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Wednesday, March 17, 2021

| March 17, 2021

Saga Adds New Talk Station to Clarksville, Tennessee Cluster. The Saga Communications station group in Clarksville, Tennessee – known as 5 Star Media Group – has acquired WNZE-AM and translator W288DQ from Consolidated Media (the AM’s previous calls were WJZM). According to the report at Clarksville Now, the news/talk station – called “NewZee 105.5 FM and 1400 AM” is airing a slate of nationally syndicated talk programming including: Compass Media Networks’ “This Morning with Gordon Deal,” Salem Radio Network’s Hugh Hewitt and Dennis Prager, Premiere NetworksSean Hannity, Westwood One’s Mark Levin, and more. Speaking about the acquisition, 5 Star Media Group general manager Katie Gambill says, “When this station became available, we saw it as a golden opportunity to round out our portfolio with radio talk while also expanding what we can do with local news. And it gives our business partners new ways to reach more customers.”

KTRS, St. Louis to Celebrate 25 Years Next Month. The CH Holdings-owned news/talk outlet KTRS-AM is preparing to celebrate its 25th anniversary next month. Current KTRS morning host and program director McGraw Milhaven says, “It was April 1996, when 550 KTRS radio signed on in St. Louis. At the time, the St. Louis business community, upset that corporate radio was gutting the fabric of St. Louis, started KTRS with the idea of bringing local back to local. The corporate radio reaction? ‘Local talk? All day long? With no syndication? We give it six months.’ Well 25 years later KTRS is celebrating 25 years of local talk radio. Some changes along the way. The general manager who put the deal together, longtime St. Louis radio executive Tim Dorsey, retired and was replaced by his brother Mark Dorsey, but the mission continues. Local talk, all day long. With great support from the local St. Louis community and local businesses, KTRS has only grown stronger over the years. Now, 25 years later, local talk is more important than ever and KTRS is here to prove once and for all that local radio can not only survive but thrive.”

Westwood One Blog: Podcasting Data from ‘Infinite Dial’ Most Compelling. Calling two of the slides from Edison Research’s and Triton Digital’s “Infinite Dial 2021” “the most compelling aspect of the study,” Westwood One’s Pierre Bouvard says in this week’s WWO blog that they’ve summarized “the most crucial data on the U.S. podcast audience.” Bouvard cites the following data as important to viewing the changes in the U.S. podcasting audience over the past five years: Nearly eight in ten 12+ Americans are familiar with the term podcasting, up from 60% in 2017; 57% of Americans have ever listened to a podcast, a near 50% increase since 2017 (40%); 41% of Americans have listened to a podcast in the last month, a 71% increase versus 2017 (24%); among persons 12-34, podcast usage has crashed through the 50% barrier with a monthly reach of 56%; The weekly podcast audience (28%) has nearly doubled over the same period from 15% in 2017; and podcast habituation is up with 68% of the monthly podcast audience having also listened in the past week, an 8% increase from 2017. Looking back 10 years, the study shows that 10 years ago, the podcast audience was 58% male and 42% female while today the monthly podcast audience is more evenly split between men and women. Over the past 10 years, the audience is diversifying as the persons 55+ proportion of the monthly podcast audience has grown from 14% to 21%; the persons 12-34 audience composition has increased from 46% to 50%; and the persons 35-54 audience composition has dropped from 40% to 29%. Also, the podcast audience is more diverse: The ethnic audience composition of monthly podcast listeners is up from 32% in 2011 to 43% in 2021. The Hispanic audience composition has surged from 11% to 16% over the 10-year period. See more here.

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that WGN-AM morning drive personality Bob Sirott is being honored by the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois with the 2021 Diogenes Award for Excellence in Media. Sirott will receive the honor at the organization’s March 25 annual meeting…..iHeartMedia announces a new iHeartRadio Original Podcast hosted by actress and singer-songwriter Minnie Driver called, “Minnie Questions with Minnie Driver. ” iHeartMedia says in the intimate talk show-style podcast, Driver will ask a wide-range of celebrity guests the same seven “mini” questions to uncover larger truths and help us better understand ourselves and the world around us. Driver says, “I have wanted to share this crazy idea for a podcast for such a long time. I question everything about the world around me, and I’m so excited to share these questions I’ve discovered and host these conversations that can help other people find happiness, self-love and belonging, too.”…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One – as the official network radio partner of the NCAA – begins its presentation of the 2021 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship tomorrow (3/18) at 5:00 pm ET. WWO will present play-by-play from all 67 games, including eight first-round and second-round games, plus regional semifinals and finals. Games will air on more than 400 affiliate stations across the country and via SiriusXM…..Entercom’s Pittsburgh radio stations – including news/talk KDKA-AM and sports talk KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” – raised funds to provide more than 650,000 meals for people in need through the “Giant Eagle Feed the Need Radiothon” that took place yesterday (3/16). Entercom Pittsburgh SVP and market manager Michael Spacciapolli says, “This is a great example of Pittsburghers taking care of each other and using the power of radio to spread the message of the need in our region. Helping the community is part of the fabric of what we do. On behalf of our amazing team at Entercom Pittsburgh, I want to once again thank our listeners for stepping up to help our neighbors in need.”

Atlanta Spa Slayings, Migrant Border Crisis, Cuomo Allegations, Stimulus Package, COVID-19 Stats & Vaccines, Dems Attack on the Filibuster, Newsom Recall Effort, U.S. Sanctions 24 Chinese and Hong Kong Officials, and the Oscar Nominations Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/16). The shooting deaths of  eight Asians at several spas in the Atlanta area by a white suspect; the Biden administration’s immigrant problem as thousands of parentless children amass at the U.S.-Mexico border; the sexual harassment allegations against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the fellow Democrats calling for his resignation; Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package becomes law; the number of COVID cases in the U.S., concerns about variants, the removal of mask mandates in some states, and the rollout of vaccines; Democrats fight with Republicans over the former’s attempt to kill the Senate filibuster; California Governor Gavin Newsom battles the recall effort against him; the U.S. sanctions 24 Chinese and Hong Kong officials under the Hong Kong Autonomy Act; and the unveiling of this year’s Oscar nominations were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Pictured above is Michael Harrison contemplating lyrics to “I Know You’re Real” while walking in the woods that surround his Western Massachusetts home searching for The Tree Of To Be.

Calling All Animals! TALKERS founder Michael Harrison has put out an open “casting call” to the talk media industry readers of this publication to submit royalty free original photos of animals that are, as he puts it, “special in their lives.” Some of the photos submitted will be used in a music video project Harrison is developing for release next month about the animal welfare movement of which he is a longtime advocate. Harrison has co-written a song about the relationship between human beings and other species titled, “I Know You’re Real,” which addresses the subject of animal welfare in what he describes as an “inspirationally spiritual manner.” It has been recorded by the legendary rock band Gunhill Road of which Harrison is now an official member and will appear on the storied 50-year-old ensemble’s forthcoming 13-song album, What Year Is This! scheduled for release in April. Harrison says, “We are looking for photos of people’s domestic pets, farm animals or personal wildlife photography subjects to use in the video.” Please send JPG photo files of animals that are royalty free to Harrison at michael@talkers.com. Include the name of the animal (if it is a pet) and a statement that the photo and rights to its use are being donated to the Gunhill Road Video Project without expectation of payment or credit. (Attempts will be made to properly credit the animals and photographers if and where possible.) Two versions of the song will appear on the album. One will feature Harrison delivering the lyrics in spoken word fashion and the other will be a fully sung version featuring lead vocals by Gunhill Road member (and highly accomplished Broadway musician) Brian Koonin. The 2021 incarnation of Gunhill Road consists of founding members Steve Goldrich and Glenn Leopold, longtime member Paul Reisch, and recently added members Harrison and Koonin. Harrison and the other band members will be available for talk media interviews upon the release of the album. Stay tuned to TALKERS for more information about this project coming in early April.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

| March 11, 2020

WABC PD David LaBrozzi Added to Bold “Super Panel” Designed to Address Existential Industry Question at TALKERS Convention. The TALKERS editorial board is pleased to announce the addition of WABC, New York/Red Apple Media, Inc. director of programming, content & branding David LaBrozzi to what is being described as a “bold super panel” to tackle the existential industry question, “Can Radio Be Saved and, If So, How?” at the forthcoming TALKERS Convention in New York on Friday June 5. TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey says, “This 90-minute session will feature an extraordinary lineup of seven individuals reflecting a wide perspective on the past, present and potential future of radio’s role in society.” In addition to LaBrozzi, the panel consists of (in alphabetical order): MediaVision CEO, Lee Abrams; RAB president and CEO, Erica Farber; Radio Hall of Fame chairman and Soundmind LLC partner, Kraig Kitchin; SiriusXM Satellite Radio host, Joe Madison; and former CBS Radio/Entercom executive VP of programming, Chris Oliviero. One more panelist will be named shortly along with an introducer. Michael Harrison will serve as moderator. For more information about the forthcoming TALKERS Convention see story below.

Sean Hannity to Head All Star Lineup of Speakers at 23rd Annual TALKERS Convention Set for NYC on Friday June 5. In what has become an annual tradition, Premiere Networks and FOX News Channel superstar Sean Hannity will reprise his role as one of the key speakers at the forthcoming TALKERS Convention. He will also again host the morning networking event, “Breakfast with Hannity.” Hannity will engage in the popular presentation, “A Fireside Chat with Sean Hannity” hosted by Michael Harrison.” VP/executive editor Kevin Casey states, “This year’s 23rd annual convention is a celebration of TALKERS magazine’s 30th anniversary and we are pleased to report that we’ve lined up an extraordinary roster of about 60 speakers and a powerful agenda to make it a truly meaningful life changing and career enhancing event for each and every one of our attendees. Details about the agenda and sponsorship opportunities will continue to be posted here on Talkers.com daily. This year the event is titled, Talkers 2020: The Rise of the Media Station, and takes place at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan. Speakers are being recruited from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry — including talent, programmers, managers and owners and the agenda focuses on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age including fundamental changes in the platforms upon which it is carried and distributed. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments, costs $329 per person. Attendance is only open to members of the media industry and communications students and an advance sellout is expected. Non-refundable registrations can only be obtained via telephone with credit card. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. To make reservations at the “official” hotel of the event, the Hilton New York Fashion District (located across the street from the venue) and receive a discount (while rooms last) please click here.

