Tag: "WBBL"

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

| January 8, 2019

iHeartMedia Reorganization Plan Awaits Confirmation. The Modified Fifth Amended Joint Chapter 11 Plan of Reorganization for iHeartMedia is awaiting confirmation by United States Bankruptcy Court Judge Marvin Isgur.  Yesterday’s filing of the confirmed plan will allow iHeartMedia to erase $10.3 billion in debt off its books, leaving it with $5.75 billion in debt once Judge Isgur has signed the order.  Last month, the court approved iHeartMedia’s separation from Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings as part of the reorganization plan.  Yesterday’s filing will permit iHeartMedia to begin to implement the plan without seeking authorization from the court.  As is usual in bankruptcy cases, once the plan is confirmed by the court, most other claims against the debtor are discharged.  In this case, the judge rules that certain liabilities the company is required to honor after the effective date – called a Cure Claim – and that includes the BMI license agreements, an almost $600,000 payment to SoundExchange LLC, and its Framework Digital Distribution Agreement with Sony Music Entertainment.   Additionally, the new iHeartMedia must honor all SAG-AFTRA contracts and must assume all contractual agreements with the Denver Broncos.  Once signed, iHeartMedia will be in a period between Confirmation and the Effective Date.  There are several hearing dates scheduled and they are: January 10 to consider all confirmation issues other than those scheduled to be heard on January 17, and January 22; January 17 to consider all issues concerning the CCOH separation settlement, other than those issues scheduled to be heard on January 22, and any issues continued from the January 10, hearing; January 22 to consider all remaining issues concerning consideration of the class action settlement related to the CCOH Separation Settlement and the GAMCO Motion; and January 23 to consider all remaining confirmation issues.

‘Our American Stories’ Surpasses 160-Affiliate Mark. The nationally syndicated “Our American Stories” program adds a number of new affiliate stations and now has 163 total affiliates. The program is hosted by Lee Habeeb who is also president of program producer American Private Radio.  He says, “Stations told us they wanted a radio program that wasn’t always about politics, to give listeners a break from the news cycle.  More importantly they love the topics we share every night and we take great pride in putting stories together that touch our listeners’ hearts and minds.  People walk away feeling better when they listen to ‘Our American Stories.’”  The program is described as “a two-hour, daily radio magazine program that showcases Americans from various industries, including sports heroes, musicians, film performers, political or cultural icons, business leaders, military heroes and more.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison is extremely fond of this program stating, “I fully expect ‘Our American Stories’ to be the surprise breakout program of 2019. It is the classiest, best-researched, meticulously produced, dependable piece of quality content to come down the pike in years.  It is conservative news/talk’s knock out answer to public radio and will become an institutional part of the genre for years to come.”

Wayne Allyn Root: I ‘Got the Ball Rolling’ on Trump’s Wall Option.  Las Vegas-based, nationally syndicated talk show host Wayne Allyn Root says he first talked about the idea that President Trump can declare a national security emergency and use $25 billion from the Pentagon budget to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.  Root points to his November 17 column in the Las Vegas Review-Journal that details, among other things, that the president can declare a “national security emergency” and use military money for the project.  Root says, “I shared this column and my idea with my audience on both my Newsmax TV show and USA Radio show in the days before publication.  Then I flew to Wyoming as keynote speaker for the Wyoming GOP annual dinner on Friday 11/16/18.  I shared my idea with that audience.  Result. Two standing ovations.  That column was handed directly to President Trump by my great friend Lee Lipton at Mar a Lago on 11/18/18.  President Trump has talked about this exact option all week in the media.  It’s the hottest topic in the country.  My idea started this all… I’m sure it will come up in Tuesday night’s national presidential address.”

Mike Gallagher Films LifeLock Ad on NYC Streets. Nationally syndicated talk radio star Mike Gallagher is pictured above on the streets of New York filming commercials for identity theft prevention firm LifeLock.  Gallagher has been voicing spots for LifeLock – as have many talk radio hosts since LifeLock is a big advertiser on talk radio – but not long ago he needed the company’s services.  The Salem Radio Network talk host was the victim of a personal security breach when someone accessed his personal information, changed his cellphone number, and tried withdrawing $25,000 from Gallagher’s checking account.  He credits LifeLock with alerting him to the compromises and acting to protect his personal assets.  He says, “I’ve proudly done their commercials for years.  But after seeing for myself how they swing into action, I believe anyone is stupid not to have LifeLock protection.”

Eric Zane Launches Daily Podcast.  After being let go by Cumulus Media last week due to the format flip of WBBL, Grand Rapids from sports talk to country music, morning personality Eric Zane tells Mlive.com he’s doing a daily podcast designed to pick up where his radio show left off.  He’s offering the show to listeners for free and for a fee with various options, including video.  Zane tells MLive he hopes to reach a sizable audience via his 18,000 Twitter followers.  He says, “Most people get some content via podcast or streaming content and they’re a different audience.  They’re zeroed in because of the programming. They seek it out as opposed to background noise.  I won’t ever say radio has no place because it’s still great to get in your car and push a button and there it is.  This medium (podcasts), which was laughed at five, 10 years ago, isn’t laughed at anymore because it’s very viable.”

Steve Triplett to Lead Beasley’s Tampa Stations. Sales and management pro Steve Triplett is named vice president and market manager for Beasley Media Group’s Tampa cluster that includes financial talk outlet WHFS-AM and six music radio stations.  Triplett has been serving as interim market manager and director of sales for the Tampa operations.  He says, “Over the past four years, Beasley Media Group has created something truly special in Tampa.  We have a team of the finest media professionals in the industry and it’s an honor to continuing serving them in this new capacity.”

PodcastOne Partners with LadyGang for Podcast Network.  “The LadyGang” podcast recently celebrated its 200th episode and 40 millionth download.  Now, PodcastOne is entering into a deal with the brand for a podcast development, production, and marketing deal to launch The LadyGang Network on PodcastOne.  The network will feature a female-driven, all-star lineup of pop culture, reality television, and motherhood trend-setters.  PodcastOne says the deal combines its vast resources and reach with The LadyGang’s brand power and curated talent lineup.  The inaugural program under this new network will be “Mama Said with Jamie and Jenna,” hosted by Jamie Lynn Sigler and Jenna Parris. Additional programs will be announced soon.

Hogenson Communications to Rep Americans for Tax Reform Campaign. Talk media is the target for Americans for Tax Reform and it has hired Hogenson Communications to represent the organization to talk media for its 12-month campaign.  Scott Hogenson states, “We’re proud to have been selected by Americans for Tax Reform as their talk media partner.  As America’s preeminent tax policy organization, ATR brings a lot to talk media audiences by breaking down complicated policy issues in a way that everyone can understand.”

KNUS, Denver Hosts Boyles and Tubbs to Broadcast from Vancouver, BC During Fact-Finding Mission.  Talk show hosts Peter Boyles and Steffan Tubbs – air personalities on Salem Media Group’s news/talk KNUS, Denver – will broadcast live from Vancouver, British Columbia during their fact-finding mission to the city’s safe injection sites.  The Denver City Council passed an ordinance that will create safe or supervised injection sites for users to inject heroin, opioids and cocaine in locations that will employ trained medical personnel.  The KNUS remote broadcasts will take place on Friday (1/11).

iHeartMedia Unveils New iHeartRadio Features at CES. The company announces a number of new consumer technology integrations for its digital platform, iHeartRadio.  At the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, iHeartMedia unveiled new integrations including the Honda Dream Drive Platform, the new Bixby from Samsung, Roku devices, and Google’s Android TV and Android Auto.  It also launched the fully redesigned iHeartRadio Family app on Amazon Fire Tablet with iOS and Android coming soon.

Border Wall-Government Shutdown, U.S.-Syria Policy, Tlaib Israel Statement, Kim Jong Un-Xi Jinping Meeting, NCAA Football Championship, and NFL Playoffs Action Among Top News-Talk Stories Yesterday (1/7). The battle over funding for the U.S.-Mexico border wall and the related government shutdown; the Trump administration’s military policy in Syria; the controversy over freshman congresswoman Rashida Tlaib’s comments that GOP senators are more loyal to Israel than the U.S.; North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s visit with Chinese President Xi Jinping; Monday night’s NCAA football championship game; and the NFL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The nationally syndicated Ty Bentli show is off Cumulus Media’s New York City country outlet WNSH “NASH FM 94.7.”  What was originally called “America’s Morning Show” back when Blair Garner was lead host and has twice morphed since then has been the only morning show on the stations since its inception.  Now, afternoon drive host Jesse Addy is sitting in hosting mornings as the station teases a new program…..In Los Angeles, “volunteer” air personality Greg Beharrell is named evening host on Cumulus Media’s classic rock 95.5 KLOS…..Afternoon drive host, APD and music director Mark Razz is promoted to program director for Beasley Media Group’s country WXTU, Philadelphia.  With this new role, Razz will move from afternoon drive to middays.  Beasley Philly market manager Joe Bell comments, “Nobody deserves this opportunity more than Razz.  He has been an integral part of 92.5 XTU’s success for years and has demonstrated the leadership, commitment and creativity that you look for in a PD.  Plus, he’s an amazing talent, is loved by listeners and respected within the industry.”…..Midday personality Corey O’Brien is named assistant program director and music director at Broadway Media’s alternative KXRK, Salt Lake City “X96.”…..Buffalo market radio pro Joe Chille is named morning drive host at Townsquare Media’s adult contemporary WMSX, Buffalo “96.1 The Breeze.”  Chille was a longtime personality at WJYE prior to its becoming WMSX.  Most recently, he’d been handling part-time duties at Radio One Buffalo’s oldies WECK-AM…..Beasley Media Group names Sean Varicalli host of the “KICKS Wake up Crew” morning show on country WKXC-FM, Augusta, Georgia.  Varicalli was most recently midday jock and APD at Curtis Media Group’s country WQDR, Raleigh…..Alpha Media’s WKXI, Jackson, Mississippi “107.5 Kixie” replaces the Tom Joyner show with the Premiere Networks-syndicated “Steve Harvey Morning Show.”

