Tag: "Washington"

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

| February 19, 2019

WISN, Milwaukee’s Mark Belling Sidelined by Stroke. Afternoon drive talk show host Mark Belling reportedly told his listeners that he’ll be taking “a few days” off from his work at iHeartMedia’s news/talk WISN, Milwaukee after suffering a stroke during his program back on February 11.  The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports Belling is not having problems talking – a common effect of a stroke – but that his peripheral vision is affected and Belling says it makes reading difficult.  He told his listeners that on the February 11 program he began experiencing a “weird sensation” that progressed. “It was not excruciating, it was not debilitating.  Your head’s crumbling inside.”  Belling added that reading copy live is a part of his program and that is very difficult.  “I’ve got to do this right or I’m not going to be able to come back and be any good at this thing — at all.”  He says he may do some one-hour segments of his show before coming back full time, but “nothing is set in stone.”

Phil Kornblut Building Network for South Carolina Sports Talk Show. Longtime South Carolina sports talk host Phil Kornblut’s statewide “SportsTalk” show was dealt a setback last month when Learfield Communications shut down the South Carolina Radio Network that distributed the program for more than 30 years.  Kornblut is continuing his 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm daily show show, based at Glory Communications’ WQXL-AM/W264DF, Columbia, and is building a roster of stations across the state to carry the program.  The Post and Courier reports Kornblut saying he has a network of 20 stations ready to carry the show beginning on February 25.  At the same time, Kornblut says University of South Carolina football standout Rick Sanford is joining the program.  Korblut is quoted saying, “He’s one of the great athletes to come out of this state and one of the great Gamecocks of all time, and he’s made himself into a very good sports talk show host.  His name and knowledge will bring a lot to the show.  He wants to cover press conferences, go to games.  He’s really throwing himself into it, and I think it’ll be fun.”

WWL-AM/FM, New Orleans Host Scoot Victim of Hit and Run. The picture here is of WWL-AM/FM early afternoon talk host Scoot in the hospital after being struck by a hit-and-run motorcyclist in New Orleans early in the morning of February 15.  The station’s website posted the photo along with the story.  Authorities are still seeking information in an attempt to find the driver.  Scoot was crossing Canal Street near the corner of Canal and Bourbon when he was hit.  WWL management says, “Scoot’s ok, but he’s recovering from some tough injuries to his body.”  Police have video from surveillance cameras, but the lack of light and the speed of the motorcycle make it impossible to identify the driver.  They are seeking help from nearby businesses to see if better surveillance footage is available.

Crossover Media Group Takes on Ad Sales for Nancy Grace Show. Cross-platform content-production and advertising-sales firm Crossover Media Group is now handling ad sales for SiriusXM’s daily, two-hour “Crime Stories with Nancy Grace” program.  As part of the agreement with Red Seat Ventures, Crossover Media Group is also handling ad sales and sponsorship support for the program’s social media channels.  Crossover sales managing member Sue Freund says, “Nancy has that rare storyteller’s ability to connect with audiences.  The addition of ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ places CMG in an even stronger position to offer marketers access to hard-to-reach female demographics with proven national personalities.”

BFoA Names 2019 Leadership Award Recipients. The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces this year’s recipients of the 2019 Leadership Awards.  The awards will be presented at the Broadcasters Foundation annual breakfast on Wednesday, April 10 in the Brahms Room of the Encore Hotel in Las Vegas during the NAB Show.  The 2019 Leadership Awards honorees are: Bobby Caldwell, owner & CEO, East Arkansas Broadcasters, Inc.; Jean Dietze, president, affiliate relations, NBC Broadcasting; Richard A. Foreman, president, Richard A. Foreman Associates, Inc.; Mark Gray, CEO, Katz Media Group; Paul McTear, former president & CEO, Raycom Media; David Poltrack, chief research officer, CBS Corporation and president,CBS Vision.  The Leadership Awards are given annually by the BFoA in recognition of career contributions to the broadcast industry and the community at-large.

Border Wall Issue/Emergency Declaration Suit, Trump-vs ‘SNL,’ McCabe on ’60 Minutes,’ 2020 Democratic Hopefuls/Sanders Enters, Venezuela Unrest, Florida ‘Pledge’ Arrest, Jussie Smollett Case, NBA/NCAA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/18). The U.S.-Mexico border wall project, President Trump’s emergency declaration, and the 16 states suing over the emergency declaration; President Trump’s feud with “Saturday Night Live” and Alec Baldwin over its parody of him; former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s interview on Sunday’s “60 Minutes”; the growing list of Democrats entering the 2020 presidential race, including Bernie Sanders; President Trump ramps up criticism of Nicolas Maduro’s regime in Venezuela amidst the political unrest; the case of the Florida sixth grader arrested after refusing to say the Pledge of Allegiance; the investigation into actor Jussie Smollett’s controversial attack by two individuals in Chicago; and NBA and NCAA hoops action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Phoenix, Entercom swaps morning shows at classic hits KOOL-FM and country KMLE.  Beginning February 25, Maria Knight and Chad Mitchell (pictured at right) will take over the morning daypart on KMLE “Country @ 107.9.”  Meanwhile, Niko Petrou (left) will move from KMLE to KOOL-FM for mornings.  Entercom Phoenix SVP and market manager Dave Pugh states, “This transition will allow us to maximize the content we deliver daily to this market.  Maria and Chad are market veterans who know and love the country format and we are excited for KMLE listeners to get to know them.  Niko has a great connection to Phoenix and we are confident that his passion and energy will enable him to connect with KOOL’s listeners.”…..On-air pro Alek Halverson joins Entercom’s Seattle country outlet KKWF “100.7 The Wolf” where he’ll serve as afternoon drive personality and music director, effective February 21.  He comes to Entercom from his most recent position as Radio Fargo-Moorhead’s CHR KLTA, Fargo where he was afternoon host, APD, and music director.   Entercom Seattle SVP and market manager Jack Hutchison comments, “Alek’s passion for radio and dedication to entertaining people on air and on social media makes him a great addition to our team. We are excited to welcome him to Seattle and to start a new chapter of afternoon drive in Seattle.”…..Midday personality Nikki Imbrascio exits Entercom’s CHR WBBM-FM, Chicago “B96” after 10 years in the position.  Her bio, etc. has been scrubbed from the station’s website and no successor has been named at this point…..The Indianapolis Business Journal reports that the recent station swap between Cumulus Media and Entercom that’s turning ownership of Indy stations CHR WZPL, AC WNTR and sports talk WXNT-AM over to Cumulus will mean a move of those stations from their current studios, but no timetable has been set.  Cumulus already owns classic hits WJJK-FM, country WFMS, and CHR WYRG in the market.  The three new stations will join the current three at Cumulus’ Shadeland Avenue studios. The report says no format changes are planned but TALKERS magazine has speculated that the company will not continue to operate two CHR stations in the market and will eventually flip underperformer WYRG to another format…..As reported by the Terre Haute Tribune Star, WFNB-FM has flipped from adult contemporary to alternative as “92.7 The Rock.”  DLC Media president and GM Dave Crooks tells the paper, “That was a bold move.  We had done some research over the last several months.  It looked like my original idea of trying to have all gold-based formats (adult hits or classic hits) was creating some duplication and chasing the same listeners.  So, we decided to make this move to help us expand our reach.”  Core artists will include: Foo Fighters, Linkin Park, Green Day, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, and Alice in Chains.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

| February 14, 2019

Cumulus Sells Six – Including WPLJ, New York and WRQX, Washington – to EMF for $103.5 Million; Swaps Three stations with Entercom.  Seller Cumulus Media Inc. calls these deals “strategic portfolio optimization transactions.”  The sale of six stations to religious broadcaster Educational Media Foundation will bring Cumulus $103.5 million in cash for hot AC WPLJ, New York; news/talk WYAY, Atlanta; triple A KFFG, San Francisco; hot AC WRQX, Washington; hot AC WZAT, Savannah; and classic rock WXTL, Syracuse.  When EMF takes control, the stations will all flip to its K-Love Christian music format.  The second deal is with Entercom and involves the swap of Cumulus’ country WNSH, New York “NASH FM”; hot AC WMAS-FM, Springfield, Massachusetts and sports talk WHLL-AM, Springfield in exchange for Entercom’s Indianapolis cluster of adult contemporary WNTR “107.9 The Mix,” CHR WZPL, and sports talk WXNT-AM.  This means Entercom exits the Indy market and those three stations join Cumulus’ existing three stations there: classic hits WJJK, country WFMS, and CHR WYRG “Energy 93.9.” Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner says, “These transactions are consistent with our portfolio optimization strategy and both deals are accretive.  The Entercom swap significantly bolsters our competitive position in Indianapolis and the EMF transaction generates substantial cash for debt repayment and investment in other business opportunities.”  The company notes that EMF will acquire all transmission equipment and assume all tower leases associated with the stations which collectively contribute approximately $5 million to $7 million of EBITDA to Cumulus annually.  Regarding the Entercom swap, both companies will begin operating the other’s stations under LMAs on March 1.

Format Flip Likely as the Result of Cumulus-Entercom Deal.  The acquisition of Entercom’s CHR WZPL – the clear ratings leader in top 40 radio in the market – means a format change is imminent for Cumulus’ WYRG which has been bubbling under a 2 share (6+) while WZPL has been scoring more than a 5 share in recent PPM surveys from Nielsen Audio.  In New York, there’s no reason to think Entercom will flip WNSH from country.  While it’s been hovering around a 2.2 share (6+), it’s the only country signal in New York and it’s hard to imagine Entercom giving up on it.  Stay tuned.

What Will Cumulus Do with WABC and New York Stations?  Maybe nothing, but yesterday’s surprise sale of six of its signals to EMF and the swap with Entercom indicates Cumulus is willing to deal if it has strategic significance.  Now that the company’s New York cluster is destined to consist of news/talk WABC-AM, urban AC WNBM – a class A FM licensed to Bronxville – and suburban sports talk WFAS-AM, Westchester, some industry watchers are wondering if the three-station cluster brings in enough revenue to continue operating in the Big Apple.  WFAS-AM isn’t listed in the Nielsen New York PPMs and WNBM has been garnering 6+ ratings of less than a full share in recent PPM surveys.  WABC-AM is a venerable signal with obvious history in the market but appears to be underperforming with 6+ numbers in the 1.0-1.5 share range.  One wonders if Mary Berner and company are weighing finding buyers for the three signals.

Judge: Alex Jones Can Be Deposed in Sandy Hook Case. According to a report in the Hartford Courant, Connecticut Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis ruled that talk show host and Infowars chief Alex Jones must take part in a sworn deposition in the defamation case filed against him by the families of eight victims of the Sandy Hook shootings. The judge ruled that after Jones’ counsel filed a Motion to Dismiss, the families are entitled to conduct discovery “likely to lead to admissible evidence for opposing the motions.”  Three other Infowars staffers will have to sit for depositions that, combined with Jones’ deposition, will total 19 hours of testimony. Jones and Infowars are being sued separately by two different Newtown, Connecticut families in Texas.  The families’ lawsuits allege that Jones engaged in a lengthy campaign “abusive and outrageous false statements” that the Sandy Hook shootings were staged by paid actors.  The suit alleges Jones knew what he was perpetrating was false but he continued because it drew an audience and made money for his company.  Jones argues his First Amendment rights are enough to toss the suits.  He is also being ordered deposed in Texas, but those depositions have not taken place yet.

WPHT, Philadelphia to Produce Liberty USO Radiothon. Tomorrow’s daylong radiothon will take place at Chickie’s & Pete’s Play 2 in Philadelphia from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm. It’s called the “Talk Radio 1210 WPHT Liberty USO Radiothon” and it will benefit Active, Guard and Reserve military and their families through programs and services at the United Service Organization of Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey (Liberty USO).  It will be anchored by WPHT personalities Chris Stigall, Dom Giordano and Rich Zeoli.  Entercom Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff says, “I am proud of the role our station plays in supporting our military through the efforts of Liberty USO.  Last year’s radiothon raised over $120,000 and is a testament to the power local radio plays in bringing our community together for a great cause.  We are looking forward to partnering with Liberty USO once again.”

Actor Wendell Pierce Part of Group Seeking to Buy WBOK, New Orleans. According to a report by WGNO-TV, New Orleans, native son and actor Wendell Pierce is part of a group of investors bidding on the license for urban news/talk outlet WBOK, New Orleans.  The station is owned by Los Angeles-based Bakewell Media which has the station on the market. Pierce, known for his work on “The Wire” and Amazon Prime’s “Jack Ryan” series, says in a statement, “Through all the substantial change New Orleans has faced in recent history, WBOK has served as a steadfast and indispensable platform for our community.  The people trust them, they depend on them, and they believe in them.  WBOK Radio is the glue that brings and holds our city together.”  The story says the other investors are listed as: Cleveland Spears III, Troy Henry, and Jeff Thomas.

Salem Media Group Promotes Three. At Camarillo, California-based Salem Media Group, three executive promotions take place. First, 16-year Salem exec Chris Gould rises from his VP, national programming, to senior vice president, national programming.  Second, Mark Durkin is promoted from general manager of the company’s Sacramento cluster to a regional vice president position that adds oversight of Seattle, San Francisco and Oxnard, California to his Sacramento duties.  Finally, Franc Boza is named general manager for the Salem Miami cluster. He was most recently with Deadcenter Marketing as VP of sales and marketing.

Skyview Networks Announces Staff Promotions. Scottsdale, Arizona-based Skyview Networks announces a series of promotions among staffers.  In the production department, Joe Felz is upped to vice president of production.  Elsewhere, Denise Krause rises from client service director to senior director of client services and co-chair promotions, based in New York City.  Ethan Aragon takes on the new title of senior director of client services.  Jordan Thorlin is named creative director.  In the same department, Alexandria Landry is appointed multimedia designer.  In the sales department, Alex Warrick takes on the new role of director of agency services.  Finally, radio industry pro Mary Stoddard moves into the client service director and co-chair promotions position.

TALKERS News Notes. Minnesota sports talk station KFXN-FM, Minneapolis gets some love from City Pages as the alt-weekly does a big feature on the station in honor of “KFAN” capturing “the highest market share percentage of any top-50 sports talk station in the country, according to Nielsen” last fall…..Boston Red Sox aficionados have been waiting to find out who will be in the broadcast booth this year for games broadcast on Entercom’s Red Sox flagship WEEI, Boston and now it’s confirmed that play-by-play legend Joe Castiglione has signed for his 37th season with the team.  As for the color analysts?  Those duties will be split among three principal broadcasters: Sean McDonough, Josh Lewin, and Mario Impemba, with several more also in the rotation.  They include: ESPN broadcaster Chris Berman, WEEI personalities Lou Merloni and Dale ArnoldNESN studio host Tom Caron, and NESN Red Sox television broadcaster Dave O’Brien…..KCAA, Loma Linda, California owner Fred Lundgren tells TALKERS magazine that after many years of producing and distributing radio programs and podcasts for hundreds of broadcasters, his family has decided to produce its own podcast series, hosted by his wife, Linda Carol Lundgren, titled, “Don’t Be Afraid To Ask.” Lundgren says the show will address many of life’s difficult subjects such as money, sex, drugs, bullying, long term relationships, the changing culture, and the problems facing the next generation of young adults as they leave home and enter the workplace.  The first show visits the tragic origins of Valentine’s Day and how the importance of that day has evolved over the centuries. Check it out here…..WGCH, Greenwich, Connecticut afternoon talk show host Lisa Wexler was recently honored by cable channel News 12 Connecticut as one of its “Hometown Heroes.”  Wexler serves as a local probate judge and donates each $50 wedding fee she receives to the local Westport Animal Shelter Advocates organization. Check it out here…..Motor Racing Network is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its first coverage of the Daytona 500 this Sunday (2/17).  In honor of that event, MRN will broadcast its 50th Daytona 500 and the 61st running of “The Great American Race” on over 400 radio stations nationwide.  Sunday’s race also marks the culmination of more than 30 hours of programming produced by MRN during Daytona Speedweeks, NASCAR’s annual kickoff at Daytona International Speedway.  The broadcast is the first event in a two-year celebration of the founding of the network by Bill France, Sr. and Ken Squier in 1970.

TalkersRadio Personality Meg McDonald Installed as President of the Studio City Beautification Association.  Legendary Southern California PR executive Meg McDonald, who hosts the short-form feature MEG! on TalkersRadio, was recently installed as the new president of the Studio City Beautification Association.  Studio City is a section of Los Angeles with a colorful show business history located between Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley.  Standing with Meg in front of the Mack Sennett Conference Room on the CBS Studio Center lot in Studio City where the monthly SCBA board meetings are held are (l-r): Studio City Beautification Association officers secretary Connie Elliot (wearing hat), McDonald, vice president Beth Dymond and treasurer Charles Blakeslee.  Meg McDonald is the daughter of golden era Hollywood movie stars Elisabeth Fraser and Ray McDonald.  To listen to MEG!, please click here.

Trump-Russia Investigation/Manafort Ruling, Border Wall Deal, Parkland Shooting Anniversary/Gun Control, Green New Deal, California Bullet Train Controversy, Iran-Israel Tensions, Brexit Complications, Venezuela Unrest, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/13). The investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related ruling by a judge that Paul Manafort lied to investigators; the ongoing controversy over the tentative U.S.-Mexico border wall deal; the anniversary of the Parkland, Florida shootings and the status of gun control measures; the GOP’s criticism of the Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez sponsored Green New Deal; President Trump’s demand for the return of $3.7 billion in federal money from California after Governor Gavin Newsome spiked the remainder of the bullet train project; the heightened rhetoric between Iran and Israel; the complications of Britain’s exit from the EU and possible economic consequences; the political unrest in Venezuela; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Michael Harrison Explores the Impact of Changing Communications Technology on the Human Nervous System. One of the common themes of the present era is the challenge people face in keeping pace and coping with the exponential changes in communications technology. On this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne production, “The Michael Harrison Interview,” the TALKERS founder interviews theoretical physicist Leonard Mlodinow, Norwegian explorer Erling Kagge, and licensed psychotherapist Dr. Bryan Robinson about the rapid changes taking place in our noisy world. Join them for a deep dive into the realm of neuro-plasticity, the sounds of silence, and escaping from the maddening, non-stop workplace. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and every page on Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Milwaukee CHR WNRG “Energy 106.9” adds the nationally syndicated “Tino Cochino Radio Show” for the afternoon drive daypart.  The program emanates from its home base at Riviera Broadcasting’s KKFR, Mayer, Arizona (Phoenix market)…..Meruelo Media promotes Aimee Bittourna to vice president of its experiential marketing company Actify. In this new position, Bittourna will oversee the development, strategies, and execution of all Actify campaigns.  Meruelo Media president and COO Otto Padron says, “Aimee is a difference maker and a unique brand experience creator. Her energy and creativity are marketing multipliers for our partners seeking original ways to connect their brands to consumers.  She’s a leader in a boundless space and our clients love her.”…..Pictured below is Premiere Networks nationally syndicated adult contemporary personality Delilah on the set of the “TODAY” show (third from left) with show co-hosts Kathie Lee (second from left), Hoda Kotb (left) and psychotherapist Lori Gottlieb (right) discussing ways to overcome fears of being alone on Valentine’s Day.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

| February 7, 2019

Midwest Communications Paying $21.6 Million for Peoria Stations. When broker KALIL & Co. announced the deal between Alpha Media and Midwest Communications on Tuesday, it did not include the price. Now that the contract is showing up in the FCC database, we know that Midwest will pay Alpha $21.6 million for the six-station cluster in the Peoria market that includes: news/talk WMBD-AM, hot AC WSWT-FM, country WXCL-FM, classic hits WPBG-FM, classic hip hop WNGY-FM and oldies WIRL-AM.

Media Exec Peter I. Morris Named CEO of PodcastOne. Media and business executive Peter I. Morris joins PodcastOne as chief executive officer in a new role in which he’ll manage all day-to-day operations while exploring growth opportunities, strategic partnerships, and new content initiatives.  He joins the management team led by executive chairman Norm Pattiz and president Kit Gray.  Morris comes to PodcastOne with 10-plus years of experience in senior management, business development, and business affairs across film, television, and digital media. He was most recently EVP of Barstool Sports.  He’s also served as EVP of entertainment at IMAX, and head of business affairs & strategy and general counsel at Funny or Die.  Morris says, “Personally, I’m a huge fan of podcasts and a strong believer in the power of the fan communities this medium champions.  The opportunity to work with a legend like Norm Pattiz at PodcastOne, a market leader, is one I couldn’t pass up.  I look forward to leading PodcastOne’s evolution and next chapter of growth.”

Entercom’s Radio.com Strikes Deals with CNN and Bloomberg. This content sharing deal between Entercom and CNN and Blomberg Media provides for Entercom’s RADIO.com platform to air 10 live simulcasts of CNN and Bloomberg programs, in addition to making podcasts from Turner Podcast Network available on the platform.  Simulcast content will include: CNN International, CNN en Español, and HLN from CNN and Bloomberg Radio National as well as New York, D.C., Boston, Bay Area, and London editions.  Entercom chief digital officer JD Crowley says, “We are thrilled to welcome CNN and Bloomberg to RADIO.COM as we increase our premium content offerings.  Through our deep roster of industry-leading radio stations and premium live and on-demand content, RADIO.COM is quickly becoming an important part of the daily audio habit for the tens of millions of listeners we reach per month.  These agreements further cement RADIO.COM’s position as the premiere destination for on-demand audio news, entertainment, music and sports content on a national scale.”

ABC News to Launch ‘The Investigation’ Podcast. Beginning next Tuesday (2/12), ABC News is tackling the special counsel’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election in podcast form.  The new podcast, “The Investigation,” is hosted by ABC News correspondent Kyra Phillips and the ABC News investigative team, led by senior executive producer Chris Vlasto.  ABC says it will provide a weekly, behind-the-scenes look at Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and will focus on the lead-up to the highly anticipated report and explore its aftermath, analyzing the potential fallout and political consequences.   ABC Radio vice president and general manager Steve Jones comments, “We’ve provided extensive coverage of the Mueller probe on our daily podcast ‘Start Here,’ but there’s so much more that Kyra Phillips and our investigative team can provide, that launching a dedicated podcast made spectacular sense.  ‘The Investigation’ will break news, offer context, and make our growing ABC Radio podcast network even more attractive for advertisers hoping to reach an informed and engaged audience.”

TALKERS News Notes. Last Saturday evening, Hubbard Radio’s Washington, DC all-news WTOP-FM officially moved from its Idaho Ave studios in Northwest DC to its new studios on Wisconsin Ave in Chevy Chase, Maryland.  Check out the video of the station making the flip from the old studio to the new one here…..WJFN-FM, Goochland, Virginia announces a special Saturday program to address the political scandals affecting Democratic politicians that have the state in the national discussion.  WJFN is operated by conservative talk radio personality John Fredericks and he has been determined to broaden the conversation about Virginia politics by adding Democratic talk hosts to the program schedule.  This weekend, Democrat Susan Platt, who hosts the “Find Your Roar” hourly interview program Saturdays at 9:00 am and Democrat Gene Rossi, host of the “Gene Rossi Show” on Saturdays at 12:00 noon, will team up for a special, two-hour show from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm to address the scandals involving Governor Ralph Northam, Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, and Attorney General Mark Herring.  Fredericks says, “At WJFN, our mission is to provide listeners with timely updates, behind-the-scenes details, and clear analysis about the world of Virginia politics.  In the past week, Virginia has been rocked by three distinctive scandals related to race relations and sexual conduct.  These are serious and sensitive subjects involving prominent public officials.  Many Virginians are reeling from these revelations.  In such highly charged moments, we recognize our responsibility to accurately inform our listeners as they put these events into context.”…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Newsweb Radio’s progressive talk outlet WCPT is losing the host of its 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm daily program as Los Angeles-based Norman Goldman’s program will end in the near future. Goldman has told his listeners that the show will end because it is losing money and has “no more money to lose.”…..A new podcast called “Mama Said with Jamie and Jenna” is launching on the LadyGang on PodcastOne Network.  The program features “Sopranos” actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler and musician Jenna Parris as Sigler, a working and traveling mother, and Parris, a stay-at-home mom and avid researcher, bring together their different perspectives and delve into parenthood with celebrity guests…..iHeartMedia’s news/talk WERC, Birmingham is partnering with the Alliance of American Football club the Birmingham Iron to air all 10 of the team’s games.  The inaugural season of the new football league begins on Sunday (2/10).  Veteran broadcaster Thom Abraham serves as the play-by-play voice with former Alabama All-American Mike Johnson as the color commentator.

Trump-Russia Investigation, House Intel Committee Investigation, State of the Union Address, 2020 Presidential Hopefuls/Elizabeth Warren Native American Issue, AOC’s Green New Deal, Virginia’s Political Chaos, Border Wall Battle, Chicago Cubs Racism Troubles, Venezuela Unrest, James Brown Murder Allegation, and NBA Trade Deadline Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/6). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff’s expansion of his committee’s investigation into President Trump; Tuesday evening’s State of the Union Address; the Democrats intending to run for president in 2020 and the related story of Senator Elizabeth Warren’s claim to be Native American; freshman Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez’s “Green New Deal” legislative agenda; the issues of racism and an allegation of sexual assault dogging Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, attorney general Mark Herring, and Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax; the political battle over President Trump’s plan for a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border; the racist emails associated with Joe Ricketts, patriarch of the family that owns the Chicago Cubs; the political unrest in Venezuela; the allegation that both James Brown and the legendary performer’s wife were murdered; and the deals taking place at the NBA’s trade deadline 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 Atlanta, Cumulus Media names Corey Dylan co-host of the “Caddy & Corey” morning show on country WKHX, Atlanta “Kicks 101.5” alongside Cadillac Jack.  Dylan has worked in radio at hot AC WMTX, Tampa and news/talk WFLA-AM, Tampa.  She most recently has been on television’s TMZ and HSN as a guest host.  WKHX program director Brian Thomas comments, “I feel so fortunate for Corey to join Cadillac Jack in mornings.  Her multi-media experience will create one of the best country shows in radio.”

Tuesday, February 5, 2018

| February 5, 2019

Alpha Media Sells Peoria Cluster to Midwest Communications. We don’t know the price yet, but Alpha Media has filed with the FCC to sell its six stations in the Peoria, Illinois market to Midwest Communications.  The cluster includes news/talk WMBD-AM, hot AC WSWT-FM, country WXCL-FM, classic hits WPBG-FM, classic hip hop WNGY-FM and oldies WIRL-AM. The Peoria group was acquired by Larry Wilson’s L&L Broadcasting from Triad Broadcasting in 2013.  L&L and Alpha merged a year later.  Alpha has been in sell mode recently, having just closed on the $88 million sale of its West Palm Beach cluster to Hubbard Radio.  It is selling its Biloxi, Mississippi cluster to TeleSouth for $2.5 million and last year closed on the $1.82 million sale of its Bluefield, West Virginia cluster to First Media Services.  After this latest deal is consummated, Alpha will own 201 stations in 44 markets.  Alpha Media CEO Bob Proffitt says, “It’s been an honor to work with Mike Wild and the great team in Peoria.  They have been an integral part of Alpha and will be missed.  We are sad to see them go but know they are in great hands with Duke Wright and the Midwest Communications family.”  Midwest Communications owns 75 radio stations in Tennessee, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota.  KALIL & CO., INC. is the exclusive broker for this transaction.

Bo Jaxon Named OM at SummitMedia Springfield. At its Springfield, Missouri station group, SummitMedia names Bo Jaxon operations manager for the cluster that includes news/talk KSGF-AM/FM, CHR KSPW-FM, classic hits KRVI-FM, and country KTTS-FM.  He’ll also serve as program director for KTTS.  Jaxon was most recently with iHeartMedia as morning personality at country KBWL, Denver “The Bull 106.7.” SummitMedia Springfield president Janelle Moffett says, “Bo brings a ton of energy and great ideas to Springfield.  I’m confident that under Bo’s leadership our stations will be an even greater source of entertainment and information for our community.”

WBZ-AM, Boston Legend Gary LaPierre Dies at 76.  The man who anchored mornings on WBZ-AM, Boston for almost 44 years passed away on Monday (2/4) after a battle with leukemia. Gary LaPierre retired from his morning host role on WBZ-AM in 2006. His obituary on WBZ’s website notes that LaPierre’s “calm and steady voice prepared New Englanders for the day ahead.”  LaPierre began his career in the mail room of WBZ in the 1960s and worked as a general assignment reporter before moving into the anchor booth.

TALKERS News Notes. The latest podcast from Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley features a conversation between her and iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman. In her “Beyond the Business” program, Beasley and Pittman discuss a variety of topics centered on innovation, ranging from the latest technology featured at CES 2019 to the state of the audio business and how the industry can best collaborate moving forward…..Tonight’s State of the Union Address is being covered for affiliate stations by ABC News Radio.  The organization will provide live coverage of the address and response anchored by correspondent Aaron Katersky.  He’ll be joined by correspondent Karen Travers from the White House, correspondent Brad Mielke and ABC’s Ali Rogin from the Capitol, political director Rick Klein and contributor Steve Roberts from Washington, D.C., and contributors Alex Castellanos and Kristen Soltis Anderson.  It will offer a one-hour preview program (8:00 pm to 9:00 pm)…..Talk radio pro Rob Carson inks a deal to present his more than 100 cooking videos on the internet destination Spoony.com – a platform dedicated to food, wine, and lifestyle…..Valdosta, Georgia station owner and morning drive talk show host Scott James, a.k.a. Scott James Matheson, announces he’s running for mayor of Valdosta this fall. James owns Smalltown Broadcasting, operator of news/talk WDDQ-FM – licensed to Adel, Georgia…..As reported by Chicago media maven Robert Feder, former television news anchor Joan Esposito is named the afternoon talk show host at Newsweb Radio’s progressive talk outlet WCPT, Chicago.  She’s been the interim host since Ben Joravsky was let go from the station in December…..Nationally syndicated radio show “Free Talk Live” adds a new affiliate station as the program joins the weekend evening schedule at iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington.  Also, several affiliate stations also expand their carriage of “Free Talk Live” as WGOW-FM, Chattanooga adds two hours of the program for weekday evenings and KHMO, Hannibal, Missouri  and KBKW-AM/FM, Aberdeen, Washington add an hour of the program to their weeknight schedules…..Blaine Thompson at Indiana Radio Watch alerts us to the fact that Neuhoff Media is moving Jared Jesulaitis from his program director role at CHR WXXB-FM, Lafayette to sports director for the Lafayette operations and morning co-host at sports talk WASK-AM/W269DJ “101.7 The Hammer” alongside Kyle Charters.  Meanwhile, assistant PD Joe LaCay moves up to program director for WXXB…..All this week, SiriusXM’s MLB Network Radio is presenting “Players Week” – in which current major league players, including All-Stars and World Series winners, will join SiriusXM hosts for special extended feature segments.  “These players will have a national platform, an hour of airtime, and the freedom to guide the conversation and discuss the teams and topics from baseball that most interest them.”…..Entercom’s news/talk KMOX, St. Louis showed its disdain for the Los Angeles Rams – the city is still bitter about losing the NFL franchise – by airing game six of the 2011 MLB World Series on Sunday evening as much of the rest of the country was paying attention to the Super Bowl.  The move did, apparently, get a lot of local media attention. It was the game between the hometown Cardinals and Texas Rangers that went 11 innings as St. Louis pulled out a victory and went on to win the World Series.

State of the Union Address, Border Wall Battle, Trump-Russia Investigation, Ralph Northam Controversy, ‘Green New Deal’ Proposal, DC Circuit Court Nominee, U.S.-China Relations, and Super Bowl LIII Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/4). Anticipation of President Trump’s State of the Union Address; the political battle over President Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall proposal; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the charges of racism dogging Virginia Governor Ralph Northam; the “Green New Deal” proposal from freshman Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez; Democrats’ challenge to President Trump’s nominee to replace Brett Kavanaugh on the DC Circuit Court; the tense economic relations between the U.S. and China; and the aftermath of Super Bowl LIII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

PLAN AHEAD, DON’T BE SHUT OUT! 2019 Talkers Convention Set for NYC. The 22nd annual installment of the longest-running, most-important national talk media convention has been set for Friday, June 7, 2019 in New York City. Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will take place at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan. The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, one-on-one conversations and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception — all in a single, power-packed day! Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited, and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments, costs $329 per person. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. To take advantage of the hotel discount available to TALKERS convention attendees, contact the Hilton Fashion District Hotel located directly across the street from the venue at 152 W. 26th St, New York, NY 10001 by clicking here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Chicago country outlet WBGG, Chicago “BIG 95.5” announces afternoon personality Brooke Taylor is adding assistant PD duties to her responsibilities at the iHeartMedia station.  Simultaneously, fill-in personality Trace Hamilton is named the station’s evening host…..Making the transition from television to radio is well-known television meteorologist Kim Adams.  She joins Entercom’s adult contemporary WDZH, Detroit “987 The Breeze” as midday personality.  Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “Kim Adams is an award-winning television personality and one of metro Detroit’s most recognizable faces.  We’re excited to welcome Kim to our team and know she’ll help our listeners breeze through their day.”  During her career, Adams has worked on air at WDIV-TV and WXYZ-TV in Detroit as well as WBNS-TV, Columbus…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that market radio personality Ramonski Luv returns to the radio as evening host on Future Vision Entertainment’s urban AC “95.1 FM Clubsteppin.’”  The station emanates from the leased WLEY-HD2 signal of WLEY Licensing and is heard on translators W236CF and W236CG, both at 95.1 FM.  Luv was most recently hosting weekends on urban AC WVAZ…..Radio One moves programmer Yonni “Rude” O’Donoghue from its Richmond cluster where he’s been OM since 2016 to Detroit where he’ll serve as operations manager for the three station group that includes hip hop WGPR “Hot 107.5,” urban contemporary WDMK and the three-signal Gospel format the Praise Network…..On-air pro Lady B, a.k.a. Wendy Clark, is the new midday host at Radio One’s rhythmic oldies WPPZ, Philadelphia “Classix 107.9.” In addition to the midday show, she’ll also co-host the “Basement Party” mix on Fridays and Saturdays from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm.

Friday, February 1, 2019

| February 1, 2019

Anderssen Adds Atlanta Duties at WSB-AM. Continuing as Cox Media Group’s news, talk, and sports format coordinator, Drew Anderssen is appointed senior operations/program manager for the company’s Atlanta news/talk outlet, WSB-AM. Director of branding and programming Pete Spriggs notes, “Drew and I have worked in lockstep for the last five years as format leaders for all of our outstanding Cox Media Group news/talk stations. He brings an overwhelming amount of experience and passion and I look forward to continuing our partnership to ensure [WSB-AM] remains a dominant leader in the radio space.” Anderssen comments that WSB-AM is “one of America’s strongest and most iconic radio stations. It has been a career-long dream of mine to become part of this award-winning team. I am thrilled to work one-on-one with Pete Spriggs and the entire team to help shape the future of the WSB brand.” Anderssen previously oversaw programming, news, digital, and social media planning as OM/PD at co-owned WDBO-FM, Orlando. Prior to joining Cox Media Group in 1998 as Tulsa news/talk KRMG’s operations manager, he spent several years in promotions, research, and programming in Texas and Oklahoma. WSB-AM – which had been #1 the past 37 Nielsen Audio sweeps – is a combined -2.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (8.6 – 7.9 – 6.5, 6+) as it segues to #2. Prior to November 2018, WSB-AM was a collective +1.1 in three straight gains (7.5 – 7.9 – 8.2 – 8.6, 6+).

Thrall To Call Some Reds Ballgames. Seven-year Pensacola Blue Wahoos play-by-play announcer Tommy Thrall bumps up from the Double A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds to “the show,” joining the Reds’ broadcast team on iHeartMedia news/talk WLW and the Reds’ radio network. After 45 years of calling Reds’ games, Marty Brennaman will be retiring after this season; Jeff Brantley will continue working alongside Brennaman as color analyst. Reds senior vice president of business operations Karen Forgus notes, “Tommy Thrall was added to our broadcast staff for 2019 as our ‘utility’ broadcaster. His duties will include hosting the ‘Reds on Radio’ post-game show and producing stories and interviews for the radio pre-game show. Additionally, he will fill-in on play-by-play for the games Marty is not working. We have no plans beyond 2019 at this time.” Blue Wahoos president Jonathan Griffith comments, “We are incredibly proud of Tommy for taking this well-deserved step in his career. Since Opening Day 2012, he has been an invaluable part of our organization and we are grateful for his numerous contributions to ‘Hoosville.’” Thrall and Brantley worked together on three games last September. They are scheduled to call the Reds – Chicago White Sox spring training matchup later this month (2/27).

Applications Now Accepted For Mildred Carter MIW Group Mentoring Program. In its 18th year, this experience pairs up-and-coming women currently working in the radio industry with female professionals recognized as leaders in all aspects of radio broadcasting and media. Beasley Media Group is once again lead sponsor of the initiative for women interested in advancing their careers. Chair of the 2019 Mentoring & Inspiring Women in Radio (MIW) Group’s mentoring committee/Entercom Chicago national sales manager Lindsay Cerajewski states, “This unique initiative provides an amazing opportunity for mentees to gain valuable insight, knowledge, and access to some of the most influential women in radio. It is very rewarding to watch our mentees grow professionally throughout the year.” MIW Group spokeswoman Denyse Mesnik adds, “We are absolutely thrilled Beasley Media Group has once again generously offered to serve as lead sponsor of MIW Group’s heritage Mildred Carter Mentoring Program; we look forward to another successful year.” Four candidates within the radio industry will be selected for this year’s program. At least one spot will be designated for a programming candidate, and one spot for a digital candidate. The MIW Group Mentoring Program is named in the memory of Mildred Carter, who, along with her husband, Andrew “Skip” Carter, founded the first African-American-owned radio station in the United States, when they signed-on Kansas City’s KPRS in 1950. Deadline to apply for the mentoring program is in less than three weeks (2/20).

Blues Skating To Hubbard St. Louis. Effective with the 2019-2020 National Hockey League season, games of the St. Louis Blues will shift from Entercom news/talk KMOX to Hubbard sports talk WXOS “101 ESPN.” According to Hubbard St. Louis vice president and market manager John Kijowski, “It has always been a dream to partner with the St. Louis Blues organization. The Blues management team is a class act and their fans are the best in professional hockey.” WXOS band content director Chris “Hoss” Neupert adds, “The ‘101 ESPN’ team is excited to be the new home for the St. Louis Blues. Our entire team is looking forward to our partnership with the St. Louis Blues and the opportunity to offer innovative content, exclusive interviews, analysis, and coverage for St. Louis fans.”

Veteran Talk Programmer and Communications Professor David Bernstein Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the most seasoned radio programmers in the industry, David Bernstein, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Bernstein, who’s programmed such heritage outlets as WOR, New York; WRKO and WBZ-AM, Boston; WTIC-AM, Hartford; and WPRO-AM, Providence, is currently the general manager of TALKERS magazine’s experimental radio showcase TalkersRadio and has been serving as a professor in the Department of Communication at Caldwell University in New Jersey for the past three years. Harrison and Bernstein engage in an informal chat about his view of our changing society from the front-line perspective of teaching a college communications class. Check it out! To listen to the podcast in its entirety please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and every page on Talkers.com.

FSR Sets Super Bowl Programming. Among the highlights on Fox Sports Radio’s schedule this Sunday (2/3) is a weekend edition of “Straight Outta Vegas with R.J. Bell,” who will be joined by betting experts Steve Fezzik and Brad Powers, as well as FSR personality Jonas Knox. Super Bowl Sunday, of course, is considered the biggest sports betting event of the year. The network’s complete lineup this Sunday includes: Andy Furman and Brian Noe (6:00 am – 9:00 am); Mike Harmon and Kelvin Washington (9:00 am – 12:00 noon); “Straight Outta Vegas with R.J. Bell” (12:00 noon – 1:00 pm); Mark Willard and Rich Ohrnberger (1:00 pm – 4:00 pm); Steve Hartman and Ephraim Salaam (4:00 pm – 6:00 pm); Arnie Spanier and Chris Plank (throughout the Super Bowl game); and Jonas Knox (11:00 pm – 2:00 am).

RTDNF Tabs Klobuchar As “First Amendment Defender.” This year’s First Amendment Defender award from the Radio Television Digital News Foundation to Minnesota Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar will be presented next month (3/13) in Washington, DC. RTDNF chair Scott Libin comments, “Senator Klobuchar has been a staunch defender of First Amendment freedoms over the years. She has supported cameras in courts; worked to advance government transparency; and pursued protections for the press through oversight, including her questioning of Attorney General-designate William Barr. Her record represents exactly the sort of leadership RTDNF seeks to recognize. As a constituent of Senator Klobuchar and as someone who has led Twin Cities newsrooms during the decades of her distinguished career, it is my honor to extend this recognition.”

WBUR’s CitySpace Opens Later This Month. The 8,700-square-foot, high-tech multipurpose facility at The Lavine Broadcast Center officially opens to the public in several weeks (2/28), but Boston mayor Marty Walsh joined executives of Boston University-owned public radio news/talk WBUR for a ribbon cutting at the Commonwealth Avenue site on Wednesday (1/30). WBUR general manager Charles Kravetz comments, “CitySpace will be the home for public conversation in Boston. It brings the best of WBUR and NPR to life – it is a destination where people can come together to engage in civic dialogue, to wrestle with big ideas, to be inspired, to be entertained, and to be educated on topics that impact our community and our lives.” Mayor Walsh notes, “The city of Boston is excited to welcome WBUR’s CitySpace, a convening space that will help bring diverse thinkers, innovators, and performers together to create an inclusive community for all that it serves. This new space will act as an important public hub engaging our residents on issues that are shaping Boston and the country.” The calendar of events already includes discussions with Boston Marathon champions; authors and chefs; brown-bag musical performances by Boston University students; trivia nights with WBUR staff; and adult spelling bees. The venue accommodates up to 275 people and has state-of-the-art audio and robotic high-definition video technology for live streaming and recording, robotically controlled theatrical lighting, a pneumatic stage, and a video presentation wall. First-year CitySpace guests scheduled to appear include comedian/former Air America host Janeane Garofalo, “The Good Place” creator Michael Schur, composer Philip Glass, and author Margaret Atwood.

