Tag: "WINS"

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

| April 25, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trump-Macron Visit, Trump’s Kim Jong Un Comment, Judge’s DACA Decision, Trump-Russia Investigation/Comey Book, Ronny Jackson Nomination, Deadly Toronto Van Attack, NRA-Yeti Flap, and MLB Action and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/24). The official state visit by French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte with President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania; criticism of President Trump’s statement calling North Korea dictator Kim Jong Un “very honorable”; U.S. District Judge John D. Bates rules against President Trump’s attempt to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related book by fired FBI Director James Comey; White House physician Ronny Jackson’s imperiled secretary of veteran affairs nomination due to allegations of professional misconduct; the case of accused Toronto van attacker Alek Minassian; the destruction of Yeti products by NRA members upset over a change in the company’s discount programs; and Major League Baseball action and the NBA playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Three programming pros get new roles with iHeartMedia’s Arizona region, all effective May 3.  Reid Spivey is named assistant program director and PM drive host for country KNIX, Phoenix.  He was most recently APD for sister CHR KZZP and hot AC KMXP.  Spivey will work with music director Lois “Double L” Lewis and program director Steve GeofferiesRameen Madani joins iHeartMedia Phoenix as assistant program director for KZZP and KMXP.  David Adams has added duties as program director for KDWR-LP “My 92.9,” where he will be responsible for the day-to-day programming operations and work closely with on-air personalities and sales to oversee the station’s on-air content, digital footprint and music programming.  He will continue to serve as senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia Tucson…..Josh Martinez is named program director for iHeartMedia’s CHR WKFS, Cincinnati “Kiss 107.1.”  Previously, Martinez served as program director for stations in Dayton and Cedar Rapids and as a music director in Des Moines.  Cincinnati market president DJ Hodge says, “We knew this was the right time to promote Josh Martinez to program director.  Since the time he arrived, he has made significant inroads to improve both the trajectory of the station and our ability to successfully engage with our growing audience.  The future is very bright for both Josh and ‘Kiss 107.1.’”…..Max Kachinske takes on the newly-created position of corporate programming assistant at Midwest Communications. The position is based in Green Bay and Kachinske will leave his evening show gig at Neuhoff Media’s WFMB-FM, Springfield, Illinois.  Kachinske says, I’m beyond excited to begin working with such a respected programmer in Jeff McCarthy and the amazing group at Midwest Communications.  This is something I couldn’t begin to dream up that became a reality.  I can’t wait to get started.”…..Pittsburgh country outlet WDSY “Y108” announces the lineup for the station’s 7thannual “Y108 8 Man Jam” concert.  The show will feature: Joe Nichols, David Lee Murphy, Eric Paslay, Jordan Davis, Michael Tyler, Cale DoddsRyan Hurd, and Mitchell Tenpenny on Thursday, May 24 at Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh’s North Shore.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

| March 14, 2018

‘Our American Stories’ Hits 100-Affiliate Mark.  The nationally syndicated “Our American Stories” program announces it has hit the 100-affiliate station mark with the recent addition of such notable American news/talk station as Scripps’ WTMJ, Milwaukee; Entercom’s KMOX, St. Louis; Crawford Broadcasting’s KLZ, Denver and WYDE-AM/FM, Birmingham.  The daily, two-hour program is produced by American Private Radio and is hosted by Lee Habeeb.  He says the show is showing such phenomenal growth due to the desire for values-based, non-political programming.  “Amidst the divisiveness of today’s political landscape, the growth of our program proves stations want something that inspires people, not drives them apart, and ‘Our American Stories’ focuses on what makes America special in the first place.  We want to tell the story of America to Americans, from our great heritage in art and sports and innovation, to the great things ordinary people do every day in this great country.  So much of the good and the great gets lost in the noise of hardline politics…People love good story telling and there is such a rich catalogue of American stories out there – from sports, business, entertainment, even personal stories of community heroes, past and present.”  KMOX, St. Louis operations manager Steve Moore comments, “We were looking for something to complement our nighttime programming and ‘Our American Stories’ provides positive-impact stories that appeal to a broad base of listeners.  The show is not only driving great listener response, but a new way of thinking about driving revenue.”

WSCR, Chicago Announces New Lineup.  As Chicago media writer Robert Feder reported yesterday, Entercom’s sports talker WSCR “The Score” is making a number of changes to its lineup.  Jason Goff and Matt Spiegel exit their roles as show co-hosts and “The Score” brings both Dan McNeil and Connor McKnight back to full-time roles.  McNeil is being partnered with Danny Parkins on the 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm show and McKnight pairs up with Dan Bernstein to host the 9:00 am to 1:00 pm program.  In a press release, WSCR operations director Mitch Rosen says, “Jimmy [de Castro] and I are pleased to announce that we have signed two Chicago radio free agents — the return of ‘Score’ original Danny Mac, who will join Danny Parkins in afternoon drive, and former ‘Score’ on-air host Connor McKnight, who will join Dan Bernstein in middays.  Adding these two players makes our all-star team even better.”  McNeil has been hosting a Sunday morning program and McKnight had been a sports anchor with Cumulus Media’s crosstown news/talk WLS-AM.

WABC, New York Adds Chris Plante to Midday Schedule.  With the move of Bernard McGuirk and Sid Rosenberg to the morning drive daypart on April 2 (taking over for Don Imus), Cumulus Media’s heritage news/talker WABC, New York will add the WMAL-AM/FM, Washington-based Chris Plante program to the schedule airing from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon.  In a memo to staff, WABC program director Craig Schwalb says, “Chris has been a pentagon correspondent for CNN and an Edward R. Murrow award-winner for his work during the terrorist attacks on September 11…Expect Chris to make the trip to NYC often as he wants to become part of the WABC family and grow NYC endorsement opportunities for WABC.”

WJOX-FM, Birmingham Announces New Midday Show.  After moving “The Roundtable” starring Jim Dunaway, Lance Taylor, and Ryan Brown to the morning daypart on March 5, Cumulus Media names the hosts of the new midday program on sports talk WJOX-FM, Birmingham.  Former Auburn Tigers star Cole Cubelic, Tuscaloosa News writer Aaron Suttles, and Landrum Roberts are the new personalities set to assume the midday show beginning March 26.

Entercom Announces Executive Changes; Susan Larkin to Manage New York Cluster. Radio management pro Susan Larkin is taking on the role of market manager for Entercom’s New York cluster.  She will continue her position with the company as regional president overseeing San Francisco and Sacramento.  Entercom COO Weezie Kramer comments, “We are thrilled to have Susan take on the market manager role for Entercom New York.  She has demonstrated incredible leadership skills and is a strong, strategic player who builds great teams and drives outstanding results.  With her energy and experience, there is no better person to take on the management responsibility in America’s #1 media market.”  Larkin says, “I am looking forward to joining Entercom New York.  As a native New Yorker, it is exciting to be home and at the center of the media universe, representing some of Entercom’s most iconic brands, including 1010 WINS and WFAN.”  Concurrent with this move, Entercom names Gregory Nemitz senior vice president/market manager of the San Francisco cluster.  Kieran Geffert is upped to vice president/director of sales in the same market, and Jeff Federman assumes regional oversight of the Southern California markets, including San Diego, Riverside and Palm Springs, while continuing in his post as SVP/market manager of Entercom Los Angeles.

TALKERS News Notes. It’s not certain what format Salem Media Group will flip KZTS-FM, Little Rock to when it begins operating it under a Local Marketing Agreement on April 1, but it’s a safe bet that hip hop will remain the format.  Salem is buying KZTS from Flinn Broadcasting for $1.1 million.  KZTS is licensed to Cammack Village, Arkansas – northwest of downtown Little Rock – but its primary signal covers much of the Little Rock market.  Salem is currently operating KHTE as conservative news/talk “96.5 The Answer” in the market so it seems unlikely that KZTS will flip to news/talk…..Cox Media Group names Michelle Miguelez VP of communications and public affairs, effective immediately.  The company says that in her new role, Miguelez will “create proactive communications strategies that align with business objectives and engage employees, further strengthening CMG’s role as an employer of choice.”  Miguelez joins from her most recent position as director of corporate communication for Georgia Power.

Trump Ousts Tillerson, Trump-Russia Investigation, Stormy Daniels Issue, PA Special Election, Feds vs California/Immigration Policy, Poisoned Russian Spy, National School Walkout, Austin Package Bombs, and NFL ‘Legal Tampering’ Period, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/13).  Secretary of State Rex Tillerson exits as President Trump names Mike Pompeo his replacement; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the battle by porn star Stormy Daniels to talk publicly about her affair with President Trump; Tuesday’s Pennsylvania special election between Democrat Conor Lamb and Republican Rick Saccone; the Feds’ suit against California over its sanctuary policies, the Mexican wall and immigration policy; Britain’s attacks on Russia and Vladimir Putin after the poisoning of a former double agent; today’s National School Walkout in response to the Parkland, Florida shooting and gun laws; the deaths in a series of package bombings in Austin, Texas; the NFL’s “legal tampering” period; and NBA Action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. More news from the Little Rock market as iHeartMedia flips classic hits KHKN to CHR as the new “HOT 94.9, All The Hits.”  iHeartMedia Red River Region president Clyde Bass says, “The new ‘Hot 94.9’ is playing 10,000 songs in a row for Central Arkansas with ten chances at $1,000 dollars every weekday and soon there will be first-ever opportunities to win tickets to live events like Wango Tango and the national iHeartRadio Jingle Ball tour.  Central Arkansas has needed a hit music station that connects listeners with their favorite artists both on-air and backstage, so I’m excited that the new ‘Hot 94.9’ is finally here.”…..SiriusXM launches a new music channel curated by GRAMMY award-winning producer and DJ Diplo, titled, “Diplo’s Revolution.”  The channel will feature global rhythmic music hand-selected by Diplo, as well as regular original shows hosted by Diplo, Dillon Francis and Major Lazer members Jillionaire and Walshy Fire.  Diplo’s exclusive SiriusXM channel will launch with a special live performance from the Faena Theater in Miami Beach on Thursday, March 22 at 9:00 pm ET.

Friday, January 26, 2018

| January 26, 2018

E.W. Scripps Talk Stations on the Block.  Yesterday’s news from E.W. Scripps confirming recent rumors that it is selling its radio station assets has kicked the speculation machine into high gear.  Most experts believe there is no buyer out there who wants all 34 stations in this portfolio.  Some say iHeartMedia and Cumulus are right out due to debt issues and that Entercom is still digesting its CBS RADIO acquisition.  Companies that are more likely to be in the market for signals that fit their business model include Beasley Media Group and Saga Communications.  One thing we can be certain of – it will be interesting to see who acquires which stations and how much they pay!  Regardless, the following is a summary of the spoken-word stations in Scripps’ radio portfolio. In Milwaukee (Scripps’ largest market), there’s heritage news/talk WTMJ-AM.  In Omaha, the lone talker is sports KXSP “AM 590 ESPN.”  Tulsa has heritage news/talk KFAQ.  And, Tucson is the home of news/talk KQTH-FM and sports talk KFFN-AM (plus its translator).

Cumulus Officially Unveils ‘The New Talk 106.7.’ As TALKERS reported yesterday based on Rodney Ho’s column in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Cumulus Media has made another tweak to WYAY-FM, Atlanta, re-branding it “The New Talk 106.7” and getting rid of the “news radio” verbiage.  The station is still in the process of building a talk radio morning show after canceling the newsy program anchored by Rob Stadler in December.  The station is promoting personalities Shannon Burke, Kim “Kimmer” Peterson, and Brian Joyce.  Cumulus Atlanta vice president Sean Shannon says, “Talk has become the domain of dogma, where hosts are advancing an agenda.  ‘The New Talk 106.7’ will be a place for honest discourse where our hosts have a perspective, not an agenda.”

Entercom Names Rooney VP-DoS.  New York radio sales pro Brian Rooney joins Entercom’s NYC operations to serve as vice president, director of sales.  Rooney was most recently with iHeartMedia as VP of sales for classic rock WAXQ, New York ‘Q104.3.”  He’s also been sales manager at WFAN and worked in sales at WOR and the New York Mets Radio Network.  In New York, Entercom operates all-newsers 1010 WINS, WCBS 880, sports talker WFAN-AM/FM “The Fan,” plus classic hits WCBS-FM, alternative WBMP-FM, and hot AC WNEW-FM “Fresh 102.7.”  Entercom New York SVP and market manager John Fullam says, “Brian’s strong leadership and great track record in New York made him the perfect choice to lead our Entercom New York team.”

Vince Richards Appointed OM at Entercom Sacramento. Programming pro Vince Richards takes over the operations manager post at Entercom’s Sacramento cluster that includes sports talk KIFM “ESPN 1320,” CHR KUDL “106.5 The End,” rock KRXQ, classic rock KSEG “96.9 Eagle,” and alternative KKDO “Radio 94.7.”  Richards was most recently national operations manager for Townsquare Media.  He comments, “Sacramento is one of the crown jewel markets in the company with a tradition of excellence and an incredibly talented and passionate staff.  Thanks to Pat Paxton, Dave Richards and Lance Richard for passing me the torch and the opportunity to lead this awesome staff.”  Richards takes over for Jim Fox, who was recently named vice president of programming for Entercom Dallas.

Heavyweight Syndicators’ Top Execs to Speak at TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! The TALKERS editorial board and convention committee are pleased to announce the addition of two of the leading radio syndication company executives to the roster of industry leaders serving as speakers at the 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention. Julie Talbott, president of Premiere Networks and Suzanne Grimes, president of Westwood One will address the movers and shakers of the talk media world at TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! on Friday, June 8, 2018 at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan. Earlier this week, it was announced that Beasley Broadcasting CEO Caroline Beasley and Premiere Networks/FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity would serve as morning keynote speakers at the event. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison states, “Suzanne Grimes and Julie Talbott bring enormously pertinent content to this convention’s table. They are influential leaders with enormous experience, insight, perspective, and wisdom of great value to share about the state of the radio business.” The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the new digital age and at the dawn of a rapidly accelerating era. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology – the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing the modern-day talk broadcaster and broadcasting organization. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception. All in a single power-packed day! Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited, and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments costs $329 per person. However, an early bird special ($279 per person) is available for those who register before 5:00 pm ET on Friday, February 2. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Lars Larson at the SHOT Show in Las Vegas.  KXL-FM, Portland-based talk radio host Lars Larson (right) is pictured above at the enormous SHOT Show in Las Vegas this week.  Larson – whose national show is syndicated by Compass Media Networks – is seen interviewing Nevada U.S. Senate candidate Danny Tarkanian (left).

Popular Washington, DC Correspondent Victoria Jones Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Longtime talk media personality Victoria Jones, executive director of the DC Radio Company and recent senior White House correspondent for the Talk Media News Service, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” Jones – a British-US citizen – whose commentaries on Washington-based news and issues have been heard for years on hundreds of talk radio stations around the English-speaking world, is a veteran talk show host of such stations as WWRC and WMAL, Washington, DC; WRKO, Boston; WLAC, Nashville; and WXYT, Detroit. In a fascinating and unusual conversation with Harrison, she shares a candid, insider’s view of what it’s like to work as a member of the White House press corps. She talks about the processes and working conditions of being behind the scenes on a daily basis at the iconic mansion/museum/office building on Pennsylvania Avenue. Don’t miss this funny, eye-opening, and extremely informative conversation. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Trump-Russia Probe Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 22-26.  The investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents, as well as a possible interview between President Trump and special counsel Robert Mueller was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the status of the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Act and the Trump Administration’s immigration policy.  Coming in at #3 was the missing FBI texts case, followed by President Trump at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  In Seattle, Hubbard Radio appoints Lisa Adams program director for country KVRQ “Country 98.9.”  Adams moves over from the company’s sister station KRWM “WARM 106.9,” where she’d most recently been serving as marketing director.  During her career she’s also served as OM/PD at Townsquare Media’s Boise station group.  Speaking about her new gig, Adams says, “‘Country 98.9’ is an extremely special radio station for Seattle.  To be given this opportunity is beyond my wildest dreams.  I am blessed and appreciative for the support and recognition.”…..Entercom adds Premiere NetworksDelilah to the program schedule at adult contemporary KSWD “94.1 The Sound.”  In addition to her national show airing in the evening daypart Fridays through Sundays on the station, she’s doing a custom show that airs from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm…..Beasley Media Group re-brands Wilmington, Delaware adult contemporary WJBR-FM “The New Mix 99.5” and introduces new morning team Michael Waite with Jessie Micchelli.  This is a return to the station for Waite, who says, “After seven years of being away from radio, I look forward to returning to entertaining our incredible listeners and working with Jessie.”  Beasley VP and market manager AJ Lurie says, “It was important for us to continue offering our listeners the very best listening experience available.  A lot of time and research went into our decision in launching the new format.  I couldn’t be more excited as a fan!”…..SiriusXM is presenting a special, invitation-only concert by Grammy-nominated alt-rock band Portugal. The Man in the band’s hometown of Portland, Oregon at Mississippi Studios next Wednesday (1/31).  The performance will be aired next Friday (2/2) on the Alt Nation channel…..Premiere Networks senior director of rock programming and specials Sal Cirrincione (left) is pictured here with Sir Elton John (right) after his Gotham Hall press conference in which he announced his farewell “Yellow Brick Road” tour.  Cirrincione got a one-on-one interview with Sir Elton who told him his decision to stop touring is so he can help raise his two sons.  The “Yellow Brick Road” farewell tour will end in 2021 and he says, “I want to start in America and end in America because I owe this country so much.  I love this country.  The Troubadour [in West Hollywood] kick-started my career in a big way.  Without that, you know, I don’t know what would have happened.  So, I’m very grateful to L.A. and I love New York.  But I definitely decided that the last show will be in America.  My dream show would be at Dodger Stadium because it makes sense.”

 

Round Three of Holiday PPM Data Released. The third of four rounds of Holiday 2017 PPM ratings information from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets, including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Orlando, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen’s Holiday 2017 survey period covered December 7 (2017) – January 3 (2018). See all the 6+ data from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below, with a reminder that the vast majority of major improvements by music stations in this sweep is attributable to a transition to all-Christmas music.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Portland – While not quite matching December’s +4.7 (to 13.7, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW dials up a +3.9 as it reaches 16.9 (6+) and repeats at #1. Off nine-tenths in November, “K-103” – with its 13.7 in December and 16.9 in this sweep – is the first Portland station to reach double-digits (6+) since it did so with a 15.3 in “Holiday” 2016. A collective -1.4 in three straight downward trends (9.1 – 8.6 – 8.6 – 7.7, 6+), “K-103” responded in October with a +1.5. Prior to segueing to #2 in September, “K-103” was #1 in 39 of the previous 41 ratings periods. Climbing from fourth to third, Entercom adult hits KYCH “97.1 Charlie – We Play Everything” notches a +1.6 (5.4 – 7.0, 6+). The last time “Charlie” was above a six-share (6+) was May 2015 with a 6.5. With its highest 6+-share since August 2016’s 3.1, Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KFIS “104.1 The Fish” gains nine-tenths (2.0 – 2.9, 6+) and advances from #17 to a three-way logjam at #13. At the same time, Educational Media Foundation’s similarly programmed KLVP “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” forfeits the six-tenths it just gained in three straight upticks (.5 – .6 – .7 – 1.1, 6+) by falling to – .5 (#23 to #27, 6+). The market’s (6+) country share dwindles by -1.8, as Alpha Media’s KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” is -1.1 (4.0 – 2.9, #8 to #13, 6+) and Entercom-owned KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf – Great Country for the Great Northwest” is -.7 (#10 to #11, 6+). Entering the November sweep (in which it gained three-tenths), “The Bull” had three straight flat or down monthlies that accounted for a loss of eight-tenths (4.9 – 4.9 – 4.4 – 4.1, 6+). In April – May – June, “The Bull” was down -1.1 (5.5 – 4.5 – 4.4, 6+). Meanwhile, this represents the sixth straight month that “The Wolf” is without an increase for a combined -2.6 (5.6 – 5.2 – 4.6 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.7 – 3.0, 6+). In advance of gaining three-tenths in June, “The Wolf” was -1.8 in March, April, and May (6.4 – 5.5 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+). The two country rivals finished back-to-back at seventh and eighth, respectively, in both May and June. Dropping out of the top ten (from #9) and tied with KUBL at #13 is iHeartMedia-owned CHR KKRZ “Z-100 Portland’s #1 Hit Music Station,” which erodes by nine-tenths (3.8 – 2.9, 6+). The decrease ends its alternating down/up pattern that began in May (4.1 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 3.8, 6+). In five of the previous six sweeps – including the last four – “Z-100” and Alpha Media’s similarly-programmed KBFF “Live 95.5” were separated by just one-tenth of a share (6+). The margin is now one-half share as “Live 95.5” – albeit down three-tenths – is at 3.4 (6+). A collective +.9 in November and December (4.1 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+), co-owned triple A KINK “101.9 Uniquely Portland” returns two-thirds of that gain (4.4, -.6, fifth to sixth, 6+). Without an increase for the fifth time in succession, Entercom hot AC KRSK “105.1 The Buzz – Today’s Best Mix” (sixth to seventh) is a collective -1.1 (5.4 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+).

2) Charlotte – Not only does WKQC “K-104.7 More Music, More Variety” improve its December +3.0 by one full share (7.0 – 11.0, +4.0, 6+), the Beasley Media Group adult contemporary progresses from second to first. This is its strongest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016’s 12.3. Making way for “K-104.7” at #1 is iHeartMedia adult hits WLKO “102.9 The Lake – Charlotte’s We Play Anything Station” (7.2 – 6.5, -.7, 6+), which drops to second after only one month in the lead. The August – September – October – November topline 6+-trending for “The Lake” was a very consistent 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.9, but, in December, it posted a +2.3 to 7.2, its strongest 6+-showing in more than three years (7.4, September 2014). Tied with “The Lake” is co-owned classic rocker WRFX “99.7 The Fox,” which had been on top in September, October, and November, as well as in five consecutive survey periods before getting dislodged in June. Its loss of four-tenths in “Holiday” 2017 (6.9 – 6.5, 6+) pulls the plug on five consecutive up or flat trends that netted a +1.2 (5.7 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.7 – 6.9 – 6.9, 6+). The third player in that three-way scrum in Charlotte’s runner-up slot – and moving up from #4 – is Beasley Media Group urban AC WBAV “V-101.9,” which is a cumulative +.8 via five successive positive spikes (5.7 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.4 – 6.5, 6+). A loss of -1.1 (3.9 – 2.8, #12 to #16, 6+) by Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WRCM takes Charlotte’s version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” to its lowest 6+-share since July’s 2.4. Down or flat for the fourth sweep in succession for an overall -1.2 (5.6 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 4.4, 6+), Entercom hot AC WLNK “107.9 The Link – Charlotte’s Best Mix” slips from sixth to seventh. This is the lowest 6+-performance for “The Link” since April’s 3.9. As the result of six straight decreases (5.9 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 3.8, 6+), Beasley Media Group urban contemporary WPEG is a combined -2.1; “Power 98” departs the top ten (#9 to #11). Following six consecutive up or flat moves that more than tripled its 6+-stat for a collective +1.3 (.6 – .7 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.9, 6+), Entercom sports talk WFNZ “Sports Radio The Fan” returns two-tenths to 1.7 (6+) but remains at #18.

3) San Antonio – Piling a +4.9 onto December’s +3.9 (4.8 – 8.7 – 13.6, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KQXT “Q-101.9 San Antonio’s Variety Station” repeats at #1 and posts its best-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era. Trending 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.7 (October – November – December, 6+), Texas Public Radio news/talk KSTX erupts with a +1.0. Not only does that vault KSTX into the top five (#11 to #4), it is the first time in its PPM-history that it crosses the four-share level (6+). A collective +1.5 in five sweeps in a row without a loss (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.5, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KXTN “107.5 Tejano & Proud” elevates from #15 to #12. Via three straight declines (6.0 – 5.8 – 5.3 – 4.1, 6+), Cox Media Group-owned KCYY is a cumulative -1.9 as “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader” drifts from fourth to eighth. After surrendering one-half share in September, “Y-100” registered a +.9 in October. Prior to that sweep, it had been within 5.1 – 5.8 range (6+) the previous 11 months. The -.5 in September ended three straight sweeps without a decrease that netted two-tenths (5.4 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+). Tied with “Y-100” at #8 is iHeartMedia-owned KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station,” which is without an increase for the fourth month in a row for an overall -.9 (5.0 – 5.0 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). In advance of the August ratings period, KAJA registered three consecutive uptrends for a collective gain of eight-tenths. After ten straight months at #1, Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies KONO-FM shifted to #2 in December. It remains there in “Holiday” 2017, but “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” replicates December’s nine-tenths’ loss (6.8 – 5.9 – 5.0, 6+). A sampling of its recent (6+) fluctuations include December 2016’s -1.1; “Holiday” 2016’s -1.3; January 2017’s +1.1; April’s +.8; May’s -.6; August’s -.5; October’s +.7; December’s -.9; and “Holiday” 2017’s -.9. On the heels of December’s -.6, Univision Radio regional Mexican KROM “Que Buena 92.9” sputters by another seven-tenths (6.2 – 5.6 – 4.9, 6+) but remains in third-place. Co-owned KMYO “Latino Mix 95.1” is an overall -1.1 in three straight decreases (3.5 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.4, 6+) as it slides from #15 to #19. By posting a one-half share gain in December, iHeartMedia-owned CHR KXXM halted four successive down or flat trends that produced a -1.2 (4.4 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+), but “96.1 Now – San Antonio’s #1 Hit Music Station” surrenders that half-share improvement in its entirety and is back to 3.2 (#11 to #13, 6+). After both stations posted the identical topline-stat four months in a row (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+), Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” drops two-tenths to 1.3 (#23, 6+), while Cox Media Group classic country KKYX “Country Legends” is off three-tenths to 1.2 (#24, 6+). For KTSA, December’s -.2 ended four straight improvements that produced a +.7 since July (1.0 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7, 6+), while the loss of two-tenths in the December sweep by KKYX halted six straight up or flat trends for an overall +.7 (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7, 6+).

4) Pittsburgh – Frozen on 5.7 (6+) in August and September and then on 5.2 (6+) in October and November, Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHH more than doubles the October and November stat in December and “Holiday” 2017 with a combined +5.4 to 10.6 (6+) as “Today’s Wish 99.7” sails from fourth to second. This is the station’s best 6+-showing in exactly one year (12.4, “Holiday” 2016). Nearly six shares ahead of “Wish” is iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWSW “94.5 – 3WS,” which adds a +3.5 to December’s +2.0 (12.9 – 16.4, 6+) and is on top for the tenth month in a row. By way of comparison, “3WS” recorded a 13.7 (6+) in “Holiday” 2016. After posting three consecutive increases for an overall +1.3 (9.1 – 9.9 – 10.3 – 10.4, 6+), WWSW forfeited eight-tenths in June. As a result of gaining six-tenths (5.3 – 5.9, 6+), Entercom sports talk KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan Pittsburgh Sports Radio” (unchanged at #6) matches August’s 5.9. Immediately after posting a +1.6 in December, Steel City Media adult hits WRRK “Bob” plummets by -2.1 (7.4 – 9.0 – 6.9, 6+) to shift from third to fourth. The market’s two hot ACs are a combined -1.7: Entercom-owned WBZZ “Star 100.7 Plays the Hits” (seventh to eighth) is off one full-share to 4.0, its softest 6+-share in one year (3.6, “Holiday” 2016), while Steel City Media’s WLTJ “Real Variety Q-92.9” drops seven-tenths (3.1 – 2.4, flat at #11, 6+) and has its lowest 6+-share since 2.1 in May 2016. The country format isn’t much better this sweep as its (6+) -1.3 from December is split between Entercom-owned WDSY “Y-108 Pittsburgh’s Country” (4.0 – 3.2, -.8, ninth to tenth, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WPGB “Big 104.7 – Pittsburgh’s #1 For New Country” (-.5, flat at #12, 6+), which is off for the third time in a row for a -1.0 (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.3, 6+). The -.8 by WDSY ends an up/down pattern that started in June in which “Y-108” was 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 4.0 (6+). An August loss of one-tenth snapped at three its consecutive string without a decrease that netted seven-tenths (3.9 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.6, 6+). A cumulative +.9 in June and July (2.9 – 3.5 – 3.8, 6+) and then a collective -.9 in August and September (3.8 – 3.7 – 2.9, 6+), “Big 104.7 gained four-tenths in October. Elsewhere in the iHeartMedia cluster, WDVE sputters by eight-tenths (9.2 – 8.4, 6+), falling to #3 after six straight months at #2, while CHR sibling WKST “96.1 Kiss FM – Pittsburgh’s #1 Music Station” is a collective -2.0 from three consecutive decreases (8.2 – 7.4 – 6.8 – 6.2, fourth to fifth, 6+). WDVE was +1.6 in October and -1.0 in November. Its 10.2 in October marked the first time WDVE reached double-digits (6+) since March (10.4). Meanwhile, “Kiss” was +1.0 in October. A +.2 in September concluded a string of three straight decreases that resulted in a -2.1 (9.1 – 8.7 – 7.6 – 7.0, 6+). Without an increase the past seven months (.3 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1, 6+), co-owned sports talk WBGG “ESPN Pittsburgh” adds one-tenth (to .2, 6+) and inches up from #18 to #17.

5) Sacramento – Repeating at #1, Entercom adult contemporary KYMX tacks a +5.4 onto December’s +1.2 (7.6 – 8.8 – 14.2, 6+). “Mix 96 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” is the first Sacramento station to reach double-digits since it did so in “Holiday” 2016 with a 13.0. Down or flat the past three months for an overall loss of seven-tenths (7.8 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 7.1 (6+), iHeartMedia-owned KFBK “Sacramento’s News, Weather, and Traffic Station” answers with a +1.3 to 8.4 – its best 6+-stat since January’s 8.7 – progressing from third to second. After three straight improvements netting a combined +1.3 (6.5 – 6.7 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+), the news/talk hybrid regressed by three-tenths in October. Showing one-half share gains are Entercom CHR KUDL “106.5 The End” (3.8 – 4.3, 6+) rocketing from ninth to fourth, and co-owned KKDO “Radio 94.7 – Sacramento’s Alternative” (3.3, #13 to #12, 6+), which was a combined -1.0 in three dips in succession (3.8 – 3.4 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+). The station that KYMX succeeded at #1 in December – co-owned KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” – is a combined -2.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (8.4 – 7.4 – 6.2, second to third, 6+). “The Eagle” was a combined -1.6 in September and October (9.7 – 8.7 – 8.1, 6+). The last time it was in six-share territory (6+) was in September 2014 (6.8). In the most recent four sweeps, Entercom’s KNCI “New Country 105.1” has been -.9 (October); +.9 (November); -.5 (December); and now -1.0 “Holiday” 2017 (4.5 – 3.5, fifth to eighth, 6+). November’s increase halted three consecutive declines that accounted for a collective -1.9 (6.0 – 5.4 – 5.0 – 4.1, 6+). Meanwhile, Entravision-owned, similarly-formatted KNTY “101.9 The Wolf” regresses by one-half share (2.8 – 2.3, #13 to #14, 6+). “The Wolf” was a combined -.4 in October and November (3.0 – 2.7 – 2.6, 6+). September’s +.5 suspended four straight decreases for an overall -.9 (3.4 – 3.3 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.5, 6+). The market’s other country outlet – iHeartMedia’s KBEB “92.5 The Bull – #1 for New Country” is trending 1.9 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.8 (#17 to #18, 6+). Within 4.0 – 4.7 range (6+) the last eight sweeps, Entercom hot AC KZZO “Now 100.5” falters by nine-tenths to 3.6 (fifth to seventh, 6+). Off by seven-tenths are co-owned KHTK “Sports 1140” (1.9, #15 to #16, 6+) and Entravision Spanish adult hits KXSE “La Suavecita 107.1” (1.7 – 1.0, #17 to #24, 6+). Prior to the “Holiday” 2017 report, “Sports 1140” was +1.0 in seven successive up or flat trends (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.6, 6+). Flat at #8, iHeartMedia-owned KYRV “93.7 The River – The River City’s New Classic Rock” sputters by six-tenths to 3.5, its lowest 6+-share since March (3.5, as well). After gaining six-tenths in December, co-owned KSTE “Talk 650” surrenders all but one-tenth of it (2.6 – 2.1, -.5, 6+) but carries on at #15. Dropping one-half share as well is Entercom’s KRXQ “98 Rock,” which is without an increase for the fourth time in a row for a -.6 (4.8 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.2, fourth to fifth, 6+).

6) Salt Lake City – In a ratings period that has seen some truly astonishing benchmarks, it would be difficult to find a station with greater accomplishments than Bonneville adult contemporary KSFI. For openers, “FM 100.3 – Better Music Better Work Day” adds an eye-popping +9.6 to December’s +6.6 and is #1 for the third month in a row. Its 23.2 share (6+) is well over four times that of the market’s #2 finisher – or if you prefer – in excess of the sum total of the next five stations after it. In information from the 36 PPM-markets we’ve seen thus far, KSFI (23.2) is the only station to each a 20-share (6+); it did so in “Holiday” 2016, as well (20.6). “FM 100.3” was #1 each month in calendar year 2017 except January, March, April, and October; it was a combined -.8 in October and November (7.8 – 7.3 – 7.0, 6+). News/talk sibling, KSL “NewsRadio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM,” finishes second, but is a combined -3.2 in three straight negative moves (8.3 – 6.5 – 5.7 – 5.1, 6+). Recent KSL fluctuations include +2.0 (October 2016), -.9 (November 2016), +1.1 (December 2016), -1.5 (“Holiday” 2016); +2.1 (January 2017); -2.1 (February 2017); +.6 (April 2017); -1.1 (May 2017); -.9 (July 2017); +.6 (August 2017); +1.1 (September 2017); +1.4 (October 2017); -1.8 (November 2017); -.8 (December 2017); and -.6 (“Holiday” 2017). Up or flat for the eighth sweep in a row for a +.5 (.9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+), 1980’s hits KSQN “103.1 The Wave – The Next Wave of New Wave” inches up from #23 to #22. After an overall +1.9 in seven consecutive sweeps without a loss (3.9 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 5.8, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KODJ “94.1 Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits” is a combined -2.3 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.8 – 4.7 – 3.5 (fifth to sixth, 6+). This is the first time under a four-share (6+) for KODJ since April’s 3.9; November’s 5.8 was its highest 6+-share since June 2016’s 6.6. Surrendering eight-tenths from December (4.3 – 3.5, 6+), Bonneville’s similarly-formatted “103.5 The Arrow” actually improves from seventh to a sixth-place tie with KODJ. Within 5.2 – 5.9 range (6+) in each of the last 11 sweeps, Capital Broadcasting hot AC KBZN “Now 97.9 Today’s Best Music” spirals by -1.4 from 5.4 to 4.0 (third to fifth, 6+). Plummeting by nine-tenths is KSFI’s format rival – Cumulus Media’s KBEE “B-98.7 Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” (3.2 – 2.3, #14 to #16, 6+) – which has its lowest 6+-share since 1.9 in “Holiday” 2016. Dropping by nine-tenths as well is Broadway Media CHR KUDD “Mix 105.1 All the Hits” (3.4 – 2.5, #11 to #15, 6+). Owing to four negative moves in succession, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KZHT “97.1 ZHT – Salt Lake’s #1 Hit Music Station” is a collective -2.4 (6.5 – 6.0 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.1, fifth to fourth, 6+). As a result of three straight monthlies without a loss (June through September), KZHT was a combined +1.5 (5.0 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 6.5, 6+). In the country arena, KUBL is -1.4 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.7 – 4.1 – 3.3, 6+) but stays at #8. Independent KSOP-FM “Z-104 Utah’s #1 Country,” which netted eight-tenths in three straight gains (4.6 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 5.4, 6+), drops one-half share to 4.9 (6+) and carries on in third-place. Without an increase for the eighth straight time (2.0 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.1 -.8, #24, 6+), Broadway Media’s KEGA “101.5 The Eagle – Utah’s Best Country” is a collective -1.2. After more than quintupling its 6+-share in six successive gains for a +1.3 (.3 – .4 – .5 – .9 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6, 6+), sports talk KALL “ESPN 700” is off by two-tenths to 1.4 (#21 to #22, 6+).

