Tag: "Tribune Media"

Thursday, November 21, 2019

| November 21, 2019

Bill Leff and Wendy Snyder Out in New WGN, Chicago Program Schedule. Two months after new management ousted station manager Todd Manley from his role at WGN, Chicago and hinted more changes were on the horizon, the Nexstar-owned news/talk outlet announces its new programming lineup and late morning duo Bill Leff and Wendy Snyder are the odd couple out.  After the close of the Tribune-Nexstar deal, Sean Compton became executive vice president and director of news and operations Mary Sandberg Boyle was named interim programming manager.  Yesterday (11/20), Boyle announced the changes via internal email.  Among the changes effective December 2 are: Steve Cochran’s morning show starts an hour earlier, airing from 5:00 am to 9:00 am; John Williams moves from his current 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm slot to 9:00 am to 12:00 noon; Ji Suk Yi takes over hosting the 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm “Wintrust Business Lunch” show; and Anna Davlantes leaves the co-host role on the afternoon drive Roe Conn program to host her own 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm talk show.  Conn remains in afternoons, followed by Justin Kaufmann from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm, followed by Nick Digilio from 11:00 pm to 4:00 am.  WGN will simulcast the “WGN-TV Early Morning News” from 4:00 am to 5:00 am.  Read Chicago media writer Robert Feder’s coverage here.

WPHT, Philadelphia’s Rich Zeoli Interviews President Trump. Pictured above is WPHT, Philadelphia morning drive personality Rich Zeoli interviewing President Trump in the Oval Office as part of Tuesday’s White House Radio Row on the United States Mexico Canada trade deal.  The president also talked about the 2020 election and the impeachment hearings.  Zeoli says, “The president was incredibly gracious with his time and said how much he loves talk radio.”  Photo: Andrea Hanks

John Fredericks Show Interviews VP Mike Pence. At Tuesday’s White House Radio Row on the USMCA treaty, Virginia talk station owner and statewide talk radio personality John Fredericks (right) posed for a photo with Vice President Mike Pence (left) and Fredericks’ wife, Anne (center), who serves as CFO of the John Fredericks Network.

Cumulus Inks ‘The Ticket’ Morning Show ‘The Musers’ to Multiyear Extension. Dallas sports talkers George Dunham, Craig Miller, and Gordon Keith – collectively known as “The Musers” – sign contract extensions to continue hosting the morning drive show on Cumulus Media’s sports talk KCTK-AM/FM, Dallas “The Ticket.”  The Cumulus Dallas-Houston regional vice president Dan Bennett says, “For 25 years, the Morning Musers’ George Dunham, Craig Miller, and Gordon Keith have performed at a market dominant level and we are excited that will continue for many more years in Dallas!”  The Musers comment, “We are very pleased to continue our longstanding relationship with Cumulus and the wonderful leadership of the Dallas/Fort Worth market.  This company has made us feel appreciated and we are extremely thankful for their support of such a special station.  ‘The Ticket’ in Dallas/Fort Worth is our home and the bond that we have with our listeners is something we will cherish for as long as we breathe.”

Salem Covers A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood Premiere. Above is Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup (left) interviewing director Marielle Heller (right) at last night’s premiere of the SONY Pictures film, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.  The film stars Tom Hanks as television icon Fred Rogers.  The premiere took place in Pittsburgh where the “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” TV show was produced at WQED-TV.

Skyview Networks Sponsors Panels at MLB Rightsholders Conference. The photo above shows the participants in this year’s MLB Audio Rightsholders Conference in Las Vegas.  More than 20 teams and organizations participated in panels covering technology, audio sales strategies, and the future of emerging non-terrestrial mediums.  Digital content captured the main focus of the conversations as franchises shared strategies for monetizing this evolving platform.  Skyview Networks president and COO Steve Jones says, “Skyview Networks is proud to return as the title sponsor of this conference, which hosts an innovative group of baseball and broadcast executives as they discuss the critical role radio and digital audio play in fan engagement.  We look forward to developing additional technology to serve our partners in this evolving audio space.”  Additional panel topics included maximizing ad sales with an emphasis on innovative features and creating awareness for franchises’ ancillary digital content, especially concerning podcasts.  As the digital listenership rapidly increases, the franchises are hyper-focused on monetizing the platform.

TALKERS News Notes. The NM Political Report says that KIVA-AM/K229CL, Albuquerque owner Eddy Aragon is considering running for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Tom Udall, who is not running for re-election.  Aragon – a staunch conservative – hosts the afternoon show on the station branded, “the Rock of Talk.”  He tells NM Political Report this is something he’s only considering at this point. “You have to imagine the tremendous sacrifice that I have to consider.  Being off [the air] during the year Donald Trump is running in 2020, that’s a sacrifice to my radio station.”…..KIDO, Boise morning drive talk host Kevin Miller is pictured below talking to KTVB-TV, Boise news about his annual Miller’s Mission Turkey Drive to help provide the hungry and homeless in Boise with a warm dinner for the holidays.  The goal is to collect 3,000 turkeys for the Boise Rescue Mission Ministries.  Each year Miller dons his turkey suit and broadcasts live from a local Walmart parking lot to collect turkeys and cash donations.

Impeachment Testimony, 2020 Presidential Race/Atlanta Debate, Epstein Case/Prince Andrew Troubles, U.S.-China Trade Talks/Hong Kong Human Rights Act, and Mexicans Sue Walmart Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/20). Wednesday’s impeachment hearing with testimony from EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020 and Wednesday’s Atlanta debates; the investigation into Jeffrey Epstein’s death and the aftermath of Prince Andrew’s BBC interview; U.S. trade talks with China and the U.S. House’s Hong Kong Human Rights Act; and Mexicans’ suit against Walmart over the mass shooting in El Paso 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 Robyn Simone exits Cumulus Media’s urban contemporary WLXC, Columbia, South Carolina “Kiss 103.1” where she’d been serving as program director for the past year.  She says, “Working at Cumulus Media in Columbia was a challenge, but I gained a lot of knowledge in my short time there.  As the program director/air talent for ‘Kiss 103.1,’ I’m a stronger and more knowledgeable PD because the experience.  I would like to thank [VP programming operations] John Dimick and VP/urban programming Kenny Smoov for the opportunity and their commitment to set new standards for urban radio.”

Monday, September 23, 2019

| September 23, 2019

New Management Ousts Manley from WGN-AM Station Manager Position. Just a day after closing on its acquisition of Tribune Media, Nexstar begins making changes to news/talk WGN-AM’s operations, letting station manager and vice president of content Todd Manley go after six years in the position.  According to a report by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, new executive vice president Sean Compton hinted during a Friday meeting with staffers that there are more changes on the horizon.  Compton appointed news and operations director Mary Sandberg Boyle interim programming manager.  Feder notes, “In the latest Nielsen Audio survey, the station tied for 16th place overall, with mornings, middays, afternoons and evenings all out of the top 10.”

KQFN, Phoenix Debuts New Morning Show. Sports talk KQFN, Phoenix “The Fanatic” announces the launch of the new “Bruce Jacobs & Helly” morning show starring longtime Phoenix radio personality Bruce Jacobs and former Dallas Cowboys lineman Dale HellestraeCRC Broadcasting president and CEO Ron Cohen says, “We are so excited to have two well-known Phoenix sports radio veterans team up together every morning on ‘The Fanatic.’  With Bruce and Dale on board, we’re really looking forward to increasing our growth and popularity in the coming weeks and months.” Jacobs has served with sports talk KGME-AM, news/talk KFYI-AM in Phoenix and nationally with FOX Sports Radio.  In addition to winning three Super Bowls with the Cowboys, Hellestrae has been a color analyst for the Arizona Rattlers, high school football, and college football.

Monday Memo: 2 Magic Words for Weekend Talkers. If you’re an attorney, realtor, veterinarian, financial advisor, or other professional services provider brokering weekend talk radio time to round-up new clients, consultant Holland Cooke says there’s good news and bad news.  Read it here.

PPM Analysis: August 2019 Spoken-Word Pacesetters. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his analysis – based on data from Nielsen Audio’s August 2019 PPM survey – in which he gauges “the temperature of spoken-word stations as a complete entity in all 48 PPM-markets.”  In this report, Kinosian determines the top spoken-word markets by 6+ share; the spoken-word markets by 6+ share increases from July to August; and the top spoken-word markets by 6+ share increases from August 2018 to August 2019; plus more. See his entire report here.

WABC’s John Batchelor Show to Broadcast from Azerbaijan. All this week, the John Batchelor show – emanating from WABC, New York – will air live from the Republic of Azerbaijan. Sponsored by marketing technology company Scala Inc. and in conjunction with the Embassy of Azerbaijan, Batchelor travels to the busy neighborhood of the South Caucasus to broadcast from the military front lines of the troubled Nagorno-Karakakh region.  The press release states, “For 25 years Armenia has occupied Azerbaijan’s territory and abused the villagers, despite a ceasefire agreement.  The John Batchelor Show aims to interview the farmers, soldiers, and leaders who live in hope and fear.  Later in Baku, John Batchelor will attend the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan’s conference, ‘Impact Investing: Opportunities and Challenges for Institutional Investors.’ Azerbaijan is the critical nexus for oil and natural gas flowing out of the rich Caspian Sea Basin and along pipelines to the needs of Asia Minor, the Levant and now Europe.  Considering the recent attacks on the Persian Gulf energy production, developing and securing the Caspian Sea energy is most timely.” Batchelor says, “I look to help my audience to understand the now two-generations-long brutality in Nagorno-Karabakh that haunts the South Caucasus.  I also aim to report on how the energy producers of the region are planning to provide ever more reliable resources to their customers, especially in Europe.”  Next Tuesday morning (10/1), Batchelor will participate in the TALKERS magazine produced “Talk Media Forum on US-China Relations” at the Hellen Mills Theatre in New York City.  See the full story below for details.

TALKERS News Notes.  In Lynchburg, Virginia, Mari White leaves her role with Three Daughters Media’s news/talk WIQO to take on the public information officer position with the Lynchburg Department of Water Resources. She had been co-hosting the “Mari and Brian in the Morning” program with Brian Weigand for the past six years. Weigand is continuing to host the morning show on WIQO…..Legendary radio personality Joey Reynolds emceed the 4th Annual Meatball Eating Contest held on Saturday (9/21) at the Feast of San Gennaro in the Little Italy section of Lower Manhattan.  At right, Reynolds (left) is pictured with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (right), who appeared on stage during the competition…..Leighton Enterprises enters into an agreement to acquire three Alexandria, Minnesota signals from Paradis Broadcasting of Alexandria.  The group includes news/talk KXRA-AM, classic rock KXRA-FM, and hot AC KXRZ-FM…..The Dallas News reports on the new brewery and taproom being launched in part by KRLD-FM, Dallas midday hosts Ben Rogers and Jeff “Skin” Wade.  The brewery is being called Rollertown Beerworks located in suburban Celina and expects to open in 2020.  The piece notes that “Ben & Skin” have a passion for beer that “spawned an event series called the Brew Crew Tour, which invites hardcore fans known as TOLOs (turn on, leave on) to meet them for a pint at different taprooms in the area.”

Trump-Ukraine Controversy, 2020 Presidential Race, U.S.-Iran Tensions, UN Climate Action Summit, Trudeau Brownface Scandal, Netanyahu’s Future, and Sunday’s Emmy Awards Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The controversy over President Trump’s conversation with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky; the Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in 2020, including Elizabeth Warren’s rise in the Democratic race; the military tensions between Iran and the U.S. over the nuclear deal and the attack on a Saudi oil installation; today’s United Nations General Assembly and the UN Climate Action Summit; the “brownface” scandal that is engulfing Canada’s Justin Trudeau; the close race between Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz for prime minister of Israel; and Sunday evening’s Emmy Awards ceremony were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Gene Sandbloom is named operations manager for Alpha Media’s Portland stations and program director for triple A KINK-FM. Sandbloom was most recently operations manager for KROQ and adult hits KCBS-FM “93.1 JACK FM” in Los Angeles.  Alpha Media Portland SVP and market manager Lisa Decker says, “We are thrilled to have Gene join us. His leadership, creativity, experience and can-do attitude is a perfect fit. He will add a new dynamic to our team.”…..This past weekend, the ninth annual iHeartRadio Music Festival took place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas with performances by Alicia Keys, Backstreet Boys, Cage The Elephant, Camila CabelloChance The Rapper, Def Leppard, French Montana, Green Day, Halsey, Heart, H.E.R., Hootie & The Blowfish, Marshmello with special guest Kane Brown, Miley Cyrus, Mumford & Sons, Steve Aoki with special guests Darren Criss and Monsta X, Tim McGraw, Zac Brown Band and more.  For fans not in attendance, iHeartRadio on-air talent hosted a live backstage broadcast featuring exclusive artist interviews and performances that aired across iHeartMedia radio stations throughout the country in more than 150 markets and on iHeartRadio.  The CW Network exclusively livestreamed both nights of the festival via CWTV.com and The CW App, and will broadcast a two-night television special on Wednesday, October 2 and Thursday, October 3 from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One announces the launch of two variety hits formats: Variety Hits-Pop and Variety Hits-Rock.  The two new formats will debut in October.  Variety Hits-Pop features artists including: JourneyMadonna, Michael Jackson, and Maroon 5; and Variety Hits-Rock skews toward artists such as: Aerosmith, Queen, Nirvana, and Fleetwood Mac.  Westwood One president of programming Kirk Stirland says, “The variety hits format checks a lot of boxes for many markets and the time is right for us to build a satellite-delivered version that enhances our successful, custom music-scheduled format.  We designed this to accommodate our customers who wanted an unbranded, flexible structure, with up to 13 opportunities an hour to make it their own.”…..Alternative WHHZ-FM, Newberry, Florida “100.5 The Buzz” in the Gainesville market announces Kaylan Moody adds music director duties to her morning host role with the Marc Radio-owned station…..Country singer/songwriter David Kroll is back in his hometown of Burlington, Iowa where he’s the new morning drive host on Pritchard Broadcasting’s KDMG-FM “Big Country 103.1.” Kroll spent the past 10 years in Nashville where he wrote songs and toured with his band.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

| September 17, 2019

Key Networks Launches Audio Ad Sales Division. Two radio sales executives join Key Networks as the division of Sun & Fun Media begins providing audio advertising sales to producers and service/program providers.  Jim Higgins joins Key Networks as president and chief operating officer and Rich Baum comes aboard as executive vice president, advertising sales.  Higgins, previously president and COO at United Stations Radio Networks will be based in New York City and Baum, formerly EVP of sales at USRN, will be based in Chicago. Rob Koblasz, Sun & Fun and Key Networks CEO, says, “We are excited to now be a full-service network company for our existing as well as new clients, with the addition of advertising sales capabilities and an experienced and knowledgeable senior executive team.  Our goal when we started Key Networks was to be best-in-class, from the talent we represent, the producers we work with and the professionals on our team.  Both Jim and Rich fit that description perfectly. Their contacts in the ad sales and marketing world run deep and they are highly respected in the industry.  We couldn’t be more pleased to welcome Jim and Rich to help build Key Networks into a successful full-service network audio company.”

FCC Approves Tribune-Nexstar Deal; Fate of WGN-AM Up in the Air. The Federal Communications Commission approved Nexstar Media’s acquisition of Tribune Media, a deal that will create the largest television station company in the country.  After closing, Nexstar will own almost 200 stations in 115 markets – plus a lone radio station: WGN-AM, Chicago.  Nexstar is a television company and it has not specifically addressed what it will or will not do with WGN-AM.  It wouldn’t be unique for a TV operator to also dabble in radio – Sinclair Broadcast Group operates four radio stations in addition to its large television holdings.  It’s certainly possible Nexstar continues to operate WGN-AM.  However, recent deals for heritage signals in the top markets – think WABC, New York and the several FM stations in New York and Los Angeles – indicate that the value of stations like these is on a steady decline and Nexstar may be better off selling WGN-AM before its value declines even more.

Learning from Entercom’s Ransomware AttackTALKERS magazine legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes in his column that the alleged ransom Entercom was facing is “much higher than most ransomware demands.  According to security company Coveware, the average demand this year is $12,762 — double the average demand in 2018.”  Though Entercom is reportedly not paying the ransom, Weisman says “the cost of repairing the damage will exceed the cost of paying the ransom.  Radio One paid $500,000 to repair the damage when it was victimized by a ransomware attack, which also resulted in a large amount of lost advertising revenue.”  Read Weisman’s entire column here.

Bortnick Promoted to Region SVP of Sales for iHeartMedia. Sales pro Danny Bortnick is promoted from senior vice president of sales for iHeartMedia’s Washington, DC cluster to region senior vice president of sales for the Washington D.C./Baltimore markets.  iHeartMedia Washington/Baltimore region president Aaron Hyland says, “Danny has made a tremendous impact on the day-to-day operations of our sales organization since day one.  I am excited to see Danny take on this new leadership position and look forward to his continued success in developing and managing a best-in-class sales team for the region.”  Prior to joining iHeartMedia, Bortnick served as the vice president of sales for Entercom, vice president of sales for CBS Radio and general sales manager for WNEW-FM.

Saudi Oil Attack, Kavanaugh Allegations/NYTimes Criticism, 2020 Presidential Race, Another Vaping-Related Death, and ‘SNL’ Fires Comic Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/16). The attack on a Saudi oil facility, accusations Iran is responsible, and President Trump’s military threats against Iran; the allegation of sexual harassment against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and the related criticism of The New York Times; the Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in 2020; the dangers of vaping after another person succumbs to respiratory ailments; and the firing of Shane Gillis from “SNL” after bigoted comments came to light were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. Kansas City sports talk outlet KCSP “610 Sports Radio” and the MLB’s Kansas City Royals announce a five-year extension to their deal for the Entercom station to serve as the flagship for the team’s play-by-play broadcasts.  In addition to airing all 162 regular season games, KCSP will also broadcast all weeknight and weekend Cactus League Spring Training games from Arizona.  The weekly “Royals Hot Stove” show returns in January, and dates and times of the spring broadcasts and “Royals Hot Stove” show will be announced at a later date…..The New York Post and cabana announce the upcoming launch of “We Hear: A Page Six Podcast.”  The first episode of this new podcast dropped yesterday with Page Six editors Maggie Coughlan and Ian Mohr serving as hosts.  They bring insider stories and knowledge straight from the newsroom to the podcasts…..TALKERS founder Michael Harrison made a guest appearance this past weekend on the longtime nationally syndicated radio show “The Art of Living and the Science of Life” hosted by Danielle Lin that has generated quite a buzz in the metaphysics community.  The program deals with consciousness and anesthesiology – two subjects that are peripheral to Harrison’s usual beat of media and society, but he effectively ties them into his general theme of “rewiring the human nervous system” in the digital era.  To listen to the entire show, please click 

      here
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‘SuperTalk Mississippi’ Broadcaster Kipp Greggory Dies. Talk host, programmer, and WOSM, Biloxi “SuperTalk Mississippi” station manager Kipp Greggory died on Saturday (9/14).  Specifics of his passing were not made public but his final message to family and friends, passed on by his wife, alluded to an illness. “Well.. it got the best [of] me. So long my Biloxi Family. I hope they have Bacon in heaven and I can get the Saints channel.”  Station owner Telesouth Communications wrote in a tweet: “All of us at Telesouth Communications and ‘Supertalk Mississippi’ send heartfelt condolences to the family of our colleague and friend, Kipp Greggory.  Kipp’s passion was radio.  For many years, he could be heard daily on WOSM ‘Supertalk Mississippi Gulf Coast’ and often heard statewide on the ‘Supertalk Mississippi’ network.  He loved the Mississippi Gulf Coast and worked diligently each day to bring Coast residents the news and issues important to them.  Kipp also used his platform to highlight causes close to his heart and give back to the community.  Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Jo and their daughters. Kipp loved them deeply.”

PPM Analysis: CHR. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s August 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on CHR.  Comparing data from the July 2019 survey and the August 2019 survey shows about as many stations saw their weekly, 6+ AQH share go up (43%) as saw it go down (39%), with 18% unchanged.  Year-over-year, slightly more are down (51%) than up (42%).  Two CHR-formatted stations ranked #1 in their respective markets in the August survey: iHeartMedia’s KHKS-FM, Dallas “106.1 Kiss FM” and Hubbard Radio’s KQMV, Seattle “MOViN 92.5.”  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air and programming pro Mike James announces he’s retiring from his position at Hall Communications’ Lakeland, Florida station group – and the radio biz – effective at the end of the year.  James has been program director at WPCV, Lakeland “97 Country” since 2004, and operations manager for the four-station cluster since 2006.  He says, “My first radio job was in 1979, and I can remember thinking how great it was to be able to entertain people and get paid for it at the same time.  Forty years later, it’s still great, but I’m finally ready to kick back, relax, and spend more quality time at Anna Maria Island.  I want to thank Hall Communications owners Art and Bonnie Rowbotham for giving me the opportunity to work for one of the most respected radio groups in America.”…..The “Jagger & Kristi” morning show at Local Media San Diego’s rhythmic oldies XHRM-FM “Magic 92.5” announces that Samantha DeJesus is its new producer.  She has been serving as interim producer since the departure of Sheryl Love in July.  DeJesus says, “I cannot fully express the amount of gratitude I have to be given such an amazing opportunity.  Along with the rest of the city, I grew up listening to ‘Jagger & Kristi,’ so I feel like I’ve known them all my life. To be working alongside such an iconic radio duo, who are legends to the San Diego community, I am thrilled to learn and grow with the best in the business.”

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, March 5, 2019

| March 5, 2019

Talk Host Scott Robbins Profiled in Comeback from Serious Health Issues. The story by Steve Tarter in the Peoria Journal Star is accurately titled “From death’s door to three radio shows a day” as it recounts the scary health odyssey of radio talk host Scott Robbins.  Regular TALKERS readers remember Robbins was co-hosting a successful talk show with Jamie Markley on Alpha Media’s WMBD-AM/W262BY, Peoria in 2015 when a massive heart attack felled him.  Five bypass surgeries later Robbins was on a challenging road to recovery, but he made it and today is back as a cast member on WMBD’s midday “Markley and van Camp” show (with David van Camp), his own sports talk show on Alpha’s WPBG-HD3/W240DM, Peoria and the morning drive show on Great Plains Media’s news/talk WRPW, Bloomington “Cities 92.9.”  Robbins admits his previous lifestyle wasn’t ideal – drinking lots of beer, smoking cigars, and not seeing a doctor for two decades. He says the convalescing was a challenge.  “It’s a dark tunnel.  I know that three years ago I couldn’t walk or talk.  I try to give others (in that situation) some sense of encouragement.”

Lauren Lapka Named Afternoon Traffic Reporter for WGN-AM, Chicago. WGN-AM, Chicago brings news pro and air personality Lauren Lapka aboard to handle traffic reports during the John Williams midday show and the PM drive Roe Conn show with Anna Davlantes.  She’ll also host the “Weekend Warnings” video series on wgnradio.com and cover transportation stories for WGN Radio News.  WGN station manager and VP of content Todd Manley says, “Having Lauren back in the WGN Radio family is a huge win for afternoon drive.  Her playful intelligence is the perfect complement to Roe & Anna and John Williams.” Lapka previously served with Tribune Media on the short-lived sports station “The Game 87.7 FM.”  In 2015, she transitioned to TV as a news reporter and anchor for KODE-TV and KSNF-TV in Joplin, Missouri.  As Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports in his column, Lapka was working as morning anchor for Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KVAL-TV, Eugene, Oregon when she refused to record the now-infamous promotional video the corporation had crafted that basically accused most other media sources of being “fake news.”

TALKERS News Notes. Former Trump Administration official Sebastian Gorka is giving up his contributor role at FOX News Channel in order to focus on his Salem Radio Network nationally syndicated radio show and his work with television operator Sinclair Broadcast Group.   According to The Hollywood Reporter, Gorka stated, “I’m still supporting Sean Hannity and other Fox shows as a free agent as my new schedule permits.”…..iHeartMedia and Skyview Networks agree to terms for the former’s news/talk KOA, Denver to implement Skyview’s AdView live read capture software for Colorado Rockies play-by-play broadcasts.  As part of the agreement, all Colorado Rockies Radio Network live advertiser mentions will be cataloged by time, date, and advertiser in a personalized database and scheduled across the entire season.  The data and proof-of-performance provided by the system streamlines the billing process, which will allow KOA to manage and bill live reads alongside standard commercial units.  iHeartMedia Denver VP of sports sales Jeff Johnson says, “We’re excited to enter into this broadcast agreement with Skyview Networks.  The AdView system will allow us to serve our advertisers and partners with the Colorado Rockies better.”…..Tegna’s San Diego news/talk KFMB-AM is presenting a live event for listeners at the Poway Center for the Performing Arts on March 28 called “News, Views and Brews” that will feature the station’s personalities will talk about current events while listeners enjoy a beer or coffee.  Taking part are Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty of the Armstrong & Getty morning show, Mark Larson, Mike Slater, Brett Winterble, and Roger Hedgecock…..New York Public Radio announced COO Depelsha McGruder will become interim CEO, beginning April 1.  She takes on this role after Laura Walker left the CEO post following a 23-year career with the public radio organization.  McGruder joined NYPR in October 2018 after a 17-year career with Viacom.

