Tag: "WSYR"

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

| January 15, 2020

iHeartMedia Begins Massive Layoff of Air Talent. The exact number of personalities let go is not known at this point, but as iHeartMedia issued a press release yesterday explaining its new Markets Group management structure designed to “take advantage of the significant investments it has made in technology and artificial intelligence and its unique scale and leadership position in the audio marketplace,” it was firing local air personalities it deems not necessary to the company’s future success.  iHeartMedia, like every other radio company, faces intense competition for listeners from digital music services and digital spoken-word platforms.  Dayparts that aren’t crucial to a station’s revenue – usually nights and overnights – are often seen as not needing live, local jocks, especially when the company produces quality national programs to fill those hours.  As for news/talk and sports talk hosts, the cost of maintaining a show with two or more personalities plus a producer is sometimes more than income from spot sales and other revenue streams can provide.  iHeartMedia’s statement on the “employee dislocation” is as follows: “We are modernizing our company to take advantage of the significant investments we have made in new technology and aligning our operating structure to match the technology-powered businesses we are now in.  This is another step in the company’s successful transformation as a multiple platform 21st century media company, and we believe it is essential to our future – it continues our momentum and adds to our competitiveness, our effectiveness, and our efficiency with all our major constituencies.  During a transition like this it’s reasonable to expect that there will be some shifts in jobs – some by location and some by function – but the number is relatively small given our overall employee base of 12,500.  That said, we recognize that the loss of any job is significant; we take that responsibility seriously and have been thoughtful in the process.”  Some of those in the spoken-word formats who’ve exited the company include: Kerry Belkin, producer, WFXJ, Jacksonville; Leland Conway, host, WHAS, Louisville and WLPA, Lexington; Big Jim Donovan, host, WSYR, Syracuse; Andrew Downs, program director, KXNO, Des Moines; Jim Fisher, host, WOC, Quad Cities; Seth Harp, programmer and host, WFXJ, Jacksonville; Carl Harris, creative services director, Tampa Bay cluster; Travis Justice and Heather Burnside, hosts, and Sean Roberts, producer, Pete Kaliner, host, WWNC, Asheville, NC; Dave Levora, morning host, WOC, Quad Cities; Mike Lucas, host, WTSO, Madison; Ross Peterson and Chris Williams, hosts, KXNO, Des Moines; Jake Query and Derek Schultz, hosts, WNDE, Indianapolis; Chip Ramsey, weekend producer, WERC, Birmingham; John Ramsey and Mike Rutherford, hosts, WKRD, Louisville.

Brian Sussman Exits KSFO, San Francisco. Eighteen-year KSFO, San Francisco talk show host Brian Sussman announces he’s leaving the Cumulus Media station where he’s been hosting the morning drive show.  Sussman says that in April of 2019 he resigned due to an impasse in contract negotiations, but soon thereafter reached a temporary agreement to host the show four days per week through December (his brother, Brad Sussman, hosted the fifth day).  But in October, Sussman was required to go on medical leave through the remainder of the year.  That affected his plans for continuing into 2020.  He tells TALKERS magazine, “Fortunately, I’m feeling great, but clearly all those years of scant sleep and starting show prep at 3:00 am finally caught up with me.  The KSFO listening family – both locally and nationally – are such a loyal band of patriots.  But what I’ll miss the most about our show is working with the best producer in talk radio, Sheri Yee, and my lovely and super-hilarious sidekick, Katie Green.  Thankfully, Brother Brad has been doing a great job filling in for me and I hope he’s the future!  Meantime, I appreciate KSFO’s management team for having been so considerate these past few months.”

Impeachment, Presidential Race/Democratic Debate, Iran Protests, U.S.-China Trade Negotiations, Royal Family Controversy, Philippine Volcano Eruption, and MLB Sign Stealing Scandal Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/14). The impeachment articles against President Trump set to move to the Senate; the Democrats hoping to challenge Donald Trump in November and last night’s debate in Des Moines; the protests in Iran over the Islamic Republic’s accidental shooting down of the Ukrainian International Airlines flight PS752; the Trump Administration’s progress in trade negotiations with China; the controversy over Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan’s stepping back from royal life; the deadly eruption of Taal Volcano in the Philippines; and the MLB’s handling of the sign stealing scandal were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Comrex Announces New Firmware in Conjunction with ACCESS MultiRack. News from Comrex Corporation reveals that the company has released firmware version 4.5p2, a new update for its line of IP audio codecs.  This new firmware version is being released in conjunction with ACCESS MultiRack – a new multi-instance codec that provides seamless integration of all functions with legacy single-instance ACCESS codecs.  This new firmware simplifies CrossLock connections between the new ACCESS MultiRack and legacy Comrex IP audio codecs.  It replaces an older Adobe Flash-based GUI with an HTML5 web-based GUI as the default user interface.  This new interface avoids the security risks posed by Adobe Flash, and is supported by all browsers.  Users can upgrade their Comrex IP audio codecs using the free Device Manager application which can be downloaded here.  If a user is updating a device from FW version 2.7.1 or earlier, they can contact Comrex Support for assistance.

TALKERS News Notes. Pictured here is Westwood One News correspondent Steve Kastenbaum covering last night’s Democratic presidential debate at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder notes that the hosts of WSCR, Chicago’s weekly golf show, “The Scorecard on The Score,” – Ed Sherman and Steve Olken – are leaving the station.  The two have hosted the show at the Entercom sports talk station for the past 10 years.  WSCR is expected to name new hosts for the show before it returns to the air in March…..KTBB, Tyler, Texas is the newest affiliate of FOX News Radio, subscribing to the FOX 5 Minute News Service on January 6…..FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio star Brian Kilmeade visited affiliate station WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta in December and senior operations and program manager Drew Anderssen says, “Few syndicated hosts, if any, create the kind of impact with affiliates and their communities that Kilmeade does.  Brian participated in our 29th annual drive to provide Georgia foster children with gifts at Christmas.  His impact helped us fulfill wish lists for over 9,000 foster kids, in partnership with St. Vincent de Paul Georgia and the Georgia Division of Family & Children Services!”  Pictured below (clockwise from top left) are: Anderssen, “Kilmeade & Friends” senior producer Alyson Mansfield, Kilmeade, WSB traffic anchor Ashley Frasca, and WSB-FM “B95.5” morning personality Tad Lemire.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Beasley Media Group’s urban contemporary WDMK, Detroit “105.9 KISS-FM,” the nationally syndicated “Rickey Smiley Morning Show” is now heard in the 6:00 am to 10:00 am slot.  Station program director John Candelaria says, “We are thrilled to have Rickey Smiley join ‘105.9 KISS FM.’  I have watched Rickey ascend to national superstar over the past 20 years and we are excited to have him leading the lineup for the ‘All New 105.9 KISS FM.’  Detroit is ready for a fresh new morning show!”

Friday, December 13, 2019

| December 13, 2019

Report: Liberty Media Seeks Control or Ownership of iHeartMedia.  According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, Liberty Media is asking the Department of Justice for permission to up its stake in iHeartMedia.  Currently, Liberty owns 4.8% of iHM.  The WSJ’s sources say the deal that Liberty is seeking permission for would give it control or “outright ownership.”  One source says Liberty has not decided “what kind of transaction, if any, it would proceed with should it receive permission.”  Liberty Media currently owns 33% of Live Nation – the concert business that then-Clear Channel spun off in 2005 – and 71% of SiriusXM Holdings.  The WSJ piece notes that Justice Department officials are asking “interested parties” how they’d be affected by a major live events business and a leading radio company being co-owned.

Radzik to Program ’98.5 The Sports Hub’ in Boston. At Boston sports talker WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub,” Rick Radzik is named the station’s new program director, effective immediately.  Beasley Media Group announces Radzik is assuming the role being vacated by Mike Thomas, who heads to Chicago to become market manager for the ESPN-owned and Good Karma-managed WMVP “ESPN 1000.”  Radzik has been the station’s assistant program director since the station signed on in August of 2009.  Prior to that, he’d served for 15 years as a producer at all-news WBZ-AM, overseeing Boston Bruins broadcasts.  He began his career at crosstown WEEI-AM (when it was a news station) producing the Bruins and Boston Celtics broadcasts, as well as various talk shows.  Beasley Media Group Boston director of programming Cadillac Jack says, “Rick has been a key member of the ‘Sports Hub’ programming team since the station’s inception.  The knowledge he has amassed over the past decade, coupled with his relationships and passion for continuing our winning history, make him uniquely qualified to lead the ‘Sports Hub’ into the 2020s and beyond!”

NOW POSTED:  New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.”   The vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC (12/13).  The new episode titled “Meddling and Muddling!” reviews the week of December 9-13, 2019 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS;  Sebastian Gorka, talk show host, Salem Radio Network; Harry Hurley, talk show host, WPG, Atlantic City;  Joan Michelson; Executive producer/host, GreenConnectionsRadio.com; Bob Lonsberry, talk show host, WHAM, Rochester/WSYR, Syracuse; Doug Stephan, talk show host, Stephan Multimedia; and Scott James Matheson, Mayor-elect, Valdosta, Georgia. This acclaimed news/talk radio show first airs each week on WONK-FM, Washington, DC on Friday evenings between 6:00-7:00 pm. It then airs throughout the weekend on WRKO, Boston; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; the Virginia Talk Radio Network and Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA. It also appears on the iHeartRadio App.  To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here.  To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.