Thursday, June 14, 2018

| June 14, 2018

Michigan Sports Talker Drops Suit Against Rival. According to a report in the Lansing State Journal, WQTX, Lansing “92.1 The Team” sports talk host Ryan Schuiling has dropped the defamation suit he filed in May against colleague Bill Simonson, host of a statewide program based at Cumulus Media’s WBBL, Grand Rapids.  Schuiling’s lawyer tells the paper that the matter has been “resolved amicably.”  The original complaint centered around a blog post on Detroit Sports Rag that alleged Schuiling was trying to “infiltrate Bill Simonson’s 17-year-old daughter’s inner circle” for the purpose of orchestrating “some alleged sexual interaction with Mr. Simonson’s daughter.” Simonson is not affiliated with Detroit Sports Rag.

iHeartMedia Promotes Halemane to iHeartRadio Digital Post. Moving up from his position as VP of Premiere Digital Media is Kavi Halemane, who is now EVP and general manager of digital programming for iHeartRadio.  In this new position, Halemane will oversee iHeartRadio’s strategy/operations for original digital music station programming, on-demand subscription playlist and free playlist radio curation, and podcast programming. He’ll oversee a team of expert music and podcast programmers and work closely with iHeartRadio’s marketing, editorial/social and sales teams.

Mark Levin Receives ‘Speaker of Truth’ Award. Pictured above is Westwood One nationally syndicated radio talk show host Mark Levin speaking at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington at the Endowment for Middle East Truth’s “Rays of Light in the Darkness” dinner.  More than 400 people were in attendance – including senators, congressmen, administration officials, and other leaders in Washington – during which Levin received the “Speaker of Truth” award. The “Rays of Light” dinner honors leaders who speak out for freedom, democracy, and the threats facing Israel.

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago radio legend (and current WLS-AM PM drive personality) Steve Dahl is cleaning house (actually his storage unit) via the “Steve Dahl Garage Sale” at Rivers Casino on July 14.  As Dahl says on the station’s website, “It’s time to cut the storage unit bill and get rid of my collection of crap!  Well, not all crap, there’s actually an array of collectible items, memorabilia, artwork, furniture, and odds and ends that I’ve collected over my 40 years in radio.  Every time I got fired I just sent everything in my office over to these storage containers that will be put up for sale…ALL proceeds will be donated to Beds Plus, a charity very close to Janet and me, which helps the homeless with housing and supportive services in west suburban Cook County.”…..Talk show host Dana Barrett is now heard in middays – from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm on iHeartMedia’s WGST, Atlanta “Talk Radio 640.”  Barrett says her program is an “independent/left-leaning look at politics and current events, along with business, health, entertainment, etc.”…..The Chris Hill-hosted “Motley Fool Money” show adds new affiliate stations KDMT, Denver “Money Talk 1690” and WZGM, Asheville, North Carolina “Biz 1350.”

Envision Networks’ Danno Wolkoff Moderates Panel at NASRN Convention. At last week’s National Association of State Radio Networks conference in Vail, Colorado, Envision Networks’ CEO Danno Wolkoff moderated a panel about the effect that severe weather has on broadcast radio.  Pictured above is Wolkoff (left) with his panelists (from l-r): Courtney Kibblewhite of Northern Broadcasting System, John Wetherbee from EnvisionVirtualServices Weather ReportsBeth Ballard from News MS, and Jim Engster from Louisiana Radio Network.

Trump-Kim Jong Un Summit, Tuesday Primaries/Sanford Loss, Clinton Email Probe Report, Trump-Russia Investigation, Cal-3 Plan, Fed Raises Interest Rates, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/13). The aftermath of President Trump’s summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un; Tuesday’s primary races, especially the loss of Republican Trump critic Congressman Mark Sanford of South Carolina; the imminent release of the inspector general’s report on the FBI and CIA investigations into the Hillary Clinton email server matter; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the ballot measure Cal-3 that proposes splitting California into three states; the Fed’s raising of interest rates; 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.  The “Mercedes in the Morning” program at Entercom’s hot AC KMXB “Mix 94.1” in Las Vegas has a new producer as Jennifer Dempsey takes on the role.  She’s most recently been an on-air personality at the company’s KXTE “X107.5.”  Dempsey will work with show hosts Mercedes Martinez and JC Fernandez.  Dempsey says, “I am overjoyed at being selected to produce a morning show of this caliber.  It doesn’t get any better than Mercedes and JC.  They are remarkable radio talents that have been waking up Las Vegas since 1997.  I am honored to work with them in this city we love.”…..Entercom announces that programmer Kevin Weatherly is taking on the program director role at CHR KAMP-FM, Los Angeles “97.1 AMP Radio.”  This is in addition to his continuing role as PD of alternative KROQ and adult hits KCBS-FM “93.1 JACK-FM.”  At the same time, Chris Ebbott is named operations manager for Radio.com in Los Angeles.  This is in addition to his role as program director for classic hits KRTH-FM, Los Angeles “K-EARTH 101.”  Entercom Los Angeles SVP and market manager Jeff Federman states, “We are proud to cultivate our existing talent at Entercom Los Angeles.  Kevin was the original architect of ‘AMP’ almost 10 years ago.  He was successful at creating a format lane that was duplicated across the country.  With Chris Ebbott focused on Radio.com in Los Angeles, we are guaranteed compelling, creative and innovative ideas that will lead to growth in our consumer base and expand our relationships with our clients.”…..Neuhoff Media names Josh Roberts operations manager for the Springfield, Illinois cluster that includes adult hits WCVS-FM, hot AC WXAJ-FM, sports talk WFMB-AM, and country WFMB-FM.  Roberts was most recently with Great Plains Media in Bloomington…..Programming pro Rusty James is named vice president of operations and programming for Max Media’s five-station Norfolk, Virginia cluster that includes CHR WVHT “Hot 100,” country WGH-FM, “97.3 The Eagle,” classic hits WVBW “92.9 The Wave,” and sports talk WVSP “ESPN Radio 94.1”…..Community Broadcasters LLC announces that Kevin Malone is joining the company as market manager for the Fort Walton Beach cluster that includes: CHR WECQ “Q92,” adult hits WWAV “102.1 The Wave,” rock WZLB “103.1 The Blaze,” and country WHWY “Highway 98.1.”  Malone was most recently with Cumulus Media where he was regional vice president for the Atlanta market.  He says, “I could not be more excited to be handed the reigns of these four superb properties.  What’s not to love?  Fabulous stations, talented and hard-working staff, committed owners, and a great place to live.  I can’t thank Bruce [Mittman] and Jim [Leven] enough for the opportunity and I’m looking forward to great days ahead for Community Broadcasters, Destin-Fort Walton Beach.”…..Sun Broadcast Group and air personality Fitz announce they have signed a multi-year extension of their syndication agreement that will “continue all Fitz radio products into the next decade.”  The renewed vows cover both the daily “Fitz Show” as well as the weekend “Hit List with Fitz” countdown show.

Round Three of May 2018 PPM Data Released. The third of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s May 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’s May 2018 PPM survey period covered April 26 – May 23. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

Portland

Spoken Word Formats – Following three straight months in sole possession of first-place, Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk KOPB shared the top spot in April with iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW “K-103 Portland’s Best Variety.” Despite dropping one-half share in May (8.5 – 8.0, 6+), KOPB now has the penthouse all to itself. Representative recent trends for KOPB include +.9 (March 2017); -.8 (May); +.6 (June); -.9 (July); +.6 (August); +1.4 (September); -1.1 (October); +1.1 (January 2018); -1.1 (February); +1.0 in March; -1.0 (April); and now -.5 (May). Entering the September 2017 sweep, KOPB occupied the runner-up position 21 successive times; however, it finally reached #1 in that report. It was a short stay there though as KOPB returned to its familiar runner-up spot in October – only to have another one-month run at #1 in November. KOPB ranked second in December and “Holiday” 2017. Having logged a 2.0 (6+) four times in the last five sweeps, Entercom sports talk KFXX “1080 The Fan” drops one-half share (2.0 – 1.5, 6+) and departs the top twenty (#19 to #21). Alpha Media news/talk KXL “101 FM News – Stay Connected” (+.6 in April) is off one-tenth to 5.3 (flat at #4, 6+). Sports talk sibling KXTG “750 The Game” gains two-tenths (1.1 – 1.3, #23 to #22, 6+) and co-owned news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970” posts a 1.0 for the third time in a row (#24 to #23, 6+). When KXL faltered by four-tenths in March, it ended three consecutive increases that produced a cumulative +1.7 Prior to January, the last time KXL reached the five-share level (6+) was in October 2013 (5.3). In the iHeartMedia cluster, KEX “News Radio 1190 – Depend on Us” is flat at 1.6 but advances from #20 to #19 (6+) and KPOJ “Sports Radio 620” loses one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (1.1 – 1.0 – .9, #24 to #25, 6+). A -.2 in April by KEX stopped three straight up or flat trends that netted six-tenths (1.2 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+). Prior to April, KPOJ gained one-half share in four successive reports without a loss (.6 – .6 – .7 – .7 – 1.1, 6+).

Portland Music Formats – Major fluctuations continue for iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLTH, which was -.6 in March; then +.6 in April; and now “106.7 The Eagle” doubles April’s increase with a robust +1.2 (6.1 – 5.5 – 6.1 – 7.3, 6+). Even with all activity, “The Eagle” remains at #3. As the result of five consecutive upticks (2.8 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 4.4, 6), Entercom alternative KNRK “94.7 – It’s Different Here” is an overall +1.6 and cracks the top ten (#13 to #9). It marks the first time KNRK has reached the four-share level (6+) since February 2014 (4.2). Down or flat the past three sweeps for a -1.6 (4.9 – 4.7 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+), Alpha Media’s KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 for New Country” erases nearly half that deficit with a +.7 to 4.0 (#15 to #11, 6+). In January, “The Bull” registered a +2.0 (2.9 – 4.9, 6+), but lost 80% of that increase (-1.6) in February and March. Its format rival – Entercom’s KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf, Great Country for the Great Northwest” – is off one-tenth (3.9 – 3.8, 6+), shifting from #11 to #12. Aided by a +.6 to 4.6, its strongest 6+-stat since September 2017’s 5.1, Entercom-owned KGON “92.3 Portland’s Classic Rock” (eighth to fifth) overtakes iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KFBW “105.9 The Brew” (4.8 – 4.5, -.3, sixth to seventh, 6+). The latter is tied with Alpha Media triple A KINK “Uniquely Portland,” which adds one-half share (4.0 – 4.5, eighth to seventh, 6+). In April, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW “K-103 Portland’s Best Variety” notched a one-half share increase (8.0 – 8.5, 6+), while public news/talk KOPB posted a -1.0 (9.5 – 8.5, 6+), creating a first-place tie between the two. Now, in a genuine statistical oddity, “K-103” erodes by one full-share (8.5 – 7.5, first to second, 6+) as KOPB dips by one-half share (8.5 – 8.0, 6+) but remains on top. Before shifting to #2 in September, “K-103” had ranked #1 in 39 of the previous 41 ratings periods. With its 13.7 in December and 16.9 in “Holiday” 2017, KKCW is the first Portland station to reach double-digits (6+) since it did so with a 15.3 in “Holiday” 2016. Three negative moves in succession by Entercom adult hits KYCH “97.1 Charlie – We Play Everything” eventuate in a -1.4 (5.8 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.4, fifth to ninth, 6+). In addition to dropping four-tenths to 3.6 (6+), snapping at four its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a +1.1 (2.9 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KKRZ “Z-100 Portland’s #1 Hit Music Station” exits the top ten (a three-way tie at #8 to #14).