Four Stations to Leave the Aloha Media Trust for EMF. This deal between the Aloha Media Trust (former Clear Channel stations waiting to be sold off) and religious broadcaster Educational Media Foundation gives iHeartMedia ownership of six translators it’s been leasing from EMF in exchange for four full-market FM stations.  EMF will take over WEKL-FM, Augusta, Georgia; WSFF-FM, Roanoke, Virginia; WSNZ-FM, Lynchburg, Virginia; and WLRX-FM, Huntington, West Virginia.  iHeartMedia gets translators W277BF, Shoreview, Minnesota (KQQL-HD2 “ALT 93.3”); W292DH, Pittsburgh (WBGG-AM “ESPN Pittsburgh”); W221CR, Memphis (WREC-AM), K266BD, Carmel Valley, California (KOCN-FM), K253BV, Oklahoma City (KBRU-FM); and W248BQ, Nashville (WNRQ-HD2).

House Trump Investigation, Trump-Russia Probe, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, AOC Campaign Violation Allegation, Deadly Alabama Tornadoes, Luke Perry Dies, and NBA and NCAA Basketball Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/4).  The U.S. House begins investigating the operations of the Trump organization; the status of the probe into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the growing list of Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the allegation of a major campaign finance violation by the chairman of Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez’s election campaign; deadly tornadoes kill 23 in Alabama; actor Luke Perry dies at 52 after suffering a stroke; and NBA and NCAA hoops 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. Programmer Kris Abrams is appointed FM operations manager for Cumulus Media’s five Albuquerque FM stations and program director for country KRST “NASH FM,” classic country KBZU “NASH Icon,” and adult hits KDRF.  Abrams returns to the Albuquerque market after serving with Cleveland-based Futuri Media since March of 2016.  Cumulus Albuquerque VP and market manager Jeff Berry says, “I’m so excited to announce the return of Kris Abrams to ABQ. He has a strong history with and passion for these stations, our company and Albuquerque. We’re looking forward to having Kris’ extensive product knowledge, experience and leadership skills back in our building and at work for our listeners and advertisers.”…..In the Bakersfield market, Alpha Media names Danny Palacios operations manager and program director for CHR KLLY “Energy 95.3.” Palacios adds these responsibilities to his PD role with rhythmic oldies KKBB “Groove 99.3.”…..On-air personalities Jordan Soto and Michael Mason are the new hosts on Townsquare Media’s country KUAD, Fort Collins/Greeley, Colorado. The “New Country Mornings with Jordan and Michael” launches on Monday (3/11).  Townsquare Fort Collins market president Evan Harrison states, “At Townsquare we are completely focused on entertaining and engaging our local community in Northern Colorado.  Jordan and Michael are the perfect duo to lead this charge on ‘New Country Mornings.’  Jordan lives the new country lifestyle completely and is a Colorado native.  Like so many of us living here, Michael is new to the area and he is so eager to dive in to experience it all.”…..Air personality Jen Lewis is the new midday jock at Max Media’s adult contemporary WVBW, Norfolk, Virginia “92.9 The Wave.”  She takes over for Rusty James, who is giving up is air shift to focus on his vice president of operations and programming role. James says, “I’m so excited to get one of Hampton Roads’ most-loved radio personalities back on the radio at ‘92.9 The Wave.’”…..SiriusXM says that country star Trisha Yearwood is debuting a new, weekly show called “Trisha’s Café” on The Garth Channel.  Yearwood is well known for her home cooking and has published three best-selling cookbooks. She also hosts the EMMY-winning “Trisha’s Southern Kitchen” cable TV show.

Monday, December 10, 2018

| December 10, 2018

Report: Cumulus Interested in WGN-AM, Chicago.  According to a report by Chicago media writer Robert FederCumulus Media – owner of news/talk WLS-AM, classic hits WLS-FM and alternative WKQX – is interested in buying legendary news/talk WGN-AM.  Television station company Nexstar has bid to acquire Tribune Media – 42 TV stations, numerous digital properties and cable channel WGN America – for $4.1 billion.  A report in Crain’s Business Chicago indicates that although Nexstar is “in no hurry” to sell WGN-AM, it is not planning to build out a  radio division and will likely sell the station.  None of the major radio operators are up against the AM ownership cap in Chicago so Cumulus, Entercom, Hubbard or iHeartMedia could be contenders to acquire the station.  Feder says that Cumulus Media president and CEO Mary Berner told staffers Cumulus would be interested in the station.

John Hanson Named Program Director for WCCO-AM, Minneapolis.  Taking over after the departure last month of station OM and PD Andy Bloom as program director for news/talk WCCO-AM is John Hanson.  He joins the station from the company’s Kansas City sports talk duo KCSP “610 Sports Radio” and KWOD “1660 The Score.”  Entercom Twin Cities SVP and market manager Shannon Knoepke says, “John brings extensive knowledge of the Minneapolis community to his new role with 830 WCCO. I trust our listeners will enjoy the innovative and exciting programing that he will add to the station.”  Prior to joining Entercom in 2013, Hanson co-hosted “Twin Cities Live” on KSTP-TV, Minneapolis.

Jeff Styles Returns to the Air in Chattanooga. Former WGOW-FM, Chattanooga morning drive personality Jeff Styles is back on the air in the market today on Brewer Broadcasting’s news/talk WPLZ-HD4/W224AZ “NoogaRadio 92.7 FM” for a daily show in the 8:00 am to 10:00 am slot.  Styles was let go from WGOW by Cumulus Media after being arrested during a road rage incident in which he was shot in the arm by the other motorist.  The case was bound over to a grand jury but the charges against him were dropped.  WGOW subsequently named midday host Brian Joyce host of “The Morning Press” with co-hosts Jim Reynolds and Kevin West.  Styles’ new program is called “Fred the Show” – Fred stands for Free Radio Every Day – and Styles says, “I’m excited to have a platform to listen, and talk to, listeners again…I’m chomping at the bit, excited to stir things up!”

Doug McIntyre to Exit KABC, Los Angeles. Longtime KABC-AM, Los Angeles personality Doug McIntyre announces he’s leaving the Cumulus Media news/talk station after his contract expires at the end of this month.  McIntyre is also a columnist for the Los Angeles Daily News.  In a Tweet, McIntyre says, “Time for me to say goodbye.  After 22 years, I will do my last show at KABC this Friday, December 14th.  What a great run and wonderful experience it has been.  This was a tough call, but I appreciate KABC management for for respecting my decision.”

Nielsen Audio: News/Talk Top Format in PPM Markets.  According to data from Nielsen Audio, overall (Persons 6+), news/talk is the most-listened-to radio format of 2018 to this point with 10% of the AQH audience. Looking at the 25-54 demographic, CHR was again the dominant format with 8% of the AQH audience.  Although news/talk’s audience skews older, it still was the third most-listened-to format (tied with adult contemporary) with 7% of the AQH audience.  Keep in mind that Nielsen lumps public radio news/talk in with its commercial brethren and that certainly adds some youth to that figure, as it likely does with the 18-34 demo, in which news/talk scores 4.3% of the AQH share.

The Bob & Tom Show Renews with iHeartMedia for 13 Affiliate Stations. The nationally syndicated “Bob & Tom” show announces it has struck a renewal deal with iHeartMedia to continue being carried by 13 of the company’s radio stations, including home base WFBQ, Indianapolis; WQMF, Louisville; WTUE, Dayton and more.  The program is distributed by Westwood One.  Show host Tom Griswold says, “Thanks to [EVP/GM iHeartMedia national programming group] Brad Hardin and all the folks at iHeart for keeping our long relationship moving forward.  Many of these stations have been with us for years, so they are jewels in the ‘Bob & Tom’ crown.  Actually, we started our syndication at WFBQ and we’re happy to continue our close and unique tie with that special group in Indianapolis.”

Kim Komando Show to Air on Bloomberg TV in January. Beginning on Saturday, January 5, the new, television version of the weekly Kim Komando program will air on the Bloomberg Television Network at 4:00 pm ET.  Komando’s show is produced by her WestStar Multimedia Entertainment firm and the TV show will be produced at WestStar’s $8 million broadcast center in Phoenix.  Komando says, “We’re thrilled to take our content to an international audience.  We’re taking what we’ve perfected on the airwaves over the last 20 years, reaching millions of Americans each week and sharing it worldwide.  How cool is that?”  The press release says that the program “will be expertly produced to speak to Bloomberg’s loyal audience of business executives, industry leaders, investors, and entrepreneurs.”  Komando adds, “We’re all about tech wellness and helping consumers use technology to enrich their lives and improve their businesses.”

TALKERS News Notes. In a report by Paul Farhi in The Washington Post, it’s revealed that NPR employs “an army of temps” that for them creates a “workplace of anxiety and insecurity.”  Farhi writes, “Without temporary workers — who are subject to termination without cause — NPR would probably be unable to be NPR.  Temps do almost every important job in NPR’s newsroom: They pitch ideas, assign stories, edit them, report and produce them.  Temps not only book the guests heard in interviews, they often write the questions the hosts ask the guests.”  Temp workers are covered under NPR’s union contract and they make a base salary as per that contract.  According to the piece, about 20%-22% of NPR’s 483 union staffers are temps…..iHeartMedia and Learfield announce that new Milwaukee sports talk outlet WRNW “97.3 The Game” will serve as the new radio home of the Wisconsin Badger Sports Network in Milwaukee.   iHeartMedia division president Jeff Tyler comments, “We have enjoyed great success with many of our new sports/talk and entertainment brands and are excited about the launch of ‘97.3 The Game’ for Milwaukee and Southwestern Wisconsin.  We are also pleased to continue and expand our longtime partnership with Learfield’s Badgers Sports Properties and the University of Wisconsin with ‘The Game,’ ‘The Big 920’ and all the other Milwaukee stations and of course our iHeartRadio brand.”…..National radio rep firm Gen Media Partners announces its acquisition of  Regional Reps and The Tacher Company.  In a press release, GMP says, “While the newly acquired companies will continue to operate on behalf of the radio stations they represent, Gen Media Partners’ combined roster of 4,000 radio station partners will create more opportunities for national advertisers, particularly when they are looking for scale in radio.”  GMP CEO Kevin Garrity says, “With the increased scale and reach, we can develop more national opportunities and generate more agency business for our independent radio partners, while we continue to provide the exceptional service and support that are our hallmark.”  Regional Reps chairman Stuart Sharpe exits while Greg Tacher and Joe Costello of The Tacher Company and Jeff Slivka of Regional Reps remain with their respective companies and take on expanded roles within the Gen Media Partners organization.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Trump Cabinet, Financial Markets Activity, Charlottesville Murder Conviction, Southeast Winter Storm, Paris Riots, Huawei CFO Arrest, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; changes in the Trump cabinet as William Barr to be nominated for attorney general, Heather Nauert to be UN ambassador; and questions arise about a new chief of staff; the huge stock selloff and the activity on the world’s financial markets; James Alex Fields Jr. is convicted of murder in the death of Heather Heyer at the 2017 Charlottesville protests; a winter storm dumps heavy snow in the Southeast; France continues to deal with violent protests over economic matters; the tense U.S.-China relations after the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver, BC; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

PPM Analysis: Urban Contemporary. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s November 2018 PPM survey, today looking at urban contemporary.  Three PPM market urban contemporary stations had improved more than a share over the November 2017 survey: Urban One’s WQOK, Raleigh “K97.5” (up 1.5); iHeartMedia’s WZRL, Indianapolis “Real 98.3” (up 1.4); and Urban One’s WERQ, Baltimore “92 Q Jams” (up 1.1). There are no urban contemporary outlets that rank #1 in their markets (6+), but WQOK, WERQ, and iHeartMedia’s WUBT, Nashville all ranked #2 in their respective markets in the November 2018 survey. See the whole report here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The Toledo Blade reports a major shuffle of morning show talent at the Cumulus Media cluster in Toledo.   Beginning next Monday (12/17), classic hits WRQN morning hosts Cliff and Lyn will join Gary Shores on country WKKO-FM, 99.9 “K-100.”  Denny Schaffer’s morning team moves from hot AC WQQO-FM to WRQN.   Meanwhile Eric Chase, who handles evenings on WQQO, assumes mornings on the station.  The following Monday (12/21), Jeremy “Pyke” Peterson takes over mornings on classic rock WXKR-FM as Mark Benson retires after a 22-year stint with the station…..In Seattle, Michael Kraig exits Hubbard Broadcasting’s country KNUC where he’d been handling the evening show.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

| December 4, 2018

Armstrong & Getty Launch in National Syndication. KSTE, Sacramento-based morning program Armstrong & Getty – Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty – is rolling out into national syndication.  The program is currently heard on 15 stations in the Western U.S., including KGO, San Francisco; KFMB-AM, San Diego; KEX, Portland; KKAT, Salt Lake City; KHHO, Seattle; and more.  But that’s going to change as the program goes fully national.  Craig Whetstine is handling affiliation relations for Armstrong & Getty Media and reports that the show is fed live on XDS from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm ET.  He adds, it would be “a great alternative for stations looking to replace Laura Ingraham with another live show in that daypart.”  Whetstine can be reached at 503-975-6153 or emailed at craig@armstrongandgetty.com.  Check out this video of a “behind-the-scenes” tour with Armstrong & Getty.

Report: Liberty Media Seeking Up to 35% of Reorganized iHeartMedia.  According to a story in the New York Post, John Malone-led Liberty Media is talking with iHeartMedia’s creditors to acquire approximately a 35% ownership in the post-Chapter 11 iHeartMedia.  The piece suggests that “gaining control of iHeart would give Liberty a music four-pack, as it already owns 71 percent of publicly listed SiriusXM Radio. Sirius in September agreed to buy streaming service Pandora Media. Liberty also owns 33 percent of listed Live Nation Entertainment, which owns Ticketmaster.”  The story goes on to note that post-Chapter 11, “creditors Pimco and Franklin Resources will own about 25 percent of the business, while Liberty, which owns $660 million of iHeart debt, will end up with between 4 percent and 5 percent of iHeart post-bankruptcy.  Liberty in June unsuccessfully tried to buy 40 percent of iHeart at a $2.9 billion valuation…Liberty is expected to want only a minority iHeart stake so it does not have to consolidate financials and hurt Liberty’s trading multiple.”

News Anchor Judy Pielach Takes WGN-AM Buyout. According to a report by Chicago media maven Robert Feder, WGN afternoon news anchor Judy Pielach is taking the buyout being offered by Tribune Media.  Her last day handling the news on the afternoon show with Roe Conn and Anna Davlantes will be December 21.  She’s been with the station for 32 years.  Also taking the buyout are engineers Aubrey Mumpower and Ben Cortez.  The future ownership of WGN-AM is up in the air as television operator Nexstar has successfully bid to acquire Tribune Media and, should the deal make it through the regulatory process, most media watchers believe Nexstar would sell the lone radio outlet.  Potential suitors include iHeartMedia, Entercom, and Hubbard since all three companies have space under the ownership caps in Chicago.

Chris X Joins KSEV, Houston for Afternoon Show. Houston talk station KSEV names Chris X host of the 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm daypart.  The station is owned by Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick who introduces him as “a strong conservative and the new generation of conservative talk.”  Chris X says, “I couldn’t be happier to be part of ‘The Voice of Texas.’ Houston is my hometown and I’ve been listening to this station for the last 30 years.  There is plenty of anger and division out there, but I prefer to embrace this sociological environment with a little humor and lot of common sense, which has been lacking in today’s political discourse.”

Westwood One to Rep Fox News Radio Programming. Beginning on December 31, Westwood One will begin representing ad sales for FOX News Radio’s long-form talk programming.  As such, Westwood One will be the exclusive seller for FNR’s Brian Kilmeade, Todd Starnes, and Tom Shillue programs as well as the weekday and weekend editions of Benson & Harff,” the weekend “I’ll Tell You What with Perino & Stirewalt,” “FOX News Sunday,” and “From Washington” shows. WWO president Suzanne Grimes states, “Westwood One is known for unique, exclusive, premium content partnerships with iconic brands, and FOX News Radio is a terrific addition to our portfolio.  We’re excited to bring this impressive talk lineup to blue-chip advertisers on our radio, podcast, and streaming channels.”

TALKERS News Notes. This week, FOX News Radio is covering the passing of former President George H. W. Bush and the memorial services with live reports for all radio affiliates through Thursday, December 6.  Gurnal Scott, Jared Halpern, Jon Decker, Jeff Monosso and Tonya J. Powers are leading the coverage.  Additionally, FOX News Headlines 24/7 will provide updates every 15 minutes on SiriusXM…..Chicago urban talk outlet WVON is presenting a five-part radio docu-series reporting on “the declining Black population in what was once considered America’s Black Mecca.”  The program is titled, “Exodus: Movement of the People,” and will chronicle the two migrations that occurred in the past century; the first that made Chicago home to more than 1.2 million Blacks and the series of occurrences which has caused the decline of nearly 300,000 of its residents.  WVON reporter and special assignment producer Josh McGhee wrote and produced the five-part series that includes exclusive interviews from a number of long-time residents, historians, demographers, and urban planners.  It will air Monday through Friday at 7:50 am, 11:50 am, 4:50 pm and 7:50 pm on WVON from December 9 – December 13, and can also be accessed live on the iHeartRadio…..NPR president and CEO Jarl Mohn announces he will transition into the role of president emeritus of the media organization when his contract runs out at the end of June, 2019.  In a memo to NPR staff, Mohn also announced that he and wife Pam are donating $10 million to the organization to demonstrate their commitment to helping it “achieve long-term financial stability, particularly at a time when journalism is under economic and political pressures.”   The NPR board of directors are beginning a search for the company’s next chief…..Glamour and iHeartMedia are premiering the first episode of “Broken Harts,” Conde Nast’s first investigative podcast in collaboration with HowStuffWorks.  The series features director Justine Harman and books editor Elisabeth Egan joining field reporter Lauren Smiley to explore the case of Jennifer Hart, her wife Sarah their six adopted children who all died after Jennifer Hart drove off a cliff in California, killing all eight of them.  Also, from iHeartMedia on the iHeartRadio platform is “The Ron Burgundy Podcast.” The audio series will launch on the iHeartRadio Podcast Network in early 2019, co-produced by Funny Or Die.  The first of 24 episodes will launch in the first quarter of 2019.

Broadcasters Foundation of America Launches Year-End Appeal. The Broadcasters Foundation of America has launched its annual year-end appeal for tax-deductible personal donations to the Guardian Fund and corporate contributions to the Angel Initiative.  The year-end drive asks broadcasters to reflect on their success and good fortune and give back with a tax-deductible personal or corporate donation that will help the Broadcasters Foundation continue its mission of delivering financial assistance to broadcasters in acute need.  The BFoA is a 501(c)3 charity, and the only charitable organization devoted exclusively to broadcasting professionals.  The year-end giving campaign comes as more broadcasters than ever before are reaching out for monthly or emergency relief. This year, the Broadcasters Foundation will award more than $1.3 Million in aid, surpassing last year’s record-setting figure of more than $1 million.  Close to $300,000 of this year’s total is for the emergency assistance that is disbursed quickly to broadcasters whose lives or homes have been affected by the unprecedented number and severity of natural disasters, including Hurricanes Maria, Florence, and Michael and the wildfires in California.  Monthly aid is distributed to qualifying broadcasters who have been confronted with unexpected medical emergencies, including life-threatening critical illnesses and devastating tragic accidents.  BFoA chairman Dan Mason says, “Our lives can change in the blink of an eye.  In its 70-plus years of existence, the Broadcasters Foundation has provided financial aid to every broadcaster who qualified. It is only through the generosity of the people in our industry that the Broadcasters Foundation can continue to deliver this much-needed assistance to those in our profession who need it most.”

Trump-Russia Investigation, the Passing of George H.W. Bush, Migrants at U.S. Border, Government Shutdown Threat, Russia-Ukraine Tensions, Brexit Process, Paris Protests, College Football Playoffs, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/3). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the death of former President George H. W. Bush; the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border where migrants seeking entry into the U.S. have amassed; the threat of a government shutdown over border wall funding; the tensions over the military incursion into Ukraine by Russia; the status of Britain’s exit from the European Union; the rollback of the gas tax in France after violent protests in Paris; the NCAA’s College Football Playoff selections; 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.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Radio personality Brian “Sludge” Haddad is returning to Chicago from Philadelphia where he’s been creative director at Entercom’s sports talk WIP to host the morning show on alternative WKQX.  Haddad and co-host Ali Mattacola and executive producer Justin NettlebeckBrian Phillips has been hosting the morning show for past year and will transition to a part-time role with the station…..Former country WMIL, Milwaukee and country WKTI, Milwaukee personality Karen Dalessandro joins Saga Communications’ rock WKLH, Milwaukee for fill-in work.  She was most recently with WKTI before the station flipped to sports talk as Good Karma Brands assumed operations…..Programming pro Brad Hansen, most recently with country KRST, Albuquerque, is named operations manager for Townsquare Media’s Northern Colorado cluster that includes country KUAD and four other music formatted stations.

November 2018 PPM Data – Part Four. November 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 November 2018 survey period covered October 11 – November 7.  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.

Austin Spoken-Word Formats – A November gain of four-tenths to 4.5 (6+) by Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM erases its combined -.3 in September and October (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.1, 6+) as “News Radio 590 AM” progresses from ninth to eighth. This (4.5) is its highest 6+-share since March (4.6).

Regaining the one-tenth it lost in October (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+), Genuine Austin Radio sports talk KTXX continues at #16. “The Horn” posted a +.5 in June; was -.9 in July; and +1.0 in September. The 2.5 in November (and September) is its best 6+-stat since December 2016 (2.5, as well). Albeit flat at #24, iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” has more than doubled its 6+-share as a result of seven straight sweeps without a loss (.3 – .3 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .6 – .7, 6+).

This is the third straight month at #1 for University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk KUT (8.6 – 8.5, -.1, 6+), which had been a collective +1.5 in September and October (7.1 – 7.9 – 8.6, 6+).

Austin Music Formats – After dropping three-tenths in October, University of Texas at Austin-owned triple A KUTX erases it with an increase twice that margin (2.1 – 2.7, +.6, #18 to #15, 6+). Just before October’s -.3, “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+). Unchanged in the runner-up slot, Emmis adult hits KPBA “103.5 Bob-FM” is a cumulative +1.0 in three straight up or flat moves (7.3 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 8.3, 6+). Conversely, regional Mexican sibling KLZT “107.1 La Z” is off a collective seven-tenths in October and November (5.5 – 5.4 – 4.8, fourth to sixth, 6+), while co-owned KLBJ-FM is a collective -1.3 in three straight sweeps without an increase; “93.7 The Rock of Austin” departs the top ten (4.7 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.4, #10 to #11, 6+). The last three sweeps have found Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ -1.2 (September); +1.2 (October); and now -.5 in November (6.7 – 6.2, 6+), but “Majic 95.5” continues at #3. Its 6.7 in August and October is its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.4. Level at #20, urban AC KKMJ-HD3 hasn’t had a decrease since February and is up three-tenths in that stretch (1.2- 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+). Off by one-half share in addition to KKMJ  is KVET-FM “98.1 The Austin, Texas Original” (5.1 – 4.6, sixth to seventh, 6+). Before posting a +.6 in September, the iHeartMedia-owned country outlet was an overall -1.7 in four straight downward trends (6.4 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 5.6 – 4.7, 6+). Moving from fifth to fourth is co-owned and similarly-programmed KASE (5.3 – 5.4, +.1, 6+), which has been within 5.1 – 5.7 range (6+) in each of the last 10 ten survey periods. “Austin’s #1 For New Country” was -.5 (May); +.5 (June); -.5 (July) and a combined +.6 in August and September. Up two-tenths (1.3 – 1.5, 6+), Genuine Austin Radio-owned KOKE-FM “Austin’s Country Alternative” returns to the top twenty (#21 to #20). With a combined +.6 in August and September (.8 – 1.0 – 1.4, 6+), KOKE-FM erased three straight decreases that produced a loss of six-tenths (1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1 – .8, 6+).

Raleigh Spoken-Word Formats – Down four-tenths to 5.9 (6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK dips from fifth to sixth. In September and October, “106.1 Stay Connected” was a collective +1.2 (5.1 – 5.5 – 6.3, 6+). A July increase of four-tenths halted three down or flat trends that produced a loss of three tenths (5.3 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.0, 6+). Having 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+), Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF “News Radio 680” falters by two-tenths in November to 1.6 (#17 to #18, 6+).

A cumulative +.6 in September and October (1.8 – 2.2 – 2.4, 6+), Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC “99.9 The Fan” surrenders two-tenths to 2.2 (#14 to #16, 6+). Its increase of four-tenths in September 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+).

