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Archive for March, 2021

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

| March 24, 2021

Wendy Bell Promoted to Full Time Talk Host at WJAS-AM, Pittsburgh; Rose Tennent Added to Afternoons. According to a story in the Beaver County Times, St. Barnabas Health System-owned news/talk WJAS-AM, Pittsburgh bumps talk personality Wendy Bell to full time in which her 9:00 am to 12:00 noon show will air Monday through Friday. The station has also added Pittsburgh media personality Rose Tennent to the program schedule in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart. Bell was a host on Entercom’s KDKA-AM until she and the company agreed to part company early last fall. Bell had been criticized for suggesting on her show that park rangers shoot anyone seen defacing a monument in a public park. Tennent co-hosted “The War Room” morning show on former talk outlet WPGB-FM, Pittsburgh with Jim Quinn. St. Barnabas Health System SVP J.D. Turco says, “Both women have very distinctive styles. WJAS is the only station featuring six hours of back-to-back conservative female programming. We are proud to have strong, intelligent, and informed talk radio with Wendy from 9:00 am – 12:00 noon and Rose from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm.”

Round Two of February PPM Ratings Released. The second of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s February 2021 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s February 2021 survey period covered February 4 – March 3. All-news and news/talk stations benefitted from the January 6 Capitol attack and its aftermath as well as from the transition from the Trump administration to the Biden administration during the post-holidays period that is traditionally down from a ratings standpoint. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. Cumulus Media’s news/talk WMAL-FM, Washington rose by one-tenth to a 6.0 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) and the #4 rank while Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP-FM was unchanged with a 9.9 share good for the #2 rank. In Boston, iHeartMedia’s WRKO was steady at a 5.2 share and the #8 rank while sister all-news WBZ-AM dipped seven-tenths but remained ranked #1. In Seattle, Bonneville’s KIRO-FM lost just one-tenth, finishing the survey with a 7.3 share good for a repeat at the #1 rank. Sinclair Broadcast Group’s crosstown all-news KOMO-AM/FM dropped half a share to a 5.2 and slipped to the #5 rank. See all of Mike Kinosian’s Ratings Takeaways for this round of markets here.

Former WFLA-AM, Tampa Morning Host Tedd Webb Enters Hospice. Longtime Tampa Bay radio personality Tedd Webb has entered hospice, according to a statement from his son Lee Ruiz. He says his father’s dialysis and dementia have been “particularly taxing.” Webb co-hosted “AM Tampa Bay with Jack Harris from 1994 through 2017 when he retired. Webb has been dealing with health issues for some time. Ruiz says, “This wasn’t an easy decision for him to make and obviously no one wants to lose him, but there’s only so much one person can endure. He feels the time is right and, ‘that’s how he sees it’ as he would say… I know a lot of people would like to spend one more time with him, and as much as we would like to accommodate all of those wishes, it’s just not possible. Given his current state, and that this came about rather abruptly, we have a very tight window of time left which makes it difficult to pull off.”

Jeanna Berge Rises to Market President for iHeartMedia Eau Claire/Rochester. Radio sales pro Jeanna Berge is promoted to market president for iHeartMedia’s Eau Claire, Wisconsin and Rochester, Minnesota markets, effective April 1. She takes over the role from Rick Hencley who is retiring after 27 years with iHeartMedia. Berge will retain her role as SVP of sales for the Eau Claire market. She says, “I am extremely grateful for this opportunity and I am beyond ecstatic to lead and learn from these incredible, dedicated, multi-talented teams in the Eau Claire and Rochester markets. Rick has been an inspiring leader throughout my career at iHeartMedia and I’m honored to have had him as my mentor. His passion to have his employees always strive to be the best is evident with the success of his career, and I am determined to share that same motivation, positivity and creativity to help these ambitious teams excel. My mission is to continue to build on our already strong connection while having a positive impact on our employees, listeners, advertisers and our communities.”

Gaby Dunn Partners with Westwood One for Podcast. Comedian and New York Times best-selling author Gaby Dunn is partnering with Cumulus Media’s Westwood One to bring her podcast “Bad With Money” to the Westwood One Podcast Network. The podcast will “unapologetically examine the intersection of finances and social justice. Every week, Gaby will bring a queer, feminist, and unabashedly radical point of view to conversations with top journalists, student loan experts, tax specialists, and mutual aid organizers.” Dunn says, “At a time when so many people are scared and out of work, I’m thrilled to be able to provide helpful and actionable advice for long-term financial security. Furthermore, ‘Bad With Money’ will now sit alongside other like-minded shows on Westwood One, where it can reach those who need to hear it most.”

