Tag: "USTN"

Thursday, September 6, 2018

| September 6, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

Washington, DC

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

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

Boston

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

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

Miami

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

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

Detroit

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

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

Seattle

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

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

Phoenix

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

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

Minneapolis

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

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

San Diego

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

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

Denver

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

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

Tampa

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

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

Baltimore

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

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

St. Louis

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

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

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

| August 8, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

David Field’s Internal Memo Regarding USTN Lawsuit

| August 7, 2018

“Under the terms of our former agreements with USTN at the time of our November 17, 2017 merger with CBS Radio, USTN was obligated to pay Entercom about $47 million per year in exchange for a large portion of our highly valuable traffic and other short duration inventory. In the 8 1/2 months that have elapsed since our merger with CBS Radio, USTN has paid us a grand total of just $3 million out of the $33 million we were originally entitled to under our former agreements. As a result of this, and factoring in unpaid accounts receivable due to Entercom as of closing the CBS Radio merger, we have taken a financial hit of greater than $35 million over that time period, significantly impacting our earnings and our cash flow.

“We were told by management at USTN and GTN (USTN’s parent company at the time of our merger with CBS Radio) that USTN had significant financial challenges that precluded them from paying us. Nonetheless, we spent months working tirelessly, constructively, patiently and in good faith with GTN and USTN to help solve USTN’s significant challenges. We made enormous financial concessions, bending over backwards to be supportive of USTN’s efforts to fix their problems. Initially, we worked with GTN on finding a solution until they sold the company to USTN’s American management for a ‘nominal’ sum. We then worked collaboratively with USTN management and in April 2018, we agreed to make a number of enormous concessions to give USTN some relief and time to right the ship. At the time of this restructuring, we were owed $23 million. In this restructuring, we agreed to dramatically reduce the amount that USTN paid us each month. We converted a portion of what they owed us into a minority equity position in USTN, and we converted the remainder into a Senior Secured Debt obligation of USTN which provided USTN with additional time to pay what they owed.

“When it appeared to us that despite our financial concessions, USTN was not making sufficient progress to solve their fundamental problems, we reached an agreement on June 30 to acquire the remainder of the company in exchange for what they owed us plus approximately $1 million, all subject to our due diligence.  What we found during our diligence review was unsatisfactory. We were disappointed to find that their financial condition and projected performance fell significantly short of what we had been led to believe. In addition, USTN management had fallen short on a number of other objectives in their turnaround plans and we first learned about a number of contingent liabilities. Based on our diligence, we informed USTN management that we were exercising our contractual rights and would not be completing the merger. USTN then filed a lawsuit against Entercom which is baseless, frivolous and insulting and attempts to blame Entercom for USTN’s financial problems and make us look like the bad guys. On July 24, 2018, USTN failed to pay us $1.3 million which was then due under our revised agreement for the June broadcast month. On July 31, 2018, USTN failed to pay us $5 million which was then due under our senior secured note.

“The facts are clear: Entercom has received only $3 million out of the original $33 million due under the agreements in place at the closing of the CBS Radio merger. Entercom did not create this problem; USTN did.  Entercom has bent over backwards to work constructively and patiently with USTN to help them fix their problems. We have made enormous financial concessions to help them. And yet USTN still has not demonstrated that they are able to make ends meet, failing to make their required payments to Entercom for June and failing to make a $5 million required payment on their restructured debt to Entercom. USTN management can conjure up a ridiculous lawsuit and engage in name-calling, but it can’t change the facts or the truth of what has occurred here. USTN has failed to meet its obligations over many months. Entercom has acted with great restraint for many months, but we cannot continue to invest our time, resources and capital in a business that has been unable to fix its own problems. We have moved on and are glad to be in control of our own destiny with our valuable traffic inventory, but given the ridiculous allegations by USTN, I wanted to make sure you were fully familiar with the facts and understood that we have acted ethically and responsibly throughout this painful situation.”

