Tag: "WIOD"

Monday, September 11, 2017

| September 11, 2017

Radio Working Through Challenges Covering Hurricane Irma.  The major issue Floridians are dealing with today after Hurricane Irma barreled into Florida overnight is lack of power.  Some 5.7 million people are without it due to the high winds and flooding.  As of early Monday morning, Beasley Media Group reports that all of its Fort Myers FM stations are off the air due to major flooding at the studios.  In Boca Raton, all of the company’s stations are off the air.  In Tampa though, only WLLD is off the air.  Beasley says staff are working around the clock to get the stations back on air as soon as possible.   Beginning on Saturday, iHeartMedia partnered with WTVJ-TV, Miami “NBC 6” and Telemundo’s more than 51 meteorologists.  News/talk WIOD, Miami began providing non-stop coverage on the storm in both English and Spanish.  The station’s coverage was delivered to all iHeartMedia markets via Premiere Satellite and streamed on iHeartRadio.  There’s no word from iHM about the on-air status of its stations in cities such as Fort Myers, Sarasota and Tampa.

WSYR, Syracuse’s Schenk Dead at 54.  Friends, family, and co-workers are mourning the passing of WSYR, Syracuse newsman Kevin Schenk, who died on Friday in Watertown, New York after suffering a ruptured aortic aneurysm.   Schenk also worked in the market as a TV news anchor on WSTM-TV.  iHeartMedia Syracuse market president Rick Yacobush stated on the WSYR website, “Kevin was an outstanding journalist who loved to dig for a story and was always fair in his reporting.  As a coworker, Kevin was always there with his quick wit to put a smile on your face and he was a truly wonderful man.  He will be greatly missed, by not just our colleagues, but by the listeners who depended on him every afternoon.”

Radio Pro Glenn Haege Dies at 70.  After a short battle with cancer, Detroit-based, nationally syndicated home improvement talk radio host Glenn Haege died early today (9/11).  Haege was on the radio in Detroit for 34 years, starting on WXYT-AM back in 1983.  He’d been based at WJR, Detroit for the past 11 years.  His syndicated show was heard on more than 135 affiliates.  During his career, he wrote a weekly column for the Detroit News for 22 years.  Haege’s executive producer Rob David is quoted saying, “Glenn was a consummate radio professional who really cared a great deal about his audience.  He had a special way of treating every caller with respect.  Each caller was made to feel that their question was the most important one and that Glenn was answering it for the first time.”

FOX News Radio’s Brian Kilmeade Joins KWFS, Wichita Falls. Pictured above are FOX News Radio’s Brian Kilmeade (right) with Townsquare Media Texoma market president Scott Smith (left).  Kilmeade’s radio show is now heard on Townsquare’s news/talk KWFS, Wichita Falls, Texas.  Smith comments, “Brian has a very youthful and likable personality.  His visual association with ‘Fox & Friends’ on Fox News Channel adds credibility and a fresh, faster-paced structure to News Talk 1290’s daytime syndicated lineup.  The show also allows for instant Fox News alerts.  I have a lot of confidence that Brian will boost TSL after PD Mike Hendren’s morning drive program into the Rush Limbaugh show at 11:00 am.”

TALKERS News Notes.  WOR, New York morning personality Todd Schnitt – who also hosts the afternoon talk show syndicated by Compass Media Networks – is in Tampa broadcasting from the market today and tomorrow.  Schnitt, whose afternoon show is carried on WFLA-AM, Tampa, still owns a house in the Tampa area…..Madison sports talk station WTSO/W265CV “The Big 1070” tweaks its program lineup.  The iHeartMedia station adds the local 11:00 am show, “The Rundown with Jon Arias,” leading into the Drew Olson show that emanates from flagship WOKY, Milwaukee.  Off the schedule is FOX Sports Radio’s Rich Eisen program…..Salem Radio Network is partnering with Save the Children to help rush life-saving emergency supplies to children and families in Florida affected by Hurricane Irma.  To help raise funds, Lou Dobbs – host of SRN’s “Lou Dobbs Financial Reports” and “Lou Dobbs Tonight” on FOX Business Network – is lending his personal support to the campaign with messages in SRN’s nationally syndicated talk shows.  Salem Radio has helped raise more than $400,000 in emergency relief for victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas.

Hurricane Irma, Hillary Clinton Book/Interviews, North Korea Threats, Bannon ’60 Minutes’ Interview, ‘Antifa’ at Portland Rally, IT Film, NFL Opening Weekend, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The anticipation of Hurricane Irma’s making landfall in Florida on Sunday night; Hillary Clinton’s book assessing her loss to Donald Trump in November and her appearances on talk shows; North Korea’s threats against the U.S.; former White House adviser Stephen K. Bannon’s interview with Charlie Rose on CBS’ “60 Minutes”; “Antifa” members are arrested for violence at Portland rally; the movie based on the Stephen King book IT dominates the weekend box office; NFL action in the opening weekend of the season; and Major League Baseball’s playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At the Houston operations of Radio One, Pamela B. McKay is named the new vice president/general manager.  McKay formerly served as president of the iHeartMedia Austin station group.  Radio One CEO David Kantor says, “Today is a good day for Radio One Houston.  Our team continues to literally weather the storm, but now can do so with a first-class leader who is willing to get into the trenches with them.  We’re excited to have Pam join our team and look forward to the growth of the market based on her multifaceted skill set and robust experience.”…..Over in Dallas, Radio One flips from hip hop to urban contemporary on KSOC and re-brands the station “MAJIC 94-5.”  With that change comes the return of to Tom Joyner to the market in the morning drive daypart and the addition of D.L. Hughley in afternoons.  Radio One Dallas vice president and general manager Tami Honesty comments, “We’re excited to bring a fresh, new vibe to the airwaves with ‘MAJIC 94-5’ and I think the Metroplex will like what they hear.  With today’s fast-paced news cycle, the return of Tom Joyner during mornings and the addition of D.L. Hughley in afternoons, we’ll connect with our listeners on another level giving us the right balance of music and entertainment.”…..Adams Radio Group appoints Colleen Carew program director for classic rock WGBG, Salisbury-Ocean City, Maryland.  Carew will also serve as the station’s midday personality.  She was most recently the midday personality at Shamrock Communications’ classic rock WZBA, Baltimore “100.7 The Bay.” Carew takes over for Laura Lee, who’s been serving as interim PD since the departure of Johnny Maze last month…..Programming pro Brent Henslee exits iHeartMedia where he’s been senior vice president of programming for the Macon, Georgia cluster for the past three and a half years…..The nationally syndicated “Pop Crush Nights” show hosted by Lisa Paige is added to the program schedule at Saga Communications’ CHR WNRG, Milwaukee “Energy 106-9.”  Station PD Jeremy “Cousin Ed” Schulz says, “In our competitive CHR arena, we were looking for a personality-driven night show jam packed with content.  Lisa’s got it!  It made ‘Pop Crush Nights’ an easy choice.”  “Pop Crush Nights” is syndicated by Compass Media Networks…..The fifth annual “We Can Survive” concert at the historic Hollywood Bowl – presented by CBS RADIO in honor of breast cancer awareness – takes place on October 21.  This year’s lineup includes: Alessia Cara, Harry Styles, Kesha, Khalid, Lorde, Macklemore, P!nk, Sam Hunt, and Sam Smith.  CBS RADIO EVP of programming Chris Oliviero says, “To celebrate the show’s fifth anniversary we’ve assembled our biggest ever lineup at the legendary Hollywood Bowl.  ‘We Can Survive’ is an especially unique show which brings together today’s most popular artists and their fans to raise awareness for a worthy cause and celebrate survivors.”

 

 

Round Four of August PPMs Released. The fourth and final round of August 2017 PPM ratings information from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s August 2017 survey period covered July 19 – August 16. View all the 6+ numbers here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Austin – Tacking on seven-tenths to July’s +.4, Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ-FM “Majic 95.5 Better Music for a Better Workday” progresses from fourth to a third-place tie (5.4 – 5.8 – 6.5, 6+) and has its best 6+-share since February’s 8.0. Meanwhile, urban AC KKMJ-HD3, which hadn’t had an increase the past five sweeps for a net loss of nine-tenths (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+), gains one-tenth to 1.6 and returns to the top twenty (#21 to #19, 6+). A collective -1.1 via three straight decreases (4.3 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.2, 6+), Emmis’ KROX “101-X Alternative Austin” bounces back with an improvement of six-tenths to 3.8, climbing from #14 to #11 (6+). In addition to being without a decrease for the third consecutive time for an overall +1.3 (7.4 – 8.5 – 8.7 – 8.7, 6+), adult hits cluster-mate hits KBPA “Bob” is #1 for the seventh successive month. “Bob” was a combined -1.7 in April and May, with May’s 7.4 its lowest 6+-stat since June 2015’s 7.4. With the exception of October and the “Holiday” 2016 report, KBPA held the lead each month in calendar year 2016. By dropping two-tenths (to 3.9, +), co-owned KLBJ-AM has its string of consecutive up or flat trends that accounted for a cumulative +1.1 end at seven (3.0 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+), but the news/talk outlet manages to return to the top ten (#11 #10). Not only is triple A cluster-mate KGSR (#16 to #15) within 2.0 – 2.9 range for the 18th time in succession, “93.3 Radio Austin” is up for the fourth straight sweep for an overall gain of seven-tenths (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+). It is a mixed bag for iHeartMedia’s country siblings, as KVET-FM “98.1 All Time Country Favorites,” which had been trending 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.1 (6+), improves by six-tenths to 6.7 and remains at #2 (6+). Meanwhile, KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country” erodes by eight-downs to drop from sixth to eighth (5.0 – 4.2, 6+). Following three straight 4.6-showings (6+), KASE dropped one-tenth in June and picked up one-half share in July. The market’s other FM country outlet – “Genuine Austin Radio’s KOKE-FM “Austin’s Country Alternative” (unchanged at #17) – is without a loss for the sixth straight time and is up a cumulative one-half share in that stretch (1.7- 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.2, 6+). Trending 3.0 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 3.6 – 3.7 (6+), Crista Media contemporary Christian KFMK “Spirit 105.9” falters by seven-tenths and is back to where it was in March (3.0, #13 to #14, 6+). Off by one-half share each are iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KPEZ “102.3 The Beat” (4.3 – 3.8, 6+), which departs the top ten (#8 to #11), and University of Texas at Austin triple A KUTX “98.9 The Austin Music Experience” (1.6 – 1.1, 6+), exiting the top twenty (#19 to #21), with its lowest 6+-share since November 2016 (1.1, as well).

