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Thursday August 13, 2020

| August 13, 2020

Gardner Announces Retirement. Having worked for Bonneville the past 12 years – the last three as senior vice president and San Francisco market manager – Carl Gardner will be retiring at the end of this month. Bonneville International president Darrell Brown comments, “Carl has been a tremendous asset to Bonneville. We will miss his leadership, deep experience, and friendship.” Gardner transferred to the Bay Area from Seattle, where he spent nine years as the company’s vice president/market manager. In advance of that, he was an upper-level executive at Journal Broadcast Group for 17 years, leaving in 2008 as executive vice president of television, radio, and digital media. For more than a half-dozen years, Gardner was Journal’s Milwaukee-based president of radio operations. The University of Washington alum began his 43-year media career in Seattle and has worked in Denver and Portland, as well as San Francisco and Milwaukee. A past chair of the NAB Radio board and former member of the NAB executive committee, Gardner has had active industry involvement in other capacities, including membership on the Radio Advertising Bureau board of directors, Associated Press advisory board, and Washington State Association of Broadcasters board of directors. For the past seven years, Gardner has been part of the Seattle Sports Commission’s executive committee. Bonneville is expected to name Gardner’s replacement later this month.

RAB To Acquire NRTS. Founder/president of the National Radio Talent System, Dan Vallie, will advise the Radio Advertising Bureau as the RAB integrates the institute into the organization. With RAB’s oversight, the national “System” will continue to operate under its brand name and network of institutes across the country. RAB president/chief executive officer Erica Farber states that, “An integral part of the RAB’s mission is providing the industry with the tools and resources to help broadcasters attract new sales talent to the medium and enhance radio’s professionalism through training and support. The integration of the National Radio Talent System into the RAB delivers on the mission in so many ways. We are just delighted to continue to grow Dan Vallie’s vision and take it to the next phase.” According to Vallie, “The National Radio Talent System began as a labor of love to prepare the next generation of broadcasters, who can be hired today and be leaders in our industry tomorrow. Today’s visionary broadcasters, universities and sponsors working together have made it a reality. RAB has been there with us from the very first Radio Talent Institute. I’m confident the National Radio Talent System will continue to grow and maximize its potential, assuring the industry of young talent on through this 21st century. I truly believe over the next 100 years, radio will be the keystone of a golden age of audio, even more so by attracting young talent to the industry. People make the difference – always has been and always will be.” Entercom chief operating officer/RAB board chair Susan Larkin notes, “The future of our companies is dependent on the next generation of committed, prepared, and talented radio professionals. The National Radio Talent System is unique in that it provides a radio talent ‘farm’ for the industry, an incubator of well-rounded, well-educated college talent with a passion for radio. That’s why investing in this program is good for the RAB and the industry.” College students, recent graduates, and radio interns have to apply to be accepted into the intensive 10-day Institutes. Sessions include on-air, programming, sales, writing, news, sports, promotions, videography, podcasting, social media, engineering and management. Each student participates in RAB training and takes the exam to earn Radio Marketing Professional Certification (RMPC).

Davis Appointed iHM Greensboro VP/Programming. Most recently the senior vice president of programming for Entercom Richmond – Zac Davis – joins iHeartMedia as vice president of programming of Greensboro’s five-station cluster. Davis will report to iHeartMedia Greensboro president Kellie Holeman, who comments, “I am thrilled to welcome Zac to my team in Greensboro. I look forward to collaborating with him to continue developing these great brands. Zac brings a wealth of knowledge and creativity across all formats; I look forward to a long, prosperous partnership.” Davis adds, “I’ve really enjoyed my four years in Richmond, but always considered North Carolina my home. I’m thrilled to head back to Greensboro. After getting to know [those involved], I knew this was a special team.” The Florida State University grad previously was program director at iHeartMedia Hartford-New Haven and has held industry positions in Denver, Salt Lake City, and Raleigh, as well as in Melbourne (Florida), Stockton (California); and Myrtle Beach (South Carolina). In addition to WPTI “Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” (ninth, 4.2, July 2020, 6+), iHeartMedia’s Greensboro cluster consists of adult contemporary WMAG “The Best Variety of the ‘80s, ‘90s, & Today” (third, 8.8, 6+); WTQR “Q-104.1 #1 For New Country” (sixth, 5.7, 6+); rock WVBZ “105.7 Man Up!” (tenth, 3.7, 6+); and CHR WMKS “100.3 Kiss-FM The Triad’s #1 Hit Music Station” (#12, 2.4, 6+).

Weinstein, Donaldson, Hall To Occupy Washington’s Radio Booth. While the updated name of this particular NFL franchise might not be the most creative – although an improvement over its controversial one – the Washington Football Team has unveiled its completely new radio crew for a potential 2020 season. Cumulus Media sports talk WSBN “ESPN 630 The Sports Capitol” afternoon host Bram Weinstein will handle play-by-play, while former defensive back DeAngelo Hall prepares to serve as an analyst alongside Julie Donaldson. Weinstein succeeds Larry Michael, who faces accusations of improper behavior toward female employees. Donaldson and Hall are replacing Chris Cooley and Rick “Doc” Walker. Weinstein explains that since 1979, “Only two people have had the privilege of holding the position of play-by-play voice of the Washington Football Team. With that in mind, and knowing what this team means to our community, I am humbled and honored to be given this opportunity. This is the fulfillment of a dream. This is also an exciting time to start with so much change happening in and around the franchise. I’m proud to have been selected to be part of this team.” Former NBCSW anchor/reporter Donaldson is the franchise’s newly-named senior vice president of media and remarks, “With DeAngelo’s experience as the ‘eyes’ of our defense for a decade, not to mention his work with the NFL Network, and Bram’s tenure as a sports broadcaster/Washington Football fan, we’ll be able to relate to – and involve –  the players and fans like never before.” Hall adds, “I am incredibly excited and honored to be joining this storied franchise as the next gameday analyst. While I loved my time playing for Washington the better part of ten years, there is more I would have liked to have accomplished for the fans. This opportunity will allow me to make a lasting impact in a different way. We are heading into the future with Julie Donaldson and I am excited to be her teammate for this journey.” The franchise’s games will air on a network headed by Cumulus Media news/talk WMAL and cross-town Radio One-owned sports talk WTEM “980 The Team.”

TALKERS News Notes. Honoring the centennial of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote, iHeartMedia’s WVON “1690 The Talk of Chicago” afternoon talent Kimberley Egonmwan will host a virtual celebration to commemorate contributions of African-American women to democracy. The event will honor past and present “Women of the Movement” with a pictorial montage; a civic engagement call-to-action; and two panel discussions about how women have turned voting into power. Taking place on Zoom and Facebook Live, the celebration begins this Saturday (8/15) at 11:00 am, preceded by a 10:30 am civic engagement show featuring a 2020 census and election presentation by the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority connection committee. Among those scheduled to join Egonmwan are the first black female US Senator, Carol Moseley Braun; congresswoman Robin Kelly; historian Dr. Keisha N. Blain; political strategist Delmarie Cobb; and “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” contributor Stefanie Brown James Montana Public Radio host/writer/producer Nora Saks is the recipient of Boston University public radio news/talk WBUR’s Daniel Schorr journalism prize of $5,000 for her podcast “Richest Hill,” a series on a notorious EPA superfund site. Named for the legendary CBS, CNN, and NPR reporter/analyst, the award honors public radio journalists under the age of 35. Saks will be honored at a virtual event next month (9/15) … Effective next Monday (8/17) on Good Karma Brands’ Madison sports talk WTLX “100.5 FM ESPN,” Keyshawn Johnson, Jay Williams, and Zubin Mehenti grab the 5:00 am – 9:00 am slot. Fellow ESPN Radio talents Mike Greenberg (“Greeny”) and Max Kellerman will follow at 12:00 noon – 1:00 pm, and 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm, respectively. Vice president and market manager Keith Williams comments, “It is an exciting time to be an ESPN radio sports fan, with the opportunity to listen to ESPN Network’s new national shows that will provide incredible energy and varying perspectives. Fans will continue to hear from the locally-produced and informative Wilde & Tausch (9:00 am – 12:00 noon); 12-year radio host Jim Rutledge (3:00 pm – 4:00 pm); and then complete their day with the fast-paced entertainment of Greg Scalzo & Ben Brust (4:00 pm – 6:00 pm).” … A daily, two minute Josh Tolley-hosted feature – “The Business of Life” – is available from Fishnet Syndication. Topics pertain to faith, family, finance, politics, entertainment, and news. Fishnet Syndication partner Mike Tyler notes, “Josh has a long history of producing a fantastic radio show covering many hot topics to keep listeners coming back for more. Fishnet Syndication is always on the lookout for great shows and we know content is king.” Tolley adds, “I’ve had a very successful radio show with over 20 million listeners in 160 countries and in all 50 states. We know our decision to partner with Fishnet Syndication is the correct decision. Mike Tyler and Kent Jones have a long history in the radio industry and are well known for getting the job done.”

