Tag: "WTMJ"

Monday, July 13, 2020

| July 13, 2020

Pending Business: What Would Maslow Do? Sales and marketing consultant Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications, writes in today’s column that motivation – a stop on Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs – is something that can be challenging in times like these.  But, he says, “We are in a motivation transition that can solve the long-term need to stay in the game and give you the control to move the performance bar as high as you need it.” Read his piece here.

COVID-19 Statistics and Projections, Fall Schools Opening Debate, Portland Protests, Presidential Race, Trump Commutes Roger Stone Sentence, Violent Crime Surge, Washington Redskins to Change Name Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The soaring number of COVID-19 cases in numerous U.S. states and projections for future infections; the debate over re-opening schools in the fall; the violent BLM protests taking place in Portland, Oregon; the November presidential election, plans for a Florida Republican National Convention, and Joe Biden’s polling numbers; President Trump commutes the sentence of former “fixer” Roger Stone; the surge in violent crime statistics in a number of American cities; and the NFL’s Washington Redskins announce they will change the team’s nickname were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Monday Memo: Broadcasters, Podcasting? Radio was late to this party and is scrambling to follow listeners to the digital platform. In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke describes an opportunity in broadcasters’ dilemma. Read it here.

New Hampshire Talk Host’s Relationship with WSMN-AM, Nashua Ends After Video Post Goes Viral. New Hampshire talk host Dianna Ploss is no longer hosting her program on Bartis-Russell Broadcasting’s WSMN-AM, Nashua, New Hampshire after posting a video of herself verbally assaulting a landscaping crew with racist language for speaking Spanish while doing their jobs. The station carries a lot of brokered programming and it’s believed that Ploss also brokered her program. Apparently, Ploss became incensed when she heard a white crew leader speaking Spanish to his staff. After the video went viral, the radio station severed ties with her and posted the following on its website. “Dianna Ploss is no longer associated or affiliated in any way with WSMN or Bartis-Russell Broadcasting, LLC. We at WSMN value freedom of speech, freedom of expression and assembly. We will not tolerate discrimination, racism or hatred. We continue to present and offer on air opportunities for discussion, education and the exchange of opinions and ideas.”

Round Four of June PPMs Released. The fourth and final round of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s June 2020 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s June 2020 survey period covered May 21 – June 17. You can see all the 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian takes a look at station performances in his “Ratings Takeaways” for this group of markets. Regarding the news/talk format, Waterloo Media Group’s KLBJ-AM, Austin stays in the #3 rank in the market after repeating the 5.5 share it posted in May. iHeartMedia’s WTKK-FM, Raleigh sheds four-tenths, finishing the June survey with a 6.2 share good for the #6 rank. Emmis Communications’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis drops 1.5 shares to a 7.4 share and falls back to the #5 rank. In Milwaukee, iHeartMedia’s WISN falls to #2 after losing 1.2 shares and posting a 7.2 share. Across town, Good Karma Brands’ WTMJ drops six-tenths for a 5.5 share finish good for the #6 rank. Cox Media Group’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville falls to the #2 rank after losing a half share and finishing the June survey with a 9.9 share. See Mike Kinosian’s complete “Ratings Takeaways” report here.

It’s Official: SiriusXM to Acquire Stitcher from E.W. Scripps for $325 Million. Last week the Wall Street Journal reported that a deal between E.W. Scripps and SiriusXM for the latter to acquire the podcast platform Stitcher was imminent. Now, Scripps announces that deal is done and it’s getting $325 million for the unit that includes: the Midroll advertising rep firm; owned-and-operated podcast networks including the comedy-focused Earwolf; and the Stitcher podcast listening platform. The press release states, “Scripps was an early entrant into podcasting, acquiring Midroll in 2015 for $55 million and the Stitcher app in 2016 for $4.5 million. Since then, Stitcher has been a leader in the fast-growing podcast industry, growing revenue at a compound annual growth rate of 52% from 2016-19. Stitcher’s 2019 revenue was $72.5 million.” The deal includes $265 million of cash upfront; earnout of up to $30 million based on 2020 financial results and paid in 2021; and earnout of up to $30 million based on 2021 financial results and paid in 2022. It is expected to close in the third quarter of this year.

Cumulus Media Cuts 3% of Workforce. Atlanta-based Cumulus Media has permanently removed 3% of its staffers from the payroll. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that 94 staffers have been affected by the move. The company put the cuts into effect the same day it announced to affiliate stations that the Westwood One News service would be shut down at the end of August due to the negative effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the radio industry.

TALKERS News Notes. According to a tweet by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Mike Golic will remain with ESPN after ESPN Radio’s “Golic & Wingo” program ends on July 31. Schefter says Golic will work for the sports giant as a college football analyst – a position he held for 10 years before launching the “Mike & Mike” morning radio show with Mike Greenberg. The status of Golic’s co-host Trey Wingo – whose contract with ESPN is ending – is still unknown at this time…..Bonneville Denver announces that it is hiring Nate Jackson to serve as an air personality on sports talk KKFN-FM “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan.” The station says Jackson will be heard across all of the station’s programs as a contributor and fill-in host, in addition to contributing digital content to 1043TheFan.com. KKFN program director Raj Sharan says, “Nate is a fascinating person with an incredible perspective on sports and life based on his experiences. While he’s obviously a talented writer, Nate also has a very entertaining and warm personality that we look forward to developing as one of our on-air talents.”

Atlanta’s Black-Targeted Radio Stations to Unite for Voter Registration Effort. This initiative involves Black-targeted radio stations in Atlanta owned by Cox Media Group (WALR “KISS 104.1”; Entercom (WVEE “V103” and WAOK-AM “1380 News/Talk); Radio One (WAMJ/WUMJ “Majic,” WHTA “Hot 107.9,” and WPZE “Praise 102.5”) and Core Radio Group (WWSZ) teaming up “with the common goals of voter registration, voter education, and voter mobilization in advance of the November 2020 election.” The goal of “Black Radio United For The Vote” is to register black voters across metro Atlanta, and to get them to the polls in the coming election on November 3, as well as encouraging them to participate in the 2020 Census. Black Radio United For The Vote is partnering with the Urban League of Greater Atlanta and its affiliates to make these goals a reality. Each month through September, beginning on July 23, the participating radio stations will dedicate a full day of on-air programming to educate, inform and inspire Atlanta’s black community to register to vote, check their current registration status, and participate in the 2020 Census.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports the death of former Windy City radio executive and station group owner Seth Mason. He passed away on Saturday (7/11) after a battle with pancreatic cancer at age 71. Mason was the general manager for legendary rock outlet WXRT in the 1970s and was managing WSCR for Infinity when the company debuted the sports format on WSCR at its original dial position at 1160 AM. Mason retired from radio management and ownership in 1998…..Programming pro Laura Lee is named interim program director for Southeastern Ohio Broadcasting’s alternative WWCD-FM, Columbus “CD102.5.” Lee will also host the midday program, taking over for Rachael Gordon, who recently resigned from the station. Lee was most recently program director and afternoon host at alternative WRMR, Wilmington, North Carolina “Modern Rock 98.7.”

Judge Puts Three Ed Stolz Stations into Receivership; Larry Patrick to Sell Them. The result of a 2016 complaint against Ed Stolz’s Royce International Broadcasting Group by Warner Music Group and other music companies alleging KREV, San Francisco; KFRH, Las Vegas; and KRCK, Palm Springs played music for which it did not have the rights, was a $1.2 million award for the plaintiffs in the copyright infringement portion of the complaint. Stolz appealed that decision, to no avail, and later agreed to sell the stations to pay the award. However, after it appeared to the plaintiffs that Stolz was not really trying to sell the stations, they asked the court to appoint a receiver to sell the stations in order to receive their award. The court agreed and moved to put the stations into receivership to force the matter. Larry Patrick of media brokerage firm Patrick Communications – who is charged with operating the stations and selling them – estimates that the three stations are worth a somewhat less than half of the jury’s $1.2 million award.

Friday, May 15, 2020

| May 15, 2020

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.  The new episode titled, “Skating Away on the Thin Ice of a New Day!” looks back at this past week of May 11-15, 2020 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS;  Brian Kilmeade, talk show host, FOX News Channel / FOX News RadioIan Anderson, musician, Jethro Tull, UK; Ken Matthews, talk show host, WHP, Harrisburg, PA; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company. This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WRKO, Boston; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver “Freedom 93.7”; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY;  WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE,  Mankato, MN, the Virginia Talk Radio Network, Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA, Podcast Radio, UK and many more.  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.  “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

Round Four of April 2020 PPM Data Released. Ratings information from the fourth and final round of Nielsen Audio’s April 2020 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s April 2020 survey period covered March 26 – April 22. You can see all the weekly, 6+ AQH share numbers from subscribing stations here. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways for this group of markets and some movement of note among spoken-word stations includes: Waterloo Media Group’s news/talk KLBJ-AM, Austin adds 1.4 shares in April to finish with a 6.4 share good for the #3 rank in the market; Emmis Communications’ news/talk WIBC-FM, Indianapolis continues its upward trend with the addition of 1.5 shares to move into the #1 position with a 10.3 share; iHeartMedia’s news/talk WISN-AM, Milwaukee takes the #1 rank after adding a whopping 3.5 shares to leap from fourth to first with a 9.3 share while Good Karma Brands’ crosstown WTMJ adds six-tenths to finish at #3 on the strength of a 6.3 share; Cumulus Media’s Providence news/talker WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM shoots up 2.3 shares to a 6.1 share good for the #5 rank; and Cox Media Group’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville tacks 1.6 shares on in April to remain at #1 with a 13.4 share. You can check out all of Mike Kinosian’s Ratings Takeaways here.

Michael Medved Show and CRN Partner to Expand Distribution. A partnership between CRN Digital Talk Radio and Medved Communications includes the launch of “The Michael Medved Show” on CRN 1 from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET.  As part of the deal, CRN will distribute and provide marketing, ad sales, production, social media, and promotional support for Medved Communications. CRN Digital Talk Radio president and CEO Michael Horn says, “I am thrilled to help expand the Michael Medved show. Michael is one of radio’s best storytellers. He provides knowledge, a unique perspective, and truly entertains his listeners every single day.” CRN will distribute “The Michael Medved Show” and the “Medved Entertainment Minute” with Genesis Communications Network on their XDS Satellite.

Josh Innes to Join ‘ESPN 97.5’ Houston. The Houston Chronicle’s David Barron reports that sports talk personality Josh Innes is joining Gow Media’s KGOW-FM “ESPN 97.5” to host the 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm show, effective Monday (5/18). He’ll replace ESPN Radio’s Will Cain on the station’s program schedule. Innes has been hosting a podcast since he exited iHeartMedia’s crosstown sports talker KBME in March of 2019.

Adams Radio Group Transitioning Back to Offices. In all of the market in which Adams Radio Group operates, staffers are beginning to return to their offices and studios. Company CEO Ron Stone says employees have been working from home for the past nine weeks. He says, “Adams markets have begun the transition of returning to normal operations at our offices and studios. Each market is staging the return of employees in phases, beginning with on-air staff. We will have 100% of our employees back on all sites by July 15, which allows time needed for some employees that have requested additional time to transition. Our employees have done an incredible job keeping our stations live and local during this health scare. Listening to our stations, one would never have known our people were not in our studios. I can never say enough about our news staff and the incredible job they have done keeping our communities up to date with local information. We have amazing teams and I am extremely proud of every person on our staff. What radio has done all over the country over the past nine weeks certainly proves the value of live and local radio and why it is so important to every community.”

Health & Medicine Top News/Talk Story for Week of May 11-15. The medical aspects of COVID-19, including the drive to develop a vaccine, the push for more testing, and the treatment for infected patients combined for the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the statistics on confirmed COVID-19 cases, the death toll, and projections for future cases. Coming in at #3 was the economic repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic, followed by the debate over ‘lives vs livelihood’ and concern about the erosion of civil liberties 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 and you can see this week’s complete chart here.

NRG Media Omaha Offices Re-Opening with the Help of Plexiglass and Shower Curtains. Pictured above is Studio 1 at NRG Media Omaha as the company prepares to bring staffers back into the facility. As with many radio stations across the country, on-air personalities have been working remotely or in separate studios. The company says no studio was occupied with more than one on-air personality at any given time in an effort to keep everyone safe.  Now that some of the restrictions are being lifted, NRG Omaha is starting to bring back all on-air personalities and staffers. As you can see in the photo, they are using plexiglass and shower curtains to mitigate movement of airborne particles. General manager Mark Shecterle states, “COVID-19 has challenged every business and made us all stop and think about how we operate. My number one priority during these challenging times has been and will continue to be keeping all of our employees safe. Therefore, we had to get creative and shower curtains are a perfect and safe barrier for our talent, sellers, and employees who share an office. Moreover, during the holidays we can have some fun with it. My promotions department already ordered a Freddy Krueger one for Halloween.” KOZN-AM “1620 The ZONE” personality Damon Benning commens, “I am so ready to get back into the building and work alongside my co-host Mike’l Severe even though there will be a clear shower curtain between us. We have not missed a beat, but nothing beats being in the same studio with your producer and co-host. I’m ready.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The nationally syndicated “Nights with Elaina” program will feature special guest hosts all next week (5/18-22). The ladies are taking over Westwood One Nashville’s “Nights with Elaina” as Gabby Barrett, Ingrid Andress, Ashley McBryde, Carly Pearce, and Lindsay Ell will each guest host an evening from home and provide their fans an update on what they’ve been doing during quarantine. Host Elaina Smith says, “Spending time away from listeners is always difficult, especially in these times. But I am so thrilled that these strong, powerful, talented women will be keeping everyone company while I’m gone! I know they’re gonna crush it and continue spreading positivity all throughout the country! Lord knows we need it.”

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

| April 21, 2020

KID-AM, Idaho Falls Morning Hosts Resign Over COVID-19 Coverage Conflict with Station Owner. The morning drive duo of Neal Larson and Julie Mason resigned from their positions with Rich Broadcasting’s news/talk KID-AM, Idaho Falls yesterday (4/20) after deciding a directive from station owner Richard Mecham about their coverage of the coronavirus pandemic went against their principles.  The East Idaho News reports that at the heart of the disagreement was the duo’s disagreement with Idaho Governor Brad Little’s “stay at home” order.  While Larson and Mason tell the paper they didn’t suggest anyone to break the law, Mason says she told listeners they should “follow your heart and figure what’s right for you and your family because COVID-19 is really situational.”  Mecham tells the paper, “I was trying to understand why you would fly in the face of the governor’s order when so many other stations are doing things to support your clients and listeners.  This is the first time I’ve ever had a conversation with them about what they do and don’t cover.  I’ve always trusted Neal.  I’ve always supported them.  I’ve never critiqued the show, and I’ve always had their back.”