Monday, July 30, 2018

| July 30, 2018

Larry Wilson Steps Down from Alpha Media Chairman Role. The Citadel Broadcasting chief launched Alpha Broadcasting in 2009 with stations in Portland, Oregon.  The company would merge with L&L Broadcasting and Main Line Broadcasting in 2014 and become Alpha Media.  Now, Larry Wilson will step away from his role as chairman of the board of directors of Alpha Media but will remain a member of the board.  A press release from the company says that under Wilson’s guidance, “Alpha Media has become the largest privately-owned radio broadcast company in the United States, operating 225 radio stations in 48 markets across the nation.  Wilson is also known for his work within the country music industry, having served on the board of directors for the Country Music Association from 1991 to 2001 and inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2014.” Alpha Media president and CEO Bob Proffitt comments, “Wilson is a respected colleague and pioneer in the broadcast industry.  His vision helped craft today’s broadcast and radio landscape.” Alpha Media will elect a new chairman at its next scheduled board meeting.

Brett Winterble Re-Ups with KFMB-AM, San Diego. San Diego talk show host Brett Winterble signs a new contract with Tegna-owned news/talk KFMB-AM, San Diego to continue hosting the 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm show.  Winterble originally joined KFMB-AM in 2012 as part of the Roger Hedgecock show and began hosting afternoons in 2015.  In addition to his radio show and podcast productions, he recently began hosting a two-hour show for Newsmax TV.  KFMB-AM program director Dave Sniff states, “We are excited to continue our relationship with Brett!  His ability to digest the daily news cycle and make it relevant for the San Diego community is unmatched and truly impressive.  Brett will play a key role in creating unique content, not only for KFMB-AM, but also for our various digital platforms.”

David Haugh Assumes AM Co-Host Role on WSCR, Chicago Today.  After 26 years with WSCR, Chicago “The Score,” Brian Hanley did his last regular morning show with Mike Mulligan on Friday (7/27) and Chicago Tribune sports columnist David Haugh debuts on the new “Mully and Haugh” show today.  Haugh says in a statement, “I’m excited to join The Score’s morning show.  Brian Hanley is a good friend and class act who set a high standard for me to meet.  Mike Mulligan has gone from fierce competitor to trusted confidante over the years, a relationship I’ve always valued.  I will continue to have the privilege of writing columns for the Chicago Tribune, where I have spent the last 15 years trying to serve the best interests of Chicago sports fans.  The job only gets better now.  Thank you to The Score for the opportunity, to the Tribune for the support and to everyone who will listen to “Mully and Haugh” do our best to entertain you every morning.”  Read Chicago media maven Robert Feder’s story on the changes here.

United States Traffic Network Sues Entercom for $5 Million.  Alleging that Entercom entered into negotiations with United States Traffic Network to buy the company and walked away from the deal at the last minute with the intent of developing a directly competitive business based on information gathered during the discovery process, USTN is suing Entercom for material and punitive damages “in excess of $5 million.”  The complaint, filed  the District Court in Harris County, Texas, states, “During the transaction of the sale of equity in USTN, in April and the failed transaction, Defendants (Entercom) made false representations of fact, false promises or benefitted by not disclosing that a third party’s representations or promises were false.  The false representations or promises, set forth above, were made for the purpose of inducing Plaintiffs to enter into a contract regarding the equity of USTN.  Plaintiffs relied on the false representations or promises.  The reliance on the false representations, promises, and failures to disclose caused Plaintiffs injury and benefited Defendants.”  The suit further alleges that Entercom intentionally induced USTN to miss a scheduled debt payment to Entercom under the pretenses that this payment would be unnecessary due to the planned closing of the purchase transaction. USTN is owned by Fair and Equal LLC. For its part, Entercom issues a press release saying it has ended its reseller agreement with USTN and calls the suit “entirely baseless, frivolous and frankly insulting.  Entercom has worked tirelessly and constructively with USTN over the past six months to help USTN work through its significant financial issues.  Entercom is owed substantial amounts of money by USTN, and the company intends to defend itself vigorously and assert all of its rights.”  Entercom says it “has successfully sold traffic and other short duration advertising on its own for many years.  In April, Entercom took back a portion of its broadcast inventory from USTN and is achieving great success selling that inventory through its own sales channels.  The Company expects to build on that success as it begins to monetize the remaining inventory taken back from USTN.”  CEO David Field says, “We are relieved to no longer be mired by the difficult USTN situation that was inherited as part of the CBS Radio merger.  We will move quickly to augment our strong internal sales organization to ensure that we realize the full value of this inventory.”

