Tag: "WBBM"

Monday, June 1, 2020

| June 1, 2020

Talk Radio Faces Challenges After Weekend of Urban Strife Across America. The staffs at news and talk radio stations that are in touch with their communities were pulling extra duty over the weekend as protests over the death of George Floyd in cities across the country exploded into violent and destructive events. TALKERS magazine is in contact with programmers and air personalities whose stations have been covering the events, in some cases adding round-the-clock live programming to keep listeners informed. The violent protests come as the nation attempts to safely emerge from a months-long lockdown intended to fight the coronavirus pandemic, complicating an already difficult time in America and around the globe. Talk stations face the challenge of broadcasting to listeners who are living in a time that some observers have noted is like the Great Depression, the nationalist/fascist movements that preceded World War II, and the race riots of the 1960s all rolled into one. As this day progresses, TALKERS will present comments and thoughts about how they’re handling their broadcasting duties during this unique time in human history. We asked broadcasters to tell us how their station or talent are approaching this time of intense unrest. WABC, New York PD Dave LaBrozzi tells TALKERS that the outbreak of violence is the kind of situation that illustrates why it is so important for great news/talk stations to maintain live and local air talent with strong ties to the community and the trust of its citizens. He says, “When you have the founder of the Guardian Angels, Curtis Sliwa, on the streets every day and hosting a three hour midday talk show and you have the former mayor, Rudy Giuliani, on the air every day from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm you get insight and information that no other New York station can provide.” LaBrozzi adds that it is important to book guests of that same caliber stating, “Former New York City Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik and former police detective Bo Dietl share their wisdom and insight along with other high profile experts to keep listeners informed  and safe all day long.” Salem Media Group and Salem Radio Network SVP spoken word format Phil Boyce offered the following to his talent: “As you know, the situation in many of our cities is volatile, thanks primarily due to outside agitators. We all looked at the video of the death of George Floyd and were disturbed. We all know that does not represent how most police officers respond. Here are a few pointers about how we can handle this difficult situation: 1) Be very careful what you say about this. Most of our listeners respect the rule of law and want to support law and order candidates. If you know of a candidate who is sympathizing with the anarchists,  point that out. But be careful how we do it. 2) We can be a calming influence in each of our communities. Let the public know that we hear the pain and hurt they are expressing, but further violence is not the way to express it. Let them know that we all should support the efforts of law enforcement to protect our communities, and also deal with this tragic situation. 3) Think through all of your comments and positions. This is not a time to ‘shoot from the lip.’ Be respectful of the other side, while at the same time being forceful in condemning acts of violence that threaten to tear apart our communities.” At Entercom’s all-news WBBM-AM/WFCS-FM, Chicago, brand manager and news director Ron Gleason says, “Because WBBM is all-news around the clock on a daily basis, our staff is ready at any time for major breaking news. But the magnitude of what’s happening, especially on the coattails of the Covid-19 pandemic, means extraordinary times lead to extraordinary measures.  We’ve not only staffed up on reporters, we’ve also increased the role of traffic which is used to watching the streets on a minute-by-minute basis. When something requires non-stop coverage, that’s what we do.  And while we have reporters live from multiple locations, we stress the importance of safety first.  We have had protesters verbally confront a reporter, and we’ve had police redirect reporters, but I’m happy to say everyone is safe. The toughest part of coverage was getting our anchors and behind-the-scenes producers and editors access to our facility, as the city has shut off the main arteries into the downtown area. Eventually we figured out the work-arounds, and nobody listening would know of any issue – except of course, we’re reporting all the closures.” WPHT, Philadelphia midday host Dom Giordano tells TALKERS, “The way I’m handling the crisis on the air is to be covering it in the field and bringing that sound back to my show, allowing more callers on than usual to be able to vent, and highlighting people who are volunteering to clean up attacked stores, or are banding together to peacefully protect stores from looting.”

TALKERS EXCLUSIVE:  Michael Harrison Talks with SirusXM Satellite Radio ‘Urban View’ Channel Morning Host Joe Madison.  TALKERS founder Michael Harrison engaged in a conversation recorded yesterday afternoon (5/31) with Joe Madison of SiriusXM Satellite Radio, the highest-ranking African American radio talk show host on the publication’s Heavy Hundred list, about the race relations crisis in America. Madison says he suspects President Trump is prepping the country to invoke martial law if the violence continues.  He also thinks the violence is being perpetrated by destructive provocateurs and not the peaceful demonstrators. He believes the violence would be curtailed “if the other three officers involved in the killing of George Floyd were arrested tonight.” To listen to an excerpt of the conversation, please click here The complete interview will be posted tomorrow in the podcast, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”

TALKERS EXCLUSIVE:  WPG, Atlantic City Morning Host Harry Hurley Pulls All-Nighter Dispatching Police, Interviewing Officials, and Taking Calls.  Often referred to as the “Morning Mayor of Atlantic City,” talk show host Harry Hurley proved that he is indeed a community leader by demonstrating exactly to what heights radio can rise in the midst of a community crisis.  Listen to him tell his story to Michael Harrison in a conversation recorded shortly after he completed his program and extended stint this morning (6/1) by clicking here.

Monday Memo: June?  So Soon?  Early March seems forever-ago, yet like yesterday. Life under quarantine has blurred the listener routines we need to be part of. In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke offers plain talk about radio’s challenges pre-, during, and post-pandemic. And why you want to play a song from 1967 on Wednesday. Read it here.

Protests Across America, Trump vs Antifa, COVID-19 Statistics & Projections and Presidential Race Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The violent protests over the police killing of George Floyd that erupted over the weekend in numerous cities across the country; President Trump’s declaration that the Antifa movement will be classified as a terrorist organization; the tally of COVID-19 cases, death toll, and projections for future cases; and the November presidential election were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Pending Business: Yogi Got It. Sales and marketing consultant Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications, writes in today’s column that radio sellers used to promising retailers that their ad campaign would “pack the place,” need to come up with a new goal. What is that goal? “What’s new, different, and important today is your new page in the game plan. ‘New’ can be your best marketing friend as you re-focus on the marketing messaging.” Read his column here.

Joe Walsh Back in Talk Radio on GAB Network and WCGO, Chicago. According to a press release from GAB Radio Network, Joe Walsh – former Illinois congressman and former WIND-AM talk show host – is geting back in the talk radio biz after leaving to challenge President Trump for the Republican nomination. Walsh famously left his position with Salem Media Group’s WIND-AM and the Salem Radio Network last summer saying he’s “done with talk radio.” Now, Walsh will host a live 11:00 am to 1:00 pm ET show in national syndication via GAB Radio Network. His program will air delayed on WCGO, Chicago from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm, local time. Walsh says, “I’m excited to be back on the radio. This country is too divided. We need to get folks out of their corners and listening to each other. That’s what I’ve always done with radio, and I think there’s a hunger for an honest voice out there.” WCGO and GAB Radio Network general manager Chuck Duncan says he feels “Joe’s passion and patriotism come at a critical time in our nation’s history, and it’s important for all perspectives on America’s direction be made available to every city in every state. We are honored to present this important forum to Joe at an essential time and look forward to having Joe’s voice heard throughout Chicago on WCGO as well as making ‘The Joe Walsh Show’ available to every concerned station’s lineup through our GAB Radio Network.”

TALKERS News Notes. WIND-AM, Chicago morning news anchor and co-host Amy Jacobson and employer Salem Media Group are suing Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker for banning Jacobson from his then-daily coronavirus pandemic press briefings after Jacobson spoke at a rally protesting Pritzker’s lockdown order. The governor’s office says Jacobson represents a talk show with a “particular point of view” and as a result she forfeits her status as a “reporter.” Jacobson and Salem argue that the governor’s ban violates Jacobson’s First Amendment rights. Salem and Jacobson are asking the court to take action to immediately allow her back into the briefings…..Former KSL-AM/FM, Salt Lake City talk show host Jay Mcfarland is featured in a piece in the Daily Herald as he runs for a seat in Congress. Mcfarland exited KSL last July and is one of four Republicans in the race for the U.S. Rep. seat in Utah’s 4th Congressional District. Mcfarland says he is positioning himself as someone who can bridge the gulf that separates Republicans and Democrats in Congress…..In another politics-meets-talk-radio story, Minnesota Public Radio reports that former Minneapolis (and nationally syndicated) talk host Jason Lewis secured the Republican nomination to run against U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) in November. Lewis served as a U.S. Rep. for Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District for one term before losing his re-election bid to Democrat Angie Craig in the fall of 2018.…..During times when major news events cause sports talk radio broadcasters to address those issues, they can face criticism from those who tell them to “stick to sports.” Obviously, this is one of those times. Mile High Sports president and CEO Nate Lundy penned an insightful piece that directly confronts that dictate. (Mile High Sports operates KDCO-AM/K248CI in Denver.) In the piece he writes, “I personally do not have any patience for the ‘stick to sports’ crowd. I will never, under any circumstances, tell our team of writers, hosts and staff to do so. Our opinions are not substandard simply because of our job description. And we believe the same about each of you. We may not agree with your opinion about the Rockies, but we support your right to think and share it.”…..Denver is not the only place where sports talk hosts are talking about social and political issues with no apologies. In Buffalo, Jeremy White of the “Howard & Jeremy” show on Entercom’s WGR “550 SportsRadio” told listeners, “I do totally understand someone that says like, ‘I come to you guys to get away from what’s going on.’ But then of course there are going to be times when that is not possible. And today what’s going on in Minneapolis, this is not possible to do, to stay away from all this stuff… There’s just so much that’s built into this. Like, ‘this is a sports station.’ That’s right. We’re also humans on this station. I care about people. I care about a lot of people. What else matters today in the world, right now? The idea that like, ‘Oh it’s just a difference of opinion.’ It’s not anymore. It’s about humanity. It’s not about opinions anymore.”…..A new podcast from Cumulus Media’s Westwood One and spoken media specialty agency Oxford Road is being unveiled called “The Bongino Brief,” hosted by former Secret Service Agent, former NYPD officer and New York Times best-selling author Dan Bongino. WWO says “The Bongino Brief” launches today and is available through smart speakers. Westwood One says it and Oxford Road are partnering to lead the development of personality-driven flash briefing programs in the smart speaker marketplace by offering flash briefings from one of the top podcasters in the world. This marks the next form of short-format streaming media, as personalities and not just news come to the format…..The WRKO, Boston-based “The Financial Exchange with Barry Armstrong, Chuck Zodda and Mike Armstrong” adds a new affiliate station as Townsquare Media’s WBEC-AM, Pittsfield, Massachusetts puts the show in its lineup for the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon slot. The show is heard on 15 stations across New England.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In honor of Black Music Month, iHeartMedia announces it will celebrate with exclusive audio vignettes from some of today’s top urban artists. The company says the celebration will “honor the incredible achievements of Black musicians and their influential contribution to the world of music.” Beginning today (6/1), iHeartMedia will air special audio messages from artists including H.E.R, Flipp Dinero, and Russ and more as they celebrate the impact and  achievements of Black musicians who have influenced their lives such as Beyonce, Dr. Dre, Jay Z, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Lauryn Hill, Ludacris, Michael Jackson, Notorious B.I.G., Prince, Tupac, and many more. iHeartMedia EVP of urban/hip hop programming strategy Doc Wynter says, “With community and personal connection being more important now than ever before, we’re honored to be able to celebrate the significant impact that Black music has had on all of us. We’re thrilled to be able to bring our listeners’ favorite artists together to support one another with inspiring messages from artists like H.E.R. who will pay tribute to the legendary Lauryn Hill, and Russ who will celebrate the important contributions that his fellow Atlanta native, Ludacris has made on Black Music.”…..Radio One launches its “We Are One: Feeding the Community Campaign.” It says it is partnering with the music community to feed hundreds of families as many are feeling the significant financial strain as a result of these tough economic times. Radio One’s 53 stations will come together across its 15 markets to feed families in their localities by giving away meals provided by local minority-owned restaurants.

Friday, May 29, 2020

| May 29, 2020

Cox Media Group Names Daniel York President and CEO. The board of directors of Cox Media Group announces Daniel York is the company’s new president and chief executive officer, effective today. York most recently served as senior executive vice president and chief content officer of AT&T and its subsidiary, DirecTV. York assumes the role previously held by Kim Guthrie, who left the company last month. Executive chairman Steve Pruett says, “On behalf of the board of directors, I would like to welcome Dan as the president and CEO of Cox Media Group. He has a background of success in media, content, distribution, operations, and successfully leading large organizations. Most importantly, he embraces contemporary thinking as the media landscape continues to evolve. We have full confidence he is the right person to lead CMG in the next phase of the company’s growth.” York says, “I am excited to lead Cox Media Group, a company that has the most talented team and leadership in the industry. I have always admired and respected the unparalleled quality of CMG’s 90+ TV and radio stations, digital and advertising platforms, and the company’s unwavering commitment to journalistic integrity. The past few months have underscored that there is no substitute for the most important and valuable content in the ecosystem, market-leading local news and entertainment. I look forward to working with the board and the CMG team as we continue to enhance our partnerships with our advertisers, content providers and distribution outlets to best serve our communities and millions of viewers and listeners.”