Entercom Launches “Battleground America.” The daily podcast available to listeners nationwide on Radio.com beginning next Monday (8/17) is centered around this year’s presidential election and American politics. Entercom Greenville (South Carolina) news/talk WYRD “106.3 Word” morning show host Tara Servatius provides daily intel on American politics and culture. Entercom Greenville-Spartanburg senior vice president and market manager Steve Sinicropi remarks, “With election season in full swing, we want to give our listeners a wide array of premier political content, supported by reliable insight and diverse opinions. Tara does a fantastic job captivating her audience through her daily morning show and we look forward to amplifying her voice across the country on Radio.com to spark healthy discussions surrounding the 2020 election.” Servatius opines, “This election will be unlike any other and could change the way Americans live forever. I’m excited to share this afternoon snack with our local listeners who want their ‘Tara Show’ fix, as well as share my voice with those in other cities nationwide craving election talk radio as we rapidly approach November.” In episode one, Servatius will discuss her opinion about president Trump‘s 2016 win being a razor’s edge miracle and the probability of pulling it off again. New episodes will be available every weekday.

NAB Show New York Registration Opens Next Month. The ten-day (October 19 – 29) virtual event showcases advances in next-generation technology and will feature conferences, workshops, and exhibits focused on podcasting, television, film, online video, live events, and advertising. Executive vice president of NAB conventions Chris Brown notes, “We are continuing to evolve the digital event model to better serve the needs of the industry with a more robust platform and enhanced experience for participants. This solution allows us to serve a broader audience with expanded content, collaborative features and a longer, more flexible schedule that optimize opportunities for conducting business, networking and peer-to-peer learning.” Additional NAB virtual events taking place in October include the “Radio Show” (October 5–9), co-produced by the Radio Advertising Bureau, and NAB’s Sales and Management Television Exchange (October 14 – 15).

WBT, Charlotte Morning Host Pat McCrory is this Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  Former North Carolina governor turned WBT, Charlotte talk show host Pat McCrory is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  McCrory is heard weekday mornings on the Entercom-owned heritage station with co-host, newsman Bo Thompson, 8:00 – 10:00 am on a highly-rated show that addresses local, regional and national topics along with a blend of pop culture items and a heavy dose of “fun.”  He has successfully held that position since 2017 after serving a four-year term as the Republican governor of North Carolina.  His gubernatorial service was a wild ride during which he garnered a tremendous amount of national attention, both positive and negative, due to the controversy surrounding his signing of the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act – also referred to as”HB2″ – and became embroiled in the issue of transgender use of public rest rooms.  There was a political backlash against that move which resulted in North Carolina being the target of numerous economic boycotts that resulted in the loss of revenue and jobs for the state.  McCrory, who refers to himself as one of the first victims of the “cancel culture,” lost his bid for re-election following that episode by a razor thin margin.  Prior to that, he had a long track record of being one of North Carolina’s most popular political figures.  Before being elected Governor, he served seven consecutive terms as mayor of Charlotte and presided over the Queen City’s notable growth as a business and cultural center during that period.  Harrison and McCrory candidly discuss a variety of topics from the impact of hyper political correctness on public discourse to current political issues.  Don’t miss this!  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Wrap” located in the right-hand corner on every page of Talkers.com.

Kamala Harris Receives VP Nod, Mail-In Voting Debate, School Opening Struggles, and the Economy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/12).  The selection of U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) as Joe Biden’s running-mate topped the TALKERS list of most-discussed stories on news/talk radio across America yesterday (8/12).  It was followed by the debates over mail-in voting and the opening of schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Other major topics included concern over the economy including unemployment, the stimulus package debate, as well as COVID-19 stats and projections according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Approximately two weeks ago, 21-year-old Payton Cannon was killed when her vehicle ran off the right side of a North Carolina road and hit a tree. Payton was the daughter of David “Ace” Cannon, better known as “Ace” from the syndicated “Ace & TJ” show that originates from iHeartMedia Charlotte CHR WHQC “Hits 96.1.” Payton’s childhood friend, Max McLaughlin, will drive a Mohawk Northeast-sponsored #1Payton’sPromise.org Toyota Camry in tomorrow’s (Friday, 8/14) inaugural Arca Menards Series race at the Daytona International Speedway. “Ace” comments, “We are very touched that Max has been granted permission to honor Payton in this way.” Ritchie “TJ” Beams adds, “The best part about this is Payton would absolutely love it.” McLaughlin is a second-generation driver and races for Hattori Racing Enterprises. He won his first race on a road course at Watkins Glen International last season. Payton’s Promise is a nonprofit charity set up to help when a community is in the need of immediate help from tragic events or when local support efforts need more assistance to get to their goals … Most recently doing afternoons at iHeartMedia San Francisco CHR KYLD “Wild 94.9,” Julian Nieh (“Julian on the Radio”) joins Hubbard Broadcasting Seattle’s similarly-formatted KQMV “MOViN 92.5” for nights. KQMV brand and content director Cat Thomas comments, “Julian has always impressed me with his energy, excitement, and content. We are thrilled to have him join the team at ‘Seattle’s #1 Hit Music Station.” Nieh notes, “I’m beyond blessed to be added to a team of insanely-talented individuals and management. I’ve learned and been blessed to work with some of the best managers in this industry, and continue to do so. Much appreciation and thanks to Cat Thomas for bringing me aboard. I knew Cat was one of those special managers and all around good people when I met him last year.” …  Former WPLJ, New York City music director/midday talent Melony Torres has joined Pandora as director of pop programming. Torres was with WPLJ when it was a Cumulus Media-owned hot AC; it’s now an Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian outlet … The classical music format on Nashville Public Radio’s WFCL will relocate to the HD2 channel of co-owned news/talk WPLN-FM in the fall. Posting on the station’s website, president chief executive officer Steve Swenson writes that WFCL will air “more of Nashville’s music” with “complete local curation.” WFCL’s new format, he indicates, will be a “vibrant soundtrack of Music City.” … Voiceover talent Jordana Klein adds imaging duties at Cumulus Media Dallas CHR KLIF-FM “Hot 93.3.” Klein formerly was imaging director at Bell Media Toronto CHR CKFM “99.9 Virgin Radio” and imaging voice at Bell Virgin Radio stations throughout Canada … Starting next Monday (8/17), Damien Barling and Kenny Caraway (“D-Lo & KC”) take over 12:00 noon – 2:00 pm duties on Entercom Sacramento sports talk KIFM-AM “ESPN 1320.”

Friday, May 17, 2019

| May 17, 2019

TALKERS CONVENTION UPDATE:  Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Nearing a Sellout!  The 22nd annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention is on the verge of being sold out.  The final deadline for registrations being accepted is one week from today – Friday, May 24 at 5:00 pm ET.  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “In order to maintain the intimacy and effectiveness of this heritage event, it must be open only to members of the media industries and be in a special type of venue with limited seating and capacity.  We have resisted the impulse to grow this event beyond that level of efficiency.  That is one of the reasons it is so popular and has enjoyed such amazing longevity.”  To obtain registration information and avoid being shut out before the deadline, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.  For an up to the minute agenda, please click here.

