Tag: "WABC"

#MeToo One Year Later

| October 5, 2018

By Kevin Casey
TALKERS magazine
Executive Editor

 

LONGMEADOW, Mass — It is exactly one year since The New York Times triggered what has come to be known as the #MeToo movement by publishing an exposé by reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey on movie mogul Harvey Weinstein’s sexual improprieties that eventually brought him down along with a list of prominent men in the entertainment, business, media and political industries.  After a couple of turbulent weeks of headline dominating events emanating from Judge Brett Kavanaugh‘s controversial confirmation hearing culminating in what is certain to be a historic and consequential vote by the U.S. Senate, TALKERS looks at the #MeToo movement through lens of some of news/talk radio’s prominent female hosts.

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Friday, September 7, 2018

| September 7, 2018

Kirk Minihane Goes on Leave from WEEI, Boston Morning Show. It was early last month that WEEI-FM, Boston morning personality Kirk Minihane announced he’d hospitalized himself after experiencing suicidal thoughts.  He spoke openly on the radio about his battle with depression.  But now he Tweets that he’s again taking time off from the “Kirk & Callahan” morning show on the Entercom sports talker as he goes on indefinite leave of absence.  He writes, “I’m going on an indefinite leave from the show.  Still battling mental health issues.  Truth is I came back to work too fast.  Wish I could be there with @GerryCallahan, @ChrisCurtis and @KenLairdWEEI – I love those guys very much.  I’ll be OK and sorry I’m leaving you all with Mut [Mike Mutnansky].”

‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ Wraps in Washington, DC.  The 2018 edition of the two-day “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row in Washington, DC wrapped yesterday (9/6) at the Phoenix Park Hotel on Capitol Hill.  This was the 12th year of the annual broadcasting/political event, presented by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).  FAIR says a record number of more than 65 radio talk show hosts from across the nation participated via live remotes interviewing numerous available guests from the fields of politics, law enforcement, media, and business about the state of the immigration reform movement.  Pictured above is WINA, Charlottesville talk show host Rob Schilling interviewing Arizona ranchers Fred and Peggy Davis.

Twitter Permanently Suspends Alex Jones and InfoWars. After being recently suspended from Twitter for a week for conduct that violates Twitter’s policies, radio personality Alex Jones and his InfoWars organization are being permanently banned from the social media platform for “abusive behavior.”  Austin, Texas-based Jones was in Washington this week covering congressional hearings about social media policy and allegations of conservative censorship and got into an exchange with CNN reporter Oliver Darcy that was live-streamed via Twitter-owned Periscope.  (He got into a verbal spat with Senator Marco Rubio in a separate exchange.)  Twitter’s statement said, in part, “We took this action based on new reports of Tweets and videos posted yesterday that violate our abusive behavior policy, in addition to the accounts’ past violations. We wanted to be open about this action given the broad interest in this case.”

Compass Media Networks Names Jim Chesko New ‘Your Money Now’ Anchor. News radio pro Jim Chesko is named the new anchor for the Compass Media Networks-syndicated “Your Money Now” business reports, effective Monday (9/10). He’ll anchor the 12:00 noon to 7:00 pm reports.  Chesko says, “I’m really excited to join the amazing team of broadcast professionals at Compass Media Networks.  I’ve worked with all of the ‘Your Money Now’ and ‘This Morning’ staff previously during our Wall Street Journal Radio days and being reunited with them is truly a dream come true.  My passion for money news remains strong and I’m sure listeners around the country will pick up on that.”  Chesko served for seven years with Bloomberg News.  He takes over for the retiring Bruce Vale.

Westwood One Launches Female Targeted ‘The Empow(h)er Podcast Network.’ The content creator and syndicator announced the launch of this new podcast network at yesterday’s IAB Podcast Upfront in New York. Westwood One says “The Empow(h)er Podcast Network” is getting off the ground with nine podcast series that will “inspire the medium’s rapidly growing female audience. Growth in time spent by women listening to podcasts weekly is 6x faster than that of men over the last year — and for the same time period, women’s average weekly time spent with podcasts is up 20%, according to the recently released ‘Westwood One’s Podcast Download — Fall 2018 report.’”  Podcast series in the network include: “Run Like a Girl” a series that shines a non-partisan light on women running for office; “On Her Turf,” from NBC Sports Group; Suze Orman’s “Women & Money” show; “Straight Talk with Ross Mathews”; “Pop Talk with Ross Mathews”; “Women Want to Hear Women with Elaina Smith”; “Bad Mamas with Jayde”; “40 Weeks with Jayde Donovan”; and “BLK + in Grad School,” hosted by Allanté Whitmore.

VSiN Strikes Network Deal for Pre-Game Gambling Show with Sports USA. Already providing one-minute “Action Updates” to some 40 AM/FM radio stations, Vegas Stats & Information Network (VSiN) inks its first network deal with sports play-by-play syndicator Sports USA.  Under the terms of this deal, VSiN will create a sports gambling pre-game show to air ahead of Sports USA’s presentation of its weekly NFL doubleheader, carried by close to 500 radio stations.  The one-hour “VSiN Sunday Preview” will air at 11:30 am ET, prior to Sports USA’s play-by-play coverage of its early Sunday NFL game.  VSiN CEO Brian Musberger states, “As expanding legalization introduces more Americans to sports gambling, those fans need credible, actionable news, and exclusive insights to help inform their betting decisions.  We’re thrilled to partner with Sports USA to get that credible information to millions of NFL fans just ahead of kick-off.”

Boston Herald Editor-in-Chief Joe Sciacca Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. The highly innovative editor-in-chief of the Boston Herald, Joe Sciacca, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Harrison and Sciacca discuss changes taking place at the major New England daily in the aftermath of an ownership change. The newspaper has accrued a number of major journalism awards and distinctions for its innovative leadership in integrating digital platform technology into its multimedia approach to news reporting. Harrison and Sciacca go deep in a discussion about the state of newspapers, media, and journalism in the digital age and Trump era. This is a must-listen! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

TALKERS News Notes. When Sid Rosenberg’s new weekend program, “Sid Sports Sunday,” debuts Sunday (9/9) morning at 8:00 am on WABC, New York, he’ll have two special guests on the program – New York Giants rookie running back Sequon Barkley and former FOX News Channel superstar Bill O’Reilly.  This new program is in addition to his work co-hosting morning drive with Bernard McGuirk on 77 WABC…..Entercom’s Bay Area sports talk duo KGMZ-FM and KGMZ-AM inks a deal to air Westwood One’s Sunday NFL play-by-play broadcasts.  The stations will air select regular season games as well as playoff games and Super Bowl LIII.

New York Times Anti-Trump Op-Ed Top News/Talk Story for Week of September 4-7. The publication of an anonymous op-ed piece critical of President Trump that The New York Times says was penned by a Trump Administration official was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the publication of Bob Woodward’s new book Fear: Trump in the White House.  Coming in at #3 was the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, followed by the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign officials and Russian agents at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro Lani Q takes over the midday show on Cumulus Media’s rhythmic CHR simulcast KWNN, Stockton-Modesto/KWIN, Lodi.  Station program director Daniel “Jiggy” Diaz says, “Lani Q is the definition of what KWIN is about.  She’s a local, homegrown talent that lives the rhythmic lifestyle and wants to be better every day. I’ve watched Lani grow in leaps and bounds since she started at our sister station KHOP-FM five years ago.  I couldn’t be happier with our new lineup at KWIN!”…..Cumulus classic rocker KGGO, Des Moines adds the nationally syndicated evening program “Nights with Alice Cooper” to the station’s program schedule.

August 2018 PPM Data – Part Three. August 2018 ratings information has been released for Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Orlando, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s 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 these 12-PPM markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

Portland

Spoken Word Formats – Flat at 8.1 (6+), Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk KOPB remains on top – as it has been each month this calendar year (including sharing April’s lead with iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW “K-103”). KOPB was +1.1 (January 2018); -1.1 (February); +1.0 (March); -1.0 (April); and -.5 (May). Securing the #5 spot for the third month in succession, Alpha Media news/talk KXL “101 FM News – Stay Connected” has a May 2018 – August 2018 topline of 5.3 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.3 (6+). KXL was up six-tenths in April and was then off a combined one-half share in May and June. When “101 FM News – Stay Connected” faltered by four-tenths in March, it ended three consecutive increases that produced a cumulative +1.7. Prior to January, the last time KXL reached the five-share level (6+) was in October 2013 (5.3). An April improvement of two-tenths by iHeartMedia’s KEX “News Radio 1190 – Depend on Us” suspended three straight up or flat trends that netted six-tenths (1.2 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+). Its January 2018 through August 2018 trending is 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 2.0 (#20 to #18, 6+), with August’s 2.0 marking the first time it reached the two-share level (6+) in nearly two years (2.1, November 2016). After posting a 1.0 (6+) four times in a row, Alpha Media news/talk KUFO dropped three-tenths to .7 (6+) in July, but “Freedom 970” regains that three-tenths in August and is back at 1.0 (#27 to #24, 6+). Among the market’s sports talkers, Entercom’s KFXX “1080 The Fan” picks up three-tenths to 1.7 (#21 to #20, 6+) ending six straight down or flat moves that resulted in a -1.0 (2.4 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4, 6+); Alpha Media-owned KXTG “The Game” drops two-tenths to 1.2 (#21 to #22, 6+), terminating three straight up or flat trends (1.1 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4, 6+); and iHeartMedia’s KPOJ “Sports Radio 620” forfeits seven-tenths (1.1 – .4, #23 to #29, 6+).

Portland Music Formats – Logging a +.9 (4.4 – 5.3, 6+) enables KINK “101.9 Uniquely Portland” to reach the five-share level (6+) for the first time since February (5.0). Moreover, the Alpha Media triple A cruises from ninth to fifth. Down in each of the past four sweeps for a cumulative -.8 (2.5 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KFIS “104.1 The Fish” erases the entire deficit with a +.8 to 2.5 (#19 to #17, 6+). Improving by six-tenths each are Alpha Media CHR KBFF “Live 95.5” (3.7 – 4.3, #12 to #8, 6+) and All Classical Public Media-owned KQAC “All Classical Portland” (2.8 – 3.4, #16 to #14, 6+). “Live 95.5” faltered by six-tenths in July. Flat at #15, its format rival – iHeartMedia-owned KKRZ “Z-100 Portland’s #1 Hit Music Station” – has its fourth decrease in a row for a combined loss of nine-tenths (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.1, 6+). A June 2018 setback of three-tenths by its adult contemporary sibling KKCW is followed by back-to-back gains totaling seven-tenths (7.2 – 7.7 – 7.9, 6+) as “K-103” continues at #2. KKCW was #1 in December 2017 (13.0, 6+); “Holiday” 2017 (16.9, 6+); and tied for first (with KOPB) in April 2018 (8.5, 6+). It proves to be a rough sweep for the market’s two country FMs as Alpha Media’s KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 for New Country” erodes by one full-share (#11 to #16, 6+) and Entercom-owned KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf, Great Country for the Great Northwest” sputters by seven-tenths to 3.9 (6+) as it departs the top ten (#7 to #11). Stuck on 3.3 (6+) in March and April and then on 4.0 (6+) in May and June, “The Bull” is -1.1 in three straight sweeps without an increase (4.0 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 2.9, 6+). August’s 2.9 is its lowest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017 (2.9, as well). Down or flat in three successive sweeps for a -1.6 (4.9 – 4.7 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+), “The Bull” wiped out nearly half that deficit in May with a +.7. Meanwhile, “The Wolf” was up eight-tenths in June to 4.6, its finest 6+-showing since September 2017 (4.6, as well); KWJJ was then locked on 4.6 (6+) in June and July. A loss of one-half share (4.6 – 4.1, seventh to tenth, 6+) takes Entercom adult hits KYCH “97.1 Charlie – We Play Everything” to its lowest 6+-share (4.1) since February 2017’s 4.0. A collective +1.6 in four straight up or flat trends (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.6 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+), co-owned KGON “92.3 Portland’s Classic Rock” is off two-tenths to 5.4 (6+) but remains in fourth-place. July’s 5.6 is the highest 6+-showing for KGON since June 2017 (5.6, as well). Up or flat the past five sweeps for an overall +.7 (1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.9, 6+), Alpha Media rhythmic CHR KWEE “WE-96.3” – Portland’s Real Hip-Hop Station” slips by one-tenth to 1.8 (#17 to #19, 6+). July’s 1.9 is KWEE’s highest 6+-share since November 2017’s 2.0. More than two full-shares ahead of it is iHeartMedia’s KXJM “JAM’N 107.5 Portland’s #1 For Hip-Hop,” which is a collective +.4 in four straight up or flat moves (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.8, #14 to #12, 6+).

Charlotte

Spoken-Word Formats – A combined -1.1 in July and August (4.1 – 3.7 – 3.0, 6+), University Radio Foundation news talk WFAE slips from #12 to #13. The very consistent January 2018 – May 2018 topline trending for WFAE, which was up one-half share in June, was 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 3.6 (6+). “Charlotte’s NPR News Source” was a combined -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.2 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+). Meanwhile, Entercom news/talk WBT is trending 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.9 (May – June – July – August, 6+) and progresses from #17 to #14. When WBT gained two-tenths in June, it curtailed three straight losses that accounted for a -1.7 (4.3 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 2.6, 6+). Immediately prior to that particular streak, WBT was a collective +1.2 in three increases in succession  (3.1 – 3.2 – 4.0 – 4.3, 6+). Unchanged at #19, co-owned sports talk WFNZ “The Fan – Charlotte’s Sports Leader” improves by four-tenths to 1.0 (6+), snapping four successive down or flat sweeps that led to a -1.1 (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.1 – .7 – .6, 6+); “The Fan” bounced back from February’s -.7 with a one-half share gain in March.

Charlotte Music Formats – After three decreases in a row for a -1.1 (4.3 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WEND is up nine-tenths in July and August (3.2 – 3.3 – 4.1, 6+). Moreover, “106.5 The End – Charlotte’s Alternative Rock” cracks the top ten (#13 to #9). Four positive spikes in succession by adult hits cluster-mate WLKO “102.9 The Lake Charlotte’s We Play Anything Station” (sixth to fifth) have produced a +1.4 (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 5.2 – 5.5, 6+). At #8 for the third straight month, Beasley Media Group urban contemporary WPEG “Power 98” notches its fifth uptick in a row for an overall gain of nine-tenths (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.9, 6+) and has its best 6+-share (4.9) in exactly one year (5.9, August 2017). While repeating in the runner-up slot, co-owned WSOC “103.7 Country’s Hottest Hits” is up or flat for the third time in a row for an overall +1.3 (6.2 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 7.5, 6+). The last time WSOC reached the seven-share level (6+) was in “Holiday” 2016 (7.0). While unchanged with a 6.2 (6+), its format challenger, iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country,” progresses from fourth to a third-place tie; “The Kat” was a combined -1.0 in May and June (7.0 – 6.4 – 6.0, 6+), before gaining two-tenths in July. Albeit down three-tenths (7.9 – 7.6, #1, 6+) and holding a slim one-tenth lead over country sibling WSOC, Beasley Media Group urban AC WBAV “V-101.9” makes a little bit of history by staying at #1 in back-to-back ratings periods. Prior to this (August 2018) sweep, no Charlotte station had repeated at #1 since September 2017/October/November when iHeartMedia classic rocker WRFX “The Fox” accomplished the feat. It has been a revolving door for the market’s top spot which has been held (in chronological order) by iHeartMedia adult hits WLKO (December 2017); Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WKQC (“Holiday” 2017); iHeartMedia country WKKT (January 2018); Beasley Media Group urban AC WBAV (February); WRFX (March); WKKT (April); WBAV (May); WSOC (June); WBAV (July); and WBAV again in August. “V-101.9” was +1.4 in May; eroded by -1.2 in June; and erased that -1.2 in its entirety in July with a +1.2. Continuing a down/up pattern that began in March, iHeartMedia CHR WHQC “Channel 96.1” (#14 to #15) is a combined -1.2 in that stretch. After not suffering a loss between March 2018 – July 2018 netting one-half share in the process (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WQNC “92.7 The Block” surrenders four-tenths to 2.5 (#15 to #17, 6+); 2.9 in July 2018 is the strongest 6+-stat for “The Block” since its 3.4 in July 2017.

San Antonio

Spoken-Word Formats – Bouncing back from July’s -.5 with August’s +.3 (3.5 – 3.8, 6+), +), iHeartMedia news/talk WOAI News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather” climbs from #12 to #11. July’s 3.5 was its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 2.8. A January +1.6 enabled WOAI to have its best 6+-showing since May 2017 (4.4, as well). An increase of four-tenths (2.6 – 3.0, 6+) takes Texas Public Radio news/talk KSTX from #17 to #14. A July loss of seven tenths suspended three up or flat moves that led to a +.5 (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+). Immediately before April’s +1, KSTX was a combined -1.9 through three consecutive negative trends (4.7 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+). With a +1.0 to 4.7 in Holiday2017, KSTX crossed the four-share level (6+) for the first time in its PPM-history. Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” gains three-tenths to 1.7 (6+) but is flat at #22. KTSA was a collective -.5 in June and July (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.4, 6+), after not having a loss for five reports in a row for a collective +.6 (1.3 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9, 6+). Erasing its combined -.3 from three straight one-tenth decreases (.7 – .6 – .5 – .4, 6+) with a +.3 to .7 (6+), iHeartMedia sports talk KTKR “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” advances from #27 to #30.

San Antonio Music Formats – The four-tenths of a share lead that Cox Media Group-owned KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader” had in July over iHeartMedia’s KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” triples to 1.2 as “Y-100” hauls out a +.9, while “KJ-97” improves by one-tenth (5.5 – 5.6, 6+). The country adversaries that were locked together in the runner-up slot in June remain at #2 and #3, respectively, in August. This is the third straight gain for “Y-100,” which reaches the six-share level (6.8) for the first time since October 2017’s 6.0, and is a cumulative +1.5 in that stretch (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.8, 6+). Slipping one-tenth in May halted four straight up or flat trends that netted a +1.3 (4.1 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.4, 6+). The +2.7 that KAJA racked up in January and February (4.1 – 5.2 – 6.8, 6+) was cut virtually in half in March and April with a collective -1.3; however, “KJ-97” answered with a +.6 in May. Prior to January, “KJ-97” was -.9 in four successive down or flat sweeps (5.0 – 5.0 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). After logging a 4.2 (6+) in each of the last four sweeps, its adult contemporary sibling – KQXT “Q101.9” – gains three-tenths to 4.5 (6+) and proceeds from eighth to fifth. Owing to a half share increase to 4.5 (6+), Univision Radio rhythmic CHR KBBT not only pulls the plug on three straight decreases that produced a loss of seven-tenths (4.7 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 4.0, 6+), “98.5 The Beat” jumps from ninth to fifth. Posting a gain for the third sweep in a row is Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies KONO-FM, which is +1.2 since May (6.6 – 7.0 – 7.7 – 7.8, 6+). Moreover, “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” sets the pace in San Antonio for the eighth successive sweep. Its +.4 in June stalled three consecutive downward moves for an overall -.7 (7.3 – 7.2 – 6.9 – 6.6, 6+). KONO-FM spent ten straight months at #1 before shifting to #2 in December 2017 and remained there in “Holiday” 2017. It’s a bit of a rollercoaster ride though for hot AC sibling KSMG “Magic 105.3 Today’s Best Music,” which lost nine-tenths in three March through June downtrends in succession (5.1 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+); regained seven-tenths in July; but is now -.9 in August (4.9 – 4.0, fourth to ninth, 6+). This (4.0) is the lowest 6+-stat for “Magic” since 3.8 in “Holiday” 2017. Having recorded a 3.1 (6+) in three of the last five sweeps (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+), iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary KZEP “104.5 Latino Hits” spirals by nine-tenths in August (2.2, #14 to #19, 6+). Off six-tenths to 4.3 and dipping from fourth to eighth (6+), Cox Media Group classic rock KTKX “106.7 The Eagle” interrupts four straight up or flat trends that netted nine-tenths (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.9, 6+). A combined +.5 in April and May, Univision Radio regional Mexican KROM “Que Buena 92.9” (flat at #7) is now -1.7 in three straight decreases (6.1 – 5.5 – 4.7 – 4.4, 6+). In that same vein, following four upticks in succession that netted +1.8 (3.2 – 3.3 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KXXM is an overall -1.7 in four straight decreases (5.0 – 4.9 – 4.4 – 3.7 – 3.3, April – May – June – July – August, 6+); “96.1 Now – San Antonio’s #1 Hit Music Station” departs the top ten (#10 to #13).

Pittsburgh

Spoken-Word Formats – It is more of a wild ride for Entercom sports talk KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan,” which was a combined +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018; -.9 in February; +2.0 in April (5.8 – 7.8, 6+); -2.0 in three straight May – June – July declines (7.8 – 7.4 – 6.5 – 5.8, 6+); and now +1.4 in August (5.8 – 7.2, sixth to fourth, 6+). April’s 7.8 is the strongest 6+-showing for the Pittsburgh Pirates flagship since October 2015 when it scored a 10.1. By contrast, the March 2018 – August 2018 topline for co-owned news/talk KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020” (ninth to tenth) is very steady: 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 4.0 (6+). June’s +.2 pulled the plug on four sweeps in a row without an increase that produced a -1.1 (5.3 – 5.3 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.2, 6+). Similarly, a +1.3 in January halted four down or flat trends in succession that resulted in a loss of eight-tenths (4.8 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+). Answering July’s -.6 (2.6 – 2.0, 6+) with a +.4 to 2.4 (6+), Essential Public Media news/talk WESA remains at #13. Before faltering by one-half share in April, “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” was an overall +.8 as a result of three consecutive up or flat moves (2.1 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+). January’s +.6 halted three successive downward trends that resulted in a -1.1 (3.2 – 2.8 – 2.4 – 2.1, 6+). After eight straight times of notching a .2 ( 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk WBGG drops to .1 (#17 to #18, 6+). Immediately preceding that streak, “970 AM – ESPN Pittsburgh” had logged a .1 (6+) six consecutive times.

Pittsburgh Music Formats – Winning ways continue for iHeartMedia-owned WPGB, which is a collective +1.9 as the result of six straight up or flat trends since February (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 4.2, 6+). Moreover, “Big 104.7 – Pittsburgh’s #1 For New Country” enters the top ten (#11 to #9) and reaches the four-share threshold (6+) for the first time since February 2017’s 4.0. Despite being down one-tenth after July’s -1.0 (10.4 – 9.4 – 9.3, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWSW “94.5 – 3WS” is #1 for the 18th consecutive ratings period. A combined +.9 in March and April (10.3 – 11.1 – 11.2, 6+), “3WS” forfeited -1.3 in May and lost seven full-shares in January (16.4 – 9.4, 6+). This (9.3) is the lowest 6+-stat for WWSW since 9.1 in February 2017. On the heels of July’s +.6 (5.6 – 6.2, 6+), Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHH “Wish 99.7” relinquishes nine-tenths to 5.3 (fifth to sixth, 6+). Even though it records its third consecutive improvement for a collective +1.1 (2.8 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 3.9, 6+), Steel City Media hot AC WLTJ “Q-92.9 backslides from #11 to #12. Within 4.6 – 5.0 range between January 2018 – July 2018 (4.9 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.9, 6+), its format foe – Entercom’s  WBZZ “Star 100.7” – regresses by one-half share to 4.4 (seventh to eighth, 6+). In the runner-up slot for the eighth successive sweep, iHeartMedia rocker WDVE (8.5 – 7.7, 6+) and CHR cluster-mate WKST “96.1 Kiss FM Pittsburgh’s #1 Hit Music Station” (fourth to fifth, 6+) decline by eight-tenths and seven-tenths, respectively. WDVE was +1.6 (October 2017); -1.0 (November); -.8 (“Holiday 2017”); +.8 (January 2018); -.9 (February); -.5 in March; and now -.8 in August. October’s 10.2 marked the first time WDVE reached double-digits (6+) since March 2017 (10.4). “Kiss” is a collective -1.7 in three negative moves in a row (7.3 – 6.9 – 6.3 – 5.6, 6+). The last time WKST fell below a six-share (6+) was nearly five years ago (5.6, October 2013). After having their March 2018 – June 2018 information displayed, five stations are unlisted for the second straight month: classic hits-oldies WKPL and WPKL; and country-formatted WLYI, WOGG, and WOGI.

Sacramento

Spoken-Word Formats – An August +.6 by Capital Public Radio news/talk KXJZ wipes out July’s -.5 (4.5 – 5.1, sixth to fourth, 6+). KXJZ was up a collective seven-tenths in May and June (4.3 – 4.7 – 5.0, 6+). It posted a one-half share gain in January but was a combined -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.3 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+). Without an increase for the seventh straight sweep for an overall -2.6 (8.6 – 8.1 – 8.1 – 7.8 – 6.7 – 6.3 – 6.0 – 6.0, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KFBK shifts from second to third. “Sacramento’s News, Weather, and Traffic Station” was third in December 2017; second in “Holiday” 2017; up to first in January 2018; back to second in February; up again to first in March (tied with KSEG); back to second in April, May, June, and July; and third in August. KFBK logged a +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and followed with a +.2 in January 2018 to 8.6 – its best 6+-stat since January 2017’s 8.7. Meanwhile, the February 2018 – August 2018 topline trending for co-owned KSTE (#16 to a three-way tie at #13) is: 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.3 (6+). “Talk 650” was +.6 in December; -.5 in “Holiday” 2017; and +.6 in January to 2.7, its highest 6+-share since June 2017’s 2.8. Entercom’s KHTK “Sports 1140” is down two-tenths (1.3 – 1.1, #20 to #22, 6+), while co-owned KIFM-AM “ESPN Radio 1320” loses 50% of its 6+-share (-.8) in three straight decreases (1.6 – 1.4 – 1.1 – .8, #22 to #25, 6+).

Sacramento Music Formats – Powered by a +.9 (2.9 – 3.8, 6+), Entercom rhythmic CHR KSFM enters the top ten (#13 to #10) and logs its highest 6+-share since November 2017 (3.8, as well). Adult contemporary sibling KYMX “Mix 96 – Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” dials up a one-half share increase to 6.1 (third to second, 6+), applying the brakes to three straight downward moves that led to a loss of six-tenths (6.2 – 6.0 – 5.9 – 5.6, 6+). “Mix” is three full-shares behind cluster-mate KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” (9.0 – 9.1, +.1, 6+), which is on top for the seventh successive sweep. “The Eagle” was +1.0 in May; +.9 in June to 9.9, its strongest 6+-showing since July 2016’s 10.3; and -.9 in July. A January gain of +2.0 essentially erased a combined -2.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017. Despite picking up one-tenth to 3.7 (6+) which suspends three straight decreases that produced a -1.0 (4.6 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+), hot AC sibling KZZO “Now 100.5 Today’s Best Hits” backslides from #10 to #12. An August -1.1 by iHeartMedia’s KBEB “92.5 The Bull – #1 for New Country” (#12 to #13) erases July’s +1.0 (2.4 – 3.4 – 2.3, 6+). Immediately prior to being off four-tenths in May, “The Bull” was up or flat the previous four reports for an overall gain of seven-tenths (1.8 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.5, 6+). A similar story of a Sacramento country outlet returning a sizeable July increase in August involves Entercom’s KNCI “New Country 105.1,” which forfeits seven-tenths of its July +.8 (5.1 – 4.4, fourth to sixth, 6+). KNCI had been within 4.1 – 4.4 range (6+) between January and June (4.2 – 4.2 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.3, 6+); July’s 5.1 is its highest 6+-share since August 2017 (5.4). Before surrendering two-tenths in April, “New Country” was an overall +.9 in three consecutive positive or flat trends (3.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.4, 6+). Elsewhere in the country format, Entravision-owned KNTY “101.9 The Wolf” was off one-half share in in April; lost one-tenth in May; regained one-tenth in June; was down four-tenths in July; and is now flat in August (2.1, #17, 6+). As a result of three successive “Holiday” 2017 – March 2018 increases, “The Wolf” gained seven-tenths (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+).

Salt Lake City

Spoken-Word Formats – Albeit steady at #7, Bonneville’s KSL “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” picks up four-tenths to 5.0 (6+), thus curtailing three consecutive declines that accounted for a -3.5 (8.1 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.6, 6+). Immediately prior to the May sweep, KSL – #1 in April – was +3.0 as a result of four consecutive increases (5.1 – 6.4 – 6.7 – 6.9 – 8.1, 6+). The bookend May 2018 – August 2018 topline for iHeartMedia’s KNRS “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know” is 4.1 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.1 (6+). A +.3 in May ended three successive down or flat moves that accounted for a -.2 (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.8, 6+). KNRS was a combined -1.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 and +.7 in January. In four successive sweeps without a decrease (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+), University of Utah news/talk KUER (flat at #11) is up seven-tenths. This immediately follows an overall -1.3 from three straight down or flat ratings periods (4.1 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.8, 6+). After posting four consecutive positive or flat moves for a collective gain of one-half share (1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+), Broadway Media-owned KALL “ESPN 700 – Utah’s #1 Sports Talk” dips two-tenths to 1.7 (6+) and exits the top twenty (#20 to #22).

Salt Lake City Music Formats – At the same time that Bonneville-owned adult contemporary KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music, Better Work Day” gains one-half share to 6.4 (6+) and marches from third to a first-place tie, Cumulus Media’s similarly-programmed KBEE “B-98.7 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” regresses by six-tenths (3.3 – 2.7, #13 to #15, 6+). Immediately prior to August, “FM 100.3” was a collective -2.3 in four successive down or flat trends (8.2 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 6.3 – 5.9, 6+) with August’s 5.9 its lowest 6+-showing since May 2016’s 5.7. Up nine-tenths in March – only to lose nine-tenths in April – “FM 100.3” had been on top for six straight ratings periods (November 2017 through March 2018). “B-98.7” gained six-tenths between April and July (2.7 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+), with 3.3 its best 6+-stat since September 2017’s 3.5. Sharing the #1 slot with KSFI is iHeartMedia’s KODJ “94.1 Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits,” which is down a total of one-half share in three straight decreases (6.9 – 6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). Prior to June’s -.1, KODJ nearly doubled (+3.4) its 6+ AQH share through five successive up or flat trends (3.5 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.4 – 5.8 – 6.9, 6+). May 2018 marked the first time KODJ reached the six-share level (6+) since its 6.6 in June 2016. It was #1 in June 2018 and July 2018. Broadway Media adult hits KYMV tacks on eight-tenths to July’s +.6 (1.0 – 1.6 – 2.4, 6+) as “Rewind 100.7” cracks the top twenty (#23 to #19) and crosses the two-share level (6+) for the first time since May 2017’s 2.3. Flat at #13, Cumulus Media CHR KENZ “Power 94.9 Utah’s New Hit Music” logs its fourth increase in a row for a +1.0 (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.4, 6+). Frozen on 3.2 (6+) in June and July, iHeartMedia’s KAAZ “Rock 106.7 – Everything That Rocks” falters by seven-tenths to 2.5 (#15 to #18, 6+). Off one-tenth to 3.9 (6+), co-owned hot AC KJMY “MY-99.5” (ninth to tenth) concludes at three a consecutive string of increases that netted a +1.1 (2.9 – 3.0 – 3.2 – 4.0, 6+). Steady at #3, Cumulus Media country outlet KUBL “K-Bull 93 FM” drops two-tenths to 5.7 (6+), thus snapping three straight improvements for a +1.1 (4.8 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.9, 6+). Independent KSOP-FM “Z-104 Utah’s #1 Country” – a combined -1.2 in June and July (4.6 – 3.9 – 3.4, 6+) – adds one-tenth to 3.5 (6+) and climbs from #12 to #11.

Las Vegas

Spoken-Word Formats – Steady at #15, Nevada Public Radio’s KNPR is up eight-tenths as a result of three upticks in a row (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8, 6+) and has its best 6+-showing (2.8) since March (2.9). A -.9 in April and May (2.9 – 2.6 – 2.0, 6+) directly followed three consecutive improvements that accounted for a +1.0 (1.9 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.9, 6+). Down or flat the past three ratings periods for a loss of four-tenths (2.1 – 2.0 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+), Entercom’s KXNT “News Talk Radio 840” adds two-tenths to 1.9 (6+) and continues at #20. Before dropping one-tenth in March, KXNT was up or flat in three successive sweeps for a +.2 (1.7 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+). The March 2018 – August 2018 topline for Beasley Media Group news/talk KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk” (#24 to #23 ) is .9 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 (6+). A one-half share decrease in March concluded five straight positive or flat trends (.7 – .7 – .7 – .7 – 1.3 – 1.4, 6+) that doubled KDWN’s 6+-share. A combined -.3 in June and July (.8 – .6 – .5, 6+), Lotus Communications sports talk KWWN “ESPN Radio 1100” is up one-tenth to .6 (flat at #27, 6+).

Las Vegas Music Formats – In tandem with Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies KKLZ “96.3 – 70s, 80s and More” gaining eight-tenths (6.7 – 7.5, second to first, 6+) and iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5 Better Music for a Better Workday” eroding by -1.3 (7.6 – 6.3, first to second, 6+), KKLZ succeeds KSNE at #1. It is a familiar pattern between these two properties as “Sunny” was off six-tenths in April and replaced by KKLZ at #1. In May, “Sunny” succeeded KKLZ at #1. The two swapped places at the top in March as well. Back in December, KKLZ was ousted from the penthouse by “Sunny” after five straight months there. This is the ninth time between July 2017 and August 2018 that KKLZ has been #1: July 2017 through November 2017, January 2018, February 2018, April 2018, and August 2018. KKLZ, which was up nine-tenths in July, has its best 6+-performance (7.5) since January’s 7.6. “Sunny” had been on top the last three months with July’s 7.6 its highest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2017, when it logged a 12.5. In addition to KKLZ, Lotus Communications Spanish adult hits KWID notches a +.8 (3.9, 6+) and returns to the top ten (#12 to #9) as it roars back from July’s -1.3 (4.4 – 3.1, 6+). Entering the June sweep, “La Buena 101.9” was within three-share range 18 straight times; however, that streak ended when KWID gained six-tenths to 4.4, its strongest 6+-showing since 4.5 in “Holiday” 2016. Increasing by six-tenths each are Faith Communications contemporary Christian KSOS “SOS Radio” (3.0 – 3.6, 6+), which joins the top ten (#13 to #10) and Lotus Communications’ KXPT “97.1 The Point #1 For Classic Rock” (3.9 – 4.5, ninth to seventh, 6+). When KSOS added six-tenths in July, it pulled the plug on three straight down or flat trends that accounted for a loss of seven-tenths (3.1 – 3.1 – 2.7 – 2.4, 6+). A decrease of six-tenths (1.4 – .8, 6+) takes Entravision Spanish contemporary KRRN “La Suavecita 107.1” (#25) to its lowest 6+-showing since November 2017 (.8, as well). Nearly negating the +.6 it gained via three straight up or flat trends (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 4.0, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s KCYE “102.7 The Coyote #1 For New Hit Country” falters by one-half share to 3.5 (6+) and departs the top ten (#8 to #11); July’s 4.0 is its highest 6+-share since June 2017’s 4.7.

Cincinnati

Spoken-Word Formats – Piling on one-half share to July’s +.8 (2.8 – 3.6 – 4.1, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WKRC “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati” enters the top ten (#11 to #8). July’s increase halted four straight monthly reports without an increase for a collective -1.0 (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+). When WKRC gained three-tenths in January, it ended three downward moves in a row that accounted for a -.9 (4.2 – 4.2 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+). Co-owned news/talk and Cincinnati Reds flagship WLW is #1 for the third month in a row and is +2.8 in as many successive upticks (7.7 – 9.1 – 10.4 – 10.5, 6+). “The Big One” was a combined +2.0 in January and February; -1.0 in March; +1.6 in April; and -1.2 in May. August 2018’s 10.5 is its highest 6+-share in more than two years (10.8, June 2016). Prior to January, WLW was a collective -3.3 as the result of five straight negative trends (9.6 – 9.4 – 9.2 – 8.0 – 7.2 – 6.3, 6+). A gain of four-tenths (3.1 – 3.5, #13 to #12, 6+) takes Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU to its best 6+-stat since February’s 3.6; WVXU was a collective +.7 in January and February. In the sports talk field, iHeartMedia-owned WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530,” which had its 6+-share carved nearly in half in June and July (1.4 – 1.2 – .8, 6+), is up one-tenth to .9 (#20). Co-owned WSAI “Fox Sports AM 1360” hasn’t had an increase in the past five months (.7 – .4 – .4 – .3 – .2 – .2, flat at #25, 6+).

Cincinnati Music Formats – Off eight-tenths in July to 4.1, its softest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2017’s 3.7, Hubbard rhythmic hot AC WREW “Mix 94.9” answers with a one-half share increase to 4.6 (eighth to seventh, 6+). “Mix” was stuck on 4.9 (6+) in May and June. Registering a .8 (6+) in four of the last five ratings periods (.8 – .8  – .8 – .9  – .8, 6+), Cincinnati Public Radio’s classical-formatted WGUC “90.9 Music For Your Heart, Mind, & Spirit” breaks out a one-half share gain to 1.3 (#19 to #18, 6+), its best 6+-stat since February’s 1.5. There is no change from July in the AQH share (8.1, 6+) or AQH rank (#3) for WUBE “B-105.1 – Get Your Country On.” The Hubbard-owned station gained four-tenths in July. In June, “B-105.1” was -.9, which halted five consecutive upticks that netted +2.8 (5.8 – 6.3 – 7.8 – 8.1 – 8.3 – 8.5 – 8.6, 6+). After three flat or down trends that led to a -.6 (2.3 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 1.7, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WNNF “94.1 Nash-FM” is up two-tenths to 1.9 (#16 to #15, 6+). After notching a .8 (6+) in May, June, and July, Hubbard’s WYGY “97.3 The Wolf” improves to .9 (6+) and moves from a five-way deadlock at #19 to a four-way tie at #20. Unchanged at #6, Cumulus Media’s WOFX “92.5 The Fox – Cincinnati’s Classic Rock” is off eight-tenths in three straight down or flat trends (5.6 – 5.2 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+). In the iHeartMedia cluster, WEBN “Cincinnati’s Rock Station” has lost a collective nine-tenths as the result of four straight monthlies without an increase (4.9 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.0, seventh to ninth, 6+), while CHR sibling WKFS “Kiss 107.1 Cincinnati’s #1 Hit Music Station” is -1.0 in four straight down or flat sweeps (4.9 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.9, ninth to tenth, 6+).

Orlando

Spoken-Word Formats – A +1.0 to 4.7 (tenth to ninth, 6+) by iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” pulls the plug on three straight decreases that resulted in a -1.8 (5.5 – 5.3 – 4.0 – 3.7, 6+). July’s 3.7 is the lowest 6+-showing for “Real Radio” since “Holiday” 2017’s 2.2. A combined +3.0 in January and February (2.2 – 3.9 – 5.2, 6+), WTKS dropped three-tenths in March and was +.6 in April. January’s +1.7 ended three straight down or flat trends that resulted in a -.7 (2.9 – 2.9 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+). Despite gaining one-tenth (3.7 – 3.8, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM “News 96.5” backslides from #10 to #11. Before gaining four-tenths in July, WDBO-FM was -1.4 in five straight sweeps without an increase (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+). Entering the January sweep (in which it notched a +1.3), “News 96.5” was a collective -2.7 via four straight decreases (6.1 – 5.1 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+). “News 96.5” is three-tenths ahead of Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida,” which continues a down/up pattern that it began in February: 3.7 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 3.5 (flat at #12, 6+). After being locked on 1.5 (6+) in June and July, iHeartMedia news/talk WFLF adds four-tenths to 1.9 (#17 to #16, 6+). Co-owned sports talk WYGM “FM 96.9 The Game – Orlando’s Sports Leader” is a collective +.3 via six successive sweeps without a loss (.7 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0, #19 to #18, 6+), while Cox Media Group sports talk WDBO-AM “ESPN 580 Orlando” is off one-tenth (.8 – .7, #21 to #22, 6+).

Orlando Music Formats – Tied with San Diego CHR KHTS for registering the largest (6+) July 2018 – August 2018 increase of any station in the 36 PPM-markets we’ve highlighted thus far, Entercom classic hits-oldies WOCL “105.9 Sunny FM” (5.4 – 6.9, +1.5, 6+) rockets from eighth to third. The last time “Sunny” reached the six-share level (6+) was in September 2017 (6.4). Advancing from seventh to sixth, Cox Media Group country WWKA “K-92.3” logs its sixth straight up or flat trend for an overall +2.1 (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 6.1, 6+). Whereas WOCL is +1.5 in August, iHeartMedia Spanish tropical WRUM “Rumba 100” is -1.5 (11.6 – 10.1, 6+) but is #1 for the eighth month in a row. Prior to the May sweep, WRUM was +1.8 in four upticks in succession (8.9 – 9.3 – 9.5 – 9.9 – 10.7, 6+). Following 11 consecutive months at #1, WRUM dropped to the runner-up slot in December and remained there in “Holiday” 2017. Its +.4 in January 2018 ended four negative sweeps in a row that generated a collective -2.7 (11.6 – 11.5 – 11.4 – 11.3 – 8.9, 6+). April 2017s 12.8 is the best-ever 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. Faltering by six-tenths each are its CHR and adult contemporary cluster-mates WXXL “XL-106.7 Orlando’s #1 Hit Music Station” (flat at #2) and WMGF “Magic 107.7” (6.1, third to sixth, 6+). “XL-106.7” is a collective -1.7 in three downward moves in a row (8.9 – 8.4 – 7.8 – 7.2, 6+). Between February and May, it was up an overall six-tenths via three increases of two tenths each (8.3 – 8.5 – 8.7 – 8.9, 6+). “Magic” was locked on 6.7 (6+) in June and July, after notching a 6.2 (6+) in May. A collective +1.2 in four successive sweeps without a loss (3.6 – 3.6 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.8, 6+), Cox Media Group rhythmic CHR WPYO “Power 95.3” forfeits one-half share of that increase (4.3, -.5, 6+) and drops from ninth to tenth. After sputtering by six-tenths in July (3.9 – 3.3, 6+), Entercom-owned WQMP regresses by an additional one-half share to 2.8 (6+) but “FM 101.9 Orlando’s New Alternative” stays at #14. Hot AC cluster-mate WOMX “Mix 105.1” is -1.1 in four straight negative moves (6.3 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.2, sixth to eighth, 6+).

