Tag: "Tucson"

Monday, August 10, 2020

| August 10, 2020

Monday Memo: Say It Shorter. In this week’s concise column, consultant Holland Cooke barely says ANYTHING, “and that’s the point.” Read it here.

The Presidential Race, Biden VP Choice Speculation, Vote-By-Mail Debate, and Stimulus Exec Orders Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend (8/8-9). The November presidential election, speculation over Joe Biden’s pending VP selection, the failure of Congress to arrive at a new stimulus package with President Trump responding by signing contestable executive orders to move the process along  as well as the controversy over his ongoing allegation that voting by mail encourages voter fraud were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this weekend according to TALKERS research of the most talked about topics on issues-oriented news/talk radio. Other heavily discussed topics over the weekend included the school closing debate and COVID-19 stats and projections.

Pending Business: Talk to the Winners. Sales and marketing consultant Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications, writes about how radio sales professionals should have faith in the resilience of local, small business based on the premise that many WILL survive the COVID-19 era.  He suggests that radio sellers seek out those whose innovation clearly has them on a winning track and talk directly to them, customizing campaigns that are in sync with their efforts. Read it here.

Update: WAMU-FM Sexual Harassment. As we reported here last week (TALKERS, 8/5), American University-owned public news/talk outlet WAMU-FM, Washington, DC is in a state of chaos over sexual harassment allegations. WAMU-owned publication DCist ran a Rachel Kurzius-written story detailing allegations of harassment and improper behavior by former WAMU-FM reporter Martin Di Caro. Numerous employees were asking for station general manager J.J. Yore to resign, something he said he was not prepared to do. That situation changed, however, late last week as the station’s six-year general manager has indeed stepped down. Vice president of people and external affairs/chief of staff Seth Grossman states, “American University thanks JJ for his years of service to WAMU; we wish him well as he pursues his next endeavor. We are announcing a series of critical steps designed to address issues in the areas of diversity, equity, inclusion, human resources, and management, as well as how matters of misconduct are handled at WAMU. These actions are a combination of immediate and longer-term steps to accelerate WAMU’s work to enhance culture and workplace. The changes will provide important support to the WAMU staff, who we thank for continuing to focus on producing award-winning journalism that the Washington, DC region relies on amid this period of change. We believe these actions will offer support for the entire WAMU team and provide a foundation for the station’s next chapter.” An interim general manager will be named in “the next four to six weeks.” In addition, a human resources employee relations consultant with “proven experience in improving organizational culture and creating inclusive workplaces” will be put in-place. Interim chief content officer Monna Kashfi becomes the permanent chief content officer, overseeing WAMU and DCist. WAMU’s former chief content officer, Andi McDaniel, left the station last month to join Chicago Public Media’s WBEZ-FM, Chicago as president and chief executive officer; McDaniel begins those duties next month. As indicated in the The DCist piece, McDaniel was well aware of Di Caro’s behavior, having signed off on a “Level III Final Written Warning for Serious Misconduct” given to Di Caro after “almost two years” of complaints.

Coronavirus Affects Cumulus’ Q2 Numbers. Second quarter figures for Cumulus Media include a 47.8% year-to-year revenue decrease to $146 million. The company witnessed its net income transition from a gain of $42.9 million to a loss of $6.4 million and adjusted EBITDA dropping from $61.8 million to -$6.4 million. Despite the pandemic’s material impact on revenue, Cumulus Media president/chief executive officer Mary G. Berner explains, “The company generated over $90 million of cash in the quarter through quick and decisive expense actions, strong working capital management, and the completion of sale of land in Bethesda, Maryland. Ending the quarter with nearly $200 million of cash, we have entered into an agreement to monetize our tower portfolio for more than $210 million, proceeds which will further add to our liquidity and contribute to significant incremental debt paydown.” She adds, “Our demonstrated ability to rise to a challenge, strong liquidity position, and resilient balance sheet are critical assets as we operate through this uncertain environment. We believe we remain very well-positioned to drive long-term shareholder value through continued aggressive debt reduction and the execution of our growth initiatives.” Broadcast station revenue was down 51.6% to $114.2 million. Spot revenue was off 55.6% and network revenue declined by 42.7%. Meanwhile, digital revenue was up .7% to $20.3 million.

COVID-19 “Impacts” Townsquare Q2 Results. Commenting on selected results for the second quarter that ended June 30th, Townsquare Media chief executive officer Bill Wilson remarks that, as expected, the company’s “second quarter financial results were significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.” Net revenue and Adjusted EBITDA declined 34.5% and 93.1%, respectively, as compared to the prior year. Advertising net revenue throughout the quarter, however, “experienced sequential improvement,” Wilson reports. “Together with our Live Events, net revenue has experienced the brunt of the negative business impact.” To Wilson’s point, one second quarter highlight is that, compared to the second quarter of 2019, Live Events net revenue decreased 99.5%. Wilson observes that by the end of the second quarter, “Advertising net revenue had materially improved, from -42.1% in April to -29.6% in June and continued to show improvement through July and early-August.” Townsquare Interactive added approximately 900 net subscribers, ending the quarter with approximately 20,750 subscribers, with Wilson commenting, “Townsquare Interactive’s growth continued in the second quarter, with net revenue increasing 10.5%, at an Adjusted Operating Income margin in excess of 30%, marking the ninth consecutive quarter of 850 (or more) net subscriber additions. During this pandemic, the Townsquare Interactive team became a tremendous resource for their local clients by strengthening online presence and capabilities and powering their online communication strategy. Our thesis has always been, that Townsquare Interactive is a recession-resistant subscription business and will continue to grow its revenue and subscriber base throughout the year.” Wilson explains that Townsquare Media “enacted approximately $1.7 million of monthly fixed cost savings during the second quarter, in addition to the reduction of variable costs related to the decline in revenue, which led to total direct operating expenses declining 14.8%, compared to the prior year. In addition, we have reduced our planned capital expenditures, which declined 30% in the second quarter compared to the prior year. Our board of directors elected to cease paying our quarterly dividend moving forward. Even with all the challenges and unknowns during this pandemic, we have not had to alter our core strategy. Instead, the pandemic placed a spotlight on the need to double-down on executing our existing long term strategy. We believe our ‘Local First’ strategy, together with our talented team and diversified and differentiated product offering, ensures that Townsquare will emerge from this crisis well-positioned for the future. Although a very tough Q2, we believe our revenue, profit and cash flow results will be among the best in the radio – as well as in the local media – industry.” 

Why Are “You” Voting? That’s the simple question iHeartMedia is putting forth to listeners, cultural influencers, athletes, and musicians. It’s in advance of the November election, of course, when – in addition to the presidential contest – Americans will be voting for 35 Senate seats and all 435 House of Representative seats. Soundbites start today (Monday, 8/10) and run until Election Day (11/3). President of iHeartMedia entertainment enterprises John Sykes states, “With voter turnout expected to hit record numbers, ‘Why I’m Voting’ presents a rare opportunity for people of all backgrounds and beliefs to have their voices heard by millions of their fellow Americans before we cast our votes.” Listeners can record/submit their own 20 second or less audio or video message. Meanwhile, also debuting today (8/10) and running through Election Day is iHeartMedia’s longer-form “Why I’m Voting” podcast, which will feature conversations with a wide-range of celebrities on why/how this year’s election will shape our future. The podcast will showcase personal stories behind why voting means so much for our nation. The “Why Are You Voting” series of soundbites will air on iHeartMedia’s 850+ broadcast radio stations in 160 markets, podcasts, social media platforms, and the iHeartRadio app.

Podcast Ad Spending to Surpass $1 Billion Next Year. That forecast further predicts that more than one in five digital radio ad dollars will go toward podcasts. By the end of this year, podcast ad spending in the United States will reach $782 million, up 10.4% from last year, giving it a 21% share of the US digital radio ad market. Spending is expected to jump nearly 45% next year to $1.13 billion. Insider Intelligence eMarketer forecasting director  Shelleen Shum comments, “Growth in podcast advertising spend will be more resilient this year relative to digital radio advertising as a whole, which will see double-digit declines. The continued growth in podcast advertising is no surprise, as investments have made podcasts accessible to a wider audience. The news genre, a focus of many podcast advertisers, has performed well during the pandemic. While some ad campaigns were paused due to the uncertainty from COVID-19 lockdowns, we expect a rebound in Q3 and Q4. One key challenge in podcast advertising is the lack of uniformity in measurement. [The Interactive Advertising Bureau] has released a set of guidelines to establish a common set of ad metrics for podcasts, which should bring some standardization to the industry and give advertisers more confidence.” This year, 105.6 million people in the US will listen to podcasts, the first time podcast listening will surpass 100 million.

KYW Silences Familiar Sound. Owing to pandemic-related budget cuts, a number of well-known voices on spoken-word and music-intensive formats across the country have been eased off the air. A longtime fixture at Entercom Philadelphia’s KYW “News Radio 1060” is gone, but it had nothing to do with the bottom line or COVID-19 – and it isn’t a human. The station has eliminated the teletype sound effect that – for decades – has been played underneath its news broadcasts. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, KYW program director/brand manager Alex Silverman remarks to The Philadelphia Inquirer, “They stopped making the ribbons for the trusty teletype in 1986 and our supply finally ran out; so, old reliable is out of commission until further notice.” To that, co-owned WIP “Sports Radio 94” brand manager Spike Eskin mocks in a tweet, “Just excuses again from Alex Silverman. Are we to believe he couldn’t find a new one on Ebay, or simulate the sound somehow? Does he think we are fools?” On a more serious note, Silverman states, “As technology has evolved over the years, so has KYW. The sound of the station should reflect the modern, nimble, multi-platform news organization we’ve become.”  KYW has recently updated its jingle and logo. Entercom’s other top ten market news and news-talk hybrids include: WCBS-AM and WINS, New York City; KNX, Los Angeles; WBBM-AM & WCFS-FM, Chicago; KCBS-AM, San Francisco; and KRLD-AM, Dallas.

Leadership Training Program Accepting 2021 Applications. Designed to prepare senior-level broadcasters to advance into ownership or executive positions, the NAB’s Broadcast Leadership Training (BLT) program is accepting applications through August 19 for next year’s session. BLT program founder and dean/ ShootingStar Broadcasting founder, president, chief executive officer Diane Sutter states, “As we transition to a hybrid online and in-person model, we look forward to expanding the reach of the Broadcast Leadership Training program. Now, more than ever, it is imperative that we cultivate the next class of diverse industry leaders and equip them with the knowledge and training to advance their careers.” As it moves into its 21st year, this executive MBA-style program teaches the fundamentals of purchasing, owning, and operating radio and television stations to senior-level broadcast professionals. All education sessions planned through the end of 2020 will be held online, with the starting gathering to be held next month (9/24 – 25). Broadcast professionals from all areas of the industry, including general managers, sales managers and department heads, as well as regional and corporate executives, are encouraged to apply. Fellowship opportunities are available for women and people of color. The complete schedule will be made available in early-October.

TALKERS News Notes. Starting one week from today (Monday, 8/17) and lasting through next Thursday (8/20), ABC News Radio is set to cover this year’s Democratic National Convention and plans to do the same  the following week (8/24 – 27) for the Republican National Convention. Aaron Katersky and Karen Travers will anchor; Alex Stone, Ryan Burrow, and Jim Ryan are slated to serve as reporters; and Steve Roberts joins for analysis. Multiple one-minute “Status Reports” will air each night, as will the network’s daily Brad Mielke-hosted podcast, “Start Here.” Meanwhile, each day during the conventions, the Karl & Klein-hosted podcast “Powerhouse Politics” will release special editions featuring interviews and analysis …  Former iHeartMedia Jacksonville senior vice president of programming Tommy BoDean joins Cumulus Media as operations manager of its four-station Melbourne (Florida) cluster, which includes sports talk WLZR “1560 The Fan.” Cumulus Media regional vice president Pete DeSimone comments, “I am really excited Tommy is joining the Cumulus Melbourne team. He’s going to make an immediate impact – and at a time [when] programming and operational leadership are critical.” BoDean adds, “The world we live in is changing every minute; radio has not just an opportunity, but an obligation, to get plugged in and help. Now is the perfect time to step into a role that both challenges and excites me every day.” In addition to his OM duties for WLZR and classic rock WROK “95.9 The Rocket,” BoDean will be the day-to-day program director for CHR WAOA “107.1 A1A” and country WHKR “102.7 Nash FM.” He previously was operations manager for iHeartMedia Cincinnati and programmed Nashville CHR WNFN “Hot 106.7.” …  Effective today (Monday, 8/10), Bustos Media Tucson’s KVOI “AM 1030 The Voice” adds “The Joe Walsh Show” to its weeknight (7:00 pm – 9:00 pm) lineup and shifts “Our American Stories with Lee Habeeb,” which had been in that slot, to 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm … Twenty-year Spokane television and radio journalist Teresa Lukens will return to Morgan Murphy Media Spokane’s KXLY-AM “920 News Now” next Monday (8/17) as morning drive co-host. After three years as a reporter on KXLY-TV’s “Good Morning Northwest,” Lukens transitioned to radio as morning host on co-owned KXLY-FM “Classy 99.9 FM” and then as news anchor on KXLY-AM. Lukens left KXLY-TV in 2010 and hosted “Health Matters” on Spokane public television outlet KSPS.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Every Friday this month, iHeartMedia San Antonio joins forces with San Antonio Metro Health for the “Friday Night Virtual Dance Party” (7:00 – 7:30 pm). Participating stations within the iHM cluster include adult contemporary KQXT “Q-101.9”; CHR KXXM “96.1 Now;” country KAJA “KJ-7″; and Spanish contemporary KZEP “104.5 Latino Hits.” According to iHeartMedia San Antonio senior vice president of programming Jason McCollim, “There is nothing like the power of music. [We] are excited to partner with our friends at San Antonio Metro Health for ‘Friday Night Virtual Dance Party’ [and] look forward to raising our community spirit during these challenging times – all while abiding by the state’s safety guidelines to fight the COVID-19 virus.” Mayor Ron Nirenberg notes, “We want to send an encouraging and positive message to San Antonio to keep doing the things that make our city great, but do them in a safe way so we can continue to stop the spread.” …  A country music special hosted by four-time Entertainer of the Year Luke Bryan is among several, three-hour ABC Audio Labor Day weekend specials. “Luke Bryan: Born Here Live Here Die Here” takes listeners through each song on Bryan’s new album, which has produced three #1 singles. “Labor Day Rock Salute: Frontline Edition – From Speakeasy” honors frontline workers who stepped up during COVID-19. Hosted by ABC Audio’s Matt Wolfe, the special features hits from artists including ZZ Top, Alice Cooper, and Stevie Nicks. Top rock artists will also share what they’ve been up to during lockdown. Meanwhile, the Aaron Katersky-hosted  news special “How America Works Now” explores how people are coping through the pandemic. It questions what the future of American life and labor may look like, and puts a spotlight on those adapting to the new normal  … “CMT After MidNite with Cody Alan” takes over 12:00 midnight – 5:00 am duties in Santa Rosa, California on Amaturo Sonoma Media Group-owned KFGY “Froggy 92.9 Today’s Country.” Alan comments, “Our show is excited to be a part of the ‘Froggy 92.9’ lineup. We already feel like part of the ‘Froggy’ family. I can’t wait to get to Sonoma for a visit to wine country.” Amaturo Sonoma Media Group vice president of programming and operations Jim Murphy notes, “Cody creates unique, multiplatform content that really resonates with country fans; we couldn’t be happier to welcome him to the ‘Froggy’ family. The station’s revised lineup includes: Amber & Tanner (5:00 am – 10:00 am); Jenn (10:00 am – 3:00 pm); Dano (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm); Lia (7:00 pm – 12:00 midnight); and “CMT After MidNite with Cody Alan” (12:00 midnight – 5:00 am) … Former four-year wakeup duo at Hubbard Broadcasting St. Louis’ WIL “New Country 92.3, Bud Ford and Jerry Broadway (“Bud & Broadway”), sign with Houston-based SuiteRadio for morning show syndication, gearing up for next month’s start (9/7). The show will be represented on a market exclusive basis by Colbert Media Group. Prior to exiting WIL this past May, “Bud & Broadway” worked in Tulsa and Dothan, Alabama.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

| September 3, 2019

Entercom Buys Francesa App; Folds it in to RADIO.com. The digital platform RADIO.com is now the place where WFAN, New York sports talk personality Mike Francesa’s digital content can be found.  Entercom announces via the RADIO.com site that “that Francesa is taking his talents to RADIO.com, and he’s bringing all of his streaming content with him. Francesa’s ‘Mike’s On’ will close on Oct. 1, with his WFAN show; his podcasts and other branded media will migrate exclusively to the RADIO.com app.”  Entercom chief digital officer J.D. Crowley says, “Mike Francesa is a legend and we are beyond thrilled to bring more Mike to RADIO.com.  Mike has some of the most loyal, engaged fans in all of sports, thanks to his unique ability to build a broad audience with must-listen, highly compelling audio content, always calling it like it is.  The ability to tap into Mike’s immediate, live reactions to the biggest moments in sports, combined with the vast library of audio and video content this deal brings to the platform, further cement RADIO.com as one of the leading digital audio platforms in the U.S. for creators, audiences, and advertisers alike.”  According to a report by Max Willens in Digiday about the move, the Mike’s On app never really hit the critical mass necessary to survive on its own. He writes, “Since its launch, Mike’s On has accumulated a small cluster of subscribers, though new downloads have slowed to a crawl over the past few months, with the app driving fewer than a thousand downloads a month in each of the past four months, according to Apptopia.  That audience pales in comparison to the Radio.com app audience, which has been averaging over 230,000 downloads per month over the same period, also per Apptopia.”