Trinity Broadcasting Adds Eric Metaxas’ Radio Show. Starting today (5/17), Salem Radio Network’s “The Eric Metaxas Radio Show” will have a half-hour “Best of” component that will be seen on cable each Friday at 6:00 pm on the Trinity Broadcasting Network. The television version will be repeated Sundays at 10:30 pm. Salem Broadcast president Dave Santrella remarks that Trinity Broadcasting has “proven to be a great partner in this unique venture. We are delighted to see this show develop into a regular weekend program seen across the country on the TBN cable platform.” Salem Radio Network senior vice president Phil Boyce comments, “We are delighted to see some of Eric’s interviews reach an even bigger audience through TBN’s platform, where more people will get a chance to enjoy his wit, wisdom, and unique personality.” Meanwhile, TBN president Matt Crouch adds that Metaxas’ show “brings a unique depth and flair to TBN’s programming lineup. Eric’s longstanding reputation as a man of both faith and intellect is a perfect fit for TBN’s growing broadcast team of thought and faith leaders.” Yale University grad Metaxas is the founder/host of the New York City-based event series “Socrates in the City: Conversations on the Examined Life” and has been hosting his Salem radio show since 2015.

Meyer Named Entravision Chief Revenue and Product Officer. It will be a homecoming for Karl Alonso Meyer who – effective immediately – becomes Entravision Communications’ chief revenue and product officer. Entravision chair/chief executive officer Walter F. Ulloa comments, “We are delighted to welcome Karl back to Entravision. With his vast experience, strong leadership skills, and extensive knowledge of the company, he is the ideal candidate to drive our sales and revenue initiatives.” Meyer adds, “Entravision is like a second home to me. Having the chance to rejoin the company in this critical role is an exciting opportunity. I couldn’t be more thrilled to be back and working again with the talented Entravision team. The media landscape is constantly changing and I look forward to bringing a unique perspective that will help the business continue its success.” Los Angeles-based Meyer first joined Entravision in 2004 and spent ten years with the company as vice president/general manager of its Los Angeles radio outlets and later as executive vice president/integrated marketing solutions for the western region.

Steve ‘The Big Dog’ Duemig Passes. Diagnosed with a brain tumor in February 2017, Steve “The Big Dog” Duemig, 64, died yesterday morning (Thursday, 5/16). Up until approximately 15 months ago, Duemig did afternoon drive for iHeartMedia Tampa sports talk WDAE “Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio.” A posting on the station’s website notes, “WDAE is mourning the loss of sports radio icon Steve ‘The Big Dog’ Duemig. WDAE and iHeartMedia Tampa Bay would like to extend our thoughts and prayers to the friends and family of ‘The Big Dog,’ Steve Duemig.” Before joining WDAE in 1996, Duemig spent five years at cross-town WFNS. For two years, he was the color analyst for the Tampa Bay Lightning. In addition, Duemig hosted a weekly call-in program on Fox Sports Radio, and the 13-year PGA golfer co-hosted a program on The Golf Channel.

TALKERS News Notes. One of the strongest voices in liberal/progressive talk radio – Bill Press – is pulling the plug on his daily morning show after a 14-year run. His last program will air in two weeks (5/31). While Press concludes his syndicated radio platform, he’ll begin podcasting next month, reportedly with a focus on the Democratic primaries. To his more than 32,000 Twitter followers, the 79-year-old Press wrote, “In case you missed it: We’ve had a great 14-year run of daily shows, but it’s time to transition. Don’t worry – my voice will still be front and center as we enter the 2020 election. Big news coming soon.” ….. Deputy Washington editor Shirley Henry is promoted to NPR’s chief Washington editor. She joined NPR five years ago as senior Washington desk editor and was boosted to deputy Washington editor in 2015. NPR News executive editor Edith Chapin notes, “As we further ramp up our election work while staying focused on the current administration, Shirley is poised to lead the team to break stories and provide the daily reporting, enterprise, and context our audience has come to expect. Her multi-platform experience meshed perfectly with the desk leadership in adopting a story first approach to reporting.” Henry has a Master of Public Policy degree from Georgetown University and dual Bachelor’s degrees from Boston University in Journalism and International Relations. Henry served as lead editor for White House coverage and was co-editor of the “NPR Politics” podcast. She previously worked at CNN‘s Washington bureau ….. Through its broadcasting agreement with Horse Racing Radio Network (HRRN), SiriusXM will air coverage of tomorrow’s (Saturday, 5/18) Preakness Stakes from Baltimore’s Pimlico Race Course. The Preakness is the second jewel of thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown. The satcaster airs all Triple Crown races, as well as the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. The wire-to-wire race broadcast of the Preakness is provided by NBC Sports Radio and produced in partnership with HRRN and Westwood One. Later today (Friday, 5/17) at 3:00 pm (ET), SiriusXM will air HRRN’s broadcast of the 95th Black-Eyed Susan Stakes….. The 15th biennial CONCACAF Gold Cup soccer tournament will air live on Entravision Communications’ radio and television stations from (Saturday) June 15 through (Sunday) July 7. Entravision president/chief operating officer Jeffery Liberman states, “We are only a month away from the start of the biggest soccer tournament being played in the United States. Bottom line: If you’re a soccer fan, you’re watching the Gold Cup. Besides being the most-seen sport around the world, it features teams our audiences follow. That’s powerful and provides an amazing opportunity for our advertisers.” Founded in 1991, the Gold Cup is an international FIFA soccer tournament. With teams from 16 countries participating, this will be the largest Gold Cup ever. The tournament will feature the four highest-ranked nations based on the CONCACAF Ranking Index: the United States, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Honduras. Entravision’s live coverage includes 24 games on 17 of its radio stations in 14 markets ….. For the third day in a row,TALKERS has an item regarding Bubba The Love Sponge and this time, it comes directly from the source. On his Facebook page, BTLS notes that he “couldn’t come up with a deal” to continue airing his show on Genesis Communications Tampa news/talk WWBA “AM 820 Gotta Know Now,” so he recommends Tampa Bay fans listen to the show online ….. While terms were not immediately disclosed, Alpha Media agrees to acquire Gray Television Amarillo’s Spanish adult hits KEYU. An application is being filed with the FCC for the transfer. In Amarillo, Alpha Media already owns news/talk KGNC-AM, KGNC-FM “Amarillo’s Country 97.9,” and classic hits-oldies KXGL “100.9 The Eagle.” Kalil & Co. brokered the transaction for both parties.

TALKERS Week in Review Radio Show for Monday, May 13 – Friday, May 17 Now Posted.  The latest installment of the new weekly one-hour radio program, “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation” is now posted.  Guest this week include:  Kevin Casey of TALKERS; Jim Blasingame, host of the Small Business Advocate radio show; Sid Rosenberg, morning show co-host of WABC, New York;  award-winning journalist, Donna Francavilla, president of Alabama Media Professionals; and nationally syndicated host, Lars Larson of Compass Media Networks.  To listen to the show, please click here.

U.S.- China Trade War Top News/Talk Story for Week of May 13-17. The tariffs the U.S. and China are placing on each other’s exports and the financial markets’ reactions were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, occupying the top spot on the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the Mueller Report aftermath and the subpoena of Donald Trump, Jr. Coming in at #3 was the new Alabama abortion law and the threat to Roe v Wade, followed by the 2020 presidential race and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s entrance into the Democratic primary at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.

