Tag: "WSB"

Monday, January 20, 2020

| January 20, 2020

When You Walk Through a Storm:  Cox Media Group Expresses Empathy and Interest in Talk Radio Pros Upended by iHM Layoffs.  The news/talk format coordinator of Cox Media Group, who also serves as the company’s senior operations & program manager for WSB and Cox Media Group Atlanta, has informed TALKERS that there could be employment opportunities available at Cox for displaced broadcasters down the road.  Drew Anderssen tells TALKERS, “With the depth of recent layoffs, a lot of incredibly talented people are finding themselves in a new position – out of work.  Please just know that we’re thinking about each of you and are always interested in speaking about future opportunities within CMG, especially in spoken-word formats.”  Anderssen invites people who lost their jobs to contact him at either Drew.Anderssen@cmg.com or 404-897-6233.

Monday Memo: He Saw This Coming on Stilts. In the aftermath of – and fearing aftershocks from – last lweek’s iHeart talent cull, consultant Holland Cooke warns “you will get CHILLS” when you read how specifically this was predicted…in 1995.  And Cooke explains why times remain opportune for stations and their ex-employees.  Read it here.

Trump Impeachment, Presidential Race, Iran Tensions, Virginia Gun Rights Rally, Putin Power Grab, and SAG Awards Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The impeachment process and the selection of President Trump’s legal team; the Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in November; the protests that have rocked Iran in the aftermath of the down of a passenger jet and the Islamic state’s nuclear ambitions; the gun rights rally taking place today in Richmond, Virginia; Vladimir Putin’s move to change Russia’s constitution to extend his rule; and Sunday evening’s Screen Actors Guild Awards were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Journalist John Solomon Launches New Digital News Outlet.  Award-winning journalist John Solomon announces he’s creating a new media outlet called Just the News, that he says will “address the growing need for fact-based, impartial news and compelling digital content.”  Solomon, who has served as a journalist and executive at such new organizations as The Hill, The Washington Times, The Associated Press, The Washington Post, Newsweek, and The Daily Beast, says, Just the News will “deliver exclusive news, podcasts, books, polling, and video content showcasing some of the most respected and trusted journalists and editors in news media today.”  Longtime Washington Times senior editor Daniel Wattenberg is the news outlet’s managing editor.  Senior contributing writers include David Brody, the long-time correspondent from the Christian Broadcast Network; former CNN political director Christine Dolan; and Lee Smith, author of the best-selling book The Plot Against The President.  Solomon says more hires and partnerships are expected to be announced in the next few weeks and the JusttheNews.com website is slated to launch within the next month.  He adds, “True journalism has been on the decline for years as major media companies have built business models that push agenda-driven news, click-bait content and opinion masquerading as fact, fueling mistrust and contempt from the American people.  As the fallout from the recent Russia collusion narrative exposed, journalists today too often rush to get their stories first and then are left to hope they are right.”  Just the News will be headquartered in Washington D.C. and consist of four divisions dedicated to web-based reporting, video journalism, podcasting, and long-form nonfiction book publishing.

Second Annual iHeartRadio Podcast Awards Celebrated. On Friday night (1/17), iHeartMedia produced the second annual iHeartRadio Podcast Awards live at the iHeartRadio Theater in Los Angeles.  The program was also streamed live via LiveXLive.  Winners this year included “The Dropout” from ABC News taking Podcast of the Year honors, The New York Times winning Best News Podcast for “The Daily,” and Crooked Media’s “Pod Save the People” taking home the Best Political Podcast honors.  Pictured above is Conan O’Brien celebrating his winning the Best Comedy Podcast for “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend.”  See all the winners here.  Photo: Getty Images for iHeartRadio

TALKERS News Notes. Sports talk radio pro Scott Ferrall exits his late-night show with CBS Sports Radio to join SportsGrid to host two new video streaming programs.  “Scott Ferrall: Coast to Coast” streams from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET, followed by “In-Game LIVE” streaming from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.  Both shows emanate from SportsGrid’s Meadowlands Studio and debut on January 29.  SportsGrid says, “‘Scott Ferrall: Coast to Coast’ and ‘In-Game LIVE’ will serve the obsessed frenetic sports fan with live pregame and in-game wagering odds, moneylines, statistics, strategies, and insights with expert gaming analysis from Scott and his many guests.”…..Today (1/20), “First Take, Your Take with Jason Fitz” debuts in the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm ET daypart on ESPN Radio and simulcast on ESPNEWS.  ESPN says, “The show will further the most-timely conversations from that morning’s edition of ESPN’s marquee debate show, “First Take,” with Stephen A. Smith, Max Kellerman, and host Molly Qerim Rose.  Smith will regularly join Fitz on the show to provide his unique brand of commentary. A powerful lineup of sport-specific experts, as well as callers, will also add their reactions to propel the discussion.”…..Entercom names the new radio broadcast team for Boston Red Sox baseball on flagship WEEI-FM, Boston.  Handling play-by-play will be 37-year Red Sox announcer Joe Castiglione along with Will Flemming, Sean McDonough, and Lou Merloni…..iHeartMedia Delaware air talent Scott Klatzkin is named 2019 Delaware Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sports Media Association.  Klatzkin is the voice of the University of Delaware Blue Hens.  This is the fourth time he has won the honor, having previously been selected in 2016, 2012, and 2009.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In St. Louis, Hubbard Radio does a talent shuffle on heritage rock outlet KSHE.  Twenty-nine-year station personality Guy “Favazz” Favazza moves from afternoons to morning drive with current morning personality John “U-Man” Ulett (who joins the show from 7:00 am to 10:00 am).  Lauren “Lern” Elwell heads from mornings to the afternoon drive daypart, and Mark Klose – who hosted mornings at KSHE from 1977 to 1983 – takes over the midday show.  Station brand and content director Marty Linck comments, “These moves pair The U-Man and Favazz (both KSHE’s longest-running talent) together in morning drive, and gives Lern a great platform to connect with our fans as a standalone on-air personality.  In addition, having Mark Klose re-join the staff during the work day and bring back ‘Klose’s Cut Above’ at noon will really help further cement our position as the rock music authority in St. Louis.”…..Pictured below is Coldplay performing at RADIO.COM’s brand new, state-of-the-art HD Radio Sound Space in Los Angeles Friday night.  The inaugural RADIO.COM Live event featured the band playing some of its classic hits, as well as some songs from the new album, Everyday Life.  The special performance was attended by a small audience of Entercom’s KROQ, Los Angeles listeners and was streamed nationwide on RADIO.COM.  Photo: Tim Norris/Getty Images for RADIO.COM

Thursday, January 16, 2019

| January 16, 2020

WBZ-AM, Boston Cuts Four Air Staffers in ‘Employee Dislocation.’ News of which on-air personalitiesiHeartMedia has let go in its “employee dislocation” program continues to become known.  The Boston Globe reports that Boston’s heritage all-news WBZ-AM is losing four news staffers.  Gone are political commentator Jon Keller (who continues to serve with CBS TV at WBZ-TV), morning drive news anchor Deb Lawler, sports anchor Tom Cuddy, and talk show host Bradley Jay.  It’s not clear yet if the station will ask other staffers to share those duties or if they will be handled remotely.

More iHeartMedia Cuts. In addition to the downsizing noted in the story above, here are more of the broadcasters who lost their gigs with iHeartMedia stations whom TALKERS magazine has learned about: Joe Concha, “WOR Tonight” host, WOR, New York; Cliff Avril, sports talk host, KJR, Seattle; Chris Merrill, talk host, KOGO, San Diego; Marilyn Harris, host, WKRC, Cincinnati; Jarred Diglio, APD, WRKO, Boston; Dale Donovan, host, WKRC, Cincinnati; Lori Schmidt, sports reporter, WTVN, Columbus; Dario Melendez, sports talk host, WRNW, Milwaukee; Shea Raftus, producer, WRNW, Milwaukee; Dan Nawrocki, PD and host, WSPD, Toledo; Jerry Pickering, morning show staffer, WSPD, Toledo; Don Zellers, morning show staffer, WSPD, Toledo; Joe Gallagher, weekend host, WGY-AM/FM, Albany; Tank Spencer, host and news anchor, WWNC, Asheville; Tony Bristol, program director, WTAG, Worcester; Carl Falk, sports talk host, WHTK, Rochester; Cameron Hendricks, news director, WKIP/WJIP, Poughkeepsie; Dianne Zanin, reporter, WKIP/WJIP, Poughkeepsie; Alex Womer, host, asst. production director, WFNN, Erie; Bill Hickok, sports talk host, KBMR, Bismarck; and Steve Bortstein, program director, KCQL, Farmington, New Mexico.

iHeartMedia Ups Three Programmers to EVP. In conjunction with iHeartMedia’s new Markets Group structure, the company promotes three of its senior programming executives to division executive vice presidents of programming for the iHeartMedia National Programming Group, effective immediately.  Jeff Hurley, Tony Travatto, and Angela Watson Charles join current EVPs of programming Andrew Jeffries, Thea Mitchem, Maynard, and Gene Romano.  They report to National Programming Group COO Brad Hardin.  Each member of the EVP of programming team will partner with the company’s division presidents, “collaborating with each Division to provide national programming assets, services and resources.”  Here’s how it breaks down: Mitchem and Jeffries will work with Kevin LeGrett and Scott Hopeck and the Region Division, comprised of the company’s largest markets (i.e. New York and Los Angeles); Romano and Maynard will work with division presidents Tom McConnell, Tony Coles, and Linda Byrd and the Metro Division.  Travatto, Hurley, and Watson Charles will work with division presidents Shosh Abromovich, Nick Gnau, and Dan Lankford and the Community Division.  iHeartMedia chief programming officer Tom Poleman says, “We’re excited to add Angela, Jeff and Tony to our already extremely talented executive vice president of programming team.  They each have deep experience building great local brands with a blend of math and magic, and they’ll provide excellent leadership to our programmers in our Community Division markets.”

Doug MacGunnigle Rises to PD for WPRO and WPRV in Providence. At Cumulus Media’s Providence station group, programmer Doug MacGunnigle is promoted from assistant program director to program director for news/talk stations WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM and WPRV-AM under new operations manager Mary Ellen Kachinske.  MacGunnigle has been APD since October of 2017.  Cumulus Providence VP and market manager Holly Paras says, “Doug MacGunnigle is a tremendous asset to our news/talk stations.  With 20 years’ experience in Providence radio, Doug knows the market and stations inside and out.  He was the natural choice to lead WPRO and WPRV moving forward.”  MacGunnigle comments, “I grew up listening to WPRO and it is truly a humbling honor to be given an opportunity to lead this legendary radio station.  I look forward to helping bring these stations into the future, while continuing to protect and grow WPRO’s legacy as one of the great news/talk stations in the country.”

Joe Pags Fills Afternoon Role at KXNT, Las Vegas. Nationally syndicated talk radio personality Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo is the new host of the afternoon drive show on Entercom’s KXNT, Las Vegas.  Pags’ program is based at iHeartMedia’s WOAI, San Antonio and is syndicated via Compass Media Networks.  Entercom Las Vegas SVP and market manager Dan Kearney says, “We are excited to bring the energy and passion of Joe Pags to our listeners throughout Las Vegas and the Valley.  With Americans facing another crucial election year in 2020, his common-sense approach to current events and natural ability to navigate breaking news will fit perfectly in our already superstar KXNT lineup.”   The Joe Pags Show also recently added iHeartMedia’s WKBN-AM, Youngstown, Ohio and Alpha Media’s KFOR-AM, Lincoln, Nebraska.

Phil Valentine’s New Podcast Takes Off. WWTN-FM, Nashville afternoon drive host Phil Valentine says his newest podcast, “I’m Calling Bovine Scatology,” is already charting on news and politics formats on Apple Podcasts.  He reports the show is ranked at #130 on the news chart and #35 on the politics chart.  Valentine jumped into podcasting a year ago with his son, Campbell, on their podcast, “The PodGOATs.”  It was a top 10 History podcast for all of 2019 on Podbean.  Valentine says, “Look, podcasting is to radio what FM was to AM in 1968.  I worked for the first FM talker in the country – the late WWDB in Philadelphia.  WTN, where I am in Nashville, was one of the first FM talkers.  I’m used to being on the cutting edge.  Trust me, podcasting is where everything is going.”  Valentine, who says his show finished 2019 as the #1 talk show in Nashville with a 12.9 share with Men 25-54, inked a new deal with Cumulus Media last year that includes a deal to sell advertising on his podcasts.

WSB, Atlanta Broadcasting in HD. Atlanta news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM is now broadcasting in HD on the 95.5 frequency.  Cox Media Group moved WSB’s transmitter and antenna in August of 2019 from Flowery Branch to East Atlanta.  WSB director of branding and programming Pete Spriggs says, “Combined with the recent transmitter and antenna move, listeners will get an even more enhanced sound coming from their speakers on HD-enabled radios.  The addition of HD is another part of the ongoing strategic move WSB has made to offer our listeners the best possible listening experience and our advertisers the best possible exposure for their goods and services.”

TALKERS News Notes. Former Arizona Congressman J.D. Hayworth is serving as guest host on the nationally syndicated “Todd Starnes Show” today and tomorrow (1/16-17).  Hayworth served six terms in Congress and for years hosted his own daily talk radio program in Phoenix.  He’s also filled in for such national hosts as Mark Levin, Michael Savage, and Mike Huckabee.  The “Todd Starnes Show” is heard on some 60 affiliate stations and is distributed by Hamilton Strategies…..WGCL-TV, Atlanta reports that Georgia Governor Brian Kemp has named talk radio personality Martha Zoller – along with two other appointees – to a seven-year term on the Georgia state Board of Education.  The body makes policy for Georgia’s 1.8 million public school students.  Martha Zoller currently hosts the 9:00 am to 10:00 am show on Jacobs Media’s WDUN-AM/FM, Gainesville, Georgia.  In addition to her radio career, Zoller was an aide to U.S. Senator David Perdue from 2014 to 2018.  She served on Governor Kemp’s campaign.  She left her radio career to run for Congress in 2012 but lost in the Republican primary to Doug Collins, who won the seat…..Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports on what he calls the “musical chairs” in the news department at Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM.  He says the station wanted to move current afternoon drive news anchor Lauren Cohn to middays, along with news director John Dempsey’s move from mornings to afternoons and Nick Gale’s move from middays to mornings.  But Cohn apparently viewed the move as a demotion and fought it.  As it turns out, Dempsey will move to middays and Gale will anchor during Erich Mancow Muller’s morning show…..Nationally syndicated host and clinical psychologist Dr. Ellen Kenner celebrates her 22nd radio anniversary on February 1.  She’s also the author of The Selfish Path to Romance (2011, Winans Kuenstler Publishing, LLC) and she can be booked for interviews in advance of Valentine’s Day by reaching out to syndication@drkenner.com…..Affiliates of Envision Networks nationally syndicated financial talk show “The Jared Dillian Show” – hosted by self-made millionaire Jared Dillian – can receive the show’s podcasts to include as part of their program offerings on their websites.  Dillian says, “I’m pleased we’re able to make parts of the show available in one of my favorite formats.”  “The Jared Dillian Show” is part of the 24/7 Smart Talk Radio Network based in Chicago and distributed by Envision Networks.

Dan Brady Promoted at Dr. Laura’s Take On the Day LLC. Media pro Dan Brady is promoted to director of podcast operations & program audio for Dr. Laura Schlessinger’s Take On the Day, LLC.  In this role, Brady will be responsible for managing the Dr. Laura podcasts, including the “Call of the Day,” as well as the Dr. Laura Family Premium podcasts.  Take On the Day co-owner Geoff Rich says, “Dan has been critical to the success of Dr. Laura’s ‘Call of the Day’ podcast, growing it to over 2.5 million listens per month in two years and making it a top 10 podcast in Apple Podcasts Kids and Family and Parenting categories.  It’s a thrill to tap into Dan’s knowledge, experience and creativity.”

British Broadcaster Graham Mack Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Veteran British talk personality and program director of FIX Radio in London, Graham Mack, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Harrison and Mack take a deep dive into the major international news stories emanating from the United Kingdom – including the rise of Boris Johnson and the latest developments regarding Brexit as well as Megxit – the crisis facing the Monarchy in the wake of the Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex bombshell. Don’t miss this fun, fascinating, and informative conversation! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.

