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Archive for December, 2020

December 2020 PPM Ratings Takeaways – Round One

| December 22, 2020

December 2020 PPM Data – Information for the December 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 December 2020 survey period covered November 5 – December 2.

Here are some highlights from spoken-word stations finishing in their respective markets’ top 20.

NEWS/TALK

  • After doubling (+1.8) its 6+ AQH share in four straight gains (1.8 – 1.9 – 2.3 – 2.8 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WOR “710 The Voice of New York” forfeits nearly half that windfall with a December 2020 -.8 to 2.8 (6+) and departs the top ten (#9 to #13).
  • Six straight up or flat reports by WABC net three-tenths (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+) as the Cumulus Media New York outlet cracks the top twenty (#21 to #20).
  • In addition to progressing from fourth to third, iHeartMedia Los Angeles’ KFI “AM 640” is up a collective seven-tenths in four straight sweeps without a loss (3.9 – 4.0 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.6, 6+).
  • Off a collective eight-tenths in four consecutive dips (3.6 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.8, 6+), Nexstar Media Group Chicago’s WGN “Radio 720” continues at #11.
  • Cross-town Cumulus Media-owned WLS-AM “890 AM,” which was up six-tenths via three straight gains (1.9 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.5, 6+), surrenders half that windfall (2.2, -.3, #13 to #15, 6+).
  • More than doubling (+1.1) its 6+ AQH share in five successive sweeps without a loss (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 2.1, 6+), Cumulus Media San Francisco’s KGO jumps from #19 to #15.
  • After posting four straight flat or up trends for a net gain of three-tenths (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 2.0, 6+), KGO cluster-mate KSFO “560 – The Bay Area’s Exclusive Hot Talk” relinquishes the entire gain (1.7, #16 to #19, 6+).
  • In three straight upticks, Cumulus Media Dallas’ WBAP was +2.2 (2.7 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 4.9, 6+), but “News Talk 820” erodes by nine-tenths to 4.0 (fourth to seventh, 6+).
  • An overall +2.1 in three successive gains (5.3 – 5.6 – 6.5 – 7.4, 6+), iHeartMedia Houston’s KTRH “News Radio 740” returns one-third of that increase (6.7, -.7, 6+) and ends its November-only run at #1 by segueing to #2.
  • After being a cumulative +1.4 through three straight increases (10.1 – 10.6 – 11.0 – 11.5, 6+), Cox Media Group-owned WSB-AM & WSBB-FM plummets by -1.8 to 9.7 (6+); however, “Atlanta’s News & Talk” is #1 the 18th time in succession.
  • Following three straight gains that accounted for a +1.1 (1.4 – 1.7 – 2.2 – 2.5, 6+), Entercom Philadelphia’s WPHT “Talk Radio 1210” falters by four-tenths to 2.1 (6+) but remains at #17.
  • Having been a combined +1.1 in October/November (3.8 – 4.4 – 4.9, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WOR “710 The Voice of New York” returns roughly half that boon (4.3, -.6, 6+), tumbling from fourth in the Long Island report to ninth.
  • Unlisted 13 successive Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario sweeps, iHeartMedia-owned KKDD “1290 News Talk IE” resurfaced this time last month with a .1 (6+) and adds one-tenth (.2, #18 to #16, 6+).
  • Six straight San Jose sweeps without a loss yield an overall +1.1 (1.6 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+) as Cumulus Media’s KGO enters the top ten (#11 to #10).
  • The third decrease in a row by Townsquare Media’s WKXW accounts for a collective -1.9 (6.6 – 6.1 – 5.7 – 4.7, 6+) with “New Jersey 101.5” falling from fourth in Middlesex-Somerset-Union to sixth.
  • Following three consecutive Middlesex gains that resulted in a +1.2 (1.7 – 2.2 – 2.6 – 2.9, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WOR “710 The Voice of New York” regresses by seven-tenths to 2.2 (#15 to #17, 6+).