A Visit to WRKO’s New Digs.  TALKERS founder Michael Harrison paid a visit to legendary outlet WRKO, Boston on Friday (7/27) to check out its new location and pristine, one-week-old studios at the iHeartMedia broadcasting complex in Medford, Massachusetts (a bustling area on Boston’s north side).  Until recently, WRKO was an Entercom property, but it was sold to iHeart after Entercom’s merger with CBS Radio, significantly re-shuffling the playing deck in Boston.  While there, Harrison sat in from 6:00 am to 10:00 am for the morning show’s regular co-host, Doug “VB” Goudie – something he occasionally does on the station.  Harrison (left) is pictured with the WRKO morning show’s co-anchor Kim Carrigan (center) and the program’s on-air producer Jim Clerkin (right).  Carrigan will be the guest on the next installment of the award-winning podcast “The Michael Harrison Interview” set to be posted tomorrow (7/31).

Final Radio Talent Institute of the Summer Taking Place at Northwest Missouri State.  This week begins that final 10-day Radio Talent Institute of the summer. Students from 11 different universities are converging on the campus of Northwest Missouri State University to take part in the Missouri Broadcasters Association Radio Talent Institute. MBA president Mark Gordon says, “This was made possible by the financial commitments from Northwest Missouri State University, the Missouri Broadcasters board of directors and broadcast companies that include: Hubbard Radio St. Louis; Eagle Communications St. Joseph; Zimmer Radio and Marketing Group of Mid Missouri Columbia, Jefferson City; iHeartMedia St. Louis, Springfield, Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Davenport; Cumulus Media Kansas City, Columbia, Jefferson City; Alpha Media of Missouri: Union Broadcasting Kansas City; and Mid-West Family Broadcasting Springfield.  We are pleased to bring this program taught by industry professionals to Missouri that will help fill job openings at broadcast stations with quality employees who have a true understanding of how fun and rewarding a career in our industry can be.”  Founder and president of the National Radio Talent System, Dan Vallie, comments, “To have so many students from so many different universities is a tribute to Mark and the MBA and their efforts as we work together to discover and prepare young talent for the industry.  These are the talent we will be hiring now and will be the leaders in our industry tomorrow.”

RI Talk Host John DePetro and Sean Spicer at Book Signing. Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer (left) returned to his home state of Rhode Island to promote his new book The Briefing (2018, Regnery Publishing).  He’s pictured here with WNRI, Woonsocket, Rhode Island talk show host John DePetro (right), who hosted him on his radio show and attended several of the book signings with him.  DePetro also emceed a private VIP event in Spicer’s hometown of Barrington, Rhode Island.

New Affiliates for ‘Our American Stories.’ Now airing in the evenings on iHeartMedia-owned news/talk WHO, Des Moines is Lee Habeeb’s “Our American Stories.”  Additional new affiliate stations include: iHeartMedia’s KPRC, Houston and Inspiration Time’s WXTE, Erie.  Program host Lee Habeeb is a vice president of content at Salem Media Group and a contributing editor of the weekly essay series “Across America” for Newsweek Magazine and Newsweek.com.  “Our American Stories” airs on 139 radio stations across the U.S.

Trump-Russia Investigation/Trump’s Mueller Tweets, Trump-Sulzberger Fake News Meeting, Government Shutdown Threat, Trump Trade Wars, Facebook Value Plummets, California Wildfires, Les Moonves Allegations, New Mission: Impossible Film, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents, tied with President Trump’s weekend tweets about the matter; Trump’s meeting with New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger over the president’s fake news charges; Trump threatens to let federal government shut down unless border wall is funded; the effects of Trump’s trade wars on U.S. businesses; the plunging value of Facebook; the deadly California wildfires; allegations of sexual harassment against CBS chairman Les Moonves; the new Tom Cruise Mission: Impossible film; 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.

NuVoodoo Study Reveals Listener Misconceptions.  Calling the results “startling new insights for radio stations,” NuVoodoo Media Services says its 12th and latest NuVoodoo Ratings Prospects Study of more than 3,000 radio listeners between the ages of 14 and 54 across all PPM-rated markets will reveal the findings in a series of free webinars for radio professionals, beginning Wednesday (8/1).  Register at http://www.nuvoodoo.com/webinars.  The study was fielded this June and indicates that about half of all radio listeners under age 35 believe radio’s tight playlists are a cost-saving measure to avoid paying licensing fees.  Among those respondents who are likely to accept a diary or meter, the perception jumps to more than 2/3 among 14-24-year-olds. The study also shows that nearly 60% of all respondents and close to 70% of likely diary and PPM participants conclude that radio stations play the music that record companies pay them to play.  NuVoodoo says the webinar series is part of its ongoing effort to inform the industry of emerging trends and to help uncover opportunities for stations to improve programming and marketing efforts.  The primary focus is on those who have accepted or are more likely to accept a ratings diary or become part of the PPM panel, since this small segment of radio listeners holds the key to any station’s financial success.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Nationally syndicated country morning personality Bobby Bones and iHeartMedia announce a renewed and expanded relationship in which Bones takes on the title vice president, creative director of iHeartCountry.  In addition to continuing to host his daily morning show and the weekly “Country Top 30,” Bones will executive produce a new, one-hour weekend program, “Women of iHeartCountry,” co-hosted by Amy Brown from the Bobby Bones show.  The program will feature music from established female artists and up-and-comers, with weekly guest appearances by other iHeartMedia female on air personalities. Bones says, “This is the opportunity I’ve been chasing my entire career.  Thanks to Bob Pittman, Rich Bressler, and Kevin Legrett for their years of support and for the space to build this partnership.”…..LARadio.com reports that CHR legend Rick Dees is joining KQLH-LPFM, Yucaipa, California to host the afternoon drive show.  KQLH-LPFM serves parts of the Inland Empire and Palm Springs.  It is a non-profit station but accepts sponsorships as tax deductible donations…..Entercom names Toshamakia Acevedo music director and afternoon drive personality for hip hop KQKS, Denver “KS 107.5.”  Acevedo transfers from the company’s hip hop WJMH, Greensboro, North Carolina “102 Jamz.”  Entercom Denver SVP and market manager John Fullam comments, “We are excited to welcome Toshamakia to the Denver team. We believe her on-air energy and passion for being involved in the community will resonate a great deal with Denver music fans.”  Acevedo succeeds former APD, music director, and afternoon drive host Michael Buhrman, who recently transitioned to Entercom’s KSFM, Sacramento as program director and afternoon drive host…..Cumulus Media appoints Megan Stone co-host of WEBE, Westport, Connecticut (Fairfield and New Haven markets) “WEBE Wake Up Morning Show with Jay Michaels.”  Operations manager Danny Lyons states, “It is exciting to welcome Megan to the Cumulus family.  I know her enthusiasm for radio, as well as for her listeners, will shine through every morning on WEBE 108.”…..At CHR WYRG, Indianapolis “ENERGY 93.9,” Robert “Sid” Sidloski takes over the program director role on August 6.  Cumulus Media Indianapolis operations manager Boomer says, “In seeking the next leader for WYRG I had the opportunity to speak with several skilled programmers from around the country, most with career credentials that would certainly be suitable for the role of PD.  However, I kept coming back to Sid’s positive attitude and seemingly relentless drive and determination to succeed in this situation along with his vision for the brand to pursue and achieve aggressive success right away.  Sid has an understanding of our obstacles and has shared impressive plans to seize upon our opportunities here in Indianapolis.  I’m absolutely looking forward to seeing his leadership in action as PD of ENERGY 93.9.”…..The nationally syndicated “The Bert Show” – led by Bert Weiss – enters into an agreement to be produced and distributed by Westwood One.  Cumulus Media EVP, marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes states, “We’re excited to welcome ‘The Bert Show’ to Westwood One.  His ever-evolving show has been on a steady rise for more than a decade.  Bert’s professionalism and level of entertainment, combined with the strength of our network, should take him to new heights.” The program was previously syndicated by YEA Networks…..In Detroit, Mildred Gaddis – host of the “Mildred Gaddis Show” on Radio One’s “Detroit Praise Network” is named community affairs director for Radio One’s Detroit cluster. The new “Praise Network” replaces gospel WPZR-FM that was recently acquired by EMF. As part of that transaction, Radio One acquires translators W228CJ at 93.5 and W252BX at 98.3 from EMF and plans to marry them with W260CB at 99.9 to build the new “Detroit Praise Network.”…..Premiere Networks syndicated adult contemporary star Delilah is publishing her latest book, One Heart At a Time (2018, RosettaBooks).  In the book, Delilah uses “stories from her extraordinary off-air life – full of trials, forgiveness, faith, and adventure (along with select well-executed pranks)” in calling on us to “connect, one heart at a time, to lift others, and in the process, our communities and ourselves.” Rosetta CEO Arthur Klebanoff states, “In her easygoing style and characteristic, beloved voice, Delilah shares the real woman behind the microphone. She tells her deeply moving story as the series of miracles and prayers it is.”

