Tag: "WEEI"

Friday, September 7, 2018

| September 7, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 2018 PPM Data – Part Three. August 2018 ratings information has been released for Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Orlando, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s August 2018 survey period covered July 19 – August 15. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12-PPM markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

Portland

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

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

Charlotte

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

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

San Antonio

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

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

Pittsburgh

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

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

Sacramento

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

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

Salt Lake City

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

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

Las Vegas

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

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

Cincinnati

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

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

Orlando

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

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

Cleveland

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

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

Kansas City

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

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

Columbus

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

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

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

| August 28, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Thursday, July 19, 2018

| July 19, 2018

WEEI, Boston to Flip Midday and Afternoon Programs.  Beginning August 13, the “OMF” Show featuring Glenn Ordway, Lou Merloni, and Christian Fauria takes over the afternoon drive daypart and the “Dale & Keefe” show with Dale Arnold and Rich Keefe slides to middays. The change was announced on the “Kirk & Callahan” morning program today (7/19).  This is a return to afternoons for Glenn Ordway who for years reigned as ringmaster of “The Big Show” in PM drive.  But competition from new rival WBZ-FM upset that show’s dominance and Ordway was let go in 2013 and was replaced by Mike Salk.  WEEI re-hired Ordway two-and-a-half years later to work the midday show.  Since then, the OMF program has steadily gained ground in the Boston ratings.  “OMF” will compete with WBZ-FM’s “Felger & Mazz” program, which was the highest-rated show in afternoons, racking up a 14.7 share (Men 25-54) in Nielsen’s June PPM survey.  The “Dale & Keefe” show earned a 6.8 share going against “Felger & Mazz.”

WFAN’s Joe Benigno Accused of Sexual Harassment. In a suit filed in New York State Court in Brooklyn, WFAN, New York midday personality Joe Benigno is accused by former sales staffer Lauren Lockwood of sexual harassment.  The allegation is part of a larger, $5 million suit against CBS RADIO (now owned by Entercom), sales execs Sean Argaman and Mark Zukerman, and other unidentified staffers for creating a hostile work environment based on sex, discrimination based on sex, retaliation, and more.  The complaint reads like a lurid expose of a workplace dominated by men behaving badly.  Lockwood – who worked in sales at WFAN for 11 years – alleges that Benigno tried to coerce her into having a “threesome” with him and his wife.  Additionally, she says he engaged in a two-year affair with a female subordinate.  Her complaint paints a picture of a workplace where drinking on the job took place, prostitutes were acquired for clients, and potential clients were entertained at strip clubs.  She alleges the station’s executives tolerated a workplace that subjected her to sexual harassment.  Entercom tells the New York Post it can’t comment on pending litigation but that it will “defend the company vigorously.”

WBZ-FM, Boston Midday Show to Simulcast on NBC Sports Boston. The simulcast of the midday “Zolak and Bertrand” show on NBC Sports Boston is now the second show based at Beasley Media Group’s sports talker WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” to air on the New England cable sports channel. The “Felger & Mazz” PM drive show (co-hosted by Michael Felger and Tony Massarotti) has been simulcast there since 2010.  The Zolak and Bertrand show – featuring former Patriots quarterback Scott Zolak (left) and Marc Bertrand (right) – airs from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and will be available via NBC Sports Boston, nbcsportsboston.com and on the NBC Sports app as well as the 98.5 Sports Hub app and 985thesportshub.com, effective July 23.  Beasley Boston VP and market manager Mary Menna says, “We are thrilled to extend the Felger and Mazz simulcast partnership with NBC Sports Boston and to include our top-rated midday show so Boston fans can not only hear, but see the fun that this team has together in our new state-of-the-art studios.”

PPM Analysis: Public Radio News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a report on the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s June 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on public radio news/talk.  Overall, public radio news/talk stations were down from the May survey to the June survey with 51% of stations seeing dips in weekly 6+ AQH share. Comparing numbers from a year ago, almost half the stations on the panel were up year-over-year and almost half were down.  Three public radio news/talk stations ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets: KQED was #1 in both the San Francisco and adjacent San Jose markets.  KOPB, Portland and WUNC, Raleigh also were #1. See Kinosian’s entire report here.

TALKERS News Notes. The Las Vegas Review-Journal is reporting that sports media icon Brent Musberger has agreed to a three-year deal to serve as the radio play-by-play voice of the NFL’s Raiders, who are moving from Oakland to Las Vegas for the 2020 season. Musberger is the managing editor at Las Vegas-based VSiN (Vegas Sports Information Network).  He retired from ABC Sports and ESPN in January to join VSiN…..U.S. Rep. Jason Lewis (R-MN) is in a battle for re-election with challenger Democrat Angie Craig (whom he beat by 1.8% two years ago) and his radio past is playing a role in the campaign.  The former Minnesota and nationally syndicated talk radio personality’s musings about women and political correctness were the focus of a CNN report that Craig and Lewis’ opponents are trying to use against him in the campaign.  Lewis’ campaign manager Becky Alery tells the Star-Tribune, “This has all been litigated before, and as Rep. Lewis has said time and time again, it was his job to be provocative while on the radio.”…..The terms of the settlement are sealed, but the agreement between plaintiff Jennifer Neill and defendants WMGK, Philadelphia morning host John DeBella and Beasley Media Group has been approved by the court.  Neill was suing the defendants claiming a pattern of sexual harassment on the part of DeBella.  Neill served as a traffic reporter on DeBella’s program.  She alleged some 30 incidents of harassment, including unwanted physical contact…..Envision Networks’ “American Biker Minute” is added to the programming at Southern Stone Communications-owned WRTT-FM, Huntsville, Alabama.  The 60-second feature is hosted by bike enthusiast Jeff Ryan.

TALKERS Continues Posting Videos Today of the Recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Convention – Today’s Post: Award Presentation for “Lifetime Achievement.”  Today (7/19), TALKERS magazine concludes posting individual events from the recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! convention held in New York City on June 8.  Each business day, another session or activity has been posted in the order that they originally took place. Today’s 17th and final installment is of the presentation of the TALKERS Lifetime Achievement Award by publisher, Michael Harrison to Vuolo Video Air-Chex CEO, Art Vuolo at the event’s closing cocktail reception.  Already posted: the panel discussion titled “The Talk Rumble.”  It is moderated by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon; introduced by WABC, New York host, Curtis Sliwa; and featuring panelists WPHT, Philadelphia host, Dom GiordanoWYD Media host, Thom HartmannDC Radio Company executive director, Victoria JonesUSA Radio Network host, Wayne Allyn RootFox News Radio host, Todd Starnes; and WOLB, Baltimore host, Larry Young; the panel discussion titled “Programming News/Talk Radio.”  It is moderated by TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian; introduced by KFBK/KSTE, Sacramento PD, Bill White; and featuring panelists CFRB, Toronto PD and Bell Media national news/talk format head, Mike BendixeniHeartMedia national brand coordinator, news/talk/sports programming and director of AM programming Miami/Fort Lauderdale, Grace Blazer; WOR, New York assistant PD, Scott Lakefield; WBAL, Baltimore PD, Scott Masteller; and WABC, New York PD, Craig Schwalb; the panel discussion titled, “Talk Media: The Big Picture.”  It is moderated by ABC News Radio VP/GM, Steve Jones; introduced by “The Cats Roundtable” host, John Catsimatidis; and featuring panelists iHeartMedia SVP news/talk/sports programming Chris BerryBeasley Media Group EVP programming, Justin ChaseWeiss Agency EVP, Heather CohenCumulus Media EVP content & programming Mike McVay; and Premiere Networks president, Julie Talbott.  Already posted: the panel discussion titled “Hosting a Talk Show in 2018.”  It is moderated by Cumulus Media VP of news/talk and PD of WMAL, Washington, DC, Bill Hess; introduced by iHeartMedia VP programming/national news/talk brand coordinator and PD KOA, Denver, Greg Foster; and featuring panelists Howie Carr Radio Network host, Howie Carr; WPGG, Atlantic City host, Harry HurleyFox News Radio/Fox News Channel host, Brian KilmeadeWestwood One host Chris PlanteTalk Media Network host Tom Sullivan; WPRO, Providence host, Dan Yorke; and KTSA, San Antonio host, Jack Riccardi; the panel discussion titled “Attracting Younger Demos to Talk Radio.”  It is moderated by Mike “Bax” Baxendale, morning co-host, WAQY-FM (Rock 102), Springfield, MA; introduced by WPHT, Philadelphia host Rich Zeoli; and featuring panelists Armstrong & Getty Show co-hosts Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty; WRKO, Boston PD, Michael Czarnecki; WRHU-FM/WRHU.org, Hofstra University OM, John T. Mullen; WABC, New York host Sid Rosenberg; and Compass MediaNetworks/Newsmax host, Todd Schnitt;  a video of the donation given by WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley to the Broadcasters Foundation of America and accepted by its president Jim Thompson;  convention luncheon greetings by WNYM “970 AM The Answer,” New York morning host Joe Piscopo with an introduction by Salem SVP Phil Boyce along with the posthumous presentation of the “Humanitarian of the Year” award to the late Texas and Ohio radio talk show host Matt Patrick by Michael Harrison with an acceptance by his widow and show producer, Paula Ryan;  the panel discussion titled “Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio” moderated by Livestream head of news, Clayton Rose and featuring panelists Krantz Media Group CEO, Gary Krantz and KTRS, St Louis host, McGraw Milhaven; the panel discussion titled “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2018” moderated by TALKERS VP/executive editor, Kevin Casey; introduced by Crossover Media Group managing member, Ron Hartenbaum; and featuring panelists Asa RX host, AsaBold Gold Media Group CEO, Vince BenedettoHowie Carr Radio Network president, Kathy CarrWestwood One president, Suzanne Grimes; WBAL, Baltimore president/GM, Cary Pahigian; and KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz owner, Michael Zwerling;  the special presentation by Amplifi Media CEO, Steven Goldstein titled “Radio Broadcasters and Smart Speakers with an introduction by GCN personality, Dr. Daliah Wachs ;  a special presentation by PodcastOne chairman and CEO, Norm Pattiz titled “Radio Broadcasters and Podcasting” with an introduction by Voice of America and National Public Radio anchor/reporter, Lori Lundin;  a special presentation by WFAN personality, Mike Francesa titled “Sports Talk’s Role in Media and Popular Culture” with an introduction by author and former radio producer, Bernadette Duncan;  Salem SVP, Phil Boyce’s address titled “What Has Donald Trump Done to Talk Radio?”; the fireside chat between TALKERS publisher, Michael Harrison and Beasley Media Group CEO, Caroline Beasley including Harrison’s presentation of the 2018 “Woman of the Year” award to Beasley; Harrison’s fireside chat with FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel mega-star, Brian Kilmeade with an introduction by Westwood One syndicated host, Walter Sterling and special remarks by Sean Hannity; opening remarks by the convention’s co-emcees, TalkersRadio GM, David Bernstein and Good Day Networks/DJV Show CEO/host, Doug Stephan; KGO, San Francisco host, Ethan Bearman delivering the event’s welcoming remarks and Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host, Brad Shepard introduction of Bearman; and the presentation of the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech (“Freedom of Speech Award”) by TALKERS managing editor, Mike Kinosian to SiriusXM Satellite Radio host, book publisher, Hunter College professor, and former New York Daily News/Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, Karen Hunter.  To view the page, please click here.

Trump-Putin Meeting Aftermath, Trump-Russia Investigation/Russia’s Interrogation Request, Alleged Russian Spy Case, California Break-Up Question, Israel Passes ‘Nation-State’ Law, Facebook’s Conspiracy Theory Policy, Google’s EU Fine, and Hader Tweets Controversy/MLB All-Star Game Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/19). The effects of President Trump’s Helsinki meeting with Russia’s Vladimir Putin; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents and the related request by Putin to interrogate U.S. officials; the case of alleged Russian spy Maria Butina and her relationship with GOP consultant Paul Erickson; the question of splitting California into three states fails to make the ballot; Israel’s passage of the controversial “nation-state” law; Mark Zuckerberg’s explanation of Facebook’s conspiracy theory policies; Google is fined $5 billion by the European Union; and Brewers pitcher Josh Hader suffers fallout from past racist and homophobic tweets, tied with the MLB All-Star Game were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Philly Station Deals Announced: Beasley Acquires Country WXTU-FM from Entercom; Jerry Lee Sells Hot AC WBEB-FM to Entercom.  Philadelphia-based Entercom is paying $57.5 million cash to Jerry Lee LLC for hot AC WBEB-FM “101 More FM” and it is divesting of country WXTU.  Beasley Media Group is paying Entercom $38 million for that station.  Beasley says, “Excluding one-time transaction costs, the acquisition of WXTU-FM is expected to be immediately accretive to Beasley’s free cash flow without materially altering the company’s leverage.  Beasley intends to fund the acquisition through borrowings under its credit facility and cash generated from operations.”  Beasley formerly owned WXTU and launched the country format on the signal in 1983.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley says, “Our acquisition of WXTU-FM represents a strategically and financially compelling growth opportunity for our shareholders and further enhances our revenue and competitive position with a strong cluster of five FM and two AM stations in a key, top-10 market.  Importantly, the addition of WXTU-FM is consistent with Beasley’s disciplined approach to growing our platform by executing accretive transactions that deliver valuable synergies and the potential for SOI margin improvement, all with a limited impact to our leverage.”  Speaking about the acquisition of WBEB, Entercom CEO David Field says, “We are very pleased to add the legendary WBEB, one of the country’s most recognized and awarded stations, to our group.  It is a terrific addition to our lineup that will enhance our ability to serve our listeners, customers and the community.  I tip my cap to Jerry Lee, one of the industry pioneers and a visionary leader who built ‘B101’ into such a special station and has done so much for radio over the decades.  We are saddened to say goodbye to our colleagues at WXTU but know that they will be in great hands.”  Beasley begins operating WXTU under an LMA on July 23.

Monday, April 23, 2018

| April 23, 2018

Possible Deal Brewing in St. Louis Involving KTRS and KFNS. As reported in the St. Louis Post- Dispatch, (mostly) sports talk KFNS owner Randy Markel is ready to sell KFNS and he’s in talks with crosstown news/talk KTRS owner CH HoldingsDan Caesar’s piece reports that this is in the early stages as the full CH Holdings board has not yet been presented with details of a deal and Markel says he’s had talks with others about acquiring KFNS.  Markel told the paper he’s spent about $3 million to resuscitate KFNS after buying it out of bankruptcy.  An interesting twist to the story is that a number of former KTRS staffers – including former afternoon personality Frank O. Pinion – now work at KFNS and a reunion of them with KTRS management might be less than smooth.  For now though, KFNS is on the block and only time will tell if there’s a serious buyer for the signal.

Laura Ingraham in Legal Battle Over Fired Former Assistant.  The suit against Courtside Entertainment nationally syndicated radio host and FOX News Channel personality Laura Ingraham was filed in Washington, DC Superior Court by former Ingraham assistant Karolina Wilson and claims that Ingraham and her company violated anti-discrimination laws and DC’s Family and Medical Leave Act. The suit alleges that Wilson worked for Ingraham with “proficiency” for 16 months prior to becoming pregnant. After notifying Ingraham over her condition, Wilson says Ingraham’s attitude toward her changed with Ingraham becoming “distant and angry with her work performance.”  The two sides also allegedly argued over proper maternity leave time after Wilson’s child was born.  Upon returning to work, Wilson was fired from her position.  In a response to the Washington Post, about the suit, Ingraham’s attorney denies the allegations and in response to the suit, rejects Wilson’s contention that her work prior to becoming pregnant was “extremely efficient.”  The two sides are expected in court for a hearing on May 11.

Daria Dolan Expresses Gratitude and Optimism to the Radio Industry.  As reported in TALKERS (4/18), pioneering financial talk show host Ken Dolan of the legendary husband-wife team “The Dolans” passed away last Tuesday (4/17) after a long battle with lymphoma. Readers wanting to reach out to his media partner and wife of 46 years, Daria Dolan, were advised that they could do so through longtime family friend Michael Harrison via email at michael@talkers.com.  According to Harrison, “The huge amount of heartfelt emails and phone calls from all ends of the industry expressing love and support for Daria has been truly wonderful. However, I’m not at all surprised by the stunning outpouring of love and emotion.  The Dolans are a truly special part of radio’s golden history.”  Daria Dolan has written the following note of gratitude to the radio industry:  When Michael Harrison asked to do a tribute to Ken I was touched and thrilled.  Ken Dolan lived and breathed radio and was so good at it. I was just fortunate to be along for the ride. I often characterized myself as the guy at the end of the parade with the can, shovel and broom.  But the response of so many of you surpasses touched and thrilled.  Too many people these days say radio is dead or simply on its last legs.  Nothing could be further from the truth. From the on-air personalities to the support staff in the booths and the copy editors and traffic managers in the ad departments, your overwhelming reaching out to me confirms my belief that no industry with heart that beats as strongly as I have seen and heard in emails and phone calls could possibly be dying.  Your heartfelt responses show me an industry that has plenty of life left. Radio may certainly be evolving but it is NOT dying. So please keep the wonderful spark you all have alive and continue to give it your all every day. It’s true that part of my heart has gone to another place, but the other piece is here with all of you in solidarity. It will remain so until I join Ken again.  Thank you so much for caring about my Ken and saving some of the concern for me as well.

–          Daria Dolan

McMahon: Why Radio (and TV) Newscasts Sound the Same.  Consultant Bill McMahon writes today about the “sameness” of radio (and television) news reporting. Using the case of the media coverage of the execution of convicted murderer Cal Brown as his case study, McMahon illustrates how numerous news outlets can send crews to the same news event and the resulting reporting is pretty much the same.  Read McMahon’s piece here.

TALKERS News Notes. At Saga Communications’ Ithaca, New York news/talk WHCU, the station goes from a local morning show to the Compass Media-syndicated “This Morning with Gordon Deal” program.  Lee Rayburn has been the morning drive host at the station for the past six years and announced his departure via Facebook in which he says that the morning show position at the station has been eliminated…..New England Sports Network studio host and anchor Marc James is doing some fill-in work at Entercom’s sports talker WEEI-FM, Boston.  James sat in over the weekend with Trenni Kusnierek and John Tomase on the “Trenni & Tomase” show.  Tomorrow (4/24), he’ll be a cast member on the afternoon drive on the “Dale & Keefe” show with Dale Arnold and Rich Keefe.  James previously hosted on sports talk outlets WFNC, Charlotte and WZGC-FM, Atlanta…..Monticello Media names Ralph Salierno vice president and general manager of the company’s Charlottesville, Virginia cluster that includes news/talk WCHV and four music-formatted stations.  Salierno was most recently serving with Alpha Media as market manager for the company’s Fredericksburg, Virginia cluster…..Yesterday (4/22) was the debut of the venerable “CBS Sunday Morning” television program on the radio.  CBS News Radio began making the audio of the 9:00 am ET television news magazine available to radio affiliates. CBS News Radio says that in addition to the Jane Pauley-hosted show being available to radio stations, it is also being made available as a podcast at Radio.com…..The FOX Sports Radio lineup is getting cleared in the Chicago market as DuPage Radio’s suburban simulcast of WCKG-AM, Elmhurst and translator W272DQ at 102.3 FM turn into a sports talker featuring Clay Travis, Dan Patrick, Colin Cowherd, and Rich Eisen.  The station plans to add a local afternoon show to the station soon.

Trump -Russia Investigation, Iran Nuclear Deal, North Korea Nuclear Program, Waffle House Shooter, Bloomberg Climate Accord Payment, Barbara Bush Tribute, Macron’s U.S. Visit, Romney Senate Bid, MLB and NBA Playoffs Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents, the Trump administration’s threat to leave the Iran nuclear deal; North Korea’s overtures to the U.S. and whether it really would end its nuclear weapons program; a man shoots four dead at a Nashville Waffle House; UN special envoy for climate change Michael Bloomberg pledges to write a $4.5 million check to cover the U.S.’s financial commitment to the Paris climate accord; former presidents and first ladies pay tribute to the late Barbara Bush; French president Emanuel Macron’s impending visit to the U.S.; Mitt Romney to run in Republican primary for Utah senate seat; and Major League Baseball and NBA playoffs action among top news/talk stories over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Travis Daily is named operations manager and program director for Beasley Media Group’s country WQYK, Tampa. Daily was most recently with iHeartMedia as SVP of programming for the company’s Tampa and Sarasota stations.   Speaking about his new gig, Daily says, “I could not be more thrilled to be joining what I feel is the most exciting media company in America.  From the moment I started talking to George Toulas, Justin Chase, DJ Stout and Brian Beasley, I knew this was the team I had to be on.  I am truly humbled to have the opportunity to be part of such an awesome group in Tampa.”…..The Envision Networks-syndicated “Ashley & Brad” program adds two more affiliate stations to it roster as WAFN-FM, Huntsville “FUN 92.7” and WNXT-FM, Portsmouth, Ohio “MIX 99.3” add the show to their programming lineups…..Buffalo adult standards WECK is adding another FM signal to its simulcast.  It’s new FM translator at 100.5 joins WECK-AM’s 1230 AM and fellow translator W275BB at 102.9 FM.  Station owner Buddy Shula says the additional translator will give improved FM coverage for Buffalo and its northern suburbs. Shula says, “The response to our full-service, local personality-based adult standards format has been incredible. Adding FM coverage for rapidly growing parts of our metro is important to WECK’s overall growth strategy – and to the service to our communities.”…..Beasley Media Group’s rock WMMR, Philadelphia is celebrating its 50th anniversary of broadcasting in Philadelphia on Sunday (4/29).  During this week’s build-up to Sunday’s anniversary, legendary host Pierre Robert– a fixture at the station for all but 13 of its 50 years – will host a daily, 90-minute feature focusing on the five decades of music and Philadelphia events, beginning each day at 12:00 noon. On Saturday (4/28), the station will play the top 50 live performances culled from the “MMaRchives,” featuring hundreds of live performances recorded at the WMMR studios, as well as local venues and the venerable Sigma Sound recording Studio…..iHeartMedia is kicking off the summer with the “2018 iHeartRadio Wango Tango By AT&T” hosted by Ryan Seacrest and featuring performances from today’s hottest artists including: Ariana Grande, Shawn MendesMeghan Trainor, 5 Seconds of Summer, NFMiguel, Janelle Monáe and Marshmello with a special guest performance by Logic, with more to be announced.  The “iHeartRadio Wango Tango By AT&T” will be the first concert held at the all-new Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles on Saturday, June 2…..Los Angeles alternative rock outlet KROQ announces the lineup for this year’s “26th Annual KROQ Weenie Roast.”  Acts will include: Blink – 182, Panic! At The Disco, Rise Against, Dirty Heads, Mike Shinoda, Cold War Kids, The War On DrugsAwolnation, Bishop Briggs, Alice MertonManchester Orchestra, James Bay, Nothing But Thieves, and Mt. Joy.  The show takes place at the Stub Hub Center on Saturday, May 12.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

| March 1, 2018

iHeartMedia Moves News/Talk Programming to New Signal in Boston.  The lineup of predominantly Premiere Networks-syndicated news/talk shows moves from WKOX to WXKS-AM in Boston.  WXKS-AM had been leased to Bloomberg for its news radio format, but that deal is not renewed and iHeartMedia elects to shift the conservative talk format from WKOX’s 1430 AM to WXKS-AM’s 1200.  The station continues to be simulcast on WJMN-HD2.  iHeartMedia SVP of programming for Boston Dylan Sprague comments, “We are proud to have the best talent in talk radio on ‘TALK 1200.’  With a more powerful signal, we can now reach a wider audience.”

Michael Holley Exits WEEI, Boston.  Thirteen-year WEEI, Boston personality Michael Holley leaves Entercom’s sports talker for a larger role on cable’s NBC Sports Boston.  His emotional farewell announcement on yesterday’s program probably shocked fans.  The “Dale & Holley Show with Rich Keefe” has been a consistently high-performing show for the station and Holley was offered a multi-year contract extension, but he elected to focus on an expanded role on TV.  For now, the afternoon drive show on the station will be co-hosted by Dale Arnold and Rich Keefe while Entercom seeks a replacement for him.

Cumulus’ WJOX-FM, Birmingham Replaces AM Drive Show with Midday ‘JOX Roundtable’ Program.  “The Opening Drive” show starring Jay Barker, Al DelGreco and Tony Kurre has been canceled by Cumulus Media’s WJOX-FM, Birmingham and is being replaced by the midday “JOX Roundtable” program that features Jim Dunaway (center), Lance Taylor (right) and Ryan Brown (left).  The shift takes effect on Monday (3/5).  Cumulus Media Birmingham VP and market manager David Walls says, “We are extremely excited and pleased to be able to put our most successful show in the mornings and introduce this fantastic program to more JOX listeners. These guys know how to win and with their work ethic and talent, we are expecting great things.”  Program director Ryan Haney adds, “The listener response to the ‘JOX Roundtable’ has been exceptional over the years.  We look forward to continuing to build upon the momentum and passion shared by both the show and its loyal fan base.”

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s January 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk radio.  It’s not surprising that 77% of stations in the panel saw their 6+ shares increase following the Holiday 2017 PPM survey that is so dominated by Christmas music listening.  Comparing January 2017 to January 2018, 61% of stations enjoyed an increase in their 6+ shares.  Just one sports talk station in PPM markets was ranked #1 (6+) during the January survey and that honor went to Entercom’s WIP, Philadelphia – flagship of the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles.  New England Patriots flagship WBZ-FM, Boston “The Sports Hub” ranked #2 in its market as did Minnesota Vikings flagship KFXN, Minneapolis “K-FAN.”  See the entire report here.

iHeartMedia Misses More Interest Payments.  Because it is expecting to enter into some form bankruptcy protection very soon, iHeartMedia has elected not to make interest payments totaling $138 million.  That total is from outstanding 11.25% Priority Guarantee Notes due 2021 — $59.1 million due – and outstanding 9.0% Priority Guarantee Notes due 2021 — $78.8 million due.  This kicks in a 30-day grace period before default, but as the company’s filing with the SEC indicates, it is in continuing negotiations with debt holders over a comprehensive debt restructuring to reduce its more than $20 billion in debt.  This is the second non-payment of interest for the company.  It’s February 1 non-payment on $106 million goes into default after tomorrow (3/2).

TALKERS News Notes.  A new conservative television talk show will hit the airwaves on PBS – at least for an eight-week trial run.  The program, called “In Principle” and starring columnist Michael Gerson and commentator Amy Holmes, debuts on April 13.  As reported by AP, the program “will take its cue from William F. Buckley’s ‘Firing Line,’ which aired from 1966 to 1999.”  It goes on to say that each show will feature interviews with two guests for in-depth discussions about such issues as race, gun control, and more.  Gerson is quoted saying, “I think the Trump era has been a very difficult time for traditional conservative discourse.  I think a lot of institutions and places have been co-opted in this era.  I view conservatism not only as a belief but a state of mind, a respect for tradition but also a respect for facts.”…..Beasley Broadcast Group chief financial officer Marie Tedesco is presenting at next week’s Deutsche Bank Media, Telecom & Business Services Conference in Palm Beach, Florida.  In addition to the presentation, Tedesco will meet with institutional investors at the conference…..iHeartMedia and entertainment industry publication Variety are teaming up to produce a new podcast titled, “PLAYBACK,” a film-focused program hosted by Variety awards editor Kris Tapley.  The weekly podcast will be available on the iHeartRadio platform and feature exclusive, in-depth interviews with the talents behind many of today’s hottest movies.

Hope Hicks Resigns, Trump’s Televised WH Meeting, NRA vs Delta, Trump-Russia Investigation, Parkland Shooting Investigation, FISA Abuse Matter, Oprah Presidential Bid, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/28). White House communications director Hope Hicks’ announcement she’s resigning from her position; President Trump’s televised White House meeting during which he proposes new gun restrictions; the NRA’s battle with Delta over the termination of their business relationship and threats by Georgia politicians to punish the airline; Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the ongoing investigation into the police response to the Parkland, Florida school shooting; President Trump’s attacks on Attorney General Jeff Sessions for asking the Inspector General’s office to look into allegations of FISA abuse; Oprah Winfrey’s statement she’s waiting for a sign from God whether to run for president; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

BFoA to Honor Urban One’s Cathy Hughes.  At the Broadcasters Foundation of America annual breakfast at the NAB Show in Las Vegas on April 11, the organization will honor Urban One founder and chairperson Cathy Hughes as recipient of the 2018 Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award.   The Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award is bestowed annually upon an individual in broadcasting whose work exemplifies innovation, community service, advocacy, and entrepreneurship.  It salutes its namesake Lowry Mays and is underwritten by The Mays Family Foundation.  Hughes’ unprecedented career has spawned a multi-media conglomerate across radio, television, and digital media.  In 1980 she founded Radio One (now Urban One), which became the largest African-American owned and operated broadcast company in the nation.