Unique Trophy: Red Apple Launch Party for WABC at NYC Opening of ‘Cats.’  The 77WABC launch party to celebrate the much-anticipated closing on the former Cumulus Media-owned station by John Catsimatidis’ Red Apple Media took place Monday evening (3/9) at the legendary outlet’s studio in New York City.  During the packed event that included 77WABC air personalities and executives as well as representatives from the ad buying community, Catsimatidis was welcomed into radio industry ownership with the presentation of the “Beacon” – a recently replaced 77WABC tower obstruction light.  During a brief speech, Catsimatidis reassuringly told the gathering, “We only buy companies, we do not sell them.  We are here to stay!”  Pictured above are (from l-r): John Catsimatidis Jr., John Catsimatidis, the “Beacon,” Red Apple Media/77WABC president Chad Lopez, and Margo Catsimatidis. Photo: Jillian Nelson

iHeartMedia Issues Coronavirus Memo to Staff. Company CEO Bob Pittman and COO Rich Bressler sent a memo to the entire iHeartMedia staff regarding the coronavirus epidemic.  Here’s what it said: Team, at iHeart, our two most important priorities are serving the communities across America in which we live and work and protecting the health and safety of our employees. iHeart reaches nine out of 10 Americans – more than any other media company — and our reach comes with the responsibility to be a voice for information, context and trusted companionship.  Like you and like our listeners nationwide, we see increasing daily media coverage about the coronavirus (COVID-19), and as a company we want to make sure we do the right thing.  In addition to the work we do around the specific health risk, as media industry leaders we are also concerned that anxiety and excessive worry over the virus can have its own negative impact.  We also know that some of you and your family members are feeling this anxiety personally.  The latest information suggests that coronavirus can be very serious if you’re older or sick, just as the flu can.  But, like the flu, its effects seem to be relatively mild for the majority of people who catch it, with the exception of older people, those with respiratory ailments or those with compromised immune systems.  To put the coronavirus into some perspective, the country did not experience the same anxiety-fueled reaction around diseases like measles, Zika, SARS, West Nile, Ebola or Bird Flu, to name a few examples, and health professionals say those were all likely more dangerous than the coronavirus although maybe not as widespread.  For your own personal health and the health of those around you, if you’re sick, please stay home and don’t expose yourself to others; that’s the same request we have if you have the flu or a bad cold or any other contagious disease – plus wash your hands often and follow CDC recommendations about disease prevention and guidelines about when to stay at home after travel to any “hot spot” countries or contact with anyone who has a confirmed case of coronavirus.  Right now, the potential for panic is an additional concern we need to address.  We know that for people to remain calm they need information on a continuing basis about what’s going on.  We also need to make sure we disseminate accurate and timely information to help the health professionals manage this outbreak, and to that end we will also be airing daily coronavirus updates on our stations to help supply that necessary information to our communities.  At iHeart, we will continue to operate with our usual business practices, and we will adjust them as needed.  Because we want to make our workplaces as safe as possible, we ask that you quickly contact HR4U@iheartmedia.com or (855) 722-4748 if you or anyone in your offices has contracted, or come into direct contact with, coronavirus and we will deal with each situation individually and appropriately.  As a company we adapt and react quickly, and in this situation, that’s never been more critical.  Our focus is on serving our communities, our listeners and our employees, and we are dedicated to using our assets for the public good in every single community we serve.  As leaders in our communities and in media we have a responsibility to help put the coronavirus in perspective by disseminating information and context for our listeners, and we feel this will have the additional benefit of calming anxiety and the ill effects on society that could result from that.  We’re monitoring the situation closely, and as we learn more, we’ll keep you informed.  Thanks for your strong commitment to serving our communities, our listeners and our partners at a time when they need us more than ever.

Tom Gresham’s ‘Gun Talk’ Celebrates 25 Years in Syndication. The nationally syndicated weekly program “Gun Talk,” hosted by Tom Gresham, is celebrating its 25th year on the air.  Gresham says of his guns and shooting sports program, “‘Gun Talk’ radio is perhaps more important today than when it started 25 years ago.  Whether it’s helping the first-time gun buyer sort out what she needs to buy or exposing politicians who claim to be supporters of the Second Amendment while putting restrictions on this right, there’s plenty to talk about.  Responsible gun ownership is strong, and I’m glad to be part of the movement.”  “Gun Talk” airs live each Sunday from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm ET.  In addition to his radio show, Gresham has created and hosted “Personal Defense TV” and “Gun Talk TV” and has written magazine articles and books about firearms safety and training.

PPM Analysis: Ratings ‘Extra.’ TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents this “extra” look at radio station performances based on data from Nielsen Audio’s January 2020 PPM survey.  Which stations gained the most weekly, 6+ AQH share compared to the Holiday 2019 survey and which stations lost the most shares?  See it all here.

The Coronavirus Epidemic, the Democratic Primary, Financial Markets React to the Coronavirus, Putin Power Grab Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/10). The status of the COVID-19 epidemic and the debate over the best policies to contain it; Tuesday’s primary elections and Joe Biden’s lead in the Democratic primary race; the world’s financial markets’ reactions to the coronavirus epidemic; and Vladimir Putin’s move to secure his role as leader of Russia through 2036 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. The “Jalen & Jacoby” podcast from ESPN Audio, starring Jalen Rose and David Jacoby, is planning another live recording of the program at the historic Gramercy Theatre in New York City on Tuesday, April 21.  ESPN says the “Jalen & Jacoby” podcast first began as a passion project for the guys under ESPN’s Grantland banner.  As the podcast developed into a hit in the summer of 2011, it grew to include a YouTube show, then to a national ESPN radio show.  From the radio show, “Jalen & Jacoby” grew – yet again – into a late-night TV show before landing in the afternoon on ESPN2 and, where it airs currently at 4:00 pm ET on ESPN.…..The University of Washington athletics department and exclusive multimedia rightsholder Huskies Sports Properties, announces today a new, five-year broadcast agreement with iHeartMedia sports talk KJR-AM, Seattle to run through the 2024-2025 athletic season.  The deal means KJR will provide comprehensive coverage for all Huskies sports including men’s basketball, women’s basketball and football game broadcasts.  Promotional support will happen on KJR-AM and sister stations classic hits KJR-FM, adult hits KJAQ-FM “96.5 JACK-FM,” and sports talk KFNQ-AM…..The “Joy on Paper” radio show hosted by Patzi Gil and dedicated to the world of books, celebrates its 5th anniversary on March 17.  Last year, on the program’s fourth anniversary, Gil’s guests were the writing couple Andrew Grant and Tasha Alexander, both popular authors.  This year they’ll return with breaking news that Andrew Grant is now two writers in one – the talented author of the Paul McGarth series will join his brother Lee Grant (a.k.a. Lee Child) to carry on the Jack Reacher series.  Gil says, “I don’t know how I will introduce him now.  But, whether he is Andrew Grant or Andrew Child, he is a fabulous writer and I am proud that he and Tasha will be joining me.  Tasha is the New York Times best-selling author of the ‘Lady Emily’ mystery series.”

Emmis Communications Announces Non-Broadcasting Acquisition. The acquisition of Lencore Acoustics Corporation – a Long Island-based business in the sound masking industry – gives Emmis Communications Corporation a foothold in a non-broadcasting business.  According to the press release, “Sound masking technology introduces barely perceptible background sound into a space to make environments more comfortable, ensure speech privacy, and increase workplace productivity.”  It adds that Lenore does business in nearly every U.S. state, and Europe (London).  Lencore’s 33 employees become Emmis staffers immediately.  Emmis chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan says, “Today’s announcement is the product of a long process, looking for the right place to infuse the Emmis hallmarks of sales and marketing excellence.  Emmis’ experience in building best-in-class operations, coupled with its unique people-first culture is the perfect fit to complement the talented Lencore team, and will give them the resources and support necessary to grow the business.  We believe that the continued move toward open-concept offices makes effective sound masking solutions more and more important.  We’re excited about where this business can go.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Multimedia pro Joey Fortman is named morning drive personality and digital media specialist for Bonneville’s adult contemporary KOIT, San Francisco.  In addition to her past experience as a radio personality, Fortman is the founder of “Reality Moms,” a multimedia digital influencer agency.  Bonneville Bay Area director of programming operations Brian Figula says, “Joey Fortman is a very unique talent who excels at both on-air and digital content creation.  She is the perfect fit to connect our listeners to our advertisers and sell their products on-air and via our fast-growing digital channels.”…..The husband-and-wife duo of Robby Bridges and Rochelle Gagnon are joining MacDonald Garber Broadcasting’s CHR WKHQ, Traverse City, Michigan to host the morning show. Additionally, Bridges will serve as station program director and Gagnon will take on promotions director duties.  The duo recently served at iHeartMedia’s WDVD, Detroit.  Bridges says, “We’d like to thank Trish and Peter Garber, Diane Hansell and Gary Berkowitz for this awesome opportunity to join their team to create big, fun, live and local radio in one of America’s premiere vacation cities.”…..Central Florida Educational Foundation promotes Dean O’Neal to vice president of operations in which he’ll oversee the organization’s seven Christian radio stations.  O’Neal was most recently program director for non-commercial Christian contemporary WPOZ-FM, Orlando “Z88.3.”  As the same time, Therese Romano is named PD for WPOZ.

Friday, March 6, 2020

| March 6, 2020

NOW POSTED:  New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.”   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 on the website of its flagship station, WONK-FM, Washington, DC.  The new episode titled “This is No Gaffing Matter!” looks back at this past week of March 2-6, 2020 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERSVictoria Jones; executive director, DC Radio Company; Martha Zoller, talk show host, WDUN, Gainesville, Georgia; Thom Hartmann, talk show host, WYD MediaJoshua Philipp, senior investigative reporter, The Epoch Times; and Bali Samra, human resources consultant/commentator, Pioneer Valley Radio. This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on WONK-FM, Washington, DC Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WRKO, Boston; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD “Freedom 93.7”, Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; the Virginia Talk Radio Network and Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA.  To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), 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.

FOX News Radio Names Jimmy Failla Host of ‘FOX Across America.’ The new, permanent host of FOX News Radio’s midday “FOX Across America” show is comedian Jimmy Failla, who takes over on Monday (3/9).  “FOX Across America” has been airing in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET daypart with a rotating cast of hosts since Todd Starnes – host of “FOX News and Commentary” – exited FNR back in the fall of 2019.  FNR says, “Based in FNR’s New York City studio, ‘FOX Across America with Jimmy Failla’ will feature guests from across the political spectrum for lively discussions on the day’s leading headlines.  A standup comedian and former head writer for FOX Business Network’s “Kennedy” (weekdays 9:00 pm ET), Failla will also utilize his comedic talents to help navigate the partisan divide, providing an honest look at the important issues that affect every American.”  In addition to airing weekdays on FNR, the show will also be available for download via FOX News Podcast Network, with full video recordings of each airing streaming exclusively on FOX Nation, FNC’s online subscription-based streaming service.