Thursday, May 3, 2018

| May 3, 2018

Jamie Allman Sues Entercom and Emmis Over Firing.  Former KFTK-FM, St. Louis morning talk show host Jamie Allman has filed suit against both Entercom and Emmis over his dismissal from the station in the aftermath of his social media comment about Parkland, Florida student David Hogg.  If you recall, Allman’s Tweet about the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student – whose anti-gun stance Allman was attacking – included the phrase “I’ve been hanging out getting ready to ram a hot poker up David Hogg’s ass tomorrow.” Allman’s television show on Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KDNL-TV was canceled immediately and he was let go from KFTK-FM several days later.  In his suit, Allman contends that immediately after the incident, he was assured by management that it was not serious enough that the company PR department couldn’t handle it.  However, six days later he was summoned to a meeting and let go.  Allman is suing both companies because Emmis owned the station at the time but Entercom was operating it under an LMA in anticipation of owning it (that sale recently closed).  His breach of contract suit centers on the contention that the Tweet does not rise to the level of an offense for which he could be fired “for cause.”  He is seeking either reinstatement of his job or payment of his salary through 2020 (the term of his contract), waiver of the non-compete clause if he’s not reinstated, plus damages of $25,000.

USTN Announces Partnership with Entercom. Today’s announcement isn’t long on details but reports that United States Traffic Network – recently sold to Fair and Equal LLC by Global Traffic Network — has entered into an agreement with Entercom Communications that includes an “equity position” for Entercom in USTN.  Fair and Equal LLC is led by USTN president Ivan Shulman.  He says, “We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Entercom and look forward to their new role as an equity-holder as we continue to build out the new face of U.S. Traffic Network.  Involving media groups at an equity level is an unprecedented move in the industry and we couldn’t be more excited about our prospects for the future.  As one of the largest radio companies in the United States, Entercom is and will remain an invaluable part of our company and this partnership is just the first step in revolutionizing the broadcast traffic industry.”  USTN says Entercom is the “first of many media groups with respect to which USTN intends to partner.”  Entercom president and CEO David Field comments, “We are pleased to announce our new partnership with USTN. Their new management team has moved quickly to fix their issues and establish a solid business model following the company’s separation from its former corporate parent.  We look forward to participating in their future growth as they capitalize on the significant opportunities in this attractive market segment.”

Wisconsin Broadcaster Settles Debt Issues, Seeks Bankruptcy Exit.  According to the La Crosse Tribune, Mississippi Valley Broadcasters is filing a petition with the bankruptcy court to allow subsidiary La Crosse Media Group – operator of news/talk WLFN, adult contemporary WXLR-FM, classic hits KQEG-FM, classic rock WKBH-FM, and country WQCC-FM – to exit bankruptcy as it has come to agreements with creditors.  The station group was put up for sale but, according to the piece, none of the offers contained enough cash to pay off the debts.  The company reports that the cluster is profitable. The primary creditors agree that bankruptcy would not provide any substantive benefit to unsecured creditors. See the story here.

TALKERS News Notes. A series of moves at Capitol Broadcasting’s stations in the Raleigh-Durham market changes the frequencies of two of its sports talk stations and adds a new music-formatted station to the market.  Capitol had been – in addition to sports talk WCMC-FM “99.9 The Fan” – airing sports talk on WDNC-AM and its two translators as “Buzz Sports Radio” as well as on WCLY-AM, its translator and WCMC-HD3 as “95.7 The Ticket.”  Now, “Buzz Sports Radio” is available via WCMC-HD2, W243DK, and W257CS while “95.7 The Ticket” moves to WDNC-AM and WCMC-HD3 as “620 The Ticket.”  The new music format that appears to be a hybrid of Americana, country, R&B, folk, and rock airs on WCLY-AM and W239CK as “That Station 95.7.”  Capitol is currently running a contest and will award $1,000 to the listener who comes up with the best name for the station to give to the charity of his or her choice…..Saga Communications drops the sports talk on Asheville, North Carolina signals WOXL-HD3 and W247BV. They are now simulcasting oldies as “Pure Oldies 97.3.”  Saga still operates sports talk WISE-AM/WYSE-AM/W275CP as “WISE Sports Radio” on 102.9 FM and 1310 AM in the Asheville market…..Katz Media Group recently raised more than $34,000 for the Broadcasters Foundation of America during its 9thannual two-week, company-wide membership drive.  The Katz Membership Drive was initiated in 2010 by Stu Olds, the former CEO of Katz Media Group. The drive has continued annually, raising more than $300,000 since its inception.  All money raised during the drive goes to the Stu Olds Memorial Fund, which was established following the beloved industry leader’s passing in 2011.   BFoA president Jim Thompson says, “Katz Media Group has been a longtime champion of the Broadcasters Foundation.  We are extremely grateful to the Katz family for their belief in ‘giving back’ and continuing this charitable tradition.  Their annual donation makes a huge impact for our colleagues in need.”