NEWS

  • Up two-tenths this time last month, Entercom New York City’s WINS drops one-tenth (3.4 – 3.3, 6+) but repeats at #10.
  • In four consecutive down or flat sweeps, cluster-mate WCBS-AM “News Radio 880” has lost a collective six-tenths (3.1 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5, 6+) and continues at #15.
  • An overall -1.0 via five consecutive reports without an increase (3.9 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+), Entercom Los Angeles-owned KNX “1070 News Radio” snaps the skid with a +.4 to 3.3 (6+) and jumps from #11 to #7.
  • Having held Chicago’s runner-up slot the past three months, Entercom’s WBBM-AM & WCFS “News Radio 780 AM & 105.9 FM” (Bears) – which is in alternating up/down sequence (7.0 – 7.3 – 6.4 – 6.9 – 6.5 – 6.8, 6+) – shifts to #3.
  • A combined +1.5 in November/December (7.6 – 7.8 – 9.1, 6+), Entercom-owned KCBS-AM & KFRC is in San Francisco’s runner-up slot the third month in a row.
  • As a result of three straight down or flat reports, Entercom Philadelphia’s KYW was a collective -1.5 (6.1 – 5.9 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+), but “News Radio 1060” ends the slide with a +.3 to 4.9 (flat at #7, 6+).
  • In three straight Long Island upticks, Entercom’s WCBS-AM is up an overall eight-tenths (2.8 – 3.0 – 3.2 – 3.6, 6+)a and is steady at #11.
  • Cluster-mate WINS, which picked up one-tenth this time last month, forfeits two-two-tenths (3.1 – 2.9, #12 to #13, 6+).
  • Adding a +1.3 to November’s half-share increase (5.2 – 5.7 – 7.0, 6+), Entercom’s KCBS-AM & KFRC remains at #3 in San Jose.
  • Up a total of two-tenths through three Middlesex reports without a loss (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1, 6+), Entercom’s WCBS-AM climbs from #19 to #18.

SPORTS TALK

  • While it remains flat at 2.4 (6+), Entercom New York City’s WFAN (Brooklyn Nets, Giants) slips from #16 to #17.
  • The six most recent fluctuations by Cumulus Media San Francisco’s KNBR “The Sports Leader” (49ers) are: +.6 (July); +1.1 (August); +.4 (September); +.9 (October); -1.5 (November) and +.5 in December (3.4 – 3.9, seventh to fifth, 6+).
  • Recapturing the seven-tenths it squandered this time last month (3.5 – 2.8 – 3.5, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned KTCK “The Ticket – All Sports All The Time” (Stars) advances from #14 in Dallas to #12.
  • A combined +1.0 in October/November (1.7 – 2.3 – 2.7, 6+), Entercom’s cross-town KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan” (Cowboys) relinquishes half the windfall (2.2, -.5, #16 to #17, 6+).
  • Advancing from tenth to eighth, Entercom Atlanta’s WZGC “92.9 The Game” (Hawks, Falcons) is up a total of nine-tenths in three straight up or flat moves (3.1 – 3.1 – 3.6 – 4.0, 6+).
  • Down eight-tenths in November/December (2.6 – 2.3 – 1.8, 6+), WZGC’s foe – Dickey Broadcasting-owned WCNN “680 The Fan” – slumps from #17 to #19.
  • Despite gaining four-tenths, Entercom Philadelphia’s WIP “Sports Radio 94.1” (Eagles) backslides from fourth to fifth and continues an alternating up/down sequence (4.7 – 4.3 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 5.8 – 5.3 – 5.7, 6+).
  • Following a rotating down/up pattern (1.4 – 1.6 – 1.4 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.8 – 1.5 – 1.6, 6+), cross-town Beasley Media Group-owned WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” (76ers, Flyers) repeats November’s AQH share and market rank (1.6, #20, 6+).
  • Jumping from eighth to sixth in Long Island, Entercom’s WFAN posts its third successive report without a loss for a net gain of nine-tenths (3.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.4, 6+).
  • In addition to being a collective -1.5 in San Jose (4.1 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 2.6, 6+), Cumulus Media’s KNBR “The Sports Leader” exits the top ten (#10 to #11).
  • In the Middlesex report, Entercom’s WFAN is down three-tenths in November/December (3.1 – 3.0 – 2.8, #14 to #16, 6+).