Michael Harrison Discusses Podcasting.  TALKERS founder Michael Harrison appears as a guest on this week’s installment of the popular podcast, “Viral Podcasting,” hosted by media/financial consultant Kerry Lutz.  Harrison and Lutz discuss the rise of podcasting and its relationship to terrestrial radio.  Harrison says that podcasting (originally a term that originally related to the Apple iPod) is just a word that in a broader sense means “programming on demand.”  He explains how the internet and digital age are undoing the culture of “mass media” that grew out of 20th century technology.  He suggests that to be successful at podcasting “you can’t just mail it in as you could when consumers had fewer choices in terms of media products and platforms.”   To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Three air personalities are returning to Westwood One’s 24/7 Formats division.  The company announces that rock personality Marconi – who’s served with WKQX, Chicago; KUFO, Portland; and KNDD, Seattle – returns to the Rock 2.0 format.  Well-known Los Angeles jock Jay Coffey returns to host middays on the classic hits service.  Tony Scott, who has worked at KLOS, KRTH, and KSWD in Los Angeles, is returning to host the evening show on the classic rock service.  Westwood One also announces that Lynn Briggs is taking on the afternoon daypart on its adult contemporary service.  Westwood One president of programming Kirk Stirland says, “Hundreds of our affiliates, along with their listeners coast-to-coast, are hearing their old friends on radio once again, on a multitude of formats here at Westwood One.  Marconi, Jay, Tony and Lynn are deeply experienced radio pros and I am very pleased to welcome them to the 24-Hour Format where they will bring great value to our customers.”

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

| February 14, 2018

WEEI, Boston to Suspend Programming on Friday; Holds Mandatory Sensitivity Training for Air Staff.  In the aftermath of two recent incidents in which WEEI, Boston air personalities made statements that offended some, Entercom is suspending the sports talk station’s Friday programming and all staff will complete mandatory sensitivity training.  As regular TALKERS readers are aware, WEEI has been dealing with blowback – including lost advertisers – after a bit in which midday personality Christian Fauria used a phony Asian accent while imitating sports agent Don Yee (who, incidentally, speaks English without an accent).  It’s being reported that Comcast, City of Boston Credit Union, the Massachusetts Lottery, and possibly others, have cancelled ad campaigns with the station.  Fauria has been suspended by Entercom for a week and both the station and Fauria have apologized for the incident.  The cancellations appear to have come on the heels of an op-ed piece by Boston Globe columnist Shirley Leung.  This latest incident came almost two weeks after WEEI’s Alex Reimer referred to Tom Brady’s daughter as “an annoying little pissant.”  Brady cut short a scheduled appearance on the “Kirk & Callahan” morning show because of Reimer’s comments.  The station posted the following on its website: “Nothing is more important to WEEI than the close-knit and diverse Boston community we call home, and we are committed to actively contributing to its betterment.  WEEI is in the process of closely reevaluating our policies and procedures in an effort to ensure that our programming is never intolerant or harmful to our listeners or our city.”  This suspension of live programming for mandatory sensitivity training is, as far back as TALKERS editors can remember, unprecedented in the radio industry.

U.S. Trustee Has Issues with Cumulus Bonus Structure.  More accurately, U.S. Trustee William Harrington has issues with the information Cumulus has supplied regarding its bonus structure at both the station level and for corporate executives.  Harrington has filed an objection stating that, among other things, Cumulus has not identified the job titles of those at the station level slated for bonuses, has not identified all of the corporate executives scheduled to receive payouts, nor has Cumulus shown that its bonus plan is an actual incentive plan and not retentive in nature (i.e. solely designed to keep key employees on board during a time of uncertainty).  What Harrington is saying is that actual incentive plans are allowed but Cumulus hasn’t satisfied him in showing its bonus plans are exactly that and not mechanisms to “enrich insiders” at the “expense of the creditors.”  Cumulus issued the following statement regarding Harrington’s objection: “The objection filed last night has absolutely no impact on the authorizations the Court gave the company on February 8th to pay incentive compensation for employees who earned it in 2017, or will earn it in 2018.  We will be making our incentive compensation payments to those employees, beginning with this week’s normal payroll cycle.  The objection filed is common in these situations and applies only to a small number of senior executives whose compensation will be addressed at an upcoming hearing on March 12th.”

WGN, Chicago to Air White Sox Games.  After 75 years, the Chicago White Sox are returning to WGN’s airwaves.  As you’re probably aware, Cumulus asked the bankruptcy court to let it out of contracts that were onerous and the WLS-AM/White Sox deal was one of them.  Now, for the first time since 1943, White Sox games will return to Tribune’s WGN starting with a spring training game on Friday, February 23.   In the booth will be former Sox pitcher Ed Farmer handling play-by-play and former outfielder Darrin Jackson as analyst.  WGN VP of content Todd Manley says, “What an honor it is to join the White Sox family.  Summer starts TODAY on WGN Radio.”

WOR Names Ray Martel to Executive Producer Role for Mets Broadcasts.  New York radio pro Ray Martel – currently the associate producer for WOR, New York’s “Len Berman in the Morning” show – is named executive producer for New York Mets radio broadcasts and “Sports Zone with Pete McCarthy,” effective March 1.  Martel says, “I am extremely honored to be the next producer of the Mets broadcasts on 710 WOR.  When I began in broadcasting 20 years ago, one of my first positions was as a board-op working on the Mets broadcasts.  It’s amazing to think it’s come full-circle two decades later…I can’t wait for the season to start!”  Prior to his arrival at WOR, Martel was a producer at crosstown sports talker WFAN for 13 years.  He produced for Mike Francesa, Tiki Barber, Brandon Tierney and Dana Jacobson.  He also produced for ESPN Radio.  Martel takes over for Joe Curci, who is leaving on February 28 for a position outside of radio.

Lauer Named Director of Sales for Entercom Milwaukee. Radio sales pro Eric Lauer is appointed to the director of sales position at Entercom’s Milwaukee station group that includes sports talk WSSP/W289CB “105.7 FM/AM 1250 The Fan,” CHR WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM,” and hot AC WMYX “99.1 The Mix.”  Lauer was most recently general sales manager at Scripps’ crosstown news/talk WTMJ and country WKTI.   Entercom Milwaukee/Madison SVP and market manager Chuck Sullivan says, “I have known Eric since he first arrived in the market and his passion, intellect and leadership skills were apparent immediately.  We feel very fortunate to have him partner with us to lead the Milwaukee team.”  Lauer has also held sales management roles with Cox Media Group in Florida and Georgia.

TALKERS News Notes. KIRO-FM, Seattle adds Gee Scott to the evening “KIRO Nights” program with co-host Zak Burns.  Scott moves to the new position from Bonneville’s sister sports talker KIRO-AM “710 ESPN Seattle” where he hosted the evening program.  He fills the seat vacated by Jason Rantz, who exited last fall to assume the morning drive show on the company’s local news/talk KTTH-AM…..The popular podcast from The New York Times, “The Daily,” is being produced as a 30-minute evening radio program distributed by American Public MediaMichael Barbaro will also host the radio version…..Also in Seattle, iHeartMedia is signing with the Major League Soccer club Seattle Sounders FC to serve as its flagship radio station for match play-by-play.  Games and related programming – that used to air on Bonneville’s KIRO-FM – will now air on KJR-AM.  Matt Johnson will call the matches along with rotating analysts Wade Webber, Danny Jackson, and Pete Fewing.

Cumulus Celebrates 40 Years of Steve Dahl with Billboard Campaign.  Radio personality Steve Dahl has been a part of Chicago radio for 40 years and Cumulus Media is honoring Dahl’s colorful career with a billboard campaign in Chicagoland.  Dahl is currently hosting afternoon drive on Cumulus’ news/talk WLS-AM.  The image above is part of the creative for the campaign and shows Dahl with the late John Belushi.

audioBoom and Triton Digital Merge.  This pairing is being termed a “reverse takeover” with Triton Digital merging with the UK-based audioBoom podcast network and technology provider.   audioBoom will acquire all of the stock of Triton Digital Canada for $185 million.  The new company will be called Triton Digital Group and will be publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange.  The executive structure will effectively remain in place with president/CEO Neal Schore, president/market development John Rosso, EVP/CFO Mark Rosenbaum, and SVP/ product and technology Alex FournierCurrent audioBoom CEO Rob Proctor becomes managing director of the audioBoom business unit.  He also remains an executive director.  Schore comments, “We’re proud of our position in the marketplace.  We feel an enormous sense of responsibility to continuously innovate and to drive monetization opportunities.  Our clients can expect us to not only maintain our leadership position, but to have the resources and the team to expand our technology and services meaningfully.”  audioboom currently hosts more than 12,000 content channels, with U.S. content partners including: Cumulus Media, Westwood One, and the Associated Press.  The transaction is expected to close in late March or early April.

Rob Porter White House Exit/John Kelly Status, Russia Election Interference, DACA Status/Immigration Policy, Trump/Stormy Daniels Matter, U.S. Strikes in Syria, Netanyahu Criminal Allegations, PyeongChang Winter Games, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/13).  The aftermath of Rob Porter’s exit from the White House after allegations of spousal abuse and questions about chief of staff John Kelly’s job security; U.S. intel concerns about Russian influence in 2018 mid-term elections; a judge refuses to allow DACA to be shut down and the related Trump Administration policy on immigration; Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen reveals he paid porn star Stormy Daniels $130,000 out of his own pocket; U.S. military strikes in Syria allegedly kill Russian mercenaries; Israeli investigators say Benjamin Netanyahu should be indicted on corruption charges; the Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Deborah Norville to Host BFoA’s Golden Mike Award Ceremony.  Television’s Deborah Norville is hosting the Broadcasters Foundation of America’s 2018 Golden Mike Award honoring Graham Media president and CEO Emily Barr on March 5 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.  Also, at this event Pat McLaughlin will accept the Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of her late husband, Ed McLaughlin, who is credited with discovering Rush Limbaugh and was the founder of EFM Media Management.  Ed McLaughlin was chairman emeritus of the Broadcasters Foundation when he passed away last month.  This annual event is one of the biggest fundraisers in support of the mission of the Broadcasters Foundation to provide aid to broadcasters in acute need.

WIOV, Lancaster’s ‘Murph’ Dies Unexpectedly at 61. Sad news out of Lancaster, Pennsylvania as Cumulus Media reports that WIOV-FM “I-105” morning personality Jerry Murphy – half of the “Murph & Casey” program with Casey Allyn – died unexpectedly at the age of 61.  The duo had worked together on “I-105” for the past 19 years.  Station PD Rich Creeger says, “Murph was not only one of the most charismatic personalities I had the pleasure of working with, but he was also a great friend.  I will miss him tremendously.”  The station has set up a tribute to Murph on the station website at wiov.com.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Appointed to take over management of Spanish Broadcasting System’s New York operations is Maire Mason.  She’s the new VP/GM for Spanish music outlets WSKQ-FM “Mega 97.9FM” and WPAT-FM “Amor 93.1FM.”  Mason, who most recently worked for Cumulus as ​VP/GM in New York, takes over for Eric Garcia who recently exited to join Univision…..Nate Reed is named operations manager for Cox Media Group’s Tulsa cluster.  CMG market VP Cathy Gunther comments, “Nate’s commitment to strong programming will continue to set our stations apart from our competitors.  He has been a natural leader at our radio properties and now, with all our platforms working together, he will be integral part of our new leadership team.”…..Yes, it happened on Valentine’s Day!  Cumulus Media appoints Chad Valentine program director for CHR WBHT, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.  Valentine was most recently with iHeartMedia as air personality, APD, and music director for CHR WHYI, Miami “Y100.”  Valentine says, “I’m excited to be here and ready to make some great radio for Northeast PA.  I’m proud to be part of the next chapter of WBHT’s evolution.”…..Mid-West Family Broadcasting South Bend general manager Jim Roberts leaves the company after almost 22 years to become the national account manager at Cleveland-based Futuri Media.  Roberts had served as GM of the South Bend station group since 2011…..Pictured at right are Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott (right) and Premiere’s SVP, talent and brand integration Rick Murray (left) chatting with country star Sara Evans (center) as she kicked off the “CMT Next Women of Country” tour at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill in New York City on February 12.

Monday, February 12, 2018

| February 12, 2018

Beasley Media Group Reports Pro Forma Q4 Net Revenue Down 6.9%.  Due to the number of recent acquisitions, sales and asset swaps Beasley Media Group has been involved in, the company’s financial reports can be a bit confusing.  It is reporting a $4.8 million, or 9% year-over-year, increase in net revenue during the three months ended December 31, 2017.  That figure reflects the inclusion of stations acquired from Greater Media in Boston, Philadelphia, Detroit and New Jersey (announced in the summer of 2016), partially offset by the disposition of the Charlotte and Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville stations (to Entercom, announced in the fall of 2016) and strong non-recurring political advertising revenue recorded in the year ago fourth quarter.  But the 6.9% dip in net revenue in the fourth quarter of 2017 is pro forma and reflects the company’s legacy Beasley Broadcast Group operations, the Greater Media stations, and the recent acquisition of sports WBZ-FM, Boston (exchanged with Entercom for WMJX-FM, Boston and $12 million), while excluding the Charlotte and Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville stations and WMJX-FM, as if all transactions had been completed on January 1, 2016.  In a press release, CEO Caroline Beasley states, “Throughout 2017, we continued to actively manage our station portfolio to extract operating and financial synergies from the acquired Greater Media stations, while implementing our proven strategies across our platform, which are focused on delivering strong local programming, diversifying our operations, managing risk and improving financial results.  On a GAAP basis, fourth quarter net revenue rose 9.0% compared to the prior year, primarily reflecting the acquisitions and divestitures to our platform on a year-over-year basis.  Pro forma net revenues for the three months ended December 31, 2017 declined 6.9% compared to the prior year period, reflecting $3.9 million in non-recurring political advertising revenue and softer national advertising revenue. The year-over-year decline was partially offset by a 6.5%, or $3.5 million, reduction in pro forma station operating expenses. As a result, Beasley’s fourth quarter pro forma SOI declined 7.8% year over year while SOI margins were relatively flat compared to the prior year period…Looking ahead to 2018, we intend to continue our strategic priorities of realizing synergy targets, reducing debt and leverage, taking advantage of political revenue opportunities, improving top and bottom-line performance and returning capital to shareholders through our quarterly cash dividend. With enhanced opportunities to monetize our strong core programming and local brands, we remain confident in the radio industry and in Beasley’s growing broadcast and digital platform. We look forward to realizing the strategic benefits of the WBZ transaction in 2018 and remain confident that our ongoing initiatives to drive sales, productivity and efficiency across our platform, combined with prudent management of our capital structure, is a proven formula for sustained long term financial growth and the creation of shareholder value.”

Dennis Miller Back in the Westwood One Fold. Comic, TV star, “SNL” alum, and former radio talk show host Dennis Miller is back with Westwood One, this time delivering two daily, one-minute programs to affiliate stations.  Miller hosted a daily, midday talk show on WW1 for eight years.  Now, he returns to the company with commentaries that present “his idiosyncratic take on topical issues, the culture, and what Americans are talking about in two distinct 60-second programs, Monday through Friday.”  Westwood One EVP of News & Talk Bart Tessler says, “Dennis Miller is a multi-talented, multimedia comic icon and we are thrilled to have him back on Westwood One.  Even with all his success, ‘The Miller Minute’ may be the best format yet for Dennis to entertain and inform listeners with his humor and idiosyncratic style.  He can’t wait to re-engage with his radio audience, affiliates, and advertisers.”

WGR-AM , Buffalo to Roast Bills’ Fred Jackson.  Buffalo sports talker WGR-AM is honoring former Buffalo Bills player Fred Jackson at the 4th Annual WGR Celebrity Roast this Thursday (2/15).  The event is being hosted by WGR morning show host Howard Simon and will feature an all-star panel of former teammates, including: Eric Wood, Aaron Williams, Bryan Scott and Ryan Fitzpatrick, as well as Jackson’s own twin brother, Patrick Jackson.   Entercom Buffalo SVP and market manager Greg Ried states, “The city of Buffalo is incredibly passionate about their hometown Buffalo Bills and Fred Jackson is a respected and beloved figure in the community.  Jackson was a unanimous decision by the WGR team.  For his determination, compassion and drive, on and off the field, we are excited to honor him at this year’s WGR Celebrity Roast.”  The WGR Celebrity Roast has become a signature event in the Buffalo community.  Former WGR Celebrity Roast honorees include former Buffalo Sabres players Marty Biron, Mike Robitaille and Rob Ray, as well as former Buffalo Bills player Andre Reed.

TALKERS News Notes. Former New England Patriots tight end Christian Fauria – now one-third of the WEEI, Boston midday show with Glenn Ordway and Lou Merloni – was suspended from the Entercom station for a week and issued an apology after a bit aired in which Fauria used a stereotypical Asian accent to imitate sports agent Don Yee.  During the bit, Fauria was reading phony texts purported to be from Yee to Boston Herald sportswriter Ron Borges regarding Tom Brady’s contract situation with the Patriots…..In Philadelphia, “SportsTalk 94WIP” personality (and former Eagles player) Jon Ritchie was off the air last Friday (2/9) after being arrested for DUI and simple assault.  According to Philly.com, Ritchie was arrested early Friday morning, hours after the parade in Philly celebrating the Eagles’ Super Bowl victory.  The paper does not explain the circumstances surrounding Ritchie’s arrest.  Ritchie co-hosts the midday show with Joe DeCamara…..Dayton sports talk station WING-AM has a new program director as Justin Kinner is promoted from the interim PD position.  Alpha Media says that Kinner previously worked as the afternoon drive host at WING-AM.  He also has experience as an account executive in the market.  Alpha Media Dayton OM Bo Matthews comments, “It was clear from the moment I arrived that Justin was the guy to become the new PD of WING-AM.  I wish I could bottle up his passion and excitement and pass it around.”…..Twin Cities sports media figure Patrick Reusse is leaving KSTP-AM’s “Saturday Morning Sports Talk” program that he’s been co-hosting with Judd Zulgad.  His role on the program will be taken over by KSTP Vikings reporter Matthew Coller.  Reusse – who also writes for the Minneapolis Star Tribune – continues to host afternoon drive and the one-hour “SportsTalk” show he co-hosts with Joe Soucheray at 3:00 pm on the Hubbard Brodcasting station.

Rob Porter Resignation/#MeToo Movement, Trump-Russia Probe, Dow Selloff, North Korea Diplomatic Overtures, Iranian Drone Case, PyeongChang Winter Olympics, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The aftermath of the resignation of White House aide Rob Porter over allegations of domestic violence and President Trump’s Tweet that the #MeToo movement is ruining careers; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the big Wall Street selloff that saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average lose more than 2,000 points; North Korea’s use of the Olympic games for diplomatic overtures and criticism of the America media’s “fawning” coverage of Kim Jong Un’s sister’s appearance at the Olympic Games; Israel’s shooting down of an Iranian drone modeled after a U.S. drone Iran captured several years ago; the athletic events at the Winter Olympics; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  In Birmingham, Cumulus Media appoints Phillip March program director for urban AC WUHT “Hot 107.7.”  He was previously director of urban programming for Alpha Media’s Louisville, Kentucky stations.  Cumulus Media Birmingham VP and market manager David Walls says, “We are elated that Phillip is joining our team.  He brings experience, passion, knowledge and leadership to our team.  He is a true leader and an outstanding teacher.  It is a huge win for Cumulus Birmingham and for our community as well.”…..Program director Lauren MacLeash exits Entercom’s country KMNB, Minneapolis “BUZ’N” after a stint of more than three years with the former CBS RADIO cluster.  The company is beginning a search for her replacement…..Beasley Media Group inks Terrie Carr to a multi-year deal to continue serving as program director and midday personality at WDHA-FM, Dover, New Jersey.  Carr was elevated to program director last summer.  She says, “I am both energized and honored to continue my career with my Beasley and WDHA family and for the opportunity to help lead the greatest air staff a person could ask for.  The challenges, new pathways to technology, and sheer madness of our business keep me inspired beyond my wildest dreams every day!”…..Keith Barton is succeeding Dave Paulus as general manager for Max Media’s Norfolk cluster…..Curtis Media announces Max Miller and Amy Kay are teaming up for the “Max & Amy in the Morning” program on hot AC WMGV, Greenville-New Bern “V103.3.”  Their program replaces the syndicated “Kidd Kraddick Morning Show.”

Monday, January 29, 2018

| January 28, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

| September 13, 2017

WFAN’s Craig Carton Professes Innocence in Ponzi Scheme Allegations.  Making his first public statement since being arrested and charged with fraud in connection with an alleged Ponzi scheme, WFAN, New York morning personality Craig Carton said he is innocent of the charges against him.  His statement read, “I want to thank my family, friends and fans and especially Boomer [Esiason] for the outpouring of public and private support I’ve received over the past few days.  As you can imagine, it’s been incredibly hard to be silent while there is an endless stream of vitriol being hurled my way, but I’m confident that when the facts come out, you’ll see that I am not guilty of these charges.  My fight has only just begun and I know when this strange episode is over, I’ll be back, stronger than ever.  Thank you for all the kind words and good wishes as I continue on with one of the greatest battles of my life.”  Esiason spoke on WBZ-FM, Boston’s Toucher & Rich morning program saying he is “lost and heartbroken” over the matter.  He said he spoke with Carton on Saturday and he is being supportive of Carton during this difficult time.  Carton’s attorney, Robert Gottlieb, issued a statement saying Carton is a “victim who was deceived, manipulated and used by individuals seeking to gather assets for their own fraudulent schemes.”

Francesa Won’t Turn His Back on WFAN.  Afternoon drive star Mike Francesa tells the New York Post that if WFAN is facing real programming trouble from the Craig Carton legal matter combined with his own pre-planned departure from the station in December he would not “turn my back on the company if I thought it was in trouble.  That’s something that had to play out in the weeks and months ahead.  And I don’t really know if it is [in trouble], so I don’t know if that’s going to mean anything.”  Some industry watchers have speculated that Francesa’s exit combined with Carton’s absence from the morning show could affect the most lucrative dayparts, putting CBS RADIO’s New York sports talker in a difficult situation.  Read the Post story here.

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the first of four analyses of the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s August 2017 PPM survey with today’s focus on sports talk radio.  The MLB playoff push and the ramp-up to the NFL season appear to have been good for sports talk stations with “roughly two of three stations (65%) on this sports talk panel up (6+)” from the July survey to the August survey.  But, a year-over-year comparison shows a different trend.  Kinosian notes that “more than half of these eligible sports talk stations are down year-to-year (53%) while 34% improve; the remaining 13% are steady.  No sports talk station ranked first in its market during the August survey – only CBS RADIO’s WXYT-FM, Detroit came close, finishing #2.  See the whole report here.

Larry Glover Moves to Middays at WVLK, Lexington.  Talk show host Larry Glover moves from the 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm show to the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart at Cumulus Media’s WVLK, Lexington, Kentucky.  At the same time, the Cumulus-syndicated Chris Plante show moves to the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon slot.  The daypart opened up after Lee Cruse — who also works at WLEX-TV — resigned his position with WVLK due to time constraints.  He hosted the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show.  Glover was the radio voice for the minor league baseball Lexington Legends for seven seasons.   In 2008, he was honored as the Kentucky Sportscaster of the Year.  Cumulus Media Lexington VP/market manager Scott Frazier comments, “We are very excited to have Larry Glover join our midday lineup on News Talk 590 WVLK.  I’ve always believed that Larry possessed the ability to reach beyond the world of sports talk to offer entertaining and informative commentary on a broad range of topics.  He will now have that opportunity and I think our listeners will love what they hear!”

FCC Report Indicates 50 U.S. Mainland Radio Signals Still Off the Air.  Due to the loss of power and flooding from Hurricane Irma, there are still a slew of radio stations off the air, mostly in Florida.  The signals – including translators – are: In Florida — WMFM, WAXY, WDOZ, W227CP, W250BH, W274BB, W298BO, W300CL, WAQV, WFLJ, WJFH, W251BM, WROK, WAOA- FM, WHKR, WLZR, WIOD, WOLZ, WINZ, WBTT, WCKT, WZTA, WSVU, WSWN, WOTW, WMFQ, WXUS, WYGC, W240CI, W295BJ, W233AP, WMKO, WEAT, WMFL, WWFR, WJFR, WTIR, WMYR, WCNZ, W294AN, WNWF, WEJZ, WGNE-FM, and WJGO.  Georgia stations off the air are: WLFH, WHFX, WBGA, WGIG, WEKL and WGCO.  This report was as of yesterday at 11:00 am ET.  Some of these stations may have returned to air by the time you read this.

WEEI Presents $4.2 Million Check to Jimmy Fund.  This year’s 16th annual WEEI-NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon raised $4.2 million for the Jimmy Fund and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.  Pictured above presenting the ceremonial check at Tuesday night’s Boston Red Sox game are (from l-r): Entercom Boston VP/market manager Phil Zachary; WEEI, Boston program director Joe Zarbano; NESN general manager Sean McGrail; NESN coordinating director Rose Marakian; Arbella Insurance Charitable Foundation president Beverly Tangvik; and Jimmy Fund chairman Larry Lucchino.

Hofstra University’s Dr. Evan W. Cornog is this Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  For the second time in the past three years, Long Island-based Hofstra University’s WRHU (FM and .org) was presented the NAB Marconi Award for “Best Non-Commercial Radio Station” in the nation – a remarkable achievement.  Dr. Evan W. Cornog, dean of Hofstra’s Lawrence Herbert School of Communication, which oversees the institution’s radio department, joins Michael Harrison as this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out.”  Cornog, a highly respected scholar with stellar credentials in both academia and professional journalism, brings a wealth of experience and insight to the conversation.  Prior to joining Hofstra in 2010, Cornog served as an associate dean at the Columbia University School of Journalism for more than a decade during which time he was publisher of the Columbia Journalism Review.  He was also press secretary to New York City Mayor Edward I. Koch and a freelance writer and editor whose stories have appeared in publications such as The New Yorker, the Los Angeles Times, Slate and the Boston Globe.  Cornog also served as special assistant to the president of the New School in Manhattan.  He earned his bachelor’s degree in history and literature from Harvard University, and his master’s and doctorate degrees in history from Columbia.  Don’t miss this fascinating conversation in which Harrison and Cornog discuss the rapidly evolving state of media and its impact on society, as well as the future of journalism.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Andre Fernandez Named to FCC Committee.  Selected to serve on the new Advisory Committee on Diversity and Digital Empowerment (ACDDE) is CBS RADIO president and CEO Andre Fernandez.  Fernandez was selected by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai on the committee that will “provide recommendations to the FCC on how to empower disadvantaged communities and accelerate the entry of small businesses, including those owned by women and minorities, into the media, digital news and information, and audio and video programming industries.”  Leading the committee as chair is NetCommunications president Julia JohnsonShootingStar Broadcasting president and CEO Diane Sutter is vice chair.

Irma and Harvey Aftermath, Sanders’ Single Payer Bill, SCOTUS Rules on Refugee Ban, Hillary Clinton Book, Cruz Porn Video ‘Like,’ Apple Unveils iPhone X, MLB Playoff Push, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/12).  The effects of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey on Florida and Texas; Senator Bernie Sanders announces his bill to create a single payer system for health care in the U.S.; the Supreme Court upholds the ban on travel for certain refugees for the time being; Hillary Clinton’s book about her loss to Donald Trump; Ted Cruz says “staffing issue” responsible for his Twitter “like” of a porn video; Apple unveils new iPhone 8 and the iPhone X; Major League Baseball’s playoff push; and NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. This change was anticipated and now it happens as Hubbard Radio hot AC WTMX, Chicago formally changes the name of “The Eric & Kathy Show” to “Eric in the Morning with Melissa & Whip.  Eric Ferguson leads the morning show with castmates Melissa McGurren and Brian “Whip” Paruch.  Obviously, this comes on the heels of the official departure of Kathy Hart from the show.  She’d been off the air since late April in what appears to have been a contract dispute.  The station let her go last week.….Cumulus Media names Britt Rose afternoon drive personality on classic hits WJTQ, Pensacola “Jet 100.7” She was most recently with the company in Oklahoma City on classic hits KQOB and rock KATT.  WJTQ program director Chuck Whitaker says, “I am very excited to have Britt here as the new afternoon goddess in the ‘Jet 100.7’ cockpit.  It’s so good to see one of our own at Cumulus get the opportunity to advance in their career.  We look forward to Britt taking ‘Jet 100.7’ to new heights!”…..Lakes Media LLC flips WMPW, Danville, Virginia from its “MOREfm” adult contemporary format to classic country as “Country Legends.”  The company says that the online audience for the “Country Legends” stream has more than tripled in the last year.  That combined with the existence of sister AC WHLF already on the air, the decision was made to bring “Country Legends” to the FM airwaves on WMPW…..Sinclair Communications’ CHR KSXY, Forestville/Santa Rosa, California flips to alternative as “The 101 Modern Alternative.”  Program director Dray Lopez and air staffers Ashlee Sleek, Natalie, and Will Styles remain with the station…..Cumulus Media’s WGNI, Wilmington, North Carolina adds the nationally syndicated “Intelligence for Your Life” program starring John Tesh to its evening program schedule…..Premiere Networks radio personality Nikki Sixx is launching a new weekly program feature on his nationally syndicated “Sixx Sense with Nikki Sixx” radio program.  It’s called “My Favorite Riff” and it’s billed as “a first-ever multiplatform music and conversation series highlighting guitar legends and the hottest upcoming new artists.”  It launches tomorrow (9/14) with guest Joe Bonamassa.

Friday, August 18, 2017

| August 18, 2017

iHeartMedia Extends Debt Exchange Offer. In a press release, iHeartMedia parent company iHeartCommunications, Inc announces it is extending the private offers to holders of certain series of iHeartCommunications’ outstanding debt securities to exchange the Existing Notes for new securities of iHeartMedia, Inc., CC Outdoor Holdings, Inc. and iHeartCommunications, and the related solicitation of consents from holders of Existing Notes to certain amendments to the indentures and security documents governing the Existing Notes.  The company notes that as of 5:00 pm ET Wednesday (8/16), an aggregate amount of approximately $45.5 million of Existing Notes, representing approximately 0.6% of outstanding Existing Notes, had been tendered into the Exchange Offers.

