Tag: "Westwood One"

Monday, November 12, 2018

| November 12, 2018

Saga Communications Reports Q3 Net Revenue Up 4.4%.  The third quarter financial report from Saga Communications reveals net revenue for the company was $31.6 million – up 4.4% from the same period in 2017.  Saga reports broadcast and digital revenue separately.  Broadcast net revenue during the quarter was $28.9 million, up 3.7% from Q3 2017 and digital was $936,000, up 1.2%.  For the first nine months of 2018, net revenue for the company rose 5.8%.  In its report, Saga reveals that five of its 26 markets (the company owns 108 stations) represent a large portion of its consolidated net operating revenue and that “an adverse change in any of these radio markets or our relative market position in those markets could have a significant impact on our operating results as a whole.” Those markets and their consolidated net operating revenue for Q3 2018 are: Milwaukee 12%, Columbus 11%, Des Moines 7%, Norfolk 6%, and Manchester, New Hampshire 5%.

John Fredericks Launches New Virginia Talk Station. Nationally syndicated radio talk show host John Fredericks launches a news/talk format on Richmond-area WJFN-FM.  Fredericks says in a statement, “This recently launched Richmond-area terrestrial radio station boasts a lineup of prominent Virginia and national voices offering fresh and diverse perspectives on the news of the day, what it means for the way our government functions, and how it impacts people’s everyday lives. What makes WJFN unique is its commitment to providing an engaging, listener-oriented, interactive experience that enables audience members to directly connect in real time with the Virginia-based hosts of WJFN 100.5 FM programs, and its goal to showcase voices from both sides of the political spectrum to spark lively and ultimately productive conversations.”  Fredericks says the station – a Class A FM licensed to Goochland, Virginia located northwest of Richmond – will serve as the flagship of the John Fredericks Radio Network. Currently, his morning drive program is also heard in Hampton Roads, Lynchburg, Roanoke, Washington D.C., and Jacksonville, Florida.  From 10:00 am to 12:00 noon is “The Fighting Joe Morrissey Show,” hosted by criminal defense attorney Joe Morrissey, a progressive Democrat who is also a former member of the Virginia House of Delegates and Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney.  Republican and former State Delegate Chris Saxman hosts the weekly “Virginia FREE Radio” program; conservative activist Martha Boneta will be a “frequent voice” on the station; and Democrat Gene Rossi – a former U.S. assistant attorney – will also be heard on the station. Syndicated programming will include Salem Radio Network’s Dennis Prager, Larry Elder, and Joe Walsh, along with Westwood One’s Michael Savage and “Red Eye Radio” are on the program schedule. Fredericks adds, “The airwaves are filled with the voices of professional pundits and political prognosticators convinced of their own insight and acumen.  What sets WJFN and its programming lineup apart is that our hosts don’t talk at the audience. We don’t lecture.  We passionately provide news analysis and commentary that is informed by the frequent guests on our programs.  We let the newsmakers do the talking.  Then we ask them the tough, probing questions our listeners want answered…Like our great nation, this station is built on the belief that a robust exchange of ideas from across the political spectrum is a healthy, necessary, and vital part of the American experience, and that we are a stronger, more united people who are better off from having considered other perspectives.”

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s October 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on news/talk.  It was a good survey month for news/talk stations as some 83% of stations in PPM markets saw their 6+ weekly AQH share rise and just 7% lost ground.  Looking at the year-over-year changes, almost 60% of news/talk stations surveyed went up and 34% took a decrease in AQH share.  A total of seven news/talk stations ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets during the October survey: Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta; Entercom’s KMOX, St. Louis; Bonneville’s KSL-AM/FM Salt Lake City; iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati; Scripps’ (now Good Karma Brands’) WTMJ, Milwaukee; Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton; and CMG’s WOKV, Jacksonville.  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Cumulus Media Confirms Shapiro Show to Air on WLS-AM, Chicago. As predicted by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Cumulus Media will air the Westwood One-syndicated Ben Shapiro two-hour live radio show, followed by the one-hour podcast from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm on news/talk WLS-AM.  That covers three of the four hours of the current Steve Dahl program that will end as of December 21.  It’s not clear what WLS-AM will air from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm, but Michael Savage – also a WWO property – is re-tooling his program to one hour of live radio followed by a one-hour podcast and could land in that open hour.

Harrison on Boycotts:  There Has Been Collateral Damage to Smaller Shows and ‘Innocent’ Broadcasters.  The topic of politically motivated advertiser boycotts was discussed this past weekend on television network RT America’s program “The Big Picture with Holland Cooke.”  Special guest, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (pictured above at right) was asked if the recent string of “pop-up boycotts” has had an adverse effect on radio and TV programs hosted by major stars such as Rush LimbaughSean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham.  Harrison answered that these big shows were adversely impacted to a relatively small extent because although there are many advertising agencies and their clients who look to avoid controversy of any kind, there are also a large number of major national advertisers who actually seek to be associated with these types of programs – so it evens itself out.  However, Harrison pointed out that the real victims of these boycotts are the lesser-known, smaller shows, hosts and stations that lose advertisers who completely pull out of the networks and platforms that carry these big shows stating, “There has been collateral damage due to these boycotts to innocent broadcasters who didn’t say anything controversial” but just happen to be on the same stations and networks that are being punished across the board.  To see the entire segment containing this discussion, please click here.

TALKERS News Notes. There are three one-hour specials available to radio stations for the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend from FOX News Radio.  The programs are: “From Washington: The Next Congress” hosted by Jared Halpern – FOX News Radio’s exploration of the impact President Trump had on the elections and will have on the next Congress with the House’s flip from red to blue; “George H.W. Bush: The Patriarch” hosted by Jon Decker – A look at the life and legacy of President George H.W. Bush, from Navy combat pilot to president and father of a president; and “Give Me Some Good News” hosted by Tonya J Powers – keeping in mind the spirit of the holiday season, Tonya shares moving stories that inspire…..A new podcast from ABC Radio is being launched titled, “Journeys of Faith with Paula Faris.”  The first three episodes are being released on Wednesday (11/14) and will feature interviews with Robin Roberts, co-anchor of ABC News’ “Good Morning America”; country music superstars Luke Bryan and Hillary Scott; and talk radio show host, editor and political commentator Ben Shapiro.  ABC Radio vice president and general manager Steve Jones states, “We are excited to welcome ‘Journeys of Faith’ as the newest addition to ABC Radio’s expanding podcast collection.  We love the passion that Paula brings to each interview and believe listeners will enjoy the illuminating discussions featured in each episode.”…..SiriusXM is presenting a weeklong series (daily this week from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm ET) called “Power Women Summit on Stars” that features highlights from The Wrap’s first-ever Power Women Summit, designed to “raise awareness and have frank conversations about gender equity in entertainment and media.”  Included in the program will be “The Boxer Podcast” with former U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, her daughter Nicole and actress and activist Alyssa Milano; “Activism and Empowering the Next Generation” with Dolores HuertaKatie Hill, and Zoe Saldana; “On the Basis of Sex,” with Felicity Jones; and “Leading by Example: A Conversation,” with Jill Soloway and Rebecca SugarThe Wrap’s 2018 Power Women Summit took place in Los Angeles on November 1 and 2 before a gathering of more than 1,500 women from across the media and entertainment industry.

FLA, GA, and AZ Election Challenges, Deadly California Wildfires, President Trump in France, Trump-Russia Investigation Status, Crenshaw ‘SNL’ Appearance, Acosta WH Credentials Case, Migrant Caravan/October Illegal Immigrant Figures, People’s Choice Awards, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The contested or undecided election races in Florida, Georgia, and Arizona; the deadly Woolsey Fire scorching Southern California; President Trump’s trip to France for WWI remembrance and his sparring with French President Emmanuel Macron over “nationalism”; speculation about the status of Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation; Congressman-elect Dan Crenshaw’s appearance on “Saturday Night Live” a week after Pete Davidson’s joke about the war veteran’s missing eye; President Trump’s withdrawal of CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s White House press credentials; the migrant caravan from Honduras and the October figures indicating higher levels of illegal immigration; Sunday evening’s People’s Choice Awards; 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.

Record Producer Robbie Stevens Is Guest on Harrison Podcast.  Get ready for a deep-dive conversation into the history surrounding 20th century musical icon John Lennon and a provocative look back at his 1971 Imagine album as noted record producer Robbie Stevens is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Stevens served as a key member of a team of black belt engineers and producers who remixed selected tracks on the historic album in the recently released Universal box set titled, John Lennon’s Imagine – the Ultimate Collection.  This expansive, re-examined version of the Imagine album has received critical raves and is delighting Lennon, Beatles and pop music fans around the world, giving historians yet another opportunity to assess the extraordinary impact of Lennon and the love of his life – wife and creative partner Yoko Ono – from a fresh perspective.  Harrison opens the podcast with the observation, “As I follow the news in today’s highly polarized society and talk media idea marketplace, I can’t help but think about the late John Lennon and the challenging political struggles he faced during his brief time on this planet.  For a guy whose contributions to his generation and the world were ultimately priceless, he took a tremendous amount of crap in his time from not only the far right, but the far left as well.  And everybody piled on to give him a ridiculously tough time about the major love of his life, the enigmatic Yoko Ono.”  Harrison and Stevens discuss Lennon’s voice, the studio techniques of his time versus today, the lasting impact of the Beatles, the remarkable influence of Yoko Ono (including her recent string of 13 number one songs on the Billboard Dance Club chart) and a whole lot more.  Don’t miss this!  To listen to the entire podcast, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on the TALKERS email newsletter and every page of Talkers.com.

Premiere Networks Personality Delilah Inducted into Adoption Hall of Fame. Late night radio personality Delilah (pictured above) was recently inducted into the Adoption Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Washington, DC.  The Adoption Hall of Fame Award is given by the National Council for Adoption in recognition of outstanding commitment, service, and sacrifice for the cause of adoption by an individual or organization who has positively impacted the practice of adoption. A mother of 13 children, 10 of whom were adopted, the Premiere Networks syndicated adult contemporary personality was honored for her decades-long commitment to children in need of a family, and for using her national radio platform and her non-profit organization Point Hope to celebrate adoption and raise awareness of children waiting to be adopted from the U.S. foster care system.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Mary Ellen Kachinske exits Hubbard Radio’s hot AC WTMX, Chicago “101.9 The Mix,” effective immediately.  Hubbard Chicago VP and market manager Jeff England says, “We thank Mary Ellen for her contributions to the success of ‘The Mix’ and wish her the best in her future endeavors.”  Music director Nikki Chuminatto is serving as interim PD while the station searches for its next program director. Interested candidates can complete the online application at www.wtmx.com/careers-opportunities/ and contact: jaengland@hubbardradio.com…..The lineup on the “new” CHR KBKS, Seattle “106.1 KISS FM” is revealed by iHeartMedia.  Mornings are being hosted by the Carla Marie and Anthony show.  The rest of the day includes Molly Mesnick in middays, Zann in afternoons, EJ in evenings, and Zach “Mayhem” Wellsandt as music director, APD and overnight jock. Station PD and Pacific Northwest SVP of programming Tim Herbster comments, “We could not be more excited to welcome Carla Marie and Anthony to mornings on KBKS.  They are funny, engaging and have built a true emotional connection with Seattle and its passionate radio listeners.”…..iHeartMedia flips rhythmic oldies WISX, Philadelphia to adult contemporary as “106.1 The Breeze, Philly’s Relaxing Favorites,” effective immediately.  The station flipped to Christmas music on November 9 but transitions to the “Breeze” format immediately.  Station VP of programming Brian Check says, “There is a huge appetite in Philly for a softer, relaxed sound, especially during the workday.  I’m happy to say we’re bringing ‘The Breeze’ to Philadelphia.”…..Entercom announces two new personalities on alternative WNYL, New York “ALT 92.3”  Corey Bonalewicz is the new afternoon drive personality.  He previously served with the company at WBBM-FM, Chicago and WEZB-FM, New Orleans. Transitioning from the Saturday evening host to the daily late night personality (10:00 pm to 2:00 am) is Kevan Kenny.  He also holds positions with Billboard and dick clark productions.  Entercom New York SVP of programming Mike Kaplan comments, “As we continue to grow our dynamic team, it’s vital to have talent that can create memorable content across all platforms.  Corey and Kevan’s innovative minds will add to these efforts.”…..In Detroit, Entercom names Tom “Cadillac Jack” Kapsalis as assistant program director and midday host for country WYCD.  Kapsalis was most recently PM drive personality at WQYK, Tampa.  He returns to Detroit after launching his career at WWWW-FM, Detroit in 1997..…iHeartMedia’s alternative WNOH, Hampton Roads, Virginia “ALT 105.3” adds the nationally syndicated “Woody Show” to the programming lineup for mornings.

Friday, November 9, 2018

| November 9, 2018

Salem Radio Network to Syndicate Sebastian Gorka in 2019; Michael Medved Moves to New Platform. Beginning January 1, Salem Radio Network begins airing the “America First with Sebastian Gorka” program in the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET daypart, replacing the Michael Medved program.  Salem Broadcast Division president David Santrella says, “The listener feedback we receive each time Dr. Gorka fills in for one of our network hosts is overwhelming.  I think Dr. Gorka is the right person at the right time and the Salem Radio Network is definitely the right place.”  Gorka is FOX News Channel’s national security strategist and is a regular guest on “Hannity” and the FOX Business Network.  He writes for The Hill and is the author of best-sellers Why We Fight: Defeating America’s Enemies—With No Apologies (Regnery) and Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War (Regnery).  Gorka was an advisor to candidate Donald Trump and served on the staff of the White House in 2017 as Deputy Assistant to the President for Strategy.  Salem Radio Network senior vice president Phil Boyce says, “There is a culture war going on in this country and Dr. Gorka is uniquely qualified to take this fight to talk radio.  His program will deal with the hot breaking news stories of each day, and help listeners understand what to make of it.”  Michael Medved comments, “I feel grateful for the more than 21 years I’ve worked with Salem Media Group and I wish continued success to my friends and colleagues at the network.  Together with my team of producers here in Seattle, we’ll be continuing our daily broadcast with no interruption, making it available to our devoted listeners in an exciting new format.  We’ll also move forward with our emphasis on history programs and commentary to encourage public appreciation of the real blessings of this amazing country. Stay tuned.”

Tom Langmyer Forms Radio and Digital Acquisition Firm. Radio executive Tom Langmyer – most recently the vice president and general manager for news/talk WTMJ and country WKTI in Milwaukee – is forming Great Lakes Media Corp., a company that will “invest in local broadcasting and digital media opportunities through the acquisition of local radio stations and digital platforms in small markets.”  A press release indicates the firm will investigate acquisition of “properties in small markets, focusing on opportunities in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.”  The company is meeting with investors and brokers – and others who are interested in specific markets; and plans to announce appointments of officers and partners in the weeks ahead.  Langmyer says, “Smaller communities are making a big comeback.  This new generation of people, to whom quality of life and community are very important, are building their lives and businesses in these places.  Over the years, the shifting economy and technology had ended an era of localism in media.  Today, people are once again in search of real community and the greater connection that comes with being a part of a ‘place.’  Local media builds that connection – particularly in smaller markets. The need is clear as many of the broadcast media platforms have been providing white-labelled, generic, unremarkable content.  And while it’s growing, the digital space is in dire need of compelling content to make it a more robust advertising and revenue platform.  Radio and digital complement each other as it’s not an either/or proposition.  There’s great open space in creating more personal local experiences by leveraging these platforms – and expanding the emotional connection between consumers and local brands.”  Langmyer is president and CEO of Great Lakes Media Corp.  Prior to managing WTMJ and WKTI for Scripps Media, Langmyer was general manager for Tribune’s WGN-AM, Chicago.  Earlier in his career he transitioned from programming CBS RADIO’s KMOX, St. Louis to serving as general manager.  He exited WTMJ and WKTI on October 31 upon the transfer of the stations from Scripps to Good Karma Brands LLC.

Report: Mancow to WLS-AM Mornings, Shapiro Show to Air in Afternoons.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder says he has inside info indicating Cumulus Media intends to insert Ben Shapiro – whose current one-hour, podcast-for-radio program will morph into a two-hour live show beginning in January distributed via Westwood One – will be heard in afternoon drive and that Mancow Muller may assume the morning drive show, bumping Big John Howell and Ramblin’ Ray Stevens from AM drive.  This comes after the station announced it would be re-tooling the programming on WLS, and that includes the announced departure of Windy City icon Steve Dahl from afternoons (though he continues his podcast relationship with the company).  Shapiro’s new show will be distributed by WWO live from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET.  Recall that Westwood One’s Michael Savage – currently heard live in afternoons Eastern Time – is transitioning his show to a one-hour live program (live 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET?) followed by a one-hour podcast available to stations in 2019. Stay tuned.

The Fall of Craig CartonTALKERS magazine legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes about the case against former WFAN, New York morning drive personality Craig Carton and the concert tickets scam that will likely send him to federal prison for a number of years.  Weisman writes, “It is common for scammers to take advantage of positions of trust.  People trust radio personalities who they feel they get to know over years of broadcasting.  But sometimes that trust, as was the case with Carton, is abused.”  Read the whole column here.

Rush Limbaugh Show Presents Fifth Annual Mahindra Military Salute Giveaway. In honor of Veteran’s Day (Sunday 11/11 but observed on Monday 11/12), the fifth annual military promotion from Rush Limbaugh and Mahindra North America is underway.  In recognition of the service and sacrifice of our military, all active and veteran military service members are eligible to enter for a chance to win a Mahindra 1000 Gas Standard utility vehicle with roof and windshield in “The Rush Limbaugh Show’s Mahindra Military Salute Giveaway.”  Entries are being accepted for the utility vehicle giveaway through November 11 at 11:59 pm PT at http://sweeps.rushlimbaugh.com/mahindra2018/.   The winner will be selected in a random drawing on Monday, November 12.  Limbaugh says, “My thanks to Mahindra, makers of the world’s number one selling tractor.  And God bless all of you who protect our freedom.”

USA Radio Networks and Oasis Productions Partner for Trucker-Targeted Programming. This deal between USA Radio Networks and Oasis Productions entails Oasis broadcasting USA Radio’s top-of-the-hour national news on its truckersmusic-radio.com and truckersrock-radio.com sites.  Additionally, the “Truckers Radio Network” has added USA’s syndicated late-night show featuring veteran Dallas icon Charley Jones from 12:00 midnight to 2:00 am ET and USA’s “Classic Radio Theater” on Sunday evenings.  USA Radio Networks COO Janet Bro (left) says this is the first of several new partnerships and ventures that the company will undertake in the next year.  “We’re definitely in a growth mode.”  Oasis COO Rex Allen, Jr. (right) comments, “We feel that this is a great opportunity.  Truckers Radio expands USA’s reach to millions of listeners both nationally and internationally and provides our listeners with quality information and programming.”

Midterm Elections Top News/Talk Story for Week of November 5-9.  The midterm elections and the battle for control of the House and Senate was the top story on news/talk this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the related status of the Mueller Trump-Russia investigation. Coming in at #3 was the revocation of CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s White House press credentials by President Trump, and the deadly California bar shootings 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 and Talkers.com. See this week’s entire chart here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Flipping from country to adult contemporary as “92.5 The Breeze” is iHeartMedia’s KBEB, Sacramento.  The company says the station will debut on Monday (11/12) at 3:00 pm with 10,000 commercial-free songs in a row.  Core artists will include: Celine Dion, Rod Stewart, Whitney Houston, Michael Bolton, Vanessa Williams, and more.  The on-air lineup for the station will be announced in the coming weeks.  iHM SVP of programming for Sacramento Curtiss Johnson says, “No doubt many in Sacramento will remember the station 92.5 for its decades-long heritage as an adult contemporary station and one of the top stations in the market.  I’m happy to say we’re bringing that format back.  ‘92.5 The Breeze’ is the perfect station for relaxing to favorites while you work, unwinding after a long day, or just for getting into that weekend frame of mind.”…..After more than 41 years in the industry Cox Media Group San Antonio market manager Ben Reed will retire at the end of this year.  Reed says, “When looking back on the last four decades and the opportunities I’ve been afforded in my career, all I can say is I’m blessed – it’s that simple.  The success we’ve achieved as an organization and the expectations we’ve exceeded year after year in the San Antonio market is truly remarkable.  The camaraderie I share with my team and colleagues at CMG will live in my heart forever.”…..Country radio pro Charlie Cook signs a new, multi-year deal with Cumulus Media to continue with the company as vice president, country formats; operations manager for the Nashville cluster; and program director for WSM-FM, Nashville “NASH Icon.”  Cumulus Media EVP content & programming Mike McVay says, “Charlie Cook is not only one of the best known and most successful country programmers in the history of the format, he is a solid and strategic thinking multi-format radio expert.  We are excited to continue this partnership with him.”…..iHeartMedia Atlanta announces today the debut of the new WBZY, Atlanta ‘Z105.3, Tu Estación Para Super Hits,’ effective immediately, flipping from regional Mexican to Spanish CHR. Core artists will include: Daddy Yankee, Shakira, Ozuna, Romeo Santos, Maluma, J Balvin, Bad Bunny, and Enrique Iglesias.  iHM Atlanta SVP of programming Brian Michel comments, “With the launch of ‘Z105.3,’ we are proud to continue the tradition of being the innovator and leader of Atlanta’s Hispanic media landscape. With the rapidly growing Hispanic population in Atlanta, as well as emerging musical tastes, this move puts us in a position to super-serve our listeners, advertisers, and the community.”…..Westwood One announces affiliate sales pro Debbie Brand joins the company as manager of affiliate sales, country. Brand, who returns to Westwood One after having served with the company in the mid-1990s, takes over for Tim Closson.

PPM Analysis: Country. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s October 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on country. The number of country stations moving either up or down – weekly 6+ AQH Share – in PPM markets in October was split about 50/50 with the remaining stations unchanged, and the numbers were pretty similar comparing year-over-year.  Two country outlets were able to claim the 6+ #1 rank in their respective markets: Beasley Media Group’s WSOC, Charlotte and iHeartMedia’s WCOL, Columbus.  However, 10 other country stations finished in the top three in their markets.  See the whole report here.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

| October 31, 2018

Sports Talker Kirk Minihane Headed to Barstool Sports? Based on recent cryptic Tweets combined with last week’s post by WEEI, Boston morning personality Kirk Minihane, he may be joining Barstool Sports – which has been producing sports talk shows on SiriusXM since last February – instead of returning to the Entercom sports talker. Minihane took a leave of absence in early September to seek treatment for depression and suicidal thoughts.  Last week, he Tweeted that he’s been ready to return to the “Kirk & Callahan” morning show but has been kept away by WEEI management.  But, yesterday’s Tweet from Barstool Sports president David Portnoy hints at changes. “BREAKING: Barstool Radio shakeup is coming in 2 weeks, McAfee’s slot will be filled and there will be new shows added per @stoolpresidente.”  Minihane responds, “Really?” It’s unclear what the issue is between WEEI and Minihane but Portnoy has publicly offered Minihane a presence on Barstool Sports.

Prosecution Lays Out Case Against Craig Carton. On Monday, the federal government began presenting its case to the jury against former WFAN, New York morning drive co-host Craig Carton as his trial on multiple fraud charges began.  The New York Post reports that the prosecution is saying that Carton used his popularity as a media celebrity to convince investors to give him millions of dollars to operate a secondary market concert ticket business but that the money actually went to personal expenses such as landscaping, repaying casino debts, and to reimburse previous investors.  Carton’s lawyer told the jury that Carton was the victim of former partner Joseph Meli, who is currently serving a six-and-a-half-year sentence for fraud in a ticket-selling scheme the prosecution alleges overlapped with Carton’s.  The defense also blames film financier David Molner, who is named in a civil suit of being part of Meli’s ticket re-sale operation.  However, one of the first pieces of evidence introduced was an allegedly doctored email from Carton to hedge fund Brigade Capital (which lent him $4.6 million) that the feds say shows Carton was aware of the nature of his business.

Ex-Congressman Jolly Debuts Midday Show on ‘News/Talk Florida.’ Former U.S. Rep. David Jolly is the newest talk show host on Genesis Communications’ Florida news/talk duo “News/talk Florida” WWBA, Tampa Bay and WIXC, Titusville.  Jolly represented Florida’s 13th District from 2014 through 2017 before losing his re-election to former governor Charlie Crist.  He’s been a critic of President Trump and an “advocate for common-sense bipartisanship.”  His show, “David Jolly: Unbiased and Unplugged,” airs from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm daily and replaces the Erik Kuselias program.  Jolly comments, “I’m excited to join the Genesis lineup.  Florida, especially the I-4 corridor, is an increasingly important political landscape, and it’ll be great to reach it through the Genesis network.”

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated talk radio host Phil Valentine has released a video tribute to America’s servicemen and servicewomen to mark Veterans Day on November 11.  The WWTN, Nashville-based Westwood One personality explains, “I was invited to Texas for a market visit for one of our affiliates.  On the last day, I was to make a speech to a group of veterans on Veterans Day [last year].  I sat in my hotel room the night before wondering what in the world I could say to so many who had given so much for this country having never served myself.  As I began to jot thoughts down on paper, a poem emerged.”  You can see Valentine’s production titled, “I Never Served,” here…..Jackson, Tennessee radio personality Bill Way is returning to the air on the market after “retiring” a year ago.  Beginning tomorrow (11/1), Way begins hosting a daily, one-hour program on Grace Broadcasting’s WTJS-FM at 8:30 am. Way spent almost 25 years as a personality on The Wireless Group’s crosstown talk outlet WNWS-FM.  Way comments, “I called it a retirement when I left, but I always knew I couldn’t retire. My mind works at a high rate of speed and when I see issues happening, I have commentary that is different from conventional opinions.”  The program will be re-broadcast at 3:00 pm each day…..Comics Jim Norton (left) and Sam Roberts (right) have re-upped with SiriusXM to continue hosting the “Jim and Sam” show on the Faction Talk channel for another three years.  The program airs from 7:00 am to 10:00 am ET with an extra hour from 10:00 am to 11:00 am that will feature bonus content consisting of special interviews, replays, and other content unique to the show.  It will also replay from 11:00 pm to 2:00 am during the week…..ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 Podcasts returns for a fourth season with five all-new audio documentaries.  The first three episodes are: “Juiced” about Jose Canseco’s best-selling memoir, “All In: Sparking the Poker Boom” focusing on the rise of poker and a deep dive into The 2003 WSOP, and “Six Who Sat” about female endurance athletes who staged a sit-down strike for 10 minutes at the 1972 New York City Marathon to challenge unequal treatment of women in their sport.

Pittsburgh Synagogue Slayings, Midterm Elections/Trump Campaigns, Migrant Caravan/Birthright Citizenship Issue, Dow Rallies, Mail ‘Bombs’ Case, Indonesian Jet Crash, Apple Unveils New Products, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/30).  The aftermath of the deadly attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue that took the lives of 11; the November 6 midterm elections and President Trump’s campaigning; the caravan of Honduran migrants and President Trump’s claim he can eliminate birthright citizenship with an executive signing; the Dow gains 400 points after suffering losses last week; the case of mail “bomber” Cesar Sayoc; the crash of Lion Air’s brand-new Boeing 737 in Indonesia; Apple unveils new computer and iPad products; and NFL Action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Richard Neer Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  As the just-concluded 2018 World Series indicated, so many things about sports are changing – the way the games are played, the way we root for our favorite teams and players, the way we bet on them, and the way we cover them in the media.  Thirty-year WFAN, New York veteran sports talk show host Richard Neer is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Harrison and Neer have been friends and colleagues going all the way back to their days together in the formative years of the album rock format at WLIR, Long Island and WNEW-FM, New York.  Neer wrote the milestone book about that era titled FM: The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio (Villard 2001).  In this podcast, these prolific conversationalists take a thoughtful, deep dive into the X’s and O’s of the changing culture of sports in our rapidly accelerating society.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, programmer and air personality Haynes Johns exits Alpha Media’s hot AC WXLC, Waukegan, Illinois where he’s been since 2005.  Johns tells Feder that the parting was amicable – “just a difference in programming philosophies” – and that he would like to continue working in the Chicago market…..Morning personality Broadway, a.k.a. Bill Bert, exits Entercom’s country WDSY-FM, Pittsburgh “Y108” after a year on the job.  He came to WDSY from his previous gig at iHeartMedia’s country WWYZ, Hartford…..Long Island oldies outlet WLNG, Sag Harbor is trading hands.  Main Street Broadcasting is selling the station to Bark Out Loud Dogs Media for $3.9 million.

October 2018 PPM Data – Round Two. October 2018 ratings information has been released for Washington (D.C.), Boston, Miami, Detroit, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Tampa, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen Audio’s October 2018 survey period covered September 13 – October 10. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM-markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

Washington, DC

Spoken-Word Formats – Without a loss for the fourth month in succession, Cumulus Media news/talk WMAL is +1.5 in that timeframe (3.5 – 3.7 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 5.0, 6+) and continues at #6. October’s 5.0 is its best 6+-stat since March (5.0, as well), which is when WMAL reached the five-share level (6+) for the first time in the PPM-era. Immediately prior to July, WMAL was a combined -1.5 via three consecutive downward moves (5.0 – 4.5 – 3.9 – 3.5, 6+). After completely erasing July’s -.5 with an August +.5 (3.7 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+), Entercom sports talk WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” repeats September’s 3.6 (6+), but departs the top ten (#10 to #11). July’s decrease ended three gains in a row by the Washington Nationals’ flagship that netted a +1.3 (2.4 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.7, 6+). Meanwhile, Radio One’s similarly-formatted WTEM “980 The Team” exits the top twenty (#20 to #22). “The Team” had a lengthy hiatus from Nielsen Audio; reappeared in June with a 1.0 (6+); immediately disappeared again in July (0.0); returned in August with a .9 (6+); repeated that .9 (6+) in September; and dips to .7 (6+) in October. Within 9.3 – 9.9 range for the seventh successive month (9.6 – 9.7 – 9.5 – 9.3 – 9.4 – 9.4 – 9.9, 6+), Hubbard all-news WTOP is #1 for the tenth straight ratings period. Not only does American University-owned news/talk WAMU note its third straight increase for an overall +.7 (7.6 – 8.0 – 8.2 – 8.3, 6+), “The Mind Is Our Medium” is in the runner-up slot for the ninth time this calendar year. The only exception was in July, when WAMU finished third. By gaining four-tenths in August, WAMU curtailed three straight flat or downward trends that resulted in a collective loss of nine-tenths (8.5 – 8.3 – 8.3 – 7.6, 6+). Flat at .4 (6+), Entercom business news WDCH nonetheless moves from #24 to #23. An August gain of two-tenths to .5 (6+) ended three straight months without an increase (5 – .4 – .3 – .3, 6+).

Washington, DC Music Formats – On the heels of September’s improvement of seven-tenths, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH “97.1 Washington’s Variety of the ‘80s ‘90s and Today” doubles it in October with a +1.4 to 5.8, its strongest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 9.7. Prior to September, WASH had been down or flat the previous three sweeps for an overall loss of -1.1 (4.8 – 4.8 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+). An increase of six-tenths (3.5 – 4.1, 6+) takes co-owned CHR WIHT to its highest 6+-stat since January (4.1, as well). Moreover, “Hot 99.5 – DC’s #1 Hit Music Station” enters the top ten (#12 to #10). Greater Washington Educational Telecommunications’ WETA posts its fourth positive spike in succession for a collective +1.4 (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 3.6, #12 to #11, 6+). Prior to September, “Classical 90.9” had been within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) the past 22 ratings periods. A loss of one-tenth to 2.9 (flat at #15, 6+) by iHeartMedia’s WMZQ “98.7 Today’s Best Country” pulls the plug on three successive up or flat reports that netted four-tenths (2.6 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 3.0, 6+). Within 2.4 – 2.9 territory (6+) for the 11th consecutive sweep (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), alternative sibling WWDC “DC-101” continues at #16. Following five consecutive decreases that accounted for an overall -.9 (4.1 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 3.2, 6+), Entercom rhythmic CHR WPGC-FM picks up one-tenth to 3.3 (flat at #14, 6+). There’s generally good news for one (if not both) of the market’s two urban ACs, but such is not the case in October 2018, as the format takes a combined -1.9 hit. That erosion is virtually equally divided between Radio One-owned WMMJ “Majic” (7.3 – 6.4, -.9, 6+) and Howard University’s WHUR (6.8 – 5.8, -1.0, 6+). Even so, the two rivals repeat at third and fourth, respectively, with WHUR at #4 for the seventh sweep in succession. Following six straight up or flat reports for a collective +2.3 (5.6 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 6.6 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+), WMMJ faltered by nine-tenths in August. July 2018’s 7.9 was the highest 6+-stat in its PPM history, breaking the “old” record set the previous month (June). In April, “Majic” pulled ahead of WHUR for the first time since November 2015, which was when the two rivals were tied at 4.7 (6+). After four straight reports without an increase for an overall -1.4  (7.1 – 6.2 – 6.1 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+), WHUR was a combined +1.1 in June and July (5.7 – 6.3 – 6.8), with July’s 6.8 its best 6+-showing since January’s 7.1.

Boston

Spoken-Word Formats – Duplicating September’s +.3 (2.4 – 2.7 – 3.0, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WRKO continues at #13. This (3.0) is WRKO’s best 6+-stat since March (3.0, as well). When “AM 680 – The Voice of Boston” notched a gain of two-tenths in July, it ended three downward moves in a row for a collective loss of seven-tenths (3.0 – 2.7 – 2.4 – 2.3, 6+). Two-tenths of a share separated this market’s two sports talk behemoths in September and that’s the same margin in October. The difference is that Beasley Media Group-owned WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” (eighth to fourth, 6+) overtakes WEEI-FM (4.6 – 5.1, +.5, 6+). Notwithstanding that WEEI-FM regained the half-share it lost in September, the Entercom property backslides from seventh to eighth. As it entered the September ratings period, WEEI-FM had been an overall +1.1 in three straight positive spikes (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 5.1, 6+). A +1.0 in April cut in half a cumulative -2.0 in February and March (5.4 – 4.1 – 3.4, 6+). Meanwhile, WBZ-FM was a combined -1.9 in June and July (5.7 – 4.3 – 3.8, 6+), but bounces back with three straight increases for a cumulative +1.5 (3.8 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 5.3, 6+). WBZ-FM is the flagship of the New England Patriots, Boston Celtics, and Boston Bruins; WEEI-FM is the key station of the Boston Red Sox radio network. Given that the Red Sox set a franchise record for most wins in a season and won the 2018 World Series this past Sunday (10/28), it should be interesting to see the station’s November stats. As noted above, the October 2018 survey period ended October 10. Despite returning the one-tenth it gained in September (5.3 – 5.4 – 5.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news-talk hybrid WBZ-AM manages to progress from #6 to a three-way tie at #4; “News Radio 1030” declined by one-half share in August. An April loss of nine-tenths ended three straight improvements that produced a cumulative +1.5 (4.9 – 5.2 – 5.4 – 6.4, 6+); 6.4 in March is its best 6+-stat since January 2017’s 6.6. Flat at 5.5 (6+), Boston University’s news/talk WBUR nonetheless jumps from fifth to third. In June, WBUR forfeited half of May’s +.6 with a loss of three-tenths; it was +1.0 in March. The June 2018 – October 2018 topline for WGBH Educational Foundation news/talk WGBH is 3.5 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.4 (unchanged at #12, 6+). Prior to August’s +.1, WGBH was an overall -1.6 in three decreases in a row (4.7 – 4.1 – 3.5 – 3.1, 6+).

Boston Music Formats – With a gain of seven-tenths (2.3 – 3.0, #14 to #13, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WKAF “97.7 Boston’s #1 For R&B” has its best 6+-stat since May (3.0, as well). Mainstream CHR cluster-mate WXKS-FM is on top for the tenth consecutive ratings period, but “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” is without an increase for the third report in a row for an overall -1.1 (7.8 – 7.8 – 7.1 – 6.7, 6+). October’s 6.7 is the lowest 6+-showing for “Kiss” since “Holiday” 2017’s 6.4. Its format challenger, Entercom’s WODS “103.3 Amp Radio” (#14 to #16), has a “Holiday” 2017 – October 2018 topline trending of 2.6 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.5 (6+). University of Massachusetts-owned triple A/folk/blues hybrid WUMB forfeits six-tenths (.8 – .2, #32, 6+). Recording October 2018 deficits of one-half share each are Entercom adult contemporary WMJX “Magic 106.7 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” (5.8 – 5.3, third to fourth, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WZLX “Classic Rock 100.7” (5.7 – 5.2, fourth to seventh, 6+). Within 2.2 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 16th straight sweep, WZLX rhythmic CHR sibling WJMN “Jam’n 94.5” (2.3 – 2.6, +.3, 6+) backslides from #14 to #15. Following five consecutive up or flat moves that netted nine-tenths (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 2.1, 6+), Cumulus Media hot AC WXLO slips three-tenths to 1.8 (#17 to #18, 6+). With a 2.1 in September, WXLO reached the two-share level for the first time in nearly four years (2.0, November 2014). Down for the fourth successive sweep for a combined -.9 (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WKLB “Country 102.5” continues at #9, while iHeartMedia-owned WBWL “101.7 The Bull – Boston’s New Hit Country” is off by an overall half-share in September and October (2.3 – 2.1 – 1.8, #17 to #18, 6+).

Miami

English-Language, Spoken-Word Formats – Entering the October sweep with a May through September topline pattern of 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 2.0 (6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WIOD “News Radio 620 – Miami’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” picks up two-tenths to 2.2 (#20 to #19, 6+). WIOD’s one-half share loss in May halted seven straight positive or flat trends that netted an overall nine-tenths (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+). Flat at .9 (6+), Entercom’s WQAM backslides from a five-way logjam at #25 to #27. A May gain of two-tenths by “Sports Radio 560” suspended five sweeps in succession without an increase for a collective -.8 (1.5 – 1.2 – .8 – .8 – .8 – .7, 6+). Its May through October stats are: .9 – .8 – .9 – .8 – .9 . 9 (6+). One-tenth behind WQAM is cluster-mate WAXY “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket” (.9 – .8, -.1, #25 to #29, 6+). Its +.3 in September curtailed seven straight (mostly) flat or down trends that accounted for a loss of three-tenths (.9 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .8 – .7 – .6, 6+). Tied with WIOD at #19 is Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN, which is up a collective four-tenths via three (modest) gains in succession (1.8 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+).

Miami Music Formats – Not only is Cox Media Group adult contemporary WFEZ on top for the fifth straight month, “Easy 93.1” is a collective +1.0 in three consecutive improvements (6.9 – 7.4 – 7.8 – 7.9, 6+). After three straight months without a decrease for an overall gain of eight-tenths (6.7 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 7.5, 6+), WFEZ faltered by six-tenths in July. Prior to April, “Easy 93.1” had been within 6.2 – 6.8 range (6+) in each of the previous 12 sweeps. A collective +.5 in August and September (5.5 – 5.8 – 6.0, 6+), Entercom’s similarly-formatted WLYF “101.5 Lite FM” falters by six-tenths to 5.4 (6+) but remains in fifth-place. In three straight monthlies without an increase, WLYF was a cumulative -1.2 (6.7 – 6.4 – 5.8 – 5.5, 6+). July 2018’s 5.5 is the lowest 6+-share for “Lite” since 5.2 in July 2017. Advancing from seventh to sixth, Cox Media Group urban contemporary WEDR “99 Jamz” has a March – October (6+) topline of 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.7. By adding one-tenth to 2.3 (6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMIA “93.9 MIA – Variety From The ‘80s, ‘90s, & Today” (level at #18) applies the brakes to four straight sweeps without an increase that accounted for a combined -1.1 (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.2, 6+). It’s been a wild ride recently for Univision Radio-owned Spanish tropical WRTO which was  +.5 in August; -.5 in September; and now -.8 in October (3.5 – 4.0 – 3.5 – 2.7), with “Mix 98.3” freefalling from #10 to #17. In July, WRTO surrendered three-tenths, thus snapping at four a consecutive string of increases that yielded nine-tenths (2.9 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.8, 6+). In addition to WLYF (see above), Cox Media Group urban AC WHQT “Hot 105” (6.2 – 5.6, 6+) and Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary WCMQ “Zeta 92.3” (6.1 – 5.5, 6+) regress by six-tenths; “Hot” and “Zeta” remain at #3 and #4, respectively. A collective -1.4 in three straight downturns (7.5 – 7.1 – 6.8 – 6.1, 6+), WHQT picked up one-tenth in September. In a nearly even split, the market’s (6+) share for mainstream CHR swells by one-half share. Specifically, Cox Media Group’s WFLC “Hits 97.3” is up three-tenths (3.0 – 3.3, #14 to #11, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned WHYI logs a +.2 to 3.4 (6+) as “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” returns to the top ten (#12 to #10). Immediately prior to October, “Hits 97.3” was down three sweeps in a row for an overall loss of seven-tenths (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 3.0, 6+). “Y-100” is trending 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.4 (March – October, 6+).

