PPM Analysis: All-News. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s August 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on the all-news format. Almost 63% of all-news station saw their 6+ weekly AQH shares go up compared to the July 2018 PPM survey. Comparing August 2018 data to that from August 2017, more stations were down than up this year with Entercom’s WWJ, Detroit leading the pack with an improvement of almost a full share. Five all-news stations ranked in the top five in their respective markets during the August survey: Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington was the sole all-newser to rank #1 in its market; Entercom’s KCBS-AM was #2 in both San Francisco and the adjacent San Jose market; WWJ, Detroit and iHeartMedia’s KFBK, Sacramento ranked #3 in their respective markets and iHeartMedia’s WBZ-AM, Boston ranked #5. See the entire report here.
iHeartMedia to Acquire Podcast Firm Stuff Media. The companies are not commenting on the price, but The Wall Street Journal is reporting that a source familiar with the deal says iHeartMedia is paying $55 million for Stuff Media LLC, producer of the HowStuffWorks podcasts. Today’s press release notes that HowStuffWorks was founded in 1998 as a reference site. “HowStuffWorks pioneered the podcast space and was one of the first companies to turn podcasting into a revenue-generating business, bringing the medium to a mainstream audience with its informative, easy-to-understand explanations of how the world works. Today, Stuff Media is one of the nation’s largest podcast publishers, with more than 61 million global downloads and streams per month.” Its signature podcast, “Stuff You Should Know” surpassed 500 million downloads this year. iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman says, “This strategic acquisition will pair Stuff Media’s wildly popular content and strong creative capabilities with iHeartMedia’s extensive resources and massive scale through our digital platforms, social reach, and broadcast radio stations, introducing podcasts to the vast majority of the country and offering even more unique opportunities for advertisers to reach their consumers.” Stuff Media president and CEO Conal Byrne will join iHeartMedia as head of its podcast division and will report to iHeartMedia Networks Group president Darren Davis.
Beasley Fayetteville, North Carolina Preps for Hurricane Florence. As stations all across the Southeast (hopefully) prepare to serve their listening areas during Hurricane Florence’s arrival, Beasley Media Fayetteville, North Carolina checks in to share its preparation. Vice president and market manager Erika Beasley and operations manager Randy Bliss state, “Our stations are in full preparation mode here in Fayetteville. This is the time we as local broadcasters do what we do best, serve our local communities that we live and work in! The Beasley Fayetteville cluster has a very robust plan in place for our six radio stations. Of course, this region is still reeling from the effects of Hurricane Mathew that took place less than two years ago. We are developing a timeline for going into full, wall-to-wall coverage, and have TV partners in the Raleigh market that we will be using for additional information…Essential personnel staff will most likely be coming in Friday morning and staying for some time. We have made arrangements for water, food, and other important necessities. The stations all have newly updated mobile apps and we are actively pushing downloads of the apps, that will allow folks to stay tuned in even after they lose power. Our team plans to continue to broadcast via streaming should any or all of our stations face off-air situations. We also have a contingency plan to combine some our brands into a simulcast at some point so we can consolidate staff and pool our efforts together.
FOX News Announces New Streaming Video Service. The conservative news organization announces that in the fourth quarter of this year it will debut FOX Nation – an on-demand, subscription-based streaming service that will feature its top talent, including Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, and more. FOX News SVP of development and production John Finley says, “FOX News has an incredibly loyal audience and we are confident our super fans will enjoy exclusive content helmed by the personalities they know and trust, which they will have access to watch anytime and anywhere.” On demand access will be available on phones, tablets, computers, smart TVs, and anywhere else that allows streaming video. The company says that “FOX & Friends” co-hosts Ainsley Earhardt, Brian Kilmeade, Steve Doocy, “The Five” co-hosts Greg Gutfeld, Jesse Watters, Dana Perino and Judge Jeanine Pirro will all play significant roles on the platform, as will online commentator Tomi Lahren.
Zena Burns Named to Futuri Media’s Executive Team. Media executive Zena Burns joins Futuri Media’s executive team as SVP, strategic marketing and brand development. Futuri says Burns has “a 20-year history of developing strategies for driving growth for traditional media properties through digital innovation. After running all entertainment editorial for the print edition of PEOPLE Magazine’s iconic TEEN PEOPLE Magazine, as well as overseeing its digital properties, she joined the company now known as iHeartMedia as the radio industry’s first digital program director in 2006. Later, she became a key part of the team that developed and launched the iHeartRadio brand and app before founding the consulting agency Moxie Coalition.” Burns will retain her equity in the company which will remain active under the leadership of associates. The company says that in this newly created role, Burns will lead high-level marketing initiatives for Futuri, direct its marketing and communications investments, and collaborate with CEO Daniel Anstandig and Futuri’s leadership team on the development of Futuri’s suite of audience engagement and sales intelligence technology solutions. Burns will remain based in Chicago where she will spearhead the opening of a Futuri office in the major media market for the Cleveland-based company.