Entercom Adopts Limited Duration Shareholders Rights Plan.  The board of directors of Entercom Communications has voted to adopt a shareholder rights plan – also known as the “poison pill” – to prevent a takeover of the company without consent of the board.  The company explains the move in a press release, “The Board adopted the Plan at this time due to the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on equity market valuations which has led to substantial volatility in the trading of the Company’s stock and a dislocation in Entercom’s share price.  The Plan is similar to those adopted by other publicly held companies and is intended to promote the fair and equal treatment of all shareholders and ensure that the Board remains in the best position to uphold its fiduciary duties to the Company and its shareholders.  The Plan is designed to allow shareholders to realize the long-term value of their investment by guarding against opportunistic efforts to capitalize on recent macroeconomic conditions, including open market accumulations and other strategies, aimed at gaining control of the Company without paying all shareholders a full control premium for their shares.  The Plan provides for the issuance of one preferred stock purchase right for each share of Class A Common Stock and each share of Class B Common Stock held by shareholders of record on May 5, 2020, exercisable for Series A Preferred Stock and Series B Preferred Stock, respectively. Generally, the rights will become exercisable or exchangeable only if a person or group (with the exception of certain existing holders in certain circumstances) acquires 10% or more of the Company’s outstanding Class A Common Stock, or 15% in the case of certain passive investors (including shares synthetically owned pursuant to derivative positions or deemed owned due to specified actions in concert) or announces a tender offer and the consummation of that offer would result in ownership above such percentage-levels.  If the rights become exercisable, the rights will entitle its holder to purchase one one-thousandth of a share of the newly-created Series A and Series B Preferred Stock, as applicable, which, in each case, at the Board’s election, may be converted into shares of Class A and Class B Common Stock, respectively, of the Company.”  The Plan has a one-year duration, expiring April 20, 2021.

Cox Media Group: Local Media Outperforms During Pandemic. According to a study conducted by Cox Media Group, consumers are turning to local radio for information, entertainment, and companionship more than any other media source during the coronavirus pandemic.  The multi-market, online in a wide variety of demographics – ranging from 18 to 54 – and yielded more than 11,000 responses.  CMG says that the study found that one-third of participants are listening to radio more since the coronavirus outbreak.  Since the outbreak, 94% of participants indicated that they have tuned into local radio more than any other streaming service for music, talk, and information, demonstrating that as radio continues to evolve, ‘local’ ranks as one of the most important differentiators.  CMG Radio VP, audience and content Tim Clarke says, “Audience engagement is very strong by any metric you look at.  Listeners depend on our radio brands more than ever for a mix of news, entertainment and a friendly and familiar voice to keep them going during this uncertain time.  They are captive and immersed in our content on all platforms and our top personalities continue to deliver.”

Members of Congress Send President Trump Letter Requesting Aid for Local Media. The letter dated Monday (4/20) is written by Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Bill Flores (R-TX), Marc Veasey (D-TX), and Fred Upton (R-MI) and is signed by more than 240 Members of Congress.  It expresses the notion that people rely on local newspapers, TV, and radio for information and that those entities can’t survive without advertising.  The letter requests the following specific action: “We believe that Executive Branch agencies have a powerful opportunity to support local media and promote public awareness by directing that federal spending on advertising be prioritized for local media outlets.  Specifically, we encourage federal agencies to put into action today already funded campaigns to achieve certain public objectives as well as potential promotions of the economic stimulus programs provided for by the CARES Act and other recent legislation. We urge you to: 1) Direct your Cabinet secretaries to review any resources intended to be used for advertising campaigns and have them expedite such activities with local media outlets; 2) Direct federal agency advertising dollars for existing and new federal programs where community outreach is needed for spending with local media, including those serving minority and rural communities; and 3) Incentivize a portion of stimulus funds provided to businesses for their recovery efforts for advertising on local media.”

Round Four of March PPMs Released. The fourth and final round of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s March 2020 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford.  Nielsen Audio’s March 2020 survey period covered February 27 through March 25.  The intense coronavirus news consumption since the pandemic was declared in mid-March has driven listening to all-news and news/talk radio stations.  Some of those seeing increased weekly, 6+ AQH shares during the March survey include: Emmis Communications’ news/talk WIBC-FM, Indianapolis “Indy’s Mobile News 93.1” adds eight-tenths to finish with an 8.8 share and the #2 rank in the market; in Milwaukee, iHeartMedia  news/talk WISN tacks on six-tenths for a 5.8 share and the #5 rank while Good Karma Brands’ WTMJ also rises six-tenths for a 5.7 share and the #6 rank; Cumulus Media’s WWTN-FM, Nashville “Super Talk 99.7” is up six-tenths to a 5.3 share and the #6 rank; Cox Media Group’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville rises 1.4 shares for an 11.8 finish and the #1 rank; and Entercom’s WTIC-AM, Hartford shoots up a full share to wrap March with a 7.2 share and the #4 rank in the market.  You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from all 48 PPM markets here.

TALKERS News Notes. Milwaukee sports talk outlet WAUK-AM is airing content from SiriusXM’s Doctor Radio channel instead of the ESPN Radio content it usually airs now and for the foreseeable future.  Good Karma Brands vice president and Milwaukee manager Steve Wexler states, “We can’t wait for live sports to resume and for the threat of the coronavirus to subside, but in the meantime, we believe the health and well-being of our community is the top priority, as well as delivering relevant information to our audience.”…..No medium does parody songs better than radio and one such example addressing the coronavirus pandemic comes from Bob Flaherty, morning drive personality at Saga Communications’ WHMP-AM, Northampton, Massachusetts.  Taking on the topic of “herd immunity,” the Flaherty Singers twist a Johnny Cash classic into a parody for our times.  Check it out here…..Cox Media Group’s Tampa Radio stations – including talk WPHT-FM “102.5 The Bone” and its four music brand sisters – raised close to $268,000 for the Metropolitan Ministries via its “Feed It Forward: A Virtual Food Drive” that took place last Thursday (4/16).  The donations will assist families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic…..Beasley Media Group Philadelphia stations, including sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” and its four music-formatted sisters have officially unveiled a line of ‘Philly Stands Together” merchandise to benefit the “PHL COVID-19 FUND.”  The PHL COVID-19 FUND is a joint venture between Philadelphia Foundation and The United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey designed to benefit organizations throughout Philadelphia and surrounding counties in PA and New Jersey to serve the region’s most vulnerable neighbors and to ensure critical resources remain accessible for those with the greatest need…..SiriusXM is presenting coverage of the 2020 NFL Draft that begins on Thursday (4/23).  The SiriusXM NFL Radio channel will carry the live announcements of every selection by every team.  The broadcast will feature Pro Football Hall of Fame member and legendary player personnel executive Gil Brandt; former NFL scout, coach and front-office executive Pat Kirwan; former veteran NFL quarterback Jim Miller; and lead host Jason Horowitz.  Former college coach Rick Neuheisel will join the broadcast team for the Friday and Saturday draft rounds.  All hosts will be broadcasting from their home studios.

COVID-19 Statistics and Projections, Trump vs Governors, ‘Stay at Home’ Protests, Relief Funds Controversy, Oil Prices Crash, GA TN and SC Plan Reopening, Kim Jong Un Status, and Tom Brady Cited in Tampa Park Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/20). The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. and the death toll, plus the projections for future cases and fatalities; the battle between President Trump and the governors of several states over authority to issue directives and the states’ needs for medical assistance; the protests against “stay at home” directives; the controversy over reports that large corporations are receiving relief funds designated for small businesses; the price of oil continues to crater in the absence of demand; Georgia, Tennessee, and South Carolina’s plans for re-opening immediately; questions about the health status of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un; and Tom Brady is cited for working out in a closed park in Tampa 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. After exiting iHeartMedia’s KWBL, Denver “106.7 The Bull” for a new opportunity, we learn that Brian “B Dub” Washington is taking on afternoon drive show host duties at Hubbard Radio’s KNUC, Seattle “98.9 The Bull.”  He says, “I’m beyond excited to get my family back home to the Northwest and join the team at ’98.9 The Bull’ and Hubbard Seattle.  Can’t wait to make some great radio with Fitz, Wingnut, and the rest of the crew at ‘The Bull,’ as well as work with Scott Mahalick again!  Amazing things to come!”…..Changes take place at Saga Communications’ country WCVL-FM, Charlottesville, Virginia as morning drive host Adam Rondeau and program director and PM drive personality Bryan Shine exit.  Operations manager Les Sinclair takes over station programming duties…..After being off the air since March 31 due to a case of COVID-19, iHeartMedia alternative KTBZ, Houston “94.5 The Buzz” evening jock Karah Leigh returns to the air.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

| January 28, 2020

Talk Radio Plays Role in Build-Up to Jersey Shore Trump Rally. Local talk radio has been front and center during the two days leading up to President Trump’s rally tonight (1/28) in Wildwood, New Jersey.  Pictured above is WNTP, Philadelphia “AM 990 The Answer” morning drive personality Chris Stigall – who broadcast his Tuesday morning show from Wildwood – posing for a selfie with some members of the large crowd gathered near the convention center hoping to get tickets to attend tonight’s event.  WPGG, Atlantic City morning drive host Harry Hurley hosted Lara Trump – wife of Eric Trump – on Monday’s program to talk about the president’s rally and the intense demand for tickets.  Hurley also had the opportunity to interview “Duke” – the man with the unique designation of being the first person in line at the convention center to get a ticket.  Hear that interview here.  WPHT, Philadelphia late morning talk host Dom Giordano says, “Due to Wildwood being a small resort town, this became Trumpstock.  This became a town taken over by Trump supporters.  On air, there was a feeling that this was a once-in-a-lifetime event that resulted in huge crowds in Wildwood.”

Senator Sherrod Brown Seeks Answers About iHeartMedia Layoffs. U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) penned a letter to iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman last week asking for information about the recent “employee dislocation.”  In the letter, Brown tells Pittman – after pointing to Pittman’s $9 million bonus in 2017 and $9.3 million incentive bonus in 2018 – “It is difficult enough to understand the decision to continue the hollowing out of local media outlets by laying off disc jockeys in smaller communities.  But it is particularly difficult to make sense of this decision given that it came after a significant increase in the company’s executive compensation over the last few years.”  Pittman is not bound by law to answer Brown’s questions, but TALKERS suspects he’ll do Brown the courtesy of a reply of some sort.  Here are the four questions he’d like answered by February 14:  1) How many workers were affected by iHeartMedia’s recent layoff announcement?  Of those workers, how many are in Ohio?  2) The company is reportedly giving severance to the affected workers.  Please provide details about the severance provided, including whether it includes severance pay and if so, how much and whether it includes health care benefits, and if so for how long.  3) Is the company giving affected workers priority consideration in the hiring process for any currently open positions in the company?  Is the company going to give affected workers priority consideration in the hiring process for any positions that become open in the future?  If so, for how long will affected workers be given hiring preference?  4) Is the company offering or paying for any training affected workers might seek to help them find new employment? If so, please provide details about the training offered or paid for, including the type of training, the length of time a worker can pursue such training, and, in the case of training paid for by iHeartMedia, the amount the company will pay for the worker to obtain such training.

FCC Close to Dismissing Renewal Applications for Entertainment Media Trust’s St. Louis Market Stations. An FCC administrative law judge is giving Entertainment Media Trust’s Dennis J. Watkins, trustee, until February 18 to comply with a request for information and an order to show cause why the applications for license renewal for four AM stations and an FM translator construction permit should not be dismissed for failure to prosecute.  In an Order to Show Cause, Judge Jane Hinckley Halprin outlines the numerous failures to comply with FCC requests on the part of Trustee Watkins – including not showing up for a December 5, 2019 prehearing conference.  This comes almost eight years after petitioner Mark Kern challenged the license renewals of KFTK-AM, East St. Louis; WQQW, Highland, Illinois; KZQZ, St. Louis; and KQQZ, DeSoto, Missouri alleging that Robert Romanik – a convicted felon – is illegally controlling the stations.  Kern alleges that Romanik – who operates the stations d/b/a Insane Broadcasting Company – helped fund the Trust’s acquisition of the stations although he’s not part of any FCC applications.  Romanik hosts a daily show on KQQZ from 10:00 am to 11:00 am.  The website says of his show, “‘The Grim Reaper of Radio’ is not politically correct or politically incorrect, he’s politically insane!!”

Round Four of Holiday PPMs Released. The fourth and final round of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2019 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford.  The survey period was December 5 through January 1.  Perhaps on the strength of the Green Bay Packers playoff run and the performance of the first-place Milwaukee Bucks, flagship WTMJ – owned by Good Karma Brands – adds two-tenths to its 6+ weekly AQH share for a 5.9 share and the #4 rank.  Cox Media Group’s news/talk WOKV-FM, Jacksonville halts a three-survey slide with a two-tenths increase to finish the Holiday survey at an 8.3 share and the #2 rank.  See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways here.

Impeachment/Bolton Manuscript, Presidential Race, Pompeo-NPR Spat, Coronavirus, Kobe Bryant Death, SCOTUS Immigration Ruling, and Grammy Awards/Race Relations Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/27). The impeachment trial of President Donald Trump and the manuscript penned by former national security adviser John Bolton; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in November; Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s anger with NPR over Ukraine line of questioning; concerns over the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus; the death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant and eight others in a helicopter crash; the Supreme Court overrules a lower court’s stay on the Trump Administration’s “public charge” rule for low income immigrants; and Sunday’s Grammy Awards and allegations of bias against black artists 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. On-air pro Jayn is promoted to the role of music supervisor for Entercom’s hot AC KLLC “Alice @ 97.3” and alternative KITS “ALT 105.3.”  She continues as afternoon drive personality and APD for KLLC.  Entercom San Francisco SVP and market manager Greg Nemitz says, “Besides being the musical muse behind ‘Alice’ for the past 16 years, Jayn has been an integral part of the ‘ALT 105.3’ music team alongside APD and music director Aaron Axelsen.  Jayn and Aaron together are an unstoppable force and will continue to make these two stations leaders in this market.”  Jayn joined “Alice @ 97.3” in 2004 as assistant program director and music director.  She expanded her role to midday host in 2006 before transitioning to afternoon drive in 2014…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One announces six new affiliate stations for the nationally syndicated urban AC show “Rick and Sasha.”  They include: WGNU-AM/FM, St. Louis; WMXU-FM, Columbus/Starkville, Mississippi; WKZJ-FM, Columbus, Georgia; KVMA-FM, Shreveport; WQVE-FM, Albany, Georgia; and WBXB-FM, Edenton, North Carolina…..On-air pro Kathy Vogel is moving from Rubber City Radio’s classic rock WONE-FM, Akron where she hosted middays to the company’s new adult contemporary WNWV, Cleveland “107.3 JenY FM” as morning drive personality…..Air personality Tim Burger announces via a Facebook post that he’s exited SummitMedia’s country KFDI-FM, Wichita after three years as part of the morning show.  He says, “I am so grateful I was able to be part of a heritage radio station that the people in Wichita have turned to for over 50 years.”…..In the Scranton/Wilkes Barre market, Mark Hoover is promoted to program director for Shamrock Communications’ classic rock WEZX “Rock 107.”  Hoover has been serving as afternoon host and promotions coordinator.  He’ll continue to handle the afternoon shift and manage the promotions department.