Cumulus Media’s WSBN-AM, Washington to Air Baltimore Orioles Games. When the 2021 Major League Baseball season begins, Baltimore Orioles games will be heard in Washington, DC on Cumulus Media’s sports talk WSBN-AM “ESPN 630 AM The Sports Capitol.” Cumulus says the multi-year deal keeps the Orioles Radio Network on the Washington, DC airwaves and adds to ESPN 630 AM’s stable of sports broadcasts – which also includes the Washington Football Team and the University of Virginia. Cumulus Washington SVP and market manager Ken Roberts says, “We are thrilled to be associated with the Baltimore Orioles. From their classic venue, Oriole Park at Camden Yards to their Hall of Fame heritage, the Orioles have a rich history with the League and with the City of Baltimore.”

Traveling with 46. Pictured above (back to the camera, wearing headphones) is Salem Radio Network White House correspondent Greg Clugston covering President Joe Biden’s tour of the new, state-of-the-art Radiation Oncology Department at the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital at Ohio State University yesterday (3/23). Clugston traveled frequently on Air Force One during the Trump administration. Tuesday was his first flight accompanying the 46th president.

Deadly Colorado Grocery Shooting/Gun Control, COVID-19-Spring Break, Border Crisis-Immigration, Capitol Attack-Sedition Controversy, and Deshaun Watson Sexual Assault Allegations Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/23). The shooting at a Boulder, Colorado grocery store that left 10 dead and the related issue of gun control; the rising number of COVID-19 cases in numerous U.S. states, concern about variants, the rollout of vaccines, and the chaos in Florida related to spring break revelers; the large number of child migrants appearing at the U.S.-Mexico border and the pressure on the Biden administration to deal with immigration policy; the investigation into the January 6 attack on the Capitol and the controversy over a justice department lawyer’s suggestion sedition charges may be leveled against some; and Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson faces 14 sexual misconduct lawsuits were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

February 2021 PPM Ratings Takeaways – Part Two

| March 24, 2021

February 2021 PPM Data – Information for the February 2021 sweep has been released for Washington, DC; Boston; Miami; Seattle; Detroit; Phoenix; Minneapolis; San Diego; Tampa; Denver; Baltimore; and St. Louis.

Nielsen Audio’s February 2021 survey period covered February 4 – March 3.

In addition to providing “Takeaways” for spoken-word stations finishing in their respective markets’ top twenty, managing editor Mike Kinosian notes each particular city’s #1 station (6+), as well as highest (6+) positive spikes and sharpest declines.

All comparisons noted are January 2021 – February 2021 (6+).

WASHINGTON, DC

News/Talk: WMAL 5.9 – 6.0, +.1, fifth to fourth

News: WTOP & WTLP flat at 9.9, unchanged at #2, and business news WDCH .7 – 1.2, +.5, #22 to #19

Sports Talk: WJFK-FM 1.5 – 1.4, -.1, #17 to #18

Public Radio News/Talk: WAMU 13.4 – 10.2, -3.2, repeating at #1, and public radio news/talk – jazz WPFW flat at 1.2, steady at #19

Number One 6+ second straight month: public radio news/talk WAMU 13.4 – 10.2, -3.2

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: classic rock WBIG (+1.4)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: public radio news/talk WAMU (-3.2)

BOSTON

News/Talk: WRKO steady at 5.2, unchanged at #8

News – Talk: WBZ-AM 8.2 – 7.5, -.7, repeats at #1 (tie)

Sports Talk: WBZ-FM 5.7 – 6.1, +.4, fifth to fourth, and WEEI-FM 3.5 – 3.3, -.2, steady at #10

Public Radio News/Talk: WGBH unchanged at 5.6, steady at #6, and WBUR 5.1 – 4.4, -.7, flat at #9

Number One 6+ (Tie): news – talk WBZ-AM (second successive month) 8.2 – 7.5, -.7, and classic hits-oldies WROR (first  month) flat at 7.5

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: CHR WXKS-FM (+.9)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: triple A WXRV (-.8)

MIAMI

News/Talk: WIOD 2.1 – 1.9, -.2, #17 to #19

Spanish News/Talk: WAQI flat at 2.6, #12 to #13, and WURN-AM 2.0 – 2.2, +.2, #18 to #17

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: WLRN 4.0 – 4.3, +.3, eighth to seventh

Number One 6+ fifth month in a row: adult contemporary WFEZ 7.6 – 9.1, +1.5

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: adult contemporary WFEZ (+1.5)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: adult contemporary WFEZ’s internet stream (-1.5, unlisted)

SEATTLE

News/Talk: KIRO-FM 7.4 – 7.3, -.1, repeating at #1, and KTTH 3.2 – 2.8, -.4, #12 to #16

