Tag: "WTOP-FM"

Thursday, December 3, 2020

| December 3, 2020

PPM Analysis: All-News. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his analysis of the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s November 2020 PPM survey, today focusing on the all-news format. Comparing the October 2020 survey to the November 2020 survey (10/8-11/4), 50% of all-news stations saw their weekly, 6+ AQH share go up while 28% were down and 22% were unchanged. Gainers were led by Entercom’s WWJ-AM, Detroit (+0.6) and KCBS-AM/KFRC-FM, San Jose (+0.5). Comparing year-over-year data, 63% of all-news stations were up with gainers led by iHeartMedia’s WBZ-AM, Boston (+2.2) and Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KOMO-AM/FM, Seattle (+2.0). During the November ratings period, two all-news stations ranked #1 in their respective markets: Hubbard Radio’s WTOP-FM, Washington with a 9.3 share and WBZ-AM, Boston with a 7.0 share. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete analysis here.

John Kincade Named New Morning Host at WPEN-FM, Philadephia. As a number of Philadelphia radio watchers had predicted, Beasley Media Group brings sports talker John Kincade back to Philadelphia to take over hosting duties at WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic,” effective January 4. Kincade was a longtime host of the “Buck and Kincade” show (with Buck Belue) on Dickey Broadcasting’s WCNN-AM, Atlanta “680 The Fan.” He exited that role back in September as part of a budget-related talent shakeup at the station. He has also served as co-host of “The BIG Podcast with SHAQ” on PodcastOne. WPEN-FM program director Chuck Damico says, “We have a very clear vision for what we want to accomplish at the station and adding John Kincade is a giant leap towards accomplishing those goals. Our team is thrilled that he chose ‘97.5 The Fanatic’ for his homecoming to Philadelphia. We’re excited about the future!” Kincade says, “From the beginning of my search for a new radio home, my conversations with [market manager] Joe Bell and Chuck Damico were the most enthusiastic and interesting. It became clear to me that joining the team at ‘The Fanatic’ was the best place for me to start this next chapter. With guys I have long respected like Mike Missanelli and Anthony Gargano already there, I knew it would be an honor to join their team.”

Former NFLer Geoff Schwartz Joins FOX Sports Radio. Former NFL offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz becomes part of the weekend lineup at FOX Sports Radio where he joins FSR personality Steve Hartman as co-host of the Saturday afternoon program (3:00 pm to 5:00 pm ET). The program debuts on Saturday (12/5) on 400 stations and includes highlights and instant analysis on the weekend in games plus conversations with insiders and experts. Schwartz has served as one of the primary fill-in hosts for FSR’s “Outkick The Coverage with Clay Travis” for the past three years and is a weekly guest on the show. Premiere Networks SVP of sports programming Don Martin says, “Building on what’s already the strongest weekend lineup in the game, Geoff’s entertaining and thoughtful approach takes it up yet another notch. FSR’s talented weekend cast is here to deliver exactly what sports fans want before, during and after games.”

WEEI-FM, Boston Raises $1.5 Million for Jimmy Fund. The COVID-19 pandemic put the kibosh on the annual Jimmy Fund Radio Telethon that takes place every August, so this year Entercom sports talk outlet WEEI-FM, Boston used the national “Giving Tuesday” (the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving) to help raise more than $1.5 million for The Jimmy Fund that directly supports innovative cancer research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston and helps transform cancer treatment, so patients and their families can spend more time together. Since 2002, WEEI has helped raise nearly $60 million for The Jimmy Fund. Entercom Boston regional president and market manager Mark Hannon says, “This was the first time in 19 years we were unable to hold our annual ‘Jimmy Fund Radio Telethon,’ but this broadcast allowed us to continue supporting the fund’s lifesaving mission to provide compassionate patient care and groundbreaking cancer research for children and adults. I’m very grateful for the widespread support from our listeners and some of New England’s biggest stars to help make this radiothon a success.”

COVID-19 Stats/Vaccines, Biden Transition/Trump Tactics, Georgia Runoff Elections, UN Climate Report, the Economy/New Stimulus Negotiations, and NFL’s COVID Cases Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/2). The fast-rising number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the climbing death toll, and the rollout of vaccines in the U.K. and Russia; the Joe Biden administration transition process and Donald Trump’s ongoing statements calling the election results into question; the January runoff elections for Georgia’s two U.S. Senate seats; the dire tone of the new UN Climate Report; the state of the U.S. economy and current negotiations for a new COVID relief deal; and the NFL’s handling of positive COVID cases as the season moves toward the playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Progressive Political Talker and Multi-platform Groundbreaker Stephanie Miller Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  One of the longest-running leaders among the relatively rare species of commercial news/talk radio progressives, Stephanie Miller is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Miller’s daily morning ensemble program, now in the middle of its second decade, has developed a large, active, and extremely loyal national audience through a cross-platform array of venues that includes terrestrial radio, SiriusXM Satellite RadioFree Speech TV, podcasts, and online streaming. During the past several years, this three-decade-plus veteran of talk radio has enjoyed groundbreaking success in bringing her “Sexy Liberal Tour” – a theatrical version of her ensemble radio show – to sold out houses at some of the most prestigious theaters in America. Since that got sidelined in early 2020 by COVID-19, she and her business partner Ron Hartenbaum have successfully morphed it into the “Sexy Liberal Virtual Tour” that has been drawing in gigantic monthly audiences anxious to see and follow what has become a rising force in online political sketch comedy. Ironically, Miller comes to the Left from the Right. She is the daughter of William MillerBarry Goldwater’s 1964 Republican presidential running mate. In a fast-paced, candid, and informal conversation between longtime friends, Harrison and Miller discuss the “survival mode” state of progressive news/talk radio, non-traditional methods of generating broadcasting revenue, the evolution of her successful theatrical (and now online) “Sexy Liberal” offshoot, and her no-holds-barred take on today’s explosive presidential politics. Not to be missed! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At  Entercom’a hip hop WVEE, Atlanta “V-103,” air personalities Tylerchronicles and Christina “Ms. Basketball” Granville join “The Morning Culture with Big Tigger” that airs from 6:00 am to 10:00 am. Entercom Atlanta SVP and market manager Rick Caffey says, “Adding Tylerchronicles and Christina ‘Ms. Basketball’ Granville will not only round out our widely popular morning program, but further establish ‘V-103’ as the people’s station throughout Atlanta. Both possess a unique talent for captivating and entertaining their audiences, and I look forward to introducing them to our listeners as part of their morning routines.”…..Eagle Communications closes on the acquisition of country KZTL-FM, Paxton and rock KRNP, Sutherland – both in Nebraska – from Legacy Communications. KALIL & CO., INC. was the exclusive broker for this transaction.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

| November 3, 2020

Beasley Media Group Third Quarter Report: Net Revenue Down 25%. The first radio company to report 2020 third quarter financial results is Beasley Media Group which reveals net revenue for the period was $49.6 million, down almost 25% from the $66.1 million reported in the third quarter of 2019. Obviously, the dramatic decrease is the result of a loss of advertising revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic. The company reports operating income of $0.8 million, down from $9.4 million in Q3 of 2019. Beasley reports a net loss of $2.7 million for the quarter compared to the net income of $3 million realized in the third quarter of 2019. Station operating income was $8.1 million, a little less than half of the $16.7 million in SOI reported in the third quarter of 2019. Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley states, “The strong recovery of our business continued in the third quarter of 2020. It is clear that the immediate actions we took to address the pandemic, including reducing station operating expenses, headcount reductions, furloughs, and negotiated discounts with landlords, service providers and partners have contributed to Beasley’s ability to rebound quickly. This focus, combined with the resumption of advertising in key categories, the experience of our teams who have managed through previous economic challenges, the quality of our content, and the role we play in the communities we serve, have all contributed to our ability to turn the corner as evidenced by the positive SOI recorded in the 2020 third quarter. Throughout the third quarter our sales teams drove monthly sequential revenue improvements with July up 8% over June, August up 24% over July and September rising 22% over August. Total net revenue for October increased in the low- to mid-single digits, and November revenue is currently pacing down in the low teens. In addition to the resumption of advertising in key categories and the benefit of the political cycle, Beasley generated continued positive results from its digital and esports investments, which have been less impacted by the pandemic. Third quarter digital revenue rose 1.8% year-over-year to $5 million and our new esports operations generated approximately $500,000 of revenue during the period. Digital revenue accounted for approximately 10.1% of total third quarter revenue, compared to 7.4% of total revenue in the prior year period. Reflecting our initiatives to address the pandemic, including reducing operating expenses and corporate overhead and realigning our company-wide cost structure, Beasley’s third quarter total operating expenses declined by 15.9% and the company expects to reduce its operating expenses through year-end by more than $32 million compared to our 2020 operating budget. We anticipate that a meaningful portion of the operating expense reductions realized since the onset of the pandemic will be recurring, as we continue to make fundamental changes to improve processes and efficiencies across the organization. While the last several months have presented unprecedented challenges for ad-reliant businesses, I am extremely proud of the way our corporate and station level leaders and valued team members rose to the occasion and worked tirelessly to enable Beasley to return to positive cash flow in the third quarter. Looking ahead to the fourth quarter and 2021, we intend to continue our focus on growing our cash flow and maintaining a strong balance sheet with liquidity at current or higher levels. Growing ratings, diversifying revenue and delivering exceptional content and services to our listeners, advertisers, online users and esports fans will remain our focus. And we believe the tremendous resilience of our team and steps we’ve taken to strengthen our financial position and achieve ongoing operational efficiencies have helped ensure that Beasley Broadcast Group remains well-positioned for near- and long-term success.”

iHeartMedia Purging Employees; WTVN’s Riley and Schmid Exit. The latest round of “headcount reduction” is taking place at iHeartMedia, with air personalities, producers and more being let go as the company deals with the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Because of the ratio of music-formatted stations to talk stations, the majority of those being laid off are from music outlets. Some of those working in talk formats who’ve been let go include WTVN, Columbus morning host Joel Riley and morning program producer Tom Schmid. Riley told Columbus Business First, “I worked there for over 26 years. It was my dream job, that morning show. I’m devastated. I will miss the listeners. They made that job special every day.”

PPM Analysis: All-News. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s October 2020 PPM survey, today focusing on the all-news format. About half of the all-news stations in PPM markets were up (6+ weekly AQH share) and half were down or flat. Gainers were led by iHeartMedia’s WBZ-AM, Boston (+1.1) and Hubbard Radio’s WTOP-FM, Washington (+0.8). Year-over-year numbers tell a different story as 63% of all-news outlets improve. Top gainers from October 2019 to October 2020 include WTOP (+2.9), Entercom’s WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago (+2.0), WBZ-AM (+2.0), and Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KOMO-AM/FM, Seattle (+1.9). See Mike Kinosian’s complete report here.

New Firm Major Triad Media Acquires TM Studios from Westwood One. Jingle and production house TM Studios is being acquired from Westwood One by Major Triad Media, a partnership of three TM Studios figures – creative director Dave Bethell, Chris “UK” Stevens, and jingle icon and current general manager Greg Clancy. A press release says the new company will maintain studios in Dallas, Los Angeles, and the UK. Bethell says, “From listening to TM jingles on my local radio station in England when I was a kid to becoming a fan, I’ve always wanted to work for TM. Eventually it was the place where I had my big jingle break back in 2005. I’ve written and produced for TM Studios continuously ever since. As co-owner I’m excited to tell the next chapter of TM’s incredible story with our perfect new partnership.” Stevens comments, “I’m so excited to be part of the team to take TM’s legendary name into a new chapter, and from my home country, no less. It’s been 15 years since I originally relocated from London to Dallas to work with TM. It is a dream come true to become part of the new ownership team.” Clancy adds, “I vividly remember watching my dad sing in TM vocal sessions as a kid and had my first vocal session at TM as a 12-year old boy. I began singing for Tom Merriman and Jim Kirk at 23, straight out of college. Just imagine what this moment means to me. We are standing on the shoulders of giants and can’t wait to grow and extend the TM legacy.” TM Studios will continue to work with Westwood One, with a multi-year agreement to serve as exclusive barter representative to seamlessly serve existing clients.