Impeachment Moves to Senate, Presidential Election, Putin Power Grab, U.S.-China Trade Deal, Record Dow/The Economy, and MLB Sign-Stealing Scandal Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/15). The articles of impeachment are delivered to the Senate and Lev Parnas’ interview on CNN; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in November and the row between Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders; the Russian government resigns as Vladimir Putin seeks constitutional changes to remain in power; Trump’s trade deal with China; the Dow closes over 29,000 and the roaring U.S. economy; and the MLB’s sign-stealing scandal were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

New Studios for Griffin Communications’ Radio Stations in Tulsa. The five Tulsa, Oklahoma radio stations owned by Griffin Communications have moved to the company’s eight-year-old facility on North Boston Road.  The stations – including news/talk KFAQ and four music brands – join the company’s television properties.  The facility was constructed in 2011 for the television stations with room left over for the future expansion that it would ultimately use for the radio stations.  Griffin CEO David Griffin says, “We are very excited to bring these stations home.  Combining radio with our TV stations, billboards, websites, and digital products deepens our commitment to the Tulsa market and provides an unmatched footprint.  Additionally, it provides these radio stations with new, state-of-the-art studios and synergy opportunities so that they can continue to serve Green Country with exceptional content and broadcasting capabilities.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Tomorrow night (1/17), Coldplay will perform at the inaugural RADIO.COM Live event series in front of a small audience of KROQ, Los Angeles listeners to mark the grand opening of the new HD Radio Sound Space – a state-of-the-art entertainment hub – in the heart of Los Angeles’ Miracle Mile on Wilshire Boulevard. Entercom’s RADIO.COM will stream the special performance live nationwide starting at 7:00 pm PT/10:00 pm.  RADIO.COM SVP and general manager Pam Russo says, “We’re honored Coldplay will kick off the RADIO.COM Live event series at the grand unveil of the HD Radio Sound Space.  We are excited to offer fans exclusive access to this once-in-a lifetime performance, live via the RADIO.COM app and website nationwide as well as on select HD Radio stations. This is the first of many events that we will be hosting live from the heart of the city and we are looking forward to giving fans everywhere insider access.”…..Entercom names “Nick and Kristen” (pictured at left) the new morning show on country KWJJ, Portland “99.5 The Wolf,” effective January 22.  The duo was most recently the morning drive show at Bonneville International’s adult contemporary KOIT, San Francisco.  They say, “We are so thrilled to work alongside [SVP/MM] Kim Martinez and [OM/PD] Scott Roddy.  Both are dynamic and inspiring leaders in our industry who elevate their staff and their stations.  We’re equally as excited to share our lives and bring the best new country to Portland.”…..Air personality Kacie Kozman is officially named midday host at Hubbard Radio’s alternative KDKB Phoenix.  Kozman has been hosting the daypart since Ian Camfield exited last month to join Entercom’s alternative KVIL, Dallas.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

| May 21, 2019

ONLY THREE DAYS LEFT TO REGISTER:  Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Nearing a Sellout!  The 22nd annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention is on the verge of being sold out.  The final deadline for registrations being accepted is this Friday, May 24 at 5:00 pm ET.  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “In order to maintain the intimacy and effectiveness of this heritage event, it must be open only to members of the media industries and be in a special type of venue with limited seating and capacity.  We have resisted the impulse to grow this event beyond that level of efficiency.  That is one of the reasons it is so popular and has enjoyed such amazing longevity.”  To obtain registration information and avoid being shut out before the deadline, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.  For an up to the minute agenda, please click here.

WGN, Chicago Names Mary Sandberg Boyle Director of News and Operations. In Chicago, Tribune Broadcasting is promoting Mary Sandberg Boyle – executive producer of the Steve Cochran morning show – to the position of director of news and operations.  Sandberg Boyle assumes the role left open when Stephanie Tichenor jumped across the street to take on the program director position at Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM.  Sandberg Boyle began her service with WGN Radio in 2015 and helped to launch the station’s weekday morning business show, “The Opening Bell.”  WGN-AM station manager and vice president of content Todd Manley says, “Mary brings us years of success managing high profile talent and a fresh vision for the next generation of WGN Radio.”

KTSA, San Antonio to Tweak Lineup.  The talk show lineup at Alpha Media’s news/talk KTSA, San Antonio changes, effective June 17.  Trey Ware remains in morning drive from 5:00 am to 9:00 am and will be joined by current KTSA air personality Sean Rima from 7:00 am to 9:00 am.  Rima then goes solo from 9:00 am to 11:00 am. New to the lineup is the “Markley and Van Camp” program (featuring Jamie Markley and David Van Camp) for the 11:00 am to 1:00 pm slot.  Dave Ramsey remains from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm, and longtime midday personality Jack Riccardi moves to the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm daypart.  Check out the station’s promotional video here.

Nielsen Audio Podcast Investigates Neuroscience and Radio Ads. In a two-part podcast titled, “Your Brain on Audio,” the Nielsen Audio Podcast features communications professor Dr. Rob Potter from Indiana University to share his findings from a career spent researching how the brain responds to sound, and what it takes to capture listener attention and create memorable commercials.  Nielsen Audio says, “The first step in that process is understanding how the brain works and how it’s evolved to process information.  This knowledge is important all along the marketing cycle, particularly in today’s cluttered media world.  There are distinct differences between automatic attention and controlled attention when it comes to our physiology, and different tools radio producers can use to trigger those parts of our brain.  Everything from the music bed in a commercial to the pitch and number of voices used affects how consumers pay attention to a particular message.  Then, once attention has been captured, creative shoulders the important task of imprinting the message into memory networks.  One simple way to affect memory is to play on emotion using words or music, and the cutting edge of neuroscience marketing research is exploring the specific ties between music and emotion for use as a tool in making better ads.”  Check out the first podcast here.

WSB, Atlanta Presents Video Documentary of the Jamie Dupree Story. Regular TALKERS readers are aware of the story of WSB, Atlanta-based Washington correspondent Jamie Dupree’s battle with tongue protrusion dystonia that’s left him unable to speak.  Now, the station is featuring a video documentary telling Dupree’s story on its website.  Titled, “Voice of Reason,” the program details Dupree’s story and reveals how Cox Media Group identified a new, pioneering approach to return Dupree’s voice to radio.  CMG worked with Edinburgh-based speech synthesis firm CereProc. It sent hours of his archived radio reports to Scotland where engineers and audio specialists digitized and recreated his voice so that Dupree can write a script for a report that is converted into an audio file that sounds nearly identical to his natural voice.  Dupree says, “My health is fine, but my voice is not – and I honestly don’t know if I will ever speak normally again.  I’ll be forever grateful to my WSB and CMG family for getting me back on the air with Jamie Dupree 2.0.”  See the video, directed by WSB Radio videographer Jesse Brooks and produced by Cox Media Group digital content manager Zac Morgan, here.

Glenn Johnson Named OM for Cumulus Pensacola. The five-station Cumulus Media cluster in Pensacola has a new operations manager.  Glenn Johnson moves from the company’s NASH studios in Nashville where he was executive producer for “The Ty Bentli Show” to serve with the cluster that includes news/talk WCOA-AM and four music brands.  Cumulus Media regional VP Pete DeSimone says, “This is a win-win – a homecoming for Glenn and an opportunity to retain a very talented broadcaster.  We are extremely excited to have him leading the Pensacola programming team.”

Guaranty Media Brings Elliott Aboard as OM for Baton Rouge Stations. Programming pro Chris Elliott joins Guaranty Media in Baton Rouge as operations manager for the cluster that includes: news/talk WBRP-FM “Talk 107.3,” sports talk duo WNXX-FM/KNXX-FM “ESPN Baton Rouge,” and two music-formatted stations.  Elliott comes to Baton Rouge from his most recent position as brand manager for Manning Media’s hot AC WAFY, Frederick, Maryland.  Guaranty president and CEO Flynn Foster says, “Because great radio should reflect the ever-demanding needs of a local market, we are happy to announce the installment of our new OM to help us meet these demands.  Chris will be a powerful addition to our team.  He will lead our five stations, enhance our existing programming, develop new local talent, and expand our digital platforms. We are very excited to have Chris join us.”

Digital Talk Brand MoJo 5-0 to Support Veterans Causes. Digital talk radio station MoJo 5-0 – a new station focusing on conservative and libertarian content – is involved in two Memorial Day programs in the Dallas/Fort Worth area to assist veterans.  MoJo 5-0 was founded by late talk radio host Doc Thompson, who had a passion for veterans’ causes.  First, Matt Locke, host of the “Conservative Cartel” on MoJo 5-0, will broadcast live from the Warrior Tent on the 16th hole of Colonial Country Club for the Charles Schwab Challenge.  There he’ll interview numerous veterans to help bring attention to non-profits that benefit them.  Second, the 2019 Memorial Day Celebrity Softball Classic, benefitting CarryTheLoad.org, will be held on Saturday (5/25) at Airhogs Stadium in Grand Prairie, Texas. MoJo 5-0 hosts Matt Locke and Rocci Stucci are scheduled to play alongside professional athletes, musicians, celebrities, and military heroes.  Locke says, “The Dallas-Ft. Worth area is a huge part of what we are at MoJo 5-0, and it’s an honor to have the opportunity to give back via both of these events.  We’ve been very vocal about honoring our military heroes and continuing the legacy that Doc Thompson established, and we’re thrilled to support these non-profits that play a vital role in veterans’ causes.”   MoJo 5-0 was developed, launched, and is managed by Cuddle Me Buff, LLC, a partnership of broadcasting experts encompassing all areas of the production spectrum, from operations to talent, business to sales.  Within six months of launch, MoJo 5-0 went from 0 listeners to 110K unique sessions weekly, and recently celebrated its one millionth download. MoJo 5-0 is distributed by iHeartRadio, and broadcasts from custom studios near Fort Worth, Texas.

iHeartMedia Appoints Kareem Chin to Investor Relations Position. Now that iHeartMedia is listed on the NASDAQ following its exit from Chapter 11 reorganization, it is naming media industry pro Kareem Chin SVP and head of investor relations.  In this position, Chin will manage iHeartMedia’s relationship with the investor community to ensure the company strategy is aligned with the needs of its equity holders.  Chin will work closely with COO and CFO Rich Bressler, chairman and CEO Bob Pittman, EVP and general counsel Paul McNicol, and leaders of iHeartMedia’s finance and communications teams, and will oversee the company’s investor conferences, investor meetings, and quarterly earnings releases and financial filings.  He spent the last three years as VP of investor relations for Viacom.

iHeartMedia Boston Appoints Adam Ralston VP of Marketing. Boston marketing pro Adam Ralston is named vice president of marketing for iHeartMedia’s station group there that includes: news/talk WRKO, news/talk WXKS-AM, all-news WBZ-AM, and five music brands.  iHeartMedia VP of programming Dylan Sprague says, “Adam’s leadership, programming and sales strategy, event experience, knowledge of the market and long history of success coupled with his strong local relationships stood out and I know he is the perfect fit.  I’m thrilled to have him lead our best-in-class marketing team and contribute to our brands’ ongoing success.”

Raiders Games to Air on KYMT-FM, Las Vegas. For the 2019 NFL season, Oakland Raiders’ games will air on iHeartMedia’s classic rock KYMT “93.1 The Mountain.”  Raiders games are produced and distributed by Compass Media Networks.  The play-by-play is being called by broadcasting legend Brent Musburger.  Former All-Pro tackle Lincoln Kennedy is handling color analysis and Chris Townsend serves as sideline reporter.  This is the team’s last season playing in the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum before it relocates to Las Vegas in 2020.

Trump Financial Records Subpoena, Dems Impeachment Talk, U.S.-Iran Tensions, U.S.-China Tariff Battle, New Anti-Abortion Laws, ‘Game of Thrones’ Finale, and NBA/NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/20). A federal judge rules President Trump’s accounting firm must turn over documents requested by congress; key Democrats battle House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over impeachment possibility; reports Iran has heightened production of enriched uranium as the U.S. warns of possible military action against it; the trade war being waged between the U.S. and China; the new, restrictive anti-abortion laws being passed in several states; the finale of HBO’s “Game of Thrones”; and NBA/NHL playoffs 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. Pictured below is CMT personality Cody Alan (second from right) with members of Little Big Town at the second-annual “Live in the Vineyard Goes Country” three-day music and wine festival.  Alan chatted with all of the artists appearing at the festival and interviewed Little Big Town for the syndicated radio show “CMT After MidNite” and “CMT Radio Live” on June 3.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

| February 21, 2019

40th Anniversary of Founding of Guardian Angels Coincides with Release of SLIWONICS. Tonight, Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York and early afternoon personality Curtis Sliwa are celebrating the 40th anniversary of Sliwa’s founding of the Guardian Angels at the company’s Hackensack Meridian Health Stage 17 at WABC Radio.  At the same time, Sliwa’s book titled, SLIWONICS, is being released.  Sliwa says the book “explains the many terms that I have used in 27 years of doing talk radio that are malaprops, spoonerisms, and fractured phrases.” He says that this evening he will read from the book “in a ‘Masterpiece Theatre’ way.”

Mayfield Promoted at Ramsey Media. Media executive Brian Mayfield is promoted to the role of executive vice president of Ramsey Media – the company founded by nationally syndicated talk radio star Dave Ramsey.  The company says that this move expands his role to include the Ramsey Solutions Operating Board and Executive Committee speaking into global initiatives company-wide.  Mayfield continues to lead Ramsey Media managing distribution and monetization of The Ramsey Network that features “The Dave Ramsey Show,” “The Rachel Cruze Show,” “The Chris Hogan Show,” “The Ken Coleman Show,” “Business Boutique,” and “The Anthony O’Neal Show.”  Mayfield joined Ramsey Solutions in 2009 and has led the Ramsey Media team since 2012.

Armstrong & Getty Interview Outspoken News Pro Lara Logan. On the heels of her much-publicized interview with former Navy Seal and podcaster Mike Ritland, former CBS News reporter Lara Logan appeared on the KSTE, Sacramento-based Armstrong & Getty program to talk about political bias, objective journalism, and more.  She’s been embraced by conservatives since this story first broke for calling out news organizations for their lack of objectivity.  However, she told Armstrong & Getty, “I just want to say one thing.  If I say one thing loudly and clearly, louder than anything I ever said, I want to say if there is any person out there or any group that is trying to paint me as some kind of ‘right-winger’ or some kind of conservative, I reject that with every fiber of my being and my soul.  I reject that with everything in me.  I am not a politician and I am not going to be labeled by any of them.  I do my job the same way no matter who’s in power.  No matter who’s in power I do my job the same on ‘60 Minutes’ as I did on a newspaper in South Africa or when I was filling in for radio stations.”  Hear the interview here.

Westwood One News Scores Deal for 45 Cox Media Group Music Stations. A new agreement to provide breaking news coverage on 45 Cox Media Group music stations in Atlanta, Houston, Tampa, Miami, Orlando, San Antonio, and other markets – in addition to the signing of news/talk WWBA-AM, Tampa – puts Westwood One News at the 900-affiliate mark.  The company also reports the re-signing of affiliates, including: WINS-AM, New York and KYW-AM, Philadelphia.  Cumulus Media EVP, marketing and president of Westwood One Suzanne Grimes says, “Westwood One News has expanded rapidly due to our trustworthy global news reporting, which stations can locally brand and seamlessly embed into their programming. Reaching 900 stations over four years is an amazing milestone and a testament to Bart Tessler, Jim Jones, the Westwood One News team, and our affiliate sales team.”

Francesa-Kay Battle in New York Illustrates Challenges Faced in Selling Talk. The Andrew Marchand column in the New York Post addressing the sports talk radio battle between WFAN’s Mike Francesa and WEPN’s Michael Kay highlights some of the challenges facing talk broadcasters – sports, news/talk, or otherwise – when it comes to selling based on ratings.  Marchand reports that Kay beat Francesa in Nielsen’s January PPM (Men 25-54) with a 5.8 share over Francesa’s 5.0 share.  The piece goes on to address the difference in ratings when a station uses Total Line Reporting.  Further, Marchand notes that if total audience is the ultimate measuring stick, then Kay’s YES Network television audience needs to be included, too.

TALKERS News Notes. The mayor of Atlanta made news there by responding to a social media post by former WSB-AM/WSBB-FM talk host and current commentator Neal Boortz.  WXIA-TV, Atlanta reports that Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms took issue with Boortz’s tweet that compares the Democratic Party’s treatment of blacks today to that of plantation owners during slavery.  You can see the story here.  Though Boortz retired from his regular talk show in 2013, he still does a daily commentary for WSB…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that longtime Chicago journalist and former WCPT-AM, Chicago talk host Ben Joravsky is back in the audio game with a new, daily talk show being streamed live by the Chicago Reader and the Sun-Times…..Podcast producer Cadence13 is named to Fast Company’s annual list of the World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies for 2019. The list honors the businesses making “the most profound impact on both industry and culture, showcasing a variety of ways to thrive in today’s volatile world.”  Cadence 13 partners Spencer Brown and Chris Corcoran say, “We are thrilled to be recognized by Fast Company as one of the most innovative media companies of 2019.  This wouldn’t be possible without the trust and dedication of our incredible partners, the hard work, passion and execution of our entire team, and the creative and innovative environment we promote here at C13.”