2) Raleigh – Following four straight down or flat monthlies for an overall -1.7 (6.0 – 6.0 – 5.4 – 4.8 – 4.3, 6+) iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK “106.1 – Stay Connected” roars back with a +1.2 to 5.5 (6+), jumping from tenth to seventh. Within 1.8 – 2.4 range (6+) in each of the last nine ratings periods, Educational Information’s WCPE “89.7 The Classical Station” erupts with a +1.2 as well (1.9 – 3.1, #17 to #15, 6+) and logs its best 6+-share since July 2016’s 3.2. A combined -1.1 in June and July (3.5 – 2.9 – 2.4, 6+), Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC erases that loss in its entirety with a +1.1 as “ESPN 99.9 – The Fan” returns to 3.5 (6+) and carries on at #14. After being off by nearly two full-shares in four straight negative trends (8.5 – 7.9 – 7.2 – 7.0 – 6.7, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s WUNC notches a +.2 to 6.9 (6+) and advances from fourth to third. Not only is Radio One urban AC WFXC #1 for the third straight month, “Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is +1.9 in five straight improvements (6.8 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.7, 6+) and has its highest 6+-share since 8.8 in “Holiday” 2012. Debuting this time last month at #14 with a 2.4 (6+), the stream of Curtis Media Group adult hits WBBB “96.1 BBB, Your Life – Your Music” already disappears from print. Steady in fifth-place, the actual FM signal of “96.1 BBB, Your Life – Your Music” registers its fourth successive increase for an overall gain of +2.1 (4.3 – 4.9 – 6.0 – 6.3 – 6.4, 6+). A positive spike of six-tenths in May halted three consecutive (modest) downward trends that accounted for a six-tenths’ loss (4.9 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+). On the heels of July’s -.7, iHeartMedia CHR WDCG “G-105 – Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” spirals by another full-share (6.2 – 5.2, 6+) and segues from sixth to eighth. This is the softest 6+-share for “G-105” since “Holiday” 2013’s 5.0. Falling by one-half share each are Curtis Media Group classic hits-oldies WKIX “Kix 102.9 – Carolina’s Greatest Hits” (4.4, eighth to ninth, 6+) and Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WRTP “HIS Radio” (1.9 – 1.4, #16 to #18, 6+). Until August’s -.5, “Kix 102.9” was an overall +1.2 as the result of five progressive trends in succession (3.7 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 4.8 – 4.9, 6+). A -.3 in July ended at six WRTP’s consecutive streak of up or flat trends that more than quintupled its 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016 (.4 – .6 – .7 – .7 – .8 – 1.5 – 2.2, 6+). Without an increase for the sixth successive sweep for a combined -2.1 (8.8 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4 – 7.1 – 6.9 – 6.7, 6+) Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5,” which was #1 for four straight sweeps before slipping to third in June, drops to fourth-place with its weakest 6+-share since 6.5 in March 2015.

3) Indianapolis – The major August 2017 story in the “Circle City” involves iHeartMedia-owned WFBQ “Q-95 Rocks” which – in addition to boasting its eighth successive improvement for an overall gain of an eye-popping three full-shares (4.6 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 6.4 – 6.7 – 7.0 – 7.6, 6+) – marches from second to first. Two other reasons making this a monumental month for “Q-95” are that 7.6 is its highest-ever (6+) stat and it reaches #1 for the first time in the PPM-era. Down or flat in each of the last five survey periods for a collective -1.6 (7.7 – 7.2 – 6.5 – 6.5 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+), Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WJJK answers with a gain of nine-tenths to 7.0 (6+) and cruises from fifth to second. Co-owned WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” continues its rollercoaster ride, which includes being a combined +.8 in May and June; plummeting by -.9 in July; and now registering a +.8 in August (5.9 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 5.8 – 6.6, 6+) to climb from seventh to fifth. Posting a +.8 in August as well and continuing at #8 is Entercom hot AC WNTR “107.9 The Mix – Better Variety for a Better Workday,” which dropped one-tenth in July, snapping at five its string of up or flat trends that netted a collective +1.5 (3.5 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 5.0, 6+). As the result of four consecutive up or flat trends, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WQRA “Air 1 Positive Hits” doubles what is now its highest 6+-share since it began appearing in print last December (.8 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.6, #19 to #17, 6+). Both of Indy’s CHR stations erode by nine-tenths, including the one WFBQ bumped from the top spot after seven consecutive months there – Entercom’s WZPL – which slides to fourth-place (7.7 – 6.8, 6+). At the same time, Radio One’s similarly-programmed WNOW “100.9 Radio Now” falls to 3.1 (flat at #13, 6+), halting three consecutive increases which netted seven-tenths (3.3 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 4.0, 6+). Off by nine-tenths as well is WNOW’s urban AC cluster-mate WTLC-FM “Indy’s R&B Leader,” which drops out of the top ten (4.9 – 4.0, #8 to #11, 6+). Following five consecutive down or flat trends that accounted for a -2.8 (7.1 – 6.2 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+), WTLC-FM gained six-tenths in July.

4) Milwaukee – The market’s (6+) country share balloons by +1.8, with the credit nearly equally divided between iHeartMedia-owned WMIL “FM 106.1 Milwaukee’s Best Country” (+1.0, 6+) and Scripps’ WKTI “94.5 KTI Country” (+.8, 6+). Moreover, both stations extend their existing winning streaks. Specifically, “FM 106.1” is up or flat for the fourth time in a row for a net gain of +1.4 (5.1 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 6.5, 6+) progressing from fifth to second, while WKTI posts its third straight gain for a collective +1.1 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.8, 6+) and cracks the top ten (#11 to #8). The last time WMIL crossed the six-share threshold (6+) was in July 2016 with a 6.3. Two-tenths behind WMIL and matching the +.8 of WKTI is Entercom hot AC WMYX “99.1 The Mix” (5.5 – 6.3, fifth to third, 6+). This is the highest 6+-stat for “Mix” since last September’s 6.5. As a result of five straight positive spikes, Milwaukee Radio Alliance-owned WZTI “Milwaukee’s True Oldies Channel” has nearly quadrupled its 6+-share since March (.6 – .7 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.9 – 2.2, 6+) and is steady at #16. Without going higher than 1.5 or lower than 1.1 over the course of the last 19 sweeps – which covers March 2016 through August 2017, Milwaukee Public Schools’ triple A WYMS “88 Nine” (#15 to #18) has a 6+-line of: 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3. After sputtering by six-tenths in July (5.5 – 4.9, 6+), Saga Communications’ WHQG “102.9 The Hog – Everything That Rocks” recoups all but one-tenth (5.4, +.5, 6+) and continues at #7. Prior to July, “The Hog” posted a 5.5 (6+) in three of the previous four survey periods. On the other hand, urban AC sibling WJMR “Jammin’ 98.3 Today’s R&B and Old School” freefalls from #5 to #13 by surrendering a whopping -1.5 to 4.0 (6+). WJMR was a combined +1.1 in June and July (4.4 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+). Taking a significant plunge as well is iHeartMedia urban contemporary WKKV “V-100.7 Milwaukee’s Only Hip-Hop and R&B,” slipping from second to sixth and noting its weakest 6+-stat since January’s 5.7 (7.1 – 5.9, -1.2, 6+). On the heels of returning to double-digits (6+) for the fourth time in the last five sweeps as it did in July, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” slips to 9.6 (6+), but is #1 for the 29th consecutive time. Recent “Big” month-to-month moves include +1.7 (October 2015); -.7 (November 2015); +5.6 (“Holiday” 2015); -5.7 (January 2016); +1.3 (February); +1.1 (April); -.6 (May); -1.1 (August); -.6 (September) +1.2 (November); -.5 (December); +2.1 (“Holiday” 2016); -2.4 (January 2017); +2.5 (March); -1.2 (May); +.8 (July); and now -1.1 in August. Slipping by six-tenths each are CHR cluster-mate WRNW “97-3 Now – Milwaukee’s #1 For All the Hits” (3.2, #12 to #14, 6+) and Scripps news/talk WTMJ “Radio 620 – Wisconsin’s Radio Station” (6.0, third to fifth, 6+). Owing to four straight improvements, “Now” had been up by an overall full-share (2.8 – 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.8, 6+); WTMJ was locked on 6.6 (6+) in June and July.

