Tag: "Washington"

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, who are back to host both the morning show on hip hop KFCO “FLO 107-1” and afternoons on sister station rhythmic oldies KJHM “Jammin’ 101-5.” Cluster president and GM Jeff Norman states, “We couldn’t be more excited to welcome Larry and Kathie J to the Max Media Denver family.  With over 16 years in the Denver market, they have an incredible track record of driving station ratings and growing businesses to the next level.  Research proves the Denver community craves more of Larry and Kathie.”  Current KFCO morning host Nina Blanco moves to the afternoon drive program, “SLiM’s Playhouse.”…..WIHT, Washington-based “The Kane Show” is featured in the June issue of Baltimore magazine as part of the “Newcomer’s Guide to Baltimore” feature. The program is heard in Baltimore on CHR WZFT “Z104.3.”

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

| April 25, 2018

PPM Analysis: All-News. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his monthly look at the performances of radio stations based on 6+ ratings from Nielsen Audio’s March 2018 PPM survey.  Today’s report focuses on all-news stations.  Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington remains the highest-rated all-newser with a 10.4 AQH share (6+).  Big gainers include iHeartMedia’s WBZ-AM, Boston; Entercom’s KYW, Philadelphia; and New York news duo WCBS-AM and WINS-AM.   The biggest improvement from the March 2017 survey to this March was iHeartMedia’s KFBK, Sacramento – up by 1.4 shares to an 8.1 AQH share.  Both KFBK and WTOP ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets in March.  See Kinosian’s entire report here.

Francesa: ‘Time to Return to WFAN.’ After yesterday’s report in the New York Post that former WFAN-AM/FM, New York afternoon drive host Mike Francesa is “desperate” to get back on the air in New York comes Neil Best’s story in Newsday quoting Francesa himself saying, “It is time to return to WFAN.”  Best reports that WFAN confirmed “ongoing discussions” with Francesa.  A source says Francesa would likely be back in a portion of his old 1:00 pm to 6:30 pm slot.  A statement from WFAN adds, “We are very proud of our current lineup at WFAN and that any potential future engagement with Mike will not result in any talent departures.”  Entercom hired Chris Carlin, Maggie Gray, and Bart Scott for the 2:00 pm to 6:30 pm show that launched in January.  The Newsday piece notes that Carlin, Gray, and Scott talked about Francesa’s return on their Tuesday program and admitted that it looks like Francesa will return to some portion of afternoon drive but said they are planning to be with the station “for a long time.” Read the Newsday piece here.

Missouri State Senator Seeks Action on KQQZ, St. Louis Personality Bob Romanik.  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Missouri State Senator Jamilah Nasheed has petitioned the FCC to take action against KQQZ-AM, St. Louis and radio host Bob Romanik for language used on his program.  Although the story does not report Romanik’s exact words, Jack Suntrup writes that Romanik’s program “has used the n-word and various misogynistic and homophobic slurs over the years.”  Nasheed’s letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai states, in part, “Our nation has witnessed a horrific increase in white nationalist activity, due in part to the normalization and toleration of hate-speech.  Too often, racist views are turned into violent action through the encouragement of racist personalities like Mr. Romanik and radio stations like 1190 KQQZ-AM.” She is asking the FCC to fine Romanik and revoke KQQZ’s license.  The story quotes station assistant GM Bill Thomas saying, “As soon as they take the n-word off all the black radio stations throughout this country — on all the rap stations, on all the comedic routines that the blacks use the n-word — then we’ll quit using it.”  Read the story here.

SiriusXM Reports Q1 2018 Net Income Up 6%. Net income in the first quarter of 2018 for satellite radio operator SiriusXM was $289 million, up from $207 million a year ago (an increase of 6%).  It added 330,000 total net subscribers and says that it hit the 33 million-mark for total subscribers for the first time.  Operating cash flow climbed 34% to $415 million.  SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer says, “SiriusXM has come out of the gate strong in 2018.  Our 6% growth in revenue would have been 8% absent the change in generally accepted accounting principles that was effective January 1st, and we are pleased with our 6% growth in adjusted EBITDA given the sharp increase in our music royalties also beginning January 1st.  We are on-track to meet all of our full-year guidance, and I’m thrilled to announce we topped 33 million paying subscribers.”

WBZ-AM, Boston Reporter Lana Jones Dies Suddenly at 62.  The circumstances surrounding her death have not been made public but longtime radio news pro Lana Jones – a reporter for WBZ-AM, Boston – collapsed at her home late Tuesday and died early this morning (4/25).  On its website, WBZ-AM wrote: WBZ News Radio 1030 is deeply saddened by the passing of one of their veteran news reporters, Lana Jones.  Lana died suddenly this morning at UMass Medical Center in Worcester.  She was an outstanding journalist who will be severely missed by her colleagues and friends in the Boston media.  “Lana was the consummate professional who could take a hundred-page Supreme Court Decision and boil it down into a concise report for our listeners,” said Bill Flaherty, WBZ Program Director. “She knew everyone and everything. She will be greatly missed.”  Alan Chartrand, President of the iHeartMedia Boston Region, said “I’ve always admired Lana’s work on WBZ Radio. She took the tough stories and made them easy to understand. Our deepest sympathies go out to Lana’s family and the newsroom.”  Lana Jones was a general assignment reporter for WBZ Newsradio 1030.  Jones began her broadcast career in Toledo, Ohio while studying Special Education at Bowling Green State University. A native of Warren, Ohio, Jones moved to Worcester, Massachusetts in 1981 to join the staff of WAAF. There she anchored the news and hosted a weekly talk show on local youth issues. From 1983 to 1988, Jones was a news anchor and reporter for WMJX, Boston. She worked as a reporter for the former WHDH radio from 1989 to 1991. Jones is survived by her husband Steve who resides in Worcester, Massachusetts.

TALKERS News Notes. The acquisition of Tribune’s television and radio assets by Sinclair Broadcast Group is getting a little closer to a done deal after Sinclair agreed to divest of 23 television stations in 18 markets in order to assuage the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission.  As a result, WGN-AM (along with WGN-TV) will be part of the new Sinclair.  Previously, the company had planned to sell the Chicago radio and TV stations but operate them via joint sales and shared services agreements…..Entercom Communications will announce its first quarter 2018 financial results on Tuesday, May 8.  This will be the first full quarter Entercom has been operating the former CBS RADIO stations since that acquisition closed in November of 2017…..Cumulus Media news/talk WBAP, Dallas “News/Talk 820 AM” is hosting the third annual WeatherCon at the Frontiers of Flight Museum this Saturday, April 28.  The event is a free, family-friendly event that features informative and entertaining weather seminars throughout the day, including a session hosted by WBAP chief meteorologist Brad Barton with WFAA-TV chief meteorologist Pete Delkus…..Nationally syndicated “Motley Fool Money” with host Chris Hill adds new affiliate stations WNTK-FM, New London and WUVR-AM, Lebanon in New Hampshire…..The “Financial Focus Radio” show moves from affiliate KUIK to crosstown KBNP in Portland.  The weekly show is hosted by Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management partners Troy Reinhart and Tyler Simones…..The long-running “Freakonomics Radio” podcast is moving from the WNYC platform to Midroll Media’s Stitcher platform. Stitcher has inked journalist and best-selling author Stephen J. Dubner to co-produce the podcast and to expand the “Freakonomics Radio” brand through existing and new content.

Trump-Macron Visit, Trump’s Kim Jong Un Comment, Judge’s DACA Decision, Trump-Russia Investigation/Comey Book, Ronny Jackson Nomination, Deadly Toronto Van Attack, NRA-Yeti Flap, and MLB Action and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/24). The official state visit by French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte with President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania; criticism of President Trump’s statement calling North Korea dictator Kim Jong Un “very honorable”; U.S. District Judge John D. Bates rules against President Trump’s attempt to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related book by fired FBI Director James Comey; White House physician Ronny Jackson’s imperiled secretary of veteran affairs nomination due to allegations of professional misconduct; the case of accused Toronto van attacker Alek Minassian; the destruction of Yeti products by NRA members upset over a change in the company’s discount programs; and 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. Three programming pros get new roles with iHeartMedia’s Arizona region, all effective May 3.  Reid Spivey is named assistant program director and PM drive host for country KNIX, Phoenix.  He was most recently APD for sister CHR KZZP and hot AC KMXP.  Spivey will work with music director Lois “Double L” Lewis and program director Steve GeofferiesRameen Madani joins iHeartMedia Phoenix as assistant program director for KZZP and KMXP.  David Adams has added duties as program director for KDWR-LP “My 92.9,” where he will be responsible for the day-to-day programming operations and work closely with on-air personalities and sales to oversee the station’s on-air content, digital footprint and music programming.  He will continue to serve as senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia Tucson…..Josh Martinez is named program director for iHeartMedia’s CHR WKFS, Cincinnati “Kiss 107.1.”  Previously, Martinez served as program director for stations in Dayton and Cedar Rapids and as a music director in Des Moines.  Cincinnati market president DJ Hodge says, “We knew this was the right time to promote Josh Martinez to program director.  Since the time he arrived, he has made significant inroads to improve both the trajectory of the station and our ability to successfully engage with our growing audience.  The future is very bright for both Josh and ‘Kiss 107.1.’”…..Max Kachinske takes on the newly-created position of corporate programming assistant at Midwest Communications. The position is based in Green Bay and Kachinske will leave his evening show gig at Neuhoff Media’s WFMB-FM, Springfield, Illinois.  Kachinske says, I’m beyond excited to begin working with such a respected programmer in Jeff McCarthy and the amazing group at Midwest Communications.  This is something I couldn’t begin to dream up that became a reality.  I can’t wait to get started.”…..Pittsburgh country outlet WDSY “Y108” announces the lineup for the station’s 7thannual “Y108 8 Man Jam” concert.  The show will feature: Joe Nichols, David Lee Murphy, Eric Paslay, Jordan Davis, Michael Tyler, Cale DoddsRyan Hurd, and Mitchell Tenpenny on Thursday, May 24 at Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh’s North Shore.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

| April 18, 2018

Financial Broadcasting Pioneer Ken Dolan Dies at 75.  One of the most influential pioneering figures in the genre of personal finance talk media, Ken Dolan (pictured here with wife Daria), has died at the age of 75.   He passed away yesterday afternoon at his home in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida after a long battle with lymphoma.  Dolan, with his devoted wife of 46 years, Daria Dolan, was half of one of the most successful husband/wife teams in the history of talk radio – The Dolans.  Known as “The First Family of Finance,” the Dolans were primarily known for their 20-year historic run at WOR, New York from 1985 through 2005 during which they advised a massive audience on a wide range of personal financial matters while entertaining listeners with their unique form of clever banter and lifestyle chat that broadened their appeal beyond the money talk realm.  The Dolans’ radio popularity extended nationally as they were heard on several hundred stations during the heyday of the WOR Radio Network, at which they, along with such icons as Dr. Joy Browne, were among the platform’s star attractions.  Prior to that, they were carried nationally on NBC Talknet.  At their height, the Dolans also hosted programs on national television.  They anchored “Dolans Unscripted” on CNN, as well as a pioneering show on the now-defunct CNNfn, and a three-year stint on CNBC.   They were regular contributors to “CBS Money Editors” and “CBS This Morning.”  The Dolans authored six books on personal finance, published successful newsletters and, until recently, continued to host money seminars across the nation.  According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “The Dolans were not only a great American talk media success story in terms of the ratings and revenue they generated year after year, they also brought an element of grace, glamour and most important, credibility, to the financial talk genre paving the way for highly respectable players like Dave Ramsey and Ric Edelman.”  Jerry Crowley, VP/GM, of Salem Media Group’s WNYM/WMCA, New York was VP/GM of WOR during the final years of the Dolan era at that station.  He tells TALKERS, “Ken Dolan knew exactly who he was in life and who he wanted to be on air.  He played both roles to the highest levels.  Always ebullient, always warm and embracing, always focused on the mission at hand. In my years with him at WOR, surrounded by large broadcast personalities, Ken always stood out as the biggest star in the galaxy.  He relished this role and managed it with great humility.  Ken and Daria – a team that made history.  It’s time to rest, Kenny.”  WOR APD, Scott Lakefield tells TALKERS, “I am truly devastated to learn of Ken’s passing.  Never was there a harder working, more genuinely caring man. He and Daria got me my start in this crazy business and I have so many wonderful memories of my eight years working with them – first as their intern and then as their executive producer.  He will truly be missed. God bless you, Ken. You’ll never be forgotten.”  Services will be private, attended by family only, with a “celebration of life” memorial to be announced shortly.  Industry people interested in reaching out to Daria Dolan can do so through Michael Harrison via michael@talkers.com.

Jamie Allman Disputes Company Line on His Exit from KFTK-FM, St. Louis.  In the category of “it ain’t over ‘til it’s over,” St. Louis talk radio personality Jamie Allman – longtime morning host on news/talk KFTK-FM (owned by Emmis but being operated by Entercom under an LMA while in the process of buying the station) – says his leaving the station was not termed properly.  Allman explains via Facebook that the “David Hogg hot poker” quip is not the reason he left.  He and the company were planning his exit but, Allman alleges, Entercom jumped the gun in announcing they had “parted ways.”  The Riverfront Times reports that Allman says he never signed the documents detailing the terms of his exit.  Allman says in his Facebook video, “Now, after refusing to sign an agreement to repeat their lies in return for money, they have taken their noble offer off the table and told me that if I do not take the truth down off of my Facebook page, they’re going to fire me for cause.”  He says his lawyer is on the case.  Stay tuned.

Wisconsin Talk Host Mike Crute to Run for Governor. WMTV-TV, Madison is reporting that progressive talk radio host and Milwaukee radio station owner Mike Crute (right) will run for governor as a Democrat.  Crute and partner Dominic Salvia (left) host the “Devil’s Advocate” radio show heard on Crute’s WRRD-AM, Milwaukee.  The station reports that Crute told his listeners, “You’ve never seen bold like I’m about to bring down on the state of Wisconsin.”  The Democratic primary in Wisconsin is August 14.  It’s not clear when Crute plans to step down from his radio show in order to comply with the equal time rule.

More Gracie Awards News. Yesterday, TALKERS magazine reported that the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation has revealed the winners of 2018 Gracie Awards at the national and local levels.  Some being honored this year that were not mentioned in yesterday’s story include a number of Cumulus Media/Westwood One personalities.  They include: WMAL-FM, Washington, DC’s “Mornings On the Mall With Mary & Vince,” which earned a Gracie for Crisis Coverage-Local; WABC, New York’s “The Joan Hamburg Show,” for Talk Show-Local; and WABC, New York’s “Rita Cosby Exclusive With Hillary Clinton,” for Talk Interview Feature-Local.  This marks Cosby’s sixth Gracie Award in four consecutive years.

TALKERS News Notes.  Chicago media maven Robert Feder writes today that Entercom’s Windy City sports talker WSCR “The Score” is being inducted into the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame this year.  The station will be among several other inductees at a ceremony on October 3 at Wintrust Arena.  WSCR operations manager Mitch Rosen told staffers in a memo, “This is a true tribute to our brand, which celebrated its 26th birthday on January 2nd.  October 3rd will be a great night for all former and current ‘Score’ teammates.”…..The Daily Beast is reporting that Glenn Beck is selling his private jet.  The story says that, according to FAA records, the 1966 DC9-15 belonging to Mercury Radio Arts is for sale, though no asking price is listed.  The plane was purchased in 2015 for $1 million…..Westwood One News is simulcasting next week’s “CNN Town Hall” program with former FBI Director James Comey.  The Anderson Cooper-moderated event will take place at Comey’s alma mater William and Mary College on April 25 from 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm.   The program is available to Westwood One affiliate stations…..The nationally syndicated “Motley Fool Money” show hosted by Chris Hill adds a new affiliate in Queen B Radio-owned KXLY-AM/W264CH, Spokane.

Mignon Clyburn to Exit FCC. She’s not saying what her plans are – specifically if she intends to run for Congress in South Carolina – but Democratic FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn will leave the agency soon. Her father, Jim Clyburn, is 78 and has held the Sixth District seat in South Carolina since 1992.  It’s been speculated upon that Mignon may want to run for her father’s seat but she’s been pretty tight-lipped about it.

NPR Icon Carl Kasell Dies at 84. Public radio icon Carl Kasell passed away on Tuesday (4/17) after complications from Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 84. Kasell retired from NPR in 2014 where he’d been hosting the weekly “Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me” comedy quiz show.  He spent three decades as a newscaster on NPR’s “Morning Edition” radio news magazine.  During his career he also served for a number of years in the news department (and as news director) at WAVA, Washington.

Trump-Russia Investigation/Comey Book, Cohen-Hannity Flap, Trump Syria Policy, U.S.-North Korea Meeting, Russia Sanctions Controversy, Congressman Charlie Dent to Resign, Barbara Bush Dies, Alex Jones Sued, and MLB and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/17).  The investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents and the related James Comey book, A Higher Loyalty; the flap over the relationship between Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and Sean Hannity; the splintering of the GOP over President Trump’s Syria policy; the revelation that CIA Director and Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo met with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un; Trump’s reversal of U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley’s announcement there would be further sanctions against Russia; Republican U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent to leave office in the near future; the death of Barbara Bush; the suit by three Sandy Hook parents against talk host and Internet publisher Alex Jones; and Major League Baseball and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Boston morning drive radio program “The TJ Show” with TJ Taormina, Loren Raye, and producer Matt Shearer re-up with Entercom’s CHR WODS “103.3 AMP Radio” after signing a multi-year contract extension. Entercom Boston SVP and market manager Mark Hannon says, “‘The TJ Show’ is Boston’s next-generation morning show.  We are thrilled that TJ, Loren Raye and Producer Matt will continue to entertain Boston morning listeners for years to come.”  The duo of Taormina and Raye joined the station in April 2013…..New York-based, nationally syndicated radio personality Charlamagne Tha God – of Premiere Networks’ “The Breakfast Club” was back on national TV on Monday night (4/16) on CBS-TV’s “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” to promote his new book, Black Privilege (2018, Touchstone)…..After a nine-year stint as executive director of The Country Radio Broadcasters/Country Radio Seminar, Bill Mayne is stepping aside as of next month.  Mayne has led the non-profit organization’s operations since 2011. Prior to that, he served on its board of directors.