Denver’s ‘The Fan’ Celebrates 25th Anniversary. Denver sports talk outlet KKFN-FM “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” turns 25 today and the Bonneville station is launching a campaign that will culminate in a 25th anniversary celebration in June.  As part of the celebration, ‘The Fan’ will welcome back influential figures from the station’s history for a reunion broadcast that will allow Denver listeners to reconnect with talent from the past.  Bonneville Denver SVP and market manager Bob Call says, “Twenty-five years ago, we launched Denver’s first 24-hour, all-sports radio station.  Over the years, ‘The Fan’ has featured some of Denver’s most-loved personalities, starting with Doug Moe and Tom Green – who signed the station on the air – to legendary personalities like Irv Brown, Joe Williams, and Sandy Clough, who continues to entertain Denver sports fans today.  Through the years, ‘The Fan’ has been built on great live and local talent.  We are grateful for our many listeners and business partners who have been a part of this remarkable legacy.”

Westwood One to End NBC Sports Radio Distribution. Affiliates of the Westwood One-distributed NBC Sports Radio network are being notified that WWO will discontinue its distribution of the network at the end of this month. Westwood One also handles distribution for the CBS Sports Radio network and affiliates are being offered the option to take that network’s programming.  NBC Sports Radio had been offering 24/7 content but reduced that in January of last year but continued to offer sports talk shows such as “ProFootballTalk Live with Mike Florio” and “The Safety Blitz with Rodney Harrison and Dan Schwartzman.”  Those shows will continue to be available on various digital platforms.

Lyndsay Keith Named Co-Host of ‘Spicer & Co.’ Pictured above on the set of the Newsmax TV show “Spicer & Co.” is co-host Lyndsay Keith (left) and host (former White House Press Secretary) Sean Spicer (right).  “Spicer & Co.” debuted Tuesday (3/3) and airs weekdays at 6 pm ET.  Prior to joining Newsmax, Keith worked at Google as a brand strategist.  She has also served as deputy communications director for the Republican National Committee.  She also served as an adviser to the Mitt Romney presidential campaign.

TALKERS News Notes. The 8th Annual Contact in the Desert event takes place at Indian Wells Resort & Spa in Indian Wells, California May 29 through June 1 and one of the participants will be Premiere Networks late-night host George Noory.  The event is described as “an epic adventure weekend into the science of UFOs, communication with non-human intelligence, ancient astronauts, human origins, crop circles, military sightings, government disclosure, artificial intelligence, downed craft technology, the evolution of consciousness, forbidden archaeology, cosmic teachings, contact experiences, interplanetary living, and much more.”  The host of “Coast to Coast AM” is one of 70 “experts, scientists, researchers, and military insiders.”…..iHeartMedia’s news/talk WOR, New York and LaborPress.org are presenting a panel discussion called “The Future of Healthcare” on March 19 at The Cutting Room in New York City.  The 12:30 pm to 3:00 pm event will feature opening remarks by NYS Building & Construction Trades Council president James Cahill and is being moderated by filmmaker Joe Pantoliano (The Sopranos, The Matrix) who also produced and directed the documentary film that addresses mental illness titled, No Kidding! Me 2!!…..Comedian and talk host Dennis Miller begins hosting a twice-weekly show on RT America called, “Dennis Miller +1.”  The interview show airs live at 9:00 pm on Mondays and Wednesdays.  Miller says, “What do I like in an interview?  I like it when the host asks a question and then listens to the guest’s answer and then reacts to that answer with an amplification through the next question.  I promise you, I will not sit here finding myself overly precious and thinking only about my next query.  I’m going to have a conversation!”  Miller talks to actor and comedian Jeff Dunham on the first episode…..The Washington Examiner is launching a weekly podcast called, “Mag Men,” that offers analysis and commentary of the week’s news and what stories the editors are working on for the week ahead.  It’s being hosted by executive editor Seth Mandel, managing editor Jay Caruso, Life and Arts editor Park MacDougal and deputy editor J. Grant Addison.  The show is on the Ricochet platform that also hosts other Washington Examiner podcasts, including the “Hashing it Out,” a weekly podcast hosted by Siraj Hashmi, “The Byron York Show,” hosted by Washington Examiner chief political correspondent Byron York, and “Examining Politics, “a daily podcast hosted by Cumulus Media and WMAL-FM, Washington talk-show host Larry O’Connor…..Happy 61st birthday to talk host Lars Larson, who also celebrates 45 years on the radio this month.  Larson, who hosts his daily KXL-FM, Portland-based Pacific Northwest show as well as his Compass Media Networks nationally syndicated show, says, “Forty-five years ago this month, I landed my first paid job in radio spinnin’ records and reading news from 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight Monday thru Friday on the “Mighty 1590” KTIL from a cinderblock building in a cow pasture outside Tillamook, Oregon.  Forty years ago next week, I came to work at KXL.  This month, I mark 23 years of Radio Northwest Network syndication in Oregon, Washington and Idaho… I did my 20 years in the liberal gulag of TV news, but I never stopped doing radio.  When a kind-hearted TV management informed me I had a ‘face for radio’ and demanded that I choose – TV or radio – it wasn’t hard at all.  My first love, radio… God blessed me with Tina, my wonderful wife, who puts up with the weird hours and strange demands of this business.  I have looked forward to each and every day I get to open a mic and talk with folks.  My personal goal is to stay behind the mic as long as my hero Paul Harvey did.”

RTDNF Honors Journalists at 30th Annual First Amendment Awards. Last night (3/5), the Radio Television Digital News Foundation honored journalism professionals dedicated to defending the First Amendment and the public’s right to know at the 30th Annual First Amendment Awards in Washington, D.C.  The evening’s program began with RTDNA/RTDNF executive director Dan Shelley’s call to action, “Your viewers and listeners in the cities and towns you serve need the refreshing drink of water and the pleasant fragrance of a blossoming local news product that reflect an even stronger commitment to serving them – to empowering them to make positive changes in their communities… By joining forces, we can place America’s dust bowls of journalism into the dustbin of history.”  This year’s honorees were: David Muir of ABC News; “60 Minutes” produced by CBS News; Robert Horner of NBC News; Barbara Maushard of Hearst Television; Lori Montenegro of Telemundo; Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT); and Steve Andrews of WFLA-TV, Tampa.

Presidential Race/Super Tuesday Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 2-6. The race for the Democratic nomination, the Super Tuesday elections, and the candidates who dropped out were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the coronavirus pandemic. Coming in at #3 was the financial markets activity and the Fed’s interest rate cut, followed by health care reform, climate change, and race relations tied at #4.  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. Programmer John Candelaria is leaving his position with Beasley Media Group as PD of rhythmic AC WMGC “105.1 The Bounce” and urban AC WDMK “Kiss 105.9” in Detroit and national brand manager for urban and rhythmic AC to relocate to his home town of Albuquerque…..“The Kidd Kraddick Morning Show” co-host J-Si Chavez and contributor Jenna Owens are launching their new podcast, “Fitish,” and the first episode reached the top 50 on the Apple Podcasts chart.  Owens, who recently announced that she is taking a step back from day-to-day co-hosting at “The Kidd Kraddick Morning Show,” states, “I’m thrilled to be able to talk more openly about things I haven’t been able to discuss on the morning show and do it all with my favorite radio partner and occasionally our real-life partners as well!”…..Pictured at left is Premiere Networks senior director of rock programming and specials Sal Cirrincione (left) and rock legend Roger Daltrey (right) aboard Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas for the sold out Rock Legends Cruise VIII.  Cirrincione helped entertain passengers by hosting Q&A sessions with three Daltrey, The DoorsRobby Krieger and Heart’s Nancy Wilson.  The annual cruise benefits the Native American Heritage Association, a charitable non-profit organization dedicated to helping Native American families in need who live on Reservations in South Dakota and Wyoming.

Friday, March 22, 2019

| March 22, 2019

Michael Savage Celebrates 25 Years in Talk Radio on Sunday. This Sunday (3/24) Westwood One nationally syndicated talk show host Michael Savage celebrates his 25th anniversary in talk radio.  Savage hosts “The Savage Nation” radio show and podcast.  He’s a member of the National Radio Hall of Fame and is also a best-selling author.  Westwood One is recognizing Savage’s silver anniversary with a special program airing on Monday, March 25 that will feature clips of highlights from over the years, special call-ins, and other surprises.  In January, Savage repurposed his daily three-hour radio show into a new hybrid radio show and podcast that’s been named to Apple’s New and Noteworthy podcasts.  Commenting on his achievement, Savage says, “This has been my 5th career.  Social worker, teacher, medicinal plant explorer, author, talk show host.  Where have all the years gone?  I only hope I have made the world a better place.”  In June, HarperCollins will release Savage’s latest book, A Savage Life, featuring favorite stories and all-new, never published material.

Wheeler Morris to Lead Hubbard’s Corporate Podcast Strategy. This is a move from a focus on the Twin Cities market to a corporate focus for Wheeler Morris, who takes on the title, manager of corporate podcasting for Hubbard Radio.  Morris has been serving with the Minneapolis cluster developing and executing successful podcasts.  In this new position, Morris will lead the company’s expansion into the podcast space, overseeing content creation, distribution and sales, and marketing.  Hubbard Radio currently produces more than 150 unique podcasts that reach more than 500,000 listeners every month.  Hubbard Radio SVP programming Greg Strassell comments, “Wheeler has been very involved in original podcast launches over the past few years in the Hubbard Radio Minneapolis-St. Paul studios, and recruitment of new outside opportunities for Hubbard Radio.  It is time to recognize his leadership to focus on the growing on-demand focus at a corporate level.”  Morris says, “Since Hubbard’s 2015 investment in PodcastOne the personnel within Hubbard’s markets have put a lot of great work into growing within this space.  I am very excited to help this initiative continue to grow from both an audience and monetization standpoint, working with all of our markets, PodcastOne, and podcasters outside of Hubbard.”  Morris will also work closely with Hubbard Radio VP/corporate digital strategy Jeremy Sinon in exploring and developing emerging technology to maximize distribution and discovery of Hubbard Radio podcast content.

Lineup Shift Takes Place at ‘SportsTalk 790’ in Houston; Adam Clanton Returns. With the recent departure of sports talk personality Josh Innes from the morning drive daypart at iHeartMedia’s sports talk KBME, Houston “SportsTalk 790,” the station announces a lineup shuffle that takes effect on Monday (3/25).  The station moves Sean Salisbury from afternoons to the morning drive daypart.  The new morning show features Michael Connor, Rachel Van Oranje, and Adam SagerMatt Thomas and “In the Trenches” hosts Greg Koch and N.D. Kalu remain in middays and the station brings Houston sports talk personality Adam Clanton back to the station to host the afternoon drive program “The A-Team.” iHeartMedia director of AM programming Bryan Erickson says that the station will announce Clanton’s co-host in the days to come.

