Tag: "YouTube"

Newsmax TV Shows Impressive Audience Gains

| July 16, 2020

By Kevin Casey
TALKERS magazine
Executive Editor

 

BOCA RATON, Fla. — Newsmax TV, a service of the influential Newsmax Media multi-platform news organization, has shown notable growth in the first half of 2020 in terms of audience increase and programming development in the highly competitive OTT arena.

OTT stands for “over-the-top,” the term used for the delivery of film and TV content via the internet, without requiring users to subscribe to a traditional cable or satellite provider.  Some OTT channels require a pay subscription (such as Netflix) and others (such as Newsmax TV) are free.

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Thursday, February 27, 2020

| February 27, 2020

Jack Sunday Retires from Full-Time KFGO, Fargo Role. Longtime Fargo talk radio personality Jack Sunday has retired from his full-time role as an on-air talk host on Midwest Communications’ news/talk KFGO-AM.  Sunday had been co-hosting the late morning show with Amy Iler, who wrote a nice piece about Sunday that you can see here.  Iler is now partnered with JJ Gordon on the “It Takes Two” program.  Sunday acknowledged his decision to leave the position was difficult and noted that he is caring for his wife who suffers from a rare neurological condition.  Sunday first joined KFGO in 1989 and over the course of 30 years served as program director, afternoon host, and midday personality.  He tells KFGO’s Joel Heitcamp, “I am convinced that there is probably no other radio station in the country like KFGO… we have 17 or 20 people who are on the air live as personalities for extended periods of time… a four-person news team, a meteorologist and sports.  We have two great sportscasters here, plus on-air personalities with producers that become personalities themselves.”  Sunday will develop a podcast to be part of the station’s podcast offerings.

Appeals Court Tosses Prager’s YouTube Lawsuit. The suit by Salem Radio Network talk host Dennis Prager’s non-profit educational organization, Prager University, against Google’s YouTube platform was shot down by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday (2/26).  Prager University had sued YouTube claiming it had violated its First Amendment rights and the Lanham Act (false advertising), but the District Court dismissed the suit.  PragerU appealed and the Appeals Court agreed with the lower court.  At issue here was PragerU’s claim that YouTube’s Restricted Mode violated the conservative educational organization’s First Amendment rights by making certain of its video unviewable for those under a certain age due to its Restricted Mode guidelines.  It also claimed that YouTube’s promotional language touting the importance of people being able to “speak freely” while putting certain videos in Restricted Mode violated the Lanham Act.  Judge M. Margaret McKeown writes in the decision, “The panel held that despite YouTube’s ubiquity and its role as a public-facing platform, it remains a private forum, not a public forum subject to judicial scrutiny under the First Amendment.  The panel noted that just last year, the Supreme Court held that ‘merely hosting speech by others is not a traditional, exclusive public function and does not alone transform private entities into state actors subject to First Amendment constraints.’  The panel held that the Internet does not alter this state action requirement of the First Amendment.  The panel therefore rejected plaintiff’s assertion that YouTube is a state actor because it performs a public function.  Addressing the false advertising claim under the Lanham Act, the panel held that YouTube’s statements concerning its content moderation policies do not constitute ‘commercial advertising or promotion’ as the Lanham Act requires.  Nor was YouTube’s designation of certain of plaintiff’s videos for Restricted Mode part of an advertising or promotion or a misrepresentation as to the videos.  Finally, the panel held that YouTube’s braggadocio about its commitment to free speech constituted opinions that are not subject to the Lanham Act.”

Former News Staffer Sues Entercom’s KCBS-AM, San Francisco.  A lawsuit filed in California Superior Court by former KCBS-AM, San Francisco news staffer Sheryl Raines accuses the station of retaliation, failure to prevent harassment, unlawful termination and more.  The complaint centers around allegations of inappropriate behavior and sexual harassment on the part of engineer Dan Denton.  Raines says she reported Denton’s alleged behavior to superiors, but it continued.  She was terminated in May of 2019 and was told that the station wanted “a different sound.”  In her complaint, she states her replacement was a woman of similar demographic makeup with a “startlingly similar” on-air voice to her own.  She is seeking unspecified damages.

ABC Audio Appoints Lakeia Brown to Senior Producer, Race & Culture Audio Insights Post. The senior producer, race & culture audio insights position is a newly created one at ABC Audio and Lakeia Brown will assume that post on March 9.  She has been serving in the ABC News research department.  She has more than 15 years of experience in consumer insights and analytics for television networks including: ABC, Disney, Comedy Central, Nick @ Nite, TV Land and BET.  She starts with ABC Audio on March 9.  ABC Audio vice president and general manager Stacia Philips Deshishku says that in this position Brown will “act as a storyteller, researcher, and social connector all rolled into one.  She’ll work closely with our amazing team to create and deliver new radio news products and podcasts, maximize sponsorship opportunities and participate in editorial story development, all while focusing on expanding Audio’s reach with multicultural audiences. Lakeia will also serve as ABC Audio’s in-house expert on all things research, connecting insights to actionable strategies that help drive reach and revenue for ABC Audio.”

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated home improvement radio show, “Today’s Homeowner with Danny Lipford,” hits the 300-affiliate station mark as it celebrates its 10th year under the direction of Lipford.  Along with Lipford’s Emmy-nominated TV show, “Today’s Homeowner with Danny Lipford,” airing in 91% of the U.S., Lipford is a familiar figure in the home improvement industry.  “Today’s Homeowner” radio dates back to 2009 when Lipford took over a small radio show called “Homefront.”  He re-branded the program, officially launching “Today’s Homeowner” radio which began airing on 60 stations.  Over the past decade, Lipford and his team have strategically grown the show’s footprint by 200%.…..In Virginia Beach, Max Media names Tim Donnelly executive producer of the Nick Cattles show on sports talk WVSP “ESPN Radio 94.1.”  Donnelly was most recently with Monticello Media’s WRAD-AM, Blacksburg, Virginia where he hosted his own sports talk show.  Max Media VP of operations and programming Rusty James says, “Tim lives and breathes sports and we are so excited to have his passion on ‘ESPN Radio 94.1.’”…..Townsquare Media’s sports talk WTMM, Albany adds another hour to the “Big Board Sports” show.   The program, hosted by Rodger Wyland and Chris Onorato, now airs from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm…..Salem Radio Network assures us that nationally syndicated late morning talk host Mike Gallagher does not have the coronavirus, but he did test positive for influenza and has to miss the opening day of CPAC 2020 in Washington.  So, filling in for him is Kurt Schlichter (right) who is pictured below interviewing American Conservative Union president Matt Schlapp (left).

Lee Abrams Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the most influential music radio programmers of the past 50 years, Lee Abrams, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Abrams was the chief architect of an approach to FM album rock radio known back in the seventies as the “Superstars” format and, as a consultant, guided hundreds of stations across the country to commercial success utilizing its systems and techniques. He went on to be one of the original programming forces behind today’s satellite radio during the first decade of its development and then served a couple of years with the Tribune Company helping that organization revamp its newspapers and television stations for the 21st century. Today, Abrams is the head of a newly launched, Chicago-based consultancy, MediaVision, which is focused on radio (terrestrial and beyond) and music for 40-plus consumers as well as revolutionary approaches to video news and television. Harrison and Abrams take a deep dive into the past, present, and future of pop culture including a retrospective on the days they spent as two of the top thought-leaders in AOR (album oriented rock) radio. This program is a must-listen for anyone in the radio business. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Talk Radio at CPAC. Numerous radio talk show hosts from around the nation are attending this year’s CPAC gathering in National Harbor, MD with many broadcasting from the conservative event’s radio row.  Pictured covering CPAC for her national commentary is Victoria Jones (l) executive director of DC Radio Company visiting the broadcast setup of John Fredericks (r) of the John Fredericks Radio Network.

Broadcasters Foundation of America Names FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Recipient of Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award. The recipient of this year’s Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award from the Broadcasters Foundation of America is Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai.  The honor will be presented at the Broadcasters Foundation Annual Breakfast on Wednesday, April 22 at the 2020 NAB Show in Las Vegas.  The Award is bestowed annually on an individual in broadcasting whose work exemplifies innovation, community service, advocacy, and entrepreneurship.  The Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award salutes its namesake and is underwritten by The Mays Family Foundation.  Past recipients include Bill Clark, Eddie Fritts, Cathy Hughes, Mel Karmazin, Jeff Smulyan, Dick Wiley, and others.

Coronavirus Pandemic Fears, Presidential Race, Financial Markets Activity/China Productivity, Deadly Milwaukee Brewery Shooting, and India Violence Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/26). Concerns about Covid-19 developing into a global pandemic; the Democrats battling to face President Trump in the November election; the reaction of the world’s financial markets to the coronavirus and the virus’ effect on China’s productivity; a fired brewery worker returns to the plant in Milwaukee and kills five co-workers before killing himself; and the deadly sectarian violence in India 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. Air personality Scotty Kay is adding midday hosting duties at Entercom’s St. Louis CHR KNOU “NOW 96.3” to his responsibilities.  Kay also serves as co-host of the morning show at country WUSN-FM, Chicago “US99.”  Entercom St. Louis SVP and market manager Becky Domyan says, “I’ve been a fan of Scotty and his unique ability to become one with his audience and we’re delighted to add him to our team.  Scotty will be a vital part of the puzzle as we continue to grow ‘NOW 96.3’ into the dominant contemporary hit radio brand in St. Louis.”…..iHeartMedia appoints Rex Long program director for Austin CHR KHFI “96.7 KISS FM.”  He was most recently with the company’s Salt Lake City cluster.  iHeartMedia Austin/San Antonio region president Matt Martin says, “Rex’s abundance of energy, his creative ideas to connect with listeners, combined with his strategic vison to be a fabric of Austin’s culture make Rex a perfect fit to continue building the ‘KISS’ brand.”…..Cumulus Media names Bev Rainey program director of country KRST, Albuquerque.  She’ll also host the late morning show.  Rainey served for the past 20 years with iHeartMedia’s crosstown country KBQI, the last seven as program director.  Cumulus Albuquerque VP and market manager Jeff Berry says, “KRST provides the very best in country music and entertainment for our listeners and unmatched results for our promotional partners.  I could not be happier to have Bev join this fantastic team.  She is known and loved by the audience and respected by the industry.  This is a great day for one of America’s great country brands.”…..Berkshire Broadcasting flips WAXB-AM/W233CF, Danbury, Connecticut “B945” from classic hits to classic rock as “945 The Hawk.”  Berkshire CEO Irv Goldstein says, “‘B945’ has been continuously evolving over the years.  Morphing from a traditional oldies station to an 80s based classic hits/classic rock mix.  We just felt that now was the right time to get off the fence and go all in.  ‘945 The Hawk’ is classic rock that really rocks.”

Monday, August 26, 2019

| August 26, 2019

Joe Walsh Says He’ll Challenge Trump for GOP Nomination. As teased on Friday (8/23), former Illinois GOP congressman and talk radio host Joe Walsh officially announced on Sunday that he will begin a GOP primary campaign to challenge President Trump for the GOP nomination.  Walsh hosts the 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight program on the Salem Radio Network. It’s not clear right now when he’ll leave his radio show, but it’s a safe bet it will be very soon.  As a politically conservative broadcasting company, the SRN and Salem Media Group brass can’t be thrilled about Walsh’s decision. However, conventional wisdom says Walsh has no chance to take the nomination from Trump since the president enjoys overwhelming support from Republicans. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison, weighing in on the syndicated host’s announcement states, “The extraordinary amount of press surrounding this development illustrates just how powerful talk media has become during the age of Trump.  We all know that talk radio and cable news/talk TV have been consistently influential platforms in the post-Fairness Doctrine decades.  However, the sheer measurable power this bubbling influence has amassed in the age of Trump is jaw dropping to say the least.  Regardless of your opinion of Donald Trump, the fact that the president of the United States is a huge talk media fan and constantly demonstrates it through his use of social media, shout-outs, and political appointments has been the most significant booster rocket imaginable in elevating talk media beyond junior status to equal-if-not-greater influence and prestige as the so-called mainstream media.  Look at the amount of attention his tweets garnered for Wayne Allyn Root last week.  The fact that Joe Walsh – a radio talk show host with a microscopically short resume of elective service – could get so much more coverage than former governors William Weld and Mark Sanford sends an important message.  Radio and TV talk personalities are, in a growing number of cases, on the same level as major elected officials.  In an industry where anecdotal qualitative influence is every bit as important as murky quantitative metrics, everyone in the talk business owes a debt of gratitude to President Trump.  All I can say is, Mr. President, ‘Keep listening and watching!’” Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story stated FOX News had ignored the story.  Actually, FOX News published this story on Sunday and devoted reports on FOX News Channel to the story.

Neal Boortz Ends WSB-AM, Atlanta Commentary.  Six years after retiring from his daily radio talk show, radio legend Neal Boortz does his last commentary feature for his old flagship station WSB-AM/WSBB-FM. In his final piece for the station, Boortz says he looks forward to paying less attention to the news because he believes the country is headed for disaster due to young people knowing more about LGBTQ history than American history.  He says, “I’m going to just enjoy my friends, family and my travels while the rest of you see if you can pull this country back from the brink.” Hear his commentary here.

LaDona Harvey Re-Ups with KOGO, San Diego. Longtime station personality LaDona Harvey signs a new contract with iHeartMedia’s news/talk KOGO, San Diego to continue as morning personality through 2022.  Harvey served as news anchor and then midday talk host before being partnered with Ted Garcia in morning drive in 2014.  Station program director Brian Long says, “When we re-launched Newsradio 600 KOGO, it was clear that LaDona had the versatility needed to shift from a popular local news/talk host to become a strong morning news personality without missing a beat.  LaDona and Ted Garcia together every morning share a chemistry that connects with San Diegans and serves to entertain and inform KOGO listeners every weekday morning.”

New Affiliate Stations for ‘Our American Stories.’ The nationally syndicated “Our American Stories” radio program announces the program is being added to the program schedules at stations including: iHeartMedia’s KHOW, Denver; Bustos Media’s KVOI, Tucson; American General Media’s KVEC, San Luis Obispo; Entercom’s KNSS-AM/FM, Wichita; and Kensington Digital Media’s WRSW-AM, Warsaw, Indiana.  Lee Habeeb is host of the program and CEO of American Private Radio, producer and syndicator of the show.  Habeeb comments that he’s “grateful for the new markets and the opportunity to bring more listeners together in a positive listening environment.  These stations, along with our 210 other affiliate partners are a testament that listeners want more than just political talk.  They want a positive experience that radio does really well, which is just what ‘Our American Stories’ delivers.

Ken Lagana Named EVP of Digital Sales for Entercom. Digital sales executive Ken Lagana is appointed to the newly created position of executive vice president of digital sales for Entercom, effective September 10.   Lagana was most recently head of sales and marketing for podcast technology firm Megaphone.  In this new role, Lagana will lead sales strategy for the company’s digital business, including RADIO.COM, and its newest podcast acquisitions – Cadence13 and Pineapple Street Studios.  Entercom chief digital officer J.D. Crowley says, “I have known Ken a long time and have immense respect for the large digital businesses he’s helped build.  Ken has an incredible reputation in the industry for creating innovative programs at scale that solve challenges for marketers.  We’re excited to welcome him to the team as we continue to help shape the rapidly growing digital audio marketplace.”

Envision and Radio PA State Network Partner for Sports Report. This partnership between Envision Networks and Radio PA State Network will result in EnvisionVirtualServices Sports Reports being distributed to more than 50 radio stations throughout the Keystone State.  The feature his presented by sports reporter Andrew Scaglione who delivers twice-daily reports (and one report on Saturday).   Scaglione says, “The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has such a rich sports history spanning from the high school level all the way up to the pros.  It’s a privilege to provide daily sports reports to stations around the state and keep folks up to date on Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, State College, Williamsport, and everywhere in between.”

Monday Memo: YouTube Tweaks.  YouTube is a powerful platform and it’s real crowded.  Every second, one hour of video is uploaded.  If you just “throw something up there,” you’re probably not capitalizing on the benefits of YouTube.  Consultant Holland Cooke suggests that before your video joins that torrent, take a look at some valuable tips here.

U.S.-China Trade War/G7 Summit, Hong Kong Protests, Joe Walsh to Challenge Trump in Primary/2020 Presidential Race, Israel Strikes Iranian Targets, and Andrew Luck Retires from NFL Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The tariff battle between the U.S. and China, the world’s financial markets’ reactions to them, and the meetings that took place at the G7 in France over the weekend; the protests against Chinese aggression in Hong Kong; talk host and former congressman Joe Walsh announces his Republican presidential bid and the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the Israeli military strikes against Iranian targets near Damascus, Syria; and the shocking retirement from pro football by Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Forever Media to Buy Lebanon, Pennsylvania Duo. The stations – news/talk WLBR-AM and adult contemporary WQIC-FM “Soft Rock 100.1” – are being sold by family-owned Lebanon Broadcasting Company to Forever Media.  The deal gives Forever 64 stations in 11 markets.  Lebanon president Lynn Deppen says, “WLBR/WQIC has been in the Etter family for over 70 years.  Since my sons have independent careers, I made the decision to sell to Forever Media. Forever Media is an excellent company consisting of community-oriented radio stations.  They empower local managers with key decision-making authority and encourage local community interests to be a factor in any decision.”  Greg Guy of Patrick Communications represented the seller in this deal.

Barr Bids Buck Bon Voyage. Pictured above is Premiere Networks personality Buck Sexton (left) with U.S. Attorney General William Barr (right) at Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC. last Thursday night (8/22).  Sexton, host of “The Buck Sexton Show,” had an impromptu going away celebration at the hotel as he leaves Washington to move to New York City.  Barr made an appearance to wish Sexton well as he returns to his home state.