Round Two of March PPM Data Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s March 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Detroit, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Tampa, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsens March 2018 PPM survey period covered March 1 – 28. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all of these PPM markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

Washington, DC

Spoken-Word Formats – Without an increase in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017 for an overall -1.0 (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.0 – 3.7, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk outlet WMAL dialed up a +1.1 in January; was -.2 in February; and is now +.4 in March (5.0, seventh to fifth, 6+). Moreover, this is the first time that the combined WMAL-FM & WMAL-AM has reached the five-share level (6+) in the PPM-era. In addition to regaining half of the four-tenths it dropped in February (10.2 – 10.4, +.2, 6+), Hubbard all-news WTOP is #1 for the third time in a row. After four consecutive months in the driver’s seat, 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 10.6 in March 2011. Moreover, that +1.3 halted three successive declines that produced an overall -.5 (9.8 – 9.6 – 9.4 – 9.3, 6+). Prior to November, WTOP was +1.6 in three straight upticks (8.2 – 8.9 – 9.4 – 9.8, 6+). In the runner-up slot from January 2017 through August, WTOP climbed to #1 in September. At this time last month, it held a one-share advantage over runner-up WAMU “The Mind Is Our Medium,” but that lead extends to 2.3 shares as American University-owned news/talk WAMU falters by -1.1 (9.2 – 8.1, unchanged at #2, 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. It exited the top spot in September, after spending eight straight months there. February 2017’s 11.5 matches the highest 6+-share in its PPM-history first reached in December 2016. Disappearing from print in February after six straight down or flat trends (.5 – .4 – .4 – .3 – .3 – .2 – .0, 6+), Radio One news/talk WOL returns with a .2 (#24, 6+), while Hubbard news/talk WFED “Federal News Radio” repeats February’s .1 (#24 to #26, 6+). Steady at #18, Entercom sports talk WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” registers a 2.4 (6+) for the third successive sweep. Before notching a +.6 in January, “The Fan” was without an increase in four straight survey periods for a roughly 50% decline in its 6+ AQH share (3.5 – 3.5 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.8, -1.7, 6+). Since appearing in print in May 2017, co-owned business news WDCH is trending .3 – .4 – .3 – .4 – .5 – .4 – .4 – .3 – .4 – .3 – .5 – .4 (flat at #21, 6+).

Washington, DC Music Formats – Most of the combined +1.1 in three straight positive spikes by Columbia Union College Broadcasting’s WGTS is from the current +.8 (2.9 – 3.0 – 3.2 – 4.0, 6+) as “91.9 – Christian Music Radio for Washington” cracks the top ten (#11 to #8) with its highest 6+-share since July 2017’s 4.8. Progressing by one-half share each are Radio One gospel WPRS “Praise 104.1” (3.0 – 3.5, unchanged at #13, 6+) and Cumulus Media hot AC WRQX “Mix 107.3,” which is an overall +.9 in four straight up or flat trends (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.6, steady at #12, 6+). Before breaking out a February +.8 to 4.5 (6+), WPGC was within 3.2 – 3.8 range (6+) in each of the previous 15 survey periods. In March, however, the Entercom rhythmic CHR surrenders 75% of that +.8 (3.9, -.6, eighth to ninth, 6+). Its 4.5 in February represented the first time “95.5 PGC” reached the four-share level (6+) since December 2016’s 4.0.

Boston

Spoken-Word Formats – Not only is heritage iHeartMedia-owned news-talk hybrid WBZ-AM a cumulative +1.5 in three straight improvements, (4.9 – 5.2 – 5.4 – 6.4, 6+), “News Radio 1030” progresses from fifth to second with its finest 6+-share (6.4) since January 2017’s 6.6. Picking up one full-share in March as well is Boston University-owned news/talk WBUR (4.9 – 5.9, eighth to fifth, 6+). In November, WBUR – which was a collective -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017 and +.7 in January – added nine-tenths to October’s one-half share improvement. Its one-half share loss in September ended three straight sweeps without a decrease and erased the half-share it gained in that timeframe (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.0, 6+). At the same time, fellow public news/talker – WGBH Educational Foundation’s WGBH – is off by two-tenths in consecutive sweeps but stays at #9 (4.9 – 4.7 – 4.5, 6+). As was the case with WBUR, WGBH improved by seven-tenths in January. Completely wiping out February’s -.3 with a March +.4, iHeartMedia news/talk WRKO “AM 680 The Voice of Boston” moves from #14 to #13. Off four-tenths (5.6 – 5.2, 6+) after February’s -1.5, Beasley Media Group-owned WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” shifts from third to sixth. In four straight increases, WBZ-FM was a collective +2.4 (3.3 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 5.4 – 5.7, 6+); it surrendered three-tenths in December; and bounced back in “Holiday” 2017 with a gain of one-half share to 5.9 (6+). Elsewhere in the sports talk format, on the heels of a massive -1.3 in February, Entercom-owned WEEI-FM erodes by -.7 (4.1 – 3.4, 6+) but stays at #10. WEEI-FM was +1.4 in January, halting three drops in a row that produced a cumulative -1.9 (5.9 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 4.0, 6+). This is the sixth sweep in a row without an increase for similarly-formatted WEEI-AM (.2 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1, flat at #28, 6+).

Boston Music Formats – On top for the third straight sweep, iHeartMedia CHR WXKS-FM “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” gains four-tenths (7.2 – 7.6, 6+), matching its topline stat in October and November. “Kiss” rebounded from a -.8 in “Holiday” 2017 with a +.9 in January (6.4 – 7.3, 6+). It exited the top spot in December, after three straight months there. In September, WXKS-FM wiped out August’s one-half share decline by racking up a +.9 to 7.9 – its highest 6+-share since July 2014’s 8.2. In five consecutive increases prior to the August 2017 sweep, “Kiss” was a cumulative +1.9 (5.6 – 5.7 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.9 – 7.5, 6+). Steady at #7, Beasley Media Group’s WKLB “102.5 Boston’s Hottest Country” is a collective +.6 in four consecutive reports without a loss (4.4 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.0, 6+). Co-owned rhythmic hot AC WBQT “Hot 96.9” is up (slightly) or flat for the third straight time (2.9 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+) and remains at #12. Via five straight up or flat trends (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.6 – 1.6, #22, 6+), Cumulus Media hot AC WXLO nets four-tenths. A combined +1.2 in January and February (1.8 – 2.6 – 3.0, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WKAF “97.7 – Boston’s #1 For R&B” surrenders two-thirds of that increase in March (2.2, -.8, #13 to #16, 6+).

Miami

English-Language, Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to six straight positive or flat trends (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.4, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WIOD is up nine-tenths; “News Radio 620 – Miami’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” carries on at #20. With its third straight .9 (6+), Entercom’s WAXY “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket” continues at #25, while co-owned WQAM “Sports Radio 560” is without an increase for the third successive sweep for a total loss of seven-tenths (1.5 – 1.2 – .8 – .8 – .8, unchanged at #26, 6+). Also in the sports talk format, iHeartMedia-owned WINZ “940 – Miami’s Sports Station” regains the one-tenth it lost in February (.2 – .3, #34 to #31, 6+). After picking up one-half share in January, Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN dips by two-tenths in both February and March (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.0, (6+) and leaves the top twenty (#19 to #21). Prior to January’s +.5, WLRN was a collective -.7 in three consecutive sweeps without an increase (2.6 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 1.9, 6+).

Miami Music Formats – Advancing from tenth to seventh, Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WXDJ “106.7 El Zol” is an overall +1.3 in three straight sweeps without a loss (3.5 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.8, 6+). The last time “El Zol” reached the four-share level (6+) was February 2017 (4.1). Adding six-tenths each are Cox Media Group urban contemporary WEDR “99 Jamz” (4.1 – 4.7, steady at #8, 6+) with its best 6+-stat since September 2017 (4.7, as well) and iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMIA “Miami’s 93.9 MIA” (2.0 – 2.6, 6+), which enters the top twenty at #16. While it repeats at #1, Cox Media Group urban AC WHQT “Hot 105” falters by one-half share (7.3 – 6.8, 6+). February’s +1.1 curtailed four decreases in a row that accounted for a -1.6 (7.8 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.5 – 6.2, 6+). WHQT spent seven consecutive months at #1 before being ousted in December. Stuck on 4.0 (6+) in January and February, iHeartMedia-owned mainstream CHR WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” flounders by eight-tenths to 3.2 (6+) and departs the top ten (#9 to #13). Prior to a loss of four-tenths in September, “Y-100” was a collective +.6 in three consecutive up or flat monthlies (3.7 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 4.3, 6+). Its format competitor, Cox Media Group’s WFLC “Hits 97.3,” is down or flat for the seventh sweep in a row for a collective -1.1 (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4, 6+) but actually improves from #11 to #10. These two CHRs were tied for eighth-place in July 2017 and December 2017, and separated by one-tenth in August. Tied with WFLC at #10 (up from #12 in February) is Entercoms WKIS “Kiss 99.9 New Country,” which scores its sixth straight sweep without a loss for a combined +1.3 (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+). Following five increases in a row for a cumulative +1.8 (3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.7 – 5.2, 6+), iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary WZTU “Tu 94.9 – Donde Viven Hits” forfeits three-tenths to 4.9 (6+) and stays at #6.

Detroit

Spoken-Word Formats – Despite logging its fourth up or flat trend in succession for a collective +1.0 (5.5 – 5.6 – 6.5 – 6.5 – 6.5, 6+), Entercom’s WWJ “News Radio 950” backslides from second to fourth. Between June 2017 and “Holiday” 2017, WWJ was within 5.2 – 5.9 territory (6+). Sports talk sibling WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket,” which was +1.0 in January, is a combined -.6 in February and March (5.1 – 5.0 – 4.5, seventh to ninth, 6+). As a result of four losses in a row prior to January’s full-share gain, “The Ticket” was a collective -2.2. Co-owned WXYT-AMCBS Sports Radio 1270” regains the one-tenth it lost in February (.1 – .2, #25 to #24, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s WDFN “1130 The Fan” is flat at .1 (#25 to #26, 6+). Off four-tenths (4.4 – 4.0, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WJR “News Talk 760” exits the top ten (#10 to #11). In advance of the January sweep, WJR was -.9 in three straight declines (4.4 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.5, 6+). Radio One news/talk WDMK-HD2 is off one tenth (.4 – .3, flat at #23, 6+), while Adell Broadcasting’s WFDF “Superstation 910 AM” is flat at .2 (6+) and unchanged at #24. After three straight times of notching a 1.9 (6+), Michigan Public Media news/talk WUOM posts a 1.8 but stays at #20. Up one-tenth to .9, Wayne State University news/talk WDET continues at #22.

Detroit Music Formats – As a result of +.9 to 5.5 (eighth to fifth, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WMXD “Mix 92.3 – Detroit’s R&B and Throwbacks” puts an end to a repetitive December 2017 – February 2018 sequence of 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.6 (6+). This (5.5) is the best 6+-stat for “Mix” since June 2017’s 6.4. After dropping one-half share in February, adult contemporary sibling WNIC “100.3 The ‘80s ‘til Now” answers with a gain of eight-tenths (6.6 – 6.1 – 6.9, 6+), shifting from fourth to second. Immediately prior to January’s -9.2, WNIC was +9.8 in five straight increases (6.0 – 6.4 – 6.9 – 7.7 – 11.8 – 15.8, 6+) and was the market leader from October 2017 through “Holiday” 2017. Its 15.8 in “Holiday” 2017 is more than two shares better than what it achieved in “Holiday” 2016 (13.7). In addition to being #1 for the third straight time, Entercom classic hits-oldies WOMC is an overall +1.1 in three sweeps in succession without a loss (6.1 – 6.7 – 7.2 – 7.2, 6+); 7.2 is the best 6+-stat for “Detroit’s Greatest Hits” since December 2015 (7.2, as well). While it is unchanged at #3, Beasley Media Group’s WCSX “94.7 – Detroit’s Classic Rock” is +1.3 in three upticks in succession (5.4 – 5.9 – 6.3 – 6.7, 6+). In a down/up pattern, co-owned WRIF “Everything That Rocks” is -.5 (“Holiday” 2017); +.6 (January 2018); -.5 (February); and now +.2 in March (4.4 – 4.6, tenth to eighth, 6+).

 Seattle

Spoken-Word Formats – A gain of six-tenths (2.3 – 2.9, 6+) takes Bonneville’s KIRO-AM “ESPN 710” from #20 to #16 and its best 6+-stat since November 2017’s 3.6. Concurrently, iHeartMedia-owned KJR-AM “Seattle’s Sports Radio 950” recaptures half the four-tenths it squandered in February (.8 – 1.0, #26 to #24, 6+). Sputtering by one-half share (6.8 – 6.3, 6+), KUOW nonetheless remains in the runner-up slot. 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 dropped six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, the Northwest Public Radio news/talker 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+). Seven-tenths of a share behind KUOW is Bonneville news/talk KIRO-FM (flat at #3), whose seven most recent (6+) trends are 5.7 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.4 – 5.7 – 5.6. Co-owned KTTH “Conservative Talk Radio” forfeits all of February’s +.3 and one-tenth more (2.1 – 1.7, -.4, flat at #21, 6+). 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+). Meanwhile, Sinclair Broadcast Group’s all-news KOMO is a combined -.6 in February and March (2.9 – 2.7 – 2.3, #18 to #19); co-owned KVI “Talk Radio 570” is flat at 1.0 yet moves from #25 to #24 (6+).

Seattle Music Formats – Having registered a 2.9 in three of the last five ratings periods (2.9 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 3.3 –  2.9, 6+), Entercom’s KKWF “100.7 The Wolf – #1 for New Country” notches a +.7 to 3.6 (#15 to #13, 6+). As a result of its fourth straight uptick, iHeartMedia-owned KZOK “102.5 Seattle’s Classic Rock Station” is an overall +1.6 (3.6 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 5.2, seventh to fifth, 6+) and has its strongest 6+-stat since May 2017’s 5.3. The market now has two top ten adult contemporary outlets, as Entercom-owned KSWD “94.1 The Sound” boasts a one-half share gain (3.6 – 4.1, 6+) to jump from #13 to #10. “The Sound” was formerly country KMPS before flipping to AC in early-December (2017). It is challenging Hubbard incumbent KRWM “Warm 106.9,” which is flat at 4.9 (sixth to seventh, 6+), following a combined -6.9 in January and February. 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+). Without an increase three consecutive times for a -.8 (6.0 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.2 6+), CHR cluster-mate KQMV answered with a combined +1.9 in January and February (5.2 – 6.2 – 7.1, 6+). Even though it drops three-tenths to 6.8 (6+), “MOViN 92.5 Seattle’s #1 Hit Music Station” repeats at #1. Prior to February, the last time KQMV reached the seven-share level (6+) was in June 2017 (7.4). Following four positive or flat trends in a row for a +1.2 since November (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KBKS “106.1 Kiss-FM – More Music, More Variety” drops three-tenths to 3.8 (6+) and leaves the top ten (#9 to #11). It is tied with Sinclair Broadcast Group’s similarly-programmed KPLZ “Star 101.5 – Today’s Best Mix” (3.7 – 3.8, +.1, #12 to #11, 6+). Unchanged at #4, Entercom-owned KISW “99.9 The Rock of Seattle,” which was an overall +1.9 in four straight gains (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.6 – 5.5 – 5.6, 6+), slips by one-tenth to 5.5 (6+); February’s 5.6 was its best 6+-stat since August 2015’s 5.7.

Phoenix

Spoken-Word Formats – Flat at #18, iHeartMedia-owned KFYI “News Talk 550” drops one-tenth to 2.3 (6+) thus ending at three its successive string of upticks that netted nine-tenths (1.5 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.4, 6+). Up eight-tenths in January (3.2 – 4.0, 6+), Bonneville news/talk KTAR-FM is now a combined -.7 in February and March (4.0 – 3.5 – 3.3, #12 to #13, 6+). Trending 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.9 (6+), Maricopa County Community College news/talk KJZZ is flat at #11. Four consecutive down or flat trends resulted in Bonneville sports talk KMVP-FM losing 50% of its 6+ AQH share (3.0 – 2.7 – 2.1 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+), but “98.7 Arizona Sports” picks up one-tenth to 1.6 (6+) and stays at #25. KMVP-FM faltered by one-half share in August and was a combined +1.5 in September and October (1.5 – 2.4 – 3.0, 6+). Elsewhere in the market’s sports talk arena, co-owned KTAR-AM returns the one-tenth it gained in February (.3 – .2, #35 to #36, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s KGME “Fox Sports 910” is up one-tenth to .7 (#31 to #30, 6+).

Phoenix Music Formats – Without a loss for the sixth time in a row for a collective +1.0 (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 5.1 – 5.2 – 5.5, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KMXP “Mix 96.9” inches up from fourth to third. Albeit a combined -9.8 in three straight declines (16.4 – 7.3 – 7.1 – 6.6, 6+), adult contemporary cluster-mate KESZ is #1 for the fifth time in a row; 16.4 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-showing since 16.5 in “Holiday” 2016. KESZ was a combined +10.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017. Continuing in the runner-up slot for the fifth consecutive sweep, Hubbard’s KSLX “Classic Rock 100.7” is without a loss for the third time in succession (5.5 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 6.0, 6+). In four positive spikes in a row, iHeartMedia CHR KZZP “104.7 Kiss FM – The #1 Hit Music Station in Phoenix” is a cumulative +1.6 (3.3 – 3.0 – 4.0 – 4.8 – 4.9, sixth to fifth, 6+). Having logged a 3.2 (6+) in three of the last five sweeps (3.2 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.2, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KHOT “Que Buena 105.9” falters by seven-tenths to 2.5 (#14 to #17, 6+). After six successive up or flat sweeps for an overall +1.0 (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.3, 6+), Entravision’s Spanish adult hits KVVA “Jose” surrenders three-tenths to 2.0 (6+) as it departs the top twenty (#19 to #21).

Minneapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Wiping out in its entirety February’s -.7 (5.2 – 5.9, +.7, 6+), Minnesota Public Radio news/talk KNOW advances from seventh to sixth. Until it reached 5.9 (6+) in January, KNOW’s September 2017 – “Holiday” 2017 topline 6+ trending was 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.2. Four straight up or flat moves by Hubbard talk KTMY generated a +1.2 (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 3.3, 6+), but “My Talk 107.1” forfeits three-tenths to 3.0 and continues at #15. Stuck on 4.4 (6+) in December 2017 and “Holiday” 2017 and then on 5.0 (6+) in January 2018 and February, Entercom-owned WCCO “News Radio 830” drops three-tenths to 4.7 (unchanged at #9, 6+). Up nine-tenths to 3.4 (6+) in January, iHeartMedia’s KTLK “Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130” was flat in February, and picks up one-tenth in March (flat at #13). Despite adding one-tenth to 5.8 (6+), co-owned KFXN “Sports Radio 100.3 K-Fan,” -1.5 in February, backslides from sixth to seventh. In back-to-back reports, Hubbard’s KSTP-AM “ESPN 1500” is off by one-tenth (1.1 – 1.0 – .9, #19 to #20, 6+).

Minneapolis Music Formats – A collective +.8 via three consecutive positive or flat trends (1.2 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 2.0, 6+), Minneapolis Public Schools-owned KBEM “Jazz 88.5” carries on at #18. The jazz outlet had been within 1.0 – 1.5 range (6+) in each of the last 12 survey periods. Its internet “stream” – which appeared at #24 in February with a .6 (6+) vanishes in March. Owing to a gain of six-tenths (5.8 – 6.4, fifth to third, 6+), Cumulus Media rocker KXXR “93-X” reaches the six-share level (6+) for the first time since August 2017 (6.0). Off by a combined six-tenths in January and February (4.0 – 3.5 – 3.4, 6+), Entercom country property KMNB “Buz’n @ 102.9” erases all but one-tenth of that deficit with a +.5 to 3.9 (#13 to #12, 6+). Its format rival – iHeartMedia-owned KEEY “K-102 Minnesota’s Country Station” – is +1.9 in three upticks in a row (3.4 – 4.5 – 5.2 – 5.3, 6+) yet backslides from a seventh-place tie to eighth. January’s +1.1 pulled the plug on 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+). Not only is Hubbard hot AC KSTP-FM #1 for the third sweep in a row, “KS-95” is a collective +2.5 in three successive progressive moves (5.8 – 7.6 – 8.2 – 8.3, 6+). Following three straight up or flat trends that netted one-half share (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+). In a February four-way tie at #19, iHeartMedia urban oldies KTCZ-HD3 falters by one-half share (1.0 – .5, 6+) and exits the top twenty (#23).

 San Diego

Spoken-Word Formats – In back-to-back sweeps, San Diego State University-owned news/talk KPBS proves that one-tenth of a share can make a big difference. For example, in February, it lost one-tenth (6.2 – 6.1, 6+), which bumped it from a first-place tie in January to #2; KPBS was -.1 in January, as well. Now, in March, it gains one-tenth which is sufficient to boost it from second (back) to first. Its December increase of four-tenths applied the brakes to three straight monthlies without an increase that accounted for an overall -.6 (6.2 – 6.2 – 6.0 – 5.6, 6+). KPBS was on top four times in 2017: February, August, September, and December. November’s +.5 (to 5.3, 6+) ended four straight decreases that yielded a cumulative loss of -1.4 (6.2 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 5.2 – 4.8, 6+). The wild ride continues for iHeartMedia news/talk KOGO “News Radio 600,” which eroded by three full-shares in three successive major declines (7.2 – 6.6 – 5.4 – 4.2, 6+); responded in January with a +.8; was -.7 in February; and is now +.8 in March (4.3 – 5.1, fifth to fourth, 6+). 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 the highest 6+-share for KOGO in its PPM-history. Three straight up or flat moves by Tegna news/talk KFMB-AM yielded a +.5 (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.2, 6+), but “AM 760” slips by one-tenth in March to 2.1 (flat at #22, 6+). Down six-tenths in February, iHeartMedia-owned KLSD “Fox Sports 1360 San Diego’s Sports Station” picks up one-tenth to .8 (#27 to #25, 6+). Flat at #23, Interamericana de Radio’s similarly-formatted XPRS-AM “The Mighty 1090,” which netted four-tenths in three up or flat trends in a row (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.6, 6+), sputters by three-tenths to 1.3 (6+).

San Diego Music Formats – Entering the February sweep, iHeartMedia CHR KHTS had been within 4.0 – 4.8 range (6+) in ten straight reports but plummeted by -1.2 to 3.5 (6+). Rebounding with a gain of seven-tenths (4.2, 6+), “Channel 93-3 San Diego’s #1 Hit Music Station” is back in the top ten (#12 to #9). On a roll, Entercom-owned KSON “103.7 San Diego’s #1 New Country” is up for the third straight time for a cumulative +2.5 (3.6 – 4.7 – 5.5 – 6.1, 6+), advancing from third to second. KSON was -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.6 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+). Duplicating its February +.5, iHeartMedia urban contemporary KSSX “Jam’n 95.7” (2.3 – 2.8 – 3.3, 6+) jumps from #16 to #13 with its best 6+-stat since July 2017 (also 3.3). Improving by one-half share as well is Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVJ “Positive & Encouraging K-Love,” which is +1.0 in three upticks in succession (2.1 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 3.1, #18 to #14, 6+). Five straight gains by Entercom classic hits-oldies KXSN generated a +1.9 (4.8 – 5.3 – 5.8 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 6.7, 6+), but “Sunny 98.1 – San Diego’s Greatest Hits” surrenders all but three-tenths of that increase (5.1, -1.6, 6+) to tumble from first to fourth. Immediately after improving by one-half share in February (1.1 – 1.6, 6+), cluster-mate KEGY erodes by -1.2 to .4 (#23 to #28, 6+). The station transitioned to a hybrid talk-comedy-classic rock mix as “97.3 The Machine – Talk That Rocks” at the conclusion of the February sweep and is the flagship of the San Diego Padres. Off six-tenths (2.9 – 2.3, 6+), UniRadio regional Mexican XHTY “Invasora 99.7” spirals from #13 to #20.

Denver

Spoken-Word Formats – As a result of a +.4 (5.4 – 5.8, second to first, 6+), Colorado Public Radio news/talk KCFR is back on top as it was in January. When KCFR lost six-tenths in February, its consecutive string of improvements that netted a cumulative +1.5 (4.5 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 6.0, 6+) ended at three. Immediately after faltering by nine-tenths in February to 2.7 (6+), Bonneville-owned KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” answers with a +1.0 in March to 3.7 (#16 to #13, 6+). Its +.4 in January to 3.6 (6+) halted three straight down or flat sweeps that yielded a cumulative -1.3 (4.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 3.2, 6+). Advancing from tenth to ninth, iHeartMedia news/talk KOA “Colorado’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” picks up one-tenth in consecutive sweeps (4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4, 6+), after January’s one-half share loss; January’s 4.2 was its lowest 6+-share since 3.5 in March 2017. Displaying a steady November 2017 – March 2018 (6+) topline of 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.1, news/talk cluster-mate KHOW “Talk Radio 630” carries on at #18. Meanwhile, Community Radio for Northern California news/talk KUNC is flat at .7 (6+) and remains at #26.

Denver Music Formats – Tacking on six-tenths to February’s +.7 (2.7 – 3.4 – 4.0, 6+), Entercom rhythmic CHR KQKS cracks the top ten (#14 to #10); “KS-107.5” was -.5 in January. Classic rock cluster-mate KQMT “99.5 The Mountain” is a combined +1.8 in three upticks in a row (3.7 – 4.4 – 5.0 – 5.5, 6+) and leaps from fourth to second with its best 6+-stat since 5.7 in August 2017. Progressing by one-half share as well is KSE Radio Ventures classic hits-oldies KXKL “Kool 105 – Denver’s Greatest Hits” (4.6 – 5.1, eighth to sixth, 6+). The last time “Kool 105” reached the five-share level (6+) was January 2017 (5.5). A combined +1.2 in January and February (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.8, 6+), iHeartMedia triple A KBCO “World Class Rock” returns half that increase and drops from first to fourth (5.2, -.6, 6+). Its +.5 in January curtailed four straight declines for a collective -2.0 (6.6 – 6.3 – 5.9 – 5.5 – 4.6, 6+). The market’s (6+) hot AC share erodes by -1.3, as KSE Radio Ventures’ KIMN “Mix 100 – Today’s Best Mix” is off eight-tenths and exits the top ten (3.9, #7 to #11, 6+), while Entercom’s KALC “Alice 105.9” – which was locked on 4.2 (6+) in January and February – loses one-half share (3.7, #12 to #13, 6+). The -.5 by “Mix” stymies three straight gains that netted +1.2 (3.5 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.7, 6+). A loss of seven-tenths (4.0 – 3.3, 6+) by iHeartMedia CHR KPTT sends “95.7 The Party” from #13 to #15.

Tampa

Spoken-Word Formats – In three (modest) upticks, Cox Media Group hot talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” is up by one-half share (2.3 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.8, steady at #16, 6+). Its January +.3 stopped four straight down or flat trends for a collective -1.1 (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.3, 6+). For the third sweep in a row, iHeartMedia news/talk WFLA “970 Tampa Bay’s News Radio” has a fluctuation of one-half share. In January and February it was a +.5 (2.7 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+), but in March, it is a -.5 (3.7 – 3.2, #13 to #15, 6+). While up (slightly) or flat in each of the last three survey periods for a +.3 (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.8, 6+), co-owned WDAE “620 Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” remains at #20. As a result of four straight down or flat ratings periods, University of South Florida news/talk WUSF is a collective -1.4 (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 1.9, #16 to #19, 6+).

Tampa Music Formats – By notching a full-share increase (3.1 – 4.1, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC WMTX “Mix 100.7” reaches the four-share level (6+) for the first time in exactly one year (4.0, March 2017) and enters the top ten (#15 to #10). The market’s pacesetter for the 67th successive ratings period – Cox Media Group adult contemporary WDUV “Lite Favorites” – picks up one-half share to 8.9 (6+). “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+). Co-owned classic hits-oldies WXGL “107.3 The Eagle” (6.8, -.1, 6+) is in the runner-up slot for the fifth sweep in a row. “The Eagle” was frozen on 5.9 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 and notched a +1.0 in February to 6.9 – its best 6+-showing since July 2017’s 7.1. A December loss of seven-tenths ended three straight gains that netted +1.8 (9.3 – 9.4 – 9.8 – 11.1, 6+). Three straight positive spikes accounted for a +1.1 for Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WCIE (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.2 – 5.3, 6+) but “The Joy FM” relinquishes eight-tenths to 4.5 (6+), skidding from fifth to eighth.

Baltimore

Spoken-Word Formats – Steady at #13, Hearst Television news/talk WBAL has been ultra-consistent the past 13 sweeps: 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.3 (6+). Immediately prior to January 2018, that topline included five successive sweeps without an increase for a collective -.4. WBAL is one-tenth ahead of independent news/talk WCBM “680 Stimulating Talk – Breaking News” (3.0 – 3.2, +.2, #13 to #14, 6+) and Your Public Radio news/talk WYPR “88.1 Your NPR News Station,” which replicates February’s -.5 (4.2 – 3.7 – 3.2, #11 to #14, 6+). Radio One news/talk WOLB “1010 News Radio,” which was trending .3 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .2 (6+), vanished in February and is missing in March, as well. After picking up six-tenths in January, Entercom sports talk WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan” hands over all of it in February and March (4.6 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+), slumping from sixth to ninth. When “The Fan” improved by two-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it drew to a close three straight downward moves producing an overall -1.8 (5.6 – 4.8 – 4.5 – 3.8, 6+). Co-owned WJZ-AM “1300 CBS Sports Radio Baltimore” is without an increase for the eighth time in a row for an overall loss of one-half share (.6 – .5 – .4 – .4 -.3 – .3 – .2 -.1 – .1, #26 to #24, 6+). Finishing second in Washington, DC (see above), American University-owned news/talk WAMU drops three-tenths in Baltimore (1.4 – 1.1, 6+), slipping from #15 to #16. WAMU was -.4 in four consecutive sweeps without an increase (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .8, 6+).

Baltimore Music Formats – Without a loss the past eight sweeps for an overall +3.6 (7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 8.7 – 9.2 – 10.4 – 10.6 – 11.6, 6+), Radio One urban AC WWIN “Magic 95.9” slips by one-tenth to 11.5 (6+), but is #1 for the third month in a row. “Magic” occupied the top spot for four months in succession before segueing to #2 in December. Entering the November sweep, WWIN-FM was down or flat in each of the previous four ratings periods for a collective -.6 (8.4 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+). A four-tenths June increase halted at four its consecutive string of downward trends that accounted for a -.9 (8.9 – 8.8 – 8.6 – 8.3 – 8.0, 6+). Major ups/downs continue for WLIF “Today’s 101.9.” The Entercom adult contemporary facility dialed up a +.5 in August; returned all of it in September (-.5); displayed a +.8 in October; surrendered all of that in November (-.8); bounced back with a combined +9.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (#1 in both of those sweeps); was -10.2 in January; +.9 in February; and now -.7 in March (7.0 – 6.3, second to fourth, 6+). There’s a somewhat similar scenario with 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; and a much more modest +.2 in March (6.2 – 6.4, fourth to third, 6+). From May 2017 through November, however, WPOC was consistently within 7.2 – 7.7 range (7.7 – 7.7 – 7.4 – 7.4 – 7.2 – 7.4 – 7.2, 6+). Inching up from sixth to fifth, Hearst Television’s WIYY “98 Rock” is a collective +1.3 as the result of three successive positive spikes (3.4 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.7, 6+). For the third ratings period in a row, iHeartMedia CHR WZFT “Z-104.3 Baltimore’s #1 Hit Music Station” registers a 4.3 (eighth to seventh, 6+).

St. Louis

Spoken-Word Formats – Following a full-share January increase, Entercom news/talk KMOX is a combined -.6 in February and March (6.4 – 6.3 – 5.8, fourth to fifth, 6+). As a result of four decreases in succession (8.4 – 8.0 – 6.0 – 5.5 – 5.4, 6+), “The Voice of St. Louis” was a cumulative -3.0 and had its lowest 6+-share since January’s 5.0. A loss of four-tenths in October ended at three its consecutive winning streak which generated a collective +1.1 since June (7.3 – 7.5 – 7.7 – 8.4, 6+). Down by one-half share in March as well (3.1 – 2.6, 6+) is Emmis-owned KFTK “FM News Talk 97.1,” which is anchored at #16. Prior to January’s +.7, KFTK was a cumulative -1.4 in three straight decreases (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 2.6, 6+). A one-tenth uptick (3.4 – 3.5, 6+) boosts Hubbard sports talk WXOS “101 Sports” from #14 to #12. WXOS was a combined -.7 from November through “Holiday” 2017 (3.9 – 3.4 – 3.2, 6+); posted a +.8 in January; but was -.6 in February. Off by an overall half-share in February and March (3.7 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+), University of Missouri news/talk KWMU falls from #13 to #15. 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+).

St. Louis Music Formats – A combined -2.0 in January and February (9.5 – 7.9 – 7.5, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLOU “103.3 St. Louis’ Greatest Hits” makes up 40% of that loss with a +.8 to 8.3 (6+) and is #1 for the third month in a row. KLOU rebounded from December’s -.8 with a +2.2 in “Holiday” 2017. Prior to November, when it gained nine-tenths, KLOU was down or flat the previous three months for a -1.3 (8.5 – 8.5 – 7.7 – 7.2, 6+). Owing to a one-half share gain (3.7 – 4.2, 6+), cluster-mate KSD “93.7 The Bull – #1 for New Country” cracks the top ten (#11 to #10) with its best 6+-share since July 2017 (4.2, as well). At the same time, Hubbard’s WIL “92.3 – Nobody Plays More New Country” is without a loss for the fourth sweep in succession for a +1.0 (5.3 – 5.4 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+), marching from fourth to second. After trending 6.8 – 6.7 – 6.9 – 6.7 (6+), Emmis rocker KSHE sputters by eight-tenths to 5.9 (6+) and swaps places with WIL (second to fourth). Owing to four straight upticks (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 4.6, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KSLZ “Z-107.7 St. Louis’ #1 Hit Music Station” is a collective +1.4 and carries on at #9 with its best 6+-performance (4.6) since November 2016’s 4.7. A cumulative -1.5 in four downward trends in succession (4.8 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 3.6 – 3.3, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WHHL “Hot 104.1” is up two-tenths to 3.5 (6+) jumping from #15 to #12.

