double-digits (6+) for the ninth successive sweep, iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS “V-101” is a combined +2.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (10. 5 – 11.5 – 12.8, 6+) and repeats at #1. Furthermore, this (12.8) is its highest 6+-share in more than six years (13.5, December 2012). Down or flat the past three reports for a loss of four-tenths (3.4 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WXMX “Maximum Rock – 98.1 The Max” responds with an increase twice the magnitude of that deficit (3.8, +.8, #12 to #11, 6+). Faltering by eight-tenths (each) are iHeartMedia gospel and urban AC siblings WHAL “Halleluiah 95.7 – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” (5.4, anchored at #5, 6+) and WDIA “AM 1070 – The Heart & Soul of Memphis” (4.5, sixth to eighth, 6+). Prior to “Holiday” 2018, “Halleluiah” was an overall +1.6 in four straight upticks (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 6.2, 6+). December 2018’s 6.2 is the highest 6+-reading for WHAL since April’s 7.1. The aforementioned streak directly followed six successive down monthlies for a collective -2.7 (7.3 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.1 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+). “The Heart & Soul of Memphis” had been trending 5.3 – 5.4 – 5.3 (6+). Regressing by seven-tenths (each) are Cumulus Media-owned WGKX “Kix 106 Today’s Best Country” (eighth to tenth) and Entercom hot AC WMC-FM “FM 100 Today’s Best Mix” (4.8 – 4.1, seventh to ninth, 6+). “Kix 106” was +1.8 in three straight increases; -.2 in September; -.5 in October; -.5 (again) in November; +.7 (December); and now -.7 (“Holiday” 2018).

Hartford

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to three consecutive setbacks (7.0 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.2, 6+), Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM is a cumulative -1.8 and drops from sixth to seventh. “News Talk 1080” was up eight-tenths in October. Also down for the third straight time – and off three-tenths in that timeframe – is Red Wolf Broadcasting news/talk WDRC-AM “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” (1.2 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9, 6+), which remains at #15.

Recapturing the two-tenths it lost in December, iHeartMedia sports talk WUCS “97.9 ESPN Hartford” (1.6 – 1.4 – 1.6, 6+) continues at #13.

A collective +1.4 in four straight positive spikes (3.5 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.9, 6+), Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” surrenders half that bounty (4.2, -.7, 6+) and continues at #9. Directly in advance of this streak, WNPR was -2.4 after seven straight down or flat trends (5.9 – 5.9 – 5.5 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+). After gaining two-tenths in December, University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio” returns one-tenth (1.3 – 1.2, unchanged at #14, 6+). In advance of December’s +.2, WFCR was a collective -.5 through three negative moves in succession (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.2 – 1.1, 6+).

Hartford Music Formats – Finishing on top for the 30th consecutive ratings period and in double-digits (6+) for the 27th time in the last 29 sweeps, Entercom adult contemporary WRCH is a combined +7.4 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (10.6 – 12.4 – 18.0, 6+). In addition, this (18.0) is the strongest 6+-showing for any Hartford station since “Lite 100.5” recorded an 18.3 in “Holiday” 2017. Eroding by -1.1 (each) are WRCH’s hot AC sibling WTIC-FM “96.5 TIC-FM” (7.2 – 6.1, third to fifth, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WWYZ “Country 92.5” (7.8 – 6.7, second to third, 6+). This is the first time WTIC-FM is below a seven-share (6.1, 6+) since March 2018’s 6.7. Via four straight sweeps without a loss, “Country 92.5” was a +1.4 (6.4 – 7.0 – 7.2 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+), with 7.8 (November and December) its highest 6+-stat since May (7.8, as well). Despite returning the seven-tenths it gained in December (6.8 – 7.5 – 6.8, 6+), Entercom rhythmic CHR WZMX “Hot 93.7” advances from third to second. Its November increase of four-tenths ended five straight decreases that accounted for a -1.9 (8.3 – 8.2 – 7.8 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). In a somewhat similar story, Red Wolf Broadcasting’s WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale – Hartford’s Classic Rock” surrenders all but one-tenth of December’s +.8 with a “Holiday” 2018 decrease of seven-tenths (5.2 – 4.5, flat at #8, 6+). Prior to December’s gain, “The Whale” was an overall -1.3 in three straight declines (5.7 – 5.4 – 5.0 – 4.4, 6+).

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

| January 1, 2019

Townsquare Media Co-Founder Dhruv Prasad to Exit the Company. Company co-founder and current co-CEO Dhruv Prasad announces he will leave Townsquare Media, Inc at the end of this month.  Current co-CEO Bill Wilson will become the sole chief executive officer.  The company adds that, in addition to Wilson, co-founder and CFO Stuart Rosenstein and EVP Claire Yenicay will assume Prasad’s management responsibilities.  Prasad comments, “I am incredibly proud of what we have accomplished since founding Townsquare in 2010.  From scratch, we created not only the nation’s third-largest radio broadcaster, but also built new, profitable businesses in live events and digital.  With the company on strong footing and in the hands of an outstanding senior management team, it’s time for me to move on to my next challenge.” Wilson states, “I want to thank Dhruv for his contributions to Townsquare over his longstanding tenure, and in particular, his partnership over the past year as co-CEO.  Together, we were able to reorient Townsquare to focus on our ‘Local First’ strategy and successfully rationalize our non-local businesses.  I look forward to continuing this strategy, which has driven strong local growth in 2018, particularly within our digital businesses, and solidified our position as the premier local advertising and marketing solutions company in the heartland of America.”

Mancow Begins New Year Hosting Mornings on WLS-AM, Chicago. As had been teased prior to the holidays, Erich Mancow Muller is the new morning drive personality on Cumulus Media’s Chicago news/talker WLS-AM.  He’ll launch the new morning show tomorrow (1/3). Last month, the station announced that the morning team of Big John Howell and Ramblin’ Ray Stevens was exiting the morning daypart, but Howell stays with the station hosting the new 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm program.  This is a return to WLS-AM for Muller.  He co-hosted the midday show with Pat Cassidy from 2008 to 2010.  Mancow had been hosting the morning program at classic rock WLUP-FM until last March when owner Merlin Media sold the signal to religious operator Educational Media Foundation.  Since then, Muller has been off the air.  He’ll once again be working for Marv Nyren, Cumulus Media’s vice president and market manager for Chicago.  Interestingly, Nyren fired Muller from alternative WKQX in 2006 and when he became Cumulus’ market manager (Cumulus was operating WLUP under an LMA) in 2017, Muller sued him for harassment and emotional distress.  However, the suit was dropped and the two have obviously overcome their differences.  John Dempsey is still the morning news anchor and Midge “Luv Cheez” Ripoli will serve as the show’s executive producer.

KKOB-AM, Albuquerque Afternoon Host Scott Stiegler to Exit. Actually, Scott Stiegler is remaining with the Cumulus Media station and will move to the sales department. The station says it will have an announcement about the programming change on January 7, but New Mexico blogger Joe Monahan reports that former longtime morning rock jock T.J. Trout will take over the afternoon drive show.  Trout served with iHeartMedia’s crosstown KZRR “94 Rock” for 25 years until he exited the station in 2011. According to Monahan, Trout is returning to the market after retiring to his hometown of Cleveland in 2011.

Salem Debuts Sebastian Gorka on 340 Affiliates and 24/7 in Washington.  New Year’s Day marked the national syndication debut of “America First with Dr. Sebastian Gorka” from Salem Radio Network.  In addition to launching on some 340 affiliate stations across the country, the program is being heard in the Washington, DC market on four signals – including round the clock on Salem-owned WSPZ-AM.  The show can also be heard in DC on Salem’s news/talk WWRC “AM 570 The Answer,” WAVA-AM, and WAVA-HD2.

2019: Welcome to the Golden Age of Audio.  Consultant Holland Cooke launches a new, weekly column in TALKERS magazine called the “Monday Memo” in which he outlines “techniques proven to produce results and how these timeless basics advantage us on the changing media landscape.”  Coming on Monday (1/7) at Talkers.com, Cooke will address “how smart stations score smartphone clicks and earn digital dollars podcasting.”  Meanwhile, read today’s introductory piece explaining some of the good news/bad news scenarios facing the radio business here.

Davis Media to Launch ‘All News 102’ in Virginia Beach. The current triple A format on Davis Media’s WXTG-FM, Virginia Beach; WXTG-AM, Hampton; and W270DA, Hampton is flipping to all-news on Monday (1/7).  Davis Media says, “Listeners can expect ‘All-News 102’ to feature a wide variety of national and local news. Our content partners include ABC Radio, NBC Sports Radio, Bloomberg Radio, Accuweather, Reliant Traffic, Associated Press, Virginia News Network, and content from our sister publications, wydaily.com and southsidedaily.com.  While the focus for the station is news and not talk – community conversation will have its place. Throughout each newsday, ‘All-News 102’ will host discussions with local newsmakers regarding compelling, focused topics to inform communities and promote more thoughtful daily considerations and learnings for audiences.”  The triple A format continues on the company’s WTYD-FM, Deltaville, Virginia.

SB Nation Announces New Programming. The national radio syndication lineup of SB Nation Radio has a few changes in the New Year.  The KDUS-AM, Phoenix-based “Calling All Sports” show featuring RocManuch, and Crespin airs on the network in the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET slot.  The show has been airing on KDUS-AM for the past 14 years.  Other changes include Jake Asman hosting “The Power Hour” from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET and Dave Smith joining the network for weekend show hosting duties.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro Vinny D joins Beasley Media Group’s hip hop WMGC, Detroit “105.1 The Bounce” as afternoon drive personality.  He was most recently with Urban Radio’s hip hop WMSR-FM “Power 94.9” and urban contemporary WMXV “V101.5” in Tuscumbia, Alabama.   WMGC program director John Candelaria comments, “We are thrilled to find a diamond in the rough.  He is authentic and funny.  Detroit is a blue-collar city and Vinny D is eager to roll up his sleeves and serve our community!”…..Entercom adds Greg “Grego” Onofrio to the air staff of adult hits KKHH, Houston “95.7 The Spot.”  Onofrio was previously an anchor and on-camera commentator at KIAH-TV, Houston “CW 39” where he hosted “NewsFix,” an alternative presentation to traditional local news.  Before working in television, he hosted “Outlaw Radio” on then-rock KLOL-FM, Houston. nighttime show at Rock 101 KLOL in Houston…..Cumulus Media flips country WIWF, Charleston, South Carolina to classic hits as “The All-New 96.9 The Wolf.”  Cumulus Charleston vice president and market manager Sherry Dollar says, “Our New Year’s resolution is to be the station that only plays the best of Charleston’s classic hits.  We think listeners will love hearing the songs that have stood the test of time and are now classics!  Their all-time favorites all have a home at 96.9 FM.”…..In the Akron-Canton market, iHeartMedia debuts new adult contemporary outlet WHOF-FM “SUNNY 101.7, Variety from the 80s, 90s and Today.”  The station is airing 5,000 commercial-free songs in a row and says it will have details about its new air personality lineup in the coming weeks…..Beasley Media Group launches new classic rock outlet WPBB-FM, Tampa “98.7FM The Shark” that is focused on rock songs from the 80s and 90s.  The station begins airing the Detroit-based “Dave & Chuck the Freak” in mornings on Monday (1/7).  Beasley EVP of programming Justin Chase says, “It’s been many years since Tampa Bay had a true classic rock station on a full signal and we’re excited to offer the next generation of classic rock to such a great rock market.”…..Cumulus Media names Summer James midday personality for adult contemporary WTCB, Columbia, South Carolina “B106.7.”  James has worked for Cumulus in Los Angeles.   She says, “I’m so excited to be joining this great team on the air in the Capital City.  They have a winning philosophy, I love South Carolina, and we have the signal to rock the state in 2019!”

December 2018 PPM Data – Round One. REVISED information for the December 2018 ratings period has been released for New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union. Nielsen Audio’s December 2018 survey period covered November 8 – December 5. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below.

New York City

Spoken-Word Formats – As a result of being off three-tenths in consecutive months (2.3 – 2.0 – 1.7, October-November-December, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” completely forfeits its cumulative +.6 in September and October (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+) and departs the top twenty (#19 to #21). In addition to posting its eighth straight monthly report without a loss for an overall +.5 (1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.6, 6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” climbs from #23 to #22. Up or flat the fifth straight month for a net gain of three-tenths (.9 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WABC checks in at #24.

Following November’s loss of seven-tenths, Entercom sports talk WFAN is down another two-tenths (3.7 – 3.5, eighth to tenth, 6+). The flagship of the Yankees, New York Giants, and Brooklyn Nets was -.8 in September and +.5 in October; 4.7 in May, July and August is its best 6+-showing since November 2017’s 5.2. Without a loss the past four months for an overall gain of four-tenths (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1. 7 – 1.8, 6+), WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” forfeits three-tenths to 1.5 (6+) and departs the top twenty (#20 to #23). The New York Jets and New York Knicks flagship was locked on 1.7 (6+) in May and June.

Frozen on 4.2 (6+) in July, August, and September, Entercom all-news WINS was then stymied at 4.4 (6+) in October and November before dropping one-tenth in December to 4.3 but advances from sixth to fifth. Co-owned/similarly-formatted WCBS-AM is a combined +.8 in four consecutive positive spikes (2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4, 6+) yet backslides from a three-way tie at #11 to #12.

The rollercoaster ride continues for WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s news/talk WNYC-FM, which was a cumulative -.7 (May, June, and July); +.7 (August); -.6 (September); +.6 (October); -.4 (November); and now +.6 in December (3.0 – 3.6, #15 to #9, 6+). For the third month in a row, co-owned news/talk WNYC-AM logs a .5 (steady at #28, 6+). Prior to September’s .6 (6+), WNYC-AM recorded a .5 (6+) three times in a row.

New York City Music Formats – After being down by four-tenths in back-to-back survey periods (7.5 – 7.1 – 6.7, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” roars back with a +2.4 in December to 9.1 (6+) and is #1 for the 17th successive sweep. An overall -1.6 through three setbacks in succession (8.5 – 7.7 – 7.3 – 6.9, 6+), WLTW (which was 8.8, 6+, in December 2017) was a combined +.6 in August and September (6.9 – 7.1 – 7.5, 6+). With a consistent July 2018 through November 2018 topline of 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.4 – 6.2 – 6.3 (6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM sputters by nine-tenths in December to 5.4, but “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” carries on in third-place. Four successive up or flat trends by Emmis urban AC WBLS accounted for a net +1.2 (5.3 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 6.0 – 6.5, 6+); however, “107.5 – #1 For R&B” returns two-thirds of that increase (5.7, -.8, flat at #2, 6+). In five-share range (6+) for 33 sweeps in succession, WBLS recorded a 6.1 (6+) in June 2018. Flat at #8, rhythmic CHR cluster-mate WQHT “Hot 97” 6+), is without an increase for the sixth straight time for a cumulative loss of three-tenths (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+). Up a collective half-share in October and November (4.3  – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9” surrenders six-tenths to 4.2 (fifth to seventh, 6+). Co-owned Spanish contemporary WPAT “Amor 93.1,” which had been up or flat the past four ratings periods in succession for an overall gain of nine-tenths (2.5 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4, 6+), drops one-tenth to 3.3 (6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #13).

Los Angeles

Spoken-Word Formats – Even though it is without an increase the seventh time in a row for a collective loss of nine-tenths (4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KFI “AM 640” manages to climb from seventh to sixth. Salem Media Group news/talk KRLA “AM 870 The Answer” and iHeartMedia news/talk KEIB “AM 1150 The Patriot” are tied at #31 with identical profiles (1.1 – .8, -.3, 6+). In consecutive sweeps, Cumulus Media-owned KABC “790 News-Talk-Evolved” gains two-tenths (.3 – .5 – .7, #40 to #35, 6+).

Practically doubling its 6+-stat (+.7) through three positive spikes in a row (.8 – .9 – 1.3 – 1.5, 6+), Los Angeles Rams’ AM flagship KSPN “710 ESPN” forfeits two-tenths to 1.3 (#25 to #26, 6+). Prior to August’s loss of four-tenths, KSPN gained one-tenth in three straight sweeps (.9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.2, 6+). Following ten (10) successive ratings periods without a loss – in which time it more than quintupled (+1.7) its 6+ AQH share (.4 – .4 – .5 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.7 – 2.1, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KLAC “AM 570 LA Sports” erodes by two-thirds (-1.4) to .7 (6+), plummeting from #22 to #35. KLAC is the flagship of the NL champion Los Angeles Dodgers and is among the key stations of the NFL’s Los Angeles Chargers.

A gain of three-tenths (2.8 – 3.1, 6+) propels Entercom’s KNX “1070 News Radio” back into the top ten (#11 to #9).

The ten (10) most recent 6+ stats for Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” (#unchanged at #14) are an extremely steady 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.5.

Los Angeles Music Formats – Over and above repeating at #1, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KOST racks up a +3.9 and is up for the fourth month in succession for an overall +4.4 (4.6 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.1 – 9.0, 6+). In December 2017, “Coast 103.5” was 8.7 (6+). While unchanged at #3, Entercom classic hits-oldies KRTH is a collective -.7 as a result of four straight down or flat trends (5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 4.5 – 4.4, 6+).“K-Earth 101” was on top in October 2018. Prior to that sweep, the last time a non-iHeartMedia-owned station was #1 in Los Angeles was November 2015 – and it was “K-Earth” with a 5.7 (6+). Sandwiched between KOST and KRTH is iHeartMedia hot AC KBIG “104.3 My-FM,” which gains two-tenths to 4.9 (6+), thus snapping at five a consecutive string of decreases that resulted in an overall loss of -1.1 (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). When “My-FM” was dislodged from the top spot in October, it halted a streak of five successive months at #1. As the result of four consecutive upticks (1.6 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3, 6+), KUSC is a collective +.7 as the University of Southern California classical outlet enters the top twenty (#19). Finishing at #23, Univision Radio regional Mexican KSCA “Zona MX 101.9” is without an increase for the seventh time in a row for an overall loss of nine-tenths (2.6 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+). Meanwhile, Liberman Broadcasting’s similarly-formatted KBUE “Que Buena” is down or flat for the fourth straight sweep for a -.3 (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2, 6+) but stays at #20. In the market’s alternative contest, iHeartMedia’s KYSR “Alt 98.7” returns the three-tenths it gained in November (2.7 – 2.4, #14 to #16, 6+), while Entercom’s KROQ is down or flat for the fourth successive sweep for a -.7 (2.9 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.2, 6+), dipping from #17 to #20. Unchanged at #5, smooth AC sibling – KTWV “94.7 The Wave” – is nonetheless off one-half share in December (4.3 – 3.8, 6+). The June 2018 – September 2018 (6+) topline for KXOS was 2.0 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.3, but regional Mexican “Mega 96.3” is unlisted for the third sweep in a row.

Chicago

Spoken-Word Formats – After logging three straight up or flat trends for a collective +.7 (2.5 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 3.2, 6+), Tribune Media news/talk WGN returns six-tenths to 2.6 (6+) and spirals from #11 to #18. Entering the August sweep, the key station of the Chicago White Sox notched three consecutive gains for a combined +1.0 (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 3.0, 6+). Dropping from #22 to #23, Cumulus Media news/talk WLS-AM has a May through December topline of 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.4. Its +.2 in July ended four consecutive down or flat moves that accounted for a one-half share loss (2.0 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+).

An increase of one-tenth (2.8 – 2.9, 6+) by Entercom sports talk WSCR (flagship for both the Cubs and Bulls) is enough to boost “670 The Score” from #18 to a three-way tie at #12. WSCR was up eight-tenths in September and then -1.5 in October and November (4.3 – 4.2 – 2.8, 6+). In four straight sweeps without a loss (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5, 6+), ESPN-owned WMVP “ESPN Chicago 1000” (#23 to #22) is up one half-share.

Notwithstanding it is a collective +1.1 in four consecutive months without a loss (4.6 – 4.8 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+), Entercom news outlet WBBM-AM shifts from first to second. Immediately in advance of this streak, the Chicago Bears flagship logged six straight down or flat showings for a collective -.7 (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+).

Up or flat for the fourth month in a row for a +.7 (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+), Chicago Public Media news/talk WBEZ has its best 6+-showing (2.9) since April’s 3.0 and leaps from #16 to that aforementioned three-way scrum at #12.

Chicago Music Formats – In what has become a tradition when it transitions to all-Christmas music, iHeartMedia adult contemporary-turned hot AC-turned adult contemporary WLIT “93.9 Lite FM” registers a lofty +5.2 (3.2 – 8.4, 6+) and catapults from #11 all the way to #1. WLIT, which displaces Entercom all-news WBBM-AM at the top spot, was 8.5 in December 2017. Coming in at #15 and #16, respectively, are WLIT’s AC rivals – Hubbard’s WSHE (3.1 – 2.8, -.3, #13 to #15, 6+) and Venture Technologies Group AC WRME-LP “FM 87.7 Me TV” (#9 to #16, 6+). Until surrendering its entire half-share increase in October to 2.6 (6+), WSHE had been without a loss five consecutive months for a +.5 (2.6 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+). In November, however, WSHE regained that half-share decline in its entirety (3.1 – 2.6 – 3.1, 6+). WRME-LP is down or flat for the fourth successive time for a collective -1.1 (3.8 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 2.7, 6+). Sliding from fourth to seventh, Cumulus Media-owned WLS-FM “94.7 Chicago’s Classic Hits” is a cumulative -1.4 in three straight drops (5.4 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.0, 6+). A loss of six-tenths (2.9 – 2.3, #16 to #19, 6+) takes alternative WKQX to its lowest 6+-showing (2.3) in exactly one year (December 2017‘s 2.2). Four consecutive increases by Univision Radio regional Mexican WOJO netted +1.4 (4.0 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 5.4, 6+) but “Que Buena 105.1” sputters by seven-tenths to 4.7 (6+) and slips from second to fourth. Following three straight showings of 3.7 (6+), Entercom-owned WUSN “US-99 Chicago’s Hottest Country” drops three-tenths to 3.4 (seventh to ninth, 6+) and is within 3.0 – 3.9 range for the 17th consecutive ratings period. At the same time, iHeartMedia’s WEBG “Big 95.5 – Chicago’s New Country” is without a gain for the fourth straight month for a collective -.4 (1.8 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+) and remains at #23. Steady at #3, iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ “V-103” is a collective -.8 in five straight down or flat trends (6.1 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.3 – 5.3, 6+).

San Francisco

Spoken-Word Formats – Wiping away October’s seven-tenths’ increase with a collective -.8 in November and December (3.1 – 2.6 – 2.3, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk KSFO drops from #14 to #16. KSFO was a combined -1.0 in August and September (3.4 – 3.0- 2.4, 6+). Cluster-mate KGO is unchanged from November (2.1, 6+) but slips from #18 to #19. August’s increase of four-tenths ended four successive down or flat trends that resulted in a collective loss of three-tenths (2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+).

Returning all but one-tenth of November’s +.4 (2.9 – 2.6, -.3, 6+), co-owned KNBR “The Sports Leader” regresses from #13 to #14. Prior to November, KNBR was without an increase in the previous three ratings periods for a cumulative -1.2 (3.7 – 3.7 – 2.9 – 2.5, 6+). By recapturing the two-tenths it lost in November and one-tenth more (1.9 – 2.2, +.3, 6+), Entercom’s similarly-formatted KGMZ “95.7 The Game” returns to the top twenty (#21 to #17). KGMZ was a combined +.6 in three straight up or flat trends (1.5 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1, 6+), before faltering by two-tenths in November.

Despite logging a gain of four-tenths (5.3 – 5.7, 6+), all-news cluster-mate KCBS-AM segues from second – where it had been the past ten (10) sweeps – to third. Frozen on 5.4 (6+) in April and May, KCBS-AM was then stuck on 5.5 (6+) in June and July.

In addition to tacking on two-tenths to November’s +.7 (6.7 – 7.4 – 7.6, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED is #1 for the 11th straight month. This (7.6) is its best 6+-performance since May’s 8.1. Its gain of four-tenths in September ended five downward trends in a row that accounted for a -2.5 (8.9 – 8.4 – 8.1 – 7.1 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). Inching up from #31 to #30, San Francisco Unified School District’s KALW “91.7 Local Public Radio” has its sixth straight up or flat trend for a collective +.3 (.4 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .6 – .6 – .7, 6+).

San Francisco Music Formats – Rebounding from a November dip of two-tenths (3.9 – 3.7, 6+), Bonneville-owned adult contemporary KOIT-FM counters with a +2.7 to 6.4 (6+), leaping from sixth to second. Meanwhile, its AC rival – iHeartMedia’s KISQ “98.1 The Breeze” – is off a combined six-tenths in November and December (4.7 – 4.4 – 4.1, 6+) and falls from third to fourth. Not only does KDFC post a one-half share increase for the second straight sweep (2.1 – 2.6 – 3.1, 6+), the University of Southern California-owned classical outlet zooms into the top ten (#14 to #9). After being an overall +1.1 in six straight up or flat sweeps (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.4, 6+), Cumulus Media classic rocker KSAN “107.7 The Bone” falters by six-tenths to 2.8 (6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #13). Prior to August, “The Bone” recorded a 6+-share between 2.0 – 2.9 in each of the previous 40 sweeps. Directly on the heels of November’s +.8, (2.8 – 3.6, 6+) KOSF “iHeart 80s @ 103.7” surrenders six-tenths to 3.0 (seventh to tenth, 6+). As a result of a one-half share decline (3.5 – 3.0, 6+), co-owned urban contemporary KMEL “106.1 #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” has its lowest 6+-stat (3.0) since November 2017’s 2.6 and is tied with KOSF at #10.

Dallas

Spoken-Word Formats – Without a loss the past five months for a collective +1.1 (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.2, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WBAP forfeits nearly half that increase (2.7, -.5, #13 to #16, 6+). Immediately in advance of the September sweep, “News Talk 820” posted a 2.2 (6+) in three of the previous five sweeps (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+). Flat at #35, Salem Media Group-owned KSKY “660 AM The Answer” is an overall -.3 in three straight down or flat trends (.9 – .9 – .7 – .6, 6+), while Cumulus Media’s KLIF-AM “570 News & Information” is without an increase for the third time in a row (.5 – .4 – .4 – .4, flat at #36, 6+).

Even though it is off a collective three-tenths in November and December (3.2 – 3.1 – 2.9, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned KTCK “The Ticket – All Sports, All The Time” advances from #15 to #14. Meanwhile, Entercom’s KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan” has its fifth straight sweep without a loss for a +.5 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.6, steady at #18, 6+). On the other hand, ESPN’s KESN “103.3 ESPN Dallas,” which was a collective +.3 in four straight up or flat moves (.9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), is off one-tenth to 1.1 (#29 to #31, 6+).

Down or flat for the fourth straight time (2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0, 6+), Entercom news-talk hybrid KRLD-AM “News Radio 1080” actually progresses from #21 to a tie at #20. Going back to “Holiday” 2016, KRLD-AM is within a high of 2.8 and a low of 2.0.

After posting three increases in a row for an overall gain of seven-tenths (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.3, 6+), North Texas Public Broadcasting news/talk KERA returns two-tenths to 3.1 (#11 to #13, 6+). Before September’s +.4 to 3.0, KERA logged a 6+-stat in the two-share range for 37 consecutive sweeps.