Mike McVay Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Longtime radio industry programmer, executive, and consultant Mike McVay, who after eight years is leaving his position as EVP/content and programming for Cumulus Media at the end of June to re-launch his consultation firm, McVay Media, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne presentation “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Harrison and McVay engage in a candid conversation about the events that led to his leaving Cumulus by his own choice as well as his views on the future of that company, the state of radio ratings methodology, advertising agency practices, operating on a playing field with multiple distribution points, the care and nurturing of talent in this new era, significant differences between music and talk radio and opportunities and challenges inherent in radio station ownership going forward. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Regional senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s Kentucky-Indiana region, Michael Jordan, adds duties as band coordinator for iHeartCountry. In that capacity, he reports to iHeartCountry executive vice president/programming Rod Phillips. Jordan has held several positions at iHeartMedia Louisville and Lexington (Kentucky), including senior vice president/programming; program director for WMAZ, Louisville and WBUL, Lexington; and director of NTR and promotions for iHeartMedia Lexington. His philanthropic involvement includes working with the University of Kentucky Children’s Hospital and Lexington Cancer Foundation ….. Two-year Alpha Media Louisville WDJX “99.7 DJX” program director/afternoon drive personality JD Garfield will be leaving the CHR outlet at the end of this month. “I’d like to extend a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to the entire staff of talented and amazing individuals at Alpha Media Louisville for giving me the amazing opportunity to stand at the helm of one of the premiere CHR stations in the country,” he comments. “It truly has been a rewarding experience that I’ll never forget.” Garfield joined Alpha Media from Boise Idaho’s KWYD. He previously programmed in Madison (Wisconsin) at WJQM, and was operations manager in Springfield, Missouri at KQRA and KOSP ….. Director of operations/program director Darrin Arriens signs a multi-year contract extension with Entercom Charlotte hot AC WLNK “The Link.” ….. After spending 20 years at Connoisseur Media Long Island adult contemporary WKJY “K-98.3,” afternoon drive talent Jodi Vale exits. “Radio is my first love,” she notes. “I am absolutely not hanging up my beloved headphones.” As I finish up my master’s degree in communications with an emphasis in education, I look forward to teaching future broadcasters in the academic setting.” ….. New to nights/social media director at Albany Broadcasting rhythmic CHR WAJZ “Jamz 96.3” is Alexandra Wurst, who most recently did nights in South Bend (Indiana) at Mid-West Family Broadcasting CHR WQLQ. According to WAJZ operations manager/program director Jon Reilly, “We could not be more excited about this dynamic on-air personality. [Alexandra] has great energy and enthusiasm and we are looking forward to her fresh and unique sound at night.”

April 2019 PPM Data – Part Three. April 2019 ratings information has been released for Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s April 2019 survey period covered March 28 – April 24. Managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12-PPM markets.

Portland

Spoken Word Formats – The nine-tenths’ January/February gain racked up by Alpha Media news/talk KXL (3.8 – 4.2 – 4.7, 6+) vanishes and becomes a -1.0 in March/April (4.7 – 3.9 – 3.7, 6+) as “FM News 101 – Stay Connected” slips from #11 to #13. Up two-tenths (2.1 – 2.3, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KEX “News Radio 1190 – Depend On Us” continues at #18. Locked on .9 (6+) in February and March, Alpha Media news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970” picks up one-tenth to 1.0 (#25 to #24, 6+).

Without a loss the fourth successive sweep for a net gain of six-tenths (.9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.5, 6+), co-owned sports talk KXTG “The Game” carries on at #21. Flat at #23, Entercom sports talk KFXX “1080 The Fan” loses one-tenth in back-to-back reports (1.3 – 1.2 – 1.1, 6+). It is tied with iHeartMedia-owned Portland Trailblazers flagship KPOJ “Sports Radio 620,” which doubles (+.5) its 6+-stat since February (.5 – .8 – 1.0, #26 to #23, 6+) and reaches a one-share (1.0, 6+) for the first time since July 2018’s 1.1.

A combined -2.0 in February/March (9.3 – 7.7 – 7.3, 6+), KOPB erases 30% of the deficit with a +.6 to 7.9 (6+) and remains in the runner-up slot; the Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk outlet had a one-month (January 2019) stay at #1. Ten recent KOPB fluctuations include: +1.1 (January 2018); -1.1 (February); +1.0 (March); -1.0 (April); -.5 (May); +.7 (October); -1.2 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.2 (January 2019); -1.6 (February); and +.6 (April).

Portland Music Formats – A stout +3.5 via three consecutive bumps (5.4 – 7.1 – 8.1 – 8.9, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLTH has that streak snapped by losing three-tenths to 8.6 (6+); however, “106.7 The Eagle” is #1 for the third month in a row. Prior to February, KLTH last reached the eight-share level (6+) nearly eight years ago (May 2011, 8.1, as well). In three straight sweeps without a loss (2.6 – 3.6 – 4.9, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KFIS “104.1 The Fish” nets +2.3 and is steady in sixth-place. “The Fish” ranked #18 in January. Conversely, All Classical Public Media’s KQAC “All Classical Portland” is a collective -1.8 in three consecutive down or flat moves (4.4 – 4.4 – 3.7 – 2.6, 6+), dropping from #14 to #17. Immediately prior to sputtering by seven-tenths in March, KQAC was without a loss four times in a row for a collective +1.8 (2.6 – 2.7 – 3.4 – 4.4 – 4.4, 6+) and reached the four-share level (4.4, 6+) for the first time since February 2017’s 4.2. Off four-tenths to 4.6 (fifth to seventh, 6+), Alpha Media’s KBFF “Live 95.5” snaps at three its consecutive string of increases that accounted for a +1.1 (3.9 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 5.0, 6+). A collective +1.2 in three straight gains (3.3 – 3.6 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+), cluster-mate KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” falters by three-tenths to 4.2 (eighth to ninth, 6+). Its 4.5 in March is the highest 6+-stat by KUPL since February 2018’s 4.7. After improving by eight-tenths to 4.2, its best 6+-stat since July 2018’s 4.6, Entercom-owned KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf” – The Northwest’s Hottest Country” surrenders four-tenths to 3.8 (6+) and departs the top ten (#9 to #12).

Charlotte

Spoken-Word Formats – Having notched back-to-back gains of four-tenths (3.6 – 4.0 – 4.4, 6+), Entercom news/talk WBT is now a combined -.7 in March/April (4.4 – 4.3 – 3.7, #11 to #12, 6+).

In an alternating up/down sequence that began in “Holiday” 2018 (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.2, 6+), co-owned WFNZ “The Fan – Charlotte’s Sports Leader” has lost four-tenths in that stretch; the Charlotte Hornets flagship slips from #18 to #19.

Erasing all but one-tenth of March’s -.6 with an April increase of one-half share (2.3 – 2.8, 6+), University Radio Foundation news/talk WFAE advances from #16 to #14. “Charlotte’s NPR News Source” was a  combined +1.1 in January/February (1.8 – 2.7 – 2.9, 6+). While flat at .3 (6+), South Carolina Educational Television Commission news/talk WNSC drops from #21 to #22.

Charlotte Music Formats – By gaining eight-tenths to 2.0 (#19 to #17, 6+), Davidson College-owned WDAV “89.9 Classical Public Radio” pulls the plug on four straight down or flat trends that accounted for a loss of one-half share (1.7 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+). Country boasts a #1/#2 finish in “The Queen City.” Even though Beasley Media Group’s WSOC returns the two-tenths it gained in March (6.8 – 7.0 – 6.8, 6+), “103.7 Country’s Hottest Hits” repeats in first-place; it was tied for the lead in February. Prior to gaining nine-tenths in January, WSOC had been without an increase the previous four reports for an overall -1.3 (7.7 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 6.6 – 6.4, 6+). On top in September 2018, October, and November, WSOC segued to third in December. A combined -2.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.7 – 5.8 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country” was +1.2 in January; lost three-tenths in February; but is a combined +.8 in March/April  (5.3 – 6.1 – 6.3, fourth to second, 6+). Three straight upticks by Beasley Media Group mainstream CHR WNKS “Kiss 95.1” yield a +1.9 (3.2 – 3.6 – 4.7 – 5.1, ninth to seventh, 6+). This immediately follows four consecutive sweeps without an increase that accounted for a -1.2 (4.4 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.2, 6+). Faltering by seven-tenths (each) are urban AC sibling WBAV “V-101.9” (6.2 – 5.5, third to fifth, 6+) with its lowest 6+-stat (5.5) in two years (5.3, April 2017), and Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WRCM “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” (3.3 – 2.6, #13 to #16, 6+). The five most recent fluctuations for iHeartMedia adult hits WLKO “102.9 The Lake” are -1.2 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.1 (January 2019); -1.4 (February); +.5 (March); and -.5 in April (6.8 – 6.3, flat at #2, 6+). Immediately in advance of “Holiday” 2018’s -1.2, WLKO posted eight straight months without a loss for a +3.7 (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 6.4 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+). Beasley Media Group cluster-mates WSOC and WBAV dislodged “The Lake” from #1 in February after WLKO’s January-only stay on top.