Trump-Russia Investigation, Border Wall Emergency Declaration Challenge, Jussie Smollett Case, 2020 Presidential Hopefuls, Putin Threatens U.S., Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Scandal, Venezuela Unrest, and NBA/NCAA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/20).  The expectation that the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents will wrap soon; the U.S.-Mexico border wall project, President Trump’s emergency declaration, and the 16 states suing over the emergency declaration; actor Jussie Smollett is charged with filing a false police report after charging he was assaulted in Chicago; the Democrats declaring their 2020 presidential candidacy; Russian president Vladimir Putin threatens the U.S. with military retribution if the U.S. installs missiles in Europe; the Vatican’s plans to take up issues surrounding the cascade of sexual abuse charges against its clergy; the political unrest in Venezuela as conditions under Nicolas Maduro deteriorate; and NBA and NCAA basketball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Next month’s iHeartRadio Music Awards will include three new awards to be given to artists during the two-hour, live television and radio event. The 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards will honor Alicia Keys with the iHeartRadio Innovator Award; Garth Brooks with the Artist of the Decade Award; and Halsey with the iHeartRadio Fangirls Award presented by L’Oréal Paris.  The sixth annual iHeartRadio Music Awards airs live on Thursday, March 14 from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm on FOX TV and across iHeartMedia radio stations as well as the iHeartRadio platform from Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles…..Westwood One is launching a new, weekend radio show starring Elaina Smith called “With Elaina,” targeted to country music outlets.  WWO says the show is “designed for pop culture junkies, entertainment fans, and country music lovers” and “showcases Elaina doing what she does best – talking about life, love, movies, music, celebrity news, and of course, country music.” Smith says, “Launch day can’t come soon enough.  I’ve been waiting to do a show like this for years.  We’re going to have a blast bringing my pop culture background and millennial vibe to country music fans in a whole new way.”

January 2019 PPM Data – Round Two. January 2019 ratings information has been released for Washington (D.C.), Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen Audio’s January 2019 survey period covered January 3 – 30. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM-markets.

Washington, DC

Spoken-Word Formats – Without a loss from June 2018 through November 2018 for an overall +1.6 (3.5 – 3.7 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.1, 6+), WMAL was then a combined -.8 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+). Not only does the Cumulus Media news/talker bounce back with a January 2019 +1.4 (4.3 – 5.7, sixth to fifth, 6+), WMAL establishes a new record for its best 6+-stat (5.7) in the PPM-era.

Flat at #14, Entercom sports talk WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” returns half (one-tenth) of the two-tenths it picked up in “Holiday” 2018 (3.2 – 3.1, -.1, 6+). The +.2 in “Holiday” 2018 followed four straight down or flat trends that accounted for a collective loss of seven-tenths (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 3.0, 6+). Stuck on .9 (6+) in November and December, Radio One’s similarly-formatted WTEM “980 The Team” is a combined -.3 in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019 (.9 – .8 – .6, #21 to #23, 6+).

After eroding by one full-share in “Holiday” 2018, Hubbard all-news WTOP roars back with a +2.0 (8.4 – 10.4, 6+) and returns to #1 with its best 6+-performance since March 2018 (10.4, as well). Having set the pace for 11 straight ratings periods, WTOP segued to the runner-up slot in December.

It took just one ratings period for American University-owned news/talk WAMU to completely obliterate “Holiday” 2018’s massive -2.2, as “The Mind Is Our Medium” hangs out a January 2019 +2.5 (7.3 – 9.8, fourth to second, 6+). There have been a plethora of major (6+) “Holiday” 2018 – January 2019 increases but this (WAMU’s +2.5) is the largest one we’ve seen in the 24 PPM-markets we’ve analyzed thus far. Immediately prior to “Holiday” 2018, WAMU was an overall +1.9 via five straight increases (7.6 – 8.0 – 8.2 – 8.3 – 9.0 – 9.5, 6+). While this (9.8) is the best 6+-stat for WAMU since May 2017’s 10.7, its 7.3 in “Holiday” 2018 is its softest 6+-stat since 6.9 in “Holiday” 2015. “The Mind Is Our Medium” finished at #2 ten 10 times in calendar year 2018.

Down or flat five straight times for a loss of two-tenths (.5 – .4 – .4 – .4 – .3 – .3, 6+), Entercom business news outlet WDCH doubles (+.3) its 6+-stat to .6 (#24 to #23, 6+).

Washington, DC Music Formats – Not only is Entercom hot AC-turned-classic hits-oldies WIAD an overall +1.5 via four straight up or flat trends (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 3.8, 6+), “94.7 The Drive – DC’s Greatest Hits” rockets into the top ten (#16 to #9). With a September through “Holiday” 2018 topline of 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.0 (6+), co-owned Spanish tropical WLZL “El Zol 107.9” posts a one-half share gain to 1.5 (#20 to #19, 6+), its strongest 6+-stat in just over one year (1.5, as well in “Holiday” 2017). Owing to four straight upticks (6.4 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.4 – 7.5, 6+), Radio One-owned urban AC WMMJ “Majic” is an overall +1.1 and continues at #3. At the same time, its format foe – Howard University’s WHUR – tacks on two-tenths to “Holiday” 2018’s +.9 (6.2 – 6.4, 6+), advancing from fifth to fourth. A collective -1.4 via three straight decreases (4.9 – 4.5 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.5, 6+), Atlantic Gateway Communications contemporary Christian WGTS “91.9 Christian Music Radio” picks up one-tenth to 3.6 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#12 to #10). Manning Broadcasting hot AC and classic hits-oldies cluster-mates WAFY “Key 103” and WWEG “106.9 The Eagle”  surface at .8 (#21, 6+) and .6 (#23, 6+), respectively. A combined +5.6 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.8 – 7.3 – 10.4, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH “97.1 Washington’s Variety of the ‘80s ‘90s and Today” sputters by -6.1 in January 2019 to 4.3 (6+), tumbling from first to sixth. Prior to being -1.0 in November, WASH was +2.1 in September and October (3.7 – 4.4 – 5.8, 6+). Forfeiting nearly all of the seven-tenths it accrued in “Holiday” 2018 (4.0 – 3.4, -.6, 6+), Greater Washington Educational Telecommunications’ WETA “Classical 90.9” exits the top ten (#7 to #12). When WETA dropped three-tenths in December, it halted at five its consecutive string of up or flat trends that accounted for a collective +1.4 (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.6, 6+).

Boston

Spoken-Word Formats – Having faltered by -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.2 – 2.6 – 2.1, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WRKO “AM 680 – The Voice of Boston” notches a +.1 to 2.2 (6+) and carries on at #17.  November 2018’s 3.2 is the best 6+-stat for WRKO in more than four years (3.3, November 2014).

There are more wild fluctuations for this market’s two mammoth sports talkers as Entercom’s WEEI-FM answers “Holiday” 2018’s loss of seven-tenths with a +1.7 (3.7 – 3.0 – 4.7, 6+) to return to the top ten (#11 to #8), while Beasley Media Group-owned WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” piles on a +1.6 to its one-half share increase in “Holiday” 2018 (5.1 – 5.6 – 7.2, third to second, 6+). Off by -1.0 in December, WBZ-FM is the key station of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, as well as the Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins. The flagship of the 2018 World Series champion Boston Red Sox, WEEI-FM cratered two full-shares in December.

While it is unchanged at #6, iHeartMedia-owned news-talk hybrid WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” posts a +1.2 to 5.5 (6+), thus applying the brakes to four straight decreases that resulted in a collective -1.1 (5.4 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.3, 6+).

In one fell swoop, Boston University news/talker WBUR makes its overall -1.5 through five consecutive down or flat ratings periods (5.7 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.1 – 4.2, 6+) vanish with a +1.5 (5.7, seventh to fifth, 6+). Even though WGBH Educational Foundation news/talk WGBH gains two-tenths (2.4 – 2.6, 6+), it backslides from #14 to #15.

Boston Music Formats – Off one-tenth in back-to-back reports (6.9 – 6.8 – 6.7, 6+), iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WXKS-FM “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” responds with a gain of six-tenths to 7.3 (6+), marching from second to first. This (7.3) is the highest 6+-showing since August 2018’s 7.8 for “Kiss,” which was #1 from January 2018 through November 2018. With a November – December – “Holiday” 2018 topline of 5.6 – 5.7 – 5.6 (6+), Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies WROR “105.7 – 80s & More” records a +.6 as well (6.2, steady at #3, 6+). Logging improvements of one-half share (each) are Entercom hot AC WWBX “Mix 104.1 – Boston’s Best Variety” (3.4 – 3.9, unchanged at #9, 6+) and co-owned WAAF “107.3 – The Only Station That Really Rocks” (1.2 – 1.7, #22 to #20, 6+). Within 2.2 – 2.9 range (6+) the past 19 sweeps, iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WJMN “Jam’n 94.5” busts out a +.4 to 3.1 (#13 to #12, 6+). Owing to three straight increases (5.3 – 5.6 – 8.9 – 14.5, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WMJX netted a +9.2 and spent December 2018 and “Holiday” 2018 at #1. In January 2019, however, “Magic 106.7 – Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” sputters by -8.4 to 6.1 (6+) and slips to fourth. “Holiday” 2018’s 14.5 is its strongest 6+-showing since 14.8 in “Holiday” 2015. The market’s (6+) adult contemporary share takes a further hit as iHeartMedia’s WSRS “96-1 SRS – Worcester’s At-Work Station,” which more than doubled (+.9) its 6+-share since surfacing in August 2018 (.6 – .6 – .6 – .6 – 1.1 – 1.5, 6+), surrenders one full-share to .5 (#20 to #27, 6+). Despite adding one-tenth to 3.6 (6+), thus ending seven successive down or flat reports that accounted for a combined loss of -1.2 (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.5, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WKLB “Country 102.5” backslides from eighth to tenth. Its format rival – iHeartMedia’s WBWL “101.7 The Bull – Boston’s #1 For New Hit Country” – is without an increase for the third straight time for a -.3 (2.1 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8, #18 to #19, 6+).

Miami

English-Language, Spoken-Word Formats – A combined -.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WIOD “News Radio 620 – Miami’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” recaptures two-tenths to 2.4 (6+) and carries on at #18. Its December loss of one-tenth halted three consecutive gains that yielded six-tenths (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.5, 6+).

Over the course of the last nine sweeps (May 2018 – “Holiday” 2018), Entercom’s WQAM has logged a .9 (6+) six times and a .8 (6+) the other three. In January 2019, however, “Sports Radio 560” is down three-tenths to .6 (#25 to #26, 6+). It is tied with co-owned WAXY “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket,” which is without an increase for the third straight time (.9 – .6 – .6 – .6, #30 to #26, 6+).

After surrendering six-tenths in “Holiday” 2018, Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN answers with a +.7 (2.2 – 1.6 – 2.3, 6+) and returns to the top twenty (#21 to #20, 6+).

Miami Music Formats – As the result of a +.7, Cox Media Group urban contemporary WEDR reaches a 5.2 (seventh to sixth, 6+) and ends three straight flat or down trends (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5, 6+). Moreover, this (5.2) is the first time since February 2017 that “99 Jamz” isn’t within 4.0 – 4.9 range (6+). Flipping “Holiday” 2018’s seven-tenths’ loss into a January 2019 gain of six-tenths (3.9 – 4.5, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WXDJ “106.7 El Zol” climbs from ninth to eighth; 3.9 in “Holiday” 2018 is its lowest 6+ showing since May 2018’s 3.7. Flat at #15, iHeartMedia-owned CHR WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” is without an increase for the fourth straight sweep for a collective -.5 (3.4 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+). On the other hand, Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted WFLC “Hits 97.3” is up one-tenth to 3.1 (#13 to #12, 6+), thus snapping three successive down or flat trends that produced an overall loss of three-tenths (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 3.0, 6+). Without an increase the last three reports for a three-tenths’ deficit (2.9 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.6, 6+), Entercom’s WKIS “Kiss Country 99.9” posts a one-half share increase to 3.1 (#17 to #12, 6+). For the ninth straight ratings period, an adult contemporary occupies Miami’s lead position (6+). This time, it’s Cox Media Group-owned WFEZ “Easy 93.1” (7.1 – 7.4, +.3, second to first, 6+), which dislodges/trades places with Entercom’s similarly-formatted WLYF “101.5 Lite FM” (6.4, -.9, first to second, 6+). Entering the “Holiday” 2018 sweep, “Easy 93.1” finished on top seven straight times. It bounced back from November’s loss of seven-tenths with a December increase of three-tenths. Meanwhile, “Lite FM” had been an overall +1.9 through three positive spikes in succession (5.4 – 5.7 – 6.2 – 7.3, 6+) and notched its best 6+-stat (7.3) since January 2018’s 7.4. WLYF erased half of October’s -.6 with a November improvement of three-tenths. A collective +1.0 via five straight up or flat trends (3.9 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 4.9, 6+) iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary WZTU “Tu 94.9 FM Donde Viven Tus Hits” returns two-tenths to 4.7 (sixth to seventh, 6+). Off six-tenths (3.6 – 3.0, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary WRMA “Ritmo 95.7” fades from the top ten (#10 to #14). With similar call letters of aforementioned WRMA, Moody Bible Institute’s religious teaching WRMB all but disappears (1.5 – .2, -1.3, #32, 6+).

Seattle

Spoken-Word Formats – An overall -1.7 through three straight negative trends (6.6 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 4.9, 6+), Bonneville news/talk KIRO-FM responds with a January 2019 +.7 to 5.6 (fifth to third, 6+). Its November loss of six-tenths curtailed three straight gains which yielded a +1.5 (5.1 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.6, 6+). Co-owned KTTH breaks a negative streak as well: “Conservative Talk Radio” dials up a +.4 to 1.9 (flat at #22, 6+), ending a December and “Holiday” 2018 mini-slide that nonetheless resulted in slicing in half (-1.5) its 6+-share (3.0 – 2.1 – 1.5, 6+). Just before December’s decrease, KTTH put together three increases in a row for a collective +.9 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.9 – 3.0, 6+). Continuing this theme, Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned KVI “Talk Radio 570,” which was a collective -.4 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (1.3 – 1.2 – .9, 6+), is up one-half share to 1.4 (#25 to #24, 6+). Through six straight May through November reports without a loss, KVI was up three-tenths (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.3, 6+).

Not so lucky as its Seattle news/talk counterparts, Bonneville sports talk KIRO-AM is an overall -1.1 in three straight setbacks (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.0, 6+) and drifts out of the top ten (#10 to #14). “ESPN 710,” the flagship of the Seahawks and Mariners, was up by a combined seven-tenths in October and November. By logging a +.6 to 1.6 (6+), iHeartMedia-owned KJR-AM climbs from #24 to #23. “Seattle’s Sports Radio 950” was down a collective four-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (1.4 – 1.3 – 1.0, 6+), following four consecutive up or flat sweeps that nearly tripled (+.9) its 6+ AQH share (.5 – .7 – .9 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+).

Trending 2.7 – 2.4 – 2.4 (November – December – “Holiday” 2018, 6+), Sinclair Broadcast Group all-news KOMO improves by one-half share to 2.9 (#17 to #16, 6+). Off by three-tenths in December, KOMO was -.2 in June (2.6 – 2.4, 6+); +.2 in both August and September (2.3 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+); -.2 in October (2.7 – 2.5, 6+); and +.2 in November (2.5 – 2.7, 6+).

On top in September 2018, Northwest Public Radio news/talk KUOW registers a robust +1.5 (5.9 – 7.4, 6+) and returns to #1, after spending December and “Holiday” 2018 in the runner-up slot.

Seattle Music Formats – Adding a +1.3 to its “Holiday” 2018 increase of four-tenths (5.3 – 5.7 – 7.0, 6+), Hubbard CHR KQMV “Movin’ 92.5 – Seattle’s #1 Hit Music Station” inches up from third to second with its highest 6+-stat (7.0) since July 2018’s 7.8. Down four-tenths in December and then by another six-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 (4.3 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+), Entercom’s KKWF not only erases that entire full-share deficit with a +1.0 to 4.3 (6+), “100.7 The Wolf – #1 For New Country” zooms into the top ten (#15 to #8). In eight consecutive down or flat reports, hot AC sibling KHTP was a collective -1.4 (3.4 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.0, 6+), but “Hot 103.7” erases nearly half that shortfall with a +.6 to 2.6 (#20 to #18, 6+). There’s a bit of a similarity with iHeartMedia-owned KZOK “102.5 Seattle’s Classic Rock Station,” which is up a combined seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019 (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.4, ninth to seventh, 6+), immediately after being a collective -1.6 in four consecutive sweeps without an increase (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 3.7, 6+). December 2018’s 3.7 is the lowest 6+-showing for KZOK since its 3.6 in December 2017. Notching a January 2019 uptick of one-half share as well is Entercom’s KNDD “107.7 The End – Alternative Seattle,” which is a collective +1.1 via five straight positive or flat trends (3.6 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.7, seventh to sixth, 6+). Without an improvement the past eight reports for a collective -2.2 (6.2 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 4.0, 6+), co-owned KISW “99.9 Seattle Rock Music” is up three-tenths to 4.3 (6+) and remains at #8. Having more than tripled (+7.8) its 6+-share as the result of three straight gains (3.4 – 4.1 – 8.8 – 11.2, 6+), Hubbard adult contemporary KRWM “Warm 106.9” surrenders a -6.4 to 4.8 (6+) and drops from first to fourth. Its November improvement of seven-tenths suspended four successive decreases that produced an overall -1.6 (5.0 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+). On the heels of recording a “Holiday” 2018 +1.3, Sinclair Broadcast Group hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5 Today’s Best Mix” returns it entirely (5.1 – 3.8, -1.3, 6+) and skids from fourth to tenth. “Holiday” 2018’s 5.1 is its highest 6+-stat since 5.7 in “Holiday” 2017. A collective +.8 through three straight up or flat trends (2.9 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.7, 6+), Crista Media contemporary Christian KCMS-FM “Spirit 105.3” sees it all disappear with a January 2019 loss of nine-tenths (2.8, #11 to #17, 6+).