7) Las Vegas – An overall +7.7 in three straight positive spikes (4.8 – 6.9 – 10.6 – 12.5, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5” repeats at #1 with its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016 (14.0). A collective -2.7 in four successive (June through October) decreases (7.5 – 6.7 – 6.3 – 5.6 – 4.8, 6+), “Sunny” bounced back in November with a +2.1. Recent fluctuations for “Sunny,” which had been on top between December 2016 and June 2017, are +1.8 (March); -1.1 (April); -1.2 (May); +1.4 (June); -.8 (July); -.7 (September); -.8 (October); +2.1 (November); +3.7 (December); and +1.9 (“Holiday” 2017). Up of flat for the fourth sweep in a row for an overall +.9 (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.8, fourth to third, 6+), Faith Communications contemporary Christian KSOS “SOS Radio – Right Song, Right Time” registers its strongest 6+-stat since September 2016’s 5.4. Off a total of six-tenths in three straight monthlies without an increase (3.5 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 2.9, 6+), Lotus Communications’ KOMP “92.3 The Rock Station” gains two-tenths to 3.1 (6+) and continues at #14. By improving two-tenths to 1.9 (#21 to a four-way logjam at #18, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KRGT “Latino Mix 99.3” curtails three downward trends in succession that accounted for a -1.5 (3.2 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 1.7, 6+). Following five straight downward moves in which its 6+-share was sliced by more than 80% (2.5 – 1.2 – .8 – .7 – .6 – .4, 6+), University of Nevada-owned KUNV “91.5 The Source” adds two-tenths to .6 (6+) and continues at #28. Five successive improvements by Entercom hot AC KMXB accounted for a net gain of +2.1 (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.3 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.7, 6+), but “Mix 94.1” returns the entire bounty in December and “Holiday” 2017 with a collective -2.1 (6.7 – 5.6 – 4.6, 6+). It slips to #4, after four straight months at #3. In October, “Mix” reached the six-share level (6+) for the first time since December 2015’s 6.1. Not only is iHeartMedia country KWNR a collective -2.5 as the result of three consecutive downward moves, (5.7 – 5.4 – 4.1 – 3.2, 6+), “95.5 The Bull – Las Vegas New Country Leader” fades from #5 to #13. In five successive down or flat trends, Lotus Communications’ KXPT “97.1 The Point – #1 for Classic Rock” is a cumulative -1.9 (5.3 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+) as it drifts from sixth to tenth. Even though it is without an increase for the fourth ratings period in a row for a collective loss of four-tenths (3.0 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.6, 6+) Kemp Broadcasting rhythmic CHR KVEG “Hot 97.5” advances from #16 to #15.

8) Cincinnati – Making it five improvements in a row, Cumulus Media adult contemporary WRRM “Warm 98” improves by +9.1 since August (3.9 – 4.0 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 7.5 – 13.0, 6+) and continues at #1. Its current 13.0 surpasses the 11.7 it recorded in “Holiday” 2016. A combined -1.4 in August and September (9.7 – 8.7 – 8.3, 6+), classic hits-oldies cluster-mate WGRR rebounded with a combined +.8 in October and November (8.3 – 9.0 – 9.1, 6+), but “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” is -1.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (9.1 – 8.5 – 7.5, 6+), segueing from first to second. Stymied on 2.9 (6+) between September and December, Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies WOSL “100.3 R&B + Old School” notches its sixth straight sweep without a loss for a +1.0 (2.4 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 3.4, #13 to #11, 6+); 3.4 is its best 6+-stat since April (3.4, as well). Urban contemporary sibling WIZF “101.1 The Wiz” drops seven-tenths (4.3 – 3.6, ninth to tenth, 6+) and has its lowest 6+-share since 3.5 in March. Down for the fifth straight time for a collective -3.3 (9.6 – 9.4 – 9.2 – 8.0 – 7.2 – 6.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WLW remains at #3. “The Big One” fell to #3 in November, following three consecutive months at #1. WLW returned to the top in August 2017 after back-to-back appearances at #2. Frozen on 4.8 (6+) in November and December, co-owned CHR WKFS “Kiss 107.1” drops eight-tenths to 4.0 (sixth to eighth, 6+). All three of the market’s country outlets surrender one-half share: Hubbard’s WUBE “B-105.1 – Get Your Country On” (6.8 – 6.3, fourth to a third-place tie with WLW, 6+); Cumulus Media’s WNNF “94.1 Nash FM” (2.2 – 1.7, steady at #15, 6+); and Hubbard’s WYGY “97.3 The Wolf” (1.1 – .6, #19 to #21, 6+). November’s 8.2 was the highest 6+-share for “B-105.1” since October 2016’s 8.5; conversely, 6.3 in “Holiday” 2017 represents its lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016 (5.3); WUBE plummeted by -1.4 in December. At this time last month, “Nash FM” regained the four-tenths it lost in November to end four downward or flat moves in succession for a collective -1.1 (2.9 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.2 – 1.8, 6+), while in November, “The Wolf” ended four straight sweeps without an increase that resulted in a loss of nine-tenths (1.9 – 1.9 – 1.3 – 1.0 – 1.0, 6+). In addition to the aforementioned three country outlets, Cumulus Media classic rock WOFX “92.5 The Fox” surrenders one-half share as well (4.6 – 4.1, flat at #7, 6+); “The Fox” was down six-tenths in December. While unchanged at #16, Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies WDBZ “Soul 101.5” is down for the third sweep in a row for a combined -.8 (2.4 – 2.3 – 1.8 – 1.6, 6+), immediately following five consecutive up or flat sweeps that produced a +1.0 (1.4 -1.7 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.4, 6+).

9) Orlando – Adding a +3.9 to December’s +4.4 (7.6 – 12.0 – 15.9, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMGF “Magic 107.7” repeats at #1 with its strongest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016’s 16.1. After logging four losses in a row for a combined -1.3 (4.3 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+), Entercom’s WQMP recaptures all but two-tenths of that loss (4.1, +1.1, 6+) and cracks the top ten (#13 to #9). Approximately three weeks into the December sweep (11/29), WQMP transitioned from CHR “Amp” to “Alt 101.9 – Orlando’s New Alternative.” By adding seven-tenths (4.2 – 4.9, ninth to sixth, 6+), Cox Media Group country outlet WWKA “K-92.3” records its best 6+-stat since 5.0 in March. Following 11 consecutive months on top, iHeartMedia Spanish tropical WRUM dropped to the runner-up slot in December. It remains there in “Holiday” 2017, but “Rumba 100” is without an increase for the fourth sweep in a row with the bulk of the collective -2.7 coming with the current -2.4 (11.6 – 11.5 – 11.4 – 11.3 – 8.9, 6+). WRUM spiraled by two full-shares in July; was flat in August; and was up nine-tenths in September. April’s 12.8 was the best-ever 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. On the heels of December’s -1.9, Cox Media Group’s WMMO “98.9 Orlando’s Classic Hits” plummets by -1.0 (8.1 – 6.2 – 5.2, 6+) but remains in fourth-place. Up or flat the past four sweeps for a +1.7 (7.5 – 7.5 – 7.9 – 8.2 – 8.2, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WXXL “XL-106.7” forfeits nearly half that gain (7.3, -.9, 6+) and remains at #3; December’s 8.2 was its best 6+-stat since May’s 8.8. In October, “XL-106.7” pulled the plug on five straight monthlies without an increase that resulted in a -2.4 (9.9 – 8.8 – 8.1 – 7.8 – 7.5 – 7.5, 6+), a streak that followed a +2.7 as the result of four consecutive progressive trends (7.2 – 8.0 – 9.0 – 9.7 – 9.9, 6+). On the heels of a November gain of six-tenths, Entercom hot AC WOMX is -1.7 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.5 – 4.6 – 3.8, 6+) and exits the top ten (#7 to #11). Slumping by six-tenths each are Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM “News 96.5” (#11 to #12, 6+) and (public) Community Communications news/talk WMFE (3.9 – 3.3, #12 to #13, 6+). In four straight decreases, “News 96.5” – which racked up a +2.0 in September – is a collective -2.7 (6.1 – 5.1 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+). Immediately prior to an August gain of nine-tenths, it was -1.0 via three straight negative trends (4.2 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.2, 6+). Slipping from sixth to seventh, Entercom classic hits-oldies WOCL “105.9 Sunny FM” registers its fifth consecutive decrease and is a cumulative -2.3 since August (6.8 – 6.4 – 5.9 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.5, 6+).

10) Cleveland – A combined +5.5 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.9 – 7.2 – 10.4, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WDOK “Cleveland’s Star 102” surges from fifth to first and matches its 10.4 in “Holiday” 2016. In December, “Star” halted three straight downward moves that accounted for a -1.1 (6.0 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.9, 6+). It becomes the fourth different Cleveland station in the last four sweeps to occupy the top spot. Exiting after taking its one-month tenure in the penthouse is Radio One urban AC WZAK (9.4 – 8.6, -.8, first to third). Two-tenths from the top spot in November, WZAK was +.5 in November and advanced to #1 in December with a +.9. A loss of four-tenths in October ended three consecutive positive moves by WZAK for an overall +.9 (7.5 – 7.6 – 8.1 – 8.4, 6+). Even though it is unchanged at #2, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” rolls out a +2.5 (7.8 – 10.3, 6+) and is in double-digits (6+) for the first time since September 2016’s 10.8. November’s +.8 stopped three straight declines that resulted in a -1.3 (9.2 – 8.9 – 8.4 – 7.9, 6+), but WMJI was -.9 in December. In 2017, “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” occupied the top spot from January through April; July (with a +1.1 to 9.2, its strongest 6+-share since 9.8 in “Holiday” 2016); August; September (tied with WZAK); and November. Co-owned adult hits WHLK “106.5 The Lake – We Play Anything” spirals by -1.1 (7.4 – 7.4 – 6.3, 6+), moving from fourth to fifth. A combined +1.3 in November and December (6.4 – 7.6 – 7.7, 6+), co-owned WGAR “99.5 – Cleveland’s #1 For New Country” returns nine-tenths (6.8, third to fourth, 6+). A nine-tenths erosion applies as well to sibling WMMS “100.7 – Cleveland’s Rock Station” (4.6 – 3.7, #10 to #13, 6+), which was -1.0 in November and +.6 in December. Via five straight upticks (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.8, 6+), Ideastream-owned news/talk WCPN is a cumulative +1.7 and climbs from #13 to #12. By picking up three-tenths in December to 5.5 (6+), Entercom hot AC WQAL halted four negative trends in a row for an overall -1.8 (7.0 – 6.4 – 6.2 – 5.3 – 5.2, 6+); however, “Q-104 Plays The Hits” falters by eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2017 to 4.7, sliding from eighth to ninth. Co-owned WNCX “98.5 Cleveland’s Classic Rock” follows December’s -1.1 with a loss of one-half share (7.5 – 6.4 – 5.9, 6+) but remains at #7. After six straight up or flat sweeps that accounted for a +1.5 (5.3 – 5.4 – 5.8 – 6.4 – 6.6 – 6.6 – 6.8, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WENZ “Z-107.9” was off one-half share in October; improved by nine-tenths (to 7.2, 6+) in November, crossing the seven-share level (6+) for the first time in its PPM-history; but is a combined -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (7. – 6.7 – 6,1, flat at #6, 6+).

11) Kansas City – Powered by four positive spikes in succession (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 5.3 – 8.1, 6+), Steel City Media adult contemporary KCKC “KC-102.1 Today’s Best Variety” more than doubles its 6+-stat since September (+4.1). Not only surpassing its 7.0 in “Holiday” 2016, “KC-102.1” jumps from fifth to third. The only two stations reaching #1 in “Holiday” 2017 from this particular list of 12 PPM-markets that are not adult contemporary are WWSW, Pittsburgh (see above) and Cumulus Media Kansas City’s classic hits-oldies KCMO, which moves from second to first; “94.9 – Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” was #1 in November, as well. Similar to “KC-102.1,” KCMO is up for the fourth sweep in a row (but) for a collective +2.7 (7.7 – 8.0 – 8.8 – 9.0 – 10.4, 6+) and eclipses its “Holiday” 2016 showing (10.3) by one-tenth. The combination of KCMO’s +1.4 and co-owned classic rock KCFX “The Fox” dropping one-half share (9.6 – 9.1, 6+) results in “The Fox” shifting from first to second. A +1.2 in December lifted “The Fox” to 9.6, its strongest 6+-stat since July’s 10.3 and ended four straight down or flat sweeps that generated a -1.9 (10.3 – 8.7 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4, 6+). Before November, “The Fox” occupied the penthouse for ten consecutive months. August’s -1.6 pulled the plug on five straight increases netting a +2.8 (7.5 – 8.5 – 8.7 – 9.4 – 10.3, 6+). In December, Union Broadcasting sports talk WHB was -.4, thus curtailing at five its successive string of positive trends that doubled its 6+-stat (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+); however, “Sports Radio 810” rebounds in “Holiday” 2017 with a one-half share increase (2.6 – 3.1, 6+) and improves from #15 to #14. A collective -2.9 in four straight decreases (4.4 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 2.1 – 1.5, 6+), Entercom’s similarly-programmed KCSP gains one-tenth to 1.6 (#20 to #19, 6+). Prior to this just-ended negative streak, “610 Sports Radio – Our Teams, Our Town” nearly quadrupled its 6+-share with a +3.2 in five consecutive up or flat trends (1.2 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 4.4, 6+); August’s 4.4 was its highest 6+-share since June 2016’s 4.7. A November gain of seven-tenths by KMXV halted four losses in a row that accounted for a -1.0 (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.8, 6+). The Steel City Media CHR added eight-tenths in December, however, “Mix 93.3 – Kansas City’s #1 Hit Music Station” freefalls by two full shares in “Holiday” 2017 (6.3 – 4.3, 6+), drifting from third to ninth. In advance of December, the last time “Mix” reached the six-share level (6+) was nearly two years ago (6.4, January 2016), but this is its lowest 6+-showing since January 2017’s 4.2. An overall +1.3 in November and December (4.8 – 5.3 – 6.1, 6+), Carter Broadcast Corporation urban contemporary KPRS “Hot 103 Jamz” surrenders a -1.0 to 5.1, dropping from fourth to fifth. Regressing by one-half share each are Entercom’s KQRC “98.9 The Rock” (4.5, seventh to eighth, 6+) and co-owned alternative KRBZ “96.5 The Buzz” (#14 to #15, 6+). Regarding these two properties, one streak ends and another continues. Specifically, “The Rock” had been +1.1 in four straight sweeps without a loss (3.9 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 5.0 – 5.0, 6+); 5.0 in November and December represents its best 6+-share in more than two years (5.1, October 2015). Meanwhile, “The Buzz” is -1.5 in four consecutive decreases (4.3 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.3 – 2.8, 6+). In a similar vein, two streaks draw to a close in the country format. A combined -1.8 in three straight negative moves (6.9 – 6.6 – 6.1 – 5.1, 6+), Steel City Media’s KFKF “Country 94.1” is +.1 to 5.2 (sixth to fourth, 6+). When “Country 94.1” lost three-tenths in October, it ended five straight increases that netted +1.3 (5.6 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.9, 6+). Conversely, Entercom’s similarly-formatted WDAF “106.5 The Wolf,” which was +.5 in three straight up or flat trends (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.9, 6+), is -.1 to 4.8 (6+), but actually manages to improve from eighth to sixth; December’s 4.9 was its best 6+-share since April 2015 (4.9, as well).

12) Columbus – Aided by a massive +5.1 (5.9 – 11.0, 6+), Saga Communications adult contemporary WSNY “Sunny 95” races from sixth all the way to first. Moreover, while “Sunny” registered an 8.7 in “Holiday” 2016, this is its strongest 6+-stat since reappearing in print over three years ago (December 2014). Ousted at #1 after a six-month tenure and segueing to second is iHeartMedia country outlet WCOL (11.3 – 10.9, -.4, 6+), which has been in double-digits (6+) each sweep since June. Off a combined -1.5 in August and September, WCOL regained roughly half of that loss in October with a +.7, but was down one-tenth in November. July’s 12.7 was the highest 6+-share by any Columbus station since WCOL reached 12.9 in July 2015. It was +2.2 in January; -1.2 in February; +.8 in March; -1.3 in May; +1.4 in June; +2.1 in July; -.9 in August; -.6 in September; +.7 in October; and -.5 in December. Adult hits sibling WODC “93.3 The Bus” follows December’s +.6 with a +2.1 (5.4 – 6.0 – 8.1, fifth to third, 6+). After a -.6 in August, “93.3 The Bus” responded in September and October with a collective +1.9 (4.5 – 5.5 – 6.4, 6+), but was -1.0 in November; Holiday” 2017’s 8.1 is the highest 6+-share for “The Bus” since 11.1 in “Holiday” 2016. As a result of three successive gains (2.3 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 4.0, 6+), One Connection Media Group contemporary Christian WCVO is +1.7 and moves from ninth to eighth. Having registered five straight negative trends for a -1.4 since July (4.4 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0, 6+), Radio One rhythmic CHR WCKX “Power 107.5” posts a one-half share increase to 3.5 (6+) and enters the top ten (#12 to #10). Advancing by one-half share as well is iHeartMedia’s WYTS “Throwback 105.3” (.3 – .8, #18 to #17, 6+). Following a +.6 in December, RadiOhio-owned WBNS-FM “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” plummets by -1.4 (5.6 – 4.2, 6+) but remains at #7. When “The Fan” lost three-tenths in November to 5.0 (6+), it closed out three straight gains that produced a +3.4 (1.9 – 2.8 – 4.0 – 5.3, 6+). December’s 5.6 was its best 6+-performance since 5.9 in the “Holiday” 2016 report; conversely, 4.2 is its lowest since September’s 4.0. Down or flat for the fifth sweep in succession for a collective -2.8 (10.8 – 10.8 – 10.7 – 9.5 – 9.2 – 8.0, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WNCI “97.9 – Columbus’ Hit Music Station and #1 for New Music” shifts from second to fourth. The last time WNCI was below a nine-share (6+) was in March (8.9). With a September – October – November – December topline (6+) trend of 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.2 (#15), Radio One urban contemporary WBMO “Power” disappears from print. After posting a +1.6 in November, Saga Communications’ WNND “Rewind – Columbus’ Greatest Hits” has returned all but two-tenths of that increase in December and “Holiday” 2017 (3.6 – 3.1 – 2.2, -1.4, #11 to #12, 6+). Prior to reaching 3.6 in November, “Rewind” had been within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) in each of the previous ten ratings periods. As a result of a December -.3 to 6.2 (6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN halted three straight up-trends that netted eight-tenths (5.7 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.5, 6+), but “NewsRadio 610” falters by six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017 to 5.6 (third to sixth, 6+).

Friday, January 5, 2018

| January 5, 2018

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Cancels CES 2018 Appearance Over Death Threats.  That’s what’s being reported by Recode.  The publication cites agency sources that say Pai’s scheduled appearance in Las Vegas at the Consumer Electronics Show 2018 is being cancelled due to “death threats” – presumably over his leading the charge to overturn the Obama era FCC’s net neutrality policy.  Recode reports, “Democratic Commissioner Mignon Clyburn and Republican Commissioners Michael O’Rielly and Brendan Carr each plan to attend CES.  So will Maureen Ohlhausen, the acting leader of their sister agency, the Federal Trade Commission.  Ohlhausen had been slated to appear alongside Pai at the annual Vegas event.”

PPM Analysis: All-News.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents analysis of the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s December 2017 PPM survey, today focusing on all-news.  Nielsen’s December survey covers November 9 through December 6 and the buildup to the holiday season appears to have taken its toll on the format as 13 stations saw (6+) ratings decreases while only two – WCBS-AM, New York and WBZ-AM, Boston – realized increases from the November survey to the December survey.  Comparing December 2016 to December 2017, eight stations were down (6+) and four all-newsers – WINS, New York; WCBS-AM, New York; KRLD-AM, Dallas; and WWJ, Detroit – were up year-over-year.  Only Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington ranked #1 in its market during the December survey.  View the entire report here.

WPEN-FM, Philadelphia Names Two to New Positions. There are two new full-time staffers at Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WPEN-FM, Philadelphia “97.5 The Fanatic.”  Director of sports content Eric Johnson names Tyrone Johnson to producer of the Mike Missanelli show.  Johnson previously served with WPEN but most recently was producing the nationally syndicated Buck Sexton show for Premiere Networks.  He’s also served with the Wall Street Journal Radio Network, “New Jersey 101.5” and pubcaster WHYY, Philadelphia.  Also, Natalie Egenolf moves from part-time to full-time as update anchor and ‘Fanatic’ social media coordinator.  She has been serving part-time on Missanelli’s show three days a week. She is also an in-game reporter for “NFL Sunday Drive” on Sirius XM and covers the Philadelphia Eagles for ESPN.  Eric Johnson says, “I’ve been watching Tyrone grow as a radio talent from his early days when I worked with him in the past.  He has the perfect skill set for his new role as producer of our #1-rated Mike Missanelli show.  Tyrone has the sports knowledge, radio experience and comedic timing that will enhance Mike’s show.  Natalie Egenolf has so much passion for Philadelphia sports and is very plugged into the Philadelphia sports social media scene.  Combining that with her on-air skills makes her uniquely qualified for her new responsibilities as afternoon drive update anchor and ‘97.5 The Fanatic’ social media coordinator.”

Wolff Book About Trump Campaign and Presidency Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 1-5.  The controversial Michael Wolff book Fire and Fury – purporting to present an inside view of the Trump campaign and early presidency – was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At 2# was the Donald TrumpSteve Bannon rift.  Coming in at #3 was the severe winter weather and the related issue of global warming, followed by North Korea’s nuclear threats at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

TALKERS News Notes. Richmond news/talk WRVA is now heard on the FM band as new owner Entercom is simulcasting the station on translator W241AP, Midlothian, Virginia at 96.1 FM.  Entercom Richmond SVP and market manager Bennett Zier says, “News and politics are integral to the communities we serve and we’re excited to better serve our audience by expanding the distribution of ‘News Radio 1140’ WRVA in Virginia’s Capitol City.  ‘News Radio 1140’ WRVA has served the Richmond community since 1925 and to add it on the FM band is a real win for this legendary brand.”…..Along with the addition of new local sports talk shows, Dickey Broadcasting is re-branding the WFMO-AM/W292EV, Atlanta simulcast from the old “The Fan 2” to “The Sports X 1230AM and 106.3 FM.”  The station recently added local programs “Hometeam and Hamilton” (with Brandon Leak and Joe Hamilton) and the Mark Zinno show to the program schedule…..CBS News fires political director Steve Chaggaris after investigating allegations of “inappropriate behavior.”  The news organization issued the following statement: “In the last two weeks, accounts of inappropriate behavior by Steve Chaggaris were brought to our attention and were immediately investigated.  As a result, CBS News has severed ties with Mr. Chaggaris for violating company policy, effective immediately.”…..WPGG, Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley (left) is pictured here serving as officiant administering the oath of office for Atlantic City councilman George Tibbitt (right).  Hurley is a notary public and that permits him to administer such oaths.  He tells TALKERS magazine he’s done it 10 times or so over the past 26 years.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Miami country outlet WKIS “Kiss 99.9” names Dina Bonanni, a.k.a. Dina B, afternoon drive personality.  Dina B has been with the Entercom station since 2010.  Speaking about her new gig, she says, “I feel incredibly fortunate to be able to do what I love for a station that I grew up listening to.  I’ve spent 12 years of my career in country radio, from Palm Beaches to the Keys, so to say I’m excited to be afternoon host of ‘Kiss 99.9’ in my hometown is an understatement.”…..In the Panama City, Florida market, Powell Broadcasting names Rhiannon to the midday air shift at rock WRBA “95.9 Rocks.”  Program director Greg “Fitzdog” Fitzgerald says, “Rhiannon joins the winning team in Panama City with supportive and creative management and a group of stations community driven.  We are proud to have her here at ‘95.9.’”…..The Source magazine releases its annual “Power 30” list of the most powerful players in hip hop culture and the Premiere Networks syndicated show “The Breakfast Club” – featuring DJ Envy, Angela Yee and Charlamagne Tha God – tops the list of radio DJs for the fifth consecutive year.  The magazine dubbed the show “the most powerful talk show and squad period.”…..Cumulus Media Nashville announces that urban contemporary WQQK “92Q” is launching a new, weekly Gospel program, “Joy In The Morning,” starring hosts Crystal J and Carlos Hale, a.k.a. LOS.  The program will debut this Sunday (1/7) from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.

 

Round Four of December PPM Ratings. December 2017 PPM ratings information has been released for 12 markets, including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s December 2017 survey period covered November 9 – December 6. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Austin – Off by a combined -1.1 in November and December (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.8, 6+), University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk KUT slips from second to third. Its -.3 in November ended three straight gains that netted +1.8 (6.1 – 6.5 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+), with October’s 7.9 the highest 6+-share for KUT since 9.0 in November 2016. Elsewhere in the spoken-word arena, Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590 AM” exits the top ten (#10 to #12) with its third decline in a row for a collective -.9 (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2, 6+), while iHeartMedia sports talk KVET-AM “AM 1300 The Zone” loses six-tenths (1.1 – .5, #23, 6+). Bouncing back from November’s -.8 (6.3 – 5.5, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ “Majic 95.5 – Better Music For a Better Workday” hangs out a +2.1 to 7.6, its best 6+-stat since February’s 8.0, and zooms from fourth to second. Although flat at #4, iHeartMedia CHR KHFI “96.7 Kiss FM – Austin’s #1 Hit Music Station” tacks on seven-tenths to November’s gain of nine-tenths (5.5 – 6.2, 6+). From May through September, “Kiss” was trending 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.1 (6+), but logged a -.5 in October to 4.6, its weakest 6+-showing since December 2016’s 4.5. Conversely, December’s 6.2 is its best 6+-stat since posting a 6.5 in April 2016. This is the third straight up or flat sweep for Emmis Spanish contemporary KLZT-HD2 (1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.9, 6+), which advances from a three-way tie at #18 to #13. Within 8.3 – 8.8 range (6+) for the sixth straight month, adult hits sibling KBPA “Bob” (8.8 – 8.4, -.4, 6+) is #1 for the tenth time in succession. November’s +.5 to 8.8 gave “Bob” its strongest 6+-stat since 9.1 in March and halted three down or flat trends for a collective -.4 (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.6 – 8.3, 6+). “Bob” was a combined -1.7 in April and May, with May’s 7.4 its lowest 6+-stat since 7.4 in June 2015. A one-half share increase (3.1 – 3.6, 6+) takes Univision Radio’s KLJA “107.7 Mas Variedad” (#12 to #11) to its strongest 6+-showing in more than three years (October 2014, 3.6, as well). On the heels of a November gain of nine-tenths, iHeartMedia-owned KVET-FM “98.1 All Time Country Favorites” sputters by -1.3 (6.6 – 7.5 – 6.2, 6+), dropping from third to fifth. From March through October, KVET-FM was within 6.1 – 6.7 range (6+) in each of those eight sweeps; prior to November, it last reached the seven-share level (6+) in January 2015 (7.0). Flat at #7, co-owned/similarly-formatted KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country” drops one-tenth (4.6 – 4.5, 6+). Elsewhere in the format, “Genuine Austin Radio’s KOKE-FM “Austin’s Country Alternative” surrenders four-tenths to 1.9 (#16 to #18, 6+). Prior to trending 2.5 – 2.3 (6+) in November, KOKE-FM hadn’t been without a loss since February for an overall gain of eight-tenths (1.7- 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+). October’s 2.5 was the best 6+-showing for “Austin’s Country Alternative” since September 2016 (2.5, as well). In four successive uptrends, University of Texas at Austin-owned triple A KUTX “98.9 The Austin Music Experience” has more than doubled its 6+-share (1.1 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+) and carries on at #16.

2) Raleigh – A loss of one-half share in October halted six straight upticks that netted +2.4 (6.8 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.7 – 9.2, 6+). University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” (8.1 – 7.9 – 8.0, 6+) is in the runner-up slot for the fourth month in a row. Climbing from fifth to third, Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5” is +2.1 in November and December (5.6 – 6.6 – 7.7, 6+), with 7.7 its strongest 6+-performance since 8.4 in May. November’s gain of one full-share put to an end eight successive sweeps without an increase for a combined -3.2 (8.8 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4 – 7.1 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 5.6, 6+). Starting in February, “Mix 101.5” finished at #1 in four straight sweeps before slipping to third in June; it was under a six-share (5.6, 6+, October) for the first time since February 2013’s 5.9. Over and above adding one-half share to November’s +.2 (8.9 – 9.4, 6+), Radio One urban AC WFXC “Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is #1 for the seventh straight month with its highest 6+-share since 9.6 in May 2011. Owing to a loss of four-tenths to 4.6 (three-way tie at seventh to tenth, 6+), Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC “99.9 The Fan” has its string of consecutive improvements that more than doubled its 6+-share (+2.6) end at four (2.4 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.3 – 5.0, 6+). November’s 5.0 is its best-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era. Flat at #7, iHeartMedia CHR WDCG “G-105 Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” is an overall -1.9 in six monthlies in succession without an increase (6.9 – 6.2 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0, 6+), with 5.0 matching its lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2013 (5.0, as well). Its cross-town competitor, Curtis Media Group’s WPLW “The Pulse FM – All the Hits,” picks up two-tenths (3.1 – 3.3, 6+) and remains at #13. Co-owned WQDR “Today’s Best Country 94.7 QDR” is off one full-share in November and December (7.7 – 6.9 – 6.7, third-place tie to fourth, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s WNCB “New Country B-93.9” rebounds from November’s -.8 with a +.2 (3.1 – 3.3, 6+), continuing at #13 (tied with WPLW). Prior to the November sweep, WQDR registered a 7.7 (6+) in three of the six previous ratings periods.

3) Indianapolis – Five up or flat trends in succession by Emmis-owned WFNI (1.7 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+) account for a +1.4 as “The Fan – Indy’s Sports Center” (#13 to #14) matches the 3.1 it logged in March 2016. Not only does adult contemporary cluster-mate WYXB pull the plug on three straight downturns that accounted for an overall -1.4 (6.9 – 6.5 – 5.9 – 5.5, 6+), “Soft Rock B-105.7” hangs out a +2.3 to 7.8 (6+), catapulting it from seventh to first. Whereas December’s 7.8 is its best 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016’s 17.7, November’s 5.5 was its weakest in five years (5.3, November 2012). At this time last year (December 2016), WYXB notched an 8.3 (6+). The lead over the station it displaces at #1 – Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WJJK (7.7, -.1, 6+) – is just one-tenth. On top in September, October, and November, WJJK dropped three-tenths in November, halting three straight progressive months for an overall +1.8 (6.1 – 7.0 – 7.4 – 7.9, 6+). In addition, October’s 7.9 represents the highest 6+-share for WJJK in the PPM-era. Prior to August, WJJK was without an increase in five successive survey periods for a collective -1.6 (7.7 – 7.2 – 6.5 – 6.5 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+). An overall -1.1 in four consecutive downward moves (4.4 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+), Radio One rhythmic CHR WHHH “Hot 96.3 – All Hip-Hop and R&B” picks up one-tenth to 3.4 (6+) and carries on at #12. By tacking on a +1.6 to November’s one-half share increase (4.3 – 4.8 – 6.4, 6+), urban AC sibling WTLC-FM “106.7 – Indy’s R&B Leader” progresses from eighth to fifth with its best 6+-share since January’s 7.1. Just over one week into the December sweep (11/17), Cumulus Media transitioned urban-rhythmic oldies WRWM “93.9 The Beat” to CHR WYRG “Indianapolis’ Energy 93.9.” Via six successive sweeps without a loss, the Cumulus Media-owned frequency at 93.9 is a collective +.8 (2.6 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 3.4, #16 to #12, 6+). The market’s (6+) country share erodes by -1.6, as WYRG sibling WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” is off nine-tenths (second to fourth, 6+), while Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM” regresses by seven-tenths (third to fifth, 6+). A combined +.8 in May and June, WFMS was -.9 in July; +.8 in August; +.5 in September; -.7 in October; +1.1 in November; and now -.9 in December (5.9 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 5.8 – 6.6 – 7.1 – 6.4 – 7.5 – 6.6, 6+). October’s +.8 took “Hank” to 7.1, its strongest 6+-showing since September 2015’s 7.6. In three straight sweeps without an increase (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – .7, 6+), University of Indianapolis-owned WICR has lost more than 50% of its 6+-share (overall -.9) and departs the top twenty (#18 to #21). Albeit flat at #11, Emmis news/talk WIBC “93.1 Indy’s News Center” is a collective -1.6 in three straight downward moves (5.2 – 4.9 – 4.2 – 3.6, 6+) and has its lowest 6+-share in just over one year (3.5, November 2016). Locked on 4.4 (6+) in October and November, iHeartMedia-owned WOLT “Alt 103.3 – Indy’s Alternative” dips by one-half share to 3.9 (ninth to tenth), its lowest 6+-share since May’s 3.8.