‘The Fisher House Story’ Available Now in Time for Veterans Day. Veterans Day is next Wednesday (11/11) and the Fisher House Foundation announces that The Jeff Wyatt Group has a fresh edition of “The Fisher House Story” for 2020 ready for download. “The Fisher House Story – A Family’s Love” is a radio special provided in varying lengths for news/talk radio stations in the U.S. and around the world. The three-hour, one-hour, 25-minute, and 30-minute radio specials are available for free. The specials are once again hosted by Mary Walter of WMAL-FM, Washington and feature stories of our nation’s heroes, the families who serve by their side, and how Fisher House plays a role in their journey. Your listeners will hear from Ben Breckheimer, an Army combat scout whose vehicle hit an improvised explosive device while driving with his team in Afghanistan; Lt. Col. Patrick Miller, an Army officer who was shot in the 2014 Ft. Hood shooting; and Jeff Sampson, a Navy veteran who needed a double lung transplant. These are just a few of the many stories that will be told “in their own words.” A clock and demo is now available at radio.fisherhouse.org. For more information on this radio special, available cash and barter free, contact Jeff Wyatt at The Jeff Wyatt Group at 301-518-3640 or jw@thejeffwyattgroup.com.

TALKERS News Notes. Tonight, the Westwood One nationally syndicated Jim Bohannon show is presenting election coverage from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am ET with the help of correspondents Clayton Neville and Linda Kenyon, plus commentary from Jed Babbin of the American Spectator, political science professor Dr. Frank Sorrentino, former Indiana congressman Dave Evans, and commentator Sean Walsh…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One announces a partnership with Rolling Stone to market and distribute their podcasts “Useful Idiots with Matt Taibbi and Katie Halper” and “Rolling Stone Music Now.” The agreement includes the back catalogue in addition to future episodes…..Audio and spoken word agency Oxford Road announces the addition of three executive to the company. Kraig Kitchin – former Premiere Networks chief and current Sound Mind LLC principal – joins as strategic adviser. Steven Abraham is introduced as the company’s new president and Jennifer Laine is named head of marketing.

Today’s Presidential Election/Senate and House Races, Law Enforcement Prepares for Unrest, COVID-19 Stats & Projections, Terror Attacks, Hurricane Eta Approaches Central America Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/2). Today’s presidential election between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, as well as the numerous Senate and House races; law enforcement’s concerns about and preparation for keeping voting places accessible and handling public safety in the event protests and violence break out; the fast-rising number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and in Europe and projections the second wave could be worse than the first; the recent spate of terror attacks in France, Vienna, and Kabul; and Hurricane Eta threatens Central America with record floodwaters 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. In the Twin Cities, Bring Me the News reports that air personalities Steve LaTart, a.k.a. Steve-O of CHR KDWB’s morning show and hot AC KTCZ “Cities 97.1” morning host Hunter Quinn both exit as part of the current downsizing taking place at iHeartMedia across the country…..Cumulus Media’s country WKDF, Nashville names Toni-Marie afternoon drive host. Toni-Marie joins Cumulus Nashville from Entercom’s country KWJJ, Portland “99.5 The Wolf” where she was midday host and APD. She says, “I have never been happier inside of a Walmart than the day that [program director] Paul Williams called to offer me this position! I’ve had the opportunity to do country radio in some amazing markets, but getting to work with Paul and the team at 103-3 in Nashville is a dream come true!”…..Alpha Media Portland announces that Gustav will join the KINK-FM lineup as the afternoon drive host. Alpha Media Portland operations manager Gene Sandbloom says, “Gustav has been an icon in Portland radio for 25 years, and we couldn’t be more excited to have him join the KINK team in afternoons. His breadth of musical knowledge and the relationships he has forged with artists throughout his career are most welcome. For more than 50 years the KINK brand has been about serving the needs of Portland and the surrounding communities. Hats off to the Alpha Media management team for making yet another true investment in being live and local.”

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

| October 28, 2020

Round Two of Nielsen’s October PPM Data Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s October 2020 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s October 2020 survey period covered September 10 – October 7. You can see all the 6+, weekly AQH share data from subscribing stations here. Also today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In Washington, DC, Cumulus Media’s news/talk WMAL-FM gives up one-tenth to finish at a 7.9 share but rises from  the #3 to the #2 rank. Across town at Hubbard Radio, all-news WTOP-FM remains ranked #1 in the market after adding eight-tenths to finish with a 10.3 share. It was a good survey for iHeartMedia in Boston as news/talk WRKO adds 1.1 shares to finish with a 6.0 share good for the #6 rank and all-news WBZ-AM also adds 1.1 shares to jump from the #5 to the #1 rank on the strength of a 7.2 share. In Seattle, Bonneville’s news/talk KIRO-FM posts a six-tenths increase after four surveys without a positive move to wrap the October survey with a 7.0 share that lifts it to #1. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways here.

Joe Benigno Expected to Announce Retirement from WFAN, New York Today. As reported by the New York Post’s Andrew Marchand, Entercom’s sports talk WFAN, New York “The Fan” says there will be an important announcement during the 5:00 pm hour of today’s “Joe & Evan” show. It’s widely believed that co-host Joe Benigno will announce his retirement from the station that will open the door to bringing Craig Carton back to the station, most likely to co-host the afternoon drive show with current co-host Evan Roberts. Even before all of the Carton-to-return-to-WFAN chatter began, 67-year-old Benigno had dropped hints about his desire to hang up the cans and retire to Florida. As for Carton, the station has not announced his return but incessant reports in the New York media indicate the former morning drive co-host – out of prison after being convicted of fraud in a Ponzi scheme created to pay off gambling debts – is a lock to be back on WFAN’s airwaves.

Dori Monson Returns to KIRO-FM, Seattle Air After Suspension. Seattle talk radio host Dori Monson returned to host his afternoon drive program on Bonneville’s KIRO-FM on Tuesday (10/27), some two-and-a-half weeks after being suspended for a tweet that he said “didn’t hit the mark.” The Seattle Times reports that Monson issued his apology on air that followed the written one posted on the KIRO-FM website. Monson said his tweet was commentary during the gubernatorial debate between Washington Governor Jay Inslee and Republican challenger Loren Culp. In addressing the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, Inslee said the state follows science (implying science as opposed to politics). His tweet read: “Inslee: we follow science in WA. The state where I could go to Olympia tomorrow and change my birth cert to say I was a girl on 10/2/61. HAHAHAHAHA.” Monson faced immediate backlash accusing him of being transphobic and was suspended indefinitely from his daily show and his role on Seattle Seahawks pre- and post-game shows.

TALKERS News Notes. The parent company of Nielsen AudioNielsen Holdings LLC – is reportedly in talks with Advent International to sell its consumer goods data business, according to the Financial Times. The piece indicates the deal would value that division at around $2.9 billion. Nielsen had previously announced its plans to spin off the Global Connect business and recently revealed it will be renamed NielsenIQ…..Hubbard Radio’s KIXI-AM, Seattle adds weekend programming from Smart Talk Radio Network to its lineup. Three shows – “Around The House With Eric G,” “Our Auto Expert,” and “Barbeque Nation” – made available via Sun Broadcast Group, will air on Saturdays and Sundays…..Entercom’s Steve Holman, Mike Conti, Miller Pope, and James Fairey of sports talker WZGC-FM, Atlanta “92.9 The Game” were honored by the Georgia Association of Broadcasters with Merit Award for “Best Sports Play-by-Play” as part of this year’s Gabby Awards…..WHO, Des Moines-based radio iron man Simon Conway is doing double duty this week as he hosts his afternoon drive talk program on iHeartMedia’s WHO, WMT-AM, Cedar Rapids, and WOC-AM, Davenport, as well as handling mornings on the company’s “Good Morning Orlando” show that airs on news/talk WFLF-AM.

WCCO-AM, Minneapolis Afternoon Personality Jordana Green Reveals Cancer Diagnosis. WCCO-AM, Minneapolis afternoon drive personality Jordana Green told listeners that she has been diagnosed with leukemia and is receiving treatment at the Mayo Clinic. Yesterday (10/27), Green – who co-hosts the program with Paul Douglas told listeners doctors found the cancer last week, and immediately decided she should get treatment that includes multiple rounds of chemo and a possible bone marrow transplant in the spring. In a report posted to the station’s website, Green says, “I’ve been feeling crappy for a few months, very fatigued. About two weeks ago I noticed some large bruising on my legs but didn’t remember bumping myself. Last Tuesday, I went for some bloodwork. Tuesday night my doctor called and said I need to go to the ER as my platelets were low. Normal platelets are 150,000+. Mine were 19,000. They admitted me, did a bone marrow biopsy and 12 hours later told me I had leukemia.” She says she’ll try to check-in on the show from her hospital room when she’s “feeling up to it,” for the next several weeks she’ll be off the air while she is receiving chemo treatments.

The Presidential Election, COVID-19 Stats & Projections, Deadly Philly Police Shooting/Protests, Hunter Biden Emails, Big Tech Before Congress, Financial Markets Activity, New California Wildfires, and Tropical Storm Zeta Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/27). The November 3 presidential election and the final week of campaigning by Donald Trump and Joe Biden; the rising number of positive cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. and abroad and projections for the fall/winter; a second night of protests and looting in Philadelphia after a Black man is killed by police; the allegations that Hunter Biden used his father’s vice presidency to gain lucrative business deals in Ukraine by promising access to Joe Biden; today’s appearance before a Senate Commerce Subcommittee by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai; the world’s financial markets respond to the rise in COVID-19 cases; the new wildfires affecting Southern California; and the expected path of Tropical Storm Zeta 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. According to a report at Syracuse.com, adult contemporary WLZW, Syracuse “Lite 98.7” morning show co-host and classic rock WOUR midday personality Dave Coombs is leaving Townsquare Media and will join Saga Communications to host the morning drive show on active rock WLZX, Springfield, Massachusetts “LAZER 99.3” in November. Coombs has been co-hosting the “Lite 98.7” morning show with his wife Beth, who  will remain in her position with new co-host Dave Wheeler…..The entertainment podcast “Hollywood Unlocked with Jason Lee [UNCENSORED],” enters into a deal with FOX Soul to air the program on the digital television network. Lee is also host of the Premiere Networks-syndicated “Hollywood Unlocked with Jason Lee,” a two-hour weekend show that airs on 60 hip hop stations nationwide, in addition to iHeartRadio…..Entercom proudly congratulates hot AC WSTR, Atlanta “Star 94” air personality Mike Kannon for being honored with a GABBY Award for “Best On-Air Personality” from the Georgia Association of Broadcasters…..Cumulus Media announces that WIXV, Savannah “I-95” air personality and program director Don Scott (below, left) is being honored by the State of Georgia with the Outstanding Georgia Citizen Award for exemplary community service. The Outstanding Georgia Citizen Award is Georgia’s highest service award and was personally presented to Scott by State Representative Carl Gilliard (below, right). Scott says, “‘I-95’ and our parent company Cumulus Media respects our audience and understands our responsibility to serve the public interest. My personal passion for radio, as well as the passion of our staff, drives us to maintain a high level of quality in everything we do. I am overwhelmed with gratitude to have been selected to receive this award. I would like to thank Carl Gilliard and the State of Georgia for this recognition.”

October 2020 PPM Ratings Takeaways – Round Two

| October 28, 2020

October 2020 PPM Data. Information for the October 2020 ratings period has been released for Washington (DC), Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.

Nielsen Audio’s October 2020 survey period covered September 10 – October 7.

Managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” for spoken-word formats from these 12 PPM-markets.

Noteworthy: The NFL season started September 10 – the first day of the October 2020 sweep.

WASHINGTON, DC

News/Talk

  • This time last month, Cumulus Media’s WMAL picked up one-tenth (7.9 – 8.0, 6+) yet slipped from second to third. Now, even though WMAL returns September’s +.1 (8.0 – 7.9, 6+), it nonetheless advances from third to a second-place tie. WMAL was on top four consecutive sweeps (April through July), before faltering by one-half share in August. April’s 0 marked the first time in WMAL’s PPM-history that it reached double-digits (6+).
  • For the 28th sweep in succession, Radio One’s WOL “News Talk – Where Information Is Power” is unlisted.

Sports Talk

  • After being a combined +1.1 in July/August (1.3 – 1.6 – 2.4, 6+), Entercom-owned WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” (Nationals) drops eight-tenths in September/October (2.4 – 2.1 – 1.6, #16 to #17, 6+). Its 4.8 (November 2019) is the highest 6+-stat by any D.C. sports talk outlet in the PPM-era.
  • For the fourth time in the last six reports, WJFK-FM’s internet stream logs a .3 (.2 – .3 – .3 – .4 – .3 – .3, May 2020 through October 2020, #27 to #28, 6+).
  • Up four-tenths via three up or flat moves in a row (.7 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1, 6+) but then down four-tenths through four successive sweeps without an increase (1.1 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .8 – .7, Radio One’s WTEM “980 The Team” (Washington Football Team) ends the slide with a half-share increase to 1.2 and enters the top twenty (#22 to #20, 6+).
  • Following five straight reports of posting a .1 (6+), Cumulus Media’s WSBN “630 AM The Sports Capitol” (Washington Football Team) gains one-tenth to .2 (#31 to #30, 6+).