WGST, Atlanta Adds New Programming; Re-Brands as ‘640 FOX News Radio.’ New programs added to the lineup on iHeartMedia’s WGST-AM, Atlanta include the Westwood One-syndicated Ben Shapiro show and Mark Levin show, as well as the Key Networks-syndicated “Bill O’Reilly Update” as the station re-brands as “AM 640, Atlanta’s Home of FOX News Radio.”  iHeartMedia says, “AM 640, Atlanta’s Home of FOX News Radio, will feature top national hosts including Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Ben Shapiro, Mark Levin, Buck Sexton, Michael Savage and George Noory. Listeners can tune in to hear the latest FOX News at the top and bottom of every hour, as well as frequent traffic/weather reports and local news updates from the Georgia News Network. “This Morning with Gordon Deal,” from Compass Media Networks, is airing in morning drive.  The station will also provide around-the-clock news coverage online on the station’s website as well as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook via @640FoxNewsATL.”  Station program director Dan Hunt adds, “We are ecstatic to welcome Bill O’Reilly, Ben Shapiro, Mark Levin and all the new voices to Atlanta’s Home of FOX News Radio.  With a massive 50,000 watt AM signal and unmatched digital distribution, we are confident that AM 640 will establish itself as a successful news/talk brand in Atlanta”

Bustos Media Tweaks Lineup on KVOI, Tucson. News/talk KVOI, Tucson was acquired by Bustos Media from Doug and Mary Martin’s Good News Communications last fall. Now, the company announces some programming changes to “AM-1030 KVOI The Voice.”  Station operations manager Ray Ingegneri says, “When we sat down and looked at the lineup we wanted to keep the local component, but we also wanted to bring a mix of news, business and lifestyle shows, hoping to attract listeners who may be turned off by other offerings in the market.”  Syndicated additions to the KVOI lineup include: “America In The Morning”; Good Day Networks’ “On Air with Doug, Jen and Victoria” from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon.  The station expands its carriage of the Dave Ramsey show to 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.  It adds Compass Media Networks’ “Lars Larson Show” to the 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm slot and adds American Private Radio’s “Our American Stories” in the 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm slot.  Late nights and over nights include GCN’s “America Tonight” with Kate Delaney, Westwood One’s Jim Bohannon show and Salem Radio NetworksHugh Hewitt show.  CBS News and Bloomberg Market Minute Updates are being added to the bottom of each hour.  Bustos Media president and CEO Amador Bustos adds, “With this programming change we strive to provide our Tucson audience the best possible talk format and most relevant local news coverage.”

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from the July 2019 Nielsen Audio PPM survey, today focusing on news/talk radio.  Comparing weekly 6+ AQH share data from June to July, about the same number of news/talk stations saw their ratings go up as saw their numbers go down. Year-over-year, 51% of the stations on our panel were down while 36% improved, led by Cumulus Media’s WMAL-FM, Washington (+1.6) and iHeartMedia’s WOAI, San Antonio (+1.5).  Two news/talk stations ranked #1 in their respective markets (6+) in July: Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” (6.9 share) and Cox Media Group’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville (8.0 share).  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

TALKERS News Notes. Portland news/talk KEX adds the Premiere Networks-syndicated Buck Sexton show in the 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm slot.  The show follows the local Mark Mason show and leads into the syndicated Michael Berry program…..As the NFL gets ready to begin its 100th season, Cumulus Media’s Westwood One is kicking off its 33rd consecutive season as the league’s exclusive network radio partner.  The season begins with Thursday night’s Packers-Bears game and Westwood One Sports’ Monday night team of Kevin Harlan and Hall of Famer and NFL Network analyst Kurt Warner will call the action.  To commemorate the league’s 100th season, Westwood One is producing original programming, including a 100-part short-form series titled, “NFL 100,” that will air Monday through Friday each day throughout the season…..Entercom is presenting a two-hour live, commercial-free broadcast special called, “I’m Listening,” to raise awareness around mental health and mark the start of National Suicide Prevention Week.  As part of the company’s multiplatform, yearlong “I’m Listening” campaign, the progam will air nationwide on Sunday, September 8 at 7:00 am across more than 235 stations and via each station’s livestream on RADIO.com in their respective time zones. Entercom chief programming officer Pat Paxton says, “Mental health and suicide prevention are year-round initiatives at Entercom and we are doing our part to end the stigma by encouraging people to talk. Like millions of others, my family has been impacted by mental health issues and the effect it has on friends and families is devastating.  ‘I’m Listening’ is when our vast network of radio stations and digital platforms unite on the same day, at the same time, to ultimately save lives.  If we help just one person, our time will have been well spent.”…..Hubbard Radio’s WMEN-AM, West Palm Beach re-brands, transitioning from the “640 The Hurricane” moniker to “FOX Sports South Florida.”…..GCN nationally syndicated talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs has been a force in helping to get the majority of governors in the U.S. to unite in declaring September 5 Blood Donation Day to help blood banks during National Blood Donation Week (September 2-9).

Hurricane Dorian, Immigration Policy, 2020 Presidential Race, Deadly Dive Boat Fire, Brexit, and Kevin Hart Car Crash Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Holiday Weekend. The status of Hurricane Dorian and the destruction it’s leveled on the Bahamas; the Trump Administration’s immigration policies and treatment of children of migrants; the Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in 2020; the California dive boat fire that killed 25; the political chaos in Britain over Boris Johnson’s Brexit strategy; and comic Kevin Hart’s car accident were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

KOZN, Omaha Broadcasts from Casino on First Day of Legal Sports Betting. Pictured above are “Unsportsmanlike Conduct” personalities John Bishop and Josh Peterson interviewing Caesars Entertainment VP and general manager Samir Mowad as KOZN, Omaha “1620 The Zone” broadcast from Horseshoe Casino in Council Bluffs, Iowa on the first day of legalized sports betting.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Columbia, South Carolina, Cumulus Media’s urban contemporary WLXC “KISS 103.1” is launching “The Chubb Rock Show with SiMan Baby” in afternoon drive.   The show is hosted by Chubb Rock and SiMan Baby.  Station program director Robyn Simone says, “Chubb Rock has the perfect star power ‘KISS 103.1’ listeners will love in afternoon drive.  Not over the top, but just enough that our listeners will appreciate not only his legendary hip hop status, but also his commitment to radio.  Chubb Rock reminds us why we fell in love with radio in the first place by entertaining, challenging those community issues, and bringing back the love for the music!”…..Beasley closes on its acquisition of urban contemporary WDMK, Detroit “105.9 Kiss FM.”  It bought the FM signal and three translators from Urban One for $13.5 million…..“The Ace & TJ Show” and its charity, Radio Family Charity, are beginning to solicit donations in anticipation of damage to the Eastern Seaboard from Hurricane Dorian.  The show says “the needs of Hurricane Dorian will last for months and we are seeking donations from radio audiences around the world.  Tax deductible donations will be accepted through AceTJ.com or RadioFamilyCharity.org.”

Monday, August 26, 2019

| August 26, 2019

Joe Walsh Says He’ll Challenge Trump for GOP Nomination. As teased on Friday (8/23), former Illinois GOP congressman and talk radio host Joe Walsh officially announced on Sunday that he will begin a GOP primary campaign to challenge President Trump for the GOP nomination.  Walsh hosts the 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight program on the Salem Radio Network. It’s not clear right now when he’ll leave his radio show, but it’s a safe bet it will be very soon.  As a politically conservative broadcasting company, the SRN and Salem Media Group brass can’t be thrilled about Walsh’s decision. However, conventional wisdom says Walsh has no chance to take the nomination from Trump since the president enjoys overwhelming support from Republicans. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison, weighing in on the syndicated host’s announcement states, “The extraordinary amount of press surrounding this development illustrates just how powerful talk media has become during the age of Trump.  We all know that talk radio and cable news/talk TV have been consistently influential platforms in the post-Fairness Doctrine decades.  However, the sheer measurable power this bubbling influence has amassed in the age of Trump is jaw dropping to say the least.  Regardless of your opinion of Donald Trump, the fact that the president of the United States is a huge talk media fan and constantly demonstrates it through his use of social media, shout-outs, and political appointments has been the most significant booster rocket imaginable in elevating talk media beyond junior status to equal-if-not-greater influence and prestige as the so-called mainstream media.  Look at the amount of attention his tweets garnered for Wayne Allyn Root last week.  The fact that Joe Walsh – a radio talk show host with a microscopically short resume of elective service – could get so much more coverage than former governors William Weld and Mark Sanford sends an important message.  Radio and TV talk personalities are, in a growing number of cases, on the same level as major elected officials.  In an industry where anecdotal qualitative influence is every bit as important as murky quantitative metrics, everyone in the talk business owes a debt of gratitude to President Trump.  All I can say is, Mr. President, ‘Keep listening and watching!’” Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story stated FOX News had ignored the story.  Actually, FOX News published this story on Sunday and devoted reports on FOX News Channel to the story.

Neal Boortz Ends WSB-AM, Atlanta Commentary.  Six years after retiring from his daily radio talk show, radio legend Neal Boortz does his last commentary feature for his old flagship station WSB-AM/WSBB-FM. In his final piece for the station, Boortz says he looks forward to paying less attention to the news because he believes the country is headed for disaster due to young people knowing more about LGBTQ history than American history.  He says, “I’m going to just enjoy my friends, family and my travels while the rest of you see if you can pull this country back from the brink.” Hear his commentary here.

LaDona Harvey Re-Ups with KOGO, San Diego. Longtime station personality LaDona Harvey signs a new contract with iHeartMedia’s news/talk KOGO, San Diego to continue as morning personality through 2022.  Harvey served as news anchor and then midday talk host before being partnered with Ted Garcia in morning drive in 2014.  Station program director Brian Long says, “When we re-launched Newsradio 600 KOGO, it was clear that LaDona had the versatility needed to shift from a popular local news/talk host to become a strong morning news personality without missing a beat.  LaDona and Ted Garcia together every morning share a chemistry that connects with San Diegans and serves to entertain and inform KOGO listeners every weekday morning.”

New Affiliate Stations for ‘Our American Stories.’ The nationally syndicated “Our American Stories” radio program announces the program is being added to the program schedules at stations including: iHeartMedia’s KHOW, Denver; Bustos Media’s KVOI, Tucson; American General Media’s KVEC, San Luis Obispo; Entercom’s KNSS-AM/FM, Wichita; and Kensington Digital Media’s WRSW-AM, Warsaw, Indiana.  Lee Habeeb is host of the program and CEO of American Private Radio, producer and syndicator of the show.  Habeeb comments that he’s “grateful for the new markets and the opportunity to bring more listeners together in a positive listening environment.  These stations, along with our 210 other affiliate partners are a testament that listeners want more than just political talk.  They want a positive experience that radio does really well, which is just what ‘Our American Stories’ delivers.

Ken Lagana Named EVP of Digital Sales for Entercom. Digital sales executive Ken Lagana is appointed to the newly created position of executive vice president of digital sales for Entercom, effective September 10.   Lagana was most recently head of sales and marketing for podcast technology firm Megaphone.  In this new role, Lagana will lead sales strategy for the company’s digital business, including RADIO.COM, and its newest podcast acquisitions – Cadence13 and Pineapple Street Studios.  Entercom chief digital officer J.D. Crowley says, “I have known Ken a long time and have immense respect for the large digital businesses he’s helped build.  Ken has an incredible reputation in the industry for creating innovative programs at scale that solve challenges for marketers.  We’re excited to welcome him to the team as we continue to help shape the rapidly growing digital audio marketplace.”

Envision and Radio PA State Network Partner for Sports Report. This partnership between Envision Networks and Radio PA State Network will result in EnvisionVirtualServices Sports Reports being distributed to more than 50 radio stations throughout the Keystone State.  The feature his presented by sports reporter Andrew Scaglione who delivers twice-daily reports (and one report on Saturday).   Scaglione says, “The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has such a rich sports history spanning from the high school level all the way up to the pros.  It’s a privilege to provide daily sports reports to stations around the state and keep folks up to date on Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, State College, Williamsport, and everywhere in between.”

Monday Memo: YouTube Tweaks.  YouTube is a powerful platform and it’s real crowded.  Every second, one hour of video is uploaded.  If you just “throw something up there,” you’re probably not capitalizing on the benefits of YouTube.  Consultant Holland Cooke suggests that before your video joins that torrent, take a look at some valuable tips here.

U.S.-China Trade War/G7 Summit, Hong Kong Protests, Joe Walsh to Challenge Trump in Primary/2020 Presidential Race, Israel Strikes Iranian Targets, and Andrew Luck Retires from NFL Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The tariff battle between the U.S. and China, the world’s financial markets’ reactions to them, and the meetings that took place at the G7 in France over the weekend; the protests against Chinese aggression in Hong Kong; talk host and former congressman Joe Walsh announces his Republican presidential bid and the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the Israeli military strikes against Iranian targets near Damascus, Syria; and the shocking retirement from pro football by Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Forever Media to Buy Lebanon, Pennsylvania Duo. The stations – news/talk WLBR-AM and adult contemporary WQIC-FM “Soft Rock 100.1” – are being sold by family-owned Lebanon Broadcasting Company to Forever Media.  The deal gives Forever 64 stations in 11 markets.  Lebanon president Lynn Deppen says, “WLBR/WQIC has been in the Etter family for over 70 years.  Since my sons have independent careers, I made the decision to sell to Forever Media. Forever Media is an excellent company consisting of community-oriented radio stations.  They empower local managers with key decision-making authority and encourage local community interests to be a factor in any decision.”  Greg Guy of Patrick Communications represented the seller in this deal.

Barr Bids Buck Bon Voyage. Pictured above is Premiere Networks personality Buck Sexton (left) with U.S. Attorney General William Barr (right) at Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC. last Thursday night (8/22).  Sexton, host of “The Buck Sexton Show,” had an impromptu going away celebration at the hotel as he leaves Washington to move to New York City.  Barr made an appearance to wish Sexton well as he returns to his home state.

TALKERS News Notes. Sports media personality Josh Innes is launching a podcast.  The former KBME, Houston and WIP, Philadelphia sports talk host tells ForbesJonathan Berr that he intends to target sports fans in Philly and Houston with separate shows for each market.  He says he understands that there are a ton of podcasts out there and that compared to big stations, he’s a small business.  He says he plans to target local advertisers who can’t afford to advertise on major market radio stations…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Vivianne Linou  is promoted to executive producer of WGN, Chicago’s Steve Cochran morning show. The Tribune Broadcasting station promoted Mary Sandberg Boyle from that position to director of news and operations back in May.  Linou joined WGN as a producer back in March after having previously served with Entercom’s crosstown all-news WBBM-AM/WFCS-FM…..Alpha Media’s Portland sports talk KXTG-AM drops the FM translator simulcast of its programming.  The station signaled the end of the broadcast on K275CH with the re-branding of its social media accounts that eliminate the 102.9 FM frequency…..Saga Communications swaps FM translators as a simulcast of news/talk WGAN-AM, Portland.  It goes from W288CU, PORTLAND at 105.5 FM to W253DA at 98.5 FM…..ESPN launches a new college football podcast featuring lead analysts Kirk Herbstreit and David Pollack plus SportsCenter’s Kevin Negandhi.  The “ESPN College Football Podcast- Herbie & Pollack” publish three times per week through the season with Negandhi hosting all episodes. Herbstreit will co-host on Mondays and Pollack will do so on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. West Palm Beach country outlet WIRK names Moriah Daniels midday personality.  Daniels began her radio career eight years ago as an intern for the then-CBS Radio station, now owned and operated by Hubbard Radio.  WIRK operations manager and brand/content director Bruce Logan states, “As a program director, there is nothing better than inheriting great talent!  When I started the search to transition ‘New Country 103.1’ from a voice-tracked show to a live and local show in West Palm Beach, I was thrilled to find Moriah sitting mere feet from my office dutifully serving our sales team.  She expressed interest, I went through the entire search process and in the end, there was no one I’d rather have as WIRK’s At-Work host.”…..Air personality Pat Gallagher returns to the Madison market to assume the morning show duties on Mid-West Family’s alternative WRIS “The Resistance.”  Company VP of programming Randy Hawke says, “Pat helped define alternative music in Madison.  It’s so important to have him here and be a part of it.”  Gallagher worked in alternative radio in Madison for 27 years before joining Mid-West Family Madison for a brief time then heading to WCNR, Charlottesville, Virginia to do mornings…..Radio personality and doo wop enthusiast Ron Farber appeared on WMTR-AM, Morristown, New Jersey over the weekend as guest and co-host on the station’s “Doo Wop Drive” program from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm on August 23.   It was a homecoming of sorts as Faber hosted the Friday night doo wop show from 2005 through 2008…..Air talent Scotty Kay joins the new morning program at Entercom’s country WUSN, Chicago.  Kay was most recently on air at Cumulus Media’s CHR KLIF-FM, Dallas “HOT 93.3.”  He joins morning show hosts Katie BrightJason Pullman, and Erin Creedon on the program…..In Los Angeles, Doug “Sluggo” Roberts is named assistant program director and music director for classic rock KLOS.  Roberts currently hosts weekend programs on SiriusXM’s “1St Wave” and “Lithium” channels.  He’s also worked at alternative KROQ and adult hits KABC-FM in Los Angeles.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

| August 14, 2019

And the (Topical) Hits Just Keep on Coming – Stay focused on China!  Although the news itself can hardly be called “good,” news/talk radio continues to be the beneficiary of a non-stop tsunami of intensely compelling topics playing out on multiple tracks that has kept the format a major appointment destination for news junkies as well as people with a casual interest in current events. According to TALKERS research, yesterday’s (8/13) most-discussed topic remained the mysterious and controversial death of Jeffrey Epstein (which it has been all week) followed closely by the economic implications of the US-China trade war.  The Hong Kong protests have generated enormous interest and people are still extremely engrossed in the Dayton/El Paso shootings which have spawned opinions and analysis of gun control legislation, violence in American entertainment and the nation’s handling of mental illness.  According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “It appears that talk show hosts would be wise to stay focused on China and educate themselves to every aspect of its Communist government’s relentless strategy to compete with US interests on all fronts going forward from a position of unfair trade practices to outright hostility for what will likely be years to come.”

Arizona Coyotes Now Skating With KGME. As part of a multi-platform broadcast and streaming agreement between iHeartMedia Phoenix and the Arizona Coyotes, iHM sports talk KGME “Fox Sports 910” takes over as the NHL team’s principal radio outlet. Additionally, the Arizona Coyotes Audio Network will provide exclusive content via the iHeartRadio app (when the NHL season starts on October 3). Coyotes’ games were previously carried by Bonneville Phoenix-owned KMVP-FM “Arizona Sports 98.7.” According to iHeartMedia Phoenix market president Linda Little, “The entire team at iHeartMedia is excited to be the new home for the Arizona Coyotes, especially at such an exciting time for the team. Working together, we will build our all-in agreement between the Arizona Coyotes and ‘Fox Sports 910’ across our entire iHeartMedia platform of well-known audio brands in Phoenix and on our iHeartRadio app.” The Coyotes were recently acquired by California-based Meruelo Group, whose holdings include Meruelo Media. Coyotes president and chief executive officer Ahron Cohen comments, “We are thrilled to partner with ‘Fox Sports 910.’ As we strive to build and cultivate new Coyotes fans, this multi-dimensional partnership – including iHeartMedia’s multitude of media platforms – provides us with unparalleled touchpoints to a broad cross-section of the Valley’s population. Equally important is iHeart’s ability to deliver an exceptional fan entertainment experience for all of our robust Coyotes content that will enhance our fans’ connectivity to the team.” Play-by-play announcer Bob Heethuis will return for his 15th season with the team and Paul Bissonnette will be back as analyst. All 82 regular-season games will air on “Fox Sports 910” and simulcast on Tucson sibling KTZR “Fox Sports 1450 AM.”