FSR’s Jason Smith Show with Mike Harmon Hits 400 Affiliate Mark. The nationally syndicated late-night sports talk program “The Jason Smith Show with Mike Harmon” hits the 400-affiliate mark.  Syndicator FOX Sports Radio (a division of Premiere Networks), announces the achievement adding that some of the newest affiliates include: WBCN-AM/W234BY, Charlotte; WRNW-FM, Milwaukee; WHBQ-AM, Memphis; and WLVL-AM, Buffalo.  Premiere Networks VP of sports programming Scott Shapiro says, “We are extremely pleased to welcome 400 affiliates to the club!  ‘The Jason Smith Show with Mike Harmon’ has proven time and time again to be the place to go for instant reaction to all of the big games in sports. When major moments happen on the field or court, Jason and Mike have every angle covered.”  Smith (left) joined FOX Sports Radio in 2014.  Prior to that, he hosted “NFL Fantasy Live” on the NFL Network.  Harmon (right) has been partnered with Smith since 2014 and he also hosts Sunday mornings on FOX Sports Radio.

WFAN Denies Adam Schein for Mike Francesa Scenario. Whenever WFAN’s Mike Francesa is the focal point of a story in the New York media, it’s a big deal – at least among sports fans and sports talk radio watchers.  Thursday (3/21) was no different when the New York Post’s Andrew Marchand wrote that Entercom had been in talks with SiriusXM and CBS Sports personality Adam Schein to join WFAN and take over for afternoon host Mike Francesa.  Marchand includes a statement in the piece from WFAN programmer Mark Chernoff that reads: “We are 100% committed to Mike Francesa, who is the #1 Sports Radio talk show host in afternoon drive.  There is absolutely no truth to any reports about Adam Schein joining WFAN.”  But Marchand explains that he never said Schein was joining WFAN, but that discussions were held about bringing Schein aboard to replace Francesa should he leave the station again. Read the Post piece here.

Envision Networks Appoints Peter Welpton Director of New Business Development. Longtime broadcaster Peter Welpton joins Envision Networks as director – new business development. The company says he’ll manage its newest office in Dallas.  Envision says that Welpton has more than 30 years in the broadcasting business and moved into the digital product ownership, development, and sales field in 2010.  He’s worked with major media brands such as Oprah, the Dallas Cowboys, NBC, Scripps, the NFL, and the Game Show Network.  Welpton says, “I can’t tell you how elated I am to be working with [CEO] Danno [Wolkoff] again.  I’ve admired his and [COO] Laura [Orkin]’s success as business owners and the growth they’ve achieved with Envision.  I look forward to bringing my background in digital products, sales, and experiences to their company and opening new lines of business.”

TALKERS News Notes. There’s a new member of the Salem Media Group board of directors as Causeway Strategies founding partner Heather Grizzle is appointed to the unexpired term of Roland Hinz, whom she replaces.  Salem CEO Ed Atsinger comments, “I am delighted that Heather Grizzle has agreed to serve on Salem’s board of directors.  Any shareholder who will take the time to review Ms. Grizzle’s background further, much of which is readily available online, will quickly come to appreciate what a tremendous resource she will be to Salem Media Group as a member of its board of directors.”…..Pollack Broadcasting will fire up FM translator W240EH, Evanston, Illinois and begin simulcasting news/talk WCGO-AM, Evanston on the 95.9 FM signal.  William J. Kelly, host of the “Citizen Kelly” program that airs nightly from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm, reveals the news to TALKERS magazine.  He tells us the station’s engineer says the primary coverage area will be similar to WCGO’s nighttime pattern – “about 15 miles west, southwest, south in a teardrop shape, along with North Shore up to about the Lake Bluff area.”

Robert Mueller’s Trump Investigation Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 18-22. The status and scope of the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the New Zealand gun ban and the aftermath of the mosques shootings. Coming in at #3 was the growing number of 2020 Democratic hopefuls, followed by the electoral college and reparations debates at #4.  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 entire chart here.

A View of Modern Communications and Journalism from the Leading Edge of Academia. Former NBC News and ABC News executive and producer Mark Lukasiewicz was appointed dean of Hofstra University’s highly reputed Lawrence Herbert School of Communication in 2018. The multi-decorated journalist (10 Emmys, two Peabody Awards, grand prize of the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards and more) is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Over a career that spans nearly four decades, Lukasiewicz spent 16 years in roles that included executive-in-charge of the NBC News Group Transformation Project, senior vice president of NBC News Specials, and he was the news division’s first vice president of digital media. Before joining NBC News in 2000, he spent 11 years with ABC News, where he was executive producer of “Good Morning America,” senior producer of “World News Tonight with Peter Jennings,” and senior producer of “PrimeTime LIVE with Diane Sawyer and Sam Donaldson.” He’s also been an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Harrison and Lukasiewicz discuss the state and future of journalism tackling such red-hot topics as ethics, audience-targeting, storytelling, exponentially evolving technology, and the general transformative state of 21st century communications. “The field of communications has never been a bigger part of our daily lives, nor more important and critical to the civic life of our nation,” Lukasiewicz says. “I’ve been privileged to work with, and learn from, some of the best professionals in the world. Now, I have an opportunity to give back.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the daily TALKERS email newsletter and every page of Talkers.com. Don’t miss this!

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Boston hip hop outlet WJMN “JAM’N 94.5” announces the launch of the “Ashlee & The New JAM’N Morning Show” on Monday (3/25). The cast is pictured here (from l-r): DJ Pup Dawg, Santi DeoleoAshlee Feldman, and DJ4eign.  Feldman was most recently the station’s afternoon drive host.  Back in 2013, she was a co-host on the iHeartMedia station’s morning program.  She was also a cast member of the 24th season of MTV’s “The Real World.”  She’s served with radio stations in St. Louis and New Orleans.  Feldman says, “‘JAM’N’ has always been my family.  I remember playing basketball at Northeastern and worrying about how I could get my hands on some cash because I just had to buy a ticket to Summer Jam.  I’ve had many different roles at ‘JAM’N 94.5’ but I always knew where my home was and that is back in the mornings.”.….Entercom adds an FM translator to the hip hop station “96.3 The Block” – currently emanating from WFBC-HD2 – that allows listeners to hear it on W299BO at 107.7 FM.  Entercom Greenville-Spartanburg SVP and market manager Steve Sinicropi says, “‘96.3 The Block’ has become the top choice for hip hop and R&B fans in Greenville and Spartanburg over the past four years.  We’re excited to answer the call-for-service in Anderson County by adding 107.7 FM.”…..Midwest Communications agrees to acquire WNFZ-FM, Knoxville from owner John Pirkle and is flipping it from alternative to adult hits as “94.3 JACK FM.” The station had been operated under a local marketing agreement by Oak Ridge FM.  Midwest assumed the LMA yesterday afternoon (3/21).  Station brand manager Randy Chambers says, “We’re excited to introduce a totally different radio station to East Tennessee.  The radio market and advertiser needs continue to evolve and we’re evolving with those needs.  ‘JACK-FM’ is a music-driven, innovative, and energetic format that is designed for an adult audience and built around the promises of variety, low repetition, fewer commercials. and less clutter.”  This acquisition adds to Midwest Communications’ Knoxville cluster that includes classic rock WIMZ, adult contemporary WJXB, and country WDKW.  Michael J. Bergner of Bergner & Co. brokered the transaction.

February 2019 PPM Data – Part Four. February 2019 ratings information has been released for Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s February 2019 survey period covered January 31 – February 27. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets below.

Austin

Spoken-Word Formats – Notwithstanding that it is a combined +1.1 in January/February (2.7 – 3.5 – 3.8, 6+) following December/“Holiday” 2018’s -1.8 (4.5 – 3.7 – 2.7, 6+), Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590 AM” backslides from #11 to #12.

In four straight decreases, Genuine Austin Radio sports talk KTXX “The Horn” is off a collective nine-tenths (2.5 – 2.4 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.6, #19 to #20, 6+). Without an increase for the fourth consecutive time as well, iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” is down three-tenths (.7 – .7 – .6 – .5 – .4, 6+) and continues at #24.

On the heels of posting a January +1.6 (7.8 – 9.4, 6+), University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk KUT falters by six-tenths to 8.8 (6+) but repeats at #1. Prior to January’s increase, KUT forfeited an overall eight-tenths in three straight declines (8.6 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 7.8, 6+).

Austin Music Formats – Trending 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.4 (December – “Holiday” 2018 – January 2019, 6+), Crista Media contemporary Christian KFMK dials up a +1.2 to 4.6 (6+) and enters the top ten (#12 to #8). Furthermore, “Spirit 105.9” reaches the four-share level (4.6, 6+) for the first time since May 2017’s 4.0. Piling on a +1.1 to January’s gain of seven-tenths (3.6 – 4.3 – 5.4, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KHFI “96.7 Kiss FM Austin’s #1 Hit Music Station” cruises from ninth to sixth. “Kiss” was off a combined nine-tenths in December/ “Holiday” 2018 (4.5 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+). The seven most recent shifts for Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ are -1.2 (September 2018); +1.2 (October); -.5 (November); +1.2 (December); +2.1 (“Holiday” 2018); -4.9 (January 2019); and +.9 in February (4.6 – 5.5, sixth to fourth, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 9.5 represents the strongest 6+-stat for KKMJ since “Holiday” 2017 (12.4). Even though hot AC cluster-mate KAMX logs a +.6 to interrupt three straight downturns that resulted in a loss of seven-tenths (5.3 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.6, 6+), “Mix 94.7” slips from a sixth-place tie to seventh. After improving by +1.2 in January (3.7 – 4.9, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country” surrenders half that increase (4.3, -.6, 6+) and drifts from fifth to tenth. In “Holiday” 2018, KASE spiraled by -1.9. Elsewhere in the market’s country contest, co-owned KVET-FM “98.1 The Austin, Texas Original,” which also posted a January +1.2 (5.0 – 6.2, 6+), drops three-tenths to 5.9 (6+) but remains at #3. When KVET-FM gained one-half share in “Holiday” 2018, it ended three straight decreases that accounted for a collective loss of eight-tenths (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.6 – 4.5, 6+). By picking up four-tenths (2.3 – 2.7, 6+), Genuine Austin Radio-owned KOKE-FM  progresses from #16 to #13. When “Austin’s Country Alternative” dropped one-tenth in January, it suspended three straight increases that nearly doubled (+1.1) its 6+-stat (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.4, 6+).

Raleigh

Spoken-Word Formats – Adding four-tenths to January’s +1.5 (4.6 – 6.1 – 6.5, 6+), WTKK “106.1 Stay Connected” pushes from sixth to fifth. Immediately prior to January, the iHeartMedia news/talk outlet had been -1.7 through three straight negative trends (6.3 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 4.6, 6+). While it remains at #19, Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF “News Radio 680” falters by three-tenths (1.6 – 1.3, 6+). Before dropping two-tenths in November, WPTF had nearly doubled (+.8) its 6+-share in eight straight sweeps without a loss (1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+).

