Round One of January PPMs Released. The first of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s January 2020 PPM survey was released for 12 markets, including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s January 2020 survey period covered January 2-29. Coming off the previous Holiday survey during which Christmas music listening alters usual audience media habits, some spoken-word stations gain lost ground in weekly, 6+ AQH share. In New York, Entercom’s sports talk WFAN-AM/FM adds five-tenths to finish January with a 3.1 share and the #12 rank, while ESPN’s WEPN-FM gets six-tenths back to post a 2.1 share and the #19 rank. iHeartMedia news/talk KFI, Los Angeles gains seven-tenths for a 3.3 share and the #9 rank in the market. Nexstar Media Group’s WGN-AM, Chicago adds eight-tenths to finish January with a 3.8 share and the #8 rank. iHeartMedia’s KTRH, Houston finishes its sixth survey without setback by adding eight-tenths to finish January with a 5.4 share and the #5 rank in the market. You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways here.
Conservative Talker Steve Malzberg to Host Weekly RT America Show. Talk host Steve Malzberg is joining cable’s RT America to host the weekly media commentary program, “Eat the Press,” set to debut Friday (2/21) at 6:30 ET (with repeat broadcasts Sundays at 10:30 AM). Malzberg says, “I have been highlighting media bias to my audiences for years. Some of it is blatant. Some is less obvious, and some is actually revealed by what the media is not telling you at all. With “Eat the Press,” I relish, pun intended, the opportunity I’ve been given by RT America to make this important issue my focus. Stay hungry, because ‘Eat The Press’ will have a lot to offer each week.” Malzberg has hosted radio talk shows at WABC and WOR in New York (and in national syndication). He’s hosted his own show on Newsmax TV and served as a commentator on FOX News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, and RT America.
Entercom to Sell WAAF-FM, Boston to EMF for $10.75 Million. The latest major market FM signal to be acquired by religious broadcaster Educational Media Foundation is Entercom’s rock WAAF-FM, Boston. The price tag is $10.75 million in cash and EMP will begin operating the 107.3 FM frequency under a network affiliation agreement beginning Saturday (2/22). The WAAF transmitter is in Westborough, Massachusetts and covers the central and eastern portions of the state, including the Worcester market. Entercom states in a press release that it will continue to air the WAAF format on WWBX-HD2 104.1 FM and WEEI-HD2 93.7 FM and via RADIO.COM. Entercom says it expects the deal to close in the second quarter of this year.
Jimmy Farrell Promoted to Director of Sales for CMG Jacksonville. Sales and management pro Jimmy Farrell is moving from his general sales manager post at Cox Media Group’s Orlando cluster to the company’s Jacksonville operations where he’ll be director of sales. CMG’s Jacksonville cluster includes news/talk WKOV-FM “News 104.5.” sports talk WOKV-AM, plus five music brands. CMG Jacksonville vice president and general manager Katie Reid says, “We are pleased and proud to promote Jimmy to this new position. His entrepreneurial approach, high-impact leadership style, deep understanding of both the marketplace and Cox Media Group’s offerings has served him well, enabling him to exceed sales goals by complementing his customers’ brands and business objectives with CMG station content solutions that meet their objectives.”
Nolan Murphy Named NSM for Good Karma Brands. Sales pro Nolan Murphy is promoted from his marketing consultant post at Good Karma Brands’ Milwaukee operations to national sales manager for the company’s Chicago, Milwaukee, Madison, Cleveland, and West Palm Beach station groups. Sports talk WMVP-AM, Chicago director of sales David Scharf says, “Nolan’s skillset and attitude makes him the perfect national sales manager. His knowledge of Good Karma Brands’ assets sets us up to win partnerships quickly, while also planning and preparing us to win long term. His solutions-based approach and solid work ethic will help us develop the national division of Good Karma Brands.”
Georgia Student Chosen for Mentorship Program. Sophomore Georgia College and State University student Jonathan O’Brien has been chosen as the first quarter mentee in the Benztown Mentorship Program. The program is being sponsored by Benztown in conjunction with the National Radio Talent System and O’Brien is the third student from the NRTS to take part in the mentorship program. O’Brien – who attended the GAB Radio Talent Institute at the University of Georgia last summer – handles news duties on his college radio station, WGUR-FM, Milledgeville, Georgia and is passionate about radio news. He will be mentored by Jennifer Seelig – director of news and programming at Entercom’s all-news KCBS-AM/KFRC-FM, San Francisco – during O’Brien’s Benztown-sponsored trip to the Bay Area March 15-17. She will also mentor O’Brien virtually throughout the spring academic semester. Benztown president Dave “Chachi” Denes says, “If Jonathan O’Brien is any indication of the future of our industry, we’re in great shape. We are so pleased to be able to provide this opportunity with the assistance of our friends at the National Radio Talent System and the incredible Jennifer Seelig and KCBS.”
Oakland A’s to Be Heard Online Only in Oakland. In a first for the MLB club, this season’s radio play-by-play of Oakland Athletics baseball will only be heard
streaming online in the Oakland market. Affiliate radio stations will still broadcast games over the air but fans in the Bay Area will hear games via its TuneIn channel, “A’s Cast”. The team’s games were heard on Salem Media Group’s news/talk KTRB-AM, San Francisco “860 AM The Answer” last season. Oakland A’s president Dave Kaval says, “We really listened to our fans and saw the success with ‘A’s Cast.’ We’re doing an incredible job getting people excited about baseball and the content. Partnering with TuneIn and having a semi-exclusive platform; we think it made a lot of sense and sets the example.”
Presidential Race, Trump Grants Clemency, Stone Sentencing/Barr Criticism, Coronavirus Pandemic, Weinstein Trial Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/18). The Democrats battling to challenge President Trump in November and tonight’s Las Vegas debate; President Trump issues a number of high-profile pardons and clemencies; the controversy over the Justice Department’s change in sentencing recommendation for Trump adviser Roger Stone and the related criticism of Attorney General William Barr; the status of the covid-19 coronavirus and its effects on the Chinese economy; and the trial of former movie mogul Harvey Weinstein on sexual assault charges 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. Gone is the business talk format on Cumulus Media’s KTBL-AM Albuquerque and now the station – along with FM translator K233CG – becomes rock as “94.5 The Pit/KTBL, Albuquerque’s New Choice for Rock.” The station flipped airing Metallica’s “Master of Puppets.” Cumulus Albuquerque vice president and market manager Jeff Berry says, “We are thrilled to provide ABQ and the surrounding areas with an exciting new rock station. ‘The Pit’ will provide fans with current rock artists like Shinedown and Disturbed, laced with 90s and 2000s mega bands such as Metallica and Foo Fighters. It will be a game changer for ABQ rock fanatics and our clients.”…..In Detroit, Cumulus Media’s country WDRQ rebranded from its “NASH FM 93.1” moniker to “New Country 93.1” and replaced the syndicated “Ty Bentli Show” with the local “Electric Barnyard with Broadway & Krissy.” Bill “Broadway” Bert moves from afternoons to partner with Krissy T, who recently exited iHeartMedia’s crosstown CHR WKQI “Channel 95.5.” Station PD Lance Tidwell takes over the afternoon drive show.