Al Sharpton | TALKERS magazine - “The bible of talk media.” : TALKERS magazine – “The bible of talk media.”

Tag: "Al Sharpton"

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

| March 21, 2018

Will iHeartMedia Sell Lots of Radio Stations? Forbes Contributor Gene Ely Thinks So. The piece published by Forbes suggests that because the purpose of bankruptcy protection is to emerge a leaner, more efficient organization, iHeartMedia will begin shucking underperforming stations as well as clusters in smaller markets.  Gene Ely writes that we can expect iHM to sell stations, “likely hundreds, many at rock-bottom prices.”  In explaining the situation in which iHeart finds itself, Ely further opines that the company’s use of syndicated programming defies the trend toward localism as a hedge against digital competition.  He also blames Lowry Mays for taking “the local out of radio.”

FOX Sports Radio Announces New Weekend Shows. The new spring and summer lineup of programs from FOX Sports Radio launches this weekend and includes some new talent.  The company says that joining it for the first time is NBA Champion and two-time All-Star Caron Butler, who will team up with NBA insider Chris Mannix (he currently writes for Yahoo! Sports basketball platform The Vertical).  Their show airs Sundays from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET.  FSR is partnering hosts and FS1 analysts Chris Broussard and Rob Parker for “The Odd Couple with Chris Broussard & Rob Parker” program airing Sundays from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET.  Network personality Mark Willard teams with 14-year NBA veteran and FOX Sports BIG3 analyst Jim Jackson for a Sunday 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET show.  Willard will also partner with six-year NFL offensive guard Rich Ohrnberger for a Saturday 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET show.  Finally, FOX Sports college sports insider Aaron Torres joins the network to co-host Saturday evenings from 11:00 pm to 1:00 am ET with FSR’s Arnie Spanier.

TALKERS News Notes. All day today (3/21), iHeartMedia’s WGIR, Manchester “NewsRadio 610” and WQSO-FM, Portsmouth “NewsRadio 96.7” in New Hampshire are holding the fourth annual “Make 12 Hours Count” radiothon to benefit New Hampshire veterans, service members and their families.  The “New Hampshire Today” morning show – led by local radio pro Jack Heath (pictured at right) – is spearheading the radiothon that will benefit Veterans Count.  He says, “What started as an impassioned rant on-air about improving our servicemen and women’s benefits turned into a successful community radiothon that makes a positive impact on the lives of our local veterans.  Last year the ‘Make 12 Hours Count’ radiothon raised nearly $140,000 and we were astounded; this year, we merely wish to match that number.”  To date, “Make 12 Hours Count” has raised over $350,000 to benefit local veterans and military members…..Radio America-syndicated “The Dana Show” starring Dana Loesch is added to the program schedule at new affiliate stations including: WPTF-AM, Raleigh-Durham; KTOW-FM, Buhl, Idahol; KEVA-AM, Evanston, Wyoming; and KDXC-AM, King Hill-Glenn’s Ferry, Idaho.  The show is heard in the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm slot on WPTF and from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm on the other stations…..WFDF, Detroit “910AM Superstation” is adding the Reach Media-syndicated “Keeping it Real” with Rev. Al Sharpton to the program schedule, airing from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm, effective Monday (3/26).  Station operator Kevin Adell says, “Rev. Al Sharpton is the most iconic civil rights leaders of our time!  I have known Rev. Al Sharpton for 30 years and I look forward to him joining our ‘910AM Superstation family.’”…..Pictured below is Salem Radio Network NewsEthan Tradup (left) interviewing actor Jim Caviezel (right) at last night’s Dallas red carpet premiere of the SONY/AFFIRM film PAUL: Apostle of Christ.  The film also stars James Faulkner of HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”  This weekend’s opening of this faith-based film follows last weekend’s opening of the film, I Can Only Imagine, that surprised the industry by grossing $17.1 million.

‘Free Beer and Hot Wings’ Producer Arrested on Domestic Battery Charges.  According to a report by WOOD-TV, Grand Rapids, Joseph Gassmann, a.k.a. Producer Joe for the WGRD-FM-based, nationally syndicated “Free Beer and Hot Wings” program, was arrested in Illinois on domestic battery charges.  The television station reports that he’s been suspended by WGRD pending the outcome of his case.  He’s expected to be in court in DuPage County, Illinois on April 23.

Nielsen’s Podcasting Audience Growth Report Indicates Increasing Interest. According to the latest Nielsen Podcast Insights, the medium is showing increased listening and engagement.  It says that its Fanlinks Survey asked households “to rate their interest in overall podcasting as well as various genres of podcasts.  The highest scores are tagged as ‘avid podcast fans.’  In fall of 2016, there were 13 million homes who identified as ‘avid fans.’  In fall of 2017, the number of homes who consider themselves ‘avid fans’ surged to 16 million!  Not only is the podcast audience growing, but the level of engagement is increasing.”  Check it out here.

Noory Inducted into St. Louis Media Hall of Fame. “Coast to Coast AM” host George Noory (pictured above) was among 22 legendary news reporters, editors, photographers, broadcasters, filmmakers and others inducted into the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame on Saturday (3/17).  The inductees were chosen based on their “significant contributions to print, broadcast and digital media, advertising, and public relations” by the St. Louis Media History Foundation.

Facebook-Cambridge Analytica Data Breach, Austin Bomber Case, Trump-Russia Investigation, McCabe Firing-FBI Investigation, Stormy Daniels Case-McDougal Suit, Maryland School Shooting, NCAA Tourney, NFL Free Agency, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/20).  The data misuse allegations against Cambridge Analytica and Facebook; the series of package bombings in Austin and San Antonio; the status of Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russia agents; the firing of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and the movement among conservative lawmakers to open a special counsel investigation into alleged abuses at the FBI; porn star Stormy Daniels’ legal battle with President Trump and a new suit against the president by former Playboy model Karen McDougal; a school police officer kills a would-be school shooter in Maryland; the weekend’s NCAA tourney games; the NFL free agency period; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Seattle country outlet KNUC “Country 98.9” names Michael Kraig Mason evening personality.  Lisa Adams programs the Hubbard Radio station and she says, “Michael is a Pacific Northwest native who is incredibly creative and unique, with high energy!  Seattle nights are in for something very special!”…..Cumulus Media appoints programming pro Christopher “Boomer” Layfield operations manager for its three-station group in Indianapolis.  He’ll also serve as program director for country WFMS-FM.  Layfield was most recently with iHeartMedia in Charlotte.  Layfield comments, “Cumulus has assembled quite a talented team in Indianapolis that’s getting great results with a pair of the market’s iconic radio brands in classic hits WJJK and country WFMS, as well as the exciting new CHR “Energy 93.9.”  For me, it’s a privilege and a thrill to join such a thriving operation in one of America’s great cities and work alongside such passionate people to elevate these brands even higher…I can’t wait to get started!”…..Curtis Media Group names Mike Biddle program director for country WQDR, Raleigh.   Biddle assumes the role that opened after the untimely January passing of Lisa McKay.  Biddle had served two previous tours with Curtis Media.  He left in 2016 to serve as operations manager for the digital marketing firm Heart+Hammer…..The Kansas City radio group MGTF Radio Company, doing business as Steel City Media, files to reorganize under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.  In 2014, Steel City bought the Wilks stations in Kansas City for $105.5 million.  Those signals are adult contemporary KCKC “KC 102.1,” country KBEQ “Q104,” country KFKF, and CHR KMXV “Mix 93.3.”  Steel City’s Pittsburgh properties – hot AC WLTJ “Q92.9” and adult hits WRRK “96.9 BOB FM” are not listed in the company’s petition.

Round Two of February PPM Data Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s February 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Detroit, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Tampa, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsens February 2018 survey period covered February 1 – 28. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from all of these PPM markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Washington, DC Spoken-Word Formats – Notwithstanding a decline of four-tenths to 10.2 (6+), Hubbard all-news WTOP repeats at #1. After four consecutive months in the driver’s seat, WTOP shifted to second-place in “Holiday” 2017. With a +1.3 in January (9.3 – 10.6, 6+), however, it reclaimed the top spot with its best 6+-stat since 10.6 in March 2011. Moreover, that +1.3 halted three successive declines that produced an overall -.5 (9.8 – 9.6 – 9.4 – 9.3, 6+). Prior to November, WTOP was +1.6 in three straight upticks (8.2 – 8.9 – 9.4 – 9.8, 6+). In the runner-up slot from January 2017 through August, WTOP climbed to #1 in September. One full-share behind WTOP and steady at #2 is American University-owned news/talk WAMU “The Mind Is Our Medium” (9.3 – 9.2, -.1, 6+). A collective -2.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (9.6 – 8.9 – 7.6, 6+), WAMU gained 85% of that loss back in January with a +1.7. It exited the top spot in September, after spending eight straight months there. February 2017’s 11.5 matches the highest 6+-share in its PPM-history first reached in December 2016. Without an increase in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017 for an overall -1.0 (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.0 – 3.7, 6+), WMAL dialed up a +1.1 in January, registering its strongest 6+-performance since March 2015 (4.8, as well). Off two-tenths to 4.6 (6+) in February though, the Cumulus Media news/talk outlet slips from sixth to seventh. As Hubbard news/talk WFED “Federal News Radio” resurfaces with a .1 (#24, 6+), Radio One news/talk WOL disappears from print with its sixth straight down or flat trend (.5 – .4 – .4 – .3 – .3 – .2 – .0, 6+). Steady at 2.4 (6+) and continuing at #18, Entercom sports talk WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” was without an increase in four straight survey periods for a roughly 50% decline in its 6+ AQH share (3.5 – 3.5 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.8, -1.7, 6+), before notching a +.6 in January to 2.4 (6+). Since appearing in print in May 2017, co-owned business news WDCH is trending .3 – .4 – .3 – .4 – .5 – .4 – .4 – .3 – .4 – .3 – .5 (#22 to #21, 6+).

