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Thursday, July 22, 2021

| July 22, 2021

Larry Elder Prevails in Suit to Get on California Recall Ballot. California-based Salem Radio Network talk host Larry Elder is on the official ballot for the recall election of California Governor Gavin Newsom after California Superior Court Judge Laurie Earl sided with Elder in his suit against Secretary of State Shirley Weber. Weber’s office said Elder’s five years of tax returns were improperly filed or redacted and he would not be allowed on the September 14 ballot. In his suit, Elder argued that the 2019 law requiring gubernatorial candidates to provide five years of tax returns applies to candidates in a “direct primary election,” and this recall is not a primary election and Judge Earl agreed, saying, “I don’t find that Mr. Elder was required to file tax returns at all.” Elder also argued that since Governor Newsom did not have to provide tax returns, Elder was not being afforded equal protection under the law. There will be 43 candidates on the September ballot.

Bob Philips Named President of Audacy Networks and Multi-Market Sales. In a memo to company employees, Audacy chief operating officer Susan Larkin announces that chief revenue officer Bob Philips is assuming the new role of president of Audacy Networks and Multi-Market Sales. She says, “We believe Bob will deliver significant revenue impact and client outcomes by focusing on growing our network and multi-market sales businesses as we continue to execute our market growth strategy. As chief revenue officer, Bob was a catalyst for innovation and growth. Under his leadership, we streamlined multiple revenue departments, launched the Audacy Network and our in-house traffic network while also revolutionizing our approach to national sales, bringing new brands and bigger opportunities onto our platform. And, as the economy rebounds and local and national advertising return to pre-pandemic levels, Bob will build exponential value for our clients and for Audacy.” Larkin says the company is beginning a search for a new chief revenue officer immediately.

Townsquare Media Names Peter Van Den Heuvel Market President for Cedar Rapids-Waterloo. Media executive Peter Van Den Heuvel is joining Townsquare Media as market president and chief revenue officer for the company’s Cedar Rapids/Waterloo station group. Van Den Heuvel was most recently with Spectrum Reach. Townsquare Media SVP Todd Lawley says, “Peter has extensive multi-platform management experience which makes him a perfect fit for this role. I could not be more excited to have someone with Peter’s leadership and depth of multi-platform knowledge to lead our two-time ‘Market of the Year’ team in Cedar Rapids/Waterloo.”

BIA: U.S. Local Ad Spend to Hit $142 Billion. The consultancy firm BIA Advisory Services is revising its 2021 forecasts for U.S. local advertising revenue to $142.4 billion, up $4.8 billion from its November 2020 estimate. The projection is split between traditional and digital media but shows that the divide is narrowing, with traditional advertising only 8 % ahead of digital media that includes: mobile, online, over-the-top, email, and traditional media’s online ventures. BIA predicts local radio advertising will rebound somewhat to $11.7 billion in 2021 and $12.3 billion in 2022, with $.94 billion and $1.04 billion, respectfully, coming from digital platforms. The revised forecast also sees a 5.6 % increase in overall compound annual growth in U.S. spending in local ad markets and expects the amount to reach $157.1 billion in 2022 and $162.1 billion in 2023. While the digital media share will first leapfrog to 51 % over traditional media by 2023.

Journalists Andrea Bernstein and Ilya Marritz to Produce January 6 Podcast for Audacy’s Pineapple Street Studios. Former WNYC reporters Andrea Bernstein and Ilya Marritz, co-hosts of the podcast “Trump, Inc.,” announce they will be working with Audacy’s Pineapple Street Studios on an investigative documentary podcast series “that will trace the multiple failures that led to the breach of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.” The yet-to-be-titled series will launch in early 2022. Pineapple Street Studios co-founders Jenna Weiss-Berman and Max Linsky say, “We couldn’t be prouder to be working with Andrea and Ilya. We’ve been tremendous fans of their unique, ambitious style of investigative narrative audio for years, and what they are uncovering about the insurrection on January 6 will provide the context about that day and what led to it that all of us are so desperate to understand.”

TALKERS News Notes. WOKV-FM, Jacksonville and KRMG, Tulsa talk host Mark Kaye is giving away his new book to listeners for free. He says his anti-cancel culture book, The Woke Folk, is dedicated to his late on-air predecessor Rush Limbaugh. He says, “I just wanted to get this book out there. Cancel culture is already destroying important parts of our society. It must be stopped. I want everyone in my audience to have this book so we can continue to spread Rush’s legacy to as many people as possible. So, instead of selling it, I’m just giving them all a copy for free.”…..NuVoodoo Media Services announces the findings of a new study on COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among Americans, conducted on Tuesday (7/20) and supplementing its Ratings Prospect Study 18, fielded June 18-20, 2021. In Tuesday’s study of 1,318 respondents between 14 and 64 years of age, NuVoodoo found that COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy is highest among women and 25-54-year-old adults. On the flipside, the study further revealed that Hispanic Americans are the least vaccine hesitant of any population segment. NuVoodoo president Carolyn Gilbert comments, “Our June study was conducted about five weeks after the CDC gave the all-clear for vaccinated Americans to essentially return to a normal life, and feelings were most certainly running toward the optimistic side after 15 months of COVID-19 related restrictions. With this new variant of concern starting to impact case rates and hospitalizations, not to mention dominating the news cycle, we felt it important to provide the timeliest information, so our industry partners can make better informed decisions when planning the next few months.”…..Nexstar Media Group‘s WGN-AM, Chicago announces that Joe Brand is named the host of Chicago Blackhawks pregame and postgame shows and the weekly “Blackhawks Live” program, starting September 29. Brand takes over for Chris Boden, who was cut after four years. WGN sports director Dave Eanet says Brand is “one of the exciting sports broadcasters in Chicago. He’s been a key part of our Blackhawks broadcasts on WGN for several years, but mainly behind the scenes. Now, we’re thrilled that he can share his expertise, energy, and enthusiasm with Blackhawks fans on the air on a daily basis.” Brand has reported for the broadcast team and co-hosted both the “Blackhawks Crazy” and “Blackhawks 720” podcasts that originate from the WGN Radio studios.  Since joining WGN in 2013, Joe Brand has been a producer, reporter, anchor, and host.

COVID-19, Biden Town Hall, January 6 Investigation, Infrastructure Bill/Debt Ceiling Battle, Critical Race Theory, Extreme Weather and Western Wildfires Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/21). The rising rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., vaccine hesitancy, and the return of mask mandates; President Joe Biden’s Wednesday evening CNN town hall; Republicans and Democrats battle over the January 6 investigation committee; the fight in Washington over the Biden administration’s infrastructure bill and the GOP’s refusal to raise the debt ceiling; the controversy over the teaching of critical race theory in public schools; and the extreme weather all over the world and the wildfires in the U.S. West were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

| February 26, 2020

WKNR, Cleveland Suspends Browns Reporter for Baker Mayfield Remark. Cleveland Browns reporter Tony Grossi has been suspended by Good Karma Brands’ WKNR-AM “ESPN Cleveland” after referring to Brown’s quarterback Baker Mayfield as a “f*#king midget” during a commercial break.  A hot mic caught his comments during the live airing of “TheLandOnDemand” from the NFL scouting combine.  Good Karma apologized and said it will engage in sensitivity training for its staff.  Meanwhile, Grossi issued an apology in which he said, in part, “There’s no excuse for using that language in any context.  It was said without malice but also without thought.  It is well known that Baker and I have had our differences, and in the course of this experience, I’ve had to question my role in the erosion of the relationship. I have always endeavored to report and comment on him fairly, and am shaken by these events.”

Entercom Promotes Holly to Market Manager for Buffalo Station Group. Sales pro J. Timothy Holly rises from vice president of sales to senior vice president and market manager for Entercom’s Buffalo cluster that includes news/talk WBEN-AM, sports talkers WGR-AM and WWKB-AM, plus four music brands.  Holly takes over for Greg Ried, who exited the company in January.  Entercom regional president and president of sales operations Michael Doyle comments, “I am excited to promote Tim Holly from vice president of sales where he has done an outstanding job of creating an innovative and successful approach to solving our clients’ needs.   With our outstanding and unique portfolio of audio assets, including great radio and digital brands, leading local sports coverage via partnerships with the Buffalo Bills and Sabres, and some of the largest live events in Buffalo, Tim has shown that he can lead our team of professionals in Western New York to grow and thrive.”

Entercom Names Idil Cakim to New SVP Research and Insights Post. In this new senior vice president of research and insights position with Entercom, Idil Cakim will “lead the company’s business-to-business strategy and audio insights practice, with a focus on building perspectives, ideas, and client strategies.”  She will report to Paul Suchman, chief marketing officer and will work closely with chief revenue officer Bob Philips and EVP of corporate business development Tim Murphy.  She was most recently with Nielsen, where she served as vice president of media analytics consulting.  Paul Suchman says, “Idil’s deep experience across media platforms and complex data sets will greatly enrich our ability to deliver actionable insights and even more powerful audio strategies to our clients.  Her ability as a storyteller will help bolster the narratives we bring to market.  We’re thrilled to welcome Idil to our leadership team.”

TALKERS News Notes. Talk host and author Todd Starnes is scheduled to deliver a speech and take part in a panel discussion on the First Amendment at CPAC 2020, taking place today through Saturday (2/26-29).  Starnes hosts his Hamilton Strategies nationally syndicated “Todd Starnes Radio Show” that he’ll broadcast live from the event’s radio row…..The FOX News organization is planning its continuing coverage of the Democratic primary race as FOX News Channel will provide live coverage of South Carolina’s primary results on Saturday (2/29) from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET.  Chief political anchor and “Special Report” host Bret Baier will anchor the two-hour special, “Democracy 2020: South Carolina Primary.”  Additionally, FOX News Radio will provide live national network coverage of the primary with hourly updates from FNR’s team of reporters. FOX News Podcasts will also offer a special edition of the “FOX News Rundown” leading into the evening while FOX News Headlines 24/7 will provide live Democracy 2020 updates every 15 minutes during the primary…..WNBF, Binghamton, New York news anchor and talk host Bob Joseph celebrates his 40th anniversary with the Townsquare Media news/talk station.  Joseph – who also hosts the late morning talk show “Binghamton Now” – was hired by the station as a part-timer while still a teenager.  He became a full-time news reporter anchor on February 18, 1980…..Sun Broadcast Group announces its expanded and restructured affiliate relations team led by Boston-based VP of programming & affiliate relations, Rich O’Brien.  The staff includes: New York-based senior affiliate content manager Southwest, Alex Quintero; Cleveland-based senior affiliate content manager Northeast, Ryan Verardi, affiliate content manager Southeast, Gary James, and affiliate content manager Midwest, Andrew Scaglione; and Los Angeles-based affiliate content manager West, Ed Moloney…..Broadcast Pix announces that Jeff Adams joins the company as product manager.  In this position he’ll lead the business and product development of new RadioPix visual radio systems.  He says, “I’m very excited to join the team at Broadcast Pix and be a part of their unique approach to simplifying live radio broadcasting.”