PUBLIC RADIO NEWS/TALK

  • An overall +2.2 via three straight spikes (2.9 – 3.7 – 4.5 – 5.1, 6+), WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM progresses from sixth in New York to fifth.
  • Wiping away November’s loss of two tenths with a December increase three times that magnitude (2.5 – 3.1, +.6, 6+), Pasadena City College-owned KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” rises from #13 in Los Angeles to #10.
  • A combined +1.5 in October/November (3.2 – 3.8 – 4.7, 6+), Chicago Public Media’s WBEZ surrenders three-tenths to 4.4 (6+) yet progresses from fifth to fourth.
  • Not only does it reach double-digits in San Francisco for the first time in the PPM-era, Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED is a collective +2.7 through five straight bumps (7.4 – 7.8 – 8.0 – 8.4 – 9.0 – 10.1, 6+) and is #1 the fifth straight month.
  • Following a +.9 this time last month, Texas Public Broadcasting’s KERA repeats November’s 3.4 (6+) but drops from #12 to #13.
  • In an alternating down/up pattern (2.7 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.4, August 2020 – December 2020, the University of Houston’s KUHF slips from #16 to #18.
  • Expunging November’s loss of one-half share with a December +.8 (2.5 – 3.3, 6+), City of Atlanta Board of Education’s WABE zooms from #15 to #11.
  • Down a combined four-tenths in October/November (5.1 – 5.1 – 4.7, 6+), Philadelphia’s WHYY answers with a December increase of six-tenths to 5.3 (steady at #6, 6+).
  • This is the fifth straight Riverside report without a loss for San Bernardino Community College’s KVCR, which has gained three-tenths in that timeframe (.5 – .5 – .8 – .8 – .8 – .8, unchanged at #13, 6+).
  • One-tenth behind KVCR is Pasadena City College-owned KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” (flat at #14), which is trending .9 – .7 – .6 – .7 (September 2020 – December 2020, 6+).
  • Winning ways continue for Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED, which is #1 in San Jose the fourth month in succession; is +5.9 in five straight spikes (6.6 – 6.9 – 7.7 – 10.9 – 12.3 – 12.5, 6+); and logs its best-ever 6+-stat (12.5) in the PPM-era.
  • In Middlesex-Somerset-Union, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM continues a rotating up/down pattern which includes December’s +.6 (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 3.5 – 2.6 – 3.2, #17 to #13, 6+).

Monday, December 21, 2020

| December 21, 2020

Monday Memo: “Oh the Weather Outside Is Frightful…” in wint’rish New England, where consultant Holland Cooke reminds stations that – even with smartphones outnumbering radios in such regular use – information staples can still drive listening (and are sponsorable). Read his column here.

Pending Business: Pain Management. Sales and marketing pro Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications Corp, says that in 2021 we should eliminate the “pain point” from the radio sales process. “It makes no sense to me today or from the first day I was exposed to the ‘probe for the pain point’ strategy of selling. Discovering marketing solutions is a fluid, positive process anchored by a relationship built on trust, not finding the pain.” Read more here.