4) Milwaukee – In an impressive streak, iHeartMedia’s WISN “News/Talk 1130” (steady at #2) is +1.9 in five straight gains (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.0 – 7.9, 6+). Its challenger – Scripps-owned news/talk WTMJ “Radio 620 Wisconsin’s Radio Station” – is flat at 6.4, slipping from fourth to fifth (6+). As the result of three consecutive downward moves that began in September (4.3 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+), WLDB “B-93.3” regressed by a collective -1.4, but the Milwaukee Radio Alliance adult contemporary property dusts itself off with a gain nearly twice the size of that deficit (2.9 – 5.6, +2.7, 6+), rocketing from #14 to #7. This is the best 6+-stat for “B-93.3” since 8.3 in “Holiday” 2016. Unchanged at #13, alternative cluster-mate WLUM “FM 102.1 Sounds Different” is up one-half share to 3.8 (6+), halting three consecutive down or flat trends that accounted for an overall loss of one full-share (4.3 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+). Winning ways continue for Saga Communications’ WKLH (fifth to third), which is an overall +3.0 since August in four consecutive increases (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.5 –  6.0 – 7.6, 6+). This is the first time that “96.5 Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” has reached the seven-share level (6+) since the station reappeared in print exactly three years ago (December 2014). One-half share ahead of WISN is classic hits-oldies cluster-mate WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits,” which is on top for the 33rd consecutive ratings period, even though it spirals by (-1.6, 6+). WRIT continues a down/up pattern that began in May (10.3 – 9.9 – 10.7 – 9.6 – 9.8 – 9.4 – 10.0 – 8.4, 6+). Co-owned urban contemporary WKKV “V-100.7 Milwaukee’s Only Hip-Hop and R&B” plummets by one full-share (5.5 – 4.5, sixth to eighth, 6+) after November’s +.3 ended four consecutive months without an increase for an overall -2.0 (7.4 – 7.1 – 5.9 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+). The last time “V-100.7” fell below a five-share (6+) was in May 2016 (4.7). Without an increase for the fourth time in a row for a collective -.4 (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4, 6+), WKTI “94.5 KTI Country” slides from eighth to ninth. Immediately in advance of its current trending, WKTI posted three straight gains for a collective +1.1 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.8, 6+). Meanwhile, format rival – iHeartMedia’s WMIL – is a combined -2.6 in four successive downward moves (6.5 – 5.7 – 5.0 – 4.3 – 3.9, 6+) as “FM 106.1 – Milwaukee’s Best Country” departs the top ten (#9 to #11). Prior to August, “FM 106.1” was up or flat in four straight sweeps for a net +1.4 (5.1 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 6.5, 6+). Albeit that it is down for the third month in a row for a collective loss of nine-tenths (4.8 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 3.9, flat at #11, 6+), Entercom-owned CHR WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM” bypasses iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed WRNW “97.3 Now” (4.0 – 3.6, -.4, #11 to #14, 6+). This is the first time in the last 11 sweeps that “Kiss” (3.9, 6+) has not been between 4.4 – 4.9 (6+). Frozen on 3.2 (6+) in August, September, and October, “Now” reached the four-share level in November (4.0, 6+) for the first time in more than five years (4.1, September 2012). It is a case of “slow and steady” for Milwaukee School of Engineering triple A WMSE, which gains a cumulative one-half share in eight straight ratings periods without a loss (.1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .4 – .5 – .6, 6+) with no increase greater than one-tenth. Tied with it at #21 is iHeartMedia’s WOKY “The Big 920 – Milwaukee’s Sports Station,” which is up or flat for the fifth time in a row for a half-share gain as well (.1 – .1 – .3 – .3 – .5 – .6, 6+). Four straight negative moves (2.2 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.3 – .6, 6+) have resulted in Milwaukee Radio Alliance-owned WZTI losing roughly 70% of its 6+-share (-1.6); “Milwaukee’s True Oldies Channel” exits the top twenty (#17 to a three-way tie at #21 with WMSE and WOKY).

5) Nashville – Two of the market’s news/talk outlets (nearly equally) combine for a -2.4 (6+). Specifically, Cumulus Media’s WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” is -1.3 (#11 to #13, 6+), while Nashville Public Radio’s WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” is -1.1 (5.7 – 6.6, seventh to tenth, 6+). Up by +1.2 in September and October to 6.4, its best 6+-share in the PPM-era, WPLN-FM surrendered seven-tenths in November; “Super Talk 99.7” is -1.9 in November and December (5.0 – 4.4 – 3.1, 6+). Five straight positive spikes by Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA generate an overall +3.5 (6.4 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 7.4 – 7.7 – 9.9, 6+) as “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” repeats at #1 with its best 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 13.1. Prior to November and December, the last time “Mix” occupied the pacesetter position was in April. When Cumulus Media sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” faltered by two-tenths in November to 4.8 (6+), it ended a string of three straight increases that produced a +2.3 (2.7 – 3.2 – 4.0 – 5.0, 6+). The flagship of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans roars back in December though with a +1.4 to 6.2, its strongest 6+-showing in exactly one year (6.8, December 2016), and leaps from tenth to sixth. Before May’s one-half share increase, “The Zone” spiraled by -4.3 in six successive decreases (7.6 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.3 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+). Bumping up by seven-tenths each are Midwest Communications adult hits WCJK “96.3 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” (6.6 – 7.3, 6+, third to second, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned WNRQ “105.9 The Rock – Nashville’s Classic Rock” (6.0 – 6.7, fifth to fourth, 6+). “Jack” bounces back from November’s -.6, while “The Rock” has its best 6+-share since August (7.5). After dropping eight-tenths in November (3.3 – 2.5, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WLVU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” recaptures one-half share to 3.0 (6+) and carries on at #14. The station that WJXA succeeded at #1 in November after spending two months there – iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUBT “101.1 The Beat Nashville’s Home for Hip-Hop and R&B” – is without an increase for the third time in succession for a cumulative -1.7 (8.5 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 6.8, 6+), slipping from second to third. In October, “The Beat” relinquished two-thirds of September’s +1.5 (8.5 – 7.5, –1.0, 6+); 8.5 (September) was its highest 6+-share since July 2015’s 8.4. When “The Beat” gained four-tenths in August, it ended three successive downward moves that accounted for a loss of nine-tenths (7.5 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.6, 6+). Down for the third time in a row for a collective -1.2 (7.5 – 7.2 – 6.6 – 6.3, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WRVW “107.5 The River” (third to fifth) has its lowest 6+-share since 5.9 in February. Likewise, Midwest Communications’ similarly-formatted WNFN “106.7 Nashville’s New Hit Music” is off an overall nine-tenths in three straight negative trends (3.1 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+) and is anchored at #15. In the market’s country battle, Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” drops three-tenths (5.9 – 5.6, sixth to seventh, 6+); iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” is off two-tenths (5.1 – 4.9, flat at #9); while Cumulus Media’s WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” adds three-tenths (3.3 – 3.6, #13 to #12, 6+). Meanwhile, Ryman Hospitality Properties classic country WSM-AM “650 AM – The Most Famed Country Music Station in the World,” which had a 1.8 (#16, 6+) in June is unlisted for the sixth consecutive sweep.

6) Providence – Steady in seventh-place, Cumulus Media-owned news/talk WPRO-AM “News Talk 630” is a collective +.6 in its third straight upward move of two-tenths (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.8, 6+). Stuck on 1.9 (6+) in September, October, and November, public news/talk WGBH-FM picks up one-tenth and is back at 2.0 (6+), where it was in August (#11 to #10). Swapping places with WGBH-FM is iHeartMedia’s WHJJ, off one-half share (2.1 -1.6, 6+). Prior to dropping one-tenth in November, “News Radio 920” nearly quadrupled its 6+-share in six successive up or flat trends for a cumulative +1.6 (.6 – .6 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 2.2, 6+). While unchanged at #12, The Wheeler School news/talk WELH “Rhode Island Public Radio” is off two-tenths to 1.5 (6+), thus bringing to end five straight sweeps without a loss which nearly tripled its 6+-share since June with a +1.1 (.6 – .8 – .8 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.7, 6+). In a survey period where huge gains are the norm, other than iHeartMedia’s WHJY “94 HJY – Providence’s Home of Rock & Roll” (8.4 – 9.5, +1.1, steady at #2, 6+), no other station in this Rhode Island market improves by more than six-tenths (November 2017 – December 2017). Ever since appearing in print in June, Red Wolf Broadcasting classic hits-oldies WSKP “Good Times … Great Oldies – KOOL Radio” notches its strongest 6+-stat (.3 – .8, +.5, #16 to #14, 6+). Notwithstanding that it is off by one-half share (11.4 – 10.9, 6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” is on top for the 27th consecutive ratings period and in double-digits (6+) for the sixth month in a row. Prior to October, “Lite Rock 105” was a combined +1.6 as the result of three straight increases (9.8 – 10.0 – 10.8 – 11.4, 6+); 11.4 in September and November represents its strongest 6+-share since 18.0 in “Holiday” 2016. Following a 7.8 (6+) in September, co-owned CHR WPRO-FM “92 PRO FM Today’s Hit Music” posts an 8.2 (6+) for the third month in a row and is flat at #3. In addition to WWLI, Hall Communications’ WCTK “98.1 Cat Country” (8.2 – 7.7, third to fourth, 6+) drops one-half share. In November, “Cat Country” erased October’s -.4 with a gain of one-half share.

7) Norfolk – By adding three-tenths in November, iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMOV pulled the plug on five straight decreases which resulted in a cumulative -1.8 or approximately 64% of its 12+-share (2.8 – 2.7 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.2 – 1.0, 6+). Now in December, “Movin’ 107.7 – The Rhythm of Hampton Roads” hauls out an increase more than ten times than that +.3 (1.3 – 4.4, +3.1, 6+) and jumps into the top ten (#11 to #6) with its best 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016’s 7.4. From June through November, Entercom adult contemporary WWDE registered a topline 6+-share of either 4.3 or 4.6 (4.3 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.3). Exploding in December with a +2.8 to 7.1 (6+), “101.3 2WD” advances from fifth to third. Mirroring WMOV, this is the strongest 6+-stat for WWDE since “Holiday” 2016 (13.4). Flashing gains of eight-tenths each are iHeartMedia urban contemporary and alternative siblings WOWI “103 Jamz – Norfolk’s #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” (8.2 – 9.0, third to second, 6+) and WNOH “Alt 105.3 – Hampton Roads Alternative Rock” (unchanged at #8). This is the best 6+-showing for WOWI since September 2015’s 10.4, while WNOH more than doubles its 6+-stat (+1.5) in three successive increases (1.4 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.9, 6+). Following a November +.8 to 14.6, the highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era, Entercom urban AC WVKL “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” surrenders -1.1 to 13.5 (6+), but remains at #1 for the 12th time in a row. The old mark of 14.3 (6+) was set by WVKL just two ratings periods ago (September). “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” registers a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 20th time in the last 21 sweeps. Before slipping by one-half share in October, WVKL – which earlier was on top for 55 consecutive ratings periods – posted three straight improvements accounting for a +2.4 (11.8 – 12.0 – 13.4 – 13.7 – 14.2, 6+). Having trended 8.6 – 8.2 – 8.2 – 8.2 – 8.6 (August – September – October – November, 6+), Saga Communications’ WNOR “FM 99 Rocks” freefalls by -1.9 (8.6 – 6.7, second to fourth, 6+) and notes its lowest 6+-share since April’s 6.2. Slipping from fourth to fifth, co-owned WAFX “106.9 The Fox – Hampton Roads’ Classic Rock” is a collective -1.6 in four successive sweeps without an increase (6.5 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 5.8 – 4.9, 6+). At the same time, owing to three straight negative moves, Entercom hot AC WPTE “94.9 The Point” is an overall -1.7 (4.4 – 3.5 – 3.2, 2.7, seventh to ninth, 6+). Down or flat for the sixth time in a row, WHOV “Smooth 88.1 – The Essence of Hampton University” is a collective -.4 (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2, flat at #12, 6+), while Saga Communications’ adult standards WJOI “1230 AM – Great Songs, Great Memories” is without an increase for the fourth consecutive ratings period and has lost 80% (-.8) of its 6+-share since August (1.0 – .7 – .5 – .3 – .2, #13, 6+).

8) Greensboro – Along with its iHeartMedia Phoenix adult contemporary sibling KESZ, similarly-programmed WMAG registers the second-best (6+) November 2017 – December 2017 increase in the 48 PPM-markets: “99.5 – The Triad’s Best Mix” doubles November 2017’s 6+-stat to 11.8 (+5.9, fifth to second, 6+). Moreover, the increase applies the brakes to three losses in a row that accounted for a combined -1.3, (7.2 – 7.0 – 6.3 – 5.9, 6+). This is the most potent 6+-stat for WMAG since “Holiday” 2016’s 15.2; November’s 5.9 is its lowest since April (5.9, as well). For the record, the top honor for highest (6+) November 2017 – December 2017 increase goes to Bonneville Salt Lake City adult contemporary KSFI (7.0 – 13.6, +6.6, 6+). Despite the fact that Entercom rhythmic CHR WJMH trots out a +1.5 (7.5 – 9.0, 6+) for its strongest 6+-share since 9.6 in July, “102 Jamz The Hip-Hop Station” actually backslides from third to fourth. In a down/up pattern since September (12.7 – 11.9 – 12.4 – 12.0, 6+), urban AC sibling WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” is #1 for the seventh straight time (and each month in calendar year 2017 except April and May). A +1.5 in September as well as in June, WQMG records double-digits (6+) for the 13th sweep in a row. Down for the third month in succession for a collective -2.2 (7.8 – 7.3 – 7.1 – 5.6, 6+), iHeartMedia owned WTQR “New Country Q-104.1” slips from fourth to sixth and is below a six-share (6+) for the first time since March (5.9). Leapfrogging “Q-104.1” is its format rival – Entercom-owned WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” – which adds two-tenths to 6.0 (sixth to fifth, 6+), halting three straight decreases that produced a -1.9 (7.7 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 5.8, 6+). Following November’s surge of nine-tenths, iHeartMedia rocker WVBZ “105.7 – Man Up!” forfeits -1.4 (4.9 – 3.5, 6+), but remains at #8; WVBZ had been within 4.0 – 4.9 range (6+) in each of the last eight sweeps. An overall +2.2 in five consecutive increases (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 5.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” relinquishes just over half that bounty (4.3, -1.2, fifth to seventh, 6+). Prior to the November 2017 sweep, the last time WPTI reached the five-share level (6+) was in November 2016 with a 5.0. While it has been in double digits in each sweep since August, Entercom adult hits WSMW “98.7 Simon (says) We Play Everything” stumbles by eight-tenths to 10.5 (6+), shifting from second (where it had been from August through November) to third. December’s -.8 brings to an end five straight increases that netted +2.5 (8.8 – 9.3 – 10.1 – 10.2 – 10.9 – 11.3, 6+) and produced the strongest 6+-share (11.3) for “Simon” in its PPM-history. Unchanged at #9, Curtis Media Group regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1” falters by one-half share (3.4 – 2.9, 6+).

9) West Palm Beach – This Florida metro’s (6+) adult contemporary stat improves by +1.4, nearly equally split between iHeartMedia-owned WOLL “Today’s KOOL 105.5” (4.7 – 5.5, +.8, fourth to third, 6+) and Alpha Media’s WEAT “Sunny 107.9” (4.6 – 5.2, +.6, fifth to fourth, 6+). Off one full-share in September to 4.2, its lowest 6+ showing since 3.9 in July 2011, “KOOL” regained 60% of that decline in October (to 4.8, +.6, 6+). December’s 5.5 is the station’s highest 6+-share since January (5.9). By gaining one-half share in November, “Sunny” applied the brakes to four straight monthlies without an increase for an overall -2.4 (6.5 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.7 – 4.1, 6+). This (5.2) represents the highest 6+-share for “Sunny” since June’s 5.4. Notching gains of seven-tenths each are Alpha Media’s WIRK “103.1 South Florida’s Country Music” (3.9 – 4.6, eighth to fifth, 6+) and Moody Bible Institute’s WRMB “Moody Radio” (1.4 – 2.1, #13 to #12, 6+), which last reached the two-share level (6+) in September 2014 (2.2). Stuck on 11.2 (6+) in October and November, Alpha Media hot AC WRMF erodes by -2.3 to 8.9 but “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” ranks first for the 12th consecutive month. Whereas11.2 (October and November) was the highest 6+-share for WRMF since November 2015 (11.3), December’s 8.9 is its softest since January’s 8.3. A one-tenth loss in September brought to a close four straight increases that netted +1.6 (9.3 – 9.4 – 9.5 – 10.4 – 10.9, 6+). Prior to the “Holiday” 2016 report, WRMF was #1 the previous five ratings periods. Flat at #10, iHeartMedia’s WZZR “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk for the Palm Beaches” is a collective +.5 in its third straight increase (2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+). In five sweeps in a row without a loss, JVC Media classic hits-oldies WSVU “True Oldies 95.9 The Palm” has nearly doubled its 6+-share (.7 – .7 – .8 – .8 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+) and carries on at #14. Segueing from third to sixth, WAY Media Foundation contemporary Christian “WAYF “Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” regresses by six tenths (4.9 – 4.3, 6+) and has its weakest 6+-stat since 3.5 in March. At the same time that iHeartMedia news/talk WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” picks up six-tenths in three (modest) upticks in a row (2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.3, steady at #9, 6+), Alpha Media urban AC WMBX “X-102.3” loses a total of six-tenths in three straight (slight) decreases, (4.8 – 4.7 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+), dropping from seventh to eighth.

10) Jacksonville – In another instance of two market facilities combining to bloat the (6+) adult contemporary share, Renda Broadcasting’s WEJZ “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” improves by +2.6 (fourth to second, 6+), while Cox Media Group’s WEZI “Easy 102.9” posts a +.6 (2.9 – 3.5, #13 to #11, 6+). As the result of three straight sweeps without a loss, WEJZ is an overall +2.9 (6.1 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 9.0, 6+) and notches its highest 6+-share since 14.7 in “Holiday” 2016. It is dubious déjà vu for iHeartMedia-owned WQIK “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country,” which replicates November’s -1.3 (13.6 – 12.3 – 11.0, 6+) but is #1 for the 12th straight time. A combined -1.8 in July and August (12.2 – 11.6 – 10.4, 6+), WQIK followed with an overall +3.2 in September-October-November (10.4 – 11.7 – 13.6, 6+), with October’s 13.6 its best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. Bouncing back in November with a +1.1 following three straight losses for an overall -1.3 (4.6 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+), WQIK’s format foe – Renda Broadcasting’s WGNE “99.9 Gator Country” – sputters with a decrease of one-half share (4.4 – 3.9, 6+) but carries on in ninth-place. At the same time, the consecutive string of (slightly) up or flat moves by Neal Ardman’s classic country WYKB which generated an overall gain of eight-tenths ends at nine (.1 – .1 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .3 – .4 – .5 – .9, 6+) as “Jax Country 105.3 Jacksonville’s Country Legend” is down two-tenths to .7 (unchanged at #18). A -1.1 by Cox Media Group’s WXXJ (3.9 – 2.8, #11 to #13, 6+) takes “X-106.5 Jacksonville’s Alternative” to below a three-share (6+) for the first time in the station’s PPM-history. News/talk cluster-mate WOKV is a combined -2.7 in three straight negative trends (9.7 – 8.5 – 7.7 – 7.0, third to fourth, 6+) and has its lowest 6+-stat since 6.6 in “Holiday” 2016. In September, “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” was +1.3 to 9.7; prior to that, it last reached the nine-share level in April (9.3, 6+). A cumulative -.7 in its third straight decline (5.5 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.8, 6+), iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies WSOL “V-101.5 Throwback Hip-Hop and R&B” falls from sixth to seventh, while urban contemporary sibling WJBT “93.3 The Beat” is off a combined seven-tenths in three straight decreases (5.3 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.6, 6+), dropping from seventh to eighth. Concurrent with Cox Media Group-owned CHR WAPE “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station” losing three-tenths (5.8 – 5.5, flat at #5, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WKSL “97.9 Kiss FM” is off four-tenths (4.3 – 3.9, 6+) but actually improves from tenth to a ninth-place tie. In November, WAPE fully recaptured October’s -1.0 (5.8 – 4.8 – 5.8, 6+); “Kiss” was +.9 in October. Unchanged at #12, public WJCT is without an increase for the fourth sweep in a row for a collective -.3 (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0, 6+).

11) Memphis – Having trended 7.5 – 7.4 – 7.2 – 7.4 (6+) since August, Entercom adult contemporary WRVR “104.5 The River – Continuous Soft Rock” busts out a +2.0 to 9.4 (6+), cruising from fourth to second with its best 6+-stat since 12.1 in “Holiday” 2016. The day after Christmas (12/26), though, WRVR began facing a head-on competitor, with Cumulus Media-owned WKIM flipping to adult contemporary as “98.9 The Bridge.” As a result of November’s +.9 (to 3.5, 6+), WKIM applied the brakes to four successive sweeps without an increase for a collective -1.1 (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.6, 6+). Known as “98.9 The Vibe” up until Halloween when it began playing all-Christmas music as “Christmas 98.9,” WKIM is flat in December at 3.5 (6+) but moves up from #11 to #10. Despite logging its fourth straight up or flat trend that has produced a +1.2 (7.6 – 8.0 – 8.2 – 8.2 – 8.8, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WHRK “K-97 Memphis’ Only Hip-Hop and R&B” backslides from second to third. Improving by one-half share each and appearing back-to-back are WHRK’s CHR sibling KWNW “101.9 Kiss FM – All the Hits for Memphis” (1.2 – 1.7, unchanged at #15, 6+) and Mid-South Public Communications’ WKNO “90.1 NPR for the Mid-South” (.8 – 1.3, steady at #16). Advancing from seventh to fifth, iHeartMedia gospel WHAL “95.7 Halleluiah – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” continues an alternating down/up pattern that started in June (6.2 – 6.0 – 6.3 – 4.6 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 5.4, 6+). In addition to netting an overall seven-tenths in five consecutive up or flat moves (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4, #12 to #11, 6+), co-owned news/talk WREC logs its best 6+-share since February’s 3.6. After three straight improvements that yielded a +2.1 (9.2 – 10.0 – 10.4 – 11.3, 6+), urban AC cluster-mate KJMS “V-101” returns one full-share to 10.3 (6+), but is #1 for the fourth month in a row. A collective -2.6 in four losses in succession (6.3 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 4.9 – 3.7, eighth to ninth, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WGKX “Kix 106 – Today’s Best Country” is below a four-share (6+) for the first time since its 3.9 in “Holiday” 2016. With a -.3 to 2.5 (flat at #14, 6+), Entercom’s similarly-programmed WLFP “94.1 The Wolf” puts an end to being locked on fluctuations of seven-tenths. “The Wolf” gained seven-tenths in November after losing seven-tenths in both September and October (3.5 – 2.8 – 2.1 – 2.8, 6+). In September, it concluded three straight increases that accounted for a +1.1 (2.4 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+). Hot AC sibling WMC-FM “FM 100 Today’s Best Mix” is a combined -.6 in three consecutive ratings periods without an increase (5.8 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.3, fifth to sixth, 6+). Also in that Entercom cluster, owing to a -.2 to 3.1 (6+), sports talk WMFS “ESPN 92.9” (flat at #13) snaps at four its successive string of increases that accounted for a +1.3 (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 3.3, 6+). Up one-half share in November to 5.1, its best 6+-performance since 5.2 in November 2016, Cumulus Media’s WXMX “Maximum Rock – 98.1 The Max” coughs up nearly twice that increase (5.1 – 4.2, -.9, sixth to eighth, 6+).

12) Hartford – Not only is Entercom adult contemporary WRCH on top for the 16th successive ratings period, “Lite 100.5” registers its fifth consecutive up or flat trend for an overall +3.1 (9.9 – 10.2 – 10.2 – 10.3 – 11.0 – 13.0, 6+). Prior to July, “Lite” had been in double-digits (6+) eight times in the previous nine sweeps. At this time last year, “Lite” was at 10.8 (December 2016); this sweep’s 13.0 represents the station’s highest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016’s 18.4. The online “stream” of WRCH continues an odd pattern: It scored a .5 (6+) in four straight survey periods before disappearing in print in August. It returned in September with a .5 (#15, 6+); vanished again in October; reappeared in November with a .5 (#14, 6+); and is gone again in December. As a result of its third increase in a row (5.6 – 6.4 – 6.5 – 7.5, 6+), co-owned rhythmic CHR WZMX “Hot 93.7 – Hartford’s #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” is a combined +1.9 and cruises from fourth to second; 7.5 is its strongest 6+-showing since 7.6 in May. Winning ways continue for Red Wolf Broadcasting alternative WMRQ, which hangs out its fifth straight gain for a collective +1.6 (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.9, 6+) as “Radio 104.1” continues in tenth-place. For the sixth month in succession, iHeartMedia CHR WKSS “All The Hits – Kiss 95.7” is within 6.2 – 6.6 range (6.4 – 6.5 – 6.6 – 6.5 – 6.5 – 6.2, fourth to sixth, 6+). Without an increase in the last six ratings periods for an overall -2.6 (8.8 – 8.3 – 8.3 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 6.5 – 6.2, 6+), co-owned WWYZ “92-5 Connecticut’s Country Music” falls from fourth to sixth. In back-to-back sweeps, Connoisseur Media-owned WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale – Hartford’s Classic Rock” (flat at #9) is a combined -1.5 (6.0 – 5.3 – 4.5, 6+), while Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM “News Talk 1080” is a collective -.8 (5.8 – 5.6 – 5.0, unchanged at #8, 6+).

Monday, October 9, 2017

| October 9, 2017

Moskowitz, Siegel Named VP/Sales for iHM New York. The appointment of Todd Moskowitz as vice president of sales of iHeartMedia New York City news/talk WOR “The Voice of New York” and the promotion of Marc Siegel from sales manager to VP/Sales of co-owned WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock Station” are effective immediately. Both will report to senior vice president of sales for iHeartMedia New York Bernie Weiss who states, “Marc and Todd are proven sales leaders with a long track record of delivering results for clients, teams and stations. They have the talent and experience to coach their teams in coming up with the most effective marketing solutions to maximize the ROI for their clients.” Moskowitz remarks, “I am excited to lead sales for one the most legendary radio stations in New York City and work with some of the best and brightest people in our business.” Siegel comments, “Classic rock is a format that transcends time and is as popular as it has ever been. I am very excited for this opportunity and I look forward to the next step in the journey with my iHeartMedia colleagues.” Moskowitz most recently was market president for Townsquare Media’s Danbury, Connecticut cluster. He began his career with CBS Radio Hartford, before joining Cumulus Media Bridgeport, Connecticut and eventually CBS Radio New York City all-news WINS. Before arriving at iHeartMedia New York at the end of 2016, Siegel was head of global audio sales at Bloomberg Media, and was local sales manager for New York public outlet WNYC, where he managed radio, podcasting, digital, and events sales.

TALKERS Founder Michael Harrison Guests on Debut Holland Cooke Show on RT America.  Says Donald Trump Has Been A Boon to Talk Media Business.  As reported last week in TALKERS, noted media consultant and TALKERS correspondent Holland Cooke was named to fill the big shoes of Thom Hartmann as host of television network RT America’s long-running “The Big Picture” program.  His debut installment of the half hour weekend show aired this past Friday (10/6) and is being met with positive reviews.  Cooke divides the opening show into two segments.  In the first, he welcomes panelists Brian Keane and Harvey Wasserman to discuss renewable energy… which could be the silver lining as Puerto Rico recovers from Hurricane Maria. And in the second segment, he asks TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison and talk media pundit Steve Malzberg, “Are we really THAT angry?” referring to the tone of today’s conversation in talk media.  Asked if Donald Trump is the best thing that could happen to talk radio and television, Harrison replies, “From a purely business standpoint – getting ratings, giving us material to use, creating interest, keeping people tuned to their radios and TVs – he’s the best thing that’s happened in years. I don’t remember anything like it.”  To view the entire program, please click here

Sirott Selected to Call Bruins Action. Inbound from Tribune Chicago news/talk WGN-AM, where he was studio host for the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks, Judd Sirott becomes the game caller for the Boston Bruins, whose NHL games are carried on CBS Radio Boston sports talk WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub.” CBS Radio Boston vice president of programming/CBS Radio vice president of sports programming Mike Thomas comments, “We are very excited to have someone with the exceptional reputation and experience that Judd has join our team at ‘The Sports Hub.’” Sirott adds, “I am incredibly fortunate, privileged, and humbled to be the radio voice of the Boston Bruins on ‘98.5 The Sports Hub.’ I didn’t just hit the lottery – I hit the Powerball. [The Bruins are] an ‘Original Six’ [NHL] team in a spectacular hockey market and one of the world’s greatest cities.” He succeeds Dave Goucher, who left last summer to become the television play-by-play voice for the Vegas Golden Knights, and joins analyst Bob Beers. An interesting note about Bruins’ radio play-by-play announcers: The only ones serving in that capacity going back to 1924 are Frank Ryan (28 years); Bob Wilson (25.5 years); Goucher (16 years); Fred Cusick (13 years); Bob Neumeier (five years); Bill Harrington (three years); Jim Laing (one year); and Dale Arnold (one-half year).

Cumulus DC Combo Arranges Blood Drive for Vegas Shooting Victims. Coordinated by Cumulus Media Washington D.C. news/talk and hot AC cluster-mates WMAL “Where Washington Comes to Talk” and WRQX “Mix 107.3,” the “Vegas Victims’ Blood Drive” will be held this Wednesday (10/11) from 2:00 pm – 8:00 pm at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner in suburban Washington D.C. (McLean, Virginia). WMAL program director Bill Hess states, “The injured – including some from our area – face a lengthy recovery. This is one thing we can come together and do to help in our own individual way. We invite our friends and listeners to roll up their sleeves and join us in this effort.” WRQX program director Rob Roberts notes, “Distance doesn’t lessen the impact of what happened in Las Vegas. This is our chance to help someone and it costs nothing but a little time. We’re proud to do our part.” On a side note, “Mix” assistant program director/music director/mid-day talent Ashley Nickels is a Las Vegas native. Excluding the shooter, 58 people were killed last Sunday night (10/1) in Las Vegas. The dead included 36 women and 22 men; the oldest was 67, the youngest 20. Six of the dead were from Nevada, 35 from California, 13 from other states, and 4 from Canada. An additional 489 people were injured. The attack became the deadliest mass shooting committed by an individual in the United States, having surpassed the death toll of the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting, where 50 died, including the gunman.

Broadcast Station Mergers, Acquisitions Hit $4.47 billion in Q2. The top radio deal was the $82.8 million sale of Emmis Communications’ Los Angeles rhythmic CHR KPWR “Power 106” to Meruelo Media. According to estimates from Kagan, a media research group within S&P Global Market Intelligence, the transaction was the largest single radio station sale since 2012 and represents nearly 34% of the quarter’s $245 million radio deal total. The second-largest radio transaction was the radio portion of Sinclair’s acquisition of Tribune Media with an estimated value of $58.4 million for news/talk WGN-AM, Chicago and the programming of one additional FM station. That was followed by Educational Media Foundation‘s purchase of three FMs from Entercom for $57.5 million – classic rock KSWD “100.3 The Sound,” Los Angeles; KSOQ-FM, which simulcasts KSON-FM “New Country,” San Diego; and WGGI, which simulcasts WGGY “Today’s Best Country – Froggy,” Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Next was the sale of four Alpha Media AM stations, 14 FM outlets, and two FM translators to Dick Broadcasting Company for $19.5 million. Saga Communications sold its six-remaining owned-and-operated television stations and three LMAs to Morgan Murphy Media for $66.6 million, while at the same time, expanded its radio business with the third-largest radio deal of the quarter, paying $23 million to Apex Media for seven FM stations, one AM, and four translators.

Levy Exits KJR-AM. Related to his August 26 arrest for soliciting a prostitute, KJR-AM morning show host Mitch Levy departs the iHeartMedia Seattle sports talk outlet after a 23-year tenure there. According to a report in The Seattle Times, Levy entered which is known as an “Alford plea,” an acknowledgment of enough evidence for conviction without a formal guilty plea. He was sentenced to two years of probation plus a deferred sentence that will be dismissed if he completes probation without being charged with another crime. Levy was one of 110 men arrested in an undercover operation called “Operation on Demand.” The 50-year-old Levy reportedly placed $160 in cash on a bedside table in anticipation of a half-hour of sex. On Twitter, he wrote, “As most of you realize by now, my 23-year tenure at KJR is over. I am fully aware that I have disappointed so many from the loved ones closest to me to all of you who have given me the opportunity to entertain you on weekday mornings. I’m deeply sorry. I’d like to thank KJR and iHeartMedia for the golden opportunity that was never taken for granted. Now, I must continue tending to me, my emotional demons and my family. Some day I hope you’ll allow me the opportunity to earn back your trust and respect.”

CPR’s Wycisk Sets Retirement Plans. It won’t become effective for another eight months, but 40-year Colorado Public Radio (CPR) president Max Wycisk is announcing he will retire on June 30 (2018). Board chair Dean Salter remarks, “On behalf of the CPR board of directors, we thank Max for his service and for the many notable accomplishments achieved during his tenure. Max is recognized as a pioneer in public broadcasting and his vision set CPR on the path to its current success. He leaves one of the strongest public radio organizations in the country with a sound financial base, a talented and committed staff, and loyal listeners. We look forward to an orderly transition to ensure the continued success of CPR.” According to Wycisk, “While the world has undoubtedly changed over the past 40 years, CPR’s mission has remained steadfast and our importance has grown. The organization is stronger than it has ever been – a testament to our dedicated staff, the donors who support us, and the hundreds of thousands of people who rely on us each and every day. It has been an honor to lead the development of a vital community resource that’s uniquely positioned to have an even greater future ahead.” Prior to becoming CPR’s president, Wycisk was a program director and an on-air announcer there. Among other things, he is responsible for transforming CPR from a single-signal station to a statewide network, which includes CPR News, CPR Classical, and CPR’s triple A Open Air, which are broadcast on 34 statewide signals and online.

WGN Slots Chicago Inno Tech Briefs. Starting today (10/9), Tribune Chicago news/talk WGN-AM adds “The Inno Minute,” a 60-second breakdown of Chicago’s top tech news. Airing weekdays in the 5:00 am hour on “The Opening Bell with Steve Grzanich,” the segment is a snapshot of topics covered at ChicagoInno.com. WGN-AM vice president of programming & content Todd Manley notes, “The stories that the team at Chicago Inno chases and shares are so powerful we wanted them on WGN every day.” Reporter Katherine Davis and Chicago Inno associate editor Jim Dallke will serve as producers. “Chicago Inno is incredibly excited to be working with WGN radio on ‘The Inno Minute,’” Dallke comments. “Chicago’s entrepreneurship scene is thriving, and we are thrilled to be able to work with WGN to inform Chicagoans on the innovation that is driving the city forward.” Elsewhere on the station, former Chicago Bears head coach Mike Ditka will appear for football commentary each Monday in morning drive with Steve Cochran and every Friday with afternoon driver Roe Conn. Ditka formerly had a similar radio arrangement in the market on WMVP “ESPN 1000.”

