Tag: "WWTN"

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

| October 31, 2018

Sports Talker Kirk Minihane Headed to Barstool Sports? Based on recent cryptic Tweets combined with last week’s post by WEEI, Boston morning personality Kirk Minihane, he may be joining Barstool Sports – which has been producing sports talk shows on SiriusXM since last February – instead of returning to the Entercom sports talker. Minihane took a leave of absence in early September to seek treatment for depression and suicidal thoughts.  Last week, he Tweeted that he’s been ready to return to the “Kirk & Callahan” morning show but has been kept away by WEEI management.  But, yesterday’s Tweet from Barstool Sports president David Portnoy hints at changes. “BREAKING: Barstool Radio shakeup is coming in 2 weeks, McAfee’s slot will be filled and there will be new shows added per @stoolpresidente.”  Minihane responds, “Really?” It’s unclear what the issue is between WEEI and Minihane but Portnoy has publicly offered Minihane a presence on Barstool Sports.

Prosecution Lays Out Case Against Craig Carton. On Monday, the federal government began presenting its case to the jury against former WFAN, New York morning drive co-host Craig Carton as his trial on multiple fraud charges began.  The New York Post reports that the prosecution is saying that Carton used his popularity as a media celebrity to convince investors to give him millions of dollars to operate a secondary market concert ticket business but that the money actually went to personal expenses such as landscaping, repaying casino debts, and to reimburse previous investors.  Carton’s lawyer told the jury that Carton was the victim of former partner Joseph Meli, who is currently serving a six-and-a-half-year sentence for fraud in a ticket-selling scheme the prosecution alleges overlapped with Carton’s.  The defense also blames film financier David Molner, who is named in a civil suit of being part of Meli’s ticket re-sale operation.  However, one of the first pieces of evidence introduced was an allegedly doctored email from Carton to hedge fund Brigade Capital (which lent him $4.6 million) that the feds say shows Carton was aware of the nature of his business.

Ex-Congressman Jolly Debuts Midday Show on ‘News/Talk Florida.’ Former U.S. Rep. David Jolly is the newest talk show host on Genesis Communications’ Florida news/talk duo “News/talk Florida” WWBA, Tampa Bay and WIXC, Titusville.  Jolly represented Florida’s 13th District from 2014 through 2017 before losing his re-election to former governor Charlie Crist.  He’s been a critic of President Trump and an “advocate for common-sense bipartisanship.”  His show, “David Jolly: Unbiased and Unplugged,” airs from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm daily and replaces the Erik Kuselias program.  Jolly comments, “I’m excited to join the Genesis lineup.  Florida, especially the I-4 corridor, is an increasingly important political landscape, and it’ll be great to reach it through the Genesis network.”

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated talk radio host Phil Valentine has released a video tribute to America’s servicemen and servicewomen to mark Veterans Day on November 11.  The WWTN, Nashville-based Westwood One personality explains, “I was invited to Texas for a market visit for one of our affiliates.  On the last day, I was to make a speech to a group of veterans on Veterans Day [last year].  I sat in my hotel room the night before wondering what in the world I could say to so many who had given so much for this country having never served myself.  As I began to jot thoughts down on paper, a poem emerged.”  You can see Valentine’s production titled, “I Never Served,” here…..Jackson, Tennessee radio personality Bill Way is returning to the air on the market after “retiring” a year ago.  Beginning tomorrow (11/1), Way begins hosting a daily, one-hour program on Grace Broadcasting’s WTJS-FM at 8:30 am. Way spent almost 25 years as a personality on The Wireless Group’s crosstown talk outlet WNWS-FM.  Way comments, “I called it a retirement when I left, but I always knew I couldn’t retire. My mind works at a high rate of speed and when I see issues happening, I have commentary that is different from conventional opinions.”  The program will be re-broadcast at 3:00 pm each day…..Comics Jim Norton (left) and Sam Roberts (right) have re-upped with SiriusXM to continue hosting the “Jim and Sam” show on the Faction Talk channel for another three years.  The program airs from 7:00 am to 10:00 am ET with an extra hour from 10:00 am to 11:00 am that will feature bonus content consisting of special interviews, replays, and other content unique to the show.  It will also replay from 11:00 pm to 2:00 am during the week…..ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 Podcasts returns for a fourth season with five all-new audio documentaries.  The first three episodes are: “Juiced” about Jose Canseco’s best-selling memoir, “All In: Sparking the Poker Boom” focusing on the rise of poker and a deep dive into The 2003 WSOP, and “Six Who Sat” about female endurance athletes who staged a sit-down strike for 10 minutes at the 1972 New York City Marathon to challenge unequal treatment of women in their sport.

Pittsburgh Synagogue Slayings, Midterm Elections/Trump Campaigns, Migrant Caravan/Birthright Citizenship Issue, Dow Rallies, Mail ‘Bombs’ Case, Indonesian Jet Crash, Apple Unveils New Products, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/30).  The aftermath of the deadly attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue that took the lives of 11; the November 6 midterm elections and President Trump’s campaigning; the caravan of Honduran migrants and President Trump’s claim he can eliminate birthright citizenship with an executive signing; the Dow gains 400 points after suffering losses last week; the case of mail “bomber” Cesar Sayoc; the crash of Lion Air’s brand-new Boeing 737 in Indonesia; Apple unveils new computer and iPad products; and NFL Action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Richard Neer Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  As the just-concluded 2018 World Series indicated, so many things about sports are changing – the way the games are played, the way we root for our favorite teams and players, the way we bet on them, and the way we cover them in the media.  Thirty-year WFAN, New York veteran sports talk show host Richard Neer is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Harrison and Neer have been friends and colleagues going all the way back to their days together in the formative years of the album rock format at WLIR, Long Island and WNEW-FM, New York.  Neer wrote the milestone book about that era titled FM: The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio (Villard 2001).  In this podcast, these prolific conversationalists take a thoughtful, deep dive into the X’s and O’s of the changing culture of sports in our rapidly accelerating society.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, programmer and air personality Haynes Johns exits Alpha Media’s hot AC WXLC, Waukegan, Illinois where he’s been since 2005.  Johns tells Feder that the parting was amicable – “just a difference in programming philosophies” – and that he would like to continue working in the Chicago market…..Morning personality Broadway, a.k.a. Bill Bert, exits Entercom’s country WDSY-FM, Pittsburgh “Y108” after a year on the job.  He came to WDSY from his previous gig at iHeartMedia’s country WWYZ, Hartford…..Long Island oldies outlet WLNG, Sag Harbor is trading hands.  Main Street Broadcasting is selling the station to Bark Out Loud Dogs Media for $3.9 million.

October 2018 PPM Data – Round Two. October 2018 ratings information has been released for Washington (D.C.), Boston, Miami, Detroit, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Tampa, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen Audio’s October 2018 survey period covered September 13 – October 10. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM-markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

Washington, DC

Spoken-Word Formats – Without a loss for the fourth month in succession, Cumulus Media news/talk WMAL is +1.5 in that timeframe (3.5 – 3.7 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 5.0, 6+) and continues at #6. October’s 5.0 is its best 6+-stat since March (5.0, as well), which is when WMAL reached the five-share level (6+) for the first time in the PPM-era. Immediately prior to July, WMAL was a combined -1.5 via three consecutive downward moves (5.0 – 4.5 – 3.9 – 3.5, 6+). After completely erasing July’s -.5 with an August +.5 (3.7 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+), Entercom sports talk WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” repeats September’s 3.6 (6+), but departs the top ten (#10 to #11). July’s decrease ended three gains in a row by the Washington Nationals’ flagship that netted a +1.3 (2.4 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.7, 6+). Meanwhile, Radio One’s similarly-formatted WTEM “980 The Team” exits the top twenty (#20 to #22). “The Team” had a lengthy hiatus from Nielsen Audio; reappeared in June with a 1.0 (6+); immediately disappeared again in July (0.0); returned in August with a .9 (6+); repeated that .9 (6+) in September; and dips to .7 (6+) in October. Within 9.3 – 9.9 range for the seventh successive month (9.6 – 9.7 – 9.5 – 9.3 – 9.4 – 9.4 – 9.9, 6+), Hubbard all-news WTOP is #1 for the tenth straight ratings period. Not only does American University-owned news/talk WAMU note its third straight increase for an overall +.7 (7.6 – 8.0 – 8.2 – 8.3, 6+), “The Mind Is Our Medium” is in the runner-up slot for the ninth time this calendar year. The only exception was in July, when WAMU finished third. By gaining four-tenths in August, WAMU curtailed three straight flat or downward trends that resulted in a collective loss of nine-tenths (8.5 – 8.3 – 8.3 – 7.6, 6+). Flat at .4 (6+), Entercom business news WDCH nonetheless moves from #24 to #23. An August gain of two-tenths to .5 (6+) ended three straight months without an increase (5 – .4 – .3 – .3, 6+).

Washington, DC Music Formats – On the heels of September’s improvement of seven-tenths, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH “97.1 Washington’s Variety of the ‘80s ‘90s and Today” doubles it in October with a +1.4 to 5.8, its strongest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 9.7. Prior to September, WASH had been down or flat the previous three sweeps for an overall loss of -1.1 (4.8 – 4.8 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+). An increase of six-tenths (3.5 – 4.1, 6+) takes co-owned CHR WIHT to its highest 6+-stat since January (4.1, as well). Moreover, “Hot 99.5 – DC’s #1 Hit Music Station” enters the top ten (#12 to #10). Greater Washington Educational Telecommunications’ WETA posts its fourth positive spike in succession for a collective +1.4 (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 3.6, #12 to #11, 6+). Prior to September, “Classical 90.9” had been within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) the past 22 ratings periods. A loss of one-tenth to 2.9 (flat at #15, 6+) by iHeartMedia’s WMZQ “98.7 Today’s Best Country” pulls the plug on three successive up or flat reports that netted four-tenths (2.6 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 3.0, 6+). Within 2.4 – 2.9 territory (6+) for the 11th consecutive sweep (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), alternative sibling WWDC “DC-101” continues at #16. Following five consecutive decreases that accounted for an overall -.9 (4.1 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 3.2, 6+), Entercom rhythmic CHR WPGC-FM picks up one-tenth to 3.3 (flat at #14, 6+). There’s generally good news for one (if not both) of the market’s two urban ACs, but such is not the case in October 2018, as the format takes a combined -1.9 hit. That erosion is virtually equally divided between Radio One-owned WMMJ “Majic” (7.3 – 6.4, -.9, 6+) and Howard University’s WHUR (6.8 – 5.8, -1.0, 6+). Even so, the two rivals repeat at third and fourth, respectively, with WHUR at #4 for the seventh sweep in succession. Following six straight up or flat reports for a collective +2.3 (5.6 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 6.6 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+), WMMJ faltered by nine-tenths in August. July 2018’s 7.9 was the highest 6+-stat in its PPM history, breaking the “old” record set the previous month (June). In April, “Majic” pulled ahead of WHUR for the first time since November 2015, which was when the two rivals were tied at 4.7 (6+). After four straight reports without an increase for an overall -1.4  (7.1 – 6.2 – 6.1 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+), WHUR was a combined +1.1 in June and July (5.7 – 6.3 – 6.8), with July’s 6.8 its best 6+-showing since January’s 7.1.

Boston

Spoken-Word Formats – Duplicating September’s +.3 (2.4 – 2.7 – 3.0, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WRKO continues at #13. This (3.0) is WRKO’s best 6+-stat since March (3.0, as well). When “AM 680 – The Voice of Boston” notched a gain of two-tenths in July, it ended three downward moves in a row for a collective loss of seven-tenths (3.0 – 2.7 – 2.4 – 2.3, 6+). Two-tenths of a share separated this market’s two sports talk behemoths in September and that’s the same margin in October. The difference is that Beasley Media Group-owned WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” (eighth to fourth, 6+) overtakes WEEI-FM (4.6 – 5.1, +.5, 6+). Notwithstanding that WEEI-FM regained the half-share it lost in September, the Entercom property backslides from seventh to eighth. As it entered the September ratings period, WEEI-FM had been an overall +1.1 in three straight positive spikes (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 5.1, 6+). A +1.0 in April cut in half a cumulative -2.0 in February and March (5.4 – 4.1 – 3.4, 6+). Meanwhile, WBZ-FM was a combined -1.9 in June and July (5.7 – 4.3 – 3.8, 6+), but bounces back with three straight increases for a cumulative +1.5 (3.8 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 5.3, 6+). WBZ-FM is the flagship of the New England Patriots, Boston Celtics, and Boston Bruins; WEEI-FM is the key station of the Boston Red Sox radio network. Given that the Red Sox set a franchise record for most wins in a season and won the 2018 World Series this past Sunday (10/28), it should be interesting to see the station’s November stats. As noted above, the October 2018 survey period ended October 10. Despite returning the one-tenth it gained in September (5.3 – 5.4 – 5.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news-talk hybrid WBZ-AM manages to progress from #6 to a three-way tie at #4; “News Radio 1030” declined by one-half share in August. An April loss of nine-tenths ended three straight improvements that produced a cumulative +1.5 (4.9 – 5.2 – 5.4 – 6.4, 6+); 6.4 in March is its best 6+-stat since January 2017’s 6.6. Flat at 5.5 (6+), Boston University’s news/talk WBUR nonetheless jumps from fifth to third. In June, WBUR forfeited half of May’s +.6 with a loss of three-tenths; it was +1.0 in March. The June 2018 – October 2018 topline for WGBH Educational Foundation news/talk WGBH is 3.5 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.4 (unchanged at #12, 6+). Prior to August’s +.1, WGBH was an overall -1.6 in three decreases in a row (4.7 – 4.1 – 3.5 – 3.1, 6+).

Boston Music Formats – With a gain of seven-tenths (2.3 – 3.0, #14 to #13, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WKAF “97.7 Boston’s #1 For R&B” has its best 6+-stat since May (3.0, as well). Mainstream CHR cluster-mate WXKS-FM is on top for the tenth consecutive ratings period, but “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” is without an increase for the third report in a row for an overall -1.1 (7.8 – 7.8 – 7.1 – 6.7, 6+). October’s 6.7 is the lowest 6+-showing for “Kiss” since “Holiday” 2017’s 6.4. Its format challenger, Entercom’s WODS “103.3 Amp Radio” (#14 to #16), has a “Holiday” 2017 – October 2018 topline trending of 2.6 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.5 (6+). University of Massachusetts-owned triple A/folk/blues hybrid WUMB forfeits six-tenths (.8 – .2, #32, 6+). Recording October 2018 deficits of one-half share each are Entercom adult contemporary WMJX “Magic 106.7 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” (5.8 – 5.3, third to fourth, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WZLX “Classic Rock 100.7” (5.7 – 5.2, fourth to seventh, 6+). Within 2.2 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 16th straight sweep, WZLX rhythmic CHR sibling WJMN “Jam’n 94.5” (2.3 – 2.6, +.3, 6+) backslides from #14 to #15. Following five consecutive up or flat moves that netted nine-tenths (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 2.1, 6+), Cumulus Media hot AC WXLO slips three-tenths to 1.8 (#17 to #18, 6+). With a 2.1 in September, WXLO reached the two-share level for the first time in nearly four years (2.0, November 2014). Down for the fourth successive sweep for a combined -.9 (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WKLB “Country 102.5” continues at #9, while iHeartMedia-owned WBWL “101.7 The Bull – Boston’s New Hit Country” is off by an overall half-share in September and October (2.3 – 2.1 – 1.8, #17 to #18, 6+).

Miami

English-Language, Spoken-Word Formats – Entering the October sweep with a May through September topline pattern of 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 2.0 (6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WIOD “News Radio 620 – Miami’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” picks up two-tenths to 2.2 (#20 to #19, 6+). WIOD’s one-half share loss in May halted seven straight positive or flat trends that netted an overall nine-tenths (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+). Flat at .9 (6+), Entercom’s WQAM backslides from a five-way logjam at #25 to #27. A May gain of two-tenths by “Sports Radio 560” suspended five sweeps in succession without an increase for a collective -.8 (1.5 – 1.2 – .8 – .8 – .8 – .7, 6+). Its May through October stats are: .9 – .8 – .9 – .8 – .9 . 9 (6+). One-tenth behind WQAM is cluster-mate WAXY “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket” (.9 – .8, -.1, #25 to #29, 6+). Its +.3 in September curtailed seven straight (mostly) flat or down trends that accounted for a loss of three-tenths (.9 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .8 – .7 – .6, 6+). Tied with WIOD at #19 is Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN, which is up a collective four-tenths via three (modest) gains in succession (1.8 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+).