Detroit

Spoken-Word Formats – Following its combined December and “Holiday” 2018 -1.7 (4.7 – 4.1 – 3.0, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WJR responds with a +.7 to 3.7 (#13 to #12, 6+). Entering the December 2018 sweep, “News Talk 760” was +1.1 through four straight gains (3.6 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+).

The rollercoaster ride continues for Entercom sports talk WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” which was +1.8 via three increases in a row (4.6 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4, 6+); -1.3 (“Holiday” 2018); and now +.6 in January 2019 (4.6 – 5.2, 6+). Notwithstanding the increase, the flagship of the Pistons, Red Wings, Tigers backslides from fifth to eighth.    

Transforming “Holiday” 2018’s seven-tenths’ loss into a lofty +1.4 (6.1 – 7.5, 6+), co-owned WWJ “News Radio 950” leaps from the runner-up slot to #1. Its November one-half share decrease halted three consecutive gains that yielded an overall +1.6 (5.5 – 6.3 – 6.5 – 7.1, 6+).

Down one-tenth in back-to-back survey periods (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+), Michigan Public Media news/talk WUOM makes up for it with a +.3 in January 2019 to 1.9 (#20 to #19, 6+). By gaining one-tenth in September, WUOM curtailed eight straight survey periods without an increase for a collective -.3 (1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+). Four straight gains by WDET resulted in an overall +.9 (.6 – .7 – .8 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.5, 6+), but the Wayne State University news/talk facility is now without an increase for the third straight time for a collective loss of three-tenths (1.5 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2, flat at #22, 6+).

Detroit Music Formats – In addition to registering a +1.6 to 5.3 (6+), which pulls the plug on three successive declines that resulted in a cumulative -1.9 (5.6 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 3.7, 6+), Entercom-owned WYCD “99.5 – Detroit Country Music” returns to the top ten (#11 to #6). Ironically, WYCD isn’t the only Detroit out making a “Holiday” 2018 – January 2019 leap of +1.6, as Beasley Media Group’s WRIF “Everything That Rocks” does so as well (4.4 – 6.0, seventh to fourth, 6+). Its October 2018 – “Holiday” 2018 topline was 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.4 (6+). With a gain of nine-tenths to 6.9 (steady at #3, 6+), co-owned WCSX “94.7 – Detroit’s Classic Rock” wipes away precisely half of its December and “Holiday” 2018 -1.8 (7.8 – 6.6 – 6.0, 6+). A November improvement of one-half share suspended three straight declines that led to a -1.0 (8.3 – 7.9 – 7.4 – 7.3, 6+). WCSX spent four straight months at #1 before being dislodged in September. Progressing by nine-tenths as well is iHeartMedia CHR WKQI “Channel 95-5 Detroit’s #1 Hit Music Station” (4.4 – 5.3, seventh to sixth, 6+). Down or flat the past five sweeps for a -1.4 (5.2 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.8, 6+), Cumulus Media hot AC WDVD “96.3 Today’s Best Music and More” notches a +.7 to 4.5 (6+) and continues at #10. Also logging a +.7 is Detroit Classical & Jazz Educational Radio’s WRCJ “90.9 Classical Days/Jazzy Nights” (1.8 – 2.5, #18 to #17, 6+), which reaches a two-share (6+) for the first time since July 2018’s 2.0. Owing to four straight increases, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WNIC more than tripled (+12.2) its 6+-share since September (5.7 – 6.2 – 6.6 – 12.2 – 17.9, 6+) and spent December 2018 and “Holiday” 2018 at #1. In January 2019, however, “The Best Variety of the ‘80s, ‘90s, & Today” plummets by -10.8 to 7.1 (6+) and segues to #2. “Holiday” 2018’s 17.9 is easily the largest 6+ AQH share by any Detroit station in the PPM-era. Off two-tenths to 4.2 (6+), Beasley Media Group’s WMGC “105.1 The Bounce – Detroit’s Throwback Hip-Hip and R&B” ends three straight gains that netted a +1.1 (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 4.4, 6+) and exits the top ten (#7 to #11).

Phoenix

Spoken-Word Formats – An overall -1.5 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.3 – 3.5 – 2.8, 6+), after being a collective +1.2 via four increases in a row (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.3, 6+), KTAR-FM picks up six-tenths to 3.4 (6+) and is back in the top ten (#12 to #10). In November, the Bonneville news/talk outlet reached the four-share level (6+) for the first time since January’s 4.0. Off three-tenths in back-to-back survey periods (2.9 – 2.6 – 2.3, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KFYI regains one-half share (2.8, #18 to #17, 6+). After dropping four-tenths in September, “News Talk 550” duplicated October’s gain of two-tenths in November (2.5 – 2.7 – 2.9, 6+).

As a result of four straight setbacks, Bonneville sports talk KMVP-FM was a combined -1.2 (3.1 – 3.0 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+), but “98.7 Arizona Sports” logs a +.2 to 2.2 (6+) and cracks the top twenty (#21 to #20). September 2018 marked the first time the flagship of the Phoenix Suns, Arizona Coyotes, and Arizona Diamondbacks reached the three-share level (6+) since October 2017’s 3.0.

After being without an increase the past three sweeps for an overall loss of six-tenths (3.1 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.5, 6+), Maricopa County Community College news/talk KJZZ erases that deficit with a gain of seven-tenths (3.2, #15 to #13, 6+).

Phoenix Music Formats – Ups/downs continue for iHeartMedia adult hits KYOT “95.5 The Mountain – We Play Everything,” which was a collective +.4 via three straight up or flat trends (5.9 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+); -1.2 in “Holiday” 2018; and now +.9 in January 2019 (5.1 – 6.0, fourth to third, 6+). Dialing up a gain of nine-tenths as well is Entravision’s KVVA “92.7 La Suavecita” (2.5 – 3.4, 6+), which vaults into the top ten (#15 to #10). Down or flat the past three ratings periods for an overall -1.2 (5.6 – 5.1 – 4.7 – 4.4, 6+), Hubbard-owned KUPD “Arizona’s Real Rock” notches a +.7 to 5.1 (seventh to fifth, 6+). Unchanged at #19, The Yucaipa Companies’ hot AC KMVA “Hot,” which had been without an increase the past six sweeps for a collective -1.3 since July (3.5 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.2, 6+), ends that streak by picking up two-tenths to 2.4 (6+). While it is #1 for the fifth straight time, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KESZ surrenders more than half of its 6+ AQH share (15.0 – 7.0, -8.0, 6+). The decrease suspends four upticks in a row that yielded a collective +8.9 (6.1 – 6.6 – 6.9 – 9.7 – 15.0, 6+), with 15.0 its highest 6+-showing since 16.4 in “Holiday” 2017. After spending ten straight sweeps at #1, KESZ shifted to the runner-up slot in September. At #30, Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KQMR “Latino Mix 100.3” sees its 6+-stat slashed in half (1.2 – .6, -.6, 6+).

Minneapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Applying the brakes to six straight down or flat moves that accounted for an overall -1.2 (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.2, 6+), Entercom-owned WCCO “News Radio 830” dials up a +.7 to 3.9 (#13 to #12, 6+). The Timberwolves and Twins flagship has been +.8 (April 2018); -.8 (May); -.8  (June); +.5 (July); -.6 (“Holiday” 2018); and now +.7 (January 2019). Tied at #14 are iHeartMedia’s KTLK “Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130” (3.3, +.3, #15 to #14, 6+) and Hubbard news/talk KTMY “My Talk 107.1” (2.2 – 3.3, +1.1, #18 to #14, 6+). KTLK, which gained seven-tenths in October, had been -1.1 in three successive ratings periods without an increase (4.1 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 3.0, 6+). Meanwhile, “My Talk 107.1” was off a cumulative seven-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (2.9 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+), after being up a collective four-tenths in October and November (2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+).

Following four consecutive increases that netted a +3.0 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.9 – 6.5 – 6.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KFXN “Sports Radio 100.3 K-Fan” is -1.8 in three decreases in succession (6.7 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 4.9,  6+). The flagship of the Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Wild drops from sixth to eighth. Flat at #25, Hubbard sports talk KSTP-AM “ESPN 1500” regains the one-tenth it dropped in “Holiday” 2018 (.7 – .6 – .7, 6+).

In three straight setbacks KNOW lost a total of seven-tenths (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.0, 6+), but the Minnesota Public Radio news/talker rebounds with a +1.0 to 5.0 (ninth to sixth, 6+). Immediately prior to this streak, KNOW logged three straight increases for a collective +1.0 (3.7 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+).

Minneapolis Music Formats – This particular sweep proves especially productive for the Twin Cities’ hot ACs as Hubbard’s KSTP-FM “KS-95” hauls out a +1.9 (5.3 – 7.2, 6+), while iHeartMedia-owned KTCZ “Cities 97.1” flashes a +1.2 (3.3 – 4.5, #12 to #11, 6+). Moreover, “KS-95,” which spiraled by -1.0 in back-to-back sweeps (7.3 – 6.3 – 5.3, 6+), leaps from seventh to first. It held the lead position seven straight times before being ousted in August; KSTP-FM returned to #1 in October and November. In “Holiday” 2018, “Cities 97.1” eroded by nine-tenths to 3.3, its lowest 6+-performance since April 2018 (3.3, as well). A combined -1.6 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.6 – 4.6 – 4.0, 6+), co-owned KEEY “K-102 Minnesota’s Country Station” bounces back with a +1.0 to 5.0 (ninth to sixth, 6+). Fully erasing its combined December and “Holiday” 2018 -.8 (2.2 – 1.7 – 1.4, 6+) with a gain of that same magnitude (2.2, +.8, 6+), Minneapolis Public Schools’ KBEM “Jazz 88” climbs from #20 to #19. There are more ups/downs for Cumulus Media rocker KXXR “93-X,” which was an overall +.8 in four straight sweeps without a loss (5.6 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 6.4, 6+); -.5 in “Holiday” 2018; and now +.6 in January 2019 (5.9 – 6.5, unchanged at #2, 6+). This marks the sixth time in a row that Minnesota Public Radio classical outlet KSJN is without a decrease for a collective +1.1 (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.1, #14 to #16, 6+). With a .5 (6+), Borgen Broadcasting classic hits-oldies WDGY “The Original Rock N Roll Station” pops on at #27. A combined +6.0 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.6 – 8.7 – 12.6, 6+), following a collective -1.4 in October and November (8.0 – 6.7 – 6.6, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KQQL has its 6+-stat carved in half (12.6 – 6.3, -6.3, 6+), as “Kool 108 Minnesota’s Greatest Hits” falls from first to third. “Holiday” 2018’s 12.6 is the strongest 6+-stat for any Minneapolis station since “Kool” logged a 14.2 in “Holiday” 2017. Up or flat the past three sweeps for a +1.2 (4.6 – 5.0 – 5.8 – 5.8, 6+), Entercom adult hits KZJK “104.1 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” falters by -1.0 to 4.8 and tumbles from fourth to ninth. It’s been a rollercoaster ride recently for University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian KTIS-FM “Always Uplifting” KTIS-FM, which was a collective -.8 via three straight sweeps without an increase (5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.3, 6+); +.9 (“Holiday” 2018); and now -.6 in January 2019 (5.2 – 4.6, eighth to tenth, 6+). Having more than doubled (+1.0) its 6+-share in four successive up or flat trends (.8 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.8, 6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WGVX “Love 105 FM” returns half that increase with a -.5 to 1.3 (#19 to #20, 6+).

San Diego

Spoken-Word Formats – By logging a one-half share increase to 4.4 (ninth to eighth, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KOGO suspends three straight sweeps without an increase that accounted for a collective loss of eight-tenths (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+). Recent “News Radio 600” fluctuations include +.8 (January 2018); -.7 (February); +.8 (March); +.6 (May); -.6 (August); -.7 (December); and +.5 (January 2019). October 2017’s 7.2 is KOGO’s highest 6+-share in its PPM-history. Over and above picking up three-tenths (1.6 – 1.9, 6+), Tegna news/talk KFMB-AM “AM 760” enters the top twenty (#21 to #20). While down a combined half-share in four straight sweeps without an increase (1.7 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), iHeartMedia Los Angeles’ similarly-formatted KFI “AM 640” moves from #23 to #22.

A positive spike of six-tenths to 1.5 (#25 to #21, 6+) by Interamericana de Radio’s XPRS-AM “The Mighty 1090” applies the brakes to three consecutive down or flat reports that resulted in a loss of three-tenths (1.2 – 1.2 – .9 – .9, 6+). This (1.5) is its best 6+-performance since February 2018’s 1.6. Entercom-owned/San Diego Padres flagship KWFN “97.3 The Fan” records its third straight up or flat move for a +.4 (.7 – .8 – .8 – 1.1, #24, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s KLSD “Fox Sports 1360 San Diego’s Sports Station,” which had been down or flat the past three reports for a -.4 (.9 – .6 – .6 – .5, 6+), gains three-tenths to .8 (#26, 6+).

A mammoth +2.1 by KPBS (5.1 – 7.2, 6+) wipes away an overall -1.7 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.8 – 6.2 – 5.1, 6+) and propels the San Diego State University-owned news/talker from second to first. KPBS was #1 in October, November, and December before shifting to #2 in “Holiday” 2018.

San Diego Music Formats – Adding a +1.1 to “Holiday” 2018’s +.1 (4.2 – 4.3 – 5.4, 6+), Entercom-owned KSON “103.7 San Diego’s #1 New Country” leaps from eighth to third. Somewhat similarly, iHeartMedia’s KGB “San Diego’s Classic Rock” tacks on seven-tenths to “Holiday” 2018’s +.1 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.5, 6+) and progresses from tenth to sixth. This marks the fourth straight up or flat trend for Univision Radio regional Mexican KLNV “Que Buena 106.5,” which is +1.3 in that timeframe (4.2 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 5.5, third to second, 6+). Down or flat six consecutive reports for a collective -1.3 (5.9 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+), Local Media of San Diego-operated XHRM “Magic 92.5 The Beat of San Diego” picks up two-tenths to 4.8 (sixth to fifth, 6+). As a result of six straight sweeps without a loss, Entercom adult contemporary KYXY nearly tripled (+5.4) its 6+-stat (3.0 – 3.0 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 5.8 – 8.4, 6+) and posted its highest 6+-performance (8.4, “Holiday” 2018) in exactly one year (9.5, “Holiday” 2017). A January 2019 -4.5 to 3.9 (6+), however, sinks KYXY from #1 to #11. Following a “Holiday” 2018 loss of two-tenths (5.2 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KMYI “Star 94.1” drops another six-tenths to 4.4 (third to eighth, 6+). While flat at #6, co-owned CHR KHTS “Channel 93.3 – San Diego’s #1 Hit Music Station” is a collective -2.1 in three straight declines (6.6 – 6.0 – 4.6 – 4.5, 6+). In seven consecutive sweeps without a loss, KHTS (#1 in September) was a collective +2.8 (3.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+), but it lost two-tenths in October. In four negative moves in a row, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVJ was a collective -1.6 (3.7 – 3.0 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.1, #17 to #19, 6+), but San Diego’s version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” disappears from print in January 2019. KLVJ posted a +1.1 in September when it reached the three-share threshold (3.7, 6+) for the first time since March (3.1). Immediately after the 6+ AQH share of classic hits-oldies XPRS-FM had been carved precisely in half (2.4 – 1.2, 6+), “105.7 Max FM” sputters by another one-half share to .7 (#23 to #27, 6+).

Tampa

Spoken-Word Formats – A combined -.7 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.8 – 3.4 – 3.1, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news/talk WFLA “970 Tampa Bay’s News Radio” rebounds with a one-half share gain to 3.6 (#14 to #12, 6+). The flagship of the NHL’s Tampa Lightning was a combined -.9 in September and October (4.2 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+), following August’s +.6. Up three-tenths to 2.9 (#16 to #15, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” halts three straight down or flat sweeps that accounted for a -1.0 (3.6 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 2.6, 6+). “The Bone” erased September’s -.2 with an October gain of three-tenths.

Up one-tenth in back-to-back reports (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WDAE “620 Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” advances from #19 to #18. WDAE was a combined +.6 in September and October (2.1 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+), but that disappeared in November and December (2.7 – 2.3 – 2.1, 6+).

After surrendering one-half share in “Holiday” 2018, University of South Florida news/talk WUSF recaptures three-tenths (1.7 – 2.0, #20 to #19, 6+).