Salem Talk Hosts Headed Back to the White House. Approximately two and a half months ago (7/25), Salem Radio Network talk hosts Mike Gallagher and Hugh Hewitt conducted day-long broadcasts from the White House. The two will return to the Nation’s Capital next Tuesday (10/17) for live “Tax Reform Day” broadcasts from the White House. Hewitt (right) and Salem Radio Network vice president of news & talk programming Tom Tradup are planning for invited guests including treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin and commerce secretary Wilbur Ross, as well as other senior White House and administration staff.

Cavaliers, Monsters, iHM Cleveland Sign Multi-Year Extensions. As part of the new pact, all 82 regular-season contests, as well as five preseason and all playoff games of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers will air on iHeartMedia Cleveland news/talk WTAM and co-owned rocker WMMS. In addition to these two flagships, the Cavs are on a 30-station radio network. John Michael returns for his seventh season as the franchise’s play-by-play announcer, while Jim Chones is back for his eighth year as analyst. The Cavs have reached an extended agreement with Murray Hill Broadcasting to continue broadcasting all of its games in Spanish. Meanwhile, for the second consecutive year, all 76 regular-season games of the AHL Cleveland Monsters will be broadcast on iHeartMedia Cleveland alternative WMMS-HD2. Tony Brown returns for his third season as the radio and television play-by-play voice of the Monsters. Brown spent two years in the NAHL as the voice of the Odessa Jackalopes; one season in the USHL with the Omaha Lancers; became the radio voice of the Indy Fuel in the ECHL; and then came to the Monsters in their Calder Cup-winning season of 2015-2016.

Osgood As It Gets. The longtime host of Westwood One’s “The Osgood File” – Charles Osgood – was presented with the “Lifetime Achievement Award” last night (Sunday, 10/8) from the News and Documentary Emmys. Celebrating with Osgood (in the center with his trademark bowtie) backstage were his family and colleagues, including Westwood One executive vice president of news and talk Bart Tessler, and senior vice president of Affiliate Sales Dennis Green.

 

TALKERS News Notes. Fill-in host Rob Carson – who will be on iHeartMedia Phoenix news/talk KFYI and CBS Radio Las Vegas’ similarly-formatted KNXT next week – recently joined the conservative-leaning LibertyOne TV/video podcasting network and he explains, “My experience as an audio/video podcaster and live Facebook/YouTube podcaster is propelling my career forward in many ways. I hope to consult talk hosts about the new digital platforms. I’ve only been on for two weeks and my LibertyOneTV.com show attracted 18,000 viewers last Friday [10/6]. After two months, my daily podcast on PodcastRadioNetwork.com is their second-biggest podcast. This journey beyond terrestrial radio is incredible.” ….. The appointment of Karen Wishart as an Urban One executive vice president becomes official on January 1, 2018, when she replaces Linda Vilardo as chief administrative officer. In the meantime, those two will work together to transition Vilardo’s duties. According to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Wishart will be paid a base salary of $425,000 with an opportunity to make up to $150,000 in bonuses ….. The official charity of iHeartMedia Des Moines news/talk WHO afternoon drive talent Simon Conway is The Puppy Jake Foundation, which acquires, raises, and trains service dogs for physically and mentally wounded veterans. Last Friday (10/6), the fourth annual, two-hour free sandwich giveaway to benefit The Puppy Jake Foundation raised more than $28,500. The event brought in $4,000 in year one; $6,000 the second year; and $23,000 last year. Conway remarks, “People drove long distances and handed over huge sums of money. My show’s sponsors stepped up too, one of them called in and doubled his initial $1,000 donation.” Over 200 pounds of meat, buns, and sauce were all donated. So far, 22 service dogs have been provided to veterans; five more dogs will graduate the program in March ….. As of next Monday (10/16), Genesee Media Brockport-Rochester, New York sports talk WRSB “97.5 The Team” will transition to Spanish variety as “Mi 97.5.”

 

 

Delilah Taking Leave of Absence Following Her Son’s Suicide. On Saturday (10/7), the 7:00 pm – 12:00 midnight host posted on Facebook about the suicide, which occurred early Tuesday morning (October 3). “I will be absent from the radio and on social media for a time as I grieve and try to process this loss with my family,” Delilah (Rene) wrote as she grieves the loss of her teenage son Zachariah, who battled a long bout against depression. In what reportedly will be the only statement at this time by the Premiere Networks’ personality, Delilah states, “My dear friends, I need to share some devastating news with you. My son, Zachariah, took his life. He was being treated, counseled, and embraced fiercely by family and friends while battling depression. My heart is broken beyond repair and I cannot fathom how to go on, but I have to believe he is at peace with the Lord and that God will get us through. We will be playing some of my favorite shows from the recent past. I’ll look forward to my return, as you all lift me up so very much. Please pray for my beloved Zacky, and I will pray for all suffering from this debilitating disease called depression.” In a Facebook post earlier this year, Delilah revealed that Zack was autistic. The mother of 13 children, including ten she adopted, Delilah previously lost a son, Sammy, who died in 2012 from complications of sickle-cell anemia. According to The New York Daily News, Sammy’s death came two years after he was adopted from a Ghanaian refugee camp in West Africa. Delilah’s nightly show is heard on 180 (mainly adult contemporary) stations and on the American Forces Network. She was inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Broadcasting Hall of Fame in April, following her November 2016 induction into the National Radio Hall of Fame. Delilah has updated her Facebook home page to include the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255), which offers free, 24-hour emotional support for people in distress, as well as resources that provide aid.

iHeartMedia Philadelphia Taking Bids to Beat Breast Cancer. The cluster is doing so in its annual “Bid for Breast Cancer” fundraiser to benefit the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). It begins today (10/9) and will include an auction through next Monday (10/16). According to iHeartMedia Philadelphia vice president of programming Brian Check, “We have again pulled together all the resources of our six stations to collect one-of-a-kind autographed items to benefit a cause that affects many women in our community. AACR is known for bringing together the greatest minds in cancer research and helping patients worldwide, as well as right here in the Philadelphia area.” AACR Foundation executive director Mitch Stoller explains that this year, “More than 300,000 women will hear the words, ‘You have breast cancer.’ The AACR’s mission is to prevent and cure all cancers, including breast cancer which is the second-most common cause of cancer-related death among women in the United States. We are grateful to iHeartMedia Philadelphia and the community for their support in this ‘Bid for Breast Cancer.’ Proceeds will enable the AACR to fund groundbreaking cancer research that will lead to more cancer discoveries, saving more lives.” Auction items include an Ed Sheeran-autographed guitar; a guitar autographed by Brad Paisley; a Green Day-autographed guitar; jacket autographed by Bruno Mars; Rolling Stone Magazine autographed by Harry Styles; and a Red Hot Chili Peppers-autographed guitar. In a similar “Bid for Breast Cancer” event last year, iHeartMedia Philadelphia raised over $15,000.

Chicago’s “B-96” Reveals “Jingle Bash” Lineup. The 18th annual Pepsi “Jingle Bash” from CBS Radio Chicago CHR WBBM-FM “B-96” is roughly two months away (12/7) and will be headlined by Taylor Swift, along with Backstreet Boys, Fifth Harmony, Khalid, Logic, and Sabrina Carpenter. Vice president of programming for CBS Radio Chicago/WBBM-FM program director Todd Cavanah states that the “B-96” “Jingle Bash” has been a “must-see holiday event in Chicago for almost two decades. This year, we are thrilled to have the world’s biggest superstar – Taylor Swift – as our headliner. In the holiday season, the ‘Jingle Bash’ is a wonderful way for our community to come together and celebrate an exceptional night of pop music.” Breaking the news on-air was “B-96” afternoon air talent “Tyler.” The station’s December 7 “Jingle Bash” will be held in Rosemont (Illinois) at the Allstate Arena. In other station concert news, Emmis New York rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” will present “Hot for the Holidays” on December 14 at the Prudential Center. Scheduled to appear are Chris Brown, 21 Savage, Meek Mill, Cardi B, and Dave East & Tee Grizzley. Meanwhile, CBS Radio San Francisco CHR KMVQ “99.7 Now” will have Taylor Swift headline its December 2 “Poptopia” concert at San Jose’s Sap Center. Slated to perform as well are Ed Sheeran, The Chainsmokers, Fifth Harmony, Niall Horan, Khalid, Logic, and Dua Lipa.

WDVE Radio-thon Raises $814,000. Easily surpassing last year’s total of $605,000, iHeartMedia Pittsburgh’s WDVE “102.5 Rocks” raised just over $814,000 during the tenth annual “DVE Rocks for Children’s Radio-thon.” The beneficiary is Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation, which is the fundraising arm of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. WDVE morning show personalities Randy Baumann, Bill Crawford, Val Porter, and Mike Prisuta, as well as Michele Michaels and Sean McDowell, shared stories from patients, families, and staff from Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh during the two-day radio-thon. Market president for iHeartMedia Pittsburgh – West Virginia Tim McAleer comments, “The ‘DVE Rocks for Children’s Radio-thon’ continues to exceed our expectations. WDVE has terrific listeners who rally for the kids. I am in awe of the dedication and efforts of our on-air talents to raise funds for the children in our Pittsburgh community.” Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation president Greg Barrett adds, “It is truly unbelievable to witness the generosity of WDVE, their loyal listeners, the corporate sponsors and partners, and this amazing Pittsburgh community who have supported the radio-thon over the past ten years. Without this remarkable support each and every year, providing this level of expert, compassionate care to our patients and their families simply would not be possible.” Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, comedian Billy Gardell (“Mike & Molly”), and WWE chief brand officer Stephanie McMahon made donations by phone. The “DVE Rocks for Children’s Radio-thon” has raised nearly $5 million to benefit Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, leading provider of pediatric care in the Pittsburgh community.

Duran Supports Third Annual “Carney Awards.” A joint production between The Elvis Duran Group and Radcliffe Road Pictures, the third annual “Carney Awards” will be held in approximately three weeks (10/29) at Santa Monica’s Broad Stage. Named in honor of the Oscar and six-time Emmy winning actor Art Carney, the Carney Awards were created by Elvis Duran Group CEO David Katz, his brother – Emmy-winning producer Jim Katz, and Carney’s son – actor voice-over artist, Brian Carney. Duran is morning personality on iHeartMedia New York CHR WHTZ “Z-100” and syndicated by Premiere Networks. “I never understood why the hardest-working actors in Hollywood were almost always excluded from receiving awards and recognition for the great work that they do,” Duran comments. “We created the Carney Awards to rectify that injustice. Character actors are the backbone of almost every movie and television show ever made. It’s time for them to get the recognition they so deserve. I don’t want people pointing anymore saying ‘Hey, it’s that guy.’” David Katz notes, “Elvis is the first to admit that his co-hosts are the backbone of his radio show. Our desire to celebrate those in supporting roles has picked up great momentum and has caught the attention of Hollywood, which is always good for radio.” This year’s honorees are Xander Berkeley, William Fichtner, Richard Kind, William H. Macy, and Wendie Malick. Past honorees include Bob Balaban, Steve Buscemi, Gary Cole, Conchata Ferrell, Dan Hedaya, and David Paymer. Tom Bergeron of ABC-TV’s “Dancing with the Stars” will host the awards program. Tickets are complimentary to radio industry members.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. The guest emcee at the 73rd annual Congressional Correspondents Dinner in just over two weeks (10/25) at the National Building Museum will be Bobby Bones, whose eponymous weekday morning show originating from iHeartMedia Nashville’s country WSIX-FM is heard on more than 100 affiliates. In addition to his Monday through Friday Premiere Networks’ syndicated morning program, Bones hosts a weekend “Country Top 30” countdown and authored “Bare Bones: I’m Not Lonely If You’re Reading This Book.” The event’s headline entertainer will be “Daily Show with Trevor Noah” correspondent Roy Wood, Jr.; house speaker Paul Ryan will deliver keynote remarks ….. General sales manager of iHeartMedia Pittsburgh classic rock WDVE and country WPGB “Big 104.7” Bobbie Loesch is promoted to regional senior vice president of sales for the Pittsburgh-West Virginia region. The company’s region president Tim McAleer remarks, “Bobbie’s extensive experience in our region makes her the perfect fit to oversee sales for our robust media and entertainment assets. We are lucky to have her; she is an expert at multiplatform sales and consistently helps our partners reach their goals.” Loesch – who begins her new duties next Monday (10/16) – adds, “I have worked with the iHeartMedia Pittsburgh team for over a decade, so I am excited to lead such a talented group. It is great that we are such a tight-knit team and that we are all passionate about helping our partners succeed.” ….. Starting next Monday (10/16), Cameron Moore takes over 10:00 am – 3:00 pm duties on Beasley Media Group Charlotte CHR WNKS “Kiss 95.1.” Operations manager/program director John Reynolds comments, “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Cameron to Beasley’s Charlotte team. [Her] expanded experience in every aspect of radio programming will help ‘Kiss’ continue the solid growth we have been having all year. Cameron is a great example of our goal to mentor and groom excellent talent within our company.” Moore adds, “It is an honor to be part of the ‘Kiss’ team. I look forward to playing all of the hottest hit music and getting out on the streets to meet all of [our] loyal listeners.” Winston-Salem native Moore most recently worked at Midwest Family Broadcasting’s Springfield, Missouri cluster ….. The yearly signature event for CBS Radio Chicago triple A WXRT “93-XRT” is its Goose Island Holiday Jam. The ninth such event will feature performances by Spoon with special guest Real Estate and takes place in two months (12/10) at the Chicago Theatre. WXRT program director and operations manager Greg Solk explains, “The WXRT Goose Island Holiday Jam was created to showcase some of the most dynamic talents around, and to offer a memorable annual holiday event for Chicago music fans. This year’s fabulous double bill of Spoon and Real Estate will certainly accomplish that goal.” ….. As of today (10/9), 2016 Texas Radio Hall of Fame inductee Gary Lee Love joins John Walton classic country KXXF “105.3 Free,” Beaumont (Texas) for afternoon drive duties. Station owner John Walton states, “It is quite a coup for [us] to acquire a partnership with the Gary Lee Love Show. Gary is a bigger-than-life personality who is a household name in Southeast Texas and a great entertainer. Love most recently did a similar shift on cross-town Cumulus Media-owned KAYD “Nash-FM.”

Hundreds Attend “The House FM” and “My Praise FM” Kid DJ Day. The sixth annual “Kid DJ Day” was held over a week ago (9/30) at the 89.7 “The House FM Where Christian Hits Live” and 88.7 “My Praise FM” studios. More than 550 Kid DJs and 888 total family members attended the free event. “The House FM” and “My Praise FM” founder and chief executive officer Doyle Brewer remarks, “We had such a great day hosting 888 guests. The families were making such great memories with the petting zoo and so many other activities. Our ministry has always been focused on supporting families on the air with our programming and any other way we can.” Kids were invited to be DJs for a day, receiving a tour of the radio station and having a turn on-air. They were asked to discuss a variety of different topics, prompted by the DJ; parents received an email recording of their child’s on-air time. Listener-supported Christian radio network “The House FM” broadcasts from Oklahoma City to Wichita; sister network “My Praise FM” broadcasts in northern Oklahoma and southern Kansas.

Austin’s September 2017 Report to be Re-Released. Owing to audience estimates being inadvertently omitted for Austin subscribing HD-multicast KKMJ-HD3, Nielsen Audio will issue a revised September 2017 PPM ratings report for that Texas market this Wednesday (10/11) at 12:00 noon. Reporting for Entercom urban AC KKMJ-HD3 apparently had not been entered into one of Nielsen Audio’s internal systems. Audience estimates for other Austin stations will reportedly not be affected. Prior to August’s +.1 to 1.6 (#19, 6+), KKMJ-HD3 hadn’t had an increase in five consecutive sweeps for a net loss of nine-tenths (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+) but disappeared from print in the September sweep that was released last week.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

| March 15, 2017

Mark Fuhrman Named Area President for iHM Pittsburgh/West Virginia.  Joining iHeartMedia West Virginia as area president for the Pittsburgh/West Virginia region is Mark Fuhrman.  He was most recently with IMG College.  iHeartMedia West Virginia includes 22 radio stations.  The company says Fuhrman will work with the programming, business and sales teams for radio station brands in Huntington, Parkersburg and Wheeling to oversee on-air and digital programming as well as create new business and revenue opportunities.  He will report to Tim McAleer, president of iHeartMedia’s Pittsburgh region.

ESPN Announces Launch of ‘30 for 30 Podcast’ Series.  Based on the storytelling formula of ESPN’s popular “30 for 30” film documentaries, ESPN Films and ESPN Audio are collaborating to debut a podcast series – “30 for 30 Podcasts” – this June.  ESPN says the series will tell original, high-quality sports stories in the likeness of the acclaimed “30 for 30” documentaries, but made exclusively for audio.  Two of the topics that will be featured in the first season of “30 for 30 Podcasts” will be: “Dan and Dave Revisited,” the true story of the massive 1990s marketing campaign around the world’s two best decathletes, and “On the Ice,” the story of how a group of amateur Brits became the first all-women’s team to make it to the North Pole.  ESPN Films and Original Content vice president and executive producer Libby Geist comments, “ESPN Films is continuing to push boundaries in the storytelling space and we’re excited to further evolve the 30 for 30 brand.  These audio documentaries will break new ground for ESPN while also bringing our signature long-form archival-based approach to the podcasting arena.”

Radio Talent Institute Scheduled for University of Tennessee May 15-24.  This next Radio Talent Institute is being presented by the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters, University of Tennessee Knoxville, and the National Radio Talent System at the University of Tennessee.  The Institute is a 10-day immersion in radio and it involves discovering, coaching and preparing talented broadcasting students with more than 30 broadcast professionals leading all the sessions in their area of expertise in on-air music radio, news and sports, as well as digital/social media, production, promotion, sales, engineering, programming, management and all things radio.  Students from all over the state and region apply to be accepted and will become certified Radio Marketing Professionals by the Radio Advertising Bureau.  National Radio Talent System founder and president Dan Vallie states, “We are very excited to be partnering with the University of Tennessee and working with Sam Swan and the College of Communication and Information, and with Benny Smith, at their award winning college radio station, WUTK.”  The TAB Radio Talent Institute is accepting applications from students now.  They should apply at http://tab.nationalradiotalentsystem.com/. The deadline to apply is March 31.

CBS News Radio’s Peter King Honored with Legacy Award.  Radio news pro Peter King is being honored by the Florida Associated Press with the Florida Associated Press Broadcasters’ LEGACY AWARD.  The organization cites King’s distinguished career and his service as a role model and his involvement with the AP Broadcasters’ college workshop and more for this award.  He will be honored at the awards ceremony in Orlando in April.

KCMO-AM Talk Host Tom Becka Does TEDx Talk on Fake News.  Longtime talk radio personality Tom Becka (left) recently did a TEDx Talk on “Real News vs Fake News” that you can see here.  Becka hosts the 9:00 am to 11:00 am show on Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM, Kansas City and does a regular commentary on KPTM-TV, Omaha’s 9:00 pm newscast.

Trump’s Obama Wiretapping Accusations, North Korea Threats/Tillerson Asia Trip, GOP Health Care Plan, Trump’s Tax Returns, Dutch Elections, Snoop Dogg Video, Marines Nude Photos Scandal, Northeast Blizzard, and March Madness Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/14). The accusation by President Donald Trump that President Barack Obama ordered Trump Tower to be wiretapped during the 2016 election; North Korea’s nuclear missile program and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s visit to Asia; the Trump Administration’s and the GOP’s plans to replace ObamaCare with their own health care plan; the rise of far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders and today’s elections in the Netherlands; controversy over the latest Snoop Dogg video in which he shoots a clown dressed as President Trump; Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert B. Neller testifies before a senate subcommittee on the nude photos scandal; the blizzard that hit much of the Northeast on Tuesday; and the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

CBS RADIO and Canon Present Small Business Grants.  Pictured above are (from l-r) 1010WINS, New York news director Ben Mevorach; Bittylab LLC founder and CEO Priska Diaz; and “The Bottom Line for Small Business” anchor Rob Walsh.  Mevorach and Walsh presented Diaz with a grant for $10,000 from CBS RADIO and Canon MAXIFY Printers for presenting the most creative plan to expand their business while also doing good in their community.  The companies also awarded San Francisco-based Prison Bars founder and CEO Seth Sundberg a grant in the same amount.

KXNT, Las Vegas Host Alan Stock Leads Listener Trip to Israel. Las Vegas talk show host Alan Stock (pictured at center) recently led a group of listeners on a trip to Israel.  Stock tells TALKERS, “It was a mix of seeing Jewish and Christian holy sites, as well as exploring the geo-political nature of the country.  The trip lasted eight days and everyone loved it – in fact, I’m already getting requests for a second go-around.”

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On translator K279BO, Portland, iHeartMedia launches classic country outlet “103.7 The Legend.”  The company says the station’s core artists will include: Garth Brooks, George Strait, Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson and others…..iHeartMedia Philadelphia debuts the new station “Pride Radio Philly” – a station targeted to the local LGBTQ listeners and allies.  It’s available on WIOQ’s HD-2 channel at 102.1.  In addition to the personalities also heard on iHeartRadio’s Pride Radio channel, local hosts include Loraine Ballard Morrill, director of news and community affairs; WIOQ’s Casey, and WUSL’s Mutha Knows.  iHeartMedia SVP of programming Brian Check comments, “Philadelphia has an exciting, passionate and growing LGBTQ community and we hope to amplify their voice on Pride Radio Philly.”

The Band Perry Rocks ‘Stage 17 LIVE.’  Pictured above is The Band Perry performing live before a crowd of loyal WPLJ, New York listeners at Cumulus Media New York’s new performance space, “Stage 17 LIVE.”  The space sits high above Madison Square Garden on the 17th Floor of 2 Penn Plaza.  The Band Perry, along with Clean Bandit and Anne Marie, appeared at the special show on March 7.  Cumulus Media New York VP/market manager Chad Lopez comments, “The momentum is building with interest from various artists for the new Cumulus New York performance space.  95.5 PLJ welcomed two great bands to the 17th floor on the same day during our soft launch of the new studio.  This is the first of many VIP experiential opportunities that we will have to offer to our advertisers and listeners and we couldn’t be more excited.”

Corpse Blinks: AM Radio Isn’t Dead

| December 8, 2016

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

kinosian-2radioLOS ANGELES — There’s simply nothing groundbreaking about naysayers writing an obituary for AM radio.

This facet of the medium was supposed to be killed years ago by television and FM, or most recently by satellite radio, the internet, or time in general.

Many who claim AM radio has already passed away also choose to believe that all of terrestrial radio is a ghost or soon will be, but that’s another story entirely.

It would be ridiculous to the point of one existing in extreme denial and/or total lunacy to foolishly proclaim AM radio has never been in better shape, but at the same time, despite its plethora of detractors – the AM band is not in the morgue just yet, either.

An AM radio-geared item that appeared in yesterday’s TALKERS (Wednesday, 12/7) struck a nerve.

Quoting from the TALKERS story, “The Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council is presenting what it calls 12 imperatives to the Trump Administration that ‘address the persistent challenges in closing the digital divide, and advancing multicultural commercial ownership opportunities to create voices and participation in the telecommunications industry.’ Of those 12 imperatives, #12 is ‘Create a Glide Path for the Short-Term Survival and Long-Term Humane Decommissioning of the AM Band in a Manner that Preserves Minority Ownership.’ It states, in part, that the FCC’s future policies ‘should facilitate the preservation of AM radio’s program services when the AM band disappears.’”

A link was provided that included the 12 imperatives and two lines, in particular, jumped out (just as the last five words above did): “AM listenership is on a steep decline, and AM radio stations are feeling the brunt of it. Realistically, AM may disappear in 30 years or less.”

That could very well be the case, although we might note that roughly 30 years ago, AM Stereo was being called the only salvation for AM operators. There are some rare exceptions (see below) but music on AM radio generally did not make it, whereas spoken-word on that band continues to be viable in many markets as we head into 2017.

As far as the revenue side is concerned, according to BIA/Kelsey, four of radio’s top ten 2015 billing properties were AM stations. They are CBS Radio New York all-news WCBS-AM (#5, $45 million); co-owned, similarly-formatted WBBM-AM, Chicago (#6, $43.8 million); all-news New York sibling WINS (#9, $39.5 million); and iHeartMedia talker KFI, Los Angeles (#10, $37.8 million).

It is true the aforementioned stations are from the top three markets, but at the same time, AM stations do in fact comprise 40% of the top ten list of the country’s highest billers.

Extremely curious to see the true temperature of AM radio, we isolated stations that finished in the top 15 in all 48 Nielsen Audio PPM-markets KFI (November 2016, 6+).

Results appear below and it’s a pretty healthy list, with the lone hard-and-fast rule being only Nielsen Audio subscribers are allowed to be in print.

It should also be noted that some of these AM stations have an FM partner, but in all cases, the primary Nielsen Audio ratings listing is the AM.

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Monday, September 26, 2016

| September 26, 2016

Kim Guthrie Named to Replace Retiring Bill Hoffman as President of Cox Media Group.  After 38 years with Cox, Bill Hoffman is retiring from his Cox Media Group president post at the end of the year.  Taking over inguthriekim January will be current executive vice president of national ad platforms and president of Cox Reps, Kim GuthrieCox Enterprises president and CEO John Dyer says, “Kim has been with Cox for nearly 20 years and is an inspirational leader who has helped our media properties transform.  She played a key role in the successful creation of Cox Media Group in 2008 and has been recognized as one of the media industry’s most influential leaders.  She is a natural fit to ensure Cox Media Group continues to deliver innovative products and compelling news content.”

cbsradioReport: CBS RADIO to Take on $1.5 Billion in Debt.  This report from Reuters, says that sources are telling it that CBS RADIO is preparing to take on as much as $1.5 billion in debt ahead of its initial public offering that’s expected to take place but still has no firm time frame.  According the report, the bulk of the proceeds would be paid back to parent CBS Corp. with the rest to be used by CBS RADIO for “general corporate purposes.”  In its report, Reuters notes that “a radio company IPO may be a tough sale as new digital competitors have emerged and depressed advertising sales for the medium for years.”  Read the Reuters story here.

Lew Dickey Pens Book on Changing Media Landscape.  The book is published by Tourbillion International – a subsidiary of the Dickey family-owned Modern Luxury Media – and is titled, The New Modern Media – Remaking Media for a Mobile Culture.  We now know what Lew Dickey has been doing since he was ousted from the Cumulus CEO role last year.  The book is described as “an indispensable guide to the profound dickeylewbook16and disruptive changes rocking the media industry.  It examines the implications of a new, mobile culture and challenges the widely held belief that most media companies’ true source of profits is their content.  It makes the case for the importance of distribution as a key driver of firm value in the legacy mediadickeylew business model, be it a newspaper, magazine, record label, television network, local broadcast television or radio station.”  In the book Dickey makes the case for why traditional “radio broadcasters will be unlikely to benefit from subscription revenue for their core service, leaving them highly exposed to the ad markets.”  iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman is quoted reviewing the book, “I’ve spent my entire professional life in the media business, and today technology is enabling media to evolve at an ever-faster pace to meet consumers’ changing needs. Lew’s book is a timely resource for anyone working or investing in the media industry – shedding an important light on some of the critical challenges and opportunities inherent in today’s vibrant and complex media landscape.”  Pittman’s iHeartRadio just announced a two-tier subscription service last week – clearly another step in the grand plan to transform iHeartMedia from a legacy radio company to a competitor in the digital entertainment industry.  But getting back to Lew’s book, it’s a safe bet this will be the talk of the radio business this week.

Mike Gallagher Broadcasts from Hofstra University.  In advance of tonight’s first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, Salem Radio Networks syndicated personality Mikegallaghermike Gallagher broadcast his program from Hofstra University on Long Island, the site of tonight’s debate.  Gallagher’s guests included pollster Pat Caddell, Republican National Committee communications director Sean Spicer, Trump campaign co-chair Sam Clovis, and, via telephone, vice presidential candidate Mike Pence.  Gallagher says, “I’ve bird-dogged these candidates through the primaries and caucuses and both national conventions.  So, it is a thrill to bring my audience into the final hours of preparation for this historic debate which is expected to draw 100 million or more via radio and TV.”

ktzriHeartMedia Launches New Tucson Talk Station.  This will be a sister talk station to iHeartMedia’s existing news/talk KNST and consists primarily of syndicated fare.  KTZR flipped from Spanish music to talk this morning (9/26) as “The Talk of Tucson.”  The programming lineup is: Premiere’s Glenn Beck in morning drive, followed by USA Radio’s “Trending Today USA with Rusty Humphries,” Westwood One’s “The Savage Nation,” KTRH, Houston-based, syndicated personality Michael Berry, local personality Rob Hunter, Premiere’s “AMERICA Now with Meghan McCain,” “Ground Zero,” “AMERICA Now Rewind,” and GCN’s Alex Jones.

henryalanbook16Alan Henry Memoir Published.  One of the progenitors of modern day talk radio and the all-news formats has written his memoir.  Alan Henry’s new book is titled, A Man And His Medium: An Indelible Signature on Radio Television Cable.  It was a young Alan Henry – charged with turning around Metromedia’s poorly rated KLAC, Los Angeles – who hired raconteur Joe Pyne to host the evening program.  Pyne had just been fired by crosstown KABC.  Henry and programmer Jim Lightfoot gave Pyne control over his show content and the program took off, eventually being syndicated to more than 250 radio stations.  Henry’s influence continued when, after leaving KLAC, he joined Westinghouse in New York and proposed a new all-news format for WINS.  He was named sales manager of the station and, although it took a while to bring advertisers around, history reveals its eventual success.

The Presidential Race/First Debate, Police Shootings of Blacks, Syrian Civil War/U.S.-Russian Military Tensions, George Bush-Michelle Obama Photo, Growing National Anthem Protests, MLB Playoff Push and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and the buildup to this evening’s debate; the aftermath of the recent Tulsa and Charlotte shooting deaths of black men by police; the Syrian civil war and Russia’s role in the bombing of Aleppo and air convoys; Saturday’s dedication of the African American History Museum in Washington and chatter about the widely published photo of Michelle Obama hugging George W. Bush; National Anthem protests spread to the college football ranks; the playoff push in Major League Baseball, and Sunday’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Odds & Sods.  There are changes in the air talent lineup at ESPN-owned/Cumulus operated KESN-FM, Dallas.  Matt Mosley leaves the station and his afternoon drive partner Tim Cowlishaw.  Midday personality Mark Friedman also exits the station where he co-hosted with Steve Dennis.  There are rumors in the market that Dennis will join Cowlishaw in afternoons and Jean-Jacques Taylor and Will Chambers will take over the midday show…..Radiohio-owned sports talker WBNS, Columbus “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” extends its relationship with the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets for another three seasons.  WBNS’ partner – Southeastern Ohio Broadcasting System’s alternative WWCD “CD102.5” – will serve as the secondary signals for the team’s games…..GatesAir announces three important wins in Vietnam that signify the over-the-air TV and radio transformation taking shape across the Asia-Pacific region.  Vietnam Television recently placed two orders for transmitter network expansions.   On the radio side, Vietnam is investing in existing FM infrastructure with improvement and expansion projects.  Voice of Vietnam, the national radio broadcaster, recently ordered five Flexiva air-cooled solid-state transmitters — two 5kW and three 10kW models — for VOV4, which serves as the broadcaster’s Ethnic Languages Channel.

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The Yappy Tour Rolls On.  Prolific radio talk show producer turned author Bernadette Duncan recently brought her “Yappy Tour” to the television viewers of Western Massachusetts by appearing as a guest on the WGGB-TV (ABC-40) “Western Mass News” to discuss her buzz-worthy book, Yappy Days; Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Schmoozers, Boozers and Losers (AuthorHouse/Talkers Books, 2016).  The book recounts Duncan’s 26-year career as a producer of radio talk shows working with such big-name talents as Larry KingSally Jessy RaphaelLou DobbsTom SnyderGil GrossCharles Osgood and many more during modern talk radio’s pre- and post-9/11 “golden era.”  Plus, she tells stories about behind-the-scenes encounters with hundreds of guests from the worlds of show business, politics, media, business and literature. Above, Duncan (left) is pictured with newsman/show host Chris Pisano (right) on Channel 40’s “Western Mass News” midday talk show.  Duncan’s national “Yappy Tour” will roll on through the remainder of the year.  She has already appeared on more than 25 local and syndicated programs.  Hosts and shows interested in booking Bernadette Duncan can do so by calling Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

May 2016 PPM Analysis: News

| July 1, 2016

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

kinosian (2)LOS ANGELES — It was revealed three months ago (TALKERS, 3/30) that Hubbard Broadcasting-owned news outlet WTOP, Washington (D.C.) was the country’s leading biller last year (2015).

Further data from BIA/Kelsey noted that three other all-news facilities placed in the top ten: WCBS-AM, New York at #5; Chicago sibling WBBM-AM (#6); and co-owned WINS, New York at #9.

Given that the exceptionally intriguing, highly-charged presidential contest is about to enter the convention phase, we thought it was an appropriate time to present a thorough overview of all-news stations to see how the format performed in PPM-markets in the most recent (May 2016) ratings period.

The following scoreboards list every news station that appears in a PPM-market report (6+, May 2016); there are no minimum ratings criteria for this particular overview.

Nielsen Audio only releases audience estimates for stations that subscribe to its services; owing to that reason, ratings stats in this exclusive TALKERS analysis are limited to outlets that pay Nielsen Audio for its data.

KRLD-AM, Dallas; WBZ-AM, Boston; and KFBK, Sacramento are “news” most of the day and “talk” the remaining hours.

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Friday, May 27, 2016

| May 27, 2016

dimick, johnCumulus Media Appoints Dimick Vice President/Programming Operations. Former Lincoln Financial Media senior vice president of programming and operations John Dimick joins Cumulus Media as vice president of programming operations. Cumulus Media senior vice president of content and programming Mike McVay remarks,Cumulus “John Dimick brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to this position. He joins Doug Hamand and Greg Frey as a [vice president of programming operations]. Those three, along with our format specialists and analysts, will provide even more tools to our managers and program directors to employ when programming their stations.” Dimick – who begins his new assignment next Wednesday (6/1) – jokes, “I am very happy that Mike McVay would not buy my ‘retirement from the industry’ thinking. The new senior management team at Cumulus is building [something that] is extraordinary and compelling. I am flattered [corporate believes] I can help advance the growth and success of the stations and the remarkable Cumulus platform. Joining the corporate programming team with people like Greg Frey, Doug Hamand and the other pros at Cumulus is very exciting.” For the past 11 months, Dimick was franchise owner of the Dimick Automotive Group. In addition to Lincoln Financial stations in San Diego, Dimick has programmed Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97,” New York; KPLZ, Seattle; KISN, Salt Lake City; and WNCI, Columbus.