Charlotte

Spoken-Word Formats – Immediately after three increases in succession for a collective +1.2 (3.1 – 3.2 – 4.0 – 4.3, 6+), Entercom news/talk WBT is now a combined -1.7 via three straight losses (4.3 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 2.6, three-way tie at #14 to #17, 6+). After being locked on 1.7 (6+) in March and April, co-owned sports talk WFNZ “The Fan – Charlotte’s Sports Leader” forfeits six-tenths to 1.1 (6+) and is flat at #18; “The Fan” bounced back from February’s -.7 with a one-half share gain in March. Unchanged at #13, University Radio Foundation news talk WFAE “Charlotte’s NPR News Source” has a very consistent January 2018 – May 2018 topline trending (3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 3.6, 6+). WFAE was a combined -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.2 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+).

Charlotte Music Formats – Over and above registering a blistering +1.4 (6.5 – 7.9, 6+), Beasley Media Group urban AC WBAV “V-101.9” marches from second to first. “V-101.9” last occupied the top spot in February with a 7.4 (6+). It supplants iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country” (7.0 – 6.4, -.6, first to third, 6+), which concludes a one-month stay at the top. “The Kat” was +1.9 (January); -.7 (February); +.6 in March; and now -.6 (May). It shifted to fourth in February after reaching #1 in January, the first time WKKT held the lead position since August 2017 (6.1, 6+). Without an increase the past three sweeps for -.4 (4.6 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+), Beasley Media Group CHR WNKS “Kiss 95.1” posts a May increase twice that deficit (5.0, +.8, ninth to sixth, 6+). This (5.0) is the best 6+-stat for “Kiss” since July 2017’s 5.1. Wiping out nearly half of April’s -1.4 with a +.6 (5.9 – 6.5, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WRFX “99.7 The Fox – Charlotte’s Classic Rock” jumps from fifth to second. Prior to April’s big loss, which forced it out of the top spot, “The Fox” was +.8 in three consecutive ratings periods without a decrease (6.5 – 6.5 – 7.0 – 7.3, 6+). Its 7.3 in March was the best 6+-stat for WRFX since 7.6 in April 2017. “The Fox” was stuck on 6.9 (6+) in November and December and then locked on 6.5 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018. Also logging a May +.6 is Davidson College classical WDAV (1.7, #19 to #18, 6+), which recoups the six-tenths it lost in three straight negative moves (1.7 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1, 6+). Two stations notching huge April gains surrender quite a bit in May. Specifically, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WRCM “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” is -1.1 after April’s +1.9 (5.1 – 4.0, 6+) and departs the top ten (#6 to #11), while Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WKQC “K-104.7 More Music – Better Variety” is -1.0 following April’s +1.2 (6.4 – 5.4, third to fifth, 6+). In February, WKQC rebounded from January’s -5.0 with a gain of three-tenths; “K-104.7” was -1.1 in March. Owing to four straight dips, Radio One gospel WPZS “Praise 100.9 Charlotte’s Inspiration Station” is -1.6 (4.8 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.4 – 3.2, #14 to #15, 6+).

San Antonio

Spoken-Word Formats – By adding two-tenths to 4.4 (eighth to sixth, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOAI “News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather” recaptures the loss that resulted in three sweeps in a row without an increase (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+). A January +1.6 took WOAI to its best 6+-showing since last May (4.4, as well). Prior to that, “News Radio 1200” was -.9 as the result of four straight sweeps without an increase (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+). Even though it is without a loss for the fifth time in succession for a collective +.6 (1.3 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9, 6+), Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” backslides from #20 to #21. Adding four-tenths to April’s +.1 (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.3, 6+), Texas Public Radio news/talk KSTX climbs from #16 to #14. Immediately before April’s +1, KSTX was a combined -1.9 through three consecutive negative trends (4.7 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+). With a +1.0 to 4.7 in Holiday2017, KSTX crossed the four-share level (6+) for the first time in its PPM-history. Although off one-tenth (.7 – .6, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk KTKR “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” advances from #28 to a three-way tie at #27.

San Antonio Music Formats – The overall +2.7 that iHeartMedia-owned KAJA racked up in January and February (4.1 – 5.2 – 6.8, 6+) was cut virtually in half in March and April (6.8 – 6.2 – 5.5, -1.3, 6+); however, “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” answers with a +.6 in May (6.1, third to second, 6+). Prior to January, “KJ-97” was -.9 in four successive down or flat sweeps (5.0 – 5.0 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). KAJA lengthens the lead over its format rival, Cox Media Group’s KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader,” which slips one-tenth to 5.3 (steady at #4, 6+), thus curtailing four straight up or flat trends for an overall +1.3 (4.1 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.4, 6+). Not only has Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KZAR more than doubled (+1.3) its 6+ AQH share through four upticks in a row (1.1 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 2.4, 6+), San Antonio’s version of “Air 1 Positive Hits” enters the top twenty at #19. Even though this is the third downward move in succession by Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies KONO-FM for an overall -.7 (7.3 – 7.2 – 6.9 – 6.6, 6+), “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” is #1 for the fifth sweep in a row. After ten straight months at #1, KONO-FM shifted to #2 in December 2017 and remained there in “Holiday” 2017. Recent (6+) fluctuations for KONO-FM include +1.1 (January 2017); +.8 (April); -.6 (May); -.5 (August); +.7 (October); -.9 (December); -.9 “Holiday” 2017; +1.8 (January 2018); and +.5 (February). January’s increase lifted KONO-FM to #1 and ended three downward moves in a row that produced a -2.0 (7.0 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.0, 6+). In a similar vein, Alpha Media regional Mexican KSAH “Norteno” has had major shifts each month this calendar year, including +.8 (January); -1.0 (February); +.7 (March); +.6 (April) and now -.8 in May (3.7 – 2.9, #13 to #16, 6+). Trending 4.9 – 5.1 – 4.9 (February – March – April, 6+), Cox Media Group hot AC KSMG “Magic 105.3 – Today’s Best Music” drops six-tenths to 4.3 (sixth to eighth, 6+). Four positive spikes in succession by iHeartMedia CHR KXXM netted a +1.8 (3.2 – 3.3 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 5.0, 6+), but the streak ends as “96.1 Now – San Antonio’s #1 Hit Music Station” dips by one-tenth to 4.9 (steady at #5, 6+).

Pittsburgh

Spoken-Word Formats – After an imposing +2.0 in April (5.8 – 7.8), Entercom sports talk KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” returns 20% of that gain (7.4, -.4, 6+) but stays in third-place. April’s 7.8 is the strongest 6+-showing for the Pittsburgh Pirates flagship since October 2015 when it scored a 10.1. “The Fan” was a combined +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 and -.9 in February. This is the fourth sweep in a row that co-owned news/talk KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020” is without an increase for a -1.1 (5.3 – 5.3 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.2, ninth to tenth, 6+). A +1.3 in January halted four down or flat trends in succession that produced a loss of eight-tenths (4.8 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+). Improving by one-tenth (2.4 – 2.5, 6+), Essential Public Media news/talk WESA remains at #13. Before sputtering by one-half share in April, “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” was an overall +.8 via three consecutive up or flat moves (2.1 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+). January’s gain of six-tenths halted three successive downward trends that resulted in a -1.1 (3.2 – 2.8 – 2.4 – 2.1, 6+).

Pittsburgh Music Formats – The most noticeable change in this month’s “Steel City” sweep involves the number of stations appearing in print: 18 were listed in April versus 23 in May. The five newcomers are all Forever Media-owned properties, including classic hits-oldies WKPL “Pickle,” which displays a one-half share increase (1.7 – 2.2, 6+), officially checking in at #14. After three straight negative trends that accounted for a loss of eight-tenths (7.6 – 7.4 – 6.9 – 6.8, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WKST “96.1 Kiss – Pittsburgh’s #1 Hit Music Station” notches a one-half share gain as well (to 7.3, fifth to fourth, 6+). A combined +.9 in March and April (10.3 – 11.1 – 11.2, 6+), classic hits-oldies cluster-mate WWSW coughs up a -1.3 in May to 9.9 (6+), but stays at #1 for the 15th consecutive ratings period; “94.5 – 3WS” lost seven full-shares in January (16.4 – 9.4, 6+). In back-to-back sweeps (March and April), Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHH amassed a collective +.8, but “Wish 99.7” forfeits all of that and an extra one-tenth (6.6 – 5.7, -.9, flat at #6, 6+). Anchored in the runner-up slot for the 11th time in the last 12 sweeps, iHeartMedia rocker WDVE posts a gain of three-tenths (7.9 – 8.2, 6+). It was +1.6 (October 2017); -1.0 (November); -.8 (“Holiday 2017”); +.8 (January 2018); -.9 (February); and -.5 in March. October’s 10.2 marked the first time WDVE reached double-digits (6+) since March 2017 (10.4). Following three straight up or flat trends that yielded seven-tenths (2.4 – 2.8 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+), Steel City Media-owned hot AC WLTJ “Q-92.9” regresses by three-tenths to 2.8 (6+) but carries on at #11.

