PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on 6+ data from Nielsen Audio’s September 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk radio. More than half (54%) of the sports talk stations on Kinosian’s panel saw their weekly AQH share go up from the August 2018 survey to the September 2018 survey, led by Cumulus Media’s WGFX-FM, Nashville “104.5 The Zone,” which enjoyed a 1.4 share increase. Comparing September 2017 to September 2018, some 55% of sports talkers improved. Interestingly, Cumulus’ KNBR enjoyed a 1.2 share increase year-over-year in the San Jose market but dipped a tenth in the adjacent San Francisco market. Entercom’s WFAN, New York “The Fan” ranked #1 (6+) in the September PPM survey in the Long Island market – the only sports talker to achieve a #1 ranking. See the entire report here.
Cumulus Makes Prepayment of Portion of Loan. This $50 million discounted prepayment means Cumulus Media has paid off a portion of its $1.3 billion senior secured term loan facility due May 2022. Cumulus successfully purchases $50.2 million aggregate principal amount of term loans under the facility for $50 million (a discount to par value of 0.40%). The transaction closed on October 11, 2018 and was funded with cash from operations. The company notes that it will recognize a one-time, non-operating gain of approximately $0.2 million in its fourth quarter 2018 earnings, and its annual interest expense will be reduced as a result of this transaction.
KVI, Seattle Hosts Listener Appreciation Event. Seattle news/talk station KVI held a listener appreciation party on Tuesday (10/9) at Sinclair Broadcasting’s KOMO Plaza. The station’s local hosts joined producer Phil Vandervort on stage for a discussion of such topics as the coming midterm elections and their favorite local restaurants. Pictured (from l-r) are: KVI program director Rick Van Cise, station manager Gary Greenberg, morning host John Carlson, late morning duo Jamie Markley and David van Camp, early afternoon host Lars Larson, afternoon drive personality Kirby Wilbur, and Compass Media Networks VP of affiliate sales Adam Wilbur.
Doug Stephan Celebrates 30th Anniversary as a Continuously Running Independent Syndicated Host. It began as a morning show titled “Good Day” in a basement studio at WCKY, Cincinnati 30 years ago this week and has been on the air as a general news/talk weekday show hosted and managed by veteran broadcaster Doug Stephan ever since. Along the way, it evolved under different names and has been co-hosted by a variety of personalities alongside Stephan in addition to spawning a number of specialty shows under the corporate banner of Stephan Multimedia. The program is currently titled the “DJV Show” and, in addition to central figure Doug Stephan, is co-hosted by Jennifer Horn and Victoria Keelan. In marking the milestone, Stephan tells TALKERS, “I think for the first few months, I was talking to myself, and now after all these years, I have spoken to millions of listeners…how many…who really knows? Plus being on over 1,400 stations in the collective over the years, I am humbled by the support of so many station managers and program directors. If my count is correct, we still have some 24 stations who were on at the beginning or close to the beginning of this fabulous ride, and to all of them, and all of you, I say thank you from the bottom of my heart. I could not remain as the only host/producer of these programs which have nothing but advertiser support… no big company, no big advertiser, no big benefactor – just me and the folks on the team made this happen…wow!”
TALKERS News Notes. Programming pro Michael Cross is named operations manager for Cherry Creek Media’s seven-station cluster in Wenatchee, Washington that includes news/talk KPQ, talk simulcast KKWN-FM/KWNC-AM, and sports talk KYSP in addition to four music-formatted stations. Cross – who starts his new gig on November 5 – was most recently OM with NRG Media’s rock KFMW and classic hits KOKZ duo in Waterloo, Iowa. Cherry Creek Wenatchee market manager Kevin Andrus says, “Michael has a passion for radio and clearly understands the influence radio has in our listeners lives. He understands how to win ratings, coach talent, and manage those under his direction. Cherry Creek Media is excited to have Michael join the team.”…..Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM, Hartford inks a deal with Division III school University of Saint Joseph to broadcast the team’s home games during the school’s men’s basketball team’s inaugural season. The partnership will run through the 2018-19 collegiate season. The school recruited former University of Connecticut basketball coach Jim Calhoun as its head coach to launch its men’s basketball program. As part of the partnership, Joe D’Ambrosio, co-host of the station’s “Mornings with Ray Dunaway” program, will handle play-by-play duties for the games…..SiriusXM is debuting a new, weekly show hosted by former open-wheel racing star Danny Sullivan – winner of the 1985 Indy 500 and 1988 CART Series champion – on the Dan Patrick Radio channel. Titled, “The Real Spin with Danny Sullivan and Bill Armour” it will debut on October 15 and air every Monday…..The nationally syndicated “Motley Fool Money” radio program with host Chris Hill adds new affiliate KSOO-AM, Sioux Falls, South Dakota to its roster of stations.
