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Archive for September, 2020

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

| September 30, 2020

Round One of September PPMs Released. The first of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been 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 September 2020 survey period covered August 13 – September 9. You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this batch of markets. iHeartMedia’s news/talk WOR is the only spoken-word commercial station to notch a sizable increase over its August weekly AHQ share number, rising a half share to finish with a 2.3 share and the #17 rank in the market. iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI, Los Angeles tacks on one-tenth to wrap the September survey with a 4.0 share and the #5 rank. In Chicago, Nexstar Media’s news/talk WGN falls a half share to post a 3.1 share and dipping to the #11 rank while Entercom’s crosstown all-news WBBM-AM/WFCS-FM sheds nine-tenths for a 6.4 share and slides to the #2 rank after holding on to #1 for the past seven PPM surveys. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways report here.

FOX News Channel’s ‘Hannity’ Top Cable News/Talk Show. According to a report by The Hill, FOX News Channel’s “Hannity” finished the recent July-August-September quarter as the most-watched cable news/talk program averaging approximately 4.45 million viewers, based on data from Nielsen Media Research. FNC’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight” came in second with 4.35 million viewers, followed by FOX’s “The Five” with 3.48 million, and “The Ingraham Angle” with 3.43 million viewers. The piece notes that the ratings period was marked by a heavy news cycle that included the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the national political conventions, the civil unrest, and the presidential race. As a result, FOX News Channel beat out legacy broadcast networks ABC, CBS, and NBC in total viewers for the first time and became the most-watched network on television during the quarter.

NYPost: Carton and WFAN Very Close to a Deal. The New York Post’s Andrew Marchand is reporting that Entercom’s WFAN, New York “The Fan” and former “Fan” morning personality (and convicted fraudster) Craig Carton have been in regular talks about his return and that a formal offer is expected to be made by the station “by the end of the week.” Marchand says the offer is to host the afternoon drive program but that it’s not a done deal yet. The Post has also reported that Carton has a legitimate offer on the table from Beasley Media Group’s WPEN-FM, “97.5 The Fanatic” to host morning drive there. Currently, WFAN afternoons are being hosted by former midday team Evan Roberts and Joe Benigno. At WPEN-FM, Marc Farzetta hosts the morning drive show.

Former Entercom/CBS Radio Exec Andy Bloom Gaining Traction as Political Writer/Commentator – Available for Interviews About Mail-in Voting Issue. After a long career as an accomplished radio programming, research and management executive, Andy Bloom has been finding traction lately as a political writer and talk media guest discussing the hot issues. Following a colorful career that most recently included serving as OM for Entercom’s three-station cluster in Minneapolis-St. Paul – WCCO-AM, KMNB-FM, and KZJK-FM – and prior to that, nine years as OM for CBS Radio in Philadelphia overseeing news/talk WPHT and sports/talk WIP, as well as EVP at Coleman Research and VP for radio programming at Greater Media, Bloom currently runs his own media research and consulting firm, Andy Bloom Communications, based out of Minneapolis. Since 2015, he has also developed a growing following as a writer of political and public policy articles for Newsmax Media. His latest research and analytical piece delves into the issues and complexities surrounding the mail-in ballot controversy. Read it here. The piece contains information of value about the issue to talk show hosts and Bloom has begun doing bookings on the subject and is available to do more. He can be contacted via email at andy@andybloom.com or by phone at 612-644-4737.

Gen Media Partners Forms IBA Radio Sales. The Independent Broadcasters Association and Gen Media Partners announce the formation of the new national sales and marketing team exclusively for IBA members called IBA Radio Sales. Gen Media Partners CEO Kevin Garrity says, “This is an incredible opportunity for Gen Media Partners and for IBA member stations. Gen Media Partners was built on the strength of independent broadcasters and creating IBA Radio Sales is a natural extension of that. Uniting as members of the Independent Broadcasters Association, owners and operators retain their independence while gaining the advantages of scale, allowing them to compete more effectively with large corporations. I encourage every independent broadcaster to contact [IBA president] Ron [Stone] about joining IBA to take advantage of the significant benefits that membership provides, including the IBA Radio Sales national platform. We look forward to growing as the IBA grows in membership and scope.” Stone comments, “IBA membership has been growing exponentially. To date, we have 900 members and more stations are joining every day. The number one request from prospective IBA members from our survey, conducted a few weeks ago while we were gauging interest for an IBA, was ‘we want our own rep firm.’ This opportunity with Gen Media Partners, known for successfully representing independent broadcasters in all size markets, is the ideal national sales partner to represent IBA member stations with this creation of a rep firm dedicated solely to IBA members. Our goal is for every independent operator to join IBA and reap the benefits of being represented by IBA Radio Sales. The board and I are very excited about working with Gen Media Partners to build our national sales platform and the opportunities IBA Radio Sales will bring to our members.”

TALKERS News Notes. The broadcast studio for Entercom’s sports talk WXYT-FM, Detroit is being named “The Samuelsen Studio” in honor of the station’s late air personality Jamie Samuelsen, who died on August 1 after a year-and-a-half battle with colon cancer. Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “Jamie meant so much to our station and was a key part of our listeners lives. We want to honor him in a special way, not only as a great broadcaster, but an extraordinary person. We hope the renaming of the studio will serve as a way to keep his memory alive and add to his incredible legacy here in Detroit.”…..Radio America’s nationally syndicated  “Chad Benson Show” is added to the program schedule at Alpha Media’s news/talk KXL-FM, Portland in the 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm slot. KXL joins recently added affiliate stations KTAR-FM, Phoenix; KSTE-AM, Sacramento; WOKV-FM, Jacksonville; WIBC-FM, Indianapolis; and more…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One drops the first episode of its seven-part podcast series titled, “5-4,” that addresses the Supreme Court’s role in the November presidential election. The show is hosted by by legal commentators Peter (better known as Twitter’s @The_Law_Boy), Rhiannon (@AywaRhiannon), and Michael(@_FleerUltra). The first episode focuses on nominee Amy Coney Barrett. Other topics will include: the electoral college, gerrymandering, and campaign finance…..iHeartMedia unveils a new iHeartRadio Original Podcast called “The Ten News” targeted to kids ages 8 – 12 and hosted by comedian and storyteller Bethany Van Delft. The podcast is produced by Small But Mighty Media and Next Chapter Podcasts. Van Delft says, “I’m excited to be part of a show that’s not only cool and fun to listen to but speaks to kids as smart and curious people. ‘The Ten News’ helps amplify kids’ voices and empowers them to take action.”…..SiriusXM will air a new weekly show, “Forward Progress,” across several of its channels. The program focuses on race, society and sports and is co-hosted by SiriusXM’s Jason Jackson and Kirk Morrison. SiriusXM adds that the show will address “the continuing push for racial equality and justice – from the pioneering civil rights efforts of athletes like Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown, and Bill Russell to the historic recent player protests and the groundswell of support for today’s Black Lives Matter movement across sports leagues. They will be joined by guests from around the sports world each week, including current and former players who are using their influence as public figures to create change, to discuss what more needs to be done.”…..Pictured below is KIDO, Boise morning drive host Kevin Miller hosting his presidential debate watch party. More than 500 people attended the event at the Terrace Drive-In in Caldwell, Idaho.