‘Cats Roundtable’ Show Joins ‘Florida Man Radio.’ The weekly “Cats Roundtable” show hosted by Red Apple Group president and CEO John Catsimatidis is being added to the program schedule at JVC Media’s WDYZ-AM/W288CJ, Orlando and WYGC-FM, High Springs (Gainesville market) “Florida Man Radio.”  Catsimatidis’ company Red Apple Media recently entered into a deal to acquire venerable WABC-AM, New York from Cumulus Media for $12.5 million.  That deal has not closed yet.  JVC president and CEO John Caracciolo says, “‘The Cats Roundtable’ radio show is perfect for ‘Florida Man Radio.’  John’s unique take on the news and his A-list celebrity interviews are fascinating conversations that keep listeners coming back for more.  We have been very successful with his show on our Long Island station and know this is a great fit for our growing ‘Florida Man Radio’ network.”

The Trump Impeachment Proceedings Top News/Talk Story for Week of December 9-13. The articles of impeachment against President Trump were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing in the top spot on the Talkers TenTM.  Tied at #2 this week was Russia’s meddling in the U.S. elections and the inspector general’s report on the FBI’s surveillance practices.  At #3 was Time magazine’s selection of Greta Thunberg as Person of the Year and the greater topic of climate change, followed by the deadly Jersey City shooting and the rise of anti-Semitism at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio this 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.

TALKERS News Notes. The WGBH, Boston and PRI-produced program “Innovation Hub” takes a look at the rise of conservative talk radio and its influence on the America political scene on its most recent episode.  Joining host Kara Miller is author and University of Pennsylvania scholar-in-residence Brian Rosenwald.  His book, Talk Radio’s America: How an Industry Took Over a Political Party That Took Over the United States (2019, Harvard University Press) examines the theory.  The teaser of the radio show says, “When Rush Limbaugh’s conservative talk radio program began in Sacramento in the 1980s, no one could have guessed that he would not only reinvigorate AM radio but also create a new format that would help remold the American political landscape.”  Check out the program here…..The WFAN watch continues as Newsday’s Neil Best writes that the odds-on replacement for Mike Francesa in afternoon drive on the Entercom sports talk station is midday team Evan Roberts and Joe Benigno.  He also says that Maggie Gray and Mark Malusis are “favorites” to serve as the midday personalities.  Francesa left his regular full-time role with the station a couple of weeks ago but will contribute to The Fan’s on-air content with a nightly, half-hour show at 6:00 pm.  WFAN has made no announcements about its plans for the station as of today (12/13)…..Chicago media maven Robert Feder writes today about longtime Chicago radio personality Turi Ryder’s new podcast that takes its name from her fictionalized memoir, She Said What?  Ryder co-hosts the show with Kathryn Lake and she tells Feder she’ll drop two podcasts each week, no longer than 15 minutes in length.  You can check it out here…..Condolences to the family and friends of longtime radio journalist Pete Combs, who died in Atlanta after a three-month battle with lung cancer at age 61.  Combs had been working at Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta since May of 2018.  He previously worked for WSB from 2006 through 2015 but left for KOMO-AM, Seattle before returning last year.  During his career, he worked at stations including: WGST-AM, Atlanta; KRLD-AM and the Texas State Network, Dallas; USA Radio News, Dallas; WINK-AM Fort Myers; and WBT-AM, Charlotte.  He also reported for TV station in Charlotte and Tulsa during the early 1990s.  See the rest of WSB’s tribute to Combs here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Sales pro Dawn Girocco is named director of sales for Cumulus Media’s country KSCS “New Country 96.3,” country KPLX “99.5 The Wolf,” and CHR KLIF-FM “Hot 93.3” in Dallas.  She was most recently vice president/market manager for Cumulus Los Angeles.  Cumulus Dallas/Houston RVP Dan Bennett comments, “Being able to get someone of Dawn Girocco’s experience and success back in our company to join our Dallas team as a key sales management leader is a great plus for Dallas and our company.  Dawn’s past success in Los Angeles speaks for itself and we can’t wait for her to get started here in Texas.”…..Alpha Media promotes Danny Dwyer to assistant program director for country KUPL, Portland “98.7 The Bull” and inks him to a new, multi-year deal.  Dwyer will continue to host the midday show and continue his role as music director.  Alpha Portland SVP and market manager Lisa Decker states, “The energy and dedication Danny brings on and off the air to our ‘Bull Nation’ listeners, musicans, artists, labels, advertisers’ and community partners are an incredible asset to our station.  His leadership with station events and promotions including our St. Jude Radiothon and Countryfest concert are irreplaceable.”…..Seven-time GRAMMY Award-winning singer/songwriter Alanis Morissette, who is planning a 31-date North American tour next year, performed a special acoustic set of the album Jagged Little Pill in its entirety on December 2 at New York’s legendary The Apollo.  That show will be broadcast exclusively on SiriusXM today (12/13) through December 22…..Air personality Brittany Rose joins Townsquare Media’s CHR WJBQ, Portland as co-host alongside Lori Voornas and Jeff Parsons on the “Q Morning Show,” effective January 2.   She was most recently with Townsquare Media’s WEBB-FM, Augusta “B98.5.”…..Cumulus Media’s alternative WWWX, Appleton, Wisconsin “96.9 The Fox” announces the nationally syndicated “The Dave and Mahoney Morning Show” takes over the morning slot, effective Monday (12/16).

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

| December 11, 2019

Entercom Announces Sale of $100 Million in Second Lien Senior Secured Notes. These notes are being offered as additional notes under an existing indenture, dated April 30, 2019, pursuant to which the Issuer previously issued $325 million in aggregate principal amount of Entercom Media Group’s 6.500% senior secured second-lien notes due 2027.  Net proceeds from the additional $100 million offering will be used to partially repay existing indebtedness under its senior secured term loan facility.  They have the same terms as the existing notes.  They are offered and sold only to persons reasonably believed to be qualified institutional buyers.

AJ Lurie Assumes New Post with Beasley XP. Sales and management pro AJ Lurie is promoted to the newly created position of director of local market integrated partnerships at Beasley XP, Beasley Media Group’s recently created esports division.  Lurie began his career with Beasley Media Group in 2007 in Fort Myers and most recently served as the as vice president and market manager of its Wilmington, Delaware radio cluster.  In his new role, Lurie will be responsible for overseeing all of Beasley Media Group’s local market esports and gaming revenues by leveraging the company’s content and local market gaming-oriented events.  He says, “Beasley Media Group’s entrance into the esports industry is transformative for our company and I am honored to be a part of this initiative.  Leveraging our company’s assets will present tremendous growth opportunities.  I’m excited to work with some of Beasley’s best to help build this division for our organization.”  As Lurie moves to his new position, BMG Philadelphia vice president and market manager Joe Bell will add the Wilmington radio cluster management duties to his current responsibilities under the new structure.

Fatherly Talk Radio Advice from Bob Lonsberry. WHAM, Rochester and WSYR, Syracuse talk radio personality Bob Lonsberry’s son Lee begins his new talk radio show on Bonneville’s KSL-AM/FM, Salt Lake City today (12/11).  In the time honored tradition of fathers imparting advice to their sons, Bob Lonsberry offers his son his views on what it takes to become a successful talk radio host.  He says, “Be you. Know who you are, what you stand for, what your values and priorities are, and build a genuine radio character around that.  Don’t pretend, don’t act.  Entertain, yes.  Accentuate, absolutely. Pose, no.”  Read all of his advice here.

House Files Articles of Impeachment, Trump’s Pennsylvania Rally, Deadly Jersey City Shooting, USMCA, 2020 Presidential Race, Patriots Video Controversy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/10). The Democrat-led House files articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump; the president appears at a rally in Pennsylvania; a shooting at a Jewish market in Jersey City claims the lives of six, including a police officer and the two shooters; the House agrees on the Trump administration’s US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement; the Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in 2020; and the controversy over the taping of the Cincinnati Bengals’ sidelines by a film crew hired by the New England Patriots were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Rush Limbaugh Announces $5 Million-Plus Raised for Tunnel to Towers Foundation. During an appearance on FOX News Channel’s “FOX & Friends” morning program, Premiere Networks nationally syndicated talk radio legend Rush Limbaugh announced that sales from his “Stand Up for Betsy Ross!” merchandise surpassed $5 million dollars.  All proceeds benefit The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation that provides financial assistance to military heroes and their families, as well as first responders.  Limbaugh first launched the line of merchandise with a single T-shirt in July and quickly raised $2 million dollars for Tunnel to Towers.  It paid off the home mortgages of six fallen American heroes.  Limbaugh subsequently decided to expand the merchandise and continue the fundraiser through the end of 2019.  On the program, Limbaugh said, “Our fulfillment center is working around the clock.  The orders have not stopped coming in.  We owe a debt to the people who have participated in this.”