Talent Shuffle at WEPN, New York.  Programming brass at ESPN O&O WEPN, New York, “ESPN New York 98.7 FM” have made a few changes to the air talent lineup at the Big Apple sports talker.  Alan Hahn exits the “Hahn, Humpty, and Canty” midday show and will take over the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm show, effective Monday (8/21).  Leaving the night show and moving to the midday program is Dave Rothenberg.  The 10:00 am to 1:00 pm show – starring Rick DiPietro and Chris Canty – is renamed “Humpty & Canty.”  Rothenberg will continue to host his eponymous Saturday program on the station from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.  Hahn is quoted saying, “Hosting the show with Rick and Chris has been one of the most valuable experiences of my career.  I’m excited about my new venture back at night where it all started.  I can’t thank Tim McCarthy [senior vice president of ESPN New York 98.7FM] enough for working with me on this move to ensure I can keep developing as a radio host.”

WEEI-NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon Tops $4 Million Raised to Fight Cancer.  On Wednesday and Thursday, Entercom sports talk WEEI, Boston again teamed up with regional sports cable TV network NESN to hold the 16th annual “WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon” raised more than $4 million to fight cancer.  Since 2002, the annual radio-telethon has raise more than $49 million to benefit the Jimmy Fund.

Harrison Podcast Examines Charlottesville from a Talk Radio Perspective.  Charlottesville, VA was the home of two early U.S. presidents – Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe.  It is also the home of two talented radio talk show hosts heard on two significant, separately owned news/talk stations.  Joe Thomas is the PD and morning host at Monticello Media’s WCHV.  Rob Schilling is the 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm host on Saga Communications’ WINA.  Both are guests on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”   They discuss, in great detail, the talk radio perspective on the tragic and troubling events that took place in their city this past weekend, and then some.  Don’t miss this.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

TALKERS News Notes. WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley takes home the gold award for Best Columnist in the 2017 Best of the Press awards from the Press of Atlantic City.  The awards are based on votes from readers.  Last year, Hurley won the silver award in the Best Columnist category…..Talk show pro Steve Malzberg has been sitting in for WMAL-AM/FM, Washington afternoon drive personality Larry O’Connor all this week.  Malzberg tells TALKERS magazine that this stint comes after nearly two weeks filling in for WMAL-based, syndicated talk personality Chris Plante.  Malzberg can be reached via email at malzbergtalk@gmail.com…..The Danielle Lin show expands its affiliate base with the addition of BiCoastal Media-owned news/talk KMED-AM/K294AS in Medford, Oregon.

Aftermath of Charlottesville Protest Violence Top News/Talk Story for Week of August 14-18. Criticism of President Trump’s response to the death of a 32-year-old protestor and the violence at last weekend’s white supremacist rally in Charlottesville was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the destruction of a Confederate statue in Durham, North Carolina and the authorized removal of Confederate memorials in other cities.  Coming in at #3 was the elimination of President Trump’s American Manufacturing Council after numerous CEOs resigned from the board in the wake of Trump’s Charlottesville comments, followed by the U.S.-North Korea tensions at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discusses 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.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Chris Clare is the new program director at Cumulus Media’s country WNNF, Cincinnati “NASH-FM 94.1.”  Clare heads to the Queen City from his most recent gig at Binnie Media’s country WTHT, Portland “99.9 The Wolf.”  He previously worked in Cincinnati at Cumulus’ sister WFTK when it was “Star 96.5.”  Cumulus Cincinnati operations manager Keith Mitchell says, “The team here in Cincinnati is excited for Chris’ arrival in September and the wealth of country experience and enthusiasm he brings to NASH-FM.”…..Neuhoff Media brings Chris Fleming in to its Lafayette, Indiana cluster to serve as vice president and market manager.  Fleming has most recently been chief revenue officer and general manager at Ramar Communications’ seven-station Lubbock, Texas operations…..Air personality Miguel “Mijo” Irizarry joins the air staff at CBS RADIO’s CHR WPOW, Miami “Power 96” to host the 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight shift, effective August 28.  He fills the daypart vacated by Ivy Unleashed when she was promoted to the afternoon show.  About his new gig, Mijo says, “Excited doesn’t begin to justify the feeling of joining such an incredible team at CBS RADIO Miami and ‘Power 96.’”…..Programming pro Lance Ballance exits Cumulus Media’s adult contemporary WXLO where he’d been serving as operations manager and PD …..Christian broadcaster WAY Media names John Scaggs president and CEO.  He succeeds company founder Bob Augsburg.

Dustin Lynch Stops By the ‘Ty, Kelly and Chuck Show.’ Country star Dustin Lynch is pictured here with the Ty, Kelly and Chuck show at their studios in Nashville recently.  He talked about his new record Current Mood and even played games including “Strip or Strike” and “Who Wears the Pants?”  Pictured (from l-r) are: Ty Bentli, Lynch, Kelly Ford and Chuck Wicks.

Digital Creates a New Ballgame For Boston’s WEEI

| August 8, 2017

By Jeff McKay
TALKERS
Special Features Correspondent

BOSTON – While some radio stations and companies are working harder and in some cases struggling  to make digital dollars and digital traffic work for them, Boston’s WEEI (850AM/93.7FM) has proven digital can work extremely well for them.  The Boston and New England region Entercom sports/talk powerhouse weaves its podcasts, along with an unusually strong presence on social media into a mechanism that drives listeners to and from the radio and social media, and advertisers to multiple platforms.

Success for WEEI’s digital arm didn’t happen overnight.   The digital and social media launch came nine years ago as the stock market was tanking and businesses crumbling during the “great recession,” and now employs eight full and part-time staffers who also bring strong content to the radio while on-air sports radio hosts enhance their digital domain.

A Team Effort Built From Within

“We’ve always had an understanding that our site can be a lot of things to a lot of people. It’s obviously a reflection of the on-air product, but we have also shown the ability to drive the on-air content perhaps more than most sports stations digital platforms,” says Rob Bradford, site editor and Red Sox beat writer for WEEI.com.

Bradford, who also hosts his own podcast for WEEI titled “The Bradfo Sho,” says it’s not just about the content, as their success really comes from the people behind the content, and as you can tell from Bradford, his staffers clearly each wear more than one hat.

“Perhaps the most important aspect of our growth has been to employ smart, talented people who will do anything at any time. This has been a seven-day-a-week, non-stop venture, and everyone on our staff being at the ready to populate the site, or contribute to the on-air product, has always been part of the deal.”

A great example is Kirk Minihane, who started at WEEI.com as a part-time fantasy sports writer and fill-in copy editor.  He soon amassed a following online, becoming an on-air presence and, given the chance, rose through the ranks to now become the popular and brash WEEI radio morning show host.

On the digital side, Alex Reimer writes columns and blogs as well as hosting a podcast.  Ryan Hannable interned at WEEI.com in 2012 and now covers the Red Sox and Patriots as well as writing sports news, and they’re just two parts of the digital team.

Social Media Becomes a Listener Hub

“All of our social media platforms have played a role but I’d say Facebook has been the most important,” says the 30-year old WEEI PD Joe Zarbano, and with good reason.

With over 225,000 followers, WEEI has over four times the Facebook followers of New York City’s legendary sports/talk WFAN.  Zarbano says the key to their Facebook success is using social media as a way to both promote their on-air effort and tie in their digital products.

“We consistently and strategically post throughout the day. Facebook is another platform that allows us to reach a large audience to help promote what is happening on air and online.”

However, it’s not just Facebook.

WEEI’s Twitter followers rival that of WFAN and Los Angeles’ “ESPN LA” combined, and when it comes to Instagram, more than 16,800 followers can see pics and behind-the-scenes action, some they can’t find anywhere else.

It’s also about using the content to be advantageous both on-air and on-site.

“The unique thing that we’ve been able to do is to have more options, unique material and interviews.  We can leverage that one interview and break it down to on-air, blogs, podcasts and site news to drive the conversation,” says Bradford, who added it keeps the listener and reader engaged on multiple levels.

“Deflate-Gate” Culminates a Digital Drive

A story like the one in which the Patriots were accused of deflating footballs might have been a problem for the football team, but it pushed page views on WEEI into the stratosphere, with over 12.4 million page views in January, 2015.  However, it was not that one story that has defined their digital domain.

Bradford tells TALKERS, “Storylines are always going to put page views over the top, with our on-air product doing a better job than anybody at capitalizing on anything that might be a talker.   What we do a really good job of – not only online, but also on the air – is realizing what are the best stories, and then presenting them in the right way.  We have learned a lot when it comes to understanding how to maneuver around a news cycle in terms of timing, tone and where the energy should be devoted to.”

Fast-forward two years, and In March, WEEI.com had 10.3 million page views, and averages 10 million pages views each month.  WEEI.com also averages 1.6 million unique page views each month, and spiked just over 2.6 million unique views in April.

“We cover the teams more relentlessly than other sites – breaking as many stories as any media outlet while also traveling to a good chunk of events – but then have the luxury of being able to surface the most powerful voices (on the air and online) when notable moments arise. I guess it once again comes back to the ability to offer more of everything — columns, show audio, news of the day, podcasts, video to our listeners and users,” says Zarbano.

Podcasting Brings In New Listeners

To say WEEI has made an investment in podcasting may be an understatement.  From “Enough About Me,” hosted by WEEI morning show host Kirk Minihane, to “Two Outs,” a podcast featuring two openly gay sports enthusiasts in Boston Herald columnist Steve Buckley and Reimer, this gives the station added programming and targets listeners in almost every possible demographic, especially younger demos.

According to Zarbano, despite having a strong number of podcasts, there’s still more work to be done.

“We have two different types of podcasts, podcasting that is not on the radio and podcasting that are the segments on the radio that we upload to the website.  As an example, our exclusive Tom Brady podcasts are uploaded to the website and get thousands of clicks and listens,” says Zarbano, who oversees podcasts including fantasy football and movies along with national and local sports.

Now that Entercom has bought a stake in DGital Media, this will allow Entercom to become one of the largest providers of original sports audio content in the country, enhancing an already strong digital and podcasting presence for WEEI.

“Entercom will be the clear leader in creating original audio content and we are committed to reaching our listeners in any way they wish to engage with us,” says Entercom president & CEO David Field, adding they will rely heavily on Entercom’s “deep roster of local talent and relationships in the world of sports, news, politics, music, comedy, and technology.”

Branding Leads To Sales

One thing Entercom has done in Boston is intertwine WEEI’s on-air product with WEEI.com in a way that both sales and station content complement one another.

“Many of our sales packages include digital. It’s a great advantage to have when enticing a prospective client. We can offer more than just our on air product when closing a deal,” says Zarbano.  “Our dot.com staff are ‘brand personalities.’  Bradford, John Tomase, and Reimer and others all contribute original content to our site on a daily basis and also have a regular presence on the air as well.”

WEEI’s exclusive content gives advertisers unique access to Boston’s celebrity athletes and teams on multiple levels that can improve their own digital presence.

“It allows us to put together packages and tell clients you can sponsor Tom Brady’s interviews on WEEI, but also have a presence on the website, and that’s a great incentive for advertisers who don’t have the digital access and number of page views we have.  It gives our clients an opportunities they can’t get anywhere else that can compliment and improve their own digital presence,” says Zarbano.

After Nine Years of Digital – What’s Next?

“Our audience just wants more WEEI – they want to consume more content,” says Zarbano, but Bradford makes clear, “There’s not a template on how to do this.”

For WEEI, their drive into digital began in 2008, just as the recession was crashing all around them.  Despite an extremely uncertain economy, Entercom gave the go-ahead and since then, it has only grown.

Credit for WEEI’s success, according to Zarbano, starts at the top and cites the company’s faith in the product and digital vision.

“David Field and Entercom management believe in WEEI and had a vision before most that a website generating an enormous amount of new content on a daily basis could be extremely beneficial to the WEEI brand. We’ve been able to grow because of the unwavering faith the company has in us,” says Zarbano.  “When we started it was the worst possible time to start anything, the economy tanked right away.  Entercom stood by us and despite losing a lot of great people we’ve gained a lot of great people and thanks to our reputation, and a powerhouse radio station, we’ve been able to stay ahead of the curve.”

When it comes to what is ahead, the goal for WEEI is to continue to build the brand.

“You want to keep building your numbers.  We can put up an audio file and now that we have so much traffic it helps the on-air product, or they’ll listen live to an interview and then go to the site for more of the story.  It’s not just a radio station or website – it’s the entire brand,” says Bradford.

“Finding young talent that can be opinionated, entertaining and informed both on-air and on-line will be key for us as well,” says Zarbano, who adds, “One day hopefully we’ll have an even larger staff on WEEI.com, more assets, more podcasts, I think that’s part of the future.  We need to create more content that’s not just traditional radio content, especially as cars become more connected.”

Jeff McKay, a veteran New York-based operations manager, newsman and traffic reporter, is a special features correspondent for TALKERS.  He can be emailed at  McKayway@aol.com.

 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

| July 27, 2017

Vince Coglianese Joins Mary Walter for WMAL’s ‘Mornings on the Mall.’ The Daily Caller editorial director Vince Coglianese is named the new morning drive co-host at Cumulus Media’s Washington, DC news/talk outlet WMAL-AM/FM.  The station says Coglianese will join current morning personality Mary Walter on the “Mornings On The Mall” program from 5:00 am to 9:00 am.  He’s the former editor-in-chief of The Daily Caller and regularly appears on the FOX News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, the FOX Business Network, and CNBC. Prior to joining The Daily Caller, Coglianese served as web editor for Carolina Coast OnLine, and hosted a talk show on WTKF/WJNC, Morehead City, North Carolina.  WMAL program director and Cumulus Media VP of News/Talk Bill Hess states, “Vince is the perfect WMAL personality – knowledgeable, plugged-in, entertaining, and a strong storyteller.  He and Mary had immediate chemistry and we’re excited to bring this fresh new sound to mornings on 105.9 FM and AM630 WMAL.”  Coglianese fills the slot left vacant when Brian Wilson departed the station.

iHeartMedia Launches Denver Broncos Station ‘Orange and Blue Radio.’  Sports talker KDSP, Denver is tweaked by owner iHeartMedia and will now be a station dedicated to all things Denver Broncos.  KDSP takes on the brand “Orange & Blue 760.”  iHeartMedia says the station “will broadcast Broncos sports talk with Tyler Polumbus, Steve Atwater, Dave Logan, Andrew Mason and more throughout the day.  Listeners can tune in 24/7 to hear breaking team news reports, live coverage of all Broncos’ news conferences as well as exclusive Broncos content just for ‘Orange & Blue’ radio listeners.”  This is being reported by numerous Denver news outlets as a “50/50 relationship” between the NFL club and the station, although whether that refers literally to sharing revenue or, less literally, about working together to create content – or some mix thereof – is not clear.  Denver Broncos chief commercial operator Mac Freeman adds, “Our longstanding partnership with iHeartMedia Denver continues to evolve and we are committed to finding new ways to engage Broncos fans across the fast-changing media landscape.  ‘Orange and Blue Radio’ will allow us to bring Broncos fans more content, more often, in more places.”

Nielsen’s Q2 Net Revenue Up 3%.  Ratings and research giant – and parent of radio ratings subsidiary Nielsen AudioNielsen Holdings plc announces financial figures for the second quarter of 2017.  Revenue was $1,644 million in Q2, up 3.0% (or 4.1% on a constant currency basis) compared to the second quarter of 2016.  Nielsen CEO Mitch Barns comments, “Our revenue in the quarter reflects solid growth in Watch, robust growth in Buy emerging markets and the contribution from our recent acquisition of Gracenote.  This was partially offset by continued softness in our U.S. Buy business which reflects the challenging operating environment for our large, fast moving consumer goods clients.  Our rigorous cost and commercial discipline in the quarter enabled us to deliver margin expansion, while also investing in our key growth initiatives.”

WEEI’s Minihane Takes ‘Personal Time’ After Criticizing Red Sox Ownership. Coincidence or not?  That’s the question the Boston Herald’s Jessica Heslam is asking after WEEI, Boston morning personality Kirk Minihane disappeared from the morning show the day after lashing out at Boston Red Sox ownership.  What set Minihane off was a statement the organization made in response to a piece by Britni De La Cretaz published at DigBoston.com that examines the history of the MLB club’s racist past and suggests that racism is still alive and well in “Red Sox Nation,” including at the team’s longtime radio partner, WEEI.  Part of the Red Sox’s statement included the following: “None of the opinions or sentiments expressed on WEEI or any of the 57 radio affiliates throughout New England are those of the Boston Red Sox.  We understand the frustration of those who feel the opinions expressed are offensive and out of line.  At times, we feel the same way.”  Minihane responded saying, in part, “There is an institutional arrogance from the Red Sox.  It starts at the top and it bleeds all the way down to the bottom.  All we did was say we don’t believe that Red Sox fans are inherently racist.  The Red Sox disagree.  Red Sox fans, your organization thinks you’re racist or, by and large, think many of you are racist.  The Red Sox are pandering and it starts with John Henry, with Linda Pizzuti, who’s another panderer, goes to Tom Werner and goes all the way down, slides all the way down, takes a stop at John Farrell.”  The station told Heslam that Minihane is not suspended, just “taking personal time this week.”  Read Heslam’s story here.

Charlie Pallilo Returns to Houston Airwaves.  The Houston Chronicle reports that Houston sports talk radio personality Charlie Pallilo will be back on the radio on August 21 on Gow Media’s KGOW, hosting the 11:00 am to 1:00 pm show.  Pallilo was most recently with iHeartMedia on KBME “Sports Talk 790” but was let go last October to make room in afternoons for Josh Innes (currently hosting the morning drive show on KBME).  The Chronicle reports that Pallilo will also make appearances on Gow’s sister station KFNC-FM and contribute to Gow Media’s CultureMap and SportsMap websites.  Gow Media’s David Gow is quoted saying, “I’ve been trying to hire Charlie for years, but he wasn’t available until his departure from 790.  We’ve been looking for the right fit and spot in our lineup for him.  We think he is one of the top sports talk hosts in the city.  He is really thoughtful and insightful and has a great rapport with his listeners. His analysis and his ability to talk about the details of sports and why things are taking place is unparalleled, and I know people will enjoy listening to him on our airwaves.”

TALKERS News Notes.  The start date for Nashville sports talk host George Plaster’s return to the market’s airwaves is this Sunday (7/30) on Grand Ole Opry-owned country WSM-AM. The 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm “Sports Night” program will be Plaster’s return to the radio after exiting crosstown WPNT “102.5 The Game” to become the athletic director at Belmont University, a position he continues to hold.  WSM-AM program director Jonathan Shaffer will serve as co-host for the show…..CBS RADIO announces that Chris Wittyngham is the new co-host for the Miami Dolphins pre-game show on WQAM “Sportsradio 560” alongside former Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder.  Wittyngham currently works for CBSSports.com as a digital channels host.  He also works for BeIN Sports Television Network as a soccer play-by-play announcer.  WQAM program director Ryan Maguire comments, “Chris has already established himself locally as a talented, versatile sports media professional.  We’re thrilled that he’s agreed to work with us more extensively during the football season.”

GOP Health Care Strategy, U.S. Military Transgender Ban, Foxconn Announces U.S. Plant, Scaramucci Threatens Leakers, Trump-Russia Investigation, North Korea Nukes Program, Sessions Status, Western Male Sperm Counts Down, Ohio Fair Ride Fatality, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/26).  The Republicans’ attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with a GOP-crafted plan; President Trump issues ban on transgender soldiers in the U.S. military; Taiwan-based Foxconn announces plans for Wisconsin factory and 3,000 initial jobs; new White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci’s threat to punish White House leakers; the investigation into connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; North Korea’s ICBM program and its threats against the U.S.; President Trump’s criticism of Attorney General Jeff Sessions; a new report indicating sperm counts are down among Western males; a fatality and severe injuries from an amusement park ride at the Ohio State Fair; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (7/27) with Memorial Tribute To Tom Marr by Jim Bohannon.  The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and its sessions are being posted to Talkers.com – one event per day.  Already posted are:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

–          The series of four “one-on-one” dialogues collectively titled, “Where Does Talk Media Go From Here?” featuring a conversation between WRHU, Hofstra University OM John T. Mullen and WRFH, Hillsdale College GM Scot Bertram; a conversation between The New Normal CEO/founder/host Tom Leykis and syndicated host Michael Berry; a conversation between The Weiss AgencyEVP Heather Cohen and Fox News Radio/Fox News Channel host Brian Kilmeade; and a conversation between WPHT, Philadelphia host Dom Giordano and GCN syndicated host Dr. Daliah Wachs  (facilitated by WOR, New York APD Scott Lakefield). At the conclusion, Dr. Wachs is presented the TALKERS “Humanitarian of the Year” award by Michael Harrison.

–          TODAY (7/27) we posted the first of a series of three memorial tributes by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon dedicated to major talk show personalities and longtime TALKERS Convention participants who passed away this past year:  Tom MarrDr. Joy Browne and Alan Colmes.  Today’s posted tribute is for Tom Marr. (Introduction by Stephan Multimedia CEO/host, Doug Stephan.)

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

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  In Los Angeles, CBS RADIO makes Chris Ebbott program director of CHR KAMP “97.1 AMP” in addition to his current PD role at classic hits KRTH “K-EARTH 101.1.”  CBS says this move allows cluster SVP of programming Kevin Weatherly to hand off the KAMP programming duties to Ebbott and “focus more broadly on the strategic direction and approach of the market’s five music formats. CBS also operates KTWV “94.7 The Wave,” KROQ, and KCBS-FM “93.1 JACK FM.”  Weatherly will continue to serve as program director of KROQ and KCBS-FM…..A piece published in the Providence Journal gives a status report on the sale of alternative WBRU, Providence.  The station is a commercial alt rocker owned by the non-profit Brown Broadcasting Services – linked to Brown University.  The student-staffed station was put up for sale by the board of directors who cited the challenges of operating a radio station in the current media climate as the impetus to sell.  The ProJo piece quotes a board spokesman saying the broker handling the sale is in active negotiations with a potential buyer but that no names are being released at this point…..Jacobs Media brings Chris Firmage aboard as an associate consultant.  Jacobs says Firmage joins the company after “a long and successful run at KFMA in Tucson.”  Jacobs Media president Fred Jacobs comments, “We continue to invest in new ideas and approaches for our clients.  Chris brings us a solid history of success. He’s knowledgeable in many areas and I expect that he will have a positive impact for all our clients.”

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

| January 17, 2017

Bubba the Love Sponge Countersues Nielsen and Files Third Party Complaints Against Cox Media and WHPT, Tampa’s Mike Calta.  The battle between Florida-based, syndicated morning talk host Bubba the Love Sponge, a.k.a. Bubba Clem, and Nielsen Audio just got more complicated after Bubba’s attorneys filed a countersuit against Nielsen Audio and fresh complaints against Cox Media Group and WHPT, Tampa morning personality Mike Calta.  As industry watchers are aware, Nielsen is suing Bubba claiming that his attempts tobubba manipulate the PPM ratings in the Tampa market have caused damages to its business.  During the discovery phase of this case, Bubba’s lawyers have requested documentation and Nielsen responded by ultimately providing some 71,000 pages, but not in a manner deemed timely by Bubba’s team.  In fact, they state that their work in the discovery phase has been “seriously delayed as a result of Plaintiff’s untimely nielsen logoproduction of discovery materials and broad-brush approach to making confidentiality designations.  Moreover, Defendants’ use of the discovery materials has been severely limited by the terms of the Protective Order.  As a result, on November 18, 2016, Defendants filed a Motion to Amend Case Management and Scheduling Order to extend the discovery cut-off from December 9 to January 9, 2016.  The Court entered an Order granting Defendants’ motion on November 29, 2016.”  If Nielsen’s tactics were intended to cause Bubba to settle the matter, it didn’t work.  He’s doubling down with the aforementioned countersuit and new complaints against Nielsen, Cox and Calta for: Defamation (Counts I and II), Tortious Interference with Contractual and Business Relationships (Counts III and IV), Violation of thecoxmediagroup Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (Count V), and Civil Conspiracy (Count VI).  Bubba’s lawyers say their counterclaims and third-party claims “are based on various documents that were produced by Plaintiff in response to Defendants’ discovery requests.”  Here’s the breakdown according to the court filing: “In early 2015, Plaintiff entered into a conspiracy with Cox (one of Nielsen’s largest subscribers) to, among other things: (i) utilize Nielsen’s monopoly power over the audience measurement and ratings for the Tampa Market to prevent Defendants from broadcasting their morning radio show on WBRN in competition with WHPT; (ii) tortiously interfere with Defendants’ caltamikecontractual relationships with Beasley Media Group and their other affiliates; (iii) tortiously interfere with Defendants’ current and prospective business relationships with WBRN’s advertisers and US-based syndication partners; (iv) improperly manipulate Nielsen’s ratings for the Tampa Market to simultaneously increase WHPT’s market share to the benefit of Cox, while decreasing the share of WBRN to the detriment of Beasley, Clem and BRN; (v) publish knowingly false, defamatory allegations of ratings distortion activities against Defendants in an effort to conceal the fraudulent conduct of Nielsen’s employees with respect to the data included in Nielsen’s monthly ratings reports; (vi) unfairly apply Nielsen’s rules and impose unprecedented sanctions pressure on Beasley to bring about the termination of its contract with BRN and Clem; and (vii) engage in unfair methods of competition, anticompetitive behavior, and various unconscionable, deceptive, and unfair acts or practices in violation of Chapter 501, Florida Statutes, in order to further the interests of a large Nielsen subscriber over those of a smaller subscriber.  As a result of Nielsen, Cox, and Calta’s conduct, and the conduct of those conspiring with them, Defendants have incurred several million dollars in damages.”  As noted, much of Bubba’s evidence for the complaints comes from Nielsen documents but it is heavily redacted to protect Nielsen’s proprietary PPM information.  Regarding the complaint against Mike Calta, Clem’s lawyers allege Calta defamed him during an on-air phone conversation in which he made the following false statements: that Clem was cheating Nielsen’s ratings system; that Clem had control over PPMs; that Clem had PPMs on watch winders in a shed and/or a shipping container; that Clem had purchased a PPM from his dentist’s nurse; and that after Clem left WHPT, he stopped using the PPMs he allegedly had control over to benefit WHPT, causing its ratings to fall.  Bubba also alleges that Cox conspired with Nielsen for the latter to de-list heavy listeners to Bubba’s WBRN show and that Cox and Nielsen concocted a “sting operation” to entrap Bubba into engaging into ratings manipulation.  The complaint also states that “Nielsen admits that none of the PPM data obtained from any PPM panelist alleged to have engaged in ratings tampering activities with Clem was ever included in any of its monthly ratings reports and, therefore, it was unnecessary for Nielsen to reprocess or reissue any of its monthly ratings reports as a result of the ratings tampering activities allegedly engaged in by Clem.  Nevertheless, at the urging of Cox, Nielsen imposed its most severe response to the alleged ratings distortion activity by delisting Beasley’s WBRN for the month of September 2015.”  Neither Nielsen, Cox or Calta have commented publicly on the suit.

WEEI, Boston Promotes Alex Reimer to ‘Brand Personality.’  Sports media personality Alex Reimer has been part of the “third-chair rotation” for the “Kirk and Callahan Morning Show” on Entercom’s sports talkreimeralex WEEI, Boston since the fall.  Now, the company announces that he’s coming aboard full time as a brand personality.  Calling it a “move designed to augment both the on-air and online components of its media ecosystem,” Reimer will join the WEEI.com staff “creating columns, blogs, and podcasts” while continuing his rotating co-host position on the morning show.  The Boston University grad has previously served with Forbes, The Boston Herald and SB Nation.  WEEI program director Joe Zarbano comments, “Since joining the Kirk and Callahan third-chair rotation last fall, Alex has done a terrific job delivering opinionated and entertaining sports talk.  I’m excited that WEEI.com will now be an outlet for Alex’s insightful writing to our massive online audience.”

WVLK, Lexington Names ‘Kruser’ Program Director.  Eighteen-year WVLK-AM, Lexington air personality Dave “Kruser” Krusenklaus is appointed program director at the Cumulus Media news/talk station.  As part krusenklausdaveof the change, Krusenklaus will move from his midday talk show slot to the afternoon drive daypart.  Current station PD Scott Johnson transitions to the news director role for WVLK and the Cumulus Lexington cluster.  Prior to his work as a talk host at WVLK, “Kruser” worked as a programmer and air talent in both the rock and classic hits formats.  Cumulus Media Lexington vice president and market manager Scott Frazier states, “I look forward to ‘Kruser’ delivering the same powerful analysis and spirited attitude he has brought as an on-air personality to programming central Kentucky’s heritage news/talker, 590 WVLK!”

Trump Inauguration Protests, Trump NATO and EU Comments, Russian Hacking Allegations, World Economic Forum, GOP ObamaCare Plan, Istanbul Terror Suspect Caught, Wife of Orlando Terrorist Arrested, Eight Billionaires Statistic, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/16).  The planned protests for Friday’s inauguration of President-Elect Donald Trump, the boycott by numerous Democratic Members of Congress, and security plans; controversy over Trump’s comments about NATO being obsolete and his prediction about the end of the European Union; the allegations that Russia hacked the DNC emails in an attempt to influence the U.S. election; the World Economic Forum taking place at Davos, Switzerland; the GOP’s plan to replace the Affordable Care Act; the capture and confession of the man responsible for the deadly terror attack in Istanbul on New Year’s Eve; authorities arrest Noor Salman, wife of Orlando club shooter Omar Mateen; the report that eight of the world’s richest people hold more wealth than half of the rest of the world; and the weekend’s NFL playoff games were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

cookehollandCooke: Recalibrating Talk for the Trump Era.  Consultant Holland Cooke writes today with thoughts about what talk radio can do to take advantage of the Trump era.  Cooke says that as social media flourishes, talk hosts should take that to mean that listeners expect to be heard and he adds that “the smartest thing talkers can do now is listen.”  Read more here.