Entercom and Clark Atlanta University Announce Partnership. This relationship between Clark Atlanta University and Entercom Atlanta will “provide students a unique and unprecedented opportunity to gain access to one of the nation’s leading media and entertainment companies. The partnership will expose students to top representatives in programming, sales, administration, and on-air talent, among others. Additionally, it will create a pipeline for future job opportunities.” The initiative launches tonight (9/30) with a private, virtual event for students. Entercom chairman, president and CEO David Field will also attend. CAU president Dr. George T. French says, “This is an exciting opportunity for our scholars. Partnerships with media conglomerates such as Entercom are a continuation of Clark Atlanta University’s Mass Media Arts Department’s legacy and dedication to ensuring our students are prepared and globally competitive in the communications industry.” Entercom Atlanta SVP and market manager Rick Caffey comments, “This partnership with Clark Atlanta University builds on our focus to create a more inclusive and diverse team and workplace. We’re excited to share our resources and insights in the form of real-world learning, beginning with this first virtual event on the future of audio.”

The Presidential Race/Tuesday’s Debate, COVID-19 Stats & Projections, Amy Coney Barrett Nomination, BLM Movement/Breonna Taylor Case, Stimulus Deal, Jobless Numbers-The Economy, and California Wildfires Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/29). The November presidential election and Tuesday night’s first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden; the number of confirmed COVID-19 deaths and cases, the rising number in the Midwest, and projections for fall-winter outbreaks; the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court; the Black Lives Matter movement and the protests in various U.S. cities, as well as the grand jury process in the Breonna Taylor case; negotiations between Nancy Pelosi and Steve Mnuchin for a new stimulus deal; the U.S. jobless statistics and economic indicators; and the status of the deadly California wildfires 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. WPOC-FM, Baltimore morning show personality Laurie DeYoung celebrated her 35th anniversary hosting the program on the iHeartMedia country station. The station says DeYoung “has been a staple of the Baltimore radio scene throughout her career since she began broadcasting on WPOC in 1985. Laurie has interviewed many country music icons over the years, including Dolly Parton, Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood and more. For more than three decades, she has also maintained an unmatchable relationship with her local listeners, country music industry tastemakers and artists.” DeYoung was inducted into the Country Radio Hall of Fame in 2010 and named CMA Large Market Personality of 1994 and CMA Major Market Personality in 2014…..Beasley Media Group announces that the new “MJ Morning Show” on 80s hits-formatted WRBQ, Tampa Bay will include MJ’s former co-hosts Froggy and Fester, plus new addition Roxanne Wilder. MJ, a.k.a. Todd Schnitt, says, “I’m ecstatic to bring the ‘MJ Morning Show’ back to Tampa Bay on the world famous ‘Q105.’ I love morning radio, and with Fester, Froggy, and Roxanne, we’ll provide must-listen content every day.”…..Entercom Riverside is inviting listeners to remember those who lost their lives in the mass shooting at the 2017 Route 91 Harvest Festival. To honor the 58 lives lost and the survivors who still live with the trauma, country KFRG-FM “K-FROG” is hosting a virtual candlelight vigil via Facebook Live. The event will also include a reading of the victims’ names tomorrow night (10/1) at 8:00 pm PT…..Cumulus Media names Chad Heritage program director for country WGKX-FM, Memphis “KIX 106” and for adult contemporary WKIM-FM, Memphis “98.9 The Bridge.” Heritage joins Cumulus Memphis from iHeartMedia where he was national brand coordinator since 2009 and SVP of programming for iHeartMedia, Little Rock since 2006. Cumulus Memphis VP/market manager Morgan Bohannon says, “We knew Chad was a good match the first time we talked to him. He’s from the region, has had a very successful programming career and is the perfect fit to lead one of America’s best country brands with ‘KIX-106.’ He’s just the perfect fit for us and we’re excited about his joining the Cumulus team in Memphis.”…..Key Networks enters into an exclusive partnership agreement with Clear Media Network to manage all network advertising sales and network advertiser inventory operations for the new 24/7 music radio network. Dallas-based Clear Media Network was launched on September 1, 2020, and offers AC, country and adult R&B formats that are “uniquely positioned, formatted and dynamically programmed for the unique needs of the independent radio operator.”

September 2020 PPM Ratings Takeaways – Round One

| September 30, 2020

September 2020 PPM Data – Information for the September 2020 ratings period has been released for 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.

Nielsen Audio’s September 2020 survey period covered August 13 – September 9.

Managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” for spoken-word formats from these 12 PPM-markets.

NEW YORK CITY

News/Talk

  • Jumping from #20 to #17, iHeartMedia’s WOR is up one-half share in August/September (1.8 – 1.9 – 2.3, 6+). Following April’s +1.1 to 3.0 (6+), “710 The Voice of New York” was an overall -1.2 in three straight drops (3.0 – 2.4 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+).
  • This is the fourth sweep in a row that Red Apple Media-owned WABC logs a 1.4 (1.6 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4, #22 to #21, 6+).
  • In each sweep from March 2020 through September 2020, Townsquare Media’s WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” has posted a fluctuation of exactly one-tenth (.9 – .8 – .9 – 1.0 – .9 – .8 – .9, #25 to #24, 6+).

Sports Talk

  • On the heels of August’s improvement of six-tenths to 3 – its best 6+-stat since February (2.3, as well) – Entercom-owned/Yankees flagship WFAN drops one-tenth to 2.2 (#17 to #20). WFAN gained four-tenths in May/June (1.4 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+), before forfeiting one-tenth in July. Its internet stream, which logged a .3 three reports in a row, repeats August’s .4 (#32 to #31, 6+).
  • Down a collective seven-tenths in three straight sweeps without an increase (1.6 – 1.0 – .9 – .9, 6+), WEPN-FM “98.7 ESPN New York” halts the skid with a +.1 to 1.0 (#24 to #23, 6+). Entering the May sweep, WEPN-FM dropped nine-tenths in three consecutive losses (2.1 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.2, (1.5 – 1.2, 6+).