Armstrong & Getty Raise More Than $1 Million for Warrior Foundation-Freedom Station. Sacramento-based, syndicated morning drive duo Armstrong & Getty – Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty – announce that the show’s annual “Warrior Foundation-Freedom Station Radiothon” raised approximately $1.2 million to benefit the Warrior Foundation-Freedom Station charity that purchases plane tickets for injured warriors so they can spend the holidays at home and with their families.  Getty says, “We feel compelled to give back to those who served our country.  We owe it, as Americans, to support these guys.”  Armstrong adds, “In all kinds of different ways, WFFS creates a buffer zone between combat and civilian life, providing our injured warriors with sanctuary, a sense of community and the tools they’ll need to rejoin society.”

TALKERS News Notes. The regionally syndicated late morning talk radio show hosted by Erick Erickson begins airing on Cumulus Media’s WMAC-AM, Macon, Georgia, effective December 16.  Erickson hosts the afternoon drive show on Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta and he launched the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon show in September to focus on Georgia politics and issues.  He says, “Macon is home.  My family goes to church in Macon.  Our kids go to school in Macon.  I broadcast from Macon.  We live here.  Now, I finally have an answer for people when they ask when they can hear me on the radio here.”…..iHeartMedia’s  news/talk KFI, Los Angeles raised a new record of more than $435,000 and 109,000 pounds of pasta during the ninth annual “KFI PastaThon” to benefit Caterina’s Club, a charitable organization that feeds 25,000 underprivileged children, five days a week in more than 30 cities throughout Southern California.  During the 17-hour live broadcast on December 6, all KFI – including Bill Handel, Jennifer Jones Lee, Gary Hoffmann, Shannon Farren, John Kobylt, Ken Chiampou, and Tim Conway Jr. were on site at the Christ Cathedral in Garden Grove encouraging listeners to donate money along with pasta and pasta sauce to help feed underprivileged children that live in motels without access to a kitchen…..Count former WEEI, Boston morning drive personality Gerry Callahan as the latest radio host to move into the podcast space.  Callahan, who was let go from his longtime morning gig in at the Entercom sports talk station in July, will post new shows Monday through Thursday, beginning January 6.  He announced the new venture on Kirk Minihane’s podcast.  Callahan and Minihane co-hosted the WEEI morning show for several years before Minihane’s exit from Entercom last year.  Callahan says the subtitle of his show will be “Politics, Sports, and Revenge.”…..cabana announces it has inked a deal with Critical Frequency Network to exclusively handle podcast ad sales representation.  Critical Frequency was founded by science and gender writer and journalist Amy Westervelt and features a diverse community of hosts – all women, people of color, and/or LGBTQ…..Condolences to the family and friends of former KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh morning news anchor Bob Kopler, who died yesterday (12/10) at the age of 81.  He worked in the Pittsburgh market for more than 40 years and at KDKA from 1988 through his retirement in 2007.

Talking Cryptocurrency on WBZ-AM. On Tuesday (12/10), iHeartMedia all-news WBZ-AM hosted some of Boston’s foremost experts in cryptocurrency to help explain what the savvy businessperson needs to know about the future of commerce.  More than 300 WBZ listeners joined the panel for breakfast as WBZ business reporter and AM drive news anchor Jeff Brown moderated the conversation.  Pictured above (l-r) are: Brown; Sir John Hargrave, author of Blockchain for Everyone; Christian Catalini, head economist at Calibra; Manasi Vora, head of product strategy at Sia; and Frank Makrides, founder & CEO of Tunnel.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At All Pro Broadcasting’s hot AC KHTI, Riverside “HOT 103.9,” midday host Sabrina Ruiz takes on music director duties, effective immediately. Station PD Rick Shaw comments, “It is with great pleasure that I can announce that Sabrina has accepted the position of ‘HOT 103.9’ music director.  Sabrina’s knowledge and passion for the music that we play on ‘HOT’ makes her the perfect person for the task.”…..On-air pro Kayla Morgan joins SummitMedia’s CHR WWST, Knoxville “Star 102.1” as evening personality.  Morgan was most recently with Entercom’s Detroit cluster as a personality on adult contemporary WDZH “98.7 The Breeze.”  SummitMedia Knoxville market president Chris Protzman states, “We are delighted to welcome Kayla to Knoxville and ‘Star 102.1’ nights.  Her personality and passion for the music is infectious. Knoxville is in for a real treat!”

Thursday, January 17, 2019

| January 17, 2019

WOR, New York to Launch Live and Local Evening Show. Beginning February 4, iHeartMedia’s WOR, New York “The Voice of New York” adds the new “WOR Tonight with Joe Concha & Lis Wiehl” to the program schedule in the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm daypart.  WOR program director Tom Cuddy says, “The New York area is known for its diversity and 710 WOR will be able to offer listeners just that each night with a unique mix of issues.  Joe and Lis come from different sides of the political spectrum, which should make things quite interesting and unpredictable.”  Concha is a reporter and columnist for The Hill and Wiehl is a former federal prosecutor, former investigative counsel for the House Judiciary Committee, a best-selling author and a legal analyst.  The station says the new show “will be a New York-centric show spotlighting a mix of top news stories, politics, movies, television, Broadway, pop culture and consumer issues.  Additionally, the hosts will offer their views on the stories of the day from both sides of the political aisle and will take calls from listeners.”  Concha states, “Our show will obviously talk politics, but we’re also going to offer up the kind of news and views that people deal with every day. We want to tell stories people can relate to as well as empathize with and hope to make you laugh a few times in the process.”  Wiehl adds, “This show is going to be a one-stop shop in a three-hour package, delivered to your radio.  You’ll get hard news shared by two people who are news veterans and experts in the fields of law and media.  Plus, you’ll get ‘water cooler’ news delivered to you by two hosts who are parents, taxpayers, pet owners, and pop culture enthusiasts.”

Radio for the 55+ Listener.  Former WSYR-AM, Syracuse morning host Mark Wainwright writes a piece for TALKERS magazine in which he suggests that successfully reaching Baby Boomers with radio programming requires “rekindling their relationship with radio.”  Wainwright states, “The 55-72 ‘Boomer’ demographic is the last generation that genuinely cared about radio.  They grew up with radio, they were actively engaged with it, and it was an integral part of their lives.  At a time when our industry is struggling to stay relevant, we need to reconnect with listeners who still care about us and what we offer.”  Read the entire story here.

Mary Rogers to Lead Sales at Entercom’s Dallas Station Group.  Sales and management pro Mary Rogers comes to Entercom Dallas from Cox Media Group’s San Antonio cluster where she was most recently director of sales.  Effective January 28, she’ll assume the vice president and director of sales position for the cluster that includes news/talk KRLD-AM “News Radio 1080,” sports talk KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan” and four music-formatted stations.  She says, “I am excited to join Entercom Dallas, working alongside [SVP and market manager] Brian Purdy and his amazing team.  I began my career in Dallas and it is a great feeling to be back working with these iconic brands and audiences.”

TALKERS News Notes. As reported by Chicago media maven Robert FederVioleta Podrumedic has left her role as afternoon traffic reporter on Tribune’s news/talk WGN-AM, Chicago to join the “Eric in the Morning” show – led by Eric Ferguson – on Hubbard Radio’s crosstown hot AC WTMX.  She’s been part of WGN’s afternoon drive Roe Conn program since 2016…..Entercom confirms that Howie Rose will continue to call the play-by-play for the New York Mets as all-news WCBS-AM begins serving as the flagship station for Mets broadcasts this season.  Rose will be joined by color analyst Wayne Randazzo.  He was previously pregame and postgame host for the Mets.  Longtime WFAN Mets beat reporter Ed Coleman will conduct pregame coverage, including the daily “Managers Show with Mickey Callaway.” Randazzo will host the station’s postgame coverage immediately following each game broadcast.  WCBS 880 morning sports anchor Brad Heller will serve as the utility player on the team presenting sports coverage for the station, as well as fill-in on pregame coverage…..In Fredericksburg, Virginia, Alpha Media’s four-station group – including news/talk WNTX-AM/FM – is working to aid furloughed federal workers by creating a web page with listings of businesses from Northern Virginia and Southern Maryland that are assisting federal workers during the government shutdown.  Many businesses are coming together to help the community during this time of need by providing free or reduced fee meals, services, groceries, and even temporary employment opportunities.  Alpha Media Fredericksburg market manager Beth Vickers comments, “The Washington DC market is severely affected by the furlough.  We feel Alpha Media Fredericksburg has a duty to provide support and information to government workers and their families during this time.”…..USA Radio nationally syndicated radio host Wayne Allyn Root reports that his television simulcast seen on Newsmax TV is getting a second daily airing on the cable TV network.  His program airs live at 8:00 pm ET each evening.  Now, repeats of the program will air on Newsmax TV the following day at 1:00 pm.  Additionally, Root says all three hours of his radio show are available on-demand via iHeartRadio.