Bold Gold Media Group Honored with NY Senate Empire Award. The New York State Senate Empire Award is bestowed annually to “businesses or organizations that encourage other area businesses or have formed partnerships within the community, those that volunteer their time and services and demonstrate exceptional leadership in the community; or have contributed significantly to their community’s quality of life.” Bold Gold Media Group was recently honored with the New York State 2020 Senate Empire Award, presented by Senator Jenn Metzger. She says, “Bold Gold Media is deserving on so many counts, it’s hard to count them. You have been the voice of the Catskills; you have really been there for the community in a way that is really unusual for a media group. There are so many great community organizations that are doing such important work and you share information; you educate them especially with your local news.  In a rural area many people are isolated and they need to know day-to-day and emergency information, and you play a vital role for our communities in providing that. On top of that, your volunteer work and sponsorship with the ‘98.3 WSUL Heart-A-Thon’ and the ‘Thunder 102 & 104.5 Country Cares for St. Jude Kids Radiothon’ is yet another way you give back to the community.  This is a way for us to recognize you and express our great appreciation for all that you do.” Bold Gold New York general manager Dawn Ciorciari comments, “Helping our community is not just what we do, it’s who we are. This award belongs to our amazing team of hard-working local professionals and a community that gives us amazing content to talk about everyday.”

Salem Radio Network’s Charlie Kirk Named to 1776 Commission. Nationally syndicated Salem Radio Network talk host Charlie Kirk (founder of Turning Point USA), is one of 18 Americans President Trump intends to appoint to his President’s Advisory 1776 Commission. A memo from the Office of the White House Press Secretary offers the purpose of the commission: “As our nation approaches its 250th anniversary of glorious Independence, many of America’s school children are tragically being taught to hate our founding, hate our history, and hate our country. This must stop. The 1776 Commission will help ensure that every American child learns that they live in the greatest and most exceptional nation in the history of the world. That is why it is absolutely vital to teach America’s young people all that is inspiring and unifying in our history. We want our children to become patriots who love their country. The 1776 Commission will share the story of our nation’s miraculous founding, proclaim the self-evident truths contained in the Declaration of Independence, and explain how these founding principles have helped our people overcome great national challenges throughout our history – and how these principles can guide us to a great American future. All Americans should pay close attention to this work.” About his appointment, Kirk states, “I’m incredibly honored to be named to the president’s 1776 Commission alongside so many other patriots. America is the greatest nation to exist in the history of the world. Our nation’s virtues and our accomplishments must be passed on to the next generation if it is going to survive into the future. I have devoted my life to that mission, and I am beyond humbled to be able to continue doing so in this new role.”

Retired WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte Talk Host John Hancock Loses Foot to Infection. A story in the Charlotte Observer by Theoden Janes chronicles the recent health issues that retired WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte talk host John Hancock has been dealing with that resulted in the recent amputation of his right foot. Last fall, 68-year-old Hancock retired from Entercom’s WBT where he was afternoon drive host. He’d been diagnosed with Type-2 diabetes more than three years ago and took steps to lose weight and change his diet. But by his own admission, he fell off the healthy food wagon and put some of the weight back on. Then this summer, he began to notice tenderness in his right foot. As time passed it became worse until it was diagnosed as an infection. It was shortly thereafter that one of his doctors recommended the foot be amputated. He’s been fitted for a prosthetic leg that he’ll be getting early in the New Year.

WWL, New Orleans Talk Host Kristian Garic Returns to Air After Rehab Stint. New Orleans sports talk host Kristian Garic recently returned to the air on Entercom’s WWL-AM/FM after 29 days in a rehab program for alcoholism. Garic co-hosts the 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm “Sports Talk” program with Bobby Hebert. On his return, he penned an editorial piece on the WWL website explaining his situation, what he’s been through and the challenges that lay ahead of him as he works to remain sober. He wrote, in part, “Getting help was perhaps the hardest decision I ever had to make. Here I was, pretty successful, with a good job. My bills were paid, my kids are healthy and I’m a father actively involved in their lives. Nothing the matter, right? Not so fast. Just to give you the insight into the depth of my drinking; I didn’t just drink three or four beers and call it quits. I drank a 12 pack of beer and a fifth of whiskey nearly every night for the past ten years… I want to thank my co-workers and management at WWL (Diane Newman and Kevin Cassidy in particular), and our parent company Entercom. The outpouring of support from the few who knew of my addiction leading up to treatment is sincerely appreciated. That support will help me tremendously in my life-long battle against alcoholism.”