News

  • When Entercom-owned WINS this time last month notched a half-share gain to 4.3 (6+), it ended three consecutive declines that resulted in a -1.9 (5.7 – 4.9 – 4.2 – 3.8, 6+). In September though, WINS forfeits three-tenths (4.0, seventh to eighth, 6+).
  • Including September’s loss of four-tenths, co-owned/New York Mets key station WCBS-AM “News Radio 880” has an alternating up/down sequence of: 2.9 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 2.7, #11 to #13, 6+).
  • Bloomberg Communications business news WBBR “Bloomberg 1130 AM” repeats August’s .3 (6+), but slips from #36 to #37.

Public Radio News/Talk

  • A September decline of four-tenths after an August uptick of one-half share (2.8 – 3.3 – 2.9) sends WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM out of the top ten (#8 to #12). Three consecutive drops led to a -2.3 (5.1 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 2.8, 6+).
  • In four straight down or flat trends, co-owned WNYC-AM dropped roughly half (-.6) its 6+ AQH share (1.1 – .7 – .7 .6 – .5, 6+), but it pulls the plug with a +.2 to .7 (#29 to #26, 6+).

LOS ANGELES

News/Talk

  • Bouncing back from August’s decrease of eight-tenths with September’s +.1 (3.9 – 4.0, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KFI stays put in fifth-place. “AM 640” more than doubled (+2.9) its 6+ AQH share from “Holiday” 2019 through April 2020; crossed the five-share threshold; and had an April-only stay at #1 (2.6 – 3.3 – 3.8 – 4.2 – 5.5, 6+). April 2020 marked the first time KFI reached #1 since March 2011 (4.9, 6+).
  • Off six-tenths in four straight down or flat reports (1.8 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.2, 6+), Salem Media Group’s KRLA “AM 870 The Answer” applies the brakes with a +.3 to 1.5 (#28 to #26, 6+).
  • Following three down or flat sweeps in succession that accounted for a loss of four-tenths (1.4 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.0, 6+), Cumulus Media’s KABC “790 News-Talk-Evolved” is up three-tenths in August/September (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.3, flat at #28, 6+). As a result of four consecutive improvements, KABC had almost tripled (+.9) its 6+ AQH share (.5 – .7 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.4, 6+).
  • The March 2020 through September 2020 topline for iHeartMedia-owned KEIB “AM 1150 The Patriot” is: .8 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .8 – .9 – .9 – .7 (#36 to #37, 6+).

Sports Talk

  • Despite more than doubling (+.7) its 6+ AQH share in five straight up or flat moves (.5 – .5 – .6 – .6 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), the flagship of the Los Angeles Dodgers, iHeartMedia’s KLAC “AM 570 LA Sports,” backslides from #28 to #31.
  • Without an increase seven times in a row for a net decrease of seven-tenths (1.1 – .9 – .8 – .4 – .4 – .4 – .4 – .4, 6+), Disney-owned KSPN “710 ESPN” (Angels) ends the slump by picking up one-tenth to .5 (#41 to #40, 6+).

News

  • In addition to being down a collective nine-tenths in three straight drops (3.9 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+), Entercom’s KNX “1070 News Radio” exits the top ten (#10 to #11). KNX gained eight-tenths in March; was down nine-tenths in April/May (3.8 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+); and +1.0 in June.

Public Radio News/Talk

  • A September uptick of one-half share to 2.1 (6+) enables KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” to leap from #25 to #19. The Pasadena City College-owned facility had been trending: 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.6 (6+).

CHICAGO

News/Talk

  • Immediately after notching a +.3 to 3.6 (6+), thus curtailing three slips in a row that resulted in a -2.3 (5.6 – 5.2 – 4.5 – 3.3, 6+), Nexstar Media Group-owned WGN surrenders one-half share to 3.1 (6+); the White Sox flagship departs the top ten (#9 to #11). “Radio 720” previously posted four straight increases that netted a +2.6 (3.0 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 5.6, 6+).
  • Down one-half share in four straight reports without an increase (2.4 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned WLS-AM “890 AM” ends the skid with a gain of two-tenths to 2.1 (steady at #22, 6+).
  • In terms of strongest month-to-month improvement, Newsweb Corp’s Willow Springs, Illinois-licensed WCPT makes the biggest noise here with a +1.0 to 1.3 (6+) and rockets from #34 to #25. “Progressive Talk 820 AM” debuted in print this time last month with a .3 (6+).
  • Just as they were in August, Alpha Media cluster-mates (suburban Joliet) WJOL “1340 We’ve Got ‘Em Talking” and Kenosha, Wisconsin-licensed WLIP “AM 1050” are tied at #40, as each repeats last month’s .1 (6+).

 Sports Talk

  • In back-to-back sweeps, Entercom’s WSCR “670 The Score” more than doubles (+1.7) its 6+ AQH share (1.5 – 2.5 – 3.2, 6+), catapulting from #17 to #9. The Cubs’ flagship was an overall -2.0 as a result of seven successive reports without an increase (3.5 – 3.3 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+).
  • Having posted a 1.2 four times in a row (February through May, 6+), Disney/ESPN-owned WMVP “ESPN Chicago 1000” has followed with a .8 – .1.0 – 1.0 – .9 (#26 to #27, 6+).

News

  • After setting the pace the past seven survey periods, Entercom-owned WBBM-AM & WCFS-FM falters by nine-tenths (7.3 – 6.4, 6+) and segues to the runner-up slot. Immediately prior to being -1.5 in May/June (8.4 – 7.0 – 6.9, 6+), “News Radio 780 AM & 105.9 FM” was a collective +3.5 through four straight gains (4.9 – 5.4 – 5.8 – 7.7 – 8.4, 6+).

Public Radio News/Talk

  • It’s been a strange scenario the past two months for Chicago Public Media outlet WBEZ. In August, it improved by two-tenths to 3.4 (6+) yet departed the top ten (#10 to #11). It now returns the two-tenths (3.4 – 3.2, 6+), but reenters the top ten (#11 to #9).

SAN FRANCISCO

News/Talk

  • While unchanged at #21, Cumulus Media-owned KSFO “560 – The Bay Area’s Exclusive Hot Talk” is without an increase the fourth straight time for a net loss of two-tenths (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+).
  • Following five consecutive sweeps without an increase accounting for an approximately 44% loss (-.8) of its 6+ AQH share (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.0, 6+) co-owned KGO is up four-tenths in August/September (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4, #25 to #24, 6+).