Over the last five survey periods, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” 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+); unchanged at second; and now in November, second to third (8.3 – 7.4, -.9, 6+).

Raleigh Music Formats – Powered by a +1.8 to 7.1 (6+), Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5” zooms from eighth to fourth. The massive November increase obliterates its collective -1.7 in September and October (7.0 – 5.8 – 5.3, 6+). Earlier this calendar year, “Mix” was an overall +2.6 via three April, May, and June improvements; -1.3 (July); +.6 (August); and a collective -1.7 in September and October. Roaring back from October’s loss of two-tenths with a November uptick of nine-tenths (9.4 – 10.3, 6+), Radio One urban AC WFXC “Foxy – Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is on top for the third straight month with its strongest 6+-stat (10.3) since January’s 10.7. While it notches a gain of eight-tenths (2.5 – 3.3, 6+), Curtis Media Group CHR WPLW “Pulse FM – All The Hits” remains at #12. It is a bit over two-shares (6+) behind iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WDCG “G-105 Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” (5.5 – 5.4, -.1, seventh to eighth, 6+). Prior to posting a one-half share increase in October, “G-105” was a combined -1.3 in four straight down or flat trends (6.3 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.2 – 5.0, 6+). Just after adding one-tenth in October, Curtis Media Group’s WQDR “94.7 QDR Today’s Best Country” erodes by -1.7 (8.0 – 6.3, 6+), segueing from third to fifth with its lowest 6+-stat (6.3) since “Holiday” 2016’s 6.0. With a +1.0 in September, WQDR halted three straight downward moves that led to a collective -1.2 (8.1 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 6.9, 6+). Its format rival – iHeartMedia-owned WNCB “B-93.9 #1 For New Country” – is an overall -1.0 in three downturns in a row (3.3 – 2.9 – 2.5 – 2.3, #12 to #14, 6+). A four-tenths decrease in September suspended at four its consecutive string of increases that netted six-tenths (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3, 6+).

Indianapolis Spoken-Word Formats – By tacking on seven-tenths to a full-share October increase, Emmis news/talk WIBC – which was off seven-tenths in September – progresses from fifth to third.

Just as they were in October, WIBC sports talk sibling WFNI “The Fan – Indy’s Sports Center” and iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station” are tied at #16. Both are up one-tenth to 2.3 (6+). WFNI improved by six-tenths in September, while WNDE notched a one-half share gain in October.

Off a combined three-tenths in September and October (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.1, 6+), Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI erases that deficit with a one-half share increase to 4.6 and is back in the top ten (#11 to #9).

Indianapolis Music Formats – Despite being off one-tenth to 9.9 (6+), Cumulus Media’s WJJK is #1 for the fifth month in a row. The loss, however, does pull the plug on five successive uptrends which yielded a +3.2 (6.8 – 7.3 – 7.9 – 8.6 – 9.7 – 10.0, 6+). In October, “Classic Hits 104.5” reached 10.0, the highest 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. Within 4.3 – 4.9 range (6+) in each of the last seven sweeps (4.7 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.8 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.5, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” erodes by one full-share to 3.5 (6+) and departs the top ten (#9 to #12, 6+). While the FM signal of Entercom hot AC WNTR “107.9 The Mix” falters by one-half share (#13 to #12, tied with WKLU) and continues a down/up pattern that started in June (4.3      – 3.2 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 3.5, 6+), its online “stream” debuts at .6 (#22, 6+). Five straight decreases by Radio One CHR WNOW for a collective -1.3 (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 2.5 – 2.4, 6+) send “100.9 Radio Now” from #14 to #15. Dropping from third to fourth, Emmis adult contemporary WYXB “B-105.7” is off a collective seven-tenths in October and November (7.5 – 7.1 – 6.8, 6+), following four consecutive up or flat moves for an overall +1.4 (6.1 – 6.6 – 6.6 – 6.8 – 7.5, 6+). The market’s (6+) country share shrinks one full-share as Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM” sputters by seven-tenths (5.7 – 5.0, sixth to eighth, 6+), while Cumulus Media’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” falters by three-tenths (8.3 – 8.0, second, 6+). “Hank” improved by six-tenths in October after September’s -1.5. On top in April, May, and June, WFMS has been -.5 (February); +1.0 (April); +.5 (May); -.5 (July); -.7 (August); and +.9 (October).

Milwaukee Spoken-Word Formats – While it relinquishes 40% of October’s massive +2.5 (10.4 – 9.4, -1.0, 6+), Good Karma Brands news/talk WTMJ repeats at #1. “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” is the key station of the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Bucks, and Milwaukee Brewers. Adding nine-tenths to October’s +.4 (6.0 – 6.9, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WISN vaults from ninth to fifth. In advance of October, “News/Talk 1130” was a combined -2.1 in four straight decreases (7.7 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 6.2 – 5.6, 6+).

The market’s sports talk scene has become more crowded as – approximately three-quarters through the November sweep – Good Karma Brands shifted country WKTI (3.4 – 2.3, -1.1, #12 to #15, 6+) to “94.5 ESPN.”   In addition, co-owned, Jackson-licensed WAUK “ESPN Milwaukee” debuts with a .5 (#20, 6+). It is tied there with iHeartMedia’s WOKY “The Big 920,” which has quintupled its 6+-share in seven successive sweeps without a loss (.1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .4 – .5, 6+). Meanwhile, Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” drops four-tenths to 1.5 (#16 to #17, 6+), snapping at four its consecutive string of increases that accounted for a collective +.7 (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.9, 6+).

Flat at #12, University of Wisconsin news/talk WUWM follows October’s gain of seven-tenths with a +.2 (3.4 – 3.6, 6+). 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 – November 2018 topline for Wisconsin Public Radio news/talk WHAD is .9 – .9 – .7 – .9 – .7 – .8 (flat at #19, 6+).

Milwaukee Music Formats – As of November 1, iHeartMedia-owned WMIL “FM 106.1 – Milwaukee’s Best Country” is without a direct format competitor as Good Karma Brands’ WKTI “94.5 KTI Country” has transitioned to sports (see above). Already making the most of the situation, WMIL is a collective +2.2 in three positive spikes in succession, including November’s +1.3 (5.3 – 5.6 – 6.2 – 7.5, fourth to third, 6+). WKTI finishes its country tenure with an overall -2.1 in six straight decreases (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 2.3, 6+). After an astonishing 43 consecutive ratings periods at #1, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” was knocked out of the top spot in October by Good Karma Brands news/talk WTMJ. WRIT trailed WTMJ by 2.5 shares in October but, with a gain of eight-tenths (7.9 – 8.7, steady at #2) and WTMJ dropping one full-share, “Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” narrows the lead to seven-tenths. Notwithstanding that is an overall -1.3 in four negative moves in succession (4.1 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 2.8, 6+), Milwaukee Radio Alliance alternative WLUM “FM 102.1 Sounds Different” manages to improve from #14 to #13. Flat at #6, Saga Communications’ WHQG “102.9 The Hog – Everything That Rocks” is off one-half share in three successive modest downturns (5.8 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 5.3, 6+), while co-owned rhythmic CHR WNRG “Energy 106.9” more than doubles (+.9) its 6+-share with its third straight gain (.8 – 1.2 – 1.5 – 1.7, #17 to #16, 6+).

Nashville Spoken-Word Formats – Once again, Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” – which departs the top ten – logs a month-to-month fluctuation of two-tenths (4.0 – 3.8, -.2, #10 to #11, 6+). Dating back to March, it has – in that stretch – been 3.5 – 3.7; 3.7 – 3.5; 3.5 – 3.3; 3.3 – 3.5; and 3.8 – 4.0 (6+).

The May 2017 – November 2018 topline for iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC “Talk Radio 1510” (#20 to #19) indicates a (6+) high of 1.4 and (6+) low of .8: 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 – .7 – 1.1 – 1.2.

Having more than doubled (+3.3) its 6+-share in four consecutive up or flat moves (3.0 – 3.0 – 3.6 – 5.0 – 6.3, 6+), Cumulus Media sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” surrenders nine-tenths in November to 5.4 (fifth to seventh). October’s 6.3 was the highest 6+-share for the Tennessee Titans’ flagship since January’s 6.5. Steady at #18, Cromwell Group-owned sports talk WPRT “102.5 The Game” is a collective +1.0 via three consecutive improvements (.7 – .8 – 1.3 – 1.7, 6+), wiping out roughly half of its -1.9 in four straight decreases (2.6 – 2.5 – .9 – .8 – .7, 6+).

Owing to three setbacks in succession, Nashville Public Radio news/talk/classical hybrid WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” is a collective -1.5 (4.9 – 4.6 – 3.6 – 3.4, #12 to #14, 6+).

Nashville Music Formats – Transforming October’s loss of seven-tenths into a November gain of nine-tenths (8.1 – 9.0, 6+), Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” sets the pace for the 10th successive ratings period. Among its fluctuations this calendar year are: -6.7 (January); +1.0 (February); -.5 (May); +1.0 (June); +.9 (August); -.9 (September); -.7 (October); and now +.9 (November). As a result of four upticks in a row (4.4 – 4.8 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4, sixth to fifth, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WRVW “107.5 The River” is a combined +2.0. This (6.4) is its highest 6+-share since 6.6 in March. A loss of one-half share to 2.6 (#14 to #16, 6+) by Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WLVU “Positive & Inspiring K-Love” suspends five consecutive sweeps without a loss that generated an overall increase of eight-tenths (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+). In three straight downturns, iHeartMedia-owned WNRQ “105.9 The Rock – Nashville’s Classic Rock” is a combined -1.3 (7.8 – 7.6 – 6.6 – 6.5, third to fourth, 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). In the market’s three-way country battle, Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” (-1.0 in September) logs an improvement of eight-tenths (5.8 – 6.6, sixth to third, 6+), while co-owned WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” posts its third increase in a row for a +.7 (3.6 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.3, stable at #10, 6+). At the same time, iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country,” which had been +1.2 (4.3 – 5.1 – 5.5, August-September-October), falters by one-half share (5.5 – 5.0, eighth to ninth, 6+).

Providence Spoken-Word Formats – An overall +1.1 in four straight increases (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.8, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM “News Talk 630” advances from eighth to seventh. Its August increase halted three straight down or flat sweeps for a -1.0 (4.7 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7, 6+). A combined +.6 via four consecutive sweeps without a loss (1.1 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WHJJ “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” is steady at #12. This directly follows an overall loss of nine-tenths through five straight decreases (2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.3 – 1.1, 6+). Returning the one-tenth it picked up in October (.5 – .6 – .5, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business” continues at #21. In five straight Providence sweeps without a loss, iHeartMedia Boston’s WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” is up three-tenths (.8 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 -1.1, #16 to #17, 6+).

Up or flat for the fourth time in a row for a net gain of two full-shares (3.4 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.8 – 5.4, 6+), Entercom sports talk WVEI inches up from seventh to sixth. Before dropping six-tenths in July, WVEI was a collective +1.2 in three upticks in a row (2.8 – 3.4 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+).

After logging a +.4 in September and October (1.8 – 2.2 – 2.6, 6+), The Wheeler School’s news/talk WELH surrenders six-tenths of that combined +.8 in November (2.0, 6+), dropping from ninth to tenth. In advance of adding four-tenths in September, WELH was off one-half share in six straight sweeps without an increase (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+). It is tied at #10 with WGBH Educational Foundation news/talk WGBH, which follows October’s one-half share gain with a loss of three-tenths (2.3 – 2.0, 6+). In September, WGBH returned the four-tenths it earned in August (1.8 – 2.2 – 1.8, 6+). Immediately prior to the May sweep, these two outlets finished back-to-back four straight times and were tied in May at #10.

Providence Music Formats – Having lost a combined eight-tenths in three straight setbacks (2.6 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 1.8, 6+), Cumulus Media rhythmic CHR WWKX “Hot 106” bounces back with a gain of one-half share to 2.3 (6+) and enters the top ten (#11 to #9). Stable at 9.4 (6+), adult contemporary cluster-mate WWLI “Lite Rock 105” is #1 for the fourth month in a row. June’s 10.3 is its highest 6+-stat since 12.3 in “Holiday” 2017. Forfeiting 90% of its combined September and October +1.0 (4.5 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC WSNE “Coast 93.3” slips to 4.6 (-.9, sixth to eighth, 6+). Off by one-half share each are Hall Communications’ WCTK “Cat Country 98.1” (8.7 – 8.2, second to third, 6+) and iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWBB “B-101” (6.9 – 6.4, flat at #5, 6+). Ironically, both “Cat Country” and “B-101” were up one-half share in October. Prior to October’s +.5, WWBB was a  combined -1.7 in August and September.

Norfolk – With a one-half share increase (1.2 – 1.7, 6+), iHeartMedia alternative WNOH has its best 6+-stat (1.7) since April’s 1.8 as “Alt 105.3” breaks into the top ten (#11 to #9). Nearly tripling (+1.2) its 6+-share in four upticks in succession (.7 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.9, 6+), rhythmic hot AC sibling WMOV “Movin’ 107.7” advances from ninth to eighth. 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+). Although it is without an increase for the third sweep in a row for a -2.4 (15.5 – 13.7 – 13.7 – 13.1), Entercom urban AC WVKL “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” is #1 for the 24th straight time and posts a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 32nd time in the last 33 sweeps. Its 15.5 in August sets the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. Following five consecutive months in the runner-up slot, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WOWI falls to fourth, as “103 Jamz” is a combined -2.0 in October and November (8.2 – 7.0 – 6.2, 6+). Its erosion of -1.2 in October curtailed five consecutive up or flat moves that yielded an overall gain of nine-tenths (7.3 – 7.4 – 7.9 – 8.1 – 8.1 – 8.2, 6+). In four consecutive (albeit slight) decreases (6.3 – 6.2 – 5.9 – 5.8 – 5.7, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WWDE is off a combined six-tenths and segues from fourth to fifth; “101.3 2WD” was +1.3 in June and July (5.0 – 5.5 – 6.3, 6+). The rollercoaster ride continues for Saga Communications’ WNOR “99 Rocks,” which was an overall -2.5 via four straight declines (8.3 – 7.3 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 5.8, 6+); roared back with a +1.1 in October; and is now -.6 (6.9 – 6.3, 6+) but carries on at #3. Flat at #7, Entercom hot AC WPTE “94.9 The Point” falters by one-half share to 2.9, its lowest 6+-stat since April (2.9, as well). There are two new Norfolk entries this month, the online “stream” of Entercom’s WNVZ “Z-104 Norfolk Rhythmic Music,” which debuts with a .4 (#14, 6+) and the online “stream” of co-owned urban AC WVKL “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today,” popping on with a .1 (#15, 6+).

Greensboro Spoken-Word Formats – By adding four-tenths to October’s +.3 (3.8 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” climbs from tenth to ninth; WPTI was down eight-tenths in September.

Flat at #16, Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS “Triad Sports” hands over half of October’s +.2 (.4 – .3, -.1, 6+). Going into the October sweep, WSJS lost 75% (-.6) of its 6+ AQH share as a result of six straight down or flat moves (.8 – .6 – .5 – .4 – .2 – .2 -.2, 6+).

One streak continues for Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD and another one ends. It’s the sixth consecutive time that “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” finishes at #13, but after four straight up or flat trends that netted four-tenths (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+), WFDD falters by one-half share to 1.9 (6+). Its +.1 in August concluded 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+). Meanwhile, the May through November topline for University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC (unchanged at #15) is: 1.1 – 1.0 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – .8 (6+).

Greensboro Music Formats – Adding one full-share (10.4 – 11.4, 6+), Entercom urban AC WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” finishes at #1 for the 11th straight sweep and 24th straight time that it is in double-digits (6+). October’s +.2 pulled the plug on five successive decreases that resulted in a net loss of -2.0 (12.2 – 12.0 – 11.2 – 10.9 – 10.5 – 10.2, 6+). After being off a combined nine-tenths in three straight declines (10.0 – 9.7 – 9.6 – 9.1, 6+), adult hits cluster-mate WSMW  “98.7 Simon Says We Play Everything” picks up two-tenths to 9.3 (6+) and stays in the runner-up slot for the 11th straight sweep. A July gain of nine-tenths halted five consecutive decreases that accounted for an overall -2.5 (11.6 – 11.4 – 10.4 – 10.3 – 9.4 – 9.1, 6+). Having occupied the #12 position for five consecutive sweeps, WMKS “100.3 Kiss FM All the Hits” bumps up to #11. The iHeartMedia CHR was +.5 in September (2.9 – 3.4, 6+); -.6 in October (3.4 – 2.8, 6+); and now +.9 in November (2.8 – 3.7, 6+). Prior to August, “Kiss” was a collective -1.4 in three downward moves in a row (4.1 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 2.7, 6+). Remaining at #3 with its highest 6+-showing (8.5) since 16.1 in “Holiday” 2017, adult contemporary sibling WMAG “99.5 – The Triad’s Best Variety” is up or flat for the third straight month for a collective +1.7 (6.8 – 7.9 – 8.5 – 8.5, 6+). In the market’s always competitive country battle, iHeartMedia-owned WTQR “Q-104.1 – #1 for New Country” gains three-tenths (6.4 – 6.7, 6+), while Entercom’s WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” falters by four-tenths (5.9 – 5.5, 6+). The two rivals remain at #5 and #7, respectively. “Q-104.1” was a combined -.8 in October and September; “The Wolf” was up one-half share in October.

West Palm Beach Spoken-Word Formats – Answering October’s loss of four-tenths with a November increase of six-tenths (2.0 – 2.6, 6+), Alpha Media’s WFTL “News Talk 850” progresses from #12 to #11. October’s -.4 ended at four its consecutive string of upticks that netted seven-tenths (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+). Conversely, after gaining one-half share in October, iHeartMedia news/talk WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” drops one-tenth to 2.3 (#11 to #12, 6+). WJNO was a combined -1.0 in August and September (2.9 – 2.3 – 1.9, 6+). This is the third straight month at 1.8 (6+) for co-owned news/talk WZZR “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk for the Palm Beaches,” which slips from #13 to #14; WZZR gained one-half share in August. In addition to erasing the four-tenths it gained through three straight increases (.9 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.3, 6+), Miami news/talk sibling WIOD departs the top twenty (.9, #18 to #22, 6+).

Three straight improvements by WLRN resulted in a collective +1.0 (2.9 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.9, 6+), but the Dade County School Board news/talk station forfeits 60% of that increase (3.3, -.6, sixth to eighth, 6+).

West Palm Beach Music Formats – Tacking on one-half share to October’s robust +1.1 and advancing from sixth to fifth is WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF (3.9 – 4.4, 6+). “WAY-FM Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” was down one-half share in September but now has its best 6+-share (4.4) since January’s 5.3. Stable at #10, iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary WRLX “Mia 92.1” is +1.3 through five positive spikes in a row (1.5 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+). Its similarly-formatted Miami sibling, WZTU “94.9 Donde Viven Tus Hits,” debuts at #22 in West Palm Beach with a .8 (6+). Having posted an overall +1.7 in five consecutive reports without a loss (9.0 – 9.3 – 9.3 – 9.4 – 10.0 – 10.7, 6+), Alpha Media hot AC WRMF relinquishes all of that increase and one-tenth more to 8.9 (6+). The -1.8 represents the largest (6+) October 2018 – November 2018 decrease by any station in the 12 PPM-markets shown here. Even so, “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” is #1 for the 11th survey period in a row. Its 10.7 in October was the highest 6+-share for WRMF since November 2017’s 11.2. The market’s two mainstream adult contemporary outlets continue to remain close together as iHeartMedia-owned WOLL “Today’s Kool 105.5” adds two-tenths to October’s +.1 (5.4 – 5.6, 6+) but drops from a second-place tie to third, while Alpha Media’s WEAT “Sunny 107.9” improves by four-tenths (4.6 – 5.0, 6+) and remains at #4. Prior to October’s increase, “Kool” was an overall -1.2 via three straight decreases (6.5 – 6.3 – 6.1 – 5.3, 6+). “Sunny” was up four-tenths in August and September, but then down six-tenths in October.

Jacksonville Spoken-Word Formats – Over the course of the last five survey periods, Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV has been -.7 (July); +.5 (August); -.6 (September); +2.0 (October); and now +.6 in November to 11.2, its best-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era. The station’s “old” record of 10.6 (6+) was set … this time last month. Moreover, “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” repeats at #1. Prior to October, the last time WOKV finished first was in May when it scored a 9.3 (6+).

Having logged a .5 (6+) in each of the last three sweeps, iHeartMedia sports talk WFXJ “Sports Radio 930” improves three-tenths to .8 (#20 to #18, 6+).

As a result of three consecutive downward moves (3.4 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.2, 6+), public news/talk WJCT is a combined -1.2 and remains at #13.

Jacksonville Music Formats – Within 4.2 – 4.7 range (6+) in each of the last seven survey periods (4.2 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WSOL records a gain of eight-tenths to 5.2, its best 6+-showing since 5.3 in March; “V-101.5” carries on at #8. Not only is Cox Media Group CHR WAPE an overall +1.6 through five straight upticks (5.4 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.4 – 7.0, fifth to fourth, 6+), “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station” has its strongest 6+-share (7.0) since “Holiday” 2016’s 7.4. In the market’s adult contemporary tussle, WAPE sibling WEZI remains on a roll: “Easy 102.9” is an overall +1.9 through four straight improvements (3.4 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 5.3, 6+). This immediately follows three straight down or flat trends that produced a collective -1.2 (4.6 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 3.4, 6+). Simultaneously, Renda Broadcasting’s similarly-formatted WEJZ “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” is a collective -2.7 via three straight setbacks (10.6 – 9.8 – 8.6 – 7.9, 6+). August’s 10.6 was the best 6+-showing for WEJZ, which was #1 in June, July, August and September, since “Holiday” 2017’s 11.9. WEZI and WEJZ remain at #7 and #3, respectively. After debuting in October with a 1.1, Delmarva Educational Association contemporary Christian WCRJ “The Joy FM” adds one-half share to 1.6 (#17 to #16, 6+). Following 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+), Renda Broadcasting-owned WGNE notches a +.4 to 4.1 (6+) as “Gator Country 99.9” repeats at #9. Despite a loss of seven-tenths (9.2 – 8.5, 6+), Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL “96.9 The Eagle” is in the runner-up slot for the third month in a row.

Memphis Spoken-Word Formats – Regaining the three-tenths it lost in October (3.4 – 3.1 – 3.4, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WREC “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” remains in tenth-place. July’s +.2 to 3.1 (6+) interrupted five straight sweeps without an increase for an overall loss of six-tenths (3.5 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.9, 6+).

Off six-tenths in July, Entercom sports talk WMFS “ESPN Sports Radio” has followed with four straight gains for an overall +.9 (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.2, #12 to #11, 6+).

Memphis Music Formats – The market’s top three stations are all in double-digits (6+). Boasting the largest (6+) October 2018 – November 2018 upswing by any station in the 12 PPM-markets shown here (8.8 – 10.7, +1.9, 6+), Cumulus Media urban-rhythmic oldies WRBO advances from third to second. Moreover, this (10.7) is the highest 6+-share for “Soul Classics and Today’s R&B” in its PPM-history. Prior to adding two-tenths in October, WRBO was a combined -1.4 in four successive sweeps without an increase (10.0 – 9.3 – 8.8 – 8.8 – 8.6, 6+). Anchored at #5, iHeartMedia gospel WHAL “95.7 Halleluiah – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” is up one full-share in three straight positive spikes (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.3 – 5.6, 6+). This streak directly follows six successive down monthlies in a row for a collective -2.7 (7.3 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.1 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+). Having logged six downward moves in succession for an overall -2.7 (9.8 – 9.4 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 8.1 – 7.2 – 7.1, 6+), urban contemporary sibling WHRK “K-97.1 – Memphis’ Only Hip-Hop and R&B” is up three-tenths to 7.4 (6+) and remains at #4. A gain of three-tenths to 4.7 (ninth to seventh, 6+) by WMC-FM “FM 100 Today’s Best Mix” pulls the plug on four straight decreases that accounted for a combined -2.4 (6.8 – 6.0 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.4, 6+). Entering the July sweep, the Entercom hot AC was an overall +2.3 in four straight increases (4.5 – 4.9 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 6.8, 6+). Basically stabilizing after October’s massive +2.4, its adult contemporary cluster-mate, WRVR “104.5 The River,” is off one-tenth (11.0 – 10.9, 6+), repeating at #1. October’s 11.0 is its best 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.9. Its format rival – Cumulus Media’s WKIM “98.9 The Bridge” (steady at #14) – is an overall +.7 in five consecutive reports without a loss (1.4 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1, 6+). When co-owned WGKX lost two-tenths in September, it suspended three straight increases that netted +1.8 (3.4 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 5.2, 6+). “Kix 106 Today’s Best Country,” however, falters by one-half share in back-to-back (October and November) sweeps (5.0 – 4.5 – 4.0, 6+), segueing from #7 to #9.