KOZN Prepares Severe Homecoming. Host of “The Bottom Line” on SummitMedia-owned sports talk KXSP “AM 590 ESPN Omaha,” Mike’l Severe, returns to cross-town NRG Media’s similarly-formatted KOZN “1620 “The Zone” tomorrow (Thursday, 8/15) after a five-year absence. Severe and Damon Benning will form “Severe and Benning in the Morning” (6:00 am – 10:00 am). NRG Omaha market manager Mark Shecterle comments that University of Nebraska football national champion Benning and local radio/television sports personality Severe “will offer listeners a new blend of morning sports radio. They will be able to give listeners an intense focus on all local sports. We are excited to bring back Mike’l Severe to the NRG family.” Former morning show co-host Gary Sharp transitions to mid-days (10:00 am – 2:00 pm) replacing Nick Bahe. Shecterle notes that Sharp will have “the platform to fully exhibit his expertise in sports analysis and his legendary interviewing skills. Gary has deserved his own show for a while and we are thrilled that he will be anchoring our mid-day slot. By moving [Sharp] to mid-days, we truly believe we have a sports-talk line-up second to none.” John Bishop and Josh Peterson-hosted “Unsportsmanlike Conduct” continues in afternoon drive (2:00 pm – 6:00 pm), while Nebraska football post game show, “Big Red Over Reaction,” will be simulcast on KOZN’s classic rock cluster-mate KOOO “101.9 The Keg.”

iHM Wheeling/Parkersburg Boosts Bommer to MP. The onetime vice president of business operations for the Wheeling Nailers, Craig Bommer, is named market president for iHeartMedia’s West Virginia stations in Wheeling and Parkersburg. Region president for iHeartMedia Pittsburgh and West Virginia Tim McAleer states, “I am excited for Craig to lead and demonstrate his leadership capabilities as market president by helping to grow each market’s revenue.” Bommer remarks, “This opportunity is a new and exciting challenge in my career path. I look forward to working with everyone to help build upon the success each market has achieved.” The West Liberty University alum began his career at iHeartMedia in 2016 as senior vice president of sales for the company’s Wheeling and Parkersburg stations. Those outlets include: news/talk WWVA “News Radio 1170”; news/talk WLTP “News Radio 910”; sports talk WBBD “Fox Sports AM 1400 Wheeling”; WEGW “Eagle 107.5 The Rock Station”; adult contemporary WKWK “Mix 97.3”; WOVK “Country 98.7”; CHR WVKF “Kiss 95.7”; classic hits-oldies WDMX “Mix 100”; WNUS “Country 107”; and CHR WRVB “102 The River.”

TALKERS News Notes. After working at Premiere Networks the past 21 years, senior director of affiliate sales Tom Garrett departs. Garrett previously programmed in Rockford (Illinois) at WROK & WZOK. In addition he was responsible for non-traditional revenue event marketing for Connoisseur’s Rockford and Quad Cities (Illinois-Iowa) stations ….. The relationship between afternoon drive talent George Plaster and Ryman Hospitality Properties’ WSM-AM, Nashville has come to an end after one month. In a tweet sent out yesterday (Tuesday, 8/13), Plaster writes, “Sorry to pass this [a]long, but I have parted ways with WSM-AM. My intention is to begin a podcast with a target around Labor Day. Thanks to all of you who supported us.” Plaster hosted “Sports Night” shows in Nashville on sports talk stations WGFX “104.5 The Zone” and WPRT “102.5 The Game,” as well as WWTN “Super Talk 99.7.” He took a break from radio three years ago but joined WSM-AM in 2017 for a weekend program; Plaster’s weekday effort commenced July 15 ….. Brand manager/morning host of Townsquare Media Bangor (Maine) sports talk WEZQ “92.9 The Ticket,” Dale Duff, will segue to 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm, effective next Monday (8/19). Duff makes room for Wayne Harvey’s 6:00 am – 8:00 am “Morning Line.” Harvey has worked at Bangor stations WABI-TV and WZON-AM “The Zone.”

The Return of the Pitch Pod. For the second straight year, attendees of “Podcast Movement 2019” can venture inside CUMULUS MEDIA’s Westwood One “Pitch Pod” and tell their story for a chance to win consultative services from the Westwood One Podcast Network. This mini-studio is located in the main hallway of the conference. The Podcast Movement kicked off yesterday (Tuesday, 8/13) and runs through this Friday (8/16) in Orlando at Rosen Shingle Creek.

Urban One, Smith Slapped with Sexual Harassment Suit. On the same day “Hurricane” Dave Smith exited as Radio One Atlanta’s vice president of programming/operations, former urban contemporary WHTA “Hot 107.9” on-air personality Feleg Abraham (using the air name Shorty Mack) filed a lawsuit in the (Georgia) state court of Fulton County alleging multiple instances of sexual harassment by her then-boss (Smith). After working at “Hot 107.9” for 14 months, Abraham left in February 2018 and now does mid-days for Davis Broadcasting Columbus, Georgia urban contemporary WFXE “Foxie 105.” Radio One parent, Urban One regional vice president Timothy Davies last week declined to comment about Smith’s dismissal; however, in a published report last Monday (8/5), Smith claims he was terminated owing to “a misunderstanding.” Urban One executive vice president/chief administrative officer Karen Wishart states, “The allegations made by Feleg Abraham against Dave Smith, both former employees of Urban One, are unsettling. As a company founded by an African-American woman [Cathy Hughes] with a long history of empowering women in the workplace, Urban One takes these allegations very seriously. After Ms. Abraham left Urban One to take a new job, we were notified of her complaint and conducted a thorough, independent investigation. In light of the ongoing litigation, we cannot provide further comment on this matter.” Charges in Abraham’s lawsuit include intentional infliction of emotional distress by Smith; negligent infliction of emotional distress by Urban One; negligent hiring, retention, and supervision; assault and battery; and false imprisonment. The suit claims Smith made “unwanted sexual comments about Ms. Abraham’s body and would often ask her when he would be allowed to see her naked.” It references an incident that allegedly took place on May 22, 2017 in which Smith is said to have trapped Abraham in his office. As Rodney Ho reports in The Atlanta Journal Constitution, a statement regarding the lawsuit released yesterday afternoon (Tuesday, 8/13) by Smith reads, “This is an organized attempt by some former employees looking to capitalize on the #MeToo climate. I categorically deny these disgusting statements. I have no further comment.”

 More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Music director and afternoon drive host of Entercom Miami classic hits-oldies WMXJ “102.7 The Beach,” DJ Holiday, adds even more responsibilities as assistant program director. Entercom South Florida senior vice president/market manager Keriann Worley explains, “This is a natural move for DJ Holiday and our station. DJ Holiday has grown up with this music and has an intimate knowledge of the market, having spent many nights spinning at Miami clubs. We’re thrilled to have him step up into the APD role and look forward to his increased contributions to the station’s success.” Holiday, who has been with “The Beach” since it debuted in 2016,  opines, “There’s always something new to learn and room to grow professionally. I’d like to extend my heartfelt thanks to my Entercom family for the opportunity to do so.” … KNDD “107.7 The End” mid-day talent “Alyssa” is promoted to music director at the Entercom Seattle alternative outlet. Program director Leslie Scott remarks that, “In her three years here, Alyssa has proven to be a huge music lover, a supporter of all things ‘107.7 The End,’ and a champion of the power of radio. I can think of no better team in alternative than ours and Alyssa’s new position reinforces that.” Alyssa notes, “It is an honor to be part of this incredible team. I’m looking forward to jumping into this role under the guidance of Leslie and [assistant program director/afternoon drive talent] Walt [Flakus].” … Effective this Friday (8/16), seven-month KXOJ “94.1 Tulsa’s Christian Music Station” evening show host Jeremiah St. James adds assistant program director duties at the Stephens Media Group contemporary Christian station. According to Stephens Media Group owner David Stephens, “Jeremiah is one of those rare talents whose potential seems limitless. He is forward-thinking and is more about where radio is going than where it has been.” SMG senior vice president of programming & technology/KXOJ program director Bob Thornton notes, “Jeremiah is a gifted imaging and branding specialist who is going to bring a tremendous amount of energy and new ideas to our building.” ….. Program director Caleb James exits NRG Media Omaha rhythmic CHR KOPW “Power 106.9” and hot AC KQKQ “Sweet 98.5.”

 

 

July 2019 PPM Data. July 2019 ratings information has been released for San Antonio, Sacramento, and Pittsburgh. Nielsen Audio’s July 2019 survey period covered June 20 – July 17. Managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these three PPM-markets.

San Antonio

Spoken-Word Formats – The rollercoaster ride continues for iHeartMedia news/talk WOAI “News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather,” which was +1.1 in April (4.2 – 5.3, 6+); an equally divided -1.0 in May and June (5.3 – 4.8 – 4.3,  6+); and now +.7 in July (5.0, sixth to fifth, 6+). Up until April when it logged a 5.3, WOAI hadn’t reached the five-share level (6+) since August 2016’s 5.2. For the third month in a row, Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” loses one-tenth (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.1, #22 to #24, 6+).

In June, KTSA’s sports talk sibling KZDC “ESPN San Antonio” and iHeartMedia’s KTKR “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” were tied at #32. Both are flat at .3 (6+) and are again deadlocked – this time at #30.

This is the seventh report in a row Texas Public Radio news/talk KSTX (+.3, #16 to #12) logs a 6+-share between 3.3 – 3.7 (3.5 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 3.3, 6+).

San Antonio Music Formats – Roaring back from June’s one-half share loss with a July uptick of eight-tenths (3.8 – 4.6, 6+), Alpha Media adult hits KJXK “102.7 Jack-FM – Playing What We Want” returns to the top ten (#11 to #7). Prior to June – when it slipped to 3.8 – San Antonio’s version of “Jack” last fell below a four-share (6+) in “Holiday” 2018 (3.5). Enjoying a July 2019 jump of eight-tenths as well and zooming from #17 to #11 is iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary KZEP “104.5 Latino Hits,” which records its third bump in succession for a collective +1.4 (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 3.5, 6+). This (3.5) is the first time in exactly one year that “Latino Hits” hits a three-share (3.1, July 2018). Five successive negative or neutral trends resulted in a nearly 50% decline (-.6) of its 6+-stat (1.4 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .8 – .8 – .8, 6+), but iHeartMedia regional Mexican KQXT-HD3 answers with a gain of seven-tenths to 1.5 (#22, 6+). When Univision Radio rhythmic hot AC KVBH gained one-tenth in June (to 2.1, 6+), it suspended at four a consecutive string of negative or neutral moves that accounted for an overall -1.4 (3.4 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.0, 6+). “The Vibe” now adds another six-tenths to 2.7 (#20 to #16, 6+). In mid-April, Tejano KXTN transitioned to KVBH “The Vibe.” While Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies KONO-FM is the market pacesetter the fifth month in a row, “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” erodes by -1.1 (8.2 – 7.1, 6+). Whereas May’s +1.1 took KONO-FM to 8.5, its highest 6+-stat since September 2018’s 8.8, July’s 7.1 is its  lowest 6+-showing since 6.0 in “Holiday” 2018. “San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” had been in the runner-up slot five successive times before progressing to #1 in March. Significant alternating ups/down continue for Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KZLV. In the last four reports, San Antonio’s version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” has been +.5 (April); -1.0 (May); +1.5 (June); and now -1.2 in July (3.9 – 2.7, 6+). KZLV spirals from #10 to #16. Entering the July 2019 sweep, Alpha Media regional Mexican KSAH notched three straight positive or neutral trends netting nine-tenths (2.3 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 3.2, 6+). That entire increase drifts away with a -.9 to 2.3 (#13 to #19, 6+). June’s 3.2 was its best 6+-showing since November 2018 (3.3). Four consecutive up or flat trends by iHeartMedia CHR KXXM accounted for an overall gain of four-tenths (3.4 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 3.8, 6+) but “96.1 Now” (#11 to #14) falters by seven-tenths to 3.1, its lowest 6+-stat since December 2018 (3.1, as well). Within two-share range (6+) 19 sweeps in a row before dialing up a June gain of eight-tenths to 3.2 (6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KMYO regresses by one-half share to 2.7 (#13 to #16, 6+). June’s 3.2 marked the first time since December 2017’s 3.0 that “Latino Mix 95.1” hit a three-share (6+). There’s just no separating Cox Media Group-owned KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader” and iHeartMedia’s KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station.” They both showed June decreases of two-tenths and now July losses of one-half share: KCYY is 7.2 – 6.9 – 6.4 (6+) and KAJA is 6.2 – 6.0 – 5.5 (6+). The country rivals are anchored at second and third, respectively. Recent shifts for “Y-100” include: -.8 (December); -1.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.8 (January 2019); +.6 (February); -.6 (March); +.6 (May); and -.5 (July). “KJ-97” has been +.5 (September 2018); -1.1 (October); +1.0 (December); -1.0 (“Holiday” 2018); +3.0 (January 2019); –1.9 (March); and -.5 (July).

Sacramento

Spoken-Word Formats – Immediately following an erosion of nine-tenths this time last month, iHeartMedia-owned news/talk KFBK “Sacramento’s News, Weather and Traffic Station” repeats its June 6+ AQH-share (5.2) and market rank (fifth). Co-owned KSTE “Talk 650” continues an alternating down/up pattern that commenced in December 2018 and includes July’s positive spike of seven-tenths (2.4 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 2.3 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 3.2 (#14 to #12, 6+).

In five consecutive sweeps without an increase, Bonneville’s KHTK lost exactly half (-.6) its 6+ AQH share (1.2 – 1.2 – .9 – .8 – .6 – .6, 6+), but “Sports 1140” ends the slide with a one-tenth gain to .7 (#26 to #23, 6+). It is now tied with Entercom’s KIFM-AM “ESPN Radio 1320,” which repeats June’s .7 (#24 to #23, 6+).

Albeit flat in seventh-place, Capital Public Radio news/talk KXJZ notches its third straight increase for an overall +1.5 (3.5 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 5.0, 6+); December 2018’s 6.9 is the highest 6+-stat in its PPM-history. Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQEI has an October 2018 through July 2019 topline of .6 – .6 – .7 – .6 – .7 – .7 – .6 – .7 – .5 – .7 – .6 (#24 to #25, 6+).

Sacramento Music Formats – There is interesting June 2019 – July 2019 movement for Lotus Communications regional Mexican stations with the KVMX call letters. On the plus side, KVMX-FM – which notched a .3 (6+) in April, May, and June – hangs out a multiple of seven in July to 2.1 (+1.8, 6+) and pops in the top twenty at #15. On the other hand, KVMX-AM, which was trending .9 – 1.1 – 1.4 – 1.7 (6+) for a collective March 2019 through June 2019 gain of +.8, vanishes from print in July. After checking in with a 1.3 (#20, 6+) in June, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVB disappears as well. Frozen on 4.2 (6+) in March, April, and May before slipping to 4.1 (6+) in June, iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies KHYL adds six-tenths to 4.7 (6+) as “V-101” progresses from tenth to eighth. Notwithstanding it is #1 the sixth month in a row (including January’s first-place tie with iHeartMedia news/talk KFBK), Entercom-owned KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” falters -1.1 in June/July (8.9 – 8.3 – 7.8, 6+). “The Eagle” held the lead position ten consecutive survey periods before shifting to #2 in December. Seven of its recent fluctuations include -1.1 (November 2018); -.8 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.0 (February 2019); -.5 (April); +.9 (May); -.6 (June); and -.5 (July). In each of the last 16 survey periods, Entravision Communications’ KNTY notched a 6+-share between 2.0 – 2.5. That streak comes to an end as KNTY drops eight-tenths to 1.3 (#16 to #19, 6+). That’s not the only thing though that KNTY dropped during the July 2019 sweep: Country “101.9 The Wolf” became regional Mexican La Tricolor and is simulcasting KRCX (1.7 – 1.6, -.1, flat at #18). Returning all of June’s half-share increase and one-tenth more (2.3 – 1.7, -.6, 6+), Spanish adult hits sibling KXSE “104.3 La Suavecita” slips from #15 to #17; June’s 2.3 was its best 6+-stat since 2.4 in November 2018. Three straight downturns (5.6 – 5.0 – 4.2 – 3.7, 6+) by Entercom alternative KKDO produce a combined -1.9 and “Alt 94.7” exits the top ten (#9 to #11). This immediately follows April’s gain of nine-tenths. While it repeats at #2, iHeartMedia classic rocker KYRV “93.7 The River” surrenders three-tenths to 6.3 (6+), thus halting four consecutive upticks that netted a +1.4 (5.2 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 5.7 – 6.6, 6+). Adult contemporary stations hold this California market’s eighth and tenth slots in July 2019. Specifically, Entercom’s KYMX “Mix 96 – Today’s Hits/Yesterday’s Favorites,” without a gain the past three sweeps for a collective -1.6 (6.2 – 5.7 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+), picks up one-tenth to 4.7 (#8, 6+). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s KBEB “92.5 The Breeze” is off two-tenths in June/July (4.1 – 4.1 – 3.9, 6+). “Mix” and “The Breeze” continue at eighth and tenth, respectively. June’s 4.6 was the weakest 6+-stat for “Mix” since September 2015’s 4.5. Formerly “92.5 The Bull – #1 for New Country,” KBEB transitioned to adult contemporary as “The Breeze” in early-November (2018). It netted a +2.1 in three straight positive spikes (2.4 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 4.5, 6+), in advance of March/April’s -.8 (4.5 – 4.3 – 3.7, 6+).

Pittsburgh

Spoken-Word Formats – As a result of six straight February 2019 through July 2019 decreases (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 3.2, 6+), Entercom’s KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020” is -1.9 and slips from #11 to #12.

Co-owned sports talk/Pirates flagship KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan,” which dropped seven-tenths in May (6.8 – 6.1, 6+), forfeits the two-tenths it picked up in June (6.1 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+) but carries on in fourth-place. The ultra-consistent September 2018 through June 2019 topline for iHeartMedia sports talk WBGG 970 AM – ESPN Pittsburgh” is 2 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .2 – .2 – .2 (#23 to #17, 6+).

Bouncing back from June’s loss of six-tenths with a July increase of three-tenths, Essential Public Media news/talk WESA “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” progresses from tenth to ninth and is trending 4.2 – 3.6 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.9 (6+).