 Sports Talk

  • After faltering by four-tenths in June (2.3 – 1.9, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned KNBR “The Sports Leader” (Giants) answers by more than doubling (+2.1) its 6+ AQH via three straight spikes (1.9 – 2.5 – 3.6 – 4.0, steady at #6, 6+).
  • For the fourth time in the last five survey periods, Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game” logs a .9 (.9 – .8 – .9 – .9 – .9, #28 to #27, 6+). In four straight downturns, KGMZ lost nine-tenths (1.7 – 1.4 – 1.0 – .9 – .8, 6+). Its internet stream records a .1 the third time in succession (#35 to #34, 6+).
  • Unlisted in June and July, Cumulus Media-owned KTCT resurfaced with a .1 (6+) in August and repeats it in September (#35 to #34, 6+).   

News

  • A combined -1.4 in July/August (8.9 – 8.3 – 7.5, 6+), KCBS-AM & KFRC rebounds with a half-share increase to 8.0 (6+) and shifts from second to a first-place tie. The Entercom combo was #1 in June and July. Prior to faltering by -1.4 in May, KCBS-AM & KFRC had been on top three successive sweeps and was an overall +2.2 in four consecutive up or flat moves (7.7 – 8.4 – 8.7 – 9.9 – 9.9, 6+).
  • Up three-tenths in August/September (.1 – .3 – .4, 6+), iHeartMedia business news/Oakland A’s flagship KNEW remains at #30.
  • Having logged a .2 (6+) in February, March, and April, iHeartMedia-owned KKSF-AM posts a .1 (6+) the fifth time in a row (#35 to #34, 6+). On June 30th, KKSF-AM became an inaugural affiliate of the Black Information Network.

Public Radio News/Talk

  • Up two-tenths (7.8 – 8.0, 6+), California Public Broadcasting’s KQED ties KCBS-AM at #1. Immediately in advance of August’s +.4 to 7.8 (6+), KQED was -2.5 via three drops in succession (9.9 – 8.7 – 7.8 – 7.4, 6+). Recent (6+) fluctuations for KQED include: +1.6 (November/December); -1.2 (“Holiday” 2019); +1.2 (January 2020); -.9 (February); +1.5 (March); +1.8 (April); -1.2 (May); and -.9 (June).
  • Dropping from #29 to #30, San Francisco Unified School District’s KALW “91.7 Local Public Radio” is trending: .5 – .5 – .6 – .4 (June – July – August – September, 6+).

DALLAS

News/Talk

  • Four consecutive declines by Cumulus Media’s WBAP accounted for a collective -1.4 (4.1 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.7, 6+); however, “News Talk 820” counters with a September gain of four-tenths to 3.1 (#17 to #13, 6+).
  • From March 2020 through September 2020, cluster-mate KLIF-AM “570 News & Information” is trending: .6 – .4 – .4 – .6 – .5 – .5 – .6 (#35 to #36, 6+).
  • Meanwhile, Salem Media Group-owned KSKY “660 AM The Answer” logs a .4 the fifth time in the last six reports (.4 – .4 – .4 – .5 – .4 – .4, #36 to #37, 6+).
  • The May 2020 through September 2020 trending for iHeartMedia’s KFXR is: .1 – .0 – .1 – .0 – .0 (6+); “Talk Radio 1190 AM” finished at #38 in July.

Sports Talk

  • This is the third sweep in succession that Entercom-owned/Texas Rangers flagship KRLD-FM has a fluctuation of two-tenths (1.5 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 1.7, 6+), as “105.3 The Fan” departs the top twenty (#20 to #22). Its internet stream has lost a total of two-tenths in four straight down or flat trends (.3 – .3 – .3 – .2 – .1, #38 to #40, 6+).
  • Stuck on 1.3 (6+) in June and July, Cumulus Media’s KTCK “The Ticket – All Sports All The Time” is locked on 1.4 (6+) in August and September (#23 to #25, 6+). Down one-tenth (.8 – .7, 6+), its internet stream drops from #34 to #35.
  • The March 2020 through September 2020 topline for Disney/ESPN’s KESN “103.3 ESPN Dallas” is: .7 – .6 – .8 – .7 – .7 – .9 – .8 (#30 to #34, 6+).

News

  • Notwithstanding that it repeats August’s 1.3 (6+), Entercom-owned KRLD-AM slips from #26 to #28. “News Radio 1080” was up three-tenths in June/July (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.5, 6+).

Public Radio News/Talk

  • A combined +.4 in July/August (2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+), North Texas Public Broadcasting’s KERA returns half that increase (2.7, -.2, #14 to #16, 6+).

 HOUSTON

News/Talk

  • Purging 30% of July/August’s -1.0 (6.3 – 5.6 – 5.3, 6+) with a September +.3 to 5.6 (6+), iHeartMedia’s KTRH continues in fifth-place. “News Radio 740” was +1.7 in April.
  • Co-owned KPRC “AM 950 – Houston’s More Stimulating Talk Radio,” which had a one-tenth fluctuation in each of the past four sweeps (.2 – .3 – .4 – .3 – .4, 6+), repeats August’s .4 (flat at #27, 6+).

Sports Talk

  • Stymied at .9 (6+) in July and August, Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” picks up one-tenth to 1.0 (flat at #23, 6+).
  • Advancing from #26 to #25 is iHeartMedia-owned KBME “Sports Talk 790.” The Houston Astros flagship is trending: .6 – .6 – .5 – .5 – .7 – .7 (April 2020 through September 2020, 6+).
  • Continuing the theme of repetitive AQH shares, Gow Communications’ KFNC “ESPN5” has posted either a .3 (6+) or .4 (6+) going back to “Holiday” 2019: .4 – .4 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .4 – .4, flat at #27, 6+)

Public Radio News/Talk

  • In five consecutive decreases, KUHF was an overall -1.1 (3.7 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.6, 6+), but the University of Houston outlet is up a combined three-tenths in August/September (2.6 – 2.7 – 2.9, #17 to #16, 6+).
  • The May 2020 through September 2020 topline for Pacifica Foundation’s KPFT is: .0 – .0 – .1 – .0 – .1 (#29, 6+).

ATLANTA

News/Talk

  • Not only is Cox Media Group-owned WSB-AM & WSBB-FM the market leader the 15th time in a row, “Atlanta’s News & Talk” regains the half-share it forfeited this time last month (10.6 – 10.1 – 10.6, 6+). April’s 9 marked the first time in the PPM-era that any Atlanta station reached the 13-share level (6+).
  • Despite repeating August’s .8 (6+), Salem Media Group’s WGKA “AM 920 The Answer” slips from #24 to #26.
  • Entercom’s WAOK “1380 The Voice of the Community” is in a repetitive .4 – .3 – .4 – .3 pattern (June 2020 through September 2020, #30 to #31, 6+).