Friday, November 1, 2019

| November 1, 2019

Round Four of October PPM Ratings Released. The fourth of four rounds of October 2019 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. The October 2019 rating period covered September 12 to October 9.  Some 6+ ratings gains of note for news/talk stations during the October survey include: Sinclair Telecable’s KLBJ-AM, Austin rises 0.7 to a 5.0 share and the #6 ranking in the market; iHeartMedia’s WTKK-FM, Raleigh continues its three-month upward trend with a 0.6 increase for a 6.0 share and the #6 rank in the market; Good Karma Brands’ WTMJ, Milwaukee puts up a 0.9 to rise to an 8.4 share and the #1 rank in the market; Cumulus Media’s WWTN-FM, Nashville adds to recent increases with a 0.5 hike for a 4.2 share and the #12 rank; and iHeartMedia’s WJNO, West Palm Beach adds 0.3 tenths to its six consecutive sweeps without a loss to stand at a 4.0 share and is tied at #5 in the market.  TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian, as he does each month, presents his “Takeaways” from the performances of each market’s spoken-word and music stations.  See his “Takeaways” from this first round here.  You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

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 (11/1).  The new episode titled, “A House Divided!,” looks back at this past week of October 28 – November 1, 2019 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, Talkers Magazine; Chip Franklin, talk show host, KGO, San Francisco; John Fredericks, talk show host, John Fredericks Radio Network; Ethan Bearman, political analyst, FOX News Channel; Jim Blasingame, talk show host, “Small Business Advocate”; and Steve Weisman, professor of law, Bentley University, Boston/webmaster, Scamicide.com.  This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs on WONK-FM on Friday afternoons between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm as well as other stations around the country including KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; and KBKW, Aberdeen, WA as a special week-in-review and during the weekend on the Virginia Talk Radio Network as well as Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA and 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.

Rush Limbaugh Honored with Buckley Prize. Talk radio legend Rush Limbaugh is pictured above at The Breakers in Palm Beach last night (10/30) at the National Review Institute’s sixth annual William F. Buckley Jr. Prize Dinner where the Premiere Networks-syndicated star was honored with the Buckley Prize for Leadership in Political Thought.  The honor was bestowed upon Limbaugh for his “exceptional success articulating and popularizing conservatism to millions of Americans through his acclaimed talk show.”  Limbaugh accepted the award saying, “This is as meaningful as any award I could have…to be mentioned in the same sentence as that award and to have the National Review acknowledge me this way, it’s a big deal to me and I appreciate it.”  Photo: Lila Photo

Jason Myrtetus Ousted from Beasley’s WPEN, Philadelphia. Sports talk host Jason Myrtetus tweets that he’s been let go from Beasley Media Group’s Philadelphia sports talk WPEN “97.5 The Fanatic” where he co-hosted the midday show with Anthony Gargano.  He says, “Today was my last show on 97.5 The Fanatic.  I was laid off after the show today.  The company decided to eliminate a lot of positions, including mine.  I spent 7 years with The Fanatic and worked with a lot of great people.”  Anthony Gargano will continue to host the midday show solo.

Impeachment Process and Ukraine Scandal Top News/Talk Story for Week of October 28-November 1. The impeachment process being moved forward by House Democrats and the related issue of a possible quid pro quo request of the Ukraine by President Trump was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was a tie between the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi and the aftermath of the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria.  Coming in at #3 was the 2020 presidential race, followed by the California wildfires and climate change tied at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

TALKERS News Notes. On Tuesday (11/5), SiriusXM is presenting a special Town Hall event featuring an in-depth conversation about race in America, hosted by SiriusXM Urban View’s Karen Hunter.  Topics will include the wealth gap between African-Americans and Caucasians and The New York Times’ 1619 Project – the initiative that explores the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery and its ongoing impact on our society.  The special will be recorded before an audience at SiriusXM’s New York City headquarters and Hunter will be joined  by Teri Williams, president and COO of OneUnited, the largest Black-owned bank in America; Nikole Hannah-Jones, a New York Times reporter and creator of The 1619 Project; and Pulitzer Prize- and Emmy Award-winning journalist Trymaine Lee.  The special will then premiere on Urban View on Thursday (11/7) at 5:00 pm ET.…..College basketball coaching legend Mike Krzyzewski signs a multi-year extension to continue hosting his exclusive show, “Basketball and Beyond with Coach K,” on SiriusXM.  The Duke University Blue Devils coach begins his 15th season hosting the show this week with six-time All-Star and 2007 Cy Young Award-winning pitcher CC Sabathia and Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett as guests.  The program airs live each Thursday at 6:00 pm ET on both the ESPNU Radio and SiriusXM ACC Radio channels…..Public media journalist and former national host of the weekend edition of “All Things Considered” on NPR, Arun Rath, is named the new executive editor/host of “All Things Considered” at WGBH, Boston.  Rath assumes the role permanently after serving as interim host of the program since July.  Phil Redo is general manager for radio and local news at WGBH and he says, “‘All Things Considered’ is one of the most important programs in the WGBH Radio lineup, offering listeners the opportunity for deeper understanding of stories that may have developed during the day.  As an experienced reporter, a deft interviewer, and a natural radio host who knows how to pull listeners into important stories, Arun adds immense value to the program.  His perspective is shaped by a natural curiosity and an awareness of cultural issues, all of which will benefit the audience. We are excited to have him step into the role and look forward to all that he has to offer.”

Caroline Beasley Featured at Drive to Digital Event in London. Pictured above at the 2019 Drive to Digital Event at the British Library Conference Centre in London is Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley (center) with Xperi VP of radio Joe D’Angelo (left) and Digital Radio UK CEO Ford Ennals (right).  On Wednesday (10/30), Beasley was a featured speaker at the annual event for UK radio and the audio industry that brings together 250 executives from national and local broadcasters, device and car manufacturers, retailers and the supply chain, the UK government, and regulators.  Beasley shared her insight on radio in the United States as well as new digital capabilities and innovation impacting the industry, including QUU ad sync technology.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Amanda McGraw is named program director at iHeartMedia’s country KHGE, Fresno “102.7 The Wolf” and country KOSO, Modesto “92.9 The Big Dog.”  She was most recently serving with the company’s Sacramento cluster as assistant program director for country KYRV-HD2/K296GB “107.1 The Bull” and adult contemporary KBEB “92.5 The Breeze.”  iHeartMedia Fresno market manager Steve Darnell says, “We’re very fortunate to have Amanda join our team.  She’s a motivated and skilled programmer and will help elevate our iHeartCountry brands.”…..Alpha Media Portland announces that staffer Amanda “Ice” Habrowski is named the 2019 MIW GroupNielsen Music programming mentee.  “Ice” is the assistant program director, music director, and midday host of CHR KBFF “Live 95.5.”  The one-year mentorship matches a female programming candidate with key leaders from both the MIW Radio Group and Nielsen Music aimed at sharpening the programming and professional skills needed to further their career in music-formatted radio.  The program encourages hands-on mentorship through conversations and shared insights from some of the most accomplished professionals in the field.  “Ice” says, “What an honor!  I am so excited to learn and grow alongside some of the most influential and inspiring women in our industry.  I cannot thank the MIW Group and Nielsen enough for this incredible opportunity and you better believe I’ll be taking full advantage of this mentorship program.  Chicks rule!”

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

| May 14, 2019

Round One of April PPMs Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio have been released for 12 markets, including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex (New Jersey). You can see all the 6+, weekly AQH share data from subscribing stations here. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian will present his “Twelve Takeaways” from this first round of ratings information in tomorrow’s edition of TALKERS magazine online.

Post: Francesa Takes First Month of Spring Ratings.  The New York Post continues its reporting on the sports talk radio war in the Big Apple, today writing that WFAN afternoon drive personality Mike Francesa beat WEPN PM driver Michael Kay in the Men 25-54 demographic with a 7.0 share to Kay’s 6.1 share, according to Nielsen Audio’s April PPM survey.   If you recall, there’s been disagreement between the two stations over whether WFAN should include its stream audience since it sells streaming ads separately.  WEPN – which airs the same ads on air and online – made noise about Michael Kay’s strong performance in the Winter book (Jan., Feb., and March PPM surveys) and arguments ensued about whether he could really claim victory.

Neal Bird Joins Sun & Fun and Key Networks. Affiliate sales pro Neal Bird is named senior account executive for Sun & Fun Media and Key Networks.  Bird spent the last 11 years with Westwood One, the last five years as VP of affiliate sales for music & entertainment and backstage events.  Bird’s joining the companies comes just a few weeks after Key Networks’ April 29 launch of the new, 15-minute daily radio program, “The O’Reilly Update,” starring Bill O’Reilly.  Sun & Fun and Key Networks chief revenue officer Dennis Green comments, “I’ve had the pleasure of working with Neal and am delighted to welcome him to the Sun & Fun Media team and Key Networks.  Neal has strong relationships throughout the radio industry and is known as someone who gets the job done and delivers for his clients.  He will be an integral part of growing our core business while helping chart a course in building our new syndication division at Key Networks.”  Bird adds, “It’s an exciting time at Sun & Fun Media as its core business is as strong as ever and now, with the launch of Key Networks and ‘The O’Reilly Update,’ the future is even brighter.  With that, I’m thrilled to be joining the great team that Rob, Roger, and Dennis have assembled and I look forward to working with our valued partners and in growing the business.”

Radio One Returns WDBZ, Cincinnati to Urban News/Talk. The Cincinnati Enquirer is reporting on the move by Radio One to reverse the 2016 decision to flip urban news/talk WDBZ-AM/W268CM, Cincinnati to rhythmic oldies as “Soul 101.5.”  The station returned to its previous “The Buzz” brand with a new program lineup.  Remaining with the station is late morning talk host Lincoln Ware (his was the only talk show to survive the previous format change and remain on air in the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon slot). Emanuel Livingston hosts 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm, and former Cincinnati Mayor Dwight Tillery begins hosting the 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm show, effective June 3.  The Tom Joyner Show remains in AM drive and the station carries “Keepin’ It Real” with Al Sharpton.  Radio One Cincinnati vice president and general manager Mitch Galvin tells the paper, “With the climate of Cincinnati and the United States right now, there is more of a need for talk and the voice of the inner city to have an outlet, and that’s what we wanted to accomplish by bringing it back.”  Lincoln Ware is quoted saying, “This 2020 election is going to be like none you’ve seen before.  There are too many right-wing stations out there and we’ve got to balance it out.  ‘The Buzz’ will add a little weight toward that balance.”

Full Power Radio Launches ‘Trump 103.3 WDRC’ to Promote FM Translator and New Program Lineup. The trio of Connecticut talk stations – WDRC-AM, Hartford; WMMW-AM, Meriden; and WSNG-AM, Torrington – gets an FM partner as Full Power Radio fires up translator W277DT at 103.3 FM and temporarily re-brands as “Trump 103.3 WDRC.”  A press release from Full Power says the station is airing promos that call for the firing of Governor Ned Lamont and demand “No New Tolls or Taxes for Connecticut.”  Owner John Fuller says, “There is a real hunger for the truth and ‘Trump 103.3’ will report and uncover statewide waste and corruption that conventional media are afraid to touch.”  The program lineup includes: “Brad Davis and Friends” in morning drive, Salem Radio Network’s Mike Gallagher in late mornings, and local host Lee Elci shares the noon hour with Bill O’Reilly’s “The O’Reilly Update.”  Afternoons include Radio America’s Dana Loesch and Westwood One’s Michael Savage and Ben ShapiroWayne Allyn Root is heard in the evening daypart. After a period, the station will return to its “The Talk of Connecticut” brand.

Progressive Talk Radio Returns to Madison on FM. Madison-area signal WTTN-AM, Columbus added an FM translator at 92.7 on Saturday (5/11) that brings progressive talk back to Madison on the FM band.  The last time the format aired in the market on FM was on iHeartMedia’s WXXM “The Mic 92.1.”  But iHeartMedia flipped that station to classic hits in 2016.  Mike Crute’s “Resistance Radio” format is airing on the signals, as well as on the signal he purchased from Good Karma in 2017, WRRD-AM, Waukesha, Wisconsin in the Milwaukee market.  Crute co-hosts the daily “The Devil’s Advocates” program that airs in afternoon drive.  The stations also air WYD Media’s “Thom Hartmann Program” and “Stephanie Miller Show” as well as local personalities Earle Ingram Jr., and Bryan Kelly.

Good Karma Re-Aligns Sports Programming on Milwaukee Stations.  A couple of new, local shows will begin airing on Good Karma Brands’ Milwaukee sports talk stations and that will have an effect on sister news/talk outlet WTMJ.  Good Karma operates WKTI-FM and WAUK-AM as “ESPN Milwaukee.”  Beginning June 4, WAUK-AM will carry the entire ESPN Radio lineup except for the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm daypart in which Doug Russell will host “ESPN Milwaukee Podcenter.”  As for WKTI-FM, the station will debut “Gabe & Chewy,” airing from 7:00 am to 9:00 am and co-hosted by Gabe Netzel and former Green Bay Packers tight end Mark Chmura.  Also, former Marquette University basketball star Tony Smith partners with Bryan Dee for the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm program.  Greg Matzek moves over from WTMJ to host a daily noon hour program and Doug Russell hosts a nightly 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm program.  Good Karma Brands vice president and market manager Steve Wexler says moving some of the sports talk from WTMJ will allow for new, non-sports programming in evenings when there are no Milwaukee Brewers or Milwaukee Bucks games on WTMJ.  He says, “We will be adding local talk content to WTMJ in the evening that will feature new voices and perspectives.  We’re on the lookout for additional local, compelling, and entertaining personalities to add to WTMJ.”