TALKERS News Notes. Sports media personality Josh Innes is launching a podcast.  The former KBME, Houston and WIP, Philadelphia sports talk host tells ForbesJonathan Berr that he intends to target sports fans in Philly and Houston with separate shows for each market.  He says he understands that there are a ton of podcasts out there and that compared to big stations, he’s a small business.  He says he plans to target local advertisers who can’t afford to advertise on major market radio stations…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Vivianne Linou  is promoted to executive producer of WGN, Chicago’s Steve Cochran morning show. The Tribune Broadcasting station promoted Mary Sandberg Boyle from that position to director of news and operations back in May.  Linou joined WGN as a producer back in March after having previously served with Entercom’s crosstown all-news WBBM-AM/WFCS-FM…..Alpha Media’s Portland sports talk KXTG-AM drops the FM translator simulcast of its programming.  The station signaled the end of the broadcast on K275CH with the re-branding of its social media accounts that eliminate the 102.9 FM frequency…..Saga Communications swaps FM translators as a simulcast of news/talk WGAN-AM, Portland.  It goes from W288CU, PORTLAND at 105.5 FM to W253DA at 98.5 FM…..ESPN launches a new college football podcast featuring lead analysts Kirk Herbstreit and David Pollack plus SportsCenter’s Kevin Negandhi.  The “ESPN College Football Podcast- Herbie & Pollack” publish three times per week through the season with Negandhi hosting all episodes. Herbstreit will co-host on Mondays and Pollack will do so on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. West Palm Beach country outlet WIRK names Moriah Daniels midday personality.  Daniels began her radio career eight years ago as an intern for the then-CBS Radio station, now owned and operated by Hubbard Radio.  WIRK operations manager and brand/content director Bruce Logan states, “As a program director, there is nothing better than inheriting great talent!  When I started the search to transition ‘New Country 103.1’ from a voice-tracked show to a live and local show in West Palm Beach, I was thrilled to find Moriah sitting mere feet from my office dutifully serving our sales team.  She expressed interest, I went through the entire search process and in the end, there was no one I’d rather have as WIRK’s At-Work host.”…..Air personality Pat Gallagher returns to the Madison market to assume the morning show duties on Mid-West Family’s alternative WRIS “The Resistance.”  Company VP of programming Randy Hawke says, “Pat helped define alternative music in Madison.  It’s so important to have him here and be a part of it.”  Gallagher worked in alternative radio in Madison for 27 years before joining Mid-West Family Madison for a brief time then heading to WCNR, Charlottesville, Virginia to do mornings…..Radio personality and doo wop enthusiast Ron Farber appeared on WMTR-AM, Morristown, New Jersey over the weekend as guest and co-host on the station’s “Doo Wop Drive” program from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm on August 23.   It was a homecoming of sorts as Faber hosted the Friday night doo wop show from 2005 through 2008…..Air talent Scotty Kay joins the new morning program at Entercom’s country WUSN, Chicago.  Kay was most recently on air at Cumulus Media’s CHR KLIF-FM, Dallas “HOT 93.3.”  He joins morning show hosts Katie BrightJason Pullman, and Erin Creedon on the program…..In Los Angeles, Doug “Sluggo” Roberts is named assistant program director and music director for classic rock KLOS.  Roberts currently hosts weekend programs on SiriusXM’s “1St Wave” and “Lithium” channels.  He’s also worked at alternative KROQ and adult hits KABC-FM in Los Angeles.

Monday Memo: YouTube Tweaks

| August 26, 2019

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — YouTube has over a billion active monthly users, almost one-third of all people on the Internet.  If YouTube was a country it would be the 3rd most populous in the world, behind China and India, bigger than the USA.  And…

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Tuesday, July 16, 2019

| July 16, 2019

APOLLO 11 ANNIVERSARY:  CBS News Radio Correspondent Peter King is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing (7/20) and the stellar 45-year career of a CBS News Radio reporter who has been covering the Kennedy Space Center in Florida for the past two decades, Peter King is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Harrison (a passionate space enthusiast) and King discuss a wide variety of topics including NASA, US space exploration, memories of the Apollo 11 mission, their love of radio, and the state of journalism in America.  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 daily TALKERS email newsletter and every page of Talkers.com.

Esiason Gets The Call to NY State Broadcaster’s Association HOF. Twelve-year Entercom New York City sports talk WFAN morning show co-host, Boomer Esiason, has been selected to the New York State Broadcaster’s Association’s Hall of Fame. The legendary former NFL quarterback will be inducted at the Broadcast Leadership and Hall of Fame luncheon during the NAB New York Show in October. Entercom New York regional president/market manager Susan Larkin remarks, “Boomer has been a cornerstone of this station since his arrival. This distinguished recognition represents his invaluable contributions to our station and industry overall.” In thanking the NY State Broadcaster’s Association “for this incredible honor,” Esiason comments, “It is extremely humbling to be recognized alongside hardworking, accomplished individuals in our industry.” He and Gregg Giannotti form “Boomer and Gio” weekday mornings on WFAN, which is the flagship of the Yankees, Giants, Brooklyn Nets, and New Jersey Devils. After his 14-year NFL career, Esiason debuted as a commentator on ABC-TV’s “Monday Night Football.” For nearly two decades, he has called games for Westwood One/CBS Radio Sports and served as a studio analyst for “The NFL Today” on CBS-TV and Showtime’s “Inside the NFL.”

Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Videos Continue Posting Today with Special Luncheon Address by Salem Radio Network Host Sebastian Gorka.  TALKERS is continuing to post key speeches, presentations and sessions from the recent 22nd annual edition of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention – Talkers 2019: Telling the Story.  Today’s (7/16) post presents a special luncheon address by former Trump Administration advisor Sebastian Gorka, now a personality syndicated by Salem Radio Network.  Yesterday’s (7/15) post presents the panel discussion “Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio” featuring Howie Carr, host of the Howie Carr Show (Howie Carr Radio Network and Newsmax TV), Jared Hart, former PD, WPHT, Philadelphia, and  Art Vuolo, president, Vuolo Video.  The session was introduced and facilitated by Scott Lakefield, APD, WOR, New York.  Already posted: the special keynote address delivered by CBS Sports Radio syndicated host Jim Rome with an introduction from Yappy Days author/college professor Bernadette Duncan; the panel discussion, “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2019” featuring (in alphabetical order) Asa Andrew, host, AsaRx;  Vince Benedetto, CEO, Bold Gold Media Group;  Suzanne Grimes, EVP/marketing, Cumulus Media and president, Westwood One; and Dave Robinett, chief marketing officer, #250-America’s Mobile Speed Dial – moderated by Erica Farber, president and CEO of the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) and introduced by renown independent station owner Michael Zwerling of KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz, CA; the special keynote address by Key Networks syndicated personality Bill O’Reilly; the one-on-one discussion, “Sports Talk Radio’s Role in Popular Culture” featuring a conversation between Mark Chernoff, senior VP/programming WFAN/Entercom, NY and captain/sports format, CBS Sports Radio and Mike Thomas, PD, WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub,” Boston and brand manager/spoken word, podcasts, esports, Beasley Broadcasting with  Kate Delaney, host, GCN and correspondent NBC Sports Radio, serving as facilitator; the panel discussion, “Broadcasting and Podcasting,” featuring (in alphabetical order) Greg Batusic, chief operating officer, PodcastOneSteven Goldstein, founder/CEO Amplifi MediaMichael Czarnecki, program director, WONK-FM, Washington, DC and iHeartRadio Podcast Channel; and Craig Schwalb, former program director WABC, New York and WPRO, Providence with moderation by Mike Kinosian, managing editor/West Coast bureau chief, TALKERS; the keynote “fireside chat” in which TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison interviews Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity in a casual one-on-one conversation introduced by DC Radio Company executive director Victoria Jones; the opening address titled, “Telling the Story,” delivered by Lee Habeeb, host and producer of the successful syndicated program, “Our American Stories;” RAB president/CEO Erica Farber receiving the Woman of the Year award and SiriusXM Satellite Radio star “Cousin” Bruce Morrow receiving the Lifetime Achievement award. The convention took place in New York City on Friday, June 7 and was one of the most positively received in the event’s colorful history.  TALKERS plans to add one or two videos per day to those posted until all the major events of the conference are posted here at Talkers.com where they will remain on view for the rest of the year.  To see the videos and convention video page, please click here.

Preliminary iHM Q2 Results, NASDAQ Listing. Under the Global Select Market ticker symbol “IHRT,” NASDAQ approves the listing of iHeartMedia’s Class A common stock, par valued at $0.001 per share. Class A shares are expected to begin trading on NASDAQ this Thursday (7/18). Meanwhile, preliminary SEC-filed second-quarter financial show year-to-year revenue rose 2.4% to $913 million. Operating income (OI) was off $1 million to $180, while Adjusted EBITDA grew 3.1% ($255 million to $263 million). Preliminary results have not been audited or reviewed by the company’s independent accountants, and remain subject to review by iHeartMedia’s management and audit committee. Results may differ from actual results, which remain subject to completion of management’s and the audit committee’s final review, as well as the interim review by its independent accountants.

Study: Podcast Ads Least Likely To Be Skipped. Monthly podcast listeners skip digital ad formats the most – online pop-up ads, online banner ads, e-mail advertising, direct mail, and online video. That’s among the nuggets Westwood One uncovered when it teamed with Canadian media research consultancy Audience Insights in a study focused on podcast consumers and their listening habits. Fielded this past March, the report examines podcast consumption habits of 1,407 monthly podcast listeners. It addresses four distinct segments based on when people began listening to podcasts: 313 “Podcast Pioneers” who started listening four or more years ago; 415 who began listening two to three years ago; 327 who began listening in the past seven to 12 months; and 352 “Podcast Newcomers” who began listening within the last six months. Westwood One president/Cumulus Media executive vice president of marketing Suzanne Grimes states, “The finding that emerging podcast listeners are using a diverse number of platforms signals a turning point for the podcast industry. When compared to the ‘Podcast Pioneers,’ who use Apple Podcasts almost exclusively, ‘Podcast Newcomers’ are open to using multiple platforms to access podcasts.” Audience Insights president Jeff Vidler notes, “This podcast download report expands on much of what we have seen as we put our microscope on Canadian podcast listeners. Podcasting is uniquely engaging, on trend with on-demand content platforms like Netflix or paid music streaming services, but the only one accessible to advertisers.” Other study highlights include: Roughly three of ten (31%) “Podcast Newcomers” typically discover podcasts by hearing about them on terrestrial radio. While the average monthly podcast listener accesses 2.7 podcast platforms, “Podcast Newcomers” use 3.5 platforms. Two of three “Power” podcast listeners follow their favorite podcast hosts on social media. Podcast listeners equally use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube to follow their favorite hosts. Approximately two of five (42%) “Power” podcast listeners follow their favorite podcast host on Twitter, compared to 22% of U.S. adults who ever use Twitter. Spotify and Google Podcasts are attracting consumers who recently began listening to podcasts. Among those listening to podcasts over four years, Apple is the leading destination.

SBG President: “Case Is Far From Over.” As we reported yesterday (TALKERS, 7/15), a Los Angeles superior court jury ruled unanimously in favor of independent syndicator of radio live play-by-play Sports USA in its multi-year violation of contract suit against Sun Broadcasting Group. The jury awarded Sports USA damages in excess of $2 million as compensation for Sun’s breach of its advertising representation agreement with Sports USA. Sun Broadcast Group president Jason Bailey, however, stresses, “This case is far from over. We were shocked and saddened by the verdict in Pacific West Radio Sports, LLC (d/b/a Sports USA) v. Sun Broadcast Group, Inc. Despite establishing wrongdoing by Sports USA from even before the inception of the agreement between the parties, the jury granted judgment in favor of Sports USA. The jury reached that verdict without the benefit of being able to consider key evidence of Sports USA’s wrongdoing. Sun was barred from introducing that evidence at trial on hearsay grounds. We remain determined to see that justice is done, and plan to pursue every available avenue to overturn this result so that Sports USA’s improper business practices are exposed and no other company falls victim. This verdict involves the old Sun, which has not traded since late 2018. It does not involve the current SBG-owned and operated by Gen Media Partners.” Bailey further notes, “This will be the only statement I will make on the matter while we work through the appeal process.”

Three Moody Radio AM Stations Are On The Block. With plans to exit the AM radio business, Moody Radio is set to spin off its three AM facilities. Chicago-based operator Moody Bible Institute will focus on FM network expansion. Senior vice president of media Greg Thornton writes, “Moody Radio seeks to transform the world for Jesus Christ, one listener at a time, by producing and delivering quality, creative, biblical content, which helps people take the next step in their journey with Jesus. In looking to the future, Moody Radio is committed to double [our] overall impact by  2030. Our strategic roadmap to achieving this bold vision includes audience growth through market expansion/realignment, and content development strategies.” Thornton recognizes “the limitations of AM broadcasting today, including [that] many AM stations only broadcast in the daytime.” Thus, Moody Radio will be selling Spanish religion WMBI W268AY “Moody Radio – AM 1110,” Chicago; Spanish religion WDLM “Moody Radio – AM 960,” East Moline/Quad Cities, Illinois; and Spanish religion WGNR “Moody Radio – AM 1470,” Anderson, Indiana. According to Thornton, “Listeners in these cities will still hear Moody Radio 24 hours a day on our strong FM signals. Proceeds from the sale of these three AM licenses will be used to further the expansion of Moody Radio through the addition of digital/online content, new apps in both English and Spanish, and the acquisition of select FM broadcast licenses.”

TALKERS News Notes.  As part of a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing investigating charges of bias against conservatives, Salem Radio Network host Dennis Prager will testify at 2:30 pm (ET) today (Tuesday, 7/16). Prager’s opening statement has already been submitted and, in part, he states, “I have been communicating this appreciation of America for 35 years as a radio talk show host, the last 20 in national syndication with the Salem Radio Network, an organization that is a blessing in American life.” According to Salem Radio Network vice president of news & talk programming Tom Tradup, videos from Prager’s “online Prager University have been blocked as ‘controversial’ by Google and other search engines. Google officials deny any political bias or filtering of conservative viewpoints.” Texas Republican senator Ted Cruz is the chair of today’s hearing ….. In two weeks (7/30 & 7/31), Westwood One News’ coverage of the Democratic National Committee-sanctioned/CNN-produced Democratic Presidential Debates will air from Detroit. Westwood One News correspondent Evan Haning will anchor, starting at 7:59 pm (ET) both nights, while Bob Costantini handles on-scene reporting and will be available for live Q&A from the Motor City. The network will offer stations an unanchored feed and one-minute special reports each night at the top and bottom of the hour (8:00 pm – 12:00 midnight) ….. Set to rejoin WTEM “980 The Team” in three weeks (8/5) is Kevin Sheehan, who wasn’t retained when Radio One acquired the Washington (DC) sports talk outlet late last year. Sheehan co-hosted mornings with Chris Cooley and will return for 7:00 am – 10:00 am duty. Radio One senior regional vice president Jeff Wilson comments, “I’m elated to have Kevin Sheehan back home on ‘The Team.’ His unique approach to the sports landscape, combined with his overwhelming passion, provides an entertainment destination for listeners throughout the Nation’s Capital.” Prior to departing last year, Sheehan had been with WTEM 14 years and states, “I’m looking forward to coming home – it’s great to be back.” ….. The first three Jim Rutt Show podcasts went live yesterday (Monday, July 15) on JimRuttShow.com. The series will examine “cutting-edge thinking” in science and technology, and the future of our economic, political and social systems and institutions. The past chair of The Santa Fe Institute; former chief executive officer of Network Solutions; and first CTO of Thomson-Reuters, Rutt was called “the internet’s bad boy” by The New York Times for his reputation for creative mischief. A complete collection of Rutt’s podcasts, including show transcripts, episode highlights, guest biographies, and links are available on the aforementioned website.

Line Drives. This past weekend, NBC Sports Radio produced seven radio shows from the driving range at Edgewood Tahoe golf course in Lake Tahoe (Nevada), site of the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament. Flanking MLB Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz (center) are Tim Murray and Michael Jenkins, hosts of NBC Sports Radio’s “The Daily Line.” Launched this past January in conjunction with Westwood One, “The Daily Line” is a weekday, 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm sports talk show, focusing on sports betting.