Miami Music Formats – Not only is Cox Media Group adult contemporary WFEZ on top for the fifth straight month, “Easy 93.1” is a collective +1.0 in three consecutive improvements (6.9 – 7.4 – 7.8 – 7.9, 6+). After three straight months without a decrease for an overall gain of eight-tenths (6.7 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 7.5, 6+), WFEZ faltered by six-tenths in July. Prior to April, “Easy 93.1” had been within 6.2 – 6.8 range (6+) in each of the previous 12 sweeps. A collective +.5 in August and September (5.5 – 5.8 – 6.0, 6+), Entercom’s similarly-formatted WLYF “101.5 Lite FM” falters by six-tenths to 5.4 (6+) but remains in fifth-place. In three straight monthlies without an increase, WLYF was a cumulative -1.2 (6.7 – 6.4 – 5.8 – 5.5, 6+). July 2018’s 5.5 is the lowest 6+-share for “Lite” since 5.2 in July 2017. Advancing from seventh to sixth, Cox Media Group urban contemporary WEDR “99 Jamz” has a March – October (6+) topline of 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.7. By adding one-tenth to 2.3 (6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMIA “93.9 MIA – Variety From The ‘80s, ‘90s, & Today” (level at #18) applies the brakes to four straight sweeps without an increase that accounted for a combined -1.1 (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.2, 6+). It’s been a wild ride recently for Univision Radio-owned Spanish tropical WRTO which was  +.5 in August; -.5 in September; and now -.8 in October (3.5 – 4.0 – 3.5 – 2.7), with “Mix 98.3” freefalling from #10 to #17. In July, WRTO surrendered three-tenths, thus snapping at four a consecutive string of increases that yielded nine-tenths (2.9 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.8, 6+). In addition to WLYF (see above), Cox Media Group urban AC WHQT “Hot 105” (6.2 – 5.6, 6+) and Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary WCMQ “Zeta 92.3” (6.1 – 5.5, 6+) regress by six-tenths; “Hot” and “Zeta” remain at #3 and #4, respectively. A collective -1.4 in three straight downturns (7.5 – 7.1 – 6.8 – 6.1, 6+), WHQT picked up one-tenth in September. In a nearly even split, the market’s (6+) share for mainstream CHR swells by one-half share. Specifically, Cox Media Group’s WFLC “Hits 97.3” is up three-tenths (3.0 – 3.3, #14 to #11, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned WHYI logs a +.2 to 3.4 (6+) as “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” returns to the top ten (#12 to #10). Immediately prior to October, “Hits 97.3” was down three sweeps in a row for an overall loss of seven-tenths (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 3.0, 6+). “Y-100” is trending 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.4 (March – October, 6+).

Detroit

Spoken-Word Formats – In addition to reentering the top ten (#11 to #10), Cumulus Media’s WJR “News Talk 760” is a combined +.9 through three upticks in a row (3.6 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+). Its +.2 in August suspended three straight negative trends that accounted for a loss of seven-tenths (4.3 – 4.2 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+). Erasing its -.7 in three downward moves in a row (5.3 – 5.6 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+) with a combined +1.2 in September and October (4.6 – 5.5 – 5.8, 6+), Entercom sports talk WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” climbs from sixth to fifth. “The Ticket” was up nine-tenths in April. Unchanged at #3, co-owned WWJ “News Radio 950” is an overall +1.6 through three consecutive positive spikes (5.5 – 6.3 – 6.5 – 7.1, 6+) and has its strongest 6+-stat since March 2017’s 7.4. Following four up or flat trends in succession for a collective +1.0, WWJ was -.8 in April; and was then frozen on 5.8 (6+) in May and June. Returning the one-tenth it gained in September (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+), Michigan Public Media news/talk WUOM falls from #18 to #20. Its +.1 in September curtailed eight straight survey periods without an increase for a collective -.3 (1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+). Owing to four straight gains, Wayne State University news/talk WDET (level at #22) has nearly doubled its 6+ AQH share (.6 – .7 – .8 – .9 – 1.1, 6+).

Detroit Music Formats – Within 5.0 – 5.9 range (6+) in each of the last six sweeps (5.9 – 5.3 – 5.4 – 5.0 – 5.8 – 5.7, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WNIC (fifth to fourth) dials up a +.5 to 6.2, its strongest 6+-showing since 6.9 in March. In four consecutive decreases, Cumulus Media’s WDRQ was -1.0 (3.0 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.0, 6+), but “93.1 Nash FM” is up two-tenths to 2.2 (6+) and carries on at #17. When WDRQ slipped by two-tenths in June, it halted five consecutive up or flat moves that netted nine-tenths (2.1 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+). Despite picking up one-tenth (5.5 – 5.6, 6+), Entercom’s similarly-formatted WYCD “99.5 Detroit’s Best Country” backslides from sixth to seventh. Three down or flat moves in succession by WYCD accounted for a cumulative loss of one-half share but that was fully erased in June with a +.5. Even though Beasley Media Group’s WCSX is a cumulative -1.0 in three straight declines (8.3 – 7.9 – 7.4 – 7.3, 6+), “94.7 – Detroit’s Classic Rock” segues from second to first. WCSX spent four straight months at #1 before being ousted in September. A loss of two-tenths in June ended five straight positive spikes that generated a +2.5 (5.4 – 5.9 – 6.3 – 6.7 – 7.6 – 7.9, 6+). The station that replaced “Detroit’s Classic Rock” at #1 in September – Entercom classic hits-oldies WOMC “104.3 Detroit’s Greatest Hits” – sputters by six-tenths (7.5 – 6.9, 6+) and shifts to third. A collective -1.3 in three consecutive negative moves (5.9 – 5.6 – 5.1 – 4.6, 6+), Beasley Media Group-owned WRIF “Everything That Rocks” picks up two-tenths to 4.8 (6+) and advances from tenth to ninth. The aforementioned streak came immediately after four consecutive improvements that led to a combined +1.5 (4.4 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 5.5 – 5.9, 6+). June’s 5.9 is its strongest 6+-stat since January 2017 (5.9, as well).

Seattle

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to three straight positive spikes (5.1 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.6, 6+), Bonneville news/talk KIRO-FM is a collective +1.5 and continues at #2. Prior to its -.7 in June, KIRO-FM had an October 2017 – June 2018 6+-topline of 5.7 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.4 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 5.8. By posting a gain of six-tenths to 2.9 (6+), co-owned KTTH “Conservative Talk Radio” jumps from #20 to #16. KTTH had been within 2.0 – 2.4 range the past six months (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.1 – 2.3, 6+). Steady at #24, Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned KVI “Talk Radio 570” is without a loss for the fifth consecutive report (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+) and is up three-tenths in that timeframe. Off eight-tenths via three straight down or flat trends (4.2 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+), Bonneville sports talk KIRO-AM applies the brakes by adding three-tenths to 3.7 (6+); “ESPN 710” leaps into the top ten (#13 to #10). As a result of four positive spikes in succession (2.3 – 2.9 – 3.6 – 4.1 – 4.2, 6+), the Seattle Mariners flagship was a combined +1.9. Prior to May, the last time KIRO-AM reached the four-share level (6+) was in October 2015 (4.3). In three straight gains, iHeartMedia-owned KJR-AM “Seattle’s Sports Radio 950” has nearly tripled (+.9) its 6+ AQH share (.5 – .7 – .9 – 1.4, #26 to #23, 6+). Level at #19, Sinclair Broadcast Group’s all-news KOMO was down two-tenths in June (2.6 – 2.4, 6+); up two-tenths in August (2.3 – 2.5, 6+); up another two-tenths in September (2.5 – 2.7, 6+); but now down two-tenths in October (2.7 – 2.5, 6+). Even though Northwest Public Radio news/talk KUOW is a collective +.9 in four consecutive up or flat trends (5.4 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 6.3, 6+) and has its highest 6+-share (6.3) since April’s 6.5, it actually slips from first to third. August’s increase concluded three straight down or flat sweeps that accounted for an overall -1.1 (6.5 – 6.0 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+). KUOW took over the runner-up slot in May after a one-month stay at #1. On top for four straight months before dropping to second in December, KUOW was +1.5 in January (6.4 – 7.9, 6+) as it returned to #1.

Seattle Music Formats –

There’s another huge shift for Hubbard-owned CHR KQMV, which was +1.7 in July (6.1 – 7.8, 6+); then -1.4 in August; -.6 in September to 5.8, its lowest 6+-showing since April’s 5.6; and now +1.0 (to 6.8, 6+) in October. “MOViN 92.5,” which finished on top in June, July, and August, progresses from third to first. The market’s still new adult contemporary skirmish has become quite interesting. It became a two-way battle in early-December 2017 when Entercom jettisoned country on KMPS and debuted KSWD “The Sound” in its place. This time last month, “The Sound” overtook longtime incumbent – Hubbard’s KRWM “Warm 106.9” – for the first time since KSWD’s format shift to AC. With a +.7 in October, KSWD (4.2 – 4.9, eighth to fourth, 6+) lengthens the (6+) lead over “Warm” (#9 to #14, 6+) from .2 in September to 1.5. In August, “The Sound” posted a one-half share increase to halt four straight down or flat trends that resulted in a loss of eight-tenths (4.1 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+). “Warm” is currently -1.6 in four successive setbacks (5.0 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+). Prior to a +.3 in June, KRWM was -7.1 (or down roughly 60%) in five consecutive down or flat sweeps (11.8 – 5.5 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). Its 11.8 in “Holiday” 2017 was the AC station’s strongest 6+-stat since 13.4 in “Holiday” 2015; “Warm” was #1 in December and “Holiday” 2017. Immediately after dropping seven-tenths in September, Classic Radio’s KING “98.1 Listener-Supported Classical Music” bounces back with a one-half share gain (1.7 – 2.2, #22 to #21); September’s 1.7 is its lowest 6+-stat since 1.6 in November 2017. No sooner did Seattle’s 6+ hot AC share balloon by +1.3 in September, it sinks by -2.0 in October, split precisely between Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KPLZ “Star 101.5” (4.7 – 3.7, -1.0, seventh to tenth, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned KBKS “106.1 Kiss FM Seattle’s New Hit Music” (3.2 – 2.2, -1.0, #16 to #21, 6+). In September, “Star” was +.7 and “Kiss” was +.6. Off by six-tenths in addition to KRWM (see above) are iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KJR-FM “95.7 The Jet” (fourth to fifth) and Crista Ministries contemporary Christian KCMS-FM “Spirit 105.3” (3.5 – 2.9, #12 to #16, 6+). “The Jet” is a collective -1.8 in three straight declines (6.4 – 5.5 – 5.2 – 4.6, 6+). Within 2.4 – 2.8 range (6+) six survey periods in a row (2.8 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+), “Spirit 105.3” dialed up a +1.0 in September to 3.5, its strongest 6+-performance since December 2017 (3.5, as well). Without an increase for the fifth straight sweep for a collective -1.6 (6.2 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.6, 6+), Entercom’s KISW “99.9 Seattle Rock Music” moves from fifth to sixth. Continuing at #20, co-owned rhythmic hot AC KHTP “Hot 103.7” is a collective -1.1 in five consecutive reports without an increase (3.4 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+). One Seattle country station improves by four-tenths (Entercom’s KKWF “100.7 The Wolf,” 3.8 – 4.2, tenth to eighth, 6+), while the other falters by four-tenths (Hubbard’s KNUC “98.9 The Bull,” 3.2 – 2.8, #16 to #18, 6+).

Phoenix

Spoken-Word Formats – A collective +.7 in four increases in a row (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.8, 6+), Bonneville news/talk KTAR-FM enters the top ten (#11 to #10). KTAR-FM was up three-tenths in April but was then a combined -.5 in May and June. Faltering by four-tenths in September, iHeartMedia’s KFYI regains half that loss in October with a +.2 (2.5 – 2.7, #17 to #16, 6+). Prior to September, “News Talk 550” logged four straight gains that netted eight-tenths (2.1 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+). After its one-half share September increase to 3.1 (6+), Bonneville sports talk KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona Sports” drops one-tenth to 3.0 but stays at #13 (6+). September 2018 marked the first time the Arizona Diamondbacks flagship reached the three-share level (6+) since October 2017’s 3.0. Jumping from #15 to #12, Maricopa County Community College news/talk KJZZ adds three-tenths to September’s +.1 (2.7 – 2.8 – 3.1, 6+) and has its best 6+-showing (3.1) since April’s 3.6. Its July increase of six-tenths halted three consecutive negative moves that accounted for a combined -1.5 (3.9 – 3.6 – 2.7 – 2.4, 6+).

Phoenix Music Formats – A one-half share increase (to 6.6, 6+) by KESZ applies the brakes to four consecutive declines (including September’s -1.2) that accounted for an overall -2.9 (9.0 – 8.7 – 7.5 – 7.3 – 6.1, 6+). Moreover, it sends the iHeartMedia adult contemporary outlet from second to first. After spending ten straight sweeps at #1, KESZ shifted to the runner-up slot in September. The station’s 16.4 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-showing since 16.5 in “Holiday” 2016. Off two-tenths (6.3 – 6.1, 6+), Hubbard’s KSLX “Classic Rock 100.7” – which was +.8 in August – segues from first to third. As the result of July’s -1.1 to 5.5 (6+), KSLX erased in its entirety the +1.1 it netted in six straight sweeps without a loss (5.5 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.6, 6+). Furthermore, “Classic Rock 100.7,” which occupied the runner-up slot eight consecutive ratings periods, shifted to fifth. In addition to KESZ, The Yucaipa Companies’ rhythmic CHR KKFR “Power 98.3” (#20 to #19) notches a one-half share increase and is an overall +.9 in three positive spikes in succession (1.5 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.4, 6+). Meanwhile, Entercom’s similarly-programmed KALV “Live 101.5” falters by seven-tenths (3.7 – 3.0, 6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #13).  Having been within 5.2 – 5.9 range (6+) from January through September (5.2 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 5.9, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KNIX “102.5 Today’s Best Country & All-Time Favorites” erodes by -1.3 to 4.6 (6+), drifting from third to eighth. Its format challenger – Entercom’s KMLE “Country @ 107.9” – follows September’s -.2 with an October loss of one-tenth (4.2 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+) and remains at #9. Without an increase for the third straight month, The Yucaipa Companies’ hot AC KMVA “Hot” is a collective -1.0 in that stretch (3.5 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.5, #13 to #19, 6+). A cumulative -2.1 (or roughly -50%) in seven successive down or flat trends (4.1 – 4.0 – 3.2 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+), Farmworker Educational Radio regional Mexican KNAI “101.9 Campesina” exits the top twenty (#19 to #21).

Minneapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Unchanged at #11, Entercom-owned WCCO logs a 4.4 (6+) for the fourth successive month. Prior to August, the four previous fluctuations for “News Radio 830” were +.8 (April); -.8 (May); -.8  (June); and +.5 (July). Bouncing back from a September loss of three-tenths (3.7 – 3.4, 6+) with an October gain of seven-tenths (to 4.1, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KTLK Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130” progresses from #14 to #13. In advance of the June ratings period, KTLK was +1.4 in five successive sweeps without a loss (2.5 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+). Repeating at #16, Hubbard news/talk KTMY “My Talk 107.1” erases September’s -.2 with a +.3 (2.7 – 2.5 – 2.8, 6+). An August gain of three-tenths halted three straight down or flat moves that accounted for an overall loss of seven-tenths (3.1 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.4, 6+). Zooming from ninth to third, iHeartMedia-owned KFXN “Sports Radio 100.3 K-Fan” is an overall +2.8 in three consecutive increases (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.9 – 6.5, 6+). This streak directly follows four dips in a row that produced a collective -2.1 (5.8 – 5.5 – 4.7 – 4.0 – 3.7, 6+). With a February through October topline of 1.0 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .8 – .7 (6+), Hubbard sports talk KSTP-AM “ESPN 1500” slips from #22 to #24. Up one full-share in three straight upticks (3.7 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+), Minnesota Public Radio news/talk KNOW advances from tenth to ninth. Immediately prior, KNOW was a collective -2.2 in four negative moves in a row (5.9 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 3.7, 6+). Several of its recent fluctuations include: -.7 (February); +.7 (March); -.5 (April) +.7 (May) -.7 (July); and +.7 (August).

Minneapolis Music Formats – Following four consecutive increases for a cumulative +1.0 (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KTCZ “The Cities” dropped six-tenths in August; was flat in September (at 3.6,  6+); and now regains August’s -.6 (3.6 – 4.2, steady at #13, 6+). Having posted four straight downward trends that accounted for a -1.5 (8.6 – 7.9 – 7.8 – 7.5 – 7.1, 6+), Hubbard’s similarly-formatted KSTP-FM is up a combined four-tenths in September and October (7.1 – 7.4 – 7.5, 6+). On top of that, “KS-95” marches from second to first. KSTP-FM held the lead position seven straight sweeps before being ousted in August. Its -.7 in May suspended four successive progressive moves that netted a +2.8 (5.8 – 7.6 – 8.2 – 8.3 – 8.6, 6+). Exiting the top spot (after just one month) in dramatic fashion is iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KQQL, which erodes by -1.3 (8.0 – 6.7, 6+); “Kool 108 – Minnesota’s Greatest Hits” shifts to the runner-up slot. Its September increase of nine-tenths halted three straight negative moves that generated a -.6 (7.7 – 7.3 – 7.2 – 7.1, 6+); 8.0 in September is its strongest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 14.2. Slumping by seven-tenths each are co-owned CHR KDWB “101.3 The Twin Cities’ #1 Hit Music Station” (7.2 – 6.5, flat at #3, 6+) and Entercom’s KMNB “Minneapolis Country Music – Buz’n @ 102.9” (#12 to #14). KDWB occupied the top spot for just one month before being replaced by KQQL. August’s 7.8 is the highest 6+-share for KDWB since September 2016’s 8.1. Prior to August 2018, the last time KDWB claimed the top spot was August 2017. Meanwhile, “Buz’n @ 102.9” is down a collective nine-tenths in four consecutive down or flat reports (4.2 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.3, 6+). Despite gaining two-tenths (5.2 – 5.4, 6+, after September’s -.8), iHeartMedia’s KEEY “K-102 Minnesota’s Country Station” backslides from sixth to seventh. A loss of six-tenths (5.2 – 4.6, sixth to tenth, 6+) takes Entercom adult hits KZJK “104.1 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” to its lowest 6+-share since November 2017 (4.6, as well).

San Diego

Spoken-Word Formats – Steady at #7, iHeartMedia news/talk KOGO picks up three-tenths (4.4 – 4.7, 6+). “News Radio 600” was +.8 (January); -.7 (February); +.8 (March); +.6 (May); and -.6 (August). October 2017’s 7.2 is KOGO’s highest 6+-share in its PPM-history. With a gain of three-tenths (1.4 – 1.7, #23 to #22, 6+), its similarly-formatted Los Angeles sibling, KFI “AM 640,” overtakes Tegna news/talk KFMB-AM “AM 760,” which is flat at 1.6 (#22 to #23, 6+), after being down one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+). KFMB-AM’s June increase of one-tenth interrupted three straight negative moves that accounted for a loss of seven-tenths (2.2 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.5, 6+). Three sports talkers finish one after another: Interamericana de Radio’s XPRS-AM “The Mighty 1090” (.9 – 1.2, +.3, #25 to #24, 6+), its highest 6+-stat since April’s 1.2; iHeartMedia’s KLSD “Fox Sports 1360 San Diego’s Sports Station” (.8 – .9, +.1, #27 to #25, 6+); and Entercom-owned/San Diego Padres flagship KWFN “97.3 The Fan” (.9 – .8, -.1, #25 to #26, 6+). San Diego State University-owned news/talk KPBS continues an amazing journey. It shifted from first to second in April; returned to #1 in May; dropped from first to third in June; slipped from third to fourth in July; returned to first in August; segued from first to second in September; and returns to first in October (6.2 – 6.7, +.5, 6+). KPBS was up seven-tenths in August.

San Diego Music Formats – Seven consecutive ratings periods without a loss by iHeartMedia-owned CHR KHTS yielded a  collective +2.8 (3.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+), but “Channel 93.3 – San Diego’s #1 Hit Music Station” slips two-tenths to 6.1 (6+). As a result, it is a short one-month stay at the top for KHTS, which drops to second. On the heels of posting a +1.1 in September (2.6 – 3.7, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVJ relinquishes seven-tenths (3.0, #10 to #14, 6+). In September, San Diego’s version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” reached the three-share threshold (3.7, 6+) for the first time since March (3.1). Faltering by seven-tenths as well is Entercom’s KSON “103.7 New Country,” which is an overall -1.4 in four straight down or flat trends (6.3 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 4.9, fourth to sixth, 6+). Having posted a 2.5 (6+) in three of the past five survey periods (2.5 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.5, 6+), Media Sports de Mexico classic hits-oldies XPRS-FM “105.7 Max FM” sputters by one-half share to 2.0 (#18 to #21, 6+). There is a tie between the market’s alternative competitors as Entercom’s KBZT “Alt 94.9” is down four-tenths (2.7 – 23, #17 to #18, 6+), while XETRA Communicaciones’ XTRA-FM “91-X” gains three-tenths (2.0 – 2.3, #21 to #18, 6+). A collective +1.6 in July and August (3.7 – 4.7 – 5.3, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KLNV is an overall -1.2 in September and October (5.3 – 4.4 – 4.2, 6+) slipping from seventh to ninth. In August, “Que Buena 106.5” crossed the five-share level 6+ (5.3) for the first time since “Holiday” 2017’s 5.1. In five downward or flat moves in a row (4.0 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 2.4 – 2.1 – 2.1, steady at #20, 6+), Imagen Spanish contemporary XLTN “104.5 Radio Latina” is a collective -1.9 (approximately -50%).

Denver

Spoken-Word Formats – Entering the October sweep with a May through September topline of 5.0 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 5.1 (6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KOA explodes with a +1.1 to 6.2, marching from fourth to second. “Colorado’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” posted a +1.4 in April to zoom from ninth to first, but exited the top spot in May after a one-month run. Continuing an up/down pattern, iHeartMedia news/talk KHOW was +.3 (June); -.2 (July); +.1 (August); -.4 in September; and now +.1 in October (1.7 – 1.8, 6+) as “Talk Radio 630” repeats at #21. Immediately before the June sweep, KHOW had been down or flat four sweeps in a row for an overall setback of four-tenths (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.0 -1.9, 6+). KSE Radio Ventures’ KKSE-FM “Attitude Sports Radio 92.5” sputters by seven-tenths (1.0 – .3 #29, 6+). Advancing from #12 to #11 with its best 6+-stat (4.0) since December 2017’s 4.2, Bonneville-owned KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” is an overall +1.5 via three gains in a row (2.5 – 2.9 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+). KKFN dropped one-half share in June and July (3.5 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+), posting its lowest 6+-stat (2.5) since July 2017’s 2.3. Denver’s “Fan” was +1.0 in March. Similarly, Colorado Public Radio news/talk KCFR is +1.5 as the result of three consecutive upticks (5.2 – 6.3 – 6.4 – 6.7, 6+), with KCFR repeating at #1. It was a brief one-month stay at #1 (in May) for KCFR, which lost seven-tenths in June. Previously this calendar year, KCFR was #1 in January and March. After registering a one-half share increase in September to 1.3, Community Radio for Northern Colorado news/talk KUNC loses one-tenth to 1.2 (#23 to #22, 6+).

Denver Music Formats – This marks the third consecutive improvement for Colorado Public Radio classical outlet KVOD, which has more than doubled (+1.9) its 6+ AQH share in that timeframe (1.5 – 1.7 – 2.3 – 3.4, #19 to #14, 6+). Directly after registering three straight upticks that netted a +1.7 (4.9 – 6.1 – 6.5 – 6.6, 6+), Entercom classic rocker KQMT “99.5 The Mountain – A Mountain of Classics” is a combined -1.8 in September and October (6.6 – 6.0 – 4.8, 6+). On top in June, July, and August, “The Mountain” fell to second in September and fades to seventh in October. Without a loss the past four sweeps for a combined gain of six-tenths (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KTCL “Channel 93.3 – Denver’s Modern Rock” forfeits nine-tenths to 4.1 (sixth to tenth, 6+). At the same time as Entercom hot AC KALC “Alice 105.9” gains two-tenths (4.3 – 4.5, tenth to eighth, 6+), its format rival – KSE Radio Ventures’ KIMN “Mix 100 Today’s Best Mix” – surrenders four-tenths (4.6 – 4.2, flat at #9, 6+). The (6+) April – May – June – July – August stats for “Alice,” which was up one-half share in September – were 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 3.8; “Mix” was +.7 in September. Immediately after registering three consecutive up or flat trends that yielded a +1.0 (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.6, 6+), KSE Radio Ventures classic hits-oldies KXKL followed with a combined -1.1 in June, July, and August (5.6 – 5.0 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+). In September and October, “Kool 105 – Denver’s Greatest Hits” is +.5 (4.5 – 4.7 – 5.0, 6+) and leaps from eighth to fifth. May’s 5.6 is its most potent 6+-stat since December 2016’s 5.7. Since debuting in print in February, iHeartMedia’s KWBL “106.7 The Bull – Colorado’s New Country” (#16 to #17) is trending 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.8 – 2.8 (6+). Unchanged at #6, KOSI “101.1 Real-Music-Variety” is a collective -1.1 in three negative moves in a row (6.0 – 5.8 – 5.0 – 4.9, 6+). The Bonneville adult contemporary outlet was up or flat five consecutive months for an overall +1.4 (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 6.0, 6+). July’s 6.0 is the strongest 6+-showing for KOSI since Holiday’s 2017’s 11.5.

Tampa

Spoken-Word Formats – Following August’s +.6, iHeartMedia news/talk WFLA “970 Tampa Bay’s News Radio” is a combined -.9 in September and October (4.2 – 3.9 – 3.3, #11 to #15, 6+). In January and February, WFLA was +.5 (2.7 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+); -.5 in March (3.7 – 3.2, 6+); +.8 in April (3.2 – 4.0, 6+); +.4 in May (4.0 – 4.4, 6+); -.7 in July; +.6 in August (3.6 – 4.2, 6+); and -.6 in October (3.9 – 3.3, 6+). Cox Media Group news/talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” wipes away September’s -.2 with an October gain of three-tenths (3.6, #14 to #11, 6+). Prior to September, “The Bone” was without a loss the previous four sweeps for a +.8 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.5, 6+). Four consecutive down or flat reports by iHeartMedia-owned WDAE resulted in a loss of two-tenths (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+), but “620 Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” is up a collective six-tenths in September and October (2.1 – 2.5 – 2.7, #18 to #17, 6+). While flat at #20, University of South Florida news/talk WUSF is up four-tenths (1.6 – 2.0, 6+) and has its best 6+-showing (2.0) since February’s 2.8. When WUSF added two-tenths in June, it halted six successive ratings periods without an increase that accounted for a collective -1.6 (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.7, 6+).

Tampa Music Formats – The last three fluctuations for Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WXGL “107.3 The Eagle” (#2 for the third month in a row) are +.7 (August); -.8 (September); and +.6 in October (6.3 – 6.9, 6+). In August, “The Eagle” registered its highest 6+-stat since July 2017 (7.1, as well). Two-tenths behind “The Eagle” is Beasley Media Group’s WQYK “Tampa Bay’s New Country Hits,” which – with a +.5 to 6.7 (steady at #3, 6+) – pulls the plug on three straight (modest) decreases that led to a one-half share loss (6.7 – 6.5 – 6.3 – 6.2, 6+). With a July 2018 – October 2018 topline of 8.8 – 8.9 – 8.6 – 8.9 (6+), Cox Media Group-owned adult contemporary WDUV “Lite Favorites” is on top for the 74th successive ratings period. After four straight up or flat trends that netted seven-tenths (8.4 – 8.9 -9.0 – 9.0 – 9.1, 6+), WDUV slipped three-tenths in July but picked up one-tenth in August. A collective -1.7 as the result of three straight down or flat trends (6.4 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 4.7, 6+), Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies WRBQ “Q-105” skids from third to sixth. Following five straight sweeps without an increase for a collective -1.3 (4.9 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WBTP recorded a +.6 in September, but “95.7 The Beat” forfeits eight-tenths in October (4.2 – 3.4, 6+), fading from #8 to #14. Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WCIE “The Joy FM” is -1.0 in three consecutive slips (4.7 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 3.7, eighth to tenth, 6+). At the same time that iHeartMedia-owned CHR WFLZ “93.3 FLZ – Tampa Bay’s #1 Hit Music Channel” is up or flat for the third consecutive sweep for a +.6 (3.6 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.2, 6+) to progress from tenth to seventh, Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted WPOI “Hot 101.5” is off one-tenth (3.7 – 3.6, #12 to #11, 6+).

Baltimore

Spoken-Word Formats – Independent news/talk WCBM “680 Stimulating Talk – Breaking News” answers September’s one-half share loss (3.1 – 2.6, 6+) with a full-share increase to 3.6 (#12 to #11, 6+). When WBAL gained one-tenth in September to 2.5 (6+), it halted five straight sweeps without an increase that accounted for a collective -.9 (3.3 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.4, 6+). The Hearst Television news/talk property adds another one-tenth in October (to 2.6, 6+) and advances from #14 to #13. Without a loss for the fourth month in a row for a +1.1 (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.1, 6+), Entercom sports talk WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan” jumps from ninth to sixth. Baltimore’s “Fan” was +.6 (January); -.6 (February); +1.0 (April); and a combined -1.0 in May and June (5.0 – 4.5 – 4.0, 6+). While flat at #12, Your Public Radio news/talk WYPR “88.1 Your NPR News Station” gains four-tenths (2.6 – 3.0, 6+). WYPR was a collective -.5 in August and September (3.1 – 3.0 – 2.6, 6+). Following five decreases in a row for a cumulative -1.7 (4.2 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+), WYPR posted a July increase of six-tenths. American University-owned news/talker WAMU adds four-tenths to September’s +.1 (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.5, 6+) to proceed from a four-way tie at #18 to #15. Before slipping to 1.0 (6+) in August, WAMU notched a 1.1 (6+) five consecutive times in the Baltimore report. The March through October topline for Entercom business news WDCH is .8 – .8 – .8 – .6 – .5 – .5 – .6 – .8 (#26 to #25, 6+).

Baltimore Music Formats – After racking up eight successive up or flat trends that produced an overall +2.2 (2.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 5.0, 6+), Shamrock Communications-owned WZBA was off one-tenth in September to 4.9 (6+), but “100.7 The Bay – Baltimore’s Classic Rock Station” roars back in October with a +1.2 to 6.1 (6+), vaulting from eighth to third. A collective -1.8 in four successive negative moves (6.8 – 6.5 – 6.1 – 5.2 – 5.0, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WLIF answers with a combined +.8 in September and October (5.0 – 5.3 – 5.8, sixth to fourth, 6+). “Today’s 101.9” was #1 in December 2017 (9.7, 6+) and “Holiday” 2017 (16.3, 6+). Co-owned gospel WLIF-HD2, which more than tripled (+1.3) its 6+ AQH share in August and September (.6 – 1.1 – 1.9, 6+), surrenders nine-tenths to 1.0 (#15 to #20). Albeit that it erases September’s +.1 with October’s -.2 (8.8 – 8.6, 6+), Radio One urban AC WWIN-FM “Magic 95.9” finishes on top for the tenth successive sweep. In three consecutive decreases (11.6 – 11.5 – 10.3 – 9.4, 6+), “Magic” was an overall -2.2 but it responded in June with a +.3. After going eight straight ratings periods without a loss for an overall +3.8 (7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 8.7 – 9.2 – 10.4 – 10.6 – 11.6, 6+), it dropped one-tenth in March. Urban contemporary cluster-mate WERQ (7.6 – 7.9, +.3, 6+) occupies the runner-up slot for the sixth month in a row; “92-Q Jams” was up nine-tenths in August. Hearst Television’s WIYY “98 Rock” was -.8 in July; a collective +1.1 in August and September (4.4 – 5.0 – 5.5, 6+); and now -.6 in October (4.9, fourth to eighth, 6+). September’s 5.5 is its best 6+-stat since August 2017 (5.5, as well). Prior to July’s decrease, “98 Rock” registered six successive ratings periods without a loss for an overall +1.8 (3.4 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.2, 6+). Off a combined nine-tenths in three successive months without an increase (5.5 – 5.5 – 5.1 – 4.6, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits WQSR “102.7 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” slips from seventh to ninth. For the second month in a row, Peter and John Radio Fellowship contemporary Christian WRBS-FM is unlisted; “95.1 Shine FM – Baltimore’s Positive Hits Station” was #13 in August 2018 (2.6, 6+).

St. Louis

Spoken-Word Formats – Not only does Entercom news/talk KMOX repeat at #1, “The Voice of St. Louis” registers its third increase in a row for a collective +1.0 (7.4 – 7.6 – 8.3 – 8.4, 6+). Following a January +1.0, KMOX was a combined -.6 in February and March and was +2.3 in April. A gain of two-tenths to 2.8 (#16 to #17, 6+) Emmis-to-Entercom’s KFTK “FM News Talk 97.1” pulls the plug on three straight sweeps without an increase that resulted in an overall loss of seven-tenths (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.6 – 2.6, 6+). Owing to May’s +.3, “FM News Talk 97.1” ended three straight negative moves that accounted for a loss of eight-tenths (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.6 – 2.5, 6+). An overall +1.3 via four straight up or flat moves (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.0, 6+), Hubbard sports talk WXOS “101 Sports” carries on at #11. This streak was immediately preceded by three straight negative moves that generated a loss of eight-tenths (3.5 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.7, 6+); 4.0 is its strongest 6+-showing since January (4.0, as well). Even though it is without a decrease in each of the last five ratings periods for a net gain of six-tenths (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+), University of Missouri news/talk KWMU backslides from #14 to #15.

St. Louis Music Formats – By gaining one-half share to 3.8 (#15 to #13, 6+), iHeartMedia’s country-formatted KSD “93.7 The Bull” applies the brakes to three downward moves in a row that resulted in a collective -1.2 (4.5 – 4.2 – 3.4 – 3.3, 6+). Its format rival – Hubbard-owned WIL “92.3 – Nobody Plays More New Country” – is a collective +1.0 in three upticks in a row (5.5 – 6.1 – 6.4 – 6.5, 6+) and is unchanged at #4. Without a gain the past five sweeps for a collective -1.2 (3.7 -3.4 – 3.4 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.5, 6+), Emmis-to-Entercom CHR KNOU “Now 96.3 All The Hits” dials up a +.4 to 2.9 (#17 to #16, 6+). The three most recent fluctuations for Entercom adult contemporary KEZK “102.5 The Best Mix of the ‘80s & Today” are -.5 (August); +.5 (September); and -.7 in October (5.9 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 5.2, sixth to seventh, 6+). Its August loss ended six consecutive up or flat trends that netted +1.7 (4.2 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.9 – 5.9, 6+). Following five consecutive increases for a +1.9 (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 5.4 – 5.9, 6+), Hubbard’s KPNT “105.7 The Point – Everything Alternative” falters by four-tenths to 5.5 (6+), but carries on in sixth-place. Its 5.9 in September is the highest 6+-performance for “The Point” since March 2016’s 6.1.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

| October 24, 2018

Steve Dahl to End WLS-AM, Chicago Show on December 21.  After yesterday’s report from Chicago media maven Robert Feder that Cumulus Media news/talk outlet WLS-AM will undergo programming changes in 2019, legendary Chicago radio personality Steve Dahl reached out to Feder in an email to announce his time with the station will end on December 21.  He’s been hosting the afternoon drive show for the past four years.  He says his podcast – that is still growing in terms of subscribers – will continue and will retain its relationship with Cumulus Media Chicago.  Dahl writes, “WLS-AM was always going to be an uphill battle, and circumstances just didn’t lend themselves to us being able to breakout like we hoped we would.  The podcast numbers continue to grow every day, so that’s encouraging.”  Read his entire email here.