 News

  • In addition to recording its third straight uptick for an impressive +2.6 (7.7 – 8.5 – 9.5 – 10.3, 6+) and setting the pace the third month in a row, Hubbard Broadcasting’s WTOP-FM & WTLP-FM boasts its best 6+ stat (10.3) since January 2019 (10.4). Prior to taking the lead in August, “Washington’s Top News” spent three consecutive months occupying the runner-up slot.
  • Regaining the three-tenths it dropped this time last month (.7 – .4 – .7, 6+), Entercom business news WDCH “Bloomberg1 & 105.7” advances from #26 to #22.
  • Unlisted in August and September, WDCH’s internet stream reappears with a .1 (#31, 6+).
  • For the second month in a row, Black Information Network affiliates WUST and WMZQ-HD2 do not appear in print.

Public Radio News/Talk

  • Answering September’s loss of nine-tenths with an October gain of one-half share (6.4 – 6.9, 6+), American University-owned WAMU repeats in fourth-place. “The Mind Is Our Medium” was +.6 in August. Entering the August sweep, WAMU was an overall -2.1 via four straight down or flat trends (8.7 – 8.4 – 7.4 – 6.8 – 6.6, 6+). It was in a first-place tie with Hubbard Broadcasting’s WTOP-FM in February and took sole possession of the lead in March.

BOSTON

 News/Talk

  • Bettering September’s +1.0 with an October +1.1, iHeartMedia-owned WRKO zooms from eighth to fifth and reaches the six-share threshold (3.9 – 4.9 – 6.0, 6+). Four setbacks in a row by “AM 680 – The Voice of Boston” immediately prior led to a -1.4 (5.3 – 4.8 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.9, 6+).
  • After losing a total of seven-tenths in four straight declines (1.1 – .8 – .6 – .5 – .4, 6+), co-owned WXKS-AM “Talk 1200” halts the skid with a one-tenth gain to .5 (flat at #26, 6+). WXKS-AM nearly doubled (+.5) its 6+ AQH share in April/May (.6 – 1.1 – 1.1, 6+).

Sports Talk

  • In addition to logging its fourth straight uptick for an overall +2.9 (3.9 – 4.1 – 4.9 – 5.4 – 6.8, sixth to fourth 6+), Beasley Media Group-owned WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” (Celtics, Bruins, Patriots) has its highest 6+-stat (6.8) since May 2019 (7.0).
  • Up a modest three-tenths via four consecutive sweeps without a loss (2.5 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.8, 6+), Entercom’s WEEI-FM (Red Sox) nonetheless backslides from #12 to a tie at #13. Before gaining one-tenth in July, WEEI-FM was an overall -1.7 in four consecutive downturns (4.2 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.7 – 2.5, 6+).
  • Conversely, WEEI-FM’s internet stream is down or flat the fourth time in a row for a net loss of one-tenth (.2 – .2 – .2 – .1 – .1, #32 to #31, 6+).
  • Providence sibling WVEI notches a .1 (6+) the fifth consecutive report and is tied with WEEI-FM’s internet stream at #31.
  • This is the fifth month in a row that co-owned WEEI-AM is unlisted.

News

  • Within 6.1 – 6.7 range in six of the last seven reports (6.4 – 6.3 – 5.9 – 6.6 – 6.7 – 6.6 – 6.1, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WBZ-AM erupts with a +1.1 to cross the seven-share level (7.2, 6+). Moreover, “News Radio 1030” marches from fifth to a first-place tie. WBZ-AM was off one-half share in April/May (6.4 – 6.3 – 5.9, 6+).
  • Having posted a .1 (6+) four straight months, Beasley Media Group business news WRCA “Bloomberg Boston” added one-tenth this time last month to .2 (6+), but regresses to .1 (flat at #31, 6+).
  • This is the second month in a row that Black Information Network affiliate WJMN-HD2 does not appear in print.

Public Radio News/Talk

  • While it is up three-tenths through three straight up or flat moves (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+), Boston University’s WBUR remains at #9.
  • By posting a +1.0 to 3.3 (6+), WGBH Educational Foundation-owned WGBH pulls the plug on four decreases in succession that resulted in a -2.3 (4.6 – 3.2 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.3, 6+) and vaults from #16 to #11. The just-concluded negative streak followed three straight improvements that netted a +1.7 (2.9 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.6, 6+), 6+).
  • Co-owned WCAI is unlisted the fifth time in a row.

MIAMI

News/Talk

  • Without a loss the fourth consecutive month for a net gain of nine-tenths (7 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WIOD “News Radio 610 Miami’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” leaps from #20 to #16.

Sports Talk

  • Entercom-owned WQAM “560 The Joe” (Panthers, Dolphins) nets four-tenths in three straight up or flat reports (.6 – .7 – .7 – 1.0, #26 to #25, 6+). WQAM last reached a one-share in May (1.0, as well).
  • While flat at #30, iHeartMedia’s WINZ “940 AM Miami’s Sports Station” (Marlins) is up two-tenths in three straight up or flat trends (.1 – .1 – .2 – .3, 6+).
  • Disappearing from print is Entercom’s WAXY “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket” (Heat), which doubled August’s .2 (6+) to .4 (#29 to #27, 6+) this time last month. The Los Angeles Lakers clinched the NBA title (10/11) by besting the Heat in a series that went six games.
  • This is the fifth month in a row that co-owned WKIS-HD2 does not appear in print.

Public Radio News/Talk

  • A combined +.6 in August/September (3.1 – 3.3 – 3.7, 6+), Dade County School Board’s WLRN forfeits eight-tenths to 2.9 (6+) and exits the top ten (#8 to #11). WLRN previously lost an overall six-tenths in four consecutive slips (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.2 – 3.1, 6+).

SEATTLE

News/Talk

  • Without an increase the past four sweeps for a net loss of eight-tenths (7.2 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 6.4, 6+), Bonneville-owned KIRO-FM (Seahawks) erases 75% of that shortfall with a +.6 to 7.0 (6+) and advances from second to first. “Seattle’s News/Seattle’s Talk” was on top six successive sweeps before segueing to the runner-up slot this time last month. .
  • Not only does cluster-mate KTTH continue an alternating down/up sequence that includes October’s robust +1.1 enabling it to cross the three-share level (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 3.6, June 2020 through October 2020, 6+), “Conservative Talk Radio” catapults into the top ten (#16 to #10). Entering the September sweep, KTTH was anchored at #19 the previous four
  • Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned KVI “Talk Radio 570” ceased subscribing to Nielsen’s PPM after the March 2020 survey in which it posted a 1.1 (#22, 6+).

 Sports Talk

  • Rebounding from a loss of three-tenths this time last month with an October improvement of seven-tenths (2.2 – 2.9, 6+), Bonneville’s KIRO-AM (Mariners, Seahawks) advances from #20 to #17. “ESPN 710” was a combined +1.0 in July/August (1.5 – 1.6 – 2.5, 6+).
  • Adding one-half share to September’s increase of two-tenths (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KJR-AM “Seattle’s Sports Radio 950” repeats at #24.
  • This the 11th time in a row that co-owned KFNQ “1090 AM” hasn’t logged an increase for a net loss of three-tenths (.5 – .4 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .2, #29, 6+).

News

  • Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KOMO repeats September’s average quarter hour share and market rank (5.0, #5, 6+). It dropped one-half share in April and again in May (5.4 – 4.9 – 4.4, 6+); gained one-half share in June/July (4.4 – 4.6 – 4.9, 6+); forfeited one-half share in August (4.9 – 4.4, 6+); and posted a September +.6.
  • After logging a .1 (6+) in June, iHeartMedia-owned/Black Information Network affiliate KHHO is unlisted the fourth month in a row.
  • Hubbard Broadcasting business news KKNW does not appear in print the fifth consecutive report.

 Public Radio News/Talk

  • Duplicating September’s increase of one-half share (5.3 – 5.8 – 6.3, 6+), Northwest Public Radio’s KUOW bumps up from fourth to third. The last time it reached the six-share level was December 2019 (6.1). KUOW was off nine-tenths in April/May (5.5 – 5.4 – 4.6, 6+) and gained eight-tenths in June/July (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.4, 6+).
  • Following four straight months of logging a .1 (6+), Washington State University-owned KSWS is unlisted the second time in a row.

DETROIT

 News/Talk

  • Three consecutive positive spikes by Cumulus Media’s WJR (Lions) account for a +1.3 (3.4 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.7, 6+) as “News Talk 760” cracks the top ten (#12 to #9). This (4.7) is its best 6+-showing since April’s 4.8. WJR was +3.2 through four successive improvements (1.6 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 4.8, 6+), but then a collective -1.4 via three straight sweeps without an increase (4.8 – 4.1 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+).

Sports Talk

  • Entercom-owned WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” (Tigers, Pistons, Red Wings) was +1.7 in July/August (3.6 – 4.1 – 5.3, 6+); -.6 (5.3 – 4.7, September, 6+); and now +.5 in October (4.7 – 5.2, seventh to fourth, 6+). Its half-share July gain curtailed three straight drops that accounted for a -1.2 (4.8 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.6, 6+).
  • Up four-tenths (.1 – .5, 6+), WXYT-FM’s internet stream climbs from #26 to #23.
  • Cluster-mate WXYT-AM is trending: .1 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .2 (May 2020 through October 2020, #23 to #24, 6+).

 News

  • With an October increase of three-tenths to 4.8 (6+), co-owned WWJ “News Radio 950” erases 30% of August/September’s -1.0 (5.5 – 5.3 – 4.5, 6+) to progress from tenth to eighth. WWJ previously was a collective +2.5 through four successive bumps (3.9 – 4.3 – 4.8 – 5.8 – 6.4, 6+).
  • From May through August, WDFN recorded a .2 (6+), but the iHeartMedia outlet/Black Information Network affiliate is unlisted in September and October.

 Public Radio News/Talk

  • Despite dropping one-tenth (3.0 – 2.9, 6+), Wayne State University-owned WDET advances from #18 to #16. Its September +1.0 expunged a collective -1.0 from four straight down or flat reports (3.0 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.0, 6+).
  • Without a loss the past four months for a modest net increase of one-tenth (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+), Michigan Public Media’s WUOM drops two-tenths to 1.5 (6+) but continues at #21. WUOM was off seven-tenths in April/May (2.3 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+).

PHOENIX

News/Talk

  • Stacking a robust +1.4 onto September’s gain of one-tenth, iHeartMedia’s KFYI “News Talk 550” jumps from sixth to third and nearly reaches a six-share (4.3 – 4.4 – 5.8, 6+). Immediately prior to June’s -.7, KFYI practically doubled (+2.3) its 6+ AQH share in seven up or flat reports in succession (2.5 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+).
  • Bonneville’s KTAR-FM (Arizona Cardinals) falters by one-half share in back-to-back reports (4.8 – 4.3 – 3.8, seventh to eighth, 6+). Entering the September sweep, KTAR-FM netted two-tenths via three straight up or flat moves (4.6 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+).

Sports Talk

  • Off six-tenths in June/July (2.2 – 1.8 – 1.6, 6+), Bonneville-owned KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona Sports” (Arizona Diamondbacks) roars back with three straight spikes for a collective +1.3 (1.6 – 2.0 – 2.4 – 2.9, #20 to #15, 6+).
  • Co-owned KTAR-AM is trending: .1 – .2 – .1 – .3 (#32 to #31, 6+).
  • For the sixth consecutive time, iHeartMedia’s KGME “Fox Sports 910” (Coyotes) records a .2 (#31 to #32, 6+),
  • Likewise, Hubbard Broadcasting’s KDUS “Sports AM 1060” logs a .1 the sixth month in a row (#32 to #33, 6+).

Public Radio News/Talk

  • Bouncing back from a September loss of nine-tenths with a one-tenth gain (3.9 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+), Maricopa County Community College-owned KJZZ moves from #15 to #13. In eight of nine previous survey periods, KJZZ notched a 6+ AQH share between 3.4 – 3.8 (3.5 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 4.2 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+).

MINNEAPOLIS

News/Talk

  • A combined +1.2 in August/September (4.3 – 4.6 – 5.5, 6+), Entercom-owned WCCO (Twins, Timberwolves) relinquishes 25% of that increase (5.2, -.3, sixth to eighth, 6+). “News Radio 830” was -1.3 in June/July (5.6 – 5.5 – 4.3, 6+) and an overall +2.0 as a result of three straight up or flat trends (3.6 – 4.6 – 5.6 – 5.6, 6+).
  • Four consecutive sweeps without a loss by iHeartMedia’s KTLK result in a net gain of nine-tenths (2.5 – 2.6 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.4, #14 to #13, 6+). Entering the August report, “Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130” recorded a fluctuation of one-tenth four times in a row (2.6 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.6, 6+) and then notched a +.4 to 3.0 (6+).
  • While remaining flat at #16, Hubbard Broadcasting’s KTMY “My Talk 107.1” is down six-tenths in September/October (2.3 – 2.1 – 1.7, 6+), directly after gaining a collective four-tenths in July/August (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+).