Judy Pielach Joins WLS-AM, Chicago as Contributor. Former WGN-AM news personality Judy Pielach is now part of the WLS-AM morning show hosted by Bruce St. James. The program is being billed on the Cumulus Media station’s website as “The Bruce St. James Show with Judy Pielach.” Pielach accepted a buyout from former WGN owner Tribune Broadcasting in 2018 and left her afternoon drive post at WGN. WLS-AM program director Stephanie Tichenor says, “Judy Pielach is a radio force majeure that has delivered the news to Chicago audiences for decades. Now, her strong voice, wit, and wisdom will be heard every weekday morning on 890 WLS-AM from 5:30 am to 9:00 am on ‘The Bruce St James Show,’ where she and Bruce will entertain and inform our Chicagoland listeners. Judy is a perfect match for Bruce. She’s local, she’s funny and she knows the news that Chicago is talking about.” Pielach adds, “When I left an iconic radio station two years ago seeking a new adventure, I never imagined I’d find it at another iconic radio station. It turns out, I just can’t stop talking. And, I especially like talking to Bruce. Really looking forward to the conversation on 890 WLS! A big thank you to Stephanie Tichenor for giving me this opportunity.“

Entercom Announces $1 Million Community Giveback Initiative. In an effort to help fellow businesses in the communities in which Entercom operates, the company is making a $1 million commitment to local restaurants, arts, and charitable organizations in the cities and towns where Entercom’s employees live and work. The employee-led initiative allows local managers to buy gift certificates and tickets that will then be disbursed to full-time staffers.

Congress Strikes COVID Relief Deal, COVID-19 Stats & Projections/New Strain Concerns, Trump Continues Election Fraud Claim/Martial Law Considered, Russian Hack of U.S. Government Networks, and Georgia Runoff Elections Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Congress agrees to a $900 billion COVID relief package; the fast-rising number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., projections for post-Christmas cases, and the report of a new and more transmissible strain in Europe; Donald Trump continues to claim election fraud and reports of a White House meeting discussing martial law to stay in office; the breadth of the Russian hack of U.S. government computer networks; and the Georgia runoff elections for the state’s two U.S. Senate seats were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. There’s a holiday special program for Country top 40 affiliates as “Bob Kingley’s Country Top 40 with Fitz” presents “Christmas In America with Fitz and special guest Carrie Underwood,” a six-hour Christmas music celebration. CT40 says, “This six-hour music-intensive radio special offers country music’s most loved Christmas songs – past and present, the stories behind them and wonderful memories and traditions of the holidays. This year we are honored to have Carrie Underwood join Fitz as we also feature music from her new Christmas album My Gift.”…..iHeartMedia Philadelphia’s WRFF-FM “ALT 104.5” is teaming up with Crew Nation – a global relief fund for live music crews – to throw a virtual New Year’s Eve celebration featuring Bastille on Thursday, December 31 at 8:00 pm, with a pre-show starting at 7:00 pm. All ticket sale donations will support Crew Nation/Music Forward Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that extends a helping hand to the touring and venue crews that have been impacted by the pandemic and depend on shows to make a living.

Pending Business: Pain Management

| December 21, 2020

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp
President

 

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — How about in 2021 we eliminate “Pain Point” from the sales process?

Why should professional selling include the most negative experience the human body can experience?

It makes no sense to me today or from the first day I was exposed to the “probe for the pain point” strategy of selling. Discovering marketing solutions is a fluid, positive process anchored by a relationship built on trust, not finding the pain.