Returning half of January’s +.2 (1.8 – 1.7, -.1, 6+), Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC continues at #17. Entering the January sweep, “99.9 The Fan” was an overall -.8 in three consecutive decreases (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 1.6, 6+).

After having notched a +1.0 in January (7.1 – 8.1, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” forfeits 60% of the increase (7.5, -.6, #2 to #4, 6+). January’s boost curtailed five losses in a row that resulted in a collective -1.7 (8.8 – 8.4 – 8.3 – 7.4 – 7.2 – 7.1, 6+). WUNC has moved from third to first (June 2018, +9); first to third (July, -1.1); third to first (August, +1.2); first to second (September, -.4); second to third (November, -.9); fourth to second (January 2019, +1.0); and second to fourth (February, -.6).

Raleigh Music Formats – Having surrendered a -2.6 in January, Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL roars back with a +1.6 (7.0 – 8.6, fourth to second, 6+). In three consecutive up or flat trends (5.3 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 9.6, 6+), “Mix 101.5” was a cumulative +4.3; “Holiday” 2018’s 9.6 is its strongest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 10.4. With an October 2018 through January 2019 topline of 5.8 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 5.2 – 5.6 (6+), iHeartMedia’s WRDU “Classic Rock 100.7” posts a +.6 to 6.2 (seventh to sixth, 6+), its best 6+-showing since August 2018 (6.2, as well). In addition to snapping at five its successive streak of down or flat trends that resulted in a -1.5 (5.2 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.2 – 3.7, 6+), Radio One gospel WNNL “103.9 The Light” (3.9, +.2, 6+) returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). The five most recent fluctuations for urban AC cluster-mate WFXC are +.9 (November 2018); -1.5 (December); +1.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.1 (January 2019); and -1.1 in February (11.0 – 9.9, on top for the seventh time in succession, 6+). January’s 11.0 is the highest 6+-stat for “Foxy – Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” in the PPM-era. While it more than doubles (+.7) its 6+-stat in five straight up or flat trends (.5 – .5 – .6 – .7 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), Curtis Media Group classic hits-oldies WPTK “Just Right Radio” repeats at #20. Without a loss in six straight July through “Holiday” 2018 sweeps in which it more than doubled (+1.7) its 6+-stat (1.5 – 1.5 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.2, 6+), regional Mexican sibling WYMY “La Ley 101.1” is now -1.1 in January/February (3.2 – 2.9 – 2.1, #13 to #16, 6+).

Indianapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Rather amazingly, Emmis news/talk WIBC posts a fluctuation of nine-tenths for the fourth sweep in succession: -.9 (December); -.9 (“Holiday” 2018); +.9 (January 2019); and +.9 in February (6.3 – 7.2, fifth to third, 6+). Previously, “Indy’s Mobile News 93.1” was -.7 (September 2018); +1.0 (October); and +.7 (November).

Sports talk sibling WFNI “The Fan – Indy’s Sports Center” is in a November 2018 through February 2019 up/down pattern of 2.3 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.0 (#14 to #16, 6+). It is three-tenths ahead of iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station,” which drops one-tenth (1.8 – 1.7, 6+) but advances from #18 to #17.

Recent shifts by Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI include +.8 (November/December); -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); +.9 (January 2019); and +.5 in February (5.1 – 5.6, ninth to eighth, 6+).

Indianapolis Music Formats – After stumbling by seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2018, Entercom CHR WZPL  is +1.7 in January/February (4.6 – 5.5 – 6.3, seventh to fifth, 6+). Furthermore, “99.5 ZPL” reaches the six-share level (6.3, 6+) for the first time since May 2018’s 6.6. In January, Cumulus Media’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” enjoyed a two-share (6+) advantage over Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM” That lead, however, shrinks to just three-tenths in February as “Hank” gains seven-tenths (5.2 – 5.9, eighth to seventh, 6+), while WFMS erodes by -1.0 (7.2 – 6.2, fourth to sixth, 6+). An overall -1.3 in three straight decreases (5.7 – 5.0 – 4.6 – 4.4, 6+) before adding eight-tenths in January, “Hank” was -1.5 in September and then +.6 in October. Having finished on top in April 2018, May, and June, WFMS was -.5 (February 2018); +1.0 (April); +.5 (May); -.5 (July); -.7 (August); +.9 (October); -1.8 (December); +1.1 (January 2019); and -1.0 (February 2019). Without an increase seven straight times for a collective -1.4 (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+), Radio One CHR WNOW “100.9 Radio Now” rebounds with a January/February +.9 (2.3 – 2.6 – 3.2, #15 to #14, 6+). As highlighted above, both of Indy’s country stations are accustomed to wild sweep-to-sweep fluctuations. The same applies to Cumulus Media’s WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5,” which slumps by -.7 (9.8 – 9.1, 6+) but repeats at #1. Its January +2.9 (to 9.8) virtually eliminated December and “Holiday” 2018’s -3.0 (9.9 – 9.2 – 6.9, 6+). After spending six straight sweeps at #1, WJJK slipped to third in “Holiday” 2018 but returned to #1 in January. Its November decrease of one-tenth interrupted five successive increases which netted a +3.2 (6.8 – 7.3 – 7.9 – 8.6 – 9.7 – 10.0, 6+). In October, “Classic Hits 104.5” reached 10.0, the highest 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. Sputtering by six-tenths are Emmis adult contemporary WYXB “B-105.7” (7.6 – 7.0, third to fourth, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WOLT “Alt 103.3 Indy’s Alternative” (#12 to #13, 6+). A combined +9.6 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (6.8 – 9.0 – 16.4, 6+), “B-105.7” eroded by -8.8 in January. Its “Holiday” 2018 16.4 represents the highest 6+-stat by any Indianapolis station since WYXB notched a 17.7 in “Holiday” 2016. “Alt 103.3” is in a November 2018 through February 2019 up/down sequence of 4.5 – 4.6 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 3.5 (6+).

An overall +.6 through three straight up or flat trends (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 4.1, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” has that streak halted with a loss of two-tenths to 3.9 (6+) but remains at #12.

Milwaukee

Spoken-Word Formats – The market’s two major (commercial) news/talkers are separated by just one-tenth as Good Karma Brands’ WTMJ “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” dips one-tenth (6.3 – 6.2, sixth to fifth, 6+) while iHeartMedia’s WISN “News/Talk 1130” falters by seven-tenths (6.8 – 6.1, fourth to sixth). By picking up one-tenth in January, WTMJ halted three straight downtrends that produced a -4.2 (10.4 – 9.4 – 6.8 – 6.2, 6+) for the flagship of the Green Bay Packers, Bucks, and Brewers. Some of its representative shifts include -.8 (January 2018); +.9 (February); +1.9 (April); -.6 (May); +.5 (June); -.5 (August); +.6 (September); +2.5 (October); -1.0 (November); -2.6 (December); and -.6 (“Holiday” 2018). A combined -2.3 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (6.9 – 6.3 – 4.6, 6+), following its October and November +1.3, “News/Talk 1130” boasted a January +2.2 to 6.8 (6+). January 2019 marked the first time since May 2018 that WISN prevailed over WTMJ (6+). In that sweep, WISN notched a 7.7 (6+) to WTMJ’s 7.3 (6+).

A gain of three-tenths to 1.4 (#15 to #14, 6+) by Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” pulls the plug on four straight down or flat trends that accounted for a cumulative loss of eight-tenths (1.9 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.1 – 1.1, 6+). An overall -3.7 in nine straight sweeps without an increase (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 2.3 – .8 – .7 – .7, 6+), Good Karma Brands’ country-to-sports talk convert WKTI “94.5 ESPN” picks up one-tenth to .8 yet slides from #17 to #20. Up one-tenth in back-to-back reports (2.6 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+) and then plummeting in “Holiday” 2018 by -2.5, iHeartMedia’s WRNW “97.3 The Game” doubled “Holiday” 2018’s .3 (6+) to .6 (6+) but loses two-tenths in February (.4, #21 to #22, 6+); WRNW was formerly CHR “97.7 Now.” Co-owned WOKY “The Big 920” is unchanged from January in market share and market rank (.2, #24, 6+).

Even though University of Wisconsin news/talk WUWM adds three-tenths to January’s +.9 (3.6 – 4.5 – 4.8, 6+), it backslides from ninth to tenth. Wisconsin Public Radio news/talk WHAD nearly doubles January’s .7 (1.3 +.6, #19 to #15, 6+).

Milwaukee Music Formats – An increase of nine-tenths (4.5 – 5.4, ninth to eighth, 6+) elevates Entercom CHR WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM” to the five-share level (5.4) for the first time since September 2018’s 5.1. Down four-tenths in a “Holiday” 2018/January 2019 mini-slide (7.8 – 7.7 – 7.4, 6+), Saga Communications’ classic rock WKLH “96.5 Hometown Rock” answers with a +.7 to 8.1 (third to second, 6+). The four latest fluctuations for iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT are -1.0 (December); +3.8 (“Holiday” 2018); – 1.9 (January 2019); and +.6 in February (9.6- 10.2, 6+) as “95.7 Big FM Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” is #1 for the third straight time. WRIT spent 43 consecutive ratings periods at #1 before shifting to #2 in October; “Holiday” 2018’s 11.5 is the strongest 6+-stat for any Milwaukee station since WRIT’s 11.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Gaining six-tenths as well in February is Milwaukee Radio Alliance adult contemporary WLDB (5.8 – 6.4, eighth to fourth, 6+). A combined +5.2 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (5.1 – 7.7 – 10.3, 6+), “B-93.3” sputtered in January by -4.5. In “Holiday” 2018, WLDB reached double-digits (10.3, 6+) for the first time in its PPM-history. Co-owned alternative WLUM “102.1 Sounds Different” nearly erases January’s -.6 with a half-share gain (2.5 – 3.0, steady at #13, 6+); January’s 2.5 is its lowest-ever 6+ (PPM) stat. An overall +2.0 via three successive upticks (4.5 – 4.7 – 5.9 – 6.5, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WKKV “V-100.7 Jams” forfeits 55% of that increase with a -1.1 to 5.4 (fifth to eighth, 6+). Without a direct country competitor since WKTI flipped to sports talk in November (2018), iHeartMedia-owned WMIL “FM 106.1 Milwaukee’s Best Country” is a combined -1.3 in December/“Holiday” 2018; +1.3 (January); and -.9 in February (7.5 – 6.6, second to third, 6+). Slipping by one-half share are Saga Communications’ urban AC WJMR “Jammin’ 98.3” (4.2 – 3.7, #11 to #12, 6+) and co-owned rhythmic CHR WNRG “Energy 106.9” (1.8 – 1.3, #14 to #15, 6+). WJMR gained seven-tenths in January, completely erasing a December/“Holiday” 2018 mini-slide (4.2 – 3.7 – 3.5, 6+). When “Energy” lost three-tenths in January, it halted five straight reports without a loss that netted +1.3 (.8 – 1.2 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+).