Hartford Spoken-Word Formats – On the heels of October’s +.8, Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM is off two-tenths (7.0 – 6.8, 6+0 but continues in fifth-place. Going into the October sweep, “News Talk 1080” notched a 6.2 (6+) in each of the previous three sweeps. Thus far this calendar year, Red Wolf Broadcasting news/talk WDRC-AM “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” has an ultra-consistent topline: 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.1 (6+) and remains at #14.

Despite faltering by four-tenths (2.0 – 1.6, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk WUCS “97.9 ESPN Hartford” advances from #13 – #12.

A combined +1.1 in three positive spikes in a row (3.5 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.6, 6+), Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” progresses from ninth to eighth. 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+). Meanwhile, University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio” has a collective loss of one-half share through three negative moves in succession (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.2 – 1.1, flat at 14, 6+). An August gain of three-tenths halted 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+).

Hartford Music Formats – While unchanged at #11, Red Wolf Broadcasting’s Spanish tropical WMRQ-HD2 displays an increase of seven-tenths (2.4 – 3.1 6+). In addition to being an overall +1.4 via three straight improvements (6.4 – 7.0 – 7.2 – 7.8, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WWYZ “Country 92.5” marches from fourth to second with its highest 6+-stat since May (7.8, as well). Up four-tenths to 6.8 (unchanged at #6, 6+), Entercom rhythmic CHR WZMX “Hot 93.7” applies the brakes to five straight decreases that accounted for a -1.9 (8.3 – 8.2 – 7.8 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). Albeit down eight-tenths (11.4 – 10.6, 6+), its adult contemporary cluster-mate, WRCH “Lite 100.5,” is #1 for the 28th consecutive ratings period and is in double-digits (6+) for the 25th time in the last 27 sweeps. Following July’s -2.2, “Lite” rebounded with a +1.2 in August, which stymied four straight March through July downward moves that accounted for a -4.1 (14.3 – 13.2 – 13.1 – 12.4 – 10.2, 6+). Faltering by eight-tenths as well is iHeartMedia CHR WKSS (7.9 – 7.1, 6+), which slides from second to fourth with its lowest 6+-stat since April’s 6.9. As a result of three straight declines (5.7 – 5.4 – 5.0 – 4.4, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting’s WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale – Hartford’s Classic Rock” is an overall -1.3 and slips from eighth to ninth.

Monday, December 3, 2018

| December 3, 2018

Glenn Beck and Mark Levin Merge TheBlaze and CRTV into Blaze Media. Multiplatform media organizations TheBlaze and CRTV are merging into one company called, Blaze Media.  According to the press release, “The new company will have a monthly multiplatform reach of over 165 million and will be the largest independent, traditionally conservative multiplatform media company in the United States.”  The company will be led by co-presidents Tyler Cardon, formerly president of TheBlaze, and Gaston Mooney, formerly the president of CRTV.  Effective immediately, subscribers to CRTV and TheBlaze Premium will have access to the digital streaming content of both CRTV and TheBlaze, including over 30 original shows.  Blaze Media’s television lineup includes conservative programming, including, “The Glenn Beck Program,” “LevinTV,” “Louder with Crowder,” “The News and Why it Matters,” and “America,” hosted by Eric Bolling.  The new company says the merger will also allow Blaze Media to expand its lineup of linear programming in 2019 to reach its cable and satellite television audiences.  Mark Levin comments, “Tens of millions of Americans have had it with the biased, ideologically driven mainstream media outlets that sanctimoniously advance their own agendas under the guise of ‘news’ and ‘journalism.’  Conservatives actually believe in a free press and the rest of the Constitution.  This is why I started LevinTV, which grew into the CRTV digital network.  In order to further expand and offer the public an alternative to liberal media group-think, I’m very excited about the merger of TheBlaze and CRTV.  The timing is perfect.”

Phil Valentine to Wrap National Show; Focus on WTN-FM, Nashville Show. After 11 years in national syndication, Phil Valentine is ending his syndication effort via Westwood One, effective January 4, and will continue hosting his daily talk radio show at Cumulus Media’s WWTN-FM, Nashville “Super Talk 99.7 WTN.”   In a statement, Valentine says, “I want to thank all the affiliate stations and the Westwood One affiliate team for their support of ‘The Phil Valentine Show’ over the years.  It was a difficult decision for me to eliminate the syndicated show; however, after the recent success of my novel Barbican: A Sterling McQueen Spy Story, I made the difficult decision to focus not only on my writing, but also the development of The Conservative’s Handbook into a podcast series complete with expert guests on each subject covered in the book.  I will remain the host of the popular Phil Valentine show in my hometown of Nashville, as heard on WWTN.”

Nexstar Media Group Agrees to Buy Tribune Media for $4.1 Billion; Fate of WGN-AM Unknkown. According to a report by Reuters, Nexstar Media Group Inc is offering Tribune Media $4.1 billion for its broadcast properties – 42 television stations, cable’s WGN America,  various digital properties, and lone radio asset WGN-AM, Chicago.  The story notes that Nexstar outbid private equity firm Apollo Global Management LLC with its all-cash offer.  Unlike previous suitor Sinclair Broadcasting that owns three Seattle market radio stations, Nexstar Media holds no radio properties.  It is unclear at this time if Nexstar has any interest in operating a major market news/talk radio outlet or not.  Back in August, Tribune put the kibosh on the Sinclair deal after regulators referred to Sinclair’s previous divestments as a “sham” because the company still operated the stations in question.  The deal with Nexstar would make it the largest television operator in the country.  Expect the Justice Department to scrutinize this deal very closely.

iHeartMedia Reports Creditors ‘Overwhelmingly’ Support Fifth Re-Org Plan. Ahead of the December 11 Confirmation Hearing for iHeartMedia’s Chapter 11 reorganization, the company issues a statement announcing that voting results for its Fifth Amended Joint Chapter 11 Plan of Reorganization indicate that “every class of creditors entitled to vote has voted to approve the Plan.  More than 90% of the votes cast by creditors and shareholders who participated in the vote approved the Plan, demonstrating substantial support for, and far exceeding the votes necessary to confirm, the Plan.”  iHeartMedia calls this “a value-maximizing restructuring that comprehensively addresses the company’s funded debt obligations and positions iHeartMedia for continued growth and long-term success.  The Plan will reduce iHeartMedia’s funded debt by approximately $10.3 billion—to $5.75 billion—and result in the separation of iHeartMedia’s radio and outdoor advertising businesses.”

iHeartMedia Net Revenue Soars in October.  As it has been doing since April, iHeartMedia is filing monthly financial data reports with the Securities Exchange Commission as it works through the Chapter 11 reorganization process.  The most recent filing for the month of October shows revenue was $349.4 million – the highest we’ve seen since April’s $417.9 figure.  But net income rockets to $100.2 million – an increase of more than 157% from September’s $11.9 million.  Operating income also rises, from $62.4 million to $104.8 million.  But those scrutinized payments to outside professionals (the one’s attending to the Chapter 11 business) spiked to the highest figure yet — $21 million.

Former KGO, San Francisco Host Ray Taliaferro Found Dead in Kentucky. The search for missing retired radio talk show host Ray Taliaferro ended tragically as his body was found in a wooded area in Paducah, Kentucky three weeks after he’d disappeared.  The story from KGO-TV, San Francisco states that authorities have released no details surrounding his disappearance and cause of death. Taliaferro – who hosted the overnight talk show on KGO-AM, San Francisco from 1977 through 2011 – was last seen talking with the manager of a Paducah pizza parlor before disappearing.  The initial public statement by local authorities indicated Taliaferro may have been suffering from symptoms of dementia.

Chad Benson Takes Over Afternoons on KXNT, Las Vegas. As TALKERS reported on November 19, longtime Las Vegas talk radio personality Alan Stock is exiting the afternoon drive show on Entercom’s KXNT-AM, Las Vegas. Now, the station confirms that Radio America-syndicated talk host Chad Benson will begin in the afternoon drive daypart today (12/3).  The KXNT website states, “If you’ve never listened to Chad’s show, we suggest you check it out – because he isn’t the talk host you’re used to!  He is conversational and informative, all while being irreverent and very funny.”  Meanwhile, Alan Stock begins producing “The Alan Stock Answer” – a daily feature that will air on KXNT at 12:30 pm, 3:30 pm, and 6:30 pm every Monday through Friday.

TALKERS News Notes. The Salem Radio Network’s SRN News and TOWNHALL News announce they will provide live coverage of the state funeral of former President George H.W. Bush on Wednesday (12/5) from the National Cathedral in Washington.  Coverage will be anchored by White House correspondent Greg Clugston.  Additionally, all SRN nationally syndicated talk shows hosted by Mike GallagherEric Metaxas, Hugh Hewitt and others will pay tribute to President George H. W. Bush beginning today (12/3).  SRN v.p./News & Talk Programming Tom Tradup says, “America has lost a great leader and a Godly family man.  I had the honor of personally interviewing George H.W. Bush in New Orleans the morning he was announcing Dan Quayle as his 1988 vice presidential running mate.  Even in that high-pressure moment, he was exceptionally generous with his time…exuding a grace and gentle strength that would define him for the rest of his days.”…..E.W. Scripps Company closes on its acquisition of Triton Digital for $150 million.  Scripps forecasts that the acquisition will generate more than $3 million in revenue.  President and CEO Adam Symson says, “The Triton acquisition aligns with the Scripps strategy of fueling company growth by being opportunistic in the marketplace and responsive to the changing needs of media consumers.”…..SiriusXM announces that former NBA pros Carlos Boozer, Caron ButlerRyan Hollins, and Kenyon Martin are joining the roster of hosts on its SiriusXM NBA Radio channel. They’ll join the rotation of hosts on the all-new afternoon program “No Look Pass,” airing weekdays from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET.

George H.W. Bush Dies, Trump at G20/Xi Jinping Meeting, Looming Government Shutdown, Migrant Caravan/Mexican Border Issue, Trump-Russia Investigation, Paris Riots, Qatar to Quit OPEC, College Football Playoffs, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Former President George H.W. Bush dies at age 94; President Trump’s appearance at the G20 summit in Argentina and his meeting to China’s Xi Jinping to temper the tariff battle between the two countries; the threat of a government shutdown over President Trump’s border wall funding issue; the migrants amassed at the U.S.-Mexico border and U.S. immigration policy; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and Michael Cohen’s plea deal; Qatar announces it will quit OPEC in the New Year; the NCAA names the four teams for this year’s College Football Playoffs; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. As reported by Chicago media writer Robert FederiHeartMedia promotes weekend personality Lisa Dent to midday host on country WEBG, Chicago “Big 95.5.”  She takes over for Amber “Alabama” Cole, who left the station for personal reasons. Dent previously served with Entercom’s crosstown country outlet WUSN “US99” as both a midday personality and co-host of the morning show with Ramblin’ Ray Stevens…..The changes at Entercom’s country KMNB, Minneapolis are not too drastic as the country format stays in place and the station is re-imaged as “102.9 The Wolf.”  SVP and market manager Shannon Knoepke states, “‘102.9 The Wolf’ will be the Twin Cities’ station for the biggest country hits from then and now.  From today’s leading artists to all-time essential country favorites, every song beats the pulse of Nashville all day, every day.  We’re excited for our fans – ‘The Wolfpack’ – and clients to continue on this journey with us as we create a close-knit community of fans.”  On-air pro Greg Thunder joins the station as host of “The Wolf Wake Up Crew.”  Current morning show anchor Paul “PT” Thomas expands his role to also host the “Home Town Country Sunday Night” program…..In Rochester, Entercom names Whitney Young the new morning drive co-host alongside Corey James at CHR WPXY.  Young joined the station in 2017 as midday host, then became part of the morning show on an interim basis in May…..Dick Broadcasting names Mica Cadena, a.k.a. LA Rock program director, eliminating the “acting” from her title.  Company vice president Jason Goodman says, “It was an obvious decision to promote Mica to PD of WXQR as she was doing the role already.  WXQR has been on the air for 40 years and recently Mica has led WXQR to its highest ratings ever.”

November 2018 PPM Data – Part Three. November 2018 ratings information has been released for Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Orlando, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s November 2018 survey period covered October 11 – November 7.  See all the 6+ date from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets.

Portland Spoken Word Formats – Consistently in 5.0 – 5.3 range from July through November (5.0 – 5.3 – 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.1, 6+), Alpha Media news/talk KXL “101 FM News – Stay Connected” repeats at #4, following four successive months (June – September) at #5. Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s KEX “News Radio 1190 – Depend on Us” is unchanged from October in both 6+-share (2.2) and 6+-market rank (#18), with 2.2 its best 6+-showing in more than two years (2.2, as well, in August 2016). Flat at #23, Alpha Media news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970” is up a collective three-tenths in October and November (.8 – .9 – 1.1, 6+).

After returning the six-tenths it gained in September (1.7 – 2.3 – 1.7, August-September-October, 6+), Entercom sports talk KFXX “1080 The Fan” sputters by another four-tenths in November to 1.3 (6+) and exits the top twenty (#20 to #21, 6+). Portland’s “Fan” was a collective +.9 in August and September (1.4 – 1.7 – 2.3, 6+); however, just prior to August, it posted six straight down or flat moves that resulted in a -1.0 (2.4 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4, 6+). Right behind KFXX is Alpha Media-owned KXTG “The Game” (-.2, flat at #22, 6+), which is trending (1.4 – 1.2 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.2, July through November, 6+). Meanwhile, the flagship of the Portland Trailblazers – iHeartMedia’s KPOJ “Rip City Sports Radio 620” – logs its third increase in a row (.4 – .5 – .5 – .7, #28 to #25, 6+), which nearly doubles (+.3) its 6+-share since August.

Without a loss for the fourth time in a row for a collective +1.1 (8.1 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.9 – 9.2, 6+), Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk KOPB repeats at #1 with its best 6+-stat (9.2) since March (9.5). KOPB had been on top from January to August (including a tie in April), before dropping to second in September. This calendar year, KOPB has been +1.1 (January); -1.1 (February); +1.0 (March); -1.0 (April); -.5 (May); and +.7 (October).

Portland Music Formats – Locked on 4.0 (6+) in September and October, Alpha Media CHR KBFF erupts with a +.9 to 4.9, its highest 6+-share in exactly two years (5.3, November 2016); “Live 95.5” advances from eighth to fifth. Owing to a one-tenth gain to 2.9 (#17 to #16, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed KKRZ “Z-100 Portland’s #1 Hit Music Station” applies the brakes to five successive down or flat monthlies that accounted for a combined loss of -1.2 (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.8, 6+). An overall -.9 in three straight decreases (4.7 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 3.8, 6+), co-owned KFBW “105.9 The Brew – Portland’s Rock Station” improves by six-tenths as well (3.8 – 4.4, 6+) and returns to the top ten (#12 to #7). Cluster-mate KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 for New Country” posts a gain of six-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (2.4 – 3.0 – 3.6, 6+) and jumps from #14 to #12. Prior to October, “The Bull” was -1.6 in three straight sweeps without an increase (4.0 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 2.9 – 2.4, 6+). As the result of its November improvement, KUPL bypasses Entercom’s similarly-formatted KWJJ, which is a cumulative -1.1 in five straight sweeps without a gain (4.6 – 4.6 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.5, 6+); “99.5 The Wolf – The Northwest’s Hottest Country” exits the top ten (#10 to #13). Despite more than doubling (+2.3) its 6+-share in four straight up or flat trends (1.7 – 2.5 – 3.0 – 4.0 – 4.0, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KFIS “104.1 The Fish” departs the top ten (#8 to #11). Entering the August sweep, “The Fish” had been down in each of the previous four monthlies for a cumulative -.8 (2.5 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7, 6+). Up four-tenths to 3.3 (#16 to #14, 6+), Entercom hot AC KRSK “105.1 The Buzz – Today’s Best Mix” curtails four successive decreases that resulted in a combined -1.0 (3.9 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+). The seven-tenths increase that iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLTH “106.7 The Eagle” posted in October is obliterated in November with a -.8 (7.6 – 6.8, flat at #3, 6+). Just prior to the October ratings period, “The Eagle” had been down or flat four straight months for a collective loss of four-tenths (7.3 – 7.3 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 6.9, 6+). Four successive reports without a loss netted iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW a +1.6  (7.2 – 7.7 -7.9 – 8.8 – 8.8, 6+), but “K-103” forfeits six-tenths to 8.2 (flat at #2, 6+). October’s 8.8 was the best 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 16.9 for KKCW, which was #1 in December 2017 (13.0, 6+); “Holiday” 2017 (16.9, 6+); and tied for first (with KOPB) in April 2018 (8.5, 6+). Dropping six-tenths as well in November is All Classical Public Media’s KQAC “All Classical Portland” (3.2 – 2.6, #13 to #17, 6+). A collective -1.0 as a result of four decreases in a row (5.6 – 5.4 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+), Entercom-owned KGON falls from fifth to sixth. Immediately prior to this streak, “92.3 Portland’s Classic Rock” had been without a loss four straight times for a +1.6 (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.6 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+).

Charlotte Spoken-Word Formats – Not only does Entercom news/talk outlet WBT add one-half share to October’s +.9 (2.9 – 3.8 – 4.3, 6+), the flagship of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers enters the top ten (#12 to #10). This is WBT’s highest 6+-share since February (4.3, as well). Flat at #19, co-owned sports talk WFNZ “The Fan – Charlotte’s Sports Leader” more than doubles (+.7) its 6+ share via four straight up or flat moves (.6 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.3, 6+). This particular streak follows four straight sweeps without an increase for the key station of the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets that resulted in a -1.1 (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.1 – .7 – .6, 6+).

Four downward trends in succession by University Radio Foundation news/talk station WFAE accounted for a combined -1.6 (4.1 – 3.7 – 3.0 – 2.7 – 2.5, 6+), but “Charlotte’s NPR News Source” picks up two-tenths to 2.7 (6+), moving from #17 to #15. The July through November topline for South Carolina Educational Television Commission news/talk WNSC is: .5 – .6 – .5 – .7 – .6 (flat at #20, 6+).

Charlotte Music Formats – In another ratings report full of tremendous news for iHeartMedia adult hits WLKO, “102.9 The Lake” nets an overall +3.0 as the result of seven straight months without a loss (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 6.4 – 7.1, 6+) and progresses from third to second. Additionally, this (7.1) is the strongest 6+-share for “The Lake” since December 2017’s 7.2. An increase of one-half share to 4.5 (6+) by Radio One’s WOSF “105.3 RnB” puts an end to its July – October sequence of 4.3 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.0 (6+); 4.5 represents its strongest 6+-share since 4.9 in March. Level at 7.5 (6+), Beasley Media Group’s WSOC is #1 for the third month in a row. A loss of two-tenths in October by “103.7 Country’s Hottest Hits” ended four straight up or flat reports that netted a +1.5 (6.2 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 7.5 – 7.7, 6+). Prior to August, the last time WSOC reached the seven-share level (6+) was “Holiday” 2016 (7.0). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country,” which was an overall +1.1 in four successive months without a loss (6.0 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.8 – 7.1, 6+), dips four-tenths to 6.7 (second to fourth, 6+). After being a combined +1.3 in September and October (2.7 – 3.5 – 4.0, 6+), CHR cluster-mate WHQC “Channel 96.1” surrenders nearly half that increase in November (3.4 -.6, 6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #13). Down by one-tenth in both September and October (4.9 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+), Beasley Media Group urban contemporary WPEG “Power 98” posts a gain of three-tenths to 5.0 (6+) and ranks eighth for the sixth month in a row. In five straight decreases, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WRCM “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” is a collective -1.9 (4.3 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 2.4, #15 to #17, 6+). Off one-half share in November as well is Radio One gospel WPZS “Praise 100.9 Charlotte’s Inspiration Station” (2.9, flat at #14, 6+), which had been a collective +.7 in September and October (2.7 – 3.1 – 3.4, 6+). While flat at #4, Beasley Media Group urban AC WBAV “V-101.9” is nonetheless -1.9 as the result of four straight negative moves (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.9 – 6.1 – 6.0, 6+).  “V-101.9” was +1.4 in May; eroded by -1.2 in June; and erased that -1.2 in its entirety in July with a +1.2.

San Antonio Spoken-Word Formats – Despite surrendering one-tenth to 4.4 (6+) iHeartMedia news/talk WOAI News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather” improves from eighth to seventh. The loss, however, ends at three its consecutive string of improvements that yielded one full-share (3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.5, 6+) for the San Antonio Spurs’ flagship. October’s 4.5 was its best 6+-showing since April 2017 (4.5, as well). The July 2018 – November 2018 topline for Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” (#21 to #22) is 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.5 (6+).

Without an increase for the third straight month (.7 – .7 – .6 – .5, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk KTKR “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” nonetheless advances from #29 to #28.

Anchored at #12, Texas Public Radio news/talk KSTX “Hear Yourself Think” nets one full-share as a result of four consecutive up or flat trends (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6, 6+).

San Antonio Music Formats – There’s a major development at the top of this Texas market’s November 2018 leaderboard as the  2.2-share (6+) advantage that Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies KONO-FM “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” held in October over co-owned KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader” vanishes. The end result is that KONO-FM (8.3 – 6.9, -1.4, first to second, 6+), which had been on top the past ten sweeps, trades places with “Y-100” (6.1 – 7.0, +.9, second to first, 6+). When KONO-FM sputtered by one-half share in October, it halted at four a consecutive string of increases that yielded a +2.2 (6.6 – 7.0 – 7.7 – 7.8 – 8.8, 6+). In September, “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” reached the eight-share threshold (8.8) for the first time since November 2016’s 8.2. As far as “Y-100” is concerned, September’s loss of eight-tenths curtailed three straight gains that accounted for a +1.5 (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.8, 6+). In August, KCYY reached the six-share level (6.8) for the first time since October 2017’s 6.0. Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” levels off at 5.0 (fourth to sixth, 6+) after plummeting by -1.1 in October (6.1 – 5.0, 6+). A collective -1.3 in March and April, “KJ-97” answered with a +.6 in May. Off by one-tenth in September and October (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.7, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KZAR “Air 1 Positive Hits” busts out a +.8 to 2.5 and enters the top twenty (#18), with its best 6+-stat (2.5) since May’s 2.4. Faltering by nine-tenths and one-half share, respectively, though are its contemporary Christian cluster-mates KZLV (3.4 – 2.5, #12 to #18, 6+) and KMLR (.8 – .3, #30, 6+), both of which use the “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” identity. A one-tenth gain to 3.0 (6+) in October by  KXXM interrupted five April through September decreases that accounted for an overall -2.1 (5.0 – 4.9 – 4.4 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 2.9, 6+). In November, the iHeartMedia CHR piles on another seven-tenths to 3.7 (6+) as “96.1 Now – San Antonio’s #1 Hit Music Station” zooms from #16 to #11. Down or flat the past three sweeps for an overall -1.6 (4.9 – 4.0 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+), Cox Media Group hot AC KSMG “Magic 105.3 – Today’s Best Music” improves by six-tenths to 3.9 and jumps into the top ten (#14 to #10). By notching a one-half share gain (4.9 – 5.4, 6+), co-owned classic rock KTKX “106.7 The Eagle” elevates from fourth to third.  Completely erasing October’s six-tenths’ gain (3.2 – 3.8 – 3.2, 6+), Univision Radio’s KXTN “107.5 Tejano & Proud” tumbles from #10 to #14; October’s 3.8 was its best 6+-performance since February’s 4.0. While it remains at #7, Cox Media Group’s KISS “Rocks San Antonio” has its consecutive string of up or flat moves that yielded an overall +1.0 stall at four (3.6 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 4.6, 6+).

Pittsburgh Spoken-Word Formats – Notwithstanding that it is off one-tenth, Entercom news/talk KDKA-AM manages to improve from ninth to eighth. The March through November high/low range for “News Radio 1020” is 4.6/4.0: (4.6 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.6, 6+).

After picking up three-tenths in October, co-owned sports talk KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” regresses by seven-tenths in November (6.4 – 5.7, fourth to sixth, 6+). “The Fan” was +2.0 in April (5.8 – 7.8, 6+); -2.0 in three straight May – June – July declines (7.8 – 7.4 – 6.5 – 5.8, 6+); +1.4 in August (5.8 – 7.2, 6+); and -1.1 in September. Unchanged at .2 (#23, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk WBGG “970 AM – ESPN Pittsburgh” has notched either a .1 (6+) or a .2 (6+) in each of the last 19 ratings periods.

A loss of two-tenths to 3.2 (#11 to #13, 6+) by Essential Public Media news/talk WESA “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” ends three straight positive spikes that produced a cumulative +1.4 (2.0 – 2.4 – 3.0 – 3.4, 6+).