News: KOMO-AM & KOMO-FM 5.7 – 5.2, -.5, fourth to fifth

Sports Talk: KIRO-AM 2.3 – 2.6, +.3, unchanged at #18

Public Radio News/Talk: KUOW 7.3 – 6.7, -.6, flat at #2

Number One 6+ fourth consecutive month: news/talk KIRO-FM 7.4 – 7.3, -.1

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: adult contemporary KRWM (+.9)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: country KNUC (-.9)

 DETROIT

News/Talk: WJR flat at 4.8, seventh to eighth

News: WWJ 4.8 – 5.0, +.2, seventh to fifth

Sports Talk: WXYT-FM 5.5 – 4.9, -.6, third to seventh

Public Radio News/Talk: WDET 2.9 – 2.5, -.4, #14 to #16, and WUOM 1.8 – 1.7, -.1, unchanged at #20

Number One 6+ second successive month: urban AC WMXD 6.3 – 6.6, +.3

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: urban-rhythmic oldies WMGC (+1.0)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: urban AC WDMK (-.9)

PHOENIX

News/Talk: KFYI 6.0 – 5.3, -.7, second to third, and KTAR-FM 4.2 – 4.0, -.2, seventh to eighth

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: KMVP-FM 2.1 – 2.4, +.3, steady at #20

Public Radio News/Talk: KJZZ 3.3 – 3.5, +.2, tenth to ninth

Number One 6+ fourth straight month: adult contemporary KESZ 7.3 – 7.1, -.2

Largest 6+ January 2021- February 2021 Increase: classic hits-oldies KOOL (+.7); alternative KDKB (+.7); and urban-rhythmic oldies KAJM (+.7)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: regional Mexican KLNZ (-1.4)

MINNEAPOLIS

News/Talk: WCCO 4.8 – 4.7, -.1, flat at #9; KTLK 4.2 – 4.0, -.2, steady at #12; and KTMY flat at 1.2, remains at #20

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: KFXN 8.4 – 7.4, -1.0, second to third

Public Radio News/Talk: KNOW 9.5 – 8.5, -1.0, first to second

Number One 6+ first month: hot AC KSTP-FM 7.5 – 9.8, +2.3

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: hot AC KSTP-FM (+2.3)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: public radio news/talk KNOW (-1.0), and sports talk KFXN (-1.0)

SAN DIEGO

News/Talk: KOGO 5.7 – 5.3, -.4, fourth to fifth; KFI 1.9 – 2.2, +.3, #18 to #17; and KGB-AM 2.0 – 1.9, -.1, #17 to #18

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: KPBS 6.2 – 6.4, +.2, second to first

Number One 6+ first month: public radio news/talk: KPBS 6.2 – 6.4, +.2

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: rhythmic hot AC XHRM (+1.1)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: news KNX (-1.4, unlisted)

TAMPA

News/Talk: WHPT 4.8 – 5.1, +.3, fifth to fourth, and WFLA steady at 3.8, unchanged at #11

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: WDAE 1.9 – 2.0, +.1, flat at #19

Public Radio News/Talk: unchanged at 3.4, #13 to #14

Number One 6+ (Tie): adult contemporary WDUV (104th month in a row) 7.7 – 7.0, -.7, and contemporary Christian WCIE (first month) 5.9 – 7.0, +1.1

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: contemporary Christian WCIE (+1.1)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: CHR WFLZ (-1.6)

DENVER

News/Talk: KDFD steady at 3.1, #12 to #11; KOA 1.8 – 2.0, +.2, #18 to #15; and KHOW 1.5 – 1.6, +.1, #21 to #20

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: KKFN 3.3 – 2.8, -.5, #10 to #13

Public Radio News/Talk: KCFR 7.5 – 7.1, -.4, first to second

Number One 6+ first month: country KYGO 5.7 – 7.4, +1.7

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: country KYGO (+1.7)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: classic hits-oldies KEZW (-.7, unlisted)

BALTIMORE

News/Talk: WBAL 4.3 – 4.2, -.1, ninth to eighth, and WCBM 3.2 – 3.4, +.2, #11 to #12

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: WJZ-FM 4.1 – 3.0, -1.1, #10 to #13

Public Radio News/Talk: WYPR 4.4 – 4.3, -.1, flat at #7, and WAMU 1.3 – 1.2, -.1, #22 to #19

Number One 6+ second successive month: urban AC WWIN-FM 9.1 – 9.4, +.3

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: CHR WZFT (+.5)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: news WTOP (-2.2, unlisted)

ST. LOUIS

News/Talk: KMOX 4.0 – 4.4, +.4, tenth to ninth; KFTK 3.5 – 3.3, -.2, #15 to #13; and KFTK’s internet stream flat at 1.4, unchanged at #18

