Tag: "triple A"

Thursday, January 25, 2018

| January 25, 2018

E.W. Scripps Puts Radio Stations Up for Sale.  We’d call this a “shocker,” but there have been rumors in the industry recently that E.W. Scripps is not happy with the performances of its radio stations and is looking to sell.  Today’s announcement seems to verify that.  Saying that it is “creating a stronger, more streamlined and higher-performing company through comprehensive restructuring and cost reductions expected to yield more than $30 million in annual cost savings,” it is also planning to sell its 34 radio stations and has “retained Kalil & Co., Inc. to handle the process.”  In the press release, Scripps president and CEO Adam Symson comments, “Today, Scripps is a dynamic leader in the media industry through its strong local TV station portfolio, its growing multicast network, its national news network, and its podcasting business.  The enterprise-wide restructuring positions us well for continued growth while maintaining high-quality journalism as our central focus…Our restructuring analysis also led us to determine the time is right to find a new owner for our radio group that can provide the focus and resources the stations and their creative, devoted employees deserve.”  Scripps got into the radio business as a result of the merger between Journal Communications and E.W. Scripps back in April of 2015.  The two companies merged and spun off their newspaper assets as Journal Media Group with E.W. Scripps keeping Journal’s TV and radio stations.  Adding more insight into Scripps’ restructuring plans, the press release says, “During third-quarter 2017, the company began its restructuring work with a $2.4 million restructuring charge.  The company will take a restructuring charge of $2 million in the fourth quarter, estimates a $4 million charge in the first quarter and expects to take smaller quarterly charges into 2019.  The annual cost savings are driven by reductions in head count and operating expenses over the next 12 to 18 months.  These include centralization of services and technology; sharing of resources; elimination of redundant positions and services; and other expense reductions.”

McKay and Barks Out at KNZR, Bakersfield.  According to a report at Bakersfield.com and KERO-TV, Bakersfield, KNZR talk radio personalities Jaz McKay and Inga Barks have exited the Alpha Media news/talk station.  The moves happened within a week of each other but little else is known since Alpha Media is not commenting publicly about either change.  Barks hosted the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm show and she’s been replaced by former Bakersfield city councilman Terry Maxwell.  McKay’s departure is a little more interesting.  McKay shot a Facebook Live video of himself sitting in his car going up the dial of his radio and commenting on the large number of Spanish-language stations, eventually using the word “spic.”  Premiere NetworksSean Hannity show is now being heard in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart.

Cumulus WYAY, Atlanta Completes Transition from Newsradio to Talk. It may appear to be just a formality at this point, but Cumulus Media has taken the final step is transitioning WYAY-FM from its former all-news format to news/talk.  Atlanta Journal-Constitution writer Rodney Ho reports that station program director Tom Lee says, “The whole concept is personality-driven radio.  People can get news anywhere.  They can’t get Shannon [Burke] or the Kimmer [Kim Peterson].  Our goal is to have four morning shows, one after another.”  The station canceled its remaining newsy program – the morning drive show featuring Rob Stadler – at the end of 2017.  It’s currently seeking a talk host for morning drive.  Read Ho’s piece here.

‘Markley & van Camp’ Expand Syndication Effort.  The WMBD-A, Peoria-based “Markley & van Camp” show is spreading its syndication wings by signing a deal with Compass Media Networks to handle syndication of the program, effective April 2.  The program – hosted by Jamie Markley and David van Camp – airs live from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET.  It’s also heard on other Alpha Media stations, including: KXL-FM, Portland; WFTL-AM, West Palm Beach, KFOR-AM, Lincoln, Nebraska; KFQD-AM, Anchorage; KOKC-AM, Oklahoma City; and WBRP-FM, Baton Rouge.  Compass founder and CEO Peter Kosann says, “Thank you Alpha Media for developing MVC! ‘Markley & van Camp’ bring a unique mix of humor and fun to current events that will retain core talk radio listeners while gaining the hearts and minds of millennials searching for compelling daytime entertainment.”

TALKERS News Notes. Willamette Week reports that Portland radio personality Sheila Hamilton is no longer with Alpha Media’s news/talk KXL-FM where she was co-hosting the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm daypart.  She had also been heard in the market on the company’s triple A KINK-FM, Portland in morning drive with co-host Cort Johnson, but their show was replaced in May of 2017.  Hamilton told the Willamette Week she’s waiting until “final negotiations have been resolved” before explaining her departure.  There are rumors in the industry that Alpha Media is undergoing a company-wide, cost-cutting measure and some speculate that Hamilton’s departure from KXL and the recent actions taken at the company’s KNZR, Bakersfield – among others – support the theory…..Beasley Media Group’s Fayetteville, North Carolina station group is collaborating with Cape Fear Valley Health to present a cluster-wide, commercial-free program to raise awareness about the opioid epidemic titled, “Fayetteville Fights Back.”  The program will air on January 30 from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm on the company’s five stations in the market.  Physicians, law enforcement officials, behavioral health experts, and addiction specialists – along with local and state leaders, including Governor Roy Cooper (via recorded message) and Attorney General Josh Stein (in the studio) – will participate in the simulcast.

Trump-Russia Probe/Mueller-Trump Interview, DACA Status/Immigration Policy, Strzok-Page Texts Case, Deadly Kentucky School Shooting, Trump at Davos, Nassar Sentenced, Trump Warns Turkey on Syria Attacks, and Super Bowl LLI Matchup Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/24).  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and President Trump’s statement he’s willing to speak with Mueller under oath; the status of the Obama-era DACA and the Trump Administration’s immigration policy; the investigation into missing texts between senior counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page and their bias against Donald Trump; two students are killed during a shooting at a Kentucky high school; President Trump attends the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland; former Olympic gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar is sentenced after a week of impact statements from his victims; President Trump warns Turkey about its attacks on Kurds in Northern Syria; and the matchup between the Eagles and Patriots in Super Bowl LLI 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.  Gig alert!  Entercom Charlotte is seeking an account executive who can “help us blaze new trails in the world of digital and audio advertising with a concentration in the entertainment industry.”  In Charlotte, Entercom operates hot AC WLNK “The Link,” news/talk WBT-AM/FM, and sports talk WFNC “The Fan.”  To find out more, click here…..In San Diego, Kevin Callahan is named to the operations manager position for Entercom’s expanded station group as well as the Padres Radio Network.  With the November merger of Entercom and CBS RADIO, CHR KEGY and adult contemporary KYXY became part of the cluster…..There’s a new rock station in Tulsa as Cox Media Group flips Christian contemporary KWEN-HD2/K289CC “Spirit 105.7” to active rock as “105.7 The Bone.”  CMG Tulsa market manager Cathy Gunther writes on the “Spirit 105.7” website, “It’s never easy to say goodbye to a radio station.  For several years, Cox Media Group Tulsa has had a team of dedicated individuals who poured their love and energy into ‘Spirit 105.7,’ and it’s extremely difficult to have to move on.  Unfortunately, local research tells us that it no longer makes good business sense to continue to operate 105.7 as a Christian contemporary station, so we are compelled to make a change.”…..SiriusXM is launching a special, limited-run Fleetwood Mac Channel, starting on February 1.  In addition to showcasing music from Fleetwood Mac’s long career, including their indelible hits, solo material, live songs, rare demo tracks and musical influences, the channel will also include exclusive stories and insights from Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie, plus special hosted shows by band members.

Round Two of Holiday PPMs Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s Holiday 2017 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Detroit, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Tampa, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s Holiday 2017 survey period covered December 7 (2017) – January 3 (2018).  The vast majority of (but not all) major improvements by music stations in this sweep is attributable to a transition to all-Christmas music. See all the 6+ ratings from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from all of these PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Washington, D.C. – Over and above chalking up its sixth straight increase for a collective +5.6 (4.1 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 7.8 – 9.7, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH marches from fourth to first with its strongest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016’s 10.4. Up three-tenths to 4.7 (steady at #6, 6+), classic rock cluster-mate WBIG “Big 100” ends four straight declines that accounted for a collective -1.4 (5.8 – 5.6 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.4, 6+). After four consecutive months at #1 (including a November tie with WAMU), WTOP segues to second-place. The Hubbard all-news facility is down by an overall one-half share in three successive declines (9.8 – 9.6 – 9.4 – 9.3, 6+). Prior to November, WTOP was +1.6 in three straight upticks (8.2 – 8.9 – 9.4 – 9.8, 6+), with October’s 9.8 its strongest 6+- share since 9.9 in March. In the runner-up slot from January through August, WTOP climbed to #1 in September. By notching a +.7 in August, WTOP halted four consecutive negative trends that yielded a collective -1.7 (9.9 – 9.1 – 8.8 – 8.7 – 8.2, 6+). At this time last month, Howard University-owned urban AC WHUR enjoyed a nearly three-share (6+) advantage over Radio One’s similarly-formatted WMMJ “Majic 102.3,” but with WHUR off by -1.1 (7.9 – 6.8, third to fourth, 6+) and “Majic” up seven-tenths (unchanged at #5, 6+), the lead is down to just over one-share. After recording a +1.4 in November to 8.4, the station’s best-ever PPM-showing, WHUR forfeited one-half share in December to 7.9 (6+). Prior to this sweep, WHUR was anchored in third-place for each of the last 12 ratings periods. Entering the November ratings period, WHUR was without an increase in the previous three monthlies for an overall -1.1 (8.1 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 7.0, 6+). A loss of one full-share in August ended at five a consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted +2.4 (5.7- 6.0 – 7.0 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 8.1, 6+). As for WMMJ, it is up or flat for the fourth month in succession for a collective gain of +1.5 (4.2 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 5.7, 6+). “Majic 102.3” was a cumulative -1.8 in August and September (6.0 – 4.9 – 4.2, 6+), before regaining four-tenths in October. Aforementioned American University-owned news/talk WAMU “The Mind Is Our Medium” is now a collective -2.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (9.6 – 8.9 – 7.6, 6+), dipping from second to third. WAMU exited the top spot in September, after spending eight straight months there. A cumulative -1.5 in back-to-back sweeps (11.5 – 11.0 – 10.0, February – March – April, 6+), WAMU rebounded in May with a +.7 to 10.7 (6+), but forfeited exactly twice that increase in June with a -1.4. February’s 11.5 matches the highest 6+-share in its PPM-history first reached in December 2016. A one-half share gain in December by WLZL (1.6 – 2.1, 6+) elevated the Entercom Spanish tropical outlet to the two-share level for the first time in exactly one year (2.0, December 2016), but “El Zol 107.9” returns all of that gain and one-tenth more (1.5, -.6, #18 to #19, 6+). Faltering by six-tenths as well is iHeartMedia-owned WWDC “DC 101 – DC’s Alternative Rock Station” (3.0 – 2.4, #13 to #16, 6+), which has its lowest 6+-share in nearly two years (2.3, January 2016). In eleven straight sweeps without an increase (1.1 – .8 – .7 – .7 – .6 – .6 – .6 – .6 – .5 – .5 – .4 -.3, 6+) Alpha Media’s WFLS is a combined -.8, as “93.3 Today’s New Country” drops from #21 to #22.