Pittsburgh Music Formats – Displaying its best 6+ showing since January (6.8, as well), Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHH is an overall +1.5 as the result of three upticks in a row (5.3 – 5.6 – 6.3 – 6.8, 6+). “Wish 99.7” progresses from fifth to fourth. Owing to three straight gains (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 4.9, 6+), iHeartMedia alternative WXDX “105.9 The X” is an overall +.9, as the flagship of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins inches up from eighth to seventh. Level at 9.5 (6+) after October’s loss of seven-tenths, classic hits-oldies sibling WWSW “94.5 – 3WS” is on top for the 21st consecutive ratings period. Anchored in the runner-up slot for the 11th successive sweep, co-owned rocker WDVE posts its third bump in succession for a +1.0 (7.7 – 8.0 – 8.3 – 8.7, 6+); WDVE was off eight-tenths in August. Led by Entercom-owned WDSY “Y-108” Pittsburgh’s Country (4.8 – 4.4, -.4, seventh to ninth, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WPGB “Big 104.7 – Pittsburgh’s #1 For New Country” (3.4 – 3.7 (+.3, steady at #11, 6+), four mainstream country facilities appear in the top twenty. The other members of that quartet are Forever Media siblings, both using the “Froggy” identity WOGG (1.6 – 1.9, +.3, #16 to #14, 6+) and WOGI (.9 – 1.0, +.1, #20, 6+). Off one-half share to 7.0, its lowest 6+-showing since June (7.0, as well), Steel City Media adult hits WRRK “96.9 Bob FM – We Play Anything” carries on at #3. The January through November (6+) high/low range for “Bob” is 7.9/7.0.

Sacramento Spoken-Word Formats – Repeating at #2, iHeartMedia-owned news/talk KFBK “Sacramento’s News, Weather, and Traffic Station” dips two-tenths (7.0 – 6.8, 6+) following October’s massive +1.4. Immediately prior to the October ratings period, KFBK hadn’t posted an increase in the eight previous reports resulting in an overall -3.0 (8.6 – 8.1 – 8.1 – 7.8 – 6.7 – 6.3 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 5.6, 6+). Co-owned KSTE “Talk 650” is a collective +.7 via three consecutive sweeps without a loss (2.3 – 2.6 – 3.0- 3.0, 6+) and continues at #13.

Doubling (+.8) its 6+-share since August (.8 – 1.2 – 1.5 – 1.6, 6+), Entercom’s KIFM-AM carries on at #19. Just before this particular streak, “ESPN Radio 1320” lost 50% of its 6+-share (-.8) in three straight decreases (1.6 – 1.4 – 1.1 – .8, 6+). For the third sweep in succession, Bonneville’s KHTK “Sports 1140” has a fluctuation of one-tenth, 1.1 – 1.2, 1.2 – 1.3, 1.3 – 1.2 (6+) and is flat at #21.

As noted above, KFBK notched a huge (+1.4) October gain. It is the turn this time for news/talk KXJZ (+1.1, third to second). Moreover, the Capital Public Radio outlet is without a loss for the fourth straight time for an overall +1.9 since July (4.5 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 6.4, 6+) and KXJZ crosses the six-share threshold (6.4, 6+) for the first time in its PPM-history. This is the fifth occurrence in the last nine sweeps that Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQEI has recorded a .6 (flat at #26, 6+).

Sacramento Music Formats – A combined -.9 in August and September (5.1 – 4.4 – 4.2, 6+), Bonneville’s KNCI completely erases that deficit in October and November (4.2 – 4.3 – 5.1, +.9, 6+) as “New Country 105.1” jumps from eighth to fifth. At the same time, iHeartMedia’s KBEB “92.5 The Bull – #1 for New Country” is up two-tenths in consecutive sweeps (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.5, steady at #14, 6+), while the market’s other country outlet, Entravision Communications-owned KNTY “101.9 The Wolf,” is flat at 2.0 (#16 to #17, 6+). By gaining six-tenths (4.4 – 5.0, steady at #6, 6+), Entercom CHR KUDL “106.5 The End” logs its best 6+-showing since May’s 5.6. Improving by one-half share each are KUDL’s rhythmic CHR cluster-mate KSFM (3.2 – 3.7, #12 to #11, 6+) and iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies KHYL “V-101.1” (3.9 – 4.4, #10 to #8, 6+), which has its best 6+-stat (4.4) since August 2015’s 4.7. Notwithstanding that is a cumulative -1.6 in back-to-back sweeps (9.7 – 9.2 – 8.1, 6+) and has its lowest 6+-share (8.1) since April’s 8.0, Entercom-owned KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” is #1 for the 10th straight time. “The Eagle” was +1.0 (May); +.9 (June); -.9 (July); +.6 (September); -.5 (October); and now -1.1 (November). Up two-tenths and flat at #14 (2.3 – 2.5, 6+), Entravision Communications rhythmic CHR KHHM “Hot 103.5” is within 2.2 – 2.9 range for the 13th consecutive sweep. As a result of having its 6+-share sliced in half (1.8 – .9, -.9, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVB “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” drifts from the top twenty (#18 to #25). In three down or flat months in succession (4.2 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+), Entercom-owned KKDO is a combined -.8. “Alt 94.7 – Sacramento’s Alternative” exits the top ten (#9 to #12) with its lowest 6+-share since May (3.4, as well).

Salt Lake City Spoken-Word Formats – It’s another dramatic fluctuation for Bonneville’s KSL, which follows October’s massive +2.4 to 7.2, its highest 6+-share since April’s 8.1, with a -1.8 to 5.4 (6+). Consequently, “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” has a one-month stay at #1 and slumps to fifth. Prior to October, the last time KSL reached #1 was in April. By picking up four-tenths in August, KSL pulled the plug on three consecutive declines that accounted for a -3.5 (8.1 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.6, 6+). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s KNRS “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know” is a combined +1.0 in October and November (3.9 – 4.7 – 4.9, level at #7, 6+) and has its strongest 6+-showing (4.9) since March 2017’s 5.6.

The August 2018 – November 2018 topline for Broadway Media-owned KALL is 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 (6+), with “ESPN 700 – Utah’s #1 Sports Talk” remaining at #21. Immediately in advance of that, KALL was an overall +.5 via four consecutive positive or flat moves (1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+).

A collective -.8 in September and October (3.5 – 3.0 – 2.7, 6+), University of Utah news/talk KUER picks up one-tenth in November to 2.8 (#15 to #13, 6+). Brigham Young University news/talk KUMT debuted in September with a .9 (6+); was off six-tenths in October to .3 (#26 to #27, 6+); and disappears in November.

Salt Lake City Music Formats – Locked in a three-way tie at #3 in October, iHeartMedia-owned classic hits-oldies KODJ “94.1 Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits” roars back from a -1.1 (6.7 – 5.6, 6+) with a +1.5 to 7.1 (6+) and takes over at #1. Previously this calendar year, KODJ held sole possession of the top spot or was tied for the lead in June, July, August, and September. Its gain of three-tenths in September curtailed three straight decreases that accounted for a loss of one-half share (6.9 – 6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). Part of that October three-way scrum at #3 was KODJ’s format rival, Bonneville’s KRSP “103.5 The Arrow,” which improves by one-half share to 6.1, progressing to the runner-up slot. “The Arrow” had been off four-tenths in three straight (mostly) flat or down moves (6.0 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 5.6, 6+). Notching one-half share October – November gains as well are independent KSOP-FM “Z-104 Utah’s #1 Country” (4.2 – 4.7, ninth to eighth, 6+) and Broadway Media alternative KXRK “X-96 Utah’s Original Alternative” (3.8 – 4.3, 6+). “Z 104” has its highest 6+ share since March (4.7, as well), while “X-96” cracks the top ten (#12 to #10). Even though Cumulus Media adult contemporary KBEE is a collective +1.8 via three straight upticks (2.7 – 3.6 – 4.3 – 4.5, 6+), “B-98.7 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” backslides from eighth to ninth. “B-98.7” gained six-tenths between April and July (2.7 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+). On the other hand, co-owned country KUBL “K-Bull 93” is an overall -2.1 in four consecutive decreases (5.9 – 5.7 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.8, 6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #12).

Las Vegas Spoken-Word Formats – As it posts a 1.9 for the third time in the last four sweeps (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+), Entercom’s KXNT falls out of the top twenty (#20 to #21). Prior to gaining two-tenths in August, “News Talk Radio 840” had been down or flat the previous three ratings periods for a net loss of four-tenths (2.1 – 2.0 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+). In a somewhat similar vein, Beasley Media Group news/talk KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk” records a 1.1 (6+) for the fourth time in the last seven survey periods, 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.1 (6+), dropping from #24 to #25.

Doubling (+.5) its 6+ share through four up or flat trends (.5 – .6 – .9 – .9 – 1.0, 6+), Lotus Communications sports talk KWWN “ESPN Radio 1100” advances from #26 to #25.

In addition to being an overall +1.3 in six consecutive positive spikes (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.3, 6+), Nevada Public Radio’s KNPR enters the top ten (#11 to #10).

Las Vegas Music Formats – Within 2.4 – 2.8 range (6+) in each of the last seven reports (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.6   – 2.7 – 2.4, 6+), Kemp Broadcasting rhythmic CHR KVEG explodes with a +.9 to 3.3, its strongest 6+-stat since March (3.3, as well), and “Hot 97.5” zooms into the top ten (#16 to #10). Trending .8 – .8 – .9 – .8 – .9 (June through October, 6+), University of Nevada’s KUNV “91.5 Jazz & More” logs a +.7 to 1.6, reaching the one-share level (6+) for the first time since May (1.1). Not only does Lotus Communications’ KXPT advance from fifth to third, “97.1 The Point – #1 For Classic Rock” is an overall +1.8 in five straight positive spikes (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.5, 6+) and has its best 6+-performance (5.5) in just over two years (5.9, October 2016). On top for the third month in a row is iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5 Better Music for a Better Workday,” which basically stabilizes (8.4 – 8.3, -1, 6+), after September and October’s combined +2.1 (6.3 – 7.5 – 8.4, 6+). October’s (8.4) represents the highest 6+-share for “Sunny” since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.5. This calendar year, KSNE has been on top in March, May, June, July, September, October, and November. Even though an increase of two-tenths to 1.8 (6+) by Univision Radio regional Mexican KISF suspends three negative moves in succession that accounted for a -1.2 (2.8 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 1.6, 6+), “103.5 Zona Mx” backslides from #21 to #22. On the heels of October’s -.7, Beasley Media Group urban-rhythmic oldies KOAS “Old School 105.7” erodes by another eight-tenths in November (5.1 – 4.3, fourth to sixth, 6+). As it entered the October ratings period, “Old School 105.7” was a cumulative +1.7 in five straight increases (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.1 – 5.8, 6+). Surrendering all of October’s +.5 and one-tenth more (3.8 – 3.2, -.6, 6+), Faith Communications’ contemporary Christian KSOS “SOS Radio” falls from the top ten (#10 to #12). October’s 3.8 was its highest 6+-stat since January’s 3.9. Faltering by six-tenths as well is Entercom rhythmic hot AC KXQQ “Q-100.5” (seventh to ninth), which is a collective -1.3 in three losses in succession (4.9 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 3.6, 6+). Co-owned hot AC KMXB “Mix 94.1” (third to fourth) drops one-half share to 5.4, its lowest 6+-showing since February (5.4, as well).

Cincinnati Spoken-Word Formats – Notwithstanding that WLW (10.8 – 10.0, 6+) remains at #1 for the sixth consecutive sweep, it has been a rollercoaster ride for the iHeartMedia news/talk outlet. Some recent fluctuations for WLW include: a combined +2.0 (January and February); -1.0 (March); +1.6 (April); -1.2 (May); -1.4 (September); +1.7 (October); and now -.8 (November). October’s 10.8 was the highest 6+-share in more than two years (10.8, as well, in June 2016) for the flagship of MLB’s Reds and NFL’s Bengals. Co-owned WKRC “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati” has an up/down July through November topline of 3.6 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 3.6 (6+) and drops from ninth to tenth. July’s increase of eight-tenths halted four straight monthly reports without an increase for a collective -1.0 (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+).

Following October’s one-half share gain to 1.4 – its best 6+-stat since May (1.4, as well) – sports talk sibling WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530” levels out at 1.4 and repeats at #17.

Off a collective four-tenths in three successive sweeps without an increase (3.5 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.1, 6+), Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU is back to July’s 3.1 (6+) and carries on at #12.

Cincinnati Music Formats – Having logged six straight down or flat sweeps that resulted in an overall -1.5 (4.9 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.4, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WKFS erases nearly half the loss with a gain of seven-tenths (4.1, 6+). “Kiss 107.1 Cincinnati’s #1 Hit Music Station” is back in the top ten (#11 to #9). Although it is without an increase for the third successive time for a collective -1.3 (7.9 – 7.4 – 6.6 – 6.6, 6+),  Hubbard hot AC WKRQ “Q-102 Cincinnati’s Hit Music” remains in fourth-place. Anchored at #3, country sibling WUBE “B-105” is up one full-share via three straight up or flat monthlies (7.9 – 8.3 – 8.9 – 8.9,  6+). This is the strongest 6+-stat for “B-105” in more than two years (8.9, as well, August 2016). Elsewhere in the market’s country format, Cumulus Media’s WNNF “94.1 Nash-FM” picks up one-tenth (1.8 – 1.9, #15 to #16, 6+), while WUBE cluster-mate WYGY “97.3 The Wolf” (#18) improves by two-tenths to 1.0, its best 6+-stat since February (1.0, as well). “The Wolf” had recorded either a .8 (6+) or a .9 (6+) in each sweep between March and October. In August, WDBZ registered a .9 (6+) to finish at #20, but the Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies is unlisted for the third month in a row. At #19 in October (1.2, 6+), Educational Community Radio’s WOBO “The Station With Something For Everyone” vanishes in November.

Orlando Spoken-Word Formats – Unchanged in eighth-place, Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM “News 96.5” is an overall +1.9 in five consecutive increases (3.3 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+) and has its best 6+-performance (5.2) in more than a year (6.1, September 2017). Conversely, iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” has lost a collective eight-tenths in three straight declines (4.7 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+) and continues at #11. Its +1.0 in August suspended three straight decreases that resulted in a -1.8 (5.5 – 5.3 – 4.0 – 3.7, 6+). Having nearly doubled (+1.2) its 6+-share as the result of four successive sweeps without a loss (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WFLF surrenders three-tenths to 2.4 (6+) yet improves from #15 to #14.

At the same time that Cox Media Group sports talk WDBO-AM “ESPN 580 Orlando” gains three-tenths to 1.4 (#20 to a three-way tie at #17), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WYGM “FM 96.9 The Game – Orlando’s Sports Leader” drops two-tenths in consecutive sweeps (1.3 – 1.1 – .9, 6+) and departs the top twenty (#20 to #21).

Anchored at #12, Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida” has been +.5 (September); -.7 (October); and now +.3 in November (3.3 – 3.6, 6+).

Orlando Music Formats – Not only is iHeartMedia Spanish tropical WRUM on top for the 11th straight time, “Rumba 100” hangs out a +.8 to 8.9 (6+), thus ending at three its consecutive string of downturns that resulted in an overall -3.5 (11.6 – 10.1 – 8.2 – 8.1, 6+). April 2017s 12.8 is the best-ever 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. Moreover, “Rumba” breaks the October tie at #1 with co-owned CHR WXXL, which gains one-tenth (8.1 – 8.2, 6+), but segues to the runner-up slot. A one-half share September increase by “XL-106.7 Orlando’s #1 Hit Music Station” halted three downward moves in a row that accounted for a collective -1.7 (8.9 – 8.4 – 7.8 – 7.2, 6+). By posting an increase of seven-tenths to 7.1 (6+), its highest 6+-stat in exactly one year (8.1, November 2017), Cox Media Group-owned WMMO advances from fourth to third. WMMO was locked on 6.6 (6+) in July, August, and September, before dropping to 6.4 (6+) in October. Two-tenths behind “98.9 Orlando’s Classic Hits” is urban AC cluster-mate WCFB “Star 94.5 – Orlando’s Only R&B,” which is an overall +1.4 in five straight sweeps without a loss (5.5 – 6.0 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 6.8 – 6.9, third to fourth, 6+). Flat at #7, Entercom hot AC WOMX “Mix 105.1” records its third sweep in a row without a loss and is a modest +.2 in that stretch (5.2 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.4, 6+). Off a collective one-half share as a result of being down or flat for the fourth ratings period in a row (3.4 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WJRR “101.1 Orlando’s Rock Station” continues at #13.

Cleveland Spoken-Word Formats – On the heels of its October gain of eight-tenths, iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” forfeits one-half share (6.8 – 6.3, 6+) and drops from a four-way tie at #3 to #5. October’s +.8 halted four successive sweeps without an increase for a collective -.6 (6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.0 – 6.0, 6+).

Meanwhile, Entercom’s WKRK “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” (steady at #9) is up an overall two full-shares via five successive improvements (3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.4, 6+), directly following a combined -1.8 in three straight (March through June) setbacks (5.2 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 3.4, 6+).

 Off four-tenths in October, Ideastream-owned news/talk outlet WCPN erases half that decrease in November with a gain of two-tenths (2.8 – 3.0, 6+) and continues at #13; September’s 3.2 was its best 6+-showing since February’s 3.6.

Cleveland Music Formats – On top of being a collective +2.8 in three upticks in succession (6.0 – 6.5 – 7.5 – 8.8, 6+), WZAK marches from second to first. It is quite a turnaround for the Radio One urban AC, which had lost roughly 40% (-4.1) of its 6+ AQH share in five straight down or flat trends between March and August (10.1 – 9.6 – 8.1 – 6.8 – 6.8 – 6.0, 6+). Ousted from the top spot after five straight months at #1 is iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits,” which – despite registering a +.4 (7.8 – 8.2, 6+) – shifts to #2. Its October loss of -1.5 suspended four straight improvements that – ironically – generated an overall +1.5 (7.8 – 8.4 – 8.5 – 8.7 – 9.3, 6+). Among WMJI’s fluctuations this calendar year are: -1.9 (January); +1.9 (February); -2.0 (March); +1.0 (April); -1.5 (May); +.6 (June); +.6 (September); and -1.5 (October). CHR cluster-mate WAKS “96.5 Kiss FM – Cleveland’s #1 Hit Music Station” completely wipes away October’s one-half share decrease with a like-margin November increase (3.9 – 3.4 – 3.9, 6+) but remains at #12. Dropping from third to fourth, co-owned WGAR “99.5 Cleveland’s #1 For New Country” is a collective -1.6 in three successive decreases (8.1 – 7.2 – 6.8 – 6.5, 6+). Over in the Entercom cluster, WNCX “98.5 Cleveland’s Classic Rock” (third to fifth) is an overall -2.1 (8.4 – 6.9 – 6.8 – 6.3, 6+) via three straight dips and has its lowest 6+-stat since April’s 6.0, while adult contemporary sibling WDOK “Cleveland’s Star 102.” is -.8 in three negative moves in a row (6.4- 6.2 – 6.0 – 5.6, seventh to eighth, 6+).

Kansas City Spoken-Word Formats – Tacking on four-tenths to October’s +.3 (4.4 – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+), Entercom news/talk KMBZ-FM “98.1 News-Traffic-Weather” pushes ahead from sixth to fourth. An August gain of seven-tenths interrupted five straight February through July decreases that accounted for a -1.7 (5.6 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.1 – 3.9, 6+). Co-owned KMBZ-AM “Talk 980,” which was up four-tenths in October, is flat at 2.6 (6+), but slips from #18 to #19. When Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM picked up one-tenth in October to .7 (6+), it ended three down or flat reports that accounted for a loss of two-tenths (.7 – .6 – .6 – .5, 6+); however, “Talk Radio 710 AM” returns that one-tenth in November (.6, flat at #23, 6+).

Winning ways continue for Union Broadcasting’s WHB “Sports Radio 810,” which has more than doubled (+2.2) its 6+-share in six straight upticks (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 4.0 – 4.2, tenth to ninth, 6+). WHB was -.9 in February; +.9 in March; an overall -2.0 in April and May (4.0 – 2.9 – 2.0, 6+); and +1.2 in October. Forfeiting all but one-tenth of October’s +.4 (3.5 – 3.2, -.3, 6+), Entercom’s KCSP “610 Sports Radio” slumps from #14 to #17.

In October, KCUR returned the three-tenths it gained in September (3.0 – 3.3 – 3.0, 6+), but in November, the University of Missouri news/talk outlet posts a one-half share increase to 3.5 (#15 to #14, 6+).

Kansas City Music Formats – By adding six-tenths to October’s +.1 (2.7 – 2.8 – 3.4, 6+), Cumulus Media urban AC KMJK “Magic 107.3 – Kansas City’s Best Mix of R&B” shifts from #16 to #15. Off one-half share in October, Entercom alternative KRBZ “96.5 The Buzz” jumps six-tenths as well (2.7 – 3.3, #17 to #16, 6+) and has its best 6+-showing (3.3) since April’s 3.9. Hot AC cluster-mate KZPT “99.7 The Point,” a collective -.8 in four straight down or flat moves (4.6 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 3.8, 6+), adds one-tenth to 3.9 but moves from #12 to #13. This is yet another extremely powerful report card for Cumulus Media’s KCFX “101 The Fox – Kansas City’s Classic Rock Station,” which is #1 for the sixth time in a row and an overall +2.7 in six straight sweeps without a loss (7.0 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.8 – 8.8 – 9.6 – 9.7, 6+). Furthermore, this (9.7) is the highest 6+-stat for the Kansas City Chiefs’ flagship since July 2017’s 10.3. On the other hand though, classic hits-oldies sibling KCMO-FM “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” is a combined -3.1 in eight successive March through November declines (8.1 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.8 – 6.4 – 6.3 – 5.4 – 5.0, 6+), dipping from fourth to sixth. “Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” was #1 in March, April, and May. Despite forfeiting one-half share to 7.0 (6+), thus curtailing three straight upticks for a cumulative +2.0 (5.5 – 6.5 – 7.3 – 7.5, 6+), Entercom-owned KQRC “98.9 The Rock” advances from third to second. Down one-half share as well is Steel City Media adult contemporary KCKC “KC-102.1 Today’s Best Variety” (4.7 – 4.2, sixth to ninth, 6+). A mere two-tenths separates the market’s three country outlets. Specifically, by posting a gain of three-tenths to 4.3 (6+), Entercom’s WDAF not only zooms from tenth to seventh, “106.5 The Wolf” pulls the plug on six straight sweeps without an increase for an overall loss of nine-tenths (4.9 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 4.0, 6+). It is tied at #7 with Steel City Media’s KBEQ, which is a combined -1.3 in October and November (5.6 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+). Nonetheless, “Q-104 New Hit Country,” which gained six-tenths in September, progresses from ninth (to seventh). Meanwhile, co-owned KFKF “Country 94.1” is a combined -2.1 as a result of three downturns in succession (6.2 – 5.3 – 4.5 – 4.1, 6+) and exits the top ten (#8 to #11).

Columbus Spoken-Word Formats – In three straight positive spikes (5.4 – 5.5 – 6.1 – 6.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN “News Radio 610” is an overall +.9 and progresses from fifth to fourth.

Seventh-ranked in January with a 4.4 (6+) – but then vanishing from print – RadiOhio sports talk outlet WBNS-FM “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” reappeared in October with +1.1 (5.6 – 6.7, #4, 6+). The flagship of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets relinquishes four-tenths in November to 6.3 (6+) but remains at #4. After posting an April through October topline of .9 – 1.0 – .9 – .5 – .9 – 1.1 – .9 (6+), iHeartMedia sports talk WXZX “105.7 The Zone” is off three-tenths to .6 (#16 to #18, 6+).

Answering October’s -1.1 with a November gain of one-half share (3.5 – 4.0, 6+), Ohio State University news/talk WOSU inches up from ninth to eighth. Immediately prior to the October sweep, WOSU had a net gain of seven-tenths via three straight up or flat monthlies (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 4.6, 6+).

Columbus Music Formats – In addition to being a combined +1.1 in three straight increases (2.7 – 2.8 – 3.0 – 3.8, 6+), Radio One’s WCKX “Power 107.5” cracks the top ten (#12 to #9) with its best 6+-showing since September 2017 (3.8, as well). By duplicating October’s +.6 (6.5 – 7.1 – 7.7, 6+), Saga Communications’ WLVQ “Q-FM 96 – Iconic Rock” marches from third to second and displays its best 6+-stat since January 2017’s 7.9. Despite being a cumulative +1.1 in four up or flat trends in a row (2.4 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WZCB “106.7 The Beat” backslides from #10 to #11. Albeit that it has eroded by -3.3 in four straight setbacks (16.3 – 15.1 – 15.0 – 14.5 – 13.0, 6+), co-owned WCOL is #1 for the 11th sweep in a row and has been in double-digits (6+) each ratings period since June 2017. When “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” was -1.2 in August, it concluded five consecutive increases for an overall +4.0 (12.3 – 13.4 – 14.4 – 14.5 – 15.7 – 16.3, 6+). Among the major fluctuations for “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” this calendar year are +3.1 (January); -1.7 (February); +1.1 (March); +1.0 (April); +1.2 (June); +.6 (July); 1.2 (August); -.5 (October); and -1.5 (November). Following 10 consecutive reports at #2, WCOL’s CHR sibling, WNCI “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music Station” (7.8 – 7.1, -.7, 6+), falls to #3. WNCI was +1.3 in June; a collective -1.8 in July and August (10.7 – 10.0 – 8.9, 6+); +.5 (September); -1.6 (October); and -.7 (November). Adult hits cluster-mate WODC is an overall -1.7 as a result of three consecutive dips (6.7 – 6.4 – 5.3 – 5.0, 6+), but “93.3 The Bus – We Play Anything” carries on at #7. This present streak immediately follows four consecutive improvements that netted a +1.6 (5.1 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.7, 6+).