U.S.-China Trade War, Mueller Testimony, ‘Heartbeat’ Abortion Laws, 2020 Presidential Politics, U.S.-Iran Tensions, Immigration Policy, and NBA/NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/13). The financial markets’ reactions to the U.S.-China tariff war; the possibility that special counsel Robert Mueller testifies before congress; the passing of “heartbeat” laws restricting abortion in several states and a possible challenge to Roe v Wade; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the saber-rattling between the U.S. and Iran; U.S. policy regarding migration at the Southern border; and NBA and NHL playoff action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. Best-selling author, keynote speaker, and entrepreneur Heather Monahan joins PodcastOne with her debut podcast, “Creating Confidence.”  In this series, Monahan shares the techniques and strategies to create your confidence, pursue your dreams and leapfrog the villains that get in the way.  The debut episode features top-ranked podcaster, Gary Vaynerchuk…..iHeartRadio announces that its podcast “Stuff You Missed in History Class” posted its first branded episode in partnership with Warner Bros Pictures. The episode delves into the historical perspective of the Godzilla legend, exploring how this iconic story came about during WWII and subsequently gained mainstream attention…..WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley is filling in for nationally syndicated talk radio host Tom Shillue on FOX News Radio’s 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET program today (5/14).

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The new on-air lineup at Entercom’s Atlanta CHR WSTR “Star 94.1” is officially revealed after last week’s changes that saw Jeff Dauler, Mike Marino, and Heather Branch exit the station.  The station adds personalities Mark Owens and Curtis Slade as co-hosts of the morning drive “Jenn & Friends” show with host Jenn Hobby.  In addition to contributing to the morning show, Amanda Kelly is promoted to midday host.  Finally, Kannon takes over the afternoon drive program.  Mark Owens served for the last six years as a producer at sister sports talker WZGC-FM “92.9 The Game.”  Curtis Slade began his career as an interior design consultant and then went on to host a weekly segment on WWXM-FM, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  Jeannine Riley is producing the morning show…..Cumulus Media promotes three at its Worcester, Massachusetts cluster.  Classic hits WWFX “100 FM The Pike” program director Chuck Perk adds operations manager duties for classic country WORC-FM “98.9 FM NASH Icon.”  Keith Stephens is named program director for WORC-FM, and Matt Henry is upped to promotions director for AC WXLO, WWFX and WORC-FM…..Programming pro Tom Ferguson is appointed program director for Times-Shamrock Communications-owned alternative WFUZ, Wilkes Barre-Scranton “ALT 92.1.”  Ferguson programmed WFUZ from 2013 through 2017 and had most recently been hosting afternoon drive at Entercom’s crosstown classic hits WMQX “Max 102.3.”…..Jodi Vale exits Connoisseur Media’s adult contemporary WKJY, Hempstead, New York “K98.3” in order to finish her master’s degree in communications.

Monday, May 6, 2019

| May 6, 2019

Cumulus Media Names Brian Philips EVP of Content and Audience; Mike McVay to Return to Consulting. Effective today, radio and television executive Brian Philips is being appointed executive vice president, content and audience for Cumulus Media, taking over for Michael McVay, who is returning to full-time consulting, with Cumulus as his first client.  Philips previously served as president of Viacom/MTV Network’s CMT channel.  The press release notes that there, Philips led “the music network’s successful forays into long-form script series, tentpole awards shows, concert specials, and feature films.  He also developed CMT’s successful national radio network.”  Prior to working in TV and film, Philips worked in radio programming with such stations as Cumulus’ WNNX-FM and WWWQ-FM in Atlanta, and KPLX-FM, Dallas.  Cumulus Media CEO Mary Berner says, “We are excited that Brian is joining our leadership team.  A highly accomplished executive, leader, and innovator with substantial experience across today’s media landscape, he comes to us with an impressive and successful track record of growing ratings and expanding audiences.  We look forward to benefiting from the skills and expertise he brings to his new role. I would also like to thank Mike for his significant contributions to Cumulus and for being such a great partner to me.”  McVay underscores that the decision to leave Cumulus and return to consulting was entirely his.  In praising McVay, Berner adds, “Mike’s accomplishments since his appointment as EVP, content and programming in 2015 are too numerous to count.  To name just a few, under Mike’s leadership of the office of programming, we reversed four years of ratings share declines, and saw years of ratings share growth.  We are currently posting the best ratings since 2011 on some of our biggest and most important stations.  Mike has helped to expand Westwood One’s programming, participating in the launch of several new shows, including the very successful ‘The Ben Shapiro Show.’  Mike has also led us in increasing our reach beyond over the air listening to include smart speakers and all online listening.”

Monday Memo: Show Me Your Show. On smart talk stations, weekends are appointment listening and might be the two most profitable days of the week, “NOT incompatible goals” according to consultant Holland Cooke.  “Yet,” he notes, “programming Saturdays and Sundays can be high-maintenance for stations, and getting airtime is challenging for talent.” In this week’s Monday Memo, HC recommends a win-win road map to weekend airtime.  Read it here.

Simonson Named Director of Sales at Hubbard Radio West Palm Beach. Radio sales pro Gregory Simonson is appointed director of sales for Hubbard Radio’s recently acquired West Palm Beach station group that includes news/talk WFTL, Fort Lauderdale and sports talk WMEN, Royal Palm Beach “640 The Hurricane,” and four music-formatted stations.  Simonson was most recently general sales manager with Beasley Media Group’s Fayetteville, North Carolina cluster.  Hubbard Radio SVP and market manager Elizabeth Hamma states, “I’m very happy to welcome Gregory to the Hubbard Radio West Palm Beach family.  His extensive track record of success in traditional and digital media as well as his passion for helping sales people succeed make Gregory a perfect choice to lead our sales team to new heights.”  Last fall, Hubbard agreed to acquire the cluster from Alpha Media for $88 million.

‘Our American Stories’ Passes 180-Affiliate Mark. The nationally syndicated “Our American Stories” program from American Private Radio announces the addition of eight new affiliate stations to the program’s roster, putting over the 180-station mark. APR president and show host Lee Habeeb says, “Stations told us they wanted a radio program that wasn’t always about politics, to give listeners a break from the news cycle.  More importantly, they love the topics we share every night, and we take great pride in putting stories together that touch our listeners’ hearts and minds.  People walk away feeling better when they listen to ‘Our American Stories.’”  New stations include Entercom’s news/talk WCCO-AM, Minneapolis-St. Paul.

TALKERS News Notes. A new podcast is being launched starring iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman, titled, “Math & Magic: Stories From the Frontiers of Marketing,” on the iHeartPodcast Network beginning on May 14.  The program will feature interviews with “visionary executives from the media and entertainment industries.”  In the first two episodes. Pittman talks with Maurice Levy, who, during his tenure as CEO of Publicis Groupe, increased the value of the company by 100 times and expanded a French agency into a true global advertising and communications leader; and Scooter Braun, renowned talent entrepreneur, investor and entertainment executive who boosted the careers of international superstars such as Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, and many others…..Boston Herald-based nationally syndicated columnist and Boston Herald Radio show host Adriana Cohen recently hosted President Trump on her weekly program. Cohen tells TALKERS that the almost-20-minute interview went viral after being picked up by Politico, Boston Globe, Newsweek, Fox News, The Blaze, The Hill, and others…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that staffers at Entercom’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM are getting some backing from fellow union members as they negotiate with the company for raises for the newsroom’s eight assistant producers.  The Writers Guild of America will rally outside the WBBM studios in the Prudential Building today (5/6)…..Washington University in St. Louis is awarding seven people with honorary degrees at a ceremony during the school’s 2019 commencement on May 17 and one of those is SiriusXM Urban View talk host Joe Madison.  The commencement address will be delivered by Michael Bloomberg.  Madison graduated from Washington University with a bachelor’s degree in 1971…..WTMJ, Milwaukee cleaned up at the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Awards Gala in Madison over the weekend.  The Good Karma Brands news/talk station won first place in 21 categories, including: News/Talk Large Market Station of the Year, Radio News Operation of the Year (Large Market); Social and Digital Operation of the Year (Large market); Best Newscast: Wisconsin’s Afternoon News; and more. Pictured below with the station’s awards are WTMJ staffers (from l-r): Nick Van Wagenen, Erik Bilstad, Jordan Gasiorowski, Steve Wexler, Steve Scaffidi, Jane Matenaer, Jay SorgiBrad Lane, Doug Russell, Melissa Barclay, and Mike Spaulding.

Mueller Report/Trump on Mueller Testimony, 2020 Presidential Politics, China Trade War Escalation, U.S.-Iran Tensions, North Korea Missile Test, Israel-Gaza Violence, ‘Game of Thrones,’ Avengers: Endgame, Kentucky Derby Disqualification, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The aftermath of the release of the Mueller Report and President Trump’s tweets saying Robert Mueller should not testify before congress; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; markets react as Trump threatens to ramp up U.S.-China trade war; U.S. carrier group heads to Iran in response to reports of Iranian threats to U.S. interests in the region; reaction to North Korea’s latest missile test; the rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza; Sunday’s episode of “Game of Thrones”; the Avengers: Endgame movie sets new record; the Kentucky Derby winner is disqualified; and the NBA playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

George Beasley Inducted into PA Radio Hall of Fame. Pictured above is Beasley Broadcast Group founder and chairman George Beasley at center with his wife Ann and surrounded by their family at the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters’ 2019 Gold Medal Awards Dinner yesterday (5/5) in Hershey where he was inducted into the PAB’s Hall of Fame.  Beasley was inducted with fellow honorees: comic and actor/director Bob Saget, Pittsburgh Steelers great and Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerome Bettis, and C-SPAN correspondent Steve Scully.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Los Angeles alternative rocker KROQ announces the debut of the afternoon drive “Stryker and Klein” program featuring Ted Stryker (left) and Kevin Klein (right).  Entercom Los Angeles SVP and market manager Jeff Federman says, “Pairing Stryker and Klein is something we could never have imagined just a few years ago.  Individually, they’ve both had tremendous success throughout their careers.  Adding great content to our afternoon programming is something that we’re very committed to and these guys do a fantastic job connecting the music to fun and interesting conversations.”  Stryker has been with the station since 1999.  Klein hosted mornings on the company’s KITS-FM, San Francisco “Live 105.” He was slated to be the morning host at sports talk KWFN, San Diego but the infamous Coronado Bridge social media post bit derailed his gig on that station…..The search is on for the new morning show at Entercom’s country WUSN, Chicago “US99” after Doug Stylz and Justin Roman exited the station on Friday (5/3).  The duo previously hosted the morning show at sister CHR WBBM-FM, “B96” before taking on the morning show role at “US99.”…..Premiere Networks-syndicated evening personality Delilah recently hosted the “Our Town, Our Heroes Celebration,” a local event recognizing listeners for their outstanding work in the Wilmington, Delaware area, produced by Beasley-owned affiliate WJBR, Wilmington “Mix 99.5.”  In addition to helping honor local citizen’s Delilah was surprised by WJBR as the station honored her for her philanthropic efforts with her non-profit foundation, Point Hope, that serves as a voice for forgotten children in the U.S. foster care system and in West Africa.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

| January 30, 2019

Brad Lane to Program WTMJ and WKTI/WAUK in Milwaukee.  Programming pro Brad Lane is named program director for Good Karma Brands’ news/talk WTMJ and sports talk duo WKTI-FM/WAUK-AM “ESPN 94.5” and “540 ESPN,” effective February 6.  He was most recently program director as Hubbard Radio’s sports talk KSTP-AM, Minneapolis.  Lane says, “This is a dream role to work with a legacy station like WTMJ and the powerful brand of ‘ESPN Milwaukee.’  I’m excited to work with the incredible team and resources available to make our content more engaging, relevant, and obtainable on all platforms, along with helping to cultivate and foster development of personalities on all our stations.  I’m enormously grateful to Craig Karmazin, [VP/GM] Steve Wexler, and all of Good Karma Brands for the chance to lead these content teams and join one of the most innovative companies in the country.”  Steve Wexler adds, “We are thrilled to welcome Brad to the Good Karma Brands family.  His leadership, vision and creativity will help us continue to grow our news, sports and event marketing brands in Wisconsin.”

FNR’s New Podcast: ‘The Candidates with Bret Baier.’ A new podcast series is debuting from FOX News Radio called “The Candidates with Bret Baier,” beginning February 12.  The weekly podcast will focus on the 2020 field of presidential candidates.  Each week, Baier will be joined by a rotating panel of experts who will discuss “the latest on each candidate, their motivation towards entering the race, their possible campaign strategy and potential path to victory.”

iHeartMedia Debuts New Afternoon Show at ‘The Game’ in Orlando. Sports talk outlet WYGM-AM/W245CL “FM 96.9 The Game” announced the launch of the new “In the Zone with Brandon Kravitz and The Shot Doctor” program to air in afternoon drive beginning on February 11.  The program will star Brandon Kravitz along with “The Shot Doctor” Austin Pistulka who serves as the executive producer.  iHeartMedia RVP of programming for iHeartMedia North Florida Rick Everett says, “We’re extremely excited about the new era of ‘FM 96.9 The Game.’  When you’re looking for the best live sports talk, this is the place to tune in.”  Kravitz says, “For the last several years, I’ve been honing my craft and working towards this goal.  I plan to bring a fresh approach to afternoon drive, while engaging with our interactive audience.  I cannot wait to link back up with The Shot Doctor – we have chemistry from two years of doing afternoon drive together in the past and I look forward to picking up where we left off and taking it to the next level.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Houston sports talker KFNC-FM “ESPN 97.5” gets some love from the Houston Press as the Best Radio Station in its Best of Houston 2019 feature.  The paper says of the Gow Media sports talk outlet: “After some rough patches, Gow has built a mini media empire in Houston that includes ‘ESPN 97.5,’ a station that not only has content from the biggest sports network on the planet, but has some of the most talented personalities in the city, including guys like Lance Zierlein and John Granato, still the best pairing of morning sports talk hosts in the city’s history, and Raheel Ramzanali and Del Olaleye, who managed to stick out the myriad number of changes at the various Gow stations over the years.”…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that longtime WGN-AM news anchor Judy Pielach – who recently left the station after taking a Tribune Broadcasting-offered buyout – was on the air with new WLS-AM morning personality Erich Mancow Muller yesterday (1/29) auditioning for a contributor role with the program.  Feder quotes Muller saying of Pielach’s performance, “I thought she was fantastic! A pro. Talent trumps all.”…..The Post and Courier is reporting that the South Carolina college sports-focused “SportsTalk” show with host Phil Kornblut is ending its run on the S.C. Radio Network because Learfield/IMG is shutting the network down, saying it has been “underperforming.”  Kornblut has hosted a sports talk show on the network since it launched 35 years ago.  The story indicated he is working to continue the show and for now it appears it’ll still air on Glory Communications’ WQXL-AM/W264DF “The Point” from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm nightly…..Back in the Windy City, William J. Kelly, host of the “Citizen Kelly Show,” announces his show will soon have an FM presence in the Chicagoland market.  His show is heard on WCGO, Evanston and he says it will “soon be heard on Pollack Broadcasting’s soon-to-be launched FM talk station, 95.9 FM.”…..Nationally syndicated talk radio host, author, and clinical psychologist Dr. Ellen Kenner – who calls herself a “romance guide” – is celebrating her 22nd anniversary as a talk radio host this weekend.  Dr. Kenner is also available for Valentine’s Day interviews…..Public media company KQED in San Francisco promotes Maria Miller to the position of chief administrative officer in which she’ll be responsible for “ensuring the efficient and effective performance of KQED by strategizing, developing, planning, and implementing effective operational and administrative functions.”  Since June 2016 she has been vice president, human resources & chief labor/employment council.