Pittsburgh Music Formats – In four straight decreases, iHeartMedia alternative WXDX was an overall -1.8 (4.8 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+); however, “105.9 The X” erases one-third of that deficit with a July uptick of six-tenths (3.6, #12 to #11, 6+). July 2019’s top three “Steel City” finishers are separated by one-half share. The combination of iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWSW “94.5 3WS” gaining four-tenths and co-owned rock WDVE sputtering by twice that margin (9.5 – 8.7, -.8, 6+) results in “3WS” progressing from third to first and WDVE segueing from first to second. WWSW is a combined +1.2 in June/July (7.7 – 8.5 – 8.9, 6+) with July’s 8.9 its best 6+-stat since 13.6 in “Holiday” 2018 when “94.5 3WS” was #1. The six most recent shifts for WDVE, which was #1 the past five reports, are: +.8 (February); +.8 again (March); -.9 (April); +.6 (May); +.6 again (June); and -.8 (July). In four straight upticks, Steel City Media adult hits WRRK was +2.3 (6.9 – 7.4 – 8.0 – 8.2 – 9.2, 6+), but “96.9 Bob FM” relinquishes eight-tenths in July to 8.4, sliding from second to third. In June, “Bob” reached the nine-share level (9.2, 6+) for the first time since December 2017’s 9.0. The just-concluded positive streak directly follows a -1.8 in three consecutive sweeps without an increase (8.7 – 7.7 – 7.7 – 6.9, 6+). As Steel City Media-owned hot AC WLTJ “Q-92.9” records its third straight boost for a net gain of nine-tenths (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 3.9, unchanged at #9, 6+), Entercom’s similarly-formatted WBZZ “Star 100.7” has its third consecutive down or flat report for an overall loss of nine-tenths (5.0 – 5.0 – 4.4 – 4.1, flat at #8, 6+). The +2.0 advantage WBZZ held over WLTJ in April is down to two-tenths. Apparently, it is that time again for Forever Media to pull its Nielsen Audio subscription as five Forever Media stations that have been listed in April, May, and June disappear from print, as they’ve done before. The five are: classic hits-oldies WKPL (1.7, June 2019, 6+); classic country WLYI (1.4, June 2019); country WOGI (.9, June 2019, 6+); country WOGG (.8, June 2019, 6+); and classic hits-oldies WPKL (.7, June 2019, 6+).

Monday, August 5, 2019

| August 5, 2019

Radio HOF Announces “Class of 2019.” The nine newest members of the Radio Hall of Fame who will be inducted at a November 8 ceremony in New York City’s Gotham Hall are: Sean “Hollywood” Hamilton; Harry Harrison; Kevin Ryder & Gene “Bean” Baxter (“Kevin & Bean”); Joe Madison; Jim Rome; Ryan Seacrest; John Tesh; and Dr. Ruth Westheimer. Radio HOF chair Kraig Kitchin remarks, “I am especially proud to welcome these individuals into the Radio Hall of Fame. Their on-air performances and audience relationships are especially remarkable. Each of our 2019 nominees [is] worthy of induction. I’m appreciative of all those who participated in our process of selecting our Class of 2019, who will join the 238 Radio Hall of Fame inductees already recognized for their great work.” Sean “Hollywood” Hamilton does afternoon drive on iHeartMedia New York rhythmic CHR WKTU “103.5 KTU” and his “Weekly Top 30 Countdown” is syndicated by Premiere Networks. Harry Harrison (“Longstanding Local/Regional, 20+ years”) was a mainstay New York City morning talent on WMCA, WABC, and WCBS-FM. Kevin and Bean (“Active Local/Regional, 10+ years”) have been overseeing mornings on Entercom Los Angeles alternative KROQ. Joe Madison – “The Black Eagle” – is heard on SiriusXM’s “Urban View” channel. Jim Rome (“Longstanding Network/Syndication, 20+ years”), whose show was called a “freaking jungle” by a listener – and the term stuck – airs on CBS Sports Radio. Ryan Seacrest’s multi-platforms include mornings on iHeartMedia Los Angeles CHR KIIS “Kiss-FM” and Premiere Networks’ “On Air with Ryan Seacrest,” and “American Top 40 with Ryan Seacrest.” John Tesh (“Active Network/Syndication, 10+ years”) hosts Compass Media Networks-syndicated “Intelligence For Your Life.” Meanwhile, “The Dr. Ruth Show” was heard on NBC Radio and she hosted “Sexually Speaking” on New York City’s WYNY. Four inductees were determined by a voting participant panel comprised of nearly 1,000 industry professionals. Another four were voted on by the Radio Hall of Fame Nominating Committee, two with input from the public. The outcome of the listener vote for a music format and spoken-word format on-air personality counted as one vote among the committee votes. The Radio HOF voting process was administered by Votem and overseen by the certified public accounting firm Miller Kaplan Arase LLP.

Monday Memo: “Hollywood,” Co-starring AM Radio. The Los Angeles Times calls “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood” “the year’s first surefire Oscar Best Picture nominee.”  And the soundtrack — assembled after writer/director Quentin Tarantino listened to 14 hours of 1969 KHJ airchecks — may also grab a statuette.  In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke’s panel explains what made radio so “sticky” then, and what it would take to reclaim the foreground on today’s crowded audio landscape. Read his column here.

Karem’s Press Pass Suspended. The White House Correspondents Association is “closely monitoring” the White House press secretary’s decision to suspend for 30 days the pass of CNN political analyst Brian Karem. Association president Jonathan Karl states, “We sincerely hope this White House does not again make the mistake of revoking a reporter’s hard pass. The WHCA has stood up to violations of due process rights before and we stand ready to safeguard those rights for all reporters who work to hold our government accountable.” CNN’s Brian Stelter reports the suspension letter Karem received specifically cited the confrontation he got into with former Trump aide/Salem Radio Networks talk host Sebastian Gorka at the White House social media summit a few weeks ago. Via Twitter, Gorka writes, “From this day forth the punk @BrianKarem will be called Brian Karma.” Meanwhile, on that same social media platform, Karem notes that he intends to appeal the White House’s decision. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison spoke with Gorka moments after that summit wrapped. That conversation is archived here on the TALKERS website (Friday, July 12, 2019).

Beasley Broadcast Group Q2 Net Revenue Increases 6.5%. The $4 million (6.5%) year-over-year gain (to $65.7 million) during the three months ended June 30 reflects increased revenue in Beasley Broadcast Group’s Philadelphia cluster, primarily due to the September 2018 acquisition of country WXTU, and increased revenue from its Boston stations. Net revenue for the three months ended June 30 was comparable to net revenue for the same period in 2018 at the company’s other clusters. Chief executive officer Caroline Beasley comments, “The strategic and financial benefits of our initiatives to further expand and diversify Beasley’s broadcast and digital platform are evident in our second-quarter financial results and further highlights the progress we are making to reinforce and grow Beasley’s leadership position across all audio platforms in our markets. Record second-quarter net revenue of $65.7 million was driven by the strength of our station clusters in three of our top five largest revenue markets, as well as contributions from recent acquisitions and more than offset approximately $1 million in combined political and United States Traffic Network (USTN) revenue recorded in the comparable 2018 period, which was non-recurring in 2019.” In June, Beasley Broadcast Group entered into a definitive agreement with Urban One to acquire Detroit’s WDMK and three translators used to broadcast WDMK’s HD2 signal for $13.5 million. Caroline Beasley notes, “This transaction is expected to be immediately accretive to Beasley’s free cash flow, excluding one-time transaction costs. The acquisition of WDMK-FM and the WDMK-HD2 translators represent a strategically and financially compelling growth opportunity for our shareholders and further enhances our revenue and competitive position in Detroit with a strong cluster of four FM stations in the country’s thirteenth largest market.”

iHM Hikes Hyland to Region President/Washington & Baltimore. Most recently region senior vice president of sales and market president for iHeartMedia Washington D.C./Baltimore, Aaron Hyland is elevated to region president of those two markets. He succeeds Mike Preacher, who becomes president for government initiatives and partnerships for iHeartMedia Markets Group. Preacher will report to iHeartMedia Markets Group president Greg Ashlock, while Hyland will report to iHeartMedia west division president Kevin LeGrett. According to Ashlock, “With Aaron, we are fortunate to have someone so talented, experienced and knowledgeable of the area to make the natural progression to the role of region president. With Mike, we are grateful for the amazing job he has done leading our D.C./Baltimore region and excited about the incredible wealth of experience and success he brings to the table in managing our government initiatives and partnership division. This is a win-win.” Hyland, who began his radio career as local sales manager for iHeartMedia Albany (New York), comments, “The iHeartMedia Washington D.C. region has a strong presence in both Washington and Baltimore with advertisers throughout the community. I’m excited to build on our success here, giving our advertisers efficient and effective marketing solutions as well as providing our listeners the best programming and content.” Preacher notes, “I’m very proud of the work we’ve done in the Washington D.C. region. Aaron has been instrumental to our growth and I am highly confident that he and the team will enjoy continued success. Regarding my role moving forward, we have very high growth expectations for our government initiatives and partnerships division. I am looking forward to resourcing and spearheading the team’s efforts.” The iHM DC cluster consists of news/talk WONK, adult contemporary WASH, country WMZQ, CHR WIHT “Hot 99.5,” alternative WWDC “DC-101,” and WBIG “Big 100 – Washington’s Classic Rock,” while its Baltimore owned-and-operated stations are CHR WZFT “Z-104.3,” adult hits WQSR “102.7 Jack-FM,” WPOC “93.1 Baltimore’s Country Station,” and gospel WCAO “Heaven 600.”

2020 Local Political Advertising to Top $6.5 Billion. That’s the estimate from BIA Advisory Services, which forecasts over-the-air television will earn the majority of the spending (47% or $3.08 billion). That compares to just over $312 million (4.8%) for radio. Meanwhile, online/digital outlets will receive $1.37 billion (21%), while multichannel video programming distributors are expected to rake in $919 million (14%). The balance will go to other media. BIA Advisory Services chief economist/senior vice president Mark Fratrik opines, “It is going to be a very interesting political year. Some very large markets will not see much in political advertising while some small markets will see an extraordinary amount of advertising due to competitive gubernatorial, senate and house races along with the presidential election. Campaigns will continue to rely on television as a dominant platform for advertising while supplementing with digital advertising across mobile and desktop. In some smaller markets, one thing to keep an eye on is how the huge volume of political advertising could crowd out other local advertisers during primary and general election seasons. That may have an impact on advertisers and media companies. We will certainly factor that into our forecasting as we go through the fall.” It is believed that the three top local political revenue generating markets will be Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Philadelphia. In each market, TV OTA will receive more than $130 million in advertising with online/digital ad spend getting over 25% of the total spend.

Hart Heads to Albuquerque. Former six-year Entercom Philadelphia news/talk WPHT program director Jared Hart relocates to Albuquerque to become AM operations manager for Cumulus Media’s news/talk KKOB-AM (which he will program), sports talk KNML “The Sports Animal,” and business talk KTBL. Cumulus Media Albuquerque vice president/market manager Jeff Berry comments, “Jared brings the experience, skill, and vision to lead our three AM stations – including the legendary KKOB-AM – back to a position of market dominance. We are so excited for him to join our team and help guide our cluster to new heights.” Hart adds, “I’m excited by the opportunity to join the passionate and forward-thinking team at Cumulus Albuquerque. It’s hard to overstate the power and impact of KKOB-AM and ‘The Sports Animal’ across New Mexico and the potential for KTBL. I’m honored to help drive the future success of these great stations and can’t wait to jump in.” Prior to his tenure at WPHT, Hart was assistant program director for Cumulus Media San Francisco news/talk siblings KGO and KSFO.

Four Staffers Added to Westwood One Podcast Network. Joining Cumulus Media-owned Westwood One Podcast Network are senior producer, core content Madena Parwana; senior producer, development Lou Pellegrino; audio mixing engineer/studio technician Rebekah Wineman; and associate producer Sarah McCrory. All four will report to executive editor John Wordock, who comments, “This latest round of hiring further demonstrates Westwood One’s commitment to quality and scale as we grow our podcast business and serve our extraordinary partners and content providers. Madena, Lou, Rebekah, and Sarah have diverse and distinctive skillsets that will greatly contribute to the success and evolution of podcasting at Westwood One.” Parwana will help manage and produce podcasts that cover news, lifestyle and entertainment, sports, and business/money. She previously was a producer in the global radio division of Bloomberg LP, where she produced Bloomberg’s “Masters in Business” and “The Business of Sports” podcasts. Parwana was also senior podcast producer and co-host of “Unique Radio with Will Castro.” Pellegrino will manage and assess in-bound podcast pitches as well as help to develop pilots and shows. He formerly was executive producer of podcasts for Cadence 13 where he produced “The Woj Pod” and was involved with “Pod Save America.” In addition, Pellegrino was a producer for NBC Sports Radio and worked as a freelance producer for “The Dan Patrick Show” and MSG Networks. Wineman will support post-production, sound quality, field engineering, and studio maintenance. She previously worked as an audio engineer for The Wall Street Journal, where she mixed the “What’s News” podcast. Wineman served as a mixing and mastering engineer for NPR’s “Latino USA” and “In the Thick.” McCrory will support hosts, help edit and produce shows, and book guests. Before joining Westwood One, she worked as a production coordinator and podcast coordinator for Fox News Channel in New York City and Washington, DC, working on the podcasts “Livin’ the Bream” and “The Fox News Rundown.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Sports reporter/anchor Carol Maloney joins Cumulus Media Washington DC’s WSBN-AM “ESPN 630” for 10:00 am – 12:00 noon duty. Cumulus Washington, DC program director Bill Hess states, “I’ve admired Carol’s energy, passion, and journalism since we first worked together a dozen years ago. Her relationships with the players, coaches, reporters, and sports fans in our town are unmatched.” Maloney notes, “I couldn’t be more thrilled and thankful for this opportunity. I’ve spent most of my career in the nation’s capital passionately following and covering the sports teams in town. Luckily, I’ve made a lot of friends and contacts along the way and will be calling on all of them.” Maloney has worked for Comcast SportsNet and NBC Sports Washington. She continues as a field reporter/show host for the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN) on Washington Nationals telecasts. “The Carol Maloney Show” debuts tomorrow (Tuesday, 8/6) ….. Miami’s WQAM “Sports Radio 560” rebrands as “560 The Joe.” While the Entercom sports talk outlet is the flagship of the Miami Dolphins, Florida Panthers, and University of Miami Hurricanes, its weekday lineup is taking more of a national lean: SportsCenter All Night (1:00 am – 5:00 am); First & Last with Jason Fitz (5:00 am – 6:00 am); The Joe Rose Show with Zach Krantz (6:00 am – 10:00 am); Dan Le Batard with Stugotz (10:00 am – 1:00 pm); Stephen A. Smith (1:00 pm – 3:00 pm); Hoch & Crowder (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm); “Best of ‘560 The Joe’” (6:00 pm – 7:00 pm); Spain & Company (7:00 pm – 9:00 pm); and Freddie & Fitzsimmons (9:00 pm – 1:00 am). Co-owned/similarly-formatted WAXY “AM 790 The Ticket” is the key station of the NBA’s Miami Heat. Its on-air roster includes: Amy Lawrence (2:00 am – 6:00 am); Tobin, Leroy, & The Beast (6:00 am – 10:00 am); Zaslow & Amber (10:00 am – 2:00 pm); Hoch & Crowder (2:00 pm – 6:00 pm); Zack Duarte (6:00 pm – 10:00 pm); and Scott Ferrall (10:00 pm – 2:00 am).

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At a time when high-profile stations such as WPLJ, New York; WRQX, Washington, DC; and WYAY, Atlanta (among others) are flipping to contemporary Christian, Tucson is losing a religious-geared outlet. Specifically, Tucson Radio LLC officially closes on its $650,000 purchase of KFLT “AM 830” & K269FV Oro Valley (Arizona) from Family Life Broadcasting and transitions it to “The Drive” (pending calls KDRI), an “original format” of music and local, live personalities. The ownership team of Arizona-based Tucson Radio, which has no other broadcast interests, is longtime Tucson businessman and community activist Fletcher McCusker (board chair); Bobby Rich (president); and Jim Arnold (general manager). McCusker is the only one without extensive radio or broadcast background. According to Arnold, who has nearly 40 years of  experience in Tucson radio and TV stations, “The Drive” will debut commercial-free as he begins hiring a sales staff this week. Today’s 6:00 am launch (Monday, 8/5) follows stunting as “The Worm,” a mix of novelty songs. With a catalogue of over 2,000 songs, “The Drive” is designed to appeal to baby boomers and originates 24/7 broadcasting from downtown Tucson. Its FM signal is heard throughout the Tucson valley, while the 830 AM signal carries from the Mexican border to Phoenix. Rich tells RadioInfo/TALKERS, “This has been developing for more than eight months; I recently realized I’ve never done a total build from scratch. I have gone back-and-forth from high anxiety to beyond thrilled of building something new, from concept to call-letters to months sorting song lists to finding talent before I could tell them what it was or what it would sound like. We didn’t buy studios or broadcast equipment – just a pair of transmitters and a tower rental agreement. Everything was kept confidential, which was extremely difficult. Some of the staff just learned the branding and what titles are in the library. We’re in empty offices working from a temporary studio while the real studios are being built across the hall. It is crazy, fun stuff.  I’m more than a little overwhelmed but so happy. It’s a dream come true for all of us – a chance to select our own music and manage content that matters to Tucson and have incredible fun while making great radio. It’s crazy to start a new radio station, but we are just crazy enough and have the passion-to make it work.” Immediately prior to his 25-year tenure as program director/morning drive host at Tucson adult contemporary KMXZ “Mix 94,” Rich was vice president/general manager/morning show talent for Seattle’s KMGI. His voluminous resume also includes programming stops in New York City (WXLO “99-X”); Los Angeles (KHTZ “K-Hits 97”); Philadelphia (WWSH); San Diego (KFMB-FM “B-100,” where he famously formulated the “Rich Brothers”); and director/programming consultation for Drake-Chenault. Rich worked on-air in Los Angeles at KHJ and KFI, as well as WMYQ, Miami. The on-air lineup for “The Drive” is comprised of Rich and Hill Bailey (morning drive); former program director of cross-town CHR KRQQ Ken Carr (mid-days); Mike Esparza (afternoon drive); and onetime Bobby Rich intern Tyler Russell (nights). Evan Carlson-headed, Arizona not-for-profit corporation Family Life owns stations in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Michigan, New Mexico, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin. Kalil & Co. brokered the transaction ….. While retaining its “Que Buena 92.7” identity, Univision Radio New York’s WQBU transitions from regional Mexican to Spanish AC. Core artists will include Chayanne, Juan Gabriel, Juan Luis Guerra, Enrique Iglesias, Jose Jose, Ricky Martin, Luis Miguel, Laura Pausini, and Shakira. Univision Radio New York president and general manager Roberto Yanez comments, “We are excited to launch a format that reflects distinct tastes of the Latino community in the Tri-State area. By reformatting our audio portfolio to include the only Spanish AC station in the region, we are able to give our audience more of the music they love, whether they’re listening at home, at work, or during their commute.” Its adjusted on-air lineup now includes: Mildre Aquino (6:00 am – 10:00 am); El Bueno, La Mala y El Feo (10:00 am – 2:00 pm); Jose Luis Arcos (2:00 pm – 7:00 pm); Cesar Lozano (7:00 pm – 8:00 pm); and El Free-Guey with La Bronca (8:00 pm – 12:00 midnight). Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s June 2019 New York City report, WQBU ranks #34 (.3); it is #37 in Long Island (.2, 6+, June 2019) ….. One-year KVIL, Dallas “Alt 103.7” morning talent Jenn Marino exits the Entercom alternative outlet. Marino formerly co-hosted Premiere Networks’ Sixx Sense with Nikki Sixx. Her other on-air credits include Baltimore outlets WHFS “Alternative 99.1”; WWMX, “Mix 106.5”; and WIYY “98 Rock,” as well as KRXO, Oklahoma City …. Launched in 2018, YEA Networks’Tino Cochino Radio” debuts next Monday morning (8/12, 6:00 am – 10:00 am) on Kemp Broadcasting Las Vegas CHR KVGQ “Q-106.9.” Hosted by Tino Cochino, Raquel, and DJ Nicasio, the show is now heard in more than 40 markets. KVGQ program director Gabriela “Lady g.” Loredon comments, “I’m excited to welcome Tino and the TCR team to our ‘Q-106.9’ family. TCR is the perfect fit for mornings here in Vegas and can’t wait to win” ….. American Idol winner Maddie Poppe and Whitney Woerz are among those scheduled to appear at the third annual “Survive Live” concert presented by Entercom Madison hot AC WMHX “Mix 105.1.” The October 3rd event will raise money for breast cancer awareness ….. “I’m Roger Carroll and I play records.” For 20 years (1959 – 1979), listeners of Los Angeles’ once powerhouse KMPC heard Kolman Carroll Rutkin begin his “R.C. Get Together” that way; the 90-year-Carroll died last week in Long Beach, California. Andrew Rutkin notes that his father “lived an amazing life; was surrounded by family; and his passing was peaceful.” The son of Eastern Europe immigrants, Roger Carroll was born in Baltimore in 1928 and moved away at 15 to work as an announcer at Frederick, Maryland’s WFMD. After World War ll, he relocated to Los Angeles, and at age 18, became the youngest announcer ever on the ABC Radio Network. Carroll, who worked at Los Angeles’ KABC from 1946 – 1959, became executive producer of the “Lawrence Welk Radio Show” in 1981 and owned KWIP, Salem (Oregon), a station he sold in 1991. For many years, he was the off-camera voice for such TV shows as “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour,” “Bonanza,” “The Danny Thomas Show,” and “Tony Orlando and Dawn.” In 2017, he started a streaming internet station, Roger Carroll’s Best Sounds in Town.” Commenting about his father, Andrew Rutkin states, “We will all miss him terribly. I’ll especially miss his wealth of stories and his amazing talent for mucking up his computer.”