RTDNA Unveils New Look. The Radio Television Digital News Association unveils its new-look logo, saying it “reflects both the association’s origins and its continuing mission as a hub for the leading innovators in broadcast and digital news.”  The RTDNA adds, “This new imagery signifies the association and foundation’s continuing commitment to pushing the broadcast and digital news industry forward through training, advocacy and honors.  Over the next year, RTDNA members can expect to find new and updated resources on RTDNA.org, expanded in-person and online training opportunities and a redesigned curriculum at the annual conference.”  Executive director Dan Shelley says, “RTDNA is proud to be a community and resource for more members than at any point in our modern history.  At a time when journalism is under threat, our members continually demonstrate that they are leaders and innovators working every day to better each other, the industry and their communities across the country through responsible local journalism.”

PodcastOne and A&E Present ‘PD Stories’ Podcast. Building on the success of their work together producing six seasons of “Cold Case Files: The Podcast,” A&E and PodcastOne are expanding their production and distribution partnership to include season two of the “PD Stories” podcast that takes listeners behind the badge of law enforcement, revealing their experiences, perspectives and insights through in-depth interviews.  The program is hosted by A&E’s Tom Morris Jr., who anchors the channel’s “Live PD: Wanted” program.  Podcast One founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz says, “Our partnership with A&E has been instrumental in developing our true-crime genre.  The overwhelming success of ‘Cold Case Files’ and the addition of ‘PD Stories’ will enhance our lineup, which included last year’s smash-hit, ‘22 Hours: An American Nightmare.’  An association with a company like A&E has always been extremely important to us. We look forward to continuing and expanding our partnership.”

Presidential Race, Covid-19 Epidemic, Financial Markets Activity/China Productivity, Weinstein Trial Aftermath, and College Admissions Scandal Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/25). The Democrats battling to take on President Trump in November and Tuesday’s debate in Charleston, South Carolina; the status of the coronavirus around the world and whether the U.S. is prepared for it; the losses on the world’s financial markets as the result of fears about Covid-19 and the related productivity problems in China; the aftermath of the conviction of Harvey Weinstein on sexual assault charges; and Hot Pockets heiress Michelle Janavs is sentenced to five months in prison in the college admissions scandal 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. Alternative KROQ, Los Angeles announces the 12th annual “Kevin in the Morning with Allie & Jensen April Foolishness” event will take place on April 4 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.  The show is being hosted by Kevin Ryder, Allie Mac Kay, and Jensen Karp, and this year’s event will feature comedians Adam Carolla, actor and comedian Jeff Garlin, Steve-O, Adam Ray, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” writer Jen Kirkman, Fortune Feimster from “Sweet & Salty,” and Clownvis from “The King of Clowns.”  The annual comedy show and fundraiser benefits the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund and Cedars-Sinai NICU.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

| December 19, 2019

KNUS, Denver’s Chuck Bonniwell and Julie Hayden Fired for School Shooting Joke. The midday “Chuck & Julie” show has been cancelled from the program lineup at Salem Media Group’s news/talk KNUS, Denver after Chuck Bonniwell’s ill-advised joke about school shootings.  Bonniwell, who co-hosts the show with his wife Julie Hayden, was transitioning from a break back into programming and said – in an effort to express his weariness with the impeachment story – “You wish for a nice school shooting to interrupt.”  Julie Hayden was quick to interject, “Don’t even – don’t even say that. No, don’t even say that.  Don’t call us. Chuck didn’t say that.”  Then Bonniwell added “…which no one would be hurt.”  Station management later issued the following statement: “Given the history of school violence that has plagued our community, 710 KNUS confirms that an inappropriate comment was made on the ‘Chuck & Julie’ show by co-host Chuck Bonniwell.  A programming decision was made to end the program immediately.”  For his part, Bonniwell said via Twitter: “I made an inappropriate comment meant as a joke.  I’m sorry it was not received that way.”

Jim Vicevich Retires from WTIC-AM, Hartford; Will Mariotti to Assume Late Morning Show. Hartford talk radio host Jim Vicevich is leaving his role as late morning talk host on Entercom’s news/talk WTIC-AM due to his ongoing battle with Lupus.  Today is his last show.  WTIC personality Will Mariotti will become the permanent 9:00 am to 12:00 noon host.  Entercom Hartford SVP and market manager Stephanie Perl says, “We would like to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to Jim, who has dedicated over 15 years of his career to the people of Hartford.  He has developed a strong bond with the local community through the show ‘Sound Off Connecticut’ and is a true media icon in the market.  We thank him for all of his contributions to our station and local community and wish him all of the best.”  Vicevich says, “While I’m sad to be leaving due to my Lupus, I’m happy that I’ve had the opportunity to entertain and interact with our audience for over 15 years.  I’m honored to be a part of this station’s great history.  Very few people have had the chance to get behind the same microphone of other WTIC greats like Bob Steele and Ray Dunaway.  Thank you to everyone who has played a role in making my time here special.”  Will Mariotti adds, “From the time I first filled in for Jim and all the way through working with him weekly in 2017 and 2018, I was always impressed by his knowledge and professionalism.  I know I have huge shoes to fill, but my time with Jim has prepared me for the next chapter of our daytime show.  I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to connect with our listeners every day.”

Chris Carlin to Host Nights at ‘ESPN New York.’ After months of speculation about what the New York City sports talk scene will look like in the New Year, another piece of the puzzle fits into place as former WFAN “The Fan” personality Chris Carlin will assume hosting the evening show at ESPN’s WEPN-FM “ESPN New York” on January 2.  “Carlin at Night” will air from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm.  Carlin was one-third of the show hired to replace Mike Francesa in afternoons on Entercom’s WFAN.  But Francesa returned to WFAN a few months after leaving and Carlin, Bart Scott and Maggie Gray were moved to the early afternoon daypart.  Then, in August Carlin was let go.  Back at WEPN, Alan Hahn is moving from nights to middays, reportedly to co-host with Bart Scott, who leaves WFAN and partner Maggie Gray this month to join WEPN.  Across town, WFAN has already announced that Gray and Marc Malusis are the new midday show and Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts are the new PM drive show.

Ivy Savoy-Smith to Lead Entercom Washington, DC. Vice president and director of sales Ivy Savoy-Smith is promoted to SVP and market manager for Entercom’s Washington, DC station group that includes sports talk WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan,” four music brands, and more.  She takes over for Phil Zachary, who exited the position last month. Entercom CRO and regional president Bob Philips says, “During her time here at Entercom, Ivy has embodied leadership, strategic thinking, accountability and hard work.  She is a forward thinker who has produced undeniable results and we are excited to have her lead Entercom Washington D.C. into the new decade.”  Savoy-Smith comments, “I’m grateful to Bob for giving me this opportunity to begin this new chapter of my career.  Working at Entercom has been an unbelievable experience and I look forward to putting my stamp on the D.C. cluster and leveraging the power of radio to continue to give back to the local community.”

Edison: Moms Have ‘Complicated Relationship’ with Social Media. According to a new study from Edison Research titled, “Moms on Social Media 2019,” mothers are big social media users – 92% of U.S. moms use social media compared to 79% to the 12+ U.S. population.  And although Facebook usage has fallen among users in the U.S. according to Edison’s “The Infinite Dial 2019,” moms are not dropping Facebook.  Eighty-one percent of U.S. moms use Facebook compared to 61% of the total U.S. population.  Edison says, “Moms have two major motivators for continuing to use social media: the emotional connection it provides and the practical ways it helps them in their busy lives.  The study finds that on the emotional side, moms are using social media to stay up to date with friends, share aspects of their lives, and share their opinions.  On the practical side, moms are using social media to get information on school events, details on extracurricular activities, health and parenting advice, and find product recommendations.”  Other findings from the study include: Pinterest and Instagram have seen significant gains year-over-year.  Among U.S. moms, 63% are using Pinterest in 2019 compared to 47% in 2017, and 53% are using Instagram in 2019 compared to 37% in 2017; 80% of moms on social media say they turn to it for product recommendations, and 58% of moms on social media said Facebook is the platform they turn to first for product recommendations; 53% of moms who use social medial say there is too much negativity on social media; and regarding how they feel about social media, 26% of moms on social media say they feel annoyed, 25% say they feel addicted, and 24% say they feel concerned.  See more from the study here.

PodcastOne Shows Named to CarMoney’s Top Podcasts List. Three of PodcastOne’s car-related podcasts were named to the international list of top car podcasts by the UK-based site CarMoney.  The shows named are: “Carcast” hosted by Adam Carolla and Matt D’Andria; “Everyday Driver,” with hosts Paul and Todd; and “Spike’s Car Radio” with car enthusiast and former “Seinfeld” writer Spike Feresten.  PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz says, “Adam Carolla is the king of podcasts, so I am not surprised to see his car show on the list. ‘Everyday Driver’ has been a great partner, and Spike knows cars and he knows funny.  That’s exactly the reason why his podcast has been a solid hit for the past 2 ½ years here at PodcastOne.  I’d say more, but I’ve gotta call Spike now for some car advice and laughs.”