SiriusXM Reports Q3 Net Income Up 24%. Satellite radio provider SiriusXM releases its third quarter 2018 numbers today and reports its revenue for the period was $1.5 billion, up 6% over the same period in 2017.  Net income was $343 million in the third quarter – up 24% over the same quarter last year.  Looking at subscriber numbers, SiriusXM says that it added 298,000 net new self-pay subscribers during the quarter to raise its self-pay subscriber total to 28.5 million. CEO Jim Meyer comments, “SiriusXM’s standout third quarter saw continued strength in subscriber additions and churn performance while adjusted EBITDA reached a quarterly record-high $589 million. Our revenue growth, adjusted for the change in generally accepted accounting principles that was effective January 1, totaled 8% in the quarter.  In addition to our operational excellence, we were thrilled this quarter to announce an agreement to acquire Pandora Media, which we expect to close in the first quarter of 2019.  With the end of the year in sight, we are increasing our full-year guidance for self-pay net additions, revenue and adjusted EBITDA.  We have a relentless focus on creating and curating content our subscribers will love — our limited-run Dave Matthews Band Radio was a perfect example.  We also presented fiery live performances just for subscribers, like our recent show by The Killers in New York.  We’ve added provocative talent in talk and sports with a daily show from CNN’s Chris Cuomo, a new show from Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson, the return of Brett Favre’s popular show, and a new program highlighting women in sports hosted by journalist Christine Brennan and retired tennis pro Rennae Stubbs.”

Phil Valentine Voted Best Conservative in Nashville. That’s right, not Best Talk Show Host (there is no such category), but Best Conservative, as voted by the readers of Nashville ScenePhil Valentine’s afternoon drive show is based at Cumulus Media’s WWTN, Nashville “SuperTalk 99.7” and is syndicated nationally via subsidiary Westwood One.  He is also an award-winning filmmaker and bestselling author whose latest book, Barbican: A Sterling McQueen Spy Story, was released earlier this year.  Cumulus Nashville VP and market manager Allison Warren says, “Every year, the editors of Nashville Scene ask their readers what they love best about Nashville and it’s no surprise that Phil Valentine is at the top of the list.  We agree wholeheartedly that Phil brings his best to ‘SuperTalk 99.7 WTN’ and our listeners every afternoon.  His common-sense approach to talk radio cuts through the hype of the day’s news, challenging conventional wisdom on both sides and presenting actionable solutions that people respond to.  It’s gratifying that Nashvillians love Phil as much as we do and we congratulate him on this well-deserved honor.”

Midterm Elections, Migrant Caravan, Mega Millions Jackpot, Khashoggi Murder Aftermath, O’Connor Dementia Diagnosis, Financial Markets Activity, Gender Definition Issue, Trump Threatens to Exit INF Treaty, Trump-Russia Investigation, NFL Action, and the World Series Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/23). The November elections and the battle for control of the House and the Senate; the Honduran migrant caravan headed for the U.S. border; the $1.6 billion Mega Millions lottery jackpot; the aftermath of the slaying of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and U.S.-Saudi relations; former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor announces she’s been diagnosed with dementia; the wild swings in the financial markets and fears of a looming debt bubble; the Trump Administration’s plan to require legal gender based on genitalia at birth; President Trump threatens to exit the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia; the Robert Mueller-led Trump-Russia investigation probes Roger Stone’s Wikileaks contacts; the weekend’s NFL action; and the World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Boston Red Sox were some of the most-talked about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. Almost seven weeks after announcing that he would be taking a leave from his morning drive duties at Entercom’s WEEI-FM, Boston, Kirk Minihane Tweets that he’ll “be back soon.” Minihane took a brief leave in early August after experiencing suicidal thoughts and checked himself into a hospital. In his September 7 message, Minihane said that he would this time take indefinite leave to deal with depression issues, he admitted that he came back to work too soon after the August hospital stay.  However, he Tweets that all is not necessarily well between him and Entercom management. “…I’ve been ready to work for the last week or so and have been kept off the air.  You build a show, take it to number one, step aside to get healthy and expect to be welcomed back. Hasn’t happened.”  During Minihane’s absence, WEEI personality Mike “Mut” Mutnansky has been sitting in with regular co-host Gerry Callahan…..From the podcast world, Westwood One Podcast Network adds the “Team Never Quit” podcast – co-hosted by former Navy SEALs Marcus Luttrell and David Rutherford .  WWO says “Team Never Quit” is “an authentic, positive, and inspiring show that implores listeners to face their greatest challenges” and features “the incredible camaraderie between Mr. ‘Never Quit’ Marcus Luttrell and energetic ‘Instructor Rut’ David Rutherford, that not only comes from their time together on SEAL Teams but also due to their mutual 10 years of inspiring audiences of all types.”…..MSNBC star Rachel Maddow is host of a new podcast from the network titled, “Bag Man: A Rachel Maddow Original Podcast.” The weekly podcast will launch on October 30 with ad sales being handled by TuneIn.  The first episode will center on the corruption scandal that took down Vice President Spiro T. Agnew…..Nationally syndicated radio star Elvis Duran reveals his 4thAnnual Carney Awards – named in honor of the late Art Carney and dedicated to honoring Hollywood’s great character actors – is getting some help from legendary actor Harrison Ford, who will attend the October 28 ceremony in Santa Monica to present the Lifetime Achievement Award to M. Emmett Walsh with whom Ford appeared in 1982’s Blade Runner.

TalkersRadio’s Meg McDonald Active in Los Angeles Community Beautification Projects — Studio City-based media figure Meg McDonald, who hosts the short-form feature titled “MEG!” on TalkersRadio, has become increasingly involved in Los Angeles beautification projects.  She recently played a role at a major fund-raising initiative.  California Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian secured $150,000 in the 2018 – 2019 fiscal year state budget for the long-needed revitalization of the Studio City Greenway along the Los Angeles River from Whitsett Ave. to Laurel Canyon Blvd.  The project will improve bike and pedestrian access points, restore the landscaping by eliminating invasive species, and enhance public health and safety along the Los Angeles River.  Pictured (l-r) joining in the funding celebration is Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy executive director Joe Edmiston; Assemblyman Nazarian; Studio City Beautification Association board member and host of MEG! on TalkersRadio Meg McDonald and Los Angeles City Councilor Paul Krekorian.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Fayetteville, North Carolina market, Kenny J is named program director and brand manager for Beasley Media Group hip hop WZFX-FM “Foxy 99” and brand manager for sister rhythmic oldies WUKS “Old School 107.7.” He most recently served with Cumulus Media as program director at urban contemporary KMJK, Kansas City.  Beasley Fayetteville VP and market manager Erika Beasley comments, “I’m so excited to have Kenny J on the Beasley Fayetteville team.  We welcome his expertise and knowledge in programming both formats in large and small markets.  Kenny’s ability to coach and grow on-air personalities really sets him apart for this position.  We look forward to having his energy and positive attitude in our building and continuing to lead our brands to success!”…..Programming pro Nick Fox joins Cumulus Media as program director and midday personality at country WXBM, Pensacola, Florida “NASH FM 102.7.”  He comes to Cumulus from Saga Communications’ country WVVR, Clarksville, Tennessee where he was an air personality and APD.  He says, “I’m ecstatic to be back home as the PD of WXBM!  This station has a rich legacy and passionate listeners.  I am ready to hit the ground running in Pensacola.”…..SummitMedia is tweaking the format at WJSR, Richmond from classic hits as “Star 100.9” to adult hits as “Jack FM.”

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

| January 30, 2018

Emmis Reaches Agreements in Principle to Sell Its Four St. Louis Stations.  These agreements in principle are exactly that and subsequent definitive agreements mean more, but Emmis Communications announced today (1/30) that it will sell classic rock KSHE and alternative rock KPNT “The Point” to Hubbard Radio and news/talk KFTK-FM and CHR KNOU to Entercom.  Terms – including price – are not available at this time.  If the sales are finalized and pass regulatory approval, Entercom would own both heritage news/talk KMOX and news/talk KFTK.  It seems unlikely that Entercom would operate two conservative news/talk stations in the same market and KFTK’s Class C1 FM signal would be a prime candidate for a flip to a music format.

Imus in the Morning/WABC Update.  From the mouth of WABC, New York morning legend Don Imus comes the news that when his show ends on March 29, certain staff members are leaving along with him.  The I-man said that show engineer Lou Rufino, along with cast members Rob Bartlett and Tony Powell will not continue with Cumulus Media’s 77WABC.  TALKERS magazine sources also say that, effective today (1/30), Lisa Ritchie moves from evening news anchor position to weekday afternoon news anchor.  Also, weekday street reporter Jerry Barmash assumes the evening news anchor role.

Ralph Bristol Exits WWTN-FM, Nashville Morning Show.  There’s a change in mornings at Cumulus Media’s news/talk WWTN-FM, Nashville “Super Talk 99.7 WTN” as morning personality Ralph Bristol exits the station.  There’s no official word from Cumulus on this change, but former WMAL-AM/FM, Washington morning host Brian Wilson has been sitting in on the morning show, so far.   The rest of the weekday lineup on WTN is Michael Del Giorno in late mornings, Dan Mandis in early afternoons, and Phil Valentine in afternoon drive.

PodcastOne Founder and Executive Chairman Norm Pattiz to Present a “Podcasting for Radio Broadcasters” Clinic at TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! The founder and executive chairman of one of the talk media industry’s leading podcasting platforms, PodcastOne, will address the attendees at the forthcoming TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! on the subject of “Podcasting for Radio Broadcasters.” As podcasting grows into a major communications business and modern-day cultural phenomenon, it is becoming clear that the practice is an extension of the radio industry’s platform projection into the digital space. According to Norm Pattiz, “There are unlimited potential and yet untapped opportunities for radio broadcasters to expand their programming, brands and potential for revenue generation in this exciting field. We will discuss some of them at the TALKERS conference.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Talk show host Jeremy Leahy’s “Standing Ground” program picks up another affiliate as WLBB, Carrollton, Georgia adds the show to its program schedule.  TalkAmericaRadio.US operations manager Ron Phillips comments, “We are extremely proud to be carrying Jeremy’s program.  In his unfiltered style, he guides the listener through all aspects of our political landscape.  He is well on his way to being a headliner on our national network.”…..USA Radio Network is reporting that “WAR Now: The Wayne Allyn Root Show” has added new affiliate stations, including KBDT, Dallas (USA Radio’s new flagship station) and KSPK, Minneapolis.  Additionally, the 8:00 pm ET hour of the program is carried by Newsmax TV, reaching some 50 million households…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that sources tell him the rights to Chicago Bulls play-by-play could transfer from Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM to Entercom’s sports talker WSCR “The Score,” as a deal is close to being struck.  As part of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy and company-wide cost-cutting measures, Cumulus is asking out of its deals with the Bulls and MLB’s White Sox.  It’s hard to say where the White Sox rights may end up.  WSCR also carries the Cubs.  Tribune’s WGN let go of the Cubs several years ago, presumably for financial reasons.  And, it’s not certain if sport talker WMVP parent ESPN is interested in the White Sox.  Stay tuned…..Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is entering the news media game.  He was introduced on ABC’s “Good Morning America” program today (1/30) by George Stephanopoulos as the newest ABC News contributor.  He was referred to as a friend and adviser to President Trump.  Christie – a former U.S. prosecutor gave his takes on the exit of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and the Robert Mueller special investigation…..Cumulus Media news/talk KABC, Los Angeles was honored by Southern California’s RTNA with five top honors at the 68th Annual RTNA Golden Mike Awards on Saturday (1/27).  The station took home the following:  Best Newscast Under 15 Minutes: Leeann Tweeden, anchor; Sharon Reardon, editor; Best Sports Segment: Randy Wang; Best Government and Political Reporting: James Rojas; Best Traffic Reporter: Bill Thomas; and Best News Reporting by Radio Network or Content Syndicator: Westwood One‘s Jim Roope.

Merlin Media Still Negotiating with Cumulus.  WKQX-FM and WLUP-FM, Chicago owner Merlin Media filed yesterday (1/29) with the bankruptcy court handling Cumulus Media’s Chapter 11 case, informing it that it is still working with Cumulus to seek a mutually beneficial solution to the ownership of the two stations.  Those following the Cumulus bankruptcy case recall that the company is asking the court to let it out of a number of contracts that are losing money.  One of those is the LMA of WKQX and WLUP.  Under the terms of the deal, Cumulus is also under obligation to buy the two signals for around $50 million.  Merlin acknowledges that, in the event negotiations fail and pending a court ruling, it is preparing to either operate the alternative and classic rock stations itself and/or seek another buyer.  Also, Merlin is objecting to Cumulus classifying the Merlin contract as a subordinating claim – which would make it payable only after senior claims are settled.

Andrew McCabe Resignation, Trump-Russia Investigation/Kremlin List, FISA Abuses Memo, State of the Union Address, Criticism of Politicized Grammys, DACA Status/Immigration Policy, Strava Security Concerns, Flu Epidemic, and Super Bowl LII Among News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/29).  Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe resigns from his position under pressure from President Trump; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents and Vladimir Putin’s response to the U.S. Treasury Department’s “Kremlin list” of Russian politicians and oligarchs who’ve thrived under Putin; the House Intelligence Committee’s vote to release a memo detailing alleged surveillance abuses by the FBI and the Justice Department; President Trump’s State of the Union Address; criticism of the political speeches at Sunday night’s Grammy Awards; the status of the Obama-era DACA Act and the Trump administration’s immigration policy; concerns of the security of U.S. service personnel after use of the Strava workout app appears to reveal their locations; the flu epidemic that’s sweeping the U.S.; and Sunday’s Super Bowl LII 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.  Morning radio personality John Forsythe is retiring from iHeartMedia’s adult contemporary WMGF, Orlando “Magic 107.7” where he’s been co-hosting AM drive with Leslye Gale since 2010.  During his 50-year career, Forsythe has worked at such stations as WQAM-AM, Miami; KLIF-AM, Dallas; KKOB-FM, Albuquerque; and KCBQ, San Diego.  About retirement, Forsythe says, “It’s been a difficult decision to step away from such a successful show but it’s time.  Radio has given me so many amazing life experiences.  From the early days in Miami with the Bee Gees living on the same canal as ‘QAM in the ‘70s, to being part of the Chargers broadcast team in the ‘80s, to raising millions for children’s hospitals in the ‘90s and 2000s, radio has enriched my life in so many ways!  I’m grateful for the opportunity to try and make someone’s day better through warmth and laughter.”…..The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports that Entercom urban contemporary WVEE, Atlanta “V-103” will replace departing morning personality Ryan Cameron with familiar voices – Frank Ski and Miss Sophia, along with Wanda Smith.   Ski returns to the station after exiting in 2012 and Miss Sophia returns after an almost eight-year absence…..When the new Justin Timberlake album Man of the Woods drops this Friday (2/2), it will be available on demand via iHeartRadio starting at 12:00 midnight ET.  iHeartRadio and Timberlake have teamed up to gift fans with the access to stream the album all weekend long during iHeartRadio’s “All Access Free Preview Weekend.”  At 8:00 pm ET on Friday, iHeartMedia’s digital platform will host an iHeartRadio Album Preview with Justin Timberlake across broadcast stations nationwide and digitally on iHeartRadio’s Hit Nation featuring an exclusive interview about the making of the album…..iHeartMedia rock station KEGL, Dallas “97.1 The Eagle” announces the lineup for this year’s “BFD 2018” concert at Starplex Pavilion on May 26.  The day-long concert will feature performances from A Perfect Circle, Stone Temple Pilots, Theory of a Deadman, I Prevail, Nothing More, Candlebox, 10 Years, and The Blue Stones…..SiriusXM is devoting a channel to the music of Billy Joel all during February.  The Billy Joel Channel will feature the works of Joel plus a new series, “BJ the DJ” in which Joel plays some of the artists he admires most.  Each show will be focused on a different genre of music including pop, rock and R&B.  Billy will host this series while sitting at his piano illustrating musically and verbally each song he selects.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

| August 10, 2016

savage, michaelSavage, Westwood One Sign Multi-Year Renewal. Under terms of a just-signed pact, “The Savage Nation” host Michael Savage and Cumulus Media-owned Westwood One will continue their long-term relationship. Westwood One president and Cumulus Media’s executive vice president of corporate marketing Suzanne Grimes comments, “We are proud to extend our relationship with this top-notch talent [whoSavage Nation has] a unique voice in American radio. He has some of the most engaged fans and is a proven, consistent, ratings generator. We look forward to many more years together.” Savage states that his Westwood One deal, “caps my winning the National Radio Hall of Fame nomination. My show is famous for my ‘news, views, and reviews,’ and we will take it to new levels in January 2017. We will be doing a three-dimensional show on broadcast stations, as a live stream, and with special segments created only for subscribers.” With a Ph.D. from the University of California – Berkeley, Savage was the 2007 recipient of TALKERS‘s “Freedom of Speech” award. He has authored more than 25 books with his newest – “Scorched Earth” – coming out next month. First aired locally in San Francisco in 1994, “The Savage Nation” now airs nationally on 235 stations.

Top Earning RadioWho Are Radio’s Highest-Paid Talents? Whether it is professional athletes or movie/television stars, we are constantly fascinated by the salaries of those with an elevated profile. Some will find it curious – if not grossly unfair – for instance, that Alex Rodriguez will draw approximately $27 million next year from the New York Yankees to do basically nothing. There is a curiosity as well about the W-2 forms of certain radio personalities. In a Karen Blankfeld-written Forbes Magazine article, we discover the identity of the industry’s top six moneymakers. The names and perhaps even the order might not totally surprise you, but the figures could. Checking in at #6 is Glenn Beck ($13 million). “Aside from his conservative-leaning news site The Blaze, he makes a small fortune annually from his publishing imprint Mercury Ink,” Blankfeld notes. Bill O’Reilly ($18.5 million) is listed at #5 but his inclusion here is a stretch since the Fox News anchor does not have a long-form radio presence. Fox News stable-mate/Premiere NetworksSean Hannity ($29 million) comes in at #4 with Blankfeld remarking he “remains the go-to host for conversations and confessions with the GOP elite.” By now, you have probably correctly guessed the top three, but in a countdown hat-tip, the radio talent at #3 is iHeartMedia Los Angeles CHR KIIS “Kiss FM” morning star and Premiere Networks’ “AT 40” host Ryan Seacrest ($55 million), who isn’t hurting too much without the “American Idol” checks. With a staggering $79 million, another Premiere Networks personality – Rush Limbaugh – is listed at #2. “He celebrated 28 years with iHeartMedia in August by renewing his contract,” Blankfeld states. Eclipsing everyone though at #1 is Howard Stern ($85 million) and it is perhaps fitting he is first, given his self-described “King of All Media” moniker. “His new five-year, eight-digit contract with Sirius will extend to a new app and video streaming of the show,” Blankfeld explains. Add the figures up for these six stars and the total is approximately $280 million. Forbes bases the list on estimated June 1, 2015 – June 1, 2016 pretax income, before deducting management and legal fees.

morgan, charlieEmmis New York City Makes Morgan SVP/Market Manager. It is quite a significant week for Emmis upper management. As we reported yesterday (TALKERS, Tuesday, 8/9), Chuck Williams takes over as senior vice president and market manager of the four-station cluster in the company’s home market of Indianapolis. There, he succeeds Charlie Morgan, who served in that capacity the past seven years before being named interim market manager of Emmis New York earlier this year. Morgan now removes theEmmis “interim” title, as he officially is named Emmis New York City’s senior vice president and market manager. Company president and chief operating officer Patrick Walsh declares that, “Charlie is one of radio’s truly gifted leaders. His inspirational leadership has been a catalyst in improving our results in Indianapolis and his deft skills are already having an impact in New York. I am thrilled he has decided to focus this next exciting stage of his career on ensuring [our New York City stations] continue to play an important role in the lives of listeners in the Tri-State area and these brands deliver on their enormous potential.” Morgan comments, “When a 35+-year radio veteran can honestly call his most recent seven years the most fun and most rewarding of his career, you know you are talking to one very fortunate man. That statement is true for me, thanks to the company and the culture that [founder, chief executive officer, chair] Jeff Smulyan, [president of radio programming] Rick Cummings, and Pat Walsh have built and nourished. Add to that the all-star team of talent I have worked with in Indianapolis, and you begin to understand my good fortune. For the past seven months, I have had the rare privilege of working with the talented team at Emmis New York. We have legendary brands in the most vibrant city in America. I have fallen in love with the people, the passion, and the opportunity to build on the legacy in New York.” Prior to joining Emmis, the Butler University alum spent more than 21 years as vice president and general manager of Susquehanna (now Cumulus Media) Indianapolis and he is a former president and chief operating officer of Indianapolis Motor Speedway Productions. In addition, Morgan is board chair of the Country Radio Seminar. Results from Nielsen Audio‘s July 2016 PPM report indicate Emmis New York City urban AC WBLS is in fifth-place (5.1, 6+); rhythmic CHR sibling WQHT “Hot 97” is tenth (3.5, 6+); and co-owned gospel WLIB is #31 (.4, 6+).

meltesen, jeffCumulus Media Nashville Names Meltesen Sr. AE/Sponsorship Sales. The former publisher of Nash Country Weekly Jeff Meltesen – is appointed senior account executive/sponsorship sales for Cumulus Media Nashville. He will focus on clients of the cluster’s two country stations (WKDF and WSM-FM) and Cumulus-Nashvillesponsorship sales of events/promotions for all Cumulus Media Nashville properties. WKDF “Nash FM” and WSM-FM “Nash Icon” general sales manager Rhonda Rollins comments, “We are thrilled to have someone of Jeff’s experience join our team. His sales, business, and marketing acumen are market tested and will help us elevate the conversation with our customers.” Meltesen remarks, “Cumulus Nashville’s high quality events featuring high profile artists present a unique opportunity for brands that want to make an impact in Nashville. Our sponsorships are backed by the power of our popular Nashville radio stations, so there is built-in media value for our partners.” Before joining Nash Country Weekly, Meltesen was marketing director for Nashville Songwriters Association International. Up a whopping +1.4 from June, WSM-FM “Nash Icon” finishes second (7.3, 6+) in Nielsen Audio‘s July 2016 Nashville PPM sweep, nine-tenths behind Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9” (8.2, 6+). Elsewhere in the Cumulus Media Nashville cluster, urban AC WQQK “92-Q” is #7 (5.2); WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” is #8 (4.6, 6+); and tied at #12 – each with 3.7 (6+) – are sports WGFX “104.5 The Zone” and WKDF “Nash FM.”

WABC-AMA Case of Copyright Infringement? Apparently, that is what Paul Bereswill is thinking, as he becomes the most recent photographer to sue a radio company over a copyrighted photo used on a radio station’s website. Specifically, the case in the southern district of New York has Bereswill alleging that Cumulus Media New York City talker WABC used his pictures of New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey and a post-game photo of the NHL‘s New York Rangers on the WABC website without his prior consent. In addition to attorney’s costs/fees, Bereswill reportedly is seeking damages and profits or the statutory $150,000 per work.

lewis, jasonEx-Talkers Win Minnesota Political Contests. One of Rush Limbaugh‘s former guest hosts – Jason Lewis – defeated Darlene Miller and John Howe yesterday (Tuesday, 8/9) to win the Republican nomination for congress in Minnesota’s second congressional district. Lewis spent ten years on emmer, tomMinneapolis talker KSTP-AM and later was heard on cross-town KTLK-FM. Five years ago to the day, Genesis Communications Network began syndicating his show. Lewis will face Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party nominee Angie Craig and Independence Party candidate Paula Overby in November. Meanwhile in that state’s sixth district, another former talk show host – Republican representative Tom Emmer – won his primary race for re-election. Emmer was a state legislator before co-hosting morning drive with Bob Davis at KTLK-FM in 2011- 2013. Emmer was Minnesota’s Republican nominee for governor in 2010, losing in a very close race to Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party’s Mark Dayton.

Odds & Sods: Starting in four weeks (9/6), “The Sports Junkies,” the 6:00 am – 10:00 am program on CBS Radio WJFK-FM Sports JunkiesWashington, D.C. sports outlet WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan,” will be simulcast on regional cable sports network CSN Mid-Atlantic. WJFK-FM program director Chris Kinard comments, “‘The Sports Junkies’ are the most dynamic radio personalities in [the market] with a dedicated fan base of listeners on radio, streaming, and via podcast. We are thrilled to work with our partners at CSN on this important brand extension of our original programming.” ….. Topics ranging from research and insights affecting radio listeners and advertisers to storytelling will be featured in “Radio Impact Reports,” a new blog from the RAB. According to the first post, the blog will, “share current news, information and insights about broadcast radio, while using this social space to encourage an open dialogue with broadcasters, advertisers, agencies and even listeners. One thing is for certain – our focus will be on continued growth and innovations taking place, ensuring radio’s bright and exciting future.”   

freeman, dorisDoris Freeman Passes. The class of 2014 Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame inductee died this past Saturday (8/6). Doris Freeman began her career approximately 80 years ago as a feature radio singer and tap dancer. She raised millions of dollars over the decades for organizations such as the West Tennessee Cerebral Palsy Center, Carl Perkins Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse, March of Dimes, and the United Negro College Fund. Freeman hosted daily and weekly radio shows on Jackson, Tennessee’s WDXI; a daily children’s television show in Jackson; and headed up Cousin Tuny Enterprises, one of Jackson’s first advertising agencies. As a single mother of four, she became Jackson’s first female radio advertising representative with WDXI in 1948 and later at WTJS, and WJAK. For more than 20 years, Freeman produced/hosted live radio coverage of the Miss Tennessee Pageant. Visitation will be held tomorrow (Thursday, 8/11) 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm at Jackson, Tennessee’s Northside Methodist Church; funeral service (also at the Northside Methodist Church) is this Friday (8/12) at 11:00 am.

Monday, September 22, 2014

| September 22, 2014

rowlandjohnFormer Connecticut Governor and WTIC, Hartford Talk Host Found Guilty of Campaign Law Violations.  He’d already served 10 months in prison for a 2004 conviction on corruption charges when CBS RADIO’s news/talk WTIC, Hartford hired John Rowland to host a daily afternoon drive radio talk show.  Now, after Friday’s conviction on seven counts of campaign finance law violations, it appears that Rowland is likely headed back to prison.  Sentencing is scheduled for December 12 but his attorneys plan to appeal.  According to the Hartford Courant’s account, Rowland, who resigned from WTIC in April just before being indicted on the charges, chose not to take a plea deal for 18 months jail time and tested his luck with the jury.  It didn’t work as the jury found him guilty of all charges related to his scheme to consult a Republican political candidate in 2012 and hide the fact that he was accepting the cash for those purposes.  Read Edmund Mahony’s Courant story here.

cookehollandLocal On-Air Talent CAN Become Indispensable.  Media consultant Holland Cooke revisits (and expands upon!) the point he made the “pages” of TALKERS four years ago that “if you’re in RADIO, you’re in SALES” in a column published today (9/22).  It’s easy to pick apart the effectiveness of another medium’s advertising components but radio must look in the mirror for, as Cooke writes, criticism of a lot of radio’s not-so-great spots is justified because “at many stations, including some in major markets, there’s no creative department.  Reps write their own copy, a task that’s not sellers’ core competency.”  Effectiveness is directly related to quality, so how to up the quality?  Cooke offers some suggestions and you can check them out here.

jacobsfredConsultant Fred Jacobs Encourages Radio Talent to Learn and Exploit Expanded Array of Available Media Tools.  Reaction and commentary continues to buzz throughout the industry on the topic of the role of the aural media arts (non-visual radio and music) in the increasingly multi-media/visual environment of the digital era – instigated largely last week by comments made by TALKERS and RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison in the aftermath of the Clear Channel name/branding change to iHEARTMEDIA.  According to Harrison, “I am delighted by the enormous number of responses – mostly overwhelmingly positive – that my comments sparked.  Of course, there were those who immediately jumped to theiheartmedia logo conclusion that I am against the word ‘media’ or that I do not believe radio should be involved in internet, satellite or visual media at all.  This is, of course, preposterous!  The name of our company that owns TALKERS is Talk Media, Inc.; the name of our convention was the New Media Seminar way back in 1998; TALKERS magazine’s slogan is The Bible of Talk Radio and the New Talk Media; I have championed a concept known as “The Media Station” for more than a decade and the list goes on.  All I am saying is we should remain sensitive and respectful to the idea that there is a very important place in this emerging mix for pure audio-only radio and music in terms of the fundamentals of these processes – and that by doing so, we will be serving the best interests of our industry, the people who work in it and the consumers who love radio and music on their basic terms.”  Harrison continues, “My friend, noted radio consultant/researcher Fred Jacobs, CEO of Jacobs Media, — also an industry voice who is outspoken on this most compelling issue — has written and posted a blog today (9/22) that I believe adds an important dimension to the subject that warrants attention.  Jacobs makes a case, somewhat counterpoint (but not contradictory) to mine, that I find inspirational.”  In the blog, Jacobs writes, “I started thinking about this notion that the proliferation of screens will narrow the field for talkers, DJs, and hosts who are great with words, but not so wonderful visually.  As he [Michael Harrison] notes, screens of all sizes are becoming dominant parts of how people consume media. Thankfully, radio has been able to participate on most of those screens, whether on smartphones or tablets.  Over time as autonomous driving becomes more common, those who ride in these cars will gravitate to entertainment that is visual in origin – at least at a higher percentage than they are able to consume now while dangerously texting and driving.  So is this the beginning of the end for radio, or is it simply the beginning of the beginning?  Because as we have explored in this blog during the past few years, disruption forces old stars to adapt while bringing new ones to the center stage. Notably, two of the “Best Motion Picture” Oscars in just the past few years have focused on this topic. The King’s Speech starring Colin Firth was a story about changing technology, as the King of England was forced to learn how to communicate on the radio.  Of course, he struggled, but in the end he was able to adapt.  And in The Artist, the film’s silent film star refused to adapt to ‘talkies’ and is eventually displaced by a new brand of movie icons.  Change is uncomfortable and it can be bitter, as depicted in this amazing film.  The ending eventually become a happy one, but the road was arduous and difficult because of the tech disruption caused by the advent of movie sound.  Change is hard, especially for those who have enjoyed the status quo.  It tests everyone in all strata of the organization and the industry. Accepting, adapting, and adjusting is hard work.  It can be quite uncomfortable in workplaces that were once always fun and even kind of easy.  But these are the necessary skills that radio people need to exude in order to make the transition.  We see signs of this every day in broadcast radio.  Those who have the ability to connect with audiences – in person and in social spaces – have a unique edge.  The old paradigm of the DJ hermit, locked down the hall in the air studio, is breaking apart.  Today’s air talent need to be able to mix it up with listeners, clients, and community leaders.  Not every film star is handsome.  The public appreciates an interesting face, whether it’s Peter Dinklage on Game of Thrones or Linda Hunt on NCIS.  They may be exceptions, but they stand out because they’re different, captivating, and worthy of our attention.  They’re also immensely talented actors.  And the same will be the case on the radios of the future.  While good-looking DJs like Ryan Seacrest or Bobby Bones may have inherent advantages, Howard Stern proves that must-hear content trumps a pretty face.  And he’s not alone.  Words matter, and they will continue to in a media ecosphere that is now dominated by visuals. Screens or not, it’s the thought that counts.  These are changes that radio need to roll with.  Let’s open up new visual doors, new avenues, and new paths for our content.  And let’s embrace them because it’s truly a media world.”  To read Fred Jacobs’ entire blog, please click here.

warrenallisonRadio Management Pro Warren Named VP/MM for Cumulus Nashville.  Jumping from the Austin cluster of Entercom where she was director of sales and taking on the vice president and marketwwtn logo manager role at Cumulus Media Nashville is Allison Warren.  Cumulus SVP Jeff Brown comments, “Allison was a key part of my team in Denver some years back.  She did great work there and has since built a portfolio of successes in vibrant radio markets including Austin, Madison and Milwaukee.  Her results-driven, collaborative leadership style will infuse our Nashville operations with the energy and focus needed at this pivotal point in the cluster’s growth.  Allison will be an incredible asset to Cumulus’ leadership team.”  Warren also served with Entercom at its Madison and Milwaukee clusters as well as with CBS RADIO in Denver.  Cumulus operates six stations in the market including news/talk WWTN-FM “SuperTalk 99.7,” sports talker WGFX “104.5 The Zone,” as well as the Tennessee Titans Radio Network.

irn usa logoCross Platform Media Acquires IRN/USA Radio Network.  The president and CEO of Cross Platform Media, Sam Hassell, says the acquisition of IRN/USA Radio Network “rounds out the services of Cross Platform that is already deeply embedded in the national media space.”  Hassell continues, “We are very excited to make this announcement.  We look forward to fulfilling the original vision of USA Radio Network by providing audience-engaging news and content to the independent and group station owners around the country.”  Christian and conservative broadcast pioneer Marlin Maddoux launched the USA Radio Network in 1985 and Hassell adds, “We are very respectful of the Maddoux legacy and proud to continue syndicating ‘Point of View,’ ‘Daybreak USA,’ IRN/USA News and so many other significant programs.”  IRN/USA Radio Network currently produces and/or distributes more than 20 nationally syndicated radio programs with audience-targeted formatting primarily for news/talk and Christian radio (both commercial and non-commercial).

biakelseyBIA/Kelsey Forecast for 2015 Local Media Revenue: Up 1.6%.  But, of course, the increase comes as beneficial for those in the online/digital media realm (+13.1%) and, not surprisingly, traditional media is expected to see another dip (-1.7%).  BIA/Kelsey is presenting these results and more at its Leading in Local: SMB Digital Marketing conference in New Orleans this week.  The company predicts that in 2015, online/digital will account for more than one-quarter (25.2%) of total local media revenues in 2015.  Revenues for online/digital are expected to grow from $31 billion in 2014 to $35 billion in 2015, representing a 13.1% growth rate.  Other forecasts include: Mobile local ad revenues will grow from $4.3 billion in 2014 to $6.6 billion in 2015; Local social media revenues will grow from $2.5 billion in 2014 to $3.6 billion in 2015; Local search revenues will grow from $7.1 billion in 2014 to $7.2 billion in 2015; Local display revenues will grow from $4.3 billion in 2014 to $4.9 billion in 2015; and Local online video revenues will grow from $2.3 billion in 2014 to $3.0 billion in 2015.