2) Boston – Tacking on a +4.8 in “Holiday” 2017 to December’s +3.5 (5.3 – 8.8 – 13.6, 6+), Entercom owned adult contemporary WMJX “Magic 106.6 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” repeats at #1. Prior to December, “Magic” went five successive months without an increase for an overall -1.7 (7.0 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 5.3, 6+). Whereas November’s 5.3 was its weakest 6+-stat in almost seven years (5.1, January 2011), the 13.6 in “Holiday” 2017 is its strongest since 14.8 in “Holiday” 2015. In four straight increases, Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WBZ-FM (the property Entercom traded to Beasley for WMJX) was a collective +2.4 (3.3 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 5.4 – 5.7, 6+), but “The Sports Hub” surrendered three-tenths to 5.4 (6+) in December. The flagship station of the Super Bowl-bound New England Patriots bounces back in “Holiday” 2017 with a gain of one-half share to 5.9 (6+), progressing from fourth to third. Entering the August ratings period, “The Sports Hub” had been down or flat six straight times for a combined -2.5 (5.8 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+). Its “stream” disappears in “Holiday” 2017, following a .6 (6+) in December. Falling by six-tenths as well as the WBZ-FM stream is Entercom urban AC WKAF “97.7 – Boston’s #1 for R&B” (2.4 – 1.8, #16 to #18, 6+). Beantown’s (6+) CHR share erodes by -1.4, nearly equally divided between iHeartMedia’s WXKS-FM “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” (7.2 – 6.4, -.8, flat at #2, 6+) and Entercom-owned WODS “Amp Radio 103.3” (2.6, -.6, #12 to #13, 6+). “Kiss” exited the top spot in December, after three straight months there. In September, “Kiss” wiped out August’s one-half share decline by racking up a +.9 to 7.9 – its highest 6+-share since July 2014’s 8.2. In five consecutive increases prior to the August sweep, “Kiss 108” was a cumulative +1.9 (5.6 – 5.7 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.9 – 7.5, 6+). “Amp” had been a collective +.4 in three straight up or flat trends (2.8 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.2, 6+). This represents the sixth downward move in succession by iHeartMedia-owned WZLX, accounting for a collective -2.2 (5.6 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 3.4, ninth to tenth, 6+), with “100.7 Boston’s Classic Rock” dipping below a four-share (6+) for the first time since January 2017 (3.4, as well). A collective -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.4 – 4.9 – 4.2, 6+), WBUR drops from sixth to seventh. In November, the Boston University-owned news/talker added nine-tenths to October’s one-half share gain. Its one-half share loss in September ended three straight sweeps without a decrease and erased the half-share it gained in that timeframe (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.0, 6+). After three positive spikes in a row produced a +1.1 (2.0 – 2.5 – 2.9 – 3.1, 6+), Entercom news/talk WRKO “AM 680 The Voice of Boston” surrenders roughly half that total (2.5, -.6, 6+) but carries on at #14. As a result of four straight sweeps without an increase (3.8 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 2.8, 6+), hot AC sibling WWBX “Mix 104.1 – Boston’s Best Variety” (formerly CBS Radio’s WBMX) is off by one full-share (#11 to #12). Entercom transferred the WBMX calls to Chicago on the station formerly known as WJMK. After four successive sweeps without a loss for a collective +.8 (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+), WGBH Educational Foundation classical-formatted WCRB stumbles by two-tenths to 1.9 (6+), yet improves from #18 to #16. In June – July – August, the 6+-share of WCRB decreased by more than 50% (2.8 – 1.8 – 1.3, 6+). It is tied at #16 with iHeartMedia’s WBWL “101.7 The Bull – Boston’s New Hit Country,” which has its fifth consecutive decline (2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 1.9, 6+) for an overall -.8. Immediately prior to the start of this negative streak, “The Bull” had four successive increases that accounted for a +.6 (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+). Elsewhere in the format, Beasley Media Group-owned WKLB “Country 102.5” is trending 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.5 (6+) and improves from eighth to sixth. Its September gain of one-tenth ended at three a consecutive string of down or flat trends that accounted for a loss of six-tenths (5.1 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+).

3) Miami – This Florida market’s top three finishers in “Holiday” 2017 are separated by four-tenths of a share. The December 2017 difference between the same three outlets (now in a different order) was just two-tenths. Two adult contemporary outlets are included in that trio: Entercom-owned WLYF “101.5 Lite FM” (third to first, 6+) and Cox Media Group’s WFEZ “Easy 93.1” (6.7, -.1, first to second, 6+). “Lite” is a collective +1.3 in four successive up or flat trends (5.6 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 6.6 – 6.9, 6+) and has its strongest 6+-performance since 7.0 in November 2016. It displaces “Easy 93.1,” which had registered a +.2 in each of the last three sweeps (6.2 – 6.4 – 6.6 – 6.8, 6+) and progressed from second to first in December. The third member of that trio is WFEZ urban AC cluster-mate WHQT “Hot 105,” which is -1.5 in three dips in a row (7.8 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.5, second to third, 6+). October’s 7.8 was the strongest 6+-stat for “Hot” since July 2016’s 8.0. WHQT spent seven consecutive months at #1 before “Easy” succeeded it in December. An overall -.7 in five successive sweeps without an increase (3.6 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.9, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WMIB “103.5 The Beat” gains three-tenths to 3.2 (6+) and is steady at #15. Up two-tenths to 1.7 (flat at #21, 6+), co-owned news/talk WIOD ends at six a string of down or flat trends for an overall decline of four-tenths (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+). Following four positive spikes in succession for an overall +1.4 (4.6 – 5.3 – 5.4 – 5.8 – 6.0, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary WCMQ “Zeta 92.3” erodes by one full-share to 5.0 (fourth to fifth, 6+). Locked on 4.0 (6+) in November and December, iHeartMedia-owned WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” picks up one-tenth to 4.1 (6+) and carries on at #8. Its format rival – Cox Media Group’s WFLC “Hits 97.3” – is without an increase for the fourth sweep in a row for a collective loss of one full-share (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.5, 6+) and drops out of the top ten (#8 to #11). Prior to a loss of four-tenths in September, “Y-100” was a collective +.6 in three consecutive up or flat monthlies (3.7 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 4.3, 6+). These two CHRs were tied at #8 in December; tied for eighth-place in July; and separated by one-tenth in August. The May through “Holiday” 2017 (6+) trending for Entercoms WKIS “Kiss 99.9 – New Country” is 2.1 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.6 (flat at #17).

4) Detroit – By registering its fifth straight increase (6.0 – 6.4 – 6.9 – 7.7 – 11.8 – 15.8, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WNIC “100.3 The ‘80s ‘til Now” has improved by nearly ten full-shares (6+) and is this market’s pacesetter for the fourth month in a row. Its 15.8 in “Holiday” 2017 is more than two shares better than what it achieved one year ago (13.7, “Holiday” 2016, 6+). After notching three straight gains for a full-share improvement (5.2 – 5.8 – 5.9 – 6.2, 6+), WNIC faltered by two-tenths in August. A gain of six-tenths to 3.5 (#15 to #12, 6+) by Beasley Media Group urban-rhythmic oldies WMGC “105.1 The Bounce” applies the brakes to three straight declines that resulted in a -1.0 (3.9 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 2.9, 6+). As a result of four losses in a row (6.3 – 6.0 – 5.5 – 5.2 – 4.1, 6+), Entercom sports talk WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” (fifth to seventh) is a collective -2.2. It is a rough sweep for the market’s two CHRs as iHeartMedia’s WKQI “Channel 95.5 – Detroit’s #1 Hit Music Station” is -1.0 (5.0 – 4.0, sixth to ninth, 6+), while Entercom’s similarly-programmed WDZH “98.7 Amp Radio” is -.6 (2.9, #13 to #15, 6+). “Channel 95.5” was frozen on 4.4 (6+) in August and September before proceeding to 5.0 (6+) in October, November, and December. The -.6 by “Amp” curtails three up or flat trends in a row for a collective +.8 (2.7 – 2.7 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+). Regressing by one-half share each are Beasley Media Group’s WRIF “Everything That Rocks” (4.8 – 4.3, seventh to sixth, 6+); Entercom-owned WYCD “99.5 Detroit’s Country” (4.3 – 3.8, flat at #10, 6+); and Cumulus Media’s WJR “News Talk 760” (#11 to #12, 6+), which is a collective -.9 in three straight declines (4.4 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.5, 6+). Immediately after picking up three-tenths (in November) to pull the plug on four straight decreases for an overall -1.5 (6.2 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.7, 6+), WYCD surrendered seven-tenths in December. Cumulus Media’s similarly-programmed WDRQ “93.1 Nash FM” is without an increase for the eighth consecutive sweep and is -.9 in that May through “Holiday” 2017 period (3.0 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1, flat at #18, 6+). An overall -.9 in four consecutive negative trends (2.7 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 1.8, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WDTW “Alt 106-7 Detroit’s New Alternative” picks up two-tenths (2.0, flat at #19, 6+). Eleven days into the December 2017 sweep (11/20), WDTW transitioned from adult hits as “106.7 The D.”

5) Seattle – Adding a +3.7 to December’s +2.8 (5.3 – 8.1 – 11.8, 6+), Hubbard adult contemporary KRWM “Warm 106.9” repeats at #1 with its strongest 6+-stat since 13.4 in “Holiday” 2015. Owing to a +.4 in November, “Warm” halted three straight down or flat trends that accounted for a combined -1.2 (6.1 – 6.1 – 5.5 – 4.9, 6+). Stymied at 3.4 (6+) in November and December, Sinclair Broadcast Group hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5” rolls out a +2.3 to 5.7 (6+). Not only does “Star” reach the five-share level (6+) for the first time since its 5.5 in “Holiday” 2016, it leapfrogs from a three-way tie at #12 all the way to a tie at #3. Trending 3.8 – 3.7 3.9 (October – November – December, 6+), Entercom-owned KISW “99.9 The Rock of Seattle” dials up a +.7 to 4.6 – its highest 6+-share since July’s 5.0 – and advances from seventh to sixth. A combined -1.3 in three consecutive decreases (4.9 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.6, 6+), KZOK “102.5 Seattle’s Classic Rock Station,” which shifts from Entercom/CBS Radio to iHeartMedia, picks up three-tenths to 3.9 (6+), yet backslides from eighth to ninth. Up until December 4, Hubbard’s KVRQ was “Rock 98.9,” but it flipped to “Country 98.9 – Nobody Plays More New Country.” Without an increase for the fifth month in a row (3.1 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 1.0, 6+), KVRQ has eroded by roughly two-thirds (-2.1) and exits the top twenty (#20 to #23). Forfeiting in full December’s one-half share increase, Entercom’s KKWF “100.7 The Wolf #1 for New Country” (2.9 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+) drifts from #12 to #15. Prior to December’s +.5, “The Wolf” was -.4 in three straight (minor) decreases (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 2.9, 6+). A combined -1.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.3 – 4.2 – 3.4, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KJR-FM “95.7 The Jet” drops out of the top ten (#6 to #11). Although it returns in its entirety the six-tenths it gained in December (1.3 – 1.9 – 1.3, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLSW remains at #22. Seattle’s version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” had been locked on 2.0 (6+) in August, September, and October, and was -.7 in November. Faltering by six-tenths as well is Northwest Public Radio’s KUOW (6.4, steady at #2, 6+), which closes five consecutive up or flat trends that netted a +1.3 (5.7 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.5 – 7.0, 6+). Its +.5 in August pulled the plug on three straight downward moves that produced an overall decline of six-tenths (6.3 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.7, 6+). KUOW finished first for four straight months before dropping to second in December. Off by one-half share as well are Hubbard CHR KQMV “MOViN 92.5 Seattle’s #1 Hit Music Station,” down or flat for the third time in a row for a -.8 (6.0 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.2 fourth to fifth, 6+), and Aloha Station Trust contemporary Christian KTDD “Positive Hit Music” (.7 – .2, #30, 6+). Without a decrease in the previous seven survey periods for an overall gain of eight-tenths (1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.9, 6+), Classic Radio’s KING-FM “Classical 98.1” slips by one-tenth to 1.8 (#21, 6+). Following five straight up or flat monthlies that nearly tripled its 6+-share (.5 – .6 – .8 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KJR-AM “950 Entertaining Sports Talk” drops three-tenths to 1.0 (6+, #24 to #23). Conversely, after three consecutive sweeps without an increase for a cumulative -1.1 (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 2.6, 6+), Bonneville sports outlet KIRO-AM “710 AM ESPN Seattle” adds two-tenths to 2.8 (#19 to #17, 6+).

6) Phoenix – While its “Holiday” 2017 gain (+4.3) is not as lofty as December’s +.5.9, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KESZ (6.2 – 12.1 – 16.4, 6+) repeats at #1 with its best 6+-showing since 16.5 in “Holiday” 2016.  Not only that, KESZ has a nearly three-to-one advantage over the runner-up, Hubbard’s KSLX “Classic Rock 100.7,” which is a combined -2.4 as the result of its fifth straight decrease (7.9 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 7.0 – 6.4 – 5.5, 6+). KSLX – which hadn’t been below a six-share (6+) since February’s 5.8 – exited the penthouse in December after seven straight months there. It was +1.1 (6.8 – 7.9, 6+) in August, after a collective -.5 in June and July (7.3 – 7.0 – 6.8, 6+). Up an overall nine-tenths in four successive gains (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+), Entravision’s Spanish adult hits KVVA “Jose” carries on at #19. A combined -1.2 in three straight decreases (4.5 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.3, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits KYOT “95.5 The Mountain – We Play Everything” drifts from sixth to tenth; 3.3 is its lowest 6+-share since February (3.3, as well). With identical 3.8 – 3.2 (-.6, #8 to #11, 6+) topline profiles are Entercom’s KALV “Live 101.5” and Bonneville news/talk KTAR-FM. Major ups/downs continue for Entercom classic hits-oldies KOOL, which was a combined +1.7 in June and July (4.7 – 5.3 – 6.4, 6+); an overall -2.0 in August, September, and October (6.4 – 5.3 – 4.7 – 4.4, 6+); +1.0 in November to 5.4, 6+); -1.2 in December; and now -.5 in “Holiday” 2017 (4.2 – 3.7, fifth to eighth, 6+). In July, KOOL crossed the six-share threshold for the first time since May 2016’s 6.0 (6+). While very consistent April through July (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.0, 6+), Bonneville sports talk KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona Sports” lost one-half share in August; was a combined +1.5 in September and October (1.5 – 2.4 – 3.0, 6+); lost three-tenths in November; and has sputtered by an overall -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (2.7 – 2.1 – 1.6, 6+). It exits the top twenty (#19 to #21).