San Antonio

Spoken-Word Formats – Powered by a +1.1 (4.2 – 5.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOAI zooms from eighth to fourth. In addition, this marks the first time the San Antonio Spurs’ flagship reaches the five-share level (5.3, 6+) since August 2016’s 5.2. Before dropping one-tenth in March, “News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather” was an overall +1.0 in three straight sweeps without a loss (3.3 – 3.6 – 4.3 – 4.3, 6+). Via three successive up or flat trends, Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” nets three-tenths (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.5, 6+) and progresses from #23 to #22.

Finishing at #31 and #32, respectively, are Alpha Media sports talk KZDC “ESPN San Antonio” (flat at .4, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s KTKR “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” (.6 – .3, -.3, 6+).

Down three-tenths in back-to-back reports (3.7 – 3.4 – 3.1, 6+), after a January/February +1.0 (2.7 – 3.5 – 3.7, 6+), Texas Public Radio news/talk KSTX drops from #12 to #15.

San Antonio Music Formats – The rollercoaster ride continues for KQXT “Q-101.9.” The iHeartMedia adult contemporary outlet bounced back from January’s -10.7 (14.9 – 4.2, 6+) with a February increase of four-tenths; sputtered by six-tenths in March; but racks up a +.8 in April (4.0 – 4.8, ninth to sixth, 6+). Without an increase the past six sweeps for a collective -2.6 (5.4 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.1 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KROM Que Buena 92.9” answers with an April +.7 to 3.5 (#16 to #12, 6+). Picking up one-half share (each) are KROM’s rhythmic CHR cluster-mate KBBT “98.5 The Beat” (tenth to ninth) and Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KZLV “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” (3.4, #15 to #13, 6+). “The Beat” is up eight-tenths through three straight positive or flat trends (3.6 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.4, 6+) and has its best 6+-showing (4.4) since August 2018’s 4.5. “K-Love” was off three-tenths in February/March (3.2 – 3.1 – 2.9, 6+). Notwithstanding it has lost six-tenths in March/April (8.0 – 7.9 – 7.4, 6+), Cox Media Group-owned classic hits-oldies KONO-FM “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” repeats at #1. KONO-FM had been in the runner-up slot five successive times before progressing to #1 in March. In advance of slipping to #2 in November 2018, KONO-FM finished at #1 the previous ten sweeps. Co-owned KTKX “106.7 The Eagle – San Antonio’s Only Classic Rock,” which netted nine-tenths in February/March (4.0 – 4.5 – 4.9, 6+), forfeits eight-tenths to 4.1 (6+) and drifts from fifth to tenth. Both of the market’s country powerhouses falter by four-tenths in April. Cox Media Group-owned KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader” slips 6.9 – 6.5 (6+), while iHeartMedia-owned KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” drops 6.2 – 5.8 (6+). Despite the losses, they continue at #2 and #3, respectively. Recent shifts for “KJ-97” include +.5 (September 2018); -1.1 (October); +1.0 (December); -1.0 (“Holiday” 2018); +3.0 (January 2019); and –1.9 (March). Meanwhile, “Y-100” has been +.9 (August 2018); -.8 (September); +.9 (November); -.8 (December); -1.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.8 (January 2019); +.6 (February); and -.6 in March.

Sacramento

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to three straight sweeps without an increase, KFBK “Sacramento’s News, Weather, and Traffic Station” falters by -1.6 (7.6 – 7.0 – 6.2 – 6.0, 6+) but remains in the runner-up slot. The iHeartMedia-owned news/talk facility was tied for first in January. Returning the four-tenths it gained in March (2.3 – 2.7 – 2.3, 6+), co-owned KSTE “Talk 650” slips from #14 to #15.

At the same time that Entercom’s KIFM-AM “ESPN Radio 1320” adds one-tenth in back-to-back reports (.7 – 8. – .9, #25 to #24, 6+), Bonneville’s KHTK “Sports 1140” forfeits one-tenth and has lost four-tenths in three straight down or flat trends (1.2 – 1.2 – .9 – .8, #21 to #25, 6+).

December 2018’s 6.9 is the highest 6+-stat in the PPM-history of KXJZ, but the Capital Public Radio news/talk outlet follows with five straight decreases for a roughly 50% loss (-3.4) of its 6+-share (6.9 – 5.9 – 5.1 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 3.5, 6+) and exits the top ten (#9 to #12). Unchanged at #26, Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQEI has an October 2018 through April 2019 topline of: .6 – .6 – .7 – .6 – .7 – .7 – .6 – .7 (6+).

Sacramento Music Formats – Trending 4.6 – 4.8 – 4.7 (January – February – March, 6+), Entercom alternative KKDO “Alt 94.7” breaks out an increase of nine-tenths to 5.6 (eighth to fifth, 6+). A positive spike of one-half share by Entravision rhythmic CHR KHHM takes “Hot 103.5” (#16 to #14) to its highest 6+-share since November 2018 (2.5, as well). Despite being down six-tenths in March/April (8.6 – 8.5 – 8.0, 6+), Entercom-owned KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” is #1 for the fourth month in a row (including January’s first-place tie with iHeartMedia news/talk KFBK). In the lead position for ten consecutive survey periods before shifting to #2 in December, “The Eagle” faltered by eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2018. Nine recent fluctuations include +1.0 (May 2018); +.9 (June); -.9 (July); +.6 (September); -.5 (October); -1.1 (November); -.8 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.0 (February 2019); and -.5 (April). The market’s (6+) adult contemporary share softens by -1.1, nearly equally divided between iHeartMedia’s KBEB “92.5 The Breeze” (4.3 – 3.7, -.6, ninth to tenth, 6+) and Entercom-owned KYMX “Mix 96 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” (-.5). Formerly “92.5 The Bull – #1 for New Country,” KBEB transitioned to adult contemporary as “The Breeze” in early-November (2018). It netted a +2.1 in three straight positive spikes (2.4 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 4.5, 6+) before dropping two-tenths in March. A combined -7.8 in January/February (13.8 – 6.2 – 6.0, 6+), “Mix 96” gained two-tenths in March. After logging three consecutive improvements that yielded an overall +1.4  (4.2 – 4.7 – 5.5 – 5.6, 6+), Bonneville’s KNCI “New Country 105.1” falters by one-half share to 5.1 (fifth to eighth, 6+). A collective +1.5 in three straight September –October – November – December (2018) gains, KNCI has been -1.5 (“Holiday” 2018); +.5 (January 2019); +.8 (February); and -.5 (April). For the 14th successive survey period, Entravision Communications’ similarly-formatted KNTY “101.9 The Wolf” logs a 6+-share between 2.0 – 2.5 (2.1 – 2.2, +.1, #15 to #16, 6+).

Pittsburgh

Spoken-Word Formats – Notching a +1.1 to 5.1 (6+) in January, Entercom news/talk KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020” has followed with three straight drops for a collective -1.0 (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 4.1, ninth to tenth, 6+).

Co-owned sports talk KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan,” which lost seven-tenths in February/March (7.1 – 6.5 – 6.4, 6+), gains four-tenths (6.4 – 6.8, 6+); the Pirates flagship remains in fourth-place. While it departs the top twenty (#17 to #22), iHeartMedia sports talk WBGG 970 AM – ESPN Pittsburgh” continues its consistency, as reflected by this September 2018 through April 2019 topline: .2 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .3 (6+).

Even though it is off a combined seven-tenths in March/April (4.3 – 4.2 – 3.6, 6+), Essential Public Media news/talk WESA “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” continues at #11.

