Round Three of October PPM Ratings Released. The third of four rounds of October 2019 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. The October 2019 rating period covered September 12 to October 9. Here are some of the ratings gains (6+) of note from this group of markets: Bonneville’s KSL-AM/FM, Salt Lake City puts up an astonishing 2.4 share increase from last month to finish at a 6.4 share and a #3 rank in the market; Alpha Media’s news/talk KXL-FM, Portland adds 0.4 to its September number for a 5.1 share and a rise to the #5 rank in the market; iHeartMedia’s WOAI, San Antonio adds to its four-sweep, upward trend to finish the October survey at a 5.7 share and a #2 rank in the market; in Pittsburgh, Entercom’s news/talk KDKA-AM adds 0.4 tenths to finish at a 4.1 share and the #10 rank while sports talk sister KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” increases 0.8 for 7.1 share and remains ranked #4; and Entercom’s sports talk WKRK, Cleveland adds 0.9 tenths to its four-month upward trend to finish with a 5.3 share, good for a #8 rank in the market. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian, as he does each month, presents his “Takeaways” from the performances of each market’s spoken-word and music stations. See his “Takeaways” from this first round here. You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.
Cumulus Names Robert Berju Vice President of Finance and Strategy. Media finance pro Robert Berju joins Cumulus Media in the newly created position VP, finance and strategy. In this role, Cumulus says Berju “will lead financial planning and analysis, budgeting and forecasting, capital management, and modeling of strategic initiatives, while having financial oversight of Westwood One.” Berju is based in New York City. Berju was most recently with Clever Devices as SVP, finance and accounting. He previously served with iHeartMedia as VP, corporate finance and as VP, finance and operations for AMC Networks. Cumulus Media EVP, marketing and president, Westwood One, Suzanne Grimes says, “Robert is a highly accomplished media veteran with over two decades of finance, accounting, and strategic planning experience. He will play an important role in building upon the success of Westwood One and propelling the organization to new heights in 2020 and beyond.”
SiriusXM Reports Third Quarter Pro Forma Revenue Up 7%. Reporting 2019 third quarter financial data, SiriusXM says revenue jumped 36.7% to $2.01 billion due to the impact of the February acquisition of Pandora. Revenue was up 7% on a pro forma basis. However, net income was $246 million – down from $343 million during the same period a year ago – due largely to expenses tied to redeeming its 6% senior notes due 2024 alongside prior-year non-recurring tax benefits. Still, the satellite/internet radio business added 210,000 net subscribers, pushing the service’s total to 34.6 million. Self-pay subscribers now total 29.6 million. Pandora’s ad revenue rose 8% to $315 million, an all-time high for the service.
TALKERS News Notes. As the wildfires in California continue to create havoc, ABC News Radio says that it is providing extensive coverage with correspondent Alex Stone having spent two days on the fire lines in Northern California covering the Kincaid Fire and correspondent Jason Nathanson on the fire lines in Southern California. Stone will also host the ‘Start Here’ podcast on Thursday and Friday morning from Los Angeles with a heavy focus on the wildfires…..The content creators at public media organization WHYY-FM in Philadelphia voted overwhelmingly to recognize SAG-AFTRA as their union with 99% voting in support. The election was conducted by the National Labor Relations Board. The move allows the unit to proceed with negotiating a first contract. The new bargaining unit will cover the public media professionals who create content for all areas of the station, including radio, television and digital. It also covers those working in the news department, on the digital team, on podcasts, in the production departments and on “Fresh Air with Terry Gross,” “The Pulse,” “Billy Penn,” “PlanPhilly,” and “Radio Times.”…..iHeartMedia announces the premiere of “Second Oil Age,” a new, scripted sci-fi podcast set in a deep-sea adventure in a post-energy crisis world. The first three episodes are available on the iHeartPodcast Network and new episodes debut every Tuesday and Thursday. The podcast is written by host Robert Lamb and follows Synøve Pan, voiced by Angèle Masters, a specially conditioned agent of the UDEX Oil Corporation as she investigates the disappearance of an oil executive on the deep-sea Atlas Station. iHM says, “The 10-episode scripted podcast will have true sci-fi fans not only hooked but left with their blood pumping.”
Al Herskovitz Honored by the Media Roundtable in Sarasota. TALKERS marketing director Al Herskovitz was honored yesterday (10/30) at the monthly luncheon gathering of the Media Roundtable, a Sarasota, FL-based, 300-plus member organization of active and retired media professionals. Herskovitz (right) pictured with the organization’s chairman Dick Miller (left) was honored for his “years of success in the media and great service to the Media Roundtable.” TALKERS founder Michael Harrison states, “We are so proud of Al and indeed lucky to have his knowledge and wisdom to draw upon. At 88, he is still going strong and brings a wealth of career experience to our ‘table’ that spans the decades and centuries. He is indeed an industry treasure and we love him.”
Impeachment Inquiry, California Wildfires, Twitter Bans Political Ads, 2020 Presidential Race, APEC Summit Canceled/U.S.-China Trade Deal, and Nationals Win World Series Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/30). The testimony for the impeachment inquiry against President Trump; the millions affected by the California wildfires and the PG&E power blackouts; social media platform Twitter announces a ban on political ads; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; Chile cancels the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit due to civil unrest and the related U.S.-China trade deal; and the Washington Nationals upset the Houston Astros to win the World Series 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. Programming pro Jake Thomson rises to program director at Dick Broadcasting’s country WUBB, Savannah-Hilton Head “BOB 106.9,” taking over for Hunter Meyer, who exited the station back in May. Thomson will continue to host the PM drive daypart…..Air personality Isaac Wenzel exits iHeartMedia’s Madison country outlet WMAD “96.3 Star Country. He was also in charge of promotions for the company’s Madison station group.