Sports Talk

  • To say iHeartMedia’s KFXN (Wild, Vikings) has stormed back from September’s modest loss of three-tenths would be quite the understatement. “Sports Radio 100.3 K-Fan” registers the largest (6+) September 2020 – October 2020 increase of any station from these 12 PPM markets (5.3 – 8.2, +2.9, 6+) and leaps from #7 all the way to #1. This is the first time “K-Fan” has been on top since January. Following a May increase of four-tenths (5.5 – 5.9, 6+), KFXN forfeited nine-tenths in June/July (5.9 – 5.6 – 5.0, 6+).
  • Having doubled (+.2) its 6+ AQH share through three straight up or flat trends (.2 – .3 – .3 – .4, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting’s KSTP-AM is off one-tenth to .3 (#24 to #29, 6+).

News

  • Unlisted in August, iHeartMedia-owned/Black Information Network affiliate KQQL-HD2 resurfaced in September with a .1 (#27, 6+) but does not appear in the October report.

Public Radio News/Talk

  • Minnesota Public Radio’s KNOW regains the one-tenth it lost this time last month and repeats in the runner-up slot. KNOW has a June 2020 through October 2020 topline of: 7.0 – 7.0 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 7.2 (6+).

SAN DIEGO

News/Talk

  • By gaining four-tenths to 4.8 (fifth to fourth, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KOGO “News Radio 600” applies the brakes to five consecutive down or flat trends that accounted for a net loss of -2.2 (6.6 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4, 6+). Entering the May sweep, KOGO was a collective +2.8 via three straight bumps (3.8 – 4.5 – 5.5 – 6.6, 6+).
  • Co-owned KGB-AM (formerly Tegna’s KFMB-AM) repeats September’s 6+ AQH share and market rank (2.2, #18, 6+). This is the third time in the last five sweeps “AM 760” has notched a 2.2 (2.2 – 2.6 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+).
  • Los Angeles sibling KFI “AM 640,” which was off four-tenths this time last month, recaptures one-tenth (2.0 – 2.1, 6+) and one ranker (#20 to #19).

Sports Talk

  • An overall +1.8 through five consecutive reports without a loss (1.1 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 2.6 – 2.9, 6+), Entercom’s KWFN “97.3 The Fan” (Padres) falters by two-tenths to 2.7 (6+), but repeats at #14.
  • This marks the fourth consecutive time that iHeartMedia-owned KLSD (Chargers) has a fluctuation of one-tenth (.7 – .8 – .9 – .8 – .9, flat at #24, 6+). “Fox Sports 1360 San Diego’s Sports Station” had lost eight-tenths in five straight sweeps without an increase (1.5 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.0 – .9 – .9 – .7, 6+).

News

  • Co-owned Black Information Network affiliate KSSX-HD2 is unlisted the third successive sweep.

 Public Radio News/Talk

  • Recent fluctuations by KPBS include: -1.4 (8.5 – 7.1, May, 6+); -1.6 (7.1 – 5.5, June, 6+); +.8 (5.5 – 6.3, July, 6+); and now +1.3 in October (6.1 – 7.4, 6+), enabling the San Diego State University-owned facility to leap from third to first. KPBS was tied for the top spot in July and held sole possession of the lead in August.      

TAMPA

News/Talk

  • Winning ways continue for Cox Media Group-owned WHPT as five consecutive ratings periods without a loss yield “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” a +2.4 (2.7 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 4.6 – 5.1, steady at #5, 6+).
  • Unlisted the second month in a row is WHPT’s internet stream, which was a combined +1.6 in July/August (.8 – 1.5 – 2.4, #19, 6+).
  • Despite being down two-tenths (3.5 – 3.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WFLA (Tampa Bay Lightning) inches up from #14 to #13. Prior to gaining six-tenths this time last month, “970 Tampa Bay’s News Radio” was down or flat the previous four sweeps for an overall -1.7 (4.6 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.2 – 2.9, 6+). During this particular ratings period, The Lightning defeated the Dallas Stars four games to two to win the Stanley Cup (9/28).
  • After adding one-tenth this time last month (.1 – .2, 6+), co-owned WHNZ “1250 Tampa Bay’s Impact Radio” repeats September’s .2 (#30 to #29, 6+).

Sports Talk

  • Steady at #19, iHeartMedia-owned WDAE (Rays) is up four-tenths (1.8 – 2.2, 6+). This year’s World Series concluded last night (10/27), when the Dodgers beat the Rays in game six, 3 – 1. Prior to gaining six-tenths in August, “620 Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” sputtered by seven-tenths through four drops in a row (1.9 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+).

News

  • As a result of five straight up or flat reports, Beasley Media Group business news WHFS has gained two-tenths (.1 – .1 – .1 – .3 – .3 – .3, #27 to #28, 6+).
  • This is the third time in succession that iHeartMedia-owned/Black Information Network affiliate WBTP-HD2 is unlisted.

Public Radio News/Talk

  • Following a September gain of eight-tenths (2.9 – 3.7, 6+), University of South Florida-owned WUSF forfeits one-half share to 3.2 (#12 to #15, 6+). In advance of the September report, WUSF was down or flat the previous five months for a -1.2 (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.9, 6+). Leading up to that, it was an overall +2.4 in eight consecutive sweeps without a loss (1.7 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 4.1, 6+).
  • WUSF’s internet stream has lost half (-.2) its 6+ AQH share in three straight down or flat moves (4 – .3 – .3 – .2, #27 to #29, 6+).

DENVER

News/Talk

  • Dropping from eighth to tenth, iHeartMedia’s KDFD is off one-half share in September/October (4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8, 6+). “Freedom 93.7 – Real News, Real Talk” improved by one-half share in July/August (3.8 – 4.0 – 4.3, 6+).
  • Cluster-mate KOA “Colorado’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” (Broncos, Colorado Rockies) reclaims the two-tenths it squandered this time last month (2.1 – 1.9 – 2.1, 6+) and repeats at #19.
  • Not only is co-owned KHOW up seven-tenths in five successive sweeps without a loss (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.6 – 1.8, 6+), “Talk Radio 630” enters the top twenty (#21 to #20).

Sports Talk

  • Practically doubling (+1.7) its 6+ AQH share via three straight upticks (1.8 – 2.0 – 2.4 – 3.5, 6+), Bonneville-owned KKFN (Nuggets) elevates from #17 to #11. “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” was -1.3 in June/July (3.1 – 2.3 – 1.8, 6+).
  • Up one-half share in August/September (.3 – .5 – .8, 6+), KSE Radio Ventures-owned KKSE-FM “Attitude Sports Radio 92.5” (Colorado Avalanche) surrenders two-tenths to .6 (flat at #29, 6+).
  • Despite logging its fourth straight up or flat move for a modest gain of two-tenths (.1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .3, 6+), Bonneville’s KEPN-AM “ESPN Denver 1600 AM” backslides from #31 to #32.
  • This is the fifth consecutive time that KSE Radio Ventures’ KKSE-AM records a .1 (#33 to #34, 6+).

Public Radio News/Talk

  • Adding two-tenths to September’s +1.2 (5.5 – 6.7 – 6.9, 6+), Colorado Public Radio’s KCFR repeats at #1. KCFR was +2.6 in March/April (5.2 – 6.3 – 7.8, 6+); -2.1 in May (7.8 – 5.7, 6+); and down three-tenths in July/August (5.8 – 5.6 – 5.5, 6+).
  • Three straight reports without a loss by Community Radio for Northern Colorado’s KUNC yielded four-tenths (.6 – .6 – .8 – 1.0, 6+), but KUNC is off one-tenth in October to .9 (flat at #26, 6+).

BALTIMORE

News/Talk

  • Not only is independent WCBM an overall +2.6 via four consecutive positive spikes (3.3 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 5.2 – 5.9, 6+), “680 Stimulating Talk – Breaking News” jumps from sixth to third. WCBM was +1.8 via four straight increases (2.3 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 4.1, 6+), but then -.8 in May/June (4.1 – 4.0 – 3.3, 6+).
  • Repeating September’s 4.3 (6+), Hearst Television-owned WBAL “News Radio – Expect More” nonetheless climbs from ninth to eighth. Its August increase of three-tenths interrupted three drops in a row that led to an overall -1.9 (6.0 – 4.9 – 4.4 – 4.1, 6+). That streak directly followed ten successive upticks that produced a +4.2 (1.8 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 5.1 – 6.0, 6+).
  • Cumulus Media Washington, DC’s WMAL more than doubles (+.5) its 6+ AQH share in four successive up or flat moves (.4 – .4 – .6 – .7 – .9, #23 to #21, 6+).

Sports Talk

  • Despite regressing by four-tenths to 3.5 (6+), Entercom sports talk WJZ-FM (Orioles) reenters the top ten (#11 to #10). Baltimore’s version of “The Fan” spiraled by -1.0 in June, but was then +1.4 in three straight sweeps without a loss (2.5 – 2.8 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+).
  • Unlisted in August and September, co-owned WJZ-AM resurfaces with a .1 (#32, 6+).

 News

  • Business news sibling WDCH lost exactly half (-.9) its 6+ AQH share through four straight decreases (1.8 – 1.5 – 1.2 – 1.0 – .9, 6+); however, “Bloomberg1 & 105.7” suspends the skid with a gain of two-tenths to 1.1 (#20 to #18). The just-ended negative streak followed five consecutive increases that accounted for a +1.3 (.5 – .6 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+).
  • M-10 Broadcasting-owned/Black Information Network affiliate WQLL “BIN 1370” doubled July’s .5 to 1.0 (August 2020, 6+); forfeited three-tenths in September (1.0 – .7, #18 to #23, 6+); and is now unlisted in October.

 Public Radio News/Talk

  • Including October’s loss of one-tenth, Your Public Radio’s WYPR “88.1 Your NPR News Station” continues an alternating down/up pattern (4.3 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 4.3, flat at #8, 6+).
  • Albeit off four-tenths in three straight down or flat moves (1.0 – .9 – .6 – .6, 6+), American University-owned WAMU improves from #27 to #25.

ST. LOUIS

 News/Talk

  •  Down three-tenths this time last month (5.2 – 4.9, 6+), Entercom’s KFTK rebounds with an October increase twice that magnitude (5.5, +.6, eighth to fifth, 6+). “FM News Talk 97.1” was a combined +1.1 in July/August (4.1 – 4.5 – 5.2, 6+).
  • Three consecutive upticks by co-owned KMOX (Cardinals) accounted for a +2.0 (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.4 – 6.7, 6+), but “The Voice of St. Louis” relinquishes 75% of that windfall with a -1.5 to 5.2 (third to seventh, 6+). September’s 6.7 marked the first time KMOX reached a six-share (6+) since April (6.9). Directly after a +1.8 in March/April (5.1 – 5.4 – 6.9, 6+), KMOX was -2.2 in May/June (6.9 – 5.9 – 4.7, 6+).

Sports Talk

  • Hubbard Broadcasting’s WXOS “101 Sports” sputters by three-tenths in September/October (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1, #17 to #19, 6+). By picking up two-tenths in June, WXOS stymied four straight losses that accounted for a roughly 52% (-2.4) vaporization of its 6+ AQH share (4.6 – 4.3 – 3.4 – 2.5 – 2.2, 6+).

 News

  • This is the third month in a row that iHeartMedia-owned/Black Information Network affiliate KATZ-HD2 is u

Public Radio News/Talk

  • Up one-half share in September/October (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.6, 6+), University of Missouri-owned KWMU progresses from #16 to #15.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

| October 13, 2020

iHeartMedia’s Black Information Network Names Three Broadcasters to Key Positions. Three broadcast pros are joining iHeartMedia’s BIN: Black Information Network. Emmy Award-winning journalist Ed Gordon will serve as an anchor and correspondent, Chris Thompson is joining as director of network operations and longtime iHeartMedia Chicago communications executive Angela Ingram is taking on the director of local advocacy and engagement role. iHeartMedia says that Gordon will also produce special programming leading up to the 2020 presidential election and will provide exclusive reports covering politics, Black culture and more. BIN director of news operations Tanita Myers says, “There’s no question that this is the most important election in decades, especially for Black America, and we’re thrilled to have Ed Gordon leading our coverage of this upcoming Presidential race. Whether it’s talking with presidents or just talking about today’s biggest stories, Ed’s well-known, hard-hitting direct and no-nonsense style will be right at home at BIN: Black Information Network and further establishes our role as a trusted source for Black Americans nationwide.” Chris Thompson is the former vice president of radio operations for Reach Media. He also served with the WOR Radio Network as executive director of network operations.  Angela Ingram will continue in her role as SVP of communications for the Chicago region of iHeartMedia in addition to this new position. BIN president Tony Coles says, “One of our goals is to attract the best leadership and talent to the Black Information Network. As we continue to expand, this team is vital to providing our affiliates and partners with best-in-class service and support. I am thrilled to have Chris leading these efforts as our director of network operations and Angela spearheading integral advocacy initiatives as director of local advocacy and engagement.”