Tampa Music Formats – An overall +1.5 in six successive sweeps without a loss (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned hot AC WMTX “Mix 100.7” progresses from eighth to seventh. Three setbacks in a row by Beasley Media Group country WQYK resulted in a -1.8 (6.7 – 5.8 – 5.5 – 4.9, 6+), but “99.5 QYK” makes up one-third of that decrease with a +.6 to 5.5 (fourth to third, 6+). Albeit that the first-place finisher holds an exactly two-to-one lead over the runner-up, the market has (Cox Media Group-owned) adult contemporary outlets at #1 and #2. Through four straight upticks, WWRM is +1.0 (4.9 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.4 – 5.9, 6+) as “Magic 94.9 – Tampa Bay’s Best Music” bumps up from third to second with its strongest 6+-stat since July 2018’s 6.4. Despite eroding by -1.9 (13.7 – 11.8, 6+), its Cox Media Group adult contemporary sibling, WDUV “Lite Favorites,” is #1 for the 78th successive ratings period. Its January 2019 decrease interrupts three straight gains that netted a +4.8 (8.9 – 9.7 – 10.8 – 13.7, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 13.7 is the highest 6+-stat for any Tampa station since WDUV’s 14.9 in “Holiday” 2015. Having precisely doubled (+2.3) its 6+-stat via four straight up or flat monthlies (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 3.7 – 4.6, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WPBB craters by -2.9 to 1.7 freefalling from #6 to #20. During the December 2018 sweep, WPBB used the “B-98.7” handle, but the day after Christmas (12/26), it changed format and imaging to “98.7 The Shark – The Next Generation Of Classic Rock.” Back in the iHeartMedia cluster, urban-rhythmic oldies WMTX-HD2, which quadrupled (+.9) its 6+-stat through six straight up or flat moves (.3 – .5 – .6 – .6 – .7 – .9 – 1.2, 6+), falters by eight-tenths to .4 (#21 to #2.6, 6+), while sibling WXTB “98 Rock” sputters by six-tenths (4.1 – 3.5, 6+) and departs the top ten (#9 to #13). One streak continues for Cox Media Group-owned WXGL and another ends as “107.3 The Eagle – Tampa Bay’s Classic Hits” is -1.5 in four successive declines (6.9 – 6.6 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.4, 6+), but after six straight times at #2, it slips to #4.

Denver

Spoken-Word Formats – In three negative moves in succession (6.2 – 5.1 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KOA “Colorado’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” was an overall -1.9 but the flagship of the Denver Broncos and Colorado Rockies hangs out a +.5 to 4.8 (seventh to sixth, 6+). KOA was +1.1 (October); -1.1 (November); and -.6 in December. In a somewhat similar scenario, co-owned news/talk KHOW “Talk Radio 630,” which was off a collective seven-tenths in three successive reports without an increase (1.8 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.1, 6+), improves by three-tenths to 1.4 (#23 to #22, 6+).

A combined -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.4 – 3.6 – 3.2, 6+), Bonneville-owned KKFN erases 75% of the shortfall with a +.9 to 4.1 (#13 to #10, 6+). Directly before that, “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” posted four increases in a row for an overall +1.9 (2.5 – 2.9 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.4, 6+). KSE Radio Ventures’ KKSE-FM “Attitude Sports Radio 92.5,” the flagship of the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche, adds one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (.3 – .4 – .5, #29 to #27, 6+). Up until September (2018), KKSE-FM was country KWOF “The Wolf.”

Not only does KCFR wipe away “Holiday” 2018’s one-half share loss with a January 2019 increase of seven-tenths (6.9 – 6.4 – 7.1, 6+), the Colorado Public Radio news/talk station progresses from second to first. KCFR was on top in September, October, and November before segueing to #2 in December. A one-tenth November decline ended three consecutive gains that netted +1.5 (5.2 – 6.3 – 6.4 – 6.7, 6+). Although falling from #21 to #22, Community Radio for Northern Colorado news/talk KUNC is in a repetitive 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.4 (6+) sequence.

Denver Music Formats – Off one-half share through three decreases in a row (5.0 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.5, 6+), KSE Radio Ventures’ classic hits-oldies KXKL “Kool 105 – Denver’s Greatest Hits” logs a +1.2 to 5.7 (fifth to third, 6+). Racking up a January 2019 increase of +1.2 as well is Entravision’s KJMN (4.7, #12 to #8, 6+); “La Suavecita 92.7” had been trending 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 (6+). Locked on 5.0 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2018 (after a 5.5, 6+, in November), iHeartMedia triple A KBCO “97.3 World Class Rock” records a +1.0 to 6.0 (6+) and advances from third to second. Along the same line, Entercom’s classic rock KQMT “99.5 The Mountain,” which was frozen on 4.5 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2018 (after a 4.9, 6+, in November), improves by nine-tenths to 5.4 (fifth to fourth, 6+). Despite gaining three-tenths to 4.6 (6+), thus halting five consecutive decreases that resulted in a -1.9 (6.2 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.0 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+), Bonneville’s country KYGO backslides from seventh to ninth. In three straight sweeps without a loss, adult contemporary cluster-mate KOSI “101.1 Real-Music-Variety” was an overall +7.9 (4.9 – 4.9 – 7.6 – 12.8, 6+) and was #1 in December and “Holiday” 2018. In January 2019 though, KOSI forfeits -7.5 to 5.3 (6+) and slips to fifth. Immediately prior to December, KOSI was a collective -1.1 in four successive sweeps without an increase (6.0 – 5.8 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.9, 6+). The last time any Denver station reached the 12-share level (6+) was four years ago (KOSI, 12.4, “Holiday” 2014). In a reverse of the previously-cited KBCO and KQMT situations, KSE Radio Ventures hot AC KIMN “Mix 100 Today’s Best Mix,” which notched a 3.8 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2018 (after a 3.4, 6+, in November), regresses by one-half share to 3.3 (#11 to #13, 6+).

Baltimore

Spoken-Word Formats – At the same time that independent news/talk WCBM “680 Stimulating Talk – Breaking News” adds nine-tenths (3.4, #12 to #11, 6+), Hearst Television news/talk WBAL “News Radio – Expect More” gains seven-tenths (2.7, #14 to #13, 6+). WCBM had been off by one-half share in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.5 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+), while WBAL lost a collective six-tenths in three slips in a row (2.6 – 2.5 – 2.2 – 2.0, 6+). WCBM was -.5 in September and +1.0 in October. Prior to the December sweep, WBAL had a (6+) fluctuation of one-tenth four times in a row: 2.5 – 2.4; 2.4 – 2.5; 2.5 – 2.6; and 2.6 – 2.5. Ever since resurfacing in the Baltimore report in May, Cumulus Media Washington, DC news/talk WMAL has a topline of  .7 – .6 – .5 – .4 – .5 – .5 – .4 – .3 – .3 – .4 (#29 to #28, 6+).

A combined +.8 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.1 – 4.6 – 4.9, 6+), Entercom sports talk WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan” – which was -1.0 in November – drops one-half share (4.4, fourth to eighth, 6+). Baltimore’s “Fan” was +.6 (January); -.6 (February); +1.0 (April); a combined -1.0 (May and June); -1.0 (November); +.5 (December); and -.5 (January 2019).

Rebounding from an overall -1.0 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.3, 6+) with a +.8 to 3.1 (6+), Your Public Radio news/talk WYPR “88.1 Your NPR News Station” climbs from #13 to #12. November’s +.3 was erased with a December -.3. After faltering by four-tenths, American University-owned news/talk WAMU answers with a gain of six-tenths (1.3 – 1.9, #17 to #15, 6+).

By picking up four-tenths (.7 – 1.1, 6+), Entercom business news WDCH cracks the top ten (#23 to #19) with its best 6+-stat since December 2017 (1.1, as well).

Baltimore Music Formats – Powered by a +1.3 to 6.0 (6+), iHeartMedia-owned WPOC “93.1 Today’s Best Country,” which had a November through “Holiday” 2018 topline of 5.8 – 5.1 – 4.7 (6+), progresses from sixth to fourth. This (6.0) is its highest 6+-stat since August 2018’s 6.2. Following 11 straight survey periods at #1, Radio One urban AC WWIN-FM shifted to second in December. It remained there in “Holiday” 2018 when it lost seven-tenths, but “Magic 95.9” dials up a +1.1 (7.9 – 9.0, 6+) and is back on top, with its strongest 6+-showing (9.0) since July 2018’s 9.5. Improving by +1.1 as well is Hearst Television-owned WIYY “98 Rock” (5.1, tenth to sixth, 6+), which had been trending 5.0 – 4.3 – 4.0 (November – December – “Holiday” 2018, 6+). Three consecutive declines by Radio One urban contemporary WERQ resulted in a -1.2 (7.9 – 7.7 – 7.0 – 6.7, 6+) but “92 Q Jams” responds with a +1.0 to 7.7 (third to second, 6+). An overall -1.2 in three straight setbacks (6.1 – 5.8 – 5.4 – 4.9, 6+), Shamrock Communications’ classic rock WZBA “100.7 The Bay” answers with a +.7 to 5.6 (fourth-place tie to fifth, 6+). Up seven-tenths as well is Baltimore City Community College-owned WBJC “Maryland’s Classical Music Station” (1.9 – 2.6, #15 to #14, 6+). Locked on 4.2 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2018 (after a 5.2, 6+, in November), Entercom hot AC WWMX “106.5 Baltimore’s Best Mix” posts a gain of six-tenths to 4.8 (eighth to seventh, 6+). Having more than tripled (+10.2) its 6+-stat as the result of five straight upticks (5.0 – 5.3 – 5.8 – 7.1 – 10.1 – 15.2, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WLIF “Today’s 101.9” spirals by -8.7 to 6.5 (first to third, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 15.2 is the highest 6+-share by any outlet in the market since WLIF posted a 16.3 in “Holiday” 2017. Also in the adult contemporary arena, iHeartMedia Washington, DC’s WASH “97.1 Washington’s Variety of the ‘80s ‘90s and Today” has its 6+ AQH share cut by two-thirds (1.2, -2.4, #11 to #18, 6+). In six positive or flat Baltimore reports in succession, WASH nearly quadrupled (+2.6) its 6+-stat (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 2.1 – 3.6, 6+). This is the sixth time in a row that Peter and John Radio Fellowship contemporary Christian WRBS-FM is unlisted; “95.1 Shine FM – Baltimore’s Positive Hits Station” was #13 in August 2018 (2.6, 6+).

St. Louis

Spoken-Word Formats – An overall -3.0 through three straight decreases (8.4 – 7.5 – 6.9 – 5.4, 6+), Entercom news/talk KMOX picks up two-tenths to 5.6 (6+), but “The Voice of St. Louis” backslides from sixth to seventh. On top in September and October, the St. Louis Cardinals’ flagship entered the November sweep a collective +1.0 via three increases in succession (7.4 – 7.6 – 8.3 – 8.4, 6+). Co-owned KFTK “FM News Talk 97.1,” a collective -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (2.8 – 2.5 – 1.7, 6+), records a half-share increase to 2.2 (6+) but remains at #18. When KFTK gained two-tenths in October, it curtailed three straight sweeps without an increase that resulted in an overall loss of seven-tenths (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.6 – 2.6, 6+).

Flat at #10, Hubbard sports talk WXOS “101 Sports” is a combined +.5 in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019 (3.6 – 3.8 – 4.1, 6+). Four straight June 2018 through October 2018 up or flat moves netted WXOS a +1.3 (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.0, 6+).

Without an increase in each of the last five sweeps for an overall loss of three-tenths (3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.2, 6+), University of Missouri news/talk KWMU erupts with a +.9 to 4.1 (#13 to #10, 6+), its highest 6+-share since October 2017 (4.1, as well). Before faltering by three-tenths in December, KWMU had been without a loss for six consecutive ratings periods for a net gain of six-tenths (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+).

St. Louis Music Formats – The three most recent fluctuations for Hubbard-owned KSHE “95 Real Rock Radio” are +.5 (December); -.7 (Holiday” 2018); and now a whopping +2.0 in January 2019 (6.1 – 8.1, fourth to second, 6+). The last time KSHE reached the eight-share level (6+) was in November 2016 (8.6). Adding a lofty +1.6 to “Holiday” 2018’s +.1 (6.2 – 6.3 – 7.9, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLOU “103.3 St. Louis’ Greatest Hits” carries on in third-place. Bouncing back from “Holiday” 2018’s loss of eight-tenths with an improvement nearly twice that magnitude (4.9 – 6.4, +1.5, 6+), Hubbard’s KPNT “105.7 The Point – Everything Alternative” advances from seventh to fifth. With a November – December – “Holiday” 2018 topline of 3.0 – 2.6 – 2.5 (6+), Entercom CHR KNOU “Now 96.3 All The Hits” breaks out a +.9 to 3.4 (#16 to #14, 6+), matching the 3.4 it posted in June 2018. In addition to being up a combined six-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019 (8.0 – 8.1 – 8.6, 6+), Gateway Creative Broadcasting contemporary Christian KLJY progresses from second to first. Reappearing in print in April 2018, “99.1 Joy FM” has reached #1 in August, November, and January 2019 and this (8.6) is its highest 6+-share in the April 2018 through January 2019 timeframe. A collective -1.2 via five consecutive survey periods without an increase (4.3 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.4 – 3.1, 6+), iHeartMedia mainstream CHR KSLZ “Z-107.7 – St. Louis’ #1 Hit Music Station” gains four-tenths to 3.5 (#15 to #13, 6+). Owing to three straight up or flat tends (5.2 – 5.2 – 9.8 – 15.6, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary KEZK tripled (+10.4) its 6+ numbers and spent December and “Holiday” 2018 at #1. In January 2019 though, “The Best Mix of the ‘80s & Today” falters by -9.1 to 6.5 (6+), giving way to KLJY and falling from first to fourth. “Holiday” 2018’s 15.6 is the loftiest 6+-share by any St. Louis station in the PPM-era. This is the fourth straight down or flat trend by Radio One urban AC WFUN “95.5 R&B For The Lou” for a collective -1.8 (4.9 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 3.1, #11 to #16, 6+).

Friday, December 14, 2018

| December 14, 2018

Alpha Media to Sell Biloxi Stations to TeleSouth.  Portland-based Alpha Media announces it has filed to sell its Biloxi, Mississippi cluster to TeleSouth Communications for $2.5 million.  The deal includes sports talk duo WANG-AM/WTNI-AM “103.5 The Champ,” (no mention is made of translator W278CE, Biloxi on which the sports format is heard) rock WCPR-FM, hip hop WGBL-FM, adult hits WQBB-FM, and CHR WXYK-FM. TeleSouth already owns news/talk WOSM-FM that airs the company’s “SuperTalk” format heard on 11 other stations across the state.  To comply with FCC ownership caps, TeleSouth will divest of WXYK-FM.  Alpha Media president and CEO Bob Proffitt states, “We are happy our group of great broadcasters in Biloxi/Gulfport are being sold to a good operator located in the state of Mississippi that is dedicated to live and local.  We have a special place for everyone at these stations and wish them the very best.”  Kalil & Co., Inc. is the exclusive broker for this transaction.

ESPN’s Dan Le Batard to Launch Podcast. Next Tuesday (12/18), ESPN Radio’s Dan Le Batard is premiering his new podcast called “South Beach Sessions.” That’s being called a “preview episode” and the show will begin in earnest on Tuesday, January 8.  The program will feature a one-on-one interview each week and it’s the first original podcast from the newly created Le Batard and Friends Podcast Network. The guest for the December 18 preview is former ESPN staffer Jemele Hill, who has worked extensively with Le Batard over the years on TV and radio.  Le Batard says, “This is really exciting for us and for people who inexplicably want more of us.  ESPN has given us a digital podcast network to create and control as part of a ‘Le Batard and Friends’ universe that will be in equal measure a part of ESPN and apart from ESPN.”  Le Batard hosts the “Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz” daily from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm as well as the ESPN television show “Highly Questionable” weekday afternoons on ESPN2.

TALKERS News Notes. Public radio pro Jennifer White is named as host of “The Morning Shift” on public radio news/talk WBEZ-FM, Chicago.  She takes over the morning program hosting duties at the NPR member station from Tony Sarabia, who is retiring from the station after almost three decades. White joined WBEZ in 2016 and has been hosting the Friday edition of The Morning Shift, leading its Friday roundtable discussions.  She’s also hosted some of WBEZ’s podcasts, including: “Making Oprah,” “Making Obama,” and “16 Shots.”.….In the Erie, Pennsylvania market, religious broadcaster Inspiration Time, Inc. has re-launched AM signal WZTE, Union City, calling it “Freedom 1530” and is airing “a unique reading of the United States Constitution, mixed with patriotic band music.”  Haydn Tidball, a 2018 graduate of McDowell High School and Jennifer Natalie, 2018 graduate of Northwest Pennsylvania Collegiate Academy, have voiced WZTE’s continuous reading of the entire U.S. Constitution, with amendments included and changes noted. Station manager Joel Natalie states, “We are so excited to present these young voices reading this very old document. We are calling it, ‘Madison’s and Hamilton’s Greatest Hits.’”…..Alpha Media news/talk KTSA, San Antonio hosted the 20th annual “Wrappin’ with Jack” event at Six Flags Fiesta Texas on Tuesday (12/11).  More than 800 people turned out to help KTSA talk show host Jack Riccardi wrap thousands of gifts for needy families in San Antonio served by Family Service Association. While listeners wrapped gifts, they enjoyed live music from the Ken Slavin Band, holiday treats, carousel rides, and pictures with Santa.  Riccardi says, “Our 20th ‘Wrappin’ with Jack’ was our best gift drive, wrapping party, and broadcast yet.  I truly believe people in San Antonio and South Texas have the impulse and instinct to give.  Our event just creates a way to help people that is local and real.”

WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta Shifts Show Times. According to Rodney Ho’s report in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the need for more traffic reports in the 4:00 pm hour to better serve commuters is the reason for shifting two drive-time shows on Cox Media Group‘s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM an hour earlier.  WSB program director Pete Spriggs says as the heavy traffic is beginning earlier than in the past, the need for a clock that allows traffic reports every six minutes means bumping the second two hours of Sean Hannity’s show to the 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot is necessary.  Hannity’s 3:00 pm hour will air live, followed by Erick Erickson’s program now airing from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm and Mark Arum’s show moving to the 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm slot.

Trump-Russia Investigation and Cohen Sentencing Tie for Top News/Talk Story for Week of December 10-14. The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related sentencing of former Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen tied as the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was President Trump’s border wall negotiations and the threat of a federal government shutdown.  Coming in at #3 was the migrants amassed at the U.S.-Mexico border, followed by financial markets activity at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s entire chart here.

Washington Examiner Editorial Director Hugo Gurdon Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  The Washington Examiner, located in the nation’s capital, has built a growing reputation with increasing influence for its coverage of politics, public policy and the federal government from an independent, moderate conservative perspective.  It has evolved through various platform iterations both in print and online since its roots as a group of suburban DC news outlets collectively known as the Journal Newspapers, Inc. which was purchased in 2004 by entrepreneur and philanthropist Philip Anschutz.  Anschutz combined them into a single news entity, the Washington Examiner in 2005 under the umbrella of his holding company Clarity Media Group, which in turn operates the publishing company Media DC.  Today, Media DC owns and operates the Washington Examiner, which has grown into a full-service online news organization, along with its weekly print arm, the Washington Examiner Magazine, that has been functioning effectively as a DC insider’s close up look at the workings of the federal government.  It also owns the separately operated national conservative political opinion print magazine, the Weekly Standard.  The Washington Examiner is currently in the process of boldly expanding its weekly magazine to take on a larger scope both in its subject matter and geographic distribution.  Beginning in 2019, it will remain in print, but be nationally distributed and targeted to political observers across America interested in the goings on in Washington, DC.  Washington Examiner editorial director Hugo Gurdon is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”   Gurdon is a distinguished journalist with an international background.  He joined the Washington Examiner after serving as editor-in-chief of The Hill.  Before that, he was an editor and reporter at the Daily Telegraph of London and the National Post of Canada.  His writing has also appeared in such publications as the European edition of the Wall Street JournalFinancial Times and The Guardian.  In this conversation, Harrison and Gurdon discuss the general state of print journalism in the ever-expanding digital era as well as the inner ideological struggles and debates that impact the media within the American conservative movement during the turbulent Age of Trump.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Boston country outlet WKLB “Country 102.5” names Ayla Brown (left) co-host of “The Jackson and Ayla Brown Show” alongside Jackson Blue (right), effective Monday (12/17).  Brown is a former Boston College basketball star and was a finalist on season five of “American Idol.”  She’s been living in Nashville performing and writing music the past few years.  About joining the Beasley Media Group stations, she says, “Country music has brought me all around the world and back to Boston again.  Many have seen me perform, but I am so excited for our listeners to get to know me in a whole new way.  Thank you to the ‘Country 102.5’ team for this incredible opportunity!”…..In Seattle, Sinclair Broadcast Group flips morning and afternoon talent on hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5.”  Program director Kent Phillips moves to afternoons with cast members Jen Pirak and Marina Rockinger.  However, his longtime partner Alan Budwill retires from the morning show after more than 30 years.  Moving to mornings on January 2 is the current afternoon team “Curt & Corine” with current AM show producer Leonard Barokas…..iHeartMedia nationally syndicated personality and KOST, Los Angeles morning host Ellen K is named the first-ever TCL Chinese Theatre ambassador and permanent master of ceremonies for its famed celebrity handprint-footprint ceremonies. Her first emcee gig is today (12/14) as musical artist Pitbull is honored with a hand and footprint ceremony…..Pictured below is Chicago hit radio legend John Records Landecker with the “Bob & Tom” show.  The Radio Hall of Famer appeared at the show’s Indianapolis studios to surprise cast member Chick McGee on his birthday. From left to right are: Grace Yinger, Tom Griswold, Kristi Lee, Josh Arnold, Landecker, and McGee. (Photo: Art Vuolo)

Monday, March 5, 2018

| March 5, 2018

iHeartMedia Gets Breathing Room to Settle Debt Issue.  Industry watchers were expecting iHeartMedia to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection over the weekend as the default on a missed $103 million payment on 14% Senior Notes was about to kick in.  That didn’t happen and iHeart announces that yesterday (3/4) it “and certain lenders party thereto (the ‘Consenting Lenders’) entered into a Forbearance Agreement (the ‘Forbearance Agreement’), with respect to the Credit Agreement, dated as of May 13, 2008, as amended and restated as of February 23, 2011 (as further amended or supplemented from time to time, the ‘Credit Agreement’), among iHeartCommunications, as the parent borrower, the subsidiary co-borrowers and foreign subsidiary revolving borrowers party thereto, iHeartMedia Capital I, LLC, as a guarantor, Citibank, N.A., as administrative agent, swing line lender and letter of credit issuer, and the other lenders from time to time party thereto.  The Consenting Lenders constitute the lenders required under the Credit Agreement to grant a forbearance.  Pursuant to the Forbearance Agreement, the Consenting Lenders agreed to temporarily forbear from accelerating the obligations under the Credit Agreement or otherwise exercising any rights or remedies thereunder as a result of any actual or prospective event of default under Section 8.01(e) of the Credit Agreement resulting from iHeartCommunications’ failure to make an interest payment beyond the applicable grace period with respect to its 14.00% Senior Notes due 2021 that was originally due on February 1, 2018.  The forbearance became effective upon all parties’ execution thereof and will terminate immediately and automatically upon the earliest to occur of (i) March 7, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. Central time and (ii) an event of default under the Credit Agreement other than those that resulted in the entry into the Forbearance Agreement (the ‘Forbearance Period’).”

Erick Erickson Signs New Deal with WSB, Atlanta.  Afternoon drive personality Erick Erickson has signed a new contract with Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta to continue his work with the station through 2020.  Erickson joined the station in 2011 and moved into a prime daypart in less than one year.  WSB director of branding and programming Pete Spriggs states, “We are excited to have Erick as part of our radio family for the long term.  He came into radio having never expected to be on radio and has thrived.  The contacts in his phone are a ‘Who’s Who’ of newsmakers and power brokers.  Atlanta is genuinely listening to the most connected man in radio.”  In addition to hosting “Atlanta’s Evening News with Erick Erickson,” weeknights from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm, he also provides political analysis for “Atlanta’s Morning News” and occasionally fills in for WSB’s Herman Cain.  Erickson says, “I fell into radio by accident, and it has been fun to really move from being a blogger and TV pundit into the role of talk radio host.  These last couple of years were not at all what I expected, but I get up every day excited to keep Atlanta entertained and informed with what is happening locally, nationally, and around the globe.”

Entercom Officially Announces Launch of ’97.3 The Machine’ in San Diego; Kevin Klein to Host Morning Drive.  Last week, TALKERS magazine reported Entercom’s plans for former CHR KEGY, San Diego – to turn it into a hot talk/sports hybrid with former XEPRS sports talker Dan Sileo in middays and the KISW, Seattle-based “The Men’s Room” show in afternoon drive.  Now, Entercom sends out an official presser announcing former alternative KITS, San Francisco personality Kevin Klein will be morning drive host, effective March 29.  Until that time, the station will air rebroadcasts of “The Men’s Room” in mornings.  As previously reported, the station will be the flagship for San Diego Padres baseball.  Entercom says the station will present a “unique mix of compelling personalities, comedy, sports and curated classic rock music…evenings and weekends when not broadcasting Padres baseball, ‘97.3 The Machine’ will provide music fans in San Diego with a true classic rock curated playlist ‘That Rocks,’ framed by entertaining comedy.”

Author Suing Sid Rosenberg and WFAN for Fraud.   Today’s New York Post is reporting that author Joseph DeBlasi is suing WABC, New York talk show host Sid Rosenberg and WFAN, New York for $20 million.  DeBlasi alleges in his complaint that Rosenberg was paid $5,000 to get DeBlasi interviews on the radio to promote his book, Polarized: Sex, Lies and Family Betrayal.  Rosenberg’s lawyer says the allegation is a lie and that Rosenberg was never given any money.  DeBlasi’s complaint states that the June 2014 deal was supposed to get DeBlasi on Geraldo Rivera’s program on WABC.  It further states that after Rosenberg attempted to get him the interview, DeBlasi learned that the deal with Rosenberg was illegal, violating payola laws.  DeBlasi did appear on WFAN three times when Rosenberg was filling in on the morning show.

‘The Conservative Cartel’ Now Syndicated by USA Radio.  Beginning today (3/5), “The Conservative Cartel” – co-hosted by Matt Locke and Chris X – is being syndicated by USA Radio.  The Fort Worth-based program airs live from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon ET daily.  The program continues to be distributed via TheBlaze Radio Network for weekends.  The program will debut in 15-plus markets.  USA Radio general manager Janet Bro says, “We’re extremely excited to announce the addition of ‘The Conservative Cartel’ to the daily lineup of shows available from USA Radio.  Matt Locke and Chris X are the perfect addition to syndicated radio and the USA Radio family.”

WBEN, Buffalo Airing 12 Hours of Talk About School Safety and Guns.  Calling it “#12Voicesin12Hours,” WBEN, Buffalo program director Tim Wenger says in a blog post that today’s 6:00 am to 6:00 pm broadcast addressing school safety and guns may “make you uncomfortable at times…But to advance change, meaningful and helpful change, you need to understand those who disagree with you and hear them out.”  Wenger says, “The hard part about this ‘conversation’ is that while most people want to have it, most walk away from it as soon as ideas are presented that go against their own personal thoughts and beliefs on the issues.  Most ‘cable news’ conversations go ‘ugly’ in a hurry and simply build a brick wall between two warring sides.  Unless that changes, nothing changes…this broadcast is, by design, not laden with politicians who are looking for a spotlight.  But it will, in the end, include some thoughts from some willing members of our Congressional delegation who may well be charged with advancing legislation that could impact us all.”  Wenger notes that each hour of the broadcast will be saved as a podcast for listeners to check out later.

TALKERS News Notes. In New York, Salem Media Group is launching a news weekly program featuring John Catsimatidis called “Cats At Night” on WNYM “AM 970 The Answer.”  The show debuts on Wednesday (3/7) and airs from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Catsimatidis also hosts a Sunday morning interview program called “The Cats Roundtable” that airs on WNYM and six other stations.  Catsimatidis says, “I love doing radio.  It’s the most enjoyable hour of my week.  I am excited about expanding my radio presence to drive time with ‘Cats at Night’ and the opportunity to share my views on what’s really going on in New York and the world.  My thanks to Jerry Crowley and his team at WNYM for their ongoing support.”…..WPGG, Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley tells TALKERS magazine that he recently had the pleasure of interviewing Atlantic County resident Helen Turner, who will turn 111 on April 1.  Hurley says he reached out to Atlantic County executive Dennis Levinson live, on the air requesting he make April 1, 2018 Helen Turner Day and he agreed.  Turner is also a huge fan of FOX News Channel star Tucker Carlson.  Hurley reached out to Carlson to see if he would announce Turner’s birthday on FNC and provide an autographed photo for her and he also readily agreed…..WTMJ, Milwaukee’s WTMJ Cares “Game Night for Stars and Stripes Honor Flight” recently raised a total of $54,758 to fund WTMJ Honor Flights for 150 veterans to see their memorial in Washington, DC.  The unique partnership with the NBA‘s Milwaukee Bucks featured a pre-game party at historic Turner Hall where guests met Vietnam Veterans.  After the party, the group enjoyed the Bucks game against the Washington Wizards.  The event was the finale of a three-week on-air campaign led by WTMJ Radio afternoon host, John Mercure.  Mercure’s “WTMJ Cares” fundraising project told stories of the service of Vietnam Veterans in the area. To complete the fundraising, WTMJ held a radiothon where WTMJ listeners donated $32,758 in three hours…..TribLive.com is reporting that the new owners of KQV, Pittsburgh hope to restore the all-news format that aired on the station prior to the previous owner’s shutting it down and selling it.  Robert and Ashley Stevens – principals of Broadcast Communications Inc. – are paying $55,000 for the station and its assets.  Stevens tells the news outlet, “We would like to be able to do the news.  I would like to be able to do it as a news station very similar to the way it was.  We just need to make sure we can do it in a way that would be financially feasible.”…..Northpine.com is reporting that WRRD, Milwaukee majority owner Michael Crute has entered into a deal with Good Karma Broadcasting to lease WTTN, Columbus, Wisconsin (Madison market) in order to air the “Resistance Radio” progressive talk format currently airing on WRRD.  WTTN’s primary signal is northeast of Madison but Crute has applied for an FM translator at 92.7 that would cover much of Madison.  Crute also has a construction permit for a 250-watt translator at 101.7 in the Milwaukee market.

Trump Tariffs/Trade War Talk, Trump Admires Xi Jinping, NRA Membership Spikes/Gun Control Issues, Russian Election Hacking, Sunday Night’s Oscars Awards, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  Reactions to President Trump’s plan to impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum and the related issue of trade wars; President Trump’s comments about Chinese president Xi Jinping’s elimination of term limits for his position and suggestion that the U.S. should do the same; the NRA reports a spike in new memberships and the related issue of gun control measures; the allegations of Russian hackers targeting U.S. elections; Sunday night’s Academy Awards ceremony; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. After last week’s departure of afternoon drive personality Cara Carriveau from Hubbard Radio’s adult contemporary WSHE, Chicago, the company announces the new afternoon team and several other air talent moves.  Former FOX TV Chicago personality Jenny Milkowski, a.k.a. Jenny Milk, is teaming up with Jay Styles to host the 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm program.  Styles moves from his role as the Chicago producer of the “Brooke & Jubal Morning Show” on WSHE.  Filling his shoes there is evening jock Robb Rose.  His 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight shift is now being hosted by station weekend personality Brian Middleton…..After moving country KIIX from the 96.1 frequency in Spokane to KZFS-AM/K257FX, iHeartMedia launches new alternative rock outlet “ALT 96.1.”  The station is airing Premiere Networks’ Los Angeles-based “The Woody Show” in morning drive…..The nationally syndicated Tino Cochino program is airing in evenings on Alpha Media’s CHR WNGY, Peoria “G 102.3.”  Cochino comments, “I’ve been a fan of the ‘G’ brand from the beginning.  Alpha took a different, much needed approach and it’s clearly working.  To partner our show with ‘G 102.3’ is beyond exciting to say the least!  I appreciate the opportunity and look forward to extending our brand in the Peoria market.”.….iHeartMedia announces Taylor Swift will present the world premiere of her new video for the hit single “Delicate” at the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards this Sunday (3/11).  The event will simulcast live on TBS, TNT and truTV at 8:00 pm ET in addition to airing on numerous iHeartMedia radio stations…..The sale of four radio stations from MTS Broadcasting to Draper Media closes.  Draper acquires Maryland stations country WAAI-FM, Hurlock; oldies WTDK-FM, Federalsburg; adult standards WCEM-AM, Cambridge; and adult contemporary WCEM-FM, Cambridge for $700,000.  Greg Guy of Patrick Communications was the exclusive broker…..Premiere Networks and Viacom’s CMT announce a multi-year extension of their deal that syndicates CMT personality Cody Alan’s “CMT After MidNite” country music show.  As part of the deal, CMT and Premiere Networks will continue to collaborate and develop programs and events for multiple platforms.

PPM Analysis: Rhythmic CHR.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s January 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on rhythmic CHR.  In this report, Kinosian compares 6+ share fluctuations from the Holiday 2017 survey to January 2018, January 2017 to January 2018, and more.  See the whole report here.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

| October 10, 2017

New Kilmeade Book Released This Month.  Later this month (10/24), FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio personality Brian Kilmeade releases his fifth book, this one titled, Andrew Jackson And The Miracle Of New Orleans: The Battle That Shaped America’s Destiny (Sentinel 2017).  The book addresses the role of Andrew Jackson in the War of 1812 and the crucial Battle of New Orleans.  A press release says the book “makes history come alive and gives readers a new understanding of one of America’s greatest generals – who later became one of our most controversial presidents.”  Kilmeade is available for interviews.  Contact Victoria@guestbooker.com.