5) Nashville – Up one-tenth in both June and July (4.7 – 4.8 – 4.9, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WWTN “Super Talk 99.7 WTN” busts out a +.8 to 5.7, its strongest 6+-stat since January’s 5.8, and advances from ninth to seventh. After regressing six-tenths in July (3.3 – 2.7, 6+), sports talk sibling WGFX bounces back with a one-half share increase to 3.2 (6+) as “104.5 The Zone” remains at #14. In June, WGFX returned in its entirety May’s one-half share increase. Prior to May’s +.5, “The Zone” plummeted by more than four full-shares in six successive decreases (7.6 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.3 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+). Steady at #3, iHeartMedia urban contemporary sibling WUBT “101.1 The Beat Nashville’s Home for Hip-Hop and R&B” improves by four-tenths to 7.0 (6+), curtailing three successive downward moves that accounted for a loss of nine-tenths (7.5 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.6, 6+). All three Nashville FM country outlets improve from July and they combine for an overall increase of one full-share. Specifically: In addition to picking up four-tenths, Cumulus Media’s WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” enters the top ten (3.9 – 4.3, #11 to #10, 6+); co-owned WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” adds four-tenths as well, but remains at #10 (4.1 – 4.5, 6+); and iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” gains two-tenths and is unchanged at #8 (5.4 – 5.6, 6+). Meanwhile, this is the second straight survey period that Ryman Hospitality Properties classic country WSM-AM is unlisted; “650 AM – The Most Famed Country Music Station in the World” had a 1.8 (#16, 6+) in June. From July 2016 through August 2017, WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYM has consistently been in 1.0 – 1.8 territory (6+). Its current 1.7 (+.6 from July, #18 to #16, 6+) is the highest for “WAY-FM Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” since November’s 1.8. By doubling June’s gain of six-tenths with a +1.2 in July (7.1 – 8.3, 6+), Midwest Communications’ adult hits WCJK escaped a three-way logjam in the runner-up slot and climbed to #1. While it remains on top, “96.3 Jack-FM – Playing What We Want” returns exactly half of July’s gain (7.7, -.6, 6+). Prior to a -.7 in May, Nashville’s “Jack” was up or flat the previous four months gaining +1.9 (5.3 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 7.2 – 7.2, 6+). On the heels of making a positive spike of nine-tenths, Nashville Public Radio classical WFCL surrenders a whopping -1.5 (2.5 – 1.0, #15 to #18, 6+). July’s +.9 increase ended at four its string of down or flat monthlies that generated an overall loss of one-half share (2.1 – 1.9 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.6, 6+). Slumping by one-half share each are Cumulus Media urban AC WQQK “92-Q” (5.9, fifth to sixth, 6+), which had been trending 6.4 – 6.5 – 6.4 (6+), and Cromwell Group’s WQZQ “Classic Hits 93.3” (1.3 – .8, 6+), exiting the top twenty (#17 to #22).

6) Providence – As the result of five increases in succession (4.8 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.7, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWBB “B-101” gains a cumulative nine-tenths and advances from sixth to fifth. Locked on 2.9 (6+) in April and May and then on 2.6 (6+) in June and July, Entercom sports talk WVEI upticks to 2.7 ((unchanged at #8, 6+), mirroring what it logged in March. Dropping six-tenths in both May and June (11.0 – 10.4 – 9.8, 6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” bounces back in July and August with a cumulative gain of one full-share (9.8 – 10.0 – 10.8, 6+) and is #1 for the 23rd consecutive ratings period. Having eroded by more than seven full-shares in January to 10.7 (6+), WWLI was a combined -.4 in February and March (10.7 – 10.6 – 10.3, 6+) and then up seven-tenths in April. Down in each of the last three sweeps by an overall -1.5 (9.8 – 9.1 – 8.4 – 8.3, 6+), therefore erasing in its entirety May’s +1.5, CHR cluster-mate WPRO-FM “Today’s Hit Music” drops from second to third. Immediately before the May ratings period, WPRO-FM had been trending 8.7 – 8.5 – 8.6 – 8.3 (6+); 9.8 was its highest 6+-share since February 2015 (also 9.8). Flat at #7, co-owned news/talk WPRO-AM continues its up/down pattern that it began in February (3.7 – 4.0 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 3.3, 6+) and has lost four-tenths in that timeframe. Elsewhere in the news/talk arena, iHeartMedia’s WHJJ “News Radio 920” doubles its 6+-share in four successive up or flat trends (.6 – .6 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2, 6+), but backslides from #11 to #12, while Cumulus Media’s WPRV “AM 790 – Talk & Business” improves by an overall four-tenths in four consecutive sweeps without a loss (.3 – .3 – .4 – .5 – .7, 6+), yet slips from #13 to #14. Accounting for these particular ranker drops despite 6+ AQH gains is the addition in print of Red Wolf Broadcasting Spanish tropical WKKB “Latina 100.3,” debuting at #11 with a 1.8 (6+). Additionally, that company’s WSKP “Good Times – Great Oldies” surfaces in August with a .2 (#16, 6+). Three straight sweeps without a decrease produced a +1.2 for Hall Communications’ WCTK (7.2 – 7.6 – 8.4 – 8.4, 6+), but “Cat Country 98.1” drops one-half share to 7.9 and segues from second to fourth (6+). In addition to posting its fourth straight decrease for an overall loss of -1.5 (6.6 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.5 – 5.1, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC WSNE “Coast 93.3” slips from fifth to sixth and has its lowest 6+-share since 4.6 in “Holiday” 2016.

7) Norfolk – No sooner does Saga Communications’ WNOR register a gain of six-tenths in July to 7.4, the highest 6+ share to that point in its PPM-history, “FM 99 Rocks” doubles that +.6 with a +1.2 in August to 8.6 (6+), thus setting a new milestone. Even so, WNOR (unchanged at #2) is more than five full-shares behind Entercom urban AC WVKL “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today,” which follows July’s +1.4 with a gain of three-tenths (12.0 – 13.4 – 13.7, 6+) and is #1 for the eighth time in a row, after an earlier tenure of 55 consecutive ratings periods on top. It registers a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 16th time in the last 17 ratings periods. Furthermore, 13.7 is the highest 6+-stat reached by any Norfolk station ever in the PPM-era. Continuing this record-setting theme, we return to the Saga cluster, where classic rock WAFX notches its fourth straight sweep without a loss for an overall +1.2 (5.3 – 5.5 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 6.5, steady at #4, 6+); its current 6.5 is the strongest 6+-share for “106.9 The Fox” in more than seven years (6.6, July 2010). A collective +.9 via three straight improvements (3.6 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.5, 6+), Entercom rhythmic CHR WNVZ “Z-104 All The Hits” returns all but two-tenths of that increase (3.8, -.7, 6+) and flips from fifth to sixth. Apparently, “seven” is the key word for hot AC cluster-mate WPTE “94.9 The Point,” which carries on in seventh place, but its consecutive string of up or flat trends for an overall increase of +1.4 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1, 6+) ends at seven with a -.4 to 3.7 (6+). Co-owned adult contemporary WWDE is down or flat for the fifth straight month and is -1.7 since March (6.0 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.3, 6+), however, “2WD” manages to climb from sixth to fifth. While it continues in ninth-place, iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMOV “Movin’ 107.7 – The Rhythm of Hampton Roads” has lost one full-share as the result of three straight downward moves (2.8 – 2.7 – 2.1 – 1.8 (6+).

8) Greensboro – Following a July gain of one-half share (8.8 – 9.3, 6+), Entercom adult hits WSMW tacks on eight-tenths to 10.1, enabling “98.7 Simon says We Play Everything” to reach double-digits (6+) for the first time since January (10.3) and cruise from third to second. By replicating July’s +.7, co-owned country WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” likewise makes a one-notch ranker move (6.3 – 7.0 – 7.7, fifth to fourth, 6+). “The Wolf” was a cumulative +1.5 in January and February (4.8 – 5.6 – 6.3, 6+); -.7 in March; bounced back with a combined +1.0 in April and May; and lost three-tenths in June. This is the highest 6+-share for Greensboro’s “Wolf” since its 9.0 nearly three years ago (September 2014). Six-tenths behind “Wolf” and steady in sixth-place is iHeartMedia’s WTQR “New Country Q-104.1” (6.9 – 7.1, +.2, 6+). A July loss of three-tenths by “Q-104.1” pulled the plug on six consecutive up or flat trends that yielded a +2.5 (4.7 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.3 – 7.2, 6+). Sandwiched between the two country rivals is iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMAG “99.5 – The Triad’s Best Mix,” which despite being a combined +1.5 in three straight gains (5.7 – 6.5 – 7.1 – 7.2, 6+) immediately after three straight negative trends that accounted for a -1.1 (6.8 – 6.7 – 5.9 – 5.7, 6+), backslides from fourth to fifth. This is the strongest 6+-stat for WMAG since “Holiday” 2016’s 15.2. Over and above achieving double-digits (6+) for the ninth straight sweep and posting a gain of three-tenths to 11.2 (6+), Entercom urban AC WQMG is #1 for the third straight time. An impressive +1.5 in June to 11.6 – its most potent 6+-share in over three years (11.9, March 2014) – “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” faltered by seven-tenths in July. Up or flat in four consecutive ratings periods accounting for a +1.2 (9.7 – 9.7 – 10.1 – 10.5 – 10.9, 6+), WQMG surrendered six-tenths in March and has occupied the top spot each month this calendar year except April and May. After cobbling together three straight improvements for a combined +1.2 (9.5 – 9.9 – 10.1 – 10.7, 6+), rhythmic CHR sibling WJMH “102 Jamz” follows with four successive losses accounting for a collective -2.1 (10.7 – 10.4 – 10.1 – 9.6 – 8.6, 6+), dipping from second to third. Over the course of the last 14 survey periods (August 2016 – August 2017), “Jamz” has been in double-digits (6+) 10 times, missing out this year in January, February, July, and now in August. Flat at #10, iHeartMedia CHR WMKS “100.3 Kiss FM” has its fourth decrease in succession for an overall loss of -1.5 (4.2 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.0 – 2.7, 6+) and registers the lowest 6+-share in its PPM-history.