Detroit

Spoken-Word Formats – In addition to reentering the top ten (#11 to #10), Cumulus Media’s WJR “News Talk 760” is a combined +.9 through three upticks in a row (3.6 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+). Its +.2 in August suspended three straight negative trends that accounted for a loss of seven-tenths (4.3 – 4.2 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+). Erasing its -.7 in three downward moves in a row (5.3 – 5.6 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+) with a combined +1.2 in September and October (4.6 – 5.5 – 5.8, 6+), Entercom sports talk WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” climbs from sixth to fifth. “The Ticket” was up nine-tenths in April. Unchanged at #3, co-owned WWJ “News Radio 950” is an overall +1.6 through three consecutive positive spikes (5.5 – 6.3 – 6.5 – 7.1, 6+) and has its strongest 6+-stat since March 2017’s 7.4. Following four up or flat trends in succession for a collective +1.0, WWJ was -.8 in April; and was then frozen on 5.8 (6+) in May and June. Returning the one-tenth it gained in September (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+), Michigan Public Media news/talk WUOM falls from #18 to #20. Its +.1 in September curtailed eight straight survey periods without an increase for a collective -.3 (1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+). Owing to four straight gains, Wayne State University news/talk WDET (level at #22) has nearly doubled its 6+ AQH share (.6 – .7 – .8 – .9 – 1.1, 6+).

Detroit Music Formats – Within 5.0 – 5.9 range (6+) in each of the last six sweeps (5.9 – 5.3 – 5.4 – 5.0 – 5.8 – 5.7, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WNIC (fifth to fourth) dials up a +.5 to 6.2, its strongest 6+-showing since 6.9 in March. In four consecutive decreases, Cumulus Media’s WDRQ was -1.0 (3.0 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.0, 6+), but “93.1 Nash FM” is up two-tenths to 2.2 (6+) and carries on at #17. When WDRQ slipped by two-tenths in June, it halted five consecutive up or flat moves that netted nine-tenths (2.1 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+). Despite picking up one-tenth (5.5 – 5.6, 6+), Entercom’s similarly-formatted WYCD “99.5 Detroit’s Best Country” backslides from sixth to seventh. Three down or flat moves in succession by WYCD accounted for a cumulative loss of one-half share but that was fully erased in June with a +.5. Even though Beasley Media Group’s WCSX is a cumulative -1.0 in three straight declines (8.3 – 7.9 – 7.4 – 7.3, 6+), “94.7 – Detroit’s Classic Rock” segues from second to first. WCSX spent four straight months at #1 before being ousted in September. A loss of two-tenths in June ended five straight positive spikes that generated a +2.5 (5.4 – 5.9 – 6.3 – 6.7 – 7.6 – 7.9, 6+). The station that replaced “Detroit’s Classic Rock” at #1 in September – Entercom classic hits-oldies WOMC “104.3 Detroit’s Greatest Hits” – sputters by six-tenths (7.5 – 6.9, 6+) and shifts to third. A collective -1.3 in three consecutive negative moves (5.9 – 5.6 – 5.1 – 4.6, 6+), Beasley Media Group-owned WRIF “Everything That Rocks” picks up two-tenths to 4.8 (6+) and advances from tenth to ninth. The aforementioned streak came immediately after four consecutive improvements that led to a combined +1.5 (4.4 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 5.5 – 5.9, 6+). June’s 5.9 is its strongest 6+-stat since January 2017 (5.9, as well).

Seattle

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to three straight positive spikes (5.1 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.6, 6+), Bonneville news/talk KIRO-FM is a collective +1.5 and continues at #2. Prior to its -.7 in June, KIRO-FM had an October 2017 – June 2018 6+-topline of 5.7 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.4 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 5.8. By posting a gain of six-tenths to 2.9 (6+), co-owned KTTH “Conservative Talk Radio” jumps from #20 to #16. KTTH had been within 2.0 – 2.4 range the past six months (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.1 – 2.3, 6+). Steady at #24, Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned KVI “Talk Radio 570” is without a loss for the fifth consecutive report (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+) and is up three-tenths in that timeframe. Off eight-tenths via three straight down or flat trends (4.2 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+), Bonneville sports talk KIRO-AM applies the brakes by adding three-tenths to 3.7 (6+); “ESPN 710” leaps into the top ten (#13 to #10). As a result of four positive spikes in succession (2.3 – 2.9 – 3.6 – 4.1 – 4.2, 6+), the Seattle Mariners flagship was a combined +1.9. Prior to May, the last time KIRO-AM reached the four-share level (6+) was in October 2015 (4.3). In three straight gains, iHeartMedia-owned KJR-AM “Seattle’s Sports Radio 950” has nearly tripled (+.9) its 6+ AQH share (.5 – .7 – .9 – 1.4, #26 to #23, 6+). Level at #19, Sinclair Broadcast Group’s all-news KOMO was down two-tenths in June (2.6 – 2.4, 6+); up two-tenths in August (2.3 – 2.5, 6+); up another two-tenths in September (2.5 – 2.7, 6+); but now down two-tenths in October (2.7 – 2.5, 6+). Even though Northwest Public Radio news/talk KUOW is a collective +.9 in four consecutive up or flat trends (5.4 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 6.3, 6+) and has its highest 6+-share (6.3) since April’s 6.5, it actually slips from first to third. August’s increase concluded three straight down or flat sweeps that accounted for an overall -1.1 (6.5 – 6.0 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+). KUOW took over the runner-up slot in May after a one-month stay at #1. On top for four straight months before dropping to second in December, KUOW was +1.5 in January (6.4 – 7.9, 6+) as it returned to #1.

Seattle Music Formats –

There’s another huge shift for Hubbard-owned CHR KQMV, which was +1.7 in July (6.1 – 7.8, 6+); then -1.4 in August; -.6 in September to 5.8, its lowest 6+-showing since April’s 5.6; and now +1.0 (to 6.8, 6+) in October. “MOViN 92.5,” which finished on top in June, July, and August, progresses from third to first. The market’s still new adult contemporary skirmish has become quite interesting. It became a two-way battle in early-December 2017 when Entercom jettisoned country on KMPS and debuted KSWD “The Sound” in its place. This time last month, “The Sound” overtook longtime incumbent – Hubbard’s KRWM “Warm 106.9” – for the first time since KSWD’s format shift to AC. With a +.7 in October, KSWD (4.2 – 4.9, eighth to fourth, 6+) lengthens the (6+) lead over “Warm” (#9 to #14, 6+) from .2 in September to 1.5. In August, “The Sound” posted a one-half share increase to halt four straight down or flat trends that resulted in a loss of eight-tenths (4.1 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+). “Warm” is currently -1.6 in four successive setbacks (5.0 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+). Prior to a +.3 in June, KRWM was -7.1 (or down roughly 60%) in five consecutive down or flat sweeps (11.8 – 5.5 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). Its 11.8 in “Holiday” 2017 was the AC station’s strongest 6+-stat since 13.4 in “Holiday” 2015; “Warm” was #1 in December and “Holiday” 2017. Immediately after dropping seven-tenths in September, Classic Radio’s KING “98.1 Listener-Supported Classical Music” bounces back with a one-half share gain (1.7 – 2.2, #22 to #21); September’s 1.7 is its lowest 6+-stat since 1.6 in November 2017. No sooner did Seattle’s 6+ hot AC share balloon by +1.3 in September, it sinks by -2.0 in October, split precisely between Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KPLZ “Star 101.5” (4.7 – 3.7, -1.0, seventh to tenth, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned KBKS “106.1 Kiss FM Seattle’s New Hit Music” (3.2 – 2.2, -1.0, #16 to #21, 6+). In September, “Star” was +.7 and “Kiss” was +.6. Off by six-tenths in addition to KRWM (see above) are iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KJR-FM “95.7 The Jet” (fourth to fifth) and Crista Ministries contemporary Christian KCMS-FM “Spirit 105.3” (3.5 – 2.9, #12 to #16, 6+). “The Jet” is a collective -1.8 in three straight declines (6.4 – 5.5 – 5.2 – 4.6, 6+). Within 2.4 – 2.8 range (6+) six survey periods in a row (2.8 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+), “Spirit 105.3” dialed up a +1.0 in September to 3.5, its strongest 6+-performance since December 2017 (3.5, as well). Without an increase for the fifth straight sweep for a collective -1.6 (6.2 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.6, 6+), Entercom’s KISW “99.9 Seattle Rock Music” moves from fifth to sixth. Continuing at #20, co-owned rhythmic hot AC KHTP “Hot 103.7” is a collective -1.1 in five consecutive reports without an increase (3.4 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+). One Seattle country station improves by four-tenths (Entercom’s KKWF “100.7 The Wolf,” 3.8 – 4.2, tenth to eighth, 6+), while the other falters by four-tenths (Hubbard’s KNUC “98.9 The Bull,” 3.2 – 2.8, #16 to #18, 6+).

Phoenix

Spoken-Word Formats – A collective +.7 in four increases in a row (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.8, 6+), Bonneville news/talk KTAR-FM enters the top ten (#11 to #10). KTAR-FM was up three-tenths in April but was then a combined -.5 in May and June. Faltering by four-tenths in September, iHeartMedia’s KFYI regains half that loss in October with a +.2 (2.5 – 2.7, #17 to #16, 6+). Prior to September, “News Talk 550” logged four straight gains that netted eight-tenths (2.1 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+). After its one-half share September increase to 3.1 (6+), Bonneville sports talk KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona Sports” drops one-tenth to 3.0 but stays at #13 (6+). September 2018 marked the first time the Arizona Diamondbacks flagship reached the three-share level (6+) since October 2017’s 3.0. Jumping from #15 to #12, Maricopa County Community College news/talk KJZZ adds three-tenths to September’s +.1 (2.7 – 2.8 – 3.1, 6+) and has its best 6+-showing (3.1) since April’s 3.6. Its July increase of six-tenths halted three consecutive negative moves that accounted for a combined -1.5 (3.9 – 3.6 – 2.7 – 2.4, 6+).

Phoenix Music Formats – A one-half share increase (to 6.6, 6+) by KESZ applies the brakes to four consecutive declines (including September’s -1.2) that accounted for an overall -2.9 (9.0 – 8.7 – 7.5 – 7.3 – 6.1, 6+). Moreover, it sends the iHeartMedia adult contemporary outlet from second to first. After spending ten straight sweeps at #1, KESZ shifted to the runner-up slot in September. The station’s 16.4 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-showing since 16.5 in “Holiday” 2016. Off two-tenths (6.3 – 6.1, 6+), Hubbard’s KSLX “Classic Rock 100.7” – which was +.8 in August – segues from first to third. As the result of July’s -1.1 to 5.5 (6+), KSLX erased in its entirety the +1.1 it netted in six straight sweeps without a loss (5.5 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.6, 6+). Furthermore, “Classic Rock 100.7,” which occupied the runner-up slot eight consecutive ratings periods, shifted to fifth. In addition to KESZ, The Yucaipa Companies’ rhythmic CHR KKFR “Power 98.3” (#20 to #19) notches a one-half share increase and is an overall +.9 in three positive spikes in succession (1.5 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.4, 6+). Meanwhile, Entercom’s similarly-programmed KALV “Live 101.5” falters by seven-tenths (3.7 – 3.0, 6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #13).  Having been within 5.2 – 5.9 range (6+) from January through September (5.2 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 5.9, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KNIX “102.5 Today’s Best Country & All-Time Favorites” erodes by -1.3 to 4.6 (6+), drifting from third to eighth. Its format challenger – Entercom’s KMLE “Country @ 107.9” – follows September’s -.2 with an October loss of one-tenth (4.2 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+) and remains at #9. Without an increase for the third straight month, The Yucaipa Companies’ hot AC KMVA “Hot” is a collective -1.0 in that stretch (3.5 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.5, #13 to #19, 6+). A cumulative -2.1 (or roughly -50%) in seven successive down or flat trends (4.1 – 4.0 – 3.2 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+), Farmworker Educational Radio regional Mexican KNAI “101.9 Campesina” exits the top twenty (#19 to #21).

Minneapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Unchanged at #11, Entercom-owned WCCO logs a 4.4 (6+) for the fourth successive month. Prior to August, the four previous fluctuations for “News Radio 830” were +.8 (April); -.8 (May); -.8  (June); and +.5 (July). Bouncing back from a September loss of three-tenths (3.7 – 3.4, 6+) with an October gain of seven-tenths (to 4.1, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KTLK Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130” progresses from #14 to #13. In advance of the June ratings period, KTLK was +1.4 in five successive sweeps without a loss (2.5 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+). Repeating at #16, Hubbard news/talk KTMY “My Talk 107.1” erases September’s -.2 with a +.3 (2.7 – 2.5 – 2.8, 6+). An August gain of three-tenths halted three straight down or flat moves that accounted for an overall loss of seven-tenths (3.1 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.4, 6+). Zooming from ninth to third, iHeartMedia-owned KFXN “Sports Radio 100.3 K-Fan” is an overall +2.8 in three consecutive increases (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.9 – 6.5, 6+). This streak directly follows four dips in a row that produced a collective -2.1 (5.8 – 5.5 – 4.7 – 4.0 – 3.7, 6+). With a February through October topline of 1.0 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .8 – .7 (6+), Hubbard sports talk KSTP-AM “ESPN 1500” slips from #22 to #24. Up one full-share in three straight upticks (3.7 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+), Minnesota Public Radio news/talk KNOW advances from tenth to ninth. Immediately prior, KNOW was a collective -2.2 in four negative moves in a row (5.9 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 3.7, 6+). Several of its recent fluctuations include: -.7 (February); +.7 (March); -.5 (April) +.7 (May) -.7 (July); and +.7 (August).

Minneapolis Music Formats – Following four consecutive increases for a cumulative +1.0 (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KTCZ “The Cities” dropped six-tenths in August; was flat in September (at 3.6,  6+); and now regains August’s -.6 (3.6 – 4.2, steady at #13, 6+). Having posted four straight downward trends that accounted for a -1.5 (8.6 – 7.9 – 7.8 – 7.5 – 7.1, 6+), Hubbard’s similarly-formatted KSTP-FM is up a combined four-tenths in September and October (7.1 – 7.4 – 7.5, 6+). On top of that, “KS-95” marches from second to first. KSTP-FM held the lead position seven straight sweeps before being ousted in August. Its -.7 in May suspended four successive progressive moves that netted a +2.8 (5.8 – 7.6 – 8.2 – 8.3 – 8.6, 6+). Exiting the top spot (after just one month) in dramatic fashion is iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KQQL, which erodes by -1.3 (8.0 – 6.7, 6+); “Kool 108 – Minnesota’s Greatest Hits” shifts to the runner-up slot. Its September increase of nine-tenths halted three straight negative moves that generated a -.6 (7.7 – 7.3 – 7.2 – 7.1, 6+); 8.0 in September is its strongest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 14.2. Slumping by seven-tenths each are co-owned CHR KDWB “101.3 The Twin Cities’ #1 Hit Music Station” (7.2 – 6.5, flat at #3, 6+) and Entercom’s KMNB “Minneapolis Country Music – Buz’n @ 102.9” (#12 to #14). KDWB occupied the top spot for just one month before being replaced by KQQL. August’s 7.8 is the highest 6+-share for KDWB since September 2016’s 8.1. Prior to August 2018, the last time KDWB claimed the top spot was August 2017. Meanwhile, “Buz’n @ 102.9” is down a collective nine-tenths in four consecutive down or flat reports (4.2 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.3, 6+). Despite gaining two-tenths (5.2 – 5.4, 6+, after September’s -.8), iHeartMedia’s KEEY “K-102 Minnesota’s Country Station” backslides from sixth to seventh. A loss of six-tenths (5.2 – 4.6, sixth to tenth, 6+) takes Entercom adult hits KZJK “104.1 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” to its lowest 6+-share since November 2017 (4.6, as well).

San Diego

Spoken-Word Formats – Steady at #7, iHeartMedia news/talk KOGO picks up three-tenths (4.4 – 4.7, 6+). “News Radio 600” was +.8 (January); -.7 (February); +.8 (March); +.6 (May); and -.6 (August). October 2017’s 7.2 is KOGO’s highest 6+-share in its PPM-history. With a gain of three-tenths (1.4 – 1.7, #23 to #22, 6+), its similarly-formatted Los Angeles sibling, KFI “AM 640,” overtakes Tegna news/talk KFMB-AM “AM 760,” which is flat at 1.6 (#22 to #23, 6+), after being down one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+). KFMB-AM’s June increase of one-tenth interrupted three straight negative moves that accounted for a loss of seven-tenths (2.2 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.5, 6+). Three sports talkers finish one after another: Interamericana de Radio’s XPRS-AM “The Mighty 1090” (.9 – 1.2, +.3, #25 to #24, 6+), its highest 6+-stat since April’s 1.2; iHeartMedia’s KLSD “Fox Sports 1360 San Diego’s Sports Station” (.8 – .9, +.1, #27 to #25, 6+); and Entercom-owned/San Diego Padres flagship KWFN “97.3 The Fan” (.9 – .8, -.1, #25 to #26, 6+). San Diego State University-owned news/talk KPBS continues an amazing journey. It shifted from first to second in April; returned to #1 in May; dropped from first to third in June; slipped from third to fourth in July; returned to first in August; segued from first to second in September; and returns to first in October (6.2 – 6.7, +.5, 6+). KPBS was up seven-tenths in August.

San Diego Music Formats – Seven consecutive ratings periods without a loss by iHeartMedia-owned CHR KHTS yielded a  collective +2.8 (3.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+), but “Channel 93.3 – San Diego’s #1 Hit Music Station” slips two-tenths to 6.1 (6+). As a result, it is a short one-month stay at the top for KHTS, which drops to second. On the heels of posting a +1.1 in September (2.6 – 3.7, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVJ relinquishes seven-tenths (3.0, #10 to #14, 6+). In September, San Diego’s version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” reached the three-share threshold (3.7, 6+) for the first time since March (3.1). Faltering by seven-tenths as well is Entercom’s KSON “103.7 New Country,” which is an overall -1.4 in four straight down or flat trends (6.3 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 4.9, fourth to sixth, 6+). Having posted a 2.5 (6+) in three of the past five survey periods (2.5 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.5, 6+), Media Sports de Mexico classic hits-oldies XPRS-FM “105.7 Max FM” sputters by one-half share to 2.0 (#18 to #21, 6+). There is a tie between the market’s alternative competitors as Entercom’s KBZT “Alt 94.9” is down four-tenths (2.7 – 23, #17 to #18, 6+), while XETRA Communicaciones’ XTRA-FM “91-X” gains three-tenths (2.0 – 2.3, #21 to #18, 6+). A collective +1.6 in July and August (3.7 – 4.7 – 5.3, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KLNV is an overall -1.2 in September and October (5.3 – 4.4 – 4.2, 6+) slipping from seventh to ninth. In August, “Que Buena 106.5” crossed the five-share level 6+ (5.3) for the first time since “Holiday” 2017’s 5.1. In five downward or flat moves in a row (4.0 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 2.4 – 2.1 – 2.1, steady at #20, 6+), Imagen Spanish contemporary XLTN “104.5 Radio Latina” is a collective -1.9 (approximately -50%).

Denver

Spoken-Word Formats – Entering the October sweep with a May through September topline of 5.0 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 5.1 (6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KOA explodes with a +1.1 to 6.2, marching from fourth to second. “Colorado’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” posted a +1.4 in April to zoom from ninth to first, but exited the top spot in May after a one-month run. Continuing an up/down pattern, iHeartMedia news/talk KHOW was +.3 (June); -.2 (July); +.1 (August); -.4 in September; and now +.1 in October (1.7 – 1.8, 6+) as “Talk Radio 630” repeats at #21. Immediately before the June sweep, KHOW had been down or flat four sweeps in a row for an overall setback of four-tenths (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.0 -1.9, 6+). KSE Radio Ventures’ KKSE-FM “Attitude Sports Radio 92.5” sputters by seven-tenths (1.0 – .3 #29, 6+). Advancing from #12 to #11 with its best 6+-stat (4.0) since December 2017’s 4.2, Bonneville-owned KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” is an overall +1.5 via three gains in a row (2.5 – 2.9 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+). KKFN dropped one-half share in June and July (3.5 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+), posting its lowest 6+-stat (2.5) since July 2017’s 2.3. Denver’s “Fan” was +1.0 in March. Similarly, Colorado Public Radio news/talk KCFR is +1.5 as the result of three consecutive upticks (5.2 – 6.3 – 6.4 – 6.7, 6+), with KCFR repeating at #1. It was a brief one-month stay at #1 (in May) for KCFR, which lost seven-tenths in June. Previously this calendar year, KCFR was #1 in January and March. After registering a one-half share increase in September to 1.3, Community Radio for Northern Colorado news/talk KUNC loses one-tenth to 1.2 (#23 to #22, 6+).

Denver Music Formats – This marks the third consecutive improvement for Colorado Public Radio classical outlet KVOD, which has more than doubled (+1.9) its 6+ AQH share in that timeframe (1.5 – 1.7 – 2.3 – 3.4, #19 to #14, 6+). Directly after registering three straight upticks that netted a +1.7 (4.9 – 6.1 – 6.5 – 6.6, 6+), Entercom classic rocker KQMT “99.5 The Mountain – A Mountain of Classics” is a combined -1.8 in September and October (6.6 – 6.0 – 4.8, 6+). On top in June, July, and August, “The Mountain” fell to second in September and fades to seventh in October. Without a loss the past four sweeps for a combined gain of six-tenths (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KTCL “Channel 93.3 – Denver’s Modern Rock” forfeits nine-tenths to 4.1 (sixth to tenth, 6+). At the same time as Entercom hot AC KALC “Alice 105.9” gains two-tenths (4.3 – 4.5, tenth to eighth, 6+), its format rival – KSE Radio Ventures’ KIMN “Mix 100 Today’s Best Mix” – surrenders four-tenths (4.6 – 4.2, flat at #9, 6+). The (6+) April – May – June – July – August stats for “Alice,” which was up one-half share in September – were 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 3.8; “Mix” was +.7 in September. Immediately after registering three consecutive up or flat trends that yielded a +1.0 (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.6, 6+), KSE Radio Ventures classic hits-oldies KXKL followed with a combined -1.1 in June, July, and August (5.6 – 5.0 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+). In September and October, “Kool 105 – Denver’s Greatest Hits” is +.5 (4.5 – 4.7 – 5.0, 6+) and leaps from eighth to fifth. May’s 5.6 is its most potent 6+-stat since December 2016’s 5.7. Since debuting in print in February, iHeartMedia’s KWBL “106.7 The Bull – Colorado’s New Country” (#16 to #17) is trending 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.8 – 2.8 (6+). Unchanged at #6, KOSI “101.1 Real-Music-Variety” is a collective -1.1 in three negative moves in a row (6.0 – 5.8 – 5.0 – 4.9, 6+). The Bonneville adult contemporary outlet was up or flat five consecutive months for an overall +1.4 (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 6.0, 6+). July’s 6.0 is the strongest 6+-showing for KOSI since Holiday’s 2017’s 11.5.

Tampa

Spoken-Word Formats – Following August’s +.6, iHeartMedia news/talk WFLA “970 Tampa Bay’s News Radio” is a combined -.9 in September and October (4.2 – 3.9 – 3.3, #11 to #15, 6+). In January and February, WFLA was +.5 (2.7 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+); -.5 in March (3.7 – 3.2, 6+); +.8 in April (3.2 – 4.0, 6+); +.4 in May (4.0 – 4.4, 6+); -.7 in July; +.6 in August (3.6 – 4.2, 6+); and -.6 in October (3.9 – 3.3, 6+). Cox Media Group news/talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” wipes away September’s -.2 with an October gain of three-tenths (3.6, #14 to #11, 6+). Prior to September, “The Bone” was without a loss the previous four sweeps for a +.8 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.5, 6+). Four consecutive down or flat reports by iHeartMedia-owned WDAE resulted in a loss of two-tenths (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+), but “620 Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” is up a collective six-tenths in September and October (2.1 – 2.5 – 2.7, #18 to #17, 6+). While flat at #20, University of South Florida news/talk WUSF is up four-tenths (1.6 – 2.0, 6+) and has its best 6+-showing (2.0) since February’s 2.8. When WUSF added two-tenths in June, it halted six successive ratings periods without an increase that accounted for a collective -1.6 (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.7, 6+).

Tampa Music Formats – The last three fluctuations for Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WXGL “107.3 The Eagle” (#2 for the third month in a row) are +.7 (August); -.8 (September); and +.6 in October (6.3 – 6.9, 6+). In August, “The Eagle” registered its highest 6+-stat since July 2017 (7.1, as well). Two-tenths behind “The Eagle” is Beasley Media Group’s WQYK “Tampa Bay’s New Country Hits,” which – with a +.5 to 6.7 (steady at #3, 6+) – pulls the plug on three straight (modest) decreases that led to a one-half share loss (6.7 – 6.5 – 6.3 – 6.2, 6+). With a July 2018 – October 2018 topline of 8.8 – 8.9 – 8.6 – 8.9 (6+), Cox Media Group-owned adult contemporary WDUV “Lite Favorites” is on top for the 74th successive ratings period. After four straight up or flat trends that netted seven-tenths (8.4 – 8.9 -9.0 – 9.0 – 9.1, 6+), WDUV slipped three-tenths in July but picked up one-tenth in August. A collective -1.7 as the result of three straight down or flat trends (6.4 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 4.7, 6+), Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies WRBQ “Q-105” skids from third to sixth. Following five straight sweeps without an increase for a collective -1.3 (4.9 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WBTP recorded a +.6 in September, but “95.7 The Beat” forfeits eight-tenths in October (4.2 – 3.4, 6+), fading from #8 to #14. Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WCIE “The Joy FM” is -1.0 in three consecutive slips (4.7 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 3.7, eighth to tenth, 6+). At the same time that iHeartMedia-owned CHR WFLZ “93.3 FLZ – Tampa Bay’s #1 Hit Music Channel” is up or flat for the third consecutive sweep for a +.6 (3.6 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.2, 6+) to progress from tenth to seventh, Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted WPOI “Hot 101.5” is off one-tenth (3.7 – 3.6, #12 to #11, 6+).

Baltimore

Spoken-Word Formats – Independent news/talk WCBM “680 Stimulating Talk – Breaking News” answers September’s one-half share loss (3.1 – 2.6, 6+) with a full-share increase to 3.6 (#12 to #11, 6+). When WBAL gained one-tenth in September to 2.5 (6+), it halted five straight sweeps without an increase that accounted for a collective -.9 (3.3 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.4, 6+). The Hearst Television news/talk property adds another one-tenth in October (to 2.6, 6+) and advances from #14 to #13. Without a loss for the fourth month in a row for a +1.1 (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.1, 6+), Entercom sports talk WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan” jumps from ninth to sixth. Baltimore’s “Fan” was +.6 (January); -.6 (February); +1.0 (April); and a combined -1.0 in May and June (5.0 – 4.5 – 4.0, 6+). While flat at #12, Your Public Radio news/talk WYPR “88.1 Your NPR News Station” gains four-tenths (2.6 – 3.0, 6+). WYPR was a collective -.5 in August and September (3.1 – 3.0 – 2.6, 6+). Following five decreases in a row for a cumulative -1.7 (4.2 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+), WYPR posted a July increase of six-tenths. American University-owned news/talker WAMU adds four-tenths to September’s +.1 (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.5, 6+) to proceed from a four-way tie at #18 to #15. Before slipping to 1.0 (6+) in August, WAMU notched a 1.1 (6+) five consecutive times in the Baltimore report. The March through October topline for Entercom business news WDCH is .8 – .8 – .8 – .6 – .5 – .5 – .6 – .8 (#26 to #25, 6+).

Baltimore Music Formats – After racking up eight successive up or flat trends that produced an overall +2.2 (2.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 5.0, 6+), Shamrock Communications-owned WZBA was off one-tenth in September to 4.9 (6+), but “100.7 The Bay – Baltimore’s Classic Rock Station” roars back in October with a +1.2 to 6.1 (6+), vaulting from eighth to third. A collective -1.8 in four successive negative moves (6.8 – 6.5 – 6.1 – 5.2 – 5.0, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WLIF answers with a combined +.8 in September and October (5.0 – 5.3 – 5.8, sixth to fourth, 6+). “Today’s 101.9” was #1 in December 2017 (9.7, 6+) and “Holiday” 2017 (16.3, 6+). Co-owned gospel WLIF-HD2, which more than tripled (+1.3) its 6+ AQH share in August and September (.6 – 1.1 – 1.9, 6+), surrenders nine-tenths to 1.0 (#15 to #20). Albeit that it erases September’s +.1 with October’s -.2 (8.8 – 8.6, 6+), Radio One urban AC WWIN-FM “Magic 95.9” finishes on top for the tenth successive sweep. In three consecutive decreases (11.6 – 11.5 – 10.3 – 9.4, 6+), “Magic” was an overall -2.2 but it responded in June with a +.3. After going eight straight ratings periods without a loss for an overall +3.8 (7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 8.7 – 9.2 – 10.4 – 10.6 – 11.6, 6+), it dropped one-tenth in March. Urban contemporary cluster-mate WERQ (7.6 – 7.9, +.3, 6+) occupies the runner-up slot for the sixth month in a row; “92-Q Jams” was up nine-tenths in August. Hearst Television’s WIYY “98 Rock” was -.8 in July; a collective +1.1 in August and September (4.4 – 5.0 – 5.5, 6+); and now -.6 in October (4.9, fourth to eighth, 6+). September’s 5.5 is its best 6+-stat since August 2017 (5.5, as well). Prior to July’s decrease, “98 Rock” registered six successive ratings periods without a loss for an overall +1.8 (3.4 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.2, 6+). Off a combined nine-tenths in three successive months without an increase (5.5 – 5.5 – 5.1 – 4.6, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits WQSR “102.7 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” slips from seventh to ninth. For the second month in a row, Peter and John Radio Fellowship contemporary Christian WRBS-FM is unlisted; “95.1 Shine FM – Baltimore’s Positive Hits Station” was #13 in August 2018 (2.6, 6+).

St. Louis

Spoken-Word Formats – Not only does Entercom news/talk KMOX repeat at #1, “The Voice of St. Louis” registers its third increase in a row for a collective +1.0 (7.4 – 7.6 – 8.3 – 8.4, 6+). Following a January +1.0, KMOX was a combined -.6 in February and March and was +2.3 in April. A gain of two-tenths to 2.8 (#16 to #17, 6+) Emmis-to-Entercom’s KFTK “FM News Talk 97.1” pulls the plug on three straight sweeps without an increase that resulted in an overall loss of seven-tenths (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.6 – 2.6, 6+). Owing to May’s +.3, “FM News Talk 97.1” ended three straight negative moves that accounted for a loss of eight-tenths (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.6 – 2.5, 6+). An overall +1.3 via four straight up or flat moves (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.0, 6+), Hubbard sports talk WXOS “101 Sports” carries on at #11. This streak was immediately preceded by three straight negative moves that generated a loss of eight-tenths (3.5 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.7, 6+); 4.0 is its strongest 6+-showing since January (4.0, as well). Even though it is without a decrease in each of the last five ratings periods for a net gain of six-tenths (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+), University of Missouri news/talk KWMU backslides from #14 to #15.

St. Louis Music Formats – By gaining one-half share to 3.8 (#15 to #13, 6+), iHeartMedia’s country-formatted KSD “93.7 The Bull” applies the brakes to three downward moves in a row that resulted in a collective -1.2 (4.5 – 4.2 – 3.4 – 3.3, 6+). Its format rival – Hubbard-owned WIL “92.3 – Nobody Plays More New Country” – is a collective +1.0 in three upticks in a row (5.5 – 6.1 – 6.4 – 6.5, 6+) and is unchanged at #4. Without a gain the past five sweeps for a collective -1.2 (3.7 -3.4 – 3.4 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.5, 6+), Emmis-to-Entercom CHR KNOU “Now 96.3 All The Hits” dials up a +.4 to 2.9 (#17 to #16, 6+). The three most recent fluctuations for Entercom adult contemporary KEZK “102.5 The Best Mix of the ‘80s & Today” are -.5 (August); +.5 (September); and -.7 in October (5.9 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 5.2, sixth to seventh, 6+). Its August loss ended six consecutive up or flat trends that netted +1.7 (4.2 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.9 – 5.9, 6+). Following five consecutive increases for a +1.9 (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 5.4 – 5.9, 6+), Hubbard’s KPNT “105.7 The Point – Everything Alternative” falters by four-tenths to 5.5 (6+), but carries on in sixth-place. Its 5.9 in September is the highest 6+-performance for “The Point” since March 2016’s 6.1.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

| October 24, 2018

Steve Dahl to End WLS-AM, Chicago Show on December 21.  After yesterday’s report from Chicago media maven Robert Feder that Cumulus Media news/talk outlet WLS-AM will undergo programming changes in 2019, legendary Chicago radio personality Steve Dahl reached out to Feder in an email to announce his time with the station will end on December 21.  He’s been hosting the afternoon drive show for the past four years.  He says his podcast – that is still growing in terms of subscribers – will continue and will retain its relationship with Cumulus Media Chicago.  Dahl writes, “WLS-AM was always going to be an uphill battle, and circumstances just didn’t lend themselves to us being able to breakout like we hoped we would.  The podcast numbers continue to grow every day, so that’s encouraging.”  Read his entire email here.

SiriusXM Reports Q3 Net Income Up 24%. Satellite radio provider SiriusXM releases its third quarter 2018 numbers today and reports its revenue for the period was $1.5 billion, up 6% over the same period in 2017.  Net income was $343 million in the third quarter – up 24% over the same quarter last year.  Looking at subscriber numbers, SiriusXM says that it added 298,000 net new self-pay subscribers during the quarter to raise its self-pay subscriber total to 28.5 million. CEO Jim Meyer comments, “SiriusXM’s standout third quarter saw continued strength in subscriber additions and churn performance while adjusted EBITDA reached a quarterly record-high $589 million. Our revenue growth, adjusted for the change in generally accepted accounting principles that was effective January 1, totaled 8% in the quarter.  In addition to our operational excellence, we were thrilled this quarter to announce an agreement to acquire Pandora Media, which we expect to close in the first quarter of 2019.  With the end of the year in sight, we are increasing our full-year guidance for self-pay net additions, revenue and adjusted EBITDA.  We have a relentless focus on creating and curating content our subscribers will love — our limited-run Dave Matthews Band Radio was a perfect example.  We also presented fiery live performances just for subscribers, like our recent show by The Killers in New York.  We’ve added provocative talent in talk and sports with a daily show from CNN’s Chris Cuomo, a new show from Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson, the return of Brett Favre’s popular show, and a new program highlighting women in sports hosted by journalist Christine Brennan and retired tennis pro Rennae Stubbs.”

Phil Valentine Voted Best Conservative in Nashville. That’s right, not Best Talk Show Host (there is no such category), but Best Conservative, as voted by the readers of Nashville ScenePhil Valentine’s afternoon drive show is based at Cumulus Media’s WWTN, Nashville “SuperTalk 99.7” and is syndicated nationally via subsidiary Westwood One.  He is also an award-winning filmmaker and bestselling author whose latest book, Barbican: A Sterling McQueen Spy Story, was released earlier this year.  Cumulus Nashville VP and market manager Allison Warren says, “Every year, the editors of Nashville Scene ask their readers what they love best about Nashville and it’s no surprise that Phil Valentine is at the top of the list.  We agree wholeheartedly that Phil brings his best to ‘SuperTalk 99.7 WTN’ and our listeners every afternoon.  His common-sense approach to talk radio cuts through the hype of the day’s news, challenging conventional wisdom on both sides and presenting actionable solutions that people respond to.  It’s gratifying that Nashvillians love Phil as much as we do and we congratulate him on this well-deserved honor.”

Midterm Elections, Migrant Caravan, Mega Millions Jackpot, Khashoggi Murder Aftermath, O’Connor Dementia Diagnosis, Financial Markets Activity, Gender Definition Issue, Trump Threatens to Exit INF Treaty, Trump-Russia Investigation, NFL Action, and the World Series Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/23). The November elections and the battle for control of the House and the Senate; the Honduran migrant caravan headed for the U.S. border; the $1.6 billion Mega Millions lottery jackpot; the aftermath of the slaying of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and U.S.-Saudi relations; former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor announces she’s been diagnosed with dementia; the wild swings in the financial markets and fears of a looming debt bubble; the Trump Administration’s plan to require legal gender based on genitalia at birth; President Trump threatens to exit the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia; the Robert Mueller-led Trump-Russia investigation probes Roger Stone’s Wikileaks contacts; the weekend’s NFL action; and the World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Boston Red Sox were some of the most-talked about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. Almost seven weeks after announcing that he would be taking a leave from his morning drive duties at Entercom’s WEEI-FM, Boston, Kirk Minihane Tweets that he’ll “be back soon.” Minihane took a brief leave in early August after experiencing suicidal thoughts and checked himself into a hospital. In his September 7 message, Minihane said that he would this time take indefinite leave to deal with depression issues, he admitted that he came back to work too soon after the August hospital stay.  However, he Tweets that all is not necessarily well between him and Entercom management. “…I’ve been ready to work for the last week or so and have been kept off the air.  You build a show, take it to number one, step aside to get healthy and expect to be welcomed back. Hasn’t happened.”  During Minihane’s absence, WEEI personality Mike “Mut” Mutnansky has been sitting in with regular co-host Gerry Callahan…..From the podcast world, Westwood One Podcast Network adds the “Team Never Quit” podcast – co-hosted by former Navy SEALs Marcus Luttrell and David Rutherford .  WWO says “Team Never Quit” is “an authentic, positive, and inspiring show that implores listeners to face their greatest challenges” and features “the incredible camaraderie between Mr. ‘Never Quit’ Marcus Luttrell and energetic ‘Instructor Rut’ David Rutherford, that not only comes from their time together on SEAL Teams but also due to their mutual 10 years of inspiring audiences of all types.”…..MSNBC star Rachel Maddow is host of a new podcast from the network titled, “Bag Man: A Rachel Maddow Original Podcast.” The weekly podcast will launch on October 30 with ad sales being handled by TuneIn.  The first episode will center on the corruption scandal that took down Vice President Spiro T. Agnew…..Nationally syndicated radio star Elvis Duran reveals his 4thAnnual Carney Awards – named in honor of the late Art Carney and dedicated to honoring Hollywood’s great character actors – is getting some help from legendary actor Harrison Ford, who will attend the October 28 ceremony in Santa Monica to present the Lifetime Achievement Award to M. Emmett Walsh with whom Ford appeared in 1982’s Blade Runner.