Monday, November 26, 2018

| November 26, 2018

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

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

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

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

 

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

Monday, July 9, 2018

| July 9, 2018

Nielsen and Bubba The Love Sponge Settle $1 Million Suit.  The trial was scheduled to begin on July 23 after more than two-and-a-half years of preparation and paying lawyers, but on Friday afternoon (7/6), a settlement was announced and from what we’ve learned, Nielsen came out on top.  If you remember, Nielsen sued Bubba Clem for $1 million claiming that his attempts to manipulate the PPM survey in the Tampa market had caused damage to its reputation and the PPM methodology. Bubba countersued claiming, among other things, that Nielsen and competitor Cox Media Group conspired against him.  The terms of the settlement are confidential, but in a press release from Nielsen, the company says Bubba will make a cash payment to Nielsen (that amount will likely never be known) and a number of statements from both sides were made public.  Bubba’s statement includes the following: “I understand how important it is to the radio industry that the Nielsen ratings be free from bias and I deeply regret interfering with Nielsen’s collection of listening data.”  He promises never to do it again and, if he does, “any future infractions by Clem will be punishable by a court-ordered injunction and additional financial damages payable to Nielsen.”  One has to wonder what changed for Bubba.  He had numerous attempts to settle via mediation.  The discovery process should have indicated to him and his lawyers that Nielsen’s case had more merit than his criticism of Nielsen’s methodology and his theory of a conspiracy between Nielsen and Cox.  It seems clear the big winners here were the lawyers who notched a lot of billable hours.

TALKERS Continues Posting Videos Today of the Recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Convention – Today’s Post:  Panel Discussion Titled Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio.  Today (7/9), TALKERS magazine continues posting individual events from the recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! convention held in New York City on June 8.  Each business day, another session will be posted in the order that they originally took place.  Today’s 10th installment is the panel discussion titled “Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio” moderated by Livestream head of news, Clayton Rose and featuring panelists Krantz Media Group CEO, Gary Krantz and KTRS, St Louis host, McGraw Milhaven.  Already posted: the panel discussion titled “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2018” moderated by TALKERS VP/executive editor, Kevin Casey; introduced by Crossover Media Group managing member, Ron Hartenbaum; and featuring panelists Asa RX host, AsaBold Gold Media Group CEO, Vince BenedettoHowie Carr Radio Network president, Kathy CarrWestwood One president, Suzanne Grimes; WBAL, Baltimore president/GM, Cary Pahigian; and KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz owner, Michael Zwerling.  Other videos already posted include the special presentation by Amplifi Media CEO, Steven Goldstein titled “Radio Broadcasters and Smart Speakers with an introduction by GCN personality, Dr. Daliah Wachs ;  a special presentation by PodcastOne chairman and CEO, Norm Pattiz titled “Radio Broadcasters and Podcasting” with an introduction by Voice of America and National Public Radio anchor/reporter, Lori Lundin;  a special presentation by WFAN personality, Mike Francesa titled “Sports Talk’s Role in Media and Popular Culture” with an introduction by author and former radio producer, Bernadette Duncan;  Salem SVP, Phil Boyce’s address titled “What Has Donald Trump Done to Talk Radio?”; the fireside chat between TALKERS publisher, Michael Harrison and Beasley Media Group CEO, Caroline Beasley including Harrison’s presentation of the 2018 “Woman of the Year” award to Beasley; Harrison’s fireside chat with FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel mega-star, Brian Kilmeade with an introduction by Westwood One syndicated host, Walter Sterling and special remarks by Sean Hannity; opening remarks by the convention’s co-emcees, TalkersRadio GM, David Bernstein and Good Day Networks/DJV Show CEO/host, Doug Stephan; KGO, San Francisco host, Ethan Bearman delivering the event’s welcoming remarks and Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host, Brad Shepard introduction of Bearman.  Also posted: the presentation of the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech (“Freedom of Speech Award”) by TALKERS managing editor, Mike Kinosian to SiriusXM Satellite Radio host, book publisher, Hunter College professor, and former New York Daily News/Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, Karen Hunter.  To view the page, please click here.

Attorneys Counter Arguments Against Tribune Merger in FCC Filing. The proposed acquisition of Tribune Media by Sinclair Broadcast Group is almost entirely about the merger of two television companies – except for Tribune’s lone radio property: news/talk WGN-AM, Chicago.  Responding to those who’ve argued that this acquisition would put too many local television stations under the control of Sinclair, lawyers for both companies write in a petition to the FCC that “contrary to Petitioners’ rhetoric, the sky is not falling.  Sinclair’s acquisition of Tribune will not radically disrupt the media marketplace or impede viewers’ access to quality local news, nor will it violate any FCC rules or policies.”  They argue – as have many radio operators seeking de-regulation of their industry – that the modern media landscape makes concerns about this level of ownership outdated.  “Petitioners ask the Commission to make decisions based on Petitioners’ subjective disagreement with content that airs on Sinclair stations and to review this transaction as if it took place in a time when there were seven TV channels and phones were simply used to call someone to say hello, rather than to watch a full-length movie or live newscast. But today there are hundreds of TV channels, OTT video services are proliferating and being subscribed to by tens of millions of households, and the lines between telephone companies, internet providers, MVPDs, programmers and broadcasters have long since disappeared.”  Sinclair currently operates just three radio stations – in the Seattle market: all-news KOMO-AM/FM, news talk KVI, and hot AC KPLZ.

TALKERS News Notes. Longtime all-news KYW, Philadelphia director of news and programming Steve Butler is leaving the Entercom station.  In a memo to staffers, Butler assures them that he’s not being forced out. “This is really, really my decision, and a really tough one.”  Butler says he wants to enjoy doing things he’s always wanted to explore while still in good health.  Butler says he’ll stay on until Entercom Philly market manager David Yadgaroff finds his successor…..New York City sports talk personality and radio voice of the New York Yankees Michael Kay is being inducted into the New York State Broadcasters Association’s Hall of Fame.  Kay hosts the afternoon drive show on ESPN-owned WEPN, New York.  He’ll be honored on October 18 along with the rest of the class of 2018.  Kay states, “I am extremely humbled by this honor.  To stand alongside the others who have been inducted to this prestigious hall is somewhat surreal for a kid from the Bronx who started out in this business as a newspaper man.  I thank those who voted for me; it is greatly appreciated.”…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago afternoon drive traffic reporter Veronica Carter has exited the Entercom all-newser in order to move back to California.  Carter has been with the station for the past 12 years.  She worked at crosstown WGN-AM before that.  Her Facebook message states: “My kids have grown up and now I have zero obligations, so I’m going to do what I want for the next two or three decades!  That includes spending a lot of time outdoors, visiting my mother, sisters and other family members, and of course chillaxing on the beach!”…..Comic and SiriusXM personality Dean Obeidallah has won a judgement against neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin and his website The Daily Stormer.  The judgement was declared by a federal court clerk in Columbus, Ohio, but Anglin was not present in court – he’s been avoiding the matter.  Numerous attempts to personally serve Anglin were unsuccessful. The issue is that Anglin posted a phony story on the website that stated Obeidallah admitted to being the mastermind behind the terrorist attack at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, UK last year.

Herskovitz: Commercial Cycles.  Radio sales pro Al Herskovitz writes today about some of the trends in commercial styles and how they’ve changed and, in some case, come full circle.  The full-sing spot was at one time very common. Iconic jingles were credited with creating and enforcing brand loyalty for many products over the years.  In some current instances, creative is returning to the jingle with some very effective results.  Read Herskovitz’s column here.

Confer Radio Talent Institute Opens at Bloomsburg University.  This is the sixth annual Confer Radio Talent Institute in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters and it’s taking place at Bloomsburg University in Bloomsburg Pennsylvania beginning today (7/9).  Sessions over the 10-day institute cover almost every aspect of radio – from sales to on-air in music radio, sports, news, production, promotions, digital, social media, and engineering.  Twenty-two students have been accepted from eight universities, including: Susquehanna University, Clarion University, Temple, Stockton, Alvernia University, Pace University, and California University of Pennsylvania, as well as Bloomsburg University.  Pictured here is Kirby Confer addressing some of the students.

Georgia Beasley Named RAB’s Professional Development Manager; Kim Johnson Promoted to Director of Sales.  The Radio Advertising Bureau announces that Georgia Beasley has been named professional development manager.  In this role, Beasley will work closely with SVP professional development Jeff Schmidt on the overall training curriculum offered at the RAB.  This includes the Rising Through the Ranks program – dedicated to the support and advancement of women in radio sales management positions – of which Georgia herself is a graduate.  Beasley was most recently director of TopicPulse Strategic Initiatives at Futuri Media.  She has also held various sales management positions at Beasley Media Group.  At the same time, RAB says Kim Johnson has been promoted to the director of sales position. Prior to this role, she worked with the RAB’s CRM tool as an account development manager. Johnson will be responsible for the sales of the entire suite of RAB’s professional development training courses.

Illegal Immigration Policy, Trump Supreme Court Nominee, Trump-Russia Investigation, Thailand Cave Rescues, Tariffs and Trade War Concerns, North Korea Nuclear Program, MLB and World Cup Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The treatment of families in enforcing illegal immigration laws; speculation about President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court and questions about the fate of Roe v Wade; special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents; the rescue of five of the dozen boys trapped in underwater caves in Thailand; Trump’s tariffs and concerns about the effects of a trade war; suggestions that North Korea is continuing its nuclear weapons program despite the recent Trump-Kim Jong Un summit; Major League Baseball action; and World Cup soccer were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Los Angeles-based morning drive urban contemporary star Big Boy is heading to the small screen.  iHeartMedia and Fuse Media announce they will begin televising the KRRL “Real 92.3”-based, nationally syndicated “Big Boy’s Neighborhood” program on television’s Fuse Music channel beginning July 30.  The program features Big Boy and castmates Natalia Perez, Louie G, Ayyde, and DJ VickOne.  iHeartMedia president of entertainment enterprises John Sykes says, “This new partnership with Fuse is the continuation of an exciting trend of our iconic iHeartRadio personalities extending their reach to television.  Big Boy is a legend in music and this is the next logical step as he extends his brand.”…..At Urban One’s WKYS, Washington, DC, Angie Ange is named new host of the morning drive show, effective July 16.  Ange has been hosting the evening show on the station.  In mornings, she’ll be joined by Déja Perez and DJ Money.  Ange says, “Growing up I would have fun listening to Tom Joyner, Russ Parr, and Donnie Simpson.  To reach this height in my career and be in a position to give that same energy while also inspiring and enlightening our listeners as they start their day is the opportunity of a lifetime.”…..Impact Radio Group announces the debut of the new “Joey & Lauren” (pictured at left) morning show on hot AC KZMG, Boise “MY 102.7.”  Station program director James Garner says, “After an extensive nationwide search for a quality morning show, my team and I found ourselves right back in the Treasure Valley with Joey and Lauren Jenkins…The easiest option would have been to select a cookie-cutter, ready-made program, but we decided to create a new show from the ground up, with genuine personalities that our listeners can relate to.  I am excited to present this fun and unique local morning show to our listeners in the Treasure Valley.”…..In Cincinnati, Tropikana joins Radio One’s cluster as music director for hip hop WIZF “101.1 The Wiz.”  Operations manager Bill Black says, “Tropikana is an important part of the puzzle that we are building at ‘The Wiz!’  I am very excited about what she will bring to The Wiz’s team.”

Friday, June 22, 2018

| June 22, 2018

Corporate Programmer Chris Oliviero to Exit Entercom.  After a long history with CBS RADIO and seven months into the transition after that company’s merger with Entercom, EVP of programming Chris Oliviero is exiting the company to pursue new opportunities. “From my very first day as an intern and over the past 22 years, my experience at CBS RADIO has been nothing short of spectacular. Now that our merger with Entercom is fully integrated, I feel this is the right moment to begin turning my focus to new opportunities.  David Field has been fully supportive and understanding of my departure and I thank him for my smooth transition.  It has been my true honor and joy to have had a chance to partner with and learn from the best and brightest programmers in the industry.  Though our days as colleagues might be winding down, the friendships will continue.  So, to all my old friends at CBS RADIO along with my new ones at Entercom, I wish you all the best.”  A message from Entercom CEO David Field to his management team states, “I am writing to let you know that Chris Oliviero will be leaving Entercom on July 6 to pursue other opportunities.  He will remain in an advisory role through year end.  Chris has been a key leader over many years at CBS RADIO and, more recently, at Entercom.  He has made a great impact on the organization. We are saddened that Chris is leaving the company, but we wish him all the best in his future endeavors. Our programming organization will remain the best in the industry.  We are blessed to have a terrific group of program directors across the country and an outstanding leadership team led by our president of programming Pat Paxton and SVP radio and Radio.com programming Jeff Sottolano.”

iHeartMedia Releases Revenue Projections in Bankruptcy Filing.  The revenue projections were part of a 251-page Disclosure Statement filed by iHeartMedia as part of the reorganization process.  Starting with 2018 and looking through 2022, the report says that “management has based its revenue projections in part on third party forecast audio market declines of -2.6%, -2.9%, -3.4%, -3.7% and -4.1% in 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022, respectively.  Management expects its core audio business to return to its historical market outperformance of 200 bps, as measured by standard industry sources, by Q4 2018.  Additionally, management anticipates continuing the 200 bps outperformance in each year from 2019-2022.  The Debtors’ core audio business, comprised of spot, streaming, and non-traditional and other markets revenue, was $2,289 million in 2017 and is projected to decline to $2,207 million in 2018 and $2,160 million in 2019.  Thereafter, it is projected to total $2,095 million, $2,025 million, and $1,949 million in 2020, 2021, and 2022, respectively.”  The company drops in a forward-looking positive note when it reports that its “digital platform composition is moving towards home smart speakers.  As of April 2018, home consumer electronics comprised 22% of total monthly active users for the Debtors’ iHeartRadio app.”

Judge Orders Nielsen and Bubba Back to Mediation. The trial of Nielsen Audio v. Bubba the Love Sponge is supposed to open in court on July 23, but a surprise Order from U.S. District Judge James Whittemore may – or may not – change that. Yesterday (6/21), Whittemore ordered both parties to mediate with U.S. Magistrate Judge Anthony Porcelli.  This is not the first time Nielsen and Bubba have been in mediation.  The last session proved fruitless.  Nielsen is suing Bubba the Love Sponge for damages related to allegations of Bubba’s attempts to manipulate the PPM ratings in Tampa. Bubba is countersuing Nielsen, alleging the company conspired with competitor Cox Media Group to entrap him into engaging in ratings manipulation.

Attorneys General File Objections to Sinclair-Tribune Merger. Petitions to Deny were filed with the FCC by attorneys general in Illinois, Iowa, and Rhode Island, objecting to the merger of Sinclair Broadcast Group and Tribune Media.  As most industry observers are aware, Sinclair and Tribune are primarily television companies, but Tribune’s news/talk WGN-AM, Chicago is part of the proposed deal. Sinclair owns three Seattle market radio stations: news/talk KVI, all-news KOMO-AM/FM, and hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5.”  Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan criticized the merger that would give Sinclair penetration into “nearly 60% of U.S. television households.”  She says, “The massive Tribune-Sinclair merger contradicts the FCC’s principles of diversity, localism, and competition that ensure consumer choice in the marketplace. I urge the FCC to deny the Tribune-Sinclair merger because it will result in the loss of diverse viewpoints on national and local television broadcasts.”

PPM Analysis: Public News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s May 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on public news/talk.  Pub talkers in general had a tough month, with 51% of stations losing weekly 6+ AQH share compared to the April 2018 survey.  However, comparing May 2017 ratings to May 2018, 51% of public news/talk outlets saw their 6+ weekly AQH share increase.  Looking at market rank, there are 10 public news/talkers that finished in the top five in May, and five stations ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets: KQED was #1 in both San Francisco and San Jose, as were KPBS, San Diego; KCFR, Denver; KOPB, Portland; and KUT, Austin.  See the entire report here.

Buck Sexton and Krystal Ball to Host Hill.tv AM Show. Conservative media figure Buck Sexton – who hosts his own Premiere Networks-syndicated talk radio program – is co-hosting the new morning program “Krystal & Buck” with MSNBC anchor Krystal Ball on The Hill’s new Hill.tv platform. The show launched on the “digital, bi-partisan news channel” on June 13.  A press statement says the program is designed to “break through the façade of cable news to expose the real Washington.”   Recent guests on the show include: Attorney General Jeff Sessions, former Hillary Clinton campaign manager John Podesta, Hollywood actor/producer Rob Reiner, Senator Ted Cruz, and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

Illegal Immigration Policy Top News/Talk Story for Week of June 18-22. The Trump administration’s policy detaining and deporting illegal aliens and controversy over separating children from parents was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Trump-Russia investigation.  Coming in at #3 was the Trump tariffs and fears of a trade war, followed by the Charlottesville white supremacist rally organizer’s application for a rally on the Washington Mall at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

TV Comedy Writer Andy Cowan Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. The world of television sitcoms and late-night talk shows is explored in depth as former “Cheers,” “Seinfeld,” and “Third Rock from the Sun” writer Andy Cowan is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Cowan discusses his new book, Banging My Head Against the Wall: A Comedy Writers Guide to Seeing Stars (Black Rose Writing, 2018) and the neurotic nature of his brand of comedy as well as comedians in general. The discussion includes a look at the fractionalization of TV audiences going forward into the 21st century. Harrison states, “Andy Cowan’s unique mind operates at the turbulent intersection between the generations, the centuries, the down-to-earth, and the absurd. He is a largely unsung genius and potential cultural hero to the gigantic but quietly suffering population of neurotics that drag their sorry asses amongst the rest of us who are perfect.” 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.

Radio Talk Show Producer Opportunity. The Salem Radio Network is seeking a radio talk show producer in the Washington, D.C. area. Candidates should be capable in booking radio talk shows and have radio experience both on air and in digital. The position is based at the Salem Radio Network News Bureau. Contact Phil Boyce, SVP spoken word for SRN at 212-857-9696, or email resume and qualifications to: Philip.Boyce@salemmedia.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At JVC Media’s Orlando operations, sales pro Lisa Kitchener is named general sales manager.  In Orlando, JVC operates country WOTW “103.1 The Wolf” and rock WOTW-HD2/W231CT “Bud 94.1.”  JVC Orlando general manager Chris Ganoudis says, “Lisa is a huge addition to our stellar staff in Orlando. ‘103.1 The Wolf’ was voted 2017’s Best Local Radio Station by Orlando Business Journal readers, and with the recent addition of ‘Bud 94.1,’ Lisa will have two very popular radio stations with strong programming, promotions and events to showcase to Metro Orlando’s business leaders.  Lisa’s enthusiasm, relationships, ideas, and leadership will propel JVC Orlando to the greatest heights.”…..Benztown names four new staffers to the company’s operations team with the addition of marketing coordinator Susan Aksu, imaging producer Matt Anderson, office manager/executive assistant Laura Keeney, and commercial production creative director Teddy Shrader.

Monday, October 9, 2017

| October 9, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, July 6, 2017

| July 6, 2017

Kagan: WGN-AM, Chicago Valued at $58.4 Million. Media analysis firm Kagan, now an offering of S&P Global Market Intelligence, issues a report on the volume of mergers and acquisitions in the U.S. broadcasting market during the second quarter of this year and concludes that Tribune Media’s news/talk WGN-AM, Chicago is worth $58.4 million.  Tribune Media – the television stations and sole radio property – is being acquired by Sinclair Broadcast Group and WGN-AM will become one of just four stations owned by the TV giant.  The others are Seattle properties hot AC KPLZ, all-news KOMO-AM/FM, and news/talk KVI.  The Kagan report focuses largely on television deals but also reports on Emmis’ sale of KPWR, Los Angeles and notes Saga Communications’ exiting the TV business with its sale of television assets to Morgan Murphy Media.  See the report here.

Newsmax Granted White House Briefing Room Seat. The Boca Raton, Florida-based conservative news organization was one of three to be granted a designated, permanent seat in the White House briefing room by the White House Correspondents’ AssociationNewsmax joins Westwood One and Britain’s The Daily Mail in gaining the coveted full seat that puts the organizations on equal footing with outlets such as the Washington Post, Fox News and MSNBC.  Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy says, “This is truly an honor to be selected by our journalistic peers for this privilege.  It testifies to Newsmax’s strong news brand and our enormous reach.”  Reuters staffer Jeff Mason serves as WHCA president and he says, “The board considered multiple criteria during this decision-making process, including regular briefing attendance and commitment to the White House beat.  We did not want scarce real estate going unused.  We also looked at news outlets’ audiences, both in terms of reach and in terms of preserving (or in some cases adding) diversity in the briefing room. We took stock of the changing landscape of our industry.”

Gilbert to Host Night Show on ‘Real Talk KGX’ in Palm Springs.  Coachella Valley radio personality Marshall Gilbert is joining Desert Broadcasters’ news/talk KKGX, Palm Springs “Real Talk KGX” to host the nightly 7:00 – 9:00 program, beginning Monday (7/10).  Gilbert has been a presence on the radio in the market for the past 23 years.  Station GM Garry Wing comments, “He’s been an integral voice in talk radio in the desert for more than two decades and we’re delighted that he’s chosen to join KGX as we continue to build on the notion that talk radio can be entertaining, compelling and interesting, without the anger, yelling and fake outrage that has permeated the airwaves for years.”  The station notes that Gilbert learned a lot about local politics from his mentor Sonny Bono, serving as his campaign manager, and later as a member of the Palm Springs Airport Commission.

TALKERS News Notes. Well-known talk radio consultant Walter Sabo has  for some time been dabbling first hand in the on-air aspect of the business, hosting a Sunday evening talk program on CBS RADIO’s WPHT, Philadelphia as Walter Sterling.  Now, Mr. Sterling will be testing the waters of nationally syndicated radio as he fills in for Westwood One’s Jim Bohannon next Monday and Tuesday (7/10-11)…..Sports media pro Rock Riley is now the afternoon drive host on Genesis Communications’ Florida spots talk duo WHBO, Tampa and WHOO, Orlando – collectively branded SportsTalkFlorida.  Riley is a former Bright House sports television personality who was with the network for 18 years…..With its new relationship with Fishnet Syndication full steam ahead, Dave Graveline begins offering a daily, consumer tech tips feature to radio stations.  It’s called, “Into Tomorrow Daily with Dave Graveline,” and the program launches on Monday (7/10).  Graveline says, “We give an entertaining and informative glimpse about consumer tech in a short, 60-second vignette every weekday.  It’s kind of a condensed version of our weekly, three-hour weekend show that’s been on the air for 22 years!”…..In the wake of the controversy surrounding CNN’s decision to seek out the creator of the Trump vs CNN wrestling video and allegations the news organization is blackmailing that person, the Melanie Morgan/Brian Maloney-operated Media Equality Project is demanding CNN terminate reporter Andrew Kaczynski.  His “KFile” project is responsible for tracking down the creator of the video that President Trump tweeted.  The Media Equality Project is encouraging supporters to contact CNN advertisers to let them know they won’t support their products until Kaczynski is gone.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (7/6) with Norm Pattiz Podcasting Presentation.  The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and its sessions are being posted to Talkers.com – one event per day.  Already posted are the “Welcoming Remarks” by WMAL, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Larry O’ Connor (including an introduction by TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein); the special presentation “You HAVE Options” by consultant Holland Cooke (including an introduction by Yappy Days author Bernadette Duncan); the “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity (with introduction by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon); the “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS managing editor  Mike Kinosian and WFAN, New York sports talk show host Mike Francesa (with introduction by Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo) and the special presentation “The Trump Effect: Latest Research of Interest to News/Talk Radio” by Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce (with introduction by Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host Brad Shepard).  Posted today (7/6) is the special presentation “Podcasting and Local Radio” by PodcastOne excutive chairman Norm Pattiz (with introduction by Hubbard Radio SVP/programming Greg Strassell).  Within the following days and weeks, every session will be posted and will remain on Talkers.com for the rest of the year.  The Talkers 2017: A New Era video page is sponsored by Backbone NetworksBroadcasters General Store and Comrex Corp.  To view the video page of Talkers 2017: A New Era, please click here.