TALKERS News Notes. Milwaukee news/talk outlet WTMJ extends its deal with the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks to continue serving as the flagship station for the BMO Harris Bucks Radio Network. Added to the agreement this time are two new programs: a one-hour “Bucks Weekly Show” and a half-hour “Coach’s Show” that will air on WTMJ each week during the season. WTMJ and sister country WKTI are owned by E.W. Scripps but are in the process of being sold to Craig Karmazin’s Good Karma Brands. Ted Davis and Dennis Krause are the radio play-by-play on-air team…..Entercom announces two new football podcasts – one for Oakland Raiders fans titled, “The Silver and Black Podcast,” and one for the San Francisco 49ers faithful called, “Overtime.” Both are available on Bay Area sports talker KGMZ 95.7 The Game’s website and via the company’s digital platform Radio.com. “The Silver and Black Podcast” air every Monday and Friday throughout the season and is hosted by “95.7 The Game” on-air host and Oakland Raiders Radio Network sideline reporter Chris Townsend. “Overtime” airs weekly and will be co-hosted by KGMZ personalities Bonta Hill and Joe “Butcher Boy” Shasky…..Baseball Hall-of-Famer Reggie Jackson is launching a new talk show on SiriusXM. The weekly program is called “Swing Away with Reggie Jackson” and airs Saturdays at 11:00 am on the Mad Dog Sports Radio channel. SiriusXM says, “Fueled by his love of all sports, Jackson will cover a broad spectrum of sports topics on ‘Swing Away,’ and he will be joined regularly by well-known athletes and celebrities on his program, where they will discuss the headline news in baseball, football, basketball, golf and much more.”
Hurricane Florence Approaches, Bob Woodward’s Trump Book, Trump-Russia Investigation, Russian War Games, Kavanaugh Nomination, Fager Exits ‘60 Minutes’/Moonves Allegations, Positive U.S. Economic News, New iPhones Revealed, NFL Action, and MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/12). The preparation for Hurricane Florence as it approaches the Carolinas; the reaction to Bob Woodward’s new book, Fear: Trump in the White House; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; Russia’s war games and China’s joint participation; the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for Supreme Court Justice; embattled “60 Minutes” producer Jeff Fager is fired and the sexual misbehavior allegations leveled at Les Moonves; the positive U.S. economic news; Apple unveils new iPhones; the week’s NFL action; and the Major League Baseball playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the immediate build-up to the 2018 American Music Awards on October 9, official national radio partners Westwood One and Cumulus Media will present special programming as it covers the fan-voted awards show. The program takes place at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles and is being aired live on ABC-TV. Westwood One will produce “Backstage at the AMAs” for more than 25 local stations and network groups. Through its partnership with the American Music Awards and dick clark productions, WWO will also create exclusive AMA branded long-form and short-form content leading up to and following the awards…..Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that the Reach Media nationally syndicated Tom Joyner show is returning to Chicago radio on Future Vision Entertainment’s “95.1 FM Clubsteppin” heard on WLEY-HD2 and translators W236CF, Chicago and W236CG, Bolingbrook in the market. LaMont Watts owns Future Vision and tells Feder, “Bringing Tom back to Chicago was just as important as the launch of this historic station. Tom is Chicago. The listeners love him and 95.1 is excited to welcome him home.”…..Imaging pro Mark Rider is joining Entercom’s alternative WSFS, Miami “104.3 The Shark” to handle imaging voice duties. Station PD John O’Connell says Rider has “a unique, versatile and powerful voice that fits the alternative format like a glove. His delivery and style are warm, yet authoritative and that’s what set him apart from the rest.”…..Dick Broadcasting is now simulcasting CHR WKZL, Greensboro morning show “Jared and Katie in the Morning” on its Savannah, Georgia CHR WGCO “HOT 98.3.” The show consists of hosts Jared Pike and Katie Tesh with cast members Matt Wells, Thomas Marvin, and Jason Goodman…..SiriusXM is launching the limited-run Rod Stewart Radio channel on September 20. The channel will feature music from all aspects of Stewart’s career, including from his new album, Blood Red Roses.