Cleveland

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to three consecutive declines (6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.0, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” drops six-tenths and slips from fifth to seventh. June’s -.1 suspended three consecutive increases that netted +1.3 (5.3 – 5.5 – 6.3 – 6.6, 6+); May’s 6.6 is the best 6+-stat for the Cleveland Indians flagship since October 2017’s 8.3. A one-half share gain in January halted three straight declines for a -3.5 (8.5 – 5.4 – 5.2 – 5.0, 6+). A combined -1.8 in three straight (March through June) setbacks (5.2 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 3.4, 6+), Entercom’s WKRK “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” is up four-tenths in July and August (3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8, 6+) and carries on at #12. Between November 2017 and March 2018, Cleveland’s “Fan” had five successive up or flat sweeps that netted +1.2 (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 5.2, 6+). Steady at #13, Ideastream-owned WCPN is up one-tenth to 2.7 (6+), curtailing three straight sweeps of a 2.6 (6+). The public news/talk outlet was a combined -2.5 in February and March (5.3 – 3.6 – 2.8, 6+).

Cleveland Music Formats – Six-tenths of a share separates August 2018’s top three Cleveland finishers. Four successive positive spikes by Entercom-owned WNCX (steady at #2) generate a +2.4 (6.0 – 7.1 – 8.0 – 8.2 – 8.4, 6+) as “98.5 Cleveland’s Classic Rock” has its finest 6+-performance since June 2017 (8.4, as well). Immediately in advance of the May ratings period, WNCX was a cumulative -.3 as the result of three straight sweeps without an increase (6.3 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.0, 6+). While not quite matching July’s +1.0, iHeartMedia’s WGAR tacks on a +.7 (6.4 – 7.4 – 8.1, 6+), with “99.5 – Cleveland’s #1 for New Country” remaining in third-place. Three straight negative January through April moves resulting in a -1.0 (7.2 – 6.8 – 6.3 – 6.2, 6+) were largely halted by a +.8 in May; WGAR was -.6 in June. Picking up seven-tenths in August and jumping from eighth to fifth is Radio One urban contemporary WENZ “Z-107.9,” which is an overall +1.9 in four straight improvements (4.9 – 5.6 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.8, 6+). Not only does iHeartMedia adult hits WHLK “106.5 The Lake – We Play Anything” fully erase July’s -.6 with an August +.6 to 6.9 (sixth to fourth, 6+), the increase halts five straight decreases that led to a -1.5 (7.8 – 7.5 – 7.2 – 6.9 – 6.3, 6+). In addition to notching three straight upticks for an overall +.9 (7.8 – 8.4 – 8.5 – 8.7, 6+), classic hits-oldies sibling WMJI “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” is on top for the third consecutive sweep. Nine recent WMJI fluctuations include: +.8 (November); -.9 (December); +2.5 (Holiday” 2017); -1.9 (January); +1.9 (February); -2.0 (March); +1.0 (April); -1.5 (May); and +.6 in June. When “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” reached double-digits (6+) in “Holiday” 2017, it was the first time WMJI accomplished that feat since September 2016 (10.8). As the result of five straight down or flat trends, Radio One urban AC WZAK (fourth to seventh) is -4.1 or a roughly 40% loss of its 6+-share since March (10.1 – 9.6 – 8.1 – 6.8 – 6.8 – 6.0, 6+). After three consecutive increases for an overall +1.5 (8.6 – 9.1 – 9.5 – 10.1, 6+), WZAK faltered by one-half share in April. Having reached the top spot in December with a +.9, it fell to third in “Holiday” 2017. The consistent February 2018 – July 2018 topline of Entercom hot AC WQAL (5.2 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 5.3, 6+) gets a bit of an August jolt with a one-half share loss to 4.8 (6+); nonetheless, “Q-104” remains at #9.

Kansas City

Spoken-Word Formats – By gaining seven-tenths to 4.6 (6+), Entercom news/talk KMBZ-FM not only applies the brakes to five straight February through July decreases for a -1.7 (5.6 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.1 – 3.9, 6+), “98.1 News-Traffic-Weather” returns to the top ten (#11 to #8). Prior to that streak, KMBZ-FM had six successive September 2017 through February 2018 increases for a +1.9 (3.7 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.9 – 5.6, 6+). Having surrendered eight-tenths in June, co-owned KCSP “610 Sports Radio” is up three-tenths in July and August (2.9 – 3.0 – 3.2, #13 to #12, 6+). More than doubling its 6+-share with a combined +1.9 in April and May (1.8 – 3.1 3.7, 6+), the Kansas City Royals flagship erased February’s -.4 with a +.4 in March. Within 2.2 – 2.8 range (6+) between December 2017 and June 2018, University of Missouri news/talk KCUR is locked on 3.0 (#13 to #14, 6+) in July and August. Prior to May, KCUR was up nine-tenths as a result of six straight November 2017 through April 2018 up or flat trends (1.9 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+). Separated by two-tenths are Union Broadcasting’s WHB “Sports Radio 810,” which is up six-tenths in three straight upticks (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.6, +.2, #17 to #18, 6+), and Entercom’s KMBZ-AM “Talk 980” (2.3 – 2.4, +.1, flat at #19, 6+). WHB was an overall +1.4 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018; -.9 in February; +.9 in March; and -2.0 in April and May (4.0 – 2.9 – 2.0, 6+). Meanwhile, “Talk 980” was locked on 2.2 (6+) in April and May before slipping one-tenth to 2.1 (6+) in June. With an April 2018 – August 2018 topline of .7 – .6 – .7 – .6 – .6 (6+), Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM remains at #23. Three February through May decreases in a row accounted for a -.5 (1.1 – 1.0 – .7 -.6, 6+).

Kansas City Music Formats – Storming back from July’s -.7 with a +1.0 (5.5 – 6.5, 6+), Entercom-owned KQRC leaps from sixth to second. In six consecutive Holiday 2017 – June 2018 monthlies without a loss, “98.9 The Rock” was a combined +1.7 (4.5 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 6.2, 6+). In addition to being #1 for the third month in a row, Cumulus Media’s KCFX “101 The Fox – Kansas City’s Classic Rock Station” is a cumulative +.8 in three straight sweeps without a loss (7.0 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.8, 6+). Prior to June, “The Fox” – last held the #1 position in February. It was -1.6 through three February through May decreases in succession (8.6 – 8.0 – 7.6 – 7.0, 6+). Relinquishing more than half of the +1.9 it garnered in three straight positive spikes (5.2 – 5.9 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+), Carter Broadcast Corporation urban contemporary KPRS “Hot 103” spirals by -1.1 to 6.0 (second to fifth, 6+). “Hot” was off nine-tenths as the result of three January through April downward trends in a row (6.1 – 5.6 – 5.4 – 5.2, 6+). Having set the pace in March, April, and May, Cumulus Media’s classic hits-oldies KCMO-FM “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” is now a combined -1.7 in five successive March through August dips (8.1 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.8 – 6.4, 6+) and remains at #3. KCMO-FM faltered by six-tenths in February (8.4 – 7.8, 6+), but regained half that deficit (+.3) in March. Without a loss in each sweep between December 2017 and June 2018 for an overall +2.0 (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.8 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 5.9, 6+), Steel City Media’s KBEQ “Q-104 New Hit Country” is off a combined nine-tenths in July and August (5.9 -5.8 – 5.0, fifth to sixth, 6+). After improving by six-tenths in July (5.9 – 6.5, 6+), co-owned KFKF “Country 94.1” returns half that increase in August (6.2, -.3, 6+) and remains in fourth-place. When KFKF posted a one-half share increase in May, it erased the -.5 it recorded through three decreases in a row (6.0 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.5, 6+). Anchored at #8, the market’s other country FM – Entercom’s WDAF “106.5 The Wolf” – is down (slightly) or flat for the fourth time in a row for a -.3 (4.9 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+).

Columbus

Spoken-Word Formats – Locked on 3.9 (6+) in June and July, Ohio State University news/talk WOSU (flat at #7) erupts with a +.6 in August to 4.5, its strongest 6+-stat in exactly one year (4.7, August 2017). Up seven-tenths via three consecutive “Holiday” 2017 – March 2018 sweeps without a loss (3.6 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.3, 6+), it dropped six-tenths in April; rebounded in May with a +.5; and surrendered three-tenths in June. WOSU’s 4.3 in March was the station’s best 6+-showing since 4.7 in August 2017. Anchored at #6, iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN has a very consistent March – August topline of 5.4 – 5.6 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 5.4 (6+). “News Radio 610” was -.7 in March; -1.0 in February; +1.5 in January; and -.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Prior to January 2018, the last time WTVN reached the seven-share level (6+) was February 2016 (7.3). Regaining the four-tenths it squandered in July (.9 – .5 – .9, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk WXZX “105.7 The Zone” continues at #15. Following four reports in a row without an increase for a -.2 (.9 – .9 – .8 – .8 – .7, 6+), “The Zone” was +.3 in April and May, but dropped a collective one-half share in June and July for a 50% reduction of its 6+-share (1.0 – .9 – .5, 6+).

Columbus Music Formats – Four consecutive positive spikes by iHeartMedia adult hits WODC generate a +1.6 (5.1 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.7, 6+) as “93.3 The Bus – We Play Anything” travels from fifth to third with its highest 6+-share (6.7) since 8.1 in “Holiday” 2017. While co-owned WCOL is on top for the eighth consecutive sweep, its consecutive string of upticks for an overall +4.0 (12.3 – 13.4 – 14.4 – 14.5 – 15.7 – 16.3, 6+) ends at five as “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” returns 30% of the increase (15.1, -1.2, 6+). After spending six months on top, WCOL shifted to second in “Holiday” 2017 but regained the lead in January 2018. It has been in double-digits (6+) each sweep since June 2017 and most likely has the largest 6+-stat (16.3, July 2018) in PPM-history in a sweep that did not include all-Christmas music. Accustomed to major fluctuations, “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” just this calendar year has been: +3.1 (January 2018); -1.7 (February); +1.1 (March); +1.0 (April); +1.2 (June); +.6 (July); and now 1.2 (August). Directly following June’s +1.3, mainstream CHR WNCI is -1.8 in July and August (10.7 – 10.0 – 8.9, 6+), but “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music Station” occupies the runner-up slot for the eighth time in succession. The loss of seven-tenths in July pulled the plug on three successive up or flat March through June monthlies that yielded a +1.7 (9.0 – 9.4 – 9.4 – 10.7, 6+). June’s 10.7 is the strongest 6+-stat for WNCI since October 2017 (10.7, as well); “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music Station” was a combined +1.5 in January and February (8.0 – 9.2 – 9.5, 6+). A loss of three-tenths to 6.0 (third to fifth, 6+) by Saga Communications’ adult contemporary WSNY “Sunny 95” halts three straight April through July up or flat trends that netted one-half share (5.8 – 6.1 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+).

Friday, August 31, 2018

| August 31, 2018

Entercom Appoints Paul Ihander PD for Las Vegas Talk Duo. Programming pro Paul Ihander is named program director for Entercom’s news/talk KXNT “Talk Radio 840” and sports talk KXST “Sports Radio 1140” in Las Vegas.  Ihander has been serving as assistant program director and news director at Bonneville’s Phoenix operations.  Entercom Las Vegas SVP and market manager Dan Kearney comments, “Paul is a seasoned executive with incredible passion for the format that will help lead ‘News and Talk Radio 840 AM’ and ‘Sports Radio 1140 AM’ into the future.  We are confident he can help both our brands reach new heights by tapping into not only the many neighborhoods that make up this unique community but also the millions of visitors that flock to the internationally famous ‘Strip.’”

FCC Shoots Down Jamie Allman’s Challenge to KFTK-FM and KNOU-FM Sale. Appealing to the FCC to reconsider Emmis’ sale of news/talk KFTK-FM and CHR KNOU in St. Louis to Entercom was one of two fronts on which talk host Jamie Allman was fighting the two radio companies – he’s also suing in federal court for breach of contract after being fired for his ill-advised tweet about Parkland, Florida shooting survivor David Hogg.  But the FCC denied Allman’s Petition for Reconsideration arguing that Allman wasn’t able to meet the standards necessary to establish standing for his complaint that Entercom took undue control of the station it was operating under an LMA when it fired him.  Recently, Allman and Emmis were ordered to mediation over Allman’s breach of contract suit and the judge expects the two sides to have concluded mediation sessions by November 1.

Craig Carton Speaks Out on WABC’s ‘Bernie & Sid’ Show. He told the WABC audience that he couldn’t talk about his defense of the fraud charges being leveled against him by the feds, but he did reiterate his innocence.  Former WFAN morning drive personality Craig Carton did take the opportunity while speaking with Sid Rosenberg and Bernard McGuirk to say how much he wants to return to New York radio after his case is adjudicated and how he expects to hear from potential employers.  The New York Post reports that Carton threw a few jabs at WFAN – both at the morning show’s ratings and Mike Francesa’s waistline.  Read it here.TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison hosted Carton on his PodcastOne show back in May.  You can hear that interview here.

ESPN’s Three-Pronged Podcast Bucket List. Managing editor Mike Kinosian writes today about the podcast strategy at sports giant ESPN. As the popularity of podcasting grows and producers get more of a handle on who’s listening and for how long, bringing home the revenue that justifies the effort is their primary goal. ESPN is no different. ESPN vice president of digital audio and radio marketing Tom Ricks says, “Our sales team is aligned with our podcast business. We are in the marketplace, trying to monetize inventory within the podcasts. In the last few years, we have become more focused on representing podcasts as another in the broad array of media types that ESPN takes to market in sales.” Corporate restrictions prohibit Ricks from sharing specific revenue figures generated via podcasts, although he is able to boast that, with 36 million downloads, May 2018 was ESPN’s “best month ever” and that January 2018 through July 2018 consumption was “up 65%,” versus the same period last year. He predicts, “We expect to set record after record rolling into the fall when there’s a convergence of Major League Baseball’s post-season, as well as the start of the NFL, college football, and NBA seasons. That mirrors ESPN television: The fourth quarter is the most-watched, with October having the biggest reach of any other month.” Read the entire piece here.

TALKERS News Notes. Atlanta sports talk WZGC “92.9 The Game” enters into a new multi-year deal to continue to serve as the flagship station for Atlanta Falcons football and Atlanta United soccer.   The deal with AMB Sports and Entertainment also commits Entercom’s hot AC WSTR “Star 94.1” and urban contemporary WVEE “V-103” to providing promotional support.  Wes Durham and Dave Archer remain in the booth for Falcons games and Mike Conti, Hugh Douglas, and DJ Shockley are hosting the pre- and post-game shows.  Entercom Atlanta SVP and market manager Rick Caffey says, “We are proud to extend our partnership with the Falcons and United.  As the leaders in sports radio, we are committed to providing our listeners with premier coverage of their favorite hometown teams.”…..iHeartMedia Columbia sports talk WCOS signs a deal with Clemson University and JMI Sports to serve as the market affiliate for play-by-play for Tigers football, men’s and women’s basketball, and baseball games as well as the Clemson Tigers Network’s “Tiger Calls” coaches shows.  iHeartMedia Columbia sports director Christopher Thompson says, “Sports fans know that Clemson has reached an unprecedented pinnacle in college football — competing for a national championship year after year after year.  With the enthusiasm generated by Dabo Swinney and the Tigers, the optimism after a Sweet 16 trip by the Clemson men’s basketball team, a dynamic new coach for the women’s hoops team and a young-but-versatile Tigers baseball squad, we’re excited to be all in with Clemson Sports on Fox Sports Radio 1400.”…..Rhode Island talk show host Wayne G. Barber is named Best Radio Personality by the Woonsocket Call/Pawtucket Times. Barber’s “Outdoor Scene” show is heard on WNRI, Woonsocket/W236CW. Barber says he was tied for 3rd place in last year’s balloting and he’s proud to have reached the top spot over such notable Rhode Island personalities as John Dionne, Larry Poitras, John DePetro, and Dan Yorke.

Trump-Russia Investigation and CNN Trump Tower Story Tied for Top News/Talk Story This Week.  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the controversy over the CNN story alleging Donald Trump knew about the Trump Tower meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya in advance tied for the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the passing of Arizona Senator John McCain.  Coming in at #3 was the exit of White House counsel Don McGahn and speculation about the fate of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, followed by Tuesday’s primary races and the November midterm elections at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

WFAN Superstar Mike Francesa Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the most successful on-air figures in sports talk radio, Mike Francesa, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” The two discuss the back story about Francesa’s recent retirement and quick return to hosting afternoons on all-sports giant WFAN, New York. Francesa candidly talks about the differences between working for former station owner CBS RADIO and current owner Entercom. He explains the strategy behind the new “Mike’s On” app and finding the balance between on-air and digital product branding. He answers critics who complain that the subscription price of $8.99 per month for the app is too steep and the benefits of being attacked regularly by the New York newspaper sports writers. The wide-ranging conversation which includes the impact of legalized gambling on sports talk media also covers the rapid disappearance of the centrally located brick and mortar radio station as the place talent do their shows. This extraordinary podcast is a must-listen for radio professionals as well as ardent fans of the medium. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Bakersfield, iHeartMedia flips KBFP from Spanish pop to hot AC as “Sunny 105.3 FM.”  Saying that core artists will include MadonnaMaroon 5, P!nk, Bon Jovi, Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake, and Rihanna, SVP of programming Steve Weed adds, “A new day has dawned for Bakersfield radio with the rise of ‘Sunny 105.3.’  It’s a brand new kind of station for Bakersfield, with a unique playlist of songs all curated to help listeners feel good.”…..This weekend, Beasley Media Group’s WMGK-FM, Philadelphia is presenting the “I Want My MGK Weekend” featuring rock songs by artists from the 80s, including: The Police, Billy Idol, Dire Straits, Bruce Springsteen, Peter Gabriel and more.  WMGK on-air personalities will share fun 1980s photos from their own personal collections on the station’s website and via social media.  WMGK program director Bill Weston says, “It’s a fun way to present a long weekend centered on the 80s.  We will celebrate those artists who were all over our TVs at the turn of the decade, including: Peter Gabriel, Police, the Fixx and Pat Benatar, as well as the one-hit wonders with funky haircuts and acid washed jean jackets!”

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

| August 28, 2018

News/Talk WGOW-FM, Chattanooga Cuts Ties with Jeff Styles. The longtime WGOW-FM, Chattanooga morning drive personality had been suspended by Cumulus Media after his arrest on aggravated assault charges stemming from a road rage incident on June 15.  Now, after the station’s internal investigation, Jeff Styles has been let go from the news/talk outlet.  A portion of the station’s statement says, “There is nothing more we can say about it because we do not know the specific considerations and scope of the internal investigation nor the specific findings of the internal investigation.”  Styles recently launched a website dedicated to telling his side of the story.  During the incident, Styles was shot in the arm by motorist Nickolas Bullington.  On the JeffStylesAmerica.com site, he lays out his explanation of what happened during the confrontation with Bullington and displays Bullington’s history of court appearances and motor vehicle violations.  Styles’ attorney had argued that there was no probable cause to charge Styles but the judge eventually bound the case over to a grand jury.  WGOW-FM’s “The Morning Press” show is being hosted by Jim Reynolds and program director Kevin West.

WABC, New York Launches ‘Sid Sports Sunday’ Program.  Beginning September 9, WABC, New York personality Sid Rosenberg debuts his new, weekly sports talk show, “Sid Sports Sunday” from 8:00 am to 10:00 am on Cumulus Media’s news/talk 77 WABC Radio.  Rosenberg co-hosts the station’s “Bernie and Sid in the Morning” program with Bernard McGuirk.  The station says the show “is created with the listener’s sports needs at its epicenter – from expert fantasy picks, to incredible player interviews, to live look-in’s at stadiums across the country.”  Cumulus Media New York VP/market manager Chad Lopez adds, “Our listeners and our advertisers have been begging for Sid to contribute to New York’s explosive sports conversation with more regularity.  ‘Sid Sports Sunday’ will cover it all every week.”  Rosenberg says, “I’m so proud of the work we do daily on the ‘Bernie and Sid in the Morning’ show. There is no better variety show in the country. But it is no secret that I wanted to get back to my roots and host a serious sports show. I want to thank Chad Lopez and [program director] Craig Schwalb for this wonderful opportunity.”

Annual WEEI-NESN Jimmy Fund Radiothon Raises More Than $4.4 million.  This year’s fundraiser was the 16th annual to benefit the Boston-based Jimmy Fund that supports adult and pediatric cancer care and research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.  WEEI launched the fundraiser in 2002, regional sports cable channel NESN joined the cause in 2003.  This year’s event helped raise more than $4.4 million and, to date, the “WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon” has raised more than $53 million.  Entercom Boston regional president and market manager Mark Hannon says, “The Jimmy Fund makes significant contributions to those battling cancer in the Boston area and we are proud to support its efforts through this yearly event.  It is an honor for our team to give back to the community by raising funds on behalf of the organization and we are blown away by the incredible generosity of WEEI listeners who make this event so successful year in and year out.”

Rich Brody to Wrap 45-Year Sales Career This October.  Currently serving as an account executive for Beasley Media Group’s classic hits WROR-FM, Boston, Richard Brody will retire from the radio business on October 26 after 45 years of service to the Boston radio industry.  The company says that in addition to being an “extraordinary and award-winning sales professional,” Brody is known as “a great mentor and friend, and fierce advocate for the radio industry as a whole.” During his career, Brody hosted a jazz program on WCAS, Cambridge and worked in the sales department at Boston stations including: WCOZ, WBCN, WVBF, WXKS “Kiss 108,” Mix 98.5 (now Mix 104.1), WZLX, WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” and, of course, WROR.  Beasley Media Boston GSM Jesse Carbone says, “When Richard Brody walked into my office a couple of weeks ago and said he was ready to retire, at first I didn’t believe him.  I didn’t think Rich would ever stop working, but after a few minutes I realized it was in fact true.  The guy who had spent more than four decades becoming a legend in the radio industry was finally ready to travel, visit family and friends, and hopefully sleep past 3:00 am.  Throughout his career, Rich not only sold the stations for which he worked but he also championed the medium with unmatched passion.  The radio industry will not be the same without him.”

Edison Research: 54% of Radio Listeners Hear Medium ONLY in the Car.  This data point is one of a number from Edison Research’s “Share of Ear” study that will be revealed during the company’s presentation at the NAB/RAB’s Radio Show in Orlando.  As you can see in the infographic above, the younger a consumer gets, the more they only hear radio in the car.  Find out more from Edison Research at its “Miles Different: In-Car Audio 2018” presentation on September 27 at 1:30 pm at the Radio Show.

NextRadio Available on New Samsung Galaxy Note9. The inclusion of an FM chip and the support for NextRadio by Samsung on its new Galaxy Note9 is thrilling for NextRadio, says NextRadio president Paul Brenner.  “The launch of the Samsung Galaxy Note9 is especially exciting, as this model is a showcase for premium technology and industry-defining innovation. We look forward to the Galaxy Note9 being available to millions of users who will be able to listen to free radio on their phone in North America…Through the free NextRadio app, Galaxy Note9 consumers can listen to live, local radio stations.  Also, when cellular coverage is congested or unavailable, the FM chip will provide life-saving information from local radio stations.”

iHeartMedia’s AUTOFLYTE EDGE Launched to Assist Auto Dealers in Marketing Decisions. This marketing tool for auto dealerships is a collaborative effort between iHeartMedia and AUTOFLYTE that features daily sales and market share data throughout each region to help dealerships market smarter and faster.  iHeartMedia says, “In an age when real-time analytics and insights are vital to a business’ success, dealerships have been confined to analyzing OEM reports and 60- to 90-day-old registration data to guide their sales and marketing strategies.  Now, for the first time, auto dealerships will be able to utilize iHeartMedia’s AUTOFLYTE EDGE tool to receive up-to-date, daily automotive sales insights from their surrounding area, allowing them to completely customize and quickly update their sales and marketing strategies based on current market dynamics and trends.” iHeartMedia EVP of automotive business developments & partnerships John Karpinski says, “We are committed to technology-driven innovation and having the ability to offer even more targeting solutions for our advertisers that leverage the unparalleled local reach of radio.  AUTOFLYTE has partnered with the industry authority for automotive sales statistics to create the most powerful and credible insights tool available and we have partnered with AUTOFLYTE to bring this revolutionary technology to the market. With the new AUTOFLYTE EDGE platform, we will provide our auto partners the ability to break free from previous automotive marketing confinements and use timely information to precisely target new buyers.”

TALKERS News Notes. WPEN-FM, Philadelphia executive producer Eric Camille is promoted to assistant program director for the Beasley Media Group sports talker. Camille joined “97.5 The Fanatic” in 2009.  Program director Eric Johnson says, “Eric Camille cares deeply about ‘The Fanatic.’  It shows in everything he does…whether it’s creating compelling imaging, making sure of all our on-air schedules are coordinated, or acting as a programming, sales and promotions liaison.  It’s a privilege to have him on our team.”…..The Federal Communications Commission is getting into the podcast game with a new series called, “More Than Seven Dirty Words,” designed to educate and, as the press release says, “maybe even do the impossible: make telecom interesting.” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai comments, “One of the wonderful things about the digital age is the many ways to share information, so we’re excited to launch this new FCC podcast.  What really has struck me during my time at the agency is the dedication that our staff has for the mission of the FCC, and I’m glad we’re able to shine a light on their efforts to make America a better, stronger place.”  The podcast is hosted by FCC policy advisor Evan Swarztrauber.  Guests will share their personal stories behind some of the headline-making news from the commission and break down issues across the spectrum of the FCC…..There are two management announcements from Midwest Communications as the company brings former NRG Media Omaha market manager Kurt Luchs aboard to oversee its five-station Kalamazoo cluster that includes news/talk WKZO and sports talk WQLR.  Also in Michigan, Midwest appoints Mark Jaycox manager of the four-station Lansing group that includes sports talk WQTX-FM.  Most recently, Jaycox was with Adams Outdoor’s Lansing office…..Kevin Gabbay joins news/talk 77 WABC, New York and the rest of the Cumulus Media New York cluster as director of marketing & promotions…..According to a report in Variety, ESPN is making some changes to the “Get Up!” morning program hosted by Mike Greenberg, Michelle Beadle, and Jalen Rose.  The story says Beadle is exiting the show and re-locating to Los Angeles to focus on her other ESPN duties, including hosting “NBA Countdown.”  Jalen Rose will continue to appear on “Get Up!” when his “NBA Countdown” duties allow.  Greenberg exited the successful ESPN Radio “Mike & Mike” show to take on the role hosting mornings on the company’s flagship cable channel…..SiriusXM is broadcasting live coverage of the 2018 US Open Tennis Championships from the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, New York…..Westwood One is continuing to urge all major commercial broadcast radio stations to register their existing C Band downlinks with the FCC before the Commission evaluates the 3.7-4.2 Ghz C Band for additional mobile broadband data services. These potential services could create insurmountable interference to programming that thousands of stations receive by satellite. The deadline for registration is now October 17, 2018.  Typically, registration requires a Frequency Coordination Study ($1,500) plus a $435 filing fee. During the 90-day window, the FCC waived the first fee and only the $435 filing fee applies. It is possible the FCC will later charge the $1,500 study fee. Westwood One’s satellite provider, SES, has set aside a pool of funding to reimburse those broadcasters for whom the $435 registration fee is a hardship. This reimbursement is subject to the terms set by SES for earth stations registered between July 25, 2018 and October 17, 2018 in the continental United States.  For questions, contact SES directly at FCCregistration@ses.com

John McCain’s Passing, Trump-Russia Investigation, Lanny Davis-CNN Story Controversy, Trump Announces U.S.-Mexico Trade Deal, Deadly Jacksonville Shooting, NFL Pre-season, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/27). The passing of Arizona Senator John McCain, the White House’s reaction, and speculation about who will fill his seat; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; Michael Cohen attorney Lanny Davis admits to being source of CNN story that claimed Trump had knowledge of Trump Tower-Russia meeting; President Trump announces steps toward new trade deal with Mexico; the aftermath of the deadly shooting at an egame competition in Jacksonville; the NFL’s pre-season; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

Chuck Fredrick to Lead Cumulus Indianapolis. Former iHeartMedia Cincinnati market manager Chuck Fredrick is joining Cumulus Media as vice president and market manager for its Indianapolis cluster that includes CHR WYRG, country WFMS, and classic hits WJJK.  Fredrick comments, “Grateful to Mary Berner and Dave Milner for giving me the opportunity to do what I love to do.  I am especially excited about joining and partnering with the Indianapolis team, giving our best in all that we do.”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Kansas City hot AC KZPT “99.7 The Point” announces its new morning show will be “Ponch & Nikki in the Morning” featuring Brian “Ponch” Hudgens and Nikki Vivas.  Ponch joins the Entercom station after working for 17 years at Steel City Media’s crosstown CHR KMVX “MIX 93.3.”  He says in a Facebook post, “I’m coming back to morning radio in Kansas City on ‘99.7 The Point!’  I will also continue my journey with Strange Music.  Managing, promoting, and developing some of the best artists on the planet!  Music and radio are two of my BIGGEST passions.  Being able to do both, I am literally living my dream.  As a bonus I get to do a morning show with one of my dearest/closest friends, Nikki Vivas!!!”…..Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that Lou Lombardo is the new midday jock at Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s rock WXRX, Rockford, Illinois.  Lombardo previously worked at Cumulus Media’s alt rock WKQX, Chicago…..News about the new morning show at Community Broadcasters-owned alternative WZLB, Fort Walton Beach “103.1 The Blaze” is expected soon as station program director Wes Styles announces the station has ended its carriage of the “Bubba the Love Sponge” program.  Styles comments, “We’re excited about the evolution of the station.  A new logo, voice, and morning show.  Things are happening at ‘THE BLAZE!’  And we are confident these changes will create a better listening experience for our devoted fans and an enhanced advertising environment for our clients.”…..Chicago radio pro LaMont WattsFuture Vision Entertainment is buying two FM translators from Windy City Broadcasting for $3.5 million.  They will be fed by an HD signal of SBS’ WLEY-FM and will air Watts’ “Clubsteppin” R&B format that currently airs online.  The translators are W236CF, Chicago (atop the Willis Tower) and W236BF licensed to suburban Bolingbrook.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

| June 28, 2018

Dan Le Batard and Stugotz Sign Contract Extensions with ESPN. The inking of these new multi-year deals means the ESPN Radio-syndicated “Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz” and the television show “Highly Questionable” will continue for the foreseeable future.  Le Batard (left) and Jon “Stugotz” Weiner (right) are cleared on 258 affiliate radio stations across the country. Le Batard’s father Gonzalo “Papi” Le Batard appears with Dan Le Batard on the television program.  As part of this deal, Le Batard will conduct six longform interviews each year that will live across multiple ESPN platforms, including TV and digital.  Weiner will make appearances on “SportsCenter” and continue hosting and guesting on other ESPN Radio shows.  ESPN SVP, audio and talent, Traug Keller says, “Dan and Stugotz have a chemistry and a viewpoint that is among the most unique in the business.  They take what they do seriously, but not themselves, which bonds them with a growing group of loyal listeners.  Dan’s sensibilities and intelligence combined with Stugotz’s incredible lack of either quality is a winning combination.  I look forward to the stress of having to listen to the show in the years to come!”

RTDNA/Hofstra University Newsroom Survey: Newsroom Diversity. Based on a survey of radio and television stations conducted during the fourth quarter of 2017, the 2018 RTDNA/Hofstra University Survey was authored by Hofstra University emeritus distinguished professor of journalism Bob Papper.  The radio portion includes valid responses from 415 radio news directors and general managers representing 1,110 radio stations.  Some of the findings include: the percentage of people of color working in radio news slipped slightly in 2017 (compared to 2016) now comprising 11.3% of radio newsroom staffs; the percentage of news directors who are people of color dipped slightly from 6.2% to 5.9%; the percentage of newsroom staffs with women dropped nearly four points in the past year to 48.2%, while women fell from 36.1% of the radio news workforce to 34.3%. See the study here.

TALKERS Continues Posting Videos Today of the Recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Convention – Today’s Post:  Fireside Chat Between Michael Harrison and Caroline Beasley.  Today (6/28), TALKERS magazine continues posting individual events from the recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! convention held in New York City on June 8.  Each day, another session will be posted in the order that they originally took place.  Today’s fourth installment features the Fireside Chat between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley.   This segment includes Harrison’s presentation of the 2018 “Woman of the Year” award to Beasley.  Yesterday’s post featured Harrison’s Fireside Chat with FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel mega-star Brian Kilmeade with an introduction by Westwood One syndicated host Walter Sterling and special remarks by Sean Hannity.  Prior posts present opening remarks by the convention’s co-emcees, TalkersRadio GM, David Bernstein and Good Day Networks/DJV Show CEO/host, Doug Stephan.  In addition, KGO, San Francisco host, Ethan Bearman delivers the event’s welcoming remarks and Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host, Brad Shepard introduces Bearman.   Also posted earlier this week: the presentation of the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech (“Freedom of Speech Award”) by TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian to SiriusXM Satellite Radio host, book publisher, Hunter College professor, and former New York Daily News/Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, Karen Hunter.  To view the page, please click here.

The 43rdAnnual Gracies Luncheon Takes Place in NYC. On Wednesday (6/27), the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation presented the 43rd Annual Gracie Awards at a luncheon at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City.  CNN’s Erica Hill led the program alongside presenters Pam Oliver of FOX Sports, WWPR, New York personality Angie Martinez, April Ryan of American Urban Radio Networks and CNN, and Larry Mullins from Entercom’s all-news WINS, New York.  Pictured at right are (from l-r): Weiss Agency EVP Heather Cohen, Angie Martinez, and WWPR program director Thea Mitchem.  In the photo below are some of the Cumulus Media talent who were honored with Gracies.  From left to right are: Westwood One president/Cumulus EVP Suzanne Grimes, WABC, New York personalityJoan Hamburg (honored for Outstanding Talk Show), WMAL-AM/FM, Washington morning host Mary Walter (honored for Crisis Coverage), WABC host and political editor Rita Cosby (honored for Outstanding Talk Interview), WPLJ, New York personality Jayde Donovan (honored for Outstanding Co-Host), and Cumulus Media CEO Mary Berner.

WOR’s Natalie Vacca Feted at Gracies.  Also honored at the Gracies Luncheon in New York on Wednesday was WOR, New York morning show producer Natalie Vacca (Outstanding Local Radio Producer).  Vacca is executive producer of the “Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning” on the iHeartMedia news/talk station. Pictured above are (l-r): WOR APD Scott Lakefield, morning drive news producer Terry Trahim, Berman, Vacca, news director and morning drive news anchor Joe Bartlett, and program director Tom Cuddy.

TALKERS News Notes. The nationally syndicated “Bob & Tom Show” promotes John Kesler to chief operating officer for the program.  Kesler has been serving as general manager for the show that is distributed to more than 100 affiliates via Westwood One.  He joined the show in 2016 after serving with Emmis Communications’ WIBC, Indianapolis for almost 20 years…..Beginning today (6/28), Big 12 Conference fans have a new avenue of insight into all things Big 12 with the new “The Big 12 Podcast” on PodcastOne.  Sports radio pro Chuck Cooperstein hosts the weekly podcast and provides listeners with a unique perspective of the Big 12 and its personalities.  Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby says, “We are excited to begin a partnership with PodcastOne as we continue to amplify the Conference brand.  There are a number of exciting things going on in the Big 12 and we look forward to sharing these with our followers on a regular basis.”…..Also from PodcastOne, “Don’t Be Tardy” reality star Kim Zolciak-Biermann debuts her own podcast. She says, “I am so excited to be able to share this podcast with my fans and followers!  It will be full of positivity, fun, life coaching, parenting struggles and advice, beauty and fashion advice, and so much more.  It’s me, unedited and unfiltered!  You definitely don’t want to miss this!”…..Westwood One launches a special podcast series hosted by publisher Judith Regan titled, “My Side of the Story With Judith Regan,” on the Westwood One Podcast Network.  The program “features today’s newsmakers, trendsetters, cultural influencers, and troublemakers telling their side of the story, offering new insight into the issues that are the backdrop of American culture in 2018.”  All 11 episodes of the show are available now…..Midnight Entertainment, LLC announces five new affiliates for the weekly, nationally syndicated program, “Geek Universe with Jim Yelton.”  The program delves into the world of the science fiction, fantasy, and horror genres across movies, television, games and more.  New affiliates include: KTRS, St. Louis; KCAA, Loma Linda, California; KMBZ-FM, Kansas City; KFRU, Columbia, Missouri; and KLIK, Jefferson City, Missouri.  The show launched into national radio syndication in 2015.

Justice Anthony Kennedy to Retire, SCOTUS Public Unions Decision, Tuesday’s Primary Results, Illegal Immigration Policy, Putin-Trump Meeting, Harassment of Administration Officials, Joe Jackson Dies, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/27). Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announces his retirement; the Supreme Court’s ruling against mandatory contributions to public sector unions; the results of Tuesday’s primary elections; the U.S.’s illegal immigration policies; the planned meeting between President Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin; U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters’ call for harassment of administration officials in public; Jackson family patriarch Joe Jackson dies; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Rock programmer Jacent Jackson is named program director for Cumulus Media’s heritage triple A KFOG, San Francisco and KFFG, San Jose.  Jackson was previously PD at crosstown alternative KITS-FM.   Speaking about his new gig, Jackson says, “I couldn’t be more thrilled to continue my broadcasting career here in the Bay Area with Cumulus.  KFOG has some incredible talent between ‘The Woody Show’ in mornings and No Name in the afternoons.  I can’t wait to join the fun, or as Woody would say it, #joinfun. Much, much gratitude to Doug Harvill, Troy Hanson, Mike McVayDave Milner, and the team at Cumulus for this incredible opportunity.”…..In the Columbus market, air personality Bobby Mitchell (left) is named new co-host of the morning show on Saga Communications’ adult contemporary WSNY “Sunny 95.”  Mitchell will work alongside current morning personality Stacy McKay (right).  Mitchell says, “I feel like the guy who was offered a ride on a rocket ship!  I don’t care where it’s going – I’m just getting on!  To be a part of this heritage radio station, with its incredible staff, and to live and raise my family in Columbus is very exciting.”…..Entercom Portland names Gary Sommer general sales manager for the cluster that includes seven music radio brands and two sports talk outlets.  He was most recently with SagaCity Media in Portland…..SiriusXM is presenting an exclusive, invitation-only performance by The Killers on July 28 at The Stephen Talkhouse in Amagansett, New York.  SiriusXM president and CCO Scott Greenstein says, “We’ve loved collaborating with The Killers in the past and couldn’t be more thrilled that during their summer tour filled with major music festivals, The Killers are teaming up with SiriusXM for an intimate event at The Stephen Talkhouse.  Our subscribers nationwide will hear a special show performed just for them from this wildly popular band.”

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

| May 8, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, April 30, 2018

| April 30, 2018

Conservative News/Talk Radio Takes on the White House Correspondents Dinner.  While listeners of news/talk radio were venting about what they overwhelmingly saw as unnecessary attacks on President Trump’s administration – most especially comedian Michelle Wolf’s targeting of White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders – at Saturday’s White House Correspondents Dinner, some news/talk radio industry players were also making their thoughts about the evening’s program known.  WABC, New York news and talk personality Rita Cosby attended the event.  (She’s seen above with Sarah Huckabee Sanders at a WHCD party and below with Kellyanne Conway at the event itself) Cosby tells TALKERS magazine that she’ll be offering her take to WABC listeners on the “Curtis and Cosby” show today.  Meanwhile, Salem Radio Network V.P./news & talk programming Tom Tradup shares the letter he penned to Bloomberg White House correspondent and White House Correspondents Association president Margaret Talev:

Hi, Margaret…and congratulations!

 After viewing the disgraceful White House Correspondents Dinner on Saturday—and your refusal on CNN this morning to denounce “comedian” Michelle Wolf and the mortifying, obscenity-laced attacks she directed at White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders,  White House counselor KellyAnne Conway and other Trump Administration officials in attendance last evening…you have actually achieved what I had always thought impossible: displaying less professional journalism and more outrageous bias than even The Associated Press.  An astonishing accomplishment.

 Given the fact that you, personally, invited the vile Michelle Wolf as the evening’s entertainment…and that rather than booing or leaving,  members of your Association were seen on television guffawing over an onslaught of stupid “pussy” references, lame jokes about President Trump’s performance in bed, the suggestion that President Trump’s daughter is “full of shit” and sophomoric F-bombs for nearly 20 minutes…I hope President Trump never attends another White house Correspondents Dinner.

 I know I won’t.