House Votes to Impeach Trump, 2020 Presidential Race, Obamacare Ruling, FBI Report/FISA, U.S.-China Trade Talks, Financial Markets Activity, and New Obesity Report Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/19). The vote in the U.S. House to impeach President Donald Trump on two counts and the president’s response from his rally in Michigan; the Democrats vying to challenge Trump in 2020 and the build-up to this evening’s Democratic debate; an appeals court rules the Obamacare mandate unconstitutional; the aftermath of the inspector general’s report on the FBI’s use of the FISA; the Trump administration’s trade talks with China; the record setting performances of the financial markets; and the New England Journal of Medicine report indicating half of all American adults will be obese by 2030 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. Tulsa news/talker KRMG-FM and KOKI-TV “FOX23” organized the 12th Annual Tulsa Holiday Blood Drive for the American Red Cross, taking place today (12/19).  In the past 11 drives, the program has collected 2,254 units of life-saving products (blood and platelets).  KRMG director of branding and programming Levi May says, “During the crazy holiday travel season, the American Red Cross sees a big drop in its scheduled donations and that could create a real problem for people seeking medical help during this time.  We are honored to partner with our news partners at ‘FOX23’ to help drive awareness and donations to help ensure that Green Country medical facilities have everything they need to treat our neighbors.”…..The NFL’s Minnesota Vikings and iHeartMedia Minneapolis’ KFXN, Minneapolis “KFAN 100.3” and news/talk KTLK have agreed to a five-year extension renewing the stations’ broadcast rights for Vikings preseason, regular season and postseason games.  The 2020 season will mark the 20th consecutive year “KFAN” will serve as the flagship station for the Vikings Radio Network.  iHeartMedia market president Jeff Tyler says, “My thanks to the Wilf family and all the great people we work with at the Minnesota Vikings.  They are at the top level of sports franchises and our entire team at iHeartMedia Minneapolis is thrilled to have the opportunity to continue our partnership for another five years.  Both organizations are dedicated to innovation and excellence which makes this partnership so unique and valuable.”…..SiriusXM is presenting live play-by-play broadcasts of all 41 Division I FBS and FCS bowl games this college football postseason, including ESPN Radio’s coverage of the College Football Playoff Semifinals and National Championship.  The schedule begins Friday, December 20 and concludes with the crowning of the national champion on January 13…..Former CBS News reporter and anchor Peter Maer was recently honored with a lifetime achievement award from the St. Louis Press Club.  During his more than 25 years covering national news for CBS, Maer received numerous awards, including an Edward R. Murrow Award, five Merriman Smith Awards, the IAF Cronkite Award, and more.  Maer retired from CBS News in 2015.  He was interviewed on CBS News Radio affiliate KMOX, St. Louis.  He’s pictured here (left) with St. Louis Press Club president Bill Greenblatt (right)…..Pictured below are ESPN Radio’s “Golic and Wingo” hosts Mike Golic (third from right), Trey Wingo (second from right), and Mike Golic Jr. (second from left) after teaming up with Mercedes-Benz Vans to benefit the Salvation Army.  ESPN employees in Bristol, Connecticut donated more than 300 toys and Mercedes-Benz Vans donated a new Sprinter Passenger Van for the Salvation Army to use to transport students to after-school activities. In addition to the Sprinter Passenger Van that was donated, Mercedes-Benz provided a Cargo Van that was utilized to transport the toys from ESPN’s Bristol campus to the Salvation Army.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Chicago triple A WXRT-FM, the longtime morning show with Lin Brehmer and Mary Dixon wraps, with Brehmer moving to the midday show and current midday personality Richard Milne moving to mornings.  Dixon, who according to a report in the Chicago Tribune was offered the evening/overnight news anchor position with sister all-news WBBM-AM/WCFO-FM but declined, leaves the station.  Brehmer says, “Like a veteran centerfielder who moves to first base, I look forward to batting second.  The exhilaration of being a morning companion to the families that support 93XRT offset the brutal schedule of someone who likes to go to concerts at night.  I’m not 29 anymore.  May the phrase, ‘Isn’t it past your bedtime?’ be applied to someone else for a while.”  Entercom Chicago OM and program director Greg Solk says, “93XRT has long held the reputation for playing Chicago’s finest rock, but also has enjoyed hosting Chicago’s finest jocks.  Lin Brehmer is a Chicago treasure.  All of us at the station are indebted to Lin for his 28 years of wrestling with his alarm clock.  His morning fans will now get to enjoy their best friend in the whole world sharing their workday as Lin accompanies their middle of the day rituals.  We are also blessed to have someone of Richard’s character, charm, music knowledge and wit to take over for Lin.  It’s Richard’s turn to get in early and Rock Chicago.”…..Classic hits KONO-FM, San Antonio morning drive personality Dave Rios is retiring from the station after 26 years in the position.  Prior to joining KONO-FM, Rios worked in the market as news director for rock outlet KXZL – now Spanish hits KZEP-FM…..Hubbard Radio personality Fitz is named the permanent host of “Bob Kingsley’s Country Top 40.”  He becomes the third host in the 45-year history of the national radio show.  Kingsley died in October after a battle with cancer.  The new “Bob Kingsley’s Country Top 40 with Fitz” airs on more than 300 stations worldwide and features audio from the Kingsley archives.  Skyview Networks is the exclusive network sales rep for the show.  Fitz says, “I listened to Bob Kingsley every weekend when I was a kid.  His loss is still sinking in, but I am honored to be taking the reins from the man who instilled in me a lifelong love of country music and the love of the ‘countdown.’  This moment is surreal, and I do not take the responsibility lightly.  I am excited and honored to carry his torch and hope that I can do for the next generation of country music fans what the legendary Bob Kingsley did for me…..Entercom announces that Zac Brown Band is headlining the 5th annual “The Night Before” concert at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida on February 1, 2020 – the night before the Super Bowl.

Friday, May 18, 2018

| May 18, 2018

Edison: Streaming Makes Up Less than 10% of Radio Station Listening. Media research firm Edison Research is presenting at this week’s American Association of Public Opinion Researchers conference in Denver.  Company VP Randy Brown’s presentation documents issues that come from implementing surveys online that attempt to measure internet behaviors.  One conclusion of his is that streaming behaviors will be overstated in a survey implemented online because it is difficult to reach lighter internet users from internet sample frames, even if one is using high-quality internet samples. In creating its Share of Ear studies, Edison has determined that “8% of the combined listening to broadcast radio content is from the streams and 92% is from over-the-air…these numbers would be vastly higher (and incorrect) if we did not take the steps we do to correctly represent all listeners and all listening.”  Edison goes on to say, “It is worth noting that we see quite a difference based on the type of content.  For news, sports and personalities, streams comprise 12% of the total listening, whereas for music the streams are 6%.  Perhaps this speaks to streaming being more vital for radio’s more unique aspects.”  You can download Brown’s presentation here.

Dennis Green to Exit Westwood One. After a 22-year career with radio syndicator Westwood One, SVP of affiliate sales Dennis Green is exiting the company to accept a new, yet-to-be-announced position. Westwood One chief operating officer Charles Steinhauer says in a memo to affiliates that the company sincerely thanks Green “for his absolute dedication and excellent contributions made during his successful 22-year tenure at Westwood One.”  Green says, “I want to thank my Westwood One family for a 22-year ride that was everything you could want in a media career. Serving radio stations around the country and the world with the best in programming and services was an honor and privilege that I’ll never forget.  As I embark on my next challenge, I’m proud to be part of the legacy that Westwood enjoys in the industry, and will continue to enjoy for years to come.”

Andi Poch Promoted to EVP of Integrated Partnerships at Entercom. This new role of executive vice president, integrated partnerships puts Andi Poch in charge of leading Entercom’s strategy, creative development and execution for multiplatform, client partnerships. The company says she’ll focus on integrated solutions across audio, digital, branded content, live events and experiential partnerships. Additionally, she will be responsible for the development of new and expanded content franchises and innovative, customizable opportunities to drive national business and new revenue streams.  She will continue to report to Bob Philips, chief revenue officer at Entercom.  Philips comments, “We are excited about Andi’s new role at Entercom. This is a strategic shift in the way we go to market and an opportunity to leverage our national, multiplatform scale across audio, digital, social, live events and branded entertainment to offer national advertisers the innovative marketing solutions they need to connect their brands to our loyal and engaged consumer base.  The additional scope will provide Andi the opportunity to expand on the terrific work she has already done for Entercom.”

Francesa ‘Talked Into’ Joining Twitter. Now that Mike Francesa is back in afternoon drive on WFAN, New York after a roughly five-month retirement from the Entercom sports talk station, he’s surprising his fans again by joining Twitter.  He’s been a famous critic of social media but tells the New York Daily News that since rejoining the station, he’s been “talked into” launching a Twitter account.  He’s making his initial, official tweet from Twitter’s New York headquarters this afternoon. Francesa had always avoided social media, arguing that if he tweets his takes, it gives people less reason to tune into the radio show.

A Visit to Old Stomping Grounds. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison paid a visit to the legendary New England powerhouse WTIC-AM, Hartford “NewsTalk 1080” for an on-air chat with his old buddy, afternoon drive host Todd Feinburg, yesterday (5/17).  The two discussed many of the hot economic issues surrounding Connecticut state politics.  Harrison was the first full-time host launching WTIC’s modern era as a pure news/talker when he did middays on the 50k outlet back in 1991-92.  He currently joins Feinburg as a regularly featured guest and occasionally serves as fill-in host for the program.  According to Harrison, “WTIC has long played a key role in Connecticut’s history and culture.  The station has maintained a great news department and a deep commitment to community service, not to mention really smart callers.”  Harrison (center) is pictured above with Entercom Hartford VP of operations and programming Steve Salhany (left) and Feinburg (right) in the station’s main studio.

Cool Morning News Opportunity. News Radio KFBK, Sacramento, an iHeartRadio station, is looking for a highly skilled, experienced executive news producer to lead and manage its top-rated “KFBK Morning News” – a four-hour, fast-paced, market-leading live newscast. Candidates need large-market, long-form newscast producing experience, immaculate writing and editing skills, along with strong problem-solving and leadership abilities to excel in this key position within the news management team.  Strong digital and social media skills are essential. Some on-air reporting/anchoring required.  For more info and to apply, click here.