Trump’s Controversial Tweets; US Immigration Policy/Detention Facilities; 2020 Presidential Race; and US-China Trade War Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/15). President Donald Trump’s Tweets attacking four Congressional Democratic women of color; conditions for migrants detained at the border; the relative standing and contributions raised by Democratic Party presidential candidates; and the US-China trade war’s impact on the Chinese economy were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

CRB Elects 2019 – 2020 Board of Directors. Returning as board president of the Country Radio Broadcasters is Townsquare Media’s Kurt Johnson; Cumulus Media’s John Shomby is elected vice president; and SummitMedia’s Beverlee Brannigan returns as secretary. Johnson remarks, “This is one of the strongest boards CRB has ever had. [I am] so proud to work with this group of radio and Music Row leaders to present country with the best CRS ever – February 19 – 21, 2020.” This year’s board of directors are: Chuck Aly (Country Aircheck); Beverlee Brannigan (SummitMedia); Becky Brenner (Albright & O’Malley & Brenner Consulting); Johnny Chiang (KKBQ-FM, Houston); George Couri (Triple 8 Management); Andy Denemark (United Stations); Ryan Dokke (Curb); Mike Dungan (UMG); John Esposito (Warner Music Nashville); Dan Halyburton (Falls Media); Debra Herman (Apple); Steve Hodges (Sony Nashville); Clay Hunnicutt, Dave Kelly (Big Machine Label Group); Jon Loba (BBR/BMG); Mike McVay (McVay Media); Charlie Morgan (Emmis Communications); Rod Phillips (iHeartCountry); Tim Roberts (WYCD, Detroit); Royce Risser (UMG); Bob Richards (Emmis Communications/WLHK, Indianapolis); Brittany Schaffer (Spotify); John Shomby (Cumulus Media); Lesly Simon (Pearl Records); Matt Sunshine (CFSS); Joel Raab (Joel Raab Country Radio/Media); Ryan Redington (Amazon Music); Kristen Williams (Warner); and Charlie Monk continues as a lifetime director emeritus.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Many stations are noting the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong’s first-ever “moon walk” (July 20, 1969) with Apollo lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin. Without question, one of the cleverest promotions is being done by the program director of Cumulus Media Salt Lake City country-formatted KUBL “K-Bull 93” … Travis Moon. As part of the “Travis Moon Walk,” which began today (Tuesday, 7/16) at 7:00 am and is expected to end Saturday (7/20) coinciding with that history-making mission, Moon plans to “walk” more than 80 miles to raise money for Salt Lake City-based Shriner’s Hospitals For Children. Hoping to travel approximately 16 miles a day, Moon admits it will be a “long, tough walk. The exciting part is the unknown – if I can actually do this physically. I guess we will all find out.” While on foot from (Utah cities) Provo to Ogden, Moon will discuss the hospital’s purpose and invite listeners to make donations ….. “California Live,” a 30-minute lifestyle/entertainment show, which airs on Los Angeles’ KNBC-TV (as well as KNTV-TV, San Jose and KNSD-TV, San Diego) has added “On Air with Ryan Seacrest” co-host Sisanie as a correspondent. In her latest segment, Sisanie visits Los Angeles’ first cat cafe experience, where customers can drink coffee while cuddling rescue cats that are up for adoption ….. Starting next Monday (7/22), Sytonnia “Toni” Moore joins Cox Media Group Atlanta urban AC WALR “Kiss 104.1” as co-host/news anchor on the (5:00 am – 9:00 am) “Morning Groove” with Art Terrell and Corey “Zooman” Miller. The station’s director/branding and programming, Terri Avery, declares, “Toni Moore is the real deal. Her experience and passion for radio is beyond compare and will take ‘Kiss 104.1’ to new levels.” Moore remarks, “This is an incredible opportunity: I’m thrilled and honored to be joining the powerhouse that is Cox Media Group and ‘Kiss 104.1.’ It’s a dream I’ve had for a few years. It’s beyond exciting to see it come to fruition.” Moore previously was an on-air personality for cross-town Entercom urban contemporary and sports talk siblings WVEE “V-103” and WZGC “92.9 The Game,” as well as a sports reporter for the Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta Falcons ….. Continuing his role as afternoon-drive host, Andy Chanley adds music director duties at California State University – Northridge’s KCSN & Saddleback College’s KSBR, Mission Viejo (both California, simulcast on 88.5). General manager Patrick Osborn proclaims, “Andy has done it all in this market – mornings, middays, afternoon drive – and has vast experience in all the rock format genres. I’m happy to say we are operating at full strength with great, experienced broadcasters in every position.” Program director Marc “Mookie” Kaczor notes, “Andy is such an asset for us. He’s an incredible personality and he’s been a great sounding-board for me. We’re constantly bouncing ideas off of each other.” Chanley adds, “There’s no station in the world like 88.5 FM. It’s a special blend of music and people — on both sides of the transmitter — that makes radio fun again. I’m really proud to be on this team, and beyond excited at the opportunity to help steer the rudder even more.” KCSN and KSBR began simulcasting just over two years ago …. Three-year WUSN “US-99” nighttime talent Kimmie Caruba departs the Entercom country outlet. Caruba was previously heard in the same day-part in Phoenix on co-owned KMLE “Country @ 107.9,” and she did mid-days in that Arizona market on cluster-mate KALV “Live 101.5.” ….. A six-episode podcast on Milwaukee’s hip-hop history, “Backspin,” debuted yesterday (Monday, 7/15) on Radio Milwaukee triple A WYMS “88Nine.” Hosted by hip-hop expert Tyrone Miller (“DJ Bizzon”) and “88Nine” music director Justin Barney, “Backspin” provides an insightful view into black America in the late-1970s and early-1980s, through the lens of hip-hop. Miller comments, “The series is about so much more than who recorded Milwaukee’s first hip-hop song. It’s about the journey of getting to that song. Hip-hop is more than a genre: It’s connected everywhere – radio, movies, TV, and fashion. It’s in every piece of culture.” ….. After departing two months ago from Townsquare Media, “Taste of Country Nights” host Sam Alex surfaced yesterday (Monday, 7/15) on the eponymous “Sam Alex Show.” Affiliate licensing and sales for the syndicated program are being handled by Sun Broadcast Group. Alex notes (in Forbes Magazine) that he’s “so excited about this new chapter. The world of radio,” he opines, “has changed so much in the past decade, with continued consolidations, new technology, and increased competition to discover new music. This change positions me to have full creative control and reach listeners in new ways.” ….. KDVV “V-100 Topeka’s Rock Leader” 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm talent Randy Raley adds PD duties at the Cumulus Media rocker and classic hits cluster-mate KWIC “99.3 The Eagle.” Cumulus Topeka operations manager Amber Lee notes, “Randy brings significant on-air experience and format knowledge to these stations and to our programming team.” According to Raley, “I’ve been a radio geek since an early age – I’m happy to be taking the programming reins at the legendary ‘V-100.’ Amber Lee has put together an incredible staff and we’re going to do great things together.” St. Louis Classic Rock Hall of Famer Raley did afternoon drive on St. Louis’ KSHE  for 13 years and has worked in Kansas City at KYYS “KY-102,” and KCFX “101 The Fox.” ….. Among the latest affiliates for Envision Networks’ “The Wolfman Jack Radio Show” is Metro Radio Berkeley Springs, West Virginia classic hits-oldies WXDC. The show airs Saturday nights starting at 7:00 pm on “Cool 92.9 – Good Times/Great Oldies.”

 

 

June 2019 PPM Data – Part Four. June 2019 ratings information has been released for Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s June 2019 survey period covered May 23 – June 19. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

Monday, April 15, 2019

| April 15, 2019

Brown Parts Ways With iHeartMedia Denver. The approximately 12-year association between talk show host Michael Brown and iHeartMedia Denver has come to an end. While this turn-of-events isn’t something Brown wanted or anticipated, he emphasizes he has “fond memories” of his time in radio and is “looking forward to getting behind the microphone as quickly as possible.” He maintains radio is “a fantastic medium that will never disappear,” and he “readily embraces” the digital aspect of the business. Citing conversations he had with iHeartMedia regional senior vice president of Denver programming JoJo Turnbeaugh, Brown – who served as under-secretary of Homeland Security in both of George W. Bush’s administrations – reports his departure is owing to “format changes.” Brown’s Denver radio career began at news/talk KOA, where he did part-time work before becoming a full-timer. He then spent several years in afternoon drive on news/talk sibling KHOW, and recently returned to KOA. Regarding his highly-publicized experiences during Hurricane Katrina, Brown co-authored June 2011’s “Deadly Indifference, The Perfect (Political) Storm: Hurricane Katrina, The Bush White House, and Beyond.” In it, he criticizes the performance of several people and critiques his own performance by stating that he “failed to be ready for the press and was too timid in his response.” Politically, Brown describes himself as “very clearly center-right, conservative, with a strong libertarian bent.” He appears at #83 on The Talkers Magazine 2018 Heavy Hundred.

Thomas Inducted Into The Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame. In recognition for her career in radio and community service, Entercom Detroit WWJ “News Radio 950” reporter Vickie Thomas was honored yesterday (4/14) in a ceremony at Michigan State University’s Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center. Entercom Detroit senior vice president/market manager Debbie Kenyon states, “For more than 25 years, Vickie Thomas has been informing our listeners on major stories that impact our community in and around Detroit. Vickie is an incredible journalist who isn’t afraid to pose tough questions to city leaders and other officials to report a fair and accurate story. She is well deserving of this honor and we are extremely proud to have Vickie inducted into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame.” Thomas comments, “In thinking about my over 30-year career in radio, with most of that time spent at WWJ, I can’t help but acknowledge all the people who took the time to encourage me and guide me. I’m really a reflection of those outstanding individuals. This award is extremely special because it comes from my peers. I’m blessed to have my body of work in journalism acknowledged by the selection committee; I thank each member who poured over all the applications and deemed me worthy of this honor.” Thomas, who joined WWJ in 1991, has earned awards from the Detroit Press Foundation, the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, the Michigan Associated Press, and the National Association of Black Journalists. She graduated cum laude and with honors in journalism from Wayne State University in 1989.

MONDAY MEMO: The Podcast Consumer 2019.  In our on-demand culture, consumers have taken control of their media.  We call the audio version “podcasting,” something everyone seems to be doing now.  But who is listening?  In this week’s Monday Memo, consultant Holland Cooke summarizes the recently released Edison Research “Podcast Consumer 2019” report. Click here to read how he outlines ways radio broadcasters can exploit this trend.

TALKERS News Notes. All remaining regular season and postseason play of the New York City Football Club will air in Spanish on the ESPN app, along with the iHeart and Tune-in apps. In addition, select games of the American professional soccer team will air locally in New York City on WEPN-AM “ESPN Deportes Radio 1050.” ESPN Radio Group senior vice president Tim McCarthy remarks, “WEPN-AM is proud to be associated with a tremendous brand like NYCFC. We believe giving our  listeners a choice on quality play-by-play has tremendous value; this agreement with NYCFC does just that.” NYCFC chief executive officer Brad Sims notes, “We are excited to have our 2019 matches broadcast in Spanish on ESPN Deportes platforms. We want to give our fans many different ways to follow our club. This is a terrific alliance that will make our games even more accessible. New York’s Hispanic community is extremely passionate about soccer and is an integral part of our fanbase, so it continues to be a priority for us to provide Spanish-language presentations. ESPN is a leader in the sports media landscape and we’re looking forward to working together.” Roberto Abramowitz and Ariel Judas will give their commentary throughout the season ….. Changes to take effect in three weeks (5/6) at Emmis-owned WFNI “Indy’s Sports Center – The Fan” will find Jeff Rickard and “Big JoeStaysniak moving from mid-days (10:00 am – 12:00 noon) to morning drive (7:00 am – 10:00 am). “Jeff & Big Joe” will succeed ESPN Radio’s “(Mike) Golic & (Trey) Wingo,” while ESPN Radio’s “Dan Le Batard with Stugotz” will inherit the vacated 10:00 am – 12:00 noon slot …. A nine-year program director of iHeartMedia-owned WGAR “Cleveland’s Country 99.5,” Charley Connolly is named operations manager of Cumulus Media’s eight Youngstown stations and will be the day-to-day PD of country WQXK “K-105” there. Cumulus Youngstown vice president/market manager Bill Kelly comments, “We are fortunate to have someone of Charley’s background available to us in Youngstown. This is going to be fun.” In addition to WGAR, Connolly programmed iHeartMedia Cleveland’s adult hits WHLK “106.5 The Lake.” Prior to that, he performed similar responsibilities for Cumulus Media Nashville’s news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” and country WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon.” In addition to WPIC “News Talk 790,” WBBW “Sports Radio 1240 AM,” and WLLF “Sports Radio 96.7 FM,” Cumulus Media Youngstown consists of aforementioned WQXK; CHR WHOT “Hot 101”; classic rock WYFM “Y-103”; classic country WSOM “America’s Music”; and classic hits-oldies WWIZ “Z-104.” ….. Approximately 250 guests attended last Friday’s (4/12) eleventh annual “Hurley in the Morning” charity dinner and silent auction, which raised $40,000. Fox News Radio’s Todd Starnes keynoted the festivities at Atlantic City’s Resorts Casino – Hotel. “We are so grateful for the outpouring of support we have received from the highest levels of government, business, and industry sectors,” declares Townsquare Media Atlantic City news/talk WPGG morning talent Harry Hurley. “Todd is a kind and generous friend. He is such a well-respected talent and a wonderful gentleman. Todd took the time to greet every guest, making each one feel like the most important person in the Ocean Ballroom.” Resorts Casino – Hotel president/chief executive officer Mark Giannantonio opines, “Harry could take his iconic event anywhere – it was truly spectacular. Todd Starnes was engaging and entertaining. Our audience enjoyed his humble, friendly, and unifying message. Resorts was happy and proud to once again host this charity dinner and we look forward to hosting Harry’s event again next year.” Starnes did his 12:00 noon – 3:00 pm Fox News Radio talk show onsite. Among dignitaries attending were congressman Jefferson Van Drew; New Jersey Senate president Stephen Sweeney; New Jersey Broadcasters Association president Paul Rotella; and current and past New Jersey state legislature members. Ahead is Hurley’s twelfth annual charity golf open (6/21) in Egg Harbor Township (New Jersey) ….. Following his tenure as Reach Media’s integrated ad sales coordinator, Erick Vilson joins Sun Broadcast Group as national account manager and will be based in New York City. Sun Broadcast Group chief operating officer Julio Aponte, Jr. comments, “I was very impressed with Erick’s background, reputation, and his dedication to excellence. Bringing someone with his digital and event experience on-board will allow our team to offer greater business opportunities for our agencies and a deeper connection with our national audience for our advertisers.” Vilson notes, “Becoming part of the Sun Broadcast Group family is a fantastic opportunity. Their reputation in the industry, new approach to business, and clever ways to market their offerings was very attractive to me. I am very excited to bring my experience to the sales team.” Vilson has held sales and operation positions for iHeartMedia and Emmis.

Mueller Report Anticipation, College Admissions Scandal, 2020 Presidential Race, Assange Case Free Speech Implications Top Stories Discussed on News/Talk Radio This Weekend.  According to the research of TALKERS, news/talk shows across the country this weekend (4/13-14) were largely focused on the topics of anticipation of the Robert Mueller Report’s planned delivery to Congress this Thursday, the next level of the College Admissions Scandal and charges filed against celebrity participants, the 2020 Presidential Race, and the Julian Assange Case’s implications on free speech and the free press going forward.

Progressive Talk Radio Champ Thom Hartmann Is Guest on Harrison Podcast. What is the state of progressive news/talk radio on the commercial and non-commercial dial? What is the liberal talk radio view of the early competition in a crowded field of hopefuls vying for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination? And what is the general status of the “Left” in American politics in 2019? Nationally syndicated radio talk show host Thom Hartmann – consistently ranked the most important progressive talk radio host on the TALKERS Heavy Hundred – is the guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Harrison and Hartmann (heard daily 12:00 noon – 3:00 pm ET) tackle these and other pertinent issues in an illuminating conversation that gets right to the heart of today’s talk media landscape. Harrison states, “Thom Hartmann has not only earned the respect of people on all sides of the political spectrum for his authentic, even-handed approach to today’s issues from the liberal perspective, but the unique and aggressive multi-platform distribution paradigm that he and his team have developed over the years stands as a model for independent radio syndication of all ideological stripes going forward into the digital era. The radio industry should pay attention to this innovative broadcaster.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and every page on Talkers.com.

Survey Says: Social Media Use Unchanged. Notwithstanding privacy controversies, “fake news,” and social media censorship, the share of adults in the United States who say they use certain online platforms or apps is statistically the same as it was this time last year. That is the conclusion of a Pew Research Center study conducted January 8 to February 7 (2019). The shares of adults who say they use Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Twitter are each basically the same as in 2016. Instagram, however, shows an uptick during this same timeframe, growing from 35% of adults to 37%. Roughly seven of every ten adults in this country say they still use Facebook; nearly three of every ten visit Pinterest; and more than one of every five are Twitter users. Of all Facebook users, approximately three of every four visit the site every day – half check that platform several times a day. Those particular numbers identically mirror Pew’s 2018 survey results. At the same time, YouTube use remained at 73%, while LinkedIn users went from 25% to 27%. Slightly more than half of YouTube users (51%) visit the site daily – up from the 45% who said the same in 2018. According to the report, Instagram and Snapchat are especially popular with younger adults, with Instagram used by two of every three 18 – 29-year-olds and Snapchat used by slightly more than two of every five (62%) people in that demo.

Lilly Broadcasting Becomes A Radio Player. As a result of paying $900,000 for three Warren (Pennsylvania) stations it is acquiring from Frank Iorio’s Radio Partners LLC, San Luis Obispo, California-based Lilly Broadcasting enters the radio business. The three Warren-area outlets involved are WNAE “News Talk 96.7,” classic hits-oldies WRRN “92 Gold,” and WKNB “Kinzua Country 104.3.” Lilly owns television facilities in Honolulu, Erie (Pennsylvania), Elmira (New York), Marquette (Michigan), and the Caribbean. According to Lilly Broadcasting president Kevin Lilly, “The Warren radio properties create synergies with our current footprint in our Pennsylvania television DMA, comprised of Erie, Warren, and Crawford counties. They will allow us to better serve our viewers and now our radio listeners while in their homes, cars, and online. We look forward to providing the best content available for our listeners and will improve the news, weather, and sports information on all platforms.”

 

 

San Antonio’s New Vibe. KXTN “Tejano & Proud,” San Antonio transitions to KVBH “Vibe 107.5.” Of the rhythmic hot AC presentation that will mix “pop, hip-hop, and R&B artists from the 1980s and early-2000s,” Univision San Antonio vice president and general manager Chris Morris states, “We are excited to launch a brand-new format that reflects the distinct musical tastes of San Antonio – one of the most diverse communities in the nation. By reformatting and optimizing our audio portfolio, we are able to better serve our audience and give them more of the content they love.” In conjunction with the format flip, the “Tejano & Proud” format shifts to a simulcast on KVBH-HD2 and KCOR, while “Univision Deportes Radio” moves from KCOR to KROM-HD3. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s February 2019 survey period, KXTN ranks #14 (3.1). Its February 2018 through February 2019 high was 4.0 (6+) in February 2018.