Nashville

Spoken-Word Formats – Down or flat the past four sweeps for an overall loss of eight-tenths (4.0 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.2, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” gains four-tenths to 3.6 (#14 to #12, 6+). Adding one-tenth to January’s one-half share increase (1.0 – 1.5 – 1.6, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC “Talk Radio 1510” carries on at #19.

Continuing an up/down sequence that began in October 2018, Cumulus Media sports talk/Tennessee Titans’ flagship WGFX “104.5 The Zone” is +1.3 (October); -.9 (November); +.2 (December); -.8 (“Holiday 2018”); +.3 (January 2019); and -.7 in February (5.1 – 4.4, seventh to tenth, 6+). Meanwhile, Cromwell Group-owned/similarly-formatted WPRT “102.5 The Game” notches a +.3 (1.6 – 1.9, #18 to #17, 6+). A December loss of one-tenth halted three consecutive improvements that netted a +1.0 (.7 – .8 – 1.3 – 1.7, 6+).

While it remains in sixth-place, Nashville Public Radio news/talk/classical hybrid WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” is a combined +2.1 in January/February (3.6 – 5.2 – 5.7, 6+). December’s +.4 suspended three down moves in a row that accounted for a collective -1.5 (4.9 – 4.6 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+).

Nashville Music Formats – Without an increase five straight reports for a combined -1.4 (7.8 – 7.6 – 6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WNRQ “105.9 The Rock – Nashville’s Classic Rock” is +1.1 in January/February (6.4 – 6.7 – 7.5, 6+) and repeats in the runner-up slot. August 2018’s 7.8 was the best 6+-stat for WNRQ since January 2018 (7.8, as well). Posting gains of seven-tenths are Midwest Communications adult hits WCJK “96.3 Jack FM Playing What We Want” (6.0 – 6.7, fourth to third, 6+) and iHeartMedia CHR WRVW “107.5 The River” (4.9 – 5.6, ninth to seventh, 6+). “Jack” followed “Holiday” 2018’s +1.2, which applied the brakes to five downturns in succession that led to a cumulative -2.0 (8.1- 7.8 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+), with a January -1.3. “The River” had been -1.9 in “Holiday” 2018/January 2019 (6.8 – 5.0 – 4.9, 6+). On the heels of a January +1.2 (4.2 – 5.4, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” tacks on another half-share to 5.9 (6+) as the country outlet repeats at #5. Prior to January, “Nash FM” last reached the five-share level in January 2018 (5.0). Finishing at eighth and ninth, respectively, are co-owned/similarly-formatted WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” (5.1 – 5.0, -.1, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country,” which is flat at 4.7 (6+), following a January gain of +1.2. Prior to that increase, “The Big 98” had been -2.0 via three consecutive setbacks (5.5 – 5.0 – 4.6 – 3.5, 6+). In January, “Nash Icon” returned the one-tenth it gained in “Holiday” 2018 (5.1 – 5.2 – 5.1, 6+). It was -1.0 (September); +.8 (November); and -1.5 (December). Notwithstanding a January/February -4.8 (14.1 – 10.6 – 9.3, 6+), Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” is #1 for the 14th successive ratings period. January’s  -3.5 interrupted three consecutive positive spikes that netted a +6.0 (8.1 – 9.0 – 10.9 – 14.1, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 14.1 is the highest 6+-share for any Nashville outlet since WJXA’s 14.4 in “Holiday” 2017. Among its recent fluctuations are: -6.7 (January 2018); +1.0 (February); -.5 (May); +1.0 (June); +.9 (August); -.9 (September); -.7 (October); +.9 (November); +1.9 (December); +3.2 (“Holiday” 2018); -3.5 (January 2019); and -1.3 (February).

Providence

Spoken-Word Formats – After being an overall -1.0 via three successive down or flat moves (4.8 – 4.8 – 4.2 – 3.8, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM adds one-tenth (3.9, ninth to seventh, 6+). Immediately prior to this just-concluded streak, “News Talk 630” was +1.1 in four straight sweeps without a loss (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+). Having erased December and “Holiday” 2018’s one-half share loss (1.7 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+) with a January gain of seven-tenths, iHeartMedia-owned news/talk WHJJ “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” is up two-tenths (1.9 – 2.1, #12 to #11, 6+). In seven straight Providence sweeps without a loss, co-owned Boston hybrid news-talk WBZ-AM netted six-tenths (.8 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 -1.1 – 1.3 – 1.4), but “News Radio 1030” is now off four-tenths in January/February (1.4 – 1.1 – 1.0, flat at #18, 6+). For the third time in a row, Cumulus Media-owned WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business” picks up one-tenth (.3 – .4 – .5 – .6, steady at #21, 6+).

Unchanged in sixth-place, WVEI follows January’s seven-tenths’ improvement with a dip of one-tenth (4.2 – 4.1, 6+). The Entercom sports talker was a combined -1.9 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (5.4 – 3.8 – 3.5, 6+).

Tied at #12 are The Wheeler School’s news/talk WELH (2.1 – 1.9, -.2, #11 to #12, 6+) and WGBH Educational Foundation Boston news/talk WGBH (1.6 – 1.9, +.3, #14 to #12, 6+). By gaining one-tenth in January, WELH ended three straight down or flat trends that accounted for an overall loss of eight-tenths (2.6 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+). WGBH was stable at 1.6 (6+) in January after “Holiday” 2018’s decrease of seven-tenths.

Providence Music Formats – For the third sweep in succession, iHeartMedia’s WHJY logs a 9.8 – matching its best 6+-stat since June 2018. Prior to taking over at #1 in January, “94 HJY Providence’s Home of Rock & Roll” was in the runner-up slot from September 2018 through “Holiday” 2018; WHJY was +1.2 in “Holiday” 2018. Steady in third-place, Hall Communications’ WCTK “Cat Country 98.1” is +1.8 in January/February (5.6 – 7.2 – 7.4, 6+), immediately following a collective -3.1 as a result of three straight declines (8.7 – 8.2 – 6.9 – 5.6, 6+). Having more than tripled (+3.0) its 6+-share as a result of six successive up or flat moves (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 4.2, 6+), Townsquare Media’s Fairhaven, Massachusetts-licensed CHR WFHN “Fun 107 – The Southcoast’s #1 Hit Music Station” has that streak halted with a one-half share decrease to 3.7 (sixth to ninth, 6+). Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI shakes off January’s -7.1 with a gain of two-tenths (9.1 – 9.3, 6+) and repeats at #2. “Lite Rock 105” posted three straight up or flat trends that yielded a +6.8 (9.4 – 9.4 – 12.1 – 16.2, 6+) and finished at #1 six sweeps in a row before segueing to second in January. “Holiday” 2018’s 16.2 is the highest 6+-stat for any Providence station since WWLI’s 18.0 in “Holiday” 2016. Remaining in eighth-place, iHeartMedia hot AC WSNE “Coast 93.3” is in a (6+) September 2018 through February 2019 up/down pattern of 5.1 – 5.5 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 3.8. Likewise, classic hits-oldies sibling WWBB “B-101” has been down/up since September: -.9 (September) +.5 (October); -.5 (November); +.5 (December); -.2 (“Holiday” 2018); +2 (January 2019); and -.4 (February, (6.9 – 6.5, fourth to fifth, 6+).

Norfolk – In back-to-back sweeps, Entercom’s WNVZ “Z-104 Norfolk Rhythmic Music” posts a +1.0 (3.6 – 4.6 – 5.6, unchanged at #6, 6+). January’s gain halted five consecutive down or flat reports that resulted in an overall -1.7 (5.3 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+). It has been quite a rollercoaster ride lately for iHeartMedia-owned rhythmic hot AC WMOV. Through seven successive down or flat sweeps, “Movin’ 107.7” was –4.3 (5.0 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .9 – .7, 6+); then +5.7 via five straight upticks (.7 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 6.4, 6+); -4.8 in “Holiday” 2018/January 2019 (6.4 – 4.9 – 1.6, 6+); and +.8 in February (1.6 – 2.4, steady at #8, 6+). When WPTE “94.9 The Point” recorded a January increase of two-tenths, it suspended four straight declines that resulted in a collective -1.5 (3.5 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 2.5 – 2.0, 6+). The Entercom hot AC tacks on seven-tenths in February to 2.9 (6+) and continues at #7. Up two-tenths (12.7 – 12.9, 6+), urban AC sibling WVKL repeats at #1. “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” had been on top 25 successive survey periods before segueing to the runner-up slot in “Holiday” 2018. WVKL posts a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 36th time in the last 37 sweeps; its August 2018 15.5 holds the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. After a “Holiday” 2018-only stay at #1, adult contemporary sibling WWDE “101.3 2WD” is -7.3 in January/February (13.6 – 6.8 – 6.3, flat at #4). Its +7.9 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (5.7 – 7.2 – 13.6, 6+) culminated with a 13.6 – the strongest 6+-showing in WWDE’s PPM-history. On the heels of recording a +.8 to 6.7 (6+), which curtailed three straight downturns that accounted for a -1.0 (6.9 – 6.3 – 6.1 – 5.9, 6+), Saga Communications’ WNOR “FM 99 Rocks” falters by one-half share (6.2, 6+) and carries on in fifth-place. After racking up consecutive gains of one-half share (6.5 – 7.0 – 7.5, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WOWI “103 Jamz” drops one-tenth to 7.4 (unchanged at #2, 6+).

Jacksonville

Spoken-Word Formats – Albeit down seven-tenths (10.4 – 9.7, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” repeats at #1. November 2018’s 11.2 is its best-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era.

Without an increase for the fourth straight sweep, iHeartMedia sports talk WFXJ “930 The Game – Jacksonville’s Sports Leader” has lost three-tenths in that timeframe (.8 – .7 – .6 – .6 – .5, flat at #20, 6+).

Although it remains at #12, public news/talk WJCT “Your Community – Your World” is a cumulative +1.3 in four straight increases (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 3.0 – 3.5, 6+).

Jacksonville Music Formats

An overall -2.0 in four consecutive slips (9.3 – 9.2 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 7.3, 6+), Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL “96.9 The Eagle” bounces back with a January/February +1.3 (7.3 – 8.1 – 8.6, third to second, 6+). The market’s (6+) country share dwindles by -1.4 as iHeartMedia’s WQIK “Jacksonville’s Country 99.1” erodes by -1.8 in five successive negative moves (7.0 – 6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 5.2, fifth to seventh, 6+), while Renda Broadcasting’s WGNE “Gator Country 99.9” is off one-half share (4.3 – 3.8, flat at #9, 6+). On the heels of January’s +1.2 to 6.1 (6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WSOL “V-101.5” surrenders nearly half that gain (5.6, -.5, fifth to sixth, 6+). Adult hits cluster-mate WWJK “107.3 The River – We Play Anything,” a combined -1.4 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (3.6 – 2.8 – 2.2, 6+), recaptures that deficit in January/February with a +1.4 (2.2 – 3.3 – 3.6, 6+) and remains at #10. In the market’s adult contemporary tussle, Renda Broadcasting’s WEJZ “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” has lost more than 50% (-7.9) of its 6+ AQH share in January/February (16.3 – 8.5 – 8.4, second to third, 6+), while Cox Media Group’s WEZI “Easy 102.9” is +1.1 in the same two sweeps (4.0 – 4.7 – 5.1, steady at #8). WEJZ was +8.4 December/“Holiday” 2018 (7.9 – 10.7 – 16.3, 6+) with “Holiday” 2018’s 16.3 the highest 6+-mark for any Jacksonville station since “Holiday” 2015 when WEJZ notched a 19.5. WEZI’s January +.7 halted a combined December/“Holiday” 2018 -1.3 (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.0, 6+). In advance of the December report, WEZI posted four straight improvements that netted a +1.9 (3.4 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 5.3, 6+).

West Palm Beach

Spoken-Word Formats – In addition to being down three-tenths (2.7 – 2.4, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WZZR exits the top ten (#9 to #11). “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk for the Palm Beaches” was +1.0 in “Holiday” 2018. It is four-tenths ahead of co-owned news/talk WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk,” which is off one-tenth (2.1 – 2.0, flat at #12, 6+). January’s +.3 suspended three straight declines that resulted in a loss of six-tenths (2.4 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 1.8, 6+). In three consecutive negative moves, Hubbard’s WFTL “News Talk 850” has lost roughly half (-1.5) its 6+ AQH share (2.9 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.4, #13 to #15, 6+). Unchanged at #22, iHeartMedia Miami news/talk WIOD gains two-tenths to .7, immediately after having its West Palm Beach 6+-stat sliced in half (-.5) since December (1.0 – .6 – .5, 6+).

The six most recent (up/down) fluctuations for Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN are +.5 (October); -.6 (November); +.5 (December) -.8 (December); +.7 (January 2019); and -.3 in February (3.7 – 3.4, flat at #6).

West Palm Beach Music Formats – Owing to three upticks in succession, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WOLL “Today’s Kool 105.5” is a collective +1.2 (5.3 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.5, 6+) and is steady at #3. Off eight-tenths in three straight setbacks (5.7 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 4.9, 6+), Hubbard urban AC WMBX “X-102.3” erases three-quarters of that deficit with a +.6 to 5.5 (unchanged at #4, 6+). Somewhat similarly, iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary WRLX “Mia 92.1” notches a one-half share increase to 2.8 (#11 to #9, 6+), which wipes away its -.5 in three consecutive losses (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.3, 6+). Repeating January’s 9.2 (6+), Hubbard hot AC WRMF “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” sets the pace – just as it did this time last month. After finishing on top in 12 consecutive ratings periods, WRMF shifted to #2 in “Holiday” 2018. A combined +1.3 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (8.9 – 9.9 – 10.2, 6+), WRMF sputtered by -1.0 in January. Immediately after posting a January increase of eight-tenths, erasing a December/“Holiday” 2018 -.7 (3.6 – 3.1 – 2.9, 6+), cluster-mate WIRK “103.1 South Florida’s Country Music” forfeits all but one-tenth of it (3.7 – 3.0, -.7, sixth to seventh, 6+). A collective +.8 owing to four straight sweeps without a loss (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 2.0, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WBGG “Big 105.9 South Florida’s Classic Rock” falters by four-tenths (1.6, #13 to #14, 6+). Through four consecutive down or flat reports (4.4 – 4.0 – 3.6 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF “WAY-FM Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” is -1.6 and slips from eighth to ninth.

Greensboro

Spoken-Word Formats – Following January’s +1.3 (3.0 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” adds one-tenth (4.4, steady at #9, 6+). WPTI was -1.2 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (4.2 – 3.7 – 3.0, 6+).

While up one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (.4 – .5 – .6, 6+), Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS “Triad Sports” falls from #16 to #17.

Locked at #13 for the tenth consecutive time, Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” is up one-half share in January/February (1.8 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+). Down or flat four straight times for roughly a 50% loss (-.5) of its 6+-stat (1.1 – .8 – .6 – .6 – .6, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC ends the slide with a one-tenth gain to .7 (6+) but backslides from #15 to #16.

Greensboro Music Formats – Adding six-tenths to January’s +.2 (2.8 – 3.0 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WMKS “100.3 Kiss-FM” progresses from #12 to #11. Its recent fluctuations include +.5 (August 2018); +.5 (September); -.6 (October); +.9 (November); a combined -.9 (December/“Holiday” 2018); and +.6 (February 2019). Also notching a February improvement of six-tenths is Winston-Salem State University-owned WSNC “90.5 Jazz In All Its Colors” which is trending .1 – .5 – 1.1 (“Holiday” 2018 – January – February, #16 to #14, 6+). Steady in fourth-place, Entercom rhythmic CHR WJMH “102 Jamz” is an overall +.9 through three consecutive positive moves (6.1 – 6.2 – 6.9 – 7.0, 6+). Its “Holiday” 2018 increase halted six straight sweeps without an increase for an overall -2.1 (8.2 – 7.4 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 6.1, 6+). Despite being -1.8 as the result of four straight setbacks (11.4 – 10.8 – 10.3 – 9.9 – 9.6, 6+), urban AC sibling WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” repeats at #1. Its consecutive streak of reaching double-digits (6+) ended in January at 26. A +1.0 in November, WQMG spent 11 straight sweeps at #1 before segueing to #2 in December. For the third sweep in succession, country cluster-mate WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” has a shift of one-half share: -.5 (“Holiday” 2018); +.5 (January 2019): and +.5 in February (5.2 – 5.7, eighth to sixth, 6+ ). Prior to January’s gain, “The Wolf” was a cumulative -1.2 in three declines in a row (5.9 – 5.5 – 5.2 – 4.7, 6+). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s WTQR “Q-104.1 – #1 for New Country” substitutes January’s +.7 with a February -.7 (5.3 – 6.0 – 5.3, sixth to eighth, 6+) as the two country rivals swap places. “Q104.1” was -1.6 in December. After each station posted January gains of nine-tenths, Entercom adult hits WSMW “98.7 Simon Says We Play Everything” (8.9, flat at #2, 6+) and Dick Broadcasting CHR WKZL “107.5 The #1 Hit Music Station” (5.4 – 6.3 – 5.7, fifth to sixth, 6+) now register declines of six-tenths. “Simon” was a combined +.9 in “Holiday” 2018/January 2019 (8.6 – 8.6 – 9.5, 6+). Prior to January’s increase to 6.3, its highest 6+-stat since resurfacing in print in February 2018, WKZL was off three straight times for a collective -.6 (6.0 – 5.9 – 5.7 – 5.4, 6+).

Memphis

Spoken-Word Formats – Not only has iHeartMedia news/talk WREC improved in back-to-back sweeps by a combined +1.8 (2.6 – 3.8 – 4.4, 6+), “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” cracks the top ten (#11 to #8).

In doing so, it leapfrogs Entercom sports talk WMFS (flat at 4.0, #10 to #11, 6+); “ESPN Sports Radio” was up six-tenths in January. Flat at #18, co-owned WMC-AM “ESPN 790” is without an increase for the eighth straight time for a collective loss of three-tenths (.4 – .4 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 -.1, 6+).

Memphis Music Formats – Replicating January’s increase of eight-tenths (8.3 – 9.1 – 9.9, 6+), Cumulus Media urban-rhythmic oldies WRBO carries on in second-place; “103.5 The Best Mix of R&B” was a combined -2.4 in December/”Holiday 2018 (10.7 – 8.7 – 8.3, 6+). The six most recent moves for Entercom adult contemporary WRVR “104.5 The River” are +2.4 (October); -.1 (November); -1.6 (December); +2.0 (“Holiday” 2018); -3.1 (January 2019); and +.7 in February (8.2 – 8.9, unchanged at #3, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 11.3 is its strongest 6+-performance since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.9 (#6). Regaining 20% of January’s -1.5 (11.3 – 11.6, +.3, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS is #1 for the fourth time in a row and in double-digits (11.6, 6+) for the 11th successive sweep. “V-101” was a combined December/“Holiday” 2018 +2.3 (10.5 – 11.5 – 12.8, 6+) with “Holiday” 2018’s 12.8 its highest 6+-share in more than six years (13.5, December 2012). After being an overall +1.1 through four successive up or flat trends (4.5 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 5.6, 6+), co-owned WEGR “Rock 102.7” plummets by -1.3 (4.3, sixth to tenth, 6+). Falling seven-tenths are Entercom hot AC WMC-FM “FM 100 Today’s Best Mix” (5.6 – 4.9, flat at #6, 6+) and Cumulus Media-owned WGKX “Kix 106 Today’s Best Country” (5.1 – 4.4, ninth to eighth, 6+). “FM 100” was +1.5 in January, after being down seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2018. “Kix 106” most recently has been -.5 (October 2018); -.5 (November); +.7 (December); -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.1 (January 2019); and -.7 (February).

Hartford

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to three consecutive declines, Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM was a cumulative -1.8 (7.0 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.2, 6+), but “News Talk 1080” is +.7 in January/February (5.2 – 5.7 – 5.9, seventh to sixth, 6+). Red Wolf Broadcasting news/talk WDRC-AM “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” is unchanged from January in share and market rank (1.3, #14, 6+); January’s +.4 curtailed three downturns in a row that accounted for an overall loss of three-tenths (1.2 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9, 6+).

The November 2018 through February 2019 topline for iHeartMedia sports talk WUCS “97.9 ESPN Hartford” is 1.6 – 1.4 – 1.6 – 1.9 – 1.5 (#12 to #13, 6+).

After seven straight down or flat trends that resulted in a -2.4 (5.9 – 5.9 – 5.5 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+), Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” was then +1.4 in four straight gains (3.5 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.9, 6+). It was -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.9 (January 2019); and -.9 in February (6.1 – 5.2, sixth to ninth, 6+). University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio” is up three-tenths in January/February (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.5, #14 to #12, 6+).