Pittsburgh Music Formats – After logging three straight sweeps without an increase resulting in a -1.8 (8.7 – 7.7 – 7.7 – 6.9, 6+), Steel City Media adult hits WRRK is a combined +1.1 in March/April (6.9 – 7.4 – 8.0, 6+) as “96.9 Bob FM” stays in-place at #3. In back-to-back (February and March) sweeps, WDVE posted identical gains of eight-tenths (7.6 – 8.4 – 9.2, 6+). Even though the iHeartMedia-owned rocker forfeits nine-tenths in April, it is #1 for the third month in succession. Its December loss of one-half share interrupted three consecutive gains that netted a +1.0 (7.7 – 8.0 – 8.3 – 8.7, 6+). In “Holiday” 2018, WDVE tumbled by -1.0 (8.2 – 7.2, 6+). WDVE spent 11 successive sweeps in the runner-up slot before dropping to third in December. Unchanged in fifth-place, co-owned CHR WKST “96.1 Kiss FM Pittsburgh’s #1 Hit Music Station” has lost seven-tenths by not having an increase three sweeps in a row (6.1 – 6.1 – 5.5 – 5.4, 6+). The market’s two hot ACs are separated by two full-shares, as Entercom’s WBZZ “Star 100.7” gains two-tenths (4.8 – 5.0, seventh to sixth, 6+), while Steel City Media’s WLTJ “Q-92.9” surrenders four-tenths to 3.0 (flat at #12, 6+). A March loss of one-tenth by “Star” curtailed at three a successive string of increases that led to a +1.2 (3.7 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.9, 6+); “Q-92.9” gained a combined half-share in February/March (2.9 – 3.1 – 3.4, 6+). Three Forever Media-owned stations that have been unlisted the last four ratings periods return in April: Country WOGI “Froggy” (1.2, #19, 6+); classic hits-oldies WPKL “Pickle” (.9, #20, 6+); and country WOGG “Froggy” (.8, #21, 6+). In December 2018 (the last sweep in which they appeared), WOGI was 1.2 (#18, 6+); WPKL scored a 1.1 (#20, 6+); and WOGG finished with a 1.4 (#16, 6+).

Salt Lake City

Spoken-Word Formats – An April gain of seven-tenths by Bonneville-owned KSL erases in its entirely a March loss of the same magnitude as “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” (steady at #6) posts a 5.2 for the fourth time in the last six sweeps (5.2 – 4.6 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 4.5 – 5.2, 6+). After eroding by -1.0 in March, iHeartMedia’s KNRS “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know” stabilizes at 4.1 (6+) but slips from eighth to ninth; KNRS was +1.8 in January/February (3.3 – 4.7 – 5.1, 6+). In back-to-back sweeps, Cumulus Media-owned KKAT “860 AM – Utah’s Big Talker” gains one-tenth (.2 – .3 – .4, #21, 6+).

For the fourth month in a row, Broadway Media-owned KALL “ESPN 700 – Utah’s #1 Sports Talk” is unlisted.  After posting an August 2018 – December 2018 topline of 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.8, KALL lost seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 to 1.1 (#20 to #22, 6+).

Having lost nine-tenths in March/April (3.1 – 2.5 – 2.2, 6+), University of Utah news/talk KUER dips from #14 to #15.

Salt Lake City Music Formats – With a steady “Holiday” 2018 through March 2019 topline of 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 3.8 (6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KJMY “My 99.5” explodes in April with a +1.2 to 5.0 (ninth to seventh, 6+). Despite being down or flat the third straight time for a net loss of six-tenths (6.0- 5.6 – 5.4- 5.4, 6+), Capital Broadcasting’s similarly-formatted KBZN “Now 97.9 – Today’s Best Music” advances from fifth to fourth. By gaining six-tenths (1.6 – 2.2, #17 to #15, 6+), Brigham Young University-owned KBYU “Classical 89” records its best 6+-stat (2.2) since November 2018’s 2.4. Five consecutive increases by Bonneville-owned classic hits-oldies KRSP deliver an overall +2.5 (5.7 – 6.1 – 6.3 – 7.0 – 7.8 – 8.2, 6+). Moreover, “103.5 The Arrow” marches from second to first where it succeeds Bonneville adult contemporary KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music/Better Work Day.” On top the past five ratings periods, KSFI (8.9 – 8.1, -.8, 6+) segues to the runner-up slot. “FM 100.3” registered a +1.5 in March, following January/February’s -14.4 (21.8 – 7.9 – 7.4, 6+). Three straight increases netted a +16.2 (5.6 – 5.7 – 12.7 – 21.8, 6+) for KSFI, the only PPM-market station in “Holiday” 2018 to reach the 20-share level (6+). Its format challenger, Cumulus Media’s KBEE “B-98.7 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites,” has its third decrease in succession for an overall loss of eight-tenths (4.2 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.4, 6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #11). Netting a +2.9 via three straight upticks (4.4 – 6.4 – 6.8 – 7.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned classic hits-oldies KODJ “94.1 Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits” surrenders a -1.1 to 6.2 (6+) but continues in third-place. On the heels of dropping two-tenths (6.2 – 6.0, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KZHT “97.1 Salt Lake’s #1 Hit Music Station” falters by another six-tenths to 5.4 (flat at #4, 6+).

Las Vegas

Spoken-Word Formats – Anchored at #15, Entercom’s KXNT “News Talk Radio 840” is up or flat the fourth straight time for an overall increase of eight-tenths (1.6 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+) and has its best 6+-performance (2.4, February, March, and April) since February 2017’s 2.8. Meanwhile, Beasley Media Group news/talk KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk” notches a 1.1 (6+) for the third time in the last four sweeps (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.1, 6+) and continues at #23.

In addition to being +1.6 in four straight bumps (3.0 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.6, 6+), Nevada Public Radio’s KNPR progresses from seventh to fifth.

Las Vegas Music Formats – Within 2.1 – 2.7 territory (6+) in each of the last five ratings periods (2.7 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.4, 6+), Beasley Media Group hot AC KVGS erupts with a +1.0 to 3.4 (6+). Moreover, “Star 107.9 Vegas’ Best Variety” cracks the top ten (#15 to a three-way tie at #10, 6+) and reaches the three-share level (3.4, 6+) for the first time since November 2018’s 3.0. Breaking a “Holiday” 2018 through March 2019 topline of 3.7 – 2.8 – 3.8 – 3.7 with an increase of eight-tenths to 4.5 (its best 6+-stat since September 2018’s 4.8), Entercom-owned CHR KLUC “98.5 Vegas’ #1 Hit Music Station” jumps from tenth to seventh. Rebounding from its March loss of nine-tenths with an April increase of two-tenths (8.3 – 7.4 – 7.6, 6+), Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies KKLZ “96.3 – Hits of the Eighties & More” is on top for the third month in a row. February’s 8.3 marked the first time KKLZ reached the eight-share level (6+) in its PPM-history; it hadn’t been at #1 since August 2018. The station it succeeded – iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5 – Better Music for a Better Workday” – is -7.3 in four consecutive sweeps without an increase (12.8 – 7.5 – 6.7 – 6.7 – 5.5, 6+) and drops from second to third. Prior to being #1 from September 2018 through January 2019, “Sunny” set the pace in March, May, June, and July. Its “Holiday” 2018 12.8 is the highest 6+-share for any Las Vegas station since the 14.0 KSNE logged in “Holiday” 2016. KSNE was a combined +4.5 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (8.3 – 9.1 – 12.8, 6+). The three latest shifts for Lotus Communications’ KXPT “97.1 The Point – #1 For Classic Rock” are -.5 (February); +.5 (March); and -.9 in April (4.5, fourth to fifth, 6+). In eight straight up or flat survey periods prior to February, “The Point” was an overall +1.8 (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+) with 5.5 its best 6+-performance since October 2016 (5.9). Having logged five successive monthlies without a loss for a net gain of eight-tenths (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.9, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s KCYE “102.7 The Coyote – #1 For New Hit Country” is now a combined -1.2 in March/April (3.9 – 3.4 – 2.7, #12 to #14, 6+). Faltering by seven-tenths in April as well is Faith Communications contemporary Christian KSOS “SOS Radio,” which has lost nine-tenths in three straight declines (4.3 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.4, seventh to tenth, 6+). Trending 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.3 (January – February – March, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KISF “Zona Mx 103.5” sputters by one-half share in April to 1.8 (#17 to #19, 6+).

Orlando

Spoken-Word Formats – After being a combined +1.9 in January/February (3.6 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM “News 96.5” loses one full-share in March/April 5.5 – 5.2 – 4.5, 6+), slipping from eighth to tenth. Its internet stream surrenders one-half share (.8 – .3, 6+) and departs the top twenty (#19 to #22). The November 2018 through April 2019 topline for iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” is between a 3.1 – 3.9 (6+): 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.9, #12 to #11). A combined +1.0 in January/February (1.8 – 2.2 – 2.8, 6+), news/talk cluster-mate WFLF is unchanged from March in 6+-share (2.5) and market rank (#15).

Doubling February’s 6+- stat (4. – 5. – .8, 6+), sports talk sibling WYGM “FM 96.9 The Game – Orlando’s Sports Leader” cracks the top twenty (#22 to #20), while Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted WDBO-AM “ESPN 580 Orlando” gains one-tenth to .3 (#23 to #22, 6+).

Not only does Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE have its consecutive string of positive moves that yielded a collective +1.3 (2.7 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 4.0, 6+) end at three, “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida” departs the top ten (#8 to #12).

Orlando Music Formats – The three most recent fluctuations for Cox Media Group rhythmic CHR WPYO “Power 95.3 – Orlando’s New #1 For All The Hits” are +1.2 (February); -.6 (March); and +.9 in April (4.2 – 5.4 – 4.8 – 5.7, ninth to seventh, 6+). “Power” was off eight-tenths “Holiday” 2018/January 2019 (5.0 – 4.4 – 4.2, 6+). Tacking on seven-tenths to March’s +.2 (5.4 – 5.6 – 6.3, 6+), Entercom hot AC WOMX “Mix 105.1” proceeds from seventh to fifth, reaching the six-share level for the first time since June 2018’s 6.0. In a game of musical chairs involving iHeartMedia cluster-mates, Spanish tropical WRUM “Rumba 100” advances from second to first, while CHR WXXL “XL-106.7 Orlando’s #1 Hit Music Station” (8.4, -.6, 6+) drops from first to second. This is an exact flip-flop from what happened this time last month. The decrease of six-tenths by WXXL pulls the plug on four improvements in a row that resulted in a +1.7 (7.3 – 7.4 – 8.1 – 8.4 – 9.0, 6+). A combined -1.0 in March/April (9.5 – 8.9 – 8.5, 6+), “Rumba” spent 11 consecutive ratings periods on top before falling to #2 in December and “Holiday” 2018. April 2017’s 12.8 is the best-ever 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. As a result of four straight setbacks, co-owned WJRR “101.1 – Orlando’s Rock Station” has lost nine-tenths (3.5 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 2.6, #13 to #14, 6+). Adult contemporary sibling WMGF “Magic 107.7” picks up one-tenth to 5.9 (fifth to sixth, 6+), thus applying the brakes to three straight decreases accounting for an overall -8.5 (14.3 – 6.9 – 5.9 – 5.8, 6+). “Magic” was a combined +8.5 December/“Holiday” 2018 (5.8 – 9.8 – 14.3, 6+). By dropping three-tenths to 7.9 (flat at #3, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WOCL “105-9 Sunny FM – We Own The ‘80s” snaps at three its consecutive string of increases that generated a +3.3 (4.9 – 6.9 – 7.9 – 8.2, 6+).

Cincinnati

Spoken-Word Formats – The January 2019 through April 2019 topline for iHeartMedia news/talk WLW is a stable 9.9 – 9.7 – 9.9 – 9.5 (6+), as the Reds’ flagship – which had a one-month (January) stay at #1 – remains in the runner-up slot. Co-owned WKRC “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati” gains one-tenth in back-to-sweeps (3.4 – 3.5 – 3.6, 6+) and reenters the top ten (#11 to #10). For the ninth time in a row, Radio One’s WDBZ “The Buzz – Your Talk Station” is unlisted. It registered a .9 (6+) in August 2018 to finish at #20.

Returning to the iHeartMedia cluster, sports talk WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530” is unchanged from March in 6+-share (.9) and market rank (#18), while co-owned WSAI “Fox Sports 1360” is off two-tenths (.6 – .4, #21, 6+).

After being an overall +1.1 via three consecutive gains (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+), Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU surrenders six-tenths to 3.1 (6+) and falls out of the top ten (#9 to #13).

Cincinnati Music Formats – The four latest shifts for Cumulus Media adult contemporary WRRM “Warm 98” are -8.2 (January); +.4 (February); -.6 (March); and now +.6 in April (6.2 – 6.8, steady in fourth-place, 6+). Registering an April gain of six-tenths as well and finishing one-tenth behind “Warm” is its classic rock cluster-mate WOFX “92.5 The Fox” (5.1 – 5.7, sixth to fifth, 6+). There’s more great news in that Cumulus Media cluster as classic hits-oldies WGRR “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” is +3.2 in four successive upticks (8.1 – 9.6 – 10.2 – 11.1 – 11.3, 6+) and is #1 for the third sweep in succession. Following a December-only stay at #1, WGRR cratered by -1.8 in “Holiday” 2018 (9.9 – 8.1, 6+) and shifted to third. Immediately prior to its -1.8, WGRR was an overall +1.3 via four straight gains (8.6 – 9.1 – 9.2 – 9.6 – 9.9, 6+). Radio One urban contemporary WIZF “101.1 The Wiz” (#13 to #11) scores an overall seven-tenths in four consecutive reports without a loss (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4, 6+). Since the first of the year, Hubbard Broadcasting-owned WUBE “B-105.1 Cincinnati’s Country” (flat at #3), has been +1.0 (January); -.7 (February);  -.8 (March) and -.6 in April (7.9 – 7.3, 6+). Hot AC sibling WKRQ “Q-102 Cincinnati’s Hit Music” has lost nine-tenths as a result of three drops in a row (6.5 – 6.4 – 5.7 – 5.6, fifth to sixth, 6+). While it remains in eighth-place, iHeartMedia-owned WEBN “Cincinnati’s Rock Station” is without an increase for the fourth consecutive ratings period and has forfeited nine-tenths in that stretch (5.0 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.1, 6+).

Cleveland

Spoken-Word Formats – Transforming March’s -.6 into an April +.9 (4.9 – 5.8, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” advances from eighth to seventh; the Indians flagship logged a January/February +1.3 (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+). After a lengthy absence, Salem Media Group news/talk WHK “AM 1420 The Answer – News-Opinion-Insight” resurfaces in print with a .5 (#18, 6+).

Off by -1.2 in February and then up four-tenths in March, Entercom’s WKRK “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” regresses by seven-tenths (5.4 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 3.9, 6+) but is anchored in tenth-place.

After posting a 3.2 (6+) in January, February, and March, Ideastream-owned news/talk outlet WCPN picks up two-tenths to 3.4 (#11 to #12, 6+) and is one-half share behind WKRK.

Cleveland Music Formats – In four consecutive upticks, iHeartMedia-owned WGAR “99.5 Cleveland’s #1 For New Country” is an overall +3.5 (4.4 – 6.1 – 6.6 – 6.8 – 7.9, fifth to third, 6+), virtually offsetting its cumulative -3.7 through five consecutive losses (8.1 – 7.2 – 6.8 – 6.5 – 5.7 – 4.4, 6+). Steady in fourth-place, Entercom-owned WNCX “98.5 – Cleveland’s Classic Rock” was -.4 (“Holiday” 2018); +.8 (January 2019); -.5 (February); +.6 (March); and is now +.6 (again) in April (7.0 – 7.6, 6+). This (7.6) is its highest 6+-share since August 2018’s 8.6. Over that exact timeframe, the five most recent fluctuations by iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI are +2.8 (“Holiday” 2018); -1.7 (January 2019); +.8 (February); +1.0 (March); and now -1.0 in April (10.8 – 9.8, 6+). Despite returning that full-share March increase, “Majic 105.7 – Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” is on top for the fifth straight ratings period. Co-owned mainstream CHR WAKS “96.5 Kiss FM – Cleveland’s #1 Hit Music Station” forfeits eight-tenths (3.9 – 3.1, 6+), slipping from #11 to #14. A March increase of three-tenths by Entercom hot AC WQAL halted three successive negative moves that led to an overall -1.6 (5.2 – 4.7 – 4.3 – 3.6, 6+); however, in April, “Q-104 Plays The Hits” relinquishes seven-tenths (3.9 – 3.2, #11 to #12, 6+). “Q-104” is tied (at #12) with Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFHM “95.5 The Fish” (3.2), which was unlisted in January, February, and March, after recording a 5.4 (seventh, 6+) in “Holiday” 2018.