NAB to Honor David Field with National Radio Award. At the Radio Luncheon at this year’s 2017 Radio Show in Austin on September 6, Entercom Communications president and CEO David Field will be presented with the National Radio Award.  NAB executive vice president John David says, “David’s passion for radio and his business savvy have led Entercom to new heights.  We look forward to recognizing him for his continuous dedication and significant contributions to the business.”

North Korea ICBM Test-Trump Warning, CNN-Trump Wrestling Video Blowback, NPR-Declaration of Independence Flap, Trump Antietam Donation, NYC Cop Slain, Trump Visits Poland, Violent Chicago Fourth Weekend, Wimbledon Matches, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/5).  North Korea’s successful test of an ICBM and President Donald Trump’s warning to the hermit kingdom; CNN faces blowback from critics accusing the news organization of blackmailing the Reddit user who originated the Trump-CNN wrestling video; the flap over NPR’s 4th of July tweeting of the Declaration of Independence and numerous critics’ failure to recognize the document and calling it an incitement to violence against the president; President Trump donates his paycheck to restoration projects at Antietam battlefield; the high-profile slaying of a New York City policewoman; Trump’s visit to Poland prior to this week’s G20 Summit; the aftermath of Chicago’s violent 4th of July weekend in which more than 100 were shot with 15 dead; the matches at the Wimbledon tournament; 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.

Doug Gottlieb Coaches USA Team in 20th World Maccabiah Games. Pictured above is FOX Sport Radio syndicated sports talk personality Doug Gottlieb (left) with the USA Open Men’s Basketball team competing at the 20th World Maccabiah Games from July 4-18 in Israel.  Gottlieb is leading a team of twelve Jewish athletes, ages 18-35, at the games, which is the world’s third-largest international sporting event, with more than 9,000 total participants representing 75 countries.  While there, Gottlieb is broadcasting his program live from Israel.   He is a three-time alumnus of Maccabi USA, having represented the United States as a member of the Open Men’s Basketball Team at the 15th World Maccabiah Games in 1997, the Pan-American Maccabi Games in Mexico City in 1999, and the 16th World Maccabiah Games in 2001, winning bronze, gold and gold medals, respectively.

Former CNN Anchor Frank Sesno Guests on Harrison Podcast.  Former CNN anchor, White House correspondent and Washington, DC bureau chief Frank Sesno joins host Michael Harrison as this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out.”  Sesno is currently the director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at The George Washington University.  He’s written a new book, Ask More: The Power of Questions to Open Doors, Uncover Solutions, and Spark Change (Amacom, 2017) in which he dissects the art and importance of asking the right questions as a journalist and in everyday life.  Harrison and Sesno discuss the techniques of good interviewing plus the current relationship between the White House press corps and the Donald Trump administration, as well as the profound effects that social media and digital technology are having on society.  To listen to the entire podcast, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. A new urban format officially launches on low-power FM KTGP, St. Louis as “Mix 99.5.”  According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the station is being run by SVP and operations manager Lou Thimes, Jr and features a number of well-known St. Louis radio personalities, including: Jim Gates, Niecy Davis, Tossin’ Ted, Nappy DJ Needles, Calvin King, Edie B, DJ VuDu, and Darrel “EZ” Eason.  Music runs the gamut from mostly classic R&B to specialty shows including gospel music, blues, jazz, old-school hip-hop and talk…..Air personality “Hot Rod” Thompson joins Entravision’s country KNTY, Sacramento “101.9 The Wolf” to host the afternoon program.  Thompson was most recently at Townsquare Media’s country KCTR, Billings, Montana “Cat Country 102.9.”

Friday, June 9, 2017

| June 9, 2017

WECK, Buffalo Announces Live and Local Lineup. The new Buffalo full-service radio station operated by Buddy Shula’s Radio One Buffalo announces its new, live and local personality lineup.  Previously, TALKERS magazine reported the station hired Buffalo news radio pro John Zach to anchor mornings and serve as news director.  Now, WECK says it will officially shift its format to become a live and local, full-service station on July 10, with 24-hour news, well-known local personalities and locally programmed music.  The station has been airing a syndicated adult standards format.  Soon it will move to “adult favorites,” centered primary on the 70s and 80s (with some earlier and some more recent music mixed in).  Veteran Buffalo personality Gail Ann Huber will pair with WECK’s Tom Donahue as morning co-host.  Jon Summers, a longtime Buffalo radio and TV personality joins the station to host 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.   Buffalo Broadcasting Hall-of-Famer Harv Moore will host the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart  Moore handled wake-up duties for many years as part of the well-known “Taylor & Moore Breakfast Flakes” show on WYSL and WPHD.  Moore’s former on-air partner, Robert W. Taylor, joins as WECK’s imaging voice.  Afternoon drive will be hosted by Mike Jacobs.  Evenings will be hosted by WECK owner and president Buddy Shula.

WGN named Chicago’s Station of the Year. This actually marks the tenth year in a row that Tribune Media news/talk WGN, Chicago has nabbed such Illinois Broadcasters Association Silver Dome honors. This year’s event was held last night (6/8) in Champaign. In addition, Tribune Media president of broadcasting Larry Wert was cited as IBA’s “Broadcaster of the Year.” The station took away first place awards in “Best Radio Local Broadcast Team” (“The Nick Digilio Show”); “Best Radio Station Use of New Media” (“Honoring Our Marines” by Shanae Paulus and Jackie Paulus); “Best Radio News Reporter” (Andrea Darlas); “Best Radio Series or Documentary” (“National Parks at 100: Our Midwest Treasures” by Dave Schwan); and “Best Radio Play-by-Play” (Blackhawks force game seven versus [St. Louis] Blues (John Wiedeman and Troy Murray). WGN Radio vice president of programming & content Todd Manley states, “We are so proud to share Chicago stories every day with personalities who are authentic and passionate. I know our entire staff is grateful for these honors.” Out-of-state broadcasters did the judging for the Illinois competition.

Pandora – SiriusXM Update. As a follow-up to what we reported yesterday (TALKERS, 6/8), on the heels of Pandora Media extending the countdown of a possible sale, SiriusXM marches in with a $480 million strategic cash investment in Pandora. The infusion will help Pandora make targeted investments and capitalize on opportunities to build on its business. Last month, the private equity firm KKR & Co LP agreed to invest $150 million in Pandora, which reportedly lost $132 million on revenues of $315 million in the quarter that ended on March 31.

WBUR Readies “Circle Round.” Produced by Boston University-owned WBUR, Boston in conjunction with Sheir & Shim founders Rebecca Sheir and Eric Shimelonis, “Circle Round” is a storytelling podcast for youngsters aged three to ten. “Circle Round” features folktales with an eye toward inclusivity. Stories are adapted into five- to 20-minute episodes that deal with topics such as kindness, persistence, and generosity. WBUR general manager Charlie Kravetz comments, “We are excited to be launching WBUR’s first-ever child-focused program. Public radio has a rich and recognized tradition of narrative storytelling. With ‘Circle Round,’ we want to inspire a young audience to cultivate a love of storytelling.” The station’s managing producer for program development Jessica Alpert remarks, “Like so many parents, I am always trying to find alternatives to screen time. As we know, nothing grabs a child’s attention like a really great story – especially one you can listen to anywhere, anytime, like in a podcast. We are hoping that ‘Circle Round’ fills a void for parents, while at the same time provides a thrilling experience for their kids.” Sheir will serve as the podcast’s narrator, while award-winning composer Shimelonis will create the accompanying soundtrack and production. The podcast series begins this fall with weekly episodes.

Phoenix Trombo Taps Trimmer as PD. Former WRVA “Newsradio 1140,” Richmond; WRNL “Fox Sports 910,” Richmond; and Virginia News Network program director Aaron Trimmer will transfer in a similar capacity to iHeartMedia Phoenix siblings KFYI “The Most Trusted News in Phoenix”; KGME “Fox Sports 910”; and KFYI 2, “The Next Generation of Talk Radio.” Executive vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s west division Steve Geofferies comments, “We are excited to have Aaron bring his experiences out west; his track record speaks for itself. From brand execution to talent coaching, he is a tremendous resource for our stations in the Arizona region.” Trimmer – who begins his new duties in a little over three weeks (7/5) – notes, “I am beyond excited to work with the iHeartMedia team in Phoenix. There is a tremendous amount of talent with their spoken-word brands. I look forward to leading the team and community to new heights.” His previous programming credits include four other iHeartMedia clusters: WHAM “NewsRadio 1180,” Rochester; FM news/talk WERC, Birmingham and the Alabama Radio Network; news/talk WSYR, Syracuse; and WLAP “NewsRadio 630,” Lexington, Kentucky.

College Radio Providing Vital Farm System for Professional Talk Media Talent.  At a time when many industry participants and observers ask the question, “Where will the future talent in radio come from now that consolidation has wiped out the old farm system?” – it is becoming evident that to a significant degree the answer lies on the college radio level.  According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “We are hearing more and more from outstanding college radio and media communications departments – students and faculty alike – around the country. These communication departments are really stepping up to the plate in becoming an effective breeding ground for new, dedicated and extremely bright talent – especially in the areas of journalism, commentary, talk and sports.  I am personally gratified by the number of superb young people gaining the skills and developing the styles that will clearly propel talent-driven radio and TV deeper into the 21st century.”  Each year the TALKERS annual seminar is attended by an increasing number of college radio students interested in making broadcasting their careers as well as a growing percentage of already-professional practitioners under the age of 35.  Talkers 2017: A New Era was attended by delegations of student broadcasters from Hofstra University on Long Island and Hillsdale College in Michigan, among others.   According to Harrison, who sits on the executive committee of the advisory board of Hofstra University’s Lawrence Herbert School of Communication, “The future of radio lies in developing young audiences – but before we can even think about doing that effectively, we must develop young broadcasters.” Pictured (below) are the students attending the TALKERS conference from Hofstra University’s Marconi Award winning WRHU-FM (front row l-r): Jazmine Gonzalez, Joy Jones, and Yenny Sanchez; (back row l-r) operations manager John Mullen, Alexi Cohan, TALKERS “Student of the Year” Maria Santana, Sean Bates, Juliana Spano, and Joe Sibilia.

Stand By for Exciting Video Coverage of Talkers 2017: A New Era.  As the magic of Talkers 2017: A New Era recedes into the broadcast industry history books, the TALKERS editorial and technical staffs are busily readying the hours and hours of valuable video footage recorded at the event by rising young New York videography star Zach Feldman into a presentable form for posting here on Talkers.com and for posterity.  TALKERS subscribers can expect the first of these to be posted sometime next week.  Stand by!  Meantime, scroll down this page for earlier photo and story coverage of the event.

Syndicated star Doug Stephan (l) interviews KTRS, St Louis personality McGraw Milhaven (r) on the American Family Farmer program at Talkers 2017: A New Era about the local relationship between St. Louis and mega-corporation Monsanto Company that is headquartered in that market.  Both broadcasters are members of the TALKERS Heavy Hundred.  Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

WOR, New York, assistant program director Scott Lakefield facilitating one of the major “one-on-one” sessions at Talkers 2017: A New Era.  Photo by Don Hurley.

Beasley Broadcast Group Declares Quarterly Cash Dividend. The amount is $0.045 per share for Beasley Broadcast Group’s Class A and Class B common stock and is payable next month (7/7) to shareholders of record on the final day of this month (6/30). All subsequent Beasley Broadcast Group dividends will be reviewed quarterly and declared by the board of directors at its discretion. Meanwhile, at the annual New Jersey Ad Club “Jersey Awards,” Beasley Broadcast Group news/talk WCTC, New Brunswick won “Best Podcast” for The State Theatre (program & creative director/air talent Bert Baron, host and producer). Senior vice president and regional market manager Dan Finn remarks, “We are absolutely thrilled our team was recognized for their work with this incredible award.  This is the night where all the best advertising agencies in the state of New Jersey gather and announce winners across all media platforms. We were honored to be among the winners.” The event took place this past Wednesday (6/7) in Cedar Grove, New Jersey.

TALKERS News Notes. As he did two weeks ago, Lou Pate will sit-in today (6/9) for Michael Savage on Westwood One’s “The Savage Nation” …..Nine-year iHeartMedia vice president of digital operations Joseph Bond departs. Bond previously spent six years overseeing web content and development for the company’s eight Cincinnati stations.

Grangenois Joins WEAA As Interim GM. The former publisher of The Chronicle of Higher Education, Mireille Grangenois, is named interim general manager of Morgan State University‘s NPR-member public outlet WEAA. The Baltimore-based institution’s dean of the school of global journalism and communication DeWayne Wickham remarks, “Ms. Grangenois has an impressive record of media management. Our intention is to revitalize WEAA’s mission as a learning lab by providing our students with an exceptional, practical experience in the production of news and public affairs programming. We also want to do this by strengthening the station’s ability to offer listeners music programming that will grow WEAA’s audience and revenue. I have great confidence in Ms. Grangenois’ ability to lead this effort.” Grangenois began her news career in Baltimore and has marketing, sales, audience development, and leadership experience. Morgan State University is one of only five historically black higher education institutions with a school of journalism.

Comey Testimony Top News/Talk Story for Week of June 5-9.  The Senate Intelligence Committee testimony of former FBI Director James Comey was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the Trump-Russia investigation.  Coming in at #3 was the Tehran terror attack and the rejection of President Trump’s condolences, followed by the British general elections and the aftermath of the London terror attacks at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Radio Disney Country Los Angeles Debuts Today. KRDC, Los Angeles will officially begin broadcasting at 12:00 noon today (6/9) on 99.1 and 1110. Disney Channels Worldwide vice president of music strategy/Radio Disney Network general manager Phil Guerini states, “As country music continues to deliver some of the biggest artists in music today, we are broadening the reach of Radio Disney Country through both terrestrial and digital extensions of its brand.” In association with KRDC’s debut, Kelsea Ballerini, Hunter Hayes, Bailey Bryan, Scotty McCreery, Tegan Marie, and Temecula Road will join Radio Disney Country host Betsy Spina on the Radio Disney Country Stage at CMA Music Fest‘s Xfinity Fan Fair X at 11:45 am today for a countdown event streaming live on Radio Disney Country’s Facebook page. The first hour commercial-free playlist on Radio Disney Country’s KRDC will begin with Ballerini’s single “Legends,” which was released this week. The complete first hour will include: “Legends” (Ballerini); “Play It Again” (Luke Bryan); “God, Your Mama, and Me” (Florida Georgia Line featuring The Backstreet Boys); “Every Little Thing” (Carly Pearce); “Say” (RaeLynn featuring Dan + Shay); “Yours If You Want It” (Rascal Flatts); “Own It” (Bailey Bryan); “What Ifs” (Kane Brown featuring Lauren Alaina); “You Look Good” (Lady Antebellum); “No Such Thing As a Broken Heart” (Old Dominion); “Hoping” (Temecula Road); “I Could Use a Love Song” (Maren Morris); and “How Not To” (Dan + Shay). Radio Disney Country will also be available on iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and as curated playlists within Spotify, and Apple Music.

Brown Appointed iHeartMedia Norfolk Market President. Inbound from Cumulus Media Mobile, where she was vice president/market manager and vice president of sales, Angel Brown is named market president for iHeartMedia Norfolk. President of iHeartMedia’s Virginia/Carolina Region Dave Carwile comments, “We are thrilled to have Angel joining our Norfolk group of station brands. She combines a proven track record of sales leadership with an understanding of how to integrate client needs with our multimedia platforms. Angel will provide a great complement to our outstanding sales and programming leadership in the market.” Brown remarks, “I am elated to join the iHeartMedia family in Norfolk. The market and the company have had tremendous success over the years and are attributed to the company’s culture and its people. I look forward to working alongside the talented iHeartMedia Norfolk team and I look for forward to my future with the industry leader.” The company’s four-station Norfolk cluster consists of urban AC WHBT “92.1 The Beat”; rhythmic hot AC WMOV “MOViN 107.7”; CHR WNOH “NOW 105”; and urban contemporary WOWI “103 Jamz.”

KFRG Boosts Ward to APD/MD. With two-dozen years of service at CBS Radio Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario country outlet KFRG ‘K-Frog,” on-air talent Robin Ward is elevated to assistant program director and music director. According to program director Scott Ward (no relation), “Since she has been here for most of the station’s history, Robin is such a natural fit for this position. She knows the format and the artists like the back of her hand.” Robin Ward, who hosts mid-days using the on-air persona Heather Froglear, comments, “My patience has been rewarded with my dream job – being the APD/MD of the greatest station on earth.” She joined “K-Frog” in 1993 and has previously been the Inland Empire outlet’s promotions director and morning show host.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Taking home the 2017 Gracie Award as “Best Co-Host, Radio” is Kelly Ford, co-host of Cumulus Media and Westwood One‘s syndicated morning show, Ty, Kelly, & Chuck. Ford was among the honorees at a Wednesday night gala at Los Angeles’ Beverly Wilshire …..Having already worked at CBS Radio-owned CHRs in Chicago (WBBM-FM “B-96”) and Philadelphia (WZMP “Amp 96.5”), Jason Cage will debut on the company’s Houston hot AC KHMX “Mix 96.5” next Monday (6/12)    in afternoon drive. “Mix 96.5” program director Chase Murphy has “been a fan of Jason’s work for years – winning is in his DNA. We are excited to add him to the KHMX team and cannot wait for the Houston community to meet him.” …..Nine-year iHeartMedia vice president of digital operations Joseph Bond departs. Bond previously spent six years overseeing web content and development for the company’s eight Cincinnati stations …..Several-dozen suits were collected as part of the recently concluded “Boots to Suits” campaign of Hubbard St. Louis adult hits WARH “106.5 The Arch.” In partnership with Equity Prime Mortgage, JCPenney, and Two Men & A Truck, the station’s campaign focused on collecting suits for local veterans entering the workforce after they return home from deployment …..Changes at Saga Springfield, Massachusetts alternative WLZX “Lazer 99.3 & 105.1” find morning host Leslie exiting at the end of this month to relocate to Sarasota and afternoon drive talent Pat Kelly segueing to mornings next month …..Along with partners United Supermarkets and Amarillo National Bank, Alpha Media Amarillo, Texas’ KGNC “Country 97.9” earlier this week raised more than $60,000 for the Amarillo Area Rotary Youth Baseball League. Alpha Media Amarillo market manager Robert Mueller notes, “It is truly awesome to see the community and our partners work together to support the local youth each and every year.”

Beasley Broadcast Group Declares Quarterly Cash Dividend. The amount is $0.045 per share for Beasley Broadcast Group’s Class A and Class B common stock and is payable next month (7/7) to shareholders of record on the final day of this month (6/30). All subsequent Beasley Broadcast Group dividends will be reviewed quarterly and declared by the board of directors at its discretion. Meanwhile, at the annual New Jersey Ad Club “Jersey Awards,” Beasley Broadcast Group’s WDHA “The Rock of New Jersey, ” Dover won “Best Radio Spot” for Oink and Moo BBQ (written, produced, and voiced by Mike Cocheo with additional voice-overs by Dannie Schade). Vice president and regional market manager Dan Finn remarks, “We are absolutely thrilled our team was recognized for their work with this incredible award. “This is the night where all the best advertising agencies in the state of New Jersey gather and announce winners across all media platforms. We were honored to be among the winners.” The event took place this past Wednesday (6/7) in Cedar Grove, New Jersey.

Eagle Communications Hutchinson Boosts James to Operations Manager. Three-month KHUT, Hutchinson, Kansas morning host Pat James is elevated to operations manager of Eagle Communications’ “Country 102.9,” as well as co-owned hot AC KHMY “My 93.1,” and news/talk combo KWBW-AM & KWBW-FM. Eagle Hutchinson market manager Mark Trotman states, “Since his first day at Eagle Communications, Pat has demonstrated the leadership we want in an employee-owned company – he is our type of people. We are looking forward to the places we can go in further service to keeping our community connected.” James, who will continue his morning drive duties on “Country 102.9,” adds, “I look forward to working with a talented staff that is committed to making great local radio every day for our community. This is a refreshing and exciting environment to work in every day. I can’t wait to help these stations and our company achieve even greater successes. I am grateful to market manager Mark Trotman and Eagle president/chief executive officer Gary Shorman for this amazing opportunity.” In addition to co-hosting “The Cornbread Morning Show” on WIL, St. Louis, James previously was program director/brand manager of Connoisseur Media Wichita’s adult hits KIBB “Bob-FM” and classic country KVWF “Hank-FM,” and he was the assistant program director/music director at Scripps-owned country KFDI, Wichita.

Trace Enters U.S. With Streaming Service. International urban media company Trace will launch a streaming service called Trace Play. The company will deliver subscribers urban music and content from the United States and worldwide, including 2,000 hours of on-demand programming, 30 digital radio stations, nine live television feeds, and the soon-to-be launched Trace Prime television network. The service will come from a Trace USA joint venture with John Pasmore, the former chief executive officer of Russell Simmons’ Oneworld Media, who declares, “Trace is the only media company that has successfully connected urban youth and communities of color around the world while respecting their identities.” It will be available online and to iOS and Android devices for $2.99 a month or $29.99 a year. Backers include actor-musician Wyclef Jean; producers Rob Marriott and Tonya Lewis Lee; Fubu co-founder J. Alexander Martin; and JKD Entertainment’s Karlie Lewis.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

| December 16, 2014

deacesteveNEW14USA Radio Network Inks Talk Host Steve Deace.  The conservative talk star from the Midwest signs a new deal with USA Radio Networks that moves him from his most recent evening daypart (9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight ET distributed by GCN) to afternoon drive in the East.  Steve Deace is currently heard in 44 markets.  USA Radio Networks chief content officer Tim Maranville comments, “We believe that Steve can help our affiliate stations gain market share in afternoon drive.  He’s not just another conservative mouthpiece.  HeusaRadioNetworks connects with the listener because he reflects their on-going frustration with Washington and political media.”  The company says Deace (pronounced “Dace”) is “considered by many to be one of the best talents from the limited stock of today’s young talkers.  He is widely respected as a political columnist, commentator and author.” Deace authored his most recent book, Rules for Patriots: How Conservatives Can Win Again (2014 Post Hill Press), and regularly appears on such media platforms as Newsweek, Time, The New York Times, The Washington Times, Fox News and MSNBCSam Hassell, CEO of Cross Platform Media Group (operator of USA) adds, “Steve is a significant addition to our lineup and reflects the aggressive growth plan of USA Radio Networks.”

tomasejohnBoston’s Sports Talk WEEI Adds Tomase.  In a little over two weeks (on January 1), Boston Herald Red Sox columnist John Tomase will join Entercom’s WEEI.com as senior sportswriter/columnist. WEEI.com editor Rob Bradford remarks that, “In bringing John aboard, we feel WEEI and WEEI.com are welcoming one of the best columnists in the country to our family.  I am excited to once again work with John, who I have always viewed as one of the most talented journalists on the New England sports scene.”  Tomaseweei logo comments, “The world of journalism is changing.  It is no longer enough to work on just one platform.  The WEEI brand is recognized beyond the borders of New England, not just for its award-winning programming, but for the quality of its reporting, which is a tribute to Rob and his team.  I am looking forward to continuing what they started while stirring the passions of the best sports fans in the world.” Tomase – who will be a frequent on-air contributor for WEEI-FM “Sports Radio 93.7” as well as the website’s senior sportswriter/columnist – has been with the Herald since 2005.  He will succeed Alex Speier, who will depart at year’s end to become a Boston Globe feature writer.

quigleyalexTribune Media Eliminates Alex Quigley’s OM Post at WGN, Chicago.  He’ll continue to work on air as Ben Finfer’s co-host on sports talk WGWG-LP, Chicago on the “Quigs & Finfer” show, but when that show wraps on December 31 and the sports format ends, Quigley’s employment with Tribune Media ends.  Chicagoland Radio and Media reports that, according to a memo sent to the staff by WGN VP of content and programming Todd Manley, Manley will assume the OM duties.  Quigley wrote a positive note on his Facebook page saying, in part, “I’d like to thank Daniel Zampillo and the late Kevin Metheny for allowing me to get my foot in the door of one of America’s greatest radio stations.  I’d like to thank Tom Langmyer and Bill White for trusting me and giving me further opportunity to learn and grow, and Jimmy [de Castro] & Todd for the experiences of the last 18 months.”  Chicagoland Radio and Media reports that Quigley joined WGN in 2010 as a part-time host.  He moved up to assistant PD before being upped to OM.