Odds & Sods.  The nationally syndicated “Red Eye Radio” show from Westwood One is being simulcast by C-SPAN during the Wednesday (1/18) broadcast from 1:00 am to 6:00 am ET.  The full live show plus break banter with hosts Eric Harley and Greg McNamara will be simulcast by the cable news network…..“Thecarollaadam Forbes Interview” podcast debuts today on the “Forbes on PodcastOne” network.  The show is the first podcast to be developed jointly between Forbes and PodcastOne and delves into the minds of the most significant leaders of today – the people who have been, or easily could be, on the coveted cover of Forbes magazine.  The first interview by Forbes senior editor Steve Bertoni is with podcast superstar Adam Carolla.

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RadioInfo Web banner‘KISS FM’ Chicago’s Angi Taylor Joins ‘The Rendezvous.’  Chicago radio personality Angi Taylor is signed up for double duty as Premiere Networks announces she’ll partner up with Simon Marcel as the new co-host of the syndicator’s evening show “Thetaylorangi Rendezvous.”  Taylor will continue her role at iHeartMedia’s CHR WKSC “KISS FM” where she’s one half of the “Fred + Angi” morning show.  “The Rendezvous” is described as “the nightly radio program featuring insightful love and relationship advice, coupled with radio station music playlists.”  Taylor says, “I couldn’t be more excited to host ‘The Rendezvous’ along with the French captain of romance, Simon Marcel!  I’m so thankful for everyone at Premiere Networks for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime.  Hosting a syndicated show is a dream come true, and I can’t wait to share the love, romance, and FUN with a national audience!”

erickathy17Hubbard Re-Ups Eric & Kathy at WTMX, Chicago.  Chicago morning show stars Eric Ferguson and Kathy Hart sign a multi-year contract extension with Hubbard Radio to continue hosting The Eric & Kathy Morning Show on WTMX “101.9fm THE MIX.”  The station says that over the past 20 years the show “has been a consistent market leader, ranking number one among advertiser-coveted 25-to-54-year-old Adults, for most of their tenure at the station.”  Hubbard Radio president and chief operating officer Drew Horowitz comments, “I’m thrilled to have the most successful morning show team in Chicago radio history continuing their run on ‘THE MIX’ and remaining an integral part of Hubbard Radio.”

iHeartMedia Announces Lineup for Fourth iHeartCountry Festival.  The iHeartCountry Festival is comingiheartcountry17 back to Austin this spring.  iHeartMedia announces the big country show will again take place at the Frank Erwin Center on Saturday, May 6.  The lineup will feature acts including: Jason Aldean, Little Big Town, Dierks Bentley, Brantley Gilbert, Rascal Flatts, Old Dominion, Jake Owen, Darius Rucker, Lady Antebellum, Kelsea Ballerini and The Raging Idiots, plus more to be announced.  iHeartMedia president of entertainment enterprises John Sykes comments, “The iHeartCountry Festival has become an annual family reunion for the biggest stars in country music.  These artists grew up together and you can truly feel their deep friendships when they join each other on stage.”

Monday, December 5, 2016

| December 5, 2016

WISN, Milwaukee to Re-Align Programming in New Year; Dan O’Donnell Adds Daily Show.  Milwaukee news/talker WISN is adding a new local, daily talk show featuring current news anchor, reporter and fill-in host Dan O’Donnell.  The iHeartMedia station is also shuffling the lineup around a bit, effective January 3.  Inodonnelldan January, morning host Jay Weber’s show will be trimmed to 6:00 am to 9:00 am, O’Donnell’s show will air from 9:00 am to 11:00 am, and Premiere’s Rush Limbaugh will air live from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm.  Vicki McKenna, currently heard from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon, will be heard from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm, followed by wisn-logolongtime afternoon drive personality Mark Belling from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Evenings will still feature Premiere’s Sean Hannity followed by Westwood One’s Mark Levin.  WISN program director Jerry Bott comments, “WISN is blessed with a lineup of extremely strong, popular local talk show hosts.  Adding someone with Dan’s level of talent is an excellent opportunity to make that lineup even better.”  O’Donnell joined WISN in 2013 and is currently a drive-time news anchor, reporter, and a substitute host for all of WISN’s local talk shows.  Dan also serves as a Wisconsin correspondent for FOX News Radio, HLN’s “The Nancy Grace Show,” ABC News Radio, Wall Street Journal Radio Network and CBS Radio News.  In addition, O’Donnell is known for his extensive coverage of the 2007 Steven Avery murder trial in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, and subsequent “Rebutting A Murderer” podcast following the 2015 Netflix special “Making a Murderer.”  Previously O’Donnell served as a news anchor for Journal Broadcasting for almost 12 years.

WEEI, Boston Fills Roles with Rich Keefe.  Boston writer and personality Jerry Thornton left Entercom’s WEEI, Boston and WEEI.com to return to Barstool Sports as a senior columnist.  Now, Entercom announces that Rich Keefe is joining the company effective Tuesday (12/6) to serve as the third voice on the afternoon drive “Dalekeeferich & Holley” show with Dale Arnold and Michael Holley and as a columnist for WEEI.com, penning his weeinetwork16popular “Keefer Madness” blog.  WEEI notes that Keefe is “a nine-year sports radio veteran in Boston and has worked in an array of capacities for CBS RADIO’s WBZ-FM, ‘The Sports Hub.’  He also hosts the pre- and post-game shows on Patriots.com and has substituted on play-by-play broadcasts for the Boston Celtics Radio Network.”  In addition to his new role on the “Dale & Holley” program, Keefe will co-host with Mike Mutnansky, weekdays from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm.   WEEI program director Joe Zarbano says, “We are proud to add a rising talent like Rich Keefe to our team.  Rich brings an entertaining, opinionated and fresh outlook on the Boston sports landscape, and I have no doubt he will be a great addition to the ‘Dale & Holley’ show.”

CBS Radio News Pros Take Buyouts and Exit.  According to a story in the New York Post, a number of longtime CBS Radio News staffers are agreeing to take buyouts and exit the news organization as it trims its cbsradionews-logopayroll.  Last month, CBS Radio News vice president Harvey Nagler announced he would be retiring from the company in early January after a 50-year career in the business and the last 18 years spent with CBS.  Nagler’s retirement appears to be just that, but the Post is reporting that among those who took the early buyout are: executive producer Charlie Kaye; Washington correspondent Barry Bagnato; afternoon anchor Harley Carnes; and “CBS World News” anchor Bill Whitney.  A source tells the Post that the new deal with Westwood One (for ad sales and affiliate sales) requires some cost-cutting on CBS Radio News’ part.

Trump Transition/Cabinet Nominations, Election Recount Effort, ‘SNL’ Trump Skits, Dakota Pipeline Project, Italian Referendum/Renzi Quits, College Football Playoffs, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The activities of the Trump Administration during the transition period and President-Elect Donald Trump’s cabinet nominations; the election recounts taking place in several states; Saturday Night Live’s skits poking fun at Donald Trump’s Twitter habit; the protests against the Dakota Access pipeline and the Army Corps of Engineers’ denial of the permit for its current planned route; Italy votes “no” on a referendum to shrink its legislature and Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s promise to resign; the college football weekend games and the subsequent playoff seeding; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Odds & Sods.  It’s a name change for Radiate Media as the deal to be acquired by Global Traffic Network closes.  Global’s American operation is now United States Traffic Network.  In addition to the American business, Global also serves clients in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and Brazil.  United States Traffic Network begins providing traffic services for CBS RADIO beginning in April…..In the case of Nielsen Audio vs. Bubba the Love Sponge, the two sides have done an about-face and are telling the court that they believe – after new evidence from the discovery phase – a settlement can now be reached.  The sides are asking for a U.S. Magistrate Judge to preside over a settlement hearing.  Nielsen is suing Bubba for damages it claims to have suffered as the result of Bubba’s PPM ratings tampering.

Friday, December 2, 2016

| December 2, 2016

Art Bell and Wife Suing Michael Savage and WW1 for Defamation.  In a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California, radio talk host Art Bell and his wife Airyn Ruiz Bell are suingsavagemichael Michael Savage, Westwood One and parent company Cumulus Media for defamation, defamation per se, false light invasion of privacy, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligent infliction of emotional distress.  The Bells are seeking damages “in the amount to be proven at trial.”  The bellartcomplaint stems from a September “Savage Nation” broadcast in which Savage said, “I generally avoid gun questions. I know this from the first day in radio. I learned you never do certain topics where you can destroy your show. Third rail… You say UFOs, you wind up in the Philippines with a 10-year-old hooker and you are off the radio after a number of years. You can’t do UFOs. That’s an in joke, by the way, for people who understand the business. There are other topics you can’t do…”  The Bells argue that to anyone who knows the business, it was obvious Savage was referring to Art Bell and further, that the “10-year-old hooker” remark refers to his wife, Philippines national Airyn Ruiz Bell.  The Bells say they petitioned Westwood One for a retraction but their request was not honored.

WEEI, Boston Names New Leadership Team.  The Entercom sports talker announces its new programmingzarbanojoe management team.  It is promoting assistant program director Joe Zarbano to PD, taking over for Kevin Graham, who announced his exit from the station back in June.  This comes after a six-month search that resulted in the station promoting from its “in-house talent bench.”  In addition to Zarbano’s kichenbenpromotion, senior producer Ben Kichen rises to executive producer.  He’s been lead producer for both the Glenn Ordway and “Dale & Holley” programs.  He also produces Kirk Minihane’s “Enough About Me” podcast and hosts “Soccercast” for WEEI.com.  Carlson Mozdiez, currently director of integrated marketing strategies for Entercom Boston, assumes the director of operations role for the cluster with special emphasis on the company’s WEEI.com digital platform.  Entercom New England VP/marketmozdiezcarlson manager Phil Zachary says the search was necessarily long and intensive.  “With its massive broadcast reach and associated digital assets, the WEEI brand is arguably among the most influential and complex in all of broadcasting.  Many of our outside candidates simply couldn’t get their arms around all of it.  As each month passed, it became clear to me that we had the talent right here in Ben, Carlson and Joe.  Plus they each have that inimitable DNA of the true Boston sports fan.”

Brandys Promoted to Baltimore SVP/Market Manager for CBS RADIO.  From her most recent position as VP, director of sales, Tracy Brandys is elevated to senior vice president, market manager and director of sales for CBS RADIO’s Baltimore stations, including sports talk duo WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan,” WJZ-AM “CBS Sportsbrandystracy Radio 1300,” adult contemporary WLIF “Today’s 101.9,” CHR WWMX “Mix 106.5,” as well as the CBS RADIO Up Close Performance Studio that hosts local and national sports figures and musicians.  She replaces former Baltimore market manager Bob Philips who was recently named chief revenue officer for CBS RADIO.  Company COO Scott Herman says, “Tracy’s years of sales and management experience, coupled with her intimate knowledge of our Baltimore stations and the overall market, made her the natural choice to take on this important role.  Throughout her tenure with CBS RADIO Tracy has proven to be a powerhouse salesperson who has led and grown our revenue and market share in Baltimore and has been a trusted leader to our valued employees.  We are delighted to reward her accomplishments with this well-deserved promotion.”

The News Media Alliance and National Association of Broadcasters Seeking Review of FCC’s Cross Ownership Rules.  The News Media Alliance is going straight to President-Elect Donald Trump with a white paper that lays out its case for abandoning the 1975 rule that makes cross-ownership of electronic and print medianewsmediaalliance illegal and the National Association of Broadcasters is petitioning the FCC for nab-logoreconsideration of the 2014 Quadrennial Regulatory Review’s conclusion to maintain the ban (as well as other policies).  Regular TALKERS readers are aware of the argument that the current state of media looks nothing like it did in 1975 and current regulations should reflect the current business conditions.  News Media Alliance president and CEO David Chavern states, “While news organizations are innovating and adapting to a vastly different media landscape, antiquated government regulations and imbalanced policies are unnecessarily hindering investment and growth at news media companies.  We encourage the new administration to revisit these regulations and policies as it charts a new course for our nation’s economic growth.”

Al Peterson to Cease Publication of NTS MediaOnline in New Year.  After 10 years serving the spoken-word radio business, radio pro Al Peterson is announcing he’ll stop publishing his NTS MediaOnline Today andpetersonal NTS MediaOnline Monthly come January.  In a press release, Peterson says, “After serving as the News/Talk/Sports editor for 10 years at the top industry newspaper Radio & Records, to then creating NTS MediaOnline and building it into a reliable hub for news, information and conversation about talk radio for the last decade, it just feels right to start a new chapter in my life – one where I’m not waking before sunrise to a blank page and a daily deadline.”  Working with Peterson during the last 10 years (and before that with R&R) has been his sales and marketing partner Brooke Williams.  The statement says Peterson plans to enjoy more time with his family and pursue other interests outside the industry.

siriusxmsmallReport: Pandora and SiriusXM Talking Acquisition.  According to CNBC, digital music pure play Pandora is talking with SiriusXM about being acquired by the satellite radio company.  The report indicates that the talks arepandoralogo very preliminary but that this shows a change of heart after Pandora dismissed an informal offer of $15 per share from SiriusXM parent Liberty Media back in July.  Liberty CEO Greg Maffei is quoted saying, “We think that the free space, whether it be commercial, terrestrial radio or Pandora, is still a very attractive space.  And we talked about how we’d like to find a way to participate.  I think the streaming business, which Pandora seems to have doubled down on, is a very unattractive business.  So there are parts of Pandora that could be attractive.  And there’s parts that we’d have questions about.”  Read the CNBC piece here.

talkersten-logoTrump Cabinet Nominees Top News/Talk Story for Week of November 28 – December 2.  The growing list of cabinet nominees for the Trump Administration was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the election recount tied with Donald Trump’s claims of voter fraud.  Coming in at #3 was the Trump-Carrier deal, followed by Trump’s flag burning comments 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.

Odds & Sods.  News/talk WHBY, Appleton, Wisconsin is broadcasting in FM as well now with the addition of translator W287AU at 103.5.  Woodward Radio Group brand manager Justin Hull states, “We are thrilled to be taking WHBY to the FM side of the dial.  The new frequency, along with our revamped website and app, gives listeners another way to experience WHBY in all aspects.”…..Midway Broadcasting Corporation, the parent company of WVON, Chicago is hosting its 26th Annual Seniors Breakfast tomorrow (12/3) at the House of Hope.  Seniors will enjoy a hot breakfast and live entertainment from three-time Grammy nominee Billy Branch and the Sons of Blues and Christmas carols from musical artist Uneqka…..Both satellite radio broadcaster SiriusXM and digital platform TuneIn will be broadcasting live from the Baseball Winter Meetings starting this Sunday, December 4, through Thursday, December 8.

gracies-logoSix Days Left for Gracies Early Bird Deadline.  The deadline for early bird entries for the 2017 Gracie Awards is Thursday, December 8.  The annual awards, presented by the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation, recognize “exemplary programming created by, for and about women in all facets of media and entertainment, as well as individual achievement.”  All submissions must have been released, posted or aired between December 1, 2015 and December 31, 2016.  Please note, this is a change from previous years’ timeline for eligibility.  The final deadline for submissions is January 12, 2017 at 11:59 pm ET.  See how to register submissions here.

bernadettestudio16The Yappy Tour Rolls Through WABC, New York.  The recently published book, Yappy Days: Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Schmoozers, Boozers and Losers (AuthorHouse/Talkers Books), by veteran talk radio producer Bernadettehamburgjoan Duncan (left), continues to burn up the airwaves.  The coast-to-coast book tour rolled through New York City yesterday (12/1) as the author was interviewed by the legendary talk radio grand dame Joan Hamburg for her Saturday show (12/3) on the legendary WABC.  Duncan tells TALKERS, “It was one of the highlights of my career being interviewed by the great Joan Hamburg.  Not only is she one of my personal idols, but I can safely describe her as one of the best radio talkers of any era and a national treasure.  Being on her show and the airwaves of WABC is deeply gratifying to me and hopefully to the thousands of radio enthusiasts who have been giving this book such wonderfulbernadettebooksmall support.”  Yappy Days recounts Duncan’s 26-year career as a producer of radio talk shows working with such big-name talents as Larry KingSally Jessy RaphaelLou DobbsTom SnyderGil GrossCharles Osgood and many more during modern talk radio’s pre- and post-9/11 “golden era.”  Plus, she tells stories about behind-the-scenes encounters with hundreds of guests from the worlds of show business, politics, media, business and literature.  The interview is already posted as a podcast on the WABC website and can be heard by clicking here.   Due to the strong response by hosts across the nation to the subject and Duncan’s lively air presence, the national “Yappy Tour” will continue to roll on through the first quarter of 2017.  Duncan has already appeared on more than 40 local and syndicated programs.  Hosts and shows interested in booking Bernadette Duncan can do so by calling Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Friday, August 19, 2016

| August 19, 2016

Bannon Is the Latest in a Long Line of High-Profile Radio Talkers to Make a Splash in Politics.  Whereas most of the media coverage of Breitbart News, LLC chairman Stephen K. Bannon’s appointment this week as CEO of the Donald J. Trump presidential campaign, portrays him primarily as a “pugilistic”bannonstephenk media/business/financial figure, the controversial iconoclast was also a rising talent in the world of talk radio.  Until taking leave this week to join the Trump campaign, Bannon has served during the past year as the anchor/lead personality on the “Breitbart News Daily” 6:00 am to 9:00 am ET program on the SiriusXM Satellite Radio “Patriot” channel – a position he performed so effectively that it landed him on the 2016 edition of the TALKERS “Heavy Hundred” list of the 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America.  According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “I distinctly got the impression, talking to Bannon, that he viewed himself as a ‘team-player’ in an ensemble production and not as the specific star of the show.  However, the TALKERS editors felt that he was a very distinct and powerful voice on the program worthy of inclusion on the prestigious list which focuses on stand-out personalities.”  Harrison adds, “There is an irony to Bannon now finding himself on the same team with former Fox News Channel head Roger Ailes – also involved with the Trump camp as a consultant.  Bannon viewed Fox as being a significantly different type of news reporting agency than Breitbart and aggressively approached the organization as a prime competitor.  He seemed quite proud of his depiction of Breitbart as being more news and journalistically oriented than Fox – as well as the rest of today’s big news media players – and more about reporting facts than personality-oriented opinion.  This could be an example of politics making strange bedfellows.”

WEEI, Boston Morning Personality John Dennis Steps Away from Daily Duties.  After 19 years as co-host of the morning show on Entercom’s sports talk WEEI, Boston, John Dennis is leaving his role as co-host of the program to deal with health issues.  In a statement announcing the move, Dennis says he’s making the decision on the advice of his doctors that he reduce his workload.  Dennis has been partnered with Gerry Callahan since the showdennisjohn launched.  Kirk Minihane joined the program in 2013.  Entercom Boston vice president and market manager Phil Zachary says the show will continue with Callahan and Minihane.   “John is a Boston weei logoradio icon and will remain an important part of the WEEI family going forward.  To that end, we have been working with John to define a new role for his considerable talents.”   Zachary says Dennis will work with station advertisers, act as an ambassador to sponsors and community organizations, and occasionally host WEEI programs.  “Most important to him is that John will continue his compassionate work with our annual Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon and will appear in our live broadcasts from Fenway Park, August 29 and 30.”  In April of 2015, Dennis took a leave of absence from the station to enter rehab for alcoholism.

Jan Mickelson Returns to WHO, Des Moines Airwaves.  After suffering a stroke in November of last year that made him unable to host his daily 9:00 am to 11:30 am show on iHeartMedia’s WHO, Des Moines, Janmickelsonjan Mickelson returned to the air hosting a half-hour segment of his program live from the Iowa State Fair yesterday (8/18).  Mickelson’s show has been hosted by fill-in personalities since last fall.  Mickelson told KCCI-TV, Des Moines that after suffering the stroke and being treated in Iowa he traveled to China for a 2,400 needle acupuncture treatment and says he has a lot of his mobility back.  Mickelson will continue to host the 11:00 am to 11:30 am portion of the show as he continues to rehabilitate.

emmis logoJeff Smulyan Offers to Take Emmis Communications Private.  Via his E Acquisition Corp., Emmis Communications chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan is offering to take Emmis private by acquiring outstanding, publicly held shares of Emmis for $4.10 per share in cash.  That’s a 3% premium above the August 18 closing price of Emmis’ stock ($4.00).  Smulyan has backing lined up from Falcon Investment Advisors.  The offer also includes the commitment to sell many of its publishing assets as well as WLIB-AM, New York and its four Terre Haute, Indiana signals – country WTHI, classic rock WWVR, hot AC WFNB, and sports talk simulcast WFNF/W258BA.

talkersten logoThe Presidential Race Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of August 15-19.  The presidential campaign, including Donald Trump’s staff changes that bring Breitbart chief Stephen K. Bannon aboard to head the campaign, was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week.  Close behind at #2 was the aftermath of the shooting death of an armed black man by police in Milwaukee.  Coming in at #3 was the Rio de Janeiro Olympics and the controversy over a phony robbery claim by U.S. swimmers, followed by the battle for Aleppo and Russia’s involvement in the Syrian conflict 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.

Odds & Sods.  If you live in the Charlotte area, you might want to know that Greater Media’s news/talk WBT-AM/FM is seeking an experienced board operator.  It’s a part-time position of between 15 and 20 hours per week, including nights and weekends.  If you’re interested, contact program director Jason Furst at jfurst@wbt.com …..High School athletics is on the schedule this school year at E.W. Scripps’ news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee’s digital platform.  “Preps Live” is broadcasting high school football play-by-play in 2016, airing 26 contests via WTMJ.COM and the WTMJ Radio App.

wtmjconv16Community Conversation.  On Wednesday afternoon, E.W. Scripps-owned news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee held a “Community Conversation” to address the shooting death of a young black man by a Milwaukee police officer and the protests that followed.  WTMJ vice president and general manager Tom Langmyer tells TALKERS magazine, “The community response has been overwhelming.  It’s WTMJ’s responsibility to help provide some longer-term historical context on this story.  The visceral reactions to Saturday’s events need to be countered with real in-depth perspective.  It’s really the story of a decades-long shift in the economy and social structure of an American city.  Similar stories have unfolded across the country, particularly in the Midwest and Northeast.  These stories require more than ‘video showbiz’ of demonstrations and quick sound bites.  We hope to make a difference, with a more thoughtful and deeper approach in our coverage.”  Pictured here in the WTMJ studio are (clockwise from the left): WTMJ afternoon anchor/host, John Mercure; Reverend Willie Briscoe, minister, New Covenant Baptist Church; Toron Brown, businessman and Sherman Park resident; Earl Ingram, president, Earl Ingram Media and former talk show host at WMCS, Milwaukee.

Monday, August 15, 2016

| August 15, 2016

Slaten Exits KFNS, St. Louis; Teases Move to Political Talk.  Incendiary St. Louis sports talk personality Kevin Slaten has exited the Randy Markel-owned sports talk station KFNS and told listeners on Friday (8/12) that he’s planning to join one of the Bob Romanik-operated stations in the market – either talk-oldies KZQZ orslatenkevin talk-country KQQZ – to host a political talk program.  This comes as KFNS is preparing to bring market sports talk pro Tim McKernan aboard on September 1 to serve as director of day-to-day operations.  McKernan is also becoming part owner of KFNS.  Markel tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Dan Caesar that the brokered business model is not making money for him and that has to change.  According to Caesar’s report, the Romanik-Slaten deal is not a sure thing.  Slaten said if he and Romanik can work something out, he expects to launch a new show in two weeks.  Slaten’s co-host Owen Schroyer is moving to Texas to join Alex JonesInfowars.com as a reporter.

Daunic Joins Midday Show at WPRT, Nashville.  Sports talk personality Willy Daunic is remaining with The Cromwell Group’s WPRT, Nashville “ESPN 102.5 The Game” after his afternoon drive co-host George daunicwillyPlaster recently announced his exit from the station – and the business – to take a position with Belmont University.  Last week, the station revealed that Jared Stillman and former Plaster co-host Floyd Reese are the new afternoon drive team.  Now, we learn that Daunic is moving to middays to work with Darren McFarland and Derrick Mason on the “3D” show.

The Vertical Podcast Network Programming to Air on SiriusXM.  A new programming relationship between SiriusXM and Yahoo Sports’ The Vertical Podcast Network franchise has begun that brings the popular pro basketball driven series, featuring stars Woj, J.J. Redick, and Chris Mannix to SiriusXM.  The Verticalverticalpodcastnet Podcast Network is “powered” by DGital Media.  SiriusXM VP of sports programming Steve Cohen says, “Adrian, Chris and J.J. offer pro basketball fans exceptional reporting and insight, making ‘The Vertical Podcast’ an excellent addition to SiriusXM.  We’re pleased to work with Yahoo Sports and DGital Media to deliver this dynamic content to our subscribers and further enhance SiriusXM as a premier destination for fans who want to get closer to their sport.”

Odds & Sods.  KLSD, San Diego “Fox Sports Xtra 1360” launches its new program lineup that consists of Hardwick & Richards in AM drive featuring former San Diego Chargers center Nick Hardwick and station personality Judson Richards; Fox SportsColin Cowherd; the Mark & Rich show with market media pro Mark Willard and former Chargers guard Rich Ohrnberger; and the Loose Cannons remaining in afternoon drive…..Sports media pro Morgan Patrick is back working Carolina Hurricanes radio shows co-hosting “The Stormfront” with Hurricanes play-by-play man Chuck Kaiton and co-hosting “The Aftermath” with Hurricanes TV analyst John Forslund.  Patrick co-hosted the team’s pre- and post-game shows from 1999 through 2006…..AdLarge Media is adding popular podcast “The 5 AM Miracle with Jeff Sanders” to its roster of shows for which it provides exclusive ad sales representation…..CBS RADIO is presenting a special edition of “The Taz Show: Bodyslams & Beyond airing after wrestling’s summer premiere event on Sunday, August 21 from 11:00 pm to 2:00 am ET.  Taz will host a live, three-hour program on CBS Sports Radio and various CBS RADIO sports stations…..Good Karma Brands’ WUUB, Jupiter and WEFL, Tequesta will air Miami Dolphins football play-by-play in the West Palm Beach market this season.  English broadcasts will air on WUUB, and WEFL will air the games in Spanish…..Daniel McDonald, former executive director of programming and consumer research at National Geographic Channels, is the new vice president of research for the National Association of Broadcasters.  He takes over for Tanya Van Pool.

The Presidential Race, Milwaukee Violence/Protests, Rio Olympics, NYC Imam Slain, Louisiana Floods, and MLB Action Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The activities of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump; the violence and protests in Milwaukee after police shoot and kill an armed black suspect; the Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro; the murder of a NYC imam and his aid; the historic floods ravaging parts of Louisiana; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

harrisonFenwayZacharyTake Me Out to the Ball Game.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (r) paid a visit yesterday (8/14) to the WEEI, Boston broadcast booth at the legendary Fenway Park before the start of an interleague 16-2 Red Sox blowout of the Arizona Diamondbacks.  Harrison is pictured with Phil Zachary (l), Entercom Communications’ VP/market manager for its New England cluster.  Harrison was shown around the historic stadium by Zachary, including the press box where he met iconic Boston Globe sports writer andharrisonFenwayShaughnessey Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Dan Shaughnessy (c). Harrison says, “WEEI does an excellent job of presenting the Red Sox games and the way they maximize their connection to the team in terms of promotion and marketing is nothing short of extraordinary.  It is the model radio/baseball relationship in one of the nation’s outstanding sports markets.”  When asked why he wasn’t wearing a Red Sox cap, Harrison said, “As you know, although I have a soft spot in my heart for the New England clubs, I try to remain non-partisan – even in sports.  Instead, Harrison was wearing a cap promoting “a team we can all get behind – the Broadcasters Foundation of America.”

Friday, April 29, 2016

| April 29, 2016

WEEI-FMRed Sox-WEEI Streak Continues. While financial terms of the highly expected deal were not disclosed, Entercom Boston sports outlet WEEI will carry on its role as the radio flagship of the Boston Red Sox through (at minimum) the 2023 MLB season. WEEI and the Red Sox have been partners since 1995. Entercom chief operating officer David Field states, “WEEI and Entercom are delighted to be extending our outstanding relationship with the Boston Red Sox well into the future. It is a true privilege to be partnered with this extraordinary, iconic organization and their world-class team of professionals, both on and off Boston-Red-Soxthe field. Red Sox fans across the country will continue to hear outstanding Sox play-by-play broadcasts and 24/7 team coverage on WEEI and WEEI.com, the home of Red Sox baseball.” Red Sox president Sam Kennedy comments, “We are pleased to extend our partnership with WEEI for another seven seasons. We look forward to this new phase of our partnership and sharing more winning baseball through the airwaves with our fans across New England.” The WEEI play-by-play crew consists of Red Sox Hall of Fame announcer Joe Castiglione and Tim Neverett, who this year succeeded Dave O’Brien (now doing Red Sox telecasts on NESN); Hamden, Connecticut native Castiglione is in his 34th year in the Red Sox radio booth. In addition to WEEI, the Red Sox Radio Network consists of 55 affiliates throughout the six New England states. To see how WEEI-FM and 28 other MLB radio flagships performed in Nielsen Audio‘s March 2016 PPM sweep, please read today’s exclusive TALKERS special features piece which appears below.

kinosianmikePPM Analysis: MLB Flagships. TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian introduces Major League Baseball‘s 2016 radio flagships with a ratings overview based on data from Nielsen Audio’s March 2016 PPM survey period. Highlighted are each key station’s 6+ share; 6+ market rank; month-to-month and year-to-year fluctuations; and a special breakout chart featuring the flagships by league/division. See the first of Mike’s exclusive special feature pieces about MLB flagships here.