 Sports Talk

  • In addition to returning the four-tenths it picked up this time last month (3.1 – 3.5 – 3.1, 6+), Entercom’s WZGC “92.9 The Game” exits the top ten (#10 to #12). In six straight reports without an increase, WZGC was an overall -1.5 (4.6 – 3.9 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.1, 6+).
  • On the heels of a +1.0 to 2.0 (6+), Dickey Broadcasting-owned WCNN “680 The Fan” falters by three-tenths to 1.7 (#18 to #20, 6+). The Atlanta Braves flagship had been down two-tenths in back-to-back reports (1.4 – 1.2 – 1.0, 6+).

News

  • Reaching a .4 (6+) in June, iHeartMedia-owned WBIN (formerly WGST “Talk Radio 640”) has followed with a .2 (July, 6+); .1 (August, 6+); and is a no-show in September. WBIN became a Black Information Network affiliate in late-June.

Public Radio News/Talk

  • This is the third time in succession that City of Atlanta Board of Education’s WABE notches a fluctuation of two-tenths (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.6, #15 to #16, 6+).
  • Unlisted in June and July, similarly-formatted WABE-HD3 surfaced with a .1 in August (#34, 6+) but is a no-show in September.
  • Unchanged at #29, Georgia State University’s WRAS notches a .5 (6+) the fifth time in the last seven reports (.7 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .6 – .5 – .5, 6+).

PHILADELPHIA

News/Talk

  • Even though it recaptures the three-tenths it squandered this time last month (1.7 – 1.4 – 1.7, 6+), Entercom-owned WPHT “Talk Radio 1210” continues at #21.
  •  Up or flat the fifth time in a row for a net gain of six-tenths (.8 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+), Townsquare Media’s WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” nonetheless backslides from #21 to #23.

Sports Talk

  • Having bounced back from June/July’s combined -1.6 (5.9 – 4.7 – 4.3, 6+) with September’s +.6 to 4.9 (6+), Entercom-owned/Philadelphia Phillies flagship WIP “Sports Radio 94.1” drops two-tenths (4.7, sixth to seventh, 6+).
  • The alternating down/up (March 2020 through September 2020) pattern for Beasley Media Group-owned WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” includes September’s half-share gain: 2.1 – 1.4 – 1.6 – 1.4 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.8 (#23 to #20, 6+).

 News

  • Similar to WPEN-FM, Entercom-owned KYW “News Radio 1060” has been evenly rotating up and down trends since March and includes September’s loss of two-tenths (6.6 – 7.3 – 5.8 – 6.1 – 5.7 – 6.1 – 5.9, flat at #4, 6+).

 Public Radio News/Talk

  • Tacking on three-tenths to August’s +.4 (4.4 – 4.8 – 5.1, 6+), WHYY progresses from seventh to fifth. In four consecutive reports without an increase, WHYY was -1.0 (5.4 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4, 6+).

 NASSAU-SUFFOLK (LONG ISLAND)

News/Talk

  • No sooner does iHeartMedia’s WOR pick up three-tenths, it surrenders four-tenths (3.9 – 4.2 – 3.8, fifth to seventh, 6+). Three just prior slumps in succession accounted for a -2.8 (6.7 – 5.7 – 4.4 – 3.9, 6+). April’s +2.9 rocketed “710 The Voice of New York” from eighth to first.
  • Without a loss the past six reports for a net increase of three-tenths (1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+), Red Apple Media-owned WABC is unlisted in September.

Sports Talk

  • Wiping away half of August’s +.8 with a September decline of four-tenths (3.1 – 3.9 – 3.5, 6+), Entercom-owned/Yankees key station WFAN slips from seventh to ninth. Its internet stream has lost three-tenths in August/September (1.1 – .9 – .8, #26 to #25, 6+).
  • This is the ninth month in a row that WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” is unlisted in Long Island. WEPN was -.5 in December/“Holiday” 2019 (2.7 – 2.5 – 2.2, #15, 6+).

News

  • Owing to a loss of eight-tenths (4.3 – 3.5, 6+), Entercom’s WINS slumps from fourth to ninth. Prior to August’s increase of four-tenths, WINS was -1.4 via three straight drops, (5.3 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.9, 6+).
  • Up four-tenths in July/August (2.5 – 2.6 – 2.9, 6+), co-owned/New York Mets flagship WCBS-AM regresses by one-tenth to 2.8 (#13 to #15, 6+).

Public Radio News/Talk

  • Following an August gain of six-tenths to 1.7 (6+), WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM stumbles by two-tenths to 1.5 (#22 to #23, 6+). WNYC-FM lost one-half share in four down or flat moves in a row (1.6 – 1.4 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1, 6+).
  • Co-owned WNYC-AM is trending: .1 – .1 – .2 – .2 – .1  (May 2020 through September 2020, #33 to #36, 6+) .
  • Having logged a .1 (6+) three sweeps in succession, Sacred Heart University’s WSUF gained one-tenth this time last month only to forfeit it in September (.2 – .1, #33 to #36, 6+).

RIVERSIDE-SAN BERNARDINO-ONTARIO

News/Talk

  • Unlisted the 12th time in succession, iHeartMedia’s KKDD “1290 News Talk IE” posted a .1 (6+) last August, September, and October.

Sports Talk

  • Co-owned KPWK “Fox Sports Radio 1350 AM,” which wasn’t in print in April or May, notches a .1 (6+) the fourth time in a row (#17 to #18, 6+).
  • Los Angeles Angels-owned (LAA 1, LLC) KLAA “Angels Radio AM 830” is unlisted the 34th sweep in succession.

 News

  • KFOO is one of 15 iHeartMedia-owned stations to become Black Information Network’s first affiliates. KFOO recorded a .3 (6+) in June, but hasn’t appeared in the July, August, or September reports.

Public Radio News/Talk

  • Off one-tenth this time last month to .5 (6+), Pasadena City College-owned KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” nearly doubles it with an increase of four-tenths (.9, #14 to #13, 6+).
  • One-tenth behind KPCC is San Bernardino Community College’s KVCR, which picks up three-tenths to .8 (flat at #14, 6+).