Southern California Broadcasters Association Shares Its 2019 “Automotive Overview.” In an ongoing series, the Southern California Broadcasters Association delivers an in-depth analysis of a particular industry or topic directly relevant for its members and the radio industry. This particular report, available on SCBA’s website, “challenges the auto industry’s focus” on non-radio digital platforms by “making a compelling case” for broadcast radio and the influence radio advertising has on today’s car buyers. The overview reveals that “year-over-year vehicle sales have remained essentially flat to down the past four years, highlighting SCBA’s case that media reallocation and a true ROI analysis of current ad spending by the automakers is urgently recommended.” SCBA president Thom Callahan remarks, “Based on factual research, it is our view that broadcast radio is the underrated and undervalued workhorse for the auto industry. Not only will 23% of auto buyers visit a dealership after hearing a radio ad, but one in ten will actually buy a vehicle after hearing a dealer radio ad. The auto industry must reevaluate its dependence on digital since increased digital ad spending has not delivered increased retail sales. Spending 63% of automotive ad budgets with digital is not sustainable.” Previous SCBA reports include topics such as “E-Commerce Basics to Know,” “Consumer Response to Broadcast Radio versus Pandora,” and “Consumer Response to Broadcast Radio versus Digital and Social Media.”

Michael Harrison Addresses South Florida Art CommunityTALKERS publisher Michael Harrison served as special guest speaker addressing a gathering of approximately 70 emerging local artists last evening (1/30) at a workshop titled “The Thriving Art Exchange” at the CJR Fine Art Gallery in Royal Palm Beach, Florida.  The event was presented by the Clark Hulings Fund for Visual Artists and honored the work of Rickie Leiter, publisher of a Palm Beach County-based art industry trade publication, The Rickie Report.  In his speech, Harrison focused on opportunities available to independent artists in the rapidly evolving digital era in both the creative and marketing arenas.  He opened his talk with a humorous anecdote, “The last time I addressed a group of visual artists was when I served as keynote speaker at the first annual convention of the National Association of Cave Wall Painters.”  Harrison said, “It was a time when the standard method of painting was to put colored pigments on your hands and paint directly with your fingers onto the walls of caves.  The big issue that year was what to do about the introduction of a new gadget called the paint brush and whether images created with this new technology were truly ‘art.’”  Harrison concluded, “The argument became a non-issue when the stone tablet was invented shortly thereafter and paintings could be taken to places outside the cave.  That form of disruption was the first example of mobile media!”

 

“PodGOATs” Launches Today. The series of Comworld Media-produced “PodGOATS” podcasts features Cumulus Media Nashville news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm) host Phil Valentine and his millennial son, Campbell Valentine. The elder Valentine remarks, “I can’t remember having this much fun doing something in a long time,” while recent University of Tennessee graduate Campbell counters, “You can’t remember – period.” The two will discuss everything from their top three picks of events that changed the world to what to do if an electromagnetic pulse took down the electrical grid. They talk spies, conspiracy theories, and anything else in today’s society and culture. Five episodes debut today (2/1) with a new podcast – available on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, – released once a week each Sunday afternoon.

Grabbing Gronk. Preparing for its coverage of Super Bowl LIII this Sunday (2/3) when the New England Patriots take on the Los Angeles Rams, the NFL’s exclusive network radio partner – Westwood One – has been interviewing players, coaches, and special guests for their weeknight “Road to Super Bowl LIII” program; “Super Bowl Preview”; and “Super Sunday” shows airing prior to Sunday’s big game in Atlanta. Seen above is the voice of NFL Films, Scott Graham, chatting with New England Patriots tight end Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski. This is the 32nd consecutive year – and 46th time overall – that Westwood One will broadcast the Super Bowl.

CBS News Radio Offers Radio Version of “Intelligence Matters” Podcast. Starting tomorrow (Saturday, 2/2), former CIA deputy director/intelligence analyst and CBS News national security contributor Michael Morell begins hosting a one-hour radio version of the “Intelligence Matters” podcast, which emanates from CBS News’ Washington, D.C bureau. CBS News Radio general manager Craig Swagler notes, “We are delighted to offer Michael Morell’s programs and expertise to our affiliates. Michael’s keen insight into the world of intelligence is a hot topic in today’s fast-moving world. It is the right time to bring his hugely successful podcast to radio audiences everywhere.” Leaders throughout the U.S. intelligence community will discuss national security policy and current events with Morell, a central figure in the most significant U.S. counter-terrorism efforts of the past two decades.

Rockcastle Media Networks’ Radio Nebraska Network Launches Next Monday. The national radio network expands by creating a Rockcastle Regional Networks division, with the Radio Nebraska Network scheduled to deliver its first newscasts via FTP download next Monday (2/4). Rockcastle Media Networks president/chief executive officer Will Sterrett comments, “When we learned the Nebraska Radio Network folded, our thoughts turned to serving those affiliates and listeners with high-quality radio news. We are excited to offer four newscasts each weekday with much more to come down the road.” As is the case with all other Rockcastle Media Networks programming, the Radio Nebraska Network is available on a market-exclusive, 100% self-contained barter basis. Prior to Rockcastle Media Networks, Sterrett worked in radio news at the CNN Radio Network; Texas State Network; Waitt Radio Networks, Omaha; KRLD-AM, Dallas; KTRH, Houston; and WLW, Cincinnati.

Border Wall Battle Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 27-February 1. The ongoing battle over funding for a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers Ten.  At #2 this week was Robert Mueller‘s Trump-Russia investigation.  Coming in at #3 was President Trump‘s attacks on intel chief Dan Coats over his report on North Korea and Iran, followed by the record Midwestern cold snap at #4.  The Talkers Ten 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.

SiriusXM Finalizes Pandora Purchase. The $3.5 billion deal (at a ratio of 1.44 new SiriusXM shares for each Pandora share) creates a digital audio entity reaching 100 million North America listeners. The closing comes three days after Pandora stockholders approved the acquisition. The deal was okayed by the Department of Justice approximately six weeks ago (12/21). In a prepared statement, SiriusXM chief executive officer Jim Meyer – who now leads the combined company – notes, “This is a tremendous outcome for two organizations with complementary platforms and large audiences. We could not be more excited to be moving forward as one company. SiriusXM is a subscription-based national service of curated and exclusive content and programming, and Pandora is the largest U.S. streaming music provider with its highly personalized free ad-supported service. This is a powerful platform under one roof for consumers, content creators, and advertisers. We look forward to creating unique audio packages that combine our strengths and offer an even wider range of content to our listeners.” Pandora’s 16-month chief executive officer and Sling TV founder, Roger Lynch, is leaving the company, as are general counsel Steve Bene, chief financial officer Naveen Chopra, and chief human resources officer Kristen Robinson.

PPM Analysis: A Closer Look at “Holiday” 2018. Each month, managing editor Mike Kinosian takes an in-depth look at four formats and reports on some of the trends he’s noticed. Adult contemporary is in the spotlight today as Mike delves into the mostly ups – and occasional downs – AC experienced in the “Holiday” 2018 ratings period. The format that leads the way in the all-Christmas music programming strategy accounts for 77% of “Holiday” 2018 #1 finishers (6+). In addition, Bonneville-owned Salt Lake City AC KSFI is the only station in any PPM-market to reach the 20-share level (21.8, 6+) in “Holiday” 2018. Check out all the facts and figures here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Dallas contemporary Christian KAWA “Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” general manager Tim Dukes is named mid-south regional manager over parent company WAY Media properties in Nashville and Clarksville (Tennessee); Louisville and Bowling Green (Kentucky); and Birmingham and Huntsville (Alabama). WAY-FM Network chief operating officer Lloyd Parker states, “We are excited that Tim has accepted the role and challenge of managing our mid-south region. Tim is respected and uniquely-qualified for this position with his many years of mainstream radio experience, plus his time on the pastoral staff at Gateway Church in Dallas-Fort Worth and as chief operating officer of the Dallas-based Halftime Institute. He’s going to do a great job.” Dukes – who will continue to manage KAWA  until a new general manager is named – remarks, “Joining WAY-FM in 2015 has given me some of the most enjoyable, and certainly the most fulfilling, years of my career. Louisville is my hometown. I went to college in Nashville and started in radio there, so this is an especially exciting appointment to me.” His past programming credits include Chicago’s WLUP and Cincinnati’s WEBN, as well as being director of FM programming for Jacor San Diego ….. Today (2/1) on his syndicated show, Tom Joyner announced the “One More Time Experience” multi-city tour, which begins May 10 in Washington, DC and continues throughout the summer. Joyner states, “I hope everyone will be as excited as I am to celebrate with good music, good fun, and good hugs. We have 25 years’ worth of partying to achieve, so let’s do it together.” Confirmed dates and places so far – in addition to May 10 in Washington – include Cleveland (June 7); Indianapolis (June 8); Columbus (July 12); St. Louis (July 13); Raleigh (July 19); and Charlotte (July 20). Also on today’s “Tom Joyner Morning Show,” New Jersey Democratic Senator Cory Booker announced he is running for president ….. Starting next Thursday (2/7), Afentra – who formerly did mornings at Entercom Kansas City alternative KRBZ “The Buzz,” (“Afentra’s Big Fat Morning Buzz”) – will join cross-town Cumulus Media-owned KCJK “X-105.1 Kansas City’s Alternative” for 3:00 pm – 8:00 pm duty. Cumulus midwest region vice president Donna Baker states, “Afentra has the gift of observing life in a manner that is real, whether hilarious or poignant, and sharing that in a way that truly connects.” Cumulus Media and Westwood One executive vice president, content & programming Mike McVay comments, “The opportunity to bring Afentra to the Cumulus Kansas City cluster was one we simply couldn’t pass up. A talent with her skills, experience and market heritage is a rare find.” KCJK program director Mike O’Reilly notes, “Sometimes in a lineup strategy, you get lucky and make a big splash. Adding Afentra is more along the lines of a tidal wave for Kansas City alternative, while Afentra explains that KCJK “didnʼt just say they wanted me, they showed me. Wanting me – my thoughts and my experience –  speaks to my soul. I’m rested, excited, and ready to win.” ….. Assistant music programmer Brian Denicola is promoted to program director of SiriusXM’s “60s on 6” channel. Senior director of programming Lou Simon writes in an internal memo, “Brian has exemplified a great level of care and focus and has developed relationships with each of you, making sure he has what you need and providing you with inspiration for added creativity. His copywriting; attention to detail in editing logs; and his creativity have all led to this appointment. I will remain in a position of oversight and Bond Collard will remain as the channel coordinator, doing a spectacular job in that role.” Denicola had been programming the channel on an interim basis ….. Three-year WRQX “Mix 107.3,” Washington, DC afternoon drive talent Jason Kidd exits the Cumulus Media hot AC. “Mix” program director/Cumulus Media vice president of hot AC programming Rob Roberts is seeking Kidd’s successor ….. Mainstream CHR KYYY “Y-93” Bismarck (North Dakota) program director Joey Dee transfers to iHeartMedia Omaha sibling KISO “96.1 Kiss FM Omaha’s #1 For All The Hits” as program director/afternoon drive host. Senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia Omaha Erik Johnson comments, “We are extremely excited to welcome Joey Dee to the ‘96.1 Kiss FM’ team. His major-market experience and creative ideas will help make [KISO] a market leader.” Dee adds, “Making my pilgrimage to Omaha is a dream come true for me as a CHR programmer. I am incredibly excited to work with the entire iHeartMedia Omaha team and I look forward to taking ‘96.1 Kiss FM’ all the way to number one.” Dee previously was assistant program director for Hubbard Seattle CHR KQMV “Movin’ 92.5” and has programmed Bismarck’s KKCT ….. On-air lineup adjustments at Entercom Buffalo’s WLKK “Alternative Buffalo” find “Emily” in extended morning drive (6:00 am – 11:00 am); “Brandi” middays (11:00 am – 3:00 pm); Nik Rivers in afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm); and “Axe” handling 7:00 pm – 12:00 midnight duties.

Monday, January 28, 2019

| January 28, 2019

Monday Memo: Improving Results from Endorsement Spots. Consultant Holland Cooke writes today in his Monday Memo for TALKERS magazine about getting better results from endorsement spots done on talk radio.  He has some tips for avoiding copy mistakes that won’t help the advertiser, for eliminating the error of too much copy, and for zeroing in on the listeners’ needs. Read it here.

Entercom Names 2019 Format Captains.  The new format captains for Entercom Communications have been named for the year 2019.  These duties are assigned for one-year terms and are in addition to their existing roles. In the spoken-word realm, Mark Chernoff and Matt Nahagian are format captains for sports talk, Alan Furst holds that title for talk, and Ben Mevorak and Ken Charles are format captains for news.  The following are format captains for music formats: Chris Ebbot – classic hits; Jimmy Gonzalez – Spanish language; Michael Kaplan – alternative; Brian Kelly – CHR; Dave Richards – rock /classic rock; Tim Roberts – country; Reggie Rouse – urban; Jim Ryan and Nikki Nite – adult contemporary; Steve Salhany – hot AC.  Michael Martin continues his role as SVP of programming and music initiatives, overseeing all national artist bookings and routing efforts for the company, along with other music industry initiatives coming this year.

WRNL, Richmond Re-Brands; Adds ‘Sports Junkies’ for Morning Drive. Richmond, Virginia sports talk outlet WRNL-AM continues as an affiliate of FOX Sports Radio, but drops the name from its brand, changing to “Richmond Sports Radio 910 The Fan.”  As part of the change, the Entercom station adds the WJFK-FM, Washington-based “Sports Junkies” morning show to the program schedule.  Entercom Virginia SVP and market manager Bennett Zier says, “We’re delighted to welcome the ‘Sports Junkies’ to Richmond.  Their signature provocative and interesting take on sports, built over 20 years, will be a welcome addition to our stellar lineup that includes talented hosts like Wes McElroy.”   McElroy is the afternoon drive personality and he says, “I’m ecstatic and honored that Entercom has asked me to be part of their exciting new lineup.  After a dozen years on air in Virginia, this is home and there’s no other place I’d rather be.  I’m equally excited to welcome one of the best sports radio teams ‘The Junkies’ to the Richmond, Virginia area.”  The station also serves as the flagship station for the minor league baseball club the Richmond Flying Squirrels, Virginia Tech football and Virginia Commonwealth University.

Lieberman to Lead Townsquare Media’s Tri-Cities Operations. Sales and management pro Ryan Lieberman is named market president and chief revenue officer for Townsquare Media’s Tri-Cities, Washington station group that includes: news/talk KFLD-AM; country KORD-FM, hot AC KEYW-FM “98.3 The Key,” rock KXRX-FM, and CHR KOLW “Hot 97.5.” Lieberman previously served with both CBS RADIO and Emmis Communications. Townsquare regional vice president Kevin Godwin says, “Ryan brings nearly 20 years of media leadership and performance to Townsquare and, fortunately for us, the Tri-Cities opportunity is a perfect fit.  Ryan grew up in Washington and has family in and around Tri-Cities.  Ryan brings highly competitive experiences, a true sales focus and strong local community awareness and relationships to our Tri-Cities operation.  His dynamic background and skillset add strong leadership to a key market for Townsquare.”

Grady Exits Sports Talk WFNI, Indianapolis. The Indianapolis Star reports on the exit from Emmis Communications sports talk WFNI “The Fan” of Michael Grady from the “Grady & Big Joe” late morning program.  Grady said good-bye to his listeners on Friday and noted that although he and the station negotiated to continue his employment with the station, it didn’t pan out.  The station is replacing him with Jeff Rickard for the new “Jeff & Big Joe” show.  The Indianapolis native told listeners, “You all have allowed me to live out a dream.  It’s been an honor and a privilege to talk, debate, and joke with you all these past eight years.”  In 2017, Grady moved to New York to serve as a courtside reporter for the Brooklyn Nets with the YES Network.  He continued to work the WFNI show from New York.

TALKERS News Notes. As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Chicago sports radio figure Mike North is writing his autobiography with the assistance of his current business partner Aldo Gandia.  North, who rose from the hot dog vending business to becoming one of the founding personalities of WSCR “The Score,” tells Feder, “I’m doing this by writing 26 chapters.  Each begins with a letter of the alphabet.  So under ‘A,’ for instance, I will share a part of my life and connect it with the letter ‘A.’  Believe me, this book will be fun, it will be raw and it will be real.”…..Retired radio trade writer Tom Taylor is being honored by the National Association of Broadcasters with the presentation of its Spirit of Broadcasting Award to him at the NAB Show in Las Vegas on Monday, April 8.  Taylor retired in December after three decades in the trade biz including his own Tom Taylor NOW newsletter and stints with Radio-Info.com, M Street Journal/M Street Daily, and Inside Radio.

Trump Ends Shutdown, Border Wall Battle, Trump-Russia Investigation, 2020 Democratic Candidates, Venezuelan Crisis, ‘El Chapo’ Trial, SAG Awards, and Super Bowl LIII Build-Up Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The federal government shutdown ends as President Trump agrees to re-open it; the ongoing battle for a U.S.-Mexico border wall; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents and the related indictment of former Trump adviser Roger Stone; the Democratic candidates lining up to challenge Donald Trump in 2020; the political crisis in Venezuela as the U.S. recognizes Juan Guaido as leader over President Nicolas Maduro; the trial of Mexican drug lord Juaquin “El Chapo” Guzman; Sunday night’s Screen Actors Guild awards; and the build-up to Super Bowl LIII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Political Consultant, Pundit and Author Dick Morris Is Guest on Harrison Podcast. The man who had President Bill Clinton’s ear for several years during his presidency and wielded tremendous political influence in the 1990s, Dick Morris, is the guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Morris, a prolific author, has just published his latest book, 50 Shades of Politics (Triangulation Publishing, 2019). It consists of 100 short stories covering highlights of his 50-year career in politics and follows his evolution from being a “blue,” liberal Democrat to a “purple,” moderate bi-partisan, to a “red,” conservative Republican covering many political “shades” along the way. Harrison and Morris discuss some of the juicy, behind-the-scenes stories contained in the book and then some, including the “dirt” dished in its pages about Bill and Hillary Clinton. Check it out! 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 the TALKERS email newsletter and every page of Talkers.com.

Elizabeth Fazio Rises at Premiere Networks. In the span of six years, Elizabeth Fazio has risen from operations manager for Premiere Networks’ “Elvis Duran and the Morning Show” to her new post as vice president of national talent engagement and events.  She reports to Premiere EVP of entertainment programming, Jennifer Leimgruber.  The company says that in this newly created position, Fazio will continue to work closely with Premiere’s national entertainment radio programs – including “Elvis Duran and the Morning Show,” “On Air with Ryan Seacrest,” “The Bobby Bones Show,” “The Breakfast Club,” and “Brooke & Jubal,” to develop and coach producers and on-air talent, guide audience research projects, identify and help create digital/social content, and increase engagement.  She’ll also manage affiliate talent endorsements and evaluate show performance and listener engagement while serving as broadcast talent manager and talent producer for the live radio broadcasts of iHeartMedia’s events, such as the iHeartRadio Music Festival and the iHeartRadio Music Awards.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. San Diego media personality Meryl Klemow is joining Tegna’s adult hits KFMB-FM as a cast member of “The Cantore Show” with host Chris Cantore.  The station notes that she is currently the co-host of the podcasts “Campfire Sht Show” and “What’s Good” on the ListenSD platform.  KFMB-FM program director Mike V. Vasquez says, “Meryl lights up the room when she walks into it.  I know that her loveable and hilarious personality will similarly light up the airwaves every morning too!  Chris and Meryl are long-time friends, so they already have natural chemistry.  I’m excited to have her join our 100.7 San Diego family.”…..Station owner Bob Kieve is taking classic country KLIV-AM, San Jose dark after attempts to sell the signal brought in only one lowball offer.  Kieve is selling his company’s sister station, country KRTY-FM.  KLIV-AM has been located at the same site since it first went on the air in 1946…..Benztown and The National Radio Talent System, the system of Radio Talent Institutes across America, announce the launch of the Benztown Mentorship Program that offers one-to-one mentoring to select students accepted into The Radio Talent Institutes.  The program’s first quarter mentee is Susquehanna University student Carly Rogers, who will be personally mentored by WRQX, Washington “Mix 107.3” morning personality Jack Diamond this month through March…..TALKERS magazine sends condolences to the family and friends of Westwood One mainstream country format personality Scott Simon, a.k.a. Scott Smith, who died suddenly on January 25.  Simon had worked at the company’s 24/7 formats division since October 2017.  Country programming VP George King says, “All of us at Westwood One are very saddened about the news and our hearts are with his family. Scott was an incredible jock and just a great person.  He will be missed.”…..Pictured below is country artist Scotty McCreery (center) in the studios at the nationally syndicated Ty Bentli morning show with Bentli (left) and Chuck Wicks (right).  Bentli talked about how a kid from Carolina became a Patriots fan, about his music, the video for “This Is It,” and more.

“Holiday” 2018 PPM Data – Part Four. “Holiday” 2018 ratings information has been released for Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s “Holiday” 2018 survey period covered December 6 (2018) – January 2 (2019). 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.

Austin

Spoken-Word Formats – In back-to-back sweeps, Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM is a combined -1.8 (4.5 – 3.7 – 2.7, 6+) as “News Radio 590 AM” drifts out of the top ten (#9 to #14). The last time KLBJ-AM, which gained nine-tenths in November, fell below a three-share (6+) was in “Holiday” 2017 (2.8).

Off one-half share to 1.9 (#15 to #15, 6+), Genuine Austin Radio sports talk KTXX “The Horn” breaks a repetitive September 2018 – December 2018 pattern of 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.4 (6+). While it continues at #24, iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” drops one-tenth to .6 (6+), thus ending seven straight sweeps without a loss in which it more than doubled (+.4) its 6+-share (.3 – .3 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .6 – .7 – .7, 6+).

A combined +1.5 in September and October (7.1 – 7.9 – 8.6, 6+), University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk KUT is now off an overall eight-tenths in three straight declines (8.6 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 7.8, second to third, 6+). Before dropping to second in December, KUT was #1 for three consecutive months.

Austin Music Formats – The five most recent fluctuations for Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ are -1.2 (September); +1.2 (October); -.5 (November); +1.2 (December); and now +2.1 in “Holiday” 2018 (7.4 – 9.5, 6+) as “Majic 95.5” marches from third to first. Its current 9.5 represents the strongest 6+-stat for KKMJ since “Holiday” 2017 (12.4). Despite being a cumulative +2.0 in five straight up or flat moves (7.3 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 8.3 – 8.3 – 9.3, 6+), Emmis adult hits KPBA “103.5 Bob-FM” segues from first to the runner-up slot it held three straight months before advancing to #1 in December. Prior to December, the last time “Bob” held the top spot was in August. There is plenty of movement in the market’s three-way country battle. Specifically, Genuine Austin Radio-owned KOKE-FM “Austin’s Country Alternative” has nearly doubled (+1.1) its 6+-stat in three straight bumps (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.4, #18 to #15, 6+), while iHeartMedia-owned KVET-FM “98.1 The Austin, Texas Original” improves by one-half share to 5.0 (seventh to fifth, 6+), thus curtailing three straight decreases that accounted for a collective loss of eight-tenths (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.6 – 4.5, 6+). Before posting a +.6 in September, KVET-FM was an overall -1.7 in four straight downward trends (6.4 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 5.6 – 4.7, 6+). Conversely, co-owned KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country,” which had been trending 5.3 – 5.4 – 5.6 (6+), erodes by -1.9 to 3.7 (fourth to seventh, 6+). Rhythmic CHR cluster-mate KPEZ “102.3 The Beat” recaptures in its entirety the one-half share it lost in December (3.4 – 2.9 – 3.4, #13 to #11, 6+). When Emmis’ KLBJ-FM gained three-tenths in December, it halted three consecutive down or flat trends that yielded a collective -1.3 (4.7 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.4, 6+) but “93.7 The Rock of Austin” falters by one-half share in “Holiday” 2018 (3.7 – 3.2) and departs the top ten (#9 to #12). In addition to being a cumulative +1.4 in three straight increases (2.1 – 2.7 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+), University of Texas at Austin-owned triple A KUTX enters the top ten (#11 to #10). Prior to dropping three-tenths in October, “98.9 The Austin Music Experience” was up an overall six-tenths via six straight sweeps without a loss (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+).

Raleigh

Spoken-Word Formats – This marks iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK’s third straight negative trend for a -1.7 (6.3 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 4.6, 6+) as “106.1 Stay Connected” drops from sixth to eighth. WTKK was a combined +1.2 (5.1 – 5.5 – 6.3, 6+) in September and October. With a loss of two-tenths (1.7 – 1.5, 6+), Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF slips from #18 to #20. Prior to faltering by two-tenths in November, “News Radio 680” had nearly doubled (+.8) its 6+-share in eight straight sweeps without a loss (1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+).

Having been a combined +.6 in September and October (1.8 – 2.2 – 2.4, 6+), Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC “99.9 The Fan” is now an overall -.8 in three straight decreases (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 1.6, #17 to #18, 6+). Its September gain of four-tenths stopped three losses in a row that accounted for more than a 50% reduction (-2.1) of its 6+-share (3.9 – 2.6 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+).

This is the fifth loss in a row for University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” for a collective -1.7 (8.8 – 8.4 – 8.3 – 7.4 – 7.2 – 7.1, third to fourth, 6+). Recently, WUNC has gone from third to first (June, +9); first to third (July, -1.1); third to first (August, +1.2, 6+); first to second (September, -.4+); and second to third (November, -.9, 6+).

Raleigh Music Formats – Owing to a cumulative +4.3 via three consecutive up or flat trends (5.3 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 9.6, 6+), Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5” advances from fourth to second. This (9.6) is its strongest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 10.4. From Greensboro, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WMAG “99.5 The Best Variety of the ‘80s, ’90s, & Today” is an overall +2.1 in four straight sweeps without a loss (.4 .4 – .4 – 1.4 – 2.5, 6+), jumping from #20 to #15. The three most recent moves for Radio One urban AC WFXC are +.9 (November); -1.5 (December); and now +1.1 in “Holiday” 2018 (8.8 – 9.9, 6+) as “Foxy Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is #1 for the fifth straight time. November’s 10.3 is its strongest 6+-stat since January 2018’s 10.7. As a result of three straight increases, Educational Information Corporation’s WCPE “89.7 The Classical Station” is up +1.0 (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.2 – 2.7, #16 to #14, 6+). Immediately after posting a +1.0 in December, Curtis Media Group classic hits-oldies WKIX erases it with a -1.0 (4.1 – 5.1 – 4.1, 6+) as “KIX 102.9 Carolina’s Greatest Hits” departs the top ten (#10 to #11). In December, WKIX reached the five-share level (5.1) for the first time since March 2018’s 5.0. While it remains at #9, iHeartMedia CHR WDCG “G-105 Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” is a collective -1.0 in three straight losses (5.5 – 5.4 – 5.2 – 4.5, 6+). Co-owned WRDU “Classic Rock 100.7,” which was trending 5.8 – 5.6 – 5.8 (6+), falters by six-tenths to 5.2 (6+) and remains at #6. Off one-half share (each) are Curtis Media Group adult hits WBBB “96.1 Your Life – Your Music” (5.6 – 5.1, flat at #7, 6+) and Radio One gospel WNNL “103.9 The Light,” which actually advances from #11 to #10. December’s +.7 by WBBB ended a mini-slide that accounted for a -1.2 (6.1 – 5.2 – 4.9, 6+). “The Light” is a collective -1.0 in four successive sweeps without an increase (5.2 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.2, 6+). Even though it is a cumulative -2.3 as the result of three negative moves in succession (8.0 – 6.3 – 6.1 – 5.7, 6+), Curtis Media Group’s WQDR “94.7 QDR Today’s Best Country” remains at #5. With a +1.0 in September, WQDR suspended three straight downward moves that led to a -1.2 (8.1 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 6.9, 6+).

Indianapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Replicating December’s -.9 (7.2 – 6.3 – 5.4, 6+), Emmis news/talk WIBC skids from fourth to sixth. “Indy’s Mobile News 93.1” was -.7 (September); +1.0 (October); and +.7 (November).

Following five straight up or flat trends for an overall +1.2 (1.6 – 1.6 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.8,  6+), WIBC’s sports talk sibling, WFNI “The Fan – Indy’s Sports Center,” is off three-tenths to 2.5 (#14 to #15, 6+). December 2018’s 2.8 is its best 6+-stat since 3.1 in December 2017. A combined -.9 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (2.3 – 1.9 – 1.4, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WNDE drops from #17 to #18. Entering the December sweep, “Indy’s Sports Station” netted eight-tenths via five straight sweeps without a loss (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 2.2 – 2.3, 6+).

Wiping away all but one-tenth of November and December’s combined +.8 with a “Holiday” 2018 loss of seven-tenths (4.1 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 4.2, 6+), Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI falls from eighth to tenth.

Indianapolis Music Formats – Boasting a combined +9.6 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.8 – 9.0 – 16.4, 6+), Emmis adult contemporary WYXB “B-105.7” progresses from second to first. This (16.4) is the highest 6+-stat by any Indianapolis station since “B-105.7” notched a 17.7 in “Holiday” 2016. Prior to its combined -.7 in October and November (7.5 – 7.1 – 6.8, 6+), WYXB was an overall +1.4 in four consecutive up or flat moves (6.1 – 6.6 – 6.6 – 6.8 – 7.5, 6+). After spending the last six ratings periods at #1, Cumulus Media’s WJJK drops to third, as “Classic Hits 104.5” craters by a combined -2.9 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (9.9 – 9.2 – 6.9, 6+). Its November decrease of one-tenth suspended five successive uptrends which netted a +3.2 (6.8 – 7.3 – 7.9 – 8.6 – 9.7 – 10.0, 6+). In October, WJJK reached 10.0, the highest 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. Off eight-tenths in a down/up pattern that started in June (4.3 – 3.2 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 3.5 – 4.3 – 3.5, 6+), Entercom hot AC WNTR shifts from #12 to #13; “107.9 The Mix” was up eight-tenths in December. Faltering by seven-tenths (each) are its CHR sibling WZPL “99.5 ZPL” (5.3 – 4.6, unchanged at #7, 6+) and iHeartMedia alternative WOLT “Alt 103.3” (3.9, #10 to #11, 6+), which had been up one-half share through three successive gains (4.1 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.6, 6+). There are similar scenarios for the market’s two country players, including Cumulus Media’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station,” which is a cumulative -2.2 in three downturns in succession (8.3 – 8.0 – 6.2 – 6.1, 6+) yet advances from fifth to fourth. WFMS finished at #2 in October and November and was #1 in April 2018, May, and June. It has been -.5 (February 2018); +1.0 (April); +.5 (May); -.5 (July); -.7 (August); +.9 (October); and -1.8 (December). Meanwhile, notwithstanding that it is an overall -1.3 in three straight decreases (5.7 – 5.0 – 4.6 – 4.4, 6+), Emmis-owned WLHK proceeds from tenth to ninth. “Country 97.1 Hank FM” was -1.5 (September); +.6 (October); and -.7 (November). Flat at #16, Radio One CHR WNOW “100.9 Radio Now” is down or flat for the seventh straight time for a collective -1.4 (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+).

Milwaukee

Spoken-Word Formats – Even though WTMJ “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” is down for the third straight time for an overall -3.8 (10.4 – 9.4 – 6.8 – 6.6, 6+), the Good Karma Brands news/talk outlet advances from fifth to fourth. This (6.2) is the lowest 6+-showing for the flagship of the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Bucks, and Milwaukee Brewers since March 2018 (6.0). Its rollercoaster ride has included -.8 (January 2018); +.9 (February); +1.9 (April); -.6 (May); +.5 (June); -.5 (August); +.6 (September); +2.5 (October); -1.0 (November); -2.6 (December); and -.6 (“Holiday” 2018). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WISN “News/Talk 1130,” a combined +1.3 in October and November, follows with a -2.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.9 – 6.3 – 4.6, sixth to eighth, 6+). Immediately before October, WISN was -2.1 in four straight decreases (7.7 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 6.2 – 5.6, 6+).

Off a cumulative eight-tenths in three straight downturns (1.9 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.1, 6+), Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” nonetheless moves from #16 to #15. Its November loss of four-tenths ended four consecutive increases that accounted for a collective gain of seven-tenths (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.9, 6+).

Good Karma Brands’ recent country-to-sports talk convert WKTI “94.5 ESPN” is an overall -3.7 in eight straight sweeps without an increase (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 2.3 – .8 – .7, #18 to #17, 6+). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia flipped CHR WRNW “97.7 Now” to sports talk “97.3 The Game” in late-November.” Up one-tenth in back-to-back reports (2.6 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), “The Game” craters by -2.5 to .3 (6+) and exits the top twenty (#14 to #21, 6+). A gain of one-tenth to .3 (6+) sends co-owned WOKY from #24 to #21, where it is tied with “The Game.” Before dropping three-tenths in December, “The Big 920” quintupled (+.4) its 6+-share in seven successive sweeps without a loss (.1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .4 – .5, 6+).

Three straight upticks by WUWM accounted for a collective +1.5 (2.7 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.2, 6+), but the University of Wisconsin news/talk station forfeits six-tenths to 3.6 (6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #11). Prior to October, WUWM ranked #14 for three straight months and had been within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for 17 consecutive sweeps. The June 2018 – “Holiday” 2018 topline for Wisconsin Public Radio news/talk WHAD is .9 – .9 – .7 – .9 – .7 – .8 – .8 – .6 (#18 to #19, 6+).

Milwaukee Music Formats – Dislodged from the top spot back in October, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” returns there by roaring back from December’s -1.0 with a rousing +3.8 (7.7 – 11.5, 6+). WRIT spent 43 consecutive ratings periods at #1 before shifting to the #2 slot in October, November, and December. This (11.5) is the strongest 6+-stat for any Milwaukee station since WRIT’s 11.6 in “Holiday” 2017. It is a brief (December-only) stay at #1 for Saga Communications’ WKLH (7.8 – 7.7, -.1, first to third, 6+). A December increase of six-tenths propelled “Hometown Rock 96.5” from fourth to first. Over and above matching December’s +2.6 (5.1 – 7.7 – 10.3, 6+) and remaining in second-place, Milwaukee Radio Alliance adult contemporary WLDB “B-93.3 The ‘80s to Today” reaches double-digits (10.3, 6+) for the first time in its PPM-history, doubling its November 2018 6+ AQH-share. Trending between 4.5 – 4.9 (6+) from July through December, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WKKV “V-100.7” busts out a +1.2 to 5.9 (eighth to seventh, 6+). Without a loss for the fifth straight report for an overall +1.3 (.8 – 1.2 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+), Saga Communications’ rhythmic CHR WNRG “Energy 106.9” bumps up from #15 to #14. Dropping from eighth to tenth, co-owned WHQG “102.9 The Hog – Everything That Rocks” is a cumulative -2.0 in five successive decreases (5.8 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.7 – 3.8, 6+). Three gains in succession by co-owned WMIL yielded a +2.2 (5.3 – 5.6 – 6.2 – 7.5, 6+), but “FM 106.1 Milwaukee’s Best Country” is a combined -1.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (7.5 – 7.3 – 6.2, flat at #4, 6+).

Nashville

Spoken-Word Formats – Flat at #14, Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN has lost eight-tenths via three straight dips (4.0 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+). In 13 of the last 14 sweeps, “Super Talk 99.7” has been within 3.0 – 3.9 range (6+); the exception was October 2018 when it logged a 4.0 (6+).

Having nearly doubled (+.6) its 6+-stat through three gains in a row (7 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC “Talk Radio 1510” is off three-tenths to 1.0 (6+) but remains at #19.

In the last six sweeps, Cumulus Media sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” is +.6 (August); +1.4 (September); +1.3 (October); -.9 (November); +.2 (December); and now -.8 in “Holiday 2018” (5.6 – 4.8, sixth to eighth, 6+). The Tennessee Titans’ flagship was a collective +3.3 in four consecutive up or flat moves (3.0 – 3.0 – 3.6 – 5.0 – 6.3, 6+), with October’s 6.3 its highest 6+-share since January 2018’s 6.5. Cromwell Group-owned sports talk WPRT “102.5 The Game” erases December’s -.1 with a +.2 (1.6 – 1.8, #18 to #17, 6+). December’s loss of one-tenth pulled the plug on three consecutive improvements that netted a +1.0 (.7 – .8 – 1.3 – 1.7, 6+). That streak immediately followed four straight decreases that accounted for a -1.9 (2.6 – 2.5 – .9 – .8 – .7, 6+).

Following a December increase of four-tenths, which halted three down moves in a row for a collective -1.5 (4.9 – 4.6 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+), Nashville Public Radio news/talk/classical hybrid WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” returns two-tenths (3.8 – 3.6, flat at #11, 6+). Its internet “stream” is up seven-tenths since surfacing in September 2018 (.2 – .6 – .7 – .9 – .9, #20 to #22, 6+).

Nashville Music Formats – Holding down the top spot for the 12th successive ratings period is Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA (10.9 – 14.1, 6+). This (14.1) is the highest 6+-share for any Nashville outlet since the 14.4 “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” notched in “Holiday” 2017. Among its recent fluctuations are: -6.7 (January 2018); +1.0 (February); -.5 (May); +1.0 (June); +.9 (August); -.9 (September); -.7 (October); +.9 (November); +1.9 (December); and +3.2 (“Holiday” 2018). With a +1.2 to 7.3 (fourth to second, 6+), co-owned adult hits WCJK “96.3 Jack FM Playing What We Want” applies the brakes to five downturns in succession that led to a cumulative -2.0 (8.1- 7.8 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+). Resurfacing in print in August (2018), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFFH “The Fish” logs four straight positive spikes accounting for a +1.9 (2.8 – 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.7, September through “Holiday” 2018, 6+) and enters the top ten (#11 to #9). The market’s (6+) mainstream CHR share shrinks by -2.4, as iHeartMedia CHR WRVW “107.5 The River” is -1.8 (second to seventh, 6+) and Midwest Communications’ WNFN “106.7 Nashville’s New Hit Music” drops six-tenths (2.6 – 2.0, flat at #16, 6+). “The River” had been a combined +2.4 through five straight gains (4.4 – 4.8 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4 – 6.8, 6+); December’s 6.8 is its best 6+-stat in over a year (7.2, October 2017). In addition to being -2.0 via three consecutive setbacks (5.5 – 5.0 – 4.6 – 3.5, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WSIX drops out of the top ten (#9 to #12). “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” was a combined +1.2 in September and October (4.3 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+). Gaining one-tenth (each) are the market’s other two country FMs – Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” (5.1 – 5.2, eighth to sixth, 6+) and “Nash Icon” sibling WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” (4.1 – 4.2, steady at #10, 6+). WSM-FM is rebounding from December’s -1.5; it was +.8 in November and -1.0 in September. After posting three increases in a row for a +.7 (3.6 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.3, 6+), WKDF surrendered two-tenths in December. After recording a 1.1 (#17, 6+) in March 2018, country WSIX-HD2 is unlisted for the tenth time in a row. By dropping one-half share to 2.5 (unchanged at #15, 6+), Cromwell Group alternative WBUZ “102.9 The Buzz” ends its October-November-December (6+) sequence of 3.0 – 3.4 – 3.0. Stable at #3, iHeartMedia-owned WNRQ “105.9 The Rock – Nashville’s Classic Rock” is nonetheless without an increase for the fifth consecutive time for a combined -1.4 (7.8 – 7.6 – 6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.4, 6+). August’s 7.8 was the best 6+-stat for WNRQ, which was an overall +1.5 via four consecutive increases (6.3 – 6.4 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.8, 6+), since January (7.8, as well).

Providence

Spoken-Word Formats – Even though it returns roughly half of the +1.1 it accrued in four straight sweeps without a loss (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM “News Talk 630” (4.2, -.6, 6+) remains at #6. Its August increase of three-tenths halted three straight down or flat sweeps for a -1.0 (4.7 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7, 6+). Up six-tenths in seven straight Providence sweeps without a loss (.8 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 -1.1 – 1.3 – 1.4), iHeartMedia Boston hybrid news-talk WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” is steady at #14. Following four consecutive up or flat moves that yielded six-tenths (1.1 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+), its news/talk sibling, WHJJ “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather,” is now down a combined half-share in December and “Holiday” 2018 (1.7 – 1.3 – 1.2, #14 to #18, 6+). Having its 6+-share sliced in half (.6 – .5 – .3, October-November-December, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business” picks up one-tenth to .4 (flat at #21, 6+).

Stable at #8, Entercom sports talk WVEI is a combined -1.9 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.4 – 3.8 – 3.5, 6+), directly after four successive up or flat trends that accounted for a net gain of +2.0 (3.4 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.8 – 5.4, 6+).

A loss of seven-tenths (2.3 – 1.6, 6+) sends WGBH Educational Foundation Boston news/talk WGBH out of Providence’s top ten (#9 to #12); WGBH was up one-half share in October. Down or flat for the third straight time for an overall loss of eight-tenths (2.6 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+), The Wheeler School’s news/talk WELH nonetheless remains at #10; WELH was down six-tenths in November. Immediately prior to the May sweep, public radio news/talk outlets WELH and WGBH finished back-to-back four straight times.

Providence Music Formats – Without a loss for the third straight time netting +6.8 in that stretch (9.4 – 9.4 – 12.1 – 16.2, 6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” is #1 for the sixth consecutive sweep. This (16.2) is the highest 6+-stat for any Providence station since WWLI’s 18.0 in “Holiday” 2016. In addition to continuing in the runner-up slot for the fifth time in a row and matching its best 6+-stat since June, iHeartMedia’s WHJY “94 HJY – Providence’s Home of Rock & Roll” (9.8, +1.2, 6+) ends three consecutive slides that accounted for a -.6 (9.1 – 8.7 – 8.6 – 8.5, 6+). A collective -3.1 in three straight setbacks (8.7 – 8.2 – 6.9 – 5.6 (6+), Hall Communications’ WCTK “Cat Country 98.1” slips from third to fifth. Continuing a September 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 up/down pattern of 5.1 – 5.5 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 3.8 (6+), iHeartMedia hot AC WSNE “Coast 93.3” falls from sixth to seventh. In the same vein, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWBB “B-101” has been down/up since September: -.9 (September) +.5 (October); -.5 (November); +.5 (December); and now -.2 (6.9 – 6.7, flat at #3, 6+).

 Norfolk – More than quadrupling December’s +1.5 (7.2 – 13.6, +6.4, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WWDE advances to second to first. Prior to December, “101.3 2WD” was off a collective six-tenths via four consecutive decreases (6.3 – 6.2 – 5.9 – 5.8 – 5.7, 6+). Over and above that, this (13.6) is the strongest 6+-showing in WWDE’s PPM-history. There’s yet greater significance as “2WD” displaces urban AC cluster-mate WVKL, which had been on top the past 25 survey periods. While it posts a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 34th time in the last 35 sweeps, “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” is without an increase for the fifth straight time for a -3.5 (15.5 – 13.7 – 13.7 – 13.1 – 12.9 – 12.0, 6+) and segues from first to second. Its 15.5 in August 2018 sets the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. Saga Communications’ WAFX “Classic Rock 106.9 The Fox” erases 60% of December’s -1.0 with a gain of six-tenths (6.5 – 5.5 – 6.1, 6+) and climbs from sixth to fourth; December’s 5.5 is its weakest 6+-stat since 4.7 in “Holiday” 2017. Steady at #3, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WOWI “103 JAMZ” posts a one-half share improvement (6.5 – 7.0, 6+). On the other hand, co-owned rhythmic hot AC WMOV, whose 6+ stat swelled more than nine-fold (a whopping +5.7) through five straight increases (.7 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 6.4, 6+), surrenders a -1.5 to 4.9 (fourth to sixth, 6+). Immediately prior to this particular run, “Movin’ 107.7” lost 86% of its 6+-share (-4.3) through seven successive sweeps without an increase, (5.0 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .9 – .7, 6+). As a result of five consecutive down or flat reports, including -.5 in “Holiday” 2018, Entercom-owned WNVZ “Z-104 Norfolk Rhythmic Music” is an overall -1.7 (5.3 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+) but remains at #7. Off by one-half share (each) as well in “Holiday” 2018 are Z-104’s hot AC sibling WPTE “94.9 The Point” (flat at #8) and iHeartMedia’s WNOH “Alt 105.3” (1.3 – .8, #10 to #12, 6+ ). This represent WPTE’s fourth straight decline for a collective -1.5 (3.5 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 2.5 – 2.0, 6+).

Jacksonville

Spoken-Word Formats – Off four-tenths (10.4 – 10.0, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV repeats at #2. In the previous six survey periods, “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” was -.7 (July); +.5 (August); -.6 (September); +2.0 (October); +.6 (November) and -.8 (December). November’s 11.2 is its best-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era.

Up or flat four straight sweeps for a collective gain of one-half share (.3 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .8, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk WFXJ “930 The Game – Jacksonville’s Sports Leader” is off one-tenth in back-to-back (December and “Holiday” 2018) reports (.8 – .7 – .6, flat at #20, 6+).

As it did in December, public news/talk WJCT picks up one-tenth (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+) and continues at #13. Its December gain of one-tenth halted three consecutive downward moves that led to -1.2 (3.4 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.2, 6+).

Jacksonville Music Formats – Precisely doubling December’s +2.8 with a +5.6 (10.7 – 16.3, 6+), Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WEJZ “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” repeats at #1. This (16.3) is the highest 6+-mark for any Jacksonville station since “Holiday” 2015 when WEJZ notched a 19.5. Prior to December’s increase, WEJZ was a collective -2.7 via three straight setbacks (10.6 – 9.8 – 8.6 – 7.9, 6+). Its format challenger – Cox Media Group’s WEZI “Easy 102.9” – is a combined -1.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.0, flat at #8, 6+). This follows four straight improvements that netted a +1.9 (3.4 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 5.3, 6+). In the iHeartMedia cluster, mainstream CHR WKSL “97.9 Kiss FM” wipes away November and December’s combined -.5 (3.7 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+) with a “Holiday” 2018 increase of seven-tenths (3.9, unchanged at #10, 6+), while gospel WKSL-HD3 is up six-tenths (1.9 – 2.5, #15 to #11, 6+). After racking up a +1.6 through five straight upticks (5.4 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.4 – 7.0, 6+), Cox Media Group CHR WAPE “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station” is a combined -1.8 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (7.0 – 6.5 – 5.2, fifth to sixth, 6+). November’s 7.0 is its strongest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016’s 7.4. Classic hits-oldies sibling WJGL “96.9 The Eagle” is an overall -2.0 in four consecutive slips (9.3 – 9.2 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 7.3, 6+) but stays at #3. A combined -1.4 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.6 – 2.8 – 2.2, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits WWJK “107.3 The River – We Play Anything” drops from #11 to #14. Up four-tenths in November and December (3.7 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+), Renda Broadcasting-owned WGNE “Gator Country 99.9” forfeits one-half share to 4.0 (6+) yet advances from ninth to eighth. November’s increase curtailed six successive downward moves that resulted in an overall -2.2 (5.9 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 3.7, 6+).

West Palm Beach

Spoken-Word Formats – Without an increase the past four sweeps for a loss of one-half share (2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WZZR roars back with a +1.0 to 2.5 (6+) and rockets into the top ten (#15 to a three-way tie at #9). “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk for the Palm Beaches” improved by one-half share in August. In addition to dropping seven-tenths (2.9 – 2.2, 6+), Alpha Media’s WFTL “News Talk 850” departs the top ten (#9 to #12). An October loss of four-tenths suspended at four its consecutive string of increases that netted seven-tenths (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+). Right behind WFTL, iHeartMedia news/talk WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” is a cumulative -.6 in three straight declines (2.4 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 1.8, #12 to #13, 6+). A combined -1.0 in August and September (2.9 – 2.3 – 1.9, 6+), WJNO gained one-half share in October. Miami news/talk sibling WIOD is off four-tenths (1.0 – .6, 6+) and exits the top twenty (#18 to #21, 6+).

The four most recent shifts for Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN are +.5 (October); -.6 (November); +.5 (December) and now -.8 in December (3.8 – 3.0, sixth to seventh, 6+). Immediately prior to the November sweep, WLRN posted three straight improvements resulting in a collective +1.0 (2.9 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.9, 6+).

West Palm Beach Music Formats – Not only does Alpha Media adult contemporary WEAT net a +6.1 in three straight upticks (4.6 – 5.0 – 6.9 – 10.7, 6+), “Sunny 107.9” progresses from second to first with the best 6+-stat (10.7) in its PPM-history. WEAT was off six-tenths in October. Despite picking up a combined +1.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (8.9 – 9.9 – 10.2, 6+), hot AC cluster-mate WRMF “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” drops to #2, following 12 straight sweeps at #1. Before eroding -1.8 in November, WRMF was an overall +1.7 in five consecutive up or flat reports (9.0 – 9.3 – 9.3 – 9.4 – 10.0 – 10.7, 6+), with October’s 10.7 its highest 6+-share since November 2017 (11.2). A collective -1.2 in three consecutive negative trends (5.0 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 3.8, 6+), iHeartMedia classic rock WKGR “Gater 98.7” erases two-thirds of the deficit with an eight-tenths’ increase to 4.6 (sixth to fifth, 6+).

Greensboro

Spoken-Word Formats – On the heels of December’s one-half share loss (4.2 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” falters by another seven-tenths (3.7 – 3.0, ninth to tenth, 6+); WPTI was down eight-tenths in September.

Steady at #16, Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS “Triad Sports” returns one-tenth of December’s +.2 (.3 – .5 – .4, 6+).

Off three-tenths (2.1 – 1.8, 6+), Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” finishes at #13 for the eighth consecutive time. After four successive up or flat trends that netted four-tenths (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+), WFDD was down one-half share in November. Without an increase for the third straight time for roughly a one-half loss (-.5) of its 6+-stat (1.1 – .8 – .6 – .6, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC continues at #15.

Greensboro Music Formats – Repeating at #1, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMAG “99.5 – The Triad’s Best Variety” is an overall +9.7 since August via five straight positive spikes (6.8 – 7.9 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 13.9 – 16.5, 6+). This (16.5) is its highest 6+-showing for any Greensboro station since WMAG posted a 16.7 in “Holiday” 2013. After six straight sweeps without an increase for an overall -2.1 (8.2 – 7.4 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 6.1, 6+), Entercom rhythmic CHR WJMH “102 JAMZ” gains one-tenth and continues in fourth-place. In three straight improvements (3.1 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.4, unchanged at #9, 6+), Curtis Media Group regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1” is a collective +1.3. Sputtering by one-half share (each) are Entercom urban AC and country cluster-mates WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” (10.8 – 10.3, flat at #2, 6+) and WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” (seventh to eighth). In double-digits (6+) for the 26th straight time (10.3), WQMG – which was +1.0 in November – spent 11 straight sweeps at #1 before segueing to #2 in December. Up one-half share in October, “The Wolf” is a cumulative -1.2 in three setbacks in succession (5.9 – 5.5 – 5.2 – 4.7, 6+). Down by a combined eight-tenths in October and September, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WTQR “Q-104.1 – #1 for New Country” gained three-tenths in November; spiraled by -1.6 in December; and in “Holiday” 2018, gains two-tenths to 5.3 (eighth to sixth, 6+), again overtaking “The Wolf.” Recent shifts for iHeartMedia CHR WMKS “100.3 Kiss FM All the Hits” include: +.5 (August); another +.5 (September); -.6 (October); +.9 (November); and a combined -.9 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.7 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+). It slips from #11 to #12; prior to November, “Kiss” occupied the #12 position for five consecutive sweeps.

Memphis

Spoken-Word Formats – While down two-tenths to 2.6 (6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WREC repeats at #13. Entering the “Holiday” 2018 sweep, “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” had been in a September-October-November-December down/up pattern in which time it lost eight-tenths (3.4 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 2.8 – 2.6, 6+).

Following five straight gains for an overall +1.4 (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+), Entercom sports talk WMFS “ESPN Sports Radio” forfeits three-tenths to 3.4 (6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #12).

Memphis Music Formats – The market’s (6+) adult contemporary share balloons by +3.6. Specifically, Entercom’s WRVR “104.5 The River” answers December -1.6 with a +2.0 (9.3 – 11.3, 6+) to remain in the runner-up slot. “The River,” which was +2.4 in October, has its strongest 6+-performance (11.3) since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.9. Meanwhile, Cumulus Media’s similarly-programmed WKIM “98.9 The Bridge” is an overall +3.7 in seven consecutive reports without a loss (1.4 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 3.5 – 5.1, 6+) and cracks the top ten (#11 to #6). In double-digits (6+) for the ninth successive sweep, iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS “V-101” is a combined +2.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (10. 5 – 11.5 – 12.8, 6+) and repeats at #1. Furthermore, this (12.8) is its highest 6+-share in more than six years (13.5, December 2012). Down or flat the past three reports for a loss of four-tenths (3.4 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WXMX “Maximum Rock – 98.1 The Max” responds with an increase twice the magnitude of that deficit (3.8, +.8, #12 to #11, 6+). Faltering by eight-tenths (each) are iHeartMedia gospel and urban AC siblings WHAL “Halleluiah 95.7 – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” (5.4, anchored at #5, 6+) and WDIA “AM 1070 – The Heart & Soul of Memphis” (4.5, sixth to eighth, 6+). Prior to “Holiday” 2018, “Halleluiah” was an overall +1.6 in four straight upticks (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 6.2, 6+). December 2018’s 6.2 is the highest 6+-reading for WHAL since April’s 7.1. The aforementioned streak directly followed six successive down monthlies for a collective -2.7 (7.3 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.1 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+). “The Heart & Soul of Memphis” had been trending 5.3 – 5.4 – 5.3 (6+). Regressing by seven-tenths (each) are Cumulus Media-owned WGKX “Kix 106 Today’s Best Country” (eighth to tenth) and Entercom hot AC WMC-FM “FM 100 Today’s Best Mix” (4.8 – 4.1, seventh to ninth, 6+). “Kix 106” was +1.8 in three straight increases; -.2 in September; -.5 in October; -.5 (again) in November; +.7 (December); and now -.7 (“Holiday” 2018).

Hartford

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to three consecutive setbacks (7.0 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.2, 6+), Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM is a cumulative -1.8 and drops from sixth to seventh. “News Talk 1080” was up eight-tenths in October. Also down for the third straight time – and off three-tenths in that timeframe – is Red Wolf Broadcasting news/talk WDRC-AM “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” (1.2 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9, 6+), which remains at #15.

Recapturing the two-tenths it lost in December, iHeartMedia sports talk WUCS “97.9 ESPN Hartford” (1.6 – 1.4 – 1.6, 6+) continues at #13.

A collective +1.4 in four straight positive spikes (3.5 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.9, 6+), Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” surrenders half that bounty (4.2, -.7, 6+) and continues at #9. Directly in advance of this streak, WNPR was -2.4 after seven straight down or flat trends (5.9 – 5.9 – 5.5 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+). After gaining two-tenths in December, University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio” returns one-tenth (1.3 – 1.2, unchanged at #14, 6+). In advance of December’s +.2, WFCR was a collective -.5 through three negative moves in succession (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.2 – 1.1, 6+).

Hartford Music Formats – Finishing on top for the 30th consecutive ratings period and in double-digits (6+) for the 27th time in the last 29 sweeps, Entercom adult contemporary WRCH is a combined +7.4 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (10.6 – 12.4 – 18.0, 6+). In addition, this (18.0) is the strongest 6+-showing for any Hartford station since “Lite 100.5” recorded an 18.3 in “Holiday” 2017. Eroding by -1.1 (each) are WRCH’s hot AC sibling WTIC-FM “96.5 TIC-FM” (7.2 – 6.1, third to fifth, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WWYZ “Country 92.5” (7.8 – 6.7, second to third, 6+). This is the first time WTIC-FM is below a seven-share (6.1, 6+) since March 2018’s 6.7. Via four straight sweeps without a loss, “Country 92.5” was a +1.4 (6.4 – 7.0 – 7.2 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+), with 7.8 (November and December) its highest 6+-stat since May (7.8, as well). Despite returning the seven-tenths it gained in December (6.8 – 7.5 – 6.8, 6+), Entercom rhythmic CHR WZMX “Hot 93.7” advances from third to second. Its November increase of four-tenths ended five straight decreases that accounted for a -1.9 (8.3 – 8.2 – 7.8 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). In a somewhat similar story, Red Wolf Broadcasting’s WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale – Hartford’s Classic Rock” surrenders all but one-tenth of December’s +.8 with a “Holiday” 2018 decrease of seven-tenths (5.2 – 4.5, flat at #8, 6+). Prior to December’s gain, “The Whale” was an overall -1.3 in three straight declines (5.7 – 5.4 – 5.0 – 4.4, 6+).

Friday, January 25, 2019

| January 25, 2019

Brad Hardin Rises to COO for National Programming Group. The new title for iHeartMedia executive programmer Brad Hardin is chief operating officer for the National Programming Group.  In this expanded role, Hardin will report to chief programming officer Tom Poleman.  He’ll continue to manage programming efforts for the company’s radio brands and provide a vast array of national programming assets, services, and resources to local programmers across the U.S.  He’ll also oversee iHeartMedia’s executive vice presidents of programming, the brand management in-house format team, talent development, research and marketing.  Poleman says, “I couldn’t ask for a better partner than Brad in leading the programming for our stations.  His extensive programming experience gives us tremendous insights into the nuances of station dynamics and opportunities.  I’m excited to get to collaborate with him for years to come as we continue to grow iHeart’s programming.”  Hardin has served iHM in programming leadership roles for more than 20 years.

iHeart’s WONK-FM, Washington Adds ‘Armstrong & Getty’ for Evenings. The KSTE, Sacramento-based “Armstrong & Getty” morning show – with hosts Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty – grabs an East Coast affiliate as Entercom’s new DC news/talker WONK-FM adds the program to the schedule in the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot.  “Armstrong & Getty” has been airing on affiliate stations in the West for years and recently announced plans to expand nationally. WONK-FM launched earlier this month on WWDC-HD2 at 101.1 FM and W284CQ at 104.7 FM.  Program director Michael Czarnecki says the station is “a contemporary approach to delivering a ‘wonk-centric’ and uniquely DC view of the news.”

DC’s ‘Sports Junkies’ Airing in Hampton Roads Market. When Entercom announced the re-signing of the morning drive “Sports Junkies” show (John Auville, Eric BickelJason Bishop, and John-Paul Flaim) that airs on sports talk WJFK-FM, Washington, it noted the program would seek to add affiliate stations in the Mid-Atlantic region. Now, Sinclair Communications (not to be confused with Baltimore-based Sinclair Broadcasting) adds the program to its Hampton Roads sports talker WTAR-AM/W243DJ, Norfolk.  The program will replace FOX Sports Radio’s “Outkick the Coverage” with Clay Travis and the 9:00 am hour of the Dan Patrick show.  Sinclair’s Bob Sinclair says, “We are thrilled to bring the ‘Sports Junkies’ to Hampton Roads and add them to our already stellar lineup. The show has been one of the best sports programs in the country for over 20 years and provides amazing coverage of the Redskins, Capitals, Nationals, Wizards, and more.  And with so many of our listeners being fans of those teams, they will fit in perfectly here in the 757.”

Bo Mattingly Radio Show to End. Arkansas sports media pro Bo Mattingly is ending his 12-year-old regional sports talk radio show to focus on podcasting and video. Mattingly’s radio show is heard on KARN-AM, Little Rock “The Sports Animal” and several other stations in the state.  It’s produced by his Sport&Story company.  The show will wrap after the February 28 edition. Mattingly says, “Our plans include producing premier content for sports fans all over the world, starting right here in Arkansas.  As part of our expansion, it has become obvious that Razorback fans want more. This format will allow us to give Arkansas fans content in a way they’ve never had it before.  It’s time to take the next step.  We are investing all of our access, interviews, and resources into giving Hog fans a whole new experience, filled with insights, stories they can tell and so much more.  As a company, we’ve always been interested in producing creative content beyond radio. I look forward to the new stories we are going to be able to tell on these wide-reaching platforms, but our listeners and Razorback fans will always be important to us and we remain committed to developing local content for them in exciting new ways.”

Zaslowsky Upped at WGN-AM. Four-year White Sox radio network staffer David Zaslowsky is promoted to manager and executive producer of the WGN Radio Sports Network.  In this role, Zaslowsky will oversee relations for the WGN Radio White Sox Radio Network of 15 affiliate stations, coordinate feature content on the network, and integrate play-by-play talent and White Sox personalities into WGN Radio’s daily programming.  WGN begins broadcasting Chicago White Sox games from Spring Training on February 23.

RTDNF Names 2019 First Amendment Award Honorees.  The Radio Television Digital News Foundation will honor the recipients of its 2019 First Amendment Awards at a ceremony on March 13 at the Marriott Marquis Washington, DC.  This year’s honorees are: First Amendment Award: CNN; First Amendment Service Award: James Goldston, ABC News; First Amendment Leadership Award: David Begnaud, CBS News; Leonard Zeidenberg First Amendment Award; Shepard Smith, FOX News; First Amendment Clarity Award: 2018 “Road Warriors” of NBC News; Lifetime Achievement Award: Dale Hansen, WFAA-TV – Tegna; Citation of Courage: Jamal Khashoggi of The Washington Post and the journalists of The Capital Gazette.

TALKERS News Notes.  –  The annual Infinite Dial study will be released on March 6 at 2:00 pm during a live, online broadcast.  The study from Triton Digital and Edison Research is “the longest running study of consumer behaviors related to media and technology in America.  As in previous years, the study will provide a comprehensive look at the digital media consumption habits of Americans, including time spent with digital audio, podcasts, smart speakers, video, mobile, social media, and more.”…..The GCN-syndicated Dr. Daliah Wachs program is added to the air at Beasley Media Group’s WWNN, Pompano Beach, Florida “South Florida’s Talk” in the mid-afternoon daypart…..SiriusXM announces the launch of a new show starring Georgetown University head basketball coach Patrick Ewing.  He’ll co-host “Center Court with Patrick Ewing” with broadcaster and former NFL player Rick “Doc” Walker on ESPNU Radio.

The Government Shutdown and Postponed SOTU Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 21-25.  The ongoing federal government shutdown and the related postponement of the State of the Union address were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the battle over the U.S.-Mexico border wall.  Coming in at #3 was the Trump-Russia investigation, including Michael Cohen’s Senate Intelligence Subcommittee subpoena and Roger Stone’s indictment, followed by the Covington Catholic Washington, DC incident 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.

Cool News Gig in Los Angeles; KNX Seeks Full-Time Anchor. All-news KNX 1070 Newsradio in Los Angeles is looking for a full-time news anchor who can tell relevant, compelling stories with a credible and empathetic style. Must be able to thrive in a fast-paced, all-news environment and cover every type of story, including breaking news. Must be a strong writer of engaging content and have an authentic, conversational sound. This person will also be proficient in editing and packaging news, audio, and interviews. The next KNX anchor will understand how to integrate social media and digital assets into their daily routine. Must have a minimum of 5-plus years’ experience anchoring or reporting news. For details and to apply, click here.

PLAN AHEAD, DON’T BE SHUT OUT! 2019 Talkers Convention Set for NYC. The 22nd annual installment of the longest-running, most-important national talk media convention has been set for Friday, June 7, 2019 in New York City. Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will take place at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan. The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, one-on-one conversations and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception — all in a single, power-packed day! Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited, and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments, costs $329 per person. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Calling All Missouri Broadcasters. The Missouri Broadcasters’ Association is trying to get the word out that it is seeking aircheck recordings of any Missouri station as part of its radio history preservation project.  Radio pros who worked in Missouri wishing to donate personal airchecks can contact Terry Harper at tharper@mbaweb.org.  Recordings from the St. Louis and Kansas City markets will be distributed to organizations in both markets that are preserving their local histories, and those from outstate Missouri stations will be digitized, cataloged and preserved by the State Historical Society of Missouri.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Buffalo oldies outlet WECK brings market radio pro Gordy Dysinger aboard to serve as production director, effective March 4.  Radio One Buffalo, LLC owner and operator Buddy Shula says, “I grew up listening to Gordy as a kid in Buffalo and his knowledge and professionalism will be a great help to our company, listeners, and advertisers.  Gordy believes in truly creative radio, not cookie-cutter material.  I am honored to be working beside him.”  Dysinger’s radio career in Buffalo began in 1977.  He worked for a long period as creative services director at iHeartMedia’s crosstown classic rock WGRF, rock WEDG, and classic hits WHTT…..Programming pro Jay Michaels announces he’s been named program director for Cumulus Media’s hot AC KQHN, Shreveport, Louisiana “Q93.7.” He takes over for Gary Nolan, who exited the post last year to move closer to family…..At Rubber City Radio Group’s country WQMX, Akron, morning personality Sarah Kay adds assistant program director duties to her responsibilities at the station…..The United Stations Radio Network-distributed “Billy Madison Show” is added to the program schedule at Magic Broadcasting’s rock WYYX, Panama City, Florida “97X.”…..Pictured below is Seton Hall University alum Christina Stoffo (fifth from the left) at the school’s student-run station WSOU, South Orange, New Jersey with members of the station’s staff.  Stoffo is a Total Traffic & Weather Networks air personality who is heard regularly on WHTZ “Z100,” WKTU, WAXQ “Q104.3,” WWPR “Power 105,” WKXW “NJ 101.5,” and more.  Her visit to her alma mater was arranged by WSOU news director Bob Towey and is the first in a series of talks and workshops by industry professionals taking place throughout the spring semester.

“Holiday” 2018 PPM Data – Part Three. “Holiday” 2018 ratings information has been released for Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s “Holiday” 2018 survey period covered December 6 (2018) – January 2 (2019). 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 below.

Portland

Spoken Word Formats – As a result of three down moves in succession (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.5 – 3.8, 6+), Alpha Media news/talk KXL “FM News 101 – Stay Connected” is a collective -1.5 and falls from seventh to ninth. Locked on 2.2 in October and November – its best 6+-showing since August 2016 (2.2, as well) – iHeartMedia’s KEX “News Radio 1190 – Depend On Us” is off by two-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+) and remains at #19. A collective +.3 in October and November (.8 – .9 – 1.1, 6+), Alpha Media news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970” forfeits a collective four-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (1.1 – 1.0 – .7, #24 to #26, 6+).

A combined +.9 in August and September (1.4 – 1.7 – 2.3, 6+), Entercom sports talk KFXX “1080 The Fan” is now an overall -1.4 via four consecutive decreases (2.3 – 1.7 – 1.3 – 1.1 – .9, #22 to #23, 6+). It remains tied with Alpha Media-owned KXTG “The Game,” which (like “The Fan”), is down for the fourth consecutive time, losing a cumulative six-tenths in that stretch (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1 – .9, #22 to #23, 6+). Elsewhere in the sports talk format, after logging three increases in a row for a +.3 (.4 – .5 – .5 – .7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KPOJ “Sports Radio 620”/Portland Trailblazers flagship regains the one-tenth it lost in December (.7 – .6 – .7, #27 to #26, 6+).

While it repeats in the runner-up slot, Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk KOPB sputters by -1.2 to 8.1 (6+), thus completely erasing the collective +1.2 it earned in five straight up or flat trends (8.1 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.9 – 9.2 – 9.3, 6+). December 2018’s 9.3 is its best 6+-stat since March 2018 (9.5). KOPB had been on top from January 2018 to August 2018 (including a tie in April), before dropping to second in September. Its recent fluctuations include: +1.1 (January 2018); -1.1 (February); +1.0 (March); -1.0 (April); -.5 (May); +.7 (October); and now -1.2 (“Holiday” 2018).

Portland Music Formats – Topping December’s +3.2 with a +4.8 (8.2 – 11.4 – 16.2, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW “K-103” continues at #1 with its strongest 6+-showing (16.2) since “Holiday” 2017 (16.9). Prior to a November 2018 loss of six-tenths, “K-103” was +1.6 via four successive reports without a loss (7.2 – 7.7 -7.9 – 8.8 – 8.8, 6+). Powered by a (6+) December 2018 – “Holiday” 2018 increase half that of KKCW, Entercom adult hits KYCH “97.1 Charlie We Play Everything” (3.2 – 5.6, +2.4, 6+) catapults from #14 to #3. A December -1.1 by “Charlie” obliterated its October and November +.7 (3.6 – 4.2 – 4.3, 6+). It is tied at #3 with co-owned KGON “92.3 Portland’s Classic Rock,” which replicates December’s half-share improvement (5.1 – 5.6, fourth to third, 6+). Entering the December sweep, KGON was a collective -1.0 through four decreases in a row  (5.6 – 5.4 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+). Immediately prior to that negative streak, “Portland’s Classic Rock” had been without a loss four straight times for a +1.6 (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.6 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+). By displaying an increase of +1.0 to 1.1 (#34 to #22, 6+), Mount Hood Community College District jazz outlet KMHD wipes away its full-share loss via four straight negative moves (1.1 – .8 – .7 – .6 – .1, 6+). All Classical Public Media’s KQAC “All Classical Portland” is up seven-tenths to 3.4 (#16 to #11), its best 6+-showing since August (3.4, as well). An erosion of -1.6 (7.0 – 5.4, third to fifth, 6+) by KLTH “106.7 The Eagle” takes the iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies outlet below a six-share (6+) for the first time since March 2018’s 5.5. Faltering by -1.2 (each) are Alpha Media CHR KBFF “Live 95.5” (3.9, fourth to eighth, 6+) and Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KFIS “104.1 The Fish” (3.6 – 2.4, 6+), which fades from the top ten (#10 to #16). “Live 95.5” had been a collective +1.1 in three straight sweeps without a loss (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.9 – 5.1, 6+). After more than doubling (+2.3) its 6+-stat in four straight up or flat trends (1.7 – 2.5 – 3.0 – 4.0 – 4.0, 6+), “The Fish” dropped four-tenths in December. Within three-share range in each of the last ten ratings periods, iHeartMedia’s KXJM “Jam’n 107.5” forfeits eight-tenths to 2.3 (#15 to #17, 6+). Immediately following its December gain of seven-tenths, Alpha Media triple A KINK “101.9 Uniquely Portland” returns one-half share (4.8 – 4.3, flat at #6, 6+). Prior to December, KINK was a collective -1.7 in October and November (5.8 – 4.4 – 4.1, 6+). The market’s 6+ country share shrinks by -1.2: Entercom’s KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf – The Northwest’s Hottest Country” is a cumulative -1.9 in seven straight down or flat trends (4.6 – 4.6 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 2.7,#11 to #15, 6+), while Alpha Media-owned KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 for New Country” is off one-half share to 3.3 (6+) and exits the top ten (#9 to #12). With the loss, “The Bull” suspends three straight upticks that netted +1.4 (2.4 – 3.0 – 3.6 – 3.8, 6+). Before the October sweep, “The Bull” was -1.6 in three straight months without an increase (4.0 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 2.9 – 2.4, 6+).

Charlotte

Spoken-Word Formats – Following a combined +1.4 in October and November (2.9 – 3.8 – 4.3, 6+), Entercom news/talk WBT surrenders half that gain (-.7) in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.3 – 3.7 – 3.6, flat at #12, 6+). November’s 4.3 is the highest 6+-share for the flagship of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers since February 2018 (4.3, as well).

Nearly tripling (+1.0) its 6+ share through six straight up or flat moves (.6 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.6 – 1.6, 6+), co-owned sports talk WFNZ “The Fan – Charlotte’s Sports Leader” is anchored at #19. This particular streak follows four straight sweeps without an increase for the key station of the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets that resulted in a -1.1 (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.1 – .7 – .6, 6+).

Off nine-tenths (2.7 – 1.8, 6+), University Radio Foundation news/talk WFAE “Charlotte’s NPR News Source” nonetheless continues at #17. Via three straight decreases, South Carolina Educational Television Commission news/talk WNSC is down four-tenths (.7 – .6 – .4 – .3, #20 to #21, 6+).

Charlotte Music Formats – Not only is Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WKQC an overall +7.8 in four straight sweeps without a loss (5.1 – 5.1 – 5.2 – 8.0 – 12.9, 6+),“K-104.7 More Music/Better Variety” repeats at #1. This (12.9) is the highest 6+-showing by any Charlotte station since “Holiday” 2015, when WKQC logged a 13.2. In a May 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 down/up pattern, Radio One’s WOSF “105.3 RnB” (ninth to fifth) is 4.1 – 3.7 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.7 for a collective gain of six-tenths. In addition to WOSF, Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WLFJ “His Radio” is up one-half share in “Holiday” 2018 (.3 – .8, #20, 6+). At the same time, Educational Media Foundation’s similarly-formatted  WRCM “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” surrenders in its entirety the six-tenths it gained in December (3.0 – 2.4, #15 to #16, 6+). Entering the December sweep, WRCM was a collective -1.9 in five straight decreases (4.3 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 2.4, 6+). By picking up two-tenths to 6.1 (steady at #4, 6+), Beasley Media Group urban AC WBAV “V-101.9” pulls the plug on five straight negative moves that accounted for a -2.0 (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.9 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 5.9, 6+). “V-101.9” was +1.4 in May; -1.2 in June; and +1.2 in July. Following eight straight months without a loss for a +3.7 (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 6.4 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits WLKO “102.9 The Lake” forfeits roughly one-third of that bounty (6.6, -1.2, 6+) but continues in the runner-up slot. Trending  4.7 – 5.0 – 4.7 (October-November-December, 6+), Beasley Media Group urban contemporary WPEG “Power 98” falters by eight-tenths to 3.9 (seventh to tenth, 6+), its lowest 6+-stat in exactly one year (3.8, “Holiday” 2017). Entering the November sweep, iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country” was an overall +1.1 in four successive months without a loss (6.0 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.8 – 7.1, 6+). It has been a dramatically different story though in December and “Holiday” 2018 as “The Kat” is a combined -2.3 (6.7 – 5.8 – 4.4, fifth to eighth, 6+). Meanwhile, while it remains at #3, Beasley Media Group’s WSOC “103.7 Country’s Hottest Hits” is without an increase for the fourth time in a row for an overall -1.3 (7.7 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 6.6 – 6.4, 6+). On top in September, October, and November, WSOC segued to third in December. An October loss of two-tenths ended four straight up or flat reports that netted a +1.5 (6.2 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 7.5 – 7.7, 6+). Even though iHeartMedia’s WRFX is a collective -1.7 in four straight decreases (6.4 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.1 – 4.7, 6+), “99.7 The Fox – Charlotte’s Classic Rock” advances from sixth to fifth.

San Antonio

Spoken-Word Formats – Bouncing back from December’s -1.1 with a gain of three-tenths to 3.6 (6+), iHeartMedia news/talk and San Antonio Spurs’ flagship WOAI “News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather” returns to the top ten (#11 to #9). WOAI’s November loss of one-tenth halted at three its consecutive string of improvements that yielded a +1.0 (3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.5, 6+). Unchanged at #22, Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” has a July 2018 – “Holiday” 2018 topline of: 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.3 (6+).

Down or flat for the fifth straight report for a -.4 (.7 – .7 – .6 – .5 – .4 – .3, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk KTKR “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” drops from #28 to #29.

After four consecutive up or flat trends netted KSTX one full-share (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6, 6+), the Texas Public Radio news/talk outlet is now a combined -.9 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.6 – 3.2 – 2.7, #12 to #16, 6+).  

San Antonio Music Formats – A “Holiday” 2018 boost of +5.4 by iHeartMedia adult contemporary KQXT surpasses its December +5.2 as “Q-101.9” repeats at #1 (4.3 – 9.5 – 14.9, 6+). Especially noteworthy is that KQXT’s “Holiday” 2018 14.9 is the highest 6+-share by any San Antonio station in the PPM-era. Prior to December, “Q-101.9” was down a collective two-tenths through three straight sweeps without an increase (4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+). Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KZAR “Air 1 – Worship Now” dials up a +1.0 (2.2 – 3.2, 6+) and zooms from #18 to #13. Substituting December’s one-half share loss with a “Holiday” 2018 increase of the same magnitude (2.7 – 2.2 – 2.7, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KMYO “Latino Mix 95.1” advances from #18 to #16. December’s 2.2 is its lowest 6+-showing since January 2018 (2.2, as well). Regional Mexican sibling KROM “Que Buena 92.9” is a collective -1.3 in three consecutive down or flat survey periods (5.4 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.1, fifth to seventh, 6+). In back-to-back reports, Alpha Media adult hits KJXK “102.7 Jack FM Playing What We Want” slumps by a combined -1.8 (5.3 – 4.6 – 3.5, seventh to tenth, 6+). Slipping from fifth to sixth, Cox Media Group’s KTKX “106.7 The Eagle – San Antonio’s Only Classic Rock” has a setback of one full-share (5.3 – 4.3, 6+). The wild country ride continues in this Texas market as Cox Media Group-owned KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader” was +.9 (August); -.8 (September); +.9 (November); -.8 (December); and now -1.1 in “Holiday” 2018 (6.2 – 5.1, flat at #3, 6+). September’s loss ended three straight gains that accounted for a +1.5 (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.8, 6+). Its format foe – iHeartMedia’s KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” – was +.5 (September; -1.1 (October); +1.0 (December); and now -1.0 in “Holiday” 2018 (5.0 – 6.0 – 6.0, unchanged at #4, 6+). After all that, the two combatants, which were separated by two-tenths in December, are now one-tenth apart. Continuing in the runner-up slot, Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies KONO-FM “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” is nonetheless an overall -2.8 via four straight setbacks (8.8 – 8.3 – 6.9 – 6.4 – 6.0, 6+). Prior to dropping to #2 in November, KONO-FM had been on top the previous ten sweeps. When “San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” lost one-half share in October, it halted at four a consecutive string of increases that yielded a +2.2 (6.6 – 7.0 – 7.7 – 7.8 – 8.8, 6+).

Sacramento

Spoken-Word Formats – Despite being off a cumulative nine-tenths in three straight declines (7.0 – 6.8 – 6.5 – 6.1, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news/talk KFBK progresses from fourth to third. “Sacramento’s News, Weather, and Traffic Station” was +1.4 in October (5.6 – 7.0, 6+). An overall +.7 via three consecutive sweeps without a loss (2.3 – 2.6 – 3.0- 3.0, 6+), co-owned KSTE “Talk 650” erases that margin completely in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.0 – 2.4 – 2.3, #13 to #14, 6+).

Tied at #23 are Entercom’s KIFM-AM “ESPN Radio 1320” (1.0 – .9, -.1, #22 to #23, 6+) and Bonneville’s KHTK “Sports 1140,” which is without an increase for the fourth straight time for an overall loss of four-tenths (1.3, 1.3 – 1.2 – .9 – .9, #25 to #23, 6+). After doubling (+.8) its 6+-share since August (.8 – 1.2 – 1.5 – 1.6, 6+), KIFM-AM surrendered six-tenths in December.

Five successive sweeps without a loss netted KXJZ a +2.4 since July (4.5 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 6.4 – 6.9, 6+), but the Capital Public Radio news/talk station forfeits one full-share to 5.9 (third to fourth, 6+). December’s 6.9 is the highest 6+-stat in its PPM-history. Flat at #26, Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQEI returns the one-tenth it gained in December (.6 – .7 – .6, 6+).

Sacramento Music Formats – Off four-tenths in November, Entercom adult contemporary KYMX “Mix 96 – Today’s Hits/Yesterday’s Favorites” nearly doubles December’s +2.6 with a “Holiday” 2018 +5.0 (6.2 – 8.8 – 13.8, 6+) and repeats at #1. This (13.8) is the highest 6+-share by any Sacramento station since “Mix” logged a 14.2 in “Holiday” 2017. As of early-November (2018), “Mix” has a new direct competitor. That’s when iHeartMedia transitioned KBEB “92.5 The Bull – #1 for New Country” to adult contemporary “92.5 The Breeze.” KBEB had been up two-tenths in consecutive sweeps (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.5, September-October-November, 6+) but then off one-tenth to 2.4 (6+). In the “Holiday” 2018 report, “The Breeze” dials up a seven-tenths’ increase to 3.1 (6+) and continues at #13. While KBEB is no longer in the country arena, Bonneville’s KNCI “New Country 105.1” and Entravision Communications-owned KNTY “101.9 The Wolf” carry on there. A combined -.9 in August and September (5.1 – 4.4 – 4.2, 6+), KNCI followed with three straight gains for an overall +1.5 (4.2 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.7, September-October-November-December, 6+). That instantly vanishes though in “Holiday” 2018 as “New Country” is 5.7 – 4.2 (-1.5, fifth to seventh, 6+). Meanwhile, KNTY returns the three-tenths it gained in December (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.0, 6+) and continues at #15. December’s 2.3 is the best 6+-stat for “The Wolf” since June 2018’s 2.5. On top for ten (10) consecutive survey periods before shifting to #2 in December, Entercom-owned KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” falters by eight-tenths (8.2 – 7.4, 6+) but remains in the runner-up slot. Its recent fluctuations include +1.0 (May 2018); +.9 (June); -.9 (July); +.6 (September); -.5 (October); -1.1 (November); and -.8 (“Holiday” 2018). Co-owned KRXQ “98 Rock” is off one-half share (4.8 – 4.3, flat at #6, 6+).

Pittsburgh

Spoken-Word Formats – After recording its best 6+-stat (4.7, December 2018) since February 2018’s 5.3, Entercom news/talk KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020” forfeits seven-tenths to 4.0 (seventh to eighth, 6+).

Co-owned sports talk KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan,” a combined -.9 in November and December (6.4 – 5.7 – 5.5, 6+), picks up three-tenths to 5.8 and carries on at #5. Having posted either a .1 (6+) or a .2 (6+) in 19 consecutive ratings periods, iHeartMedia sports talk WBGG was up one-tenth in December to .3 (6+), but “970 AM – ESPN Pittsburgh” returns it in “Holiday” 2018 (.2, -.1, #23 to #19, 6+).

Even though it wipes away December’s four-tenths’ increase with a one-half share loss (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.1, 6+), Essential Public Media news/talk WESA “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” remains at #11.

Pittsburgh Music Formats – Without a loss for the third time in a row for a cumulative +4.1 (9.5 – 9.5 – 9.7 – 13.6, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWSW “94.5 – 3WS” is on top for the 23rd consecutive ratings period. This (13.6) is the best 6+-showing for any Pittsburgh station since “3WS” posted a 16.4 in “Holiday” 2017. An overall +4.6 as the result of five straight upticks (5.3 – 5.6 – 6.3 – 6.8 – 7.7 – 9.9, 6+), Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHH “Wish 99.7” progresses from fourth to second with its highest 6+-stat (9.9) since 10.4 in “Holiday” 2017. A one-half share increase (1.4 – 1.9, 6+) takes WQED Classical Multimedia’s WQED “Classical 89.3” from #16 to #14. A December loss of one-half share by WDVE suspended three straight increases that netted a +1.0 (7.7 – 8.0 – 8.3 – 8.7, 6+). In “Holiday” 2018, the iHeartMedia-owned rocker plummets by -1.0 (8.2 – 7.2, 6+) and segues from third to fourth. WDVE spent 11 successive sweeps in the runner-up slot before dropping to third in December. Three significant shifts in a row find Steel City Media adult hits WRRK “96.9 Bob FM – We Play Anything” going from a -.5 (November); +1.7 (December); and now a -1.0 in “Holiday” 2018 (8.7 – 7.7, second to third, 6+). In December 2018, “Bob” had its best 6+-performance (8.7) since December 2017’s 9.0. The market’s (6+) country share erodes by -1.1 as Entercom-owned WDSY “Y-108” Pittsburgh’s Country” is off one-half share (ninth to tenth), while iHeartMedia’s WPGB “Big 104.7 – Pittsburgh’s #1 For New Country” sputters by six-tenths (3.3 – 2.7, #12 to #13, 6+). “Y-108” is now a collective -1.6 via four straight dips (5.1 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 3.5, 6+). With their (6+) December 2018 info in parentheses, four Forever Media properties once again disappear from print: country WOGG (1.4, #16); classic hits-oldies WKPL (1.2, #18); country WOGI (1.2, #18); and classic hits-oldies WPKL (1.1, #20).

Salt Lake City

Spoken-Word Formats – Faltering by -.6 and -1.4, respectively, are Bonneville’s KSL “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” (5.2 – 4.6, stable at #4, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s KNRS “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know” (4.7 – 3.3, 6+), which departs the top ten (#6 to #12). KSL was +2.4 in October to 7.2 (#1), its highest 6+-share since April’s 8.1, but then -1.8 in November. KNRS was a combined +1.0 in October and November (3.9 – 4.7 – 4.9, 6+) and had its strongest 6+-showing (4.9) since March 2017’s 5.6.