9) West Palm Beach – Five successive positive spikes by iHeartMedia’s WKGR have accounted for an overall +1.7 (4.8 – 5.1 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.5, 6+), and “98.7 The Gater – The Palm Beaches’ Rock Station” finishes in the runner-up position for the third time in a row. As a result of gaining six-tenths (4.6 – 5.2, 6+), co-owned adult contemporary WOLL “Today’s KOOL 105.5” has its best 6+-share since January’s 5.9 and marches from fifth to third. Following three successive months without a gain in which it lost more than two full-shares (6.6 – 5.9 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+), “Today’s KOOL 105.5” was a combined +.6 in April and May (4.5 – 4.6 – 5.1, 6+). On the flipside, Alpha Media’s similarly-formatted WEAT “Sunny 107.9” erodes by a collective -1.8 in its third straight dip (6.5 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.7, 6+) and trades places with WOLL (third to fifth). This is the lowest 6+-share for “Sunny” since its 4.6 in November 2015. The market’s other adult contemporary property – JVC Media’s WSVU – is without an increase for the fifth time in a row with “South Florida’s 95.9 – The Palm” down approximately 50% since March (1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2 – .9 – .7 – .7, #15 to #16, 6+). An overall -1.6 in June and July (5.6 – 5.1 – 4.0, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WLDI upticks to 4.1 (6+) and remains in eighth-place. Just prior to June, “Wild 95.5 – The Palm Beaches’ #1 Hit Music Station” was a collective +1.3 in three straight increases (4.3 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.6, 6+). Sibling WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” doubles its 6+share from May by registering its third straight improvement (1.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.2, steady at #9, 6+). Unchanged at #15, Alpha Media’s WFTL “News Talk 850” is up two-tenths to .9 (6+), thus pulling the plug on four straight down or flat trends that resulted in a roughly 50% loss of its 6+-share (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.2 – 1.2 – .7, 6+). Winning ways continue for its hot AC cluster-mate WRMF, which not only registers its fourth straight increase for an overall +1.6 (9.3 – 9.4 – 9.5 – 10.4 – 10.9, 6+), “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” ranks first for the eighth consecutive month and has its strongest 6+-share since November 2015’s 11.3. In advance of the “Holiday” 2016 report, WRMF was #1 the previous five ratings periods. It fell to second in July 2016, after 23 successive sweeps at #1. Off a combined -1.4 the last two ratings periods (5.9 – 5.1 – 4.5, 6+), co-owned WIRK “103.1 – South Florida’s Country Music” picks up three-tenths to 4.8 (6+), jumping from seventh to fourth.

10) Jacksonville –No station in any of PPM’s 48 electronically-measured markets has a higher (6+) July 2017 – August 2017 increase in excess of the +1.9 by iHeartMedia adult hits WWJK “107.3 The River – We Play Anything” (3.8 – 5.7, 6+), which leaps from tenth to sixth and matches its 5.7 from June 2016. Conversely, the -2.7 by Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL-FM “96.9 The Eagle” (9.1 – 6.4, 6+) is the largest July 2017 – August 2017 decrease by any station in the 48 PPM-markets. “The Eagle” was down one-half share in July after a +.9 in June. Sputtering by one-half share this time last month, public news/talk WJCT rebounds with a +.7 (2.6 – 3.3, 6+) to climb from #13 to #12. Trending 7.6 – 7.9 – 7.6 – 7.6 – 7.9 (March through July, 6+), Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WEJZ “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” drops four-tenths to 7.5, but manages to inch up from fourth to third (6+). On the other hand, Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted WEZI advances by one-half share to 3.2 – its strongest 6+-share since December’s 3.4 – yet “Easy 106.5” backslides from #12 to #13. This is its third straight sweep without a decrease (2.6 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 3.2, 6+). Improving by one-half share as well is iHeartMedia gospel WKSL-HD3, which began appearing in print in February and is trending 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.4 (#15 to #14, 6+). Eroding by a combined -1.8 in July and August (12.2 – 11.6 – 10.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WQIK “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country” is nonetheless on top for the eighth straight time. A January +2.1 to 12.8 produced its best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. Continuing on the topic of significant month-to-month fluctuations, the five most recent shifts by urban-rhythmic oldies cluster-mate WSOL “V-101.5” are: -.6 (in April, ending a 6+-sequence of 4.9 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 4.9, 6+); +.8 (May): -.7 (June); a stunning +1.7 (July); and now -.9 to 5.2 (sixth to seventh, 6+). July’s 6.1 was its highest 6+-performance since 6.3 in May 2016. Likewise, the rollercoaster ride plays on for Cox Media Group-owned WXXJ “X-102.9 Jacksonville’s New Alternative,” which was down by one-half share in June; recaptured completely that -.5 in July; and regresses by six-tenths in August (4.0 – 3.5 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+) to exit the top ten (#9 to #11). Prior to June’s -.5, “X-102.9” had been up or flat in each of the last five sweeps netting seven-tenths (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+). As noted in the above introduction, the August 2017 survey period covered July 20 – August 16, (obviously) several weeks prior to the arrival and devastating impact of hurricane Irma in Florida (PPM) markets Miami, Tampa, Orlando, West Palm Beach, and Jacksonville.

11) Memphis – Following back-to-back increases that produced a gain of one full-share (4.9 – 5.2 – 5.9, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WGKX was off by four-tenths in July, but “Kix 106 – Today’s Best Country” bounces back with a gain twice the margin of that loss (5.5 – 6.3, +.8, 6+), progressing from seventh to fifth with its highest 6+-stat since February’s 6.6. Its format rival – Entercom’s WLFP “94.1 The Wolf” – has its third straight increase and is +1.1 in that stretch (2.4 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+), cracking the top ten (#11 to #10). Posting gains of seven-tenths each are Cumulus Media-owned WXMX “98.1 The Max, Maximum Rock” (4.5, steady at #8, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WEGR “Rock 103 – Memphis Classic Rock” (3.0, #13 to #12, 6+), which was a combined -1.4 in June and July (3.7 – 2.4 – 2.3, 6+). With a December 2016 through June 2017 6+-share consistently between 4.2 and 4.8, “The Max” spiraled by one full-share in July to 3.8, ending three consecutive sweeps without a loss for a modest gain of three-tenths (4.5 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+). As the result of three successive positive upticks, Entercom adult contemporary WRVR “104.5 The River Continuous Soft Rock” is a cumulative +1.8 (5.7 – 6.0 – 6.9 – 7.5, unchanged at #4, 6+) and notes its best 6+-stat since February’s 7.7. Despite gaining one-tenth to 1.0 (6+) to end eight straight down or flat sweeps that accounted for a -1.0 (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9 – .9, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KWNW “101.9 Kiss FM – All The Hits” backslides from #15 to #16. Extremely consistent with its March through August trending (9.1 – 9.3 – 9.3 – 9.4 – 9.4 – 9.3, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned WRBO “103.5 Soul Classics and Today’s R&B” marches from second to first. It supplants iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS, which had been #1 the past six survey periods but segues to the runner-up slot. It had on top for ten consecutive monthlies before sliding to #2 in “Holiday” 2016. Off by one full-share in August (10.2 – 9.2, 6+), KJMS curtails seven straight up or flat trends that netted a +1.4 (8.8 – 9.0 – 9.3 – 9.3 – 9.5 – 9.9 10.2, 6+). Prior to July, the last time “V-101” reached double-digits (6+) was September 2016 (10.2, as well). Another winning streak in that iHeartMedia cluster comes to an end as urban contemporary WHRK “K-97 Memphis’ Only Hip-Hop and R&B,” a collective +1.8 as the result of three straight sweeps without a decrease (6.5 – 7.4 – 7.5 – 8.3 – 8.3, 6+), falters by seven-tenths to 7.6 (6+) but is in third-place for the fifth month in succession. Losing one-half share each are Entercom hot AC WMC-FM “FM 100 – Today’s Best Mix,” down or flat for the third straight time for an overall -1.3 (7.0 – 6.2- 6.2 – 5.7, fifth to seventh, 6+), and Cumulus Media urban-rhythmic oldies WKIM “98.9 The Vibe – Classic Hip-Hop,” which drops out of the top ten (3.6 – 3.1, #9 to #11, 6+).