KCBS-AM, San Francisco Snags Seven AP Television Radio Association Honors.  Bay Area all-news KCBS-AM, San Francisco was recently honored with seven 2017 Associated Press Television and Radio Association awards.  The organization honors important journalism across 13 Western U.S. states through its annual awards contest.  The Entercom station picked up first place honors for Best Continuing Coverage for “Wine Country Wildfires”; Best Feature Story “Sonic Gentrification” by Doug Sovern; Best Spot News Coverage for “Wine Country Wildfires”; and Best Weather Reporting for “San Jose Flood.”

TALKERS News Notes.  The Fisher House Foundation – the charity that provides housing for the families of military personnel who are being treated at VA centers – is working with the Jeff Wyatt Group for its special radio programs. The Jeff Wyatt Group is working with Fisher House to assist with affiliate relations for the Memorial Day special, “The Gift” – hosted by Montgomery Gentry’s Eddie Montgomery – as well as on the Christmas time program “Home Away from Home.” On the latter, Jeff Wyatt Group will write, produce and distribute the show…..American Public Media is ending the “Marketplace Weekend” program. Lizzie O’Leary hosts the program and will remain with APM to handle fill-in work on the daily “Marketplace” program.  Affiliate stations will get “best-of” shows through July…..The sale of WFGA-FM, Hicksville, Ohio from Talking Stick Communications to Swick Broadcasting Company for $300,000 cash closes.  The exclusive broker for the deal was Jason James of Patrick Communications.

Trump-Russia Investigation Returns as Top News/Talk Story of the Week. The investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week of May 14-18, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the scheduled meeting between North Korea and the U.S. and the hermit kingdom’s nuclear weapons program.  Coming in at #3 was the U.S.-China trade negotiations, followed by U.S.-Mexico border security 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. View this week’s entire chart here.

Craig Carton Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Major sports talk personality and newsmaker Craig Carton gives an exclusive interview to TALKERS founder Michael Harrison as this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Carton is the former co-host of the mega-successful morning show “Boomer and Carton” (with Boomer Esiason) on WFAN, New York that dominated in the coveted male 25-54 demographic Big Apple ratings wars for a decade between 2007 and 2017. The duo had replaced Don Imus in that position after the station’s then-owner CBS RADIO cut the legend loose in the wake of the infamous incident in which he insulted the women basketball players of Rutgers University on-air with a poorly-executed racial quip. Craig Carton was one of the biggest stars in sports talk radio and the sky appeared to be the limit. However, it all came crashing down in 2017 when he was arrested by federal agents at his home in New York City on criminal charges of securities fraud. Then after a few months of laying low, while professing his innocence and awaiting trial in October, a fascinating comeback began to take root. It started with a podcast and that led to a daily online 9:00 am to 1:00 pm ET radio show with a video simulcast on the FNTSY Sports Network. Now, after two months of positive reviews and significant audience growth, the show will be offered to terrestrial broadcast stations coast-to-coast by Sports Byline USA and Focus 360. It will debut on May 29, as a 9:00 am to 12:00 noon daily program, with a roster of 25 stations and the hope is it will grow well beyond that to at least 100 stations by the year’s end. Of course, much of this depends on the results of Carton’s forthcoming day in court. In a remarkably candid conversation, Carton tells Harrison that he is innocent and patiently looking forward to his day in court to tell his story and clear his name. The two also discuss the new show as well as the general state of sports talk radio and media. Harrison says, “Craig Carton is an outstanding talent and his new show sizzles with his unique personality and skills. I believe he is innocent until proven guilty and deserves the support of the radio industry until the facts of the case are finally revealed in court. The radio business is better off with Craig Carton on the air. I hope this all works out for him.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box for “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Chicago market, Alpha Media talk show host Kevin Kollins – heard daily on WJOL, Joliet in afternoons – is adding a second show to his duties as he assumes the morning program at sister adult contemporary WSSR-FM “Star 96.7.”  Kollins joins Lisa Jordan as her new co-host, replacing Josh Cooper, who exited last month…..SiriusXM is broadcasting performances and backstage interviews from this weekend’s Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas on its new Insomniac Radio channel.  EDC Las Vegas will also air on Diplo’s new and exclusive SiriusXM channel, Diplo’s Revolution.  This year marks the ninth year SiriusXM has broadcast EDC Las Vegas…..Pictured below at the kickoff event for the inaugural ACM/Live in the Vineyard Goes Country on Tuesday, May 15 at Peju Province Winery in Napa Valley, California are (from l-r): Chris Clare, PD, WNNF-FM, Cincinnati; George King, VP, programming, Westwood One; Tom Martens, Warner Music Nashville; Leslie Caraccilo, VP, music & entertainment, Cumulus Media/Westwood One; Aaron Roberts, VP, programming partnerships, Cumulus Media/Westwood One; Mac Daniels, PD, KSCS-KPLX, Dallas; Brian Thomas, PD, WKHX-FM, Atlanta; and Steve Pleshe, PD, KSKS, Fresno.  (Photo: Royce Risser)

Round Four of April PPMs Released. The fourth and final round of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s April 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s April 2018 survey period covered March 29 – April 25. 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.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

Austin

Spoken-Word Formats – Following a January – February – March (6+) topline of 7.2 – 7.5 – 7.2, University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk KUT posts a +.7 to 7.9 (steady at #2), its highest 6+-share since 9.0 in November 2016. A combined +1.0 in January and February (6.5 – 7.2 – 7.5, 6+), KUT previously was -1.4 as the result of three straight decreases (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.8 – 6.5, 6+). Its loss of three-tenths in November ended three successive gains that netted +1.8 (6.1 – 6.5 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+). Three upticks in a row by Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM resulted in a +1.8 (2.8 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.6, 6+), but “News Radio 590 AM” drops one-half share in April to 4.1 (flat at #9, 6+). The majority of that +1.8 is rooted in January’s +1.3. Immediately in advance of its positive streak, KLBJ-AM was -1.3 in four straight decreases (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+). In the market’s sports talk arena, both Genuine Austin Radio’s KTXX “The Horn” (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.5, flat at #19, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” (.6 – .6 – .5 – .3, unchanged at #24, 6+) are without an increase for the third time in a row, with each station losing three-tenths in that stretch.

Austin Music Formats – On the strength of a +1.1 (5.3 – 6.4, 6+), iHeartMedia country outlet KVET-FM advances from fifth to third with its best 6+-stat since last December’s 6.2; “98.1 – The Austin Texas Original” was -.9 in February. It bypasses co-owned/similarly formatted KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country,” which is +1.7 via four straight gains (3.9 – 4.6 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.6, sixth, 6+). When KASE racked up a +.7 in January, it ended three consecutive decreases for an overall -1.2 (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+). KVET-FM and KASE were tied for fifth place in March (5.3, 6+). By gaining four-tenths to 1.4 (#23 to #20, 6+), Genuine Austin Radio’s KOKE “Austin’s Country Alternative” pulls the plug on six negative or flat trends in succession that accounted for a loss of 60% (-1.5) of its 6+-share (2.5 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.0, 6+). Not only is Emmis adult hits KBPA #1 for the fourth month in a row, “Bob” flashes a +1.0 to 8.9, its strongest 6+-stat since 9.1 in March 2017. Immediately prior to the “Holiday” 2017 report, “Bob” occupied the lead spot the previous ten (10) sweeps. A November gain of one-half share halted three down or flat trends for a collective -.4 (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.6 – 8.3, 6+). The 6.7 in “Holiday” 2017 marked the first time that Austin’s “Bob” was below a seven-share (6+) in three years (6.9, “Holiday” 2014). Immediately before picking up one-tenth in March (2018), “Bob” was -.6 (February); +1.7 (January); and -1.7 (“Holiday” 2017). Off by six-tenths (6.4 – 5.8, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ “Majic 95.5” slides from third to fourth. Stymied at 3.5 (6+) in January and February, Univision Radio regional Mexican KLQB “Que Buena 104.3” drops one-half share in both March and April (3.5 – 3.0 – 2.5, #13 to #14, 6+).

Raleigh

Spoken-Word Formats – Notwithstanding that it repeats at #2, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” erodes by -1.0 (8.8 – 7.8, 6+). January 2018’s 9.1 is its strongest 6+-share since January 2014’s 9.4. WUNC fell to third-place in “Holiday” 2017 after four consecutive months in the runner-up slot. A loss of two-tenths to 5.1 (sixth to seventh, 6+) by iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK “106.1 Stay Connected” suspends three consecutive positive spikes in a row that netted +1.5 (3.8 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.3, 6+). Just ahead of that streak, WTKK was -1.4 via three straight decreases (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 3.8, 6+). In addition to being the third time in a row that Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF posts a 1.0 (6+), “News Radio 680” is anchored at #19 for the ninth straight sweep. Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC returns in full the one-half share it picked up in March (3.4 – 3.9 – 3.4, #12 to #13, 6+); “99.9 The Fan” was -1.3 in January. Co-owned/similarly formatted WDNC is up or flat for the eighth time in a row for a +.3 (.2 – .3 – .4 – .4 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .5, #20 to #21, 6+).

Raleigh Music Formats – Three negative moves in succession by Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL accounted for a roughly 50% decline (-5.3) in its 6+-share (10.4 – 6.1 – 5.4 – 5.1, 6+), but “Mix 101.5” answers with an April gain of seven-tenths to 5.8 (6+), climbing from seventh to sixth. Adding one-half share to its +.3 in March (1.5 – 1.8 – 2.3, 6+), Educational Information Corporation’s WCPE “The Classical Station” moves from #17 to #16. Albeit a combined -1.8 in three dips in a row (10.7 – 9.5 – 9.3 – 8.9, 6+), Radio One urban AC WFXC “Foxy – Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is #1 for the 11th straight month; January 2018’s 10.7 is its best-ever (6+) PPM stat. Immediately prior to February, “Foxy” was an overall +2.0 in four consecutive gains (8.7 – 8.9 – 9.4 – 10.4 – 10.7, 6+), Its loss of one-half share last October halted six straight positive spikes that netted +2.4 (6.8 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.7 – 9.2, 6+). Co-owned gospel WNNL “103.9 The Light” is up or flat for the third time in a row for a +1.4 (3.4 – 4.1 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+) and bumps up from tenth to ninth. February’s increase ended three straight decreases that accounted for a -1.0 (4.4 – 4.1 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). After registering an eye-popping +2.6 in January, Curtis Media Group-owned WQDR “Today’s Best Country 94.7 QDR” is a combined -2.0 in three successive decreases (9.4 – 8.3 – 7.5 – 7.4, 6+) but remains at #3. “Today’s Best Country” was off a collective full-share October-November-December (7.7 – 6.9 – 6.7, 6+).

Indianapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – A combined +2.5 owing to four straight positive spikes (3.4 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.6 – 5.9, 6+), directly following four straight downward moves for a collective -1.8 (5.2 – 4.9 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+), Emmis news/talk WIBC “93.1 Indy’s News Center” progresses from eighth to seventh. Co-owned sports talk WFNI “The Fan” remains the same from March in 6+-share (2.3) and 6+-market rank (#15). The same is true for iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station” which is flat at 1.8 (6+) and remains at #17. After trending 3.3 – 3.0 – 3.3 (6+), Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI surrenders seven-tenths to 2.6 (flat at #14, 6+); WFYI notched a +1.1 in January.

Indianapolis Music Formats – This market’s top three April 2018 finishers are separated by just three-tenths of a share. Included in that trio is Cumulus Media’s WFMS, which registers a +1.1 (6.2 – 7.3), enabling “95.5 The Country Station” to rocket from #6 all the way to #1. This (7.3) is WFMS’ best 6+-stat since November 2017’s 7.5 and the first time at #1 since November 2013. An overall +.8 in May and June (2017), WFMS was -.9 (July); +.8 (August); +.5 (September); -.7 (October); +1.1 (November); -.9 (December); -.6 (“Holiday” 2017); -.5 (February 2018); and now +1.0 in April. Its format rival, Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM,” is +1.3 via four consecutive monthlies without a loss (5.5 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.7 – 6.8, third to fourth, 6+). On the strength of a +.7 in January, “Hank” ended three straight down or flat sweeps for a -1.6 (7.1 – 7.1 – 6.4 – 5.5, 6+); October’s +.8 took “Hank” to 7.1, its strongest 6+-showing since September 2015’s 7.6. Displaced at #1 after two months there and dropping to #4 is Entercom CHR WZPL (7.5 – 6.8, -.7, 6+). Flat or (slightly) down in three successive sweeps for a -.4 (6.3 – 6.0 – 5.9 – 5.9, 6+), “99.5 ZPL” notched a +1.4 in January and gained one-tenth in both February and March. Within 1.1 – 1.8 range (6+) in each of the last 12 sweeps, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WZRL “Real 98.3” (#18 to #16) posts a +.7 to 2.1, its best 6+-stat since April 2017 (2.1, as well). Stuck on 6.4 (6+) in February and March, Cumulus Media’s WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5” improves by six-tenths to 7.0 (its strongest 6+-showing since December’s 7.7), advancing from fifth to third. Gaining one-half share each are iHeartMedia’s WFBQ “Q-95 Rocks” (6.7 – 7.2, third to second, 6+) which posts its best 6+-stat since last August’s 7.6 and University of Indianapolis-owned jazz outlet WICR (.8 – 1.3, #21 to #19, 6+). Up or (mostly) flat three sweeps in a row (4.8 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 5.9, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” erodes by -1.2 to 4.7 (seventh to ninth, 6+). Owing to a -1.0 (7.4 – 6.4, 6+), Emmis adult contemporary WYXB “Soft Rock B-105.7” skids from second to sixth. “Soft Rock” was #1 in December 2017, “Holiday” 2017, and January 2018. Its 13.4 in “Holiday” 2017 represents the best 6+-showing for WYXB since “Holiday” 2016’s 17.7, while November 2017’s 5.5 was its weakest since November 2012’s 5.3. In December, “B-105.7” halted three straight downturns that accounted for an overall -1.4 (6.9 – 6.5 – 5.9 – 5.5, 6+). A combined +2.2 in January and February (3.2 – 4.3 – 5.4, 6+), Radio One CHR WNOW follows with a collective -1.5 in March and April (5.4 – 4.7 – 3.9, 6+) as “100.9 Radio Now” departs the top ten (#9 to #13). Meanwhile, urban AC cluster-mate WTLC-FM “106.7 Indy’s R&B Leader” is -1.1 in March and April (5.2 – 4.6 – 4.1, flat at #12, 6+).

Milwaukee

Spoken-Word Formats – Matching February’s +.9 (6.0 – 7.9, 6+), Scripps news/talk and Milwaukee Brewers flagship WTMJ jumps from fifth to the runner-up slot. Before that February gain of nine-tenths, “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” was without an increase the previous four sweeps for a -2.0 (7.3 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 5.3, 6+). After finishing second the past six survey periods, iHeartMedia’s WISN “News/Talk 1130” (7.5 – 6.8, -.7, 6+) falls to fourth. WISN was a combined -.9 in February and March (8.4 – 8.3 – 7.5, 6+), after posting a +1.0 in January. When “News/Talk 1130” dropped one-half share in “Holiday” 2017, it ended five straight gains that yielded a +1.9 (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.0 – 7.9, 6+). Prior to January, the last time WISN reached the eight-share level (6+) was five years ago (8.1, April 2013). This is the 12th report in succession that University of Wisconsin news/talk WUWM (#14 to #15) is within 2.0 – 2.9 range and fourth sweep in a row without a loss for a +.7 (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+). Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” is a combined -.6 in three negative trends in a row (1.8 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.2, #16 to #17, 6+).

Milwaukee Music Formats – Over and above tacking on a gain of one-half share to its +.6 in March (8.8 – 9.4 – 9.9, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” is #1 for the 38th consecutive ratings period. Prior to January 2018, “Big FM” had been in double-digits (6+) in six of the previous 12 ratings periods; 11.6 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-stat since 14.4 in “Holiday” 2015. As a result of four consecutive sweeps without an increase (7.4 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.3 – 3.6, #11 to #12, 6+), Milwaukee Radio Alliance adult contemporary WLDB is an overall -3.8 since “Holiday” 2017. This (3.6) is its lowest 6+-showing since 2.9 last November. Faltering by seven-tenths as well is Entercom hot AC WMYX “99.1 The Mix,” which is -1.2 in five successive sweeps without an increase (5.7 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 4.5, flat at #7, 6+). This (4.5) is the first time “Mix” has slipped below a five-share (6+) since “Holiday” 2016’s 4.9. It is tied at #7 with iHeartMedia urban contemporary WKKV “V-100.7 Jams,” which regresses by six-tenths (5.1 – 4.5, 6+). Saga Communications’ WKLH “96.5 Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” was -.9 in “Holiday” 2017; +.5 in January 2008; -.9 in February (7.2 – 6.3, 6+); +1.1 in March; and now -.5 in April (7.4 – 6.9, unchanged at #3, 6+). “Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” was an overall +3.0 in four consecutive August through December increases (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.5 –  6.0 – 7.6, 6+). December 2017’s 7.6 marked the first time WKLH reached the seven-share level (6+) since the station reappeared in print more than three years ago (December 2014). In four upticks in succession (3.6 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.4 – 5.5, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WMIL “FM 106.1 – Milwaukee’s Best Country” (unchanged at #6) is a cumulative +1.9. Until registering a +.9 in January, “FM 106.1” was a combined -3.2 in five successive downward moves (6.5 – 5.7 – 5.0 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+). Although off one-tenth (4.4 – 4.3, 6+), WMIL’s format rival, Scripps’ WKTI “94.5 KTI Country,” is in the top ten as well (flat at #9). February’s +.6 by “KTI Country” suspended six successive down or flat survey periods for a collective -1.4 (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Immediately in advance of that trending, WKTI posted three straight gains for a collective +1.1 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.8, 6+).

Nashville

Spoken-Word Formats – After trending 1.9 – 2.0 – 1.9 (6+), Cromwell Group sports talk WPRT “102.5 The Game” improves by seven-tenths to 2.6 (#16 to #14). Similarly-formatted/Cumulus Media-owned WGFX “104.5 The Zone” (#10 to #12) is -3.1 in three consecutive losses (6.5 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.4, 6+). “The Zone” followed “Holiday” 2017’s -.6 with a January +.9. Co-owned news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” adds two-tenths (3.5 – 3.7, 6+) and carries on at #11. January’s half-share improvement suspended three straight declines that yielded a -2.0 (5.0 – 4.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+). In three straight sweeps without a loss (4.0 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 5.3, 6+), Nashville Public Radio news/talk/classical hybrid WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” was a combined +1.3 but it forfeits three-tenths to 5.0 (eighth to ninth, 6+). January’s full-share gain ended three decreases in succession that generated a -2.4 (6.4 – 5.7 – 4.6 – 4.0, 6+). WPLN-FM was +1.2 in October to 6.4, its best 6+-share in the PPM-era. Despite recapturing the two-tenths it lost in March (1.3 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC “Talk Radio 1510” segues from #17 to #19.