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: WXOS 4.4 – 4.0, -.4, #9 to #12

Public Radio News/Talk: KWMU 3.8 – 3.2, -.6, #13 to #15

Number One 6+ second month in a row: rock KSHE 13.0 – 12.4, -.6

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: alternative KPNT (+1.2), and contemporary Christian KLJY (+1.2)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: adult contemporary KEZK (-.8)

Up next: February  2021 overviews for Portland; Charlotte; San Antonio; Sacramento; Pittsburgh; Salt Lake City; Las Vegas; Orlando; Cincinnati; Cleveland; Kansas City; and Columbus. Email Mike Kinosian at Mike.Kinosian@gmail.com.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

| March 23, 2021

Premiere Networks to Continue ‘The Rush Limbaugh Show’; WBOB, Jacksonville First New Affiliate. The 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET broadcast of “The Rush Limbaugh Show” will continue with archival audio from Limbaugh’s 30-plus-year syndicated program augmented by familiar talk hosts. Chesapeake-Portsmouth Broadcasting Corporation’s WBOB-AM/W266CX is the first new affiliate station. In making the announcement, Premiere Networks says, “No one can replace Rush Limbaugh, and Premiere Networks will continue to provide millions of loyal listeners with the voice of Rush for the long term. We have a variety of familiar voices who are guiding the audio of Rush for all of the important issues of the day, including recent guest hosts Todd Herman, Ken Matthews, and Brett Winterble.” WBOB general manager Jonathan McClellan states, “Rush Limbaugh is a pioneering force in broadcasting. He redefined talk radio and shaped the conservative political message for our country. WBOB is excited to add Rush’s program to our lineup. We value the future of his legacy, and we believe his talented team will drive the momentum of the movement far into the future. We welcome this monumental voice.” Limbaugh’s program launched into national syndication on August 1, 1988, with 56 radio stations, was heard on more than 600 stations at the time of the icon’s passing at age 70 on February 17. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison comments on this breaking story, “What an interesting turn of events. This is a multiple win for many elements of the industry. The winners include: 1) The fill-in hosts who’ve become familiar to the show’s regular listeners because they’ll continue to play a role in the show without having to carry the burden of being the ‘guy that followed the guy’ but never could fill his shoes; 2) Premiere, because they’ll continue to productively exploit the greatest brand in talk radio programming history and even though it could never be as big as it would have been with Rush alive, it certainly will maintain value and possibly evolve into something of lasting currency; 3) Other syndicated shows, because they now have a shot at being cleared in the valuable 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm space and get a viable piece of the pie. There are plenty of listeners and revenue to be shared in that huge mine; 4) Local hosts and programming because you can be sure many stations will turn inward during middays now that this big piece of real estate has opened; 5) Local stations, because they now have the options to choose from all of the above; and 6) the legacy of Rush Limbaugh, which will continue to live as a viable part of the national talk radio community. Bravo!”

Dana Loesch Inks New Multi-Year Deal with Radio America. Talk radio star Dana Loesch signs a new, multi-year contract extension with Radio America to continue to host her daily 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm program “The Dana Show” that she’s hosted since 2014. Radio America says Loesch is “the most listened to female talk show host in the country” and has “attracted a large and loyal following in syndication, expanding the news/talk audience to include more men and women in their 30s and 40s, something the aging format desperately needs.” Radio America COO Mike Paradiso says, “We’re excited to continue the explosive growth that Dana’s show has enjoyed over the last few years. Dana has done what few hosts have been able to do, expand the talk format’s audience to make it younger, while still performing very well with the core talk demo. We think she’s uniquely qualified to lead the way during this transitional time in the format.”

Round One of February PPM Ratings Released. The first of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s February 2021 PPM survey 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 February 2021 sweep covered February 4 – March 3. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets and reports that the unusual surge of listening to news and news/talk stations in January that was the result of the January 6 Capitol attack, its aftermath, and the beginning of the Joe Biden administration has leveled off. In New York, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WOR was flat at a 2.5 share (weekly 6+ AQH share) and Red Apple Media’s WABC was up three-tenths to a 1.9 share. In Los Angeles, iHeartMedia news/talk KFI was steady with a 5.0 share and the #3 rank while Entercom’s crosstown all-news KNX dipped four-tenths to a 2.9 share. Nexstar Media Group’s news/talk WGN-AM was flat with a 4.1 share but rises to the #6 rank and Entercom’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM lost two-tenths to finish with a 7.1 share but remains ranked #1. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaway for this group of markets here.