12) Hartford – Rebounding from July’s one-half share loss with a gain nearly twice that amount Connoisseur Media-owned WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale Hartford’s Classic Rock” advances from seventh to sixth (5.7 – 5.2 – 6.1, +.9, 6+). Whereas August’s 6.1 is the highest 6+-share for “The Whale” since December 2015’s 6.8, July’s 5.2 was its lowest since February’s 4.9. Climbing from sixth to fifth and matching June 2016’s 6.5, CBS Radio CHR WKSS “Kiss 95.7 All The Hits” is a combined +.8 in July and August (5.7 – 6.4 – 6.5, 6+). Up three-tenths (9.9 – 10.2, 6+), adult contemporary cluster-mate WRCH “Lite 100.5” is the market pacesetter for the 12th successive ratings period. Prior to July, it had been in double-digits (6+) eight times in the previous nine sweeps. “Lite” was up by a cumulative nine-tenths in February and March (10.2 – 10.5 – 11.1, 6+), but then down by an overall -1.4 in April and May (11.1 – 10.0 – 9.7, 6+). Its online stream, however, which scored a .5 in each of the last four sweeps and was #14 in July (6+) disappears from print. Co-owned hot AC WTIC-FM dips by four-tenths and slips from second to third (8.3 – 7.9, 6+); its stream is trending .1 – .2 – .2 – .2 – (#16 to #15). Faltering by seven-tenths is co-owned news/talk WTIC-AM (eighth to ninth), posting its seventh straight decrease. Moreover, its 6+-share has been carved exactly in half since January (8.8 – 8.3 – 8.1 – 7.3 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 5.1 – 4.4, 6+) and WTIC-AM has the softest 6+-share in its PPM-history. Off by seven-tenths as well is iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WHCN “105.9 The River” (5.8, fifth to seventh, 6+), which had been within 6.1 – 6.5 territory in each of the last six sweeps (6.3 – 6.2 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 6.5, 6+). The last time “The River” fell below a six-share (6+) was February 2015 (5.6). After gaining one full-share in June and then dropping one-half share in July (7.8 – 8.8 – 8.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WWYZ “92-5 Connecticut’s Country Music” is flat at 8.3 and carries on in the runner-up slot. Without an increase for the fourth time in succession, Red Wolf Spanish tropical WMRQ-HD2 is an overall -1.2 (2.7 – 1.9 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5, #11 to #12, 6+).

AM Radio: Stop the Doomsday Machine!

| June 6, 2017

By Walter Sabo
Sabo Media
CEO

 

NEW YORK — It is hard to overstate how much I love radio and believe in its future.  This article suggests a necessary, urgent corrective action that must be taken to give AM talk radio a viable future.

First, my credentials for making this case:  Starting in 1990, I launched a large number of major market FM talk stations such as “New Jersey 101.5,” KLSX-FM in Los Angeles and “Real Radio 104” in Orlando. Simultaneously I consulted WOR, WIOD, WRKO, WISN and many others. For eight years, from pre-launch, I was the on-site consultant that built out all Sirius Satellite radio channels, music and talk.  Prior to that I was the VP/GM of the ABC Radio Networks. EVP in charge of the NBC FM stations where adult contemporary was created and perfected.  History shows that most successful media companies are product-driven.  The wrong product results in failure.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

| August 11, 2015

Crowder, ChanningFor WQAM – Three’s A Crowd in PM Drive. Today’s arrival (Tuesday, 8/11) of Channing Crowder will transform the afternoon drive program (2:00 pm – 6:00 pm) of CBS Radio-owned WQAM “Miami Sports Radio 560” into a three-person affair, as the former Miami Dolphins linebacker joins Marc Hochman and Zach Krantz. Regarding Crowder, program director Ryan Maguire comments, “His insight as a former college and professional football player – as well as his one-of-a-kind brand of humor – will be a great addition to what MarcWQAM and Zach bring to the table every day. This is going to be a very unique, locally focused program that will be entertaining and insightful.” Crowder remarks, “I am excited for the opportunity to work with ‘Hoch’ and Zach. We are going to bring listeners a different kind of show they won’t be able to find anywhere else.” A former all-South East Conference player at the University of Florida, Crowder began at WQAM in 2009 as a contributor. Prior to becoming part of “Hochman, Crowder, & Krantz,” he co-hosted the station’s mid-day (1:00 pm – 3:00 pm) program.

Vassilaros, DimitriPittsburgh Broadcaster in Online “Crowd-funding” Campaign. The “Don’t Spy on Me” project, which began last Monday (8/3) and ends in three weeks (9/1), creates an internet show for Pittsburgh talk host Dimitri Vassilaros. Online programs, of course, are not subject to Federal Communications Commission regulations, so callers are able to speak freely. Vassilaros tells TALKERS, “Forgoing short-term revenue to create long-term value has helped many internet startups become desirable to investors. This new radio show will provide people with a platform where they can express their thoughts, amplify their voices, and talk back to all authoritarians. Internet freedom means unlimited choices, not government restrictions. Your right of privacy is worth fighting for.” Vassilaros’ background includes being a talk show host on Pittsburgh stations KDKA-AM and WTAE, as well as a columnist/reporter for The Pittsburgh Tribune Review.

Rogers, Mike“Something To Think About” Notes Affiliate Benchmark. Seven months after its debut, the weekday vignettes that its syndicator – Westwood One – labels a “slice of Americana” eclipse the 150-station mark. In fact, the station count for the segments voiced by former Michigan congressman/ex-FBI agent Mike Rogers that stations air thrice daily is up to 156. Westwood One senior vice president of affiliate sales Dennis Green states, “We have been searching for a strong voice that provides a common sense and thought-provoking take on relatable topics that concern all Americans. Mike Rogers brings that home in his commentary, which gives listeners a chance to pause and reflect on the ideals that are important to us all and are without any political bias.” Outgoing House IntelligenceWestwood One Committee chair Rogers remarks that surpassing the 150-station mark so fast is “really exciting” and that listener feedback is inspiring. “It truly is an honor to be welcomed into cars, homes, and businesses of so many people across the country.  Sometimes, it is the simplest message that has the greatest impact.” Among those airing the commentaries are Cumulus Media New York talker WABC; co-owned Chicago talker WLS-AM; San Francisco talk sibling KSFO; iHeartMedia-owned Miami talk outlet WIOD; and CBS Radio Pittsburgh talker KDKA-AM.

McGraw-Milhaven-PicOdds & Sods. The lucky guy who is all smiles is McGraw Milhaven. The KTRS, St Louis morning man recently took 40 listeners on a 12-day, six-country, 11-city tour of Europe including stops in Berlin, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and London. Milhaven is seen here capturing a memory at the Tower Bridge over the Thames.

Glenn Beck2Beck in the War Room. Sporting an orange ball cap, Premiere Radio Networks host Glenn Beck was among hundreds who turned out last night (Monday, 8/10) in Dallas for the world premiere of the Kendrick Brothers’ film “War Room.” Salem Radio Network vice president of news & talk programming Tom Tradup (on Beck’s left) interviewed Beck, as well as area dignitaries and “War Room” cast members. The red carpet event was held at Dallas’ Majestic Theatre.

Barack Obama, Donald Trump and Megyn Kelly were the Most Talked About People on News/Talk Radio Yesterday (8/9).  Top topics included GOP Debate(s) on Fox, the Iran Nukes Deal and Immigration Reform.  According to TALKERS research, fallout from last week’s audience record-breaking GOP debate on Fox News Channel continues to dominate conversation on news/talk radio across America.  Other hot topics include the presidential election in general – especially Bernie Sanders’ encounters with the Black Lives Matter movement, Hillary Clinton’s email controversy and Jeb Bush’s problems gaining (or holding onto) traction.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

| December 18, 2013

sanchezrickRick Sanchez Joins WIOD, Miami in New Lineup.  Clear Channel Media + Entertainment news/talk WIOD, Miami announces a new program lineup that includes cable news/talk veteran Rick Sanchez in the latewiod logo morning slot.  Program director Grace Blazer says on the station’s website, “Our new lineup reflects 610 WIOD’S strengthening commitment to high-quality local news, accurate weather, important traffic conditions, and the perfect balance of highly talented local and national personalities.  The result will be a topical, informative and entertaining listener experience for the residents and businesses of South Florida.”  The lineup includes “South Florida’s First News with Jimmy Cefalo” in morning drive, Sanchez from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon followed by Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck.  The new program schedule takes effect on January 6.

grzanichsteveCuts at CBS Chicago Leave Anchor/Reporter Steve Grzanich Out.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder has been writing about budget-related cuts at the CBS Radio cluster in Chicago for several days and now we know more about who’s been affected.  At all-news WBBM-AM, anchor/reporter Steve Grzanich exits after 20 years with thewbbmlogo station.  ChicagoRadioandMedia.com tips us that Grzanich posted the following message on his Facebook page: “Dear Friends: I have breaking news…about me!  After 20 years, I am signing off at WBBM Newsradio to explore other opportunities.  I am hungry for a new challenge and must embark on the journey to find it starting now.  But don’t go away!  I’ll still be here in Chicago and on Facebook with news, weather and other stuff…just not on the 8s.  Thank you for listening!  Stay tuned for news about my next chapter.”  The cluster also saw the release of longtime production/imaging staffer Michael Horn who worked for sister CHR WBBM-FM “B96.”  Horn has been working with Killer Hertz since May of 2012 and ChicagoRadioandMedia.com reports he will continue to do freelance imaging work while he looks for his next opportunity.  Feder reports that a number of sales staffers have been let go from the cluster.

cbsradio logoOther CBS Radio Cuts Hit Los Angeles, Pittsburgh and Atlanta.  According to sources in Southern California, there have been four layoffs at CBS stations there including KTRH news anchor Bob Malik and KNX traffic reporter Tommy Jaxson.  The two others are believed to be front office staffers.  In Pittsburgh, changes come to sports talk KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” as Vinnie Richichi exits the Vinnie & Cook midday program and Paul Alexander leaves the morning drive show.  The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Bob Smizik reports that Richichi and Ron Cook never got along, it was obvious on the air and that led to Richichi’s departure, plus morning host Gregg Giannotti was not happy working with Alexander.  Finally, in Atlanta Kendra G. and Christopher “Crash” Clark exit the Ryan Cameron morning show at urban contemporary WVEE “V103.”