More Than A Million Smiles. As part of its fourth annual “Laugh United: A Night of Cocktails and Comedy,” Westwood One’s “The Bob & Tom Show” raised a record $1,053,500 in Vienna, West Virginia for the United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley. Pictured here is show cast member Josh Arnold who performed with fellow veteran touring comics Greg Hahn, Jack Freeman, and Henry Phillips. Parkersburg (West Virginia) rocker WHBR “103.1 The Bear” is the local “Bob & Tom Show” affiliate.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. After nearly four years with iHeartMedia Denver CHR KPTT “95.7 The Party,” morning driver J.J. Kincaid (of “JJ & Nina”) departs. Immediately in advance of his Denver stint, Kincaid had a nine-year afternoon drive run in New York at co-owned/similarly-formatted WHTZ “Z-100” and spent three years in Dallas at another iHeartMedia CHR, KHKS “106.1 Kiss-FM” ….. On the heels of Beasley Media Group Boston flipping WBOS from “Alt 92.9” to “Rock 92.9” last Thursday (4/11), the station eliminates the music director position that was held by Joel Weiss, who exits. After having spent 13 years in a similar position at Cox Media Group Tampa’s WSUN, Weiss joined WBOS less than a year ago ….. Formerly the program director/afternoon drive talent at Martz Communications Group-owned WAMO “Pittsburgh’s #1 for Hip-Hop,” Jonathan Steele, will join Beasley Media Group Detroit’s WMGC “105.1 The Bounce” next Monday (4/22) as afternoon drive personality, using the air name “J. Steele.” According to WMGC vice president and market manager Mac Edwards, “When we heard J.’s demo, he jumped to the top of our list. Having the opportunity to meet him and discover his impressive skill set as both a person and personality, there was no denying J. Steele was the right talent at the right time to help us write the next chapter of success.” Program director John Candelaria comments, “We are very impressed with J.’s experience and his strong desire to entertain the listeners in Detroit. I am excited to hear his high energy interactive show and see him earn the community’s respect.” Steele adds, “This is the job I dreamed about as a little kid. I am beyond excited to light up the airwaves for this incredible radio station.” The revised weekday “Bounce” line-up includes: “The Gello Show with Joanna” (6:00 am – 10:00 am); J. Steele (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm); and DJ Dinero (7:00 pm – 12:00 midnight) ….. With Emmis Indianapolis’ WLHK “97.1 Hank FM” ever since the country outlet launched in 2005, morning talent Dave O’Brien exits, as his contract isn’t renewed. O’Brien started his Indianapolis radio career in 1996 at WRZX, later going to WNOU for two years and to WENS in 2004 ….. Jazz KUVO, Denver program and content director Nikki Swarn is appointed PD for Rocky Mountain Public Media‘s new R&B/hip-hop streaming service, “The Drop.” Swarn comments, “It is such an honor to get to serve the Colorado community through this incredible opportunity. We anticipate engaging Coloradans with an exciting blend of their favorite artists, while providing a platform for new and Colorado-based musicians as well. The audience consuming R&B and hip-hop is vast and hungry for dynamic experiences in music; we want to fill that void.” Swarn previously was Entercom Denver’s director of promotions and marketing and spent six years as Max Media Denver’s director of marketing and promotions ….. In separate fundraisers for their respective communities, two Alpha Media country-formatted properties (WFLS and KZKX) recently combined to bring in nearly $200,000. Completing its eleventh year of working with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, WFLS “93.3 – Today’s Country,” Fredericksburg (Virginia) accounted for $135,479 in a two-day event hosted by the station’s morning team – Steve & Jessica. That figure broke WFLS’ previous records. Alpha Media market manager Beth Vickers states, “It is a privilege to lead a team of individuals who are passionate about helping others. Steve & Jessica were amazing hosts, pulling long hours to make it all happen. Our community and our listeners were so generous with donations – results like this make a difference.” Meanwhile, co-owned/similarly-formatted KZKX “KX-96.9,” Lincoln (Nebraska) – along with the Starlite Event Center – raised over $60,000 for American Red Cross flood relief during a one-night (3/29) benefit concert. Entertainment was provided by local bands Dylan Bloom, Bucka Ruse, and Sack of Lions. Alpha Media Lincoln operations manager Rob Kelley comments, “That night was a humbling experience as the people of Saunders County and surrounding areas – many of them flood victims themselves – came together with auction items and monetary donations to go directly to their friends, family, and neighbors. We are so blessed to have listeners like this in the KZKX family.” Severe flooding began impacting Nebraska in mid-March. The “KX-96.9” donation check was presented to the American Red Cross last Thursday (4/11).

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

| April 3, 2019

iHeartMedia Files with SEC for Initial Public Offering. As the company wends its way through the final stages of Chapter 11 reorganization, iHeartMedia files with the Securities Exchange Commission for an initial public offering of its Class A common shares.  In the SEC filing, the company set a placeholder of $100 million but didn’t disclose the size of the offering or a price range.  The company intends to use proceeds from the IPO to pay off debt. Last year’s Chapter 11 reorganization allowed iHeartMedia to trim its onerous debt from about $20 billion to about $5.75 billion and forced the spin-off of Clear Channel OutdoorGoldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are listed as underwriters for the IPO.

Scott Mahalick to Resign from Alpha Media; Phil Becker to Assume EVP of Programming Role. After almost 10 years as the executive vice president of programming for Alpha MediaScott Mahalick is resigning from the company and handing the EVP of programming post to current vice president Phil Becker, effective April 8.  Alpha Media CEO Bob Proffitt says, “Scott’s contributions are far too numerous to mention but suffice it to say that Scott’s work ethic, competitiveness, and passion are woven into Alpha in many ways.  Scott is and will always remain a huge Alpha fan, cheerleader, and significant shareholder in the Company.”  Mahalick comments, “It’s been a pleasure to contribute to Alpha for the past decade and lead our high-performance team.  I want to thank Larry Wilson, Bob Proffitt, Donna Heffner, our regional presidents, and John Grossi for supporting my innovative crazy ideas.”  Speaking about his new role with the company, Becker says, “I can’t thank Scott enough for bringing me into Alpha and for letting me work alongside him for the last 5 years.  The two of us have accomplished some remarkable things together and I want to thank Bob for allowing me the opportunity to continue to do so.  Alpha is a ‘think differently’ kind of company and I look forward to working closer with all departments.”

Bernie & Sid in the Morning Celebrates First Anniversary at WABC, New York AM Show. Yesterday, the team of Sid Rosenberg and Bernard McGuirk celebrated their one-year anniversary as the morning show on Cumulus Media’s legendary news/talk station “77 WABC Radio” in New York.  The “Bernie & Sid In The Morning” show launched on April 2 of 2018 after the retirement of Don Imus.  Among the celebrities joining the show to celebrate the anniversary was actor Chazz Palminteri, pictured above (center) with Rosenberg (left) and McGuirk (right).  Others appearing on the show were Bill O’Reilly, Congressman Peter King, Bo Dietl, Lisa LampinelliJim Breuer, Sukanya Krishnan and Jenn Lahmers from Fox 5 NY “Early Good Day,” WAXQ’s Jim Kerr, Michael Kay, John Batchelor, FOX News Channel’s Tom Shilue, Sean Hannity, and Brian Kilmeade.  Cumulus New York VP and market manager Chad Lopez says, “We congratulate Bernie and Sid on an incredibly successful first year of what is now New York City’s destination morning talk show.  Bernie and Sid have created a great show that listeners love, with the biggest guests and the most entertaining talk in town.”  Station PD Craig Schwalb adds, “Bernie and Sid took on a huge task in replacing the legendary Don Imus.  Not only has the year been successful for our listeners and advertisers, it’s been very exciting to see it all happen.”

All-Newser KCBS, San Francisco Freshens its Image. Bay Area all-news outlet KCBS-AM/KFRC-FM, San Francisco reveals its new audio and visual “refresh.”  The Entercom news station debuts enhanced audio imaging featuring female voiceover pros Randy Thomas and Roberta Solomon as co-voices of the station along with its new logo that marks the first visual refresh in more than a decade.  Entercom San Francisco SVP and market manager Gregory Nemitz says, “KCBS is an iconic news brand and it’s only fitting that our new image is of an equal caliber.  These changes are part of the KCBS evolution that elevates our connection with our broad Bay Area audience.”  KCBS-AM will celebrate its 51st year as an all-news station in May.

Share of Ear: Pureplay Listening Accounts for 35% of Audio Consumption. Internet pureplays are gobbling up more of the audio listening pie, rising from 22% of audio consumption in 2014 to 35% of in 2018, according to Edison Research’s “Share of Ear” study.  “Pureplays” include such services as Pandora or Spotify, the streams of radio stations, streams of SiriusXM, podcasts, or music from YouTube.  Edison Research director Laura Ivey says, “While the more established modes of audio delivery, such as broadcasting and listening to owned music, remain strong, with each update we show more audio is delivered through the internet.  These trends are especially pronounced among young people.”

Entercom Promotes Six Executives. An internal memo from Entercom president and CEO David Field reveals six promotions for company executives.  Michael Martin is now SVP of programming & head of music initiatives, Tim Murphy is EVP of corporate business development, Pat Paxton takes on the new title chief programming officer, Dave Richards is promoted to SVP of programming for Seattle, David Rosenbloom is appointed VP of corporate business development, and Esther-Mireya Tejeda is now SVP and head of corporate communications.  Field states, “These are exciting times at Entercom and we are fortunate to have a highly talented team across the country leading us forward in pursuit of our transformational goals and working to capitalize on our many outstanding opportunities.”

Obamacare Vote Delayed, U.S.-Mexico Border Situation, Joe Biden Allegations, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, Georgia’s ‘Heartbeat’ Bill, Chicago Elects Black Lesbian Mayor, Mar-a-Lago Intrusion, Brexit Chaos, NCAA Tournament, and NBA and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/2). The announcement by President Trump that the vote to nullify the Affordable Care Act will wait until after the 2020 election; the migrant population status at the U.S.-Mexico border and Trump’s threat to close the border; the allegations of inappropriate touching against Joe Biden; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the controversy over Georgia’s “heartbeat” bill affecting abortion access in the state; the election of Lori Lightfoot as Chicago’s first Black, lesbian mayor; the case of the Asian woman gaining access to Mar-a-Lago with a hard-drive containing malware; the political chaos in London over Brexit; the NCAA Final Four; and NBA and MLB action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. A shocker in San Diego as iHeartMedia and on-air pro Bob Buchmann part ways just a year after the classic rock KGB-FM morning personality inked a new, multi-year deal.  Buchmann revealed his surprise by the move in a Facebook post: “I’d prefer you hear this from me first, as I’m a bit in shock.  My position has been eliminated at iHeartMedia San Diego as of today.  I work for wonderful people who told me I did nothing wrong and everything right. Now in my 7th year, I was made KGB-FM operations director last August.  In the afternoon drive Bob and Coe Show, the February Nielsens rank us #2 in the market.  Come to think of it, I’m not a bit in shock, I’m a lot in shock!  Thank you for being there for me day in and day out.”…..Cumulus Media names programming pro Joe Browning operations manager for its four-station cluster in Melbourne, Florida that consists of CHR WAOA (for which Browning will serve as PD and afternoon host as Joe Kelley), classic rock WROK, country WHKR and sports talk WLZR-AM.  He was most recently with Corpus Christi-based Hometown Media as corporate program director for its 16 stations. Cumulus Melbourne vice president and market manager Gary Mertins says, “We’re super excited to have Joe joining our team as operations manager.  We also look forward to having him lead our heritage top 40, known along the Space Coast as ‘WA1A.’  Joe is a tremendous talent, an experienced broadcaster, and I’m certain he will be an asset to our cluster.”

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

| August 15, 2018

Scripps Cashes Out; Sells Remaining 19 Radio Stations to SummitMedia for $47 Million. The 19 stations E.W. Scripps still owns after previously announcing the sale of its Tulsa cluster to Griffin Communications, the Milwaukee duo to Good Karma, and the Boise and Tucson signals to Lotus Communications are going to SummitMedia for $47 million.  Altogether, Scripps will have netted $83.5 million for its radio division. The stations SummitMedia will acquire are in four markets: Wichita; Springfield, Missouri; Omaha; and Knoxville.  The Wichita stations are: KFDI-FM, KICT-FM, KFXJ-FM, KYQQ-FM, and KFTI-AM.  Springfield stations are: KTTS-FM, KSPW-FM, KSGF-AM/FM, and KRVI-FM.  Omaha stations are: KEZO-FM, KSRZ-FM, KQCH-FM, KKCD-FM, and KXSP-AM. The Knoxville signals are WWST-FM, WCYQ-FM, WKHT-FM, and WNOX-FM.  Scripps president and CEO Adam Symson comments, “SummitMedia’s focus on growth in the radio industry make it a good home for these stations.  With Summit, these stations will be able to fully live out their mission of informing and entertaining local audiences.  With our sale of these 19 stations, Scripps has completed the sale of our entire radio station group.  This is a significant milestone toward executing our strategy to divest of non-core assets, improve near-term operating performance and focus on the growth ahead.”  Birmingham, Alabama-based SummitMedia owns 31 stations in Alabama, Hawaii, Kentucky, South Carolina, and Virginia.  This sale is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.  Kalil & Co., Inc. is the exclusive broker for this transaction.

Twitter Suspends Alex Jones for a Week.  Stating in a letter to radio personality and InfoWars chief Alex Jones that he’d violated Twitter’s conduct policy, he’ll be blocked from using his Twitter account for seven days.  According to the Wall Street Journal’s report, while Twitter wouldn’t go into detail about the violation, it said Jones’ tweet was “about taking action against web censorship included a link to a video that violated the company’s policy against targeted harassment of someone or inciting others to intimidate or harass someone.”  Jones has been in the news recently after other social media – including AppleFacebook and YouTube – had also banned some of the InfoWars content from their platforms citing violations of policy.

TRN Files Motion to Dismiss Appeal of Suit Against Cumulus/Westwood One and Others. The attorney representing Talk Radio Network in its suits against Cumulus Media, Westwood One and other defendants is claiming they engaged in business practices that violated anti-trust laws.  It was the second such suit and it was initially dismissed because the court ruled the claims were essentially the same as the previous suit.  TRN appealed but Cumulus et al were granted stays due to Cumulus’ bankruptcy reorganization status.  Now, TRN attorney Joseph Alioto moves “to dismiss the appeal in this matter with prejudice, with an order that each party bear its own costs and attorney’s fees.  Defendants-Appellees have authorized us to represent that they consent to this Motion.”

WGOW-FM, Chattanooga’s Jeff Styles Launches Website to Tell His Side of Road Rage Case. Last week Chattanooga talk show host Jeff Styles was in court for a preliminary hearing on the road rage charges filed against him after an incident that took place in June.  Styles was charged with aggravated assault for attacking a fellow motorist with a tomahawk.  During the incident, Styles was shot in the arm by motorist Nickolas Bullington.  Styles’ attorney argued there is no probable cause to charge Styles, but the judge ultimately bound the case over to the grand jury. Styles has launched JeffStylesAmerica.com and lays out his explanation of what happened during the confrontation with Bullington and displays Bullington’s history of court appearances and motor vehicle violations.

New Appointments at Entercom Las Vegas; Massenzi to Director of Sales. At the Las Vegas station group that includes news/talk KXNT and sports talk KXST-AM, Entercom appoints Gina Massenzi director of sales.  She was previously general sales manager for the cluster’s FM stations.  In addition to Massenzi’s promotion, Entercom Las Vegas announces three additional promotions: Holmes Pooser succeeds Massenzi as the cluster’s new general sales manager.  He was previously director of integrated marketing, events and experiences. Kyle Helmick is named director of live events and experiences and Katrina Llapitan becomes director of promotions for the cluster.

TALKERS News Notes.  Still feeling the effects of its Chapter 11 reorganization, Cumulus Media notifies the Securities Exchange Commission that it will be late filing its quarterly report and that it will file by Monday (8/20) and has scheduled a conference call for that afternoon at 4:30 pm ET…..PodcastOne is launching a new, true crime show called “First Degree” that presents the stories through the eyes of someone who has just one degree of separation from the tragedy itself.  True crime television producer Alexis Linkletter (“Unmasking A Killer,” “Pink Collar Crimes with Marcia Clark”) and investigative journalist Billy Jensen (“I’ll Be Gone in the Dark,” LA Weekly) join forces with Jac Vanek, co-host of the “Ladygang” podcast, to delve into murders, serial killings, cults, conspiracies and more.  Guests will include victims, witnesses, neighbors, and anyone else directly connected to the crime. PodcastOne chairman and CEO Norm Pattiz says, “We’ve had such a great experience working with Jac on ‘Ladygang’ that when she came to us with this idea, we were more than receptive. Now that I’ve heard the first episode, I’m absolutely convinced that greenlighting ‘The First Degree’ was a no-brainer.”…..Telling fans via Monday’s Twitter Q&A at the social media giant’s New York City offices that “apps are the future,” WFAN, New York afternoon star Mike Francesa promised his followers that he’ll be on the “Mike’s On” app that launches next Friday (8/24) so often “I promise you, you’ll get sick of me.”  The New York Post reports Francesa says it’s the reason he came back [on the radio], “It’s going to be me on it all the time.  It eventually will be my broadcast home.  I will be on it, I will be on it all the time, I will be on it at crazy hours, I might be on it at 7 in the morning and I might be on it at 2 a.m. after a big game. So yes, I will be on the app all the time.”…..As reported by Current.org, Public Radio International and PRX are merging, though the two companies will maintain separate identities.  PRX CEO Kerri Hoffman will be the chief of the new company and PRI CEO Alisa Miller will assume the role of executive chair of the board.  WGBH, Boston acquired PRI back in 2012 and its CEO – Jon Abbott – will have a seat on the new organization’s board. The story says WGBH will invest $10 million into the new company and part of that money will go toward enhancing PRI’s “The World” news magazine.

Omarosa Recording/Book Tour, Tuesday’s Primary Elections/Midterms, Trump-Russia Investigation, Turkish Lira Woes, Italian Bridge Collapse, PA Priest Sexual Abuse Scandal, Paul Manafort Trial, Western Wildfires, NFL Pre-season, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/14).  The secret White House recording made by Omarosa Manigault Newman and the release of her book; primary elections in several states and talk about the midterms in November; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents; U.S.-Turkey relations as sanctions drag down the value of the lira; the deadly collapse of a major highway bridge in Genoa, Italy; more than 300 priests and Catholic laymen accused of sexual abuse in Pennsylvania; the trial of former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort; the deadly wildfires affecting the U.S. West; NFL pre-season activity; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Nationally syndicated radio legend Rick Dees (through his company Dees Entertainment) inks a deal with Benztown for the latter to provide Dees Entertainment with production services for its portfolio of programs including: “The Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 Countdown,” “Countdown Of The 90s,” “Countdown Of The 80s” and “Dees 2K,” plus “The Daily Dees Show.”  Dees says, “Benztown is a perfect production partner for our shows and other entertainment offerings.  Dave ‘Chachi’ Denes is the consummate professional and audio production superstar.  I was impressed in our first meeting when he said, ‘In 15 minutes I can save you 15% or more on your auto insurance.’ ”…..Last week, country star Jason Aldean kicked off CMT Radio’s all-new multiplatform live event series, “CMT Headliners with Cody Alan,” the show that gives fans the opportunity to submit questions and get an inside look at how some of country music’s most influential artists rise to the top.  The inaugural Q&A and performance event welcomed a packed crowd and was webcast live from Aldean’s Kitchen + Rooftop Bar in downtown Nashville on CMT Radio Live with Cody Alan’s Facebook page on August 9.  In addition to chatting about Aldean’s favorite menu items from his new restaurant and how he likes to spend time with his family, the superstar also performed songs from his catalogue of #1 hits including, “My Kinda Party,” “Dirt Road Anthem,” and his latest single, “Drowns the Whiskey.”  Highlights from “CMT Headliners with Cody Alan” will be featured on “CMT After MidNite with Cody Alan” and “CMT Radio Live with Cody Alan” on Friday, August 17.

Takeaways from July PPM – Part Three. Below are managing editor Mike Kinosian‘s Twelve Takeaways from from Nielsen Audio‘s July 2018 PPM survey.  This third report includes the 12 markets of Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Orlando, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen’s July 2018 survey period covered June 21 – July 18. You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

Portland

Spoken Word Formats – On top each month this calendar year (including sharing April’s lead with iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW “K-103”) Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk KOPB returns 75% of June’s +.4 (8.4 – 8.1, -.3, #1, 6+). KOPB was +1.4 (September 2017); -1.1 (October); +1.1 (January 2018); -1.1 (February); +1.0 in March; -1.0 (April); and -.5 (May). Entering the September 2017 sweep, KOPB occupied the runner-up position 21 successive times; however, it finally reached #1 in that report. Alpha Media news/talk KXL “101 FM News – Stay Connected” picks up one-tenth (4.9 – 5.0, 6+) and is steady at #5. KXL was up six-tenths in April and was then off a combined one-half share in May and June (5.4 – 5.3 – 4.9, 6+).  When KXL faltered by four-tenths in March, it ended three consecutive increases that produced a cumulative +1.7. Prior to January, the last time KXL reached the five-share level (6+) was in October 2013 (5.3). For the third time in the last four sweeps, iHeartMedia’s KEX “News Radio 1190 – Depend on Us” (#19 to #20) logs a 1.6 (1.6 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+). An April improvement of two-tenths stopped three straight up or flat trends that netted six-tenths (1.2 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+). After posting a 1.0 (6+) four times in a row, Alpha Media news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970” drops three-tenths to .7 (#24 to #27). Among the market’s sports talkers, Entercom’s KFXX “1080 The Fan” (unchanged at #21) is down or flat for the sixth successive time for a -1.0 (2.4 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4, 6+); Alpha Media-owned KXTG “The Game” has its third straight up or flat trend (1.1 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4, 6+) and ties “The Fan” at #21; and after being locked on .9 (6+) in May and June, iHeartMedia’s KPOJ “Sports Radio 620” adds two-tenths to 1.1 (#25 to #23, 6+).

Portland Music Formats – Four decreases in succession by iHeartMedia classic rocker KFBW accounted for an overall -1.5 (5.4 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+), but “105.9 The Brew” slices that deficit roughly in half with a gain of eight-tenths (4.7, 6+) and steams back into the top ten (#12 to #6). Prior to posting June’s 3.9, “The Brew” hadn’t been below a four-share (6+) since November 2017 (3.9, as well). Meanwhile, the market’s other classic rocker – Entercom’s KGON “92.3 Portland’s Classic Rock” (steady at #4) – is a collective +1.6 in four straight up or flat trends (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.6 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+). This (5.6) is the highest 6+-showing for KGON since June 2017 (5.6, as well). A June 2018 setback of three-tenths by KKCW is followed by a gain of one-half share as “K-103” climbs from third to second. The iHeartMedia adult contemporary outlet was #1 in December 2017 (13.0, 6+); “Holiday” 2017 (16.9, 6+); and tied for first (with KOPB) in April 2018 (8.5, 6+). Neither of the market’s two CHRs is in the top ten: Alpha Media-owned KBFF “Live 95.5” falters by six-tenths (4.3 – 3.7, #8 to #12, 6+), while iHeartMedia-owned KKRZ “Z-100 Portland’s #1 Hit Music Station” has its third decrease in a row for a combined loss of seven-tenths (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.3, flat at #15, 6+). There is virtually zero movement from June between Portland’s two country outlets as Entercom-owned KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf, Great Country for the Great Northwest” repeats June’s 4.6 (6+) but slips from sixth to seventh, while Alpha Media’s KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 for New Country,” which was stuck on 3.3 (6+) in March and April and then on 4.0 (6+) in May and June, drops one-tenth to 3.9 (#10 to #11). “The Wolf” was up eight-tenths in June with 4.6 its finest 6+-showing since September 2017 (4.6, as well). Without an increase in three successive sweeps for a -1.6 (4.9 – 4.7 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+), “The Bull” wiped out nearly half that deficit in May with a +.7. Up or flat for the fifth straight time for an overall +.7 (1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.9, 6+), Alpha Media rhythmic CHR KWEE “WE-96.3” – Portland’s Real Hip-Hop Station advances from #20 to #17, 1.7 shares (6+) behind iHeartMedia’s KXJM “JAM’N 107.5 Portland’s #1 For Hip-Hop” which is flat in both 6+-share (3.6) and 6+-market rank (#14). KWEE has its highest 6+-share (1.9) since November 2017’s 2.0.

Charlotte

Spoken-Word Formats – After registering a one-half share increase in June, University Radio Foundation news talk WFAE forfeits 80% of it in July (4.1 – 3.7 -.4, 6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #12). WFAE’s very consistent January 2018 – May 2018 topline trending was 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 3.6 (6+). “Charlotte’s NPR News Source” was a combined -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.2 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+). Flat at #17, Entercom news/talk WBT is trending 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.7 (May – June – July, 6+). When WBT gained two-tenths in June, it curtailed three straight losses that accounted for a -1.7 (4.3 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 2.6, 6+). Immediately prior to that particular streak, WBT was a collective +1.2 in three increases in succession  (3.1 – 3.2 – 4.0 – 4.3, 6+). Co-owned sports talk WFNZ “The Fan – Charlotte’s Sports Leader” (unchanged at #19) is down or flat for the fourth successive sweep for a total loss of -1.1 (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.1 – .7 – .6, 6+); “The Fan” bounced back from February’s -.7 with a one-half share gain in March.

Charlotte Music Formats – It has been quite the May, June, and July whirlwind for WBAV. A quick review shows that “V-101.9” hauled out an impressive +1.4 in May to advance from second to first; it then eroded by -1.2 in June to slip from first to second; but the Beasley Media Group urban AC erases that -1.2 in its entirety in July with a July +1.2 and returns to #1 (6.5 – 7.9 – 6.7 – 7.9, 6+). Despite being bumped from the top spot and segueing to #2, co-owned WSOC “103.7 Country’s Hottest Hits” has its best 6+-performance (flat at 6.9) since “Holiday” 2016’s 7.0. Its format challenger, iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country,” a combined -1.0 in May and June (7.0 – 6.4 – 6.0, 6+), is up two-tenths in July (6.2, fourth, 6+). “The Kat” was +1.9 (January); -.7 (February); +.6 in March; and -.6 (May). Prior to January 2018, the last time WKKT was #1 was August 2017 – WSOC was #1 the previous month (July 2017). On the topic of Charlotte number ones, not since September 2017/October/November has the same station in this North Carolina metro repeated at #1; iHeartMedia classic rocker WRFX “The Fox” accomplished the feat back then. In the meantime, it has been a revolving door for the top spot which has been held (in chronological order) by iHeartMedia adult hits WLKO (December 2017); Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WKQC (“Holiday” 2017); iHeartMedia country WKKT (January 2018); Beasley Media Group urban AC WBAV (February); WRFX (March); WKKT (April); WBAV (May); WSOC (June); and WBAV (July). Not only does an increase of six-tenths to 4.3 (6+) by Radio One’s WOSF apply the brakes to three straight downward moves in a row that accounted for a collective -1.2 (4.9 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 4.3, 6+), “105.5 Old School + R&B” enters the top ten (#12 to #9). Three upticks in a row by iHeartMedia adult hits WLKO “102.9 The Lake Charlotte’s We Play Anything Station” (steady at #6) have produced a +1.1 (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 5.2, 6+). After three decreases in a row for a -1.1 (4.3 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.2, 6+), co-owned WEND “106.5 The End – Charlotte’s Alternative Rock” notches a one-tenth gain to 3.3 (#14 to #13, 6+). When Radio One gospel WPZS recorded a +.1 in June, it stalled four straight decreases that resulted in a collective -1.6 (4.8 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.4 – 3.2, 6+), but “Praise 100.9 Charlotte’s Inspiration Station” falters by one-half share in July (3.3 – 2.8, 6+) and slips from #13 to #16. Although it remains in eighth-place, Beasley Media Group urban contemporary WPEG “Power 98” registers its fourth positive spike in a row for an overall gain of one-half share (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.5, 6+) and has its best 6+-share since January (4.5, as well). Ironically, Radio One’s similarly-programmed WQNC “92.7 The Block” (#16 to #15) is without a loss over that same March 2018 – July 2018 stretch and it nets a +.5 as well (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+); 2.9 in July 2018 is the strongest 6+-stat for “The Block” in exactly one year (3.4, July 2017).

San Antonio

Spoken-Word Formats – Without a loss the past three survey periods for a +.5 (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+), Texas Public Radio news/talk KSTX falters by seven-tenths in July to 2.6 (#14 to #17). Immediately before April’s +1, KSTX was a combined -1.9 through three consecutive negative trends (4.7 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+). With a +1.0 to 4.7 in Holiday 2017, KSTX crossed the four-share level (6+) for the first time in its PPM-history. As the result of a -.5 (4.0 – 3.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOAI News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather” departs the top ten (#10 to #12) and has its softest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 2.8. A January +1.6 took WOAI to its best 6+-showing since May 2017 (4.4, as well). Without a loss for five reports in a row for a collective +.6 (1.3 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9, 6+), Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” (#21 to #22) is now a collective -.5 in June and July (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.4, 6+). Flat at #30, iHeartMedia sports talk KTKR “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” is off by one-tenth in each of the last three ratings periods (.7 – .6 – .5 – .4, 6+).

San Antonio Music Formats – An increase of nine-tenths takes Alpha Media adult hits KZJK “102.7 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” to 4.9, its strongest 6+-performance in nearly two years (5.1, August 2016). Following three downtrends in succession that produced a net loss of nine-tenths, (5.1 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+), Cox Media Group hot AC KSMG “Magic 105.3 Today’s Best Music” recuperates seven-tenths to 4.9 (6+), zooming from a three-way tie at #7 to #4. Classic hits-oldies sibling KONO-FM “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” notches a June 2018 – July 2018 gain of seven-tenths as well (7.0 – 7.7, 6+) and is #1 for the seventh successive sweep. Its +.4 in June stalled three consecutive downward moves for an overall -.7 (7.3 – 7.2 – 6.9 – 6.6, 6+). KONO-FM spent ten straight months at #1 before shifting to #2 in December 2017 and remained there in “Holiday” 2017. Recent (6+) fluctuations for “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” include +.7 (October 2017); -.9 (December); -.9 “Holiday” 2017; +1.8 (January 2018); +.5 (February); and +.7 (July). Still in that Cox Media Group cluster, a  one-half share increase (1.5 – 2.0, #22 to #20, 6+) enables classic country KKYX “Country Legends” to reach the two-share level (6+) for the first time since April 2016 (2.1). A combined +.5 in April and May, Univision Radio regional Mexican KROM “Que Buena 92.9” (fourth to seventh) is now -1.4 in June and July (6.1 – 5.5 – 4.7, 6+). Following four upticks in succession that netted +1.8 (3.2 – 3.3 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KXXM “96.1 Now – San Antonio’s #1 Hit Music Station” (sixth to tenth) is an overall -1.3 in three straight decreases (5.0 – 4.9 – 4.4 – 3.7, April – May – June – July, 6+). In June, the combination of iHeartMedia-owned KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” regressing by four-tenths (6.1 – 5.7, 6+) and Cox Media Group’s KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader” adding four-tenths (5.3 – 5.7, 6+) resulted in the two country rivals being locked together in the runner-up slot. The tie is broken in July though as “Y-100” adds two-tenths to 5.9 (its best 6+-stat since October 2017’s 6.0), while “KJ-97” sputters by two-tenths to 5.5 (6+). When “Y-100” slipped one-tenth in May, it halted four straight up or flat trends for an overall +1.3 (4.1 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.4, 6+). The overall +2.7 that KAJA racked up in January and February (4.1 – 5.2 – 6.8, 6+) was cut virtually in half in March and April with a collective -1.3; however, “KJ-97” answered with a +.6 in May. Prior to January, “KJ-97” was -.9 in four successive down or flat sweeps (5.0 – 5.0 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). Shifting from a three-way tie at #7 to #8, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KQXT “Q101.9” notches a 4.2 (6+) for the fourth month in a row.

Pittsburgh

Spoken-Word Formats – In three straight May-June-July declines (7.8 – 7.4 – 6.5 – 5.8, 6+), Entercom sports talk KDKA-FM is -2.0, completely erasing April’s +2.0 (5.8 – 7.8, 6+) as “93.7 The Fan” slides from fifth to sixth. April’s 7.8 is the strongest 6+-showing for the Pittsburgh Pirates flagship since October 2015 when it scored a 10.1. “The Fan” was a combined +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 but then -.9 in February. Co-owned news/talk KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020” returns the two-tenths it earned in June (4.2 – 4.4 – 4.2, 6+) but remains at #9. June’s +.2 pulled the plug on four sweeps in a row without an increase that produced a -1.1 (5.3 – 5.3 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.2, 6+). Similarly, a +1.3 in January halted four down or flat trends in succession that eventuated in a loss of eight-tenths (4.8 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+). After being up one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.6, 6+), Essential Public Media news/talk WESA drops six-tenths to 2.0 (6+) and continues at #13. Before faltering by one-half share in April, “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” was an overall +.8 as a result of three consecutive up or flat moves (2.1 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+). January’s +.6 halted three successive downward trends that resulted in a -1.1 (3.2 – 2.8 – 2.4 – 2.1, 6+). This is the eighth straight time that iHeartMedia sports talk WBGG has chalked up a .2 (#17, 6+). Immediately preceding this current streak, “970 AM – ESPN Pittsburgh” logged a .1 (6+) six consecutive times.

Pittsburgh Music Formats – A gain of six-tenths (5.6 – 6.2, 6+) elevates Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHH “Wish 99.7” from sixth to fifth. Four straight down or flat trends by Steel City Media adult hits WRRK accounted for an overall loss of nine-tenths (7.9 – 7.8 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.0, 6+), but “96.9 Bob FM” adds one-tenth in July to 7.1 (6+) and is steady at #3. As the result of five straight up or flat trends since February (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.7   – 2.7 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WPGB “Big 104.7 – Pittsburgh’s #1 For New Country” is a collective +1.4 and continues at #11. It trails Entercom’s WDSY “Y-108 Pittsburgh’s Country” (4.9 – 4.7, -.2, seventh to eighth, 6+) by one full share. The two format rivals each enjoyed one-half share gains in June, with “Y-108 having its best 6+-stat (4.9) since November 2017’s 5.0; July’s 3.7 by “Big 104.7” is its strongest 6+ AQH share since August 2017 (3.7, as well). In addition to WPGB, Steel City Media hot AC WLTJ “Q-92.9” posts a one-half share June 2018 – July 2018 improvement (3.2 – 3.7, 6+) and is unchanged at #11. Meanwhile, the topline January 2018 – July 2018 trending for Entercom’s similarly-formatted WBZZ “Star 100.7” (eighth to seventh) is 4.9 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.9 (6+). Notwithstanding that it erodes by one full-share to 9.4 – its lowest 6+-stat since January (9.4, as well) –  iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWSW “94.5 – 3WS” is #1 for the 17th consecutive time. A combined +.9 in March and April (10.3 – 11.1 – 11.2, 6+), “3WS” forfeited -1.3 in May and lost seven full-shares in January (16.4 – 9.4, 6+). Rock sibling WDVE (8.7 – 8.5, -.2, 6+) is in the runner-up slot for the seventh successive sweep. WDVE was +1.6 (October 2017); -1.0 (November); -.8 (“Holiday 2017”); +.8 (January 2018); -.9 (February); and -.5 in March. October’s 10.2 marked the first time WDVE reached double-digits (6+) since March 2017 (10.4). Remaining at #4, co-owned mainstream CHR WKST “96.1 Kiss FM Pittsburgh’s #1 Hit Music Station” is a collective -1.0 in June and July (7.3 – 6.9 – 6.3, 6+) with July’s 6.3 its weakest 6+-performance since “Holiday” 2015 (6.0). After having their March 2018 – June 2018 information displayed, five stations disappear from print in July 2018: classic hits-oldies WKPL and WPKL; and country-formatted WLYI, WOGG, and WOGI.

Sacramento

Spoken-Word Formats – Up a collective seven-tenths in May and June (4.3 – 4.7 – 5.0, 6+), KXJZ surrenders one-half share in July to 4.5 (fourth to sixth, 6+). The Capital Public Radio news/talk facility posted a one-half share gain in January but was a combined -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.3 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+). Notwithstanding that it is down or flat for the sixth straight sweep for an overall -2.6 (8.6 – 8.1 – 8.1 – 7.8 – 6.7 – 6.3 – 6.0, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KFBK finishes second for the fourth time in a row. “Sacramento’s News, Weather, and Traffic Station” was third in December 2017; second in “Holiday” 2017; up to first in January 2018; back to second in February; up again to first in March (tied with KSEG); and back to second in April, May, June, and July. KFBK was down or flat in October – November – December for an overall loss of seven-tenths (7.8 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 7.1, 6+). It logged a +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and followed with a +.2 in January 2018 to 8.6 – its best 6+-stat since January 2017’s 8.7. The February 2018 – July 2018 topline trending for co-owned KSTE (#14 to #16) is: 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4 (6+). “Talk 650” was +.6 in December; -.5 in “Holiday” 2017; and +.6 in January to 2.7, its highest 6+-share since June 2017’s 2.8. Down or flat the past seven sweeps for a -1.7 (2.6 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.6 – 1.3 – .9 – .9, 6+), Entercom’s KHTK “Sports 1140” gains four-tenths to 1.3 and returns to the top twenty (#25 to #20), while co-owned KIFM-AM “ESPN Radio 1320” is a combined -.5 in June and July (1.6 – 1.4 – 1.1, 6+), remaining at #22.

Sacramento Music Formats – Within 4.1 – 4.4 range (6+) between January and June (4.2 – 4.2 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.3, 6+), Entercom’s KNCI “New Country 105.1” breaks out a +.8 in July to 5.1, its highest 6+-share since August 2017 (5.4), to climb from sixth to fourth. “New Country” was an overall +.9 in three consecutive positive or flat trends (3.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.4, 6+), before surrendering two-tenths in April. An even greater June 2018 – July 2018 increase by a Sacramento country outlet is turned in by iHeartMedia’s WBEB “92.5 The Bull – #1 for New Country,” which adds a +1.0 to June’s +.3 (2.1 – 2.4 – 3.4, #14 to #12, 6+). Immediately prior to being off four-tenths in May, “The Bull” was up or flat the previous four reports for an overall gain of seven-tenths (1.8 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.5, 6+). The market’s other country player – Entravision-owned KNTY “101.9 The Wolf” – lost one-tenth in May; regained it in June; but is down four-tenths in July to 2.1 (6+) and drifts from #13 to #17. As a result of three successive “Holiday” 2017 – March 2018 increases, “The Wolf” gained seven-tenths (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+), but was -.5 in April. In addition to jumping from eighth to fifth, iHeartMedia classic rocker KYRV records a +.7 to 4.8, the highest 6+-stat for “93.7 The River” in exactly one year (4.8, as well, in July 2017). On the heels of posting a +.9 in June, Entercom-owned/similarly-programmed KSEG returns all of it with a -.9 in July (9.0 – 9.9 – 9.0, 6+). Even so, “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” (which was +1.0 in May) is #1 for the sixth time in a row. June 2018’s 9.9 is its strongest 6+-showing in two years (10.3, July 2016). A January gain of +2.0 by “The Eagle” essentially erased a combined -2.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017; KSEG was an overall -1.6 in September and October (9.7 – 8.7 – 8.1, 6+). A loss of six-tenths takes Capital Public Radio classical KXPR (#20 to #22) to 1.1 (6+), exactly half of where it was in April (2.2, 6+). Not only does a -.6 by Entravision regional Mexican KRCX knock “La Tricolor 99.9” out of the top twenty (1.2, #19 – #21, 6+), it halts four straight increases that netted one-half share (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.8, 6+). Declining by six-tenths as well is iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies KHYL “V-101” (4.2 – 3.6, seventh to tenth, 6+). At the same time, Entercom hot AC KZZO “Now 100.5 Today’s Best Hits” (eighth to tenth, 6+) and Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVB “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” (2.2 – 1.7, #17 to #18, 6+) are off by one-half share each. In the case of KZZO, “Now” is -1.0 in three straight decreases (4.6 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+). After 14 ratings periods in succession of recording a 6+-share between 4.0 – 4.9 (6+), Entercom’s KRXQ sputters by three-tenths to 3.8 (6+) but stays at #8. In May, “98 Rock” returned the six-tenths it gained the previous sweep.

Salt Lake City

Spoken-Word Formats – In April, Bonneville’s KSL posted an 8.1 (6+), but since then, “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” is -3.5 in three consecutive declines (8.1 – 5.2 – 4.94.6, sixth to seventh, 6+). Immediately prior to the May sweep, KSL (#1 in April) was +3.0 as a result of four consecutive increases (5.1 – 6.4 – 6.7 – 6.9 – 8.1, 6+) and a combined -3.2 just before that in three straight negative moves (8.3 – 6.5 – 5.7 – 5.1, October – November – December – “Holiday” 2017, 6+). There is no (6+) month-to-month AQH share change (4.0) or 6+ market rank (#9) for iHeartMedia’s KNRS. A +.3 in May ended three successive down or flat moves that accounted for a -.2 (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.8, 6+). “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know” was +.8 in November; a combined -1.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017; and +.7 in January. An overall -1.3 from three successive sweeps without an increase (4.1 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.8, 6+), University of Utah news/talk KUER (#15 to #11) follows with three straight positive spikes netting a combined seven-tenths (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.5, 6+). Remaining at #20, Broadway Media-owned KALL “ESPN 700 – Utah’s #1 Sports Talk” is up a collective one-half share in four consecutive positive or flat moves (1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+).

Salt Lake City Music Formats – Over and above posting its third uptick in a row for a collective +1.1 (2.9 – 3.0 – 3.2 – 4.0, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KJMY “MY-99.5” enters the top ten (#12 to #9) and matches February’s 4.0 (6+). Noteworthy ups and downs continue for Capitol Broadcasting’s similarly-formatted KBZN “Now 97.9 Today’s Best Music,” which was -.5 (March); -.6 (April); +.6 (May); -.9 in June; and now +.4 in July (4.8 – 5.2, seventh to sixth, 6+). Classic hits-oldies enjoys a high-profile in the July 2018 report as KODJ “94.1 Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits,” which is down by one-tenth in June and July (6.9 – 6.8 – 6.7, 6+) repeats at #1, while Bonneville’s KRSP “103.5 The Arrow” gains three-tenths to 6.0 (6+), jumping from fourth to second. Prior to June’s -.1, KODJ nearly doubled (+3.4) its 6+ AQH share through five successive up or flat trends (3.5 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.4 – 5.8 – 6.9, 6+). May 2018 marked the first time KODJ reached the six-share level (6+) since its 6.6 in June 2016. KRSP’s April – May – June trending was 5.7 – 5.3 – 5.7 (6+). This is the third positive spike in succession for Cumulus Media country outlet KUBL “K-Bull 93 FM” (4.8 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.9, 6+), which is +1.1 in that stretch and progresses from fifth to third. Conversely, format rival – independent KSOP-FM “Z-104 Utah’s #1 Country” – is off a combined -1.2 in June and July (4.6 – 3.9 – 3.4, 6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #12). With a positive spike of six-tenths to 1.6, its best 6+-stat since January’s 1.7, Broadway Media adult hits KYMV “Rewind 100.7” checks in at #23. It is a mixed bag in July for the market’s CHRs. On the positive side, KYMV cluster-mate, KUDD “Mix 105.1 All The Hits,” picks up three-tenths (2.5 – 2.8, 6+) to climb from #18 to #17 and Cumulus Media’s KENZ “Power 94.9 Utah’s New Hit Music” (#17 to #13) posts its third increase in a row for a +.9 (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.3, 6+). The combined +.7 generated by “Mix” and “Power,” however, isn’t enough to offset the -.8 from iHeartMedia’s KZHT “97.1 ZHT Salt Lake’s #1 Hit Music Station” (6.3 – 5.5, second to fifth, 6+). Up or flat the past three sweeps for a +.8 (1.0 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+), KLO Broadcasting’s KSQN “103.1 The Wave – The Next Wave of New Wave” returns seven-tenths to 1.1 (#24, 6+). Bonneville-owned adult contemporary KSFI is a collective -2.3 in four successive down or flat trends (8.2 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 6.3 – 5.9, 6+) as “FM 100.3 – Better Music Better Work Day” slips from second to third with its softest 6+-showing (5.9) since May 2016’s 5.7. Up nine-tenths in March – only to lose nine-tenths in April – “FM 100.3” had been on top for six straight ratings periods (November 2017 through March 2018). Without a loss (and mostly flat) the past three sweeps for a +.6 (2.7 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary KBEE “B-98.7 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” drops from #11 to #13. This (3.3) is the best 6+-stat for “B-98.7” since September 2017’s 3.5.

Las Vegas

Spoken-Word Formats – Even though it adds two-tenths to June’s +.4 (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6, 6+), Nevada Public Radio’s KNPR backslides from a five-way scrum at #14 to #15. Three consecutive improvements that accounted for a +1.0 (1.9 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.9, 6+) were directly followed with a -.9 in April and May (2.9 – 2.6 – 2.0, 6+). At the same time, Entercom’s KXNT “News Talk Radio 840” is down or flat for the third straight month for a -.4 (2.1 – 2.0 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+), yet actually improves from #21 to #20. The March 2018 – July 2018 topline for Beasley Media Group news/talk KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk” (#25 to #24 ) is .9 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.1 (6+). Before dropping one-tenth in March, KXNT was up or flat in three successive sweeps for a +.2 (1.7 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+). A one-half share decrease in March concluded five straight positive or flat trends (.7 – .7 – .7 – .7 – 1.3 – 1.4, 6+) that doubled KDWN’s 6+-share. Lotus Communications sports talk KWWN “ESPN Radio 1100” is a combined -.3 in June and July (.8 – .6 – .5, #27 to #29, 6+), while KRLV “Fox Sports Radio Las Vegas” is down two-tenths to .3 (#29 to #30, 6+).

Las Vegas Music Formats – Roaring back from June’s one-half share loss, Entercom hot AC KMXB “Mix 94.1” posts a gain more than twice that size (5.6 – 6.7, +1.1, 6+) and advances from #3 to a tie at #2. Prior to June’s -.5, “Mix” was a collective +.7 in three straight up or flat trends (5.4 – 5.5 – 6.1 – 6.1, 6+). This (6.7) is its highest 6+-showing since November 2017 (6.7, as well). KMXB is tied in the runner-up slot with Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies KKLZ “96.3 – 70s, 80s and More” (5.8 – 6.7, +.9, 6+). Moving forward between July 2017 – July 2018, KKLZ has been #1 in July 2017, August, September, October, November, January 2018, February and April. Nine-tenths ahead of “Mix” and KKLZ – and in its third straight month at #1 – is iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5 Better Music for a Better Workday (6.9 – 7.6, +.7, 6+). This (7.6) is the highest 6+-share for “Sunny” since “Holiday” 2017, when it logged a 12.5. In May, “Sunny” succeeded KKLZ at #1. It is a familiar pattern between the two as “Sunny” was off six-tenths in April and replaced by KKLZ at #1. The two swapped places at the top in March as well. In December, KKLZ was ousted from the penthouse by “Sunny” after five straight months there. By posting a +.6 to 3.0 (#14 to #13, 6+), Faith Communications contemporary Christian KSOS “SOS Radio” applies the brakes to three straight declines that accounted for a loss of nine-tenths (3.1 – 3.1 – 2.7 – 2.4 – 3.0, 6+). Progressing from tenth to eighth, Beasley Media Group’s KCYE “102.7 The Coyote #1 For New Hit Country” is +.6 via three straight up or flat trends (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 4.0, 6+) and has its highest 6+-share (4.0) since June 2017’s 4.7. Conversely, cross-town competitor – iHeartMedia’s KWNR “95.5 The Bull Las Vegas’ New Country Leader” – spirals by -1.3 (5.4 – 4.1, fourth to seventh, 6+). “The Bull” isn’t the only Vegas outlet eroding by -1.3 (June 2018 – July 2018): Lotus Communications Spanish adult hits KWID does so as well (4.4 – 3.1, 6+) and, in the process, departs the top ten (#8 to #12). Entering the June sweep, “La Buena 101.9” was within three-share range 18 straight times but that streak ended when KWID gained six-tenths to 4.4, its strongest 6+-showing since 4.5 in “Holiday” 2016. As a result of dropping seven-tenths (5.4 – 4.7, 6+), Entercom’s KLUC “98.5 Las Vegas’ #1 Hit Music Station” slips from fourth to fifth. Farmworker Educational Radio-owned regional Mexican KYLI “La Network Campesina” is off one-half share (1.6 – 1.1, #24, 6+).

Cincinnati

Spoken-Word Formats – In June and July, WLW is a whopping +2.7 (7.7 – 9.1 – 10.4, 6+) as the Cincinnati Reds flagship repeats at #1. The heritage iHeartMedia news/talker was a combined +2.0 in January and February; -1.0 in March; +1.6 in April; and -1.2 in May. July’s 10.4 is its highest 6+-share in just over two years (10.8, June 2016). Prior to January, WLW was a collective -3.3 as the result of five straight negative trends (9.6 – 9.4 – 9.2 – 8.0 – 7.2 – 6.3, 6+). It proves to a solid sweep for WLW as well as co-owned/similarly-formatted WKRC “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati” (#14 to #11), which hangs out a +.8 to 3.6 (6+). The +.8 interrupts four straight monthly reports without an increase for a collective -1.0 (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+). WKRC’s +.3 in January ended three downward moves in a row that accounted for a -.9 (4.2 – 4.2 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+). It overtakes Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU (3.2 – 3.1, -.1, #11 to #13, 6+), which was a collective +.7 in January and February. In the sports talk field, iHeartMedia-owned WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530” sees its 6+-share carved nearly in half in June and July (1.4 – 1.2 – .8, #18 to #19, 6+), while co-owned WSAI “Fox Sports AM 1360” hasn’t had an increase in the past four months (.7 – .4 – .4 – .3 – .2, #25, 6+).

Cincinnati Music Formats – Down in each of the last three sweeps for a collective -2.2 (10.4 – 9.8 – 9.6 – 8.2, 6+), Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WGRR “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” responds in July with a one-half share gain to 8.7 (6+). It repeats in the runner-up slot after having spent five straight months at #1. Its -.6 in April curtailed three consecutive up or flat trends that accounted for a cumulative +2.9 (7.5 – 9.6 – 9.6 – 10.4, 6+). WGRR rebounded from a -1.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (9.1 – 8.5 – 7.5, 6+) with a January +2.1. Locked on 4.9 (6+) in May and June, Hubbard rhythmic hot AC WREW “Mix 94.9” (seventh to eighth) stumbles by eight-tenths in July to 4.1, its softest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2017’s 3.7. On the heels of June’s +.7 to 3.2 – its strongest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 3.4 – WOSL “100.3 R&B + Old School” relinquishes one-half share to 2.7 (6+, #11 to #14). The Radio One urban AC outlet’s topline January 2018 – May 2018 trending was 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.5 (6+). Following their official June debut in print, Grant County Broadcasters’ WNKN “Classic Country” is off two-tenths (2.0 – 1.8, 6+) yet actually improves from #16 to #15, while co-owned similarly-programmed WNKR is flat at .8 (6+) and is part of a five-way logjam at #19. All three fluctuation options are covered by the market’s trio of country outlets: Hubbard’s WUBE “B-105.1 – Get Your Country On” gains four-tenths (7.7 – 8.1, fourth to third, 6+); Cumulus Media’s WNNF “94.1 Nash-FM” is off four-tenths (2.1 – 1.7, #15 to #16, 6+); and for the third straight time, Hubbard’s WYGY “97.3 The Wolf” is flat at .8 (6+) and is part of that five-way scrum at #19. In June, “B-105.1” was -.9, which halted five consecutive upticks that netted +2.8 (5.8 – 6.3 – 7.8 – 8.1 – 8.3 – 8.5 – 8.6, 6+); WUBE was -1.4 in December.

Orlando

Spoken-Word Formats – Tied at #10 are iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” (4.0 – 3.7 -.3, flat at #10, 6+) and Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM “News 96.5” (3.7, +.4, #13 to #10, 6+). This is the lowest 6+-showing for “Real Radio” since “Holiday” 2017’s 2.2. A combined +3.0 in January and February (2.2 – 3.9 – 5.2, 6+), WTKS dropped three-tenths in March and was +.6 in April. January’s +1.7 ended three straight down or flat trends that resulted in a -.7 (2.9 – 2.9 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+). Before gaining four-tenths in July, WDBO-FM was -1.4 in five straight sweeps without an increase (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+). Entering the January sweep (in which it notched a +1.3), “News 96.5” was a collective -2.7 via four straight decreases (6.1 – 5.1 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+). Off four-tenths from June but holding steady at #12, Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida” continues a down/up pattern that it began in February: 3.7 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.8 – 3.4 (6+). WMFE was off one full-share in February and March (3.9 – 3.7 – 2.9, 6+). Frozen on 1.5 (6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WFLF slips from #16 to #17. Just prior to gaining seven-tenths in January, WFLF was without an increase in five straight ratings periods for a -.7 (1.9 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+). Co-owned sports talk WYGM “FM 96.9 The Game – Orlando’s Sports Leader” is a collective +.3 via five successive sweeps without a loss (.7 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0, 6+) and continues at #19, while Cox Media Group sports talk WDBO-AM “ESPN 580 Orlando” is off two-tenths (1.0 – .8, #19 to #21, 6+).