Washington, DC Music Formats – Within 3.2 – 3.8 range (6+) in each of the last 15 survey periods, WPGC breaks out a +.8 (3.7 – 4.5, tenth to eighth, 6+) as the Entercom rhythmic CHR reaches the four-share level (6+) for the first time since December 2016’s 4.0. In a seesaw pattern, Howard University-owned urban AC WHUR recorded a +1.4 in November to 8.4, the station’s best-ever PPM-showing; forfeited one-half share in December; was -1.1 in “Holiday” 2017; +.3 in January; and now -.9 in February (7.1 – 6.2, flat at #3, 6+). Prior to “Holiday” 2017, WHUR was in third-place for each of the previous 12 ratings periods.

2) Boston Spoken-Word Formats – Post Super Bowl, the market’s two huge FM sports talk properties account for a massive -2.8 (6+), virtually split down the middle between Beasley Media Group-owned/New England Patriots flagship WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” (7.1 – 5.6, -1.5, second to third, 6+) and Entercomowned/Boston Red Sox flagship WEEI-FM (5.4 – 4.1, -1.3, fourth to tenth, 6+). It is quite a turnaround for the two, as WEEI-FM was +1.4 in January and WBZ-FM was +1.2 for a collective +2.6. Whereas November’s 5.3 was the weakest 6+-stat for WBZ-FM since 5.1 in January 2011, the 13.6 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest since 14.8 in “Holiday” 2015. January’s +1.4 by WEEI-FM pulled the plug on three drops in a row that produced a cumulative -1.9 (5.9 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 4.0, 6+). In four straight increases, WBZ-FM was a collective +2.4 (3.3 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 5.4 – 5.7, 6+); surrendered three-tenths to 5.4 (6+) in December; and bounced back in “Holiday” 2017 with a gain of one-half share to 5.9 (6+). This is the fifth sweep in a row without an increase for similarly-formatted WEEI-AM (.2 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1, #28, 6+). Heritage iHeartMedia-owned news-talk hybrid WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” adds two-tenths to January’s +.3 (4.9 – 5.2 – 5.4, 6+), climbing from sixth to fifth with its finest 6+-share (5.4) since May 2017’s 5.6. Off three-tenths (2.9 – 2.6, 6+), co-owned news/talk WRKO “AM 680 The Voice of Boston” dips from #13 to #14. Public news/talkers – Boston University-owned WBUR (4.9 – 4.9, flat, seventh to eighth, 6+) and WGBH Educational Foundation’s WGBH (4.9 – 4.7, -.2, seventh to ninth, 6+) – continue to shadow each other. Both stations improved by seven-tenths in January, displaying identical 4.2 – 4.9 (6+) profiles. In November, WBUR – which was a collective -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.4 – 4.9 – 4.2, 6+) – added nine-tenths to October’s one-half share gain. Its one-half share loss in September ended three straight sweeps without a decrease and erased the half-share it gained in that timeframe (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.0, 6+).

Boston Music Formats – Albeit down one-tenth (7.3 – 7.2, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WXKS-FM “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” repeats at #1. “Kiss” rebounded from a -.8 in “Holiday” 2017 with a +.9 in January (6.4 – 7.3, 6+). It exited the top spot in December, after three straight months there. In September, WXKS-FM wiped out August’s one-half share decline by racking up a +.9 to 7.9 – its highest 6+-share since July 2014’s 8.2. In five consecutive increases prior to the August 2017 sweep, “Kiss” was a cumulative +1.9 (5.6 – 5.7 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.9 – 7.5, 6+). Improving by one-half share each are co-owned WZLX “100.7 Boston’s Classic Rock” (4.6 – 5.1, tenth to sixth, 6+) and WGBH Educational Foundation classical-formatted WCRB (1.7, #22 to #20, 6+). With a +1.2 in January, “Boston’s Classic Rock” ended six downward moves in succession accounting for a collective -2.2 (5.6 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 3.4, 6+). After four consecutive sweeps without a loss for a +.8 (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+), WCRB was a combined -.9 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 (2.1 – 1.9 – 1.2, 6+). In June – July – August, the 6+-share of WCRB decreased by more than 50% (2.8 – 1.8 – 1.3, 6+).

3) Miami English-Language, Spoken-Word Formats – The steady climb continues for iHeartMedia news/talk WIOD, which is up six-tenths via five straight positive or flat trends (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.1, 6+). Moreover, “News Radio 620 – Miami’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” cracks the top twenty (#21 to #20, 6+). This is the first time in exactly one year that WIOD has reached a two-share (2.0, 6+), February 2017). Back-to-back at #25 and #26, respectively, are Entercom sports talkers WAXY “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket” (trending .8 – .9, .9, 6+) and WQAM “Sports Radio 560,” which is without an increase for the third straight sweep for a -.7 (1.5 – 1.2 – .8 – .8, 6+). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia-owned WINZ “940 – Miami’s Sports Station” is off one-tenth to .2 (#34, 6+). Up by one-half share in January, Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN dips by two-tenths to 2.2 (6+) but remains at #19. Prior to January’s +.5, WLRN was -.7 in three consecutive sweeps without an increase (2.6 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 1.9, 6+).

Miami Music Formats – Powered by a +1.1 to 7.3 (6+), Cox Media Group urban AC WHQT not only pulls the plug on four decreases in a row that accounted for a -1.6 (7.8 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.5 – 6.2, 6+), “Hot 105” storms from third to first. October’s 7.8 was the strongest 6+-stat for “Hot” since July 2016’s 8.0. WHQT spent seven consecutive months at #1 before being ousted in December. It succeeds Entercom-owned adult contemporary WLYF “101.5 Lite FM” (7.4 – 7.0, -.4, first to second, 6+), which held the top spot in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018. A January gain of one-half share took “Lite,” which ends five successive up or flat trends for a collective +1.8 (5.6 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 6.6 – 6.9 – 7.4, 6+), to its strongest 6+-stat (7.4) since September 2016’s 8.4. Right behind “Lite” – and down four-tenths as well – is Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted WFEZ “Easy 93.1” (6.8 – 6.4, second to third, 6+), the station that succeeded cluster-mate “Hot” at #1 in December. Posting its fifth straight sweep without a loss for a combined +1.3 (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 3.4, 6+), Entercoms WKIS “Kiss 99.9 New Country” jumps from #16 to #12. Four Spanish contemporary properties are found in February 2018’s top twenty, including iHeartMedia’s WZTU “Tu 94.9 – Donde Viven Hits,” which registers its fifth increase in a row for a cumulative +1.8 (3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.7 – 5.2, unchanged at #6, 6+). Elsewhere in that genre are Univision Radio’s WAMR “Amor 107.5” (5.6 – 5.5, -.1, flat at #4, 6+) after January’s +.5; Spanish Broadcasting System’s WCMQ “Zeta 92.3” (5.1 – 5.3, +.2, steady at #5, 6+); and co-owned WRMA “Ritmo 95.7” (2.8 – 2.9, +.1, #16 to #15, 6+). These four outlets combine for a 6+-total of 18.9. Without an increase for the sixth sweep in a row for a collective loss of one full-share (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+), Cox Media Group CHR WFLC “Hits 97.3” remains at #11. Its format competitor, iHeartMedia-owned WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station,” is flat at 4.0 (6+) and continues at #9. Prior to a loss of four-tenths in September, “Y-100” was a collective +.6 in three consecutive up or flat monthlies (3.7 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 4.3, 6+). These two CHRs were tied at #8 in December; tied for eighth-place in July; and separated by one-tenth in August.

4) Detroit Spoken-Word Formats – Following a gain of nine-tenths in January, Entercom’s WWJ “News Radio 950” is flat at 6.5 (6+), but inches up from third to second. WWJ had been within 5.2 – 5.9 territory (6+) between June 2017 and “Holiday” 2017. Co-owned sports talk WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket,” which was +1.0 in January, drops one-tenth to 5.0 (fifth to seventh, 6+). As a result of four losses in a row before January’s full-share gain, “The Ticket” was a collective -2.2. Recording a .1 (6+) each are sibling WXYT-AMCBS Sports Radio 1270” (.2 – .1, -.1, #25, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WDFN “1130 The Fan” (flat at .1, #25, 6+). Not only does Cumulus Media’s WJR add three-tenths to January’s +.6 (3.5 – 4.1 – 4.4, 6+), “News Talk 760” is back in the top ten (#11 to #10). In advance of the January sweep, WJR was -.9 in three straight declines (4.4 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.5, 6+). Dropping below a one-half share (6+) are Radio One news/talk WDMK-HD2 (.6 -.4, #23, 6+) and Adell Broadcasting’s WFDF “Superstation 910 AM” (.5 – .2, #24, 6+). This is the third straight time that Michigan Public Media news/talk WUOM is at 1.9 (flat at #20, 6+), while Wayne State University news/talk WDET is off three-tenths (1.1 – .8, #22, 6+).

Detroit Music Formats – On the heels of January’s +1.1 (3.8 – 4.9, 6+), Entercom-owned WYCD “99.5 Detroit’s Country” adds another seven-tenths (5.6, sixth to fifth, 6+). Immediately after picking up three-tenths in November to pull the plug on four straight decreases for an overall -1.5 (6.2 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.7, 6+), WYCD surrendered seven-tenths in December. Similarly, classic hits-oldies sibling WOMC tacks on one-half share to January’s +.6 (6.1 – 6.7 – 7.2, 6+) and repeats at #1; 7.2 is the best 6+-stat for “Detroit’s Greatest Hits” since December 2015 (7.2, as well). After three straight (slightly) up or flat trends for a +.4 (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+), Radio One urban AC WDMK “105.9 Kiss FM – The Real Sound of The D” surrenders six-tenths (2.9, #13 to #14, 6+). Dropping by one-half share each are iHeartMedia adult contemporary WNIC “100.3 The ‘80s ‘til Now” (6.6 – 6.1, second to fourth, 6+) and Beasley Media Group-owned WRIF “Everything That Rocks” (4.9 – 4.4, sixth to tenth, 6+). Immediately prior to January’s whopping -9.2, WNIC was +9.8 in five straight increases (6.0 – 6.4 – 6.9 – 7.7 – 11.8 – 15.8, 6+) and was the market leader from October 2017 through “Holiday” 2017. Its 15.8 in “Holiday” 2017 is more than two shares better than what it achieved in “Holiday” 2016 (13.7). Recent ups/downs for WRIF include a -.5 in “Holiday” 2017; +.6 in January; and now -.5 in February.

5) Seattle Spoken-Word Formats – Finishing on top for four straight months before dropping to second in December, Northwest Public Radio news/talk KUOW displayed a +1.5 in January (6.4 – 7.9, 6+), as it returned to #1. It is a short-lived stay this time though as KUOW surrenders all but four-tenths of that huge increase (6.8, -1.1, 6+) and is back at #2. When it dropped six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, KUOW ended five consecutive up or flat trends that netted a +1.3 (5.7 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.5 – 7.0, 6+). Its +.5 in August pulled the plug on three straight downward moves that produced an overall decline of six-tenths (6.3 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.7, 6+). Just over one-share behind KUOW is Bonneville news/talk KIRO-FM (fifth to third), whose six most recent (6+) trends are 5.7 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.4 – 5.7. Co-owned KTTH “Conservative Talk Radio” picks up three-tenths (1.8 – 2.1, flat at #21, 6+), while Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KVI “Talk Radio 570” falters by that same margin (1.3 – 1.0, #25, 6+). As a result of four losses in a row, KTTH was -.8 (2.6 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+). KVI all-news sibling KOMO returns the two-tenths it gained in January (2.7 – 2.9 – 2.7, #17 to #18, 6+). The market’s two major sports talk properties – Bonneville’s KIRO-AM “ESPN 710” (2.4 – 2.3, -.1, #19 to #20, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned KJR-AM (1.2 – 0.8, -.4, #26, 6+) post modest declines.

Seattle Music Formats – Down or flat three consecutive times for a -.8 (6.0 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.2 6+), Hubbard CHR KQMV “MOViN 92.5 Seattle’s #1 Hit Music Station” answers with a combined +1.9 in January and February (5.2 – 6.2 – 7.1, 6+), “moving” from second to first (where it replaces KUOW – see above). The last time KQMV reached the seven-share level (6+) was in June 2017 (7.4). A combined -1.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.3 – 4.2 – 3.4, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KJR-FM “95.7 The Jet” regains all that loss and an extra one-tenth in January and February (+2.0), flying from eighth to fifth (3.4 – 4.3 – 5.4, 6+). This marks the fourth positive or flat trend in a row for hot AC cluster-mate KBKS “106.1 Kiss-FM – More Music, More Variety,” which is +1.2 since November (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 4.1 – 4.1, tenth to ninth, 6+). Despite notching its fourth straight gain for an overall +1.9 (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.6 – 5.5 – 5.6, 6+), Entercom-owned KISW “99.9 The Rock of Seattle” backslides from third to fourth; this (5.6) is its best 6+-stat since August 2015’s 5.7. Adding one-half share to January’s +.2 (1.8 – 2.0 – 2.5, 6+), Classic Radio KING “Listener Supported Classical Music” climbs from #20 to #19. On the heels of January’s -6.3, Hubbard adult contemporary KRWM “Warm 106.9” falters by another six-tenths (5.5 – 4.9, third to sixth, 6+). Its 11.8 in “Holiday” 2017 was the station’s strongest 6+-stat since 13.4 in “Holiday” 2015. Owing to a +.4 in November, “Warm” – which was #1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 – halted three straight down or flat trends that accounted for a combined -1.2 (6.1 – 6.1 – 5.5 – 4.9, 6+).

6) Phoenix Spoken-Word Formats – Over the course of the last three sweeps, Bonneville news/talk KTAR-FM is -.6 (“Holiday” 2017); +.8 (3.2 – 4.0, January 2018, 6+); and now -.5 in February (3.5, 6+) as it departs the top ten (#9 to #12). Owing to three increases in succession (1.5 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.4, #20 to #18, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KFYI “News Talk 550” is a collective +.9. Regaining the one-tenth it lost in January (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.8, 6+), Maricopa County Community College news/talk KJZZ advances from #12 to #11. As the result of four consecutive down or flat trends, Bonneville sports talk KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona Sports” has lost 50% of its 6+ AQH share (3.0 – 2.7 – 2.1 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5, #24 to #25, 6+). It faltered by one-half share in August and was a combined +1.5 in September and October (1.5 – 2.4 – 3.0, 6+). Elsewhere in the market’s sports talk arena, co-owned KTAR-AM is up one-tenth (.2 – .3, #35, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s KGME “Fox Sports 910” drops two-tenths (.8 – .6, #31, 6+).

Phoenix Music Formats – Following three straight decreases that resulted in a -1.5 (4.5 – 4.4 – 3.3 – 3.0, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KZZP “104.7 Kiss-FM The #1 Hit Music Station in Phoenix” recaptures all of it and three-tenths more (+1.8) in January and February (3.0 – 4.0 – 4.8, ninth to sixth, 6+). Despite being a combined -9.3 in January and February (16.4 – 7.3 – 7.1, 6+), adult contemporary sibling KESZ is #1 for the fourth time in a row; 16.4 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-showing since 16.5 in “Holiday” 2016. KESZ was a combined +10.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017. While unchanged at #4, hot AC sibling KMXP “Mix 96.9” is without a loss for the fifth time in a row for a collective +.7 (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+). Anchored at #19, Entravision’s Spanish adult hits KVVA “Jose” is up or flat for the sixth successive sweep for an overall +1.0 (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.3, 6+). Via four straight gains – two of which were especially robust (1.0 – 2.4 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 4.7, 6+), Farmworker Educational Radio regional Mexican KNAI more than quadrupled its 6+ AQH-share (+3.7); however, “88.3 Campesina Radio Network” returns seven-tenths (4.0, sixth to ninth, 6+). Following three straight increases that generated a cumulative +1.2 (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 4.4, 6+), Entercom-owned KMLE “Country @ 107.9” drops two-tenths to (4.2, 6+), but remains at #8; 4.4 in January was its best 6+-showing since 4.6 in March 2017.

7) Minneapolis Spoken-Word Formats – In four straight up or flat trends (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 3.3, 6+), Hubbard news/talk KTMY “My Talk 107.1” is +1.2 and progresses from #16 to #15. Flat at 5.0 (6+), after a January gain of six-tenths, Entercom-owned WCCO “News Radio 830” falls from eighth to ninth. In a similar scenario, iHeartMedia’s KTLK “Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130” – up nine-tenths in January – levels out at 3.4 but climbs from #14 to #13. Spiraling by -1.5 (7.2 – 5.7, 6+), co-owned KFXN “Sports Radio 100.3 K-Fan” drifts from second to sixth. As it returns the one-tenth it grabbed in January (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.0, 6+), Hubbard’s KSTP-AM “ESPN 1500” manages to move from #20 to #19. Regressing by seven-tenths to 5.2 (6+), Minnesota Public Radio news/talk KNOW slips from fifth to seventh. Until reaching 5.9 (6+) in January, KNOW’s September 2017 – “Holiday” 2017 topline 6+ trending was 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.2.

Minneapolis Music Formats – Tacking on seven-tenths to January’s +1.1 (3.4 – 4.5 – 5.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KEEY “K-102 Minnesota’s Country Station” progresses from tenth to seventh. January’s +1.1 pulled the plug on six straight down or flat trends that accounted for a combined -2.9 (6.3 – 6.2 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 3.4, 6+). Over and above repeating at #1, Hubbard hot AC KSTP-FM is a collective +2.4 in January and February (5.8 – 7.6 – 8.2, 6+). Following three straight up or flat trends that netted one-half share (6.6 – 6.6 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+), “KS-95” was a combined -1.3 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (7.1 – 6.5 – 5.8, 6+). The “stream” of Minneapolis Public Schools jazz-formatted KBEM pops on at #24 with a .6 (6+).

8) San Diego Spoken-Word Formats – Albeit off just one-tenth (6.2 – 6.1, 6+), San Diego State University-owned news/talk KPBS segues from a first-place tie in January to #2; KPBS was -.1 in January, as well. A December gain of four-tenths by KPBS pulled the plug on three straight monthlies without an increase that accounted for an overall -.6 (6.2 – 6.2 – 6.0 – 5.6, 6+). December marked the fourth time in 2017 (February, August, September, and December) that it was on top. November’s +.5 (to 5.3, 6+) ended four straight decreases that yielded a cumulative loss of -1.4 (6.2 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 5.2 – 4.8, 6+). This is the third straight up or flat move for Tegna news/talk KFMB-AM “AM 760” for a +.5 (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.2, #22, 6+). Having eroded by three full-shares in three successive major declines (7.2 – 6.6 – 5.4 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KOGO responded in January with a +.8, but “News Radio 600” forfeits seven-tenths in February (5.0 – 4.3, third to fifth, 6+). When KOGO lost six-tenths in November, its successive string of up or flat monthlies that generated a collective +1.9 was snapped at four (5.3 – 5.5 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 7.2, 6+); October’s 7.2 is the highest 6+-share for KOGO in its PPM-history. Co-owned KLSD “Fox Sports 1360 San Diego’s Sports Station” is off six-tenths (1.3 – .7, #27, 6+). Three up or flat reports in succession by Interamericana de Radio’s similarly-formatted XPRS-AM “The Mighty 1090” have netted four-tenths (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.6, #23, 6+).

San Diego Music Formats – Not only does Entercom classic hits-oldies KXSN record its fifth straight gain for a net +1.9 (4.8 – 5.3 – 5.8 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 6.7, 6+), “Sunny 98.1 – San Diego’s Greatest Hits” breaks the January tie at #1 (with KPBS, see above) and takes sole possession of the top spot. Adding eight-tenths to January’s +1.1 (4.7 – 5.5, 6+), co-owned KSON “103.7 San Diego’s #1 New Country” advances from fifth to third. KSON was -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.6 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+). In addition to “Sunny,” iHeartMedia urban contemporary KSSX “JAM’N 95.7” (2.3 – 2.8, #21 to #16, 6+) and Entercom CHR KEGY “Energy” (1.1 – 1.6, #23, 6+) improve by one-half share as well. At the conclusion of the February sweep, KEGY transitioned to a hybrid talk-comedy-classic rock mix as “97.3 The Machine – Talk That Rocks” and will be the flagship of the San Diego Padres. Down or flat the past five sweeps for a collective -1.1 (4.9 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 3.9 – 3.8, 6+), Local Media San Diego urban-rhythmic oldies XHRM “Magic 92.5” improves by three-tenths to 4.1 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#11 to #7). Within 4.0 – 4.8 range (6+) in each of the last ten sweeps, iHeartMedia CHR KHTS “Channel 93-3 San Diego’s #1 Hit Music Station” plummets by -1.2 (4.7 – 3.5, 6+) and departs the top ten (#5 to #12). Sputtering by six-tenths (4.8 – 4.2, 6+), Univision Radio’s KLNV “Que Buena 106.5” falls from fourth to sixth. After posting a +.7 in January, Tegna-owned KFMB-FM “100.7 KFM – BFM” surrenders one-half share (3.4 – 2.9, flat at #13, 6+). KFMB-FM was an overall -1.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.6 – 3.8 – 2.7, 6+), Prior to December, “100.7 KFM – BFM” was a combined +1.5 in five straight progressive or flat trends (3.1 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 4.2 – 4.6, 6+); November’s 4.6 was its strongest 6+-showing since transitioning to rock in January 2016.

9) Denver Spoken-Word Formats – At the same time its consecutive string of improvements that netted a cumulative +1.5 (4.5 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 6.0, 6+) ends at three, Colorado Public Radio news/talk KCFR regresses by six-tenths and shifts from first to second. Meanwhile, Community Radio for Northern California news/talk KUNC is off three-tenths (1.0 – .7, #26, 6+). Bouncing back from January’s one-half share loss, iHeartMedia news/talk KOA “Colorado’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” picks up one-tenth to 4.3 yet backslides from ninth to tenth; January’s 4.2 was its lowest 6+-share since 3.5 in March 2017. With a consistent November 2017 – February 2018 (6+) topline of 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.3, news/talk cluster-mate KHOW “Talk Radio 630” carries on at #18. A +.4 in January to 3.6 (6+) by Bonneville-owned KKFN suspended three straight down or flat sweeps that yielded a cumulative -1.3 (4.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 3.2, 6+), but “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” falters by nine-tenths in February to 2.7 (#14 to #16, 6+).

Denver Music Formats – When KBCO “World Class Rock” posted a one-half share gain in January, it curtailed four straight declines for a collective -2.0 (6.6 – 6.3 – 5.9 – 5.5 – 4.6, 6+). Over and above adding seven-tenths in February (5.1 – 5.8, 6+), the iHeartMedia triple A leaps from third to first, succeeding KCFR (see above). Notching gains of seven-tenths as well are co-owned KTCL “Channel 93.3 Denver’s Modern Rock” (4.1 – 4.8, 6+), which vaults into the top ten (#12 to #6), and Entercom rhythmic CHR KQKS “KS-107.5” (2.7 – 3.4, #16 to #14, 6+), rebounding from January’s loss of one-half share. Classic rock sibling KQMT “99.5 The Mountain” is a combined +1.3 in January and February (3.7 – 4.4 – 5.0, 6+) and zooms from seventh to fourth.  Advancing by six-tenths as well is Entravision regional Mexican KXPK “La Tricolor 96.5” (2.4 – 3.0, #17 to #15, 6+). Spanish adult hits cluster-mate KJMN “La Suavecita 107.1” though erodes by six-tenths (3.0 – 2.4, #15 to #17, 6+). Down or flat in each of the last nine sweeps for a collective -2.1 (6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.2 – 4.5, 6+) Bonneville-owned KYGO “98.5 – Denver’s #1 for New Country” escapes the slump with a one-half share uptick to 5.0 (sixth to fourth, 6+). Ousted in January from the top spot after three consecutive sweeps there, adult contemporary sibling KOSI “101.1 Real-Music-Variety” is -6.9 in January and February (11.5 – 5.4 – 4.6, second to eighth, 6+), following a combined +6.5 in December and “Holiday” 2017. KOSI’s 11.5 in “Holiday” 2017 was its best 6+-showing since 11.6 in “Holiday” 2016.

10) Tampa Spoken-Word Formats – Replicating January’s +.5 (2.7 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+) iHeartMedia news/talk WFLA “970 Tampa Bay’s News Radio” inches up from #14 to #13. Even though it gains one-tenth to 2.7 (6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” backslides from a tie at #16 to #17. Its +.3 in January stopped four straight down or flat trends for a collective -1.1 (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.3, 6+). Displaying a 1.6 in three of the last four sweeps (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WDAE “620 Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” remains at #20. As a result of three straight down or flat ratings periods, University of South Florida news/talk WUSF is a collective -.5 (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8, #15 to #16, 6+).

Tampa Music Formats – Locked on 5.9 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018, Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WXGL “107.3 The Eagle” breaks out a full-share increase to 6.9 – its best 6+-showing since July 2017’s 7.1 – and is #2 for the fourth straight sweep. At the same time, Beasley Media Group’s similarly-programmed WRBQ “Q-105,” which was trending 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.0 (6+), posts a +.6 to 5.6 (seventh to fourth, 6+). By registering a +.8 (to 3.2, 6+), its Spanish contemporary sibling WYUU “92.5 Maxima” wipes out the -.8 from three straight decreases (3.1 – 3.0 – 2.7 – 2.4, 6+) and progresses from #18 to #14. Despite being -3.5 in January and February (11.9 – 8.8 – 8.4, 6+), Cox Media Group adult contemporary WDUV is the market’s pacesetter for the 66th successive ratings period; “Lite Favorites” was a +1.5 in “Holiday” 2017 (10.4 – 11.9, 6+). A December loss of seven-tenths ended three straight gains that netted +1.8 (9.3 – 9.4 – 9.8 – 11.1, 6+). After recording a January +1.8 to 5.7 (6+), co-owned adult contemporary WWRM “Magic 94.9 Tampa Bay’s Best Music” surrenders one-third of that bounty (5.1, -.6, fourth to sixth, 6+). That huge January increase by “Magic” halted three straight down or flat trends that generated a -1.2 (5.1 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 3.9, 6+). Off by one-half share each are co-owned WSUN “97-X Your New Alternative” (2.1, #16 to #18, 6+) and iHeartMedia urban contemporary WBTP “95.7 The Beat” (5.2 – 4.7, fifth to seventh, 6+). Prior to February, “97-X” was an overall +1.0 in five successive up or flat moves (1.6 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.6, 6+); “The Beat” was up eight-tenths in January.

11) Baltimore Spoken-Word Formats – The 12 most recent (6+) trends for model of consistency Hearst news/talk WBAL (#13 to #12) are 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.1. Immediately prior to January 2018, that topline included five successive sweeps without an increase for a collective -.4. WBAL is one-tenth ahead of independent news/talk WCBM “680 Stimulating Talk – Breaking News” (2.9 – 3.0, +.1, #14 to #13, 6+). Disappearing from print is Radio One news/talk WOLB “1010 News Radio,” which was trending .3 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .2 (6+). After picking up six-tenths in January, Entercom sports talk WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan” gives back two-tenths to 4.4 (6+) but remains at #6. When “The Fan” improved by two-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it drew to a close three straight downward moves producing an overall -1.8 (5.6 – 4.8 – 4.5 – 3.8, 6+). Co-owned WJZ-AM “1300 CBS Sports Radio Baltimore” is without an increase for the seventh time in a row for an overall loss of one-half share (.6 – .5 – .4 – .4 -.3 – .3 – .2 -.1, #26, 6+). Relinquishing all but two-tenths of January’s +.7 (4.2 – 3.7, -.5, 6+), Your Public Radio news/talk WYPR “88.1 Your NPR News Station” departs the top ten (#8 to #11). Finishing second in Washington, DC (see above), American University-owned news/talk WAMU improves by a combined January and February total of six-tenths in Baltimore (.8 – 1.3 – 1.4, #16 to #15, 6+); WAMU was -.4 in four consecutive sweeps without an increase (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .8, 6+).

Baltimore Music Formats – “Winning” continues for Radio One urban AC WWIN, which is without a loss for the eighth sweep in a row for a combined +3.6 (7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 8.7 – 9.2 – 10.4 – 10.6 – 11.6, 6+) and “Magic 95.9” repeats at #1. “Magic” occupied the top spot for four months in succession before segueing to #2 in December. Entering the November sweep, WWIN-FM was down or flat in each of the previous four ratings periods for a collective -.6 (8.4 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+). A four-tenths June increase halted at four its consecutive string of downward trends that accounted for a -.9 (8.9 – 8.8 – 8.6 – 8.3 – 8.0, 6+). The rollercoaster ride keeps going for WLIF “Today’s 101.9.” The Entercom adult contemporary facility dialed up a +.5 in August; returned all of it in September (-.5); displayed a +.8 in October; surrendered all of that in November (-.8); bounced back with a combined +9.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (#1 in both of those sweeps); was -10.2 in January; and is now +.9 in February (6.1 – 7.0, third to second, 6+). The same can be said for iHeartMedia-owned WPOC “93.1 – Baltimore’s #1 for New Country,” which was a combined -2.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (7.2 – 6.2 – 4.6, 6+); dialed up a +2.5 in January; and now erodes by -.9 in February (7.1 – 6.2, second to fourth, 6+). From May 2017 through November, however, WPOC was consistently within 7.2 – 7.7 range (7.7 – 7.7 – 7.4 – 7.4 – 7.2 – 7.4 – 7.2, 6+). A collective -.7 in three consecutive down or flat trends (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.6 – 2.6, October through “Holiday” 2017, 6+), Peter & John Radio Fellowship contemporary Christian WRBS-FM “95.1 Shine FM” rebounded in January with a +.8 but decreases by -.5 in February (3.4 – 2.9, #12 to #14, 6+).

12) St. Louis Spoken-Word Formats – Following a full-share January increase, Entercom news/talk KMOX drops one-tenth (6.4 – 6.3, 6+) but stays at #4. As a result of four decreases in succession (8.4 – 8.0 – 6.0 – 5.5 – 5.4, 6+), “The Voice of St. Louis” was a cumulative -3.0 and had its lowest 6+-share since January’s 5.0. A loss of four-tenths in October ended at three its consecutive winning streak which generated a collective +1.1 since June (7.3 – 7.5 – 7.7 – 8.4, 6+). Down two-tenths to 3.1 (6+), Emmis-owned KFTK carries on at #16. Prior to January’s +.7, “FM News Talk 97.1” was a cumulative -1.4 in three straight decreases (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 2.6, 6+). A combined -.7 from November through “Holiday” 2017 (3.9 – 3.4 – 3.2, 6+), Hubbard sports talk WXOS posted a +.8 in January, but is -.6 in February (4.0 – 3.4, 6+) as “101 Sports” tumbles from the top ten (#10 to #14). Although off two two-tenths (3.7 – 3.5, 6+), University of Missouri news/talk KWMU stays at #13. By registering a half-share increase in January, KWMU halted three successive downward moves that accounted for a -.9 (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+).

St. Louis Music Formats – Owing to three straight upticks (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KSLZ “Z-107.7 St. Louis’ #1 Hit Music Station” is a collective +1.2 and cracks the top ten (#12 to #9) with its strongest 6+-showing (4.4) since May 2017’s 4.5. Although a combined -2.0 in January and February (9.5 – 7.9 – 7.5, 6+), classic hits-oldies cluster-mate KLOU “103.3 St. Louis’ Greatest Hits” repeats at #1. KLOU rebounded from December’s -.8 with a +2.2 in “Holiday” 2017. Prior to November, when it gained nine-tenths, KLOU was down or flat the previous three months for a -1.3 (8.5 – 8.5 – 7.7 – 7.2, 6+). Flat at #7, Entercom hot AC KYKY “Y-98 Today’s Best Music” continues a down/up pattern that began in August (4.3 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 3.5 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 4.9 – 4.7, 6+). An overall -1.5 in four downward moves in succession (4.8 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 3.6 – 3.3, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WHHL “Hot 104.1” dips from #14 to #15.

Monday, December 7, 2015

| December 7, 2015

cookehollandNielsen Client Conference Wrap-Up.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke files his final report summing up the events at the Friday sessions of the Nielsen Audio Client Conference.  In this piece, he reports on Edison Research president Larry Rosin’s one-on-one with progressive talk personality Stephanie Miller; Arnold Worldwide Global creative officer Jim Elliott’s presentation about creating advertising that works; a report on the music habits of Millennials from Nielsen Entertainment VP Insights and Analytics Julianne Schiffer; plus thoughts about the radio business from Millennial Zach Sang and Baby Boomer Mark Thompson.  Read Holland Cooke’s entire report here.

warelincolnRadio One Re-Brands One-Time Urban Talker WDBZ, Cincinnati ‘Praise 1230.’  And the format is mostly gospel music now on WDBZ “Praise 1230, Cincinnati’s Inspiration Station.”  Gone arewdbz logo almost all of the secular talk shows that were heard when it was “1230 The Buzz,” except for live and local personality Lincoln Ware (10:00 am to 2:00 pm) and the Reach Media-syndicated Al Sharpton program.  WLWT-TV, Cincinnati reports that callers to Ware’s program are promising a letter-writing campaign to the station, with one caller complaining that WDBZ was “the only voice we had.”  However, Gospel music promoter Tracey Artis tells WLWT-TV, “I don’t think Radio One would have considered taking down that format if it was profitable for them.”

bermanschnittNew York Mayor Bill de Blasio Ramps Up Radio Appearances to Get Message Out.  New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was not the most radio friendly politician during his first 20 months in office.  According to John Dawsey’s piece in the Wall Street Journal, he did less than 30 radio shows during that period.  But, with sagging approval ratings, de Blasio has made 30 appearances in the last three months – even on radio shows hosted by conservatives.  WOR, New York’s Todd Schnitt and Len Berman worked for 10 months to get de Blasio on the program and just had him on in November.  Schnitt is quoted saying, “Now, he’s doing a full on PR offensive because his numbers are taking a hit.  An outside consultant or some genius on the inside must have said to him, ‘We’ve got to boost the ratings here.’”  Mayoral staffers say radio is a great medium to get the message straight to constituents.  Read the whole piece here.

wtmjChristmasCarolA Dickens of a Fundraiser.  Last Tuesday (12/1), WTMJ, Milwaukee presented a live, radio play version of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” before a sold out crowd at the city’s Turner Hall Ballroom.  Station personality Charlie Sykes starred as Ebenezer Scrooge, the voice of the Green Bay Packers, Wayne Larrivee, served as the narrator.   All of WTMJ’s hosts were joined on stage by Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn and other surprise guests.  Proceeds from the event donated thousands of dollars to the station’s “Kids2Kids” program.  Audio of the live performance will air on WTMJ on Saturday, December 19 and will play again on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Odds & Sods.  Radio news pro Doug Limerick is retiring from ABC News Radio on December 18 after a 33-limerickdougyear career with the news organization.  Limerick got his start in radio while still in high school.  He got his first news gig as an anchor at WKIX, Raleigh.  He then moved to WSGN, Birmingham; WBT, Charlotte; and WHDH, Boston before relocating to Washington and ABC’s WRQX in 1979.  He started at ABC News Radio in 1982.  ABC News Radio says its award-winning Cheri Preston will move to morning anchor duties effective Monday, January 4…..Talk radio pro Chad Wilkinson exits Newsmax where he’s been executive producer for the company’s Newsmax TV division for the past three years…..A former New Orleans radio staffer has been arrested for allegedly using photocopied ID information from radio station contest winners to create fraudulent accounts with cable companies and media services.  Bryan Bienemy reportedly worked for sports talker KLRZ, New Orleans “ESPN 100.3” and also worked for the Cumulus Media station group in the market.

San Bernardino Aftermath and President Obama’s Sunday Address Top Weekend News/Talk Stories.  The aftermath of the deadly shootings in San Bernardino, the related issue of Islamic State-inspired terror attacks on American soil and President Obama’s Sunday evening address to the nation about the issues were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk stations over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

saulbradRIP Brad Saul.  Radio pro Brad Saul passed away at his home in Chicago on Friday, December 4 at age 55 after a 25-year battle with multiple sclerosis.  Saul was president and CEO of WebTalkRadio.net and was CEO of radio syndicator Matrix Media.  He is survived by his wife Debbie, and his 16-year-old triplets, Gabrielle, Brennan and GriffenTALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian writes more about Saul and his career here.

Monday, July 14, 2014

| July 14, 2014

astorinorobFormer New York Radio Host and Programmer Rob Astorino Under Fire in Gubernatorial Race for Townsquare Media Consulting Income.  Before leaving the radio business full time to run for public office – he’s now the Westchester County Executive – Republican Rob Astorino worked at WFAS, Westchester hosting a sports talk show and also worked at ESPN Radio New York where he was part of the team that transitioned WEVD to sports as WEPN.  Astorino is running for governor and incumbent Governor Andrew Cuomo’s campaign is making a deal about Astorino’s side job in which he collects $30,000 to consult Townsquare Media.  According to a piece in the New York Daily News, the governor’s campaign is contending Astorino is violating the Westchester County charter by accepting outside income but Astorino’s camp states the money he earns is not in violation of county rules.  Townsquare VP Alex Berkett tells the Daily News, “Mr. Astorino serves as one of a number of programming consultants that work with Townsquare Media.  This role allows Townsquare to benefit from Mr. Astorino’s considerable professional expertise in radio programming.”  Read the whole Daily News piece here.

cclogoClear Channel Announces Corporate Additions and Promotions.  From Clear Channel president national programming platforms Tom Poleman comes news that former Clear Channel programming executive Marc Chase has rejoined the company.  Chase will serve in the national programming platforms division as VP/strategic services, marketing & innovation.  Chase worked with Tribune during the Randy Michaels years and most recently was with Nuvoodoo.   Other moves at CC include Darren Pfeffer being promoted to senior VP/music & entertainment marketing where he’ll continue to be in charge of CC’s promotions and events, including the iHeartradio Music Festival, the iHeartradio Jingle Ball Tour and the iHeartradio Country Festival.  Also promoted are Marissa Morris and Adellyn Polomski who are VP/artist relations and director of artist relations & programs, respectively.  At the same time as these announcements comes news that Zena Burns is exiting her position as the company’s first digital program director to pursue other interests.

essickskipSkip Essick Exits Cumulus Media’s KMJ-AM and KMJ-FM.  For the past seven years, radio programming pro Skip Essick has been serving as PD at KMJ-AM and KMJ-FM in Fresno.  Essick oversaw the splitting of the two stations into separate news/talk stations while they were owned by Peak Broadcasting.  Last August, Townsquare Media agreed to purchase the stations from Peak and proceeded to sell them to Cumulus Media as part of a deal that saw Townsquare get Cumulus’ Dubuque and Poughkeepsie stations.

schwartzjeffreySchwartz Joins Yahoo! Sports as EVP Corporate Strategy.  This is a newly created position at the Houston-based Yahoo! Sports Radio and the company’s CEO, David Gow, says the arrival of Jeffrey Schwartz “will provide unmatched opportunities for our affiliate and advertising partners to thrive.”  Schwartz is charged with overseeing “business growth and partnerships, in addition to working withyahoosportsradiologo management to advance programming strategy, multi-platform marketing and promotional opportunities, and affiliate and talent relations.”  Schwartz comments, “I look forward to working with the Yahoo! Sports Radio team and the quality sports product they have developed to enhance the brand, as well as opportunities for our partners. Yahoo! Sports, one of the top sports sites in the world, will be a great asset to our strategic plans.”  Schwartz’s experience includes serving as manager of sales and promotion at classic rock WLUP-FM, Chicago “The Loop,” director of operations at sports talk WSCR, Chicago “The Score,” and director of operations at WMVP, Chicago “ESPN 1000.”  Concurrent with Schwartz’s arrival, the company announces Amanda Deutchman joins in the new position of director, marketing and business development.   She most recently was marketing and communications manager for Premiere NetworksFox Sports Radio Network.

simonsjoeSimons New PM Anchor at KXL, Portland.  Joining co-anchor Val Stouffer at Alpha Media’s news/talk KXL-FM, Portland “FM NEWS 101” for the “Portland’s Afternoon News” program is Joe Simons.  He joined KXL last year as a weekend morning news anchor.  Simons previously served as the voice of the University of Idaho Women’s Basketball team for two seasons and hosted TV and radio shows in Idaho while also serving as a field reporter for KQQQ, Pullman, Washington.     Simons says of his new gig, “I’m thrilled to be part of the incredible team at KXL. The amount of experience and talent our staff has is second to none.  I hope to bring my unique perspective and enthusiasm to ‘Portland’s Afternoon News.’”

jacksonkevinKevin Jackson Joins WBOK, New Orleans.  Conservative media personality Kevin Jackson – executive director of The Black Sphere LLC – joins the daily lineup at Bakewell Media-owned urban talk/gospel-formatted WBOK, New Orleans.  Jackson has been producing a program that airs on weekends on Salem Communications-owned Florida outlets WGUL, Tampa and WLSS, Sarasota.  Now his show will air nightly after the Al Sharpton program.  Jackson says, “I’m happy to follow Al Sharpton, because there couldn’t be a bigger difference in thought.  I believe black stations need to allow their listeners varying points of view, and I’m excited about the opportunity to have a predominantly black audience compare my viewpoint to Sharpton and Martin.”

ppmunitRound Four of June PPM Data Released.  The fourth and final round of June 2014 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford.  The survey period was May 22 through June 18.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page of RadioInfo.com here.

horizonbroadcastingHorizon Broadcasting Re-Launches Local News and Information Site.  What the company calls “the region’s most comprehensive website for local news and community information” – MyCentralOregon.com – has been re-launched by Horizon Broadcasting Group.  The company owns five stations in the Central Oregon region and operates mycentraloregonnews/talk KBNW via an LMA with station owner SummitMedia.  Horizon CEO Keith Shipman says, “We are excited to provide Central Oregon residents with a reliable option for real-time local news and community information.  We found that over 90% of our past visitors to the site were primarily interested in viewing local and national news content, which is where we will place our emphasis.  Local weather forecasts are a prime driver and we will rely on the expertise of AccuWeather to provide forecasts for communities throughout Central Oregon, complete with a 5 day outlooks and satellite radar images.  Visitors to MyCentralOregon.com will find breaking local news from the KBNW news team featuring Glenn Vaagen and Kellen Pierce.  Our national, international, political, entertainment, health and business news content will be robust thanks to our alliances with ABC News and The Wall Street Journal.  Visitors will also be able to get the latest traffic information, including mountain pass conditions, road reports featuring cameras from the Oregon Department of Transportation, school closures and the latest gas prices throughout Central Oregon.”

Odds & Sods.  When the 25th Annual American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament begins this week, NBC Sports Radio Network will broadcast live from Edgewood and Harrah’s Lake Tahoe.  The Westwood One/NBC Sports Group-run networks will broadcast its sports talk shows from the site on Thursday, Friday and throughout the weekend…..KSCO, Santa Cruz announces the addition of the “Wagner & Winick On the Law” program to the station’s weekend lineup.  Monterey College of Law Dean Mitchel Winick and Law Professor Stephen Wagner began hosting the weekly, one-hour radio program last Saturday, July 12…..AL.com reports that South Alabama sports is moving from longtime home Dot Com Plus LLC-owned WNSP-FM, Mobile to Clear Channel’s Mobile station group where Jaguar football games will air on adult contemporary WMXC while Men’s Basketball and Baseball will air on news/talk WNTM.

drakebillSpartanburg-Greenville Personality Bill Drake Dies at 73.  South Carolina radio personality Bill Drake died on July 11 from complications after successful surgery to treat esophageal cancer.  Although Drake also worked in Green Bay and Milwaukee during his career, he spent 29 years as morning host at WSPA, Spartanburg and then did mornings at WOLT-FM for seven years.  His “Awake with Drake” program was last heard on WOLI, Spartanburg.

ausfeldbobAlbany Broadcaster Bob Ausfeld Passes Away.  After years of heart troubles that required longtime Albany broadcaster Bob Ausfeld to have a heart pump implanted, Ausfeld went into surgery last week after a donor heart became available.  Ausfeld did not survive the recovery from the surgery and died over the weekend.  Ausfeld began his broadcasting career in the market at WPTR.  He worked for Townsquare Media through 2011 and joined Albany Broadcasting as general manager for the company.

hochman de la hoyaDe la Hoya Visits Marc Hochman Show.  WQAM, Miami afternoon drive host Marc Hochman (center), and co-host Zach Krantz (right), pose for a pic with fight promoter and Hall of Fame boxer Oscar de la Hoya (left) in Las Vegas.  Hochman brought his show to Las Vegas for a special broadcast last week in anticipation of the Canelo vs. Lara fight at the MGM Grand.

Monday, December 3, 2012

| December 3, 2012

Michael Savage Bashes “Bash Obama” Programming Philosophy.  Cumulus Media Networks nationally syndicated talk host Michael Savage appeared on WABC, New York’s “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio” program last night and told Klein’s audience that talk radio conservatives are “committing suicide” by incessantly criticizing Barack Obama.  Savage, who recently left longtime syndicator Talk Radio Network and subsequently signed on with Cumulus Media Networks, said, “Many people on the conservative side of the dial are making the same mistakes now that the liberals made when Bush was in power.  “Air America went bankrupt, why? Because all they did was…Bush bashing and they were just crazy in the Bush bashing.  Boring.  Boring.  How much could you listen to?  It wasn’t even clever Bush bashing.  This is what’s going on now with the conservatives.  They’re committing suicide.  Just attacking Obama – although he deserves it – is not good radio…Remember one thing, radio is primarily an entertainment medium.  It was not created to be the voice of the Republican Party or the Democrat Party.”  Savage’s program begins airing on Cumulus O&O WABC tonight from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm.

CBS Radio Dallas Offices Hit by Gunfire.  The offices of CBS Radio’s Dallas operations that house its radio stations was hit by gun shots on Friday and police are still investigating the source of the bullets.  CBS Dallas is reporting the shots hit the outside panes of glass on two floors of the 12-story building that abuts the busy Central Expressway.  One of the offices hit was that of NewsRadio 1080 KRLD’s promotions director Matt Stacks.  The other window hit was above the KRLD offices belonging to former police officer and practicing attorney Pete Schulte who tells CBS, “It sounded like a rifle.  It was clearly a loud bang, and as soon as I heard the loud bang the glass shattered in my office.”  Schulte says he was frustrated by how long it took the police to take action.  “I should think police should at least canvass the area to see if they can find anyone with a long gun.”  The CBS story notes police did canvass the area a little over an hour later and that Schulte was told the call had been mis-categorized as a criminal mischief call instead of an active shooter case.  The building also houses CBS Radio’s other Dallas stations including sports talk KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan,” AC KVIL “103.7 Lite FM,” adult hits KJKK “100.3 Jack FM,” classic hits KLUV, and Spanish WMKV, “Mega 107.5 FM.”

WLS, Chicago Adds Early-Morning Newscast.  Time Out Chicago’s Robert Feder tips that Cumulus Media-owned news/talk WLS, Chicago began a 4:30 am newscast anchored by John Dempsey this morning (12/3).  The move means WLS is cutting the second half of The Wall Street Journal Radio Network’s “This Morning” program that aired from 4:00 am to 5:00 am.  “The 89 WLS First Morning News at 4:30” also uses ABC Radio News London-based correspondent Tom Rivers as a contributor.

Radio One to Consolidate Syndication One Division with Reach Media in January.  Radio One will increase its ownership stake in Reach Media from 53% to 80%.  The consolidation of Radio One-owned Syndication One and the Tom Joyner– and David Kantor-founded Reach Media will, according to Radio One, create an “assembly of top talent, programming and prime national advertising inventory that make Reach Media the leading radio network with the ability to speak directly to the African-American audience.  In 2013, Reach Media will use its strong affiliate lineup and relationships with leading urban stations to also launch a new network.  Reach Media’s new network is expected to be in the top tier of radio networks and have one of the largest African-American audiences of any radio network.  Reach Media will expand its dedicated sales and marketing staff to sell the radio network advertising inventory along with web and event sponsorships.”  The company will offer talk and music radio talent including: Tom Joyner, Rickey Smiley, Russ Parr, Yolanda Adams, Reverend Al Sharpton, Warren Ballentine and CoCo Brother.  It indicates it has plans to acquire more urban-targeted talent in the near future.  Radio One CEO Alfred Liggins says, “Radio One has a commitment to be the leader in radio and online programming with compelling entertainment and information for the African-American audience.  Combining our assets under Reach Media offers an incredibly broad platform for affiliate stations and advertisers to connect with our loyal audience.”  Reach Media CEO David Kantor states, “In bringing together the most compelling urban programming in radio, we’ve created a platform that can focus on outstanding talent for our affiliates and the delivery of an incredibly responsive consumer base.  We look forward to expanding our offerings and becoming the primary radio network for advertisers to reach African- Americans.”

Pat Miller Returns to PM Drive on WOWO, Fort Wayne.  Longtime WOWO, Fort Wayne talk show host Pat Miller re-joins the station for the afternoon drive slot beginning in January.  Miller exited his full-time role at the station last spring but continued to do a two-hour weekend program.  After Gregg Henson exited the program director and PM drive posts at WOWO at the end of the summer Federated Media plugged in Premiere NetworksSean Hannity.  But Hannity has been moved to the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm slot with Casey Hendrickson filling in on the PM drive show.  Hendrickson also hosts the morning drive show at Federated’s WTRC-AM/FM, South Bend, Indiana “Michiana’s News Channel.”

Dave Ramsey Moves to Daytime in Atlanta on WCFO.  Nationally syndicated financial talk star Dave Ramsey’s program is moving to new affiliate JW Broadcasting’s WCFO, Atlanta beginning today where he’ll air live in the 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm time slot.  Ramsey’s program most recently was heard in the 10:00 pm to 1:00 am slot on Cox Media’s WSB-AM and WSBB-FM.  Prior to being picked up by WSB in 2011, Ramsey aired in afternoons on Clear Channel’s WGST.  Brian Mayfield, vice president of broadcast for The Lampo Group, says, “We are very excited that Dave can now be heard live in Atlanta.  Our audience has been asking for this, and we are proud to partner with WCFO to deliver on this request.”

Five Practical Digital Lessons Radio Can Learn from the Obama Campaign.  Noted radio digital consultant Chris Miller says broadcasters should look to the recent Obama Campaign’s effective use of digital media for promotional and branding initiatives.  In this piece, he illustrates how 1) all the various platforms we use today are inter-connected and must be treated as such; 2) every platform has a specific purpose and should be used to achieve clearly defined goals; 3) remember that it is all a “show” and just because it is digital or “social media” doesn’t mean it isn’t show biz; 4) make sure your emails are likely to be opened by labeling them with irresistible subject lines; and 5) create “community,” not just “conversation.”  Read Miller’s entire piece here.