7) Minneapolis – Spoiler Alert: An adult contemporary station ranks first in 11 of the 12 markets featured here. The exception is the Twin Cities, which – by the way – is the only PPM-market which does not have a mainstream AC. Powered by a +5.2 following December’s +2.6 (6.4 – 9.0 – 14.2, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KQQL “Kool 108 – Minnesota’s Greatest Hits” repeats at #1 with its strongest 6+-share since 15.9 in “Holiday” 2016. A combined -2.9 as the result of six straight down or flat trends (6.3 – 6.2 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 3.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KEEY “K-102 Minnesota’s Country Station” is bumped from the top ten (#9 to #12). Furthermore, it is overtaken by Entercom’s similarly-programmed KMNB “BUZ’N @ 102.9,” which gains four-tenths to 4.0 (#13 to #11, 6+), thus halting three consecutive declines that accounted for a -.8 (4.4 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+). The market’s (6+) hot AC share evaporates by -1.8, split between “Kool 108” cluster-mate KTCZ “Cities 97 – More Music, More Variety” (-1.1, #12 to #14, 6+) and Hubbard’s KSTP-FM “KS-95 Today’s Variety” (-.7, third to fifth, 6+). Following three straight up or flat trends that netted one-half share (6.6 – 6.6 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+), “KS-95” is now a combined -1.3 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (7.1 – 6.5 – 5.8, 6+). Meanwhile, “Cities 97” continues an up/down pattern that began in May (3.9 – 4.3 – 3.8 – 4.2 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 2.6, 6+). Its urban-rhythmic oldies HD3 channel improves by one-half share (.7 – 1.2, 6+), cracking the top twenty at #18. Down seven-tenths (7.6 – 6.9, 6+), co-owned KFXN “100.3 Sports Radio K-Fan,” the flagship of the Minnesota Vikings, reprises at #2; it finished first in October and November. Its -.1 in November curtailed four consecutive increases that produced a +2.7 since June (4.6 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.6 – 7.3, 6+). The third part of the iHeartMedia #1/#2/#3 finish (in addition to KQQL and KFXN) is CHR KDWB, which is a cumulative -1.5 since July as the result of six consecutive sweeps without an increase (7.5 – 7.2 – 7.0 – 7.0 – 6.8 – 6.5 – 6.0, 6+). Having finished #1 in April, May, and June, “The Twin Cities’ #1 Hit Music Station” segued to #2 in July and back to #1 in August. Following three straight dips (5.7 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+), Entercom adult hits KZJK posted a +.9 in December to 5.5 (6+), but “104.1 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” squanders roughly half of that increase (5.0, -.5, 6+) and slides from sixth to seventh.

8) San Diego – Over and above posting its fourth straight uptick for a cumulative +5.7 (3.8 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 5.7 – 9.5, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary KYXY marches from third to first, exceeding (by four-tenths) its 9.1 in “Holiday” 2016. Even though KPBS gains three-tenths (6.0 – 6.3, 6+), the San Diego State University-owned news/talker segues from first to second. A December gain of four-tenths pulled the plug on three straight monthlies without an increase that accounted for an overall -.6 (6.2 – 6.2 – 6.0 – 5.6, 6+). December marked the fourth time in calendar year 2017 (February, August, September, and December) that KPBS was on top. Three straight gains by Entercom classic hits-oldies KXSN “Sunny 98.1 – San Diego’s Greatest Hits” net a +1.1 (4.8 – 5.3 – 5.8 – 5.9, second to third, 6+). November’s +.5 (to 5.3, 6+) ended four straight decreases that yielded a cumulative loss of -1.4 (6.2 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 5.2 – 4.8, 6+). By rolling out a full-share gain (4.1 – 5.1, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KLNV “Que Buena 106.5” jumps from ninth to fourth and reaches the five-share level (6+) for the first time since April 2016’s 5.2. With similar call letters, co-owned Spanish adult hits KLQV “102.9 Mas Variedad” improves by six-tenths to 3.0, #18 to #13, 6+, curtailing three straight down or flat trends that accounted for a loss of one-half share (2.9 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.4, 6+). In three successive major declines (7.2 – 6.6 – 5.4 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s news/talk KOGO has eroded by three full-shares, drifting from fourth to seventh. When KOGO lost six-tenths in November, its successive string of up or flat monthlies that generated a collective +1.9 was snapped at four (5.3 – 5.5 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 7.2, 6+); October’s 7.2 is the highest 6+-share for KOGO in its PPM-history. A combined +1.5 in five straight progressive or flat trends (3.1 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 4.2 – 4.6, 6+), Midwest Television’s KFMB-FM “100.7 KFM – BFM” follows in December and “Holiday” 2017 with an overall -1.9 (3.8 – 2.7, 6+), slipping from #11 to #14; November’s 4.6 was its strongest 6+-showing since transitioning to rock in January 2016. Up or flat for four months in a row for a cumulative +.9 (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.6, 6+), Entercom’s KBZT “94.9 San Diego’s Alternative” returns seven-tenths to 1.9 (6+) and exits the top twenty (#15 to #21). A loss of six-tenths (3.9 – 3.3, 6+) drops iHeartMedia-owned KGB-FM “San Diego’s Classic Rock Music Station” out of the top ten (#10 to #12). Slipping by one-half share each are its hot AC sibling KMYI “Star 94.1” (5.2 – 4.7, fifth to sixth, 6+) and Local Media San Diego urban-rhythmic oldies XHRM “Magic 92.5,” which is without an increase for the fourth time in a row for a collective -1.0 (4.9 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 3.9, sixth to eighth, 6+). As the result of three improvements in succession, XLTN “104.5 Radio Latina” was a collective +1.7 (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.8 – 3.7, 6+), but the Grupo Imagen Spanish contemporary outlet drops two-tenths to 3.5 (6+); nonetheless, it climbs from #12 to #11.

9) Denver – After hanging out a December +1.8, KOSI “101.1 Real-Music-Variety” follows with a +3.7 (7.8 – 11.5, 6+) as the Bonneville adult contemporary property is #1 for the third month in a row. This (11.5) is its best 6+-showing since 11.6 in “Holiday” 2016. Trending 2.6 – 2.9 – 2.6 (October – November – December, 6+), Entravision Spanish adult hits KJMN “La Suavecita 107.1” posts a +.6 in “Holiday” 2017 to 3.2 (#18 to #14, 6+). Without an increase the past three sweeps for an overall loss of six-tenths (4.1 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.5, 6+), KSE Radio Ventures’ hot AC KIMN “Mix 100 Today’s Best Mix” registers a gain of one-half share to 4.0 (6+) and leaps into the top ten (#13 to #8). Its classic hits-oldies sibling KXKL “KOOL 105 Denver’s Greatest Hits” adds two-tenths to 3.8 (#12 to #10, 6+), thus pulling the plug on three decreases in succession that accounted for a cumulative -.9 (4.5 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 3.6, 6+). In three straight down or flat sweeps, Bonneville-owned KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” is a cumulative -1.3 (4.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 3.2, 6+) and fades from the top ten (#8 to #14). This is the fourth straight decline for iHeartMedia triple A KBCO “World Class Rock” (third to fifth) for a collective -2.0 (6.6 – 6.3 – 5.9 – 5.5 – 4.6, 6+). An overall +.9 in November and December (1.9 – 2.4 – 2.8, 6+), cluster-mate KBPI “Rocks the Rockies” coughs up eight-tenths to 2.0 (6+) and departs the top twenty (#16 to #21). Also in that iHeartMedia cluster, CHR KPTT “95.7 The Party – Denver’s #1 Hit Music Station,” which was up six-tenths in November and December (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.3, 6+), regresses by seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2017 to 3.6 (6+), exiting the top ten (#7 to #12). Faltering by one-half share each are Bonneville country outlet KYGO, which is down or flat for the eighth month in a row for a collective -1.4 (6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.2, flat at #2, 6+), and Entercom classic rock KQMT “99.5 The Mountain” (4.2 – 3.7, #8 to #11, 6+). After six straight sweeps without a loss for an overall +.5 (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KHOW slips by one-tenth to 2.2 (6+), yet inches up from #20 to #19.

10) Tampa – It is a bit of a mixed bag for the market’s adult contemporary outlets. On the plus side, Beasley Media Group’s WPBB “B-98.8 Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” tacks on a +1.6 to December’s +1.2 and has more than tripled its 6+-stat (+2.8) in three consecutive sweeps without a loss (1.2 – 1.2 – 2.4 – 4.0, 6+). Moreover, it rockets from #18 to a three-way tie at #9. Since becoming an AC in early-January 2017, “B-98.8” hadn’t reached the two-share level (6+) until December’s 2.4, thus 4.0 in “Holiday” 2017 is now its best-ever 6+-stat. At the same time, Cox Media Group adult contemporary WDUV “Lite Favorites” hangs out a +1.5 (10.4 – 11.9, 6+) and is the market’s pacesetter for the 64th successive ratings period. In “Holiday” 2016, “Lite Favorites” had a 12.7 (6+). A December loss of seven-tenths ended three straight gains that netted +1.8 (9.3 – 9.4 – 9.8 – 11.1, 6+). Prior to an August decrease, WDUV had been a collective +1.8 (again) as the result of four successive uptrends (8.7 – 8.9 – 9.5 – 10.1 – 10.5, 6+). On the flipside though in the AC format, WDUV cluster-mate WWRM “Magic 94.9 Tampa Bay’s Best Music” surrenders one full-share (4.9 – 3.9, 6+), fading from #5 to #12. Bouncing back from December’s -.6, Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WCIE “The Joy FM” is up nine-tenths (4.8 – 4.2 – 5.1, ninth to fifth, 6+). “The Joy FM” was +.6 in November, following October’s -.7. When WCIE dropped two-tenths in September, it concluded four straight sweeps without a loss that netted a +1.3 (3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.8 – 5.1, 6+); 5.1 in “Holiday” 2017 is the highest 6+-share for WCIE since July (5.1, as well). Following three straight gains (3.8- 4.7 – 5.9 – 6.0, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WFUS “US-103.5 Tampa Bay’s #1 For New Country” returns more than half of that cumulative +2.2 with a -1.3 to 4.7 (third to sixth, 6+). Whereas in September, WFUS dropped seven-tenths to 3.8, its softest 6+-showing in almost seven years (3.3, Holiday” 2010, 6+), December’s 6.0 was its best 6+-performance in nearly four years (6.1, January 2014). Advancing from fifth to third, its format rival – Beasley Media Group-owned WQYK “Tampa Bay’s New Country Hits” – improves by four-tenths to 5.3 (6+). As a result, it curtails three straight sweeps without an increase for a collective loss of two-tenths (5.1 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.9, 6+). Posting a 4.4 (6+) in three of the last four sweeps (4.4 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WFLZ “93.3 FLZ – Tampa Bay’s #1 Hit Music Channel” is off six-tenths to 3.8 (6+) and departs the top ten (#8 to #13). Without an increase in the last four sweeps for a collective -1.1 (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.3, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” drops from #16 to #18.