TalkersRadio’s Meg McDonald Active in Los Angeles Community Beautification Projects — Studio City-based media figure Meg McDonald, who hosts the short-form feature titled “MEG!” on TalkersRadio, has become increasingly involved in Los Angeles beautification projects.  She recently played a role at a major fund-raising initiative.  California Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian secured $150,000 in the 2018 – 2019 fiscal year state budget for the long-needed revitalization of the Studio City Greenway along the Los Angeles River from Whitsett Ave. to Laurel Canyon Blvd.  The project will improve bike and pedestrian access points, restore the landscaping by eliminating invasive species, and enhance public health and safety along the Los Angeles River.  Pictured (l-r) joining in the funding celebration is Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy executive director Joe Edmiston; Assemblyman Nazarian; Studio City Beautification Association board member and host of MEG! on TalkersRadio Meg McDonald and Los Angeles City Councilor Paul Krekorian.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Fayetteville, North Carolina market, Kenny J is named program director and brand manager for Beasley Media Group hip hop WZFX-FM “Foxy 99” and brand manager for sister rhythmic oldies WUKS “Old School 107.7.” He most recently served with Cumulus Media as program director at urban contemporary KMJK, Kansas City.  Beasley Fayetteville VP and market manager Erika Beasley comments, “I’m so excited to have Kenny J on the Beasley Fayetteville team.  We welcome his expertise and knowledge in programming both formats in large and small markets.  Kenny’s ability to coach and grow on-air personalities really sets him apart for this position.  We look forward to having his energy and positive attitude in our building and continuing to lead our brands to success!”…..Programming pro Nick Fox joins Cumulus Media as program director and midday personality at country WXBM, Pensacola, Florida “NASH FM 102.7.”  He comes to Cumulus from Saga Communications’ country WVVR, Clarksville, Tennessee where he was an air personality and APD.  He says, “I’m ecstatic to be back home as the PD of WXBM!  This station has a rich legacy and passionate listeners.  I am ready to hit the ground running in Pensacola.”…..SummitMedia is tweaking the format at WJSR, Richmond from classic hits as “Star 100.9” to adult hits as “Jack FM.”

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

| October 3, 2018

Beasley Launches Esports Initiative; Acquires ‘Checkpoint Radio’ Show. The company made the announcement of its acquisition of the esports gaming lifestyle radio show, “Checkpoint Radio” at the 2018 Esports Business Summit at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada yesterday (10/2).  Beasley Media Group is calling its esports initiative BEASLEY XP.  “Checkpoint Radio” is a weekly, two-hour show (also found on the twitch platform) hosted by Nathan Bender, Norris Howard, Robbie Landis, and Joe Sloan. It’s currently heard on Beasley’s WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub,” WPEN-FM, Philadelphia “97.5 The Fanatic,” as well as in 58 other markets across the United States and Canada via Westwood One.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley comments, “Our company is excited to enter the growing arena of esports.  It’s a great way for us to reach future generations of listeners as we continue to focus on new and innovative ways to grow and transform the way we do business as a company.”  Pictured here are (from l-r): Nate Bender, Caroline Beasley, and Joe Sloan.

A Reunion at Westwood One Podcast Network. Pictured above at the Westwood One Podcast Network offices are (from l-r): WWO SVP of digital Tim Sabean, Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling, Gregg “Opie” Hughes, and “Stuttering” John Melendez.  Hughes does the “Opie Radio” podcast with WWO and Sabean, Martling, and Melendez all worked together on the Howard Stern show.  For a period, both the Opie & Anthony and Howard Stern shows aired on SiriusXM at the same time and Sabean was SVP of the Howard Stern channels there until 2014.

WNBF, Binghamton’s Roger Neel Celebrates 40 Years with the Station. At Townsquare Media’s news/talk WNBF, Binghamton, morning host Roger Neel (pictured above) is being honored for his four decades of service to the station.  The station writes on its website that “Neel joined WNBF on October 2, 1978.  He had been working in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, when he learned of an opportunity to be the play-by-play announcer for the Broome Dusters in Binghamton.  Over the years, Neel has covered countless sporting events for WNBF Radio.  He also has been involved with television coverage of a wide range of Binghamton events over the years.  In addition to his sports-related work, he has served at WNBF in various capacities. He now is co-host of the station’s ‘First News’ program weekday mornings.  He also writes for the WNBF.com website and is the WNBF brand manager for Townsquare Media.” Neel was honored Tuesday afternoon with a luncheon at the radio station’s Court Street offices.

TALKERS News Notes.  On Tuesday afternoon (10/2), a jury in Atlantic County, New Jersey convicted Ferdinand “Freddy” Augello of murder in the death of WOND-AM, Atlantic City talk host April Kauffman in 2012.  The Pagans motorcycle gang member was also convicted of conspiracy and racketeering.  Prosecutors said April Kauffman was killed by hitman Francis Mullholland – hired by Augello – after her husband, Dr. James Kauffman, decided he wanted her dead for fear she would expose the prescription pill ring he was operating.  Mullholland is deceased and James Kauffman killed himself in his cell two weeks after being indicted in January of this year…..Las Vegas-based conservative media figure Wayne Allyn Root is expanding his reach as Las Vegas Review Journal opinion column is being syndicated nationally.  Root says, “It’s an amazing honor to announce that my Las Vegas Review Journal newspaper column has been chosen for national syndication by Creators Syndicate.  My political opinions will now reach newspapers across the USA.  I’ll be joining the Creators Syndicate lineup of stars such as Michelle Malkin, Patrick Buchanan, Ben Shapiro, Walter Williams, Armstrong Williams, Dick Morris, Thomas Sowell, and Judge Andrew Napolitano – all heroes of mine.”  Root is heard on the radio in national syndication via USA Radio Network and the program is simulcast on Newsmax TV…..iHeartMedia Houston and the Houston Rockets announce an extension of their long-term partnership to keep KBME-AM “Sportstalk 790 AM” as the Houston Rockets flagship radio station.  As part of the deal, all the games will also be broadcast on KTBZ-HD2 and many of the games will be simulcast on news/talk KTRH AM 740 and KODA-HD2…..Dr. Ronald Hoffman is celebrating his 30thyear talking medicine on the radio.  His nationally syndicated “Intelligent Medicine” show is one of the longest-running medical/health radio programs in the country.  After a brief run at WMCA, New York, Dr. Hoffman joined crosstown WOR in 1988, first as a local show, and then as a part of the WOR Radio Network.  Upon the demise of that network, the program moved to the Radio America network in 2014 where it remains today.  Hoffman says, “Although we have great sponsors and value their commitment, this show has always been about the audience first.  We never have and never will do anything to betray their trust and I strongly believe that’s why my show is still going strong.”…..Podcaster Stitcher announces it is naming Drew Welborn vice president of content partnerships. He’ll oversee Stitcher’s partnership team and the process of working with its podcast partners – ranging from content publishers to podcast talent…..Mt. Rushmore Broadcasting names Kevin Barrett as its new general manager.  Barrett has served with stations such as sports talk KTRB, San Francisco, KABZ-FM, Little Rock, and news/talk KTRS, St Louis.  Casper-based Mt. Rushmore operates 10 stations in Wyoming and South Dakota.  Barrett says, “I am thrilled to be in Casper. We have a dynamic array of brands and there are many opportunities for growth.  I am especially excited about working with the great Mt. Rushmore team.  This is a wonderful community, and I look forward to being a part of it.”…..The Philadelphia Flyers and Beasley Media Group announce a renewed broadcast partnership that includes sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” as the flagship station of the Flyers Radio Network and rock WMMR-FM as a partner broadcast station as part of a multi-year partnership extension.  In addition, new, original Flyers programming will be introduced on a weekly basis on “97.5 The Fanatic” during the 2018-19 season.  The first “Fanatic Flyers Weekly” hosted by Jason Myrtetus and Chris Therien will air this Thursday from 6:00 pm to -7:00 pm.

Harrison:  The ACLU and Judicial Crisis Network Wasted their Donors’ Contributions on Expensive Political TV Ads Both Pro and Con Kavanaugh.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison appeared this morning on the CNN Headline News (HLN) channel’s program “Across America with Carol Costello” to discuss the multi-million-dollar TV ad campaigns being waged by America First (pro) and the ACLU (con) in states represented by key undecided senators from both parties regarding their forthcoming votes in the Judge Brett Kavanaugh confirmation process. Harrison was joined by GOP “branding strategist” Justin Wallin. During the conversation, Harrison stated, “I think both organizations have wasted their donors’ money by investing in political advertisements that will have no impact on their intended targets’ minds.  The last people who will be influenced by the messages of political ads are politicians themselves who know very well that they are exercises in hyperbole.  The only winners in this scenario are the television production companies that produced these ads and the TV stations that are running them.”  Harrison added, “President Trump and the Republicans would have been smarter to kick Kavanaugh to the curb and replace him with a less distracting nominee than to hitch their wagon to his star and allow this circus to become about him and not their elected mission to fill the seat with a conservative.  Now, it might be too late.”

Kavanaugh Investigation, NYTimes Trump Piece, U.S.-China Tensions, Trump-Russia Investigation, Midterm Elections, Record High Dow/Debt Bubble Concerns, Amazon Wage Hike, Facebook Hack, Ricin Packages Sent to Pentagon, NFL Action, and MLB Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/2). The accusations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the FBI’s investigation into Christine Blasey Ford’s claim; the New York Times story alleging Donald Trump’s family engaged in tax schemes to achieve its wealth; U.S.-China tensions over tariffs and China’s military programs in the South China Sea; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; November’s midterm elections and the battle to control congress; the Dow hits a new, record high and concerns a global debt bubble could burst and result in a recession; the ramifications of Amazon’s decision to raise its workers’ minimum wage to $15; the hack of Facebook data; packages containing ricin are sent to the Pentagon; the weekend’s NFL action; and the Major League Baseball playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Portland, Entercom names Buck Wise new morning host at hot AC KRSK “105.1 The Buzz.”  Wise’s career includes stops at KFMS, Las Vegas; KYSR, Los Angeles; WKQI, Detroit; and KKRZ, Portland.  He says, “I’m honored to be joining the talented Entercom Portland family.  I’ve admired [market manager] Bill Ashenden and [program director] Brian Bridgman’s approach to local entertaining radio and I’m excited to work with them as a member of the KRSK team.”…..iHeartMedia announces that this year’s “iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour 2018 Presented by Capital One” will feature Alessia Cara at select stops across the country.  She’ll join the previously announced Bebe Rexha.  The full lineup of performers will be announced next Tuesday (10/9)…..Entercom is expected to unveil the new format for WIAD, Washington – the former hot AC “94.7 Fresh FM” today.  On Tuesday (10/2), Entercom took a number of staffers off the air – including morning host Tommy McFly – in advance of the format change.  The new format is rumored to be launching today at 5:00 pm ET and industry chatter has classic hits as a leading contender…..On Friday (10/5), more than 470 college radio stations will unite for College Radio Day.  The event is a celebration of college radio and this year has support from leaders such as FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, former Vice President Joe Biden, rocker Joan Jett, and producer/songwriter Kenny Laguna…..Service Broadcasting’s hip hop KKDA, Dallas “K104” is looking for an “elite” music director.  The company says that if you: are a “music maven” and “cultural curator” ready to elevate your brand, career and creativity; have a passion for people, music, culture and community; live, love and breathe the “hip hop” lifestyle; have mastered music scheduling and how to create the perfect music flow; and more, Service Broadcasting Group may have a rare opportunity for you in the fifth-largest market in America.  Send your resume package, music scheduling philosophy, success stories, and references to: SBG HR Manager Debbie Henry at jobs@k104fm.com.  No phone calls please. Service Broadcasting is an equal opportunity employer (EEO).

September 2018 PPM Data – Round Two. September 2018 ratings information has been released for Washington (D.C.), Boston, Miami, Detroit, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Tampa, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen Audio’s September 2018 survey period covered August 16 – September 12. See all the ratings for subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

Washington, DC

Spoken-Word Formats – A combined +1.0 in July and August (3.5 – 3.7 – 4.5, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WMAL levels out at 4.5 (6+) in September, yet progresses from seventh to sixth. Immediately prior to July, WMAL was a combined -1.5 via three consecutive downward moves (5.0 – 4.5 – 3.9 – 3.5, 6+). In March, it reached the five-share level (6+) for the first time in the PPM-era (5.0). Having completely erased July’s -.5 with an August +.5 (3.7 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+), Entercom sports talk WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” now drops one-tenth to 3.6 (6+), shifting from ninth to tenth. July’s decrease ended three gains in a row by the Washington Nationals’ flagship that netted a +1.3 (2.4 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.7, 6+). Flat at .9 (6+), Radio One’s similarly-formatted WTEM “980 The Team” slides from #19 to #20. “The Team” had a lengthy hiatus from Nielsen Audio; reappeared in June with a 1.0 (6+); immediately disappeared again in July (0.0); but returned in August. The six most recent trends for WTOP are a very steady 9.6 – 9.7 – 9.5 – 9.3 – 9.4 – 9.4 (6+) as the Hubbard all-news facility sets the pace for the ninth straight month. Following four consecutive months at #1, it shifted to second-place in “Holiday” 2017. WTOP rebounded from April’s -.8 with a +.1 in May (10.4 – 9.6 – 9.7, 6+). Between January – June, WTOP and American University-owned news/talk WAMU “The Mind Is Our Medium” finished first and second, respectively. By gaining four-tenths in August, WAMU curtailed three straight flat or downward trends that resulted in a collective loss of nine-tenths (8.5 – 8.3 – 8.3 – 7.6, 6+) and returned (from #3) to its familiar runner-up slot. With a gain of two-tenths (8.0 – 8.2, 6+), it is ensconced there again in September. An August increase of two-tenths to .5 (6+) by WDCH ended three straight months without an increase (5 – .4 – .3 – .3, 6+), but the Entercom business news outlet forfeits one-tenth in September to .4 (6+) and is flat at #24.

Washington, DC Music Formats – Without an increase the past three sweeps for an overall loss of -1.1 (4.8 – 4.8 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH “97.1 Washington’s Variety of the ‘80s ‘90s and Today” answers with a +.7 to 4.4 (ninth to seventh, 6+). Greater Washington Educational Telecommunications’ WETA posts its third positive spike in succession for a collective +1.3 (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.9 – 3.5, #14 to #12, 6+). Prior to this sweep, “Classical 90.9” had been inside 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) the past 22 ratings periods. The three-tenths lead Radio One-owned urban AC WMMJ “Majic” had over Howard University’s similarly-formatted WHUR lengthens to one-half share as “Majic” improves by three-tenths (7.0 – 7.3, 6+), while WHUR adds one-tenth (6.7 – 6.8, 6+). The two rivals repeat at third and fourth, respectively. Following six straight up or flat reports for a collective +2.3 (5.6 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 6.6 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+), WMMJ faltered by nine-tenths in August. In July, “Majic”  registered the highest 6+-stat (7.9) in its PPM history, breaking the “old” record set the previous month (June). In April, “Majic” pulled ahead of WHUR for the first time since November 2015, which was when the two rivals were tied at 4.7 (6+). This is the sixth sweep in succession that WHUR has finished at #4. After four straight reports without an increase for an overall -1.4  (7.1 – 6.2 – 6.1 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+), WHUR was a combined +1.1 in June and July (5.7 – 6.3 – 6.8), with July’s 6.8 its best 6+-showing since January’s 7.1. Despite being up or flat for the third successive report for a +.4 (2.6 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 3.0, 6+) iHeartMedia’s WMZQ “98.7 Today’s Best Country” backslides from #14 to #15. In August, co-owned WBIG recaptured the three-tenths it lost in July, but “Big 100 – Washington’s Classic Rock Station” falters by seven-tenths in September (4.7 – 4.0, fifth to ninth, 6+). Going into the August sweep, WBIG was down or flat three months in a row for a -.4 (4.8 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.4, 6+). Within 2.4 – 2.9 territory (6+) for the tenth successive sweep (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 2.8, 6+), alternative sibling WWDC “DC-101” drops from #14 to #16. An overall -.9 through five consecutive decreases (4.1 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 3.2, 6+), Entercom rhythmic CHR WPGC-FM shifts from #12 to #14.

Boston

Spoken-Word Formats – Up three-tenths (2.4 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WRKO  progresses from #14 to #13. When “AM 680 – The Voice of Boston” notched a gain of two-tenths in July, it ended three downward moves in a row for a collective loss of seven-tenths (3.0 – 2.7 – 2.4 – 2.3, 6+). Two-tenths of a share separates Beantown’s two mammoth sports talkers, as Entercom’s WEEI-FM drops one-half share (5.1 – 4.6, sixth to seventh, 6+), while Beasley Media Group-owned WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” notches a +.4 (4.0 – 4.4, ninth to eighth, 6+). As it entered the September ratings period, Boston Red Sox flagship WEEI-FM had been an overall +1.1 in three straight positive spikes (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 5.1, 6+). A +1.0 in April cut in half a cumulative -2.0 in February and March (5.4 – 4.1 – 3.4, 6+). Meanwhile, New England Patriots’ key station WBZ-FM was a combined -1.9 in June and July (5.7 – 4.3 – 3.8, 6+). Notwithstanding that it gains one-tenth (5.3 – 5.4, 6+) following a one-half share decline in August, iHeartMedia-owned news-talk hybrid WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” backslides from fifth to sixth. An April loss of nine-tenths ended three straight improvements that produced a cumulative +1.5 (4.9 – 5.2 – 5.4 – 6.4, 6+); 6.4 in March is its best 6+-stat since January 2017’s 6.6. Off two-tenths (5.7 – 5.5, 6+), Boston University’s news/talk WBUR falls from third to fifth. In June, WBUR returned half of May’s +.6 with a loss of three-tenths; it was +.7 in January and +1.0 in March. Surrendering the one-tenth it logged this time last month (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.1, 6+), WGBH Educational Foundation news/talk WGBH slips from #11 to #12. Prior to August’s +.1, WGBH was an overall -1.6 in three decreases in a row (4.7 – 4.1 – 3.5 – 3.1, 6+). WGBH improved by seven-tenths in January but was off two-tenths in both February and March.

Boston Music Formats – Typically solid in its home market (Worcester), Cumulus Media hot AC WXLO is up or flat for the fifth straight time for a +.9 (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 2.1, #19 to #17, 6+), reaching the two-share level in Boston (2.1, 6+) for the first time in nearly four years (2.0, November 2014). Doubling August’s +.3 with a September improvement of six-tenths (4.8 – 5.1 – 5.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WZLX “Classic Rock 100.7” jumps from sixth to fourth. While co-owned mainstream CHR WXKS-FM is on top for the ninth consecutive ratings period, “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” sputters by seven-tenths to 7.1 (6+), thus erasing the +.7 it netted in four consecutive up or flat monthlies (7.1 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+). It exited the top spot in December 2017, after three straight months there. Its format challenger, Entercom’s WODS “103.3 Amp Radio” (#16 to #14), has a “Holiday” 2017 – September 2018 topline trending of 2.6 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.3 (6+). Steady at #10, hot AC cluster-mate WWBX “Mix 104.1 Boston’s Best Variety” drops one-tenth to 3.7 (6+), thus snapping at five its consecutive string of up or flat trends that yielded one-half share (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.8, 6+). Not only does co-owned WAAF notch a +.3 to 1.8 (6+) to suspend four consecutive sweeps without an increase that resulted in a loss of eight-tenths (2.3 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+), “The Only Station That Really Rocks” returns to the top twenty (#21 to #20). Somewhat similarly, Northeast Broadcasting triple A WXRV, which was off six-tenths in five straight down or flat trends (2.2 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.6, 6+), breaks that streak by adding one-tenth to 1.7 (6+). The difference is that “92.5 The River” backslides from #20 to #21. Within 2.2 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 15th straight sweep, iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WJMN “Jam’n 94.5” (2.5 – 2.3, -.2, 6+) dips from #13 to #14. In the market’s country tussle, Beasley Media Group’s WKLB “Country 102.5” is off for the third successive sweep for a -.5 (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.2, eighth to ninth, 6+), while iHeartMedia-owned WBWL “101.7 The Bull – Boston’s New Hit Country,” which had been in a March through August down/up sequence (2.2 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.5 – 2.3, 6+), drops two-tenths to 2.1 (#15 to #17, 6+).

Miami

English-Language, Spoken-Word Formats – By regaining the one-tenth it squandered in August, iHeartMedia news/talk WIOD maintains a May through September topline pattern of 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 2.0 (6+); News Radio 620 – Miami’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” carries on at #20. WIOD’s one-half share loss in May halted seven straight positive or flat trends that netted an overall nine-tenths (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+). Included in a five-way logjam at #25 (up from #27 in August) is Entercom’s WQAM, whose May through September trending is .9 – .8 – .9 – .8 – .9 (6+). A May gain of two-tenths by “Sports Radio 560” suspended five sweeps in succession without an increase for a collective -.8 (1.5 – 1.2 – .8 – .8 – .8 – .7, 6+). Cluster-mate WAXY “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket” is in that scrum at #25 as well, but is up three tenths (to .9, #28 to #25, 6+), thus applying the brakes to seven straight (mostly) flat or down trends that accounted for a loss of three-tenths (.9 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .8 – .7 – .6, 6+). Doubling August’s one-tenth increase with a +.2 in September (1.8 – 1.9 – 2.1, 6+), Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN inches up from #20 to #19. On the strength of a +1.1, Moody Bible Institute religious teaching WRMB “Moody Radio South Florida” nearly triples its 6+-share (.6 – 1.7,  #22, 6+).

Miami Music Formats – A gain of seven-tenths to 4.6 (tenth to sixth, 6+) by iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary WZTU “Tu 94.9 – Donde Viven Tus Hits” nearly erases its -.8 through three downward moves in succession (4.7 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 3.9, 6+). Tacking on four-tenths to August’s one-half share gain (6.9 – 7.4 – 7.8, 6+), Cox Media Group adult contemporary WFEZ “Easy 93.1” sets the pace for the fourth month in a row. “Easy” advanced from second to first in June, but after three straight months without a decrease for an overall gain of eight-tenths (6.7 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 7.5, 6+), it faltered by six-tenths in July. Prior to April, WFEZ had been within 6.2 – 6.8 range (6+) in each of the previous 12 sweeps. In three straight monthlies without an increase, Entercom’s similarly-formatted WLYF was a cumulative -1.2 (6.7 – 6.4 – 5.8 – 5.5, 6+); however, “101.5 Lite FM” is a collective +.5 in August and September (5.5 – 5.8 – 6.0, 6+). Nonetheless, it backslides from a fourth-place tie to fifth. July 2018’s 5.5 is the lowest 6+-share for “Lite” since 5.2 in July 2017. A collective -1.4 in three straight downturns (7.5 – 7.1 – 6.8 – 6.1, 6+), Cox Media Group urban AC WHQT “Hot 105” picks up one-tenth to 6.2 (6+) and is unchanged at #3. Entercom rhythmic CHR WPOW “Power 96” is up two-tenths to 2.7 (#17 to #16, 6+), curtailing three consecutive down or flat trends that resulted in a loss of four-tenths (2.9 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.5, 6+). Fully erasing August’s +.5 with a -.5 in September (3.5 – 4.0 – 3.5), Univision Radio-owned Spanish tropical WRTO slips from ninth to tenth. In July, “Mix 98.3” surrendered three-tenths, thus snapping at four a consecutive string of increases that yielded nine-tenths (2.9 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.8, 6+). Sputtering by one-half share as well (2.5, #14 to #17, 6+) is Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary WRMA “Ritmo 95.7,” which was +.7 in three up or flat months in a row (2.3 – 2.6 – 3.0 – 3.0, 6+). Slipping from sixth to seventh, Cox Media Group urban contemporary WEDR “99 Jamz” has a March – September (6+) topline of 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.4. Down a combined -1.1 in four straight sweeps without an increase (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.2, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMIA “93.9 MIA – Variety From The ‘80s, ‘90s, & Today” moves from #17 to #18. The tie at #11 between the market’s two mainstream CHRs is broken as iHeartMedia-owned WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” is off one-tenth (#12), while Cox Media Group’s WFLC “Hits 97.3” sputters by three-tenths (#14). “Y-100” is trending 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.2 (March – September, 6+), while “Hits 97.3” is down for the third sweep in a row (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 3.0, 6+) for an overall loss of seven-tenths. Down or flat nine consecutive reports for a collective -1.4 (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+), WFLC was +.6 in June. Locked on 4.0 (6+) in January and February, “Y-100” eroded by eight-tenths in March. The two rivals were separated by one-tenth in April and May.

Detroit

Spoken-Word Formats – In back-to-back sweeps, Cumulus Media’s WJR “News Talk 760” is a combined +.5 (3.6 – 3.8 – 4.1, flat at #11, 6+). Its +.2 in August, suspended three straight negative trends that accounted for a loss of seven-tenths (4.3 – 4.2 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+). Off seven-tenths in three downward moves in a row (5.3 – 5.6 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+), Entercom sports talk WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” answers with a +.9 to 5.5 (ninth to sixth, 6+). A combined -.6 in February and March, the Detroit Tigers flagship was up nine-tenths in April. Adding two-tenths to August’s robust +.8 (5.5 – 6.3 – 6.5, 6+), co-owned WWJ “News Radio 950” (unchanged at #3) registers its best 6+-performance since its 6.5 in March. Following four up or flat trends in succession for a collective +1.0, WWJ was -.8 in April; and was then frozen on 5.8 (6+) in May and June. Following eight straight survey periods without an increase for a collective -.3 (1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+), Michigan Public Media news/talk WUOM picks up one-tenth to 1.7 (#19 to #18, 6+). Steady at #22, Wayne State University news/talk WDET adds one-tenth for the third consecutive sweep (.6 – .7 – .8 – .9, 6+).

Detroit Music Formats – Powered by a +1.3, more than quadrupling August’s 6+ AQH share (.4 – 1.7, 6+), Radio One gospel WDMK-HD2 “Detroit Praise Network” checks in at #18. Progressing by seven-tenths each are iHeartMedia mainstream CHR and urban AC cluster-mates WKQI “Channel 95.5 – Detroit’s #1 Hit Music Station” (tenth to eighth, 6+) and WMXD “Mix 92.3” (5.2 – 5.9, sixth to fourth, 6+). An overall -.9 in six successive sweeps without an increase (4.8 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.9, 6+), “Channel 95.5″ is now a collective +1.3 in August and September (3.9 – 4.5 – 5.2, 6+). The last time WKQI reached the five-share level (6+) was in December 2017 (5.0). Meanwhile, Entercom’s similarly-programmed WDZH, which was a combined +.4 in three straight up or flat moves (2.4 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), falters by four-tenths to 2.4 (#15 to #16, 6+). Just before that streak, “98.7 Amp Radio” suspended three straight setbacks of one-tenth each (2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.4, 6+). Despite dropping one-tenth (7.6 – 7.5, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WOMC “104.3 Detroit’s Greatest Hits” advances from second to first. It dislodges Beasley Media Group’s WCSX “94.7 – Detroit’s Classic Rock” (7.9 – 7.4, -.5, 6+), which had been #1 the past four months; it slips to #2. WCSX was +.6 in July but is now a combined -.9 in August and September. A loss of two-tenths in June ended five straight positive spikes that generated a +2.5 (5.4 – 5.9 – 6.3 – 6.7 – 7.6 – 7.9, 6+). Co-owned WRIF “Everything That Rocks” is a collective -1.3 in three consecutive negative moves (5.6 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.3, eighth to tenth, 6+). This comes immediately after four consecutive improvements that led to a combined +1.5 (4.4 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 5.5 – 5.9, 6+). June’s 5.9 is its strongest 6+-stat since January 2017 (5.9, as well). Forfeiting the three-tenths it picked up in August (5.5 – 5.8 – 5.5, 6+), Entercom’s WYCD segues from fourth to sixth. Three down or flat moves in succession by “99.5 Detroit’s Best Country” accounted for a cumulative loss of one-half share but that was fully erased in June with a +.5. While unchanged at #17, Cumulus Media’s similarly-programmed WDRQ “93.1 Nash FM” is -1.0 in four consecutive decreases (3.0 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.0, 6+). When “Nash FM” slipped by two-tenths in June, it halted five consecutive up or flat moves that netted nine-tenths (2.1 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+).

Seattle

Spoken-Word Formats – On the heels of August’s +.8 to 5.9 (6+), Bonneville news/talk KIRO-FM tacks on two-tenths (6.1, 6+) and carries on in the runner-up slot. Prior to its -.7 in June, KIRO-FM had an October 2017 – June 2018 6+-topline of 5.7 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.4 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 5.8. Within 2.0 – 2.4 range for the sixth month in a row (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.1 – 2.3, 6+), co-owned KTTH “Conservative Talk Radio” returns to the top twenty (#22 to #20). The (6+) topline February – September trending for Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned KVI “Talk Radio 570” (flat at #24) is a remarkably consistent 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1. Even though it is off eight-tenths via three straight down or flat trends (4.2 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+), Bonneville sports talk KIRO-AM “ESPN 710” moves up from #14 to #13. As a result of four positive spikes in succession (2.3 – 2.9 – 3.6 – 4.1 – 4.2, 6+), the Seattle Mariners flagship was a combined +1.9. Prior to May, the last time KIRO-AM reached the four-share level (6+) was in October 2015 (4.3). Locked on .6 (6+) in May and June, iHeartMedia-owned KJR-AM “Seattle’s Sports Radio 950” follows in July through September with a .5 – .7 – .9, #28 to #26, 6+). Sinclair Broadcast Group’s all-news KOMO gains two-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (2.3 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+) and continues at #19. Not only is Northwest Public Radio news/talk KUOW a collective +.8 in three up or flat trends in succession (5.4 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 6.2, 6+), it proceeds from #2 to #1 with its highest 6+-share (6.2) since April’s 6.5. August’s increase concluded three straight down or flat sweeps that accounted for an overall -1.1 (6.5 – 6.0 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+). KUOW took over the runner-up slot in May after a one-month stay at #1. On top for four straight months before dropping to second in December, KUOW was +1.5 in January (6.4 – 7.9, 6+) as it returned to #1.

Seattle Music Formats – Within 2.4 – 2.8 range (6+) the past six survey periods (2.8 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+), Crista Ministries contemporary Christian KCMS-FM “Spirit 105.3” erupts with a +1.0 to 3.5 (#19 to #12), its strongest 6+-performance since December 2017 (3.5, as well). The market’s 6+ hot AC share swells by +1.3, virtually equally divided between Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KPLZ “Star 101.5” (4.0 – 4.7, +.7, eighth to seventh, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned KBKS “106.1 Kiss FM Seattle’s New Hit Music” (2.6 – 3.2, +.6, #18 to #16, 6+). Conversely, country’s 6+-share here shrinks by six-tenths, as Entercom’s KKWF “100.7 The Wolf” forfeits two-tenths (4.0 – 3.8, eighth to tenth, 6+), while Hubbard’s KNUC “98.9 The Bull” (formerly KVRQ) sputters by four-tenths (3.6 – 3.2, #13 to #16, 6+). By gaining one-tenth in August, “The Wolf” concluded a streak that dated back to October 2017 in which KKWF alternated an up sweep with a down one (3.1 – 2.9 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.9, 6+). “The Bull” bounced back from July’s -.4 with an August +.6. Entering the July sweep, “The Bull” more than tripled (+2.4) its 6+-stat as the result of six straight survey periods without a loss (1.0 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 2.0 – 2.8 – 3.4, 6+). These two country stations were tied at #14 in June. For the first time since Entercom’s KSWD “The Sound” (3.8 – 4.2, +.4, #11 to #8, 6+) became an adult contemporary outlet in early-December 2017, it overtakes the longtime incumbent – Hubbard’s KRWM “Warm 106.9” (seventh to ninth, 6+). In August, “The Sound” posted a one-half share increase to halt four straight down or flat trends that resulted in a loss of eight-tenths (4.1 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+). “Warm” is currently -1.0 in three successive setbacks (5.0 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 4.0, 6+). Prior to a +.3 in June, KRWM was -7.1 (or down roughly 60%) in five consecutive down or flat sweeps (11.8 – 5.5 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). Its 11.8 in “Holiday” 2017 was the AC station’s strongest 6+-stat since 13.4 in “Holiday” 2015; “Warm” was #1 in December and “Holiday” 2017. The rollercoaster ride continues for co-owned CHR KQMV “MOViN 92.5,” which was +1.7 in July (6.1 – 7.8, 6+); -1.4 in August; and now -.6 in September to 5.8, its lowest 6+-showing since April’s 5.6. Having finished first in June, July, and August, KQMV drops to third. A decline of seven-tenths takes Classic Radio’s KING “98.1 Listener-Supported Classical Music” to 1.7 (#21 to #22), its softest 6+-stat since 1.6 in November 2017. Dropping one-half share each are iHeartMedia adult hits KJAQ “96.5 Jack FM Playing What We Want” (3.9 – 3.4, #10 to #13, 6+) and Entercom rhythmic hot AC KHTP “Hot 103.7,” which is a collective -1.1 in four straight sweeps without an increase (3.4 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.3, #17 to #20, 6+).

Phoenix

Spoken-Word Formats – Continuing at #11, Bonneville news/talk KTAR-FM is a collective +.5 in three upticks in a row (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.6, 6+). KTAR-FM was up three-tenths in April but was then a combined -.5 in May and June. Following four straight gains that netted eight-tenths (2.1 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KFYI “News Talk 550” falters by four-tenths to 2.5 (#15 to #17, 6+). When KFYI lost one-tenth in March, it ended at three its successive string of upticks that netted nine-tenths (1.5 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.4, 6+). A September increase of one-half share to 3.1 (#17 to #13, 6+) by Bonneville sports talk KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona Sports” halts its May through August topline of 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.6 (6+). It is the first time the Arizona Diamondbacks flagship reaches the three-share level (6+) since October 2017’s 3.0. From January through May, it was a collective +1.1 in three straight positive spikes (1.5 – 1.6 – 2.3 – 2.6, 6+); KMVP-FM was then frozen on 2.5 (6+) in June and July. Regaining one-tenth of August’s -.3 (3.0 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), Maricopa County Community College news/talk KJZZ bumps up from #16 to #15. Its July increase of six-tenths halted three consecutive negative moves that accounted for a combined -1.5 (3.9 – 3.6 – 2.7 – 2.4, 6+).

Phoenix Music Formats – Major ups/downs continue for Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KOMR “Amor 106.3,” which was +.5 in June and July (1.6 – 1.9 – 2.1, 6+); -.8 in August; and now +.5 in September (1.3 – 1.8, #26 to #22, 6+). Improving by one-half share as well is iHeartMedia CHR KZZP “104.7 Kiss FM” (5.5, seventh to fifth, 6+), which had been -1.0 in three straight down or flat trends (6.0 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 5.0, 6+). The only station in the 12 PPM-markets noted here posting an August 2018 – September 2018 decrease of at least one full-share is KZZP’s adult contemporary cluster-mate KESZ (7.3 – 6.1, -1.2, 6+). Not only is this the fourth consecutive decline for KESZ for an overall -2.9 (9.0 – 8.7 – 7.5 – 7.3 – 6.1, 6+), it relocates to #2 after spending the last ten reports at #1. KESZ was up seven-tenths in April and then logged a +1.7 in May; 16.4 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-showing since 16.5 in “Holiday” 2016. Taking over at #1 is Hubbard’s KSLX “Classic Rock 100.7,” which levels out at 6.3 (6+), after August’s +.8. As the result of July’s -1.1 to 5.5 (6+), KSLX erased in its entirety the +1.1 it netted in six straight sweeps without a loss (5.5 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.6, 6+). Moreover, “Classic Rock 100.7,” which occupied the runner-up slot eight consecutive ratings periods, shifted to fifth. An overall +.9 in three straight increases (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 3.0, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KHOT “Que Buena 105.9” relinquishes two-thirds of that collective increase (2.4, -.6, #14 to #18, 6+). In three straight positive spikes (3.5 – 4.3 – 5.9 – 6.2, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits KYOT  managed to rack up a collective +2.7; however, “95.5 The Mountain – We Play Everything” is off three-tenths in September to 5.9 (6+) and continues in third-place. For perspective, “The Mountain” finished tenth in May. Within 5.2 – 5.9 range (6+) each month this calendar year (5.2 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 5.9, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KNIX “102.5 Today’s Best Country & All-Time Favorites” moves from fourth to third, while its format challenger – Entercom’s KMLE “Country @ 107.9” – returns half of August’s +.4 (4.2 – 4.0, -.2, 6+) and remains at #9. A cumulative -2.1 (or roughly -50%) in six successive negative trends (4.1 – 4.0 – 3.2 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.0, 6+), Farmworker Educational Radio regional Mexican KNAI “101.9 Campesina” slips from a three-way tie at #18 to #19.

Minneapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Recording a 4.4 (6+) for the third straight month, Entercom-owned WCCO drops out of the top ten (#9 to #11). Prior to August, the four previous fluctuations for “News Radio 830” were +.8 (April); -.8 (May); -.8  (June); and +.5 (July). The Minnesota Twins flagship was locked on 4.4 (6+) in December 2017 and “Holiday” 2017 and then on 5.0 (6+) in January 2018 and February. A loss of three-tenths (3.7 – 3.4, 6+) drops iHeartMedia’s KTLK Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130” from #13 to #14. In advance of the June sweep, KTLK was +1.4 in five successive sweeps without a loss (2.5 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+). Flat at #16, Hubbard news/talk KTMY “My Talk 107.1” surrenders two-tenths (2.7 – 2.5, 6+). An August gain of three-tenths halted three straight down or flat moves that accounted for an overall loss of seven-tenths (3.1 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.4, 6+). Its March decrease of three-tenths stopped four straight up or flat trends that generated a +1.2 (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 3.3, 6+). A collective -2.1 via four decreases in a row (5.8 – 5.5 – 4.7 – 4.0 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KFXN “Sports Radio 100.3 K-Fan” answers with a +1.2 in August and September (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.9, 6+) and returns to the top ten (#12 to #9). “K-Fan” was -1.5 in February. Trending 1.0 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .8 (February through September, 6+), Hubbard sports talk KSTP-AM “ESPN 1500” slips from #21 to #22. Following four negative moves in a row for a collective -2.2 (5.9 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 3.7, 6+), Minnesota Public Radio news/talk KNOW is +.8 in August and September (3.7 – 4.4 – 4.5, ninth to tenth, 6+). Its recent fluctuations include -.7 (February); +.7 (March); -.5 (April) +.7 (May) -.7 (July); and +.7 (August).

Minneapolis Music Formats – Not only does its increase of nine-tenths to 8.0 (6+) suspend three straight negative moves that generated a -.6 (7.7 – 7.3 – 7.2 – 7.1, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KQQL “Kool 108 – Minnesota’s Greatest Hits” advances from second to first with its strongest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 14.2. “Kool 108” succeeds co-owned CHR KDWB “101.3 The Twin Cities’ #1 Hit Music Station” (7.8 – 7.2, -.6, first to third, 6+), which occupied the top spot for just one month. August’s 7.8 is its highest 6+-share since September 2016’s 8.1. Prior to August 2018, the last time KDWB claimed the top spot was August 2017. Locked on 1.5 (6+) in May and June and then on 1.6 (6+) in July and August, Minneapolis Public Schools’ KBEM breaks out a +.5 to 2.1 (steady at #19, 6+), the first time “88 FM – The Twin Cities’ Voice For Jazz, Roots Music & Education” reaches the two-share level (6+) since March (2.0). Hubbard hot AC KSTP-FM “KS-95,” which held the lead position seven straight sweeps before being ousted in August, is up three-tenths to 7.4 (steady at #2, 6+), thus curtailing four straight downward trends that accounted for a -1.5 (8.6 – 7.9 – 7.8 – 7.5 – 7.1, 6+). Its -.7 in May suspended four successive progressive moves that netted a +2.8 (5.8 – 7.6 – 8.2 – 8.3 – 8.6, 6+). Following four consecutive increases for a cumulative +1.0 (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed KTCZ “The Cities” dropped six-tenths in August and is flat in September (at 3.6, #14 to #13, 6+). After gaining four-tenths in August, iHeartMedia’s KEEY “K-102 Minnesota’s Country Station” surrenders twice that margin in September (6.0 – 5.2, -.8, fourth to sixth, 6+). At the same time, Entercom’s KMNB “Minneapolis Country Music – Buz’n @ 102.9” is down a collective two-tenths in three consecutive down or flat reports (4.2 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 4.0, #11 to #12, 6+). Unchanged in fifth place, Cumulus Media-owned KQRS is off one-half share (5.8 – 5.3, 6+). Following five consecutive months without an increase for a cumulative -.7 (6.2 – 6.1 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.5, 6+), “Minnesota’s Classic Rock” posted a +.3 in August.