dolansexpo9-14Dolans and Seaview Radio Hit Home Run with Live Event in South Florida.  Proving there is life after WOR, New York, the legendary husband/wife money media team of Ken & Daria Dolan (pictured here, Daria at left, Ken at right) joined forces with WSVU (960 AM/95.9 FM/ 106.9 FM), North Palm Beach “Seaview Radio” this past Saturday (9/20) presenting a successful, day-long listener/sponsor event titled, “South Florida Wealth & Health Expo 2014,” at the prestigious Jupiter Maltz Theatre in Jupiter, Florida.  The event brought local businesses and services from the fields of health, finance and better living together highlighted with on-stage financial advice presentations by the Dolans.  Seaview Radio general manager Chet Tart tells TALKERS, “The event gave us a wonderful opportunity to establish new and heightened relationships with sponsors from one of the most dynamic business sectors in the market.  We immediately received positive response with attendees and vendors already asking about next year’s event.  I think we might have to find a larger venue, next time around.”  The Dolans, now based in Jupiter, are best remembered for their stunning run of success at WOR, New York and the WOR Radio Network in the 90s and early-2000s – supplemented by their hosting hot shows on CNN, MSNBC anddolans poster other cable news/talk networks as well as penning best-selling books on the topic of personal finance.  Known for their entertaining banter and solid advice both on air and on stage, the Dolans went into semi-retirement several years ago – but have had difficulty steering clear of offers that keep coming their way for live appearances and their broadcast sales consulting services.  The result has been the birth of the increasingly active firm Dolan Media.  CEO Ken Dolan tells TALKERS, “There are huge revenue and promotional opportunities for local radio stations in live events – especially in the areas that strike home to most people – health and money.  The two go together beautifully as we have just proven at this event in Florida.  Daria and I are strongly considering taking this show on the road and helping stations around the country create a very exciting form of financial and PR synergy so dearly needed by small and middle-sized operators at this time.”  Perennial members of the TALKERS Heavy Hundred during their run at WOR, the Dolans have been ranked #75 on the prestigious Heaviest Hundred list of the “100 Most important Radio Talk Show Hosts of All Time.”  WSVU, North Palm Beach was recently sold by North Palm Beach Broadcasters to JVC Media.  GM Chet Tart – one of the most connected broadcast executives in the market – will stay on as GM of the new expanded operation planned by the acquiring owners, telling TALKERS, “With this transition to JVC, I find myself even more focused than ever… offering leadership, encouragement and inspiration to the staff.  That’s my focus!”   Chet Tart can be reached by email at chet@jvcbroadcasting.com.  Ken Dolan can be contacted at dolanmedia1@aol.com.

schafferdennyOdds & Sods.  At the iHeartMedia Des Moines cluster, alternative KXDA PD Mike Killabrew takes on the programming responsibilities for sister sports talker KXNO, leaving WHO programmer Van Harden to focus on his duties with the heritage news/talker…..Radio personality Denny Schaffer – most recently with iHeartMedia news/talker WRNO, New Orleans and former host at the company’s WSPD, Toledo – is back in Toledo as morning jock on Cumulus Media’s hot AC WWWM “Star 105.”…..Dallas news pro Jim Ryan joins ABC News Radio full time.  Ryan — a current staffer at WBAP, Dallas and part-time contributor to ABC News Radio, makes the switch starting November 1.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

| April 1, 2014

mandisdanDan Mandis Hosts Early Afternoon Show at WWTN, Nashville.  Talk radio pro Dan Mandis is the new 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm personality at Cumulus Media’s WWTN, Nashville “SuperTalk 99.7.”  Mandis, who spent years as executive producer of the Dr. Laura Program, has most recently been programming such talk radio outlets as Clear Channel’s KHOW and KKZN in Denver and Federated Media’s WOWO, Fort Wayne.  He also hosted thewwtn logo Saturday morning show on KOA, Denver.  With Mandis’ arrival at “SuperTalk 99.7,” the station is now live and local from 5:00 am to 7:00 pm.  He’ll follow morning host Ralph Bristol and late morning personality Michael DelGiorno while leading into PM drive host Phil Valentine.  WWTN program director Brian Wilson states, “We think Dan’s view of the world is just familiar enough to be comfortable for our audience and at the same time just different enough that he’ll make a lot of people stop and think twice about the disease behind the symptoms.  As the fourth leg to the table, we think all our core shows will complement each other.  The effect is that the whole will be greater than the sum of the parts.”  Mandis comments, “There are so many reasons to be excited about this opportunity.  Being part of an amazing talk radio station on FM is one, and living in a great city like Nashville is another.  I honestly can’t wait to get started.”

mandersbill‘PowerTalk 96.7’ Fresno Host Bill Manders Receives Kidney from Teen Suicide Victim.  Afternoon drive personality Bill Manders returned to his show on Clear Channel’s news/talk duo KALZ and KRZR in Fresno after kidney transplant surgery three weeks ago.  According to local TV station KFSN, Manders received a kidney from a local teen who had just committed suicide.  It turns out 17-year-old Lexi Morris’ father Jason is a regular listener to Manders’ program and made the unusual request that Manders receive his daughter’s kidney.  As the story notes, this is not the usual procedure but the kidney was a perfect match.  Manders tells the TV station, “I was in tears when I heard her story, but I would rather concentrate on the plusses in her life.  She was smart, athletic, she has a great family, and I know she’s there looking down on me, so I’ve got to honor her.”  Read the whole story here.

hochmanshow groupMarc Hochman Officially Signs with Beasley to Host PM Drive on WQAM, Miami.  Nothing is ever official until the contract is signed but Marc Hochman’s departure from Lincoln Financial Media’s crosstown WAXY last fall with the intent on sitting out his non-compete and landing in PM drive at WQAM was one of radio’s worst-kept secrets.  As soon as it was legal (at 12:01 am on 4/1), Hochman (second from left) inked a pact with WQAM to begin his run as the station’s afternoon personality.  The new Marc Hochman show will also feature Zach Krantz (right), former Miami Dolphins cheerleader Sha Tabb (second from right), and longtime WQAM producer Victor Bermudez (left).  WQAM program director Andy King says, “Marc is an incredible talent and one of the most creative minds in radio.  His ability to blend sports, pop culture and humor into an entertaining show has led him to tremendous success throughout his career and I’m excited for him to continue that success here at 560 WQAM.”  Hochman adds, “I am the quintessential ‘radio nerd,’ so the opportunity for me to host an afternoon drive show on the most legendary sports talk station in Miami was one that I couldn’t pass up.  When I first moved to Miami in 1987, I listened to WQAM all the time.  Now, a little over 25 years later, I’ll be sitting behind that microphone, and I couldn’t be more thrilled!”  The station also announces that one of the most legendary voices in South Florida sports history, Howard Schnellenberger, has signed on as the imaging voice of the Marc Hochman show.  All the show intros and production will be voiced by Schnellenberger.

morganmelanieMelanie Morgan Returns to Radio in Santa Rosa.  Long time Bay Area news radio and talk radio pro Melanie Morgan (formerly with Cumulus Media’s KGO and KSFO, San Francisco and, for a time, with TRN’s “America’s ksro logoMorning News”) joined Sonoma Media Group-owned KSRO, Santa Rosa, California as news director and morning anchor.  She began her news director duties yesterday (3/31) and starts on-air next Monday (4/7).  Melanie replaces a heritage morning news anchor, David Wesley Page, who retired from radio about a month ago after nearly 30 years on the KSRO morning news.  Morgan is married to former longtime KGO program director Jack Swanson.

mitchellbrianBrian Mitchell and Scott Jackson Re-Up with WTEM, Washington.  Two of Doc Walker’s co-hosts on Red Zebra Broadcasting’s WTEM, Washington “ESPN980” are in the fold for another three years.  The companyjacksonscott announces that Brian Mitchell and Scott Jackson have extended their contracts with the station, keeping them on the “Inside the Locker Room” with Walker through 2017.  The mid-afternoon show teams former Washington Redskins Doc Walker and Brian Mitchell along with veteran talk show host Scott Jackson.  Mitchell has been a part of the “ESPN980” family for five years.  Brian also is a contributing member of the Washington Redskins Radio Network, offering analysis pre-game, post-game and during halftime.  Jackson has worked at WTEM for nine years and will serve in many additional roles, including hosting “Redskins Recap,” Mondays after Washington Redskins games and as the station’s lead NBA analyst.  Vice president of programming Chuck Sapienza says, “’Inside the Locker Room’ has been a ratings success.  To have all three guys under contract for the next few years makes our station stronger.  Doc, B-Mitch and Jack have so much fun on the air, you can’t help but laugh along with them while listening.”

businessrockstars radioBusiness Rockstars Radio Affiliates with CRN Digital Talk Radio.  This week “Business Rockstars Radio,” hosted by Ken Rutkowski began an affiliation relationship with CRN Digital Talk Radio.  The program that features “Rockstar” CEOs, entrepreneurs, and start-ups targeting the 30 million “Wantrepreneurs” in the U.S., joins CRN’s integrated audio platform combining television, radio and social media.  CRN Digital Talk Radio CEO Mike Horn says, “We’re thrilled about our new partnership with ‘Business Rockstars Radio,’ a show with such compelling content, we’ve decided to air it three different times across our platform.  ‘Business Rockstars Radio’ is the only crn logonational entrepreneurial radio show that brings in ‘Rockstar’ CEOs and entrepreneurs combined with the magic of Ken Rutkowki’s talent and continuing with each guest on the show.  We are also excited to partner with the legendary Steve Lehman, a name synonymous with cutting-edge talk radio.”  Lehman adds, “We’re excited to expand the Business Rockstars Radio footprint by joining Mike Horn’s renowned CRN Digital Talk Radio Network.  This new alliance will add an additional 11 million television households across the U.S. to the Business Rockstars Radio Network, allowing us to reach more ‘Wantrepreneurs’ with fun, fast-paced, and compelling content about growing, starting, and funding businesses.”  Business Rockstars Radio guests include some of the biggest CEOs and entrepreneurs daily, including: Nolan Bushnell (Atari and Chuck E. Cheese Founder), Akon (musician and entrepreneur), Daymond John (Host of ABC’s “Shark Tank”), Cheryl Tiegs (model, actress and entrepreneur), Thom Beers (CEO of Freemantle Media), Scott Painter (Founder and CEO of TruCar) and many others.

kinosianmikeSports Talk Post-Super Bowl.  The American sports (and money!) juggernaut that is the National Football League plays a huge role in the success of sports talk radio in America.  Not to disparage the MLB, NBA, NHL and NCAA, but it’s clearly the most successful and popular league in professional sports in America.  So, what effect does the end of the NFL’s season the first weekend in February have on sports talk stations?  TALKERS managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian takes an in-depth look at sports talk radio’s performance in PPM markets leading up to the Super Bowl and in the month that follows.  Check out his report here.

journalbroadcastgroupMcHale Named VP/CTO for Journal Broadcast Group.  The Milwaukee-based company announces Brian McHale is its new vice president and chief technology officer, overseeing “the leadership, management, implementation and long-term planning of the company’s technical and physical infrastructure across its 13 television stations and 35 radio stations in 11 states.”  Journal Broadcast Group also says McHale will “ensure the efficient and on-schedule delivery of media content, identify emerging technologies and how to profitably deploy them, and work closely with Journal’s leadership team to develop the company’s operational and strategic direction.”  McHale comes to Journal from Seattle’s Fisher Communications where he was vice president of technology.

deanmichaelwHow to Help Your Remote Guests Shine.  Radio is a busy business and sometimes hosts must process guests with a level of assembly-line speed that doesn’t always allow for the kind of attention to detail that can make the difference between a quality broadcast and a tune-out.  Many interviews on radio sound like there was no forethought to audio quality.  And many guests sound like they were thrown into an unfamiliar situation with no preparation.  In a very helpful, extensive advice piece posted today (4/1) Genesis Communications Network (GCN) talk show host Michael W. Dean (“The Freedom Feens” and “Michael Dean After Dark”) offers advice on how to maximize the quality of your remote guests covering everything from programming content to technical delivery in today’s frenzied radio environment.  To read it in its entirety, please click here.

ObamaCare Criticism, Russian Aggression, North and South Korean Tensions, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Discrepancies, Global Warming, and “Noah” Criticism Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/31).  Scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; the international implications of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and Eastern Europe and President Obama’s dealings with Vladimir Putin; heating tensions between North and South Korea; conflicting information from the Malaysian government about the disappearance of Flight 370; renewed debate about global climate change; and criticism of the new film “Noah” were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

| December 11, 2012

Holland Cooke: Start Your Own Media Station.  Noted radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Holland Cooke says getting laid off during this year’s pre-Christmas industry bloodbath, though painful and scary, might not be the worst thing that can happen to enterprising broadcasters.  In a boldly worded opinion piece, the forward-thinking programming advisor connects numerous dots and cites fascinating examples painting a positive picture of just how much opportunity now exists in the digital world for radio people daring enough to go “stickless.”  He points to a number of telling signs in the changes in our culture – such as Larry King’s new online show being listed in a larger font on the USA Today television listings page than his former home, CNN.   Cooke writes, “Anyone who uses Twitter online can click-to-listen.  Those who Tweet on smartphones or iPad simply touch-to-listen.  Voila!  You’re in-the-pocket, where AM/FM radio used to be.” Read his piece here.

Rumors of Format Change at WTKK, Boston Rampant.  The Boston media is all over the rumors that Greater Media will flip the news/talk station to a different, music-based format in the near future.  The local media picked up on domain name registrations such as 969BostonsBeat.com, 969TheBeat.com, and Power969.com.  The Boston Herald speculates the change is coming because “’toxic’ all-talk formats aren’t attracting enough younger listeners.”  Greater Media spokesperson Heidi Raphael states, “We deal in a business of attitudes and being responsive to the preferences of our audiences and the needs of our advertisers and communities.  We are continually exploring our options, looking for ways to improve our product and brands.  No decisions have been made on any changes to the format.”  Radio operators register domain names that go unused frequently so the actions by Greater Media don’t necessarily mean a change is coming but it certainly means the company is considering it.

Dave Ramsey Changes Affiliates in Home Town of Nashville; Jumps from WWTN to Sports WPRT.  The nationally syndicated Dave Ramsey show will move to Cromwell Radio Group’s sports talk WPRT “102.5 FM The Game” beginning January 1.  Ramsey’s program has aired on Cumulus Media’s WWTN, Nashville since the program debuted in the early 1990s.  Ramsey states, “After 20 years on WWTN it is very difficult to leave.  Unfortunately, we couldn’t come to terms with Cumulus on a simple renewal agreement.  There are a lot of great people at WWTN and we’ll miss them.  But we’re excited to have the opportunity to work with an independent radio station owner the caliber of Bud Walters.”  It appears as though the move is being precipitated by Cumulus’ desire to give its own talk programs more exposure – in this case, giving Mike Huckabee a full three hours on WWTN.  The new schedule at WWTN puts Huckabee on live from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm and allows Phil Valentine a 3:00 pm start to his PM drive show.  At the same time, Cumulus announces its newly acquired Michael Savage will air live from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am.  Cumulus Nashville market manager Mike Carpenter states, “We believe in the Mike Huckabee show and anticipate that this change will accelerate the governor’s popularity in Nashville.  Mike is a man of such character that we feel our clients will appreciate the opportunity to make him a key part of their marketing plans.  His on-air interest in music expands our talk repertoire and will play extremely well in a city where the music industry is the number three employer.  As for Savage, we assure you that a large number of our listeners will be happy to learn that their pleas have been heard and that Michael Savage is back on in Nashville.”

FCC Approves Transfer of WFAN-FM, New York to CBS Radio.  The $75 million deal that sends Merlin Media’s former WRXP, New York to CBS Radio as WFAN-FM, New York is approved by the Federal Communications Commission.  The station changed its call letters to WFAN-FM and CBS began operating it under an LMA on November 1 simulcasting sports talk WFAN-AM on the signal.

More on Changes at XEPRS, San Diego.  Yesterday, TALKERS reported sports talk XEPRS, San Diego “XX1090” let morning hosts Dave Palet and Jeff Dotseth go.  But now we’ve learned more as midday hosts Josh Rosenberg and Charod Williams have also been let go.  Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton is now on mornings and the San Diego Union-Tribune is reporting that former morning hosts Scott Kaplan and Billy Ray Smith will return to the station in AM drive soon and Darren Smith will move to the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot.  Kaplan and B.R. (Smith), who were fired after Kaplan made disparaging comments about a female sportscaster, have been hosting the San Diego Union-Tribune’s online TV morning show and, according to the report, would continue in that role.

Dave Wheaton Exits WOWO-AM/FM, Fort Wayne.  As tipped by Indiana Radio Watch’s Blaine Thompson, news director Dave Wheaton leaves his position at Federated Media’s WOWO-AM/FM, Fort Wayne to take the assignment editor post at Granite Broadcasting’s WPTA-TV, Fort Wayne (channel 21) and WISE-TV, Fort Wayne (channel 33).

Envision Radio Network Names Paul Harris “America Weekend” Host.  Talk radio pro Paul Harris is named the host of the new “America Weekend” program from Envision Radio Networks.  Executive producer Kipper KcGee says, “I’m thrilled to be working with Paul again.  We will be announcing the remainder of the ‘America Weekend’ lineup in coming weeks, and look forward to demonstrating that news/talk radio can enjoy weekend ratings and revenues!”  McGee worked with Harris in St. Louis and at WLS, Chicago.  Harris states, “I’m excited about launching ‘America Weekend’ to give both affiliates and listeners something more compelling, with great stories, interesting interviews, and my own perspective on what’s happening.”

Clear Channel Donates WDTW, Detroit to the Minority Media and Communications Council.  Clear Channel Media and Entertainment is donating progressive talk outlet WDTW, Detroit – a 5,000-watt Class B signal – to the MMTC under the Clear Channel-MMTC Ownership Diversity Initiative.  Clear Channel CEO and chairman John Hogan states, “We applaud MMTC for creating a program that helps minority broadcasters develop the skills and experience necessary to become successful broadcasters.  We’re pleased that the donation of these resources will give the opportunity for enthusiastic new entrepreneurs to own and operate their own radio station.”

Main Street Radio Network Launches New Weekly Program.  “The RichLife Show” with host Beau Henderson is a weekly one-hour program that, according to syndicator Main Street Radio Network, is “a fast-paced hour with a BIG mission to help listeners live healthy, wealthy, fulfilled lives on purpose by combining a highly engaging mix of education, entertainment, inspiration, and motivation.  The format of the show is financial Q&A, discussion around listeners’ biggest questions and concerns, and relevant expert interviews.”  Henderson is a senior financial advisor, Master Certified Success Coach, and Certified Master Behavioral Analyst and author of the book, The RichLife – Ten Investments For True Wealth.  Main Street president Jane Silk says, “We know ‘The RichLife Show’ will be a great addition to our current shows and our rapidly growing radio network.  Beau Henderson is a caring, honest person who truly has the listener’s best interest in mind.  Beau will cover a variety of topics such as all aspects of living rich: money, health, meaningful relationships, and living a fulfilled life of purpose.  Beau and RichLife advisors have built an online community through a weekly newsletter and social media that now exceeds 35,000 committed to living their definition of a RichLife.”