 SAN JOSE

 News/Talk

  • Up a combined half-share in August/September (1.6 – 1.8 – 2.1, 6+), Cumulus Media’s KGO elevates from #17 to #14. It had been an overall -1.3 in four successive slips (2.9 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.6 – 1.6, 6+).
  • After dropping one-tenth this time last month, co-owned KSFO “560 – The Bay Area’s Exclusive Hot Talk” answers with an increase of three-tenths (1.1 – 1.4, #25 to #24, 6+).

Sports Talk

  • Although remaining in ninth-place, cluster-mate KNBR “The Sports Leader” has more than doubled (+2.1) its 6+ AQH share in three straight positive spikes (1.9 – 2.4 – 3.7 – 4.1, 6+); the San Francisco Giants flagship spiraled by -1.1 in June.
  • Not only is Entercom’s KGMZ off four-tenths in August/September (1.9 – 1.6 – 1.5, 6+), “95.7 The Game” exits the top twenty (five-way tie at #19 to #22).

 News

  • A collective -2.8 via five drops in a row (6.9 – 6.4 – 5.8 – 5.6 – 4.7 – 4.1, 6+), Entercom-owned KCBS-AM roars back with a +1.2 to 5.3 (seventh to fifth, 6+). This directly follows three straight gains that yielded a +2.5 (4.4 – 5.0 – 5.7 – 6.9, 6+). KCBS-AM has been +.7 (November 2019); -.8 (December); -.7 (“Holiday” 2019); +1.2 (March); -.9 (July); -.6 (August); and +1.2 (September).
  • Doubling (+.3) August’s .3 to .6 (6+), iHeartMedia business news/Oakland A’s flagship KNEW-AM climbs from #29 to #28.
  • KKSF-AM was one of 15 iHeartMedia stations to become inaugural affiliates of the Black Information Network. Finishing at #30 in July, KKSF-AM’s May 2020 through September 2020 topline is: .2 – .0 – .1 – .0 – .0 (6+).

Public Radio News/Talk

  • Three setbacks in succession by KQED led to a -2.7 (9.3 – 8.4 – 7.7 – 6.6, 6+), but the Northern California Public Broadcasting facility posts an August/September +1.1 (6.6 – 6.9 – 7.7, 6+) and advances from second to a first-place tie. KQED was a combined +2.8 in March/April (6.5 – 7.4 – 9.3, 6+) and had a November-only stay at #1.
  • A one-tenth increase by San Francisco Unified School District’s KLAW (to 1.1, 6+) this time last month halted three consecutive slips that led to a collective loss of seven-tenths (1.7 – 1.4 – 1.1 – 1.0, 6+); however; KALW sputters by nine-tenths to .2 (#25 to #30, 6+).

MIDDLESEX-SOMERSET-UNION

News/Talk

  • A combined -1.1 in June/July (6.8 – 6.5 – 5.7, 6+), Townsquare Media’s WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” gains nine-tenths in August/September (5.7 – 5.8 – 6.6, 6+) and progresses from third to second. Three straight previous increases delivered WKXW a collective +1.6 (5.2 – 6.0 – 6.7 – 6.8, 6+).
  • In an alternating up/down sequence that includes September’s half-share uptick (1.8 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 2.2, April 2020 through September 2020, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WOR “710 The Voice of New York” leaps from #20 to a four-way tie at #15.
  • Off two-tenths this time last month (.9 – .7, 6+), following four consecutive up or flat trends that accounted for a net gain of four-tenths (.5 – .8 – .9 – .9 – .9, 6+), Red Apple Media’s WABC is unlisted in September.
  • Beasley Media Group’s WCTC “Talk Radio 1450 The Voice of Central Jersey,” which notched a July .1 (#30, 6+), isn’t listed in back-to-back reports.

 Sports Talk

  • Picking up one-tenth in both July and August (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+), Entercom-owned/Yankees key station WFAN relinquishes three-tenths to 2.2 (6+) and is part of that four-way scrum at #15. Its July increase interrupted three consecutive decreases that resulted in a -1.9 (4.2 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.3, 6+). Finishing at #30 in July with a .1 (6+), its internet stream has vanished from print in August and September.
  • Advancing from #24 to #22, WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” posts a one-tenth gain in consecutive survey periods (.9 – 1.0 – 1.1, 6+). WEPN was unlisted in Middlesex five months in a row, before reappearing in June with a 1.2 (6+).

News

  • Entercom-owned/New York Mets flagship WCBS-AM was off one-half share in May/June (2.4 – 2.1 – 1.9, 6+); up a half-share in July/August (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.4, 6+); and now surrenders one-half share in September (2.4 – 1.9, #16 to #19, 6+).
  • Immediately after logging an August +.6 to 1.4 (6+), co-owned WINS falters by three-tenths to 1.1 (#21 to #22, 6+). Through three consecutive drops, WINS was -1.4 (2.2 – 1.4 – .9 – .8, 6+).

Public Radio News/Talk

  • Albeit that it returns half of August’s +.4 (2.4 – 2.2, -.2, 6+), WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM progresses from #16 to that four-way logjam at #15. WNYC-FM had been without an increase three sweeps in succession for a net loss of -1.1 (3.1 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+).
  • After notching a .2 (6+) in May, co-owned WNYC-AM is unlisted the fourth time in a row.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

| September 29, 2020

Good Karma Brands to Launch ‘101.7 The Truth’ Targeting Milwaukee’s Black Listeners. A new radio station dedicated to serving the Black community in Milwaukee is being launched by Good Karma Brands. The company says “101.7 The Truth” will debut this year and “will feature local shows with authentic conversations about news and current events, a celebration of Black culture, and information created by and for the Black community with an emphasis on empowerment, family, faith and community. Translator W269DL (at 101.7 FM) is licensed to New WRRD LLC and currently relays that company’s progressive talk outlet WRRD-AM. Good Karma tells TALKERS that it will operate WRRD-AM/W269DL under an LMA and will file to purchase the signals. Milwaukee market sales pro Cherie Harris is joining Good Karma to serve as general manager for the station and Kyle Wallace signs on as operations manager. Harris, who’s served with iHeartMedia as an AE at urban contemporary WKKV “V-100” and WITI-TV, says, “I am thrilled to join Good Karma Brands and build a new home for Milwaukee that has been sorely missing. We are going to put together a meeting place – a place for honest and real debate, as well as welcoming conversation, and a place for celebration and connection within the Black community.” Kyle Wallace adds, “We have already started the search for the voices that will make ‘101.7 The Truth’ a destination for the stories and experiences that are relevant to the Black community. We have the resources to make sure that our new station really is a local marketplace for ideas and commerce. This isn’t a nationally syndicated project, it’s home-grown.” Good Karma Brands CEO Craig Karmazin comments, “At Good Karma Brands, we believe every voice matters. But as the events of this past year unfolded we realized there were underrepresented voices that had so much to say and needed to be heard. We believe there is a unique opportunity for us in Milwaukee to launch a station that can make a real impact across the city, and within our company. I’m excited to see how the station grows and evolves and look forward to meeting the strong demand for compelling and targeted content for Milwaukee’s Black community.” The station is actively seeking staff for several positions, including talk hosts, producers, news reporters, as well as sales and marketing coordinators. See more about those positions here.