Charlamagne Tha Guest. A number of the 2020 presidential candidates have made Premiere Networks’ “The Breakfast Club” a must-stop on their campaign trail. Last week, the show’s Charlamagne Tha God made the media rounds himself, appearing on NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers” (the two are shown here) and CNN’s “OutFront” with Erin Burnett. Among other things, he talked about how the Democrats performed in the recent debates; who his favorite candidate is so far; and how he approaches interviews. Originating from iHeartMedia New York urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1,” the 4.5-hour “Breakfast Club” features Charlamagne Tha God, DJ Envy, and Angela Yee.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

| December 11, 2018

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s November 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on the news/talk format.  The news/talk stations that saw the biggest weekly 6+ AQH share improvement over the October 2018 survey were iHeartMedia’s WISN, Milwaukee (+ 0.9) and Emmis Communications’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis (+ 0.7).  On the negative side, Bonneville’s KSL, Salt Lake City was down a 1.8 share, iHeartMedia’s KOA, Denver dipped a 1.1 share and Good Karma’s WTMJ, Milwaukee was off a full share.  Year-over-year, Cox Media Group’s WOKV-AM/FM, Jacksonville was a big winner, up 3.5 shares.  On the flip side, iHeartMedia’s KOGO, San Diego dropped 1.9 shares since November 2017.  Five news/talk outlets ranked #1 in their markets in November: Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta (8.6 share); iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati (10 share); Good Karma’s WTMJ, Milwaukee (9.4 share); Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton (8.3 share); and Cox’s WOKV, Jacksonville (11.2 share).  See the entire report here.

Latest Settlement Talks May Push Back iHeartMedia Chapter 11 Exit. The latest events in iHeartMedia’s journey through Chapter 11 reorganization may push the company’s exit further into the future, according to a piece in Bloomberg Law.  The story says that as the result of Monday’s court filings indicating objections to the Plan because of iHM’s settlement talks with Gamco Asset Management, the actual exit from bankruptcy protection could move past the anticipated February time frame.  The piece says it appears certain creditors object to iHM and Gamco settling a class-action suit, arguing that such suits shouldn’t be settled in bankruptcy court.  Today (12/11), was the original Confirmation Hearing date that’s been pushed back by the negotiations.

Maxwell Schaeffer to Host Weekend Show on WHO, Des Moines. According to a report in the Des Moines Register, longtime Des Moines radio personality Maxwell Schaeffer is returning to the airwaves hosting the Saturday morning “Maxwell & Friends” program on news/talk WHO-AM, beginning January 5.  Schaeffer has been with the iHeartMedia Des Moines cluster serving as director of promotions and marketing since August.  Previously, he spent 23 years as morning host on Saga Communications’ classic hits KIOA-FM.  Schaeffer tells the paper, “I kind of want the show to feel like we’re having a brunch party.  Maybe without the mimosas — or at least visually.  It is the radio, after all.”  WHO program director Michael Dorwart comments, “It really just seemed like the wise move for us was to let him get settled then find where’s the right place to get him in an on-air role.  Saturday morning seemed like a really good fit.  We’re really not looking for a hardcore talk show.”

KRLA, Los Angeles-Based ‘The Bigger Picture with Timothy Spangler’ Reaches 250th Episode – Now Available for Syndication Distributed via Salem Radio Network.   This Sunday (12/16) will see Los Angeles’ “The Bigger Picture with Timothy Spangler” air its landmark 250th episode on local Salem Media Group O&O KRLA “AM870 the Answer.”  The Sunday night call-in show has been airing on the SRN Southern California affiliate since March of 2013.  The show is hosted by commentator/talk show host Timothy Spangler and co-hosted by Phillip Sparks and David C Fisher.  Spangler tells TALKERS, “We started the show five-and-a-half years ago with a very different view on what live AM radio could and should be.  We wanted our show to appeal to a much broader and younger audience than was currently being engaged by stations across the country – what we like to refer to as the #AltCenter.  Fortunately, Los Angeles is a great inspiration for us.”  Broadcasting live from the studios of KRLA 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight PT, the program covers a wide range of issues both domestic and international, punctuated by a unique blend of humor and wry observation. The show is now also available in other markets through Salem Radio Network (via XDS “SRN2 – The Bigger Picture”).  For more information, check out the website www.biggerpictureradio.com.

KQTH-FM, Tucson Wraps News/Talk Format. Tomorrow, Tucson news/talk KQTH-FM flips from news/talk to a religious format as Family Life Radio closes on its purchase of the station in a divestiture from the Scripps MediaLotus Communications transaction. The FM news/talk format was originally installed on the station in April of 2007 by Journal Communications.  The station transitioned to Scripps Media with the merger of Journal and E.W. Scripps. The station was airing mostly syndicated talk in addition to local morning show “Tucson’s Morning News” with Mike Rapp.

Trump-Russia Probe, Migrant Caravan/Border Wall Issue, Clean Water Act Changes, Google CEO to Testify, Financial Markets Activity, Brexit Complications, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/10). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the migrants amassed at the U.S.-Mexico border and the battle in Washington over funding for the border wall; the EPA’s proposed changes to the Clean Water Act; Google CEO Sundar Pichai to testify before a House subcommittee about bias allegations and China’s Project Dragonfly; the recent stock selloff and concerns about a bearish 2019; the Brexit complications dogging British Prime Minister Theresa May; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the San Diego market the executive management team operating Local Media San Diego has entered into an agreement to acquire the company operating alternative XETRA “91X,” CHR XHITZ “Z90,” and rhythmic oldies XHRM “Magic 92.5.”  The management team consists of vice president and general manager Gregg Wolfson, chief financial officer Norm McKee, and director Steve McNeely.  Wolfson says, “LMSD has always operated locally and the transition to local ownership is the final step to firmly plant our flag as San Diego’s local media provider.”…..More cuts at Hubbard Radio-owned stations as the KRWM “Warm 106.9” drops morning team Allan Fee, Ashley Ryan, and producer Kevin Justik.  At sister country KNUC, evening personality Michael Kraig Mason exits…..Urban One flips Gospel WPPZ “Praise 107.9” to rhythmic oldies as “Classix 107.9” while keeping the Gospel format on WPPZ-HD2…..Pictured below is WHTZ, New York “Z100”-based, Premiere Networks syndicated morning personality Elvis Duran (left) on the December 7 episode of NBC’s “The Tonight Show” with Jimmy Fallon (right).  The two discussed Duran’s taking care of his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and his getting engaged on the unluckiest day of the year – Friday the 13th.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

| November 7, 2018

Brown Moves to Nights on KOA, Denver; ‘Caplis and Kafer’ Launches on KHOW in PM Drive. Programming changes at iHeartMedia Denver take place as former Under Secretary of Homeland Security and Director of FEMA Michael Brown moves from KHOW to sister KOA to launch the live “Heckuva Show with Michael Brown,” airing weekday nights from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm at first, then expanding to 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm on December 3.  On KHOW, the new “Caplis and Kafer” show with Dan Caplis (left) and Krista Kafer (right) assumes the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm daypart.  iHeartMedia Denver region president Tim Hager says, “Adding these new shows on both KOA NewsRadio 850 AM & 94.1 FM and TalkRadio 630 KHOW further enhances our commitment to original, local content.  We’re fortunate to have Michael, Dan, and Krista in these key roles and I’m confident they will quickly become a trusted source of information and entertainment for our listeners, clients and partners.”  Brown tells TALKERS magazine, “The opportunity to create a live, local evening program on iconic KOA News Radio is a chance most radio hosts rarely get to pursue.  I am especially grateful for iHeart’s confidence in this venture by entering into a multi-year contract extension, allowing me to build a live show in this unique time slot.  AM radio needs live evening programming and this is a fantastic opportunity to fill that need and eventually grow the program to a broader audience outside the Denver metropolitan area.  KOA News Radio is heard in 38 states during the evening hours and that is a solid foundation for building a broader program.  It is great to be back on the ‘blowtorch’ of Denver radio.”

KTRS, St. Louis Announces Air Talent Changes After Jon Grayson’s Exit.  Last week, station general manager Mark Dorsey told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch after letting late morning talk host Jon Grayson go, “Jon is a great guy and a great broadcaster.  We just decided to go in a different direction.”  Grayson had been co-hosting the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon program with Jennifer Blome.  He joined CH Holdings‘ KTRS in 2017 after 16 years as overnight host at crosstown KMOX. Now, KTRS moves Jay Kanzler from the 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight show to co-host the “Jennifer & Jay” program in the late morning daypart.  The Post-Dispatch reports that station on-air producer Josh Gilbert takes over the late night show as host.  Unrelated to the previous moves, KTRS announces market radio personality Wendy Wiese is joining the morning drive McGraw Milhaven show as a Monday co-host, with Kelly Jackson continuing to co-host Tuesday through Friday.

Cox Media Group to Split WOKV-AM/FM, Jacksonville Simulcast; AM to Become ESPN Radio Affiliate. The change will take effect in January and will end the AM/FM simulcast of Cox Media Group’s successful “News 104.5 WOKV.”  While the FM will continue as a news/talk outlet, the AM becomes “ESPN 690AM.”  CMG Jacksonville market VP Dan Lawrie says, “We’re very excited to expand the coverage of ESPN Sports in Jacksonville.  From NFL football, to college sports, to high school football, we can cover more sports for Jacksonville sports fans than any other local radio station.”  The station will air the bulk of the ESPN Radio lineup but appears to be considering a local afternoon drive show as the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm slot is still to-be-determined.

Bustos Experimenting with Local Talk/Brokered Format on KVOI, Tucson. The recent closing on Bustos Media’s purchase of news/talk KVOI, Tucson took place last week and the company swiftly dropped the network programming and added local talk shows to make the station all local from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm (Bloomberg Radio airs the rest of the time). Although it’s not clear from the piece posted at Tucson.com how many hosts are brokering their programs, it quotes company president Amador Bustos saying, “It’s an experiment for all of us.  I don’t necessarily know if it’s going to take root in this market.”  He adds he’ll give it about a year to see if it’s financially tenable.  The piece notes local talk personality John C. Scott assisted putting the lineup together. He’ll also host the 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm show.  As for the rest of the shows, management expanded morning host Chris DeSimone’s program to 6:00 am to 10:00 am.  Mark Bishop hosts a “local variety show” from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon.  Bill Buckmaster continues his local talk show from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm, followed by Steve Rivera’s sports talk program from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm, and Dawn English’s local cultural programming from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

Hannity Appearance at Trump Rally Results in Public Statement from FNC; Tweets from Hannity. Nationally syndicated talk radio host and FOX News Channel superstar Sean Hannity appeared on the stage at President Trump’s rally in Cape Girardeau, Missouri on Monday evening after stating in a Tweet earlier in the day that he was only there to cover it and interview the president.  When he took the stage Monday night, he referred to the press in the back of the room – which included FOX News reporters – as the “fake news.” On Tuesday, FOX News issued the following statement: “FOX News does not condone any talent participating in campaign events.  We have an extraordinary team of journalists helming our coverage tonight and we are extremely proud of their work.  This was an unfortunate distraction and has been addressed.”  Hannity later Tweeted about the issue, saying, “What I said in my tweet yesterday was 100% truthful.  When the POTUS invited me on stage to give a few remarks last night, I was surprised, yet honored by the president’s request. This was NOT planned.”  He also addressed the “fake news” comment: “To be clear, I was not referring to my journalist colleagues at FOX News in those remarks.  They do amazing work day in and day out in a fair and balanced way and it is an honor to work with such great professionals.”

Entercom Names Kevin Cassidy NOLA Cluster Chief. Moving from Entercom’s Dallas station group to New Orleans to assume the SVP and market manager position is Kevin Cassidy.  He’ll lead the cluster that includes legendary news/talk WWL-AM/FM and music outlets CHR WEZB “B97,” classic rock WKBU “Bayou 95.7,” AC WLMG “Magic 101.9,” and rhythmic oldies WWWL-AM/W225CZ “New Hot 92.9 FM.”  Cassidy says, “I am excited to start the next chapter of my career overseeing this strong portfolio of stations in New Orleans.  I relish this opportunity to work with the team and I look forward to leading our stations to anticipated growth in this market.” Cassidy previously served as president of D&R National Radio Sales and vice president and director of sales for iHeartMedia in Dallas.

Midterm Elections Dominate News/Talk Radio on Tuesday.  As happens every so often when the big news story of the day is so all-encompassing, talk about the midterm elections and the battle for control of the House and Senate dominated the topics on news/talk radio yesterday (11/6), according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  Other campaign-related topics such as the migrant caravan, foreign relations, and financial markets activity were also part of the larger discussion.

TALKERS News Notes. “New Jersey 101.5” evening talk host Steve Trevelise tells TALKERS magazine that comic and former Howard Stern cast member Artie Lange (pictured here in the “New Jersey 101.5” studios) revealed on his radio show that he’s seeking inpatient treatment for addiction. Trevelise writes, “Monday night, Artie met with City Of Angels founder Kevin Meara, who just returned from the first-ever DOJ Opioid Summit in Washington DC, and with Artie’s good friend and comedian ‘The Reverend’ Bob Levy in the ‘New Jersey 101.5’ conference room.  Now a recovery coach, actress Amy Locane shared her story making a connection, saying that even in the darkest place, through recovery you begin to see light.”  Read the whole story here…..Tomorrow night (11/8), Walter M. Sterling, host of network radio’s “Sterling on Sunday,” is guest starring on Entercom’s news/talk KMOX, St. Louis from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm…..Westwood One is now the exclusive radio partner of 24/7 weather reporting service Weatherology.  WWO is handling affiliate sales for the service to build on its “existing 600 affiliates in the Upper Midwest.”  Cumulus Media EVP marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes states, “We’re partnering with Weatherology because of their unparalleled immediacy, currency, and quality.  From day-to-day forecasts to storm emergencies, weather on the radio is a vital service to local communities.  Winter is coming soon and Westwood One is ready to offer this service to stations everywhere, including our massive 24-hour format customer base.”…..Entercom sports talk outlet KGMZ-AM, San Francisco “1550-AM The Game” agrees to extend its partnership with the University of San Francisco to broadcast the school’s men’s basketball games.  As part of the deal, select games will be simulcast on KGMZ-FM “95.7 The Game.”  Pat Olson, longtime play-by-play voice of the Dons, and former USF men’s basketball head coach Jim Brovelli will continue to call the action…..United Stations Radio Networks announces that Bloomberg Radio Network is again producing the series “Tax Tips” to be broadcast during the 2019 tax season.  The 30-second segments are written and anchored by Bloomberg’s team leader for tax coverage, Alexis Leondis…..Entercom’s Pittsburgh stations – including news/talk KDKA-AM and sports talk KDKA-FM are supporting the 20th annual “NRG Santa Spectacular” on November 16 at Point State Park in Pittsburgh  This year’s event will feature a musical performance by “American Idol” contestant and Pittsburgh native Gabby Barrett, as well as other family friendly activities.  Entercom Pittsburgh SVP and market manager Michael Spacciapolli says, “Since 1998, ‘Santa Spectacular’ has been a staple for families in Pittsburgh and we are excited to continue this tradition.  We are looking forward to bringing the city together for this great event.”

PPM Analysis: Public Radio News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on 6+ data from Nielsen Audio’s October 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on public radio news/talk.  The survey month was generally good to public radio news/talk stations with 57% seeing an increase in their weekly 6+ AQH share compared to the September survey.  The comparison to the October 2017 survey shows about half the stations went up, less than half went down and two stations saw no change.  A total of five public radio news/talk stations ranked #1 in their respective markets during the October survey: KQED, San Francisco; KPBS, San Diego; KCFR, Denver; KOPB, Portland; and KUT, Austin.  See Kinosian’s entire report here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Boston, iHeartMedia promotes Amanda Jo Parker to assistant program director for country WBWL “101.7 The Bull.” She’ll continue hosting her evening show there as well as her duties as afternoon personality on the company’s WRNX, Springfield, Massachusetts “KIX 100.9.”…..Orlando Rosa joins iHeartMedia as program director for regional Mexican WBZY, Atlanta “El Patron 105.3.”  He was most recently operations manager at Phoenix-based Riviera Communications.  Regional SVP of programming Brian Michel says, “We are thrilled to welcome Orlando to the iHeartMedia Atlanta team because of his wealth of experience and vast market knowledge.  Orlando brings passion, energy, and a strong commitment to super-serving our listeners, partners, and the Atlanta community.”

Monday, August 13, 2018

| August 13, 2018

Changes Coming to KSTP-AM, Minneapolis; Joe Soucheray and Patrick Reusse to Exit.  Air personalities Joe Soucheray and Patrick Reusse have been a part of the radio landscape in the Twin Cities for the last couple of decades. They’ve been informed by Hubbard Radio’s KSTP-AM “1500ESPN” that their shows will end on Friday, September 7.  The changes will also include new roles for late morning hosts Phil Mackey and Judd Zulgad, though the station says the new programming is not finalized.  Newspaper reporters Soucheray and Reusse began hosting a weekly sports talk show on KSTP-AM in the early 1980s.  Soucheray’s daily “Garage Logic” show debuted on the station in 1993.  It airs from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm and is followed by “Sports Talk” – an hour co-hosted by Soucheray and Reusse – followed by Reusse’s “Ride with Reusse” from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Both the Pioneer Press and the Leader-Telegram report Soucheray saying, “I cannot say I’m completely surprised.  I’m going to feel a loss for the gang and the listeners.  The AM radio format is changing.  More and more young people are not tuning into the AM dial.  The way that content is going to be delivered is changing, with more digital platforms.”  He says he plans to continue “Garage Logic” as a podcast.  Soucheray says he’s appreciative of Hubbard letting them work the final month of their shows.  “It’s a sign that the station has had great respect for the show and it’s more than generous they’re allowing us to end it this way.  The usual way it happens is you are told, ‘Your last show was yesterday.’  They’ve told us we can handle this any way we want.  It’s very rare that someone’s on the same radio station, with the same show, for 25 years. It speaks well to the guys I’ve worked with and the people I’ve worked for.  There’s nothing else to say; I’ve had a wonderful run.”

Dave Tepper to Program KKSE, Denver. Sports talk KKSE, Denver “Altitude AM 950” is owned by Kroenke Sports and Entertainment – a company run by Stan Kroenke and family – that owns the NBA’s Denver Nuggets and the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche.  The station announces that sports radio pro Dave Tepper is named the new program director for the station, effective August 15.  KSE Radio SVP and general manager Brenda Egger comments, “We were fortunate to have many outstanding candidates for this position but Dave’s confidence, winning track record, play-by-play experience, and team relations truly stood out from the others.  Dave brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to KKSE and I am confident that he will be an incredible asset to our team.” Tepper was most recently operations manager at NRG Media’s Omaha cluster.

Brent Johnson Exits Cumulus’ Columbia South Carolina Cluster.  Air personality Brent Johnson was the morning host on Cumulus Media’s hot AC WTCB, Columbia, South Carolina and hosted a daily sports talk show on sister WNKT “107.5 The Game.”  The State reports that after learning of coming programming changes at the cluster, Johnson chose to leave the company.  He will continue to be part of University of South Carolina football coverage this season on WNKT as the games are produced by rights holder IMG.  Cumulus Columbia VP and market manager Rick Prusator tells The State that Johnson was not fired nor was he forced out.  Johnson announced his exit on social media but offered no reason for his departure.

Indy Sales Pro Brian Harrington Joins iHM’s ‘FOX Sports 97.5 FM/1260 AM’ and ‘Real 98.3.’ Indianapolis media sales pro Brian Harrington is appointed general sales manager for iHeartMedia’s sports talk WNDE-AM/W248AW “FOX sports 97.5/1260 AM” and hip hop WZRL “Real 98.3.”  iHeartMedia Indianapolis market president Brett Beshore says, “We couldn’t be more excited to have Brian bring his 20-plus years of sales and management experience to our iHeartMedia Indianapolis team.  His experience, knowledge of the community, reputation, and passion for the radio business make him the perfect choice to lead our WZRL and WNDE sales teams.” Harrington was most recently an account executive with Woof Boom Radio.  He’s also served in the market in several capacities with Radio One.

Lotus Spins Off Tucson News/Talk KQTH-FM to Family Life Broadcasting; KTGV-FM Goes to Bustos Media.  In order to comply with FCC station ownership caps relative to its purchase of the Tucson and Boise radio clusters of E.W. Scripps for $8 million, Lotus Communications is agreeing to sell news/talk KQTH-FM, Tucson to not-for-profit Family Life Broadcasting and rhythmic oldies KTGV-FM to Bustos Media for as-yet undisclosed sums.  Dr. Randy Carlson’s Family Life Broadcasting operates religious stations and is expected to flip KQTH from news/talk to a religious format.  Currently, Mike Rapp hosts the only local daily program on the station — the “Tucson’s Morning News” show.  Kalil & Co. is the exclusive broker for both deals.

Gallagher and Elder Host Listener Cruise. Pictured above are Salem Radio Network hosts Mike Gallagher (left) and Larry Elder (right) in the theater aboard the cruise ship Pride of America as they guide Salem Radio Network listeners on a tour of the Hawaiian Islands.  In the photo, the two are participating in a discussion of the 2018 midterm elections.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Omarosa White House Recording, DC White Nationalist Rally, Paul Manafort Trial, Sea-Tac Plane Theft, Keith Ellison Allegations, Trump Trade War, Blackkklansman and The Meg Films, NFL Pre-season, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents; the controversy over Omarosa Manigault Newman’s release of a recording purported to be her firing by John Kelly; Sunday’s Washington rally of White Nationalists; the trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort on fraud charges; the theft and crashing of a commercial jet by a ground worker at Sea-Tac airport; the allegations of physical abuse against Minnesota Democrat Keith Ellison; the Trump tariffs and concerns about the effects of trade wars; the films Blackkklansman and The Meg; the NFL’s pre-season action; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In San Diego, Hilary Doneux is promoted to assistant program director at Local Media San Diego’s alternative XETRA-FM “91X.” Doneux is also music director and host of the 10:00 am to 3:00 pm show.  She says, “To say I’m excited is an understatement.  ‘91X’ is my radio home and I feel ridiculously lucky that I get to continue to grow with such an incredible team.  I’m so grateful to Garett Michaels for having faith in me and sharing his knowledge (and snacks), and to [VP/GM] Gregg Wolfson, for this opportunity!”…..On-air pro Shawn Quinn exits the afternoon drive show at Cumulus Media’s alternative KCJK, Kansas city “X105.1.”  Quinn had been the morning host at the station until Premiere Network’s “The Woody Show” was added to the program schedule…..Air personality Jahna Michal is named co-host of the morning show at Townsquare Media’s country WPUR, Atlantic City “Cat Country 107.3.”  She joins station brand manager and morning drive host Joe Kelly for “The Cat Country Morning Show with Joe and Jahna.”…..Pictured at right is WWPR, New York-based “The Breakfast Club” morning show personality Angela Yee standing next to the in-store display promoting her popular book club, Kickin’ It from The Stoop (#KIFTS) at Barnes & Noble’s flagship store on 5th Avenue in New York City. Yee hosts the book club along with friends Tasha Hilton and Tony Forte monthly at WOODStack Ivy in Brooklyn.  The gathering is also broadcast on Facebook Live via Yee’s page.

 

 

Takeaways from July PPM – Round One. Below are managing editor Mike Kinosian‘s Twelve Takeaways from Nielsen Audio‘s July 2018 PPM ratings survey.  The first report includes the 12 markets of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s July 2018 survey period covered June 21 – July 18. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

TAKEAWAYS

New York City

Spoken-Word Formats – As a result of being a combined -2.0 in four consecutive decreases (6.2 – 5.5 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.2, 6+), Entercom all-news WINS drops from fifth to seventh. On the flipside, co-owned/similarly-formatted WCBS-AM adds two-tenths to 2.7 (#14 to #13, 6+), pulling the plug on three successive down or flat sweeps that accounted for a loss of eight-tenths (3.3 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.5, 6+). Their sports talk sibling, WFAN “Sports Radio,” regains the three-tenths it lost in June (4.7 – 4.4 – 4.7, seventh to sixth, 6+); 4.7 in May and July is its best 6+-showing since 5.2 in November 2017. The Yankees’ flagship logged back-to-back gains of +.8 (3.1 – 3.9 – 4.7, March – April – May, 6+). Following five survey periods in a row without an increase resulting in a nearly 50% loss (-2.5) of its 6+-share (5.2 – 5.2 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 2.7, 6+), WFAN picked up four-tenths in March. Meanwhile, the key station of the MetsiHeartMedia news/talk WOR – is off for the third straight time for a collective loss of seven-tenths (2.5 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.8, #19 to #20, 6+); “710 The Voice of New York” was +.6 in April. A March gain of one-tenth ended five straight down or flat reports for a -.4 (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+). Stuck on 1.7 (6+) in May and June, WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” falters three-tenths to 1.4 (6+) but remains at #21. When WEPN picked up two-tenths in February, it halted three downward moves in succession that produced a loss of seven-tenths (1.8 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1, 6+). The last 15 New York City (6+) trends for Townsquare Media’s news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” (flat at #23) are: 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1. Two-tenths behind it is Cumulus Media news/talk WABC, which is without an increase for the fifth consecutive sweep (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9, flat at #24, 6+). In the public news/talk arena, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM is a combined -.7 in May, June, and July (3.4 – 3.0 – 2.7 – 2.7, #12 to #13, 6+), while co-owned WNYC-AM is flat at .5 (#30 to #29, 6+).

New York City Music Formats – Without a loss for the fifth sweep in a row for a +1.0, (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.6 , 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary WXNY “X-96.3” advances from #20 – #16. This (2.6) is its best 6+-showing since May 2017’s 2.8. Moreover, it overtakes Spanish Broadcasting System’s similarly-formatted WPAT-FM “Amor 93.1” (2.6 – 2.5, -.1, #13 to #17, 6+) for the first time since November 2017 when “X-96.3” held a 2.1 (6+) to 2.0 (6+) advantage over “Amor 93.1.” When WPAT-FM dropped four-tenths in June, it snapped at three its consecutive string of up or flat trends that produced a +.3 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+). Vaulting from #17 to #12, Entercom-owned WNYL “Alt 92.3 – New York’s New Alternative” notches its third uptick in a row for a combined +.9 (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.3 – 2.8, 6+). Conversely, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW logs its third setback in succession that has accounted for an overall -1.6 (8.5 – 7.7 – 7.3 – 6.9, 6+). Nonetheless, “106.7 Lite FM” remains at #1 for the 12th successive sweep. The last time WLTW fell below a six-share (6+) was in October 2017 (6.6). A collective +7.1 in five consecutive gains (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.6 – 7.0 – 8.8 – 13.1, 6+), WLTW was -5.1 in January and February (13.1 – 8.5 – 8.0, 6+) but rebounded in March and April with a +.5 (8.0 – 8.4 – 8.5, 6+). Entering the June 2018 ratings period, WBLS “#1 for R&B” had posted a 5.7 (6+) in four of the previous six survey periods (5.7 – 5.4 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+). While the Emmis urban AC improved by four-tenths in June, it sputtered by twice that margin in July, slipping from second to third (6.1 – 5.3, -.8, 6+). After posting four straight (modest) gains for an overall boost of one-half share (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+), rhythmic CHR sibling WQHT “Hot 97 – #1 for Hip-Hop” drops one-tenth to 3.9 (eighth to ninth, 6+). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WKTU “103.5 The Beat of New York” is up or flat for the fourth time in succession (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.6, 6+), but backslides from #10 to #11. Unchanged at #8, iHeartMedia-owned WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock,” which was off a collective eight-tenths in four straight down or flat trends (4.8 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.0, 6+), adds one-tenth to 4.1 (6+). Its urban contemporary sibling, WWPR, continues a down/up pattern that began in December 2017 (3.9 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.8, 6+) as “Power 105.1” returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). Following four straight down or flat trends that accounted for a combined loss of six-tenths (3.0 – 2.7 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+), Entercom hot AC WNEW adds three-tenths to 2.7 (6+) as “Fresh 102.7” moves from #16 to a three-way tie at #13. Another streak that ends in July involves Cumulus country WNSH “94.7 Nash FM,” which loses one-tenth to 2.4 (#14 to #18, 6+), thus curtailing three positive spikes in a row for an overall gain of six-tenths (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.5, 6+).

Los Angeles

Spoken-Word Formats – Ever consistent, iHeartMedia news/talk KFI records a 4.1 (6+) for the third time in the last four sweeps (4.1 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1), as “AM 640” continues in sixth-place. When KFI dipped by two-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it ended at six a consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a collective eight-tenths (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). In an alternating 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.7 pattern (April – May – June – July, 6+), Entercom’s KNX “1070 News Radio” moves from #12 to a three-way scrum at #11; KNX was off six-tenths in April. Although perhaps not quite as pronounced as the KNX situation, the last five topline (6+) stats for Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” are 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.5 (#10 to #15, 6+). Up two-tenths in consecutive monthlies (.9 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+), Salem Media Group news/talk KRLA “AM 870 The Answer” progresses from #29 to #27. Close behind are sports talk KSPN “710 ESPN,” up by one-tenth in three straight sweeps (.9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.2, #29 to #30) and iHeartMedia-owned Los Angeles Dodgers flagship KLAC “AM 570 LA Sports,” which nearly triples its 6+-stat (+.7) through six successive sweeps without a loss (.4 – .4 – .5 – .9 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.1, unchanged at #31, 6+). Co-owned news/talk KEIB “AM 1150 The Patriot” is up one-tenth in June and July (.8 – .9 – 1.0, #33, 6+), while Cumulus Media-owned KABC “790 News-Talk-Evolved” is flat at .4 and remains at #41 (6+).

Los Angeles Music Formats – The top eight July 2018 finishers in the “City of Angels” are either down or flat from June 2018. There has been quite a turn in the market’s alternative battle as Entercom-owned KROQ is a combined +.6 in five straight up or flat trends (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.8, 6+), rocketing from #17 to #10. Contrast that to its format foe, iHeartMedia’s KYSR-FM “Alt 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative,” which is off a combined seven-tenths in June and July (3.2 – 2.8 – 2.5, 6+), spiraling out of the top ten (#9 to #15). For the fourth time in the last five survey periods and fifth time since March, KYSR hot AC cluster-mate KBIG “104.3 My-FM” registers a 5.7 (6+) and is #1 for the third straight sweep (5.7 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.8 – 5.7, 6+). Even though “My-FM” is off one-tenth, it widens the lead over runner-up and adult contemporary sibling KOST “Coast 103.5” (5.6 – 5.2, -.4, unchanged at #2, 6+) from two-tenths to one-half share. Having lost more than half (-6.6) of its 6+-stat in consecutive surveys since the “Holiday” 2017 report (11.9 – 5.5 – 5.3, 6+), KOST bounced back in March and April with a combined +.7 (5.3 – 5.9 – 6.0, 6+). Over the past 35 Los Angeles sweeps dating back to December 2015, KOST and KBIG have had a stranglehold on the #1 position. “Coast 103.5” has been on top 20 times (December 2015 through January 2017; December 2017; “Holiday” 2017; March 2018; and April 2018), while “My-FM” has set the pace on 15 occasions (February 2017 through November 2017; January 2018; February 2018; May 2018; June 2018; and July 2018. Flat at 2.1 (6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KSCA is within 2.1 – 2.8 range (6+) for the 18th ratings period in a row; “Zona Mx 101.9” advances from #22 to a three-way tie at #20. Unchanged at #4, Entercom smooth AC KTWV was a collective +.7 in five straight months without a loss (4.1 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+), but “94.7 The Wave” is now off a combined half-share in June and July (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+). In six consecutive down or flat trends (4.9 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KIIS “102.7 Kiss-FM” (flat at #5) is an overall -.7. Its format rival, Entercom’s KAMP, logs a 2.7 (6+) for the third sweep in a row as “97.1 Amp Radio” departs the top ten (#10 to #11. Flat at 2.3 (#20 to #19, 6+), Mt. Wilson FM Broadcasters’ KKGO “Go Country 105” is within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 33rd time in succession; March 2018’s 2.0 is its lowest 6+-stat since January 2016 (2.0, as well). Hitting a 2.8 (November 2017, 6+) in its final days as classic rock KSWD “The Sound,” the Los Angeles frequency at 100.3 became Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KKLQ. Following the format change, it immediately slumped to 1.2 (December 2017, 6+). “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” didn’t reach a 1.0-share (6+) in the next seven sweeps (January 2018 – June 2018), including June’s .7; KKLQ disappears from print in July 2018.

Chicago

Spoken-Word Formats – Over and above logging a combined full-share gain via three consecutive positive spikes (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 3.0, 6+), Tribune Media news/talk WGN vaults back into the top twenty (#21 to a three-way tie at #14). When the Chicago White Sox flagship picked up two-tenths in May, it halted three successive decreases that accounted for a collective -1.3 (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.2 – 2.0, 6+). In the same vein, a March increase of three-tenths ended six straight down or flat sweeps that resulted in a collective -.7 (2.9 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+). This is the fifth time in a row Entercom’s WBBM-AM (third to fifth) is without a gain for a collective -.7 (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+). The all-news outlet was up by an overall eight-tenths in January and February (4.5 – 4.7 – 5.3, 6+) with February’s 5.3 its finest 6+-stat since March 2017’s 5.4. Off two-tenths in back-to-back reports (2.7 – 2.5 – 2.3, 6+), sports talk sibling WSCR “670 The Score” rebounded with a +1.3 in April and May (2.3 – 3.2 – 3.6, 6+), but the Chicago Cubs flagship slips by one-tenth in both June and in July (3.6 – 3.5 – 3.4, 6+), exiting the top ten (#9 to #11). “The Score” was a combined -2.8 between October 2017 – “Holiday” 2017 (4.9 – 3.6 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+) and improved by six-tenths in January. Format competitor, ESPN-owned WMVP “ESPN Chicago 1000,” is without an increase for the sixth sweep in a row (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2, #25 to #26, 6+). Up two-tenths to 1.7 (#24 to #22, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WLS-AM suspends four consecutive down or flat moves (2.0 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+) that accounted for a one-half share loss. Immediately prior to that, WLS-AM registered seven straight up or flat ratings periods and was +.7 in that stretch (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+). An overall +.8 in March and April (2.2 – 2.5 – 3.0, 6+), Chicago Public Media news/talk WBEZ is -.6 in three straight (modest) dips (3.0 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.4, flat at #20, 6+).

Chicago Music Formats – Through May 2018, WLS-FM was an overall +1.6 in seven consecutive sweeps without a loss (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 4.3, 6+), but “94.7 Chicago’s Classic Hits” surrendered one-tenth in June. It roars back though with a +.7 in July to 4.9 (6+), leaping from sixth to second. The Cumulus Media-owned facility is tied for the runner-up slot with Hubbard’s WDRV “97.1 The Drive – Chicago’s Classic Rock,” which nearly doubles its 6+-stat (a combined +2.3) via seven straight up or flat trends (2.5 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.9, third to second, 6+). Up one-tenth in back-to-back ratings periods (5.9 – 6.0 – 6.1, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ is on top for the seventh month in a row. The +.1 in June by “V-103 Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” applied the brakes to four straight down or flat trends that produced a -.9 (6.8 – 6.6 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 5.9, 6+). No higher than 5.1 (6+) and no lower than 4.7 (6+) in each of the last six sweeps, Hubbard-owned hot AC WTMX “101.9 The Mix” (4.9 – 4.8, -.1, 6+) slips from second to fourth. After notching three (slight) increases in succession (3.1 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WLIT “93.9 Lite FM” returns the overall gain of four-tenths in its entirety (3.1 – .4, 6+) and drops out of the top ten (#9 to #13). By gaining four-tenths (3.3 – 3.7, 6+), Venture Technologies Group adult contemporary WRME-LP “FM 87.7 Me TV” progresses from #13 to #9. It is within 3.3 – 3.7 range (6+) for the sixth month in a row (3.6 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.7, 6+). Seven-tenths behind WRME is Hubbard adult contemporary WSHE “100.3 SHE,” which is up or flat for the third consecutive month for a +.4 (2.6 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.0, #15 to #14, 6+). This is the 12th straight time that Entercom-owned WUSN (ninth to seventh) is within 3.0 – 3.9 range (3.5 – 3.9, +.4, 6+). “US-99 Chicago’s Hottest Country” more than doubles the 6+-stat of iHeartMedia’s WEBG “Big 95.5 – Chicago’s New Country” (1.9 – 1.7, -.2, #23, 6+).

San Francisco

Spoken-Word Formats – Albeit down for the fourth time in a row for a collective -2.2 (8.9 – 8.4 – 8.1 – 7.1 – 6.7, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED is on top for the seventh straight month. Finishing first and second, respectively, the past six reports are KQED and Entercom all-news KCBS-AM, which is locked on 5.5 (6+) in June and July after being frozen on 5.4 (6+) in April and May. In advance of posting a one-tenth gain in June, KCBS-AM had been down or flat the previous four sweeps for a net loss of eight-tenths (6.2 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+). October 2017’s 6.8 was its strongest 6+-performance since February 2017 (6.8, as well). Not only does KSFO rack up its fourth successive increase for an overall +1.3 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.4, , 6+), the Cumulus Media news/talker enters the top ten (#12 to #8). Prior to gaining two-tenths in March, KSFO was a combined -1.3 in five straight decreases, (3.4 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+). Conversely, co-owned KGO is down or flat for the fourth successive sweep (2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+) but remains at #21. Trending 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.7 (6+) since April, co-owned San Francisco Giants flagship KNBR climbs from seventh to sixth; “The Sports Leader” gained nine-tenths in April. Before the June report, when it lost one-tenth, Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game” had been without a loss the previous nine ratings periods, nearly tripling (+1.7) its 6+-stat in that timeframe (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.7, 6+). In July, however, the key station of the Oakland A’s plummets by -1.1 (2.6 – 1.5, 6+), drifting from the top twenty (#15 to #24).

San Francisco Music Formats – Not only does iHeartMedia’s KMEL post a gain of six-tenths (3.8 – 4.4, steady in fourth-place), “106.1 – #1 For Hip-Hop and R&B in the Bay Area”) has its finest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2014 (4.4, as well). Talk about being consistent: Cumulus Media classic rocker KSAN records a 6+-share in the two-share range (2.0 – 2.9) for the 40th time in a row (2.4 – 2.9, +.5, #16 to #14, 6+). The last time “107.7 The Bone” reached 2.9 was December 2015. In addition to dropping one-half share (3.5 – 3.0, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KIOI “Star 101.3 – More Music, More Variety” exits the top ten (#9 to #13). Eight-tenths ahead of “Star” is its format rival, Entercom-owned KLLC “Alice @ 97.3,” which adds two-tenths to June’s +.3 (3.3 – 3.6 – 3.8, seventh to fifth, 6+). In four successive (modest) declines prior to June’s increase (4.1 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+), KLLC was off by eight-tenths; the two hot ACs were tied at #8 in May. An overall +.6 via four straight up or flat trends (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KISQ “98.1 The Breeze” falters by two-tenths to 4.8 (6+) but remains in third-place. A loss of four-tenths sends Entercom’s similarly-formatted KOIT-FM from fourth to eighth; “96.5 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” has put up a February 2018 – July 2018 6+ topline of 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.4. Very steady March 2018 – July 2018 trending for iHeartMedia’s KYLD “Wild 94.9 – The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station” is 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.3 (flat at #10, 6+), while co-owned 1980’s-based KOSF “iHeart 80s @ 103.7” gains four-tenths to 3.1 (#14 to #12, 6+). Entering the July sweep, its past six (6+) stats were 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.7. Returning to print after a lengthy hiatus are Entercom’s KUFX “98.5 K-Fox, The South Bay’s Classic Rock” (1.6 – 2.0, +.4, #18, 6+) and Empire Broadcasting-owned KRTY “Hot Country 95.3” (1.5 – 1.7, +.2, #21, 6+).

Dallas

Spoken-Word Formats – This marks the third time in a row that Entercom sports talk KRLD-FM slips by one-tenth (2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+), but “105.3 The Fan” carries on at #19. In advance of a +.5 in April, the Texas Rangers flagship posted five straight negative trends that resulted in a -1.2 (3.1 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 1.9, 6+). Off one-tenth as well in July is Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted KTCK “The Ticket – All Sports, All The Time,” which is -1.3 since May (4.1 – 2.9 – 2.8, #14 to #15, 6+). The +1.2 (2.9 – 3.3 – 4.1, 6+) “The Ticket” racked up in April and May was fully erased in June. KTCK was stymied at 3.0 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2017 but registered a +.5 in January, before dropping three-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (3.5 – 3.2 – 2.9, January – February – March, 6+). Elsewhere in this Texas market’s sports talk format, the eight most recent 6+-stats for ESPN’s KESN “103.3 ESPN Dallas” are 1.1 – 1.0 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9 (#32 to #33, 6+). Notwithstanding that it is flat at 2.8 (#17 to #15, 6+), North Texas Public Broadcasting news/talk KERA posts a 6+-share in the two-share range for the 36th consecutive sweep. A collective -.7 through five straight months without an increase (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+), Entercom news – talk hybrid KRLD-AM nonetheless climbs from #20 to #19. Going back to “Holiday” 2016, KRLD-AM is within a high of 2.8 and a low of 2.0. A loss of two-tenths in March ended at seven a consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted seven-tenths (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+). It is tied at #19 with Cumulus Media’s WBAP “News Talk 820,” which was locked on 2.2 (6+) in April and May and is now frozen on 2.1 (6+) in June and July. Finishing at #34 and #5, respectively, are Salem Media Group-owned KSKY “660 AM The Answer” (flat at .7, 6+) and Cumulus Media’s KLIF-AM “570 News & Information” (.5, -.1, 6+), which had recorded a .6 (6+) the past three sweeps.

Dallas Music Formats – Winning ways (that are now historic) continue for Cumulus Media’s KSCS, which is +1.3 in seven successive up or flat trends (3.9 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 5.2, 6+). Moreover, “96.3 New Country” reaches/crosses the five-share level (5.2, 6+) for the first time in its PPM history to inch up from third to second. It now leads co-owned/similarly-programmed KPLX “99.5 The Wolf” by +1.1 (4.2 – 4.1, -.1, flat at #6, 6+). Following a +1.5 via three positive spikes in a row (5.4 – 6.0 – 6.7 – 6.9, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KHKS is a combined -1.4 in June and July (6.9 – 6.3 – 5.5, 6+). While “106.1 Kiss – Dallas/Fort Worth’s Hit Music” is the “Big D” pacesetter for the seventh straight month, its advantage over runner-up KSCS is just three-tenths. When “Kiss” reached #1 in January, it was the first time the mainstream CHR held the lead position since March 2017. Advancing from #17 to #15, Entercom-owned KVIL “Alt 103.7 – DFW’s New Alternative” is without a loss for the fourth sweep in a row for a +.4 (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), while classic hits-oldies cluster-mate KLUV “98.7 K-LUV” (fifth to fourth) is up or flat for the third straight time for a +.2 (4.4 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.6, 6+). Without a decrease for the third successive ratings period as well is Radio One rhythmic CHR KBFB “97.9 The Beat” (2.9 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.3, #12 to #11, 6+). In an up/down pattern that commenced in January and includes July’s -1.0, Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KDXX “Latino Mix” is trending 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 1.9 (#23, 6+). Up three-tenths each are KDXX regional Mexican sibling KLNO “Que Buena 94.1” (3.7 – 4.0, eighth to seventh, 6+) and Entercom’s similarly-programmed KMVK “La Grande 107.5” (2.1 – 2.4, #20 to #18, 6+). A collective +.9 in May and June (1.2 – 1.4 – 2.1, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KYDA “Air 1 Positive Hits” returns two-thirds of that increase in July (1.5, -.6, 6+) and plummets from the top twenty (four-way tie at #20 to #27). In June, it reached the two-share level (2.1, 6+) for the first time since March 2017’s 2.0.

Houston

Spoken-Word Formats – Continuing a March 2018 – July 2018 down/up pattern (3.4 – 3.3 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 4.1, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH elevates from #13 to #11; “News Radio 740” improved by six-tenths in January. In advance of that particular gain, KTRH was down or flat the previous four monthlies for an overall -1.4 (3.9 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+). Regaining half the four-tenths it dropped in June (3.2 – 3.4, +.2, 6+), University of Houston news/talk KUHF moves from #16 to #15. Mirroring KTRH, KUHF was +.6 in January. Among the market’s sports talk competitors, iHeartMedia-owned Houston Astros flagship KBME “Sports Talk 790” is trending 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 (unchanged at #22, 6+); Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” returns half of June’s +.2 (1.0 – .9, -.1, #24, 6+); and Gow Communications’ KFNC “ESPN 97.5” is flat at .6 (#27, 6+).

Houston Music Formats – In addition to registering its seventh straight up or flat trend for an overall +1.4 dating back to “Holiday” 2017 (4.3 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.9 – 5.2 – 5.7, 6+), Cox Media Group classic rock KGLK “Houston’s Eagle” marches from third to a second-place tie. Moreover, this (5.7) is its strongest 6+-performance since 5.9 in October 2017. As the result of three straight upticks netting eight-tenths (4.5 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.3, 6+), Entercom adult hits KKHH “95.7 The Spot” leaps from seventh to fourth. Debuting at #29 with a .5 (6+) is University of Houston-owned classical KUHF-HD2. The topline (6+) April – May – June – July trending for KODA is 7.0 – 7.4 – 7.0 – 7.3, as the iHeartMedia adult contemporary facility is #1 for the third month in a row. Having finished first in four successive sweeps, “Sunny 99.1” segued to second in March, but then answered a -1.1 in March with an April +.8 to return to the top spot. Finishing second in October and November, KODA was -5.4 in January but gained two-tenths in February. Its 12.5 in “Holiday” 2017 is its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 10.3 and the first time any Houston station reached double-digits (6+) since that ratings period. After improving by two-tenths in May (7.0 – 7.2, 6+), Radio One urban AC KMJQ  stumbles by a cumulative -1.5 in June and July (7.2 – 6.5 – 5.7, 6+); “Majic 102.1 – The People’s Station” remains in the runner-up slot, but is tied there with aforementioned KGLK. Stuck on 7.0 (6+) in January and February, “Majic” dropped to 6.8 (6+) in March; “Majic” and KODA were tied for #1 in April. A combined +1.5 in March and April (4.9 – 6.0 – 6.4, 6+), Cox Media Group’s KKBQ is now -1.2 in three straight down or flat trends (6.4 – 5.7 – 5.2 – 5.2, 6+), with “Country 93-Q” slipping from third to fifth. At the same time, Entercom’s KILT-FM “New Country 100.3 The Bull” is +1.0 in June and July (3.5 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+), climbing from tenth to ninth. Prior to June’s +.6, “The Bull” had three straight declines for a cumulative -.6 (4.1 – 4.0 – 3.7 – 3.5, 6+). Six straight sweeps without an increase (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.3 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.3, 6+), cause KSBJ Educational Foundation’s KSBJ “89.3 Contemporary Christian Music – God Listens” (#15 to #16) to erode by a cumulative -1.9. Topline (6+) March 2018 – July 2018 stats for Entercom Spanish contemporary KLOL “Mega 101” (#13 to #14) are 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.8, while in that same stretch, Univision Radio’s similarly-formatted KAMA “Latino Mix” (#19 to #17) is equally consistent at 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.8 (6+). Along the same lines, KAMA Spanish adult hits sibling  KOVE “Amor 106.5” is trending 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.8 (flat at #17, 6+).

Atlanta

Spoken-Word Formats – Without an increase for the fifth sweep in succession for an overall -1.4 (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.1, 6+), City of Atlanta Board of Education news/talk WABE drifts from #11 to #15. Albeit down two-tenths to 7.6 (6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM is on top for the 32nd consecutive time. When WSB-AM gained three-tenths this time last month, it halted three consecutive negative moves that accounted for a -2.7 (10.2 – 9.4 – 8.4 – 7.7 – 7.5, 6+). WSB-AM, which was +1.6 in January, notched three straight increases for a collective +1.6 (8.6 – 8.9 – 9.9 – 10.2, 6+) but then was a combined -1.6 in three consecutive drops (10.2 – 10.0 – 9.1 – 8.6, October – November – December – “Holiday” 2017, 6+). Tacking on two-tenths to June’s +.3 (1.8 – 2.1 – 2.3, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WYAY “106.6 Where Atlanta Comes to Talk” is steady at #18. Prior to April’s 2.0, WYAY recorded a 1.8 (6+) in January, February, and March. A combined -1.1 in May and June (3.3 – 2.7 – 2.2, 6+) following an April increase of seven-tenths, Entercom sports talk WZGC “92.9 The Game” picks up three-tenths to 2.5 (6+) and remains at #17. Immediately in advance of a -1.1 in February, “The Game” was a combined +.7 in three straight gains (3.0 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.7, 6+). A setback of two-tenths to 1.8 (6+) by Dickey Broadcasting’s WCNN “Sports Radio The Fan” pulls the plug on seven successive sweeps without a decrease that netted eight-tenths (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+), but the AM flagship of the Atlanta Braves continues at #19. April 2018 – July 2018 stats for Georgia State University news/talk WRAS (#26) are .6 – .7 – .6 – .8 (6+).

Atlanta Music Formats – In addition to logging three straight up or flat trends for a cumulative gain of seven-tenths (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 4.1, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WWPW “Power 96.1 Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” vaults into the top ten (#14 to #9) with its best 6+-stat (4.1) since February’s 4.3. It now trails Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted WWWQ “Q-100, Atlanta’s New Hits” (4.0 – 4.2, +.2, ninth to eighth, 6+) by just one-tenth. At the same time that Entercom hot AC WSTR “Star 94.1 – Today’s Hits” is up or flat for the third time in a row for a collective +1.4 (2.5 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.9, #13 to #12, 6+), Cox Media Group adult contemporary WSB-FM “B-98.5” is without an increase in the same timeframe for a loss of three-tenths (5.9 – 5.8 – 5.6 – 5.6, 6+) and carries on in fourth-place. Improving by one-tenth each are iHeartMedia’s country WUBL “94.9 The Bull” (3.9 – 4.0, steady at #10, 6+) and Cumulus Media-owned WKHX “Kicks 101.5 – Atlanta’s #1 For Country Hits,” which has its best 6+-showing (3.9) since August 2017 (3.9, as well), yet backslides from #11 to #12. A one-tenth May setback by “The Bull” ended four increases in a row for an overall gain of six-tenths (4.1 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.7, 6+); it was -.7 in June. The market’s two urban contemporary outlets are off a combined one-half share. Specifically, Entercom’s WVEE “V-103 The People’s Station” falters by four-tenths (7.0 – 6.6, 6+) but stays at #2, while Radio One-owned WHTA “Hot 107.9,” which had been up six-tenths in three straight upticks (4.1 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.7, 6+), drops one-tenth to 4.6, staying at #7 (6+). Before losing one-tenth in June, WVEE logged four sweeps in a row without a loss for a combined +1.3 (5.8 – 5.8 – 6.3 – 6.7 – 7.1, 6+); May’s 7.1 is its best 6+-performance in more than two years (7.3, April 2016). It is a somewhat similar situation with urban AC here (the format is a combined -.8 compared to June), as Radio One’s WAMJ “Majic – The Real Sound of Atlanta” sputters by one-half share (5.6 – 5.1, fourth to fifth, 6+), while Cox Media Group’s WALR “Kiss 104.1 – Atlanta’s R&B” drops three-tenths (4.3 – 4.0, eighth to tenth, 6+). After three negative trends in succession for an overall -.9 (4.5 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+), “Kiss” wiped away seven-tenths of the loss in June. Having logged seven straight up or flat moves (1.3 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.1, 6+) and finishing #19 in May, Cox Media Group urban contemporary WSTR-HD3 is unlisted in June and July.

Philadelphia

Spoken-Word Formats – Following gains of one-tenth in May and June, Entercom’s WPHT breaks out a one-half share increase in July (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 2.2, 6+) to progress from #20 to #17. “Talk Radio 1210” was stuck on 1.8 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 and then on 1.9 (6+) in February and March, before dropping to 1.5 in April. While flat at #7, co-owned sports talk WIP is a collective -1.7 in three straight decreases (6.9 – 6.1 – 5.6 – 5.2, 6+). The Phillies flagship was an overall -1.1 (December and “Holiday” 2017); +2.6 (January 2018); -.8 (February); -2.9 (March); +1.1 (April); -.8 (May); and -.5 (June). Dropping from #18 to #19, its format foe, Beasley Media Group’s WPEN-FM, is without a gain for the third time in succession for an overall decline of eight-tenths (2.8 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+); “97.5 The Fanatic” was +.9 in January. In four consecutive down or flat trends (6.0 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+), Entercom all-news KYW (flat at #8) is -1.5. An increase of nine-tenths in March (5.1 – 6.0, 6+) gave KYW its strongest 6+-showing in three years (6.1, March 2015), but it then surrendered one full-share in April; KYW improved by +1.0 in January. Public news/talk WHYY posts its third successive negative move for an overall -1.1 (4.4 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.3, 6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #12). It was up one full-share in January, but off six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017. Unchanged at #21, Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” falters by two-tenths (1.6 – 1.4, 6+).