KGO, San Francisco Partners with Good News in Oakland for News Feature.  Cumulus Media San Francisco news/talker KGO announces a partnership with internet media outlet Good News in Oakland to create a feature that “will highlight a person or organization in Oakland that has made a difference in creating a positive image for the East Bay’s largest city.”  Good News in Oakland is described as an “internet-based renewable psychological socially responsible environmentally focused media outlet.”  Stories will be produced by KGO reporter Tihanna McCleese and Good News in Oakland founder Sean Kennedy.  KGO program director Paul Hosley states, “We’re thrilled to enter into this partnership with Good News in Oakland. This collaboration will give KGO listeners an opportunity to hear about the positive side of the city…stories that have not been told before.”  Features will air at 6:46 am, 1:46 pm, and 5:46 pm on Mondays and Wednesdays.

WNYM, New York Begins Picture Caption Contest for Lunch with Sliwa & Lichtman.  Salem Communications-owned WNYM, New York’s PM drive team of Curtis Sliwa and Jeffrey Lichtman are enjoying their new street-level studio with the giant display window at the Hotel Pennsylvania on 7th Avenue.  The station and hotel management say they are getting such a buzz from New Yorkers about the setup that they’re beginning a photo caption contest to capitalize on the publicity.  WNYM is asking fans to take a picture of Sliwa and Lichtman broadcasting, give it a caption and post it via Twitter or Instagram or send it to the station via email.  First prize is lunch with Sliwa and Lichtman.  Other prizes include Broadway show tix, restaurant deals and more.  WNYM general manager Sean O’Neill states, “The iconic Hotel Pennsylvania with Curtis Sliwa and Jeffrey Lichtman broadcasting live in the hub of midtown Manhattan is an extraordinary opportunity to personalize the radio experience in the digital age.  Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers walk through this block daily and now have the opportunity to connect face to face with their favorite radio personalities.”

Quentin Tarantino Entertains Live Audience at SiriusXM.  As part of the “Town Hall Series” on SiriusXM, noted filmmaker Quentin Tarantino (l) was interviewed by Village Voice film critic Scott Foundas (r) before an intimate, live studio audience.  Tarantino, who also took questions from the crowd, discussed his new film “Django Unchained” and told stories about his career as a film director.  Photo Credit: Kevin Mazur / WireImage for SiriusXM.

ESPN Radio Broadcasts 24 College Bowl Games.  The college football bowl season will bring plenty of play-by-play to ESPN Radio affiliates as the sports media giant announces plans to broadcast 24 bowl games.  Beginning with the Gildan New Mexico Bowl on December 15 and wrapping up with the National Championship game between Notre Dame and Alabama in Miami on January 7, ESPN Radio’s coverage will span 16 days.  David Norrie and Bill Rosinski will call five of the games beginning with the S.D. County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl on December 20.  Additionally, both the “Mike & Mike in the Morning” and “SVP & Russillo” programs will originate from South Florida on Monday and Tuesday, January 7 and 8.

Lotus Communications’ ‘SuperGol’ Soccer Show Scores Affiliates.  The Spanish-language soccer show “SuperGol” recently snagged its 25th affiliate for the one-hour program targeted to younger Hispanic men.  The show airs live from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm PT and is hosted by Halim Zadat and Erika Garza.  The show is produced by Lotus’ KWKW, Los Angeles and station president James Kalmenson says, “The young US-born Latino is a growing segment of the sports audience that’s responding extremely well to the program.  Latinos of all generations are avid soccer fans, making the soccer-themed talk show an ideal platform for younger audiences while maintaining the traditional sports target of men 25-54.”

Gow Broadcasting Acquires Sports Flash Radio Network.  The service that specializes in sports updates is acquired by Gow Communications, the company that is operating Yahoo! Sports Radio.  Gow announces at the same time that its affiliate base has grown to more than 360 stations.  David Gow states, “We are really pleased with the ongoing expansion of our affiliate base.  The acquisition of the Sports Flash Radio Network extends our reach to both sports-format and non-sports-format stations.  And the additions of new shows we have introduced over the past year have enabled us to achieve industry-leading growth.”

‘Fiscal Cliff’ Battle, Looming ObamaCare Costs, Michigan Right-to-Work Bill Controversy, Hillary in 2016, and Aussie DJ Prank Fallout Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/10).  The GOP versus Obama fight in Washington over avoiding the “fiscal cliff”; the costs associated with ObamaCare that will begin to take effect in 2013; the battle in Michigan over the union-busting right-to-work bill; the proposition Hillary Clinton will run for president in 2016; and the fallout after the Australian DJ prank call to Kate Middleton’s hospital in London were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

| November 15, 2012

Radio Comes Through for Charity for Holiday Giving and in Times of Disaster.  Radio is a business and making a profit is the first goal of any business.  But radio stations and radio corporations have a documented history of giving back to the communities they serve through the organization of charitable giving.  That service is evident even during difficult economic times as stations large and small regularly step up to the plate to take time out from creating entertaining programming while risking losing listener interest in order to do charitable work.  This year the industry is seeing a confluence of disaster relief needs and the annual holiday charity programs.  Relief efforts for victims of Hurricane Sandy include such assistance as: CRN Digital Talk Radio’s $2,351 donation to the cause; Townsquare Media-owned New Jersey 101.5’s ongoing “Restore New Jersey” campaign; Cox Media Group’s $75,000 donation to relief organizations; Geraldo Rivera’s recent live “radiothon” on Cumulus Media’s WABC; CBS’s radio and TV stations’ daylong phone bank; CBS Philadelphia partnered with Live Nation/Comcast Spectacor to offer concert tickets to the Bob Dylan and Mark Knopfler show on November 19 in exchange for donations to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund that brought in $30,000; as well as Clear Channel’s planned 12-12-12 concert in New York City.  Disaster relief is not the only cause that radio rises to assist.  Radio’s charitable projects include aid to organizations that individual stations have chosen to work with regularly – such as KGO, San Francisco’s long-running annual radiothon to fight leukemia — plus regular holiday-oriented giving programs.  The following are just a few that have come to our attention recently:

Cumulus Nashville to Program Radiothon for Local Rescue Mission.  News/talk WTN, Nashville will host a radiothon on Monday, November 19 beginning at 5:00 am and running through 7:00 pm to raise funds for the Nashville Rescue Mission.  Morning host Ralph Bristol begins the day and the fundraising continues with hosts Michael DelGiorno, Dave Ramsey, and Phil Valentine all committing their shows to raising funds for the Rescue Mission’s programs.  In addition to his own show, Michael DelGiorno will participate with the other WTN personalities throughout the day.  DelGiorno’s extra duties start by broadcasting live at the Rescue Mission from 7:30 am to 8:30 am with Ralph Bristol live from the studio.  He then hosts Dave Ramsey from 9:00 am to 10:00 am at the station.  His normal show then gets extended to 1:00 pm effectively preempting the Mike Huckabee show.  And then to close out the Radiothon, DelGiorno returns for the final push from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

Clear Channel’s KLAC, Los Angeles Raises $135,000 for Paralyzed Veterans.  Sports talk outlet KLAC, Los Angeles held its fifth annual Paralyzed Veterans of America Live Radiothon and Online Auction recently, calling in local and national celebrities to help raise a record $135,000 for the charity.  KLAC and Fox Sports Radio Network personalities Steve Hartman, Vic “The Brick” Jacobs, Petros Papadakis and Rob Dibble hosted the radiothon and were joined by Dodgers great Tommy Lasorda; rocker Eddie Money; Lakers legend James Worthy; model Leeann Tweeden; and boxing great Ray  “Boom Boom” Mancini, among others.  Pictured here are (from l-r): KLAC’s Steve Hartman, Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini, KLAC’s Vic “The Brick” Jacobs and KLAC producer Sam Betesh.

 

WEEI, Boston Recognized for Cancer Charity Work.  Entercom’s sports WEEI, Boston was recognized by the Lung Cancer Alliance of New England for its work bringing attention to and raising funds for the treatment and cure of the disease as part of its annual Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon held in conjunction with cable’s New England Sports Network each August.  This past August, the 11th annual two-day event raised more than $3.3 million for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.  Entercom Boston VP of programming and operations Jason Wolfe says, “It’s an incredible honor to be recognized by the Global Lung Cancer Coalition and I’m so proud to accept this award on behalf of all of us at WEEI.  Cancer affects us all, and we are blessed to have had such tremendous success shining a light on this terrible disease through the efforts of the Jimmy Fund radio-telethon.  I want to thank everyone at the GLCC for their support. It means a great deal to our entire staff.”  Pictured here are (from l-r): Wolfe; Rob Gronkowski, tight end for the New England Patriots; and Rich Monopoli, LCA New England co-director.

FCC Chairman Genachowski Asks Commission to Approve Cross-Ownership.  The change in rules would be permanent for companies operating radio-TV-newspaper combos in the top 20 markets.  Stations such as Tribune’s WGN, Chicago have been living on temporary exemptions to the law forbidding such cross-ownership for years.  FCC chairman Julius Genachowski is asking the commissioners to approve the move without a public meeting vote as soon as today and the change could take effect tomorrow (11/16).  Bloomberg reports that for Tribune, the vote would be a requirement for the company’s exit from bankruptcy protection.

Conclave Names Seasoned Radio Pro Bob Shannon Executive Director.  Veteran radio broadcasting executive Bob Shannon has been named the Conclave’s new executive director.  He succeeds the organization’s first executive director, Tom Kay, who recently retired after almost four decades of service.  In announcing the appointment, Conclave board of directors chairman Mark Bolke says, “There obviously is no replacement for Tom Kay and his shaping the Conclave organization for the past 37 years.  The executive selection committee was presented with a list of excellent candidates from which to choose.  Bob Shannon represents the consummate broadcasting professional with a shared vision and passion to move the Conclave into a new era.  We are thrilled to name him as our new executive director.”  Shannon, whose consulting company bobshannonworks is based in Minneapolis, is also president of SpotMedia Services, a former executive vice president at TM Century, and the author of Turn It Up! American Radio Tales 1946-1996.  On accepting the position Shannon states, “As a student of radio I’ve long admired Tom and what he’s done at the Conclave.  Moving forward my goal is to build on his vision by expanding our online activity and looking very closely at how radio and our learning conference are addressing changes in media.  This is a very exciting time, ripe with opportunities for those who know how to create compelling content.  Stay tuned!”

Newsmax Steps Up Audio and Video Content; Terrestrial Radio Programs in Development.  Months ago TALKERS reported on the digital initiatives going on at conservative media firm Newsmax that include its video channel Newsmax TV.  Now, the Chris Ruddy-led media organization is announcing the further development of these ventures.  Newsmax says it will soon be expanding to an online 24/7 network.  The online TV network will focus on simulcasting radio content online.  It will also develop its own radio shows for Newsmax TV and broadcast these on terrestrial radio as well.  In 2013, the company plans to significantly ramp up its online TV presence and radio activities and has constructed a state-of-the-art broadcast studio in its New York offices.  Staff for the projects includes Chad Wilkinson as executive producer of programming; Tamara Karcev as director of affiliate relations for radio programming.  In addition, former WABC, New York program director John Mainelli is consulting the project.

Wayne Powers Returns to WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte.  After four years as regular fill-in host at Greater Media’s WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte, Wayne Powers removed himself from the station’s roster in February in order to run as a Republican for an At-Large seat on the Mecklenburg County Commission.  After a May primary win, Powers came up short in the November 6 general election.  “It was tough to beat the huge straight-ticket Democrat vote here in the DNC convention city,” says Powers.  He returns for Thanksgiving and Black Friday, guest hosting WBT’s Keith Larson show.

Petraeus Scandal, Benghazi Investigation, ‘Fiscal Cliff,’ Israel-Syria Conflict, and New Chinese Leader Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/14).  The expanding David PatraeusPaula Broadwell scandal; questions about the Benghazi attack and Petraeus’ role in the investigation; Congress and the Obama Administration begin tackling the ‘fiscal cliff’; the violent conflict between Israel and Syria; and the change in Chinese leadership as Xi Jinping succeeds Hu Jintao as secretary general were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

| September 27, 2012

Big Changes in Atlanta Talk Radio: Clear Channel to Flip WGST-AM/FM, Atlanta to Spanish or Comedy and Rush Limbaugh Moves to Cox’s WSB-AM/FM.  Exactly what format Clear Channel Media and Entertainment will flip longtime news/talk WGST-AM (which is simulcast on an FM translator at 92.3) to – whether it will be a Spanish format or a comedy format – remains to be seen.  But talk pro Rusty Humphries, who handled PM drive for the station is gone and Premiere’s Glenn Beck ran in his place Wednesday.  The status of morning hosts Rob Johnson and Dave Merlino is not known, however WGST is airing “The Wall Street Journal This Morning with Gordon Deal” in place of Johnson and Merlino.  Humphries, who hosts a separate program that is nationally syndicated via Talk Radio Network, tells TALKERS magazine, “It is always sad to see a news/talk facility such as WGST change to another format but I am grateful for the time I had there and was able to spend doing local radio in Atlanta.  The people at Clear Channel are fine people and I enjoyed working with them.  For me, the good news is that I will have a lot more time to devote to my nationally syndicated TRN program which is growing by leaps and bounds.”  Attempts by TALKERS to get response from Clear Channel management in Atlanta confirming the format change have not been successful.  Meanwhile, across town at Cox Media’s WSB-AM/FM, the station announces Rush Limbaugh, who is heard on WGST, will move to WSB beginning Monday, October 1.  At the same time WSB announces a new long-term deal with Premiere’s Sean Hannity for the PM drive slot and the return of “Atlanta’s Evening News” airing from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm hosted by Erick Erickson.  Cox Media’s Clark Howard will still emanate from WSB for his nationally syndicated program heard on some 200 affiliates across the country but will move to the 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot on WSB.  In order to accommodate the Limbaugh acquisition, the Neal Boortz program moves to the 8:30 am to 12:00 noon slot.

Armstrong & Getty Return Today.  KSTE, Sacramento-based morning duo Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty are back on the air this morning with Armstrong telling Sacramento TV station KTXL “Fox40” that the reason the duo was off the air on Tuesday and Wednesday was due to an “internal” reason and not because of their call to have listeners post cartoons, photos etc. that criticize Islam.  It had been widely reported the two had been suspended for the incident.  In fact, Armstrong tells the TV station the audio file of Monday’s controversial show will return to the online archives soon.  He says they will address the matter first thing today on the program at 6:00 am PT.

Talk Host Phil Valentine Decries Political Correctness.  Writing that the fear of offending those groups of people from which terrorists have sprung has put the shoe on the other foot and now the media is being terrorized, nationally syndicated talk host Phil Valentine laments the state of the media in America.  He says, “I’ve often joked that the only two groups we in talk radio can get away with offending are the deaf and the Amish.  Other offenses might require throwing yourself at the mercy of Jesse Jackson or apologizing to some LGBT group.  Now there is an offense from which you may never come back and that is offending a Muslim.”  Valentine penned this piece for TALKERS after hearing about the case of Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty.  Valentine’s piece is an interesting look at the intersection of politics and media in our current age.  Read it here.

Media Blogger Rich Lieberman Stands By Ronn Owens Story.  Rich Lieberman, who operates the 415 Media blog, wrote a post recently predicting that KGO, San Francisco talk legend Ronn Owens would have his contract – which expires at the end of this year – bought out and he would disappear from KGO early with the station moving in a newsier direction.  TALKERS reported this and Owens responded that Lieberman’s report is “totally made up.”  He also told TALKERS Lieberman has been attacking him for the past year for the changes that have taken place at KGO since Cumulus Media took over the station.  Now, Lieberman tells TALKERS he stands by his story.  “My sources are strong and I believe in them.  This has been a story I have sat on for nearly three weeks.  I finally went with it after talk and e-mailing Bay Area broadcast people familiar with the subject at hand.  I do NOT just dish out any speculation and innuendo without first trying to get it right.”  Apparently, only time will tell what the future holds for Ronn Owens at KGO.

20 Years and Going Strong.  Nationally syndicated talk superstar Dave Ramsey is pictured here holding the pewter statuette of a classic radio microphone given to him by his staff in honor of his 20th anniversary in the talk radio business.  Ramsey’s “official” anniversary is tomorrow – September 28 – and commemorates the day he and some friends took to the air on WWTN-FM, Nashville in a brokered time deal with the then-bankrupt station.  On Friday, a special episode of the program will air and include well-wishes from celebrities, friends and family; glimpses into the party at Ramsey’s Financial Peace Plaza; a look back at the history of the show; and calls from long-time listeners and second-generation callers.  Video of the show will be streamed live online.   Ramsey says, “I’m still surprised and honored that people call me at some of the most difficult and personal moments in their lives.  Giving people hope for their future and seeing lives changed is why I do this every day.”  He also credits his team for helping him achieve the success he has.  “I didn’t do this on my own.  Our producer, Blake Thompson, associate producer, Lara Johnson, engineer Matt Aaron and many other people have made it what it is today.  I have the best crew in radio, and we’ve been together for a long time, which is unheard of in the radio industry.”