Nashville Music Formats – April’s “Music City USA” country battle is a mixed bag. On the plus side, iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” counters March’s -.5 with a +.6 (5.8 – 5.3 – 5.9, eighth to fifth, 6+) and Cumulus Media’s WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” answers its -1.2 in March with a +.5 (4.7 – 3.5 – 4.0, #11 to #10, 6+). Meanwhile, Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” falters by one-half share after March’s -.3 (6.1 – 5.8 – 5.3, sixth to eighth, 6+). Following four straight gains for an overall +1.8 (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 5.0, 6+), “Nash FM” dropped three-tenths in February. WSIX was +1.1 in January to end three straight decreases that accounted for a -1.4 (5.5 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.1, 6+); “The Big 98” added six-tenths in February. A January and February +1.9 by “Nash Icon” (4.2 – 5.6 – 6.1, 6+) wiped out its -1.7 from December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.9 – 5.6 – 4.2, 6+). By gaining eight-tenths (1.1 – 1.9, flat at #17, 6+), WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYM “WAY-FM” logs its strongest 6+-share since September’s 2.0. At the same time, Educational Media Foundation’s similarly-programmed WLVU returns seven-tenths of its mammoth+2.2 in March (1.0 – 3.2 – 2.5, #14 to #15, 6+). Nashville’s version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” virtually disappeared from print in January with a -2.6 to .1 (6+) but regained roughly one-third of that deficit in February (+.9). Following back-to-back increases of one-tenth (.5 – .6 – .7, 6+), Cromwell Group’s WQZQ “Classic Hits 93.3” posts a +.5 to 1.2 (its best 6+-stat since last November’s 1.2) and enters the top twenty (#21 to #20). Adding one-half share to March’s +.7 (.2 – .9 – 1.4, 6+), TBLC Media Spanish contemporary WNVL “Activa” climbs from #20 to #18; March 2018 marked the first time “Activa” reached the top twenty. Regaining the one-tenth it lost in March (8.7 – 8.6 – 8.7, 6+), WJXA “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” is on top for the third month in a row. The Midwest Communications adult contemporary property ranked #1 in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017; shifted to second in January; but returned to #1 in February with a +1.0. Prior to January’s -6.7, “Mix” was +8.0 in six straight increases (6.4 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 7.4 – 7.7 – 9.9 – 14.4, 6+). The market’s (6+) CHR share shrinks by -1.4 as iHeartMedia’s WRVW “107.5 The River” sputters by nine-tenths to 5.7 (fourth to sixth, 6+), while Midwest Communications’ WNFN “106.7 Nashville’s New Hit Music” is off one-half share to 2.3 (#15 to #16+). As a result, “The River” suspends three straight increases that netted +1.3 (5.3 – 6.1 – 6.5 – 6.6, 6+), while WNFN halts four straight up or flat moves that generated six-tenths (2.2 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+).

Providence

Spoken-Word Formats – An affiliate of the Red Sox Radio Network, WVEI trots out a +.6 to 3.4 (6+) and continues in eighth-place. The Entercom sports talker was a cumulative -2.2 in February and March (5.0 – 3.6 – 2.8, 6+); however, leading up to the February sweep, WVEI was an overall +1.8 via three consecutive up or flat trends (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 5.0, 6+). Unchanged at #7, Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM “News Talk 630” improves by eight-tenths via three consecutive upticks (3.9 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.7, 6+). When “News Talk 630” lost one-tenth in January, it curtailed four straight upward moves of two-tenths each for a collective +.8 (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+). Down one-tenth each are public news/talkers The Wheeler School’s WELH (2.3 – 2.2, #10 to #11, 6+) and WGBH Educational Foundation’s WGBH (2.2 – 2.1, #11 to #12, 6+). This is the fourth straight time that these two stations have finished back-to-back. Following a February gain of six-tenths (1.4 – 2.0, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WHJJ “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” returns half of it in March and April (2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7, -.3, 6+) to drop from #12 to #13. Cumulus Media-owned WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business,” which gained one-tenth in each of the last three sweeps (.3 – 4. – .5 – .6, 6+) loses one-tenth to .5 (flat at #16, 6+).

Providence Music Formats – Over the course of the last nine sweeps, WPRO-FM “92 PRO FM Today’s Hit Music” has scored a 6+-share no lower than 7.8 and no higher than 8.3 (8.3 – 7.8 – 8.2 – 8.2 – 8.2 – 8.3 – 8.1 – 7.8 – 8.1). In April, the Cumulus Media CHR improves by six-tenths to 8.7 (fourth to second, 6+). Progressing by six-tenths as well are iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWBB “B-101 The 80s and More” (5.9 – 6.5, steady at #5, 6+), and Cumulus Media rhythmic CHR WWKX “Hot 106,” which enters the top ten (1.8 – 2.4, #12 to #10, 6+). Up nine-tenths in March, “B-101” had been within 5.0 – 5.9 range (6+) the past 12 sweeps. Co-owned WHJY “94 HJY Providence’s Home of Rock and Roll” gains two-tenths (9.2 – 9.4, 6+) and repeats at #1. February’s 9.6 is its best 6+-stat since September 2013 (9.6, as well). As a result of four straight up or flat trends (7.2 – 7.4 – 7.5 – 8.3 – 8.3, 6+), Hall Communications’ WCTK “Cat Country 98.1” is +1.1 and has its best 6+-share since July 2017’s 8.4, yet backslides from third to fourth. Off by one-half share each are Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” (9.1 – 8.6, second to third, 6+) and Red Wolf Broadcasting Spanish tropical WKKB “Latina 100.3” (2.8 – 2.3, eighth to tenth, 6+). This is the softest 6+-share for “Lite Rock,” which was -1.1 in March, since October 2015’s 7.2; “Holiday” 2017’s 12.3 was the strongest 6+-share for WWLI since 18.0 in “Holiday” 2016. Prior to October, “Lite Rock” was a combined +1.6 as the result of three straight increases (9.8 – 10.0 – 10.8 – 11.4, 6+). A cumulative +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018, “Latina 100.3” was down six-tenths in February and up seven-tenths in March.

Norfolk – While it continues in fourth-place, Saga Communications classic rock WAFX “106.9 The Fox” is +2.4 in three upticks in a row (4.7 – 5.9 – 6.3 – 6.4 – 7.1, 6+). In five straight (slightly) up or flat trends, iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies WHBT “92.1 The Beat” (flat at #8) has gained three-tenths (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+). Recapturing the two-tenths it dropped in March (12.3 – 12.1 – 12.3, 6+), Entercom urban AC WVKL “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” is #1 for the 17th time in a row. In addition, it posts a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 25th time in the last 26 sweeps. When it logged a 14.6 this past November, “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” set the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. The old mark of 14.3 (6+) was recorded by WVKL two months earlier. Before slipping by one-half share in October, WVKL – which earlier was on top for 55 consecutive ratings periods – posted three straight improvements accounting for a +2.4 (11.8 – 12.0 – 13.4 – 13.7 – 14.2, 6+). After being an overall +1.1 in three straight upticks (3.5 – 3.8 – 4.4 – 4.6, 6+), rhythmic CHR cluster-mate WNVZ “Z-104 All the Hits” falters by one-half share to 4.1 (6+) but remains in sixth-place. Following three downtrends in a row for a -.5 (1.3 – 1.0 – .9 – .8, 6+), Hampton University jazz outlet WHOV “Smooth 88.1” notches a +.3 to 1.1 (#12 to #10, 6+). As the result of four successive sweeps without an increase, iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMOV “Movin’ 107.7” (flat at #10) spirals by -3.9 (5.0 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1, 6+). At #12, Norfolk State University urban contemporary WNSB “Hot 91.1” is without an increase for the seventh straight time for a -.8 (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .9, 6+). By dropping one-tenth to .6 (flat at #13, 6+), Saga Communications-owned adult standards WJOI “1230 AM – Great Songs, Great Memories” ends four straight up or flat trends that netted one-half share (.2 .3 .4 .4 .7, 6+).

Greensboro

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to three decreases in succession (5.9 – 5.2 – 4.6 – 3.8, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” is a cumulative -2.1; WPTI was +1.6 in January (4.3 – 5.9, 6+). An overall +2.2 in five consecutive increases (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 5.5, 6+), it relinquished more than half that total in December (4.3, -1.2, 6+). Prior to the November 2017 sweep, the last time WPTI reached the five-share level (6+) was in November 2016 with a 5.0. Following three positive spikes in a row for an overall +.7 (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.2 – 2.5, 6+), Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” drops two-tenths to 2.3 (#11 to #13, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, WFDD returned in its entirety the +.6 it gained in November and December (1.7 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 1.7, 6+). Having registered a .9 (6+) in three of the last four sweeps (.9 – .9 – 1.1 – .9, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC drops two-tenths to .7 (#13 to #15, 6+). In three straight (slight) increases, Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS quadrupled its 6+-share (.2 – .3 – .6 – .8, 6+), but “Triad Sports” is off two-tenths in April to .6 (#14 to #16, 6+).

Greensboro Music Formats – Not only does it roar back from its -1.1 in March with a +1.2 (11.0 – 12.2, 6+), Entercom urban AC WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” remains at #1, recording double-digits (6+) for the 18th sweep in a row. Before slipping to #2 in “Holiday” 2017 with a -1.2, WQMG spent seven straight survey periods on top and had been #1 each month in calendar year 2017 except April and May. After being a collective +.7 in three positive moves in a row (2.9 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.6, 6+), Curtis Media Group regional Mexican WYMY dropped six-tenths in March, but “La Ley 101.1” rebounds in April with a +1.0 (3.0 – 4.0, 6+), yet backslides from ninth to tenth. In a similar context, iHeartMedia CHR WMKS “100.3 Kiss FM All the Hits” shifts from eighth to ninth despite being +1.5 through six successive sweeps without a loss, including April’s +.5 (2.6 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.1, 6+). Improving by one-half share as well in April is co-owned adult contemporary WMAG “The Triad’s Best Variety of the ‘80s, ‘90s, & Today,” which nets +1.4 as the result of three positive or flat trends in a row (6.1 – 7.0 – 7.0 – 7.5, steady at #4, 6+). Conversely, a loss of nine-tenths to 5.1 (fifth to sixth, 6+) by Entercom country WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” curtails three successive upticks that accounted for an overall gain of seven-tenths (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.8 – 6.0, 6+). Co-owned rhythmic CHR WJMH was a combined +1.1 since January (7.3 – 8.0 – 8.4, 6+), but “102 Jams” is off one-half share to 7.9 (flat at #3, 6+).