Harry HurleyWPGG, Atlantic City Morning Host Harry Hurley Donates $1,000 to the Broadcasters Foundation of America.  This year’s recipient of the Sharon L. Harrison Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service by a Radio Talk Show Host (“Humanitarian of the Year”), Harry Hurley of WPGG, Atlantic City, capped off his acceptance speech last Friday (5/20) at TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations by making a donation of $1,000 to the Broadcasters Foundation of America (BFOA).  For almost a decade, Harry Hurley has used his successful morning show in Atlantic City, New Jersey as a platform for the numerous fundraising activities of his Hurley Morning Show Foundation that have raised more than a half million dollars in support of more than 100 New Jersey charities and service organizations.  And he has an outstanding track record of philanthropic activities going back years prior to that.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison describes Hurley as, “The quintessential local radio talk show host – entertaining, community-involved, well-connected and philanthropic – a veritable charity machine!”  Harrison recently email blasted a powerful video plea on behalf of the BFOA to thousands of industry professionals that has drawn strong reaction and donation pledges of thousands of dollars.  According to Harrison, “Radio is one of the only forms of mass media and entertainment in which charity and community involvement are part of its fundamental fabric.  How many other forms of media are so quick to raise money for victims of disaster as radio?  A significant percentage of the stories we cover in the trade press are about radio broadcasters rising to the occasion to help people in need – sick children, homeless veterans, single moms, victims of natural disasters, catastrophic illnesses.  Helping people is a key part of all our formats.  It’s what we do. But who’s out there to help individual broadcasters when WE are stricken by tragedy and have the rug pulled out from under us?  That’s when the Broadcasters Foundation of America steps up to the plate.  I know this for a fact, not just by reading press releases, or going to golden mic dinners and golf tournament fund-raisers – but by the personal experience of seeing, on more than one occasion, the Broadcasters Foundation of America step in and rescue sick, destitute and almost-completely broken people – who were, at one time, important players in this game – from literally being thrown out into the street.”  To view a video recording of Harry Hurley’s acceptance speech and donation to the BFOA, please click here.  To view Michael Harrison’s personal message on behalf of the BFOA, please click here.

Holland Cookeedison-logo-300x137Edison Research Webinar on Podcasting:  Podcasting Now “Mainstream Media.”  The firm Edison Research presented a webinar yesterday (5/26) on the state of podcasting conducted by its VP Tom Webster and covered for TALKERS by media consultant Holland Cooke.  During the webinar, Webster stated, “It’s safe at this point to call podcasting ‘mainstream media.’”  Cooke comments, It’s always puzzled me how talk radio demonizes that term, while sales reps have been telling prospects that their stations ARE mainstream.  What advertiser wants to utilize FRINGE media?” Admitting he’s wary of making predictions, Webster did venture that “Podcasting has been a medium of slow, steady growth.  This year, we saw a spike we haven’t seen before.  If we’re looking for that ‘hockey stick pattern,’ I’m willing to give you a confident ‘maybe’.”  For full details of the information-packed webinar, see Holland Cooke’s coverage by clicking here.

kinosianmikeMLB Logo2MLB Flagships: Part Two. In the second of a multi-part series, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian recaps the performance of Major League Baseball‘s radio flagships. In a ratings overview based on data from Nielsen Audio’s April 2016 PPM survey period, Mike highlights each key station’s 6+ share; 6+ market rank; month-to-month and year-to-year fluctuations; and a special breakout chart featuring the flagships by league/division. Whereas all five NL Central key stations can be found in the April 2016 top ten (6+), no AL West flagship finishes higher than #20. Three AL East flagships reach the top ten in April 2016 (6+), as do three key stations of AL Central teams. See the second edition of this exclusive special feature piece about MLB flagships here.

marshall, robin“The Diary of a Sugar Mom- Don’t Tell the Kids”“Sugar Mom” Marshall’s Meaningful Marking. While “voiceover artist,” “audio producer,” and “author” are apt summations of Robin Marshall, the most important depiction of the Dallas-based talent is that she is a one-year cancer survivor. Marshall will release recordings of “Lemons to Lemonade” blogs, which she wrote while undergoing aggressive ovarian cancer treatment. Those episodes will be part of the “Sugar Mom” podcast, leading up to National Cancer Survivors Day next Sunday (6/5). Starting next month, Marshall will distribute her audio book “The Diary of a Sugar Mom: Don’t Tell the Kids” free via her “Sugar Mom” podcast on various podcast directories. Marshall comments, “I want women and men who subscribe to my podcast and/or visit my Facebook page to understand what the concept of a ‘Sugar Mom’ really is, and more importantly, what it is not. If you can try one new thing a day, you are headed towards becoming who you used to be and now want to be again.” The “Sugar Mom” podcast releases new episodes Tuesdays and Thursdays. Marshall spent 20 years as a New York City on-air talent and she is the imaging voice for several radio stations. Since being diagnosed with stage three ovarian cancer, she underwent weekly chemotherapy treatments in Dallas; she is in full remission.

Nielsen May 2016Millennials Account For 66.5 Million Radio Users. This is not a homogeneous group with a common set of beliefs, interests, and behaviors; ungrouping millennials can help advertisers, agencies, and radio stations understand each group more closely. Nielsen‘s Q4 2015 “Total Audience Report” separated 18-34s into three groups: “Dependent Adults” (those living in someone else’s home); “On Their Own” millennials (those living in their own home without children); and “Starting a Family” millennials” (those living in their own home with children). The data shows 97% of 18-year-olds live in someone else’s home. By their mid-30s, 90% of millennials live in their own home, and more than half have children. Radio is an important part of a millennial’s life and they listen to it in many ways. In the average week, radio reaches about 92% of “Starting a Family” millennials; 90% of “Dependent Adult” millennials”; and 89% of “On Their Own” millennials. CHR is the number one format for all three groups, but “Dependent Adult” millennials, who tend to live at home with their parents or another adult, listen to more classic rock, classic hits-oldies, and urban AC than the overall millennial group. “Dependent Adult” millennials listen to these formats because they are exposed to them by older adults in the home. “On Their Own” millennials are the least ethnically diverse group and they show a preference for non-ethnic formats like hot AC and alternative. They also listen to sports stations more than the other two millennial groups. Radio reaches 90% of all 18-34 African-Americans each week with urban AC the top format among this group. “Starting A Family” millennials include the highest percent of Hispanic and Spanish-speaking listeners. In this group, regional Mexican has the third-highest share of listening time. Overall, 16% of this group’s listening is spent with a Spanish language format. That is more than three times the amount of “On Their Own” millennials.

WYRD-FMAll Roads Lead to the “Pothole Derby.” A constant critic of the legislature’s “lack of action” regarding South Carolina road conditions – which station executives classify as being a “wreck” – Entercom Greenville-Spartanburg talker WYRD-FM “Word” announces a contest focusing on the Upstate’s pothole crisis. Operations manager Mark Hendrix remarks that his station’sPothole Derby listeners are “fed up with our terrible roads, huge potholes, and auto damage, so we are paying them to document how bad our roads really are. We are grateful to have the support of First Class Halt to help us with the ‘Pothole Derby.'” Listeners who submit photos of the biggest, deepest, potholes could win $500 in repair services from the station and their promotion sponsor. Approved pothole pictures will be posted on the WYRD-FM “Word” website. In addition, listeners are encouraged to contact the South Carolina Department of Transportation to file complaints about potholes. Only eight stations (four owned by SummitMedia and four iHeartMedia properties) are listed in Nielsen Audio‘s winter 2016 book for Greenville-Spartanburg (market #59). SummitMedia urban AC WJMZ “107.3 Jamz Today’s R&B” ranks first with an 11.0 (12+).

smaldone and jamesGetting Together with Smaldone. For almost 24 years, Valerie Smaldone was the mid-day talent at market dominant adult contemporary WLTW “Lite-FM,” New York. More recently, she has been hosting/producing a variety of projects. The latest for the imaging voice of CBS Radio New York all-newser WINS is “Hit Makers: Music Icons in Performance and Conversation”; Tommy James (“Tommy James & The Shondells“) was her first guest and he sang several of his hits. In addition, Smaldone interviewed him about his book “Me, The Mob, and the Music,” as well as his days with Roulette Records. For the past two years, Smaldone’s weekly, three-hour Envision Networks’ talk show “America Weekend with Valerie Smaldone & Friends” is heard in 15 markets.

KCMO-AMKCMO-AM Slots Mysterious Saturday Morning Show. The unusual and the unexplained will be explored on the weekly, one-hour (6:00 am – 7:00 am) Wendy Garrett-hosted “Wendy’s Coffeehouse” that debuts next week (Saturday, 6/4) on Cumulus Media Kansas City talker KCMO-AM. Garrett “guarantees” the program will, “cover information and material you will not hear in the normal run of the news. It will address the unusual, under-reported, unexplained, and the mysterious.” Topics to be covered include UFO sightings, near-death experiences, innovative living strategies, and government disclosure issues. Among those already booked are “Children of Roswell” authors Thomas J. Carey & Donald R. Schmitt, who will discuss the aftermath and lifetime impact Roswell has had. Robbie Holz (“Secrets of Aboriginal Healing”) will explain beliefs and principles of the 60,000-year-old healing practices of the Australian Aborigines, who claim their techniques can help cure arthritis and cancer. Nick Redfern (“Weapons of the Gods”) will provide “evidence” that ancient civilizations developed and thrived until they “moved to self-destruction, using weapons with terrifying power.” Prior to working for KCMO-AM, Garrett – who claims to live in a haunted house – has been a reporter, host, and anchor on Kansas City outlets KCKC, KFKF, and KRVK. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio‘s April 2016 PPM ratings period, KCMO-AM is in a three-way tie at #20 and is down or flat for the fifth straight time (1.9 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.2); Entercom hot AC KZPT is at #1 (6.9, 6+).

talkersten logoPresidential Race/Trump Protests Top Talkers TenTM for Week of May 23-27.  The activities of the candidates for president and the violent anti-Trump protests in New Mexico and California were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week.  At #2, the Hillary Clinton email investigation and the FBI’s investigation of Virginia Governor and longtime Clinton ally Terry McAuliffe for alleged campaign finance improprieties were tied.  And following at #3 was President Obama’s trip to Vietnam and the related increase in Chinese naval activity.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Beasley Media GroupBeasley Broadcast Group Board Declares Quarterly Cash Dividend. It is for $0.045 per share of its “Class A” and “Class B” common stock. The dividend is payable on July 8 to shareholders of record on June 30. While Beasley Broadcast Group intends to pay regular quarterly cash dividends for the foreseeable future, all subsequent dividends will be reviewed quarterly and declared by the board at its discretion.

conwaysimonOdds & Sods: WHO, Des Moines afternoon driver Simon Conway pulls off a triple play today. In addition to doing his 9:00 am – 11:00 am show on WMT-AM, Cedar Rapids (Iowa) and hosting his 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm program on WHO, Des Moines, he will fill in on Joe Pagliarulo‘s syndicated “Joe Pags Show.”

February 2016 PPM Analysis: News

| March 31, 2016

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

kinosian (2)LOS ANGELES A news item posted yesterday (TALKERS, Wednesday, 3/30) indicated that Hubbard Broadcasting-owned news outlet WTOP, Washington (D.C.) reigns as the country’s leading biller for 2015.

Further data from BIA/Kelsey notes that three other all-news facilities placed in the top ten: WCBS-AM, New York at #5; Chicago sibling WBBM-AM (#6); and co-owned WINS, New York at #9.

As a follow-up, and especially in light of the exceptionally intriguing, highly-charged presidential contest, we present a thorough overview to see how news stations performed in PPM-markets in the most recent (February 2016) ratings period.

Facilities that rank in the top 20 in a PPM market (6+, February 2016) comprise the following news scoreboards.

Nielsen Audio only releases audience estimates for stations that subscribe to its services; owing to that reason, ratings stats in this exclusive TALKERS analysis are limited to outlets that pay Nielsen Audio for its data.

An asterisk (*) designates stations that are “news” most of the day and “talk” the remaining hours.

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Where Will You Be When the Lights Go Out?

| November 10, 2015

By Howard B. Price
ABC Television Network
Director, Business Continuity

 

pricehowardbwriterNEW YORK — As I write this, the New York sun will give way to dusk – and at 5:27 pm ET, New York will mark exactly 50 years since the Great Blackout of 1965.

As The New York Times reported, the outage – triggered by the failure of a relay at a Canadian power station – was the result of a cascading failure across the northeast power grid. Systems were overloaded – and in some cases, automatically shut down – plunging New Jersey, New York and New England into darkness for as long as 13 hours. Some 30 million people across 80,000 square miles were impacted.

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Friday, May 1, 2015

| May 1, 2015

cumulus logoA Down First Quarter for Cumulus Media.  The numbers here are compared to the same period in 2014.  Cumulus Media reports 2015 Q1 net revenue dipped 7.2% on income of $271,079,000.  Revenue was down across the board at the company in the first quarter and here’s the breakdown: broadcast revenue was $251 million (down 7%) and digital revenue was $8.06 million (down 16.4%).  Political ad revenue was down 67.7% and a portion of the net revenue drop was due to an increase in the license fees and other category which rose 9.1%.  Breaking down the broadcast revenue a bit further, local and national spot sales were down a bit – 3.6% and 2.4% respectively – but network revenue sank 13% on income of $86.7 million.

radioonelogoRadio One Down 4.8% in Q1.  Urban media operator Radio One reports a down first quarter of 2015 on income $105.8 million – a drop of 4.8%.  The company saw positive results in its cable TV advertising sector – up 9.9% — and that helped ease some of the decline in other sectors.  The radio broadcasting segment was down 9.4%.  Radio advertising was down 5.5% and digital advertising dipped 6.1%.  Meanwhile, in the category “event revenue & other” Radio One dropped a dramatic 82.6%, due in part to a timing issue relative to annual events.

jacobsmediaInside the Mind of the Sports Radio Fan.  Using data from its recent Techsurvey 11, Jacobs Media presents this analysis of the media usage of the typical sports radio fan.  Jacobs Media president Fred Jacobs says, “Since our Techsurveys expanded to more than a dozen formats several years back, it has afforded us the opportunity to study how fans of different formats differ when it comes to media and technology use.  No group of radio listeners typifies that more than sports radio partisans.  In their quest to find a good game, up-to-date info, fantasy sports, draft information, gossip and rumors, these savvy fans use a lot of different media options.”  Some of the media habits of sports radio fans that the survey highlights center around the smartphone.  Sports radio P1s are very frequent texters and they stream audio and video on a more frequent basis than P1s of other radio formats.  For more, see the full story here.

cookehollandYES-YOU-CAN Sell Rush Limbaugh.  Media consultant Holland Cooke presents some tested means of selling the “controversial” leading news/talk radio host – Rush Limbaugh.  As Cooke points out, just because there’s been some backlash against Limbaugh’s show and his affiliate stations doesn’t mean stations can’t find sponsors for the show.  After, as Cooke observes, “This guy moves product.”  In this piece he offers some thoughts on whom to prospect, how to write spots that work and how storytelling can work in your favor.  Read it here.

harrisonmichael5-15Michael Harrison to Do 60-Second Daily Feature on Media for Boston Herald Radio. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison has entered into an agreement with the Boston Herald to write and perform a weekly 60-second feature titled “Michael Harrison on the Media” beginning Monday (5/4) that will be dropped into the pioneering online station’s programming flow several times a day as well as its growing network of terrestrial partners.  In it, Harrison explores the direct connection between media and the human condition – past, present and future – commenting on the impact of changing communicationsbostonheraldradio logo technology on society and culture.  According to Harrison, “I love the idea of being connected with such a forward-thinking organization as the Boston Herald and its ground-breaking media station, Boston Herald Radio.  Creating one of these tight little pieces each week helps sharpen my insights and ability to express them and just like my weekly, longform podcast ‘Up Close and Far Out’ on Podcast One, it gives me the opportunity, at this seasoned stage in my life, to dabble in speculation about the broader scope of media outside the radio industry itself for a worldwide consumer audience of ‘media freaks.’  What fun!”  Boston Herald Radio Network executive producer Tom Shattuck tells TALKERS, “I am thrilled to have these exclusive commentaries by Michael Harrison running on our platform!”  To hear an installment of “Michael Harrison on Media” please click below.

      MH-On-the-Media-1.mp3

2015 NYC 150Spectrum of Talk Radio Programming to Be Addressed on “Variety, the Spice of Life” Panel at Talkers New York 2015.  At the Talkers New York 2015 conference taking place on June 12, talk personalities from a variety of styles of programming will discuss the industry, their roles in it, and the future of talk content when they appear on the “Variety the Spice of Life” panel.  Moderated by TALKERS general manager of radio operations David Bernstein, the panel will feature: Mike “Bax” Baxendale, morning co-host at classic rock-formatted WAQY “Rock 102,” Springfield, MA; Dr. Joy Browne of Genesis Communications Network; Tony Bruno, WIP-FM, Philadelphia; Thom Hartmann of WYD Media; Doug Stephan of Stephan Multimedia; and Larry Young, WOLB, Baltimore.  This panel will present hosts from disparate backgrounds and radio formats, including a rock jock appealing to listeners immersed in rock and pop culture; the industry’s longest-running radio psychologist; a season sports talk pro; a progressive host with a multi-disciplined background; a nationally syndicated morning talk generalist; and an urban personality working mornings and heavily involved in the community on a local station.  Bernstein says, “This will be an exciting panel to moderate – there is so much more to talk radio than one would think having it always described in the media as just a bunch of conservative white men talking politics.”  Talkers New York 2015 takes place on Friday, June 12 at the India House Club in New York City’s financial district.  Space is limited, so register today by calling 413-565-5413.  For the full agenda, please click here.

podcastone logoPodcastOne Platform to Host Bossip Podcast.  Bossip.com is billed as the “premier online destination for African American popular culture and entertainment news.”  Now, it is partnering with PodcastOne to produce the “Bossip Presents: Don’t Be Scared” podcast.  A press release says, “The weekly podcast is a viciously funny conversation between Bossip’s awkward, quirky and at times terrifyingly honest trio, Bossip staffer-hosts David Dennis, Jason “Jah” Lee and Danielle “Danni” Canada.  PodcastOne chairman and CEO Norm Pattiz comments, “Bossip.com has built a great digital platform that hits the right points of humor and news in entertainment gossip.  This new podcast extends their site to the rapidly growing audio-digital platform, and provides a strong content addition to our roster of websites who have turned to podcasting as an impactful way to communicate with their loyal audience.”

alphamedia logoDone Deal: Alpha Closes on Coast Radio and Free Lance-Star Stations.  There are seven more radio stations officially in the Portland-based Alpha Media fold after the closing took place on the deals with Coast Radio Company and Free Lance-Star Radio.  As previously reported when the sales were announced, Alpha gets three California signals from Coast: adult contemporary-formatted trio KUIC, Vacaville, KKIQ, Livermore, and KKDV, Walnut Creek.  And from Free Lance-Star it acquires: country WFLS and talk WNTX in Fredericksburg, Virginia; CHR WVBX, Spotsylvania, Virginia; and classic rock WWUZ, Bowling Green, Virginia.   Alpha chief Larry Wilson says, “We are very fortunate to be able to work with such great employees at all of the stations.  Each cluster is exceptional and brings its own unique attributes to the company, allowing us to build a diverse and dynamic culture.”

Odds & Sods.  Talk radio personality Leslie Marshall joins the iHeartRadio platform as her podcast is nowmarshallleslie being featured there.  Marshall also announces she’s begun writing a blog for Blue Nation Review and has penned her first column titled, “It’s 2015 and Sexism Is Alive and Well in Clinton Coverage.”…..Getting a national presence is WINS, New York weekend news anchor David Weiss who has two features that will be distributed by America’s Talk Radio Network.  The five-minute “News for You” show features Weiss’ take on the world and national news and the two-minute “Slice of Life” is a more offbeat take on daily life…..In Seattle, Ed Ronco is the new local host of “All Things Considered” on KPLU.  He’s been with the station for two years and also hosts a weekly travel segment titled, “Going Places.”

srnCapitolGangSalem’s Capitol Gang.  Posing for a shot at Salem Media Group’s reception at the U.S. Capitol on Thursday evening (4/30) are (from l-r): Salem Radio Network host Dennis Prager, Townhall.com news editor Katie Pavlich, hosts Bill Bennett and Mike Gallagher.  The event was to honor freshmen members of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House.  It was also attended by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and U. S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX).

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  “Free Talk Live” with hosts Ian Freeman and Mark Edge add newfreemanedge affiliates to their roster including: KIXZ, Amarillo, Texas; Chattanooga market trimulcast WSDT, WEPG, and WSDQ; KTUI, Sullivan, Missouri; and KAZZ, Parowan, Utah and its Cedar City, Utah K253BU at 98.5 FM…..The Marilu Henner show is added to the program schedule at: KTUI, Sullivan, Missouri; WGGH, Marion, Illinois; WIMS, Michigan City, Indiana; KHUC-FM, Pine Bluff, Arkansas.

talkersten logoBaltimore Protests and Violence Top Talkers TenTM.  The week of protests, violence and questions about the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody were all facets of the most-talked-about story of the week.  Coming in at #2 on this week’s Talkers TenTM was the 2016 presidential prospects.  At #3 was scrutiny of the operations of the Clinton Foundation followed by the Supreme Court’s hearing of arguments in the case of four states with anti-gay marriage statutes at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

| March 3, 2015

kinosianmikePPM Analysis: Sports Talk.  TALKERS managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian presents a report on the performances of sports talk-formatted stations based on data from the January 2015 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio.  In this analysis is a chart of the performances of subscribing stations in shares over the past six surveys; fluctuations from the previous Holiday 2014 survey; comparisons from January 2014; market rank over the past three surveys; plus a comparison including the all-news format.  View this entire report here.

lopezchadLopez Relocates to Cumulus New York as Market Manager. Fourteen-year general sales manager of CBS Radio New York all-news siblings WCBS-AM and WINS Chad Lopez is appointed vice president and market manager of the cross-town cluster owned by Cumulus Media. “Chad is a highly talented and experienced sales leader behind several legendary brands in New York City radio,” comments Cumulus senior vice president Gary Pizzati. “Relationships he has built and the respect he has developed with the ad community over the last 15 years are unprecedented. This was clearly the next and natural step in his career. We are extremely excited to have Chad on our team and as a member of the Cumulus family.” According to Lopez, “Cumulus presented me with a tremendous opportunity to further my career and run an iconic group of stations in my hometown. I couldn’t be more excited and ready to take on this challenge.” A former U.S. Navy officer, Lopez previously was director of sales for CBS Radio New York, and for five years was Dom Camera and Associates’ senior media buyer. Among the stations comprising Cumulus Media New York are hot AC WPLJ (1.9, #18, 6+, January 2015 Nielsen Audio PPM), talk WABC (1.6, #19), and country WNSH (1.5, #20).

cumulus logoCumulus Q4 Revenue Flat; Up 1.4% for Whole of 2014.  The release of fourth quarter and 2014 financial numbers and president and CEO Lew Dickey’s investor’s conference call took place yesterday.  While the fourth quarter started out pretty good for Cumulus Media, Dickey notes that – much like the rest of the industry – revenue began to tail off leading up to Thanksgiving and stayed that way through December.  Net revenue (pro forma) for the fourth quarter was up 0.3% and up 1.4% for the entire year of 2014.  Dickey also said during the call that the company has ceased its search for an EVP of radio after determining that it does not need to fill that position.  Jon Pinch held the title until he left to run the company’s Atlanta station group.

FAIRHold2015Ninth Annual ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ Event Scheduled for April 15 and 16 – Broadcast Spaces Filling Up Fast.  The annual Washington, DC radio row produced by the Federation for American Immigration Reform will take place on Wednesday and Thursday, April 15 and 16 at the Phoenix Park Hotel on Capitol Hill.  As in the eight years prior, the event will consist of talk hosts from across the country broadcasting live, debating immigration policy while interviewing members of Congress, law enforcement officials, experts, activists and citizens who live along the border.  FAIR says that “this year’s event will focus on the aftermath of President Obama’s amnesty and his continued abuse of executive power, the GOP’s internal battle over how to tackle immigration and the ongoing border crisis with its implications for national security risks.”  Event general manager and FAIR spokesman Bob Dane comments, “Politicians fear and respect the amplitude of talk radio.  Hold Their Feet to the Fire speaks for millions of radio listeners and, this year, will prove that the mic is mightier than Obama’s pen.”  For talk show hosts wishing to take part in this year’s radio row, reservations are required and hosts/producers should call now.  There are only a handful of spaces left and they will go quickly.  There is no cost to attend and all technical engineering and ISDN lines are provided by Silver Lake Audio of New York, the official engineering firm for Hold Their Feet to the Fire.  Congressional guests, activists, high-profile media personalities, and immigration experts will be in attendance and available throughout the event for wall-to-wall interviews.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison will also be on hand presenting a non-partisan perspective on the First Amendment.  Contact Bob Dane or Anna Giaritelli for more information at 202-328-7004 or bdane@fairus.org or agiaritelli@fairus.org.

kiroKIRO-AM, Seattle Announces Lineup Changes.  At Bonneville’s Seattle sports talker KIRO-AM “710 ESPN Seattle,” the weekday lineup is being tweaked to add new talent to the daytime programming.  The station announces a new late morning program called Justin & Gee Show with co-hosts Justin Myers and Gee Scott.  Myers has co-hosted “The Nightwatch” since July 2014 and Gee is best known for his tenure as co-host of “The Barbershop.”  At the same time, Tom Wassell makes the transition from nights as he teams up with Bob Stelton and Dave “The Groz” Grosby on the newly re-titled “Bob, Groz & Tom Show.”  Wassell has been serving with the station as producer of several KIRO-AM shows over the past three years.  Program director Mike Salk adds that Scott will continue to host “The Barbershop” with former Seahawks cornerback Marcus Trufant and ex-Husky running back Terry Hollimon in its new timeslot at 7:00 pm.  The station’s programming, dubbed Seattle Sports Radio Network, is also heard on stations in Eastern Washington including KGA, Spokane; KJOX, Kennewick (Tri-Cities market); and KBBO, Yakima.

TNM news logoPot Is Hot.  From a radio listener’s standpoint, the angles that can be addressed with regard to the changing attitudes about marijuana in the U.S. include the medical, business/industrial, recreational, and legal, to name a few.  One such radio show – “The National Marijuana News” – has been doing that since June of last year and is gaining traction in the audio media realm.  The producers of TNMNews call it “an unbiased and balanced one-hour, weekend show that delivers information that is of interest to the U.S. public…TNMNews helps audiences discern fact from fiction to help listeners unscramble the often perplexing details.”  The program was developed by seasoned news producers and media industry professionals and “takes a deep dive beyond the headlines to explore breaking cannabis news, including field segments, interviews, and roundtable discussions.  Guests who are experts in alternative health, yoga, the law, and more generate compelling discussions that not only clarify misconceptions but also present an opportunity for listeners to become more knowledgeable.”  The producers of the show have teamed with AdLarge Media to market the radio show.  AdLarge’s Jessica Sherman, senior director, affiliate marketing, says, “In addition to the many legal marijuana-related products and retailers, there are a plethora of ancillary advertising categories, such as holistic practitioners, yoga instruction classes, green grocers, green products, fast food restaurants, and more.  TNMNews is like aficionado or hobby programs that focus on cigars, cars, travel, etc.”  For broadcasters confused about how to present unbiased news about marijuana to radio audiences and how to maximize revenue opportunities from this fastest growing industry in America, TNMNews executive producer Martin Wagmaister says, “It’s no longer a debate ‘for or against.’  Americans are looking for answers that will help them with their personal decisions.  Our goal at TNMNews is to present all the accurate information available, and to explore every viewpoint out there.”  For broadcasters who may be a bit skittish about the topic in general, the show producers say TNMNews and its topic are fully acceptable under the laws that govern radio through the FCC.  TNMNews producers conducted extensive research and as long as the show does not promote the selling or buying of marijuana and is focused on disseminating news and information around the topic, TNMNews has the legal right, and the freedom, to talk about marijuana.  Recent affiliates of the show include KBYR-AM, Anchorage and KFAR-AM, Fairbanks.  Check out show demos here.

Mark Wainwright Subbing for WSYR’s Joe Galuski During Latter’s Recuperation.  WSYR, Syracuse morning personality Joe Galuski is still on the mend battling Non-Hodgkins Lyphoma and talk pro Mark Wainwright is scheduled to continue subbing for him through April 17.  Also filling in for Galuski when Wainwright is now available is George Kilpatrick.  Wainwright says Galuski is “in good spirits and thoroughly expects to be back on the air in the coming months.”  Wainwright can be reached at thatvoice@verizon.net.

Odds & Sods.  Multi-media star Lionel takes the stage this Saturday, March 7, at 7:30 pm for his show at The Cutting Room in New York City.  It’s an evening of Lionel’s patented (out)spoken word and “the immaculate twanglionel of bluegrass” with his trio Lock ’n Load.  For tickets and more information click here…..Nationally syndicated morning show Mike & Mike – ESPN Radio’s Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg – will celebrate their 15th anniversary from the Downtown Disney stage at Walt Disney World in Orlando on Friday, March 6.  The live show will be open to the public and doors will open at 5:00 am…..KFWB, Los Angeles “The Beast 980” reaches an agreement to carry the MLS’ LA Galaxy games.  In addition to streaming every game on “The Beast 980” mobile app, a minimum of 20 games will be broadcast on the station beginning this Friday, March 6, the Galaxy opens the season at the StubHub Center against the Chicago Fire…..Genesis Communications-owned Sports Talk Florida enters into an agreement with the NASL Jacksonville Armada FC to share content and live play-by-play audio streaming.

patrickTXdanpatrickTalking to Texas’ Top Elected Officials.  Texas talk show host Matt Patrick – heard on iHeartMedia’s KTRH and KPRC, Houston and KFXR, Dallas – is pictured here having lunch with Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick (who is a talk radio pro himself and owner of KSEV, Houston).  During his two-day visit to Austin, Matt Patrick also interviewed Texas Governor Gregg Abbott and other Texas lawmakers.

Netanyahu to Address Congress, Iran Nuclear Program, Net Neutrality Issue, Homeland Security Department Funding, President Obama’s Amnesty Order, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Hillary Clinton Email Probe, LAPD Skid Row Killing, and Leonard Nimoy Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/2).  The controversy over Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress; the growing threat of Iran’s nuclear program; ongoing debate over the potential effects of the FCC’s net neutrality policy; the issue of funding the Department of Homeland Security beyond this week; the political battle over President Obama’s amnesty order; the potential candidates for president in 2016; the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of personal email for State Department business; the shooting death of a man by LAPD in the city’s Skid Row district; and the death of actor Leonard Nimoy were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Cool Job Opportunity.  We are looking for a quick-witted, comedic-minded entertainer who has natural observational skills and a background in stand-up comedy, comedic acting, improv and natural timing.  If your friends think you’re hysterical, you’re the funniest person at any event, or you have a twisted view of life, this job’s for you.  Send video links of your work and resume to: comedysearch15@gmail.com.  An Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO).

The Best Talk Station Ever: What the Radio Industry Can Learn from WMCA, Circa 1980

| August 25, 2014

By Bill Brady
Futures & Options, Inc.
President/CEO

 

bradybillwmca - oldJUPITER, FL — WMCA was the “little engine that could.”  In the 60s, it battled WABC for “top 40” supremacy in New York.  By the 70s, WMCA was “New York’s Conversation Station” and was giving legendary talk and variety station WOR a run for its money.  As a 5,000 watt station at 570, WMCA was always punching above its weight class against 50,000 watt flamethrowers WABC and WOR in the sprawling New York metropolitan area.

In 1980, WMCA had assembled a veritable All Star team of talk talent in the prime of their careers.

The irascible Bob Grant did mornings followed by Sally Jessy Raphael (9:00 am -12:00 noon), Barry Gray (12:00 noon – 2:00 pm) and Bruce Williams (2:00 pm -4:00 pm) middays, Barry Farber in afternoon drive (4:00 pm – 7:00 pm), the CBS Mystery Theatre early evenings, Candy Jones, Mets baseball and Islanders hockey at night and Larry King overnight.  Art Rust, Jr. hosted Sports Talk on weekends.