Sacramento

Spoken-Word Formats – In four straight sweeps without an increase, iHeartMedia-owned KFBK is an overall -1.9 (8.6 – 8.1 – 8.1 – 7.8 – 6.7, 6+). “Sacramento’s News, Weather, and Traffic Station” was #3 in December 2017; #2 in “Holiday” 2017; up to #1 in January 2018; back to #2 in February; up again to #1 (tied with KSEG) in March; and back to #2 in April and May. KFBK was down or flat in October – November – December for an overall loss of seven-tenths (7.8 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 7.1, 6+); logged a +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017; and followed in January 2018 with a +.2. January 2018’s 8.6 was its best 6+-stat since January 2017’s 8.7. Three straight improvements netted a combined +1.3 (6.5 – 6.7 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+), but KFBK regressed by three-tenths in October. Co-owned KSTE “Talk 650” is trending 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 (#14 to #13, 6+). KSTE was +.6 in December; -.5 in “Holiday” 2017; and +.6 in January to 2.7, its highest 6+-share since June 2017’s 2.8. A gain of four-tenths (4.3 – 4.7, 6+) enables KXJZ to jump from eighth to fifth. The Capital Public Radio news/talker posted a one-half share gain in January and was a combined -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.3 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+). Entercom’s KIFM-AM “ESPN Radio 1320” is trending 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 and cracks the top twenty (#22 – to #19, 6+), while co-owned KHTK “Sports 1140” is down or flat for the sixth time in a row for a -1.7 (2.6 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.6 – 1.3 – .9, #23 to #25, 6+).

Sacramento Music Formats – In the first four ratings reports this calendar year, KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” has been a model of consistency with a (6+) topline of 8.2 – 8.3 – 8.1 – 8.0. The Entercom-owned property erupts in May though with a +1.0 to 9.0 – its strongest 6+-showing since August 2017’s 9.7 – and is #1 for the fourth time in a row. A January gain of +2.0 by “The Eagle” essentially erased a combined -2.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017; KSEG was an overall -1.6 in September and October (9.7 – 8.7 – 8.1, 6+). It isn’t, however, the only station in California’s capital city logging an April 2018 – May 2018 +1.0 as CHR cluster-mate KUDL also accomplishes the feat (5.6, +1.0, flat at #4). As a result, “106.5 The End” pulls the plug on three straight sweeps without an increase that resulted in a loss of eight-tenths (5.4 -5.2 – 5.2 – 4.6, 6+). Improving by one-half share each are iHeartMedia’s KHYL “V-101 Throwback Hip-Hop and R&B” (3.7 – 4.2, tenth to eighth, 6+); Entravision-owned KXSE “La Suavecita 107.1” (#18 to #13, 6+); and Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVB “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” (1.6 – 21, #19 to #17, 6+). In five straight up or flat trends, “La Suavecita” has bettered its 6+ AQH share by two and a half times (1.0 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.5, 6+). Relinquishing the six-tenths it accumulated in April (4.0 – 4.6 – 4.0, 6+), Entercom’s KRXQ “98 Rock” drifts from fourth to tenth. Nonetheless, this is the 13th ratings period in succession that it has recorded a 6+-share between 4.0 – 4.9. Dropping six-tenths as well is Capitol Public Radio classical KXPR (2.2 – 1.6, #17 to #19, 6+). Within 3.2 – 3.8 range (6+) in each of the last 13 ratings periods, Entercom rhythmic CHR KSFM (#11 to #12) falters by one-half share to 3.0, its lowest 6+-showing since April 2017 (3.0, as well). The market’s 6+ country share is off a collective six-tenths: Entercom’s KNCI “New Country 105.1” dips one-tenth (4. 2 – 4.1, flat at #9, 6+); Entravision-owned KNTY “101.9 The Wolf” is down one-tenth as well (2.5 – 2.4, #14 to #15, 6+); and iHeartMedia’s WBEB “92.5 The Bull – #1 for New Country” is -.4 to 2.1 (#14 to #17, 6+). “New Country” was an overall +.9 in three consecutive positive or flat trends (3.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.4, 6+), before surrendering two-tenths in April. As a result of three successive increases, “The Wolf” gained seven-tenths (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+), but was -.5 in April. Immediately prior to May’s -.4, “The Bull” was up or flat the past four reports for an overall gain of seven-tenths (1.8 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.5, 6+).

Salt Lake City

Spoken-Word Formats – Via four consecutive increases (5.1 – 6.4 – 6.7 – 6.9 – 8.1, 6+), Bonneville’s KSL was an impressive +3.0. In May, however, all but one-tenth of that mega-bounty evaporates (5.2, -2.9, 6+) as “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” transitions from first to sixth. Immediately prior to its positive streak, KSL was a combined -3.2 in three straight negative moves (8.3 – 6.5 – 5.7 – 5.1, October – November – December – “Holiday” 2017, 6+). Up three-tenths to 4.1 (tenth to ninth, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KNRS “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know” halts three successive down or flat moves that accounted for a -.2 (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.8, 6+). KNRS was +.8 in November; a combined -1.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017; and +.7 in January. Similarly, University of Utah news/talk KUER, an overall -1.3 as the result of being without an increase the past three sweeps (4.1 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.8, 6+), picks up one-tenth to 2.9 (6+) yet backslides from #13 to #15. Carrying on at #22, Broadway Media-owned KALL “ESPN 700 – Utah’s #1 Sports Talk” is trending 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5 (6+).

Salt Lake City Music Formats – Winning ways continue for iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KODJ, which virtually doubles (+3.4) its 6+ AQH share through five successive up or flat trends (3.5 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.4 – 5.8 – 6.9, 6+); “94.1 Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits” inches up from fourth to second. It is the first time KODJ has reached the six-share level (6+) in nearly two years (6.6, June 2016). Co-owned KAAZ adds eight-tenths to April’s +.3 (2.3 – 2.6 – 3.4, #16 to #11, 6+) with “Rock 106.7” recording its best 6+-showing (3.4) since December 2017’s 3.7. Recapturing in its entirety April’s -.6 (5.7 – 5.1 – 5.7, 6+), Capitol hot AC KBZN jumps from sixth to fourth; “Now 97.9 Today’s Best Music” lost one-half share in March. Improving by six-tenths in May as well is Cumulus Media adult contemporary KBEE “B-98.7 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” (2.7 – 3.3, #15 to #12, 6+), which notes its best 6+-stat since September 2017’s 3.5. Still separated by four-tenths and continuing at seventh and eighth, respectively, are KBEE country cluster-mate KUBL “K-Bull 93” (4.8 – 5.0, +.2, 6+) and its independent format rival, KSOP “Z-104 Utah’s #1 Country” (4.4 – 4.6, +.2, 6+). When “K-Bull” dropped eight-tenths in April, it ended at three a successive string of increases that netted +2.3 (3.3 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.6, 6+). The combination of Cumulus Media CHR KENZ “Power 94.9 Utah’s New Hit Music” adding three-tenths (2.5 – 2.8, #17 to #16, 6+) and Broadway Media’s similarly-formatted KUDD “Mix 105.1 – All the Hits” losing three-tenths (2.9, 2.6, #11 to #17, 6+) results in “Power” overtaking “Mix.” Remaining flat at 7.3 (6+) proves to be sufficient for Bonneville-owned adult contemporary KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music Better Work Day” to progress from second to first. “FM 100.3” – which was +.9 in March only to be -.9 in April – had been on top for six straight ratings periods (November 2017 through March 2018). While steady at #5, co-owned KRSP “103.5 The Arrow – Utah’s Classic Rock” falters by four-tenths to 5.3 (6+), thus applying the brakes to four positive spikes in succession that netted +2.2 (3.5 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.7, 6+); April’s 5.7 is its strongest 6+-performance since last July’s 6.2.

Las Vegas

Spoken-Word Formats – Three consecutive improvements by Nevada Public Radio’s KNPR accounted for a +1.0 (1.9 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.9, 6+), but the news/talker follows with a -.9 in April and May (2.9 – 2.6 – 2.0, 6+), spiraling from #15 to #20. It is tied with Entercom’s KXNT “News Talk Radio 840” (2.1 – 2.0, -.1, three-way tie at #19 to #20, 6+). Before dropping one-tenth in March, KXNT was up or flat for three successive sweeps for a +.2 (1.7 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+). Beasley Media Group news/talk KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk” is up two-tenths (.9 – 1.1, #26 to #24, 6+). A one-half share decrease in March concluded five straight positive or flat trends (.7 – .7 – .7 – .7 – 1.3 – 1.4, 6+) that doubled KDWN’s 6+-share. A collective -.5 in seven consecutive sweeps without an increase (1.2 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .8 – .8 – .8 – .7, 6+), Lotus Communications sports talk KWWN “ESPN Radio 1100” picks up one-tenth to .8 (6+) and continues at #27.

Las Vegas Music Formats – For the 17th consecutive ratings period, Lotus Communications Spanish adult hits KWID is within three-share range (3.3 – 3.8, +.5, 6+) as “La Buena 101.9” cracks the top ten (#11 to #9) with its best 6+-showing in exactly one year (3.8, as well, in May 2017). An increase of two-tenths (6.8 – 7.0, 6+) is enough to boost iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5 Better Music for a Better Workday” from second to first. It succeeds Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies KKLZ “96.3 – 70s, 80s and More,” which erodes by eight-tenths (7.0 – 6.2, 6+) and trades places with KSNE at #2. It has become a familiar pattern between the two stations as “Sunny” was off six-tenths in April and replaced by KKLZ at #1. The two swapped places at the top in March as well. In December, KKLZ was ousted from the penthouse … by “Sunny” … after five straight months there. Its recent fluctuations include +1.0 (October); -.9 (November) -.7 (December); +1.1 (January); -.5 (February) and now -.8 (May). In addition to holding the lead in December 2017 and March 2018, “Sunny” was #1 in “Holiday” 2017 (12.5, 6+). Owing to four straight gains, Entercom-owned KLUC was +1.6 (3.8 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.4, 6+), but “98.5 Las Vegas’ #1 Hit Music Station” slips by one-tenth to 5.3 (flat at #4, 6+). Three positive spikes in a row by Lotus Communications’ KOMP “92.3 The Rock Station” produced a +.6 (2.9- 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+) but it is now -1.3 in three straight decreases (3.5 – 2.9 – 2.3 – 2.2, flat at #18, 6+).