Jason Pugh Exits WEFL, West Palm Beach for DC TV Gig.  Jason Pugh is leaving his positions at Good Karma’s “ESPN 760” WEFL, Tequesta, Florida where he partnered with Jeremy Marks-Peltz for the 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm show and his sportscasting gig at WPTV-TV for a position at NBC O&O WRC-TV, Washington, DC.  Pugh also worked in the play-by-play booth for Florida Atlantic University football games.  The Florida Sun-Sentinel reports Pugh joined Good Karma in 2006 and began hosting his own program in 2009.

ESPN New York O&Os Re-Up with NFL’s Jets.  The New York City ESPN O&O stations – WEPN-FM “ESPN New York 98.7” and WEPN-AM “ESPN Deportes New York 1050” announce they have extended their contract to be the exclusive New York radio partners of the NFL’s New York Jets.  Included in the deal are three ancillary programs — the “Jets Player Spotlight” (Mondays at 3:30 pm) a weekly interview with Jets head coach Rex Ryan (Mondays at 5:15 pm) and “Inside the Jets” (Mondays at 7:00 pm).   ESPN New York vice president and general manager Dave Roberts states, “We’re excited to continue our relationship with the Jets.  The Jets have a huge fan base in the New York metropolitan area and we look forward to continuing to serve them.”

XtreMedia Talk Hosts  DoGood.com  Charts Giving Success.  XtreMedia talk show hosts Dani Johnson, Kevin McCullough and Stephen Baldwin began a campaign in April of this year to assist 2,012 orphans with a stated goal of raising $185,000.  After achieving the goal in just eight weeks instead of the eight months they had given themselves, they set about creating DoGood.com and partnered with Kings Ransom Foundation to assist orphaned children and others in need.  Some examples of their success include: In November, Dani Johnson again publicly challenged her listeners to radically help with practical help for victims of hurricane Sandy.  In one weekend’s broadcast the Dani Johnson web and radio community (some of whom were directly impacted by the storm) and working with Kings Ransom Foundation raised in excess of $35,000 to aid specific cases whose stories were of particularly tough loss.  Over the course of five weeks after Sandy, Kevin McCullough was able to rally listeners to his national daily show to provide aid by connecting volunteers to engineering and contracting, clean-up crews, and miscellaneous needs in excess of $25,000 towards help for churches, communities, pastors, and parishioners in hard hit communities in Brooklyn, Queens, The RockAways, and down the Jersey shore.  On December 12, Stephen Baldwin is scheduled to headline a fundraising gathering being hosted by VH1 with proceeds to be donated to hurricane Sandy relief efforts via DoGood.com.  On December 1, the clients and listeners in attendance at Dani Johnson’s “Creating a Dynasty” leadership training weekend raised an additional $113,000 (by auctioning off slices of cheesecake freshly prepared by Dani personally) for the King’s Children’s Home orphanage in Belize that is in need of a new roof for four buildings on its campus.  The total cost for the roofing project will run $200k for all four structures.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

| April 25, 2012

Feature Series – Part 2:  Walter Sabo on Finding and Nurturing FM Talk Talent.  In the second of a four-part series for TALKERS on building a successful FM talk station, Sabo Media president Walter Sabo writes that the best FM talk hosts come from the ranks of successful music jocks.  “I look for talent who have invested their time doing excellent radio taking advantage of a strong format.  A great CHR jock has remarkable broadcasting skills.  He/she is taught the importance and necessity of getting to the next event.”  Sabo says talent must be willing to prep two hours for every hour they are on the air and that matching this type of host with a skilled radio programmer presents the best opportunity for great success with targeted talk on the FM band.  Read part 2 of this series here.

KMBZ, Kansas City Names Jonathan Weir Late Morning Host.  The search for a new late morning talk host at Entercom’s KMBZ, Kansas City began when Chris Merrill took a talk host position at Clear Channel’s KOGO, San Diego earlier this year.  Merrill’s been doing double duty while the search was on.  Now, KMBZ program director Jack Landreth announces Jonathan Weir comes aboard to host the 9:00 am to 11:00 am show.  “Jon’s enthusiasm and unique approach to his audience instantly drew me in as a listener first.  His ability to weave his life experiences into the fabric of the show is a real quality that endears him to his listeners.”  Weir comes from Entercom’s WSKY, Gainesville, Florida where he was producer and co-host of “The Drive Time Happy Hour” program.  Weir, a St. Louis native, states, “I couldn’t be happier to be joining such a landmark station in the Midwest.  I’m inspired and so thankful to everyone at KMBZ for giving me this incredible opportunity.  I look forward to the challenge of living up to the incredible standards set by KMBZ, and the chance to be close to my family again is a great bonus.”  Weir begins his new gig on April 30.

Talk Legend Barry Farber to Receive TALKERS Lifetime Achievement Award.  Talk show host Barry Farber, still heard regularly on both Talk Radio Network and CRN Digital Talk, has been named the 2012 recipient of TALKERS magazine’s annual “Lifetime Achievement Award.”  The venerable host, named in 2002 and 2010 by TALKERS as one of the most important radio talk show hosts of all time, has been performing regularly scheduled talk shows on radio since 1960 when he started a groundbreaking program on WINS, New York.  He is credited by historians as being one of the seminal pioneers and architects of today’s talk radio.  Farber, also a prolific and accomplished author, has a new book coming out this summer titled Cocktails with Molotov: An Odyssey of Unlikely Detours (WND Books).  The award will be presented to Barry Farber by Michael Harrison at the forthcoming New Media Seminar in New York City on Thursday, June 7.  This event, nearing a sellout, is open to members of the working media only.  For registration information call 413-565-5413.

Merlin Media LMAs Third Chicago FM Signal.  Merlin Media is agreeing to lease the signal of Venture Technologies Group-owned WLFM-LP, Chicago at 87.7 on the dial to program and sell advertising on it.  Of course there’s a ton of speculation about what Merlin will do with the low-power smooth jazz outlet.  According to the Chicago Tribune, the station has been faring well with the smooth jazz format – garnering a 1.6 share in the March PPM.  Since the deal was announced, news from Merlin’s FM News 101.1 has begun airing on the station.  Though the Tribune notes Randy MichaelsRadioactive LLC has applied for the WKQX-FM call letters of the former alternative rock station (now FM News 101.1) and that’s leading to rumors the station will flip to alternative rock.  Program director and midday host Rick O’Dell confirms via the station website that a format change will take place Monday (4/30) but doesn’t say to what.

Rodney King Visits Rev. Al Sharpton.  The 20th anniversary of the verdict in the case of the Los Angeles police officers accused of beating motorist Rodney King is Sunday, April 29.  The acquittal of the four officers sparked the riots that consumed part of the city for days.  King (pictured here at left) visited Syndication One talk show host Rev. Al Sharpton to discuss the historic event and his new book, The Riot Within: My Journey from Rebellion to Redemption (HarperOne 2012).

Steve Dahl Reduces Staff at Podcast Venture.  New-tech broadcasting models are subject to the same economic forces that affect terrestrial radio and Chicago’s Steve Dahl is making changes to keep his podcast initiative going.  Time Out Chicago’s Robert Feder reports the Chicago radio legend let three staffers go recently — technical producer Pete Zimmerman, assistant technical producer Jim Ruffatto and assistant Stephanie Fallara – in order to continue operating in a way that works for him.  Dahl wrote on his blog, “It was not a decision I came to easily, but I think that it was the right move for the show.  I know when I am not growing as an entertainer and I know what I need to do to keep that process moving forward.  It’s ‘The Steve Dahl Show, and that at some point is the brand that I need to protect, not only for my own creative integrity, but in order to support my family.”  Dahl recently added two staffers – Dag Juhlin, director of creative services and Eric Drogoszewski, marketing/operations director – to his subscription-supported venture.

Backstage in Phoenix.  Premiere Networks nationally syndicated talk star Glenn Beck (third from right) poses for a photo with KFYI, Phoenix hosts and staffers backstage at the Phoenix stop on his “Unelectable Tour II” on Friday, April 20.  Beck is hitting the road this spring bringing his standup comedy routine to audiences in Southern and Southwestern cities.  Pictured here with Beck are (from l-r): KFYI GSM Jim Wilson, KFYI early morning host Jim Sharpe, KFYI PM drive host Mike Broomhead, Beck, KFYI program director Neil Larrimore, and Mike Broomhead show executive producer Andrew Fountaine.

2012 Presidential Race, North Korea Nukes Test, Euro Zone Jitters, Secret Service Scandal and SCOTUS Hears AZ Illegal Immigration Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/24).  The presidential campaign and Mitt Romney’s Northeastern states primary sweep; North Korea’s threat to test nuclear weapons very soon; economic sluggishness in the euro zone; more dismissals in the Secret Service hooker scandal; and the Supreme Court’s hearing of the Arizona illegal immigration legislation were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.