San Diego

Spoken-Word Formats – Locked on 5.1 (6+) in June and July, iHeartMedia news/talk KOGO regresses by seven-tenths in August and September (5.1 – 4.5 – 4.4, 6+), yet actually improves from ninth to seventh. “News Radio 600” was +.8 (January); -.7 (February); +.8 (March); +.6 (May); and -.6 (August). October 2017’s 7.2 is KOGO’s highest 6+-share in its PPM-history. Flat at #22, Tegna news/talk KFMB-AM “AM 760” is down one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+). Its June increase of one-tenth interrupted three straight negative moves that accounted for a loss of seven-tenths (2.2 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.5, 6+). It is two-tenths ahead of iHeartMedia Los Angeles news/talk KFI “AM 640” (1.8 – 1.4, -.4, #22 to #23, 6+). Finishing one after another  are Interamericana de Radio’s XPRS-AM “The Mighty 1090” (1.0 – .9, -.1, #24 to #25, 6+); Entercom-owned/San Diego Padres flagship KWFN “97.3 The Fan” (.8 – .9, +.1, even at #25, 6+); and iHeartMedia’s KLSD “Fox Sports 1360 San Diego’s Sports Station” (.5 – .8, +.3, level at #27, 6+). San Diego State University-owned news/talk KPBS shifted from first to second in April; returned to #1 in May; dropped from first to third in June; slipped from third to fourth to July; returned to first in August; and segues from first to second to September (6.5 – 6.2, -.3, 6+). KPBS was up seven-tenths in August.

San Diego Music Formats – Boasting a +1.1 (2.6 – 3.7, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVJ zooms from #16 to #10 as San Diego’s version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” reaches the three-share threshold (6+, 3.7) for the first time since March (3.1). Both of the market’s rockers – Tegna’s KFMB-FM “100.7 KFM BFM” (3.6, #12 to #11, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s KIOZ “Rock 105.3” (2.8, #20 to #16, 6+) – improve by six-tenths. In August, KFMB-FM sputtered by one-half share to 3.0, its lowest 6+-showing since March (2.9). Meanwhile, “Rock 105.3” was a collective -.6 in four successive down or flat sweeps (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+). Gaining one-half share each are Local Media San Diego-operated XHTZ “Z-90.3 Today’s Hit Music” (3.6, #10 to #11, 6+) and Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KLQV “Amor 102.9” (2.5 – 3.0, #18 to #14, 6+). CHR “Z-90.3” was -1.4 via three decreases in a row (4.5 – 3.9 – 3.2 – 3.1, 6+), while “Amor 102.9” recorded a 2.7 (6+) in March, April, May, and June. A collective +2.8 through seven consecutive ratings periods without a loss (3.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned CHR KHTS “Channel 93.3 – San Diego’s #1 Hit Music Station” storms from second to first. A collective +1.6 in July and August (3.7 – 4.7 – 5.3, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KLNV surrenders nine-tenths in September (5.3 – 4.4, 6+) slipping from sixth to seventh. In August, “Que Buena 106.5” crossed the five-share level 6+ (5.3) for the first time since “Holiday” 2017’s 5.1. Uni Radio’s similarly-formatted XHTY “Invasora 99.7,” which was up eight-tenths in five consecutive monthlies without a loss (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 3.1, 6+), drops two-tenths to 2.9 (#10 to #15, 6+). In four downward moves in a row (4.0 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 2.4 – 2.1, #19 to #20, 6+), Imagen Spanish contemporary XLTN “104.5 Radio Latina” is a collective -1.9 (approximately -50%).

Denver

Spoken-Word Formats – With a May through September topline of 5.0 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 5.1 (6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KOA advances from sixth to fourth. Following January’s one-half share loss, “Colorado’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” picked up one-tenth in consecutive sweeps (4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4, 6+) and posted a +1.4 in April to zoom from ninth to first, but the flagship of the Colorado Rockies exited the top spot in May after a one-month run. In an up/down pattern, iHeartMedia news/talk KHOW was +.3 (June); -.2 (July); +.1 (August); and now -.4 in September (2.1 – 1.7, 6+) as “Talk Radio 630” departs the top twenty (#19 to #21). Immediately before the June sweep, KHOW had been down or flat four sweeps in a row for an overall setback of four-tenths (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.0 -1.9, 6+). Adding nine-tenths to August’s +.4 (2.5 – 2.9 – 3.8, 6+), Bonneville-owned KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” proceeds from #14 to #12 with its best 6+-stat (3.8) since December 2017’s 4.2. “The Fan” faltered by one-half share in June and July (3.5 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+), posting its lowest 6+-stat (2.5) since July 2017’s 2.3. Denver’s “Fan” was +1.0 in March. On the heels of hauling out a +1.1 (5.2 – 6.3, 6+), Colorado Public Radio news/talk KCFR tacks on another one-tenth (to 6.4, 6+), which is sufficient to progress from second to first. It was a brief one-month stay at #1 (in May) for KCFR, which lost seven-tenths in June. In addition to being on top in May, KCFR was #1 in January and March. After dropping one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (1.0 – .9, -.8, 6+), Community Radio for Northern California news/talk KUNC registers a one-half share increase to 1.3 (#26 to #23, 6+). Prior to June’s 1.0 (6+), KUNC recorded a .7 (6+) in each of the three previous sweeps.

Denver Music Formats – The market’s (6+) hot AC share balloons by +1.2, which is nearly equally divided between KSE Radio Ventures’ KIMN (3.9 – 4.6, +.7, tenth to ninth, 6+) and Entercom’s KALC “Alice 105.9” (4.3, +.5, #11 to #10, 6+). The (6+) April – May – June – July – August stats for “Alice” were 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 3.8. Having notched a 2.7 (6+) in three of the last six sweeps (2.7 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.7 (6+), Entravision Communications Spanish adult hits KJMN “La Suavecita 107.1” breaks out a +.7 to 3.4 (#15 to #13, 6+). A gain of six-tenths to 2.3, the best 6+-stat for Colorado Public Radio’s KVOD since “Holiday” 2017’s 2.4, ends its April – August 1.7 – 2.2 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.7 (6+) trending and takes the classical station to #19. Since debuting in print in February, iHeartMedia’s KWBL “106.7 The Bull – Colorado’s New Country” (#18 to #16) is trending 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.8. Immediately after registering three consecutive up or flat trends that yielded a +1.0 (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.6, 6+), KSE Radio Ventures classic hits-oldies KXKL followed with a combined -1.1 in June, July, and August (5.6 – 5.0 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+). In September, “Kool 105 – Denver’s Greatest Hits” gains two-tenths to 4.7 (6+) and continues in eighth-place. May’s 5.6 is its most potent 6+-stat since December 2016’s 5.7. On the other hand, August’s 4.5 is its softest since “Holiday” 2017’s 3.8. Two streaks come to an end for Entercom classic rocker KQMT: It drops six-tenths to 6.0 (6+), thus snapping its consecutive string of three positive spikes that netted a +1.7 (4.9 – 6.1 – 6.5 – 6.6, 6+) – and – after being #1 the past three months – “99.5 The Mountain – A Mountain of Classics” shifts to the runner-up slot. Up or flat five months in a row for a collective +1.4 (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 6.0, 6+), Bonneville adult contemporary KOSI “101.1 Real-Music-Variety” is now -1.0 in August and September (6.0 – 5.8 – 5.0, fourth to sixth, 6+). Whereas July’s 6.0 is the strongest 6+-showing for KOSI since Holiday’s 2017’s 11.5, September’s 5.0 is its lowest since March (4.7). Erasing in full the one-half share increase it recorded in August (1.5 – 2.0 – 1.5, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KBPI “107.9 Rocks The Rockies” departs the top twenty (#20 to #22). Prior to August, KBPI posted a 1.5 (6+) in four of the previous six sweeps (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 1.5, 6+), Also forfeiting one-half share is Entercom rhythmic CHR KQKS “KS-107.5” (3.8 – 3.3, #11 to #15, 6+).

Tampa

Spoken-Word Formats – Returning half of August’s +.6 (4.2 – 3.9, -.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WFLA “970 Tampa Bay’s News Radio” exits the top ten (#10 to #11). In January and February, WFLA was +.5 (2.7 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+); -.5 in March (3.7 – 3.2, 6+); +.8 in April (3.2 – 4.0, 6+); +.4 in May (4.0 – 4.4, 6+); -.7 in July; and +.6 in August (3.6 – 4.2, 6+). Without a loss the last four sweeps for a +.8 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.5, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” falters by two-tenths to 3.3 (#13 to #14, 6+). A one-tenth setback in April ended three straight increases that produced a gain of one-half share (2.3 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), while a January improvement of three-tenths curtailed four straight down or flat trends for a collective -1.1 (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.3, 6+). Conversely, with a gain of four-tenths to 2.5 (#19 to #18, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WDAE “620 Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” pulls the plug on four consecutive down or flat reports that led to a loss of two-tenths (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+). Beginning with the “Holiday” 2017 report, the Tampa Bay Rays flagship was up or flat for the next five survey periods for a +.8 (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+). The March – September topline trending for University of South Florida news/talk WUSF (flat at #20) is 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.4 – 1.6 (6+). When WUSF added two-tenths in June, it halted six successive ratings periods without an increase that accounted for a collective -1.6 (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.7, 6+).

Tampa Music Formats – In addition to dialing up a +.6 to 4.2 (6+) which halts five straight sweeps without an increase for a collective -1.3 (4.9 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WBTP “95.7 The Beat” cracks the top ten (#12 to #8). Albeit down three-tenths (8.9 – 8.6, 6+), Cox Media Group-owned adult contemporary WDUV “Lite Favorites” is in the driver’s seat for the 73rd successive ratings period. After four straight up or flat trends that netted seven-tenths (8.4 – 8.9 -9.0 – 9.0 – 9.1, 6+), WDUV slipped three-tenths in July but picked up one-tenth in August. “Lite Favorites” was -3.5 in January and February (11.9 – 8.8 – 8.4, 6+), following a +1.5 in “Holiday” 2017 (10.4 – 11.9, 6+). A September decrease of eight-tenths by  classic hits-oldies sibling WXGL “107.3 The Eagle” completely wipes away August’s +.7 (6.4 – 7.1 – 6.3, 6+). In August, “The Eagle” registered its highest 6+-stat since July 2017 (7.1, as well). Similarly, iHeartMedia-owned WXTB “98 Rock” erases August’s one-half share increase with a September decrease of six-tenths (3.8 – 4.3 – 3.7, 6+) and drifts from the top ten (#9 to #12). Four straight up or flat trends by “98 Rock” netted eight-tenths (3.9 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.6 – 4.7, 6+), but it was down nine-tenths in July; June’s 4.7 is its strongest 6+-showing since October 2017 (4.7, as well). Whereas iHeartMedia-owned CHR WFLZ “93.3 FLZ – Tampa Bay’s #1 Hit Music Channel” was up one-half share in August, Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted WPOI “Hot 101.5” was down by that same margin. WFLZ is flat at 4.1 (#11 to #10, 6+) and “Hot” picks up three-tenths (3.4 – 3.7, #14 to #12, 6+).

Baltimore

Spoken-Word Formats – A loss of one-half share (3.1 – 2.6, #11 to #12, 6+) takes independent news/talk WCBM “680 Stimulating Talk – Breaking News” to its lowest 6+-showing (2.6) since “Holiday” 2017’s 2.5. Steady at #14, Hearst Television news/talker WBAL gains one-tenth to 2.5 (6+), thus applying the brakes to five straight sweeps without an increase that accounted for a collective -.9 (3.3 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.4, 6+). Up or flat the past three sweeps for a +.7 (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 4.7, 6+), Entercom sports talk WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan” carries on at #9. Baltimore’s “Fan” was +.6 (January); -.6 (February); +1.0 (April); and a combined -1.0 in May and June (5.0 – 4.5 – 4.0, 6+). A collective -.5 in August and September (3.1 – 3.0 – 2.6, 6+), Your Public Radio news/talk WYPR “88.1 Your NPR News Station” remains at #12. Following five decreases in a row for a cumulative -1.7 (4.2 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+), WYPR posted a July increase of six-tenths. American University-owned news/talker WAMU (1.0 – 1.1, +.1, 6+) is part of a four-way scrum at #18. Before slipping to 1.0 (6+) in August, WAMU notched a 1.1 (6+) five consecutive times in the Baltimore report. The March through September topline for Entercom business news WDCH is .8 – .8 – .8 – .6 – .5 – .5 – .6 (#26, 6+).

Baltimore Music Formats – Answering July’s -.8 with a collective +1.1 in August and September (4.4 – 5.0 – 5.5, 6+), Hearst Television’s WIYY “98 Rock” progresses from sixth to fourth with its best 6+-stat since August 2017 (5.5, as well). Prior to July’s decrease, “98 Rock” registered six successive ratings periods without a loss for an overall +1.8 (3.4 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.2, 6+). A collective -1.8 in four successive negative moves (6.8 – 6.5 – 6.1 – 5.2 – 5.0, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WLIF improves by three-tenths to 5.3 (6+) and is steady in sixth-place. “Today’s 101.9” was #1 in December 2017 (9.7, 6+) and “Holiday” 2017 (16.3, 6+). In back-to-back sweeps, Baltimore City Community College-owned WBJC “91.5 Maryland’s Classic Music Station” more than triples (+1.9) its 6+-share (.8 – 1.3 – 2.7, 6+), catapulting from #16 to #11. In August, WBJC halted four straight down or flat trends that carved away approximately half (-.7) its 6+-share (1.5 – 1.2 – 1.0 – .8 – .8, 6+). It is a somewhat similar scenario for Entercom-owned gospel WLIF-HD2 which also more than triples (+1.3) its 6+ AQH share in August and September (.6 – 1.1 – 1.9, #18 to #15, 6+). Up one-tenth to 8.8 (6+), Radio One urban AC WWIN-FM finishes first for the ninth successive sweep as “Magic 95.9” bounces back from August’s -.8 (9.5 – 8.7, 6+). In three successive decreases (11.6 – 11.5 – 10.3 – 9.4, 6+), “Magic” was an overall -2.2 but it responded with a +.3 in June. After going eight straight ratings periods without a loss for an overall +3.8 (7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 8.7 – 9.2 – 10.4 – 10.6 – 11.6, 6+), it lost one-tenth in March. Urban contemporary cluster-mate WERQ (7.8 – 7.6, -.2, 6+) occupies the runner-up slot for the fifth month in a row; “92-Q Jams” was up nine-tenths in August, with 7.8 its strongest 6+-stat since September 2017 (7.8, as well). The rollercoaster ride continues for iHeartMedia-owned WPOC “93.1 – Baltimore’s #1 for New Country,” which was a combined -2.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (7.2 – 6.2 – 4.6, 6+); +2.5 (January); -.9 (February); -1.5 (April); +.6 (May); +.5 (June); +.8 (July); -.6 (August) and now -.6 in September (6.2 – 5.6, flat at #3, 6+). Off one-tenth to 4.9 (6+) and dropping from sixth to eighth, Shamrock Communications-owned WZBA “100.7 The Bay – Baltimore’s Classic Rock Station” has its successive string of up or flat trends that produced an overall +2.2 snapped at eight (2.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 5.0, 6+).

St. Louis

Spoken-Word Formats – Wiping away July’s -.6 with a combined +.9 in August and September (7.4 – 7.6 – 8.3, 6+), Entercom news/talk KMOX “The Voice of St. Louis” marches from the runner-up slot to #1 with its highest 6+-stat since May (8.3, as well). The St. Louis Cardinals flagship was +2.3 in April. Following a January +1.0, KMOX was a combined -.6 in February and March. Despite being -.7 in three straight sweeps without an increase (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.6 – 2.6, 6+), Emmis-to-Entercom’s KFTK “FM News Talk 97.1” improves from #17 to #16. Owing to May’s +.3, “FM News Talk 97.1” ended three straight negative moves that accounted for a loss of eight-tenths (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.6 – 2.5, 6+). Three straight negative moves by Hubbard sports talk WXOS generated a loss of eight-tenths (3.5 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.7, 6+), but “101 Sports” follows with an overall +1.3 in July, August, and September (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.7 – 4.0, #12 to #11, 6+); 4.0 is its strongest 6+-showing since January (4.0, as well). WXOS posted a -.6 in both February and April. Without a decrease in the last four ratings periods for a net gain of six-tenths (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+), University of Missouri news/talk KWMU remains at #14. Off by an overall half-share in February and March (3.7 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+), KWMU added one-tenth in April.

St. Louis Music Formats – In back-to-back major-league wobbles, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLOU “103.3 St. Louis’ Greatest Hits” completely obliterates August’s -1.1 (7.8 – 6.7, 6+) with a September gain of the same magnitude (6.7 – 7.8, +1.1, 6+) and advances from third to second. After regressing by a combined -1.5 in May and June, KLOU recaptured nine-tenths in July (6.9 – 7.8, 6+). On top for four consecutive months (January through April), “St Louis’ Greatest Hits” shifted to #2 in May. An overall -2.0 in January and February (9.5 – 7.9 – 7.5, 6+), KLOU made up 45% of that loss in March and April (7.5 – 8.3 – 8.4, 6+). Entercom adult contemporary KEZK “102.5 The Best Mix of the ‘80s & Today” erases an August decline in its entirety as well, flipping August’s -.5 into a September +.5 (5.9 – 5.4 – 5.9, seventh to sixth, 6+). Its August loss ended six consecutive up or flat trends that netted +1.7 (4.2 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.9 – 5.9, 6+). It is tied at #6 with Hubbard’s KPNT “105.7 The Point – Everything Alternative,” which registers its fifth consecutive positive spike for a +1.9 in that stretch (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 5.4 – 5.9, seventh to sixth, 6+). Moreover, this (5.9) is the highest 6+-performance for “The Point” since March 2016’s 6.1. It is only a one-month stay at #1 for Gateway Creative contemporary Christian KLJY (7.8 – 7.6, -.2, 6+), which segues from first to third. Even so, it’s a noteworthy story for “99.1 Joy FM,” which – after being unlisted for 18 straight sweeps – reappeared in print in June and by hauling out a +1.3 in August (6.5 – 7.8, 6+) marched from third to first. After posting a repetitive May through August topline of 5.8 – 6.2 – 5.8 – 6.2 (6+), Hubbard adult hits WARH “106.5 The Arch” falters by eight-tenths to 5.4 (fourth to eighth, 6+). Without a gain for the fifth straight sweep, Emmis-to-Entercom CHR KNOU “Now 96.3 All The Hits” (#16 to #17) is a collective -1.2 (3.7 -3.4 – 3.4 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.5, 6+).

Monday, October 1, 2018

| October 1, 2018

WPEN-FM, Philadelphia Reveals New Morning and Midday Shows. A little more than a week after rumors in Philly swirled about the departure of Anthony Gargano from the morning drive show at Beasley Media Group’s sports talker WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic,” the company announces its plans.  The new AM drive show is “Farzetta and Tra In the Morning” with Philly sports media personality Marc Farzetta and former Eagles star William “Tra” Thomas.  The new midday program (10:00 am to 2:00 pm) will star Anthony Gargano and current midday host Jason Myrtetus.  Both shows launch on October 8.  Farzetta currently serves as co-host of NBC Sports Philadelphia’s “Philly Sports Talk.”   Previously, he served as an associate producer for NBC’s Sunday Night Football. Farzetta and Thomas will be joined by longtime Philadelphia sports journalist and current morning show co-host Bob Cooney and producer Jamie Lynch.  Station content manager Eric Johnson says, “We are very excited to be adding Marc Farzetta and Tra Thomas to ‘The Fanatic’ lineup.  I’ve been a fan of Marc’s since he started on the air in Philly in the mid 2000s.  He’s evolved into a major talent in town, growing from update anchor and time out entertainer at Temple basketball games to radio talk show anchor and NBC Sports Philadelphia host.  Tra has a natural gift of compelling story telling.  With Anthony Gargano leading our midday show with Jason Myrtetus, these moves will put the station in a much stronger competitive position.  This really ushers in a new era for a great brand…’97.5 The Fanatic!’”

Bob Pittman to Present at Advertising Week New York. The title of this panel discussion is “An America Divided: Are We Listening?” and it takes place this afternoon at day one of Advertising Week New York (AWNY runs through Thursday).  iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman will host a roundtable featuring Amy Brown, co-host of the “Bobby Bones Show”; Enrique Santos, chairman and chief creative officer of iHeartLatino; WHTZ, New York-based syndicated radio star Elvis Duran; and Stephanie Ruhle, the anchor of “MSNBC Live.”  Noting that the ad business is run by those living and working mostly in Manhattan and that often skews its perspective, Pittman’s presentation addresses that fact that “the Hispanic population of America is now 18%; the African American population is now 13%; and a quarter of a billion people live outside New York and Los Angeles.  Effective marketers need to understand everyone – not just their neighbors here [in NYC].”  The panel will explore what the multiple voices are in America today, what marketers don’t understand about this audience, and the best way to reach them.

Bob Brinker Ends Weekend ‘MoneyTalk’ Program.  One of the longest-running weekend financial talk programs wrapped on Sunday (9/30) as Bob Brinker steps away from “MoneyTalk,” the program he’s been hosting for more than 32 years.  Westwood One says that Brinker has decided to spend more weekend time with his family.  He’ll continue to author his award-winning investment letter, “Marketimer.”  Brinker began his radio career as a news anchor on KYW, Philadelphia in 1966.  In 1970 he entered the investment banking business with Provident National Bank as a portfolio manager.  He began a financial investment talk show on WMCA, New York in 1981 and went syndicated with the program in 1986 via the old ABC Radio Network.  The show eventually transitioned to syndication through Westwood One.

Sales Pro Chuck Deskins Returns to iHeartMedia as SVP of Inside Sales. Sales and management pro Chuck Deskins Jr. is rejoining iHeartMedia as senior vice president of inside sales, effective immediately.  He’ll be based in St. Petersburg, Florida and will report to EVP of inside sales, James Donovan.  Deskins was most recently a partner at C3 Media but spent the majority of his career with iHeartMedia. He launched his career as an account executive with Jacor in Cincinnati and became a Clear Channel staffer when it acquired Jacor.  In his new position, Deskins will “manage iHeartMedia’s team of inside sellers and managers and create advertising opportunities for brands and iHeartMedia partners across the company’s vast array of platforms including radio broadcasting, digital, mobile, outdoor, live concerts and events and more.”  He comments, “I spent most of my career at iHeartMedia and couldn’t be more excited to help our clients tap into such a powerful combination of marketing assets.  The iHeartMedia inside sales team is the best in the business and I look forward to working with our great team of professionals.”

TALKERS News Notes. From Chicago media writer Robert Feder comes news that WSCR, Chicago sports director Brendan McCaffrey is exiting the Entercom sports talk station after 10 years there to join SiriusXM’s NFL Radio as a producer.  Feder quotes station operations director Mitch Rosen’s staff memo in which he said, “It is hard putting into words what Brendan McCaffrey has meant to ‘The Score’ for the last 10-plus years because B-Mac has done just about everything at the station and knows more about the inner workings more than anyone.  I, like many of you, will miss Brendan’s humor, wit, and most importantly his interest and care for others around him.”…..Also from Robert Feder is the reported move of urban talk WVON and regional Mexican WRLL to new offices in the South Loop.  Midway Broadcasting is moving the stations from their South Side offices to 800 South Wells Street by the end of this year.  Midway chair Melody Spann-Cooper is quoted saying, “We will miss the South Side terribly, and the sentimental value of being here can’t be overstated.  However, I am excited about the move.  Like Cumulus, WGN, the Trib and the Sun-Times, it is time for Midway to downsize for efficiency and we embrace this new chapter.”…..KXL, Portland associate producer Jackson Sager (right) is leaving his role with the Lars Larson (left) show to launch his own talk show on sister news talk KUFO “Freedom 970.”  The weekend program will air Saturdays at 7:00 am.  Sager tells TALKERS that he’s also doing podcasting and voice-over work and says the time and dedication necessary to produce the Lars Larson show wouldn’t allow him to handle his other duties as he pursues his dream of having his own talk show…..In the screen shot below of this past weekend’s “Saturday Night Live” opening skit, Salem Radio Network East Coast director of affiliate relations Jim Bligh can be seen behind and to the right of host Matt Damon as an extra.  Bligh’s second career has landed him roles in a number of New York-filmed movies as well as an extra on “SNL,” which he’s done several times.  SRN VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup says Bligh told him, “Toughest thing was to keep from laughing at the guy lying on the floor next to me, who you can’t see, holding the Alyssa Milano pop-up on a stick!”

Well-Known Broadcasting Professional and TALKERS Exec Al Herskovitz Pens New Book.  Korean War veteran and renowned broadcasting industry “veteran” Al Herskovitz who, following his service to America, embarked upon a 68-year career in the radio business that’s still going strong, has written a new book published by TALKERS.  In The Tall, Skinny Jewish Kid with Eyeglasses from Bridgeport: A Radio Guy’s Chance Encounters with the Colorful and Famous (Talkers Books, 2018), he recalls the fascinating characters whom he met growing up in Bridgeport, Connecticut as a child of hard-working Jewish, Hungarian immigrants, a young man in the army, and a broadcaster at some of the nation’s leading radio stations.  They include show business celebrities, sports stars, politicians, mysterious international figures (including a couple of spies), and even a few mobsters!  Stories include details about the world famous movie actress who served as his babysitter before she was a star; a local radio co-worker who went on to become a quirky TV actor with a scandalous lifestyle; an articulate young man he met at a dinner party who became a present-day world leader; a major presidential candidate whose campaign he served as media consultant; and the touching story of his family’s search for relatives lost in the Holocaust.  The book also recalls numerous wild and wacky radio promotions and provocative insights into the lives of a parade of celebrities.  Herskovitz’s fascinating life in the idiosyncratic world of radio brought him into contact with an array of hundreds of figures from Kate Smith and Bob Dylan to Steve Forbes and Benjamin Netanyahu.  He writes about everything from skills he employed playing ping pong in the army recreation center to the pain of losing an officer friend accidentally blown up by a hand grenade in a war games maneuver.  It’s a story set against the backdrop of almost nine decades of American history – wars, protests, rapidly evolving pop culture and social norms – all the way to the author’s current activities on the leading edge of the digital era!  Today, pushing 90, Al remains fully engaged in the communications field and serves as senior marketing director for TALKERS.  He lives in Bradenton, Florida and is an active member of the Sarasota-based Media Round Table.  To arrange an interview with Al Herskovitz, please call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Kavanaugh FBI Investigation, Kanye West’s ‘SNL’ Trump Speech, New U.S.-Canada-Mexico Agreement, Midterm Elections, Trump-Russia Investigation, U.S.-China Relations, Warren Re-Considers Presidential Run, California Net Neutrality Law, NFL Action, and MLB Regular Season Finale Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The accusations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the FBI’s investigation into Christine Blasey Ford’s claim; rapper Kanye West’s controversial pro-Trump speech on “SNL”; the U.S., Mexico and Canada agree to new NAFTA deal; November’s midterm elections and the battle for control of congress; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the trade war between the U.S. and China; Senator Elizabeth Warren’s statement she’s considering running for president; the Trump administration sues California over its net neutrality law; the weekend’s NFL action and the final weekend of baseball’s regular season 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. KOST, Los Angeles morning personality Ellen K is launching The Ellen K Podcast Network designed to share “behind-the-scenes stories from Ellen K’s career and dive deeper into the stories of the day.”  The network will launch three new podcasts on iHeartRadio that will give listeners an in-depth look at what really goes on at the Ellen K shows.  Ellen K says, “I’m so excited to invite listeners into our studio through The Ellen K Podcast Network.  The opportunity to explore daily topics and everyday situations in a deeper way is thrilling to me.  I used to get in trouble in school for talking too much during class, and thanks to iHeartRadio I can continue my passion for connecting with listeners after the morning radio show is off air.”…..At Entercom’s classic hits KLUV, Dallas “98.7 K-LUV,” Jeff Miles is the new morning personality alongside Rebekah Black and David Rancken on the new “Miles in the Morning” program. Miles takes over for Jody Dean, who exits the program but will continue with KLUV in other capacities…..iHeartMedia announces the lineup for its 2nd annual ALTerEgo concert taking place on January 19 at the Forum in Los Angeles.  The bill for the event includes: Twenty One Pilots, The Killers, Muse, Weezer, Rise Against, Bishop Briggs, and The Revivalists.  iHeartMedia chief programming officer Tom Poleman says, “This will be one of the strongest alternative performance lineups to ever appear on one stage.  It’s such a strong lineup that it’s impossible to refer to any one of these incredible artists as the headliner – in fact, several of the performers have told us that it’s a show they would want to go to even if they weren’t already on the bill.”

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

| September 26, 2018

New Morning Host Greg Tish Takes Over on WVFT, Tallahassee. At WVFT, Tallahassee “Real Talk 93.3,” operator Magic Broadcasting II names Greg Tish the new morning host after declining to renew the contract of former morning personality Greg Marr Jr.  According to a story at Tallahassee.com, the new show, “Real Mornings with Greg Tish and Bobby Mac,” will focus less on politics than Marr Jr.’s “Voice of Freedom Today” program.  WVFT station manager Jon Jopling is quoted saying, “We are going to be intellectually honest and locally relevant.  It’s going to be more interesting and more thought provoking. We want to engage listeners on a higher level.”  Tish has been employed for the past 19 years with the Florida Sheriff’s Association.  He is described in the piece as a “partially retired DJ and man-about-town socialite.”

PodcastOne Sportsnet Beefs Up Offerings with Nine New Shows. These new programs now available on the PodcastOne Sportsnet platform are from The Pro Football Focus Network, The Underdog Network, The Collider Network, RealGM, and Natalie Eva Marie. PodcastOne chairman and CEO Norman Pattiz says, “As a full-service sports network totally focused on podcasts, plus up-to-date coverage of live events and major sporting events from around the world, these new inclusions from our podcasting partners further signal our commitment to sports and maintaining our leadership position.” New shows include “The PFF NFL Show” with Steve Palazzolo and Sam Monson; “The Underdog” with Chris Horwedel and writer Anshu Khanna; “You’re Wrong and Here’s Why”; “Tales from the Association”; “Collider Sports”; “RealGM Radio Football” with Jeff Risdon; and “The Natalie Eva Marie Show.”

NAB/RAB Radio Show Happening Now in Orlando — The 2018 installment of the annual “Radio Show” produced and presented by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) kicked off yesterday (9/26) in Orlando, FL and will run through Friday (9/28) at the dual location of the Hilton Bonnet Creek and the Waldorf-Astoria Orlando.  TALKERS special features correspondent Jeff McKay is on the scene providing first-hand coverage of the event and conducting interviews with speakers and attendees.  Read his coverage here.  McKay (on crutches due to a recent knee injury) is pictured below in front of one of the convention’s promotional posters that adorn the hallways and public spaces of the radio industry gathering.

Edison Teases ‘Share of Ear’ Data; Estimates SiriusXM-Pandora Market Share.  Tomorrow at the RAB/NAB Radio Show, Edison Research will unveil data from its 2018 “Share of Ear” study.  In advance of that, the company teases some of the findings, including that “in-car is the top listening location in the U.S. for all audio.”  That’s probably not a surprising statistic to radio pros, but the research puts some figures on that conclusion.  Edison says, “In any given day, nearly everyone in the U.S. will consume at least some audio, and on average, people age 13 and older spend four hours per day listening to music, news, personalities, and sports…70% of Americans age 13 and older listen to audio in a car each day – higher even than the portion who listen to audio at home.”  In a separate press release, Edison comments on the proposed acquisition of Pandora by SiriusXM saying that its research indicates that if the deal is consummated, the new company would deliver 12% of all audio consumed in the U.S.

Beasley Media Group Presents Dr. Shawn DuBravac at Radio Show — The appearance by best-selling author Dr. Shawn DuBravac came at the Beasley Media Group-sponsored “Evening of Dinner and Disruption” event held last night (9/25).  DuBravac discussed transformative innovation, including smart cities, AI, data, and the opportunities for radio in the future.  Pictured above (from l-r) are: DuBravac, Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley, COO/EVP Brian Beasley, and president Bruce Beasley.

Westwood One’s Kevin Harlan Gives Advice to Future Broadcasters – At the Westwood One-sponsored presentation by “Monday Night Football” announcer Kevin Harlan (right), he spoke with a large group of 2018 Radio Show Student Scholars about the business of radio broadcasting.  Harlan shared stories and offered advice to the students.  He’s pictured above with University of Indianapolis student broadcaster Mallory Moreno (left).  “The Student Scholar Kick-off with Kevin Harlan” was hosted by Westwood One Sports EVP/executive producer Howard Deneroff.

Harrison: Corporate Media Will Stop Catering to Targeted Audience Biases Only If It Sees Ratings and Revenue in Journalistic Objectivity. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison appeared as a guest on CNN’s Headline News Channel (HLN) yesterday (9/25) on “Across America with Carol Costello” to share his take on Brett Kavanaugh’s FOX News interview the night before (9/24).  As the conversation delved into the widespread practice of news organizations catering to target audience mindsets, Costello asked Harrison if he thinks any minds would be changed by Kavanaugh’s historically unusual FOX News appearance.  Harrison responded with the cynical observation, “I don’t think anything changes minds anymore.  We’re in a very strange impasse and I think it’s corroding our democracy.  I do hope that we eventually get to the point where it’s a little more fluid, where people are a bit more open-minded and that the media in general is a little bit more independent of adhering to its political flavor.  I guess the only way the media will ever get to that point will be if the media thinks it is in their interests to be that way – that you can actually get ratings and revenue and build an audience by not preaching to choirs.  But right now, we’re really in a quagmire of partisanship and polarized reporting where even media people who think they’re objective find themselves succumbing to the temptation to preach to their audience’s biases.”  Harrison went on to say that he does not hold FOX solely responsible for this type of positioning and insinuated that it is practiced to one degree or another by outlets all across the political spectrum including CNN and even TALKERS.

Trump UN Speech, Kavanaugh Sexual Assault Allegations, Trump-Russia Investigation/Rosenstein Status, Midterm Elections, U.S.-China Tensions, Bill Cosby Sentenced, NFL Action, and MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/25). Tuesday’s UN address by President Trump, including his warnings to Iran; the sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents, and the related status of Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein; the coming midterm elections; the tense relationship between the U.S. and China over tariffs and weapons sales; entertainment icon Bill Cosby is sentenced to 3-10 years in prison for sexual assault; the week’s NFL activities; and the Major League Baseball playoffs push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Boston, iHeartMedia names Rebekah “Bex” Maroun executive producer and co-host on CHR WXKS-FM’s “Matty In The Morning, effective October 1. She joins the program alongside well-known on-air personalities Matt Siegel, Billy Costa, and Lisa Donovan. She assumes the role previously held by Medha Gandhi, who recently joined the syndicated “Elvis Duran & The Morning Show.”  “Kiss 108” program director Dylan Sprague comments, “Bex’s chemistry with the Matty team was obvious at our first meeting.  Couple that with her magnetic personality and producing experience and it was really an easy choice.”  She was most recently an air personality and producer at Entercom’s hot AC WTDY…..BMI announces it has re-elected six members of its board of directors during the company’s annual meeting of shareholders.  The following have been elected to new three-year terms: Caroline Beasley, CEO, Beasley Media Group, LLC; Amador Bustos, president and CEO, Bustos Media Holdings, LLC; Michael Fiorile, current chairman, BMI board of directors; chairman and CEO, The Dispatch Printing Company; and chairman and CEO, Dispatch Broadcast Group; Bill Hoffman, president, Hoffman Communications, Inc. and retired president, Cox Media Group; Catherine Hughes, founder and chairperson, Urban One, Inc.; and Jerry Kersting, former president, Tribune Broadcasting and past EVP/CFO, Clear Channel Radio.…..In Miami, Entercom adds Melissa Maxx to the air staff of alternative WSFS “104.3 The Shark” to host the 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight show. She takes over for Erin Lee, who remains with the station to handle weekends and fill-ins…..At company headquarters in Portland this week, Alpha Media programmers are meeting for the first-ever “Alpha Media Programming Pop-Up.”  Fifty of Alpha’s content directors from around the country are taking part in a two-day forum.  The company says the goal is to “motivate and educate Alpha’s brand leaders by providing interaction with and information from some of the industry’s top executives and celebrity influencers.  Meetings and presentations are taking place today and tomorrow at Alpha’s theater located at the corporate offices.  Pictured below at Tuesday evening’s rooftop cocktail party are (from l-r): Alpha EVP of programming Scott Mahalick, Republic Records’ Sharon Dastur, Republic’s Gary Spangler, Alpha VP of content Phil Becker, Republic artist Mike Posner, Republic’s Brett Dumler, Republic’s Mike DePippa, and model/TV personality Kim Stolz.

Monday, September 24, 2018

| September 24, 2018

Nielsen Audio Announces Monthly Reporting for Diary Markets Starting in July of 2019. This is a move that broadcasters in diary markets have been waiting for.  Ratings giant Nielsen Audio announces it will “transform the measurement of markets that are measured with the audio diary from a quarterly or two times a year view to year-round measurement with monthly reporting.  This more dynamic measurement solution enables clients to see seasonal shifts and react more quickly to marketplace changes.  With this transition, radio will be able to find new insights and tell its reach story to advertisers each month.”  The implementation of Continuous Diary Measurement will begin in phases with the first starting in July 2019 in the markets currently measured four times a year.  The current four-book markets will convert to 12 currency releases that will comprise three months of data starting with the May/June/July 2019 report period.  Effective with July 2019, approximately 70% of radio’s ad spend will be reported monthly by Nielsen Audio.  Company managing director Brad Kelly says, “Big billion-dollar advertisers leave nothing to chance.  Every decision they make is data driven and updated audience data is crucial for timely decisions.  Nielsen Audio is excited to help diary market clients have a better understanding of the audio landscape and respond faster to dynamic market conditions. Continuous Diary Measurement will help radio reinforce its compelling reach story more often and provide fresh radio data to fuel marketing mix models — the decision tools big advertisers rely on to allocate budgets and evaluate the effect of their ad spend.”  Nielsen plans to deliver monthly reports, covering six months of data in markets with at least 1,000 metro in-tab, and monthly reports covering 12 months of data in the smallest markets.  Currently, Nielsen reports larger diary markets four times a year (winter, spring, summer and fall), mid-sized diary markets twice a year in the spring and fall and the smallest markets with two book averages of Spring/Fall and Fall/Spring.

SiriusXM to Acquire Pandora.  Satellite radio broadcaster SiriusXM announces that it is acquiring internet pure-play Pandora in an all-stock deal valued at about $3.5 billion.  According to today’s statement, Pandora owners will get 1.44 shares of SiriusXM stock for each Pandora share they own.  Both companies issued brief financial statements within the announcement. SiriusXM reiterates its previous outlook of 1.15 million new, self-pay subscribers and an adjusted EBITDA of $2.17 billion for the year.  Pandora reports expected Q3 revenue to be $390 million to $405 million.  SiriusXM says of the deal, “The combination creates the world’s largest audio entertainment company, with more than $7 billion in expected pro-forma revenue in 2018 and strong, long-term growth opportunities.”  SiriusXM says it plans no immediate change in listener offerings but adds that it can “capitalize on cross-promotion opportunities” and leverage its “exclusive content and programming with Pandora’s ad-supported and subscription tiers to create unique audio packages, while also utilizing SiriusXM’s extensive automotive relationships to drive Pandora’s in-car distribution.”  SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer comments, “We have long respected Pandora and their team for their popular consumer offering that has attracted a massive audience and have been impressed by Pandora’s strategic progress and stronger execution.  We believe there are significant opportunities to create value for both companies’ stockholders by combining our complementary businesses.  The addition of Pandora diversifies SiriusXM’s revenue streams with the U.S.’s largest ad-supported audio offering, broadens our technical capabilities, and represents an exciting next step in our efforts to expand our reach out of the car even further.  Through targeted investments, we see significant opportunities to drive innovation that will accelerate growth beyond what would be available to the separate companies, and does so in a way that also benefits consumers, artists, and the broader content communities.  Together, we will deliver even more of the best content on radio to our passionate and loyal listeners, and attract new listeners, across our two platforms.”