 Tom Tradup

iHeartMedia Files Joint Chapter 11 Plan of Reorganization.  This Saturday (4/28) filing in iHeartMedia’s Chapter 11 reorganization lays out the current plan for the company’s exit from bankruptcy protection.  The Disclosure Statement states, in part, that “the proposed Plan achieves a value-maximizing restructuring that comprehensively addresses the Debtors’ funded debt obligations and positions their businesses for continued growth and long-term success.  As a result of extensive negotiations with groups representing their primary stakeholders, the Debtors entered into a restructuring support agreement on March 16, 2018.  As a result, the transactions embodied by the Plan enjoy the support of Holders of nearly $12 billion of outstanding debt obligations across the Debtors’ capital structure (including outstanding indebtedness held by the Debtors and their Affiliates), as well as the Debtors’ equity sponsors.  The Plan will reduce the Debtors’ funded debt by nearly two-thirds – approximately $10.3 billion – and will result in the separation of the iHeart business and CCOH businesses through either a Tax-Free Separation or a Taxable Separation (the ‘CCOH Separation’).”…Reorganized iHeart will emerge from chapter 11 with New Secured Debt of $5.75 billion that will be secured by substantially all assets of Reorganized iHeart with a 5 – 7 year maturity, as well as a new ABL facility that will, among other things, provide working capital and fund distributions under the Plan; Senior Creditors collectively will share, in the manner described in detail below, in (i) 100% of iHeart’s equity interests in CCOH (as separated from iHeart), (ii) $5.55 billion of the New Secured Debt, (iii) all Excess Cash, and (iv) 94% of the equity in Reorganized iHeart; Holders of Unsecured Debt Claims will receive their Pro Rata share of (i) $200 million of the New Secured Debt and (ii) 5% of the equity in Reorganized iHeart; and Holders of iHeart Interests will receive 1% of the equity in Reorganized iHeart.”

PPM Analysis: News/Talk.  In this final analysis of Nielsen’s March 2018 PPM survey, managing editor Mike Kinosian takes a look at the 6+ performances of news/talk stations.  iHeartMedia’s KOGO, San Diego and Emmis Communications’ WIBC, Indianapolis each record 6+ AQH share increases of more than half a share (+0.8 and +0.6, respectively) from the February 2018 survey.  This during a period when only 34% of news/talk stations saw ratings increases. WIBC (+1.8) was one of five stations to see a year-over-year (March 2017 to March 2018) increase of more than one full share.  Others were: iHeartMedia’s hot talk WTKS-FM, Orlando (+1.6); Cumulus Media’s WMAL-AM/FM, Washington (1.3); and iHeartMedia news/talkers KTLK, Minneapolis (+1.0); and WHJJ, Providence (+1.0).  During Nielsen’s March PPM survey, only two news/talk outlets ranked #1 in their respective markets: Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta and Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.”  See Kinosian’s complete report here.

Russo and Rosen Appointed to Executive Posts at Entercom’s Radio.com.  The moves signal what Entercom is calling its “renewed commitment and strategic shift” regarding the Radio.com platform.  Critics say that CBS’s focus on TV and video allowed the digital audio platform Radio.com to languish under its watch.  Now, new owner Entercom is bringing aboard Pamela Russo as SVP and general manager and Christopher Rosen as editorial director.  Russo will report to Entercom EVP of digital JD Crowley, who says, “This is an exciting time for Radio.com.  We welcome both Pam and Chris’s expertise as we accelerate our strategy to make Radio.com a daily habit for the millions of fans across our family of brands, entertaining and informing users with spoken-word audio, curated music and premium editorial.”  Russo joins Entercom from Meredith Corporation (formerly Time Inc.) where she led digital strategy and operations for the company’s portfolio of entertainment, travel and luxury brands, including People.com, EntertainmentWeekly.com, TravelandLeisure.com and Departures.com, among others.  Rosen is being charged with leading the content development, editorial and video strategy for Radio.com, overseeing content teams in New York and Philadelphia. The company says that “working alongside Entercom programming executives Jeff Sotolano and Liana Huth, Rosen will focus on developing exclusive and original national content for Radio.com’s national platform and portfolio of stations, while also working with local markets to surface their best content for national audiences.”  Rosen joins Entercom from Entertainment Weekly, where he served as executive editor for the brand’s digital properties.

Michael Harrison Says Advertiser Boycotts Infringe Upon the Spirit of the First Amendment, If Not Its Letter.  During a provocative conversation Friday evening (4/27) about advertiser boycotts being waged against the hosts of talk radio and television commentators such as Rush Limbaugh and Laura Ingraham by their political critics, RT America “The Big Picture” host Holland Cooke asked TALKERS founder Michael Harrison if this practice infringes upon Freedom of Speech as guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Cooke suggested that boycotts are also an expression of free speech.  Harrison agreed, but only to a point stating, “The First Amendment guarantees you not to be censored by the government, with a few limitations here and there, but basically the First Amendment gives you free speech separate from government control and government censorship.  It doesn’t provide you with a soap box and it doesn’t guarantee that other people can’t express their free speech rights in protest of what you said.  So, the boycotts are a form of free speech – however, because commercial media today is so dependent on advertising revenue as its life blood, boycotts may not be an infringement of the letter of the First Amendment but they certainly are an infringement of the spirit of the First Amendment.”  Harrison continued, “It’s hitting below the belt…it’s part of the game but it’s playing very dirty and it does threaten free speech in America because so many of our vehicles of free speech are dependent upon advertising.”  To see the entire segment of Friday’s conversation, please click here.

WFAN-AM/FM, New York Keeps ‘CMB’ for Early Afternoons.  With the return of Mike Francesa to the WFAN-AM/FM, New York “The Fan” program schedule tomorrow, the Entercom station announces the new program lineup. Current 2:00 pm to 6:30 PM hosts Chris Carlin, Maggie Gray, and Bart Scott – “CMB” – remain with the station hosting the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm show. An hour is cut off the “Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts” program (now heard 10:00 am to 1:00 pm), and Francesa’s “Mike On” show airs from 3:00 pm to 6:30 pm.  Prior to Francesa’s December departure from WFAN, his show aired daily from 1:00 pm to 6:30 pm.

Price: All I Learned About Resilience I Learned from ABBA.  Business continuity expert Howard B. Price writes today to explain that all he’s learned about dealing as a broadcaster with the challenges of natural disasters and made-made calamities he learned from the pop supergroup ABBA.   The former, longtime ABC news and technology & operations director of business continuity and crisis management says that within the titles of the group’s iconic songs lie the “inspiration and guidance for every resilience practitioner who aspires to rock-star status in the craft.”  Read his piece here.

Michiana’s WTRC Raises $174,000 for Five Star Life. Pictured above is the staff of WTRC, Niles, Michigan “95.3 MNC” celebrating the $174,100 grand total raised recently during the radiothon to benefit Five Star Life – an organization that teaches middle-school children five core values of respect, responsibility, integrity, sacrifice, and courage in after-school programs.  This is the eighth year that the Pathfinder Communications news/talk station has raised funds for Five Star Life.

TALKERS News Notes.  Former Atlanta Braves outfielder Jeff Francoeur is joining Dickey Broadcasting Company’s sports talker WCNN, Atlanta “680 The Fan” for a regular Tuesday appearance on the late morning show with Nick Cellini and Chris Dimino.   WCNN general manager David Dickey says, “I’m excited that Jeff will continue to help ‘The Fan’ provide Braves fans with the best coverage and most in-depth analysis of the Atlanta Braves.  And we are thrilled that Jeff will continue to be an important member of the Dickey Broadcasting Company family…both in prime-time and in game-time content.”…..The NAB Education Foundation announces the election of six new members of the NABEF board of directors.  They are: Graham Media Group’s Emily Barr, Cox Media Group’s Kim Guthrie, Sinclair Broadcasting’s Rebecca Hanson, Univision Communications Inc.’s Rosemary Mercedes, Perry Publishing and Broadcasting’s Kevin Perry and NBCUniversal’s Craig Robinson.  The National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to “serving broadcasters and the public interest by supporting and advocating community service, diversity, education and broadcasting issues and trends.”…..Wishes for a speedy recovery go out to New Jersey Broadcasters Association president and CEO Paul Rotella who recently underwent emergency surgery for acute diverticulitis.  Rotella says that although there were complications, he’s on the mend and expects to be back working from his home office by next week…..Bonneville’s news/talk KTTH, Seattle hosted the quarterly “Freedom Series” debate on April 24, this time addressing the issue, “Guns and Our Children.”  The station says the intent of the live community discussion “was to give the public an opportunity to talk through and find common ground on what’s normally a polarizing issue.  The two-hour panel event was hosted at the Edmonds Center for the Arts in front of a sold-out audience of more than 600 people.  Pictured below (photo courtesy of Ashten Linkhart) The panel featured KTTH hosts Jason Rantz (far right) and Todd Herman (second from right), King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht (center), and KIRO-FM morning host Dave Ross (second from left).  KCPQ-TV, Seattle reporter Brandi Kruse (left) served as the moderator.   Bonneville Seattle VP and market manager Dave Pridemore says, “Through the ‘KTTH Freedom Series’ events, it is our hope to help our communities work through the issues that are important to them, especially issues that directly affect their families.  I was proud of how the station respectfully addressed this timely and highly emotional topic.  It was clear from the size of the audience, as well as their passion for the station, our KTTH hosts are connecting with our listeners about these matters on a daily basis.”

White House Correspondents Dinner, Trump Threatens Government Shutdown/Caravan Asylum Seekers, Sprint and T-Mobile Announce Merger, Texas Voter ID Ruling, Pompeo Confirmed as Secretary of State, MLB Action and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The flap over Michelle Wolf’s routine at the White House Correspondents Dinner; President Trump’s threat to let the federal government close in September if he doesn’t get funding for the Mexico wall, along with the related issue of “caravan asylum seekers” at the border; T-Mobile and Sprint announce plans to merge; a federal panel of judges rules Texas voter ID law does not violate rights of blacks and Hispanics; Mike Pompeo’s confirmation as Secretary of State; the weekend’s MLB action and NBA playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At San Francisco hip hop outlet KRBQ “Q102.1,”Entercom promotes midday personality and music director Billy Vidal to program director.  Entercom San Francisco SVP and market manager Gregory Nemitz, says, “Billy has a great understanding of this format and, more importantly, the Bay Area market.  I have no doubt he will excel in his new role and will continue the upward trajectory of ‘Q102.1.’”  Vidal has been with the station for the past three years.  He rose to music director in June of 2017…..Alpha Media appoints Dave Numme content director for classic hits KBAY and hot AC KEZR.  Numme was most recently serving with Hubbard Radio in Seattle.  He previously worked in the Bay Area as program director for KITS, San Francisco and was vice president of rock/alternative formats for CBS RADIO.  Alpha Media San Jose market manager Lori Heeren comments, “I am honored to be able to work with someone with Dave’s breadth of experience in radio and the Bay Area.  He’s a perfect fit for our team in Silicon Valley!”…..Gene “Bean” Baxter returned to the air on Entercom’s alternative KROQ, Los Angeles on the “Kevin & Bean” show after more than a month off to deal with an undisclosed medical issue.  Stryker had been sitting in on the morning show and returns to his afternoon drive show…..At the same time as Cox Media Group’s WPYO “Power 95.3” shifts from hip hop to CHR, operations manager and WPYO program director Steve DeMann exits…..Neuhoff Media brings Miggy Santos to Illinois to program CHR WSOY-FM, Decatur “Y103” and rhythmic CHR WWHX, Bloomington “Hits 100.7.”  Neuhoff VP/programming Mike Shamus says, “Miggy brings experience and energy to a new concept for us. We’ve developed a special brand in the Twin Cities, Miggy has experience in winning with these types of projects. We’re excited to have him on our team.”

Friday, April 27, 2018

| April 27, 2018

Mike Francesa Returns to WFAN, New York for PM Drive.  This new deal – announced just four months after Mike Francesa exited WFAN in December after a 30-year career there – puts the “Sports Pope” back in afternoon drive on the station. The new show will be two hours shorter though – airing from 3:00 pm to 6:30 pm instead of 1:00 pm to 6:30 pm – and includes new Francesa opportunities.  Today’s press release says “Entercom, Mike Francesa, and CAA Sports today announced a partnership spanning broadcast radio, digital, and live events.  The partnership includes the debut of the ‘Mike’s On’ radio show…The partnership also includes the launch of a mobile app and online destination by the same name, ‘Mike’s On,’ which will feature exclusive live video streaming of Francesa’s weekday radio program on WFAN.”  Francesa is quoted saying, “After exploring several options, this partnership with CAA Sports and Entercom was the perfect fit.  This partnership allows me the chance to return to WFAN and all of our loyal listeners, as well as significant opportunities, including the app and live events, that are completely new.  I look forward to working with both companies on making this a very successful venture.” The press release does not elaborate on the fate of Francesa’s PM drive replacements: Chris Carlin, Maggie Gray and Bart Scott, other than to say that The Fan’s new schedule will be announced separately.  Francesa returns to WFAN on Tuesday (5/1).

WABC’s Curtis Sliwa Considering Run for Governor of New York. New York icon and WABC midday talk show host Curtis Sliwa on Thursday (4/26) told his listeners that he is considering running for governor of New York on the Reform Party ticket. Sliwa is chairman of the Reform Party and he’s been very critical of Governor Andrew Cuomo and, as the New York Daily News notes, the Reform Party is not backing either GOP candidate.  Sliwa says getting medical clearance from his doctors is the first priority.  He’s been dealing with the effects of chronic Crohn’s and a recent surgery to treat the disease.  As far as taking a leave from his radio show due to equal time laws, the timing on that would have to be worked out, he says.  “New York State election laws are complicated and arcane.”

Heidi Harris Returns to Las Vegas Air on Kemp’s KMZQ.  Back on March 1, Kemp Broadcasting & Digital Outdoor re-branded KMZQ, Las Vegas “670 AM The Right Talk for Las Vegas,” airing primarily conservative talk shows from Salem Radio NetworkNow, Las Vegas talk radio pro Heidi Harris joins the station to host the 9:00 am hour, Monday through Friday.  Harris has served with Entercom’s KXNT and Beasley’s KDWN in Las Vegas.  Her most recent tour with KXNT ended last September after station management couldn’t brook her controversial criticism of an ad for the Clark County Department of Family Services promoting adoption that showed two gay men holding a child.  Harris was steadfastly outspoken in her belief that children up for adoption should go to “married people of the opposite sex.”

Entercom and Telemundo Strike Media Partnership Deal.  The Dallas-Fort Worth stations owned by Entercom agree to a media partnership with Telemundo’s local TV stations KXAS-TV “NBC 5” and KXTX “Telemundo 39.”  A press release from Entercom says, “Highlights of the multi-platform partnership include distribution of content across all partner channels including NBC 5, Telemundo 39 and Entercom Dallas-Fort Worth’s ‘Newsradio1080’ KRLD, ‘105.3 The Fan,’ ‘100.3 Jack FM,’ KLUV, ‘ALT 103.7,’ and ‘La Grande 107.5.’…The inaugural partnership will allow the media properties to work together to better serve the community via improved access and coverage of live, local breaking news, general news, weather, sports, politics and entertainment in both English and Spanish languages.”  KXAS-TV president and general manager Tom Ehlmann says, “The opportunity for NBC 5 and Entercom stations like Newsradio 1080 KRLD to share news gathering resources and report 24/7 what’s happening across the region will truly be exceptional.  In your home, in your car, on your computer, on your phone – North Texans can look forward to unparalleled coverage of what matters most to NBC 5 viewers and Entercom listeners.”

Nick Bruns New iHeartMedia Tucson Promotions and Events Director; Barriga Upped to Digital Program Director. At the Tucson operations of iHeartMedia, Nick Bruns is named promotions and events director, effective May 1.  In this position, Bruns will be responsible for managing and executing promotional campaigns and events for all iHeartMedia Tucson stations, including news/talk KNST. He comes to Tucson from the company’s Des Moines station group.  At the same time, the company says that Atzimba Palomares Barriga is the cluster’s new digital program director, effective June 1.  She began her career at iHeartMedia Tucson in 2013 as a board operator and has served as the Tucson-based online content coordinator for iHeartMedia’s Arizona Region for the past three years.  In her new position, she’ll be responsible for managing and executing digital and social media campaigns for all iHeartMedia Tucson stations. She will continue to provide online content to the entire iHeartMedia Arizona Region under the direction of Alex Siordian, regional digital program director for iHeartMedia’s Arizona Region.

Comey ‘CNN Town Hall’ and Trump Russia Investigation Tie for Top News/Talk Stories This Week.  This week’s appearance on “CNN Town Hall” by fired FBI Director James Comey and the related investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives tied for the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week.  At #2 on the Talkers TenTM for the week of April 23-27 is French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to the Trump White House.  Coming in at #3 was the Donald TrumpStormy Daniels legal battle, followed by the ‘immigrant caravan’ and the court ruling on Trump’s DACA policy at #4.  The Talkers TenTMis a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. View the entire chart here.

TALKERS News Notes. On June 26, FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio superstar Brian Kilmeade is delivering the keynote speech at The Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation’s 4th Annual Event and Dinner at Mohegan Sun Pocono in Wilkes-Barre.  Bold Gold says Kilmeade is “one of the most recognizable radio and television broadcasters in America.”  Complimentary tickets are available for students interested in a career in media, as well as for military members.  Contact the Foundation for additional information…..Alpha Media’s news/farm/sports KGLO, Mason City, Iowa and sister adult standards KRIB picked up a total of 10 awards in the small market division of the 2017 Iowa Broadcast News Association contest.  KGLO news director Bob Fisher won eight awards, including first place for “Overall Excellence.” Alpha Media Mason City market manager Dalena Barz comments, “Congratulations to our news, ag and sports team.  It’s great to see their dedication and passion recognized by the IBNA.  North-Central Iowa counts on our team for the best in local coverage. We are proud of their achievements!”

Comrex to Release New Field Broadcasting App ‘FieldTap.’  The new app from Comrex called FieldTap makes it easy for broadcasting from the field because of its “one-touch” operation.  The company explains that “FieldTap uses SIP to make it possible for users to transmit audio with the touch of a button.  Ideal for reporters and street team contributors for short drop-ins, FieldTap features a very simple user interface. With a one-button control screen, users of any technical ability can connect from the field to the station by simply pressing a single button.  FieldTap is a simple SIP client that uses Voice over IP (VoIP) to make it possible for field users to send wideband audio from their cellphones over cellular and Wi-Fi networks.  FieldTap is compatible with all Comrex IP audio codecs.  FieldTap can also be used in conjunction with EarShot IFB, a new VoIP IFB system from Comrex that replaces POTS lines and auto couplers.” Comrex debuted FieldTap at the 2018 NAB Show.  It will be available as a free download from Google Play and iTunes this spring.

Boxer Mother-Daughter ‘Power Duo’ Guest This Week on Harrison Podcast. The mother-daughter team of former U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and award-winning documentary filmmaker Nicole Boxer are this week’s guests on the PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” The mother, Barbara Boxer, recently retired from 40 years as a California elected official, beginning as a member and eventually the first female president of the Marin County Board of Supervisors. She then served in the U.S. House of Representatives between 1983 and 1993, at which point she was elected to the United States Senate where she served from 1993 to last year, 2017. Although “retired” from elective politics, she remains quite engaged in work as both a political activist and a media practitioner. She says, “We are in a moment of life or death for our great country right now, and I can’t just sit back.” Her daughter, Nicole Boxer, is a Peabody and Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker. Her work in the film industry includes narrative, feature films, documentary films, documentary series television, and reality television. Together these dynamic women have teamed up to co-host a new, weekly podcast titled, “Fight Back,” produced and distributed by PodcastOne. In it, they invite experts to discuss today’s most pressing matters – from civil rights to women’s rights, healthcare, the environment and foreign policy. The mother shares real-time reactions to the week in government, while the daughter puts active candidates in the hot seat with her award-winning interview style. Harrison engages the Boxers in a fascinating conversation about the state of American politics and media in the second decade of the 21st century looking forward. Not to be missed. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on “The Michael Harrison Interview” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Beloved Radio Industry Documentarian and Archivist Art Vuolo Named 2018 Recipient of the TALKERS Lifetime Achievement Award. The TALKERS editorial board is pleased to announce that videographer and pop culture historian Art Vuolo has been named this year’s recipient of the publication’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement award. Back in the early 1980s, Vuolo was dubbed “Radio’s Best Friend” by legendary air personality Scott Shannon and it aptly stuck through the decades. Vuolo, founder and CEO of the Ann Arbor-based firm Vuolo Video Air-Chex, has been chronicling radio conferences (including most of the TALKERS conventions) for nearly 30 years and archiving more than 700 of the very best radio personalities on video since 1979. His entire library will be featured in a permanent exhibit of approximately 1,000 videos at the National Radio Hall of Fame in Chicago. The Radio Hall of Fame, located within the Museum of Broadcast Communications in downtown Chicago, is developing a permanent exhibit, “A History of the American Disc Jockey,” with Vuolo’s collection as its center piece. Visitors will be able to search and view the recordings at computer stations. Eventually, people around the world will be able to access the collection online. In announcing the project, Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig Kitchen expressed the enormous gratitude of the industry “for all the hours and years that Art has toiled at properly recording the best efforts in radio studios for decades and decades.” In addition to his archival efforts, for over 33 years, Art Vuolo’s RADIOGUIDE company circulated over 100 million such guides across America. Vuolo’s alma mater, Eastern Michigan University, recently published a profile piece on him that puts his unique career in perspective. To read it please click here. Vuolo will be presented the award during the closing reception at TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! set for New York City on Friday, June 8. For full information about the soon-to-be-sold-out event, please click here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. KAMP, Los Angeles “97.1 AMP Radio” announces two staff changes.  First, longtime Los Angeles radio pro Yesi Ortiz joins the Entercom station to host the midday show.  The “Queen of L.A.” spent 12 years at crosstown KPWR “Power 106” as midday jock where she was known for breaking new artists during her ‘New at 2’ feature, as well as contributing to the music department as an assistant music director.  She is currently working on a television drama series project in development with the E! Network that is loosely based on her real-life journey raising six adopted children.  Also, the station promotes APD John Michael to music director.  Yesi Ortiz says, “I am thrilled to be joining the Entercom family.  To be valued for my achievements and influence in the city is a great honor and I am looking forward to making an impact at ‘AMP radio.’”…..In St. Louis, iHeartMedia announces the appointment of Jules Riley to the position of senior vice president of programming for the cluster that includes classic hits KLOU-FM, country KSD-FM, CHR KSLZ-FM, hip hop KATZ-FM, alternative KLLT and Gospel KATZ-AM.  St. Louis Region president Derrick Martin says, “Jules has done an amazing job programming 103.3 KLOU and ‘93.7 The Bull’ since joining us last year and has truly earned this leadership role.”  Before she began programming 103.3. KLOU and “93.7 The Bull” in April 2017, she served as operations manager/brand manager for KVOO-FM, Tulsa…..WUSY, Chattanooga “US101” morning personality Billy “Dex” Poindexter announces his retirement from the Entercom country outlet after 25 years on the air.  Dex is one half of the station’s “Dex and Mo” show.  He says he plans to focus on his health, his family and travel.  He says, “It’s been a great 25 years and it has truly been my pleasure serving this community. ‘US101’ has the greatest listeners on earth; they are open and always so giving. From our annual efforts to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to various disaster relief efforts through the years, the ‘US101’ listeners have always stepped up.  I am proud of all that we have accomplished together and ‘US101’ will always be my home.”…..The sold-out “Tom Joyner Foundation Fantastic Voyage presented by Denny’s” is embarking on its 19th cruise this week from Galveston, Texas.  Also called the original “Party with a Purpose,” this empowering and groundbreaking event specifically caters to the cruising needs of the African-American community through its mission and featured entertainment.  The event’s promise of non-stop entertainment includes: “An Evening with Anita Baker” and performances from artists Tamar Braxton, The Isley Brothers, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, 112, SWV, En Vogue, and The O’Jays.  The cruise is hosted by Reach Media-syndicated radio personality and philanthropist Tom Joyner (pictured here on a previous cruise). Its action-packed, seven-day itinerary boasts informative seminars, morning inspiration, fitness classes, intriguing ports, endless activities, concerts, popular celebrities and wildly creative theme nights – all while raising funds to support students in school at Historically Black Colleges and Universities across the country…..WNKS, Charlotte’s “KISS 95.1 Morning Show featuring Maney, Roy & LauRen” wins a 2018 BOB Award for the “BEST Morning Show in Charlotte” from Charlotte Magazine.  Winners were chosen based upon the results of an on-line poll conducted by the publication in January of 2018…..Philadelphia morning personality Kathy Romano recently hosted her 11thannual Kathy’s Cuts to Benefit Wigs for Kids.  Romano is part of the “Preston & Steve” show on Beasley Media Group’s rock WMMR, Philadelphia.  This year the event produced over 123 donations to benefit Wigs for Kids.  Twenty-seven hair stylists from local salons donated their time to help cut and style donors’ hair…..SiriusXM is broadcasting live from this year’s Stagecoach Country Music Festival this weekend in Indio, California.  The exclusive radio broadcast will air on The Highway channel and will include backstage interviews and live concert performances from Florida Georgia LineJake Owen, Kelsea Ballerini, Kane BrownBrett Young, Lee Brice, and more.

PPM Analysis: Mainstream Rock. Managing editor Mike Kinosian takes a look at the performances of mainstream rock outlets based on data from Nielsen Audio’s March 2018 PPM survey in today’s installment of this ongoing ratings analysis series.  Comparing 6+ numbers from the March2017survey, Cumulus Media’s KXXR, Minneapolis; Saga Communications’ WNOR, Norfolk; and Entercom’s KQRC, Kansas City put together increases of more than a full share over that period while, on the other side, iHeartMedia’s WDVE, Pittsburgh; Cox Media Group’s KISS, San Antonio; and iHeartMedia’s KBPI, Denver all saw dips of two full shares or more. As of the March 2018 PPM survey there is just one rock outlet ranking #1 in its market: iHeartMedia’s WHYJ, Providence. See the full report here.

Friday, April 20, 2018

| April 20, 2018

KFTK-FM, St. Louis Makes Morning and Early Afternoon Changes. St. Louis news/talker KFTK-FM makes changes to its program schedule after the recent departure of morning personality Jamie AllmanEntercom is operating the station under an LMA as it prepares to close on the purchase of the signal from Emmis.  Entercom moves early afternoon personality Marc Cox into the morning show daypart and bumps up part-time talk host Annie Frey into the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot, taking over for Cox.  Meanwhile, Allman and KFTK-FM are apparently still in disagreement over exactly how they are ending their relationship.  See yesterday’s TALKERS news for more on that. Cox – who has worked in the market as a reporter and anchor at KMOV-TV – has been with KFTK-FM since he took over the early afternoon show from the syndicated Dana Loesch almost two years ago.

Who’s #1 in Boston Sports Talk Mornings? The answer, as Boston Globe journo Chad Finn discovered, is it all depends on exactly how you measure it.  After learning about Tweets from both WEEI-FM and WBZ-FM thanking listeners for making their morning shows – Kirk & Callahan and Toucher & Rich, respectively — # 1 with Men 25-54, Finn wondered how both could be true and did a little investigating.  As you can see in his piece here, Finn concludes, “WEEI includes the share it gets from listeners based in the Boston DMA (designated market area) who tune into Providence-based WVEI because the signal comes in better in certain areas, such as the South Coast.  ‘The Sports Hub’ does not include these numbers when revealing how they fared against each other.”

iHeartMedia Brings Aboard Digital and Social Media Pro Justin Nesci. His title is executive vice president of advanced audio and data revenue.  Justin Nesci previously was SVP for digital sales at Fox Network Group where he managed the national digital sales and marketing responsibilities for Fox Broadcasting, Fox Cable and Fox Sports properties.  He’s been running his consulting practice, J/T/N Advisors, and through that venture has helped top media companies, including iHeartMedia, accelerate revenue generation through emerging digital and social media channels.  In this role, Nesci will be responsible for developing a variety of data-driven, audio strategies across iHeartMedia’s vast array of platforms.  He will help steer SmartAudio, the company’s data infused, cloud-based audio planning and buying platform that allows marketers to bring audience-based buying strategies to iHeartMedia’s robust audio ecosystem.

TALKERS News Notes. WABC, New York talk show host and Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa may be an unlikely celebrant of “4/20 Day” – the unofficial day in which pot smokers honor the herb and campaign for marijuana law reform – but because of the plant’s medicinal value for him as a chronic sufferer of severe intestinal issues, he’s on board this year.  The New York Post recently ran a piece on Sliwa’s change in attitude toward marijuana laws.  Sliwa is a card-carrying medical pot patient and he tells the Post that he’s going to be at the new dispensary on Fifth Avenue near Bryant Park today with his documentation in hand.  Read the piece here…..WXOS, St. Louis “101 ESPN” is presenting the fifth annual “Baseball Camp for Kids 2018” baseball clinic event on Sunday, May 6.  Kids ages 6-13 will have the opportunity to participate at The Bud Dome. The station’s Kevin Wheeler and Brad Thompson will be there demonstrating and teaching children the fundamentals of baseball…..Westwood One-syndicated Clark Howard is presenting a special, seven-part series that focuses “on bringing listeners back to Clark Smart basics.”  The series (starting April 25) will feature ways “consumers can save more and spend less on cars, houses, insurance, investing, travel, credit, and monthly bills.”

Patriots Radio Play-by-Play Legend Gil Santos Dies at 80. Long before Bill Belichick and Tom Brady were the most famous names associated with the New England Patriots, radio play-by-play man Gil Santos was one of the most revered among Pats fans.  He died yesterday (4/19) on his birthday at age 80.  The cause of death is unknown.  For 36 seasons, Santos called the games (mostly with Gino Cappelletti as color analyst).  He was enshrined into the Patriots Hall of Fame in 2013.   Santos served as the morning drive sports anchor on WBZ-AM, Boston for 38 years. See the Boston Globe’s obit here.

Trump-Russia Investigation/Comey Book Top News/Talk Stories for Week of April 16-20.  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible Trump campaign-Russian agent connections and the related book and media tour by James Comey tied for the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the relationship between Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen and talk media star Sean Hannity.  Coming in at #3 was the controversy over possible new sanctions against Russia, followed by the legal battles over California’s sanctuary cities policy and general talk about Mexican border security at #4. The Talkers TenTMis a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Deep Dive Conversation with Art Bell (Conducted in 2015) Presented in this Week’s Harrison Podcast. An extensive conversation between Michael Harrison and Art Bell recorded in 2015 is the centerpiece of this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview” which pays tribute to the late pioneering talk show host. The rare recording, one of the last long-form interviews granted by Bell, took place during the launch of his short-lived 2015 return to radio, “Midnight in the Desert.” Harrison and Bell discuss the legendary broadcast figure’s post-“Coast-to-Coast AM” career, his enthusiasm for the new show, as well as his assessment of the state and future of radio. They also discuss some of Bell’s favorite scientific and paranormal topics including astrophysics, quantum entanglement, the power of collective consciousness, time travel and more. According to Harrison, “This relatively recent conversation really sheds light on Art Bell’s intelligence, originality and approach to radio. We are fortunate to have such a treasure in our archives and are pleased to be able to present it again to the world.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on “The Michael Harrison Interview” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. There appears to be a program director position open in Indianapolis as CHR WNOW “Radio NOW 100.9” programmer Buster Satterfield exits, reportedly for a yet-to-be-announced new gig.  Satterfield joined the Radio One station just over two years ago.  Prior to joining Radio One, Satterfield was East Coast promotions manager for Atlantic Records…..iHeartRadio names Ariana Grande its “Artist of the Week” on the occasion of her first song release since the deadly attack at her concert in Manchester, England on May 22, 2017.  The new song, “No Tears Left to Cry,” is the first single from her highly anticipated new album and is available now on iHeartRadio…..Country superstar Carrie Underwood is pictured at right in the studio of the Premiere Networks-syndicated Bobby Bones show yesterday (4/19) as she stopped to discuss her new album, Cry Pretty.  She spoke about her 2018 ACM Award performance and win in the Vocal Event of the Year category with Keith Urban, her serious injury while walking her dogs, her husband Mike Fisher’s return to the Nashville Predators, and more…..ACM Vocal Duo of the Year Brothers Osborne are pictured below with nationally syndicated morning personalities Ty, Kelly and Chuck in the NASH Campus studios in Nashville.  They stopped by to promote their new album, Port Saint Joe.  From left to right are: Ty Bentli, John and TJ Osborne, Kelly Ford and Chuck Wicks.

Round Four of March PPM Data Released. The fourth of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s March 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s March 2018 PPM survey period covered March 1 – 28. You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM-markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

Austin

Spoken-Word Formats – After four straight negative moves that produced a -1.3 (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+), Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590 AM” immediately follows with a +1.8 via three upticks in a row (2.8 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.6, 6+) and carries on at #9. The majority of that +1.8 stems from January’s +1.3. A combined +1.0 in January and February (6.5 – 7.2 – 7.5, 6+), University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk KUT returns February’s +.3 but continues at #2 (7.2, 6+). It previously was -1.4 as the result of three straight decreases (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.8 – 6.5, 6+). Its loss of three-tenths in November ended three successive gains that netted +1.8 (6.1 – 6.5 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+). October 2017’s 7.9 is the highest 6+-share for KUT since 9.0 in November 2016. In the sports talk arena, Genuine Austin Radio’s KTXX “The Horn” is flat at 1.7 (6+) and stays at #19, while iHeartMedia’s KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” is off one-tenth (.6 – .5, unchanged at #24, 6+).

Austin Music Formats – Trending -1.7 (“Holiday” 2017); +1.7 (January 2018); and -.6 (February), Emmis adult hits KBPA “Bob” picks up one-tenth in March and is #1 for the third month in a row (6.7 – 8.4 – 6.7 – 8.4 – 7.8 – 7.9, 6+). Immediately prior to the “Holiday” 2017 report, “Bob” occupied the lead spot the previous ten (10) sweeps. A November gain of one-half share took KBPA to 8.8, its strongest 6+-stat since 9.1 in March 2017 and halted three down or flat trends for a collective -.4 (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.6 – 8.3, 6+). The 6.7 in “Holiday” 2017 marked the first time that Austin’s “Bob” was below a seven-share (6+) in three years (6.9, “Holiday” 2014). Following three improvements in a row that netted eight-tenths (4.5 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 5.3, 6+), Entercom hot AC KAMX “Mix 94.7” returns 75% of it and it and tumbles from fourth to eighth (4.7 (-.6, 6+). Prior to February, the last time “Mix” reached the five-share level (6+) was in July 2016 (5.1). Locked on 3.5 (6+) in January and February, Univision Radio regional Mexican KLQB “Que Buena 104.3” drops one-half share to 3.0 (#12 to #13, 6+). Regressing by that margin as well is Emmis’ KLBJ-FM (4.3 – 3.8, 6+) with “93.7 The Rock of Austin” dropping out of the top ten (#9 to #11). Tied at #5 are iHeartMedia’s KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country” (up from #6 in February) and co-owned/similarly formatted KVET-FM “98.1 – The Austin Texas Original” (5.0 – 5.3, +.3, up from #7 in February, 6+). When KASE racked up a +.7 in January, it ended three consecutive decreases for an overall -1.2 (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+) and is now +1.4 via three straight gains (3.9 – 4.6 – 5.1 – 5.3, 6+); KVET-FM was -.9 in February. Simultaneously, Genuine Austin Radio’s KOKE  is down 60% (-1.5) as the result of six negative or flat trends in succession (2.5 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.0, 6+) as “Austin’s Country Alternative” departs the top twenty (#20 to #23).

Raleigh

Spoken-Word Formats – Three straight decreases by iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK accounted for a -1.4 (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 3.8, 6+), but “106.1 Stay Connected” roars back with three positive spikes in a row for an overall +1.5 (3.8 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.3, eighth to sixth, 6+). Locked on 3.4 (6+) in January and February, Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC posts a one-half share increase to 3.9 (#13 to #12, 6+); “99.9 The Fan” was -1.3 in January. Co-owned/similarly formatted WDNC is up or flat for the seventh time in a row for a +.3 (.2 – .3 – .4 – .4 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .5, #20, 6+). University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” adds one-tenth (8.7 – 8.8, 6+) and repeats at #2. January 2018’s 9.1 is its strongest 6+-share since January 2014’s 9.4. It fell to third-place in “Holiday” 2017 after four consecutive months in the runner-up slot. Flat at 1.0 (6+), Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF “News Radio 680” remains at #19.

Raleigh Music Formats – Not only does Radio One gospel WNNL replicate February’s gain of seven-tenths (3.4 – 4.1 – 4.8, 6+), “103.9 The Light” enters the top ten (#11 to #10). February’s increase ended three straight decreases that accounted for a -1.0 (4.4 – 4.1 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). A March +.7 by Curtis Media Group classic hits-oldies WKIX more than wipes out February’s one-half share loss (4.8 – 4.3 – 5.0, 6+) as “Kix 102.9 Carolina’s Greatest Hits” jumps from tenth to eighth. “Kix” lost eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, but bounced back in January with a +1.1. Even though it is a combined -1.4 in February and March (10.7 – 9.5 – 9.3, 6+), Radio One urban AC WFXC “Foxy – Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is #1 for the 10th straight month; January 2018’s 10.7 is its best-ever (6+) PPM stat. Immediately prior to February, “Foxy” was an overall +2.0 in four gains in a row (8.7 – 8.9 – 9.4 – 10.4 – 10.7, 6+), Its loss of one-half share in October 2017 halted six straight positive spikes that netted +2.4 (6.8 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.7 – 9.2, 6+). After registering an eye-popping +2.6 in January, Curtis Media Group-owned WQDR “Today’s Best Country 94.7 QDR” is a combined -1.9 in February and March (9.4 – 8.3 – 7.5, 6+) but remains at #3. “Today’s Best Country” was off a collective full-share October-November-December (7.7 – 6.9 – 6.7, 6+). Four straight up or flat trends by iHeartMedia CHR WDCG – including identical +.7 performances in January and February – yield a +1.7 (5.0 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 6.0 – 6.7, 6+), but “G-105” relinquishes seven-tenths in March to 6.0 (flat at #5, 6+). When WDCG recorded a +.3 in “Holiday” 2017, it ended six monthlies in succession without an increase for an overall -1.9 (6.9 – 6.2 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0, 6+); November and December’s 5.0 matched the lowest 6+-share of “G-105” since “Holiday” 2013. Off one-half share (5.4 – 4.9, 6+), Curtis Media Group adult hits WBBB “96.1 Your Life – Your Music” segues from sixth to ninth. A February +1.1 pulled the plug on three consecutive downward moves that generated a -1.7 (6.0 – 5.7 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+).

Indianapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – A combined +2.2 in three straight upticks (3.4 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.6, 6+), directly following four straight downward moves for a collective -1.8 (5.2 – 4.9 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+), Emmis news/talk WIBC “93.1 Indy’s News Center” advances from tenth to eighth. Regaining the three-tenths it lost in February (3.3 – 3.0 – 3.3, 6+), Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI continues at #14; WFYI notched a +1.1 in January. Following four straight down or flat trends for an overall -1.0 (3.1 – 3.1 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+), Emmis sports talk WFNI “The Fan” is up two-tenths to 2.3 (#16 to #15, 6+), while iHeartMedia sports talk WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station” gains one-tenth (1.7 – 1.8, #18 to #17, 6+)

Indianapolis Music Formats – February’s -.6 by iHeartMedia-owned WOLT deleted the collective +.6 it racked up the two previous sweeps (3.9 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+), but “Alt 103.3 – Indy’s Alternative” rebounds in March with a +.8 (3.9 – 4.7, 6+), progressing from #13 to a three-way tie at #9. Stymied at 6.2 (6+) in January and February, Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM” improves by one-half share to 6.7 (fifth to third, 6+). With a +.7 in January, “Hank” ended three straight down or flat sweeps for a -1.6 (7.1 – 7.1 – 6.4 – 5.5, 6+); October’s +.8 took “Hank” to 7.1, its strongest 6+-showing since September 2015’s 7.6. One-half share behind “Hank” and steady at #6 is Cumulus Media’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” (5.9 – 6.2, +.3, 6+). An overall +.8 in May and June (2017), WFMS was -.9 (July); +.8 (August); +.5 (September); -.7 (October); +1.1 (November); -.9 (December); -.6 (“Holiday” 2017); and -.5 (February 2018). Mirroring what happened in February, just one-tenth of a share separates Entercom CHR WZPL (7.4 – 7.5, +.1, repeating at #1, 6+) and Emmis adult contemporary WYXB “Soft Rock B-105.7” (7.3 – 7.4, +.1, steady at #2, 6+). “Soft Rock” was #1 in December 2017, “Holiday” 2017, and January 2018. Its 13.4 in “Holiday” 2017 represents the best 6+-showing for WYXB since “Holiday” 2016’s 17.7, while November 2017’s 5.5 was its weakest since November 2012’s 5.3. In December, “B-105.7” halted three straight downturns that accounted for an overall -1.4 (6.9 – 6.5 – 5.9 – 5.5, 6+). Flat or (slightly) down in three successive sweeps for a -.4 (6.3 – 6.0 – 5.9 – 5.9, 6+), “99.5 ZPL” erupted with a +1.4 in January and has gained one-tenth in both February and March. In six successive up or flat trends between June 2017 and “Holiday” 2017, the Cumulus Media frequency at 93.9 was +2.5, virtually doubling its 6+-stat (2.6 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 3.4 – 5.1, 6+). On December 26 (2017), Cumulus Media transitioned urban-rhythmic oldies WRWM “93.9 The Beat” to CHR WYRG “Indianapolis’ Energy 93.9.” The aforementioned streak ended in January 2018 as “Energy” was -2.2 (2.9, #10 to 15, 6+). Flat at 2.9 (6+) in February, “Energy” short-circuits by -.9 in March to 2.0 (#15 to #16, 6+). At the same time, Radio One CHR WNOW “100.9 Radio Now,” a combined +2.2 in January and February (3.2 – 4.3 – 5.4, 6+), relinquishes roughly one-third of that increase (4.7, -.7, eighth to ninth, 6+). It is tied with rhythmic CHR sibling WHHH “Hot 96.3” (4.7, -.1, 6+), whose consecutive string of up or flat trends for an overall +1.5 ends at four (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.8, 6+). February’s 4.8 is the best 6+-stat for “Hot” since 5.0 in November 2016. Trending 5.3 – 5.1 – 5.2 (“Holiday” 2017 – January 2018 – February, 6+), urban AC cluster-mate WTLC-FM is off six-tenths to 4.6 (6+) as “106.7 Indy’s R&B Leader” departs the top ten (#9 to #12).