Friday, April 13, 2018

| April 13, 2018

SiriusXM Satellite Radio Host Karen Hunter Named Recipient of the TALKERS 2018 Freedom of Speech Award. The TALKERS editorial board announced this morning (4/13) that SiriusXM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter has been named the 2018 recipient of the publication’s prestigious Freedom of Speech Award.  Hunter hosts the “Karen Hunter Show” daily between 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm on the Urban View channel in which she discusses politics, public policy, and contemporary culture taking listener calls and interviewing guests.  The Urban Channel is billed as “African American talk… focusing on politics, race and social justice.”  Named one of the “Heavy Hundred” (The 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America) by TALKERS magazine for a number of years, Hunter has blazed a unique trail inspiring her listeners to engage in entrepreneurial endeavors bringing action as well as talk to the medium.  She regularly challenges her listeners to participate in the success they want to be.  A former sports and news reporter with the New York Daily News for 16 years, Hunter served four of those years on the paper’s editorial board, where she was a member of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize- and Polk Award-winning teams.  She was also the paper’s first African American female news columnist.  As the head of Karen Hunter Books, an imprint with Simon & Schuster, she has published several number one New York Times bestsellers including True You by pop icon Janet Jackson, and My Country ‘Tis Of Thee by U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress.  Hunter also published the critically acclaimed autobiographical novel, An Angry-Ass Black Woman, by Karen Quinones Miller, among others.  A New Jersey native and Drew University graduate, Hunter taught at New York University and is currently a full-time professor and distinguished lecturer at Hunter College.  In June of 2015, Hunter authored a petition calling for the removal of the confederate flag from the statehouse of South Carolina in the wake of the massacre of nine people at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. Within three days, more than 500,000 people signed that petition. Within a week, Gov. Nikki Haley vowed to take down the flag.  Within two weeks, the flag was removed.  Past recipients of the Freedom of Speech Award, which goes back 30 years, include Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Howard SternThom Hartmann, Joe Madison, Alan Colmes, G. Gordon Liddy, Brian Lamb, Al Franken, Bob Grant and other top figures in broadcasting.  The award (officially titled “The Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech”) will be presented to Hunter in New York City on Friday, June 8 at TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead!, this year’s installment of the annual talk media convention. The Freedom of Speech Award is the longest-running and most prestigious honor annually bestowed by the publication upon a member of the greater broadcasting community, although not always the most popular.  According to TALKERS publisher, Michael Harrison, “The Freedom of Speech Award is a non-partisan honor presented to a person in the industry who sets a meaningful example of the First Amendment in action, either by having taken a high-profile, risky stand on a controversial issue or working on an exceptional level to make that opportunity available to others.  It does not necessarily indicate this publication’s endorsement of the recipient’s position, only his or her right to express it publicly and our salute to them for having the courage to face the consequences.  The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America is the bedrock of all of this nation’s freedoms and values. Without it, this would not be the country we believe it to be in our minds and hearts.  It is clearly the most important element that makes American talk media vibrant, alive, and indispensable.”  Harrison continues, “Karen Hunter is a clear-cut champion of this concept and a high-profile example of it in action in the talk media industry today.”

New Affiliate Stations in the Southeast for ‘Stacy on the Right.’ The nationally syndicated “Stacy On The Right” program starring the Project 21 co-chairman Stacy Washington, expands into three Southeast markets.  WDDQ-FM, Adel, Georgia; WLBB-AM, Carrollton, Georgia; and WJHC-FM, Jasper, Florida add the daily, two-hour show to their program lineups. The “Stacy On The Right” program is syndicated via Urban Family Radio Network, American Family Radio, America’s Voice TV and now on Talk America Radio, whose owner Ron Phillips says, “We’ve been huge fans of ‘Stacy On The Right’ for a long time.  We’re honored to include her show on Talk America Radio.  She’s the perfect addition to an already stellar schedule of talk shows. She’s professional and powerful, and she’ll fit right in.”  Washington has been a co-chairman of the Project 21 black leadership network since 2016.  In addition to her own radio show, she has been a guest host for shows such as “The Wilkow Majority” on SiriusXM; the Chris Plante and Larry O’Connor shows on WMAL-AM/FM, Washington; “Cam and Company” on NRATV; and “The Dana Show” on Radio America.  She is a decorated veteran of the U.S. Air Force whose commentaries have appeared in FOX News Opinion, RealClearPolitics, The Federalist, and the Washington Times.

Suze Orman’s ‘Women & Money’ Launches on PodcastOne.  This new PodcastOne show stars personal finance expert Suze Orman.  The program, “Suze Orman, Women & Money” is targeted directly to women (and the men who want to understand them) with Orman’s trademark energy and compassion.  The series allows listeners to #AskSuze anything.  In yesterday’s debut show, the tables were turned as Refinery29 work & money director Lindsey Stanberry interviewed Orman about her own journey.  The show is available now on PodcastOne.com, the PodcastOne app and Apple Podcasts, with new episodes every Thursday.

WTOP, Washington Honored with Two Headliner Awards. Washington, DC all-news WTOP-FM wins two National Headliner Awards from the Atlantic City Press Club.  The Hubbard Radio station picked up first place honors for Best Newscast for coverage the day of the Congressional Baseball Shooting in June of 2017.  WTOP national security correspondent J.J. Green won third place in the radio stations news series category for his investigative work in reporting “Anatomy of a Russian Attack,” an in-depth look at what the U.S. Intelligence community has concluded was an attempt by Russian President Vladimir Putin to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.  WTOP director of news and programming Mike McMearty says, “We feel so honored to be recognized for our efforts to bring breaking news coverage to the nation’s capital at the moments when it matters the most.”  Since 1935, the National Headliner Awards are given to outstanding writers, photographers, daily newspapers, magazines, graphic artists, radio and television stations and networks, and news syndicates from across the nation.

TALKERS News Notes. Bay Area Media blogger Rich Lieberman 415 Media – wrote recently wondering if Westwood One nationally syndicated talk star Michael Savage is in contentious contract renegotiations with the company.  Citing recent statements by Savage on his radio show that “in case I’m not here” listeners can hear him on his website and via Twitter, Lieberman says Savage could become the “latest cost-cutting victim” by parent company Cumulus Media (a la Don Imus and Ronn Owens) as it works through Chapter 11 reorganization.  Lieberman says Savage offered him “no comment” when they spoke and notes Savage has “fairly strong” ratings in San Francisco and does very well in PM drive in New York.  He also says Savage’s contract is up this year and suggests both sides may be posturing during contract renegotiations…..Sun Broadcast Group announces that starting in May, it will offer national ad and affiliate sales support for “Remote News Service.”  It has also expanded its partnership with Envision Networks and will offer ad sales support for the new feature, “140 Characters.”  Remote News Service offers high quality, local, real-time news reports across 14+ major markets with a full team of anchors.  Envision Networks’ “140 Characters” is a new service featuring celebrity impersonators, voice and character actors as well as pre-written scripts to use for topic starters, phone scams, parodies and more…..A new memoir titled, Lucky from Virgin: An Unlikely Story (2018, CreateSpace), has been published by 40-year veteran network TV correspondent Lucky Severson.  The book tells “the inside stories of some of the world’s more interesting people, told by a kid who grew up in the tiny Mormon town of Virgin, unaware of the world outside.”  In the book, Severson interviews serial killer Ted Bundy in a jail cell in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, just weeks before his escape and murderous rampage in Florida, for which he was ultimately caught and executed.  It was the only TV interview ever done with Bundy before his death-bed execution.  Severson also traveled with the campaigns of Vice President George H.W. Bush and Jesse Jackson.  He spent time with the Dalai Lama in the shadow of the Himalayas.

Cool Job Opportunity.  Legendary Quad Cities news/talk outlet WOC-AM, Davenport is seeking a new program director.  The iHeartMedia-owned station says that its program director of 20-plus years is retiring, and WOC-AM is searching for the right individual to take the reins of this heritage station.  If you’re interested, email Jim O’Hara and he’ll send you an overview of the job: jimohara@iheartmedia.com.

Trump-Russia Probe and Related Cohen Raid Tied for Top News/Talk Stories for Week of April 9-13.  The investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related raid of the offices of President Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen tied for the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was House Speaker Paul Ryan’s announcement he won’t run for re-election this year.  Coming in at #3 was Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony before Congress about users’ privacy concerns, followed by the allegations that the National Enquirer paid $30,000 to a Trump Tower doorman to suppress a story about Trump fathering a child with a Trump Tower staffer in the late 1980s at #4. The Talkers TenTMis a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Radio Hall of Fame Chairman and Mega-Talent Manager Kraig Kitchin Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. He says, “One of my greatest professional passions is identifying outstanding radio talent and giving them recognition.” Among the radio industry’s most influential, behind-the-scenes players, Kraig Kitchin, head of Los Angeles-based media firm Sound Mind, LLC, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” In addition to being the chairman of the Radio Hall of Fame and consultant to such media production companies as Real World Productions (jingles and imaging), the Mix Group (outsourced station production) and Source Audio (music libraries), Kitchin is one of, if not the, leading managers of radio talent in the business today. His client list includes such names as Rush Limbaugh, Jim Rome, Delilah, George Noory, Bill Handel and more…information he is reluctant to publicly share. He states, “I believe that a manager should always put the talent first and foremost while personally staying in the background.” According to Harrison, “Kraig Kitchin is one of the most level-headed, intelligent, and credible business people in radio that we’ve seen during the industry’s modern era and has quietly and responsibly been one of the most influential.” Regardless, Harrison drags him into the spotlight for a rare interview that takes a conversational deep dive into radio’s history (Kitchin was one of the founders of Premiere Networks and at one time was sales manager for Katz Media) and a look to its future, covering the state of consolidation, the podcasting phenomenon, the tenets of being a great talent, and the challenge of programming commercials in the era of short-term attention span. Do not miss this! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box located in the right hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On Monday (4/16), Joey Vlazny is taking over the morning show on Bonneville’s San Jose classic rock outlet KUFX “98.5 KFOX.” Joey – who was most recently morning host at rhythmic CHR KRBQ, San Francisco “Q102” – bumps Chris Jackson to the afternoon drive daypart.  Jackson fills the afternoon slot left vacant when PD/host Tim Jeffreys exited last month. New PD Brian Figula says, “Joey’s smart work ethic, strong creativity, and passion for our business elevates our brand awareness.  I look forward to adding him to the team with Chris Jackson to dominate the San Jose radio market.”…..Saga Communications adds Courtney Ross (center) to the morning drive show at country WPOR-FM, Portland alongside incumbent morning personalities Jon Shannon (left) and Joe Lerman (right).  Ross fills the role of recently departed morning personality Adam Rondeau…..KHTS-FM, San Diego morning personality Geena The Latina – co-host of “Kramer and Geena Mornings” – is being honored by the City of San Diego on Tuesday (4/17) as the city proclaims it “Geena The Latina Day.”  San Diego City Council president Myrtle Cole will honor Geena for her work with girls and young women in the local community.  Geena is an active volunteer with local organizations and founded the Fearless Empowerment Conference in 2017.  The annual event assembles successful women from the community to share their journey and inspire hundreds of teenage girls to be fearless and confident leaders.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

| March 29, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

| February 28, 2018

Colin Cowherd Launches ‘The Herd Podcast Network.’ This new podcast network is a cooperative effort by sports talk personality Colin Cowherd, radio syndicator Premiere Networks, and digital business consultancy Red Seat Ventures.  The Herd Podcast Network launches today and features Cowherd’s daily and weekly podcasts, plus other podcasts hand-picked and curated by Cowherd.  One of the first podcasts to join Cowherd’s new platform is “3 and Out with John Middlekauff,” an “unfiltered perspective on the top stories in the NFL and college football, as well as interviews and conversations with the biggest names in the game.”  Beginning in March, sports media figure Doug Gottlieb will host a college basketball and NBA podcast.  Both Cowherd and Gottlieb host nationally syndicated radio shows for FOX Sports Radio.  Cowherd’s show is simulcast on cable’s FOX Sports 1.  The Herd Podcast Network is available on iHeartRadio and other podcast platforms.  Cowherd says, “I’ve said it before – I’ve chosen to work with the best people in the industry and I couldn’t be more excited about this new venture with Premiere Networks and Red Seat Ventures.  This is a unique opportunity for ‘The Herd’ audience to dive deeper into the sports they crave.  If you like what we do on our show, you will like what John, Doug and the other podcast hosts bring to the table.  I’m incredibly lucky to launch this platform for the fans whenever and wherever they happen to be listening.”

PPM Analysis: All-NewsTALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s just-released January 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on all-news outlets.  On the heels of the Holiday 2017 survey, 75% of all-news stations saw their 6+ shares increase from the Holiday 2017 to the January 2018 survey.  But, year-over-year, almost three quarters of all-newsers were down (6+) from January 2017 to January 2018.  However, six of the 14 all-news stations in the survey ranked in the top five (6+) in their respective markets in the January PPM survey.  Hubbard’s WTOP, Washington and iHeartMedia’s KFBK, Sacramento both ranked #1 in their respective markets, while Entercom’s WINS, New York and KCBS-AM, San Francisco ranked #2 in their markets (KCBS-AM also ranked #2 in the adjacent San Jose market).   See the whole report here.

Scripps Reports 2017 Q4 Financials; Radio Stations in ‘Discontinued Operations.’ The 2017 fourth quarter financial numbers for E.W. Scripps have been released but the exact details of the performance of its radio division is unclear as the company classifies its 34 stations as “held for sale” and their data is part of the “discontinued operations” line item.  As it stood in the fourth quarter, the net income from “discontinued operations” was a loss of $6 million compared to the income of $2.03 million in the fourth quarter of 2016.  For the year as a whole, the category lost almost $2.6 million compared to the gain of $7.3 million for all of 2016. In January, the television-focused Scripps retained Kalil & Co. to sell its radio stations.

Cox Media Group Appoints Commodore Integrated News Director for Tulsa.  News director Tina Commodore has been with Cox Media Group in Tulsa since November 2016 serving TV station KOKI-TV, Tulsa.  Now, she becomes news director for the converged Tulsa market, driving news content for news/talk KRMG-AM/FM.  CMG Tulsa market VP Cathy Gunther comments, “This new role will be responsible for integrating two powerful news brands across all platforms.  Tina is a talented leader and will have a unique opportunity to take a fresh look at the way we gather and cover news across our radio, TV and digital platforms in Tulsa.”  Prior to joining CMG Tulsa, Commodore was managing editor for the company’s WSB-TV, Atlanta. In that role, she helped lead daily operation of the newsroom and coverage of breaking news events.

Mike Gallagher Chats with Vice President Mike Pence.  Pictured above is Salem Radio Network talk show host Mike Gallagher (right) interviewing Vice President Mike Pence (left) at the 75th National Religious Broadcasters convention in Nashville.  The two are old friends going back to Pence’s days hosting a radio talk show on WIBC, Indianapolis.

TALKERS News Notes. Sports talk WWBA-AM/W252DF, Tampa recently partnered with the Lou Piniella Celebrity Golf Classic to help raise funds for Score International, which helps bring about awareness of human trafficking.  Air personality Erik Kuselias broadcast his daily afternoon show live from the event…..ABC-TV is ordering a total of nine episodes of Alec Baldwin’s new talk show.  The program is called “Sundays With Alec Baldwin” and features Baldwin interviewing people from the world of entertainment and politics.  It’s a television version of his WNYC podcast.  His first guests are comedian Jerry Seinfeld and “Saturday Night Live” cast member Kate McKinnon.  The first episode airs this Sunday night after the Academy Awards broadcast…..AdLarge Media’s cabana division is expanding its podcast offerings with the new Parents on Demand (POD) Network.  This curated collection of podcasts focus on parent-friendly topics ranging from pregnancy, infancy, and adoption to nourishing meals, childcare, and the teen years.

Serving Up Drinks for Charity.  “Man about town” Brad Shepard, GM and morning host of hyper-local online radio station Pioneer Valley Radio (www.PioneerValleyRadio.com) in Western Massachusetts, served as a celebrity bartender at the local chapter of Junior Achievement’s fundraiser held at Plan B Burger in Downtown Springfield last night (2/27).  All the tips for the bartenders go to Junior Achievement for local youth K-12.  Shepard is a scheduled speaker at TALKER 2018: Full Speed Ahead! on June 8 in New York City.  Photo by Hoang ‘Leon’ Nguyen.

Trump-Russia Investigation/Hicks Testimony, Kushner Security Status, NRA vs Delta, North Korea Chemical Weapons Allegations, Xi Jinping Power Grab, Papa John’s Ends NFL Sponsorship, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/27).  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents and White House communications director Hope Hicks’ testimony before the House Intelligence Committee; the shaky status of Jared Kushner’s security clearance; Delta’s ending of its business relationship with the NRA and Georgia Lt. Governor Casey Cagle’s threat to punish Delta; the UN report suggesting North Korea is providing Syria with materials for chemical weapons; Chinese president Xi Jinping’s elimination of term limits for himself; Papa John’s ends its NFL sponsorship; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Seattle, Hubbard Radio announces that Tori Dunn is appointed the new promotions and marketing director for KNUC “Country 98.9.”  Dunn says of her new gig, “To be a part of such a special brand like ‘Country 98.9’ is an extreme honor and I am incredibly appreciative of the support of Lisa Adams, Marc Kaye and the Hubbard Radio Seattle family.  My dreams are coming true being able to walk through the doors each day with Country 98.9!”…..Envision Networks and Kroeger Media Inc. announce that Neuhoff Media’s WBBE, Bloomington, Illinois is joining the BOB FM family, adding the adult hits format to the station.  Kroeger Media president Howard Kroeger says, “In Panama City, Florida, BOB FM recently hit number one in Persons 12+.  The format is in touch with the current listening trends and methodology to take a station to the top of the ratings.  ‘BOB FM 97.9’ is ready to take its rightful place in Bloomington.”

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

| February 13, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

| January 30, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

Andrew McCabe Resignation, Trump-Russia Investigation/Kremlin List, FISA Abuses Memo, State of the Union Address, Criticism of Politicized Grammys, DACA Status/Immigration Policy, Strava Security Concerns, Flu Epidemic, and Super Bowl LII Among News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/29).  Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe resigns from his position under pressure from President Trump; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents and Vladimir Putin’s response to the U.S. Treasury Department’s “Kremlin list” of Russian politicians and oligarchs who’ve thrived under Putin; the House Intelligence Committee’s vote to release a memo detailing alleged surveillance abuses by the FBI and the Justice Department; President Trump’s State of the Union Address; criticism of the political speeches at Sunday night’s Grammy Awards; the status of the Obama-era DACA Act and the Trump administration’s immigration policy; concerns of the security of U.S. service personnel after use of the Strava workout app appears to reveal their locations; the flu epidemic that’s sweeping the U.S.; and Sunday’s Super Bowl LII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Morning radio personality John Forsythe is retiring from iHeartMedia’s adult contemporary WMGF, Orlando “Magic 107.7” where he’s been co-hosting AM drive with Leslye Gale since 2010.  During his 50-year career, Forsythe has worked at such stations as WQAM-AM, Miami; KLIF-AM, Dallas; KKOB-FM, Albuquerque; and KCBQ, San Diego.  About retirement, Forsythe says, “It’s been a difficult decision to step away from such a successful show but it’s time.  Radio has given me so many amazing life experiences.  From the early days in Miami with the Bee Gees living on the same canal as ‘QAM in the ‘70s, to being part of the Chargers broadcast team in the ‘80s, to raising millions for children’s hospitals in the ‘90s and 2000s, radio has enriched my life in so many ways!  I’m grateful for the opportunity to try and make someone’s day better through warmth and laughter.”…..The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports that Entercom urban contemporary WVEE, Atlanta “V-103” will replace departing morning personality Ryan Cameron with familiar voices – Frank Ski and Miss Sophia, along with Wanda Smith.   Ski returns to the station after exiting in 2012 and Miss Sophia returns after an almost eight-year absence…..When the new Justin Timberlake album Man of the Woods drops this Friday (2/2), it will be available on demand via iHeartRadio starting at 12:00 midnight ET.  iHeartRadio and Timberlake have teamed up to gift fans with the access to stream the album all weekend long during iHeartRadio’s “All Access Free Preview Weekend.”  At 8:00 pm ET on Friday, iHeartMedia’s digital platform will host an iHeartRadio Album Preview with Justin Timberlake across broadcast stations nationwide and digitally on iHeartRadio’s Hit Nation featuring an exclusive interview about the making of the album…..iHeartMedia rock station KEGL, Dallas “97.1 The Eagle” announces the lineup for this year’s “BFD 2018” concert at Starplex Pavilion on May 26.  The day-long concert will feature performances from A Perfect Circle, Stone Temple Pilots, Theory of a Deadman, I Prevail, Nothing More, Candlebox, 10 Years, and The Blue Stones…..SiriusXM is devoting a channel to the music of Billy Joel all during February.  The Billy Joel Channel will feature the works of Joel plus a new series, “BJ the DJ” in which Joel plays some of the artists he admires most.  Each show will be focused on a different genre of music including pop, rock and R&B.  Billy will host this series while sitting at his piano illustrating musically and verbally each song he selects.