Border Wall Battle, Government Shutdown, Trump-Russia Investigation, 2020 Presidential Race, Brexit Chaos, U.S. Soldiers Killed in Syria, Nairobi Hotel Attack, Gillette Ad Controversy, Netflix Price Hike, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/16). The political battle over President Trump’s efforts to build a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border; the effects of the federal government shutdown; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the possible candidates for president in 2020; British Prime Minister Theresa May survives a vote of no confidence after her Brexit plan fails; four U.S. soldiers are killed in Syria; the deadly terror attack on a hotel in Nairobi, Kenya; the controversy over Gillette’s ‘toxic masculinity’ ad; consumer backlash over Netflix’s announced price increases; and the NFL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports Entercom’s CHR WBBM-FM names Julia Lepidi its new evening host.  She takes over for Corey B who left the station in November to transfer to the company’s alternative WNYL, New York “ALT 92.3.”…..As reported by Rodney Ho in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Ali Mac has exited the morning drive show on Cumulus Media’s country WKHX “Kicks 101.5” where she worked alongside Cadillac Jack, who remains host of the AM program. Also, at the Cumulus Atlanta cluster, air personality Byron Cooper exits the evening show at CHR WWWQ “Q99.7” after 13 months in the position.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

| July 24, 2018

Mark Wainwright Exits Morning Gig at WSYR, Syracuse. WSYR, Syracuse morning personality Mark Wainwright says of his departure from the station’s full-time morning host gig, “I’ll skip over a lot of the details, but the end result is that my contract ended in July and I decided to move on.  It was as amicable and as mutually respectful a separation as anyone could want.  We parted on good terms and I would not hesitate to work for iHeartMedia again if the right situation came along.  In fact, the management at WSYR and several other iHeart stations indicated they would be happy to bring me back as a fill-in or guest host as the need arises, and at least one program director told me he definitely plans to call on me at some point. I’m looking forward to that.”  He says in a good-bye message on WSYR.com, “I am leaving iHeartMedia and NewsRadio 570/WSYR.  I hosted my final morning show in Syracuse today (7/20).  While it’s certainly possible that I will return from time to time as a guest host or substitute – come on, at some point [Bob] Lonsberry has to take a vacation.” He relates how he filled in for the ailing Joe Galuski and eventually replaced him on the morning show after his passing.  He also thanks management for sticking by him while he dealt with his own throat cancer.  Read his entire post here.

Stephanie Perl Named Entercom Hartford Market Manager. Before moving into the television business as local sales manager for Tribune’s WTIC-TV and WCCT-TV in the Hartford-New Haven market, Stephanie Perl was general sales manager for CBS RADIO Hartford.  She returns to that radio cluster now owned by Entercom as SVP and market manager.  She’ll lead heritage news/talk WTIC-AM and sister stations CHR WTIC-FM, adult contemporary WRCH “Lite 100.5,” and urban contemporary WZMX “HOT 93.1.”  Entercom regional president Mark Hannon says, “We are happy to welcome Stephanie to the Entercom team and back to our stations in Hartford.  Her business acumen and leadership will help us provide our partners with premier solutions that reach our loyal and engaged audience in Hartford.”

TALKERS News Notes. This fall, award-winning journalist and author Alison Stewart begins hosting a daily 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm program on public radio news/talk WNYC, New York.  New York Public Radio says the show will focus on culture, the arts, local news, and life in the New York area.  New York Public Radio president and CEO Laura Walker comments, “Alison Stewart is the perfect host for our new midday show that will lead the New York conversation.  She is intelligent, lively, and experienced, and has her finger on the pulse of pop culture, the arts, and news in a way that is deeply of the moment.”…..Westwood One reports its plans for this week’s Podcast Movement conference.  It says one key element is the Westwood One “Pitch Pod” on the 5th floor lobby of the Marriott.  “Podcasting talent can tell their story right at the conference, recording a sharable video pitch for consideration for a roster slot on Westwood One Podcast Network.  Reporters and media contacts are also welcome to stop by the booth to record a video about their experience at Podcast Movement.”   Tomorrow, Westwood One Podcast Network’s Tim Sabean, Opie, and Carl Ruiz will present “The Art of Storytelling” for attendees…..The second season of the Jim Breslo-hosted podcast “Hidden Truth” is launched.  Following the first season of the weekly hourlong podcast titled “Hidden Truth:  Las Vegas Shooter,” comes “Hidden Truth: Transgender Movement.”  In this series, Breslo “embarks on a journey to discover what it means to be transgender and what impact the movement is having on society.” Episode one features the first of a three-part interview with Breslo’s fraternity brother Dave Richmond, a divorced accountant and father of two who, much to Breslo’s surprise, recently became Sabrina.  “No subject is left off limits as they discuss everything from sex and surgery, to parenting and pronouns.”…..Changes are coming to ABC-TV’s daytime talk program “The View.”  The New York Post reports that Sara Haines is exiting “The View” to work alongside Michael Strahan on the third hour of “Good Morning America.” It’s being reported that FOX News Channel “rising star” Abby Huntsman is in talks to become a cast member on “The View.”  She is the daughter of former GOP presidential candidate and current Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman Jr.  The Hollywood Reporter writes, “Abby Huntsman, like her father, has some centrist tendencies, and is not reflexively conservative.  She made some headlines on July 15, when she appeared to ding the president’s meeting with Vladimir Putin by tweeting, ‘No negotiation is worth throwing your own people and country under the bus.’”…..The NFL’s Oakland Raiders flagship radio station will still be an Entercom property but it is changing from sports talk KGMZ, San Francisco “95.7 The Game” to all-news KCBS-AM/KFRC-FM.  Games will continue to air on KGMZ as long as there is no conflict.

SRN’s Larry Elder Supporting Angel Tree Camp. Pictured above is Salem Radio Network talk host Larry Elder (right) at the Prison Fellowship’s Angel Tree Camp that provides fresh air and summer camp activities for children whose mother or father are in prison.  Elder is a regular fundraiser for the program.  He tells TALKERS, “Children of prisoners haven’t done anything wrong and they shouldn’t pay for the misdeeds of a parent.”  Elder notes that 70% of prisoners’ children eventually end up behind bars themselves, a cycle that is being broken by the Angel Tree Camp program.  Pictured here with Elder are Calacinto Ranch director Angela Cerda (center) and SRN VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup (left).

KBA-WKU Radio Talent Institute Underway. Taking place this week on the campus of Western Kentucky University is the 6th annual Kentucky Broadcasters Association-Western Kentucky University Radio Talent Institute. All week long, more than 40 broadcasters from Alpha Media, Commonwealth Broadcasting, Forever CommunicationsCapCity Communications, Forcht Broadcasting, The Cromwell Group, Cumulus Media, and iHeartMedia are working with students in sessions dedicated to on-air skills, sports, news, promotions, digital, production, as well as being certified by the RAB as Radio Marketing Professionals.  National Radio Talent System founder and president Dan Vallie comments, “It is great to have the solid support of the KBA, who are such early believers in and supporters of the Talent System, now for 6 years; and WKU, who embraced this from the moment it was introduced to the university.  Working together – broadcasters, universities and the National Radio Talent System – we are building the talent farm for the industry and discovering and preparing the next generation of broadcasters.”

Trump-Russia Investigation/Cohen Recordings, Trump-Iran Rhetoric, Trump Security Clearance Issue, U.S. Illegal Immigration Policies, Ozarks Duck Boat Tragedy, Toronto Shooting/Deadly BART Knife Attack, Southwest Heatwave, Mama Mia 2 and Equalizer 2 Films, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/23).  The investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives and the related 12 tapes of President Trump and former attorney Michael Cohen turned over to Robert Mueller; the war rhetoric between President Trump and Iran; Trump’s desire to remove security clearances from former intelligence officials who are critical of him; the policies relating to treatment of illegal immigrants and their children; the deadly Ozark duck boat capsizing; the fatal shooting in Toronto and the knife slaying on the BART train; the heatwave affecting the U.S. Southwest; the opening weekend for the Mama Mia 2 and Equalizer 2 films; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Cox Media Group’s urban contemporary WHQT, Miami “HOT 105,” Big Lip joins to work alongside Shelby Rushin as co-host of the afternoon drive program, effective July 30…..Cumulus Media names 26-year radio pro Don Brake program director and morning personality for country KAYD-FM, Beaumont, Texas “NASH 101.7.”  Brake joins Cumulus from WKKQ, Morgantown, West Virginia where he was music director and midday personality…..Pictured below are WJBR-FM, Wilmington staffers (from l-r) Brandi Tigani, Chris Leonard, and Diana Beasley volunteering to cook for 50 families staying at the Ronald McDonald House of Delaware.  The effort was part of the radio station’s Beasley Best Day of Caring event.