foxsportsradio logoLineup Changes at Fox Sports Radio Network in the New Year.  The national lineup from Fox Sports Radio Network will look a little different come January 5, 2014.  Gone from the 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET slot will be Pat O’Brien and Steve Hartman from “Fox Sports Primetime” with replacement(s) to be announced later.  J.T. the Brick moves from the overnight slot to the 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET slot accompanied by sidekick Tomm Looney, displacing the current Petros & Money show.  Petros Papadakis and Matt “Money” Smith will continue to be heard on Clear Channel’s KLAC, Los Angeles.  Rob Dibble and Amy Van Dyken leave “Fox Sports Tonight” and the NFL Network’s and Fox Sports Network’s Jason Smith takes over that show airing from 10:00 pm to 2:00 am ET while Fox Sports Radio weekend personality Ben Maller becomes the 2:00 am to 6:00 am host.

dyerjohnCox Enterprises Promotes Dyer to President/CEO.  Current chief operating officer John Dyer will be elevated to Cox Enterprises president/chief executive officer when he officially succeeds retiring CEO Jimmy Hayes on Wednesday, January 1.  Cox Enterprises is the parent company of Cox Media Group. According to Cox Enterprises chairman Jim Kennedy, “In the 36 years John has worked at Cox, he has always done a terrific job and always risen to meet every new challenge he was presented.  He has been an incredible chief operating officer and he understands all our businesses.  He is committed to our employees and our customers.  I am excited to work with [him] as he leads our company in an exciting future.”  Dyer comments, “Cox is a company that values its employees, delivers superior products and services to its customers, and strives to be a responsible and sustainable corporate partner in the communities in which we operate.  I am excited about the ways we will continue to grow our existing businesses and invest in future opportunities.”  In addition to Cox Media Group, Dyer will be responsible for Cox Communications, Manheim, and AutoTrader Group, as well as corporate functions including financial operations, human resources and administration.

murraybobBob Murray Takes Leave from WTAX, Springfield to Battle Brain Tumor.  “Morning Newswatch” host Bob Murray tells listeners in an open letter that he is taking time from the Saga Communications news/talk outlet to focus on “getting better and being with loved ones.”  Murray writes: “As you have probably heard, I have decided to elect for an extended medical leave of absence from my post as the host of the ‘WTAX Morning Newswatch’ due to newly discovered health concerns.  Many people have enquired (sic) into what is going on, and I thought it would be best you hear it from me.  I have been diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer and will be taking this leave from work as an opportunity to focus my time on getting better and being with family and loved ones.  While this is far from an ideal situation, we are remaining positive and focusing on staying strong.  In the days following the announcement, it has been so incredibly humbling to feel the outpour of prayers and support from all directions, and I am pretty positive I will never be able to properly express how much that means to my family and me.  I also want to thank the WTAX family and central Illinois area for their many years of loyal listenership.  It has truly been an honor to start each day with you, tackling the issues that matter to us.  I hope to be back in the capital soon, focusing on what I love, delivering the news, sports, entertainment and important local happenings to you.”

jaybradley‘Jay Talking’ Permanent Overnight Show on WBZ-AM, Boston.  Bradley Jay’s “Jay Talking” program is now the official overnight program on CBS Radio’s news and talk WBZ-AM, Boston.  Jay has been working in the news and talk realm for some time (he also serves as the executive producer for “Nightside with Dan Rea”) but he got his start in music radio and worked at the legendary rock outlet WBCN.  In fact, he hosted the last show at “The Rock of Boston” before a frequency swap and format change ended the station’s run.

daviscrashNRG, Omaha Names Davis KOOO Brand Manager.  In addition to being appointed brand manager of NRG Media, Omaha adult hits KOOO “Big O 101.9,” talk host Crash Davis takes on marketing director duties for that Nebraska market’s entire NRG cluster.  Operations manager Jeff Lynn comments, “Crash has been an integral part of our team for the past year.  He is very versatile and has a keen sense of what the Omaha listener wants and loves about ‘Big O.’  He brings many of the talents and skill sets we need to propel ‘Big O’ to new heights in the ratings and to drive results for our advertisers.”  Davis remarks, “I am delighted to have a more prominent role on a station I have watched evolve over the past several years.  I have great respect for [morning talent] Dave Wingert and the rest of the on-air team.  Our great variety of music and the content we talk about resonates with listeners.  I will do my part to enhance our reputation with the listeners and advertisers.”  Davis has been in Omaha radio the past 15 years, including as a host on NRG talk outlet KOIL “The Mighty 1290” and as the afternoon drive talent on cross-town Clear Channel-owned talk station KFAB.

wrightfrankdrSalem Selects Dr. Frank Wright As President/COO.  Eleven-year National Religious Broadcasters president/chief executive officer Dr. Frank Wright will join Salem Communications Corporation on Wednesday, January 1 as president/chief operating officer.  Dr. Wright will report directly to Salem chief executive officer and director Edward Atsinger.  “Frank has more than 20 years of experience working in – and with – broadcast media organizations,” Atsinger comments.  “He has also developed a robust network among DC-based public policy organizations, as well as DC-based political organizations.  Frank is an effective leader and team-builder with a strong entrepreneurial background, and he has extensive executive experience in strategic planning and organizational structure.  I expect him to hit the ground running and work closely with me in executing our business strategies.”  Before joining the NRB, Dr. Wright spent seven years as executive director of the Center for Christian Statesmanship; he has a doctorate in finance.

eaglepub logoWill Salem Purchase Eagle Publishing on January 15?  The story that Politico reported late last week is a done deal, according to BuzzFeed which states staffers at Eagle Publishing have been told the sale will take place on January 15.  According to the BuzzFeed piece, Salem Communications will add to its conservative print and digital assets with the acquisition and that as many as 90% of staffers will remain with the Eagle division; it’s the upper management positions that will be eliminated due to redundancy.  Eagle operates RedState.com, Human Events and Regnery Publishing.  Salem recently acquired Twitchy.com from conservative pundit, columnist and author Michelle Malkin.

hannityrcmhstudioSean’s New Digs!  Premiere Networks nationally syndicated talk star Sean Hannity (right) is pictured here with pundit and author Ann Coulter (center) and fellow Premiere star Glenn Beck (left) at Hannity’s new Premiere Networks studios at Radio City Music Hall in New York.  Hannity leaves his longtime home base at WABC, New York at the end of the year and his program will emanate from flagship WOR, New York beginning in January.

Budget Deal, NSA Data Mining Ruling, ObamaCare Criticism, Mega Millions Jackpot, and Limbaugh-Pope Francis Marxism Flap Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/17).  The battle in the U.S. Senate over the details of the Congressional budget deal; the aftermath of a judge’s ruling the NSA data mining program “probably unconstitutional”; scrutiny of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act; the $636 million Mega Millions jackpot; and the continuing flap over Rush Limbaugh’s comments about Pope Francis’ “Marxist” economic philosophy were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

The Secret of Managing Controversy

| May 8, 2013

By Walter Sabo
Sabo Media
Chairman

mcallanbobNEW YORK — Bob McAllan is the CEO of Press Broadcasting. He put on the two most successful FM Talk stations in the world: New Jersey 101.5 — going into its 22 year — and WTKS-FM Real Radio 104.1 Orlando, launched 1994. Bob and GM John Dziuba made a strategic decision that enabled the station’s hosts to present the most controversial, often outrageous opinions with minimal fallout.

newjersey1015wtks125Their single decision gave management the freedom to sell advertising on the stations, defend the hosts and manage the talent in an environment void of fear. Bob and John decided that their STATIONS must never present an opinion or point of view.  Simultaneously they realized that to have winning stations, the hosts must have well prepared, very strong points of view on every single topic.

After consulting and operating the largest talk stations in the world, I believe the paragraph you just read sums up the programming infrastructure for success.

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Hey Joe, Where Are You Going with That Mic In Your Hand?

| February 22, 2013

Picking the right topics when working in multiple markets

By Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo
Radio Talk Show Host

 (EDITOR’S NOTE:  Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo – a member of the TALKERS Heavy Hundred – is the host of mornings on KPRC, Houston; late afternoons on WOAI, San Antonio; weekends locally on KOA, Denver and weekends nationally on The Weekend show.  He is also a major “go to” fill-in host for such hosts as Glenn Beck, Todd Schnitt and many others.)

pagsjoeHOUSTON/SAN ANTONIO/DENVER/EVERYWHERE —Good morning, Houston.”  “Good afternoon, San Antonio.”  “Happy Saturday, Denver.”  “Good Weekend, America.”  These are all things I’m lucky enough to say either every day or every week.  It’s a supreme compliment to have the support of the stations in these markets and from Clear Channel and Premiere and quite a challenge.  Each show has its own feel, flow and audience make up and reaction.  So, over the last 11 years, I’ve learned what works everywhere and what is market specific.