Monday, January 29, 2018

| January 28, 2018

Afternoon Personality Carl DeMaio Renews with KOGO, San Diego. Former San Diego City councilman Carl DeMaio signs a new deal with iHeartMedia to continue hosting his “The DeMaio Report” afternoon drive show on news/talk KOGO, San Diego.  DeMaio had been co-hosting a midday program with Bob “Sully” Sullivan from April of 2015 through August of that year, shortly after losing a Congressional race.  Sullivan scaled back his work with the station and DeMaio continued to host the show solo.  In November of 2015, he was moved to the afternoon drive slot.  DeMaio says, “When we started ‘The DeMaio Report,’ we wanted a forum for San Diegans to share dialogue about important issues and also a vehicle for taking action on problems.  I’m thrilled we are accomplishing both goals.  I’m excited by the impact we’ve already had on important issues like the California gas tax and look forward to tackling many more issues in the years to come.”

Former KLZ, Denver Talk Host Convicted of Voter Fraud.  A man who was the one-time chairman of the Colorado Republican Party and a talk show host on news/talk KLZ, Denver was sentenced to four years’ probation and 300 hours of community service on January 26 after being convicted of voter fraud and forgery.  Steve Curtis was charged with using his ex-wife’s mail-in ballot to vote in the fall of 2016.  He also signed the ballot by forging her signature.  Curtis’ defense was that he was suffering from being in a “confused state” due to diabetic issues and doesn’t remember signing the ballot and mailing it.  According to CBS Denver, he also testified that it was normal in his house for him to fill out his wife’s ballot and mail it.

Trump-Russia Investigation, DACA Status, The Grammy Awards, Trump State of the Union Address, Russian Protests-Navalny Detained, Deadly Kabul Terror Attack, 5G Nationalization Plan, Steve Wynn Allegations, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the Trump Administration’s policy regarding the DACA Act; Sunday night’s Grammy Awards and the controversy over political messages during the telecast; the build-up to Tuesday’s State of the Union Address; protests over Russia’s March 18 elections take place and Vladimir Putin critic Alexei Navalny is detained by Russian police; a deadly terror bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan kills more than 100 and injures hundreds more; the Trump Administration considers nationalizing America’s 5G wireless network in an effort to provide security from Chinese hackers; politicians distance themselves from casino mogul Steve Wynn after allegations of sexual misconduct are revealed; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. WEEI, Boston personality Alex Reimer has been suspended indefinitely by Entercom for calling Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s daughter Vivian “an annoying little pissant” – referring to her appearance in the documentary film Tom vs Time.  Brady made known how he feels about the comment by cutting short his regularly scheduled interview on WEEI with morning hosts Gerry Callahan and Kirk Minihane this morning (1/29).  Whether Reimer returns may be dependent on Brady.  He said he would be re-assessing his commitment to appearing on WEEI because of this.  The station recently signed a new deal with the Patriots for exclusive access to Brady and coach Bill Belichick for its “Patriots Monday” and “Patriots Friday” program segments…..During this week’s build-up to Super Bowl LII, Beasley Media Group’s Boston and Philadelphia sports talk stations are side-by-side on the radio row in Minneapolis.  WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” and WPEN-FM, Philadelphia “97.5 The Fanatic” will be originating more of their show from radio row and will also be doing live breaks and cross talk between the stations.  WBZ-FM’s Scott Zolak and Marc Bertrand will go live with WPEN-FM’s Harry Mayes and Jason Myrtetus.  WBZ-FM’s morning drive “Toucher & Rich” show will go live from WPEN-FM’s Anthony Gargano and Bob Cooney…..Entercom presented a special weekend edition broadcast of “The Taz Show” that aired across CBS Sports Radio.  The program followed wrestling’s big event in Philadelphia and featured Pete “Taz” Senerchia hosting a live show and talking with listeners from 11:00 pm Sunday to 2:00 am Monday…..Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP-FM, Washington is being honored with the NAB Crystal Heritage Award by the National Association of Broadcasters.  The award will be presented during the new “We Are Broadcasters Celebration,” on Tuesday, April 10 during the 2018 NAB Show in Las Vegas.  The Heritage Award recognizes radio stations that have won a total of five Crystal Radio Awards for exceptional year-round community service efforts.  Only six other stations have received this honor in the 31-year history of the NAB Crystal Radio Awards.

Senior Moment.  One of the innovators of the hyper-local, online radio movement in America, Brad Shepard – GM and morning show host of Western Massachusetts-based Pioneer Valley Radio (www.PioneerValleyRadio.com) – is pictured celebrating the third anniversary of the station (1/26) by belting out the standards at the Pleasant View Senior Center in the town of East Longmeadow.  Accompanied on the keyboards by Western Mass music legend Richie Mitnick, Shepard treated the audience to a selection of great American songbook tunes, such as “Mack The Knife,” “Try To Remember,” “Taking a Chance on Love,” “My Foolish Heart,” “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm” and many others.  Live performance and music has long been the “other side” of this veteran broadcaster’s repertoire.  This one-hour show is the first of a tour of many that Shepard will be bringing to other senior centers and retirement homes in the Pioneer Valley.  He tells TALKERS, “They are wonderful audiences and it is a pleasure to perform for them!  More importantly, we are not restricted by the tyranny of ratings and agencies that make it difficult for talk radio to provide service to upper demos – people who are affluent, active and grew up knowing how to use and appreciate radio.  At Pioneer Valley Radio we have an unlimited menu of programs for people of all ages and walks of life as well as enthusiastic local sponsors to support them.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Programming pro Cindy Spicer moves across Florida to join iHeartMedia’s Tampa Bay country outlet WFUS “US103.5” as program director, effective February 19.  She’s been with the company’s WQIK, Jacksonville as on-air host and program director.  iHM Tampa Bay SVP of programming Tommy Chuck says, “I could not be more excited for Cindy to join our team at ‘US103.5.’  Cindy has a track record of incredible success and I am excited to watch her dominate Tampa Bay!”…..In Austin, Texas, iHeartMedia ends the LGBT-focused format “97.5 Pride” on KASE-HD1 and translator W248CU and installs its alternative rock format with the brand “ALT 97.5.”  The lineup consists of the Premiere Networks-syndicated “Woody Show” in mornings, followed by Wendy Rollins in middays, Klinger in afternoon drive, and Mike Jones in evenings.  iHeartMedia regional SVP of programming Brian Gann comments, “We’re thrilled to bring ALT 97.5 to the Austin airwaves.  We know this format will resonate with our listeners, and we are beyond happy to show Austin the ‘New Alternative, ALT 97.5.’”…..Atlanta radio personality Ryan Cameron is saying good-bye to Entercom’s urban contemporary WVEE “V-103” after reportedly receiving offers to stay, but rejecting them.  Cameron told listeners he’s not leaving for another radio station but is pursuing other endeavors…..Radio personality David Mueller – known during his time as morning drive co-host on KYGO, Denver as Jackson – is back on the radio with Delta Radio Network’s WMYQ, Greenwood, Mississippi “Kix 92.7.”  Mueller is, of course, notorious for having been fired by KYGO for allegedly groping Taylor Swift at a backstage meet-and-greet and then suing her for causing him to be fired and losing that suit.  Mueller maintains his innocence in the Swift case and WMYQ owner Larry Fuss believes him.  Fuss offered Mueller a job on his new country station several months ago and many in the industry assumed it was a stunt.  But, the two had numerous conversations over time and Fuss says he thinks Mueller – who is going by Stonewall Jackson on “Kix 92.7” – will be a good fit for the station…..Beasley Media Group names Brian “Mr. Incognito” Robinson assistant program director for hip hop WPEG, Charlotte “Power 98-FM.”  Robinson has been with the station since 1997, serving as the music director and co-host for the “No Limit Larry Morning Madd House” morning show.

 

Round Four of Holiday PPMs Released. The fourth of four rounds of Holiday 2017 PPM ratings information from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets, including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s Holiday 2017 survey period covered December 7 (2017) – January 3 (2018). View all the 6+ data from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM-markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Austin – More than doubling December’s +2.1, Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ “Majic 95.5 – Better Music For a Better Workday” improves by +4.8 (7.6 – 12.4, 6+) in “Holiday 2017” to march from second to first. This is the highest 6+-share for Austin’s “Majic” since its 12.6 in “Holiday” 2016; KKMJ was -.8 in November. It succeeds Emmis adult hits KBPA “Bob,” which had been at #1 the past ten sweeps, but with a -1.7 – segues to #2 (8.4 – 6.7, 6+). Prior to the “Holiday” 2017 report, “Bob” was within 8.3 – 8.8 range (6+) for six straight months. A November gain of one-half share took “Bob” to 8.8, its strongest 6+-stat since 9.1 in March and halted three down or flat trends for a collective -.4 (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.6 – 8.3, 6+). This is the first time that KBPA is below a seven-share (6+) in three years (6.9, “Holiday” 2014). Without a loss for the fourth straight sweep for a +1.4 (1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.9 – 3.2, 6+), co-owned Spanish contemporary KLZT-HD2 advances from #13 to #11. Ending its 1.9 – 2.0 – 1.9 October – November – December (6+) topline trend with a +1.2 to 3.1 – its highest 6+-showing since July’s 3.7 – Crista Media contemporary Christian KFMK “Spirit 105.9” leaps from #18 to #12. Immediately following December’s one-half share increase (3.1 – 3.6, 6+), Univision Radio’s Spanish adult hits KLJA “107.7 Mas Variedad” plummets by -1.3 to 2.3 (#11 to #16, 6+); December’s 3.6 was its most powerful 6+-showing in more than three years (October 2014, 3.6, as well). A combined +1.6 in November and December (4.6 – 5.5 – 6.2, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KHFI “96.7 Kiss FM – Austin’s #1 Hit Music Station” erodes by -1.0 to 5.2 (6+), sliding from fourth to fifth. May through September, “Kiss” trended 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.1 (6+), but logged a -.5 in October to 4.6, its weakest 6+-showing since December 2016’s 4.5. Conversely, December 2017’s 6.2 was the station’s best 6+-stat since posting a 6.5 in April 2016. Its country-formatted siblings are each off by six-tenths: KVET-FM “98.1 All Time Country Favorites” (6.2 – 5.6, fifth to fourth, 6+) and KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country” (seventh to ninth, 6+). Within 6.1 – 6.7 range (6+) in each of the eight sweeps March through October, KVET-FM was +.9 in November, but -1.3 in December. Prior to November, it last reached the seven-share level (6+) in January 2015 (7.0). In its third straight decrease, KASE is an overall -1.2 (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+). Down by six-tenths this sweep as well is Emmis regional Mexican KLZT “107.1 La Z” (5.1 – 4.5, sixth to seventh, 6+), while news/talk sibling KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590 AM” posts its fourth decline in a row for a collective -1.3 (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 2.8, #12 to #13, 6+). Co-owned KLBJ-FM “93.7 The Rock of Austin” falters by one-half share (3.9 – 3.4, 6+) but remains in tenth-place. While flat at #3, University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk KUT is -1.4 in three straight decreases (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.8 – 6.5, 6+). Its loss of three-tenths in November ended three successive gains that netted +1.8 (6.1 – 6.5 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+), with October’s 7.9 the highest 6+-share for KUT since 9.0 in November 2016. More than doubling its 6+-share in four consecutive uptrends through December (1.1 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+), triple A sibling KUTX “98.9 The Austin Music Experience” drops two-tenths in “Holiday” 2017 to 2.2 (#16 to #17, 6+).

2) Raleigh – The “Holiday” 2017 sweep has a rare tie at #1 and it’s here in “The Triangle” between Radio One urban AC WFXC “Foxy – Today’s R&B and Classic Soul,” which is on top for the eighth straight month, and Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5” (third to first). Ironically, each station is riding three straight upticks in succession. Not only is WFXC an overall +1.7 in its winning streak (8.7 – 8.9 – 9.4 – 10.4, 6+), “Foxy” registers its best-ever (6+) PPM stat, joining Curtis Media Group-owned WQDR “Today’s Best Country 94.7 QDR” (15 times); WRAL (eight times); and iHeartMedia CHR WDCG “G-105 Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” (twice) as the only Raleigh stations to ever reach double-digits (6+). A loss of one-half share in October by WFXC halted six straight spikes that netted +2.4 (6.8 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.7 – 9.2, 6+). Meanwhile, “Mix” is +4.8 since October (5.6 – 6.6 – 7.7 – 10.4, 6+), with 10.4 its strongest 6+-performance since 13.2 in “Holiday” 2016. November’s gain of one full-share ended eight successive sweeps without an increase for a -3.2 (8.8 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4 – 7.1 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 5.6, 6+). Starting in February, “Mix” finished at #1 in four straight sweeps before slipping to third in June; it was under a six-share (5.6, 6+, October) for the first time since February 2013’s 5.9. In an up/down pattern that began in August, Radio One urban contemporary WQOK “K-97.5” (fifth to fourth) is trending 6.3 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 6.9 – 6.6 – 7.2 (6+) for an overall gain of nine-tenths. In addition to “K-97.5,” Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WRTP “His Radio” is up six-tenths from December, as well (1.5 – 2.1, #18 to #16, 6+), reaching the two-share level (6+) for the first time since June’s 2.2. Through December, aforementioned iHeartMedia CHR WDCG was an overall -1.9 in six monthlies in succession without an increase (6.9 – 6.2 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0, 6+). Improving by three-tenths to 5.3 (6+), however, “G-105” inches up from seventh to sixth; 5.0 (in November and December) matched its lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2013 (5.0, as well). Also referenced earlier, Curtis Media Group-owned WQDR “Today’s Best Country 94.7 QDR,” which was off one full-share in November and December (7.7 – 6.9 – 6.7, 6+), adds one-tenth to 6.8 (6+) but backslides from fourth to fifth. Prior to the November sweep, WQDR registered a 7.7 (6+) in three of the six previous ratings periods. Spiraling by -1.1 (5.7 – 4.6, 6+), adult hits cluster-mate WBBB “96.1 BBB Your Life, Your Music” (sixth to eighth) falls below a five-share (6+) for the first time since May’s 4.9. Classic hits-oldies sibling WKIX “Kix 102.9 Carolina’s Greatest Hits” (3.7, #10 to #11, 6+) and iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK “106.1 Stay Connected” (ninth to tenth) each tumble by nine-tenths. Entering the “Holiday” 2017 sweep, “Kix” was trending 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.6 (6+); WTKK is -1.4 as the result of three straight decreases (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 3.8, 6+). Following four months in a row in the runner-up slot, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” sputters by six-tenths and falls to third-place (8.0 – 7.4, 6+). Off by one-half share each are iHeartMedia-owned WRDU “100.7 Raleigh’s Classic Rock” (5.0 – 4.5, seventh to ninth, 6+); Radio One gospel WNNL “The Light 103.9” (4.1 – 3.6, steady at #12, 6+); and Curtis Media Group regional Mexican WYMY (2.4 – 1.9, #15 to #18, 6+).