Odds & Sods.  At the Salem Communications Twin Cities cluster, Mike Murphy is named sales manager.  The group includes Christian talk KKMS, news/talk WWTC “The Patriot,” business news KYCR “Business 1570,” and streaming Christian contemporary station “The Fish Twin Cities.”  Murphy assumes the sales manager duties from Nic Anderson who’s been serving as general manager as well.  Anderson continues in the GM role…..More downsizing atpatrickmatt iHeartMedia as Ben Kruse exits the morning show on news/talk KTLK, Minneapolis.  Now co-hosting the morning show with Jack Tomczak is PD Andrew Lee…..Houston-based talk host Matt Patrick is filling in for Bill Cunningham on his Premiere Networks-syndicated weekend show on December 28.  Patrick tells TALKERS this is the fourth year in a row he’s hosting the program’s “Year in Review” show.  Patrick is heard on iHeartMedia’s KTRH and KPRC in Houston and on KFXR in Dallas…..At its Northwoods cluster, NRG Media names Shane Sparks market manager for the six stations serving the Rhinelander and Minoqua, Wisconsin markets including: country WHDG, adult hits WRHN, classic country simulcast WOBT-AM/FM, classic rock WRLO, news/talk WLKD, and classic hits WMQA.

starnesxmas logoFox News Announces Todd Starnes Christmas Special.  Special holiday programming from Fox News Radio is available this season in the form of “The Todd Starnes All-American Christmas,” airing on Christmas Eve at 7:00 pm ET and Christmas Day at 7:00 am and 7:00 pm ET.  The show is hosted by Fox News Channel contributor Todd Starnes.  It’s a two-hour program featuring special guests: Governor Mike Huckabee, “Duck Dynasty” star Al Robertson, GRAMMY winner Chris Tomlin, New York Times best-selling author Karen Kingsbury, Governor Sarah Palin and musical artists Ellie Holcomb and Kyle Kupecky.  Starnes will also be joined by a 300-voice choir and orchestra – taped live at Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis.  FNR calls it a “family-friendly Christmas special” that will also feature “The World’s Largest Christmas Carol Sing-a-long.”  It’s airing on Fox News Radio affiliate stations, FoxNewsRadio.com, ToddStarnes.com and others.

nolanmikeSignoff Alert: Mike Nolan. It is not often that a traffic reporter’s exit warrants significant attention, but such is certainly the case with Mike Nolan.  For the last 28 years, Nolan has guided harried Los Angeles motorists through his traffic updates on iHeartMedia adult contemporary KOST “Coast 103.5” and co-owned talker KFI; however, as he writes on his Facebook page, “I have been privileged to be on the radio for 41 years [but] now it is time to begin the next chapter.”  In all but seven of those 41 years, Nolan has done both morning and afternoon drive, “giving people as much information as I could about the traffic on their drive” and he calls KOST and KFI “two of the greatest radio stations in the country.”  The list of “incredible people” he has worked with “is long and distinguished,” and Nolan explains, “The career I have had is far greater than anything I could have imagined.”  Numerous Los Angeles broadcasters are commenting in social media, including former KOST (and later cross-town KTWV) morning talent Kim Amidon, who writes, “Mike, you have always been a pro – the best at what you do – and for most of those years doing it while flying your plane.  It was great to work with you and party with you.  I wish you the best in this new journey.”  Now at KTWV “The Wave,” Bryan Simmons did afternoon drive on KOST andkfi logo points out, “For most of your career, you were in the air, the place you should always have been, in the pilot seat.  I was privileged to work with you for most of your time at KOST and it was a pleasure – job well done partner.”  Similar to Nolan, Rhonda Kramer is also an exceptionally well-known Los Angeles traffic reporter and she notes, “It is hard to believe you are hanging up the traffic wings.  You have always been a great traffic reporter, pilot, and I have been lucky to call you my friend for all of your years in Los Angeles.  Enjoy your quality time – you deserve it.”  Another of Nolan’s colleagues – Jorge Jarrin – reflects on the 25 years he (Jarrin) spent doing airborne traffic reports.  “One of the most special aspects of my career was the warm camaraderie we developed. It was often one of the things I missed most once I was grounded for good.  You are a true friend both on and off the air.  I will miss your voice and accurate information, but I rejoice in your ability to move into the next chapter in your life.  You have accomplished much my friend; survived; and are loved by many.”  Veteran talk host Tom Leykis knew Nolan in Phoenix (at KOY) and “had the pleasure” of working with him at KFI.  “I have often told people that you and Mark Denis were the lynchpins of the station before KFI flipped to talk in 1988 – and you still are that.”  Talk radio consultant Valerie Geller laments, “This doesn’t seem possible to me.  I cannot imagine driving in Los Angeles without you.” Former KFI talk host Michael Castner – now doing morning drive on Portland’s KEX – recalls that one of his “most exciting moments” at KFI was “the first time I introduced you – an honor to work with a true Los Angeles radio legend.”  Noted programmer John Rook describes Nolan as “classy, professional, and dependable.  Happy retirement – I will miss hearing you each day.”  Longtime local newscaster Mark Austin Thomas writes, “It was an honor and a joy to work with you and a pleasure to listen to someone who was such a pro who loved his work – wishing you happiness and fulfillment in your next chapter.”  Sports update talent Karen Kay states, “You are the best of the best.  What an honor to know you and to be able to say I am one of your biggest fans.” Nolan’s last on-air date is this Friday (12/19); he will spend the morning reminiscing with KFI wakeup talent Bill Handel.

wtma logoCool Job Opportunity.  WTMA is Charleston, South Carolina’s heritage news/talk station, and Cumulus has an immediate, rare opening for a full-time morning drive host.  Qualified candidates should be able build a timely, topical and compelling show that targets the 25-54 demographic, with an emphasis on local current events, news topics, and politics.  A minimum of two years’ hosting your own successful talk show is required.  Submit your resume and aircheck to program director John Quincy here: http://www.cumulus.com/careers/.

Sydney Café Hostage Case, Taliban School Attack, Bill Cosby’s Wife Defends Him, Police Killings Aftermath, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Sony Pictures Hack, Plummeting Oil Prices/Financial Markets Activities, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/15).  The deadly hostage taking at a Sydney café by a self-styled “Muslim cleric”; the murder of some 126 school children in Pakistan by the Taliban; Bill Cosby’s wife Camille speaks out publicly defending her husband accused of raping numerous women; the aftermath of the recent high-profile killings of young blacks by police; the potential candidates for president in the 2016 election; the continuing fallout from the hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment; the sinking price of oil, its effect at the pumps and on the financial markets; 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.

Friday, November 21, 2014

| November 21, 2014

harrisonherald2smallerMichael Harrison: Political News/Talk Radio Needs Fewer Lapdogs and More Watchdogs.  In a new opinion piece posted today (11/21), TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (pictured here) suggests that the main element missing from today’s political news/talk radio mix is the old-fashioned “muckraker” who kept politicians of all political stripes – left and right – nervous and on their toes.  Harrison says that the crop of tried-and-true political ideologues who’ve been on the air all these decades since the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine and are still going strong should be preserved – but not imitated.  He writes, “There is nothing wrong with the current crop of long-standing, iconic figures of opinionated left vs right political discussion who have made talk radio and its stars household names.  They should be protected and supported for what they do… because they are valuable and, more importantly, cannot easily be replaced.  In fact, they shouldn’t be replaced.  The last thing we need are more ‘B’ and ‘C’ level imitators and talking point ideologues in this format.  We do not need lapdogs and mindless partisans clogging up the airwaves and bringing this format down! What we do need are more WATCHDOGS to round out what this format truly has to offer.  I guess you can call them populists or independents – but it goes much deeper than just superficial labels.  This industry needs talk show hosts – especially local ones – who don’t give a damn about political science ideology or carrying partisan water for their favorite ‘team,’ but rather keep a watchful eye and wag a fearless tongue on the biggest problem facing the American political system today.”  If you want to find out what Harrison thinks is the biggest problem facing the American political system today, read the entire column by clicking here.

renojayssonCumulus Names Reno to Lead KGO and KSFO, San Francisco Sales.  At the Bay Area cluster, Cumulus Media appoints sales pro Jaysson Reno to vice president, sales for heritage market news/talkers KGO and KSFO.  Reno has worked in the San Francisco market for 10 years in the radio, digital and event space, and has led sales for the company’s rock KSAN and triple A KFOG since 2012.  Cumulus San Francisco VP/market manager Justin Wittmayer says, “Jaysson brings strong leadership, a keen business sense and the market equity needed to drive advertiser performance and grow revenues.  KGO and KSFO are legacy brands in which we will continue to invest to benefit our community, to enhance the user experience and to deliver superior advertiser results.”

wgwg logoBen Finfer and Alex Quigley Also Casualties at Tribune Media.  With the reported looming end of Tribune Media’s nine-month-old sports talk experiment on WGWG-LP comes news two staffers – Ben Finfer and Alex Quigley – learned about their imminent dismissal via Twitter while on the air.  According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the “Quigs and Finfer” personalities spoke on air about their disappointment, with Finfer saying, “We’re doing a live show here and to be told this way, it’s really a letdown.  We’re getting screwed on this one…We just found out on Twitter a half hour ago that the station is being taken off the air.  We were not told about this ahead of time.”  The story broke via a Tweet and blog post by Chicago media writer Robert Feder (and TALKERS passed along the story to you) who learned about the changes from inside sources.  It appears WGN and WGWG-LP management didn’t anticipate the news leaking out and although the station has not been performing in the ratings against competitors WSCR and WMVP, this is a bit of a PR black eye for Tribune Media.

ramseyAustin14Dave Ramsey Rocks Austin’s Bass Concert Hall.  No, nationally syndicated financial talk superstar and best-selling author Dave Ramsey didn’t sing (as far as we know), but he did pack the house at the Bass Concert Hall in Austin, Texas last night (11/20) nonetheless.  Ramsey presented his “Legacy Journey LIVE!” event in which he discusses how to win with money, strengthen marriages and lead your children with confidence.  His daughter, Rachel Cruze, joined Ramsey on stage.  Ramsey worked with local affiliate KJCE “Talk Radio 1370 AM” to promote this event.  Entercom VP/market manager Alan Kirshbom comments, “Austin loves Dave!  We are proud to welcome him back for what promises to be another exciting and uplifting event.”  Pictured here are (from left to right): KJCE promotions director Aaron Hurd, KJCE director of sales Heather Baumli, Ramsey, KJCE program director Stephen Kerr, Kirshbom, and KJCE general sales manager Bob Woche.

rabRAB: Radio’s Q3 Revenue Dips 2%; Off-Air and Digital Jump.  The 2014 third quarter radio revenue report from the Radio Advertising Bureau concludes radio’s total revenue dipped 2% — a bit better than Q2’s 3% drop (all comparisons are versus the same period in 2013).  Breaking it down, spot revenue and network revenue fell back 3% and 4% respectively in Q3 this year compared to last, but digital and off-air revenue were up by 11% and 14% respectively.  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber comments, “The increasing strength of radio’s digital platforms becomes more evident every quarter as advertisers recognize the unparalleled benefits of reaching radio’s dedicated audiences on every device and platform they are using.  In addition, the growth in off-air opportunities for advertisers is a clear indication that radio is focused on continuing to deliver more innovative solutions to help them reach their consumers.”  See the RAB’s report here.

Odds & Sods. Longtime Arkansas talk show host and programmer Dave Elswick begins duties as program director and afternoon drive host at Crain Media Group-owned KHTE, Little Rock.  His program will also air on the company’selswickdave KSMD, Searcy, Arkansas (about 50 miles northeast of Little Rock) as Elswick begins building out the Dave Elswick Network.  He worked for years at Cumulus Media’s KARN-FM, Little rock as PD and personality…..SiriusXM adds former NBA head coach George Karl to its roster of hoops experts on its NBA Radio channel.  He debuts today (11/21) from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET and will host regularly throughout the season…..CBS RADIO‘s all-news KNX, Los Angeles will present a special program titled, “Immigration: The President Acts,” on Monday (11/24) from 10:00 am to 11:00 am.  The show will include expert guests and listener call-ins.  KNX anchor Tom Haule and chief investigative reporter Charles Feldman will host the show.

bellmediaBell Media to Lay Off 80 Employees.  Canadian broadcast giant Bell Media is announcing personnel cuts across its radio division that will affect some 80 people.  As reported by the Windsor Star, the Windsor market (which operates four stations that also serve Detroit listeners) will lose seven staffers, but those people haven’t been identified yet.  The stations in Windsor include: triple A CKLW-FM “The River 93.9,” alternative CIMX “89X,” oldies CKWW and news/talk CKLW-AM.  The paper notes that Bell Media cut about 120 positions in the radio division back in June.

miw logoMIW Announces 2015 Mentoring Program.  The details of the 2015 Mildred Carter Mentoring Program from the Mentoring & Inspiring Women in Radio Group are available.  The 14-year-old program matches up-and-coming women in the radio industry with female professionals recognized as leaders in all aspects of radio.  2015 Mentoring Committee chair Lindsay Cerajewski (who also serves as sales manager at CBS RADIO’s WUSN, Chicago) says, “This is a wonderful opportunity for mentees to gain valuable insight, knowledge and access to some of the most influential women in radio.  We look forward to another outstanding program in 2015.”  A total of four candidates from the radio broadcasting industry – within the sales, marketing, programming and digital disciplines – will be selected for the 2015 program.  Of those, at least one spot will be designated for a programming candidate, and one spot designated for a digital candidate.   For mentee criteria and instructions on how to apply, please visit http://tinyurl.com/miwmentee. The deadline to apply is Friday, December 12, 2014.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  The Genesis Communications Network-syndicated Dr. Joy Browne program is added to the program schedule at WGNC, Gastonia, North Carolina.

Obama Amnesty Executive Action Top News/Talk Story for Week of November 17-21.  The plan by President Obama to use executive action to give amnesty to some 5 million undocumented aliens was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Coming in at #2 was the videotaped speeches of Affordable Care Act architect Jonathan Gruber.  At #3 was the tension over the grand jury’s anticipated decision whether to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and at #4 was the record snowfall in Buffalo and the early cold snap.  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.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

| August 19, 2014

Don Pardo 150Remembering Don Pardo. “It’s Saturday Night Live.” One extremely simple sentence, yet only one exceptional voice will forever be associated with it or capable of making it sing. Don Pardo. The elegant gentleman with the huge booming pipes passed away Monday night (8/18) at the age of 96. His nearly-40 year association with NBC-TV’s “Saturday Night Live” was only one part of a voluminous resume on the network for which he had a lifetime pact. Only Bob Hope had a similar arrangement deal with the network. Revered by virtually anyone who has been behind a microphone, the beloved — and yes legendary — Pardo began his career in radio. The off-camera announcer for a multitude of game shows from “Jeopardy” to “Jackpot,” Don Pardo truly achieved pop culture status. “SNL” hosts and cast members felt they arrived once they heard their names uttered by him. Click here for managing editor/West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian‘s brief retrospective salute to the Massachusetts native and 2010 inductee in the Television Academy Hall of Fame whose voice and persona were a staple for so many.     

SAG-AFTRA LogoSAG-AFTRA Condemns Arrest/Detention of Reporters Covering Ferguson, Missouri Events. SAG-AFTRA represents more than 165,000 actors, announcers, broadcast journalists, dancers, news writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists, and other media professionals. It released the following statement: “As a union that represents broadcast journalists, including many local St. Louis broadcasters, we strongly support the rights of journalists not to be impeded in their efforts to report the news. Journalists have an obligation to report what is happening in their community, and the world. We ask that law enforcement in Ferguson permit journalists the freedom to do their jobs.”

Ferguson Unrest Tops Conversation on News/Talk Radio – KMOX, St. Louis is on the Scene.  As the week develops, TALKERS research indicates the turmoil in Ferguson, MO tops the list of topics of conversation on news/talk radio.  Taking advantage of their relative proximity, CBS’s heritage talker KMOX, St. Louis established a significant presence on the scene with mid-morning host Charlie Brennan and afternoon drive host Mark Reardon broadcasting their shows from the very heart of the troubled area amid the intense protests that have followed the police shooting of Michael Brown.

KMOX table in Ferguson 500

 

KNXMarina del Rey Spotlighted As Next “KNX On Your Corner” Site. In addition to focusing on important issues and happenings in Marina del Rey (“The Marina”), the 14-hour (5:00 am – 7:00 pm) “On Your Corner” profile by CBS Radio all-news KNX, Los Angeles will feature nearby Playa del Rey, Del Rey, Playa Vista, and Westchester. Civic leaders will be interviewed throughout the special day of programming next month (Friday, 9/12) designed to give listeners insight into the unique attributes of the area. KNX will originate programming from Whiskey Red‘s in Fisherman’s Village. Dick Helton and Vicky Moore will anchor the news from 5:00 am – 9:00 am; Frank Mottek will host the “KNX Business Hour” (1:00 pm – 2:00 pm); and Jim Thornton and Diane Thompson will anchor the 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm news broadcast. “KNX On Your Corner” received a 2013 Golden Mike Award for “Best Feature News” from the Radio & Television News Association of Southern California.

SCBASCBA Schedules Awards Luncheon for Outstanding Achievement in Radio Advertising. The special event of the Southern California Broadcasters Association (SCBA) and SCBA’s Sales Management Council will be held in approximately two months (10/16) at the Sheraton Universal Hotel in Universal City (Los Angeles). Selected regional advertisers will be honored with “Outstanding Achievement in Radio Advertising” awards. Former SCBA Lifetime Achievement Award winner – and current chairman and chief operating officer of U.S. International MediaDennis Holt will be this year’s keynote speaker. SCBA president Thom Callahan explains that, “Based on last year’s sold-out event, we have expanded the nominating categories and our winning advertisers. We are absolutely thrilled by both client and agency response to this prestigious luncheon. This year’s winners represent the robust diversity and energy of Southern California radio advertisers; we are so proud to honor them. [This year’s festivities] is on-pace to be another record sell-out. The enthusiasm and commitment to Southern California radio will be showcased by senior client management, their agencies, our member stations, and special guests – all coming together on this one special day to honor this year’s Southern California Radio Award winners.” Being recognized this year are: Children’s Miracle Network; First 5 California; Galpin Ford; Morongo Casino; WaBa Grill; and Westside Rentals. Awards in six categories of creative radio commercials, using both Southern California broadcast radio and its digital platforms, are voted on by the Sales Management Council.

kelly bryanKelly Transfers to Clear Channel WPB as Director of Sales. Clear Channel Sarasota director of sales Bryan Kelly remains in the Sunshine State, but as of next Monday (8/25), he will traverse from the state’s west coast to West Palm Beach on the east coast in a similar capacity. West Palm Beach market manager John Hunt observes, “Bryan produced outstanding sales results in Sarasota and I know he will do the same in West Palm Beach.” Kelly comments, “I look forward to joining the exceptional West Palm Beach team assembled by John Hunt and [Clear Channel regional program manager] Dave Denver. It has been a goal of mine to represent Clear Channel in a fast-paced and competitive market.” Kelly will oversee the sales efforts for Clear Channel’s 10-station West Palm Beach cluster consisting of country WAVW; talk WAXE; talk WBZT; talk WJNO; classic rock WKGR; CHR WLDI; adult contemporary WOLL; oldies WQOL; Spanish contemporary WRLX; and talk WZZR. His previous Clear Channel assignments were in Tampa and Allentown.

wgn.fmWGN.FM To Air “The Big Payoff.” The Suzanne Muchin and Rachel Bellow-hosted show is for entrepreneurs and entrepreneur wannabes; it begins today (Tuesday, 8/19) at 11:00 am on Tribune Chicago’s WGN.FM. “The Big Payoff” will feature guest entrepreneur interviews and conversations about Chicago’s trending innovations and businesses. Video, full show podcasts and segments will be available on demand at WGN.FM. Beginning in roughly four weeks (9/15), segments will air on WGN-AM with Sirott & Murciano. President and general manager Jimmy de Castro advises listeners to, “Get ready for ‘The Big Payoff.’ Two seasoned business and media vets, Rachel Bellow and Suzanne Muchin, tell you like it really is out there in the new business world. It is absolutely worth a listen, whether you are a young entrepreneur; existing business looking for funding; or if you just want entertainment and to learn something.” According to Tribune Media president and chief executive officer Peter Liguori, “‘The Big Payoff’ could not be more timely, as entrepreneurship is a hot topic in Chicago right now.” Muchin remarks, “My roots are here, as are so many people and businesses that I want to bet on with my time, expertise, and network.” Bellow comments that, “Chicago is a special place where money and meaning are both valued which offers the perfect environment for entrepreneurs to launch and grow their businesses. This is the right place and time for us to land at WGN and WGN.FM.” Business partners since 1998, Muchin and Bellow have clarified the brand identity of an $8 billion philanthropy. Over the last seven years, they have founded three consulting agencies with client revenue topping $50 million. Three years ago through a partnership with New York-based 2MarketMedia, they launched “The Dirty Truth.” The two women will maintain a group of brand strategy clients through their consulting firm Mind + Matter Studio. Launched last September, WGN.FM focuses on content development, production, and digital distribution; “.FM” stands for “Freeform Media.”

Billy Madison ShowNineball Radio Logo“Billy Madison Show” and Nineball Radio Enter Syndication Deal. Owing to the just-signed pact with Nineball Radio, the weekday morning “Billy Madison Show” is now available for national distribution. Madison currently airs on Cox Media Group Tampa talker WHPT “The Bone, Real-Raw-Radio” and on CMG San Antonio rocker KISS. Nineball Radio president and chief executive officer Stefan Jones opines, “A show with such chemistry is rare, especially with the support of such a great company like Cox Media Group. Billy is a true professional who preps relentlessly and continually creates a show that is like nothing else being offered in rock syndication. He took KISS from 16th to number one, and he is number one at WHPT. I think the numbers speak for themselves. We are excited to be a part of it.” Madison’s show arrived in San Antonio in late-2011. Jones formed independent creator/clearance house for radio programming and services Nineball Radio as an underground prep service in 2005.

SiriusXMSiriusXM Now Airing “Back-To-School” Programming. The satcaster has a variety of such fare on multiple channels, including “SiriusXM Stars,” “Kids Place Live,” and “Doctor Radio.” Hosts and experts are offering parents practical advice for a stress-free back-to-school season. On “Stars” (SiriusXM channel 109), public health advocate Perri Peltz delves into cyber-bullying and the importance of talking to kids about it, while Denise Albert and Melissa Gerstein provide money-saving back-to-school shopping tips and efficient prepping shortcuts. Alexa Von Tobel shares recommendations to effectively tackle the process of planning/financing higher education and Jenny Hutt offers advice on how to prepare kids transitioning to high school. On “Kids Place Live” (SiriusXM channel 78), “Absolutely Mindy” has a special guest each morning as she encourages a love for school in young listeners, and she shares recipes for healthy lunches. On “Doctor Radio” (SiriusXM channel 81), gastroenterologist Dr. Ira Breite offers advice to prevent stomach problems caused by stress and anxiety related to the start of the school year. Psychiatrist Dr. Michael Aronoff explains how to differentiate the natural rollercoaster of teenage hormones and emotions from the warning signs of depression. For the older child, a cardiac surgeon will discuss sudden cardiac arrest in youth sports and screening kids for heart conditions.

WTMJ LogoWIsports LogoWTMJ, WISports.com Set to Kickoff ”Preps Live.” Live streams of 26 Milwaukee-area high school football games will be available this fall on Journal Broadcast Group’s WISports.com. A Smartphone channel has been created under JBG Milwaukee heritage talker WTMJ’s “Radio League” application, so that listeners can hear the “Preps Live” channel anywhere. Journal Broadcast Group Milwaukee vice president and general manager Tom Langmyer remarks that, “As ‘Wisconsin’s Radio Station,’ WTMJ has a great tradition of sports broadcasting, starting with the Green Bay Packers in 1929. In 2014, we continue to grow in our commitment to play-by-play with the addition of key high school match-ups.” WTMJ sports executive producer Doug Russell declares, “The ability to bring these games to friends and families [who] can’t be in the stands is what WTMJ sports is all about.” Meanwhile, J. Pat Miller, director of marketing & innovation for WTMJ and co-owned adult hits WLWK “The Lake,” points out the “Radio League” app features 10 music formats. “We are excited to add this Wisconsin-based preps sports station to our growing line-up of stations,” Miller notes. Matt Menzl and Alex Uhan headline the team of “Preps Live” football announcers; Journal Broadcast Group Milwaukee plans to offer a full schedule of prep basketball games in the winter.

conwaysimonOdds & Sods. All this week, WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive personality Simon Conway is broadcasting his program from Jerusalem. “The situation in Israel is something my audience comes back to again and again,” remarks Conway, who lived there for a year as a teenager. “I will be bringing some very powerful radio to Iowa.” Conway is part of the “Solidarity Israel” trip organized by former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.

Affiliate Roundup.  Talk Shows USA-syndicated/Tom Gresham-hosted “Gun Talk” adds the following affiliates: KARN-FM, Little Rock; WBRN, Big Rapids, Michigan; WNDA, New Albany, Indiana & WLRS, Eminence, Kentucky; and WINT, Willoughby, Ohio…. Most recent affiliates of “Free Talk Live” hosted by Ian Freeman and Mark Edge include: WPTK, Raleigh; WEZO, Augusta, Georgia, KZLS, Enid, Oklahoma; KSMD, Searcy, Arkansas; KAWW, Heber Springs, Arkansas; and WZTK, Alpena, Michigan.