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Friday, July 11, 2014

| July 11, 2014

weismanstevenDid SiriusXM Have the Right to Fire Anthony Cumia?  A week after satellite broadcaster SiriusXM terminated Anthony Cumia of the “Opie & Anthony” show, TALKERS legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes about the underlying legal aspects of the case.  Weisman explains that – although he hasn’t read Cumia’s contract – most performers who sign a contract these days have a morals clause in their deals that give the employer the right to fire employees who do things while off duty that reflect badly on the company.  Weisman offers some history of the morals clause and explains what employees finding themselves in Cumia’s situation might have in their arsenal with which to fight back.  Read Weisman’s entire piece here.

kfbk logoKFBK, Sacramento Gives Gubernatorial Nominee Talk Show Appearance.  In an effort to do what Clear Channel Sacramento VP of programming Ken Charles says is “covering the biggest stories and the most relevant news for Sacramento and California,” news/talk KFBK welcomed Republican gubernatorial nominee Neel Kashkari to the airwaves, allowing him to host a three-hour show last night (7/10) from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm.  Charles said, “We invited both Kashkari and Governor Brown to host a show with us to provide them a unique forum to speak with the citizens of northern California.  We look forward to Kashkari’s appearance tonight and hope we hear from the governor very soon.”

wrightadamWHYN, Springfield to Name Adam Wright Morning Drive Co-Host.  Two weeks after parting company with longtime morning drive co-host Brad Shepard, Clear Channel Springfield, Massachusetts is prepared to announce Adam Hamada Wright will join co-host Bo Sullivan on air for AM drive duties.  Wright operates Westfield, Massachusetts based Advertus Media, a creative and media buying agency, and will continue that business in addition to his radio work.  He says, “WHYN is a heritage news/talk station and I look forward to carrying on an incredible tradition of broadcasting there.  This new additional adventure is the culmination of a lifelong dream of hosting a talk show and the ability to return to radio after 14 years.  I will forever be grateful to Sean Davey and Jerry Hyland for coming up with this insane idea and I will honor those who came before me on this storied station, especially Brad Shepard who I consider an amazing talent and friend.”

kwqw logoDianna Kelly Joins ’98.3 The Torch’ in Des Moines.  Taking on the role of news director for Cumulus Media news/talk outlet KWQW “98.3 The Torch” is Dianna Kelly.  Cumuluskellydianna states that the “experienced broadcast journalist and talk personality has held on-air positions for stations in Kansas City, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Fresno, Jacksonville, Grand Rapids, and suburban Nashville.  She has been honored with six Associated Press awards for her feature reports.”  Kelly says, “What a pleasure to be working with the brightest minds in radio!  The future of radio is here and it’s at Cumulus.  I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of it.”

nielsen logoRound Three of June PPM Data Released.  The third of four rounds of June 2014 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus.  The survey period was May 22 through June 18.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page of RadioInfo.com here.

costadinoDino Costa Moves Show Base to NYC.  Two months after the former SirusXM sports talk personality Dino Costa began his own internet-based sports talk show at dinocostashow.com, he announces he’s moving his base of operations from Cheyenne, Wyoming to New York City later this summer.  Costa explains on his website that he initially hated life in New York when he first went to work for SiriusXM but, to his own surprise, realized he missed the City after moving back to the West and settling in Cheyenne.  Costa says his show will be MIA for a week when he and his family make the move back to New York.

coxalanOdds & Sods.  Mixing it up a bit is Premiere Networks as the syndicator brings rock/talk WMMS, Cleveland and classic rock WDTW, Detroit personality Alan Cox in to sub for Andy Dean on the “America Now” program on Monday, July 14.  Though Dean is decidedly conservative, Cox likes to operate more in the pop culture/lifestyle arena.  This should be an interesting listen…..A Manhattan street was named for thebrooksstan longtime WINS, New York reporter who passed away last year at age 86, just two weeks after filing his last report for the station.  The New York Daily News reports that the corner of W. 43rd St. and 10th Avenue will bear the name “Stan Brooks Way” as a tribute to the journalist who worked for WINS for almost 50 years.  Brooks and his wife lived near the intersection…..CBS RADIO’s KNX, Los Angeles continues its “KNX On Your Corner” series with a live remote broadcast from northern Orange County on Friday, July 25.  The station says the broadcast will include a series of special reports focusing on important issues in the cities of Brea, La Habra, Yorba Linda and Placentia.  Additionally, local civic leaders will appear as special guests throughout the day as KNX gives listeners insight into the unique attributes of the area.  “Adding to the local flavor of the day, KNX will broadcast live from Arthur’s Coffee Shop in La Habra.  Free refreshments will be offered and the public is invited to meet the people behind the microphones of Southern California’s only all-news radio station.”

freemanedgeTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Update.  “Free Talk Live” featuring Ian Freeman and Mark Edge is added to new affiliate stations WAMT, Orlando; KMET-AM, Banning, California; WGRV, Greeneville, Tennessee; WNNG-FM, Unadilla, Georgia; and WFPA, Ft. Payne, Alabama…..Doug Stephan’s “Good Day” program adds 10 new affiliate stations including KLAV, Las Vegas; WELE, Ormond Beach, Florida; KVNA, Flagstaff, Arizona; and WMXB, Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Child Immigration Crisis Top News/Talk Story This Week.  The influx of minor immigrants from Central America crossing the Southwestern borders and the immigration policy controversy associated with it was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week of July 7-11, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Following at #2 was the ISIS campaign in Iraq.  At #3 was the Israeli-Palestinian violence and at #4 was the state of President Obama’s approval ratings.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week.  It is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

| March 26, 2014

sportstalkboston logoInside SportsTalkBoston.com.   The surprising exit of longtime WEEI sports talk personality Glenn Ordway last year and the departure some months later of station programmer Jason Wolfe saw big changes in the Boston sports talk scene.  Those changes are becoming even more high profile with the debut of Ordway’s new multi-platform sports talk destination wolfejasonSportsTalkBoston.com.  Regular TALKERS readers are aware Wolfe is signing on with the venture to serve as chief content officer.  In this exclusive story, Wolfe goes into a bit more detail about not only what the future will bring to SportsTalkBoston.com, but he writes about Ordway’s place in the hearts and minds of Boston sports media fans and how that plays into the execution of the content.  As Wolfe says, “Personality breeds engagement.  Engagement breeds loyalty.  Loyalty breeds ratings and ratings breed revenue.  That is the formula hosts and shows need to embrace today if they want to win.”  Read this entire piece here.

wtoplogoWTOP, Washington Takes ‘Top Biller’ Crown for Fourth Year Straight.  The annual top radio billers report from BIA/Kelsey is out and although Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP, Washington dropped a little over $1 million in billing from 2012 to 2013, at a reported $63.5 million it still was the nation’s #1 biller, beating Clear Channel’s CHR KIIS-FM, Los Angeles by about $2 million.  KIIS-FM had a good year, adding almost $5 million to its revenue total to report in at $61.6 million.  Rounding out the top 10 for 2013 were:  Clear Channel’s CHR WHTZ, New York “Z100” at $51 million; CBS RADIO’s all-news WCBS-AM at $50 million; Clear Channel’s AC WLTW, New York “106.7 Lite FM” at $45.5 million; CBS RADIO all-news WINS at $45 million; Clear Channel’s hot AC KBIG, Los Angeles “104.3 MYfm” at $44.5 million; CBS RADIO’s sports talk WFAN, New York “The Fan” at $43 million; CBS RADIO’s alternative KROQ, Los Angeles at $42.8 million; and CBS RADIO’s all-news WBBM, Chicago wraps the top 10 at $42 million.

mckinneygregEntercom Loosens Load on ‘ESPN Upstate’ Personality Greg McKinney.  In addition to his work at Entercom Greenville’s sports talk duo WORD-AM/WYRD-AM “ESPN Upstate” where he’s host of “In The Huddle with Greg McKinney” from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm, McKinney had been doing mornings on sister AC WSPA “Magicespnupstate 98.9.”  (He also handles anchoring the “College Football Today” pregame show on rock WTPT “93.3 The Planet.”)  The company adds “Murphy, Sam and Jodi” on WSPA for morning drive and relieves McKinney of the daily double duty.  Entercom Greenville VP and market manager Steve Sinicropi comments, “Our sports coverage in terms of talent, teams and signal coverage is unmatched in this market.  We are thrilled that the person who will become the local face of ‘ESPN Upstate’ was already in our stable.  Putting Greg McKinney on ESPN with a live and local show, not only plays to his strengths and talents, but it provides our clients with an additional and valuable touch point to connect with a highly sought after consumer.”

entercomEntercom Sets Milwaukee and Madison Managers.  Former Cumulus Mobile vice president/market manager Chuck Sullivan is tapped for similar duties at Entercom Milwaukee, while Entercom Madison director of sales Ed Schulz is elevated to vice president/market manager of that Wisconsin market.  They succeed Michael Keck (see next story), who was overseeing both markets.  Regional president Michael Doyle comments, “Entercom is proud to add two of the strongest people in radio to our leadership team.  Chuck and Ed bring with them a wealth of experience, unique perspectives and a passion to make their powerful brands and their clusters not only the strongest in the state, but in all of radio.”  Meanwhile, Sullivan remarks, “Entercom Milwaukee has some of the most powerful and iconic brands from [CHR WXSS] ‘Kiss-FM’ to [hot AC WMYX] ‘Mix’ to [WSSP] ‘SportsRadio 1250.”  Schulz adds, “Madison is a special place and Entercom has distinct brands that not only connect with the community, but deliver results for our clients.  I am proud of what we have accomplished in Madison and am excited for the future.  Before joining Cumulus, Sullivan spent nine years as managing partner of Wilmington, North Carolina’s Ocean Broadcasting.  Schulz joined Entercom two years ago and will be responsible for adult alternative WMMM “Triple M,” classic hits WOLX, and hot AC WMHX “Mix 105.1.”

keckmichaelCBS RADIO Twin Cities Names Keck VP/DOS.  As referenced in the story above, sales pro Michael Keck moves northwest from Entercom Milwaukee to the Twin Cities where he’s the new vice president/director of sales at CBS RADIO Minneapolis, effective April 7.  The company says that in this role, he will be responsible for overseeing sales in the market for news/talk WCCO, adult hits KZJK “104.1 Jack FM,” and country KMNB “BUZ’N@102.9.”  Keck will work closely with Michael Weiss, CBS RADIO’s president of sales and report to Mick Anselmo, senior vice president and market manager for the Minneapolis cluster.  Keck comments, “I am thrilled to be coming back to the Twin Cities.  It’s a tremendous privilege to be associated with two powerful FM stations and one of America’s most legendary and successful AM brands in WCCO.  I can’t wait to be a part of the CBS RADIO team in this vibrant radio and media marketplace.”

envisionnetworks newSun Broadcast Group to Rep Envision Networks’ Spanish Content.  An exclusive ad sales agreement has been struck between Sun Broadcast Group, Inc. and Envision Networks for Sun to rep Envision’s Spanish-language inventory that includes: CNN en Español, Fox Deportes and AccuWeather ensunbroadcastgrouplogo Español.  Envision president and CEO Danno Wolkoff states, “Jason Bailey and his team at Sun Broadcast will increase our presence in the Spanish advertising arena.  They will represent our programming, services and online audio product lineups to Hispanic advertisers and maximize the scope of our network’s reach and frequency and the amount of impressions it delivers for clients.”

pretzellodebbieBeasley Honors Pretzello with President’s Club Award.  This in-house sales award for the calendar year 2013 goes to Beasley Broadcast Augusta senior account executive Debbie Pretzello for the third time.  The President’s Club consists of Beasley sales executives inducted annually for their abilities to meet or exceed individual and market goals, attain accreditation from the Radio Advertising Bureau as Certified Radio Marketing Consultants (CRMC), and over-deliver their clients’ expectations on a daily basis.  One account executive in each market in which Beasley operates is named to the Club monthly.  At year’s end, each market names a winner based on overall performance.  Additionally, the individual with the highest ranking from this notable pool of top-performers is named Beasley’s “President’s Club Overall Winner” for the previous calendar year.  Beasley EVP of sales Heather Monahan says, “We are thrilled that Debbie Pretzello continues to lead our Augusta sales team and is recognized for her third time as our ‘Overall President’s Club Winner.’  Retaining talent in our business is of the utmost importance to Beasley.  Debbie forges ahead year after year, raising the bar for our sales organization.  Her ability to win multiple awards signifies her vast talent for delivering results for her local clients.  Debbie Pretzello earned the title ‘Overall President’s Club Winner’ again this year by providing ROI for her customers, that’s something that makes us very proud.”

robbinsmarkleyOdds & Sods.  When the New York Yankees’ season kicks off on April 1, Spanish-speaking listeners in the New York area will be able to hear the games in Spanish on Univsion-owned WADO, New York.  CBS RADIO’s WFAN-AM/FM – the new rights holder for Yankees games, agrees to the deal that will have WFAN producing the games with Rickie Ricardo and Francisco Rivera in the booth for the Spanish-language broadcast…..WMBD, Peoria afternoon duo “Robbins & Markley” – (pictured here) Scott Robbins (l) and Jamie Markley (r) – are sitting in for the vacationing Jim Villanucci on Alpha Broadcasting’s KXL, Portland this week…..The weekly two-hour “Both Sides Now” program – hosted by Mark Green and featuring talk media personalities including: Ron Reagan, Katrina van den Heuvel, Eliot Spitzer, Bob Shrum, Jonathan Alter, Mary Matalin, Erick Erickson, David Frum, Rich Lowry and Torie Clarke – signs up with Focus 360 to handle ad sales for the program.

elswickettingerTackling Big Issues.  KARN-FM, Little Rock program director and afternoon drive host Dave Elswick (right) poses for a photo with former Israeli Ambassador Yoram Ettinger (left) after two spoke on Elswick’s program about Israel and the country’s complex relationship with the U.S., Iran and the Palestinians.  Ettinger served as Minister for Congressional Affairs at Israel’s Embassy in Washington.  Elswick will be speaking on the “Big Picture” panel at Talkers New York 2014 in New York City on Friday, June 20.

ObamaCare Criticism, Michelle Obama in China, Hague Nuke Summit, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Fate, Mid-Term Elections/ 2016 Presidential Race, NSA Bulk Data Collection Policy and Nick Cannon ‘Whiteface’ Controversy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/25).  Scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; coverage of First Lady Michelle Obama’s trip to China and her speech about America’s discriminatory past; President Obama’s comments about Russia and a possible NYC nuclear threat made at the Nuclear Security Summit at the Hague; the possible fate of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370; prognostication about the fall mid-term elections and the 2016 presidential race; the fate of the NSA’s bulk data collection policy; and musician/TV personality Nick Cannon’s “whiteface” photo controversy were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Not the Same-Old, Same-Old

| February 10, 2014

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

 

LOS ANGELES — Tremendous temptation surfaces in the years of profiling talk radio personalities to make an occasional obligatory James Brown-inspired reference.

Specifically, a justifiable desire eventuates to compare certain talk hosts to the late entertainer (as opposed to the CBS-TV and former Sporting News Radio broadcaster of the same name) who – in addition to “The Godfather of Soul” was often dubbed the “hardest-working” person in show business.

Not that those in other genres of this medium are slackers – Ryan Seacrest represents the definitive textbook example of a supremely ambitious music radio star – but a select group of talk radio hosts do the improbable of overseeing multiple long-form weekday programs (often back-to-back).

That handful of Herculean talk realm performers has at various times included, among others, the likes of Thom Hartmann, Rusty Humphries, Lars Larson, Michael Smerconish, and Ed Schultz.  Some such as Alan Colmes and Sean Hannity have had and continue to have a daily radio/daily TV mix.

As laudatory as that most assuredly is, someone in Tampa took conscientiousness and mindboggling to an even more impressive level.

Read More

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

| December 24, 2013

TALKERS Magazine Compiles News/Talk Radio’s Most Talked-About Stories and People of 2013.  As is customary at year’s end, the research editors of TALKERS magazine compile the most-talked-about stories and people of the just-concluded 12-month period.  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “2013 was an extremely colorful year with a diversity of subjects and people being discussed.  There was the usual mix of partisan politics, foreign affairs, economic policy and, of course, the shockingly unexpected such as the Boston Marathon tragedy.”  Casey continues, “The President of the United States has always been the most talked about person going back to the very beginning of this publication 24 years ago and George Bush’s involvement in the first Persian Gulf War.  Barack Obama, like his predecessors in the modern age of talk broadcasting, has not left talk show hosts wanting for hot material on a daily basis.”

Stories

1)   ObamaCare Rollout
2)   Benghazi Attack Investigation
3)   IRS Accused of Targeting Conservative Groups
4)   Debt Ceiling/Govt. Shutdown/Sequestration Battle
5)   NSA Domestic Spying/Edward Snowden Case
6)   Boston Marathon Bombing
7)   GOP 2014 and 2016 Strategy
8)   Gun Legislation Debate
9)    Iran Nuke Threat
10)  Syria Civil War
11)  Fed Stimulus Policy/Dow Surpasses 16,000
12)  DOJ Journalist Investigations
13)  Immigration Reform
14)  George Zimmerman Trial
15)  Afghanistan Security Withdrawl
16)  Egypt Violence/Instability
17)  N. Korea Nuke Threat
18)  Detroit Bankruptcy
19)  Pope Francis Replaces Benedict
20)  SCOTUS Gay Marriage Ruling

People

1)  Barack Obama
2)  John Boehner
3)  Nancy Pelosi
4)  Harry Reid
5)  Hillary Clinton
6)  John Kerry
7)  Rush Limbaugh
8)  Ted Cruz
9)  Chris Christie
10)  Paul Ryan
11)  Kathleen Sebelius
12)  Edward Snowden
13)  Vladimir Putin
14)  George Zimmerman
15)  Trayvon Martin
16)  Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev
17)  Kim Jong Un
18)  Pope Francis
19)  Ben Bernanke
20)  Eric Holder

Radio Industry Sees Major Developments and Changes in 2013.  The combined editorial staffs of RadioInfo and TALKERS magazines have posted the 10 biggest stories of importance to the entire radio industry (music and talk) that took place in 2013.  They are as follows in order of importance:

1)      Nielsen Acquires Arbitron
2)      Developments in Emergence of the Connected Car
3)      Network Sports Talk Radio Growth Explosion
4)      Radio Company-Label Deals/Digital Royalty Rate Issue
5)      Cumulus Acquires (Dial Global) WestwoodOne
6)      Growth of Digital Music Service Providers
7)      Limbaugh and Hannity Station Realignment Deals Negotiated
8)      FCC Announces AM Band Revitalization Strategy
9)      Progressive Talk Outlets Continue to Disappear
10)   Country Music Format Enjoys Resurgence

brooksstanIndustry Mourns WINS, New York Senior Correspondent Stan Brooks.  Legendary WINS, New York newsman Stan Brooks passed away yesterday (12/23) at his home at age 86.  He’d been serving as senior correspondent for CBS RADIO’s WINS, New York – the station he’d been with for the past 50 years.  Brooks started working for the station in 1962 when it was a top 40 station and stayed with it through its transition to all-news.  WINS director of news and programming Ben Mevorach says of Brooks, “Like every challenge he has ever faced, Stan met this final one with the same class, dignity and humility that defined every day of his almost 87 years on this earth. There will never be another one like him.”  EVP of operations for CBS RADIO Scott Herman adds, “Not only was Stan Brooks a walking encyclopedia on NYC politics he was one of the finest, decent and most dignified men who ever lived.  We were lucky to have him on 1010 WINS for the past 51 years and we will never ever forget him.”  Read about Brooks’ life and career in a piece from CBS New York here.

wrcn logoJVC Broadcasting Prepares for Launch of ‘Long Island News Radio 103.9’ on Thursday.  Long Island-based JVC Broadcasting announces the lineup for its soon-to-be former rock outlet WRCN, Riverhead, New York branded “Long Island News Radio 103.9.”  TALKERS reported two weeks ago that the station’s studio will be located in the terminal of the Long Island MacArthur Airports – a physical reminder of the local intentions of this new station for the Long Islanders who use the facility.  Now to the lineup: morning drive is being hosted by Jay Oliver; the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon show is Fox News Radio’s Brian Kilmeade and Friends; local host John Gomez is handling the 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm slot followed by the local, one-hour show “Breaking it Down with Frank Mackay.”  Premiere Networks superstar Sean Hannity is in the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm slot and Cumulus Media NetworksMark Levin airs from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

bowenrobbyRobby Bowen Upped at CBS RADIO’s ‘105.3 The Fan.’  Sales pro Robby Bowen is promoted to general sales manager for CBS RADIO sports talker KRLD-FM, Dallas “105.3 The FAN.”  Bowen joined CBS RADIO Dallas-Fort Worth in February 2005 as an account executive for the station, which was at that time KLLI-FM.  During his time there he has served as local sales manager and most recently was senior account director.

wjfkholdendannyChanges in Middays at WJFK-FM, Washington Raise Questions.  According to Dan Steinberg’s column in the Washington Post, the midday lineup at CBS RADIO’s sports talk WJFK-FM, Washington, DC is in flux after the station announced Holden Kushner will be moving to other duties including weekends, fill-in and participating in Washington Nationals coverage.  Kushner was paired up with Danny Rouhier who reportedly will host the show solo today (12/24) and then be on vacation through December 30.  What happens after that is uncertain.  The station is expected to announce plans for the 10:00 am to 2:00 pm daypart in the New Year but already the news is cause for speculation.  With the arrival of Don Geronimo from the company’s KHTK, Sacramento earlier this fall (currently hosting evenings), DC radio fans are wondering if he’ll return to a daytime show on the station.  Geronimo and former partner Mike O’Meara held down afternoon drive at the station when it was a hot talker from 1991 through 2008.

walshmattMatt Walsh Exits WLAP, Lexington; Sean Hannity to Air in PM Drive.  Writer and talk show host Matt Walsh announces that his contract with Clear Channel’s WLAP, Lexington, Kentucky is up and as the station is filling the afternoon drive slot with Premiere Networks star Sean Hannity, he’s leaving AM/FM talk radio for good.  In a post on his blog, Walsh explains that although he has nothing but good things to say about his time at WLAP, he’s going to focus on his blog that he says has “between three and five million people” reading it every month.  As for his time at WLAP, he says, “WLAP took a chance on me, gave me a show, gave me the freedom to handle the topics in my own way, and surrounded me with a highly intelligent and passionate supporting cast.  I’m grateful for that, as these things are certainly not a given in this industry.”

nab logoNAB Acquires Two Events: CCW and SATCON.  The National Association of Broadcasters announces it has purchased the assets of the Content and Communications World (CCW) and Satellite Communications Conference and Expo (SATCON) events from JD Events.  The two events are held annually in November and are co-located at the Javits Convention Center in New York City.  In a press statement, the NAB says that “CCW is the leading media, entertainment and communications technology event of its kind in New York with a focus on content creation, management and delivery technologies.  SATCON offers education and exhibits serving companies in the satellite-enabled communications and content delivery industry.”  EVP of NAB Conventions and Business Operations Chris Brown comments, “We have made these additions to the NAB event family with the goal of growing both the attendee and exhibitor base of what has emerged as an important East Coast venue for the content community.  We look forward to developing this event and serving the unique needs of this very important media market.”

nielsen logoNieslen Audio December PPM Data Released.  The December 2013 PPM ratings data is being released by Nielsen Audio – currently numbers for the first 12 markets have been made public – and that information can be found at the site of TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo.  Check out the main page for managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian’s “Ten Takeaways” here or go straight to the full ratings data here.

musciovecchioOdds & Sods.  Premiere Networks-distributed 24/7 Comedy – the 24-hour, all-comedy format – will ring in the New Year with a countdown of the top 247 comedy bits from the top 247 comedians.  The program is compiled by staff and listeners who voted on 24/7 Comedy’s Facebook page or called the laugh-line at 218-Chuckle.  The countdown will air nationwide all day New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day and will feature Chris Rock, Louis C.K., Bill Cosby, George Carlin, Aziz Ansari, Bill Engvall, Jerry Seinfeld and Rodney Dangerfield…..KFMB, San Diego weekend program “It’s Your Money and Your Life” picked up three first place awards from the San Diego Press Club for “Excellence in Journalism.”  The show currently originates from La Jolla’s prestigious La Valencia Hotel and airs Saturdays from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm, hosted by Richard Muscio (left) and Joe Vecchio (right).

Thursday, September 12, 2013

| September 12, 2013

sullivantomTaking Care of Business: Fox News Radio’s Tom Sullivan.  Thirty-three-year media pro Tom Sullivan is heard daily across the nation on Fox News Radio, seen daily on TV’s Fox Business Network, and still has an enormous presence in his “home” market of Sacramento on heritage signal KFBK.  TALKERS managing editor and West Coast bureaufoxnewsradio chief Mike Kinosian digs into the mind of the broadcaster who may surprise some in the industry when he says, “I can do political ‘sound,’ without doing a show on just politics.  If a presidential election campaign is going in full swing, of course we will talk about what the candidates did and said, but I do less politics than most other talk show hosts do.  It is what many PDs say they want, but I honestly do not know why more talk radio talents are not taking my approach.”  Sullivan says perceptions about talk radio in general and his show in particular can be changed to be appealing to different demographics.  That’s why he gives preference to young women callers. He states, “If women hear other women on a show, they will think it is a show for them.  When a young person hears another young person on the show, they will think it is a show for them.  I want younger listeners – particularly women – to know that this is a show made for them.”  Read Mike Kinosian’s entire piece on Fox News’ Tom Sullivan here.

wfan logoIt’s Official: Yankees Move to WFAN-AM/FM, New York Next Season.  Though the reported terms — $15 million per season over 10 years – is not indicated in the press release from the New York Yankees, the fact that the Bronx Bombers will be heard on both WFAN-AM and WFAN-FM for the foreseeable future is a fact.  It also lays to rest any speculation that CBS Radio would try to keep the Mets and air one team’s games on one station and the other’s game on the other.  As Yankees general partner Hal Steinbrenner notes, the huge 660 AM signal will be good for the team, “We are extremely excited to have reached an agreement with CBS Radio.  The paramount consideration was how our fans would best be able to hear our games.  Having the Yankees on WFAN-AM/FM provides listeners in the New York metropolitan area and beyond with superior broadcast quality and vast territorial signal strength.”  As part of the deal, CBS Radio has acquired Spanish-language Yankees broadcasts rights on a multi-year basis.

crawfordbillBill Crawford Resigns from TRN COO Post.  As the reorganization of Talk Radio Network continues, chief operating officer Bill Crawford submits his resignation to CEO Mark Masters and the board.  Stating that he understands the nature of the immediate tasks that face the Talk Radio Network companies and that decisions must be implemented quickly with board approval and without delay, Crawford leaves his positions as board member and corporate officer immediately.

americaweekendlogo‘America Weekend’ Adds Rob Carson to Saturday Broadcasts.  Envision Radio Networks’ “America Weekend” nationally syndicated live news/talk weekend program announces radio personality and comedy writer Rob Carson becomes part of the program hosting the Saturday 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm portion of the program starting Saturday, September 14.  Carson joins veteran broadcasters Paul Harris and Turi Rydercarsonrob along with Chief Stormcaster John Wetherbee for what the network is billing “the next generation of weekend talk” — designed to maintain revenues from ‘old school’ brokered programming while giving listeners fast-paced live content each weekend.  Washington, DC-based Carson has worked at Cumulus Media’s hot AC WRQX where he was a high-profile afternoon personality.  He’s also appeared on news/talk WMAL, Washington; WIBC, Indianapolis; KMOX, St. Louis, and has served as a comedic contributor to hundreds of hosts across America including Rush Limbaugh.  Carson states, “I’m thrilled to be a part of ‘America Weekend.’  Weekend talk radio needs to be more of a destination covering the headlines and relevant events talk radio leaves on Friday afternoon and picks up Monday morning.”  Program executive producer and creator Kipper McGee adds, “Rob’s insights, quick wit and comedic skills will be a great addition to the ‘America Weekend’ family.  With Paul, Turi and now Rob, we are well on our way to defining profitable weekend talk radio.”

kilmeadebrianOdds & Sods.  Fox News personality Brian Kilmeade did a special broadcast on his Fox News Radio program “Kilmeade & Friends” today at 11:00 am ET.  Kilmeade’s show aired a simulcast with London radio host Iain Dale of LBC Radio.  The two discussed Syria and fielded questions from both UK and US callers…..WINS, New York news anchor Brian Carey was attacked Monday night by a homeless man he had befriended.  The New York Daily News reports Carey suffered broken bones in his jaw and eye socket but that he is recovering and expects to return to work soon.  The man, still being sought by police, may have taken Carey’s cell phone and wallet…..CBS Radio puts its New York TV and sports radio outlets together for a special program before this evening’s Jets-Patriots game.  CBS 2 and WFAN-AM/FM will present “Rivalry Renewed,” a live one-hour pregame show on CBS 2 that will airboomercarton prior to the station’s local broadcast of the game.  It will be hosted by CBS 2 sports anchor Otis Livingston in Foxboro, Massachusetts, as well as WFAN morning show hosts Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton (pictured at right), who will join CBS 2 sports anchor Steve Overmyer in the CBS 2 studio in New York…..ESPN Radio kicks off its “College GameDay” tour this Saturday, September 14 in College Station, Texas, for the highly anticipated SEC matchup of the two-time defending national champion Alabama, ranked #1 in the country, against Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel and #6 Texas A&M.  Coverage from College Station on ESPN Radio begins at 12:00 noon ET with hosts Ryen Russillo, Trevor Matich and Brad Edwards…..New Jersey Broadcasters Association president and CEO Paul S. Rotella, Esq., starts his sixth year as the association’s chief executive.  Rotella says, “I still feel the enthusiasm and excitement of my first day on the job.  It has been a wonderful experience working with our great New Jersey broadcasters and I am blessed to have the dedicated leadership and guidance of a diverse and talented Board of Directors, as well as the loyalty, hard work and experience of my staff. I continue to be very grateful to the Board of Directors for placing their faith in me and for allowing me the privilege to represent them.”

Syria Chemical Weapons Deal, Iran Threats, ObamaCare Implementation, 9/11 Anniversary, and Weiner Loses NYC Primary Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/11).  The Syria chemical weapons issue and the U.S. case for military action; threats to the U.S. and the West from Iran; the implementation of the Affordable Care Act; the anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11; and former congressman Anthony Weiner’s loss in the New York City mayoral primary were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

| April 17, 2013

arbitronArbitron Shareholders Approve Acquisition by Nielsen Holdings N.V.  At yesterday’s special meeting of stockholders, Arbitron’s shareholders voted to approve the acquisition of the company by Nielsen Holdings N.V.nielsen logo with 98.99% of the shares voting in favor of the agreement and plan of merger.  These shares represented approximately 77.11% of total outstanding shares of Arbitron common stock as of the March 8, 2013 record date for the Special Meeting.  As previously announced on December 18, 2012, Arbitron Inc. and Nielsen Holdings N.V. entered into a definitive agreement for Nielsen to acquire all of the outstanding common stock of Arbitron for $48.00 per share in cash.  The deal remains subject to certain regulatory approvals, including expiration of the Hart-Scott-Rodino antitrust waiting period, and customary closing conditions.

DG-logoHorizontalDial Global Closes on Recapitalization.  Dial Global first announced plans to enter into recapitalization of its existing credit facilities, other obligations and equity interests back on March 4.  Now, it reports it has entered into an Amended and Restated Credit Agreement with General Electric Capital Corporation, as administrative agent and collateral agent on a “First Lien Credit Agreement,” which, after taking into account a $15 million paydown, consists of a term loan of $136 million and revolving credit commitments of approximately $23 million, $18 million of which is drawn.  The maturity date for that is October 21, 2016.  DG also states it has entered into a Priority Second Lien Credit Agreement with Cortland Capital Market Services, LLC, as administrative agent and collateral agent, Blackrock Kelso Capital Corporation, as syndication agent and as the lender party for an additional $31.5 million term loan facility, with a maturity date of July 21, 2017.  The Company issued to Blackrock penny warrants to purchase 7.5% of the Dial Global common stock.  The Second Lien Credit Agreement was a restructuring of the existing approximately $93 million in second lien obligations and was accomplished by amending and restating the Second Lien Credit Agreement to provide for a $30 million term loan with a maturity date of April 16, 2018 and exchanging approximately $63 million in remaining obligations under the prior Second Lien Credit Agreement for a new Series A preferred stock of the Company.  Lenders received penny warrants to purchase 12.0% of the Company’s common stock and 12.0% of the outstanding shares of Series B preferred stock, Series C preferred stock and Series D preferred stock.  Those will be subject to forfeit, in whole or in part, if the Dial Global retires all or a portion of the $30 million second lien term loan and the Series A preferred stock held by such 2L lenders prior to certain specified dates.  As part of these agreements, stockholders of preferred stock and warrants were granted certain corporate governance rights, including the right to elect three directors to the Dial Global’s new eight-person board of directors.  The three newly-elected directors are Brian Pope, Marshall Merriman and Ethan Underwood.

smerconishmichaelWashington Post’s Erik Wemple Examines Smerconish Departure from WPHT.  In a piece in the Washington Post, media writer Erik Wemple takes a look at Michael Smerconish’s exit from longtime home base WPHT, Philadelphia for his new employer SiriusXM and, more specifically, Smerconish’s unwillingness to be defined as a dyed-in-the-wool conservative Republican and the CBS Radio station’s move to remain true to the conservative talk radiowpht logo philosophy.  Smerconish debuted this week on the satcaster’s POTUS channel – politics of the United States – that serves those interested in politics in general as opposed to the conservative and liberal talk channels the service also offers.  Smerconish is not afraid to criticize what he believes are faults with both the news/talk format or the country in general, telling Wemple, “The problem for the country, I think, is that too many [people] cannot differentiate between entertainment and substance.  The country is paying a price for this brand of polarized media…Too many politicians are taking their cues from people with microphones.”  Wemple spoke with WPHT GM Marc Rayfield who says Smerconish’s philosophical change over the past few years veered from the station’s objective.  He says there’s little passion for “middle-of-the-road.”  He also says Smerconish “didn’t serve our core values.  We wanted to remain conservative…We had been talking about the direction of the radio station for some time and we came to a mutual conclusion that we were not necessarily the best fit for each other.”  Michael Smerconish will deliver the State of the First Amendment address at the Talkers New York 2013 conference in New York on Thursday, June 6.  Read Wemple’s piece here.

bohannonjimRadio Legend Jim Bohannon Celebrates 30 Years in Syndication.  The lifelong radio broadcaster has been in national syndication with Dial Global and its predecessors for 30 years as of Friday, April 19 when he celebrates that mark.  Jim Bohannon began with the old Mutual Radio Network as a reporter and then started filling in for Larry King on his nationally syndicated program.  The network was acquired by Westwood One and Bohannon took over for King’s late night slot in 1993.  Bohannon recently re-signed with Dial Global (which acquired Westwood One) and will be honored with the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from TALKERS magazine at the Talkers New York 2013 industry convention in New York City on Thursday, June 6.

stephandougDoug Stephan Adds a Dozen Affiliates.  Doug Stephan’s Stephan Multimedia reports the company has picked up a dozen new affiliates for the company’s radio offerings including Stephan’s “Good Day” nationally syndicated morning program, the weekend “Talk Radio Countdown Show” and others.  New affiliates include: WNZS, Bangor, Maine; KTPA, Prescott, Arizona; WLBK, DeKalb, Illinois; KLEY, Wellington, Kansas; KMAS, Shelton, Washington; KVPI, Ville Platte, Louisiana; KXAR, Hope, Arkansas; KKLE, Winfield, Kansas; KOAL, Price, Utah; KUGN, Eugene, Oregon; WICO, Ocean City, Maryland; and WTIM, Taylorville, Illinois.

mmgradionet logoMedia Management Group Expands into Network Syndication; Warren Eckstein’s Pet Show Joins Initiative.  Longtime WOR, New York and WOR Radio Network personality Warren Eckstein returns to national syndication via Media Management Group’s new MMG Radio Network division.  The syndicator reports Eckstein’s “The Pet Show” launched on Saturday, April 6 on more than 100 stations. ecksteinwarren Additionally, Warren’s “Pet Tip” can be heard daily on more than 200 stations.  MMG also announces the new network will be led by Alan Eisenson, MMG’s EVP of business development.  MMG states, “Eisenson has a 23-year background successfully programming news/talk radio stations in New York, Denver, Las Vegas and, most recently, Clear Channel’s news/talk properties in Sacramento and San Francisco.”  On the new initiative, Eisenson says. “As the industry environment continues to evolve, the opportunity presented itself to acquire some of the format’s top talent in various niches.  We’re thrilled to have seized that opportunity.  We’re honored to be working with an accomplished pro like Warren Eckstein, and excited by the array of top caliber talent to come as we expand the network.”  The MMG Radio Network says it will eventually include 12 hours of programming produced weekly and tailored for stations’ weekend lineups.  The programs will also include a broad roster of digital elements, making them completely customizable for listeners to consume exactly when and how they wish.

schruckwindremSeton Hall University Radio Station Honors Alumni Glenn Schuck and Bob Windrem.  Two alumni of Seton Hall University’s radio station WSOU, South Orange, New Jersey “The Loudest Rock” were honored at the station’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony this past Saturday.  WINS, New York reporter Glenn Schuck (left) and NBC News producer Bob Windrem (right) were inducted during WSOU’s 65th anniversary dinner, which drew more than 200 people together to celebrate the station’s birthday.  Some of the attendees included station alumni Bob Ley, Anthony Delia, Bill Rock, Full Metal Jackie, Pete Tauriello, Christina Stoffo, Frank Garrity, Mike DePippa, Joe Guzick, Mark Mitchell, and Gary Susalis, among others.