Read More

Monday Memo: “Oh the Weather Outside Is Frightful…”

| December 21, 2020

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — I wrote this during the first big blizzard of the season – not the last — and much of the East got whacked. Weather has been increasingly extreme most everywhere in recent years, and brutal hurricanes and raging wildfires and heat waves and floods and droughts will continue. What the heck, we’re probably mathematically overdue for an earthquake too.

Even wackier than the weather: The news. And don’t expect things to “settle down.” Though less-erratic, the incoming administration will be no less-newsworthy. Notwithstanding longer-term optimism over vaccines, the pandemic’s worst days lie just ahead; and the injured economy is as-directly impactful on listeners’ day-to-day survival. Repairs on President Joe Biden’s To-Do list are matters that transcend political arm-wrestling. Watch infrastructure (translation: “jobs”).

Read More

Friday, December 18, 2020

| December 18, 2020

NOW POSTED:  This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted. This new episode titled, “The Good, The Bad, The Fake and The False,” looks back at this past week of December 14-18, 2020.  The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Dr. Daliah Wachs, talk show host, Genesis Communications Network/medical doctor; Christopher Ruddy, CEO, Newsmax TV; Dom Giordano, talk show host, WPHT, Philadelphia; Steve Weisman, professor of law, Bentley University, Boston / founder Scamicide.com; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company. This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver “Freedom 93.7”; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY;  WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA;  WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED (“Connect FM”), DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; the Virginia Talk Radio Network; CRN Digital Talk Radio Network; Pioneer Valley Radio, Springfield, MA; Podcast Radio, UK and many more.  To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.  “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

Report: Wynter and Massey Show to Get 90-Day Tryout on WSB. The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports that the weekend (and fill-in) show “Word on the Street” co-hosted by Shelley Wynter (right) and MalaniKai Massey (left) is getting a 90-day tryout in the nightly 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight slot on Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta that’s opening due to Clark Howard’s ending of his regular radio programs at WSB this month. The “Word on the Street” program launched in mid-2019 as a weekly show that became a Saturday and Sunday program. Wynter and Massey have also been filling in for other WSB shows. WSB program director Drew Anderssen tells the AJC, “As a result of the breakneck pace of news in 2020 the program has been on quite a bit, tackling tough issues while keeping audiences engaged.” “Word on the Street” has a conservative-versus-liberal aspect to it as Wynter is a Trump-supporting conservative versus Massey’s progressive demeanor, but it’s not too in-your-face. Wynter comments that he “wants the show to be a bit like friends hanging out at a bar.”

Detroit Lions Jump to Entercom’s WXYT-FM Starting Next Season. The NFL’s Detroit Lions have signed a multiyear deal with Entercom to make sports talk WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” the flagship station for the team’s radio broadcasts beginning with the 2021 season. Under the current deal, Lions games are based at Cumulus Media’s WJR-AM, Detroit. Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “The Lions are synonymous with the city of Detroit and this is a great opportunity to leverage our position as the unrivaled leaders in sports radio and deliver dynamic Lions content, both on game days and throughout the year. This partnership now makes ‘97.1 The Ticket’ the flagship station for all four professional sports teams in the Motor City, giving fans a one-stop destination for all of their favorite local teams.” As part of the deal, Entercom will manage the Lions Radio Network – an extensive radio network with more than 30 stations across Michigan and in northern Ohio. All Lions Radio Network programming, including live game broadcasts, pre- and postgame shows, regular season weekly shows and additional offseason programming will air exclusively on “97.1 The Ticket.”