After posting an August 2018 – December 2018 topline of 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.8, Broadway Media-owned KALL “ESPN 700 – Utah’s #1 Sports Talk” sputters by seven-tenths to 1.1 (#20 to #22, 6+).

A combined -.8 in September and October (3.5 – 3.0 – 2.7, 6+), University of Utah news/talk KUER picked up one-tenth (November); forfeited two-tenths (December); and dips three-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 (2.6 – 2.3, flat at #14, 6+).

Salt Lake City Music Formats – Emphatically underscoring its approval of the all-Christmas music strategy, Bonneville adult contemporary KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music/Better Work Day” registers its third straight increase and repeats at #1. Its overall improvement since October is a staggering +16.2 (5.6 – 5.7 – 12.7 – 21.8, 6+) and KSFI is the only station in the 36 PPM-markets whose information we’ve seen so far to reach the 20-share level (6+). As astonishing as these numbers are, “FM 100.3” is actually down from a year ago (23.2, “Holiday” 2017). Among the many SLC outlets impacted by its “Holiday” 2018 stats is Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted KBEE “B-98.7 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites,” which is -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.5 – 3.9 – 3.4, 6+) yet actually improves from tenth to ninth. Its December decrease interrupted three straight gains that netted a +1.8 (2.7 – 3.6 – 4.3 – 4.5, 6+). In four successive sweeps without a loss, cluster-mate KHTB gains nine-tenths (1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 2.2, 6+), as “101.9 Alternative Utah” enters the top twenty at #16. In addition to adding two-tenths to 3.3 (6+) thus applying the brakes to five consecutive decreases that accounted for an overall -2.8 (5.9 – 5.7 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.1, 6+), Cumulus Media country KUBL “K-Bull 93” cracks the top ten (#12 to #9). There is another wild fluctuation for iHeartMedia-owned classic hits-oldies KODJ “94.1 Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits,” which was -1.1 (October); +1.5 (November); -1.4 (December); and now -1.3 in “Holiday” 2018 (5.7 – 4.4, second to sixth, 6+). In calendar year 2018, KODJ held sole possession of the top spot or was tied for the lead in June, July, August, September, and November. Its September gain of three-tenths halted three straight decreases that accounted for a one-half share loss (6.9 – 6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). It has been an interesting period as well for co-owned hot AC KJMY “My 99.5,” which was a combined -.8 in October and November (4.7 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+); +.7 (December); and now -.9 in “Holiday” 2018 (4.6 – 3.7, unchanged at #7, 6+). Flat at #5, iHeartMedia CHR KZHT “97.1 ZHT – Salt Lake’s #1 Hit Music Station” is a collective -1.4 in four negative moves in succession (5.9 – 5.7 – 5.5 – 5.1 – 4.5, 6+). Sliding by six-tenths as well in “Holiday” 2018 is Broadway Media-owned adult hits KYMV “Rewind 100.7” (2.8 – 2.2, #13 to #16, 6+). In back-to-back sweeps, independent KSOP-FM “Z-104 Utah’s #1 Country” regresses by one-half share (4.7 – 4.2 – 3.7, ninth to seventh, 6+). “Z-104” has been -.7 (June); -.5 (July); +1.1 (September); and +.5 (November).

Las Vegas

Spoken-Word Formats – After posting a 1.9 (6+) in each of the last three sweeps, Entercom’s KXNT “News Talk Radio 840” is off three-tenths to 1.6 (6+) and departs the top twenty (#20 to #21). In three (slight) dips in a row (1.3 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9, 6+), Beasley Media Group news/talk KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk” is off by a collective four-tenths and carries on at #25.

Having doubled (+.5) its 6+ share through four up or flat trends (.5 – .6 – .9 – .9 – 1.0, 6+), Lotus Communications sports talk KWWN “ESPN Radio 1100” falters by a combined three-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (1.0 – .8 – .7, #26 to #28).

In six consecutive increases, Nevada Public Radio’s KNPR netted a +1.3 (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.3, 6+), but is now off an overall three-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.3 – 3.1 – 3.0, #13 to #12, 6+).

Las Vegas Music Formats – On top for the fifth time in a row, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5 – Better Music for a Better Workday” is a combined +4.5 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (8.3 – 9.1 – 12.8, 6+). Prior to being #1 from September through “Holiday” 2018, “Sunny” set the pace in March, May, June, and July. This (12.8) is the highest 6+-share for any Las Vegas station since the 14.0 KSNE logged in “Holiday” 2016. Without a loss in seven straight survey periods for an overall +1.8 (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+), Lotus Communications’ KXPT “97.1 The Point – #1 For Classic Rock” progresses from fourth to third; 5.5 is its best 6+-performance in more than two years (5.9, October 2016). A boost of six-tenths to 4.2 (ninth to seventh, 6+) by Spanish adult hits sibling KWID “La Buena 101.9” suspends three straight down or flat moves that accounted for a loss of four-tenths (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+). Kemp Broadcasting rhythmic CHR KVEG “Hot 97.5,” which was a combined +1.1 in November and December (2.4 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+), surrenders eight-tenths to 2.7 and exits the top ten (#10 to #13, 6+). The three most recent shifts for Entercom hot AC KMXB “Mix 94.1” are -.5 (November); +.6 (December); and now -.7 in “Holiday” 2018 (6.0 – 5.3, third to fourth, 6+).

Orlando

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to five consecutive increases, Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM was an overall +1.9 (3.3 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+), but “News 96.5” has now surrendered a combined -1.6 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.2 – 4.5 – 3.6, flat at #10, 6+). November’s 5.2 is its best 6+-performance in more than a year (6.1, September 2017). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” is -1.6 in five straight declines (4.7 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.1, #11 to #12, 6+). Its +1.0 in August curtailed three straight decreases that resulted in a -1.8 (5.5 – 5.3 – 4.0 – 3.7, 6+). Having nearly doubled (+1.2) its 6+-share as the result of four successive sweeps without a loss (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.7, 6+), news/talk cluster-mate WFLF is now a cumulative -.9 in three successive slips (2.7 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 1.8, unchanged at #15, 6+).

After faltering by eight-tenths in December, Cox Media Group sports talk WDBO-AM “ESPN 580 Orlando” is unchanged in 6+ share (.6) and 6+-market rank (#23). It is again tied with iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WYGM “FM 96.9 The Game – Orlando’s Sports Leader,” which has lost roughly half (-.7) of its 6+ AQH share in four straight down or flat trends (1.3 – 1.1 – .9 – .6 – .6, steady at #23, 6+).

Down eight-tenths (3.5 – 2.7, 6+), Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida” slips from #12 to #13.

Orlando Music Formats – Outdistancing December’s +4.0 with a +4.5 (5.8 – 9.8 – 14.3, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMGF “Magic 107.7” repeats at #1 with its strongest 6+-stat (14.3) since “Holiday” 2017’s 15.9. Without an increase the past five sweeps for an overall loss of seven-tenths (3.4 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.7, 6+), co-owned WJRR “101.1 Orlando’s Rock Station” erases that deficit with a gain of eight-tenths to 3.5 (#13 to #11, 6+). When Entercom hot AC WOMX lost three-tenths in December, it halted three consecutive up or flat moves that yielded two-tenths (5.2 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.4, 6+). “Mix 105.1,” however, bounces back in “Holiday” 2018 with an increase of seven-tenths to 5.8 (seventh to fifth, 6+). On the heels of December’s eight-tenths’ loss (7.1 – 6.3, 6+), Cox Media Group-owned WMMO “98.9 Orlando’s Classic Hits” spirals by -1.1 to 5.2 (fifth to sixth, 6+). In November 2018, WMMO was up seven-tenths to 7.1, its highest 6+-stat since November 2017’s 8.1. Skidding from sixth to seventh, Entercom classic hits-oldies WOCL “105-9 Sunny FM – We Own The ‘80s” is a cumulative -2.2 via four down or flat moves in a row (7.1 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 5.8 – 4.9, 6+). By regressing eight-tenths to 4.3 (seventh to ninth, 6+), Cox Media Group-owned WWKA “K-92.3 Orlando’s #1 For New Country” ends its repetitive September 2018 – December 2018 sequence of 5.0 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 5.1 (6+). Co-owned rhythmic CHR WPYO “Power 95.3” is off six-tenths (5.0 – 4.4, 6+) yet advances from ninth to eighth. A combined -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (8.9 – 8.3 – 7.8, 6+), iHeartMedia Spanish tropical WRUM “Rumba 100” repeats in the runner-up slot, after spending the previous 11 ratings periods at #1. WRUM’s +.8 in December halted at three a consecutive string of downturns that resulted in an overall -3.5 (11.6 – 10.1 – 8.2 – 8.1, 6+). April 2017s 12.8 is the best-ever 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. Off by one-half share as well in “Holiday” 2018 is University of Central Florida’s WUCF “89.9 Jazz & More” (1.3 – .8, #17 to #20, 6+).

Cincinnati

Spoken-Word Formats – Recent shifts for iHeartMedia news/talk WLW include a combined +2.0 (January and February); -1.0 (March); +1.6 (April); -1.2 (May); -1.4 (September); +1.7 (October); -.8 (November); and now a whopping -2.0 in “Holiday” 2018 (9.6 – 7.4, second to fourth, 6+). The flagship of MLB’s Reds and NFL’s Bengals spent six consecutive months at #1 before segueing to #2 in December. October’s 10.8 was its highest 6+-share in more than two years (10.8, as well, June 2016). Co-owned WKRC “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati” falters by three-tenths in consecutive sweeps (3.6 – 3.3 – 3.0, 6+) yet improves from #11 to #10. July’s eight-tenths’ increase stopped four straight down or flat trends that resulted in a -1.0 (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+).

Sports talk sibling WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530” is unchanged from December in 6+-share (1.0) and 6+-market rank (#17).

Continuing at #13, Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU has lost nine-tenths through five successive sweeps without an increase (3.5 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.6, 6+).

Cincinnati Music Formats – On the strength of an astonishing +.6.3 (8.3 – 14.6), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WRRM “Warm 98.5” – which was +3.1 in December – jumps from third to first. Furthermore, December 2018’s 14.6 by “Warm” is the highest 6+-share by any Cincinnati station in the PPM-era. Displaced from the top spot – after a December-only stay – and segueing to third is co-owned classic hits-oldies WGRR (9.9 – 8.1, -1.8, 6+). Immediately prior to its current -1.8, “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” was an overall +1.3 via four straight gains (8.6 – 9.1 – 9.2 – 9.6 – 9.9, 6+), with December’s 9.9 its strongest 6+-stat since March 2018’s 10.4. By dialing up a +.7 to 5.0 (eighth to sixth, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WEBN “Cincinnati’s Rock Station” puts an end to its October-November-December 4.3 – 4.4 – 4.3 (6+) trending. Despite being a collective -2.6 owing to five successive down or flat trends (7.9 – 7.4 – 6.6 – 6.6 – 6.0 – 5.3, 6+), Hubbard hot AC WKRQ “Q-102 Cincinnati’s Hit Music” continues at #5. The last three fluctuations for iHeartMedia CHR WKFS are +.7 (November); -.7 (December) and now (another) -.7 in “Holiday” 2018 (3.4 – 4.1 – 3.4 – 2.7, 6+) as “Kiss 107.1 Cincinnati’s #1 Hit Music Station” departs the top ten (#10 to #11). In advance of November’s +.7, “Kiss” recorded six straight down or flat sweeps that resulted in an overall -1.5 (4.9 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.4, 6+). This is the third successive sweep without an increase for Cumulus Media classic rock WOFX “92.5 The Fox” for a collective loss of nine-tenths (5.2 – 5.2 – 4.8 – 4.3, sixth to eighth, 6+). After posting a September 2018 – December 2018 topline of 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.0 – .7 (#20, 6+), Grant County Broadcasters’ classic country WNKR disappears from print. In August, WDBZ “Soul 101.5” registered a .9 (6+) to finish at #20, but the Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies outlet is unlisted for the fifth month in a row.

Cleveland

Spoken-Word Formats – Not only is iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM an overall -2.6 in three straight declines (6.8 – 6.3 – 5.2 – 4.2, 6+), “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” drops out of the top ten (#8 to #11). An October increase of eight-tenths halted four successive sweeps without an increase for a collective -.6 (6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.0 – 6.0, 6+).

Regaining the four-tenths it lost in December (5.4 – 5.0 – 5.4, 6+), Entercom’s WKRK  jumps from tenth to seventh. Just prior to December, “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” netted a +2.0 in five successive improvements (3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.4, 6+).

After gaining two-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (2.8 – 3.0 – 3.2, 6+), Ideastream-owned news/talk outlet WCPN plummets by -1.1 to 2.1 (6+) but stays at #14.

Cleveland Music Formats – A robust +2.8 (7.9 – 10.7, 6+) boosts iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI from third to first as “Majic 105.7 – Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” is in double-digits (6+) for the first time since February 2018’s 10.3. Even though WZAK is up three-tenths (8.4 – 8.7, 6+), the Radio One urban AC shifts from first to third. A collective +2.8 in three straight increases (6.0 – 6.5 – 7.5 – 8.8, 6+), WZAK dropped four-tenths in December. Nearly matching December’s +2.6, Entercom adult contemporary WDOK is +2.1 (8.2 – 10.3, 6+) and continues in the runner-up slot. “Cleveland’s Star 102” is one-tenth shy of its 10.4 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017. In advance of the December sweep, “Star” was off eight-tenths in three negative moves in a row (6.4- 6.2 – 6.0 – 5.6, 6+). Since resurfacing in print in October, Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFHM “95.5 The Fish” is trending 5.4 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 5.4 (#11 to #7, 6+). In July, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WAKS-HD2 popped on with a .1 (6+), but then failed to appear in the next five reports. It is back though in “Holiday” 2018 with a .7 (#17, 6+). Co-owned WGAR “99.5 Cleveland’s #1 For New Country” is a collective -3.7 through five consecutive decreases (8.1 – 7.2 – 6.8 – 6.5 – 5.7 – 4.4, seventh to tenth, 6+). Immediately after posting a December increase of seven-tenths, adult hits sibling WHLK “106.5 The Lake – We Play Anything” plummets by -1.2 (6.9 – 5.7, fourth to sixth, 6+). Still in that iHeartMedia cluster, WMMS “100.7 – Cleveland’s Rock Station” has its third setback in succession for a -1.3 (4.5 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.2, #12 to #13, 6+). Faltering by one-half share each are co-owned CHR WAKS “96.5 Kiss FM – Cleveland’s #1 Hit Music Station” (3.8 – 3.3, #13 to #12, 6+) and Entercom hot AC WQAL “Q-104 Plays The Hits” (5.2 – 4.7, eighth to ninth, 6+).

Kansas City

Spoken-Word Formats – In the Entercom cluster, news/talk KMBZ-FM “98.1 News-Traffic-Weather” is a combined -1.7 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.1 – 4.0 – 3.4, #11 to #14, 6+), while co-owned KMBZ-AM “Talk 980” has lost half (-1.3) its 6+ AQH share over the course of the last two sweeps (2.6 – 1.8 – 1.3, flat at #20, 6+). KMBZ-FM was a combined +.7 in October and November (4.4 – 4.7 – 5.1, 6+), while KMBZ-AM was up four-tenths in October. Climbing from #23 to #22, Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM “Talk Radio 710 AM” is trending .7 – .6 – .7 – .6 (6+).

Flat at #12, Union Broadcasting’s WHB “Sports Radio 810,” which more than doubled (+2.2) its 6+-share in six straight upticks (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 4.0 – 4.2, is a combined -.5 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.2 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+). Following an October gain of four-tenths, Entercom’s KCSP “610 Sports Radio” loses nine-tenths in three straight decreases (3.5 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 2.6, #16 to #17, 6+).

The collective eight-tenths that University of Missouri news/talk KCUR picked up in November and December is all but wiped away with a “Holiday” 2018 decrease of seven-tenths (3.0 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.1, #12 to #15, 6+).

Kansas City Music Formats – A December gain of nine-tenths by Steel City Media adult contemporary KCKC is followed by a +1.9 (4.2 – 5.1 – 7.0, 6+) as “KC-102.1 Today’s Best Variety” rockets from fifth to second. This (7.0) is its best 6+ showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 8.1. By picking up one-tenth in December, Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies KCMO-FM applied the brakes to eight successive March through November declines that accounted for a combined -3.1 (8.1 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.8 – 6.4 – 6.3 – 5.4 – 5.0, 6+). In “Holiday” 2018, “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” – which was #1 in March 2018, April, and May – is +1.6 to 6.7 (fifth to third, 6+). There is plenty of activity in the country contest with Steel City Media’s KBEQ “Q-104 New Hit Country” posting a +1.3 to 5.0 (#14 all the way to #5, 6+); cluster-mate KFKF “Country 94.1” a +.5 to 4.6 (steady at #9, 6+); and Entercom’s WDAF “106.5 The Wolf” a -1.1 to 4.2 (#4 to #11, 6+). “Q-104” had been an overall -1.6 in three straight downturns (5.6 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 3.7, 6+), while “Country 94.1” was a collective -2.1 as a result of four consecutive sweeps without an increase (6.2 – 5.3 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.1, #11 to #9, 6+). “The Wolf,” meanwhile, was a cumulative +1.3 in November and December, after being an overall -.9 through six straight April 2018 through October 2018 sweeps without an increase (4.9 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 4.0, 6+). December’s 5.3 was the highest 6+-share for “The Wolf” since January 2018 (5.3, as well). In addition to being #1 for the eighth ratings period in succession, Cumulus Media’s KCFX “101 The Fox – Kansas City’s Classic Rock Station” counters December’s -.7 with a one-half share increase (9.0 – 9.7, 6+). Its December decrease suspended six straight sweeps without a loss for an overall +2.7 (7.0 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.8 – 8.8 – 9.6 – 9.7, 6+). November’s 9.7 is the highest 6+-stat for the Kansas City Chiefs’ flagship since July 2017’s 10.3. Co-owned urban AC KMJK “Magic 107.3 – Kansas City’s Best Mix of R&B” is an overall +2.0 in four consecutive positive spikes (2.7 – 2.8 – 3.4 – 4.4 – 4.7, eighth to sixth, 6+). These last three sweeps have seen Entercom-owned KQRC “98.9 The Rock” crater by a collective -2.8 (7.5 – 7.0 – 6.1 – 4.7, second to sixth, 6+). Its one-half share loss in November halted three straight increases that netted a +2.0 (5.5 – 6.5 – 7.3 – 7.5, 6+).

Columbus

 Spoken-Word Formats – Unchanged at #6, iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN “News Radio 610” has lost a combined six-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.3 – 6.1 – 5.7, 6+), directly after an overall +.9 in three straight increases (5.4 – 5.5 – 6.1 – 6.3, 6+).

Ever since reappearing in print, RadiOhio sports talk outlet – and flagship of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets – WBNS-FM “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” has been +1.1 (October); -.4 (November); +1.0 (December) and now -2.0 in “Holiday” 2018 (7.3 – 5.3, third to seventh, 6+). Continuing at #18, iHeartMedia sports talk WXZX “105.7 The Zone” is trending (.9 – .6 – .9 – .7, 6+).

Even though it is off two-tenths (3.6 – 3.4, 6+), Ohio State University news/talk WOSU advances from ninth to eighth. Immediately prior to the October sweep, WOSU had a net gain of seven-tenths via three straight up or flat monthlies (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 4.6, 6+).

Columbus Music Formats – On the heels of December’s eight-tenths’ improvement, iHeartMedia adult hits WODC tacks on a +2.9 (5.8 – 8.7, 6+) as “93.3 The Bus – We Play Anything” drives from seventh to third. Its December increase curtailed three consecutive dips that generated an overall -1.7 (6.7 – 6.4 – 5.3 – 5.0, 6+). That particular streak immediately followed four consecutive boosts that netted a +1.6 (5.1 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.7, 6+). Three consecutive upticks by Saga Communications adult contemporary WSNY “Sunny 95” yield a +4.0 (5.9 – 6.3 – 7.7 – 9.9, steady at #2, 6+). This (9.9) is its best 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 11.0. Bouncing back from December’s -1.3 with a gain of nine-tenths (3.8 – 2.5 – 3.4, 6+), One Connection Media Group contemporary Christian WCVO “Uplifting & Encouraging 104.9 The River” enters the top ten (#11 to #8). Notwithstanding that it is a collective -5.7 through six straight downturns (16.3 – 15.1 – 15.0 – 14.5 – 13.0 – 12.7 – 10.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WCOL “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” is #1 for the 13th sweep in a row and has been in double-digits (6+) each ratings period since June 2017. Recent WCOL fluctuations include +3.1 (January); -1.7 (February); +1.1 (March); +1.0 (April); +1.2 (June); +.6 (July); 1.2 (August); -.5 (October); -1.5 (November); and -2.1 (“Holiday” 2018). Four straight increases by Radio One’s WCKX netted a +1.2 (2.7 – 2.8 – 3.0 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+), but “Power 107.5” surrenders one full-share to 2.9 (eighth to tenth, 6+).

Monday, January 21, 2018

| January 21, 2019

Monday Memo: Carpe Trump. Consultant Holland Cooke writes in his weekly Monday Memo for TALKERS magazine that conservative news/talk stations should be working overtime to capitalize on the Trump presidency.  Cooke references a recent column in The New York Times by Frank Bruni in which he observes the president is covered by the media as “spectacle” and that makes Trump the “star” no matter what.  Cooke reasons that since the best way to increase ratings share with news/talk radio is to increase the TSL of its P1s, stations should “be to radio what Fox News Channel is to TV” – a safe space for like-minded conservatives. Read the Monday Memo here.

Entercom and DC’s ‘Sports Junkies’ Renew; Plan for Regional Distribution. The WJFK-FM, Washington, DC “106.7 The Fan” morning drive program “The Sports Junkies” and Entercom agree to a long-term extension of their contract.  “The Sports Junkies” are John Auville, Eric BickelJason Bishop and John-Paul Flaim.  Entercom DC SVP and market manager Phil Zachary states, “Since 1996, ‘The Sports Junkies’ have driven the sports conversation in Washington, DC and we couldn’t envision ‘The Fan’ without them. As the unrivaled leaders in local sports coverage, we are pleased to continue our relationship with the team.” The station says the program “is consistently rated number one among Washington, DC men aged 18-49, according to Nielsen 2018 ratings.”  It adds that “plans will be announced later this month for the program to be broadcast beyond Washington, DC to affiliates across the Mid-Atlantic region.”

Harvey Wells Exits Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s Springfield, Illinois Cluster. As reported by Chicago media maven Robert Feder, radio sales and management pro Harvey Wells has resigned from his position as market manager for Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s Springfield, Illinois station group that includes news/talk WMAY-AM/FM and three music-formatted stations.  Wells served the Chicago market for years leading the then-CBS RADIO cluster of radio stations.  Wells is quoted saying, “I cannot say enough good things about Mid-West Family Broadcasting and feel fortunate to have spent two-plus years at an employee-owned company.  It truly makes a difference when you walk in the door and your fellow workers also have an ownership interest in the company.  However, the one family that has to come before the Mid-West Family is my own.”

Government Shutdown, Border Wall Issue, BuzzFeed Report-Mueller Statement, DC Students-Protestors Incident, 2020 Presidential Race, Deadly Mexico Pipeline Blast, Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday, and NFL Championship Games Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The ongoing federal government shutdown; the battle over funding for President Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall; BuzzFeed’s report that President Trump told Michael Cohen to lie to Congress and the special prosecutor’s statement calling that inaccurate; the case of the viral video of students and Native American protestors in Washington, DC; Democrats lining up to challenge President Trump in 2020; the gas pipeline explosion in Mexico that killed more than 85 people; today’s Martin Luther King Jr. holiday; and the NFL Conference Championships were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. According to a report by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, sports talk WSCR “The Score” weekend and fill-in host Barry Rozner – who is also a sports columnist with the Daily Herald – is considering leaving the station before the next season of the baseball show “Hit & Run” begins this spring.  Feder says Rozner has been in communication with station operations manager Mitch Rosen saying, “We’re still communicating, and we’ll see what comes of it, but I don’t – at this moment – see a path to returning.  No hard feelings. No one to blame. There’s just no role there for me comparable to the last 10 years when I hosted nearly 1,400 shows. If it’s over, I will miss ‘Hit & Run’ more than I can properly express.  It was a great run and I’m grateful for the opportunity Mitch gave me.”…..The sports media 2019 BSM Summit is taking place at The Grammy Museum in Los Angeles February 21-22.   Barrett Sports Media president Jason Barrett says the event “will feature a star-studded lineup of guest speakers,” including CBS Sports personality Jim Rome, who will do a one-on-one with Barrett.  See more about the Summit here.….The NFL’s Indianapolis Colts officially name Matt Taylor the play-by-play voice for radio coverage of the team’s games.  Taylor has been part of the team’s broadcast operations since 2012.  He takes over the role handled by Bob Lamey, who exited the position after a controversial incident in which he used a racial slur off the air…..Binghamton market public broadcaster WSKG announces coming programming changes that will make it easier for listeners to find the programming they desire.  Currently, both WSKG-FM and WSQX-FM are airing programming consisting of news, conversation and music.  On February 3, the company will move all news and talk programming to WSKG-FM – its NPR member station – and WSQX will air classical, jazz and folk music programming…..Pictured below are the hosts of last Friday’s inaugural 2019 iHeartRadio Podcast Awards that took place at the iHeartRadio Theater LA in Burbank, California. You can see all the categories and winners here.  Below from left to right are: Holly Frey, Bobby Bones, Charlamagne tha God, and Mario Lopez(Photo: Getty Images for iHeartMedia)

WPGG, Atlantic City’s Harry Hurley Sponsors Broadcast Booth at Local Science Center. Through his “Hurley in the Morning” charity, WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley donated $3,500 to the Patcong Creek Foundation Science Center in Atlantic County, New Jersey on January 19.  The charity sponsors the “Harry Hurley Broadcast Booth” in which Hurley is pictured above.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In New York City, air personality Ralphie Aversa exits his evening show at Cumulus Media’s hot AC WPLJ, as well as the company’s WPRO-FM, Providence and WBHT, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton where the show also aired. WPLJ APD Mike Allen is now handling evenings…..Chicago market hot AC WXLC, Waukegan parts ways with morning show personality Jimmy Novak.  He posted on Facebook, “The old building and loan has decided to cut ties with me as morning show host.  It’s been a fun decade of shows and I feel lucky to have worked with some incredible people.  I’m truly blessed with great memories and I look forward to new challenges and staying up past 7:30.”…..The 2019 iHeartRadio ALTer Ego concert took place on Saturday at The Forum in Inglewood, California featuring: Twenty One PilotsRise Against, Muse, The Killers, Weezer, plus Bishop Briggs and The Revivalists.  Pictured below are The Revivalists with KYSR, Los Angeles midday personality Tamo Sein(Photo: Getty Images for iHeartMedia.)

Thursday, January 10, 2018

| January 10, 2019

iHeartMedia’s New WONK-FM in DC to Deliver ‘Inside-the-Beltway’ News and Talk. The new station will air on WWDC-HD2 (101.1) and W284CQ at 104.7 FM and is branded “WONK-FM, Smart People. News.”  iHeartMedia says the launch of the new station comes after its recent on-air and online celebration of “National WONK Day” – a day created for listeners that have a keen interest in inside-the-Beltway news – and WONK-FM will be “a news and talk station serving thought leaders, influencers, and stakeholders inside the Washington, DC beltway.”  The press release states, “The new station will broadcast renowned anchors Stacy Lyn and Alexandra Lane weekdays from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm and will feature the latest breaking news and headlines from Washington, DC.  In addition, WONK-FM will air instant reactions from opinion leaders and on-air talk personalities originating from iHeartMedia’s 130-plus news and talk stations throughout the United States.” iHeartMedia region president Michael Preacher comments, “WONKs are the behind-the-scenes people in DC who are innovators, experts, and are passionate about their work.  DC’s WONKs are the unsung heroes who solve the world’s most difficult problems and they deserve to have a dedicated platform.”  Programming the new station is current WRKO, Boston programmer Michael Czarnecki, who will work in Washington. He adds, “With the accelerated pace of today’s news cycle, we look forward to providing a contemporary approach to delivering a ‘wonk-centric’ and uniquely DC view of the news.  I’m thrilled to be joining the iHeartMedia team in Washington DC as part of Washington’s WONK-FM.”  You can see a video the company made to promote the station and their targeting of “wonks” here.

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s December 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk.  The drop off in cume from end of the 2018 baseball season affected some sports talk outlets negatively as 61% of those stations in PPM markets saw their weekly, 6+ AQH share diminish from the November to the December surveys.  However, year-over-year, 62% of sports talk stations realized improved 6+ numbers. In the market rank category, RadiOhio’s WBNS-FM, Columbus takes the blue ribbon, ranking #3 in the market with a 7.3 share.  Entercom’s WIP-FM, Philadelphia ranked #4 in December with a 6.3 share; and three stations – Beasley’s WBZ-FM, Boston; Entercom’s WFAN-AM/FM (Long Island); and Entercom’s KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh – all ranked #5 in their respective markets.  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Emmis Communications Releases Fiscal Q3 Numbers; Pro Forma Revenue Up 5%. The third fiscal quarter for Emmis Communications Corporation ended November 30, 2018.  The company notes that, due to the recent sale of five stations (KPWR, Los Angeles in August 2017 and four radio stations in St. Louis on April 30, 2018), its reported results are not comparable year over year.  Emmis’ radio net revenue for fiscal Q3 was $28.7 million, down from $34 million in the prior year.   However, pro forma for all radio station sales, revenue “was up 5% in markets that were up 2%.”  Emmis chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan comments, “With this quarter’s strong performance, Emmis is now outperforming its markets through the first nine months of this fiscal year – quite an achievement.  Political revenues certainly helped, but we also saw growth in our core advertising categories, all of which contributed to Emmis having its strongest quarter in four years.  New York and Indianapolis both outperformed their markets and continue to produce strong ratings, which should help sustain Emmis’ revenue growth.  That certainly appears to be the case in January and February, where both months are pacing up mid-to-high single digits.”

#250 Working on Ways to Overcome Obstacles in Maximizing Direct Response Spot Success.  It is no secret that a significant percentage of talk radio advertising consists of direct response advertising and the results are tallied by the sponsors – making it even more imperative that the spots get measurable action.  Considering the fact that much of the listening is done while driving, it makes it even more of a challenge to get people to make the leap from hearing an 800 phone number and actually placing the call while the thought is top of mind.  The firm #250 – America’s Mobile Speed Dial has been making progress in simplifying this process for talk shows, stations and networks across the nation by creating simple word prompted codes and phrases designed to simplify the act of calling while behind the wheel.  Now they have taken it one step further addressing another problem.  #250 chief marketing officer Dave Robinett tells TALKERS, “Accomplishing the task of making your advertiser’s phone ring is tough enough.  But there are many points of ‘breakage’ after that.  Phone reps can be poorly trained or rude.  Client phone systems or call centers might have technical issues.  Long hold times might encourage abandonment.  The #250 platform recently solved a major-yet-unrealized problem for a Premiere Networks advertiser.  A timeshare exit company’s ad was working well – so well that when the spot ran and calls came pouring in, they exceeded the 15 available call center agents.  The ‘overflow’ callers then got a busy signal.  Since these callers came in via dialing #250, for the first time ever, this advertiser has visibility to how many calls they were blocking.  It was also revealed that only one in 15 of these blocked callers bothered to attempt to call the advertiser later that day or next day.  This was clearly significant lost revenue – that the advertiser never knew they were missing – since they never before had visibility to calls they never received!”  Robinett continues, “But #250 was able to implement a call saver feature to detect the busy signal, take back the call, and prompt the caller to leave their name and number for a callback.  This voice message was set up to be emailed immediately to a designated sales manager back at the advertiser.  The advertiser was extremely pleased with the proactive discovery of a way to increase revenue by the Premiere sales executive, John Buckley.  Loyalty established.  Media spend secured.”  Dave Robinett will be one of 55 industry leaders speaking at the forthcoming convention Talkers 2019: Telling the Story in NYC on Friday, June 7.  He can be reached at 816-559-0620.

2019 New York Festivals Radio Awards Issues Call for Entries. The 37th New York Festivals Radio Awards is open for entries.  Established in 1982, New York Festivals Radio Awards is an international audio awards competition in which entries are judged on production values, organization, presentation of information, creativity, and use of the medium. New York Festivals enlists jurists from around the world to become members of their world-class Radio Awards Grand Jury.  Jurors include some of the world’s most recognizable voices and captivating content producers in the radio industry.  Building on last year’s category reorganization, the competition once again added new categories with respect to today’s robust radio industry. New categories for 2019 include: Best Audio Book – Children’s, Best Digital Esports, and Human Rights Documentary.  NYF expanded its Podcast categories to include Serialized Podcast, Companion Podcast, and Narrative/ Documentary Podcast.  NYF Radio Awards VP and executive director Rose Anderson states, “Listeners everywhere are embracing the expanded audio universe and they are clamoring for authentic storytelling experiences from direct-to-digital podcasts and documentaries, to audiobooks and esports coverage.  Our advisory board and industry leaders have been a great help as we continue to recognize innovation and excellence.”  The deadline to enter the 2019 Radio Awards competition is March 15, 2019 and you can do that here.  Winners will be honored at the annual gala in New York taking place on June 24.

TALKERS News Notes.  On Tuesday (1/8), iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman appeared on Bloomberg TV’s “Bloomberg Markets” program with Vonnie Quinn and addressed a number of radio business topics, including: iHeart’s exit from Chapter 11, the company being open to partnerships with other media companies, iHeart being ‘under-monetized’ compared to its reach, TSL and return on investment, and more.  Watch the segment here…..CRN Digital Talk Radio adds “The Dr. Mitch Show” to its network roster.  Dr. Mitchell Ghen hosts an interactive health talk show relying on his 38 years of experience in anti-aging, holistic, and integrative medicine to answer listeners’ health-related questions…..“Amazing Race” winner, “Big Brother” contestant, and reality star Jessica Graf launches a new podcast called, “Now What?” via PodcastOne.  Graf says, “Having a podcast for me is like having a very public diary!  And I’m really excited about that!  Up until now, I’ve really focused on staying active on Instagram, but there’s so much that goes on in life that I feel like Instagram doesn’t always provide the opportunity to share.  So now I have this brand-new podcast platform to be brutally honest on!”…..Reality TV stars Brandi Redmond and Stephanie Hollman of Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Dallas” are jumping into the podcast world via YEA Networks.  The program, “Weekly Dose of B.S.,” is an “anything-goes, unedited, uncensored weekly podcast.”…..Cadence13 partners with “Comments by Celebs” founders Emma Diamond and Julie Kramer to produce a podcast of the same name.  The friends and recent Syracuse University grads took advantage of Instagram’s 2017 algorithm changes that make it easier to see comments by verified accounts across the platform to create the @CommentsbyCelebs account that captures the “cheeky and witty comments” celebrities post on one another’s posts. Since its inception, @CommentsbyCelebs has amassed a following of almost one million people and worldwide recognition, with media and celebrity followers including: Gwyneth Paltrow, Katie Couric, John Mayer, Kelly Ripa, and Chrissy Teigen.…..WBUR, Boston announces the public media stations selected to participate in BizLab’s initiative to design and conduct revenue experiments for public radio in the digital age.  The project is funded with $750,000 from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and $250,000 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.  Each participating station will work with WBUR’s BizLab for six months, “using lean, user-centered design methodologies to identify and test new sources of revenue for that station.  By engaging audiences and quickly testing concepts in-market, each station will generate quantitative results to inform their near-term strategic investments. Collaborating stations will share results and best practices with each other and the broader public radio system.”  The selected stations are: WAMU, Washington D.C.; Louisville Public Media (WFPL, WFPK, WUOL); Capital Public Radio, Sacramento; WLRN-FM, Miami; Vermont Public Radio; and WDET-FM, Detroit…..Yesterday (1/9), Genesis Communications Network-syndicated talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs celebrated her 10th anniversary as a talk radio show host…..Appearing on Lou Simon’s “The Diner” program on SiriusXM’s “Volume” channel (talk programming dedicated to music and the music business) recently were legendary radio personalities John Records Landecker, Shotgun Tom Kelly, and Joey Reynolds, as well as “Radio’s Best Friend” Art Vuolo.  The three jocks were together for the Radio Dream Lunch in Los Angeles and, according to Vuolo, the show was so much fun that Simon is adding guests to his program. He’s already interviewed Paul Peterson of “Donna Reed Show” fame and singer/songwriter Jackie DeShannon.  You can see video of the show here.  Pictured below are Landecker (left) and Kelly (right) in the studio.

Trump’s Border Wall Address, Government Shutdown, Trump-Russia Investigation, 2020 Presidential Race, Ed Buck Case, Bezos Divorce, Showtime’s Roger Ailes Series, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/9). Tuesday night’s presidential address on the U.S.-Mexico border wall issue and President Trump’s battle against Democrats on the matter; the ongoing government shutdown; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; possible 2020 presidential candidates including Elizabeth Warren, Michelle Obama, and Kamala Harris; the case of Democratic donor Ed Buck and the recent deaths of men at his California home; Amazon chief Jeff Bezos and wife divorce amidst speculation about infidelity; the legal battles surrounding the Showtime series about late FOX News Channel chief Roger Ailes; and the NFL 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. The nominees for the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards presented by iHeartMedia and Fox Broadcasting Company on Thursday, March 14 live from Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles have been announced.  This is the sixth year of the iHeartRadio Music Awards and the 2019 telecast will feature live performances from today’s star performers, artist collaborations, celebrity guest appearances, and live award presentations in multiple categories.  iHeartMedia Entertainment Enterprises president John Sykes says, “It’s no secret why this year’s iHeartRadio Music Awards nominees are a Who’s Who of music.  These are the artists and the songs iHeartRadio listeners couldn’t get enough of this past year.  It’s going to be an unforgettable show.”  See the whole list here…..San Diego radio personality Chris Cantore is officially named morning drive host on Tegna Inc’s adult hits KFMB-FM “100.7 San Diego.” Cantore – who’s served with KPRI, KBZT, and XTRA-FM in the market – has been filling in hosting the morning show for several months.  KFMB-FM program director Mike V. Vasquez says, “Cantore has that cool, laid-back vibe that is so easy to connect with. He’s not only entertaining, but he’s an authentic guy who cares about our community.  He epitomizes all things San Diego and is an ideal ambassador for our station.  I’m thrilled to have him joining our ‘100.7 San Diego’ family!”…..iHeartMedia Sacramento announces that Paul Robins is the new afternoon drive host on KBEB “92.5 The Breeze, Sacramento’s #1 For Relaxing Favorites at Work,” effective Friday, February 1.  Robins also heads up William Jessup University’s Digital Communication and Design Bachelor of Arts degree program.  He’ll host his show from the university’s studio while giving his students the opportunity to earn hands-on training with broadcast and digital content for the station.  During his career, Robins has worked in Detroit, Dallas and Sacramento, including for 20 years as half of “The Paul and Phil Show” on KGBY “Y92.”…..Cumulus Media’s urban contemporary WLXC, Columbia, South Carolina “KISS 10-3.1” adds the Westwood One-syndicated “Rick and Sasha” program for morning drive. WWO just the launched the program starring Rick Party and Sasha the Diva into national syndication…..TALKERS magazine sends condolences to the family and friends of programmer pro Harve Alan, who passed away on January 6.  During his career he’s served with CBS RADIO, iHeartMedia, ABC Radio Networks, NextMedia, and Metro Networks.  He also operated his own consulting firm.

Friday, October 26, 2018

| October 26, 2018

Good Karma to Flip WKTI-FM, Milwaukee to Sports Talk as ‘ESPN Milwaukee 94.5.’ When Craig Kamazin’s Good Karma Brands takes ownership of country WKTI-FM and news/talk WTMJ-AM, Milwaukee on November 1, it will flip WKTI to sports talk as “ESPN Milwaukee 94.5.”  Good Karma is buying the duo from E.W. Scripps for $16 million.  In a press release, Karmazin says, “This is a natural evolution of our sports marketing, event and broadcast business in Wisconsin.  94.5 FM’s powerful signal, along with the synergy of its legendary sister station WTMJ-AM, will provide new and exciting ways for fans to stay close to their favorite teams and provide new ways for our marketing partners to engage with Wisconsin sports fans.”  WTMJ-AM is the flagship station of the Green Bay Packers, the Milwaukee Brewers, and the Milwaukee Bucks and Good Karma’s WAUK-AM “540 ESPN” airs Marquette University basketball play-by-play.  Initially, both WKTI and WAUK will carry the same programming, including the “Wilde and Tausch” show featuring Packers Hall of Famer Mark Tauscher and award-winning Packers writer Jason Wilde – as well as the “Homer & Gabe” show, hosted by Steve “The Homer” True and Gabe Neitzel.  This move adds another station to the sports talk battle in Milwaukee with Entercom’s WSSP-AM/W289CB “105.7 The Fan” and iHeartMedia’s WOKY-AM “The Big 920.”

WMAL-AM/FM, Washington Evacuated After Mail Bomb Scare. After receiving a suspicious package at its Jenifer St. NW offices in Washington, Cumulus Media DC called authorities and the building was evacuated from about 4:00 pm to 5:45 pm on Thursday.  WRC-TV reports that police arrived and after a period determined the package was not a threat. WMAL and sister WRQX-FM staffers were allowed to return to the offices.  The package was addressed to WMAL personalities, according to afternoon host Larry O’Connor, who Tweeted, “Though it does not look like the other packages we have seen the past day or two, there were some similarities. DC police examined it and immediately ordered full evacuation.”  Ultimately, WMAL reporter Heather Curtis Tweeted that the package appears to have contained pieces of the Berlin Wall intended as gifts to WMAL talk show hosts.

iHeartMedia Seeks Exclusivity Extension. The company is asking the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Houston for more time in the exclusivity window – the period during which only it can submit reorganization plans – because it says it’s making progress after successfully negotiating with a “vast majority of creditors.”  iHeartMedia’s current exclusivity window expires on November 24 but would like the court to give it until February 7 of next year.  The company says it is seeking “a further extension to ensure that the Debtors can build upon the substantial progress made to date without distraction from other competing plans.”  The company further states that although this Fifth Amended Plan has not been confirmed, it and its advisers are “diligently working toward the Confirmation Hearing on December 11, 2018 and are currently in the midst of the solicitation process.”  This means it’s likely that iHeartMedia will not exit Chapter 11 until sometime in early 2019.

Jed Burns to Lead Bighorn Radio Network. Radio management pro Jed Burns is promoted to vice president and general manager for Legend Communications of Wyoming’s Big Horn Radio Network.  Legend Communications owners Larry and Susan Patrick say, “Jed has been with us for nearly 10 years now and he has significant management and marketing experience.  Jed’s leadership will enable the Big Horn Radio Network to continue to super serve our communities, our listeners, and our advertisers throughout the Big Horn Basin.” Big Horn Radio Network operates news/talk KODI-AM, Cody; news/talk KWOR-AM, Worland and six other music outlets.

Tampa Bay Times Runs Feature Piece on Bubba the Love Sponge.  The story by feature writer Christopher Spata tells that tale of the rise and fall of Tampa-based shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge, a.k.a., Todd Clem.  In the piece, Bubba is very honest about his standing in the radio industry, his huge legal bills defending himself in the Nielsen ratings tampering suit, and the fallout from the Hulk Hogan sex tape case.  Though he recently said during a guest appearance on the Howard Stern show that he lost his house, the truth is that his St. Petersburg mansion is on the market for $1.3 million.  Read the Times piece here.

Beasley Media Group’s Caroline Beasley Joins ‘Most Influential Business Leaders.’ The honor comes from Florida Trend magazine as the publication releases its list of 500 executives in the state it deems the “Most Influential Business Leaders.” Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley was named among the “500 executives selected based on extensive contacts in regional business circles, hundreds of interviews and months of research, culminating in a highly selective biographical guide to the people who really run Florida.”

Democrat-Targeted Mail Bombs Top News/Talk Story for Week of October 22-26. The 10 package bombs sent to high-level Democrats and CNN was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the midterm elections and the battle for control of the House and Senate. Coming in at #3 was the migrant caravan moving through Mexico toward the U.S. border, followed by global financial markets activity and the wildly fluctuating Dow 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.

 

KIRO-FM, Seattle Seeks Night Host. As the Bonneville station says, this is a “golden opportunity with one of the nation’s most established and respected news/talk stations. We’re looking for a fun, entertaining, and well-informed individual who can deliver remarkable content that attracts an adults 25-54 audience. In addition, qualified candidates should be able to regularly contribute to the various digital platforms including, but not limited to regular blogs, podcasts, and/or videos, online listener chats, and use of other social media platforms in addition to emerging digital technologies.” KIRO-FM would prefer candidates have one to two years of major market hosting experience. Check out the application info and full job description here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Three changes to report at Beasley’s country WSOC, Charlotte.  First, Jack Daniel takes on the program director role for both WSOC and sister Americana WBCN-AM/W234BY “94.7 Smoke” in addition to his current role as afternoon host on sister adult contemporary WKQC “K104.7.”  Second, Philip Tabakelis, a.k.a. Big Sexy, is named as assistant program director for WSOC in addition to his current role as evening personality.  Finally, Mimi Wheeler adds WSOC music director to her responsibilities that include serving as co-host of the “Tanner in the Morning” show and her work as assistant digital PD.  Beasley EVP of programming Justin Chase says, “After an exhaustive nationwide search, we found the most ideal and experienced programming team for WSOC within the walls of the station.  At Beasley, we always look for ways to promote from within.  I’m proud that we were able to this time with Mimi, Phillip and Jack.”…..Programmer Chris Eagan is promoted to senior director of operations at Cox Media Group’s Atlanta cluster.  In this new role he’ll oversee programming for CHR WSB-FM “B98.5,” classic hits WSRV “97-1 The River,” and urban contemporary WALR “Kiss 104.1.”  Eagan joined Cox Media Group in 2008 as the program director at WEZN.  In 2012, he assumed the role of director of branding and programming, responsible for on-air programming for WSB-FM and WSRV-FM.  In addition, he also provides expert consultation and collaborates with six of CMG’s radio markets as AC/hot AC format leader to achieve target ratings in the adult contemporary brand…..At Entercom’s Seattle adult contemporary KSWD “94.1 The Sound,” Jeanne Ashley joins to serve as morning show co-host and assistant program director.  On air, she’s partnering with John Fisher for the “John and Jeanne” show.  Entercom Seattle SVP and market manager Jack Hutchison says, “Jeanne is an exceptional radio talent and we are happy to have her join The Sound’s air team because of her deep understanding of the values of the adult contemporary format, from the interests of its fans to its music library.  She is fresh, engaging, and a great fit with John’s wit and local wisdom.  Her music programming skills will provide us with greater creative power in packaging and presenting The Sound’s unique blend of relaxing favorites.”…..In the Akron/Canton, Ohio market, iHeartMedia names Scott Davidson program director country WHOF-HD2/W259BW “99.7 Canton’s New Country” and adult hits WHOF “My 101.7, The 80s and More,” effective immediately.  Davidson will continue his morning host role on WHOF…..Hubbard Radio’s legendary St. Louis rock outlet KSHE is launching its first official podcast that will cull the archives of its more than 50 years of interviews with rock royalty.  “The KSHE Tapes” is hosted by the KSHE Morning Rock Show’s John “The U-Man” Ulett and assistant program director and afternoon drive host Favazz. They will explore the back-stories and interviews heard on KSHE over the years.  Ulett is a 42-year veteran of KSHE and Favazz has been with the station for 27 years.  Ulett says, “It’s fun bringing back so many great interviews that were buried in storage for so many years.  Now they can live forever in the light of day.”  To date, the duo has produced two podcasts, one exploring a Sammy Hagar interview and one exploring a Paul McCartney interview.  Slash and Duff from Guns n’ Roses is posted today (10/26…..iHeartMedia announces what it is calling the “first ever nationwide song roadblock” in which it will play Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” across its 650 radio stations and their websites at 9:00 am (local time) on November 1 to promote the November 2 release of the Twentieth Century Fox and Regency Enterprises film, Bohemian Rhapsody…..Cumulus Media’s CHR KLIF-FM, Dallas “HOT 93.3” is adding the YEA Networks-syndicated nationally syndicated “Tino Cochino Radio” program for afternoon drive, effective October 29…..Sun Broadcast Group promotes interactive project manager Alex Quintero to affiliate content manager, effective immediately.  In his new position, Quintero will affiliate stations for all SBG shows and services, maintain relationships with current affiliates, assist in development of marketing materials for new affiliates and monitor effectiveness of marketing campaigns, among other duties…..Last night (10/25), superstar singer Kelly Clarkson performed at an intimate event hosted by iHeartMedia at the Rosen Shingle Creek during ANA Master of Marketing in Orlando, Florida.  The night also featured a fireside chat with Clarkson and iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman.  Pictured below are (from l-r): iHeartMedia president/COO/CFO Rich Bressler; iHM president, entertainment enterprises John Sykes; Clarkson; Pittman; iHM president, national programming group Tom Poleman; MediaLink founder and CEO Michael Kassan.  (Photo: Getty Images for iHeartMedia)

Friday, October 19, 2018

| October 19, 2018

Limbaugh Sits Down with Hannity on FNC.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Rush Limbaugh sat down with Sean Hannity on the latter’s FOX News Channel program last night (10/18) for a freewheeling hour in which the two talked about everything from Limbaugh’s historic success as a radio personality, the radical left’s alleged “mob violence” tactics, the importance of the midterm elections, the Kavanaugh confirmation, Limbaugh’s concern for the future of America, and more.

Dibs Re-Ups with ‘The Game’ in San Francisco. Morning drive personality Dan Dibley signs a long-term deal to continue as a host on the “Joe, Lo & Dibs” show on Entercom sports talker KGMZ-FM, San Francisco “95.7 The Game.”  Entercom San Francisco SVP and market manager Gregory Nemitz says, “Dan brings a unique style full of knowledge and humor to ‘95.7 The Game.’  He plays an important role on our morning team and we are excited to keep him around for years to come.”  Dibley was part of the first morning show when the station was launched in 2011. He left the station in 2014 and returned the following year.  Dibley works with co-hosts Joe Fortenbaugh and Lorenzo Neal.

Former Radio Financial Advice Host Convicted of Fraud.  This story is even stranger than so many of the past cases of financial advisers who bilked listeners to their (usually brokered) financial advice talk shows out of their life savings.  The backdrop to the case against Dawn Bennett was tinged with allegations of her use of “hoodoo” spells to prevent authorities from catching her.  The jurors who convicted Bennett on 17 counts of securities fraud, bank fraud, wire fraud and others did not hear about her attempts to keep investigators silent through the use of a “hold your tongue” spell using cow tongues nor her spending some $800,000 to pay Hindu priests to pray to keep investigators at bay.  But it certainly gave the press something to add to its coverage of the case.  Bennett was convicted of diverting millions of dollars from investors – both radio listeners and personal friends – to pay for her “lavish lifestyle.”  Her weekly “Financial Myth Buster” program was heard on WWRC, Washington.

More Than 500 Attend OAS and WHO, Des Moines Newt Gingrich Event.  Pictured above is former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on stage before a crowd of 500-plus at the Iowa Historical Building in Des Moines.  “An Evening with Newt Gingrich” was presented by iHeartMedia news/talk WHO-AM and Lee Habeeb’s rapidly growing, nationally syndicated “Our American Stories” program (heard evenings at 10:00 pm on WHO).

TALKERS News Notes. Two tidbits of news from Chicago from media journalist Robert Feder.  First, all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM weekend anchor Regine Schlesinger is stepping away from the station after a 45-year career there.  She left her full-time anchor role with the radio news outlet in 2016 and has been handling weekend anchor duties since then.  She first joined the station as an anchor and producer in 1973.  Also from the Windy City, at urban talk outlet WVON-AM, general manager Melody Spann-Cooper gets some relief from a Cook County Circuit Court judge who issues a stalking no-contact order against a former station account executive whom Spann-Cooper and her husband Pierre Cooper say has been harassing them.  She issued a public statement, “This has been a difficult chapter, having to prosecute someone who once had such great potential in our industry.  But history has shown that you cannot take threats and intimidation lightly, especially in the workplace.  My priority has been and will always be protecting my staff, my family, and myself.”…..A new podcast is launched on the iHeartRadio platform.  “Alchemy This,” a new improv comedy podcast hosted by award-winning comedian Kevin Pollak makes its debut.  Pollak is the star of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and was named one of the Top 100 Comedians of All Time by Comedy Central.  Each episode his team of alchemists will act out bizarre comical scenarios, giving listeners the opportunity to choose the settings/scenes…..SiriusXM is unveiling its new Big Ten Radio channel in cooperation with the Big Ten Network and the Big Ten Conference.  Big Ten Radio will feature live play-by-play broadcasts from several Big Ten men’s and women’s sports including football, basketball, baseball, softball and more. The new channel’s programming will feature exclusive new shows hosted by former Big Ten athletes, journalists and conference insiders, including former Ohio State star and 2005 Lombardi Award winner A.J. Hawk; former Illinois All-America offensive lineman Brad Hopkins; former Iowa defensive lineman Anthony Herron; former Penn State basketball player Jon Crispin; former Ohio State tight end Ben Hartsock; as well as Jason Goff, Tom Luginbill, Pete Pistone and Matt Schick…..Also from SiriusXM, the satcaster is presenting a special stand-up show, “Ricky Gervais and Friends: A Work In Progress,” featuring actor and comic Ricky Gervais.  It will take place at The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College on November 8.  “Ricky Gervais Is Deadly Sirius” premiered on the Comedy Greats channel in October 2017 and featured Gervais interviewing an eclectic group of guests, including musician Noel Gallagher and renowned scientist Richard Dawkins. In the second year, Gervais is expected to sit down with Jerry Seinfeld and other celebrities, as well as friends and fellow comedians…..In the Florence-Muscle Shoals, Alabama market, Singing River Group is buying a station group from URBAN Radio Broadcasting that includes news WVNA-AM, rock WVNA-FM, hip hop WMSR, country WLAY, and urban contemporary WMXV.  The price has not been announced.  George Reed of Media Services Group was the exclusive broker for the transaction.

The Case of Presumed-Dead Saudi Journalist Top News Talk Story for Week of October 15-19.  The case of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi – presumed murdered for his criticism of the Saudi regime – and the effect on U.S.-Saudi relations, tied with the numerous parties who’ve backed out of attending an investment conference in Saudi Arabia in response was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the November midterm elections and speculation about the 2020 presidential race.  Coming in at #3 was Senator Elizabeth Warren’s video revealing her ancestry test results, followed by the Robert Mueller’s expected release of a report on the Trump-Russia investigation 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.

Radio, Real Estate and Real Life: Former ‘Shock Jock’ Carolyn Fox Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  One of the first female radio personalities to be called a “shock jock,” former New England disc jockey and talk show host Carolyn Fox, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Back in the 70s, 80s and 90s, Fox was a major personality on a variety of leading radio stations in Boston and Providence with a growing national reputation in the industry.  She is a two-time recipient of Billboard’s Radio Personality of the Year award and has been inducted into the Rhode Island Radio Hall of Fame. But when the 21st century rolled around, things began to unravel for Fox in terms of both her career and marriage.  Her career sputtering and simultaneously going through a painful divorce, this mother of two decided to make a major change.  She packed up and headed to New York where she launched a new career and life as a real estate salesperson in Manhattan.  Playing upon her connections in radio, colorful history, and superb communication skills, she forged a dynamic career in the lucrative but highly competitive Manhattan real estate market as a member of the prestigious Corcoran Group’s sales team.  Harrison and Fox talk candidly about changes in radio including what it takes to “move on” and explore the fascinating idiosyncrasies of Manhattan real estate.  Harrison says, “Let’s not hide from the fact that the shrinking of the radio industry since consolidation has forced thousands of broadcasting pros to reinvent themselves and find new ways to make a living, not to mention keep their heads on straight.  I think this conversation provides an enlightening and even inspirational glimpse into that process.”  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” in the right-hand column of the TALKERS newsletter and on every page on Talkers.com.

Envision Networks Seeks Talent Booker. If you’ve got the talent, we’ve got the cash. Do you have the contacts to book top celebrities for morning radio shows across the U.S.?  We’re seeking a highly motivated, freelance, go-get-’em type to book tours with everyone from Hollywood and TV types to classic rock artists and quirky people making headlines or going viral.  Good commissions and there’s no limit to the amount of $$ you can make.  Please have at least three years of experience as a talent booker.  If you have the connections, we want to connect with you.  Send a resume along with a list of celebrities you’ve booked in the past to celebsonradio@envisionnetworks.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Rock programming pro Borna Velic is promoted to program director for Saga Communications’ WHQG, Milwaukee “102.9 The Hog,” taking over for Joe Calgaro, who recently left the station to program Entercom’s rock WAAF, Boston.  Velic has been serving as music director and afternoon drive personality (with co-host Mitch Paget).  He’ll remain on the afternoon show in his new position.  WHQG general manager Annmarie Topel says, “Borna has been a major contributor since he joined us and an integral part of The Hog’s success.  He has great music intuition and knowledge of the format, coupled with a solid analytical ability that is essential in programming. It doesn’t hurt that the staff likes and respects him.”…..Farther north at Cumulus Media’s alternative WWWX, Appleton, Wisconsin “96.6 The Fox,” the station brings air personality Max back to host the afternoon drive show, effective Monday (10/22). He’s most recently been serving as operations manager at Case Communications’ triple A WLGE “FM 106.9 The Lodge” and classic hits WQDC “Rewind 97.7” in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.  He worked at the Cumulus Appleton station group from 2002 through 2009.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

| October 11, 2018

Emmis Fiscal Q2 Revenue Down 7%. Financial data from the second fiscal quarter of Emmis Communications’ year (ending August 31) is released and the company reports pro forma revenue was down 7% in markets that were down 4%.  The recent sales of KPWR, Los Angeles in August of 2017 and the St. Louis cluster on April 30 of this year make year-over-year figures not comparable.  Net revenue for the 2018 second fiscal quarter was $30.7 million, down from $41.8 million in the same quarter of 2017.  The company says underperformance is principally due to weather-related issues for New York’s Summer Jam in June, which led to its June revenues declining 16% for the month.  Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan says, “Emmis’ radio revenues were up 2% in both July and August, and Emmis’ third quarter is off to a strong start with September revenues up 1% and October pacing up double digits, which would be our strongest month in four years.  Ratings remain strong in New York and continue to improve in Indianapolis.  Austin has rebranded KGSR as “Austin City Limits Radio,” the result of a multi-year licensing agreement with Austin City Limits Enterprises, LLC, creating an eclectic format sure to connect with Austin listeners.  Also, our dynamic pricing business, Digonex, has seen a surge of new clients in the last couple of months and we are more excited than ever about the prospects for that business moving forward.”

Smulyan Says Future of NextRadio and TagStation in Limbo.  In his comments about Emmis Communications’ fiscal Q2 numbers, CEO Jeff Smulyan gives an update on the status of the NextRadio and TagStation projects.  He says, “For the past several months, Emmis and other companies in the radio industry have been working diligently to form a consortium that would own and operate the NextRadio and TagStation businesses. The participating companies envisioned using their collective scale and resources to build an attribution platform for the radio industry that would have provided the common language and measurement that radio advertisers are demanding.  Unfortunately, the consortium has not been formed and these efforts appear to have been unsuccessful.  Because Emmis is unwilling and unable to continue to fund the NextRadio and TagStation businesses as they are currently structured, we plan to dramatically reduce the operations of these businesses and explore other means of eliminating the operating losses from these businesses in the coming months.”

PPM Analysis: All-News. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on 6+ data from Nielsen Audio’s September PPM survey, today focusing on all-news.  While Entercom’s WWJ, Detroit shows a marked improvement of almost a full share over its 6+ weekly AQH in September of last year, most of the country’s all-news stations declined year-over-year.  Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington was again the only all-news station to rank #1 in its market, but Entercom’s KCBS-AM ranked #2 in both the San Francisco and San Jose markets, while WWJ, Detroit ranked #3 in September.  See the entire report here.

Dow Drops 800+, Hurricane Michael Hits Panhandle, UN Climate Change Report, Clintons Speaking Tour, Astronauts Emergency Landing, Missing Saudi Journalist, First Man Film, NFL Action, and MLB Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/10).  The Dow dips more than 800 points on fears of interest rate hikes; Hurricane Michael slams into the Florida panhandle causing devastating flooding; reactions to the UN climate change report that heightens urgency for controlling carbon emissions; Bill and Hillary Clinton’s plan to launch a speaking tour after the November election; U.S. and Russian astronauts survive emergency landing in failed launch to International Space Station; concerns about Saudi deception in case of missing journalist; this weekend’s opening of the film First Man; the weeks’ NFL action; and the Major League Baseball playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. Fans of Howard Stern and Opie & Anthony will certainly get a kick out of the latest “Opie Radio” podcasts.  Gregg “Opie” Hughes recently hosted former Stern cast members “Stuttering John” Melendez, and Jackie “The Jokeman” Martling (along with “Opie Radio” regular Carl Ruiz) for what is being produced as a two-part podcast.  Westwood One says the podcasts reveal “personal stories about backstabbing and redemption in a post-Howard Stern satellite radio world.  This double-episode also covers the complicated history between the Howard Stern show, the Opie & Anthony show, ‘The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,’ and the revealing books available now from John and Jackie.”…..In a related story, Anthony Cumia is publishing a book that promises to tell all about his break-up with Gregg “Opie” Hughes, his suspensions and firings from radio gigs (including SiriusXM), and much more.  It’s called, Permanently Suspended: The Rise and Fall… and Rise Again of Radio’s Most Notorious Shock Jock (2018, Post Hill Press) and is to be published on November 20.  Cumia is currently producing and hosting his eponymous online program…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that former longtime WTMX morning star Kathy Hart is going to make some appearances on Tribune’s news/talk WGN this month. Hart exited her role alongside Eric Ferguson on the Hubbard Radio hot AC back in April of 2017 – a move that has never been fully explained.  Since that time, she’s made a few appearances on WFLD-TV’s “Good Day Chicago” and now she’ll sit in with WGN’s Frank Fontana on his weekend show on the 14th and the 28th. The two will also sub for midday host John Williams next Wednesday (10/17)…..HRN Media Network, a Gen Media Partners company, hires broadcast and digital media expert Matt Feinberg as its chief strategy officer. HRN Media Network president Clark Logan says, “Matt is a longtime media industry veteran who has been involved with growth-oriented companies and is credited for leading their expansion across emerging technologies and platforms.  As HRN looks to meet the many opportunities that go beyond broadcast radio, Matt’s experience and knowledge will be pivotal in helping us achieve results for our content partners and advertisers.”…..E.W. Scripps’ news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee is hosting another “The Hometown Call at Turner Hall” viewing party for the Milwaukee Brewers’ NLCS game three against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday, October 15.  The free event features a massive movie-screen broadcast at Turner Hall Ballroom synced to Hall of Famer Bob Uecker’s play-by-play broadcast as heard on WTMJ RADIO and the Associated Bank Brewers Radio Network…..Monday night’s Westwood One broadcast of the Green Bay Packers vs San Francisco 49ers game will feature the first-ever national NFL broadcast with a father-daughter broadcast team.  MNF play-by-play announcer Kevin Harlan (right) will be joined by his daughter Olivia Harlan Dekker (left), who will serve as the sideline reporter.  Harlan says, “It’s probably every parent’s dream to someday get a chance to work side-by-side with their child.  The fact that this will be at Lambeau Field where Olivia’s grandfather ran the Green Bay Packers for more than two decades and where she used to play as a little girl and attended many games growing up, makes it even more special.   To be a part of an NFL broadcast is always an honor, but to have our daughter as part of our crew is extraordinary and wonderful.  I know I speak for Olivia, my wife Ann, and our three other children in saying that this will be an incredibly proud moment for our family, and we offer our sincere thanks to Westwood One and the NFL.”

Chris Stigall Hosts Ann Coulter for WPHT Speaker Series. Pictured above are WPHT, Philadelphia morning host Chris Stigall (left) with author and conservative media figure Ann Coulter (right) at the Broadway Theater in Pitman, New Jersey appearing before a sell-out crowd of 1,000.  Coulter is on tour promoting her new book, Resistance is Futile! How The Trump-Hating Left Lost Its Collective Mind.  Stigall tells TALKERS magazine that the event also brought about 100 people out to protest Coulter’s appearance.

Entercom Launches LGBTQ+ Station ‘Out Now.’  The station is airing on a number of Entercom stations’ HD2 signals as well as on Radio.com. It’s launching today (10/11) to coincide with National Coming Out Day and is based at the company’s KAMP-HD2 in Los Angeles.  Entercom LA SVP and market manager Jeff Federman says, “We are thrilled to launch ‘Out Now,’ a passion project for our entire team, to give a voice to the LGBTQ community and its allies.  Our goal is to provide a high-quality listening experience and content for our community as well as a diverse platform with differing points of view.”

Broadcasters Foundation of America Prepared for Emergency Grants for Those Affected by Hurricane Michael. The Broadcasters Foundation of America is preparing for another influx of emergency grant applications from victims of Hurricane Michael, even as requests for emergency aid from those affected by Hurricane Florence are still coming in.  Broadcasters whose personal lives or property are acutely affected by Hurricanes Michael or Florence are encouraged to find out if they quality for an emergency grant by visiting https://broadcastersfoundation.org/hurricanerelief/State broadcast associations in affected areas are working with the BFoA to alert members that they can apply for aid.  The Broadcasters Foundation Emergency Grant Relief Program provides an expedited application process that is streamlined to deliver emergency funds as quickly as possible to qualifying individuals who work (or have worked) in broadcasting.  Emergency grants are based on financial need.  Earlier this year, the Broadcasters Foundation board of directors elected to double the maximum amount of an individual emergency grant from $1,000 to $2,000.  Last year, more than $300,000 was awarded to individual victims of a rash of disasters that included Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, as well as wildfires and floods.  To learn more about emergency or monthly grants or to donate, please contact the Broadcasters Foundation at 212-373-8250 or info@thebfoa.org or visit www.broadcastersfoundation.org.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports that Ryan Cameron is soon to be back on the Atlanta airwaves at Urban One’s urban contemporary simulcast of WAMJ/WUMJ “Majic 107.5/97.5,” beginning November 5.  Cameron will also be working with the company to “create content and strategy.”  He’ll host afternoons, bumping current PM drive personalities Silas “SiMan” Alexander and Chubb Rock to the evening show…..Entercom is launching its new morning show on Twin Cities country outlet WMNB “BUZ’N @ 102.9” that will star Mandy James, Paul “PT” Thomas, and current AM host Mike Dubs, a.k.a. Michael Wilczynski.  James was most recently host of the morning show at Townsquare Media’s CHR WZOK, Rockford.  Thomas comes to WMNB from Milestone Radio’s country KLCI, Elk River, Minnesota…..The Chicago-based rock band Friday Pilots Club is the winner of Cumulus Media’s 2nd annual neXt2rock competition.  Close to 1,700 artists entered the second installment of the neXt2rock franchise.  The final competition event featured live performances from the top five national finalists and a special performance by Roc Nation recording artist Dorothy. The winner of neXt2rock was selected by a panel of rock music luminaries and industry professionals, including Big Machine Label Group president & CEO Scott Borchetta; fashion designer and record label head John Varvatos; musician, songwriter, and producer Desmond Child; Korn frontman Jonathan Davis; and Fozzy frontman, actor, and wrestler Chris Jericho.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

| September 25, 2018

It’s a New Deal for Cumulus Programmer Bill Hess.  Programming pro Bill Hess and Cumulus Media sign a new, multi-year contract extension.  Hess is the company’s vice president of news/talk, program director for WMAL-AM/FM, Washington, and operations manager for the Washington, DC cluster.  During his 41-year career, Hess has programmed WTEM, Washington; WHJJ, Providence; and WHYN-AM/FM, Springfield, Massachusetts. He served as SVP of programming for Air America Media and has programmed music outlets WASH and WBIG in Washington.  Cumulus Media Washington VP/market manager Jake McCann says, “This is an exciting time for news/talk in our nation’s capital and we have the privilege of being led by one of the strongest program directors in the country.  Under Bill Hess’ leadership and hands-on approach, WMAL has consistently grown ratings.  He works daily with on-air staff to guarantee they are delivering a top-level product to their audience.”

Stone Canyon Buys Northern Arizona Station Group. This deal has three broadcast management pros organized as Stone Canyon Radio and Marketing, LLC buying four Northern Arizona signals from Grenax II Broadcasting for an as yet undisclosed sum.  The stations are: news/talk KBTK-FM/K246AA “97.1 The Big Talker,” country KSED “107.5 KOLT Country,” classic rock KWMX “The Wolf-Classic Rock 96.7,” and 80s rock KFLX “Rewind 92.5/104.1.”  Stone Canyon’s principals are former Cherry Creek Media CEO Joe Schwartz (left), Emmis SVP John Beck (right), and Withers Broadcasting and Dana Communications president Dana Withers (center).  Schwartz states, “This is a wonderful opportunity for three veteran broadcasters to pool our years of broadcast experience to create exceptional programming, on-the-street marketing, top digital assets, and to bring the best advertising services available to the Flagstaff-Prescott area. In addition, I can’t wait to work with current VP & general manager Stan Pierce and his team.”  Schwartz will be relocating to the Flagstaff area to work with the cluster team and Beck and Withers will remain in their current positions in St. Louis and Mt. Vernon, respectively.  The start of an LMA is expected to be announced in the near future.

WMAL’s Mary Walter to Host Fisher House Foundation’s Talk Radio Special. The Fisher House Foundation’s annual talk radio special, “Home Away from Home – The Fisher House Story,” is being hosted this year by WMAL-AM/FM, Washington morning co-host Mary Walter.   The Fisher House Foundation and The Jeff Wyatt Group are producing the program for talk stations around the country to be aired any time from Veterans Day (11/11) through the holidays.  Regular TALKERS readers are aware that the Fisher House program provides “a home away from home” for families of patients receiving medical care at major military and VA medical centers.  The homes provide temporary, free lodging so families can be close to their loved ones during a medical crisis.  This year’s three-hour radio special will feature stories of our nation’s heroes, families who serve by their side, and how Fisher House plays a role in their journey.  Show producer Jeff Wyatt says Mary Walter’s love of the military will add to the quality of the program.  “Her talent, well known support for our military, and broad base of listening across the U.S. makes her a great fit to support our wounded, injured, and ill service members and their families.”  Stations interested in the program can contact Wyatt at: jw@thejeffwyattgroup.com

TALKERS News Notes. Rhode Island talk radio host John DePetro is celebrating 20 years on talk radio in the Ocean State this month. DePetro says that he was working part-time air shifts on WABC, New York while also serving as national sales manager for WABC and sister WPLJ when he was offered a weekend show on WHJJ, Providence in his home state.  After a few months, he took over the full-time job of mid-morning host on WHJJ in January of 1999.  He currently is heard in Rhode Island on WNRI, Woonsocket, Rhode Island.…..iHeartMedia announces the fruit of its partnership with technology platform creators Jelli and Foursquare is a new attribution product for broadcast radio that will offer marketers “a unique combination of iHeartMedia’s massive reach and Jelli’s programmatic buying capabilities, with the attribution and insights tools from location technology company Foursquare.”  iHeartMedia says this is the next step in its effort to make radio easier to buy and measure. It says it “invested in Jelli’s programmatic platform to make the purchase of data driven radio campaigns as easy as digital, and now with the addition of Foursquare, more in-depth campaign measurement and real-world attribution data is now available to advertisers who buy via Jelli’s demand side platform SpotPlan.”  iHM president of revenue and data operations Brian Kaminsky adds, “This initiative with Foursquare and Jelli is the next evolution in the development of our platform, providing retailers and QSRs the same measurement and accountability for broadcast radio as Google is in search and Facebook is in social.”…..Entercom and Telemundo’s KTMD-TV, Houston announce a multi-platform media partnership that includes distribution of content across all partner channels, including KTMD-TV and Entercom’s Houston stations sports talk KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” and KIKK “CBS Sports Radio 650,” plus country KILT-FM, Spanish KLOL, and hot AC KHMX.  Content will also be distributed across each entity’s websites and social media platforms. Entercom Houston SVP and market manager Sarah Frazier says, “We are excited to partner with Telemundo and further serve our community with enhanced coverage.  We’re looking forward to continue bringing our listeners improved access and coverage of live, local news.”…..Sun & Fun Media announces it has hired Tim Closson to join the company as a senior AE.  He was previously manager of affiliate sales for country & sports at Westwood One.  Sun & Fun Media offers a “suite of products and services designed to increase sales, improve ratings, and reduce expenses for 100% barter.”…..Donna Hardwick is appointed chief marketing officer for PRX, the public media program supplier that recently merged with PRI.  Hardwick was most recently senior director of communications & distribution for ITVS.

Kavanaugh Assault Allegations/Cruz Restaurant Protest, Trump-Russia Investigation/Rosenstein’s Status, Midterm Elections, U.S.-China Trade War, Iran Threatens Attacks, NFL Action, and MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/24). The allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the related restaurant protest that forced Senator Ted Cruz and his wife to leave; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related uncertainty over the status of Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein; the coming midterm elections; the trade war between the U.S. and China; Iran’s threats against Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the U.S. after the deadly attacks on its military parade; the weekend’s NFL action; and the Major League Baseball playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Charlotte market, Beasley Media Group announces promotions at urban contemporary WBAV “V 101.9” and hip hop WPEG “Power 98.”  Brian “Mr. Incognito” Robinson is upped to program director for both stations.  He was most recently APD for WPEG and previously held the music director, afternoon drive host, and morning drive co-host positions.  At the same time, the company bumps Janine Davis up from traffic correspondent for both stations to midday personality at “V 101.9.”  Nikki “Ya Girl Nikki” Davis rises from evening host to afternoon drive personality on “Power 98.” Finally, John Reynolds is promoted to operations manager for the entire cluster.  Reynolds most recently served as the program director and operations manager at CHR WNKS “KISS 95.1” and Adult contemporary WKQC “K 104.7.”  Beasley Charlotte VP and market manager Bill Schoening comments, “John is an exceptional leader and very committed to the success of all of our Beasley Media Group Charlotte radio stations. I am looking forward to seeing him continue to build our strong brands for many years to come.”…..The Envision Networks-syndicated “Collin Raye’s Rewind Country” adds new affiliate stations WVWF-FM, Waverly, Tennessee and WPAY-FM, Garrison, Kentucky.  “Rewind Country” is a daily, one-minute vignette that “highlights amazing stories behind the greatest country hits, shared by Raye and friends such as Dolly Parton, John Michael Montgomery, and Lorrie Morgan…..ABC Radio, Skyview Networks, and Front and Center Entertainment are introducing radio versions of the PBS programs “The Front and Center Sessions”  — for country stations — and “The Speakeasy Sessions” for rock outlets.  Both series will feature 12, two-hour programs that are being produced exclusively for ABC Radio’s distribution.  ABC Radio VP and general manager Steve Jones says, “We are excited to work with today’s greatest performers in country and classic rock music.  We’re taking a wealth of content and weaving it into fast-paced radio programming that features great music and riveting behind-the-scenes stories and never-before-shared anecdotes from some of the biggest country and rock stars.”…..Westwood One is launching a new urban morning show on its 24/7 network starring former WHQT, Miami “Hot 105 FM” personality Rick Party (right) and former WALR, Atlanta “Kiss 104.1” jock Sasha the Diva (left). Comedian Benji Brown is also named as part of the cast.  WWO says it has 20-plus stations initially lined up to carry the program that is targeted to females 35-44.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

| September 13, 2018

PPM Analysis: All-News. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s August 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on the all-news format.  Almost 63% of all-news station saw their 6+ weekly AQH shares go up compared to the July 2018 PPM survey.  Comparing August 2018 data to that from August 2017, more stations were down than up this year with Entercom’s WWJ, Detroit leading the pack with an improvement of almost a full share.  Five all-news stations ranked in the top five in their respective markets during the August survey: Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington was the sole all-newser to rank #1 in its market; Entercom’s KCBS-AM was #2 in both San Francisco and the adjacent San Jose market; WWJ, Detroit and iHeartMedia’s KFBK, Sacramento ranked #3 in their respective markets and iHeartMedia’s WBZ-AM, Boston ranked #5.  See the entire report here.

iHeartMedia to Acquire Podcast Firm Stuff Media.  The companies are not commenting on the price, but The Wall Street Journal is reporting that a source familiar with the deal says iHeartMedia is paying $55 million for Stuff Media LLC, producer of the HowStuffWorks podcasts.  Today’s press release notes that HowStuffWorks was founded in 1998 as a reference site.  “HowStuffWorks pioneered the podcast space and was one of the first companies to turn podcasting into a revenue-generating business, bringing the medium to a mainstream audience with its informative, easy-to-understand explanations of how the world works.  Today, Stuff Media is one of the nation’s largest podcast publishers, with more than 61 million global downloads and streams per month.” Its signature podcast, “Stuff You Should Know” surpassed 500 million downloads this year.   iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman says, “This strategic acquisition will pair Stuff Media’s wildly popular content and strong creative capabilities with iHeartMedia’s extensive resources and massive scale through our digital platforms, social reach, and broadcast radio stations, introducing podcasts to the vast majority of the country and offering even more unique opportunities for advertisers to reach their consumers.”  Stuff Media president and CEO Conal Byrne will join iHeartMedia as head of its podcast division and will report to iHeartMedia Networks Group president Darren Davis.

Beasley Fayetteville, North Carolina Preps for Hurricane Florence.  As stations all across the Southeast (hopefully) prepare to serve their listening areas during Hurricane Florence’s arrival, Beasley Media Fayetteville, North Carolina checks in to share its preparation. Vice president and market manager Erika Beasley and operations manager Randy Bliss state, “Our stations are in full preparation mode here in Fayetteville.  This is the time we as local broadcasters do what we do best, serve our local communities that we live and work in!  The Beasley Fayetteville cluster has a very robust plan in place for our six radio stations. Of course, this region is still reeling from the effects of Hurricane Mathew that took place less than two years ago.  We are developing a timeline for going into full, wall-to-wall coverage, and have TV partners in the Raleigh market that we will be using for additional information…Essential personnel staff will most likely be coming in Friday morning and staying for some time.  We have made arrangements for water, food, and other important necessities. The stations all have newly updated mobile apps and we are actively pushing downloads of the apps, that will allow folks to stay tuned in even after they lose power.  Our team plans to continue to broadcast via streaming should any or all of our stations face off-air situations.  We also have a contingency plan to combine some our brands into a simulcast at some point so we can consolidate staff and pool our efforts together.

FOX News Announces New Streaming Video Service.  The conservative news organization announces that in the fourth quarter of this year it will debut FOX Nation – an on-demand, subscription-based streaming service that will feature its top talent, including Sean Hannity, Laura IngrahamTucker Carlson, and more.  FOX News SVP of development and production John Finley says, “FOX News has an incredibly loyal audience and we are confident our super fans will enjoy exclusive content helmed by the personalities they know and trust, which they will have access to watch anytime and anywhere.”  On demand access will be available on phones, tablets, computers, smart TVs, and anywhere else that allows streaming video.  The company says that “FOX & Friends” co-hosts Ainsley Earhardt, Brian Kilmeade, Steve Doocy, “The Five” co-hosts Greg Gutfeld, Jesse Watters, Dana Perino and Judge Jeanine Pirro will all play significant roles on the platform, as will online commentator Tomi Lahren.

Zena Burns Named to Futuri Media’s Executive Team. Media executive Zena Burns joins Futuri Media’s executive team as SVP, strategic marketing and brand development.  Futuri says Burns has “a 20-year history of developing strategies for driving growth for traditional media properties through digital innovation.  After running all entertainment editorial for the print edition of PEOPLE Magazine’s iconic TEEN PEOPLE Magazine, as well as overseeing its digital properties, she joined the company now known as iHeartMedia as the radio industry’s first digital program director in 2006.  Later, she became a key part of the team that developed and launched the iHeartRadio brand and app before founding the consulting agency Moxie Coalition.”  Burns will retain her equity in the company which will remain active under the leadership of associates.  The company says that in this newly created role, Burns will lead high-level marketing initiatives for Futuri, direct its marketing and communications investments, and collaborate with CEO Daniel Anstandig and Futuri’s leadership team on the development of Futuri’s suite of audience engagement and sales intelligence technology solutions.  Burns will remain based in Chicago where she will spearhead the opening of a Futuri office in the major media market for the Cleveland-based company.

TALKERS News Notes. Milwaukee news/talk outlet WTMJ extends its deal with the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks to continue serving as the flagship station for the BMO Harris Bucks Radio Network.  Added to the agreement this time are two new programs: a one-hour “Bucks Weekly Show” and a half-hour “Coach’s Show” that will air on WTMJ each week during the season.  WTMJ and sister country WKTI are owned by E.W. Scripps but are in the process of being sold to Craig Karmazin’s Good Karma BrandsTed Davis and Dennis Krause are the radio play-by-play on-air team…..Entercom announces two new football podcasts – one for Oakland Raiders fans titled, “The Silver and Black Podcast,” and one for the San Francisco 49ers faithful called, “Overtime.”  Both are available on Bay Area sports talker KGMZ 95.7 The Game’s website and via the company’s digital platform Radio.com.  “The Silver and Black Podcast” air every Monday and Friday throughout the season and is hosted by “95.7 The Game” on-air host and Oakland Raiders Radio Network sideline reporter Chris Townsend.  “Overtime” airs weekly and will be co-hosted by KGMZ personalities Bonta Hill and Joe “Butcher Boy” Shasky…..Baseball Hall-of-Famer Reggie Jackson is launching a new talk show on SiriusXM.  The weekly program is called “Swing Away with Reggie Jackson” and airs Saturdays at 11:00 am on the Mad Dog Sports Radio channel.  SiriusXM says, “Fueled by his love of all sports, Jackson will cover a broad spectrum of sports topics on ‘Swing Away,’ and he will be joined regularly by well-known athletes and celebrities on his program, where they will discuss the headline news in baseball, football, basketball, golf and much more.”

Hurricane Florence Approaches, Bob Woodward’s Trump Book, Trump-Russia Investigation, Russian War Games, Kavanaugh Nomination, Fager Exits ‘60 Minutes’/Moonves Allegations, Positive U.S. Economic News, New iPhones Revealed, NFL Action, and MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/12). The preparation for Hurricane Florence as it approaches the Carolinas; the reaction to Bob Woodward’s new book, Fear: Trump in the White House; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; Russia’s war games and China’s joint participation; the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for Supreme Court Justice; embattled “60 Minutes” producer Jeff Fager is fired and the sexual misbehavior allegations leveled at Les Moonves; the positive U.S. economic news; Apple unveils new iPhones; the week’s NFL action; and the Major League Baseball playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the immediate build-up to the 2018 American Music Awards on October 9, official national radio partners Westwood One and Cumulus Media will present special programming as it covers the fan-voted awards show.  The program takes place at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles and is being aired live on ABC-TV.  Westwood One will produce “Backstage at the AMAs” for more than 25 local stations and network groups.  Through its partnership with the American Music Awards and dick clark productions, WWO will also create exclusive AMA branded long-form and short-form content leading up to and following the awards…..Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that the Reach Media nationally syndicated Tom Joyner show is returning to Chicago radio on Future Vision Entertainment’s “95.1 FM Clubsteppin” heard on WLEY-HD2 and translators W236CF, Chicago and W236CG, Bolingbrook in the market.  LaMont Watts owns Future Vision and tells Feder, “Bringing Tom back to Chicago was just as important as the launch of this historic station. Tom is Chicago. The listeners love him and 95.1 is excited to welcome him home.”…..Imaging pro Mark Rider is joining Entercom’s alternative WSFS, Miami “104.3 The Shark” to handle imaging voice duties. Station PD John O’Connell says Rider has “a unique, versatile and powerful voice that fits the alternative format like a glove.  His delivery and style are warm, yet authoritative and that’s what set him apart from the rest.”…..Dick Broadcasting is now simulcasting CHR WKZL, Greensboro morning show “Jared and Katie in the Morning” on its Savannah, Georgia CHR WGCO “HOT 98.3.” The show consists of hosts Jared Pike and Katie Tesh with cast members Matt Wells, Thomas Marvin, and Jason Goodman…..SiriusXM is launching the limited-run Rod Stewart Radio channel on September 20.  The channel will feature music from all aspects of Stewart’s career, including from his new album, Blood Red Roses.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

| August 14, 2018

New Programming Lineup at ‘The Team 980’ in Washington; ‘Cooley and Kevin’ Exit AM Show. There’s a new weekday program schedule for sports talker WTEM, Washington “The Team 980” as Radio One assumes control of the station it is acquiring from Dan Snyder’s Red Zebra.  The morning team of Chris Cooley and Kevin Sheehan is out and Al Galdi takes over the 6:00 am to 10:00 am daypart. The  Washington Post reports that midday personality Bram Weinstein, as well as “Inside the Locker Room” hosts Scott Jackson and Rick “Doc” Walker are also off the schedule as Fred Smoot is now host of the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm show, followed by Brian Mitchell and Scott Linn from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm and Steve Czaban holding down the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm program.  The paper says program director Chris Johnson reports the station is “still in the process of finalizing our lineup.”  Both Walker and Cooley will continue to work the Washington Redskins game day broadcasts on the station this season.

Lar Larson Celebrates 15 Years in National Syndication.  KXL, Portland-based Lars Larson is celebrating his 15th year in national syndication tomorrow (8/15). Larson tells TALKERS magazine, “Wednesday, August 15, 2018 marks 15 years since the national syndication of the Lars Larson show. That’s the day I took over what had been the Laura Ingraham show on Westwood One.  When Westwood dropped the show after six years of syndication, Peter Kosann (who left his position as CEO of Westwood two years earlier) was there to rescue me with his brand-spanking-new Compass Media Networks.  Since then, Peter and his team have grown our affiliates and advertisers to make the Lars Larson show more successful than ever.  I’ve done the show live from NYC, DC & Jerusalem among others, as well as the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and literally dozens of towns – big and small – across the country.  Last November, the show was broadcast live from the East Room of the White House with President Donald J. Trump as the star guest.  Compass has agreed to carry my show through at least 2023, but as far as I’m concerned, I’ll keep talking for my friend Peter Kosann till he pulls the mic from my cold, dead hands.  Meanwhile, my show on the Radio Northwest Network marks 18 years in regional syndication throughout Oregon, Washington, and Idaho on 24 stations, including its flagship, ‘FM News 101’ KXL.”

Mark Sturcken to Lead Sales for iHeartMedia West Palm Beach/Fort Pierce Stations. Radio sales pro Mark Sturcken is named SVP of sales for iHeartMedia’s West Palm Beach and Fort Pierce stations, including news/talk outlets WJNO-AM, West Palm Beach and WZTA-AM, Fort Pierce/Vero Beach, plus sports talk WBZT-AM, West Palm Beach.  Sturcken was most recently director of sales for Beasley Media Group’s Las Vegas cluster.  iHM West Palm Beach-Fort Pierce market president Mark McCauley says, “Mark brings more than 20 years of radio sales and management experience to us and we’re excited to welcome him back to iHeartMedia.  Mark is a highly regarded leader in our industry and we look forward to having him lead our sales operation in West Palm Beach and the Treasure Coast.”

TALKERS News Notes.  According to a report from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Maria Sciullo, Steel City reporter Marty Griffin is leaving CBS Corp.’s KDKA-TV where he was featured in the “Get Marty” consumer assistance segment.  Griffin also hosts the late-morning “Inside Story with Marty Griffin” show on Entercom’s KDKA-AM and is continuing in that role. The television station says Griffin left at the end of July to pursue new opportunities…..Westwood One – in collaboration with Cult Favorite Media – is launching a new podcast titled, “Run Like a Girl,” hosted by voiceover artist and screenwriter Tracy Fraim.  The show will introduce listeners to different female candidates from across the country who are running the political race of their lives.  In addition, now through election day, the podcast goes inside the Gretchen Whitmer campaign for exclusive access to one of the most competitive gubernatorial contests in the country – Michigan.  Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes states, “The time is now for these exceptional women.  They’re courageous and tenacious, and we are proud to shine our spotlight on their personal stories and support them with a massive radio, social, and influencer marketing campaign.”…..Salem Media Group is acquiring Hilary Kramer’s investment newsletters GameChangers, High Octane Trader, Value Authority and Inner Circle as well as the websites HilaryKramer.com and KramerCapitalResearch.com.  In a press release, Salem says that “adding Hilary Kramer to Eagle Financial Publications’ portfolio of investment newsletters and trading services adds more depth to an already powerful mix of products.”…..Radio pro Bo Woods is partnering with Pastor Ron Merrell to launch a new, daily, 20-minute podcast called the “Ronnie and Bo” show.  Woods says, “Our basic premise is to entertain each other, relating life experiences and observations.  I believe that if we’re having fun, then the listener is too.”  Woods is the son of National Radio Hall of Fame air personality, Jack Woods.  “My father was half of a radio morning team show.  I followed in his footsteps when I got into radio, but it wasn’t until I started working with Ronnie that I knew exactly what he did.” Woods has served with Dial Global satellite; KRTH, Los Angeles “K-EARTH 101”; KLUV-FM, Dallas; and WWDE-FM, Norfolk.

Omarosa Book/Recording Case, Trump-Russia Investigation/Strzok Fired by FBI, DC White Nationalist Rally, Paul Manafort Trial, Tuesday Primary Elections, Turkey’s Lira Crisis, Aretha Franklin Ill, NFL Pre-season, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/13).  The secret White House recording made by Omarosa Manigault Newman and the release of her book; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents and the related firing of FBI agent Peter Strzok; Sunday’s white nationalist rally in Washington, DC; the trial of former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort; today’s primary elections in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Vermont and Connecticut; the financial crisis affecting Turkey’s lira and fears of global repercussions; reports of singer Aretha Franklin’s declining health; NFL pre-season activity; 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. Programming pro Steve McKay moves from Cumulus Media’s Wilmington, North Carolina cluster to the company’s Columbia, South Carolina station group to serve as program director for adult contemporary WTCB “B106.7” and classic hits WOMG.  Cumulus Columbia VP and market manager Rick Prusator says, “Steve McKay’s experience in our formats on WTCB and WOMG has delivered top ratings and revenues for the radio stations he has guided and his addition to our already great team in Columbia will bring immediate results.  Steve’s commitment to creating greater listener experiences and coaching his team to help them be their best is why I think he is the perfect leader to guide our team at this time.”…..Radio One Washington announces the return of DJ Quicksilva as the host of the all new afternoon drive “Quicksilva Show” on WERQ, Baltimore “92Q” and WKYS, Washington.  The show launched on WERQ on Monday (8/6) and will debut on WKYS on August 20. Quicksilva says, “I’m really excited to be back on the air doing what I love to do which is inspire and motivate all while making a party on your radio daily.  The Quicksilva show’s mission is to use my platform and voice to help others #InRealLife.”…..Hubbard Radio’s country WIL, St. Louis says that “because St. Louis is known as ‘the best baseball city’ in America,” it was “proud to present Dan & Shay with genuine, customized St. Louis Cardinals baseball jerseys before their recent show in St. Louis.”  Pictured below are (from l-r): Dan Smyers, WIL personality Kelly from Arnold, Shay Mooney, and WIL assistant program director/music director Danny Montana.

Nielsen’s Summer Format for 2018 Trending Towards Classic Hits.  In years past, classic rock and classic hits have been the formats to watch in Nielsen’s summer format of the year.  That’s calculated in PPM markets across the country comparing the format’s January-May 6+ AQH with the 6+ AQH for June-August.  The format with the most improvement takes the honor.  With August to go, classic hits is up 0.2 share over its January-May total.  Nielsen is also watching the trends in listening for Millennials (Persons 18-34).  The chart below shows AQH share among Millennials for July surveys from 2011 through 2017.  CHR continues to see erosion as its July 2018 AHQ share was 10.3.

Takeaways from July PPM – Round Two. Below are managing editor Mike Kinosian’s Twelve Takeaways from Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 PPM ratings survey.  This second report includes the 12 markets of Washington, Boston, Miami, Detroit, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Tampa, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s July 2018 survey period covered June 21 – July 18. You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

Washington, DC

Spoken-Word Formats – Each month this calendar year (January 2018 – June 2018), Hubbard all-news WTOP and American University-owned news/talk WAMU “The Mind Is Our Medium” finished first and second, respectively. There is a modification in July, however, as WTOP (9.5 – 9.3, -.2, 6+) remains at #1 for the seventh straight time, but WAMU (8.3 – 7.6, -.7, 6+) segues to third. WTOP rebounded from April’s -.8 with a +.1 in May (10.4 – 9.6 – 9.7, 6+). Following four consecutive months at #1, WTOP shifted to second-place in “Holiday” 2017. With a +1.3 in January (9.3 – 10.6, 6+), however, it reclaimed the top spot with its best 6+-stat since March 2011’s 10.6. Moreover, that +1.3 halted three successive declines that produced an overall -.5 (9.8 – 9.6 – 9.4 – 9.3, 6+). A collective -2.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (9.6 – 8.9 – 7.6, 6+), WAMU gained back 85% of that loss in January with a +1.7 and was -1.1 in March. It exited the top spot in September, after spending eight straight months there. Down one-half share to 3.2 (#11 to #13, 6+), Entercom sports talk WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” interrupts three upticks in succession that netted a +1.3 (2.4 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.7, 6+). Before notching a +.6 in January, the Washington Nationals flagship was without an increase in four straight survey periods for a roughly 50% decline (-1.7) of its 6+ AQH share (3.5 – 3.5 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+). On the flipside, Cumulus Media news/talk WMAL, which was a combined -1.5 via three consecutive downward moves (5.0 – 4.5 – 3.9 – 3.5, 6+), adds two-tenths in July to 3.7 (#13 to #11, 6+). In March, WMAL reached the five-share level (6+) for the first time in the PPM-era (5.0). It was without an increase in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017 for an overall -1.0 (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.0 – 3.7, 6+) before dialing up a +1.1 in January. Since appearing in print in May 2017, Entercom business news WDCH (#23 to #24) is trending .3 – .4 – .3 – .4 – .5 – .4 – .4 – .3 – .4 – .3 – .5 – .4 – .5 – .4 – .3 – .3 and is without an increase for the third month in a row.

Washington, DC Music Formats – Once again, urban AC rivals WMMJ and WHUR take center stage and combine to elevate the format by a +1.3. The majority of that increase is supplied by Radio One-owned WMMJ, which continues on an historic roll with its sixth straight up or flat report for a collective +2.3 (5.6 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 6.6 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+). Moreover, “Majic” (third to second) registers the highest 6+-stat (7.9) in its PPM history, breaking the “old” record set this time last month. Meanwhile, after four straight reports without an increase for an overall -1.4  (7.1 – 6.2 – 6.1 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+), Howard University’s WHUR (steady at #4) is a combined +1.1 in June and July (5.7 – 6.3 – 6.8), with July’s 6.8 its best 6+-showing since January’s 7.1. In April, “Majic” pulled ahead of WHUR for the first time since November 2015, which was when the two rivals were tied at 4.7 (6+). In each sweep since then, WHUR had been on top until WMMJ picked up two-tenths to 5.8, while WHUR faltered by four-tenths to 5.7. The February 2018 – June 2018 6+ topline for WASH “97.1 Washington’s Variety” was a steady 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.8 – 4.8, but the iHeartMedia adult contemporary outlet sputters in July by -1.0 to 3.8, drifting from fifth to ninth. This (3.8) marks the first time in the PPM-era that WASH has been below a four-share (6+). Despite being without an increase for the third sweep in succession for a -.4 (4.8 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.4, 6+), co-owned WBIG “Big 100 – Washington’s Classic Rock Station” climbs from sixth to fifth. With a July gain of three-tenths to 3.9 (#6+), Radio One urban contemporary WKYS wipes out the -.2 it logged in five straight down or flat surveys (3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+) and returns to the top ten (#12 to #8). Its similarly-formatted Baltimore sibling – WERQ “92-Q” – surfaces in the Washington, DC report with a .7 (6+), debuting at #20. Following three modest upticks in succession for an overall gain of six-tenths (2.9 – 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+), Entercom hot AC WIAD “94.7 Fresh FM” surrenders four-tenths to 3.1 (#13 to #14, 6+). Its format foe – Cumulus Media’s WRQX – picks up one-tenth (4.0 – 4.1, 6+) and inches up from seventh to sixth. “Mix 107.3” was an overall +1.7 in six consecutive up or flat trends (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.4, 6+), before recording a -.4 in June. Three consecutive minor decreases totaling four-tenths (4.1 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.7, 6+) are enough to force Entercom rhythmic CHR WPGC-FM out of the top ten (#9 to #11). Within 2.4 – 2.9 range (6+) for the eighth successive sweep (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.6, 6+), iHeartMedia alternative WWDC “DC-101” drops from #15 to #17.

Boston

Spoken-Word Formats – Up one-tenth in back-to-back monthlies (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2, 6+), Entercom sports talk WEEI-FM (ninth to eighth) overtakes Beasley Media Group-owned WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” (eighth to tenth), which is a combined -1.9 in June and July (5.7 – 4.3 – 3.8, 6+). Boston Red Sox flagship WEEI-FM was +1.4 in January, halting three decreases in a row that produced an overall -1.9 (5.9 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 4.0, 6+). It roared back from a cumulative -2.0 in February and March (5.4 – 4.1 – 3.4, 6+) with a +1.0 in April. WBZ-FM was -1.5 in February. Adding four-tenths to June’s +.1 (5.3 – 5.4 – 5.8, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news-talk hybrid WBZ-AM progresses from fifth to fourth. After three straight improvements for a cumulative +1.5 (4.9 – 5.2 – 5.4 – 6.4, 6+), “News Radio 1030” was -.9 in April; 6.4 in March is its best 6+-stat since January 2017’s 6.6. Owing to a two-tenths improvement to 2.5 (#15 to #13, 6+), news/talk sibling WRKO “AM 680 – The Voice of Boston” applies the brakes to three downward moves in a row for a collective loss of seven-tenths (3.0 – 2.7 – 2.4 – 2.3, 6+). The market’s two public news/talkers are off by a combined seven-tenths. Specifically, Boston University’s WBUR (fourth to fifth) is down three-tenths (5.9 – 5.6, 6+), while WGBH Educational Foundation’s WGBH (#11 to #12) forfeits four-tenths and is a combined -1.6 in three decreases in a row (4.7 – 4.1 – 3.5 – 3.1, 6+). In June, WBUR surrendered half of May’s +.6 with a loss of three-tenths. It was a collective -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017; +.7 in January; and +1.0 in March. WGBH was off two-tenths in both February and March and – as was the case with WBUR – improved by seven-tenths in January.

Boston Music Formats – Not only is iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WXKS-FM up or flat for the third straight time for an overall gain of seven-tenths (7.1 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 7.8, 6+), “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” sets the pace for the seventh straight ratings period. “Kiss” rebounded from a -.8 in “Holiday” 2017 with a +.9 in January (6.4 – 7.3, 6+) and was off by one-half share in April. It exited the top spot in December, after three straight months there. Meanwhile, the “Holiday” 2017 – July 2018 topline trending for its format challenger, Entercom’s WODS “103.3 Amp Radio” (#15 to #16, 6+) is 2.6 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.2. Repeating in the runner-up slot is Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies WROR “105.7 Boston’s Greatest Hits,” which is up an overall six-tenths via three modest upticks in succession (6.0 – 6.2 – 6.5 – 6.6, 6+). Notching its third straight increase as well is rhythmic hot AC sibling WBQT “Hot 96.9” (3.0 – 3.4 – 4.0 – 4.1, tenth to ninth, 6+), which has its highest 6+-share (4.1) since January 2017’s 4.4. This is the fourth month in a row without a loss for Entercom hot AC WWBX “Mix 104.1 Boston’s Best Variety” (flat at #11), which is up two-tenths in that stretch (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+). It’s a remarkably similar story for Beasley Media Group alternative WBOS “Alt 92.9 – Boston’s Alternative,” which is up two-tenths in four straight up or flat trends (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.0, unchanged at #18, 6+). A combined +.8 in April and May (2.2 – 2.6 – 3.0, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WKAF “97.7 Boston’s #1 For R&B” is now a collective -.9 in June and July (3.0 – 2.5 – 2.1, #14 to #17, 6+). Having been up an overall seven-tenths in May and June (4.7- 5.2 – 5.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WZLX “100.7 Boston’s Classic Rock” returns six-tenths to 4.8 (fifth to sixth, 6+). Co-owned rhythmic CHR WJMN “JAM’N 94.5” surrenders all but one-tenth of the six-tenths it gained in June (2.9 – 2.4, -.5, #13 to #15, 6+) and is within 2.2 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 13th successive sweep. Northeast Broadcasting triple A WXRV “92.5 The River” is off four-tenths in four straight down or flat trends (2.2 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+), while Entercom’s WAAF “The Only Station That Really Rocks” is -.8 in three consecutive decreases (2.3 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.5, 6+); WXRV and WAAF remain at #19 and #20, respectively. Operating out of Providence, Hall Communications’ WCTK “Cat Country 98.1” (#23) nearly doubles its 6+ Boston stat in seven successive up or flat trends (.7 – .8 – .9 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3, 6+). Elsewhere in the country format, Beasley Media Group-owned WKLB “102.5 Boston’s Hottest Country” (flat at #7) is off two-tenths (4.7 – 4.5, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s WBWL “101.7 The Bull – Boston’s #1 for New Hit Country” (#17 to #13) gains four-tenths (2.1 – 2.5, 6+). Following three straight down or flat trends that accounted for a collective loss of -1.0 (5.0 – 5.0 – 4.2 – 4.0, 6+), WKLB bounced back with a +.7 in June. Entering the July sweep, “The Bull” posted four straight month-to-month fluctuations of one-tenth (2.3 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+).

Miami

English-Language, Spoken-Word Formats – Linked together in June at #20, iHeartMedia news/talk WIOD “News Radio 620 – Miami’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” is flat at 2.0 (6+) and stays at #20, while Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN drops two-tenths (2.0 – 18, 6+) and falls to #21. A one-half share loss in May by WIOD halted seven straight positive or flat trends that netted an overall nine-tenths (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+). In advance of a +.5 in January, WLRN was a collective -.7 in three consecutive sweeps without an increase (2.6 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 1.9, 6+). In the sports talk arena, Entercom’s WQAM “Sports Radio 560” regains the one-tenth it lost in June (.9 – .8 – .9, flat at #25, 6+), while cluster-mate WAXY “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket” is off one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (.9 – .8 – .7, #25 to #27, 6+). When “The Ticket” posted a .8 (6+) in June, it curtailed five consecutive .9 postings (6+); WQAM’s May gain of two-tenths stalled five sweeps in succession without an increase for a collective -.8 (1.5 – 1.2 – .8 – .8 – .8 – .7, 6+).

Miami Music Formats – Following modest back-to-back gains of one-tenth and two-tenths (5.0 – 5.1 – 5.3, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary WAMR “Amor 107.5” explodes with a whopping +1.6 to 6.9 (6+) and marches from fifth to first, where it catches Cox Media Group adult contemporary WFEZ “Easy 93.1.” WFEZ  advanced from second to first in June. Following three straight months without a decrease for an overall gain of eight-tenths (6.7 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 7.5, 6+), “Easy” sputters by six-tenths in July to 6.9 (6+). Prior to April, “Easy” had been within 6.2 – 6.8 range (6+) in each of the previous 12 sweeps. In addition to the July -.6 by “Easy,” the market’s adult contemporary 6+-share softens by another three-tenths as Entercom’s WLYF “101.5 Lite FM” (fourth to fifth) is down by that margin and is actually a collective -1.2 in three straight sweeps without an increase (6.7 – 6.4 – 5.8 – 5.5, 6+). This (5.5) is the lowest 6+-share for “Lite” in exactly one year (5.2, July 2017). Just one-tenth behind co-leaders WFEZ and WAMR is Cox Media Group urban AC WHQT “Hot,” which is off three-tenths (7.1 – 6.8, 6+), sliding from second to third. As the result of four straight (slight) upticks (2.5 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.0, 6+) iHeartMedia urban contemporary WMIB “103.5 The Beat” (#16 to #14) is up one-half share, while Cox Media Group’s like-formatted WEDR “99 Jamz” (eighth to sixth) is flat in that same March 2018 – July 2018 timeframe, trending 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.7 (6+). Down a combined eight-tenths in June and July (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMIA “93.9 MIA – Variety From The ‘80s, ‘90s, & Today” slips from #15 to #18. Three-tenths of a share separates Miami’s two mainstream CHRs: Cox Media Group’s WFLC “Hits 97.3” is off one-tenth (3.7 – 3.6, 6+) yet advances from #11 to #10, while iHeartMedia-owned WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” gains two-tenths (3.1 – 3.3, 6+) to climb from #13 to #12. Down or flat nine reports in a row for a collective -1.4 (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+), WFLC was +.6 in June. Locked on 4.0 (6+) in January and February, “Y-100” eroded by eight-tenths in March. These two CHRs were separated by one-tenth in both April and May. At the same time that Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WXDJ “106.7 El Zol” (ninth to seventh) picks up three-tenths (4.2 – 4.5, 6+), Univision Radio’s similarly-programmed WRTO “Mix 98.3” (#10 to #11) forfeits three-tenths to 3.5 (6+), thus snapping at four a consecutive string of increases that yielded nine-tenths (2.9 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.8, 6+). WXDJ answers May’s -1.1 with a combined June and July increase of eight-tenths (3.7 – 4.2 – 4.5, 6+). Immediately before May’s -1.1, “106.7 El Zol” was an overall +1.3 in four straight sweeps without a loss (3.5 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+). The March 2018 – July 2018 topline (6+) trending for Entercom rhythmic CHR WPOW “Power 96” (steady at #16) is 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.7.

Detroit

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to a loss of nine-tenths (5.6 – 4.7, 6+), Entercom sports talk WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” fades from fifth to ninth. A combined -.6 in February and March, “97.1 The Ticket” was up nine-tenths in April. Prior to January’s +1.0, the Detroit Tigers flagship was -2.2 as a result of four losses in a row. Locked on 5.8 (6+) in May and June, cluster-mate WWJ “News Radio 950” slips by three-tenths to 5.5 (6+) and carries on in fourth-place. Following four up or flat trends in succession for a collective +1.0, WWJ was -.8 in April. In three straight negative trends (4.3 – 4.2 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WJR “News Talk 760” is a collective -.7 and segues from #11 to #12. Prior to the January sweep, WJR was -.9 in three straight declines (4.4 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.5, 6+). Even though Michigan Public Media news/talk WUOM (#19 – #20) is without an increase for the seventh straight survey period, it has lost just two-tenths in that timeframe (1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+). After being down or flat the past three sweeps for a loss of two-tenths (.9 – .9 – .7 -.7, 6+), Wayne State University news/talk WDET picks up one-tenth to .7 and is steady at #22 (6+).

Detroit Music Formats – A collective -1.4 in May and June (7.9 – 7.1 – 6.5, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WOMC erases half that deficit with a +.7 to 7.2 (6+). After four straight months at #1, “Detroit’s Greatest Hits”    lost eight-tenths in May and fell to #2; WOMC carries on in the runner-up slot in July. Its -.8 in May ended four consecutive up or flat sweeps that netted an overall +1.8 (6.1 – 6.7 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.9, 6+). When Beasley Media Group’s WCSX dropped two-tenths in June, it pulled the plug on five straight positive spikes that generated a +2.5 (5.4 – 5.9 – 6.3 – 6.7 – 7.6 – 7.9, 6+). In July, “94.7 – Detroit’s Classic Rock” answers with a gain of six-tenths to 8.3 (6+) and is #1 for the third month a row. Locked on 1.4 (6+) in April, May, and June, Detroit Classical and Jazz Educational Radio, LLC’s WRCJ breaks out a gain of six-tenths to 2.0 (6+) and enters the top twenty (#21 to #19). While it remains in third-place, Beasley Media Group’s WRIF “Everything That Rocks” tumbles by three-tenths to 5.3 (6+), thus ending four consecutive improvements that led to a combined +1.5 (4.4 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 5.5 – 5.9, 6+); June’s 5.9 was its strongest 6+-stat since January 2017 (5.9, as well). Simultaneous with iHeartMedia urban AC WMXD “Mix 92.3” (eighth to fourth) gaining two-tenths (5.3 – 5.5, 6+), Radio One rival, WDMK “105.9 Kiss FM – The Real Sound of ‘The D’” (#11 to #13), loses two-tenths (3.7 – 3.5, 6+). The market’s (6+) country share shrinks by four-tenths, as Entercom’s WYCD “99.5 Detroit’s Best Country” (tie at #5 to a three-way tie at #4) is off one-tenth (5.6 – 5.5, 6+), while Cumulus Media’s WDRQ “93.1 Nash FM” sputters by three-tenths to 2.5 (#16 to #17), its lowest 6+-showing since Holiday 2017’s 2.1. Three down or flat moves in succession by WYCD accounted for a cumulative loss of one-half share but that was fully erased in June with a +.5. When “Nash FM” slipped by two-tenths in June, it halted five consecutive up or flat moves that netted nine-tenths (2.1 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+). There is only slight June 2018 – July 2018 movement with the market’s two mainstream CHR players, although iHeartMedia’s WKQI iHeartMedia’s WKQI “Channel 95.5 – Detroit’s #1 Hit Music Station” (#10 to #11) is without an increase for the sixth successive sweep for an overall -.9 (4.8 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.9, 6+). Meanwhile, Entercom’s similarly-programmed WDZH “98.7 Amp Radio” (#17 to #15) is a combined +.4 in June and July (2.4 – 2.8, 6+), after having suspended three straight setbacks of one-tenth each (2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.4, 6+).

Seattle

Spoken-Word Formats – In the Bonneville cluster, news/talk KIRO-FM (5.1, second to sixth, 6+) and sports talk sibling KIRO-AMESPN 710” (3.5, #9 to #11, 6+) each surrender seven-tenths. The very steady KIRO-FM October 2017 – June 2018 6+-topline trending was: 5.7 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.4 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 5.8. As a result of four positive spikes in succession (2.3 – 2.9 – 3.6 – 4.1 – 4.2, 6+), Seattle Mariners flagship KIRO-AM was a combined +1.9. Prior to May, the last time KIRO-AM reached the four-share level (6+) was in October 2015 (4.3). Despite being down or flat for the third straight sweep for an overall -1.1 (6.5 – 6.0 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+), KUOW climbs from a fifth-place tie to a third-place tie. The Northwest Public Radio news/talker took over the runner-up slot in May after a one-month stay at #1. On top for four straight months before dropping to second in December, KUOW was +1.5 in January (6.4 – 7.9, 6+) as it returned to #1. When it lost six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, KUOW ended five consecutive up or flat trends that netted a +1.3 (5.7 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.5 – 7.0, 6+). In addition to posting its fourth up or flat trend in succession for an overall gain of seven-tenths (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.4, 6+), Bonneville’s KTTH “Conservative Talk Radio” returns to the top twenty (#21 to #20). As a result of four losses in a row, KTTH was -.8 (2.6 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 1.8, October 2017 – January 2018, 6+). Logging a 2.3 (6+) for the third time in the last five survey periods (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.3, 6+), Sinclair Broadcast Group’s all-news KOMO drops out of the top twenty (#20 to #22). The (6+) topline February 2018 – July 2018 trending for co-owned KVI “Talk Radio 570” (#24 to #25) is a remarkably consistent 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1. Locked on .6 (6+) in May and June, iHeartMedia-owned KJR-AM “Seattle’s Sports Radio 950” forfeits one-tenth to .5 (#27 to #28, 6+). Crista Media religious teaching KCIS – which notched a .5 (6+) in May – vanished in June but reappears in print in July with a .4 (#29, 6+).

Seattle Music Formats – A June increase of two-tenths (5.9 – 6.1, 6+) was enough to lift Hubbard CHR KQMV from third to first. Now, “MOViN 92.5” solidifies its hold on the top spot with a +1.7 to 7.8 (6+). That +1.7 represents the largest (6+) June 2018 – July 2018 improvement by any station in the 24 PPM-markets we’ve summarized so far. The last time KQMV reached the seven-share level (6+) was in February (7.1). At the same time, KUBE (formerly CHR KPWK), which was a collective +.8 in five straight sweeps without a loss (2.8 – 2.8- 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.6, 6+), surrenders the entire eight-tenths to 2.8 (6+), fading from #12 to #17. Taking over the runner-up slot (from third-place in June) is iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KJR-FM “95.7 The Jet,” which is a collective +1.4 in four straight up or flat trends (5.0 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.5 – 6.4, 6+). This (6.4) is the first time KJR-FM crosses the six-share level (6+) in more than two years (6.1, May 2016). The tie at #14 between the market’s two country FMs – Entercom’s KKWF “100.7 The Wolf” and Hubbard’s KNUC “98.9 The Bull” (formerly KVRQ) – is broken as “The Wolf” improves by one-half share and vaults to #10, whereas “The Bull” sputters by four-tenths to 3.0 (6+) and remains at #14. In a bit of a ratings oddity that dates back to October 2017, “The Wolf” continues a precise down/up pattern and is +.8 in that time period: (3.1 – 2.9 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.9, 6+). Meanwhile, entering the July 2018 ratings period, “The Bull” more than tripled (+2.4) its 6+-stat as the result of six straight survey periods without a loss (1.0 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 2.0 – 2.8 – 3.4, 6+) and reached the three-share level (3.4, June 2018) for the first time since September 2017’s 3.1. In addition to “The Wolf,” Entercom alternative KNDD “107.7 The End” (4.5, tenth to seventh, 6+) and Classic Radio KING “98.1 Listener-Supported Classical Music” (2.1 – 2.6, #21 to #19, 6+) were up one-half share in July. As far as “The End” is concerned, the +.5 wipes away three straight down or flat moves that generated a -.5 (4.5 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 4.0, 6+). The recent rollercoaster ride for public KNKX “Your Connection to Jazz and Blues” (#12 to #14) includes a -.7 in May (to 3.0 – its lowest 6+-share since January 2017’s 3.0); +.6 in June; and -.6 in July (3.7 – 3.0 – 3.6 – 3.0, 6+). Prior to May, KNKX was consistently within 3.6 – 3.9 territory in each of the previous nine sweeps (3.8 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.7, 6+). Having added three-tenths in June, Hubbard adult contemporary KRWM (seventh to eighth) surrenders more than twice as much in July with a -.7 to 4.3, its lowest 6+-stat since October 2016 (4.3, as well). Prior to June’s improvement, “Warm 106.9” was -7.1 (or down roughly 60%) in five successive down or flat sweeps (11.8 – 5.5 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). Its 11.8 in “Holiday” 2017 was the station’s strongest 6+-stat since 13.4 in “Holiday” 2015. Owing to a +.4 in November, “Warm” – which was #1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 – halted three straight down or flat trends that generated a combined -1.2 (6.1 – 6.1 – 5.5 – 4.9, 6+). Format challenger, Entercom’s KSWD (#16 to #13), is an overall -.8 in four straight down or flat trends (4.1 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+); “The Sound” posted a one-half share gain in March (3.6 – 4.1, 6+). Following five consecutive sweeps without an increase for a cumulative -1.3 (4.1 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.1 – 2.8, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KBKS “106.1 Kiss FM – Seattle’s New Hit Music” picks up one-tenth to 2.9 (6+) and climbs from #17 to #16. Its format rival – Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KPLZ “Star 101.5 Today’s Best Mix” (eighth to ninth) – drops two-tenths to 4.1 (6+); Star was +.3 in both May and June (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.3 6+).

Phoenix

Spoken-Word Formats – Despite recording its third straight uptick that has produced a collective +.7 (2.1 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+) iHeartMedia’s KFYI “News Talk 550” backslides from #14 to a tie at #15. When KFYI lost one-tenth in March, it ended at three its successive string of upticks that netted nine-tenths (1.5 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.4, 6+). By notching a +.6 to 3.0 (#17 to #14, 6+), Maricopa County Community College news/talk KJZZ pulls the plug on three consecutive negative moves that accounted for a combined -1.5 (3.9 – 3.6 – 2.7 – 2.4, 6+). Up three-tenths in April but then a combined -.5 in May and June, KTAR-FM gains one-tenth in July (3.1 – 3.2, 6+) and continues at #11. The Bonneville news/talk outlet was +.8 in January (3.2 – 4.0, 6+), followed by an overall -.7 in February and March (4.0 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+). Stuck on 2.5 (6+) in June and July, sports talk sibling KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona Sports” slips from #15 to #17. From January through May, the Arizona Diamondbacks flagship was a collective +1.1 in three straight positive spikes (1.5 – 1.6 – 2.3 – 2.6, 6+). Prior to the just-concluded positive streak, KMVP-FM registered four consecutive down or flat trends in which it lost 50% of its 6+ AQH share (3.0 – 2.7 – 2.1 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+).

Phoenix Music Formats – Topping the list of several particularly wild June 2018 – July 2018 swings in this Arizona market is the lofty +1.6 recorded by adult hits KYOT “95.5 The Mountain – We Play Everything,” which comes on the heels of its strong June improvement of eight-tenths (3.5 – 4.3 – 5.9, 6+). “The Mountain” climbs from an eighth-place tie all the way to second, reaching the five-share level (5.9, 6+) for the first time in exactly two years (5.0, July 2016). Quadrupling its 6+-share (.3 – 1.2, +.9, 6+) Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVA “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” checks in at #26. Meanwhile, a station with similar call letters to KLVA – The Yucaipa Companies’ hot AC KMVA – improves six-tenths to 3.5, its finest 6+-showing since last August’s 3.6, as “Hot” cracks the top ten (#12 to #10). Format foe – iHeartMedia’s KMXP “Mix 96.9” (fourth to third) is a collective +1.1 in June and July (4.5 – 5.3 – 5.6, 6+). By posting June’s +.8, “Mix” regained 80% of the collective full-share it lost in April and May (5.5 – 4.7 – 4.5, 6+). Notwithstanding a mighty -1.2 (8.7 – 7.5, 6+), adult contemporary sibling KESZ sets the pace for the ninth straight report. A combined -9.8 in three straight declines (16.4 – 7.3 – 7.1 – 6.6, 6+), KESZ was up seven-tenths in April and then logged a gigantic +1.7 in May; 16.4 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-showing since 16.5 in “Holiday” 2016. As the result of July’s lofty -1.1 to 5.5 (6+), Hubbard’s KSLX obliterates in its entirety the +1.1 it netted in six straight sweeps without a loss (5.5 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.6, 6+). Moreover, “Classic Rock 100.7,” which had been entrenched in the runner-up slot eight consecutive ratings periods, shifts to fifth. It isn’t the only station in the market to erode by -1.1 in July though as Entercom rhythmic CHR KALV “Live 101.5” does so (4.3 – 3.2, 6+) and exits the top ten in the process (#8 to #11). Another similarity between “Classic Rock 100.7” and “Live 101.5” is that KALV’s -1.1 nearly erases the +1.3 it accumulated via three straight upticks (3.0 – 3.5 – 4.0 – 4.3, 6+). Within 5.2 – 5.6 range (6+) each month this calendar year (5.2 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 5.6, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KNIX “102.5 Today’s Best Country & All-Time Favorites” continues at #3, while its format challenger – Entercom’s KMLE “Country @ 107.9” – is a collective -.5 in June and July (4.3 – 4.1 – 3.8, 6+) but advances from tenth to ninth. A cumulative -1.8 in four successive negative trends (4.1 – 4.0 – 3.2 – 2.5 – 2.3, 6+), Farmworker Educational Radio regional Mexican KNAI “101.9 Campesina” drifts from #15 to #20.

Minneapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – The last four fluctuations for Entercom-owned WCCO “News Radio 830” (#12 to #9) are +.8 (April); -.8 (May); -.8  (June); and now +.5 in July (4.7 – 5.5 – 4.7 – 3.9 – 4.4, 6+). The Minnesota Twins flagship was locked on 4.4 (6+) in December 2017 and “Holiday” 2017 and then on 5.0 (6+) in January 2018 and February. This marks the fourth negative move in a row for Minnesota Public Radio news/talk KNOW for a collective -2.2 (5.9 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 3.7, 6+) as it exits the top ten (#9 to #12). Recent fluctuations include -.7 (February); +.7 (March); -.5 (April) +.7 (May) and -.7 (July). Backsliding from #15 to #17, Hubbard news/talk KTMY “My Talk 107.1” is off an overall seven-tenths in three straight down or flat moves (3.1 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.4, 6+). Its March loss of three-tenths stopped four straight up or flat moves that generated a +1.2 (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 3.3, 6+). A collective -2.1 in four decreases in a row (5.8 – 5.5 – 4.7 – 4.0 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned sports talk KFXN “Sports Radio 100.3 K-Fan” dips from #11 to #12; “K-Fan” was -1.5 in February. Flat at #14, iHeartMedia’s KTLK regains half of June’s -.6 (3.3 – 3.6, +.3, 6+). Prior to the June sweep, “Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130” was +1.4 in five successive sweeps without a loss (2.5 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+). Trending 1.0 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – .8 – 1.0 (6+), Hubbard sports talk KSTP-AM “ESPN 1500” returns to the top twenty (#22 to #20).

Minneapolis Music Formats – In June and July, Entercom adult hits KZJK “104.1 Jack-FM Playing What We Want” is a collective +.9 (5.0 – 5.1 – 5.9, 6+) and advances from seventh to fourth. Notwithstanding that it is -1.1 in three straight downward trends (8.6 – 7.9 – 7.8 – 7.5, 6+), Hubbard hot AC KSTP-FM “KS-95” is on top for the seventh sweep in a row. Its -.7 in May pulled the plug on four successive progressive moves that netted +2.8 (5.8 – 7.6 – 8.2 – 8.3 – 8.6, 6+). Following three straight up or flat trends that accounted for a one-half share increase (6.6 – 6.6 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+), “KS-95” was a combined -1.3 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (7.1 – 6.5 – 5.8, 6+). Up a collective full-share in four consecutive positive spikes (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed KTCZ “The Cities” cracks the top ten (#13 to #10). In five consecutive sweeps without a loss, American Public Media Group classical KSJN (flat at #15) is up a collective +1.2 (1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.7 – 3.0, 6+). The market’s country stations are basically stagnant in July: iHeartMedia-owned KEEY “K-102 Minnesota’s Country Station” is off one-tenth to 5.6 (fifth to sixth, 6+) and Entercom’s KMNB “BUZ’N @ 102.9” is steady in both 6+-share (4.2) and market rank (#10). The loss of one-tenth by “K-102,” however, is significant as it concludes six successive sweeps without a loss that yielded a +2.3 (3.4 – 4.5 – 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.4 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+). January’s +1.1 halted six straight down or flat trends that accounted for a combined -2.9 (6.3 – 6.2 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 3.4, 6+). Within 3.4 – 3.9 range (6+) between January and May (3.5 – 3.4 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.7, 6+), KMNB is now a combined +.6 in three straight up or flat trends (3.6 – 3.7 – 4.2 –  4.2, 6+) with June and July’s 4.2 its strongest 6+-stat since September 2017’s 4.4. This is the fifth consecutive month that Cumulus Media-owned KQRS “Minnesota’s Classic Rock” (fifth to seventh) is without an increase for a cumulative -.7 (6.2  – 6.1 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.5, 6+).

San Diego

Spoken-Word Formats – Despite gaining three-tenths (5.5 – 5.8, 6+), KPBS backslides from third to fourth. The San Diego State University-owned news/talk facility shifted from first to second in April; returned to #1 in May; and – down nine-tenths in June – dropped from first to third. KPBS was on top four times in 2017: February, August, September, and December. Seven-tenths behind KPBS is iHeartMedia news/talk KOGO, which is frozen on 5.1 (6+), segueing from fourth to fifth. “News Radio 600” was +.8 in January; -.7 in February; +.8 in March; and +.6 in May. When KOGO lost six-tenths in November, its successive string of up or flat monthlies that generated a collective +1.9 was snapped at four (5.3 – 5.5 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 7.2, 6+); October 2017’s 7.2 is KOGO’s highest 6+-share in its PPM-history. Tegna news/talk KFMB-AM “AM 760” is up two-tenths to 1.8 (#22 to #21, 6+). Its June increase of one-tenth curtailed three straight negative moves that accounted for a loss of seven-tenths (2.2 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.5, 6+). After a multi-year hiatus, iHeartMedia Los Angeles news/talk KFI “AM 640” resurfaces in the San Diego report (1.6, #23, 6+). Three of the market’s sports talkers combine for a -.8 (6+): Tied at #26 are Interamericana de Radio’s XPRS-AM “The Mighty 1090” (1.1 – .8, -.3, 6+) and Entercom-owned/San Diego Padres flagship KWFN “97.3 The Fan” (1.0 – .8, -.2, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s KLSD “Fox Sports 1360 San Diego’s Sports Station” slides from #26 to #28 (.9 – .6, -.3, 6+).

San Diego Music Formats – On the strength of a full-share increase (3.7 – 4.7, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KLNV “Que Buena 106.5” zooms into the top ten (#11 to #7) with its best 6+-showing (4.7) since January’s 4.8. Tacking on nine-tenths to June’s +.5 (4.5 – 5.0 – 5.9, 6+), Local Media San Diego-operated Comunicación XERSA XHRM “Magic 92.5” cruises from fifth to a second-place tie. After three increases in a row that produced a +1.1 (3.8 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 4.9, 6+), “Magic 92.5” sputtered by four-tenths in May. Major ups/downs continue for Entercom classic hits-oldies KXSN “Sunny 98.1 – San Diego’s Greatest Hits,” which registered a -1.6 in March, all but erasing its +1.9 through five straight gains (4.8 – 5.3 – 5.8 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 6.7, 6+). “Sunny” rebounded in April with a +.5; was -.7 in May; answered with a +.8 in June; and by piling on a +.5 in July (5.7 – 6.2, 6+), advances from second to first. It supplants cluster-mate KSON (6.3 – 5.9, -.4, first to second, 6+), whose stay at #1 lasted just one sweep. An April loss of one-tenth by “103.7 San Diego’s #1 New Country” ended three straight positive trends that netted a cumulative +2.5 (3.6 – 4.7 – 5.5 – 6.1, 6+). After surrendering six-tenths in June, Local Media San Diego-operated CHR XHTZ regresses by another seven-tenths (4.5 – 3.9 – 32, 6+) as “Z-90.3 Today’s Hit Music” departs the top ten (#9 to #12). Also stumbling by seven-tenths in July is iHeartMedia hot AC KMYI “Star 94.1” (4.9 – 4.2, sixth to ninth, 6+), while sibling KGB-FM “101.5 San Diego’s Classic Rock Station” falters by six-tenths (4.9 – 4.3, sixth to eighth, 6+). Having posted a 2.7 (6+) in each of the last four ratings periods, Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KLQV “Amor 102.9” surrenders one-half share to 2.2 (#16 to #20, 6+).

Denver

Spoken-Word Formats – Down eight-tenths in May; up four-tenths in June; and now off one-tenth in July (5.4 – 5.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KOA is steady at #4. Following January’s one-half share loss, “Colorado’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” picked up one-tenth in consecutive sweeps (4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4, 6+) and posted a +1.4 in April to zoom from ninth to first but the flagship of the Colorado Rockies exited the top spot in May after a one-month run. Shadowing KOA is Colorado Public Radio news/talk KCFR, which is also -.1 (5.3 – 5.2, 6+), thus remaining one-tenth behind KOA. It was a brief one-month stay at #1 (in May) for KCFR, which lost seven-tenths in June. In addition to being on top in May, KCFR was #1 in January and March. When it faltered by six-tenths in February, the station’s consecutive string of improvements that netted a cumulative +1.5 (4.5 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 6.0, 6+) ended at three. After picking up three-tenths to 2.2 (6+) in June, iHeartMedia news/talk KHOW returns two-tenths to 2.0 (6+) but stays at #19. Immediately in advance of the June sweep, “Talk Radio 630” had been down or flat four sweeps in a row for an overall setback of four-tenths (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.0 -1.9, 6+). Replicating June’s -.5 (3.5 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+) Bonneville-owned KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” (#15 to #16) posts its lowest 6+-stat (2.5) in exactly one year (July 2017, 2.3). “The Fan” was +1.0 in March; off four-tenths in April; and then up two-tenths in May. Its +.4 in January curtailed three straight down or flat sweeps that accounted for a cumulative -1.3 (4.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 3.2, 6+). Community Radio for Northern California news/talk KUNC drops one-tenth (1.0 – .9, #26 to #27, 6+). Prior to June’s 1.0, KUNC recorded a .7 (6+) in each of the three previous sweeps.

Denver Music Formats – Not only does KSE Radio Ventures hot AC KIMN erase June’s -.4 with a July +.5, “Mix 100 – Today’s Best Mix” enters the top ten (#12 to #9). It is actually part of a four-way scrum there (at #9) that includes Entercom’s similarly-formatted KALC “Alice 105.9,” whose last four 6+-stats (April – May – June – July) are 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.1. Down or flat the past three sweeps for a -.6 (4.0 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.4, 6+), rhythmic CHR sibling KQKS “KS-107.5” makes up all but one-tenth of the deficit with a +.5 to 3.9 (unchanged at #13, 6+). Classic rock cluster-mate KQMT “99.5 The Mountain – A Mountain of Classics” adds four-tenths to June’s massive +1.2 (4.9 – 6.1 – 6.5, 6+) and repeats at #1. Bouncing back from June’s -1.1 with a gain of four-tenths (4.8 – 3.7 – 4.1, 6+) is similarly-formatted/iHeartMedia-owned KRFX “103.5 The Fox,” which is another member of that four-way logjam at #9 (up from #11 in June). Its 3.7 in June caused “The Fox” to fall below a four-share for the first time since “Holiday” 2015 (3.9).  Immediately after logging three consecutive up or flat trends that yielded a +1.0 (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.6, 6+), KSE Radio Ventures classic hits-oldies KXKL “Kool 105 – Denver’s Greatest Hits” is a combined -1.1 in June and July (5.6 – 5.0 – 4.5, sixth to seventh, 6+). While May’s 5.6 is its most potent 6+-stat since December 2016’s 5.7, July 2018’s 4.5 is its softest since “Holiday” 2017’s 3.8. This is the fifth month in a row that Bonneville adult contemporary KOSI is up or flat for a collective +1.4 (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 6.0, 6+); “101.1 Real-Music-Variety” progresses from third to second, one-half share behind “The Mountain.” This (6.0) is the strongest 6+-showing for KOSI since Holiday’s 2017’s 11.5. The fourth station in the aforementioned four-way tie at #9 is co-owned KPTT “95.7 The Party – Denver’s #1 Hit Music Station,” which is down three-tenths to 4.1 (eighth to ninth, 6+), thus curtailing three straight upticks that resulted in a +1.1 (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 4.4, 6+); June’s 4.4 is its strongest 6+-performance since August 2017 (4.4, as well). A cumulative -1.6 in four straight decreases (4.3 – 3.9 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 2.7, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLDV “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” gains one-tenth to 2.8 (6+) and progresses from  #16 to #15.

Tampa

Spoken-Word Formats – In five of the last six sweeps, iHeartMedia news/talk WFLA “970 Tampa Bay’s News Radio” has had a (6+) fluctuation of at least four-tenths. In January and February it was a +.5 (2.7 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+); -.5 in March (3.7 – 3.2, 6+); +.8 in April (3.2 – 4.0, 6+); +.4 in May (4.0 – 4.4, 6+); and now -.7 in July (4.3 – 3.6, #9 to #11). Despite notching three straight up or flat trends for a +.4 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” backslides from #15 to #16. A one-tenth setback in April ended three straight increases that produced a gain of one-half share (2.3 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), while a January improvement of three-tenths curtailed four straight down or flat trends for a collective -1.1 (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.3, 6+). Stuck on 2.3 (6+) in April and May, iHeartMedia-owned WDAE “620 Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” is now locked on 2.2 (6+) in June and July, but remains at #18. Starting with the “Holiday” 2017 report, the Tampa Bay Rays flagship was up or flat for the next five survey periods for a +.8 (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+). The March 2018 – July 2018 topline trending for University of South Florida news/talk WUSF (flat at #20) is 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 1.7 (6+). When WUSF added two-tenths in June, it halted six successive ratings periods without an increase that accounted for a collective -1.6 (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.7, 6+).

Tampa Music Formats – Progressing from fifth to third, Cox Media Group-owned adult contemporary WWRM “Magic 94.9 Tampa Bay’s Best Music” adds a full-share to June’s +.4 (5.0 – 5.4 – 6.4, 6+) and reaches the six-share level (6.4) for the first time since May 2017 (6.0). After logging four straight up or flat trends that accounted for a gain of seven-tenths (8.4 – 8.9 -9.0 – 9.0 – 9.1, 6+), co-owned adult contemporary WDUV “Lite Favorites” slips three-tenths to 8.8 (6+), but dominates at #1 for the 71st successive ratings period. “Lite Favorites” was -3.5 in January and February (11.9 – 8.8 – 8.4, 6+), following a +1.5 in “Holiday” 2017 (10.4 – 11.9, 6+). Also under the AC umbrella, Beasley Media Group’s WPBB “B-98.7 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” forfeits in its entirety June’s +.6 (1.9 – 2.5 – 1.9, #17 to #19, 6+). Its January 2018 – May 2018 topline was 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 1.9 (6+); June’s 2.5 is its best (6+) showing since 4.0 in “Holiday” 2017. Having regained the three-tenths it lost in May with a +.3 in June, classic hits-oldies cluster-mate WRBQ “Q-105” doubles that June increase with a +.6 in July to 6.4 (6+), advancing from #4 to part of a three-way tie at #3. The other two players in that three-way logjam at #3 are the aforementioned WWRM, as well as WRBQ’s format rival – Cox Media Group’s WXGL “107.3 The Eagle” (6.7 – 6.4, -.3, second to third, 6+). Until this sweep (July 2018), the last time “The Eagle” didn’t prevail over “Q-105” was in February 2016 when WRBQ scored a 5.6 (6+) to WXGL’s 5.1 (6+). Four straight up or flat trends by iHeartMedia-owned WXTB netted eight-tenths (3.9 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.6 – 4.7, 6+), but “98 Rock” (seventh to tenth) surrenders all of that increase and an extra one-tenth (3.8, -.9, 6+); June’s 4.7 is its strongest 6+-showing since October 2017 (4.7, as well). In the market’s CHR battle, Cox Media Group’s WPOI “Hot 101.5” (3.5 – 3.9, +.4, #13 to #9, 6+) overtakes iHeartMedia-owned WFLZ “93.3 – Tampa Bay’s #1 Hit Music Channel” (3.7 – 3.6, -.1, #12 to #11, 6+). The two stations were tied at 3.9 (6+) in March, but “Holiday” 2017 marked the last time “Hot” (4.0, 6+) beat WFLZ (3.8, 6+).

Baltimore

Spoken-Word Formats – Following five decreases in a row for a cumulative -1.7 (4.2 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+), Your Public Radio news/talk WYPR “88.1 Your NPR News Station” answers with a July increase of six-tenths to 3.1 (#14 to #11, 6+). Despite picking up three-tenths (4.0 – 4.3, 6+), Entercom sports talk WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan” backslides from ninth to tenth. “The Fan” was +.6 (January); -.6 (February); +1.0 (April); and a combined -1.0 in May and June (5.0 – 4.5 – 4.0, 6+). When the Orioles flagship improved by two-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it brought to a close three straight downward moves producing an overall -1.8 (5.6 – 4.8 – 4.5 – 3.8, 6+). Finishing back-to-back are independent news/talk WCBM “680 Stimulating Talk – Breaking News” (2.9 – 2.8, -.1, #11 to #12, 6+) and Hearst Television news/talker WBAL (2.5, -.3, #12 to #13, 6+), which had logged a 2.8 (6+) the past three months. For the fifth consecutive time, Washington, DC’s WAMU records a 1.1 (6+) in the Baltimore report – the American University-owned news/talker, however, slips from #15 to #18. Radio One news/talk WOLB “1010 News Radio,” which was trending .3 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .2 (6+), vanished in February and March; resurfaced in April with a .2 (#22, 6+); disappeared in May and June; but is back in July with a .3 (#31).

Baltimore Music Formats – Dramatic shifts continue for iHeartMedia-owned WPOC “93.1 – Baltimore’s #1 for New Country,” which was a combined -2.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (7.2 – 6.2 – 4.6, 6+); +2.5 in January; -.9 in February, -1.5 in April; +.6 in May; +.5 in June and now +.8 in July (6.0 – 6.8, fourth to third, 6+). Displaying a +.8 in July as well is its CHR sibling, WZFT “Z-104.3 Baltimore’s #1 Hit Music Station” (4.6, tenth to seventh, 6+), which hadn’t had an increase the previous four sweeps for a -.5 (4.3 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 3.8, 6+). Slipping from third to sixth, Entercom adult contemporary WLIF is a collective -1.6 in three straight downward trends (6.8 – 6.5 – 6.1 – 5.2, 6+). “Today’s 101.9” was #1 in December 2017 (9.7, 6+) and “Holiday” 2017 (16.3, 6+). Having registered six successive ratings periods without a loss for an overall +1.8 (3.4 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.2, 6+), Hearst Television’s WIYY “98 Rock” forfeits eight-tenths to 4.4 (sixth to ninth, 6+). While both are down two-tenths from June, Radio One urban AC and urban contemporary cluster-mates WWIN-FM “Magic 95.9” (9.7 – 9.5, 6+) and WERQ “92-Q Jams” (7.1 – 6.9, 6+) finish first and second, respectively, for the third sweep in a row; “Magic” though is #1 for the seventh month in a row. In three successive decreases (11.6 – 11.5 – 10.3 – 9.4, 6+), WWIN-FM was an overall -2.2 but it bounced back with a +.3 in June. “Magic” occupied the top spot for four sweeps in succession before segueing to #2 in December. After going eight straight sweeps without a loss for an overall +3.8 (7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 8.7 – 9.2 – 10.4 – 10.6 – 11.6, 6+), “Magic” lost one-tenth in March. A one-half share jump in June took “92-Q Jams” to 7.1, its best 6+-share since September 2017’s 7.8. Long absent from being listed in the Baltimore report, seven Washington, DC signals return in print. Five of the seven are iHeartMedia outlets: alternative WWDC (1.7, #15, 6+); classic rock WBIG (1.4 #16, 6+); adult contemporary WASH (1.0, #19, 6+); CHR WIHT (.8, 6+); and country WMZQ (.8, 6+). The others reappearing in Baltimore are Cumulus Media hot AC WRQX (1.3, #17, 6+) and Radio One urban contemporary WKYS (1.0, #19, 6+).

St. Louis

Spoken-Word Formats – Down six-tenths (8.0 – 7.4, 6+), Entercom news/talk KMOX “The Voice of St. Louis” ends a two-month stay at #1 and shifts to the runner-up slot. The St. Louis Cardinals flagship was a whopping +2.3 in April, while May’s 8.3 represents its highest 6+-stat since September 2017’s 8.4. Following a January +1.0, KMOX was a combined -.6 in February and March. Finishing back-to-back-to-back are University of Missouri news/talk KWMU (3.2 – 3.4, +.2, #15 to #14, 6+); Emmis-to-Entercom KFTK “FM News Talk 97.1” (3.3 – 3.1, -.2, #14 to #15, 6+); and Hubbard sports talk WXOS “101 Sports” (2.7 – 3.0, +.3, #17 to #16, 6+).  By registering a half-share increase in January, KWMU halted three successive downward moves that accounted for a -.9 (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+). Off by an overall half-share in February and March (3.7 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+), it added one-tenth in April. Owing to May’s +.3, “FM News Talk 97.1” ended three straight negative moves that accounted for a loss of eight-tenths (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.6 – 2.5, 6+). Prior to a January gain of seven-tenths, KFTK was a cumulative -1.4 in three consecutive decreases (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 2.6, 6+). July’s three-tenths increase by “101 Sports” concludes three straight negative moves that generated a loss of eight-tenths (3.5 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.7, 6+). A combined -.7 from November through “Holiday” 2017 (3.9 – 3.4 – 3.2, 6+), WXOS posted a +.8 in January; -.6 in February; +.1 in March; and -.6 in April.

St. Louis Music Formats – On the heels of eroding by a combined -1.5 in May and June, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLOU “103.3 St. Louis’ Greatest Hits” recaptures nine-tenths in July (6.9 – 7.8, 6+) and marches from second to first. After being #1 for four consecutive months (January through April), “St Louis’ Greatest Hits” shifted to #2 in May. An overall -2.0 in January and February (9.5 – 7.9 – 7.5, 6+), KLOU made up 45% of that loss in March and April (7.5 – 8.3 – 8.4, 6+). It rebounded from December’s -.8 with a +2.2 in “Holiday” 2017. A miniature yoyo effect is present with Radio One urban contemporary WHHL “Hot 104.1,” which was +.5 (May); -1.0 (June); and is now +.7 in July (2.9 – 3.6, #16 to #13, 6+). May’s 3.9 is its best 6+-showing since 4.3 in “Holiday” 2017. Entercom adult contemporary KEZK “102.5 The Best Mix of the ‘80s & Today” (seventh to fifth) is an overall +1.7 in six consecutive up or flat trends (4.2 – 4.6 – 4.9 –   4.9 – 5.0 – 5.9 – 5.9, 6+). Five successive negative moves by Radio One urban AC WFUN accounted for an overall -1.5 (6.8 – 6.5 – 6.3 – 6.2 – 6.1 – 5.3, 6+) but “95.5 R&B + Old School For The Lou” erases one-third of that decrease with a +.5 to 5.8 (eighth to sixth, 6+). Via three successive decreases, Emmis-to-Entercom CHR KNOU “Now 96.3 All The Hits” (#13 to #17) is off by one full-share (3.7 -3.4 – 3.4 – 2.7, 6+). Surrendering six-tenths each are Hubbard rocker KSHE (6.9 – 6.3, second to fourth, 6+) and co-owned WIL “92.3 – Nobody Plays More New Country” (6.1 – 5.5, sixth to eighth, 6+). By logging a one-half share increase in May, KSHE stymied three consecutive downward trends that accounted for a -1.2 (6.9 – 6.7 – 5.9 – 5.7, 6+); it was +.7 in June. Leading into the June report, WIL was without a loss for six survey periods in succession for a +1.9 (5.3 – 5.4 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 6.8 – 7.2, 6+), but then cratered by -1.1. Unlisted for 18 straight sweeps, Gateway Creative contemporary Christian KLJY returned in June with a 6.6 (6+) and although “99.1 Joy FM” is down one-tenth in July to 6.5 (6+), it advances from fourth to third.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

| August 9, 2018

Tribune Terminates Sinclair Merger Agreement. Included in our story yesterday which dealt with Sinclair Broadcast Group’s second-quarter earnings report (Talkers.com, 8/8) was the following quote from Sinclair president and chief executive officer Chris Ripley who addressed the pending acquisition of Tribune Media Company: “We are working with them to analyze approaches to the regulatory process that are in the best interest of our companies, employees, and shareholders.” It was announced early today that not only is the marriage between the two entities over, Tribune Media is suing Sinclair Broadcast Group for breach of contract; the suit was filed today (Thursday, 8/9) in Delaware Chancery Court. The proposed $3.9 billion deal hit a snag when the FCC designated it for a hearing, a red flag that the transaction would most likely not be approved. Last month, FCC chair Ajit Pai raised “serious concerns” about the deal, which originally would have reached roughly 70% of U.S. households. Tribune is charging that, “In an effort to maintain control over stations it was obligated to sell, Sinclair engaged in unnecessarily aggressive and protracted negotiations with the Department of Justice and the FCC over regulatory requirements; refused to sell stations in the markets as required to obtain approval; and proposed aggressive divestment structures and related-party sales that were either rejected outright or posed a high risk of rejection and delay – all in derogation of Sinclair’s contractual obligations.” Tribune further claims, “Sinclair’s entire course of conduct has been in blatant violation of the merger agreement; but for Sinclair’s actions, the transaction could have closed long ago.” According to Tribune chief executive officer Peter Kern, “In light of the FCC’s unanimous decision, referring the issue of Sinclair’s conduct for a hearing before an administrative law judge, our merger cannot be completed within an acceptable timeframe, if ever. This uncertainty and delay would be detrimental to our company and our shareholders. Accordingly, we have exercised our right to terminate the merger agreement, and, by way of our lawsuit, intend to hold Sinclair accountable.” Revenue for Tribune’s only radio property – Chicago news/talk WGN – is not broken out in the company’s second-quarter financials. “Notwithstanding our disappointment regarding the outcome of the [Sinclair] transaction,” Kern remarks, “we are extremely pleased with our second quarter results, which were very strong. Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA grew 69% versus the prior year period and 84% for the first half of the year. While net core advertising revenues declined 6%, we were able to drive consolidated revenue growth of 6% when excluding the impact of barter revenues, with solid growth in retransmission and carriage fees revenues and political advertising revenue. Our disciplined focus on cost management drove programming expenses down 29% and corporate and other cash expenses, excluding transaction costs, down 19% over the prior year period.”

Rumor Becomes Fact: Warner Is WW One’s Lead MNF Analyst. Just this past Tuesday (Talkers.com, 8/7), we referenced a report by Richard Deitsch in The Athletic, hinting that Hall of Fame QB and NFL Network analyst Kurt Warner would join Kevin Harlan as Westwood One’s lead analyst for “Monday Night Football” and the Super Bowl. It is now official: Warner’s first broadcast will be in a little over four weeks (9/10), when the Oakland Raiders host the Los Angeles Rams. He becomes only the fourth regular “MNF” analyst for Westwood One since its broadcast partnership with the NFL began 40 years ago. The others were Boomer Esiason (2000-2017); Matt Millen (1996-2000); and Hank Stram (1978-1984, 1987-1995). Ever since he retired from the NFL, Warner insists he has “been blessed” with tremendous broadcasting opportunities. “I am grateful to Westwood One for this opportunity and for believing in me with this role. The bar has been set extremely high by Boomer Esiason and others. I look forward to grabbing the torch, working hard, and maintaining the sense of excellence that has become synonymous with Westwood One. I also look forward to continuing my relationship with Kevin Harlan, who I believe is one of the best play-by-play people in the business.” Westwood One president/Cumulus Media executive vice president of marketing Suzanne Grimes states, “We have been proud partners of the NFL for more than four decades and our best-in-class broadcasts feature the brightest stars from the league. Kurt Warner is a keen observer with a great eye and unique analysis. He adds another layer of authenticity, knowledge, and expertise to our roster. He is an incredible asset for our loyal and passionate listeners and engaged advertisers.” Westwood One Sports executive vice president/executive producer Howard Deneroff adds, “To have a player, and person, of Kurt Warner’s caliber become our lead analyst is incredibly exciting. We look forward to Kevin and Kurt working together full-time. We are confident that they will continue the legacy of great Westwood One broadcast teams which have informed and entertained listeners on Monday nights for decades.” A 2017 inductee in the pro football Hall of Fame, Warner played 12 seasons in the NFL, leading two different franchises (St. Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals) to Super Bowl appearances. He was the NFL’s MVP in 1999 and 2001. He and wife, Brenda, created “The First Things First Foundation,” dedicated to impacting lives by promoting Christian values, and “Treasure House,” which provides a supportive living environment for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Multi-Year TuneIn, Cumulus Deal Expands Streaming Partnership. The arrangement between the two principals calls for streaming of Cumulus Media’s 441 stations in 90 markets, as well as shows on co-owned Westwood One Podcast Network on the TuneIn platform. Cumulus Media president and chief executive officer Mary Berner remarks, “We understand that consumers engage with content across multiple platforms and devices. We put our listeners first, and we have made it our mission to provide a modern and platform-agnostic listening experience. Expanding our partnership with TuneIn takes our distribution and promotional opportunities to the next level, exposing our portfolio of leading stations, shows, and programs to new fans.” TuneIn chief executive officer John Donham states, “As the world’s leader in live digital audio, we are thrilled to provide our listeners access to some of the best live-station programming across sports, news, talk, music, and entertainment, as well as popular podcasts and other on-demand content offered by Cumulus Media. We look forward to a long and successful partnership as we grow the next chapter of the audio business together.” Heretofore, Cumulus Media stations have been available through iHeartRadio, as well as TuneIn.

Salem Media Group Reports Mixed Q2 Results. Second-quarter total revenue for Salem Media Group increased .2% to $66.3 million; net broadcast revenue rose 2.7% to $50.6 million; and station operating income held steady at $13.3 million. Conversely, operating income fell 84.4% to $1.3 million and net income spiraled from a gain of $1.3 million to a loss of $2.2 million. In addition, EBITDA dropped 40.8% to $6 million and Adjusted EBITDA fell 9.4% to $11.2 million. A full-slate of Salem Radio Network talk shows aired on news/talk WBIX, Boston but, in early-January (2018), Salem Media Group agreed to sell “The Buzz” for $685,000 to the International Church of the Grace of God, which – through an LMA – flipped the station to a Portuguese format; the sale was finalized approximately two months ago (6/20). The second-quarter included a $5.7 million net loss on the sale of stations in Omaha and land in Covina, California. Salem Media Group projects third-quarter total revenue to be flat or up 2% from 2017’s $65.4 million.


Round Three of July 2018 PPM Data Released. The third of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Orlando, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 survey period covered June 21 – July 18. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

TALKERS News Notes. Under newly-signed five-year deals, Joe Bowen and Jim Ralph will return calling Toronto Maple Leafs hockey games. The NHL team’s radio broadcasts are split between Rogers sports talk CJCL “Sports Net 590 The Fan” and Bell Media sports talk CHUM “TSN Radio 1050.” Per The Toronto Sun, the deal is for radio only. This year’s Hockey Hall of Fame Foster Hewitt award winner – Bowen – has been calling Toronto Maple Leafs games since 1982; Ralph has been on the broadcasts since 1997 ….. Morning driver John Hines is retiring at the end of the month from heritage Entercom Minneapolis news/talk WCCO. Newly-arrived (from Entercom Philadelphia) operations manager Andy Bloom is holding on-air auditions to fill that upcoming “News Radio 830” vacancy. In a station memo obtained by City Pages, Bloom writes, “My only interest is getting someone that will generate an audience. The fact is, the majority of news/talk radio listeners are center-right.” ….. Former San Francisco 49ers defensive end Dennis Brown is named co-host of KNBR’s pregame and postgame NFL coverage. This marks the 14th year of 49ers football on the Cumulus Media San Francisco sports talk outlet. Program director Jeremiah Crowe comments, “We are thrilled to welcome Dennis Brown to the KNBR family. Dennis brings a Super Bowl champion’s perspective to our coverage, and he will maintain a regular analyst role throughout the week during our primetime talk programming. The addition of Dennis further strengthens KNBR’s NFL roster as the strongest in all of sports radio.” Brown, who was a 49ers television analyst from 2012 – 2017, adds, “As a Bay Area native, I’m very excited to be joining KNBR’s game-day broadcast team. I’ve listened to KNBR for decades and jumped at the opportunity to join their pregame and postgame coverage.” Brown was the 47th overall pick in the 1990 NFL draft and played all seven years of his career for San Francisco, including 1995, when he was part of the team that won Super Bowl XXIX ….. Meanwhile, in Seattle, Dave Wyman is named radio analyst for the NFL’s Seahawks on Bonneville-owned flagships KIRO-AM “710 ESPN Seattle” and news/talk KIRO-FM “Radio 97.3.” The former linebacker (Seahawks and Denver Broncos) will work alongside play-by-play announcer Steve Raible during the regular season; Jen Mueller and John Clayton return as sideline reporters ….. Cleveland-based podcast production and radio syndication network Front Porch Media Network acquires Pit Pass Media Group, producers of weekly two-hour motorcycle racing podcast “Pit Pass Moto,” which has had 785,015 episode downloads in the last four years. Front Porch chief executive officer Michael DeAloia notes, “We look forward to enhancing the brand and building new content. We continue to concentrate on building a dynamic and engaging podcast portfolio. ‘Pit Pass Moto’ is a prestigious podcast and one that merits additional resources and investment.” The podcast’s partner and guest host Ed Kuhlenkamp remarks, “We are excited about the Front Porch Media acquisition and what it means for the show’s fans. We believe Front Porch Media has the resources required to take the ‘Pit Pass Moto’ brand to the next level.”

Harrison Podcast Resurrects 36-Year-Old Interview with Apple I and Apple II Inventor Steve Wozniak. In commemoration of Apple, Inc. reaching the historic milestone of a one trillion dollar valuation, TALKERS founder Michael Harrison dug up a 36-year-old interview that he conducted with Apple, Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak, the designer and inventor of the original Apple I and II personal computers. It is the centerpiece of this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Originally aired in 1982 on the pioneering national cable TV talk show “Harrison’s Mic,” the 24-minute conversation explores the beginnings of Apple Computer, Inc. (as it was then called) from what was a relatively recent perspective (it was only six years old). More importantly, it reveals the prescient thinking and perspective of one of the most important electronic designers and computer scientists of the digital era (and eventual philanthropist) when he was only 32 years old and society had merely scratched the surface of the revolution about to change the way people live and think. This fascinating interview is a must-listen for pop culture enthusiasts and media freaks. Michael Harrison states, “I am only first understanding the level of historical and intellectual gold that exists in the thousands of interviews, specials and broadcasts collecting dust in my archives that go back a half-century. We never realized when this content was being created in those early days that it would be of such historical interest and value. It just seemed like disposable pop content of the moment. This gem of a conversation with the great Steve Wozniak, which I hadn’t heard in more than three decades, is a prime example. I am so happy to share it in 2018 upon the milestone of Apple setting such astonishing records.” To listen to the interview in its entirety, please click here.

Mueller Investigation; Ohio Special Election/Primaries; Manafort Trial/Gates Testimony, California Wildfire and the Environment, Trump China Tariffs, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Discussed Yesterday (8/8). The Robert Mueller probe; the special election in Ohio and key primaries in several states, the trial of Paul Manafort highlighted by the damaging testimony of Rick Gates; the deadly California wildfires and their possible causes; and MLB action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday (8/8), according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. “Summer Camp,” a two-day, outdoor music concert showcasing the different sounds of alternative rock, will be held this Saturday (8/11) and Sunday (8/12) at Redmond, Washington’s Marymoor Park. Entercom Seattle’s KNDD “107.7 The End” hosts the tenth annual event, which will feature – among others – AWOLNATION, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, Manchester Orchestra, Robert DeLong, and Elle King. A portion of the ticket sales will go to Pearl Jam’s “Home Fund” to fight homelessness in Seattle. The “Home Fund” is part of the Vitalogy Foundation, which supports the efforts of non-profit organizations and their work in the fields of community health, the environment, arts and education, and social change ….. Changes at Cumulus Media Syracuse find CHR WNTQ “93-Q The #1 Hit Music Station” music director/afternoon drive talent Rick Roberts boosted to assistant program director/digital content manager, while production director Joey Walker takes over as “93-Q” mid-day host/digital content manager for alternative WAQX “95-X” and rock WXTL “105.9 The Rebel.” Operations manager Tom Mitchell comments, “We are pleased to promote from within. In these new roles, both Rick and Joey will apply valuable fresh perspective to market leader ’93-Q.’ Rick assumes all APD duties, along with digital content oversight/management and the afternoon-drive air shift. Joey brings talent and enthusiasm to the ’93-Q’ midday slot. Both will continue to develop new opportunities for us in the digital and social media realm.” ….. Former 12-year vice president of operations for Rubber City Radio Akron’s WQMX “94.9 Your Station – Your Country,” Sue Wilson Cordle, restarts her voiceover business with Sue Wilson Creative. She previously was Cleveland adult contemporary WDOK’s director/programming for 12 years; a programming consultant for McVay Media; and director/programming of Salem Cleveland contemporary Christian WFHM “95.5 The Fish” and co-owned Christian talk WHKW “AM 1220 The Word.” ….. In conjunction with the National Association of Black-Owned Broadcasters (NABOB), Kizart Media Partners (KMP) will present the 18th annual “Power of Urban Radio Forum” October 4th and 5th in Washington, DC. This year’s National Service awardee, Procter & Gamble chief business officer Marc Pritchard, will be the keynote speaker. KMP founder/managing director Sherman Kizart notes, “We continue the tradition of bringing together influential marketers and advertising agencies to discuss the incomparable value that the African-American market and urban radio bring as key communications elements. The event coincides with NABOB’s 42nd annual Fall Broadcast Management Conference. NABOB and PURF conference registrations are $200 for members; $400 for non-members ….. Chicago media reporter Robert Feder is first to report that, sometime next year, legendary “Windy City” programmer/on-air talent Tommy Edwards will publish his memoir, which will feature stories of Edwards’ 54-year radio career. Highlights will surely include his time working with the iconic Larry Lujack and moonlighting as public address announcer for the Chicago Bulls. Four years ago, Edwards retired from CBS Radio’s classic hits-oldies WJMK “K-Hits 104.3” (now Entercom-owned urban-rhythmic oldies WBMX “104.3 Jams”) ….. Grammy-nominated country artist Cam will serve as the first host of Slacker Radio’s “Women Crush Everyday” (#WCE Country), a channel devoted to introducing and elevating female country artists. “Women Crush Everyday” will feature commentary and playlist selections from ladies in the music industry. Slacker’s country format captain Jess Wright declares, “We have amazingly talented women making music in Nashville and they deserve to be heard. In 2017, more than 97% of the artists who appeared on the year-end country top 40 were male. This doesn’t reflect the quality of music created by women – it reflects a lack of support from the gatekeepers of country music who believe that women have limited commercial appeal. Through Slacker, we can bring the music of female country artists directly to our audience, curated by the people who are most passionate about it – the women in Nashville’s music industry.” ….. Interim general manager of Bellevue Community College-owned KBCS, Seattle – Carol Handley – is named director of music programming at Friends of 88.5 FM’s KNKX in the same market and will begin her new duties one week from next Monday (8/20). Director of content Matt Martinez notes, “Carol has proven success in building and nurturing teams and on-air talent; an entrepreneurial spirit; and a love of storytelling. With her deep roots in the Seattle music scene, I am confident she will redouble our commitment to supporting this vital and vibrant community.” Handley succeeds Nick Francis, who is retiring after 13 years in that position. In Seattle’s July 2018 Nielsen Audio PPM report, KNKX ranks #14, dropping the six-tenths it gained in June (3.0 – 3.6 – 3.0, 6+).

Rod Shares Red Roses With Dresdale. During his interview with ABC Radio‘s Andrea Dresdale (r), one of the most prolific pop star interviewers in radio, the ageless Rod Stewart (l) discussed his new album “Blood Red Roses” and his headlining tour with Cyndi Lauper.

 

 

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

| August 8, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

| August 7, 2018

Field Answers USTN Lawsuit: “Ridiculous allegations.” As we reported last Monday (Talkers.com, 7/30), in a complaint filed in Harris County, Texas District Court, United States Traffic Network is suing Entercom for material and punitive damages “in excess of $5 million.” USTN alleges that Entercom entered into negotiations to buy the company and walked away from the deal at the last minute with the intent of developing a directly competitive business. Yesterday (Monday, 8/6), Entercom president/CEO David Field addressed the lawsuit in an internal memo. He writes, “The truth is we have acted in good faith and made every reasonable effort and then some to assist USTN in fixing their challenging issues.” Entercom released a statement including the following quote on the situation: “We are relieved to no longer be mired by the difficult USTN situation that was inherited as part of the CBS Radio merger. We will move quickly to augment our strong internal sales organization to ensure that we realize the full value of this inventory. With leading news brands like WINS, New York; KNX, Los Angeles; and WBBM, Chicago, Entercom has the industry’s most valuable traffic inventory. We are pleased to be in control of our own destiny as we pursue opportunities in this attractive market segment.” In response to the lawsuit, Field states, “Entercom believes it is entirely baseless, frivolous and frankly insulting. Entercom has worked tirelessly and constructively with USTN over the past six months to help USTN work through its significant financial issues. Entercom is owed substantial amounts of money by USTN, and the company intends to defend itself vigorously and assert all of its rights.” In yesterday’s memo, Field states, “To say the least, it is disappointing to read the ridiculous allegations that USTN has made when the truth is that we have acted in good faith and made every reasonable effort and then some to assist USTN in fixing their challenging issues. In order to set the record straight and ensure that you have all the facts regarding our relationship with USTN, I have included a summary of the events over the past 8 ½ months.” Click here to read the rest of Field’s memo.

Bortnick Joins iHeartMedia D.C. as Senior VP/Sales. Six-year vice president of sales for Entercom Washington (D.C.), Danny Bortnick crosses the street to become senior vice president of sales for iHeartMedia’s five stations in the Nation’s Capital. Region president Michael Preacher remarks, “We couldn’t be more pleased to welcome Danny to iHeartMedia. Danny has earned a great reputation building client-centric sales organizations while creating a positive work culture. He is the perfect fit for us.” Bortnick adds, “I am thrilled to be joining some of the most iconic brands in [the market], as well as one of the most recognizable media brands in the country.” Bortnick, who has a marketing and management degree from the University of Miami – School of Business, began his radio career 13 years ago as an account executive at Katz Radio in New York City and Atlanta. After a year at Katz, he became an account executive – and later, digital sales manager – at New York City all-news outlet WINS and then, director of sales for Salem Media Group New York City.

Saga Reports 6.5% Q2 Net Revenue Increase. For the quarter ending June 30, Saga Communications net revenue increased to $32.2 million. Meanwhile, operating income increased 2.7% to $6 million and station operating expense increased 8% to $23.1 million. Free cash flow from continuing operations was $6 million for the quarter, compared to $4.8 million for the same period last year. On a same station basis, net revenue decreased .6% to $30.1 million; operating income increased 1.5% to $6 million; and station operating expense decreased 1% to $21.2 million. The company had $52.9 million in cash on hand as of June 30, and $53.3 million as of yesterday (8/6). The company’s total long-term debt was $25 million as of June 30. Results for the quarter and six-month period were affected by the sale of the company’s television stations and purchase of radio stations in Charleston and Hilton Head (South Carolina) on September 1, 2017. Saga’s 2018 Q2 conference call will be at 11:00 am (ET) today (Tuesday, 8/7). Saga owns or operates 75 FM and 33 AM radio stations.

Gregg Receives Salute to Excellence Award. For the second consecutive year, Entercom Philadelphia’s KYW “News Radio 1060” community affairs reporter Cherri Gregg is recognized by the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ). This time, she will receive a “Salute to Excellence Award” at the NABJ’s gala in Detroit. Entercom Philadelphia senior vice president and market manager David Yadgaroff states, “It comes as no surprise that Cherri has been recognized once again for the exemplary work she contributes to KYW. The hard work she has committed in less than a year demonstrates why she is deserving of this honor.” Gregg remarks, “I am honored and humbled by this great recognition. This acknowledgment validates the importance of creating conversation around social issues.” Gregg was recognized in the “Public Affairs” category in “Top 15 Markets, Radio.” The specific segment – “Police Transparency – When Should Names of Officers Who Kill Be Released?” – was from her weekly program “Flashpoint,” which airs Saturdays (9:30 pm) and Sundays (8:30 am). Launched in 2017, “Flashpoint” discusses community affairs, political news, civil rights and social issues. Last year, NABJ honored Gregg with a “Salute to Excellence Award” in “TV Investigative – Top 15 Markets” for her piece “Driving While Black,” a collaboration between Entercom and KYW-TV, Philadelphia (Channel 3). Gregg, who joined Entercom in 2010, was president of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists (2015 – 2016) and vice president of broadcast in 2013. A member of the Pennsylvania and Georgia Bars, she has an undergraduate degree (B.S.) from Boston University; a J.D. from Howard University School of Law; and an M.J. from Temple University’s College of Communications and Theater. Gregg was named one of the Philadelphia NAACP’s Most Influential Black Women and PABJ’s Journalist of the Year in 2013.

Remembering Bill Wattenburg. Cancer has claimed the life of 82-year-old Bill Wattenburg, who died last Thursday (8/2). For 39 years (1972 – 2011), “Dr. Bill” hosted a late night show on KGO, San Francisco where the former nuclear weapons designer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory would answer questions about everything from car repairs to physics. Show promos often referred to him as “The smartest man in the world.” The three-hour program (“Open Line to the West Coast,” 10:00 pm – 1:00 am) aired Saturday and Sunday nights and originated from his home in the Sierras. An occasional caller was Clint Eastwood, who gave Wattenburg a few cameos in the “Dirty Harry” movies. Using the nom de plume Will Harvey, the inventor and former physics professor at the University of California – Berkeley authored an early-1970s best-selling book “How to Find and Fascinate a Mistress.” The success of that book led to him being booked on numerous television talk shows where he debated the merits of feminism with people such as the Gabor sisters and Gloria Steinem. As an inventor, Wattenburg had eight patents to his credit, one reportedly being the first home alarm system using electrical wiring for its communication medium. A 2011 KGO format modification from news/talk to news resulted in several hosts – including Wattenburg – exiting the station. Shortly thereafter, Wattenburg hosted a show on Zwerling Broadcasting System news/talk KSCO-AM, Santa Cruz (California), which – after his death – aired a two-hour retrospective of his radio career.

Spanish Broadcasting System Forecasts Q2 Sales, OIBDA Increases. Preliminary estimated quarter two financial results for Spanish Broadcasting System estimates that consolidated net revenue will be between $34.5 million and $34.8 million, an increase of between 1% and 2% over the same period in 2017. Adjusted OIBDA, excluding non-cash stock-based compensation, is projected at $10.8 million – $11.6 million, an increase of 34% – 44% over last year. SBS chair/chief executive officer Raul Alarcon notes, “The company has continued its positive operational momentum throughout the second quarter with strong OIBDA growth and operating margins that continue to be among the highest in the industry.  In addition, the announced $14 million sale of our surplus real estate in New York City has successfully closed, allowing for our move to newer and more suitable facilities in midtown Manhattan. A correlated and corresponding repayment of the company’s 12.5% senior secured notes from the net proceeds of the real estate sale has been undertaken, as previously envisioned. We maintain our positive view as to the continuing momentum in 2018 and will be filing our finalized second-quarter results within the next week.”

Ten Radio Groups Support NAB’s Owner Cap Modification Stance. Represented in this particular assemblage of group owners is “a cross-section of the industry” with minority-owned and family-owned entities that have stations in large and small markets. In alphabetical order by group owner, the open letter is signed by Alpha Media CEO Bob Proffitt; Connoisseur Media founder/CEO Jeff Warshaw; Emmis Communications chair/CEO Jeff Smulyan; Midwest Communications COO Michael Wright; Mid-West Family Stations president Thomas Walker; Neuhoff Communications president/CEO Beth Neuhoff; NRG Media president/CEO Mary Quass; Perry Publishing and Broadcasting chair Russell Perry; Townsquare Media co-CEOs Dhruv Prasad and Bill Wilson; and Zimmer Radio of Mid-Missouri president/owner John Zimmer. Read the entire letter here.

Round One of July 2018 PPM Data Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union. Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 survey period covered June 21 – July 18. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

TALKERS News Notes. Following stints on New Jersey outlets WMTR and WCTC, Jonathan Friedman’s “Talking Sports” (8:00 pm – 10:00 pm) debuts this Saturday (8/11) on Salem Media Group New York City’s news/talk WNYM “AM 970, The Answer.” The 52-year-old New Jersey resident notes, “I wanted to bring the show to a bigger stage. Growing up in Atlanta and being a huge fan of the Atlanta Falcons, Hawks, and Braves, my love for sports started early in my life. No matter who I talk to, the topic always seems to go to sports; that’s how I connect with people.” A 30-year advertising executive, Friedman has been with Success Communications Group the last 15 years and created the “Gotta Go To Mo’s” campaign for Modell’s Sporting Goods ….. St. Louis-based Project 21 co-chair Stacy Washington is broadcasting “Stacy on the Right” live nationwide. The first hour of the weekday talk program is available on all 180 stations of the American Family Radio Network. The national hour is 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm (ET) and can be streamed through the AFR website, TuneInRadio, Facebook, and YouTube. Decorated Air Force veteran and Emmy-nominated TV personality Washington began her broadcasting career several years ago as a fill-in host on news/talk KFTK, St. Louis and began a two-hour program on the Urban Family Talk Network in 2016 ….. Having added ten million listeners over the last few months, iHeartRadio officially surpasses 120 million registered users. It has over 20,000 podcasts in 20 different unique categories, including 750 iHeartRadio original podcasts ….. According to a report by Richard Deitsch in The Athletic, former NFL quarterback (St. Louis Rams, New York Giants, Arizona Cardinals) Kurt Warner will succeed Boomer Esiason as analyst on Westwood One’s “Monday Night Football” broadcasts. Hall of Famer Warner – who has filled-in when Esiason wasn’t available – would work alongside play-by-play announcer Kevin Harlan. According to Deitsch, a formal announcement of the deal is forthcoming ….. In a situation that will have him relocating to the network’s Chicago headquarters, Scott Krus – station manager of religious teaching WCRF “Moody Radio,” Cleveland – is promoted to general manager of the national Moody Radio Network. Three-month vice president, and former GM, Doug Hastings states, “Scott has the background, skills, and passion to take Moody Radio into our next season. He is very well known at Moody Radio; respected by staff and industry leaders; and has proven that he will effectively lead Moody Radio as general manager.” Krus, who begins his new duties in approximately four weeks (9/1), comments, “I am grateful for the opportunity to serve our teams and [am] energized by the challenge of navigating this ever-changing landscape of media ministry. I believe that Moody is strategically-positioned to expand on its role as a leader in the industry and uniquely equipped to inspire listeners to take that next step in their walk with Jesus Christ. I am looking forward with great excitement to all that God will do in the days to come.”

Paul Manafort Trial/Gates Testimony, Kushner Deleted Stories, Midterm Races, California Wildfire, MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/6). The trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort highlighted by the juicy testimony of Rick Gates; claims that Jared Kushner deleted sensitive stories at his newspaper; the attempted drone assassination attempt of Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro;  this fall’s midterm elections; the deadly California wildfire; 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.

 

 

Premiere Promotes Silcock to VP/Affiliate Relations – Morning Shows. Six-year, New York City-based director of affiliate relations Casey Silcock receives vice president stripes from Premiere Networks. In the newly-created position of vice president of affiliate relations – morning shows, Silcock will oversee affiliate sales and serve as the syndicator’s brand manager for programs featuring Elvis Duran; Bobby Bones; Brooke & JubalJohnjay & Rich; and Kane. Senior vice president of affiliate relations/talk and morning shows Peter Tripi comments, “Casey has been a valuable member of our team for the past six years, and he has made significant contributions to the growth of our industry-leading morning shows. I’m confident his leadership, sound judgment, and solid relationships with affiliate stations and talent alike will drive continued success for our programming.” Silcock previously was head of promotion for Verve Music Group, a division of Universal Music Group, and held management promotion and marketing positions at Virgin Records America.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Weekend WTXF-TV “Fox 29,” Philadelphia sports anchor Sean Brace will appear each Friday at 8:20 am on iHeartMedia Philadelphia rhythmic hot AC WISX “Real 106.1” during “Chio in the AM.” In addition, Brace will contribute to the station’s website and host a Saturday night (7:00 pm – 12:00 midnight) music show. He formerly was heard on cross-town Greater Media (now Beasley Media Group) sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” ….. It is an eventful day for San Antonio air-on talent named “Cortez.” Taking to Facebook, Tony Cortez announces he is leaving his position as assistant program director/afternoon drive talent at Alpha Media’s  CHR KTFM “Energy 94.1,” while “The Dana Cortez Show” was missing this morning at cross-town Univision Radio-owned rhythmic CHR KBBT “98.5 The Beat.” On Twitter, Dana Cortez tweets, “We have some exciting things in the works & want you to be part of.” ….. Promotions coordinator/night personality Edwin Guevara is elevated to promotions director/afternoon host at Townsquare Media Trenton, New Jersey CHR WPST “94.5 – Your New #1 Hit Music Station.” He replaces Tom Shinn, who exited last month. Guevara is approaching his third year at the station, arriving from Kemp Broadcasting Las Vegas rhythmic CHR KVEG “Hot 97.5” ….. Former Bonneville country KYGO, Denver program director Eddie Haskell is named senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s Fort Collins (Colorado) stations. According to iHeartMedia Denver area president Amy Griesheimer, “I am thrilled to have someone of Eddie’s caliber and expertise partner with us to lead [our] Northern Colorado dynasty. Eddie’s passion and brand knowledge are unmatched.” Denver region senior vice president of programming Jason McCollim notes, “Eddie’s knowledge and experience in Colorado radio are second to none. His addition to the Fort Collins team will only help to increase our already strong footprint in Northern Colorado.” Haskell adds, “I am so stoked to join the team at iHeartMedia Fort Collins. We have great brands, great programmers, and a great management team.” His prior background includes being operations manager for Cumulus Media Albuquerque and he has held various programming roles in Detroit (WYCD) and Salt Lake City (KKAT-AM). The iHM cluster in Fort Collins includes country KXBG “Big 97.9”; classic hits-oldies KXBG-HD2 “B-107.3”; classic country KIIX “AM 1410 – Country’s Greatest Hits”; CHR KSME “96.1 – Kiss-FM”; classic rock KPAW “92.9 – The Bear”; alternative KPAW-HD2 “Radio 94.9”; and news/talk KCOL “Fox News Radio 600” ….. Grammy winner – and the first “American Idol” – Kelly Clarkson is filming a pilot for a daytime (TV) talk show.  Clarkson has a deal with NBC Entertainment, but the pilot is currently not attached to any network; it is potentially being shopped for a fall 2019 debut.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

| June 20, 2018

RTDNA Announces National Edward R. Murrow Award Winners. From more than 4,400 entries, the awards recognize 89 local and network radio, television and digital news organizations for 118 examples of outstanding journalism in 16 categories. The leader in overall Radio Television Digital News Association awards with five – NPR – scores wins in “Continuing Coverage,” “Excellence in Social Media,” “Excellence in Sound,” “Excellence in Hard News,” and “News Documentary.” Hubbard Washington, DC all-news WTOP and New Hampshire Public Radio repeated their 2017 wins for “Overall Excellence” in large market radio and small market radio, respectively. RTDNA executive director Dan Shelley notes, “Winning an RTDNA National Edward R. Murrow Award means that a news organization has provided exemplary public service to its viewers, listeners, and readers. These honorees truly represent the very best in broadcast and digital journalism around the world. We cannot make our communities better unless we understand them, and these stories from news organizations large and small have educated, uplifted, inspired, uncovered, and enlightened. These winning pieces revealed the tragedies of human trafficking, kept audiences safe and informed during devastating hurricanes and fires, and provided desperately sought information and context during too-common moments of violence. They provided insight into healthcare, homelessness and immigration issues, engaged communities in learning about mental health and dug deep into election interference.” In addition to the “Overall Excellence” award won for the second time straight and 12th over 18 years, CBS News Radio was recognized for “Best Audio Newscast” for the sixth time in succession. This year, it was for “World News Roundup” coverage of Hurricane Harvey with Norah O’Donnell reporting from Houston and Steve Kathan anchoring from New York. Coverage of the mass shooting of concertgoers on the Las Vegas Strip last October earned the staff the “Breaking News” award for a report by Steve Futterman, Steve Dorsey, and Deborah Rodriguez. This year’s “Excellence in Writing” award went to Dave Ross for his daily feature. CBS News Radio general manager Craig Swagler states, “It is because of our great radio station affiliates that we are a better, stronger radio network.” Entercom was honored with three awards: Large Market Radio “Excellence in Sound” to all-news KCBS-AM, San Francisco for “Wine Country on Fire”; News Series to all-news WCBS-AM, New York for “The Breaking Point”; and the same station scored for “Newscast” (October 31, 2017, 5:00 pm). The national awards will be presented in four months (10/22) at the RTDNA “Edward R. Murrow Awards Gala” in New York City’s Gotham Hall.

KBME To Shuffle Its Lineup. Former National Football League quarterback Sean Salisbury will join the weekday lineup of iHeartMedia Houston’s KBME “Sports Talk 790” in afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm), starting in less than three weeks (Monday, 7/9). Director of AM programming for iHeartMedia Houston, Bryan Erickson, notes, “We are thrilled to be adding Salisbury to the team. The former quarterback brings a unique perspective from his days on the gridiron. We have put together an all-star lineup of guys who know sports and love talking about sports. [KBME] is truly the best destination for compelling local sports content in Houston.” Salisbury adds, “I have been blessed with a full career. This opportunity to work with iHeart and ‘Sports Talk 790’ was too good to pass up in so many ways. I don’t take these great moments lightly. The last five years have been special. I fully expect this new journey to be filled with ‘wow’ moments that make our listeners feel like they are getting the show they deserve.” Following his ten-year professional football career, Salisbury was an NFL analyst on ESPN, and served as a consultant for the 2005 remake of “The Longest Yard.” KBME’s revised lineup as of July 9 will include Josh Innes (6:00 am – 10:00 am); “In the Trenches with Koch & Kalu” (10:00 am – 12:00 noon); Matt Thomas (12:00 noon – 3:00 pm); and Salisbury from 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm. The station will continue its broadcast partnerships with the Houston Astros, Houston Rockets, and the University of Texas football and basketball teams.

MacFarlane Donates $2 Million to NPR; $500,000 to KPCC. Opting to answer Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s comments about dishonesty in the media with his wallet, “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane is making a $2 million donation to NPR and $500,000 to Los Angeles’ NPR membership station, KPCC. MacFarlane’s contribution will directly benefit NPR’s Collaborative Journalism Network, which connects NPR’s nearly 1,800 journalists so they are able to share resources and eliminate “news deserts” in the United States. An NPR spokesperson writes, “We are deeply appreciative of the generous gift from Seth MacFarlane, which will go to supporting local news coverage, allowing NPR and member stations to continue working together to tell the story of the whole country from everywhere in the country.” Southern California Public Radio president and CEO Bill Davis states, “We are deeply moved by Seth’s generous contribution to Southern California Public Radio, KPCC, and NPR. It is this local/national partnership that is the heart of our shared public service mission and we are committed to more fully realizing that mission thanks to this gift and his challenge for others to join us.” Last Thursday, Carlson stated, “If you’re looking to understand what’s actually happening in this country, always assume the opposite of whatever they’re telling you on the big news stations.” In a tweet, MacFarlane wrote that statements like Carlson’s “make me embarrassed to work for this company,” referring to Fox for whom MacFarlane has provided “Family Guy,” “American Dad,” “Cleveland,” and “Orville.” As a direct rebuke to Carlson’s remarks, MacFarlane further told his Twitter followers, “In other words, don’t think critically, don’t consult multiple news sources, and in general, don’t use your brain.”

TALKERS Founder Michael Harrison Says Fox News Channel Hosts Present “Legitimate” Point of View on the Current Border Controversy.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison spoke this morning (6/20) on CNN’s Headline News Channel (HLN) program “Across America with Carol Costello” about the media’s role in the current border immigration controversy (pictured above).  Costello asked Harrison for his perspective on threats by 21st Century Fox show business producers such as Seth MacFarlane (“Family Guy”) and Steve Levitan (“Modern Family”) as well as director Paul Feig who have publicly expressed “disgust” and “embarrassment” over the way Fox News Channel has been covering the family-separation issue with hosts Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham and others showing support of President Trump’s stringent policy.  Harrison said that he doesn’t take these threats seriously and the situation will probably be resolved with the country moving on to the next issue before they could even make good on them.  If anything, Harrison said, this issue will force Trump to further tweak and define murky areas of his immigration policy.  Harrison went on to say that the Hollywood establishment “which includes show business across the board such as Broadway and what took place at the Tony Awards” is hurting its own cause as well as its business interests by speaking out so vehemently for one side in what is a highly-charged polarized situation.  Harrison stated, “Famous people whose media products are not directly involved in politics would be wise to stay out of the fray because they will only further alienate the significant segment of the public and electorate that is supportive of Trump… even to the point of strengthening its resolve.”  When asked if he thinks the potential acquisition of Fox by Walt Disney Co. or Comcast could result in the Fox News Channel modifying its conservative stand, Harrison replied, “Probably not – they are in business and it is doubtful that they would do something to diminish the formidable earnings of a viable news venue serving a large portion of the population.”  Harrison concluded, “No matter how harsh or even cruel Trump’s handling of this situation might be, there are many millions of Americans who support him on it and, thus, Fox News Channel is presenting a legitimate point of view within the highly diverse American marketplace of ideas.  If Fox were to back off on its pro-Trump stance, you can be sure other venues such as Newsmax would be more than happy to swoop in and fill the void that would be waiting to be served.”

Westwood One News’ Vietnam Retrospective Nabs Gold Medal Award. Among the five citations Westwood One News received Monday night (6/18) from the New York International Radio Festival was a gold medal award for “Pain & Pride: Remembering Vietnam – 50 Years Later,” which aired during Veterans Day weekend (November, 2017). Westwood One host/Vietnam veteran Jim Bohannon narrated “Pain & Pride.” Bohannon, who served with the 856th Radio Research Detachment in Cat Lai and Long Binh from 1967 -1968, won a NY Festival prize 30 years ago for his first “Pain & Pride news special. He comments, “I am very gratified that producer David Oziel, the Westwood One News team, and I have received this recognition. For me, there is special meaning in that we did a 20-year look back special that won the New York Festival’s Grand Award in 1988. Also, I’ll be the keynote speaker [tomorrow, Thursday, 6/21] at the Branson, Missouri reunion of my Vietnam unit, the 199th Light Infantry Brigade. It is a delightful manifestation of what Vietnam vets say to each other – ‘welcome home.’” Bohannon gave the keynote address at the Vietnam Wall Memorial in Washington in 1990; was the principal MC for the Vietnam Veterans reunion in Branson in 2002; and hosted the “Rumble” at “TALKERS 2018” less than two weeks ago (6/8) in New York City.

PPM Analysis: All-News. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents four analyses of the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s May PPM survey. Today’s report focuses on the all-news format. A year-to-year improvement of nine-tenths (8.8 – 9.7, 6+) enables Hubbard’s WTOP to move from second to third in Washington, DC. It is the only all-news station in a PPM-market to rank first in May 2018. Moreover, with a 9.6 (6+), it once again boasts the strongest 6+-share among its all-news peers. The category’s runner-up in all six survey periods highlighted in this analysis (“Holiday” 2017 – May 2018) is iHeartMedia Sacramento’s KFBK (6.7, 6+, May 2018). See the entire all-news overview here.

Edison Research Releases 2018 Q1 “Share of Ear” Report. The study quantifies reach and time spent with of all forms of audio. Results indicate terrestrial AM and FM radio remains the centerpiece of audio. Among nuggets from the quarterly report as summarized on the Westwood One website by director of content marketing Lauren Vetrano: AM/FM accounts for 47% of all audio time spent among persons 18+. “Owned music” is next at 12%, followed by YouTube videos (9%); ad-free SiriusXM (5%) and TV music channels (5%). AM/FM’s share has been consistently strong throughout the last few years. Edison reports AM/FM radio’s daily reach also remains stable, while Pandora continues to see losses in share and reach; Spotify has grown 36% (3% to 4.1%). Since 2016, Pandora’s “Share of Ear” dropped 17%. From 2016 to 2018, millennials 18-34 daily reach jumped 39%. Daily reach among 25-54s increased 52%. In addition, podcasting’s daily reach is growing, especially among younger audiences, with listening share +39% in two years to 15.2% among those 18-34 and +52% to 9.7% in the same timeframe among 25-54s.

Salem Radio Network Sets Midterm Election Coverage. With its vice president of news & talk programming Tom Tradup commenting, “There is unprecedented interest in this year’s midterms,” Salem Radio Network will feed live Mike Gallagher-anchored coverage on (Tuesday) November 6 beginning at 7:00 pm (ET). Adding their perspective as well that night will be SRN host Hugh Hewitt; White House correspondent Greg Clugston; Senate correspondent Linda Kenyon; Congress correspondent Wally Hindes; Pentagon/military affairs correspondent Colonel Robert Maginnis; and SRN analyst/former presidential candidate Gary Bauer.

TALKERS News Notes. Having overseen the programming content strategy for 54 radio stations in Radio One’s 15 markets and Reach Media‘s nationally syndicated programming since January 2007, senior vice president of programming content Jay Stevens will leave the company when his contract expires the middle of next month. Immediately prior to joining Radio One, Stevens spent 16 years as vice president of programming for CBS Radio ….. It’s a busy week for Westwood One “Sterling on Sunday” host Walter (Sabo) Sterling who is filling in for Westwood One teammate Jim Bohannon tonight (Wednesday, 6/20) and tomorrow night (Thursday, 6/21). Sterling will be originating those shows from Entercom Pittsburgh news/talk KDKA-AM. Then, in approximately two weeks (7/5 and 7/6), he will guest host for Cumulus Media Little Rock news/talk KARN-FM afternoon drive talent Doc Washburn ….. Chicago media writer Robert Feder (RobertFeder.com) is first to report that veteran “Windy City” news anchor Dave Stewart (WGN, WLS-AM, WIND) will retire at the end of the month … Word from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Rodney Ho is that Elly Yu is remaining in the public news/talk arena but shifting from Atlanta Public Schools-owned WABE to American University’s WAMU as a general assignment reporter.

ABC Radio To Air Four July 4th Specials. All will be three hours in length for broadcast over the upcoming holiday weekend. In “America’s Pastimes,” ABC News Radio correspondent Aaron Katersky enjoys the pastimes that comprise a classic American summer such as the back porch, barbeque, sports, and a day at the beach. Katersky will explore not only the traditional American summer hobbies, but also those that are new. ABC News Radio correspondent Alex Stone hosts “Great American Car Show” in which he examines America’s love affair with the automobile. He tours the presidential limousine that John F. Kennedy was in on that fateful day in Dallas; visits an assembly line making the Ford Mustang (pictured at left); and ponders a future with flying cars. Stone will take listeners on a tour down historic Route 66, do donuts with a Hollywood stunt car driver and learn about the latest in car technology. “Red, White and True-Blue Country Fan Salute” is hosted by Dustin Lynch, who reveals the special relationship between country artists and their fans. Among those included are Jason Aldean, Kelsea Ballerini, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Little Big Town, and Darius Rucker. They discuss their most memorable and strangest fan encounters, how they engage with fans on social media and what sets country fans apart from partisans of other musical genres. Eddie Money-hosted “Red, White & Rock 2018” celebrates cities, artists, and songs that comprise the landscape of American rock and roll. It will feature music from Aerosmith, Allman Brothers Band, Cheap Trick, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Tom Petty, Bob Seger, Bruce Springsteen, Van Halen, and ZZ Top.

Coleman Insights To Present Podcast Engagement Study. Results will be shared next month (7/25) in Philadelphia at Podcast Movement as part of the conference’s Industry Track. The study will reportedly offer second-by-second data in an analysis on listener reactions to “The Ben & Ashley Almost Famous Podcast,” hosted by former contestants from ABC-TV’s “The Bachelor.” Coleman Insights executive vice president/senior consultant Sam Milkman notes, “We will go well beyond the simple measures of listener and download counts that podcasters are used to seeing and examine content engagement. By looking at how the audience responds to specific content, podcasters can more effectively develop engaging content.” Podcast Movement co-founder Dan Franks remarks, “One of the biggest challenges for a podcaster is to figure out who their listener is, and what their listener wants. Coleman’s solutions for this problem are very exciting for us as organizers, as we get to help spread the word throughout the entire podcast community this July.” Milkman will present the findings with John Boyne and will be joined by iHeartRadio senior vice president of podcasting Chris Peterson.

For The Record. An item in yesterday’s TALKERS (Tuesday, 6/19) noted that “CBS World News Roundup” earned a “gold” medal in the New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards; “CBS World News Roundup” actually won a “bronze.” We apologize for the error.

 

NYC’s “Alt 92.3” Adds Segall, Stone. In two separate moves, Entercom New York’s WNYL “Alt 92.3” names Bryce Segall music director/evening talent and Dan Stone imaging director. Segall begins in less than two weeks (Monday, 7/2); Stone starts next Monday (6/25). Entercom New York regional president and market manager Susan Larkin comments, “Bryce has continuously displayed the ability to be innovative in the programming end of our industry; we are excited to add his talents. Dan’s previous imaging and voiceover experience will pay great dividends as he joins us in the same capacity.” According to Segall, “New York City is an iconic pillar of alternative culture. It has long deserved a radio station that not only pays tribute, but adds to that legacy. I am looking forward to working with the ‘Alt 92.3’ team to develop an outlet that truly adds value to the thriving, pre-existing music community.” Stone notes, “Helping to build an ‘Alt’ radio brand for New York City is a dream come true. This station’s passion for the format is unequalled; I can’t wait to wake up and be a part of that.” Segall previously was assistant program director/air personality for Seattle’s KNDD “107.7 The End,” and label manager for Mad Zoo. Stone was an imaging contributor/consultant for Cumulus Media Chicago. WNYL is the former WBMP – its calls were changed last Tuesday (6/12). Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s May 2018 sweep, the station ranked #19 (2.0).

Bevvy of Beasley Media Group Philly Activities. Several community-oriented activities undertaken by Beasley Media Group Philadelphia seemingly converged all at once. Many employees at the cluster were involved in its recent “Best Day of Caring event to help the City of Philadelphia Community Life Improvement Program (CLIP). Team members from WMMR “93.3 Everything That Rocks”; WMGK “102.9 Philadelphia’s Classic Rock”;  adult hits WBEN-FM “95.7 Ben FM”; sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic”; sports talk WTEL “610 ESPN”; and WWDB “Talk 860” divided into two shifts to clean up a block in the city’s Frankford section. While there, they picked up trash and removed graffiti to help support the organization’s beautification project. Vice president and market manager Joe Bell comments, “This is truly what being a part of a local community is all about. I could not be more proud of our employees for paying it forward and helping our beloved city. I am proud to be on their team.” Meanwhile, last Friday (6/15), WMGK’s John DeBella raised over $143,000 for local veterans as part of his 13th annual radiothon at the National Constitution Center. Over the past decade, the station has raised over one million dollars to support vets in need. Among those donating items used in a series of eBay auctions that occurred in conjunction with the radiothon were Def Leppard’s Rick Allen, Jimmy Buffett, Phil Collins, Eagles, Billy Joel, and Yes. Former leader of Creedence Clearwater Revival, John Fogerty, called the station to voice his support. The following day (Saturday, 6/16), the 13th annual WMMR “I Bleed For Preston & Steve Blood Drive” produced 1,128 units of blood to benefit The American Red Cross Penn-Jersey Blood Services Region. Listeners showed up during a time when the American Red Cross needs blood the most and they received “Preston & Steve” T-shirts and “I Bleed For Preston & Steve pint glass. Hundreds of donors were randomly selected to receive a pair of tickets to a summer concert. Free food and samples were also provided. Thus far, the annual event has collected nearly 15,000 pints of blood.

O’Brien Inks Multi-Year WCSX Extension. Four-year WCSX “94.7 The Classic Rock Station” morning drive personality (Big) Jim O’Brien signs a multi-year deal to continue hosting “Big Jim’s Houseon the Beasley Media Group Detroit outlet. Vice president/market manager Mac Edwards comments, “It is really a pleasure to be associated with Jim and the healthy combination of creativity, wit, and passion for cars and classic rock he brings to his morning listeners in the ‘Motor City.’ Jim’s work to establish Glenn Frey Drive in Royal Oak and soon Bob Seger Boulevard in Ann Arbor; his tireless efforts on behalf of veterans; and his respect for all things Detroit prove he is an extraordinary ambassador for both WCSX and the city he calls home.” Program director JT Tarrants states, “I have been a ‘Big Jim’ fan since I arrived here. We are so glad to have him buttoned up to lead our morning show into the future.” O’Brien adds, “It is an honor to be part of the Beasley Media Group family in Detroit. I look forward to continue entertaining our dedicated ‘Motor City’ listeners for years to come.” O’Brien has been with WCSX since 2002 and is joined on the morning show by co-host Erin V and producer Ryan Logan.

San Andres Ascends to “Z-90” APD. XHTZ “Z-90 – Today’s Hit Music,” the Comunicación XERSA-owned mainstream CHR covering San Diego, promotes music director Kat San Andres to assistant program director. Program director R Dub comments, “It is team members behind the spotlight like Kat San Andres who are responsible for the incredible success of ‘Z-90’ and the other brands in this building. Kat’s relentless work ethic and passion for the business helps propel ‘Z-90’ forward every day; expanding her role here was overdue. Add to that, she is the ‘Z-90’ listener; has a great set of ears; and is a lot cooler than I will ever be.” With the station since 2004, San Andres remarks, “Fourteen years later, I am still in love with this career. I am always so thankful and grateful that I decided to take a risk to follow my dreams because it has led me to this wonderful adventure. I am so excited for this opportunity and cannot wait to start this new chapter.” Meanwhile, Kalyna Astrinos of San Diego’s KGTV-TV joins “Z-90” for weekends. She and R Dub worked together at iHeartMedia Los Angeles in 2009.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. After 16 years in the CBS Radio Los Angeles – now Entercom – cluster, John Michael resigns. During his tenure, he was assistant program director/music director at mainstream CHR KAMP “97.1 Amp Radio”; music director for adult hits KCBS-FM “93.1 Jack FM’: and music coordinator/weekend air talent at alternative KROQ ….. Digital program director for iHeartMedia San Francisco Matty Staudt is elevated to iHeartRadio’s vice president of podcast programming. Staudt has launched more than 30 original locally-focused podcasts and hosts iHeartRadio’s “Access Podcast.” In 2008, he became part of the startup team and first director of content and community for the podcasting app Stitcher before moving to Premiere Networks as a consulting producer. A teacher at the Academy of Art University, Staudt will report directly to senior vice president of podcasting Chris Peterson …..Exiting Saga Columbus adult contemporary WSNY “Sunny 95” after 24 years is morning talent Dino Tripodis. Co-host Stacy McKay is the interim replacement named by program director Michelle Matthews …..  Morning drivers Chaz & AJ of Connoisseur Media New Haven’s WPLR “99.1 Connecticut’s #1 Rock Station” raised $18,000 for Connecticut based “Homes for the Brave.” WPLR operations manager Keith Dakin states, “It was truly inspiring to look at a packed house of people who were there not only for laughs but to help out a great organization making a difference in our community. ‘Homes for the Brave’ is doing great things in our state and we are so happy to write them this check.” Chaz adds, “With over a million U.S. veterans at risk of homelessness, this is the least we could do. It is up to us to help take care of those that gave for their country.” All money raised will go to help build homes, teach vocational training, and work with homeless veterans ….. The co-host of Cumulus Media’s “Nash Nights Live” – Elaina Smith – teams up with Nash Country Daily for an ongoing conversation about women in country music. Each article will feature a female county artist with an accompanying opinion piece, interview, podcast, or playlist. Profiled female artists will be featured on 90 Cumulus Media websites and more than 130 radio stations nationwide, with a reach of 400,000 people on Twitter and 180,000 on Facebook.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

| May 23, 2018

Urban One to Pay $4.2 Million for WTEM-AM, Washington.  The price tag of the deal that will transfer ownership of sports talk WTEM-AM, Washington from Dan Snyder-controlled Red Zebra to Urban One is $4.2 million.  In its filing with the SEC, Urban One reports that it “expects to generate approximately $1.7 million of pro-forma EBITDA from the assets, which represents a buyer’s multiple of approximately 2.5x.”  The presser from Urban One confirms that the station will continue to serve as the flagship station for Washington Redskins football.  (Games and related programming will also continue to air on Cumulus Media’s WMAL-AM/FM, Washington.) Urban One president and CEO Alfred Liggins says, “This is a tremendous opportunity for Urban One and we are especially pleased that through our acquisition, ‘The Team 980’ will continue to be locally owned.  The acquisition of ‘The Team 980’ is very much in line with our strategy of super-serving our community of listeners.  We have deep roots in the greater Washington, DC area and are well aware that ‘The Team 980’ has always been a fan favorite.  Red Zebra has a track record of producing great programming that engages our hometown sports fans.  We look forward to working with the Washington Redskins organization to continue this tradition.”

PPM Analysis: All-News. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents an analysis of the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s April PPM survey, today focusing on the all-news format.  As Kinosian notes, the April PPM survey was not kind to the all-news format with just one station – Entercom’s KCBS-AM, San Francisco – notching a gain. The station went up a 0.5 share in the adjacent San Jose market.  However, comparing year-over-year numbers, about half the all-news stations in PPM markets saw their 6+ numbers increase, with iHeartMedia’s KFBK, Sacramento rising by 0.8 share.  Although it went down by 0.8 share, Hubbard Radio’s WTOP-FM, Washington still ranked #1 in its market, while KCBS-AM ranked #2 in both the San Francisco and San Jose markets and KFBK ranked #2 in Sacramento.  See the entire report here.

Houston Talk Host Matt Patrick Posthumously Named TALKERS 2018 “Humanitarian of the Year.”  The late Michael “Matt Patrick” Ryan has been posthumously named the recipient of the TALKERS 2018 “Sharon L. Harrison Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service by a Radio Talk Show Host” – also referred to as “Humanitarian of the Year.”  Patrick was a major presence in Texas talk radio as the popular host of “Houston’s Morning News” on KTRH, Houston and his syndicated afternoon program, “The Matt Patrick Show” on KPRC, Houston and KFXR, Dallas/Ft. Worth.  In September 2015, Patrick announced that he was receiving treatment for metastatic melanoma at the world-renowned M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.  The 37-year radio pro underwent brain surgery in late 2015, followed by multiple rounds of chemo, immunotherapy, and radiation in 2016.  Continuing to work through additional treatments, Patrick also maintained regular television appearances on Houston’s FOX 26 News, provided live coverage of the 2016 GOP National Convention from Cleveland for iHeartMedia, and rallied millions of fans during numerous public appearances to discuss “Overcoming Obstacles in Life.”  Patrick’s wife and radio business partner Paula Ryan writes in TALKERS (5/21), “Although the odds of survival were not great, Matt’s invincible drive and spirit were.  He was a brave and courageous warrior, leaving it all on the field.  Matt’s final appearance on KTRH was July 5, 2017 where he mustered every remaining ounce of strength to publicly thank his beloved listeners and to say goodbye to this terrestrial world.  Just a few days later, on July 9, 2017, Matt spoke his last beautiful words privately to me with that golden voice of his, and quietly slipped away to Heaven.”  Matt Patrick was extremely active in supporting a number of charities and causes.  He spoke for the Star of Hope in an effort to end homelessness, the Akron/Canton Regional Food Bank (during his earlier tenure as a talk host in Northeast Ohio between 2000-2010) and Houston Food Bank to aid food-insecure individuals and families, as well as supporting the Fisher House (free, extended-stay facilities for the families of hospitalized active-duty or retired military members and veterans) even holding a radiothon onsite (just Patrick and his engineer) in Houston to raise funds for these military families and veterans.  Over the course of the last decade of his time in Ohio, he worked tirelessly to raise $15 million for Akron Children’s Hospital as the founder and original host of the “Have A Heart, Do Your Part Radiothon,” and was an active supporter of Children’s Miracle Network.  Patrick was awarded the “Child Advocacy Award” of Akron Children’s Hospital for making a profound difference in the lives of the children in the community.  Patrick was a recovering alcoholic.  In November 2005, he achieved sobriety, one day at a time, and had helped countless others who struggled with addiction and alcoholism.  He was a believer in having to “give it away to keep it” and did just that.  Paula Ryan tells TALKERS, “Every year Matt and I would host ‘The Matt Patrick Recovery Show’ to publicly talk about his struggles with addiction while offering hope and resources to those who had a desire to become sober.  He served in various volunteer capacities with AA and would never hesitate to meet personally with a listener or return a phone call from a complete stranger if they reached out to him asking for his help.”  Patrick was a staunch supporter of law enforcement and was formally recognized by many agencies for his role in educating the public and bringing the community together working collaboratively with local police.  He was named an Honorary Deputy Sheriff in Fort Bend County and was honored with a formal changing of the guard ceremony at his memorial service by several law enforcement agencies including Harris County Sheriff, Fort Bend County Sheriff, and the City Of Houston, Texas Police Chief.   His 13-year-old son, Jake Ryan, was inducted into the Thin Blue Line at his dad’s memorial service as well.  To view a touching video tribute to the life and career of Matt Patrick, please click here The TALKERS “Humanitarian of the Year” award will be presented posthumously at TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! on June 8 in New York City and accepted by his widow Paula and son Jake.

WBEN-AM, Buffalo’s ‘12 Voices in 12 Hours’ Initiative Addresses Opioid Addiction. The “12 Voices in 12 Hours” initiative continues at Entercom’s news/talk WBEN-AM, Buffalo “NewsRadio 930” with the station this time addressing the opioid addiction epidemic.  The station is presenting 14 hours of programming on the issue today (5/23) from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm.  Each hour of programming will feature a different voice on the issue, including medical experts, addiction experts, pain management experts, recovering opioid addicts, and family members of some of the victims of the epidemic.  The day’s special programming will conclude with a two-hour, live “Opioid Conversation” at the City of Tonawanda High School auditorium from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.

iHeartMedia First Quarter 2018 Revenue Down 1.7%.  Revenue for the first quarter of 2018 for iHeartMedia’s radio division was $744.5 million – a decrease of 1.7% compared to the same period in 2017.  The company, currently in Chapter 11 reorganization, did not make any statements accompanying the financial data in the 8-K report, nor is it holding an investor’s conference call.  The company as a whole – including its Outdoor segments – was up 3.1% on consolidated revenue of $1.36 billion.

New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards Announces Finalists.  The finalists have been announced for the 2018 New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards.  The World’s Best Radio Programs competition has been taking place since 1982, receiving entries from radio stations, networks, and independent producers from around the globe.  This year, NYF’s Grand Jury selected 353 finalists from entries submitted from 31 countries worldwide.  Entries were judged based on production values, organization, presentation of information, creativity, and use of the medium.  Vice president and executive director Rose Anderson says, “From audio books, podcasts, and sound art to documentaries, drama, and breaking news.  The international Grand Jury members once again selected finalists whose content exhibited creativity and innovation.”  All finalists move on to the medal round.  U.S. broadcasters making it to the medal round include: CBS News RadioSiriusXM, Westwood One, and ESPN.  See all the finalists here.

Dave Schrader Assumes Host Role for ‘Midnight in the Desert.’ The Dark Matter Digital Network announces that Dave Schrader is officially named the host of the “Midnight in the Desert” program that had been hosted by the late Art Bell.  Schrader has hosted “Darkness Radio,” “Beyond the Darkness,” “True-Crime Tuesday” and was a frequent weekend host for “Coast to Coast AM.”  Keith Rowland, manager/operator of Rowland Network Communications, LLC for the Dark Matter Digital Network, says they are actively seeking terrestrial radio affiliates for the program.  “Dave Schrader brings a wealth of experience, professionalism, and credibility to the search of the paranormal, the weird, and the anomalous that will continue to keep ‘Midnight in the Desert’ as the leading Internet-based LIVE paranormal program.”

WHO, Des Moines’ Simon Conway Celebrates 10th Anniversary as Citizen.  Afternoon drive talk show host Simon Conway (pictured above with Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate) was born in London, but back in 2008, he celebrated his new American citizenship.  Conway’s program is heard on iHeartMedia’s WHO, Des Moines “News Radio 1040” and is simulcast on the company’s WMT, Cedar Rapids “News Radio 600.”

U.S.-North Korea Summit, Trump-Russia Investigation, Iran Nuclear Deal, Primary Races, Prison Reform Bill, MLB Action, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/22).  The uncertain status of the planned summit between President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un; special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the state of the Iran nuclear deal after the U.S.’s exit from the pact; the primary elections in Georgia, Texas, and Kentucky; the Trump Administration’s prison reform bill passes the House; 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. It’s rare for Salem Media Group to sell stations but, as Salem Broadcast Media president David Santrella says, “When we do, we make every attempt to ensure that the buyer will continue to program the station with a format that will make a positive impact in the community.  That appears to be the case as Christian contemporary KGBI-FM, Omaha is being sold to University of Northwestern-St. Paul.  The school already operates 20 non-commercial stations around the country.  The school’s SVP for media Jason Sharp says, “We are grateful for the partnership we have experienced with Salem Media Group during this process. We look forward to expanding our network in Omaha and continuing the work of pointing people to Jesus through music and programming that makes an eternal impact.”

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

| May 22, 2018

Urban One New Owner of WTEM-AM, Washington.  Silver Spring, Maryland-based Urban One adds another Red Zebra property (the last station in Redskins owner Dan Snyder’s radio portfolio) to its radio station holdings as it acquires the NFL club’s flagship station, WTEM-AM, Washington “The Team 980” for an undisclosed sum.  The Washington Post quotes Red Zebra chairman Terry Bateman saying WTEM will continue to air Redskins football play-by-play (plus pre- and post-game shows).  Urban One kept ‘Skins games on Richmond, Virginia sports talker WXGI-AM that it bought from Red Zebra in 2017.  Bateman adds that Urban One has “done very well with sports talk in Richmond.” Comments in the Post piece point toward Urban One sticking with the sports format, although Urban One SVP Jeffrey Wilson says the company isn’t prepared to discuss specific programming issues.  Urban One paid $2 million for WXGI-AM and DC signal WDCJ-FM, Prince Frederick, Maryland (then WWXT-FM).  We’ll know the price for WTEM when the FCC filing is available.

Envision Networks to Syndicate ‘Retire with Integrity’ Program. The new weekend financial advice program from Envision Networks is called “Retire with Integrity” and is hosted by financial pro Brian Bowen and co-host Tug Cowart.  Bowen is an investment advisor representative and the president of Integrity Financial Planning, Inc.  He is also the president of CPA tax firm Impact Tax Group, LLC.  He is a contributor to CNNMoney.com, Money.com and Fortune.com.  Envision president and CEO Danno Wolkoff says, “When we investigate new shows to offer affiliates, we look for compelling content that listeners want to hear.  The value of ‘Retire with Integrity’ is the fun nature of the program and the appeal it holds financially for stations to sell to local advertisers.”

Glynn Rises to SVP of Sales for iHeartMedia Seattle. Sales pro Mark Glynn is the new senior vice president at iHeartMedia’s Seattle station group that includes sports talk KJR-AM and talk KHHO, Tacoma “Hot Talk 880.”  Glynn has been serving as vice president of sales for the cluster’s KBKS, KUBE, and the TTWN.  About his new gig, Glynn says, “I’m honored to be given the opportunity to lead the sales organization for iHeartMedia Seattle.  Audio is booming, and iHeartMedia Seattle is in a fantastic position to help advertisers get their messages heard by leveraging their eight iconic radio stations and lineup of superstar influencer talent.”

Nick Cattles Returns to ‘ESPN Radio 94.1’ in Norfolk.  After being away from Max Media’s WVSP, Norfolk, Virginia “ESPN Radio 94.1” for 16 months for a stint at Entercom’s WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub,” Nick Cattles is back hosting the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm show.  Cattles’ program replaces the canceled “Pants Party” with Jeff Pantridge.  Cattles says, “I’m ecstatic to be returning to ‘ESPN Radio 94.1.’  During my previous run, I feel like I developed a deep and important connection with the sports fans of the 757, and I look forward to re-establishing and growing it even stronger.  A special thanks to the ownership and management team of Max Media for allowing me this opportunity. I can’t wait to get started on Monday, June 4.”

Jeff Hill Named VP of Sales at Cumulus Chicago. Windy City radio sales pro Jeff Hill is named to the newly created position of vice president, sales, for the Chicago cluster that includes news/talk WLS-AM, alternative WKQX, and classic hits WLS-FM.  Hill was most recently director of sales for Tribune’s WGN Radio.  In the past he’s served with ABC Radio – including as local sales manager for WLS-AM – as LSM for then-CBS RADIO’s WCKG-FM.  Cumulus Media Chicago VP/market manager Marv Nyren states, “Cumulus Chicago is thrilled to be adding a market veteran like Jeff Hill as our vice president of sales.  Jeff’s success in Chicago will allow our cluster to continue to build relationships with the ad community and compete at the highest levels of performance.”

TALKERS News Notes. There’s no official comment from Entercom on the decision to cancel the Sue Henry show on WILK-AM, Wilkes Barre/Scranton, but Henry confirmed via social media that yesterday (5/21) was her last day hosting the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program. The Times-Tribune notes that Henry had hosted the show for the past 16 years.  She also serves as a faculty member at King’s College in Wilkes-Barre and a moderator of the school’s radio station…..TALKERS magazine hears that general manager Dave Coskey is out at Longport Media’s Atlantic City operations that includes news/talk WOND-AM, Longport, New Jersey.  Our source says former CBS RADIO executive Marc Rayfield is assisting with the transition…..SiriusXM is presenting a special Town Hall Q&A event in which NBA legend Jerry West will sit down before a live studio audience and talk with fellow Lakers great James Worthy and take questions from the audience.  The program is being timed to coincide with West’s 80thbirthday.  The show is being taped at The Forum on Thursday (5/24) and will start airing on Friday.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Investigation into FBI-CIA Infiltration of Trump Campaign, Texas School Shooting Aftermath, U.S.-North Korea Summit, Pope Francis Homosexuality Statement, Iran Nuclear Deal, Major League Baseball, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/21). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; President Trump’s ordering the inspector general to investigation the possible infiltration of his campaign by FBI or CIA agents; the aftermath of the deadly shooting at a Houston-area high school; speculation over whether the U.S.-North Korea summit will actually happen; Pope Francis’ comments to gay man that ‘God made him that way’; the U.S.’s pressure on Iran for a stronger nuclear deal; MLB action; and NBA playoffs action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. A number of moves take place at iHeartMedia’s Tucson station group.  First, Nick Wize is the new assistant program director for CHR KRQQ-FM hip hop KOHT “HOT 98.3,” and hot AC KMIY “My 92.9.”  Wize will also take over afternoon drive hosting duties on KRQQ on June 11.  At the same time, KRQQ and KOHT program director D-Wayne Chavez moves to afternoon drive on KOHT, and Suzette Rodriguez shifts to the midday program.  iHeartMedia Tucson SVP of programming David Adams comments, “Adding someone of Nick’s caliber to the already strong KRQ lineup is like winning the lottery! Nick will be an extremely valuable addition to the team, both on and off the air.”…..Max Media Denver announces the return of Mile High personalities Larry Ulibarri and Kathie J,