Talkers2016 logo lgTALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations Is Nearing a Sellout!  If you haven’t made your reservations to attend the forthcoming 19th annual edition of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention, now is the time to do so.  It is nearing an early sellout and there will be no registrations sold at the door. TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations will take place three weeks from now on Friday, May 20 on the fabulous campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY (on Long Island, just outside of NYC).  Featuring a powerful lineup of more than 60 luminous speakers, panel discussions, presentations, breakfast, lunch, closing reception, techno exhibits, live broadcasts and more – this is shaping up to be the most exciting and productive industry networking events of its kind in years.  Registration cost is $299 per person and can only be arranged with credit card over the phone. The event is only open to media professionals and communications students.  Please call 413-565-5413 for registration, sponsorship, and hotel information.  Complete up to date agenda info can be found by clicking here.

Knapp, GregKnapp, KCMO-AM Cut Ties. After more than five years as KCMO-AM, Kansas City’s afternoon drive host, Greg Knapp departs the Cumulus Media talk outlet. Regarding his dismissal, Knapp writes on his Facebook page, “I was told repeatedly it was not about my performance. My general manager was very kind in telling me how much she appreciated my show and my work [but] corporate decided it was cheaper to run syndicated programming than it was to pay me a salary. I have consistently had the highest ratings on the station; everyone at Cumulus Kansas City has been very good to me. The good news is I learned a long time ago to always have more than one source of income. I am now ramping up my personal development business [but] I am also looking for new opportunities in radio.” Knapp previously did afternoon drive on KLIF, Dallas; was a syndicated Radio America talk talent; and owned a guest-hosting service. Down or flat for the fourth successive sweep (1.9 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+), KCMO-AM ranks #21 in Nielsen Audio‘s March 2016 PPM report for Kansas City; Entercom hot AC KZPT “The Point” is the market leader (6.5, 6+).

Talkers Ten LogoPresidential Race Tops “Talkers Ten” for Week of April 25 – 29. Activities of the presidential candidates and the battle for delegates were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 were the European terrorism investigations and the arrest of Salah Abdeslam, tied with the United States’ Syria military policy.  Coming in at #3 was the controversy over state laws affecting public restroom use and gender identification, followed by North Korea’s recent missile tests 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.

KXLRobbins & Markley” Becomes “Markley & van Camp.” Owing to health concerns that have sidelined Scott Robbins since late-August (2015), there is a title change for the weekday program on Alpha Media Portland’s KXL “FM News 101” and co-owned WMBD, PeoriaWMBD (Illinois). David van Camp will permanently join Jamie Markley for the “Markley and van Camp Show,” which airs 9:00 am – 12:00 noon on KXL and from 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm on WMBD. Alpha Media executive vice president of programming Scott Mahalick comments that, “David van Camp brings a unique perspective to the show and a great balance to Jamie Markley; together, they are magical.” The first official day of the newly-named “Markley and van Camp Show” will be next Monday (5/2).

Sirius-XM-Logo (2)SiriusXM Q1 Revenue Rises 11%. The increase is to a record $1.2 billion, with SiriusXM net income up 62% to $171 million; adjusted EBITDA improves 11% to $441 million. The satcaster adds nearly one-half million new subscribers, ending with almost 30.1 million. First quarter results exceeded expectations of chief executive officer Jim Meyer who comments, “I am especially pleased we were able to add 465,000 net new subscribers, leading to an 8% increase in subscribers over the prior year. With excellent subscriber growth so early in the year, we are raising our guidance for full year net subscriber additions to 1.6 million. We set first quarter records for revenue, adjusted EBITDA, and free cash flow, and we are on track to achieve all of our financial goals this year. With a new full-time music channel from Kenny Chesney, live broadcasts from major music festivals, special popup channels for David Bowie, and Billy Joel, as well as new talk shows, and unmatched coverage of the presidential primaries, SiriusXM continues to be the leader in audio entertainment. We are always looking to deliver new, compelling content to our subscribers.” Chief financial officer David Frear notes that during the first quarter, “We reduced our outstanding share count by about 3%, spending $588 million to repurchase 159 million shares of our common stock. Our debt to adjusted EBITDA remained low at just 3.4 times, leaving plenty of flexibility to continue capital returns to our stockholders or make acquisitions while also making investments in our technology, content, and new satellite infrastructure.”

NYMRADState of the New York Market Report Released. Among the findings from a New York Market Radio Association (NYMRAD) overview is that several industries expanded their footprint in the New York area contributing to a strong first-quarter start. NYMRAD executive director Debbie Beagan remarks, “With luxury retailers and department stores opening locations across the Tri-State area, radio offers high-end businesses an engaging environment for reaching consumers with household incomes of $250,000 and higher. New York market radio reaches 91% of high-income households, $250,000+, [as well as] over 90% of those who own a second home; those planning on buying a luxury car; dined in upscale restaurants; purchased fine jewelry in excess of $500; and vacations in excess of $10,000.” The report addresses latest information about New York’s economy, commuting information, radio and politics, and national radio advertising/usage. Analysis of the New York marketplace is designed to help advertisers understand radio’s impact on consumers and its role in the local advertising landscape. NYMRAD’s “State of the Market Report” provides business trends as well as local information from a variety of sources including Nielsen Audio, Media Monitors, and The New York Times.”

The BlazeExecs Named to Build Digital Content Network for TheBlaze. Three digital media industry veterans have been added to TheBlaze‘s leadership team. Former Core Media Group chief marketing officer Chris Gannett joins as senior vice president of marketing; previously with CNN and the weekend edition of ABC-TV‘s “Good Morning America,” Matt Frucci is appointed senior vice president of content & programming; and Lisa Fowler – from BET Networks – joins as vice president of talent and culture. TheBlaze president Stewart Padveen notes, “TheBlaze is investing heavily in our mission to redefine the way digital media is delivered and consumed. Chris, Matt, and Lisa are a significant part of a new high-performing culture and a diverse lineup of superstar talent.” Ironically, the additions at Glenn Beck‘s TheBlaze come after cuts across offices in New York, Los Angeles, Washington (D.C.), and Columbus, where a documentary group had been based. Sources tell TVNewser, between 35-45 staffers have been pinkslipped. These layoffs follow what a source calls a “brain drain” of talent over the last year. Chief executive officer Betsy Morgan left the company last summer and her interim replacement, former Premiere Networks chief operating officer, Kraig Kitchen, exited earlier this year. According to The Daily Beast, the latest cuts are meant to “satisfy the requirements of a multi-million dollar bank loan taken out recently to keep Beck’s revenue-challenged enterprise running.” TheBlaze is consolidating the company’s operations to its Irving, Texas headquarters.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

| March 31, 2016

owensronnRonn Owens to Move to KSFO in Afternoons; Rumors of KGO Shakeup Rampant.  Longtime KGO, San Francisco talk show host Ronn Owens is leaving his late morning show at the heritage news/talk outlet and is moving across the hall to sister KSFO to host the afternoon drive program.  KSFO program director Mike Anthony states, “With Ronn Owens taking over afternoons from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm, KSFO is now live and local in both drive times.  This is also a great opportunity for a whole new audience to hear the brilliance that has made Ronn a legend in San Francisco radio.  We couldn’t be more excited to have Ronn driving afternoons on 560 KSFO.”  Meanwhile, rumors are running wild through the Bay Area radio community that bigger changes are afoot for KGO.  Stay tuned.

wolfejasonJason Wolfe Named Network Manager for Howie Carr Show.  Former WEEI and WRKO, Boston VP of programming and operations Jason Wolfe joins The Howie Carr Radio Network in the newly created position of network manager.  President and CEO Howie Carr says, “Jason has been working with us for several months and has been doing a great job in getting the show noticed bycarrhowie show logo numerous new markets.  I know that he will build on that success in his new role as our network manager.”  Wolfe will be in charge of building and expanding the reach and brand of the program, in addition to managing the day-to-day operation of the network, which will include helping to develop new marketing and business partnerships.  Wolfe adds, “I’m very excited to be able to work with Howie in a more formal capacity again.  He is a truly great talk show host, which is why he’s in the Radio Hall of Fame.  I’m looking forward to helping him continue to build, what is, already, an incredibly strong regional network.”  In addition to this new role, Wolfe serves as chief media and marketing strategist for The Financial Exchange Radio Network.

kinosianmikePPM Analysis: All-News.  TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of all-news stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s February 2016 PPM survey.  Just how much of an effect has the 2016 presidential race had on the ratings of all-news stations in PPM markets?  It’s impossible to know just why certain panelists tuned in to all-news outlets when they did but some industry observers suggest news stations are seeing the same trend they experience every four years when the executive office is up for grabs.  Of the 18 markets served by at least one all-news station, 13 markets saw all-news outlets increase their (6+) AQH shares from January 2016 to February 2016.  However, when comparing February 2015 data and February 2016 numbers, only six markets saw all-news stations increase their (6+) ratings and 12 saw some degree of decline between the two periods.  See Kinosian’s entire report here.

salemradionetworkNew Salem Radio Network Lineup Takes Effect Monday.  The new lineup for the Salem Radio Network begins on Monday (4/4).  The changes that take effect include Hugh Hewitt’s move from the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET slot to morning drive,hewitthugh taking over for Bill Bennett who leaves his role as daily morning show host to become senior correspondent.  In that role, Bennett will appear on SRN shows as an expert guest, he’ll have a morning feature called “The Bill Bennett Interview…Making America Work” and that will be elderlarryproduced as a one-hour special each weekend.  Southern California talk personality Larry Elder takes over Hewitt’s 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET slot.  Salem SVP Phil Boyce states, “If we are going to shake things up, this is the perfect time.  Hugh is on fire and is the new ‘go-to guy’ for the presidential campaign.  His new morning show will be fast-paced, and news-packed.  I want to thank Bill Bennett for his 11 years of service waking up America for Salem.  He has been a class act all the way, and we will miss him.  But he will always be a part of the Salem family.  Larry Elder is a true gem who will be the perfect complement to the other hosts on Salem’s all-star lineup.”

cardillojohnProfile: Entertainment Is Cardillo’s Driving Force.  In a personality profile published today (3/31), TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian digs into the personal history and life experiences that have motivated CRN Digital Talk Radio-syndicated personality John Cardillo in developing his radio talk show style.  The born-and-raised New Yorker who now calls South Florida home served as a cop in the Bronx before he left that job to launch his own firm specializing in tracking and removing sexual predators from online communities.  The unapologetic conservative says that the public image of conservative talk radio scares Millennials away and he’s trying to fix that.  “Rather than ‘lecturing’ listeners who are stuck in their cars, Cardillo opts for an alternative of booking ‘entertaining’ guests.   ‘The audience loves to hear me bring on conservatives living behind enemy lines in Hollywood.  My on-air competitors are not doing that.  They stick to wonky, content-and-policy-driven topics.  My show has to be about politics, entertainment, and pop culture – but not necessarily in any order. There is no substitute for working on the street and I have that going for me.’”  Read Kinosian’s profile of John Cardillo here.

fernandezandreCBS RADIO President Andre Fernandez Issues Memo Regarding Future of Radio Division.  Employees never like to hear that their company or division is up for sale.  And sale is certainly one of the possibilities for the CBS RADIO division or possibly some of it radio stations or clusters.  In a memo to the radio staff, CBS RADIO president Andre Fernandez seeks to put some perspective on CBS Corp. chairman Les Moonves’ previous announcement that the company iscbsradio logo seeking “strategic options” for its radio stations.  In part, Fernandez tells staffers that splitting the radio division off via an IPO is the preferred move (for tax purposes, although Fernandez doesn’t use those words).  Fernandez states that operating the radio division independently would heighten the importance of staffers’ value to the company.  “Our contributions to the organization would become even more important as we build the framework for our new company, and chart our pathway to the future.  That is a pretty incredible opportunity for those of you who have dedicated your careers to the business, and for the new generation of employees who are helping diversify our portfolio to compete in a digital world.”  Fernandez does admit that a sale is possible and asks employees to continue to work hard in light of these distractions.

foxsportsradio logoFOX Sports Radio Announces New Weekend Programming.  Beginning his weekend, several new personalities join the program schedule at FOX Sports RadioFS1 host Joy Taylor teams up with FOX Sports Radio’s Mark Willard for the 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET program.  NBA great Cedric Ceballos is being partnered with Brian Noe for the Saturday 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm show, and FS1 NBA analyst and former NBA star Jim Jackson is co-hosting with Ryan Field for the Sunday 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm program.  Premiere Networks VP of sports programming Scott Shapiro comments, “FOX Sports Radio cements its standing as the best place for sports talk radio with the addition of these three talented personalities.  I couldn’t be more proud of the opinions, credibility and creativity that have been assembled in this weekend lineup.  There is no better destination for timely and entertaining takes on the biggest stories in sports than FOX Sports Radio.”

The Presidential Race, Obama’s Nuclear Summit, Battle Against Islamic State, Brussels and Pakistan Terror Attacks Aftermath, North Korea Famine Warning, NFL vs The New York Times Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/30).  The activities of the candidates for president; President Obama’s nuclear summit taking place in Washington today and tomorrow; the ongoing battle against Islamic State; the aftermath of the terror attacks in Brussels and in Pakistan; North Korea’s warning to its citizens to prepare for a famine; and NFL’s war of words with The New York Times over the paper’s criticism of the league’s handling of head injury research were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

morrisginnyLgHubbard Radio CEO Ginny Morris Named 2016 TALKERS Woman of the Year.  The TALKERS editorial board announced today (3/29) the selection of Hubbard Radio, LLC chair and CEO Ginny Morris as the 2016 recipient of “The Judy Jarvis Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Radio Industry by a Woman.”  The award is also referred to as the “Woman of the Year.”  While still in college in 1982, Morris began working in the promotion department of their flagship TV station, KSTP-TV, Minneapolis. She started with special projects and promotional events and eventually became the manager of that department in 1985.  In July 1990, she was asked to take on the challenge of managing KSTP- AM, Minneapolis/St. Paul, the original holding of the Hubbard Family’s broadcasting business (originally licensed as WAMD in 1923). It was in that role that Morris developed her true passion for and interest in the radio business. In May 1995, she added KSTP-FM (KS95) to her duties, becoming president and general manager of both KSTP radio properties.  Having had success with developing local talent for KSTP-AM, the company began syndicating its talent on a regional basis and formed a new company, the Hubbard Radio Network in August 1999. The Hubbard Radio Network works with 26 affiliates throughout the Upper Midwest and continues to add stations.  Hubbard Radio purchased WIXK-AM/FM in New Richmond, Wisconsin, in December 2000. In June 2002, WIXK-FM was moved to the Twin Cities metropolitan area. The format was changed to a new type of talk radio, and is now referred to as myTalk107.1. MyTalk107.1 is one of the first, if not the only, FM talk station in the country building talk programming specifically targeted for women.  A former chair of the NAB Radio Board, Morris currently serves on the Executive Committee of the RAB (Radio Advertisers Bureau) and serves on the board of BMI (Broadcast Music Inc.) and the Library of American Broadcasting.  In 2000, Ginny Morris was named president of Hubbard Radio, delegating much of the day-to-day operations to others in the growing organization.  In speaking on behalf of the TALKERS editorial board, publisher Michael Harrison states,Talkers2016 logo lg “We are delighted to name Ms. Morris as the recipient of this year’s ‘Woman of the Year’ award.  In an industry where the breakdown of personnel percentages by gender remains at an awkward imbalance, she shines as a beacon of inspiration for women in the business – as well as all broadcasters –  on a number of fronts.  She is the CEO of one of radio’s most highly-respected companies that performs as role model to be emulated by organizations seeking to be responsibly effective in the reality of today’s broadcasting business environment.  Add to that the impressive, steadfast accomplishments of Hubbard’s myTalk107.1 in the Twin Cities market and that alone deserves industry applause.  Finally, she has earned a stellar reputation over the years as an outstanding human being respected by her co-workers and colleagues all across the radio industry.”   Ginny Morris will be presented the “Woman of the Year” award during the Awards Ceremony at the forthcoming TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations conference on Friday, May 20 on the campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY.  For more information about the conference, please click here.

harrisonMHpodcastParis16REFLECTIONS FROM PARIS:  Michael Harrison Discusses the Three Parts of the Body That Must Be Stimulated for Something/Anything to Become a ‘Hit.’  In a tour de force inspired by his recent speech delivered to the international radio community in Paris titled, “Lessons Learned by American Radio at the Dawn of the Digital Era,” (as well as a feverish flu), TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison (pictured here at the recent Radiodays Europe conference) explores a variety of esoteric media concepts in the latest installment of the international PodcastOne hit series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” posted today (3/29).  In the intimate, one-on-one monologue, Harrison takes the listener on a journey through the human body’s “seats of consciousness” that he explains should be “targeted and touched” by artists and their creations if they are to stand a chance of becoming successful.  Whether it is a song, a show or a talent – or any number of entities in between – Harrison opines an artist or an artistic creation must effectively stimulate one, two or all three of the following zones within the human body in order to be successful:  the cerebral zone, the cardiac zone, and the testicular zone.  Set against the backdrop of chilly, terrorism-sensitive Paris, leading up to and immediately following the Brussels airport bombing, this uncompromisingly concept-dense podcast covers a wide spectrum of ideas following radio’s evolution from the one-to-many medium of Walter Winchell to today’s personal, screen-less mainline via the auditory nerve into the human psyche.  This podcast is sure to captivate the imaginations of “media freaks” both inside and outside the radio industry.  To hear it in its entirety, please click here or click the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

Monday, February 15, 2016

| February 15, 2016

francesamikeWFAN Superstar Mike Francesa to Reprise Sports Talk Keynote Role at TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations.  In what has become the traditional opening one-two punch of the annual TALKERS conference, WFAN, New York sports talk personality Mike Francesa joins Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel titan Sean Hannity in delivering welcoming addresses at the forthcoming 19th annual TALKERS conference set for Friday, May, 20 on the campus of Hofstra University on Long Island.  Francesa, who has occupied the #1 position on the annual TALKERS “Heavy Hundred” of Sports Talk Radio since its inception in 2012, will follow this up by broadcasting his five-and-a-half hour afternoon drive program live from the state-of-the-art studio at the school’s Marconi Award-winning campus station, WRHU.  Upon making the announcement, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “Mike Francesa’s candid, ‘tell-it-like-it-is’ contributions to this conference over the years have proven to be of incalculable value to the attendees.  With this year’s event having an enhanced ‘youth’ and ‘future of broadcasting’ orientation, his presence and live broadcast will take it to yet another level.”  Francesa says, “It will be an honor to be part of TALKERS’ program at Hofstra.  I have a lot of good friends at the university and look forward to bringing the program there.  In these quickly changing times, there is a lot to discuss.”  Radio Hofstra University director of operations John T. Mullen comments, “Mike Francesa has inspired countless sports talk broadcasters for decades.  It is truly an honor to have him broadcast from Radio Hofstra University.”  TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations is expected to be an early sellout.  To register or obtain sponsorship information, please call TALKERS at 413-565-5413. Information about the special hotel discount at the Long Island Marriott can be found here.

Death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia Dominates Weekend News/Talk Radio.  The unexpected death of 79-year-old Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia quickly became the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio over the weekend.  For stations with local programming and/or live national shows, Scalia’s death spurred immediate talk by conservatives of how the nomination and confirmation of a new Supreme Court Justice can be pushed off until after the new president assumes office in a little less than a year and, for liberals, how President Obama must move forward to present a nominee who can be confirmed this year.  Other topics discussed over the weekend included the activities of the candidates for president; the escalating military strikes in Syria, including Russia’s prominent role there; and President Obama’s proposed cuts to counter-terrorism programs, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

kileykevinWKRK, Cleveland’s Kevin Kiley Resigns from Sports Talker; Complains About Censorship.  Sports talk radio personality Kevin Kiley announced on a guest appearance on WOIO-TV, Cleveland’s evening newscast on February 11 that he had resigned from sports talk outlet WKRK, Cleveland “92.3 The Fan,” back in November, effective at the end of this month.  He stated his resignation was for reasons other than the backlash he received from corporate about his comments regarding the Buffalo Bills hiring the first female coach, but the threats to his job if he continued to talk about the matter further cemented his decision to resign.  Kiley, co-host of the Kiley & Carman morning show on the station, stated last month on air that there is no way Kathryn Smith is more qualified than a man to do her coaching job with Buffalo and the comments brought him both support and condemnation.  On his television appearance, Kiley stated, “I’ve never been censored. In 35 years, I’ve never been censored, and I shouldn’t have been censored for this. And I have no right to accept censorship based on what broadcasting is.  And nor should you accept censorship, ever. You should make sure that the people on the radio are telling you the truth as they see it.  Now, you’re gonna argue with them and you can disagree with them, but don’t let the program director there, don’t let the general manager, don’t let some clown in New York tell them what to say, and then you think it’s their opinion, or what not to say. That’s what happened here, and I’m not accepting it.”  CBS RADIO has not commented on the matter.  View his appearance here.

Odds & Sods.  WEEI, Boston morning personality Kirk Minihane’s podcast “Enough About Me” launched lastminihanekirk Thursday morning and rocketed to the #1 spot on the iTunes Sports & Rec category.  WEEI reports that, “propelled by WEEI’s colossal on-air and on-line promotional engine, ‘Enough About Me’ crashed the top 20 of all audio podcasts on the iTunes chart on its very first day of release.”  Entercom Boston VP/market manager Phil Zachary comments, “The successful launch of ‘Enough About Me’ validates the natural rapport that can flourish when a major on-air talent plies his craft in real-time, then invites listeners to explore a different facet of his personality in an on-demand environment.  We have been deliberately patient in debuting our first, major podcast release, and these encouraging metrics reveal Kirk Minihane to have enormous national appeal across all distribution channels.”…..There’s a special block of programming on SiriusXM’s College Sports Nation channel on Wednesday (2/17) to showcase the Duke-North Carolina men’s basketball rivalry.  This Wednesday’s game marks the 241st meeting of the Duke Blue Devils and North Carolina Tar Heels and SiriusXM will broadcast the game live nationwide starting at 9:00 pm ET.  Prior to that, a special edition of Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski’s weekly SiriusXM show, “Basketball and Beyond” will air at 7:00 pm ET featuring Krzyzewski’s thoughts on the coming matchup.  Then, at 8:00 pm ET, SiriusXM will present a special hour-long radio documentary that will examine the history, intensity and emotions of the Duke-UNC rivalry.

Monday, January 4, 2016

| January 4, 2016

savagemichaelCumulus Shuffles Talent at WBAP and KLIF in Dallas; Rick Roberts Debuts Show on WBAP.  The new program schedule at Cumulus Media’s news talkers WBAP “News/Talk 820AM” and KLIF “News & Information 570AM” launches today.  Westwood One-syndicated “Savage Nation”robertsrick moves from afternoons on WBAP to the same 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm slot on sister KLIF.  That move bumps Grant Stinchfield’s “Stinchfield Report” to the 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm slot on KLIF.  Meanwhile, at WBAP, Rick Roberts assumes hosting duties for the 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm daypart.  Roberts was most recently with iHeartMedia at KTOK, Oklahoma City.  During the 1990s, Roberts served on air at crosstown KRLD.  Other changes at KLIF include Premiere Network’s Glenn Beck show starting an hour earlier at 8:00 am, the return of the Laura Ingraham show at 11:00 am plus the addition of Premiere’s “Coast to Coast AM” with George Noory airing from 12:00 midnight to 5:00 am.

kaminskyrossiHeartMedia Denver Promotes Ross Kaminsky to KHOW Mornings.  A financial markets expert by trade, Ross Kaminsky had been hosting a weekend program at iHeartMedia’s KOA, Denver for the past several years.  Effective today, Kaminsky assumed the morning drive duties at sister talker KHOW, taking over for Mandy Connell who is now the midday personality on KOA.  She just took over market legend Mike Rosen’s show.  Kaminsky spoke to Denver’s alt-weekly Westword, in which he says, “I’ve greatly benefited every step in my short radio career so far from people willing to give me a chance, and put me on the air, even when they didn’t have great reason to know what I could do.  I’m appreciative to all those people, and I still remember who every one of them is.”

cookeCES16CES 2016 Gets Underway in Las Vegas.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas reporting for TALKERS from the enormous Consumer Electronics Show 2016 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.  This morning he writes: Even this place can barely handle the crowd.  Last year, CES strained ‘Vegas hotel capacity and bent the airline ticket cost curve.  “This is the biggest thing here all year,” a cabbie grinned.  So this year they capped attendance at last year’s 176,000 of us.  And they even changed their name! What was “The Consumer Electronics Association” is now “The Consumer Technology Association,” because there’s more to tech than gadgets.  The world’s biggest retailer doesn’t own a single store: Amazon dot com. Google and Uber are verbs, not gadgets.  Uber – which now equals “car” to a growing worldwide customer base – has a bigger market cap than General Motors.  The world’s biggest taxi fleet doesn’t own any cars…it’s a social network.  The physical layout here — in the sprawling Las Vegas Convention Center and other Exhibit Hall locations along The Strip — demonstrates where technology and we are taking each other:

  • There’s 40% more floor space than last year for health & wellness exhibitors. Hey, we’re getting older.
  • 80% more space than last year for virtual reality;
  • 25% more acreage for Automotive: Nine auto makers and over 100 auto tech companies are here;
  • Also bigger than ever: 3D printing.
  • And three times the exhibit space for…you guessed it: drones.

More than 2,200 companies’ products are on-display. 80% of them are small businesses, many of ‘em start-ups that presidential candidates call “the risk-takers.” Many of THEM are lining-up for ABC-TV’s “Shark Tank,” which is doing open auditions here.  Tech is big business, $285 billion this year in the USA alone, and I’ll tell you all about it all this week, here; and on “America in the Morning,” the Jim Bohannon show and Doug Stephan’s “Good Day” and my client stations.  Follow my real-time Tweets from CES @HollandCooke.

rosenbergsidRosenberg Out at WMEN, Ft. Lauderdale.  Longtime New York broadcaster and morning host at sports talk WMEN, Ft. Lauderdale since 2012 Sid Rosenberg has been let go from the station.  The move took place over the holidays and Palm Beach Broadcasters has replaced him in the morning drive daypart with FOX Sport Radio’s “Daybreak with Andy Furman and Mike North.”  Rosenberg worked for years on the “Imus in the Morning” program.