Steve Sommers Re-Launches Overnight Show as ‘The Steve Sommers Overnight Drive.’ After his “America’s Truckin’ Network” program was cancelled by iHeartMedia’s WLW-Cincinnati early last month, Steve Sommers will re-launch his overnight talk program as “The Steve Sommers Overnight Drive” in a partnership with motor vehicle products company Lubrication Specialties Inc and its subsidiary Hot Shot’s Secret. In January Sommers will debut a new, five-hour live stream talk show (12:00 midnight to 5:00 am ET) direct from the brand-new Hot Shot’s Secret studios in the Cincinnati area. A press release says, “The initial motivation is to get Steve back on air as soon as possible, with long-term plans of massive distribution. More details on when and where to find the new program are coming soon.” Hot Shot’s Secret founder and CEO Chris Gabrelcik says, “Hot Shot’s Secret would not be here today if it was not for the persistence of Steve to give me some airtime on his overnight show many years ago when I was first starting the company. The five hours I spent in his studio that very first visit resulted in an avalanche of orders for our product and we have never looked back ever since. Hot Shot’s Secret is now the fastest growing performance lubricant company in the U.S. and I will never forget those early days when Steve was there for us when we needed it the most.” Sommers says, alluding to this past summer’s corporate dictate not to talk politics on his show, “I am excited to get back on the air. What you heard before from my show will be the same – frank talk. Trucking is a tough business, and so is radio. I actually started working in radio when I was just 15 years old in Cincinnati. Many relocations and radio stations later I had the opportunity to return to Ohio in 1996 to produce the radio show that my father Dale “Truckin’ Bozo” Sommers started back in 1984. I then took over the show in 2004 and have enjoyed every moment with my overnight listeners. This is my life. And right now, I can see that one good turn deserves another as my friend Chris Gabrelcik is doing whatever it takes to make this show a reality.”

KDWN, Las Vegas’ Steve Sanchez Named a ‘Top 30 Influencer.’ KDWN, Las Vegas early evening host Steve Sanchez has been named one of the “Top 30 Influencers” in Las Vegas by Las Vegas Entrepreneurs Magazine. Sanchez, whose show airs from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm on KDWN, was #25 on the list. He tells TALKERS magazine that earlier this year, his program was able to donate 1,000 30-day use facemasks to the Las Vegas Children’s Hospital. Sanchez, who spent that last three weeks battling COVID-19 and pneumonia, adds, “This was very much needed by them since we did this in May, right in the middle of this horrible pandemic.” Currently, Sanchez’s program is syndicated nationally by GCN, but he says he’s ending the syndication of his program next month to “concentrate on growing my show with KDWN, focus more on my social media and digital platforms, and entertain the TV offers coming to me.”

COVID-19 Stats, Vaccines, Prevention Top News/Talk Story for Week of December 14-18. The fast-rising number of COVID-19 cases, the rollout of vaccines, and policies for prevention combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the economy, stimulus talks, and business & school closings. Coming in at #3 was Donald Trump’s denial of his election loss and the Joe Biden transition. 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 complete chart here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Next month’s “iHeartRadio ALTer EGO Presented by Capital One” is taking place virtually due to the pandemic. iHeartMedia announces that the fourth annual alternative rock show set for January 28 will be hosted by Woody, host of the syndicated “Woody Show” and will feature all-new performances and stories from Billie Eilish and the Foo Fighters. In addition, it will include previous ALTer EGO performances from BeckThe Black Keysblink-182Cage The ElephantColdplayThe KillersMumford & SonsMusetwenty one pilots, and Weezer. It will livestream exclusively for free on LiveXLive.com, the LiveXLive mobile and OTT apps for iOS, Android, Roku, Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV and broadcast live across more than 80 iHeartMedia alternative and rock stations at 9:00 pm ET…..Michael Baisden announces he’s leaving radio at the end of the year and will discontinue syndication of his daily show. He will be replaced by “The Jeff Foxx Show with Keke Brown and Nina” on the Sun Broadcast Group’s network lineup. Baisden says, “Sun Broadcast Group has been an incredible network partner and their team, along with Mike Love, have worked diligently to grow my show for the past two years. Unfortunately, due to the historic issues we faced with COVID-19 and the subsequent economic crisis, it’s been challenging to grow affiliation and revenue for the show. To that end, ‘The Michael Baisden Show’ will not be returning for 2021.”