Beasley Promotes Buzz Knight to EVP of Strategy and Innovation. Programmer Buzz Knight is promoted from his vice president of programming position to executive vice president of strategy and innovation, effective immediately.  Knight came into the Beasley Media Group organization with the company’s acquisition of Greater Media in 2016.  In his new role, he will be responsible for the company’s existing and future strategic initiatives, along with new opportunities that innovate and diversify its portfolio.  Knight says, “These are transformative times in the company and the media industry.  Beasley Media Group is committed to pursuing and embracing strategy and innovation.  I am grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of helping to shape the company’s next exciting chapter!”

WTAM, Cleveland Adds ‘Geraldo in Cleveland’ Program and Begins 106.7 FM Simulcast. Heritage Cleveland news/talk WTAM unveils a number of programming additions that take effect today (9/24), starting with the AM station’s addition of translator W295DE at 106.7 FM to the station’s signal.  Also, American news and talk icon Geraldo Rivera is launching at daily, one-hour program on WTAM called “Geraldo in Cleveland” that airs at 9:00 am.  The iHeartMedia station says the program will address “a range of local and national headlines, including the latest business, political, and pop culture news.”  Rivera says in a press release, “Cleveland is my home now and so is WTAM.  History put me here by random chance and now I am a part of this great city where I fell in love with my wife of 15 years, Erica Rivera.  I will continue to work on a national level with FOX News [as correspondent-at-large], and I look forward to sharing conversations and perspective locally with you every day.  This is just the beginning of what I hope will be a long relationship with WTAM, iHeartMedia, and most importantly – YOU.”  Also at WTAM, the station adds former Cleveland Indians pitcher and current Indians TV broadcaster Jensen Lewis to the afternoon daypart as co-host of the 6:00 pm sports show “Sports Feed 2.0” with Mike Trivisonno and Nick Camino.  Finally, longtime station personalities Bill Wills – co-host of the morning drive show – and afternoon drive personality Mike Trivisonno have once again renewed their agreements with WTAM, both signing multi-year contract extensions.  Wills will continue his 20-year tenure as anchor of morning drive and Trivisonno will extend his 22-year reign as afternoon drive on-air personality.

Report: Gargano Off Mornings at WPEN-FM.  According to a report by Rob Tornoe at Philly.com, Beasley Broadcast Group’s sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” is removing Anthony Gargano from his post as host of the morning show and set to replace him is NBC Sports Philadelphia (and former crosstown WIP) personality Marc Farzetta. The story says it’s unclear if current morning show cast members Bob Cooney and producer Jamie Lynch will remain with the new lineup. WPEN has not responded publicly to the report.  Gargano left Entercom’s crosstown sports talker WIP in 2015 to take the WPEN gig.  Gargano is still listed as morning host on the station’s website and spots with his voice are still airing.

‘Savage Nation’ Reinvented for the New Year; One-Hour Radio Show and One-Hour Podcast to Replace Current Show. Starting in January, Michael Savage and Westwood One transition his current three-hour, syndicated talk show into two separate entities – a one-hour version of “The Savage Nation” radio show and a new, original podcast (that will also be available for radio broadcast).  Savage currently releases a podcast version of his radio show.  This new podcast will be original content.  Savage states, “As I move into the next phase of my 25-year radio career I hope to bring even more listeners to the medium of audio with ‘The Savage Nation.’  I will be free to innovate in unique ways on my podcast.  The flexibility of the platform will permit me to expand my storytelling and insights into politics, books, food, cars, and rock and roll.  I’m going to change the way talk radio is spoken and consumed.”  WWO adds that the combination of podcast and broadcast will fuel the audience for both shows, saying Savage will cross-promote across “The Savage Nation” radio show and podcast, which will also be heavily promoted by Westwood One Podcast Network.

Westwood One to Produce New, Two-Hour Ben Shapiro Radio Show. A lot has been made about making conservative media figure and Daily Wire editor-in-chief Ben Shapiro’s podcast available to broadcast radio stations. But, the real innovation in today’s news about Westwood One’s new, two-hour radio show being made available to news/talk stations is that the national spots will be restricted to a “limited number of powerful live reads” just as Shapiro does on his podcast.  The new Ben Shapiro show will air live from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET and debut in January. Shapiro says, “I grew up on talk radio and cut my teeth there.  There’s no medium that allows the exchange of ideas and the explanation of detailed narratives better than talk radio and I can’t wait to bring two more live hours to listeners across the country.  And we’re going to bring the values of podcasts – islands of advertising surrounded by oceans of content – to talk radio, too, merging the best of both worlds. Westwood One is a tremendously innovative partner, and I can’t wait to get started!”

RAB/NAB Radio Show Gets Underway This Week in Orlando.  The 2018 Radio Show opens in Orlando tomorrow (9/25).  Radio consultant Holland Cooke offers a little teaser about Edison Research’s “Share of the Ear” study that will be released at the Radio Show this year.  He also has some insight on the new Echo Auto.  Read his piece here.  Among the numerous happenings at this year’s confab is a live broadcast of “The Bob & Tom Show” Wednesday through Friday.  The broadcasts will take place in the North Foyer of the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek and will feature special guests; Frank Caliendo, Drew Hastings, Pat Godwin, and Greg Hahn.

Kavanaugh Assault Allegations, Trump-Russia Investigation/Rosenstein Status, Midterm Elections, New Illegal Population Study, U.S.-China Trade War, Deadly Iran Parade Attack, NFL Action, and MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.This week’s scheduled testimony from Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, and the new allegation from Kavanaugh’s Yale years; President Trump’s attacks on the Russia investigation and speculation about Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein’s job security; the coming midterm elections; a new illegal population study that declares real illegal population is 22 million – double previous estimates; the escalating placement of tariffs on goods by the U.S. and China; the attack on an Iranian military parade being blamed by Iran on the U.S. and Israel; the weekend’s NFL Action and the Major League Baseball playoff push 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 Las Vegas, Beasley Media Group names Kris Fisher the new brand manager for rhythmic oldies KOAS “Old School 105.7” and hot AC KVGS “STAR 107.”   Fisher was most recently PD at the company’s hip hop WCHZ.  Beasley Las Vegas vice president and general manager Dennis Gwiazdon comments, “We’re thrilled that Kris will be joining our team in Las Vegas.  After a lengthy nationwide search, it is especially gratifying to be able to promote someone from within our company.  “HD98.3” and “Hot 95.5/ 93.1” have achieved some of their highest ratings under his direction.  I’m looking forward to watching Kris work his magic for us here!”…..The nationally syndicated “DeDe in the Mornings” show is being added to the program schedule at iHeartMedia’s WHTY-FM, Columbus, Georgia “Hot 100.”  Compass Media Networks officially launched “DeDe in the Mornings” in partnership with Service Broadcasting’s “K104” in Dallas on July 16.  The program is also heard on WJMR-FM, Milwaukee; KATJ-HD2/K242CS, Victorville, California “HD 96.3”; and more…..Chicago on-air pro Brian Peck is named evening personality on Cumulus Media’s classic hits WLS-FM.  Peck has recently shared evening hosting duties with fellow WLS personalities Tom O’Toole and Danny Lake.  They will continue with their weekend shows along with Erin Carmen and Abby Ryan. Peck arrived in Chicago in 1992 as a morning co-host on WKQX “Q101.”  He’s also worked at WTMX, WSHE, and WJMK.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

| September 18, 2018

WHO, Des Moines and ‘Our American Stories’ Present Newt Gingrich Live Event.  “Our American Stories” host Lee Habeeb‘s American Private Radio and iHeartMedia’s news/talk WHO, Des Moines are collaborating to present “An Evening with Newt Gingrich” on October 15 at the Iowa Historical Building. The event is being hosted by WHO afternoon drive personality Simon Conway and Lee Habeeb.  Gingrich is quoted saying, “I am very excited to join our listeners for an evening of questions, answers and thought-provoking conversation.  WHO is taking the lead in an important concept of storytelling that rebuilds and provides people with a better understanding of America, which is something we desperately need today.”  “Our American Stories” airs in the evenings on WHO.

FNC to Produce Election Series Hosted by Ben Shapiro. This four-part series to air on FOX News Channel beginning on September 24 is being hosted by conservative media figure Ben Shapiro.  Titled, “The Ben Shapiro Election Special,” FNC says that each Sunday, Shapiro will be joined by a panel of experts along with influential guests to discuss the major headlines of the week and their impact on the upcoming 2018 midterm elections.  The one-hour program will also feature Shapiro’s political commentary and analysis on the major issues affecting the younger voting demographic this election season.  Shapiro is editor-in-chief of The Daily Wire and hosts a daily, eponymous podcast/radio show distributed by Westwood One.

Westwood One: AM/FM Radio Campaign Delivers ‘Significant Impressions.’ The study results are in the latest Westwood One blog post you can see here.  WWO says that it hired Nielsen to study a campaign for a major cable network’s season launch of a scripted drama that included AM/FM radio as well as paid TV spots and promos running on the network.  WWO says this was one of the first TV tune-in ROI studies to examine both TV and AM/FM radio.  The results indicated that although only 5% of the ad budget went to radio, it delivered 20% of total campaign impressions.  Further, with amplified frequency, AM/FM radio drove tune-in conversion: The more frequently consumers were exposed to tune-in ads, the greater the conversion to viewing the premiere.  Tune-in conversion is especially high among consumers who are exposed to ads six or more times.  The study also concluded that AM/FM radio delivered a much younger audience: TV’s audience skews older than AM/FM radio’s audience. 70% of AM/FM radio impressions came from 18-54-year-olds. Conversely, nearly half of all the TV impressions were from 55+.

TALKERS News Notes. According to the FCC, as of 11:00 am yesterday (9/17) 28 radio stations are out of service – 25 FMs and 3 AMs – in North and South Carolina.  Cell towers have also been affected by Hurricane Florence with 6% of the cell sites in the affected area out of service.  That’s down from the previous report of 7.2%.  Also, as a result of Hurricane Florence, the FCC and FEMA are alerting stations that the national test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA is being moved from this Thursday (9/20) to October 3.  The WEA tests takes place at 2:18 pm ET and the EAS at 2:20 pm ET…..The NHL‘s Los Angeles Kings and iHeartMedia unveil a new media destination for all Kings action this season.  All Kings games – including preseason, regular season and postseason contests – will now stream live on the new official LA Kings Audio Network, a custom station available on iHeartRadio, beginning with tonight’s Kings-Arizona Coyotes preseason game at STAPLES Center.  Additionally, iHeartRadio will feature “Kings Talk,” the club’s call-in radio show, that will stream live after most regular season and postseason home games from inside the Impact Sports Bar & Grill inside STAPLES Center…..Hubbard Radio and its St. Louis sports talk station WXOS-FM “101 ESPN” are presenting the return of the live event Buds & Bourbon at RYSE Nightclub at AMERISTAR Casino Resort Spa in St. Charles, Missouri.  WXOS air personalities will host the event that allows attendees to sample “the finest bourbons from distilleries such as McKenna Henry, Rittenhouse Rye, Bernheim, and more.”…..SiriusXM  announces a new weekly show featuring sports journalist Christine Brennan and former professional tennis player Rennae Stubbs, titled “Game Changers.”  It will air every Wednesday from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm will cover women’s sports as well as examine the headline topics in the larger sports world that affect and interest women and girls everywhere, whether they be fans, professional athletes, or parents and kids involved in youth sports.

Kavanaugh Assault Allegations, U.S.-China Trade War, Hurricane Florence Destruction, Trump-Russia Investigation, Bloomberg Teases Presidential Run, NFL Action, and MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/17). The allegations of a sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh; President Trump ramps up the trade war with China; the destruction in the Carolinas from Hurricane Florence; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; Michael Bloomberg announces he’s mulling a bid for president as a Democrat in 2020; the weekend’s NFL action; and the Major League Baseball playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Charlotte alternative WEND “106.5 The End” names Maria Palmer music director and evening personality.  Palmer comes to iHeartMedia Charlotte from Washington, DC where she’s been handling weekend and fill-in work on the company’s alternative WWDC and country WMZQ.  WEND program director Chuck “DZL” Thompson says, “I can’t wait for the people of Charlotte to hear Palmer on ‘106.5 The END.’  She has a rare blend of creativity, humor, passion, and drive, but also possesses the administrative and organizational skills needed to assist in running the day-to-day operations of the programming department.  Palmer is definitely one to watch and we couldn’t be more excited to add her to the iHeart and WEND family.”…..Entercom names Jordin Silver host of the morning drive show on alternative KRBZ, Kansas City “96.5 The Buzz.”  She’ll lead the “Mornings with Jordin Silver and Friends” program that features station air personalities Danny Boi and Mark.   Entercom regional president and Kansas City market manager Dave Alpert says, “We’re truly excited about the addition of Jordin to our morning show.  Pairing her with ‘Buzz’ morning vets Danny Boi and Mark will provide our listeners with a fresh show to start their day.” Silver has worked on air at KNDD, Seattle and KYSR, Los Angeles, to name a few…..Cumulus Media announces the five finalists in its rock artist competition neXt2rock.  More than 1,600 rock artists joined the competition from across the U.S.  The winner of the competition will get a record deal with Big Machine/John Varvatos Records, as well as substantial exposure, commensurate with a major label release, on Cumulus radio stations nationwide.  The finale takes place on October 4 at The Roxy Theatre in Los Angeles.  Music personality and longtime radio and TV host Matt Pinfield will host the evening’s festivities.  The five finalists are: Friday Pilots Club representing Chicago (WKQX); The Zealots representing Des Moines (KGGO); Black Rock Revival representing Memphis (WXMX); No Resolve representing Saginaw (WILZ & WKQZ); and Late Night Savior representing Salt Lake City (KBER & KHTB)…..Entercom reveals the lineup for this year’s “We Can Survive” concert to benefit Young Survival Coalition – an organization dedicated to the critical issues unique to young women who are diagnosed with breast cancer.  This year’s event will feature musical performances by Shawn Mendes, Charlie Puth, Ella Mai, G-Eazy, Khalid, Marshmello, Meghan Trainor, NF, and Tyga on Saturday, October 20 at the Hollywood Bowl…..DJ Envy, world-renowned DJ and co-host of the Premiere Networks nationally syndicated morning show, “The Breakfast Club,” has been nominated for a 2018 BET Hip Hop Award in the “DJ of the Year” category. Other nominees in the category include: DJ Khaled, DJ Drama, DJ Mustard, and Calvin Harris.

PPM Analysis: CHR. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s August 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on mainstream CHR.  About half of the stations in this month’s survey saw their 6+ weekly AQH shares dip from the July 2018 survey to the August survey.  The year-over-year trend saw 52% of CHR stations in PPM markets decline from August 2017 to August 2018.  Four CHR outlets ranked #1 in their respective markets (6+) during the August survey.  Three belong to iHeartMedia: KHKS, Dallas “106.1 Kiss FM”; WXKS-FM, Boston “Kiss 108”; and KDWB, Minneapolis.  The fourth is Hubbard Radio’s KQMV, Seattle.  See the whole report here.

Monday, August 27, 2018

| August 27, 2018

Scott Miller Named Afternoon Talk Host at WJBC, Bloomington, Illinois. Illinois radio pro Scott Miller is the new afternoon drive talk host at Cumulus Media’s news/talk WJBC, Bloomington, Illinois, effective September 10.  Miller has worked at numerous Chicago outlets: as executive producer/personality at Hubbard Radio’s classic rock WDRV “97.1 The Drive,” producer at Tribune’s news/talk WGN, short-lived all-news “FM News 101.1” (WKQX), and more. Speaking about his new gig, Miller says, “I’ve worked with and learned from the best in Chicago for over 20 years. It’s time to follow in the radio tradition of stealing all their bits and making them my own on WJBC!  Now if I can just get a hold of Piranha Man, 100,000 disco records and re-work the lyrics to ‘on top of a pizza!’”

Gallagher Appointed DOS at WGN, Chicago. Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that radio exec John Gallagher is the new director of sales at Tribune’s news/talk WGN. Gallagher, who most recently was vice president and general manager at Hubbard Radio’s Chicago cluster, assumed the role held by Jeff Hill, who exited earlier this year to become VP of sales at Cumulus Chicago.  Gallagher also served as president and GM at WLS-AM. WGN station manager and VP of content Todd Manley says, “John is filled with the entrepreneurial spirit we treasure at WGN.  Having his leadership in our hallways is a game changer for our brand and our business partners.”

Barrett Sports Media to Introduce ‘Jeff Smulyan Award’ at February Event.  At next winter’s “Barrett Sports Media Summit” in Los Angeles, Barrett Sports Media will bestow The Jeff Smulyan Award upon its first recipient. BSM president Jason Barrett says he’s “taking the initiative to make sure the contributions of a select few members are permanently remembered.”  The Jeff Smulyan Award will be given to “a chosen member of the radio industry who demonstrates a consistent ability to lead, take risks, and produce results.”  Speaking about the Emmis Communications chairman, Barrett says, “If Jeff Smulyan hadn’t rolled the dice to launch an all-sports station in New York City in 1987 and stuck to the plan when it made no sense to do so, sports radio may never have received a second chance.  Jeff’s ability to lead and deliver results, combined with his willingness to take risk, not only benefited WFAN, but it remains the driving force behind Emmis Communications’ success.  As new threats for the sports fan’s ear emerge from outside industries, it’s important for us to remember who paved the way to make this possible, while recognizing those who continue to blaze new trails to help us secure a prosperous future.”  The 2019 Barrett Sports Media Summit takes place in Los Angeles inside the Clive Davis Theater at The Grammy Museum on February 21 and 22, 2019.

iHeartMedia Twin Cities Unveils ‘Sports Radio 96.7.’ The new station is heard in Minneapolis-St. Paul on translator K244FE and is fed from the HD-3 channel of classic hits KQQL.  iHeartMedia is calling the station “KFAN Plus, Sports Radio 96.7” and is airing the FOX Sports Radio lineup, including Dan Patrick, Colin Cowherd, and Doug Gottlieb.  Station PD Chad Abbott states, “We’re thrilled to bring the Twin Cities some of the biggest and well-known national names in sports radio.  ‘KFAN Plus’ will be a great expansion of KFAN programming, providing our listeners with even more around-the-clock, exclusive sports news content that they love.”

TALKERS News Notes. Vice president of social media Lori Lewis announces via Facebook that she’s resigning her post with Cumulus Media/Westwood One after a three-year stint with the company.  As for her next move, she only says that she “cannot wait to share this next phase of life” with the industry.  Lewis joined Cumulus from her previous position with Jacobs Media…..The New York Post is reporting that Entercom is moving to acquire the rights to New York Mets play-by-play for all-news WCBS-AM.  Currently, Mets games are heard on iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk WOR.  Entercom has the rights to Yankees broadcasts that air on sports talk WFAN. Prior to WFAN getting the Yankees games (back when CBS RADIO owned the station) they aired on sister WCBS-AM…..According to The Wrap, sports media personality Ryen Russillo is going to be working with Bill Simmons on his The Ringer Podcast Network.  The former ESPN Radio host is expected to host a regular, weekly football podcast as well as make appearances on Simmons’ own show…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that WSCR, Chicago operations director Mitch Rosen is among the list of 10 being inducted into the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame this year.  Feder writes that “as recipient of the group’s Media Award, Rosen will be cited for The Score’s contributions to Chicago area sports journalism since 1992.”…..Pictured below is Genesis Communications Network nationally syndicated talk host Dr. Daliah Wachs (right) with World War II veteran Herb Cohen (left).  Wachs spoke to a group of vets from the Jewish War Veterans of Southern Nevada, Post 64 during an event at the Suncoast Hotel.

Entercom Stations to Air Special on Mental Health Awareness and Suicide Prevention. The program is called “I’m Listening” and will air across all Entercomstations on Sunday, September 9 at 7:00 am local time.  The company says this marks the start of National Suicide Prevention Week and the company’s year-long campaign that includes suicide prevention PSAs, on-air promos, and a dedicated website with information and resources to end the stigma around mental health discussions.  KISW, Seattle morning personality BJ Shea is hosting the program that will feature medical experts Dr. Chris Nowinski – co-founder and executive director of Concussion Legacy Foundation – and Dr. Ursula Whiteside, a clinical psychologist and CEO of NowMattersNow.org.  Guests scheduled to join the program include Mike McCready and Stone Gossard of Pearl Jam, Olympian Michael Phelps, Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park, singer Alessia Cara, and many others.  Entercom president of programming Pat Paxton states, “‘I’m Listening’ is one of our signature productions meant to save lives, while simultaneously creating awareness for this truly lethal silent threat.  The number of people impacted by mental health issues is staggering.  The effect it has on their lives and lives of their friends and families is devastating.  If we help save just one life or help remove the stigma around mental illness, our time will have been well spent.  We can’t solve this issue during one program, but we can be part of a vast network working every day to help and serve those affected.”

Beasley Celebrates Its Top Performers with 2018 Operating Achievement Awards. At its annual management meeting in Boston on Friday (8/24), Beasley Media Group announced the winners of the company’s annual Operating Achievement Awards.  The 2018 Winners include: Mary Menna, Market Manager of the Year/Boston; WKLB-FM, Boston, Station of the Year; Tina Murley, Director of Sales (DOS) of the Year/Boston; David Corey, Program Director of the Year/WKLB-FM; Ed McCormack, Technology Award /Boston; Leslie Hamand, Market Controller of the Year/Tampa; Nicole Sellers, Digital Content Professional of the Year/Charlotte; and Deena Roemer Herman, Digital Sales Professional of the Year/Philadelphia. Pictured above are (from l-r): Beasley Media Group COO/EVP Brian Beasley, Murley, Corey, CEO Caroline Beasley, founder & chairman of the board George Beasley, Menna, and president Bruce Beasley

John McCain Passes, Trump-Russia Investigation, Manafort Conviction/Cohen Guilty Pleas, Silent Sam Statue Toppled, Deadly Jacksonville Shooting, Neil Simon Dies at 91, NFL Pre-season, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The death of Arizona Senator John McCain at 81; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the conviction of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort on fraud charges and the campaign finance violation guilty pleas entered by former Trump attorney Michael Cohen; the toppling of the Silent Sam statue on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill; the shooting at a Florida egame tournament that left three dead; playwright Neil Simon dies at 91; NFL pre-season action, and the MLB playoff push 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 St. Louis, Kristie Graybill joins iHeartMedia’s CHR KSLZ-FM “Z107.7” as co-host of the AM drive program.  She partners with Jordan DeSocio for the “Jordan and Kristie in the Morning” show. KSLZ program director Matt Johnson comments, “Kristie is a strong, well-known radio personality within the iHeartMedia family.  We auditioned several talented on-air personalities to join Jordan, but Kristie’s drive, creativity, and talent made her our ideal candidate.”  She says, “I genuinely want to thank iHeartMedia St. Louis for giving me this amazing opportunity.  I am thrilled to be working with Jordan and I can’t wait to connect with the St. Louis listeners bright and early every morning.”  Graybill moves to St. Louis from Cincinnati where she was afternoon drive host on iHeartMedia’s CHR WKFS “Kiss 107.1.”

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

| August 22, 2018

Report: New Allegations of Behavior Issues at CBS RADIO.  In today’s New York Post, a story by Kevin Dugan details allegations of inappropriate language on the part of WCBS-FM jock Dan Taylor in which he is accused of using racial and sexually demeaning terms in front of former producer Craig Lenti.  The allegations by Lenti are from a diary he kept of his experiences working at the station. This comes a month after sister station WFAN, New York (along with WCBS-FM now owned by Entercom) suspended midday personality Joe Benigno while it investigates allegations of sexual harassment against him made by former sales staffer Lauren Lockwood. The Post piece also notes that six former CBS RADIO staffers have contacted the paper in the last month supporting Lockwood’s claims.  The story includes a statement on behalf of Entercom by Sard Verbinnen spokeswoman Liz Zale, who says, “We are deeply offended by this mischaracterization of our culture and work environment.  This handful of allegations from former employees of CBS Radio does not reflect Entercom’s culture or work environment.”  Read the Post piece here.

Salem Host Joe Walsh Teams with WVON’s Maze Jackson for Live Event Series Titled, ‘Black and White, Uncomfortable Conversations.’ This series of live events featuring former U.S. Representative and current Salem Radio Network and Newsmax TV personality Joe Walsh and WVON, Chicago morning personality Maze Jackson is taking place at four locations around Chicagoland. It’s called “Black and White, Uncomfortable Conversations” and will “feature authentic, uncensored dialogue with respectful, no-holds barred conversation about the issues affecting black and white men and women of all ages throughout Chicago.”  Topics such as taxes, gun violence, reparations, religion, family structure, education, “and other political topics that have been hijacked by an agenda-driven media.”  Walsh adds, “The ‘Uncomfortable Conversations’ events will help us find common ground, which too many Americans have forgotten how to do.”  Jackson comments, “I’m looking forward to having some really uncomfortable conversations on race, politics, and culture with a very unlikely partner, former Congressman Joe Walsh.  I’m as pro-Black as you can be and Joe is as conservative one can be, so when we get together, fireworks will erupt.  But after we get through the bombastic words we’ll get to the core of finding solutions to benefit us all.”  The series takes place on consecutive Saturdays in September in Bolingbrook, Wauconda, Chicago’s south side, and Lake Forest, Illinois.

KSPN, Los Angeles Moves Sedano to Afternoons; Adds Travis Rodgers to Mornings. This new lineup takes effect on September 4.  Jorge Sedano, currently part of the morning show with Keyshawn Johnson and LZ Granderson, moves to the open afternoon drive slot hosting his own program from 3:30 pm to 7:00 pm.  “ESPNLA 710” is adding Travis Rodgers to the morning show for the newly renamed “The Morning Show with Keyshawn, LZ and Travis.”  The midday schedule remains the same with Stephen A. Smith from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon and the “Mason and Ireland” show from 12:00 noon to 3:30 pm.  Sedano says, “There’s not a more exciting time to be in Los Angeles covering sports.  It’s an honor to take on the task of providing the best content possible for the city’s fans.  I’m pumped to be working with a great group both behind the scenes and on the air.”

TALKERS News Notes. On today’s edition of Westwood One’s “The Savage Nation” with host Michael Savage, popular social media personalities Diamond and Silk, a.k.a. Lynnette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson, will appear as special guests.  The African American comedy duo, whose pro-Trump social media activity on their YouTube channel “The Viewers View” has more than 180,000 subscribers.  They will also interview Savage for their upcoming documentary…..Walter M. Sterling’s “Sterling on Sunday” program – nationally syndicated by Westwood One – is celebrating its one-year anniversary in national syndication. The show – billed as a mix of lifestyle, entertainment, and social conversations – airs live from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am ET and is now heard on more than 60 affiliate stations a year after its August 19, 2017 debut…..As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, former WGN-AM, Chicago sports anchor and reporter Sam Panayotovich is coming back to the Windy City airwaves on Entercom’s sports talk WSCR “The Score” with weekly appearances on the Mike Mulligan and David Haugh morning show.  Panayotovich is a host for Las Vegas-based VSiN (Vegas Stats & Information Network).  He says, “Following the betting markets really changes the way you watch sports. I can’t wait to go back home for 12 minutes every Friday.”…..NPR is launching a midterm election-focused radio show called, “The Politics Show from NPR,” featuring Scott Detrow, Tamara Keith, and Asma Khalid.  It debuts September 14 and runs through November 9.  NPR VP for programming and audience development Anya Grundmann says, “We are thrilled to be expanding our platform, particularly at a time when reliable news is vitally important.  The 2018 elections will be as consequential as any in recent memory.  This show will provide comprehensive fact-based coverage that will help voters make informed decisions at the ballot box.”…..The New York State Broadcasters Association is naming ABC’s “World News Tonight” anchor David Muir its 2018 Broadcaster of the Year.  The multiple Emmy and Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist has been with ABC News since 2003 and served as the anchor for the overnight program “World News Now” and as a network correspondent.  On September 2, 2014 he became the sole anchor and managing editor of ABC’s “World News Tonight with David Muir.”  Muir will be honored at the New York State Leadership and Hall of Fame Luncheon on October 18 at the Javits Center in New York City at a luncheon held in conjunction with the NAB Show NY….Entercom’s news/talk KNSS, Wichita is a big winner at the Kansas Association of Broadcasters annual television and radio awards.  KNSS won first place for Complete Sportscast and for Station Website.  It grabbed second place honors for Complete Newscast.

WCBS-AM, New York Unveils New Logo and News ‘Anthem.’ The still shot above shows a scene from the recording of the new news “anthem” for Entercom’s all-news WCBS-AM, New York.  The station is introducing the new music as well as the new logo seen at bottom left of the photo.  WCBS director of news and programming Tim Scheld says the new look and feel are part of the radio station’s strategy to build a brand for the next 50 years.  He states, “2017 was all about celebrating the brand that is WCBS Newsradio 880 and 2018 was all about rethinking the brand.”  Assistant program director Alex Silverman says of the new music, “We didn’t want the traditional, in-your-face, self-important news music.  We wanted a sound that was going to communicate that we are a trusted friend.” The station says that what it got was “an anthem filled with energy, percussion, and the passion with which the news is delivered on New York’s iconic news radio station.”  Check out the story and the video of the recording of the new music here.

Paul Manafort Guilty on Eight Counts, Michael Cohen Pleads Guilty, Trump-Russian Investigation, Microsoft Finds Russian Hacking of Conservatives, Rep. Hunter Indicted on Campaign Funds Misuse, Mollie Tibbetts Case Arrest, Argento/McGowan #MeToo Issue, Western Wildfires/Air Quality, NFL Pre-season and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/21). Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is convicted on eight counts in fraud trial; former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen pleads guilty to breaking campaign finance laws; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; Microsoft reports discovering Russian hacking of conservative think tanks; U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter indicted on campaign fund misuse; Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts’ alleged killer is undocumented alien; the flap over Rose McGowan’s comments about Harvey Weintstein accuser Asia Argento’s reported payoff for having sex with a minor; the wildfires in the U.S. West and the region’s poor air quality; NFL pre-season action and the Major League Baseball playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

PPM Analysis: Adult Hits. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on adult hits.  Some 67% of adult hits-formatted stations experienced 6+ AQH share growth from the June 2018 survey to the July survey.  Comparing ratings from July of last year to this year, about half the stations in the panel were up and the other half were down.  Five adult hits stations ranked in the top five in their respective markets with iHeartMedia’s KYOT, Phoenix; Emmis Communications’ KBPA, Austin; Midwest Communications’ WCJK, Nashville; and Entercom’s WSMW, Greensboro ranking #2 in the July 2018 PPM survey.  See the entire report here.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

| August 21, 2018

Cumulus Media Q2 Net Revenue Down 1.8%. The 2018 second quarter financial report from Cumulus Media Inc. comes a bit late – the company had let the SEC know its first post-bankruptcy report would be tardy.  Net revenue for Cumulus (reflecting the combined results of the Successor and Predecessor Companies in connection with the emergence from Chapter 11) for the second quarter was $285.2 million, down 1.8% from the same period a year ago.  For the six months ended June 30, 2018, Cumulus reported net revenue of $548.9 million, down 1.0% from the first six months of 2017.  Cumulus reports in two segments: the Cumulus Radio Station Group and Westwood One.  The radio station group reported net revenue of $203 million – down 2.5% from a year ago, and Westwood One’s net revenue was $81.2 million – up 0.1%. President and CEO Mary Berner comments, “In the second quarter, we emerged from Chapter 11 with new and supportive ownership, a billion dollars less debt and results that demonstrate our operational and financial momentum, despite industry challenges and the distractions posed by our Chapter 11 proceedings.  Normalizing those results for $4.8 million of write-offs related to United States Traffic Network’s well-publicized financial problems, our Adjusted EBITDA grew in the quarter by 5.5%.  Looking forward, we are excited about the potential of our digital products, improved pricing, and inventory management across the entire platform and our young but fast-growing podcasting business to supplement the performance of our core business.  These growth drivers, combined with our continued focus on operating fundamentals, our reduced debt load, our ability to generate significant free cash flow, and our renewed focus on optimization of our portfolio of assets, position us well to build substantial shareholder value in the quarters and years to come.”

Cumulus Signs Traffic Deal with TTWN. On the same day it announces its second quarter financials and references the $4.8 million write-off related to its deal with United States Traffic NetworkCumulus announces its new deal with iHeartMedia-owned Total Traffic & Weather Network to be the exclusive provider of traffic content.  This is an addition to the existing deal for TTWN to provide weather content.  TTWN will provide real-time traffic reports and data to Cumulus’ 441 radio stations nationwide.  Additionally, TTWN’s 24/7 News division will provide news support, including anchored news and reporting services.

Quinn & Rose Back on Pittsburgh Airwaves. The Pittsburgh radio duo “Quinn & Rose” – Jim Quinn and Rose Somma-Tennant – is returning to the air in the Steel City, this time on iHeartMedia’s sports talk WBGG-AM/W292DH “ESPN Pittsburgh” on September 24.  The two enjoyed a long stint on the company’s former Pittsburgh FM news/talk WPGB (now country music) but exited the station in 2013.  The two have worked separately since then on various platforms.  Their show on WBGG will air from 8:00 am to 10:00 am daily.

New Boston Operations Center for iHeartMedia.  The photos above are of the new studios and offices of iHeartMedia in Boston.  At left is a lounge area outside an on-air studio and at right is a portion of the all-news WBZ-AM newsroom.  It’s a 43,000-plus square foot state-of-the-art facility that also includes news/talk WRKO-AM, talk WXKS-AM, and seven music outlets.  iHeartMedia says the “innovative space is designed to invoke collaboration and to embody the iHeartMedia brand.  In addition to cutting-edge design elements, the studios will feature digitally advanced technology and resources for talent and programmers that will help them connect even faster and easier with listeners delivering even more great content to the Boston community.”  The facility was designed by Michael Beneville.

PPM Analysis: MLB Flagships. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents an analysis of the performances of stations serving as flagships for Major League Baseball teams. As the 2018 season unfolds, see how the 6+ weekly AQH shares of flagship stations are affected. Among some of the comparisons presented are flagship stations ratings fluctuations from June 2018 to July 2018 as well as from July 2017 to July 2018.  Based on July 2018 PPM data, flagships with the largest market shares (6+) are: WLW, Cincinnati (Reds); WTMJ, Milwaukee (Brewers); and KMOX, St. Louis (Cardinals). See the entire report here.

TALKERS News Notes. As reported by Chicago media maven Robert Feder, radio icon Mike North is the subject of a new film being developed by Chicagoans Jeremy Morrison and Adam Rifkin.  The biopic of the hot dog vendor-turned sports talk radio giant is set for production in 2019…..It may seem elementary to industry insiders but the how and why of the appeal of sports talk radio to male consumers is the focus of a recent piece in The New York Times.  Writer Jason Notte speaks with representatives of ESPN Audio and Entercom, as well as marketers who’ve had success advertising on sports talk radio.  That includes a law firm specializing in divorce that’s been a regular advertiser on Portland, Oregon’s three sports talk stations.  Read the piece here…..Washington, DC all-news WTOP-FM is moving into new studios in Chevy Chase, Maryland in December or January.  According to a piece in Bethesda Magazine, the new location at 5425 Wisconsin Ave. on Wisconsin Circle is just over the Washington, DC line in Maryland.  The Hubbard Radio all-news station has been at its current Idaho Ave. location since 1989.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Trump Security Clearance Strategy, Church Sexual Abuse Scandal, Manafort Trial/Expected Cohen Charges, Asia Argento Sexual Assault Payoff, MTV VMA Awards/Aretha Franklin Tributes, Western Wildfires/Air Quality, NFL Pre-season and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/20). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; President Trump’s removal of security clearances from his critics; the Pennsylvania Catholic Church sexual assault scandal; the trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and the likelihood of charges being filed against Michael Cohen; Harvey Weinstein accuser Asia Argento’s reported payoff to a young man for alleged sexual assault; the MTV VMA awards show and the related Aretha Franklin tributes; the wildfires in the U.S. West and the region’s poor air quality; NFL pre-season action and the Major League Baseball playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Charese Fruge is joining Radio One to serve as the format captain for CHR for the company and to program hit radio stations WNOW-FM, Indianapolis “Radio Now 100.9” and KROI, Houston “Radio Now 92.1.”  Her most recent radio gig was with CBS RADIO as PD for then-CHR KKHH, Houston and sister hot AC KHMX.  Fruge will be based in Indianapolis…..On-air pro Jenny D is the new morning drive personality on Bonneville’s adult contemporary KOSI, Denver, effective September 4.  She joins current morning star Sean Henry on the wake-up show.  Bonneville Denver vice president and general manager Bob Call says, “We have had our eye on Jenny ever since she interned with KYGO a decade ago. Listeners adore her as she brings the real-life experiences of being a wife and a mom to the radio every morning.  Denver is home for Jenny and we are excited she is making the jump up the dial to KOSI.”…..Air personality Nikki Preston returns to her radio roots as the midday personality on Inland Empire Broadcasting’s rock KCAL-FM, Riverside.  She launched her career as a morning show producer at the company’s classic hits outlet KOLA-FM.  She says, “I am super amped to be back rockin’ the Inland Empire and getting the opportunity to work with such an incredibly talented group of people.”  At the same time, the station promotes promotion director and part-time air personality Brandon “4orty” Kessel to co-host of the “Tons of Rock in the Morning” show with host Patrick Tish.  Kessel is also adding music director duties and will assist with other programming responsibilities…..In Akron, Ken Steel is promoted to program director for Rubber City Radio’s country WQMX.  Steel is also afternoon drive personality and he assumes the PD role from Sue Wilson who exited at the end of June…..Midwest Communications brings Aaron Santini aboard as operations manager for its Evansville, Indiana cluster that includes country WLFW, rock WABX, adult contemporary WIKY, and CHR WSTO. He was most recently serving with CHR WKHQ.  He says, “I cannot overstate how excited I am to be joining the Midwest Communications family.  I want to thank VP/MM Tim Huelsing and VP programming Jeff McCarthy for allowing me the privilege of stepping into the OM role at such an amazing cluster.  I’m looking forward to working with the incredible team already in place in Evansville.”…..The Premiere Networks-syndicated CHR program “The Kane Show” announces the launch of three new podcasts. They are: “The Kane Show’s Last Resort” in which the cast expands upon what went down during the show.  It’s where everyone shares a little bit more into their personal lives and gives a final say on what they talk about; “The Kane Show Remix” is everything that happened in the past week smashed into one; and “The Kane Show Presents: Ghosted” in which the cast helps listeners figure out why they got “ghosted” in their relationship by reuniting couples and letting them share their side of the story to set the record straight, once and for all.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

| August 15, 2018

Scripps Cashes Out; Sells Remaining 19 Radio Stations to SummitMedia for $47 Million. The 19 stations E.W. Scripps still owns after previously announcing the sale of its Tulsa cluster to Griffin Communications, the Milwaukee duo to Good Karma, and the Boise and Tucson signals to Lotus Communications are going to SummitMedia for $47 million.  Altogether, Scripps will have netted $83.5 million for its radio division. The stations SummitMedia will acquire are in four markets: Wichita; Springfield, Missouri; Omaha; and Knoxville.  The Wichita stations are: KFDI-FM, KICT-FM, KFXJ-FM, KYQQ-FM, and KFTI-AM.  Springfield stations are: KTTS-FM, KSPW-FM, KSGF-AM/FM, and KRVI-FM.  Omaha stations are: KEZO-FM, KSRZ-FM, KQCH-FM, KKCD-FM, and KXSP-AM. The Knoxville signals are WWST-FM, WCYQ-FM, WKHT-FM, and WNOX-FM.  Scripps president and CEO Adam Symson comments, “SummitMedia’s focus on growth in the radio industry make it a good home for these stations.  With Summit, these stations will be able to fully live out their mission of informing and entertaining local audiences.  With our sale of these 19 stations, Scripps has completed the sale of our entire radio station group.  This is a significant milestone toward executing our strategy to divest of non-core assets, improve near-term operating performance and focus on the growth ahead.”  Birmingham, Alabama-based SummitMedia owns 31 stations in Alabama, Hawaii, Kentucky, South Carolina, and Virginia.  This sale is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.  Kalil & Co., Inc. is the exclusive broker for this transaction.