Monday, March 19, 2018

| March 19, 2018

Mark Wainwright Returns to WSYR, Syracuse Morning Show.  Morning show personality Mark Wainwright is back on the air at iHeartMedia’s Syracuse news/talk WSYR after a 10-month absence while he battled throat cancer.  Wainwright says, “This thing hit me out of nowhere.  It was discovered last April, almost by accident, and it’s been an ongoing medical odyssey ever since.  It was eventually diagnosed as an aggressive form of throat cancer.  It was nasty and had already begun spreading to lymph nodes in my neck.  The recuperation period was long and frustrating.  Even when I started to feel a little better physically, my voice was still a train wreck.  It wasn’t until the end of 2017 that I started to sound better, and my doctors eventually cleared me to try hosting a daily show again.”  Wainwright says his voice is still not 100% and he’ll host from 6:00 to 9:00 to start and hopefully return to doing the full 5:00 to 9:00 show. Meanwhile, he says he’s thankful for his colleagues who filled in while he was out.  “Dave Allen, Ian Wheatley, Jim Donovan, and Nick Russo were put in a very tough spot for months, especially after the sudden passing of our friend and colleague Kevin Schenck.  They had to scramble, rearrange their lives, and pull double and even triple duty to keep the morning show running and cover all the vacant slots.  Thank you, gentlemen. Fine work, and very much appreciated.”

Bloomberg: iHeartMedia Bankruptcy Allows Lenders to Entertain New Offers.  According to the Bloomberg piece by Emma Orr, Eliza Ronalds-Hannon, and Steven Church, certain lenders can discuss any offers presented to them during iHeartMedia’s bankruptcy process.  The story says that creditors “fought hard for language in the restructuring support agreement that lets them continue to explore ‘consistent alternative proposals.’”  It also reports that this language was “heavily contested” in the discussions that led up to the Chapter 11 filing.  That means any prospective buyers, such as Liberty Media, could attempt to strike a deal with senior creditors.  Read the Bloomberg piece here.

Yes, Alexa Is Laughing…But Not at You.  Consultant Holland Cooke says radio should smile about smart speakers.  Writing after the news about NuVoodoo’s recent research that reports one-third of its 3,000-plus, 14-54 survey respondents own a smart speaker, Cooke says, “we’re still early-on in the adoption curve, so this will only become more opportune for broadcasters.”  The data also indicates that almost half of likely PPM panelists own one.  Read Cooke’s entire piece here.

McCabe Fired from FBI, Threats to Robert Mueller Investigation, Putin ‘Re-Elected’/U.K.-Russia Diplomatic Tensions, Miami Bridge Collapse, Rihanna vs Snapchat, Facebook Data Misuse Allegations, First Weekend of March Madness, NFL Free Agency, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The firing of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and President Trump’s weekend Tweets; Trump attorney John Dowd calls for end to Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign-Russian agents matter; Russian president Vladimir Putin wins “re-election” for new six-year term and Putin’s crumbling diplomatic relations with the U.K. and the West; the deadly collapse of a pedestrian bridge in Miami; Rihanna’s criticism of a Snapchat ad for an app that makes light of domestic violence; investigations into allegations of Facebook’s misuse of user data; the first weekend of the NCAA basketball tournament; the beginning of the NFL free agency period; 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.

Broadcast Engineer Eric Small Dead at 71.  An accident at a Publix store in Delray Beach, Florida took the life of Eric Small last Thursday (3/15).  Small was exiting the grocery store when an 80-year-old woman lost control of her car and hit Small before driving into the front of the store.  It’s believed the woman had a heart attack while driving.  Small’s accomplishments in radio engineering are numerous.  He’s famous for having co-invented the Orban Optimod FM processor that became ubiquitous in the industry.  He began his career in 1964 at WNCN, New York.  In 1969, he became a member of the technical department at A&R Recording under Phil Ramone.  He later served as chief engineer at WXLO-FM, New York.  In 1981 he founded Modulation Sciences that developed and manufactured innovative products for radio and TV.

TALKERS News Notes. Former WBAL and WCBM, Baltimore weekend talk show host Jimmy Mathis was dealt a blow by a judge who says Mathis cannot run for the Maryland State Senate representing the 42nd district because he is not a resident of the district.  According to the Maryland Daily Record, Mathis is saying he’ll appeal the ruling…..WTMJ, Milwaukee talk show host Jeff Wagner announces that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and a number of other Wisconsin leaders will be speakers at the upcoming live “Jeff Wagner Insight 2018” on March 28 at Country Springs Hotel in nearby Pewaukee.  The annual conservative political event and live radio show will also include Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel and a number of conservative candidates for statewide office…..The regionally syndicated Illinois talk program “The Michael Koolidge Show” is being added to the program schedule at Cromwell Radio Group’s WCRA, Effingham, Illinois in afternoon drive.  Koolidge’s program is now heard on 14 signals in the state.  WCRA program director Sheila Myers says, “We’re very excited to be adding the Michael Koolidge show to our lineup.  We heard he was doing great things in the afternoon on our sister station, WZUS “Talk 101FM” in Decatur, so we think he’ll be a great addition first thing in the early morning for our Greater Effingham audience on our three separate signals.”…..KIRO-FM, Seattle’s “Your Last Meal with Rachel Belle” podcast has been announced as a nominee for the 2018 James Beard Foundation Awards.  “Your Last Meal” is an original podcast hosted by Rachel Belle, host of KIRO Radio’s “Ring My Belle,” and is produced by Aaron Mason.   James Beard Foundation Broadcast Media Awards winners will be announced on April 27, 2018…..Pictured below are Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup (center) with directors Andy Erwin (left) and Jon Erwin (right).  The duo scored the third-most-viewed film this past weekend as the faith-based film I Can Only Imagine generated $17 million behind weekend leaders The Black Panther and Tomb Raider.  Tradup tells TALKERS magazine that this week SRN News is repeating a multi-part series it produced on the film that tells the back story behind MercyMe’s triple-platinum song, “I Can Only Imagine.”

More Than 50 Industry Leaders Scheduled to Speak TALKERS magazine Conference in NYC in June; Great Hotel Deal Arranged for Attendees. The organizers of TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! TALKERS magazine’s 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention – announce the Friday, June 8 program will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology, as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. See the list of speakers currently scheduled to appear here. The conference takes place at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater in the colorful Chelsea District of Manhattan and organizers have arranged for a special hotel deal for conference attendees right across the street at the Hilton New York Fashion District located at 152 West 26th Street, New York. A special block of remarkably priced rooms has been reserved for convention attendees. They will only be available until May 8 or until they sell out – whichever comes first. The TALKERS editorial board strongly recommends that industry professionals planning on attending the convention make their registrations and hotel reservations as quickly as possible. An early sellout is imminent! For the latest details about TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! please read the story below. To make hotel reservations, please click here.

Cool Job Opportunities. Entercom Charlotte is seeking on-air personalities for its three stations. “If you live to connect with your audience on air, online and in person— you’ll love it here! We are looking for experienced on-air talent. Are you a passionate storyteller who’s authentic, entertaining and a team player? Do you have a strong hand in social media? The ideal candidate should possess strong work ethic, solid show prep and the ability to deliver creative and compelling content. Experience is preferred. Entercom Charlotte is an Equal Opportunity Employer. To be considered for these positions, please apply online at www.entercom.com and click on ‘Careers.’ No phone calls.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. After parting ways with Scotty Lindy on Friday (3/16), Cumulus Media announces that it is bringing programmer Brian Thomas to Atlanta to serve as PD for WKHX “Kicks 101.5.”  Thomas has been program director for the company’s classic hits WLS-FM, Chicago as well as a member of the corporate programming team for the country format and is vice president, programming, classic hits.  Thomas says, “It was always my dream to program WLS-FM in Chicago, but I started in country and everyone knows I love it.  And although I am corporate program director for country at Cumulus, it’s not the same as having a country station down the hall.  I’m beyond thrilled that Sean Shannon, Mike McVay, and Charlie Cook have confidence in me to program ‘Kicks,’ one of America’s leading country stations.”…..Also from Cumulus Media, the company announces that Jim Kurdziel is being promoted to regional vice president, programming – rock, in which he is overseeing the rock and alternative formats for Cumulus’ stations in the Northeast.  Kurdziel continues to serve as program director and midday personality for alternative WEDG-FM, Buffalo “103.3 The Edge” and will now support stations in markets including: Buffalo; Syracuse; Harrisburg, PA; Wilkes Barre, PA; Saginaw, MI; New Orleans, LA; and Appleton, WI…..Pamal Broadcasting flips sports talk WINU, Albany “Win 104.9” to alternative as “ALT 104.9 Albany’s NEW Alternative.” Pamal’s Albany Broadcasting general manager A.J. Bodden states, “Broadcast radio remains the number one medium as it relates to new music discovery and Albany Broadcasting is thrilled to be in a position to now give that opportunity to alternative listeners in Albany.  My team and I, along with our local ownership, could not be more proud to be launching this new format and filling a void that has existed here for a long time.”…..iHeartMedia promotes Echo Robinson to director of marketing and promotions for its Chicago Region.  Robinson joined iHeartMedia Chicago in 1995 and rose from intern to senior promotions coordinator before her appointment to promotions director in 2001.  As director of marketing and promotions, Robinson is responsible for managing the planning and execution of marketing, promotion, sales partnerships and imaging campaigns for the region.  She reports to Tommy Austin, SVP of programming for iHeartMedia’s Chicago Region.