TALKERS News Notes.  Pictured at right, Westwood One News vice president Kevin Delany accepts a 2017 RTDNA Edward R Murrow Award for the news organization for hard news reporting.  The gala awards presentation took place at New York City’s Gotham Hall last night (10/9)…..WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta talk show host Erick Erickson (who is also editor of The Resurgent) has published a new book titled, Before You Wake: Life Lessons from a Father to His Children (Hachette Books 2017).  Already dealing with his wife’s rare, genetic lung cancer, Erickson learned in 2016 he had blood clots in his lungs for which he’s been treated.  The brushes with mortality caused him to write a letter to his children titled, “If I Should Die Before You Wake,” that went viral.  Because of the popularity of the piece, Erickson decided to expand the idea and wrote a total of 10 letters that comprise the book that is described on Amazon.com as “featuring a wonderful mix of the practical, inspirational, and spiritual.”…..Former Premiere Networks talk show host and FOX News Channel personality Meghan McCain is joining the cast of ABC-TV’s “The View.”  Program senior executive producer Hilary Estey McLoughlin states, “Meghan is smart and well-informed, with passionate opinions that will create a new and exciting dynamic at the table.  She has a unique perspective and life experience that will bring a fresh, multi-generational voice to the show.  We know she’ll be a great addition to ‘The View.’”…..WPEN-FM, Philadelphia afternoon personality Mike Missanelli told his listeners that he’s been let go from his appearance on WPVI-TV, Philadelphia’s “Sports Sunday” program after questioning the use of women as play-by-play announcers for sports.  Missanelli said he was trying to stimulate conversation relative to ESPN’s use of Beth Mowins as a play-by-play caller during an ESPN NFL broadcast.   The Philly sports site Crossing Broad reports the story here.

Capitol Broadcasting’s WCMC-FM, Raleigh Celebrates 10th Anniversary.  Triangle market sports talker WCMC-FM, Raleigh “99.9 The Fan” is celebrating 10 years on air today (10/10).  When the station signed on back in 2007, it was the market’s first sports talk station.  A press release from WCMC reports that according to the latest Nielsen PPM ratings, the station ranks number one Men 25-54 6:00 am to 7:00 pm with a 9.5 share.  It also boasts “the number one shows in morning and afternoon drive.”  Capitol Broadcasting sports radio operations manager/program director Dennis Glasgow comments, “While I’ve only been here four years at CBC, I can say this is one of the most dynamic and forward-thinking sports radio stations I have ever been associated with over my 25 years in sports broadcasting.  While this isn’t one of the first sports stations in the country, we’ve proved it is definitely one of the best, thanks to a great lineup, but mostly in part to our loyal listeners in the Triangle.”

KKOB Balloon Flies Over New Mexico.  Yesterday (10/9) was the 46th annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta and pictured above is the KKOB balloon.  The festival attracts more than a million people from all over the world to Albuquerque each year.  The festival began in 1972 as a promotional celebration of KKOB’s 50th anniversary on air.  Now, it is the largest ballooning event in the  world.

Iran Nukes Deal, Corker vs Trump, Harvey Weinstein Scandal, NFL Protests/Jemele Hill Suspended, California Wildfires, Columbus Day/Indigenous Persons Day, MLB Playoffs, College Football, and NFL Action Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The likelihood that President Trump will not certify Iran’s compliance with the 2015 nuclear pact and his expected declaration of the Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization; the inter-GOP feud between President Trump and Senator Bob Corker; the sexual predator allegations against entertainment mogul Harvey Weinstein; the national anthem protests at Sunday’s NFL games and ESPN’s suspension of Jemele Hill for Tweeting about them; the wildfires in California that have claimed at least 10 lives; the Columbus Day holiday and the Indigenous Persons holiday celebrated in several states; the Major League Baseball playoffs, Saturday’s college football games, and Sunday’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the holiday weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Worcester, Massachusetts hot AC WXLO has a new program director as Cumulus Media names Laura St. James to the position.  St. James was most recently program director at the company’s WLEV, Allentown and is currently heard on weekends on the company’s country WNSH, New York “NASH FM 94.7.”…..iHeartMedia’s Allentown-Harrisburg Region makes several announcements regarding programming positions that consist of the expansion of programming roles for Newman, Dave Hovel, Derrick ‘DC’ Cole, Kathryn Alt and Jeff Hurley.  Newman is named program director for country WRBT, Harrisburg “BOB 94.9.”  Hovel adds duties as SVP of programming for iHeartMedia Wilmington, Delaware.  He’ll continue his role as SVP of programming for iHeartMedia Salisbury, Maryland.  In Allentown, Cole is named program director for CHR WAEB “B104” and rock WZZO.  Alt adds program director duties for country WDSD, Dover, Delaware in addition to her PD duties at adult hits WRDX “92.9 Tom FM.”  And finally, Hurley adds PD duties for CHR WLAN, Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  He continues as Regional SVP of programming and program director for “93.3 KISS FM” in Harrisburg…..Programmer Greg Mozingo exits E.W. Scripps’ country KVOO and classic country KXBL in Tulsa to be closer to family in Memphis.

Friday, November 20, 2015

| November 20, 2015

cainhermanChanges Coming to the Herman Cain Show in January.  TALKERS sources hear there are some changes coming to the WSB-AM, Atlanta-based Herman Cain show with the New Year.  Cain will remain with Cox Media Group’s WSB hosting the late morning show but Westwood One will no longer serve as affiliate sales and ad sales rep for the national syndication of the show.  TALKERS hears WYM Media will serve as affiliate sales rep and there will be a new ad sales rep, but that deal has not been inked yet.

wjr logoCumulus Media’s WJR, Detroit to Serve as Lions Flagship in 2016.  Detroit Lions play-by-play has been heard on CBS RADIO’s sports talk WXYT-FM for the past 12 seasons, but starting next year, the games will be heard on Cumulus Media’s news/talk WJR.  The Detroit Free Press is reporting the story and says many of the details are not known at this time.  Dan Miller and Jim Brandstatter are expected to remain in the booth going into next season.

wwhp logoNew Talk Outlet to Debut in Bloomington-Normal and Champaign, Illinois Markets.  The classic hits format will disappear from Smash Hit Media’s WWHP, Farmer City, Illinois on Monday and a news/talk outlet will spring up in its place.  Former WRPW, Bloomington “Cities 92.7” morning drive personality Ian Bayne will serve as morning host on the new “Newstalk 98.3.”  WWHP’s primary signal covers the area directly between the centers of the Bloomington-Normal and Champaign markets.

bellart15Art Bell and KABC, Los Angeles Collaborate for Thanksgiving Special.  Los Angeles news/talker KABC and paranormal talk legend Art Bell are presenting “An Art Bell Out-Of-This-World Thanksgiving Special” on Thursday, November 26 from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm.  This 12-hour specialkabclogo features programs hand-picked by Bell, who says, “We are thrilled to be back on the great 790 KABC, where we had great success.  My loyal fans will love that I’m personally hand picking the best 12 hours of out-of-this-world radio.” Bell’s nightly program, “Midnight in the Desert with Art Bell” (syndicated by his own Dark Matter Radio), is airing on AM/FM outlets in addition to its internet home base.

Odds & Sods.  The Grammy Award-winning band Train will perform at the official opening of CBS RADIO’s new New York performance space on Tuesday (11/24).  The company announces the opening of the Adorama Livecbsradio Theatre in Hudson Square in Manhattan, saying it will “serve as a showcase for artists, newsmakers, top athletes and other special guests.” It will play host to events from its six New York market radio stations, including sports WFAN and all-newsers WCBS-AM and WINS.  The company says that in the coming weeks the theatre will present performances by Southside Johnny and Shaggy, as well as live interviews with Chris Martin from Coldplay and Charles Osgood, host of “CBS Sunday Morning” and the syndicated radio feature “The Osgood Files.”  Today’s announcement marks the launch of CBS RADIO’s 11th performance space, wwtn logojoining outlets in Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Washington, D.C. and Detroit, among others…..Cumulus Media’s “SuperTalk 99.7 WTN” in Nashville is presenting its annual “From Hunger to Hope Radiothon” on Monday, November 23 to benefit the Nashville Rescue Mission.  The station will share stories and invite listeners to make donations to the Nashville Rescue Mission.  WTN says that through the years its listeners have raised more than $750,000 for cause.

2015SportsHH logoLGTALKERS Magazine Presents the 2015 Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk. Yesterday(11/19), the editors of TALKERS magazine present the fourth annual Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk – The 100 Most Important Sports Talk Radio Hosts in America. This list ranks sports talk hosts, duos or ensembles from #1 to #100, based upon a set of criteria that includes a combination of hard and soft factors. The genre of sports talk radio has evolved greatly and grown exponentially over the past 15 years to go from being a fringe format to an important sub-genre of spoken-word radio programming. With this in mind, the editors of TALKERS debuted the Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk in 2012 to acknowledge the hard-working air personalities on sports talk radio. The results of this list are, admittedly, subjective. Being true to the realities of the media business, ratings and revenue are two of the major factors – some would say they are the only factors worth considering – but the editors also took into account other qualities that help create a list that is reflective of the industry’s diversity and total flavor and still give credit where credit is due. Those qualities include: courage, effort, impact, recognition, service, talent and uniqueness. The other concrete qualification for inclusion is hosts must be working – that is, have a regularly scheduled professional show on the air at a minimum of one terrestrial or satellite radio station – at the time of publication. See the complete 2015 Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk here!

fantasyNXS logoNew Fantasy Sports Platform Provides Radio with Turnkey Method of Tapping into Booming DFS Industry. Tampa, Florida-based FantasyNXS is providing a custom-designed way for radio stations, networks, and personalities to generate revenue from the booming fantasy sports industry. FantasyNXS is the first online mall for daily fantasy sports (“DFS”). According to company president and CEO, David B. Hirsch, “Our platform enables radio stations, networks and personalities to get into the DFS business at no cost and provides them with a new and engaging way to monetize their audience.” Hirsch adds, “When a broadcast entity joins FantasyNXS as a partner, we create a customized hub or ‘storefront’ for them that features their branding, content and contests. It also has its own, easy-to-remember URL on our site, which facilitates off-line promotion and advertising.” What distinguishes FantasyNXS from the current big dogs in the fantasy sports business – DraftKings and FanDuel? Hirsch tells TALKERS that FantasyNXS provides a different business model, more game formats and free-to-enter promotional contests. He states, “Our business model is completely different. Think of us as the first online shopping mall for daily fantasy sports. Our platform enables third parties to get into the DFS business for themselves. We build a customized hub or storefront for our partners on our website. We then create contests for them designed to appeal to their target audience. These contests appear in their hub and in the general game lobby for all FantasyNXS members to play. Our partners promote their contests by driving prospects to their hub. We administer the contests and take care of all compliance and back-office operations. We then split the net proceeds we earn from each contest with our partners.” Hirsch explains, “We also offer more game formats than anyone in the business, including Salary Cap, No Cap and Top-X. We also offer all three of these formats in our proprietary ‘Beat the Pro’ setting, which is ideally suited for radio celebrities. In ‘Beat the Pro,’ all of the contest’s entrants compete head-to-head, but collectively against the celebrity show host. Everyone who beats the celebrity splits a portion of the prize pool. ‘Beat the Pro’ offers a fantastic way for radio personalities to personally engage their audiences.” How do participating broadcasters make money? According to Hirsch, “FantasyNXS works off of a revenue split. Our partners earn a portion of the net proceeds we earn from the contests they promote. Also, our partners are credited as the referring affiliate for all FantasyNXS members who sign-up through their hub. This means recurring revenue every time one of these members enters any cash-entry contest in FantasyNXS. Our turn-key system can put a station into the DFS business with no cost.” Hirsch advises, “We can put radio entities into the DFS business, but they will have to actively promote their contests and drive prospects to their hub. The more they promote, the more money they’ll make.” Broadcasters licensed to states that forbid DFS or have network listeners banned from playing due to their local state laws can become involved in another, non-monetary version of the FantasyNXS platform that specializes in “social gaming.” Has the recent negative news about some states’ stances on fantasy sports impacted the millions of people who regularly play fantasy sports? “Of course,” states Hirsch. “In particular, the recent cease and desist letter presented to FanDuel and DraftKings by the New York State Attorney General has left a lot of fantasy sports fans on the sideline. In the coming months, you’re going to see more of this type of activity as our society comes to grips with the daily fantasy sports phenomenon. We ultimately believe that DFS will continue to thrive, but in a regulated environment.” Broadcasters interested in learning more about FantasyNXS can email Brad Fain at brad@fantasynxs.com or click here for more information.

talkersten logoSyrian Refugee Debate Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of November 16-20.  The political debate over U.S. policy toward Syrian refugees was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week.  At #2 was the aftermath of the terror attacks in Paris.  Coming in at #3 was the battle against ISIS and following at #4 was the investigation of the bombing of the Russian airliner over the Sinai Desert.  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.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallJesse Ventura Joins Michael Harrison for New Episode of ‘Up Close and Far Out.’ In this week’s installment of the PodcastOne international hit, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” posted today (11/17), TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison is joined by former Minnesota governor and prolific talk media personality Jesse Ventura for a conversation described by Harrison as, “One of the up-closest and farthest-out episodes of this show ever.” Ventura currently hosts a weekly program on Ora TV titled, “Off the Grid with Jesse Ventura,” (www.ora.tv) in which he serves up an unfiltered dose of his opinions and commentaries on the issues of the day delivered in his trademark tell-it-like-it-is “wrestling rant” style. Ora TV is the trailblazing video platform launched several years ago by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim with Larry King as an internet platform upon which the legendary King could continue his post-CNN hosting career. Harrison – an admitted professional wrestling fan – and Ventura talk about the old days of the entertainment-sport when the future movie star andventurajesse governor was making his mark as a colorful “bad guy” in the ring and then as the first “heel” color commentator (prior to Ventura, all ring commentators were biased toward the fan favorites – known as “faces.”) Ventura broke new ground as an announcer who openly rooted for the bad guys – know in the profession as “heels.” The conversation moves on to some heavy, controversial and provocative subject matter. Ventura discusses how his high-profile, anti-defamation/unjust enrichment lawsuit against the late Chris Kyle of American Sniper fame (in which the court ruled in his favor) has led to him to presently being blackballed by the mainstream media. Ventura talks about his critical views on U.S. foreign policy, the George W. Bush Administration, hypocrisy, and several conspiracy theories surrounding 9/11 and the war on terror. He talks about his show, “Off the Grid,” and how the title is reflective of his current lifestyle in which he lives part of the year in Mexico, untethered to paved roads, government provided utilities and, to a large extent, the internet. He discusses his turning to atheism and pacifism…and leaves a tantalizing hint that he just might become involved in the forthcoming race for the presidential nomination of the Libertarian Party – which has shown interest in him as a possible candidate. To hear the conversation in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column of every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

Monday, April 14, 2014

| April 14, 2014

weismanstevenRadio and KC Shootings Suspect’s Political ‘Campaign.’  The tragic triple slaying in Kansas City over the weekend in which three people lost their lives at the hands of alleged killer Frazier Glenn Cross sparked memories of his write-in political effort almost four years ago that caused grief for numerous Missouri radio stations.  In a piece published today (4/14), TALKERS legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes about the radio advertising case that was spurred by Cross’ “campaign.”  Read his piece here.

kiernanedVeteran Baltimore GM Ed Kiernan to Retire.  News/talk WBAL and rock WIYY “98 Rock” vice president/general manager Ed Kiernan informed his staff this past Friday (4/11) that he will be retiring from the Hearst Television Baltimore stations sometime this summer.  Hearst Television president Jordan Wertlieb comments, “Having worked closely with Ed for all these years, I know firsthand how he has enhanced all aspects of the radio business he has managed with his enthusiasm, good humor and leadership.  With Ed at the helm, WBAL has been among the nation’s most honored radio stations and a major community force through the WBAL Radio Kids Campaign.  Throughout his tenure, Ed has built upon 98 Rock’s storied 37-year history, including expanding the station’s presence on the web and in mobile applications.” Hearst director David Barrett comments, “We are so proud of Ed’s stewardship of WBAL and ’98 Rock.’ His commitment and passion for our stations, his team, and the Baltimore community are the hallmark of a truly remarkable career.  We have been blessed by his steady leadership and warm friendship, which indelibly mark his years with Hearst.”  Before joining WBAL and “98 Rock” in 1991, Kiernan spent 17 years at CBS RADIO.  Among the positions he held with that company were vice president/general manager of all-news WCBS-AM, New York and vice president/general manager of CBS Radio Reps.  Upon leaving the Baltimore stations, Kiernan will reportedly relocate to New York state where he and his wife own a home.

gamblingjohnrJohn Gambling Returns to NYC Radio Today.  Just a few months after retiring from his morning show gig at Clear Channel’s WOR, New York, John R. Gambling returns to the air in the Big Apple on Salem Communications’ WNYM “AM 970 The Answer.”  Gambling is hosting the two-hour 11:00 am to 1:00 pm show starting today (4/14).  When Gambling’s exit from retirement was announced last month, Salem VP director of spoken word format and VP for the New York marketwnymlogo Phil Boyce said, “When John Gambling left New York radio last December there was a void created for quality morning radio in this market, and we decided to fill it.  John had worked for me for nine years at WABC.  Before and after that he worked for [WNYM GM] Jerry Crowley at WOR.  Jerry and I looked at each other and thought this was something we could not pass up.”