Twitter Suspends Alex Jones for a Week.  Stating in a letter to radio personality and InfoWars chief Alex Jones that he’d violated Twitter’s conduct policy, he’ll be blocked from using his Twitter account for seven days.  According to the Wall Street Journal’s report, while Twitter wouldn’t go into detail about the violation, it said Jones’ tweet was “about taking action against web censorship included a link to a video that violated the company’s policy against targeted harassment of someone or inciting others to intimidate or harass someone.”  Jones has been in the news recently after other social media – including AppleFacebook and YouTube – had also banned some of the InfoWars content from their platforms citing violations of policy.

TRN Files Motion to Dismiss Appeal of Suit Against Cumulus/Westwood One and Others. The attorney representing Talk Radio Network in its suits against Cumulus Media, Westwood One and other defendants is claiming they engaged in business practices that violated anti-trust laws.  It was the second such suit and it was initially dismissed because the court ruled the claims were essentially the same as the previous suit.  TRN appealed but Cumulus et al were granted stays due to Cumulus’ bankruptcy reorganization status.  Now, TRN attorney Joseph Alioto moves “to dismiss the appeal in this matter with prejudice, with an order that each party bear its own costs and attorney’s fees.  Defendants-Appellees have authorized us to represent that they consent to this Motion.”

WGOW-FM, Chattanooga’s Jeff Styles Launches Website to Tell His Side of Road Rage Case. Last week Chattanooga talk show host Jeff Styles was in court for a preliminary hearing on the road rage charges filed against him after an incident that took place in June.  Styles was charged with aggravated assault for attacking a fellow motorist with a tomahawk.  During the incident, Styles was shot in the arm by motorist Nickolas Bullington.  Styles’ attorney argued there is no probable cause to charge Styles, but the judge ultimately bound the case over to the grand jury. Styles has launched JeffStylesAmerica.com and lays out his explanation of what happened during the confrontation with Bullington and displays Bullington’s history of court appearances and motor vehicle violations.

New Appointments at Entercom Las Vegas; Massenzi to Director of Sales. At the Las Vegas station group that includes news/talk KXNT and sports talk KXST-AM, Entercom appoints Gina Massenzi director of sales.  She was previously general sales manager for the cluster’s FM stations.  In addition to Massenzi’s promotion, Entercom Las Vegas announces three additional promotions: Holmes Pooser succeeds Massenzi as the cluster’s new general sales manager.  He was previously director of integrated marketing, events and experiences. Kyle Helmick is named director of live events and experiences and Katrina Llapitan becomes director of promotions for the cluster.

TALKERS News Notes.  Still feeling the effects of its Chapter 11 reorganization, Cumulus Media notifies the Securities Exchange Commission that it will be late filing its quarterly report and that it will file by Monday (8/20) and has scheduled a conference call for that afternoon at 4:30 pm ET…..PodcastOne is launching a new, true crime show called “First Degree” that presents the stories through the eyes of someone who has just one degree of separation from the tragedy itself.  True crime television producer Alexis Linkletter (“Unmasking A Killer,” “Pink Collar Crimes with Marcia Clark”) and investigative journalist Billy Jensen (“I’ll Be Gone in the Dark,” LA Weekly) join forces with Jac Vanek, co-host of the “Ladygang” podcast, to delve into murders, serial killings, cults, conspiracies and more.  Guests will include victims, witnesses, neighbors, and anyone else directly connected to the crime. PodcastOne chairman and CEO Norm Pattiz says, “We’ve had such a great experience working with Jac on ‘Ladygang’ that when she came to us with this idea, we were more than receptive. Now that I’ve heard the first episode, I’m absolutely convinced that greenlighting ‘The First Degree’ was a no-brainer.”…..Telling fans via Monday’s Twitter Q&A at the social media giant’s New York City offices that “apps are the future,” WFAN, New York afternoon star Mike Francesa promised his followers that he’ll be on the “Mike’s On” app that launches next Friday (8/24) so often “I promise you, you’ll get sick of me.”  The New York Post reports Francesa says it’s the reason he came back [on the radio], “It’s going to be me on it all the time.  It eventually will be my broadcast home.  I will be on it, I will be on it all the time, I will be on it at crazy hours, I might be on it at 7 in the morning and I might be on it at 2 a.m. after a big game. So yes, I will be on the app all the time.”…..As reported by Current.org, Public Radio International and PRX are merging, though the two companies will maintain separate identities.  PRX CEO Kerri Hoffman will be the chief of the new company and PRI CEO Alisa Miller will assume the role of executive chair of the board.  WGBH, Boston acquired PRI back in 2012 and its CEO – Jon Abbott – will have a seat on the new organization’s board. The story says WGBH will invest $10 million into the new company and part of that money will go toward enhancing PRI’s “The World” news magazine.

Omarosa Recording/Book Tour, Tuesday’s Primary Elections/Midterms, Trump-Russia Investigation, Turkish Lira Woes, Italian Bridge Collapse, PA Priest Sexual Abuse Scandal, Paul Manafort Trial, Western Wildfires, NFL Pre-season, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/14).  The secret White House recording made by Omarosa Manigault Newman and the release of her book; primary elections in several states and talk about the midterms in November; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents; U.S.-Turkey relations as sanctions drag down the value of the lira; the deadly collapse of a major highway bridge in Genoa, Italy; more than 300 priests and Catholic laymen accused of sexual abuse in Pennsylvania; the trial of former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort; the deadly wildfires affecting the U.S. West; NFL pre-season activity; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Nationally syndicated radio legend Rick Dees (through his company Dees Entertainment) inks a deal with Benztown for the latter to provide Dees Entertainment with production services for its portfolio of programs including: “The Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 Countdown,” “Countdown Of The 90s,” “Countdown Of The 80s” and “Dees 2K,” plus “The Daily Dees Show.”  Dees says, “Benztown is a perfect production partner for our shows and other entertainment offerings.  Dave ‘Chachi’ Denes is the consummate professional and audio production superstar.  I was impressed in our first meeting when he said, ‘In 15 minutes I can save you 15% or more on your auto insurance.’ ”…..Last week, country star Jason Aldean kicked off CMT Radio’s all-new multiplatform live event series, “CMT Headliners with Cody Alan,” the show that gives fans the opportunity to submit questions and get an inside look at how some of country music’s most influential artists rise to the top.  The inaugural Q&A and performance event welcomed a packed crowd and was webcast live from Aldean’s Kitchen + Rooftop Bar in downtown Nashville on CMT Radio Live with Cody Alan’s Facebook page on August 9.  In addition to chatting about Aldean’s favorite menu items from his new restaurant and how he likes to spend time with his family, the superstar also performed songs from his catalogue of #1 hits including, “My Kinda Party,” “Dirt Road Anthem,” and his latest single, “Drowns the Whiskey.”  Highlights from “CMT Headliners with Cody Alan” will be featured on “CMT After MidNite with Cody Alan” and “CMT Radio Live with Cody Alan” on Friday, August 17.

Takeaways from July PPM – Part Three. Below are managing editor Mike Kinosian‘s Twelve Takeaways from from Nielsen Audio‘s July 2018 PPM survey.  This third report includes the 12 markets of Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Orlando, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen’s July 2018 survey period covered June 21 – July 18. You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

Portland

Spoken Word Formats – On top each month this calendar year (including sharing April’s lead with iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW “K-103”) Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk KOPB returns 75% of June’s +.4 (8.4 – 8.1, -.3, #1, 6+). KOPB was +1.4 (September 2017); -1.1 (October); +1.1 (January 2018); -1.1 (February); +1.0 in March; -1.0 (April); and -.5 (May). Entering the September 2017 sweep, KOPB occupied the runner-up position 21 successive times; however, it finally reached #1 in that report. Alpha Media news/talk KXL “101 FM News – Stay Connected” picks up one-tenth (4.9 – 5.0, 6+) and is steady at #5. KXL was up six-tenths in April and was then off a combined one-half share in May and June (5.4 – 5.3 – 4.9, 6+).  When KXL faltered by four-tenths in March, it ended three consecutive increases that produced a cumulative +1.7. Prior to January, the last time KXL reached the five-share level (6+) was in October 2013 (5.3). For the third time in the last four sweeps, iHeartMedia’s KEX “News Radio 1190 – Depend on Us” (#19 to #20) logs a 1.6 (1.6 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+). An April improvement of two-tenths stopped three straight up or flat trends that netted six-tenths (1.2 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+). After posting a 1.0 (6+) four times in a row, Alpha Media news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970” drops three-tenths to .7 (#24 to #27). Among the market’s sports talkers, Entercom’s KFXX “1080 The Fan” (unchanged at #21) is down or flat for the sixth successive time for a -1.0 (2.4 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4, 6+); Alpha Media-owned KXTG “The Game” has its third straight up or flat trend (1.1 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4, 6+) and ties “The Fan” at #21; and after being locked on .9 (6+) in May and June, iHeartMedia’s KPOJ “Sports Radio 620” adds two-tenths to 1.1 (#25 to #23, 6+).

Portland Music Formats – Four decreases in succession by iHeartMedia classic rocker KFBW accounted for an overall -1.5 (5.4 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+), but “105.9 The Brew” slices that deficit roughly in half with a gain of eight-tenths (4.7, 6+) and steams back into the top ten (#12 to #6). Prior to posting June’s 3.9, “The Brew” hadn’t been below a four-share (6+) since November 2017 (3.9, as well). Meanwhile, the market’s other classic rocker – Entercom’s KGON “92.3 Portland’s Classic Rock” (steady at #4) – is a collective +1.6 in four straight up or flat trends (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.6 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+). This (5.6) is the highest 6+-showing for KGON since June 2017 (5.6, as well). A June 2018 setback of three-tenths by KKCW is followed by a gain of one-half share as “K-103” climbs from third to second. The iHeartMedia adult contemporary outlet 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+). Neither of the market’s two CHRs is in the top ten: Alpha Media-owned KBFF “Live 95.5” falters by six-tenths (4.3 – 3.7, #8 to #12, 6+), while iHeartMedia-owned KKRZ “Z-100 Portland’s #1 Hit Music Station” has its third decrease in a row for a combined loss of seven-tenths (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.3, flat at #15, 6+). There is virtually zero movement from June between Portland’s two country outlets as Entercom-owned KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf, Great Country for the Great Northwest” repeats June’s 4.6 (6+) but slips from sixth to seventh, while Alpha Media’s KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 for New Country,” which was stuck on 3.3 (6+) in March and April and then on 4.0 (6+) in May and June, drops one-tenth to 3.9 (#10 to #11). “The Wolf” was up eight-tenths in June with 4.6 its finest 6+-showing since September 2017 (4.6, as well). Without an increase 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. Up or flat for the fifth straight time 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 advances from #20 to #17, 1.7 shares (6+) behind iHeartMedia’s KXJM “JAM’N 107.5 Portland’s #1 For Hip-Hop” which is flat in both 6+-share (3.6) and 6+-market rank (#14). KWEE has its highest 6+-share (1.9) since November 2017’s 2.0.

Charlotte

Spoken-Word Formats – After registering a one-half share increase in June, University Radio Foundation news talk WFAE forfeits 80% of it in July (4.1 – 3.7 -.4, 6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #12). WFAE’s very consistent January 2018 – May 2018 topline trending 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+). Flat at #17, Entercom news/talk WBT is trending 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.7 (May – June – July, 6+). 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+). Co-owned sports talk WFNZ “The Fan – Charlotte’s Sports Leader” (unchanged at #19) is down or flat for the fourth successive sweep for a total loss of -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 – It has been quite the May, June, and July whirlwind for WBAV. A quick review shows that “V-101.9” hauled out an impressive +1.4 in May to advance from second to first; it then eroded by -1.2 in June to slip from first to second; but the Beasley Media Group urban AC erases that -1.2 in its entirety in July with a July +1.2 and returns to #1 (6.5 – 7.9 – 6.7 – 7.9, 6+). Despite being bumped from the top spot and segueing to #2, co-owned WSOC “103.7 Country’s Hottest Hits” has its best 6+-performance (flat at 6.9) since “Holiday” 2016’s 7.0. Its format challenger, iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country,” a combined -1.0 in May and June (7.0 – 6.4 – 6.0, 6+), is up two-tenths in July (6.2, fourth, 6+). “The Kat” was +1.9 (January); -.7 (February); +.6 in March; and -.6 (May). Prior to January 2018, the last time WKKT was #1 was August 2017 – WSOC was #1 the previous month (July 2017). On the topic of Charlotte number ones, not since September 2017/October/November has the same station in this North Carolina metro repeated at #1; iHeartMedia classic rocker WRFX “The Fox” accomplished the feat back then. In the meantime, it has been a revolving door for the 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); and WBAV (July). Not only does an increase of six-tenths to 4.3 (6+) by Radio One’s WOSF apply the brakes to three straight downward moves in a row that accounted for a collective -1.2 (4.9 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 4.3, 6+), “105.5 Old School + R&B” enters the top ten (#12 to #9). Three upticks in a row by iHeartMedia adult hits WLKO “102.9 The Lake Charlotte’s We Play Anything Station” (steady at #6) have produced a +1.1 (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 5.2, 6+). After three decreases in a row for a -1.1 (4.3 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.2, 6+), co-owned WEND “106.5 The End – Charlotte’s Alternative Rock” notches a one-tenth gain to 3.3 (#14 to #13, 6+). When Radio One gospel WPZS recorded a +.1 in June, it stalled four straight decreases that resulted in a collective -1.6 (4.8 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.4 – 3.2, 6+), but “Praise 100.9 Charlotte’s Inspiration Station” falters by one-half share in July (3.3 – 2.8, 6+) and slips from #13 to #16. Although it remains in eighth-place, Beasley Media Group urban contemporary WPEG “Power 98” registers its fourth positive spike in a row for an overall gain of one-half share (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.5, 6+) and has its best 6+-share since January (4.5, as well). Ironically, Radio One’s similarly-programmed WQNC “92.7 The Block” (#16 to #15) is without a loss over that same March 2018 – July 2018 stretch and it nets a +.5 as well (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+); 2.9 in July 2018 is the strongest 6+-stat for “The Block” in exactly one year (3.4, July 2017).

San Antonio

Spoken-Word Formats – Without a loss the past three survey periods for a +.5 (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+), Texas Public Radio news/talk KSTX falters by seven-tenths in July to 2.6 (#14 to #17). 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 Holiday 2017, KSTX crossed the four-share level (6+) for the first time in its PPM-history. As the result of a -.5 (4.0 – 3.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOAI News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather” departs the top ten (#10 to #12) and has its softest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 2.8. A January +1.6 took WOAI to its best 6+-showing since May 2017 (4.4, as well). Without 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+), Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” (#21 to #22) is now a collective -.5 in June and July (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.4, 6+). Flat at #30, iHeartMedia sports talk KTKR “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” is off by one-tenth in each of the last three ratings periods (.7 – .6 – .5 – .4, 6+).

San Antonio Music Formats – An increase of nine-tenths takes Alpha Media adult hits KZJK “102.7 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” to 4.9, its strongest 6+-performance in nearly two years (5.1, August 2016). Following three downtrends in succession that produced a net loss of nine-tenths, (5.1 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+), Cox Media Group hot AC KSMG “Magic 105.3 Today’s Best Music” recuperates seven-tenths to 4.9 (6+), zooming from a three-way tie at #7 to #4. Classic hits-oldies sibling KONO-FM “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” notches a June 2018 – July 2018 gain of seven-tenths as well (7.0 – 7.7, 6+) and is #1 for the seventh 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. Recent (6+) fluctuations for “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” include +.7 (October 2017); -.9 (December); -.9 “Holiday” 2017; +1.8 (January 2018); +.5 (February); and +.7 (July). Still in that Cox Media Group cluster, a  one-half share increase (1.5 – 2.0, #22 to #20, 6+) enables classic country KKYX “Country Legends” to reach the two-share level (6+) for the first time since April 2016 (2.1). A combined +.5 in April and May, Univision Radio regional Mexican KROM “Que Buena 92.9” (fourth to seventh) is now -1.4 in June and July (6.1 – 5.5 – 4.7, 6+). Following four upticks in succession that netted +1.8 (3.2 – 3.3 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KXXM “96.1 Now – San Antonio’s #1 Hit Music Station” (sixth to tenth) is an overall -1.3 in three straight decreases (5.0 – 4.9 – 4.4 – 3.7, April – May – June – July, 6+). In June, the combination of iHeartMedia-owned KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” regressing by four-tenths (6.1 – 5.7, 6+) and Cox Media Group’s KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader” adding four-tenths (5.3 – 5.7, 6+) resulted in the two country rivals being locked together in the runner-up slot. The tie is broken in July though as “Y-100” adds two-tenths to 5.9 (its best 6+-stat since October 2017’s 6.0), while “KJ-97” sputters by two-tenths to 5.5 (6+). When “Y-100” slipped one-tenth in May, it halted four straight up or flat trends for an overall +1.3 (4.1 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.4, 6+). The overall +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+). Shifting from a three-way tie at #7 to #8, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KQXT “Q101.9” notches a 4.2 (6+) for the fourth month in a row.

Pittsburgh

Spoken-Word Formats – In three straight May-June-July declines (7.8 – 7.4 – 6.5 – 5.8, 6+), Entercom sports talk KDKA-FM is -2.0, completely erasing April’s +2.0 (5.8 – 7.8, 6+) as “93.7 The Fan” slides from fifth to sixth. April’s 7.8 is the strongest 6+-showing for the Pittsburgh Pirates flagship since October 2015 when it scored a 10.1. “The Fan” was a combined +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 but then -.9 in February. Co-owned news/talk KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020” returns the two-tenths it earned in June (4.2 – 4.4 – 4.2, 6+) but remains at #9. 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 eventuated in a loss of eight-tenths (4.8 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+). After being up one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.6, 6+), Essential Public Media news/talk WESA drops six-tenths to 2.0 (6+) and continues 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+). This is the eighth straight time that iHeartMedia sports talk WBGG has chalked up a .2 (#17, 6+). Immediately preceding this current streak, “970 AM – ESPN Pittsburgh” logged a .1 (6+) six consecutive times.

Pittsburgh Music Formats – A gain of six-tenths (5.6 – 6.2, 6+) elevates Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHH “Wish 99.7” from sixth to fifth. Four straight down or flat trends by Steel City Media adult hits WRRK accounted for an overall loss of nine-tenths (7.9 – 7.8 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.0, 6+), but “96.9 Bob FM” adds one-tenth in July to 7.1 (6+) and is steady at #3. As the result of five straight up or flat trends since February (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.7   – 2.7 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WPGB “Big 104.7 – Pittsburgh’s #1 For New Country” is a collective +1.4 and continues at #11. It trails Entercom’s WDSY “Y-108 Pittsburgh’s Country” (4.9 – 4.7, -.2, seventh to eighth, 6+) by one full share. The two format rivals each enjoyed one-half share gains in June, with “Y-108 having its best 6+-stat (4.9) since November 2017’s 5.0; July’s 3.7 by “Big 104.7” is its strongest 6+ AQH share since August 2017 (3.7, as well). In addition to WPGB, Steel City Media hot AC WLTJ “Q-92.9” posts a one-half share June 2018 – July 2018 improvement (3.2 – 3.7, 6+) and is unchanged at #11. Meanwhile, the topline January 2018 – July 2018 trending for Entercom’s similarly-formatted WBZZ “Star 100.7” (eighth to seventh) is 4.9 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.9 (6+). Notwithstanding that it erodes by one full-share to 9.4 – its lowest 6+-stat since January (9.4, as well) –  iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWSW “94.5 – 3WS” is #1 for the 17th consecutive time. 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+). Rock sibling WDVE (8.7 – 8.5, -.2, 6+) is in the runner-up slot for the seventh successive sweep. WDVE was +1.6 (October 2017); -1.0 (November); -.8 (“Holiday 2017”); +.8 (January 2018); -.9 (February); and -.5 in March. October’s 10.2 marked the first time WDVE reached double-digits (6+) since March 2017 (10.4). Remaining at #4, co-owned mainstream CHR WKST “96.1 Kiss FM Pittsburgh’s #1 Hit Music Station” is a collective -1.0 in June and July (7.3 – 6.9 – 6.3, 6+) with July’s 6.3 its weakest 6+-performance since “Holiday” 2015 (6.0). After having their March 2018 – June 2018 information displayed, five stations disappear from print in July 2018: classic hits-oldies WKPL and WPKL; and country-formatted WLYI, WOGG, and WOGI.

Sacramento

Spoken-Word Formats – Up a collective seven-tenths in May and June (4.3 – 4.7 – 5.0, 6+), KXJZ surrenders one-half share in July to 4.5 (fourth to sixth, 6+). The Capital Public Radio news/talk facility 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+). Notwithstanding that it is down or flat for the sixth straight sweep for an overall -2.6 (8.6 – 8.1 – 8.1 – 7.8 – 6.7 – 6.3 – 6.0, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KFBK finishes second for the fourth time in a row. “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); and back to second in April, May, June, and July. KFBK was down or flat in October – November – December for an overall loss of seven-tenths (7.8 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 7.1, 6+). It 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. The February 2018 – July 2018 topline trending for co-owned KSTE (#14 to #16) is: 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4 (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. Down or flat the past seven sweeps for a -1.7 (2.6 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.6 – 1.3 – .9 – .9, 6+), Entercom’s KHTK “Sports 1140” gains four-tenths to 1.3 and returns to the top twenty (#25 to #20), while co-owned KIFM-AM “ESPN Radio 1320” is a combined -.5 in June and July (1.6 – 1.4 – 1.1, 6+), remaining at #22.

Sacramento Music Formats – Within 4.1 – 4.4 range (6+) between January and June (4.2 – 4.2 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.3, 6+), Entercom’s KNCI “New Country 105.1” breaks out a +.8 in July to 5.1, its highest 6+-share since August 2017 (5.4), to climb from sixth to fourth. “New Country” was an overall +.9 in three consecutive positive or flat trends (3.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.4, 6+), before surrendering two-tenths in April. An even greater June 2018 – July 2018 increase by a Sacramento country outlet is turned in by iHeartMedia’s WBEB “92.5 The Bull – #1 for New Country,” which adds a +1.0 to June’s +.3 (2.1 – 2.4 – 3.4, #14 to #12, 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+). The market’s other country player – Entravision-owned KNTY “101.9 The Wolf” – lost one-tenth in May; regained it in June; but is down four-tenths in July to 2.1 (6+) and drifts from #13 to #17. 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+), but was -.5 in April. In addition to jumping from eighth to fifth, iHeartMedia classic rocker KYRV records a +.7 to 4.8, the highest 6+-stat for “93.7 The River” in exactly one year (4.8, as well, in July 2017). On the heels of posting a +.9 in June, Entercom-owned/similarly-programmed KSEG returns all of it with a -.9 in July (9.0 – 9.9 – 9.0, 6+). Even so, “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” (which was +1.0 in May) is #1 for the sixth time in a row. June 2018’s 9.9 is its strongest 6+-showing in two years (10.3, July 2016). A January gain of +2.0 by “The Eagle” essentially erased a combined -2.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017; KSEG was an overall -1.6 in September and October (9.7 – 8.7 – 8.1, 6+). A loss of six-tenths takes Capital Public Radio classical KXPR (#20 to #22) to 1.1 (6+), exactly half of where it was in April (2.2, 6+). Not only does a -.6 by Entravision regional Mexican KRCX knock “La Tricolor 99.9” out of the top twenty (1.2, #19 – #21, 6+), it halts four straight increases that netted one-half share (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.8, 6+). Declining by six-tenths as well is iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies KHYL “V-101” (4.2 – 3.6, seventh to tenth, 6+). At the same time, Entercom hot AC KZZO “Now 100.5 Today’s Best Hits” (eighth to tenth, 6+) and Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVB “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” (2.2 – 1.7, #17 to #18, 6+) are off by one-half share each. In the case of KZZO, “Now” is -1.0 in three straight decreases (4.6 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+). After 14 ratings periods in succession of recording a 6+-share between 4.0 – 4.9 (6+), Entercom’s KRXQ sputters by three-tenths to 3.8 (6+) but stays at #8. In May, “98 Rock” returned the six-tenths it gained the previous sweep.

Salt Lake City

Spoken-Word Formats – In April, Bonneville’s KSL posted an 8.1 (6+), but since then, “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” is -3.5 in three consecutive declines (8.1 – 5.2 – 4.94.6, sixth to seventh, 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+) and a combined -3.2 just before that in three straight negative moves (8.3 – 6.5 – 5.7 – 5.1, October – November – December – “Holiday” 2017, 6+). There is no (6+) month-to-month AQH share change (4.0) or 6+ market rank (#9) for iHeartMedia’s KNRS. 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+). “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know” was +.8 in November; a combined -1.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017; and +.7 in January. An overall -1.3 from three successive sweeps without an increase (4.1 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.8, 6+), University of Utah news/talk KUER (#15 to #11) follows with three straight positive spikes netting a combined seven-tenths (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.5, 6+). Remaining at #20, Broadway Media-owned KALL “ESPN 700 – Utah’s #1 Sports Talk” is up a collective one-half share in four consecutive positive or flat moves (1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+).

Salt Lake City Music Formats – Over and above posting its third uptick in a row for a collective +1.1 (2.9 – 3.0 – 3.2 – 4.0, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KJMY “MY-99.5” enters the top ten (#12 to #9) and matches February’s 4.0 (6+). Noteworthy ups and downs continue for Capitol Broadcasting’s similarly-formatted KBZN “Now 97.9 Today’s Best Music,” which was -.5 (March); -.6 (April); +.6 (May); -.9 in June; and now +.4 in July (4.8 – 5.2, seventh to sixth, 6+). Classic hits-oldies enjoys a high-profile in the July 2018 report as KODJ “94.1 Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits,” which is down by one-tenth in June and July (6.9 – 6.8 – 6.7, 6+) repeats at #1, while Bonneville’s KRSP “103.5 The Arrow” gains three-tenths to 6.0 (6+), jumping from fourth to second. 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. KRSP’s April – May – June trending was 5.7 – 5.3 – 5.7 (6+). This is the third positive spike in succession for Cumulus Media country outlet KUBL “K-Bull 93 FM” (4.8 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.9, 6+), which is +1.1 in that stretch and progresses from fifth to third. Conversely, format rival – independent KSOP-FM “Z-104 Utah’s #1 Country” – is off a combined -1.2 in June and July (4.6 – 3.9 – 3.4, 6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #12). With a positive spike of six-tenths to 1.6, its best 6+-stat since January’s 1.7, Broadway Media adult hits KYMV “Rewind 100.7” checks in at #23. It is a mixed bag in July for the market’s CHRs. On the positive side, KYMV cluster-mate, KUDD “Mix 105.1 All The Hits,” picks up three-tenths (2.5 – 2.8, 6+) to climb from #18 to #17 and Cumulus Media’s KENZ “Power 94.9 Utah’s New Hit Music” (#17 to #13) posts its third increase in a row for a +.9 (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.3, 6+). The combined +.7 generated by “Mix” and “Power,” however, isn’t enough to offset the -.8 from iHeartMedia’s KZHT “97.1 ZHT Salt Lake’s #1 Hit Music Station” (6.3 – 5.5, second to fifth, 6+). Up or flat the past three sweeps for a +.8 (1.0 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+), KLO Broadcasting’s KSQN “103.1 The Wave – The Next Wave of New Wave” returns seven-tenths to 1.1 (#24, 6+). Bonneville-owned adult contemporary KSFI is a collective -2.3 in four successive down or flat trends (8.2 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 6.3 – 5.9, 6+) as “FM 100.3 – Better Music Better Work Day” slips from second to third with its softest 6+-showing (5.9) 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). Without a loss (and mostly flat) the past three sweeps for a +.6 (2.7 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary KBEE “B-98.7 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” drops from #11 to #13. This (3.3) is the best 6+-stat for “B-98.7” since September 2017’s 3.5.

Las Vegas

Spoken-Word Formats – Even though it adds two-tenths to June’s +.4 (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6, 6+), Nevada Public Radio’s KNPR backslides from a five-way scrum at #14 to #15. Three consecutive improvements that accounted for a +1.0 (1.9 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.9, 6+) were directly followed with a -.9 in April and May (2.9 – 2.6 – 2.0, 6+). At the same time, Entercom’s KXNT “News Talk Radio 840” is down or flat for the third straight month for a -.4 (2.1 – 2.0 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+), yet actually improves from #21 to #20. The March 2018 – July 2018 topline for Beasley Media Group news/talk KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk” (#25 to #24 ) is .9 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.1 (6+). 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+). 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. Lotus Communications sports talk KWWN “ESPN Radio 1100” is a combined -.3 in June and July (.8 – .6 – .5, #27 to #29, 6+), while KRLV “Fox Sports Radio Las Vegas” is down two-tenths to .3 (#29 to #30, 6+).

Las Vegas Music Formats – Roaring back from June’s one-half share loss, Entercom hot AC KMXB “Mix 94.1” posts a gain more than twice that size (5.6 – 6.7, +1.1, 6+) and advances from #3 to a tie at #2. Prior to June’s -.5, “Mix” was a collective +.7 in three straight up or flat trends (5.4 – 5.5 – 6.1 – 6.1, 6+). This (6.7) is its highest 6+-showing since November 2017 (6.7, as well). KMXB is tied in the runner-up slot with Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies KKLZ “96.3 – 70s, 80s and More” (5.8 – 6.7, +.9, 6+). Moving forward between July 2017 – July 2018, KKLZ has been #1 in July 2017, August, September, October, November, January 2018, February and April. Nine-tenths ahead of “Mix” and KKLZ – and in its third straight month at #1 – is iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5 Better Music for a Better Workday (6.9 – 7.6, +.7, 6+). This (7.6) is the highest 6+-share for “Sunny” since “Holiday” 2017, when it logged a 12.5. In May, “Sunny” succeeded KKLZ at #1. It is a familiar pattern between the two as “Sunny” was off six-tenths in April and replaced by KKLZ at #1. The two swapped places at the top in March as well. In December, KKLZ was ousted from the penthouse by “Sunny” after five straight months there. By posting a +.6 to 3.0 (#14 to #13, 6+), Faith Communications contemporary Christian KSOS “SOS Radio” applies the brakes to three straight declines that accounted for a loss of nine-tenths (3.1 – 3.1 – 2.7 – 2.4 – 3.0, 6+). Progressing from tenth to eighth, Beasley Media Group’s KCYE “102.7 The Coyote #1 For New Hit Country” is +.6 via three straight up or flat trends (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 4.0, 6+) and has its highest 6+-share (4.0) since June 2017’s 4.7. Conversely, cross-town competitor – iHeartMedia’s KWNR “95.5 The Bull Las Vegas’ New Country Leader” – spirals by -1.3 (5.4 – 4.1, fourth to seventh, 6+). “The Bull” isn’t the only Vegas outlet eroding by -1.3 (June 2018 – July 2018): Lotus Communications Spanish adult hits KWID does so as well (4.4 – 3.1, 6+) and, in the process, departs the top ten (#8 to #12). Entering the June sweep, “La Buena 101.9” was within three-share range 18 straight times but that streak ended when KWID gained six-tenths to 4.4, its strongest 6+-showing since 4.5 in “Holiday” 2016. As a result of dropping seven-tenths (5.4 – 4.7, 6+), Entercom’s KLUC “98.5 Las Vegas’ #1 Hit Music Station” slips from fourth to fifth. Farmworker Educational Radio-owned regional Mexican KYLI “La Network Campesina” is off one-half share (1.6 – 1.1, #24, 6+).

Cincinnati

Spoken-Word Formats – In June and July, WLW is a whopping +2.7 (7.7 – 9.1 – 10.4, 6+) as the Cincinnati Reds flagship repeats at #1. The heritage iHeartMedia news/talker was a combined +2.0 in January and February; -1.0 in March; +1.6 in April; and -1.2 in May. July’s 10.4 is its highest 6+-share in just over 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+). It proves to a solid sweep for WLW as well as co-owned/similarly-formatted WKRC “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati” (#14 to #11), which hangs out a +.8 to 3.6 (6+). The +.8 interrupts four straight monthly reports without an increase for a collective -1.0 (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+). WKRC’s +.3 in January ended three downward moves in a row that accounted for a -.9 (4.2 – 4.2 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+). It overtakes Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU (3.2 – 3.1, -.1, #11 to #13, 6+), which was a collective +.7 in January and February. In the sports talk field, iHeartMedia-owned WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530” sees its 6+-share carved nearly in half in June and July (1.4 – 1.2 – .8, #18 to #19, 6+), while co-owned WSAI “Fox Sports AM 1360” hasn’t had an increase in the past four months (.7 – .4 – .4 – .3 – .2, #25, 6+).

Cincinnati Music Formats – Down in each of the last three sweeps for a collective -2.2 (10.4 – 9.8 – 9.6 – 8.2, 6+), Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WGRR “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” responds in July with a one-half share gain to 8.7 (6+). It repeats in the runner-up slot after having spent five straight months at #1. Its -.6 in April curtailed three consecutive up or flat trends that accounted for a cumulative +2.9 (7.5 – 9.6 – 9.6 – 10.4, 6+). WGRR rebounded from a -1.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (9.1 – 8.5 – 7.5, 6+) with a January +2.1. Locked on 4.9 (6+) in May and June, Hubbard rhythmic hot AC WREW “Mix 94.9” (seventh to eighth) stumbles by eight-tenths in July to 4.1, its softest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2017’s 3.7. On the heels of June’s +.7 to 3.2 – its strongest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 3.4 – WOSL “100.3 R&B + Old School” relinquishes one-half share to 2.7 (6+, #11 to #14). The Radio One urban AC outlet’s topline January 2018 – May 2018 trending was 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.5 (6+). Following their official June debut in print, Grant County Broadcasters’ WNKN “Classic Country” is off two-tenths (2.0 – 1.8, 6+) yet actually improves from #16 to #15, while co-owned similarly-programmed WNKR is flat at .8 (6+) and is part of a five-way logjam at #19. All three fluctuation options are covered by the market’s trio of country outlets: Hubbard’s WUBE “B-105.1 – Get Your Country On” gains four-tenths (7.7 – 8.1, fourth to third, 6+); Cumulus Media’s WNNF “94.1 Nash-FM” is off four-tenths (2.1 – 1.7, #15 to #16, 6+); and for the third straight time, Hubbard’s WYGY “97.3 The Wolf” is flat at .8 (6+) and is part of that five-way scrum at #19. 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+); WUBE was -1.4 in December.

Orlando

Spoken-Word Formats – Tied at #10 are iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” (4.0 – 3.7 -.3, flat at #10, 6+) and Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM “News 96.5” (3.7, +.4, #13 to #10, 6+). This 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+). 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+). Off four-tenths from June but holding steady at #12, Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida” continues a down/up pattern that it began in February: 3.7 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.8 – 3.4 (6+). WMFE was off one full-share in February and March (3.9 – 3.7 – 2.9, 6+). Frozen on 1.5 (6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WFLF slips from #16 to #17. Just prior to gaining seven-tenths in January, WFLF was without an increase in five straight ratings periods for a -.7 (1.9 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+). Co-owned sports talk WYGM “FM 96.9 The Game – Orlando’s Sports Leader” is a collective +.3 via five successive sweeps without a loss (.7 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0, 6+) and continues at #19, while Cox Media Group sports talk WDBO-AM “ESPN 580 Orlando” is off two-tenths (1.0 – .8, #19 to #21, 6+).

Orlando Music Formats – Making one-half share improvements from June 2018 are Cox Media Group urban AC and rhythmic CHR siblings WCFB “Star 94.5” (6.0, seventh to fifth, 6+) and WPYO “Power 95.3” (steady at #9, 6+). “Star” applies the brakes to three straight setbacks that accounted for a -.9 (6.4 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.5, 6+), while “Power” is +1.2 in four successive sweeps without a loss (3.6 – 3.6 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.8, 6+). Owing to five up or flat trends (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 5.6, 6+), country cluster-mate WWKA “K-92.3” is +1.6, but backslides from sixth to seventh. Over and above posting a positive spike in six of the last seven sweeps for a collective +2.7 (8.9 – 9.3 – 9.5 – 9.9 – 10.7 – 10.5 – 11.2 – 11.6, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WRUM “Rumba 100” sets the pace for the seventh consecutive report. 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. Although unchanged at #2, co-owned CHR WXXL is a collective -1.1 in June and July (8.9 – 8.4 – 7.8, 6+). Between February and May, “XL-106.7 Orlando’s #1 Hit Music Station” was up an overall six-tenths via three increases of two tenths each (8.3 – 8.5 – 8.7 – 8.9, 6+). Faltering by six-tenths in July as well is Entercom-owned WQMP “FM 101.9 Orlando’s New Alternative” (3.9 – 3.3, #11 to #14, 6+), which has its lowest 6+-share (3.3) since January’s 3.2.

Cleveland

Spoken-Word Formats – In back-to-back reports (June and July), iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” is off by one-tenth (6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4, 6+) but continues at #5. June’s -.1 interrupted 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” adds one-tenth to 3.5 (6+) and remains at #12. Just prior to this streak, “The Fan” had five successive up or flat sweeps (November through March) for a +1.2 (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 5.2, 6+). For the third sweep in a row, Ideastream-owned WCPN posts a 2.6 (steady at #13, 6+). The public news/talk outlet was a combined -2.5 in February and March (5.3 – 3.6 – 2.8, 6+), after a cumulative +3.2 in six straight (August 2017 – January 2018) improvements (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 5.3, 6+).