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Monday, February 18, 2013

| February 18, 2013

blazergraceGrace Blazer Lands at Clear Channel Miami.  Former WTKK, Boston program director Grace Blazer is the new PD at Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s news/talk WIOD and sports WINZ, Miami.  She exited the Greater Media talk station when it flipped to rhythmic AC at the end of 2012.  Prior to WTKK, Blazer programmed WPHT, Philadelphia.  In a statement, Blazer says, “The depth of Clear Channel’s resources is phenomenal.  Working for our industry’s leading media company and programming WIOD and WINZ is a superb opportunity.  I’m excited to partner with Alex Tear, Lonny Anger and the talented staffs of ‘News Radio 610/100.3FM’ and 940’s ‘Sports Animal’ to grow these stations.”  The programming position at WIOD and WINZ opened up when Ken Charles moved up to the VP of programming position at Clear Channel’s Sacramento cluster.

cainhermanHermain Cain Joins Fox News Channel as Contributor.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Herman Cain becomes part of the Fox News Channel stable of contributors.  Cain, who took over the late morning slot long held by talk radio pioneer Neal Boortz at Cox Media’s WSB, Atlanta and his national syndication distributed by Dial Global, will make regular appearances on FNC where EVP of programming Bill Shine says in a statement, “Cain’s impressive resume makes him a valuable addition to the Fox News and Fox Business lineup.  As a political expert with business savvy, he brings an important voice to the nation’s debates.”  In addition to his recent run for president, Cain also was CEO of the Godfather’s Pizza chain and held the CEO position at the National Restaurant Association.

wfan logoNY Post Reports CBS Radio New York Weighing WFAN-AM/FM Options.  The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick writes that the brass at CBS Radio in New York City is weighing its programming options for the sports talk tandem of WFAN-AM and FM as the company must be eager to get the fledgling CBS Sports Radio Network programming on in the largest market in the country.  Currently, the full schedule of WFAN programming is heard on both signals but the need to get the new national network some Big Apple exposure is pressing.  A statement from the company to the Post goes, “We have a number of great options and are closely examining each one.”  At issue is the fact that WFAN-AM’s 660 signal is huge and the 101.9 FM signal is decent but nowhere near as far-reaching as 660 AM.  Will the local sports talk remain on 660 AM and the national network appear on 101.9 FM?  Will it be the other way around or a mixture of the two?  As Mushnick hints, you can bet some of the WFAN stalwarts – including PM driver Mike Francesa and AM drive duo Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton – would like to stay on the huge 660 AM signal.  CBS Radio is expected to make a decision within the next few months.

DG-logoHorizontalDial Global to Cease SEC Reporting.  The company cites, among other things, “the relatively limited historical volume of trading in the Company’s common stock and the applicable federal securities laws” as one of the reasons it will suspend its reporting obligations under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  Dial Global’s board of directors determined that such action would be in the best interests of the company.  It says, “In reaching this conclusion, the Company’s Board of Directors considered numerous factors including the compliance costs associated with filing periodic reports with the SEC and the diversion of management attention from other matters that result from being a reporting company.”  Dial Global left the NASDAQ and its stock is traded on OTC Pink.  It states, “There can be no assurance, however, that a trading market in the Company’s common stock through the over-the-counter market or any other market will be maintained.”

landaudavidDavid Landau Gets Nice Severance from Dial Global.  Technically it’s not a severance but regardless, former co-CEO of Dial Global David Landau will receive $600, 000 per annum for the next two years plus other unspecified benefits after the company decided to re-align its corporate management structure and make Spencer Brown sole CEO and former co-CEO Ken Williams president.

stpierreronWPRO, Providence Lets Ron St. Pierre Go.  In a move that appears to be about saving money, Ron St. Pierre exits his role as PM drive host Buddy Cianci’s sidekick/executive producer.  GoLocalProv.com reports that this is the latest in a series of moves at the Cumulus Media station that began with the ouster of Andrew Gobiel from the WPRO morning show and the re-assignment of Tara Granahan from the AM show to other news duties.  The station brought WJAR-TV anchor Gene Valicenti in to host the morning program.  St. Pierre has served at WPRO as program director – the first time in 1988 – as general manager, and as host of the station’s morning show.  Ron can be reached at ron.stpierre@cox.net.

millerchrisGood Writing Is at the Core of Digital Success.  Writing for the internet is a very different art form than writing for the radio.  Noted radio digital consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller says, “Good writing is at the heart of what we do online, and how we communicate with our fans.  Don’t just do it for the art of it; do it because it can help stretch your few thousand Facebook fans into tens of millions of annual impressions.  Do it because it will help get your tweets re-tweeted.  We’re talking about building your numbers here!”  Miller advises TALKERS readers to avoid three common mistakes in writing for the web: 1) over-selling; 2) being boring; and 3) social desperation.  Read his entire piece here.

raytomWINTER ADVICE:  Be Sure to Install Deicers on your Antenna.  It is not too late to do it or to be concerned.  The failure to properly install deicers on your antenna to save a few bucks in the short term can not only interfere with the quality of your signal, it can put you off the air entirely, not to mention cause severe costly damage to your components and even create a major fire hazard.  TALKERS technical editor and noted engineering consultant Tom Ray says, “While money is tight all over, the last thing you need is your transmitter and/or building to be a smoking hulk.  Consult with someone qualified to guide you.  Think of it like buying an insurance policy.  You may not want to spend the cash, but it could save you a bundle in the long run.  Read Tom Ray’s entire article here.

trumpdonaldTrump-Maher Suit “Stretches Credulity.”  TALKERS magazine legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes that the $5 million suit Donald Trump is filing against Bill Maher has no chance of success, little chance of getting a day in court and could incur sanctions against Trump and his attorney for filing a frivolous lawsuit.  In case you missed it, Maher went on “The Tonight Show” in January and – based on the color of Trump’s hair – joked that he would donate $5 million to a charity of Trump’s choice if he would produce his birth certificate to show he is not the son of an orangutan.  Read more of Weisman’s account about why this spat is still going on and upon what legal ground the complaint stands (or doesn’t as the case may be).  It’s here.

johnsondanistudioXtreMEDIA Syndicated Host Dani Johnson Profiled in Forbes.  The host of the weekly XtreMEDIA-syndicated Dani Johnson program was profiled on Forbes.com on Thursday and, according to XtreMEDIA CEO Kevin McCullough, the story went viral “with 15,700 shares on Facebook in a little more than a day.  Heading into the weekend it was still the ‘Most Popular’ and ‘Most Read’ piece on Forbes.com.”  McCullough tells TALKERS, “Her story as a broke homeless woman to becoming a multiple millionaire to even now helping others get out of debt, restore relationships, and expand their influence is a story that rocketed her from one affiliate station in January of 2012 to 95 stations and counting in January of 2013.  Dani is the most important voice in all of American media – not just talk radio – that most of the nation still hasn’t heard from.  Hundreds of thousands of lives changed for the better, only proves the point that she has something that real audiences are looking for… connection!”  Read the Forbes story here.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

| January 8, 2013

cuddytomIt’s Official:  Tom Cuddy to Program WOR, New York.  The rumor of former WPLJ, New York PD Tom Cuddy’s new gig as programmer of Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s news/talk WOR turns out to be true as the company officially announces his joining the station.  He says of his new position, “I’m beyond excited to be joining a news/talk station that enjoys legendary status in New York.  We have amazing plans to grow WOR and make it the hottest spot on the AM dial.  WOR has one of the best signals on the East Coast.”  Cuddy will work under former WABC, New York general manager Steve Borneman who recently joined WOR, as well.

smithjolanaJolana Smith Named PD at Cumulus Media’s WFAS, Westchester, New York Combo.  In her new position, Jolana Smith will program both the news/talk AM and the adult contemporary FM Cumulus is operating in Westchester.  She comes to the stations from Cox Media’s AC WEZN, Bridgeport, Connecticut “Star 99.9” where she co-hosted morning drive and did the midday shift.  In addition to programming both stations, Smith will host the midday shift on WFAS-FM.  Smith states, “What an amazing opportunity to be part of the Cumulus programming ranks and to be working with SVP/programming Mike McVay and VP/AC format captain Emily Boldon…Somebody pinch me!”

sirotadavidDavid Sirota Exits KHOW, Denver.  Progressive writer and columnist David Sirota exits Clear Channel’s KHOW, Denver where he’d been paired up with conservative Michael Brown for the past six months.  Prior to that Sirota hosted the morning show at progressive talk sister station KKZN.  The Denver Post reports neither side is saying much, obviously agreeing to not discuss the change in the press.  But Sirota confirmed he’s no longer with Clear Channel and CC Denver VP of programing Greg Foster offered the obligatory “we thank him and wish him well” statement.

sanchezrickRick Sanchez Lands Radio Gig at WIOD, Miami.  Former CNN personality Rick Sanchez had been seeking a talk radio gig since his departure from CNN in the fall of 2010.  Now, Sanchez takes over the afternoon drive slot at Clear Channel’s WIOD, Miami, replacing Rich Minaya.  The hiring of Cuban-born and Spanish-speaking Rick Sanchez is interesting in as much as his media experience doing bi-lingual talk and news programs will give him a unique approach to connecting with the Miami audience.  Sanchez was let go from CNN after making a comment on a radio program about Jews as minorities in the media business that was construed at politically incorrect.

deacesteveSteve Deace Show Clears New York City.  The Iowa-based Steve Deace talk show clears the Big Apple on Salem Communications’ WNYM “AM 970 The Answer” airing weeknights from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am.  Deace’s program is in its second year of national syndication.  Deace states, “To go live in New York City after only 13 months in syndication is quite an honor.  There are good hosts on hundreds of radio stations around the country who can’t get cleared in New York City, so I’m well aware of what this means for the future of our show.”  Salem director of spoken-word format Phil Boyce says, “We’re excited to see what one of the real rising talents in our industry can do in the nation’s number one market.  Many of us have been waiting for the next generation of talk radio to emerge, and Deace represents that next generation.”  Deace hosted a local program on WHO, Des Moines prior to going into syndication.  His national show is carried on WHO.

mcculloughkevinDaily Kevin McCullough Show Adds Nine Affiliates in 2013.  The nationally syndicated Kevin McCullough show adds nine new affiliates including: WWRC, Washington, DC; WGKA, Atlanta; KRCN, Denver; and WCRU, Charlotte.  The program is syndicated by McCullough’s XtreMedia Inc. and the recent additions put McCullough’s program over the 300-affiliate mark.  XtreMedia also syndicates the Dani Johnson radio program as well as the weekend Baldwin/McCullough show featuring McCullough and actor Stephen Baldwin.

cookehollandSports Offers Social Success Templates.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas covering the 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show but prior to that, he took in the New Media Expo (formerly the Blogworld conference).  Cooke reports on the nuances of understanding and using social media for radio station promotion after hearing Amy Jo Martin’s keynote speech.  Cooke says Martin believes, “One of the fundamental adjustments broadcasters need to make the most of social media is to understand that tools like Facebook and Twitter aren’t just transmitters.  They’re conversations.”  And social media tools can help jocks and talk hosts be more authentic to their audiences.  Read more of Holland Cooke’s analysis here.

jonesmorgancnnAlex Jones Takes on Piers Morgan.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Alex Jones appeared on CNN on Monday evening with host Piers Morgan to debate the gun control issue and the petition to have British citizen Morgan deported in the wake of his high-profile call for new gun laws after the Newtown massacre.  Traditional talk show hosts tend to shy away from gun issues on their programs but the right to bear arms is a cornerstone of Alex Jones’ belief system and a regular topic on his program.  The feisty exchange on CNN was good TV theater and raises Jones’ national profile.  See the program here.