PPM Analysis: All-News. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on 6+ data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on the all-news format. The annual Holiday ratings period usually sees boosts for the music stations playing Christmas music and dips for spoken-word stations and that was the case for all-news as nine of the nation’s news stations declined (weekly 6+ AQH share). Comparing the Holiday 2017 data to Holiday 2018, it was a wash with half the stations improving and half declining. Entercom’s WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago and WWJ, Detroit, along with Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington all held onto their #2 ranking in their respective markets during the Holiday survey.  See the whole report here.

FOX News Channel Marks 17 Years as Top Cable Newser; ‘Hannity’ Most-Watched, Non-College Football Cable Program in January. According to data from Nielsen Media Research, FOX News Channel was the most-watched cable news network for the 17th year straight, besting its competition – CNN and MSNBC – in total viewers and the 25-54 demo.  January viewing figures indicated the prime time “Hannity” show with host Sean Hannity, was the most-watched, non-college football cable telecast during the month.  Hannity was the top cable news prime time show with total viewers of 3 million-plus and 538,000 viewers in the 25-54 demo.  For all of prime time, FNC averaged 2.2 million total viewers (beating MSNBC’s 1.97 million and CNN’s 1.2 million) and in the 25-54 demo averaged 382,000 (topping CNN’s 363,000 and MSNBC’s 349,000).  It’s worth noting, however, that FNC’s January 2019 total day rating of total viewers – 1.32 million – was down from January 2018 by 11%.  Primetime total viewers – 2.2 million – was also down 10%, year over year.  For both total day and primetime in January 2019, FNC’s 25-54 viewers were down 20% from last year.

iHeartMedia Announces Ohio Management Promotions. Two sales pros rise at iHeartMedia as Jeff Rovinsky is promoted from his vice president of sales position at iHeartMedia North Ohio to market president for the Akron and Canton markets.  At the same time, Matt Razzante is upped from his account executive position with the company’s Cleveland station group to general sales manager for the Akron, Canton, and Cleveland markets.  iHeartMedia North Ohio SVP of sales George Allen comments, “I could not be more excited for Jeff and Matt.  Jeff has a proven track record of success with iHeartMedia and he will excel as market president for Akron and Canton.  Matt has demonstrated tremendous leadership abilities and this elevated role is well earned. Congratulations to both of them.”

Border Wall Battle, Trump-Russia Investigation, North Korea-Iran Report, U.S.-China Trade War-Huawei Allegations, Brokaw ‘Hispanic Assimilation’ Controversy, Record Cold Hits Midwest, 2020 Presidential Candidates, the AOC Movement, Venezuela Unrest, and Super Bowl LIII Build-Up Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/29). The political battle over President Trump’s plan for a U.S.-Mexico border wall; the indictment of Trump adviser Roger Stone and the Robert Mueller-led Trump-Russia investigation; the U.S. military intelligence report indicating North Korea still has active nuclear weapons projects and that Iran is not trying to build a bomb; the U.S.-China trade war and the charges against Huawei and CEO Meng Wanzhou; the controversy over newsman Tom Brokaw’s statement that Hispanics in the U.S. should try harder to assimilate; the record cold hitting the U.S. Midwest today; the 2020 presidential candidates; the attention being paid to freshman Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez’s socialist policies; the political unrest in Venezuela; and the build-up to Super Bowl LIII 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. A third personality joins the Westwood One-syndicated Ty Bentli country morning show based at Cumulus Media’s NASH campus.  Tricia Jenkins will join Bentli and co-host Chuck Wicks in mid-February.  She was most recently the midday personality and music director at Entercom’s country KMNB, Minneapolis.  Late last year, Kelly Ford exited the formerly named “Ty, Kelly and Chuck” show and it was renamed the Ty Bentli show.  Ford is back in NYC as morning host on Cumulus’ WNSH “NASH FM 94.7.”  Speaking about Tricia Jenkins, Bentli says, “TJ is one of the most amazing women I know. Her value goes beyond the magic she will bring on-air with the Ty Bentli show – she’s hilariously honest, strategically focused, and innately curious about others.  Tricia Jenkins, welcome to the Music City!”…..Quad Cities morning duo “Dwyer & Michaels” – Greg Dwyer and Bill Michaels – re-sign with Townsquare Media’s classic rock WXLP “97X” to continue hosting their program through 2023…..The Envision Networks-syndicated program “The Country Oldies Show” is celebrating its 25th anniversary.  The program was launched by host Steve Warren in 1994 from studios in New York City.  Warren says, “I guess when we first started the show, the country music world had tilted toward all the ‘hot, young, new’ artists.  It was crazy.  Since I started in country radio very young, my career was parallel to many of the superstars of an earlier era. Now, every week, as I sit in our studio to produce the show, I feel like I’m in the company of old friends.”

Friday, November 9, 2018

| November 9, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

Midterm Elections Top News/Talk Story for Week of November 5-9.  The midterm elections and the battle for control of the House and Senate was the top story on news/talk this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the related status of the Mueller Trump-Russia investigation. Coming in at #3 was the revocation of CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s White House press credentials by President Trump, and the deadly California bar shootings at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday and Talkers.com. See this week’s entire chart here.

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

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

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

| October 30, 2018

Eric Brooks Exits WTMJ, Milwaukee to Join KCBS-AM, San Francisco. As Milwaukee heritage news/talk prepares to change hands from E.W. Scripps to Good Karma Brands on Thursday (along with sister soon-to-be-sports talk WKTI-FM), the station is bidding adieu to director of news and programming Eric Brooks as he joins Entercom’s all-news KCBS-AM, San Francisco as assistant news director.  General manager Tom Langmyer (who himself is leaving the duo when it changes hands on Thursday) says Brooks has “grown tremendously” during his eight years at WTMJ. “As director of news & programming at WTMJ, we’ve counted on his being dedicated and engaged every day on content – and he’s challenged our team to lead on topics, stories, events, and community service.”  Brooks comments, “For someone who has been a news/talk/sports broadcaster, this is a dream come true.  The Bay Area is one of the richest markets for spoken-word formats and I’m beyond humbled to join Jennifer Seelig and the talented team at KCBS.  My thanks to Steve Wexler, Tom Langmyer, and Scripps for the tremendous opportunity and trust in leading this great heritage brand over the past few years. Milwaukee is a very special place with very special people, many of whom are lifelong friends.” Brooks starts at KCBS-AM on November 12. Steve Wexler (taking over for Langmyer) has begun the recruiting process for a new programming leader for WTMJ.

WDEL, Wilmington Makes Programming Adjustments.  Program director Chris Carl announces a new programming lineup on Delmarva Broadcasting’s news/talk WDEL-AM/FM. The syndicated Clark Howard program now airs from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Following Howard is “Delaware’s Afternoon News,” hosted by Carl.  Allan Loudell moves to the late morning daypart hosting “Del-AWARE with Allan Loudell” from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.  Regarding the afternoon drive show, Carl says it will bring listeners “the latest news from Delaware and around the world, TrafficWatch on the 9s, the up-to-the-minute AccuWeather forecast, and sports with “Big” Don Voltz,” as well as “more reporting on health issues, the latest in technology, travel ideas and the award-winning daily commentary from Dave Ross.”  He says Loudell’s program “will focus on news and issues for the First State, but he’ll feature more in-depth coverage, with lengthier reports that allow for deeper digging by the WDEL News team.”

Rick Lewis Re-Ups with iHeartMedia Denver. Radio personality Rick Lewis re-ups with iHeartMedia on a new three-year deal to keep him there through the end of 2021.  Lewis hosts the morning drive show on classic rock KRFX “103.5 The Fox” and co-hosts the afternoon drive program with Dave Logan on sister news/talk KOA.  Additionally, Lewis works Denver Broncos games for flagship station KOA as color analyst.  Lewis says, “I feel very blessed and grateful to iHeartMedia and our market president Tim Hager for the opportunity to do what I love to do and that is make radio magic.  I am also very grateful to the fans that allow me into their homes, cars, and offices daily to be a part of their lives.  This is a performance-based business and without their support I wouldn’t be here.  As long as I stay healthy, continue to do good work and have fun, I’m not going anywhere.  The best is yet to come!”

WIP, Philadelphia Ends Wing Bowl Promotional Event. On this morning’s program on sports talk WIP, Philadelphia, Angelo Cataldi and Al Morganti announced that last February’s Wing Bowl – the 26th edition – was the last.  The station decided to end the mega-promotion that began in 1993.  Program director Spike Eskin explained to the WIP audience that the initial Wing Bowl –held the Friday before the Super Bowl – was borne of the frustration of the Philadelphia Eagles not getting to “the promised land” year after year.  With the Eagles championship last season, it seemed like the right time to go out.  The first Wing Bowl was held in a hotel lobby.  It rapidly grew into a huge event and was packing the Wells Fargo center in its final years.

KPCC, Pasadena Evacuated During Bomb Scare.  As reported by the Los Angeles Times, public radio news/talk KPCC, Pasadena was evacuated – as were nearby businesses – for a period on Monday evening (10/29) after authorities were called to investigate a suspicious device that were affixed to the undercarriage of a U-Haul truck.  The device did appear to actually have been an explosive one but was designed to look like a pipe bomb.  Police detonated the device and the explosion was described as not loud.  Authorities are continuing to investigate the incident.

Elvis Duran’s 4th Annual Art Carney Awards Honors Hollywood’s Great Character Actors. On Sunday evening (10/28), the “most recognizable faces in television and film” were at the 4th Annual Carney Awards, created by nationally syndicated radio host Elvis Duran, Elvis Duran Group CEO David Katz, and his brother Jim Katz and is dedicated to honoring Hollywood’s great character actors. This year’s class of inductees included: Joe Morton, Jessica WalterJoe Pantoliano, M. Emmet Walsh, James Cromwell, and Bruce Greenwood.  Actor Patton Oswalt served as this year’s host, while performers Donny Most (“Happy Days”) and his Orchestra and recording artist Lily Meola lent their musical talents to the ceremony.  Mike Farrell, Harrison FordMarilu Henner, Debbie Allen, Gregg Henry, and Stephen Tobolowsky served as presenters during the show that will be telecast on Tribune Broadcasting’s WPIX, New York on Saturday, November 24 at 8:00 pm ET.  Pictured above are (from l-r): David Katz, Morton, Greenwood, Walter, actor and voice-over artist Brian Carney, Cromwell, Walsh, and Jim Katz. (Photo: Brian Friedman)

‘Red Pilled America’ Podcast Launches on iHeartRadio. New to the iHeartRadio Original Podcast offerings is “Red Pilled America” – created by the husband-and-wife team of Patrick Courrielche (left) and Adryana Cortez (right).  The two, along with Premiere Networks, describe the new program as “a weekly storytelling series that promises only one thing – the truth.  Each episode will search for answers in the stories of forgotten men and women of America. Why is the middle class shrinking? What is causing the homeless crisis in Los Angeles? Is ‘fake news’ really a new phenomenon?”  Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott comments, “Patrick and Adryana are a powerful creative and investigative force.  With their background in journalism and marketing, they’ll expertly guide listeners through the tough questions and topics that Americans face every day in a crowded and often conflicting media landscape.  We’re confident ‘Red Pilled America’ will inform, entertain and enlighten audiences.”

Pittsburgh Synagogue Slayings, Mail Bombs Case, Midterm Elections, Migrant Caravan, Hillary Clinton 2020 Aspirations, Indonesian Jet Crash, NFL Action, and Boston Red Sox beat Los Angeles Dodgers in World Series Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/29). The deadly assault on a Pittsburgh synagogue that took the lives of 11; the case of mail bomber Cesar Sayoc; the November midterm elections and the battle for control of the House and Senate; the migrant caravan making its way through Mexico to the U.S. border; speculation about whether Hillary Clinton will run for president in 2020; the Lion Air flight 610 crash; the weekend’s NFL action; and the Boston Red Sox triumph over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World series were some of the stories discussed on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. After selling its television assets in 2017, Saga Communications said it will consider the acquisition of radio stations if they are seen as beneficial to the company and CEO Ed Christian likes the Ocala-Gainesville cluster owned by Ocala Broadcasting.  Saga is entering into an agreement to buy country WOGK-FM and the three-station “Wind FM” classic rock-formatted properties WNDT-FM, WNDD-FM, and WNDN-FM.  Christian is quoted saying, “A number of years ago we let the Dix family know that these stations would be a great fit for Saga.  It’s not often you get the opportunity to buy stations from the fifth generation of the founding family.  We see a lot of opportunity with these stations and these markets.  We are pleased that the family has decided to entrust Saga with continuing their long-standing heritage of serving the Gainesville-Ocala region with market leading WOGK “K-Country 93.7” and the WIND classic rock trimulcast.   Saga intends to continue building its business in radio by identifying and acquiring middle market stations in dynamic communities.”…..Rock WWSK, Smithtown, New York “94.3 The Shark” announces that Rob Rush is the new program director and morning personality Brian Orlando is taking on assistant program director duties.  Rush has been with the station since 2003, most recently as music director, a role he accepted in August of 2017.  Connoisseur Media SVP regional strategy and market manager for Long Island Jim Condron comments, “It is always a pleasure to be able to recognize and reward talents like Rob and Brian, both of these men live and breathe ‘The Shark.’ We are very fortunate to have two such talented individuals expanding their roles with us.”…..In New York City, Emmis Communications promotes Bethany Kent to director of marketing and events for the radio stations – rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97,” urban AC WBLS, and Gospel WLIB-AM – as well as serving as lead producer for live events including the Summer Jam and Circle of Sisters…..Envision Networks invites the industry to join a free webinar event called, “Music Research in the Age of Digital,” presented by RadioTraks president Hal Fish.  He says, “While the way we interact with radio listeners has drastically changed due to the evolution of digital platforms, our need for actionable data about their preferences has not, making it vitally important to use research strategies that keep pace with this evolution.”  The webinar takes place on November 8 at 1:00 pm ET.