Philadelphia Music Formats – It is truly a benchmark sweep for Entercom classic hits-oldies WOGL “98.1 – Nobody Plays More 80s,” which records its highest-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era (8.2); is #1 for the first time since August 2017; and registers its sixth straight gain for a combined +2.9 (5.3 – 6.3 – 6.9 – 7.0 – 7.2 – 7.7 – 8.2, 6+). At #1, it displaces a station about to be its cluster-mate, adult contemporary WBEB “Today’s 101.1 More FM,” which was on top the past four months. Regressing by seven-tenths to 7.8, its lowest 6+-showing since November 2017 (7.8, as well), WBEB segues to the runner-up slot. As a result of five straight increases before January’s -8.7, “Today’s 101.1 More FM” was a collective +10.3 (6.7 – 7.2 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 12.8 – 17.0, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, WBEB achieved its most potent 6+-share since 17.9 in “Holiday” 2016. Before officially closing on its $57.5 million purchase of WBEB from Jerry Lee Radio, Entercom took over operation of the station last Thursday (9/9) under a Time Brokerage Agreement (TBA). Wiping away June’s one-half share loss with a July gain of six-tenths (5.8 – 6.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WDAS-FM advances from fifth to fourth. Immediately prior to June’s -.6, “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks” was an overall +.8 in three straight positive spikes (5.5 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 6.3, 6+). This (6.4) is its highest 6+-share since January’s 6.6. Without a loss for the seventh straight month for an overall +2.2 (3.6 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.8, 6+), WXTU advances from sixth to fifth. Previous to the May sweep, the last time “92.5 Philadelphia’s Country Station” reached the five-share level (6+) was in August 2016 (5.3). After three straight flat or up trends that yielded six-tenths (5.5 – 5.5 – 5.9 – 6.1, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WMMR “93.3 Everything That Rocks” surrenders the entire gain and one-tenth more (5.4, -.7, fourth to sixth, 6+). Down one full-share in 16 straight down or flat sweeps (1.9 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .9 – .9, 6+), Radio One gospel WPPZ “Praise 107.9 – Philadelphia’s Inspiration Station” actually improves from #26 to #24.

Long Island

Spoken-Word Formats – It is a bit of a rollercoaster ride lately for Entercom’s WFAN “Sports Radio,” which was -1.1 in February; a collective +1.8 in April and May (2.9 – 4.0 – 4.7, 6+); -.5 in June; and now the New York Yankees’ flagship is +.7 in July (4.2 – 4.9, sixth to fourth, 6+). Meanwhile, the key station of the New York Mets iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” – is -1.2 in three straight down or flat trends (3.1 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+) and moves from #21 to #22. In advance of surrendering three-tenths in March, WOR was an overall +.8 in three straight gains (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.6 – 2.8, 6+). Simply by remaining flat at 2.5 (6+), Entercom all-news WCBS-AM advances from #16 to #14, where it catches co-owned/similarly-formatted WINS (2.8 – 2.5, #13 to #14, 6+). WCBS-AM gained two-tenths in January, halting four straight down or flat trends for an overall loss of one full-share (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+). In March, it recaptured the four-tenths it dropped in February. This marks the third straight time WINS shows a month-to-month fluctuation of three-tenths: +.3 (May); -.3 (June) and -.3 (July). After five consecutive upticks for a +1.2, which more than doubled its 6+-share (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+), WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” is off one-half share in June and July (2.3 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+) and departs the top twenty. Trending 1.6 – 1.9 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.5 (February 2018 – July 2018, 6+), WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM moves from #24 to #25; meanwhile, Cumulus Media news/talk WABC (#25 to #26) is without an increase for the fourth consecutive month for a loss of three-tenths (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.2, , 6+).

Long Island Music Formats – It is an extremely tight race at the top, as the first five Nassau-Suffolk July 2018 finishers are separated by just two-tenths of a share. Included in that pack is the market’s new number one (up from second-place in June), Cox Media Group CHR WBLI “Long Island’s #1 For All the Hits,” a collective +1.4 through four straight improvements (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 5.0 – 5.1, 6+). This (5.1) is its strongest 6+-performance  since September 2017’s 5.2. Format rival, iHeartMedia New York City’s WHTZ “Z-100,” is flat or down (slightly) for the third straight time and slides from second to fourth (5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 4.9, 6+). Displaced from the top spot after nine straight months there and taking WBLI’s place at #2 is Connoisseur Media hot AC WALK-FM “Real Variety 97.5,” which posts its seventh successive sweep without an increase (12.6 – 7.4 – 7.4 – 7.0 – 6.1 – 5.8 – 5.1 – 5.0, 6+) for an overall -7.6. “Real Variety” was a cumulative +7.2 in October – November – December – “Holiday” 2017 (5.4 – 6.7 – 8.7 – 12.6, 6+). Off one-half share, owing to three straight minor dips (2.3 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+), Entercom hot AC WNEW-FM “NEW 102.7” answers with a +.6 to 2.4 (6+) and returns to the top twenty (#22 to #17). The format gains another three-tenths in July as Cumulus Media-owned WPLJ “New York’s 95.5 PLJ,” which was tied with WNEW-FM in June, improves 1.8 – 2.1 (#19, 6+). Having been up or flat the past three months for a +.7 (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 3.0, 6+), Connoisseur Media’s WWSK “94.3 The Shark – Everything That Rocks” slips one-tenth to 2.9 (6+) but stays at #12. Within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) for the 45th consecutive ratings period, Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” (#13 to #14) drops three-tenths (2.8 – 2.5, 6+). In five straight down or flat trends (4.9 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” is a collective -1.2 (eighth to ninth). More than a dozen stations that appeared in the June 2018 report have vanished from print in this sweep. With their (6+) June 2018 Long Island stat in parentheses, these are six notable examples that had at least a .6 (6+) in June 2018 but are now unlisted: Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ (1.3); co-owned Spanish contemporary WPAT (1.0); Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLV (.9); Univision Radio Spanish contemporary WXNY (.8); New York Public Radio classical WQXR (.7); and Fordham University alternative WFUV (.6).

Riverside

Spoken-Word Formats – Nearly doubling its 6+-stat in the last two monthlies (.9 – 1.1 – 1.7, 6+), San Bernardino Community College news/talk KVCR progresses from #13 to #11. In advance of the February sweep, KVCR was +.4 via three minor upticks in a row (.9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+). Notwithstanding its very steady Inland Empire November 2017 – July 2018 topline of .4 – .4 – .3 – .4 – .4 – .4 – .3 – .5 – .5 – .4 (6+), Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” slips from #17 to #18. Debuting at #22 with a .2 (6+) is iHeartMedia news talk KKDD “1290 News Talk IE.” Part of May’s four-way logjam at #20 with a .3 (6+), co-owned KPWK “Fox Sports Radio 1350 AM” (formerly KUBE) disappeared from print in June, but resurfaces in July with a .2 (#22, 6+). Los Angeles Angels-owned (LAA 1, LLC) and similarly-formatted KLAA “Angels Radio AM 830” is unlisted for the sixth month in a row.

Riverside Music Formats – As a result of being a collective +1.5 in June and July (3.4 – 4.1 – 4.9), iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KGGI “99.1 Riverside’s Hottest Hit Music” elevates from fourth to third. Quadrupling its 6+-share (.2 – .8, 6+) Lazer Broadcasting’s KCAL-AM La Mexicana 1410 vaults from #20 to #14. Regional Mexican sibling KXRS “Radio Lazer” (#20 to #17) is in a repetitive cycle of .2 – .5 – .2 – .5 ( 6+), while co-owned/similarly formatted KXSB (also using the “Radio Lazer” handle) is without a gain for the third straight month (.7 – .6 – .6 – .4, #16 to #18, 6+). Not only does Entravision’s KLYY repeat at #1, “Jose” is +2.3 in three straight positive spikes (4.6 – 6.4 – 6.5 – 6.9, 6+). This follows five sweeps in succession without an increase for an overall -3.0 (7.6 – 7.3 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 5.0 – 4.6, 6+). June 2018 marked the first time “Jose” was in the lead position since “Holiday” 2017 when it scored a 7.3 (6+). Replaced by “Jose” in June after a five-month run at #1 – Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies KOLA – improves by three-tenths to 6.6 (6+) and duplicates its second-place finish. The +.3 ends four downward trends in succession that generated a -2.1 (8.4 – 7.1 – 6.7 – 6.5 – 6.3, 6+). Similarly, January’s +1.8 applied the brakes to three straight decreases that accounted for a -2.0 (7.5 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.5, 6+). Four negative moves in a row by Univision Radio regional Mexican KSCA “Zona Mx 101.9” (ninth to tenth) account for a collective -1.8 (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 2.6 – 2.0, 6+). Off by six-tenths in July as well is Entercom country outlet KFRG, which carries on in third-place (5.5 – 4.9, 6+). When “K-Frog” lost four-tenths in June, it snapped at four a consecutive string of increases that netted an overall +1.3 (4.6 – 4.9 – 5.4 – 5.8 – 5.9, 6+). While steady at #5, Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KLVE “107.5 K-Love” posts its third straight Riverside decrease for an overall -1.7 (5.3 – 4.9 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+). For the third time in the last four sweeps, All-Pro Broadcasting adult contemporary KATY “101.3 The Mix” (#15 – #16) logs a .6 (.6 – .6 – .7. – .6, 6+).

San Jose

Spoken-Word Formats – For the past six San Jose sweeps (January 2018 – June 2018), Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED and Entercom’s all-news KCBS-AM have finished first and second, respectively. That changes in July 2018, however, as KQED (7.5 – 6.5, -1.0, 6+) drops to second and KCBS-AM (7.2 – 6.4, -.8, 6+) shifts to third. This (6.5) is the lowest 6+-stat since June 2017’s 6.1 for KQED, which rebounded from a combined -1.9 in April and May (8.8 – 8.2 – 6.9, 6+) with a June increase of six-tenths. When KQED lost six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it shifted to #2, following five successive sweeps on top; it was +1.0 in January. A setback of one-tenth in December halted three consecutive gains that produced an overall +1.3 (6.9 – 7.3 – 8.0 – 8.2, 6+). Meanwhile, KCBS-AM’s -.8 pulls the plug on four consecutive up or flat trends that netted +1.4 (5.8 – 5.8 – 6.3 – 6.4 – 7.2, 6+) and its strongest 6+ (San Jose) showing since November 2017 (7.2, as well). In the Cumulus Media cluster, sports talk KNBR “The Sports Leader is a cumulative -1.0 via three decreases in succession (4.6 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+) and segues from eighth to tenth, with its lowest 6+-stat (3.6) since 3.0 in March. The San Francisco Giants flagship posted a +1.6 in April, as it reached the four-share level in San Jose (6+) for the first time since May 2017’s 4.2. Without a loss the past five months for an overall +1.0 (1.2 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+), co-owned news/talk KSFO drops two-tenths to 2.0 (6+), slipping from #19 to #20. A different streak concludes for sibling KGO, which adds two-tenths (1.9, flat at #22) to pause four successive downward sweeps for a -1.4 (3.1 – 2.9 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.7, 6+); KGO was a combined +.7 in January and February (2.4 – 2.8 – 3.1, 6+).

San Jose Music Formats – Over and above hauling out a robust +1.5 (5.2 – 6.7, 6+), Entercom-owned KUFX “98.5 K-Fox, The South Bay’s Classic Rock” jumps from fourth to first. By way of perspective, its July 2018 6.7  more than doubles October 2017’s 6+-share (3.2). Format rival – Cumulus Media’s KSAN “107.7 The Bone” is off three-tenths (2.3 – 2.0, #17 to #20, 6+). Four straight negative trends by iHeartMedia adult contemporary KISQ produced a loss of nine-tenths (4.5 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+), but “98.1 The Breeze” rebounds with a gain of seven-tenths to 4.3 (ninth to eighth, 6+). Following June’s massive -1.2, (4.2 – 3.0, 6+), Entercom’s similarly-formatted KOIT-FM “96.5 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” regains one-tenth to 3.1 (6+) and carries on at #12. Good news continues for Empire Broadcasting’s KRTY, which records its fourth gain in a row for an overall +1.1 (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 5.1, 6+) as “San Jose Hot Country 95.3” progresses from seventh to sixth. With exactly the same (6+) share it had when it began its down/up pattern in December 2017 (2.2 – 1.7 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 2.2 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 1.7 – 2.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KOSF “iHeart80s @ 103.7” cracks the top twenty (#22 to #18). In three straight positive spikes, Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG was an overall +1.9 (3.7 – 4.5 – 5.3 – 5.6, 6+), but “Amor 100.3” surrenders roughly 20% of that increase (5.2, -.4, 6+), slipping from third to fifth.  bit analogous to what is highlighted in Long Island (see above), seven stations with at least a 1.2 (6+) in the June 2018 ratings period have disappeared from print in this report. With their (6+) June 2018 San Jose stat in parentheses, the seven outlets falling in that category are: Entercom rhythmic hot AC KRBQ (1.9); University of Southern California classical KDFC (1.7); Entercom alternative KITS (1.6); public contemporary Christian KLVS (1.5); Entercom sports talk KGMZ (1.4); Entercom urban AC KBLX (1.2); and Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican KRZZ (1.2).

Middlesex

Spoken-Word Formats – A gain of four-tenths for the second straight time (6.0 – 6.4 – 6.8, 6+) propels WKXW from the runner-up slot to #1. The Townsquare Media news/talker was on top four ratings periods in succession before segueing to #2 in May. “New Jersey 101.5” was a combined -2.1 in April and May (8.1 – 7.3 – 6.0, 6+) and posted a +.9 in January to advance from second to first with its strongest 6+-stat since April 2016’s 8.5. Steady at #5, Entercom sports talk WFAN slips by one-tenth in both June and July (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+). June’s one-tenth setback halted three straight positive spikes that netted a +1.1 (3.3 – 3.4 – 4.1 – 4.4, 6+). Four successive losses by WFAN accounted for a -1.9 (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.3, 6+), but immediately prior to that, the New York Yankees flagship was +1.4 via three straight increases (3.8 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+). The eight most recent topline 6+ stats for sports talk WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” (flat at #21) are: 1.6 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 1.7 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 1.7 – 1.9. In five straight losses (3.4 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.2 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+), WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM has lost nearly 50% of its 6+ share (-1.6) and departs the top twenty (#20 to #22). Off a collective six-tenths in May and June (2.3 – 1.8 – 1.7, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk and New York Mets flagship WOR makes up half the loss with a +.3 to 2.0 and returns to the top twenty at #20. Locked on 1.1 (6+) in March and April, Entercom all-news WINS records a 1.7 (#23, 6+) for the third straight time. It is one-tenth ahead of Cumulus Media news/talk WABC (#24, 6+), whose January 2018 – July 2018 6+ topline is: 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.6.

Middlesex Music Formats – On a roll in this New Jersey market, Univision Radio Spanish contemporary WXNY “X-96.3” practically triples its 6+-share (+2.6) via seven up or flat trends (1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 4.0, 6+) and catapults from #16 all the way to #7. Within three-share range (6+) in each of the past 13 sweeps, Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” gains one-half share (3.3 – 3.8, 6+) to jump from #13 to #10. An overall +1.2 in three consecutive up or flat reports (5.6 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 6.8, 6+), co-owned urban AC WBLS “107.5 #1 For R&B” forfeits all but one-tenth of that increase (5.7, – 1.1, 6+) and segues from first to second. The station it supplanted at #1 in June, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW, collapses by -1.3 (6.3 – 5.0, 6+) but manages to stay in third-place. When “106.7 Lite FM” gained one-tenth in June, it applied the brakes to five straight down or flat trends that accounted for an overall -5.3 (11.5 – 7.4 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 6.7 – 6.2, 6+). In addition to recording its fourth decrease in a row for a -1.8 (5.5 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” exits the top ten (#10 to #12). Continuing the theme set in Long Island and San Jose (see above), seven stations that registered at least a one-half share (6+) in June 2018 are unlisted in July 2018. With their (6+) June 2018 Middlesex-Somerset-Union stat in parentheses, these seven outlets are: Entercom news WCBS-AM (1.5); Press Communications country WKMK (1.2); New York Public Radio classical WQXR (.9); Press Communications rock WWZY (.7); Univision Radio Spanish news/talk WADO (.7); Townsquare Media hot AC WJLK (.5); and Newark Public Radio jazz WBGO (.5).

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

| August 8, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Thursday, July 26, 2018

| July 26, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trump-Cohen Tapes/Russia Investigation, U.S.-E.U. Meeting, Trump Pushes Back Putin Meeting, Rosenstein Impeachment, YouTube Bans Alex Jones Videos, Trump-Iran Rhetoric, U.S.-China Trade War, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/25).  The release of some of the recordings made of Michael Cohen’s conversations with President Trump and the investigation into possible Russian connections with the Trump campaign; President Trump’s meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker over trade issues; the next Trump-Putin meeting is pushed off into 2019; GOP House members introduce articles of impeachment against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein; YouTube bans three Alex Jones videos from its platform; the war rhetoric between President Trump and Iran; the effects of the U.S.-China trade war; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. A new, nationally syndicated weekend program featuring Ellen K is being launched by iHeartMedia.  Dubbed “The Ellen K Weekend Show,” it will be a four-hour adult contemporary weekend program emanating from Los Angeles where Ellen K also hosts morning on the company’s KOST.  The company calls it “custom-tailored content for an audience that wants to feel informed on lifestyle trends, inspired by ‘feel good’ moments and enhanced by shareable factoids.  Listeners will also enjoy the latest showbiz news and interviews with the biggest names in music like John Legend, Lady Gaga, Meghan Trainor, Kelly Clarkson and more.”…..Beasley Media Group names Joel Weiss music director for alternative WBOS “ALT 92.9,” effective August 6.  Weiss spent the past 13 years as music director and air personality at Cox Media Group’s alternative WSUN, Tampa “97X.” WBOS program director Ken West says, “I’m excited to welcome Joel to ‘ALT 92.9.’ He loves music, loves radio, and loves Boston.  His passion and energy for the alternative format will help push ‘ALT 92.9’ to new heights!”

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