The Young Guns of Talk Radio.  Ask anyone, especially those working for the consumer media, and they’ll tell you that personalities working as hosts on news/talk stations are all old, white men.  Radio’s general lack of a “farm system” doesn’t help that misconception much, but the truth is there are young people – some men and some women – working in news/talk radio today.  TALKERS executive editor Kevin Casey writes about some of the young broadcasters working in news/talk now.  Not all of them agree that by being young, they have the ability to attract a younger audience to the format.  But some believe it can be a factor.  KNST, Tucson host and PD Garret Lewis, for example, says, “The fact that I’m 35 and my friends are around my age gives me an advantage because I know what makes a person in their late 20s and 30s get fired up emotionally and what interests them.”  Hosts talk with Casey about the issues of the demographic, who inspired them, how they approach their programs and what, if anything, can be done to get young people into the talk business.  Read this story here.

Looking for Political Ad Dollars.  Getting those political ad dollars – even getting them late – is a nice boost to a station’s or group’s revenue.  TALKERS magazine managing editor/West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian talks with Portland Radio Group president and general manager Cary Pahigian about status of political money.  Pahigian says if you’re not in a potential swing state, the numbers (at least for presidential dollars) for radio are not rosy – at least not yet.  “With the exception of a few states, there does seem to be a lull,” Pahigian says.  He says the same pattern has developed over the past few election cycles.  “Depending on the landscape and circumstances, television is first in line and radio is second.  Everything changes though if there are issues and/or a tight race going on.”  Read Mike Kinosian’s full story here.

Three Senators and a Hopeful.  WIBC, Indianapolis late morning host Greg Garrison was visited by three U.S. Senators and one who hopes to become the next senator from the state of Indiana on his program on Wednesday during a campaign swing through the state capital.  Pictured here (from l-r) are: WIBC’s Todd Meyer, Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), Garrison, Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), Indiana State Treasurer and senatorial candidate Richard Mourdock, and Senator Dan Coats (R-IN).

Presidential Campaign Polls, Libya-al Qaeda Connection, Iran/Middle East Tensions, and NFL Referees Status Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/26).  The conflicting presidential election polls; the continuing query into the cause of the Libya terrorist attack; the state of Iran’s nuclear weapons program and the political climate in the Middle East; and the status of the NFL’s referee situation were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, September 24, 2012

| September 24, 2012

Phoenix Programmer Neil Larrimore Joins Speaker Roster at LA New Media Seminar.  Sellout Expected by Wednesday.  The lineup of outstanding industry speakers scheduled for the forthcoming West Coast installment of the TALKERS New Media Seminar continues to grow as Phoenix broadcaster Neil Larrimore, PD of NewsTalk 550 KFYI and XTRA Sports 910 KGME joins the roster.  The total number of speakers for the power-packed, one-day event has now surpassed 50.  Seminar organizers state that it will be completely sold out by the end of business on Wednesday – perhaps sooner.  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “The venue is intimate and even kind of funky, making for a very relaxed and informal environment – conducive to the kind of communicative and networking environment we hope to achieve.  The problem, however, is that unlike industry events that are held in convention centers and big hotels, we are working with a finite amount of seating and space which we are obligated by city regulations not to exceed.”  TALKERS New Media Seminar LA is scheduled for Thursday, October 11 between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm in association with the Los Angeles Press Club at the Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood.  Because it is open only to working media, there is no online registration — only by telephone.  For registration and sponsorship information call 413-565-5413.  A detailed up-to-the-minute agenda will be posted here tomorrow.

Greater Media to Sell WPEN-AM, Philadelphia to Harold Camping’s Family Stations.  The simulcast of Greater Media’s sports talk WPEN-AM/FM will continue until the deal is complete but Greater Media clearly sees no need to have its “97.5 The Fanatic” heard on both the AM and FM bands.  The sale price for the Philadelphia-licensed outlet has not been made public yet.  In a statement, Greater Media’s Philadelphia vice president and market manager John Fullam says “Greater Media looks forward to focusing on the growth of ‘97.5 The Fanatic,’ the best sports talk station serving the market and the new home to Sixers and Flyers play by play.”

John Gehron to Leave Merlin Media.  As reported by Time Out Chicago’s Robet Feder, radio management and programming pro John Gehron  — who serves as the chairman of the advisory board of Merlin Media – will step down from that role at the end of this month.  Gehron, who also serves as COO of AccuRadio, tells Feder, “It was a fascinating experience.  I worked with some wonderful people.”

WGN, Chicago Moves Dean Richards to Sunday AM Slot.  With Tribune columnist and WGN talk host Rick Kogan leaving his radio show to take the PM drive slot at Chicago Public Radio’s WBEZ, WGN program director Bill White announces the station is moving Dean Richards’ Sunday program into the early morning slot held by Kogan’s “The Sunday Papers” program.  “Dean Richards’ Sunday Morning” will air from 6:30 to 11:00 on Sundays beginning October 7.  White states, “Dean’s show has been a staple on Sunday mornings since 1994, and this new timeslot will give him an earlier start — avoiding sports broadcast pre-emptions — while still airing during part of his longtime timeslot.  As a Chicago native, Dean truly embodies the WGN hometown quality and we’re excited to expand the show.”  Addressing Kogan’s new role on WBEZ, White says, “Rick is a true Chicago legend and has been a mainstay on WGN for the past 13 years. We expect him to have a great experience in his new endeavor, but the door is open for future projects down the road at WGN.”

Three Steps to Digital Power.  Digital media consultant Chris Miller says that part of radio’s beauty is that it is the original targeted medium and radio brands can use their digital components to even further capitalize on the value of radio’s targeted nature.  Miller states, “Having digital inventory to sell on our streams and websites only makes us a stronger business partner for clients who want to hyper-focus their message.”  But Miller believes there are three steps stations should follow to effectively work the digital medium: build for it, commit to it, and train for it.  Read Miller’s entire piece here.

Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership 1 Day Event Simulcast to 200-Plus Locations.  Nationally syndicated financial talk radio star Dave Ramsey presented his EntreLeadership 1 Day Event live from the People’s Church in Franklin, Tennessee last week.  The program included author Jon Acuff and speaker Chris LoCurto, speaking about how to run a business using the same common-sense principles that Ramsey practices in his own company of more than 300 employees.  This particular presentation was also simulcast to more than 200 additional locations across the country.  The Dave Ramsey show reports that flagship station WWTN, Nashville “SuperTalk 99.7 WTN” reaped big benefits.  Station GSM Timothy Meagher states, “It’s a win for our clients by providing an excellent business-to-business marketing opportunity at the event; it’s a win for our listeners by providing a great way to learn and be educated on sound financial principals from Dave and his team; and it’s a win for ‘Super Talk 99.7’ by providing a solid branding opportunity in the market for our community of listeners and station brand.”

Alex Cohen Replaces Madeleine Brand on SCPR Talk Show.  Southern California Public Radio announces personality Madeleine Brand exits the 9:00 am to 11:00 am talk shot she co-hosted with A Martinez to pursue other professional endeavors.  Her spot on the show will be filled by Alex Cohen who has been serving as KPCC, Pasadena’s anchor for the afternoon block that includes “All Things Considered” and “Marketplace.”  Vice president of content Russ Stanton says, “We are very fortunate to have in Alex a co-host with the combination of news judgment, experience and a lively, energetic on-air presence.  She has a range of experience in public broadcasting and journalism that few can match; she is smart, tenacious and insightful.”

Pasta Promotion.  The 29th Newsradio 1020 KDKA Spaghetti Breakfast was held on Friday, September 21 in downtown Pittsburgh.  Thousands of Pittsburghers stopped by the annual hosted by the CBS Radio station event to feast on spaghetti before continuing on to work.  Pictured here at the serving line are (from l-r): KDKA personality Vinnie Richichi, County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Ernie Ricci and KDKA talk show host Mike Pintek.

Controlling the Language

| February 24, 2012

By Phil Valentine
Talk Show Host
WWTN-FM, Nashville/Dial Global 

NASHVILLE — I read Richard Neer’s piece. (“When it Comes to Ethnic Slurs, Just Don’t Go There” 2/23/12) and, quite frankly, it frightened me.  Somehow too many people have succumbed to the notion that something doesn’t have to be offensive, it just has to sound offensive.  Case in point?  ESPN.

ESPN editor Anthony Federico found out the hard way.  His headline on ESPN’s website got him fired.  The egregious headline was as follows: “Chink in the Armor: Jeremy Lin’s 9 Turnovers Cost Knicks in Streak-stopping Loss to Hornets.”

Now, you may be saying to yourself, “Ah, he should’ve known better,” but Federico says the word “chink” as a slur against someone Chinese never entered his mind.  “This had nothing to do with me being cute or punny,” Federico told the New York Daily News.  Doesn’t matter, Anthony.  It sounded offensive to the self-anointed oversensitive media watchers and you were sacrificed at the altar of political correctness.

What really bugs me is how the mainstream media have portrayed Jeremy Lin as Chinese.  He’s no more Chinese than I am.  He was born and raised in California.  He’s as American as me yet he’s offered up as some kind of Chinese sensation.  They even show large groups of people gathered back in Taiwan crowded around big screen TVs.  Sure, his parents are from Taiwan, but he isn’t.

I wonder if these same media types ever talk about black athletes in terms of being “African.”  They indeed use the PC term “African-American” but not in their wildest dreams would they cut away to some folks in Nigeria watching NBA hoops.

Portraying a guy who ‘looks’ Chinese as being from China is as stereotypical as it gets.  It’s like all this glory in which Lin is basking is being piped back to the motherland.  How about some speculation that Lin is so hot right now because he’s able to calculate the trajectory of the ball in some freakishly difficult math equation because we all know Asians are great at math.

The week prior to Federico’s headline, ESPN anchor Max Bretos used the same term, “chink in the armor,” when asking a former Knicks player about Lin on the air.  It wasn’t until the Federico headline that Bretos was called on the carpet.  (I’m sorry.  Is that offensive to Arabs?  Carpet?  Did I mean flying carpet?)

By the way, Bretos was suspended for 30 days.  No word from ESPN as to why it is that saying it is less offensive than writing it.

So, let’s just strike the phrase “chink in the armor” from ESPN’s lexicon.  Forget that it has nothing whatsoever to do with anyone Chinese.  Doesn’t matter.  You think anyone else at ESPN is going to ever utter that phrase again, to anyone about anybody or anything?

See, this is what political correctness does.  Moreover, this is exactly what political correctness is designed to do.  It’s designed to control the language and as I wrote several years ago in the book The Conservative’s Handbook, controlling the language ranks right up there with controlling the currency.  In fact, it can be said that language is the currency of thought.  So now we have the very definition of the thought police.  Each and every person who writes or reports for ESPN will forever edit themselves before they ever let that term move from their mind to their mouth.  Mission accomplished.

The politically correct have a long list of words and phrases they want stricken from the language because they’ve managed to become offended on behalf of someone else.  Need I bring up the whole ‘Redskins/Braves’ brouhaha?

The folks at ESPN are now on notice.  Even the most innocent slip of the tongue can get you fired.  I wouldn’t be surprised if the next Indianapolis 500 is begun with, “Gentlemen, start your native Americans.”

 

Phil Valentine is a Dial Global nationally syndicated talk host based at WWTN-FM, Nashville.  He can be e-mailed at phil@philvalentine.com. 

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Monday, January 30, 2012

| January 30, 2012

KTRS, St. Louis Talk Show Host JC Corcoran Responds to TALKERS Feature Story.  St. Louis talk show host JC Corcoran’s Twitter exchange that got him suspended from talk station KTRS last fall was an example cited in the TALKERS feature piece, “Social Media: Handle with Care,” published on Friday.  Corcoran responded with an insightful letter to the editors that adds new levels to the story and the larger issue of social media use by talk and sports radio broadcasters.  Read the piece and Corcoran’s response here.

Talent Shake-Up at WLW, Cincinnati; Eddie Fingers Returns.  Today sees a revamped talk host lineup at Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s “Big One” WLW, Cincinnati highlighted by what Queen City media observers are calling the bizarre return of Eddie Fingers to the PM drive show 15 months after he was fired from the same show.  According to the Cincinnati Enquirer’s John Kiesewetter, Fingers will rejoin co-host Tracy Jones for the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm program.  Jones’ partner since October of 2010 – former Cincinnati Reds outfielder Scott Sloan – moves to the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon slot.  That means late morning host Doc Thompson is the odd man out.  Kiesewetter reports Thompson was fired last week while on his honeymoon with WHIO-TV, Dayton reporter Yuna Lee.  Thompson still works for Clear Channel hosting the PM drive show at the company’s WRVA, Richmond.  Back to Cincy, Fingers has been a personality in town since the early 1980s.  He moves from rock WEBN-FM to WLW in 2007.  Kiesewetter reports Fingers has no animosity toward the station for his October 2010 firing, stating, “I never had a problem with anyone in the building all along.  The decision on firing me came from corporate, and I get the impression some of them have moved along.  I loved it there.  I loved those guys.  This is unprecedented.  This is a load off my shoulders.”

Programmer Jack Landreth Named KMBZ-AM/FM, Kansas City PD.  Entercom Kansas City announces talk radio programmer Jack Landreth takes over the PD position at news/talk KMBZ-AM/FM beginning Monday, January 30.  Landreth most recently held the PD post at CBS Radio’s KXNT-AM/FM, Las Vegas.  During his career he has also programmed KTSA, San Antonio; KNST, Tucson; and WWTN-FM, Nashville.  Landreth says, “KMBZ is the premiere radio station in Kansas City and I could not be more honored to work with such a great team of local, top-notch broadcasters.  My sincere gratitude goes out to Pat Paxton, Ken Beck and, of course, Dave Alpert.  My family and I look forward to coming back to the Midwest and calling Kansas City our true home.”

“Loveline” Tweaking Format to Appeal to Talk Stations as Courtside Offering.  The former Westwood One talk show, now in Norm Pattiz’s growing Courtside Entertainment stable, has been a nighttime music radio mainstay for almost 30 years. It is heard on more than 50 alternative rock, classic rock and CHR stations with a strong base in the top 25 markets.  Hosted by noted medical authority Dr. Drew Pinsky and well-known LA-based pop culture broadcaster Mike Catherwood with the recent addition of British radio and TV personality (and sex therapist) Simone Bienne, the nightly program which airs live 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight PT has evolved and adapted over the years from a free form Sunday night KROQ, Los Angeles show, appealing to a very young audience, to a formatted, highly-planned and targeted production designed to deliver a more mature, diverse 18-54 audience. Along the course of its colorful history, Loveline’s hosts included such figures as Adam Corolla, deejays Jim “Poorman” Trenton and Swedish Egil (Egil Aalvik) and former MTV veejay Riki Rachtman.   Courtside Entertainment founder and CEO Norm Pattiz tells TALKERS, “Unlike many talk shows on music radio, this program does not play music and never did.  However, it does include well-known music personalities among its diverse guests a la Jay Leno and David Letterman.” Pattiz unequivocally states, “Yes we are now going after talkers… the growing number that think a talk show with equal parts information, entertainment and advice is right at night. This show attracts a loyal audience.  Current stations really like what we are doing with Loveline as we have phased it in this new direction over the past six months.  It has a distinct format which is very important in a PPM world.  Every quarter hour is planned with calls, subject, host features and guests. Master programmer Bert Kleinman oversees this aspect of the production on a daily basis.  It is a unique product that has stood the test of time by continuously adapting.”

Clear Channel Gives Hartford an FM Sports Talker.  Clear Channel Media and Entertainment puts into effect the changes that had been brewing with its Hartford and Springfield, Massachusetts stations last spring.  The “Kix” country format leaves WPKX-FM as the station becomes an FM simulcast of CC’s sports talk WPOP, Hartford and moves its city of license from Enfield, Connecticut closer to Hartford in Windsor Locks, Connecticut.  That leaves the country format on the former AAA WRNX-FM, Amherst, Massachusetts serving the Springfield market.  The new 97.9 ESPN obviously uses programming from ESPN Radio but it’s being reported that CC Hartford is looking to put a local PM drive show on the station.

WGDJ, Albany’s Paul Vandenburgh to Host Daily Afternoon TV Show.  WGDJ, Albany is co-owned by president and general manager Paul Vandenburgh.  He also hosts the morning drive show on the station.  Beginning Monday, Vandenburgh will host the Paul Vandenburgh Show on Albany’s MyNetworkTV affiliate My 4 Albany from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday.  My 4 TV’s Chuck Hunt says, “Vandenburgh has long been the premiere talk show host in the Capital District and adding his expertise to television increases the reach, visibility and credibility of MY 4 Albany.  His show will be topical each day, keeping people up to date with the major news stories of the Capital District.  Live callers will also be included in the program.  We are thrilled to have Paul on the MY 4 Albany team.”  Prior to his endeavor with WGDJ, Vandenburgh hosted the morning drive show on crosstown WROW.  He also hosted at WQBK, Albany.

Sirius XM Adds Two High-Profile Talk Shows.  Former Indianapolis Colts GM Bill Polian becomes part of the satcaster’s NFL Radio channel with his debut tonight on the “Late Hits” program from 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm.  He’ll appear again for shows on Wednesday and Friday prior to the Super Bowl and will host regular shows throughout the year.  Polian says, “I’ve been a guest on SiriusXM NFL Radio many times and it is an outstanding source for league news and information.  Now I get to be the one asking the questions.  I’m excited to get on the air to talk shop with players, executives and coaches around the league and interact daily with many of the great fans who have helped make the NFL the most successful sports league in the world.”  In other Sirius XM news, former New York City police chief Howard Safir is hosting a limited run program called, “The Badge with Howard Safir,” focusing on the “drama, heroism and challenges facing law enforcement today.”  The series will air Sunday evenings and run for six weeks.

Northeast Ohio Sports Media Figure Joe Pete Dies at 45.  Joseph J. Pete, Jr. broadcast the “Sports Report with Joe Pete” on WFUN, Ashtabula, Ohio.  He was a play-by-play announcer for prep athletics in the region and wrote about sports in the region for numerous publications.  He passed away on Thursday, January 26 at the Cleveland Clinic.