Cincinnati

Spoken-Word Formats – It has been a seesaw lately for iHeartMedia news/talker and Cincinnati Reds flagship WLW, which was a combined +2.0 in January and February; -1.0 in March; +1.6 in April; and now -1.2 in May (8.9 – 7.7, second to fourth, 6+). April’s 8.9 is its highest 6+-share since last October’s 9.2. Prior to January, WLW was a collective -3.3 as the result of five straight negative trends (9.6 – 9.4 – 9.2 – 8.0 – 7.2 – 6.3, 6+). Notwithstanding that co-owned and similarly-formatted WKRC is down a combined eight-tenths in three straight sweeps without an increase (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 3.0, 6+), “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati” advances from #12 to #11. WKRC’s +.3 in January ended three downward moves in a row that accounted for a -.9 (4.2 – 4.2 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+). One-tenth behind WKRC is Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU, which is up one-tenth (2.8 – 2.9, 6+) but stays at #13; WVXU was a collective +.7 in January and February. Up three-tenths (1.1 – 1.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530” climbs from #19 to #17.

Cincinnati Music Formats – Not only does Hubbard’s WUBE advance from third to second, “B-105.1 – Get Your Country On” is +2.8 in five consecutive upticks (5.8 – 6.3 – 7.8 – 8.1 – 8.3 – 8.5 – 8.6, 6+); WUBE was -1.4 in December. As the result of a +.7 (4.9 – 5.6, sixth to fifth, 6+), Cumulus Media classic rock WOFX “92.5 The Fox” posts its best 6+-stat (5.6) in exactly one year (6.0, May 2017). On the heels of an April +1.1, Radio One urban contemporary WIZF “101.1 The Wiz” tacks on another six-tenths (3.8 – 4.4, tenth to eighth, 6+) Its +1.1 this time last month curtailed four negative moves in a row that accounted for a -1.6 (4.3 – 3.6 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.7, 6+). This (4.4) is its best 6+stat since last October’s 4.8. The rollercoaster ride continues for Hubbard rhythmic hot AC WREW “Mix 94.9,” which was -1.4 via five straight down or flat trends (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+); +1.3 (January); -.5 (February); +.6 (March); -.8 (April); and now +.6 in May (4.3 – 4.9, eighth to seventh, 6+). Over the past four months, hot AC sibling WKRQ has been posting a consistent 7.4 – 7.3 – 7.2 – 7.5 (6+) but logs a one-half share increase to 8.0 (fourth to third), the best 6+-stat for “Q-102 Cincinnati’s Hit Music” in more than two years (8.1, April 2016). While it is #1 for the fifth straight time, Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WGRR “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” is -.8 in April and May (10.4 – 9.8 – 9.6, 6+). Its -.6 in April applied the brakes to three consecutive up or flat trends that accounted for a cumulative +2.9 (7.5 – 9.6 – 9.6 – 10.4, 6+). WGRR rebounded from a -1.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (9.1 – 8.5 – 7.5, 6+) with a January +2.1. An overall +.9 in three successive positive spikes (1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.3, 6+), Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies WDBZ “Soul 101.5” surrenders seven-tenths to 1.6 (#15 to #16, 6+). April’s 2.3 is the best 6+-showing for WDBZ since November (2.3, as well). Off by one-half share each are iHeartMedia’s WEBN “Cincinnati’s Rock Station” (4.9 – 4.4, sixth to eighth, 6+) and Cumulus Media’s WFTK “96 Rock” (3.5 – 3.0, unchanged at #11, 6+). An April gain of eight-tenths by WEBN completely erased its -.8 in February and March. This is the tenth straight time that iHeartMedia CHR WKFS “Kiss 107.1 – Cincinnati’s #1 Hit Music Station” registers a 6+-share between 4.1 – 4.9 (flat at 4.2, ninth to tenth, 6+).

Orlando

Spoken-Word Formats – Despite losing two-tenths (5.5 – 5.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” (+.6 in April) advances from eighth to seventh. Before dropping three-tenths in March, “Real Radio” was up a combined +3.0 in January and February (2.2 – 3.9 – 5.2, 6+). January’s +1.7 ended three straight down or flat trends that resulted in a -.7 (2.9 – 2.9 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+). In four straight sweeps without an increase (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM is down eight-tenths as “News 96.5” exits the top ten (#10 to #11). Entering the January sweep (in which it notched a +1.3), WDBO-FM was a collective -2.7 via four straight decreases (6.1 – 5.1 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+); “News 96.5” was +2.0 in September 2017. Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida” drops two-tenths (3.5 – 3.3, 6+) yet progresses from #14 to #13. WMFE was off one full-share in February and March (3.9 – 3.7 – 2.9, 6+). Recapturing the four-tenths it surrendered in April (1.8 – 1.4 – 1.8, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WFLF climbs from #17 to #16. Immediately before gaining seven-tenths in January, WFLF was without an increase in five straight ratings periods for a -.7 (1.9 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+). Finishing at #20 and #21, respectively, are iHeartMedia sports talk WYGM “FM 96.9 The Game – Orlando’s Sports Leader” (.9 – 1.0, +.1, 6+) and Cox Media Group sports talk WDBO-AM “ESPN 580 Orlando” (flat at .9, 6+).

Orlando Music Formats – There’s further irony involving Cox Media Group’s WMMO “98.9 Orlando’s Classic Hits.” In April, the station’s internet “stream” was up nine-tenths (.0 – .9, #21, 6+), while the station’s actual FM signal spiraled by eight-tenths (6.8 – 6.0, 6+). Now, the internet “stream” disappears (.9 – .0, 6+) and WMMO-FM gains one-half share to 6.5 (fifth to third, 6+). Prior to April’s -.8, WMMO-FM was +1.6 in three straight increases (5.2 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 6.8, 6+), with 6.8 in March its best 6+-showing since November 2017’s 8.1. Steady at #9, co-owned country WWKA “K-92.3” is +1.1 through three successive positive spikes (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 5.1, 6+); WWKA was 5.1 (6+) in January, as well. Also in that Cox Media Group cluster, rhythmic CHR WPYO was locked on 3.6 (6+) in March and April, but “Power 95.3” breaks out a +.5 in May to 4.1 and enters the top ten (#13 to #10, 6+). On top for the fifth consecutive sweep, iHeartMedia’s WRUM “Rumba 100” – which was +1.8 in four upticks in succession (8.9 – 9.3 – 9.5 – 9.9 – 10.7, 6+) – drops two-tenths to 10.5 (6+). Following 11 consecutive months at #1, WRUM dropped to the runner-up slot in December and remained there in “Holiday” 2017. Its +.4 in January 2018 ended four negative sweeps in a row that generated a collective -2.7 (11.6 – 11.5 – 11.4 – 11.3 – 8.9, 6+). April 2017s 12.8 is the best-ever 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. Slipping from #12 to #14, co-owned WJRR “101.1 Orlando’s Rock Station” forfeits all of April’s +.5 and an extra one-tenth (3.8 – 3.2, -.6, 6+). WJRR was a cumulative -2.0 in February and March (5.3 – 4.8 – 3.3, 6+). It posted a +1.3 in January, eliminating the combined -1.1 from December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.1 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+). After adding seven-tenths to 5.7 – its strongest 6+-showing since last October’s 5.9 – Entercom classic hits-oldies WOCL “105.9 Sunny FM” falters by one-half share to 5.2 (seventh to eighth, 6+). In addition to falling from fourth to fifth, hot AC sibling WOMX “Mix 105.1” slips two-tenths to 6.1 (6+), thus applying the brakes to four consecutive improvements for an overall +2.5 (3.8 – 4.8 – 5.4 – 6.2 – 6.3, 6+). Following a November +.6, “Mix” was -1.7 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.5 – 4.6 – 3.8, 6+) and then +1.0 in January. Prior to March 2018, the last time “Mix” reached the six-share threshold (6+) was in March 2017 (6.1).

Cleveland

Spoken-Word Formats – Despite being +1.3 in three consecutive increases (5.3 – 5.5 – 6.3 – 6.6, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” shifts from fifth to seventh. This (6.6) is the best 6+-stat for the Cleveland Indians flagship since last October’s 8.3. A one-half share gain in January halted three straight declines for a -3.5 (8.5 – 5.4 – 5.2 – 5.0, 6+). Five successive sweeps without a loss by Entercom’s WKRK netted a +1.2 (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 5.2, 6+) but “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” is now a combined -1.0 in April and May (5.2 – 4.4 – 4.2, #12 to #11, 6+). Down three-tenths from April (2.9 – 2.6, 6+), WCPN is flat at #13. The Ideastream-owned news/talker was a combined -2.5 in February and March (5.3 – 3.6 – 2.8, 6+) after a cumulative +3.2 in six straight improvements (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 5.3, 6+).

Cleveland Music Formats – By hauling out a +1.1 to 7.1 (seventh to fourth, 6+), Entercom’s WNCX “98.5 Cleveland’s Classic Rock” more than obliterates its cumulative loss of three-tenths as the result of three straight sweeps without an increase (6.3 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.0, 6+). This (7.1) is its strongest 6+-stat since November 2017’s 7.5. A similar streak comes to an end as iHeartMedia’s WGAR “99.5 – Cleveland’s #1 for New Country” logs a +.8 to 7.0 (sixth to fifth, 6+), pulling the plug on three straight negative moves that resulted in a -1.0 (7.2 – 6.8 – 6.3 – 6.2, 6+). It’s not quite the same as what is noted regarding WNCX and WGAR, but with a +.7 to 5.6 (ninth to eighth, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WENZ “Z-107.9” ends a March and April mini-slide (6.3 – 5.7 – 4.9, 6+) that accounted for a -1.4. A gain of six-tenths in February halted three straight losses that resulted in a -1.5 (7.2 – 6.7 – 6.1 – 5.7, 6+). Even though Entercom adult contemporary WDOK is an overall +1.8 through three increases in a row (4.9 – 5.4 – 6.5 – 6.7, 6+), “Cleveland’s Star 102” backslides from fourth to sixth. A combined +5.5 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.9 – 7.2 – 10.4, 6+), WDOK lost more than 50% (-5.6) of its 6+-share in January and February (10.4 – 5.6 – 4.9, 6+). Rarely do we see both the market’s #1 and #2 finishers erode by -1.5 in the same sweep, but such is the case in May 2018 with Radio One urban AC WZAK (9.6 – 8.1, -1.5, #1 since March, 6+) and iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” (9.3 – 7.8, -1.5, #2 since March, 6+). After three increases in a row for an overall +1.5 (8.6 – 9.1 – 9.5 – 10.1, 6+), WZAK faltered by one-half share in April. Having reached the top spot in December with a +.9, WZAK fell to third in “Holiday” 2017. A loss of four-tenths in October ended three consecutive positive moves for an overall +.9 (7.5 – 7.6 – 8.1 – 8.4, 6+). This now makes eight dramatic up/down shifts in succession for WMJI: +.8 (November); -.9 (December); +2.5 (Holiday” 2017); -1.9 (January); +1.9 (February); -2.0 (March); +1.0 (April); and now -1.5 (May). When “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” reached double-digits (6+) in “Holiday” 2017, it was the first time WMJI accomplished that feat since September 2016’s 10.8. November’s +.8 stopped three straight declines that resulted in a -1.3 (9.2 – 8.9 – 8.4 – 7.9, 6+). In 2017, WMJI occupied the top spot from January through April; July through September; and in November. A one-half share loss to 4.0 (#11 to #12, 6+) by CHR cluster-mate WAKS “96.5 Kiss FM – Cleveland’s #1 Hit Music Station” ends a repetitive sequence of 4.9 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 4.5 (6+).

Kansas City

Spoken-Word Formats – The market’s two sports talkers continue to go in opposite directions as Entercom’s KCSP “610 Sports Radio” is a combined +1.9 in April and May (1.8 – 3.1 3.7, #15 to #12, 6+), while Union Broadcasting’s WHB “Sports Radio 810” plummets by an overall -2.0 (4.0 – 2.9 – 2.0, #16 to #20, 6+). Kansas City Royals flagship KCSP erased February’s -.4 with a +.4. WHB was a combined +1.4 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018; -.9 in February; and +.9 in March. When WHB dipped by four-tenths in December, it halted at five a successive string of positive trends that doubled (+1.5) its 6+-stat (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+). A +.9 through six straight up or flat trends (1.9 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), University of Missouri news/talk KCUR dips by one-tenth to 2.7 (6+) but stays at #17. After registering six successive upticks for a +1.9 (3.7 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.9 – 5.6, 6+), Entercom news/talk KMBZ-FM “98.1 News-Traffic-Weather” follows with three straight decreases for a -.8 (5.6 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.8, seventh to eighth, 6+). Cluster-mate KMBZ-AM “Talk 980” is flat at 2.2 (6+) and remains at #19. This is the third decrease in a row by Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM “Talk Radio 710” for a -.5 (1.1 – 1.0 – .7 -.6, #22 to #23, 6+).

Kansas City Music Formats – After three straight downward trends that resulted in a -.9 (6.1 – 5.6 – 5.4 – 5.2, 6+), Carter Broadcast Corporation urban contemporary WPRS “Hot 103” answers with a +.7 to 5.9, jumping from eighth to fourth. Up or flat each sweep since December for an overall +1.9 (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.8 – 5.5 – 5.8, 6+), Steel City Media’s KBEQ “Q-104 New Hit Country” nonetheless slides from a three-way tie at #4 to #5. Improving by one-half share each are KBEQ sibling KFKF “Country 94.1” (6.0, fourth to third, 6+) and Cumulus Media alternative KCJK “X-105.1” (2.2 – 2.7, #19 to #17, 6+). KFKF erases the -.5 it recorded through three decrease in a row (6.0 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.5, 6+). In five successive sweeps without a loss, Entercom-owned KQRC “98.9 The Rock” is a combined +1.3 (4.5 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 5.8, third to fifth, 6+). After being down eight-tenths in four straight down or flat moves (4.8 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.0 – 4.0, 6+), hot AC cluster-mate KZPT “99.7 The Point” is +.4 to 4.4 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). Notwithstanding that it is a combined -.9 in April and May (8.1 – 7.7 – 7.2, 6+), Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies KCMO-FM “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” is #1 for the third month in a row. It faltered by six-tenths in February (8.4 – 7.8, 6+) but regained half that loss (+.3) in March. Owing to a -2.0 in January, “Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” curtailed four straight upticks that netted +2.7 (7.7 – 8.0 – 8.8 – 9.0 – 10.4, 6+). With a 6+-share that has plummeted by more than 55% (-4.6) through five successive decreases (8.1 – 5.2 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 3.5, 6+), Steel City adult contemporary KCKC “KC-102.1 Today’s Best Variety” departs the top ten (#10 to #13). Locked on 3.2 (6+) in February and March and then notching a +.7 in April, Entercom alternative KRBZ “96.5 The Buzz” falters by nine-tenths in May (3.9 – 3.0, #12 to #15, 6+).

Columbus

Spoken-Word Formats – A collective +.7 in three consecutive sweeps without a loss (3.6 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.3, 6+), Ohio State University news/talk WOSU dropped six-tenths in April but rebounds in May with a +.5 (3.7 – 4.2, eighth to seventh, 6+). WOSU’s 4.3 in March was the station’s best 6+-showing since 4.7 in August 2017. Forfeiting the two-tenths it picked up in April (5.4 – 5.6 – 5.4, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN “News Radio 610” segues from fifth to sixth. “News Radio 610” was -.7 in March; -1.0 in February; +1.5 in January; and -.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Prior to January 2018, the last time WTVN reached the seven-share level (6+) was February 2016 (7.3). A December decrease of three-tenths halted three straight uptrends that netted eight-tenths (5.7 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.5, 6+). Following four reports in a row without an increase for a -.2 (.9 – .9 – .8 – .8 – .7, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk WXZX “105.7 The Zone” is +.3 in April and May (.7 – .9 – 1.0, flat at #15, 6+). In January, WBNS-FM “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” ranked seventh with a 4.4 (6+), but the RadiOhio sports talk outlet is missing from print for the fourth straight month.

Columbus Music Formats – Up a collective eight-tenths in February and March (5.2 – 5.8 – 6.0, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned adult hits WODC “93.3 The Bus – We Play Anything” relinquished nine-tenths in April but rebounds in May with a +.5 (5.1 – 5.6, sixth to fifth, 6+). In double-digits (6+) each sweep since June 2017, cluster-mate WCOL “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” rings up its third increase in a row (12.3 – 13.4 – 14.4 – 14.5, 6+) for an overall +2.2 and finishes first for the fifth consecutive sweep. After spending six months on top, WCOL shifted to second in “Holiday” 2017 but regained the lead in January 2018. Accustomed to major fluctuations, “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” was +2.2 (January 2017); -1.2 (February); +.8 (March); -1.3 (May); +1.4 (June); +2.1 (July); -.9 (August); -.6 (September); +.7 (October); -.5 (December); +3.1 (January 2018); -1.7 (February); +1.1 in March; and +1.0 in April. Flat at 9.4 (6+), its mainstream CHR sibling – WNCI “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music Station” – is #2 for the fifth time in a row. WNCI was a combined +1.5 in January and February (8.0 – 9.2 – 9.5, 6+). Slightly up or flat the past three sweeps for a +.3 (6.4 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 6.7, 6+), Saga Communications’ WLVQ “FM 96 Iconic Rock” remains in third-place. Likewise, Radio One rhythmic CHR WCKX “Power 107.5” is +.5 in a similar scenario (3.2 – 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.7, ninth to eighth, 6+). Blue Chip urban contemporary WBMO logged a 1.2 (6+) in December 2017, but has not been in print the last six sweeps.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

| May 29, 2018

Swenson Out at Entercom Washington; Phil Zachary to Assume Market Manager Role. According to several consumer media reports (including the Philadelphia Business Journal) Entercom Hartford SVP and market manager Phil Zachary is leaving the cluster to assume the same role at the company’s Washington, DC operations.  The company has not commented publicly about the change, but the report indicates Zachary will take over the position from Steve Swenson.  Zachary moved to the Hartford cluster from the market manager position at Entercom’s Boston operations just after the CBS RADIO deal closed last November.  His duties also included oversight of the Providence and Springfield, Massachusetts markets.

Radio Station Imaging Master and Syndicated Show Host, Nick Michaels Dies.  Holland Cooke Pens Tribute.  One of the radio industry’s most influential voice over artists and musical curators, Nick Michaels, reportedly died of a sudden heart attack in his Pinecrest (Miami), Florida home on Friday (5/25).  Michaels was the host, writer and producer of the long-running, American Voice Corporation syndicated classic rock show, “The Deep End,” heard on music stations across the nation and the imaging voice of numerous major/medium market news/talk and all-news stations.  He was known for his rich tone and thoughtful – almost poetic – approach to copy that made him one of the most distinguished performers in the radio business.  Michaels’ media career began in advertising in his native Canada where success brought him to New York City in the late 1970s.  He appeared as the voice in many major national radio and television spots for a variety of major products and television programs.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Nick Michaels joined forces five years ago as Michael & Michaels co-producing a Memorial Day one-time special, “The Classic Rock Summer of ’13 Kick-Off” – a two-hour countdown of the most popular summer songs from the AOR era.  Harrison says, “The industry has lost a legend and I have lost a friend.  Nick was a one-of-a-kind talent and a passionate proponent of everything good about the kind of radio we grew up with and love.”  Media consultant, RT America TV host and special TALKERS correspondent Holland Cooke, a very close friend of Michaels, penned a tribute to the late broadcaster.  To read it, please click here.  In July of 2015, Nick Michaels appeared as a guest on the PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  To listen to a  clip from that conversation, please click here.

WQTX, Lansing Sports Talk Host Suing Fellow Michigan Personality.  What sounds like a feud between two sports talk hosts that goes back a few years is now a lawsuit in the state of Michigan.  According to the Lansing State Journal, WQTX, Lansing sports talk host Ryan Schuiling is suing WBBL, Grand Rapids-based sports talker Bill Simonson and his employer, Cumulus Media, for defamation. Schuiling alleges that Simonson made “false allegations” in a column he wrote on the blog Detroit Sports Rag, including accusing Schuiling of attempting to “orchestrate some alleged sexual interaction with Mr. Simonson’s daughter.” Schuiling says Simonson sent the link to the story to the IBEW – one of Schuiling’s sponsors – and that the actions have caused him emotional distress and have affected his professional standing in the community.  Simonson says the allegations in the suit are untrue and lack merit.  See the story here.