PPM Analysis: All-News. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s September 2020 PPM survey (August 13-September 9), today focusing on the all-news format. This PPM survey was not particularly good to all-news stations as 65% of those saw their weekly, 6+ AQH share decline from the August 2020 survey. However, those stations that gained included Entercom’s KCBS-AM/KFRC-FM in both the San Jose market (+1.2) and in the San Francisco market (+0.5), Hubbard Radio’s WTOP-FM, Washington (+1.0), and Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KOMO-AM/FM, Seattle (+0.6). Year-over-year was a different story with 69% of all-news stations showing ratings increases, led by Entercom’s KYW, Philadelphia (+2.5 shares), KOMO-AM/FM, Seattle (+2.1 shares), and WTOP-FM, Washington (+2.0 shares). You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete report – including cume data – here.

RTDNA Bestows National Edward R. Murrow Awards. The Radio Television Digital News Association announced the 2020 National Edward R. Murrow Award winners during a virtual event on Saturday evening (10/10). The program featured the announcement and celebration of more than 100 National Murrow Awards, selected from more than 5,000 entries. During his opening speech, RTDNA executive director Dan Shelley said, “We know that this year has been extraordinarily tough. 2020 has brought about challenges that have tested us at every level of our professionalism and humanity and I couldn’t be more proud that you are always there, covering it all. That you – despite the previously unthinkable professional and personal challenges you’ve faced – are continuing to serve your communities with distinction and dignity and professionalism.” You can see all the winners here.

Biden Outspending Trump on Radio Ads. According to a story in Newsmax that cites McClatchy, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden outspent Republican President Donald Trump on radio ads by a margin of 50-1. The piece by John Gizzi says, “Federal Election Commission spending reports shows Biden spent over $15 million in radio ads across 50 states, while the Trump campaign spent a meager $270,000 across just seven states.” The story adds Biden is “spending heavily on radio targeting evangelical Christians, senior citizens, and core supporters like urban Blacks and Hispanics. Biden’s radio targeting could be pivotal to him winning such key states as Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin — all of which went narrowly for Trump in 2016.” McClatchy notes Biden’s ad spend is going to urban, gospel, and Hispanic radio “to help create a big turnout.”

The Presidential Race, Microsoft vs Russian Hackers, Amy Coney Barrett Confirmation, COVID-19 Stats & Projections, Johnson & Johnson Pauses COVID Vaccine Trial, Columbus Day-Indigenous Persons Day, NFL Battles Positive COVID Cases, and Lakers Win NBA Championship Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/12). The November presidential election; Microsoft and U.S. intelligence shut down Russian hacker effort; the confirmation proceedings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett; the rising number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and other parts of the world and projections for a potential fall and winter second wave; drug maker Johnson & Johnson pauses COVID-19 vaccine trial after test subject’s adverse reactions; the holiday celebrated in some states as Columbus Day and in others as Indigenous Persons Day; the NFL’s ongoing strategy to deal with positive COVID-19 cases among its players; and the Los Angeles Lakers win the NBA Championship 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. Condolences to the family and friends of KFDI, Wichita morning personality JJ Hayes whose wife Michelle Horne died on Friday after a battle with COVID-19. The KFDI website features a tribute to Horne. Hayes says, “Tonight, I lost my superpower. I’m broken.” He says that Horne, who was 50, had been home from the hospital for nine days and appeared to be getting better before she stopped breathing on Friday evening…..The Times of San Diego reports that former KXSN-FM “Sunny 98.1” morning duo “AJ and Sara” – A.J. Machado and Sara Perry– have launched their own streaming radio station. The two were let go from the Entercom adult contemporary station back in January and debuted their “AJ and Sara Radio” on October 2. They host the 7:00 am to 10:00 am show and the rest of the day features AC music “with an expanded 80s and 90s playlist.” Machado tells the paper, “It wasn’t easy to build a radio station, everything was a struggle and a challenge. I learned a lot about music licensing, apps and technology, forming an LLC and the business side of everything. I thought it would take a few weeks, and it’s been nearly six months since the decision was made to go our own direction.”

Thursday, October 1, 2020

| October 1, 2020

Round Two of September PPMs Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s September 2020 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s September 2020 survey period covered August 13 – September 9. You can see all the weekly, 6+ AQH share numbers from subscribing stations here. Also, today TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Rating Takeaways from this second round of markets. In the Washington, DC market, Cumulus Media’s WMAL-FM adds one-tenth to finish with an 8.0 share but slides back to the #3 rank as Howard University’s urban contemporary WHUR-FM powers into the #2 rank. Across town, Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP-FM remains in the #1 spot on the strength of a one-share gain and a 9.5 share finish. iHeartMedia’s WRKO, Boston jumps a full share to finish the September survey with a 4.9 share and the #8 rank while sister all-news WBZ-AM falls five-tenths to a 6.1 share good for the #5 rank. After six consecutive months at #1, Bonneville’s KIRO-FM, Seattle falls into the #2 spot after losing eight-tenths and finishing with a 6.4 share. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete report here.

Newsmax TV Reaches 9.6 Million Cable Viewers. According to Newsmax TV, the cable channel’s “total household reach jumped to 9.6 million, up from 2.9 million in August 2019, according to Comscore data.” Newsmax Media Inc CEO Christopher Ruddy says that viewership has increased steadily all year and he credits viewer interest in Newsmax’s election coverage coupled with its new shows like “Greg Kelly Reports,” “Sean Spicer’s Spicer & Co.”, and “The Chris Salcedo Show.” Ruddy says, “Viewers are clearly voting for Newsmax TV with their remotes. The growth is even more remarkable when one considers we just launched our first prime-time show in July.” The company says Newsmax TV has live or original news shows airing from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm ET and has launched significant daytime coverage on weekends. The network is also planning a daily morning show to debut in the next 60 days, with more prime-time show launches expected soon.

iHeartMedia Expands Board of Directors; Appoints Cheryl Mills to Board. The board of directors of iHeartMedia, Inc. is expanded to eight and Cheryl Mills is named to the new seat. Mills is the founder and CEO of BlackIvy Group LLC, a firm that builds and grows commercial enterprises in Sub- Saharan Africa to meet the needs of an expanding consumer population and growing business sector. Mills previously served as chief of staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and counselor to the U.S. Department of State. She also was SVP for corporate policy and public programming at Oxygen Media and was deputy counsel to the President at the White House and served as an associate at the Washington, D.C. law firm of Hogan and Hartson. iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman says, “We are extremely pleased that Cheryl Mills is joining the iHeart board. Her depth and breadth of experience, her leadership in policy, business and entrepreneurship, education and media, and her deep commitment to public service, will provide strong and unique value to our board and our company, and we are looking forward to her contributions.”

Cumulus Media Completes Initial Closing on $208 Million Tower Deal. This news from Cumulus Media Inc is relative to the $213 million deal that transfers its tower assets to Vertical Bridge. This initial closing is for the $208 million tower portfolio monetization transaction. Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner says, “We are thrilled to have expeditiously completed the first closing of this significant transaction. Pro forma for its completion and based on our Q2 ending cash balance, we will have reduced net debt by nearly $325 million during 2020 and by nearly $580 million since emerging from bankruptcy in 2018. Our further improved liquidity position and covenant-lite, long-dated debt will continue to support our growth initiatives and allow us to take advantage of accretive opportunities as we navigate through near-term uncertainties to drive long-term shareholder value.” After transaction fees and expenses and related costs, Cumulus received approximately $202 million in net proceeds at the initial closing. The use of net proceeds from the transaction are governed by the company’s Term Loan Credit Facility due 2026 and its 6.75% Senior Secured First Lien Notes due 2026. As defined in the debt agreements, net proceeds of approximately $64 million from assets being sold and not being leased back and net proceeds of approximately $96 million from assets being sold and leased back are required to pay down the Term Loan and be applied to a tender offer with respect to the 6.75% Notes on a pro rata basis. The paydown from the Sale-Leaseback Proceeds is required to be made at closing for the Term Loan portion and within thirty (30) days of closing for the 6.75% Notes. As such, at closing, the Company paid down approximately $49 million of its Term Loan at par, and it intends in the near future to launch a tender offer for up to approximately $47 million of the 6.75% Notes at par. Cumulus Media entered into a master lease agreement for the continued use of substantially all of the towers that were sold. That deal includes the 10-year initial term of the lease, followed by five option periods of five years each. The annual lease payment obligation for the assets leased back in the initial closing is approximately $13.2 million, subject to customary escalators, and will be accounted for as a reduction of the financial liability and interest expense. Cumulus anticipates that one or more subsequent closings will be held for the assets comprising the remainder of the previously announced $213 million purchase price, subject to adjustment based upon due diligence and the curing of outstanding site defects.

TALKERS News Notes. Pictured at right is Starnes Media Group principal, nationally syndicated talk show host, and KWAM, Memphis “The Mighty 990” owner Todd Starnes (right) at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s “Road to the Majority” conference in Atlanta where he served as a keynote speaker. He’s pictured here with conservative author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza (left)…..The “Margaritaville Podcast” joins the portfolio of cross-platform content-production and advertising-sales representation firm Crossover Media Group Sales. The recently launched podcast, hosted by Jimmy Buffett’s production coordinator Heikki Larsen features interviews with friends, colleagues, and fans of the Margaritaville global lifestyle brand inspired by the singer, songwriter and best-selling author. Recent guests have included Houston Texans defensive end JJ Watt, Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane and Jimmy Buffett video producer Stan Kellam. Crossover Media Group Sales managing member Sue Freund says, “Fans of the Margaritaville lifestyle constitute an extremely devoted, enduring, cohesive, socially conscientious and upscale fan base. Heikki and his show are a valuable addition to the CMGS portfolio, as it enables us to offer an even more diverse and versatile slate of inventory for marketing partners.”…..AdLarge Media announce its newest sports partnership with National Sports Network for exclusive ad sales representation of NCAA basketball play-by-play coverage on radio. AdLarge Media co-founder and co-CEO Gary Schonfeld says, “We’re very excited to offer our advertisers these NCAA basketball games on radio. With the addition of these top-tier college basketball games from National Sports Network, the AdLarge sports portfolio delivers continuous access to engaged sports fans.”…..PodcastOne acquires the exclusive distribution and sales rights for the health and wellness podcast “The Dr. Gundry Podcast.” The program is hosted by New York Times best-selling author of The Plant Paradox (Harper Wave 2017), Dr. Steven Gundry. He says, “I’m proud for ‘The Dr. Gundry Podcast’ to now be part of PodcastOne. Its robust podcasting network is a great platform to continue to empower listeners and share the knowledge and tools to help people live their best life.”

Wayne Allyn Root Organizes Las Vegas Parade. On Wednesday (9/30), a pro-police, pro-Trump parade of cars organized by KBET, Las Vegas-based talk show host Wayne Allyn Root drove down the Las Vegas strip. Root, pictured here with supporters, tells TALKERS magazine he estimates there were more than 1,000 cars taking part in the parade. Root says he waited at the parade’s finish line – the Nevada Governor’s office building – and “shook hands, and high-fived, and took photos, and thanked every single car of my fans.” You can read the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s coverage here.