West Palm Beach

Spoken-Word Formats – This is the fourth straight sweep without a loss for Alpha Media’s WFTL “News Talk 850” (1.0 –  1.3 – 1.3 – 1.5 –  2.0, #14 to #12, 6+), which is +1.0 in that timeframe. As the result of four successive decreases (3.3 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.1 – 2.0, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WJNO was a collective -1.3, but “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” scores a +.3 to 2.3 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). Immediately prior to this streak, WJNO was up six-tenths via three consecutive positive spikes (2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.3, 6+). Off nine-tenths in four consecutive down or flat trends (2.7 – 2.3 – 2.1- 2.1 – 1.8, 6+), co-owned WZZR notches a +.3 as well (to 2.1, #12 to #11, 6+). “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk for the Palm Beaches” had been +.5 through three straight increases (2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+). After posting a 3.2 (6+) three sweeps in succession, Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN is (also) up three-tenths (to 3.5, ninth to eighth, 6+). A one-tenth uptick to .2 (#19 to #18, 6+) by Alpha Media sports talk WMEN “Sports Radio 640 The Hurricane” ends five successive down or flat trends that generated a loss of six-tenths (.7 – .6 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .1, 6+).

West Palm Beach Music Formats – Gaining six-tenths to 4.3 (6+), iHeartMedia CHR WLDI “WiLD 95.5 The Palm Beaches’ #1 Hit Music Station” applies the brakes to three successive downtrends that accounted for a -1.2 (4.9 – 4.6 – 4.0 – 3.7, seventh to sixth, 6+). At the same time that Alpha Media adult contemporary WEAT “Sunny 107.9” posts a one-half share increase (4.7 – 5.2, fifth to fourth, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WOLL “Today’s Kool 105.5” falters by twice that margin (5.9, -1.0, flat at #2, 6+). “Kool” had been +2.0 in three consecutive upticks (4.9 – 5.4 – 6.4 – 6.9, 6+). Its six most recent (6+) fluctuations are +.8 (December); -.6 (“Holiday” 2017); +.5 (January 2018); +1.0 in February; +.5 in March; and now -1.0 in April. Off one full-share in September to 4.2 – its lowest 6+ showing since 3.9 in July 2011 – “KOOL” regained six-tenths of that decline in October; 6.9 in March was the station’s highest 6+-share since 7.5 in July 2016. While on top for the fourth month in a row, Alpha Media hot AC WRMF “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” is a collective -1.0 in March and April (10.2 – 9.9 – 9.2, 6+). Prior to January’s +1.6, WRMF was down or flat in three consecutive ratings periods for an overall -3.0 (11.2 – 11.2 – 8.9 – 8.2, 6+). It spent 12 consecutive months on top before dropping to the runner-up slot in “Holiday” 2017. A one-tenth September loss ended four straight increases that netted +1.6 (9.3 – 9.4 – 9.5 – 10.4 – 10.9, 6+). A combined +1.2 in February and March (1.1 – 1.8 – 2.3, #6+), JVC Media’s WSVU “True Oldies Channel” surrenders two-thirds of that increase (1.5, -.8, 6+), drifting from #10 to #15. Unchanged at #3, Alpha Media urban AC WMBX “X-102.3” is off one-tenth to 5.8 (6+), thus snapping four straight improvements that accounted for a +1.7 (4.2 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 5.2 – 5.9, 6+). WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF “Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” logs its third straight decrease for a collective -2.2 (5.3 – 4.0 – 3.4 – 3.1, eighth to ninth); WAYF was +.9 in January (4.4 – 5.3, 6+).

Jacksonville

Spoken-Word Formats – Completely erasing March’s -.9 with an April +.9 (8.2 – 7.3 – 8.2, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” progresses from #4 to a three-way scrum at #2. Four straight negative trends (9.7 – 8.5 – 7.7 – 7.0 – 6.9, 6+) accounted for a -2.8 but WOKV wiped out nearly half that margin in January and February (6.9 – 8.1 – 8.2, +1.2, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” recorded its softest 6+-stat since 6.6 in “Holiday” 2016; WOKV was +1.3 in September. Public news/talk WJCT drops one-tenth in both March and April (3.5 – 3.4 – 3.3, 6+) yet improves from #12 to #11. WJCT was a combined +.9 in January and February (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.5, 6+) with January’s +.4 halting five straight down or flat sweeps for a collective -.7 (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.6, 6+). Flat at .3 (6+) iHeartMedia’s WFXJ “Sports Radio 930” repeats at #21.

Jacksonville Music Formats – Continuing an alternating pattern that started in December, Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary property WEJZ “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” (8.1 – 9.2, +1.1, 6+) succeeds iHeartMedia-owned WQIK “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country” (9.0 – 8.2, -.8, first to second, 6+) at #1. WQIK was on top in December; WEJZ in “Holiday” 2017; WQIK in January; WEJZ in February; WQIK in March; and it is now WEJZ’s turn in April. Before sputtering by -4.3 in January, WEJZ was an overall +5.8 in four straight up trends, practically doubling its 6+ AQH share (6.1 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 9.0 – 11.9, September 2017 through “Holiday” 2017, 6+) and noted its highest 6+-stat since 14.7 in “Holiday” 2016. A whopping -5.7 in four straight decreases (13.6 – 12.3 – 11.0 – 10.6 – 8.2 – 7.9, 6+), WQIK posted a +1.1 in March. On top for 12 ratings periods in succession, WQIK segued to #2 in “Holiday” 2017. A combined -1.8 in July and August (12.2 – 11.6 – 10.4, 6+), WQIK followed with an overall +3.2 in September-October-November (10.4 – 11.7 – 13.6, 6+), with October’s 13.6 its best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. The respective format rivals of WEJZ and WQIK enjoyed April gains. Specifically, Cox Media Group adult contemporary WEZI “Easy 102.9” bumps up by one-half share to 4.6 (tenth to seventh, 6+), thus pulling the plug on three downward moves in a row that accounted for a -1.6 (5.7 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 4.1, 6+). Meanwhile, Renda Broadcasting’s WGNE “Gator Country 99.9” rebounds from its -.6 in March with an increase nearly twice that size (4.8 – 5.9, +1.1, eighth to sixth, 6+). Having logged a 5.5 (6+) in three of the last five ratings periods (5.5 – 4.8 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 5.5, 6+), Cox Media Group CHR WAPE “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station” hangs out a +.8 to 6.3 (steady at #5, 6+), its strongest 6+-stat since last August’s 6.6. An overall +1.7 in three increases in succession (3.6 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 5.3, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WSOL “V-101.5” relinquishes -1.1 to 4.2 (sixth to ninth, 6+). Without a loss for the fourth consecutive sweep for a combined +1.6 (6.6 – 7.1 – 7.7 – 8.2 – 8.2, 6+), Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL repeats at #2; “96.9 The Eagle” was -1.7 in “Holiday” 2017 (8.3 – 6.6, 6+). As the result of three consecutive negative trends (4.7 – 4.2 – 3.5 – 3.1, #11 to #12, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WKSL is a collective -1.6; “97.9 Kiss-FM” was +1.0 in January to stop three straight losses that produced a -1.2 (4.9 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.7, 6+).

Memphis

Spoken-Word Formats – Up or flat the last three monthlies for an overall gain of eight-tenths (2.5 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.3, 6+), Entercom sports talk WMFS drops one-tenth to 3.2 (6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #11). Following four straight increases that accounted for a +1.3 through November (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 3.3, 6+), “ESPN Sports Radio” was a combined -.8 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.5, 6+). It is tied with iHeartMedia news/talk WREC “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather,” which is without an increase for the third successive sweep for a -.3 (3.5 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.2, flat at #11, 6+). WREC was -.8 in “Holiday” 2017 and a +.9 in January. Its loss of eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2017 brought to a close five consecutive up or flat moves for an overall +.7 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+); January’s 3.5 is the best 6+-share for WREC since 3.6 in February 2017.

Memphis Music Formats – Tacking on a robust +1.2 to March’s +.3 (7.7 – 8.0 – 9.2, 6+), Cumulus Media urban-rhythmic oldies WRBO carries on at #3. This (9.2) is the strongest 6+-stat for “Soul Classics and Today’s R&B” since last October’s 10.2. Off one full-share in February and March (4.0 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WEGR “Rock 102.7” erases 80% of that deficit with a +.8 to 3.8 (6+) and cracks the top ten (#12 to #9). By gaining six-tenths (following a +1.0 in March), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WHRK “K-97.1 – Memphis’ Only Hip-Hop and R&B” (9.2 – 9.8, 6+) marches from second to first. It swaps places with urban AC cluster-mate KJMS “V-101” (9.7 – 9.4, -.4, first to second, 6+), which had been #1 the past three months. “V-101” rebounded from January’s -.6 with a +.7 in February. It departed the top spot in “Holiday” 2017 after four consecutive months there. Following three straight improvements that yielded a +2.1 (9.2 – 10.0 – 10.4 – 11.3, 6+), “V-101” was -1.0 in December. Within 4.1 – 4.5 range since December (4.2 – 4.1 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.5, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WXMX “98.1 The Max – Maximum Rock” (flat at #8) falters by six-tenths to 3.9, its lowest 6+-share since last July’s 3.8.

Hartford

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to three down or flat trends in succession (5.9 – 5.9 – 5.5 – 4.2, 6+), Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR is -1.7 but continues in eighth-place. “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” followed “Holiday” 2017’s -1.3 with a +.9 in January. The last time WNPR was below a five-share (6+) was in August 2017 (4.7). A loss of one-tenth to 5.8 (unchanged at #7, 6+) by Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM pulls the plug on three increases in a row that netted +1.5 (4.4 – 5.1 – 5.5 – 5.9). Immediately prior to this streak, “News Talk 1080” was a collective -1.4 in three straight dips (5.8 – 5.6 – 5.0 – 4.4, 6+). In four straight up or flat sweeps, Connoisseur Media news/talk WDRC-AM “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” gains four-tenths (.8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.2, flat at #13, 6+). Flat at #12, University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio” is -1.1 in March and April (2.5 – 1.8 – 1.4, 6+), after being a cumulative +1.1 in three straight gains (1.4 – 1.7 – 2.3 – 2.5, 6+). Entering the January 2018 sweep, WFCR – which plays a combination of NPR news, classical, and jazz – was within 1.0 – 1.7 range (6+) in each of the previous 21 ratings periods.

Hartford Music Formats – In addition to registering its fourth successive improvement for an overall +2.1 (4.9 – 5.1 – 5.5 – 6.0 – 7.0, sixth to fifth, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WWYZ “Country 92.5” has its best 6+-showing since last October’s 7.8. Frozen on 7.3 (6+) in January and February, then slipping in March by six-tenths to 6.7 (6+), Entercom hot AC WTIC-FM “96.5 TIC – Today’s Best Variety” breaks out a +.8 to 7.5 (6+), jumping from fifth to second. After hauling out a +1.1 in March (13.2 – 14.3, 6+), adult contemporary sibling WRCH surrenders that increase in its entirety and is back at 13.2 (-1.1, 6+). Nonetheless, “Lite 100.5” is #1 for the 21st consecutive ratings period. January’s -4.9 halted at six its consecutive string of up or flat trends that yielded a +8.4 (9.9 – 10.2 – 10.2 – 10.3 – 11.0 – 13.0 – 18.3, 6+). This marks the 18th time in the last 20 sweeps – and tenth in succession- that “Lite” is in double-digits (6+). Having improved three times in a row for a +1.1 (1.6 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.7, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting Spanish tropical WMRQ-HD2 forfeits roughly half that gain (2.1, -.6) but carries on at #11.

Friday, December 2, 2016

| December 2, 2016

Art Bell and Wife Suing Michael Savage and WW1 for Defamation.  In a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California, radio talk host Art Bell and his wife Airyn Ruiz Bell are suingsavagemichael Michael Savage, Westwood One and parent company Cumulus Media for defamation, defamation per se, false light invasion of privacy, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligent infliction of emotional distress.  The Bells are seeking damages “in the amount to be proven at trial.”  The bellartcomplaint stems from a September “Savage Nation” broadcast in which Savage said, “I generally avoid gun questions. I know this from the first day in radio. I learned you never do certain topics where you can destroy your show. Third rail… You say UFOs, you wind up in the Philippines with a 10-year-old hooker and you are off the radio after a number of years. You can’t do UFOs. That’s an in joke, by the way, for people who understand the business. There are other topics you can’t do…”  The Bells argue that to anyone who knows the business, it was obvious Savage was referring to Art Bell and further, that the “10-year-old hooker” remark refers to his wife, Philippines national Airyn Ruiz Bell.  The Bells say they petitioned Westwood One for a retraction but their request was not honored.

WEEI, Boston Names New Leadership Team.  The Entercom sports talker announces its new programmingzarbanojoe management team.  It is promoting assistant program director Joe Zarbano to PD, taking over for Kevin Graham, who announced his exit from the station back in June.  This comes after a six-month search that resulted in the station promoting from its “in-house talent bench.”  In addition to Zarbano’s kichenbenpromotion, senior producer Ben Kichen rises to executive producer.  He’s been lead producer for both the Glenn Ordway and “Dale & Holley” programs.  He also produces Kirk Minihane’s “Enough About Me” podcast and hosts “Soccercast” for WEEI.com.  Carlson Mozdiez, currently director of integrated marketing strategies for Entercom Boston, assumes the director of operations role for the cluster with special emphasis on the company’s WEEI.com digital platform.  Entercom New England VP/marketmozdiezcarlson manager Phil Zachary says the search was necessarily long and intensive.  “With its massive broadcast reach and associated digital assets, the WEEI brand is arguably among the most influential and complex in all of broadcasting.  Many of our outside candidates simply couldn’t get their arms around all of it.  As each month passed, it became clear to me that we had the talent right here in Ben, Carlson and Joe.  Plus they each have that inimitable DNA of the true Boston sports fan.”

Brandys Promoted to Baltimore SVP/Market Manager for CBS RADIO.  From her most recent position as VP, director of sales, Tracy Brandys is elevated to senior vice president, market manager and director of sales for CBS RADIO’s Baltimore stations, including sports talk duo WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan,” WJZ-AM “CBS Sportsbrandystracy Radio 1300,” adult contemporary WLIF “Today’s 101.9,” CHR WWMX “Mix 106.5,” as well as the CBS RADIO Up Close Performance Studio that hosts local and national sports figures and musicians.  She replaces former Baltimore market manager Bob Philips who was recently named chief revenue officer for CBS RADIO.  Company COO Scott Herman says, “Tracy’s years of sales and management experience, coupled with her intimate knowledge of our Baltimore stations and the overall market, made her the natural choice to take on this important role.  Throughout her tenure with CBS RADIO Tracy has proven to be a powerhouse salesperson who has led and grown our revenue and market share in Baltimore and has been a trusted leader to our valued employees.  We are delighted to reward her accomplishments with this well-deserved promotion.”

The News Media Alliance and National Association of Broadcasters Seeking Review of FCC’s Cross Ownership Rules.  The News Media Alliance is going straight to President-Elect Donald Trump with a white paper that lays out its case for abandoning the 1975 rule that makes cross-ownership of electronic and print medianewsmediaalliance illegal and the National Association of Broadcasters is petitioning the FCC for nab-logoreconsideration of the 2014 Quadrennial Regulatory Review’s conclusion to maintain the ban (as well as other policies).  Regular TALKERS readers are aware of the argument that the current state of media looks nothing like it did in 1975 and current regulations should reflect the current business conditions.  News Media Alliance president and CEO David Chavern states, “While news organizations are innovating and adapting to a vastly different media landscape, antiquated government regulations and imbalanced policies are unnecessarily hindering investment and growth at news media companies.  We encourage the new administration to revisit these regulations and policies as it charts a new course for our nation’s economic growth.”

Al Peterson to Cease Publication of NTS MediaOnline in New Year.  After 10 years serving the spoken-word radio business, radio pro Al Peterson is announcing he’ll stop publishing his NTS MediaOnline Today andpetersonal NTS MediaOnline Monthly come January.  In a press release, Peterson says, “After serving as the News/Talk/Sports editor for 10 years at the top industry newspaper Radio & Records, to then creating NTS MediaOnline and building it into a reliable hub for news, information and conversation about talk radio for the last decade, it just feels right to start a new chapter in my life – one where I’m not waking before sunrise to a blank page and a daily deadline.”  Working with Peterson during the last 10 years (and before that with R&R) has been his sales and marketing partner Brooke Williams.  The statement says Peterson plans to enjoy more time with his family and pursue other interests outside the industry.

siriusxmsmallReport: Pandora and SiriusXM Talking Acquisition.  According to CNBC, digital music pure play Pandora is talking with SiriusXM about being acquired by the satellite radio company.  The report indicates that the talks arepandoralogo very preliminary but that this shows a change of heart after Pandora dismissed an informal offer of $15 per share from SiriusXM parent Liberty Media back in July.  Liberty CEO Greg Maffei is quoted saying, “We think that the free space, whether it be commercial, terrestrial radio or Pandora, is still a very attractive space.  And we talked about how we’d like to find a way to participate.  I think the streaming business, which Pandora seems to have doubled down on, is a very unattractive business.  So there are parts of Pandora that could be attractive.  And there’s parts that we’d have questions about.”  Read the CNBC piece here.

talkersten-logoTrump Cabinet Nominees Top News/Talk Story for Week of November 28 – December 2.  The growing list of cabinet nominees for the Trump Administration was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the election recount tied with Donald Trump’s claims of voter fraud.  Coming in at #3 was the Trump-Carrier deal, followed by Trump’s flag burning comments 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.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Odds & Sods.  News/talk WHBY, Appleton, Wisconsin is broadcasting in FM as well now with the addition of translator W287AU at 103.5.  Woodward Radio Group brand manager Justin Hull states, “We are thrilled to be taking WHBY to the FM side of the dial.  The new frequency, along with our revamped website and app, gives listeners another way to experience WHBY in all aspects.”…..Midway Broadcasting Corporation, the parent company of WVON, Chicago is hosting its 26th Annual Seniors Breakfast tomorrow (12/3) at the House of Hope.  Seniors will enjoy a hot breakfast and live entertainment from three-time Grammy nominee Billy Branch and the Sons of Blues and Christmas carols from musical artist Uneqka…..Both satellite radio broadcaster SiriusXM and digital platform TuneIn will be broadcasting live from the Baseball Winter Meetings starting this Sunday, December 4, through Thursday, December 8.

gracies-logoSix Days Left for Gracies Early Bird Deadline.  The deadline for early bird entries for the 2017 Gracie Awards is Thursday, December 8.  The annual awards, presented by the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation, recognize “exemplary programming created by, for and about women in all facets of media and entertainment, as well as individual achievement.”  All submissions must have been released, posted or aired between December 1, 2015 and December 31, 2016.  Please note, this is a change from previous years’ timeline for eligibility.  The final deadline for submissions is January 12, 2017 at 11:59 pm ET.  See how to register submissions here.

bernadettestudio16The Yappy Tour Rolls Through WABC, New York.  The recently published book, Yappy Days: Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Schmoozers, Boozers and Losers (AuthorHouse/Talkers Books), by veteran talk radio producer Bernadettehamburgjoan Duncan (left), continues to burn up the airwaves.  The coast-to-coast book tour rolled through New York City yesterday (12/1) as the author was interviewed by the legendary talk radio grand dame Joan Hamburg for her Saturday show (12/3) on the legendary WABC.  Duncan tells TALKERS, “It was one of the highlights of my career being interviewed by the great Joan Hamburg.  Not only is she one of my personal idols, but I can safely describe her as one of the best radio talkers of any era and a national treasure.  Being on her show and the airwaves of WABC is deeply gratifying to me and hopefully to the thousands of radio enthusiasts who have been giving this book such wonderfulbernadettebooksmall support.”  Yappy Days recounts Duncan’s 26-year career as a producer of radio talk shows working with such big-name talents as Larry KingSally Jessy RaphaelLou DobbsTom SnyderGil GrossCharles Osgood and many more during modern talk radio’s pre- and post-9/11 “golden era.”  Plus, she tells stories about behind-the-scenes encounters with hundreds of guests from the worlds of show business, politics, media, business and literature.  The interview is already posted as a podcast on the WABC website and can be heard by clicking here.   Due to the strong response by hosts across the nation to the subject and Duncan’s lively air presence, the national “Yappy Tour” will continue to roll on through the first quarter of 2017.  Duncan has already appeared on more than 40 local and syndicated programs.  Hosts and shows interested in booking Bernadette Duncan can do so by calling Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.