Odds & Sods.  The FM simulcast of Federated Media’s news/talk WOWO-AM, Fort Wayne, Indiana changeswowo15 from WFWI-FM at 92.3 (until recently using the calls WOWO-FM) to the translator W298BJ at 107.5.  Federated has launched a classic hits format on WFWI.  The new classic hits format features Mike Ragozino as morning drive personality.  He’d been serving as afternoon personality and program director at Alpha Media’s sports talk KXTG-AM, Portland…..Entercom announces that after a three-month national search, neveretttimthe company has named Tim Neverett as the new play-by-play host for Boston Red Sox radio broadcasts on the WEEI Sports Radio Network.  Neverett will work with color man Joe Castiglione, who’s been part of the broadcast team since 1983.  Neverett – a New Hampshire native who attended Boston’s Emerson College (and lettered in baseball for four seasons) – beat out some 200 other applicants for the plum gig…..A lack of enough revenue to keep the show going is what management at news/talk KFQD, Anchorage is citing for the end of the “Bernadette Live” program hosted by Bernadette Wilson.  Station manager Joe Campbell tells the Alaska Dispatch News that the 8:30 am to 11:00 am show was not generating enough revenue to continue in 2016.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmall1weismanstevenMichael Harrison Rings in 2016 – Discusses Scams and Cyber Fraud with Steve Weisman.  It’s a brave new world out there and the internet is rewiring our human nervous systems, let alone giving criminals around the world powerful and insidious new tools to steal from unwitting victims.   On the latest installment of the Podcast One hit series “Up Close and Far Out,” Michael Harrison talks with famous attorney and professor Steve Weisman about the latest hi-tech, low-tech, and even no-tech scams being cooked up for us in 2016. To listen to it in its entirety, please click here or click the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand columns of every page on Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

Saudi Executions/Iran Diplomatic Ties Severed, Oregon Standoff, New Year’s Holiday, and NFL Playoff Push Among Weekend Talk Topics.  The recent execution of 47 in Saudi Arabia – including a Shiite cleric – and the diplomatic problems the move has created; the standoff between armed protesters at an Oregon wildlife refuge; the New Year’s holiday; and the final weekend of NFL games before the playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Friday, May 15, 2015

| May 15, 2015

2015 NYC 150Talkers New York 2015 Is Sold Out.  The 18th annual installment of the talk media’s longest-running and most important national convention — Talkers New York 2015 – was declared sold out at the end of business Thursday (5/14).  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “We are gratified by the strong registration response this event has received and we clearly do not like to turn folks away – however, we must abide by New York City’s building codes, not to mention be sensitive to the comfort and safety of our attendees. Plus, intimacy is one of this conference’s historic selling points.”  All sessions will be video recorded and posted on Talkers TV shortly after the event for those who could not attend.  The convention will be located at the historic India House Club dramatically situated at One Hanover Square in the heart of Manhattan’s financial district.  It is an all-day event – 8:45 am to 6:15 pm.  For remaining available sponsorship information, please call 413-565-5413.  To see the latest agenda, please click here.

fostergregProgrammer Moves at iHeartMedia Denver.  A change in title – and a promotion – for iHeartMedia’s Greg Foster as he moves from SVP of programming to vice president of news, talk and sports for the Denver station group that includes news/talk outlets KOA “Newsradio,” KHOW “TalkRadio 630,” and KKZN “Real Talk 760.”  Foster is and will continue to be a brand coordinator for the company’s news/talk and sports stations.  With Foster’s new position comes the arrival of Josh Everett to serve as program director for KHOW and KKZN.  Everett moves west from the company’s Albany cluster where he’s been serving as program and news director for news talk WGY-AM/FM and sports talk WOFX.  Foster says of Everett, “Josh is a rising star in our industry.  We’re fortunate to have a programmer of his caliber at the helm of these unique spoken word stations.”

wmel logoWMEL, Cocoa Beach Names Vince Young Program Director.  The AM news/talker serves Florida’s Space Coast and owner John Harper says promoting midday talk personality Vince Young to PD is a “great fit.”  Harper states, “I am proud to have Vince Young in the position of program director for WMEL Radio.  His abilities, knowledge and personality make him a great fit for the WMEL talk radio family.  I know Vince has the trust and confidence of everyone here at WMEL Radio to continue the tradition of great talk radio.”  Young’s been with WMEL since 2000 in a variety of capacities – working behind the scenes in the production department, while also broadcasting his eponymous political talk show, currently heard from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.  Young comments, “I love the WMEL focus on local people, news and community, and I’ve been impressed by the diversity of our team.  I’m very proud of the exceptional lineup that WMEL has put together, which includes Dave Ramsey, Doug Stephan, Jim Bohannon and Dana Loesch, among other talk show hosts broadcasting nationally right alongside is our powerful local broadcast team with terrific shows that serve our community’s needs.”

dennisjohnWEEI’s John Dennis to Return to AM Show on Monday.  About a month after entering rehab for alcohol addiction, WEEI, Boston morning drive co-host John Dennis tells the Boston Herald’s Steve Buckley that he’s going to return to work on Monday, May 18.  Dennis tells the paper he’s already met with co-hosts Gerry Callahan and Kirk Minihane.  Station general manager Phil Zachary is quoted saying, “After speaking with his doctor and seeing that glint in his eye, it will be good to have him back in his old routine.”  Dennis says he did two weeks of inpatient treatment and has been attending an outpatient program that will continue for another month or so.  He tells the Herald, “The smartest thing I did was to come out of the alcoholic’s closet, to steal a phrase.  The thing that held me back, the thing I was most afraid of, was going public with this and hearing the response and the reaction, or the criticism, whatever.  I didn’t know what to expect.”  Read the Herald story here.

ramseySummitSD15Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership Summit Takes Place in San Diego.  Earlier this week nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey hosted the EntreLeadership Summit in San Diego at the Omni La Costa Resort.  Pictured here at the conference are (from l-r): John Maxwell, Pat Lencioni, Rabbi Daniel Lapin, Ramsey, Christy Wright and Chris Hogan.  The speakers provided attendees with knowledge on building company culture, communication, work/life balance and organizational health.  Ramsey’s EntreLeadership “is the process of leading to cause a venture to grow and prosper, combining the innovative spirit of an entrepreneur with the passion and drive of a leader.  This philosophy is how Ramsey has grown his highly successful company and trained his leadership team since day one.”

ppmunitNielsen Audio Releases Fourth Round of April 2015 PPM Data.  The fourth of four rounds of April 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford.  The April 2015 survey period covered March 26 through April 22.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

Odds & Sods.  Sports radio pro Anita Marks is taking on a weekend talk show at ESPN O&O WEPN-FM, New York and will serve as a daily contributor, including anchoring SportsCenter updates.  Her weekend program will air Sundays at 11:00 am.  Marks was most recently with NBC Sports Radio.  She’s also done work for CBS Sportsmarksanita Radio, the MSG Network as well as CBS RADIO’s WFAN, New York…..At pubcaster WFPL, Louisville, James Bickers comes aboard full time as the local host and producer of NPR’s “Morning Edition” and Jonathan Bastian is named the new midday host and producer of the Diane Rehm show, “Fresh Air with Terry Gross,” “Here and Now” and Kentucky’s statewide newscast…..CBS RADIO’s Philadelphia cluster – including news/talk WPHT, all-news KYW, and sports talk WIP – are continuing their relationship with the largest cbsphillyhigh school rowing event in the world: Stotesbury Cup Regatta presented by Toyota.  CBS Radio Sponsorship Group serves as the marketing, media and sponsorship arm for the Stotesbury Cup which has been held continuously on the Schuylkill River since 1927, attracting almost 6,000 high school athletes from some 200 high schools and brings in more than 30,000 spectators over two days.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  “Free Talk Live” with Ian Freeman and Mark Edge is now heard onfreemanedge new affiliate WOMI-AM/FM, Owensboro, Kentucky…..“Armed American Radio” with host Mark Walters adds 13 new affiliates including: KNTH, Houston; WWTC, Minneapolis; WGKA, Atlanta; and KYKN, Salem, Oregon…..“Motley Fool Money” with host Chris Hill is now heard on three new Virginia signals: WMNA, Gretna; WIQO, Lynchburg; and WBZS, Roanoke…..“Extreme Genes Family History Radio” adds affiliates KELY, Ely, Nevada and WMXI, Laurel, Mississippi.

talkersten logoObama Georgetown Speech and Michelle Obama Racism Commencement Tied Atop Talkers TenTM for Week of May 11-15.  The content of a speech delivered this week by President Obama at Georgetown University and First Lady Michelle Obama at Tuskegee University last weekend tied for the top spot on the Talkers TenTM as the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week.  At #2 was discussion about the political aspects of President Obama’s Pacific Rim trade bill.  Coming in at #3 was the case of the deadly Amtrak derailment followed by the Baltimore riots/protests aftermath at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week.  It is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

| April 15, 2015

FAIRHold2015Ninth Annual ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ Event Kicks Off Today.  The annual Washington, DC radio row produced by the Federation for American Immigration Reform is taking place today and tomorrow at the Phoenix Park Hotel on Capitol Hill.  As in the eight years prior, the event consists of some 45 radio talk hosts from across the country broadcasting live, debating immigration policy while interviewing members of Congress, law enforcement officials, experts, activists and citizens who live along the border.  FAIR says that “this year’s event is focusing on the aftermath of President Obama’s amnesty and his continued abuse of executive power, the GOP’s internal battle over how to tackle immigration and the ongoing border crisis with its implications for national security risks.”  EventgarrisonMH15 general manager and FAIR spokesman Bob Dane comments, “Politicians fear and respect the amplitude of talk radio.  Hold Their Feet to the Fire speaks for millions of radio listeners and, this year, is proving that the mic is mightier than Obama’s pen.”  Pictured here are WIBC-FM, Indianapolis late morning host Greg Garrison (left) and TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison (right).  Harrison appeared on Garrison’s program to discuss talk radio’s role in the immigration issue and the relative First Amendment component.

nabcrystalawardNAB Announces 2015 Crystal Radio Award Winners.  At yesterday’s NAB Show Radio Luncheon, the winners of the 2015 Crystal Radio Awards were announced.  This was the 28th presentation of the Crystal Radio Awards designed to recognize radio stations for their outstanding, year-round commitment to community service.  The winners were chosen from thekevinbean 50 finalists.  They are: news/talk KRMG-FM Tulsa; news/talk WSB-AM Atlanta; country KTTS, Springfield, Missouri; news/talk WSOY, Decatur, Illinois; hot AC WAFL, Milford, Delaware; hot AC WTMX, Chicago; classic rock WDRV, Chicago; news WTOP-FM, Washington; news WINS, New York; and hip hop WUSL, Philadelphia.  NAB Crystal Radio Award finalists were chosen by a panel of judges representing broadcasting, community service organizations and public relations firms.  Also at the luncheon, Kevin Ryder and Gene “Bean” Baxter (pictured here) of CBS RADIO’s modern rock KROQ, Los Angeles were inducted into the NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame.

cookehollandCooke: Report from NAB Show and NMX in Las Vegas.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas this week covering the NAB Show and the co-located NMX and files this report.  Cooke says two presentations stuck out for him on Tuesday including the NMX’s “Make Your Marketing Memorable with Visual Storytelling” by Ekaterina Walter.  For radio practitioners, the internet is the place to use images and Cooke reports some data he heard is eye-opening as Walter said, “Thinking in pictures is our nature.  Images act like shortcuts to the brain” and “speak to the heart and tell stories.”  She noted that “scientists say the average modern adult attention span is between 2.8 and 8 seconds,” and that “90% of all information transmitted to the brain is visual.”  Cooke says the NAB’s “Small and Medium Radio Markets Idea Exchange” alone is “worth the trip.”  Read more from Holland Cooke here.

garganoanthonyReport: New AM Show Slated for WPEN-FM, Philadelphia.  Calling it the “worst-kept secret” in Philadelphia sports radio, a report at Philly.com is saying former WIP-FM personality Anthony Gargano will be paired up with current WPEN-FM midday host Jon Marks for the morning drive show on Greaterwpen-fm logo Media’s “97.5 The Fanatic” before the month is out.  Gargano left the CBS RADIO sports talker recently after receiving what he called a “low-ball offer” to remain with the station.  Jon Marks had been co-hosting the midday show at WPEN-FM with Sean Brace but Brace exited the station earlier this month.  Currently, the station airs ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike show.  If Gargano and Marks do end up in mornings together, it leaves a vacancy in the 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm show.

ppmunit altNielsen Audio Releases Second Round of Mach 2015 PPM Data.  The second of four rounds of March 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The March 2015 survey period covered February 26 through March 25.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

limbaughrushRush Limbaugh’s Leukemia & Lymphoma Cure-A-Thon Raises $3.3 Million.  Last Friday, Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh program held its 25th annual Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Cure-A-Thon during which Limbaugh dedicated the entire three-hour show to encouraging listeners to join the effort to find a cure for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and to improve the quality of life for patients and their families.  During the broadcast and in the days that followed, on-air and online donations for the fundraiser totaled $3.3 million dollars.  Over the past 25 years, Limbaugh and his audience have collectively raised nearly $44 million dollars for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  Limbaugh states, “I want to thank everyone once again who donated, contributed to our 25th annual Cure-A-Thon last Friday for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  Every year, the people in this audience, you, just continue to come through.”

Odds & Sods.  Former MLB pitcher Curt Schilling joins Entercom’s WEEI-FM, Boston as a baseball analyst.  The Red Sox star will be part of the Dennis & Callahan show every Wednesday at 8:05 am during baseball season.schillingcurt  Schilling is also part of the broadcast team for ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball.”…..KOA, Denver weekend personality Ross Kaminsky is spending some time this week filling in for Rod Arquette on iHeartMedia’s KNRS, Salt Lake City (Tuesday and Friday).  Recently, Kaminsky has also filled in for Mandy Connell on KHOW, Denver; Leland Conway on WHAS, Louisville; and for the TRN-syndicated Jerry Doyle.

Marco Rubio Declaration/2016 Presidential Prospects, ISIS Military Action in Iraq, Iran Nuclear Program Negotiations, Obama’s Cuba Policy, Tax Day, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/14).  The declaration of his candidacy for president by Florida Senator Marco Rubio and the rest of the field of Republican prospects and Democrat Hillary Clinton; the military action by ISIS in Iraq; the ongoing controversy over Iran’s nuclear program and the negotiations with the West; President Obama’s policy regarding Cuba; chatter about Tax Day; and the young MLB season action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

| April 8, 2015

iheartmedia logo smalliHeartMedia to Unveil Programmatic Ad Buying Platform.  Enlisting Jelli to help devise the new platform, iHeartMedia announces it’s set to debut the programmatic radio ad-buying platform for its 850-plus radio stations in addition to making the technology available to other industry operators via its sales subsidiary Katz Media Group.  Using cloud-based technology from Jelli, the platform will offer automated broadcast radio ad buying which it says is “the foundation for iHeartMedia to be able to offer its ad inventory to advertisers and agencies looking to leverage programmatic and automated technology including private market place and exchange environments to improve the buying process and reduce administrative hurdles and delays.”  Further, the company asserts, “the new,jelli logo programmatic solution will also allow iHeartMedia to apply its rich data and insights to the planning process and will utilize data sets to enable unique forms of targeting, such as music-based psychographic groups, weather and traffic patterns, purchase behavior and other environmental, population and consumer trends.”  Additionally, Katz Media Group, the top national sales firm katz mg logorepresenting more than 275 radio broadcasters including iHeartMedia, Cumulus, Entercom, Cox Media Group and others, will launch ‘Expressway from Katz,’ the first industrywide programmatic buying ad exchange at scale for the radio industry’s most important players, which also uses the same technology.   Katz Media Group president Mark Rosenthal says, “As the top national sales firm representing many great radio companies, we felt it was critical that radio take the lead.  Expressway from Katz will deliver the capabilities and speed of automation and programmatic to all of our radio companies as we bring the power of radio to advertisers, providing unprecedented scale and customer knowledge.”  Entercom president and CEO David Field comments, “This partnership is an innovative milestone for the radio industry.  Radio has always provided unmatched value, and now we can bring today’s data sources, targeting at scale and the speed, ease and precision of programmatic buying to our advertising partners, matching or exceeding the capabilities of any other media sector.”

gallianimelissaGalliani Elevated to KGO, KSFO GSM.  Three-year KGO and KSFO, San Francisco senior account manager and “team leader” Melissa Galliani is boosted to general sales manager of the Cumulus Media talk siblings. Cumulus vice president of sales for news/talk Jaysson Reno comments, “Melissa’s long-term association with KGO and KSFO makes her an invaluable asset within our company. Her high level of integrity, dedication, and track record made her the perfect fit for this well-deserved promotion.” Galliani – who possesses a San Francisco State University Bachelor’s degree and a Dominican University MBA in Team Leadership – states that she is “excited” and “pleased to be a part of the management team of KGO and KSFO, two brands that I hold close to my heart. I appreciate the opportunity to work with the radio stations in this new capacity. I will continue to value the team spirit for reaching our goals individually and collectively, and for meeting the needs of our marketing partners and advertisers.” After beginning her media career at KGO in 2000 as an account executive, Galliani was in business development at San Francisco’s KNTV-TV; local sales manager for KFRC, San Francisco; and KSFO’s local sales manager.

frebergstanStan Freberg Dead at 88.  TALKERS magazine mourns the passing of radio and advertising legend Stan Freberg, who died Tuesday in Santa Monica, California at the age of 88.  Freberg’s career covered just about all of the media bases – radio, television, publishing, records and advertising – and his humor was deemed as effective no matter into which medium he delved.  TALKERS executive editor Kevin Casey observes, “For those who may be under the impression that the video age has diminished the effectiveness of the audio arts, one need only look to the supremely creative work of Stan Freberg to see how wrong that impression is.  He was, and still is, an inspiration to any who are working to create attention-grabbing audio.”  See The New York Times’ obituary of Freberg here.

weismanstevenCan and Should You Censor a Political Ad?  TALKERS magazine legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes today about the case involving Chicago’s ABC TV outlet and its refusal to run a political ad from a PAC.  The case raises the issues of just what are the legal responsibilities of a broadcast outlet when I comes to political advertising?  Does a station even have to accept political advertising at all?  These and more questions are addressed by Weisman in the murky arena of political advertising on broadcast stations.  Read it here.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison Chats with Dr. Joy Browne on Podcast “Up Close and Far Out” – Also Discusses the Relationship Between Information and the Fabric of Reality.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison engages in a fascinating, candid dialogue with syndicated radio psychologist Dr. Joy Browne on the fifth and latest installment of his weekly podcast series “Up Close and Far Out” on the platform, PodcastOne.com.  Harrison and Browne tackle a variety of issues including the impact of the digital age on human thinking and social relationships, as well as the past, present and future of advice-giving in talk media.  They talk about the importance of credentials, transparency and credibility in “doctor” shows, generational differences in the modern era and the state of the cinema and live theater in America.  The podcast also includes Harrison’s ongoing observations about the relationship between media, technology and the wiring of the human nervous system.  He boldly suggests that the “digital era,” in which we are rapidly becoming immersed, will not last as long as the “analogue era” from which we are exiting and that an even larger, more important era of human technological development is waiting in the wings, perhaps only 20 years down the road.  Harrison states that this next era (that he cites on the podcast) will create changes in humanity that will make the current digital period seem quaint and primitive by comparison.  To listen to the entire podcast, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” player located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS and RadioInfo websites.

HD Radio LogoUpdate: HD Radio Passes Benchmark. Several more car models – including the Mazda Miata MX-5, Nissan Maxima, and the Scion iA and iM – will have iBiquity Digital‘s HD Radio as standard equipment. That brings HD Radio’s total to over 200 vehicle models and iBiquity Digital chief operating officer Jeff Jury comments, “This is a tremendous milestone. More listeners are tuning in than ever before. Millions of new vehicle owners will get to enjoy HD Radio broadcasting. A record number of HD Radio-equipped vehicles have been sold this year. This is another step toward complete standardization of digital radio across North America.” The announcement was made at last week’s New York International Auto Show. Other vehicles that will offer HD Radio are the Honda Civic, Hyundai Tucson, Kia Optima, Lexus RX, Mitsubishi Outlander, and Toyota RAV4. More than 100 vehicle models are integrating digital radio technology as standard equipment.

boldgoldfounationBold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation Names Board of Directors.  In an effort to “help prepare tomorrow’s frontline communicators,” Bold Gold Media – operator of nine commercial radio stations in Northeast Pennsylvania and Upstate New York – is establishing the Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation.  The foundation will focus its efforts on providing funding and resources to educational organizations that train tomorrow’s broadcast and media leaders.  Now, Bold Gold president Vince Benedetto announces the board of directors for the foundation.  It includes: Benedetto; Ashok Divecha, business manager, Bold Gold Media Group; Bob Soper, president, Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority; Justin Moon, president, Kahr Arms; Mike Bean, president, Mohegan Sun Pocono; Doug Fink, president, Pennsylvania Paper & Supply Company; Kevin Tinkelman, owner, Kevin’s Worldwide; Doug Thomas, president, Gateway Ford; Josh Sheard, president, Sage Investments; Bud Williamson, president, Digital Radio Engineering/ Neversink Media Group; Michael Harrison, publisher & editor, TALKERS and RadioInfo; and Jimmy Wayne, musician/writer/performer/author, president, Barbershop Tours, Project Meet Me Half Way.

meterpareljonFormer WEEI, Boston Personality Jon Meterperel Debuts Podcast.  Former longtime WEEI, Boston personality Jon Meterparel is debuting his new sports talk podcast with ONE World Sports on April 10.  Dubbed, “The Meter Is Running,” the program promises to “deliver to fans insightful, lively – and occasionally controversial — conversations with some of the top influencers and stars in global sports.  The show will be distributed on iTunes, social media platforms and ONEWorldSports.com.”  Guests appearing for the first show are Sports Illustrated senior writer and MLB Network analyst Tom Verducci, offering his take on the 2015 MLB season’s hottest teams and players; and, reflecting on his NHL days, Stanley Cup-winning former New York Rangers coach “Iron” Mike Keenan, now coaching the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) 2014 championship team Metallurg MG.  Future guests are to include: ESPN baseball analyst Buster Olney, actor and producer Mike O’Malley and former “Saturday Night Live” writer and “30 Rock” executive producer Robert Carlock.

Odds & Sods.  Alabama talk hosts Matt Murphy and Dale Jackson are now heard in multiple markets after Cumulus Media made the move to expand their presence.  Murphy is based at the company’s news/talk WAPI, Birmingham, in middays and is now also heard on WLWI, Montgomery, Alabama and WVNN, Huntsville.  Jackson is based at WVNN, Huntsville and is now also heard in mornings on WAPI…..Derek Fogel is promoted from executive producer to program director for Max Media-owned sports talker WXLT, Marion, Illinois “103.5 ESPN Southern Illinois.”  Fogel will also serve as morning drive sports anchor for Max Media’s sister news/talk WJPF.

Rand Paul Announces Bid for President, California Drought, Iran Nuclear Negotiations, Religious Freedom Act/Indiana Pizza Joint Case, Russia Hacks White House Allegations, Yemen Military Action, SC Cop Charged with Murder, Rahm Emanuel Wins Re-Election Runoff, and MLB Season Opens Among Top News Stories Yesterday (4/7).  Kentucky Senator Rand Paul officially announces his bid for president in 2016; the debate over the reasons for the California drought; the negotiations with Iran over the progress of its nuclear program; controversy over the various religious freedom acts and the case of the Indiana pizza joint threatened for supporting that state’s law; allegations the Russians are responsible for hacking the White House’s computer system; the Saudi-led military action taking place in Yemen; the case of the South Carolina police officer charged with murder for shooting a black motorist in the back as he fled a traffic stop; Rahm Emanuel survives a runoff election to remain mayor of Chicago; and the start of the 2015 baseball season were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

| March 24, 2015

2015 small header_250TALKERS ‘Heavy Hundred’ for 2015 Delayed One Day – Coming Tomorrow Wednesday, March 25.  TALKERS magazine has delayed the date for the posting of the 2015 installment of the publication’s annual feature, “The 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America” which was originally set to be posted today.  The list will be revealed tomorrow (3/25) at approximately 2:00 pm ET.  This will mark the 20th consecutive year that the talk media trade journal (that is about to mark its 25th anniversary) has been compiling and publishing the list – also known as “The Heavy Hundred.”  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “This year’s list will include a number of familiar faces (and voices) as well as new up-and-comers and several veterans whose continuing, successful careers our editors believe need acknowledgement on this list in 2015.”  Casey continues, “Needless to say, compiling this list is extremely challenging – especially since it draws upon both objective and subjective factors – and is the source of heated debate every year among our editors for months leading up to its release.”

savagemichaelSavage Celebrates Milestone!  Talk radio icon Michael Savage – now syndicated by Westwood One – is celebrating 21 years in radio today (3/24) with a special program that will reflect on his more than two decades on the air.  Savage is recognizing his time on the radio by encouraging listeners to call in and share their favorite memories from past shows.  He’ll also play rare archival show segments from over the years throughout the program.

robinsonjosephRobinson to President Post at iHeartMedia Ventures Group.  This is a promotion for iHeartMedia’s EVP of strategic development as Joseph Robinson is named president of theiheartmedia logo iHeartMedia Ventures Group in which Robinson will work “to develop high-value strategic opportunities with media, technology, and content companies.”  He’ll report to iHeartMedia president, COO and CFO Rich Bressler, who states, “Joe has played an invaluable role in helping iHeartMedia explore new digital and technology opportunities for both consumer-facing and internal initiatives.  I’m delighted that Joe is expanding his role with us; his new leadership position will be instrumental in our continued success as a 21st century media company — one that is both relentlessly forward-looking on the technology front and focused on using iHeartMedia’s cross-platform assets in creative ways that help redefine the future of consumer media and entertainment.”

suttonsteveSutton to Program KCMO, Kansas City.  Talk radio pro Steve Sutton is appointed program director for Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM, Kansas City.  Sutton is an experienced broadcaster who’s worked at CBS RADIO, iHeartMedia, ABC, and Air America (where he was co-creator and VP of programming and operations).  Cumulus SVP of programming Mike McVay says, “We’re very excited to have Steve join us in Kansas City.  He’s a multi-formatted programmer with amazing life experiences.  I can’t wait to hear how he sets news/talk radio on its ear.”  Sutton comments, “A life of amazing experiences continues in Kansas City at KCMO.  We all do this because it’s fun and fulfilling.  And now, thanks to Lew Dickey, John Dickey, Mike McVay, and Mark Sullivan, I get to do it again.  Donna Baker and I arrive within a week of each other.  We both can’t wait to start drawing on the easel.”

holleymichaelWEEI, Boston Re-Ups with Michael Holley.  Boston sports talkers WEEI announces that PM drive personality Michael Holley is “in it for the long haul with his veteran partner, Dale Arnold.”  Holley just signed a new, multi-year contract that will keep the duo together in the 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm shift (alongweei logo with recent addition Jerry Thornton).  Holley comments, “I’m so grateful to be able to do a job that I love, in a region that I love, speaking and working with people that I love.  There have been so many incredible stories in New England sports the past decade-plus, and I’m excited and humbled that I’ve been able to share in the journey on the radio.  I look forward to many more great shows with Dale, Jerry and our producers Andy Massaua and Ben Kichen.”

younglarryWOLB, Baltimore Morning Host Larry Young Named TALKERS 2015 “Humanitarian of the Year.”  Veteran radio talk show host and former Maryland State Senator Larry Young has been selected by the TALKERS magazine editorial board as this year’s recipient of the Sharon L. Harrison Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service by a Radio Talk Show Host.  The prestigious honor – also known as “Humanitarian of the Year” — will be presented to Young during the Awards Presentation at the forthcoming Talkers New York 2015.  The presentation will be made by Carole Marks, CEO of Talk Media,2015 NYC 150 Inc.  WOLB, owned by Radio One, is an urban/talk-formatted station serving the Baltimore-area African American community.  Young began his show and radio career on the station in 1998 hosting weekday mornings, 6:00 am to 10:00 am, after a turbulent and controversial career in Maryland state politics.  Since then, he has accrued a number of honors celebrating his work in the community as a broadcaster including “Best Radio Station” by Baltimore City Paper in 2007, 2008 and again in 2009. He also has been the recipient of such awards as the 2007 Pinnacle Award presented by the American Development Consortium, the 2009 Ed Bradley Award presented by the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, the 2011 Unsung Hero Award presented by the Grace Outreach fundraising committee and prestigious 2012 Whitney M. Young Jr. Award presented by the Greater Baltimore Urban League.  Young, a longtime member of the TALKERS “Heavy Hundred” is held in extremely high regard not only within the community served by WOLB, but by his co-workers as well.  WOLB general manager Howard Mazer tells TALKERS, “Larry Young is the kindest and most helpful person I know. The word NO is not in his vocabulary. When anyone in the community calls Larry, he will go out of his way to help them.  It does not matter the time or the day.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison adds, “I have had the personal pleasure of spending time with the folks at WOLB at the station’s community functions where I have witnessed this man in action first-hand and I must say – the work of Larry Young and the relationship he has with his listeners and co-workers is absolutely inspiring – makes me proud to be in radio. And it is not a single day, promotion or activity that we are talking about.  Every moment of his work on and off the air involves the concepts of service and connection.  Larry Young and WOLB are the very essence of ‘community’ as it applies to radio.”  Talkers New York 2015 – the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention — takes place on Friday, June 12.  As of today’s posting, it is 75% sold out.  For complete agenda details and registration, sponsorship and hotel information, please click here.

wind logoSalem-Owned WIND, Chicago Debuts New Program Schedule; Dave Ramsey to Join the Station in June.  The Chicago secular news/talk outlet WIND “AM 560 The Answer” announces its lineup changes that take effect on both Monday, March 30 and Monday, June 1 of this year.  WIND has made official the addition of Dan Proft as permanent morning co-host, alongsideramseydave Amy Jacobson, in which the duo will host the newly created, “Chicago’s Morning Answer,” from 5:00 am to 9:00 am.  Station general manager Jeff Reisman comments, “Dan Proft is the perfect addition to our lineup.  As the only talk radio station in Chicago dedicated to talking about politics, current events, and proftdanbreaking news, Dan Proft provides the kind of analysis and insight that our audience has come to expect from us.  ‘Chicago’s Morning Answer’ will be the go-to place in Chicago to get up to speed on what’s happening in the world each morning.”  Salem Radio Network’s Mike Gallagher will be added to the station’s lineup airing live from 9:00 am to 11:00 am.  Dennis Prager will follow from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm, replacing Dennis Miller.  Then, on June 1, nationally syndicated superstar Dave Ramsey will begin airing in the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot, immediately following the Joe Walsh program that will air from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  Finally, “This Morning with Gordon Deal,” (syndicated by Compass Media Networks) will debut on March 30 in the 4:00 am to 5:00 am slot.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutMichael Harrison and Norm Pattiz Discuss a Wide Spectrum of Media Issues on PodcastOne.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and PodcastOne founder/CEO Norm Pattiz engage in an illuminating conversation about media and its impact on society in the third and latest installment of the podcast series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  The two iconoclastic media figures draw upon their radio industry experience and 38-year friendship in tackling such issues as net neutrality; new advertising techniques; the impact of consolidation on radio; differences between radio and TV; the evolving state of journalism; the effect of fractionalization on the national consciousness, problems and changes in music radio and the burgeoning state of podcasting.  To hear the podcast in its entirety, please click here.

parriottphilKKOH, Reno APD Phil Parriott Dies in Auto Accident.  Tragic news from the Cumulus Reno station group after news/talk KKOH, Reno assistant program director Phil Parriott died early on the morning of March 21 from injuries sustained in a car accident.  Station staffers are saying Parriott was an extremely valuable member of their team who will be deeply missed by current and past co-workers who call him a friend.  KKOH program director Dan Mason states, “We report tragedy in the news every day and can easily forget that real people are involved.  We’re reminded of that as we mourn our friend and colleague today.  Our thoughts and prayers are with Phil’s family during this difficult time.”

wpen-fm logoGreater Media Named ‘Best in Philly’ Again.  For the fourth consecutive year, Greater Media’s radio properties have been named among the “Top Workplaces in Philadelphia” by Philly.com.  Hundreds of companies take part in the survey, but only a select few companies are awarded top workplace.  The Greater Media Philadelphia station group consists of rock WMMR; classic rock WMGK “102.9 MGK”; adult hits WBEN-FM “95.7 Ben FM”; and sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic.”  The evaluation for the “Top Workplaces” program was based entirely upon feedback from an employee survey conducted by Workplace Dynamics in the fall of 2014.  Greater Media Philly VP and market manager John Fullam comments, “Great companies start with great employees.  We are fortunate to have such an extraordinary team dedicated to serving Philadelphia, our listeners and advertising partners every day.”