NOW POSTED:  New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.”   The vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted.  The new episode titled, “Aside From That Mrs. Lincoln, How Was The Beach?” looks back at this past week of May 25-29, 2020 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERSJim Bohannon, talk show host, Westwood OneBrett Winterble, talk show host, WBT, Charlotte; Joyce Kaufman, talk show host, WFTL, Ft. Lauderdale/Miami/Palm Beaches; Steve Weisman, law professor, Bentley University, Boston / webmaster, Scamicide.com; Lars Larson, talk show host, KXL, Portland / Compass Media Networks; Dr. Sebastian Gorka, talk show host, Salem Radio Network; and Peter King, correspondent, CBS News Radio, Kennedy Space Center.  This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WRKO, Boston; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver “Freedom 93.7”; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY;  WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE,  Mankato, MN, the Virginia Talk Radio Network, Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA, Podcast Radio, UK and many more.  To listen to this week’s episode,  please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.  “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

Report: KFNS-AM, St. Louis Morning Host McKernan Leading Group to Acquire the Station. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Dan Caesar reports that KFNS-AM, St. Louis sports talk personality Tim McKernan is leading a group of potential investors to buy KFNS from current owner Randy Markel. Earlier this year, Markel announced he was on track to sell 50% interest in the station to two local businessmen. But the coronavirus pandemic has put that deal on hold. Now, sources tell Caesar that Markel and McKernan have signed a letter of intent for the sale. McKernan hosts the morning drive program “The Morning After” on the station. The report indicates McKernan’s investor group includes former St. Louis Blues player Pat Maroon. Markel tells Caesar he’s in the process of selling the station for “seven figures” but he can’t reveal to whom – just that the deal will happen, or not, by July 1.

POTUS Appears on Buck Sexton Show. Several days after Premiere Networks syndicated talk host Buck Sexton visited the Oval Office for “private, exclusive conversation” with President Trump, the president made good on his promise to appear on Sexton’s radio program. The two discussed America’s approach to the coronavirus pandemic and why we have to move forward before it’s too late; how “Russia Gate” makes Watergate look like small potatoes; why his executive order curtailing the power of social media platforms was necessary; what his administration has accomplished the last three and a half years; what he thinks about running against Joe Biden, and more. Photo by Shealah Craighead

Urban One Reports Q1 Net Revenue Down 3.6%. Reporting its financial data for the first quarter of 2020, Urban One, Inc., parent company of Radio One, revealed net revenue for the quarter was $94.9 million, a decrease of 3.6% from the same period in 2019. Broadcast and digital operating income was approximately $37.6 million, an increase of approximately $4.3 million from the same period in 2019. Urban One is reporting an operating loss of approximately $27.3 million compared to operating income of approximately $14.8 million for the same period in 2019. Urban One CEO and president Alfred C. Liggins III says, “We got off to a great start to the year, with robust political advertising pushing same station revenues to +3.2% and +13.2% for January and February respectively. Then the impact of COVID-19 hit our radio markets and March rapidly turned from positive to finish -14.1%. Despite this, we were able to post double digit Adjusted EBITDA growth for the quarter, and this is a testament to both our diversified mix of assets and the dedication and skill of our employees. On a same station basis, radio advertising for April was down 58.3%, and Q2 is pacing -58.1%. Both local and national advertising is impacted by broadly similar percentages. Like many other businesses, we were forced to reduce fixed costs by means of furloughs, layoffs, significant salary cuts, and reduction of all discretionary expenditure. Our diverse mix of assets will help us through this crisis; in particular our cable TV and digital segments are not impacted to the same extent as radio, and due to a combination of strong ratings, deferred programming and marketing expenses plus other cost cuts, we expect the TV segment to deliver incremental EBITDA to help offset some of the declines in radio.  Liquidity remains strong, and I believe we have seen a floor in the revenue declines. As markets begin to re-open state by state, we intend to partner with our clients using all of our platforms to help them re-start their businesses and serve their communities in these unprecedented times.”

TALKERS News Notes. After announcing her retirement from Entercom’s WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago several weeks ago, morning news anchor Felicia Middlebrooks did her last shift at the all-news station today (5/29). WBBM gave her a “proper send-off” by airing a compilation of audio looking back at her time with the station as well as colleagues saying “good-bye.” Morning editor Zac Weber said, “The news can be ugly and scary and overwhelming sometimes, but you, more than anyone else, served as a constant reminder that we can always be hopeful, and always expect the best from you.”…..Three honors from the Society of Professional Journalists Keystone Pro Chapter were bestowed upon Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” over the Memorial Day weekend. The awards were for work done in 2019. “New Jersey 101.5” deputy digital editor Sergio Bichao and reporter David Matthau won The Spotlight Award for their entry on how judges minimized sexual assault in New Jersey. Afternoon drive host Jeff Deminski won first place in the Blog category for a portfolio of opinion pieces. The team of Eric Scott, director of special projects; Patrick Lavery, afternoon anchor; Louis C. Hochman, digital managing editor; and Dan Alexander, digital news reporter won second place for Web Use, for the station’s on-air and online town hall event focusing on opioid abuse…..Entercom New York all-news outlets WCBS-AM and WINS-AM were honored with 10 2019 New York State Associated Press Association News and Broadcast Contest Awards. The two stations were jointly honored with a first-place award in the Podcast category for their collaboration on “The Breakdown,” a deep-dive into America’s infrastructure crisis. WCBS-AM took home nine other first place awards, including for Outstanding News Operation, Spot News Coverage, and Newscast…..SiriusXM announces that comedian Adam Carolla will host a special, virtual edition of his popular tour show “Adam Corolla Is Unprepared” on Monday, June 1 at 10:00 pm ET. This one-hour special video broadcast will feature Carolla hosting via Zoom. In this “Unprepared” show, Carolla – while sheltering in place from his home – improvises stand-up based on one-word suggestions from audience members pulled at random. Additionally, SiriusXM will also air a separate, exclusive two-hour “Unprepared” special featuring previously recorded comedy club shows from last year…..Pictured below is Salem Radio Network News White House correspondent Greg Clugston at Joint Base Andrews preparing to board Air Force Two for Vice President Mike Pence’s flight to Atlanta for a memorial service honoring evangelist and best-selling author Ravi Zacharias, founder of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, who died on May 19.

Statistics & Projections and 100,000 Deaths Top News/Talk Story for Week of May 25-29. The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., the death toll of more than 100,000 and projections for future cases combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the re-opening process and the state of the economy. Coming in at #3 was health care, tied with antibodies, testing, and the wearing of masks, followed by President Trump vs NC over the Republican National Convention, the presidential race, and politics 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 complete chart here.

 

 

News Anchor. With the retirement of a 35-year morning drive veteran, Chicago’s top-rated station, WBBM Newsradio, has a rare opportunity for a talented news anchor. Solid skills as a journalist are a must, including writing and reporting, along with strong on-air delivery and ability to handle high-pressure, breaking news situations with ease and grace. Requirements and expectations along with an online application can be found here. Entercom is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer.

Great Talk Host Opportunity: WBAL-AM, Baltimore Seeks PM Drive Personality. The Hearst news/talk station says: “Meaningful live and local talk is very healthy at WBAL NewsRadio FM & AM in Baltimore. We have stayed true to our mission for 95 years: a 24/7 local connection and commitment to breaking news and captivating talk. We are also the home of the Baltimore Ravens and Navy Football. This is a rigorous search for a dynamic individual, or team, to host PM drive. Beyond on-air responsibilities, our team is active on social media and in the community. Our presentation aims to be lively, fast, riveting and our hosts understand the pulse of Baltimore, Maryland and the country. We believe you can’t spell ‘Baltimore’ without B-A-L. Your mission is to create a daily PM drive program that transcends all formats as a ‘must listen.’ Be prepared to provide audio samples, but let’s start with your philosophy for local talk in 2020 and your background and life experiences. Your first step is to apply on-line at Hearst Television Careers here. Please know your interest will be held in strict confidence. Check us out at Hearst.com…a dynamic privately held organization with unmatched cable, television, radio, magazines and newspaper platforms.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The nationally syndicated “DeDe in the Morning” show joins the program schedule at Midwest Communications’ urban contemporary WQTX, Lansing, Michigan “Stacks 92.1.” The program is hosted by DeDe McGuire and is syndicated via a partnership between Dallas-based Service Broadcasting Group and Compass Media Networks. Station operations manager Terry Stevens says, “The playlist on ‘Stacks 92.1’ has a very fun, upbeat vibe. We needed a morning show that fits that vibe. All fun and no drama. After listening to ‘DeDe in the Morning’ and seeing the results she delivers in markets similar to ours we are 100% confident that DeDe and her team are the perfect fit for AM Drive on ‘Stacks 92.1!’”

Thursday, March 5, 2020

| March 5, 2020

Susan Larkin to Succeed Weezie Kramer as Entercom COO. When Entercom acquired the radio assets of CBS RADIO in 2017, chief operating officer Weezie Kramer put off her planned retirement to help lead the company’s operations “through the integration and critical transformation initiatives to elevate and enhance the company’s competitive position.”  Now, Kramer is leaving her COO position effective May 5 when current New York market manager and regional president Susan Larkin will assume the COO role.  Kramer will continue to serve the company as a senior executive adviser to Entercom president and CEO David Field.  Kramer joined the company in 2000.  The company is already in the process of seeking Larkin’s replacement in New York.  David Field says, “Weezie has been an extraordinary, inspiring leader and a fiercely determined, tireless competitor and strategist who has built an outstanding record of success over the many years in which she has led us forward as our chief operating officer.  She set an uncompromising standard of excellence for all, both professionally and personally, driving us to be our very best while maintaining the highest ethical standards.  She earned the sincere admiration, respect and affection of the entire Entercom team, and much of the industry, for her spirited leadership and decency and for being a full-throated, unapologetic champion for radio.  She has been an extraordinarily successful COO and we are all immensely grateful to her. While she will be deeply missed as COO, I am thrilled that she will be joining the Entercom board where we will continue to benefit from her wisdom and guidance for years to come.”  Speaking about her new role with Entercom, Larkin says, “This is an exciting time for Entercom, and for all audio media.  I am thrilled to be part of Entercom’s forward-thinking strategy as we continue to set ourselves apart as the best operator and creator of audio content in the U.S. and realize the value of our engaged impressions with advertisers.  Weezie has been an incredible mentor and the best leader I could ask for.  I am honored to work with such a strong team and excited about the next phase of Entercom’s continued growth, expansion and strategic vision.”

Emmis/Mediaco SVP Charlie Morgan to Leave for New Opportunity. Senior vice president Charlie Morgan is leaving his role with Emmis/Mediaco for a new opportunity.  Morgan, who served with the company for the past 10 years – six in Indianapolis and the past four years in New York, is credited by the company with “leading the turnaround of Emmis operations in Indianapolis and New York (now Mediaco).  His focus on product quality, operational excellence, innovation and, perhaps most important, on culture and talent development as the ultimate path to winning have been central to our success.  Charlie’s emphasis on building great teams through coaching and development has enhanced the careers of countless colleagues over the years at Mediaco, Emmis, Cumulus, IMS Productions and Susquehanna.  We sincerely thank him for all his efforts and wish him the absolute best in his next endeavor.”  The company says it is beginning a search for a permanent leader for Mediaco New York.  In the meantime, Emmis/Mediaco president Patrick Walsh will serve as interim New York market manager.

George Beasley Honored with Lifetime Achievement Award at Broadcasters Foundation of America Golden Mike Ceremony. New York’s Plaza Hotel was the scene of last night’s Broadcasters Foundation of America 2020 Golden Mike Award Gala.  More than 350 broadcasters and celebrities were there as the BFoA raised more than $400,000 to support broadcasters in need.  At this year’s event, Tegna president and CEO Dave Lougee received the 2020 Golden Mike Award and Beasley Media Group founder and chairman George Beasley received the Lifetime Achievement Award.  Pictured above are (from l-r): BFoA chairman Dan Mason, Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley (accepting for her father George), BFoA president Jim Thompson and event host and “Inside Edition” anchor Deborah Norville.

New York Festivals to Honor the National Press Club.  At the New York Festivals Storytellers Gala taking place on April 21 at the NAB Show in Las Vegas, the National Press Club will be honored with the New York Festivals Lifetime Achievement Award.  NYF says its Lifetime Achievement Award “recognizes prominent industry leaders and driving forces in the broadcast industry whose accomplishment have advanced their field and made a lasting impression on the industry.”  NYF TV & Film Awards/Radio Awards vice president/executive director Rose Anderson says, “For over a century, the National Press Club has upheld responsible journalism, supported freedom of the press worldwide, and provided a forum for the exchange of substantive ideas in our Nation’s Capital.  Their members’ commitment to excellence encompasses all media.  In this year marking the centennial of radio and our inaugural Storyteller’s Gala, we are proud to honor this organization with the New York Festivals Lifetime Achievement Award.”  National Press Club president Michael Freedman will accept the award on behalf of the organization.

Cumulus Nashville Stations to Hold Radiothon for Tornado Relief. The Nashville cluster of Cumulus Media is holding the Cumulus Cares Tornado Relief Radiothon tomorrow (3/6) at Edley’s Bar-B-Que to raise money for the Middle Tennessee Emergency Response Fund.  It started when Will Newman from Edley’s reached out to WGFX-FM “104-5 The Zone” personality Jonathan Hutton about ways to give back to the community in the wake of the devastating tornados.  The radiothon was born and tomorrow WGFX-FM, news/talk WWTN-FM, and Cumulus’ three music stations will broadcast live encouraging cash donations.  In addition, Cumulus is collecting necessities such as diapers, blankets, baby formula, wipes, gloves, toothpaste, Ziploc bags, tide pods, and feminine hygiene products at accessible areas nearby the broadcast site.

WPHT, Philadelphia to Hold Third Annual Liberty USO Radiothon. In Philadelphia tomorrow (3/6), Entercom news/talker WPHT is hosting the 3rd annual “Talk Radio 1210 WPHT Liberty USO Radiothon” to benefit Active, Guard and Reserve military and their families through programs and services at the United Service Organization of Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey (Liberty USO).  The station will broadcast live from Chickie’s & Pete’s Play 2 from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm ET.  The broadcast will be anchored by on-air personalities Rich Zeoli and Dom Giordano.  Entercom Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff says, “We care deeply about serving those who have served our country and I’m proud of the role WPHT plays in supporting Liberty USO.  This annual radiothon aims to raise awareness and funds on behalf of service members and their families right here in our community through the generosity of our listeners.”