The Presidential Race/Debate Aftermath, Mail-In Voting, COVID-19 Stats & Projections, New Stimulus Deal, Amy Coney Barrett Nomination, Down Financial Markets, BLM Movement/Protests, and California Wildfires Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/30). The November presidential election and the aftermath of Tuesday night’s debate; the debate over the reliability of mail-in voting; the rising number of positive COVID-19 cases in the Midwest and talk about a fall/winter second wave; negotiations between congress and the Trump administration over a new stimulus package; the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett for the U.S. Supreme Court; U.S. financial markets suffer their worst month since last March; the Black Lives Matter movement and the protests in various cities; and the deadly California wildfires were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

DYNAMIC DUO EXCLUSIVE!  “Cousin” Bruce Morrow and John Catsimatidis Are This Week’s Guests on Harrison Podcast. Radio enthusiasts won’t want to miss this brand-new audio gem! Legendary music radio personality “Cousin” Bruce Morrow and WABC, New York owner John Catsimatidis are this week’s guests on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Morrow (also known as “Cousin Brucie”) is one of the last of his generation still standing. He is the quintessential heritage disc jockey who has been a major on-the-air radio figure in New York City through several golden eras since 1959, performing on such storied stations as WINS, WABC, WNBC and WCBS-FM and, until recently, across the nation on SiriusXM Satellite Radio. Just a few weeks ago, to the delight of his multi-generational legion of fans, he was hired to host a Saturday evening music show on WABC, the station where he played to millions back in the 1960s and early 1970s during the heyday of his magnificent career. The other member of this dynamic duo, Catsimatidis is a well-connected radio lover and big business heavyweight whose Red Apple Media purchased WABC – now a news/talk outlet – from Cumulus Media late last year. He’s a prominent New York City-based, self-made mogul and syndicated radio talk show host involved in an array of industries that, in addition to communications, includes supermarkets, energy, and real estate development. He’s also a former and potential future New York City mayoral candidate. The result is a free-wheeling conversation that covers radio, music, politics, several surprises and the New York state of mind – an instant classic.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-Air pro Julie Guy signs a multiyear contract extension with Entercom’s adult contemporary WLYF-FM, Miami “101.5 LITE FM” to continue co-hosting the “Julie Guy & Tamara G” morning show. Entercom Miami SVP and market manager Keriann Worley says, “As a veteran of the station, Julie encapsulates the spirit of ‘101.5 LITE FM’ and sets the tone for our programming slate each morning. Her distinct energy and solid rapport with Tamara translate to a quality morning show and I’m happy to keep her in the fold for years to come.” Guy has served as a morning show host for “101.5 LITE FM” since 2013…..Cox Media Group’s urban contemporary WALR-FM, Atlanta “KISS 104.1” adds the nationally syndicated program “The Sweat Hotel,” with host Keith Sweat to air in the 9:00 pm to 2:00 am slot. Station director of branding and programming Terri Avery comments, “Keith Sweat is an R&B legend and ‘KISS 104.1’ is excited about him joining our lineup. Keith brings just the right blend of slow jams and sensual sounds that will keep our listeners entertained throughout the night.”

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

| September 2, 2020

Round Two of August PPM Ratings Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s August 2020 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s August 2020 survey period covered July 16 – August 12. You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from these 12 markets. In the Washington, DC market, Cumulus Media’s news/talk WMAL-FM dips a half share to finish with a 7.9 share and falls to #2 behind Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP-FM which added eight-tenths for an 8.6 share and the #1 rank. Beasley Media Group sports talker WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” climbs eight-tenths to a 4.9 share good for the #7 rank in the market while iHeartMedia’s crosstown all-new WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” loses one-tenth, finishing the August survey with a 6.6 share but rises to the #3 rank. In Seattle, Bonneville’s KIRO-FM remains unchanged at a 7.1 share and continues its now six-survey run at #1. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaway from this report (and the first round!) here.

Cumulus Stations Sign Up with ABC Audio for News Service. With the shuttering of the Westwood One News service that took effect on August 30, Cumulus Media news/talk, sports talk and some music outlets were in need of a news affiliation. The company announces that 29 of its news/talk stations – including heritage signals such as WLS-AM, Chicago and KGO-AM, San Francisco — are now using ABC Audio’s news. At the same time, 12 of Cumulus’ sports and music stations are signing on to air ABC’s hourly newscasts. ABC Audio executive director of business strategies, programming and distribution Heidi Oringer says, “We’re excited to welcome these big stations back to the ABC Audio family after six years away. Through this partnership, our unmatched reporting including crisis coverage, breaking news, and special programming, will reach new listeners and help ABC Audio continue to be the best in the business.” ABC Audio VP and general manager Stacia Philips Deshishku adds, “We’re in one of the biggest news cycles in history, with no end in sight. Our teams have worked nonstop to not only keep up with but also exceed listeners’ demand for trusted information. We’re thrilled that more stations are noticing our robust offerings and signing on to be part of our affiliate family.”

Pat McAfee Show to Air on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports. After exiting the CBS Sports Radio platform last month, former Indianapolis Colts punter and sports media personality Pat McAfee will be heard on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio channel live from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET, beginning September 9. McAfee says, “I’m very thankful and honored for the chance to be on Mad Dog Sports Radio. SiriusXM is such an incredibly massive platform and the freedom it allows is perfect for our style of show. To say we’re grateful to Scott Greenstein, Steve Cohen, Andrew Moss and all of the other awesome folks at SiriusXM for this opportunity would be an understatement. Let’s do the damn thing. We hope you’ll join us daily.”

Trump Visits Kenosha/Protests/BLM Movement, Presidential Race, Pelosi Salon Flap, COVID-19 Stats & Projections, School Opening Debate/College Outbreaks, Melania Trump Book, and New Stimulus Deal Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/1). President Trump’s visit to Kenosha in the aftermath of the shooting of Jacob Blake, the protests in Kenosha, Portland, Minneapolis and Los Angeles, and the Black Lives Matter movement; the November presidential election; the controversy over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pictured maskless in a closed San Francisco salon; the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. and projections for future cases; the debate over opening schools and the flareups on some college campuses; former Melania Trump aid Stephanie Winston Wolkoff’s book about the First Lady; and a new stimulus deal were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Report: Radio Listening Returning to March Levels. This week’s Westwood One blog includes data from Nielsen Audio from the August PPM survey and the May-June-July diary markets survey that indicates radio listening is returning to its March 2020 levels. The Nielsen data cited notes that “benchmarking against the March PPM survey, August average quarter-hour audiences increased again, now generating 90% of the prior audiences. In terms of weekly reach, AM/FM radio in the PPM markets has recaptured 96% of March cume listening. In diary markets, AM/FM radio has retained 97% of prior weekly cume.” Further, Nielsen says, “In medium and smaller diary markets, AM/FM radio is ‘pandemic proof’: AQH listening in the just-released May-June-July survey is virtually identical to the January-February-March period as AM/FM radio retains 100% of prior listening.” In a sign that more people are back in their cars in the morning, Nielsen notes “in the just-released August PPM data, most of the AQH growth occurred Monday-Friday 6AM-10AM and on weekends.”

iHeartMedia Reveals Results of ‘Trustworthiness’ Study. Based on information from data & analytics firm Engagement Labs, iHeartMedia says that one of the key findings is that “listeners’ trust in radio and its on-air personalities continues to grow as social media has become far less trustworthy over the past year.” The survey of radio listeners found radio to be 79% more or just as trustworthy versus a year ago while social media is 50% less trustworthy during the same time period. In particular, sentiment for Facebook, Instagram and Twitter has plummeted in recent months, with Facebook down 56%, Instagram down 38%, and Twitter down 140%. The survey of radio listeners age 18-69 ranked media trustworthiness as follows: 75% trust radio, 66% trust television, 57% trust websites, 38% trust Twitter, and 37% trust Facebook. iHeartMedia chief marketing officer Gayle Troberman comments, “The COVID-19 pandemic has made it more important than ever for Americans to get information they trust and to find ways to connect with people – and these findings show that radio continues to deliver a much needed and sought out trusted companionship during this historic and uncertain time.”

TALKERS News Notes. Former Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg and iHeartMedia are partnering on a 20-episode podcast series in which the former South Bend, Indiana mayor will discuss “the issues and choices that will define America’s next chapter.” “The Deciding Decade with Pete Buttigieg” debuts on September 9. iHeartPodcast Network president Conal Byrne says, “Pete created a groundswell of excitement during his presidential campaign run, and he is one of the most admirable and energetic young leaders of our time. We’re excited to bring Pete’s sharp intellect and remarkable eloquence to The iHeartPodcast Network.”…..A new podcast partnership between iHeartMedia and The Recount results in three new weekly shows: “Hell and High Water with John Heilemann,” “Just Something About Her with Jennifer Palmieri,” and “Battleground with David Plouffe and Steve Schmidt.” The Recount executive editor John Heilemann says, “The 2020 election is, without question, the most important election of our lifetime and this exciting trio of podcasts from hosts who’ve operated at the highest level of politics will help listeners cut through the bullshit and understand the big picture of what’s happening ahead of Election Day and beyond. Our content is resonating on our platform and across social media and we are excited to bring it to podcasting with iHeartMedia.”…..Pictured below is GCN nationally syndicated talk host Dr. Daliah Wachs giving blood during National Blood Donation Week. Dr. Wachs tells TALKERS magazine, “We’re off to a great start to National Blood Donation Week. Multiple governors declared Blood Donation Months, all falling on September 4 (National Blood Donation Day). Not only does this week help raise much needed blood for our blood banks and medical centers that has been drastically lowered during the COVID pandemic, but it unites both Democratic and Republican governors in a common cause. Blood isn’t a political issue, it’s a human life issue and National Blood Donation week proves Americans can come together for a common cause.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Angelique Alston is promoted to brand manager for Entercom’s hip hop WPGC-FM, Washington. Since 2013, Alston has served WPGC as assistant program director, morning show producer and events producer. Entercom Washington SVP and market manager Ivy Savoy-Smith says, “Angelique has done a tremendous job elevating our team and I am excited to see her expand her career as brand manager. Her unique way of providing entertainment for our listeners, educating the community with viable content and her engagement with the sales management team tells me she will thrive in this new role. Her ability to multi-task, implore creative thinking, work hard and commit to excellence has led to great success and we are delighted to have her lead WPGC 95.5 FM.”…..Rochester country WBEE announces that air personality Chris Konya is joining “The All New Bee Morning Coffee Club” program alongside Terry Clifford and TJ Sharp. This is a return to Entercom Rochester for Konya. Entercom Rochester SVP and market manager Sue Munn says, “Chris was a fan favorite during his time producing ‘The Breakfast Buzz’ and we’re thrilled to welcome him back to our airwaves alongside Terry and TJ. His humor and wit make him a perfect fit as a co-host for our new weekday morning program and together the trio will create a dynamic show for our community.”…..Premiere Networks’ syndicated Delilah adds three new affiliate stations. Picking up Delilah for evenings are: iHeartMedia’s KBFP-FM, Bakersfield “Sunny 105.3,” Cumulus Media’s WBZE-FM, Tallahassee “Star 98.9,” and McKenzie River Broadcasting’s KMGE-FM, Eugene, Oregon “Mix 94.5.”…..An application has been filed with the FCC for transfer of country KZTL-FM, Paxton and rock KRNP-FM, Sutherland in Nebraska from Legacy Communications to Eagle Communications. Kalil & Co is serving as the exclusive broker.

Wednesday, July 5, 2020

| August 5, 2020

Entercom Names VP of News; 10 Promoted to Executive Posts. In a memo to staff from Entercom president and CEO David Field, he announces that news pro Bill Smee is named to the newly created position, vice president of news. Smee has served with CNN, NBC News, and Slate during his career. Field says Smee “will spearhead our work to enhance and expand our news brands, building on their unparalleled position in our communities and adding new products and capabilities across our broadcast, digital, podcast, and smart speaker platforms. We are very excited about the future of our news and news/talk brands and the robust opportunities that lie ahead.” Field also announced the following promotion of 10 staffers to the following positions: Chris Ebbott, vice president, programming; Chad Fitzsimmons, senior vice president, promotions & experiences; Rose Isard, vice president, senior counsel; John Kennedy, senior vice president, engineering; Jennifer Morales, vice president, corporate communications & PR; Nancy Muir-Gaire, vice president, facilities management; Johnny Palumbo, vice president, senior counsel; Reggie Rouse, vice president, programming; Jeff Sottolano, executive vice president, programming; and Stephanie Taylor, vice president, benefits, compliance and talent acquisition.

David Field Positive About Entercom’s Future. In the same memo referenced above, David Field says he’s optimistic about the future for Entercom even though he says the road will “be bumpy and the continuing toll on our society tragic.” He says that since the nation’s economy bottomed out in April, things are improving. “Since then, our revenues have shown strong and steady improvement with each successive month getting progressively better. While there is still a long way to go, momentum is building as sports return. RADIO.COM remains the country’s fastest growing digital platform, our podcasting business continues to expand and thrive, and we are reactivating customers who shut down in the spring. In addition, advertising rates are rebounding as clients return and inventory tightens across all media during this intense political season. We are counting on our sales teams to be at their very best in the weeks ahead to help drive a speedy recovery.”

