BIA Kelsey: WTOP-FM, Washington Top Billing U.S. Radio Station. This is a repeat for the Hubbard Radio all-news station. BIA Kelsey, in its “Investing in Radio” Market Report, reports the top 10 billing radio stations in the U.S. and WTOP-FM repeats at #1 having billed $67.8 million in 2017. Entercom sports talk WFAN, New York came in #6 – down two slots from last year – with $41 million billed. The rest of the top 10 consists of spoken-word stations: Entercom’s all-news WINS-AM and WCBS-AM in New York come in #7 and #8, respectively, with $41 million in billing, followed by Entercom’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago at #9 ($40 million) and iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI, Los Angeles at #10 ($35 million). See more here.
Report from NAB 2018. Media consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas reporting from the 2018 NAB Show for TALKERS magazine. Sunday’s activity featured the Digital Futures session and Cooke says if anyone needs proof of the potential for podcasts as revenue builders, look no further than the newspaper business that is jumping feet-first into the medium. Gatehouse Media’s Peter Newton says his company is building mini-studios in all 50 of its markets by year’s end. Despite the attacks on traditional media outlets as news sources, Pew Research finds that local news organizations are ranked most trustworthy while social media ranks #4 in trustworthiness. See more of Cooke’s report from Las Vegas here.
Paralyzed Vocal Cord Sidelining WSCR, Chicago’s Dan McNeil. WSCR, Chicago personality Dan McNeil is off the air for a while (he’s been off since March 28) and lets listeners know that he’s suffering from a paralyzed vocal cord. He writes the following Facebook post: “After six hours with my new otolaryngology team, here’s the news: Gratefully, I’m cancer free, emphysema free. The flip side is I have a paralyzed right vocal cord. The larynx was injected with a collagen gel, designed to separate the two cords. Recovery time varies. I will do all in my power to expedite the process. The timing couldn’t be worse. And I haven’t been this excited to open a mic since the morning after “17 Seconds” in Boston in ’13. We will reboot ‘McNeil & Parkins’ on ‘670 The Score’ as soon as possible. Meanwhile, I will be writing columns for the site and trying to be a good teammate, promoting all of our shows via social media. So sorry. Thank you, Danny Parkins, Nick Shepkowski, Chris Tannehill, Mark Grote, George Ofman and my management team for your humanity.”
Kilmeade and Hurley Raise $30k for Charity. Friday (4/6) was the 10thAnnual Dinner and Silent Auction to benefit WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley’s “Hurley in the Morning” charity. FOX News Channel’s Brian Kilmeade helped Hurley raise some $30,000 for the charity. He also held a private book signing for 260 invited guests at the Resorts Casino -Hotel in Atlantic City. Hurley says, “Brian is one of the most decent, generous and hard-working gentlemen in our business. He hosted ‘Fox & Friends’ and his radio program and left immediately for our event. Brian is a superstar who is humble and incredibly engaging.”
The 11thAnnual Hersky Awards. It is awards season and H-and-H Communications president Al Herskovitz today presents the winners of the 11thannual Hersky Awards – honors given to those who show outstanding achievement in the arena of talk radio sales and advertising. See who this year’s winners are in the categories of: best live read, best presentation of a local product/service by a national host, top produced national commercial, and best singing commercial/jingle here.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Visits Flinn Broadcasting. Pictured above with the staff of Flinn Broadcasting in Memphis is FCC Chairman Ajit Pai (third from left). The chairman stopped by the company’s offices on April 5. Pai spoke with owner Dr. George Flinn about issues including: continuing simplification of radio rules and the continuing availability of FM translators. Chairman Pai spent 30 to 40 minutes on site, met with the company’s staff and management. He also was interviewed by the Memphis Business Journal.