Suburban Philly News/Talker to Go Dark. WNPV-AM/W253CA, Lansdale, Pennsylvania “The Talk of the Suburbs” announces it will cease programming on April 30 and go off the air.  WFMZ-TV reports general manager Phil Hunt saying in a press release, “Our mission has always been to serve the public interest by providing top-quality local news, and we have never been willing to compromise on that promise.  In recent years, it has become increasingly difficult to compete for both audience and advertising dollars, and unfortunately it is no longer sustainable to continue to run the business in a way that delivers the service our community expects and deserves.  We are grateful for the support of our loyal listeners, the belief of our advertisers and the commitment from our talented team.  It has been an honor to serve this community.”  The signals are owned and operated by North Penn Valley Broadcasting and serve Bucks and Montgomery counties.

WHO, Des Moines Personality Bonnie Lucas Wraps Radio Career Tomorrow. Des Moines radio personality Bonnie Lucas is retiring from iHeartMedia’s news/talk WHO, Des Moines after tomorrow morning’s show.  She’s been co-hosting the station’s AM drive program with co-host (and station PD) Van Harden since 1994.  Lucas’ final show will take place on the road as she and Harden broadcast live from Meals from the Heartland in West Des Moines for the “2020 Van & Bonnie Hunger Fight,” a non-profit, food-packing event where volunteers package meals for delivery to malnourished people in Iowa, across the United States and around the world.  Beginning Monday (3/9), Van Harden will host the morning show with special feature guests including familiar WHO personalities such as Jeff Angelo, Simon Conway, Emery Songer, and Maxwell Schaeffer as well as prominent central Iowa public figures and entertainers.

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM midday anchor – and host of the “Noon Business Hour” – Cisco Cotto is launching “WBBM In Depth,” a weekly podcast that further explores local business news stories.  The podcast will also include interviews plus reports from contributors.  focusing on trending news stories and their impact on the business world. It also features longer interviews with contributors and experts…..Entercom’s Philadelphia radio stations moved into the company’s new RADIO.COM World Headquarters at 2400 Market Street in Philly last month.  All-news KYW-AM, news/talk WPHT, sports talk WIP-FM, adult contemporary WBEB “B101.1,” CHR WDTY, and classic hits WOGL are all now located in the company’s headquarters.  At the KYW site, videographer Holli Stephens presents a two-minute video of the gleaming new studios and offices.  Check it out here…..The Milwaukee Business Journal reports that former Green Bay Packers fullback and fan favorite John Kuhn is being courted by local and national media organizations for a full-time sports talk role. Kuhn began working in the Packers front office last April as an analyst for digital, broadcast, and game presentations.  He was a sideline reporter for radio flagship WTMJ, Milwaukee’s broadcasts last season.  The MBJ cites sources saying iHeartMedia’s sports talk WRNW-FM “The Game” is talking with him about joining its lineup, though nothing is set in stone yet.

Coronavirus Pandemic, Presidential Race, Financial Markets Activity, SCOTUS Hears Abortion Case/Schumer Comments, Israel Election, Syria-Turkey Violence, and Tennessee Tornado Aftermath Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/4). The status of the coronavirus pandemic and California’s declaring a state of emergency; Joe Biden’s leap to frontrunner in the Democratic primary race; the world’s financial markets react to the coronavirus pandemic; the Supreme Court hears arguments in the Louisiana abortion law case and Senator Chuck Schumer is criticized for threatening Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh; the results of Israel’s most recent election in which Benjamin Netanyahu failed to achieve a majority; the military clashes between Syrian and Turkish forces; and the aftermath of the Tennessee tornadoes were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

‘Inside Edition’ Anchor Deborah Norville Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. “Inside Edition” anchor Deborah Norville is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” The two-time Emmy Award winning broadcaster is celebrating her 25th anniversary as host of the daily news magazine establishing her as the longest-running daily anchor in national television. She is also getting ready to emcee the annual Broadcasters Foundation of America Golden Mike Award Dinner tomorrow evening (3/4) at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. The dinner is the BFoA’s signature fundraising event to help broadcasters who’ve fallen on hard times due to medical crises or natural disasters. Norville is an accomplished broadcaster with outstanding television and radio credentials. She joined “Inside Edition” in 1995 from CBS News where she was an anchor and correspondent. She is the former co-host of NBC’s “Today” and anchor of NBC “News at Sunrise.” During her career she has hosted a primetime show on MSNBC, a national radio show on the ABC Talk Radio Network and has served as an anchor and reporter for WMAQ-TV in Chicago. She began her reporting career at WAGA-TV in Atlanta, while still a student at the University of Georgia, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and graduated summa cum laude, First Honor Graduate with a perfect 4.0 GPA. She is also a prolific best-selling author and active with a number of leading causes and charities. Harrison and Norville discuss the Broadcasters Foundation as well as her career in television, changes in audience attention spans, the state of the media industry, and the #MeToo movement. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

| November 20, 2019

WIBC, Indianapolis Talk Host Tony Katz Speaks with VP Pence at White House Radio Row. In the photo above taken at yesterday’s White House Radio Row on the United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement, WIBC-FM, Indianapolis morning host and syndicated late morning personality Tony Katz (right) interviews Vice President Mike Pence (left).  Katz says he was one of just three talk hosts to interview Pence at the daylong event that featured a number of GOP members of Congress and Trump administration officials speaking with the invited group of radio hosts.  Pence’s comments to Katz on the China-Hong Kong tensions made national news, with the VP saying, “The president has made it very clear; it would be very hard to do a deal with China if there is any violence or if that matter is not treated properly and humanely.”

Lori Lewis Launches Social Media Consultancy. Social media and radio pro Lori Lewis announces the launch of her social media consultancy firm, Lori Lewis Media.  She says her firm offers “brands the most affordable way to finally put a social media strategy in play with proven, winning tactics to drive audience and revenue growth.”  Lewis served for three years as vice president of social media for Cumulus Media and Westwood One.  Prior to that, she was director of digital and social strategy at Jacobs Media.  She’s also worked in the radio industry as a programmer and talent.

FOX Sports Radio Reports October Audience Growth. The sports audio network cites October 2019 data for its radio and streaming ratings as well as podcast listens, reporting record audience totals.  FOX Sports Radio – a division of Premiere Networks – says that “The Herd with Colin Cowherd achieved its “single greatest month in average quarter hour audience, growing +31.4% with Adults 25-54 and +36.2% with Men 25-54.”  “Outkick the Coverage with Clay Travis” “had its best AQH month ever in October, increasing +38.3% with Adults 25-54 and +53.5% with Men 25-54.”  Also, FOX Sports says it posted its largest streaming audience in the history of the network with total listening hours increasing +21% year-to-year in October 2019.  The network also set another record for total monthly podcast listens in October, reaching more than 11 million monthly listens.

Entercom Adds Local News Content on Google Assistant. Leveraging the power of its all-news radio stations, Entercom is adding local news audio content to the new “Your News Update,” on the Google Assistant.  Entercom says that through this partnership, local content from stations including 1010 WINS and WCBS 880 in New York, KNX 1010 News Radio in Los Angeles, WBBM Newsradio in Chicago, Newsradio 1080 KRLD in Dallas, WWJ News Radio 950 in Detroit, KYW Newsradio in Philadelphia, KCBS All News in San Francisco and News Radio 1120 KMOX in St. Louis will be featured as part of the “Your News Update” platform.  This follows the stations’ exclusive participation as part of the platform’s beta-testing phase.  “Your News Update” will showcase a mix of short news stories chosen in that moment based on users’ interests, location, history, and preferences, as well as the top news stories from publishers from around the world including Associated Press, FOX News, Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter and more.

Vanessa Wojtusiak Named VP of Marketing for iHeartMedia Hartford/New Haven. Marketing pro Vanessa Wojtusiak joins iHeartMedia Hartford/New Haven as vice president of marketing.  The markets include news/talk WPOP-AM, Hartford and WELI, New Haven plus sports talker WUCS-FM, Hartford and WAVZ-AM, New Haven.  Wojtusiak joins iHeartMedia from Nexstar’s WTNH-TV, New Haven where she most recently served as the director of audience development and executive digital producer.  She’s also served as national director of social marketing for iHeartRadio, an online marketing manager for WHTZ, New York “Z100” and the marketing assistant for WXKS-FM, Boston “KISS 108.”  She says, “I am thrilled to be back home where I started my media career 18 years ago.  Radio has been my longstanding passion and a medium that still has a meaningful and powerful presence in local communities.  I can’t wait to keep elevating the iconic local brands alongside a very talented team.”

TALKERS News Notes. The New York Post’s Andrew Marchand is continuing his watch over the sports talk radio scene in New York and reports that current WFAN 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm personality Bart Scott is expected to jump across town to ESPN-owned rival WEPN as co-host of the show in the same time slot.  ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith – currently hosting the ESPN Radio network show in that daypart – is leaving his radio duties with the company for more TV work, leaving that time slot open.  He also says sources indicate current WFAN midday team Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts are odds-on favorites to assume the afternoon drive show on WFAN when Mike Francesa moves to the RADIO.COM platform.  Read his column here…..iHeartRadio launches a new branded podcast in collaboration with T-Mobile for Business, titled “This Time Tomorrow.”  In it, podcast hosts Oz Woloshyn and Karah Preiss look closely at how innovations in 5G connectivity will revolutionize the way people work, socialize, and interact with the world…..Cox Media Group’s news/talk KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa  launches its 14th annual Stories of Light fundraiser to benefit Make-A-Wish Oklahoma.  The goal is to raise $300,000 during the three-day radiothon.  The KRMG team moves its entire broadcast to LaFortune Park in Tulsa for the radiothon and encourages listeners to stop by with donations.  This event has raised more than $3 million since its inception…..SiriusXM and Amazon announce that SiriusXM’s On Demand library is now available to subscribers with Amazon Alexa and Echo devices, as well as several third-party devices with Alexa built-in.  The move allows subscribers with streaming access to simply ask Alexa to play their favorite SiriusXM shows and compelling content whenever they want it.

Edison Research Unveils ‘Podcast Consumer Tracker’ Report. This new report from Edison Research is what the company calls “the first successful endeavor to present a unified look at audience information at the publisher/network level.”  It says the Podcast Consumer Tracker also contains “competitive intelligence, audience demographics, and sales targeting information for podcast publishers and networks.  It currently has 10 charter subscribers, including NPRPodcastOne, Wondery, ESPN, WarnerMedia, and “other significant publishing and agency partners.”  While the comparative rankings of publisher networks are available only to subscribers, Edison offers some of the findings of its first report: “The Joe Rogan Experience” is the leading podcast in terms of reach amongst weekly podcast consumers; there are significant content consumption differences between iPhone and Android users, rendering ‘Top Podcast’ charts derived exclusively from users of either to be unrepresentative of total listening behavior; and while the study tracks the relative reach of the top podcast networks, 54% of weekly podcast consumers have listened to an unaffiliated, independent podcast in the last week.  Edison Reasearch SVP Tom Webster says, “This is the first study in the podcast space to tackle a universal measure of reach.  There are, of course, various charts of downloads that cover parts of the overall universe, but those either reflect only a portion of the podcast audience, or they only measure publishers that opt-in.  The Podcast Consumer Tracker’s goal is a truly inclusive measure of the comparative penetration of the leading publishers and networks.  In that, we have been highly successful.”

Impeachment Hearings/Ukraine Allegations, 2020 Presidential Race/Atlanta Debate, Epstein Guards Charged, Israel-Syria Skirmish, and Hong Kong University Siege Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/19). This week’s impeachment testimony about the allegations of President Trump’s impropriety with regard to Ukraine military aid; the Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in 2020 and tonight’s debate in Atlanta; the charges being filed against the Manhattan prison guards on duty when Jeffrey Epstein died are charged as the investigation continues; Israel fires at Iranian military targets in Syria; and the Hong Kong University siege were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

The Story of The Fisher House Foundation. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian writes about the birth and growth of the Fisher House Foundation and its harnessing the “power in radio” to raise awareness of the organization’s mission.  As regular TALKERS readers are probably aware, the Fisher House Foundation builds comfort homes where family members of military personnel and veterans can stay while their loved one is in the hospital.  Since its inception, the Fisher House estimates it has saved families $451 million in out-of-pocket costs for housing and transportation.  How the Fisher House Foundation began and how its relationship with radio – especially news/talk radio – is an interesting story.  Read Mike Kinosian’s piece here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  In Los Angeles, entertainment, news & traffic reporter Lisa May announces she’s leaving the “Frosty, Heidi & Frank” morning show at Meruelo Media’s classic rock KLOS, effective December 13.  The longtime Los Angeles radio personality is moving to Palm Springs to work in the personal fitness business…..A surprise on Long Island as longtime adult contemporary WALK-FM morning drive personality Mark Daniels exits the station.  Newsday reports the 63-year-old Daniels has been with Connoisseur Media’s WALK since 1985.  Daniels’s on-air partner Jamie Morris is staying on and will be part of the new morning show set to debut in January…..YEA Networks announces that the “Tino Cochino Radio” show is being added to the programming lineup on hip hop KQKS, Denver “KS 1075,” its first Entercom-owned affiliate station.….On Friday (11/22), the iHeartRadio album release party with Coldplay, celebrating the release of Everyday Life takes place.  The hour-long on air special will feature a performance and an exclusive interview hosted by iHeartRadio on-air personality, Harms.  It airs at 8:00 pm local time on iHeartMedia alternative and triple A stations…..BMI announces the appointment of Nexstar Media Group president and CEO Perry Sook to the BMI board of directors, effective January 1, 2020.   Board chair Michael J. Fiorile says, “We’re extremely pleased to welcome Perry Sook to the BMI board of directors.  Perry has achieved incredible success at Nexstar and we know he will be a valuable addition to the board as we continue our mission of protecting the rights of songwriters, composers, and music publishers and advocating for the value of music.”

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

| May 29, 2019

Progressive Talker WCPT, Chicago Names Santita Jackson Morning Host. Chicago progressive talk outlet WCPT is filling the morning show daypart with air personality Santita Jackson.  The station had an opening because of Bill Press’ decision to end his radio show and focus on a podcast.  The daughter of Rev. Jesse Jackson is the executive producer of his Premiere Networks-syndicated program, “Keep Hope Alive.”  She’ll host the 6:00 am to 8:00 am program beginning Monday (6/3).  WCPT general manager Mark Pinski says, “Santita has a dynamic, engaging personality and she will connect well with our listeners.  With Santita live and local in the morning, followed by Stephanie Miller, Thom Hartmann, Joan Esposito, and Rick Ungar, this is the best Monday-through-Friday progressive lineup in WCPT history.”  Santita Jackson has been off local radio for five years.  She previously hosted the midday show at Midway Broadcasting’s crosstown urban talk outlet WVON-AM.

Kris Kridel to Retire from WBBM. Chicago media reporter Robert Feder has the story that longtime Chicago radio news pro Kris Kridel is calling it a career with all-news WBBM-AM/ WCFS-FM and will leave the station on June 7.   Just a couple of months ago, Kridel left her full-time role as the afternoon drive news anchor and has been part-time as the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm anchor.  Station director of news and programming Ron Gleason told the staff in a memo, “She’s been the consummate journalist, our go-to person for any discussion of ethics and how best to cover stories.  We will miss her dearly but are excited she’ll be able to travel and enjoy much more time with her family and friends.”

Reno Talk Host Bill Manders Dies.  The details are few but the family of former, longtime KOH, Reno talk show host Bill Manders reports that he passed away on Monday (5/27).  Television station KTVN, Reno says his daughter explained that he’d experienced health issues in recent years and had a kidney transplant in 2014.

Libsyn Podcasts Available on RADIO.COM. The podcast hosting firm Liberated Syndication Libsyn – signs a deal with Entercom to make its stable of 62,000 active podcasts available on the latter’s RADIO.COM platform.  Entercom vice president of business development Corey Podolski says, “As the fastest growing digital audio app in the country, we are laser-focused on providing the content we know our listeners want, wherever and however they want it.  Podcast listening on RADIO.COM continues to grow at an accelerating pace. Partnering with Libsyn to make it simple for podcasters to reach millions of listeners on our platform is a win for everyone.”  The press release says the Libsyn network reaches more than 111 million monthly unique audience members.”

Cox Media Tulsa Initiates Disaster Relief.  In coordination with the American Red Cross of Oklahoma, Cox Media Group Tulsa’s news/talk KRMG-AM/FM and four sister music-formatted stations are raising money for local disaster relief efforts in the wake of the tornadoes and historic flooding in Green Country (Northeast Oklahoma).  Tomorrow (5/30), the stations will join Cox’s KOKI-TV “FOX23” for a live, 13-hour fundraising broadcast from LaFortune Park.  CMG Tulsa market VP Cathy Gunther says, “Supporting our community in a time of uncertainty and stress is something that is part of the fabric of our organization.  We are honored to be able to do something to help our neighbors and know that our viewers and listeners will respond.”

TALKERS News Notes.  In Miami, the NHL’s Florida Panthers and Entercom sports talker WQAM agree to an extension of their broadcast rights deal.  In addition to game broadcasts, WQAM will feature weekly player interviews, a coach’s show featuring head coach Joel Quenneville, a weekly in-season “Panthers Insider” show, in-season “Panthers’ Wednesdays,” and additional ancillary coverage including a one-hour preseason special and a two-hour live NHL Draft broadcast.  Entercom South Florida SVP and market manager Keriann Worley says, “As South Florida’s iconic sports station, WQAM is committed to being the go-to home for Miami’s devoted sports fans.  We’re thrilled to continue our partnership with the Florida Panthers and are committed to providing fans with comprehensive coverage of their hometown team.”…..“The Woj Pod,” the podcast from ESPN senior NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski, is now officially part of ESPN Podcasts and ESPN will start publishing the podcast beginning July 1.  ESPN vice president, digital strategy and marketing within ESPN Audio Tom Ricks says, “ESPN is committed to our podcast business and as an exclamation point on that, we’re thrilled to have the Woj Pod in-house.  Based on Woj’s unrivaled reputation, his connections in the league, coupled with ESPN’s ability to present this content in unique ways, we look forward to continuing to serve basketball fans in the podcast space.  We plan to use ESPN platforms and our multimedia promotional power to grow the podcast’s audience.”

2020 Presidential Politics, Trump-Bolton Messages, Severe Weather, New Abortion Laws, Immigration Policy/Border Wall, and U.S.-China Trade Relations Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/28). The Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the different messages on Iran and North Korea being sent by Trump and national security adviser John Bolton; the large number of tornadoes and storms slamming the Midwest; the several states that have adopted new, strict anti-abortion laws and the threat to Roe v Wade; the immigration crisis at the Southern border and the status of the wall project; and U.S.-China relations as both nations slap tariffs on the other’s exports 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. Urban radio pro Miss Monique is named program director for iHeartMedia’s hip hop WXBT “100.1 The Beat” and urban adult contemporary WXBT-HD2/W288CX “Throwback 105.5” in Columbia, South Carolina.  She was most recently with the company’s hip hop WZHT, Montgomery “HOT 105.7.”  She says, “I am excited, humbled, and thankful for this awesome opportunity to program these iHeartMedia stations.  I look forward to helping the stations grow and exploring Columbia as my new home.”…..Toledo radio personality Gary Shores announces that he’s leaving his role as morning host at Cumulus Media’s country WKKO “K100” to focus on his health.  Shores has been battling Pulmonary Fibrosis for the past three years and he tells his listeners that the disease is making it hard for him to do his job because of the breathing difficulties it creates.  The morning program will continue with Lyn Casye and Cliff Smithers hosting.

Friday, March 29 ,2019

| March 29, 2019

Programmer Peter Thiele Exits KARN-FM, Little Rock. Talk programming pro Peter Thiele tells TALKERS magazine he’s exited Cumulus Media’s news/talk KARN-FM, Little Rock after two years and is looking forward to his “next success story.”  He comments, “What an amazing experience.  I am profoundly grateful to the talented staff at KARN in Little Rock.  In two years, we experienced explosive, in-demo ratings growth.  I am excited for what is next.”  You can reach Thiele at: thepeterthiele@gmail.com.

WVON, Chicago Announces New PM Drive Show. Chicago media personality Cliff Kelley is putting the wraps on his afternoon drive show at Midway Broadcasting’s urban news/talk WVON today.  Chicago media reporter Robert Feder reports that the station is  bringing back former station morning personality Matt McGill to partner with attorney and community activist Kimberley Egonmwan for the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm program, beginning Monday (4/1).  As Feder notes, McGill quit the station in 2017 after Maze Jackson was brought in as co-host of the morning show. McGill had been hosting a show on Newsweb’s crosstown progressive talk station WCPT. Egonmwan has been serving as a contributor to WVON.

The Epoch Times Newspaper has Good Source Material for News/Talk Radio per Mueller Report Aftermath.  The aftermath of the Robert Mueller Report is currently the hottest topic on news/talk radio in America. For the past two years, The Epoch Times international newspaper – based out of New York – has been following the Donald Trump presidency from a unique and insightful perspective and working closely with radio and TV hosts in providing guests and resources of value and interest to illuminate the topic.  Now, the news organization is booking interviews for talk media with its knowledgeable editor-in-chief Jasper Fakkert to discuss the subject of Russian collusion.  According to Fakkert, “The Special Counsel investigation has concluded that there is no evidence of collusion between Trump and Russia.  Attorney General William Barr has also determined that there is no obstruction of justice case.  The news confirms reporting by The Epoch Times over the past two years that there was no evidence of collusion.”  Fakkert continues, “A lot of media outlets, for one reason or another, bought into this narrative that the president colluded with Russia to win the election… we never bought in that narrative.”  To arrange an interview with Jasper Fakkert, please call Lisa W. at 917-521-6028 or email her at lisaw@epochtimes.com.  For further material, check out the fascinating “Spygate” infographic published by The Epoch Times in October of 2018 by clicking here.

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that market news pro Bob Roberts is retiring from his position with Entercom’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM on April 16.  Roberts has been with the station since 2000.  He previously had worked at former, longtime news station WMAQ (now sports talk WSCR)…..Westwood One adds a new podcast to The Empow(h)er Network.  The “Mommies Tell All” podcast is hosted by The Bachelor’s Carly Waddell and Jade Roper and is billed as “an honest and hysterical take on women and motherhood.”  The show was formerly known as “Babes and Babies” and returns with new episodes and all new tell-all stories…..With the sale of WYAY-FM, Atlanta from Cumulus Media to EMF, Cumulus and the Atlanta Braves agree to move the FM play-by-play broadcasts to WNNX “Rock 100.5.”  The games are also heard on Dickey Broadcasting’s crosstown WCNN-AM “The Fan.”  Atlanta Braves president and CEO Derek Schiller says, “Rock 100.5 gives us a fantastic opportunity to bring the excitement of this young Braves baseball team to Atlanta’s favorite rock station.”…..Nevada Public Radio is being awarded a $500,000 Infrastructure and Capacity Building Challenge Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to be applied to its “Give Voice” Major Gift Initiative.  The grant awarded will be used to complete a critical technical upgrade to the Nevada Public Radio broadcast hub and statewide network.  President and CEO Florence Rogers says. “Nevada Public Radio delivers the Humanities ‘at scale’ without barrier to access.  This grant will help protect access and infrastructure for another generation.  On behalf of our campaign committee we are very humbled to be a recipient of NEH funding to further our mission.”

Mueller Report Aftermath Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 25-29. The aftermath of the Mueller investigation report was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was President Trump’s battle to take the Affordable Care Act off the books. Coming in at #3 was the unusual turn of events in the Jussie Smollett case, followed by the status of the U.S.-Mexico border wall and migrant caravans 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.

Digital Entertainment Leader Reza Izad Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the most influential leaders in the digital entertainment movement, Reza Izad, is this week’s guest on the PodcastOne award-winning series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Izad is co-founder and global CEO of Studio71, a multi-platform media company that produces and distributes original entertainment programming and is the most engaged digital network on YouTube with 1,300 channels driving 11 billion views a month. Under his leadership, Studio71 has expanded globally by joining the ProSiebenSat.1 Group and taking investments from France’s leading commercial network, TF1, and Italian broadcaster Mediaset. Prior to Studio71, Izad was a partner at The Collective Management Group, the world’s largest management firm, where he led the music department and worked with artists such as Linkin Park, Kanye West, Enrique Iglesias, Slash, Counting Crows, Alanis Morissette and Michael Bolton. Previously, Izad was an agent at United Talent Agency (UTA), where he launched the firm’s music and branded entertainment divisions, working with Eminem, T-Bone Burnett, Justin Timberlake, Prince, and more. At UTA, Izad also helped create award-winning brand integration campaigns for Fortune 500 companies such as Ammirati Puris Lintas, Kenneth Cole, Bausch & Lomb, and Loews Theatres. With Studio71 representing some of the top talent in digital, including Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Tyler Oakley, Lilly Singh, Grace Helbig, Rhett & Link, and Roman Atwood and producing premium scripted and unscripted digital content, Izad is a proven industry leader in the growing big-time internet entertainment space. He and Michael Harrison discuss the emerging 21st century content creation, marketing, and distribution paradigm. Don’t miss this! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.

PPM Analysis: Classic Rock. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s February 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on classic rock.  More classic rock stations on our panel saw their weekly 6+ AQH shares go up (54%) than saw them drop or remain without change from January’s survey to February’s.  About the same percentage (55%) of classic rockers went up from February 2017 to February 2018, led by Shamrock Communications’ WZBA, Baltimore (+2.4).  In February, three classic rock stations ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets: Beasley Media’s WCSX, Detroit; Entercom’s KSEG, Sacramento; and Cumulus Media’s KCFX, Kansas City.  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Dave Hill is named SVP of programming for iHeartMedia’s Indianapolis cluster, effective Monday (4/1).  He’ll also hold the PD title for both classic rock WFBQ “Q95” and alternative WOLT “ALT 103.3.”  Hill was most recently program director for iHM’s classic rock WBGG, Miami “Big 105.9.” He says, “I’ve been fortunate to be a part of some amazing brands throughout my career and I can’t wait to get things rolling with these legendary call letters.  I look forward to working very closely with ‘The Bob & Tom Show’ and our tremendously talented team to ensure continued growth and success in Indianapolis!”…..Alpha Media Louisville names Phillip “PK” Kukawinski content director and afternoon personality on alternative WGHL “ALT 105.1.”  Cluster operations manager Ben Davis says, “Louisville is experiencing the return of an alternative station for the first time in many years and I believe Phil will have no problem cultivating and attracting new listeners.  Phil is a creative, out-of-the-box thinker who lives and breathes the lifestyle.  I’m excited to welcome him to Louisville and watch him put his unique stamp on ‘ALT 105.1.’”…..Olivia Newton-John told the Kallaway on the Rise Show on Midwest Communications‘ CHR WIFC, Wausau, Wisconsin that she’s going to auction off the leather pants and jacket that she wore for the triumphal “You’re The One That I Want” scene in the iconic film, Grease!  She broke the news in the interview that were set up through Envision Networks’ Guest Services.  She said, “I have the leather jacket and I have the leather pants and I’m going to auction them off for my cancer research center in Australia this year.  So, if there’s any millionaire out there who wants to buy his daughter the pants and jacket, I’m going to be auctioning them off.”

Monday, March 18, 2019

| March 18, 2019

Atlanta’s ‘92.9 The Game’ Ousts Midday Hosts Rick Kamla and John Michaels. First reported by Atlanta Journal Constitution writer Rodney Ho, the midday team of Rick Kamla and John Michaels – together on the air since 2016 – has been let go by Entercom sports talker WZGC-FM, Atlanta “92.9 The Game.”  Kamla was part of the station’s morning show when WZGC launched as a sports talk station in 2012, but later moved to middays.  He was joined by Michaels in 2016.  Michaels confirmed his exit via Twitter saying they were given a number of reasons why they were being let go, including “not connecting with the audience.”  WZGC has made no public comments about the changes, including its plans for the 10:00 am to 2:00 pm slot.

Kridel Reduces Air Time at WBBM, Chicago.  As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, news anchor Kris Kridel is scaling back her time on the air at Entercom’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago to part-time status.  The 34-year station veteran will now be heard from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm.  She had been on the air for six straight hours.  Feder reports that Lisa Fielding will be on the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm program with co-anchor Keith Johnson most weekdays.

Monday Memo: The Boys Are Back. Consultant Holland Cooke delivers this week’s Monday Memo from the heart of Red Sox Nation with advice about the return of baseball to radio’s airwaves: “Mathematically, baseball may be affiliates’ best friend for the next several months, when play-by-play invites new cume, and tune-in to fringe hours; and is full of suspense and commercial inventory that sells without numbers.” In this week’s Monday Memo, Cooke – ALREADY wearing his Red Sox jersey – offers three tips for boosting awareness and recycling and impressing advertisers.  Read it here.

Westwood One Promotes Stuart Greenblatt to SVP. Serving in his 20th year with Westwood One, Stuart Greenblatt is promoted to senior vice president, affiliate sales.  In his previous VP, affiliate sales post, he was in charge of station services for the network’s talk show properties.  In his new role, Greenblatt will oversee the distribution and marketing of all Westwood One programs and affiliate services for radio stations around the country, as well as supervise the national affiliate sales team and manage station client relationships.  Greenblatt says, “After working in affiliate sales for almost 20 years, I am honored to be leading the affiliate sales team here at Westwood One, truly the best in the business.  I look forward to working together with our station partners and our outstanding sales team to grow and promote our first-rate programming across the board.”

Nielsen’s National Media Impact Added to Westwood One’s Audio Insights Platform. This deal between Nielsen and Westwood One allows the latter to license the national version of Nielsen Media Impact (NMI) powered by Nielsen’s Total Media Fusion.  NMI is a cross-platform media planning and optimization solution that helps clients understand total campaign reach, frequency, and duplication using advanced audience segments.  It will enable Westwood One to demonstrate the value that its unique audiences bring to an advertiser’s media plan and illustrate radio’s substantial incremental reach.  Cumulus Media EVP of marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “With Nielsen Media Impact, we can show our advertising partners the effect on overall campaign reach and frequency when money is moved between media.  Advertisers will be able to access this tool through the groundbreaking Westwood One ROI Guarantee audio insights platform.  It’s a new dimension in making media investments work smarter for marketers using radio, podcasting, and streaming to drive ROI.  We welcome the opportunity to demonstrate the power of adding audio to a media plan, giving agencies and brands the information they need to understand the true value of our medium in driving sales.” Nielsen says that in 2018, it enhanced NMI to include national radio.  Nielsen’s national radio data within Nielsen Media Impact allows buyers and sellers to understand the value of radio as a medium at the national level, as well as the incremental reach achieved by including national radio in the media mix. With the national version of Nielsen Media Impact clients can plan and optimize media allocation and compare total radio, radio formats, and radio owner groups with other national media (including TV, digital, print, cinema and digital place-based media) in advanced audience segments.

Randi P’Pool Joins Aptivada as Chief Marketing Officer. Leaving her role with Alpha Media as vice president of marketing is Randi P’Pool, who joins Aptivada, a provider of promotions contesting and audience engagement tools as chief marketing officer.  In her role with Alpha Media (which, along with iHeartMedia and Bonneville,is a client of Aptivada) P’Pool led national promotions, corporate partnerships, digital contesting, company communications and PR, events and cross-platform brand marketing.   In her new role, she’ll join Aptivada’s leadership team focusing on the strategic evolution and growth of Aptivada.  P’Pool says, “Not only does Aptivada offer the optimum digital marketing platform but it also provides extremely innovative solutions to generate new digital revenue for broadcasters.  The opportunity to support, foster and endorse a company as innovative and remarkable as Aptivada is the utmost honor and privilege for me!”

TALKERS News Notes. As long as the court schedule doesn’t change, former WFAN, New York morning drive personality Craig Carton will learn his fate on April 5 at his sentencing on conspiracy and fraud charges.  According to sentencing guidelines, Carton could get as much as 45 years in prison, although it’s likely he’ll serve far less than that. Two of his convicted co-conspirators have already been sentenced.  Michael Wright is serving a sentence of almost two years and Joseph Meli is doing six and-a-half years.  The three were involved in a Ponzi scheme that took money from investors in a VIP concert ticket re-sale business.  Prosecutors convinced jurors Carton spent some of the money paying off gambling debts and for personal expenses…..The Buffalo News reports that Entercom has sold its radio tower on Grand Island – one that carries the signal for CHR WKSE-FM “Kiss 98.5” to Vertical Bridge for almost $1.5 million.  WKSE’s signal will continue to emanate from the tower under a leaseback deal…..Condolences to the family and friends of Dave Sandler – a former longtime traffic reporter for Hearst’s WBAL-AM, Baltimore – who passed away last Thursday evening at age 58 after a long illness.  Sandler was known as “Detour Dave Sandler” to WBAL and rock WIYY-FM. He exited WBAL in 2017 after 31 years there.

Mosques Massacre Aftermath, Trump’s Weekend Tweetstorm, College Admissions Scandal, Boeing’s 737 Woes, Trump-Russia Investigation Status, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls/Kirsten Gillibrand Announces, Midwest Flooding, NBA Action, and NCAA Tournament Seeding Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The aftermath of the mosques attacks in New Zealand that left 50 people dead; President Trump’s weekend tweets that took aim at General Motors and a UAW boss, the late Senator John McCain, and NBC’s “Saturday Night Live”; the blowback from the college admissions cheating scandal; Boeing’s challenges with the 737 Max planes in the wake of the second crash in five months; the status of the investigation into possible Trump campaign connections with Russian agents; the Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in 2020, including the entrance of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand; the devastating floods in Nebraska and Iowa; NBA hoops action; and the 2019 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament bracket were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Hexagon 2019: Romp in the Swamp. Nationally syndicated late-night talk show host Jim Bohannon (left) poses for a photo with former NBC anchor Jackie Nedell (right) on the set of the satirical musical comedy review, “Hexagon 2019: Romp in the Swamp,” in Washington on Friday (3/15).

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Des Moines alternative rock KDXA “ALT 106.3,” Alex Mac is named assistant program director, adding the duties to his roles as afternoon drive personality and music director.  iHeartMedia Des Moines SVP of programming Greg Chance says, “Alex has a bright programming future and has displayed all the characteristics of a great programmer. We are excited to see him further develop his career.”  Prior to joining the iHeartMedia Des Moines market in October 2017, Mac served as evening host and promotions assistant for WRXL-FM, Richmond…..Entercom radio personality Ken Hicks is being recognized by the Georgia State Senate for his career in radio and community service.  Hicks hosts the morning show at WUSY-FM, Chattanooga “U.S. 101” that serves a large portion of Northwest Georgia.  Entercom Chattanooga SVP and market manager Nichole Hartman says, “In his nearly 35 years with ‘U.S. 101,’ Ken has raised millions of dollars for charities, assisted in relief efforts for dozens of disasters, and has served and continues to serve the Chattanooga and North Georgia community with his whole heart.  Ken epitomizes the distinct group of people deserving of this honor and I am proud that he is a part of our team.”…..In the Palm Springs market, Tommy Carrera, a.k.a. Tommy C, exits his PD roles with Alpha Media.  He’d been programming both country KDES “98.5 The Bull” and classic hits KDGL “106.9 The Eagle.”

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

| March 12, 2019

Townsquare Media Reports Q4 2018 Net Revenue Up 12%; Net Revenue Rises 4.7% for Full Year of 2018.  Note that those figures are not pro forma – they include the revenue from Townsquare Media’s July 2018 closing on three Trenton stations that didn’t exist for the company in 2017 – and they also include political advertising.  Pro forma net revenue for the fourth quarter was $109 million – up 9.7% over the same period in 2017.  Excluding political revenue, the figure was $103.3 million, an increase of 5.2%.  For all of 2018, net revenue was $430.6 million.  That’s up 4.7% from all of 2017.  The pro forma figure for the whole of 2018 was $434.2 million, up 3.7%.  Excluding political revenue, the yearly figure was $420.6 million, an increase of 2.8% over 2017.  For all of 2018, Townsquare reports a pro forma net loss of $30.6 million, as compared to $8.2 million in the same period in 2017.  The company says the decline in net income was driven by an increase in non-cash impairment charges in 2018, due in part to the revision of certain assumptions in the company’s annual testing for intangible impairment as a result of the company’s depressed stock price and market capitalization as compared to the prior year, among other factors.  Net income was also impacted by a $9 million decline in income tax benefit, primarily related to the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act.  Townsquare CEO Bill Wilson states, “In 2018, we delivered net revenue growth of approximately 5% and Adjusted EBITDA growth of over 7%, driven by the impressive growth of our digital businesses, which now total $120 million in annual net revenue and thus nearly 30% of our total net revenue.  Further, we beat our previously issued 2018 revenue guidance.  The fourth quarter delivered the strongest year over year growth in 2018, with net revenue growth of 12%, and we saw sequential improvement in our advertising business throughout the year.”

Saga Communications’ Fourth Quarter Net Revenue Rises 4.7%. Reporting on both the fourth quarter and the full year of 2018, Saga Communications indicates net revenue was $32.9 million – up 4.7% — in the fourth quarter, compared to the same period in 2017.  Income from continuing operations before tax increased $2.3 million to $6 million compared to $3.7 million last year.   Operating income increased $2.1 million to $6 million and station operating expense increased $523 thousand to $23.8 million for the quarter.  During the fourth quarter of 2017 Saga recognized an income tax benefit of $11.2 million compared to an income tax expense of $1.7 million for the same period in 2018. The income tax benefit in 2017 was primarily due to an $11.5 million reduction in our deferred tax liability as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.  Looking at the full-year 2018 report, net revenue increased 5.7% to $124.8 million.  Income from continuing operations before tax increased $3.1 million to $19.4 million compared to $16.3 million last year.  Operating income increased $2.5 million to $19.7 million and station operating expense increased $6 million to $93.7 million for the twelve-month period.  On a same station basis for the twelve months ended December 31, 2018 net revenue increased 1.1% to $116.5 million. Operating income increased $2.6 million to $19.4 million and station operating expense increased $642 thousand to $86 million.  Saga Communications reports total bank debt of $20 million as of December 31, 2018 and had $40.7 million cash in hand as of March 11, 2019.

Erika Beasley Moves to Corporate Digital Content Director Role. Most recently, Erika Beasley has been serving as vice president and market manager for Beasley Media Group’s Fayetteville, North Carolina cluster.  Now, she takes on the Tampa-based position corporate digital content director for local markets, reporting to chief digital content officer Lori Burgess.  In this role she’ll be responsible for leading the company’s digital content expansion at the local level as well as working in tandem with digital program directors, programming teams, and talent on locally relevant content development and marketing initiatives.  Burgess says, “Erika brings a positive, can-do attitude, and locally-centric focus to our digital initiatives.  She was quick to embrace the company’s content transformation this past fall and expanded Fayetteville’s digital presence and audience growth for both WKML and WZFX.  We fully expect Erika to leverage her experience to further our live and local mission in an effort to grow digital value for consumers and advertisers alike.”

Beasley Promotes Kent Dunn to RVP for Augusta and Fayetteville. Radio management pro Kent Dunn has been leading Beasley Media Group’s Augusta, Georgia station group that includes news/talk WGAC-AM/FM and sports talk WRDW since December of 2017.  Now, he takes on leadership of the company’s Fayetteville, North Carolina cluster as Erika Beasley moves into a corporate position (see story above).  Prior to returning Augusta, Dunn served as vice president and market manager of the company’s Tampa cluster.  Beasley EVP and COO Brian Beasley states, “It is a privilege to promote Kent to the position of Regional Vice President within the company.  His vast experience and leadership continue to raise the bar within the organization.  We look forward to him continuing to lead Augusta and now Fayetteville into the future.”

Cumulus Star Larry O’ Connor Joins the Washington Examiner as Podcaster and Columnist.  Bi-coastal, local talk radio host Larry O’ Connor, who is heard in mid-mornings on KABC, Los Angeles and in afternoon drive on WMAL-AM/FM, Washington, DC, is expanding his media footprint to the Washington Examiner news organization where he will be launching a regular print column and audio podcast.  O’ Connor will also be helping spearhead a new Washington Examiner podcast channel that is currently on the drawing board.