Milwaukee

Spoken-Word Formats – After logging a gain of nine-tenths in February (5.3 – 6.2, 6+), Scripps news/talk WTMJ returns two-tenths to 6.0 (6+), but stays in fifth-place. Immediately before that +.9, “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” was without an increase the previous four sweeps for a -2.0 (7.3 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 5.3, 6+). Finishing second for the sixth consecutive survey period, iHeartMedia’s WISN is a combined -.9 in February and March (8.4 – 8.3 – 7.5, 6+), after posting a +1.0 in January. When “News/Talk 1130” dropped one-half share in “Holiday” 2017, it ended five straight gains that yielded a +1.9 (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.0 – 7.9, 6+). Prior to January, the last time WISN reached the eight-share level (6+) was nearly five years ago (8.1, April 2013). This is the 11th report in succession that University of Wisconsin news/talk WUWM is within 2.0 – 2.9 range (2.4 – 2.7, +.3, #15 to #14, 6+). Flat at #16, Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” is down a combined one-half share in February and March (1.8 – 1.6 – 1.3, 6+).

Milwaukee Music Formats – Major ups/downs continue for Saga Communications’ WKLH “96.5 Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock,” which was -.9 in “Holiday” 2017; +.5 in January 2008; -.9 in February (7.2 – 6.3, 6+); and now +1.1 in March (7.4, fourth to third, 6+). “Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” was an overall +3.0 in four consecutive August through December increases (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.5 –  6.0 – 7.6, 6+). December 2017’s 7.6 marked the first time WKLH reached the seven-share level (6+) since the station reappeared in print more than three years ago (December 2014). In addition to posting a +.6 (8.8 – 9.4, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” is #1 for the 37th consecutive ratings period. Prior to January 2018, “Big FM” had been in double-digits (6+) in six of the previous 12 ratings periods; 11.6 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-stat since 14.4 in “Holiday” 2015). Owing to three consecutive sweeps without an increase (7.4 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.3, 6+), Milwaukee Radio Alliance adult contemporary WLDB is an overall -3.1; “B-93.3” leaves the top ten (#9 to #11). In three positive spikes in a row (3.6 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.4, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WMIL is a cumulative +1.8 as “FM 106.1 – Milwaukee’s Best Country” shifts from eighth to sixth. Also in the market’s top ten is WMIL’s format rival, Scripps’ WKTI “94.5 KTI Country,” which adds four-tenths to February’s +.6 (3.4 – 4.0 – .4, #11 to #9, 6+). Until registering a +.9 in January, “FM 106.1” was a combined -3.2 in five successive downward moves (6.5 – 5.7 – 5.0 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+). Likewise, February’s +.6 by “KTI Country” suspended six successive down or flat survey periods for a collective -1.4 (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Immediately in advance of that trending, WKTI posted three straight gains for a collective +1.1 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.8, 6+).

Nashville

Spoken-Word Formats – Steady at #11, Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” is in a repetitive 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 3.5 sequence (6+). January’s half-share improvement suspended three straight declines that yielded a -2.0 (5.0 – 4.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+). Off two-tenths after February’s -.1 (1.4 – 1.3 – 1.1, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC “Talk Radio 1510” is unchanged at #17. Despite dropping two-tenths (3.9 – 3.7, 6+), Cumulus Media sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” climbs from #11 to #10. “The Zone” followed “Holiday” 2017’s -.6 with a January +.9 and a -2.6 in February. Losing the one-tenth it picked up in February (1.9 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+), Cromwell Group’s similarly-programmed WPRT “102.5 The Game” falls from #15 to #16. In three straight sweeps without a loss (4.0 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 5.3, ninth to eighth, 6+), Nashville Public Radio news/talk/classical hybrid WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” is a combined +1.3. January’s full-share gain ended three decreases in succession that generated a -2.4 (6.4 – 5.7 – 4.6 – 4.0, 6+). WPLN-FM was +1.2 in October to 6.4, its best 6+-share in the PPM-era.

Nashville Music Formats – It would be quite the understatement that the past few sweeps have been interesting for WLVU. For all practical purposes, the Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian outlet virtually disappeared from print in January with a -2.6 to .1 (6+); regained roughly one-third of that deficit in February (+.9); and now tacks on a whopping +2.2 in March (1.0 – 3.2, #19 to #14, 6+). In fact, no other station in the 48 PPM-markets had as large of a (6+) February 2018 – March 2018 increase than Nashville’s version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love.” By adding eight-tenths to February’s +.7 (6.0 – 6.7 – 7.5, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUBT “101.1 The Beat – Nashville’s Home for Hip-Hop and R&B” marches from fourth to second. Prior to February, “The Beat” was without an increase the previous five ratings periods for a cumulative -2.5 (8.5 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 6.8 – 6.6 – 6.0, 6+). Following two months at #1, “The Beat” shifted to #2 in November; 8.5 in September was its highest 6+-share since July 2015’s 8.4. An increase of seven-tenths (.2 – .9, 6+) enables TBLC Media Spanish contemporary WNVL “Activa” to enter the top twenty for the first time (#20). Down one-tenth (8.7 – 8.6, 6+), Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA repeats at #1. On top in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017, “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” shifted to second in January, but returned to #1 in February with a +1.0. Prior to January’s -6.7, “Mix” was +8.0 in six straight increases (6.4 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 7.4 – 7.7 – 9.9 – 14.4, 6+). It is a rough ratings period for Nashville’s three FM country players as Cumulus Media’s WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” is -1.2 (4.7 – 3.5, #10 to #11, 6+); iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” is -.6 (5.8 – 5.3, flat at #8, 6+); and Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” is -.3 (6.1 – 5.8, unchanged at #6, 6+). Following four straight gains for an overall +1.8 (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 5.0, 6+), “Nash FM” dropped three-tenths in February. In January, WSIX was +1.1 to end three straight drops that generated a -1.4 (5.5 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.1, 6+); “The Big 98” added six-tenths in February. A January and February +1.9 by “Nash Icon” (4.2 – 5.6 – 6.1, 6+) wiped out its -1.7 from December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.9 – 5.6 – 4.2, 6+). Declining by one-half share are iHeartMedia’s WNRQ “105.9 Nashville’s Classic Rock” (7.0 – 6.5, second to fifth, 6+) and Cumulus Media urban AC WQQK “92-Q” (5.6, sixth to seventh, 6+). A -.8 by “Nashville’s Classic Rock” stopped four gains in succession that netted +2.1 (5.7 – 6.0 – 6.7 – 6.9 – 7.8, 6+); January’s 7.8 represents its best 6+-stat since June 2017 (7.8, as well). Immediately prior to March, “92-Q” was +.7 in four straight (modest) uptrends (5.4 – 5.5 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 6.1, 6+).

Providence

Spoken-Word Formats – Steady at #7, Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM adds four-tenths to February’s +.3 (3.9 – 4.2 – 4.6, 6+). When “News Talk 630” lost one-tenth in January, it curtailed four straight upward moves of two-tenths each for a collective +.8 (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+). Following a February gain of six-tenths (1.4 – 2.0, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WHJJ “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” returns one-third of it but stays at #12 (1.8, -.2, 6+). For the third time in a row, Cumulus Media-owned WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business” gains one-tenth (.3 – 4. – .5 – .6, #15 to #16, 6+). A cumulative -2.2 in February and March (5.0 – 3.6 – 2.8, 6+), Entercom sports talk WVEI carries on at #8. Leading up to the February sweep, WVEI was an overall +1.8 via three consecutive up or flat trends (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 5.0, 6+). Once again finishing back-to-back are public news/talkers The Wheeler School’s WELH (flat at 2.3, ninth to tenth, 6+) and WGBH Educational Foundation’s WGBH (flat at 2.2, #10 to #11, 6+).

Providence Music Formats – Logging a nine-tenths increase (5.0 – 5.9, steady at #5, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWBB “B-101 The 80s and More” is within 5.0 – 5.9 range (6+) for the 12th sweep in succession. As a result of three straight positive spikes (7.2 – 7.4 – 7.5 – 8.3, 6+), Hall Communications’ WCTK “Cat Country 98.1” is a +1.1 and dials up its best 6+-share since July 2017’s 8.4. Substituting February’s -.6 with a March +.7 (2.7 – 2.1 – 2.8, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting Spanish tropical WKKB returns to the top ten (#11 to #8). “Latina 100.3” was a cumulative +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018, basically doubling its 6+-share. For more than two years in a row (28 straight ratings periods), the top spot in this Rhode Island market was held by Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105.” That consistency changes in calendar year 2018 though as iHeartMedia-owned WHJY “94 HJY Providence’s Home of Rock and Roll” took over in January; “Lite Rock” returned to #1 in February with a +1.3; and WHJY recaptures the crown in March. This particular transition is more a function of “Lite Rock” eroding by -1.1 (10.2 – 9.1, first to second, 6+) than anything else, since WHJY is actually off four-tenths (9.6 – 9.2, second to first, 6+). The 9.6 by WHJY is its best 6+-stat since September 2013 (9.6, as well), while the 12.3 in “Holiday” 2017 was the strongest 6+-share since 18.0 in “Holiday” 2016 for “Lite Rock,” which had been in double-digits (6+) seven sweeps in succession. Prior to October, WWLI was a combined +1.6 as the result of three straight increases (9.8 – 10.0 – 10.8 – 11.4, 6+).

Norfolk – In a very stagnant monthly, five of the 13 listed stations are up from February with an average increase of exactly +.2; seven are down with an average increase of exactly +.3; and one station is flat. Eleven of the 13 Norfolk outlets in print maintain their (6+) February market rank. The exceptions are iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies WHBT “92.1 The Beat” (ninth to eighth) and co-owned alternative WNOH “Alt 105.3” (eighth to ninth). In four straight up or flat trends “The Beat” is +.3 (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.2, 6+), while “Alt 105.3” records the market’s largest (6+) February 2018 – March 2018 fluctuation (2.4 – 1.7, -.7, 6+). Rhythmic hot AC sibling WMOV “Movin’ 107.7” (#10) erodes by -3.9 in three drops in succession (5.0 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.1, 6+). An overall +1.1 in three straight upticks (3.5 – 3.8 – 4.4 – 4.6, 6+), Entercom rhythmic CHR WNVZ “Z-104 All the Hits” remains at #6. Its urban AC sibling – WVKL “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” – is down two-tenths (12.3 – 12.1, 6+), but is #1 for the 16th time in a row and registers a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 24th time in the last 25 sweeps. When it logged a 14.6 in November 2017, “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” set the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. The old mark of 14.3 (6+) was recorded by WVKL two months earlier. Before slipping by one-half share in October, WVKL – which earlier was on top for 55 consecutive ratings periods – posted three straight improvements accounting for a +2.4 (11.8 – 12.0 – 13.4 – 13.7 – 14.2, 6+). In the Saga cluster, classic rock WAFX “106.9 The Fox” is +1.7 in three upticks in a row (4.7 – 5.9 – 6.3 – 6.4, #4, 6+), while co-owned adult standards WJOI “1230 AM – Great Songs, Great Memories” is up one-half share in four straight up or flat trends (.2 .3 .4 .4 .7, #13, 6+). At #11, Norfolk State University urban contemporary WNSB “Hot 91.1” is without an increase for the sixth straight time for a -.7 (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.0 – 1.0, 6+), while Hampton University jazz outlet WHOV “Smooth 88.1” has its third downtrend in a row for a -.5 (1.3 – 1.0 – .9 – .8, 6+).

Greensboro

Spoken-Word Formats – Ever since it rolled out a +1.6 in January (4.3 – 5.9, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” is -.7 in February and now -.6 in March (4.6, sixth to seventh, 6+). An overall +2.2 in five consecutive increases (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 5.5, 6+), WPTI relinquished more than half that total in December (4.3, -1.2, 6+). Prior to the November 2017 sweep, the last time WPTI reached the five-share level (6+) was in November 2016 with a 5.0. This marks the third uptick in a row by Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” for an overall +.7 (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.2 – 2.5, unchanged at #11, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, WFDD returned in its entirety the +.6 it gained in November and December (1.7 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 1.7, 6+). Anchored at #13, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC surrenders February’s +.2 (.9 – 1.1 – .9, 6+). In three straight (modest) increases Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS “Triad Sports” quadruples its 6+-share (.2 – .3 – .6 – .8, flat at #14, 6+).

Greensboro Music Formats – Albeit -1.1 (12.1 – 11.0, 6+), Entercom urban AC WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” records double-digits (6+) for the 17th sweep in a row and remains at #1. Before slipping to #2 in “Holiday” 2017 with a -1.2, WQMG spent seven straight survey periods on top and had been #1 each month in calendar year 2017 except April and May. Right behind it repeating in the runner-up slot, adult hits sibling WSMW “98.7 Simon Says We Play Everything” (11.4 – 10.4, -1.0, 6+) has been in double-digits (6+) in eight of the last nine sweeps. Following three straight gains that more than quadrupled (+1.3) its 6+-share (.4 – .9 – 1.3 – 1.7, 6+), Baker Family Stations gospel WXRI “Joy FM – Real Music, Real Life” surrenders roughly half that increase (1.0, -.7, flat at #12, 6+). A collective +.7 in three positive moves in a row (2.9 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.6, 6+), Curtis Media Group regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1” forfeits all but one-tenth of it (3.0, eighth to ninth, 6+). It is tied with iHeartMedia-owned rocker WVBZ “105.7 – Man Up,” which is +.1 to 3.0 (tenth to ninth, 6+), thus halting four straight sweeps without an increase that accounted for a -2.0 (4.9 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+).

West Palm Beach

Spoken-Word Formats – Exiting the top ten (#10 to #11), iHeartMedia news/talk WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” is a collective -1.3 as the result of four straight decreases (3.3 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.1 – 2.0, 6+). This comes immediately after three upticks in a row that netted six-tenths (2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.3, 6+). Off nine-tenths in four consecutive down or flat trends (2.7 – 2.3 – 2.1- 2.1 – 1.8, 6+), co-owned WZZR “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk for the Palm Beaches” also departs the top ten (#10 to #12). WZZR had been +.5 through three straight increases (2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+). Stuck on 1.3 (6+) in January and February, Alpha Media’s WFTL “News Talk 850” gains two-tenths to 1.5 (#15 to #14, 6+). For the third time in a row Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN posts a 3.2 (flat at #9, 6+). After recording a .3 (6+) three straight times, Alpha Media sports talk WMEN “Sports Radio 640 The Hurricane” falters by two-tenths to .1 (#18 to #19, 6+).

West Palm Beach Music Formats – Owing to four straight improvements (4.2 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 5.2 – 5.9, fourth to third, 6+), Alpha Media urban AC WMBX “X-102.3” is +1.7. In a similar vein, iHeartMedia-owned adult contemporary WOLL “Today’s Kool 105.5” is +2.0 in three consecutive positive spikes (4.9 – 5.4 – 6.4 – 6.9, steady at #2, 6+). The five most recent (6+) fluctuations for “Kool” are +.8 (December); -.6 (“Holiday” 2017); +.5 (January 2018); +1.0 in February; and now +.5 in March. Off one full-share in September to 4.2 – its lowest 6+ showing since 3.9 in July 2011 – “KOOL” regained six-tenths of that decline in October. This (6.9) is the station’s highest 6+-share since 7.5 in July 2016. Elevating by one-half share as well – and adding to its February +.7 – is JVC Media’s WSVU “True Oldies Channel” (1.1 – 1.8 – 2.3, #6+), which cracks the top ten (#13 to #10). On top for the third month in a row is Alpha Media hot AC WRMF “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” (10.2 – 9.9, -.3, 6+). In advance of January’s +1.6, WRMF was down or flat in three consecutive ratings periods for a collective -3.0 (11.2 – 11.2 – 8.9 – 8.2, 6+). After 12 consecutive months on top, it dropped to the runner-up slot in “Holiday” 2017. A one-tenth September loss by WRMF pulled the plug on four straight increases that netted +1.6 (9.3 – 9.4 – 9.5 – 10.4 – 10.9, 6+). In the two sweeps following January’s +.9 (4.4 – 5.3, 6+), WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF “Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” is -1.9 (5.3 – 4.0 – 3.4, seventh to eighth).

Jacksonville

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to four straight negative trends (9.7 – 8.5 – 7.7 – 7.0 – 6.9, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV eroded by -2.8. It wiped out nearly half that margin in January and February (6.9 – 8.1 – 8.2, +1.2, 6+), but now regresses by -.9 to 7.3 (second to fourth, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” recorded its softest 6+-stat since 6.6 in “Holiday” 2016; WOKV was +1.3 in September. A combined +.9 in January and February (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.5, 6+), public news/talk WJCT drops one-tenth to 3.4 (6+) but is steady at #12. January’s +.4 halted five straight down or flat sweeps for a collective -.7 (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.6, 6+). Off one-tenth (.4 – .3, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WFXJ “Sports Radio 930” repeats at #21.

Jacksonville Music Formats – Not only does iHeartMedia urban AC WSOL register a +1.2 with its third increase in succession for an overall +1.7 (3.6 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 5.3, 6+), “V-101.5” enters the top ten (#11 to #6). A whopping -5.7 in four straight decreases (13.6 – 12.3 – 11.0 – 10.6 – 8.2 – 7.9, 6+), co-owned WQIK “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country” breaks out a +1.1 to 9.0 (6+), vaulting from third to first. On top for 12 ratings periods in succession, WQIK segued to #2 in “Holiday” 2017. A combined -1.8 in July and August (12.2 – 11.6 – 10.4, 6+), WQIK followed with an overall +3.2 in September-October-November (10.4 – 11.7 – 13.6, 6+), with October’s 13.6 its best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. Displaced from the top spot is Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WEJZ “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” (8.3 – 8.1, -.2, first to third, 6+). Before sputtering by -4.3 in January, WEJZ was an overall +5.8 in four straight up trends, practically doubling its 6+ AQH share (6.1 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 9.0 – 11.9, September 2017 through “Holiday” 2017, 6+) and noted its highest 6+-stat since 14.7 in “Holiday” 2016. After cratering by -1.7 in “Holiday” 2017 (8.3 – 6.6, 6+), Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL “96.9 The Eagle” answers with a combined +1.6 in three straight increases (6.6 – 7.1 – 7.7 – 8.2, 6+), jumping from fourth to second. Its urban AC HD2 channel, however, is off six-tenths (2.9 – 2.3, #13 to #14, 6+). A +1.0 in January enabled WKSL to end three straight losses that produced a -1.2 (4.9 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.7, 6+); however, “97.9 Kiss-FM” is a combined -1.2 in February and March (4.7 – 4.2 – 3.5, 6+) as the iHeartMedia CHR exits the top ten (#9 to #11). Co-owned urban contemporary WJBT “93.3 The Beat,” which was +.6 in January and February (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.2, 6+), surrenders all of it (4.6, -.6, seventh to ninth, 6+). Prior to January, “The Beat” was without an increase in four straight sweeps for an overall -.7 (5.3 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+). Up one-half share in February (1.8 – 2.3, 6+), Cox Media Group urban AC WOKV-HD2 sputters by six-tenths as well (1.7, #15 to #16, 6+), as does Renda Broadcasting’s WGNE “Gator Country 99.9” (5.4 – 4.8, fifth to eighth, 6+).

Memphis

Spoken-Word Formats – Following a -.8 in “Holiday” 2017 and a +.9 in January, iHeartMedia news/talk WREC “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” is a combined -.3 in February and March (3.5 – 3.3 – 3.2, #10 to #11, 6+). Its loss of eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2017 brought to a close five consecutive up or flat moves for an overall +.7 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+); January’s 3.5 is the best 6+-share for WREC since 3.6 in February 2017. Locked on 3.1 (6+) in January and February, Entercom sports talk WMFS gains two-tenths to 3.3 (#11 to #10, 6+). Following four straight increases that accounted for a +1.3 through November (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 3.3, 6+), “ESPN Sports Radio” was a combined -.8 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.5, 6+).

Memphis Music Formats – While unchanged in the runner-up slot, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WHRK “K-97.1 – Memphis’ Only Hip-Hop and R&B” improves by one full-share (8.2 – 9.2, 6+). This (9.2) is the strongest 6+-performance for “K-97.1” since November 2015’s 9.4. It is just one-half share behind urban AC cluster-mate KJMS “V-101” (10.1 – 9.7, -.4, 6+), which is #1 for the third month in a row. “V-101” rebounded from January’s -.6 with a +.7 in February. It departed the top spot in “Holiday” 2017 after four consecutive months there. Following three straight improvements that yielded a +2.1 (9.2 – 10.0 – 10.4 – 11.3, 6+), “V-101” was -1.0 in December. Two other stations in that cluster have streaks snapped. Gospel WHAL “95.7 Halleluiah – Memphis’ Inspiration Station,” which was +2.3 in four upticks in a row (5.0 – 5.4 – 6.2 – 6.6 – 7.3, 6+), is off one-tenth to 7.2 (6+) but stays at #5. Meanwhile, co-owned WDIA “1070 The Heart & Soul of Memphis,” +1.8 as the result of five straight increases (3.9 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.7, 6+), drops one-tenth as well (5.6, 6+) and carries on at #6. Having posted a .8 (6+) five times in the last six survey periods (.8 – .7 – .8 – .8 – .8 – .8, 6+), Shelby County Schools’ urban AC WQOX picks up two-tenths to 1.0 (6+) and is anchored at #17.

Hartford

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to three increases in a row (4.4 – 5.1 – 5.5 – 5.9), Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM is a collective +1.5 and remains at #7. Ironically, “News Talk 1080” just concluded a consecutive string of negative moves in which it was a collective -1.4 (5.8 – 5.6 – 5.0 – 4.4, 6+). This is the third straight up or flat sweep for Connoisseur Media news/talk WDRC-AM “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” (.8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2, flat at #13, 6+). Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” is down four-tenths (5.9 – 5.5, sixth to eighth, 6+). It followed “Holiday” 2017’s -1.3 with a +.9 in January; 5.0 in “Holiday” 2017 was its lowest 6+-share since August 2017’s 4.7. After being a cumulative +1.1 in three straight gains (1.4 – 1.7 – 2.3 – 2.5, 6+), University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio,” which plays a combination of NPR news, classical, and jazz, falters by seven-tenths to 1.8 (#11 to #12). Entering the January 2018 sweep, WFCR was within 1.0 – 1.7 range (6+) in each of the previous 21 ratings periods.

Hartford Music Formats – Bouncing back from a -.2 in February, Entercom adult contemporary WRCH “Lite 100.5” trots out a +1.1 (13.2 – 14.3, 6+) and reaches a milestone for being #1 for the 20th consecutive ratings period. January’s -4.9 halted at six its consecutive string of up or flat trends that yielded a +8.4 (9.9 – 10.2 – 10.2 – 10.3 – 11.0 – 13.0 – 18.3, 6+). This marks the 17th time in the last 19 sweeps – and ninth in succession- that “Lite” is in double-digits (6+). In addition to logging its third straight increase for an overall +1.1 (4.9 – 5.1 – 5.5 – 6.0, seventh to sixth, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WWYZ “Country 92.5” has its best 6+-showing since December 2017’s 6.2. As Red Wolf Broadcasting Spanish tropical WMRQ-HD2 improves for the third time in a row for a +1.1 (1.6 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.7, #12 to #11, 6+), co-owned alternative WMRQ-FM “Radio 104.1” regresses by one-half share (3.9 – 3.4, 6+) but remains at #10. Stuck on 7.3 (6+) in January and February, Entercom hot AC WTIC-FM “96.5 TIC – Today’s Best Variety” coughs up six-tenths to 6.7 (6+), segueing from fourth to fifth. Without an increase in each of the last four sweeps (.4 – .4 – .3 – .1 – .1, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting classic hits-oldies WNTY “Good Times – Great Oldies – Kool Radio” picks up two-tenths to .3 (#15 to #14, 6+).

Monday, April 2, 2018

| April 2, 2018

Will Entercom Add News/Talk WTMJ, Milwaukee to its Brew City Cluster?  According to industry rumors and now picked up by the Milwaukee Business Journal, Entercom is the leading contender to acquire Scripps’ news/talk WTMJ and sister country outlet WKTI-FM.  E.W. Scripps recently announced that it is selling its 34-station radio group and will focus on its television business.  Currently, Entercom owns three stations in the market: CHR WXSS “Kiss FM,” hot AC WMYX, and sports talker WSSP-AM/W289CB “105.7 The Fan.”  The addition of WTMJ and WKTI would not violate the FCC ownership cap.  If this rumor becomes reality, Entercom would add WTMJ’s play-by-play rights for Green Bay Packers football, Milwaukee Brewers baseball, and Milwaukee Bucks basketball to its sports offerings and be an excellent complement to the sports talk on “105.7 The Fan.”

WABC, New York Adds Juliet Huddy to ‘Bernie & Sid in the Morning.’  Journalist and television personality Juliet Huddy joins the cast of the “Bernie & Sid in the Morning” program on Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York.  The show made its debut as the morning program replacing the “Imus in the Morning” show today. The station says that Huddy – former host of “Good Day New York” on WNYW-TV “FOX 5” and former FOX News Channel personality – joins Bernard McGuirk and Sid Rosenberg on the new morning show.  WABC program director Craig Schwalb comments, “Juliet is a natural performer and is equally comfortable talking entertainment and life as she is talking politics.  Juliet is an amazing addition to the show and to 77 WABC.”

Talk Pro Pete Mundo Joins KCMO-AM, Kansas City for Mornings.  News/talk and sports talk pro Pete Mundo joins Cumulus Media as assistant program director and morning air personality on the “KCMO Morning Show” on KCMO-AM/K279BI.  Mundo began his career in Woodward, Oklahoma.  He moved to New York in 2013 and served with CBS RADIO at WCBS-AM, WFAN-AM/FM, and CBS Sports Radio. He also hosted shows on FOX News Radio.  Cumulus Media Midwest Regional VP and Kansas City market manager Donna Baker states, “In our extensive national search for the right talent to connect with our loyal KCMO news/talk audience, Pete emerged as the clear choice.  We are excited to welcome him back to the Midwest to lead 103.7-710 KCMO to a new level of success for our listeners and advertisers.”  Mundo adds, “I’m thrilled by the opportunity to return to the nation’s heartland to host mornings on the legendary KCMO and to assume programming responsibilities as assistant program director.  Bringing a fresher perspective to news, political, sports and local topics and how they affect the Kansas City community on KCMO-Talk Radio 103.7/710 is something I’m very much looking forward to.”

Kevin Klein Remains MIA on KEGY, San Diego. As of Monday morning, it remains unclear just what the status of KEGY, San Diego “97.3 The Machine” morning personality Kevin Klein is.  Though the station’s website lists Klein as the morning host, he was not on the radio today (4/2).  His show was supposed to launch on MLB Opening Day (3/29), but the station has continued to air the mix of comedy bits and rock music in AM drive that is the overnight programming.  As we reported previously, the San Diego Padres – for which the station serves as its flagship for play-by-play – took issue with Klein’s Twitter promotion that poked fun at the city’s Coronado Bridge and its history of being the site of hundreds of suicides throughout its history.  The team is also reportedly not thrilled with the general tone of the station. It’s assumed that Entercom officials and the Padres are in talks about where the two sides go from here and Klein’s status may be part of that.

Alex Jones’ Son Rex Challenges Parkland Student to Gun Laws Debate. The son of Internet and radio personality Alex Jones is challenging Parkland, Florida shooting survivor David Hogg to a gun control debate. Hogg is a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and, along with fellow student Emma Gonzalez, has become the media face of students seeking gun control measures in response to the deadly shooting.  Jones’ son Rex is 15 years old and, according to Inquisitr.com, has been provided by his father with “a platform to express an alternative view of gun control from a teenager’s perspective.”  See the Inquisitr.com story here.

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from the February 2018 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio, today focusing on news/talk.  Approximately 45% of news/talk stations in PPM markets saw their 6+ AQH shares rise from the January survey to February, while 28% are down and 27% remained flat.  Year-over-year comparisons indicate that 42% of stations realized 6+ gains from the February 2017 survey to February 2018.  Forty-eight percent saw their 6+ number dip.  While 12 news/talk stations ranked in the top five in their respective markets in the February survey, just two stations – Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta and Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” – ranked #1 in their respective markets.   See the entire report here.

TALKERS News Notes. Las Vegas conservative media figure Heidi Harris has a busy week of events that will feature her new book, Don’t Pat Me On The Head! Blowback, Setbacks and Comebacks in Vegas Radio.  Harris says the new book “covers my various life experiences before radio, my nearly 20 years in radio, and 15 years as a cable TV talking head.  I discuss how to pick topics, callers, and guests, and share some great behind-the-scenes stories, as well as how I’ve survived treacherous colleagues and the politically correct, who sometimes want to slit my throat.”  This week, Harris is speaking at the Vegas Does Business luncheon at Gordon Biersch, Flamingo and Paradise on Thursday (4/5).  Later that evening she’ll be signing books at the Sun City Siena Conservatives meeting. On Saturday (4/7), she’s doing a book signing at Avery’s Coffee.  That evening she’ll appear on the “Jesus and Tim” show on KKVV, Las Vegas…..The Boston Globe reports that market news pro Rod Fritz exits iHeartMedia’s WBZ-AM, Boston “NewsRadio 1030.”  The paper reports that an internal memo from the station’s Jon MacLean stated, “Rod Fritz is moving on and will no longer anchor here at WBZ.  We thank Rod for his years of service and wish him all the best.

Trump DACA and NAFTA Statements, Russia Diplomatic Breaks, Trump-Russia Investigation, Author Claims Conway White House Leaker, Trump Tariffs, Parkland Students vs Ingraham/Nugent, Ready Player One Film, Final Four, MLB Season Opens, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  President Donald Trump’s statement on no DACA deal and the threat to NAFTA if Mexico fails at border security; Russia expels 59 diplomats from 23 countries; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; author Ronald Kessler suggests Trump aide Kellyanne Conway is the biggest White House leaker; China hits back at U.S. with tariffs on U.S. goods; the feud between Parkland students seeking new gun laws and FOX News Channel’s Laura Ingraham and Ted Nugent’s attack on them; the new film Ready Player One; the weekend’s Final Four games; the opening of the Major League Baseball season, and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. As reported last week by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Entercom names DreX, a.k.a. Kevin Buchar, and Nina co-hosts of the new morning drive show on its CHR WBBM-FM “B96.”  The “DreX and Nina” show will also feature Gabe Ramirez, who was a cast member on the station’s previous morning program, “The J Show.”  DreX says, “I’m honored, privileged, and humbled for this opportunity to come home to the Chicago audience.  I’d like to thank Entercom, Jimmy de Castro, Todd Cavanah, Erik Bradley and the entire ‘B96’ crew for welcoming me with open arms.  I am very much looking forward to teaming up with my two new partners Nina and Gabe in America’s greatest city.”  DreX previously worked in Chicago at WKSC-FM from 2002 to 2010.  Nina most recently worked mornings at WBMP-FM, New York City…..Radio pro Larry Wilson is the new morning host on Marc Radio’s country WPLL, Gainesville-Ocala “I Am Country.”  Wilson will also serve the company as host of the afternoon show sister classic hits outlet WXJZ.  Wilson had been hosting his “Livin’ Large with Larry” in the Billings, Montana market. He says, “After half of my 36 years on the air spent up north, Marc Radio is a ‘sunny’ change that I am looking forward to.  My show will stream online, so I can still share the sunshine with my Montana friends.”

Thursday, March 29, 2018

| March 29, 2018

Don Imus Says ‘Good-Bye’ to Listeners After 50 Years On-Air.  Today (3/29) was the last live “Imus in the Morning” program on WABC, New York.  Don Imus served up an emotional monologue as only he could do, then left the broadcast booth and let “best-of” Imus show segments play for the rest of the morning.  Imus was forced into an early retirement by Cumulus Media’s need to cut costs as it moves through Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.  He said, “I know in my heart there’s been nobody ever better on the radio than me.  I mean that.  I’m telling you how it is.  Nobody ever did this.  Nobody.  But, it wasn’t me who did this.  I’m gonna miss you.  Because you were the one – and I don’t know who ‘you’ is – I always thought and still think I was always talking to one person.  I didn’t know if you were male or female, I just knew there was one person that I talked to and that would listen to me…I know you’re going to miss me, but you have no idea how much I’m gonna miss you.”

Ben Shapiro Returns to Radio with Westwood One-Distributed Daily Podcast.  Conservative media star Ben Shapiro says, “The Daily Wire and Westwood One are doing something unprecedented; we’re launching the first podcast-to-talk-radio transition ever.  And we’re doing it in five of the top 10 DMA markets in the country, which is amazing in and of itself — no show launches with this constellation of stations.  We already have an enormous digital audience and we can’t wait to extend that audience to more traditional platforms.”  Cumulus Media-owned stations WABC, New York; KABC-AM, Los Angeles; WLS-AM, Chicago; WMAL-AM/FM, Washington; WYAY-FM, Atlanta and KKAT, Salt Lake City will air the program, as well as Bonneville‘s KTTH, Seattle (where Shapiro previously hosted his own talk radio show).  WLS-AM will air the program nightly from 9:00 pm to 10:00 pm.  In New York, the show replaces the Curtis Sliwa-hosted “The Drive at Five” program at 5:00 pm ET.  WABC program director Craig Schwalb tells staff in a memo, “Curtis has held down the ‘Drive at Five’ for about two years and has done a magnificent job making that hour a strong round-up of the news of the day with the Curtis touch.  And yet, we have been given the opportunity to air one of the hottest commentators in the country in Ben Shapiro.  To say that he has hit the podcast world by storm would be an understatement.  Everyday, he is one of the top podcasters in any genre, ranking in the top 10 or top 15.  It’s for a reason.  He is brilliant, informative, and opinionated.  This podcast to broadcast is in the perfect spot between Savage and Levin.”

Curtis Sliwa to Appear at WLS-AM-Sponsored Screening of Vigilante.  Speaking of New York City icon Curtis Sliwa, he is in Chicago today for tonight’s appearance at the Chicago premiere of the Guardian Angel’s film Vigilante at the NBC Tower.  The event is taking place at the WLS-AM 890 Sound Lounge performance theatre and is being hosted by WLS-AM morning personalities Big John Howell and Ramblin’ Ray Stevens.  Sliwa will take part in a Q&A with premiere attendees.  He’s hosting his WABC, New York show from Chicago today.

WABC, New York Officially Announces Chris Plante Show for Late Mornings.  A couple of weeks ago TALKERS magazine reported that WABC, New York program director Craig Schwalb told the staff that WMAL-AM/FM, Washington-based talk host Chris Plante would be filling the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon daypart when the “Bernie & Sid Show” moves to mornings on April 2.  Now, the station makes that official, welcoming Plante to the lineup.  The press release says the New York audience knows Plante from his work covering the U.S. military and intelligence community for CNN.  Plante says his political party is “Practi-crat,” “because of my distinctly practical political leanings…As any school child knows, as a broadcaster, if you could choose one radio station in one market in the English-speaking world, it would be WABC in New York.  I’m honored to join the team.”

Cumulus Media Releases Q4 2017 and Full-Year Financial Figures; Radio Group Down 3.9%.  The company as a whole reports net revenue down 1.9% compared to the fourth quarter of 2016.  Separating the radio station group from syndicator and sales arm Westwood One, the radio station group dipped 3.9% in Q4 of 2017, while Westwood One rose 2.5%.  For all of 2017, Cumulus Media net revenue was basically flat at $1.13 billion; the radio group was down 1.9%; and Westwood One was up 2.8%.  President and CEO Mary Berner says, “Our 2017 financial performance is a true testament to our employees’ hard work and commitment to our turnaround plan.  Having also made the decision to definitively address our overleveraged balance sheet, we look forward to completing our financial restructuring and continuing our progress in the months ahead.”

Cumulus Responds to Objections to Plan of Reorganization.  After Wednesday’s filing of objections to Cumulus Media’s Plan of Reorganization by the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors and the Cross-Holder Committee, the company issued the following statement: “Today’s objections to our Plan of Reorganization by the UCC and the Cross Holders were anticipated – they are normal parts of the restructuring process and will not impact our restructuring timeline.  We look forward to emerging from the restructuring process with a stronger foundation and to continuing to execute our turnaround plan which remains on track both operationally and financially.  Both objections largely reiterate statements that have already been made through the restructuring, which we believe have no merit, and we remain confident that we will successfully address these claims through the Court process.”

PPM Analysis: Public News/Talk. TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s February PPM survey, today focusing on public news/talk.  Comparing the January and February PPM surveys, 38% of public news/talk stations saw their 6+ AQH shares go up while 46% went down.  A year-over-year comparison indicates that 54% of stations in the survey went up (6+), with 36% losing AQH share.  During the February survey, two public news/talk stations – KQED, San Francisco and KOPB, Portland – ranked #1 in their respective markets.  KQED also was #1 in the adjacent San Jose market.  See the whole report here.

TALKERS News Notes. Boston-based New England talk show host Howie Carr just published his latest book, this one a jab at Hillary Clinton’s book of the same name, titled, What Really Happened: How Donald J. Trump Saved America from Hillary Clinton.  President Trump Tweeted praise for Carr’s book.  “@HowieCarrShow just wrote a book which everyone is talking about.  He was a great help.  He is a veteran journalist who had a great influence in NH and beyond.  He calls it the most amazing political campaign of modern times.  The book is called, ‘What Really Happened.’ Enjoy!”…..ESPN adds a new podcast from Bomani Jones to is slate of podcasts.  “The Right Time with Bomani Jones” launches on Tuesday, April 3.  New, hour-long episodes will drop each Tuesday and Thursday.  Jones says, “I’m really looking forward to rebooting ‘The Right Time’ and moving it into the future.  We want to do as much as we can with the flexibility of the podcast format to take what was a three-hour radio show and make it into an even better podcast.  I really think the audience we served before – many of whom consumed the show digitally – will be happier with what’s next and the content will attract new listeners.”…..SiriusXM is again providing comprehensive national audio coverage of the 2018 Major League Baseball season.  Subscribers can access live play-by-play of every regular season and postseason game, as well as 24/7 news, talk and analysis on the exclusive MLB Network Radio channel.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Stormy Daniels Case, Kim Jong Un in China, Stevens’ Second Amendment Repeal Suggestion, Parkland Student-Ingraham Feud, California Sanctuary Cities Controversy, ‘Roseanne’ Re-Boot,’ Sacramento Unrest, the NCAA’s Final Four, NFL Rule Changes, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/28). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the suggestion by Republicans that the FBI, CIA, and the Obama Administration coordinated early in the investigation; the legal actions targeting President Trump related to the Stormy Daniels affair allegation; North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un visits Chinese President Xi Jinping; the controversy over Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens’ editorial calling for a repeal of the Second Amendment; the feud between Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg and FOX News’ Laura Ingraham; the legal battles over the California sanctuary cities policies; the success of the first episode of the “Roseanne” re-boot and Roseanne Barr’s support of President Trump; the unrest in Sacramento in the aftermath of the fatal police shooting of Stephon Clark; the NCAA Men’s tournament Final Four; free agency signings in the NFL; today’s MLB season openers; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  In Chicago, Entercom makes changes in morning drive at CHR WBBM-FM “B96” and ousts “The J Show” with host J Niice, a.k.a. Jamar McNeil, and cast members Gabe, Shelly, and Minnie.  Meanwhile, Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that Kevin Buchar, a.k.a. DreX, is headed back to the Windy City to assume the morning daypart there…..Beasley Media Group adult hits WBEN-FM, Philadelphia is welcoming Emmy Award-winning celebrity chef Rachael Ray as keynote speaker at the station’s 2nd annual “Her Story Luncheon” on Saturday, April 14.   The luncheon is being hosted by Kathy Romano, host of 95.7 BEN FM’s “Her Story” program.  The Saturday morning show features dynamic women who are making a significant impact in the community…..iHeartMedia’s hip hop WKTU, New York reveals the lineup for this summer’s “KTUphoria 2018” concert at Jones Beach Theater.  Performing this year will be: Dua Lipa, Ne-Yo, Charlie Puth, Enrique Iglesias, Sting & Shaggy, Pitbull and more to be announced…..Midwest Communications names Corey Schaefer brand manager for CHR KOYY, Fargo “Y94.”

Friday, March 23, 2018

| March 23, 2018

Pittman and Bressler Memo Staffers on Bankruptcy; Call Out Forbes Columnist. In an effort to keep morale up during the company’s Chapter 11 reorganization and prevent staffers from taking information to heart that they say isn’t true, iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman and CFO Rich Bressler penned a memo to all the staff praising the consumer press they say is getting the story right and chiding one they say has it all wrong.  The memo starts off: “It’s been a week since we reached an agreement with our lenders to give iHeartMedia a capital structure that finally matches its strong operating business.  We’re pleased that a number of news outlets got the story right.  For example, The Wall Street Journal quoted analyst Lance Vitanza, who said, ‘This company going bankrupt is not a problem – it’s the solution.’ Forbes wrote ‘…that agreement will reduce its crippling debt by more than $10 billion, effectively cutting it in half. That could be a game-changer for the company.’  And in The New York Times, ‘…when they come out of bankruptcy, they will be in a much better position.  We expect them to be able to focus their resources on growing their business rather than on debt service, which is what they’ve had to do for the last 10 years.’  Of course, there is always someone who wants to tear us down. In fact, one sadly misguided and uninformed freelancer wrote an opinion piece claiming that we were going to sell off all our radio stations.  Clearly this is someone who didn’t bother to read anything published on the company or any reliable analyst reports.  (TALKERS referenced this piece on Wednesday and you can read it here.)  The debtholders have spoken; they traded their $10 billion of debt for equity in our company. They don’t want to break up the company. So, if you see anything else like this, you now have the right filter for how to think about it.”  The two also take the opportunity to take a few jabs at social media – and specifically Facebook – as an advertising medium.  “Broadcast radio is one of the most brand-safe environments for advertisers.  We are even regulated by the Federal Communications Commission and deliver live, human and authentic programming to nine out of 10 American consumers every week.  Nothing bears this out like the scandal we’ve seen in the last few days about Facebook, which had a relationship with a company that harvested and exploited private member data without permission, manipulating the social media activity of tens of millions of people.  While advertisers have been directing significant dollars to social media, in light of this massive data breach, many advertisers are seriously rethinking it because they are not getting the ‘influencers’ they think they’re paying for; in fact, because of social media fraud, they’re often not getting real people, they’re getting ‘bots.’”

‘Markley and Van Camp’ Welcome Scott Robbins for Contributor Role.  Back in 2014, Scott Robbins was suffering from serious health issues, having had three heart attacks and several subsequent bypass surgeries.  That was happening just as he and on-air partner Jamie Markley were preparing to have their WMBD, Peoria-based talk show syndicated.  Robbins had to leave the show to focus on his health and Alpha Media partnered Markley with David Van Camp – who, as “Markley and Van Camp” will launch into syndication via Compass Media Networks on April 2.  (Alpha also airs the show on KXL, Portland.)  Now comes news that Robbins will join Markley and Van Camp as a contributor to their show while continuing to host his daily, two-hour sports talk show on the company’s WNGY-HD2/W262BY, Peoria “95.9 The Sports Nut.”  Alpha Media Peoria SVP and market manager Mike Wild says, “Scott is a walking miracle and an inspiration.  He’s also an amazing talent and his intense passion for radio was never so clear as during his recovery.  He couldn’t wait to get back on the air and, remarkably, he’s still the same compelling personality even after all he’s been through.”  Jamie Markley adds, “Scott and I have been like brothers for years, and I’m sure he’d tell you I irritate him like a brother, at times.  He’s always made me laugh so much; we’re beyond pumped he’s with us on this ride.  It was a long shot he’d survive, let alone be able to do radio again.  I thank God for his recovery and the opportunity for all of us to do this show together. I think Scott’s comeback is truly a great story.”

Imus to Appear on ‘CBS Sunday Morning.’  Radio legend Don Imus will appear on “CBS Sunday Morning” (9:00 am ET) this week with Anthony Mason to talk about his career.  Imus prepares to sign off after the March 30 broadcast as Cumulus Media is cancelling his WABC, New York program in what is believed to be a cost-cutting maneuver related to its Chapter 11 process.  A teaser from CBS reveals that Imus says he would put himself and Howard Stern on the list of the best-ever radio performers.  The segment also addresses the numerous times he’s been fired, including by CBS RADIO in 2007 after his infamous comments about the Rutgers women’s basketball team.

Norm Pattiz Pens Pro-Podcasting Piece for Adweek.  Radio syndication visionary, Westwood One founder and PodcastOne chairman Norm Pattiz is published in Adweek, writing a piece that points out the pros of podcasting as a medium that delivers passionate consumers to advertisers.  He points out the rise in podcast listening.  “According to Edison Research, in 2006, 11 percent of the U.S. population (P12+) had listened to a podcast.  Last year, that figure had reached 40 percent.  Our own digital research shows that in the last five years, consumption of our network programming has grown from 1.3 billion downloads to 2.8 billion downloads last year.”  Read his piece here.

Nielsen: News/Talk Audience Share ‘Increased Significantly.’ With the wrap of the first quarter of 2018, Nielsen Audio releases some information it calls “trending long-term radio listening habits” by format based on PPM survey data.  The metrics are culled from PPM surveys going back to February 2011.  Nielsen says news/talk listening (which includes public radio news/talk) increased significantly since its recent low point in February of 2014.  For persons 25-54, for example, the format AQH share was 6.3% in February 2014.  The format AQH share was 7.3% in February of this year.  For persons 18-34, the February 2018 AQH share was 4.2%, second only to last February’s 4.7% share over the course of the last eight annual February tallies.  It bears repeating that Nielsen includes public news/talk in this report and that would likely skew the listenership younger than a survey of strictly commercial news/talk listeners.  Nielsen’s chart below reflects the 25-54 numbers.  See the whole report here.

Trump-Russia Probe Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 19-23. The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the suits against President Trump by Stormy Daniels, Karen McDougal, and Summer Zervos.  Coming in at #3 was the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica case, followed by President Trump’s China tariffs and the related financial markets activity at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Former U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  Former U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT) is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Lieberman, who ran as the vice-presidential nominee on the Democratic Party ticket in the historic 2000 election, rarely gives interviews since retiring from the Senate five years ago after 40 years of elective public service.  He currently lives and works part-time in New York as an attorney with a major law firm, Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman, and serves as a professor of political science at Yeshiva University, in addition to being active on a number of non-profit boards and in bi-partisan political advocacy groups.  Last year, he was on President Donald Trump’s short list of candidates to replace James Comey as director of the FBI.  Harrison and Lieberman engage in a wide-ranging discussion that includes the history and present state of politics and media, including his fascinating relationship over the years with talk radio, his view of the Electoral College (he and Gore won the popular vote), the old Democratic Leadership Conference, and his opinion of Donald Trump’s presidency.  Not to be missed!  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on “The Michael Harrison Interview” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Seattle radio personality Seth Hughes joins Hubbard Radio as midday host on KNUC “Country 98.9.”  Hughes was most recently with Entercom’s KMPS, Seattle as an air personality prior to its recent flip from country to adult contemporary.  He says, “For as long as I can remember it was a dream of mine to play country music on the radio in Seattle.  Twelve years ago, I travelled across the country to make that dream and so many others come true.  Thanks to Lisa Adams, Marc Kaye and Greg Strassell for helping me keep the dream alive.  To start a new job with a company as respected as Hubbard and NOT have to even smell the inside of a U-Haul trailer is truly a blessing.  I’m so excited to start the ‘Country 98.9’ chapter of my life.”…..Entercom promotes Clay Walker to program director for country WPAW, Greensboro “93.1 The Wolf.”  Walker had been serving the station as digital integration director and assistant program director.  He takes over for Dale O’Brien who’s giving up the PD post to focus on the morning show and to spend more time with his family.  Entercom Greensboro SVP/market manager Brent Millar says, “Clay Walker is a dyed-in-the-wool radio fanatic, interested in every aspect of the business.  He has long dreamed of having the opportunity to program and has devoted himself to doing his best to be ready when that time comes.  It has come and we are proud to have him on the team.  I also want to thank Dale for breathing new life into ‘The Wolf,’ as proven by our very impressive 2016 versus 2017 ratings growth. We’re all very glad to know that Dale will continue to lead the ‘Wake Up with the Wolf’ morning show.”…..In Houston, air personality JC removes the “interim” from his title as host of the evening daypart at Entercom’s country KILT-FM “100.3 The Bull.” JC has been hosting “The Bull After Dark” for a year.  Entercom Houston vice president of programming Bruce Logan says JC “has great on-air energy, is amazing at using the phones to engage the audience, and he has very good social media skills, as well as experience in creating and editing video.”…..Envision Networks names Max Lowther its newest affiliate relations manager.  Lowther is a Cleveland native and graduate of Bowling Green State University, where he worked at campus radio station WBGU-FM.  There he was afternoon drive host and later became the promotions director, working with sales, marketing, and hands-on trade show experience.  Envision CEO Danno Wolkoff says, “We’re very excited to have Max as part of the team at Envision Networks.  We feel that his work with WBGU-FM, combined with his drive to forward his career in the radio industry will make him an invaluable asset to our affiliate relations team.”

Round Four of February PPM Data Released. The fourth and final round of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s February 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 market, including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s February 2018 survey period covered February 1 – 28. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Austin Spoken-Word Formats – After being -1.4 as the result of three straight decreases (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.8 – 6.5, 6+), University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk KUT is a combined +1.0 in January and February (6.5 – 7.2 – 7.5, steady at #2, 6+). Its loss of three-tenths in November ended three successive gains that netted +1.8 (6.1 – 6.5 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+). October 2017’s 7.9 is the highest 6+-share for KUT since 9.0 in November 2016. Despite gaining two-tenths (4.1 – 4.3, 6+), Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590 AM” backslides from eighth to ninth. After four straight negative moves that produced a -1.3 (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+), KLBJ-AM erased the deficit completely in January with a +1.3. In the sports talk arena, Genuine Austin Radio’s KTXX “The Horn” is off one-tenth (1.8 – 1.7, #19), while iHeartMedia’s KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” is flat at .6 (#24, 6+).

Austin Music Formats – Via three losses in succession, including back-to-back drops of six-tenths, Emmis regional Mexican KLZT is a combined -1.5 (5.4 – 5.1 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+); however, in February, “107.1 La Z” is +1.0 to 4.9 (tenth to eighth, 6+). Having eroded by roughly 55% in January (12.4 – 5.6, -6.8, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ “Majic 95.5 – Better Music For a Better Workday” answers with a gain of seven-tenths to 6.3 (fourth to third, 6+). Its 12.4 in “Holiday” 2017 was the station’s highest 6+-share” since 12.6 in “Holiday” 2016. KKMJ was a combined +6.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017, and -.8 in November. In three upticks in succession, hot AC cluster-mate KAMX “Mix 94.7” is +.8 (4.5 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 5.3, 6+) and it is right behind KKMJ at #4. The last time “Mix” reached the five-share level (6+) was in July 2016 (5.1). At the same time that iHeartMedia’s KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country” posts a +.5 (4.6 – 5.1, seventh to sixth, 6+), co-owned/similarly formatted KVET-FM “98.1 – The Austin, Texas Original” sputters by nine-tenths (5.9 – 5.0, third to seventh, 6+). When KASE racked up a +.7 in January, it ended three consecutive decreases for an overall -1.2 (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+). Trending -1.7 (“Holiday” 2017); +1.7 (January 2018); and now -.6 (February), Emmis adult hits KBPA “Bob” repeats at #1 (6.7 – 8.4 – 6.7 – 8.4 7.8, 6+). Immediately prior to the “Holiday” 2017 report, “Bob” occupied the lead spot the previous ten sweeps. A November gain of one-half share took KBPA to 8.8, its strongest 6+-stat since 9.1 in March and halted three down or flat trends for a collective -.4 (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.6 – 8.3, 6+). The 6.7 in “Holiday” 2017 marked the first time that Austin’s “Bob” was below a seven-share (6+) in three years (6.9, “Holiday” 2014). Co-owned Spanish contemporary KLZT-HD2, without a loss the past five sweeps nearly doubling its 6+-share (+1.4) in that stretch (1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.5, 6+), returns half that increase (2.8, -.7, #12 to #14, 6+).

2) Raleigh Spoken-Word Formats – Albeit down four-tenths (9.1 – 8.7, 6+) University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” inches up from third to second. On the strength of January’s +1.7 (7.4 – 9.1, 6+), WUNC recorded its strongest 6+-share since January 2014’s 9.4. WUNC fell to third-place in “Holiday” 2017 after four months in a row in the runner-up slot. Following three straight decreases that accounted for a -1.4 (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 3.8, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK “106.1 Stay Connected” is +1.1 in January and February (3.8 – 4.7 – 4.9, ninth to eighth, 6+). Off one-tenth in February – after regaining the three-tenths it lost in “Holiday” 2017 (1.1 – .8 – 1.1 – 1.0, 6+) – Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF “News Radio 680” remains at #19. Flat at 3.4 (6+), Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC slips from #12 to #13; “99.9 The Fan” was -1.3 in January. Co-owned/similarly formatted WDNC is up or flat for the sixth time in a row for a +.3 (.2 – .3 – .4 – .4 – .5 – .5 – .5, 6+).

Raleigh Music Formats – Not only does an improvement of +1.1 to 5.4 (6+) enable Curtis Media Group adult hits WBBB to snap at three a consecutive string of downward moves that accounted for a -1.7 (6.0 – 5.7 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+), “96.1 Your Life – Your Music” jumps from tenth to sixth. Making up all by three-tenths of January’s -1.3 with a +1.0 (5.9 – 6.9, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WQOK “K-97.5” progresses from sixth to fourth. Even though iHeartMedia CHR WDCG duplicates January’s +.7 (5.3 – 6.0 – 6.7, 6+), “G-105” remains at #5. When WDCG recorded a +.3 in “Holiday” 2017, it ended six monthlies in succession without an increase for an overall -1.9 (6.9 – 6.2 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0, 6+); November and December’s 5.0 matched the lowest 6+-share of “G-105” since “Holiday” 2013. Improving by seven-tenths as well (to 4.1, #12 to #11, 6+), Radio One gospel WNNL “103.9 The Light” curtails three straight drops that generated a -1.0 (4.4 – 4.1 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Up one-half share (3.1 – 3.6, #14 to #12, 6+), Curtis Media Group CHR WPLW “Pulse FM – All The Hits” records its best 6+-stat since September 2017’s 3.9. An overall +2.0 in four gains in a row (8.7 – 8.9 – 9.4 – 10.4 – 10.7, 6+), Radio One urban AC WFXC surrenders 60% of that increase with a -1.2 to 9.5 (6+). Nonetheless, “Foxy – Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is on top for the ninth straight month; January’s 10.7 is its best-ever (6+) PPM stat. Its loss of one-half share in October 2017 halted six straight positive spikes that netted +2.4 (6.8 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.7 – 9.2, 6+). On the heels of experiencing a combined +3.5 (6+) in January, the market’s two country players are -1.7 in February as Curtis Media Group-owned WQDR “Today’s Best Country 94.7 QDR” is -1.1 (9.4 – 8.3, second to third, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WNCB “B-93.9 #1 for New Country” is -.6 (4.0 – 3.4, #11 to #13, 6+). Off one full-share in November and December (7.7 – 6.9 – 6.7, 6+), “Today’s Best Country” delivered a staggering +2.6 in February. Prior to the November sweep, WQDR registered a 7.7 (6+) in three of the six previous ratings periods. “B-93.9” was +.9 in January (3.1 – 4.0, 6+) and had its best 6+-showing since last September’s 4.3. There are noteworthy February 2018 losses for both “Mix” and “Kix.” Specifically, Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5” is -.7 (6.1 – 5.4, fourth to sixth, 6+), while Curtis Media Group classic hits-oldies WKIX “Kix 102.9 Carolina’s Greatest Hits” drops one-half share (4.8 – 4.3, seventh to tenth, 6+). Starting in February 2017, “Mix” – which was -4.3 in January 2018 – finished at #1 in four straight sweeps before slipping to third in June; it was tied for the lead in “Holiday” 2017 with 10.4 its strongest 6+-performance since 13.2 in “Holiday” 2016. November’s gain of one full-share ended eight successive sweeps without an increase for a -3.2 (8.8 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4 – 7.1 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 5.6, 6+). “Kix” lost eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, but bounced back in January with a +1.1. A loss of eight-tenths to 1.5 (#15 to #18, 6+) by Education Information Corporation’s WCPE “89.7 The Classical Station” ends its repetitive November 2017 thru January 2018 (6+) topline of 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.3.

3) Indianapolis Spoken-Word Formats – Flat at #10, Emmis news/talk WIBC “93.1 Indy’s News Center” is a combined +1.6 in January and February (3.4 – 4.5 – 5.0, 6+), directly following four straight downward moves for a collective -1.8 (5.2 – 4.9 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Off three-tenths (3.3 – 3.0, 6+), Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI continues at #14. As was the case with WIBC, WFYI notched a +1.1 in January. In four straight down or flat trends, Emmis sports talk WFNI “The Fan” has lost one full-share (3.1 – 3.1 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 2.1, flat at #16, 6+). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia sports talk WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station” returns 60% of January’s +.5 (2.0 – 1.7, -.3, #17 to #18, 6+).

Indianapolis Music Formats – No sooner did Radio One CHR WNOW break out a +1.1 in January, “100.9 Radio Now” does it again (3.2 – 4.3 – 5.4, 6+) and leaps into the top ten (#12 to #8). Nearly matching that February +1.1, rhythmic CHR sibling WHHH “Hot 96.3” is up one full-share, extending its consecutive string of up or flat trends to four for an overall +1.5 (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.8, #13 to #11, 6+). This is the best 6+-stat for “Hot” since 5.0 in November 2016. Having lost nearly two full shares (-1.9) since December (7.7 – 5.9 – 5.8, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5” posts a +.6 to 6.4 (seventh to fourth, 6+). The top three Indianapolis finishers in February 2018 are separated by just three-tenths of a share (6+). Included in that trio are Emmis adult contemporary WYXB “Soft Rock B-105.7” (7.9 – 7.3, -.6, first to second, 6+) and Entercom CHR WZPL (7.3 – 7.4, second to first, 6+), which swap places at #1 and #2, respectively. “Soft Rock,” which was #1 in December, “Holiday” 2017, and January 2018, is a collective -6.1 the last two sweeps, after +7.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017. The 13.4 in “Holiday” 2017 represents its best 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016’s 17.7, while November’s 5.5 was its weakest in more than five years (5.3, November 2012). In December, “B-105.7” halted three straight downturns that accounted for an overall -1.4 (6.9 – 6.5 – 5.9 – 5.5, 6+). Flat or (slightly) down the past three sweeps for a -.4 (6.3 – 6.0 – 5.9 – 5.9, 6+), “99.5 ZPL” erupted with a +1.4 in January. The “Holiday” 2017 – January 2018 – February 2018 sequence for hot AC cluster-mate WNTR “107.9 The Mix” is -.6, +1.3, and now -.8 (5.5 – 4.7, 6+) as it exits the top ten (#8 to #12). Erasing the +.6 it racked up the past two sweeps (3.9 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+) with a February -.6, iHeartMedia-owned WOLT “Alt 103.3 – Indy’s Alternative” is back at 3.9 (#10 to #13, 6+). The fifth- and sixth-place spots are occupied by Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM” (repeating its 6.2 and #5 rank from January, 6+) and Cumulus Media’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” (6.4 – 5.9, -.6, fourth to sixth, 6+). With a +.7 in January, “Hank” ended three straight down or flat sweeps for a -1.6 (7.1 – 7.1 – 6.4 – 5.5, 6+); October’s +.8 took “Hank” to 7.1, its strongest 6+-showing since September 2015’s 7.6. An overall +.8 in May and June (2017), WFMS was -.9 (July); +.8 (August); +.5 (September); -.7 (October); +1.1 (November); -.9 (December); -.6 (“Holiday” 2017); and now -.5 (February 2018).

4) Milwaukee Spoken-Word Formats –  Down or flat the past four sweeps for a -2.0 (7.3 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 5.3, 6+), Scripps news/talk WTMJ “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” makes up 45% of that deficit with a +.9 to 6.2 (6+) and remains at #5. In the runner-up slot for the fifth consecutive survey period, iHeartMedia’s WISN “News/Talk 1130” is down one-tenth (8.4 – 8.3, 6+), after posting a +1.0 in January. When WISN dropped one-half share in “Holiday” 2017, it ended five straight gains that yielded a +1.9 (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.0 – 7.9, 6+). Prior to January, the last time WISN reached the eight-share level (6+) was nearly five years ago (8.1, April 2013). For the tenth report in succession, University of Wisconsin news/talk WUWM is within 2.0 – 2.9 range (2.3 – 2.4, +.1, flat at #15, 6+). In another case of consistency – this time in the sports talk genre – the five most recent trends for Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” (unchanged at #16) are 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.6 (November 2017 through February 2018, 6+).

Milwaukee Music Formats – It is a strong sweep in Milwaukee for the country format as Scripps’ WKTI “94.5 KTI Country” is up six-tenths (3.4 – 4.0, #13 to #11, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WMIL “FM 106.1 – Milwaukee’s Best Country” gains one-half share (4.5 – 5.0, ninth to eighth, 6+). The +.6 by “KTI Country” applies the brakes to six successive down of flat survey periods for a collective -1.4 (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Immediately in advance of that trending, WKTI posted three straight gains for a collective +1.1 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.8, 6+). Meanwhile, until registering a +.9 in January, “FM 106.1” was a combined -3.2 in five successive downward moves (6.5 – 5.7 – 5.0 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+). Prior to August, “FM 106.1” was up or flat in four straight sweeps for a net +1.4 (5.1 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 6.5, 6+). The four most recent fluctuations for co-owned urban contemporary WKKV “V-100.7 Milwaukee’s Only Hip-Hop and R&B” include -1.0 (December); +.6 (“Holiday” 2017); -.5 (January 2018); and now +.6 (4.6 – 5.2, eighth to sixth, February 2018, 6+). November’s +.3 ended four consecutive months without an increase for an overall -2.0 (7.4 – 7.1 – 5.9 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+). Before the December report, the last time “V-100.7” fell below a five-share (6+) was in May 2016 (4.7). As a result of sputtering in consecutive sweeps (11.6 – 9.1 – 8.8, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” ends an alternating down/up pattern that began in May (10.3 – 9.9 – 10.7 – 9.6 – 9.8 – 9.4 – 10.0 – 8.4 – 11.6 – 9.1, 6+) but is #1 for the 36th consecutive ratings period. Prior to January 2018, “Big FM” had been in double-digits (6+) in six of the previous 12 ratings periods; 11.6 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-stat since 14.4 in “Holiday” 2015). A +.5 in January by Saga Communications’ WKLH recaptured approximately half of its -.9 in “Holiday” 2017; however, “96.5 Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” replicates that -.9 in February (7.2 – 6.3, third to fourth, 6+). WKLH was an overall +3.0 in four consecutive August through December increases (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.5 –  6.0 – 7.6, 6+). December’s 7.6 marked the first time that WKLH reached the seven-share level (6+) since the station reappeared in print more than three years ago (December 2014). Co-owned WHQC “102.9 The Hog – Everything That Rocks” returns more than half of January’s +1.4 (7.2 – 6.4, -.8, 6+) but stays at #3. Entering the January sweep, “The Hog” was down three straight times for a -1.3 (7.1 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 5.8, 6+). Still in that Saga cluster, urban AC WJMR “Jammin’ 98.3,” which had been within 4.2 – 4.4 range (6+) in each of the last five survey periods (4.4 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4), falters by six-tenths to 3.8 and exits the top ten (#10 to #13, 6+). Both of the current (negative) CHR streaks come to an end as Entercom-owned WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM” gains two-tenths (3.9 – 4.1, 6+) as it returns to the top ten (#11 to #10), while iHeartMedia’s WRNW “97.3 Now” picks up one-tenth (2.9 – 3.0, flat at #14, 6+). “Kiss” had been down or flat the past five survey periods for a collective loss of nine-tenths (4.8 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+); “Now” ends three successive decreases for a combined -1.1 (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.0 – 2.9, 6+). With a 4.0 in November, “Now” reached the four-share level for the first time since September 2012’s 4.1.

5) Nashville Spoken-Word Formats – A combined +.9 In January and February (3.0 – 3.5 – 3.9, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” progresses from #13 to #11. January’s half-share improvement suspended three straight declines that yielded a -2.0 (5.0 – 4.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+). Unchanged at #17, iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC “Talk Radio 1510” is off one-tenth (1.4 – 1.3, 6+). Notwithstanding that it followed “Holiday” 2017’s -.6 with a January +.9, no other station in the 48 PPM-markets has a larger (6+) January 2018 – February 2018 erosion than Cumulus Media sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” (6.5 – 3.9, -2.6, 6+), which slumps from #4 to #11. When the flagship of the Tennessee Titans was -.2 in November to 4.8 (6+), it ended a string of three straight increases that produced a +2.3 (2.7 – 3.2 – 4.0 – 5.0, 6+). Up one-tenth (1.9 – 2.0, #15, 6+), Cromwell Group’s similarly-programmed WPRT “102.5 The Game” has its best 6+-showing since 2.4 in May 2017; “The Game” improved by one-half share in January. Adding three-tenths to January’s +1.0 (5.0 – 5.3, 6+), Nashville Public Radio news/talk/classical hybrid WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” climbs from tenth to ninth. January’s full-share gain ended three decreases in succession that generated a -2.4 (6.4 – 5.7 – 4.6 – 4.0, 6+). WPLN-FM was +1.2 in September and October to 6.4, its best 6+-share in the PPM-era.

Nashville Music Formats – After a three-sweep stay at #1, Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA shifted to second in January, but with a +1.0 in February (7.7 – 8.7, 6+), “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” returns to the top spot. Prior to January’s -6.7, “Mix” was +8.0 in six straight increases (6.4 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 7.4 – 7.7 – 9.9 – 14.4, 6+). Departing (after just one month) and segueing to second is iHeartMedia’s WNRQ “105.9 Nashville’s Classic Rock” (7.8 – 7.0, -.8, first to second, 6+). Its -.8 in February curtails four gains in succession that netted +2.1 (5.7 – 6.0 – 6.7 – 6.9 – 7.8, 6+). January’s 7.8 represents its best 6+-stat since June 2017 (7.8, as well). Without an increase the past five ratings periods for a cumulative -2.5 (8.5 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 6.8 – 6.6 – 6.0, 6+), co-owned urban contemporary WUBT “101.1 The Beat – Nashville’s Home for Hip-Hop and R&B” dials up a +.7 to 6.7 (sixth to fourth, 6+). Following two months at #1, “The Beat” shifted to #2 in November; 8.5 (September) was its highest 6+-share since July 2015’s 8.4. Virtually disappearing from print in January with a -2.6 to .1 (#14 to #28, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WLVU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” makes up about one-third of the deficit and returns to the top twenty (1.0, +.9, #19, 6+). Erasing the December and “Holiday” 2017 -1.7 (5.9 – 5.6 – 4.2, 6+) with a January and February +1.9 (4.2 – 5.6 – 6.1, 6+), Cumulus Media’s country-formatted WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” bumps up from eighth to sixth. In January, iHeartMedia’s WSIX logged a +1.1 to end three straight drops that generated a -1.4 (5.5 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.1, 6+) and “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” tacks on six-tenths (5.2 – 5.8, ninth to eighth, 6+). Meanwhile, following four straight gains for an overall +1.8 (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 5.0, 6+), “Nash Icon” sibling WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” drops three-tenths to 4.7 (6+), but continues at #10. Returning in full the one-half share it gained in January (4.2 – 3.7, 6+), Cromwell Group alternative WBUZ “102.9 The Buzz” dips from #12 to #13; “The Buzz” was frozen on 3.7 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2017.

6) Providence Spoken-Word Formats – When Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM lost one-tenth in January, it curtailed four straight upward moves of two-tenths each for a collective +.8 (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+). In February, “News Talk 630” picks up three-tenths to 4.2, progressing from eighth to seventh (6+). Having lost three-tenths in January (1.7 – 1.4, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WHJJ “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” rebounds with a gain twice that margin (2.0, +.6, #13 to #12, 6+). Cumulus Media-owned WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business,” -.5 in three straight sweeps without an increase (.8 – .5 – .5 – .3, 6+) before picking up one-tenth in January, adds one-tenth (.4 – .5, #16 to #15, 6+). An overall +1.8 via three consecutive up or flat trends (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 5.0, 6+), Entercom sports talk WVEI surrenders all but four-tenths of that increase (3.6, -1.4, seventh to eighth, 6+). Finishing back-to-back are public news/talkers The Wheeler School’s WELH (2.2 – 2.3, +.1, eighth to ninth, 6+) and (from Boston) WGBH Educational Foundation’s WGBH (1.9 – 2.2, +.3, #11 to #10, 6+).

Providence Music Formats – On top for 28 ratings periods in succession, Cumulus Media’s WWLI was knocked off the mountain in January. Powered by February’s +1.3 though, “Lite Rock 105” is back at #1 (8.9 – 10.2, second to first, 6+). The 12.3 in “Holiday” 2017 was the strongest 6+-share since 18.0 in “Holiday” 2016 for “Lite Rock,” which had been in double-digits (6+) seven sweeps in succession. Prior to October, WWLI was a combined +1.6 as the result of three straight increases (9.8 – 10.0 – 10.8 – 11.4, 6+). Even though it leaves the #1 slot, iHeartMedia-owned WHJY “94 HJY Providence’s Home of Rock and Roll” is up one-tenth (9.5 – 9.6, first to second, 6+) and posts its best 6+stat (9.6) since September 2013 (9.6, as well).Owing to a loss of one-half share (5.2 – 4.7, sixth, 6+), hot AC cluster-mate WSNE “Coast 93.3” records its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 4.6. Faltering by six-tenths (2.7 – 2.1, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting Spanish tropical WKKB drops out of the top ten (#9 to #11). “Latina 100.3” was a cumulative +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018, basically doubling its 6+-share. In its June 2017 – February 2018 ratings history (ten reports since returning into print), WKKB has a high of 2.7 (January 2018, 6+) and a low of 1.7 (November, 6+).

7) Norfolk – The +7.2 that Entercom adult contemporary WWDE registered in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.3 – 7.1 – 11.5, 6+) vaporized completely in January, but “2WD” roars back in February with a +1.4 (4.3 – 5.7, 6+) as “101.3 2WD” continues at #5. In “Holiday” 2017, WWDE logged its strongest 6+-performance (11.5) since “Holiday” 2016’s 13.4. From June through November, “2WD” notched a 6+-share of either 4.3 or 4.6 (4.3 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.3). Consistently within 3.5 – 3.8 range in each of the last seven sweeps (3.8 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.8, 6+), rhythmic CHR sibling WNVZ “Z-104” busts out a +.6 to 4.4 and remains at #6 with its strongest 6+-stat since July 2017’s 4.5. An overall -2.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (8.6 – 6.7 – 6.0, 6+), Saga Communications’ WNOR “FM 99 Rocks” virtually wipes out that deficit in January and February with a collective +2.4 (6.0 – 7.9 – 8.4, third to second, 6+). Nearly four full-shares ahead of “FM 99 Rocks” is Entercom urban AC WVKL “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today,” which stumbles by seven-tenths (13.0 – 12.3, 6+). Nonetheless, it is #1 for the 15th time in a row and registers a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 23rd time in the last 24 sweeps. When it logged a 14.6 in November 2017, “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” set the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. The old mark of 14.3 (6+) was recorded by WVKL two months earlier. Before slipping by one-half share in October, WVKL – which earlier was on top for 55 consecutive ratings periods – posted three straight improvements accounting for a +2.4 (11.8 – 12.0 – 13.4 – 13.7 – 14.2, 6+). In an up/down sequence since November (8.2 – 9.0 – 8.2 – 8.6 – 8.1, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WOWI “103 Jamz – Norfolk’s #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” slips from second to third.

8) Greensboro Spoken-Word Formats – Forfeiting nearly half of January’s +1.6 (5.9 – 5.2, -.7, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” slips from fifth to sixth. An overall +2.2 in five consecutive increases (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 5.5, 6+), WPTI coughed up over more than half that total in December (4.3, -1.2, 6+). Prior to the November 2017 sweep, the last time WPTI reached the five-share level (6+) was in November 2016 with a 5.0. A combined +.5 in January and February (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.2, 6+), Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” continues at #11. In “Holiday” 2017, WFDD returned in its entirety the +.6 it gained in November and December (1.7 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 1.7, 6+). While up two-tenths (.9 – 1.1, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC stays at #13. Flat at #14, Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS “Triad Sports” is trending .2 – .3 – .6 (6+).

Greensboro Music Formats – Apparently undaunted by plummeting 10 full-shares in January, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMAG “99.5 – The Triad’s Best Mix,” which finished first in “Holiday” 2017, bounces back with a +.9 (6.1 – 7.0, flat at #4, 6+). A December 2017 +5.9 doubled WMAG’s 6+ AQH share to 11.8 and ended three losses in a row that accounted for a combined -1.3, (7.2 – 7.0 – 6.3 – 5.9, 6+); 16.1 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 surpassed its 15.2 in “Holiday” 2016. A combined -1.7 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 (9.0 – 7.8 – 7.3, 6+), Entercom rhythmic CHR WJMH “102 Jamz The Hip-Hop Station” responds with a February +.7 (8.0, unchanged at #3, 6+); a December +1.5 took “Jamz” to 9.0 – its strongest 6+-share since July 2017’s 9.6. Steady at 12.1 (6+) and recording double-digits (6+) for the 16th sweep in a row, urban AC sibling WQMG repeats at #1. Before slipping to #2 in “Holiday” 2017 with a -1.2, “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” spent seven straight months on top and had been #1 each month in calendar year 2017 except April and May. A January increase of seven-tenths by iHeartMedia-owned WTQR stymied four straight declines that accounted for a collective -2.9 (7.8 – 7.3 – 7.1 – 5.6 – 4.9, 6+), but “New Country Q-104.1” falters in February by one-half share (5.6 – 5.1, 6+) and continues at #7. In four straight sweeps without an increase, co-owned rocker WVBZ “105.7 – Man Up” is -2.0 (4.9 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+), dropping from ninth to tenth.

9) West Palm Beach Spoken-Word Formats –  Flat at #10, iHeartMedia news/talk WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” is a collective -1.2 via three straight decreases (3.3 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.1, 6+), immediately after three upticks in a row that netted six-tenths (2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.3, 6+). It is tied with co-owned WZZR (#12 to #10, 6+). “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk for the Palm Beaches” was +.5 via three straight increases (2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+), but is now -.6 in three consecutive down or flat trends (2.7 – 2.3 – 2.1- 2.1, 6+). After gaining three-tenths, Alpha Media’s WFTL “News Talk 850” is flat at 1.3 (#14 to #15, 6+). Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN, which was +.9 in January, is flat at 3.2 and stays at #9 (6+). This is the third straight time at .3 for Alpha Media sports talk WMEN “Sports Radio 640 The Hurricane” (flat at #18, 6+).

West Palm Beach Music Formats – The four most recent (6+) fluctuations for iHeartMedia-owned adult contemporary WOLL “Today’s KOOL 105.5” are +.8 (December); -.6 (“Holiday” 2017); +.5 (January 2018); and now +1.0 in February (5.4 – 6.4, third to second, 6+). Off one full-share in September to 4.2, its lowest 6+ showing since 3.9 in July 2011, “KOOL” regained six-tenths of that decline in October. This (6.4) is the station’s highest 6+-share since 6.6 in “Holiday” 2016. Stuck on 3.9 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018, Alpha Media’s WIRK logs a February 2018 +1.0 (4.9, eighth to fifth, 6+), with “103.1 South Florida’s Country Music” having its best 6+-share since September 2017’s 4.9. As the result of three positive spikes in succession (4.2 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 5.2, sixth to fourth, 6+), urban AC cluster-mate WMBX “X-102.3” is +1.0 and notches its best 6+-share since June 2017’s 5.4. Adding four-tenths to January’s +1.6 (8.2 – 9.8 – 10.2, 6+), co-owned hot AC WRMF “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” repeats at #1. In advance of January’s big increase, WRMF was down or flat in three consecutive ratings periods for a collective -3.0 (11.2 – 11.2 – 8.9 – 8.2, 6+). After 12 consecutive months on top, it dropped to the runner-up slot in “Holiday” 2017. A one-tenth September loss by WRMF pulled the plug on four straight increases that netted +1.6 (9.3 – 9.4 – 9.5 – 10.4 – 10.9, 6+). By notching a +.7, JVC Media’s WSVU “True Oldies Channel” boosts its November 2017 through January 2018 topline of 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.1 to 1.8 (#15 to #13, 6+). Immediately after busting out a +.9 (4.4 – 5.3, 6+) WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF “Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” craters by -1.3 to 4.0 (6+), shifting from fourth to seventh. It is tied there with iHeartMedia CHR WLDI “WiLD 95.5 – The Palm Beaches #1 Hit Music Station” (4.6 – 4.0, -.6, flat at #7, 6+), which has its lowest 6+-share since July 2017 (4.0, as well).

10) Jacksonville Spoken-Word Formats – A combined -2.8 in four straight negative trends (9.7 – 8.5 – 7.7 – 7.0 – 6.9, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV has erased nearly half that margin (+1.2) in January and February (6.9 – 8.1 – 8.2, unchanged at #2). In “Holiday” 2017, “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” recorded its softest 6+-stat since 6.6 in “Holiday” 2016; WOKV was +1.3 in September. Owing to a January increase of four-tenths, WJCT pulled the plug on five straight down or flat sweeps for a collective -.7 (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.6, 6+) and the public news/talk outlet piles on another half-share in February (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.5, steady at #12, 6+). Returning in full its January +.3 (.4 – .7 – .4, 6+) iHeartMedia’s WFXJ “Sports Radio 930” dips from #19 to #21.

Jacksonville Music Formats – A number of adult contemporary outlets marched to #1 in the “Holiday” 2017 report and then departed the top spot in January. A rare example of a station in that scenario, however, that reclaims #1 status in February is Renda Broadcasting-owned adult contemporary WEJZ “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” (7.6 – 8.3, +.7, third to first, 6+). Before sputtering by -4.3 in January, WEJZ was an overall +5.8 in four straight up trends, practically doubling its 6+ AQH share (6.1 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 9.0 – 11.9, September 2017 through “Holiday” 2017, 6+) and noted its highest 6+-stat since 14.7 in “Holiday” 2016. Supplanted at #1 and dropping to third is iHeartMedia-owned WQIK “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country,” which is -5.7 in four straight decreases (13.6 – 12.3 – 11.0 – 10.6 – 8.2 – 7.9, 6+). On top for 12 ratings periods in succession, WQIK segued to #2 in “Holiday” 2017. A combined -1.8 in July and August (12.2 – 11.6 – 10.4, 6+), WQIK followed with an overall +3.2 in September-October-November (10.4 – 11.7 – 13.6, 6+), with October’s 13.6 its best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. While remaining at #4, Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL “96.9 The Eagle” is a combined +1.1 in January and February (6.6 – 7.1 – 7.7, 6+), after freefalling -1.7 in “Holiday” 2017 (8.3 – 6.6, 6+). Picking up six-tenths as well is iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary WQIK-HD2 (.1 – .7, #19, 6+). Without an increase in four straight sweeps for an overall -.7 (5.3 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+), co-owned urban contemporary WJBT “93.3 The Beat” is now +.6 in January and February (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.2, flat at #7, 6+). Cox Media Group urban AC WOKV-HD2 is up one-half share as well (1.8 – 2.3, #15, 6+). With a +1.0 in January, iHeartMedia’s WKSL ended three straight loss that produced a -1.2 (4.9 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.7, 6+), but “97.9 Kiss-FM” surrenders half that increase in February (4.7 – 4.2, -.5, seventh to ninth, 6+).

11) Memphis Spoken-Word Formats –  Despite losing two-tenths (3.5 – 3.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WREC “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” manages to improve from #11 to #10. Prior to the February stats, WREC’s two latest fluctuations were -.8 in “Holiday” 2017 and +.9 in January. Its loss of eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2017 brought to a close five consecutive up or flat moves for an overall +.7 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+); January’s 3.5 is the best 6+-share for WREC since 3.6 in February 2017. Following four straight increases that accounted for a +1.3 through November (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 3.3, 6+), Entercom sports talk WMFS was a combined -.8 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.5, 6+); however, “ESPN Sports Radio” added six-tenths in January and is flat in February (3.1, #12 to #11, 6+).

Memphis Music Formats – Three stations in the iHeartMedia cluster improve by seven-tenths: urban AC KJMS “V-101” (9.4 – 10.1, 6+); gospel WHAL “95.7 Halleluiah – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” (steady at #5, 6+): and WDIA “1070 The Heart & Soul of Memphis” (seventh to sixth, 6+). In addition to bouncing back from January’s -.6 with February’s +.7, “V-101” repeats at #1; it departed the top spot in “Holiday” 2017 after four consecutive months there. Following three straight improvements that yielded a +2.1 (9.2 – 10.0 – 10.4 – 11.3, 6+), “V-101” was -1.0 in December. Regarding WHAL and WDIA, “Halleluiah” is +2.3 in four upticks in a row (5.0 – 5.4 – 6.2 – 6.6 – 7.3, 6+), while “The Heart & Soul of Memphis” is +1.8 via five straight increases (3.9 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.7, 6+). Roaring back from a -.8 in “Holiday” 2017 with a +1.4 in January, co-owned WEGR “Rock 102.7 – Memphis’ Classic Rock” now forfeits nine-tenths (4.0 – 3.1, 6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #11). Unchanged at #17, Shelby County Schools’ urban AC WQOX registers a .8 (6+) for the fifth time in the last six survey periods (.8 – .7 – .8 – .8 – .8 – .8, 6+).

12) Hartford Spoken-Word Formats – In three negative moves in succession (5.8 – 5.6 – 5.0 – 4.4, 6+), Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM was a collective -1.4, but “News Talk 1080” is +1.1 in January and February (4.4 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+) and carries on at #7. Flat at 1.0 (6+) and remaining at #13, Connoisseur Media news/talk WDRC-AM “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” was +.2 this time last month to end three straight down or flat trends that accounted for a loss of four-tenths (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.0 – .8, 6+). After responding to a “Holiday” 2017 -1.3 with a +.9 in January (to 5.9, 6+), Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” levels out at 5.9 (6+) and is steady in sixth-place; 5.0 in “Holiday” 2017 was its lowest 6+-share since August 2017’s 4.7. Owing to three straight gains (1.4 – 1.7 – 2.3 – 2.5, 6+), University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio,” which plays a combination of NPR news, classical, and jazz, is a cumulative +1.1 and continues at #11. Entering the January sweep, WFCR was within 1.0 – 1.7 range (6+) in each of the previous 21 ratings periods.

Hartford Music Formats – Fighting back from January’s -.8 with a one-half share increase (7.2 – 7.7, 6+), Entercom-owned WZMX “Hot 93.7 – Hartford’s #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” progresses from fifth to second. Prior to January, “Hot” was a combined +2.4 in four straight gains (5.6 – 6.4 – 6.5 – 7.5 – 8.0, 6+). Its “Holiday” 2017 8.0 was the rhythmic CHR’s strongest 6+-showing since June 2015 (8.0, as well). Adult contemporary cluster-mate WRCH “Lite 100.5” drops two-tenths (13.4 – 13.2, 6+), but remains at #1 for the 19th consecutive ratings period. January’s -4.9 stymied at six its consecutive string of up or flat trends that yielded a +8.4 (9.9 – 10.2 – 10.2 – 10.3 – 11.0 – 13.0 – 18.3, 6+). This marks the 16th time in the last 18 sweeps – and eighth in succession- that “Lite” is in double-digits (6+). Following four sweeps in a row without an increase for a combined -1.9 (6.0 – 5.3 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.1, 6+), Connoisseur Media-owned WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale – Hartford’s Classic Rock” is up one-tenth to 4.2 (6+) and continues in ninth-place. This is the fourth time in a row that Red Wolf Broadcasting classic hits-oldies WNTY “Good Times – Great Oldies – Kool Radio” is without an increase (.4 – .4 – .3 – .1 – .1, flat at #15, 6+).

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

| March 14, 2018

‘Our American Stories’ Hits 100-Affiliate Mark.  The nationally syndicated “Our American Stories” program announces it has hit the 100-affiliate station mark with the recent addition of such notable American news/talk station as Scripps’ WTMJ, Milwaukee; Entercom’s KMOX, St. Louis; Crawford Broadcasting’s KLZ, Denver and WYDE-AM/FM, Birmingham.  The daily, two-hour program is produced by American Private Radio and is hosted by Lee Habeeb.  He says the show is showing such phenomenal growth due to the desire for values-based, non-political programming.  “Amidst the divisiveness of today’s political landscape, the growth of our program proves stations want something that inspires people, not drives them apart, and ‘Our American Stories’ focuses on what makes America special in the first place.  We want to tell the story of America to Americans, from our great heritage in art and sports and innovation, to the great things ordinary people do every day in this great country.  So much of the good and the great gets lost in the noise of hardline politics…People love good story telling and there is such a rich catalogue of American stories out there – from sports, business, entertainment, even personal stories of community heroes, past and present.”  KMOX, St. Louis operations manager Steve Moore comments, “We were looking for something to complement our nighttime programming and ‘Our American Stories’ provides positive-impact stories that appeal to a broad base of listeners.  The show is not only driving great listener response, but a new way of thinking about driving revenue.”

WSCR, Chicago Announces New Lineup.  As Chicago media writer Robert Feder reported yesterday, Entercom’s sports talker WSCR “The Score” is making a number of changes to its lineup.  Jason Goff and Matt Spiegel exit their roles as show co-hosts and “The Score” brings both Dan McNeil and Connor McKnight back to full-time roles.  McNeil is being partnered with Danny Parkins on the 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm show and McKnight pairs up with Dan Bernstein to host the 9:00 am to 1:00 pm program.  In a press release, WSCR operations director Mitch Rosen says, “Jimmy [de Castro] and I are pleased to announce that we have signed two Chicago radio free agents — the return of ‘Score’ original Danny Mac, who will join Danny Parkins in afternoon drive, and former ‘Score’ on-air host Connor McKnight, who will join Dan Bernstein in middays.  Adding these two players makes our all-star team even better.”  McNeil has been hosting a Sunday morning program and McKnight had been a sports anchor with Cumulus Media’s crosstown news/talk WLS-AM.

WABC, New York Adds Chris Plante to Midday Schedule.  With the move of Bernard McGuirk and Sid Rosenberg to the morning drive daypart on April 2 (taking over for Don Imus), Cumulus Media’s heritage news/talker WABC, New York will add the WMAL-AM/FM, Washington-based Chris Plante program to the schedule airing from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon.  In a memo to staff, WABC program director Craig Schwalb says, “Chris has been a pentagon correspondent for CNN and an Edward R. Murrow award-winner for his work during the terrorist attacks on September 11…Expect Chris to make the trip to NYC often as he wants to become part of the WABC family and grow NYC endorsement opportunities for WABC.”

WJOX-FM, Birmingham Announces New Midday Show.  After moving “The Roundtable” starring Jim Dunaway, Lance Taylor, and Ryan Brown to the morning daypart on March 5, Cumulus Media names the hosts of the new midday program on sports talk WJOX-FM, Birmingham.  Former Auburn Tigers star Cole Cubelic, Tuscaloosa News writer Aaron Suttles, and Landrum Roberts are the new personalities set to assume the midday show beginning March 26.

Entercom Announces Executive Changes; Susan Larkin to Manage New York Cluster. Radio management pro Susan Larkin is taking on the role of market manager for Entercom’s New York cluster.  She will continue her position with the company as regional president overseeing San Francisco and Sacramento.  Entercom COO Weezie Kramer comments, “We are thrilled to have Susan take on the market manager role for Entercom New York.  She has demonstrated incredible leadership skills and is a strong, strategic player who builds great teams and drives outstanding results.  With her energy and experience, there is no better person to take on the management responsibility in America’s #1 media market.”  Larkin says, “I am looking forward to joining Entercom New York.  As a native New Yorker, it is exciting to be home and at the center of the media universe, representing some of Entercom’s most iconic brands, including 1010 WINS and WFAN.”  Concurrent with this move, Entercom names Gregory Nemitz senior vice president/market manager of the San Francisco cluster.  Kieran Geffert is upped to vice president/director of sales in the same market, and Jeff Federman assumes regional oversight of the Southern California markets, including San Diego, Riverside and Palm Springs, while continuing in his post as SVP/market manager of Entercom Los Angeles.

TALKERS News Notes. It’s not certain what format Salem Media Group will flip KZTS-FM, Little Rock to when it begins operating it under a Local Marketing Agreement on April 1, but it’s a safe bet that hip hop will remain the format.  Salem is buying KZTS from Flinn Broadcasting for $1.1 million.  KZTS is licensed to Cammack Village, Arkansas – northwest of downtown Little Rock – but its primary signal covers much of the Little Rock market.  Salem is currently operating KHTE as conservative news/talk “96.5 The Answer” in the market so it seems unlikely that KZTS will flip to news/talk…..Cox Media Group names Michelle Miguelez VP of communications and public affairs, effective immediately.  The company says that in her new role, Miguelez will “create proactive communications strategies that align with business objectives and engage employees, further strengthening CMG’s role as an employer of choice.”  Miguelez joins from her most recent position as director of corporate communication for Georgia Power.

Trump Ousts Tillerson, Trump-Russia Investigation, Stormy Daniels Issue, PA Special Election, Feds vs California/Immigration Policy, Poisoned Russian Spy, National School Walkout, Austin Package Bombs, and NFL ‘Legal Tampering’ Period, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/13).  Secretary of State Rex Tillerson exits as President Trump names Mike Pompeo his replacement; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the battle by porn star Stormy Daniels to talk publicly about her affair with President Trump; Tuesday’s Pennsylvania special election between Democrat Conor Lamb and Republican Rick Saccone; the Feds’ suit against California over its sanctuary policies, the Mexican wall and immigration policy; Britain’s attacks on Russia and Vladimir Putin after the poisoning of a former double agent; today’s National School Walkout in response to the Parkland, Florida shooting and gun laws; the deaths in a series of package bombings in Austin, Texas; the NFL’s “legal tampering” period; and NBA Action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. More news from the Little Rock market as iHeartMedia flips classic hits KHKN to CHR as the new “HOT 94.9, All The Hits.”  iHeartMedia Red River Region president Clyde Bass says, “The new ‘Hot 94.9’ is playing 10,000 songs in a row for Central Arkansas with ten chances at $1,000 dollars every weekday and soon there will be first-ever opportunities to win tickets to live events like Wango Tango and the national iHeartRadio Jingle Ball tour.  Central Arkansas has needed a hit music station that connects listeners with their favorite artists both on-air and backstage, so I’m excited that the new ‘Hot 94.9’ is finally here.”…..SiriusXM launches a new music channel curated by GRAMMY award-winning producer and DJ Diplo, titled, “Diplo’s Revolution.”  The channel will feature global rhythmic music hand-selected by Diplo, as well as regular original shows hosted by Diplo, Dillon Francis and Major Lazer members Jillionaire and Walshy Fire.  Diplo’s exclusive SiriusXM channel will launch with a special live performance from the Faena Theater in Miami Beach on Thursday, March 22 at 9:00 pm ET.

Monday, March 12, 201

| March 12, 2018

WABC Officially Names ‘Bernie & Sid’ New Morning Show.  On Friday (3/9), TALKERS magazine wrote that Bernard McGuirk and Sid Rosenberg will replace the “Imus in the Morning” show on WABC, New York on April 2.  WABC program director Craig Schwalb states, “It is nearly impossible to replace a legend like Don Imus.  Bernie and Sid have been part of the Imus cast for decades and the new show represents an evolution more than a replacement.”  Sid Rosenberg says, “I used to joke with Bernard over a decade ago about possibly working together.  After all my trials and tribulations, that looked like a pipe dream not that long ago.  I love working with Bernard and appreciate his friendship even more.  Of course, none of this happens without Don Imus.  I’ll always appreciate what Imus did for me personally and professionally.  He’s a true legend and I’ve stolen as much as I can from him without being too obvious!”  McGuirk adds, “This is a dream come true for me and an honor for my longtime friend Sid and I to assume the morning slot on the legendary WABC Radio from the irreplaceable and legendary Don Imus.  We owe it all to Mr. Imus!  To quote the great Conor McGregor, ‘We’re not here to take part.  We’re here to take over!’ Brooklyn and the Bronx booming from your radio!!”

Kevin Barrett Exits Desert Broadcasters’ News/Talk KKGX, Palm Springs.  Talk programming pro Kevin Barrett exits Desert Broadcasters operations in Palm Springs, California where he was station manager/program director at news/talk KKGX “Real Talk” and adult standards KWXY.  Barrett says, “Both stations had gone dark in 2016 under the previous ownership, so it was very exciting to rebuild – literally – studios and brands from the ground up.  The stations are in a position for success.”  Barrett is available for his next opportunity.  He’s previously served as PD at KTRB, San Francisco; KTRS, St. Louis; KABZ-FM, Little Rock; and KEEL, Shreveport.  Reach him at: barrettkevin41@gmail.com or 415-283-9201.

Dave Ramsey Profiled in Politico. Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey is profiled in Politico.  The name of the piece is intriguing: “The Financial Whisperer to Trump’s America.”  The story draws the connection between Ramsey’s core listeners – those who likely voted for Donald Trumpand the numerous Americans who, according to Ramsey, believe that they are in financial dire straits and are not hopeful about being able to get out of the mess they are in.  Ramsey says he senses that there are more people who feel they are in over their heads and not hopeful of being able to get out that there were 25 years ago.  Ironically, given how many white Rust Belt Americans voted for Trump because of his job creation promises, Ramsey is dismissive of a president’s – any president’s – ability to create jobs.  “The office does not have that much power.”  Read the piece here.

Salem Adds FM Translator to Twin Cities News/Talker.  WWTC, Minneapolis adds an FM translator at 107.5 FM.  W263BS began simulcasting the programming of “1280 The Patriot” on March 1.  Salem Media Group Minneapolis general manager Nic Anderson says, “Our goal with adding the FM translator is to continue to give our loyal audience in the north and west metro an additional option to hear their favorite radio station.  We are now able to add FM radio to our heritage AM signal, along with listening through our mobile apps, website, and smart speakers.”

TALKERS News Notes. A new trial date has been set for former WFAN, New York morning personality Craig Carton.  Originally, the first court date was set for September of this year.  That now moves to October 29.  Regular TALKERS readers are aware that Carton – formerly paired up with Boomer Esiason on the WFAN morning show – was charged with fraud in connection with what the feds say was a Ponzi scheme involving the resale of concert tickets.  The feds’ case alleges that Carton’s motivation was to pay off gambling debts.  Carton has maintained his innocence while endeavoring to get a fresh start in media via a podcast and videocast…..Westwood One is presenting exclusive live coverage of the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship beginning tomorrow (3/13).  Action from all 67 games, including the First Four, eight first-round and second-round games, plus regional semifinals and finals.  Westwood One will broadcast live coverage of the Final Four on Saturday, March 31 and the National Championship Game on Monday, April 2.  Kevin Kugler, Hall of Fame coach John Thompson, and Clark Kellogg will call the Final Four games…..Futuri Media announces that rock radio pro Michael Sharkey joins the company as product manager for #engage and Futuri Mobile.  Jim Roberts joins as national account manager.  He was most recently with Mid-West Family Broadcasting managing the South Bend market.  Also, Jim Tarantine becomes national account manager for Futuri.  He was most recently with Nielsen Audio as director, client solutions.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Tariffs-Trade War, Stormy Daniels Case, Putin’s NBC Interview, MIT Fake News Study, Trump PA Rally, New Florida Gun Law, Black Panther/A Wrinkle in Time, March Madness, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the Trump tariffs on steel and aluminum and speculation about trade wars; the legal battle between Donald Trump and porn star Stormy Daniels; Vladimir Putin’s interview with NBC’s Megyn Kelly and his suggestion Russian Jews may have meddled in the 2016 U.S. election; the MIT study showing fake news spreads through social media faster than real news; President Trump’s Pennsylvania rally; Florida’s new gun law in the aftermath of the Parkland shooting; the Black Panther and A Wrinkle in Time films; the NCAA tournament bracket; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

PPM Analysis: January’s Highs & Lows.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian looks at the ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s January 2018 survey and presents an in-depth, format-by-format look at the stations that went up or down by a full share or more from the Holiday 2017 to January 2018 survey.  It’s not unusual to see adult contemporary stations come back down to earth after the Holiday survey and to see other stations get listeners back after that period.  So, which stations stood at the tops of the gains and losses columns?  Country WCOL, Columbus led the gainers (6+) with a 3.1 share rise from Holiday to January and KSFI, Salt Lake City went from a 23.2 share to an 8.1 share – a difference of -15.1 shares.  See the whole report here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Last week, we reported that Steve Dahl would host the final program on legendary Chicago rocker WLUP-FM “The Loop” prior to the start of its LMA by Educational Media Foundation on Saturday when began airing the company’s K-Love Christian contemporary format.  (EMF is paying Merlin Media $21.5 million for the signal.) That happened on Friday night as the Dahl-hosted broadcast included numerous “Loop” personalities from its colorful history.  Absent, however, was Garry Meier.  As Chicago media write Robert Feder reports, Dahl tried to get Meier on board, to no avail.  Interestingly, Meier also backed out of a WGN-AM program honoring the rock station.  Read Feder’s column here…..iHeartMedia Tampa Bay names AJ Malone has been named program director for WXTB, Tampa “98ROCK.”  Senior vice president of programming for Tampa bay Tommy Chuck says, “As assistant program director, AJ has played a key role in driving great ratings and revenue gains for ‘98ROCK.’  This upgrade in role and responsibilities is one she has certainly earned!” Prior to joining WXTB in August of 2017, Malone was program director at WXSR-FM, Tallahassee.

Friday, March 9, 2018

| March 9, 2018

WABC, New York to Move ‘Bernie & Sid’ to AM Drive.  After Don Imus wraps his legendary radio career on March 30, Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York will move the late morning “Bernie & Sid” show into the morning drive daypart, effective Monday, April 2.  Longtime Imus sidekick (and executive producer) Bernard McGuirk and Sid Rosenberg have been together hosting their late morning show since January of 2016.

WWBA, Tampa Launches Chris Ingram Show.  A new late morning show debuts on Genesis Communications’ WWBA, Tampa/W252DF, Largo “News/Talk Florida” on Monday (3/12) starring Chris Ingram.  The station says the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon program follows “the new and very mellow ‘Bubba The Love Sponge Show.’  Chris is a well-known political commentator and is seen as a frequent guest on ‘Bay News 9,’ CNN and other cable news shows.  He was recently chair of the Tiger Bay Club, a political think tank in the Tampa Bay area.  His first guests include Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Jim Greer, former chairman to the Republican Party of Florida.”  Genesis VP of content Steve Kyler says, “Chris brings a fresh, independent look at politics, social issues, and the happenings in entertainment right here in Tampa Bay. Listeners will have a real treat by listening to him every day.”

Alpha Media Appoints Cort Johnson National Digital Content Producer. Although Cort Johnson’s primary responsibility will be creating national digital content for Alpha Media’s rock formats, the company says he’ll also be a major contributor to streaming and podcasting strategies.  In announcing Cort Johnson’s new role as national digital content producer, Alpha Media national director of digital content Ernie Martinez comments, “I am thrilled to be collaborating with Cort!  His skillset, experience, and knowledge in both the digital and traditional radio space are going to be pivotal in driving content on Alpha Media’s digital and social platforms.”

Weekly eSports Show Added to KFXX, Portland Lineup.  Portland, Oregon sports talker KFXX “1080 The Fan” is adding a new, weekly eSports-focused program to its lineup.  Entercom says is partnering with Westwood One to bring “Checkpoint Radio” – hosted by gaming industry experts Nate Bender, Robbie Landis, Norris Howard, and Joe Sloan – to the station’s program schedule.  Entercom Portland SVP and market manager Bill Ashenden states, “We are excited to partner with Westwood One to bring eSports content to our community.  The popularity of eSports is growing rapidly among the digital generation and, as the leaders in sports audio, we are committed to expanding our offerings to engage with these listeners.”  “Checkpoint Radio” managing partner Rick Scott adds, “By taking this step with eSports and gaming, the Entercom Portland team are the trailblazers in Portland.  We value having ‘The Fan’ join our growing family of ‘Checkpoint Radio’ partners and look forward to serving the eSports community there.”  The program airs Thursdays from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm.

TALKERS News Notes. Longtime WSBT, South Bend morning host Jon Thompson, a.k.a. JT, wraps a 42-year radio career at the station as Mid-West Family Broadcasting replaces his morning show with ESPN’s Golic & Wingo show.  The South Bend Tribune reports the 70-year-old JT “was surrounded by his family: wife Marilyn; daughters Sarah and Rebecca, both in town for their father’s final show; and son Josh, a Navy aviator who came in from the East Coast.”  Thompson started his career in 1971 and moved to South Bend in December of 1975…..Farmington Hills, Michigan-based New Radio Media announces the launch of its digital streaming entertainment network that offers original online audio and video content featuring topics of interest to metro Detroiters.  New Radio Media says the programming currently consists of 13 shows across five channel categories: business, lifestyle, community, Geektainment, and arts & entertainment.  New Radio Media CEO Paul Bensman says, “The demand for streaming entertainment by the consumer grows every year and we are creating a delivery platform for now and for the future.  The community is going to help to shape the programming we offer so if anyone has an idea for a show, we want to hear it.  Engaging fresh voices and opinions and undiscovered musical talent, plus experienced presenters and nationally recognized entertainers, will offer Detroit a new and exciting network for entertainment.”

Trump Tariffs/Trade War Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 5-9.  The proposed tariffs on steel and aluminum and the related talk of trade wars tied for the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Stormy DanielsDonald Trump relationship and legal actions.  Coming in at #3 was the Trump-Russia Investigation, followed by the Justice Department’s suit against California over the state’s sanctuary policies at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Renowned Relationship Builder, Social Engineer, International Networking Consultant and Podcaster Jordan Harbinger Is This Week’s Guest on The Michael Harrison Interview.   Named by Forbes magazine “one of the 50 best relationship-builders in the world,” social dynamics expert, attorney, digital era networking consultant and podcaster Jordan Harbinger joins Michael Harrison in a fascinating and informative dialogue on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Harrison and Harbinger discuss the pros and cons of social media, building an audience in the era of niches, the art of interviewing, America’s role in an increasingly sophisticated world, the generational divide, the need for educational reform and more.  Don’t miss this!  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on “The Michael Harrison Interview” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Today, Chicago says good-bye to WLUP-FM “The Loop” as the venerable rock outlet powers down and Educational Media Foundation starts operating the station under an LMA and flips it to Christian contemporary at midnight.  As Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports, legendary WLUP-FM personality Steve Dahl will be ringmaster of the station’s final program as a rock outlet.  Dahl will talk with special guests – and former WLUP personalities – Sky Daniels and Kevin Matthews.  Read Feder’s column here…..In related news from Chicago, Cumulus Media – still operating Merlin Media-owned alternative WKQX under an LMA – brings Tim Virgin aboard to host the afternoon drive show.  His addition to the program schedule bumps Walt Flakus to the evening show.  Virgin had been doing the afternoon show on WLUP-FM.  Also joining WKQX from “The Loop” is James VanOsdol who becomes digital content captain for the Cumulus Chicago cluster…..In Baltimore, Entercom names Bethany Linderman co-host of “Mix Mornings” on hot AC WWMX “MIX 106.5.” with incumbent host Reagan Warfield.  She was most recently at Townsquare Media’s country WGNA, Albany, New York co-hosting the morning show.  She says of her new gig, “I’m excited to get to know my new town and connect with MIX 106.5’s listeners.  I’m thankful for the opportunity to continue to build this great morning show with Reagan on one of America’s premiere hot AC stations.”

Friday, February 16, 2017

| February 16, 2018

Warner Wolf Files Suit Against Imus, Cumulus, and Others.  According to a story in today’s New York Post, Warner Wolf is suing Don Imus and several Cumulus Media and WABC, New York managers for age discrimination.  Warner Wolf served as the sports reporter on the “Imus in the Morning” program until he exited the show at the end of 2016.  According to the complaint, Wolf – who was 78 at the time of his departure from the show – says he was replaced by the younger Sid Rosenberg.  That move followed what Wolf claims was a number of comments from Imus about his age, including such Imus-like quips that Wolf needed “to be put out to pasture” and “shoot him with an elephant dart gun.”  Wolf also names Cumulus EVP of content and programming Mike McVay, Cumulus New York market manager Chad Lopez, and WABC program director Craig Schwalb.  Wolf says in the complaint that he took a large pay cut as part of a deal to work from his home in Florida and that Imus didn’t like the arrangement.  He also says he was denied his due severance.  He’s seeking $97,500 in severance plus damages.  Cumulus and WABC have not commented publicly about the suit.

Ryan Maguire to Leave WQAM to Program KIRO-FM, Seattle.  After spending the past three years in South Florida programming Entercom’s sports talk WQAM, Miami, program director Ryan Maguire is heading to the Pacific Northwest to take the PD role at Bonneville’s news/talk KIRO-FM, Seattle.  Maguire announced the news via social media, saying, “Starting March 12th, I will be taking over as Director of News and Programming at @KIRORadio in Seattle. @angelblas17 and myself are excited to become part of the community. Thank you to everyone from @560WQAM for letting me share in your successes over the last 3 years.”  No word from Entercom yet about its plans to fill the program director post at WQAM.

WTIC-AM, Hartford Ends Relationship with UConn Sports.  This is surprising news out of Hartford, but Entercom Hartford SVP and market manager Phil Zachary says the bottom line is the company could not reach an agreement with University of Connecticut sports rights holder IMG Sports that made fiscal sense.  The current deal between IMG and WTIC ends at the conclusion of this college basketball season.  Zachary says, “I have the highest respect for UConn athletic director David Benedict and his goals for the university.  Having grown up in Connecticut, there’s a special place in my heart for UConn Basketball.  However, I couldn’t justify what they were seeking when compared to more successful partnerships Entercom enjoys with elite Power 5 institutions.”  Zachary says WTIC will continue to place a high priority on local sports coverage and will sharpen its focus on the Boston Red Sox, New York Giants, and New England Patriots, all of whose games are broadcast on the station.

TALKERS News Notes. Through a joint effort of AXS TV and KMG Networks, a radio version of “The Big Interview with Dan Rather” is being offered to stations.  Westwood One is handling sales efforts.  A press release from KMG says stations will receive an audio version of the series; a corresponding video segment to post on station websites, mobile apps, and social media channels; and custom liners and promos featuring Rather.  AXS TV CEO Jeff Cuban adds, “Stations around the country now have access to an impressive roster of unique, insightful, and candid conversations Dan had with some of the most influential figures in rock, including:   Crosby Stills & Nash, Gene Simmons, Carlos Santana, Pat Benatar, Heart, Gregg Allman, Bryan Adams, John Fogerty, Sammy Hagar, Neil Young, Billy Gibbons, and Roger Waters.”…..Two NPR personalities move into prime positions with the public radio network’s drive time news programs.  Noel King is joining “Morning Edition” and Ailsa Chang is now part of the “All Things Considered” air staff.  Both King and Chang have been serving as reporters for the “Planet Money” podcast…..Entercom sports talk WIP, Philadelphia is giving Eagles fans some programming with which to relive the NFL team’s Super Bowl championship.  The station is rebroadcasting Super Bowl LII in its entirety on Sunday (2/18) at 2:00 pm.  Immediately following the game, the station will air a one-hour special titled, “Long Time, First Time: The Story of the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles,” hosted by 94WIP’s Rob Charry.

Florida School Massacre Top News/Talk Story for Week of February 12-16.  The assault on students and faculty at a high school in Florida that took the lives of 17 people was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the status of the DACA Act and the Trump Administration’s immigration policy.  Coming in at #3 was the Trump-Russia investigation being conducted by Robert Mueller, and U.S. intelligence sources’ reports that Russian agents are trying to meddle in the 2018 mid-term elections was #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio this week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com View this week’s entire chart here.

CURB YOUR DOGMA! Podcaster David Smalley Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Speaker, activist, author, publisher, comedian, humanist, former evangelical Christian-turned-atheist and successful podcaster David Smalley is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Smalley hosts a long-running podcast series titled, “Dogma Debate,” in which he expresses his passion for skepticism and truth by respectfully challenging well-known, highly opinionated guests to defend their dogma. In this installment, Harrison presents another deep-dive interview into the rabbit hole between media and culture as he and Smalley discuss the age-old debate between science and religion, as well as number of contentious contemporary issues. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box for “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Comrex to Debut New EarShot IFB at NAB 2018.  This update in interruptible fold back technology was, according to Comrex sales director Chris Crump, something that needed to happen.  “We’d visit TV stations and see banks of old telephone auto-couplers connected to expensive analog phone lines.  Most other phone tech has transitioned to Voice-over-IP, but remote IFB audio remains stuck in the last century.”  Interruptible fold back is used by television and radio production facilities to allow producers to break into (interrupt) a talent’s audio feed – the fold back – and give direction.  The new Comrex EarShot IFB provides telephone-based, live studio program and IFB audio to field-based remote broadcasts.  Up to 30 users can listen to program or IFB feeds by calling into EarShot IFB with a mobile phone.  EarShot IFB can handle up to four program feeds, or two IFB feeds.  For higher fidelity, smartphone apps can be used to pull the audio in studio quality.  EarShot IFB can be connected to low-cost cloud-based VoIP service, or tied to a station’s VoIP PBX.  Comrex technical director Tom Hartnett adds, “With our years of experience in putting VoIP calls on air, it was a no-brainer to provide a simple hardware solution to the IFB problem.  The folks we talked to were sick of paying for a dozen or more POTS lines to provide this function.  EarShot IFB will pay for itself within a couple of months in phone service savings alone.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Texas radio pro Al Farb is named APD and afternoon drive personality at Cumulus Media’s country KSCS, Dallas.  Farb comes to Dallas from the Cox Media Group operations in Houston where he was most recently an executive producer and air talent at KKBQ-FM and KTHT-FM.  KSCS program director Mac Daniels states, “After a very extensive search, I’m confident that Al is the right fit for this position. KSCS will benefit greatly from his passion for radio, his knowledge of the format and his skill set. I’m very excited to have him as part of this team.”…..Upstate New York classic rocker WOUR, Utica is changing hands as Townsquare Media agrees to pay $3.95 million to Galaxy Communications.  Townsquare already owns classic hits WODZ “96.1 The Eagle,” adult contemporary WLZW Lite 98.7,” country WFRG “Big Frog 104,” and news/talk WIBX-AM in the Utica-Rome market…..On-air pro Marty Young is recruited by Scripps-owned country outlet KVOO, Tulsa to join “The Voo Crew” morning show, taking over the role vacated by Rowdy Yates, who exited last September.  Young was most recently part of the morning show at Curtis Media’s country WQDR, Raleigh-Durham…..Nationally syndicated morning radio personality Tom Joyner announces that the annual Tom Joyner Foundation Fantastic Voyage cruise is welcoming family dining chain Denny’s as a presenting sponsor.  The Carnival Breeze cruise sets sail from Galveston April 29 through May 6, 2018.  The Tom Joyner Foundation Fantastic Voyage will feature more than 60 live entertainment acts, including “An Evening with Anita Baker” and performances from popular artists Chris Brown, Tamar Braxton, The O’Jays, The Isley Brothers, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, En Vogue, 112, SWV and more. The cruise raises funds to support students in school at Historically Black Colleges and Universities across the country…..Pictured below are the cast of KLOS, Los Angeles’ Frosty, Heidei & Frank morning show celebrating after the station raised $725,218 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in the “St. Jude Rocks” event held Thursday, February 8, through Friday, February 9. The two-day live broadcast in Los Angeles capped Cumulus Media’s inaugural “St. Jude Rocks” fundraising partnership across 14 of its rock-formatted stations in markets across the U.S.  Below are (from l-r): Patrick Wesson, KLOS programming assistant; Frosty Stilwell; Heidi Hamilton; Frank Kramer; Sammi Marino, associate producer; Erik Scott Smith, executive producer; Lisa May, entertainment reporter and co-host; and Anthony Annese, Frosty, Heidi & Frank social media.

 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

| February 13, 2018

Report: The Daily Wire in Talks to Acquire Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze. According to a report in The Daily Beast, the conservative news and commentary site The Daily Wire – operated by conservative media figure Ben Shapiro with backing from the East Texas billionaire Wilks family – is in talks with Glenn Beck to acquire his TheBlaze news and opinion site.  The piece by Betsy Woodruff and Lachlan Markay reports that TheBlaze did not respond to a request for comment but that Shapiro told them, “TheBlaze welcomed us to the space as allies from the beginning, and we’re always looking for ways to strengthen our partnerships with our allies.”  TheBlaze turns eight years old this year and of late has had to cut costs.  Reports indicate TheBlaze downsized its staff in 2017 in response to fiscal challenges.  Interestingly, the story says the Wilks family was pursuing a purchase of Breitbart but ran into a wall in that effort.  Shapiro has hosted and co-hosted talk radio shows, both at KRLA, Los Angeles as part of the morning show and at KTTH, Seattle as solo host.  Now, he hosts a podcast program available via The Daily Wire.

PPM Analysis: A Yearlong Look at Spoken Word.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents an analysis of how news/talk, all-news and sports talk radio performed over the course of 2017 based on 6+ data from Nielsen Audio. Kinosian’s report illustrates the high and low 6+ rating marks for stations in all three format categories: news/talk, all-news, and sports talk.  In the news/talk format, Entercom’s WTIC-AM, Hartford owned the largest swing – from a high of an 8.8 share in January 2017 to a low of 4.4 in August and the Holiday sweeps.  Entercom sports talker WIP, Philadelphia saw the widest swing in that format – achieving an 8 share in November after chalking up a 3.9 share in February.  Read the whole report here.

Special Screening of Guardian Angels Film Tonight at Cumulus’ Stage 17 in NYC.  There’s a new documentary film out that chronicles the Curtis Sliwa-founded Guardian Angels.  It’s called, VIGILANTE: The Incredible True Story of Curtis Sliwa and the Guardian Angels, and Sliwa’s radio home – 77WABC – is hosting a special screening of the film at the Cumulus Media event space Hackensack Meridian Health Stage 17 tonight at 6:00 pm.  The screening of the film by David Wexler takes place on the 39th anniversary of Sliwa’s inaugural Guardian Angels Safety Patrol into the New York City subway system on February 13, 1979.  Known by their signature red berets, the Guardian Angels expanded from just 13 members in New York City to become an international phenomenon that continues in more than 140 cities in 14 countries.  Sliwa says, “The Documentary gives one an inside look into what it was like to live in New York City from 1979-1992 when crime, crack, and chaos were everywhere.  It was my baptism in hell, yet somehow I survived.”  Sliwa currently hosts the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show, “Curtis + Cosby,” with Rita Cosby on WABC.  In the photo above, Curtis Sliwa (center) is pictured with other Guardian Angels and an actor in a Robocop suit in “the early days” of the Angels.

TALKERS News Notes. Bakersfield market talk show host Inga Barks is joining a new, hyperlocal digital platform designed to serve Kern County, California.  Called Kern Cast, the platform’s studios are based at the Bakersfield Music Hall of Fame building.  Barks was most recently hosting a show on Alpha Media’s KNZR, Bakersfield but was let go in January in a budget-related move.  She also previously hosted a program on American General Media’s KERN, Bakersfield…..Chesapeake-Portsmouth Broadcasting flips WHKT, Portsmouth, Virginia from news/talk to Christian contemporary, due to revenue concerns.  The station had been airing a number of syndicated talk hosts – Salem Media’s Dennis Prager, Courtside’s Laura Ingraham, and Westwood One’s Mark Levin – as well as regional host John Fredericks (still heard on the company’s WPMH, Portsmouth)…..FOX Sports Radio reports that its total podcast listens for the network’s Monday through Friday lineup reached a milestone of 10.25 million across all platforms for the month of January, as measured by ART19.  The company says the latest benchmark is “the result of record growth across FOX Sports Radio’s weekday programming lineup, including: ‘The Herd with Colin Cowherd,’ ‘Outkick The Coverage with Clay Travis,’ the Doug Gottlieb show, ‘Steve Gorman SPORTS!,’ ‘JT ‘The Brick’ with Tomm Looney,’ the Jason Smith show with Mike Harmon, and the Ben Maller show.”  The company says most recent streaming results for FOX Sports Radio also showed impressive gains.  The network experienced a 20% year-to-year increase in December 2017, and each of the past four months (September through December) ranked as the most-listened-to months in FOX Sports Radio streaming history…..SiriusXM is planning to air a never-before-heard interview with late comedian Joan Rivers on its Entertainment Weekly Radio channel Thursday (2/15).  The special is being hosted by Dan Bucatinsky and “Will & Grace” co-creator Max Mutchnick and features PEOPLE and EW editorial director Jess Cagle discussing the conversation.

Farley, Loudon, and Cooke Discuss Talk Radio Content on RT America.  Pictured above (from left to right) are frequent Fox News Channel guest Dr. Gina Loudon, consultant and RT America host Holland Cooke, and radio news pro Jim Farley on Cooke’s “The Big Picture” program discussing “Fake News + Fleeting Attention.”  Farley was an ABC and NBC News executive who also managed ratings and billing all-news radio giant WTOP, Washington and tells the viewers he “was inside the Acela corridor bubble.”  Dr. Loudon urges “committing at least 5% of news/talk consumption time to people who see things differently.”  See the show segment here.

The Trump Budget Plan, Trump-Russia Probe, Porter Exit Fallout, Syria-Israel Tensions, North Korea Nuclear Program, Trump Entitlement Reforms, Official Obama Portraits, PyeongChang Winter Games, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/12).  The details of the Trump budget that adds to the deficit, includes an infrastructure plan, and more money for the military; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents; the White House fallout from the resignation of aide Rob Porter after allegations of domestic violence; tensions in Syria as Damascus warns Israel about further military strikes and Iran’s involvement in the Syrian conflict; President Trump’s charge that Russia has not been helpful in efforts to de-nuclearize North Korea; President Trump proposed overhauling the housing, food stamps and health care programs; reactions to the official portraits of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama; the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Seattle, Hubbard Radio appoints Gus Swanson to the marketing/promotions director position for adult contemporary KRWM “WARM 106.9.”  Swanson was most recently marketing director and event producer for CBS RADIO in Seattle.  Hubbard Seattle market manager Marc Kaye says, “We are so excited to have someone with Gus’s market and business experience join the great team at ‘WARM 106.9,’ it’s a very good day!”…..iHeartMedia announces the return of the “iHeartCountry Festival by AT&T” taking place on Saturday, May 5 at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin.  This is the fifth consecutive year for the festival and acts set to play this year include: Luke Bryan, Keith Urban, Dustin Lynch, Cole Swindell, Maren Morris, Sugarland, Luke Combs, Billy Currington, Dan + Shay, Jon Pardi, and Brett Young, with more to be announced.   Premiere Networks syndicated morning personality Bobby Bones will again serve as MC.  iHeartMedia president of entertainment enterprises John Sykes states, “What makes this festival special is that it is the one night the A-list of country music comes together to perform live, collaborate with friends and spend time together as a family.  Everyone stays to support each other until the last band has walked off stage.”…..Cherry Creek Radio is agreeing to sell classic rock KLMR-FM and country KLMR-AM in Lamar, Colorado, plus oldies KBLJ-AM and country KTHN, in La Junta, Colorado to Aaron Leiker-owned 25-7 Media for an undisclosed sum.  Kalil & Co. is the exclusive broker.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

| February 6, 2018

WABC, New York Pairs Curtis Sliwa and Rita Cosby for Midday Show.  A programming tweak at Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York partners 77 WABC political editor Rita Cosby with incumbent midday talk radio personality Curtis Sliwa for the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show.  The new “Curtis + Cosby” show debuts today (2/6).  WABC program director Craig Schwalb states, “This is basically a New York dream team – two veteran New York broadcasters and celebrated New York personalities that our listeners simply adore.  It’s an incredible combination.”  Cosby states, “I am thrilled to co-host the brand new ‘Curtis + Cosby’ show with my longtime friend, radio superstar Curtis Sliwa.  With such an unprecedented barrage of endless news topics, now is the perfect time for us to join forces and engage our listeners in a way you will hear nowhere else.”  Sliwa adds, “This is an actual first in a large radio market.  Two Polish-Americans who are teamed together.  Rita has reported from throughout the world and has made solid contacts with newsmakers and cultural figures that she has brought to the microphones of 77 WABC.  And in this age of ‘ME TOO,’ she brings a female voice to our talk radio industry that has been sorely missed.”  Sliwa had been partnered with liberal foil Ron Kuby at WABC until May of last year.  Then, FOX News Channel personality Eboni K. Williams served as Sliwa’s co-host through October of 2017 before departing for new opportunities.

Talk Host Chris X Joins ‘Conservative Cartel’ Show.  Signing on with Pinnacle Broadcast Holdings, Inc to co-host “The Conservative Cartel” program with Matt Locke is Chris X, former host of ChrisXradio.  In a press release, Pinnacle says Chris X “got his start at a local Houston TV news station where he quickly moved into radio to help launch Houston’s only business radio station, 650 AM [KIKK]…He graduated to co-hosting the highly rated afternoon drive-time show, ‘StreetTalk.’”  Pinnacle shared owner and executive producer Ron Phillips states, “Chris X is an amazing talent.  I’ve known him for more than two years and somehow I knew at the beginning that we’d be working together!”  Host Matt Locke adds, “2018 is going to be a great year in radio.  Chris X is a radio innovator and a true mover and shaker.  I’m thrilled to welcome him to the Cartel family!”  The program airs weekdays from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon and the Saturday 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program is carried via TheBlaze.

Beasley Promotes Shoulder to Cry on for Patriots Fans.  After the Patriots’ loss to the Eagles in Super Bowl LII, Beasley Media Group sports talker WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” launched an ad blitz — including the image above — in the Boston Herald and on billboards.  Beasley Boston VP and market manager Mary Menna says, “The move was in response to our heartbreaking loss and the need to give our Patriots fans a vehicle to express themselves.”

Westwood One Names Motel 6 and GEICO Winners of Sports Sound Awards.  For the fifth straight year, Westwood One has been honoring the advertisers whose Super Bowl ads ranked as the most engaging audio commercials.  This year, 2018 Westwood One Sports Sound Awards recognize Motel 6 and GEICO.  Motel 6 won the Listeners Choice Award, its third win in five years.  The hotel chain’s “Slam Poetry” spot featuring Tom Bodett promotes the motel chain in rhyme, culminating with an impressive mic drop.  Hear it here.  GEICO was winner of the Media Choice Award with its “Beatboxing” ad that offers a vocal percussion calling for clean-up on aisle 14, after a customer drops a jar of pickles.  Hear it here.  Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes states, “Congratulations to Motel 6 and GEICO for their creative ingenuity!  Their clever use of sound through slam poetry and beatboxing resonated emotionally and elevated their audio creative to make a connection with consumers.  We’re proud of this year’s competition, and our exclusive live broadcast of the Super Bowl, which offered our marketing partners a riveted audience and a dedicated platform to build and reinforce their brands sonically.”

iHeartMedia’s Thea Mitchem Signs New Deal.  National Programming Group EVP Thea Mitchem signs a contract renewal with iHeartMedia to continue serving in that capacity for the Northeast Division.  The company says Mitchem will continue to report to National Programming Group EVP and general manager Brad Hardin, as well as iHeartMedia New York president Scott Hopeck.  The company says that “under the new agreement, Mitchem will continue to partner with iHeartMedia Markets Group Division president Tom McConnell to collaborate with its regions located in the East, providing national programming assets, services and resources.”  She’ll also continue overseeing programming of 60-plus iHeartMedia stations in over a dozen markets, including New York City, Boston, and Philadelphia.  And, she will remain a key member of iHeartMedia’s urban brand management team.  iHeartMedia chief programming officer Tom Poleman states, “Thea is unquestionably one of the most influential women in the radio industry.  We’re thrilled that she will continue to oversee programming efforts for our Northeast markets. Under her leadership, we have seen unparalleled ratings success in several markets including Washington, DC, Philadelphia and New York City, where ‘Power 105.1’ has posted the best ratings in the station’s more-than-15-year history.”

MIW Releases Gender Analysis Report.  The latest MIW Gender Analysis Study has been released by the Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Group.  The study tabulates the number of women in management positions in the radio business.  The 2017 edition of the study finds that “out of 11,301 AM and FM radio stations, accounted for by PrecisionTrak, as of December 31, 2017, 1,974 stations, or 18.1%, have women holding the general manager position in 2017.  This is an increase from 2016 which was 17.8% and continues to show growth from 2004, 13 years ago when the percentage was only 14.9%.  The annual study is compiled, analyzed and released by the MIW Group from information provided by PrecisionTrak.”  MIW says, “Overall, the best management opportunities for women in radio continue to be in sales management.  In 2017, 31.9% of all stations have a female sales manager, which is up almost a half-point from last year.”  MIW also looks at women in programming position and reports, “The greatest challenge for women in radio management continues to be as program directors.  Women currently program only 10.5% of all radio stations in the country, and that percentage has basically remained flat for the last 11 years.  The news is better in the top 100 radio markets where women programmers represent 11.7%; however, that number is unfortunately down slightly from last year.  In an effort to further support that particular segment of the industry, the MIW Group announced a new mentoring opportunity in 2017, the MIW-Nielsen Music Mentoring Program.  MIW Group spokeswoman Denyse Mesnik comments, “Compiling this data is one of the most significant projects we undertake each year.  Our hope is that the MIW Gender Analysis sparks conversation within each company, and at each radio station, about ways to develop internal efforts that encourage the advancement of female leadership.”

TALKERS News Notes. Public news/talk WAMU, Washington names Jeffrey Katz (not to be confused with WRVA, Richmond talk host Jeff Katz) news director for the station.  Katz has been interim news director since November.  He joined the station in May of 2017 as senior managing editor.  Prior to that he was director of digital content for National Geographic.  He’d been with NPR in numerous capacities over a 15-year period…..After almost 10 years with ESPN as part of its brand, Red Zebra-owned sports talk WTEM, Washington returns to the “Team” brand.  The station is still an ESPN affiliate and is airing ESPN Radio network content – mostly in evenings and on weekends.

Dow Plunges Again, Trump-Russia Investigation, Democrat FBI Memo Rebuttal, Pennsylvania Gerrymandering Case, Eagles Upset Patriots in Super Bowl LII, and Pyeongchang Winter Olympics Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/5).  The Dow Jones Industrial Average drops more than 1,100 points on Monday after Friday’s selloff and experts’ predictions that the sellout is not over; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives; Congressional Democrats’ desire to release their memo they say clarifies the GOP FBI surveillance memo; the U.S. Supreme Court refuses to overturn Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s mandate that congressional maps be redrawn due to gerrymandering; the Philadelphia Eagles upset of the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII, and the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea 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.  There are on-air changes taking place at iHeartMedia’s country KWBL, Denver “106.7 The Bull.”  The station announces that Bryan “B-Dub” Washington is the new APD, music director and afternoon drive personality, effective immediately.  He joins the station at the same time as it adds the Premiere Networks-syndicated Bobby Bones show for morning drive.  iHeartMedia launched the country format on the station back on December 18.  iHeartMedia SVP of programming JoJo Turnbeaugh states, “Following an extensive nationwide search, it was clear that B-Dub is uniquely qualified and the perfect fit to join the ‘106.7 The Bull’ family.  B-Dub’s vast knowledge of the country format, outstanding relationships within the country music scene, and incredible work ethic are exactly what we need to take ‘106.7 The Bull’ to new heights.”  Washington was most recently with the company’s Sacramento station group programming KBEB “92.5 The Bull.”…..Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch reports that Woof Boom Radio closed on the $608,000 purchase of WKHL, West LaFayette from Educational Media Foundation.  The new calls will be WLQQ, and Woof Boom will reveal its format flip later today (2/6)…..Today at the Country Radio Seminar in Nashville, Edison Research is presenting data from its “Country Radio: At Home With Smart Speakers” study.  Edison says that “country fans are more likely to use their smart speakers to listen to the radio than do fans of other kinds of music, and they listen longer…Edison researched more than 1,800 adults ages 18-plus in a variety of studies, in addition to one-on-one interviews.  The purpose of the presentation is to help country and other broadcasters take advantage of a device that has the potential to ‘put radio back in the home,’ where AM/FM radios are quickly disappearing, but at the same time makes it easier to listen to digital music and other forms of content.”…..GMPT Media, the joint venture between Gen Media Partners and The Tacher Company, signs Magnum.Media’s 16 Wisconsin radio stations to exclusive national ad sales representation.  Magnum.Media founder Dave Magnum says, “We’re enthused about Gen Media Partners and Tacher joining forces.  GMPT is bullish on radio and so are we.”…..Howard Stern and SiriusXM are producing a special program to honor late rocker David Bowie.  “The Howard Stern Tribute to David Bowie” will premiere on the Howard 101 channel on Friday, February 9.  Stern says, “When I got into rock ‘n’ roll music, one of the artists that I first really got into was David Bowie.  He was always evolving, he was always on top of things, he was just a great musician and a great songwriter and a great singer.  I want to make sure that people remember David Bowie.”  The program will feature “a wide variety of artists inspired by the late musician, performing his songs with their own inventive styles and interpretations,” including: Peter Frampton, Daryl Hall, Todd Rundgren, Greta Van Fleet, Biffy Clyro, The Struts, and more.

PPM Analysis: Urban Contemporary.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents an analysis of the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2017 PPM survey, today focusing on urban contemporary.  Comparing 6+ data from the December survey to the Holiday survey, urban contemporary fared pretty well, “over half the stations (53%) on our urban contemporary panel improve between December 2017 – Holiday 2017; 34% are down; and the remaining 13% are steady.”  A year-over-year comparison paints a different picture, “In a virtual flip of the month-to-month results, 53% of this urban contemporary panel regresses year-to-year; 39% improve; and 5% are unchanged from Holiday 2016.”  No urban contemporary outlet ranked #1 in its market during the Holiday survey, but four stations ranked #3 in their respective markets, 6+.  They were: Entercom’s WVEE, Atlanta “V103”; Radio One’s WERQ, Baltimore “92Q Jams”; iHeartMedia’s WOWI, Norfolk “103 Jamz”; and iHM’s WHRK, Memphis “K97.”  See the entire report here.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

| January 30, 2018

Emmis Reaches Agreements in Principle to Sell Its Four St. Louis Stations.  These agreements in principle are exactly that and subsequent definitive agreements mean more, but Emmis Communications announced today (1/30) that it will sell classic rock KSHE and alternative rock KPNT “The Point” to Hubbard Radio and news/talk KFTK-FM and CHR KNOU to Entercom.  Terms – including price – are not available at this time.  If the sales are finalized and pass regulatory approval, Entercom would own both heritage news/talk KMOX and news/talk KFTK.  It seems unlikely that Entercom would operate two conservative news/talk stations in the same market and KFTK’s Class C1 FM signal would be a prime candidate for a flip to a music format.

Imus in the Morning/WABC Update.  From the mouth of WABC, New York morning legend Don Imus comes the news that when his show ends on March 29, certain staff members are leaving along with him.  The I-man said that show engineer Lou Rufino, along with cast members Rob Bartlett and Tony Powell will not continue with Cumulus Media’s 77WABC.  TALKERS magazine sources also say that, effective today (1/30), Lisa Ritchie moves from evening news anchor position to weekday afternoon news anchor.  Also, weekday street reporter Jerry Barmash assumes the evening news anchor role.

Ralph Bristol Exits WWTN-FM, Nashville Morning Show.  There’s a change in mornings at Cumulus Media’s news/talk WWTN-FM, Nashville “Super Talk 99.7 WTN” as morning personality Ralph Bristol exits the station.  There’s no official word from Cumulus on this change, but former WMAL-AM/FM, Washington morning host Brian Wilson has been sitting in on the morning show, so far.   The rest of the weekday lineup on WTN is Michael Del Giorno in late mornings, Dan Mandis in early afternoons, and Phil Valentine in afternoon drive.

PodcastOne Founder and Executive Chairman Norm Pattiz to Present a “Podcasting for Radio Broadcasters” Clinic at TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! The founder and executive chairman of one of the talk media industry’s leading podcasting platforms, PodcastOne, will address the attendees at the forthcoming TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! on the subject of “Podcasting for Radio Broadcasters.” As podcasting grows into a major communications business and modern-day cultural phenomenon, it is becoming clear that the practice is an extension of the radio industry’s platform projection into the digital space. According to Norm Pattiz, “There are unlimited potential and yet untapped opportunities for radio broadcasters to expand their programming, brands and potential for revenue generation in this exciting field. We will discuss some of them at the TALKERS conference.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Talk show host Jeremy Leahy’s “Standing Ground” program picks up another affiliate as WLBB, Carrollton, Georgia adds the show to its program schedule.  TalkAmericaRadio.US operations manager Ron Phillips comments, “We are extremely proud to be carrying Jeremy’s program.  In his unfiltered style, he guides the listener through all aspects of our political landscape.  He is well on his way to being a headliner on our national network.”…..USA Radio Network is reporting that “WAR Now: The Wayne Allyn Root Show” has added new affiliate stations, including KBDT, Dallas (USA Radio’s new flagship station) and KSPK, Minneapolis.  Additionally, the 8:00 pm ET hour of the program is carried by Newsmax TV, reaching some 50 million households…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that sources tell him the rights to Chicago Bulls play-by-play could transfer from Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM to Entercom’s sports talker WSCR “The Score,” as a deal is close to being struck.  As part of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy and company-wide cost-cutting measures, Cumulus is asking out of its deals with the Bulls and MLB’s White Sox.  It’s hard to say where the White Sox rights may end up.  WSCR also carries the Cubs.  Tribune’s WGN let go of the Cubs several years ago, presumably for financial reasons.  And, it’s not certain if sport talker WMVP parent ESPN is interested in the White Sox.  Stay tuned…..Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is entering the news media game.  He was introduced on ABC’s “Good Morning America” program today (1/30) by George Stephanopoulos as the newest ABC News contributor.  He was referred to as a friend and adviser to President Trump.  Christie – a former U.S. prosecutor gave his takes on the exit of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and the Robert Mueller special investigation…..Cumulus Media news/talk KABC, Los Angeles was honored by Southern California’s RTNA with five top honors at the 68th Annual RTNA Golden Mike Awards on Saturday (1/27).  The station took home the following:  Best Newscast Under 15 Minutes: Leeann Tweeden, anchor; Sharon Reardon, editor; Best Sports Segment: Randy Wang; Best Government and Political Reporting: James Rojas; Best Traffic Reporter: Bill Thomas; and Best News Reporting by Radio Network or Content Syndicator: Westwood One‘s Jim Roope.

Merlin Media Still Negotiating with Cumulus.  WKQX-FM and WLUP-FM, Chicago owner Merlin Media filed yesterday (1/29) with the bankruptcy court handling Cumulus Media’s Chapter 11 case, informing it that it is still working with Cumulus to seek a mutually beneficial solution to the ownership of the two stations.  Those following the Cumulus bankruptcy case recall that the company is asking the court to let it out of a number of contracts that are losing money.  One of those is the LMA of WKQX and WLUP.  Under the terms of the deal, Cumulus is also under obligation to buy the two signals for around $50 million.  Merlin acknowledges that, in the event negotiations fail and pending a court ruling, it is preparing to either operate the alternative and classic rock stations itself and/or seek another buyer.  Also, Merlin is objecting to Cumulus classifying the Merlin contract as a subordinating claim – which would make it payable only after senior claims are settled.

Andrew McCabe Resignation, Trump-Russia Investigation/Kremlin List, FISA Abuses Memo, State of the Union Address, Criticism of Politicized Grammys, DACA Status/Immigration Policy, Strava Security Concerns, Flu Epidemic, and Super Bowl LII Among News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/29).  Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe resigns from his position under pressure from President Trump; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents and Vladimir Putin’s response to the U.S. Treasury Department’s “Kremlin list” of Russian politicians and oligarchs who’ve thrived under Putin; the House Intelligence Committee’s vote to release a memo detailing alleged surveillance abuses by the FBI and the Justice Department; President Trump’s State of the Union Address; criticism of the political speeches at Sunday night’s Grammy Awards; the status of the Obama-era DACA Act and the Trump administration’s immigration policy; concerns of the security of U.S. service personnel after use of the Strava workout app appears to reveal their locations; the flu epidemic that’s sweeping the U.S.; and Sunday’s Super Bowl LII 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.  Morning radio personality John Forsythe is retiring from iHeartMedia’s adult contemporary WMGF, Orlando “Magic 107.7” where he’s been co-hosting AM drive with Leslye Gale since 2010.  During his 50-year career, Forsythe has worked at such stations as WQAM-AM, Miami; KLIF-AM, Dallas; KKOB-FM, Albuquerque; and KCBQ, San Diego.  About retirement, Forsythe says, “It’s been a difficult decision to step away from such a successful show but it’s time.  Radio has given me so many amazing life experiences.  From the early days in Miami with the Bee Gees living on the same canal as ‘QAM in the ‘70s, to being part of the Chargers broadcast team in the ‘80s, to raising millions for children’s hospitals in the ‘90s and 2000s, radio has enriched my life in so many ways!  I’m grateful for the opportunity to try and make someone’s day better through warmth and laughter.”…..The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports that Entercom urban contemporary WVEE, Atlanta “V-103” will replace departing morning personality Ryan Cameron with familiar voices – Frank Ski and Miss Sophia, along with Wanda Smith.   Ski returns to the station after exiting in 2012 and Miss Sophia returns after an almost eight-year absence…..When the new Justin Timberlake album Man of the Woods drops this Friday (2/2), it will be available on demand via iHeartRadio starting at 12:00 midnight ET.  iHeartRadio and Timberlake have teamed up to gift fans with the access to stream the album all weekend long during iHeartRadio’s “All Access Free Preview Weekend.”  At 8:00 pm ET on Friday, iHeartMedia’s digital platform will host an iHeartRadio Album Preview with Justin Timberlake across broadcast stations nationwide and digitally on iHeartRadio’s Hit Nation featuring an exclusive interview about the making of the album…..iHeartMedia rock station KEGL, Dallas “97.1 The Eagle” announces the lineup for this year’s “BFD 2018” concert at Starplex Pavilion on May 26.  The day-long concert will feature performances from A Perfect Circle, Stone Temple Pilots, Theory of a Deadman, I Prevail, Nothing More, Candlebox, 10 Years, and The Blue Stones…..SiriusXM is devoting a channel to the music of Billy Joel all during February.  The Billy Joel Channel will feature the works of Joel plus a new series, “BJ the DJ” in which Joel plays some of the artists he admires most.  Each show will be focused on a different genre of music including pop, rock and R&B.  Billy will host this series while sitting at his piano illustrating musically and verbally each song he selects.

Tuesday, January 9, 2017

| January 9, 2018

Anne Gress Named Brand Manager at ‘New Jersey 101.5.’  Radio programming pro Anne Gress is the new brand manager for Townsquare Media’s talk WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.”  She takes over for longtime station programmer Eric Johnson, who exited the station at the end of 2017 to become the director of sports content for Beasley Media Group’s WPEN-FM, Philadelphia.  Townsquare market president and chief revenue officer Ron DeCastro comments, “I am extremely happy to have a true professional like Anne join the team at ‘NJ 101.5.’  I have long admired Anne’s work, going back to our days at ‘Power 99.’  She is innovative, creative and understands how to work with talented people.  We are all excited to have her join this winning team.”   Gress – who has worked in the Philly market at such stations as hot AC WYXR, smooth jazz WJJZ, hip hop WUSL, and classic hits WOGL – says, “I’m genuinely excited to join the team at Townsquare Media and ‘NJ 101.5.’  Their unique format, rock star staff, and consistently strong ratings make this an irresistible opportunity.  I look forward to adding my voice to their highly successful model.”

New Year Brings Dave Ramsey 600th Affiliate; Podcast Achievements.  2018 is off to a great start for talk media superstar Dave Ramsey.  His nationally syndicated radio program – The Dave Ramsey Show – just cleared its 600th affiliate station with the addition of Cumulus Media’s KSFO, San Francisco.  Also, the Dave Ramsey show podcast is being recognized by iTunes as the fourth-most-downloaded podcast of 2017.  The podcast averaged 10 million downloads per month.  Ramsey Media SVP Brian Mayfield comments, “We are pleased to not only top the 600-affiliate watermark, but to do so with a station the caliber of KSFO is validation we are doing things right.  Growing our radio audience by almost 1 million listeners in 2017, while simultaneously becoming the fourth-most-downloaded podcast of the year, shows there is a larger audience searching for solid content.  We are honored they chose to listen to ‘The Dave Ramsey Show.’”

Curtis Sliwa Returns to the Air on WABC. New York City talk radio pro Curtis Sliwa – pictured at right walking through the streets of NYC on his way to Columbia Presbyterian to have his stitches removed – was back on the air at 77WABC yesterday (1/8) after a December 13 surgery to treat Crohn’s disease.  Sliwa tells TALKERS magazine that yesterday was the first day he was able to do his daily midday show and the 5:00 pm “The Drive at Five” program since last month’s procedure.  Speaking about yesterday’s shows, he says, “It was exhausting and I am sore as a result.  But having lived on a variety of pain killers for the past two years I was able to jump right back into the ‘Fire and Fury,’ which I actually read.  More importantly I am taking it right to Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his opposition to medical marijuana.  I will be registering for my medical marijuana card in New York State, which is not easy to get, but for which I now qualify.”

Report from CES 2018.  Media consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas at the enormous CES 2018, presented by the Consumer Technology Association.  He’ll be filing reports from Sin City in TALKERS magazine all week.  Check out his notes from yesterday’s action here.

Salem Media Group Announces Executive Appointments.  First, Jamie Cohen is the new vice president/local digital.  He was most recently with USAToday Network where he was in charge of digital sales.  Salem Media Group president of broadcast media David Santrella states, “Providing our clients with multi-dimensional marketing campaigns that include best-in-class digital services is vital to our continued growth.  Jamie has the drive and experience to lead that evolution for Salem’s broadcast division and I’m thrilled to have him joining us in this key position.”  Second, Lorenzo Caldara is named general manager of the Philadelphia duo of news/talk WNTP and Christian talk WFIL.  Caldara was most recently VP/corporate director of sales for Townsquare Media’s WKXQ, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.”  And third, the company promotes Kevin Anderson from general sales manager to general manager for the five-station Nashville cluster.

Fire and Fury Book/Trump’s Presidential Fitness, Golden Globe Awards/Oprah Presidential Run, Trump Deportation Policy/Mexican Wall, CNN’s Tapper-Miller Interview, Soaring Dow/Bitcoin, North-South Korea Talks, Monday’s College Football Championship, and the NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/9).   The controversy over Michael Wolff’s Trump book Fire and Fury, the issue of Donald Trump’s mental fitness, and Stephen K. Bannon’s relationship with the White House; Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards and the related chatter about an Oprah Winfrey presidential run; the Trump Administration’s Salvadoran deportation policy and the Mexican Wall issue; the flap over Jake Tapper’s interview with Trump counsel Stephen Miller on CNN; the high-flying Dow and the fluctuating Bitcoin; the talks between North and South Korea; Monday night’s College Football Championship between Alabama and Georgia; and the NFL Playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

WABC’s John Batchelor to Broadcast from Qatar.  Night host John Batchelor is broadcasting his WABC, New York talk show from Doha, Qatar this week after accepting an invitation from the Middle East nation.  Batchelor is leading a delegation of visitors including former Michigan Congressman Thaddeus McCottter and New York attorney Christopher Nixon Cox.  Batchelor is scheduled to speak with high Qatar government officials about regional politics, trends in international trade, and much more.  He’ll speak with area ministers, corporate leaders, academics, journalists, students, and artists.  And he’ll also provide coverage and discussion about the preparations for the 2022 World Cup taking place in Qatar.  WABC program director Craig Schwalb says, “Batchelor leads the international conversation in talk radio, so it only makes sense that he places focus on Qatar and the entire Persian Gulf region during his show this week.”

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated talk host Dana Loesch interviewed Vice President Mike Pence on her Radio America-syndicated program yesterday.  The two discussed tax reform, North Korea, The Golden Globes, legislative plans for 2018 as well as the controversial book Fire & Fury (which Pence referred to as a “book of fiction”).  On North Korea, Pence told Loesch and her listeners, “President Trump has been marshaling unprecedented economic and diplomatic pressure on North Korea.  And to have North Korea literally be willing, as they’ll do later today, to sit down with South Korea – just on the topic of Olympics – I think is a direct result of the pressure that President Trump has been able to marshal on North Korea.  And we’re not going to relent until North Korea abandons its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.”…..Portland news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970” adds the Dave Ramsey show to air in the 9:00 am 12:00 noon daypart.  Bruce Collins is the content director for the Alpha Media station and he says, “It’s great to have Dave as part of our lineup giving his wonderful, amazing financial advice.”…..John O’Brien – one half of the “Bax & O’Brien” morning show on Saga Communications’ rock WAQY, Springfield, Massachusetts “Rock 102,” is taking time off the radio to undergo and recuperate from surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm.  The recovery could take three months, so producer Steve Nagle is ramping up his on-air presence alongside co-host Mike Baxendale…..Somerville, New Jersey-based Edison Research announces it has additional office space and promoted a number of employees as part of a significant expansion due to growth in its election and audio research.  Edison has been the sole provider of exit polling to the National Election Pool since 2003.  In mid-2017, the company was also awarded the sole contract to provide vote count data to the NEP, and many of the company’s new hires will be dedicated to that effort. In addition, Edison is expanding its digital audio portfolio, as the company has seen significant growth in research engagements in podcasting, streaming audio, and the syndicated Share of Ear research series.  Edison Research president Larry Rosin comments, “We are honored by the immense trust placed upon us by our election, media, and consumer research clients over the past 24 years and we are thrilled to be able to continue to grow and expand our capabilities.  We know we have the right team in place to continue to achieve our objectives.”…..Genesis Communications Network-syndicated talk host Dr. Daliah Wachs tells TALKERS magazine she’s celebrating her ninth anniversary hosting a talk radio show.  She says, “What started as a once-a-week broadcast on January 9, 2009 has now become a dream come true.  Thanks for all your support.”

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. “Y108” in Pittsburgh announces two new voices joining the morning drive “Broadway’s Backyard” program.  Entercom’s country WDSY brings Jade and Cowboy Curt aboard as co-hosts alongside show host Broadway.  Jade has been a promotions assistant, control operator and part-time talent on the station.  Cowboy Curt was most recently the control operator for sister stations KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” and KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020”…..The nationally syndicated music morning program “The Bert Show” is seeking a co-host.  Brian Moote is exiting after two years to be closer to his family in Los Angeles.  Send resume and audio submissions highlighting your personality to cohost@thebertshow.com…..Classic rock WLPW-FM, Lake Placid, New York is sold to North Country Radio for $32,000 cash.  The seller, Radio Lake Placid, is represented by Jason James of Patrick Communications…..The latest Westwood One blog post looks at the results from a question asked by researcher Vision Critical/MARU: How many Pandora, Spotify, and AM/FM radio listeners actually hear ads?  WW1 says the results indicated “only 54% of Pandora and Spotify listeners pay attention to ads.  Advertisers hoping to reach an engaged audience won’t be effective across these platforms.  These listeners are using Pandora and Spotify at home, with these services being great for “chilling out” but not so great for engaging with the advertisements.  AM/FM radio sees a much different story.  On average, 84% of the AM/FM radio audience hears the ads.  Whether they are at home, at work, or traveling in the car, the results show that consumers hear what people are talking about when they listen to AM/FM radio.”…..Cumulus Media president and CEO Mary Berner will be the spotlight of a keynote conversation at Country Radio Seminar 2018 on Tuesday, February 6.  Emmis CommunicationsCharlie Morgan is conducting the interview, titled, “Radio Today with Cumulus Media’s CEO Mary Berner.”

PPM Analysis: Hot AC.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on 6+ data from Nielsen Audio’s December PPM survey, today focusing on the hot AC format.  Looking at ratings movement month-to-month, Kinosian says, “Twice as many stations on this hot AC panel (58%) are down November 2017 – December 2017 (6+) as are up (29%); the remaining 13% are flat.  Comparing December 2016 to December 2017, approximately one of every two hot AC panelists in our sample improves year-to-year (51%), while 44% are down; 5% are flat.”  During this survey, three hot AC stations ranked #1 in their respective markets: iHeartMedia’s WLIT, Chicago; Connoisseur Media’s WALK-FM, Long Island; and Palm Beach Broadcasting’s WRMF, West Palm Beach.  See the rest of the report here.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

| December 20, 2017

Beasley WMJX-WBZ-FM Exchange Is Complete.  The asset exchange between Beasley Broadcast Group and Entercom Communications, in which Beasley gave hot AC WMJX, Boston and $12 million cash to Entercom in exchange for sports talk WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub,” is complete.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley comments, “The addition of WBZ-FM to our broadcast portfolio highlights Beasley’s focus on premium local programming and content and is complementary to our five other radio stations and digital operations in the Boston market.  Throughout Beasley Broadcast Group’s 56-year history, we have actively managed our station portfolio with the goal of serving the communities where we operate with the best local programming and brands, diversifying our operations, managing risk and improving financial results.  The addition of WBZ-FM to our portfolio addresses all of these strategic objectives as it strengthens our company’s presence and commitment to locally originated content in the Boston market.”

WABC, New York’s Curtis Sliwa Says Goal Is to Be on the Radio for Christmas. The WABC, New York radio personality recently underwent an eight-hour surgical procedure for Crohn’s disease that resulted in the removal of half of his small intestines and half of his large intestines.  Curtis Sliwa tells TALKERS magazine, “I am now taking fentanyl for the pain relief – which is 10 times more powerful than morphine.  The goal – as I continue to receive blood transfusions and get fed through an IV – is to be home for Christmas.  The surgeons all said that they would be home for Christmas with their families and they agreed that the goal for me should be likewise.  Many of our listeners on Christmas have only their terrestrial radio as their friends.  Many are older, single, or are shut-ins.  Without radio they would be super-depressed.  It is for some their only friend.  This Christmas will mark 27 years in talk radio for me.  I will do a live program with my family on air and in the WABC studios. I’m lucky to be alive and I want to share my Christmas with all those who have no one to share their Christmas with.”

CBS Sports Radio Network to Launch New ‘Taz and the Moose’ Morning Show.  The new “Taz and the Moose” show will replace the current “Gio and Jones” program in the 6:00 am to 9:00 am daypart on the network.  CBS SPORTS RADIO says the new block of “entertaining, energetic, and engaging sports talk” will be anchored by professional wrestling world heavyweight champion and popular podcast host Taz, a.k.a. Pete Senerchia, and CBS SPORTS RADIO talent and TV host Marc “The Moose” Malusis.   Gregg Giannotti of “Gio and Jones” is joining Boomer Esiason for mornings on WFAN, New York, effective in January.  CBS SPORTS RADIO director of programming Eric Spitz states, “We’re extremely excited for the debut of ‘Taz and the Moose.’  As the host of an extremely successful podcast, Taz has done an amazing job of transitioning from a successful career as a professional wrestler into sports broadcasting.  Moose has hosted two popular weekend shows on CBS SPORTS RADIO since our launch five years ago.  I know he is ready for this opportunity.”

Michael Harrison Says “Radio Is Now a State of Mind” in TechRepublic Video.  According to TALKERS founder Michael Harrison, the culturally iconic paradigm of “radio” being a closed system consisting of a production company that produces and broadcasts a linear procession of scheduled programs in standardized parcels of time from a local building via a transmitter and tower to a specialized appliance with the capacity of AM/FM reception on a specific frequency licensed by the government is a limited and archaic definition of the term as it applies to the process of popular news, sports and entertainment audio broadcasting in the modern era.  In an exclusive video interview conducted by CBS Interactive senior reporter Dan Patterson for Tech Republic posted yesterday (12/19), Harrison says the aforementioned system still has some life in it in terms of audience and revenue but it is increasingly fading on both counts with each passing year in the digital era.  It is being replaced by the digital extensions of the original concept that include podcasting, on demand programming and a multi-channel array of branded programs that enjoy the non-standardized and unlimited manipulation of space and time.  Harrison says the traditional concept of “radio” that most of its practitioners and fans grew up with is now basically “a state of mind” that simply influences the spirit and flavor of a far more diverse set of products and listening methods.  The challenge facing the radio business at this time is dealing with stifling debt accrued during the waning years of the analogue era while comfortably transitioning into a digital revenue model.  “The digital age has made it difficult for all media that sells advertising to evolve into the new business model,” Harrison says. “It’s much more difficult to sell advertising for the same amount of money.”  He adds, “We haven’t really come up with a way yet to comfortably embed advertising into the digital space. It’s very obtrusive. It’s annoying.”  Harrison suggests, “For radio shows to be successful in today’s digital age, they must target an audience that is underserved and passionate about a particular topic and then gain credibility with them.  All of the content must be pertinent, good, and credible for people to believe in it.”  Harrison sums it up, “The good news for people looking to get into the radio business is that it’s easier than ever to get your foot in the door with the technology that is available today.  However, the bad news is that it’s much more difficult to fight through the noise to make your voice heard and brand gain traction.  For just engaging an audience, the bar has never been higher.”  To view the interview in its entirety, please click here.

GOP Tax Reform Plan, Amtrak Crash, North Korea Nukes/WannaCry, Trump Approval Rating/Hillary Favorable Rating, Jerusalem Capital Recognition, Sexual Misconduct Cases, California Wildfires, and NFL and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/19).  The Senate passes the Republican tax reform plan; the investigation into the deadly Amtrak crash in Washington state; North Korea’s nuclear threats and the U.S. government’s blaming the hermit kingdom for the WannaCry computer virus; President Trump’s approval rating sinks to 35% and Hillary Clinton’s favorability rating dips to 36%; U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley warns nations U.S. is “taking names” of those voting for resolution against U.S. recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital; the ongoing discussion about sexual misconduct; the status of the Southern California wildfires; and NFL and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Programming changes take place at Radio One’s Philadelphia operation as urban contemporary WRNB adds new drive time shows.  Beginning January 4, “The Quincy Harris Morning Show with K Foxx” and “The DL Hughley Show” join the roster for mornings and afternoons, respectively.  Radio One says Quincy Harris is returning to radio after 15 years.  He’s been serving with WTXF-TV, Philadelphia “FOX 29” on the “Good Day Philadelphia” show.  Now, after two seasons on that program, Harris is hosting his own “FOX 29” show “The Q” weekdays at 12:00 noon.  A statement from the company says, “For the past two years, WRNB programming has ranked 13th to 16th in the 25-54 demo.  Although we share in our listeners’ admiration for our impacted talent, as this change wasn’t easy for us either, it is critical that we take calculated risks to re-imagine and reposition this station for long-term success.  Radio One’s commitment to the Black community is unwavering.  In fact, it is the impetus for our changes and the passion that drives our work daily.”…..At Riviera Broadcasting’s adult contemporary KOAI, Sun City West/K235CB, Chandler “Oasis 95.1 & 94.9” (Phoenix market), Monica Nelson returns to the station to host the 12:00 noon to 5:00 pm show.  Director of operations Marc Young comments, “We are excited to welcome Monica back to our company after a brief hiatus.  Monica is beloved for her sincere connection to the community and her fans.  Her wit, humor, and real-life experiences will once again be enriching the Phoenix radio airwaves.”…..WAY-FM, Louisville adds Ben Smith as community impact director/operations coordinator.  Smith has most recently served with Thy Word Radio Network in Evansville, Indiana…..iHeartMedia names Pedro Javier González has been SVP of programming for iHeartLatino.  González reports to Enrique Santos, chairman and chief creative officer for iHeartLatino and Brad Hardin, EVP and general manager for iHeartMedia’s national programming group.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

| December 13, 2017

Stationality Forces Cumulus’ Hand in Cancellation of Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano Show on WLS-AM.  Windy City news/talk WLS-AM is making a change to its programming lineup in January and husband-and-wife midday team Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano are the casualties of the change.  WLS-AM will import Cumulus-syndicated Chris Plante for the 9:00 am to 11:00 am show and push Premiere Network’s Rush Limbaugh back to an 11:00 am start in order to air live.  Cumulus Chicago VP and market manager Marv Nyren tells Chicago media writer Robert Feder that he respects Sirott and Murciano greatly.  “The lane we’ve chosen to be in is the conservative talk station in this marketplace.  We just don’t think that’s what they bring to the table.”

Portland Sports Talker KPOJ Re-Branded; Cable-Radio Simulcast for New Local Shows.  A major co-operative effort between iHeartMedia’s sports talk KPOJ, Portland and NBC Sports Northwest is announced that will include a cable TV simulcast of the station’s local shows to be produced at “a new state-of-the-art radio studio being built at NBC Sports Northwest.”  The current morning show “Rip City Mornings with Dan & Nigel” and afternoon program “Rip City Drive with Travis & Chad” will be joined by the new “Dwight Jaynes & Aaron Fentress Show” (airing 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm) for the simulcast.  Meanwhile, starting in January, the station will call itself “NBC Sports Northwest Rip City Radio.”  It will continue to air FOX Sports Radio’s Rich Eisen from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.  iHeartMedia Markets Group president of Pacific Northwest Region Robert Dove says, “We are excited to partner with NBC Sports Northwest to bring ‘Rip City Radio’ listeners the best in local sports programming.  Our combined assets will provide even more access for Portland sports fans across both TV and radio, including enhanced audio and visual content for Trailblazer fans all in one destination.”

WABC’s Curtis Sliwa to Be Off Air While Recovering from Crohn’s Surgery.  New York radio personality Curtis Sliwa is undergoing surgery to alleviate the problems he’s been dealing with from Crohn’s disease over the past two years.  Sliwa tells TALKERS the Crohn’s has taken a toll on his health.  “I have lost my muscle mass and, in the process, 60 pounds.  The pain throughout has been horrific.  At times, it caused me to pass out and gather into a fetal position on the floor.  Often times the only way that I could keep broadcasting was to take ‘Hillbilly Heroin,’ a.k.a Oxycodone, to suppress the overwhelming pain.  The cause of the ulcerated intestines that will be removed during the procedure were the five gun shots I was hit with in my lower extremities in the summer of 1992, the result of a hit ordered on me by John Gotti for what I was saying on the radio about the Gambino Crime Family.  Best-case scenario is that it will take me a week of recovery at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital.  Worst-case scenario, a month or more.”  Sliwa says WABC management will be using a series of replacements for both of the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show and the “The Drive Home” from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm.

Mike Francesa Hosts Penultimate WFAN Show from Paley Center. Tomorrow afternoon (12/14), New York sports talk radio legend Mike Francesa will broadcast his second-last show on Entercom’s WFAN “Sports Radio 660 AM – 101.9 FM” live before a studio audience from the Paley Center for Media.  Entercom is inviting the media to cover the event and is making Francesa available for one-on-one interviews prior to the show.  Francesa – who has been a bit cagey about his post-WFAN plans – has said he’ll broadcast solo on Friday with no guests or special content.  He is being replaced by the trio of Chris Carlin, Bart Scott, and Maggie Gray, effective in January.

WFDF, Detroit Suspends Reverend W.J. Rideout’s Show for Accusation Lacking ‘Journalistic Standards.’  As reported by the Detroit Free Press, WFDF, Detroit “910AM Superstation” founder and CEO Kevin Adell has suspended the program of local pastor Reverend W.J. Rideout III after the latter accused three members of the Detroit media of sexual harassment but was unable to point to any victims or reports of allegations.  Adell tells the paper that the suspension was handed down for obvious reasons.  “Rev. Rideout was making these accusations and I asked, where are the victims?  He had no victims…My question is where are the standards?  What are the journalistic standards?  Where are the victims?  Former victims?  You have to have journalistic standards.  I don’t want people to use my airwaves to feather a nest for media attention.”  Rideout said that WXYT-TV, Detroit general manager Mike Murri received complaints about anchors Malcolm Maddox and Steven Clark but refused to investigate.  He also accused Detroit Free Press journalist Stephen Henderson.

TALKERS News Notes.  Texas talk show host Sam Malone – based at Salem Media Group’s KNTH, Houston “AM 1070 The Answer” – was embedded with the Roy Moore campaign reporting for Salem Radio Network on the Alabama Senate special election, yesterday (12/12).  Malone (left) is pictured here with former White House strategist Stephen K. Bannon (right), who is now co-hosting the “Breitbart News Daily” program on SiriusXM…..Tribune news/talk WGN, Chicago is debuting “The WGN Radio Holiday Spectacular,” – a live, variety show featuring the station’s talent – on Friday (12/15) from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon.  It’s being co-hosted by Bill Leff and Dometi Pongo.  Listeners will be treated to seasonal songs, classic stories, yuletide poetry and a live report from a certain workshop at the North Pole over the course of the two-hour show.  This holiday revue stars: Steve Cochran, Andrea Darlas, Roe Conn, Anna Davlantes, Nick Digilio, Patti Vasquez, Justin Kaufmann, Lou Manfredini, and many more with a dramatic reading from the great Bill Kurtis.  Retro rock and roll band Rosie and the Rivets will perform as the house band…..From December 18 through New Year’s Day, SiriusXM’s Howard 100 channel will feature the best of Howard Stern’s celebrity interviews from 2017.   Some of the stars featured on “Howard 101: The Interviews” include: Miley Cyrus, Kevin Hart, Scarlett Johansson, David Letterman, Adam Levine, Robert Plant, Adam Sandler, Jerry Seinfeld, Sarah Silverman, Jon Stewart, and more, as well as news figures ranging from Rachel Maddow to Robert O’Neill, the Navy Seal credited with killing Osama Bin Laden…..Speaking of Kevin Hart, he’s getting his own channel with SiriusXM called Laugh Out Loud.  The channel extends Hart’s Laugh Out Loud brand to radio for the first time. It will launch in 2018 and will feature a weekly show hosted by Hart.  He’ll also handpick a selection of diverse comedic voices to create, produce and star on the channel’s wide range of comedy programming…..…..Entercom Communications announces new call letters for “CBS Sports 910” in Hesperia, California from KRAK to KMPS-AM.  The announcement comes after Entercom’s merger with CBS RADIO…..The sale of translator W290AT, Plattsburgh, New York from Saranac Lake Radio LLC to Vox AM/FM LLC closes.  The buyer paid $20,000 cash at closing and the exclusive broker for the deal was Patrick Communications.

Roy Moore-Doug Jones Special Election; Larry King Allegations/NFL Network Suspensions, NYC Pipe Bomb Attack, North Korea Nuclear Program, Jerusalem Recognition Aftermath, California Wildfires, Bitcoin Activity, Last Jedi Criticism, Facebook ‘Guilt,’ NFL and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/12).  Yesterday’s special election between Democrat Doug Jones and Republican Roy Moore for Alabama’s U.S. Senate seat; allegations of groping against Larry King and the suspension of numerous NFL Network personalities during an investigation of sexual misconduct; Monday’s pipe bomb attack and information about the suspect; North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and threats against the US; the effects of President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel; the raging wildfires in Southern California; the hoopla over Bitcoin activity; the critical previews of the new Star Wars film The Last Jedi; a former Facebook exec’s public expression of remorse over social media’s effects on society; and NFL and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

PPM Analysis: CHRTALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s November PPM survey, today focusing on CHR.  Comparing 6+ weekly AQH shares from October’s survey to this month, Kinosian says, “Nearly the same number of our mainstream CHR panelists are up October 2017 – November 2017 (47%) as are down (41%); the remaining 12% are unchanged.”  A year-over-year comparison shows different results.  “Six of 10 stations in this mainstream CHR sample are down November 2016 – November 2017 (60%); roughly one of three improve (35%); and 5% remain steady.”  The high-cuming format racked up 17 stations ranking in the top five in their respective markets in November.  But, just one – iHeartMedia’s WXKS-FM, Boston “Kiss 108 FM” – ranked #1.  See the entire report here.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At the Washington cluster of iHeartMedia, Elizabethany is the new assistant program director and afternoon drive personality for CHR WIHT “HOT 99.5.”  Beginning in January, she’ll host the 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm show.  “HOT 99.5” program director Rob Kruz comments, “I couldn’t be more excited to have Elizabethany in this new role at iHeartMedia Washington.  Her energy and creativity both in and out of the studio, combined with a track record of ratings success, make her the perfect choice to take over afternoons on ‘HOT 99.5!’”…..iHeartMedia’s Los Angeles radio stations are launching the iHeartRadio So Cal Fire Relief Project to raise funds for victims of the ongoing Southern California wildfires. The effort is in conjunction with Westfield – owner of four malls in the LA area.  iHeartMedia talent will broadcast live from those locations, encouraging people to donate to the fund.  All donations are being distributed through three local organizations including the American Red Cross, The Humane Society of Ventura County and the Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation…..Cumulus Media Des Moines is hosting the Big Country Bash 2018 – a two-day country music festival on Friday, June 22 and Saturday, June 23, 2018 at Avenue of the Saints Amphitheater in St. Charles, Iowa.  Artists including Brett Eldredge, Midland, Aaron Watson, and Russell Dickerson are already signed up to appear, with more artists to be announced later…..Entercom Philadelphia’s station group is producing the first annual “Holiday Hops Craft Beer Festival.”  Attendees aged 21 years and older are invited to revel in the holiday spirit by enjoying a wide variety of beers and wearing their ugly sweaters.  The festive event will include a photo booth with mistletoe, free parking and live music along with unlimited samplings from some 25 craft breweries…..Entercom announces it’s bringing new call letters to its Seattle adult contemporary “94.1 The Sound,” importing KSWD-FM from its longtime position as the calls for the Los Angeles classic rocker.  The station was sold to Educational Media Foundation as part of the company’s divestiture of stations prior to the CBS RADIO merger.  It’s now a Christian contemporary station with the calls KKLQ.

‘Radio’s Best Friend’ Honored in NYC.  “Radio’s Best Friend” Art Vuolo was “surprised out of his wits” last Saturday night when – while attending a private client party in Manhattan hosted by voiceover pro Steve Kamer and “Entertainment Tonight” producer Kevin Gershan – it was announced that Vuolo was a “special guest.”  Vuolo was presented with a cake and a microphone trophy with a gold plaque commemorating the event.  Vuolo says, “It’s truly special to be so appreciated.”  Pictured above are (from l-r): Gershan, Kamer, and Vuolo.

Friday, December 8, 2017

| December 8, 2017

PPM Analysis: News/TalkTALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents an analysis of the performances of news/talk stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s November 2017 PPM survey.  Looking at stations’ 6+ numbers, Kinosian reports that “virtually one of every two news/talk stations on this sample is down between October 2017 – November 2017 (49%), while more than one of every three improves (36%); the remaining 15% are flat.”  When comparing 6+ ratings from November of 2016 to this year, “nearly as many stations on our news/talk sample are up November 2016 – November 2017 (48%) as are down (51%), with 1% remaining unchanged from a year ago.”  Three news/talk stations ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets in November – Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM, Atlanta; iHeartMedia’s KOGO, San Diego; and Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.”  Three others ranked #2 in their respective markets – Bonneville’s KIRO-FM, Seattle and KSL, Salt Lake City; and iHeartMedia’s WISN, Milwaukee.  See the entire report here.

Nielsen: ‘Tis the Season for Sports Talk Radio.  A PPM market-wide review of sports talk stations’ performances by Nielsen Audio indicates that this time of year is good for sports talk stations.   Nielsen looks at the month-by-month uptick in sports talk listening (across PPM markets) since June in three demos – persons 6+, persons 18-34, and persons 25-54.  In each, we see a gradual rise over that period.  For persons 25-54, the average quarter-hour share was 4.3% in June and over six months rose to November’s 5.7 share.  Looking at persons 18-34, June’s AQH share was 3.1%.  In November, that AQH share was 4.3%.  Nielsen says baseball was a big factor in November’s numbers.  “Both the National and American League Championship baseball series took place during the November survey (which ran from Oct. 12 to Nov. 8), as did the World Series, which went to a deciding game seven for the second year in a row. These contests had a notable impact on sports radio listening, especially since the teams hailed from major markets.”  See the Nielsen report here.

Football Great Warren Moon Takes Leave from Seahawks Radio Broadcasts After Sexual Abuse Allegations.  Legendary footballer Warren Moon is revered by most in Seattle for his football heroics leading the University of Washington Huskies to the 1978 Rose Bowl and for his NFL career that included time playing for the Seattle Seahawks.  But now, after allegations of sexual abuse from a former employee at his Sports 1 Marketing firm, Moon is taking a leave of absence from Seahawks Radio Network radio broadcasts in which he has been serving as a color analyst.  Bonneville’s KIRO-AM, Seattle serves as the flagship station for game play-by-play.  In Moon’s absence, KIRO’s Brock Huard and Dave Wyman will share color analyst duties.  Read Matt Calkins’ piece in the Seattle Times here.

Mike Francesa Reveals Some Post-WFAN Plans.  Speaking to SI.com.’s Richard Deitsch, WFAN afternoon personality Mike Francesa says that one likely place for him to pop up in the immediate aftermath of his WFAN career is on Bill Simmons’ podcast.  “A lot of people want to know where I will go to finish my football picks, which are very popular.  A couple of people have asked me to sell them.  I said no.  Bill has offered me a home to pick them on his podcast, which I am thinking about.  The NFL Network has offered me the opportunity to do it.  So, I will do it somewhere.  I don’t know where.  But I would say the likeliest place is Simmons’ podcast because of my relationship with him.”  Francesa’s last radio show on WFAN is next Friday (12/15).  Read the SI.com piece here.

New Programming Changes at KXTG, Portland.  Just five months after naming Justin Myers and DeVon Pouncey the late morning show on sports talk KXTG-AM/K275CH, Portland, Alpha Media makes changes and the duo exit the station.  The 9:00 am to 12:00 noon show is now CBS Sports Radio’s Jim Rome.   Myers and Pouncey were brought in shortly after Dino Costa arrived at KXTG to host afternoons.  Costa exited the station in August.  The station is airing CBS Sports Radio’s Bill Reiter in that daypart.  “The Bald-Faced Truth with John Canzano” is the only local daily show currently on the program schedule.

Keillor Tells Star-Tribune MPR Never Asked for His Side of the Story.  In a piece by Neal Justin in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, public radio legend Garrison Keillor says, “I wish Jon McTaggart [American Public Media CEO] had asked to hear my side of the story.  Every story has two sides, sometimes more.  He could have looked at the e-mails and the phone texts.  It would’ve taken about an hour of his time and it could’ve saved us all this drama.”  Last week, Keillor’s business relationship with American Public Media-owned Minnesota Public Radio was severed after an allegation of sexual impropriety leveled against him by a former staffer, although the story indicates MPR has evidence of a series of improprieties.  Meanwhile, Keillor says lawyers from both sides are talking and he has hopes for a “happy resolution.”

The Franken and Conyers Resignations Top Talkers TenTM for Week of December 4-8.  The resignation of U.S. Rep. John Conyers and Senator Al Franken, along with allegations against various entertainment figures of sexual impropriety, tied as the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week.  At #2 this week was President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.  Coming in at #3 was the GOP tax reform plan, followed by the U.S. Senate campaign of embattled, former judge Roy Moore at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

TALKERS News Notes.  Among the numerous, recent dismissals in the media world, there’s been a reversal at MSNBC, where the cable news/talk channel has brought Sam Seder back aboard after releasing him because of a “provocative joke” in a 2009 tweet.  You can read CNN’s account here.  MSNBC chief Phil Griffin said in a press release that the company had “erred” in its decision to fire Seder from his contributor position…..Tonight (12/8) at 7:00 pm ET, SiriusXM is airing a special show in its Town Hall series featuring Heisman Trophy winners Steve Spurrier and George Rogers.  SiriusXM’s Taylor Zarzour will host as the two sit down in front of an audience at the SiriusXM Studios in New York City the day before the 2017 Heisman Trophy is presented to the nation’s top collegiate football player.  They will also take questions from audience members in the studio.  The program will air on SiriusXM’s ESPNU Radio channel. …..The most recent episode in ESPN Audio’s 30 for 30 Podcasts series is out.  Its titled, “Madden’s Game,” and explores football legend John Madden’s connecting with upstart video game company Electronic Arts (EA) in the late 1980s and how that helped grow EA into a video game empire…..WABC, New York political editor Rita Cosby checks in to share this photo of her taken with President Donald Trump at the White House Media Christmas Party.  She says it was only hours after news broke that former national security advisor Michael Flynn had entered into a plea deal with the Feds and the president planned to take no personal photos or speak one-on-one to any journalists attending the bash.  However, following his very brief remarks to the packed room, President Trump spotted Cosby – whom he’s known for decades – and immediately stepped off the podium to greet her and share a few private words.  It’s believed to be the only shot he took with the media during this annual White House event.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Evening AC superstar Delilah is back on iHeartMedia’s Chicago adult contemporary WLIT “The New 93.9 LITE FM” in the 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm daypart.  The Premiere Networks star comments, “I’m so excited to be back on the radio every evening in the Chicago area.  ‘The New 93.9 Lite FM’ is the perfect place to reconnect with so many listeners and pick up where we left off.  It’s an early Christmas present!”…..Jerry Lee‘s hot AC WBEB, Philadelphia “101.1 More FM” announces the winners of its 9th annual “Christmas Choir Competition” in which two school choirs – one at the K-8 level and one at the high school level – won $5,000 cash prizes for their schools’ music departments.  They also got the chance to sing with the Philly Pops at “A Philly Pops Christmas” performance this month. Neshaminy High School Select Choir won the high school division and Bridle Path Elementary School Choir won the grade school division.  To enter the contest, school choirs submitted videos of their performances of Christmas songs.  The winners were chosen by public vote on the WBEB website…..iHeartMedia alternative rock KRAB, Bakersfield “106.1 KRAB Radio” adds “The Woody Show” for morning drive, effective Monday (12/11).  The Premiere Networks syndicated show features Woody, along with co-hosts Ravey, Greg Gory, Menace and Sebas…..Pictured below are country duo Big & Rich with the cast of Cumulus Media’s “Ty, Kelli, & Chuck” show after stopping by to visit to chat about their plans for the holidays, among other things.  From left to right are: Ty Bentli, John Rich, Kelly Ford, Chuck Wicks, and Big Kenny.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

| October 19, 2017

The State and History of Presidential Radio Rows.  This week’s Donald Trump White House talk radio row (10/17) created a huge buzz in the industry, sparking an interesting broadcast conversation last night between RT America TV evening host Ed Schultz and TALKERS founder Michael Harrison about the history and journalistic integrity of these events (pictured above).  Schultz, one of the longtime leading progressive host/commentators in talk media, criticized the event for its ideological one-sidedness, describing it as “propaganda,” and took the Democrats to task for not actively complaining about the use of taxpayer dollars to fund a media-targeted political rally within the Executive Office Building.  Harrison, one of the original creators and organizers of the presidential radio row concept back in the early 1990s, shared the history and evolution of these events over the years, explaining what they mean to talk radio, its hosts, and the national political discussion.  According to Harrison, they started out as bi-partisan events but as talk radio became increasingly ideologically targeted format-wise, the broadcast invitees reflected a political view friendly to the occupant of the White House at the time, left or right.  Harrison went on to say that the Trump presidency has provided fascinating “material” that has been good business-wise not just for talk radio, but talk television and newspapers as well.  He describes the Trump presidency as “the most compelling reality show of all time.”  To see the entire conversation, please click here.

Eboni K. Williams Leaves WABC Radio Gig.  Announcing her decision to leave Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York after just four months co-hosting the midday show with Curtis Sliwa, Eboni K. Williams told listeners that it is with a “heavy heart” that she leaves the station.  Williams told listeners she accepted the WABC gig at about the same time that she was made part of “The Specialists” show on FOX News Channel.  But the departure of FNC’s Eric Bolling in the wake of sexual harassment allegations and FNC’s decision to cancel the show “had a domino effect” on Williams.  Saying that she’s a television host and needs to find another TV job, she’s been talking about possible gigs but has not accepted anything yet.  Williams replaced longtime Sliwa co-host Ron Kuby back in June.

RTDNA Co-Sponsors First Amendment Event Tomorrow (10/20).  Tomorrow in Washington, DC the Radio Television Digital News Association is collaborating with the National Press Club Journalism Institute, the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, and Reel Media Group to co-host a discussion on the First Amendment and reporters’ rights.  The event will take place at the National Press Club from 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm ET.  It’s being streamed on Facebook Live at https://www.facebook.com/RTDNA.RTDNF.  The panel includes: Vikram Bhagat, in-house counsel at American Public Media Group and Minnesota Public Radio; Ellen Crooke, VP of news for TEGNA and an RTDNA director-at-large; Scott MacFarlane, veteran investigative reporter for NBC Washington; Paul Safier of the prestigious Washington law firm Ballard Spahr.  Moderating the event will be Reel Media Group co-founders Stephanie Tsoflias Siegel and Bram Weinstein.  RTDNA notes that Free Speech Week is a yearly event to raise public awareness of the importance of free speech in America’s democracy and to celebrate that freedom.

Radio One Names Host of Philadelphia Public Issues Show.  At the Philadelphia station group of Radio One, Solomon Jones is appointed to the position of host for the new “Your Voice” talk show on Gospel-formatted WPPZ-FM.  The program, airs from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon Monday through Saturday.  Jones is a media pro who serves as a columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News and previously was the morning show host at WURD Radio-owned urban news/talk WURD-AM.  Radio One Philadelphia operations manager Karen Vaughn comments, “We want to engage our listeners with not only the inspirational music they love, but the information they need to be socially aware, community engaged and woke overall.  Solomon is a well-known local radio and media personality and is the perfect fit to provide this new music infused talk show format on ‘Praise.’”

Niger Ambush Aftermath, U.S.-China Relations, Trump Tax Reform Plan, Iran Nuclear Pact, North Korea Tensions, Weinstein Scandal-#MeToo Movement, Melania Body-Double Flap, Quebec Face-Covering Law, Richard Spencer University of Florida Appearance, MLB Playoffs, and NFL Protests-Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/18).  The controversy over the Niger ambush that left four U.S. soldiers dead and President Trump’s comments about consoling soldiers’ relatives; the tense relations between China and the U.S. over the South China Sea military installations and economic policy; the Trump Administration’s tax reform plan; the Iran nuclear deal and Trump’s intent not to recertify compliance; the military bluster from Kim Jong Un and concerns about the regime’s missile program; the fallout from the Harvey Weinstein sexual predation scandal and the related #MeToo movement; the social media-spurred suggestion that Melania Trump has a body double; Quebec’s new law making it illegal to cover one’s face in public; the controversial appearance at the University of Florida by white separatist Richard Spencer; the Major League Baseball playoffs; and the NFL anthem protests and game action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  After 23 years in the market, starting as the first general manager of hot AC KALC, Denver “Alice 105.9” and most recently as VP and market manager for Entercom’s cluster there, Amy Griesheimer exits the company.  Denver alt-weekly Westword reports her departure and reports that industry watchers are speculating that “the move was made because of ratings and revenue shortfalls in an industry that continues to struggle with the fallout from technological changes and shifting listener habits.”  The story says that current Entercom RVP Doug Abernathy will serve as acting market manager for the interim.  The Westword piece makes no mention of the pending Entercom-CBS RADIO merger.  Read it here…..In Columbus, alternative rock WWCD “CD 102.5” announces that staffer Lesley James is giving up her program director duties after eight years to focus on her afternoon drive program.  Taking over the PD role at the WWCD, LTD-owned station is evening personality Mason “Mase” Brazelle.  He’s served with alternative WKZQ, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and with iHeartMedia’s former crosstown alt rocker WXZX “105.7 The X.”…..Air talent and programmer Dylan Salisbury is named the new afternoon drive host at Entercom’s Indianapolis CHR WZPL.  He’ll also serve as music director.  He handled both duties at his most recent gig with iHeartMedia’s CHR KKDM, Des Moines “107.5 Kiss FM.”…..Buffalo Business First reports that Cumulus Media is planning to turn an 11-acre parcel of land close to its Buffalo studios into an open-air event space.  In that market, Cumulus operates WGRF-FM “97 Rock”, alternative WEDG “The Edge 103.3” and WHTT “Oldies 104.1.”  Cumulus Buffalo vice president and general manager Steve Bearance tells the publication, “We’re not talking about an amphitheater, but more of a place to do our special events.  It’s more like a festival grounds than anything else.”  As the article points out, for live events, stations cede control and add to their costs by having to rent space.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

| September 14, 2017

Craig Carton Resigns from WFAN.  A day after releasing his first public statement declaring his innocence relative to the federal fraud charges filed against him, radio personality Craig Carton has resigned from his position as morning host alongside co-host Boomer Esiason on CBS RADIO’s WFAN, New York.  As most TALKERS readers are aware, Carton is charged with being part of a Ponzi scheme that bilked $5.6 million out of investors, ostensibly to pay off gambling debts.  Carton’s attorney says the government’s case is a “gross misunderstanding of what happened.”  Here’s Carton’s statement: “Unfortunately, the unfounded legal issues currently plaguing me will only be a distraction to everyone at WFAN and the show I helped build.  With that in mind, I have submitted my resignation to the station and they accepted.  I am sad to see this chapter of my life close but know that it will allow me to focus on my family, my well-being and clearing my name, while giving the show the best opportunity to succeed without further disruption.  I’ve always felt a personal connection to our listeners and want to thank them for making me a part of their daily routine. I hope they can respect the fact that as much as I want to talk about the allegations against me I can’t at this time. There will come a time when I will be able to speak directly about the case and I hope our listeners will be there.”  In accepting Carton’s resignation, CBS RADIO issued the following statement: “We appreciate all of his contributions over the last decade and wish him and his family well during this next phase.  We are especially grateful to our dedicated employees, sponsors and listeners for their continued support of ‘THE FAN.’  The search for a replacement co-host for the morning show will begin immediately.”

PPM Analysis: Public News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the second of four analyses of the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s August 2017 PPM survey, today focusing on public news/talk.  Kinosian reports that, comparing July PPM figures to August numbers (all 6+ ratings), “six of every 10 stations on this public news/talk panel are up (60%)…while 29% are down; the remaining 11% of the sample is flat.”  Similarly, a comparison of August 2016 ratings to August 2017 shows 60% of stations are up year-over-year.  As far as market rank is concerned, there were four public news/talk stations that ranked #1 in their respective markets in the August survey: KQED-FM, San Francisco (which also ranked #1 in the adjacent San Jose market); WAMU, Washington; KUOW, Seattle; and KPBS, San Diego.  Five other public news/talk stations finished in the top five in their respective markets.  Read the whole report here.

Watkins Named LSM at Cox Atlanta. Sales and marketing pro Mike Watkins is appointed to the local sales manager position at Cox Media Group’s Atlanta radio operations.  In this role, Watkins will “focus on developing talent and driving new business development initiatives” for the cluster’s stations, including news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM.  For the past 20 years, Watkins has been a media consultant for CMG Atlanta.  Prior to that, he spent the first half of his career on the programming side of the business working at legendary stations KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh and WGCI, Chicago.  Watkins came to Atlanta in 1993 as the program director of WALR “Kiss 104.”

WTAR, Norfolk Debuts New Lineup; Local PM Drive Show. On Monday (9/18), Sinclair Communications unveils the new programming lineup at WTAR, Norfolk “Sports Radio 850.”  The schedule will consist of FOX Sports Radio’s “Outkick the Coverage with Clay Travis,” Dan Patrick; “The Herd with Colin Cowherd”; the local Nick Bailey show; and the Rich Eisen show.  Host and PD Nick Bailey says his show will also feature Jason Dick, from “101X” in Austin.  It will also include Tim Murray based in Washington.  Murray is nationally syndicated as part of SBNation.  Bailey states, “We are excited to give the people of Hampton Roads premiere sports talk every weekday.  I think the lineup gives a fresh entertaining spin on sports no matter what time of the day you tune in.  Plus, local sports talk starting at 3:00 pm will be a nice addition to the market.”

Rita Cosby Hosts ‘Pubs and Politics’ Event at The Cutting Room.  This evening in New York City, 77 WABC Radio personality and political editor Rita Cosby hosts “Pubs and Politics” at The Cutting Room on E. 32nd Street.  The evening features three of the top New York City mayoral challengers: Nicole Malliotakis, Sal Albanese, and Bo Dietl.  Also appearing will be former Milwaukee County sheriff David Clarke.  Appearing to discuss the media’s role in the political scene is CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota.  The program will be opened by “Saturday Night Live” cast member Darrell Hammond with remarks and thoughts on the current political environment.  WABC program director Craig Schwalb says, “It’s hard to imagine a better night of political debate and comedy.  The stars come out for Rita, our great listeners, and for WABC Radio.”

Galaxy’s Ed Levine Inducted into Syracuse University’s WAER Hall of Fame.  Pictured above is Galaxy Communications president and CEO Ed Levine (center) during the ceremony inducting him into the WAER Hall of Fame.  Flanking him are Scott MacFarlane (left) and Marv Albert (right). Levin comments, “WAER is where it all started.  It’s where my love for radio was realized, where I met my wife (Pam), and where Craig Fox, Ted Utz and I formulated the plan to start WAQX, which was my first real job in radio.  I couldn’t be happier to be a part of a class that includes Scott MacFarlane and the great Marv Albert.”  Past WAER Hall of Fame inductees include: Bob Costas, Mike Tirico, Lakshmi Singh and former ABC News anchor Ted Koppel.  WAER, once a student-run radio station, is a public radio station based at Syracuse University that maintains a student workforce, primarily in the news and sports departments.

Trump Administration’s DACA Policy, Trump Tax Code Overhaul, Irma and Harvey Aftermath, Hillary Clinton Book, ESPN’s Jemele Hill Controversy, North Korea Threats, Ben Shapiro’s Berkeley Speech, Equifax Security Breach, Apple Introduces New iPhones, ‘Racism’ Banner Unfurled at Red Sox Game, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/13).  The negotiations between Democrats and President Trump on immigration policy regarding ‘dreamers’; the Trump Administration’s efforts to rewrite the U.S. tax code; the effects of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey and the prognosis for long-term recovery; Hillary Clinton’s new book What Happened and her current media tour; the controversy at ESPN over Jemele Hill’s statement calling Trump a white supremacist and the sports media organization’s reaction; the nuclear threats against the U.S. by North Korea; anticipation of protests at UC Berkeley at tonight’s Ben Shapiro speech; the Equifax security breach and criticism of the company’s handling of it; Apple’s introduction of new iPhones, including the iPhone X; protesters unfurl anti-racism banner at Wednesday’s Red Sox game; and NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Country stations KPLX, Dallas “99.5 The Wolf” and KSCS “New Country 96.3” brought Broken Bow Records artist Dustin Lynch to Cowboys Red River Dance Hall in Dallas on Tuesday (9/12) to raise money for the American Red Cross Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.  Lynch performed a 90-minute set for the nearly 2,600 fans in attendance, raising $25,750 to help those affected by last month’s Hurricane Harvey…..CBS RADIO CHR KLUC, Las Vegas partnered with Zappos For Good, Lyft and the Salvation Army for a three-day broadcast last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to collect items for Hurricane Harvey and Irma relief efforts. KLUC’s “Chet Buchanan & the Morning Zoo” filled five semi-trucks with donated supplies and hit the road this past Saturday for the 1,200 mile trek from Las Vegas to the Salvation Army Divisional Disaster warehouse in Arlington, Texas…..Envision Networks is partnering with Skid Trax to offer “The Ashley & Brad Show” to affiliates on a barter basis. Ashley & Brad are based at KWSV-LP, Simi Valley, California.  Envision says the show “targets the 25 to 54 audience with current topics and humor.  Radio stations’ music playlists will remain intact – just add Ashley & Brad voice tracks.”…..Jim Dorman joins iHeartMedia to serve as operations manager for the company’s four-station Wichita cluster that includes CHR KZCH, country KZSN, adult contemporary KRBB, and alternative KTHR.  Dorman takes over for the departed Brian Jennings…..Milwaukee hip hop outlet WKKV “V100.7” is presenting the 6th annual Cracker Barrel Sista Strut – a 3K breast cancer charity walk that aims to bring awareness to the importance of breast cancer screenings.  The charity walk will take place on Saturday, October 7.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

| July 26, 2017

John McCain Latest Politician to Blame Media for Washington Gridlock. Returning from a medical absence in which he learned he has an aggressive form of brain cancer, Arizona Republican Senator John McCain lashed out at media commentators and chastised fellow legislators for kowtowing to them.  He concluded his speech on the Senate floor on Tuesday (7/25) saying, “Stop listening to the bombastic loudmouths on the radio and television and the Internet.  To hell with them.  They don’t want anything done for the public good.  Our incapacity is their livelihood. Let’s trust each other.  Let’s return to regular order.”  Talk radio hosts won’t be surprised by McCain’s language.  For many conservative talk radio hosts, McCain is seen as too liberal.  Even during his presidential runs, he was never a darling of the talk radio circuit.  Ironically, McCain’s daughter Meghan McCain is a Fox News Channel personality on the daily “Outnumbered” program.

Hewitt, Hannity and More Broadcast from Hillsdale College’s Washington Studio.  A number of high-profile talk show hosts broadcast from Hillsdale College’s Boyle Radio Studio in Washington, DC this week.  On Monday, Tuesday and today, Sean Hannity, Dennis Prager, Mike Gallagher, Michael Medved, Hugh Hewitt, and Eric Metaxas broadcast their nationally syndicated shows from the facility.  The Boyle Radio Studio is located in Hillsdale’s Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship.  Pictured above are Salem Radio Network morning personality Hugh Hewitt (left) speaking with Hillsdale College president Larry P. Arnn (right).  Hillsdale’s Boyle Radio Studio is available to radio hosts visiting Washington, DC.  It is a state-of-the-art facility and uses all commercial grade, industry standard high-end broadcast equipment.  It’s equipped with industry standard Comrex technology which allows visiting hosts to connect reliably back to their ‘home’ studios.  Matthew Spalding is the vice president and dean of educational programs for Hillsdale College at the Kirby Center and he says, “The Boyle Radio Studio and all that it does is an extension of the teaching mission of Hillsdale College.  The studio is available to host broadcasts to visiting radio personalities for no-cost, on an as-available basis.”

WABC’s Curtis Sliwa Arrested Serving Papers to NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio. The photo above is a still from video of WABC, New York talk show host and Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa being arrested by security at Gracie Mansion.  Sliwa also serves as The Reform Party chairman and was attempting to serve Mayor De Blasio legal documents regarding the Working Families Party ballot line.  Sliwa – who co-hosts the “Curtis and Eboni Show” midday show on WABC with Eboni K. Williams – will be represented at his court appearance by Williams, who is a licensed attorney.  See the video of Sliwa’s arrest at wabcradio.com.

Jim Rome’s 23rd Annual ‘Smack-Off’ Airs Friday.  This Friday (7/28), the 23rd annual “Smack Off” will take place on the CBS Sports Radio Network-syndicated Jim Rome show.  The contest among callers was designed 23 years ago by host Jim Rome to see which caller can talk the best sports smack.  Rome says, “The first Smack Off came about because I wanted a day when only the best callers would be invited to call in to compete with each other to determine who was the best.  At that time, I had no idea it would become an annual tradition, let alone one that would last for more than two decades.  Every year, the callers get bigger, bolder, and more creative with their ideas, so I can’t wait to find out which caller will become the next legend.”  This year’s “Smack Off” will feature 25 contestants competing for a cash prize of $5,000.  MMA legend and 2012 “Smack Off” champion Chael Sonnen is hoping to win his second title this year, while Yahoo’s MLB columnist and New York Times bestselling author Jeff Passan will be making his “Smack Off” debut.

Burke Named Director of Digital Sales/Operations at Cumulus DC.  This is a newly created position at Cumulus Media and digital marketing pro Dahn Burke joins the company from TEGNA Media where she was digital sales manager.  She previously worked in radio in the Washington market as senior digital account executive for CBS RADIO.  She’ll apply her skills to the digital platforms of news/talk WMAL-AM/FM and hot AC WRQX-FM and represent the digital marketing solutions in Cumulus Digital C-Suite.  Cumulus DC vice president and market manager Jake McCann comments, “Dahn Burke has a proven track record of developing digital programs that deliver results for clients.  Prior to joining Cumulus, Dahn ran a digital team that was the market leader in performance.  We are thrilled to have her leading our new Cumulus Digital C-Suite products offering local marketers with the powerful reach, frequency and recall of radio, combined with comprehensive custom digital marketing solutions that effectively engage consumers.”

New ‘Regular Guys’ Show Launches on Atlanta’s ‘The Fan 2.’  Last week TALKERS reported the tease by “Regular Guys” show founder Larry Wachs that he’s putting the Atlanta radio show back together with new cast members.  Now, with the Monday launch of the show on Dickey Broadcasting’s sports talk WFOM-AM/W292EV “The Fan 2,” we know that his show partner is former Atlanta Falcon Bob Whitfield and the staff includes producer Brandon Joseph, and Kaitlyn Henderson.  The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho has the whole story here.

WGN, Chicago to Leave Tribune Tower Next Summer.  The lease at the venerable Tribune Tower for WGN, Chicago – soon likely to be part of the Sinclair Broadcast Group stable – runs out in June of 2018 and station officials have announced that they have signed a deal to move the news/talk station to new offices in a 28-story building across the Chicago River on Wacker Drive.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder has the story and reports that the station will join two other Tribune media units in the offices.  Yes, WGN will lose that cool street-level studio on Michigan Avenue, but the new owner of the building wanted to lease the valuable space to a retailer, anyway.  Read Feder’s story here.

TALKERS News Notes. Houston talk show host Sam Malone (left) is pictured here on Capitol Hill interviewing House Ways & Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) at Salem Media Group’s “Made in America” day broadcast event.  Malone, heard in morning drive on Salem’s KNTH, Houston, was one of 19 personalities to take part in the Washington remote…..California Bears football and basketball will continue to be heard on flagship KGO, San Francisco as Cumulus Media and Learfield’s Cal Bears Sports Properties sign a new deal.  Joe Starkey returns as play-by-play announcer for his 43rd season…..Kansas University is looking for a new Kansas City flagship after the school decided it wanted a flagship where it would not get bumped from live coverage by Kansas City Royals games.  Entercom’s KCSP, Kansas City “610 Sports Radio” had been the flagship and station VP/GM Dave Alpert said he understands the school’s point of view. “We certainly appreciate their desire to be on a station where they’re not going to be bumped by other sports…I certainly appreciate KU’s desire to have consistency on where their games air.”  September and October often saw conflicts between KU football and Royals baseball…..SiriusXM’s “NFL Radio Training Camp Tour” begins tomorrow (7/27).  NFL Radio personalities will visit and report from all 32 teams’ summer camps, presenting one-on-one interviews with players, coaches and franchise executives, expert breakdowns of every roster and reports on rookies and veterans.

Suicide by Commercial.  Radio sales maven Al Herskovitz writes today about current talk radio spots he’s hearing that are continuing to make the same creative mistakes that have dogged radio advertisers for decades.  Spots with too much information, unmemorable phone numbers, and copy read at the speed of light are just a few of the aural assaults that stick in Al’s craw.  Read his entire piece here.

GOP ObamaCare Repeal Strategy, Russian Sanctions, AG Sessions Status, Trump Boy Scouts Speech, Trump Ohio Rally, North Korea Nuclear Program, Scaramucci Firing Threat, Former Dem IT Staffer Arrested, Football Brain Injury Report, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/25).  Republicans’ attempts to move forward on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act; the House-approved sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea and Russia’s condemnation of the House action; President Trump’s criticism of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and speculation about Sessions being ousted; the controversy over President Trump’s politics-laden speech at the Boy Scouts Jamboree; Trump’s Youngstown, Ohio rally; reports of North Korea’s progress producing ICBMs capable of hitting the U.S.; new White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci’s threat of mass terminations if leaks to the press don’t stop; a former IT contractor for Democrats and Debbie Wasserman Schultz is arrested trying to illegally leave the country; a preliminary report indicating a majority of brains of football players donated to the research project show evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Renowned Ghostwriter Michael Levin Guests on Harrison Podcast.  Many talk media hosts are writing books as an invaluable supplement to their branding.  A book with a broadcaster’s name on it helps expand his or her media footprint and can be a viable source of non-traditional revenue.  Having a book can also help a host attain speaking engagements – in turn, another source of promotion and revenue.  It defines their area of expertise and establishes them as a go-to source in the marketplace of ideas.  Never before in history has it been simpler to publish a professional-quality book.  The digital age has delivered authors the convenience and economic efficiency of on-demand printing and modern platforms such as Amazon have evened the distribution playing field for independent publishers to compete with the big New York City-based houses.  Of course, writing a good book can be challenging in terms of the focus, organization, and time it requires to do it properly.  Michael Levin, one of the most established ghostwriters in the nation, joins Michael Harrison as this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne hit series “Up Close and Far Out” to address the state of independent publishing in 2017.  This New York Times best-selling author is a veritable writing machine who has written, co-written or ghostwritten more than 550 books, of which 18 are national bestsellers.  He appeared on ABC’s “Shark Tank” in 2012 and has published with the biggest houses in the business.  His works have been optioned for film and TV by some of the industry’s most important studios. Harrison and Levin discuss a variety of aspects about the modern process of book publishing and its relevance to media practitioners.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.  Or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (7/26) with Dom Giordano, Dr. Daliah Wachs and Scott Lakefield.  The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and its sessions are being posted to Talkers.com – one event per day.  Already posted are:

–          The “Welcoming Remarks” by WMAL, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Larry O’ Connor (including an introduction by TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein).

–          The special presentation “You HAVE Options” by consultant Holland Cooke (including an introduction by Yappy Days author Bernadette Duncan).

–          The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity (with introduction by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon).

–          The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS managing editor  Mike Kinosian and WFAN, New York sports talk show host Mike Francesa (with introduction by Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo).

–          The special presentation “The Trump Effect: Latest Research of Interest to News/Talk Radio” by Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce (with introduction by Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host Brad Shepard).

–          The special presentation “Podcasting and Local Radio” by PodcastOne excutive chairman Norm Pattiz (with introduction by Hubbard Radio SVP/programming Greg Strassell).

–          The first, second and third in a series of three consecutive “one-on-one” sessions discussing the topic “Maximizing Talk Radio’s Multi-Platform Potential for Reach and Revenue” featuring conversations between WABC, New York, PD Craig Schwalb and KGO, San Francisco host Ethan BearmanBold Gold Media Group president/CEO Vince Benedetto and DGital Media managing partner Ron Hartenbaum, and nationally syndicated host Dr. Asa Andrew and TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein.  All three sessions are facilitated by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter.

–          A “one-on-one” dialogue titled “Radio That Makes a Difference” featuring the SiriusXM Satellite Radio husband/wife team of host Joe Madison and executive producer Sharon Madison (introduced by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio VP/GM talk programming Dave Gorab).

–          A “Fireside Chat” featuring former CBS Radio president/CEO and Broadcasters Foundation of America chairman Dan Mason being interviewed by WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley (with introduction by BOB-FM, London morning host Graham Mack).

–          A “Fireside Chat” featuring Emmis Communications CEO/chairman Jeff Smulyan being interviewed by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey (with an introduction by Bentley University professor/TALKERS legal editor Steve Weisman).

–          The first two in a series of four “one-on-one” dialogues titled “The Challenges of Doing Talk Radio in 2017.”  They feature a conversation between WYD Media syndicated host Thom Hartmann and Cumulus Media corporate PD/WMAL, Washington PD Bill Hess (introduced by Moceri Media president Greg Moceri), a conversation between morning co-host of WAQY-FM (Rock102), Springfield, MA  Mike “Bax” Baxendale and morning host of WOLB, Baltimore Larry Young, and a conversation between Cumulus Media EVP programming and content Mike McVay and Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott (facilitated by ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones).

–          The first three in a series of four “one-on-one” dialogues collectively titled, “Where Does Talk Media Go From Here?” featuring a conversation between WRHU, Hofstra University OM John T. Mullen and WRFH, Hillsdale College GM Scot Bertram; a conversation between The New Normal CEO/founder/host Tom Leykis and syndicated host Michael Berry; and a conversation between The Weiss Agency EVP Heather Cohen and Fox News Radio/Fox News Channel host Brian Kilmeade (facilitated by WOR, New York APD Scott Lakefield).

–          TODAY (7/26) we posted the fourth and final of four in the above series of “one-on-one” dialogues “Where Does Talk Media Go From Here?” featuring a conversation between WPHT, Philadelphia host Dom Giordano and GCN syndicated host Dr. Daliah Wachs (again, facilitated by WOR, New York APD Scott Lakefield). At the conclusion, Dr. Wachs is presented the TALKERS “Humanitarian of the Year” award by Michael Harrison.

Within the following days and weeks, every session will be posted and will remain on Talkers.com for the rest of the year.  The Talkers 2017: A New Era video page is sponsored by Backbone NetworksBroadcasters General Store and Comrex Corp.  To view the video page of Talkers 2017: A New Era, please click here.

 

 

PPM Analysis: Hot AC.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the fourth-and-final format analysis of station performances based on 6+ data from the June 2017 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio.  Today’s focus is hot AC. Kinosian reports that the qualifying sample of hot AC stations indicates “not quite half the stations on this panel (45%) are up May 2017 – June 2017; 38% are down; and the remaining 17% are flat.”  Looking at changes from a year ago, “virtually the same number of AC panelists falter year-to-year (49%) as improve (46%), while 5% are flat.”  iHeartMedia’s KBIG, Los Angeles “104.3 MYfm”; Connoisseur Media’s WALK, Long Island; and Alpha Media’s WRMF, West Palm Beach ranked #1 in their respective markets in June and another 13 hot AC stations ranked in the top 5.  See the whole report here.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Two moves take place at iHeartMedia’s hip hop WWPR, New York “Power 105.1 FM.”  First, Eddie Fennel is promoted to assistant program director for the station, moving up from his executive producer position with “The Breakfast Club.”  Next, midday personality DJ Prostyle is upped to music director.  He will retain his midday show.  Both will report to program director Thea Mitchem…..Programming pro Chuck Geiger is named program director for Alaska Broadcast Communications’ five-station Juneau, Alaska cluster that includes news/talk KJNO, country KYKU, hot AC KSUP, adult contemporary KINY, and classic hits KXXJ.  He was most recently with Cherry Creek Radio’s Wenatchee, Washington station group.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

| July 18, 2017

‘Our American Stories’ Acquires Three Big, New Affiliates.  Executive producer and host Lee Habeeb announces that the “Our American Stories” nightly program is added to new affiliate stations East Bay Broadcasting‘s KTRB, San Francisco; iHeartMedia‘s WBZT, West Palm Beach; and CBS RADIO‘s KMOX, St. Louis.  The program is syndicated by American Private Radio.  Habeeb states that the growth in these new top markets proves that radio “can embrace non-political programming that appeals to listeners across all demographic spectrums.  ‘Our American Stories’ reminds us that listeners still enjoy good, old-fashioned storytelling, and boy, do we need stories that make us feel good amidst all of the bad news that fills the airwaves.”  The show is currently airing in more than 50 U.S. markets.  For more information, visit OurAmericanNetwork.org.

Phil Valentine’s Latest Novel Published.  Nashville-based, Westwood One-syndicated talk show host Phil Valentine has published his most recent novel titled, The First Face of Janus (Oxley Durchville Publishing, 2017).  Valentine tells TALKERS that the publisher is offering the Kindle edition for free through the end of today (7/18).  The hard-cover edition is out August 15.  The Amazon description of this new thriller teases, “This is the story of a secret society dedicated to making sure Nostradamus’ predictions come true.  And a counterforce inside the Catholic Church that’s been trying to stop them for 500 years.  A sci-fi writer at a low point in his career comes across some odd quatrains that seem to predict another disaster.  He races against the clock to decipher the lines and stop the prophecy.  But both sides will murder anyone who gets in their way.  If you like The Da Vinci Code, you’re going to love The First Face of Janus.”

TALKERS News Notes. Author, life coach, relationship expert and co-host on the brand-new TLC series “The Spouse House,” Christine Hassler, is launching a new podcast called “Over It & On With It” on the PodcastOne platform.  PodcastOne says Hassler provides “inspiration and guidance for callers and listeners to heal their past, change their present and create what they really want. Topics covered on the show include: relationships, career, health, life transitions, entrepreneurship, parenting, finances, life purpose, spirituality and more.”…..CBS RADIO’s KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh “Sportsradio 93.7 The Fan” announces the return of the “Ben Roethlisberger Show” airing Tuesday’s at 11:00 am within the “Cook & Poni” show this fall.  This will be the fifth year Roethlisberger has appeared on the station.

The GOP Health Care Bill, the Trump Jr-Russia Investigation, Trump Approval Rating, White House ‘Made in USA’ Event, Minn. Cop Kills Woman, Ann Coulter-Delta Spat, Hannity-Scarborough Tiff, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/17).  The GOP’s failure to vote on its health care plan and the future of health care reform; the investigation into Donald Trump Jr’s meeting with Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya; the recent poll indicating President Trump’s low approval rating; the White House’s pro-manufacturing “Made in USA” event; the unexplained shooting of a woman by a Minneapolis police officer; the social media spat between Ann Coulter and Delta Airlines after the writer was forced to move from her pre-paid seat; the social tiff between Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity and MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (7/18) with Mike “Bax” Baxendale, Larry Young and Steve Jones.  The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and its sessions are being posted to Talkers.com – one event per day.  Already posted are the “Welcoming Remarks” by WMAL, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Larry O’ Connor (including an introduction by TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein); the special presentation “You HAVE Options” by consultant Holland Cooke (including an introduction by Yappy Days author Bernadette Duncan); the “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity (with introduction by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon); the “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS managing editor  Mike Kinosian and WFAN, New York sports talk show host Mike Francesa (with introduction by Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo); the special presentation “The Trump Effect: Latest Research of Interest to News/Talk Radio” by Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce (with introduction by Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host Brad Shepard); the special presentation “Podcasting and Local Radio” by PodcastOne excutive chairman Norm Pattiz (with introduction by Hubbard Radio SVP/programming Greg Strassell); and the first, second and third in a series of three consecutive “one-on-one” sessions discussing the topic “Maximizing Talk Radio’s Multi-Platform Potential for Reach and Revenue” featuring conversations between WABC, New York, PD Craig Schwalb and KGO, San Francisco host Ethan BearmanBold Gold Media Group president/CEO Vince Benedetto and DGital Media managing partner Ron Hartenbaum, and nationally syndicated host Dr. Asa Andrew and TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein.  All three sessions are facilitated by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter.  Yesterday (7/12) TALKERS posted a “one-on-one” dialogue titled “Radio That Makes a Difference” featuring the SiriusXM Satellite Radio husband/wife team of host Joe Madison and executive producer Sharon Madison (introduced by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio VP/GM talk programming Dave Gorab).  Yesterday (7/13), a “Fireside Chat” was posted featuring former CBS Radio president/CEO and Broadcasters Foundation of America chairman Dan Mason being interviewed by WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley (with introduction by BOB-FM, London morning host Graham Mack).  On Friday (7/14) TALKERS posted a “Fireside Chat” featuring Emmis Communications CEO/chairman Jeff Smulyan being interviewed by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey (with an introduction by Bentley University professor/TALKERS legal editor Steve Weisman). Yesterday 7/17), we kicked off the new week with the first in a series of four “one-on-one” dialogues titled “The Challenges of Doing Talk Radio in 2017.”  It features a conversation between WYD Media syndicated host Thom Hartmann and Cumulus Media corporate PD/WMAL, Washington PD Bill Hess, introduced by Moceri Media president Greg Moceri and facilitated by ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones.  Today (7/18) the second in that series is posted featuring a conversation between morning co-host of WAQY-FM (Rock102), Springfield, MA  Mike “Bax” Baxendale and morning host of WOLB, Baltimore Larry Young (facilitated by ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones). Within the following days and weeks, every session will be posted and will remain on Talkers.com for the rest of the year.  The Talkers 2017: A New Era video page is sponsored by Backbone NetworksBroadcasters General Store and Comrex Corp.  To view the video page of Talkers 2017: A New Era, please click here.