11) Baltimore – Easily scoring top honors for the most robust (6+) December 2017 – “Holiday” 2017 improvement by any station in the 24 PPM-markets whose data has been released thus far is WLIF “Today’s 101.9” with an eye-popping +6.6 (9.7 – 16.3, repeating at #1, 6+). It has been a rollercoaster ride for the Entercom adult contemporary facility, which dialed up a +.5 in August; returned all of it in September (-.5); displayed a +.8 in October; surrendered all of that in November (-.8); and now bounces back with a combined +9.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017. One year ago at this time, “Today’s 101.9” registered a 15.3 (6+, “Holiday” 2016). Occupying the top spot for four months in succession, Radio One urban AC WWIN “Magic 95.9” segued to #2 in December and continues there in “Holiday” 2017. Furthermore, it is without a decrease for the sixth sweep in a row for a combined +2.4 (7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 8.7 – 9.2 – 10.4, 6+). In the 24 PPM-markets we’ve seen so far, “Magic” is the only station at #2 that achieves double-digits (6+). Entering the November sweep, “Magic” was without an increase in each of the previous four ratings periods for a collective -.6 (8.4 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+). A four-tenths June increase halted at four its consecutive string of downward trends that accounted for a -.9 (8.9 – 8.8 – 8.6 – 8.3 – 8.0, 6+). Applying the brakes to three straight downward moves producing an overall -1.8 (5.6 – 4.8 – 4.5 – 3.8, 6+), Entercom sports outlet WJZ-FM “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” improves by two-tenths to 4.0 (6+), progressing from ninth to sixth. Within 7.2 – 7.7 range from May through November, (7.7 – 7.7 – 7.4 – 7.4 – 7.2 – 7.4 – 7.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WPOC “93.1 – Baltimore’s #1 for New Country” is a combined -2.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (7.2 – 6.2 – 4.6, third to fourth, 6+). The last time WPOC was below a five-share (6+) was “Holiday” 2016 (4.7). After sputtering by six-tenths in December (5.2 – 4.6, 6+), Hearst Television’s WIYY “98 Rock” falters by twice that margin to 3.4 (-1.2, 6+) and spirals from fifth to tenth. In a similar vein, Shamrock-owned WZBA “100.7 The Bay – Baltimore’s Classic Rock Station” was -.7 in December and follows with a -1.0 in “Holiday” 2017 (4.5 – 3.8 – 2.8, #9 to #12, 6+). In November, “The Bay” was off two-tenths, thus ending at five a consecutive string of gains that netted a +1.9 (2.8 – 3.0 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.7, 6+). Floundering by six-tenths each are iHeartMedia CHR WZFT “Z-104.3 Baltimore’s #1 Hit Music Station” (4.1 – 3.5, seventh to eighth, 6+); independent WCBM “680 – Stimulating News Talk,” which had been +.6 in three straight up or flat trends (2.5 – 2.5 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 2.5, 6+), but is back at 3.1 (#12 to #14, 6+); and iHeartMedia gospel WCAO “Heaven 600” (1.0 -.4, #16 to #21, 6+). While it remains at #15, Baltimore City Community College-owned WBJC “91.5 – Maryland’s Classical Musical Station” forfeits roughly half of December’s +.9 (1.6 – 1.1, -.5, 6+); December’s 1.6 is its best 6+-stat since January 2016’s. The ten most recent trends for Hearst news/talk WBAL are 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 (#12 to #11, 6+). Most recently, that topline includes five successive sweeps without an increase for a collective -.4.

12) St. Louis – Not only is KEZK “102.5 The Best Mix of the ‘80s and Today” up six full-shares via three successive up or flat trends (4.1 – 4.1 – 6.7 – 10.1, 6+), the Entercom adult contemporary leaps from fourth to first. This is its strongest 6+-showing since 11.1 in “Holiday” 2016, which was the last time KEZK reached #1. It succeeds iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLOU, which – despite rebounding from December’s -.8 with a +2.2 (7.3 – 9.5, 6+) – segues to #2. Prior to November, when it gained nine-tenths, KLOU was down or flat the previous three months for a -1.3 (8.5 – 8.5 – 7.7 – 7.2, 6+). On top in January, February, and March, KLOU assumed the runner-up slot in April, but returned to #1 in June, July, and August. The wild ride truly continues for WARH “106.5 The Arch.” The Hubbard adult hits outlet was -.6 (6.4 – 6.1 – 5.8, May – June – July, 6+); +1.2 in August; -.7 in September (7.0 – 6.3, 6+); +.5 in October; -.7 in November (6.8 – 6.1, 6+); +.6 in December; and now -1.5 in “Holiday” 2017 (6.7 – 5.2, fourth to seventh, 6+). With a 7.0 in August, “The Arch” crossed the seven-share threshold (6+) for the first time since last December’s 7.6. When Emmis’ KPNT lost six-tenths in December, its consecutive string of positive trends that netted one full-share ended at four (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+). Now, “105.7 The Point – Everything Alternative” regresses by -1.1 (4.4 – 3.3, 6+) and exits the top ten (#9 to #12). Co-owned KFTK “FM News Talk 97.1” is a cumulative -1.4 in three straight decreases (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 2.6, #16 to #17, 6+). Stuck on 3.4 (6+) in November and December, CHR cluster-mate KNOW “Now 96.3 – All the Hits” is off by one-half share as well (2.9, #13 to #15, 6+). Returning all of December’s +.6 and one-tenth more (7.0 – 6.3, -.7, 6+), Radio One urban AC WFUN “95.5 The Lou – R&B + Old School for the Lou” slips from second to fourth. December’s increase by “The Lou” concluded a down/up pattern that surfaced May through November (6.3 – 6.2 – 6.5 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 5.6 – 6.4, 6+). Owing to four decreases in succession (8.4 – 8.0 – 6.0 – 5.5 – 5.4, 6+), Entercom news/talk KMOX “The Voice of St. Louis” (sixth to fifth) is a cumulative -3.0 and has its lowest 6+-share since January’s 5.0. A loss of four-tenths in October ended at three its consecutive winning streak which generated a collective +1.1 since June (7.3 – 7.5 – 7.7 – 8.4, 6+).

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

| March 14, 2017

Washington Post Writes About the Evolving Glenn Beck.  Industry watchers and regular TALKERS readers are aware of Premiere Networks syndicated talk radio star Glenn Beck’s long-held distaste for President Donald Trump.  Throughout the election, Beck was a Never Trumper and it was the focus of his radio show during that period.  Now he’s walking a difficult road of staying true to his self-described libertarian principles while expressing regret for how he conducted himself for so many years.  Beck and his efforts to make amends for the things he’s said and done in the past is the focus of a feature piece in the Washington Post by senior editor Marc Fisher.  Not only has Beck changed how he approaches his radio and TV shows, he’s going out on the road with some heretofore very unlikely company.  Read the Post piece here.

Bye Partnered with Stokley on KKFN, Denver.  Moving from Townsquare Media’s sports talker WTMM, Albany “104.5 The Team” to Bonneville’s sports KKFN, Denver “104.3 The Fan” is Zach Bye.  He partners with Brandon Stokley for the 12:00 nooon to 3:00 pm “Stokley and Zach” show, effective March 31.  In addition to co-hosting the “Big Board Sports” show on WTMM, Bye served for the past seven years as a play-by-play and color analyst for University of Albany sports radio broadcasts.  KKFN program director Armen Williams states, “After a national search, we were thrilled to find the perfect fit for Brandon and ‘104.3 The Fan’ in Zach.

GOP ObamaCare Alternative, Obama Wiretapping Accusations, Trump’s Budget Proposal, North Korea Missile Threats, Tennessee Sues Federal Government, Northeast Snowstorm, and March Madness Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/13).  The Trump Administration/GOP’s alternative to the Affordable Care Act; the ongoing debate over what President Trump meant by his accusation that President Obama wiretapped the Trump Tower during the 2016 campaign; the Trump Administration’s federal budget proposal and its effort to shrink Washington’s administrative power; North Korea’s nuclear missile program and related tensions between China and the U.S.; Tennessee sues the federal government over the latter’s refugee resettlement program; the late-winter blizzard hitting the Northeast today; and the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Rotella: Local Radio Is on Alert.  Local radio advocate – and president and CEO of the New Jersey Broadcasters AssociationPaul Rotella, is using today’s winter storm affecting the Northeast to point out the positives of local, terrestrial radio – and advocate for the broad activation of the FM chip and the prevention of any Performance Tax.  Read his letter to members of the NJBA and the industry here.

 

 

Alana Lynn Joins KMLE, Phoenix for Afternoons/Music Director Post.  Phoenix country outlet KMLE @ 107.9 announces Alana Lynn takes over the music director and afternoon personality position at the CBS RADIO station.  She assumes the duties from Bryan “B-Dub” Washington, who’s exiting for new position elsewhere.  CBS RADIO Phoenix VP of programming Tim Richards comments, “Alana is an amazing talent and we couldn’t be more excited for her to join the KMLE family.” She was most recently morning personality at Townsquare Media’s classic hits KTRR, Loveland, Colorado “Tri 102.5” and midday host at sister country KUAD “K99.”

Tony Russell Joins ‘McKinzie & Jake’ on ‘98.7 The Bull’ in Portland. Effective Monday (3/20), radio pro Tony Russell becomes part of the KUPL, Portland “98.7 The Bull” morning drive show with current AM show personalities McKinzie Roth and Jake Byron.  KUPL program director MoJoe Roberts comments, “Tony’s passion for super-serving the community line up with the core values of Alpha Media.  He brings a wealth of experience, a great sense of humor and is no stranger to our audience.  We’re thrilled to turn him loose with ‘McKinzie & Jake’ in mornings.”

Demery to Program KINK, Portland.  Radio pro Sean Demery is the new program director at Alpha Media’s triple A KINK, Portland.  Alpha Media VP of programming Scott Mahalick says, “Sean is a world class programmer, digital maverick, and talent coach who gets the vibe of Portland and will be dedicated full-time to the growth of KINK.  We are looking forward to Sean’s impact in taking us to new heights.”  Demery has served with stations across the country including: WNNX, Atlanta; KITS, San Francisco; KMTT, Seattle; KXRK & KLRZ, Salt Lake City; WYMS, Milwaukee; and KGGI, Riverside/San Bernardino.  Demery comments, “101.9 KINK? Are you kidding?  It’s already a great station.  I look forward to working with the crew to make it an indisputable cultural landmark.  I also look forward to exploring and eating at all the cool places that have been taunting me from Sunset magazine.”

KMGA, Albuquerque Names Simmons PD/PM Host; Adds Durocher to AM Show.  Albuquerque adult contemporary KMGA  “99.5 Magic FM” announces the addition of Bryan Simmons to the staff as program director and afternoon drive host and on-air pro Doug Durocher as morning drive co-host.  Durocher pairs up with Meredith Dunkel for the “Meredith & Doug” show.  Cumulus Media Albuquerque FM operations manager Brad Hansen states, “Bryan and Doug both bring an amazing track record of success and are already having a very positive impact on ‘Magic’ and the Albuquerque community.”

iHeartRadio Music Festival Returns to Las Vegas September 22-23.  The main stage acts won’t be announced until a later date but iHeartMedia says its annual iHeartRadio Music Festival is back in Sin City September 22 and 23.  The evening performances will happen at T-Mobile Arena.  The Daytime Village, presented by Capital One, takes place on Saturday (9/23) in the Las Vegas Village across from the Luxor Hotel and Casino.  Featured acts for the Daytime Village include: Flume, French Montana, Noah Cyrus, Judah & The Lion, Kelsea Ballerini, Hey Violet, and All Time Low, with more to be announced.

Monday, August 29, 2016

| August 29, 2016

‘99.9 The Fan’ in Raleigh to Broadcast Town Hall on Race Relations in Sports.  As part of its ongoing “Fan Town Hall” series, Capitol Broadcasting’s Raleigh-Durham sports talker WCMC “99.9 The Fan” is presenting a live multi-cast of a town hall focusing on the question, “Do today’s African-American athletes bear any responsibility to commenting on today’s social issues?”  The event takes place on Tuesday (8/30) at 7:00 pm.  It is wcmcRaceSportsTownHallbeing moderated by WRAL-TV anchor/reporter Gerald Owens and features the following seven panelists: sport business professor at UNC-Charlotte Dr. Deborah Stroman, former ECU head football coach Steve Logan, former UNC and NBA player George Lynch, former NC State and NFL player Brandan Bishop, “99.9 The Fan” afternoon drive host Adam Gold, and “Buzz Sports Radio” morning drive hosts Erroll Reese and Kevin McClendon.  The social media desk and interaction with Twitter will be managed by 99.9 The Fan’s afternoon drive host Joe Ovies.  The program will air with live video and audio on WRAL-TV 2, “99.9 The Fan,” WRALsportsfan.com and the WRALsportsfan app.  Capitol Broadcasting sports radio operations manager, program director and executive producer for the Fan Town Hall series, Dennis Glasgow, says, “This discussion is long overdue and we have a diverse and opinionated panel to tackle this polarizing topic.  I’m also excited that our viewers and listeners can participate with their feedback and commentary in real time via Twitter.”

Colin Cowherd’s Digital Platform Launches.  The launch of FOX Sports Radio and FS1 personality Colin Cowherd’s new digital platform is a cooperative effort between Cowherd, Premiere Networks, and Chris cowherdlogoBalfe’s Red Seat Ventures.  It’s called TheHerdNow.com and serves as “the digital home for content created and curated by Colin Cowherd including bold opinion pieces, viral news stories, exclusive podcasts, and original video series. The new site also serves as a portal for fans to find stories covering the best moments and interviews from Cowherd’s radio show, as well as the daily podcast and streaming audio of ‘The Herd.’”  Cowherd says, “I’ve chosen to work with the best people in the industry and the support I’ve received has been like nothing I’ve ever experienced.  I feel incredibly lucky to launch this venture for fans to connect with my best content whenever and wherever they happen to be.”

Hogenson Tapped by RNC for Help with Radio During Campaign.  Consultant and radio expert Scott Hogenson is working for the Republican National Committee to consult on and assist with radio for thehogensonscott campaign election cycle.  Hogenson started working with the RNC today (8/29).  He also served as radio director for the GOP convention in Cleveland this summer.  He is president of the Washington, DC public affairs firm Hogenson Communications, LLC.  He served in the George W. Bush Administration as deputy assistant secretary for public affairs for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.  During his career he has worked on three presidential campaigns as a senior member of the press office at the Republican National Committee.

New Sales Managers Named at Entercom Boston.  Moving over from her sales manager position at Entercom’s news/talk WRKO to the same post at rock WAAF is Alison Harris.  Assuming the open sales manager post at WRKO is Denise DiLuca, who returns to Entercom from her most recent gig with iHeartMedia as VP of wrko15sales in Providence.  DiLuca worked in the business development department at Entercom Boston before joining iHeartMedia in 2012.  Entercom New England VP/market manager Phil Zachary says both Harris and DiLuca embody the cluster’s inexorable work ethic.  “Alison and Denise are natural sales leaders.  Both are highly regarded in the marketplace for their uncompromising integrity, outstanding training skills, intensity of focus and ability to recruit the very best local sellers.  I have no doubt our Boston cluster will continue to outperform the market with these proven professionals in key roles.”

Scott Robbins Easing Back into Radio on WMBD, Peoria a Year After Heart Attack.  Before suffering a major heart attack a year ago, Scott Robbins and on-air partner Jamie Markley were co-hosting a three-hourrobbinsscott talk show simulcast on Alpha Media’s WMBD, Peoria and KXL, Portland.  But that major health issue put Robbins in the hospital for four months.  The Peoria Journal Star, in a piece by Steve Tarter, reports that Robbins is back on the radio with a weekly show airing on WMBD Saturdays from 6:00 am to 8:00 am with co-host Joe Greenwood.  After Robbins’ heart attack, David van Camp began filling in alongside Markley and was later named permanent co-host of the show.

Cumulus Ups Hach to VP, Digital for San Francisco.  After serving as digital and integrated sales manager for Cumulus Media’s San Francisco and Minneapolis clusters, Justin Hach is promoted to vice president, digital hachjustinfor the company’s San Francisco station group that includes sports talk KNBR, triple A KFOG, classic rock KSAN, news/talk KGO, news/talk KSFO and Asian KSJO.  Hach’s charge will be to lead a team that is responsible for all digital and social strategies, development, content and revenue.  Vice president and market manager Justin Wittmayer says, “I’m really proud of the team that Justin has built and the way that they’re connecting our brands and fans.  His content strategy is driving database growth, engagement, revenue and, most important, a better user/client experience.”

Nigel Burton Partners with Dan Sheldon on KPOJ, Portland for Mornings.  Sports talk KPOJ-AM “Rip City Radio 620” adds Pacific Northwest sports analyst Nigel Burton to its morning show with current host Dan kpoj sportsSheldon.  The new show is called “Rip City Mornings with Dan and Nigel,” airing weekdays from 6:00 am to -9:00 am.  Burton is an analyst for Pac-12 Networks and a college football analyst for CSNNW.  Newly appointed “Rip City Radio” program director Rich Moore says, “Adding Nigel Burton with his background and associations is very exciting and we are looking forward to partnering him up with Dan Sheldon in the morning.”

Jess Hanson to Head Up Horizon Broadcasting’s Central Oregon Station Group.  Most recently with Townsquare Media’s Abilene, Texas operations, Jess Hanson heads north to join Horizon Broadcasting Group’s Central Oregon media properties as market manager/general sales manager.  He’ll  oversee thehansonjess company’s five radio stations – classic hits KQAK-FM, hot AC KWPK “The PEAK 104.1,” AC KLTW “95.7 MY FM,” news/talk simulcast KBNW-AM/FM, and classic country KRCO – as well as the company’s digital assets and event productions.  Horizon president and CEO Keith Shipman states, “I am pleased to hand over the day-to-day operations of our Central Oregon assets to an experienced and successful leader.  Jess has demonstrated his passion for the radio industry over the past three decades and has built successful sales and programming teams throughout his career.  He has a proven track record in broadcast, digital and event sales – all of which are key to our clients’ marketing plans.”

WTMJ, Milwaukee’s Charlie Sykes Announces 2016 Right Wisconsin Award Winners.  WTMJ, Milwaukee talk show host Charlie Sykes operates the digital news platform RightWisconsin.com and each year, he sykescharliepresents awards to conservatives in the state.  This year – at a banquet to be held this Friday (9/2) – Sykes announces that former Governor Tommy Thompson and Mary Kohler will be presented lifetime achievement awards.  Kohler will be presented the Margaret Thatcher Award and Thompson will receive the Ronald Reagan Award. The Thatcher and Reagan Awards are the top honors being given at this fourth annual event.  The evening will be hosted by Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and Sykes.

The Presidential Race, Dwayne Wade’s Cousin Killed in Chicago Violence, Italy Earthquake Aftermath, Kaepernick Sits Out National Anthem, Weiner Sexting Again, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; the Chicago shooting death of Nykea Aldridge, cousin of NBA star Dwayne Wade; the aftermath of the deadly earthquake in central Italy; controversy over NFL star Colin Kaepernick’s sitting out the National Anthem in protest; former U.S. Congressman Anthony Weiner caught in another sexting case; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.

Odds & Sods.  There’s a new PM drive show on Entercom’s sports talk WROC, Rochester “ESPN Rochester.”dangerbattaglia  Replacing “The Radio Press Box with Scott Pitoniak and Dan Borrello” is “The Sports Bar with Mike Danger and Gene Battaglia.”  Danger is also programming WROC in addition to his programming role at sister CHR WPXY…..SiriusXM is enhancing its college sports play-by-play offerings with a new five-year broadcasting agreement with Learfield and IMG.  The deal now includes both streaming and satellite radio broadcast rights and greatly expands the number of college games that will be available to subscribers on the SiriusXM app…..Alpha Media is announcing that adult contemporary KUIC, Vacaville, California has become an affiliate of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors.  KUIC will air full broadcast of all Warriors games including playoff games for the 2016-2017 season…..WUUB, Jupiter, Florida “ESPN West Palm” is dedicating its Friday night programming to the biggest high school football matchups in the Palm Beaches and Treasure Coast.  “Football Night in South Florida” on the Good Karma-operated station is sponsored by Papa John’s Pizza.  Also the station adds ESPN’s Paul Finebaum show to its daily lineup, airing from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm…..The final chapter of the Todd Schnitt vs Bubba the Love Sponge defamation suit has been written, but it doesn’t involved either broadcaster – it’s about three of Bubba’s former attorneys.  Regular TALKERS readers will remember that attorneys Stephen Diaco, Robert Adams and Adam Filthaut – with the assistance of legal assistant Melissa Personius and then-cop Ray Fernandez – orchestrated the DUI of Schnitt attorney Philip Campbell in hopes of helping their case.  (How would that help? We’re not really sure.)  Regardless, Diaco tried to man up and voluntarily gave up his law license in hopes the Florida Supreme Court would go easy on his colleagues.  No such luck.  The Court has permanently stripped Adams and Filthaut of the right to practice law.  For more on the case, see Fox13 News’ summary here.

carrsimoneWEB

Howie Carr Sits in on WOR, New York.  Syndicated, Boston-based talk host Howie Carr made his New York City debut on Friday (8/26) filling in on the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon slot on iHeartMedia’s 710 WOR for the vacationing “Mr. New York” Mark Simone.  Carr’s program is syndicated on numerous signals throughout New England.  Pictured above are Carr (left) and Simone (right) who met for the first time at TALKERS magazine’s annual conference in New York several years ago.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

| November 18, 2014

rosenmitchRosen Rises to OM of Chicago’s WSCR, WXRT. Ten-year WSCR “The Score” program director Mitch Rosen is boosted to operations manager of the CBS RADIO Chicago sports outlet, as well as co-owned triple A WXRT.  In a memo to the stations’ staff, CBS RADIO Chicago senior vice president and market manager Rod Zimmerman writes, “Mitch’s organizational skills, management style, and sales focus will help grow the great [WXRT] brand.”  Rosen previously programmed the Windy City’s similarly-programmed WMVP “ESPN Radio 1000″ and was Paragon Marketing Group’s vice president of broadcast representation. Norm Winer continues as WXRT program director.

kfkalogoChad Peterson Named Morning Host at KFKA, Greeley, Colorado.  Weld County Colorado native Chad Peterson is the new morning drive host at Broadcast Media LLC’s KFKA, Greeley, Colorado.  He’ll anchor the newly re-imaged “Advantage Bank’s Morning Drive” program.  Peterson says he’s excited to return to his roots, “Returning to the heritage station in the market – the one I grew up listening to – is a privilege and an honor.  I’m excited to serve the community.”

carrhowieHowie’s Back – Actually He Never Left – Carr Continues on Boston Airwaves with New Flagship and Ownership of 15-Affiliate Regional Network Set for National Expansion.  Last week TALKERS reported New England radio legend Howie Carr’s departure from his longtime radio home WRKO, Boston after two decades upon the termination of his most recent employment contract.  It was no secret that the relationship between Carr and WRKO owner, Entercom Communications, had been a stormy one with the air personality/Boston Herald columnist and prolific best-selling author likening his departure from the facility to being “sprung from prison.”  Beginning today (11/17) Carr brings his 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm daily program up the dial to WUFC 1510 AM as the evolving news/talk outlet also kicks off a return today to branding itself by its original, legendary handle, WMEX.  The station, owned by Blackstrap Broadcasting is under thewmex logo management of Kevin Wallis’s Wallis Communications which reportedly has signed a purchase and sale agreement to take over ownership of the outlet during the first quarter of 2015.  More importantly, Carr exits Entercom taking ownership and control with him of his 15 station New England regional network – the Howie Carr Radio Network (HCRN) which includes such heritage outlets iHeartMedia’s WHYN, Springfield, Saga Communications’ WGAN, Portland and WCRN, Worcester owned by Kurt Carberry who will manage affiliate relations and distribution for HCRN.  Known for succeeding on both the ratings (adults 25-54) and revenue fronts, Carr has developed a reputation for being extremely listener and affiliate-friendly in terms of live appearances, sales promotions and production services – qualities he says he intends to keep intact as he expands the scope of the network to a larger segment of the Northeast and ultimately across the nation.  On joining the new 1510 AM outlet, Carr tells TALKERS, “It’s a real pleasure to finally be working again with people who are truly committed to radio, and to the talk format in particular.  Boston remains a great market for talk radio, and WMEX is where it all began, with Jerry Williams talking to James Michael Curley, Malcolm X and so many others.  It’s also the station where I started, in 1980, occasionally hosting the Herald Bulldog Edition.  I know the new WMEX is going to be a great success for all concerned.”  The heritage WMEX calls in Boston go back to 1934 (first at 1500 AM, then 1470 AM before taking up 1510 AM in 1941) and the station was home to many radio greats over the years including Arnie “Woo Woo” Ginsburg.  In addition to Carr, the new incarnation of WMEX includes such national personalities in its line-up as Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Dennis Miller, and Alex Jones as well as local shows including the daily “Morning Meeting” provided by Boston Herald Radio.  Sales and marketing for the Howie Carr Show and HCRN are being handled by the company’s vice president Kathy Carr who can be emailed at Kathy@howiecarrshow.com.

sullivangarySullivan Honored by Habitat for Humanity of Ohio. At its annual conference, Habitat for Humanity of Ohio last week awarded the 2014 Volunteer of the Year award to the 13-year host of Premiere Networks’ “At Home With Gary Sullivan” program.  Habitat for Humanity of Greater Cincinnati president and chief executive officer Ed Lee notes, “Gary Sullivan is always willing/eager to share/leverage his knowledge and contacts to help expand the reach of Habitat for Humanity in the Greater Cincinnati region.  He has truly made a difference in our community and helped transform lives through decent, affordable home ownership.  The Habitat mission is brought to life by our volunteers – none do it better than Gary.”  Sullivan remarks that he is “embarrassed and humbled by this award, but proud to accept it on behalf of all the hard working Habitat volunteers.”  His Saturday and Sunday Premiere Networks radio show is heard in 240 markets.  In addition to being a longtime Habitat volunteer, Sullivan is a board member and serves on the “executive” and “development” committees. He has been active in the non-profit Christian housing ministry for over 20 years.  He created/hosted “The Hardware Store,” which aired on HGTV for four years in the mid-1990s.

ghazaljonathanSales Management Moves at Greater Media Detroit. At the Detroit station group, Greater Media announces Patti Taylor is promoted to general sales manager of classic rock WCSX and rock WRIF.  At the same time, Jonathan Ghazal is named sales manager for WMGC “Detroit Sports 105.1.”  Taylor has been serving as GSM for WCSX since February of 2013.  Ghazal joined Greater Media Detroit as an account executive in October of 2012.  Ghazal takes over for Cindy Senkbeil who remains with the WCSX sales team.  She’d been sales manager of WMGC since November of last year.