Monday, September 11, 2017

| September 11, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, June 9, 2017

| June 9, 2017

WECK, Buffalo Announces Live and Local Lineup. The new Buffalo full-service radio station operated by Buddy Shula’s Radio One Buffalo announces its new, live and local personality lineup.  Previously, TALKERS magazine reported the station hired Buffalo news radio pro John Zach to anchor mornings and serve as news director.  Now, WECK says it will officially shift its format to become a live and local, full-service station on July 10, with 24-hour news, well-known local personalities and locally programmed music.  The station has been airing a syndicated adult standards format.  Soon it will move to “adult favorites,” centered primary on the 70s and 80s (with some earlier and some more recent music mixed in).  Veteran Buffalo personality Gail Ann Huber will pair with WECK’s Tom Donahue as morning co-host.  Jon Summers, a longtime Buffalo radio and TV personality joins the station to host 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.   Buffalo Broadcasting Hall-of-Famer Harv Moore will host the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart  Moore handled wake-up duties for many years as part of the well-known “Taylor & Moore Breakfast Flakes” show on WYSL and WPHD.  Moore’s former on-air partner, Robert W. Taylor, joins as WECK’s imaging voice.  Afternoon drive will be hosted by Mike Jacobs.  Evenings will be hosted by WECK owner and president Buddy Shula.

WGN named Chicago’s Station of the Year. This actually marks the tenth year in a row that Tribune Media news/talk WGN, Chicago has nabbed such Illinois Broadcasters Association Silver Dome honors. This year’s event was held last night (6/8) in Champaign. In addition, Tribune Media president of broadcasting Larry Wert was cited as IBA’s “Broadcaster of the Year.” The station took away first place awards in “Best Radio Local Broadcast Team” (“The Nick Digilio Show”); “Best Radio Station Use of New Media” (“Honoring Our Marines” by Shanae Paulus and Jackie Paulus); “Best Radio News Reporter” (Andrea Darlas); “Best Radio Series or Documentary” (“National Parks at 100: Our Midwest Treasures” by Dave Schwan); and “Best Radio Play-by-Play” (Blackhawks force game seven versus [St. Louis] Blues (John Wiedeman and Troy Murray). WGN Radio vice president of programming & content Todd Manley states, “We are so proud to share Chicago stories every day with personalities who are authentic and passionate. I know our entire staff is grateful for these honors.” Out-of-state broadcasters did the judging for the Illinois competition.

Pandora – SiriusXM Update. As a follow-up to what we reported yesterday (TALKERS, 6/8), on the heels of Pandora Media extending the countdown of a possible sale, SiriusXM marches in with a $480 million strategic cash investment in Pandora. The infusion will help Pandora make targeted investments and capitalize on opportunities to build on its business. Last month, the private equity firm KKR & Co LP agreed to invest $150 million in Pandora, which reportedly lost $132 million on revenues of $315 million in the quarter that ended on March 31.

WBUR Readies “Circle Round.” Produced by Boston University-owned WBUR, Boston in conjunction with Sheir & Shim founders Rebecca Sheir and Eric Shimelonis, “Circle Round” is a storytelling podcast for youngsters aged three to ten. “Circle Round” features folktales with an eye toward inclusivity. Stories are adapted into five- to 20-minute episodes that deal with topics such as kindness, persistence, and generosity. WBUR general manager Charlie Kravetz comments, “We are excited to be launching WBUR’s first-ever child-focused program. Public radio has a rich and recognized tradition of narrative storytelling. With ‘Circle Round,’ we want to inspire a young audience to cultivate a love of storytelling.” The station’s managing producer for program development Jessica Alpert remarks, “Like so many parents, I am always trying to find alternatives to screen time. As we know, nothing grabs a child’s attention like a really great story – especially one you can listen to anywhere, anytime, like in a podcast. We are hoping that ‘Circle Round’ fills a void for parents, while at the same time provides a thrilling experience for their kids.” Sheir will serve as the podcast’s narrator, while award-winning composer Shimelonis will create the accompanying soundtrack and production. The podcast series begins this fall with weekly episodes.

Phoenix Trombo Taps Trimmer as PD. Former WRVA “Newsradio 1140,” Richmond; WRNL “Fox Sports 910,” Richmond; and Virginia News Network program director Aaron Trimmer will transfer in a similar capacity to iHeartMedia Phoenix siblings KFYI “The Most Trusted News in Phoenix”; KGME “Fox Sports 910”; and KFYI 2, “The Next Generation of Talk Radio.” Executive vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s west division Steve Geofferies comments, “We are excited to have Aaron bring his experiences out west; his track record speaks for itself. From brand execution to talent coaching, he is a tremendous resource for our stations in the Arizona region.” Trimmer – who begins his new duties in a little over three weeks (7/5) – notes, “I am beyond excited to work with the iHeartMedia team in Phoenix. There is a tremendous amount of talent with their spoken-word brands. I look forward to leading the team and community to new heights.” His previous programming credits include four other iHeartMedia clusters: WHAM “NewsRadio 1180,” Rochester; FM news/talk WERC, Birmingham and the Alabama Radio Network; news/talk WSYR, Syracuse; and WLAP “NewsRadio 630,” Lexington, Kentucky.

College Radio Providing Vital Farm System for Professional Talk Media Talent.  At a time when many industry participants and observers ask the question, “Where will the future talent in radio come from now that consolidation has wiped out the old farm system?” – it is becoming evident that to a significant degree the answer lies on the college radio level.  According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “We are hearing more and more from outstanding college radio and media communications departments – students and faculty alike – around the country. These communication departments are really stepping up to the plate in becoming an effective breeding ground for new, dedicated and extremely bright talent – especially in the areas of journalism, commentary, talk and sports.  I am personally gratified by the number of superb young people gaining the skills and developing the styles that will clearly propel talent-driven radio and TV deeper into the 21st century.”  Each year the TALKERS annual seminar is attended by an increasing number of college radio students interested in making broadcasting their careers as well as a growing percentage of already-professional practitioners under the age of 35.  Talkers 2017: A New Era was attended by delegations of student broadcasters from Hofstra University on Long Island and Hillsdale College in Michigan, among others.   According to Harrison, who sits on the executive committee of the advisory board of Hofstra University’s Lawrence Herbert School of Communication, “The future of radio lies in developing young audiences – but before we can even think about doing that effectively, we must develop young broadcasters.” Pictured (below) are the students attending the TALKERS conference from Hofstra University’s Marconi Award winning WRHU-FM (front row l-r): Jazmine Gonzalez, Joy Jones, and Yenny Sanchez; (back row l-r) operations manager John Mullen, Alexi Cohan, TALKERS “Student of the Year” Maria Santana, Sean Bates, Juliana Spano, and Joe Sibilia.

Stand By for Exciting Video Coverage of Talkers 2017: A New Era.  As the magic of Talkers 2017: A New Era recedes into the broadcast industry history books, the TALKERS editorial and technical staffs are busily readying the hours and hours of valuable video footage recorded at the event by rising young New York videography star Zach Feldman into a presentable form for posting here on Talkers.com and for posterity.  TALKERS subscribers can expect the first of these to be posted sometime next week.  Stand by!  Meantime, scroll down this page for earlier photo and story coverage of the event.

Syndicated star Doug Stephan (l) interviews KTRS, St Louis personality McGraw Milhaven (r) on the American Family Farmer program at Talkers 2017: A New Era about the local relationship between St. Louis and mega-corporation Monsanto Company that is headquartered in that market.  Both broadcasters are members of the TALKERS Heavy Hundred.  Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

WOR, New York, assistant program director Scott Lakefield facilitating one of the major “one-on-one” sessions at Talkers 2017: A New Era.  Photo by Don Hurley.

Beasley Broadcast Group Declares Quarterly Cash Dividend. The amount is $0.045 per share for Beasley Broadcast Group’s Class A and Class B common stock and is payable next month (7/7) to shareholders of record on the final day of this month (6/30). All subsequent Beasley Broadcast Group dividends will be reviewed quarterly and declared by the board of directors at its discretion. Meanwhile, at the annual New Jersey Ad Club “Jersey Awards,” Beasley Broadcast Group news/talk WCTC, New Brunswick won “Best Podcast” for The State Theatre (program & creative director/air talent Bert Baron, host and producer). Senior vice president and regional market manager Dan Finn remarks, “We are absolutely thrilled our team was recognized for their work with this incredible award.  This is the night where all the best advertising agencies in the state of New Jersey gather and announce winners across all media platforms. We were honored to be among the winners.” The event took place this past Wednesday (6/7) in Cedar Grove, New Jersey.

TALKERS News Notes. As he did two weeks ago, Lou Pate will sit-in today (6/9) for Michael Savage on Westwood One’s “The Savage Nation” …..Nine-year iHeartMedia vice president of digital operations Joseph Bond departs. Bond previously spent six years overseeing web content and development for the company’s eight Cincinnati stations.