Obama Cabinet Nominations, Debt Ceiling Issue, NFL Playoffs, Gun Legislation Discussion and Aurora Theater Massacre Hearing Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/7).  President Obama’s nomination of Chuck Hagel for defense secretary and John Brennan for CIA chief; the issue of the nation’s debt ceiling; the weekend’s NFL playoff games; debate over changes to the nation’s gun laws; and the hearing in Colorado for Aurora theater massacre suspect James Holmes were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

townsquaremediaCool Job Opportunity.  Townsquare Media has an opportunity for the position of operations manager in Wichita Falls.  If you have experience in country, rock, CHR and news/talk formats this could be the job for you.  The OM will also serve as brand manager for our CHR station, 92.9 NIN, and must have a track record in that format.  You will also host an on-air shift on 92.9 NIN.  In addition to a strong ratings record, candidates should demonstrate a deep, rich understanding of interactive branding including social media, loyalty programs, content creation, e-commerce, streaming platforms, mobile and texting.  This job is much more than picking the hits.  The successful candidate will be a great leader, a talent coach, and a highly organized strategist.  You’ll need exceptional teamwork skills to produce results with experienced talent, programmers, sales and digital teams.  Strong working knowledge of music scheduling systems, digital audio systems and online media platforms are required.  You’ll manage multiple tasks at once, and great communication skills, attention to detail and a sense of humor are all a must.  We work hard and have fun doing it!  If you’re a fun, dynamic, creative, proven winner who loves working in media, contact Chuck Armstrong at Townsquare Media: chuck@townsquaremedia.com.  Townsquare Media is an equal opportunity employer.

Monday, April 9, 2012

| April 9, 2012

Cumulus Media Networks’ Mike Huckabee Debuts Today.  The number of affiliates set to air the Mike Huckabee show is pegged at somewhere between 175 and 200.  The eager anticipation of Huckabee’s debut would not be so intense were it not for the facts that the show airs live from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET – the same time period as Premiere Networks’ Rush Limbaugh – and that the latter is recovering from the backlash and intense consumer media scrutiny that followed the Sandra Fluke controversy.  Regardless, the industry will certainly be watching how Huckabee’s Cumulus Media Networks program takes off but the consumer media appears to be salivating at the notion that Limbaugh has “competition.”  The fact, of course, is that every radio show has competition of one sort or another and Limbaugh has faced high-profile talent in his daypart in the past – most notably from Fox News Channel superstar Bill O’Reilly for a number of years.  Mike Huckabee will succeed if he hosts a compelling program that grabs listeners.  Broadcasters understand that will happen or not independent of what other talk show hosts are doing or whether they are facing a “crisis.”  As TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison told Politico in a piece published over the weekend, “This isn’t an election, it’s an industry.  There’s room for both, just like there’s room for Letterman and Leno.  Yes, every competitor hurts Limbaugh.  But Huckabee is basically just another competitor.  If he takes a little away from Limbaugh, fine.  But he also has the potential to expand the talk radio audience.”

Rumors of Major Syndication Changes in Philadelphia and New York; Smerconish to Bump Limbaugh from WPHT.  And possibly more than that…but first things first.  A very hot rumor out of Philadelphia has WYD Media-produced Michael Smerconish’s nationally syndicated program airing live 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm on CBS Radio’s news/talk WPHT– where Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh does right now.  Smerconish is currently delayed to PM drive on WPHT.  Radio-Info’s Tom Taylor wrote about the other part of this rumor in his morning blast on 4/6: Merlin Media may be planning to go talk and not all-news on WKDN-FM, Philadelphia  – its new property which is still airing Christian programming from prior owner Family Stations.  With former WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte morning drive host (and Philly native) Al Gardner hired to program and possibly host mornings at WKDN-FM and Rush Limbaugh possibly soon-to-be-available (plus Premiere’s Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck available, as Tom Taylor points out), a move to talk would be much less personnel intensive and would enjoy the ability to grab three of the biggest news/talk personalities in the business.  But there’s more…other chatter coming out of New York is that Merlin Media has been talking to Premiere Networks about bringing Rush Limbaugh to its all-newser FM News 101.9 (WEMP-FM) if Cumulus Media decides to put new national syndication rollout Mike Huckabee on WABC in Limbaugh’s place.  Then one would have to ask the question, “Would Merlin do the same with WWWN-FM, Chicago if Cumulus bumped Limbaugh in exchange for Huckabee on its news/talker WLS?”  Stay tuned.

KFAQ, Tulsa Talk Host Pat Campbell Responds to Deadly Shootings.  KFAQ, Tulsa morning drive talk host Pat Campbell tells TALKERS his program responded very quickly to a series of shootings in the city in which five citizens – all African American – were shot and three died.  Campbell says he hosted a special Saturday noontime edition of his program to address the crimes and seek the public’s assistance in capturing suspects.  He tells TALKERS,I had the mayor in the studio urging calm but more importantly, cooperation with the police.  We urged listeners that might have any information to call the Crime Stoppers Hotline and the good news is that a tip came in around 4:00 pm that led to the arrest of the suspects early Sunday morning. This is an example of talk radio at its best!  Rather than becoming a wedge like we’ve seen in the Trayvon Martin case, 1170 KFAQ brought the community together and got the bad guys off the street.”

WQAM, Miami Standing By Sports Talk Host Sid Rosenberg After DUI Arrest Last Week.  WQAM, Miami afternoon sports talk host Sid Rosenberg was back on the air on Friday after spending most of Thursday in jail following an early morning arrest on DUI and driving on a suspended license charges.  Rosenberg, who has spoken publicly about past substance abuse issues and has talked of having twice been to rehab, is being supported by his superiors at the Beasley sports talk outlet.  The Miami Herald reports WQAM program director Lee Feldman stating, for now, Rosenberg is not being suspended.  WQAM general manager Joe Bell declined to comment to the paper.

Matt Lauer to Remain with NBC’s “Today.”  The months of speculation about the future of television talk host Matt Lauer have come to an end as NBC announced Lauer has signed a multi-year contract to remain with the network’s morning news magazine program.  The buzz in the industry included rumors Lauer would rejoin Katie Couric at rival ABC.  Though Couric is set to begin a new chapter in her career at ABC with her own daytime talk show, ABC’s “Good Morning America” has been closing the ratings gap between it and “Today.”  On Lauer’s signing, NBC News president Steve Capus tells The New York Times, “Matt is the franchise, and our franchise player has decided to keep leading our team.”  The Times story notes that “Today” has been in first place in the morning news show ratings for the past 16 years.

Fox News Channel Brings Santita Jackson Aboard as Contributor.  The daughter of Rev. Jesse Jackson left Midway Broadcasting’s WVON, Chicago due to budget cuts last fall.  Now, Santita Jackson is named a contributor for Fox News Channel.  Santita Jackson is also producer of Jesse Jackson’s weekly Premiere Networks-syndicated talk show “Keep Hope Alive.”

Raubin Pierce Leaves On-Air Position with WIBW, Topeka for Management Post at Manhattan Broadcasting.  Raubin Pierce co-hosted the “On the Other Hand” talk show with co-host Megan Mosack at Morris Communications’ WIBW, Topeka and served as the company’s director of information technology.  He’s left those duties to become operations director and head of new media at Manhattan Broadcasting in Manhattan, Kansas.  The company operates four stations in the Manhattan market including news/talk KMAN.  Pierce tells the Topeka Capital-Journal, “This was just a fantastic opportunity.  There was just no way that I couldn’t do this.”

Longtime South Florida Broadcaster Patricia Anderson Dies from Cancer at 54.  Trish Anderson was well known on South Florida radio.  During her career she worked as a producer, voice-over talent, sports reporter and traffic reporter at stations including WINZ and WIOD, Miami.  Anderson battled breast and bone cancer.  She passed away on March 31.

Johnny B at Wrigley Field.  That’s WGN, Chicago morning drive host Jonathon Brandmeier (center with sunglasses) surrounded by the Chicago band The Fold at the Captain Morgan club at Wrigley Field on Opening Day.  The Fold won the station’s contest to write an original song celebrating the Chicago Cubs.  The winning song – “Let’s Go Cubbies” – is being played at the beginning of each Cubs game broadcast on WGN this season.  The band was with Brandmeier on Opening Day to perform the song live at WGN’s pre-game broadcast and live remote.