Trump-Russia Investigation, Stormy Daniels Case, Kanye West Comments, North-South Korea Talks, Mexico Border Security/Caravan Asylum Seekers, Trump Doctor Story, Iowa Abortion Law, Southwest Plane Window Incident, MLB Action, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/2).  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents whether President Trump will be subpoenaed; porn star Stormy Daniels’ suit against President Trump and Rudy Giuliani’s statement that President Trump reimbursed attorney Michael Cohen for the $130,000 hush payment; Kanye West’s controversial comments about slavery and his support of President Trump; the peace talks between North and South Korea; security at the U.S.-Mexico border and the status of the caravan of asylum seekers; former Trump doctor Harold Bornstein’s statement that the president’s bodyguard and lawyer raided his office and that the president dictated his own health status report; Iowa passes restrictive abortion law; a second Southwest Airlines plane suffers a window break while in flight; Major League Baseball action, and the NBA playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Rock radio pro “Uncle Joe” Benson is assuming the hosting duties at Townsquare Media’s syndicated evening program “Ultimate Classic Rock.”  The former KSWD, Los Angeles midday host and former star of Westwood One’s “Off the Record” program takes over for Zach Martin, who’s been hosting the show since it debuted in 2015.  Townsquare SVP of programming Kurt Johnson says, “Joe’s name is synonymous with great rock radio. We’re excited to have him crack the mic nightly on the 50+ national affiliates of ‘Ultimate Classic Rock,’ and to share commentary, stories, interviews and videos with our audience on UltimateClassicRock.com.”…..On-air pro Jenn Marino is joining Entercom to be part of the company’s new alternative outlet KVIL, Dallas “ALT 103.7.”  In a statement, the company says Marino will “lead morning drive as well as all three prime dayparts.  She is the first on-air host to join KVIL since its commercial-free launch as an alternative station.”  Entercom Dallas SVP and market manager Brian Purdy says, “We have an opportunity to build a powerful brand with ‘ALT 103.7’ and it begins with identifying incredibly talented people.  Jenn is passionate about radio and driven to win and we’re looking forward to having her energy and drive on-air.”  Marino was most recently co-host of Premiere Networks’ “Sixx Sense with Nikki Sixx.”…..Connoisseur Media promotes air personality Kara Reifert to co-host of the WKJY, Hempstead, New York “K-98.3” morning program, the “K-98.3 Morning Crew with Steve Harper.”  Jon Daniels programs the Long Island adult contemporary station and he says, “Kara has been a member of the ‘K-98.3’ family for many years and, in addition to being a familiar, friendly voice, is someone who we feel Long Islanders can really relate to.”…..Cumulus Media’s hot AC WPLJ, New York presents the “95.5 PLJ Pepsi Summer Kick Off” on Friday, May 25 at Jenkinson’s Pavilion in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey. During the “Todd & Jayde in the Morning” show, listeners will be treated to live performances from Jason Mraz, Echosmith, MAX, and John Splithoff…..Hubbard Radio Seattle’s new country KNUC “98.9 The Bull” partners with Super Late Model division race car driver Molly Helmuth of Molly Helmuth Racing (pictured below).  KNUC program director Lisa Adams says, “The ‘New 98.9 The Bull’ is fast-paced by nature and partnering with Molly Helmuth Racing only solidifies that.  She is one of the few up-and-coming female superstars in the sport and we can’t wait to see our name and image flying down the track with her.  What goes better together than NASCAR and country music?  Nothing!”