Orlando Music Formats – Making one-half share improvements from June 2018 are Cox Media Group urban AC and rhythmic CHR siblings WCFB “Star 94.5” (6.0, seventh to fifth, 6+) and WPYO “Power 95.3” (steady at #9, 6+). “Star” applies the brakes to three straight setbacks that accounted for a -.9 (6.4 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.5, 6+), while “Power” is +1.2 in four successive sweeps without a loss (3.6 – 3.6 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.8, 6+). Owing to five up or flat trends (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 5.6, 6+), country cluster-mate WWKA “K-92.3” is +1.6, but backslides from sixth to seventh. Over and above posting a positive spike in six of the last seven sweeps for a collective +2.7 (8.9 – 9.3 – 9.5 – 9.9 – 10.7 – 10.5 – 11.2 – 11.6, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WRUM “Rumba 100” sets the pace for the seventh consecutive report. Prior to the May sweep, WRUM was +1.8 in four upticks in succession (8.9 – 9.3 – 9.5 – 9.9 – 10.7, 6+). Following 11 consecutive months at #1, WRUM dropped to the runner-up slot in December and remained there in “Holiday” 2017. Its +.4 in January 2018 ended four negative sweeps in a row that generated a collective -2.7 (11.6 – 11.5 – 11.4 – 11.3 – 8.9, 6+). April 2017s 12.8 is the best-ever 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. Although unchanged at #2, co-owned CHR WXXL is a collective -1.1 in June and July (8.9 – 8.4 – 7.8, 6+). Between February and May, “XL-106.7 Orlando’s #1 Hit Music Station” was up an overall six-tenths via three increases of two tenths each (8.3 – 8.5 – 8.7 – 8.9, 6+). Faltering by six-tenths in July as well is Entercom-owned WQMP “FM 101.9 Orlando’s New Alternative” (3.9 – 3.3, #11 to #14, 6+), which has its lowest 6+-share (3.3) since January’s 3.2.

Cleveland

Spoken-Word Formats – In back-to-back reports (June and July), iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” is off by one-tenth (6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4, 6+) but continues at #5. June’s -.1 interrupted three consecutive increases that netted +1.3 (5.3 – 5.5 – 6.3 – 6.6, 6+); May’s 6.6 is the best 6+-stat for the Cleveland Indians flagship since October 2017’s 8.3. A one-half share gain in January halted three straight declines for a -3.5 (8.5 – 5.4 – 5.2 – 5.0, 6+). A combined -1.8 in three straight (March through June) setbacks (5.2 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 3.4, 6+), Entercom’s WKRK “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” adds one-tenth to 3.5 (6+) and remains at #12. Just prior to this streak, “The Fan” had five successive up or flat sweeps (November through March) for a +1.2 (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 5.2, 6+). For the third sweep in a row, Ideastream-owned WCPN posts a 2.6 (steady at #13, 6+). The public news/talk outlet was a combined -2.5 in February and March (5.3 – 3.6 – 2.8, 6+), after a cumulative +3.2 in six straight (August 2017 – January 2018) improvements (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 5.3, 6+).

Cleveland Music Formats – Three straight upticks by Entercom-owned WNCX (steady at #2) are responsible for a +2.2 (6.0 – 7.1 – 8.0 – 8.2, 6+) as “98.5 Cleveland’s Classic Rock” has its finest 6+-performance (8.2) since June 2017’s 8.4. Immediately in advance of the May ratings period, WNCX was a cumulative -.3 as the result of three straight sweeps without an increase (6.3 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.0, 6+). Hot AC cluster-mate WQAL “Q-104” (steady in ninth-place) has a consistent February 2018 – July 2018 topline of 5.2 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 5.3 (6+). Flat at #8, Radio One urban contemporary WENZ “Z-107.9” is an overall +1.2 in three straight improvements (4.9 – 5.6 – 6.0 – 6.1, 6+). The rollercoaster ride continues for iHeartMedia’s WGAR “99.5 – Cleveland’s #1 for New Country.” Three straight negative January through April moves resulting in a -1.0 (7.2 – 6.8 – 6.3 – 6.2, 6+) were largely halted by a +.8 in May. In June, “99.5 – Cleveland’s #1 for New Country” was -.6, but that deficit is fully erased and then some by a July +1.0 (6.4 – 7.4, 6+), with WGAR leaping from sixth to third. Co-owned classic hits-oldies WMJI “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” is up one-tenth (8.4 – 8.5, 6+) and repeats at #1. July’s +.1 draws to a close a rather odd streak in which WMJI made nine dramatic up/down shifts in succession: +.8 (November); -.9 (December); +2.5 (Holiday” 2017); -1.9 (January); +1.9 (February); -2.0 (March); +1.0 (April); -1.5 (May); and +.6 in June. When “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” reached double-digits (6+) in “Holiday” 2017, it was the first time WMJI accomplished that feat since September 2016 (10.8). November’s +.8 stopped three straight declines that resulted in a -1.3 (9.2 – 8.9 – 8.4 – 7.9, 6+). Still in that iHeartMedia cluster, adult hits WHLK “106.5 The Lake – We Play Anything” (third to sixth, 6+) and CHR sibling WAKS “96.5 Kiss FM Cleveland’s #1 Hit Music Station” (4.2 – 3.6, flat at #11, 6+) each falter by six-tenths. “The Lake” is actually -1.5 in five straight decreases (7.8 – 7.5 – 7.2 – 6.9 – 6.3, 6+). Flat at #10, co-owned WMMS “100.7 Cleveland’s Rock Station” is off one-half share to 4.4, its lowest 6+-share since March (4.2). Unchanged at #4, Radio One urban AC WZAK is -3.3 in four straight down or flat trends (10.1 – 9.6 – 8.1 – 6.8 – 6.8, 6+). After three consecutive increases for an overall +1.5 (8.6 – 9.1 – 9.5 – 10.1, 6+), WZAK faltered by one-half share in April. Having reached the top spot in December with a +.9, WZAK fell to third in “Holiday” 2017. An October loss of four-tenths ended three consecutive positive moves for an overall +.9 (7.5 – 7.6 – 8.1 – 8.4, 6+). Long absent from print – or – appearing for the first time are Radio One news/talk WERE (.4, #18, 6+); iHeartMedia urban contemporary WAKS-HD2 (.1, #20, 6+); iHeartMedia classic country WGAR-HD2 (.1, #20, 6+); and Entercom classic rock WNCX-HD2 (.1, #20, 6+);

Kansas City

Spoken-Word Formats – After registering six successive September through February increases for a +1.9 (3.7 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.9 – 5.6, 6+), Entercom news/talk KMBZ-FM follows with five straight February through July decreases for a -1.7 (5.6 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.1 – 3.9, 6+) as “98.1 News-Traffic-Weather” departs the top ten (#10 to #11). Having surrendered eight-tenths in June, co-owned KCSP “610 Sports Radio” returns with a +.1 to 3.0 (#14 to #13, 6+). More than doubling its 6+-share with a combined +1.9 in April and May (1.8 – 3.1 3.7, 6+), the Kansas City Royals flagship erased February’s -.4 with a +.4 in March. It is tied at #13 with University of Missouri news/talk KCUR (2.8 – 3.0, +.2, #15 to #13, 6+). Prior to May, KCUR was up nine-tenths as a result of six straight November through April up or flat trends (1.9 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+). An overall -2.0 in April and May (4.0 – 2.9 – 2.0, 6+), Union Broadcasting’s WHB reduces that deficit by 20% with a combined +.4 in June and July (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.4, #18 to #17, 6+). “Sports Radio 810” was an overall +1.4 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018; -.9 in February; and +.9 in March. One-tenth behind WHB is Entercom’s KMBZ-AM, which gains two-tenths to 2.3, yet backslides from #18 to #19. “Talk 980” was locked on 2.2 (6+) in April and May before slipping one-tenth to 2.1 (6+) in June. In a repetitive .7 – .6 – .7 – .6 (6+) sequence, Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM continues at #23. Three February through May decreases in a row accounted for a -.5 (1.1 – 1.0 – .7 -.6, 6+), but “Talk Radio 710” picks up one-tenth to .7 (6+) and remains at #23.

Kansas City Music Formats – When Steel City Media’s KFKF logged a one-half share increase in May, it erased the -.5 it recorded through three decreases in a row (6.0 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.5, 6+). Now, in July, “Country 94.1” improves by six-tenths (5.9 – 6.5, 6+) to progress from fifth to fourth. It is seven-tenths ahead of co-owned KBEQ, which hadn’t been without a loss in each sweep since December 2017 for an overall +2.0 (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.8 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 5.9, 6+). In July, however, “Q-104 New Hit Country” drops one-tenth to 5.8 (6+) and is flat at #5. Unchanged in eighth-place, the market’s other country FM – Entercom’s WDAF “106.5 The Wolf” – is down (slightly) or flat for the third time in a row for a -.3 (4.9 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+). Steady at 7.2 (6+), Cumulus Media’s KCFX “101 The Fox – Kansas City’s Classic Rock Station” repeats at #1. Prior to June, “The Fox” – was last on top in February. It was -1.6 via through three February through May decreases in succession (8.6 – 8.0 – 7.6 – 7.0, 6+). Just one-tenth behind “The Fox” is Carter Broadcast Corporation urban contemporary WPRS “Hot 103” (third to second), which is +1.9 in three straight positive spikes (5.2 – 5.9 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+). “Hot” was off nine-tenths as the result of three January through April downward trends in a row (6.1 – 5.6 – 5.4 – 5.2, 6+). In six consecutive Holiday 2017 – June 2018 monthlies without a loss, Entercom-owned KQRC was a combined +1.7 (4.5 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 6.2, 6+), but “98.9 The Rock” relinquishes seven-tenths to 5.5 (fourth to sixth, 6+). Faltering by six-tenths to 4.9, its lowest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 4.3, Steel City CHR KMXV “Mix 93.3 Kansas City’s #1 Hit Music Station” nonetheless remains at #7. On top in March, April, and May, Cumulus Media’s classic hits-oldies KCMO-FM “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” is now a combined -1.3 in four successive March through July dips (8.1 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.8, 6+) and falls from second to third. KCMO-FM faltered by six-tenths in February (8.4 – 7.8, 6+), but regained half that loss (+.3) in March. Owing to a -2.0 in January, “Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” curtailed four straight positive spikes that netted +2.7 (7.7 – 8.0 – 8.8 – 9.0 – 10.4, 6+).

Columbus

Spoken-Word Formats – The March 2018 – July 2018 topline for iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN (unchanged at #6) is a very steady 5.4 – 5.6 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.6 (6+).“News Radio 610” was -.7 in March; -1.0 in February; +1.5 in January; and -.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Prior to January 2018, the last time WTVN reached the seven-share level (6+) was February 2016 (7.3). A December decrease of three-tenths halted three straight uptrends that netted eight-tenths (5.7 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.5, 6+). Ohio State University news/talk WOSU is flat from June in both 6+ AQH share (3.9) and 6+ rank (seventh). Up seven-tenths via three consecutive “Holiday” 2017 – March sweeps without a loss (3.6 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.3, 6+), it dropped six-tenths in April; rebounded in May with a +.5; and surrendered three-tenths in June. WOSU’s 4.3 in March was the station’s best 6+-showing since 4.7 in August 2017. Following four reports in a row without an increase for a -.2 (.9 – .9 – .8 – .8 – .7, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk WXZX was +.3 in April and May, but “105.7 The Zone” drops a collective -.5 in June and July for a 50% reduction of its 6+-share (1.0 – .9 – .5, flat at #15, 6+).

Columbus Music Formats – Apparently, there is simply no stopping iHeartMedia’s WCOL “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country,” which not only finishes at #1 for the seventh consecutive sweep but registers its fourth increase in a row for an overall (staggering) +4.0 (12.3 – 13.4 – 14.4 – 14.5 – 15.7 – 16.3, 6+). In double-digits (6+) each sweep since June 2017, WCOL perhaps boasts the largest 6+-stat (16.3) in PPM-history in a sweep that did not include all-Christmas music. Accustomed to major fluctuations, “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” was +2.2 (January 2017); -1.2 (February); -1.3 (May); +1.4 (June); +2.1 (July); +.7 (October); -.5 (December); +3.1 (January 2018); -1.7 (February); +1.1 in March; +1.0 in April; +1.2 in June; and now +.6 in July. After spending six months on top, WCOL shifted to second in “Holiday” 2017 but regained the lead in January 2018. Wiping away June’s one-half share decrease with a July +.6 (3.2 – 3.8, 6+), One Connection Media Group contemporary Christian WCVO “104.9 The River” continues in eighth-place. A collective +.5 in three straight April through July up or flat trends (5.8 – 6.1 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+) Saga Communications’ adult contemporary WSNY “Sunny 95” advances from fourth to third. Meanwhile, inching up from tenth to ninth, co-owned hot AC WVMX “Mix 107.9 The Adult Hit Music Station” is a cumulative +.8 in a down/up pattern that commenced in December 2017: 2.5 – 2.2 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 3.3 (6+). Having logged an overall +.6 in four straight February through June sweeps without a loss (6.4 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 6.7 – 7.0, 6+), “Mix” cluster-mate WLVQ “FM 96 Iconic Rock” returns eight-tenths to 6.2 (third to fourth, 6+). Surrendering roughly half of June’s +1.3 (10.0, -.7, 6+), iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WNCI ends at three its successive string of up or flat March through June monthlies that yielded a +1.7 (9.0 – 9.4 – 9.4 – 10.7, 6+), but “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music Station” occupies the runner-up slot for the seventh time in a row. June’s 10.7 is the strongest 6+-stat for WNCI – which was a combined +1.5 in January and February (8.0 – 9.2 – 9.5, 6+) – since October 2017 (10.7, as well). Steady at #5, adult hits sibling WODC “93.3 The Bus – We Play Anything” is up eight-tenths via three successive April through July upticks (5.1 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 5.9, 6+).

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

| August 7, 2018

Field Answers USTN Lawsuit: “Ridiculous allegations.” As we reported last Monday (Talkers.com, 7/30), in a complaint filed in Harris County, Texas District Court, United States Traffic Network is suing Entercom for material and punitive damages “in excess of $5 million.” USTN alleges that Entercom entered into negotiations to buy the company and walked away from the deal at the last minute with the intent of developing a directly competitive business. Yesterday (Monday, 8/6), Entercom president/CEO David Field addressed the lawsuit in an internal memo. He writes, “The truth is we have acted in good faith and made every reasonable effort and then some to assist USTN in fixing their challenging issues.” Entercom released a statement including the following quote on the situation: “We are relieved to no longer be mired by the difficult USTN situation that was inherited as part of the CBS Radio merger. We will move quickly to augment our strong internal sales organization to ensure that we realize the full value of this inventory. With leading news brands like WINS, New York; KNX, Los Angeles; and WBBM, Chicago, Entercom has the industry’s most valuable traffic inventory. We are pleased to be in control of our own destiny as we pursue opportunities in this attractive market segment.” In response to the lawsuit, Field states, “Entercom believes it is entirely baseless, frivolous and frankly insulting. Entercom has worked tirelessly and constructively with USTN over the past six months to help USTN work through its significant financial issues. Entercom is owed substantial amounts of money by USTN, and the company intends to defend itself vigorously and assert all of its rights.” In yesterday’s memo, Field states, “To say the least, it is disappointing to read the ridiculous allegations that USTN has made when the truth is that we have acted in good faith and made every reasonable effort and then some to assist USTN in fixing their challenging issues. In order to set the record straight and ensure that you have all the facts regarding our relationship with USTN, I have included a summary of the events over the past 8 ½ months.” Click here to read the rest of Field’s memo.

Bortnick Joins iHeartMedia D.C. as Senior VP/Sales. Six-year vice president of sales for Entercom Washington (D.C.), Danny Bortnick crosses the street to become senior vice president of sales for iHeartMedia’s five stations in the Nation’s Capital. Region president Michael Preacher remarks, “We couldn’t be more pleased to welcome Danny to iHeartMedia. Danny has earned a great reputation building client-centric sales organizations while creating a positive work culture. He is the perfect fit for us.” Bortnick adds, “I am thrilled to be joining some of the most iconic brands in [the market], as well as one of the most recognizable media brands in the country.” Bortnick, who has a marketing and management degree from the University of Miami – School of Business, began his radio career 13 years ago as an account executive at Katz Radio in New York City and Atlanta. After a year at Katz, he became an account executive – and later, digital sales manager – at New York City all-news outlet WINS and then, director of sales for Salem Media Group New York City.

Saga Reports 6.5% Q2 Net Revenue Increase. For the quarter ending June 30, Saga Communications net revenue increased to $32.2 million. Meanwhile, operating income increased 2.7% to $6 million and station operating expense increased 8% to $23.1 million. Free cash flow from continuing operations was $6 million for the quarter, compared to $4.8 million for the same period last year. On a same station basis, net revenue decreased .6% to $30.1 million; operating income increased 1.5% to $6 million; and station operating expense decreased 1% to $21.2 million. The company had $52.9 million in cash on hand as of June 30, and $53.3 million as of yesterday (8/6). The company’s total long-term debt was $25 million as of June 30. Results for the quarter and six-month period were affected by the sale of the company’s television stations and purchase of radio stations in Charleston and Hilton Head (South Carolina) on September 1, 2017. Saga’s 2018 Q2 conference call will be at 11:00 am (ET) today (Tuesday, 8/7). Saga owns or operates 75 FM and 33 AM radio stations.