Hurricane Michael Top News/Talk Story for Week of October 8-12. The destruction in the Florida panhandle from Hurricane Michael was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the release of the UN Climate Change Report and its dire warning about continued global warming. Coming in at #3 was the global stock selloff and the related interest rate hikes, followed by the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation aftermath and the related issue of Democrats accused of incivility at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s entire chart here.
“Cousin” Bruce Morrow Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. The legendary “Cousin” Bruce Morrow is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Morrow is one of the most celebrated radio personalities of all time whose remarkable career as a big-time disc jockey goes all the way back to the late 1950s when he broke into New York City radio at WINS and is still going strong today as a featured host on the SiriusXM Satellite Radio ‘60s on 6’ channel. Harrison and Morrow take a deep conversational dive into the early days of rock ‘n’ roll, their shared memories of growing up in Brooklyn, the great top 40 stations, the universals of radio communication, Morrow’s successful years in station ownership and the importance of keeping up with advances in technology. This is a must-listen for anyone who loves radio! Harrison says, “It was a thrill for me to be able to spend so much time in conversation with one of the true greats of our industry and culture. Cousin Brucie is full of joy – it pours out of him and that’s what keeps him going at such a remarkable and admirable level. It is deeply gratifying for me as a radio student, historian, and professional broadcaster to present this episode of my podcast to the world.” 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 newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.
Operations Manager Position Open at Dick Broadcasting’s Eastern NC Cluster. The five-station cluster of Dick Broadcasting in the Greenville/New Bern/Jacksonville, North Carolina market is seeking an operations manager. The company says the successful candidate will “manage a team of great program directors, air talent, and promotional personnel. We need someone that knows what leadership means! Someone who can inspire a team!” Dick Broadcasting operates sports talk WRNS-AM “The Bull,” CHR WERO-FM “Bob 93.3,” rock WXQR, country WRNS-FM, and adult hits WQSL/WQZL. The company says candidates must have experience as a supervisor, leader, music programmer, strategic thinker, and the ability to coach air talent. On air experienced preferred. The cluster is managed by market manager Tony Denton and vice president of programming Jason Goodman. E-mail all materials to email@example.com. DBC is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
WQYK, Tampa Seeks AM Drive Co-Host. Tampa country outlet WQYK is seeking a morning show co-host. The Beasley Media Group station says the successful candidate must possess strong digital skills. “We’re seeking a great communicator and story teller with a great sense of how to create great content that will be displayed across all of our platforms. The perfect candidate is great on the air, great digitally, is forward thinking and is a true content innovator. This is a very active station, heavily involved in the community and requires someone who is fearless and willing to get out of the studio and meet listeners. If you are ready to work in a building full of incredible talent with a family atmosphere and a must-win attitude, we would love to hear from you.” Qualifications include: At least three years of proven success as a morning show co-host; full understanding of PPM best practice as it applies to an on-air show; proficient with Vox-Pro, WordPress social networking platforms, interviewing, and LIVE broadcasts; and more. Send materials to operations manager Travis Daily at: Travis.firstname.lastname@example.org. Beasley is an EOE.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Phoenix-based, nationally syndicated morning duo “Johnjay & Rich” – Johnjay Van Es and Rich Berra – were inducted into the Arizona Broadcasters Hall of Fame at a ceremony last night at the Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale. The program is heard in Phoenix on iHeartMedia-owned flagship CHR KZZP “104.7 KISS FM” and is syndicated by Premiere Networks. The program debuted in Tucson on KRQ. It moved to KZZP in 2006. It’s currently heard in 20 markets across the country…..The Envision Networks-syndicated weekly Wolfman Jack show adds new affiliates” WCCW-FM, Traverse City, Michigan; WOWY, State College, Pennsylvania; and KMGZ, Lawton, Oklahoma. The stations add the classic radio program in time to also air the two-hour special “Wolfman Jack Halloween Party.” WOWY program director Bob Steele says, “I have been searching for this show for years. Knowing what a legend he was and how much fun the show was, I knew it was going to be an instant listener favorite! He is probably the most referenced DJ in history. Everyone has heard of him. I think it’s his personality that resonates with people. He makes people laugh and feel good. He often had a shocking side and I think that may be what keeps people glued to his every word.”…..Country artist Jessie Ritter from Fort Walton Beach, Florida is named the winner of Cumulus Media’s 4th annual “NASH Next” competition. The final competition event took place last night (10/11) at Nashville’s Wildhorse Saloon and featured live performances from the top 10 national finalists, and a special performance by Radio Romance, last year’s “NASH Next” winner whose single “Weekend” rose to the top 40 on the country airplay charts. Ritter will receive national radio airplay on Cumulus stations and gets a recording contract with Nash Next Records under the Big Machine Label Group umbrella…..Country music legend Dolly Parton was on the NASH campus in Nashville yesterday joining “Ty, Kelly and Chuck” in-studio to talk about her latest Netflix project, “Dumplin’,” in which she found herself working with Jennifer Aniston and Sia. Pictured below are (from l-r): Ty Bentli, Parton, Kelly Ford, and Chuck Wicks.