Saga Communications Q2 Revenue Down 47.6%. Reporting its second quarter 2020 financial data, Saga Communications’ net operating revenue for the period was $16.9 million, a decrease of 47.6% compared to the same period in 2019. During Q2 of 2019, the company reported net income of $4.7 million. In Q2 of this year, Saga is reporting a net loss of $4.9 million. Saga says, “Saga Communications, Inc. reported today that second quarter revenue and related net income (loss) was materially impacted by disruptions to businesses and service providers activities from closures and restrictive measures imposed by governmental authorities attributable to COVID-19 in the markets in which the company operates, and the nation as a whole. The inability for businesses and service providers to operate normally negatively impacted all broadcast and other media advertising. Initial industry estimates for radio broadcast revenue predicted a decrease in gross revenue of more than 50% for the month of April. This held true for the company as well. The company, however, did show monthly revenue improvements for each subsequent month, as the company concentrated on new revenue strategies and enhanced engagement with its existing and new advertisers. This trend has continued through Q2 and further revenue improvement has been noted in the beginning of Q3. From the company’s low point in April when its gross revenue was down 55% compared to the prior period, its revenue has continued to build.  The company’s July revenue was down 29% over the prior period. These amounts represent gross cash revenue. Trade and barter revenue are not included in these gross revenue numbers, because it only represents approximately 2% of the company’s revenue each month. From the start of Q2 to the end of the first month of Q3 there was a reduction in the decline in revenue by approximately 50%.”

Round Two of July PPMs Released. The second round of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s July 2020 PPM has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s July 2020 survey period covered June 18 – July 15. You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways for this group of markets. Cumulus Media’s news/talk WMAL-FM, Washington adds two-tenths to finish with an 8.4 share and is #1 for the fourth straight survey. Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP-FM, Washington tacks on one-tenth for a 7.7 share and the #2 rank. Bonneville’s news/talk KIRO-FM, Seattle is flat with a 7.1 share and continues at #1 for the fifth survey in a row. iHeartMedia’s KFYI, Phoenix adds three-tenths for a 4.4 share finish good for #6 in the market. Entercom’s KMOX, St. Louis picks up three-tenths, good for a 5.0 share and the #9 rank in the market. See Mike Kinosian’s complete report here.

Steve Borneman Named COO for JAM Media Solutions. Radio executive Steve Borneman joins JAM Media Solutions as chief operating officer. JAM owns and operates two music outlets and a digital publication in Muscatine, Iowa and news/talk WZPR “News/Talk 92.3,” three music outlets and the digital platform OBXToday on the Outer Banks in North Carolina.  Borneman, who most recently was COO of Pamal Broadcasting, will be based in North Carolina. JAM Media Solutions CEO Jonathan Mason says, “I am excited to work with Steve again. We worked together at 77 WABC in New York. Steve is one of the best operators in radio and an amazing human being! JAM Media Solutions is excited to welcome him to the family and we look forward to winning with him!” Prior to joining Pamal, Borneman served as president and general manager at Cumulus Media New York.

TALKERS News Notes. Radio pro Sammy Simpson tweets that he’s been hired as the new brand/content manager for Capitol Broadcasting Company’s Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina stations that include adult contemporary WRAL-FM, a trio of sports talk outlets – WCMC-FM, “The Buzz,” and WDNC – and “95.7 FM That Station.” He starts on September 8. In June, the company eliminated the sports content director post held by Dennis Glasgow…..Public news/talk outlet WAMU-FM, Washington is in turmoil over allegations of sexual harassment at the American University-owned property. It all came to a head after the WAMU-owned publication DCist ran a story by Rachel Kurzius that details allegations of harassment and improper behavior by former WAMU reporter Martin Di Caro. The Washingtonian reports that at an all-staff meeting, numerous employees were asking for station general manager J.J. Yore to resign, something he says he will not do at this time. Former WAMU chief content officer Andi McDaniel left the station last month to join Chicago Public Media’s WBEZ-FM, Chicago as president and CEO, effective in September. The DCist piece indicates she was well aware of Di Caro’s behavior, having signed off on a “Level III Final Written Warning for Serious Misconduct” given to Di Caro after “almost two years” of complaints.….Cox Media Group’s news/talk KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa is joining the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network and will air all games when the season begins. Cox Tulsa market VP Cathy Gunther says, “We know that Green Country football fans are eager for more ways to listen to their favorite teams and we are glad to add the Chiefs Radio Network to our programming. This has been a while in the making and we are very proud of what is about to hit the airwaves at KRMG.”…..Public media WGBH firm announces it has hired two journalists for its growing newsroom. Carrie Saldo joins WGBH as a reporter covering Worcester County and will be based in WGBH’s recently announced Worcester news bureau. Former Boston Globereporter Megan Woolhouse reports on education for the WGBH news K-12 education desk.

Former Radio Exec Norm Schrutt Dies at 87. Former former Capital Cities/ABC executive Norm Schrutt died in Atlanta Tuesday (8/4) at age 87. Salem Radio Network V.P. of News/Talk Tom Tradup tells TALKERS magazine he worked for Schrutt while serving as president and GM of WLS-AM, Chicago in the early 1990s. He says that in recent years, Schrutt led a talent agency in Atlanta representing broadcasters. “Norm was a larger-than-life personality in his own right, with a sarcastic, wry sense of humor. Once when his daughter was about to give birth to his first grandson, I asked him if he wanted to be called Grandpa or PaPa or some other nickname. He replied, “I’d like the kid to call me Mr. Schrutt.”

COVID-19 Statistics & Projections, Presidential Race/Tuesday Primaries, Trump Axios Interview, Portland Protests, TikTok Deal/U.S.-China Relations, Beirut Explosion, Tropical Storm Isaias, and Pro Sports Leagues’ Struggles Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/4). The rising number of COVID-19 cases in numerous U.S. states and projections for future cases; the November presidential election, the debate over vote-by-mail, and the results of Tuesday’s primary elections; the criticism of President Trump’s interview with Axios; the BLM protests taking place in Portland; the deal for Microsoft to acquire Chinese app TikTok and U.S.-Chinese relations; the explosion that rocked Beirut; the damage along the East Coast from Tropical Storm Isaias; and the positive COVID-19 cases affecting pro sports leagues 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. Non-commercial triple A WXPN, Philadelphia is airing a special series of broadcasts all next week, beginning on August 10. “Woodstock Week: Back to the Garden Again” will feature all 33 music sets from the 1969 Woodstock music festival. In August 2019, WXPN exclusively replayed every moment from the four-day Woodstock festival in commemoration of its 50th anniversary. Listeners from across the globe tuned in and WXPN’s special broadcast was picked as a “Who Won the Week?” winner on MSNBC. WXPN associate GM for programming Bruce Warren says, “Our four-day broadcast last year was a unique, one-time opportunity to bring the entire Woodstock festival to WXPN listeners in celebration of its 50th anniversary. This year, we’re looking forward to hearing the full music sets performed by all 33 Woodstock artists – from Joan Baez to Johnny Winter – that will really highlight what the music meant at that special point in music history.”

Thursday, July 9, 2020

| July 9, 2020

Round Two of June PPMs Released. The second of four rounds of data from Nielsen Audio’s June 2020 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s June 2020 survey period covered May 21 – June 17. You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ratings Takeaways” from this second round of ratings. The intense spike in ratings for news/talk stations that happened during the April survey has halted and many of those stations are seeing weekly, 6+ AQH shares falling off. In Washington, although Cumulus Media’s WMAL-FM lost 1.1 shares from the May survey to the June survey, it still ranks #1 in the market with an 8.2 share. Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP-FM, Washington dips four-tenths to a 7.6 share but remains ranked #2. In Boston, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WRKO dips one-half share to a 4.3 share and the #7 rank while sister all-news WBZ-AM rises seven-tenths to a 6.6 share and the #3 rank. Bonneville’s KIRO-FM, Seattle loses just one-tenth from May to June and remains ranked #1 with a 7.1 share. Entercom all-news WWJ, Detroit drops three-tenths to finish the June survey with a 5.4 share and the #3 rank. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete “Ratings Takeaways” report here.

Chris Fleming Named EVP at El Dorado Broadcasters. Broadcasting executive Chris Fleming joins El Dorado Broadcasters – operator of radio stations in the Victor Valley, California and Yuma, Arizona markets – as executive vice president for the company and general manager for the Victor Valley cluster. El Dorado operates news/talk KIXW, Victor Valley “Talk 960” and news/talk KBLU in Yuma in addition to seven music brands in the two markets. Fleming was most recently EVP for Neuhoff Media and based in Lafayette, Indiana. El Dorado president Jason Wolff says, “Chris Fleming has a long history of building products and growing revenues in markets of all sizes. I’ve watched from a distance as Chris built tremendous value for Brad Moran at Ramar. Now I’m excited to give Chris the reins and see him guide El Dorado into a successful integrated marketing company with strong radio brands at its core.”

Radio Hall of Fame Announces 2020 Nominees. The nominees for induction into the Radio Hall of Fame as members of the class of 2020 have been announced. At the same time, the RHoF says that this year’s induction ceremony will be a live radio broadcast from multiple locations this October. The exact date and additional details will be announced along with the inductees on August 17. Industry voting in four of the six categories begins Monday (7/13) and listener voting in the other two categories begins on July 20. RHoF chair Kraig Kitchin states, “2020 marks 100 years of radio and, while we regret that we cannot hold an in-person event this year, we’re looking forward to the excitement of a live, multi-location radio broadcast. I want to thank Dennis Green, chair of this year’s Nominating Committee, and all the radio professionals who are volunteering their time and expertise to the difficult task of selecting inductees from such an impressive list.” The first four categories below are voted on by the 600-member industry participant panel and the last two are voted on by listeners.

Longstanding Local/Regional (20 years or more)
Mark & Brian – KLOS-FM, Los Angeles
Bobby Rich-KFMB-FM, San Diego & KMXZ-FM, Tucson
Bob Rivers-KJR-FM, Seattle
Donnie Simpson-WMMJ-FM, Washington D.C.

Active Local/Regional (10 years or more)
Angie Martinez-WWPR-FM, New York City
Matt Siegel-WXKS-FM, Boston
Elliot Segal-WWDC-FM, Washington D.C.
Bob Stroud-WDRV-FM, Chicago

Longstanding Network/Syndication (20 years or more)
Sid Mark-host, “Sounds of Sinatra”
Joey Reynolds-host, WOR Radio Network
Cokie Roberts-political reporter, NPR
Suzyn Waldman-New York Yankees Radio Network

Active Network/Syndication (10 years or more)
“The Breakfast Club”-Charlamagne Tha God, Angela Yee, DJ Envy, Premiere Networks
Larry ElderSalem Radio Network
Jaime Jarrin-Los Angeles Dodgers Network
Kim KomandoWestStar Radio Network

Music Format On-Air Personality
Whitney Allen-“The Big Time with Whitney Allen,” Westwood One
Bob & Sheri-“The Bob and Sheri Show,” Westwood One
Sway CallowaySirius XM Shade 45 Channel
John Boy & BillyPremiere Networks

Spoken Word On-Air Personality
Glenn BeckPremiere Networks
John & Ken-KFI-AM, Los Angeles
Stephanie MillerWYD Media
“Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me”-NPR

TALKERS News Notes. Talk media personality Michael Smerconish is the subject of a piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Writer Ellen Gray interviews Smerconish about his talk radio and talk TV career in advance of the one-hour special that will air on CNN this Saturday at 10:00 pm titled, “Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Talking.” The show was supposed to be a 12-city tour featuring a two-hour, live stage event but the coronavirus pandemic nixed the tour. Instead, Smerconish filmed the program at the Bucks County Playhouse with a socially distanced crew. Smerconish’s thoughts on political polarization, talk media and more are part of the show and the interview. He hosts a weekend show on CNN and his daily talk show on SiriusXM…..Former FOX News Channel journalist Shepard Smith joins CNBC to anchor a new, one-hour evening news program titled. “The News with Shepard Smith,” airing nightly at 7:00 pm ET. CNBC says the program will debut in the fall and “will cover the most significant news stories of the day and will feature the well-respected, fact-based storytelling that has been the hallmark of his 30-year career.” Additionally, Smith will assume the new roles of CNBC’s chief general news anchor and chief breaking general news anchor as well as executive editor of “The News with Shepard Smith.” Smith says, “Gathering and reporting the news has been my life’s work. I am honored to continue to pursue the truth, both for CNBC’s loyal viewers and for those who have been following my reporting for decades in good times and in bad.” Smith served with FOX News Channel for 23 years before exiting last fall…..The New York TimesMichael Grynbaum reports that Joy Reid is being promoted to the 7:00 pm ET slot at cable news/talk channel MSNBC, effective July 20. Grynbaum writes that Reid “rose to television fame as a sharp critic of President Trump and commentator on liberal politics and race.”  Her new show, “The ReidOut,” takes the time slot long occupied by “Hardball” host Chris Matthews, who exited MSNBC earlier this year in the aftermath of accusations of “sexist behavior in the workplace.”…..Sports talk host Tony Bruno’s show is soon to be heard in Southern California as XEPRS, San Diego “THE MIGHTIER 1090am” adds the show to its lineup in the 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight slot. “The Tony Bruno Show” – with co-host Harry Mayes – is syndicated via a partnership between SB Nation Radio and JAKIB Media. XEPRS operator Bill Hagen says, “Adding Bruno to the relaunch of this historic radio station was a true no-brainer. Tony helped invent the entire sports radio genre and it is only fitting that an icon like Tony is on an icon like ‘THE MIGHTIER 1090am.’”