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his analysis of the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s April 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on news/talk.  Five news/talk stations saw (6+) increases of more than one full share from March to April, and four of those benefitted from the start of the baseball season.  They are: Entercom’s KMOX, St. Louis (+2.3); Scripps’ WTMJ, Milwaukee (+1.9); iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati (+1.6); KOA, Denver (+1.4); and Bonneville’s KSL-AM/FM, Salt Lake City (+1.2).  Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s WTKS-FM, Orlando “Real Radio 104.1” is up 2.6 shares since April of 2017, and Emmis’ WIBC, Indianapolis is up two full shares.  Four news/talk stations ranked #1 in their respective markets in April: Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta; KOA, Denver; KSL-AM/FM, Salt Lake City; and Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.”  Read the whole report here.

Price: Protect Your People, Protect Your Brand.  By now, most broadcasters are aware of the tragic deaths of the two young television journalists from WYFF-TV, Greenville, South Carolina who perished while covering Subtropical Storm Alberto over the weekend.  While the accident appears to have been a matter of bad timing – a tree fell on their SUV while they were driving – business continuity expert Howard Price writes that it is occurrences like these that should make all broadcasters review their safety protocols to make sure they offer the best safety practices to staffers.  Read his piece here.

Radio Journalist Bob Fuss Dies at 64.  Former longtime CBS Radio News reporter Bob Fuss died in Falls Church, Virginia on Sunday (5/27) after a battle with a rare form of leukemia.  During his long radio news career, Fuss served as Capitol Hill correspondent for 16 years.  During that time, he covered the impeachment of President Clinton, the Florida presidential election re-count, and the 9/11 terror attacks.  He covered the House and Senate for CBS Radio and reported national political stories until his retirement in 2014.  CBS News general manager Craig Swagler writes about Fuss saying, “After his retirement, he wrote a book about his life, Kidnapped by Nuns: And Other Stories of a Life on the Radio, drawing from his work and personal experiences in 50 states and 70 countries. The book briefly addresses what listeners couldn’t see: he was disabled. He writes he was born with defects his parents were told could end his life before adulthood.  He beat the odds and described himself as ‘a busy and active kid’ who ‘never let anything slow me down.’ That attitude held true throughout his adult life; unable to walk without crutches, he never allowed the handicap to deter him from attaining his career goals or pursuing activities like snorkeling and skiing.” Swagler adds, “Bob was an extraordinary reporter with a true skill for making complicated stories relatable for everyday people.  Not only was Bob an outstanding journalist he was an all-around optimistic and funny person. A true joy to work with.”

TALKERS News Notes. In the Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana market, Cumulus Media names Aaron Criswell vice president and market manager for the five-station cluster that includes sports talk KRMD-AM “The Ticket Sports Radio” and four music-formatted stations…..Chris Forgy is promoted within Saga Communications to the newly created corporate position SVP of operations.  In making the announcement, Saga CEO Ed Christian comments, “Chris is a world-class broadcaster whose contributions to Saga will be very important and strategic as he joins us in the corporate office.”  Most recently, Forgy was president and general manager of the company’s Columbus station group…..The Arizona Broadcasters Association announces that Art Brooks is exiting the president and CEO position after a near 30-year stint.  Brooks says, “I leave the ABA proud of the many things we have been able to accomplish together in my nearly three decades of leadership and will remain ever grateful for the many friends I have made in the Arizona broadcasting community.  I’m eager to explore my next adventure both personally and professionally.”

U.S.-North Korea Summit, Subtropical Storm Alberto, Ireland Abortion Vote, Starbucks Bias Training, Solo Film, Memorial Day Holiday, MLB Action, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The off-again, on-again summit between President Trump and Kim Jong Un; subtropical storm Alberto hits the Southeast U.S.; the aftermath of Ireland’s vote to repeal the ban on abortion; Starbucks’ plan to close all stores today (5/29) for companywide bias training; the newest Star Wars film Solo; the Memorial Day holiday; Major League Baseball action; and the NBA Conference Finals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro Rebecca Wilde is becoming a personality on the “Wicker in the Morning” program with Jeff Wicker on Entercom’s hot AC WTVR-FM, Richmond.  Entercom Virginia SVP Bennett Zier comments, “We’re thrilled to bring Rebecca back into the Richmond mix and look forward to having her reconnect with our community.  Rebecca’s drive and enthusiasm will ensure we continue to deliver the engaging local content our listeners look forward to daily on ‘Mix 98.1.’”  She previously worked on-air in the market at hot AC WURV and hip hop WBTJ…..Longtime Myrtle Beach personality David “Prez” Spindler retires from Dick Broadcasting classic rock WYAV “Wave 104.1”  Station operations manager Charlie Steele says, “We wish Prez the best with where life takes him next.  He’s spent a long time in the radio trenches and will be missed.”

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

| April 5, 2016

iheartmedia logo smalliHeartMedia and Creditors Still at Odds Over Asset Shift.  According to a report from Bloomberg, iHeartMedia and a number of its creditors have broken off talks to try to resolve the rancor over iHeartMedia’s shift of 100 million shares of Clear Channel Outdoor to a new subsidiary called Broader Media.  Creditors including D. E. Shaw, Canyon Capital, Franklin Advisers and Franklin Mutual sued iHeartMedia over the move claiming that it violates the debt covenants.  iHeartMedia argues that’s not the case and the move is designed to allow the company to deal more effectively with its $20 billion in debt.  iHeartMedia told a Texas judge that if the creditors’ bond defaults are allowed to proceed, it would cause as much as $15 billion of the company’s debt to come due quickly and that would force the company into bankruptcy protection.  The creditors argue that is not what they are trying to accomplish.  iHeartMedia SVP and treasurer Brian Coleman says the company’s maneuvers are part of its Project Indigo, a long-term strategy designed to allow it to study ways to deal with its debt.

The Panama Papers, The Presidential Race/Wisconsin Primary, Iran Arms Shipment Case, North Korean Nuke Threats, Tennessee Bible Bill, and NCAA Championship Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/4).  The so-called “Panama Papers” that reportedly link numerous world leaders to schemes to hide wealth in off-shore accounts; the activities of the candidates for president and today’s Wisconsin primary; the capture of illegal arms being shipped by Iran; the threats of nuclear attacks by North Korea; the controversial Tennessee bill that makes the Bible the official state book; and Monday evening’s NCAA Men’s Basketball championship were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

zaneericEric Zane Lands at Sports WBBL, Grand Rapids.  After exiting the nationally syndicated “Free Beer and Hot Wings” show based at Townsquare Media’s rock WGRD, Grand Rapids, Eric Zane has landed the morning show gig at Cumulus Media’s crosstown sports talk WBBL, effective April 7.  Zane officially left the show in mid-February after being absent from the program without explanation.  It appears Zane’s departure was the result of a contract dispute.  Now, he’ll compete in the Grand Rapids market directly with his former co-hosts Gregg “Free Beer” Daniels and Chris “Hot Wings” Michels.  The “Free Beer and Hot Wings” show is syndicated nationally by Compass Media Networks.

altitude sportsLineup at ‘Altitude Sports’ in Denver to Launch on Friday.  The newest sports talk radio station in the Denver market will officially launch on Friday, April 8 – the home opener day for the Colorado Rockies.  Much of the news about Stan Kroenke-owned KRWZ, Denver (recently purchased from Entercom) is not really news as it’s been rumored and reported in the Denver media for some time.  Here’s the lineup: Josh Dover hosts “The Morning Lineup” from 6:00 am to 7:00 am; the morning show will feature Tom Helmer, Lauren Gardner (an Altitude TV reporter), and former Denver Nuggets star Scott Hastings.  Middays will be hosted by Vic Lombardi and Kyle Keefe.  The station will also carry play-by-play of the NBA’s Nuggets, the NHL’s Avalanche; the MLS’ Colorado Rapids; and the National Lacrosse League’s Colorado Mammoth.

Odds & Sods.  There’s been a morning show and midday program re-build at CBS RADIO’s KHTK, Sacramento.  Carmichael Dave is now joined by Kayte Christensen and former midday host Nate Goodyear.  In middays, Jason Ross is partnered up with newcomers Ken Rudolph and Damien BarlingJay Johnson joins the station as executive producer…..Long Nine Inc.-owned news/talk WMAY, Springfield, Illinois adds an FM translator to its broadcast with the addition of W234CC, Sherman, Illinois at 94.7 FM.

granttoniDr. Toni Grant Dead at 72.  The cause of death is unknown at this time, but the Los Angeles Times is reporting that former radio talk show host and psychologist Dr. Toni Grant died in Beverly Hills on March 27.  Grant’s radio career was launched on KABC, Los Angeles in 1975 in the overnight daypart.  Her show eventually moved across town to KFI.  It went into syndication and at its height was heard on some 180 affiliates.  She was off the air from 1990 to 1997 when she re-entered the business.  She last worked on air at KABC in 2001.  Read the Times’ obit here.

kfivCool Job Opportunity.  “PowerTalk 1360 and 1280” is searching for a local talk show host for afternoon drive in California’s Central Valley.  Applicants must have spoken-word experience. General necessities include a passionate, opinionated, outspoken, larger-than-life personality with decidedly conservative values, obsession for news, politics, pop culture, and sports.  The ideal candidate will bring an intuitive understanding of the unique values, morals and issues of the California Central Valley and be in sync with those values and perspectives.  You must have the ability to speak to the audience as one of them; put a voice to their thoughts and beliefs…much more important than professional polish or experience.  In a perfect world you have spent time working in the Central Valley but you don’t have to presently live in the Modesto/Stockton area.  You will fully embrace the role of a LOCAL personality: specifically address and engage the LOCAL community issues, organizations, and interests, capitalize on endorsement opportunities, serve as station ambassador, be visible at all community functions, spearhead station and cluster community outreach. You must understand and dedicate your performance to the bottom line: your goals are ratings and unique visitors.  See required skills and submit resume and demo here.