Grangenois Joins WEAA As Interim GM. The former publisher of The Chronicle of Higher Education, Mireille Grangenois, is named interim general manager of Morgan State University‘s NPR-member public outlet WEAA. The Baltimore-based institution’s dean of the school of global journalism and communication DeWayne Wickham remarks, “Ms. Grangenois has an impressive record of media management. Our intention is to revitalize WEAA’s mission as a learning lab by providing our students with an exceptional, practical experience in the production of news and public affairs programming. We also want to do this by strengthening the station’s ability to offer listeners music programming that will grow WEAA’s audience and revenue. I have great confidence in Ms. Grangenois’ ability to lead this effort.” Grangenois began her news career in Baltimore and has marketing, sales, audience development, and leadership experience. Morgan State University is one of only five historically black higher education institutions with a school of journalism.

Comey Testimony Top News/Talk Story for Week of June 5-9.  The Senate Intelligence Committee testimony of former FBI Director James Comey was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the Trump-Russia investigation.  Coming in at #3 was the Tehran terror attack and the rejection of President Trump’s condolences, followed by the British general elections and the aftermath of the London terror attacks at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Radio Disney Country Los Angeles Debuts Today. KRDC, Los Angeles will officially begin broadcasting at 12:00 noon today (6/9) on 99.1 and 1110. Disney Channels Worldwide vice president of music strategy/Radio Disney Network general manager Phil Guerini states, “As country music continues to deliver some of the biggest artists in music today, we are broadening the reach of Radio Disney Country through both terrestrial and digital extensions of its brand.” In association with KRDC’s debut, Kelsea Ballerini, Hunter Hayes, Bailey Bryan, Scotty McCreery, Tegan Marie, and Temecula Road will join Radio Disney Country host Betsy Spina on the Radio Disney Country Stage at CMA Music Fest‘s Xfinity Fan Fair X at 11:45 am today for a countdown event streaming live on Radio Disney Country’s Facebook page. The first hour commercial-free playlist on Radio Disney Country’s KRDC will begin with Ballerini’s single “Legends,” which was released this week. The complete first hour will include: “Legends” (Ballerini); “Play It Again” (Luke Bryan); “God, Your Mama, and Me” (Florida Georgia Line featuring The Backstreet Boys); “Every Little Thing” (Carly Pearce); “Say” (RaeLynn featuring Dan + Shay); “Yours If You Want It” (Rascal Flatts); “Own It” (Bailey Bryan); “What Ifs” (Kane Brown featuring Lauren Alaina); “You Look Good” (Lady Antebellum); “No Such Thing As a Broken Heart” (Old Dominion); “Hoping” (Temecula Road); “I Could Use a Love Song” (Maren Morris); and “How Not To” (Dan + Shay). Radio Disney Country will also be available on iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and as curated playlists within Spotify, and Apple Music.

Brown Appointed iHeartMedia Norfolk Market President. Inbound from Cumulus Media Mobile, where she was vice president/market manager and vice president of sales, Angel Brown is named market president for iHeartMedia Norfolk. President of iHeartMedia’s Virginia/Carolina Region Dave Carwile comments, “We are thrilled to have Angel joining our Norfolk group of station brands. She combines a proven track record of sales leadership with an understanding of how to integrate client needs with our multimedia platforms. Angel will provide a great complement to our outstanding sales and programming leadership in the market.” Brown remarks, “I am elated to join the iHeartMedia family in Norfolk. The market and the company have had tremendous success over the years and are attributed to the company’s culture and its people. I look forward to working alongside the talented iHeartMedia Norfolk team and I look for forward to my future with the industry leader.” The company’s four-station Norfolk cluster consists of urban AC WHBT “92.1 The Beat”; rhythmic hot AC WMOV “MOViN 107.7”; CHR WNOH “NOW 105”; and urban contemporary WOWI “103 Jamz.”

KFRG Boosts Ward to APD/MD. With two-dozen years of service at CBS Radio Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario country outlet KFRG ‘K-Frog,” on-air talent Robin Ward is elevated to assistant program director and music director. According to program director Scott Ward (no relation), “Since she has been here for most of the station’s history, Robin is such a natural fit for this position. She knows the format and the artists like the back of her hand.” Robin Ward, who hosts mid-days using the on-air persona Heather Froglear, comments, “My patience has been rewarded with my dream job – being the APD/MD of the greatest station on earth.” She joined “K-Frog” in 1993 and has previously been the Inland Empire outlet’s promotions director and morning show host.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Taking home the 2017 Gracie Award as “Best Co-Host, Radio” is Kelly Ford, co-host of Cumulus Media and Westwood One‘s syndicated morning show, Ty, Kelly, & Chuck. Ford was among the honorees at a Wednesday night gala at Los Angeles’ Beverly Wilshire …..Having already worked at CBS Radio-owned CHRs in Chicago (WBBM-FM “B-96”) and Philadelphia (WZMP “Amp 96.5”), Jason Cage will debut on the company’s Houston hot AC KHMX “Mix 96.5” next Monday (6/12)    in afternoon drive. “Mix 96.5” program director Chase Murphy has “been a fan of Jason’s work for years – winning is in his DNA. We are excited to add him to the KHMX team and cannot wait for the Houston community to meet him.” …..Nine-year iHeartMedia vice president of digital operations Joseph Bond departs. Bond previously spent six years overseeing web content and development for the company’s eight Cincinnati stations …..Several-dozen suits were collected as part of the recently concluded “Boots to Suits” campaign of Hubbard St. Louis adult hits WARH “106.5 The Arch.” In partnership with Equity Prime Mortgage, JCPenney, and Two Men & A Truck, the station’s campaign focused on collecting suits for local veterans entering the workforce after they return home from deployment …..Changes at Saga Springfield, Massachusetts alternative WLZX “Lazer 99.3 & 105.1” find morning host Leslie exiting at the end of this month to relocate to Sarasota and afternoon drive talent Pat Kelly segueing to mornings next month …..Along with partners United Supermarkets and Amarillo National Bank, Alpha Media Amarillo, Texas’ KGNC “Country 97.9” earlier this week raised more than $60,000 for the Amarillo Area Rotary Youth Baseball League. Alpha Media Amarillo market manager Robert Mueller notes, “It is truly awesome to see the community and our partners work together to support the local youth each and every year.”

Beasley Broadcast Group Declares Quarterly Cash Dividend. The amount is $0.045 per share for Beasley Broadcast Group’s Class A and Class B common stock and is payable next month (7/7) to shareholders of record on the final day of this month (6/30). All subsequent Beasley Broadcast Group dividends will be reviewed quarterly and declared by the board of directors at its discretion. Meanwhile, at the annual New Jersey Ad Club “Jersey Awards,” Beasley Broadcast Group’s WDHA “The Rock of New Jersey, ” Dover won “Best Radio Spot” for Oink and Moo BBQ (written, produced, and voiced by Mike Cocheo with additional voice-overs by Dannie Schade). Vice president and regional market manager Dan Finn remarks, “We are absolutely thrilled our team was recognized for their work with this incredible award. “This is the night where all the best advertising agencies in the state of New Jersey gather and announce winners across all media platforms. We were honored to be among the winners.” The event took place this past Wednesday (6/7) in Cedar Grove, New Jersey.

Eagle Communications Hutchinson Boosts James to Operations Manager. Three-month KHUT, Hutchinson, Kansas morning host Pat James is elevated to operations manager of Eagle Communications’ “Country 102.9,” as well as co-owned hot AC KHMY “My 93.1,” and news/talk combo KWBW-AM & KWBW-FM. Eagle Hutchinson market manager Mark Trotman states, “Since his first day at Eagle Communications, Pat has demonstrated the leadership we want in an employee-owned company – he is our type of people. We are looking forward to the places we can go in further service to keeping our community connected.” James, who will continue his morning drive duties on “Country 102.9,” adds, “I look forward to working with a talented staff that is committed to making great local radio every day for our community. This is a refreshing and exciting environment to work in every day. I can’t wait to help these stations and our company achieve even greater successes. I am grateful to market manager Mark Trotman and Eagle president/chief executive officer Gary Shorman for this amazing opportunity.” In addition to co-hosting “The Cornbread Morning Show” on WIL, St. Louis, James previously was program director/brand manager of Connoisseur Media Wichita’s adult hits KIBB “Bob-FM” and classic country KVWF “Hank-FM,” and he was the assistant program director/music director at Scripps-owned country KFDI, Wichita.

Trace Enters U.S. With Streaming Service. International urban media company Trace will launch a streaming service called Trace Play. The company will deliver subscribers urban music and content from the United States and worldwide, including 2,000 hours of on-demand programming, 30 digital radio stations, nine live television feeds, and the soon-to-be launched Trace Prime television network. The service will come from a Trace USA joint venture with John Pasmore, the former chief executive officer of Russell Simmons’ Oneworld Media, who declares, “Trace is the only media company that has successfully connected urban youth and communities of color around the world while respecting their identities.” It will be available online and to iOS and Android devices for $2.99 a month or $29.99 a year. Backers include actor-musician Wyclef Jean; producers Rob Marriott and Tonya Lewis Lee; Fubu co-founder J. Alexander Martin; and JKD Entertainment’s Karlie Lewis.