Jennifer Keiper Lands at All-News WBBM in Chicago.  Just a day after reporting news pro Jennifer Keiper had exited Cumulus Media’s crosstown news/talk WLS-AM, Windy City media writer Robert Feder reports that Keiper has signed with Entercom’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM as a news anchor and reporter.  Keiper served with WBBM in the past as a traffic reporter and part-time anchor/reporter. The Chicagoland native had done two stints with WLS-AM as well as having served as a Midwest correspondent for FOX News Radio.

WJR, Detroit Grabs Numerous Honors at MAB Broadcast Excellence Awards. Detroit news/talker WJR was honored with the Radio Station of the Year honor from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters at last week’s Great Lakes Media Show in Lansing.  The Cumulus Media station has won the award three out of the last four years.  WJR also took home nine other Best awards – including for Best Breaking News Story, Best Morning Show Broadcast (Frank Beckman), and Best Weekday Broadcast, Personality or Team (Mitch Albom) – as well as seven Merit awards. Cumulus Detroit VP and market manager Steve Finateri says, “We here at Cumulus Detroit couldn’t be prouder of our WJR team.  The level of creativity and professionalism at all levels rivals that of any station in the country.

Sook Honored at 2019 Golden Mike Award Gala. Pictured above is honoree Perry Sook – the founder, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Nexstar Media Group – at the Broadcasters Foundation of America’s 2019 Golden Mike Award gala at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.  The event raised more than $450,000, a record-breaker, including a $100,000 personal donation from Sook and his wife, Dr. Sandy Sook.  The evening was hosted by NBC News’ Craig Melvin and featured a performance by country superstar duo Sugarland. Pictured above are (from l-r): BFoA chairman Dan Mason, Melvin, BFoA president Jim Thompson, Perry Sook, and his wife Dr. Sandy Sook.

Comrex Announces Firmware Updates. Users of Comrex’s ACCESS and BRIC-Link codecs should know that the company is releasing firmware version 4.3-p6 that includes an experimental version of a new HTML5-based user interface along with bug fixes and improvements.  The company says that given that Adobe has announced the end of Flash support, and because most browsers disable Flash by default, it is providing an alternative to the Flash-based GUI with this new, fresh, more user-friendly interface.  All current Comrex IP audio codecs by default still use the Flash interface, as well as Toolbox, Codec Commander, and Fleet Commander.  Users who try the new HTML5 interface are encouraged to send a note to techies@comrex.com if they notice potential bugs not listed in the “known issues” section of the 4.3-p6 Changelog.  Firmware version 4.3-p6 also includes Comrex’s new HotSwap feature that lets users back up studio-to-transmitter links (STL) or other dedicated links with a wireless modem.  ACCESS NX Rack and ACCESS MultiRack will both have the new HTML5 user interface, and will be featured at NAB 2019.

Trump Budget Request/Border Wall Funds, Sanders Press Briefing, Pelosi Impeachment Comment, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls/Young Dems Socialist Movement, Boeing 737 Max 8 Worries, Brexit Vote, Carlson-MMA Flap, Venezuela Blackout, and NBA/NCAA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/11).  The 2020 budget proposal from President Trump and the inclusion of funds for the U.S.-Mexico border wall; yesterday’s contentious press briefing from White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s statement declining to consider impeachment of President Trump; the group of Democrats vying for the 2020 nomination and the related socialist movement of younger Democrats; Boeing’s troubles with the new 737 Max 8; today’s Brexit vote and concerns Britain’s exit from the EU may never actually happen; FOX News Channel star Tucker Carlson’s spat with Media Matters over past radio show comments; the blackout in Venezuela continues as the U.S. recalls diplomatic staff; and NBA and NCAA basketball 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. At Thursday night’s iHeartRadio Music Awards, the Backstreet Boys, Ella Mai, lovelytheband, and Marshmello with special guest Lauv will perform.  Additionally, Travis Barker and Yungblud will join Halsey as special guest performers.  The awards show takes place at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles and is being broadcast live on FOX Television and iHeartMediastations across the country…..Syracuse radio personality Scott “dXn” Dixon was inducted into the Syracuse Area Music Awards (SAMMYS) Hall of Fame on Thursday, March 7.  Dixon is afternoon personality, APD/MD, and “Locals Only” show host at Cumulus Media’s alternative WAQX “95X.” Dixon has been covering and supporting the local music scene in Syracuse for the past 20 years…..Programming pro Chris Patyk is leading the curation of alternative and rock stations for TuneIn. He was most recently with Entercom in the San Diego market programming alternative KBZT “ALT 94.9” then-CHR KEGY “Energy 97.3” and adult contemporary KYXY…..Cox Media Group names David Abel vice president/market manager of its six San Antonio music-formatted radio stations.  Abel joins the CMG San Antonio team from his most recent position as vice president of radio with Tulsa-based Griffin Communications…..LARadio.com is reporting the death of former KMET-FM, Los Angeles program director Richard Kimball.  He was believed to have been 82.  Programmed KMET and KWST “K-West” in the mid-1970s.  He managed music acts including Emerson, Lake, and Palmer and David Cassidy before returning to radio with Westwood One in 1980.  He later founded Artist Acquisitions Service Kompany…..Pictured below you can see the WWPR, New York-based, Premiere Networks-syndicated “The Breakfast Club” show as guests on FOX News Channel’s “FOX News @ Night” with anchor Shannon Bream.  The trio of (from l-r) DJ Envy, Angela Yee & Charlamagne Tha God talked about their role hosting presidential candidates on their influential radio program.

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.

Friday, April 21, 2017

| April 21, 2017

iHeartMedia Reports Preliminary Q1 Results Expressing ‘Substantial Doubt’ About Future Given Current Debt Obligations.  This report (filed yesterday, 4/20) to the SEC is designed to help the company achieve success with its debt exchange offer that expires for lenders today and for bondholders next Friday (4/28).  But the language is very strong as iHeartMedia preliminarily reports that consolidated revenue is down 2.4% for the first quarter of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016.  The company explains in this filing that it is analyzing, on a quarterly basis, “whether there is substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern for a period of 12 months following the date our financial statements are issued.  A substantial amount of our cash requirements are for debt service obligations.  Although we have generated operating income, we incurred net losses and had negative cash flows from operations for the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015, as well as for the quarter ended March 31, 2017.  Our current operating plan indicates we will continue to incur net losses and generate negative cash flows from operating activities given iHeartCommunications’ indebtedness and related interest expense.  During the quarter ended March 31, 2017, we spent $570.4 million of cash on payments of principal and interest on our debt, net of facility draws and proceeds received, and anticipate having approximately $1.7 billion of cash interest payment obligations for the full year 2017.  At March 31, 2017, we had debt maturities totaling $316.5 million, $324.2 and $8,369.0 million in 2017, 2018 and 2019, respectively.  Our debt maturities at March 31, 2017 include $305.0 million outstanding under our receivables based credit facility, which matures on December 24, 2017, and $112.1 million of 10% Senior Notes due January 15, 2018.  Based on the significance of the forecasted future negative cash flows, including the maturities of the $305.0 million receivables based credit facility and the $112.1 million 10% Senior Notes due January 15, 2018, and the uncertainty of the outcomes of the Exchange Offers and Term Loan Offers, management anticipates that our financial statements to be issued for the three months ended March 31, 2017 will include disclosure indicating there will be substantial doubt as to our ability to continue as a going concern for a period of 12 months following the date the first quarter 2017 financial statements are issued as a result of uncertainty around our ability to refinance or extend the maturity of our receivables based credit facility, to achieve our forecasted results, and to achieve sufficient cash interest savings from the pending Exchange Offers and Term Loan Offers.”

WXYT-FM, Detroit’s Terry Foster Retires.  The Detroit sports talk host – one half of the Valenti & Foster show with co-host Mike Valenti – had missed much of the second half of 2016 after suffering a stroke.  But now, after returning to the show in January, Terry Foster announces he’ll retire from the station to focus on his “health and his family.”  Foster says, “I am retiring from sports radio but I am not retiring from life.  It is time for me to move on to a more low-key career.  I want to thank Deb Kenyon and James Powers for helping me get through a difficult time of my life and for the support during my 13-year career with ‘97.1 The Ticket.’  I also want to thank the most talented man in radio, Mike Valenti, for showing me the ropes, and thank the men behind the glass and my main crew David ‘The Hatchet Man’ Hull and Mike Sullivan.  We were a great team.  I just could no longer keep up the brisk pace of talk radio after my illness.  I appreciate the love and show of support from the fans during my most trying days and through my career in radio and newspaper.  And I would love one last hug from my CBS Radio family in Southfield.  I found out over the past few months that health and family are the most important things in life.  I will see you at the next game.”  Mike Valenti comments, “It’s been a great run for Terry Foster and me on ‘97.1 The Ticket’ for more than a decade.  Working with Terry has provided some memorable on-air moments.  I want to wish Terry the same success in retirement that we have enjoyed together as a team.”

Dan Snyder’s Red Zebra Sells Two Stations to Radio One. Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder sells two of his five sports talk-formatted Red Zebra radio stations to Radio One for an undisclosed sum.  Radio One will assume control of both stations under an LMA beginning on May 1.  WWXT-FM, Washington (a Class A signal licensed to Prince Frederick, Maryland) will begin simulcasting Radio One’s urban AC WMMJ, Washington “Majic 102.3 FM.”  The other station is WXGI-AM, Richmond “ESPN 950” and Radio One plans to continue airing the sports format.  In fact, it will simulcast the station on its own WTPS-AM – bumping the urban talk format from the station – as well as on Petersburg-licensed translator W274BX at 102.7 FM.  WXGI-AM carries Redskins football, Nationals baseball and Richmond Spiders play-by-play in the Richmond market.  Radio One CEO Alfred Liggins is quoted saying, “I still believe in the power of terrestrial radio and am excited about this deal with Red Zebra.  I’m always willing to evaluate an opportunity that allows us to grow our radio assets and continue to diversify our radio group, not just through syndication and digital, but good programming that serves our listeners.”

Report: CBS RADIO Names New Sales Leader. According to a report by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, CBS RADIO Chicago has promoted Chad Feldman to vice president and director of sales for the cluster that includes all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM and sports talk WSCR.  Feldman has most recently been sales manager for those two stations.  Feder says this is the third change in 16 months for this position and “insiders say [market manager Tim] Pohlman is under increasing pressure to boost revenue as CBS RADIO is poised to merge with Entercom Communications.”  Read Feder’s story here.

Entercom and CBS Receive Requests for More Information from the DOJ.  This could slow the EntercomCBS RADIO merger down a bit, but Entercom says it still expects the deal to close in the second half of this year.  Here’s what Entercom says, in part: “On April 19, 2017, Entercom Communications Corp. received a request for additional information and documentary material, often referred to as a ‘second request,’ from the United States Department of Justice in connection with the Company’s previously announced Agreement and Plan of Merger entered into with CBS to combine with CBS’ radio business in a two-step, all stock ‘Reverse Morris Trust’ transaction…Consummation of the Transactions is conditioned on expiration of the waiting period applicable under the HSR Act, among other conditions.  Issuance of the second request extends the waiting period under the HSR Act until 30 days after all parties to the Merger Agreement have substantially complied with the second request, unless the waiting period is terminated earlier by the DOJ or the parties voluntarily extend the time for closing.”

North Korea’s Nuclear Threats and ‘Trump Armada’ Tie Atop Talkers TenTM for Week of April 17-21.  The nuclear weapons threats against the U.S. by North Korea and the controversy over the whereabouts of U.S. Navy ships tied for the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week.  At #2 was tensions between the U.S. and Russia and the latter’s jet fighter patrols off the coast of Alaska.  Coming in at #3 was Bill O’Reilly’s exit from Fox News Channel, followed by the close race for Georgia’s open U.S. House seat at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Lawrence Pintak to Host Weekend Show on KXL, Portland.  Beginning Sunday (4/23), founding dean of Washington State University’s Edward R. Murrow College of Communication will host a one-hour, Sunday program (3:00 pm to 4:00 pm) on Alpha Media’s news/talk KXL, Portland.  The station says “the deep political and social fissures that divide American society are the focus of a new weekly current affairs radio show, ‘American Fault/Lines,’” hosted by Lawrence Pintak.  He comments, “America is more divided than at any time in modern history.  The election of President Donald Trump brought these divisions into sharp relief.  It is also fundamentally altering America’s relationship with the world.”  Pintak is an award-winning journalist who covered the Middle East for years.  He has covered wars, coups, and revolutions on three continents for many of the world’s leading news organizations, and reported on the first suicide attacks against Americans in Beirut in the 1980s.  He is the author of four books on Middle East policy, Islam, and international journalism.  Pintak adds, “The goal for the program is to be syndicated nationally and to bring a perspective that breaks free of both the New York-Washington corridor media narrative and the dominant ethos of conservative talk radio, through fact-based interviews with guests who are not ‘the usual suspects.’”

KFTK-FM, St. Louis Welcomes Fox News Radio’s Todd Starnes. The Emmis Communications news/talk station carries Todd Starnes’ daily, one-minute commentaries from Fox News Radio and Starnes was part of the recent, sold-out live event featuring the “Allman in the Morning” show hosted by Jamie Allman.  Hundreds of KFTK-FM “Newstalk 97.1” fans turned out to greet Starnes, who’s pictured above at the event with KFTK-FM staffers.  They are (from l-r): program director Jeff Allen, Tricia Siekmann, Denys Schaefer, Starnes, Jamie Allman and Katie Bailey.

Talk Host Wes Minter Dies at 63. Longtime talk show host Wes Minter had been working full time in sales with Waste Management in Pittsburgh, but he had also been doing some fill-in work for CBS RADIO’s KDKA-AM over the past few years.  Minter was a successful talk host during the 1990s and early 2000s, working at such stations as KRMG, Tulsa; WSB-AM, Atlanta; KCMO, Kansas City; WHIO, Dayton; and WCCO-AM, Minneapolis.  Minter suffered a fatal heart attack on Tuesday (4/18) at the age of 63.