Pending Business: Your Next Sales Meeting. Sales and marketing consultant Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications, writes today about the important relationship between sales manager and seller, most specifically as it relates to what sellers take away from sales meetings. He says that is the responsibility of the manager to visualize the end – or what the seller will take away – and build the path to get there. Read his column here.

Profile: KFI, Los Angeles Keeping Listeners Engaged in Unusual Times. Los Angeles news/talk outlet KFI is the subject of today’s profile by TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian. Like most every radio station in the country, the iHeartMedia news/talker has had to do its job of informing and entertaining with most staffers working from home – a challenge for any station but an especially difficult one for a station dedicated to presenting a quality news product as well as an almost entirely live-and-local talk show lineup. And KFI has succeeded at this task under the guidance of program director Robin Bertolucci and assistant program director Neil Saavedra. KFI is the nation’s highest cuming news/talk station based on Nielsen Audio’s August PPM survey. Read more about how KFI is keeping Angelenos tuning in during this time of unprecedented disruption here.

Westwood One Renews ‘Chris Plante Show.’ The Washington, DC-based Chris Plante show and Cumulus Media’s Westwood One sign a new deal to continue their business relationship for several more years. The program airs live from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon and is heard on 130 affiliate stations, including flagship WMAL-FM, Washington; WLS-AM, Chicago; KCMO-AM, Kansas City; and more. Cumulus Media EVP and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “WWO is excited to renew our partnership with Chris, as his unique perspective and strong journalistic background create an invaluable listening experience for his loyal fans. As we enter one of the most interesting and impactful elections of our time, it is more important than ever to provide the insights that inform a nation that is hungry for information.”

TALKERS News Notes. A new Pew Research Center study that looks at the news landscape on YouTube indicates that “about a quarter of all U.S. adults (26%) say they get news on YouTube.” PRC says it found “an ecosystem in which established news organizations and independent news creators thrive side by side – and, consequently, one where established news organizations no longer have full control over the news Americans watch.” About one-in-five YouTube news consumers (23%) say they often get news from YouTube channels affiliated with external news organizations, while an identical portion of consumers (23%) say they often get news from independent channels, defined in this study as “news channels that do not have a clear external affiliation.” See the study here…..Cumulus Media’s Dallas sports talker KTCK-AM/FM “The Ticket” helped raise $105,972 for the Dallas non-profit organization Cornerstone Clothes Closet through its 7th annual “Drop Your Pants Clothing Drive.” Afternoon personality Bob Sturm, who spearheads the effort, says, “Absolutely floored that our listeners got behind this in such a big way and helped us manage a virtual Drop Your Pants this year. I could not believe we broke $100,000 in donations after our initial goal of about $30,000. The listeners of this radio station never cease to amaze me with their generosity in supporting incredible causes in our community.”…..In Fresno, Cumulus Media’s KMJ-AM/FM “NewsTalk 580/105.9” recently teamed with local agriculture company Gar Bennett to raise money for The Central California Food Bank, and listeners came through with amazing generosity, donating $361,000. Gar Bennett Inc. matched every donation with 50 cents on the dollar to the tune of $180,500 for a grand total of $541,500. The funds will help the Central Valley’s less fortunate residents by providing more than 3.6 million meals…..Virtual News Center has adds by Statesville Family Radio Corporation’s country WAME-AM/W255BD to its roster of affiliate radio stations…..DWCommunications, LLC announces today that the national sports talk show “From the Press Box to Press Row” with host Donal Ware begins airing on SiriusXM’s ESPNU Radio on Friday, October 2. The program focuses on Historically Black College and University sports and will air each Friday at 7:00 pm ET. Ware says, “There are so many untold stories within the HBCU sports world and more known stories that need to be reemphasized and that’s what we plan to bring to the ESPNU Radio listening audience each week.”

The Presidential Race/Tonight’s Debate, COVID-19 Stats & Projections, Trump Tax Story, Stimulus Negotiations, Amy Coney Barrett Nomination, BLM Movement/Protests, and California Wildfires Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/28). The November presidential election and tonight’s Donald TrumpJoe Biden debate in Cleveland; the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and concerns for the fall-winter seasons; the New York Times piece detailing Donald Trump’s tax history and personal financial situation; the negotiations between Nancy Pelosi and Steve Mnuchin over a new stimulus package; the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court; the Black Lives Matter movement and the protests in various U.S. cities; and the California wildfires 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 Andy Winford is named program director for Cumulus Media’s KSKS-FM, Fresno “93.7 KISS Country.” He’s been serving as program director for KATM-FM, Stockton-Modesto “KAT Country 103” since 2016 and will continue in that role as well. Cumulus Fresno VP and market manager Patty Hixon says, “I am thrilled to have Andy join our team in Fresno. ‘KISS’ is a formidable brand in Central California and having Andy take on this new challenge along with programming ‘KAT Country’ in Modesto will provide a wonderful synergy never before seen in Central California. Two very historical brands will be super-serving our listeners during this most critical time in our lives. Andy has great knowledge of both markets and platforms. He’ll be a great asset to KISS!”…..The WHTZ, New York-based, Premiere Networks-syndicated “Elvis Duran and the Morning Show” is the new morning program on Evanov Communications’ CIRR-FM, Toronto “Proud-FM 103.9,” effective October 5. The addition marks the program’s first Canadian affiliate and is a result of Premiere’s partnership with Orbyt Media…..Cox Media Group Orlando today announces Spanish hits WOEX, Orlando brings Epi Colon and Bebo Adames aboard to host the “Epi & Bebo In The Morning on Exitos 96.5.”

Pending Business: Your Next Sales Meeting

| September 29, 2020

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp
President

 

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Prep time vs. sales time.