Odds & Sods.  Small business expert Jim Blasingame celebrates his 17th year on air hosting “The Small Business Advocate.”  The show began as a two-hour daily program on November 17, 1997…..WGN, Chicago promotes Scott Miller to supervising producer.  Miller is the executive producer of the Pete McMurray show.  His new duties will mean he hasblasingamejim oversight of the booking for all of the Tribune radio shows…..The price tag on Hubbard Radio’s purchase of Omni Broadcasting’s 16 Minnesota stations is $8 million dollars.  The deal, announced last week, must pass FCC muster…..CBS RADIO Pittsburgh is the media sponsor of the 16th Santa Spectacular taking place at Point State Park this Friday (11/21).  The CBS RADIO Pittsburgh stations – including news/talk KDKA-AM and sports talk KDKA-FM – are helping to present the afternoon’s activities that culminate in the lighting of Duquesne Light Tree and fireworks-to-music finale.

knxonyourcornerKNX, Los Angeles Continues ‘On Your Corner’ Series with Holiday Charity Component. The “KNX On Your Corner” on CBS RADIO’s all-news KNX, Los Angeles continues in December as the station profiles Cerritos on the 12th from Mimi’s Café .  Dick Helton and Vicky Moore will anchor the live broadcast from 5:00 am to 9:00 am, Frank Mottek will host the “KNX Business Hour” from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm and Jim Thornton and Diane Thompson will anchor the news from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  Listeners can participate on Twitter and Facebook using #KNX OnYourCorner.  Mimi’s Cafe will also serve as a drop-off point for KNX’s annual “CHiPs For Kids” holiday toy drive in conjunction with CBS 2 and KCAL 9. New, unwrapped toys will be collected for distribution locally to less fortunate children by the California Highway Patrol.

freeebookBackbone Networks Offering TALKERS Readers Free eBook, “16 Tickets to Starting a Talk Radio Station.”   Boston-based, digital radio tech firm Backbone Networks – the state-of-the-art broadcasting solutions company that played an important role in the successful launch of TalkersRadio, has published an eBook designed to show talk broadcasters aspiring to set up their own internet talk stations the key steps to take in order to make it happen.  According to Backbone president Richard Cerny, “Every successful radio personality can now easily afford his/her own 24/7 station.”  Cerny tells TALKERS, “The future of radio is bright but targeting a single distribution medium to reach listeners has many challenges.  The future is an integrated view of your listeners.  One that encompasses AM, FM, satellite and the internet.  The barriers to entry for starting a digital station have been lowered, especially compared to the cost of running a traditional terrestrial radio station.  The difference between surviving and thriving depends on your station as a platform, your programming and the fan base you build and maintain.”  The newly published eBook is available at no cost to TALKERS readers.  To obtain a copy, please click here.

Ferguson Tensions, Latest Hostage Execution/Battle Against ISIS, Net Neutrality, GOP vs ObamaCare, 2016 Presidential Prospects, and DEA Raids NFL Teams Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/17).  A state of emergency is declared in Missouri as the decision by the grand jury whether to indict officer Darren Wilson is awaited; the execution of aid worker Peter Kassig over the weekend and the ongoing battle against ISIS in Iraq and Syria; the controversy over net neutrality and the Obama Administration’s support of it; talk of the GOP’s plans to take on the Affordable Care Act; the potential candidates for president in 2016; and the weekend raid of three visiting NFL teams by the Drug Enforcement Agency were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, March 17, 2014

| March 17, 2014

cclogoClear Channel Creates Major Markets Operating Group. Executive vice president Hartley Adkins, executive vice president Tom McConnell, senior vice president Kelly Kibler and Greg Ashlock are the MMOG’s four division leaders.  The latter is Clear Channel Los Angeles’ former president, who adds president of Clear Channel Southern California duties.  Each leader reports to chairman/chief executive officer Bob Pittman, who states, “As a company, we continue to assess every aspect of our operations to make sure we have the right structure in place to efficiently and effectively leverage our position as the country’s leading multi-platform media and entertainment company.  Our Major Markets Operating Group will collaborate with our local market management to oversee our entire spectrum of media and entertainment platforms in our largest and highest revenue-generating markets.  These include everything from our core broadcast radio and its strong digital platform, whose traffic has doubled in the last year, and theschurrtom extremely successful iHeartRadio digital platform, to events and our expanded coordination with Clear Channel Outdoor – all of which we are increasingly mobilizing to benefit our national and local advertising partners.”  President of regional markets Matt Martin continues in his position; however, president of operations for major markets Tom Schurr departs the company. Regarding Schurr, Pittman notes, “During his tenure with us, Tom played a big role in Clear Channel becoming the media and entertainment leader it is today.  All of Clear Channel Media and Entertainment joins me in thanking Tom for the many contributions he has made to our company.”  Meanwhile, Pittman states Major Markets Operating Group will increase empowerment and accountability of the company’s individual market leaders.

sullivanrichSullivan Takes Over Middays on WGST, Atlanta Today.  Less than two years after exiting the afternoon drive slot on CBS RADIO’s then-triple A WZGC, Atlanta, Rich “Sully” Sullivan returns to the air in the market as the new 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm host on Clear Channel Media + Entertainment’s news/talk WGST.  Station program director Matt Shiflett says, “We are excited to have Sully join our team.  His knowledge of the city and ‘man-on-the-street’ attitude will solidify 640 WGST as Atlanta’s compelling talk radio station.”  Sullivan was the afternoon drive personality on WZGC “Dave FM” for six years from 2006 through 2012 before the station flipped to sports talk.

wkrklogoCleveland’s “Fan” Continues as Gladiators Flagship.  For the third consecutive season, CBS Radio Cleveland’s WKRK “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” will be the Arena Football League team’s radio outlet.  According to CBS Radio Cleveland vice president/market manager Tom Herschel, “The intense, hard-hitting games of the AFL fit perfectly into our lineup.”  Gladiators’ chief operating officer Mike Ostrowski comments, “We are extremely excited to continue our relationship with ‘The Fan.’  They do a great job of delivering football-related stories, updates, and content to our fans.  We look forward to working with them again this season with the on-going goal of growing the Gladiators brand in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio.”  Doug Plagens enters his third successive year handling play-by-play, while current “Fan” personality/former National Football League player Dustin Fox will provide analysis on home games.  In addition to game broadcasts and pre- and post-game shows, the station will air daily Gladiators reports each afternoon.

theblaze radio networkNew Weekend Shows Added to TheBlaze Radio Network.  Beginning next Saturday (3/22), TheBlaze Radio Network is expanding its lineup including new programs featuring cable news/talk personalities Will Cain and S.E. Cupp; KFMB, San Diego talk host Mike Slater and long-time radio and television producer Mike Opelka.  TheBlaze Radio Networks VP of programming Dom Theodore says, “This new Saturday lineup underscores TheBlaze Radio Network’s commitment to original programming.  We are absolutely thrilled to add Mike Opelka, Will Cain and SE Cupp, and Mike Slater to our already successful Saturday talent roster of Chris Salcedo and Joe Pags.  This is just another great step in our continued growth as a network.”

ryderturiOdds & Sods.  Radio pro Turi Ryder is on Tribune’s WGN, Chicago in the 11:00 pm to 2:00 am slot all this week (3/17-21).  Ryder, who worked a six-month stint on WGN last year from her home studio in the Bay Area, has relocated to Chicago.  She appears this week in the unsettled slot between evening host Pete McMurray and overnight personality Nick Digilio…..Results Radio’s new FM signal in Rhinelander, Wisconsin signs on as a sports talk outlet branded “Sports Radio 96.5” using programming from CBS Sports Radio Network plus Fox Sports Radio/DirecTV’s Dan Patrick and regionally syndicated personality Bill Michaels.  The company won WHOH at 96.5 FM in an FCC auction in 2013.

nielsen logoNielsen: 68% of Americans Heard a Network Radio Commercial During Average Week.  That figure is for Americans 12 and older, according to the Nielsen March 2014 RADAR Radio Network Ratings report which says more than 181 million persons heard a network radio commercial during an average week.  Other bulletpoints from the survey designed to illustrate the reach of network radio include Nielsen’s conclusion that commercials aired on the 46 measured networks reached: 71.2% percent of persons aged 18-49 (95.8 million listeners) and 71.9 % of persons aged 25-54 (90.0 million listeners).  In the top 25 DMAs, network radio reached: 70.7% of persons aged 12+ (95.1 million listeners); 74% of persons aged 18-49 (51.1 million listeners); and 74.6% of persons aged 25-54 (48.6 million listeners).  View the study here.

pizzapatronColloquial Spanish Term Kills Ad Deal for CBS RADIO and Univision in Texas.  The Dallas-based Pizza Patron chain’s ads for its new pizza with jalapenos in it won’t air on CBS RADIO or Univision stations in Texas.  According to a story published on NorthCountryPublicRadio.org, the name of the product and the content of the ad are too controversial for the broadcasters.  The radio campaign for La Chingona implies that only chingones are able to handle its spiciness.  What is a chingone?  A search of urban dictionaries indicates a chingone is what Americans would call a “bad-ass,” but the root of the verb is the Spanish slang for f**k.  Younger Hispanics say there is nothing inherently bad about the word but they admit it’s not a word they would use in front of their grandmother, either.  According to the NorthCountyPublicRadio.org piece, this isn’t the first time the company, whose target audience are Mexican immigrants, has ruffled feathers.  Several years ago it did a “pesos for pizza” promotion that offered discounts for customers paying with Mexican pesos.  The company received a lot of flak but business jumped 34%.  The most recent promotion apparently has CBS RADIO and Univision fearful of the FCC due to the use of the chingona term.

brennerdavidBrenner’s Run At Radio Royalty. By now, you most likely know that popular comedian David Brenner passed away over the weekend.  The Philadelphia native succumbed to cancer at the age of 78.  What you might not be aware of, however, especially if you read any one of at least a dozen or so different obituaries is that Brenner holds a relatively high-water mark in radio history.  Nowhere though was it mentioned in any account we saw.  It was as if radio was magically expunged from Brenner’s past.  Lest anyone doubt it though, David Brenner did, in fact, replace Larry King when the bespectacled talk show veteran quit his syndicated radio show nearly 20 years ago (June 1994).  Perhaps part of the confusion is that King was a nighttime fixture for years and in January 1993, Jim Bohannon – King’s regular fill-in – took his slot.  King though did not disappear – he segued to afternoon drive.  Most will remember Bohannon directly replacing King at night – which is true.  It is also correct though that Brenner then succeeded King in PM drive.  Unlike King, who transferred his Mutual Broadcasting show from Washington, DC to Westwood One in Los Angeles, Brenner based his program from New York.  According to Claudia Puig – then a superb writer for the Los Angeles Times (6/24/1994) – Brenner’s afternoon drive program was carried “in more than 100 markets” and the comedian did not attempt “to emulate King or to discuss weighty topics.”  Puig opined in her piece that to many in talk radio at the time, the move represented, “a clear-cut example of the heightened emphasis being given to entertainment in their format, as opposed to information.”  Regarding the succession, iconic Los Angeles talk radio personality Michael Jackson commented to Puig that it was, “sad when you see a Larry King replaced by a David Brenner.  Let’s see what kind of staying power Brenner’s show will have.  If you equate entertaining with telling jokes, I’m not that good at it, but if you equate it with hospitality and building a bridge with an audience, that’s what I do.”  Rewinding 20 years and witnessing how the industry viewed this choice to take over for Larry King is certainly a fascinating exercise.  Esteemed talk show host Bruce Williams chimed in back then by saying, “Brenner is an unknown quantity.  He is certainly a very funny comedian.  I don’t think he has exhibited as yet an interview capability or a radio capability, but then all of us were unknown quantities before we got into this.”  Taking a somewhat different tact – and as a reminder – this is from a 20-year-ago Claudia Puig column in the Los Angeles Times, KABC and KMPC, Los Angeles’ then general manager George Green commented, “Larry King was tired and they replaced him with a pure entertainer in hopes of drawing younger people.  As talk radio has become a very hot medium, you start looking at the word ‘entertainment’ as being more important than it was before.  ‘Entertainment’ does not necessarily mean a program that makes you laugh.  There can be many ways to entertain.”  King producer Pat Piper did similar duties for Brenner.  “There have always been attempts in radio to make people laugh,” Piper mentioned to Puig.  “It is good to hear some guys having fun.  When people call in, they say, ‘David, this is such a breath of fresh air.’  Not all of talk radio has to be what you see on ‘Crossfire.'”  Brenner had a two-year contract with Westwood One.  As it turned out, that was exactly how long the experiment lasted, as the syndicator pulled the plug on Brenner’s PM drive effort in June 1996.  Notwithstanding a limited two-year radio run, Brenner was as adept at observational humor as anyone else was.  His 1983 album “Excuse Me, Are You Reading That Paper?” is a comedy classic.  Most, of course, will remember the Temple University honors graduate from a slew of “Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson” appearances that began in 1971.  Many published accounts have the number of visits at 158 – the show’s most frequent guest and fifth most popular guest host (75 times). The five-time author (his latest – “I Think There’s a Terrorist in my Soup” – was published in 2003) headlined four HBO specials.  Prior to getting into comedy, Brenner helped write, produce, and direct 115 television documentaries. Longtime Brenner friend Joan Rivers tweeted, “RIP David Brenner. I adored him, and laughed more with him than anybody.  Sad, sad, sad.  Knowing David, he’s now making the devil laugh.” The funniest Brenner-related note we came across was relayed by family representative Jeff Abraham who points out that Brenner’s final request was to have $100 in small bills tucked in his sock, “just in case tipping is recommended where I’m going.”  Brenner’s gravesite will read, “If this is supposed to be a joke – I don’t get it.”

wachsdaliahTalk Host Dr. Daliah Wachs Organizes Fundraiser.  Las Vegas-based talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs is organizing a fundraiser to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  Dubbed “FROST” (Fundraising Radio Host), Wachs says the contest will involve a challenge to radio hosts.  The radio host who brings in the most proceeds will be awarded a prize valued $1000, a plaque, and recognition as the 2014 FROST winner.  Runner ups will be recognized as well.  It’ll start April 14 and end May 10.  Interested radio hosts can message Dr. Daliah Wachs at doctordaliah@hotmail.com before April 1.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

| August 1, 2013

limbaughrushRush Limbaugh Celebrates 25 Years in Syndication Today.  It was 25 years ago today that Rush Limbaugh began his national syndication based at WABC, New York.  When Ed McLaughlin’s EFM Media Management began producing and distributing the Rush Limbaugh program in August of 1988 on 56 affiliate stations, many in the industry thought the idea of a midday national talk radio program was absurd and would fail.  But Limbaugh’s EIB Network flourished and the rest is history.  Of course, Premiere Networks now syndicates the show that’s heard on close to 600 radio stations.  In a statement, Limbaugh says, “The relationship we’ve established here – between the audience and myself – is everything.  It’s meant more to me than I’ll ever be able to fully describe.  It’s the best three hours of the day!  We’re going to do this for a long time to come.”  Premiere Networks notes, “Mr. Limbaugh also pioneered an entirely new model for talk radio.  Defying industry convention, he does not book guests on his program. Centered on the news of the day, he describes his unique approach as ‘a serious discussion of issues, combined with irreverent humor.’  He has enjoyed uninterrupted status since the early 1990s as the leading talk radio host in the U.S., and the program continues to expand its reach.  In the past year alone, ‘The Rush Limbaugh Show’ has experienced an 11% audience increase (Source: Arbitron, Nationwide).

saboonfoxbusMedia Biz Buzzing About Newspaper-Online Radio Ventures.  Pictured here is Sabo Media (r) CEO Walter Sabo appearing on Fox Business with “Markets Now” host Dennis Kneale (l) discussing the Boston Herald’s online talk radio station project, “Boston Herald Radio.”  Kneale quizzed longtime radio executive and consultant Sabo about what the two media bring to the table in joint ventures such as these.  Sabo stated that the talk radio programs can help deliver a younger and more engaged audience to the newspaper world (which has suffered circulation and revenue declines) and the radio shows benefit from working with an experienced news gathering organization.  “It allows them to bring those stories to life instantly, which has always been their (the newspaper’s) biggest challenge.”  Watch Sabo’s appearance on Fox Business here.

cbsradio logoCBS Reports Q2 Revenue for Radio ‘Even.’  CBS quarterly investors’ conference calls have always been pretty much about television and yesterday’s 2013 Q2 call was no different.  It’s not that CBS doesn’t care about radio.  President and CEO Les Moonves has stated in previous calls that they like radio.  He doesn’t gush about it like he does about TV but CBS has no debt on the radio side and therefore it’s a cash business for the company.  During yesterday’s call CBS COO Joseph Ianiello termed radio “even” during the second quarter compared to the same period a year ago and told investors the division is pacing flat for Q3.  For CBS, total revenue was up 11% year-to-year due mostly to fees paid by television operators to carry CBS TV stations as well as international syndication deals and digital streaming revenue.

journalbroadcastgroupJournal Broadcast Group’s Radio Division Up 2.3% in Q2.  Journal Communications announced 2013 second quarter financials yesterday and the Journal Broadcast Group breaks out the radio division from the television segment.  It reports that, compared to the same quarter a year ago, revenue from radio stations increased 2.3% to $19.9 million, or 4.7% excluding political revenue.  Radio political advertising revenue was $0.1 million, compared to $0.5 million.  Local advertising revenue — excluding political — increased 5%, primarily due to an increase in retail advertising.  National advertising revenue — excluding political — decreased 4.9% to $1.8 million, primarily due to a decrease in media advertising.  Operating earnings from radio stations were $3.8 million compared to $4.4 million, a decrease of 13.8% or a decrease of 19.0% excluding acquisition costs in both years.  Radio operating expenses increased 7.1%, or 9.3% excluding acquisition costs in both years, primarily due to employee-related expense increases and the impact of credits received from an industry-wide music licensing fee settlement in 2012.

frontier50 graphicTALKERS Magazine’s Frontier Fifty 2013 Will Be Posted on Wednesday, August 7.  The new installment of one of the most popular and certainly important TALKERS magazine annual features — “The Frontier Fifty” — is set to be unveiled this coming Wednesday, August 7.  The Frontier Fifty is officially described as a Selection of Outstanding Talk Media Webcasters.  This year’s format will depart somewhat from the features’ early approaches by including executives who have built valuable platforms for internet talk broadcasting as well as talent who do talk shows and/or podcasts on the web.  In addition it will be a numbered list in which designees are ranked according to importance as determined by the TALKERS editorial board.  As followers of this feature know, TALKERS did not publish a 2012 installment of the feature because as the publication’s VP/executive editor Kevin Casey puts it, “This arena has evolved and grown at such a dizzying speed, we wanted to be sure that we presented this important snapshot of the state of the internet talk radio’s movers and shakers as accurately and relevantly as possible.  We took an extra year off to study the scene and get it as close to being right as possible…no easy task.”  This year’s Frontier Fifty is being sponsored by Broadcasters General Store.

wxtg logoRed Zebra Shucks Two Signals in Norfolk-Virginia Beach for $1.2 Million.  Dan Snyder-owned Red Zebra sells sports radio combo WXTG-AM/FM “The Game” to local operator Local Voice Media which will flip the duo to a triple A format soon.  The price of the stations and seven acres of property in Hampton is $1.2 million and according to the Daily Press, the stations will continue to air Washington Nationals baseball through the rest of the season and will be Washington Redskins affiliates during the 2013 season.  Additionally, the paper reports that two staffers – AE and air talent Greg Bicouvaris and production director Brock Briggs will remain employed with the new owners.  Local Voice Media also operates triple A WTYD, Williamsburg, Virginia “92.3 The Tide.”  The Daily Press notes Richmond, Virginia investment firm Blue Heron Capital recently completed a $3 million investment in Local Voice Media, formerly known as Davis Media.  The firm began investing in the company two years ago and has helped it expand into Columbia, South Carolina and Wilmington, North Carolina.

deanmichaelwQuick-and-Dirty Three-Minute Sound Conditioning.  Large corporations and government bureaucrats will often spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on soundproofing and sound conditioning for an audio studio.  They’ll even spend tens of thousands of dollars simply on the consultants to tell them how to soundproof and sound condition a studio.  That may make sense to you if you’ve got venture capital money to burn and don’t mind being out of business in a few years.  It may also make sense if you’re working for the government because the money is someone else’s and you think you’ll never go out of business.  But according to syndicated talk show host Michael W. Dean, co-host of GCN‘s “The Freedom Feens,” “The rest of us have to make do with what we have.”  In a new column posted today (8/1), Dean writes, “The advent of ip hardware codecs has allowed talk radio hosts to produce nationally syndicated shows from our homes.  And people working for corporate radio are often called to do remotes in a variety of environments.  You can buy portable devices that acoustically isolate a microphone, but using one is basically like sticking your head in a small box.  That is not conducive to doing a good show, especially if you’re doing on-the-spot interviews with a variety of guests.  Today I’ll show you how to temporarily sound condition a room in three minutes at no cost.  This will vastly improve the audio reaching your microphone, and thus, your audience.  First, you have to understand the difference between soundproofing and sound conditioning.  Many people use these two terms interchangeably.  However, they are not the same thing.  Soundproofing keeps outside sounds out and inside sounds in. Sound conditioning dampens native reverberation in a room.  Effective soundproofing is a lot more expensive and complicated than sound conditioning.”  To read Michael W. Dean’s entire column, please click here.

podcastone logoPodcastOne Adds Sports USA Programs to Offerings.  Yesterday, TALKERS reported that NFL Hall-of-Famer Joe Namath would begin producing podcasts for Sports USA throughout the 2013 football season.  Now, Norm Pattiz-founded PodcastOne and Sports USA announce the Namath podcast as well as “Conversations with Joe Morgan,” “The Ross Tucker Football Show” and “Against the Grain with Dave Miller” will be available via PodcastOne.  Pattiz states, “Joe Namath invented the sports media icon as we know it.  He knows what it means to break new ground and likes to do things his way.  We’re a guaranteed perfect fit.  I am looking forward to working with Bob Moore and the talented team at Sports USA as we create great experiences for listeners and opportunities for advertisers.”

kesn logoMLB Great Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez  to Contribute to ‘ESPN Dallas 103.3.’  “Pudge” Rodriguez played for the hometown Texas Rangers twice during his MLB career (he won a World Series ring with the Florida Marlins in 2003) and he and his family are putting down roots in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.  ESPN O&O KESN and sister Spanish sports talk “ESPN Deportes Dallas” (KZMP-AM) have brought Rodriguez aboard to serve as a baseball contributor through the rest of the 2013 season.  ESPN says Rodriguez will serve in several capacities for both stations including a bi-weekly call-in segment, the voice of featured “Pudge’s Eye” vignettes, as well as personal appearances.  ESPN Dallas VP/GM Pete Dits states, “We are extremely excited and proud to have one of the greatest catchers in MLB history as a part of our team.  As the radio flagship of the Texas Rangers in English and Spanish, this only solidifies our commitment to bringing the best Rangers and baseball coverage to the sports fans in DFW.”

kxsp the drive logoJournal’s Sports Talk KXSP, Omaha Adds New PM Drive Show.  Joe Quinn and Nick Handley are the new afternoon drive sports talk team at Journal Broadcast Group’s Omaha sports talker “590 ESPN Radio” (KXSP).  Quinn was producer and co-host for the past three years on Des Moines’ KXNO.  Handley, a 14-year sports veteran who most recently co-hosted the “Hail Varsity Radio Show” airing in Lincoln and Columbus, Nebraska was the sports director for the Three Eagles cluster of stations in Columbus.  KXSP program director Kurt Owens says, “The new show will be called ‘The Drive’ and will bring a fresh new approach to afternoon sports talk in Omaha.  Joe and Nick’s combined experience of covering sports in Nebraska and Iowa mirrors our huge AM 590 signal.  AM 590 listeners will really enjoy these two young-yet-experienced broadcasters bringing their perspective to sports each afternoon.”

nbcsportsradio logoNBC Sports Radio Network Passes 300-Affililate Mark.  The nationally syndicated sports talk radio programming initiative NBC Sports Radio Network – a cooperative effort of Dial Global and NBC Sports – announces it has passed the 300-affiliate mark.  Dial Global Sports EVP and general manager Chris Corcoran says, “Signing more than 300 affiliates so quickly is a true testament to the mass appeal of our talent and programming, creativity of our producers, and hard work of our exceptional sales and affiliate teams.  We are especially honored to partner with such great radio stations across the country as we work together to connect avid sports fans, consumers, and advertisers.  We continue to be motivated to reach more audiences by the amazing feedback we regularly receive from our local station owners, program directors and listeners.”

callahanbrownpanmassWEEI-FM, Boston Staffers Take Part in Pan-Mass Challenge.  “93.7 FM WEEI”  morning drive co-host Gerry Callahan (r) and Entercom Boston vice president and market manager Jeff Brown (l) will take part in the Pan-Mass Challenge – a two-day bike ride across Massachusetts that can be as long as 190 miles – to benefit the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.  WEEI will help recognize and celebrate this year’s event with a live broadcast of the Salk & Holley show on Friday, August 2 from 2:00 – 6:00 p.m. from the PMC’s opening ceremonies in Sturbridge, Massachusetts.  Billy Starr, founder and executive director of the Pan-Mass Challenge says, “Entercom and WEEI have both been fabulous friends and partners.  They have ensured that the PMC message is heard – and understood – far, wide and often.”  Jeff Brown comments, “I am proud to continue Entercom’s support of the Pan-Mass Challenge and we are also proud to be raising additional money through our dedicated team of riders and virtual riders.  Our own Gerry Callahan will be taking part in his sixth ride and it is such an honor, both for WEEI and for all of us at Entercom Boston, to be a part of this dynamic cause and help the dedicated Dana-Farber doctors and researchers discover cures for cancer.”

ObamaCare Implementation Battle, Anthony Weiner Scandal, NSA Surveillance Program, Chris Christie-Rand Paul Feud, and Looming MLB Suspensions Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/31).  The fight in Washington over the implementation and funding for the Affordable Care Act; the political fallout from the Anthony Weiner scandal; reports of the vast nature of the NSA surveillance program, Republican in-fighting over policy and the Chris ChristieRand Paul feud; and the expected suspensions of numerous MLB players were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

| June 5, 2013

cumulusCumulus Names New Market Manager, Sales Chief for San Francisco.  Cumulus Media announces Steve Sklenar has been appointed market manager for the company’s San Francisco stations and Kevin Crespo has simultaneously been installed as national and regional sales manager for the cluster.  Sklenar comes to Cumulus Media from his most recent post as assistant vice president and director of sales at Lincoln Financial Media’s San Diego stations.  Sklenar says in a statement, “To be tapped as the leader of Cumulus San Francisco is both exciting and humbling.  This is without question one of the most coveted positions in all of broadcasting, not just radio.  The history and prestige of these stations in the San Francisco community comes with great responsibility.  We will not take that lightly.”  Sklenar is in charge of talk KSFO, news/talk KGO, sports talk KNBR and KTCT, triple A KFOG and KFFG and classic rock KSAN “The Bone.”  Cumulus EVP and co-COO Jon Pinch says, “Steve and Kevin are well-suited to take leadership and sales development roles at this legendary cluster of stations.  They will round out a solid team that’s contributing significantly to our growth in San Francisco.  After meeting with numerous qualified candidates, John Dickey and I are confident that these two gentlemen will have immediate positive impact on our business moving forward.”

moodys logoMoody’s Cumulus’ Speculative Grade Liquidity Rating to SGL — 2 from SGL – 3.  Moody’s Investors Service announces it has upped Cumulus Media’s Speculative Grade Liquidity Rating from SGL – 2 to SGL – 3 “reflecting improved access to the senior secured revolver due to the recent amendment of the 1st lien credit agreement. The amendment reduces the revolver commitment to $150 million from $300 million, but replaces the total net leverage test with a 1st lien net leverage requirement enabling full access to the cumulusrevolver.”  Moody’s says the B2 Corporate Family Rating remains unchanged and explains why: “Leverage remains elevated due to revenue and EBITDA falling below expected levels for the six months ended March 31, 2013 which prompted the downgrade in the corporate family rating earlier this year. Management indicated that pro forma revenues decreased $5.6 million or 2.5% in 1Q2013 compared to 1Q2012 reflecting lower political revenue, the winding down of unfavorable legacy Citadel barter transactions, and challenges related to its syndicated talk segment.”  However, Moody’s cites the turnarounds of a number of Cumulus’ “10 underperforming stations” for the upgrade and goes on to state, “Looking forward, revenue growth is expected to be flat in 2013 due in part to the absence of significant political advertising.  Moody’s expects Cumulus to generate roughly $175 million of annual free cash flow versus our prior estimate of $200 million to reflect management’s comments that it expects to invest roughly $25 million annually in CBS Sports Radio, Nash FM and related country format branding, its Traffic network, as well as SweetJack.”

steinhauercharlesCharles Steinhauer Ascends to Chief Operations Officer at Dial Global.  Moving up from his most recent position as president of operations with Dial Global, Charles Steinhauer is promoted to chief operations officer.  The company states that in this new position, Steinhauer will be responsible for overseeing the management of the company’s day-to-day operations — including technology, distribution, research, compliance, and strategy.  He will continue to be located in New York City and will report directly to CEO Paul Caine.  In his previous post, he managed all sales support divisions for Dial Global.  The company also notes that Steinhauer “is one of the leads on an industry-wide research initiative working to improve how radio is incorporated into Marketing Mix Models, which are widely used by advertisers to evaluate how product sales are influenced by advertising.”  About his promotion, Steinhauer says, “I’m very excited to be working with Paul Caine and to continue to move the company forward with all of the Dial Global family.  I look forward to working even more closely with our staff and our outstanding content and distribution partners to create optimum value for our audiences and advertisers.  I couldn’t be more fortunate.”

nms2013logoTora Fisher to Perform at Talkers New York 2013.  At the tender age of 23, she is both a rising pop star and a humanitarian.  Tora Fisher of the Fisher family that spearheads Fisher House Foundation – the charitable organization that provides housing around the country for the visiting families of hospitalized American servicemen and women wounded in battle – will be appearing at Talkers New York 2013 tomorrowtora (6/6).  The young singer/songwriter, whose heartfelt song “Finally Free” currently sits at number 29 and number 21 on the RadioInfo pop songs and rock songs charts respectively, will open the event’s Freedom of Speech Award Ceremony with an a cappela performance of the Lee Greenwood anthem “Proud to Be an American.”  Ms. Fisher, who is a spokesperson for Fisher House, will be backed up in the performance by two female cadets from West Point, Mary Kay Messenger and Alexis Cole.  According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “Even though this annual event is geared to talk radio, we have a tradition of presenting some of the world’s greatest up-and-coming singers performing inspirational music at key moments in the proceedings.  Having Tora Fisher perform this powerful song at Talkers New York 2013 is extremely meaningful and certainly in keeping with this tradition.  Not only is this beautiful young woman one of the most talented female singer/songwriters I have heard since the golden days of the great ones like Joni Mitchell and Laura Nyro – she has a powerful personal story of courage and will that is both touching and compelling.  As a child of 13, she survived a terrible plane crash that took the life of her father and set her on the road to becoming mature beyond her years and a powerful artist of both words and music.  Add to that her dedication to the families of America’s brave young service people and…well, you have a very, very special young lady indeed.  Everyone who sees her perform at this event will be touched and certainly remember where they first heard and saw Tora!”

trn logoTRN Sues Former Attorney in Anti-Trust Case.  Talk Radio Network has filed suit in Oregon against California attorney Joseph Alioto alleging that he did not move with the speed promised and in a time frame that would prevent TRN from suffering further damages in its anti-trust suit against numerous sales rep firms and radio programming syndicators.  TRN is seeking more than $10 million in damages and relief.  In the claim, TRN alleges that after making a $125,000 retainer payment, Alioto repeatedly failed to file the complaint in a timely fashion and when Alioto decided to withdraw from the matter, he caused TRN further losses due to the time that had passed.  TRN claims Alioto did not have good cause to withdraw from the matter.  Allegations include fraud and legal malpractice.

whitebillProgrammer Bill White Exits WGN, Chicago.  One of the first moves on the part of WGN, Chicago’s new president and general manager Jimmy de Castro is to make a change in program directors for the heritage news/talk station.  Talk programming pro Bill White leaves the station after two years in the director of programming and news position.  White states, “Having the opportunity to work with such a tremendous team at one of America’s legendary radio stations has been a privilege and an honor.  I wish the staff and WGN Radio much success in the future.”  Bill White can be reached at wwhite989@aol.com.  In a memo to staffers, de Castro wrote, “Sometimes managers have to make difficult decisions on behalf of a few to build a brighter future for many.  Today, we are losing the services of a friend and delightful professional, Bill White.  Please join me in wishing him the best in his future endeavors.”  There’s no word who will replace White but industry watchers believe de Castro will go with someone who either currently works in the Chicago market or is very familiar with it.

newsmax logoNewsmax Reports #1 Online Reading Status.  Conservative media firm Newsmax announces that according to digital measurement firm comScore, during April, of the 65 million Americans using all digital platforms, Newsmax sites led all other sites in web traffic with over 14 million monthly unique visitors.  comScore notes that Newsmax exceeded such competitors as HuffPost Politics and Fox News Politics with these recent April numbers.  Newsmax also was #1 in the same category for personal computer users who read News/Politics online.  According to comScore, Newsmax received 14.4 million monthly unique visitors in April — up from 13.3 million the previous month.  HuffPost received 14 million monthly unique visitors from the News/Politics category and Fox News received 10.9 million monthly unique visitors in April, respectively.  comScore’s top 10 breaks down this way:  Newsmax Sites – 14.4 million monthly unique visitors; Huffington Post Politics – 14 million; Fox News – 10. 9 million; CNN Politics — 9 million; NBC News.com Politics — 7.5 million; Politico.com — 6.5 million; Current TV — 6.3 million; The Economist Group — 3.7 million; The Hill.com — 3.2 million; and Mother Jones.com — 2.9 million monthly unique visitors.  Speaking about Newsmax’s achievement, CEO Christopher Ruddy states, “We are once again honored to be the number one digital political news site for the second month in a row.  It is a testament to quality of our digital content that consumers online, on smartphones and on tablets continue to look to Newsmax for the latest political news.”

fccnewFCC Has New Acting Chief of Enforcement Bureau.  The Federal Communications Commission announces that FCC acting chairwoman Mignon L. Clyburn has appointed Robert H. Ratcliffe to the position of acting chief of the commission’s enforcement bureau.  Currently, Ratcliffe is the deputy chief of the media bureau.  The position opens as P. Michele Ellison moves to the chief of staff post.  Ratcliffe is a longtime staffer at the FCC having spent more than 35 years at the agency including as acting chief of the media bureau and as deputy chief of the enforcement bureau.  In a statement, Clyburn says, “I am pleased that Mr. Ratcliffe has agreed to serve in this critical role.  Bob is a top-flight lawyer who will bring his vast experience, sound legal judgment, and overall sense of fairness to this effort.”

Sexual Assaults in U.S. Military, Looming MLB PEDs Suspensions, Lung Transplant Controversy, Susan Rice National Security Adviser Nomination, and IRS Targeting of Conservative Groups Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/4).  Testimony of military chiefs addressing the high rate of sexual assaults in the U.S. military and Senator Saxby Chambliss’ associated comments; the reports of numerous suspensions coming from Major League Baseball for PED violations; the controversy over a 10-year-old girl’s need for a lung transplant and the government’s transplant program; Susan Rice’s nomination for national security adviser; and the IRS’ targeting of conservative non-profit groups were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.