KGO, San Francisco Afternoon Drive Host Chip Franklin Guests on Harrison Podcast.  For the past two decades, multi-talented Chip Franklin has performed top quality talk radio at leading stations in Washington, DC, Baltimore, San Diego, and now San Francisco, where he presides over afternoon drive (4:00 pm – 7:00 pm) on the revamped incarnation of the Cumulus Media heritage outlet, KGO.  He has also performed outstanding work as a comedian, writer, musician, video producer and television talking head along the way.  In a candid, in-depth conversation with TALKERS founder Michael Harrison on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne program “Up Close and Far Out,” Franklin discusses his dramatic transition during the past several years from libertarian/conservative to progressive/liberal.  He also talks about his deftly produced, rapid-fire website videos critically targeting the day-to-day adventures of President Donald Trump.  In announcing Franklin as this week’s guest, Harrison states, “Not only is Chip a remarkable veteran talent still moving the ‘pertinence needle,’ but there are some exciting things developing at the ‘new’ KGO in terms of its talent diversity and market specificity that are worthy of industry attention.  This episode is sure to tickle the fancy of talk radio professionals and media freaks around the world.”  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column of every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Providence morning personality Heather Gersten is adding assistant program director to her title as Cumulus Media promotes the WWLI “Lite Rock 105” staffer.  In addition to co-host of the “Heather & Steve” show on the adult contemporary signal, Gersten is part of Lite Rock’s “2 Lite Chicks” with midday personality Amy Pontes.  The duo also hosts the “Wicked Awesome 80’s Show” Saturday nights at 8:00.  Cumulus corporate vice president-AC and ‘Lite Rock 105’ program director Emily Boldon says, “With her considerable talents, dedication and drive, Heather has repeatedly proven herself to be the perfect candidate.  She lives, breathes and loves this radio station with a passion I wish I could replicate.”…..At Radio One’s Houston operations, Madd Hatta adds assistant program director duties for urban AC KMJQ “Majic 102.”  He continues to host the “Madd Hatta Morning Show” on sister rhythmic CHR KBXX “97.9 The Box.”…..Galaxy Communications’ rock duo “KROCK” – WKRL, Syracuse and WKLL, Utica – adds local DJ Big Smoothie to the weekend program schedule.

 

 

Round Three of March PPM Data Released. The third of four rounds of March 2017 PPM ratings information from Nielsen Audio 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 March 2017 survey period covered March 2 – 29. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Portland – It has been quite a turnaround for KGON, which registered a +.8 in February to apply the brakes to eight straight sweeps without a gain that resulted in a combined -1.7 dating back to last June (4.9 – 4.3 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.2, 6+). That February increase pushed the Entercom classic rocker from #14 to #11, but it apparently was only warming up, as KGON tacks on more than a full-share (4.0 – 5.1, +1.1, 6+) to cruise into the top ten at #6. This is the first time that KGON has crossed the five-share threshold (6+) since March 2015 (5.5). As was the case in February, eight-tenths of a share continues to be the distance between Portland’s two frontrunners as both iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW “K-103” (7.7 – 8.6, #1 for the 34th time in the last 36 ratings periods, 6+) and Oregon Public Broadcasting’s KOPB (6.9 – 7.8, 6+) chalk up impressive increases of nine-tenths. This time last month, “K-103” was off by nine-tenths; KOPB declined by one full-share, completely surrendering January’s +1.0, after a -.7 in “Holiday” 2016. Locked on 4.0 (6+) in January and February (following a 5.5 in “Holiday” 2016, 6+), Entercom adult hits KYCH “97.1 Charlie – We Play Everything” posts a one-half share gain to 4.5 (6+) and cracks the top ten (#11 to #7). Having registered four straight gains for a combined +1.7 (4.7 – 4.8 – 5.1 – 5.8 – 6.4, 6+), co-owned KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf – Great Country for the Great Northwest” coughs up roughly half that gain (5.5, -.9, 6+), sliding from third to fifth. Notching a 4.2 (6+) for the third straight month, Alpha Media’s KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” repeats at #9. A January +.9 ended three straight decreases for “The Bull” that resulted in a combined -1.8 (5.1 – 4.9 – 4.6 – 3.3, 6+). Trending 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.2 – (“Holiday” 2016 – January – February, 6+), All Classical Public Media’s KQAC drops seven-tenths to 3.5 (6+) and exits the top ten (#9 to #13).

2) Charlotte – See if you can spot a dominant theme in this particular market recap. The third straight increase by WHQC “Channel 96.1” is by a robust +1.1 (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.9, 6+), elevating the iHeartMedia CHR into the top 10 (#12 to #8). Not only that, “Channel 96.1” overtakes (by one-tenth) its format rival, Beasley Media Group-owned WNKS “Kiss 95.1 – Charlotte’s #1 Hit Music Station” (eighth to ninth), which is actually up or flat for the third consecutive sweep (3.8 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.8, 6+), netting a full-share. In addition to posting its third successive positive trend that has accounted for a +1.3 (6.4 – 7.2 – 7.3 – 7.7, 6+), iHeartMedia classic rock WRFX “99.7 The Fox” is #1 for the third month in a row. A +8 (6+) by “The Fox” in January curtailed a series of three consecutive downward moves that yielded a -1.5 (7.9 – 7.3 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). Regressing for … you guessed it … the third successive time and falling from third to fifth is Beasley Media Group’s WSOC “Country’s Hottest Hits” (7.0 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 5.2, 6+). A cumulative -1.8 since the “Holiday” 2016 report, WSOC has the lowest 6+-share in its PPM-history. After a -1.2 in “Holiday” 2016 and a +1.7 in January, format rival – iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat” – has gained (in February) and then lost (in March) two-tenths (5.7 – 5.9 – 5.7, 6+). “The Kat” carries on in the runner-up slot. In “Holiday” 2016, it trailed “Country’s Hottest Hits” by three full-shares (7.0 to 4.0, 6+) but now has a one-half share advantage. As is the case with WSOC, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WRCM “K-Love” is down by six-tenths as well (2.2 – 1.6, #17 to #18, 6+). Owing to a -.1 in February, “K-Love” had its consecutive string of increases halted at three (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 2.3, 6+).

3) San Antonio – Powered by a +.9 (2.8 – 3.7, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KXTN “107.5 Tejano & Proud” posts its best 6+-stat since May 2016’s 3.9 and rises from #15 to #12. Ultra-consistent in its trending since October (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.3, 6+), Cox Media Group classic country KKYX “Country Legends” busts loose with a gain of six-tenths to 1.9 (6+) and enters the top twenty (#20). Recapturing exactly half of February’s full-share loss (5.2 – 4.2 – 4.7, +.5, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KQXT “Q-101.9 – San Antonio’s Best Variety” progresses from tenth to sixth. The market’s two mainstream CHRs are tied at #14, as iHeartMedia’s KXXM “Mix 96.1 – San Antonio’s #1 Hit Music Station” is without an increase for the sixth straight time netting a -1.1 (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.3, #12, to #14, 6+), while Alpha Media-owned KTFM “Energy 94.1 Sounds Like San Antonio” drops two-tenths (3.3, #13 to #14, 6+), thus curtailing four consecutive gains for a +.9 (2.6 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+). Repeating at #1 is Cox Media Group-owned classic hits-oldies KONO-FM (7.0 – 6.8, -.2, 6+). Recent (6+) fluctuations for “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” are October 2016’s -1.0; November’s +.9; December’s -1.1; “Holiday” 2016’s -1.3; and January’s +1.1. KONO-FM departed the top spot in October after nine straight sweeps there. In back-to-back months, Univision Radio regional Mexican KROM “Estereo Latino 92.9” erodes by a full-share (7.4 – 6.4 – 5.4, 6+), dropping from first (January) to second (February) to third (March). Stuck on 5.2 (6+) in November and December, “Estereo Latino 92.9” improved by a combined +2.2 in “Holiday” 2016 and January (6.2 – 7.4, 6+). After having recorded (modest) consecutive gains (5.4 – 5.7 – 5.8, 6+), Cox Media Group-owned KCYY “Y-100 – San Antonio’s New Country Leader” regresses by six-tenths to 5.2 (6+), moving from fourth to fifth. Six-tenths behind “Y-100” is iHeartMedia’s KAJA “KJ-97 – San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” (4.4 – 4.6, +.2, eighth to seventh, 6+). “KJ-97” was -1.4 (“Holiday” 2016); +1.6 (January 2017); and -1.2 in February (5.4 – 4.0 – 5.6 – 4.4, 6+). After trending .9 – 1.5 – 1.9 (6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KZAR “Air1 – Positive Hits” is off by one-half share to 1.4 and exits the top twenty (#19 to #23).

4) Pittsburgh – Even though each registers a healthy gain of eight-tenths, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWSW “94.5 – 3WS” (9.9, 6+) and CBS Radio news/talk KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020” continue at #2 and #6, respectively. In three straight increases (4.9 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 6.3, 6+), KDKA-AM is +1.4; “3WS” was -4.6 since “Holiday” 2016 (13.7 – 9.3 – 9.1, 6+). Flat at #8, CBS Radio-owned WDSY “Pittsburgh’s Country Y-108” is without a decrease for the third consecutive sweep for a +.8 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s WPGB “Big 104.7 Pittsburgh’s #1 for New Country” (unchanged at #10) is a combined -1.2 in three straight declines (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.0 – 3.6, 6+). This marks the seventh consecutive sweep in which Steel City Media hot AC WLTJ “Q-92.9” (unchanged at #12) is either up or flat for a +.6 (2.5 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+). Improving by one-tenth (10.3 – 10.4, 6+), iHeartMedia rocker WDVE (+1.6 in January) is #1 for the third successive time, matching December’s 10.4 (6+). On top in October 2016, November, and December, WDVE plummeted by two full-shares in “Holiday” 2016, dropping to third, but it returned to #1 in January. Flat at 3.3 (6+), alternative cluster-mate WXDX “The X at 105.9” is at #11 for the tenth straight ratings period. Following three successive uptrends that yielded a +1.8 (6.5 – 6.7 – 7.3 – 8.3, 6+), CHR sibling WKST “Kiss 96.1 – Pittsburgh’s #1 Hit Music Station” dips by two-tenths to 8.1 (6+), but remains in third-place. February was the first time that “Kiss” reached the eight-share level (6+) since July 2015 (8.0, 6+). It is tied at #3 with Steel City Media adult hits WRRK “Bob,” which has an identical 8.3 – 8.1, -.2 (6+) profile. A combined +5.7 in December and “Holiday” 2016 leading to 12.4, its strongest 6+-stat since it returned to print in April 2016, Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHH has its third downward move in a row. Flat at #5, “Wish 99.7” has lost nearly half its 6+-stat (-6.0) in that stretch (12.4 – 7.3 – 6.5 – 6.4, 6+).

5) Sacramento – Trending 7.2 – 7.7 – 7.5 (6+) since the “Holiday” 2016 report, Entercom-owned KSEG “Eagle 96.9 – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” registers a gain of six-tenths to 8.1 (6+), inching up from third to second. All three of the market’s FM country facilities improve from February and they combine for a +.8. Specifically, CBS Radio’s KNCI “New Country 105.1” (steady at #4) picks up one-tenth (5.2 – 5.3, 6+), while Entravision’s KNTY “101.9 – The Wolf” (+.3, #16 in February, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned KBEB “92.5 The Bull- #1 For New Country” (2.3 – 2.7, +.4, #17 in February, 6+) are tied at #15. As the result of four successive increases (1.9 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.7, 6+), “The Wolf” is a collective +.8. Although it backslides from #15 to #17, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVB “K-Love” is without a decrease for the fifth successive time (1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 2.5 – 2.5, 6+), more than doubling its 6+-share in that timeframe. Not only does KYMX “Mix 96” shake off January’s -4.8 with a full-share February increase (13.0 – 8.2 – 9.2, 6+) to return to #1, the CBS Radio adult contemporary property repeats in the top spot (9.0, -.2, 6+). “Mix” ranked third for five straight sweeps before reaching #1 in “Holiday” 2016. A combined +2.4 in November and December, it was +5.2 in “Holiday” 2016. Huge month-to-month swings continue for iHeartMedia news-talk KFBK, which drops from second to third (8.2 – 6.7, 6+). Recent (6+) fluctuations include +.8 (August 2016); -1.4 (September); +1.2 (October); -.7 (November) +.7 (December); +.8 (January 2017); -.5 (February); and now a massive -1.5 in March. KFBK finished in the runner-up slot six straight times before reaching #1 in January. Also in the news/talk arena, co-owned KSTE “650 – Sacramento’s Talk Station” sputters by six-tenths (3.6 – 3.0, 6+) and drops out of the top ten (#9 to #11). Down or flat for the fifth successive ratings period for a collective -1.7 (5.8 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+), Entercom’s KRXQ “98 Rock” is flat at #7.