2016 Presidential Prospects, U.S.-Iran Nuke Negotiations, Obama-Netanyahu Relationship, UVA Rape Investigation, Battle Against Militant Islam, Russian Military Aggression, and March Madness Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/23).  The potential candidates for president in 2016; the controversy over the negotiations between the West and Iran over its nuclear program; the strained relationship between Benjamin Netanyahu and President Obama and the recent Israeli elections; the police statement that it failed to find corroborating evidence in the Rolling Stone-reported UVA gang rape story; the militant Muslim organizations waging war in the Middle East and Africa; concern over Russia’s recent uptick in military maneuvers; and the weekend’s NCAA tourney action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, January 26, 2015

| January 26, 2015

limbaugh logoLongtime Rush Limbaugh Staffer Kit Carson Dies After Battle with Cancer.  TALKERS magazine has learned from Sound Mind LLC principal Kraig Kitchin that longtime Rush Limbaugh staffer Christopher “Kit” Carson passed away this morning (1/26), in New Jersey.   The cause was brain cancer.  Kitchin says Carson had suffered a bout of cancer four years ago but found his way to recovery two years later and was given a clean bill of health.  In the last several months, the cancer returned.  Kit Carson was the “chief of staff” of Limbaugh’s program since the early 1990s.  He became part of the program’s staff in 1989.  Kitchin says Carson wanted to be an actor, but fell in love with his work on the program.  He screened calls, opened and answered the mail, and he took every opportunity to be invaluable.  And he became invaluable.  Later, he was nicknamed “H.R.” with Limbaugh naming him after Nixon Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman.  A clearly shaken, limbaughrushtearful Rush Limbaugh announced the news at the top of his radio program today (1/26).  He said, “We are all experiencing a huge void in all of our hearts here today.”  Limbaugh praised Carson as never having a bad word to say about anyone and was always a mediating force for good and harmony among the staff.  Limbaugh said that Carson was the longest-running employee of the show and quickly proved himself to be the new program’s number one defender, champion and evangelist.  Limbaugh also credited Carson with coming up with many ideas and angles that he used as his own on the air—and was also a tremendous force for Rush maintaining optimism and positivity in his work and attitude about life.  Clearly he was the one guy who Limbaugh never once doubted – “I had total trust in him.”  Limbaugh said, “Even at 58 he had an innocent exuberance about him.”  Carson is survived by his wife, Theresa, and two sons.

cookeTalkersTVNow Showing on TalkersTV: Writing Commercial Copy That Produces RESULTS.  Just try not to flinch when you hear The Six Most-Dreaded Words in Radio Sales: “We tried radio, it didn’t work.”  Even when the retail business and the station fit-like-a-glove — AND the client buys enough frequency — the campaign can flop, and the disappointed advertiser gives up on radio entirely.  WHY?  Consultant and TALKERS contributor Holland Cooke explains, “Too often, it’s because the commercial copy was ineffective.  Not surprisingly, this can happen because cutbacks have cost the station a creative department and reps are writing their own spots… too often banging out scripts quickly, so they can get back on the street to close new business — which they’re under pressure to do, because of churn.  Why does this often happen?  You guessed it: Because clients cancel…because they didn’t get results…because the copy didn’t work.  It’s a vicious cycle.”  Cooke adds, “Ironically, the same problem is common at stations that HAVE a creative person or department.”  And he cites three reasons:

1.  The conveyor belt is out of control.  With four, five or six stations under one roof, the writer gets overwhelmed.

2.  ESPECIALLY this time of year, when stations stage the annual first quarter “one day sale,” piling even more work on the writer; in many cases spots that will air long-term (or until the disappointed client cancels).

3.  The writer, back at the station, didn’t share the rep’s in-person contact with the prospect during the important Needs Assessment step.  Cooke figures that “account executives are, potentially, better writers than…writers, because they know clients’ stories first-hand.”

“Potentially,” Cooke stipulates, “because account executives need to speak to the listener (the advertiser’s client) the same way they approached the advertiser.  Reps are natural sellers, but don’t always apply their persuasive talent to copy writing.”  In a video now showing on TalkersTV, Cooke outlines what he calls “the dance steps of a 60-second commercial script,” based on his work helping client station reps craft copy for local retailers.  See Cooke relate what he terms “The Five Steps of Selling Anything to Anybody” (how reps got the order) to the copy-writing process.  See the TalkersTV box at the top right-hand column of this page and every page of Talkers.com.

mussonchristinaKMJ-AM/FM, Fresno Names Musson Co-Host.  The new late morning show at Cumulus Media’s Fresno news/talker KMJ-AM/FM launches today as “Broeske & Musson.”  KMJ program director Blake Taylor announces the station promotes Christina Musson from station executive producer to co-host of the program alongside John Broeske.  Taylor says, “We tried out dozens of potential co-hosts for John, but we only needed to look down the hall for the perfect answer.  ‘Broeske & Musson’ is going to be a dynamic show with tons of energy.  They’ll continue to deliver the hard-hitting and fun topics of the day that our listeners expect.”  Musson has been executive producer the past six years.  Her resume also includes production and reporting work at Fresno’s KMPH-TV KGPE-TV as well as KAPP-TV in Yakima, Washington.  She says, “I’m excited to take the next step in my career at such an amazing station and to partner with John Broeske – someone I admire and respect.  I grew up listening to KMJ, so it’s a dream come true.”

knxawards15Radio & Television News Association of Southern California Presents Awards.  The 65th annual Golden Mike awards were presented by the Radio & Television News Association of Southern California (RTNA) on Saturday evening (1/24) in Universal City.  The awards are presented annually for excellence in radio, TV and Internet broadcast journalism.  CBS RADIO’s all-news KNX, Los Angeles was recognized with seven Golden Mike awards in the following categories: Best New Broadcast Over 15 Minutes – “KNX Morning News”; Best Live Coverage of a News Story – “LAX Shooting”; Best News Reporting – “Nanny Nightmare” by Charles Feldman; Best Spot News Reporting – “The Great UCLA Flood of 2014” by Desmond Shaw, Ed Mertz, and Pete Demetriou; Best News Public Affairs Program – “Ask the Mayor”; Best Trafficgregorysteveawards Report – KNX Traffic at 6:15 am; and Best Sports Reporting – “Watts Bears”  by Ed Mertz.  Pictured above left are (from l-r) KNX staffers Ron Kilgore, Frank Mottek, Kathy Kiernan, James Tuck, Ric Schroeder, Wendy Thermos, and Pete Demetriou accepting the award for Best Live Coverage of a News Story.  iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk KFI and reporter Steve Gregory also took home seven Golden Mike awards (see photo at right) in the following categories: Best Radio News Special – “Breaking Down The Border Crisis” by Steve Gregory and Oswaldo Borraez; Best Radio Investigative Reporting – “Mold School” by Steve Gregory and Oswaldo Borraez; Best Radio Light Feature (less than a minute) – “Valentine’s Day Flower Inspection” by Steve Gregory; Best Radio Serious Feature (less than a minute) – “Operation Boo” by Steve Gregory; Best Radio Hard News Series – “Trial Of Jailed Marine In Mexico”; Best Radio Internet News Reporting – “Operation Boo” by Steve Gregory and David Perez; and Best Radio Newscast (under 15 minutes).  KFI program director Robin Bertolucci comments, “We have the best news team here at KFI, these folks rock and Steve is a prime example of the caliber of talent that makes us so proud!”

ppmunitRound Four of Holiday PPM Data Released.  The fourth of four rounds of Holiday 2014 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford.  The survey period was December 4 to December 31.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

franklinjoeNew York Talk Legend Joe Franklin Dies at 88.  The New York talk television and talk radio icon who was famously parodied by Billy Crystal on “Saturday Night Live,” died after a long battle with cancer on Saturday (1/24).  Joe Franklin hosted a television program interviewing celebrities and offbeat characters beginning in the early 1950s.  He worked in radio later in his career at such stations as WOR, New York and most recently on the Bloomberg Radio Network.  Franklin ranked 71st in the 2010 TALKERS magazine 20th Anniversary Heaviest Hundred list (which ranks “the 100 most important radio talk show hosts of all time”) and appeared a number of times as a special guest speaker at the annual TALKERS Convention in New York City.  Publisher Michael Harrison would introduce him to the attendees from out of town as a famous New York City “tourist attraction as legendary as the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building and Central Park.”  Franklin juggled so many careers in the media that it’s a good thing he stopped to write a book every few years – in fact, 23 in all — to capture his amazingly colorful life.  His autobiography Up Late With Joe Franklin (Scribner, 1995) is jam-packed with celebrity-rich-anecdotes — from Eddie Cantor and Rudy Vallee to Howard Stern, for example.  According to the Library Journal, “He actually knew those early entertainers and knew many of those currently entertaining.”  What originally made him a household name — even before the highly touted “Saturday Night Live” parodies by Billy Crystal — was Franklin’s late night variety program “The Joe Franklin Show,” which ran from 1950 through 1993.  The Guinness Book of World Records lists it as the longest running TV talk show in history manned by one host.   And what a show it was!  Much like visiting your favorite neighborhood hardware store, you never knew what unexpected gems would pop up among the variety and clutter.  A sample show would feature a sculptor, belly dancer, an up-and-coming comic, a podiatrist and then maybe a famous actor or singer.  According to Publisher’s Weekly (1994), his program’s “total guest list ran between 200,000 and 300,000.”  and included such names as Frank Sinatra Jr., Bing Crosby, Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne, Vincent Price, Howard Stern, Buddy Hackett, — as well as first TV exposure for eventual stars like Sammy Davis Jr., Bill Cosby, Woody Allen, Barbra Streisand and Julia Roberts.  “It would be easier to list the few who did not appear than to catalogue those who did,” PW says. Franklin started and ended his long show business career in radio.  His first job, at 16, was working behind the scenes at WNEW, New York where he became “the record librarian,” (or really “the record picker”) for Martin Block’s popular “Make Believe Ballroom” radio program.   Once station management recognized his unique expertise in vaudeville and entertainment trivia, they offered him a 15-minute program dedicated to nostalgia.  Eventually that became his calling card and part of the schtick he’d weave into shows, whether radio or television.  The self- proclaimed “King of Entertainment” had an encyclopedic knowledge of “all things entertainment” from the first half of the 20th Century:  silent films, Broadway stage shows, musicians and singers.  With that, he also earned the title the “king of nostalgia.”  After his television show ended, Franklin focused on his long-running “Memory Lane” radio program, which ran on WOR on weekend overnights.  He’d tell stories about many of the entertainers whose records he would play.  In recent years, up until the time of his death, he hosted a weekends-only series of six-minute segments on Bloomberg Radio Network called ‘The Business of Show Business.’  Audio podcasts are still available at Bloomberg.com.  Throughout his career, the round-faced, jovial Franklin was commonly called back to television to do guest spots on the big late night and daytime talk shows such as those hosted by Regis Philbin and David Letterman.   Considered a good luck charm for the start of a new talk show due to the length of his show’s run, Franklin often kicked off day one of a show – and did so on the first broadcasts of “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” and “This American Life.”  Though Franklin may never have wanted to act in movies – like his childhood friend Tony Curtis – he did appear as himself in “Ghostbusters” and “Broadway Danny Rose,” just to name two of the 34 titles that IMDb lists.   Franklin was born in 1926 in the Bronx, New York.  He met his model/actress wife when she was a secretary and he was “a kid of 24 just doing radio… and we were married on the TV show called ‘Bride and Groom,’” where real-life couples tied the knot after being quizzed about their relationship on national television.  Perhaps what sums Joe Franklin up best is his favorite personal quote: “It’s nice to be important, but it’s even more important to be nice.”

Odds & Sods.  Former “Regular Guys” personality Eric Von Haessler begins hosting his “The Von Haessler Doctrine” show on Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB, Atlanta airing Sundays at 1:00 pm.  Since exiting his “Regular Guys” co-host position at Cumulus Media’s crosstown rock WNNX “96 Rock” in June of 2014, Von Haessler has been doing fill-vonhaesslerericin work at WSB and podcasting…..Boston sports talk personality Danny Picard launches his new eponymous podcast at the same time he debuts his new website and celebrates the opening of his new studio inside Beantown Athletics in Dorchester, Massachusetts.  Picard is a weekend personality on Entercom’s WEEI-FM, Boston and is part of the “Patriots Pre-game and Post-Game Live” shows on Comcast SportsNet New England…..Westwood One is picarddannyannouncing some of the details of its Super Bowl programming as the official network radio partner for the National Football League.  It will feature a full schedule of game day programming leading up to kickoff.  Westwood One’s live game coverage features Kevin Harlan, handling the play-by-play duties for the Super Bowl for the fifth straight year, and Boomer Esiason, serving as the color analyst.  Hall of Famer James Lofton and Mark Malone will once again report from the sidelines.  Emmy Award-winning host Jim Gray will anchor the pregame and halftime coverage…..FOX Sports Radio is also on the scene in Glendale, Arizona this week leading up to the Super Bowl.  FSRN announces that as part of its continuous coverage “Jay Mohr Sports” news anchor Dan Beyer and J.T. The Brick will broadcast live from radio row while the Dan Patrick show and the Rich Eisen show will broadcast from the DIRECTV Super Fan Festival at the Pendergrast Family Farm in Glendale’s Sports and Entertainment District across from Phoenix Stadium.  Also, former NFL player Lincoln Kennedy will broadcast a special edition of the network’s Saturday morning program Gargano & Kennedy…..CBS Sports Radio’s plans for coverage of the big game include live-from-Glendale broadcasts all week by the network’s Jim Rome, Doug Gottlieb and the Tiki Barber and Brandon Tierney program.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

| January 15, 2015

wgn logo newWGN Makes it Official: Roe Conn to PM Drive.  Thanks to Chicago media writer Robert Feder, the arrival of longtime, former WLS-AM personality Roe Conn to the afternoon drive daypart at Tribune Media’s news/talk WGN is not a surprise – Feder broke the news last week.  But now, the company officially announces Conn will move into PM drive and bump Bill Leff and Wendy Snyder to late mornings with John Williams leaving that daypart and connroebeing featured as part of WGN’s Saturday programming.  Williams also hosts a daily show at CBS RADIO’s WCCO, Minneapolis and had been doing double duty.  The changes take effect on January 26.  WGN Radio VP of content and programming Todd Manley says, “Roe craves what’s behind the curtain of breaking news.  He’s a master of investigative conversation, so you’ll learn and you’ll laugh.”  WGN-TV meteorologist Tom Skilling and news anchor Mark Supplesa will be regulars on Conn’s program.  Manley adds, “We’re building an even stronger bridge between our radio journalists at the Tribune Tower and the incomparable newsroom at WGN-TV.”   Regarding the new Saturday programming, Manley says a Saturday edition of “The Business Lunch” with host Steve Bertrand will follow the Kathy & Judy show from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm.  “The World of John Williams” will air from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm and will integrate with mobile app urVibe, a news-polling social platform that he developed.  Sports talk show “The Beat,” with hosts Jarrett Payton, Connor McKnight and Adam Hoge, will air from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

messinajoeUSA Radio Networks Adds Late Night Show.  Soon to air in the 12:00 midnight to 3:00 am ET slot on USA Radio Networks is “The Real Side Radio Show with Joe Messina.”  USA Radio Networks says, “Research reveals a growing number of workers are clocking in for the graveyard shift.  Once reserved for blue-color workers, there are now a significantly increasing number of white-collar employees working evenings or nights.”  Tim Maranville is chief content officer at USA Radio Networks’ parent company Cross Platform Media Group.  He says, “Now second and third shifters can continue a live engaging conversation about America with Joe Messina’s ‘The Real Side.’  They deserve a straight shooter like Joe.”  Cross Platform CEO Sam Hassell adds, “Joe is a tremendous asset to our expanding platform of programs.  Overnights is a significantly under served time period for live national content.  Another win for our affiliate and sponsorship partners.”

beasleymediagroupBeasley Modifies Corporate Name for Radio Group.  In a move that the company says reflects “the broad and expansive reach of on-air, digital and collateral radio products that are available to Beasley’s listeners and advertisers,” Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc. reports that the various entities that previously held the company’s portfolio of 53 radio stations in 12 markets now become Beasley Media Group.  The publicly traded parent company, headquartered in Naples, Florida, remains Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc. and continues to trade as “BBGI” on NASDAQ.

arnolddaleWEEI, Boston Rewards Dale Arnold with New Contract.  Longtime Boston sports media figure Dale Arnold – sometimes criticized for being stodgy and “old school” – assumed the afternoon drive co-host slot alongside Michael Holley last spring and was told if he helped bring the ratings up in the daypart, he’d get a new deal.  Today, Entercom announces that after 10 months on WEEI in afternoons, “ratings are up 59% with WEEI’s target audience of Men 25-to-54, and their program routinely ranks in the top three, up from sixth place last winter.”  So the company is signing Arnold to a new contract.  WEEI brand manager Kevin Graham says, “Dale Arnold has one of the most complete and diverse sports resumes in Boston broadcast history.  He is the only person to have done play-by-play for the Patriots, Red Sox, Bruins, Celtics and Revolution in addition to having called college football, basketball and hockey.  Most importantly, Dale’s name is synonymous with class and character, and the impact he’s made since returning full time is undeniable.”

sabowalterSabo: The Lessons of Lowell Bud Paxson.  Media consultant Walter Sabo worked with Lowell Bud Paxson – the founder of the Home Shopping Network – who died earlier this week.  In a column published recently, Sabo relates some of the media lessons he learned from working with Paxson and observing his operation.  While Paxson was better known for his creation of the Home Shopping Network and Pax TV, Paxson owned radio stations during his career.  Flying in the face of convention and trusting one’s instincts are two of the character traits Paxson had.  Read more from Walter Sabo about what radio operators can take away from the life and legacy of Lowell Bud Paxson here.

Odds & Sods.  Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is in the hot seat today as he appears on all-news KNX, Los Angeles’ “Ask the Mayor” program airing at 10:00 am PT.  KNX anchor Tom Haule and chief investigative reporter Charles Feldman will co-host the program and listeners are invited to call or Tweet questions.  Topics to be discussed include: the city’s crime rate, the mayor’s agenda for the New Year, safety at LAX, Barbara Boxer’s U.S. Senate seat and theknx city’s preparedness for a terrorist attack…..Glimmerglass Radio – which bills itself as “the only green living talk radio station in America” – marks its one-year anniversary in business and says it has completed its programming lineup of 54 radio programs dedicated to news and information related to all things green.  John Kosmer founded the Upstate New York-based digital station “to meet the rising interest in energy, the environment and healthy lifestyles.”…..Basketball legend Oscar Robertson will host a special Martin Luther King Jr. Day program on SiriusXM’s NBA Radio channel on Monday.  The hour-long program will be co-hosted by SiriusXM’s Jason Jackson during which Robertson will share his experiences in the civil rights struggle and discuss what Dr. King’s legacy has meant to players of his era as well as those in today’s NBA…..Yahoo! Sports Radio will be part of the media mayhem that leads up to the NFL’s Super Bowl this year.  The network will broadcast 17 hours daily from Glendale, Arizona including the Steve Czaban, Travis Rodgers, “Prime Cut with Sean Salisbury and John Granato,” “Sports X Radio” shows plus a special weekday series of “Talk of Fame.”…..Westwood One Sports continues its broadcast coverage of the NFL postseason with broadcasts of this weekend’s NFC and AFC Conference Championship games.

bennettOtterSRN’s Bill Bennett Addresses Idaho Legislature.  Pictured here with Idaho Governor Butch Otter (left) is Salem Radio Network personality and former U.S. Secretary of Education Bill Bennett (right).  Bennett, who hosts the “Morning in America” program, spoke before the Idaho legislature on the topic of education, commending the station on its education program and encouraging lawmakers to “provide more and better STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) curriculum in the state’s schools.”

Charlie Hebdo Aftermath/Islamic Extremists, ISIS Syria Strikes/Boko Haram Violence in Africa, Obama Immigration Policy, Boehner Floor Speech Rips Obama, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Plummeting Oil Prices/World Financial Markets Activity, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/14). The aftermath of the deadly assault on Parisian magazine Charlie Hebdo and the greater topic of violent Islamic extremists; the ISIS strikes in Syria and the deadly assaults in Africa at the hands of Boko Haram; the immigration reform policy of the Obama Administration; House Speaker John Boehner’s floor speech criticizing President Obama’s policies; potential GOP candidates for president in 2016 including Mitt Romney, Rand Paul, Scott Walker, Chris Christie, and Rick Santorum; falling oil prices and the effects on the world’s financial markets; and this weekend’s NFL conference championships were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

| December 16, 2014

deacesteveNEW14USA Radio Network Inks Talk Host Steve Deace.  The conservative talk star from the Midwest signs a new deal with USA Radio Networks that moves him from his most recent evening daypart (9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight ET distributed by GCN) to afternoon drive in the East.  Steve Deace is currently heard in 44 markets.  USA Radio Networks chief content officer Tim Maranville comments, “We believe that Steve can help our affiliate stations gain market share in afternoon drive.  He’s not just another conservative mouthpiece.  HeusaRadioNetworks connects with the listener because he reflects their on-going frustration with Washington and political media.”  The company says Deace (pronounced “Dace”) is “considered by many to be one of the best talents from the limited stock of today’s young talkers.  He is widely respected as a political columnist, commentator and author.” Deace authored his most recent book, Rules for Patriots: How Conservatives Can Win Again (2014 Post Hill Press), and regularly appears on such media platforms as Newsweek, Time, The New York Times, The Washington Times, Fox News and MSNBCSam Hassell, CEO of Cross Platform Media Group (operator of USA) adds, “Steve is a significant addition to our lineup and reflects the aggressive growth plan of USA Radio Networks.”

tomasejohnBoston’s Sports Talk WEEI Adds Tomase.  In a little over two weeks (on January 1), Boston Herald Red Sox columnist John Tomase will join Entercom’s WEEI.com as senior sportswriter/columnist. WEEI.com editor Rob Bradford remarks that, “In bringing John aboard, we feel WEEI and WEEI.com are welcoming one of the best columnists in the country to our family.  I am excited to once again work with John, who I have always viewed as one of the most talented journalists on the New England sports scene.”  Tomaseweei logo comments, “The world of journalism is changing.  It is no longer enough to work on just one platform.  The WEEI brand is recognized beyond the borders of New England, not just for its award-winning programming, but for the quality of its reporting, which is a tribute to Rob and his team.  I am looking forward to continuing what they started while stirring the passions of the best sports fans in the world.” Tomase – who will be a frequent on-air contributor for WEEI-FM “Sports Radio 93.7” as well as the website’s senior sportswriter/columnist – has been with the Herald since 2005.  He will succeed Alex Speier, who will depart at year’s end to become a Boston Globe feature writer.

quigleyalexTribune Media Eliminates Alex Quigley’s OM Post at WGN, Chicago.  He’ll continue to work on air as Ben Finfer’s co-host on sports talk WGWG-LP, Chicago on the “Quigs & Finfer” show, but when that show wraps on December 31 and the sports format ends, Quigley’s employment with Tribune Media ends.  Chicagoland Radio and Media reports that, according to a memo sent to the staff by WGN VP of content and programming Todd Manley, Manley will assume the OM duties.  Quigley wrote a positive note on his Facebook page saying, in part, “I’d like to thank Daniel Zampillo and the late Kevin Metheny for allowing me to get my foot in the door of one of America’s greatest radio stations.  I’d like to thank Tom Langmyer and Bill White for trusting me and giving me further opportunity to learn and grow, and Jimmy [de Castro] & Todd for the experiences of the last 18 months.”  Chicagoland Radio and Media reports that Quigley joined WGN in 2010 as a part-time host.  He moved up to assistant PD before being upped to OM.

Odds & Sods.  At the Salem Communications Twin Cities cluster, Mike Murphy is named sales manager.  The group includes Christian talk KKMS, news/talk WWTC “The Patriot,” business news KYCR “Business 1570,” and streaming Christian contemporary station “The Fish Twin Cities.”  Murphy assumes the sales manager duties from Nic Anderson who’s been serving as general manager as well.  Anderson continues in the GM role…..More downsizing atpatrickmatt iHeartMedia as Ben Kruse exits the morning show on news/talk KTLK, Minneapolis.  Now co-hosting the morning show with Jack Tomczak is PD Andrew Lee…..Houston-based talk host Matt Patrick is filling in for Bill Cunningham on his Premiere Networks-syndicated weekend show on December 28.  Patrick tells TALKERS this is the fourth year in a row he’s hosting the program’s “Year in Review” show.  Patrick is heard on iHeartMedia’s KTRH and KPRC in Houston and on KFXR in Dallas…..At its Northwoods cluster, NRG Media names Shane Sparks market manager for the six stations serving the Rhinelander and Minoqua, Wisconsin markets including: country WHDG, adult hits WRHN, classic country simulcast WOBT-AM/FM, classic rock WRLO, news/talk WLKD, and classic hits WMQA.

starnesxmas logoFox News Announces Todd Starnes Christmas Special.  Special holiday programming from Fox News Radio is available this season in the form of “The Todd Starnes All-American Christmas,” airing on Christmas Eve at 7:00 pm ET and Christmas Day at 7:00 am and 7:00 pm ET.  The show is hosted by Fox News Channel contributor Todd Starnes.  It’s a two-hour program featuring special guests: Governor Mike Huckabee, “Duck Dynasty” star Al Robertson, GRAMMY winner Chris Tomlin, New York Times best-selling author Karen Kingsbury, Governor Sarah Palin and musical artists Ellie Holcomb and Kyle Kupecky.  Starnes will also be joined by a 300-voice choir and orchestra – taped live at Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis.  FNR calls it a “family-friendly Christmas special” that will also feature “The World’s Largest Christmas Carol Sing-a-long.”  It’s airing on Fox News Radio affiliate stations, FoxNewsRadio.com, ToddStarnes.com and others.

nolanmikeSignoff Alert: Mike Nolan. It is not often that a traffic reporter’s exit warrants significant attention, but such is certainly the case with Mike Nolan.  For the last 28 years, Nolan has guided harried Los Angeles motorists through his traffic updates on iHeartMedia adult contemporary KOST “Coast 103.5” and co-owned talker KFI; however, as he writes on his Facebook page, “I have been privileged to be on the radio for 41 years [but] now it is time to begin the next chapter.”  In all but seven of those 41 years, Nolan has done both morning and afternoon drive, “giving people as much information as I could about the traffic on their drive” and he calls KOST and KFI “two of the greatest radio stations in the country.”  The list of “incredible people” he has worked with “is long and distinguished,” and Nolan explains, “The career I have had is far greater than anything I could have imagined.”  Numerous Los Angeles broadcasters are commenting in social media, including former KOST (and later cross-town KTWV) morning talent Kim Amidon, who writes, “Mike, you have always been a pro – the best at what you do – and for most of those years doing it while flying your plane.  It was great to work with you and party with you.  I wish you the best in this new journey.”  Now at KTWV “The Wave,” Bryan Simmons did afternoon drive on KOST andkfi logo points out, “For most of your career, you were in the air, the place you should always have been, in the pilot seat.  I was privileged to work with you for most of your time at KOST and it was a pleasure – job well done partner.”  Similar to Nolan, Rhonda Kramer is also an exceptionally well-known Los Angeles traffic reporter and she notes, “It is hard to believe you are hanging up the traffic wings.  You have always been a great traffic reporter, pilot, and I have been lucky to call you my friend for all of your years in Los Angeles.  Enjoy your quality time – you deserve it.”  Another of Nolan’s colleagues – Jorge Jarrin – reflects on the 25 years he (Jarrin) spent doing airborne traffic reports.  “One of the most special aspects of my career was the warm camaraderie we developed. It was often one of the things I missed most once I was grounded for good.  You are a true friend both on and off the air.  I will miss your voice and accurate information, but I rejoice in your ability to move into the next chapter in your life.  You have accomplished much my friend; survived; and are loved by many.”  Veteran talk host Tom Leykis knew Nolan in Phoenix (at KOY) and “had the pleasure” of working with him at KFI.  “I have often told people that you and Mark Denis were the lynchpins of the station before KFI flipped to talk in 1988 – and you still are that.”  Talk radio consultant Valerie Geller laments, “This doesn’t seem possible to me.  I cannot imagine driving in Los Angeles without you.” Former KFI talk host Michael Castner – now doing morning drive on Portland’s KEX – recalls that one of his “most exciting moments” at KFI was “the first time I introduced you – an honor to work with a true Los Angeles radio legend.”  Noted programmer John Rook describes Nolan as “classy, professional, and dependable.  Happy retirement – I will miss hearing you each day.”  Longtime local newscaster Mark Austin Thomas writes, “It was an honor and a joy to work with you and a pleasure to listen to someone who was such a pro who loved his work – wishing you happiness and fulfillment in your next chapter.”  Sports update talent Karen Kay states, “You are the best of the best.  What an honor to know you and to be able to say I am one of your biggest fans.” Nolan’s last on-air date is this Friday (12/19); he will spend the morning reminiscing with KFI wakeup talent Bill Handel.

wtma logoCool Job Opportunity.  WTMA is Charleston, South Carolina’s heritage news/talk station, and Cumulus has an immediate, rare opening for a full-time morning drive host.  Qualified candidates should be able build a timely, topical and compelling show that targets the 25-54 demographic, with an emphasis on local current events, news topics, and politics.  A minimum of two years’ hosting your own successful talk show is required.  Submit your resume and aircheck to program director John Quincy here: http://www.cumulus.com/careers/.