Dallas Music Formats – In seven successive sweeps without a loss, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KDGE “Star 102.1” has nearly doubled (+2.4) its 6+-stat (2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 5.1, 6+), vaulting from ninth to third. “Star” (5.1, 6+) is up one-tenth from where it was a year ago (5.0, December 2017, 6+). A combined +1.2 in three successive upticks (3.2 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.4, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KLTY “94.9 Your Life … Inspired” progresses from seventh to fourth. Down one-half share in November (6.6 – 6.1, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KHKS “106.1 Kiss – Dallas/Fort Worth’s Hit Music” bounces back with a +.2 to 6.3 (6+) and is on top for the 12th straight time. “Kiss” was +1.1 in August, after a combined -1.4 in June and July (6.9 – 6.3 – 5.5, 6+). Flat at #19, Service Broadcasting urban AC KRNB “105.7 Smooth R&B” is a combined -1.0 via five consecutive sweeps without an increase (3.1 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.3 – 2.1, 6+). Albeit that Cumulus Media’s KSCS is -1.1 in five straight down or flat reports (5.2 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.1, fourth to sixth, 6+), “New Country 96.3” overtakes similarly-programmed sibling KPLX “99.5 The Wolf” (4.1 – 3.6, -.5, fourth to tenth, 6+). An October gain by “The Wolf” halted six straight down or flat trends that accounted for an overall loss of three-tenths; its May through November topline was 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.1 (6+). July’s 5.2 represents the best-ever 6+ share in KSCS’ PPM history and the first time it ever reached the five-share level (6+). Despite being off a cumulative one-half share in four straight down or flat trends (3.7 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.2 – 3.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KEGL “97.1 The Eagle Rocks” advances from #13 to #11.

Houston

Spoken-Word Formats – A December loss of seven-tenths (4.3 – 3.6, 6+) by iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH erases its November gain of six-tenths and sends “News Radio 740” out of the top ten (#7 to #11). November’s 4.3 was its strongest 6+-stat since February 2017’s 4.4. KTRH was a combined -.9 in August and September (4.1 – 3.6 – 3.2, 6+) and up one-half share in October.

The AM flagship of the Houston Texans Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” – is a collective +.4 in five straight up or flat trends (.9 .9 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3, #22, 6+). Gow Communications’ KFNC “ESPN 97.5” notches a .8 for the third straight month (#25 to #27, 6+), while KTRH cluster-mate/Houston Astros flagship KBME “Sports Talk 790,” which was trending 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.1 (6+), falters by one-half share to .6 (#22 to #28, 6+).

In five successive down or flat moves, University of Houston news/talk KUHF is off one full-share (3.4 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+) but carries on at #20.

Houston Music Formats – On top for the eighth month in a row, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA “Sunny 99.1” dials up a +2.2 (7.5 – 9.7, 6+). “Sunny” recorded an 8.9 (6+) in December 2017. Its 12.5 in “Holiday” 2017 is the station’s strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 10.3 and the first time any Houston facility reached double-digits (6+) since that particular ratings period. KODA has a 1.7-share (6+) advantage over Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN “Que Buena 102.9,” which is a collective +3.3 via five successive positive spikes (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 6.0 – 6.8 – 8.0, 6+) and remains in the runner-up slot. In three successive declines, Cox Media Group’s KKBQ “93-Q Country” is a collective -1.5 (5.4 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 3.9, sixth to eighth, 6+). Its format foe, Entercom’s KILT-FM “New Country 100.3 The Bull,” returns November’s +.1 (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.5, 6+) yet climbs from #14 to #13. Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KOVE “Amor 106.5” is down by one-half share (4.1 – 3.6, flat at #11, 6+). Three straight upticks by KOVE accounted for an overall +1.7 (2.8 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 4.5, 6+), but “Amor 106.5” lost four-tenths in November. A 4.5 (6+) in October 2018 enabled it to reach the four-share level for the first time since October 2016. Faltering by one-half share as well, Entercom adult hits KKHH “95.7 The Spot” is a collective -2.0 in four successive downward moves (5.7 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.2 – 3.7, ninth to tenth, 6+). It is one-tenth behind iHeartMedia alternative KTBZ “94.5 The Buzz,” an overall -1.2 via six straight sweeps without an increase (5.0 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8, flat at #9, 6+). For the seventh ratings period in succession, Radio One CHR KROI “92.1 Radio Now” is without an increase for a collective loss of four-tenths (1.2 – 1.1 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .8 – .8, #26, 6+).

Atlanta

Spoken-Word Formats – A collective +1.1 in three straight positive spikes (7.5 – 7.9 – 8.2 – 8.6, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM forfeits seven-tenths to 7.9 (6+) but is #1 for the 37th consecutive time. Even though Cumulus Media’s WYAY gains one-tenth (1.3 – 1.4, 6+), “106.6 Where Atlanta Comes to Talk” departs the top twenty (#20 to #21); WYAY was -1.0 in August (2.3 – 1.3, 6+). Logging its sixth sweep in a row without a loss for an overall gain of one-half share (.1 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .4 – .5 – .6 -.6, 6+), Entercom news/talk WAOK nonetheless backslides from #27 to #28.

Off three-tenths in November, co-owned sports talk/Atlanta Falcons flagship WZGC “92.9 The Game” answers with a +.6 (3.6 – 4.2, 6+) and zooms into the top ten (#13 to #9). Prior to November, WZGC was an overall +1.7 in four positive spikes in succession (2.2 – 2.5 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.9,  6+). Following three straight down or flat trends for a collective -.5 in that stretch (2.4 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+), Dickey Broadcasting’s WCNN “Sports Radio The Fan” picks up one-tenth to 2.0 (flat at #19, 6+). When the Atlanta Braves flagship lost two-tenths in July, it halted seven successive sweeps without a decrease that netted eight-tenths (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+).

As a result of five straight up or flat trends, City of Atlanta Board of Education news/talk WABE is a collective +1.2 (3.1 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.3, tenth to seventh, 6+). This directly follows five consecutive down or flat sweeps for an overall -1.4 (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.1, 6+). Georgia State University news/talk WRAS returns all but one-tenth of November’s +.4 (.6 – 1.0 – .7, #24 to #25, 6+).

Atlanta Music Formats – Following three negative trends in succession that accounted for an overall -1.5 (5.9 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.4, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH “The Fish” erases two-thirds of the deficit with a +1.0 to 5.4 (seventh to fourth, 6+). August’s 5.9 is the strongest 6+-showing for “The Fish” since its 6.0 in January. At this time last month, two-tenths of a share separated Cumulus Media-owned WKHX “Kicks 101.5 – Atlanta’s #1 For Country Hits” and its format rival, iHeartMedia’s WUBL “94.9 The Bull.” The two country outlets though are now part of a three-way tie at #10 as “Kicks” is up one-tenth (3.7 – 3.8, +.2, flat at #10, 6+), while “The Bull” gains three-tenths (3.5 – 3.8, #14 to #10, 6+). A combined +.7 in September and October (3.3 – 3.4 – 4.0, 6+), “Kicks” returned three-tenths in November. After three consecutive decreases that led to a -1.1 (4.0 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 2.9, 6+), “The Bull” responded with a November gain of six-tenths. Three straight downward moves by Radio One-owned WHTA resulted in a combined -1.4 (4.7 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.3, 6+), but “Hot 107.9” is up three-tenths to 3.6 (#15 to #14, 6+). Its May through August topline was 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.7 (6+). Cumulus Media-owned rhythmic CHR WWWQ-HD3 more than doubles (+1.0) its 6+-stat in three straight upticks (.8 – 1.2 -1.3 – 1.8, flat at #20, 6+), while Davis Broadcasting regional Mexican WLKQ “LA Raza” debuts with a .7 (#25, 6+). The market’s (6+) mainstream CHR share shrinks by -1.8 as iHeartMedia’s WWPW “Power 96.1 Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” is -1.2 (3.3, #6 to #15, 6+) and Cumulus Media’s WWWQ “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” is -.6 (4.4 – 3.8, #7 to #10, 6+). “Power” had been without a loss the past seven sweeps for a cumulative +1.1 (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.5, 6+). When “Q-100” lost one-tenth in October, it snapped at four a consecutive string of up or flat moves that netted three-tenths (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.3, 6+). Within 3.6 – 3.9 range (6+) in each of the last seven survey periods (3.6 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.8, 6+), Entercom hot AC WSTR “Star 94.1” is off six-tenths to 3.2 (#11 to #16), its lowest 6+-showing since April’s 2.5.

Philadelphia

Spoken-Word Formats – Seven straight ratings periods without a decrease netted Entercom’s WPHT a +1.4, nearly doubling its 6+ AQH share (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+). That streak, however, ends in December as “Talk Radio 1210” falters by eight-tenths to 2.1 (#14 to #18, 6+). Up one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5, September-October-November, 6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” returns to 1.3 in December (-.2, #20 to #23, 6+).

Stable at 6.3 (6+), Entercom’s WIP “Sports Radio 94.1,” which was #1 in October, proceeds from sixth to fourth. The flagship of the Eagles and Phillies was -.8 (February); -2.9 (March); +1.1 (April); -.8 (May); -.5 (June); +.7 (August); +1.4 (October); and -1.0 (November). Flat at #15, Beasley Media Group-owned WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” is without a loss for the third time in a row for an overall +.9 (1.8 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+). Prior to October, the key station of the 76ers and Flyers was without an improvement the previous five months for an overall -1.0 (2.8 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+).

Entercom’s KYW “News Radio 1060” is down one-tenth (5.2 – 5.1, 6+), yet climbs from eighth to seventh; KYW was up seven-tenths in August.

A loss of four-tenths to 3.0 (#12 to #11, 6+) by public news/talk WHYY ends a down/up pattern that began in June (3.6 – 3.3 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.4, 6+). An August increase of one-half share interrupted three successive declines for an overall -1.1 (4.4 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.3, 6+).

Philadelphia Music Formats – On top from March through June before being dislodged in July, Entercom adult contemporary WBEB returns to #1 (6.5 – 10.4, +3.9, fourth to first, 6+); “Today’s 101.1 More FM” was 12.8 (6+) in December 2017. Immediately prior to October, WBEB was a collective -2.2 in three consecutive decreases (8.5 – 7.8 – 6.5 – 6.3, 6+). It displaces co-owned classic hits-oldies WOGL “98.1 – Nobody Plays More 80s,” which erases November’s +.6 with a December -1.0 (7.4 – 6.4, 6+) and falls to third. That November increase of six-tenths pulled the plug on three straight negative trends that accounted for a combined -1.4 (8.2 – 7.5 – 7.0 – 6.8, 6+). WOGL finished first in August and segued to second in September. July’s 8.2 represents its highest-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era. Frozen on 6.6 (6+) in October and November, iHeartMedia urban AC WDAS-FM “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks” breaks out a +.8 to 7.4 (third to second, 6+). On the heels of November’s increase of six-tenths, Entercom’s WXTU “92.5 Philadelphia’s Country Station” erodes by -1.1 (5.4 – 4.3, seventh to eighth, 6+). After a September gain of four-tenths, WXTU surrendered more than twice that increase with a loss of nine-tenths. This is its lowest 6+-showing since February (4.3, as well). In mid-November, iHeartMedia transitioned rhythmic hot AC WISX “Real 106.1” to adult contemporary as “106.1 The Breeze – Philly’s Relaxing Favorites.” In its first report as an AC, “The Breeze” is off eight-tenths (3.3 – 2.5, #13 to #17, 6+). Trending 6.8 – 6.6 – 6.8 – 6.9 (August through November, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WMGK “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK” shrinks by seven-tenths to 6.2 (second to fifth, 6+), its lowest 6+-share since 5.2 in “Holiday” 2017. Off six-tenths each are co-owned WMMR “93.3 Everything That Rocks” (5.9, fourth to sixth, 6+) and iHeartMedia alternative WRFF “Radio 104.5 Philly’s Alternative Rock” (3.5 – 2.9, #11 to #13, 6+). WMMR had been an overall +1.1 via four straight up or flat trends (5.4 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 6.5, 6+).

Long Island

Spoken-Word Formats – After doubling its 6+ share (+1.8) in September and October (1.8 – 2.8 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” is a combined -1.4 in November and December (3.6 – 3.1 – 2.2, #14 to #15, 6+). Cumulus Media news/talk WABC is down or flat for the third straight sweep (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3, #25 to #26, 6+). Its August increase of one-tenth stopped four consecutive down or flat moves that accounted for a loss of three-tenths (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.2, 6+).

Not only is Entercom sports talk WFAN off by four-tenths (4.8 – 4.4, 6+), the flagship of the Giants, Brooklyn Nets, and Yankees slumps from a three-way tie at #1 to #5. WFAN had been on top the past four months. It wiped away October’s +.6 with a November loss of eight-tenths. October’s 5.6 was the strongest 6+-showing in Long Island for WFAN since November 2017’s 5.9. The flagship of the New York Jets – WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” – is a collective -.3 in November and December (2.2 – 2.1 – 1.9, #16 to #19, 6+). As was the case with WFAN, similarly-programmed WEPN gained six-tenths in October (1.6 – 2.2, 6+). “ESPN New York” had been off seven-tenths in four straight down or flat trends (2.3 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.6, #22, 6+), immediately after five consecutive upticks for a +1.2 (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+).

Separated by one-tenth of a share in November, Entercom all-news WINS (3.4 – 3.2, -.2, #11 to #9, 6+) and co-owned/similarly-formatted WCBS-AM (3.2, -.1, #12 to #9, 6+) are now tied. WINS was up six-tenths in October; WCBS-AM had been +.9 in six straight up or flat trends (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 3.3, 6+).

Unlisted the past two months, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM resurfaces at #17 (1.9 – 2.0, +.1, 6+). From February 2018 – September 2018,  WNYC-FM had been trending 1.6 – 1.9 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.0 (6+) and ranked #19 in September.

Long Island Music Formats – Roaring back from a one-half share November dip with an improvement more than four times that margin (4.4 – 6.5, +2.1, 6+), Connoisseur Media hot AC WALK-FM “97.5 – Real Variety” jumps from fourth to first. This (6.5) is its strongest 6+-performance since March (7.0). In addition, “Real Variety” breaks up November’s three-way logjam at #1, which included WFAN (see above); Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” (4.8 – 5.3, +.5, first to third, 6+); and iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WHTZ “Z-100” (4.8 – 4.6, -.2, first to fourth, 6+). Following six straight months without an increase that accounted for a collective loss of four-tenths (5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.7, 6+), “Z-100” picked up one-tenth in November. In three increases in succession, WCBS-FM was +1.2 (3.7 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.9, 6+). Immediately prior to that, however, it was a collective -1.2 via five straight down or flat trends (4.9 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+). Two-tenths behind WALK-FM is iHeartMedia New York City adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM,” which rockets from eighth to second and has more than doubled (+3.5) its 6+-stat in six sweeps in succession without a loss (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 6.3, 6+). “Lite FM” recorded a 4.5 (6+) in December 2017. Debuting or reappearing in print after a lengthy absence are Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLV “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” (.8, #29, 6+); Newark Public Radio’s WBGO “88.3 The Jazz Source” (.7, #30, 6+); Fordham University triple A WFUV “90.7 Music Discovery Starts Here” (.5, #33, 6+); and WNYC Broadcasting Foundation-owned WQXR “New York’s Classical Music Radio Station” (.5, #33, 6+). Dropping from #9 to #11, Cox Media Group-owned WBAB “102.3 – Long Island’s Only Classic Rock” is an overall -1.9 in five straight slips (5.0 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 3.1, 6+). Off eight-tenths to 3.1, its lowest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017 (3.0), Connoisseur Media classic hits-oldies WBZO “103.1 Max FM” drifts from #7 to #11. Also departing the top ten and part of the four-way logjam at #11 is Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 – #1 For R&B,” which is an overall -.8 in four straight down or flat trends (3.9 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.1, #9 to #11, 6+). Co-owned rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” is down or flat for the sixth consecutive time for an overall decline of nine-tenths (2.8 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 1.9, #16 to #19, 6+); “Hot 97” had been within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) the previous 49 consecutive ratings periods. In five straight sweeps without an increase, Cumulus Media country WNSH is a collective -.9 (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.5, 6+) as “94.7 – Nash FM” fades from the top twenty (#18 to #26).

Riverside

Spoken-Word Formats – Debuting in July with a .2 (6+), iHeartMedia news talk KKDD gained one-tenth in August; was flat in September; up one-tenth in October; down two-tenths in November; and now “1290 News Talk IE” is flat at .2, remaining at #20 (6+).

It’s the same (November 2018 – December 2018) story for co-owned KPWK “Fox Sports Radio 1350 AM,” which is unchanged at .2/#20 (6+). The former KUBE disappeared from print in June; resurfaced in July (.2, 6+); dropped one-tenth in August; added one-tenth in both September and October; and dropped one-tenth in November. Similarly-formatted/Los Angeles Angels-owned (LAA 1, LLC) KLAA “Angels Radio AM 830” is unlisted for the 11th month in a row.

Following three straight modest increases that accounted for a +.4 (1.3 – 1.4 – 1.6 – 1.7, 6+), San Bernardino Community College news/talk KVCR erases that gain with a -.4 to 1.3 (#11 to #12, 6+). The October 6+-share for Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” is sliced in half in November and December (.6 – .4 – .3, #17 to #18, 6+).

Riverside Music Formats – A collective +.9 in three straight up or flat trends (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 3.2, 6+), Good News Radio contemporary Christian KSGN “89.7 – Family Friendly” bumps up from eighth to sixth, reaching the three-share level (3.2, 6+) for the first time since January 2018’s 3.1. Over and above being #1 for the seventh successive sweep, Entravision’s KLYY “Jose” dials up a +1.1 to 10.5, the largest 6+-stat for any station in the 12 PPM-markets highlighted in this particular overview; “Jose” was +2.5 in September. This (10.5) marks the first time any Riverside station has reached double-figures (6+) since April 2015, when KLYY recorded a 10.4. A loss of four-tenths in October ended five straight increases that netted an astonishing +5.3, more than doubling its 6+-stat since April (4.6 – 6.4 – 6.5 – 6.9 – 7.4 – 9.9, 6+). This follows five sweeps in succession without an increase for an overall -3.0 (7.6 – 7.3 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 5.0 – 4.6, 6+). June 2018 marked the first time “Jose” was in the lead position since “Holiday” 2017 when it scored a 7.3 (6+). An increase of six-tenths (2.3 – 2.9, ninth to seventh, 6+) elevates Liberman Broadcasting regional Mexican KRQB “Que Buena 96.1” to its best 6+-performance (2.9) since March (3.0). Despite being off four-tenths to 6.7 (6+), Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies KOLA is secured in the runner-up slot for the seventh month in a row. KOLA held the lead position in May with a 6.5 (6+). Its +.3 in July ended four downward trends in succession that generated a -2.1 (8.4 – 7.1 – 6.7 – 6.5 – 6.3, 6+). Co-owned KCAL-FM “96.7 Rocks,” which lost nearly half (-1.3) its 6+ AQH share as the result of six straight sweeps without an increase (2.8 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.4 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+), picks up one-tenth to 1.6 (#12 to #11, 6+). Flat at 1.3 (#13 to #12, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KRCD “Recuerdo” is in one-share range (6+) for the 16th successive ratings period.

San Jose

Spoken-Word Formats – Following a November loss of eight-tenths, Cumulus Media’s KGO levels off at 2.2 and advances from #17 to #16. In advance of November’s -.8, KGO posted four upticks in a row for a cumulative +1.3 (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+). Locked on 1.2 (6+) in October and November, co-owned news/talk KSFO forfeits two-tenths to 1.0 (#24 to #28, 6+). Its +.1 in October ended three consecutive downward moves that resulted in the vanishing of exactly half (-1.1) of its 6+-share (2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.1, 6+).

Sports talk cluster-mate KNBR “The Sports Leader” is a combined -1.5 in four straight down or flat moves (4.4 – 3.4 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 2.9, #11 to #14, 6+), while Entercom sports talk KGMZ “95.7 The Game” adds four-tenths to November’s one-half share increase (.6 – 1.1 – 1.5, #26 to #23, 6+).

All-news sibling KCBS-AM, which was off by one-half share in November (6.2 – 5.7, 6+), is up two-tenths to 5.9 (6+), yet backslides from third to fifth.

Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED rebounded from July and August’s -1.6 (7.5 – 6.5 – 5.9, 6+) with a +.3 in September to 6.2 (6+), jumping from sixth to fourth. Unlisted in October and November, KQED returns in December at #2 (6.7, 6+). San Francisco Unified School District news/talk KALW debuts at #30 (.5, 6+).

San Jose Music Formats – Having recorded a gain of one-tenth in each of the last three sweeps, Entercom adult contemporary KOIT-FM erupts with a +2.7 (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 6.0, 6+), vaulting from tenth to fourth. On the heels of posting a one-half share improvement in November, iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KYLD “Wild 94.9 – The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station” tacks on eight-tenths (2.9 – 3.7, #12 to #11, 6+). An overall -2.4 as the result of three declines in succession (6.2 – 6.0 – 5.4 – 3.8, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “Amor 100.3” erases one-quarter of that decrease with a +.6 to 4.4 (sixth to seventh, 6+). A collective -2.4 in three consecutive negative trends (6.1 – 5.4 – 4.5 – 3.7, 6+), Empire Broadcasting’s KRTY “San Jose Hot Country 95.3” rebounds with a +.4 to 4.1 (eighth to ninth, 6+). Prior to that streak, “Hot Country” was an overall +2.1 via five successive gains (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 5.1 – 6.1, 6+). November’s 3.7 marked the first time KRTY was below a four-share (6+) since January’s 3.8. In one fell swoop, KOSF “iHeart 80s @ 103.7” has virtually half of its 6+-stat slashed (2.9 – 1.5, -1.4, 6+) as it fades from the top twenty (#12 to #23). An overall +1.7 in October and November (6.3 – 6.9 – 8.0, 6+), Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits” erases all but six-tenths of that increase with a -1.1 to 6.9 (6+), but is #1 for the third month in a row. In November, “Bay FM” reached the eight-share level (6+) for the first time since “Holiday” 2016 (8.0, as well). Prior to October, the last time KBAY held the lead spot was “Holiday” 2015 – when it was an adult contemporary outlet. After regressing by seven-tenths in November, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KISQ surrenders another eight-tenths in December (4.5 – 3.8 – 3.0, 6+) and exits the top ten (#6 to #13); “98.1 The Breeze” was a combined +1.0 in September and October (3.5 – 4.2 – 4.5, 6+). Having posted a +1.2 in October and a +.7 in November, hot AC sibling KIOI “Star 101.3” relinquishes one-half share (5.1 – 4.6, fourth to sixth, 6+). As a result of four straight down or flat trends, Cumulus Media classic rocker KSAN “107.7 The Bone” is an overall -1.0 (2.3 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.3, 6+) and drifts from the top twenty (#20 to #26). Three increases in a row (5.2 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 6.9, 6+) netted Bonneville-owned KUFX a collective +1.7, but “98.5 K-Fox The South Bay’s Classic Rock” is now -2.6 in three straight declines (6.9 – 5.9 – 4.8 – 4.3, fifth to eighth, 6+). Before shifting to #3 in October, KUFX had been #1 for three straight months. An overall +.3 via three successive up or flat trends (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary KMEL “106.1 #1 For Hip-Hop and R&B” sputters by one-half share to 2.2 (#14 to #16, 6+).

Middlesex

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to a loss of three-tenths to 8.0 (6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW has its consecutive string of increases that netted +2.3 halted at six (6.0 – 6.4 – 6.8 – 7.1 – 8.0 – 8.2 – 8.3, 6+). Even so, “New Jersey 101.5” is #1 for the sixth month in a row. November’s 8.3 was its best 6+-share since January (8.3, as well). Without a loss the past five sweeps and precisely doubling (+1.7) its 6+-share (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.3 – 3.0 – 3.4, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR sputters by six-tenths to 2.8 (#13 to #16, 6+). Without an increase for the sixth straight sweep for an overall loss of one-half share (1.7 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.2, 6+) Cumulus Media news/talk WABC slips from #23 to #26.

The +.7 that Entercom sports talk WFAN logged in October is erased by a combined -.8 in November and December (4.2 – 3.7 – 3.4, 6+). Moreover, WFAN spirals from the top ten (#7 to #13). Its October increase ended four Middlesex-Somerset-Union decreases in succession that accounted for a -.9 (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.5, 6+). Through five consecutive up or flat trends, similarly-programmed WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” was +1.2 (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.5 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+), but the flagship of the New York Jets loses four-tenths in December to 2.5 (#17 to #19, 6+).

As Entercom all-news WCBS-AM loses two-tenths (2.5 – 2.3, #19 to #20, 6+), co-owned/similarly-formatted WINS adds two-tenths (1.4 – 1.6, flat at #24, 6+). Through three increases in a row, WCBS-AM was up eight-tenths (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.2 – 2.5, 6+). Prior to November, WINS recorded a 1.7 (6+) in each of the previous six Middlesex-Somerset-Union monthlies.

Missing from print in October and November, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM reappears at #18 (2.6, 6+). An August gain of three-tenths halted five straight losses (3.4 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.2 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+) that accounted for a nearly 50% erosion of its 6+ share (-1.6).

Middlesex Music Formats – On a rollercoaster ride, Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” was +.4 through three straight up or (mostly) flat July through October trends (3.7 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+); -.6 in November; and now +.9 in November (3.5 – 4.4, seventh to fifth, 6+). November’s 3.5 was its lowest 6+ Middlesex-Somerset-Union showing since 3.3 in September 2016. In addition to being +2.4 (6+) in its home (New York City) market and +2.5 (6+) in Long Island, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” is +.7 in Middlesex. Carrying on in second-place, WLTW is an overall +1.6 in four straight Middlesex upticks (4.9 – 5.1 – 5.4 – 5.8 – 6.5, 6+). Replicating November’s half-share improvement (3.0 – 3.5 – 4.0, 6+), Entercom hot AC WNEW-FM “NEW 102.7” progresses from tenth to eighth.WNYC Broadcasting Foundation classical WQXR debuts with a .5 (#28, 6+). Returning in full the one-half share increase it registered in November (5.1 – 5.6 – 5.1, 6+), Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 – #1 For R&B” continues in third-place. Faltering by one-half share as well and departing the top twenty is Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary WPAT “Amor 93.1” (2.5 – 2.0, #19 to #23, 6+). Co-owned Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9,” which was down or flat the past five months for an overall loss of nine-tenths (3.9 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0, 6+) gains one-tenth to 3.1 (#16 to #14, 6+).

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

| November 6, 2018

Entercom Q3 Report: Revenue ‘Improved Significantly.’ It was almost a year ago that Entercom closed on its acquisition of the CBS RADIO stations and the addition of that group of stations pushes Entercom’s net revenue from $122.3 million in the third quarter of 2017 to $378.5 million in the third quarter of this year.  But, on a same-station basis, net revenue was down from $395.2 million – a decrease of 4.3%.  Pro forma adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was $86.7 million, compared to $89.7 million in the third quarter of 2017.  Entercom president and CEO David Field says, “As we close in on the one-year anniversary of our transformational merger with CBS RADIO, we are very pleased with our progress and excited about the momentum we are building across multiple growth initiatives.  Revenues have improved significantly since the first half of the year and the fourth quarter is on track for significant growth, currently pacing up 4%.  Expenses are down significantly, driven by synergies, and we anticipate solid double-digit EBITDA growth in the fourth quarter.  In addition, we have now completed all of our previously announced divestitures and land sales, generating roughly $200 million in cash proceeds.”