Boston Marathon Bombing Aftermath, Gun Legislation Proposals, and Teen Rape/Suicide Cases Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/16).  The aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing was the dominant story on news/talk radio across the country on Tuesday.  Other stories that registered included proposals for gun legislation and the high-profile cases of young teens allegedly raped who then committed suicide.  The top stories are the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

November News Nuggets

| December 20, 2012

By Mike Kinosian
TALKERS
Managing Editor/West Coast Bureau Chief

LOS ANGELES — Given the extraordinary nature of what has been happening of late, it is highly appropriate to follow up our recent massive talk radio overview with a similar piece on all-news operations.

There is however one obvious difference: Talk can claim tonnage honors, whereas news is one of radio’s most sparsely-represented formats.

Each PPM market has at least one talk outlet within in its top 20 (6+, November 2012), compared to news accomplishing the same feat in only 15 of the 48 electronically measured metros for a conversion rate of just over 30%.

Read More

Friday, November 30, 2012

| November 30, 2012

November PPMs Generally Good to Talk Radio.  You can call it the “election bounce” if you like but some of the news/talk stations that did well in Arbitron’s November 2012 PPMs were ramping up in October and before.  Plus, the fall has traditionally been a good ratings period for news/talk whether there’s an election or not.  Of course, Hurricane Sandy played a major factor for stations in the New York and Middlesex-Somerset-Union markets.  Some of the stations worth noting include CBS Radio’s New York all newsers WCBS and WINS which jumped from a 3.8 to a 5.3 and a 4.0 to a 4.8, respectively.  Clear Channel’s Los Angeles talk juggernaut KFI continues to thrive inching up to a 5.3 from a 5.1 the month prior.  Cumulus Media’s Chicago news/talker WLS bounced back up to a 4.1 after posting a 3.7 in October.  Likewise in Dallas-Fort Worth for Cumulus as WBAP-AM/FM pops up a half share to a 3.9.  Clear Channel’s KTRH, Houston rose from a 3.4 in October to a 4.1 in November.  In Washington, DC Cumulus’ WMAL-AM/FM jumped from a 3.4 to a 4.2.  In Philadelphia, Merlin Media’s WWIQ hopped from 2.7 in October to a 3.6 in November.  Cox Media’s WSB, Atlanta – which has been maintaining healthy numbers in the PPM for some time – vaults from a 6.8 to an 8.3 this month.  Cumulus’ Detroit talker WJR rose more than a full share from a 4.8 to a 5.9.  Public radio outlet KUOW, Seattle claimed the top spot in the November PPMs with a 5.5 share.  Clear Channel’s KFYI, Phoenix went up a full share from a 4.9 to a 5.9.  Mixed results in Baltimore as Hearst’s WBAL fell from a 5.7 to a 5.0 while WCBM rose from a 3.0 to a 3.8 share.  Good news for pubcaster KOPB, Portland which went from a 5.3 to a 6.2 while Alpha Broadcasting’s KXL jumped from a 4.8 to a 5.5 share.  Clear Channel’s WPGB, Pittsburgh leaped a full share from a 6.9 to a 7.9 share while its Sacramento sister KFBK also enjoyed a significant rise from a 5.6 to a 6.8 share.  In the New Jersey market of Middlesex-Somerset-Union, Townsquare Media’s New Jersey 101.5 (WKXW, Trenton) posted an outstanding 8.6 – up from a 6.2 in October – with help, no doubt, from Hurricane Sandy.  TALKERS’ sister publication RadioInfo has all the PPM data including Mike Kinosian’s analysis of the numbers.  You can find that here.

Laura Ingraham Back on Radio “Soon.”  That’s what the author, pundit and talk show host told Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly.  During one of Laura Ingraham’s regular appearances on Fox News Channel with O’Reilly, he questioned her status in the talk radio world and she told him she will be back on the radio with another syndicator (she left Talk Radio Network at the end of her contract on Tuesday) very soon.  “I’m close to signing a new deal.  I’m very, very close.  But I’ll be back on the air probably in the next several days.”  Ingraham told O’Reilly she informed TRN she would be “terminating the deal” months ago and that it was time to move on.

Talk Host Tom Becka to Exit KRWK, Fargo “101.9 Talk FM.”  Talk radio pro Tom Becka has been serving as program director and talk show host at KRWK, Fargo since it flipped from rock to talk in March of this year.  Becka tells the Fargo Forum he’s returning to Omaha where he’s worked for years and has family.  Becka says any notion his departure has anything to do with the performance of the new format is not correct.  “The station has grown every month.  My experience with Radio Fargo-Moorhead was great and I’m proud of what we accomplished here in a short time. To say I’m leaving because of ratings would be erroneous.”  Radio Fargo-Moorhead is selling its cluster of stations to Midwest Family Communications.  The FCC has approved the license transfers but according to one source, the actual takeover may not happen until the spring.

Todd Schnitt Show to Leave Flagship WFLA, Tampa.  Compass Media Networks nationally syndicated talk host Todd Schnitt Tweets that his program – airing live from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm – will be off longtime flagship WFLA, Tampa after the December 18 program.  Schnitt further Tweets that the national syndication continues and is expanding under syndicator Compass.  No word what CC has in mind for afternoons at WFLA.  Currently, it delay-broadcasts Premiere NetworksSean Hannity from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm but may have plans to move Hannity to the live PM drive slot.

Jim Isabella Named Evening Host at WNIR, Akron.  Journalist Jim Isabella has been doing fill-in work for WNIR for the past two years.  He now takes over the evening show formerly hosted by the late Tom Erickson who died on November 3 after a long illness.  Isabella most recently worked for the Akron Beacon Journal.   Station owners Bob and Bill Klaus note in a press release that Isabella, who was a frequent caller to the show hosted by the late Howie Chizek who passed away suddenly in June, made them more aware of his talents during his fill-in time in addition to receiving positive response from the station’s listeners.

Odds & Sods.  Watch for Premiere Networks nationally syndicated talk host Andy Dean from the network’s “America Now with Andy Dean” on Fox News Channel’s “America’s News HQ” this Sunday at 4:45 pm ET as he sits in a panel discussing the latest headlines in news and politics…..SiriusXM brings the Major League Baseball winter meetings to listeners via its MLB Network Radio and SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio channels.  The meetings take place in Nashville December 2 through 6 and the satcaster will have front office experts Jim Bowden, Jim Duquette and Steve Phillips there hosting various programs with other special expert guests including former pitcher Jeff Nelson.

Bubba the Love Sponge Offers Reward for Arrest of Animal Abuser.  After hearing about the case of a dog found in the Bradenton, Florida area  that had been attacked by someone with an axe, radio star Bubba the Love Sponge put up $1,000 of his own cash on top of the $500 being offered by the Animal Network for information leading to the arrest of the person responsible.  After hearing about the case, Tampa-area philanthropist Gary Kompothecras of the legal and medical referral service 1-800-ASK-GARY added another $1,000 to the reward to make the total $2,500.  Bubba reports to TALKERS that the dog, named Axel, is recovering from his injuries and will be available for adoption once he is healthy again.

Los Angeles Broadcaster David Courtney Dies at 56.  The Southern California radio community is mourning the loss of omnipresent “big voice” David Courtney, who passed away on Thursday, November 29.  Many considered Courtney the voice of Los Angeles sports, since for the past 23 years, he was the public address announcer of the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings.  He performed similar duties for MLB’s Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for 18 years and NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers since October 2008.  Greater Los Angeles area radio listeners knew him for his frequent traffic and sports updates as part of the Total Traffic Network.  Over the last 20 years, Courtney was heard on a number of major Los Angeles radio outlets including KABC and KSPN, as well as KOLA in the Inland Empire.  His other radio background included stints at Houston’s KULF as executive producer of sports programming and that market’s KTRH, where he was weekend news anchor before landing a nightly, three-hour news/talk program.  New York City-born Courtney moved to Los Angeles in 1963 when his father, Alan, became president of MGM Television.  According to Courtney’s Twitter feed, he needed to miss Wednesday night’s Clippers game against Minnesota owing to the fact he was in the hospital awaiting an angiogram.  The 56-year-old Courtney is survived by his wife, Janet Fisher-Courtney.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  Cumulus Media NetworksMichael Savage is picked up at Cumulus O&Os WABC, New York and WMAL-AM/FM, Washington for the 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm shift.

‘Fiscal Cliff’ Battle Remains Top Talk Radio Topic for Second Straight Week.  The struggle between the Obama administration and GOP congressmen to deal with impending tax hikes and spending cuts was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Benghazi investigation tied with the Susan Rice-GOP leaders meetings.  Following at #3 was the Israel-Gaza tensions with the clean-up of Hurricane Sandy at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

Eyes and Ears on the Storm

| November 21, 2012

By Mike Kinosian
Talkers 
Managing Editor/West Coast Bureau Chief

LOS ANGELESAmerican voters are conditioned every four years to believe that the presidential ballot they are about to cast will be the most crucial such decision they will make in their entire lifetimes.

That was certainly a dominant theme of the 2012 campaign, yet less than 10 days before Election Day, something else began percolating that had approximately 20% of the country hitting the “Pause” button to politics: “Sandy.”

Innocuous as the name sounds, “Sandy” unfortunately arrived as advertised and now, weeks later, harsh reality remains in its wake.

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Thursday, November 8, 2012

| November 8, 2012

WMAL-AM/FM, Washington Names Larry O’Connor AM Drive Co-Host.  Breitbart.tv editor-in-chief Larry O’Connor is named the new co-host of the “Mornings on the Mall” AM drive show on Cumulus Media’s WMAL-AM/FM, Washington.  Program director Bill Hess announces O’Connor – who’s been sitting in on the morning show a lot lately – partners up with Brian Wilson effective immediately.  Hess states, “Larry began his career in the theater business.  The opportunity to marry his talents as an entertainer to our daily discussion of subjects of interest to our audience makes this an exciting move.  Larry’s new media experience and expertise is icing on the cake!”  O’Connor says of his new gig, “I am thrilled to be joining Brian Wilson, producer Heather Smith and the entire ‘Mornings on the Mall’ team that Bill Hess has assembled at the legendary WMAL in Washington, DC.  Starting my day having a conversation with the people of this community and then continuing my vital work as an editor for the Breitbart News Network is truly a dream come true and I can’t wait to hit the ground running.”

Howard Stern Plays Games with Radio Hall of Fame.  Robert Feder writes in his Time Out Chicago column that iconic radio personality Howard Stern is keeping the National Radio Hall of Fame guessing as to whether or not he will show up at the Chicago institution on Saturday when he is inducted with the class of 2012.  Stern has been vocal – okay, downright nasty – about having been passed over four times in the past after having been nominated.  Hall chairman Bruce DuMont tells Feder, “We would hope that Howard would show up.  He certainly deserves to be in the Radio Hall of Fame.  We’ll be delighted to welcome him and honor him.  I hope that he rises to the occasion.  We think we did the right thing, and I hope he does the right thing, too.”  Stern’s presenter will be Chicago Bears defensive tackle and longtime fan Amobi Okoye.  The induction ceremony takes place at the Museum of Broadcast Communications Saturday evening.  Also being inducted this year are “Fresh Air” host Terry Gross; WLW, Cincinnati legend Gary Burbank; Ron Chapman, Dallas radio icon; Jack L. Cooper, radio’s first black disc jockey (deceased); Art Laboe, Los Angeles oldies pioneer from Hot 92.3 FM; and Luther Masingill, Chattanooga, Tennessee radio great for more than 70 years.  Regarding Stern’s keeping the Hall of Fame in the dark about whether or not he will show up and accept the honor, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “He did the same thing to TALKERS when we presented him with the Freedom of Speech Award several years ago.  Of course we gave him the award anyway and his friend, the very gracious and eloquent actor George Takei, showed up and accepted it on his behalf.  We understand that being the eternal ‘outsider’ is part of Howard Stern’s schtick – an act that has contributed greatly to the culture and business of this industry.  But Howard has also been pretty nasty, aloof and the first to complain when his ‘king-of-all-media-arse’ is not kissed above and beyond his receiving fame, honors and enormous compensation and, frankly, it is an act that is getting old…especially during these difficult days for radio when it is facing a number of existential crises and threats.  Radio needs its stars on both sides of the microphone to step up the plate.  C’mon Howard!  This business has been very, very good to you.  Be a mensch and start giving back a little bit.  Do the right thing. Show up in Chicago and let them know you’re coming.”

Radio Small Part of CBS Corp; Moonves & Co. Still Bullish on Radio Though.  During yesterday’s conference call after the release of CBS Corp’s Q3 numbers, president and CEO Les Moonves indicated the company is still very high on radio – especially news and sports – even as the radio division was the sole dull spot in the company’s third quarter report.  The division is down 5%.  Speaking about the acquisition of Merlin’s WRXP, Moonves stated, “We took a significant step in our major market strategy with the acquisition of 101.9 which now gives us another strong signal in the nation’s number one market.  It has been renamed WFAN-FM and is now the FM home for what is already the number one sports radio station in the country.  This new station will also be a key part of the CBS Sports Radio Network that will be launching nationwide in January.”  When asked about the role of radio in the long term for CBS, Joe Ianniello, executive VP and CFO said “I think from a radio perspective, it’s absolutely producing content.  Sports and news – it’s key to the overall CBS strategy.  We have a large-market focus, so I think it fits very nicely.  Obviously, we like the margins.  Obviously, these brands are going online, and it’s living outside of just the local region.  So we’re very bullish on radio.”

CBS Announces New York TV/Radio-Promotes Phone Bank to Benefit Red Cross.  CBS Corporation’s two New York television stations – WCBS-TV, New York and WLNY, Riverhead, New York (Long Island) – in concert with the company’s radio stations (WCBS, WINS, and WFAN) will organize a phone bank on Thursday, November 8 from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm to seek donations for the American Red Cross to help with the organization’s relief efforts.  Red Cross representatives will be on site at the CBS Broadcast Center accepting pledges  joined by CBS Radio and television personalities who have tirelessly brought coverage of the storm to residents across the Tri State area.  Additional members of the CBS family will also be present to lend a hand to the pledge drive.

WWRL, New York to Air Special “RL Cares” Program.  Access.1 Communications’ progressive talk outlet WWRL, New York will air a one-hour special broadcast on Friday, November 9 from 10:00 pm to 11:00 pm from its studios in New York City called “RL Cares” and hosted by Dr. Fritz Galette.  The clinical psychologist and on-air personality on “The Dr. Fritz Show” (Thursdays at 10:00 pm on the station) will host a program dedicated to health and social services available in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.  Featured guests will include representatives from the Office of Emergency Management and The American Red Cross. Both organizations will disseminate information on what services are available to WWRL listeners.  Station general manager Adriane Gaines says, “The impact that SuperStorm Sandy has had on the Tri State area is immeasurable. The economical and emotional toll of the storm has greatly impacted the daily lives of residents in the tri-state area.  After more than a week, many are still without power, homeless and living in shelters and unable to obtain gas for generators or to drive their vehicles.”

Bruce B. Demps to Exit Radio One.  After six years serving as regional manager (Atlanta/Philadelphia)/vice president of urban radio powerhouse Radio One, veteran broadcaster Bruce B. Demps will be leaving the company on November 15.  Demps tells TALKERS that his career has been “a great ride” and that he has been “truly blessed.”  He goes on, however, to say, “My plan is to retire unless something unforeseen at this time motivates me to get off the sofa and the golf course.  The past six years have been amazing but my career did not start with this company and in all likelihood it might not end with it.”  He can be emailed at brucedemps@gmail.com.  Demps is pictured here in a 2011 photo with Radio One chairperson and founder Cathy Hughes.

WSAU, Wausau, Wisconsin Talk Host Pat Snyder Loses State Assembly Bid.  And the conservative talk host tells the Wausau Daily Herald that he thinks his image as a right-wing talk show host actually hurt, rather than helped, his campaign.  Pat Snyder lost to 35-year-old school teacher Mandy Wright by 900 votes.  Snyder tells the paper, “In the back of (the voters’) mind, they thought the old, radio conservative host would show up.”  During the campaign, Wright requested equal time compensation from Midwest Communications when Snyder remained on the air past the 60-day window.  The station granted her commercial time in response and Wright was happy with the arrangement.

Election Aftermath, Markets Tumble, Sandy-Affected Area Hit with Snow Storm, and Benghazi Investigation Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/7).  The aftermath of the re-election of President Obama; the financial markets take a big drop; Sandy-ravaged parts of the Northeast are hit with an early snow storm; and the Benghazi investigation were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Merlin Meltdown: Lessons Learned

| July 19, 2012

By Holland Cooke
MCVAY/COOK & ASSOCIATES
News/Talk Specialist

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Admittedly, I had a tough time hearing these stations objectively, for two reasons:

• By the time I heard ‘em in-car, I had been predisposed by terms like “abortion” and “crib dead” in published reviews.

• Having programmed WTOP, Washington for seven years, I’m an aficionado, a tough grader for this format.

These conspicuous flops should NOT suggest that news doesn’t belong on FM, where some 80% of Time Spent Listening now occurs, and with music radio’s days now numbered.  Heck, WTOP is the USA’s top biller, something no other station outside NY/LA/Chicago ever accomplished.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

| July 18, 2012

Merlin Media Ends FM News Operations in New York and Chicago.  Industry watchers are beginning the post-mortem on Merlin Media’s all-news formats at WIQI, Chicago and WEMP, New York after yesterday’s announcement by the company that it is flipping the two signals to classic hits and alternative rock, respectively.  In making the announcement, Merlin president Randy Michaels stated, “It was a difficult decision to make, but after a year of minimal audience engagement, coupled with the format’s inherent expense, I felt it was time to make a change.”  Perhaps the most obvious challenge to the endeavor was the fact that in both Chicago and New York, Michaels’ stations were going up against entrenched news stations in markets that didn’t seem to be crying out for more radio news, primarily because they are already being served by well-respected and well-listened-to all-news outlets.  WBBM-AM/FM, Chicago and WCBS and WINS in New York were tough opponents to challenge in the radio news game – not to mention the public radio stations in both markets that have loyal audiences and dedicate resources to covering local news.  The ratings for the two stations seemed to bear that out.  The initial concept of trying to reach women with a news product fell flat.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison told the Chicago Tribune, “When you say, ‘This is for women and here’s what we’re talking about,’ it can come across as insulting.  It’s presumptuous.”  Harrison also told the paper, “To reinvent the wheel, when in fact the wheel is not broken, is difficult.”  He said the station’s focus on stereotypically female topics like cooking, fashion and child rearing also turned off listeners.  There are reports 27 staffers are out in Chicago with a similar number in New York, leaving a host of veteran radio news people looking for their next opportunity this morning.  Meanwhile, another wrinkle to this story pertains to industry rumors and speculation that Merlin had plans to eventually morph its New York and possibly Chicago all-newsers into traditional news/talkers.  The recent addition of Rush Limbaugh to Philadelphia property WWIQ after his departure from CBS Radio‘s WPHT had tongues wagging about the possibility of such a move happening in New York when Cumulus Media‘s contract with Premiere Networks for Limbaugh on WABC ends – especially with Cumulus developing Mike Huckabee (currently airing on crosstown competitor WOR) as a more “civil” alternative to Limbaugh.  This brings up another question: Are the Merlin moves to music just a temporary measure?

Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk Draws Intense Traffic to Talkers.com; Testament to Sports Talk Format’s Popularity.  The recently published Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk – The 100 Most Important Sports Talk Radio Hosts in America, has generated so much traffic to Talkers.com that – at times – navigation on the site slowed to a crawl, forcing the IT staff at Talkers.com to increase the site’s bandwidth to accommodate the visitors.  This massive interest in America’s sports talk radio personalities is indicative of the format’s popularity with both consumers and from within the media industry.  TALKERS VP/managing editor Kevin Casey states, “Sports talk radio is off-the-charts popular in so many markets across the country – reflecting the importance of sports in American popular culture.  The interest in the Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk from people working within the business is one thing, but the attention from consumers of sports talk and the rabid sports blogosphere is astounding.  The passion that exists for the format, the personalities, as well as the games and athletes themselves, shows why this talk radio genre is such an effective marketing tool for businesses at the local and national level.”  The 2012 Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk can be found here.

Cumulus Media’s WPRO, Providence Names Craig Schwalb Program Director.  Craig Schwalb comes to Cumulus Media’s news/talk WPRO and 99.7 (and sister WPRV) in Providence from SiriusXM where he served as senior director of talk programming.  He’s also worked at WKRK, Detroit; WNEW, New York; WRBZ, Raleigh; and EZ Communications, St. Louis.  He replaces Paul Giammarco who recently resigned from the station.  Cumulus SVP Mike McVay states, “We are excited to have Craig join Cumulus.  We want the freshest and best minds in the industry…and he is clearly among the best.”  Speaking about his new opportunity, Schwalb says, “The chance to program one of the country’s legendary radio stations, complete with great talent, a great news presence and great influence in a terrific city was a no brainer for me and my family.  I am looking forward to working with Providence market manager Barbara Haynes and of course John Dickey, Mike McVay, Jim Mahaney, and everyone at Cumulus.”

Recent Affiliate Adds Push America’s Radio News Network Past 300 Mark.  In fact, when combined with the TRN/Washington Times’ “America’s Morning News” program, the affiliate total jumps past 320 for the news programming offered by Talk Radio Network’s ARNN.  The content syndicator notes that recent affiliate additions in Columbus, Ohio; Phoenix; Memphis; Ft. Myers/Naples; Charleston, South Carolina; and others for the five three-hour news block programs are indicative of the strong demand for quality news-oriented radio content.

Talk Host Andrew Wilkow to Host Prime Time Show on TheBlaze.  The online TV network TheBlaze – a digital product of Glenn Beck’s Mercury Radio Arts company – announces SiriusXM talk personality Andrew Wilkow will host a new, one-hour news and talk show to debut later this summer.  TheBlaze says the exact start date and the name of the program will be announced later.  TheBlaze president and chief content officer Joel Cheatwood states, “TheBlaze is building a primetime lineup filled with both established talent and the voices of the future. Andrew Wilkow’s strong independence and ‘no sacred cows’ approach to the news, issues and events of the day are perfect fits for TheBlaze as we continue to expand our programming.”  TheBlaze notes it already produces three hours of prime time shows including “the comedy news show ‘The B.S. of A,’ the reality show ‘Independence USA’ and other programming throughout the day led by Glenn’s show, the news show ‘Real News’ and the kid’s show ‘Liberty TreeHouse.’ The network airs over 35 hours of original programming per week and will soon provide video content on a 24/7 basis.”

Talk Icon Larry King’s Internet TV Show Debuts.  Larry King’s new internet TV show – a 30–minute news and interview show – debuted last night with Seth McFarlane as his first guest.  The program is a joint venture between Hulu and Ora TV.  Ora TV is a digital venture being funded by Mexican media magnate Carlos Slim Helu.  In a statement about the new program, Larry King says, “I have always been driven to innovate, from my time on radio, to the first call-in show on national television to being an early adopter of online columns and Twitter…I love being able to interact directly with audiences and digital TV allows me to do this in new and powerful ways.”  This evening, King’s guest will be Meghan McCain with actor Matthew McConaughey on tap for Thursday’s show.

2012 Presidential Campaign, Summer Heatwave/Crops Threatened, Negative Economic Forecasts, Global Debt Crisis and Financial Markets Activity Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/17).  The 2012 presidential campaign; the nationwide summer heat wave and the threat to the corn and grains crops; negative economic forecasts; the global debt crisis and the financial markets activities were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, April 13, 2012

| April 13, 2012

Hubbard’s WTOP Retains Top Biller Status; Clear Channel’s News/Talk KFI, Los Angeles Jumps to #3.  For the second year in a row, Hubbard Broadcasting’s Washington, DC news juggernaut WTOP grabs the top biller title with $64 million billed in 2011.  According to BIA/Kelsey’s 2011 estimates, all news was a big money maker and CBS Radio had a number of winning horses in the race.  Its WBBM, Chicago came in at #4 billing $48 million and WCBS, New York followed at #5 taking in $47.5 million.  CBS’ WINS, New York was #8 with $42 million.  While Chicago market WBBM topped each of the New York-market all-newsers, it’s pretty impressive that CBS Radio billed $89.5 million between all-newsers WCBS and WINS.  Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s ratings and revenue news/talk giant KFI, Los Angeles was the only talk station to make the top 10, showing off the power of its high-cuming talk personalities – especially AM drive host Bill Handel and PM drive duo John & Ken – coming in at #3 billing $48.1 million (up from the #4 spot in 2010).  And sports talk cracked the top 10 as CBS Radio’s WFAN, New York rounded out the list at #10 billing $40.5 million.

A View Behind the Scenes at #1 Biller WTOP, Washington.  TALKERS TV recently visited the studios at Hubbard Broadcasting’s Washington, DC news operation WTOP.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison visits with WTOP program director Laurie Cantillo and news director Mitchell Miller as they show off the very high-tech, multi-platform and extremely well-staffed news operation (a whopping 120 employees) in the Nation’s Capital.  View the video in the TALKERS TV box on the right side of this page.

Court Strikes Down Ban on Political Ads on Public Broadcasting Outlets.  The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco has iced the ban on political and issues ads that could lead to a ton of such fare hitting the airwaves of pubcasters as the November presidential election approaches.  A 2-1 vote of the three-judge panel upholds the ban on advertisements for goods and services from for-profit companies.  But the decision is rocking the world of pubcasters – many of whom are not commenting publicly at this juncture – because they fear they will be, to a degree, pulled into the world of commercial broadcasters as a result of this decision.  But the Court’s ruling was based on free speech grounds.  Judge Carlos Bea wrote for the main opinion stating that the FCC ban was overly broad and there’s no evidence the educational nature of public broadcasting would be affected, “Public issue and political speech in particular is at the very core of the First Amendment’s protection.  Public issue and political advertisements pose no threat of ‘commercialization.’  By definition, such advertisements do not encourage viewers to buy commercial goods and services.  A ban on such advertising therefore cannot be narrowly tailored to serve the interest of preventing the ‘commercialization’ of broadcasting.”  Dissenting Judge Richard Paez wrote, “For almost 60 years, commercial public broadcasters have been effectively insulated from the lure of paid advertising.  The court’s judgment will disrupt this policy and could jeopardize the future of public broadcasting.  I am not persuaded that the First Amendment mandates such an outcome.”

WOR Radio Network to Syndicate “Rasmussen Report” Feature. The vignette will be available three times daily and feature reports by the nationally known “political pulse-taker” Scott Rasmussen.  WOR VP/GM Jerry Crowley states, “Scott has fast become the go-to guest for many of our programs when we want to let our listeners know where the country stands on the important headlines.  We are thrilled to now take our relationship with him to this next level and share his fantastic radio content with radio stations across the country.”  The WOR Radio Network makes the reports available to affiliates beginning Monday, April 16.

Tribune’s WGN Inks Deal for Studio Naming Rights with Allstate.  Beginning May 1, WGN, Chicago’s showcase studio on Michigan Avenue will be unveiled as the Allstate Showcase Studio.  WGN VP/general manager Tom Langmyer says, “We are proud of the partnership we have developed with Allstate over the years through programs like the community-driven WGN Radio Hometown Voices Tour and are pleased to extend that partnership to the Showcase Studio.  The Showcase Studio has been a mainstay on Chicago’s famous Michigan Avenue for over 25 years and home to many legendary broadcasters.  We are excited to announce this next chapter in WGN’s history with such a valued partner.”  The sponsorship includes an interior studio wrap featuring WGN Radio and Allstate graphics and on-air naming recognition.

CBS Radio’s KYW, Philadelphia Awards Scholarship Money to “Newstudies” Student.  CBS Radio’s KYW, Philadelphia has been offering the six-week student reporter program called “Newstudies” to high school juniors and seniors for more than 45 years.  This year, 171 local students graduated from the program and KYW selected Upper Moreland High School student Gavin Lichtenstein to receive the Richard Monetti Scholarship award of $2,000 for being the student in the program demonstrating the most potential and enthusiasm.  The scholarship was named after 1986 Newstudies graduate Richard Monetti who perished on Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.  CBS Philadelphia SVP and market manager Marc Rayfield states, “KYW Newsradio is proud to continue the tradition of introducing high school students to the broadcast industry.  It’s also nice to be able to award those that did exceptionally well and keep the memory of a former Newstudies graduate alive.”

WSBT, South Bend Adds FM Translator at 96.1.  Schurz Communications’ news/talk WSBT, South Bend, Indiana acquired the FM translator from Christian station WFRN-FM last year for $135,000.  Now, according to the South Bend Tribune, WSBT will add to what program director Bob Montgomery calls “the strongest signal in the market” – AM 960.  Montgomery also tells the paper the station is continuing to focus on news and information for the Michiana market.  “We’re still doing increased news in our morning show – trying an all-news approach.  We thought since that’s why people listen to news/talk during their morning drive, we would concentrate on that.”

Weekend Home Show “The Money Pit” Hits 300-Affiliate Mark.  The nationally syndicated home improvement show “The Money Pit” – co-hosted by Tom Kraeutler and Leslie Segrete – announces it has added more than 20 new affiliate stations during the first quarter of 2012 to bring its affiliate roster to 300.  The program will celebrate its success in conjunction with a special Earth Day broadcast from New York City on Friday, April 20 from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm from the “Crossroads of the World” in New York’s Times Square.  Tom Kraeutler states, “I am so grateful to our team for the hard work that got us to this point, to our loyal affiliate stations for making our content available to millions of people across the country and to our always growing list of top sponsors that have made this possible.”

Rick Santorum’s Suspension of His Presidential Campaign Is Top News/Talk Story for the Week of April 9-13.  The news of Rick Santorum’s exit from the GOP primary race – effectively giving the nomination to Mitt Romney – was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week and landed at #1 on the Talkers TenTM.  Following at #2 was the 2012 presidential campaign in general.  At #3 was George Zimmerman’s being charged with second degree murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin followed by recent reports of weak U.S. job growth and the stock market’s reaction at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio across America during the week, and is based upon ongoing research from TALKERS and is published each Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup. The Wall Street Journal Radio Network’s “The Wall Street Journal This Morning with Gordon Deal” adds KOA, Denver…..Genesis Communications Network’s Dr. Daliah Wachs program picks  up WRJM-AM/FM, Charleston, Illinois and WHOW-AM/FM, Bloomington/Decatur, Illinois.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

| April 11, 2012

CBS Radio’s WPHT Touts New “Live and Local” Lineup.  With WYD Media talk show host Michael Smerconish soon to air live on his flagship station WPHT, Philadelphia as he replaces Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh, CBS Radio is promoting its dedication to “live and local” talk radio on the Philly news/talker.  Philadelphia market manager Marc Rayfield states, “We pride ourselves on being local and serving Philadelphians first.  Having Michael broadcast live is another example of our commitment to the audience.  The November election is one of the most important ever and WPHT will continue to offer a local platform no matter what side of the aisle you sit on.”  WPHT’s morning show (for years hosted by Smerconish) is hosted by Chris Stigall, Dom Giordano is late morning talent, Smerconish takes over 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm, Gary R’nel hosts evenings and the station promises to bring a new live and local PM drive show to the station to replace Smerconish’s delayed broadcast.

BIA/Kelsey Reports Radio’s On-Air Revenue Flat in 2011.  The quarterly “Investing in Radio Market Report” from BIA/Kelsey indicates revenue from over-the-air radio rose a modest 0.4% over 2010 numbers to $14.1 billion in 2011.  While the revenue for over-the-air was basically flat, digital revenue rose 15.1% to reach $439 million.  In the report, BIA/Kelsey predicts online revenue will continue to grow at a fast pace to $505 million in 2012 and to $767 million in 2016.  Political spending in 2012 is also expected to boost total radio revenue by as much as 3.5% over 2011 figures.  BIA/Kelsey VP and chief economist Mark Fratrik says, “Although radio’s revenue ascent has been slow since its bottoming in 2009, the industry always picks up steam in an election year and is continuing to prove itself as a valuable local advertising medium, particularly as the integration between over-the-air and online improves.  News stations, in particular, continue to be leaders in many markets by creating comprehensive over-the-air and digital portfolios of ad products and formats to drive deeper advertiser engagement and prove their value in the ad buying mix.”

All-News WCBS Tops New York Revenue Pile for Third Straight Year.  Although revenue was actually down from year-to-year – billing dropped from $49 million in 2010 to $47.5 million – all-news WCBS was still the top biller in the Big Apple, according to Crain’s New York Business.  The story includes analysis of the BIA/Kelsey report in the story above.  The top five revenue-generating stations in New York for 2011 were:  WCBS, CHR WHTZ-FM, lite rock WLTW-FM, all-news WINS, and sports talk WFAN.

Sports Talk Host Dan Sileo Takes Over PM Drive at WQAM, Miami.  Former WDAE, Tampa talk show host Dan Sileo is joining Beasley Broadcasting’s sports talk WQAM, Miami to replace Sid Rosenberg as host of the PM drive show.  Sileo exited Clear Channel Media and Entertianment’s WDAE several weeks ago after a number of years with the station.  Beasley Broadcasting VP/market manager Joe Bell tells TALKERS, “I have followed Dan’s career for years and am very excited about his joining our team!  Dan has a passion for sports, has demonstrated ratings success and at heart is a “Miami guy” having played on two UM National Championship football teams.

Production Talent Changes at Premiere Networks’ “Coast to Coast AM.”  With longtime production voice Ross Mitchell leaving the show to pursue other interests, Premiere Networks’ “Coast to Coast AM” announces Dick Ervasti and Charles Thomas join the program.  The network states, “Dick Ervasti now lends his voice to the program’s introductions, while Charles Thomas voices on-air announcements and promos, as well as “Somewhere in Time with Art Bell.”  Based in Minneapolis, Ervasti is a veteran voice actor with credits ranging from “America’s Most Wanted” and the blockbuster film “Transformers,” to The History Channel and the CBS hit drama “NCIS.”  Thomas also has a wide range of credits, which include commercials for Samsung, Chevy Silverado, The Home Depot, the Syfy original series “Warehouse 13” and Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance.”