Gregg Receives Salute to Excellence Award. For the second consecutive year, Entercom Philadelphia’s KYW “News Radio 1060” community affairs reporter Cherri Gregg is recognized by the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ). This time, she will receive a “Salute to Excellence Award” at the NABJ’s gala in Detroit. Entercom Philadelphia senior vice president and market manager David Yadgaroff states, “It comes as no surprise that Cherri has been recognized once again for the exemplary work she contributes to KYW. The hard work she has committed in less than a year demonstrates why she is deserving of this honor.” Gregg remarks, “I am honored and humbled by this great recognition. This acknowledgment validates the importance of creating conversation around social issues.” Gregg was recognized in the “Public Affairs” category in “Top 15 Markets, Radio.” The specific segment – “Police Transparency – When Should Names of Officers Who Kill Be Released?” – was from her weekly program “Flashpoint,” which airs Saturdays (9:30 pm) and Sundays (8:30 am). Launched in 2017, “Flashpoint” discusses community affairs, political news, civil rights and social issues. Last year, NABJ honored Gregg with a “Salute to Excellence Award” in “TV Investigative – Top 15 Markets” for her piece “Driving While Black,” a collaboration between Entercom and KYW-TV, Philadelphia (Channel 3). Gregg, who joined Entercom in 2010, was president of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists (2015 – 2016) and vice president of broadcast in 2013. A member of the Pennsylvania and Georgia Bars, she has an undergraduate degree (B.S.) from Boston University; a J.D. from Howard University School of Law; and an M.J. from Temple University’s College of Communications and Theater. Gregg was named one of the Philadelphia NAACP’s Most Influential Black Women and PABJ’s Journalist of the Year in 2013.

Remembering Bill Wattenburg. Cancer has claimed the life of 82-year-old Bill Wattenburg, who died last Thursday (8/2). For 39 years (1972 – 2011), “Dr. Bill” hosted a late night show on KGO, San Francisco where the former nuclear weapons designer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory would answer questions about everything from car repairs to physics. Show promos often referred to him as “The smartest man in the world.” The three-hour program (“Open Line to the West Coast,” 10:00 pm – 1:00 am) aired Saturday and Sunday nights and originated from his home in the Sierras. An occasional caller was Clint Eastwood, who gave Wattenburg a few cameos in the “Dirty Harry” movies. Using the nom de plume Will Harvey, the inventor and former physics professor at the University of California – Berkeley authored an early-1970s best-selling book “How to Find and Fascinate a Mistress.” The success of that book led to him being booked on numerous television talk shows where he debated the merits of feminism with people such as the Gabor sisters and Gloria Steinem. As an inventor, Wattenburg had eight patents to his credit, one reportedly being the first home alarm system using electrical wiring for its communication medium. A 2011 KGO format modification from news/talk to news resulted in several hosts – including Wattenburg – exiting the station. Shortly thereafter, Wattenburg hosted a show on Zwerling Broadcasting System news/talk KSCO-AM, Santa Cruz (California), which – after his death – aired a two-hour retrospective of his radio career.

Spanish Broadcasting System Forecasts Q2 Sales, OIBDA Increases. Preliminary estimated quarter two financial results for Spanish Broadcasting System estimates that consolidated net revenue will be between $34.5 million and $34.8 million, an increase of between 1% and 2% over the same period in 2017. Adjusted OIBDA, excluding non-cash stock-based compensation, is projected at $10.8 million – $11.6 million, an increase of 34% – 44% over last year. SBS chair/chief executive officer Raul Alarcon notes, “The company has continued its positive operational momentum throughout the second quarter with strong OIBDA growth and operating margins that continue to be among the highest in the industry.  In addition, the announced $14 million sale of our surplus real estate in New York City has successfully closed, allowing for our move to newer and more suitable facilities in midtown Manhattan. A correlated and corresponding repayment of the company’s 12.5% senior secured notes from the net proceeds of the real estate sale has been undertaken, as previously envisioned. We maintain our positive view as to the continuing momentum in 2018 and will be filing our finalized second-quarter results within the next week.”

Ten Radio Groups Support NAB’s Owner Cap Modification Stance. Represented in this particular assemblage of group owners is “a cross-section of the industry” with minority-owned and family-owned entities that have stations in large and small markets. In alphabetical order by group owner, the open letter is signed by Alpha Media CEO Bob Proffitt; Connoisseur Media founder/CEO Jeff Warshaw; Emmis Communications chair/CEO Jeff Smulyan; Midwest Communications COO Michael Wright; Mid-West Family Stations president Thomas Walker; Neuhoff Communications president/CEO Beth Neuhoff; NRG Media president/CEO Mary Quass; Perry Publishing and Broadcasting chair Russell Perry; Townsquare Media co-CEOs Dhruv Prasad and Bill Wilson; and Zimmer Radio of Mid-Missouri president/owner John Zimmer. Read the entire letter here.

Round One of July 2018 PPM Data Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union. Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 survey period covered June 21 – July 18. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

TALKERS News Notes. Following stints on New Jersey outlets WMTR and WCTC, Jonathan Friedman’s “Talking Sports” (8:00 pm – 10:00 pm) debuts this Saturday (8/11) on Salem Media Group New York City’s news/talk WNYM “AM 970, The Answer.” The 52-year-old New Jersey resident notes, “I wanted to bring the show to a bigger stage. Growing up in Atlanta and being a huge fan of the Atlanta Falcons, Hawks, and Braves, my love for sports started early in my life. No matter who I talk to, the topic always seems to go to sports; that’s how I connect with people.” A 30-year advertising executive, Friedman has been with Success Communications Group the last 15 years and created the “Gotta Go To Mo’s” campaign for Modell’s Sporting Goods ….. St. Louis-based Project 21 co-chair Stacy Washington is broadcasting “Stacy on the Right” live nationwide. The first hour of the weekday talk program is available on all 180 stations of the American Family Radio Network. The national hour is 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm (ET) and can be streamed through the AFR website, TuneInRadio, Facebook, and YouTube. Decorated Air Force veteran and Emmy-nominated TV personality Washington began her broadcasting career several years ago as a fill-in host on news/talk KFTK, St. Louis and began a two-hour program on the Urban Family Talk Network in 2016 ….. Having added ten million listeners over the last few months, iHeartRadio officially surpasses 120 million registered users. It has over 20,000 podcasts in 20 different unique categories, including 750 iHeartRadio original podcasts ….. According to a report by Richard Deitsch in The Athletic, former NFL quarterback (St. Louis Rams, New York Giants, Arizona Cardinals) Kurt Warner will succeed Boomer Esiason as analyst on Westwood One’s “Monday Night Football” broadcasts. Hall of Famer Warner – who has filled-in when Esiason wasn’t available – would work alongside play-by-play announcer Kevin Harlan. According to Deitsch, a formal announcement of the deal is forthcoming ….. In a situation that will have him relocating to the network’s Chicago headquarters, Scott Krus – station manager of religious teaching WCRF “Moody Radio,” Cleveland – is promoted to general manager of the national Moody Radio Network. Three-month vice president, and former GM, Doug Hastings states, “Scott has the background, skills, and passion to take Moody Radio into our next season. He is very well known at Moody Radio; respected by staff and industry leaders; and has proven that he will effectively lead Moody Radio as general manager.” Krus, who begins his new duties in approximately four weeks (9/1), comments, “I am grateful for the opportunity to serve our teams and [am] energized by the challenge of navigating this ever-changing landscape of media ministry. I believe that Moody is strategically-positioned to expand on its role as a leader in the industry and uniquely equipped to inspire listeners to take that next step in their walk with Jesus Christ. I am looking forward with great excitement to all that God will do in the days to come.”

Paul Manafort Trial/Gates Testimony, Kushner Deleted Stories, Midterm Races, California Wildfire, MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/6). The trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort highlighted by the juicy testimony of Rick Gates; claims that Jared Kushner deleted sensitive stories at his newspaper; the attempted drone assassination attempt of Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro;  this fall’s midterm elections; the deadly California wildfire; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Premiere Promotes Silcock to VP/Affiliate Relations – Morning Shows. Six-year, New York City-based director of affiliate relations Casey Silcock receives vice president stripes from Premiere Networks. In the newly-created position of vice president of affiliate relations – morning shows, Silcock will oversee affiliate sales and serve as the syndicator’s brand manager for programs featuring Elvis Duran; Bobby Bones; Brooke & JubalJohnjay & Rich; and Kane. Senior vice president of affiliate relations/talk and morning shows Peter Tripi comments, “Casey has been a valuable member of our team for the past six years, and he has made significant contributions to the growth of our industry-leading morning shows. I’m confident his leadership, sound judgment, and solid relationships with affiliate stations and talent alike will drive continued success for our programming.” Silcock previously was head of promotion for Verve Music Group, a division of Universal Music Group, and held management promotion and marketing positions at Virgin Records America.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Weekend WTXF-TV “Fox 29,” Philadelphia sports anchor Sean Brace will appear each Friday at 8:20 am on iHeartMedia Philadelphia rhythmic hot AC WISX “Real 106.1” during “Chio in the AM.” In addition, Brace will contribute to the station’s website and host a Saturday night (7:00 pm – 12:00 midnight) music show. He formerly was heard on cross-town Greater Media (now Beasley Media Group) sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” ….. It is an eventful day for San Antonio air-on talent named “Cortez.” Taking to Facebook, Tony Cortez announces he is leaving his position as assistant program director/afternoon drive talent at Alpha Media’s  CHR KTFM “Energy 94.1,” while “The Dana Cortez Show” was missing this morning at cross-town Univision Radio-owned rhythmic CHR KBBT “98.5 The Beat.” On Twitter, Dana Cortez tweets, “We have some exciting things in the works & want you to be part of.” ….. Promotions coordinator/night personality Edwin Guevara is elevated to promotions director/afternoon host at Townsquare Media Trenton, New Jersey CHR WPST “94.5 – Your New #1 Hit Music Station.” He replaces Tom Shinn, who exited last month. Guevara is approaching his third year at the station, arriving from Kemp Broadcasting Las Vegas rhythmic CHR KVEG “Hot 97.5” ….. Former Bonneville country KYGO, Denver program director Eddie Haskell is named senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s Fort Collins (Colorado) stations. According to iHeartMedia Denver area president Amy Griesheimer, “I am thrilled to have someone of Eddie’s caliber and expertise partner with us to lead [our] Northern Colorado dynasty. Eddie’s passion and brand knowledge are unmatched.” Denver region senior vice president of programming Jason McCollim notes, “Eddie’s knowledge and experience in Colorado radio are second to none. His addition to the Fort Collins team will only help to increase our already strong footprint in Northern Colorado.” Haskell adds, “I am so stoked to join the team at iHeartMedia Fort Collins. We have great brands, great programmers, and a great management team.” His prior background includes being operations manager for Cumulus Media Albuquerque and he has held various programming roles in Detroit (WYCD) and Salt Lake City (KKAT-AM). The iHM cluster in Fort Collins includes country KXBG “Big 97.9”; classic hits-oldies KXBG-HD2 “B-107.3”; classic country KIIX “AM 1410 – Country’s Greatest Hits”; CHR KSME “96.1 – Kiss-FM”; classic rock KPAW “92.9 – The Bear”; alternative KPAW-HD2 “Radio 94.9”; and news/talk KCOL “Fox News Radio 600” ….. Grammy winner – and the first “American Idol” – Kelly Clarkson is filming a pilot for a daytime (TV) talk show.  Clarkson has a deal with NBC Entertainment, but the pilot is currently not attached to any network; it is potentially being shopped for a fall 2019 debut.

Ten Radio Groups Support NAB’s Owner Cap Modification Stance – Open Letter

| August 7, 2018

“In recent months, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) has signaled that, after more than two decades, they are open to revisiting the outdated rules that govern the local ownership of radio stations. Because of this unique opportunity, our industry, working with the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), undertook a project to develop a radio industry proposal that could be presented to the FCC ahead of its 2018 quadrennial ownership review to help frame the next generation of these rules.

“Months of work by NAB board members and staff recently culminated in the NAB’s proposal to modify the current rules, which was sent to the FCC’s media bureau chief on June 15. Prior to its submission to the FCC, this proposal had been developed and vetted by a special committee of the NAB Board formed for this purpose, as well as by the full radio board itself. At both the committee and board level, the proposal to revise the ownership limits was debated and voted upon openly, and, at both levels of review, it passed with a substantial majority of support (it bears clarifying that what some have pejoratively characterized as ‘a faction’ was in fact a substantial majority).

‘As we believe this is an issue of paramount importance for the future of the radio industry, we have taken an active part in these discussions, and, like others, we have further studied the issues involved so that we may come to a carefully considered decision.  We wanted to share our conclusions in this regard, in the hope that it helps to clarify the public dialogue on this topic.  To be clear, we are fully supportive of and have endorsed the NAB proposal.

“It might be helpful to start with a little history as to why these rules exist. Regulation of public airwaves emerged in the 1930’s out of an effort to manage interference across the radio spectrum. Broadcast media ownership rules were introduced in 1940: the driving force then, as it has been for the many modifications that have taken place in the last 80 years, was the government’s desire to ensure that no one entity could exert too much influence over the flow of information, either nationally or in a single community.

“Reflecting the dynamic nature of media competition, these rules have undergone several modifications over the eight decades of their existence, each time to relax common ownership limits to reflect the competitive impact from changing technology. The proposal that the NAB sent to the FCC is simply the latest logical development in a conversation that dates back to 1940 and which, for the past eighty years and in each modification, has only been moving in one direction.

“The current numerical ownership limits were established by the Telecommunications Act of 1996. In the 22 years since then, the emergence of digital and social media, not to mention the pervasive use of smartphones and other devices, has fundamentally disrupted how information is disseminated locally and nationally. The competitive landscape for information, as well as audio entertainment, has changed dramatically. In radio, our main competitors (Facebook, Google, Spotify, Pandora, YouTube and SiriusXM, for example) did not even exist in 1996. And yet, our rules are based on that era.

“Given the vastly different competitive landscape in the information marketplace, it follows logically that the rules that were intended to limit advantage and undue influence must themselves adapt or be eliminated altogether. The rules that were originally intended to level the playing field for other competitors 80 years ago are now a constraint that inhibits radio’s ability to compete, as well as attract capital and investment. After all, on the internet, none of our competitors are subject to any of these limitations, nor were Sirius and XM subject to similar limitations to prevent their merger ten years ago.

“In addition, we would note that there are several other important factors that further reinforce our decision on this topic: First, ownership restrictions limit the ability of local stations to take advantage of economies of scale that could bolster the industry’s financial position at a time of unprecedented competition. For radio companies to continue to serve the public interest by providing local news, local sports, local weather, and essential emergency programming, these companies need to be economically viable entities, free to compete for assets, capital, and resources on a level playing field with their competitors.

“Second, common ownership will drive more format diversity, as the NAB noted in its letter to the FCC. This serves the best interests of both audiences and advertisers.  Companies will use their additional stations to experiment and develop new and micro-targeted formats, rather than compete with their existing stations. These new formats will serve specific communities and demographics in ways that most of commercial radio does not do today. This will help radio serve its audience better by providing greater consumer choice, serve its advertisers better by offering broader audience reach, and help our industry compete with the virtually unlimited channels and micro-targeted audio audiences offered by digital and satellite competitors.

“Finally, while elimination of the cross-ownership restrictions between radio, TV, and newspapers by the FCC in 2017 was a welcome and long overdue step (particularly for the newspaper business, where we believe this step, if enacted a decade ago, could have helped to save hundreds of companies and thousands of jobs), it seems counter-intuitive to us that radio companies are now allowed to expand into other forms of media, but not to expand our offerings in radio itself.  Cross-ownership only makes sense if it is also accompanied by the opportunity and choice to expand within our own industry, and in the form of media that we know best.

“At the same time, we are of course aware of the arguments against modification of the ownership rules and have considered them carefully in arriving at our conclusions. We have heard an argument that the NAB’s proposal will hurt the value of AM radio. As significant owners of AM radio stations, we have an abiding interest in the value of these assets. Nevertheless, our self-interest does not override the fact that media ownership rules were not intended to provide economic subsidies or determine winners and losers, and to use them in that way today, to advance the interest of one class or company in particular, is a perversion of their intent. Rather, the best way to ensure the value of AM stations, and to deliver for the listeners of this service, is to provide essential and important programming, and unique and valuable benefits to advertisers. In that regard, we can point to several AM stations that continue to be successful: Entercom’s [all-news siblings] WINS and WCBS-AM in New York and [all-news] WBBM-AM in Chicago, as well as iHeartMedia’s [news/talk] KFI in Los Angeles.  These were four of the top ten billers in our industry in 2017.

“Of course, it is also a reality that many AM stations are struggling in today’s competitive environment.  We think that the FCC has already addressed this issue through its AM Revitalization Effort and has given AM stations, and their owners, every available opportunity to ensure their success and longevity, short of stepping in to interfere with the functioning of a free market. This would not be the appropriate role of a regulatory agency, nor would it comport with the free market principles to which we subscribe.

“We have also heard an argument that common ownership offers no benefit to the advertiser. We disagree, and, as noted above, believe that the benefits of common ownership that accrue to the listener in the form of greater format diversity will also benefit the advertiser. Our experience in competition with digital media has been that a key point of differentiation between offline and online advertising is the latter’s ability to micro-target audiences for an advertiser, based on very specific audience characteristics. We know that advertisers value this capability, and that it drives dollar shifting from radio to digital. In conjunction with investment into and development of our own data collection and advanced audience insights, the prospect of being able to offer a greater number of unique formats, along with the localism that is our medium’s hallmark, will enhance radio’s ability to present a competitive advertising solution versus digital and social media. Yes, it is better for our advertisers if we can deliver a better product.

“Complete agreement on any issue is difficult, but given the opportunity before the FCC right now, it was vital that we find consensus. Therefore, we are pleased that the NAB was able to develop a proposal that represented the consensus of a substantial majority of its board of directors, and we thank the staff members of the NAB and the members of the ownership committee (that was formed for this purpose) for their service to the industry. Anything short of providing the FCC with a framework for reforming the radio ownership rules would have been an abdication of the job that the NAB and its board are obligated to perform.

“We respect dissenting views on this topic and hope that our thoughts, as expressed in this letter, have added to the public discourse. We know that all opinions are the result of strong feelings about what is in the best future interests of this industry, which we all love.”

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