Report: WFAN’s Jastremski Leaving for The Ringer. According to a piece by Andrew Marchand in the New York Post, WFAN, New York evening host John Jastremski is leaving the Entercom sports talk station to join Spotify’s The Ringer. As Marchard notes, Bill Simmons sold The Ringer to Spotify for a reported $200 million but continues to lead the platform. Jastremski’s deal with The Ringer will begin next month and will include him doing three to four podcasts per week.

WWO Blog: Podcasting Provides ‘Massive Head Start’ for New Radio Hosts. A study commissioned by Westwood One and conducted by Maru/Blue reveals “the extent to which Dan Bongino has used his podcast platform, social media presence, best-selling books, and TV appearances to build a strong brand among American talk radio listeners.” The study finds that a podcast star like Bongino enjoys a “massive head start and strong momentum” when launching an AM/FM radio show. It finds 64% of frequent news/talk radio listeners are aware of Dan Bongino and 78% of frequent news/talk radio listeners who are aware of Bongino rate him as excellent/good. Further the study finds, “An AM/FM radio show generates a new audience that is incremental to the podcast audience: the Maru/Blue study found that the Dan Bongino and Ben Shapiro audiences either listen to the podcast or the AM/FM radio show. Currently about 40% listen only to the podcast; 40% listen only to the Ben Shapiro and Dan Bongino shows on AM/FM radio. About 20% indicate they have listened both to the podcast and the AM/FM radio show in the last month.” See the blog here.

TALKERS News Notes. The COVID stimulus is getting a radio sweepstakes treatment from iHeartMedia as the company presents the “Double Your Stimulus” contest in numerous participating markets. iHeartMedia is giving listeners the chance to win another $1,400 “stimulus check” that could result in up to six nationwide winners each weekday now through April 2. The company says that “given today’s challenging times due to the pandemic, iHeartMedia is seeing a nearly 20% higher response rate than any other cash contests in the past with winners benefiting from all across the nation.”…..USA Radio Network’s “Classic Radio Theater” adds three new affiliate stations for Wyatt Cox’s historical presentation of radio’s greatest programs of the 20th century. The show is now heard on WMIC, Sandusky, Michigan; KRVN-AM, Lexington, Nebraska; and KGUM-AM, Hagåtña, Guam. Cox says, “It’s a pleasure to give people a dose of history as it really happened – unsanitized and factual. While some stations may be pulling away from presentations of radio’s past, I view it as critical for understanding where we came from and how we got here today… our ‘Classic Radio Theater’ programs are not only great entertainment, but they are set in a background of history that puts all these programs in the context of the times.”…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One signs a deal with DCP Entertainment to distribute, market, and monetize the company’s new podcasts as well as its back catalogue. DCP Entertainment’s mission is to provide a platform for people of color, women, and LGBTQ communities, and to highlight stories around mental health, disability, and overcoming adversity. Current productions include “Say Their Name,” which was nominated for the 2021 Ambies Award “Podcast of the Year” and “Toure Show: The Central Park 5,” which was a 2020 Webby Award “Best Crime & Justice Episode” honoree.

‘The GRITIRON Show’ Starring Whitney Breaux Launches. The new podcast and YouTube show is being launched by former ESPN Baton Rouge radio host Jordy Culotta who expands his media network with the launch of “The GRITIRON Show” with Whitney Breaux – a show targeting women that premiered on International Women’s Day (3/8). The press release says “The GRITIRON Show” is a weekly podcast celebrating the perseverance, passion, and lifestyle of women on and off the football field. The show features Breaux and “a bevy of guests including women breaking the glass ceiling in sports from journalists, coaches, athletic administrators and sports executives to wives of players and coaches.” Breaux is a former Miss Teen Louisiana and global marketing executive. Culotta says, “We’re excited to add Whitney and ‘The GRITIRON Show’ to our network programming. I’m honestly shocked this is her first time behind a microphone. She’s a brilliant public speaker, her energy is infectious, and she’s always been passionate about sports.”

COVID-19/Spring Break, Border Troubles, Deadly Boulder Grocery Store Shooting, Biden Jobs & Infrastructure Proposal, Capitol Attack-Sedition Controversy, Cuomo on the Ropes, and Deshaun Watson Allegations Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/22). The rising number of COVID-19 cases in numerous states, worries about variants, the vaccine rollout, and the enormous spring break gatherings; the immigration problems at the U.S.-Mexico border; the mass shooting at a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado that’s left 10 dead; the Biden administration plans to introduce a $3 trillion jobs & infrastructure bill; the investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack and the report that sedition charges may be leveled at some; the allegations of sexual harassment against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo; and the growing allegations of sexual impropriety by massage therapists against Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

February 2021 PPM Ratings Takeaways – Part One

| March 23, 2021

February 2021 PPM Data – Information for the February 2021 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 February 2021 sweep covered February 4 – March 3.

In addition to providing “Takeaways” for spoken-word stations finishing in their respective markets’ top twenty, managing editor Mike Kinosian notes each particular city’s #1 station (6+), as well as loftiest (6+) upticks and drop-offs.

All comparisons noted are January 2021 – February 2021 (6+).

NEW YORK

News/Talk: WOR flat at 2.5, #16 to #14, and WABC 1.6 – 1.9, +.3, #21 to #19

News: WINS 4.0 – 3.6, -.4, eighth to ninth, and WCBS-AM 2.9 – 2.8, -.1, #12 to #13

Sports Talk: WFAN 2.8 – 2.5, -.3, steady at #14

Public Radio News/Talk: WNYC-FM 4.9 – 4.5, -.4, unchanged at #5

Number One 6+ fourth successive month: adult contemporary WLTW 6.5 – 6.8, +.3

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: urban AC WBLS (+1.2)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: Spanish contemporary WXNY (-.9)

LOS ANGELES

News/Talk: KFI steady at 5.0 and unchanged at #3

News: KNX 3.3 – 2.9, -.4, #10 to #12

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: KPCC 3.6 – 3.3, -.3, sixth to ninth

Number One 6+ first month: classic hits-oldies KRTH 5.6 – 5.9, +.3

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: Spanish contemporary KLLI (+1.0)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: news KNX (-.4)

CHICAGO

News/Talk: WGN unchanged at 4.1, seventh to sixth

News: WBBM-AM & WCFS 7.3 – 7.1, -.2, repeats at #1

Sports Talk: WSCR 2.3 – 2.1, -.2, #13 to #17

Public Radio News/Talk: WBEZ 6.7 – 6.4, -.3, third to second

Number One 6+ second consecutive month: news WBBM-AM & WCFS 7.3 – 7.1, -.2

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: alternative WKQX-FM (+.8)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: urban AC WVAZ (-.8) and adult contemporary WRME (-.8)

SAN FRANCISCO

News/Talk: KGO 2.0 – 1.7, -.3, #16 to #19

News: KCBS-AM & KFRC 8.5 – 7.5, -1.0, flat at #2

Sports Talk: KNBR 3.5 – 2.9, -.6, sixth to ninth

Public Radio News/Talk: KQED 10.9 – 10.6, -.3, repeats at #1

Number One 6+ second straight month: public radio news/talk KQED 10.9 – 10.6, -.3

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: adult contemporary KISQ (+.6)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: news KCBS-AM & KFRC (-1.0)

DALLAS

News/Talk: WBAP flat at 4.0 and steady at #10

News – Talk: KRLD-AM 1.6 – 2.1, +.5, #21 to #18

Sports Talk: KTCK 3.6 – 4.1, +.5, #11 to #9

Public Radio News/Talk: KERA 3.4 – 3.2, -.2, #13 to #15

Number One 6+ first month: adult contemporary KDGE 5.6 – 5.2, -.4

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: rock KEGL (+1.0)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: contemporary Christian KLTY (-1.3)

HOUSTON

News/Talk: KTRH 7.5 – 6.5, -1.0, tie for first to second

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: KUHF 2.7 – 2.9, +.2, #16 to #17

Number One 6+ fourth successive month: adult contemporary KODA flat at 7.5

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: country KKBQ (+.8)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: news/talk KTRH (-1.0)

ATLANTA

News/Talk: WSB-AM 11.8 – 10.5, -1.3, #1

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: WZGC 3.8 – 3.7, -.1, eighth to seventh, and WCNN 1.6 – 1.7, +.1, #18 to #16

Public Radio News/Talk: None in the top twenty

Number One 6+ 21st consecutive month: news/talk WSB-AM 11.8 – 10.5, -1.3

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: CHR WWPW (+.5)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: news/talk WSB-AM (-1.3)

PHILADELPHIA

News/Talk: WKXW 1.8 – 2.0, +.2, #19 to #17, and WPHT 2.2 – 1.8, -.4, #18 to #19

News: KYW 6.4 – 6.5, +.1, second to third

Sports Talk: WIP 6.1 – 5.3, -.8, fifth to sixth, and WPEN-FM 2.6 – 2.5, -.1, flat at #15

Public Radio News/Talk: WHYY 6.3 – 5.2, -1.1, third to seventh

Number One 6+ second straight month: urban AC WDAS-FM 8.6 – 8.0, -.6

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: rock WMMR (+1.3)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: public radio news/talk WHYY (-1.1)

LONG ISLAND

News/Talk: WOR 4.1 – 3.2, -.9, #7 to #13

News: WCBS-AM 3.2 – 3.5, +.3, #11 to #10, and WINS 3.1 – 3.0, -.1, #12 to #14

Sports Talk: WFAN 4.3 – 4.0, -.3, fourth to sixth

Public Radio News/Talk: WNYC-FM 3.1 – 2.1, -1.0, #12 to #19

Number One 6+ second successive month: classic rock WAXQ 5.1 – 5.6, +.5

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: classic rock WBAB (+.9)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: public radio news/talk WNYC-FM (-1.0)

RIVERSIDE

News/Talk: KFI 5.2 – 5.4, +.2, steady at #2

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: KVCR .7 – .8, +.1, #28 to #19, and KPCC .8 – .4, -.4, #27 to #20

Number One 6+ sixth month in a row: Spanish adult hits KLYY 6.9 – 6.5, -.4

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: Spanish contemporary KLVE (+.6)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: rock KCAL-FM (-.7)

SAN JOSE

News/Talk: KGO 2.5 – 2.0, -.5, #11 to #12

News: KCBS-AM & KFRC 6.8 – 5.1, -1.7, second to fourth

Sports Talk: KNBR 2.5 – 1.3, -1.2, #11 to #19

Public Radio News/Talk: KQED 12.8 – 12.0, -.8, repeats at #1

Number One 6+ second straight month: public radio news/talk KQED 12.8 – 12.0, -.8

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: adult contemporary KISQ (+.9) and classic hits-oldies KBAY (+.9)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: news KCBS-AM & KFRC (-1.7)

MIDDLESEX

News/Talk: WKXW 5.0 – 4.4, -.6, fifth to sixth, and WOR 2.0 – 2.1, +.1, #21 to #20

News: WCBS-AM 2.7 – 2.6, -.1, #14 to #16

Sports Talk: WFAN 2.7 – 2.5, -.2, #14 to #17

Public Radio News/Talk: WNYC-FM 4.1 – 3.4, -.7, sixth to tenth

Number One 6+ second month in a row: classic rock WAXQ 8.9 – 8.1, -.8

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Increase: Spanish tropical WSKQ (+2.0)

Largest 6+ January 2021 – February 2021 Decrease: Spanish contemporary WPAT (-1.7)

Up next: February 2021 overviews for: Washington, DC; Boston; Miami; Seattle; Detroit; Phoenix; Minneapolis; San Diego; Tampa; Denver; Baltimore; and St. Louis. Email managing editor Mike Kinosian at Mike.Kinosian@gmail.com.

Monday, March 22, 2021

| March 22, 2021

Pending Business: One Year Later. Sales and marketing pro Steve Lapa recognizes the one-year anniversary of the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic and notes that, while the radio sales climate is nowhere near where it was pre-pandemic, “the uphill process of slowly rebuilding an economy is emerging and it depends heavily on a foundation of sellers… you can feel the confidence of target business categories coming back as vaccines and mandated safety standards become more and more mainstream.” Read his column here.

Monday Memo: Lennon, McCartney, Marbourg. “Non-music stations – particularly AMs –are at a fork in the road,” consultant Holland Cooke reckons. In this week’s column, he explains why “ambiguity is your enemy.” Read it here.

Salem Media Group Names Shaun Thompson WIND-AM, Chicago PM Drive Host. Weekend talk host Shaun Thompson is being promoted to the afternoon drive slot at Salem Media Group’s news/talk WIND, Chicago “AM 560 The Answer.” Thompson takes over the 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm show today (3/22) from Steve Cortes, who is leaving the station to pursue a new national television project. Thompson has been serving as a weekend and fill-in host on the station since 2016. He most recently filled in for Cortes from July through November of 2020 when Cortes took a hiatus to work on the re-election campaign of Donald Trump. Salem regional VP and general manager Jeff Reisman says, “It’s rare in radio to have transition as smooth as this one. Shaun Thompson has developed such a deep bond with our listeners because he was one of them before becoming a talk show host. He knows this city and this audience and what they care about. His passion and personality make him a unique talent. We’re excited to have him join the lineup as a full-time host.” Thompson says, “Twelve years ago, I made my first phone call to a talk radio station as a listener. Five years ago, I had the opportunity to host my first show on AM 560. During that time, I’ve come to appreciate this format and the listeners who spend time with us every day. I look forward to providing my perspective each afternoon and engaging with the audience. I’m incredibly grateful for this opportunity. I’m also thankful for Steve Cortes and his friendship. He’s made it so easy for me to slide into this role as he’s prepared to leave. I look forward to having him on the show as a regular guest.”