Townsquare Media Reports ‘Another Strong Quarter.’ The company reports its 2018 third quarter financial results, stating net revenue was $114.1 million – up 1.9% from the same period in 2017 – but was basically flat, excluding political revenue.  Excluding live events net revenue, which was budgeted to decline in 2018, net revenue increased $8.7 million, or 9.5%, to $101.1 million, as compared to $92.3 million in the same period last year.  Townsquare Media co-CEO Dhruv Prasad says, “We are pleased to announce another strong quarter at Townsquare, our fourth since Bill Wilson and I started our partnership as co-chief executive officers one year ago.  We implemented a strategic plan focused on the stability and profitable growth of Townsquare’s local branded media, marketing solutions, and live events businesses, and that plan has helped yield three consecutive quarters of revenue and EBITDA growth so far in 2018.”

Mike Thomas Promoted to National Format Brand Manager for Spoken Word Formats. WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” program director Mike Thomas is elevated to the position of national format brand manager for spoken word formats, including sports talk, talk, podcasting, and Esports content for Beasley Media Group.  He will continue to serve as PD for WBZ-FM.  At the same time, the company makes a similar move upping David Corey – PD of WKLB, Boston – to national format brand manager for country.  Beasley Media Group EVP of programming Justin Chase says, “Mike Thomas and David Corey will join our existing national format brand managers, John Candelaria (urban) from Detroit, Cadillac Jack (AC/CHR) from Boston and Bill Weston (rock) from Philly to round out a first-class programming team to further support and elevate our stations.”

Prosecution Rests in Carton Fraud Trial. According to coverage in Newsday, the feds have rested their case against former WFAN, New York morning personality Craig Carton.  Carton’s defense attorney Robert Gottlieb told U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon that they are having “serious conversations” about Carton taking the stand in his defense but have not reached a decision.  Carton is being charged with fraud, accused of using money from investors in his ticket re-sale business to pay off personal expenses – including alleged gambling debts – as well as to pay off earlier investors.  Carton denies he set out to defraud anyone and argues he was a victim of former partner Joseph Meli, who is serving 6 ½ years after pleading guilty to a previous event tickets Ponzi scheme.

KABC, Los Angeles’ Jillian Barberie Reveals Cancer Diagnosis.  As reported by LARadio.com, KABC, Los Angeles afternoon drive personality Jillian Barberie has announced via social media that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer and is beginning aggressive treatment. She writes, “Results back.  It’s cancer in my right breast but also it has spread to my lymph node.  Appointment at Bedford Breast to assess everything.  I’m going to be super aggressive and do double mastectomy and they said I need chemo for the lymph.  Thanks for coming on this journey with me!”  Barberie hosts the KABC show with John Phillips.  In her absence, Steve Edwards is filling in.

News Pro Mike Parker Dies at 75. Former KFI, Los Angeles news director Mike Parker passed away on Sunday (11/4) at the age of 75.  He spent the last 35-plus years of his career at WBBM-TV, Chicago, but worked in radio in Los Angeles prior to that.  LARadio.com notes that Parker graduated from Los Angeles City College and began working at KBBQ-AM as a newscaster.  He moved to KFI in 1969 and served as news director from 1973-77.

Former SiriusXM Chairman and CEO Joe Clayton Passes at 69.  Media executive Joe Clayton died on Saturday (11/3), three years after retiring from his last position as CEO of Dish Network.  He was the first CEO of Sirius Satellite Radio, serving from 2001 through 2004, and became chairman from 2004 through 2008, exiting after the merger of Sirius and XMSabo Media chairman Walter Sabo tells TALKERS magazine, “Sirius exists because of what Joe did.  Joe got the radios out of the factories and into cars.  He made those consumer electronics deals. He worked that board to get Howard Stern the deal he has and he never relented. He knew Howard was the ticket. Over and over he pulled that company out of the fire and gave it the foundation of success.”  Read the Variety obit here.

Midterm Elections, Migrant Caravan, Post-Election Administration Changes, New Iran Sanctions, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/5).  Today’s midterm elections and the battle for control of the House and the Senate; the caravan of Honduran migrants headed for the U.S. border; chatter about changes in some key Trump Administration posts after the election; the U.S. reimposes sanctions on Iran that were lifted as part of the 2015 nuclear pact; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Doing His Civic Duty. TalkersRadio general manager David Bernstein is pictured above at his polling place at St. Cloud Elementary School in West Orange, New Jersey where he’s volunteering helping voters, putting up signs and making sure the process is going smoothly for voters.  Bernstein says activity was brisk there this morning, calling it a “heavy turnout, a packed house from opening at 6:00 am until 10:00 am.”

Meg Strikes Again!  Dynamic personality Meg McDonald, host of the increasingly popular short-form TalkersRadio series “MEG!” made yet another splash within the Southern California civics community this past Sunday (11/4).  The Studio City Beautification Association hosted a booth at the Studio City Farmers Market giving away free succulents as a thank you to the community.  McDonald (pictured left) is an active board member of both organizations and held down the 11:00 am to 2:00 pm shift telling TALKERS, “We gave away 150 succulents and everyone was so appreciative.  It was a warm sunny 81-degree day so, of course, I wore my favorite Broadcasters General Store cap.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Tulsa, Griffin Communications names Amber Glaze afternoon drive personality and music director for country KVOO-FM. Glaze was most recently with Signal Media’s country KHLR, Little Rock “106.7 The Ride” as host of the “Hot Mess in the Morning” program.  KVOO program director Brian Jennings says, “Amber brings ideas and energy, along with her passion for country music.  We waited for the right candidate to come along and we’re so excited she’s finally here.  Her bright demeanor, silly sense of humor, and trademark boisterous laugh make for an invaluable addition to the KVOO team.”  Griffin recently acquired KVOO and four other Tulsa stations from Scripps Media…..Alpha Media re-brands CHR WDLD-FM Hagerstown, Maryland “Live 96.7.”  The station drops the “Wild 96.7” moniker.  Alpha Media Hagerstown VP and market manager Ed Dorsey says, “We are thrilled to be evolving the station into the ‘Live and Local’ brand that Alpha Media Hagerstown-Chambersburg stands for, to better serve the Hagerstown community.  We are excited about this new image, a ‘fresh coat of paint’ on the WDLD 96.7 brand that the community has learned to know and love over the past 16 years.”…..iHeartMedia alternative WRFF “Radio 104.5” is presenting the “Radio 104.5 Miller Lite Mystery Show presented by Xfinity Live!”  The mystery show will take place on Monday, November 19 at Xfinity Live! in Philadelphia featuring a surprise performance from a top performing artist.  Attendees won’t know who the act is until the show begins.  Tickets can only be had by listening to “Radio 104.5” or via the next free ticket download that will take place on Thursday, November 15 at 12:00 noon.

Seen and Heard at 2018 Radio Show – Day 1

| September 26, 2018

By Jeff McKay
Special Features Correspondent
TALKERS magazine

 

ORLANDO — The NAB here in Orlando has begun with a focus in the seminar rooms on topics including the state of radio today, what the future brings, advertising, and a marketplace of companies highlighting the latest products and technology.  However, in the halls of the Hilton — home to the show this year — a big topic is digital and how to properly market and capitalize on new technologies…and of course the news of the proposed SiriusXM–Pandora merger!

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Monday, September 10, 2018

| September 10, 2018

iHeartMedia Reports July Financial Figures.  As is required by the US Bankruptcy Court, iHeartMedia has been filing its 8-K form with the US Securities and Exchange Commission each month that provides basic financial information.  The latest monthly operating report for July 2018 shows revenue was $281.1 million, an 8.4% decrease from the June 2018 period where that figure was $305.9 million. However, net income was $55.2 million, a change from June’s loss of $119.7 million.  During July, the company’s payments to professionals leaped from $1.4 million the month prior to $15.7 million.

WPG, Atlantic City Unveils New Programming. Atlantic City news/talk WPGG-AM/W281BH announces a new program lineup that includes the addition of the Compass Media Networks-syndicated “Markley and Van Camp” program – hosted by Jamie Markley and David Van Camp – in the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm slot.  Also, Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo’s San Antonio-based syndicated program is added for the 12:00 midnight to 2:00 am program.  The Townsquare Media station says it has enhanced its weekend programming with the addition of Radio America’s Dana LoeschFOX News Radio’s Todd Starnes, Compass Media Networks’ Lars Larson, and Westwood One’s Walter Sterling.  The station is also beefing up its news reporting with newscasts four times per hour during middays.

Judge Denies Craig Carton’s Request to Keep Documents from Prosecutors.  New York radio personality Craig Carton’s attorneys wanted to submit required documents (detailing subpoenas) only to Judge Colleen McMahon and away from the prosecutors charging Carton with fraud in the trial that will get underway on October 29.  The argument from Carton’s side was that his defense team’s strategy would be revealed to prosecutors.  But Judge McMahon cited Carton’s own words in The New York Post in shooting down that request.  She said the defense’s strategy to argue that Carton was running a legitimate ticket business and was duped by associate Joe Meli is already public knowledge because Carton said as much in a story in the Post.  In that story, Carton said, “I’m not pleading to anything because I firmly believe that when the facts come out, you’ll see I was running a legitimate, legal business.” The September 6 Post story by Kaja Whitehouse reports that Carton’s lawyer will argue that Carton “was a professional gambler who placed bets at casinos around the world on behalf of investors — not someone who used investor money to pay off his own gambling debts, as the feds have charged.”

Joe Benigno Returns to WFAN Air.  Midday sports talk personality Joe Benigno was back on WFAN, New York after being off the air since July in the aftermath of being named in a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a former sales exec who worked at WFAN when it was owned by CBS RADIOLauren Lockwood’s suit alleges a frat house-like atmosphere at WFAN – an allegation current owner Entercom denies.  She further alleges that Benigno propositioned her to take part in threesomes and that he carried out an affair with a female subordinate.  Benigno said he couldn’t talk about the suit but thanked his wife, PD Mark Chernoff, and Entercom executives before getting back to sports talk with co-host Evan Roberts.

Westwood One Announces News Additions. News pro Linda Kenyon joins Westwood One News as a full-time Washington correspondent. She was most recently with Salem Radio Network News covering congress. At the same time, WWO announces that Bob Costantini is now White House correspondent. Kenyon comes to Westwood One with more than 25 years of broadcast news experience.  She has served as a Capitol Hill correspondent, White House correspondent, anchor, and general assignment reporter, writer and editor at three national news networks, including the Associated Press and Salem.  Costantini has been covering Capitol Hill and other beats since joining Westwood One in 2015.  His career includes reporting for FOX News Channel, Tribune Television, NBC News Radio, and CNN Radio.

Beasley Names Gregg Stiansen NSM for New Jersey Group.  Sales pro Gregg Stiansen comes to Beasley Media Group from his most recent position with Salem Media Group in Philadelphia to take on the national sales manager position for the company’s New Jersey stations, including news/talk WCTC, New Brunswick.  Beasley SVP and regional market manager Dan Finn says, “Gregg is a perfect fit for Beasley Media Group New Jersey.  He is synonymous with New Jersey radio, especially on the national front.  Gregg understands the uniqueness of the job and we’re confident he will hit the ground running in his new position.”

Ivy Savoy-Smith Promoted to VP/Director of Sales for Entercom Washington DC. Rising from director of local sales for the company’s hip hop WPGC and Spanish pop WLZL in Washington, DC is Ivy Savoy-Smith, who is now vice president and director of sales for Entercom Washington’s cluster that also includes sports talk WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan.” Senior vice president and market manager Phil Zachary states, “Ivy is a natural leader who has embraced every challenge and earned the respect and admiration of her colleagues and her competitors.  Those privileged to benefit from Ivy’s mentorship are not only better professionals but better people, and her positive influence casts a wide net across the region and the industry.  I can’t think of a better person to lead DC’s elite radio and digital marketing team.”

Cooke: Podcast Listeners Like Booze.  Media consultant Holland Cooke writes today citing Edison Research and Nielsen Audio data that indicates avid fans of podcasting are consumers of spirits. Of all of the product categories that moved podcast listeners, liquor is one that was either tops or close to tops for many of the podcast categories cited.  See Holland Cooke’s piece here.

TALKERS News Notes. WKNR, Cleveland sports talk personality Aaron Goldhammer said back in April that he’d eat horse poop if the Cleveland Browns chose Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield with the first pick of the draft.  Well, they did and last week Goldhammer followed through on his promise (pictured here).  WKRC-TV has the story here…..A more appetizing story from Cleveland comes courtesy of iHeartMedia as its news/talk WTAM adds an FM translator to its broadcast as W295DE at 106.9 FM begins carrying the signal.  The 195-watt translator gives the station an FM presence in the central Cleveland area. iHeartMedia North Ohio president Keith Hotchkiss says, “As the need for accurate news and information increases, we’re proud to be able to share the great reporting, content, and sports play-by-play with listeners on the FM dial.  And listeners all over the US can always hear WTAM on the free iHeartRadio app and more than 200 devices and smart speakers.  Quite simply, WTAM is everywhere, as it should be.”…..For people who love podcasts and fly Southwest Airlines, iHeartMedia has good news: iHeartRadio Podcasts are now available on all Southwest Airlines in-flight entertainment experience portals. Passengers can now not only listen to their favorite iHeartRadio music but can now also choose from iHeartRadio’s massive library of podcasts from 35,000 feet in the air – without purchasing WiFi!

Trump-Russia Investigation, NYT Opinion Piece/Woodward Book, Obama Campaign Speech, Trump vs Google, China’s Anti-Religion Actions, Les Moonves Resignation, Hurricane Florence Threat, NFL’s Opening Weekend, and MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump administration operatives and Russia agents; the controversy surrounding the anonymous op-ed piece the NYT says was written by an administration official and the new Bob Woodward book about the Trump White House; President Obama’s campaign speech in Illinois criticizing the Trump administration; President Trump’s battle with Google and the possibility of a GOP-led look into the company’s practices; reports of China’s crackdown on churches and mosques; CBS chief Les Moonves resigns in the wake of sexual misbehavior allegations; Hurricane Florence threatens the East Coast; the opening weekend of the NFL season; and the Major League Baseball playoff push 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. Country radio pro Rod Phillips is promoted to executive vice president of country programming strategy for iHeartMedia.  The company says that in his new role, Phillips will continue to lead the Nashville-based iHeartCountry team in overseeing iHeartMedia’s country formats and further extend the company’s country brands across the broadcast, digital, social, and live events platforms.  He will continue to guide and develop the company’s roster of country programmers and on-air talent, as well as book artists and produce events for iHeartMedia including the iHeartCountry Music Festival.  He will also continue to head up iHeartCountry’s music discovery and emerging artist initiatives, including the Artist Integration Program and the On the Verge program, that has played a key role in breaking artists such Granger Smith, Maren Morris, Luke Combs, Lauren Alaina, Devin DawsonCarly Pearce, and Morgan Evans…..iHeartMedia’s Dallas classic rock KZPS “Lone Star 92.5” announces that Bo Roberts and Jim White, hosts of “The Bo and Jim Show,” are being inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame.  Roberts and White will officially be inducted on November 3, 2018.  iHeartMedia region president Kelly Kibler says, “Bo and Jim are true radio legends but more than that, they are outstanding people.”

August 2018 PPM Data – Part Four. August 2018 ratings information has been released for Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. 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

Austin

Spoken-Word Formats – On top in both May (with 8.2 that month its best 6+-showing since November 2016’s 9.0) and July, University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talker KUT erodes by one full-share in August (8.1 – 7.1, 6+) and segues from first to second. Immediately in advance of being a combined +1.0 in January and February (6.5 – 7.2 – 7.5, 6+), KUT was -1.4 as the result of three straight decreases (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.8 – 6.5, 6+). Albeit flat at #10, Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590 AM” is up two-tenths to 4.4, its highest 6+-share since March (4.6). Three straight increases by KLBJ-AM prior to April’s -.5 resulted in a +1.8 (2.8 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.6, 6+). Just prior to that streak, “News Radio 590 AM” was -1.3 in four straight decreases (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+). Genuine Austin Radio sports talk KTXX “The Horn,” off nine-tenths in July after being up one-half share in June, gains one-tenth (2.3 – 1.4 – 1.5, 6+) and remains at #18. A one-tenth gain in May halted three straight January through April down or flat trends that accounted for a -.3 (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+). The March 2018 – August 2018 topline for iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” is .5 – .3 – .3 – .5 – .5 – .5, flat at #24 (6+). Its +.2 in June halted four straight down or flat trends that accounted for a 50% loss (-.3) of its 6+-share (.6 – .6 – .5 – .3 – .3, 6+).

Austin Music Formats – A July -1.1 (5.8 – 4.7, 6+) by Entercom hot AC KAMX completely erased a collective +1.1 in April, May, and June (4.7 – 5.1 – 5.2 – 5.8, 6+), but “Mix 94.7” responds in August with a gain of seven-tenths (5.4, seventh to fifth, 6+). June 2018’s 5.8 is its strongest 6+-stat in seven years (6.1, August 2011). Improving by seven-tenths as well is KLZT “107.1 La Z” (4.4 – 5.1, eighth to seventh, 6+). KLZT was off one full-share in June, following a May increase of six-tenths to 5.3 – the highest 6+-stat for the Emmis regional Mexican station since November 2017’s 5.4. A one-half share increase (6.2 – 6.7, 6+) takes Entercom hot AC KKMJ “Majic 95.5” to its strongest 6+-stat (6.7, steady at #3) since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.4. In five straight sweeps without a loss (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+) University of Texas at Austin-owned triple A KUTX “98.9 The Austin Music Experience” has improved by a cumulative six-tenths and climbs from  #16 to #14. Despite a loss of two-tenths to 7.3 (6+), Emmis adult hits KBPA “103.5 Bob FM” advances from second to first. It was a brief one-month (June) stay at #1 for “Bob,” which – in July – returned all of June’s +.6 (7.5 – 8.1 – 7.5, 6+). On top four months in a row, Austin’s version of “Bob” segued to second in May, owing to a massive -1.4 (8.9 – 7.5, 6+); KBPA was +1.0 in April. Prior to picking up one-tenth in March, “Bob” was -.6 (February); +1.7 (January); and -1.7 (“Holiday” 2017). In four straight downward trends, iHeartMedia-owned country KVET-FM (fourth to eighth) is an overall -1.7 (6.4 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 5.6 – 4.7, 6+). While April’s +1.1 enabled KVET-FM to notch its best 6+-stat since last December’s 6.2, this (4.7) is its lowest 6+-performance in over two years (4.6, April 2016). As it is in August, “The Austin Texas Original” was -.9 in February. It is overtaken by co-owned and similarly-formatted KASE, which was -.5 (May); +.5 (June); -.5 (July) and now +.4 in August (5.6 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 5.1 – 5.5, sixth to fourth, 6+). Immediately before May’s one-half share decline, “Austin’s #1 For New Country” was +1.7 in four straight upticks (3.9 – 4.6 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.6, 6+). Racking up a +.7 in January ended three consecutive decreases for an overall -1.2 (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+). KASE and KVET-FM were tied for fifth in March (5.3, 6+). Meanwhile, Genuine Austin Radio-owned KOKE “Austin’s Country Alternative” picks up two-tenths to 1.0 (#23 to #21, 6+), halting three straight dips that produced a -.6 (1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1 – .8, 6+). Forfeiting in full July’s +.5, Crista Media contemporary Christian KFMK (2.4 – 2.9 – 2.4, 6+) slips from #13 #14. Prior to July, “Spirit 105.9” logged a 2.4 in three of the previous four survey periods (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.4, 6+); July’s 2.9 is its best 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 3.1. Univision Radio-owned Spanish adult hits KLJA “Amor 107.7” is an overall -1.0 in five straight down or flat trends (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+) and drops from #18 to #19.

Raleigh

Spoken-Word Formats – Three consecutive significate fluctuations have University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” going from third to first in June (+9); first to third in July (-1.1); and third to first in August (7.6 – 8.8, +1.2, 6+). Prior to that, WUNC was -1.0 in April. January 2018’s 9.1 is its strongest 6+-share since January 2014’s 9.4. WUNC fell to third-place in “Holiday” 2017 after four consecutive months in the runner-up slot. Off three-tenths and slipping from eighth to ninth, iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK “106.1 Stay Connected” logs a 5.1 for the third time in the last five ratings periods (5.1 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 5.4 – 5.1, 6+). Its +.4 in July curtailed three down or flat trends that produced a loss of three tenths (5.3 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.0, 6+), while an April decline of two-tenths ended three consecutive upticks that yielded a +1.5 (3.8 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.3, 6+). Just before that, WTKK was -1.4 via three straight decreases (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 3.8, 6+). Steady at #19, Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF “News Radio 680” is up by a collective half-share in six straight sweeps without a loss (1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5, 6+). In May, WPTF finished at #18, but prior to that, it occupied the #19 slot for nine straight sweeps. As a result of three losses in a row, Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC “99.9 The Fan” has surrendered more than 50% (-2.1) of its 6+-share (3.9 – 2.6 – 2.0 – 1.8, #14 to #16, 6+). Raleigh’s “Fan” was -1.3 in January; +.5 in March; -.5 in April; +.5 in May; -1.3 in June; and -.6 in July.

Raleigh Music Formats – Consistently within 4.5 – 4.8 range between “Holiday” 2017 and July 2018 (4.5 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WRDU erupts with a +1.5 to 6.2 (6+), jumping from tenth to sixth. This marks the first time that “Classic Rock 100.7” has reached the six-share level (6+) in almost three years (6.1, October 2015). Nearly slicing in half July’s -1.3 (7.7 – 6.4, 6+) with a +.6 to 7.0 (6+), Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL progresses from fifth to fourth. “Mix 101.5” was a collective +2.6 via three major April, May, and June improvements (5.1 – 5.8 – 7.1 – 7.7, 6+). That streak, however, was immediately preceded by three negative moves in succession that accounted for a roughly 50% decline (-5.3) in WRAL’s 6+-share (10.4 – 6.1 – 5.4 – 5.1, 6+). June’s 7.7 is its strongest 6+-showing since 10.4 in “Holiday” 2017. In the market’s country race, Curtis Media Group’s WQDR “94.7 QDR Today’s Best Country” is a collective -1.2 in three straight downward moves (8.1 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 6.9, fourth to fifth, 6+), whereas iHeartMedia-owned WNCB “B-93.9 #1 For New Country” (#13 to #12) is up six-tenths through four straight (modest) increases (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3, 6+). Following a string of six straight up or flat trends that generated a +3.1 (5.9 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 7.6 – 9.0, 6+) and enabled Radio One urban contemporary WQOK to leap from fifth to first in July, “K-97.5” drops three-tenths to 8.7 (6+) and shifts to second. Virtually erasing July’s increase of seven-tenths with an August -.6 (4.1 – 4.8 – 4.2, 6+), Curtis Media Group classic hits-oldies WKIX “Kix 102.9 Carolina’s Greatest Hits” exits the top ten (#9 to #11). Having posted a 6+-share between 3.0 – 3.9 in each of the last 13 sweeps, CHR cluster-mate WPLW “Pulse FM” is off by six-tenths as well to 2.8 (#12 to #13, 6+). A combined -1.1 in three straight down or flat trends (6.3 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.2, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WDCG “G-105 Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” slips from seventh to eighth.

Indianapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Not only is Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI a combined +1.8 in four straight increases (2.6 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.8 – 4.4, 6+), it enters the top ten (#12 to #10). WFYI was down seven-tenths in April and +1.1 in January. Recapturing two-tenths of July’s -.7 (6.0 – 6.2, 6+), Emmis news/talk WIBC “93.1 Indy’s News Center,” which posted a +1.1 in June, remains in sixth-place. Prior to May’s -.3, WIBC was a combined +2.5 via four straight positive spikes (3.4 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.6 – 5.9, 6+), preceded by an overall -1.8 in four straight downward moves (5.2 – 4.9 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Co-owned sports talk WFNI (#17 to #18) is a collective -.7 in five consecutive sweeps without an increase (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 1.6 – 1.6, 6+). Jumping ahead of it (#17 to #16) is iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station,” which notches a +.1 in back-to-back reports (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7, 6+). July’s +.1 ended three down or flat sweeps in succession for a loss of three-tenths (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+).

Indianapolis Music Formats – A combined -1.7 in June and July (4.9 – 4.3 – 3.2, 6+), Entercom hot AC WNTR “107.9 The Mix – Better Variety for a Better Workday” slices that deficit roughly in half in August with a +.9 to 4.1 (#14 to #12, 6+). Its +.6 in May stopped three downward moves in a row that accounted for a collective -1.2 (5.5 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+). It is a history-making month for Cumulus Media’s WJJK. In addition to repeating at #1, “Classic Hits 104.5” registers a +.7 to 8.6, the most potent 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history – and first time in eight-share range (6+). On top of that, this is WJJK’s third uptrend in a row for a cumulative +1.8 (6.8 – 7.3 – 7.9 – 8.6, 6+). Inching up from third to second, iHeartMedia-owned WFBQ “Q-95 – Indy’s Classic Rock” displays a one-half share increase to 7.4 (6+), thus wiping away a loss of three-tenths in three straight down or flat trends (7.2 – 7.0 – 7.0 – 6.9, 6+). While unchanged at #8, Entercom CHR WZPL “99.5 ZPL – Indy’s #1 Hit Music Station” is up one-tenth to 5.6 (6+), snapping at four a successive string of down or flat trends that led to an overall -2.0 (7.5 – 6.8 – 6.6 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+). On top in April, May, and June before being displaced by co-owned WJJK in July, Cumulus Media’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” is a cumulative -1.2 in July and August (8.2 – 7.7 – 7.0, second to third, 6+). July’s one-half share loss suspended four straight upticks that netted +2.3 (5.9 – 6.2 – 7.3 – 7.8 – 8.2, 6+). Prior to April, the last time WFMS reached #1 was November 2013; June’s 8.2 is its highest 6+-stat since 8.3 in October 2013. Its representative July 2017 – August 2018 fluctuations include: -.9 (July 2017); +.8 (August); +.5 (September); -.7 (October); +1.1 (November); -.9 (December); -.6 (“Holiday” 2017); -.5 (February 2018); +1.0 (April); +.5 (May); -.5 (July); and now -.7 (August). Four-tenths behind WFMS is Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM,” flat at 6.6 (6+) but slipping from fourth to fifth. In July, “Hank” regained four-tenths of June’s -.9. Immediately prior to that, WLHK was +1.6 in five consecutive monthlies without a loss (5.5 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.1, 6+). On the strength of a January gain of seven-tenths, “Hank” ended three straight down or flat sweeps that led to a -1.6 (7.1 – 7.1 – 6.4 – 5.5, 6+). May’s 7.1 is its strongest 6+-showing since 7.6 in September 2015. A collective +1.2 via four consecutive increases (4.7 – 4.8 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 5.9, 6+), Radio One rhythmic CHR WHHH “Hot 96.3” returns two-tenths to 5.7 but remains at #7 (6+). After logging a 1.3 (June, 6+) and .5 (#22, July, 6+), co-owned urban-rhythmic oldies WNOW-HD2 disappears from print in August.

Milwaukee

Spoken-Word Formats – Surrendering one-half share each and finishing third and fourth, respectively, are Scripps news/talk WTMJ “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” (7.8 – 7.3, second to third, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WISN “News/Talk 1130” (flat at #4, 6+). In April, Milwaukee Brewers flagship WTMJ more than doubled February’s +.9 with a whopping +1.9; two months later (June), WTMJ virtually eliminated May’s -.6 with a +.5. After posting a +.9 in May (6.8 – 7.7, 6+), WISN is a combined -1.5 in three decreases in succession (7.7 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 6.2, 6+). With downward trends in three straight January through April sweeps (8.4 – 8.3 – 7.5 – 6.8, 6+), “News Talk 1130” was an overall –1.6. Up one full-share in January, WISN was a combined -.9 in February and March. Anchored at #14, University of Wisconsin news/talk WUWM is within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 16th consecutive sweep (2.9 – 2.8, -.1, 6+). Immediately prior to June’s loss of one-tenth, WUWM was up eight-tenths in five sweeps in a row without a loss (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+). The March 2018 – August 2018 topline trending for Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” is 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.4 (unchanged at #16, 6+).

Milwaukee Music Formats – Significant wobbles continue for Saga Communications’ WKLH, which was -.9 (“Holiday” 2017); +.5 (January 2008); -.9 (February); +1.1 (March); -.5 (April); -.5 (May); +.9 in June; and now +1.2 in August (7.2 – 8.4, third to second); “96.5 Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” was a modest -.1 in July. Milwaukee Radio Alliance adult contemporary WLDB “B-93.3” tacks on eight-tenths to July’s +.3 (4.0 – 4.3 – 5.1, 6+) and moves from tenth to eighth. In the lead position for the 42nd consecutive ratings period, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” regains four-tenths of July’s -.7 (9.8 – 10.2, 6+). Prior to July’s decline, “Big FM” had been +1.7 in four straight February through June increases (8.8 – 9.4 – 9.9 – 10.3 – 10.5, 6+). Over the past 13 sweeps, WRIT has been in double-digits (6+) five times: November (10.0); “Holiday” 2017 (11.6); May (10.3); June (10.5); and August (10.2). The market’s (6+) country share deflates by seven-tenths as WRIT cluster-mate WMIL “FM 106.1 – Milwaukee’s Best Country” is down three-tenths (5.6 – 5.3, fifth to seventh, 6+), while Scripps’ WKTI “94.5 KTI Country” dips four-tenths to 3.8 (6+), but stays at #11. WMIL rebounded from June’s -1.0 with a +.5 in July. Prior to June’s loss, “FM 106.1 – Milwaukee’s Best Country” was a cumulative +2.5 in five straight “Holiday” 2017 through May 2018 increases (3.6 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.4 – 5.5 – 6.1, 6+). Entering the August sweep, WKTI had been within 4.0 – 4.4 range the past six months (4.0 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2, February through July, 6+). Its +.6 in February interrupted six successive down or flat survey periods for a collective -1.4 (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Even though Entercom CHR WXSS posts its third gain in succession for an overall +.9 (4.1 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+) and has its best 6+-showing (5.0) since December 2016’s 5.5, “103.7 Kiss FM” backslides from eighth to ninth. At the same time, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WRNW “97.3 Now” (flat at #15) is without an increase for the third straight month for an overall -.8 (3.1 – 2.7 – 2.4 – 2.3, 6+). Through six straight February through August down or flat trends (1.0 – .8 – .7 – .6 – .6 – .5 – .4, 6+), Milwaukee Radio Alliance classic hits-oldies WZTI has eroded by more than 50% (-.6, 6+), as “Fonz FM” drops out of the top twenty (#20 to #21).

Nashville

Spoken-Word Formats – A combined -.9 in five straight down or flat trends (5.3 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.4, 6+), Nashville Public Radio news/talk/classical hybrid WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” improves by one-half share to 4.9 (ninth to seventh, 6+). January’s full-share gain ended three decreases in succession that resulted in a -2.4 (6.4 – 5.7 – 4.6 – 4.0, 6+). WPLN-FM was +1.2 in October 2017 to 6.4, its best 6+-share in the PPM-era. Without an increase the past six monthlies for a -3.5 (6.5 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 3.0, 6+), Cumulus Media sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” trots out a +.6 to 3.6 (#13 to #11, 6+). “The Zone” followed “Holiday” 2017’s loss of six-tenths with a January gain of nine-tenths. It trails co-owned news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” (3.5 – 3.8, +.3, #12 to #10, 6+) by two-tenths. Entering the August ratings period, “Super Talk” had a fluctuation of two-tenths in April, May, June, and July (3.5 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+). January’s half-share improvement halted three straight declines that yielded a -2.0 (5.0 – 4.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+). With a (6+) high of 1.4 and low of .8, the topline May 2017 – August 2018 trending for iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC “Talk Radio 1510” (#18 to #20, 6+) is 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.2 – .8. Flat at #21, Cromwell Group-owned sports talk WPRT “102.5 The Game” is an overall -1.9 in four straight decreases – three of which are by one-tenth (2.6 – 2.5 – .9 – .8 – .7, 6+); “The Game” recorded a +.7 in April.

Nashville Music Formats – In addition to notching its fourth straight uptick that has a produced an overall +1.5 (6.3 – 6.4 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.8, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WNRQ “105.9 The Rock – Nashville’s Classic Rock” marches from fourth to second with its best 6+-stat since January (7.8, as well). Nearly two full-shares ahead of WNRQ is Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” (8.8 – 9.7, +.9, 6+), which is #1 for the seventh month in a row. “Mix,” which was +1.0 in June and -.5 in May, ranked first in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017. It shifted to second in January, but returned to #1 in February. The last five 6+-stats for iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUBT are 7.5 – 7.1 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 7.3, but with a loss of seven-tenths in August to 6.6 (6+), “101.1 The Beat” (third to fifth) has its lowest 6+-showing since February (6.7, as well). The market’s (July to August, 6+) country share is off seven-tenths, compared to -1.4 (June to July, 6+). Improving by four-tenths (6.2 – 6.6, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” advances from sixth to fifth. “Nash Icon” faltered by one-half share in April, following March’s -.3. A January and February +1.9 (4.2 – 5.6 – 6.1, 6+) erased its -1.7 from December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.9 – 5.6 – 4.2, 6+). Without an increase for the fourth sweep in succession, iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” (eighth to ninth) is a collective -1.6 since April (5.9 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 4.3, 6+) and has its lowest 6+-stat (4.3) since “Holiday” 2017 (4.1). “The Big 98” registered a +.6 in February; -.5 in March; and +.6 in April. Its +1.1 in January ended three straight setbacks that accounted for a -1.4 (5.5 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.1, 6+). Following three straight up or flat trends that netted a +1.1 (3.5 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.6, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” is a combined -1.0 in July and August (4.6 – 3.8 – 3.6, flat at #11, 6+). “Nash FM” was off a collective -1.5 (5.0 – 4.7 – 3.5, January – February – March, 6+) and then stuck on 4.0 (6+) in April and May.

Providence

Spoken-Word Formats – Erasing July’s -.6 with an August +.7 (3.4 – 4.1, 6+), Entercom sports talk WVEI climbs from eighth to seventh. In advance of July’s decrease, WVEI was a collective +1.2 in three upticks in a row (2.8 – 3.4 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+). Similarly, as it entered the February sweep, WVEI was an overall +1.8 via three consecutive up or flat trends (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 5.0, 6+). It then , however, was a cumulative -2.2 in February and March (5.0 – 3.6 – 2.8, 6+). Notwithstanding that it gains three-tenths to 4.0 (6+), thus ending three straight sweeps without an increase for a -1.0 (4.7 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM “News Talk 630” backslides from seventh to eighth. May’s eight-tenths’ loss wiped out the eight-tenths it collected via three consecutive upticks (3.9 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.7, 6+). When WPRO-AM lost one-tenth in January, it curtailed four straight upward moves of two-tenths each, for a collective +.8 (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+). The combination of WGBH Educational Foundation news/talk WGBH gaining four-tenths (1.8 – 2.2, #11 to #10, 6+) and The Wheeler School’s news/talk WELH dropping two-tenths (#10 to #11, 6+) results in the two swapping places. Immediately prior to the May sweep, these two outlets finished back-to-back four straight times and were tied in May at #10. WELH is -.5 in six straight sweeps without an increase (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+). A two-tenths’ improvement to 1.3 (#16 to #14, 6+) by iHeartMedia news/talk WHJJ applies the brakes to five straight decreases that accounted for an overall loss of nine-tenths (2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.3 – 1.1, 6+). That streak started immediately after “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” picked up six-tenths in February. Originating from Boston, co-owned WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” appears again in the Providence report, following an approximately 6.5-year absence: Its four latest 6+-stats in the Rhode Island metro are 1.4 – .8 – .8 – 1.0 (flat at #18). One-half share behind WBZ-AM is Cumulus Media-owned WPRV, whose January 2018 – August 2018 topline is .4 – .5 – .6 – .5 – .6 – .6 -.6 – .5 (6+); “AM 790 Talk & Business” remains at #20.

Providence Music Formats – After being down seven-tenths in July, Cumulus Media CHR WPRO-FM racks up a positive spike of one full-share to 9.1, its best 6+-showing in more than a year (9.1, as well, in June 2017). Moreover, “92 PRO FM – Today’s Hit Music,” which had been within 8.1 – 8.8 range (6+) in each of the previous five sweeps (8.1 – 8.7 – 8.5 – 8.8 – 8.1, 6+), progresses from fourth to second. An increase of one-tenth (9.9 – 10.0, 6+) is enough to propel adult contemporary cluster-mate WWLI from the runner-up slot to #1. “Lite Rock 105,” which has been in double-digits (6+) in ten of the last 16 sweeps, was on top in May and June, with June’s 10.3 its highest 6+-stat since 12.3 in “Holiday” 2017. Dislodged at #1 and tumbling to #4 is Hall Communications’ WCTK (10.1 – 7.9, -2.2, 6+). The -2.2 in August negatives a healthy chunk of the +2.9 “Cat Country 98.1” garnered in seven straight sweeps without a decrease (7.2 – 7.4 – 7.5 – 8.3 – 8.3 – 8.8 – 9.8 – 10.1, 6+) and is the largest (6+) July 2018 – August 2018 decrease by any station in the 48 PPM-markets. July’s 10.1 marked the first time WCTK reached double-digits (6+) since March 2012 (10.0). Consistently posting a 6+-share between 9.0 – 9.8 since December 2017 ( 9.5 – 9.2 – 9.5 – 9.6 – 9.2 – 9.4 – 9.0 – 9.8 – 9.5, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WHJY “94 HJY Providence’s Home of Rock & Roll” (flat at #3) erodes by -1.2 to 8.3, its lowest 6+-stat since July 2017 (8.3, as well). Spiraling by eight-tenths each are WHJY’s classic hits-oldies and hot AC siblings WWBB “B-101” (7.3, fourth to fifth, 6+) and WSNE “Coast 93.3” (4.5, flat at #6, 6+). Entering the August sweep, “B-101” was +.3.1 in five upticks in a row (5.0 – 5.9 – 6.5 – 6.9 – 7.2 – 8.1, 6+) and reached the eight-share level (8.1, July 2018) for the first time in nearly three years (August 2015, 8.0). The last three fluctuations for “Coast 93.3” are -1.2 (June); +1.1 (July); and now August’s -.8 (5.4 – 4.2 – 5.3 – 4.5, 6+). June’s large decrease directly followed three upticks in a row that netted seven-tenths (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.4, 6+). A combined -1.8 in four straight monthlies without an increase (2.8 – 2.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.0, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting Spanish tropical WKKB is up one-tenth to 1.1 (#17 to #16, 6+); “Latina 100.3” was a cumulative +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018. Down one-half share each are Townsquare Media CHR WFHN “Fun 107 – The Southcoast’s #1 Hit Music Station” (1.7 – 1.2, #12 to #15, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned WCIB “Cool 102 – Cape Cod’s Classic Rock Station” (1.6 – 1.1, #13 to #16, 6+) – both re-appearing in the Providence report in July 2018 after a roughly 6.5-year absence.

Norfolk – It is yet another history-setting month for Entercom urban AC WVKL “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today,” which is a collective +3.4 in five straight increases (12.1 – 12.3 – 13.2 – 14.3 – 14.6 – 15.5, 6+) and posts a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 29th time in the last 30 sweeps. On top of that, it is #1 for the 21st time in a row and – with a 15.5 – sets the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era, breaking the old mark of 14.6 (6+) WVKL tied this time last month (July 2018). CHR sibling WNVZ “Z-104” continues its own positive string by being a collective +1.2 in four straight sweeps without a loss (4.1 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 5.3, sixth to fifth, 6+). In addition, August’s 5.3 is its highest 6+-share in more than four years (5.4, May 2014). Conversely, Saga Communications’ classic rock WAFX “106.9 The Fox” is a cumulative -1.8 via four dips in succession (7.1 – 6.7 – 6.0 – 5.9 – 5.3, 6+) and is tied with WNVZ at #5. When “The Fox” dropped four-tenths in May, it halted three upticks in a row that netted +2.4 (4.7 – 5.9 – 6.3 – 6.4 – 7.1, 6+). An overall +1.3 in June and July (5.0 – 5.5 – 6.3, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WWDE “101.3 2WD” drops one-tenth to 6.2 but carries on in third-place. Just prior to May’s -1.1, WWDE posted three upticks in succession that generated a +1.8 (4.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.1, 6+). After losing 86% of its 6+-share (-4.3) through seven successive sweeps without an increase, (5.0 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .9 – .7, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMOV “Movin’ 107.7” picks up three-tenths in August (1.0 #12 to #11, 6+). While flat at #4, Saga Communications’ WNOR “99 Rocks” is -2.3 in three straight declines (8.3 – 7.3 – 6.1 – 6.0, 6+); this is the lowest 6+-showing for WNOR since “Holiday” 2017 (6.0, as well). Up a combined six-tenths in May and June (.9 – 1.0 – 1.5, 6+), Norfolk State University urban contemporary WNSB “Hot 91.1” erases  that gain completely in July and August (1.5 – 1.0 – .9, #11 to #12, 6+). Entering the May sweep, “Hot” was without a gain for seven successive ratings periods for a roughly 50% loss (-.8) of its 6+-share (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .9, 6+). Similarly, Entercom hot AC WPTE “94.9 The Point” (unchanged at #7) was +1.0 in back-to-back sweeps, (2.9 – 2.6 – 3.9, April-May-June, 6+), but hands back 90% of that increase (-.9) in July and August (3.9 – 3.4 – 3.0, 6+).

Greensboro

Spoken-Word Formats – Despite adding two-tenths (4.1 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” backslides from ninth to tenth. WPTI posted a gain of two-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (3.8 – 4.0 – 4.2, April – May – June, 6+), before dropping one-tenth in July. Its +.2 in May ended three decreases in succession that produced a cumulative -2.1 (5.9 – 5.2 – 4.6 – 3.8, 6+). For the fourth sweep in succession, Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC finish at #13 and #14, respectively. WFDD is up one-tenth to 2.1 (6+), suspending at four a consecutive string of down or flat monthlies for an overall -.5 (2.5 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+). The May 2018 through August 2018 topline for WUNC is 1.1 – 1.0 – .9 – 1.0 (6+). Prior to April, WUNC registered a .9 (6+) in three of the previous four sweeps (.9 – .9 – 1.1 – .9, 6+). In five straight down or flat sweeps, Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS has lost 75% (-.6) of its 6+ AQH share (.8 – .6 – .5 – .4 – .2 – .2, 6+) and stays at #16. Immediately before that, owing to three straight increases, “Triad Sports” quadrupled its 6+-share (.2 – .3 – .6 – .8, 6+).

Greensboro Music Formats – With a March 2018 through July 2018 topline of 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 3.6 (6+), iHeartMedia rock WVBZ “105.7 Man Up!” breaks out a .9 to 4.5 (tenth to ninth) and has its best 6+-showing since November 2017’s 4.9. Anchored at #12, CHR cluster-mate WMKS “100.3 Kiss FM All the Hits,” a collective -1.4 in three downward moves in a row (4.1 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 2.7, 6+), is up two-tenths in August to 2.9 (6+). Immediately prior to April, “Kiss” was +1.5 as the result of six successive sweeps without a loss (2.6 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.1, 6+). Albeit -1.7 in four straight decreases (12.2 – 12.0 – 11.2 – 10.9 – 10.5, 6+) Entercom urban AC WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” is #1 for the eighth straight sweep and is in double-digits (6+) for the 22nd time in succession. WQMG was -1.1 in March, but then +1.2 in April. In the runner-up slot for the eighth consecutive time, co-owned adult hits WSMW “98.7 Simon Says We Play Everything” is off three-tenths to 9.7 (6+). A July gain of nine-tenths halted five consecutive decreases that generated a -2.5 in (11.6 – 11.4 – 10.4 – 10.3 – 9.4 – 9.1, 6+). Wiping away July’s -.3 with an August +.4 (6.9 – 7.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WTQR “Q-104.1 – #1 for New Country” jumps from fifth to third. July’s decrease ended its streak of three straight upticks for an overall +2.3 (4.9 – 5.0 – 6.2 – 7.2, 6+); June’s 7.2 is the highest 6+-share for “Q-104.1” since October 2017’s 7.3. Meanwhile, Entercom’s similarly-formatted WPAW levels off at 5.6 (steady at #7, 6+), following July’s +.9 (4.7 – 5.6, 6+); “93.1 The Wolf” spiraled by -1.5 in June (6.2 – 4.7, 6+). Immediately prior to that loss, “The Wolf was +1.1 (May) and -.9 (April), with April’s decrease curtailing three successive upticks that accounted for an overall gain of seven-tenths (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.8 – 6.0, 6+). May’s 6.2 is the highest 6+-share for “The Wolf” since October 2017’s 7.1. After a lengthy hiatus, Dick Broadcasting cluster-mates WKRR “Rock 92” and CHR WKZL 107.5 KZL – The #1 Hit Music Station” recently returned in print. The February through August topline for “Rock 92” is 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 6.3 – 5.9 – 6.6 – 5.7, unchanged at #6, (6+) for a collective +.6, while WKZL is 4.0 – 5.4 – 5.0 – 4.3 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.6 (flat at #8, 6+) and an overall -.6 in that same timeframe.

West Palm Beach

Spoken-Word Formats – Down or flat the past three ratings periods for a -.6 (2.1 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WZZR “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk for the Palm Beaches” bounces back with an August +.5 to 2.0 (#16 to #13). “Real Radio” posted a +.3 in April, stopping four consecutive down or flat trends that resulted in a -.9 (2.7 – 2.3 – 2.1- 2.1 – 1.8, 6+). Out of Miami, co-owned news/talk WIOD is trending 1.1 – .9 – 1.0 (#19, 6+) as it returns to print in West Palm Beach. Clumped together are Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN, which regains the two-tenths it lost in July (3.1 – 2.9 – 3.1, flat at #9, 6+); iHeartMedia news/talk WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” (2.9 – 2.3, -.6, ninth to tenth, 6+); and Alpha Media’s WFTL “News Talk 850,” which gains two-tenths for the third month in a row (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.3, #11 to #10, 6+). The -.6 by WJNO halts four straight up or flat trends that netted nine-tenths (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 2.9, 6+). Before posting a +.3 in April, WJNO was a collective -1.3 via four successive decreases (3.3 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.1 – 2.0, 6+). A June slip of four-tenths by WLRN ended five consecutive up or flat monthlies that generated a +1.2 (2.3 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+). WFTL had been +1.0 in four straight “Holiday” 2017 through April 2018 sweeps without a loss (1.0 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 2.0, 6+). Sports talk sibling WMEN “Sports Radio 640 The Hurricane” – up seven-tenths in four straight increases (.1 – .2 – .3 – .5 – .8, 6+) – has its 6+-share sliced in half in August to .4 and is flat at #22 (6+).

West Palm Beach Music Formats – After logging five successive sweeps without an increase that accounted for a loss of one full-share (4.9 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+), Alpha Media-owned WIRK “Country 103.1” obliterates that deficit completely with a +1.2 to 5.1 – its best 6+-stat since June 2017 – and advances from sixth to fourth. Even though iHeartMedia classic rock WKGR answers July’s -1.1 with an August gain of one-half share (4.1 – 4.6, 6+), “Gater 98.7” backslides from fifth to sixth; July’s 6+-showing was its lowest since April 2016 (4.1, as well). Spanish contemporary cluster-mate WRLX “Mia 92.1” (#14 to #12) is up one-half share to 2.1, its strongest 6+-stat since February (2.1, as well). A combined +.4 in three straight up or flat trends (9.0 – 9.3 – 9.3 – 9.4, 6+), Alpha Media hot AC WRMF sets the pace for the eighth month in a row. When “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” logged a +.3 in June, it pulled the plug on three straight decreases that produced a collective -1.2 (10.2 – 9.9 – 9.2 – 9.0, 6+). Prior to January’s +1.6, WRMF was down or flat in three consecutive ratings periods for an overall -3.0 (11.2 – 11.2 – 8.9 – 8.2, 6+). It spent 12 consecutive ratings periods on top before dropping to the runner-up slot in “Holiday” 2017. Down by -1.6 in May and June (4.3 – 3.1 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WLDI “Wild 95.5” responds with a collective +1.3 in July and August (2.7 – 3.8 – 4.0, flat at #7, 6+). In the market’s adult contemporary battle, Alpha Media’s WEAT “Sunny 107.9” is up four-tenths after July’s half-share loss (4.4 – 4.8 fifth to fourth, 6+), while iHeartMedia-owned WOLL “Today’s Kool 105.5” dips two-tenths (6.3 – 6.1, steady at #2, 6+). July’s 4.4 by “Sunny” was its lowest 6+-showing since October 2017’s 4.1. Frozen on 5.9 (6+) in April and May, after having climbed to 6.9 in March, “Kool” was +.6 in June. Prior to April, it was +2.0 in three consecutive upticks (4.9 – 5.4 – 6.4 – 6.9, 6+).

Jacksonville

Spoken-Word Formats – A one-half share gain in August by Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV (8.7 – 9.2, 6+) nearly erases July’s -.7; “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” continues in the runner-up slot. Immediately in advance of July’s decline, WOKV was +2.1 in three upticks in a row (7.3 – 8.2 – 9.3 – 9.4, 6+). Four straight negative trends (9.7 – 8.5 – 7.7 – 7.0 – 6.9, 6+) accounted for a -2.8, but WOKV wiped out nearly half that margin in January and February (6.9 – 8.1 – 8.2, +1.2, 6+). Off nine-tenths in March, WOKV was #1 in May. Anchored at #12, public news/talk WJCT has a very steady January 2018 – August 2018 topline: 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.4 (6+). WJCT was a combined +.9 in January and February (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.5, 6+) with January’s +.4 halting five straight down or flat sweeps for a collective -.7 (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.6, 6+). Up two-tenths to .5 – its best 6+-stat since January’s .7 – iHeartMedia sports talk WFXJ “Sports Radio 930” climbs from #20 to #19.

Jacksonville Music Formats – A collective -1.2 in three straight down or flat trends (4.6 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 3.4, 6+), Cox Media Group adult contemporary WEZI makes up two-thirds of the deficit with a +.8 to 4.2 (6+) as “Easy 102.9” returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). More than six full-shares ahead of “Easy” though is Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WEJZ (10.3 – 10.6, +.3, 6+), which is #1 for the third month in a row and in double-digits (6+) for the same number of successive months. This (10.6) is the best 6+-showing for “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” since “Holiday” 2017’s 11.9. A loss of two-tenths in May knocked WJEZ (which was +1.4 in June) from first after just a one-month stay on top; it was #1 in “Holiday” 2017 and February 2018. Having recorded a March 2018 through July 2018 topline of 3.5 – 3.1 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.9 (6+), iHeartMedia CHR WKSL “97.9 Kiss-FM” dials up a one-half share increase to 4.4 (ninth to eighth), its strongest 6+-share since January’s 4.7. Dropping from second to third, Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL “96.9 The Eagle” was -.5 in June; +.8 in July; and now -.7 in August (8.7 – 8.0, 6+). Immediately in advance of June’s one-half share loss, “The Eagle” was a combined +1.8 in five straight up or flat trends (6.6 – 7.1 – 7.7 – 8.2 – 8.2 – 8.4, 6+). It is even more of an up/down affair for iHeartMedia urban contemporary WJBT “93.3 The Beat,” which was off a cumulative -1.0 in March and April (5.2 – 4.6 – 4.2, 6+); +.8 in May; -.5 in June; +1.0 in July; and now -.4 in August (5.5 – 5.1, flat at #6, 6+). July 2018’s 5.5 is the highest 6+-share for “The Beat” since June 2017’s 5.6. Down three-tenths (7.1 – 6.8, 6+) iHeartMedia-owned WQIK “99.1 Jacksonville’s Country” carries on in fourth-place. A collective -2.3 in April and May (9.0 – 8.2 – 6.7, 6+), “Jacksonville’s Country” bounced back with a one-half share increase to 7.2 (June, 6+). Its +1.1 in March suspended four straight decreases that accounted for an overall -5.7 (13.6 – 12.3 – 11.0 – 10.6 – 8.2 – 7.9, 6+). October 2017’s 13.6 is the best-ever (6+) PPM-performance for WQIK, which was #1 in January 2018 and March. In four straight negative moves (5.9 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+), Renda Broadcasting’s similarly-formatted WGNE is an overall -1.3 and remains at #7; “Gator Country 99.9” was +1.1 in April.

Memphis

Spoken-Word Formats – Adding four-tenths to July’s +.2 (3.1 – 3.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WREC “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” cracks the top ten (#11 to #10). July’s increase pulled the plug on five straight sweeps without an increase for an overall deficit of six-tenths (3.5 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.9, 6+). January 2018’s 3.5 is the best 6+-share for WREC since 3.6 in February 2017. After slumping six-tenths in July (2.9 – 2.3, 6+), Entercom sports talk WMFS “ESPN Sports Radio” adds one-tenth in August to 2.4 and stays at #12 (6+). Immediately prior to dropping one-tenth in April, WMFS was up or flat three monthlies in a row for an overall gain of eight-tenths (2.5 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.3, 6+). Co-owned sports talk WMC-AM “Sports 790 AM” is up or flat for the fifth time in succession for a net gain of three-tenths (.1 – .1 – .1 – .3 – .3 – .4, 6+).

Memphis Music Formats – On the strength of a mammoth +1.5 (4.8 – 6.3, sixth to fifth, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WDIA “1070 The Heart & Soul of Memphis” reaches the six-share level (6.3, 6+) for the first time in more than two years (6.2, July 2016). Owing to three straight increases (3.4 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 5.2, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned WGKX “Kix 106 Today’s Best Country” is an overall +1.8, climbing from ninth to seventh. June’s +.5 halted four decreases in a row that accounted for a loss of seven-tenths (4.4 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.4, 6+). Up two-tenths (1.6 – 1.8, 6+), Entercom’s similarly-programmed WLFP “94.1 The Wolf” remains at #13. While iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS is on the top for the fourth month in a row, “V-101” regresses by seven-tenths to 10.4 (6+), halting three straight up or flat trends for a +1.7 (9.4 – 10.1 – 11.1 – 11.1, 6+). After four consecutive months at #1, “V-101” departed the top spot in “Holiday” 2017; it rebounded from January’s -.6 with a +.7 in February. A loss of nine-tenths to 3.1 (6+) drops Cumulus Media’s WXMX “98.1 The Max – Maximum Rock” out of the top ten (#10 to #11) and interrupts its April 2018 – July 2018 (6+) sequence of 3.9 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 4.0. Following four straight gains that produced a collective +1.7 (3.0 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WEGR “Rock 102.7 – Memphis’ Classic Rock” erodes by eight-tenths to 3.9 (eighth to ninth, 6+). A combined -1.5 in July and August (6.8 – 6.0 – 5.3, 6+), Entercom hot AC WMC-FM slips from fifth to sixth. Entering the July sweep, “FM 100 Today’s Best Mix” was an overall +2.3 in four straight increases (4.5 – 4.9 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 6.8, 6+); June 2018’s 6.8 is its strongest 6+-showing since May 2017’s 7.0. Without an increase for the third successive sweep for a combined -1.2 (10.0 – 9.3 – 8.8 – 8.8, 6+), Cumulus Media urban-rhythmic oldies WRBO “Soul Classics and Today’s R&B” nonetheless continues at #2. Immediately in advance of the June sweep, WRBO was +2.3 in three straight positive trends (7.7 – 8.0 – 9.2 – 10.0, 6+); May’s 10.0 is its finest 6+-performance since October 2017’s 10.2. A combined -1.7 in four downward moves in a row (9.8 – 9.4 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 8.1, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WHRK “K-97.1 – Memphis’ Only Hip-Hop and R&B” remains at #3. By gaining six-tenths in April (following a +1.0 in March), “K-97.1” succeeded urban AC cluster-mate “V-101” at #1. Co-owned gospel WHAL “95.7 Halleluiah – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” is down or flat for the sixth time in a row for a collective -2.7 (7.3 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.1 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.6, sixth to eighth, 6+); this is its lowest 6+-stat since September 2017 (4.6, as well). Continuing in fourth-place, Entercom adult contemporary WRVR “104.5 The River” is off one-tenth to 8.0 (6+), after July’s +.6 to 8.1, its best 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.9. Even though Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted WKIM improves in back-to-back reports for a +.3 (1.4 – 1.6 – 1.7, 6+), “98.9 The Bridge” backslides from #13 to #14.

Hartford

Spoken-Word Formats – Following July’s one-half share gain, which stopped three straight down or flat trends in succession for a -.2 (5.9 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 5.7, 6+), Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM is unchanged in 6+ AQH share (6.2) and 6+ AQH market rank (seventh). Prior to July 2018 and August 2018, “News Talk 1080” last reached the six-share level (6+) in June 2017 (6.7). An April loss of one-tenth halted three increases in a row that netted +1.5 (4.4 – 5.1 – 5.5 – 5.9). Just before that, WTIC-AM was a collective -1.4 in three straight dips (5.8 – 5.6 – 5.0 – 4.4, 6+). Remaining at #9, Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR records its seventh straight down or flat trend for a -2.4 (5.9 – 5.9 – 5.5 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+). “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” followed “Holiday” 2017’s -1.3 with a +.9 in January. Prior to May, the last time WNPR was below a five-share (6+) was in August 2017 (4.7). Up three-tenths to 1.6 (flat at #13, 6+), University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio” halts five successive down or flat trends that led to a -1.2 (2.5 – 1.8 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3, 6+). Immediately before that, it was an overall +1.1 in three straight December through February gains (1.4 – 1.7 – 2.3 – 2.5, 6+). The January 2018 through August 2018 topline trending for Red Wolf Broadcasting news/talk WDRC- AM “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” is 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.1, flat at #14 (6+).

Hartford Music Formats – In three straight up or flat trends, Red Wolf Broadcasting’s WDRC-FM (steady at #8) is a cumulative +1.9 (3.8 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 5.7, 6+) as “102.9 The Whale – Hartford’s Classic Rock” scores its best 6+-stat since last October’s 6.0. Fighting back from July’s -2.2, Entercom adult contemporary WRCH cuts that decrease roughly in half with a +1.2 to 11.4 (6+). “Lite 100.5” is #1 for the 25th consecutive ratings period and is in double-digits (6+) for the 22nd time in the last 24 sweeps. August’s +1.2 applies the brakes to four straight March through July downward moves that accounted for a -4.1 (14.3 – 13.2 – 13.1 – 12.4 – 10.2, 6+). WRCH was  +1.1 in March, but then -1.1 in April. The three latest fluctuations for hot AC sibling WTIC-FM “96.5 ‘TIC – Today’s Best Variety” are -.7 (June); +1.5 (July); and now -1.4 in August (8.6 – 7.2, second to third, 6+). July 2018’s 8.6 marked the first time WTIC-FM reached the eight-share level (6+) since its 8.3 in July 2017. “Today’s Best Variety” was a collective +1.1 in April and May ( 6.7 – 7.5 – 7.8, 6+). Rhythmic CHR sibling WZMX “Hot 93.7” (unchanged at #4) is -1.3 in three straight decreases (8.3 – 8.2 – 7.8 – 7.0, 6+). Faltering by seven-tenths (7.1 – 6.4, fifth to sixth, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WWYZ “Country 92.5” has its lowest 6+-share (6.4) since 6.0 in March. Even though mainstream CHR cluster-mate WKSS sputters by six-tenths to 7.3 (6+) to curtail three straight upticks that netted +1.0 (6.9 – 7.3 – 7.6 – 7.9, 6+), “Kiss 95.7 – All The Hits” manages to inch up from third to second.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

| August 23, 2018

PPM Analysis: News/Talk.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his final format analysis of station performances based on data from the July 2018 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio.  This report addresses news/talk radio.  Comparing June’s 6+ AQH shares to the July numbers indicates just as many news/talk stations went up as went down – 42% each.  But 63% of news/talk stations in PPM markets saw their 6+ weekly AQH share rise, with Alpha Media’s KXL, Portland leaping by 2.2 shares, iHeartMedia’s WTKS-FM, Orlando rising by 1.9 shares, and Cumulus Media’s KSFO up by 1.7 shares.  While three news/talk stations ranked #1 in their respective markets in July, another eight ranked in the top five.  Number one finishers in July were Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta; iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati; and Townsquare Media’s WKQX, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.”  See the entire report here.

Westwood One Names New ‘First Light’ Host. Current “First Light” host Evan Haning is stepping back from full-time work with Westwood One but will continue as a part-time news anchor and fill-in for the morning news magazine.  With his decision, Westwood One names WWO News correspondent Michael Toscano the new host. He is a former host of the Wall Street Journal Radio afternoon news program “The Daily Wrap.”  At the same time, Westwood One News also announces that Mike Moss is taking on the role of full-time news anchor.  Moss has been part of Westwood One News’ operation since joining as a part-time anchor and fill-in guest host earlier this year.  He is well-known in the nation’s capital from his many years as morning drive anchor at all-news WTOP, Washington.

Cristina Mendonsa Named Co-Host of KFBK, Sacramento Morning Show. Market news pro Cristina Mendonsa joins Dan Mitchinson as co-host of “The KFBK Morning News” on iHeartMedia’s KFBK, Sacramento.  Mendonsa served with KXTV-TV, Sacramento “ABC 10” for more than 21 years – most recently as a news anchor.  KFBK program director Bill White says, “Cristina’s a team builder, passionate journalist, and storyteller with deep connections to the communities we serve.  A consummate pro, Cristina will further enhance KFBK’s news reputation not only on the radio but also on our digital and social media platforms through informative and thought-provoking podcasts and video content.”  Mendonsa comments, “KFBK is approaching a century of serving Northern California.  I’m so honored to become part of this team and legacy.  I’ve missed talking with listeners and viewers and collaborating with a team of passionate professionals.  Informing and engaging our community on a daily basis once again will be satisfying and fun!”

Athans Appointed New Radio Media CDO. Cultivating political talk programming will be Tom Athans’ (left) primary responsibility as chief development officer of Michigan-based New Radio Media. The company’s chief executive officer, Paul Bensman (right), comments, “We are excited to have Tom join our company.  Tom brings a wealth of experience in creating exciting new shows from the ground up that will resonate across the country.” Athans adds, “After a decade-long detour in the arena of government relations, I’m excited to be returning to my true love of talk and entertainment media and it’s a real privilege to join the NRM team.  In the early days of progressive talk, we were predicting that digital platforms were not far off in the future; well, the future is here. The NRM team is poised to do some really great things in the media landscape – particularly in political talk media. The political environment in this nation is more toxic and divisive than we’ve ever seen in modern American history. There hasn’t been a greater need or opportunity than right now to launch a new generation of exciting and compelling voices in the nation. Through digital media, those programs will be unconstrained. Anyone with a smartphone or an internet connection will be able to tap into their favorite show at their convenience – live or on-demand.”  Formerly co-founder and chief executive officer of Washington, D.C.-based Democracy Radio, Athans developed/launched syndicated programs for progressive talk hosts Ed SchultzStephanie Miller, and Leslie Marshall. In addition, he was executive vice president for Air America Radio and managing director at Talk USA Media.

Musicoomph Publishes Infographic Highlighting Podcasting Data.  The images here are from the infographic published by Musicoomph that reveals some of the most compelling data about the growth of podcasting and the medium’s potential as a revenue stream.  The graphic’s date is culled from multiple 2018 studies of podcasting by Edison Research, Nielsen Audio, and others. It states, “With 550,000 active podcasts and rapidly growing, podcasting is indeed on a meteoric rise.  In fact, 64% of the U.S. population is already familiar with what a podcast is.  To put that into perspective, only 40% know the name of the vice president!”  The graphic above indicates the growth of podcasting revenue over the years as well as its projected growth.  The graphic below illustrates where people are listening to podcasts.  See the whole infographic here.

TALKERS News Notes.  WFAN, New York afternoon star Mike Francesa has recently been speaking to the media about his forthcoming Mike’s On app and what it will mean to his brand, but he’s a believer in radio he tells The New York Times Magazine in an interview piece with Jay Caspian Kang.  Read it here…..Pictured below is WPGG, Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley surrounded by “The Bombshells” at Wednesday’s eight-hour live broadcast from the 16th annual Atlantic City Airshow, “Thunder Over the Boardwalk.”  Hurley tells TALKERS magazine that the estimated attendance for the event was between 400,000 to 500,000.  Hurley adds, “The Atlantic City Airshow is the largest mid-week Airshow in America. This mega-event generates more than $27 million in direct spend and more than $33 million in overall financial impact.”

Manafort Conviction/Cohen Guilty Plea, Trump-Russia Investigation, Mollie Tibbetts Murder, Trump vs ESPN, Urban Meyer Suspension, Hurricane Lane, Asia Argento #MeToo Issue, Western Wildfires/Air Quality, NFL Pre-season and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/22). Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is convicted on eight counts in fraud trial and former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen pleads guilty to breaking campaign finance laws; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the murder of Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts and the illegal status of the suspect; President Trump encourages petition to ESPN over new policy of not showing national anthem during game broadcasts; Ohio State coach Urban Meyer is suspended for three games for role in assistant coach’s domestic violence case; Hurricane Lane bears down on Hawaii; Harvey Weintstein accuser Asia Argento’s reported payoff for having sex with a minor; the wildfires in the U.S. West and the region’s poor air quality; NFL pre-season action and the Major League Baseball playoff 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.  At Phoenix country outlet KMLE “Country @ 107.9,” Entercom moves afternoon personality Alana Lynn from the afternoon drive program to “The Breakfast Buzz” morning program with co-host Niko Petrou.  Lynn maintains her music director role with the station.  This change includes current morning personality Nina D moving to the afternoon drive show. Entercom Phoenix SVP and market manager Dave Pugh says, “Alana and Nina D both bring incredible talent and commitment to KMLE.  We’re looking forward to them continuing to raise the bar for the station and connecting with audiences in their new time slots.”…..Detroit-based iHeartMedia personality Joe Carballo is upped to assistant program director and music director for CHR WKQI “Channel 955.”  He’s also heard on iHeartMedia stations WKSC, Chicago “103.5 Kiss FM,” WZEE, Madison “Z104,” and WSNX, Grand Rapids…..In Tuscaloosa, alternative WQRR brand manager Meg Summers is promoted to operations manager for the Townsquare Media cluster that includes country duo WFFN and WTBC, urban AC WTUG, plus sports talk WTID and Gospel WTSK.  She is also adding brand manager responsibilities for WFFN…..Exiting the operations and programming roles at Alpha Media’s hot AC WHBC-FM and news/talk WHBC-AM in Canton, Ohio is John Stewart.  He’d been with the stations for the past six years.

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, August 7, 2018

| August 7, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

Monday, August 6, 2018

| August 6, 2018

Bonneville To Close on Eight Entercom Stations. All of those particular properties being disposed are in California and have been held in an FCC disposition trust. Bonneville has been operating them under Local Marketing Agreements since the closing of Entercom’s merger with CBS Radio. Acquired by Bonneville from Entercom for a total of $141 million in cash are: CHR KMVQ “99.7 New Hit Music Now”; urban AC KBLX “102.9 The Soul of the Bay”; and adult contemporary KOIT-FM “96.5 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” (all in San Francisco); San Jose classic rocker KUFX “98.5 K-Fox – The South Bay’s Classic Rock”; as well as KHTK “Sports 1140”; KNCI “New Country 105.1”; adult contemporary KYMX “Mix 96 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites”; and hot AC KZZO “Now 100.5 – Today’s Best Hits” (all in Sacramento). The transaction is expected to close either late in the third-quarter of this year, or early in the fourth-quarter. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s June 2018 San Francisco sweep, KMVQ and KOIT-FM are tied in fourth-place (3.8), while KBLX is #12 (3.0). In San Jose, KUFX ranks fourth (5.2, 6+). Meanwhile, in Sacramento, KYMX places third (5.9); KNCI is sixth (4.3); KZZO ranks eighth (4.1); and KHTK finishes at #25 (.9, 6+).

One Person Injured at WORT Shooting. Police in Madison, Wisconsin are saying that a shooting shortly after 3:00 am yesterday (8/5) inside Back Porch Radio Broadcasting’s WORT “89.9 Community Radio” does not appear to be a random attack. There’s no known motive and no suspect is in custody. Nonetheless, a man wearing a mask and hood entered the station during the transition between the 12:00 midnight and 3:00 am programs and opened fire on three station workers. Witnesses say five shots were fired, injuring one 33-year-old man in the buttocks and shattering the glass between studios. The injured station staffer was sent to the hospital but quickly released. Police said there were no signs of forced entry into the building. WORT board president David Devereaux-Weber told the Wisconsin State Journal that the shooter, “fired a number of shots.” He said volunteers ducked for cover; ran into the master control room before hiding in the music library; and called 911. Devereaux-Weber said that a code is needed to enter the building. It is unclear whether the shooter knew the code or held the door open after someone entered the station. Multiple volunteers arrived to help get the station back on the air at 9:38 am. WORT reportedly plans to tighten security.

Apple Podcasts, Facebook Latest to Remove Jones Podcasts. As we reported last Friday (TALKERS.com, 8/3),  Alex Jones has had a number of his podcast episodes pulled from Spotify’s service after the digital audio platform concluded the episodes violated its hate content policy. Now, Apple Podcasts and Facebook are taking action against him. Five of Jones’ shows were removed from Apple Podcasts with a spokesperson telling Buzzfeed, “Apple does not tolerate hate speech. We have clear guidelines that creators and developers must follow to ensure we provide a safe environment for all of our users. Podcasts that violate these guidelines are removed from our directory making them no longer searchable or available for download or streaming. We believe in representing a wide range of views, so long as people are respectful to those with differing opinions.” At the same time, Facebook removed “The Alex Jones Page,” The Alex Jones Channel Page,” “The Infowars Page,” and “The Infowars Nightly News Page.” Facebook notes, “Upon review, we have taken [the content] down for glorifying violence, which violates our graphic violence policy, and using dehumanizing language to describe people who are transgender, Muslims and immigrants, which violates our hate speech policies. While much of the discussion around Infowars has been related to false news, which is a serious issue that we are working to address by demoting links marked wrong by fact checkers and suggesting additional content, none of the violations that spurred [these] removals were related to this.” Reacting to the earlier Spotify situation, Jones – who is syndicated to radio stations by Genesis Communications Network – said the action is “what I expect. I was born in censorship.  I was born being suppressed.”

Entravision Q2 Radio Revenue Flat. Second-quarter radio revenue for Entravision Communications was unchanged at $17.24 million, while television was off 3% to $36.531 million; digital increased 32% to $20.558 million. Chairman and chief executive officer Walter Ulloa notes that, “Growth in our digital media segment offsets a decrease in our television segment, while our radio segment was flat. We improved our free cash flow and net income over last year’s second quarter. We continued to build our digital footprint through our acquisition of a digital advertising technology company, while implementing steps to more efficiently align operations and reduce costs. Looking ahead, we remain well-positioned to build on our success in further attracting Latino and other audiences worldwide, and expanding our advertiser base to the benefit of our shareholders.” Entravision’s board declared a nickel per share quarterly cash dividend for Class A, Class B and Class U common stockholders. The dividend is payable next month (9/28) to shareholders of record as of September 14.

Kwei-Cook Promoted to Radio One Charlotte LSM. Integrated marketing specialist Debbie Kwei-Cook is elevated to local sales manager of Radio One Charlotte. According to vice president and general manager Doug James, “Debbie has a long history of success in Charlotte and with Radio One. She has been a top performer in our company, most recently winning the President’s Club Award the past two years as the top salesperson and she has extensive management experience.  I’m thrilled to be able to have Debbie bring her knowledge, passion, and leadership to our management team.” Kwei-Cook comments, “I look forward to helping the local sales department develop strategic marketing campaigns to drive sales for local businesses.” Kwei-Cook previously spent 11 years as vice president and general manager of Radio One Charlotte and more than ten years as general sales manager of CBS Radio Charlotte. Since October 2012, she has been chief operating officer/president of My Talent Bank Group. 

Crossover Media Group Sales Adds Sports Programs. The company will be responsible for advertising sales and assist with production for “DeSean Jackson One-on-One,” a weekly podcast featuring the Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver. In addition, CMGS will syndicate/handle ad sales for “VSiN Action Update,” a series of sports betting vignettes – fed twice each weekday – from the first network dedicated to sports gambling information, Brent Musburger-founded VSiN (Vegas Stats & Information Network). In association with Sports USA and its founder Larry Kahn, CMGS will launch “The Buck Stops Here,” a twice-weekly football podcast hosted by former Indianapolis Colts tight end Charles Arbuckle. A weekly podcast hosted by Joe Morgan – “Classic Conversations with Joe Morgan” – will feature the MLB Hall of Fame second baseman speaking with some of the biggest names in sports history. Crossover Media Group Sales managing member Ron Hartenbaum comments, “The recent Supreme Court decision on sports wagering has opened up enormous opportunities to generate local ad revenue, not just on sports radio stations but within the rock and country formats – namely, anywhere men are listening. We are thrilled to be able to add the new VSiN content, as well as the new offerings from DeSean, Larry, Joe, and Charles to our expanding lineup of show offerings to marketing partners.”

CONSULTANT OPINION:  Rush Limbaugh Affiliates Should PANDER to Trump Fans.  In an opinion piece posted today (8/6), media consultant Holland Cooke writes that Rush Limbaugh affiliates should capitalize on the solid numbers available to them by taking advantage of Limbaugh’s recent ratings increases and telling ardent supporters of President Trump exactly what they want to hear.  Cooke writes, “’Pander.’” That is your one-word, sure-shot ratings success strategy… Check logic at the door.  Unlike those pesky fact-checkers, Trump supporters take him seriously-but-not-literally.  Our job is to exploit THE – repeat, THE – best thing that ever happened to talk radio, the Trump presidency.”  To read the entire piece, please click here.

CONSULTANT OPINION:  A Real Producer Can Protect a Talk Show Host from Saying Something Stupid.  Former WWRL 1600 AM, New York executive producer, Jeffrey Haveson – now an independent news/talk programming consultant – writes a provocative opinion piece posted in TALKERS today (8/6) stating that incidents such as the recent “Turban Man” controversy at New Jersey 101.5, Trenton could be avoided if radio stations employed what he calls “real” producers.  Haveson writes, “Dennis Malloy and Judi Franco are back at Trenton-based New Jersey 101.5 after a 10-day suspension, but what have we learned from this as an industry?  For those who don’t know or have forgotten, the suspension was meted out to Dennis and Judi after they repeatedly called New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewalon, who is a Sikh, ‘the guy with the turban’ and ‘Turban Man,’ and Dennis defended the name calling by saying ‘if that offends you, then don’t wear the turban (man) and I’ll remember your name.’ This is a perfect example of why talk radio stations, be they public or commercial, news talk, conservative talk, progressive talk, sports talk, financial talk, or other, need real producers.  By real producers, I do not mean the glorified gofers and ‘yes people’ that many stations call producers nor an overworked board op who is also charged with screening calls and chasing down guests.  On the other hand, by real producers, I also don’t mean someone who acts as the host’s supervisor.  The program director should be the supervisor over both the host and the producer. A real producer is a trusted partner to both the program director and host, who shares their vision for this particular program and the station in general, and supports the host in creating content that fits that vision.  It is all about the vision.  If the host and/or the producer don’t have the same vision for the program as the program director, one or both of them need to be replaced.”  To read the entire opinion piece, please click here.

WPRO-AM Inks Five-Year Deal for P.C. Basketball. Beginning with the upcoming season, Cumulus Media Providence news/talk WPRO-AM will become the official radio home of Providence College men’s basketball. It is part of a five-year agreement with Providence College Athletics and its multimedia rights holder, Learfield. Cumulus Media Providence market manager Holly Paras declares, “Providence College is the premier men’s college basketball program in Southern New England. We are enthused about the partnership and look forward to many great seasons of Friar basketball.” Providence College athletics director Bob Driscoll comments, “Cumulus Media has the top radio brands in our market and this will provide unlimited marketing and exposure opportunities for us. This is a tremendous partnership for our basketball program and our fans.” The school’s men’s basketball coach Ed Cooley adds, “WPRO [AM] is a big part of the culture of radio in Rhode Island and Southeastern New England. I believe this will provide our fans the opportunity to get more coverage and access of Friar basketball. We are looking forward to hitting the airwaves on WPRO [AM], the new home of Providence College men’s basketball.” John Rooke and Joe Hassett, the voices of Friar basketball for more than 30 years, will call all Friar games this season. “The Ed Cooley Radio Show” will air on select weeknights throughout the season.

TALKERS News Notes. Former NFL lineman Orlando Franklin joins Bonneville Denver sports talk KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan.” According to KKFN program director Armen Williams, “We are really excited to have Orlando as part of our championship team – he has a sincere passion to be on ‘The Fan.’ It’s great to have Orlando on our game day on-air presentation.” Originally drafted in the second round by the Denver Broncos in 2011, Franklin retired in May and he notes, “I’ve known this is what I’ve wanted to do after football for years. I love the interaction the sports radio platform provides. It is an honor to now be on the same team as a lot of these guys that I’ve listened to my whole career.” In addition to the Broncos, Franklin has played for the San Diego Chargers, New Orleans Saints, and Washington Redskins ….. Meanwhile, six-year KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” veteran Ted Johnson departs the afternoon program (“Triple Threat”) at the Entercom Houston outlet. A rotating group of analysts will join remaining co-hosts Sean Pendergast and Rich Lord. Former New England Patriots linebacker Johnson is reportedly moving back to Boston to be closer to his children ….. Tulsa’s NBC-TV affiliate, KJRH-TV “2 Works For You,” will be providing news and weather content for that market’s iHeartMedia cluster. “Our staff is very excited to work with the team at Channel 2,” comments iHeartMedia area president Jon Phillips. [Meteorologist] Mike Collier is a favorite in our building; he and his team will sound great delivering weather to the iHeart audiences. Keeping our listeners safe is our first priority and the team at Channel 2 will ensure just that.” The iHeartMedia Tulsa group consists of sports talk KTBZ “1430 The Buzz”; sports talk KAKC “1300 The Buzz”; rock KMOD; country KTGX “106.1 The Twister”; CHR KTBT “92.1 The Beat”; regional Mexican KIZS “101.5 El Patron”; and classic rock KTGX-HD2 “93.5 The Jet.” KJRH-TV had been working with the Scripps cluster; however, when Scripps sold its Tulsa stations to Griffin Communications, it joined forces with Griffin’s CBS affiliate in the Oklahoma metro, KOTV-TV ….. This past Friday (8/3), Townsquare Media’s KFYO “News/Talk 95.1 & 790,” Lubbock (Texas) originated Chad Hasty’s 8:30 am – 11:00 am show from Austin’s Resurgent Gathering. Among those Hasty interviewed there were Texas senator Ted Cruz and Texas GOP chair James Dickey ….. Speaking of Townsquare Media Lubbock, Dave Dunaway is named regional operations/programming manager for its stations there, as well as in Odessa-Midland. There are ten Townsquare Media facilities in those two Texas metros. Dunaway most recently programmed and did afternoon drive at Cumulus Media Fort Walton Beach (Florida) country outlet WYZB “Nash FM.” He has also worked for WZZK, Birmingham, as well as WTGE “100.7 The Tiger,” Baton Rouge.

WRKO, Boston Morning Co-Host Kim Carrigan Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the most familiar figures in local Boston talk media, Kim Carrigan, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” For the past several years, Carrigan – a political moderate with a background in journalism – has co-hosted WRKO, Boston’s 6:00 am to 10:00 am morning show, sharing the mic with conservative personality Doug “VB” Goudie and the program’s on-air producer Jim Clerkin, who is liberal as well as openly gay. The result is a dynamic, eclectic mix of topics and opinions on a station otherwise positioned in a more purely conservative orientation. Prior to joining WRKO as a talk show host, Carrigan spent a number of years as a Boston television personality on several local stations, most recently co-hosting the popular morning news/chat show on WFXT-TV (Fox 25). She and Harrison discuss the differences between radio and TV morning news/talk, the evolving role of women in radio, the challenges of balancing local and national issues in the Trump era, and the strategy of expanding the target base on a predominantly conservative station. Harrison, who occasionally serves as a fill-in host on WRKO, including its morning show, says, “Kim Carrigan is one of the best local talk show hosts in radio today. She brings journalistic sensibility and fairness to the table without sacrificing the power of opinion that fuels the news/talk format. She projects youthful dynamism tempered by seasoned journalism and general life experience – a great combination. She has the glamor of celebrity balanced with a down-to-earth neighborly persona. The WRKO morning show is an interesting exercise in navigating the turbulent waters of today’s news/talk radio conversation. It’s wonderful having Kim as a guest on the podcast.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Flair for Fort Myers. The “Nature Boy” himself – Ric Flair – is among the grapplers scheduled to appear when Beasley Media Group presents the inaugural “Legends of Wrestling” event next month (9/15) in Fort Myers at Suncoast Credit Union Arena. The “ultimate fan experience” will kick off with a behind-the-scenes VIP meet and greet and question & answer session (3:30 pm – 5:30 pm). In addition, there will be an opportunity to take photos with the wrestlers (5:00 pm – 7:00 pm) before the matches begin at 7:00 pm. As well as Flair, other “sports entertainment” stars slated to be on the card include Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat; Jim “Hacksaw” Duggan; Jimmy “The Mouth of the South” Hart; and The Nasty BoysBrian Knobs & Jerry Sags. Ticket prices range from $20.02 for general admission to $210.82 for VIP and ringside seating. Beasley Media Group’s six-station Fort Myers cluster consists of sports talk WWCN “99.3 ESPN Southwest Florida”; news/talk WJBX; adult contemporary WJPT “Sunny 106.3”; CHR WXKB “B-103.9”; WRXK “96 K-Rock”; and Spanish tropical WRXK-HD2 “98.1 Playa.”      