Hartford Music Formats – Over and above answering January’s -6.9 with a February +1.0 (11.1 – 12.1, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WRCH is #1 for the 32nd consecutive ratings period and in double-digits (12.1, 6+) for the 29th time in the last 31 sweeps. “Lite 100.5” was +7.4 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (10.6 – 12.4 – 18.0, 6+), with “Holiday” 2018’s 18.0 the strongest 6+-showing for any Hartford station since WRCH recorded an 18.3 in “Holiday” 2017. A February gain of nine-tenths to 5.3 (tenth to eighth, 6+) by Red Wolf Broadcasting’s WDRC-FM erases its “Holiday” 2018/January 2019 -.8 (5.2 – 4.5 – 4.4, 6+) and gives “102.9 The Whale – Connecticut’s Classic Rock” its best 6+-stat (5.3) since September 2018’s 5.4. Trending 5.3 – 5.4 – 5.0 (December – “Holiday” 2018 – January 2019, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WHCN “105.9 The River” improves by one-half share (5.5, eighth to seventh, 6+). After being -.9 in “Holiday” 2018 and +1.0 in January 2019, co-owned WWYZ “Country 92.5” is -.7 in February (7.7 – 7.0, second to fourth, 6+). There is a similar significant shift pattern for Entercom hot AC WTIC-FM “96.5 TIC-FM”: -1.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.4 (January 2019); and -.5 in February (7.7 – 7.2, unchanged at #3, 6+). Whereas January’s 7.7 is WTIC-FM’s highest 6+-share since July 2018 (8.6), 6.3 (6+) in “Holiday” 2018 marked the first time it fell below a seven-share since March 2018’s 6.7. Back-to-back at #10 and #11, respectively, are Red Wolf Broadcasting alternative WMRQ-FM “Radio 104.1” (4.5, -.1, ninth to tenth, 6+) and co-owned Spanish tropical WMRQ-HD2 (3.0 – 2.5, -.5, flat at #11, 6+). In three straight improvements immediately prior to the February report, “Radio 104.1” was an overall +1.0 (3.6 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.6, 6+).

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

| January 31, 2018

Talking with Kellyanne Conway at the White House Radio RowTalk40.com News publisher Bryan Crabtree (center) and conservative media figure Robyn Walensky (right) interview White House spokesperson Kellyanne Conway (left) at today’s (1/31) White House radio row.  Crabtree tells TALKERS the administration-sponsored event at the Old Executive Office Building “included a few strategic radio and blogging hosts to be able to speak with cabinet and top White House officials in order to react to the State of the Union.”  Some of the other administration officials who took part included: Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, among others.

It’s Official: WSCR Grabs Bulls by the Horns.  Seeking to shed unprofitable contracts, Chapter 11-ensconced Cumulus Media asked the bankruptcy court to allow it out of a number of deals that are losing money, including its WLS-AM, Chicago contracts to air Chicago Bulls and Chicago White Sox games.  Now, one of those contracts is void after the Bulls and Entercom agreed to terms to air the NBA club’s games on its sports talk WSCR “The Score.”  The announcement was made on this morning’s “Mully & Hanley” show with market manager Jimmy de Castro and operations director Mitch Rosen breaking the news.  The first Bulls game on WSCR will air on Saturday (2/3) as they play at the LA Clippers.  The question that remains is where will the White Sox end up?  At Tribune’s WGN, at ESPN’s WMVP, or somewhere else?  Stay tuned.

WXDE, Salisbury-Ocean City, Delaware Adds Talk Pro Ed Tyll to New Program Lineup.  Salisbury-Ocean City news/talker WXDE, Lewes “Delaware 105.9” announces another addition to its new lineup as talk radio pro Ed Tyll joins to host the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show.  Recent arrival Rob Sussman is hosting the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm daypart.  Sussman had been serving at KBUR, Burlington, Iowa as news director.  Station programmer Dan Gaffney continues as morning personality and Susan Monday – whose show is simulcast to Delmarva Broadcasting sister station WDEL, Wilmington – airs from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.   Gaffney states, “Ed Tyll is one of the most passionate talk show hosts I have heard and it is exciting to hear his energy blasting out of the speakers from WXDE.  And, if anyone ever wanted to know where the next generation of great talk show host talent is, we have that too in 26-year-old Rob Sussman!”

TALKERS News Notes.  The January cable news/talk numbers are in and, according to a report by TVNewser, FOX News Channel’s Sean Hannity led all competitors in total viewer average with 3.27 million.  FNC had seven of the top 10 cable news/talk shows in January in total viewer average – Tucker Carlson finished #3 and Laura Ingraham’s “The Ingraham Angle” was #4.  In the adults 25-54 demo, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow was #1, edging FNC’s Sean Hannity 678,000 to 660,000.  The rest of the adults 25-54 top five were “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (597,000), “Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell (518,000), and “The Ingraham Angle” (504,000)…..Former FOX News Channel and Talk Radio Network star Andrea Tantaros is continuing her legal battle against FNC, now claiming that the late Roger Ailes used a closed circuit video system to view female staffers changing their clothes in the wardrobe department.  This amended complaint is part of Tantaros’ ongoing allegation that FNC engaged in retaliation against her.  For its part, FOX replied to the report in The Hollywood Reporter, saying, “Fox News moved for sanctions against the lawyer who filed Andrea Tantaros’ original lawsuit and he has since withdrawn.  None of the four lawyers currently representing Tantaros in the action signed her new complaint, which she purports to have written herself.  Her outlandish claims lack any factual basis.”

Jim Bohannon Celebrates 25 Years of Nightly Program.  Nationally syndicated late-night talk show host Jim Bohannon is pictured above celebrating his 25th anniversary hosting his eponymous Westwood One radio talk show.  Bohannon took over the time slot back on January 29, 1993 from Larry King.  Bohannon’s staff surprised him with a special celebratory broadcast that included: a customized montage, a surprise call-in greeting from Larry King, plus congratulatory messages from Westwood One personalities Dennis Miller, Charles Osgood, and Michael Savage.   Check out the audio here.  Westwood One EVP news & talk Bart Tessler comments, “It’s been a highlight of my career working with Jim over a very fast 25 years and producing programs with him across the country and around the world.  Jim Bohannon has long been the standard bearer for a great talk show host: intelligent, informed, passionate, and funny. Congratulations to Jim on a superb 25 years.”

1,000 Smackeroos for PodcastOne Staffers.  In celebration of the new corporate tax rate, PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz announces the company is awarding $1,000 bonuses to all of the company’s full-time employees.  Pattiz says, “There’s no question that cutting the corporate federal tax rate to 21% will have a positive effect on business, ours included.  We want our employees to feel the direct benefit of these cuts, especially since because of their efforts we are coming off another record year in 2017.  So, we say, ‘Thank you’ to our dedicated staff and ‘job well done.’”

State of the Union Address, Trump-Russia Probe, Andrew McCabe Resignation, DACA Status/Immigration Policy, FISA Abuses Memo, U.S.-Turkey-Russia Relations, Flu Epidemic, Anti-Military Teacher Rant, Super Blue Blood Moon, and Super Bowl LII Among News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/30).  Tuesday evening’s State of the Union Address by President Trump; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives; Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe resigns from his position under pressure from President Trump; the status of the Obama-era DACA Act and the Trump administration’s immigration policy; the House Intelligence Committee’s vote to release a memo detailing alleged surveillance abuses by the FBI and the Justice Department; the tenuous relations between the U.S. and Turkey over the latter’s attacks on Kurds in Northern Syria and Russia’s involvement in Turkish policy in Syria; the flu epidemic that’s sweeping the U.S.; the viral video of a Los Angeles-area teacher’s rant about U.S. military policy in which he called U.S. soldiers “the lowest of the low”; Wednesday’s rare “super blue blood moon”; and Sunday’s Super Bowl LII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Cox Media Group Joins Trustworthy Accountability Group.  In an effort to improve transparency and combat criminal activity in digital advertising, Cox Media Group announces it is now a participant in the TAG Registry by the Trustworthy Accountability Group.  TAG is a digital industry program created to fight fraudulent traffic and improve transparency in the digital ecosystem.  TAG Registered companies have been verified as legitimate participants in the digital advertising industry through a proprietary background check and review process powered by Dun & Bradstreet and approved by TAG.  TAG Registration is also the baseline requirement for companies to apply for TAG’s four certification programs around fighting fraudulent traffic, stopping ad-supported piracy, reducing malware, and improving transparency.  Vice president of CMGdigital Joe Weir comments, “Reliable data, transparency, and a brand safe environment are very important to Cox Media Group.  We are committed to delivering quality inventory for our advertisers and our participation in the TAG Registry is a sign of that commitment. The digital ad supply chain is very complex and can be challenging to navigate. The TAG Registry is an important tool for companies to confirm they are doing businesses with legitimate counterparties in the digital advertising space.”

Doing Relief Aid in Haiti.  Pictured above is Salem Radio Network vice president news & talk programming Tom Tradup with a group of children in Citi de Soleil, Haiti.  Tradup is working with the relief organization Food For The Poor.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career MovesRAMP24/7.com reports that KINK, Portland program director and afternoon drive host Sean Demery is recovering from a brain-stem stroke suffered on January 20.  Demery has been programming the Alpha Media triple A station since March of last year.  RAMP published the following: “It is with heavy hearts but positive spirits that the family and friends of Sean Demery…would like to inform you of his recent medical issue.  Sean suffered a brain-stem stroke on January 20.  We are told that Sean’s spirits are good, as he’s been requesting his favorite bands, checking in on KINK daily, and conversing with family and friends and checking email and texts.  There is a long road to recovery ahead for Sean, and we ask for your continued support, positive thoughts and prayers. Sean’s wife Jennifer has asked that you check in on Sean’s Facebook page for updates and to post supportive messages, videos and photos for Sean.  We also ask that you respect the privacy of Sean’s family and please direct your messages, posts and well-wishes to the Facebook Group.  Hearing from his friends and listeners is the best therapy he can receive, so thank you!”…..Los Angeles CHR KAMP “97.1 AMP Radio” adds Chelsea Briggs to the morning show with Edgar Sotelo and Brian MooteEntercom Los Angeles SVP and market manager Jeff Federman comments, “Chelsea is a social media superstar and we are thrilled to bring her unique personality to the new ‘AMP Morning Show’ with Edgar and Brian.  Their chemistry is unparalleled and I’m confident that the three of them will create sensational mornings for our listeners.”  Briggs has most recently been serving as a correspondent for Billboard News…..iHeartMedia and KGB, San Diego morning personality Bob Buchman come to terms on a contract extension to keep him working alongside Coe Lewis on the classic rock morning station.  KGP program director Shauna Moran states, “Bob has been a vital piece of our programming puzzle here in San Diego and we look forward to more successful years.  Bob and Coe have been a favorite of the rock radio morning commute and we are excited that it will continue.”…..Chelsea Alayne is the new morning host at Sun Broadcasting’s rock WXNX, Fort Myers “93X.”  She takes over the daypart from Spam, who exited in December of 2017.

CHR KZIA, Cedar Rapids Owner Killed in Deadly Auto Crash.  According to a report by KCRG-TV, Cedar Rapids, KZIA Inc. owner Robert Norton Jr. was driving the wrong way on I-380 when he struck a car driven by 28-year-old Jennifer Koenighain.  Both were declared dead at the scene.  Norton’s company owned and operated CHR KZIA “Z102.9,” sports KGYM, and adult hits KZIA-HD2/K236AA.