Make it Part of the Show!

| December 19, 2016

By Mark Wainwright
WSYR
Talk Show Host

 

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SYRACUSE — Holland Cooke’s recent commentary on TALKERS TV about local endorsement spots reinforced my long-standing belief in local radio, and it gives me an opportunity to share some thoughts about the success we’ve had doing endorsements in Syracuse.

If I had to narrow it down to one key piece of advice, it would be: Don’t make endorsements just another part of your commercial load. Make them part of your show!

Over time, radio listeners have learned to tune out commercials, either mentally or by actually hitting the button. An entertaining live personal endorsement spot, performed at the start of a stopset, can break that pattern and grab the listener’s attention.

That’s why it’s important that the endorsement be funny, or compelling, or unusual, or crazy, or something other than a conventional straight read. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard something like: “It’s 7:20, Ron Radio here, with a word about your local Chevy dealers…” followed by the air personality simply reading a piece of copy. The host might have a good voice and great reading skills, and since there’s a live human element involved, there’s some improvement over just pressing the button to start the spot cluster– but only marginally so. The listener still thinks “commercial!” and proceeds to mentally or physically throw the switch. The client’s money and the host’s time have been wasted.

Meanwhile, my approach has always been that endorsements spots are part of my show. They are program content, with each one giving me 60 seconds — okay, maybe 65 or 70 seconds, sometimes I cheat a little — to show off my personality, my sense of humor, my perspective, or just allow a few rebellious brain cells to make themselves audible for a moment. I’ve used music, drop-ins, sound effects, character voices, bad puns, plays on words, you name it. Sometimes I do a lot of advance preparation, sometimes I totally ad-lib them on the fly. The point is, they’re different, and if I can get listeners to stop thinking “commercial!” and get them thinking “What is he DOING?” or “Where is he going with this?” or “Did he actually SAY that?”, then I’ve earned my talent fee. It breaks the established tune-out mechanism, the listeners start paying attention, and that’s when the client’s name and selling points sink in.

This approach requires some groundwork, and a lot of trust all the way around. Whenever I meet with a potential client, I make sure they understand what they’re getting when they ask for a Mark Wainwright personal endorsement. Not all clients or station salespeople are comfortable with my technique, or they might be hesitant to cede so much creative control to an individual air personality; I’ve had to turn opportunities down — graciously and diplomatically, I hope — when the client’s discomfort was clearly apparent.

Obviously, you also need the station’s management to support you and respect your professional judgement. This approach doesn’t work if the air talent is always second-guessing himself about what the brass will think. Fortunately, the management folks here in Syracuse cut me a lot of slack. And the clients? Once they give me a chance and they see the results, they pretty much let me get away with murder.

It’s very gratifying to have a client tell everyone in town that your live commercials were directly responsible for a big increase in their business, and it’s great to have listeners come up to you at an event like the New York State Fair and hear them repeating the same gags and catch phrases you’ve been using in endorsements. They’re engaged and responding, and the advertisers know it. That’s local radio.

(And the extra money in your paycheck doesn’t hurt!)

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Mark Wainwright is the morning drive host at WSYR, Syracuse.  He can be emailed at markwainwright@iHeartMedia.com.

Monday, October 10, 2016

| October 10, 2016

smart-conferenceRamsey Hosts Smart Conference in Atlanta. Syndicated talk show host Dave Ramsey hosted a daylong “Smart Conference” in Atlanta this past Saturday (10/8) at North Point Community Church. Promoting the event was Ramsey’s Atlanta affiliate, iHeartMedia talker WGST. “These events certainly increase tune-in and listenership as we lean into them,” comments iHeartMedia Atlanta region president Justin Schaflander. “Far more importantly, they truly impact the lives of our listeners as it helps them find inspiration and answers on everything from finances to parenting and just life in general. The events create a deeper relationship between our listeners and Dave’s team, which in turn, create a far more beneficial connection between our sponsors and clients as they interact with Dave’s audience. It is a win on all fronts.” Along with Ramsey were Chris Brown, Rachel Cruze, Chris Hogan, Inky Johnson, Dr. Meg Meeker, Anthony O’Neal, and Dr. Les Parrott. Attendees were provided information on how to win with money; strengthen their marriages; build parenting skills; and excel in their careers.

kinosianmikemlb-logo2PPM Analysis: MLB Flagships. Based on data from Nielsen Audio’s September 2016 PPM survey period, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of Major League Baseball flagships. In this special feature report, you will find charts listing stations by format and (6+) AHQ share; ratings fluctuations from August 2016 to September 2016; ratings comparisons from September 2015 to September 2016; how MLB key stations ranked in their respective markets; and how they did by league/division. See it all here.

hughes-cathyhoward-logoHughes’ Howard University Honor. In a ceremony that will take place one week from this Sunday (10/23), Howard University‘s School of Communications will be renamed the Cathy Hughes School of Communications, as a tribute to Radio One‘s founder and chairperson. The announcement comes after a multi-million dollar gift to the Washington, DC school from Hughes’ son, Radio One president and chief executive officer Alfred C. Liggins III. Howard University president Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick comments, “The Howard community is thrilled that Mr. Liggins has chosen to honor his mother in this manner for her pioneering work in the field of communications. The gift will have a transformational impact on the school’s commitment to serve the communications industry and as a high-level producer of diverse media specialists.”

caldwell-meghanCox Media Group Tampa Boosts Caldwell to Digital Sales Manager. Two-year Cox Media Group Tampa digital media strategist Megan Caldwell is promoted to digital sales manager for the company’s six-station cluster. Vice president and market manager Keith Lawless remarks, “Megan knows the digital cox-media-group-tampaspace, knows our marketing partners, and knows what it takes to compete and win in this competitive, fast moving space.” Director of sales Jason Meder comments, “We are so excited to have Megan lead our digital sales efforts in Tampa. With a background in digital content, Megan brings unique experience to this role. Her knowledge – combined with her ability to create solutions for advertisers – is an amazing resource for Cox Media Group Tampa.” Caldwell adds, “I am beyond excited to be leading our team in digital. As the digital sales manager, I will be focused on driving initiatives that help us continue to build long-term relationships with our clients.” The 2012 University of Central Florida graduate previously spent two years as Cox Media Group Tampa’s digital producer and was social media manager for New Age Skincare. With their September 2016 Nielsen Audio PPM 6+ AQH share and market rank in parentheses, CMG Tampa consists of adult contemporary WDUV “Lite Favorites” (9.3, #1); WXGL “Classic Hits 107.3 The Eagle” (6.0, #3); adult contemporary WWRM “Magic 94-9” (5.3, #6); CHR WPOI “Hot 101.5” (4.7, #7); talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone” (2.3, #18); and alternative WSUN “97-X” (2.3, #18).

simon-conwayWHO’s “Puppy Jake Foundation” Raises $22,000. Last Friday’s (10/7) third annual “Puppy Jake Foundation” fundraiser brings in more than twice as much as the combined total of year one ($4,000) and year two ($6,000). WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive talent Simon Conway staged a free sandwich giveaway in the parking lot of the iHeartMedia talker and – in two hours – collected more than $22,000 to benefit the charity, which acquires, raises and professionally trains service dogs for physically and mentally wounded veterans. Conway states he was “speechless for about two seconds. People drove long distances; handed over huge sums of money; and donated enough to acquire, train for two years and ultimately hand over for free a service dog for a wounded veteran.” Thus far this year, the charity has given 11 dogs to veterans; nine more canines will graduate the program next March.

bush-billyNBC-TV Suspends Bush. By now, you know it was a rough weekend for former radio talent Billy Bush, who was believed to be groomed as a possible replacement for Matt Lauer on NBC-TV‘s “Today Show.” The network has suspended the ex-“Access Hollywood” host for his role in a 2005 video with Donald access-hollywoodTrump that surfaced on Friday (10/7). Bush is heard laughing and encouraging the now Republican presidential nominee as they engaged in a vulgar conversation about women. The Washington Post published the tape of Trump, who is heard on a hot microphone boasting to Bush about kissing, groping, and having sex with women, saying that, “When you’re a star, they let you do anything – I don’t even wait.” At first, it seemed Bush was going to appear on “The Today Show” this morning (10/10) to apologize, but by last night, NBC decided he would not go on the show; instead, executive Noah Oppenheim issued the suspension. There is no immediate information about how long it will last. “Let me be clear,” Oppenheim writes in a staff memo, “There is simply no excuse for Billy’s language and behavior on that tape. NBC has decided to suspend Billy, pending further review of this matter.” In a statement he released on Friday, Bush notes he is “embarrassed and ashamed” of his role in the 2005 video. “This happened 11 years ago. I was younger, less mature, and acted foolishly in playing along.” His weeknight (7:00 pm – 11:00 pm) “Billy Bush Show” debuted on April 14, 2008; Westwood One ended production of it in late-December 2014. Prior to that radio project, a mix of music and celebrity banter targeted to CHR and hot AC stations, Bush did wakeup duty on WWZZ “Z-104,” Washington, DC (now Radio One‘s WPRS “Praise 104.1”). In advance of starting his senior year at Maine’s Colby College, Bush scored a summer internship at Bill O’Shaughnessy’s WVOX in Westchester, New York.

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