TALKERS News Notes. There’s still no Kevin Klein on Entercom’s sports talk/hot talk hybrid KEGY, San Diego “97.3 The Machine.” The station is still airing promos that tout it as the flagship of San Diego Padres baseball, but as of this morning (4/9), the station is still airing rock music in the morning drive daypart – although Klein’s name is still listed on the website as the morning drive personality…..Delmarva Education Association-operated WZNZ-AM/W262AG, Jacksonville, Florida changes from business talk to news/talk as “Talk 100.3.” The station airs conservative talk shows including Salem’s Hugh Hewitt, Courtside’s Laura Ingraham, Dave Ramsey, and Compass Media’s Gordon Deal, alongside religious programming and business shows…..Radio research pro Laura Ivey joins Edison Research, directing various aspects of Edison’s growing practice in audio and social media. She will also take a role in Edison’s election research. Edison president Larry Rosin says, “Laura will be an outstanding addition to our team. She has a comprehensive understanding of the audio space and Edison’s clients will really enjoy working with her.” Ivey has served in various roles with Arbitron and Nielsen Audio since 1996…..Gow Media announces that it is adding ESPN Radio’s Stephen A. Smith show to the program schedule on “SportsMap 94.1FM.” The program follows the local Charlie Pallilo program…..Boston sports personality Danny Picard launches a new YouTube series called “363: OFF THE AIR” available on his YouTube channel. He says, “I’m always trying to provide new, original content, but I’m extremely excited to show off my latest YouTube creations. There’s a real opportunity here to continue to build my brand in a unique way, without any restrictions.”
Deadly Syria Gas Attack, Mexican Wall/Immigration Policy, Jimmy Kimmel-FOX News Feud, Financial Markets Activity, Zuckerberg to Testify Before Congress, North Korea Nukes, and MLB and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The deadly gas attack on civilians in Syria and Russia’s blaming of Israel; the status of President Trump’s proposed Mexican wall and U.S. immigration policy; the feud between Jimmy Kimmel and FOX News Channel personalities over Kimmel’s targeting Melania Trump in a sketch; the activity of the world’s financial markets in response to tariff threats; Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify before Congress on Tuesday; North Korea signals willingness to talk about denuclearization; and Major League Baseball and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Mike Gallagher in London. Pictured above is Salem Radio Network syndicated talk host Mike Gallagher in London with a constable from the London Metropolitan Police. SRN says that Gallagher is in London investigating reports that the crime rate there has exceeded that of his home base in New York City.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. The rumored hiring of Ed Lover to host the morning drive show at Entercom’s classic hip hop and R&B WBMX-FM, Chicago “104.3 Jams” is a reality as the company announces he’ll begin hosting “The Ed Lover Morning Show” with lifelong Chicagoan Jennifer Farina, known as “Jen BT,” starting Thursday (4/12). Entercom Chicago market manager Jimmy de Castro says, “Ed Lover is as smooth as his name and we’re looking forward to having him take the helm of mornings on Chicago’s #1 station for throwbacks. His deep connection and knowledge of classic hip-hop and R&B along with his energy and drive will help Chicagoans start their mornings on the right note.”…..Entercom re-brands alternative KKDO, Sacramento from “Radio 94.7” to “ALT 94.7, Sacramento’s Alternative.”…..Westwood One reveals its latest 24/7 music format called Classic Rock X. WWO says the format debuted on Forever Media’s WRQY, Wheeling, West Virginia “Rocky 96.5.” The company says the format was developed in conjunction with Forever and will soon be featured in more of their markets, as well as offered to the marketplace at large. It’s a harder-edged classic rock format with core artists AC/DC, Def Leppard, and Guns N’ Roses replacing such acts as Doobie Brothers, Eagles, and Bruce Springsteen. It also includes songs from Nirvana, Alice In Chains, and other mainstay 90s bands.”…..Alpha Media’s Wenatchee, Washington cluster brings the “JACK FM” format to the market on translator K232ED, Wenatchee as “94.3 JACK FM.”…..The 53rd ACM Awards take place this Sunday (4/15) live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and will broadcast LIVE at 8:00 pm ET on the CBS Television Network. Westwood One and Cumulus Media are the official national radio partners for the 53rd Academy of Country Music Awards and Westwood One will welcome more than 25 of the top country stations in America to its Westwood One Backstage at the Academy of Country Music Awards. Through its partnership with the Academy of Country Music and dick clark productions, WWO will also create exclusive ACM branded long-form and short-form content leading up to and following the awards. The one-hour “ACM Red Carpet” is being hosted by Elaina Smith and both the three-hour “ACM Broadcast Companion’ and the “ACM Winner Wrap Up Show” are being hosted by Shawn Parr and Elaina Smith…..Mikadety Radio files to transfer KDSN-AM/FM (currently airing a variety format and an adult contemporary format, respectively) Denison, Iowa to University of Northwestern-St. Paul. University of Northwestern-St. Paul is a Minnesota-based non-profit corporation headed by Alan Cureton. It owns 42 licenses, of which 18 are full-power stations in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Missouri, Kansas, Connecticut, Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota.