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By Mike Kinosian
CHICAGO — It is a completely reasonable leap for the average non-broadcaster to assume the June 30th debut of iHeartMedia’s Black Information Network (BIN) was an instantaneous response to George Floyd’s one-month earlier murder (5/25), and/or the rapid rise of the “Black Lives Matter” movement.
Clearly though, those deeply rooted in the industry are acutely aware that a full 24/7 all-news entity is a highly thorough, meticulous proposition that hardly springs up overnight.
Round Two of November PPM’s Released. The second of four rounds of November 2019 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. The November 2019 rating period covered October 10 – November 6. Some 6+ ratings gains of note for spoken-word stations during the November survey include: Cumulus Media’s news/talk WMAL-AM/FM, Washington adds 0.6 to its weekly, AQH share for 5.7 and #4 in the market; Entercom’s sports talk WJFK-FM, Washington adds a half share to its October increase for a 4.8 share and the #8 rank; Patriots football is good to Beasley Media Group’s WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” as it adds 2.5 shares over the last three surveys for a 6.2 share and the #3 rank in the market; Entercom’s sports WXYT-FM, Detroit adds 0.8 tenths in November to land at a 5.5 share and #6 in the market; and iHeartMedia’s KFXN, Minneapolis “100.3 K-FAN” tacks a 0.5 share onto its six-month, 3.4 share surge to finish November with a 7.3 share and the #3 rank. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Takeaways” from these markets here.
John Shumway Leaves KDKA-AM to Focus on Television Role. Pittsburgh news pro John Shumway is giving up his role as co-host of the morning drive show on Entercom’s KDKA-AM in order to focus on his reporting position with KDKA-TV, effective today (11/27). In a memo to staff, Entercom Pittsburgh market manager Michael Spacciapolli says, “We have worked with John to determine it is best for him to relinquish his radio responsibilities and focus his time on his extraordinary work as a general assignment reporter at KDKA-TV. John has been the cohost of the KDKA Radio morning news for over 15 years – his tireless work ethic and news judgment has been a cornerstone of KDKA Radio mornings. His integrity is unquestionable. Simply put, John is one the most gifted, well-respected journalists in our city. I want to personally thank John for his tireless work over the years with us, it has been an honor to work alongside him.” Larry Richert remains host of the morning program.
Staskiewicz Promoted to Digital PD for Beasley Boston. At Beasley Media Group’s Boston station group, Tim Staskiewicz is promoted to digital program director. He’d most recently been responsible for managing the digital programming efforts for sports talk WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” and WKLB “Country 102.5” for the past two years. In his new role, he adds similar duties for urban contemporary WBQT “HOT 96.9,” classic hits WROR, and classic rock WBOS “ROCK 92.9.” Prior to joining Beasley Media Group, Staskiewicz spent six years as the digital content director for CBS RADIO’s Boston operations.
COMING FRIDAY: Holiday Weekend Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The Thanksgiving 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, will be posted Friday afternoon (11/29) on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC. The new episode titled “Thanksgiving Weekend Edition!” will look back at the week of November 25-29, 2019 and feature guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Brian Sussman, talk show host, KSFO, San Francisco; Thom Hartmann, talk show host, WYD Media Network; Doug Stephan, talk show host, Stephan Multimedia; Brian Weigand, talk show host, WIQO, Lynchburg, VA; Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company; and Dr. Renee Kohanski, forensic psychiatrist/medical profession podcaster. This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on WONK-FM, Washington, DC; WRKO, Boston; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; the Virginia Talk Radio Network and Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA. It also appears on the iHeart Radio App. To listen to this weekend’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.
Grayson Headed to Full-Time KMBZ-FM, Kansas City Gig? Several radio trades are reporting that longtime St. Louis-based talk radio host Jon Grayson is soon to be co-hosting the midday show with Jayme Monacelli at Entercom’s KMBZ-FM, Kansas City. Grayson has been handling fill-in duties at the station since he exited CH Holdings’ KTRS, St. Louis a year ago. Prior to his work with KTRS, he hosted the overnight show at Entercom’s KMOX, St. Louis that was, for a time nationally syndicated as “Overnight America.” The KMBZ-FM website still lists Mike Wickett as co-host of the 10:00 am to 2:00 pm show.
Impeachment Hearings, 2020 Presidential Election, U.S.-China Trade Talks, Financial Markets Activity, UN Climate Change Report, Storms and Holiday Travel Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/26). The testimony in the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020 and Democrat Michael Bloomberg’s entrance into the race; the on-again trade talks between the U.S. and China; the world’s financial markets react to the U.S.-China talks; the alarming conclusions in the latest UN climate change report; and the storms affecting Thanksgiving holiday travel were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that WLS-AM personality Jenniffer Weigel is moving her late night show to the earlier 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm slot, bumping the Westwood One-syndicated Mark Levin show to 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight. Weigel started working with the Cumulus Media station earlier this year contributing to the morning drive Mancow show…..The Long Island Nets and Hofstra University’s WRHU “Radio Hofstra University” are expanding their partnership to incorporate television production for the 2019-20 season. The three-time Marconi Award winning station will continue as the team’s flagship radio station. This is the first season that WRHU will partner with the Nets to produce the televised broadcasts of all 24 home games. Students, led by WRHU’s director of operations John Mullen and general manager Bruce Avery, will work and learn as producers, audio engineers, 3-play/replay engineers, and graphics operators and coordinators. Mark Lukasiewicz, Dean of Hofstra University’s Lawrence Herbert School of Communication, says, “The Long Island Nets have had a very fruitful relationship with Bruce Avery, John Mullen and the students of WRHU. We look forward to working with Hofstra University on creating a best-in-league television production with our talented in-house production team.”…..In Charlotte, Entercom’s sports talk WFNZ is hosting “WFNZ’s 17th Annual Street Turkeys” – its annual food drive to benefit Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina and Loaves & Fishes. Today, WFNZ is broadcasting 13 hours of live programming and encouraging listeners to donate turkeys, canned food, monetary donations, and non-perishable items…..Entercom news/talk WCCO, Minneapolis produced its 17th annual Union Gospel Mission Hunger Radiothon on November 18, raising more than $342,000 to benefit Union Gospel Mission Twin Cities. Since 2003, the station has raised more than $3 million. Pictured below is WCCO morning personality Dave Lee (right) speaking with a guest resident of the Union Gospel Mission.
Robert F.X. Sillerman Dead at 71. The former radio station owner passed away on Sunday (11/24) after suffering from respiratory illness. Robert F.X. Sillerman is remembered in the radio business for the several radio companies he built and sold, starting with Sillerman-Morrow Broadcasting with partner “Cousin Brucie” Morrow. He also built Capstar, partnered with Carl Hirsch’s Legacy Broadcasting, and built SFX Broadcasting, all of which he sold at considerable profits both before and during the era of consolidation. He created SFX Entertainment after acquiring concert promotion businesses and sold it to then-Clear Channel which ultimately renamed it Live Nation.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. After recently announcing their Las Vegas residency presented by SiriusXM and their 50th anniversary tour, The Doobie Brothers are taking over SiriusXM’s Classic Vinyl channel this Thanksgiving weekend. The band will share insight behind their biggest hits and play music from their own catalogue as well as other artists and friends…..Yesterday morning (11/26), Westwood One’s internationally syndicated “The Ty Bentli Show” hosted a ‘Family Invasion’ with ACM Artist of the Decade Jason Aldean. The whole morning was spent with Ty, TJ, and Chuck Wicks sharing a behind-the-scenes look at Aldean’s personal and road life as he prepares to spend Thanksgiving at brother-in-law Chuck’s house! Pictured below are (from l-r): Wicks, Aldean, Bentli, and TJ.