Sydney Café Hostage Case, Taliban School Attack, Bill Cosby’s Wife Defends Him, Police Killings Aftermath, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Sony Pictures Hack, Plummeting Oil Prices/Financial Markets Activities, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/15).  The deadly hostage taking at a Sydney café by a self-styled “Muslim cleric”; the murder of some 126 school children in Pakistan by the Taliban; Bill Cosby’s wife Camille speaks out publicly defending her husband accused of raping numerous women; the aftermath of the recent high-profile killings of young blacks by police; the potential candidates for president in the 2016 election; the continuing fallout from the hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment; the sinking price of oil, its effect at the pumps and on the financial markets; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, November 14, 2014

| November 14, 2014

beckglennGlenn Beck’s Post-Illness Agenda Spotlighted in VICE Interview.  After going public with the illness that’s been plaguing him for the past five years (an autoimmune disorder and adrenal fatigue) and the news that he’s beating the afflictions, Glenn Beck is rededicating himself to carrying out the media projects he’s been planning based out of his Texas studios.  In the VICE piece that you can read here, Beck says that part of his personal change since dealing with the illness is his desire to produce programming and content that shows hope.  “Instead of telling dystopian stories, we also need to look at the good side, look at what we can do: Man can be healthier, more well-connected, and we can end so much pain and suffering in a very good way and turn everything around…I really think that the freedom that is within our grasp is the exact kind of freedom that our Founders hoped someday we would find, but never understood the route that would get us there.  Now, with technology, man can truly be as an individual is free.”  Beck tells VICE about various projects his company is working on including biographies of Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison.

crushammikeCrusham Calling It Quits. After more than 44 years in the radio industry, iHeartMedia Minneapolis market president Mike Crusham is retiring.  Executive vice president of operations for major markets Hartley Adkins comments, “Mike Crusham has lead iHeartMedia Minneapolis through many successful years.  He has built lasting relationships with co-workers and clients alike.  His career has been fruitful and his legacy will not be forgotten.  I will miss him and wish Mike all the best.”  Crusham remarks that the “past nine years at iHeartMedia have been some of my most successful and personally gratifying in the business.  iHeartMedia Minneapolis has great brands and stations, combined with a brilliant staff.  I have had a tremendous team and a company that has been supportive and instrumental in setting me up to win.  I have worked hard and had a blast doing it.  I will miss the job and the people tremendously.  It is, however, time for me to do something different.”  The iHeartMedia Twin Cities cluster consists of CHR KDWB “All The Hits”; KEEY “K-102 Today’s Country”; sports KFXN-FM “The Fan”; classic hits-oldies KQQL “Kool 108”; hot AC KTCZ “Cities 97”; and talk KTLK-AM.  Crusham joined iHeartMedia in mid-2005 as Miami’s director of sales.  He was later named regional vice president for South Florida and Miami’s market manager.  After a 10-month stint as the company’s market manager in Boston, he transferred to Minneapolis.  Prior to joining iHeartMedia (formerly Clear Channel), Crusham held a variety of management and sales positions in Houston, Pittsburgh, Austin, Nashville, and Tulsa.

thorntonjerryWEEI, Boston Adds Thornton to Air and Digital Platforms.  A new personality joins Entercom’s WEEI, Boston, WEEI Network, and WEEI.com.  Jerry Thornton is now an on-air host, digital columnist and blogger for the station’s website.  He had been active on the station as a part-time program host and was a frequent contributor to BarstoolSports.com.  He’s now the third member of the afternoon drive Dale & Holley show featuring Dale Arnold and Michael Holley.  The company says that in addition to his reputation as a prolific sports journalist, Thornton is also known across New England as a very popular stand-up comedian.  WEEI brand manager Kevin Graham comments, “We’re thrilled to add the talented and versatile Jerry Thornton to our roster.  Jerry brings an entertaining outlook on the sports world and has great chemistry with Dale and Holley that will augment the show’s rapid growth.  With his ability to write and connect with people via social media, Jerry will also be a huge asset to our already tremendous digital brand.”

wellsjohnbLGnocapJohn B. Wells’ ‘Caravan to Midnight’ Show Launches in National Syndication.  The popular daily cybercast show “Caravan to Midnight” hosted by former “Coast to Coast AM” personality John B. Wells (pictured here) is launching in syndication available to AM/FM stations.  Entercom’s WRKO, Boston joins the affiliate roster as the first major market station, airing a Saturday evening edition of the show.  The “Caravan to Midnight” program debuted in February of this year.  Wells’ show is described as one that “explores and exploits critical newscaravantomidnight logo stories that the mainstream media often ignores or superficially covers.  With a well-informed curiosity and an unabashed pursuit of the truth, he expertly interviews high-profile guests who bring credible, frightening, entertaining and insightful perspectives to the program.”  Wells comments, “Once my commitment to ‘Coast to Coast’ came to an end in January, I had the freedom to create my own platform and the opportunity to connect with like-minded truth-seekers.  Not only has my audience followed me, but it continues to increase.”  Spearheading the national radio syndication effort and overall brand extension is David Rubini, former CBS RADIO ad executive and current operations executive of C2M Network.  He says, “John B. has a long track record for making money for his clients.  Given the instant and overwhelming response and support for the ‘Caravan to Midnight’ cybercast, I’m confident his track record is going to get longer.”  The radio program is syndicated and distributed by C2M Network, which is owned and operated by Wells and based in Dallas.  In addition, Wells plans to develop new talent for syndication with C2M Network.  To see a very interesting video demo of the show, click here.

Odds & Sods.  TALKERS sources report that conservative media figure Monica Crowley is no longer hosting a radio program.  Her weekend show had been syndicated nationally by TRN…..After an 11-year stint at WFXT-TV, Boston “Fox crowleymonica25,” Doug “VB” Goudie exits the station and its morning news program.  Goudie began his media career as an on-air producer and comic foil for Howie Carr on Entercom’s news/talk WRKO, Boston.  He tells the goudiedougBoston Herald that he could be persuaded to work with Carr again and jokes (referencing Carr’s recent auto accident), “I heard Howie’s looking for a driver.  I’m available.”  The station recently changed hands as part of a swap between Fox TV and Cox Media Group with Cox planning to take the station’s news programming in a hard-news direction…..iHeartMedia-owned Cincinnati outlets WSAI “Fox Sports 1360” and WCKY “ESPN 1530” are joining the Cleveland Cavaliers radio network and will bring Cavs basketball play-by-play to the market.  The Cavaliers are Ohio’s only NBA franchise…..Former U.S. Senator and one-time presidential candidate Rick Santorum is joining forces with Salem Radio Network to fight the expected executive orders from President Obama granting amnesty to some 4 million-plus undocumented aliens.  Santorum and the network’s hosts will ask listeners to petition the White House, via a SRN digital portal, not to take that action…..Westwood One releases its college hoops schedule for the 2014-15 season.  The season kicks off tonight (11/14) with play-by-play from the Quicken Loans Veteran Classic and runs through the March 7 Stanford at Arizona contest.

barnesgabeRe-Thinking Your Website.  The purpose of a radio station website has morphed over the past 15 years or so and if you’re concerned your station’s site might be a bit archaic, now’s a good time to revisit it.  Mersoft Media director of business development Gabe Barnes writes in a piece for TALKERS magazine that, though it might seem elementary to some, there appear to be many station sites out there that aren’t taking into consideration what the industry knows about how people use websites.  For example, Barnes says he still sees stations putting less important content or design in the most-viewed parts of a webpage.  “Why waste this space when it can be used for promotions or sponsorship opportunities?”  Read his entire piece here.

batchelorAsiansWABC’s John Batchelor Welcomes Asian Journalists.  The photo here shows WABC, New York personality John Batchelor in the studio with a group of visiting Asian journalists.  They are participants in the U.S. State Department’s 2014 Edward R. Murrow Fellows Program for Journalists.  The visit to WABC was part of a four-city tour for promising young print and electronic reporters.  Pictured here behind Batchelor are (from left to right): Pengfei Hou, Guangdong New Express Daily, People’s Republic of China; Haishan Wu, The Economic Observer, Peoples Republic of China; Boma Ardhi Nugroho, Swaragama FM Radio, Indonesia; Fergus Clancy Hunter, Fairfax Media, Australia; Dean Benitez Mario Antos, Metro TV, Indonesia; Hendrick Tze Seung Foh, Radio Television Malaysia.

osgoodpianoPlay it Again, Charles.  The photo at left shows an exclusive client event held at the New York City home of CBS TV and Westwood One personality Charles Osgood as he entertains special agency guests by playing his ornate Steinway piano.  After music, drinks, and hors d’ouevres, Osgood, Westwood One executives, and client guests moved on to an exquisite dinner at Quality Italian restaurant.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  The GCN-distributed Steve Sanchez show joins the program lineup at KXXT, Phoenix where it will air from 7:00 am to 10:00 am.

Obama Executive Amnesty Plan and Lame Duck Congress Tied Atop Talkers TenTM.  The controversy over President Obama’s plans to use executive powers to give amnesty to illegals and what’s likely to come from the lame duck congress tied as the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing in the #1 spot on the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the U.S.-China climate pact.  Following at #3 was Russia’s plans to begin patrolling the Gulf of Mexico and at #4 was the comments about fooling the American public by ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week.  It is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

| September 10, 2014

cookehollandRadio Roundup from Indy.  Media consultant Holland Cooke is on the ground in Indianapolis reporting from the 2014 Radio Show.  The three-day convention produced by the NAB and the RAB begins today but plenty was happening yesterday at the RAIN Summit.  Some of the news from Indy includes: Nielsen Audio’s Jeff Wender swearing that measuring digital is the company’s biggest priority; RAIN’s Kurt Hanson explaining the problems with HD Radio and why online radio is about six years away from catching up with AM/FM in terms of listenership; and Podcast One’s Norm Pattiz declaring that “there’s no showbiz in radio anymore!”  To read Holland Cook’s complete report, click here.

safetyjoeKFWB, Los Angeles Brings Safety Aboard.  Coming to the new sports talk outlet from his most recent post as vice president of communications for the Los Angeles Clippers is Joe Safety.  The station announces that the veteran sports broadcasting and communications executive will serve as director of strategic initiatives and partnerships for KFWB 980.  KFWB Trustee Diane Sutter comments, “We’re extremely pleased to welcome Joe and the depth of sports experience he brings to us.  His skill sets, relationships and incomparable knowledge of the LA market will help us deliver unique programming to our listeners.”

kinosianmikeMLB Baseball Continues to Give Boost to Most Flagship Stations.  TALKERS managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian presents his third analysis of the performances of MLB flagship stations this season – this time based on August PPM data.  Again, the flagships in markets where baseball has traditionally been good to its radio outlet and in markets where the team is performing well continue to benefit from increased listenership.  In this report Kinosian tracks how flagship stations have performed over the past five PPM surveys, compared to July 2013, how they rank in their respective markets, and how the stations stack up based on MLB divisions.  Check out Mike Kinosian’s analysis here.

powerswayneWayne Power to Host Mornings on WKZO, Kalamazoo.  Show business pro Wayne Powers is named morning drive host at Midwest Communications news/talk WKZO, Kalamazoo.  Effective October 13, Powers replaces current morning host Jim McKinney who remains with the station to host the 5:00 pm show “Everything Kalamazoo at 5.”  Powers’ career in show business includes playing roles on such TV shows as “Laverne & Shirley,” “Simon & Simon,” “Doogie Howser,” “Full House,” “Murder She Wrote” and many others.  He also starred in the popular sitcom, “13 East,” on NBC for two seasons.  Powers’ wkzologovoicework includes nationally recognized characters as “Budman” for Budweiser and the voice of “Wayne,” the talking crow on the popular Windex TV commercials for over 13 years.  He’s also an accomplished jazz vocalist.  Most recently, Powers has been hosting shows in Greater Media’s WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte.  Current morning show news anchor Andrew Green and producer Tim Abramowski will continue to be a part of the show.  WKZO brand manager Jeremy Lawrence comments, “Building a winning, local team is what we have been focused on and the addition of Wayne Powers will allow us to get even more local.  He is an interesting guy that people will love listening to.  In addition, I couldn’t be more excited about what Jim will be doing weekdays at 5:00 pm.  Jim is someone everyone in the area knows and I know they will enjoy hearing from him in this new role.”

harrisonmichaelMichael Harrison: “The Key to Attracting Millennials to Talk Radio is to Target Smart Young People in Need of Help.”  Addressing the recent quarterly meeting of the trade publication’s editorial board at which the subject of lowering talk radio demos was being discussed, TALKERS magazine founder Michael Harrison stated that the way to create spoken word radio to attract the massive generation coming of age is to not talk down to them or pander to entertaining them with lowest common denominator programming, but rather “aim high, be smart, and most important, be helpful.”  According to Harrison (who originally earned industry prominence in the 70s as a pioneer in programming for what was then referred to as the youth culture), “The gigantic Millennial generation is full of millions of absolutely brilliant young adults who are germinating a fresh point of view to the problems of society and are plugged into the technology and culture of the times.  But they are in desperate need of help in actualizing these characteristics… and that is the key, we must help them!”  Harrison elaborates, “They need help coping with an increasingly dangerous and stressful world – and that’s just for starters.  They need guidance, advice and answers to the massive, seemingly-insurmountable problems they face economically, socially and even spiritually… they need to be encouraged and inspired.”  Harrison continues, “This does not mean talk show hosts have to be young and pandering – at least not young for young’s sake… they must be wise and credible.  You would be amazed how young people of all generations throughout history will turn their trust over to an older adult who speaks their language – but with the perspective of wisdom – and, most important, an older adult who empathizes with their challenges and plight.”  Harrison drives home the point, “We must throw these kids a rope – a lifeline – and pull them out of the emotional and financial quicksand of living in their parents’ basements with nothing but a bleak future looming ahead.”  The 48 year industry veteran sums it up – “Most importantly, we must not talk down to these emerging ‘natives’ of the 21st century.  Do not pigeonhole them as having attention deficit disorder, simplistic consciousness and frivolous concerns.  The Millennials are the ones who have triggered the TV binge watching craze and are attracted to complex multi-season television programs with multiple story arcs and complicated characters.  We mustn’t allow TV to be more intelligent or hipper than radio.  And don’t believe that they have completely given up on AM and FM.  They have only largely given up on these platforms’ programming.  They are masters of consumer technology and electronics.  If the word got out that there was programming on AM and FM that can help them escape their way out of the murky darkness of this era, they’d rediscover traditional radio in a nano-second…  at least the smart ones… and I assure you there are enough smart ones out there to give us a sizable young audience.”

cohenbethCohen Joins Cumulus DC as DOS.  Washington, DC media pro Beth Cohen is named director of sales at Cumulus Media’s Washington, DC cluster for news/talk WMAL-AM/FM and CHR WRQX “All the Hits 107.3.”  Cohen comes to Cumulus from Clear Channel’s crosstown operations where she was GSM for rock WWDC “DC101” and CHR WITH “Hot 99.5.”

clossontimWestwood One Adds Two to Affiliate Sales Staff.  Saying that the move comes as it continues to boost its programming and station partnerships, Westwood One announces the addition of Tim Closson and Todd Alan to is affiliate sales team.  Tim Closson will develop and manage Westwood One country radio syndication partnerships for “NASH Nights Live with Shawn Parr,” “Kickin’ It with Kix Brooksalantodd Overnights,” the newly announced NASH Icons, “American Country Countdown,” Lia, “Big Time with Whitney Allen,” “Country Weekly AM/PM,” “Country Gold with Randy Owen” and “Country Countdown USA with Lon Helton.”  He’ll also help to affiliate Westwood One Sports products, including CBS Sports Radio and NBC Sports Radio.  Todd Alan returns to Westwood One after serving as VP, affiliate sales and programming at Focus 360.  He will work closely with stations and affiliating various entertainment shows and services, including the Bob & Tom show, “Pop Crush Hosted by Billy Bush,” “Nights Live with Adam Bomb,” “Flashback,” “Backtrax USA hosted by Kid Kelly,” “The Daly Download with Carson Daly,” “The Weekend Countdown with Billy Bush,” and prep services.

jimmyfund14WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Check Presented.  WEEI, Boston staffers are pictured here at Fenway Park prior to a Red Sox game helping present the ceremonial check from this year’s “WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon presented by Arbella Insurance Foundation” which raised more than $3.3 million for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.  The two-day broadcast took place on August 19 and 20.  During the 13 years the radio-telethon has been taking place, more than $37 million has been raised for adult and pediatric cancer care and research at the institute.  Pictured here are (from left to right): Sox co-owner Tom Werner, Entercom market manager Phil Zachary, WEEI program director Kevin Graham, WEEI and WEEI Network executive producer Joe Zarbano, NESN’s Sean McGrail, Arbella Insurance Foundation’s Beverly Tangvik, and The Jimmy Fund’s Suzanne Fountain.

bubbaBubba the Love Sponge Foundation Aids Officer’s Fiance.  After two Charleston, South Carolina County deputy officers were shot – one succumbing to his wounds – while responding to a disturbance, syndicated radio host Bubba the Love Sponge’s foundation responded by sending $10,000 overnight to Rhianne Hearn, the fiance of Deputy Joe Matuskovic.  Bubba told listeners to his affiliate stations, “My foundation’s mission is to immediately offer financial relief for the families of fallen officers and deputies in our syndicated markets.”  His show is heard on LM Communications’ “98Rock,” WYBB-FM.  He also announced there will be a “Bikes for Badges” charity motorcycle ride set for October 4, 2014, with details to be announced WYBB.  All funds above and beyond $10,000 will go directly to Rhianne Hearn.

President Obama’s ISIS Press Conference, Mid-Term Elections/2016 Presidential Prospects, Ray Rice Case, Bruce Levenson Racism Controversy, Scotland-U.K. Referendum, and Apple Announces New Products Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/9).  The United States’ ISIS policy and President Obama’s Wednesday press conference on the matter; predictions about the looming mid-term elections and prospects for the 2016 presidential race; the NFL’s indefinite suspension of Ray Rice and talk about domestic violence in America; the controversy over Atlanta Hawks owner Bruce Levenson’s decision to sell his interest in the team after admitting sending a racially tinged email; the referendum that could see Scotland leave the UK; and the new products unveiled by Apple yesterday were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

| August 20, 2014

Bicentennial SSB Cover 175Views “Rising” on Rock Band’s “Spangled” Song Interpretation. Several months ago, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison — a showman at heart — pondered the advantages of — and reaction to — opening the publication’s annual New York City seminar in June with a rousing, dramatic version of — all things — the National Anthem. The more he deliberated on it, the more he reasoned, why not. It has famously preceded every major sporting event and, truth be told, a multitude of minor ones as well. When done correctly and under optimum circumstances though, a spirited rendition of this country’s anthem can elicit powerfully positive emotions. Such was the case two months ago (6/20) at that very TALKERS confab when patriotic rock band Madison Rising gripped everyone’s attention and brought several to a misty-eye state with their “Star Spangled Banner” performance. The group now boasts sales of over 100,000 of “The Star Spangled Banner,” which celebrates its 200th birthday in about four weeks. Francis Scott Key wrote it on the morning of September 14, 1814, as he watched the American flag rise over Ft. McHenry. Madison Rising has updated and re-energized the anthem just in time for this momentous occasion. Thus far, there have been nearly six million unique YouTube video views of Madison Rising’s “Star Spangled Banner” performance. The band, a creation of New York City entrepreneur Richard Mgrdechian, hopes to reach 10 million views by the September 14 anniversary.  To view it, please click here.

price howardFerguson Wake Up Call: Is your Emergency Planning Proactive or Reactive?  The turmoil in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, MO illustrates the need for radio stations – particularly those in the news/talk/information genre – to be prepared in the event that something like what is happening in Ferguson strikes close to home.  Howard B. Price, director, business continuity, ABC Television Network expert (and one of the huge stars of the recent Talkers New York 2014 seminar) shares his expertise on this subject in a new piece posted today (8/20) writing: “We don’t yet know the full story behind the shooting of an unarmed African-American man by a white police officer in Ferguson…but what has emerged in the days of protest, rioting and looting that have followed is both a cautionary tale and a teachable moment for broadcasters. They – and digital newsgatherers, too – are being tested on their ability to ramp up meaningful coverage of contentious social issues simmering in communities large and small. Also being tested is their preparedness to both report the story while protecting their people and property.  To read Price’s entire priceless piece, please click here.

gallagher mikeGallagher Encourages Listeners to Support Local Police. The call-to-action by Salem talk show host Mike Gallagher comes after last weekend’s fatal shooting by a Ferguson, Missouri police officer of 18-year-old Michael Brown and the aftermath there and elsewhere. Some protesters are calling for retribution for the officer involved in Brown’s death but Gallagher hopes his audience can “turn a negative into a positive” by donating to his 501c3 non-profit “Gallagher’sArmy Fallen Officer Fund,” which provides money to families of officers killed in the line of duty. According to Gallagher, the mission of that endeavor is simple: “We want to get a check into the hands of the surviving family members of a police officer who has been killed in the line of duty as quickly as possible,” he states. “This show of financial support to be used in any way the family sees fit will in no way compensate for their loss; rather, it is a sign of appreciation, respect and support from a grateful nation.” Violence and confrontations in Ferguson are generating headlines, but Gallagher maintains that incidents there are “detracting from the solid work” local police departments do in cities and towns throughout America.

brady billBrady: What Do We Do About AM Radio?  The somber financial and technological state of AM radio as a viable commercial medium going forward is the subject of almost-daily articles both in the consumer media and the media trades. The recent Walt Disney Company  announcement of its intention to sell off 23 of its 24 AM stations only added fuel to these fires of worry and pessimism.  It’s not unusual to read the opinion that AM radio has an “image problem” or is virtually “non-existent” to younger demos — but as Futures & Options, Inc. president and CEO Bill Brady writes in a new TALKERS piece published today (8/20), news/talk radio can step up to the plate and again save AM radio (and itself) in the process.  But in order to do so, there is going to have to be new thinking, creativity and commitment on the part of all involved.  Brady writes:  “News/talk isn’t just a different format, it’s a different business.  News/talk stations used to be stand-alone operations managed by broadcasters who nurtured and cared for them.  They were sold by dedicated sales teams who knew well the format’s ability to bring customers through their client’s doors.  With the dawn of consolidation, news/talk stations suddenly found themselves in big station clusters with managers who were preoccupied with their other stations.  Often, these were music station GMs without news/talk backgrounds — and they weren’t at all prepared for the cranky, petulant, expense-laden news/talk AMs they were suddenly forced to deal with. News/talk stations can be a handful.  Their audiences are vocal, and they complain.  A lot.  Then, there are the hosts.  They are often high-maintenance.  There are pressure groups and PR crises which can’t be ignored.  Then, there’s the expense.  News/talk hosts make a lot of money.  A lot more than FM jocks do.  With news and support staffs, news/talk stations can cost a lot to operate.  To consolidation era GMs, news/talk stations were a pain and the expense reductions were irresistible.  GMs cut the guts out of their news/talk stations.  Gone, too, is the “time suck” of local hosts and their shenanigans.  GMs no longer have to spend their days talking to complaining listeners, or newspaper reporters seeking comment on controversial local hosts. All is now quiet on the western front.  Too quiet.”  To read media management pro Brady’s entire article, please click here.

wckgChicago’s WCKG Relocates. Elmhurst, Illinois-licensed/DuPage Radio-owned talker WCKG “The Voice of DuPage County” is moving to state-of-the-art studios and offices in suburban Chicago. Their facilities will be in Carr Workplaces’ Oak Brook Terrace Tower. With the exception of those in Chicago, it is the tallest building (31 stories) in Illinois. Station manager Matt Dubiel explains, “I wanted to move WCKG to the tallest building in the Chicago suburbs. Carr Workplaces make it possible for small businesses like ours to afford a world-class office environment – smack dab in the middle of Chicago-land, which is exactly what we need to serve the community and our local advertising partners. WCKG program director Leslie Harris remarks, “It is the best place to be in the suburbs. Like [TV’s George & Louise Jefferson said], “We’re moving on up to the east side … of DuPage.” WCKG does not appear in print in Nielsen Audio‘s July 2014 PPM report for Chicago.

WPEN-FM LogoMidday Changes Coming to Philadelphia’s “Fanatic.” WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” will institute football season midday lineup modifications on the Greater Media-owned Philadelphia sports outlet. One constant is that Harry Mayes will be on every day 10:00 am – 12:00 noon. Each Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday — he will be paired with Brian Baldinger. Every Monday and Friday, Mayes’ on-air teammate will be another “Brian,” Brian Westbrook, who has been a regular “Fanatic” contributor in recent years. While a member of the Philadelphia Eagles, he hosted his own show on the station during the 2008 – 2009 NFL season. The Eagles drafted Westbrook in 2002 out of Villanova University. He spent eight seasons with the Eagles; made two NFL Pro Bowl squads; played in four NFC Championship Games; and in one Super Bowl. A “Fanatic” contributor since 2010, Baldinger — or “Baldy” — joined the Eagles in 1992. After his playing career ended in 1993, Baldinger developed a second career in broadcasting. This new “Fanatic” midday roster takes shape in about two weeks (9/2).

Return of Boston’s “Jimmy Fund” Radio-Telethon. Considerably more often than not in recent memory, the Boston Red Sox are serious contenders for post-season play, although the defending (2013) World Series champions have been in a protracted slump this year. That issue notwithstanding, its radio flagship – Entercom‘s WEEI – and the cable network that broadcasts all their games – the New England Sports Network (NESN) – have commenced the 36-year, 13th annual Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon. Dating back to the days of the “Splendid Splinter,” Ted Williams, and when Hall of Famer Curt Gowdy called the games, the Jimmy Fund has been the Red Sox charity of choice. Regardless of a player’s tenure with the club, he becomes immersed in the exemplary effort to support pediatric and adult cancer care/research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. As usual, this year’s broadcast is featuring David Ross croppedheart-tugging, compelling stories from Dana-Farber patients, doctors, researchers and nurses. Interspersed are celebrity guests and athletes, including a huge dose of those with a past or present Red Sox connection. The mission, of course, is to inspire people to contribute to Dana-Farber’s lifesaving mission and, since 2002, more than $34 million has been raised. Every charity nowadays needs corporate sponsorship and the WEEI – NESN Radio-Telethon is no exception. It is being aided by the Arbella Insurance Foundation, which contributes $50 for every strikeout by a Red Sox pitcher (up to $100,000).In addition, whenever a Red Sox player smacks a “Wall Ball” off Fenway Park‘s fabled “Green Monster,” Walgreens will give the Radio-Telethon $100. Perhaps the most touching part of this deeply moving event is seeing wide smiles on faces of young cancer patients when they see their favorite Red Sox stars face-to-face. Case in point is this adorable child with her new best friend, Red Sox catcher David Ross.

CBS Sports RRadio 2CBS Sports Radio Sets Weekend NFL Programming Roster. Beginning next Saturday (8/30), CBS Sports Radio anchor Rich Ackerman will host “Eye on College Football” (2:00 noon – 8:00 pm, ET), which will include reports from all top college games, as well as interviews. Co-hosted on a rotating basis by CBSSports.com senior fantasy football writers Adam Aizer, Dave Richard and Jamey Eisenberg, “Eye on Fantasy Football” will air Saturdays (10:00 pm – 12:00 midnight, ET) and will be broadcast from CBSSports.com’s Fort Lauderdale studios. CBS Radio all-sports WFAN, New York afternoon drive personality Mike Francesca will host “Mike Francesa’s Football Sunday” (9:00 am – 11:00 am). While that show starts on the network September 7, it has been on WFAN the past 25 years. Another show kicking off September 7 – and following Francesca – is a one-hour simulcast of CBSSports.com’s Adam Aizer-hosted “Fantasy Football Today.” Rich Ackerman’s “Eye on Football” (12:00 noon – 8:00 pm) will offer a national perspective on all of that day’s NFL games; it also starts September 7. Beginning with Saturday, here is a complete look at the network’s weekend lineup, with all times listed ET. Marc “Moose” Malusis and Maggie Gray (6:00 am – 10:00 am); “Eye on Baseball” with Adam Gerstenhaber and CJ Nitkowski (10:00 am – 12:00 noon); “Eye on College Football” (12:00 noon – 8:00 pm); Jody McDonald (8:00 pm – 10:00 pm); and “Eye on Fantasy Football” (10:00 pm – 12:00 midnight). The Sunday schedule is: Bill Simonson (12:00 midnight – 2:00 am); Amy Lawrence (2:00 am – 6:00 am); John Kincade (6:00 am – 9:00 am); “Mike Francesa’s Football Sunday” (9:00 am – 11:00 am); “Fantasy Football Today” (11:00 am -12:00 noon); “Eye on Football” (12:00 noon – 8:00 pm); and Jody McDonald (8:00 pm – 10:00 pm).

stephan dougMilking The Ice Bucket Challenge. Ever since going viral via social media, the “Ice Bucket Challenge” to raise awareness and donations for ALS has become nothing short of a legitimate phenomenon. Logistics are simple: After accepting someone’s dare to do so, a person fills a bucket with ice and (presumably) ice water and douses it over their head. They then extend the challenge to others and post the video on their social media site. R