I know this sounds unbelievable but here goes. For more than 30 years, it took me 10 hours to prepare a one-hour sales meeting. Many of my sales proposals didn’t have a 10:1 ratio. For my sales meetings it didn’t matter if there were visuals, handouts, or materials of any kind. The ratio was consistent 10 hours of prep to one hour of stand-up. What mattered was, “What actionable items will this team try when they leave the room?” In other words, I mentally ended the meeting and reverse engineered how we got there. Simple, direct, and focused, over 2,000 sales meetings from coast-to-coast all contemplated the same way. Visualize the end and build the path to get there. It worked for me from South Florida to San Francisco.

Read More

Monday, September 28, 2020

| September 28, 2020

Monday Memo: It’s Not Debatable. As the president and his challenger prepare to take the stage tomorrow night, consultant Holland Cooke can’t resist an analogy about radio programming vs. digital challengers. Read it here.

Amy Coney Barrett Nominated for SCOTUS Seat, the Presidential Race/Tuesday Debate, COVID-19 Stats & Projections, NYTimes Trump Tax Story, BML Movement/Protests, and Western Wildfires Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The president introduces Amy Coney Barrett as his nominee for the Supreme Court; the November presidential election and Tuesday’s first debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden; the rise in positive COVID-19 cases, especially in the U.S. Midwest, and projections for future cases; the New York Times piece that details President Trump’s tax, income, and debt situation; the Black Lives Matter movement and the protests in numerous cities across the country; and the ongoing wildfires in California, Oregon and others were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

iHeartSports Network Debuts. The new iHeartSports Network from iHeartMedia launches today, “servicing more than 500 broadcast stations and their digital streams throughout the country, across multiple formats.” The company says the new network, “with a monthly reach of 75 million listeners, will feature some of the biggest names in sports including Cris Collinsworth, Colin Cowherd, Dan Patrick, Joy Taylor and more.” The iHeartSports Network will deliver short-form national, regional local sports reports to listeners on formats that index high against sports interest, including rock, country, hip hop, classic hits, news, talk and sports. The company adds, “Scarborough found that 83% of sports fans want a daily update. Nielsen confirms that 89% of sports fans listen to radio each week and radio listeners typically tune in multiple times per day. Research also indicates that almost two-thirds of sports fans do not have the time to seek out additional desired information, so the iHeartSports Network will deliver sports reports to listeners conveniently and timely wherever they are.” iHeartMedia Markets Group president Greg Ashlock states, “This is a product driven network responding to the interests of our listeners. People are passionate about sports and this will deliver the timely regional and local coverage they care most about along with the biggest national stories.”

Sarah Foss Joins Entercom as Chief Information Officer. Advertising executive Sarah Foss is named chief information officer for Entercom. In this role, Foss will “provide strategic direction and oversight for the design, development, acquisition, operation and support of the company’s enterprise technology systems and programs. She will also collaborate with cross-functional executives to create a vision for how digital, data and analytics, and new technologies can help create a differentiated experience and drive efficiency in operations.” Foss was most recently senior vice president, strategic initiatives for FreeWheel Advertisers. Prior to that role, she was general manager, ad tech for Imagine Communications. Entercom EVP and CFO Richard Schmaeling says, “This role is critical to our success in the constantly evolving media landscape and we’re thrilled to have Sarah on board. Her strong business acumen and enriched media technology intellect is incredibly valuable as we continue to evolve and elevate our business.” Foss adds, “I’m thrilled to be joining Entercom at this exciting time in media. We have a unique opportunity to leverage outstanding content and deep community relationships to reach new, targeted audiences through our digital and broadcast platforms. Smart technology choices will accelerate this for us.”

TALKERS News Notes. The first presidential debate of the 2020 campaign is tomorrow night (9/29) from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and ABC News Radio is offering three hours of live, anchored coverage the night of the debate, including a one-hour pre-show, followed by the debate and live post-debate analysis. Correspondent Aaron Katersky anchors coverage with reporting and analysis by correspondent Karen Travers, political analyst Steve Roberts, political director Rick Klein, deputy political director MaryAlice Parks, FiveThirtyEight’s Galen Druke, and others from ABC News’ and FiveThirtyEight’s political teams. ABC News Radio will also offer multiple one-minute “Status Reports” throughout the night…..Entercom’s news/talk KNSS-AM, Wichita takes home three top honors in the 2020 Kansas Association of Broadcasters Television & Radio Awards. The station won first place for Complete Newscast by Steve McIntosh, Ted Woodward, Jad Chambers, Ronelle Williams; Complete Sportscast by Ted Woodward; and Station Website…..A new podcast series called “The Frost Tapes” is coming to the iHeartRadioplatform. It is an original podcast featuring unheard interviews of towering figures in American life during the 1960s and 1970s conducted by legendary broadcaster David Frost and hosted by his son, Wilfred Frost. Debuting on October 6, the podcast will include unaired behind-the-scenes footage from Frost’s famous 28-hour interviews with Richard Nixon, and huge swathes of interviews that have not been heard since their original broadcast date 50 years ago.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Radio pro Todd Schnitt is returning to morning drive in Tampa Bay in his alter ego MJ as “The MJ Morning Show” joins Beasley Media Group’s WRBQ-FM “Q105,” effective October 5. As a result of this move, current longtime morning personality Mason Dixon takes over afternoon drive and Geno Knight shifts to middays. Schnitt continued to host his afternoon drive, Compass Media Networks nationally syndicated talk program “The Schnitt Show.” The Schnitt Show on Compass Media Networks. Beasley Media Group Tampa vice president and market manager Steve Triplett says, “We are excited and proud to bring the ‘MJ Morning Show’ back on the legendary Q105. For nearly two decades, the people of Tampa Bay welcomed this show into their lives and made it one of the most successful content franchises in the history of the market. I can’t think of a better time to return this first-class entertainment experience back to the people of Tampa Bay!”…..Los Angeles-based “Valentine In The Morning” is the new morning program on iHeartMedia’s adult contemporary KSOF, Fresno “Soft Rock 98.9.” The program features Valentine along with his co-hosts Jillian Escoto and Kevin Manno. To make room for the program, Teri-Ann Schlesser moves to middays…..Programming pro McConnell Adams is promoted to director of content for Townsquare Media’s Lansing station group. He’s been serving as brand manager for CHR WJIM-FM “97.5 Now” and adult contemporary WFMK. He says, “I am truly blessed for the opportunities I have been presented by this amazing company. Our multi-platform, ‘Local First’ strategy is second to none at delivering local, original content and entertainment. I am really excited to be working even closer with the talented team here to continue our amazing success.”…..Morning personality John Houston is retiring from Woof Inc’s adult contemporary WOOF-FM, Dothan, Alabama after a 44-year career in radio. The Dothan Eagle reports on Houston’s career and his decision to start sleeping in and spend time with his children and grandchildren.