3) Indianapolis – Tacking on +5.6 to December’s +2.3 (7.8 – 13.4, 6+), Emmis adult contemporary WYXB “Soft Rock B-105.7” continues at #1 and enjoys a more than two-to-one advantage over its runner-up. In December, “B-105.7” halted three straight downturns that accounted for an overall -1.4 (6.9 – 6.5 – 5.9 – 5.5, 6+). This (13.4) represents its best 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016’s 17.7, while November’s 5.5 was its weakest in more than five years (5.3, November 2012). Roughly one week into the December sweep (11/17), Cumulus Media jettisoned the urban-rhythmic oldies format on WRWM “93.9 The Beat” in favor of CHR, renaming it WYRG “Indianapolis’ Energy 93.9.” In six successive sweeps without a loss, that 93.9 Indianapolis frequency is +2.5 virtually doubling its 6+-stat since June (2.6 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 3.4 – 5.1, 6+), with “Energy” already cracking the top ten (#12 to #10). Meanwhile, more than tripling its 6+ AQH share in three straight gains (.4 – 5. – .7 – 1.3, 6+), Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies WNOW-HD2 checks in at #18. Slumping by -1.8 (7.7 – 5.9, 6+), Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WJJK – which had been on top in September, October, and November – drops from second to fourth. When WJJK dropped three-tenths in November, it halted three straight progressive moves for an overall +1.8 (6.1 – 7.0 – 7.4 – 7.9, 6+). Prior to August, WJJK was without an increase in five successive survey periods for a collective -1.6 (7.7 – 7.2 – 6.5 – 6.5 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+). October’s 7.9 represents the highest 6+-share for WJJK in the PPM-era, while 5.9 in “Holiday” 2017 is its lowest in nearly two years (5.8, January 2016). Both Radio One urban AC WTLC-FM “106.7 – Indy’s R&B Leader” (6.4 – 5.3, fifth to seventh, 6+) and Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” (6.1 – 4.8, seventh to ninth, 6+) erode by -1.3. This is the lowest 6+-showing for WKLU since it reappeared in print in December 2016; December 2017’s 6.4 by WTLC-FM, which was a combined +2.1 in November and December, was its best 6+-share since January’s 7.1. The market’s (6+) country share eroded by -1.6 in December and it’s nearly a carbon copy in “Holiday” 2017, as the format is down by -1.5. Specifically, Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM” is -.9 (fifth to sixth, 6+), while Cumulus Media’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” is 6.6 – 6.0, -.6 (fourth to third, 6+). An overall +.8 in May and June, WFMS was -.9 in July; +.8 in August; +.5 in September; -.7 in October; +1.1 in November; -.9 in December; and -.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Meanwhile, October’s +.8 took “Hank” to 7.1, its strongest 6+-showing since September 2015’s 7.6. It is without an increase for the third straight sweep for a -1.6 (7.1 – 7.1 – 6.4 – 5.5, 6+). Co-owned WFNI “The Fan – Indy’s Sports Center” regresses by six-tenths to 2.5 (#14 to #15, 6+), thus pulling the plug on five straight up or flat trends that netted a +1.4 (1.7 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+); November and December’s 3.1 (6+) matches the 3.1 it logged in March 2016. Off by six-tenths as well is Entercom hot AC WNTR “107.9 The Mix” (4.8 – 4.2, ninth to tenth, 6+). A collective -1.8 in four straight downward moves (5.2 – 4.9 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+), Emmis news/talk WIBC “93.1 Indy’s News Center” dips from #11 to #13, while Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI falters by one-half share (2.7 – 2.2, 6+) and is unchanged at #16. In four straight sweeps without an increase (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – .7 – .7, 6+), University of Indianapolis-owned WICR has lost more than 50% of its 6+-share (overall -.9), moving from #21 to #22.

4) Milwaukee – Continuing a down/up pattern that commenced in May (10.3 – 9.9 – 10.7 – 9.6 – 9.8 – 9.4 – 10.0 – 8.4 – 11.6, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” improves by +3.2 in “Holiday” 2017 and is on top for the 34th consecutive ratings period. “Big FM” has been in double-digits (6+) in six of the last 12 ratings periods and this (11.6) is its strongest 6+-stat in exactly two years (14.4, “Holiday” 2015). Rebounding from three consecutive downward moves in September-October-November for a collective -1.4 (4.3 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+), Milwaukee Radio Alliance adult contemporary WLDB is now +4.5 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (2.9 – 5.6 – 7.4, 6+). Moreover, “B-93.3” jumps from seventh to second with its best 6+-stat (7.4) since “Holiday” 2016’s 8.3. It is tied in the runner-up slot with iHeartMedia’s WISN “News/Talk 1130,” which drops one-half share (to 7.4, 6+), thus curtailing five straight gains that netted +1.9 (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.0 – 7.9, 6+); WISN finished second in November and December, as well. Co-owned urban contemporary WKKV “V-100.7 Milwaukee’s Only Hip-Hop and R&B” regains 60% of December’s full-share loss (4.5 – 5.1, +.6, 6+) and carries on in eighth-place. November’s +.3 ended four consecutive months without an increase for an overall -2.0 (7.4 – 7.1 – 5.9 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+). Prior to December, the last time “V-100.7” fell below a five-share (6+) was in May 2016 (4.7). Following four consecutive August through December increases for an overall +3.0 (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.5 –  6.0 – 7.6, 6+), Saga Communications’ WKLH surrenders nine-tenths to 6.7 (third to fourth, 6+). December’s 7.6 marked the first time that “96.5 Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” reached the seven-share level (6+) since the station reappeared in print three years ago (December 2014). Declining by -.9 as well is co-owned WHQC “102.9 The Hog – Everything That Rocks,” which is down for the third sweep in a row for a -1.3 (7.1 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 5.8, fourth to sixth, 6+). This Wisconsin market’s two country outlets continue to struggle. Without an increase for the fifth time in a row for a collective -1.2 (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 3.6, 6+), Scripps’ WKTI “94.5 KTI Country” departs the top ten (#8 to #12). Immediately prior to its current trending, WKTI posted three straight gains for a collective +1.1 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.8, 6+). In five successive downward moves as well, format rival – iHeartMedia’s WMIL – is a combined -3.2 (6.5 – 5.7 – 5.0 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+) as “FM 106.1 – Milwaukee’s Best Country” and WKTI are tied at #12. Prior to August, “FM 106.1” was up or flat in four straight sweeps for a net +1.4 (5.1 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 6.5, 6+). Frozen on 3.2 (6+) in August, September, and October, CHR sibling WRNW “97.3 Now” reached the four-share level in November (4.0, 6+) for the first time in more than five years (4.1, September 2012). In December and “Holiday” 2017, however, “Now” is a combined -1.0 (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.0, flat at #14, 6+). Although it is down or flat for the fourth straight ratings period for a collective loss of nine-tenths (4.8 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+), similarly-formatted/Entercom-owned WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM” returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). This is the fifth straight sweep without an increase for Milwaukee Radio Alliance-owned WZTI “Milwaukee’s True Oldies Channel,” which has lost roughly 70% of its 6+-share (-1.6) since August (2.2 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.3 – .6 – .6, flat at #21, 6+). Positive streaks conclude in “Holiday” 2017 for Milwaukee School of Engineering triple A WMSE and iHeartMedia’s WOKY “The Big 920 – Milwaukee’s Sports Station.” Off by two-tenths to .4 (#23, 6+), WMSE halts eight consecutive up or flat trends that produced a +.5 (.1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .4 – .5 – .6, 6+), while “The Big 920” drops three-tenths to .3 (#24, 6+), ending five sweeps without a loss for a half-share gain as well (.1 – .1 – .3 – .3 – .5 – .6, 6+).

5) Nashville – Winning ways continue for Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music,” which is an overall +8.0 in six straight increases (6.4 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 7.4 – 7.7 – 9.9 – 14.4, 6+). Surpassing the 13.1 (6+) it registered in “Holiday” 2016, “Mix” is #1 for the third time in a row. Prior to this particular run, “Mix” last occupied the pacesetter position in April. In addition to posting a decrease for the fourth consecutive time for a collective -2.2 (7.5 – 7.2 – 6.6 – 6.3 – 5.3, 6+) and slipping from fifth to seventh, iHeartMedia CHR WRVW, “107.5 The River” has its lowest 6+-share in exactly seven years, matching the 5. 3 in “Holiday” 2010. Remaining at #15, Midwest Communications’ similarly-formatted WNFN “106.7 Nashville’s New Hit Music” picks up four-tenths to 2.6 (6+), thus applying the brakes to three straight negative trends that accounted for an overall loss of nine-tenths (3.1 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+). Slumping by six-tenths each are Cumulus Media sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” (sixth to a fifth-place tie) and Nashville Public Radio’s WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” (flat at #10). A December 2017 +1.4 to 6.2 took “The Zone” to its strongest 6+-showing since 6.8 in December 2016, but when the flagship of the Tennessee Titans was -.2 in November to 4.8 (6+), it ended a string of three straight increases that produced a +2.3 (2.7 – 3.2 – 4.0 – 5.0, 6+). Before May’s one-half share increase, “The Zone” spiraled by -4.3 in six successive decreases (7.6 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.3 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+). Now a cumulative -2.4 in three straight losses (6.4 – 5.7 – 4.6 – 4.0, 6+), WPLN-FM was up by +1.2 in September and October to 6.4, its best 6+-share in the PPM-era. While unchanged at #13, Cumulus Media’s WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” has its third loss in succession for an overall -2.0 (5.0 – 4.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+). There is mostly bad news for the market’s three FM country players, as WWTN cluster-mate WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” is -1.7 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.9 – 5.6 – 4.2, seventh to eighth, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” is an overall -1.4 owing to three straight dips (5.5 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.1, flat at #9). “Nash Icon” has its lowest 6+ showing since July’s 4.1; likewise “The Big 98” has its weakest 6+-share since July 2016’s 4.0. On the positive side for the format, Cumulus Media’s WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” notches its third straight gain for an overall +.7 (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.9, 6+) and progresses from #12 to #11 with its best 6+-showing since May’s 4.3. Meanwhile, Ryman Hospitality Properties classic country WSM-AM “650 AM – The Most Famed Country Music Station in the World,” which had a 1.8 (#16, 6+) in June is unlisted for the seventh consecutive sweep. Down or flat for the fourth ratings period in a row for a cumulative -1.9 (8.5 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 6.8 – 6.6, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUBT “101.1 The Beat Nashville’s Home for Hip-Hop and R&B” slips from third to fourth. After spending two months at #1, “The Beat” shifted to #2 in November; 8.5 (September) was its highest 6+-share since July 2015’s 8.4. When “The Beat” gained four-tenths in August, it ended three successive downward moves that accounted for a loss of nine-tenths (7.5 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.6, 6+).

6) Providence – In a rare case of a PPM-market adult contemporary outlet showing a December decrease, Cumulus Media’s WWLI dusts itself off from that particular half-share dip with a “Holiday” 2017 +1.4 (10.9 – 12.3, 6+). Moreover, “Lite Rock 105” is on top for the 28th consecutive ratings period; in double-digits (6+) for the seventh month in a row; and has its strongest 6+-share since 18.0 in “Holiday” 2016. Prior to October, “Lite Rock 105” was a combined +1.6 as the result of three straight increases (9.8 – 10.0 – 10.8 – 11.4, 6+). Continuing its slow and steady climb at #7, co-owned news/talk WPRO-AM “News Talk 630” is a collective +.8 in its fourth straight upward move of two-tenths (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+). Following a 7.8 (6+) in September, co-owned CHR WPRO-FM posted an 8.2 (6+) for the next three months in a row and now adds one-tenth to 8.3 as “92 PRO FM Today’s Hit Music” carries on at #3. After a lengthy hiatus, Red Wolf Broadcasting Spanish tropical WKKB appears in print for what is now its eighth report in a row, and aided by a gain of seven-tenths (1.4 – 2.1, 6+), “Latina 100.3” returns to the top ten (#13 to #10). In this specific (albeit brief) ratings history (June 2017 – “Holiday” 2017), the station has a high of 2.4 (June, 6+) and a low of 1.7 (November, 6+). Since surfacing in print in June, co-owned WSKP “Good Times … Great Oldies KOOL Radio” notches its strongest 6+-stat (.8 – .9, +.1, #14, 6+). Forfeiting one-half share each are Hall Communications’ WCTK “98.1 Cat Country” (7.2, flat at #4, 6+) and iHeartMedia hot AC WSNE “Coast 93.3” (4.9, unchanged at #6, 6+). WCTK was off by one-half share in December as well (8.2 – 7.7, 6+), but in November, “Cat Country” erased October’s -.4 with a gain of one-half share; “Coast” was a combined +.6 in November and December (4.8 – 5.0 – 5.4, 6+). After three straight ratings periods without a loss (1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.0, 6+), public news/talk WGBH-FM slips by two-tenths to 1.7 (#10 to #12, 6+).

7) Norfolk – Stacking a “Holiday” 2017 +4.4 onto December’s +2.8 (4.3 – 7.1 – 11.5, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WWDE “101.3 2WD” advances from third to second, registering its strongest 6+-performance since “Holiday” 2016 (13.4). From June through November, “2WD” logged a topline 6+-share of either 4.3 or 4.6 (4.3 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.3). Precisely quintupling its 6+-share (a cumulative +4.0) in three straight gains since October (1.0 – 1.3 – 4.4 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMOV “Movin’ 107.7 – The Rhythm of Hampton Roads” advances from sixth to fifth. This (5.0) represents its best 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016’s 7.4. By adding three-tenths in November, “Movin 107.7” pulled the plug on five straight decreases which resulted in a cumulative -1.8 or approximately 64% of its 12+-share (2.8 – 2.7 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.2 – 1.0, 6+). Notwithstanding that it has eroded by a combined two full shares in December and “Holiday” 2017 (14.6 – 13.5 – 12.6, 6+), Entercom urban AC WVKL remains at #1 for the 13th time in a row and registers a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 21st time in the last 22 sweeps. When it improved by eight-tenths in November to 14.6, “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” set the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. The old mark of 14.3 (6+) was recorded by WVKL in September. Before slipping by one-half share in October, WVKL – which earlier was on top for 55 consecutive ratings periods – posted three straight improvements accounting for a +2.4 (11.8 – 12.0 – 13.4 – 13.7 – 14.2, 6+). Progressing from #12 to #11, WHOV “Smooth 88.1 – The Essence of Hampton University” adds one tenth to (1.3, 6+), pulling the plug on six negative or flat moves in a row for a collective loss of four-tenths (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+). Despite being down or flat for the fourth time in succession for an overall -1.7 (4.4 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+), Entercom hot AC WPTE “94.9 The Point” move from ninth to eighth. Returning in full the eight-tenths it gained in December, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WOWI “103 Jamz – Norfolk’s #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” drops from second to third (8.2 – 9.0 – 8.2, 6+); December’s 9.0 was the best 6+-showing for WOWI since September 2015’s 10.4. After trending 8.6 – 8.2 – 8.2 – 8.2 – 8.6 (August – September – October – November, 6+), Saga Communications’ WNOR “FM 99 Rocks” is an overall -2.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (8.6 – 6.7 – 6.0, 6+) but remains in fourth-place. This is its softest 6+-share in exactly one year (6.0, as well in “Holiday” 2016). Dropping from fifth to sixth, co-owned WAFX “106.9 The Fox – Hampton Roads’ Classic Rock” is a collective -1.8 in five successive sweeps without an increase (6.5 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 5.8 – 4.9 – 4.7, 6+). Also in that Saga Communications cluster, adult standards WJOI is up one-tenth to .3 (flat at #13, 6+), ending four consecutive sweeps without an increase in which “1230 AM – Great Songs, Great Memories” lost 80% (eight-tenths) of its 6+-share (1.0 – .7 – .5 – .3 – .2, #13, 6+). After more than doubling its 6+-stat (+1.5) in three successive increases (1.4 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.9, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WNOH “Alt 105.3 – Hampton Roads Alternative Rock” returns two-two-tenths to 2.7 (flat at #8, 6+).

8) Greensboro – A December 2017 +5.9 doubled WMAG’s 6+ AQH share to 11.8. Now, the iHeartMedia adult contemporary tacks on +4.3 to 16.1 (6+) as “99.5 – The Triad’s Best Mix” advances from second to first, surpassing its 15.2 in “Holiday” 2016. December’s nearly six-share increase stopped three losses in a row that accounted for a combined -1.3, (7.2 – 7.0 – 6.3 – 5.9, 6+). In a down/up pattern since September (12.7 – 11.9 – 12.4 – 12.0 – 11.5, 6+), WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” is -1.2 and slips to second, following seven straight months on top. The Entercom urban AC was #1 each month in calendar year 2017 except April and May and records double-digits (6+) for the 14th sweep in a row. Recapturing the one-half share it lost in December, Curtis Media Group regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1” (3.4 – 2.9 – 3.4, 6+) carries on at #9. A one-half share gain (to .9, 6+) by Baker Family Stations gospel WXRI “Joy FM – Real Music, Real Life” ends three successive down or flat trends (.6 – .5 – .5 – .4, 6+). After being in double digits each sweep since August, Entercom adult hits WSMW “98.7 Simon (says) We Play Everything” is a combined -2.3 in December and “Holiday” 2017, falling to 9.0 (6+, flat at #3). December’s -.8 curtailed five straight increases that netted +2.5 (8.8 – 9.3 – 10.1 – 10.2 – 10.9 – 11.3, 6+) and produced the strongest 6+-share (11.3) for “Simon” in its PPM-history. This though is its lowest 6+-mark since June’s 8.8. Down for the fourth month in succession for a collective -2.9 (7.8 – 7.3 – 7.1 – 5.6 – 4.9, 6+), iHeartMedia owned WTQR “New Country Q-104.1” remains at #6 but has its weakest 6+-stat in one year (4.7, “Holiday” 2016). Format rival – Entercom-owned WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” – regresses by seven-tenths as well (6.0 – 5.3, 6+) and remains four-tenths ahead of “Q-104.1” at #5. When “The Wolf” added two-tenths in December, it pulled the plug on three straight decreases that produced a -1.9 (7.7 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 5.8, 6+). Immediately after December’s +1.5 to 9.0 – its strongest 6+-share since 9.6 in July – rhythmic CHR sibling WJMH “102 Jamz The Hip-Hop Station” surrenders all but three tenths of that gain (7.8, -1.2, flat at #4, 6+). Unchanged at #11, Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” returns in full the +.6 it gained in November and December (1.7 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 1.7, 6+).

9) West Palm Beach – In addition to logging a +3.9 (matching “Holiday” 2016’s 9.1, 6+), Alpha Media adult contemporary WEAT “Sunny 107.9” progresses from fourth to first. By gaining one-half share in November, “Sunny” closed out four straight monthlies without an increase for a -2.4 (6.5 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.7 – 4.1, 6+). Dislodged from #1 – after 12 consecutive months there and dropping to the runner-up slot – is co-owned hot AC WRMF “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now,” which is without an increase in three straight sweeps for a -3.0 (11.2 – 11.2 – 8.9 – 8.2, 6+). A one-tenth loss in September by WRMF pulled the plug on four straight increases that netted +1.6 (9.3 – 9.4 – 9.5 – 10.4 – 10.9, 6+). This (8.2) is its lowest 6+-showing since 7.7 in “Holiday” 2016. Notching gains of six-tenths each are iHeartMedia CHR WLDI “WiLD 95.5 The Palm Beaches’ #1 Hit Music Station” (4.3 – 4.9, seven to fourth, 6+) and co-owned Spanish contemporary WRLX “Mia 92.1 – #1 en Hits Latinos” (1.6 – 2.2, #13 to #12, 6+). In three straight (slight) decreases, (4.8 – 4.7 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+), Alpha Media urban AC WMBX lost a total of six-tenths, but “X-102.3” picks up two-tenths to 4.4 (6+), climbing from eighth to sixth. Immediately after gaining seven-tenths in December, Moody Bible Institute’s WRMB surrenders all of it and two-tenths more (2.1 – 1.2, -.9, #12 to #13, 6+). Prior to December 2017, “Moody Radio” last reached the two-share level (6+) in September 2014 (2.2). It is tied with JVC Media classic hits-oldies WSVU “True Oldies 95.9 The Palm,” which nearly doubled its 6+-share in five sweeps in a row without a loss (.7 – .7 – .8 – .8 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+), before dropping one-tenth in “Holiday” 2017 to 1.2 (6+). Fading from fifth to eighth, Alpha Media’s WIRK “103.1 South Florida’s Country Music” returns in full December’s +.7 (3.9 – 4.6 – 3.9, 6+). Following a +.8 in December, iHeartMedia-owned adult contemporary WOLL “Today’s KOOL 105.5” sputters by six-tenths (5.5 – 4.9, third to fourth). Off one full-share in September to 4.2, its lowest 6+ showing since 3.9 in July 2011, “KOOL” regained six-tenths of that decline in October. December’s 5.5 was the station’s highest 6+-share since January (5.9). Flat at #10, co-owned WZZR “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk for the Palm Beaches” forfeits four-tenths to 2.3 (6+), halting three straight increases (2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+) that netted one-half share. With a loss of four-tenths to 2.9 (steady at #9, 6+), co-owned news/talk WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” curtails three (modest) upticks in a row (2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.3, 6+).

10) Jacksonville – This Florida market’s adult contemporary share balloons by +5.1 as Renda Broadcasting-owned WEJZ “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” improves by +2.9 as it marches from second to first, while Cox Media Group’s WEZI improves by +2.2, with “Easy 102.9” cracking the top five (#11 to #5). Owing to four straight sweeps without a loss, WEJZ practically doubles its 6+ AQH share for an overall +5.8 (6.1 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 9.0 – 11.9, 6+) and registers its highest 6+-share since 14.7 in “Holiday” 2016. It is a somewhat similar scenario for “Easy,” which is +3.2 in three straight gains (2.5 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 5.7, 6+). After being on top in each of the last 12 ratings periods, iHeartMedia-owned WQIK segues to #2. In three straight decreases, “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country” has eroded by three full-shares (13.6 – 12.3 – 11.0 – 10.6, 6+), including back-to-back losses of -1.3. A combined -1.8 in July and August (12.2 – 11.6 – 10.4, 6+), WQIK followed with an overall +3.2 in September-October-November (10.4 – 11.7 – 13.6, 6+), with October’s 13.6 its best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. It has been a rollercoaster ride for WQIK’s format foe, Renda Broadcasting’s WGNE “99.9 Gator Country,” which was an overall -1.3 in three straight losses through October (4.6 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+); bounced back in November with a +1.1; was -.5 in December; and is now +1.2 in “Holiday” 2017 (3.9 – 5.1, ninth to sixth, 6+). This (5.1) is its best 6+-showing January’s 5.4. Spiraling by -1.7 (8.3 – 6.6, 6+), Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL “96.9 The Eagle” slips from third to fourth. Off by a total of two full shares in December and “Holiday” 2017 (3.9 – 2.8 – 1.9, #13 to #15, 6+), co-owned WXXJ “X-106.5 Jacksonville’s Alternative” has its lowest 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. News/talk cluster-mate WOKV is a combined -2.8 in four straight negative trends (9.7 – 8.5 – 7.7 – 7.0 – 6.9, 6+), recording its softest 6+-stat since 6.6 in “Holiday” 2016. Even so, “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” inches up from fourth to third. In September, WOKV was +1.3 to 9.7; prior to that, it last reached the nine-share level in April (9.3, 6+). Also in that Cox Media Group cluster, CHR WAPE is an overall -1.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.8 – 5.5 – 4.8, fifth to seventh, 6+); in November, “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station” fully recaptured October’s -1.0 (5.8 – 4.8 – 5.8, 6+). A cumulative -1.9 via four straight declines (5.5 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies WSOL “V-101.5 Throwback Hip-Hop and R&B” departs the top ten (#7 to #11), logging its lowest 6+-share since July 2014 (3.6, as well). A cumulative +.8 in November and December (4.2 – 4.6 – 5.0, 6+), adult hits sibling WWJK “107.3 The River – We Play Anything” is off by one-half share to 4.5 (sixth to ninth, 6+). Down or flat for the fourth straight time for an overall -.7 (5.3 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+), urban contemporary cluster-mate WJBT “93.3 The Beat” remains at #8. Public WJCT is without an increase for the fifth sweep in a row for a collective loss of seven-tenths (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.6, #12 to #13, 6+).

11) Memphis – Not only is WRVR “104.5 The River – Continuous Soft Rock” +5.7 in three straight improvements (7.2 – 7.4 – 9.4 – 12.9, 6+), the Entercom adult contemporary property progresses from second to first, eclipsing its 12.1 in “Holiday” 2016. Exiting the top spot after four consecutive months there is iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS, which shifts to #2 (10.3 – 10.0, -.3, 6+), but is in double-digits (6+) for the fifth time in a row. Following three straight improvements that yielded a +2.1 (9.2 – 10.0 – 10.4 – 11.3, 6+), “V-101” returned one full-share in December. Unchanged at #3, urban contemporary cluster-mate WHRK “K-97 Memphis’ Only Hip-Hop and R&B” boasts its fifth straight up or flat trend that has produced a +1.4 (7.6 – 8.0 – 8.2 – 8.2 – 8.8 – 9.0, 6+). By being up eight-tenths (6.2, steady at #5, 6+), co-owned gospel WHAL “95.7 Halleluiah – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” ends an alternating down/up pattern that started in June (6.2 – 6.0 – 6.3 – 4.6 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 5.4, 6+). Known as “98.9 The Vibe” until it became “Christmas 98.9” on Halloween, Cumulus Media-owned WKIM transitioned to adult contemporary the day after Christmas (12/26). Adopting “98.9 The Bridge” as its handle, WKIM, a direct challenger to WRVR “The River” (see above), gains six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017 (3.5 – 4.1, tenth to eighth, 6+). A +.9 in November halted four successive sweeps without an increase for a collective -1.1 (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.6, 6+). Finishing with identical profiles (3.4 – 2.6, -.8, flat at #11, 6+) are iHeartMedia news/talk WREC and co-owned WEGR “Rock 102.7 – Memphis’ Classic Rock.” Prior to this “Holiday” 2017 -.8, WREC was an overall seven-tenths in five consecutive up or flat moves (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+). In December, “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” had its best 6+-share (3.4) since February’s 3.6. A collective -3.0 in five losses in succession (6.3 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 4.9 – 3.7 – 3.3, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WGKX “Kix 106 – Today’s Best Country” drops from ninth to tenth. After four straight increases that accounted for a +1.3 through November (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 3.3, 6+), Entercom sports talk WMFS “ESPN 92.9” is now a combined -.8 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.5, 6+) but stays at #13. In four consecutive down or flat trends (5.8 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.2, 6+), hot AC sibling WMC-FM “FM 100 Today’s Best Mix” is a combined -.6 and is flat at #6.

12) Hartford – Coming within a whisker of the 18.4 it logged in “Holiday” 2016, Entercom adult contemporary WRCH “Lite 100.5” flaunts its sixth consecutive up or flat trend for an overall +8.4 (9.9 – 10.2 – 10.2 – 10.3 – 11.0 – 13.0 – 18.3, 6+) and is on top for the 17th successive ratings period. This is the 14th time in the last 16 sweeps – and sixth in a row – that “Lite” is in double-digits (6+). Repeating in the runner-up slot, co-owned rhythmic CHR WZMX “Hot 93.7 – Hartford’s #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” is a combined +2.4 as a result of four increases in a row (5.6 – 6.4 – 6.5 – 7.5 – 8.0, 6+); this (8.0) is its strongest 6+-showing since June 2015 (8.0, as well). For the seventh month in succession, iHeartMedia CHR WKSS “All The Hits – Kiss 95.7” (+.6, sixth to third) is no higher than a 6.8 and now lower than a 6.2 (6.4 – 6.5 – 6.6 – 6.5 – 6.5 – 6.2 – 6.8, 6+) and is up four-tenths in that timeframe. Down or flat for the seventh ratings period in succession for an overall -3.9 (8.8 – 8.3 – 8.3 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 6.5 – 6.2 – 4.9, 6+), co-owned WWYZ “92-5 Connecticut’s Country Music” slides from sixth to seventh. This marks the first time in its PPM-history that WWYZ is below a five-share (6+). Eroding by -1.3 from December as well is Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” (6.3 – 5.0, fifth to sixth, 6+), which has its lowest 6+-share since August’s (4.7). Both Entercom hot AC WTIC-FM “96.5 Hartford’s Best Variety” (7.5 – 6.6, second to fourth, 6+) and iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WHCN “105.9 The River” (6.9 – 6.0, fourth to fifth, 6+) slump by nine-tenths. Following five straight gains for a collective +1.6 (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.9, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting alternative WMRQ “Radio 104.1” surrenders just under half that gain to 3.2 (-.7, 6+) and remains at #10. This is the third sweep in a row without an increase for Connoisseur Media-owned WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale – Hartford’s Classic Rock” for a combined -1.5 (6.0 – 5.3 – 4.5 – 4.5, ninth to eighth, 6+), while Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM “News Talk 1080” is a collective -1.4 in three negative moves in succession (5.8 – 5.6 – 5.0 – 4.4, eighth to ninth, 6+).

Monday, December 11, 2017

| December 11, 2017

WBUR, Boston Talk Personality Tom Ashbrook Suspended During Investigation.  “On Point” is a public radio talk show produced by WBUR, Boston – owned and operated by Boston University – and syndicated to almost 300 NPR affiliate stations.  As reported by WBUR.org, host Tom Ashbrook has been suspended while the school and the station conduct an investigation into allegations, the details of which are not being specified by the station.  It released this statement on Friday (12/8): “Yesterday, Boston University and WBUR received some allegations against Tom Ashbrook.  Tom will be on leave from his duties at WBUR while an outside organization hired by Boston University examines these allegations.  We will decide a course of action after getting the results of this investigation.”  In the WBUR.org story, Ashbrook says he’s “stunned at the situation” and says he respects the process the school must go through in this situation.

Mark Kaye Hosting New Daily Talk Show on WOKV, Jacksonville.  CHR radio pro Mark Kaye is now hosting a daily talk show on Cox Media Group’s WOKV-AM/FM, Jacksonville.  Kaye is the morning drive host on the company’s sister CHR WAPE.  His new talk show airs from 11:00 am to 12:00 noon, in between the Herman Cain show and Rush Limbaugh on the program schedule.   Kaye has worked for WOKV in the past, hosting a weekend show.

Former Nevada Broadcasters Association Founding President Admits to Improper Behavior.  Radio personality and former Nevada Broadcasters Association president Bob Fisher admits to engaging in “improper behavior” with teenage boys back in the 1980s.  This was reported in a piece in Jewish Week that reveals the details of allegations by two men who were 18 and 16 at the time Fisher was a leader of the Pacific Southwest Region of United Synagogue Youth.  In the story, Fisher admits to the allegations and says he is ashamed of his behavior, though he says he never forced himself on anyone.  He also tells the paper of his dysfunctional childhood and being raped as a child and as a college student.

Nielsen and Cumulus Renew Deal for Ratings Services.  The ratings giant is owed approximately $6.65 million by Cumulus Media – that figure was released by Cumulus as part of its Chapter 11 filing.  But, Nielsen Audio knows that Cumulus needs its services to help sell its radio stations and national programming on Westwood One.  This renewal means Cumulus continues to use the ratings service but will also have access to data from Nielsen Scarborough, enhanced talent analytics from Nielsen N-Score and national networks ratings from Nielsen RADAR.  Cumulus EVP of operations Bob Walker comments, “Despite the abundance of media options, radio continues to lead the way in reach and ROI.  We are excited to extend our agreement with Nielsen so that we can continue to leverage their vast datasets and analytical insights to provide the proof that we do indeed deliver the highest ROI of any local media to our advertisers.”

PPM Analysis:  NBA FlagshipsTALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations that serve as flagship stations for play-by-play broadcasts for NBA teams.  Note that this isn’t a review of PPM ratings for game broadcasts, but for weekly 6+ AQH shares for stations that serve as flagships.  A number of these stations serve as flagships for NFL and MLB franchises, as well.  In addition to charts comparing stations’ ratings in numerous ways, Kinosian reports the station ranks for the Nielsen Audio’s November PPM survey and the five previous surveys.  At the top of the heap, WBZ-FM, Boston ranked #3 (6+) in November.  WTMJ, Milwaukee ranked #4 and WFAN, New York and WXYT-FM, Detroit ranked #5 in their respective markets.  See the whole report here.

News Pro Chuck Rich Dead at 65.  News pro Charles “Chuck” Rich died suddenly on Friday (12/8) at the age of 65.  Chuck Rich was married to Washington, DC public relations pro Rita Rich.  During his career, he held positions with WTOP-TV (WUSA), WTOP Radio, AP Radio and for well over 25 years, Westwood One Radio Networks. He also spent many years with Voice of America. He also was a contributing editor for Washingtonian Magazine.

Trump Jerusalem Recognition Reactions, California Wildfires, Iraq’s ISIS Liberation, Roy Moore Campaign, North Korea Nuclear Program, Trump-Russia Probe, Bitcoin Activity, Sunday’s NFL Games, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The violent protests in the Middle East over President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel; the raging California wildfires and authorities’ concerns there’s no end in sight to the Santa Ana winds; Iraq declares the country liberated from the ISIS forces that had held control over numerous Iraqi cities; the U.S. Senate campaign of former Alabama judge Roy Moore and allegations of his history of sexual predation; the North Korea nuclear program and the war of words between President Trump and Kim Jong Un; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible ties between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the volatility of Bitcoin; Sunday’s NFL games and attendance figures; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.

Radio’s Greatest Storytellers.  Pictured above at the Entercom broadcast center in Philadelphia are some of radio’s “greatest storytellers” gathered to appear on the Westwood One-syndicated “Sterling on Sunday” program starring Walter M. Sterling.  From left to right are: Douglas Henderson Jr., Michael Tearson, Denny Somach, Gary R’Nel, Tommy McCarthy, Rasa Kaye, AJ Essington, Lee Harris, Ross Brittain, Sterling, and Allen Shaw.  (Not pictured but on the broadcast were Tommy Woods and Dick Summer.) On the couch is Judy Anderson and Neil Pohl who had a major announcement: He asked her to marry him live on the air and she said “yes.”  Sterling tells TALKERS that listeners heard how album rock radio was really invented by Allen Shaw.  Michael Tearson revealed the early days of prog rock.  Ross Brittain explained that HE was responsible for “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.”  Doug Henderson described the work of his dad Jocko which aired on a Philly station and a New York City station thanks to a daily train commute.  You can hear and download the show on www.waltermsterling.com Tuesday (12/12).

TALKERS News Notes.  Radio executive Charlie Ferguson is retiring from Saga Communications where he’s been the VP and general manager at its Springfield, Illinois station group for the past three years.  The 65-year-old Ferguson tells the State Journal-Register, “It occurred to me that I have not seen any of my seven grandchildren more than once a year for the last several years.  This is probably the right time.”  Saga operates news/talk WTAX and six other music formatted signals in the market…..CNN Money is reporting that SiriusXM is getting some “celebrity backlash” from Stephen K. Bannon’s return to the satcaster’s airwaves.  As TALKERS reported last week, Bannon is back on the “Breitbart News Daily” morning program that’s part of the Patriot channel lineup and that has some celebs, including musician Melissa Etheridge, vowing not to appear on the radio service.  Etheridge says she’s no longer going to do her “Melissa’s Basement” interview show that aired on the Volume channel.  Actors Seth Rogan and John Leguizamo have also said they’ll not appear on SiriusXM anymore…..In Columbus, Ohio, sports talk host (and former NFL linebacker) Bobby Carpenter renews with RadiOhio’s sports talk WBNS-FM “97.1 The Fan” for a multi-year deal to continue co-hosting the midday “Carpenter and Rothman” show with Anthony Rothman.

Howie Carr Hosts NH Toy Drive.  Regionally syndicated New England talk radio superstar Howie Carr held a special toy drive event in partnership with Two International Group in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on Friday (12/8).  Carr broadcast his program from the lobby of Two International Group and collected toys for the Toys For Tots program.  Carr is pictured here with four New Hampshire State Police Troopers who came by to donate toys. Howie Carr’s show is heard on more than 25 affiliate stations in New England and is seen nationwide on Newsmax TV.

Mitch Albom Radiothon Raises Record Dough for Detroit Charities.  Pictured above, WJR, Detroit afternoon drive host Mitch Albom (second from right) celebrates the announcement of the record $1.25 million raised during last Thursday’s radiothon event to benefit Mitch Albom Charities (which benefits other Detroit charities).  Post-radiothon donations have boosted that total to more than $1.8 million!  The 15-hour show was hosted by Albom, with dozens of celebrity guests appearing, including: Dr. Phil, Hugh Jackman, Hank Azaria, Matthew Stafford and more.

Beasley NYC Holiday Bash.  Last Friday (12/8), Beasley Media Group held its Holiday Soiree at the Park Central Hotel in New York City.  The festivities included performances by SEAL and Brothers Osborne.  Pictured above are (from l-r): Bruce Beasley, SEAL, Caroline Beasley and Brian Beasley.

KSFO, San Francisco Morning Host Brian Sussman is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the nation’s hottest local morning radio talk show hosts, Brian Sussman of Cumulus Media O&O KSFO, San Francisco, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” Sussman discusses the challenges of doing competitive morning news/talk radio which requires finding the correct balance between hard political issues and more general interest areas of pop culture and fun. He also talks about his fascinating transition from being one of the most popular TV meteorologists in the Bay Area for many years to becoming a radio talker. Don’t miss this interesting and informative conversation! To listen to the entire podcast please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  St. Louis CHR KSLZ “Z107.7” names Jordan host of the morning drive program.  The iHeartMedia SVP of programming for St. Louis A.J. says, “Jordan is one of the best radio talents in the industry.  Moving him to mornings will help write the next chapter in ‘Z107.7’ history.  During his time in St. Louis, Jordan has had tremendous success with afternoons and we are very excited for him to host a fun, compelling and local morning show for St. Louis.”…..In iHeartMedia’s Denver Region, changes take place in its rock radio formats.  Effective today, KBPI, Denver “Rocks the Rockies” programming is being simulcast on KPAW, Fort Collins and KDZA, Colorado Springs.  The station’s programming includes “Your Morning Show with Willie B” and air personalities Beardo and Colfax. At the same time, the KPAW, Fort Collins format will replace the adult contemporary format on KYWY, Warren AFB, Wyoming.

Former Radio Exec Perry Ury Passes at 91.  Retired radio executive Perry Ury passed away at his home in Sarasota, Florida a week shy of his 92nd birthday.  Ury led WRKO, Boston “Big 68” during its CHR days.  He went on to manage all of the RKO radio stations.  After serving with RKO, he managed WTIC-AM and WTIC-FM in Hartford until his retirement.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

| December 5, 2017

Report: Analyst Says Creditors Seeking iHeartMedia Bankrputcy.  From a report published today in the San Antonio Express analyzing the recent offer to lenders and bondholders from iHeartMedia and the counteroffer from the Franklin Resourcesled group, comes the quote from Bloomberg Intelligence credit analyst Philip Brendel that “the lender group is not moving much.  They believe their best interests will be served by the company filing for bankruptcy” as opposed to an out-of-court agreement over debt-for-equity.  Although negotiations are continuing, Debtwire senior credit analyst Seth Crystall is quoted saying that creditors don’t want iHM management to “have anything.”  Last week’s counterproposal by creditors seeks 95.3% of iHeartMedia and 100% of iHM’s ownership of Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings.  Creditors would then recapitalize the company with $7 billion in new bonds.  For iHeartMedia, $324.2 million in debt comes due in 2018 with $8.4 billion due in 2019.  Read the Express story here.

WBEN-AM, Buffalo Talk Host Tom Bauerle Suffers Heart Attack; Awaits Surgery.  Longtime Buffalo talk show host Tom Bauerle – who co-hosts the afternoon drive show on Entercom’s WBEN-AM with David Bellavia – recently suffered a heart attack and is awaiting more tests as doctors prepare to do quadruple bypass surgery.  In a Facebook video, Bauerle explains that he went to the hospital after feeling short of breath and experiencing chest pain.  Doctors have determined he has significant blockage.  He says he expects to be off the air at least through December and likely through much of January.  Bellavia will continue to host the show in his absence.

TALKERS News Notes. The video news channel Newsmax TV expands its footprint with a new carriage distribution deal with DISH.  Newsmax says that Newsmax TV is now available on channel 216 to DISH customers who subscribe to the pay-TV provider’s America’s Top 120 and above programming packages.  Newsmax TV launched in 2014 as a 24/7 cable news channel.  Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy states, “DISH is one of the biggest satellite operators in the nation and we are proud to be carried on their system.  We believe DISH subscribers want more cable news choices, and we have demonstrated that Newsmax TV is bringing in new viewers who want more than the conventional news lineup.”…..The Denver alt-weekly Westword has been following the status of former KOA, Denver morning personality Steffan Tubbs.  If you recall, Tubbs was arrested back in July on a charge of domestic violence by telephone and the iHeartMedia news/talk station dismissed him from his position.  Those charges have subsequently been dropped (although they could be re-filed before the July anniversary if prosecutors change their minds) but Tubbs says he’s been told he won’t get his job back.  The Westword story gives a pretty detailed account of the people and incidents that have put Tubbs in this situation.  Read it here…..Two staffers of Pilot Knob Broadcasting’s KIOW-FM, Forest City, Iowa have been let go from their positions after their racist comments were broadcast on an online video channel.  The DesMoines Register reports that longtime high school sports play-by-play announcer Orin Harris and board operator Holly Jane Kusserow-Smidt were talking during a break from the KIOW-FM broadcast about the names of players on one of the high school basketball teams playing in the game they were broadcasting.  The conversation turned racist in nature and although the radio station was in a commercial break, the online video channel serving local schools was using the station’s audio and the conversation was heard on that broadcast.  Kusserow-Smidt also works for a local school district as a third-grade teacher.  She’s been suspended during an internal review of the matter.  Read the Register piece here…..Public radio station WBUR, partners with Reddit for a new podcast, “Endless Thread,” hosted by Ben Brock Johnson.  WBUR says Johnson and producer Amory Sivertson “will guide listeners on an unexpected journey by uncovering the best stories from ‘the front page of the internet’ and bringing them to life in audio form.”….. Westwood One News is producing two long-form, year-in-review programs for stations.  The first is “The Year in Review – The Big Stories,” anchored by “First Light” host Evan Haning.  Second is “The Year in Review – People, Sports and Entertainment,” anchored by “America in the Morning” host John Trout. The network is also providing stations a 20-part series of one-minute reports, each on a major story of 2017, from President Trump’s first year to the year in business, entertainment, and sports.  Both specials and the 20-part series are available to Westwood One News affiliates and Cumulus stations.

Entercom Promotes Power of Radio in Ad Age Spread.  The multi-page paid presentation in Ad Age is titled, “The Sound Solution: Why Radio Is the Key to ROI and Reach Advertisers Need Now,” and contains a lot of the data industry insiders are aware of.  But it’s packaged as a Q&A with Entercom CEO David Field answering questions with that data that includes statements about radio’s 93% reach, its “loyal” and “engaged” audience, the “$10-to-$1 return on investment,” and more.  Check it out here.

WMAL-AM/FM, Washington Raises Almost $500k for Fisher House Foundation.  Pictured above are (from l-r) WMAL, Washington “Mornings On The Mall” co-host Vince Coglianese, Fisher House Foundation president Dave Coker, WMAL and Westwood One personality Chris Plante, and WMAL afternoon host Larry O’Connor at the station’s two-day, live radiothon to benefit the Fisher House Foundation.  It took place last Friday and Saturday (12/1-2) and raised more than $456,000 in donations.  The Fisher House Foundation provides homes away from home for the families of injured servicemen and women while their partners are undergoing treatment and rehabilitation.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Roy Moore Senate Candidacy, GOP Tax Reform Bill, Trump Jerusalem Recognition, ABC News-Brian Ross Reprimand, SCOTUS Wedding Cake Case, Utah National Monument Issue, Travel Ban Takes Effect, Conyers Sexual Misbehavior Allegations, College Football Playoffs, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/4).  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; former Alabama judge Roy Moore’s candidacy for U.S. Senate and allegations of sexual predation against him; analysis of the Republican tax reform bill; international concern over President Trump’s desire to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel; the blowback against ABC News after Brian Ross’ incorrect report that Trump asked Michael Flynn to contact Russians during the campaign; the Supreme Court’s hearing of arguments in the case of a Colorado bakery that refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple; President Trump orders Utah national monuments reduced; the Supreme Court allows Trump’s travel ban to take effect while lower courts review it; the allegations of sexual misbehavior against Congressman John Conyers; the four teams selected for the College Football Playoffs and other bowl games; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Seattle Format Flips Change Country, Rock, and AC Landscape.  One company is ditching one of its country stations for adult contemporary and another is leaving the rock music behind for country.  Hubbard Radio puts an end to KVRQ “Seattle’s Rock Station” and flips to country as “Country 98.9 FM.”  This change comes as Entercom ends the country format on KMPS and goes soft AC as “The New 94.1 The Sound.”  One staffer from KMPS is staying with the company as Deanna Lee moves to Entercom’s sister country KKWF “100.7 The Wolf” to host the midday show.  Now, the country battle in Seattle will pit Entercom’s KKWF against KVRQ.  In the AC wars, KMPS will go up against Hubbard’s KRWM.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At alternative rock WNOH, Norfolk “ALT 105.3,” Brett Ballard is named program director and afternoon host.  Ballard comes to Norfolk from iHeartMedia’s WTKX, Mobile where he was program director.  iHeartMedia Norfolk SVP of programming Tias Schuster comments, “After the successful launch of ‘Hampton Roads Alternative Rock Station ALT 105.3,’ we knew that this station needed one of the best programmers to take the helm.  I had the privilege of working in the same market as Brett Ballard and knew of his ability as a dynamic rock programmer. We look forward to welcoming him to the Norfolk team and having the privilege of working alongside him as we continue to give Hampton Roads a better choice with ‘ALT 105.3.’”…..Nationally syndicated afternoon drive personality D.L. Hughley signs a new, multi-year agreement with Reach Media to continue syndicating his program.  Hughley states, “I’m excited that my radio show continues to grow on a national basis, but the honesty and interaction with my audience make it the ‘biggest local and personal show in radio.’  Extending the relationship with Reach Media gives me the opportunity to address what’s important to people I care about in an entertaining, but meaningful way – making a difference in their day!”…..Premiere Networks is presenting an exclusive holiday special for country radio stations hosted by award-winning radio and CMT personality Cody Alan. The four-hour, barter-free “Home for the Holidays with CMT’s Cody Alan” includes conversations with country music stars including: Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean and Trisha Yearwood, who will share stories of Christmas memories, favorite gifts and family traditions. The show is available to air anytime between December 22- 25…..Entercom announces the call letter changes in Boston and Chicago.  Hot AC “Mix 104.1” in Boston becomes WWBX as its WBMX calls are shipped off to the company’s Chicago hot AC “Mix 104.1.”

Round Four of November PPM Data Released. The fourth and final round of November 2017 PPM ratings information from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s November 2017 survey period covered October 12 – November 8. View 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. Please note the Entercom takeover of CBS Radio was concluded nine days after the final day of the November 2017 sweep (11/17); we will cease using CBS Radio references beginning with the December 2017 sweep.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Austin – On the heels of logging a -.5 in October to 4.6, its weakest 6+-showing since December 2016’s 4.5, iHeartMedia CHR KHFI bounces back with a gain nearly twice that deficit (5.5, +.9, 6+) and zooms from eighth to fourth. From May through September, “96.7 Kiss FM – Austin’s #1 Hit Music Station” was trending 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.1 (6+) and has its best 6+-stat since posting a 5.5 in August 2016. It is, however, a mixed bag for its co-owned country siblings. As is the situation with “Kiss FM,” KVET-FM “98.1 All Time Country Favorites” improves by nine-tenths in November (6.6 – 7.5) and is anchored at #3, but KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country” falters by one-half share (5.1 – 4.6, 6+), dropping from fifth to seventh. Within 6.1 – 6.7 range (6+) in each of the last eight sweeps, KVET-FM last reached the seven-share level (6+) in January 2015 (7.0). Meanwhile, “Genuine Austin Radio’s KOKE-FM, which hadn’t been without a loss since February for an overall gain of eight-tenths (1.7- 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+), slips by two-tenths to 2.3 (6+) and is flat at #16. October’s 2.5 was the best 6+-showing for “Austin’s Country Alternative” since September 2016 (2.5, as well). In three successive uptrends, University of Texas at Austin-owned triple A KUTX “98.9 The Austin Music Experience” has more than doubled its 6+-share (1.1 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.3, tied at #19 to #16 tied with KOKE, 6+) and reaches the two-share threshold (2.3, 6+) for the first time since March (2.1). Improving by one-half share as well (8.3 – 8.8, 6+) is Emmis adult hits KBPA “Bob,” which is #1 for the tenth successive month. The November increase to 8.8, its strongest 6+-stat since 9.1 in March, halts three down or flat trends for a collective -.4 (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.6 – 8.3, 6+). “Bob” was a combined -1.7 in April and May, with May’s 7.4 its lowest 6+-stat since June 2015’s 7.4. While remaining in the runner-up slot, University of Texas at Austin’s KUT falters by three-tenths to 7.6 (6+), thus ending three straight gains for an inclusive +1.8 (6.1 – 6.5 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+). Its 7.9 in October was the news/talk outlet’s highest 6+-share since 9.0 in November 2016. Following three straight declines in which it lost approximately half of its 6+-share for a -1.8 (3.7 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 1.9, 6+), Crista Media contemporary Christian KFMK “Spirit 105.9” picks up one-tenth to 2.0 (6+) and continues at #18. With October’s 1.9 (6+), “Spirit” fell below a two-share (6+) for the first time in more than six years (1.5, August 2011). Off by eight-tenths (6.3 – 5.5, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ “Majic 95.5 – Better Music For a Better Workday” remains at #4, tied with KHFI.

2) Raleigh – After eight successive sweeps without an increase for a combined -3.2 (8.8 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4 – 7.1 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 5.6, 6+), Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5” answers with a full-share improvement to 6.6 (+1.0, 6+) as it carries on in fifth-place. “Mix 101.5” finished first for four straight sweeps before slipping to third in June; however, in October (5.6), it was under a six-share (6+) for the first time since February 2013’s 5.9. More than doubling its 6+-share (+2.6) as a result of four straight improvements (2.4 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.3 – 5.0, 6+), sports talk sibling WCMC “99.9 The Fan” not only moves from #10 to a three-way tie at #7, it boasts its best-ever 6+-stat (5.0) in the PPM-era. A combined -1.3 in September and October (6.4 – 5.6 – 5.1, 6+), Curtis Media Group adult hits WBBB applies the brakes with a November surge of nine-tenths to 6.0 (seventh to sixth, 6+). Prior to September, “96.1 BBB, Your Life – Your Music” registered four successive increases for an overall gain of +2.1 (4.3 – 4.9 – 6.0 – 6.3 – 6.4, 6+). A May boost of six-tenths brought to a close three consecutive downward trends that accounted for a six-tenths’ loss (4.9 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+). Debuting in July at #14 with a 2.4 (6+), the stream of WBBB disappeared from print in August and has not resurfaced. In addition to curtailing three successive decreases that accounted for a -.6 (4.5 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WRDU “100.7 – Raleigh’s Classic Rock” recaptures all of it – plus three-tenths more – and cracks the top ten (4.7, +.8, #12 to #10, 6+). Apparently partial to November sweeps, Radio One urban contemporary WQOK “K-97.5 Real Hip-Hop and R&B” registers a one-half share increase to 6.9, its strongest 6+-showing in exactly two years (6.9, November 2015), climbing from fourth to third. Up two-tenths (8.7 – 8.9, 6+), urban AC sibling WFXC “Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is #1 for the sixth straight month. A loss of one-half share this time last month stopped six straight upticks that netted +2.4 (6.8 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.7 – 9.2, 6+); September’s 9.2 was its highest 6+-share since 9.6 in May 2011. Having amassed two full shares since June in four consecutive increases that more than doubled its 6+-share (1.8 – 1.9 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.8, 6+), Educational Information Corporation’s WCPE “89.7 The Classical Station” surrenders 70% of that increase (2.4, -1.4, 6+) to tumble from #14 to #16. It is a tough ratings period for the market’s two country FMs as Curtis Media Group’s WQDR “Today’s Best Country 94.7 QDR” (7.7 – 6.9, unchanged at #3, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned WNCB “New Country B-93.9” (3.9 – 3.1, #12 to #13, 6+) each sputter by eight-tenths. WQDR registered a 7.7 (6+) in three of the six previous ratings periods and has its weakest 6+-showing (6.9) since January’s 6.9; likewise, this is the lowest 6+-stat for WNCB since “Holiday” 2016 (3.1, as well). A combined +1.4 in August, September, and October (6.7 – 6.9 – 7.7 – 8.1, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s WUNC slips two-tenths to 7.9 (6+) but continues in the runner-up slot. Prior to August, the news/talk outlet was -1.8 in four straight negative trends (8.5 – 7.9 – 7.2 – 7.0 – 6.7, 6+). Flat at #7, iHeartMedia CHR WDCG “G-105 Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” is an overall -1.9 in five monthlies in succession without an increase (6.9 – 6.2 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 5.0, 6+), matching its lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2013 (5.0).

3) Indianapolis – The yoyo effect goes on for Cumulus Media’s WFMS, which was a combined +.8 in May and June; -.9 in July; +.8 in August; +.5 in September; -.7 in October; and now +1.1 in November (5.9 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 5.8 – 6.6 – 7.1 – 6.4 – 7.5, 6+). When the dust settles, “95.5 The Country Station” is a cumulative +1.6 in that stretch, advancing from #5 in October to where it was in September – #2. In the process, it bypasses Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM,” which is flat from October in both (6+) market share (7.1) and market rank (#3). A +.8 in October took “Hank” to 7.1, its strongest 6+-showing since September 2015’s 7.6. Just one-tenth ahead of WFMS is classic hits-oldies cluster-mate WJJK, which drops three-tenths to 7.6 (6+), but has been #1 since September. The loss, however, ends three straight progressive months for an overall +1.8 (6.1 – 7.0 – 7.4 – 7.9, 6+). In addition, October’s 7.9 represents the highest 6+-share for WJJK in the PPM-era. Prior to August, WJJK was without an increase in five successive survey periods for a collective -1.6 (7.7 – 7.2 – 6.5 – 6.5 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+). Four increases in a row by Emmis-owned WFNI (1.7 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 3.0 – 3.1, #14 to #13, 6+) account for a +1.4 and enable “The Fan – Indy’s Sports Center” to match the 3.1 it logged in March 2016. As a result of a one-half share increase (4.3 – 4.8, 6+), Radio One urban AC WTLC-FM “106.7 – Indy’s R&B Leader” jumps from tenth to eighth. Following gains of one-half share in September and six-tenths in October, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLU relinquishes that entire +1.1 and an additional six-tenths more (6.4 – 6.9 – 7.5 – 5.8, -1.7, 6+), shifting from second to sixth. It is the first time Indianapolis’ version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” is below a six-share (6+) since December’s 5.6. Although unchanged at #7, Emmis adult contemporary WYXB sputters for the third time in a row for an overall -1.4 (6.9 – 6.5 – 5.9 – 5.5, 6+) with “Soft Rock B-105.7” recording its weakest 6+-share (5.5) in five