Trump-Russia Investigation, Manafort Trial, Trump Rally/Mid-Term Elections, New China Tariffs, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories this Past Weekend  (8/4-5).  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents; the trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul ManafortPresident Trump’s Tampa rally for Florida gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis and the larger, mid-term election picture; Trump’s threat to add tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods; 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. Starting today (8/6), DSC rejoins iHeartMedia San Diego classic rock KGB-FM for 6:00 am – 10:00 am duty. DSC consists of Dave Rickards, Cookie “Chainsaw” Randolph, Chris Boyer, Nina “Ruth 66” Reeba, Emily Maguire, and Sarah Beebe. Coinciding with DSC returning to KGB for morning drive, Bob & Coe move from mornings to afternoon drive; Clint August segues from afternoon drive to middays; and Marc Coppola will host nights. Market president Melissa Forrest comments, “Bringing DSC home to KGB and reinforcing the station with heritage talent like Clint, and Bob & Coe is a reflection of the power behind KGB’s legendary call letters. We are immensely proud to bring this lineup to San Diego’s loyal rock listeners.” Rickards remarks, “After 28 years as the top-rated morning show in San Diego, DSC has come full-circle with its return to the legendary KGB-FM. I’ve always felt that KGB was our home, and nothing beats a happy homecoming.” Meanwhile, “Chainsaw” adds, “It feels amazing to bring DSC back to where it all began. We are thrilled to continue making you smile and laugh coffee out of your nose every morning.” ….. Following April’s departure by morning hosts Mason & Remy, iHeartMedia’s WEBG “Big 95.5 – Chicago’s New Country” transitions the syndicated Bobby Bones show from a delayed nighttime airing to morning drive (5:00 am – 9:00 am). WEBG program director Lance Houston comments, “The Bobby Bones Show really connects with the core country audience more than any other show I’ve ever seen throughout my career. I am truly confident that Bobby Bones and his team will be an entertaining morning show for our one million-plus weekly country radio audience in Chicagoland.” Meanwhile, iHeartMedia Chicago Region president Matt Scarano notes, “We are excited to add the most recognizable name in country radio to our morning lineup.” ….. When hearing that a local wheelchair-bound woman was refused service at a local (St. Peters, Missouri) nail salon, Hubbard St. Louis adult hits WARH “106.5 The Arch” morning co-host Cassiday was “heartbroken.” A representative of another local establishment – Cut and Dye Salon – contacted (“Spencer’s Neighborborhood” member) Cassiday and offered to treat the mother (Dorothy) and daughter (Beth) to a full-day of pampering, noting that everyone should be welcome. Cassiday recounts, “It was shocking to learn that she and her mom went in for a pedicure, only to be told by the salon owner they don’t serve people ‘like her.’ I knew we needed to do something. I was confident, with the power of local radio, ‘The Arch’ could take a hurtful moment and make it positive for them. We had them come in to meet us and surprised them with a spa pedicure live on air. To be able to bring a smile to the face of this young woman was priceless. In days like this, I am reminded of the power of radio and that there are good hearts across the St. Louis bi-state.” ….. “Phoebe’s Flight 5K,” an Entercom Sacramento-hosted event, will take place this Sunday (8/12) at Johnson-Springview Park in Rocklin (California). Emceed by (CHR) KUDL “106.5 The End” morning hosts Gavin Ferguson, Katie, and Rayne, the “rain or shine” happening will feature a fun run for children and a 5K run for adults; post-race activities will follow. Phoebe’s Fund was founded by Ferguson and his wife Stacy in honor of their daughter Phoebe, who was stillborn. Race proceeds will benefit Phoebe’s Fund, a 501(c)(3) charity which helps alleviate the financial burden of parents who have lost a child to miscarriage or stillbirth by providing grants for grief therapy …. WABD “The Gulf Coast’s Hit Music Station,” Mobile mid-day talent Jimmy Steele adds program director duties at the Cumulus Media mainstream CHR. Steele will continue as the cluster’s operations manager and PD of the company’s Mobile news/talker WXQW. Cumulus Media Mobile vice president/market manager Don Boyd comments, “We are fortunate to have deep talent here with one of the country’s top CHR programmers, Jimmy Steele, already in the building. Under Jimmy’s direct leadership, he [will continue] to evolve this legendary radio station.” Steele remarks, “I am excited to roll up my sleeves and splash back into my CHR roots. It is an honor to be able to come to work each day and serve our talented Cumulus Mobile team. They are very supportive and for that, I am grateful.” Steele previously programmed several iHeartMedia stations and was operations director/brand manager for Saga Communications in Columbus. He succeeds Sid Kelly, who transfers to Cumulus Media Indianapolis as program director of CHR WYRG “Energy 93.9.” ….. WRUF, Gainesville names Justin “Tyler” Clapp brand manager/afternoon personality at the University of Florida-owned country outlet. Most recently, Clapp was operations manager for Townsquare Media Fort Collins (Colorado) and brand manager of country KUAD. He formerly programmed WWGR, Fort Myers (Florida) from 2007-2009, and was Great Eastern’s director of programming ….. Vice president of operations Don London is celebrating his 25th year at Entercom Norfolk.

Two Cool Cats.  A couple of rock ‘n’ roll’s coolest cats got together in the Los Angeles studios of SiriusXM Satellite Radio this past week.  The legendary Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon (pictured right), whose numerous hits from the 1960s include “Palisades Park,” “Way Down Yonder in New Orleans,” “Tallahassee Lassie” and more, visited with Stray Cats drummer Slim Jim Phantom (left) to record an interview for Jim’s Sunday night show, “Rockabilly Rave Up” heard on the “Underground Garage” channel.  The interview will be aired on 8/19 at 8:00 pm ET.

Friday, July 27, 2018

| July 27, 2018

Surprise Buyer for Scripps’ Milwaukee Duo Is Good Karma.  Numerous industry watchers expected E.W. Scripps’ news/talk WTMJ and country WKTI-FM to go to a larger operator – such as Entercom.  Today’s announcement that the stations are being sold to Craig Karmazin’s Good Karma Brands for $16 million is sure to surprise many.  Good Karma already owns Milwaukee market ESPN affiliate WAUK-AM, as well as Madison sports outlet WTLX-FM.  Scripps president and CEO Adam Symson states, “Good Karma Brands’ focus on Milwaukee makes the company an ideal home for these important local radio stations. The company’s expertise in connecting audiences and advertisers, particularly with sports marketing, means these stations will be well positioned for the future.”  Scripps has put all of its radio assets on the market and Symson adds, “At Scripps, we are on track for the sale of our entire radio station group as a component of our enterprise-wide strategy to divest of non-core assets and focus on improving our near-term operating performance while fostering the growth ahead.”  The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.  Good Karma owns six sports talk stations (including WAUK). WTMJ has the rights to Green Bay Packers football, Milwaukee Bucks basketball, and Milwaukee Brewers baseball – right up Good Karma’s alley – but it also operates a personnel-heavy news and programming department and one has to wonder if staffers there are concerned about the owner-to-be’s commitment to a big news department.  At the same time, there are those who will applaud the sale of these stations to a smaller operator and not one of the big conglomerates. Kalil & Co., Inc. is the exclusive broker for this transaction.

New Jersey 101.5’s Dennis & Judi Suspended for 10 Days. You have to give credit to Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” management for getting out front on this and 1) quickly decrying the words of hosts Dennis Malloy and Judi Franco, 2) immediately suspending the duo while conducting an internal investigation, and 3) swiftly deciding the punishment and making it public.  This, of course, stems from their show segment during which they referred to New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal – a practicing Sikh – as “turban man” and disparaged his name.  The station pulled Malloy and Franco from Wednesday’s program and promised quick action.  It then announced they will be suspended for 10 days.  It also released the following joint apology from Malloy and Franco: “It was a mistake we both deeply regret.  We respect all cultures and beliefs and are deeply sorry for the pain caused to the Sikh community, our co-workers and our beloved listeners.”

Salem Radio Network Host Mike Gallagher is this Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  In addition to being a top-10 member of the TALKERS Heavy Hundred and a major radio talent, syndicated talk host Mike Gallagher is a devoted theater fan and part-time stage actor.  The Salem Radio Network star has compiled quite an impressive list of credits over the years performing leading and supportive roles in musicals at professional regional theaters across the country including a brief guest stint on Broadway in the production of “Memphis.”  He’s even dabbled successfully in the risky business side of theater and has a Tony Award to prove it for his investment in the Broadway and road show revivals of “Pippin.”  Gallagher is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview” in which he and the founder of TALKERS take a deep dive into the world of theater.  They explore what being a stage actor has meant to the talk star in addition to the state of the theater in general touching upon its role in today’s politically polarized and contentious environment.  Don’t miss this fascinating look into the multi-layered personality of one of talk radio’s most successful players.  To listen to the entire podcast, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Podcast” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

TALKERS News Notes. Portland-based Alpha Media sells three of its Missouri stations for $250,000 cash.  To be transferred to Clayton and Brittany Radford-owned Radford Media Group are: agriculture-formatted KDKD-AM “Ag 1280,” country KDKD-FM, and classic rock KXEA “104.9 The Eagle.” These are the first radio properties for Radford.  The broker for the seller is Kalil & Co. and representing the buyer is Patrick Communications…..Louisville Public Media names Stephen George president and general manager for its public radio outlets WFPL, WUOL, and WFPK.  He’s been serving as interim president since January and takes over for previous president Michael Skoler.

Cohen Recordings and Trump-Russia Investigation Tied for Top News/Talk Stories This Week.  The recordings of conversations between former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and Donald Trump discussing a payment to Playboymodel and the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents tied for the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio for the week of July 23-27, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the threat by GOP congressmen to begin the impeachment process against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.  Coming in at #3 was the meeting between President Trump and the E.U.’s Jean-Claude Juncker over trade issues, followed by the status of the second meeting between President Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See the entire chart here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. There’s a new voice joining iHeartMedia’s and Premiere Networks’ Elvis Duran and the Morning Show” on September 17.  Medha Gandhi becomes co-host, moving to New York from her most recent position as executive producer and co-host of the “Matty in the Morning” program on the company’s WXKS-FM, Boston “KISS 108.”  Cast member Bethany Watson left the program in February to pursue an acting career.  Duran says, “We fell in love with Gandhi within the first five minutes of meeting her.  When you have a show as long established as ours, it’s very important to continue to keep it fresh and in Gandhi we have found the perfect co-host to do that.  I can’t wait for her to join our dysfunctional family!”  The program emanates from WHTZ, New York “Z100” and airs on some 80 affiliate stations…..Entercom’s Portland country outlet KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf” brings Toni-Marie aboard as midday personality and assistant program director.  Most recently, she was music director and air personality at Buck Owens Broadcasting’s KUZZ and KRJK in Bakersfield.  Entercom Portland SVP and market manager Bill Ashenden says, “Toni-Marie brings a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to these roles and I’m looking forward to seeing her connect with our audience in the Northwest.”…..Beasley Media Group names Scotty B evening personality on rock WDHA, Dover, New Jersey.  Scotty B was most recently a part-time air personality and production staffer at the company’s rock WRAT, Point Pleasant, New Jersey.  WDHA program director Terrie Carr comments, “Rockturnal with Scotty B,” which airs weeknights from 7:00 to 12:00 midnight, will focus on his strengths – interacting with rock fans, getting out in the community, and being host of the party!  I am thrilled to have Scotty’s energy, attitude, and huge presence on our airwaves and as part of our family.”…..Jeffrey Jameson exits Entercom’s hot AC WNEW-FM, New York “NEW 102.7,” he announces in a brief tweet. Co-host Karen Carson will handle the morning show solo for now…..Iliad Media Group appoints James Garner regional operations manager for its Boise and Twin Falls station groups.  The company says that in this new position, the 11-year staffer will oversee the programming, production, and promotions at the 13 stations in Boise and Twin Falls…..Kenny Chesney’s exclusive SiriusXM channel, “No Shoes Radio,” is a live Town Hall with Chesney at Soldier Field in Chicago this weekend.  The show is being hosted by Storme Warren.  Chesney will give fans the opportunity to hear songs from his new album with track-by-track commentary, audience members will learn about the album’s inspiration, the recovery efforts from Hurricane’s Irma and Maria, and his Love for Love City Fund.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

| July 26, 2018

Former KFTK-FM, St. Louis Host Jamie Allman, Emmis and Entercom Argue Over Motion to Dismiss His Breach of Contract Suit.  If you’ve been following the legal case in which talk show host Jamie Allman is suing Emmis and Entercom for his firing from news/talk KFTK-FM, St. Louis, there’s an update to report.  Remember that Allman was let go after the blowback from his tweet in which he referenced Florida school shooting survivor and activist David Hogg saying, “I’ve been hanging out getting ready to ram a hot poker up David Hogg’s ass tomorrow.”  Emmis/Entercom asked the court to dismiss the case and on Tuesday (7/24), each side filed arguments for and against the motion to dismiss.  Allman argues to convert the Motion to Dismiss to a motion for summary judgement due to Emmis/Entercom’s attachment of the contract’s Assignment and Assumption Agreement and news stories about his tweet to its argument and second, due to his claim that he’s a third-party beneficiary of the contract because of FCC ownership cap issues affecting the Emmis-Entercom stations sale.  Emmis/Entercom argue that their attachments comply with the rules for filing for the Motion and that Allman’s ownership cap argument is irrelevant because that matter is governed by the FCC.  Allman also argues that whether Emmis/Entercom legally fired him based on the language of his contract should be decided by a jury, not by a judge in the form of a dismissal.  It appears Jamie Allman is in this fight for the long haul.

‘New Jersey 101.5’ Suspends Dennis Malloy and Judi Franco for ‘Turban Man’ Comment. After catching heat for comments made by midday personalities Dennis Malloy (right) and Judi Franco (left) about New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” has suspended the pair “until further notice.”  During a radio conversation about Gurbir’s decision to not prosecute low-level marijuana arrests for the next month, the duo referred to Gurbi – a practicing Sikh – as “turban man.”  The comments went viral on social media and the station posted its response on its website. It says, “We are aware of the offensive comments made by Dennis and Judi during today’s broadcast.  We have taken immediate action and have taken them off the air until further notice.  We are investigating the matter and will have further comment shortly.”

Mike Pintek Takes Leave from KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh. After being off the air for a few weeks, KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh talk host Mike Pintek announces he’s on leave from the station to focus on his health.  In May of 2017, Pintek announced he’s been diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer and is under the care of Dr. Nathan Bahary at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center.  He says in a statement posted on the KDKA website, “At this point, I need to take some time and really focus on my health.  I know a number of listeners have reached out to the station to get an update on my condition since I haven’t been on the air for a few weeks.  I want everyone to know how much I appreciate all your prayers, kind words, encouragement and support.”  Pintek recently suffered a stroke but his doctors believe his rehab from that will be successful and he’ll return to his course of chemotherapy.

SiriusXM CEO Says AM/FM Must Improve Its Product to Survive. Commenting on the competitive nature of today’s audio services industry during Wednesday’s Q2 investor conference call, SiriusXM chief executive officer Jim Meyer says that his company has been addressing the threats of new and improved audio services since he’s been with the company.  In talking about that, he also gave his opinion about AM/FM radio’s future.  “I’ve been here almost 14 years, and during those 14 years I’ve seen a couple of moments where people have said, ‘Oh, competition and what’s it going to do?’  And yet, you look at the unbelievable things that have occurred over the last 10 years – the unbelievable surge in technology and yet you still look at the number of people that listen to AM/FM radio every day, okay?  And honestly, that’s the area I think that’s got a problem.  If they don’t vastly improve their product, that’s the area where I think listener hours are finally going to come or finally going to shift away to other things.  If you really want to know where I think it inevitably shakes out.”

SiriusXM Second Quarter Revenue Up 6%.  CEO Jim Meyer wasn’t taking a potshot at radio in the story above, but he makes his comments standing on pretty firm ground as far as SiriusXM’s business is concerned.  The company announces its 2018 second quarter revenue was $1.4 billion, up 6% over Q2 of 2017.  Net income for the quarter was $292 million, a gain of 42% over last year’s $202 million figure.  Jim Meyer states, “SiriusXM’s strong start to 2018 accelerated in the second quarter.  We added 483,000 net new self-pay subscribers in the quarter with an impressive 1.6% self-pay churn rate, our best-ever performance.  Our 6% growth in revenue would have been 8% absent the change in generally accepted accounting principles that was effective January 1, and we are thrilled to increase our full-year guidance for self-pay net additions, revenue and adjusted EBITDA.”

Nielsen 2018 Q2 Revenue Flat. Ratings and research giant Nielsen Holdings plc announces 2018 second quarter financial results.  Nielsen was basically flat on revenue of $1.6 billion, up 0.2% compared the same period in 2017.  Nielsen Audio is part of the company’s Watch segment that was up 4.5%, but the audio revenue was basically flat for the quarter.  The Audience Measurement of Video and Text and Marketing Effectiveness revenues accounted for a large portion of the Watch segment’s growth.

Nielsen’s Mitch Barns to Retire at Year’s End. Also on Wednesday (7/25), Nielsen’s board of directors announced that CEO and board member Mitch Barns will retire from the company at the end of 2018.  James Attwood, current chairman of the board, is named executive chairman.  Barns will remain through the end of the year and Attwood, a managing director at The Carlyle Group will assume a more active role and will direct the search for the new CEO.  Attwood says, “Mitch has left an indelible mark on Nielsen – his commitment to integrity, openness, values and engagement will continue to be the heart of this company for years to come.  I, along with the rest of the board of directors, thank him for his service.”

Salem Selling KOTK-AM, Omaha to Hickory Radio. Omaha-market news/talk KOTK-AM “The Answer” and religious KCRO-AM (and their translators) are being sold by Salem Media Group to Hickory Radio, an affiliate of Walnut Radio.  The deal includes the stations continuing to operate in those formats and with their respective brands, as Salem is licensing “The Word” and “The Answer” to Hickory.  Salem president/broadcast Dave Santrella says, “We are thrilled to put these radio stations in the capable hands of Walnut Radio, a broadcaster with deep roots in the area and with a commitment to maintain the quality of broadcast our ministry partners, advertisers and listeners have come to expect.”  No price has been announced yet.

News/Talk KVOI, Tucson Sold to Bustos Media. The Doug and Mary Martin-owned company Good News Communications agrees to sell news/talk KVOI, Tucson to Amador Bustos’ Bustos Media Holdings.  No sale price has been announced yet but Bustos says in a statement, “As a long-time Spanish language broadcaster, we are excited to step into the arena of news/talk radio in Tucson, Arizona, a city we have worked in before and have loved for many years.”  KALIL & CO., INC. is the exclusive broker for this transaction.

TALKERS News Notes. The new voice of the New Orleans Saints is former Saints player Zach Strief, who begins handling play-by-play duties on flagship Entercom’s WWL-AM/FM, New Orleans. Strief will work alongside former teammate Deuce McAllister.  Entercom New Orleans SVP and market manager Chris Wegman states, “When we set the criteria for the new ‘Voice of the Saints’ we were looking for someone who would make the professional play calls, as well as someone who has a deep connection to the team, the fans, and our community.  Zach possesses all of those qualities, knows the game firsthand and is a fixture in the New Orleans community. We’re very excited about adding him to the team.”…..Envision Networks announces that it has brought aboard new affiliate relations manager Josh Friedman.  He comments, “After being able to intern with Envision Networks, I was excited to join the team full time when the opportunity came.  I look forward to working with Danno, Laura, and the rest of the team and to continue to grow Envision’s affiliate base while upholding the superlative level of customer service established by Envision.”…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that iHeartMedia Chicago chief engineer Bob Fukuda has exited the station group. Feder notes that Fukuda was a 30-year veteran of iHeartMedia, as well as its predecessors Clear Channel and Evergreen Media…..WBUR, Boston names Meghna Chakrabarti and David Folkenflik co-hosts of the NPR-syndicated midday program “On Point.”  They will assume their new on-air duties on August 20. They take over for Tom Ashbrook, who exited back in February after allegations of workplace abuse.  Folkenflik is an NPR correspondent and Chakrabarti is host of WBUR’s “Radio Boston.”…..The “Motley Fool Money” radio show, hosted by Chris Hill, adds new affiliate station WTAX, Springfield, Illinois.

Trump-Cohen Tapes/Russia Investigation, U.S.-E.U. Meeting, Trump Pushes Back Putin Meeting, Rosenstein Impeachment, YouTube Bans Alex Jones Videos, Trump-Iran Rhetoric, U.S.-China Trade War, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/25).  The release of some of the recordings made of Michael Cohen’s conversations with President Trump and the investigation into possible Russian connections with the Trump campaign; President Trump’s meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker over trade issues; the next Trump-Putin meeting is pushed off into 2019; GOP House members introduce articles of impeachment against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein; YouTube bans three Alex Jones videos from its platform; the war rhetoric between President Trump and Iran; the effects of the U.S.-China trade war; 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. A new, nationally syndicated weekend program featuring Ellen K is being launched by iHeartMedia.  Dubbed “The Ellen K Weekend Show,” it will be a four-hour adult contemporary weekend program emanating from Los Angeles where Ellen K also hosts morning on the company’s KOST.  The company calls it “custom-tailored content for an audience that wants to feel informed on lifestyle trends, inspired by ‘feel good’ moments and enhanced by shareable factoids.  Listeners will also enjoy the latest showbiz news and interviews with the biggest names in music like John Legend, Lady Gaga, Meghan Trainor, Kelly Clarkson and more.”…..Beasley Media Group names Joel Weiss music director for alternative WBOS “ALT 92.9,” effective August 6.  Weiss spent the past 13 years as music director and air personality at Cox Media Group’s alternative WSUN, Tampa “97X.” WBOS program director Ken West says, “I’m excited to welcome Joel to ‘ALT 92.9.’ He loves music, loves radio, and loves Boston.  His passion and energy for the alternative format will help push ‘ALT 92.9’ to new heights!”

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

| May 8, 2018

Entercom Reports 2018 Q1 Financial Data; Same-Station Net Revenue Down 7.7%. This is the first full quarter that Entercom is reporting since closing on the CBS RADIO merger back on November 17 of last year.  As a result, the company’s net revenue jumped from $99 million in Q1 of 2017 to $300.6 million in Q1 of this year.  However, on a same-station basis, net revenue for the quarter dipped 7.7%, from $324.9 million in the first quarter of 2017 to $300.6 in the first quarter of this year. Entercom president and CEO David Field states, “Since closing on our merger in November, we have moved quickly to implement rapid change and have made good progress on our various integration, synergy and transformation goals.  We have built a terrific leadership team and are driving strong ratings growth and launching a number of revenue-driving initiatives to capitalize on our scale and compete far more effectively against other media for a larger share of ad spending.  Earlier today, we announced the launch of the Entercom Audio Network, which will enable us to use our scale to participate directly in the $1 billion network radio market.  Our first quarter financial results were adversely affected by soft general local advertising conditions and a number of temporary factors, most notably the exclusion of $12 million in revenue due to financial issues at USTN.  As these temporary factors abate and our growth initiatives take hold, we look forward to driving meaningful sustainable growth as we capitalize on the compelling brands, assets and capabilities of this exciting, emerging company.”

Entercom Audio Network to Launch in July. As mentioned by Entercom president and CEO David Field in the story above, the company is introducing its new ad sales network dubbed, Entercom Audio Network, on July 1.  The company says, “The national network will allow advertisers to leverage Entercom’s scale with targeted offerings across its portfolio of 235 top-rated radio stations reaching over 112 million listeners monthly.” Company chief revenue officer Bob Phillips states, “Entercom now offers brands the national scale they need, including seamless activation and superior ROI. We are the country’s unrivaled leader in news and sports radio and #1 or #2 in virtually all music formats. Our connection to consumers is coveted by many national brands.”  Field adds, “As one of the two largest radio broadcasters in the country, Entercom has the scale and reach to offer national brands a very compelling and effective unwired network with our premier collection of leading radio brands across the country.”

Townsquare Media’s Q1 2018 Net Revenue Up 5.9%.  That figure represents the net revenue for Townsquare Media’s Local Marketing Solutions division – the broadcast and digital operations – and not the live events-oriented Entertainment division.  Combining both divisions, the company’s net revenue was up 6.6% over the same period in 2017.  Townsquare co-CEO Bill Wilson comments, “Once again, our Local Marketing Solutions segment drove the Company’s growth, with net revenue growth of 5.9%, or 5.6% excluding political revenue.  First quarter growth in this segment was driven by continued strength across our local broadcast and digital product offerings, which culminated in our 17th consecutive quarter of positive, organic revenue growth.”  Net revenue in the Local Marketing Solutions in the first quarter was $80.6 million.  The company also reports that it paid off $9.5 million in long-term debt.

Saga Communications Q1 Net Revenue Rises 7.1%.  Michigan-based Saga Communications reports 2018 first quarter net revenue was $28 million – an increase of 7.1% over the same period a year ago.  Operating income from continuing operations increased 17.5% to $2.3 million and station operating expense increased 9.6% to $23.4 million for the quarter.  The company notes that its quarterly results were affected by the sale of its Charleston and Hilton Head, South Carolina TV stations last September.  On a same-station basis, net revenue increased 0.3% to $26.2 million and operating income from continuing operations increased 26.3% to $2.5 million.  Saga reports having $47.8 million in cash on hand as of March 31 and $49.8 million as of May 1.  The company’s total long-term debt was $25 million as of March 31.

Scripps Radio Division to Be Sold in Pieces.  During yesterday’s conference call with investors, there was just a brief mention of E.W. Scripps’ plans to sell its radio division.  Local Media division president Brian Lawlor responded to a question about the status of the radio stations, saying, “Yes. The radio sale, the process continues. We’ve made a decision in order to maximize the value of the assets to sell the division in several pieces instead of one big bang. I think that’s where we see the greatest value for the company and for shareholders. And so, it’s just a little bit more complicated, I would say, than if it were just a singular transaction.”  That’s not surprising since the company owns two signals in Milwaukee – news/talk WTMJ and country WKTI – and stations in much smaller markets including: Omaha, Boise, Tucson, Knoxville, Wichita, and Tulsa.  As we reported yesterday, there’s an unconfirmed rumor that Entercom is talking with Scripps about the Milwaukee stations.  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the conference transcript.  Members can read it all here.

Greg Neft Named Program Director at ‘PowerTalk 96.7’ in Fresno. Talk radio pro Greg Neft joins iHeartMedia as program director for news/talk KALZ-FM/KRZR-AM, Fresno “PowerTalk 96.7.”  Neft previously worked in the market as a news anchor and reporter.  He has served as morning news anchor at Cox Media Group’s WOKV-AM/FM, Jacksonville and as an NFL reporter for SiriusXM.  Most recently, he was corporate director of news and content programming for Cherry Creek Media.  iHM Fresno SVP of programming Steve Weed comments, “Greg joins us at a very opportune time, heading into a crucial election season for our region and our state.  I look forward to his skills and experience elevating our breaking news coverage.”