RAB’s ‘Open for Business with Purpose’ Presentation Set for July 22. The RAB announces that as part of its Business Unusual initiative, the next presentation in its Open for Business live video series takes place on July 22 at 1:00 pm ET and is titled “Open for Business with Purpose.” RAB says, “This live video presentation features a panel representing an example of a partnership built for the greater good including a nonprofit organization, brand marketers, and broadcasters who lead by example and unite audiences.” Panelists (pictured above, l-r) include: Maureen Carlson, chief program officer, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals; Whitney McChane, vice president, marketing communications, International Dairy Queen; Quinton Martin, chief of staff, office of the president, vice president community marketing, Coca Cola, North AmericaRoxanne Marati, vice president of sales, Entercom Denver; Sean Shannon, vice president and market manager, Cumulus Media Atlanta. The presentation will include a Q&A moderated by RAB president and CEO Erica Farber. Registration is free for RAB members.

COVID-19 Statistics & Projections, Trump Schools Order/Foreign Students Ban, SCOTUS Birth Control Ruling, Presidential Race, Summer Heatwave, and Sports Leagues Opening Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/8). The rising number of COVID-19 cases in numerous states and projections for future cases and deaths; President Trump orders U.S. schools to open in the fall under threat of withholding funds and orders a ban on foreign college students on campus this year; the Supreme Court rules that employers do not have to provide birth control as part of health care plans if they object on religious or moral grounds; the November presidential election; the heatwave affecting much of the U.S.; and the controversy over sports leagues reopening as athletes test positive for COVID-19 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Jennifer Horn is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  One of the hardest working, rising stars in news/talk radio, Jennifer Horn, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Horn is heard on the air every day on several high-profile venues and serves as the general manager of another. She co-hosts “The Morning Answer” with Brian Whitman on two Salem Media Group Southern California “The Answer” stations – KRLA-AM 870, Los Angeles and KTIE-AM 590, San Bernardino (the Inland Empire) where she also hosts the “Jen and Don” show. In addition, she is co-host of the nationally syndicated “DJV Show” with Doug Stephan. On top of that, this dynamo is the VP/GM of ground-breaking network/content producer, CRN Digital Talk Radio, launched in the early 1980s by her father, Mike Horn. In a fast-paced conversation that covers a lot of bases, Harrison taps into Horn’s conservative perspective on many of today’s hottest issues in addition to exploring the details of her colorful history as a second-generation broadcaster. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. South Florida hot AC WMIA flips to an all-90s format as “Totally 93.9 All 90s All the Time.” iHeartMedia Miami SVP of programming Rob Miller says, “‘Totally 93.9’ is South Florida’s first all 90s station. In these anything-but-normal times, we believe our audience is craving a familiar and nostalgic listening experience that brings back fun memories of their high school and college years, and we think ‘Totally 93.9’ is ‘da’ bomb.’”…..Beginning next week, Westwood One Nashville’s “Nights with Elaina” – hosted by Elaina Smith – will showcase a week of special nights with guest hosts  Trisha Yearwood, Danielle Bradbery, Chrissy Metz (from NBC’s “This Is Us”), Brett Eldridge, Justin Moore, and Rascal FlattsJay Demarcus with his wife Allison. Each night, one artist will host from home and share a night of country music fun with fans. Smith says, “There are few things more comforting than hearing familiar voices every day. Which is one of the reasons radio has been so helpful through this pandemic. I am beyond grateful to all the country stars that have stepped in to hang with our listeners while I can’t be there. This time around we’ve got a really fun mix of artists that I know will keep the positive vibe of the show going as we continue to navigate 2020 together.”…..Sun Broadcast Group announces that the MeTV-FM format picks up a new affiliate station as Langford Broadcasting’s WGTO-AM/W256DV begins airing the format. Owner Larry Langford says, “WGTO AM910 and FM97.1 has been a classic hits station for many years, but we found ourselves competing with higher power stations playing the same tight playlist and voice tracked DJ’s. We needed to try something different. MeTV-FM pulls it off in a way that allows you to enjoy the music flow with creative and entertaining drop ins about the times and the music. We are looking forward to a long relationship in the South Bend, Indiana market!”

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

| June 17, 2020

TALKERS EXCLUSIVE:  A Conversation with Heidi Harris.  As reported in TALKERS yesterday (6/16), KMZQ, Las Vegas morning host Heidi Harris has tested positive for COVID-19.  She told her listeners on the air and via Facebook yesterday that she’s tested positive for COVID-19.  Harris writes that she started with a cough last Thursday and, after getting worse that night, called in sick on Friday. She says she got considerably sicker over the weekend with intense body aches but did not suffer breathing troubles or nausea. She attempted to do her show yesterday from bed via phone.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison conducted a phone interview with Harris yesterday afternoon.  To listen to the entire conversation, please click here.

PPM Analysis: All-News. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s May 2020 PPM survey, today focusing on all-news. Kinosian notes that “whereas the highly unusual statistical oddity from the March 2020 sweep in which every news station meeting our ratings criteria managed to post a 6+ improvement, all but two eligible news outlets experienced some degree of erosion in the May 2020 survey period (April 23 – May 20).” Hubbard Radio’s WTOP-FM, Washington (+0.3) and Entercom’s business news WDCH, Baltimore (+0.1) were the two news stations to see weekly, 6+ AQH share gains. However, almost 70% of all-news stations saw their 6+ numbers rise from the May 2019 survey to the May 2020 survey. Just one all-news station – Entercom’s WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago ranked #1 in May, though three others ranked #2. See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Art Bell’s Dark Matter Digital Network Re-Launches. The Dark Matter Digital Network that Art Bell created before his death in April of 2018 is re-launching through the efforts of Bell’s former show producer David Rubini who is now serving as DMDN’s operations director and executive producer. Rubini says that beginning today (6/17 – what would have been Bell’s 75th birthday) affiliates can pick up “Best of Art Bell” in addition to the new “Midnight in the Desert” show hosted by Nathan Stolpman on weeknights, Alexis Brooks on Friday nights, famed author and researcher Mike Bara (Ancient Aliens) on Saturday nights, and Hollywood director and actor Sean Stone (Born On The 4th of July, JFK, The Doors) hosting Sundays. Rubini says, “Dark Matter Digital Network has been intoxicating to many PDs who have a desperate need to find a traditionally unique, time-tested, and reliable programming alternative that can serve them both late nights and overnights. Dark Matter Digital Network and “Midnight in the Desert” fills this void.”

Beverlee Brannigan Exits SVP of Programming Post with SummitMedia. In an announcement via Facebook, radio pro Beverlee Brannigan says she’s left her SVP of programming position at SummitMedia less than six months after accepting the promotion from her previous Wichita market president and general manager position and corporate vice president of radio programming post. She writes, “Friday was my last day with SummitMedia. Business. It happens. Here’s what I don’t want you to say about that: ‘Radio sucks. I’ll never listen to those stations again.’ That’s dumb and mean. Business is hard, and my former colleagues and friends are putting their hearts into making their radio stations the best they can be. So please listen more. And advertise there, because it works… Another thing I’d like is more cat pictures and memes about punctuation and grammar showing up on my timeline. You know where to find me. See you soon.”

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that WGN-AM, Chicago is in talks with Garry Meier to take over the afternoon drive daypart on the station after current PM drive host Roe Conn’s contract runs out at the end of this year. Feder says his sources confirm Nexstar Media Group EVP Sean Compton is talking Meier about the move. Meier has been off terrestrial radio since exiting WGN in 2014. He’s been podcasting since 2016. Meier and Conn worked together as “Roe & Garry” on Cumulus Media’s crosstown WLS-AM from 1996 to 2004. Meier left WLS after being unable to come to terms on a new deal…..Nationally syndicated “Free Talk Live” announces two new affiliate stations are adding the show to their program schedules. Missouri Ozarks Radio Network Inc’s KWPM-AM/K286CK, West Plains, Missouri is carrying the “Free Talk Live” Saturday evening show. Dimes Media Corp’s KWWV-HD2/K253BR “K-News 98.5” is adding the Saturday and Sunday programs…..Entercom reports that, according to comScore, RADIO.COM grew its U.S. monthly unique users by 6 million in May 2020 versus May 2019, calling it the “fastest growing digital audio platform in the United States in May.” The company adds that RADIO.COM’s “total monthly active users across (MAU) all platforms is now over 40 million, with strong MAU growth also contributing to the platform’s expanding first-party data set and rapidly growing addressable audio impressions across both streaming and podcast.”…..As reported by The Current, Chicago Public Media announced it has laid off 12 and is ending the production agreement with the music show “Sound Opinions” as a result of the “financial pressures from the pandemic.” “Sound Opinions” is hosted by Chicago-based music critics Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot. The program will continue to air on CPM’s WBEZ-FM, Chicago and its affiliates across the country, but CPM will cease to produce it after August 28…..Minnesota Public Radio and American Public Media announces the two companies have laid off more than two dozen employees and have cancelled, “Live from Here,” the national program that evolved out of Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion.” “Live from Here” was hosted by Chris Thile…..The NFL’s Los Angeles Chargers and Estrella Media have struck a deal for Estrella’s KRCA-TV, Los Angeles and KBUE-FM “Que Buena” to serve as the official Spanish-language TV and radio homes of the Los Angeles Chargers.

SiriusXM Acquires Simplecast Platform. The combination of SiriusXM’s newly acquired podcast management platform Simplecast with its monetization platform AdsWizz “creates an end-to-end solution that enables creators to publish and generate revenue from their podcasts, all in one place.” SiriusXM offers no details on the financial aspect of the acquisition but says, “The acquisition expands and strengthens SiriusXM’s and Pandora’s tools and monetization services for podcasters and publishers.”

COVID-19 Statistics & Projections, Beijing Coronavirus Flareup, BLM Protests/Statues Controversy, Trump’s Police Executive Order, John Bolton Book, Presidential Race/Tulsa Rally, Social Media Censorship, Financial Markets Activity, and China-India Himalayan Battle Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/16). The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., the states with rising and falling numbers, and projections for future cases and deaths; the outbreak of COVID-19 in Beijing; the Black Lives Matter protests, Seattle’s CHOP zone, and the controversy surrounding Confederate and Colonial-era statues; President Trump’s police training executive order; the Trump administration’s suit to prevent former national security adviser John Bolton from publishing his book; the presidential race and President Trump’s planned Tulsa rally; the reactions to Google’s and Facebook’s treatment controversial content and ads; the world’s financial markets react to the pandemic and racial strife; and the battle between China and India over a Himalayan border region 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. The weekend country music radio show “Buckwild Saturday Night” – hosted by Bryan “B-Dub” Washington – changes its name to “B-Dub Radio Saturday Night as it transitions to distribution via Skyview Networks. B-Dub says, “I am beyond excited to partner with Skyview Networks for the rebrand into ‘B-Dub Radio Saturday Night.’ The team at Skyview Networks has shared detailed and impressive ideas that will continue growing the show and adding to the listener experience through our amazing affiliates.  I’m thrilled to be part of this new vision!” Skyview Networks president and COO Steve Jones says, “Country radio programmers are constantly seeking partners who offer high-quality content and talent.  B-Dub is the partner for them. With an ability to create a weekly party for his listeners, B-Dub will continue to grow his radio network and offer a smart investment return for his advertisers.”…..Nationally syndicated radio personality Tino Cochino is launching a new podcast titled, “The Aircheck,” in which he sits down with other radio stars from around the country to share stories about radio. Cochino’s recent guests have featured a who’s who of talent, including Bobby Bones, JoJo Wright, Ebro Darden, J-Si Chavez, and more. He says, “I love radio. To me, the personalities are and have always been the stars. The thing is, they’re the ones always doing the interview. No one ever interviews them! That changes now.”

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