WPHT Supports Liberty USO Via Radiothon. WPHT, Philadelphia held its fourth annual USO Radiothon on Friday (3/19) between 6:00 am and 6:00 pm to raise awareness and funds for the USO of Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey. From the time a service member enlists, the USO is by their side until the day they transition back to the community. Through the USO Radiothon, WPHT brought many of the untold stories about the good work done by the Liberty USO to its listeners and raised awareness of the amazing effect that this charity has on active duty National Guard and reserve military personnel and their families. Co-hosted by WPHT morning host Rich Zeoli and mid-morning host Dom Giordano, the event raised thousands of dollars for the worthy cause. This year to aid the fundraising, Dom Giordano reached into his charity bag of tricks and called upon some national celebrities to each jot off a quick autographed doodle and send it to him be bid upon by listeners. Giordano tells TALKERS, “We had Bill O’ReillyBrad ThorGeraldo RiveraMike RoweHerschel WalkerLee Greenwood, and Jesse WattersNelson Perez, the Archbishop of Philadelphia, even contributed one. The doodles also provided a lot of fun during the broadcast and a listener even bid $300 for my wife’s doodle of me.”

Entercom Launches ‘The Bet 105.9’ in Chicago. A new, sports-betting focused radio station is hitting the air in Chicago as Entercom unveils “The Bet 105.9” on the HD2 channel of WCFS-FM. The station is a “BetQL Audio Network” and CBS Sports Radio affiliate and programs airing on the signal include: “BetQL Daily” with Joe Ostrowski and Ross Tucker, “You Better You Bet” with Nick Kostos and Ken Barkley, CBS Sports Radio’s “Tiki and Tierney,” “The DA Show” and “Reiter Than You.” Entercom regional president and market manager Rachel Williamson says, “Since legalization in 2019, sports betting has exploded in the state of Illinois and we’re delighted to enter the arena of this rapidly growing landscape to deliver insightful content to our listeners with the launch of this new station. The station will serve as the home for several favorites from the BetQL Audio Network and CBS Sports Radio Network, giving listeners a wide array of expert analysis.”

iHeartMedia Reveals New Downtown Cleveland Facilities. The nine Cleveland radio brands operated by iHeartMedia will have a new home by the end of the year. The company is moving to Euclid Avenue in downtown Cleveland and it says the 10-year agreement with K&D Group provides space for the stations’ studios along with the company’s sales, marketing, digital and Total Traffic operation in a new, state-of-the-art street level facility. iHeartMedia Cleveland president Keith Hotchkiss says, “We are thrilled to return our broadcast and digital operations to the heart of our city. Connecting our influencers, marquee talent, and operation staff with the downtown business district will further drive the passion to serve the community we all call home.” New office features will include five conference rooms, 11 studios featuring cutting-edge technology, eight service booths for news, traffic, and podcast creation, and phone audio sound via Sound+. A marquee broadcast studio and mixed-use podcast content creation room both face street level on Euclid Avenue. Studio designs are by Beneville Studios and AUX1 design.

Tom Hamilton Named Market Manager for Curtis Media’s North Carolina Sports Talk Trio. Radio management pro Tom Hamilton is returning to Curtis Media Group as the new market manager for the sports talk trio “Hub Sports” WSJS-AM, WMFR-AM, and WPCM-AM in the Greensboro, Winston-Salem, High Point market. Hamilton previously served as GM of WSJS and WMFR with Curtis Media Group from 2007 until 2011. Curtis president and COO Trip Savery comments, “We are very pleased to welcome Tom back to Curtis Media Group. He has enjoyed much success in the Triad for many years, and we look forward to Tom leading our efforts with WSJS Sports.”

Jerry Donadio to Lead Sales at ‘The Mightier 1090’ in San Diego. The Times of San Diego reports that San Diego sports talk outlet XEPRS “The Mightier 1090” names sales pro Jerry Donadio vice president of sales and marketing. Station operator Bill Hagen tells the paper that Donadio will be responsible for building revenue growth for “The Mightier 1090.” Donadio tells the Times, “This is an opportunity of a lifetime. I now have the opportunity to return to 1090 and build my own sales team. Prior in my career, I’ve always been in media sales with an existing infrastructure. I’m really excited to be part of The Mightier 1090’s renaissance.” Donadio was most recently serving with KFMB-AM and KFMB-FM as an account executive from 2017 to 2020.

COVID-19, Spring Break, Asian Protests, Border Crisis, Cuomo Troubles, Trump Social Media Platform, Chauvin Trial, and Deshaun Watson Allegations Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The number of COVID cases in the U.S., concern about variants and the rollout of vaccines; the chaos in Florida as the beach towns are inundated with spring break revelers; protests in the Asian community over the shooting deaths of six Asian women in the Atlanta area; the crisis of young migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border; the allegations of sexual misconduct by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo; the news that Donald Trump will launch a new social media platform within the next few months; the ongoing jury selection in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin; and the allegations of sexual harassment against Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.