6) Salt Lake City – On the strength of three straight increases (3.3 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 5.4, 6+), Cumulus Media country KUBL “K-Bull 93” has improved by more than two full-shares and climbs from eighth in February to sixth. In advance of January’s +1.0, “K-Bull” faltered for five consecutive months and was a combined -2.2 since August (5.5 – 5.2 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+). Displaying gains of one-half share each are Broadway Media CHR KUDD “Mix 105.1 – All the Hits” (4.0, #11 to #10, 6+) and iHeartMedia hot AC KJMY “My 99.5” (2.3 – 2.8, #18 to #15). Prior to March, “Mix” was trending 3.5 – 3.9 – 3.5 (6+). Off by one-half share in “Holiday” 2016, “My 99.5” rebounded with a +.6 in January, but returned all of it in February (2.3 – 2.9 – 2.3, 6+). Massive month-to-month movements are typical for KSL but the Bonneville news/talk station advances from second to first even though it is down three-tenths (6.8 – 6.5, 6+). Just before its March stats, KSL was +2.0 (October 2016), -.9 (November), +1.1 (December), -1.5 (“Holiday” 2016); +2.1 (January 2017); and -2.1 (February 2017), yielding a +.7 since October. Displaced from the penthouse is adult contemporary sibling KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music Better Work Day,” which dubiously suffers the loftiest (6+) February 2017 – March 2017 decline of any station in the 36 PPM-markets released thus far (8.0 – 6.3, -1.7, 6+). It trades places with KSL in the runner-up slot. Following three straight sweeps at #1, “FM 100” shifted to #2, having dropped 12.3 shares in January (20.6 – 8.3, 6+). Until that huge January spiral, “FM 100.3” didn’t have a decrease since April (5.3 – 5.7 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.7 – 7.0 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 11.4 – 20.6, 6+), nearly quadrupling its 6+-stat since then with a staggering +15.3. Taking advantage of KSFI’s (March) -1.7 is Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted KBEE “B-98.7,” which improves for the third consecutive sweep for a cumulative +1.6 (1.9 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.5, 6+), bumping up from #14 to #13. Unchanged at #17, co-owned KBER “Utah’s Rock Station” is off by one-tenth to 2.4 (6+), ending at four its consecutive string of up or flat trends (1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.5, 6+). Several similarities exist in the profiles of the market’s two classic hits-oldies outlets. For example, Bonneville’s KRSP “103.5 – The Arrow” (4.6, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s KODJ “94.1 – Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits” (4.1, 6+) are down in March by six-tenths and seven-tenths, respectively, after both were up two-tenths in February. This ends back-to-back progressive trends for “Arrow” (4.9 – 5.0 – 5.2, 6+), as well as for “Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits” (3.3 – 4.6 – 4.8, 6+). Ranked fifth and seventh in February, KRSP and KODJ finish seventh and ninth, respectively, in March. Off by one-half share to 1.0 (6+), Alpha Media regional Mexican KDUT (#22 to #24) curtails three consecutive upward moves (.9 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.5, 6+).

7) Las Vegas – Over and above being #1 for the fifth consecutive sweep, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5” puts an exclamation point on it by boasting the highest (6+) February 2017 – March 2017 increase of any station in the 36 PPM-markets released thus far (6.8 – 8.6, +1.8, 6+). Five consecutive up or flat trends generated a +8.3 for “Sunny” (6.4 – 7.0 – 7.0 – 8.1 – 14.0, 6+), before January’s -.7.3 to 6.7 (6+). Following three straight downward trends (8.1 – 7.4 – 6.0 – 5.7, 6+), KSNE was +.7 in September and +.6 in October, climbing to first – where it had been for 22 straight monthlies. It has a 3.1-share advantage over CBS Radio-owned KLUC (third to second), which is up for the third successive ratings period (3.7 – 4.3 – 5.2 – 5.5, 6+). Prior to February, the last time “Las Vegas’ #1 Hit Music Station” hit the five-share level was August 2016 (5.0, 6+). An increase of seven-tenths (4.7 – 5.4, 6+) enables hot AC cluster-mate KMXB “Mix 94.1” to jump from fifth to third. It is the best 6+-showing for “Mix” since last June (5.4, as well). Commencing in August 2016 and ending in January 2017 with a 2.5, sibling KXNT strung together five straight increases that netted a +1.7 (1.4 – 1.9 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+). As a result of a -1.1 in March (2.8 – 1.7, 6+) though, the news/talk facility departs the top twenty (#17 to #21). Flat at #13, iHeartMedia adult hits KYMT “93.1 The Mountain – We Play Everything” drops three-tenths to 2.9 (6+), thus ending at six a string of consecutive increases that more than doubled its 6+-share (1.4 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 3.1 – 3.2, 6+). Down or flat in four straight sweeps (4.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 3.8, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KISF rolled out a +1.2 in January; relinquished -1.6 in February; and is now -.6 in March (5.0 – 3.4 – 2.8, 6+), drifting from #11 to #14.

8) Cincinnati – When Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies WDBZ “Soul 101.5” lost three tenths in February, it concluded one of the longest consecutive strings without a decrease – ten in a row. That impressive streak started in April 2016 and netted a +1.5 (.2 – .3 – .4 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .7 – .8 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.7, 6+). With a +.6 to 2.0 (6+), “Soul 101.5” wastes no time in launching another such series and inches up from #18 to #16. As a result of six straight declines (5.8 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 3.8 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WEBN was a collective -2.2, but the rocker applies the brakes with a one-half share increase to 4.1 and returns to the top ten (#12 to #9). The order-of-finish of the top eight stations in February and March is virtually identical, although #1, #2, and #3 experience significant month-to-month erosion. Prior to the “Holiday” 2016 sweep, Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies outlet WGRR occupied the top spot for four straight months. Powered by a +.8 in January – ending four successive down or flat sweeps that produced a -1.6 (9.8 – 9.8 – 9.6 – 8.8 – 8.2, 6+) – WGRR marched from second to first and has been there ever since; WGRR, however, is down seven-tenths (9.2 – 8.5, 6+). It was once practically automatic to write-in WLW at #1 – and usually with double-digits (6+). The iHeartMedia news/talk outlet (flat at #2) hasn’t been on top since August though and it falters by nine-tenths in March to 7.2, the lowest 6+-stat in its PPM-history. Following three consecutive negative trends that accounted for a -3.2 (8.5 – 7.9 – 6.3 – 5.3, 6+), Hubbard country outlet WUBE “B-105” (unchanged at #3) answered in January with a +1.5; added another eight-tenths in February; but surrenders six-tenths in March (6.8 – 7.6 – 7.0, 6+).

9) Orlando – On top for the third consecutive month, iHeartMedia Spanish tropical WRUM “Rumba 100.3” not only rebounds from February’s -.8 with a +.9 (12.5 – 11.7 – 12.6, 6+), it registers the best-ever 6+-share in its PPM-history. The 12.6 eclipses by one-tenth the previous record (12.5, 6+) set just two months ago. Prior to January, “Rumba” was at #1 in October, November, and December. Meanwhile, it remains a steady climb for similarly-programmed, Entravision-owned WNUE (#15 to #14), progressing for the fourth straight time – with each gain being by one-tenth (1.8 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+). “Rumba” has a nearly three-share advantage over its CHR sibling WXXL “XL-106.7,” which is up for the third consecutive ratings period (7.2 – 8.0 – 9.0 – 9.7, 6+). In that stretch, it is a collective +2.5, more than wiping out the -1.7 (8.9 – 7.2, 6+) from “Holiday” 2016. This is the strongest 6+-share for “XL-106” since September’s 10.4. A gain of three-tenths takes format rival – CBS Radio’s WQMP “101.9 Amp – Orlando’s #1 Source for New Music” – to 3.4 (6+), its best 6+-showing since November’s 3.5; “Amp” segues from #13 to #12. Without a decrease for the fourth successive sweep (5.0 – 5.3 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.1, 6+), hot AC sibling WOMX “Mix 105.1” nonetheless drops from fifth to sixth. Unchanged at #19, University of Central Florida’s WUCF “89.9 – Jazz & More” extends to four its streak of up or flat trends (.7 – .8 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0, 6+). While it sputters by six-tenths (2.8 – 2.2, 6+), Community Communications news/talk WMFE, which was +.6 in January, is in 2.0 – 2.9 range for the 30th straight time and carries on at #14.

10) Cleveland – By picking up one-half share (6.8 – 7.3, 6+), CBS Radio-owned WNCX not only climbs from fifth to fourth, “98.5 Cleveland’s Classic Rock” has its best 6+-stat in more than four years (7.5, 6+, January 2013). Even though it is down for the third straight month for a collective -1.6 (9.8 – 8.5 – 8.3 – 8.2, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI remains at #1. Prior to December’s +.1, “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” was off by nearly three full-shares in three straight downward trends (11.5 – 10.8 – 9.6 – 8.6, 6+) and slipped to #2. September’s -.7 ended five straight gains for a cumulative +1.2 (10.3 – 10.7 – 10.9 – 11.3 – 11.4 – 11.5, 6+) and marked the first time in the previous 17 ratings periods that WMJI was not in double-digits (6+). It exited the top spot after ten successive sweeps there; WMJI was +1.1 in “Holiday” 2016. Slumping by six-tenths (5.7 – 5.1, 6+), rock sibling WMMS drops from ninth to tenth. At #13 for the 12th successive sweep, Ideastream’s WCPN regresses by one-half share (3.6 – 3.1, 6+). Before February’s -.2, WCPN was without a decrease for eight consecutive ratings periods netting a combined +1.8 (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.8, 6+). Meanwhile, CBS Radio-owned WKRK “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” picks up four-tenths (4.0 – 4.4, 6+) but refuses to budge from #12, where it has been the past 15 sweeps.

11) Kansas City – Logging increases of seven-tenths each are Union Broadcasting’s WHB “Sports Radio 810” (2.9 – 3.6, #16 to #15, 6+) and the HD2 channel of Cumulus Media’s KCMO (1.1 – 1.8, #20, 6+). “Sports Radio 810” gained seven-tenths in January as well, before forfeiting one-half share in February. Advancing by six-tenths are Carter Broadcast urban contemporary KPRS “Hot 103” (5.1 – 5.7, fourth to third, 6+) and Steel City Media CHR KMXV “Mix 93.3 – Kansas City’s #1 Hit Music Station” (eighth to fifth, 6+). “Mix” posts its third straight improvement (3.8 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 5.2, 6+) for a combined +1.4, while “Hot 103” was up four-tenths in February. This time last month, Cumulus Media classic rocker KCFX “The Fox” held a one-share lead over co-owned classic hits-oldies KCMO-FM “Kansas City’s Greatest Hits.” The two cluster-mates are now tied at #1, with “The Fox” (third week at #1) dropping eight-tenths, while “Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” adds two-tenths (7.3 – 7.5, 6+). This marks the third consecutive decline for “The Fox” (9.0 – 8.5 – 8.3 – 7.5, 6+), accounting for a -1.5. On top from May through September and then in December, “The Fox” had five straight uptrends prior to January’s -.5 for a cumulative +1.8 (7.2 – 7.3 – 7.6 – 7.7 – 8.9 – 9.0, 6+). “Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” was off by one-half share in February. Before a loss of three-tenths in November, KCMO-FM registered four straight progressive trends (5.3 – 6.0 – 7.0 – 7.2 – 8.1, 6+) for a collective +1.8. Slipping from fourth to sixth, Entercom news/talk KMBZ-FM forfeits three-tenths to 4.8 (6+), thus halting at five its consecutive string of up or flat trends for a cumulative +1.2 (3.9 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.1, 6+). Owing to three consecutive increases (3.6 – 4.1 – 5.3 – 5.7, 6+), Steel City Media-owned KFKF “Country 94.1” is a collective +2.1 and is steady at #3. KFKF entered the December 2016 sweep with four consecutive up or flat trends that accounted for a +1.1 (3.8 – 3.8 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 4.9, 6+), but was a combined -1.3 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (4.9 – 4.3- 3.6, 6+). The market’s other two country outlets though are each down three-tenths after being up three-tenths in February: “Country 94.1” sibling KBEQ “Q-104 – #1 For New Country” is 4.1 – 4.4 – 4.1 (ninth to tenth, 6+) and Entercom-owned WDAF-FM is 3.6 – 3.9 – 3.6 (#12 to #15, 6+).

12) Columbus – By registering a +.3 to 4.2 (6+), Radiohio‘s WBNS-FM “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” (ninth to eighth) pulls the plug on four straight down or flat trends that produced a combined -3.8 (7.7 – 7.7 – 5.9 – 4.6 – 3.9, 6+). Immediately prior to those declines, “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” put together six straight monthlies without a loss netting in excess of four full-shares and more than doubling its 6+-stat since June (3.6 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 5.1 – 6.9 – 7.7 – 7.7, 6+). It is another rollercoaster ride for iHeartMedia country outlet WCOL, which is +2.2 in January; -1.2 in February; and +.8 in March (10.5 – 9.3 – 10.1, 6+). In the process, WCOL regains the top spot from co-owned CHR WNCI “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music,” which sputters by nine-tenths (9.8 – 8.9, 6+) and assumes the runner-up position vacated by WCOL. With a combined improvement of two full-shares over the January and February sweeps (7.8 – 9.1 – 9.8, 6+), “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music” advanced from second to first in February; however, prior to January, WNCI was down or flat in each of the previous six surveys for a collective -4.4 (12.2 – 12.1 -11.1 – 9.8 – 9.4 – 9.4 – 7.8, 6+). In calendar year 2016, “Columbus’ Hit Music” was on top in January, February, March, August, September, and December. In addition to WNCI, Saga Communications adult contemporary WSNY “Sunny 95” spirals by nine-tenths as well and slips from fourth to fifth. It is the third successive spike for “Sunny,” which is -2.6 in that timeframe (8.7 – 7.2 – 7.0 – 6.1, 6+). Immediately after its benchmark 11.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2016 report, WODC “93.3 The Bus – We Play Anything” followed with a 5.4 (January, 6+) and 5.6 (February, 6+). The iHeartMedia adult hits outlet now regresses by one-half share to 5.1 (6+), but continues at #6. Unlisted for the third straight month is Radio One gospel WJYD “Joy 107.1” (1.0, #15, “Holiday” 2016, 6+).

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