October 2018 PPM Data – Round One. Information for the October 2018 ratings period has been released for New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen Audio’s October 2018 survey period covered September 13 – October 10. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below.

TAKEAWAYS

New York City

Spoken-Word Formats – After losing a collective eight-tenths in four downward moves in a row (2.5 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR bounces back with a cumulative +.6 in September and October (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.3, #19 to #16, 6+); “710 The Voice of New York” was up six-tenths in April. Its March gain of one-tenth ended five straight down or flat reports for a -.4 (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+). Steady at #23, Townsquare Media’s news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” records its sixth straight month without a loss (1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.4, 6+), while Cumulus Media news/talk WABC is unchanged in both 6+ AQH share (1.1) and 6+ AQH rank (#24). WABC had been without an increase for six consecutive sweeps for a collective loss of three-tenths before picking up two-tenths in September. Bouncing back from a loss of eight-tenths in September with an October increase of one-half share (3.9 – 4.4, 6+), Entercom sports talk WFAN “Sports Radio” jumps from #9 to a three-way tie at #6. The 4.7 logged by the flagship of the Yankees and New York Giants in May, July and August is its best 6+-showing since 5.2 in November 2017. Following three months in succession of posting a 1.4 (July – August – September, 6+), New York Jets flagship WEPN notches a 1.7 (6+) and remains at #21; “98.7 ESPN New York” was locked on 1.7 (6+) in May and June. A combined -2.0 in six consecutive sweeps without an increase (6.2 – 5.5 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+), Entercom all-news WINS picks up two-tenths to 4.4 (6+) and is part of the aforementioned three-way logjam with co-owned WFAN. Despite picking up one-tenth, co-owned/similarly-formatted WCBS-AM, which is trending 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 (6+), backslides from #13 to #14. In July, WCBS-AM ended three successive down or flat sweeps that accounted for a loss of eight-tenths (3.3 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.5, 6+). The rollercoaster ride continues for WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s news/talk WNYC-FM, which lost a cumulative seven-tenths in May, June, and July (3.4 – 3.0 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+); gained seven-tenths in August; surrendered six-tenths in September; and now recaptures six-tenths in October (2.8 – 3.4, #13 to #11, 6+). Returning the one-tenth it added in September, co-owned news/talk WNYC-AM (#27 to a four-way tie at #29) is back at .5 (6+); prior to September’s .6 (6+), WNYC-AM recorded a .5 (6+) three times in a row.

New York City Music Formats – Even though it surrenders in its entirety September’s increase of four-tenths (7.1 – 7.5 – 7.1, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” is #1 for the 15th successive sweep. An overall -1.6 through three setbacks in succession (8.5 – 7.7 – 7.3 – 6.9, 6+), WLTW was a combined +.6 in August and September (6.9 – 7.1 – 7.5, 6+). Prior to July, the last time “Lite FM” fell below a six-share (6+) was in October 2017 (6.6). A collective +7.1 in five consecutive gains (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.6 – 7.0 – 8.8 – 13.1, 6+), WLTW was -5.1 in January and February (13.1 – 8.5 – 8.0, 6+) but rebounded in March and April with a +.5 (8.0 – 8.4 – 8.5, 6+). Without a decrease for six straight months for an overall +.6 (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+), rhythmic CHR cluster-mate WKTU “103.5 The Beat of New York” forfeits four-tenths to 3.6 (eighth to tenth, 6+). One-tenth ahead of it is Emmis’ similarly-formatted WQHT “Hot 97 – #1 for Hip-Hop” (3.7, -.2, flat at #9, 6+), which had posted a 3.9 (6+) in four of the last five ratings periods (3.9 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+). After four straight modest gains for an overall boost of one-half share (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+), “Hot” dropped one-tenth in July. Continuing a down/up pattern that began in December 2017 (3.9 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 3.1, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1” drops from #11 to #13. The market’s (6+) hot AC share dwindles by three-tenths as Entercom’s WNEW “New 102.7” is flat at 2.8 (four-way tie at #13 to #15, 6+), while Cumulus Media-owned WPLJ “New York’s 95.5 PLJ” (-.3, #17 to #19) is trending 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.0 (May through October, 6+). After regaining the two-tenths it lost in August (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.8, 6+), Entercom alternative WNYL “Alt 92.3 New York’s New Alternative” sputters by seven-tenths to 2.1 (#13 to #18, 6+).

Los Angeles

Spoken-Word Formats – Without an increase for the fifth time in a row for a collective loss of seven-tenths (4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KFI “AM 640” slips from sixth to eighth. Stuck on 1.2 (6+) in August and September, Salem Media Group news/talk KRLA “AM 870 The Answer” is up one-tenth to 1.3 (6+), advancing from #27 to a four-way tie at #25. Erasing September’s -.2 with an October +.2 (1.1 – .9 – 1.1, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KEIB “AM 1150 The Patriot” moves from #32 to a three-way tie at #30. “The Patriot” was flat in May (.8 – .8, 6+) and then up one-tenth in June, July, and August (.8 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.1, 6+). Following four months in a row at .4 (6+), Cumulus Media-owned KABC “790 News-Talk-Evolved” is off one-tenth to .3 (#41 to #43, 6+). The flagship of the NL champion Los Angeles Dodgers – iHeartMedia-owned KLAC “AM 570 LA Sports” – has more than quadrupled its 6+ AQH through nine successive sweeps without a loss (.4 – .4 – .5 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.7, 6+), progressing from #27 to #24. Sunday night, the Dodgers lost the 2018 World Series to the Boston Red Sox in five games. KLAC has a four-tenths advantage over similarly-formatted KSPN “710 ESPN,” which is up four-tenths to 1.3 (#32 to #25), its best 6+-showing since November 2017 (1.3, as well). Prior to August’s loss of four-tenths, Los Angeles Rams AM flagship KSPN gained one-tenth in three straight sweeps (.9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.2, 6+). A collective -.4 in September and October (3.1 – 3.0 – 2.7, 6+), Entercom’s KNX “1070 News Radio” slips from #11 to #14; KNX was up four-tenths in August. Off six-tenths in April, the all-news outlet followed with an alternating 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.7 pattern (April – May – June – July, 6+). The eight most recent 6+ postings for Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” (#16 to #15) are an extremely steady 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.6.

Los Angeles Music Formats – Not only is KBIG off for the fourth sweep in a row for an overall loss of one full-share (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 4.8, 6+), “104.3 My-FM” drops to third, ending five straight months at #1. Furthermore, it is the first time the iHeartMedia hot AC is below a five-share (6+) since “Holiday” 2016’s 4.7. Supplanting KBIG at #1 is Entercom classic hits-oldies KRTH “K-Earth 101,” whose last six (6+) trends are: 5.0 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0. The last time a non-iHeartMedia-owned station was #1 in Los Angeles was November 2015 – and it was “K-Earth” with a 5.7 (6+). Sandwiched between KRTH and KBIG is iHeartMedia adult contemporary KOST “Coast 103.5” (4.6 – 4.7 – 4.9, third to second, 6+). Both of the market’s mainstream CHRs have modest October decreases: iHeartMedia’s KIIS “102.7 Kiss-FM” is off two-tenths in consecutive monthlies (4.6 – 4.4 – 4.2, fifth to fourth, 6+), while Entercom’s KAMP “97.1 Amp Radio” drops one-tenth (2.3 – 2.2, 6+) and departs the top twenty (#20 to #21). An overall -.7 in six consecutive down or flat trends (4.9 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+), “Kiss” picked up four-tenths in August. Meanwhile, “Amp,” which logged a 2.7 (6+) in May, June, and July before adding one-tenth to 2.8 (6+) in August – handed over one-half share in September. Off a combined nine-tenths in four declines in succession (3.2 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KYSR-FM “Alt 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative,” picks up one-tenth to 2.4 (6+), progressing from #20 to #18. One-tenth ahead of it is Entercom’s similarly-formatted KROQ, which is a combined -.4 in September and October (2.9 – 2.8 – 2.5, #14 to #16, 6+), after being +.7 in six straight up or flat trends (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+). KROQ is tied with Mt. Wilson FM Broadcasters’ KKGO, which is without a loss for the fifth straight time (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+) for a net gain of four-tenths; “Go Country 105” is within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 36th time in succession. Following five (slight) decreases in succession that led to an overall loss of eight-tenths (4.4 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+), Entercom adult hits KCBS-FM “92.3 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” picks up two-tenths (3.8, 6+), progressing from seventh to sixth. Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KLVE “107.5 K-Love” has the same August – September – October (6+) profile as “Jack” (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.8). Tied at #9 are Cumulus Media’s  KLOS “95.5 The Rock of Southern California,” which is up a combined half-share in three straight gains (2.5 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.0, 6+), and iHeartMedia-owned urban contemporary KRRL “Real 92.3,” which is +.4 in four successive up or flat trends (2.6 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.0, 6+). The June 2018 – September 2018 (6+) topline for KXOL was 2.0  – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.3, but “Mega 96.3” disappears from print in October.

Chicago

Spoken-Word Formats – Albeit flat at 2.8 (6+), Tribune Media news/talk WGN climbs from #16 to #15. The Chicago White Sox key station was down one-half share in August and then up three-tenths in September. Entering the August sweep, WGN posted three consecutive upticks for a combined full-share gain (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 3.0, 6+). Picking up two-tenths in May, it halted three successive decreases that accounted for a collective -1.3 (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.2 – 2.0, 6+). Flat at #22, Cumulus Media news/talk WLS-AM has a May through October topline trending of 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.5. Its +.2 in July ended four consecutive down or flat moves that accounted for a one-half share loss (2.0 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+). Immediately prior to that, WLS-AM registered seven straight up or flat ratings periods and was +.7 in that stretch (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+). Following a gain of eight-tenths in September, Entercom sports talk (and Chicago Cubs flagship) WSCR returns one-tenth (4.3 – 4.2, 6+) but carries on in sixth-place. Prior to September, “670 The Score” logged a fluctuation of one-tenth in each of the previous three months (3.6 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+). Up two-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4, 6+), ESPN-owned WMVP continues at #24. “ESPN Chicago 1000” had been without an increase for seven successive sweeps for an overall loss of six-tenths (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.0, 6+). Following six straight down or flat showings for a collective -.7 (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+), Entercom’s WBBM-AM is a collective +1.0 in September and October (4.6 – 4.8 – 5.6, 6+), as the key station of the Chicago Bears progresses from fourth to second; February’s 5.3 is its finest 6+-stat since March 2017’s 5.4. Chicago Public Media news/talk WBEZ is flat at 2.3 (6+) but advances from #20 to #19. Up one-tenth in September, WBEZ was a combined -.8 in four straight decreases (3.0 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+); it was an overall +.8 in March and April (2.2 – 2.5 – 3.0, 6+).

Chicago Music Formats – On the heels of regressing by eight-tenths in September, Hubbard-owned hot AC WTMX “101.9 The Mix” erases a bit more than half that deficit with a one-half share improvement to 4.6 (seventh to fifth, 6+). Entering the September sweep, Chicago’s “Mix” was no higher than 5.1 (6+) and no lower than 4.7 (6+) in each of the previous seven sweeps. In three consecutive upticks, Univision Radio regional Mexican WOJO “Que Buena 105.1” (unchanged at #3) is +1.3 (4.0 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 5.3, 6+). At #1 for the tenth month in a row, iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ “V-103 Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” repeats September’s 5.7, its lowest 6+-performance since “Holiday” 2017 (5.7, as well). WVAZ was up one-tenth in back-to-back ratings periods (5.9 – 6.0 – 6.1, May – June – July, 6+). Its gain of one-tenth in June halted four straight down or flat trends that produced a -.9 (6.8 – 6.6 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 5.9, 6+). Up or flat the past five months for a +.5 (2.6 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+), Hubbard adult contemporary WSHE surrenders the entire half-share increase (2.6, -.5, 6+), slipping from #13 to #16. Not only does iHeartMedia’s WLIT wipe out its combined -.6 in July and August (3.5 – 3.1 – 2.9, 6+) with a collective +.6 in September and October (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.5, 6+), “93.9 Lite FM” is back in the top ten (#12 to #9). On one hand, Venture Technologies Group adult contemporary WRME-LP is within 3.3 – 3.8 range (6+) for the ninth month in a row, but on the other, “FM 87.7 Me TV” loses four-tenths to 3.4 (6+) and departs the top ten (#8 to #11). Moreover, WRME-LP has its consecutive string of up or flat reports that netted one-half share end at three (3.3 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.8, 6+). Owing to a -.4 to 5.0 (second to fourth, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned WLS-FM “94.7 Chicago’s Classic Hits” has a similar fate, as it snaps at three a successive streak of improvements that generated a cumulative +1.2 (4.2 – 4.9 – 5.3 – 5.4, 6+). Before surrendering one-tenth in June, WLS-FM was an overall +1.6 in seven straight sweeps without a loss (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 4.3, 6+). Within 3.0 – 3.9 range for the 15th straight time, Entercom’s WUSN “US-99 Chicago’s Hottest Country” (flat at 3.7, 6+) bumps up from ninth to eighth. Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s WEBG “Big 95.5 – Chicago’s New Country” is an overall -.3 in September and October (1.8 – 1.6 – 1.5,  #23 to #22, 6+). For the fourth time in the last six sweeps, Entercom’s WBBM-FM “B-96 Chicago’s New Hit Music” (#19 to #18) logs a 2.4 (2.4 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+).

San Francisco

Spoken-Word Formats – A combined -1.0 in August and September (3.4 – 3.0- 2.4, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk KSFO recoups 70% of that loss with a +.7 to 3.1 (#15 to #11, 6+). Immediately prior to August, KSFO put together four successive increases for an overall +1.3 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.4, 6+). In an up/down sequence that began in July (1.7 – 2.1 – 1.8  – 2.2, 6+), cluster-mate KGO is an overall +.5 and reenters the top twenty (#22 to #17). August’s increase of four-tenths ended four successive down or flat trends that resulted in a -.3 (2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+). Immediately after dropping eight-tenths in September, co-owned KNBR “The Sports Leader” regresses by another four-tenths (2.9 – 2.5, #14 to #15, 6+). The key station of the San Francisco Giants and 49ers gained nine-tenths in April. A combined +.6 in three straight up or flat trends (1.5 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1, 6+), Entercom’s similarly-formatted KGMZ cracks the top twenty (#21 to #18); “95.7 The Game” was -1.1 in July (2.6 – 1.5, 6+). Before the June report, when it lost one-tenth, KGMZ was up or flat the previous nine ratings periods, nearly tripling (+1.7) its 6+-stat in that timeframe (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.7, 6+). All-news cluster-mate KCBS-AM (5.3 – 5.6, +.3, 6+) finishes in the runner-up slot for the ninth time in a row. Frozen on 5.4 (6+) in April and May, KCBS-AM was then stuck on 5.5 (6+) in June and July. It is 1.1 shares (6+) behind Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED (6.8 – 6.7, -.1, 6+), which is #1 for the ninth straight month. Its gain of four-tenths in September ended five downward trends in a row that accounted for a -2.5 (8.9 – 8.4 – 8.1 – 7.1 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). Having logged a one-half share five times in the previous seven monthlies (.5 – .5 – .6 – .4 – .5 – .5 – .5, 6+), San Francisco Unified School District’s KALW “91.7 Local Public Radio” is up one-tenth to .6 (#32 to #31, 6+).

San Francisco Music Formats – An increase of seven-tenths to 3.9 (6+) by Bonneville adult contemporary KOIT-FM wipes away its collective -.7 in four straight down or flat moves (3.9 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.2, 6+). Moreover, “96.5 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” vaults from tenth to fourth. In addition to being an overall +1.0 in five straight up or flat sweeps (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.3, 6+), Cumulus Media classic rocker KSAN “107.7 The Bone” cracks the top ten (#13 to #10). Prior to August, “The Bone” recorded a 6+-share between 2.0 – 2.9 in each of the previous 40 sweeps. Tacking on six-tenths to September’s +.4 (1.7 – 2.1 – 2.7, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican KRZZ “93.3 La Raza” jumps from #19 to #14. Within 3.0 – 3.2 range (6+) in each of the last four sweeps (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “Amor 100.3” sputters by eight-tenths to 2.3 (#12 to #16, 6+). A decrease of six-tenths (3.7 – 3.1, 6+) takes mainstream CHR KMVQ “Now 99.7 – New Hit Music” to its lowest 6+-showing since December 2017 (3.1, as well) and out of the top ten (#6 to #11). Without a loss the past four months for a +.5 (3.3 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8, 6+), Entercom-owned hot AC KLLC surrenders four-tenths to 3.4 (6+) and drifts from fourth to ninth. Prior to June’s increase, “Alice @ 97.3” was off eight-tenths via four successive declines (4.1 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+). After being an overall +.6 as the result of four straight up or flat trends (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KISQ was down four-tenths in three modest dips in succession (5.0 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+). In October, “98.1 The Breeze” adds one-tenth to 4.7 (6+) and continues at #3.

Dallas

Spoken-Word Formats – Doubling September’s gain of two-tenths with a +.4 (2.2 – 2.4 – 2.8, 6+),Cumulus Media’s WBAP pushes up from #19 to #15. Immediately in advance of the September sweep, “News Talk 820” posted a 2.2 (6+) in three of the previous five sweeps (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+). While level with September’s .9 (6+), Salem Media Group-owned KSKY “660 AM The Answer” advances from #34 to #33. Entering the September sweep, “The Answer” was down or flat the preceding four months for an overall -.3 (1.0 – .8 – .7 – .7 – .7, 6+). Returning September’s +.1 (.4 – .5 – .4, 6+), Cumulus Media’s KLIF-AM “570 News & Information” remains at #35. A gain of four-tenths to 3.2 (#16 to #12, 6+) by co-owned sports talk KTCK “The Ticket – All Sports, All The Time” ends a repetitive 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.8 6+-topline. The +1.2 (2.9 – 3.3 – 4.1, 6+) “The Ticket” racked up in April and May was fully erased in June by a -1.2. Entercom sports talk KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan” picks up one-tenth (2.3 – 2.4, 6+) and progresses from #20 to #18. Prior to August, the flagship of the Texas Rangers and Dallas Cowboys had been down by one-tenth in each of the previous three sweeps (2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+). ESPN’s KESN “103.3 ESPN Dallas” (#32 to #30) is a collective +.3 in three straight up or flat moves (.9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.2, 6+). A consistent 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 (6+) from June through October, Entercom news-talk hybrid KRLD-AM “News Radio 1080” is back in the top twenty (#23 to #19). Going back to “Holiday” 2016, KRLD-AM is within a high of 2.8 and a low of 2.0. Prior to August’s +.2, “News Radio 1080” was a collective -.7 through five straight months without an increase (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+). North Texas Public Broadcasting news/talk KERA (3.0 – 3.1, +.1, 6+) climbs from #14 to #13. Before September’s +.4 to 3.0, KERA logged a 6+-stat in the two-share range for 37 consecutive sweeps.

Dallas Music Formats – Improving by six-tenths each are Entercom classic hits-oldies KLUV “98.7 K-LUV” (4.0 – 4.6, seventh to third, 6+) and Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KLTY “94.9 Your Life … Inspired” (3.2 – 3.8, tenth to ninth, 6+), which has its best 6+-showing (3.8) since January’s 4.1. At the same time, WAY Media contemporary Christian KAWA, which improved by seven-tenths in September, forfeits eight-tenths in October (1.6 – 2.3 – 1.5, 6+) as “WAY-FM Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” departs the top twenty (#20 to #24). A gain of one-tenth to 4.2 (fifth to fourth, 6+) by Cumulus Media country outlet KPLX “99.5 The Wolf” halts six straight down or flat trends that accounted for an overall loss of three-tenths (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). It overtakes (by one-tenth) co-owned and similarly-programmed KSCS “New Country 96.3,” which is -1.1 in three straight reports without an increase (5.2 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.1, third to fifth, 6+). When KSCS dropped nine-tenths in August, it curtailed seven successive up or flat trends that accounted for a +1.3 (3.9 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 5.2, 6+). July’s 5.2 represents the best-ever 6+ share in KSCS’ PPM history and first time it ever reached the five-share level (6+). Substituting September’s -.4 with an October +.4 (6.4 – 6.2 – 6.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KHKS “106.1 Kiss – Dallas/Fort Worth’s Hit Music” – which was +1.1 in August – is on top for the tenth straight time. “Kiss” was a combined -1.4 in June and July (6.9 – 6.3 – 5.5, 6+), after a +1.5 via three upticks in a row (5.4 – 6.0 – 6.7 – 6.9, 6+). Owing to five straight up or flat sweeps, City of Dallas-owned WRR more than doubled (+1.7) its 6+ share (1.4 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+), but “Classical 101” spirals by -1.1 in October to 2.0 (6+), cratering from the top twenty (#13 to #22). Immediately following five successive sweeps without a loss for a +.7 (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 3.1, 6+), Entercom-owned KVIL “Alt 103.7 – DFW’s New Alternative” is now -.9 in September and October (3.1 – 2.7 – 2.2, #18 to #19, 6+).

Houston

Spoken-Word Formats – A combined -.9 in August and September (4.1 – 3.6 – 3.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH “News Radio 740” bounces back with a one-half share increase to 3.7 (#16 to #12, 6+). Among the market’s sports talk competitors, KTRH cluster-mate/Houston Astros flagship KBME “Sports Talk 790” is trending 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.5 – 1.5 (flat at #22, 6+); Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” repeats September’s 1.1 (6+) as the Houston Texans’ AM flagship moves from #24 to #23, 6+); and Gow Communications’ KFNC adds two-tenths (.6 – .8, #27 to #26, 6+) as “ESPN 97.5” has its best 6+-showing since May (.8, as well). In three straight down or flat moves, University of Houston news/talk KUHF is off four-tenths (3.4 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0, 6+) and slips from #16 to #17.

Houston Music Formats – As the result of three straight upticks (2.8 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 4.5, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KOVE “Amor 106.5” is an overall +1.7 (#13 to #8) and reaches the four-share level (6+) for the first time in exactly two years (4.0, October 2016). Likewise, co-owned regional Mexican KLTN “Que Buena 102.9” strings together three straight improvements for a collective +1.3 (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 6.0, 6+) to progress from fifth to third. The last time “Que Buena” reached the six-share threshold (6+) was one year ago (6.3, October 2017). It is a bit of a different story though for Entercom hot AC KHMX “Mix 96.5,” which dials up a one-half share increase to 4.0 (#13 to #11, 6+), thus curtailing three successive decreases that accounted for a loss of six-tenths (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.5, 6+). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA continues one streak and ends another. “Sunny 99.1” is #1 for the sixth month in a row, but is off four-tenths to 7.2 (6+), thus interrupting three straight up or flat trends that yielded six-tenths (7.0 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 7.6, 6+). Its 12.5 in “Holiday” 2017 is its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 10.3 and the first time any Houston station reached double-digits (6+) since that ratings period. Radio One urban AC KMJQ “Majic 102.1 – The People’s Station” (6.4 – 6.1, -.3, 6+) remains in the runner-up slot for the sixth month in a row. Stuck on 7.0 (6+) in January and February, “Majic” dropped to 6.8 (6+) in March; it was tied for #1 in April. After three successive (slightly) up and flat trends (5.2 – 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.4, 6+), Cox Media Group’s KKBQ “Country 93-Q” falters by seven-tenths to 4.7 (third to seventh, 6+), its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 4.2. Showing decreases of one-half share each are Liberman Broadcasting regional Mexican KTJM “La Raza” (3.1 – 2.6, #18 to #20, 6+) and Texas Southern University-owned jazz KTSU “Your Community Station – The Heart & Soul of Houston” (1.2 – .7, #27, 6+).

Atlanta

Spoken-Word Formats – In addition to being #1 for the 35th consecutive time, Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM is a collective +.7 in September and October (7.5 – 7.9 – 8.2, 6+), after being down three-tenths in July and August (7.8 – 7.6 – 7.5, 6+). When WSB-AM gained three-tenths in June, it halted four consecutive negative moves that accounted for a -2.7 (10.2 – 9.4 – 8.4 – 7.7 – 7.5, 6+). Following August’s -1.0 (2.3 – 1.3, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WYAY was flat in September (1.3, 6+). By gaining two-tenths to 1.5 (6+) in October, “106.6 Where Atlanta Comes to Talk” reenters the top twenty (#21 to #20). WYAY was a collective +.5 in June and July (1.8 – 2.1 – 2.3, 6+). An overall +1.7 in four positive spikes in succession (2.2 – 2.5 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.9,  6+), Entercom sports talk WZGC “92.9 The Game” jumps from #15 to #11. The Atlanta Falcons’ flagship was a combined -1.1 in May and June (3.3 – 2.7 – 2.2, 6+), following an April increase of seven-tenths. The April 2018 through October 2018 (6+) topline for Dickey Broadcasting’s WCNN “Sports Radio The Fan” is: 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.4 – 2.0; the AM flagship of the Atlanta Braves carries on at #18. When WCNN lost two-tenths in July, it halted seven successive sweeps without a decrease that netted eight-tenths (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+). Unchanged at #11, City of Atlanta Board of Education news/talk WABE is a collective +.8 in three straight increases (3.1 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+). This directly follows five consecutive down or flat sweeps in a row for an overall -1.4 (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.1, 6+). April – October stats for Georgia State University news/talk WRAS (#23 to #26) are .6 – .7 – .6 – .8 – .8 – .8 – .6 (6+).

Atlanta Music Formats – It is a mixed bag in October for the market’s country-formatted outlets, including a format change. Specifically, Cumulus Media-owned WKHX “Kicks 101.5 – Atlanta’s #1 For Country Hits” piles on six-tenths to September’s +.1 (3.3 – 3.4 – 4.0, 6+) to enter the top ten (#14 to #10), while iHeartMedia’s WUBL “94.9 The Bull” is -1.1 via three consecutive decreases (4.0 – 3.8 – 3.7 2.9, #12 to #17, 6+). Approximately halfway through the October sweep, Woman’s World Broadcasting-owned WTSH “Your Georgia Country” transitioned to regional Mexican as “La Raza” and is down one-half share (.6 – .1, #31, 6+). Once again, the market’s two mainstream CHRs are on top of each other. Without a loss for the sixth straight time for a cumulative gain of one full-share (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WWPW “Power 96.1 Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” is steady at #7, while Cumulus Media’s WWWQ “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” is down one-tenth to 4.2 (unchanged at #8, 6+), thus snapping at four a consecutive string of up or flat moves that netted three-tenths (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.3, 6+). A one-half share increase (6.7 – 7.2, 6+) takes Entercom urban contemporary WVEE “V-103 The People’s Station” to its highest 6+-share (7.2) in more than two years (7.3, April 2016). Following a (repetitive 6+) May through August sequence of 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.7, Radio One-owned WHTA  surrenders a combined -1.1 in September and October (4.7 – 4.2 – 3.6, 6+) with “Hot 107.9” exiting the top ten (#9 to #13). Similarly, Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH “The Fish” is an overall -1.1 in September and October as well (5.9 – 5.3 – 4.8, fifth to sixth, 6+). Three gains in a row by “The Fish” netted a +1.9 (4.0 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 5.9, 6+); August’s 5.9 is its strongest 6+-showing since January’s 6.0. Having logged seven straight up or flat moves (1.3 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.1, 6+) and finishing #19 in May, Cox Media Group urban contemporary WSTR-HD3 is unlisted for the fifth month in a row.

Philadelphia

Spoken-Word Formats – Steady at #14, Entercom’s WPHT has nearly doubled its 6+ AQH share (+1.4) in six straight increases (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+). “Talk Radio 1210” was stuck on 1.8 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 and then on 1.9 (6+) in February and March, before dropping to 1.5 in April. Regaining half of September’s -.2 (1.5 – 1.3 – 1.4, 6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” continues at #22; September’s 1.3 is its weakest 6+-showing in Philadelphia since December 2017 (1.3, as well). Philly’s FM sports talk format notes a (6+) September 2018 – October 2018 increase of +2.1, with Entercom’s WIP “Sports Radio 94.1” +1.4 (5.9 – 7.3, 6+) and Beasley Media Group-owned WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” notching a +.7 (1.8 – 2.5, #18 to #16, 6+). Moreover, Philadelphia Eagles flagship WIP (key station of the Phillies, as well) jumps from sixth to first. WIP was an overall +2.6 (January); -.8 (February); -2.9 (March); +1.1 (April); -.8 (May); -.5 (June); +.7 (August); and now +1.4 (October). Meanwhile, prior to October, “The Fanatic” was without a gain the past five months for an overall decline of one full-share (2.8 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+). Picking up four-tenths (5.1 – 5.5, 6+), Entercom’s KYW “News Radio 1060” – which was +.7 in August and -.1 in September – inches up from eighth to seventh. An increase of nine-tenths in March (5.1 – 6.0, 6+) gave “News Radio 1060” its strongest 6+-showing in three years (6.1, March 2015), but it then surrendered one full-share in April, leading to four consecutive down or flat trends (6.0 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+), accounting for a -1.5. Up one-tenth (3.7 – 3.8, 6+), public news/talk WHYY repeats at #10. An August increase of one-half share interrupted three successive declines for an overall -1.1 (4.4 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.3, 6+).

Philadelphia Music Formats – A collective -2.2 in three consecutive decreases (8.5 – 7.8 – 6.5 – 6.3, 6+), adult contemporary WBEB reduces that deficit by roughly 30% with a gain of seven-tenths to 7.0 (6+), as “Today’s 101.1 More FM” jumps from fourth to second. WBEB was on top from March through June before being dislodged in July. In “Holiday” 2017, WBEB achieved its most potent 6+-share since 17.9 in “Holiday” 2016. The longtime Jerry Lee Radio property is now being operated by Entercom under a Time Brokerage Agreement (TBA), until Entercom officially closes on its $57.5 million purchase. Not only does a -1.1 to 6.6 (6+) pull the plug on three straight gains that netted a +1.9 (5.8 – 6.4 – 7.3 – 7.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WDAS-FM departs the top spot after just one month there and tumbles to fifth. August’s 7.3 marked the first time “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks” reached the seven-share level (6+) since September 2017’s 7.1. Immediately prior to a loss of one-half share in June, WDAS-FM was an overall +.8 in three straight upticks (5.5 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 6.3, 6+). On the heels of a September gain of four-tenths, Beasley Media Group-to-Entercom’s WXTU “92.5 Philadelphia’s Country Station” surrenders more than twice that increase (5.7 – 4.8, -.9, seventh to eighth, 6+) and has its lowest 6+-showing (4.8) since 4.6 in March. A combined -1.4 in three straight negative trends (8.2 – 7.5 – 7.0 – 6.8, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WOGL “98.1 – Nobody Plays More 80s” – which finished first in August – segues from second in September to third. This comes immediately after six straight gains for a combined +2.9 (5.3 – 6.3 – 6.9 – 7.0 – 7.2 – 7.7 – 8.2, 6+). July’s 8.2 represents its highest-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era. When WOGL reached #1 in that sweep, it was the first time the station occupied that spot since August 2017.

Long Island

Spoken-Word Formats – Immediately after logging a +1.0 in September, iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” tacks on an additional eight-tenths (2.8 – 3.6, #13 to 6+), jumping from #13 to #9. By way of perspective, WOR finished at #22 in August and was a collective -1.3 in four straight down or flat trends (3.1 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+). Cumulus Media news/talk WABC surrenders half of September’s +.2 (1.5 – 1.4, #23 to #25, 6+). Its +.1 in August stopped four consecutive down or flat moves that accounted for a loss of three-tenths (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.2, 6+). Both of New York City’s major sports talk outlets that penetrate Long Island gain six-tenths in Nassau-Suffolk: Entercom’s WFAN (5.0 – 5.6, 6+) is #1 for the third month in a row, while New York Jets flagship WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” (1.6 – 2.2, 6+) jumps onto the top twenty (#22 to #16). October’s 5.6 is the strongest 6+-showing in Long Island for WFAN since November 2017’s 5.9. WEPN had been off seven-tenths in four straight down or flat trends (2.3 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.6, #22, 6+), immediately after five consecutive upticks for a +1.2 (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+). An improvement of six-tenths (2.7 – 3.3, 6+) lifts Entercom all-news WINS from #14 to #13. Prior to the September sweep, WINS showed a month-to-month fluctuation of three-tenths four straight times: +.3 (May); -.3 (June); -.3 (July); and +.3 (August). Stuck on 2.5 (6+) in June, July, and August, co-owned and similarly-formatted WCBS-AM adds a collective three-tenths in September and October (2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8, #14 to #15, 6+). WCBS-AM gained two-tenths in January, halting four straight down or flat trends for an overall loss of one full-share (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+). WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM, which had been trending 1.6 – 1.9 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.0 (February 2018 – September 2018, 6+), and ranked #19 in September disappears from print.

Long Island Music Formats – In five straight down or flat trends, Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM was a collective -1.2 (4.9 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+), but “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” regains all of it (+1.2) in three increases in succession (3.7 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.9, steady at #2, 6+). Connoisseur Media classic hits-oldies WBZO “103.1 Max FM,” which gained one-half share in August (4.6 – 5.1, 6+) and dropped four-tenths in September (5.1 – 4.7, 6+), plummets one full-share in October to 3.7 (four-way tie at #2 to #7, 6+). This is its lowest 6+-stat since March (3.7, as well). Registering a loss of six-tenths are Cox Media Group-owned WBAB “102.3 – Long Island’s Only Classic Rock,” a combined -1.3 in three straight drops (5.0 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 3.7, sixth to seventh, 6+) and iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WKTU “103.5 The Beat of New York” (3.6 – 3.0, #10 to #14, 6+), with its lowest 6+ Long Island stat since January (3.0, as well). Flat at #4, its mainstream CHR cluster-mate WHTZ “Z-100” is flat or down slightly for the sixth straight time for a collective loss of four-tenths (5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.7, 6+). Despite being down or flat for the fourth consecutive time for an overall decline of one-half share (2.8 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3, 6+), Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT advances from #16 to #15; “Hot 97” is within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) for the 48th consecutive ratings period.

Riverside

Spoken-Word Formats – After dropping four-tenths in August to 1.3 (6+), San Bernardino Community College news/talk KVCR adds two-tenths to September’s +.1 (1.4 – 1.6, 6+) and continues at #12. KVCR nearly doubled its 6+-stat in June and July (.9 – 1.1 – 1.7, 6+). Down or flat the past four Inland Empire sweeps (.5 – .5 – .4 – .4 – .3, 6+), Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC doubles September’s .3 to .6 as “The Voice of Southern California” stays at #17. Debuting in July with a .2 (6+), iHeartMedia news talk KKDD “1290 News Talk IE” gained one-tenth in August (.3, 6+); was flat in September (.3, 6+); and is up one-tenth in October (.4, four-way tie at #17 to #18, 6+). Co-owned KPWK “Fox Sports Radio 1350 AM” (formerly KUBE) disappeared from print in June; resurfaced in July (.2, 6+); dropped one-tenth in August (.1, 6+); and adds one-tenth in both September (.2, 6+) and October (.3,  #19, 6+). Los Angeles Angels-owned (LAA 1, LLC)/similarly-formatted KLAA “Angels Radio AM 830” is unlisted for the ninth month in a row.

Riverside Music Formats – On the heels of September’s massive +2.5 (7.4 – 9.9, 6+), Entravision’s KLYY “Jose” returns four-tenths (9.5, 6+) but is #1 for the fifth successive sweep. The loss though curtails five straight upticks that netted a whopping +5.3 more than doubling its 6+-stat since April (4.6 – 6.4 – 6.5 – 6.9 – 7.4 – 9.9, 6+). This follows five sweeps in succession without an increase for an overall -3.0 (7.6 – 7.3 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 5.0 – 4.6, 6+). June 2018 marked the first time “Jose” was in the lead position since “Holiday” 2017 when it scored a 7.3 (6+). Prior to September, KLYY last reached the nine-share level (6+) in February 2017 (9.2). A collective +.9 in three successive monthlies without a loss (6.3 – 6.6 – 7.2 – 7.2, 6+), Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies KOLA falters by three-tenths to 6.9 (6+), but stays in the runner-up slot for the fifth month in a row. With a 6.5 (6+), KOLA was #1 in May. Its +.3 in July ended four downward trends in succession that generated a -2.1 (8.4 – 7.1 – 6.7 – 6.5 – 6.3, 6+). Flat at #6, LC Media urban-rhythmic oldies KQIE “Old School 104.7” drops four-tenths to 3.4 (6+), pulling the plug on four straight sweeps without a loss that generated a collective +1.3 (2.5 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.8, 6+). Not only is Anaheim Broadcasting’s KCAL-FM -1.1 in five straight sweeps without an increase (2.8 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.4 – 1.8 – 1.7, 6+), “96.7 Rocks” departs the top ten (#10 to #11). Lazer Broadcasting regional Mexican KXSB “Radio Lazer” is without a gain for the sixth straight month for a collective -.6 (.7 – .6 – .6 – .4 – .3 – .1 – .1, flat at #23, 6+). Entering the August sweep, iHeartMedia Spanish adult hits KFOO recorded a .3 (6+) in three of the previous four sweeps (.3 – .3 – .5 – .3, 6+). “La Preciosa 1440 AM” posted a +.7 to 1.0 (6+), but is unlisted for the second month in a row.

San Jose

Spoken-Word Formats – Progressing from #15 to #13, Cumulus Media’s KGO notches its fourth uptick in a row for a cumulative +1.3 (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+). July’s increase discontinued four successive downward sweeps for a -1.4 (3.1 – 2.9 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.7, 6+). A gain of one-tenth to 1.2 (#27 to #25, 6+) by co-owned news/talk KSFO applies the brakes to three consecutive downward moves that resulted in the evaporation of exactly half (-1.1) of its 6+-share (2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.1, 6+). Prior to July, KSFO was without a loss the previous five months for an overall +1.0 (1.2 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+). After posting a +.8 to halt three decreases in succession that accounted for a cumulative -1.0 (4.6 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+), sports talk cluster-mate KNBR is a combined -1.2 in September and October (4.4 – 3.4 – 3.2, flat at #10, 6+). “The Sports Leader” was +1.6 in April, as it reached the four-share level in San Jose (6+) for the first time since May 2017’s 4.2. The seven most recent San Jose topline stats for Entercom sports talk KGMZ “95.7 The Game” are 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.4 – unlisted – .6 – .8 – .6 (#26, 6+). All-news sibling KCBS-AM (6.5 – 6.4 – 6.2, 6+) finishes in second-place for the third month in a row. Its -.8 in July curtailed four consecutive up or flat trends that netted +1.4 (5.8 – 5.8 – 6.3 – 6.4 – 7.2, 6+) and its strongest 6+ (San Jose) showing since November 2017 (7.2, as well). Between January 2018 – June 2018, Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED and KCBS-AM finished first and second, respectively. Bouncing back from July and August’s -1.6 (7.5 – 6.5 – 5.9, 6+) with a +.3 in September to 6.2 (6+), KQED jumped from sixth to fourth but the station is unlisted in October.

San Jose Music Formats – Within 3.0 – 3.7 range (6+) in each of the last ten survey periods, iHeartMedia hot AC KIOI erupts with a +1.2 to 4.4, its highest 6+-stat since December 2017’s 4.5. In addition, “Star 101.3” reenters the top ten (#12 to #8). Making a nearly equal leap is Alpha Media’s similarly-formatted KEZR (5.1, +1.1, eighth to fifth, 6+). “Mix 106 Today’s Best Music” had been +.9 in three straight up or flat trends (4.0 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 4.9, 6+), before becoming -.9 in August and September (4.9 – 4.3 – 4.0, 6+). It’s a stellar month as well for co-owned classic hits-oldies KBAY, which racks up a +.6 to 6.9, its strongest 6+ showing since 7.0 in “Holiday” 2017. Moreover, “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits” marches from #3 to #1, the first time it has held the lead spot since “Holiday” 2015 – when it was an adult contemporary outlet. It dislodges Bonneville-owned KUFX “98.5 K-Fox The South Bay’s Classic Rock,” which had been #1 the past three months, but shifts to third-place. Prior to plummeting by one full share in October (5.9, 6+), “K-Fox” was a collective +1.7 in three increases in a row (5.2 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 6.9, 6+). After registering five successive gains for an overall +2.1 (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 5.1 – 6.1, 6+), Empire Broadcasting’s KRTY “San Jose Hot Country 95.3” is a collective -1.6 in September and October (6.1 – 5.4 – 4.5, flat at #6, 6+). As a result of three successive increases (1.7 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 3.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KOSF doubled its 6+-share (+1.7); however, “iHeart80s @ 103.7” forfeits six-tenths to 2.8 (6+) and fades from the top ten (#10 to #14). Faltering by six-tenths as well is Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “Amor 100.3” (6.0 – 5.4, fifth to fourth, 6+). After logging a 2.7 in five of the last six sweeps (2.7    – 2.7 – 3.0 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+), co-owned rhythmic CHR KVVF “Hot” sputters by one-half share to 2.2 (#16 to #17, 6+).

Middlesex-Somerset-Union

Spoken-Word Formats – Over and above being +2.2 in five straight increases (6.0 – 6.4 – 6.8 – 7.1 – 8.0 – 8.2, 6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” is #1 for the fourth month in a row. In addition, this (8.2) is its best 6+-share since January (8.3). “New Jersey 101.5” was on top four ratings periods in succession before segueing to #2 in May. Up or flat for the fourth time in a row for a +1.3 (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.3 – 3.0, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR vaults from #20 to #15. WOR was off a collective six-tenths in May and June (2.3 – 1.8 – 1.7, 6+). Cumulus Media news/talk WABC (#25 to #24) is without an increase for the fourth straight sweep (1.7 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+). Following four Middlesex-Somerset-Union decreases in succession for a -.9 (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.5, 6+), Entecom sports talk WFAN rebounds with a +.7 to 4.2 (tenth to sixth, 6+). June’s one-tenth setback halted three straight gains that netted a +1.1 (3.3 – 3.4 – 4.1 – 4.4, 6+). Similarly-programmed WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” is +1.2 through four consecutive improvements (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.5 – 2.9, 6+); the flagship of the New York Jets climbs from #18 – #17. Flat at #22, Entercom all-news WCBS-AM has a March through October topline of: 2.9   – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.5 – unlisted – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.2 (6+). Right behind it is all-news sibling WINS, which records a 1.7 (6+) for the sixth straight time; WINS was locked on 1.1 (6+) in March and April. An August gain of three-tenths by WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM halted five straight losses (3.4 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.2 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+) that accounted for a nearly 50% erosion of its 6+ share (-1.6). In September, WNYC-FM dropped two-tenths to 1.9 (6+), but it disappears from print in October.

Middlesex-Somerset-Union Music Formats – Down an overall eight-tenths in August and September (4.0 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+), Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WMGQ “Magic 98.3 – Todays Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” erases nearly all of it with a +.7 to 3.9 (6+) and is back in the top ten (#14 to #8). Recording its fourth increase in succession for an overall +.8 (4.1 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.9, 6+), iHeartMedia classic rock WAXQ “Q-104.3” carries on in fifth-place. Down for the sixth consecutive month for an overall -1.9 (4.8 – 4.6 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+), Pillar of Fire contemporary Christian WAWZ “Star 99.1” drifts from #11 to #17. Flat at #14, Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9” is down or flat for the fourth straight time for an overall loss of seven-tenths (3.9 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.2, 6+).

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