Monday, July 13, 2015

| July 13, 2015

greymichaelMichael Grey Returns to WBBL, Grand Rapids.  The Cumulus Media-owned sports talk station says popular Grand Rapids radio personality Michael Grey returns to the morning show daypart with new co-host Ryan Schuiling.  Grey co-hosted mornings on WBBL, Grand Rapids from 2009 through 2011wbbl logo with Bret Bakita.  He’s also worked at KXSP, Omaha and KIRO, Seattle.  WBBL program director Dave Jaconette says, “We are thrilled to have Michael Grey back on 107.3 WBBL.  After successful stints in Omaha and Seattle, Michael is back to talk with fans about the teams he loves.  And I’m very happy that Ryan Schuiling will be joining him on what will be one of West Michigan’s most exciting sports talk shows.”

espnaudiologoESPN Radio Reports Increased Streaming Numbers.  Referring to second quarter 2015 streaming data, ESPN Radio Network announces it accrued more than 2.5 billion total listening minutes compared to the same period in 2014.  That’s an increase of 31%.  The sports giant also reports that its on-demand audio downloads were up 27% over last year with more than 90 million downloads.  ESPN SVP, production business divisions Traug Keller says, “Sports fans consume audio across multiple platforms and the compelling content that ESPN Audio offers through streaming and podcasts is making an impact on listening.”

missanellimikePhilly Sports Talk Wars Invade Print Turf.  The hand-grenade lobbing between CBS RADIO’s WIP-FM and Greater Media’s WPEN-FM in Philadelphia has moved to the print media with WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” afternoon host Mike Missanelli writing a column for Philly Mag in which he lambastesinnesjosh afternoon host Josh Innes for his on-air style, former host Tony Bruno for similar reasons and suggests the former duo’s ratings successes against his show are not all they seem.  According to a story at Philly.com, Innes lashed back at Missanelli on his radio show saying the piece was “basically the last ramblings of a desperate man who’s trying to politic his way into the hearts of a few people by basically reading comment sections and seeing what appeals to meatballs.”  Read the Philly.com coverage of the feud here.

ppmunitNielsen Audio Releases Fourth Round of June 2015 PPM Data.  The fourth of four rounds of June 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford.  The June 2015 survey period covered May 21 through June 17.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

Odds & Sods.  Another personnel move in Philly sports talk as Pat Gallen leaves Greater Media’s WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” to join CBS’ KYW-TV as sports anchor.  Gallen served with WPEN-FM as a sports anchor and reporter.  His move to KYW-TV comes just a week after former NFL great Beasley Reece was let go from his sports anchor post at the station…..After nine years with NAB – the last four as EVP of government relations –colekelly Kelly Cole announces she’s leaving the organization to open her own advocacy firm.  In an email to NAB’s board of directors, Cole said, in part, “Over nine years, I’ve seen NAB make amazing strides.  Gordon Smith is a tremendous leader.  Our relationships with state associations are at an all-time high, and we have EVPs in every department who work cohesively and collaboratively.  NAB is viewed with respect on both sides of the aisle on Capitol Hill, and our government relations team is the strongest it has ever been during my time at NAB. It has been an absolute privilege to be a member of this amazing team, to be a part of NAB history, and to work with all of you.”…..Matt Martinez moves from his most recent position with NPR as senior producer to Pacific Public Media-owned non-com KPLU, Seattle where he’ll serve as director of content…..KNTK, Lincoln, Nebraska sports talk personality Tom Stephens is recovering after suffering a heart attack on June 26.  Stephens co-hosts the midday show with John Gaskins on the Home Field Communications station.  According to the Lincoln Journal-Star, the 51-year-old is undergoing speech and occupational therapy and is anxious to get back on the air.

metaxasRadioCity15Eric Metaxas at Radio City Music Hall.  Author and Salem Radio Network talk host Eric Metaxas appears here on the big screen in Times Square on Friday (7/10)  as the guest speaker at evangelist Luis Palau’s “City Fest” at Radio City Music Hall.  Metaxas’ address was beamed out to the crowd in Times Square.  Palau hosted an event the next evening in Central Park that drew some 60,000 attendees.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

| June 10, 2014

2014 NYC logo 150Talkers New York 2014 on Verge of Sell Out – Only 20 Seats Left.  As of 12:00 noon ET today (6/10) only 20 registrations remain available for Talkers New York 2014, the 17th annual installment of the talk radio and media industry’s longest running and most important national convention.  According to the event’s organizers, the sale of registrations will officially close at 5:00 pm ET today.  This year’s event – only 10 days away — covers the existential issues facing not only talk radio – but radio in general – as both a business and iconic piece of the broader pop cultural picture.   According to its director, Michael Harrison, the gathering will “connect the future of talk radio with its past.”  Harrison says, “This conference was way ahead of the curve when it was first launched in the late 90s as ‘The New Media Seminar’ in pointing the way toward radio’s inevitable entry into the digital era.  While most other conferences are now acting as if the digital age were something new and obsess on the technical aspects of the medium as if we just discovered websites and social media, this year’s conference will accept the internet, apps, and multi-platform options as a given and concentrate on how we can get back to the basics of what makes ‘radio’ special, important, financially viable and culturally indispensable — regardless of the technology via which it is distributed.”  Harrison also points out, “Everyone knows how difficult it is to be a professional in this industry these days between layoffs and economic uncertainty.  The movers and shakers – both established giants and up-and-coming prospects – that attend this great event create an infinite set of relationships upon which careers and businesses are built.  In other words, not only does this convention offer information and inspiration, it also provides its attendees one of the industry’s most potent annual networking environments and opportunities.”  There will be more than 55 industry leaders in speaking roles at the conference which takes place on Friday, June 20 at the iconic India House in the heart of New York City’s historic Financial District.  Registration is only open to professionals (and broadcasting students) working in radio and related media.  They are neither transferable nor refundable.  The cost is $249 per person which includes all sessions, receptions, exhibits, food and refreshments.  Registrations can only be booked over the phone with credit card.  Call 413-565-5413.  Again, the sale of registrations closes as 5:00 pm ET today.  For up-to-the-minute agenda information and further details please click here.

beckglennGlenn Beck Buys D-Day Flag for $350,000.  According to a report in the New York Daily News, Premiere Networks syndicated talk personality Glenn Beck – through his Mercury One charity – purchased a 70-year-old U.S. flag that flew over USS LST 493 involved in the Normandy landing on June 6, 1944.  The story notes that the tattered, 48-star flag was part of an anonymous online auction via Bonham’s and had been estimated to fetch between $25,000 and $35,000.  Though the auction was anonymous, Beck announced the purchase on his radio show.

loeschdanaKFTK-FM, St. Louis’ Loesch and Glover Honored by MBA.  Honors from the Missouri Broadcasters Association were handed out at the organization’s annual banquet in Branson on Saturday, June 7 and two personalities from Emmis’ KFTK “FM News/Talk 97.1” were winners.  Midday talkgloverdave personality Dana Loesch (who is also syndicated nationally via Radio America) and PM drive host Dave Glover took home first-place awards – Loesch for Best Air Personality and Glover for both Spot News and Editorial.  KFTK program director Jeff Allen says, “We have been blessed with some of the best local talent in the country at 97.1 and I think these awards are an example of that.  Dana and Dave produce unique, compelling content every day and make it sound easy.  Believe me, it’s not!  Congratulations to them and their staffs.”

simonsonbillGrand Rapids-Based Bill Simonson Goes National with CBS Sports Radio.  Sports talk personality Bill Simonson broadcasts a daily program from Cumulus Media’s WBBL, Grand Rapids that airs on nine other signals across Michigan.  Now, Simonson is hosting a nationally syndicated version of his “Huge Show” via CBS Sports Radio NetworkMLive.com reports Simonson began the 10:00 pm to 2:00 am ET show on Saturday, May 31.  In the story, Simonson says his goal is to talk about the hot sports topic of the week with people from all over the country.  He notes the big national sports talkers get the high-profile guests but he wants to hear “the voice of the people.”

nielsen logoFirst Round of May PPM Data Released.  PPM data from the first of four groups of 11 markets for the May 2014 period (April 24 – May 21) has been released by Nielsen Audio.  Those markets include: New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey).  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication, RadioInfo, has all the (subscriber) numbers here.  Managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian offers his “Ten Takeaways” from the report at RadioInfo.com here.

Nielsen Withholds Los Angeles PPM Data.  At this juncture, don’t expect Nielsen Audio to say anything specific about the reason the Los Angeles PPM data wasn’t included in the release of the May 2014 numbers – it’s just saying the data is being withheld for “additional quality control.”  Nielsen not being specific about when the data will eventually be released either.  When ratings information is withheld, it’s due to newly acquired information that the final report is compromised for one reason or another.  When the report is issued, Nielsen will likely offer and explanation to subscribers.

deanmichaelwOdds & Sods.  According to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Ben Fong-Torres, Deidra Lieberman quietly resigned from Cumulus Media’s KGO last month after moving from the GM post to an AE position.  Lieberman succeeded Mickey Luckoff in 2011….The GCN-syndicated “Freedom Feens” show hosted by Michael W. Dean goes daily adding a 1:00 am to 3:00 am ET program to its weekend offering that airs on Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm…..Add a whole bunch more awards for Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington, DC as the all-newser collects eight Chesapeake AP Awards.  This year alone, WTOP has won more than 30 major awards for excellence in journalism, including five regional Edward R. Murrow Awards and seven National Headliner Awards…..CBS RADIO all-news KNX, Los Angeles welcomes Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti into its studios tomorrow (6/11) for the regular “Ask the Mayor” program.  The show is hosted by KNX anchor Tom Haule and chief investigative reporter Charles Feldman.  Topics discussed will include: drone use by the LAPD, raising the minimum wage in the city and the LA Kings’ Stanley Cup run.

Bergdahl Prisoner Swap/Terror Suspects Returned, Hillary Clinton Book Tour/2016 Presidential Race, Las Vegas Cop Killings/Gun Control Issue, VA Hospitals Scandal, U.S. Jobs Figures Report, Child Immigration Influx-Arizona Immigrant Dumping, and NBA-NHL Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/9).  The aftermath of the Bowe Bergdahl prisoner swap and speculation about released terror suspects returning to the battlefield; Hillary Clinton’s book tour and her prospects for running for president in 2016; the killing of two police officers in Las Vegas and renewed discussion about gun legislation; the continuing commentary about the VA Hospitals scandal and treatment of America’s veterans; the recent U.S. jobs figures report indicating employment on the uptick; the cases of child illegal immigrants being warehoused in Arizona and the dumping of other illegal immigrants in that state; and the NBA and NHL finals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.