cclogoClear Channel Study Reinforces Power of Personality Endorsements.  The study was the result of collaboration between Clear Channel Media + Entertainment and the University of Southern California surveying 2,700 respondents.  It was designed to look into the connection between consumers and radio personalities and gauge the effectiveness of the latter’s influence in directing consumer behavior.  In press release from Clear Channel detailing some of the findings, the company concludes that “radio is a far more powerful social force than ever before, particularly because of thehannitysean conversations fueled by on-air personalities and the connection listeners feel to on-air local and national talent like Ryan Seacrest, Sean Hannity, Delilah and Bobby Bones.  CC reports some of the key findings were: 1) When comparing radio personalities to other media personalities, 6 out of 10 listeners said that radio hosts are “like a friend,” whose opinions they trust; 2) With even more ways for consumers and on-air personalities to interact, 4 out of 10 listeners feel personalities make more of an effort to foster a personal connection, making the radio experience inherently more social, particularly when compared to TV or streaming playlist services; 3) Listeners equate an on-air personality endorsement to a friend’s recommendation, more so than they do sponsored Facebook posts, sponsored tweets or television commercials; and 4) More than half of the study participants agreed that they trust brands, products and services their favorite on air personality recommend, a finding that is encouraging smart marketers to undertake unique radio-based campaigns.  The press release did not mention breakdowns of results for various demographics.

wilc logoWallis Re-Brands WILC, Washington.  The Laurel, Maryland-licensed station is being operated by Wallis Communications under an LMA.  Management says that after dropping Spanish AC and flipping to talk earlier this year, the station is now using the slogan, “Where Liberty Has a Voice.”  Saying the station is “home to a new libertarian and personality-driven radio format, combining brokered and syndicated shows,” Wallis is airing shows by Dr. Kevin Wallis, Premiere NetworksGlenn Beck, WestwoodOne’s Dennis Miller and John Fredericks.  Station general manager Lisa Miller says, “The goal is to bring a fresh and unique perspective to new listeners by delivering extraordinary content and viewpoints on important topics like politics, world affairs and much more.  We expect that the station will also move into new US markets later this year.”

tradupkinnearSalem Radio News Examines Religious-Themed Movies.  The Salem Communications-owned news division is presenting a special week-long series focusing on the SONY Pictures film version of the New York Times #1 bestseller Heaven Is For Real.  The film is based upon Nebraska pastor Todd Burpo’s account of his son Colton’s near-death experience and the visions of heaven he says happened while doctors were operating on him for a ruptured appendix.  SRN News vice president/news & talk programming Tom Tradup (pictured here at left with actor Greg Kinnear) tells TALKERS that although millions of readers made Heaven Is For Real a bestseller, some theologians have raised concerns about the concept of “heavenly travel” and have condemned both the book and the film version that opens nationwide this Wednesday.  Kinnear stars in the film.  He, along with director Randall Wallace (Oscar-nominated writer of “Braveheart”) and the film’s producer Joe Roth, were interviewed by Tradup for the series.  Also part of SRN’s program will be theology bloggers Tom McMann and Michael Patton who have written about the controversy created by Burpo’s book and the film.  Tradup adds, “There have been a number of Christian-themed box office hits so far in 2014 including “Son of God,” “NOAH,” and “God’s Not Dead.”  I believe – in terms of production values, scope, and the quality of the cast and writing – “Heaven Is For Real” has the potential to eclipse all of them.  Regardless of where theatregoers are in their walk of faith, it is quite simply a powerfully emotional film and, as we will present to listeners, the voices for and against it are part of a healthy debate that should serve the church in America well.”

deptrojohnOdds & Sods.  WPRO-AM, Providence talk show host John DePetro is named winner of the AP “Best Talk Show” award for Rhode Island.  DePetro also had the privilege of sitting in for WestwoodOne nationally syndicated personality Michael Savage for two shows last week.  DePetro comments, “It is great to win best talk show, because it is so competitive.  I work really hard on my show, and it is rewarding to be recognized for it.”…..On Tuesday, April 15, a memorial service will be held in Boston for the victims of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.  Fox News Radio is offering live, anchored coverage of the memorial service.  Hosted by FNR’s Jeff Monosso, the broadcast will be available on Fox News Radio affiliated stations across the country as well as on the Fox News Radio mobile app, and on the web at www.radio.FoxNews.com…..Matt Perrault exits Absolute Broadcasting-owned sports talk duo WGAM, Manchester and WGHM, Nashua, New Hampshire where he had served as general manager and afternoon personality for the past three years.

scba logoSouthern California Broadcasters Association Launches College Outreach Program.  In an effort to connect with college students and “engage students on the value of radio and its many digital platforms,” Southern California Broadcasters Association president Thom Callahan is embarking on a series of speaking engagements to take place at broadcast and communications classes at colleges and universities in Southern California and in London, England.  The SCBA states that what began as a radio career night at a UCLA radio broadcast class in Los Angeles in March has now expanded to four more speaking engagements over the next 30 days.  Callahan will speak with students “about the entire media landscape using research trends, comparative analysis, and a rich narrative of callahanthomradio’s growth and future in today’s rapidly changing media environment.”  Callahan states, “We are honored to have an honest dialog with what will be the next generation of broadcasters, producers, talent, sales executives, and future management.  Our goal is to open both minds and hearts to the tremendous future of radio and its many audio and digital platforms.”  The SCBA series will be held in April at California State University at both its Los Angeles and Fullerton campuses as well as at Pasadena Community College in Pasadena.  The fourth lecture will be broadcast via Skype to the David Puttnam Media Centre at the University of Sunderland in London, England on May 13.

hahnceleJournalist, State Pol, and Former Station Owner Cele Hahn Dies at 72.  For 20 years, Cele Hahn and husband Curt Hahn owned WNNZ, Springfield, Massachusetts – originally an oldies outlet as WLDM before flipping to news/talk.  The Hahn’s sold WNNZ to Clear Channel in 1998.  In addition to her work as a broadcaster – she was a radio personality on WNNZ along with her ownership role – Cele Hahn was a lifelong journalist, serving with papers including: the Miami Herald, the Huntington (WV) Advertiser, the Sioux City Journal and the Albany Times Knickerbocker News in New York.  She ran for state representative as a Republican in Massachusetts and served four terms before retiring in 2002.  She is survived by her husband Curt, her children and grandchildren.

emorycaptainherbCox Media Group Mourns Death of “Captain” Herb Emory.  Atlanta market traffic reporting legend “Captain” Herb Emory died on Saturday from what appears to have been a heart attack.  Emory reported traffic for CMG’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM and WSB-TV.  WBS reports that according to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Emory stopped to help at a car accident when he suddenly fell ill.  He was transported to WellStar Douglas Hospital where he later died.  Emory’s funeral will be private, but there will be a Celebration of Life and Memorial Service for Captain Herb which will be open to all the public.  Details on that event are forthcoming.  Emory had been with WSB Radio and “Channel 2 Action News” since 1991and served as an Alanta traffic reporter since 1971.  Emory watched over the interstates during the week and hosted special traffic and NASCAR broadcast programs with his wife, Karen Emory.  Captain Herb hosted and produced the “WSB Speed Shop” auto racing from 1993 until 2011.  Emory previously was a news/traffic reporter from 1978 through 1991 with WQXI-AM, WSTR-FM and the Georgia Network News.

Monday, January 13, 2013

| January 13, 2014

cclogoClear Channel Media + Entertainment Chairman and CEO John Hogan Retires; Position Eliminated.  In a move that comes as a surprise to many, John Hogan is retiring from Clear Channel Media + Entertainment as chairman and CEO and will take on the title of chairman emeritus.  At the same time, his position will not be filled and folks in the CCM+Ehoganjohn division will report to CC Media Holdings chairman Bob Pittman and president and CFO Rich Bressler as Pittman announces he’s signed a five-year extension of his contract.  In a statement this morning, Pittman says, “John Hogan has made tremendous contributions to Clear Channel during his tenure – particularly during the unprecedented economic headwinds our country, our industry and our company, faced in 2008 and 2009.  He has been an pittmanbobexcellent partner for me and for Clear Channel’s leadership as we have evolved into the only multi-platform media company with national reach and the ability to execute locally.  As my friend and partner in Clear Channel Media + Entertainment, John has been an important element in Clear Channel’s transformation into a multiplatform media company.  There is never a perfect time to make big decisions like this, but his logic was compelling and making this change at the start of a new year made sense.  We thank him for his long service and the enormous positive impact he’s had on both our company and the radio industry, and we are delighted that John will remain part of the family with his title of Clear Channel Media + Entertainment chairman emeritus.”  Hogan joined Clear Channel when Jacor – for which he was serving as senior vice president of radio – was acquired by the company in 1999.  He became president and CEO of Clear Channel Radio in 2002 and took on the chairman and CEO of CCM+E role in 2012.

bauerletomWBEN, Buffalo Talk Host Tom Bauerle Is the Subject of Talk Himself After Police Visits to His Home.  From a piece published in the Buffalo News, we learn that there is concern among WBEN, Buffalo afternoon drive host Tom Bauerle’s Williamsville, New York neighbors and local police about his recent behavior that some might describe as paranoid.  Here’s the short version: the paper reports that police responded to a 911 call to Bauerle’s home last Wednesday where Bauerle complained he was under surveillance by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s operatives.  Police found Bauerle in his backyard with a loaded weapon.  He surrendered the weapon to police – who were not able to find evidence of anyone spying on Bauerle – and was also willing to surrender additional weapons in his home to his attorney.  The paper also reports that Bauerle’s neighbors held a recent meeting with the talk host after he sent them emails raising the issue of him being “watched.”  Neighbors told the paper his concerns seemed “quirky” and “made you scratch your head.”  Nonetheless, Bauerle – who was off the air last Wednesday and Thursday but returned to the air on Friday to explain his absence was due to hitting a “physical wall of exhaustion” – did agree to a voluntary psychiatric evaluation on Wednesday of last week.  No reports have been released yet and the Buffalo News received its information from neighbors and interviews with police officers who are remaining anonymous until the report is released.  No charges have been filed in connection with the incident.  Read the Buffalo News story here.

gallaghermikeProfile: Salem Radio Network’s Mike Gallagher.  Talk radio personality Mike Gallagher has been in the business since he talked his way into a substitute position at WAVI, Dayton while a junior in high school in 1978.  Thirty-six years later and heard in syndication across the country, Gallagher tells TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian that he’s still going strong after a career that’s seen him in morning drive at WABC, New York; in business for himself running his own syndicated show; and moving on with his career after the heartbreaking loss of his wife Denise to endometrial cancer in 2008.  His philosophy about programming a talk show remains simple, “I go where my gut takes me.  You have to reflect the ‘hits,’ and in our business, the ‘hits’ mean the headlines.”  He tells TALKERS that he has always stayed on top of how his show is performing from a business perspective.  “It is self-preservation, and my secret to longevity.  I learned many years ago that ratings in our business are very volatile, and in particular, talk radio ratings can be cyclical.  We are subjected to a political season and a post-political season, so ratings go up and down.  I will always win, however, if I deliver revenue…I know where we are to the penny at any given point, and right now, I’m 7% over my January budget.  It is a tough environment, so I am very proud of that.  We are fighting and scrapping for every dollar.  I have always viewed the radio show as a business.  I learned that many years ago from Greg Anderson.”  Read Mike Kinosian’s entire profile of Mike Gallagher here.

kfbk logoKFBK, Sacramento FM Signal Changes.  News/talk KFBK, Sacramento’s FM simulcast had been 92.5 for much of the past two years.  But after Christmas, Clear Channel Sacramento flipped KFBK’s FM signal to 93.1 – most recently the location of classic hits KHLX.  Now we know that the company made the switch so that it could turn the better 92.5 signal into new country outlet “The New B92.5.”  The 93.1 frequency is licensed to Pollock Pines – some 40 miles west of downtown Sacramento – whereas the 92.5 signal is centered on the market and provides full-market coverage.

canzano logoKXTG-AM, Portland Sports Talker Named Sportswriter of the Year.  Midday sports talk host John Canzano – heard from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daily on Alpha Broadcasting’s KXTG-AM, Portland – is named 2013 Oregon Sportswriter of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association and Hall of Fame.  Finalists for the award were nominated by NSSA members from mid-October to mid-November.  Final balloting took place during the month of December.   In addition to his work on KXTG-AM, Canzano writes for the Oregonian and makes regular appearances on KGW-TV.  Oregonian editor and vice president of content Peter Bhatia states, “John is a terrific columnist and reporter.  He brings something special to our city and state every day and it is great to see that recognized.”  KXTG-AM PD Bernie Bokenyi adds, “I am honored to have John as a part of our team on ‘750 The Game.’  His commitment to readers, listeners and viewers every day is unmatched.”  Canzano comments, “This market offers the most compelling news anywhere in the country.  I love working and living here and being able to bring that to readers and listeners and viewers.  We’re different than other markets — we have an ongoing dialogue.”

longjaleighLong Named Co-GSM at WSB, Atlanta.  At Cox Media Group’s Atlanta Radio, Jaleigh Long is named new co-general sales manager for news/talk WSB where she’ll work alongside fellow GSM Beth Bowers.  Director of sales Walt Phillips says, “Jaleigh Long has a proven track record of leading her teams from the front.  Her focus has and will continue to be on developing talent and driving new business development initiatives.  She’s strategic in her problem solving and decision making with an extensive background in digital ad products and strategy.  Partnering with current GSM Beth Bowers only strengthens our position when it comes to coaching and leading this team into a new era at news/talk WSB.”  Long spent the last seven years as GSM for South Central Media in Evansville, Indiana.

sportsusaBrandon Randazzo Named Social Media Director at Sports USA.  The executive producer of Sports USA’s “Conversations with Joe Morgan,” and podcasts “Leigh Steinberg on Sports” and “Odds Are with Jimmy Vaccaro” is upped to director of social media for the company,  Sports USA president Bob Moore says Brandon Randazzo “is a go-to guy with a vast history of getting the job done.  His background in programming, producing, promotions, and voicing radio stations tied to his skill set of social media makes him the ideal person for this position.  Brandon will front all of our social media platforms going forward.”  Randazzo comments, “Sports USA is one of the most respected names in radio.  Their relationship with a significant network of over 400 radio affiliates and massive audience will increase the exposure of our social media platforms every day.  I am excited for this opportunity to expand the Sports USA brand into social media.”

hollandbrianTalk Personality Brian Holland to Host Syndicated Overnight Show.  The program is called “The Graveyard Shift” and host Brian Holland is planning to self syndicate it beginning March 17.  In a statement, Holland says, “Overnights are often a forgotten daypart because everyone assumes that one show is unstoppable.  That was true a few years ago, but now, the fact of the matter is when a program isn’t challenged, it’s of course going to stay number one.  We are getting a lot of attention from stations that are either concerned with the drop in their overnight audience, or are looking for something serious and sustainable to carry in that daypart.”  Holland’s press release states the program will focus on the paranormal and what he calls “fringe topics,” but will also cover popular culture, movie news, video game news, and other topical items.  Each program will feature at least one guest for an interview, listener phone calls and emails, and a look at current affairs from all walks of life.  The show was formerly syndicated by Harris Broadcasting Network but ceased after the death of that company’s principal.

Three Broadcasters Facing Legal Action for Copyright Infringement.  Orange County California-based Mavrix Photographs LLC has filed complaints against Clear Channel, CBS Radio and Townsquare Media for copyright infringement in the United States District Court Central District of California.  Mavrix claims that the three companies all posted images it owns – specifically, images of pop star Katy Perry – to some of their stations’ websites with full knowledge that the photos did not belong to them.  As in the past, Mavrix is seeking $150,000 per illegal use per company but it is more likely that the issue will be settled out of court for less than what Mavrix seeks.  Still, the lesson for website operators is that – especially with celebrity photos – the companies that own the copyrights will seek out violators and will file complaints if they recognize their property being used without permission.

wwtn logoCool Talk Radio Opportunity.  WWTN-FM, Nashville seeks full-time midday host.  This is a rare opportunity in the city The New York Times calls “it!”  Nashville is on the rise and WTN is the dominant talk station in Music City.  We are a live and local operation.  With the addition of this position the station is live and local from 5:00 am to 7:00 pm every weekday.  And “yes,” we usually beat Rush.  This is not an entry level job.  We are looking for some authentic, fresh energy – someone that is a people person and will weave themself into the fabric of the community in short order.  Expect to work social media and participate in public events.  We’re looking for someone who is a voracious consumer of news and info – someone that brings solutions with the problems, someone with a sense of hope.  You should be as good as any trial lawyer at convincing people of your position using indisputable logic to connect the dots.  You can’t ‘just’ do national-political; you have to sound like Nashville.  You must be good at sensing the mood of the community and covering a wide range of emotions.  If you are just angry, don’t bother applying.  Being a fan of and having interest in country music is a plus.  Email resume, references, optional cover letter, and un-scoped air-check to cumulusradio.jobs@cumulus.com put “WWTN-FM Nashville Host” in subject line.  Cumulus Media is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer

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