Cleveland Music Formats – Three straight upticks by Entercom-owned WNCX (steady at #2) are responsible for a +2.2 (6.0 – 7.1 – 8.0 – 8.2, 6+) as “98.5 Cleveland’s Classic Rock” has its finest 6+-performance (8.2) since June 2017’s 8.4. 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+). Hot AC cluster-mate WQAL “Q-104” (steady in ninth-place) has a consistent February 2018 – July 2018 topline of 5.2 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 5.3 (6+). Flat at #8, Radio One urban contemporary WENZ “Z-107.9” is an overall +1.2 in three straight improvements (4.9 – 5.6 – 6.0 – 6.1, 6+). The rollercoaster ride continues for iHeartMedia’s WGAR “99.5 – Cleveland’s #1 for New Country.” 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. In June, “99.5 – Cleveland’s #1 for New Country” was -.6, but that deficit is fully erased and then some by a July +1.0 (6.4 – 7.4, 6+), with WGAR leaping from sixth to third. Co-owned classic hits-oldies WMJI “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” is up one-tenth (8.4 – 8.5, 6+) and repeats at #1. July’s +.1 draws to a close a rather odd streak in which WMJI made nine dramatic up/down shifts in succession: +.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). November’s +.8 stopped three straight declines that resulted in a -1.3 (9.2 – 8.9 – 8.4 – 7.9, 6+). Still in that iHeartMedia cluster, adult hits WHLK “106.5 The Lake – We Play Anything” (third to sixth, 6+) and CHR sibling WAKS “96.5 Kiss FM Cleveland’s #1 Hit Music Station” (4.2 – 3.6, flat at #11, 6+) each falter by six-tenths. “The Lake” is actually -1.5 in five straight decreases (7.8 – 7.5 – 7.2 – 6.9 – 6.3, 6+). Flat at #10, co-owned WMMS “100.7 Cleveland’s Rock Station” is off one-half share to 4.4, its lowest 6+-share since March (4.2). Unchanged at #4, Radio One urban AC WZAK is -3.3 in four straight down or flat trends (10.1 – 9.6 – 8.1 – 6.8 – 6.8, 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, WZAK fell to third in “Holiday” 2017. An October loss of four-tenths ended three consecutive positive moves for an overall +.9 (7.5 – 7.6 – 8.1 – 8.4, 6+). Long absent from print – or – appearing for the first time are Radio One news/talk WERE (.4, #18, 6+); iHeartMedia urban contemporary WAKS-HD2 (.1, #20, 6+); iHeartMedia classic country WGAR-HD2 (.1, #20, 6+); and Entercom classic rock WNCX-HD2 (.1, #20, 6+);

Kansas City

Spoken-Word Formats – After registering six successive September through February increases for a +1.9 (3.7 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.9 – 5.6, 6+), Entercom news/talk KMBZ-FM follows with five straight February through July decreases for a -1.7 (5.6 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.1 – 3.9, 6+) as “98.1 News-Traffic-Weather” departs the top ten (#10 to #11). Having surrendered eight-tenths in June, co-owned KCSP “610 Sports Radio” returns with a +.1 to 3.0 (#14 to #13, 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. It is tied at #13 with University of Missouri news/talk KCUR (2.8 – 3.0, +.2, #15 to #13, 6+). Prior to May, KCUR was up nine-tenths as a result of six straight November through April up or flat trends (1.9 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+). An overall -2.0 in April and May (4.0 – 2.9 – 2.0, 6+), Union Broadcasting’s WHB reduces that deficit by 20% with a combined +.4 in June and July (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.4, #18 to #17, 6+). “Sports Radio 810” was an overall +1.4 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018; -.9 in February; and +.9 in March. One-tenth behind WHB is Entercom’s KMBZ-AM, which gains two-tenths to 2.3, yet backslides from #18 to #19. “Talk 980” was locked on 2.2 (6+) in April and May before slipping one-tenth to 2.1 (6+) in June. In a repetitive .7 – .6 – .7 – .6 (6+) sequence, Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM continues at #23. Three February through May decreases in a row accounted for a -.5 (1.1 – 1.0 – .7 -.6, 6+), but “Talk Radio 710” picks up one-tenth to .7 (6+) and remains at #23.

Kansas City Music Formats – When Steel City Media’s KFKF logged 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+). Now, in July, “Country 94.1” improves by six-tenths (5.9 – 6.5, 6+) to progress from fifth to fourth. It is seven-tenths ahead of co-owned KBEQ, which hadn’t been without a loss in each sweep since December 2017 for an overall +2.0 (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.8 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 5.9, 6+). In July, however, “Q-104 New Hit Country” drops one-tenth to 5.8 (6+) and is flat at #5. Unchanged in eighth-place, the market’s other country FM – Entercom’s WDAF “106.5 The Wolf” – is down (slightly) or flat for the third time in a row for a -.3 (4.9 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+). Steady at 7.2 (6+), Cumulus Media’s KCFX “101 The Fox – Kansas City’s Classic Rock Station” repeats at #1. Prior to June, “The Fox” – was last on top in February. It was -1.6 via through three February through May decreases in succession (8.6 – 8.0 – 7.6 – 7.0, 6+). Just one-tenth behind “The Fox” is Carter Broadcast Corporation urban contemporary WPRS “Hot 103” (third to second), which is +1.9 in three straight positive spikes (5.2 – 5.9 – 6.9 – 7.1, 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+). In six consecutive Holiday 2017 – June 2018 monthlies without a loss, Entercom-owned KQRC was a combined +1.7 (4.5 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 6.2, 6+), but “98.9 The Rock” relinquishes seven-tenths to 5.5 (fourth to sixth, 6+). Faltering by six-tenths to 4.9, its lowest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 4.3, Steel City CHR KMXV “Mix 93.3 Kansas City’s #1 Hit Music Station” nonetheless remains at #7. On top in March, April, and May, Cumulus Media’s classic hits-oldies KCMO-FM “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” is now a combined -1.3 in four successive March through July dips (8.1 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.8, 6+) and falls from second to third. KCMO-FM faltered by six-tenths in February (8.4 – 7.8, 6+), but regained half that loss (+.3) in March. Owing to a -2.0 in January, “Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” curtailed four straight positive spikes that netted +2.7 (7.7 – 8.0 – 8.8 – 9.0 – 10.4, 6+).

Columbus

Spoken-Word Formats – The March 2018 – July 2018 topline for iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN (unchanged at #6) is a very steady 5.4 – 5.6 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.6 (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). A December decrease of three-tenths halted three straight uptrends that netted eight-tenths (5.7 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.5, 6+). Ohio State University news/talk WOSU is flat from June in both 6+ AQH share (3.9) and 6+ rank (seventh). Up seven-tenths via three consecutive “Holiday” 2017 – March 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. Following four reports in a row without an increase for a -.2 (.9 – .9 – .8 – .8 – .7, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk WXZX was +.3 in April and May, but “105.7 The Zone” drops a collective -.5 in June and July for a 50% reduction of its 6+-share (1.0 – .9 – .5, flat at #15, 6+).

Columbus Music Formats – Apparently, there is simply no stopping iHeartMedia’s WCOL “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country,” which not only finishes at #1 for the seventh consecutive sweep but registers its fourth increase in a row for an overall (staggering) +4.0 (12.3 – 13.4 – 14.4 – 14.5 – 15.7 – 16.3, 6+). In double-digits (6+) each sweep since June 2017, WCOL perhaps boasts the largest 6+-stat (16.3) in PPM-history in a sweep that did not include all-Christmas music. Accustomed to major fluctuations, “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” was +2.2 (January 2017); -1.2 (February); -1.3 (May); +1.4 (June); +2.1 (July); +.7 (October); -.5 (December); +3.1 (January 2018); -1.7 (February); +1.1 in March; +1.0 in April; +1.2 in June; and now +.6 in July. After spending six months on top, WCOL shifted to second in “Holiday” 2017 but regained the lead in January 2018. Wiping away June’s one-half share decrease with a July +.6 (3.2 – 3.8, 6+), One Connection Media Group contemporary Christian WCVO “104.9 The River” continues in eighth-place. A collective +.5 in three straight April through July up or flat trends (5.8 – 6.1 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+) Saga Communications’ adult contemporary WSNY “Sunny 95” advances from fourth to third. Meanwhile, inching up from tenth to ninth, co-owned hot AC WVMX “Mix 107.9 The Adult Hit Music Station” is a cumulative +.8 in a down/up pattern that commenced in December 2017: 2.5 – 2.2 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 3.3 (6+). Having logged an overall +.6 in four straight February through June sweeps without a loss (6.4 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 6.7 – 7.0, 6+), “Mix” cluster-mate WLVQ “FM 96 Iconic Rock” returns eight-tenths to 6.2 (third to fourth, 6+). Surrendering roughly half of June’s +1.3 (10.0, -.7, 6+), iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WNCI ends at three its successive string of up or flat March through June monthlies that yielded a +1.7 (9.0 – 9.4 – 9.4 – 10.7, 6+), but “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music Station” occupies the runner-up slot for the seventh time in a row. June’s 10.7 is the strongest 6+-stat for WNCI – which was a combined +1.5 in January and February (8.0 – 9.2 – 9.5, 6+) – since October 2017 (10.7, as well). Steady at #5, adult hits sibling WODC “93.3 The Bus – We Play Anything” is up eight-tenths via three successive April through July upticks (5.1 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 5.9, 6+).

Thursday, August 9, 2018

| August 9, 2018

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

 

 

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

| August 8, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

| August 7, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paul Manafort Trial/Gates Testimony, Kushner Deleted Stories, Midterm Races, California Wildfire, MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/6). The trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort highlighted by the juicy testimony of Rick Gates; claims that Jared Kushner deleted sensitive stories at his newspaper; the attempted drone assassination attempt of Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro;  this fall’s midterm elections; the deadly California wildfire; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

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

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

Monday, July 16, 2018

| July 16, 2018

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Has ‘Serious Concerns’ About Tribune/Sinclair Merger.  Releasing a statement today, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai says he’s sharing with fellow commissioners a “draft order that would designate issues involving certain proposed divestitures for a hearing in front of an administrative judge.”  Pai’s sticking point is an aspect of the proposed merger that would allow Sinclair to control stations it doesn’t technically own.  “When the FCC confronts disputed issues like these, the Communications Act does not allow it to approve a transaction.”  The proposed sale of Tribune Broadcasting’s assets to Sinclair Broadcast Group includes Tribune’s lone radio property – news/talk WGN-AM, Chicago.  Sinclair currently owns three other radio stations in the Seattle market: news/talk KVI, all-news KOMO-AM/FM, and hot AC KPLZ.  Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy comments on Pai’s decision, saying, “I applaud Chairman Pai’s decision today to designate the Sinclair-Tribune transaction for further review and hearings.  Clearly this decision is based on the facts and law — specifically that Sinclair has not complied with requirements set forth by the FCC to promote diversity, localism and competition.  After a lengthy and fair process, Chairman Pai acted in a non-partisan manner in making this decision – a marked departure from the Commission’s partisan actions during the Obama administration.

iHeartMedia Elevates Four to Division Presidents. Four iHeartMedia region presidents are being promoted to division presidents of the iHeartMedia Markets Group.  Linda Byrd, Scott HopeckBrian Olson, and Jeff Tyler are expanding their current region president roles to include division president responsibilities — joining current division presidents Kevin LeGrett and Tom McConnell — and will report to Greg Ashlock, president of the iHeartMedia Markets Group.

ESPN Extends Contract with Paul Finebaum. Sports media personality Paul Finebaum and ESPN announce they’ve inked a new multi-year contract that will keep Finebaum with ESPN and SEC Network.  Finebaum will continue to host his eponymous radio program and continue to serve as an analyst on “SEC Nation.”  Finebaum comments, “I’m thrilled to be a member of the ESPN family and look forward to continuing our show on SEC Network.  I consider myself incredibly blessed to do this every day and I’d like to thank everyone at ESPN, as well as all of our loyal listeners and viewers, for their support.”  Finebaum is also featured on a variety of additional ESPN programming, including “Get Up!,” “First Take,” “SportsCenter,” “College Football Live,” “Finebaum Film Room” and “College GameDay.”

Boomer Esiason Leaves Westwood One ‘Monday Night Football’ Radio Booth. No one can accuse Boomer Esiason of being a slacker.  His numerous media gigs make him one of the busiest sports media figures working today.  But now, he’s saying ‘good-bye’ to one of the roles he’s held for the past 18 years – color analyst for Westwood One’s “Monday Night Football” radio broadcasts.  Esiason also co-hosts the WFAN-AM/FM, New York morning show with Gregg Gionnatti; he’s a lead studio analyst for CBS Television’s pregame, halftime and post-game program, “The NFL Today”; and is a member of Showtime’s “Inside the NFL” team.  Esiason says, “It has been an honor to be a member of the Westwood One NFL broadcast team for the last 18 years.  I am proud to have delivered the calls for some of the most iconic Monday Night and Super Bowl moments in the history of the NFL.  With my continuing busy schedule during the NFL season, including my daily NYC-based morning drive radio show, ‘The NFL Today’ and ‘Inside the NFL,’ I thought the timing was right for me to step away.  I would like to thank my broadcast partners in the booth who have made the job enjoyable and fulfilling.  Also, I would like to thank Westwood One’s senior management and sales force, who, over the years, were instrumental in providing on-air support for the Boomer Esiason Foundation.”

Forbes: Hannity’s Rise ‘Inextricably Tied’ to Trump Friendship. In a piece in Forbes written by Hayley Cuccinello, some experts are quoted saying that Premiere Networks and FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity’s “rise is inextricably tied to his close friendship and access to President Donald Trump.”  The piece goes on to note that Hannity is the only cable news/talk host to make the Forbes world’s 100 highest-paid celebrities list this year.   TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison is also quoted in the piece explaining Sean Hannity’s eclipsing fellow Premiere Networks star Rush Limbaugh on TALKERS’ 2018 Heavy Hundred list of the most important radio talk show hosts.  Harrison says, “Sean Hannity’s prominence as a news-making, frontline player in presidential politics, coupled with being a double threat as a radio and TV star, rank him this past year as one of, if not the, most influential radio and TV talk show hosts of all time.”  Harrison adds in a statement to the TALKERS editors, “It is important to point out that even before Trump came on the scene as a political player, Hannity was a major force in talk media nipping at the heels of Rush for years.”  See the Forbes piece here.

Third Annual Hubbard Radio Talent Institute Gets Underway at Central Washington U. The third annual Hubbard Radio Talent Institute begins this afternoon on the campus of Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington with Hubbard chair and CEO Ginny Morris.  She says, “Compelling and relatable on-air talent is what separates local radio from all other audio entertainment services.  Our investment in the National Radio Talent System at Central Washington University is an extension of Hubbard Radio’s commitment to do our part to nurture and grow the talent pipeline for the industry.  We are proud to partner with Dan Vallie and his team in this important initiative.”  Hubbard president of radio Drew Horowitz, Hubbard Seattle VP/market manager Marc Kaye, and more than 35 other radio pros from Hubbard, Entercom, Bonneville, Townsquare, Alpha Media, the Seattle Seahawks and others will lead sessions during the 10-day institute.  The Hubbard Radio Talent Institute at Central Washington is the sixth institute of the summer and will be followed by the KBA Western Kentucky University Radio Talent Institute in Kentucky and the MBA Radio Talent Institute at Northwest Missouri State.

TALKERS Continues Posting Videos Today of the Recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Convention – Today’s Post: Panel Discussion, “Talk Media: The Big Picture.”  Today (7/16), TALKERS magazine continues 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 will be posted in the order that they originally took place.  Today’s 14th installment is 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, Trump-Russia Investigation/Indictments, NATO Meeting Aftermath, Trump Flouts Royalty Protocol, Illegal Immigration Policy, U.S.-China Trade War, Chicago Police Shooting Protests/KC Cop Attacks, Brexit Controversy, France Wins World Cup, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Today’s meeting between President Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin; the ongoing investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents and Friday’s indictment of 12 Russians on hacking charges; President Trump’s meeting with NATO leaders and his statement that the European Union is America’s foe; chatter about Trump’s failure to observe royalty protocol when meeting Queen Elizabeth; the Trump administration’s illegal immigration and asylum policies; the trade war brewing between the U.S. and China; protests in Chicago after police kill an armed black man and the attack in Kansas City that wounded three police officers; British Prime Minister Theresa May’s EU exit woes; France wins the World Cup; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Hubbard’s Triple A WWFD, Frederick, Maryland First Full-Time, All-Digital AM Station. Frederick, Maryland triple A WWFD-AM “The Gamut” (also heard on translator W232DG at 94.3 FM) is making history as the “first full-time, all-digital AM radio station in the U.S.” Hubbard Radio says, “In an effort to keep up with the ever-evolving demand for digital, ‘The Gamut’ will be turning off its analog signal and will no longer be accessible through regular AM radio beginning today (7/16) at 12:00 noon.  This announcement comes as a result of a collaborative effort between ‘The Gamut’ and HD Radio, an Xperi Corporation brand, to give AM broadcasters parity in the car dashboard with FM HD Radio, satellite and internet streaming, among others.”  The conversion to all-digital is primarily expected to provide listeners with better sound quality and include new display features such as artist name, song title and even album artwork.  WWFD engineer and program director Dave Kolesar states, “My belief is that AM needs to start trending in this direction. We’re excited to be doing this extremely innovative project that has tremendous potential to make AM much more viable to distribute all formats.”

Indianapolis Radio Personality Bernie Eagan Retires. WYXB, Indianapolis afternoon personality Bernie Eagan is retiring from the business on July 20 after almost four decades on the radio.  Eagan – who is blind – got his start on radio while in college at the former Indiana Central College.  He studied broadcasting at Ball State and joined Emmis’ WENS, Indianapolis “Lite Rock 97.1” in 1981.  In 2002, he became morning host on Emmis’ adult contemporary WYXB “Soft Rock B105.7,” and later transitioned to afternoons.  Eagan was recently selected by the Indiana Broadcasters Association to be inducted into the Indiana Broadcast Pioneers Richard M. Fairbanks Hall of Fame. He will receive that honor this November.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. New York hot AC WNEW-FM re-brands from the “Fresh 102.7” moniker to “NEW 102.7.”  Entercom New York region president and market manager Susan Larkin states, “This is an exciting move that underscores our commitment to offer listeners in New York a top-rated content and music experience.  Feedback tells us that New Yorkers are looking for a hot AC station that can take them through their workday and we know ‘NEW 102.7’ will deliver.” Additional announcements regarding the new programming lineup will be made shortly…..After cutting loose longtime syndicated morning show Bubba The Love Sponge” from rock WRXK, Fort Myers, Beasley Media Group announces it is piping in the “Dave & Chuck the Freak Morning Show” that emanates from its Detroit classic rock WRIF.   Beasley EVP of programming Justin Chase states, “We are pleased to have some of the finest personalities in the rock format within our company and Dave and Chuck are among the best of the best.  The type of content that they deliver has proven success in this market and I have no doubt this show will be a winner in Fort Myers.”…..Saga Communications classic hits KIOA, Des Moines announces Luke Matthews is the new morning drive co-host, alongside Amy on the “Luke & Amy” show. Matthews takes over for Maxwell Schaffer, who recently departed to take on the director of promotions and marketing at iHeartMedia’s Des Moines station group.

Round Four of June PPM Data Released. The fourth and final round of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s June 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s June 2018 survey period covered May 24 – June 20. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

Austin

Spoken-Word Formats – It is a quick one-month stay at #1 for University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talker KUT (8.2 – 7.8, -.4, 6+), which shifts to the runner-up slot. May’s 8.2 is its highest 6+-share since 9.0 in November 2016. A combined +1.0 in January and February (6.5 – 7.2 – 7.5, 6+), KUT previously was -1.4 as the result of three straight decreases (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.8 – 6.5, 6+). Its November loss of three-tenths ended three successive gains that netted +1.8 (6.1 – 6.5 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+). Off one-half share in April but up one-tenth in May, Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590 AM” now falters by four-tenths in June (4.6 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 3.8, 6+), exiting the top ten (#10 to #11). Three straight increases by KLBJ-AM prior to April’s -.5 resulted in a +1.8 (2.8 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.6, 6+). Immediately in advance of that streak, “News Radio 590 AM” was -1.3 in four straight decreases (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+). A one-tenth gain in May by Genuine Austin Radio sports talk KTXX halted three straight down or flat trends that accounted for a -.3 (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+). Now, “The Horn” adds one-half share (1.8 – 2.3, #18 to #16, 6+). Anchored at #24, iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” posts a +.2 to .5 (6+), suspending four straight down or flat trends that accounted for a loss of three-tenths (.6 – .6 – .5 – .3 – .3, 6+).

Austin Music Formats – On top four months in a row, Emmis adult hits KBPA “103.5 Bob FM” plummeted -1.4 in May (8.9 – 7.5, 6+), segueing to #2. Wiping away nearly half of May’s deficit, “Bob” – which was +1.0 in April – posts a June improvement of six-tenths to 8.1 (6+) and returns to #1. A November gain of one-half share halted three successive down or flat trends for a collective -.4 (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.6 – 8.3, 6+). Prior to picking up one-tenth in March (2018), “Bob” was -.6 (February); +1.7 (January); and -1.7 (“Holiday” 2017). In addition to moving from sixth to fifth, Entercom hot AC KAMX “Mix 94.7” is up for the third straight time for a collective +1.1 (4.7 – 5.1 – 5.2 – 5.8, 6+) and has its strongest 6+-stat (5.8) in nearly seven years (6.1, August 2011). Off one-half share in May, iHeartMedia-owned KASE erases that loss completely with June’s +.5 (5.6 – 5.1 – 5.6, eighth to sixth, 6+). Immediately before May’s one-half share decline, “Austin’s #1 For New Country” was +1.7 in four straight upticks (3.9 – 4.6 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.6, 6+). When KASE racked up a +.7 in January, it ended three consecutive decreases for an overall -1.2 (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+). It now trails co-owned/similarly-formatted KVET-FM “98.1 – The Austin Texas Original” (6.1 – 6.0, -.1, third to fourth, 6+) by four-tenths. April’s +1.1 enabled KVET-FM to notch its best 6+-stat since last December’s 6.2; “The Austin Texas Original” was -.9 in February. KVET-FM and KASE were tied for fifth place in March (5.3, 6+). Meanwhile, Genuine Austin Radio-owned KOKE “Austin’s Country Alternative” is down slightly in back-to-back sweeps (1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1, #21 to #22, 6+). Locked on 1.8 (6+) in March and April, University of Texas at Austin-owned triple A KUTX “98.9 The Austin Music Experience” improves by a cumulative six-tenths in May and June to 2.4 (#17 to #14, 6+). At the same time that Emmis regional Mexican KLZT-FM “La Z 107.1” falters by one full-share following a May increase of six-tenths (5.3 – 4.3, fifth to ninth, 6+), co-owned Spanish contemporary KLZT-HD2 returns in its entirety the six-tenths it picked up in May (3.0 – 3.6 – 3.0, #12 to #13, 6+). The 5.3 for KLZT-FM in May is its highest 6+-stat since November 2017’s 5.4.

Raleigh

Spoken-Word Formats – Powered by a robust +.9 (7.8 – 8.7, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC progresses from third to first; “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” was -1.0 in April. January 2018’s 9.1 is its strongest 6+-share since January 2014’s 9.4. WUNC fell to third-place in “Holiday” 2017 after four consecutive months in the runner-up slot. In addition to dropping from seventh to eighth, iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK “106.1 Stay Connected” is down (slightly) or flat for the third time in a row for a -.3 (5.3 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.0, 6+). An April loss of two-tenths curtailed three consecutive upticks that yielded a +1.5 (3.8 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.3, 6+). Just before that, WTKK was -1.4 via three straight decreases (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 3.8, 6+). After four successive times of posting a 1.0 (6+), Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF gains two-tenths to 1.2 (6+) yet backslides from #18 to #19. Ironically, prior to May, “News Radio 680” occupied the #19 slot for nine straight sweeps. The rollercoaster ride continues for Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC “99.9 The Fan,” which was -1.3 in January; +.5 in March; -.5 in April; +.5 in May; and now -1.3 in June (3.4 – 3.9 – 3.4 – 3.9 – 2.6, #11 to #14, 6+). This (2.6) is its softest 6+-stat since July 2017’s 2.4. Following eight straight up or flat moves that produced an overall +.3 (.2 – .3 – .4 – .4 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .5, 6+), co-owned sports talk WDNC “620 The Ticket” was off four-tenths in May to .1 (#25, 6+) and now disappears from print.

Raleigh Music Formats – Three major improvements in a row by Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL (5.1 – 5.8 – 7.1 – 7.7, March – April – May – June, 6+) net a collective +2.6, propelling “Mix 101.5” from fifth to third with its strongest 6+-showing (7.7) since 10.4 in “Holiday” 2017. This streak was immediately preceded by three negative moves in succession that accounted for a roughly 50% decline (-5.3) in its 6+-share (10.4 – 6.1 – 5.4 – 5.1, 6+). With its 6+ AQH share cut exactly in half as a result of four straight negative moves (2.0 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.4 – 1.0, 6+), Curtis Media Group regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1” bounces back with a +.6 to 1.6 (#19 to #17, 6+). Knocked out of the top spot following 12 straight months there and slipping to second is Radio One urban AC WFXC “Foxy – Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” (9.3 – 8.4, -.9, 6+). Its +.4 in May pulled the plug on three dips in a row that accounted for a combined -1.8 (10.7 – 9.5 – 9.3 – 8.9, 6+). This past January’s 10.7 is its best-ever (6+) PPM stat. Immediately prior to February, “Foxy” was an overall +2.0 in four consecutive gains (8.7 – 8.9 – 9.4 – 10.4 – 10.7, 6+). Its loss of one-half share last October halted six straight positive spikes that netted +2.4 (6.8 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.7 – 9.2, 6+). Within 6.0 – 6.7 range (6+) in each of the last five survey periods (6.0 – 6.7 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.3, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WDCG  drops six-tenths to 5.7, its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 5.3, but “G-105 Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” remains at #6.

Indianapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – The market’s largest (6+) May 2018 – June 2018 increase is made by Emmis news/talk WIBC (5.6 – 6.7, +1.1, 6+), which jumps from seventh to fourth. Prior to May’s -.3, “93.1 Indy’s News Center” was a combined +2.5 via four straight positive spikes (3.4 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.6 – 5.9, 6+), preceded by an overall -1.8 in four straight downward moves (5.2 – 4.9 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Having forfeited seven-tenths in April, Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI erases it with a combined +.7 in May and June (2.6 – 3.1 – 3.3, #13 to #14, 6+); WFYI was +1.1 in January. Frozen on 2.3 in March, April, and May, Emmis-owned sports talk WFNI is off one-tenth to 2.2 (flat at #16, 6+); “The Fan” was stymied at 2.1 (6+) in January and February. At the same time, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station” is without an increase for the third time in succession for a loss of three-tenths (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.5, #17 to #18, 6+).

Indianapolis Music Formats – A collective -2.3 as the result of three downward trends in succession (5.4 – 4.7 – 3.9 – 3.1, 6+), WNOW “100.9 Radio Now” hangs out a +.6 to 3.7 (6+) but remains at #13. The Radio One CHR was a combined +2.2 in January and February (3.2 – 4.3 – 5.4, 6+). Its rhythmic CHR sibling WHHH “Hot 96.3” advances from eighth to seventh with its third consecutive increase for a collective +.9 (4.7 – 4.8 – 5.1 – 5.6, 6+). Notching May 2018 – June 2018 increases of one-half share as well are Emmis adult contemporary WYXB “B-105.7” (6.6, sixth to fifth, 6+), which was a combined -1.3 in April and May (7.4 – 6.4 – 6.1, 6+), and Cumulus Media’s WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5” (6.8 – 7.3, fourth to second, 6+). Winning ways continue for co-owned WFMS, which is not only #1 for the third month in a row but “95.5 The Country Station” is an overall +2.3 in four straight upticks (5.9 – 6.2 – 7.3 – 7.8 – 8.2, 6+). Prior to April, the last time WFMS reached #1 was November 2013; June 2018’s 8.2 is its highest 6+-stat since 8.3 in October 2013. WFMS was -.9 (July 2017); +.8 (August); +.5 (September); -.7 (October); +1.1 (November); -.9 (December); -.6 (“Holiday” 2017); -.5 (February 2018); +1.0 in April; and +.5 in May. Meanwhile, Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM,” which was +1.6 in five consecutive monthlies without a loss (5.5 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.1, 6+), spirals by nine-tenths to 6.2 (second to sixth, 6+). On the strength of a +.7 in January, “Hank” ended three straight down or flat sweeps for a -1.6 (7.1 – 7.1 – 6.4 – 5.5, 6+). May 2018’s 7.1 is the strongest 6+-showing for WLHK since 7.6 in September 2015. Including June’s -1.1, Entercom CHR WZPL “99.5 ZPL – Indy’s #1 Hit Music Station” is now an overall -2.0 via three straight negative moves (7.5 – 6.8 – 6.6 – 5.5, fifth to eighth, 6+). After trending 4.7 – 4.4 – 4.5 (March – April – May, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WOLT “Alt 103.3 – Indy’s Alternative” sputters by seven-tenths to 3.8 (its lowest 6+-share since May 2017’s 3.8) but stays at #11. Substituting May’s +.6 with a June -.6, Entercom hot AC WNTR “107.9 The Mix – Better Variety for a Better Workday” carries on at #9. Its gain of six-tenths this time last month halted three downward moves in a row that accounted for a collective -1.2 (5.5 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+). Displaying an identical May 2018 – June 2018 profile as “The Mix” is Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” (4.9 – 4.3, -.6, flat at #9, 6+), which has its lowest 6+-stat since re-appearing in print in December 2016. In four downward trends in a row, Radio One urban AC WTLC-FM “106.7 Indy’s R&B Leader” is -1.4 (5.2 – 4.6 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.8, 6+) but actually improves from #12 to #11 – where it is tied with WOLT.

Milwaukee

Spoken-Word Formats – At the same time that Scripps news/talk (and Milwaukee Brewers flagship) WTMJ “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” virtually eliminates May’s -.6 with a +.5 (7.3 – 7.8, third to second, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WISN “News/Talk 1130” surrenders eight-tenths of May’s +.9 (7.7 – 6.9, second to fourth, 6+). In April (2018), WTMJ matched February’s +.9. Before that particular February gain, “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” was without an increase the previous four sweeps for a -2.0 (7.3 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 5.3, 6+). With downward trends in three straight sweeps (8.4 – 8.3 – 7.5 – 6.8, January through April, 6+), WISN was an overall –1.6. Finishing second in six successive survey periods, “News/Talk 1130,” which was a combined -.9 in February and March, fell to fourth in April; it was +1.0 in January. When WISN dropped one-half share in “Holiday” 2017, it ended five straight gains that yielded a +1.9 (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.0 – 7.9, 6+). Prior to January, the last time it reached the eight-share level (6+) was just over five years ago (8.1, April 2013). An overall +.8 in five sweeps in a row without a loss (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), WUWM has a one-tenth setback to 2.7 (6+) yet climbs from #15 to #13; the University of Wisconsin news/talk outlet is within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 14th consecutive sweep. The March 2018 – June 2018 topline trending for Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” is 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.2 (#16 to #17, 6+).

Milwaukee Music Formats – Significant ups/downs continue for Saga Communications’ WKLH “96.5 Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock,” which was -.9 (“Holiday” 2017); +.5 (January 2008); -.9 (February); +1.1 (March); -.5 (April); -.5 (May); and now +.9 in June (6.4 – 7.3, fourth to third, 6+). “Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” was an overall +3.0 in four consecutive August through December increases (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.5 – 6.0 – 7.6, 6+). A May uptick of three-tenths by Entercom hot AC WMYX halted five successive sweeps without an increase which accounted for a -1.2 (5.7 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 4.5, 6+). By adding one-half share (4.8 – 5.3, 6+), “99.1 The Mix” climbs from seventh to sixth. April’s 4.5 marked the first time “Mix” slipped below a five-share (6+) since “Holiday” 2016’s 4.9. In addition to being +1.7 in four straight increases (8.8 – 9.4 – 9.9 – 10.3 – 10.5, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” is #1 for the 40th consecutive ratings period. Prior to January 2018, “Big FM” had been in double-digits (6+) in six of the previous 12 ratings periods; 11.6 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-stat since 14.4 in “Holiday” 2015. A cumulative +2.5 in five straight increases (3.6 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.4 – 5.5 – 6.1, 6+), co-owned WMIL “FM 106.1 – Milwaukee’s Best Country” forfeits 40% of that increase (5.1, -1.0, 6+), dropping from fifth to seventh. In advance of registering a +.9 in January, “FM 106.1” was a combined -3.2 in five successive downward moves (6.5 – 5.7 – 5.0 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+). Eight-tenths behind it is format rival, Scripps’ WKTI “94.5 KTI Country,” which loses one-tenth (4.4 – 4.3, ninth to tenth, 6+). Its +.6 in February interrupted six successive down or flat survey periods for a collective -1.4 (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Immediately prior to that trending, WKTI posted three straight gains for a +1.1 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.8, 6+).

Nashville

Spoken-Word Formats – Having recorded a +.7 in April and then a -.1 in May (1.9 – 2.6 – 2.5, 6+), Cromwell Group-owned sports talk WPRT “102.5 The Game” (#15 to #20, 6+) spirals by -1.6 to .9, its lowest 6+-performance since October 2017’s .8. In five consecutive losses, Cumulus Media sports talk WGFX  is -3.5 (6.5 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, #13 to #12, 6+); “104.5 The Zone” followed “Holiday” 2017’s loss of six-tenths with a January gain of nine-tenths. Anchored at #9, Nashville Public Radio news/talk/classical hybrid WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” is a combined -.5 in four straight sweeps without an increase, (5.3 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+). January’s full-share gain ended three decreases in succession that resulted in a -2.4 (6.4 – 5.7 – 4.6 – 4.0, 6+). WPLN-FM was +1.2 in October to 6.4, its best 6+-share in the PPM-era. For the third straight sweep, Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN has a (6+) fluctuation of two-tenths (3.5 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+) with “Super Talk 99.7” remaining at #11. January’s half-share improvement halted three straight declines that yielded a -2.0 (5.0 – 4.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+). With a (6+) high of 1.4 and low of .9, the topline May 2017 – June 2018 trending for iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC “Talk Radio 1510” is 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.1 (#19 to #11, 6+).

Nashville Music Formats – Roaring back from May’s -.5 with a gain twice that margin (8.2 – 9.2, +1.0, 6+), Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA  is #1 for the fifth month in a row. “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” ranked first in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017; shifted to second in January; but returned to #1 in February. Prior to January’s -6.7, “Mix” was +8.0 in six straight increases (6.4 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 7.4 – 7.7 – 9.9 – 14.4, 6+). Adult hits cluster-mate WCJK “96.3 Jack-FM Playing What We Want,” which had been (slightly) down or flat the past four ratings periods for an overall loss of six-tenths (7.4 – 7.0 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 6.8, 6+), dials up a one-half share gain to 7.3 (6+) and continues in third-place. Adding seven-tenths to May’s +.4 (5.3 – 5.7 – 6.4, 6+) Cumulus Media’s country-formatted WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” advances from eighth to fifth. “Nash Icon” faltered by one-half share in April following March’s -.3; a January and February +1.9 (4.2 – 5.6 – 6.1, 6+) wiped out its -1.7 from December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.9 – 5.6 – 4.2, 6+). Off a collective -1.5 (5.0 – 4.7 – 3.5, January – February – March, 6+) and then stuck on 4.0 (6+) in April and May, similarly-formatted sibling WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” breaks out a +.6 to 4.6 and remains at #10. Immediately in advance of the aforementioned -1.5, “Nash Icon” was an overall +1.8 via four straight gains (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 5.0, 6+). A loss of three-tenths by iHeartMedia’s WSIX (5.9 – 5.6, 6+) shifts “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” from sixth to seventh. “The Big 98” registered a +.6 in February, -.5 in March, and +.6 in April. Its +1.1 in January ended three straight setbacks that accounted for a -1.4 (5.5 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.1, 6+). The market’s two mainstream CHRs are a combined -1.1 (May 2018 – June 2018, 6+) as iHeartMedia’s WRVW “107.5 The River” erodes by seven-tenths (5.9 – 5.2, sixth to eighth, 6+), while Midwest Communications’ WNFN “106.7 Nashville’s New Hit Music” drops four-tenths (2.6 – 2.2, #14 to #15, 6+). WRVW and WNFN were a cumulative -1.4 in April and teamed for a +.5 in May. By dropping one-half share (3.5 – 3.0, 6+), Cromwell Group-owned WBUZ “102.9 The Buzz – Nashville’s Rock Station” slips from #11 to #12. Four successive up or flat trends by co-owned WQZQ more than doubled (+.7) its 6+-share, but “Classic Hits 93.3” (.5 – .6 – .7 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), hands over-one-tenth to 1.1 (6+) yet proceeds from #18 to a four-way tie at #16; May’s 1.2 is its best 6+-stat since November 2017 (1.2, as well). Also included in that logjam at #16 is TBLC Media Spanish contemporary WNVL, which is off three-tenths to 1.1 (#17 to #16, 6+). Having reached the top twenty for the first time in March, “Activa” concludes three straight up or flat moves that produced a 6+ AQH stat seven times greater than it was in February (.2 – .9 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+).

Providence

Spoken-Word Formats – Albeit that it remains at #7, Entercom sports talk WVEI posts its third positive spike in succession for a collective +1.2 (2.8 – 3.4 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+). Leading up to the February sweep, the Boston Red Sox Radio Network affiliate was an overall +1.8 via three consecutive up or flat trends (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 5.0, 6+) but then was a cumulative -2.2 in February and March (5.0 – 3.6 – 2.8, 6+). One-tenth behind is Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM “News Talk 630” (flat at 3.9, seventh to eighth, 6+). May’s setback of eight-tenths essentially negated the eight-tenths it collected via three consecutive upticks (3.9 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.7, 6+). When WPRO-AM lost one-tenth in January, it curtailed four straight upward moves of two-tenths each for a collective +.8 (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+). The January 2018 – June 2018 (6+) topline for co-owned WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business” is a steady .4 – .5 – .6 – .5 – .6 – .6 (unchanged at #15). Down an overall seven-tenths in four straight decreases (2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WHJJ slips from #12 to #13; “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” gained six-tenths in February. Off one-tenth (2.2 – 2.1, 6+), The Wheeler School’s WELH is unchanged in its market rank (#10); WGBH Educational Foundation’s WGBH falters by three-tenths (2.2 – 1.9, #11, 6+); these two public news/talk facilities were tied in May at #10. Immediately prior to the May sweep, WELH and WGBH finished back-to-back four straight times.

Providence Music Formats – Owing to six straight sweeps without a decrease (7.2 – 7.4 – 7.5 – 8.3 – 8.3 – 8.8 – 9.8, third to second, 6+), Hall Communications’ WCTK “Cat Country 98.1” is +2.6. Moreover, this (9.8) is its strongest 6+-performance in three years (9.9, June 2015). Tacking on nine-tenths to May’s increase of eight-tenths (8.6 – 9.4 – 10.3, 6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” repeats at #1. This (10.3) is the highest 6+-stat for “Lite” since 12.3 in “Holiday” 2017. Prior to this past October, “Lite Rock” (-1.1 in March) was a combined +1.6 as the result of three straight increases (9.8 – 10.0 – 10.8 – 11.4, 6+). Erasing May’s -.4 with an increase twice that margin, iHeartMedia-owned WHJY (9.0 – 9.8, +.8, 6+) remains at #2, where it is tied with WCTK. On top in March and April, “94 HJY Providence’s Home of Rock and Roll” slipped to the runner-up slot in May. June 2018’s 9.8 is its best 6+-stat since January 2012’s 10.0. Following three upticks in a row that netted seven-tenths (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.4, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC WSNE “Coast 93.3” erodes by -1.2 to 4.2 but continues in sixth-place. In three straight monthlies without an increase (2.8 – 2.3 – 1.4 – 1.4, #13 to #12, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting Spanish tropical WKKB loses exactly half its 6+-share (-1.4); “Latina 100.3” was a cumulative +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018.