Former Seahawk Cliff Avril to Co-Host KJR-AM, Seattle Sports Talk Show. Seattle sports talk outlet KJR-AM “Sports Radio 950” announces that former Seattle Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril is partnering with the station’s Jason Puckett for the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm show, effective July 9. Puckett is a 15-year veteran of the iHeartMedia station and Avril retired from the NFL after being released by the Seahawks after a five-year stint.  Avril says, “I’m excited to join the KJR team!  Seattle is home and I can’t wait to cover the best sports city in the world.”

TALKERS News Notes. WNBC-TV, New York is reporting the former Port Authority police superintendent may have violated policy by providing a “lights-and-sirens” escort from the Newark airport into Manhattan for Premiere Networks superstar Rush Limbaugh.  The station says Michael Fedorko announced his retirement suddenly, about a week after it became known WNBC-TV reporters were investigating the allegation.  The report says the escort was to get Limbaugh to a charity dinner at which he was a “last-minute” speaker.  It also says Limbaugh talked about it on his radio show, saying, “So they sent the superintendent of the Port Authority to Newark to meet me for lights and sirens into Manhattan to make sure I got there in time.  And we did.”…..Radio sales pro Tim Robisch is named director of sales for Beasley Media Group’s Las Vegas cluster that includes news/talk KDWN.  He most recently served with Great Plains Media in suburban Kansas City.  He’s also held positions with Cox Media GroupEntercom Communications, Susquehanna Radio Corporation, and Katz Radio (at which he was served as regional vice president)…..New affiliate stations sign up for the John Kruse-hosted outdoors radio programs “America Outdoors Radio” and “Northwestern Outdoors Radio.”  Both shows focus on fishing, hunting, and outdoor recreation.  KDZR, Portland and KBOI, Boise recently added both shows to their program schedules…..Patrick Communications managing partner Larry Patrick is delivering the 2018 Commencement Speech for the College of Communications and Information at the University of Tennessee this Saturday (5/12).  Patrick is a 1973 graduate of UT.

Iran Nuclear Deal, Trump-Russia Investigation, Stormy Daniels Case, Schneiderman Allegations, John McCain Illness/Book, W.VA Senate Race, MLB Action, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/8).  The looming decision by President Trump whether the U.S. will remain in the Iran nuclear deal; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into potential connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents; the Stormy Daniels payoff, Rudy Giuliani’s role representing President Trump, and the “Saturday Night Live” sketch lampooning the issue; New York attorney general – and Donald Trump critic – Eric Schneiderman resigns amid allegations of abusing four women; terminally ill Senator John McCain’s HBO documentary and new book; the U.S. Senate Republican primary race in West Virginia and President Trump’s urging voters to reject controversial GOP candidate Don Blankenship; Major League Baseball action, and the NBA playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. CHR KBKS, Seattle “106.1 KISS FM” announces that on-air pro Zann is the iHeartMedia station’s new afternoon drive personality.  She was most recently with Cumulus Media’s KLIF-FM, Dallas as midday personality. She was also heard on Westwood One’s Hot AC and Hits Now 24/7 formats. At the same time, Zach “Mayhem” Wellsandt is the new midday personality who will also serve as APD and music director.  He moves to Seattle from the company’s Central Texas Region where he was director of CHR…..Programming pro Matt Johnson is appointed program director for iHeartMedia’s St. Louis CHR KSLZ-FM “Z107.7.”  iHM SVP of programming Jules Riley comments, “Matt is a solid addition to the KSLZ and iHeart St. Louis team.  We look forward to watching him grow this heritage CHR brand.  We spoke with a number of talented programmers, but Matt’s drive, creativity, and talent development made him our ideal candidate.”…..Cumulus Media announces that radio and television marketing pro Marty Wall is joining the Detroit cluster as director of marketing for country duo WDRQ “NASH FM 93.1” and WDRQ-HD2 “NASH Icon” and hot AC WDVD.  Cumulus Detroit director of FM programming Robby Bridges says, “Marty’s work at ‘Z100’ in New York is legendary.  That, paired with his experience across the media landscape during his years in L.A., gives him the unique ability to connect audiences to station brands and brands to clients.  He’s a relentless competitor whom I believe will be a game changer for our Detroit cluster.  I’m looking forward to his working with me, promotion manager Rochelle Burk, and promo director/street team captain Adam Ficorelli.”…..There are two appointments in the sales department at iHeartMedia Chicago.  First, Khatija Mohiuddin is named general sales manager for hip hop WGCI and CHR WKSC “103.5 KISS FM.”  Also, Brian McGhee is the new general sales manager for urban contemporary WVAZ “V103” and Gospel WGRB-AM “Inspiration 1390.”  iHeartMedia Chicago Region president Matt Scarano states, “We put a priority on recognizing our high performers with advancement opportunities and these two staff promotions are true testaments to Khatija’s and Brian’s leadership skills and ability to form strong client relationships.”  Mohiuddin most recently served as local sales manager for WGCI and WGRB-AM.  McGhee most recently served as sales manager for the company’s St. Louis cluster.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

| March 22, 2018

Townsquare to Acquire Three More New Jersey Signals. This deal with Connoisseur Media will transfer ownership of Trenton, New Jersey’s CHR WPST and sports talk WNJE “AM 920 The Jersey” and Christian teaching WCHR, Flemington to Townsquare Media.  The price tag for the three is $17 million.  Townsquare Media co-CEO Dhruv Prasad says in a press release, “We are very excited to announce the acquisition of these radio stations, particularly WPST, one of the Northeast’s most respected and highest-performing CHR stations.  Combined with our market leading news/talk radio station based in Trenton – ‘New Jersey 101.5’ – and our existing portfolio of 10 other stations in the state of New Jersey, we believe these assets will enhance our ability to deliver high-quality, engaging, local content and superior, multi-platform marketing solutions.  This is the third strategic acquisition that we have announced within the past nine months, demonstrating our continuing commitment to investing capital at attractive values in our local media business.”  Connoisseur CEO Jeffrey Warshaw comments, “This is a bittersweet deal for us. We are very proud of our talented team and their accomplishments in New Jersey. I’m confident that these stations will continue to thrive as part of the Townsquare family.”

TALKERS News Notes. Pictured here is former deputy White House assistant to President Trump, Dr. Sebastian Gorka, in the Washington, DC studios of Salem Radio Network as he sits in for nationally syndicated talk show host Dennis Prager on Wednesday’s program.  (Prager was addressing audiences in Australia.)  SRN vice president/News & Talk programming Tom Tradup says that although Gorka is a frequent guest on FOX News Channel, it was his first time hosting a radio show. He says, “His debut was flat out amazing.  Nothing fazed him.  Dr. Gorka was calm, unflappable, and performed as if he’d been a talk radio host for 20 years.”…..Next week, ABC News launches a daily news podcast titled, “Start Here,” hosted by Brad Mielke.  ABC News says the 20-minute episodes will “draw on the global resources of ABC News and deliver meaningful insights on events shaping the world.”  ABC Radio VP and general manager Steve Jones says, “This new venture will provide expertise, curation and credibility as an antidote to information noise.  The median age of podcast listeners is 29.  Brad’s inviting and energetic delivery powered by ABC News gives us the opportunity to reach that next generation of ABC News consumers in a medium they love, and allow them to not just hear the news, but to step inside of it and emerge better equipped for their day.”…..The Dr. Daliah Wachs show, syndicated by Genesis Communications Network, adds a new affiliate station as Wynne Enterprises’ KFLS, Klamath Falls, Oregon adds the show for weekdays and weekends…..ESPN’s WEPN, New York “ESPN 98.7FM New York” is broadcasting the 45th annual NYPD vs. FDNY charity hockey game taking place at Madison Square Garden on Saturday (3/24).  Station personality Don La Greca – co-host of the Michael Kay show – will do the play-by-play alongside Rick DiPietro – co-host of the Humpty & Canty program – who will be color commentator…..iHeartMedia news/talk outlets WGIR, Manchester “NewsRadio 610” and WQSO-FM, Portsmouth, New Hampshire “NewsRadio 96.7” raised more than $160,000 during Wednesday’s fourth annual “Make 12 Hours Count” radiothon – spearheaded by “New Hampshire Today” morning host Jack Heath.  The funds benefit Veterans Count, an organization that provides financial assistance, services and resources to New Hampshire veterans, service members and their families.  Heath says, “‘New Hampshire Today’ is committed to supporting the men and women that selflessly serve our country.  With the help of our generous listeners and sponsors we were able to raise a significant amount of money to help the vets in our local community.”

Gregg ‘Opie’ Hughes Announces Podcast Deal with Westwood One.  Eight months after exiting SiriusXM, Gregg “Opie” Hughes has struck a deal with Westwood One to join the company’s podcast network.  Hughes released a YouTube video in which he talks about the project.  He’ll do a twice-weekly podcast and look for other shows that he can include under the “Opie Radio” umbrella he’s been asked to build.  He says there is a possible radio component to his deal with Westwood One, but that hasn’t been ironed out yet.  He credits Westwood One’s Tim Sabean with brokering the deal.  Sabean worked with Hughes at SiriusXM.  The podcast debuts on April 17.

KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh’s Hometown Heroes Awards Take Place Next Thursday. Next Thursday evening, the “Sixth Annual Larry Hometown Heroes” event takes place at Pittsburgh’s Rivers Casino.  This annual awards program is hosted by KDKA-AM morning host Larry Richert and honors individuals who are giving back and making a difference in their local community.  Each year, the event honors five individuals who receive a $1,000 donation to a charity of their choice.  Former football player Merril Hoge will be the keynote speaker.  Entercom Pittsburgh SVP and market manager Michael Young says, “It is a privilege to give back to our local community and honor our hometown heroes who have been doing extraordinary things for the Pittsburgh community and to place a spotlight on the selfless work they do.  We are looking forward to having Merril Hoge join us as the keynote speaker for this year’s Larry’s Hometown Heroes.”  Also this year, the Larry Hometown Heroes “Lifetime Hero Award” is being presented to local sports broadcaster Bill Hillgrove for his philanthropic efforts within the community and through the University of Pittsburgh.

Trump-Putin Relationship, Mueller’s Russia Investigation, Trump Women Litigation, Facebook-Analytica Data Misuse, Trump’s China Tariffs Threat, McCabe Firing-FBI Investigation, Austin Bomber Case, Fed Raises Interest Rates, NCAA Tourney, NFL Free Agency, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/21). The controversy over President Trump’s congratulating Vladimir Putin for his “election” victory and speculation about their relationship; the status of Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russia agents; the legal battles being waged against President Trump by porn star Stormy Daniels, former Playboy model Karen McDougal, and Summer Zervos; the data misuse allegations against Cambridge Analytica and Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg’s CNN apology; China’s threat of retaliation if the Trump tariffs go into effect; the firing of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and the movement among conservative lawmakers to open a special counsel investigation into alleged abuses at the FBI; the death of the Austin serial bomber; the Fed raises interest rates; the weekend’s NCAA tourney games; the NFL free agency period; and NBA 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.  On-air pro Jack Daniel joins Beasley Media Group in the Charlotte market to serve as afternoon personality on adult contemporary WKQC “K 104.7” and classic hits “94.7 Smoke.”  Daniel comments, “I’m thrilled to be working with longtime friends John Reynolds, DJ Stout and Bill Schoening.  It will be exciting to host the drive home show on ‘K-104.7’ and ‘94.7 SMOKE’ and be part of the Beasley team in Charlotte.  I can’t wait to get started!”…..Entercom names Chris “DECiPHA” Hernandez program director for CHR KALV, Phoenix “Live 101.5.”  He rises from his role as APD and music director.  Entercom Phoenix SVP and market manager Dave Pugh says, “We are excited to continue to have Chris on the ‘LIVE 101.5′ team.  His hard work and dedication, coupled with his extensive knowledge of the Phoenix community, make him ideal for this role.”…..iHeartMedia Chicago promotes Matthew Harris to promotions director for hip hop WGCI.  Harris has been with the station’s programming since last year.  He will report to iHM Chicago director of marketing and promotions Echo Robinson.

The Jim Brickman Show Welcomes Hannah Rae as Co-Host.  The Envision Networks-syndicated Jim Brickman show announces Hannah Rae joins as the new producer and co-host.  Rae (center) joins award-winning songwriter and best-selling solo pianist Jim Brickman (right) and “formidable slacker and gen-Xer” Bob (left) as the most recent member of the show.  Brickman says, “It’s rare to discover an authentic talent who’s never done radio and yet shines when the mic goes on.  Hannah Rae rounds out the B-team with a refreshing, millennial point of view.”  As well as serving as a co-host, she writes for the show, coordinates in-studio recording, interviews, and handles social media.

Round Three of February PPM Data Released. The third of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s February 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Orlando, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen’s February 2018 survey period covered February 1 – 28. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Portland Spoken Word Formats – Notwithstanding that it returns all of the +1.1 it racked up in January, Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk KOPB (9.6 – 8.5, -1.1, 6+) remains at #1. When it entered the September sweep, KOPB occupied the runner-up position 21 successive times; however, with a +1.4, it finally reached #1. It was a short stay there though as KOPB plummeted by -1.1 (9.1 – 8.0, 6+) and returned to its familiar runner-up spot in October – only to have another one-month run at #1 in November. KOPB ranked second in December and “Holiday” 2017. Its recent trends include +.9 (March 2017); -.8 (May); +.6 (June); -.9 (July); +.6 (August); +1.4 (September); -1.1 (October); +1.1 (January 2018) and now -1.1 (February). Despite posting its third increase in a row for a cumulative +1.7 (3.5 – 3.6 – 5.0 – 5.2, 6+), Alpha Media news/talk KXL “101 FM News – Stay Connected” backslides from fifth to sixth. Prior to January, the last time KXL reached the five-share level (6+) was in October 2013 (5.3). After gaining one-half share in January to 1.7 – its best 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016 (1.7, as well) – iHeartMedia’s similarly programmed KEX “News Radio 1190 – Depend on Us” repeats the 1.7 and stays at #19. Meanwhile, Alpha Media news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970” is off two-tenths (1.1 – .9, #23, 6+). As it returns the four-tenths it picked up in January (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.0, 6+), Entercom sports talk KFXX “1080 The Fan” moves from #17 to #18. Dropping four-tenths as well is Alpha Media’s similarly-formatted KXTG “The Game” (1.4 – 1.0, unchanged at #22, 6+); iHeartMedia’s KPOJ “Sports Radio 620” is trending .6 – .6 – .7 – .7 (#25, 6+).

Portland Music Formats – On the strength of a full-share increase (4.4 – 5.4, eighth to fifth), iHeartMedia’s KFBW “105.9 The Brew – Portland’s Rock Station” reaches the five-share threshold (6+) for the first time since last September’s 5.2. Down or flat the past three sweeps for an overall loss of one-half share (2.7 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+) co-owned KXJM “JAM’N 107.5 – Portland’s #1 for Hip-Hop and Throwbacks” erases the deficit with a +.6 to 2.8 (#18 to #16, 6+). Although steady at #7, Alpha Media triple A KINK “101.9 Uniquely Portland” gains one-half share (4.5 – 5.0, 6+). As the result of gaining one-tenth to 4.0 (6+), Entercom hot AC KRSK “105.1 The Buzz – Today’s Best Mix” (flat at #10) applies the brakes to six straight sweeps without an increase for a collective -1.5 (5.4 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 3.9, 6+). A loss of seven-tenths slices in half the 6+-share of Mount Hood Community College’s KMHD “Jazz Radio 89.1” (1.4 – .7, #25, 6+). Over the course of the last two ratings periods, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW (-9.0) has seen its 6+-share dwindle by more than 50% (16.9 – 8.5 – 7.9, 6+) but “K-103” remains in second-place. Before shifting to #2 in September, “K-103” was #1 in 39 of the previous 41 ratings periods. With its 13.7 in December and 16.9 in “Holiday” 2017, KKCW is the first Portland station to reach double-digits (6+) since it did so with a 15.3 in “Holiday” 2016. Off one-half share (2.7 – 2.2, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KFIS “104.1 The Fish” dips from #16 to #17.

2) Charlotte Spoken-Word Formats – In addition to logging its third uptick in succession for a collective +1.2 (3.1 – 3.2 – 4.0 – 4.3, 6+), Entercom news/talk WBT cracks the top ten (#13 to #8). Earlier, WBT was +1.4 in three consecutive improvements (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.4 – 4.0, July – August – September – October, 6+). Dropping one-tenth to 3.5 (6+), University Radio Foundation news talk WFAE remains at #15; “Charlotte’s NPR News Source” was a combined -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.2 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+). Its recent fluctuations include -.6 (October); +.5 (November); -1.1 (December); and +.6 in January. Off seven-tenths (1.9 – 1.2, 6+), Entercom-owned sports talk WFNZ “The Fan – Charlotte’s Sports Leader” slips from #18 to #19.

Charlotte Music Formats – Not only is Beasley Media Group urban AC WBAV without a loss for the seventh successive sweep for a cumulative +1.7 (5.7 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.4 – 6.5 – 6.5 – 7.4, 6+), “V-101.9” jumps from #2 to #1. This represents the first time that WBAV has reached the seven-share level (6+) in nearly four years (7.2, April 2014). Exiting the top spot and segueing to #4 is iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country,” which surrenders seven-tenths of January’s +1.9 (6.9 – 6.2, 6+). The 6.9 it registered this time last month was the strongest 6+-stat for “The Kat” since 7.0 in May 2016. WKKT hadn’t hit #1 since August 2017, when it registered a 6.1 (6+). Tied at #4 with “The Kat” is its format rival – Beasley Media Group’s WSOC “103.7 Country’s Hottest Hits” – which is off two-tenths, thus ending at three a consecutive string of gains that netted seven-tenths (5.7 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.4, 6+). Notching increases of one-half share each are iHeartMedia’s WRFX “99.7 The Fox – Charlotte’s Classic Rock” (7.0, unchanged at #2, 6+); CHR sibling WHQC “Channel 96.1 – All the Hits” (#16 to #13, 6+); and Radio One urban contemporary WQNC “92.7 The Block” (2.5, steady at #17, 6+). “The Fox” was stuck on 6.9 (6+) in November and December and then on 6.5 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018. “Channel 96.1” has its third straight up or flat trend for an overall +.8 (3.1 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.9, 6+), while “The Block” was -.3 in three successive down or flat moves (2.3 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.0, 6+). A +.9 in January by Radio One gospel outlet WPZS ended three consecutive sweeps without an increase for a -.3 (4.2 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+), but “Praise 100.9 – Charlotte’s Inspiration Station” surrenders six-tenths in February (4.8 – 4.2, sixth to ninth, 6+). In a similar situation, iHeartMedia’s WEND picked up seven-tenths in January to suspend three straight down or flat trends that resulted in a -.6 (4.2 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.6, 6+); however, “106.6 The End – Charlotte’s Alternative Rock” now forfeits one-half share (4.3 – 3.8, 6+) and leaves the top ten (#10 to #14).

3) San Antonio Spoken-Word Formats – Following a January +1.6 to 4.4 – its best 6+-showing since last May (4.4, as well) – iHeartMedia news/talk WOAI “News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather” is flat in both 6+-share (4.4) and 6+-market rank (#9). Before that massive +1.6, WOAI was -.9 as the result of four straight sweeps without an increase (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+). Trending 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.3 – 1.6 – 1.7 (6+), Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” continues at #20. A combined -1.7 in January and February (4.7 – 3.4 – 3.0, 6+), Texas Public Radio news/talk KSTX drops from #13 to #15. With a +1.0 to 4.7 in Holiday2017, KSTX crossed the four-share level (6+) for the first time in its PPM-history. Flat at .5 (6+) iHeartMedia sports talk KTKR “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” checks in at #28.

San Antonio Music Formats – If January’s +1.1 to 5.2 (6+) wasn’t sufficient, iHeartMedia-owned KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” follows with a +1.6 (6.8, 6+) to jump from fourth to second. Prior to January, “KJ-97” was -.9 in four successive down or flat sweeps (5.0 – 5.0 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). In advance of the August 2017 ratings period, KAJA registered three consecutive uptrends for a collective gain of eight-tenths. With a (6+) January 2018 – February 2018 increase half that of KAJA, CHR cluster-mate KXXM “96.1 Now – San Antonio’s #1 Hit Music Station” elevates from #15 to #11 (3.3 – 4.1, +.8, 6+). A January +1.8 by KONO-FM lifted the Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies outlet to #1, as well as suspending three downward moves in succession that produced a -2.0 (7.0 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.0, 6+). In the February report, “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” adds one-half share (6.8 – 7.3, 6+) and repeats in the lead position. After ten straight months at #1, KONO-FM shifted to #2 in December and remained there in “Holiday” 2017. Recent (6+) fluctuations for KONO-FM include January 2017’s +1.1; April’s +.8; May’s -.6; August’s -.5; October’s +.7; December’s -.9; “Holiday” 2017’s -.9; January 2018’s +1.8; and February’s +.5. An overall +1.8 in seven sweeps in a row without a loss (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.0, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KXTN “107.5 Tejano & Proud” remains at #12. By picking up one-tenth to 2.3 (#19 to #18, 6+), co-owned KMYO “Latino Mix 95.1” pulls the plug on four straight decreases that accounted for a -1.3 (3.5 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+). Relinquishing all but one-tenth of January’s +1.1 (5.4 – 4.4, -1.0, 6+), classic rock sibling KTKX “106.7 The Eagle” plummets from third to ninth. Down by one full-share as well (3.4 – 2.4, #13 to #17, 6+) is Alpha Media regional Mexican KSAH “Norteno,” which improved by eight-tenths in January.

4) Pittsburgh Spoken-Word Formats – When Entercom news/talk KDKA-AM broke out a +1.3 in January to 5.3 (6+), it pulled the plug on four down or flat trends in succession that produced a loss of eight-tenths (4.8 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+). Remaining at #7 in February, “News Radio 1020” matches that 5.3 – its highest 6+-share since April 2017’s 5.7. A combined +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 (5.3 – 5.9 – 6.6, 6+), sports talk sibling KDKA-FM surrenders nine-tenths in February to 5.7 (6+) but “93.7 The Fan” remains in sixth-place. January’s 6.6 represents the best 6+-showing for “The Fan” since September 2016’s 7.6. While it is true that iHeartMedia sports talk WBGG is without a loss for the eighth ratings period in a row, “ESPN Pittsburgh” has a net gain of just one-tenth in that stretch (.1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .2 – .2, 6+) and is unchanged at #17. Following a six-tenths gain that halted three successive downward trends resulting in a -1.1 (3.2 – 2.8 – 2.4 – 2.1, 6+), Essential Public Media news/talk WESA “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” is up two-tenths to 2.9 (6+) and stays at #12.

Pittsburgh Music Formats – Not only is iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWSW back in double digits (6+) as it was September through “Holiday” 2017, “94.5 – 3WS” gains nine-tenths and is #1 for the 12th ratings period in succession (9.4 – 10.3, 6+). It is rebounding from January’s loss of seven full-shares. Adding six-tenths to January’s +.4 (6.9 – 7.3 – 7.9, 6+), Steel City Media adult hits WRRK “96.9 Bob FM” inches up from fourth to third. A collective -4.8 in January and February (10.6 – 6.8 – 5.8, 6+), WSHH “Today’s Wish 99.7” carries on in fifth-place. In “Holiday” 2017, the Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary facility posted a 10.6, the station’s best 6+-showing in exactly one year. Stymied on 5.7 (6+) in August and September and then on 5.2 (6+) in October and November, WSHH more than doubled the October and November stat in December and “Holiday” 2017 with a combined +5.4. More major ups and downs for iHeartMedia rocker WDVE, which has been +1.6 (October 2017); -1.0 (November); -.8 (“Holiday 2017”); +.8 (January); and now -.9 in February (9.2 – 8.3, #2, 6+). WDVE has been in second-place in eight of the last nine sweeps. October’s 10.2 marked the first time it reached double-digits (6+) since March 2017 (10.4).

5) Sacramento Spoken-Word Formats – After only a one-month stay at #1, iHeartMedia-owned KFBK “Sacramento’s News, Weather, and Traffic Station” sputters by one-half share (8.6 – 8.1, 6+) and slips to the runner-up slot. Down or flat in October – November – December for an overall loss of seven-tenths (7.8 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 7.1, 6+), KFBK logged a +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and followed in January 2018 with a +.2; January 2018’s 8.6 was its best 6+-stat since January 2017’s 8.7. After three straight improvements netting a combined +1.3 (6.5 – 6.7 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+), KFBK regressed by three-tenths in October. Having posted a 2.7 in January – its highest 6+-share since June 2017’s 2.8 – co-owned KSTE regresses by two-tenths (2.5, #13 to #16). “Talk 650” was +.6 in December; -.5 in “Holiday” 2017; and +.6 in January. By posting a one-half share gain in January, KXJZ recaptured approximately half of its combined -1.1 from December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.3 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+), but the Capital Public Radio news/talk outlet returns three-tenths to 4.4 (6+) to dip from fifth to sixth. There’s little movement in the market’s sports contest as Entercom’s KHTK “Sports 1140” is down or flat for the third time in a row for a -.7 (2.6 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9, #16 to #19, 6+), while co-owned KIFM-AM “ESPN Radio 1320” is trending 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.5 (#21).

Sacramento Music Formats – As part of a steady September 2017 through February 2018 progression, Capital Public Radio classical-formatted KXPR “88.9 The Classical Station” is a collective +1.5 in six straight up or flat trends and reaches the two-share level (1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 2.5, #16 to #15, 6+). Advancing by six-tenths as well in February is Entercom hot AC KZZO “Now 100.5 – Today’s Best Hits” (3.9 – 4.5, ninth to fifth, 6+). Up one-tenth (8.2 – 8.3, 6+), co-owned KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” marches from second to first. Its +2.0 in January basically erased a combined -2.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017; “The Eagle” was an overall -1.6 in September and October (9.7 – 8.7 – 8.1, 6+). Steady at #4, CHR sibling KUDL “106.5 The End” is off two-tenths to 5.2 (6+), ending three positive trends in succession that produced a +1.8 (3.6 – 3.8 – 4.3 – 5.4, 6+).

6) Salt Lake City Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to three straight negative moves, Bonneville’s KSL was a combined -3.2 (8.3 – 6.5 – 5.7 – 5.1, October – November – December – “Holiday” 2017, 6+), but “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” responds with an overall +1.6 in January and February to 6.7 (6+) and continues in second place. After logging a +.7 in January, iHeartMedia’s KNRS “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know” is off one-tenth to 3.9 (flat at #10, 6+). Having trended 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.5 (June through October, 6+), KNRS was +.8 in November, but was a combined -1.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017. Forfeiting all of January’s +.8 and three-tenths more (4.1 – 3.0, -1.1, 6+), University of Utah news/talk KUER exits the top ten (#9 to #12). Owing to a loss of two-tenths (1.7 – 1.5, 6+), Broadway Media-owned KALL “ESPN 700 – Utah’s #1 Sports Talk” slumps from a three-way tie at #19 to #21.