Talk Radio Pioneer Bruce Williams Returns to Biz Via Podcast.  Iconic talk radio star Bruce Williams, who left his regularly aired radio show several years ago, is returning to the business with new podcasts available three days per week.  The podcasts are being produced from calls to Williams during other times.  Fans with questions for Williams are being asked to call during specific times when Williams will be able to record their conversations – today from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm ET, for example.  An e-mail blast from his office states, “Remember, this Wednesday April 11 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm ET, Bruce will be taking calls off the air which will air next Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  Tuesday, April 17 and Thursday, April 19 of next week he will be live taking calls from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm ET.  For now this will be the weekly schedule. Think of all those questions you wanted to ask him for the last two years and were not able to and give him a call, even if it’s to just welcome him back.  The call in number is 855-85-CALL TAE (855-852-2558).  The show will also be on iTunes with the past seven shows available.  All shows will be available at www.taeradio.com.

WGOW-FM, Chattanooga Names Brian Joyce Midday Host.  Brian Joyce most recently worked at Entercom’s WRKO, Boston hosting a weekend talk program.  His bio lists his varied work experience including: truck driver, bartender and stand-up comic, among others.  Joyce tells the local Nooga.com that he considers himself part of the “radical center.”  “This is the new movement, especially in my head, for politics.  There will be issues where I will fall far to the left or far to the right.  And maybe people won’t understand it at first.  I don’t think media addresses this currently.” WGOW-FM news director Kevin West says Joyce’s hiring sends a signal about how they’d like the station to sound, “I want it to be a place where it is not predetermined what you’re going to get with any issue.  I think Brian is going to surprise a lot of people.”  Joyce’s program airs from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm on the Cumulus Media news/talk outlet.

“The Wall Street Journal This Morning” Airs in Denver.  The Wall Street Journal Radio Network’s morning drive – or early morning drive in Mountain Time – program “The Wall Street Journal This Morning with Gordon Deal” clears large market KOA, Denver.  Station operations director Greg Foster states, “‘The Wall Street Journal This Morning’ helps reinforce 850 KOA’s news image during the early ‘executive drive time’ hours.  More than just money news – ‘The Wall Street Journal This Morning’ is a perfect lead-in to our ‘Colorado’s Morning News.’”

NBC May Be Preparing to Give Matt Lauer More Air Time.  News of “Today” show star Matt Lauer’s contract extension with NBC to remain with the program for many more years broke over the weekend.  Now, it’s being reported that NBC is considering expanding the Lauer franchise – possibly by developing the “Today’s Professionals” segment in which Lauer bats around the hot topics of the day with talent such as Star Jones, Donny Deutsch and Dr. Nancy Snyderman – into either a fifth hour of “Today” or another show altogether.  TVGuide reports the details are not set in stone but it also reports Lauer’s new deal with NBC gives him a share in the ownership of any new show outside of “Today.”

Santorum Drops Out of GOP Race/2012 Presidential Campaign, Facebook Buys Instagram, North Korean Rocket Test, Trayvon Martin Case and Ozzie Guillen’s Castro Flap Among Top Stories on News/Talk Radio Yesterday (4/10).  Rick Santorum’s suspension of his campaign for the GOP nomination and the larger 2012 presidential race, Facebook’s $1 billion purchase of Instagram, North Korea’s new rocket test, the Trayvon Martin case and Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen’s Castro comments were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

| February 7, 2012

Cumulus Media CEO Lew Dickey Addresses “Inherently Inefficient” Nature of Old-Line Media Business Model in Bain Capital News Story.  The chief executive officer of the second largest radio station operator in America is one of several Atlanta-based business executives to speak to the Atlanta Journal Constitution about his business and the role private equity firm Bain Capital played in its progress.  The piece ran Sunday (2/5) online and in print and was written from the perspective of giving insight into Bain Capital – the company formerly run by presidential candidate Mitt Romney.  However it also probes the nature of corporate radio as it rides the rough surf of an economic downturn and a dramatically changing media business – complete with layoffs and job consolidation.  The story notes Cumulus CFO Joseph Hannan explained to investors at a recent conference that they had to “wholesale re-engineer the way these operations work” in order to cut costs and that the company learned this process while working with the private equity firms.  Hannan said the company was able to cut $70 million in costs.  Lew Dickey tells the AJC the business has to work that way to survive.  He says old-line media companies have become “inherently inefficient.  We run the business as efficiently as technology permits us to do.”  Interestingly, Bain Capital took a loss on its involvement with Cumulus.  Cumulus ended up buying out Bain and the other private equity partners.  It worked with other private equity firms to engineer the Citadel Broadcasting deal and it remains to be seen whether that will turn out to be a wise investment for them or whether they will suffer the same fate as Bain.  Through it all, Dickey remains confident and tells the AJC he believes his company will add jobs – albeit in different sectors – during this year.  “By the end of the year, we’ll have a net increase in jobs. They’ll be different jobs.  That’s how business evolves.”

Exit of CBS Radio CHR Programmer and 92.3 Now PD Dom Theodore Fires Up Speculation About Sports or News Moving to the New York Signal.  There was big news in the CHR world yesterday as CBS Radio’s format captain and PD of 92.3 Now (WXRK-FM, New York) Dom Theodore left the building.  For those awaiting the (some say) way overdue addition of an FM signal for sports talk WFAN, this move gives them plenty to talk about.  Still others believe one of CBS Radio’s all-newsers – WINS or WCBS – could end up with an FM simulcast.  Right now it’s all guesswork but rumors that the rest of the on-air staff at 92.3 Now may have received news of its imminent demise along with Theodore’s departure have the message boards in the Tri-State area red hot with chatter.

Courtside Entertainment Group Names Rich Rapiti Senior Director of Affiliate Relations.  Longtime affiliate relations pro Rich Rapiti is reunited with Westwood One founder Norm Pattiz in his new role as senior director of affiliate relations for Pattiz’s Courtside Entertainment Group.  Rapiti will be based in New York City.  Courtside president Bob Moore says, “Rich Rapiti is a unique guy.  He has worked in the radio business his entire adult life and has mastered the art of working with radio stations in providing quality programming.  We are extremely excited about having Rich on our team.”  Speaking about his new position, Rapiti states, “I am thrilled to be the newest member of the Courtside team.  Rarely does the opportunity occur where you can work with the likes of a Norm Pattiz and his executive team.”

XEPRS, San Diego Makes AM Drive Changes; Scott Kaplan Exits, Dave Palet and Jeff Dotseth In.  After 11 years at the station, morning drive host Scott Kaplan and co-host Billy Ray Smith are out as hosts of the program.  Station VP/GM Tex Meyer says in a press release the change was made “after very careful consideration and evaluation of several important factors.”  However, many San Diego media observers are saying Kaplan’s recent unflattering on-air comments about Mountain West broadcaster Andrea Lloyd put management over the top and forced its hand.  Broadcast Company of the Americas brings San Diego market veterans Dave Palet and Jeff Dotseth in to take over the morning drive show.

WGN, Chicago Holds “Cubs Song” Contest.  Musically inclined Chicago Cubs fans are being encouraged to write a tribute song to their favorite baseball team and have the chance for it to become part of Cubs radio broadcasts all season long.  Tribune Company’s WGN – flagship for Chicago Cubs baseball – will be the judge of the winning submission for this unique promotion.  Here are the rules: Write an original song about the Chicago Cubs and e-mail it as an .mp3 file attachment to cubssong@wgnradio.com by February 29, 2012.  The lyrics must mention the Cubs and WGN Radio, but may not mention names of individual players, coaches or Cubs management.  Songs longer than four minutes will be disqualified.  You must also include your name, address, daytime phone number, e-mail address, and age in the e-mail.  Entries on behalf of a group must provide the required information for each member of the group.  WGN will post up to 10 finalists on its website and give fans the chance to vote on the winner.  The writer/performer of the winning entry will have the chance to get the song recorded in a professional studio and perform it live during Jonathon Brandmeier’s Opening Day broadcast on WGN.

WBNS-FM, Columbus Debuts “Off-Season with Bobby Carpenter.”  The NFL season is over – more or less – until the draft in April and RadiOhio sports talker 97.1 The Fan (WBNS-FM) is taking advantage of the year-round interest in the National Football League by creating a weekly, Friday afternoon show co-hosted by former Ohio State standout and current Detroit Lions linebacker Bobby Carpenter and WBNS-TV’s Beau Bishop.  Director of programming and operations Jay Taylor announces the one-hour show airs from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm featuring talk about the NFL, the upcoming draft and Buckeye football and debuts this Friday, February 10.

CNN Names Jim Acosta to National Political Correspondent Role.  The cable news channel announces Jim Acosta is promoted to national political correspondent where he’ll appear regularly on several CNN programs including “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer” and “John King, USA,” according to TVWeek.  CNN SVP and Washington bureau chief Sam Feist states, “Jim has been an outstanding addition to the political team.  He has emerged as one of the key reporters on the campaign trail and his astute reporting skills will only help to position the network to dominate this important election cycle.”

CBS Radio Renews with MLB’s Phillies; Games to Air on WIP-FM.  CBS Radio’s news/talk WPHT, Philadelphia has been the longtime flagship for Philadelphia Phillies baseball and the company and team just struck a new multi-year deal to keep the team with CBS Philadelphia.  This season the games will also air on sister sports WIP’s new FM signal as well.  CBS Radio Philadelphia VP/market manager Marc Rayfield states, “It’s a very exciting time for WPHT and WIP, and this partnership with the Philadelphia Phillies only adds to the interest audiences have in these two leading radio stations.  We look forward to the future with the most thrilling team in baseball.”

Talk Host Steve Cochran Ready to Return to Action After Health Scare.  Chicago-based talk host Steve Cochran – who handles the afternoon program at Salem Communication’s WIND, Chicago and hosts the late morning program for KTRS, St. Louis (which is rerun in the evening) from his home in the Chicago area – took himself off the air last week and went to the hospital after feeling chest pains, according to Time Out Chicago’s Robert Feder.  Cochran underwent some tests and was prescribed medication and reports he hopes to be back on the radio soon.  Cochran tells Feder, “The doctor said I’ll be 125 percent, which is great news unless you really hate my show.”

More TV Work for TRN’s Phil Hendrie.  Los Angeles-based, nationally syndicated talk radio personality Phil Hendrie scored a recurring role on the hit Fox TV show “New Girl.”  Hendrie says, “The entire cast and crew is so hard working, gracious and welcoming.  It’s an honor to get to work with them.”  Last year, Hendrie taped an episode of the ABC-TV hit show “Modern Family” in which he plays the recurring character “Boots.”  That episode is to air soon.  Pictured here is the cast of “New Girl” – from left to  right: Max Greenfield, Lamorne Morris, Hannah Simone, Hendrie, Zooey Deschanel and Jake Johnson.

Romney Surges in GOP Primary, Super Bowl Aftermath, Syria Violence and Closure of U.S. Embassy and New Iran Sanctions Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/6).  Mitt Romney’s victory in Nevada over the weekend and his continuing lead over competitors, the aftermath of the Giants’ victory in Super Bowl XLVI, continuing violence in Syria and the U.S.’s closure of its embassy there and new sanctions levied against Iran were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

| February 2, 2012

Overnight: The Underexploited Daypart.  Consultant Walter Sabo suggests more talk radio operators should take advantage of the overnight daypart – the one it wins by default.  Citing a Media Audit report indicating talk radio has the largest overnight audience, Sabo contends that – contrary to conventional wisdom – there is money to be made there and other opportunities on which to capitalize.  Read his exclusive TALKERS article here.

 

Can Radio Afford to be Rated Accurately?  That’s really the question that should be asked as Arbitron loses accreditation for five PPM markets.  The Media Rating Council is informing Arbitron, Inc. that accreditation for the Portable People Meter in five markets – Cleveland; Portland, Oregon; Riverside-San Bernardino; Salt Lake City-Ogden-Provo; and Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater – is being withdrawn.  The MRC says its board of directors “reached this decision upon consideration of a recommendation from an MRC audit committee based on its review of the 2011 Arbitron PPM service audit results, which showed certain issues related to internal controls of the service and declines in service performance metrics.”  Arbitron EVP, service innovation and chief research officer Gregg Lindner says, “Consistent with our long-standing priorities, we will work to retain accreditation where we have it, to regain accreditation where it was withdrawn and to achieve accreditation in our remaining PPM markets.  As always, we will continue our work with the MRC in order to address their concerns.”  Arbitron says it intends to have all 48 PPM markets undergo MRC audits this year.  Currently, nine markets remain accredited: Atlanta, Cincinnati, Houston (DMA), Kansas City, Milwaukee-Racine, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and St. Louis.  Although details remain vague, TALKERS suspects the problem faced by Arbitron in getting PPM off and running comes down to sample size – a two-fold challenge at this point.  First: To get enough radio listeners to participate in the program and follow it diligently while busy and distracted; second, to expend the money required to have enough units and participants per market needed to achieve statistical accuracy – an investment that ultimately falls on the back of the financially strapped radio business.

CBS Radio Alters WINS, New York Top-of-the Hour Slogan.  Some observers will call it a win for Merlin Media CEO Randy Michaels who challenged CBS Radio’s use of the “New York’s One and Only News Station” for all-news WINS.  After a back-and-forth of letters from lawyers regarding station slogans and positioning statements in which CBS Radio first asked Merlin to stop using a permutation of its “Give us 22 minutes and we’ll give you the world” slogan, it seems both sides may be moving forward with the business of doing news.  That’s probably best since we’re assuming neither desire to spend more on lawyers than necessary.  TALKERS legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman says each side could have made a case.  Weisman says CBS could reasonably argue that Merlin was infringing upon its trademark and Merlin could make a good argument that CBS’ use of the “one and only” phrase regarding its all-news radio product violated the Lanham Act (false advertising) in light of WEMP-FM’s existence.

Radio Pros Lee Abrams and Steve Saslow Plan Reinvention of TV News.  Radio programming legend Lee Abrams and marketing and network radio pro Steve Saslow are teaming up with attorney Brandon Davis to form THINK TeleVisual Network, Inc.  In a statement, the trio say they will “elevate the television news playbook into the digital age with a radical reinvention of the way news and information is produced and delivered.”  THINK states its programming will be “designed to present one unified televisual news experience across every device category.   It represents a profound rewriting of the news/information blueprint where a completely new style of presentation will merge with the magic of 21st century technology and modern American culture.”  Lee Abrams says, “News and information is what is steering our 21st century America, the equivalent of what rock ‘n roll was forty years ago.  THINK will merge this passion for information, knowledge and insight with the revolution in technology to create an interactive multi-media experience that will redefine how people are informed and enlightened.”  Initially funded by the three principals, the venture is currently going through another round of fundraising in collaboration with the Boston-based investment firm Kaufman & Company.

Clear Channel’s KFBK Celebrates 90 Years of Serving Sacramento.  News/Talk KFBK-AM/FM, Sacramento is celebrating 90 years on the air serving the people of the region.  As part of the commemoration, the station is unveiling an online museum “that will showcase and honor the station’s rich and storied history.  The museum will include audio clips, photos and videos that will transport listeners back in time to relive KFBK’s evolution.”  Other events throughout the day include Premiere Networks superstar  Rush Limbaugh joining KFBK morning news anchors Amy Lewis and Ed Crane live at 8:00 am where Limbaugh will reminisce about his time at KFBK.  At 11:00 am, station staff will open a time capsule left by a past generation of KFBK employees and longtime KFBK talk host Tom Sullivan – now syndicated by Fox News Radio but still heard on the station – joining Kitty O’Neal during the KFBK Afternoon News to commemorate the occasion.  VP/market manager Jeff Holden states, “The celebration today is recognition and confirmation that the commitment of the employees – past, present and future – is exactly what Sacramentans, at each point in time over the past 90 years, have so welcomingly accepted into their lives.  I couldn’t be more proud to be part of such an illustrious and valuable asset to the region and a part of the team that is making history.”

Clear Channel Quad Cities AM Duo Moves to News/Talk WOC; Piped to WMT, Cedar Rapids.  Morning show hosts Mark Manuel and Steve Ketelaar have been hosting the morning drive show on Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s oldies KUUL-FM, East Moline, Illinois for the past four years.  Beginning February 20, the duo moves across the hall to handle the morning show on the cluster’s news/talk WOC, Davenport and will be simulcast at CC’s Cedar Rapids news/talker WMT.  They’ll replace WOC program director Dan Kennedy as morning host.  Kennedy stays in his PD post and will remain on the program as news anchor.  Kirk Marske will produce the WOC morning show.  According to the Quad City Times, WMT will provide its own news anchor during news cutaways. Clear Channel Davenport operations manager Jim O’Hara tells the paper, “A big thing with us over the past year with Clear Channel in general has been making the best use of our strongest people, our strongest programs.  As I’ve thought about that over the last several months, it dawned on me that WOC is one radio station that needs more help, more people.”

Florida Primary Aftermath, Facebook IPO and Earnings Report, U.S. Afghanistan Combat Withdrawl Plan, and Syrian Violence Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/1).  The aftermath of Mitt Romney’s victory in the Florida primary, the announcement of a pending Facebook IPO and its first public earnings report, plans for an end to the U.S. combat mission in Afghanistan and ongoing violence in Syria were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, January 20, 2012

| January 20, 2012

Herman Cain Returns to WSB-AM/FM, Atlanta – in Commentator Role.  Former Godfather’s Pizza CEO and recent GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain returns to Cox Media Group’s news/talk giant WSB-AM/FM, Atlanta – the station at which he was hosting the evening program before leaving to run for office.  Cain isn’t back on evenings.  Program director Pete Spriggs tells the Atlanta Journal Constitution Cain’s busy schedule won’t allow him to return to that slot.  Instead, Cain is filing a daily two-minute commentary that airs twice daily – 8:45 am during Neal Boortz’s show and at 6:45 pm during Erick Erickson’s program.  He’ll also join Boortz live at 10:35 am every Monday and Friday.  Although it is clear that Cain is still heavily involved in the thick of this year’s presidential race as an event speaker and potential campaigner, his significantly heightened status as a political media celebrity in the aftermath of his formidable candidacy increases his stock as a potential radio and television talk show host.  Industry speculation grows about his next moves as a media personality after the dust of the election settles.

Geraldo to Do Local Show on KABC, Los Angeles.  Since it was announced that Geraldo Rivera was taking over the late-morning show at Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York there’s been speculation that he would also be imported west to the company’s KABC, Los Angeles.  Now Geraldo tells the Los Angeles TimesSteve Carney that not only will he be hosting the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show on KABC beginning January 30, but he’ll be doing a separate, live show for Southern California.  Geraldo tells Carney that he represents the larger middle portion of America that isn’t necessarily being heard from on talk radio today, “That agenda is extremely partisan.  It’s carving up the country, it has a strong racial undertone, and I don’t think that’s good for anybody.”  As a result of the move, KABC’s John Phillips’ program will be heard from 9:00 am to 10:00 am.

Merlin Media-CBS Radio Update.  The all-news war in New York is making the consumer press as the New York Daily NewsJohn Hinckley writes about the cease-and-desist Merlin Media received from CBS Radio lawyers for using a version of the famous WINS, New York slogan “Give us 22 minutes; we’ll give you the world” to promote its all-news “FM News 101.9 (WEMP-FM).  As we reported yesterday, Merlin has been engaging in a bit of old-fashioned radio battle strategy by twisting the WINS slogan to “Give us 10 minutes, we’ll give you the world” for WEMP-FM.  Lawyers for CBS say the tactic has no purpose but to get publicity and say it’s trademark infringement.  That’s one way of looking at it.  Though the strategy could be derided by some as an old-school radio technique that won’t work in the modern era, others will argue that Merlin’s point is a good one; it underscores the perception that most people don’t have 22 minutes these days and FM News 101.9 is current and hip by doing it in 10 minutes.  Merlin certainly has an uphill battle ahead of it in terms of catching the New York all-newsers in the ratings.  It’s possible that in order to grab some of the audience share of the news-consuming public, Merlin is going to have to get attention by doing more than just putting out a good product.  Another way of looking at it, however, is that if Merlin put out a good product, the Randy Michaels-led company wouldn’t have to resort to the kind of competitive stunting popularized during the heyday of top 40 in the 1960s and 1970s.

Todd Schnitt to End MJ Kelli AM Show; Focus on Talk Show.  For years now, Todd Schnitt has been doing double duty – morning drive on Clear Channel’s CHR WFLZ-FM, Tampa and PM drive on CC’s WFLA from which he’s syndicated nationally by Compass Media Networks.  Now he will focus on the talk show aspect of his career as he shuts down his MJ Kelli morning show persona with his last broadcast on WFLZ-FM on February 17.

Clear Channel Promotes Two Executives.  Clear Channel Media and Entertainment bumps Hartley Adkins from his SVP of operations for the Southeast market to executive vice president of operations for its Mid-Major markets.  Taking over for Adkins in the SVP of operations for the Southeast market is John Rohm who moves up from the market manager post for the Philadelphia market.  Although not mentioned in the press release, Adkins takes over for Mark Kopelman who exits the company with no comment from corporate.  Both Adkins and Rohm  will report to John Hogan who states, “With their proven performance, leadership and exerience, Hartley and John will help ensure our local markets operate effectively and efficiently and provide our company with real opportunities for growth.”  Additionally, Brad Hardin, senior vice president of programming, now serves as programming partner to Adkins in the Mid-Major markets; and Jon Zellner, senior vice president of programming, now serves as programming partner to Tom McConnell, senior vice president of operations for the Northeast regional markets.

WWNC, Asheville Names Pete Kaliner PM Drive Host.  The former WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte evening host lands the afternoon drive program at Clear Channel’s Asheville, North Carolina news/talk outlet.  Pete Kaliner hosted the 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight show at WBT for two years until the show was eliminated for budgetary reasons in March of last year.  WWNC program director Brian Hall says, “Pete filled in for us last summer and I was blown away by his dedication to show prep and how the listeners engaged with him on the air.  After talking with great candidates from all over the country and other professionals in the industry, it was clear that Pete was the perfect fit for this position and for the community of Western North Carolina.”

Former Florida Radio and TV Financial Host Gets Four Years in Prison for Defrauding Investors.  U.S. District Judge Daniel T.K. Hurley sentenced Anthony F. Cutaia to 51 months in prison for running a ponzi scheme in which he misappropriated some $1.5 million that affected between 10 and 50 investors (court documents don’t specify the number of victims).  Cutaia operated a commercial real estate business and hosted a program on Beasley Broadcasting’s WSBR, Boca Raton as well as a television show on the PAX TV network.  Cutaia was charged with nine counts of mail fraud in June of 2011 and pleaded guilty to one charge in hopes of getting a lighter sentence but the judge gave him a longer sentence than federal prosecutors recommended.

South Carolina Primary/ 2012 Presidential Race Most-Talked-About Story on News/Talk Radio During Week of January 16-20.  Landing atop the Talkers TenTM this week is the South Carolina GOP primary election and the 2012 presidential race.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio stations across America based on ongoing research from TALKERS and is published at Talkers.com every Friday.  Coming in at #2 this week is the denial of the permit for the Keystone XL Canada to Texas oil pipeline.  At #3 is the internet anti-piracy bills and the associated Wikipedia blackout and at #4 is the Euro Zone jitters and rising gas prices.  View the entire Talkers TenTM chart here.

“Troublemaker” Visits Florida.  Christine O’Donnell, former U.S. Senate candidate from Delaware and author of the best-seller Troublemaker (St. Martin’s Press 2011), kicked off her Florida speaking tour by sitting in on “The President’s Speakers Series” at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach broadcast live on WNDB, Daytona Beach and hosted by talk host Marc Bernier.  O’Donnell says she is reaching out to college students to engage them in the political process for the upcoming election.  This event was the 72nd in the series started by Marc Bernier in the mid-1990s.  Pictured here during the event are Bernier (l) and O’Donnell (r).

Thursday, January 19, 2012

| January 19, 2012

Genesis Communications Creates Central Florida News-Intensive Trimulcast.  Genesis Communications Multi-Media Broadcast Group is flipping WAMT, Pine Castle Sky Lake, Florida (Orlando market) from ESPN Deportes and WIXC, Titusville, Florida (on the East coast) from sports to simulcasts of the company’s news/talk WWBA, Tampa Bay as it takes on more all-news content.  The stations are picking up the TRN/Washington Times-produced “America’s Morning News” plus news blocks from TRN-owned America’s Radio News Network.  Genesis CEO Bruce Maduri states, “We intend to provide central Floridians with the ability to access all-news, traffic and weather content anywhere, across the all-important I-4 corridor from Tampa Bay through Orlando, to the Space Coast and north and south along the Eastern Seaboard.  Local, state and national coverage of the day’s breaking news is now accessible to the six million people who reside in this area of the state and up and down the east coast.”  TRN CEO Mark Masters states, “We are proud to provide a complete support system to Bruce as he delivers to Central Florida the most powerful 15 hours per day of syndicated long-form radio news rooms, along with heavy news localization for his growing news empire.  America’s Radio News Network provides a clock that not only gives nine to 10 stories and four to six audio actualities every quarter hour, but also allows for an amazing level of localization and customization so that you can go highly local or regional at the top and bottom of the hours, quarter hours, and even cut into entire segments for another layer of localization.”

CBS Radio and Merlin Media Butting Heads Over News Slogans.  CBS Radio is notifying Merlin Media of what it deems trademark infringement for Merlin’s use of phrases like, “Give us 10 minutes, we’ll give you the world,” on its all-news WEMP-FM, New York, according to Radio Ink.  The report indicates lawyers for CBS are giving Merlin until the end of the day today (1/19) to stop using the phrase (and others) stating it is “intentionally confusingly similar” to CBS’ “Give us 22 minutes, we’ll give you the world” slogan used on WINS, New York.

Consultant Bob Cohen Joins Board at Gow Broadcasting.  The company brought Bob Cohen, through his Bob Cohen Strategies consulting firm, in to assist as Gow began working with Yahoo! to transform its Sporting News Radio into Yahoo! Sports.  Now, Cohen joins Gow’s board of directors.  CEO David Gow states in the San Antonio Business Journal, “Bob played a significant role in our strategic search and eventual exciting new partnership with Yahoo! Sports Radio.  He has a depth of knowledge and experience in radio, sports radio networks and sports in general and has a track record of adding value and growth to the businesses with which he’s been involved.  He has been active in our business, as a consultant and will also continue in that role along with the board seat.”

Morning Drive Host Jon Justice Re-Ups with Journal’s KTTH-FM, Tucson. Citing his success hosting the AM drive talk show at Journal Broadcasting’s KTTH-FM – “104.1 The Truth” – VP/GM Julie Brinks announces the company has signed Jon Justice to a contract extension to continue in that role.  “This move demonstrates our renewed commitment to Jon, and to the listeners of 104.1 The Truth.  The station continues to be a venue where points of view can be expressed in Tucson.  Whether you agree or disagree, Jon will continue to stimulate the conversation for years to come!”  The station notes Justice’s program has become one of the highest-ranked shows in the Tucson market with both men 25–54 and adults 25–54.  Justice comments on his new deal, “I’m really excited to continue growing the show here in Southern Arizona, building off of the success I have had on ‘104.1 The Truth.’”

News Pro Steve Ray Named News Anchor at America’s Radio News Network.  Talk Radio Network-operated America’s Radio News Network announces news pro Steve Ray joins the company to serve as co-anchor for the network’s news blocks.  Ray has worked at such esteemed news outlets as WTOP-FM, Washington; WMAL, Washington; Westwood One; Metro Networks; and Radio Free Asia.  Ray states, “I not only believe in Mark’s vision for the quality and scope of our news content, but his forward thinking vision of delivering ARNN across multiple platforms.  At a time of great change in radio, Masters is once again in the right place at the perfect time.”

CBS Radio Ups Sarah Frazier to SVP/Market Manager in Houston.  The cluster that includes sports KILT is now being managed by Sarah Frazier who is promoted from her VP/director of sales role to senior vice president and market manager for the group.  Frazier takes over for Brian Purdy who is market manager for the Dallas cluster.  Previously he had been responsible for both the Dallas and Houston markets.

Restraining Order Issued in Dispute Among Former WCAP, Lowell Owners.  The talk station is north of Boston and since 2007 was operated by partners Clark Smidt and Sam Poulten until recently when the two agreed to part with Poulten buying out Smidt over a period of time, according to court records.  But a Middlesex County Superior Court judge has issued a restraining order against Smidt after he showed up at the station attempting to take control from the operators.  The order also forbids Smidt from destroying any of the financial records relative to the ownership and operation of the station.  According to the Valley Patriot, Smidt had been negligent in paying the station’s taxes prior to the agreement for Poulten to buy out Smidt’s share and take over operation of the station.  The FCC approved transfer of the WCAP broadcast license to Poulten on October 31.

Looming South Carolina GOP Primary, Obama Kills Oil Pipeline Permit, Wahlberg Flight 93 Flap, and Italian Cruise Ship Disaster Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/18).  The GOP race to take Saturday’s South Carolina primary, the Obama Administration’s denying of a permit for Keystone XL’s Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline, Mark Wahlberg’s controversial statement about preventing the downing of Flight 93, and the Italian cruise ship disaster were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

| December 27, 2011

Radio Talk Host Lynn Samuels Dies at Age 69.  Longtime New York talk radio host Lynn Samuels passed away at her home in Queens on December 24 of apparent natural causes.  Samuels, who had been working at Sirius XM, was found by police after she failed to show up for her radio show earlier on Saturday.  There was no sign of foul play and friends tell authorities e-mails sent Friday indicate she didn’t appear troubled.  Samuels broke into commercial talk radio in the 1980s after working at Pacifica’s hard-left non-com WBAI, New York.  She hosted the Saturday 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm program at Buckley Broadcasting‘s WOR, New York for a period of time.  Then-PD John Mainelli was overhauling the programming at WABC, New York in 1988 when he brought her aboard.  He tells TALKERS she was working for nothing at WBAI when he found her, “She used to say that WBAI considered her ‘too conservative’ for them but she pulled in more money than anybody during the fund-raisers so they kept her on.  She was back-to-back with Rush Limbaugh on WABC for the first few years and their ratings grew precisely in tandem.”  Mainelli says subsequent management moved Samuels around the WABC schedule, eventually to weekends, before letting her go.  She held a daily show at Sirius XM for a number of years before being moved to the weekend.  Mainelli says that, like many other talk hosts, she cut her teeth calling in to talk shows, “In Lynn’s case, she frequently called Bob Grant and always got him so mad that he would ultimately hang up on her with his trademark, ‘Get off my phooooooooone!’  She was a grenade-armed sweetheart and steel-clad softie, incredibly mentally alert and curious about everything.  Endearingly quirky and funny as hell.  Listeners could never predict how she’d approach brand new topics, which is so unlike the knee-jerk partisan predictables of 2011.”  SiriusXM is honoring Samuels on a special edition of The Alex Bennett Program this morning (12/27), live from 7:00 am to10:00 am ET on SiriusXM Left/ch.127.  Veteran broadcaster Richard Bey, a longtime friend and colleague of Samuels, is filling as guest host of the show December 27-29 while Bennett is on vacation.  On Wednesday (12/28), they will join forces — with Bey continuing to serve as guest host and Bennett returning from vacation for one day to join him in studio — to salute Samuels’ life, ideas and legendary broadcasting career, throughout which, according to a SiriusXM spokesperson, “She spoke without a filter and with honesty, humor and passion.”

Kevin McCullough Appears on TALKERS TV.  Kevin McCullough, host of the daily nationally syndicated “Kevin McCullough Show” and co-host of the weekend “Baldwin/McCullough Show” with Stephen Baldwin, is interviewed by TALKERS managing editor Kevin Casey on TALKERS TV.  The conversation took place at the recent “It’s Time to Talk Day” radio row presented by TALKERS in conjunction with Talk Radio News Service and Liz Claiborne, Inc. to raise awareness about the widespread societal problem of domestic violence.  The seventh annual installment of this major talk media event took place in the fashion showroom at Liz Claiborne, Inc.’s Midtown Manhattan headquarters.  McCullough shows Casey and the TALKERS TV audience his fascinating array of portable remote equipment conveniently set up to allow him to communicate with his audience via several venues – radio and television – utilizing audio, video and digital elements, all operable by the host himself.  This informative must-see video can be viewed on the right side of this page.

Rumor:  Strong FM Signal Coming for WGST, Atlanta.  The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho is reporting that Clear Channel may be moving toward a new FM simulcast situation for news/talk WGST, Atlanta.  The station is currently simulcasting on a translator at 92.3 but the signal does not penetrate the northern suburbs of Atlanta.  Ho reports Clear Channel is quietly cutting the staffing at Regional Mexican “El Patron” – WBZY-FM at 105.3 – possibly with plans to move the station to a different signal and simulcast WGST on the 105.3 frequency.  Ho notes that WGST had an FM simulcast at 105.7 in the 1990s but that ended in 1999.

Clear Channel Combines Two FMs with AM in Mansfield, Ohio for WMAN-AM/FM.  Gone are classic hits FMs WXXR-FM and WSWR-FM as Clear Channel combines them with existing AM WMAN (1400) to create WMAN-AM/FM.  Market manager Bill Clark tells the Mansfield News Journal, “The motivation to make these changes is simple.  Younger radio listeners, those under 35, rarely visit the AM band.  Most were raised never having been aware that the AM band existed.  This gives us the opportunity to expose younger listeners to the spoken word format.”  In addition to Premiere Networks programs Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity, the station also airs local morning drive host Rusty Cates and the early evening sports talk show “Sports Grill” with Aaron Hines.

KQV, Pittsburgh President and GM Robert Dickey, Sr. Dies at 84.  All-news KQV, Pittsburgh was purchased by Robert Dickey, Sr. and Richard Mellon Scaife in 1982 when they formed Calvary, Inc. to operate the station they believed they were saving from extinction.  Calvary has operated the station ever since with many of the station’s employees having worked there for decades.  Dickey died at his home in Oakland, Pennsylvania on December 24 after suffering a brief illness.  Dickey started in radio at KDKA, Pittsburgh in 1954.  He worked his way up in the business and eventually became general manager of WINS, New York and earned his place as part of the management team that created the “You give us 22 minutes, we’ll give you the world” news format.  Dickey moved back to Pittsburgh in 1976 to manage Taft’s WDVE-FM and KQV.  When KQV’s all-news format appeared to be in trouble, he and Scaife formed Calvary and bought the station.