Norfolk – Huge winning ways continue for Entercom urban AC WVKL which is #1 for the 19th time in a row and a collective +2.2 in three straight increases (12.1 – 12.3 – 13.2 – 14.3, 6+). Moreover, “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” posts a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 27th time in the last 28 sweeps. When it logged a 14.6 in November 2017, WVKL set the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era, breaking the old mark of 14.3 (6+) it set two months earlier. Before slipping by one-half share in October, “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” – 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+). Having faltered by three-tenths May, iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies WHBT displays an increase twice that size (1.9 – 2.5, +.6, 6+) and is anchored at #8. In five successive (slightly) up or flat trends, “92.1 The Beat” gained three-tenths (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+). Bouncing back from May’s -1.1, Entercom adult contemporary WWDE logs a one-half share increase (5.0 – 5.5, 6+) and continues in fifth-place. Just prior to May’s loss, “101.3 2WD” strung together three upticks in succession that generated a +1.8 (4.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.1, 6+). Three straight declines by iHeartMedia urban contemporary WOWI accounted for a –1.3 (8.6 – 8.1 – 7.7 – 7.3, 6+), but “103 Jamz” is now +.6 in May and June (7.3 – 7.4 – 7.9, 6+) to advance from third to second. In a somewhat similar vein, Norfolk State University urban contemporary WNSB was without a gain for seven successive ratings periods for a -.8 (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .9, 6+), but “Hot 91.1” is up a combined six-tenths in the last two sweeps (.9 – 1.0 – 1.5, 6+) and enters the top ten (#12 to #9). In the  Saga Communications cluster, WNOR “99 Rocks” erodes by -1.0 (8.3 – 7.3, second to third, 6+), while classic rock WAFX “106.9 The Fox” is a cumulative -1.1 in May and June (7.1 – 6.7 – 6.0, 6+) and remains in fourth-place. This (7.3) is the lowest 6+-showing for WNOR since its 6.0 in “Holiday” 2017. When “The Fox” dropped four-tenths in May, it halted three upticks in a row that netted +2.4 (4.7 – 5.9 – 6.3 – 6.4 – 7.1, 6+). As the result of six successive sweeps without an increase, iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMOV spirals by roughly 80% (-3.9) of its 6+ AQH share (5.0 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .9) with “Movin’ 107.7” falling from #11 to #12.

Greensboro

Spoken-Word Formats – In back-to-back sweeps, iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” posts a gain of two-tenths (3.8 – 4.0 – 4.2, flat at #9, 6+). Its +.2 in May ended three decreases in succession that produced a cumulative -2.1 (5.9 – 5.2 – 4.6 – 3.8, 6+); WPTI was +1.6 in January (4.3 – 5.9, 6+). An overall +2.2 in five consecutive increases (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 5.5, 6+), it relinquished more than half that total in December (4.3, -1.2, 6+). Once again finishing at #13 and #14, respectively, are Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” (2.5 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.0, for an overall -.5 the past three sweeps, 6+) and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC (1.1 – 1.0, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, WFDD returned in its entirety the +.6 it gained in November and December (1.7 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 1.7, 6+). Prior to April, WUNC registered a .9 (6+) in three of the previous four sweeps (.9 – .9 – 1.1 – .9, 6+). Unchanged at #16, Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS is off 50% (-.4) in three straight dips (.8 – .6 – .5 – .4, 6+). Immediately before that, owing to three straight (slight) increases, “Triad Sports” quadrupled its 6+-share (.2 – .3 – .6 – .8, 6+).

Greensboro Music Formats – Resurfacing in April following a long absence of being unlisted, Dick Broadcasting CHR WKZL 107.5 KZL – The #1 Hit Music Station” posts its five latest 6+-stats – including May 2018 – June 2018’s +1.1 (4.0 – 5.4 – 5.0 – 4.3 – 5.4 (eighth to seventh). Coinciding with iHeartMedia-owned WTQR “Q-104.1 – #1 for New Country” posting a +1.0, Entercom’s similarly-programmed WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” spirals by -1.5 (6.2 – 4.7, sixth to eighth, 6+). This marks the third uptick in a row by “Q-104” for an overall +2.3 (4.9 – 5.0 – 6.2 – 7.2, 6+) as it jumps from sixth to fifth. When WTQR, which logs its highest 6+-share (7.2) since October 2017’s 7.3, registered a +1.2 in May, it drew even with WPAW. Immediately prior to June’s -1.5, “The Wolf was +1.1 (May) and -.9 (April). Its April decrease curtailed three successive upticks that accounted for an overall gain of seven-tenths (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.8 – 6.0, 6+). Similar to WTQR, May’s 6.2 is the highest 6+-share for “The Wolf” since 7.1 in October 2017. After both stations sputtered by six-tenths in May, Entercom rhythmic CHR WJMH “102 Jams” (7.9 – 7.3 – 8.2, 6+) and iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMAG “The Triad’s Best Variety of the ‘80s, ‘90s, & Today” (7.5 – 6.9 – 7.8, 6+) roar back with matching leaps of nine-tenths; they remain at #3 and #4, respectively. WJMH was a combined +1.1 (7.3 – 8.0 – 8.4, January – February – March, 6+), but off one-half share in April. Entering the May sweep, WMAG netted +1.4 as the result of three positive or flat trends in a row (6.1 – 7.0 – 7.0 – 7.5, 6+). Notwithstanding a loss of eight-tenths (12.0 – 11.2, 6+), Entercom urban AC WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” is #1 for the sixth straight sweep and notches double-digits (6+) for the 20th time in succession. WQMG was -1.1 in March but then +1.2 in April. Before slipping to #2 in “Holiday” 2017 with a -1.2, “97.1 QMG” spent seven straight survey periods on top. While anchored in the runner-up slot for the sixth straight sweep, adult hits sibling WSMW “98.7 Simon Says We Play Everything” is -2.5 in five consecutive decreases (11.6 – 11.4 – 10.4 – 10.3 – 9.4 – 9.1, 6+). As the result of six successive sweeps without a loss (2.6 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.1, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WMKS was +1.5; however, “100.3 Kiss FM All the Hits” is now a collective -.9 in May and June (4.1 – 3.7 – 3.2, #11 to #12, 6+). Up nine-tenths via three consecutive gains (2.9 – 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.8, 6+), co-owned WVBZ “105.7 Man Up!” returns four-tenths to 3.4 (6+) but stays at #10.

West Palm Beach

Spoken-Word Formats – This is the third straight up or flat trend by iHeartMedia news/talk WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” for a collective gain of seven-tenths (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.7, tenth to ninth, 6+). Before posting a +.3 in April, WJNO was a collective -1.3 via four successive decreases (3.3 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.1 – 2.0, 6+). Without a loss the past five months for a +1.2 (2.3 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+), Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN is off four-tenths to 3.1 (6+) but stays in eighth-place. While flat at #11, Alpha Media’s WFTL “News Talk 850” gains two-tenths (1.7 – 1.9, 6+). Three-tenths behind “News Talk 850” is iHeartMedia news/talk WZZR “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk for the Palm Beaches,” which is steady at 1.6 (#13 to #12, 6+). WFTL had been +1.0 in four straight sweeps without a loss (1.0 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 2.0, 6+). Similar to WJNO, “Real Radio” posted a +.3 in April, stopping four consecutive down or flat trends that resulted in a -.9 (2.7 – 2.3 – 2.1- 2.1 – 1.8, 6+). The five 6+-stats for WSWN, which debuted in print in January 2018, are .5 – .6 – .6 – .5 – .5 (#17, 6+); “The Talk of the Palm Beaches,” however, is unlisted in June 2018.

West Palm Beach Music Formats – Locked on 5.9 (6+) in April and May, after having climbed to 6.9 in March, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WOLL “Today’s Kool 105.5” picks up six-tenths to 6.5 (6+), advancing from third to second. Prior to April, “Kool” was +2.0 in three consecutive upticks (4.9 – 5.4 – 6.4 – 6.9, 6+) and had been +.8 (December 2017); -.6 (“Holiday” 2017); +.5 (January 2018); +1.0 (February); +.5 (March); and -1.0 (April). Down 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; 6.9 in March was the station’s highest 6+-share since 7.5 in July 2016. A gain of three-tenths to 9.3 (6+) by WRMF “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” applies the brakes to three straight decreases that produced a collective -1.2 (10.2 – 9.9 – 9.2 – 9.0, 6+). Over and above that, the Alpha Media hot AC is on top for the sixth month in a row. Prior to January’s +1.6, WRMF was down or flat in three consecutive ratings periods for an overall -3.0 (11.2 – 11.2 – 8.9 – 8.2, 6+). It spent 12 ratings periods in a row on top before dropping to the runner-up slot in “Holiday” 2017. A one-tenth September setback ended four straight increases that netted +1.6 (9.3 – 9.4 – 9.5 – 10.4 – 10.9, 6+). Co-owned urban AC WMBX “X-102.3” regresses by six-tenths (6.2 – 5.6, 6+) to slide from second to third.

Jacksonville

Spoken-Word Formats – Despite gaining one-tenth for its third increase in succession for a +2.1 (7.3 – 8.2 – 9.3 – 9.4, 6+), news/talk WOKV falls to #2 after a one-month stay at #1. This (9.4) is the strongest 6+-showing since September 2017’s 9.7 for “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic,” which was -.9 in March. Four straight negative trends (9.7 – 8.5 – 7.7 – 7.0 – 6.9, 6+) accounted for a -2.8 but WOKV wiped out nearly half that margin in January and February (6.9 – 8.1 – 8.2, +1.2, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, the Cox Media Group outlet recorded its softest 6+-stat since 6.6 in “Holiday” 2016; the station was +1.3 in September. Having dropped one-tenth in each of the last three survey periods (3.5 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.2, 6+), public news/talk WJCT gains one-tenth in June to 3.3 (6+) and carries on at #12. WJCT was a combined +.9 in January and February (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.5, 6+) with January’s +.4 halting five straight down or flat sweeps for a collective -.7 (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.6, 6+).

Jacksonville Music Formats – When WEJZ lost two-tenths in May, it bumped the Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary property from first after just a one-month stay on top. Powered by a June +1.4, however, “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” returns to #1 (9.0 – 10.4, 6+). WEJZ was #1 in “Holiday” 2017 and February 2018. Before sputtering by -4.3 in January, “Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” was an overall +5.8 in four straight uptrends, practically doubling its 6+ AQH share (6.1 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 9.0 – 11.9, September 2017 through “Holiday” 2017, 6+). This (10.4, June 2018) is its highest 6+-stat since 11.9 in “Holiday” 2017. After being a collective -2.3 in April and May (9.0 – 8.2 – 6.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WQIK “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country” bounces back with a one-half share increase to 7.2 (steady at #4, 6+). Its +1.1 in March pulled the plug on four straight decreases that accounted for an overall -5.7 (13.6 – 12.3 – 11.0 – 10.6 – 8.2 – 7.9, 6+). On top for 12 straight ratings periods, “Jacksonville’s Country” shifted to #2 in “Holiday” 2017 but returned to #1 in January 2018 and March; October 2017’s 13.6 is its best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. Conversely, with a one full-share loss, Spanish contemporary WQIK-HD2 virtually disappears from print (1.1 – .1, #18 to #21, 6+). In October 2017, WQIK “Jacksonville’s Country” had a 10.3-share advantage (13.6 – 3.3, 6+) over Renda Broadcasting’s similarly-programmed WGNE but that lead is now 1.5 as “Gator Country 99.9” is steady at #5 with a 5.8 (-.1, 6+). WGNE bounced back from a -.6 in March with a +1.1 in April. Without a decrease in each of the past five sweeps for a combined +1.8 (6.6 – 7.1 – 7.7 – 8.2 – 8.2 – 8.4, 6+), Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL surrenders one-half share to 7.9 (flat at #3, 6+); “96.9 The Eagle” was -1.7 in “Holiday” 2017 (8.3 – 6.6, 6+). Off a cumulative -1.0 in March and April (5.2 – 4.6 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WJBT “93.3 The Beat” erased 80% of that margin with a +.8 in April to 5.0 (6+), but forfeits one-half share in June (4.5, flat at #7, 6+).

Memphis

Spoken-Word Formats – Tied at #11 in June are Entercom sports talk WMFS “ESPN Sports Radio” which gains one-tenth (2.8 – 2.9, #12 to #11 6+) and iHeartMedia news/talk WREC “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” – down one-tenth (flat at #11, 6+). Immediately prior to dropping one-tenth in April, WMFS was up or flat three monthlies in a row for an overall gain of eight-tenths (2.5 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.3, 6+). Following four straight increases that accounted for a +1.3 through November (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 3.3, 6+), “ESPN Sports Radio” was a combined -.8 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.5, 6+). Meanwhile, WREC is without an increase for the fifth successive sweep for an overall deficit of six-tenths (3.5 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.9, 6+). Its eight-tenths’ setback in “Holiday” 2017 brought to a close five consecutive up or flat moves for a collective +.7 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+); January’s 3.5 is the best 6+-share for WREC, -.8 in “Holiday” 2017 and a +.9 in January, since 3.6 in February 2017. Having logged a .1 (6+) three consecutive times, Entercom sports talk WMC-AM “Sports 790 AM” adds two-tenths to .3 (#18).

Memphis Music Formats – In addition to climbing from sixth to fifth, Entercom hot AC WMC-FM  registers its fourth straight uptick for an overall +2.3 (4.5 – 4.9 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 6.8, 6+). Moreover, “FM 100 Today’s Best Mix” has its strongest 6+-showing (6.8) since May 2017’s 7.0. Piling on a +1.0 in June to May’s +.7 (9.4 – 10.1 – 11.1, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS “V-101” solidifies its hold on #1. On top for three months in a row, KJMS slipped to second in April. “V-101” departed the top spot in “Holiday” 2017 after four consecutive months there and rebounded from January’s -.6 with a +.7 in February. Following three straight improvements that yielded a +2.1 (9.2 – 10.0 – 10.4 – 11.3, 6+), “V-101” was -1.0 in December. While anchored at #8, co-owned WEGR “Rock 102.7 – Memphis’ Classic Rock” is a collective +1.5 in three straight positive spikes (3.0 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.5, 6+). A one-half share May 2018 – June 2018 improvement to 3.9 (tenth to ninth, 6+) by Cumulus Media-owned WGKX “Kix 106 Today’s Best Country” curtails four decreases in a row that accounted for a loss of seven-tenths (4.4 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.4, 6+). This is the fourth time in a row that iHeartMedia gospel WHAL “95.7 Halleluiah – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” sputters for a collective -2.5 (7.3 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.1 – 4.8, fifth to sixth, 6+); June 2018’s 4.8 is its softest 6+-stat since September 2017’s 4.6. A combined -1.3 in May and June (9.8 – 9.4 – 8.5, 6+), urban contemporary sibling WHRK “K-97.1 – Memphis’ Only Hip-Hop and R&B” repeats at #3. By gaining six-tenths in April (following a +1.0 in March), “K-97.1” succeeded urban AC sibling “V-101” at #1. As a result of three straight upticks (7.7 – 8.0 – 9.2 – 10.0, 6+), Cumulus Media urban-rhythmic oldies WRBO was +2.3 but “Soul Classics and Today’s R&B” forfeits seven-tenths in June to 9.3 (flat at #2, 6+). May’s 10.0 is its finest 6+-performance since October 2017’s 10.2.

Hartford

Spoken-Word Formats – While unchanged in tenth-place, Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” records its sixth down or flat trend in succession for a -2.4 (5.9 – 5.9 – 5.5 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.5, 6+). WNPR followed “Holiday” 2017’s -1.3 with a +.9 in January. Prior to May, the last time it was below a five-share (6+) was in August 2017 (4.7). This represents the third straight (modestly) down or flat trend in succession by Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM “News Talk 1080” for a -.2 (5.9 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 5.7, unchanged at #7, 6+). An April loss of one-tenth halted three increases in a row that netted +1.5 (4.4 – 5.1 – 5.5 – 5.9). Just prior to that, WTIC-AM was a collective -1.4 in three straight dips (5.8 – 5.6 – 5.0 – 4.4, 6+). Off two-tenths (1.2 – 1.0, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting news/talk WDRC-AM “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” remains at #13, but has its consecutive streak of up or flat trends which produced a +.4 end at five (.8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+). Immediately after being a cumulative +1.1 in three straight gains (1.4 – 1.7 – 2.3 – 2.5, 6+), University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio” is -1.1 in four successive down or flat trends (2.5 – 1.8 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4, unchanged at #12, 6+). Entering the January 2018 sweep, WFCR was within 1.0 – 1.7 range (6+) in each of the previous 21 ratings periods.

Hartford Music Formats – A one-half share increase by Red Wolf Broadcasting’s WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale – Hartford’s Classic Rock” (4.3, unchanged at #8, 6+) erases a combined setback of four-tenths in three consecutive down or flat trends (4.2 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.8, 6+). Even though Entercom adult contemporary WRCH is an overall -1.9 in three straight downward moves (14.3 – 13.2 – 13.1 – 12.4, 6+), “Lite 100.5” is #1 for the 23rd consecutive ratings period and in double-digits (6+) for the 20th time in the last 22 sweeps. WRCH was +1.1 in March but then -1.1 in April. January’s -4.9 halted at six its consecutive string of up or flat trends that yielded a +8.4 (9.9 – 10.2 – 10.2 – 10.3 – 11.0 – 13.0 – 18.3, 6+). Having posted five successive improvements for an overall +2.9 (4.9 – 5.1 – 5.5 – 6.0 – 7.0 – 7.8, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WWYZ “Country 92.5” surrenders eight-tenths to 7.0 (third to fifth, 6+); May’s 7.8 is its best 6+-showing since last October (also 7.8). Off eight-tenths as well in June is classic hits-oldies cluster-mate WHCN “105.9 The River” (7.7 – 6.9, fifth to sixth, 6+), which is below a seven-share (6.9, 6+) for the first time since “Holiday” 2017’s 6.0. A collective +1.1 in April and May ( 6.7 – 7.5 – 7.8, 6+), Entercom hot AC WTIC-FM “96.5 ‘TIC – Today’s Best Variety” falters by seven-tenths in June to 7.1 (third to fourth, 6+).

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

| June 26, 2018

Entercom Shifts Digital Audio from TuneIn to Its Own Radio.com. In an internal memo, president and CEO David Field outlines Entercom’s strategy for building Radio.com into the digital audio platform he believes it can become.  It starts with the migration of Entercom’s digital streams from TuneIn to Radio.com over the next couple months.  Entercom acquired the Radio.com platform with the merger with CBS RADIO and will have moved all radio streams there by early August.  Field says, “One of the benefits of our scale and the quality of our brands and content is the ability to compete effectively in the rapidly growing digital audio sector.  As the nation’s No. 1 creator of live, original, local audio content with a lineup of 235 outstanding stations, and the country’s unrivaled leader in news and sports radio, we have assets no other company can match and an enviable reach of over 112 million listeners per month — plus tens of millions more on our digital and social platforms.”  Even iHeartMedia’s iHeartRadio platform is far behind leaders Pandora and Spotify in terms of listening, so Entercom has an uphill battle ahead of itself to make Radio.com, as Field hopes, “a daily habit for many millions of Americans.”  He says, “We are committed to making Radio.com a leader in the digital audio space. We have added a number of highly talented leaders to our team to help lead the charge.  Over the next several months, we will be rolling out new product features, distribution partners, advanced advertising products, and other improvements to enrich the user experience and enhance our value to customers.” Entercom will mount an aggressive promotional campaign across its AM and FM radio stations to embed awareness of Radio.com in the minds of its radio consumers.

Sports Radio Pro Eric Spitz to Join SiriusXM. After six years as program director for CBS Sports Radio, Eric Spitz is leaving that company to join SiriusXM as vice president of sports programming.  He’ll work with senior vice president of sports programming Steve Cohen and be based in New York.  The company says Spitz will “be involved in the daily operation of SiriusXM’s sports channels, including the hiring of talent, programming development and live sports scheduling.”  Spitz began his career as a desk assistant at WFAN in New York in 1987 and rose through the producer ranks to be become the station’s assistant program director.  In 2002, Spitz was named vice president, operations and programming for Westwood One’s Shadow/Metro Traffic, a position he held for three years before returning to WFAN as program director in 2005.

TALKERS Continues Posting Videos Today of the Recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Convention – Today’s Post:  Introductory Statements.  Today (6/26) TALKERS magazine continues posting individual events from the recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! convention held in New York City on June 8.  Each day, another session will be posted in the order that they originally took place.  Today’s second installment features the opening remarks by the convention’s co-emcees, TalkersRadio GM, David Bernstein and Good Day Networks/DJV Show CEO/host, Doug Stephan.  In addition, KGO, San Francisco host, Ethan Bearman delivers the event’s welcoming remarks and Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host, Brad Shepard introduces Bearman.   Already posted from yesterday: 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.

Mark Levin Slides into Early Evenings at WPHT.  Native Philadelphian Mark Levin will soon be heard in his hometown as Entercom news/talk WPHT “Talk Radio 1210” is adding his Westwood One syndicated talk show to its program schedule in the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm slot.  Entercom Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff says, “We couldn’t be more excited to add Mark Levin to our already impressive list of marquee hosts at ‘Talk Radio 1210’ WPHT.  As a native Philadelphian, Mark’s show is the ideal complement to our local hosts, Chris Stigall, Dom Giordano and Rich Zeoli.”

TALKERS News Notes. Philadelphia all-newser KYW “Newsradio 1060” announces the recipients of this year’s “KYW Newsradio Women’s Achievement Awards.”  In its ninth year, the awards honor women in the Delaware Valley who have made a positive impact in the region through business leadership and community service.  This year’s “Rising Star” category honors local women under the age of 40 who were all selected by the community through the use of social media.  The awards will take place on Thursday, June 28 at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel.  Entercom Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff says, “We are honored to use the influential voice of KYW Newsradio to showcase the dedication and service of these five exceptional rising stars in our community.  Their efforts embody what the ‘KYW Newsradio Women’s Achievement Awards’ stand for, and the very reason the program launched nine years ago.”…..The nationally syndicated weekend program “America Outdoors Radio” begins airing on iHeartMedia’s sports talk KJR, Seattle on July 7.  The John Kruse-hosted show is now heard on more than 60 stations across the country…..Pictured at left is Westwood One “Monday Night Football” play-by-play voice Kevin Harlan with his “2017 National Sportscaster of the Year” award.  Harlan was honored at the National Sports Media Association’s 59th awards banquet in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Illegal Immigration Policy, Maxine Waters Speech, Tariffs-Trade War Concerns, SC Trump Rally, Heather Locklear Troubles, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/25). The controversy over the Trump administration’s policy to deal with illegal immigrants; reaction to U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters’ speech in which she encourages people to harass Trump administration staffers in public; the Trump tariffs and concerns over a global trade war; Monday’s Trump rally in South Carolina at which CNN’s Jim Acosta was singled out as a purveyor of fake news by attendees; the two recent arrests of actress Heather Locklear and concerns about her health; 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.

“Cousin” Bruce Morrow Tells TALKERS That Dan Ingram Practiced “Early Irreverence” on the Radio.   Legendary disc jockey “Cousin” Bruce Morrow who, in his eighties, is still going strong as a major personality on the SiriusXM Satellite Radio’s 60s Channel, worked at WABC, New York for many years in the 1960s and 70s in the same historic lineup with the Dan Ingram.   For many of those golden years, Morrow did the early evening show directly following Ingram’s afternoon drive slot.  TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison caught up with Morrow via cell phone at his upstate New York country home yesterday afternoon (6/26) to discuss his reflections on his late station-mate Dan Ingram.  Unfortunately, the cell reception was not clear enough to merit being presented as an audio podcast.  However, the following is a transcription of the parts of the conversation that lent themselves to print:

MH:  Congrats on the great work you’re doing on SiriusXM.

BM: I love it and I’m having a great time.  Talking with people that grew up with me as well as new people.  I feel great.

MH:  You have the same spirit that marked your work in the 60s and 70s but there’s nothing dated about it.  It is very contemporary.

BM:  Thank you, Michael.

MH:  Did you and Dan Ingram know the impact what you were doing back in the WABC days was having on teenagers?  That you were larger-than-life cultural gurus?

BM:  Although I’d like to say yes, the answer is no.  We knew what we were doing professionally as far as broadcasting is concerned but we didn’t realize that we would be part of people’s DNA and culture.  It was all relatively new. Fortunately, Dan and I were allowed to experiment and we did.  They left us alone to do our thing.  Of course, Dan and I were different sides of the ruler.

MH:  How so?

BM:  One of Dan’s major contributions to radio history was what I call ‘EI’ – early irreverence.  He was a precursor to what would eventually be known as “shock jocks” although I hate to use those words.  Dan would take a lot of the culture, the things that were happening in everyday life that we all experienced, and he twisted it a little bit and made it bigger than life and made us look at it and laugh at it. That was great.  It shocked a lot of people.  I must tell you, it even scared me a little bit because I didn’t know how people were going to react.  I didn’t know how our sponsors would react.  In those days, you know, we had to keep our sponsors happy.  In order to keep them happy, we had to get the ratings and get the people to listen… and I always used to say to him, “Ya know, do you think maybe you went a little too far?”  He’d respond, “You ain’t heard nothin’ yet.  Wait ‘til tomorrow!”   And then he’d go a step above.

MH:  What about management.

BM:  The guys in the suits upstairs – they were kind of scared.  Their knees were shaking.  They didn’t know what to do with him.  But they let him do his thing… but Dan Ingram was a professional.  He knew he was ripping at the envelope but he also knew where to stop.  In those days, anyhow.  In those days, he knew just how far he could take it.  Then he was a great lead in for me because I was a complete opposite… I was into my “Cousin” Brucie family, it was family-oriented and it was fun… it was sometimes a little silly, but never blue.  Dan was a little, shall we say, sky blue.  He would never get blue-blue, but he would get a little sky blue on the radio.  People would listen to it and say – hey did you hear what Dan said?  It was kind of fun.  So it was a great lead in for me.  It was a wonderful experience.  We did it together for years and years.  I miss him.  But we have his legacy which continues with a lot of the young people who are on the air today who were obviously influenced by him.  They try, they experiment.  And I always tell young broadcasters at lectures I give and classes I teach, never to be afraid to experiment.  If you make a mistake, just don’t do it again.  Dan knew when he had to stop.  He had this great intelligence about him.  He would do parodies and say things that people would repeat… everything was irreverent.

MH:  He was into comedy and day-to-day social commentary.  You were more into the music and artists and the lingo of the kids and the street.  It is amazing looking back at how this tightly formatted radio station had enough flexibility within its staging, so to speak, to accommodate two very different back-to-back approaches to the pop culture and still maintain its amazingly unique and recognizable stationality!

BM:  Exactly!  And that’s because they trusted us.  They knew that Dan and I would know where the edge of the water was.  They didn’t do that so much with anyone else on the station.  I could do what I wanted with the music.  Dan would follow a format but within that format he could do his own thing.  Sometimes we’d come on each other’s shows, sometimes we made fun of each other but we had a real, jolly-good time.

MH:  Did you get along off the air?

BM:  He and I always got along professionally.  Were we bosom buddies on the outside?  No.  None of us at WABC were really that close.  A few of the guys would go out after their shows and have drinks.  I was never into that.  Wasn’t my thing.  Dan and I respected each other professionally and we got along great.  But, outside the station and station business we went our own ways.  We were two different personalities, as we were on the air.  What you got on the air was exactly the way we were.   I was into sweetness and didn’t want to make anyone angry.  Dan would like to make people a little angry, stir up the pot.  I didn’t want to do that.  We were two different guys but it worked beautifully.

MH:  How did those days compare to today’s radio?

BM:  The thing about Dan and I and all the jocks at WABC that we had in common was the desire to make people feel good and not be uncomfortable.  In his case, Dan made people comfortable who wanted to “get off” a little bit.  But, it was still a feel-good experience and wasn’t dangerous.  That was the best part of it.  There are things that are happening on the radio today, lyrics and things, that are in my opinion a little dangerous… makes me nervous and doesn’t make me feel good.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro Karina Farias joins the programming team at Bonneville’s Bay Area duo of adult contemporary KOIT, San Francisco and classic rock KUFX, San Jose.  She’ll handle music director and on-air duties.  Farias has been doing part-time on-air work at Entercom’s country KILT-FM, Houston and working full time at Bryan Broadcasting in College Station, Texas. She says, “I have been given the opportunity of a lifetime!  I’m so excited to join the team at Bonneville San Francisco!  My dream has always been to end up in California working alongside programmers and air talent I can learn so much from, and I now get to make that dream a reality.  Getting to work alongside Brian Figula, whom I’ve looked up to for the last year makes this even sweeter!  I want to thank Brian Figula, Carl Gardner, and everyone at Bonneville San Francisco for believing in me.”…..Philadelphia radio personality Ray Koob is back on the air in the city doing part-time evenings on Entercom’s classic hits WOGL (Mondays and Tuesdays from 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight).  Koob had been the evening jock at Beasley’s crosstown classic rock WMGK for the past 16 years.

Monday, June 25, 2018

| June 25, 2018

Legendary Radio Personality Dan Ingram Dies at 83.  New York all-news WINS-AM reports that legendary radio jock Dan Ingram died on Sunday evening (6/24) at his home in Florida after several years of dealing with health issues.  He was 83.  Ingram is widely considered to have been the greatest disc jockey in the history of American top 40 radio.  Ingram first got into radio during his student days at Hofstra University on Long Island.  He worked at WABC-AM during its heyday as a top 40 powerhouse (from 1961 to 1982).  After that, he did several weekly syndicated radio programs and, in 1991, joined the air staff at WCBS-FM, New York. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison, who shared the honor of being one of the charter inductees into the Hofstra University Radio Hall of Fame with Ingram, issued the following statement, “Dan Ingram was larger than life on WABC in its pop music heyday.  He was, in my opinion, the greatest top 40 radio disc jockey of all time – not just being a master of compacted content delivered by an awesome voice with a remarkable range, but a genius practitioner of timing that made the flow of elements, including his announcing, that rushed out of the speakers truly symphonic in nature.  He raised the presentation of pop radio formatics to an art form.  His influence on our industry’s music presenters and talk show hosts alike was absolutely profound.”  Industry chronicler Art Vuolo created a tribute video to Ingram that you can see here.

Scripps Strikes Deal to Sell Tulsa Cluster. Regular TALKERS readers are aware that E.W. Scripps recently announced it is in the process of selling off its radio assets to focus on being a television company.  Now, we learn that Scripps has entered into a deal with Oklahoma City-based Griffin Communications to sell its Tulsa radio cluster to the company for $12.5 million.  The stations include: news/talk KFAQ, CHR KHTT, country KVOO, country KXBL, and classic hits KBEZ.  Although Griffin operates a statewide radio network, these will be the first radio stations it has owned in many years.  It currently operates television stations in Oklahoma City and Tulsa as well as outdoor companies.  Scripps has a total of 34 stations to sell, including the Tulsa group.

TALKERS Begins Posting Videos Today of the Recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Convention – First Up:  SiriusXM Host Karen Hunter Receives the Freedom of Speech Award.  Today (6/25) TALKERS magazine begins posting individual events from the recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! convention held in New York City on June 8.  Each day, another session will be posted in the order that they originally took place.  Today’s first installment features 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.  The presentation was captured on video at the convention’s opening breakfast.   To view the video, please click here.

National Radio Hall of Fame Inductees Announced; Public Votes in Mark Levin and Industry Panel Honors Six Talk Personalities.  The public cast more than half a million votes for the two categories open to them for induction into the National Radio Hall of Fame: Spoken Word Format On-Air Personality and Music Format On-Air Personality, and Westwood One syndicated host Mark Levin will be inducted in the former category while Kid Kelly was honored in the latter category.  Four of the categories were decided by a voting participant panel comprised of nearly 1,000 industry professionals.  Those inductees are: Jonathon Brandmeier, Active Local/Regional, 10+ years; Jim Kerr, Longstanding Local/Regional, 20+ years; Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg, Active Network/Syndication, 10+ years; and Dr. Laura Schlessinger, Longstanding Network/Syndication, 20+ years.  The NRHOF nominating committee also decided to induct four individuals for their contribution to the industry.  They chose: Nanci Donnellan, a.k.a. The Fabulous Sports Babe; longtime WFAN, New York sports talk host Mike Francesa; New York broadcast legend (WOR-AM and WABC-AM) Joan Hamburg; and classic rock programmer and consultant Fred Jacobs.  NRHOF chairman Kraig T. Kitchin says, “It’s our mission to recognize the most impactful personalities and individuals to our medium and honor them.  We’re proud to induct these individuals for their contributions into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2018, our 30th year.”  The induction ceremony takes place November 15 at Guastavino’s in midtown Manhattan.

Glenn Beck Walks Off Camera During Segment with CNN’s Brian Stelter.  Before Premiere Networks nationally syndicated talk star Glenn Beck unclipped his lavalier mic and walked off the set, he was already frustrated with CNN’s Brian Stelter and the way the segment was going.  But when Stelter brought up Friday’s Daily Beast piece titled, “Glenn Beck’s Media Empire Implodes. Again,” Beck had had enough.  See the video here.  The story cites sources that report there’s been another round of layoffs at Beck’s TheBlaze.  That news comes as Beck told his listeners he’s selling his Dallas-area house because he fears the economy and doesn’t “want to be sitting with a big huge house.”

Financial Talker Ray Lucia Wins at SCOTUS; to Get New Hearing in ‘Buckets of Money’ Case. Financial talk radio personality – and investment adviser – Ray Lucia won a major battle at U.S. Supreme Court that will have repercussions on how the Securities Exchange Commission will work going forward.  Five years ago, an SEC administrative judge barred Lucia from the investment adviser industry and ordered him to pay a $300,000 fine related to his “Buckets of Money” strategy that the judge ruled misled investors.  Lucia challenged the constitutionality of the administrative judge system and won a 7-2 decision at the Supreme Court as it ruled that administrative judges appointed by low-level staffers are unconstitutional.  The doesn’t get Lucia off the hook in the “Buckets of Money” case, but it gets him a new hearing.

Michael Harrison Appears on HLN’s ‘Opinion Nation’ Hosted by Carol Costello.  Pictured above is TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison on HLN’s “Opinion Nation” discussing the topic, “Should we publicly shame people over their politics?”  The other panelists were former Bernie Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver and GOP strategist Kevin Madden.  Weaver and Madden argued over whether the separating of families at the border is egregious enough to warrant the kind of public displays against administration officials that we’ve been seeing in the news.  Weaver said yes.  Madden said no.  Harrison said we must practice civility in public and engage in constructive dialogue over our differences and stop demonizing those with whom we disagree, or we’ll never reach consensus or the kind of compromise necessary to run a civilized democratic society.  He said, “The place to settle these differences is the ballot box, not the street, theaters, or public restaurants.”

SRN’s Mike Gallagher Broadcasts Live from Rio Grande Border.  With illegal immigration policy the most-talked-about topic on news/talk radio, Salem Radio Network star Mike Gallagher (above) spent the weekend talking to people in the Rio Grande valley in advance of his live broadcast from the region today (6/25).  SRN calls it “a ground-level, three-hour exclusive report from the sizzling U.S./Mexico border…as only Mike Gallagher can deliver!”

TALKERS News Notes. WABC, New York morning personalities Bernard McGuirk and Sid Rosenberg are broadcasting live from the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City on Thursday and Friday (6/28-29) to celebrate the entertainment destination’s grand opening…..Westwood One News is exploring the music, movies, and TV shows of the year 1968 via the special “1968: Turn on, Tune in, Change Channels.”  WWO says it’s a “half-hour news special, featuring archive audio and new analysis,” available to Westwood One News affiliates for the Fourth of July holiday and the following weekend.  It will also replace “The Week in Review” July 7-8..…Indiana Radio Watch publisher Blaine Thompson reports that Doug Zook has exited his role as host of “Anderson Live” on Woof Boom Broadcasting-owned news/talk WHBU, Anderson, Indiana.  Weekend talk host Steve Guinn is assuming hosting duties for the 7:00 am to 9:00 am program…..WTMJ, Milwaukee is presenting its inaugural “Brewers Classic” game celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the Milwaukee Brewers’ dramatic 2008 season-ending win against the Chicago Cubs with a re-broadcast of the play-by-play on July 18…..WCHV Charlottesville, Virginia’s Joe Thomas was awarded the “Outstanding Feature Reporting” award by Virginia Association of Broadcasters for the station’s live coverage of the August 12, 2017 riots in Charlottesville…..In the public media sphere, WNYC, New York chief content officer Dean Cappello exits the station after a 21-year career there. Prior to this year, Cappello was in charge of the organization’s national shows and podcast efforts, but he recently pulled back and was focusing solely on New York’s WNYC-AM/FM.

Trump Illegal Immigration Policy/House Immigration Bill, Sanders-Nielsen Restaurant Incidents/Maxine Waters Speech, Stormy Daniels Meeting Canceled, Saudi Women Drivers, Glenn Beck-Brian Stelter Interview, Erdogan Wins ‘Re-Election,’ and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The controversy over the separation of parents and children during enforcement of immigration violations and the related House immigration bill; Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Kirjsten Nielsen’s public restaurant experiences and Congresswoman Maxine Waters’ speech encouraging people to harass administration officials in public; Stormy Daniels’ attorney’s public complaint about canceled meeting with special counsel investigation; women in Saudi Arabia begin legally driving cars; Glenn Beck walks off the set of an interview with CNN’s Brian Stelter; Recep Tayyip Erdogan is “re-elected” leader of Turkey; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

PPM Analysis: Urban AC. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s May 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on urban AC.  Comparing numbers from Nielsen’s May 2017 to this year’s survey, 51% of urban AC stations saw their weekly (6+) AQH go up and 46% declined.  Nine urban AC outlets ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets in May, including by iHeartMedia’s WVAZ, Chicago, which has been #1 for the past five surveys.  Radio One’s WFXC, Raleigh notches its 12th #1 rank in a row.  See the story here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro Tracy Dixon inks a multi-year extension to continue with Bonneville’s country KYGO, Denver where she co-hosts the “Tracy & Guy” morning program with Guy David.  Program director John E. Kage comments, “‘Tracy & Guy’ have been steadily rising in the ratings and are poised for great things in the Denver market. Tracy is an all-around media threat with her great work leading the morning show, her natural presence on TV with CBS, and her incredible social skills and onstage presence. Her work in the community, as well as with St. Jude, makes all of us at Bonneville proud.”…..Great Plains Media brings on-air pro Joshua James aboard to host middays on CHR KKSW, Topeka “105.9 KISS.”  KKSW program director Beth Cruise states, “We are thrilled to welcome Joshua James to the ‘105.9 KISS’ family.  His enthusiasm and love for the community will be a perfect fit with our long-term relationship with the University of Kansas Jayhawks and our listeners in Topeka and the western suburbs of Kansas City.”

Thursday, June 21, 2018

| June 21, 2018

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s May 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk.  More than half of the sports talk stations in PPM markets saw their 6+ weekly AQH shares rise compared to the April survey (54%).  Better still, 65% of sports stations realized positive 6+ movement compared to the same ratings period a year ago.  There are no sports talk stations ranking #1 in their market (6+), however Entercom’s WFAN, New York ranked #3 in the Long Island market and the company’s KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh also ranked #3.  See the entire report here.

Bloomberg: iHM Still Open to Takeover Talks After Shooting Down Liberty.  According to a report today by Bloomberg, Liberty Media officially retracted its $1.8 billion takeover offer to iHeartMedia (on 6/15) after some creditors apparently balked at the offer for a 40% equity stake in the company, saying it wasn’t enough.  However, iHeartMedia is still open to takeover talks – including with Liberty Media – as it tries to work its way through Chapter 11 reorganization.  Experts quoted in the piece say they expect Liberty to come back with another offer because Liberty hasn’t been acquiring iHM debt in order to get a fraction of that back in bankruptcy reorganization.  It wants leverage at the bargaining table.

Beasley Adds FM Translator to News/Talk KDWN, Las Vegas.  Las Vegas news/talker KDWN-AM officially begins life on the FM band today (6/21) as Beasley Media Group adds translator K268CS at 101.5 FM to the station’s transmission.  At the same time, the station re-brands as “The New 101.5FM/720AM The Talk of Las Vegas.”  The translator is located “high atop the Stratosphere in Las Vegas.  The decision to create a simulcast broadcast stems from the company’s market research and a desire to offer Las Vegas residents an alternate way to hear KDWN’s locally originated programming, along with a venerable line-up of personalities that will include Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity and Mark Levin.”  Beasley Las Vegas VP and market manager Dennis Gwiazdon adds, “We’re truly excited about this new opportunity to expand KDWN’s presence in the Las Vegas market.  Not only does this provide our listeners with an additional choice to enjoy KDWN’s programming, but an FM simulcast immediately adds value to our advertising customers.”

TRN Seeks Permission to Appeal Case Against Westwood One.  Radio company Talk Radio Network is asking Southern District of New York