Salt Lake City Music Formats – Rebounding from January’s -.6 (1.8 – 1.2, 6+), Cumulus Media’s KHTB “Alt 101.9” flashes a +.9 to 2.1 (6+) and is back in the top twenty (#23 to #19, 6+). This (2.1) is its best 6+-showing since August 2017 (2.1, as well). In addition to registering a +.6 (2.4 – 3.0, 6+), allowing it to leap from #17 to #12, Brigham Young University’s KBYU “Classical 89” reaches the three-share level for the first time since January 2017’s 3.1. Albeit a whopping -15.9 in January and February (23.2 – 8.1 – 7.3, 6+), Bonneville-owned KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music Better Work Day” is #1 for the fifth ratings period in a row. In “Holiday” 2017, its 23.2 share (6+) was in excess of the sum total of the next five stations after it. “FM 100.3” was #1 each month in calendar year 2017 except January, March, April, and October. A one-half share loss (1.7 – 1.2, 6+) takes Broadway Media adult hits KYMV to its lowest 6+-share in just over one year (1.2, as well in January 2017) as “Rewind 100.7” departs the top twenty (#19 to #23). Given that both stations’ 6+-share is unchanged from January, there’s still a seven-tenths difference between Cumulus Media country outlet KUBL “K-Bull 93 FM” (flat at 5.3, 6+) and independent rival KSOP-FM “Z-104 Utah’s #1 Country” (steady at 4.6, #7, 6+). “K-Bull” was -1.4 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.7 – 4.1 – 3.3, 6+) but logged a +2.0 in January. Up or flat for the tenth sweep in a row – including 1.4 (6+) in each of the last four (.9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+), 1980’s hits KSQN “103.1 The Wave – The Next Wave of New Wave” continues at #22.

7) Las Vegas Spoken-Word Formats – Improving by one-tenth after January’s +.6 (1.9 – 2.5 – 2.6, 6+) Nevada Public Radio news/talk KNPR is this market’s only spoken-word representative to appear in February 2018’s top twenty (#17 to #15). This (2.6) is KNPR’s best 6+-stat since May 2017’s 2.8. Up or flat for the third straight time for a +.2 (1.7 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+) Entercom’s KXNT “News Talk Radio 840” continues at #21, while Beasley Media Group news/talk KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk” doubles its 6+-share via five straight positive or flat trends (.7 – .7 – .7 – .7      – 1.3 – 1.4, 6+) to carry on at #23. Conversely, Lotus Communications sports talk KWWN “ESPN Radio 1100” is a collective -.4 in five consecutive sweeps without an increase (1.2 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .8 – .8, #25, 6+).

Las Vegas Music Formats – A gain of eight-tenths (4.2 – 5.0, sixth to fifth, 6+) takes Beasley Media Group urban-rhythmic oldies KOAS “Old School 105.7” to its strongest 6+-stat since June 2017’s 5.6. Without a loss for the fifth consecutive report (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 4.8 – 5.2, 6+), Entercom rhythmic hot AC KXQQ “Q-100.5” is an overall +2.0, progressing from fifth to fourth. Despite surrendering roughly half of January’s +1.1 (7.6 – 7.1, -.5, 6+), co-owned classic hits-oldies KKLZ “96.3 – 70s, 80s and More” repeats at #1. In December, KKLZ was ousted from #1 after five straight months in the lead position. It previously was +1.0 (October); -.9 (November) and -.7 (December). Down or flat the past six survey periods for a cumulative -2.0 (5.3 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.4 – 3.3, 6+), Lotus Communications’ KXPT “97.1 The Point – #1 for Classic Rock” dials up a +.5 to 3.8 and enters the top ten (#12 to #8, 6+). Without a loss four sweeps in a row for an overall +.9 (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.8, 6+), Faith Communications contemporary Christian KSOS “SOS Radio – Right Song, Right Time” is now a combined -2.2 in January and February (4.8 – 3.9 – 2.6, 6+), spiraling from #8 to #15; 4.8 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-stat since September 2016’s 5.4.

8) Cincinnati Spoken-Word Formats – After logging five straight negative trends for a collective -3.3 (9.6 – 9.4 – 9.2 – 8.0 – 7.2 – 6.3, 6+), WLW is +2.0 in January and February (6.3 – 7.9 – 8.3, flat at #2). The heritage iHeartMedia news/talker fell to #3 in November, following three consecutive months at #1. It returned to the top in August 2017 after back-to-back appearances in the runner-up slot. Even though it adds two-tenths (3.6 – 3.8, 6+), co-owned and similarly-formatted WKRC “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati” backslides from #10 to #11. Its +.3 in January ended three downward moves in a row that accounted for a -.9 (4.2 – 4.2 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+). Following January’s one-half share improvement, Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU adds two-tenths to 3.6 (6+) yet slips from #11 to #12. The market’s 6+-sports talk share shrinks by three-tenths as iHeartMedia-owned WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530” is off one-tenth (1.2 – 1.1, #19 to #20, 6+), while co-owned WSAI “Fox Sports AM 1360” is down two-tenths (.7 – .5, #22, 6+).

Cincinnati Music Formats – Three gains in succession by Hubbard’s WUBE “B-105.1 – Get Your Country On” (unchanged at #3) flips December’s -1.4 into a +2.3 (5.8 – 6.3 – 7.8 – 8.1, 6+). Tacking on seven-tenths to January’s +.5 (2.7 – 3.2 – 3.9, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WFTK “96 Rock” cracks the top ten (#12 to #10) with its strongest 6+-share since August 2017 (3.9, as well). Unchanged at 9.6 (6+), cluster-mate WGRR “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” repeats at #1. The classic hits-oldies facility dusted itself off from a -1.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (9.1 – 8.5 – 7.5, 6+) with a January +2.1. This (9.6) is its strongest 6+-stat since last July’s 9.7. Faltering by one-half share each are co-owned adult contemporary WRRM “Warm 98” (4.9, fifth to sixth, 6+) and Hubbard rhythmic hot AC WREW “Mix 94.9” (4.5, seventh to ninth, 6+). Prior to January’s -7.6, “Warm 98” (#1 in “Holiday” 2017) was an overall +9.1 in five improvements in a row since August (3.9 – 4.0 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 7.5 – 13.0, 6+). A January +1.3 by “Mix” virtually eliminated its -1.4 from five straight down or flat trends (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+). Without an increase four sweeps in a row for a combined -1.0 (2.4 – 2.3 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.4, 6+) – immediately following five consecutive up or flat sweeps that produced a +1.0 (1.4 -1.7 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.4, 6+) – Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies WDBZ picks up one-tenth to 1.5 (6+) as “Soul 101.5” moves from #18 to a four-way tie at #16.

9) Orlando Spoken-Word Formats – No sooner did iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS explode with a January +1.7, “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” immediately follows with a +1.3 (2.2 – 3.9 – 5.2, 6+) and cracks the top ten (#11 to #8). January’s mammoth gain ended three straight down or flat trends that resulted in a -.7 (2.9 – 2.9 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+). WTKS bypasses Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM, which after January’s +1.3, is flat in both 6+-share (4.7) and rank (#10). Entering the January sweep, “News 96.5” was a collective -2.7 via four straight decreases (6.1 – 5.1 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+); WDBO-FM registered a +2.0 in September 2017. Without an increase in five straight ratings periods for a -.7 (1.9 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WFLF gained seven-tenths in January but coughs up three-tenths in February (1.9 – 1.6, flat at #16, 6+). Off two-tenths (3.9 – 3.7, 6+), Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE slides from #11 to #14. In January, “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida” regained the six-tenths it lost in “Holiday” 2017. Tied at #20 are iHeartMedia sports talk WYGM “FM 96.9 The Game – Orlando’s Sports Leader” (1.2 – .7, -.5, 6+) and Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted WDBO-AM “ESPN 580 Orlando” (.8 – .7, -.1, 6+).

Orlando Music Formats – Stuck on 5.0 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 and January, Cox Media Group urban AC WCFB “Star 94.5” erupts with a full-share gain to 6.0 – its best 6+-share June 2017’s 6.1 – progressing from eighth to fifth. After recording four losses in a row for a combined -1.3 (4.3 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+), Entercom’s WQMP was +1.1 in “Holiday” 2017. It faltered by nine-tenths in January but “Alt 101.9 – Orlando’s New Alternative” bounces back in February with a +.7 (4.1 – 3.2 – 3.9, #14 to #13, 6+). Its hot AC sibling WOMX “Mix 105.1” improves by six-tenths (4.8 – 5.4, ninth to sixth, 6+), as does iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMGF “Magic 107.7” (6.6 – 7.2, flat at #3, 6+). After gaining six-tenths in November, “Mix” was -1.7 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.5 – 4.6 – 3.8, 6+) and +1.0 in January. “Magic” spent two months at #1 and was a combined +8.3 in December and “Holiday” 2017 before plummeting -9.3 (15.9 – 6.6, 6+) in January. Co-owned Spanish tropical WRUM is up two-tenths (9.3 – 9.5, 6+) and repeats at #1. Following 11 consecutive months on top, “Rumba 100” dropped to the runner-up slot in December and remained there in “Holiday” 2017. Its +.4 in January ended four negative sweeps in a row that generated a collective -2.7 (11.6 – 11.5 – 11.4 – 11.3 – 8.9, 6+). April 2017s 12.8 is the best-ever 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. At the same time, Entravision Communications’ similarly-formatted WNUE “Salsa 98.1” erodes by nine-tenths (2.7 – 1.8, 6+) but remains at #15. A collective +1.3 in three straight upticks (3.8 – 4.2 – 4.9 – 5.1, 6+), Cox Media Group country-formatted WWKA hands over all but two-tenths of that margin (4.0, -1.1, 6+) as “K-92.3” drifts out of the top ten (#7 to #12). The wild journey keeps going for iHeartMedia CHR WXXL. In October, it ended five straight monthlies without an increase that resulted in a -2.4 (9.9 – 8.8 – 8.1 – 7.8 – 7.5 – 7.5, 6+), a streak that followed a +2.7 as the result of four consecutive positive moves (7.2 – 8.0 – 9.0 – 9.7 – 9.9, 6+). “XL-106.7” was up or flat four sweeps in succession for a +.7 (7.5 – 7.5 – 7.9 – 8.2 – 8.2, 6+), before recording a -.9 in “Holiday” 2017. It logged a +1.6 in January to 8.9 – its best 6+-stat since April 2017’s 9.9 – but is -.6 in February (8.3, unchanged at #2, 6+). Declining by six-tenths as well is University of Central Florida’s WUCF “89.9 Jazz & More” (1.5 – .9. #17 to #19, 6+). In January, iHeartMedia’s WJRR posted a +1.3, obliterating the combined -1.1 from December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.1 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+), but “101.1 Orlando’s Rock Station” returns one-half share in February (5.3 – 4.8, sixth to ninth, 6+).

10) Cleveland Spoken-Word Formats – Having gained one-half share in January to curtail three straight declines for a -3.5 (8.5 – 5.4 – 5.2 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” regresses by two-tenths (5.5 – 5.3, 6+) but moves from eighth to seventh. A major winning streak is snapped as Ideastream-owned news/talk WCPN – which was a cumulative +3.2 in six straight upticks (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 5.3, 6+) – relinquishes roughly half that increase (3.6, -1.7, 6+) and exits the top ten (#9 to #12). In four successive sweeps without a loss (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+), Entercom sports talk WKRK “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” is up six-tenths and enters the top ten (#12 to #10).

Cleveland Music Formats – The loftiest (6+) January 2018 – February 2018 increase logged by any station in the 12 PPM-markets shown here is by iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI (8.4 – 10.3, +1.9, 6+), which progresses from second to first. Ironically, “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” was -1.9 in January, following “Holiday” 2017’s +2.5 (7.8 – 10.3, 6+). When WMJI reached double-digits (6+) in “Holiday” 2017, it was the first time it accomplished that feat since September 2016’s 10.8. November’s +.8 stopped three straight declines that resulted in a -1.3 (9.2 – 8.9 – 8.4 – 7.9, 6+), but WMJI was -.9 in December. In 2017, “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” occupied the top spot from January through April; July through September; and in November. Even though it displays a +.4 (9.1 – 9.5, 6+), Radio One urban AC is displaced from the top spot after a one-month stay and shifts to #2. Having reached #1 in December with a +.9, WZAK fell to third in “Holiday” 2017. A loss of four-tenths in October ended three consecutive positive moves by WZAK for an overall +.9 (7.5 – 7.6 – 8.1 – 8.4, 6+). Its urban contemporary cluster-mate, WENZ “Z-107.9,” posts a +.6 to 6.3 (sixth to fifth, 6+), thus applying the brakes to three straight losses that accounted for a -1.5 (7.2 – 6.7 – 6.1 – 5.7, 6+). Eroding by more than 50% (-5.6) in January and February (10.4 – 5.6 – 4.9, 6+) after being a combined +5.5 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.9 – 7.2 – 10.4, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WDOK “Cleveland’s Star 102” dips from seventh to ninth. In December, “Star 102” halted three straight downward moves that accounted for a -1.1 (6.0 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.9, 6+).

11) Kansas City Spoken-Word Formats – Over and above racking up six positive spikes in succession for a +1.9 (3.7 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.9 – 5.6, 6+), Entercom news talk KMBZ-FM “98.1 News-Traffic-Weather” zooms from eighth to fourth. Co-owned KMBZ-AM “Talk 980” is flat at 2.0 and remains at #19, while Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM “Talk Radio 710” is trending .8 – .9 – 1.1 (#22, 6+). Without a loss for the fourth time in a row for a +.8 (1.9 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+), University of Missouri news/talk KCUR shifts from #17 to a three-way tie at #16. A combined +1.4 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018, Union Broadcasting sports talk WHB “Sports Radio 810” surrenders nine-tenths (4.0 – 3.1, #12 to #14, 6+). When WHB dipped by four-tenths in December, it halted at five a successive string of positive trends that doubled its 6+-stat (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+). Owing to a loss of four-tenths (1.8 – 1.4, 6+), Entercom’s KCSP “610 Sports Radio” falls off the top twenty (#20 to #21).

Kansas City Music Formats – Recapturing all but one-half share of January’s -1.7 (7.4 – 8.6, +1.2, 6+), Cumulus Media classic rock KCFX “The Fox” storms from second to first. A +1.2 in December lifted “The Fox” to 9.6, its strongest 6+-stat since July’s 10.3 and ended four straight down or flat sweeps that generated a -1.9 (10.3 – 8.7 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4, 6+). Prior to November, “The Fox” occupied Kansas City’s top spot for ten consecutive months. It trades places with classic hits-oldies sibling KCMO-FM “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits,” which falters by six-tenths (8.4 – 7.8, first to second, 6+). Its January -2.0 curtailed four straight upticks that netted a +2.7 (7.7 – 8.0 – 8.8 – 9.0 – 10.4, 6+). Frozen on 5.0 (6+) in November and December and then on 4.5 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018, Entercom’s KQRC “98.9 The Rock” registers a one-half share increase and is back at 5.0 (tenth to seventh, 6+). In addition to the aforementioned KCMO-FM, skidding by six-tenths as well are KQRC’s country cluster-mate WDAF “106.5 The Wolf” (5.3 – 4.7, fifth to ninth, 6+), up one-half share in January, and University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian KJNW “Life 88.5” (3.5 – 2.9, flat at #15, 6+), which gained eight-tenths in January. Ups/downs continue for Carter Broadcast Corporation urban contemporary KPRS “Hot 103 Jamz,” which was an overall +1.3 in November and December (4.8 – 5.3 – 6.1, 6+); -1.0 in “Holiday” 2017; +1.0 in January; and now -.5 in February (6.1 – 5.6, third to fourth, 6+).

12) Columbus Spoken-Word Formats – On the heels of January’s +1.5 (5.6 – 7.1, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN “News Radio 610” relinquishes two-thirds of that gain (6.1, -1.0, third to fifth, 6+); WTVN was -.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Prior to January, the last time “News Radio 610” reached the seven-share level (6+) was two years ago (7.3, February 2016). A -.3 in December halted three straight up-trends that netted eight-tenths (5.7 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.5, 6+). Within 3.4 – 3.9 range (6+) for five sweeps in a row, Ohio State University news/talk WOSU registered a +.6 to 4.2 (6+) in January. It follows with a +.1 in February to 4.3 (eighth to seventh), its best 6+-showing since 4.7 in August 2017. Locked on .9 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2017, iHeartMedia sports talk WXZX “105.7 The Zone” repeats January’s .8 (#17 to #16, 6+). This time last month, WBNS-FM “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” ranked seventh with a 4.4 (6+), but the RadiOhio sports talk station has ceased to subscribe to Nielsen ratings and will not appear in this or future public releases of 6+ data from Nielsen.

Columbus Music Formats – Powered by a +1.2 (5.2 – 6.4, 6+), Saga Communications adult contemporary WSNY “Sunny 95” makes up about one-fifth of January’s -5.8 and advances from #5 to #3. “Sunny” exited the top spot in January after just one survey period (“Holiday” 2017). It was +5.1 in “Holiday” 2017 to 11.0, its most potent 6+-stat since reappearing in print over three years ago (December 2014). Notching a February increase half that of WSNY is iHeartMedia adult hits WODC (5.2 – 5.8, 6+). Even with a +.6, however, “93.3 The Bus” backspins from fifth to sixth. Holiday” 2017’s 8.1 is the highest 6+-share for “The Bus” since 11.1 in “Holiday” 2016. “The Bus” was a combined +2.7 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.4 – 6.0 – 8.1, 6+), but -2.9 in January. After spending six months at #1, country-formatted sibling WCOL shifted to second in “Holiday” 2017 but returned to the top spot in January and repeats in February with a 12.3 (6+). It has been in double-digits (6+) each sweep since June. Accustomed to major fluctuations, WCOL was +2.2 (January 2017); -1.2 (February); +.8 (March); -1.3 (May); +1.4 (June); +2.1 (July); -.9 (August); -.6 (September); +.7 (October); -.5 (December); +3.1 (January 2018); and now -1.7 in February. Elsewhere in that cluster, urban contemporary WZCB “106.7 The Beat” drops six-tenths (3.6 – 3.0, ninth to tenth, 6+).

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

| March 13, 2018

iHeartMedia and Consenting Lenders Extend Deadline by 24 Hours.  This is the second extension of the Forbearance Agreements between debtor iHeartMedia and the Consenting Lenders.  The first was signed on March 4 and the second on March 7.  This extension ends at midnight tonight (3/13).  The 8-K filing with the SEC notes that “As previously disclosed, iHeartCommunications has been engaged in ongoing discussions with its stakeholders with respect to the restructuring of its capital structure. In connection with such discussions, iHeartMedia and iHeartCommunications have been working on a proposed draft restructuring support agreement and related proposed draft restructuring term sheet with advisors to groups of iHeartCommunications’ noteholders, lenders and equity holders.”  One would have to assume that progress is being made toward a solution to the company’s debt problem that avoids putting it all in the hands of a bankruptcy judge.  The latest term sheet still calls for the spinning off of Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, a senior secured asset-based revolving credit facility, new secured debt of $5.75 billion, and equity issued to holders of Term Loan Credit Facility Claims, PGN Claims, 2021 Notes Claims, Legacy Notes Claims, and various holders of Equity Interests in iHeart.  See the 8-K filing here.  Meanwhile, Gene Ely writes in Forbes about what possibilities exist for the future incarnation of iHeartMedia.  Read that here.

Townsquare Media Releases Q4 2017 Financial Data; Net Revenue Flat.  The company says its 2017 fourth quarter net revenue figure for the Local Marketing Solutions division (that includes radio) was good.  Townsquare Media co-CEO Bill Wilson says, “We are pleased to announce another strong result in our Local Marketing Solutions segment, which delivered net revenue growth of 0.4% in the fourth quarter of 2017, and 1.9% for the full year, despite the loss of political revenue.  This was the 16th consecutive quarter of positive, organic net revenue growth for this segment of our Company.  Excluding political revenue, Local Marketing Solutions net revenue increased 5.2% in the fourth quarter of 2017, our strongest quarter of the year, and 3.9% for the full year.”  The Entertainment division (live events) did not perform well in either Q4 or the year as a whole.  Fourth quarter 2017 Entertainment net revenue was down 17.4% and, for the year, was down 8.6%.  Townsquare did repay $6.7 million of long-term debt.

WEEO, Chambersburg-Hagerstown Unveils ‘Live Eye in the Sky.’  Pictured above is Magnum Broadcasting general manager Patrick Ryan launching WEEO, Chambersburg-Hagerstown’s new drone, “The Live Eye in The Sky.”  Ryan says “NEWS TALK 1037 FM” is using the drone to fly over Tri-State events and provide play-by-play sound on air and video on Facebook Live.  “Forget cutting edge, we’re cutting through the skies and on air with news events, community activities, business celebrations and more.  As far as we know, it’s the first of its kind combination of live radio and live social media!”

Mark Levin Interviews Netanyahu on ‘Life, Liberty & Levin.’  Talk media star Mark Levin – nationally syndicated on radio via Westwood One – is pictured above (left) on Sunday’s FOX News Channel program, “Life, Liberty & Levin,” interviewing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right) during Netanyahu’s visit to America.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Stormy Daniels Case, Kudlow Trump’s Economic Adviser Choice, PA House Race, Trump PA Rally, O.J. Simpson Interview, Black Panther/A Wrinkle in Time, March Madness, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/12). The House Intelligence Committee issues statement denying Trump campaign-Russia collusion in 2016 election; Donald Trump’s lawyers’ battle to keep porn star Stormy Daniels’ “60 Minutes” interview from airing; CNBC host and former Wall Street economist Larry Kudlow named Trump’s choice for economic adviser; the close special election race between Democrat Conor Lamb and Republican Rick Saccone in Pennsylvania; the 2006 O.J. Simpson interview that was aired by FOX TV over the weekend; the Black Panther and A Wrinkle in Time films; the NCAA tournament bracket; and NBA action were some of the most-talked about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS magazine’s 2018 “100 Most Important Sports Talk Radio Hosts in America” to Be Published Tomorrow (3/14). This year’s edition of the “100 Most Important Sports Talk Radio Hosts in America” – also known as the Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk Radio – will be the sixth edition of this list. It is compiled by the editors of TALKERS magazine with input from industry leaders based on a number of hard factors, such as ratings and revenue, as well as soft factors including impact, recognition, and talent. This annual list makes no distinction between local personalities or nationally syndicated hosts – the requisite being that the host, duo, or team is working on a regularly scheduled show on a terrestrial radio station or on satellite radio at the time of the list’s publication. TALKERS magazine will publish the 2018 list tomorrow (March 14) at 12:00 noon EDT.

KHTE, Little Rock’s Dave Elswick Broadcasts from Branson.  Little Rock talk show host Dave Elswick – afternoon drive host on Salem Media Group’s news/talk KHTE, Little Rock “96.5 FM The Answer” – is pictured above broadcasting live from Sight and Sound in Branson Missouri for the grand opening of the musical production of Samson.

TALKERS News Notes.  Chicago media personality William J. Kelly, a.k.a. Citizen Kelly, is returning to Evanston Broadcasting’s WCGO, Chicago to host “The Citizen Kelly Show” from 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight, effective March 19.  Kelly says, “The Citizen Kelly radio empire is not only growing but thriving.  We do Chicago TV and radio successfully because we are from Chicago, we know Chicago people, we know Chicago attitudes, and we know Chicago humor, unlike these failed, bankrupt radio stations with their fake personalities and forced laughter.”  Kelly is a frequent contributor to the Daily Caller, Newsmax, and the Washington Times…..Curtis Media Group’s WPTF, Raleigh announces program schedule changes that include the addition of Radio America’s Dana Loesch program and FOX News Radio’s Brian Kilmeade show.  Loesch’s show is taking over the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm slot and Kilmeade’s show airs live from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.  The Raleigh News Observer quotes Curtis VP of news and information programming Rick Martinez saying there will be more news programming, including from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm and 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm with Scott Briggaman, as well as the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm show hosted by Martinez and his wife, Donna…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that changes are coming to Entercom’s sports talk WSCR “The Score,” including the exit of Jason Goff from the afternoon show and a possible return to the station of Dan McNeil, partnered with Dan Bernstein.  McNeil left “The Score” back in 2014, subsequently co-hosted mornings on classic rock WDRV, and recently returned to WSCR to host a Sunday morning show…..Fishnet Syndication is named to handle marketing and advertising sales for USA Radio Network, effective immediately.  In October 2015, Anthem Broadcasting acquired the USA Radio Network.  Anthem Broadcasting LLC, is a subsidiary of the Phoenix-based media company Liftable Media Inc…..In the aftermath of Sunday’s airing of “O.J. Simpson: The Lost Confession?” on FOX TV, publisher Judith Regan spoke exclusively to several Cumulus Media radio stations, including WMAL-AM/FM, Washington; WLS-AM, Chicago; WYAY-AM, Atlanta; WABC-AM, New York; WPRO-AM, Providence; WJR-AM, Detroit; KABC-AM, Los Angeles; KGO-AM, San Francisco; KMJ-AM, Fresno; and WWTN-AM, Nashville.  Regan told WYAY’s Shannon Burke Simpson showed “not a speck” of remose, adding, “I think he’s a psychopath and he has no conscience.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Alt rock KROQ, Los Angeles announces Miles Anzaldo is joining the station to serve as music director.  Entercom SVP and market manager Jeff Federman says, “After an extensive search for the next music director, I am beyond thrilled to welcome Miles Anzaldo to KROQ.  Miles grew up in the music and radio business in Southern California and is extremely passionate and knowledgeable about our business.  His understanding of digital and social content will certainly help the station continue to expand beyond broadcast.”…..In Kansas City, Cumulus Media names air personality Dave Fogel midday jock at classic hits KCMO-FM.  Fogel, who most recently was in Chicago at WJMK and WLS-FM, started his radio career at KMXV, Kansas City.  He is the son of Kansas City television legend Jerry Fogel.  KCMO-FM program director Joe Russo comments, “Dave is a superstar and a Kansas City guy through and through.”…..Local Media San Diego brings “The Moug Show” to alternative XETRA, San Diego “91X.”  Program hosts John Moug and Jared Dey – most recently with CHR KLUC, Las Vegas – join XETRA’s Danielle for the new show…..Woodward Radio Group agrees to acquire CHR WBJZ, Berlin, Wisconsin “B104” from Caxambas Corporation.  Woodward general manager Kelly Radandt states, “This additional signal will fit nicely into our long-term strategic goals for our radio division.  It will also allow us to better serve our Northeast Wisconsin communities.”…..YEA Networks is launching the national syndication of “Tino Cochino Radio.”  The program is hosted by Tino Cochino, co-host Milli Rodriguez.

Tuesday, January 9, 2017

| January 9, 2018

Anne Gress Named Brand Manager at ‘New Jersey 101.5.’  Radio programming pro Anne Gress is the new brand manager for Townsquare Media’s talk WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.”  She takes over for longtime station programmer Eric Johnson, who exited the station at the end of 2017 to become the director of sports content for Beasley Media Group’s WPEN-FM, Philadelphia.  Townsquare market president and chief revenue officer Ron DeCastro comments, “I am extremely happy to have a true professional like Anne join the team at ‘NJ 101.5.’  I have long admired Anne