Kansas City

Spoken-Word Formats – Following a January/February +2.2 (3.4 – 4.6 – 5.6, 6+), Entercom news/talk KMBZ-FM “98.1 News-Traffic-Weather” has lost a combined eight-tenths in March/April (5.6 – 5.4 – 4.8, fourth to sixth, 6+). Co-owned KMBZ-AM  “Talk 980,” which dropped two-tenths in March, improves by three-tenths (2.0 to 2.3, 6+) yet backslides from #19 to #20. Having more than doubled (+.8) its 6+-stat in three consecutive sweeps without a loss (.6 – .7 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+), Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM “Talk Radio 710 AM” drops one-tenth to 1.3 (6+) and repeats at #21.

Off six-tenths in February, Entercom’s KCSP “610 Sports Radio” rallies with a combined March/April +1.7 (2.3 – 2.8 – 4.0, 6+). The flagship of the Royals not only catapults into the top ten (#16 to #10), it bypasses Union Broadcasting’s WHB “Sports Radio 810,” which is -1.9 via three straight negative or flat trends (5.0 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.1, #12 to #14, 6+); WHB notched a +1.3 in January.

Without a loss the fourth month in a row (3.0 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+), University of Missouri news/talk KCUR has gained a collective nine-tenths, erasing its “Holiday” 2018 loss of seven-tenths.

Kansas City Music Formats – Precisely doubling (+1.5) its 6+-stat in three positive spikes in a row (1.5 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 3.0, 6+), University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian KJNW “Life 88.5” elevates from #19 to a three-way tie at #15 with its strongest showing (3.0) since January 2018’s 3.5. Another part of that three-way logjam at #15 is Cumulus Media-owned KCJK “X-105.1 Kansas City’s Alternative,” which is a cumulative +1.2 in four successive upticks (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 3.0, #18 to #15, 6+). The last time “X-105.1” reached the three-share threshold (6+) was September 2016 (3.1). A combined +1.0 in March/April (4.9 – 5.1 – 5.9, 6+), Steel City Media’s KBEQ “Q104 – New Hit Country” jumps from fourth to sixth with its best 6+-stat since June 2018 (5.9, as well). Over and above being +2.5 via three consecutive bumps (5.4 – 6.6 – 7.7 – 7.9, 6+), KCMO-FM “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits,” repeats at #1. Immediately prior to April’s modest increase of two-tenths, the Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies outlet has been +1.6 (“Holiday” 2018); -1.3 (January 2019); +1.2 (February); and +1.1 (March). February’s 6.9 is its highest 6+share since July 2018’s 7.1. A combined -2.8 in February/March (10.1 – 8.2 – 7.3, 6+), cluster-mate KCFX bounces back with an increase of four-tenths to 7.7 (unchanged at #2, 6+). January’s 10.1 is the strongest 6+-stat since July 2017’s 10.3 for “101 The Fox – Kansas City’s Classic Rock Station,” which gave way to KCMO-FM after spending ten consecutive sweeps at the top spot. Four November 2018 through February 2019 spikes by Carter Broadcast Group urban contemporary KPRS “Hot 103 Jamz” netted a +1.5 (5.4 – 5.7 – 5.8 – 6.2 – 6.9, 6+). “Hot 103” surrenders 60% (-.9) of that increase in March/April (6.9 – 6.6 – 6.0, 6+) but carries on in third-place. A collective -1.6 via four successive setbacks (4.5 – 3.8 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.9, 6+) by Cumulus Media CHR KCHZ “95.7 The Vibe – All The Hits” (#15 to #18) directly follows five consecutive positive or flat moves that resulted in a +1.4 (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+).

Columbus

Spoken-Word Formats – Eroding two full-shares as a result of three dips in succession (7.0 – 5.9 – 5.5 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN “News Radio 610,” which was +1.3 in January (5.7 – 7.0, 6+), continues in fifth-place.

Unlisted in January, February, and March, RadiOhio sports talk outlet WBNS-FM “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” returns with a 4.7 (sixth, 6+). In “Holiday” 2018, the Columbus Blue Jackets flagship posted a 5.3 (seventh, 6+).

Tied with WBNS-FM at #6 is Ohio State University news/talk WOSU, whose January 2019 through April 2019 topline is 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.7 (6+).

Columbus Music Formats – In addition to being #1 for the 17th sweep in a row, iHeartMedia-owned WCOL “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” (11.8 – 13.0, 6+) has been in double-digits (6+) each ratings period since June 2017. Its January increase of eight-tenths pulled the plug on six straight declines that resulted in a collective -5.7 (16.3 – 15.1 – 15.0 – 14.5 – 13.0 – 12.7 – 10.6, 6+). Recent WCOL fluctuations include +3.1 (January 2018); -1.7 (February); +1.1 (March); +1.0 (April); +1.2 (June); +.6 (July); 1.2 (August); -.5 (October); -1.5 (November); -2.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +.8 (January 2019); +.7 (February); and +1.2 (April). Notwithstanding that CHR sibling WNCI is a collective –1.1 through three successive decreases (8.3 – 8.0 – 7.7 – 7.2, 6+), “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music Station” actually climbs from fourth to third. On the other hand, Ohio State University’s WOSA has more than doubled (+.6) its 6+ AQH share as a result of six consecutive up or flat moves (.5 – .9 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1, 6+) yet “Classical 101” backslides from #16 to #17. Without a loss the fifth report in a row for a net increase of seven-tenths (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.9, 6+), Saga Communications hot AC WVMX “Mix 107.9” inches up from #12 to #11. Up two-tenths in February/March (7.8 – 7.8 – 8.0), adult contemporary cluster-mate WSNY “Sunny 95” sputters by -1.0 to 7.0 (third to fourth, 6+). While it continues in the runner-up clot, co-owned WLVQ “Iconic Rock Q-FM 96” falters by three-tenths to 8.4 (6+), thus curtailing three straight increases that resulted in a +1.9 (6.8 – 7.2 – 8.1 – 8.7, 6+). Having more than tripled (+1.3) its 6+-figure in nine straight positive or flat sweeps (.5 – .8 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.6 – 1.8, 6+), Radio One gospel WJYD “Joy 107.1” has that streak broken by dropping one-tenth to 1.7 (#14 to #15, 6+).

Friday, February 1, 2019

| February 1, 2019

Anderssen Adds Atlanta Duties at WSB-AM. Continuing as Cox Media Group’s news, talk, and sports format coordinator, Drew Anderssen is appointed senior operations/program manager for the company’s Atlanta news/talk outlet, WSB-AM. Director of branding and programming Pete Spriggs notes, “Drew and I have worked in lockstep for the last five years as format leaders for all of our outstanding Cox Media Group news/talk stations. He brings an overwhelming amount of experience and passion and I look forward to continuing our partnership to ensure [WSB-AM] remains a dominant leader in the radio space.” Anderssen comments that WSB-AM is “one of America’s strongest and most iconic radio stations. It has been a career-long dream of mine to become part of this award-winning team. I am thrilled to work one-on-one with Pete Spriggs and the entire team to help shape the future of the WSB brand.” Anderssen previously oversaw programming, news, digital, and social media planning as OM/PD at co-owned WDBO-FM, Orlando. Prior to joining Cox Media Group in 1998 as Tulsa news/talk KRMG’s operations manager, he spent several years in promotions, research, and programming in Texas and Oklahoma. WSB-AM – which had been #1 the past 37 Nielsen Audio sweeps – is a combined -2.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (8.6 – 7.9 – 6.5, 6+) as it segues to #2. Prior to November 2018, WSB-AM was a collective +1.1 in three straight gains (7.5 – 7.9 – 8.2 – 8.6, 6+).

Thrall To Call Some Reds Ballgames. Seven-year Pensacola Blue Wahoos play-by-play announcer Tommy Thrall bumps up from the Double A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds to “the show,” joining the Reds’ broadcast team on iHeartMedia news/talk WLW and the Reds’ radio network. After 45 years of calling Reds’ games, Marty Brennaman will be retiring after this season; Jeff Brantley will continue working alongside Brennaman as color analyst. Reds senior vice president of business operations Karen Forgus notes, “Tommy Thrall was added to our broadcast staff for 2019 as our ‘utility’ broadcaster. His duties will include hosting the ‘Reds on Radio’ post-game show and producing stories and interviews for the radio pre-game show. Additionally, he will fill-in on play-by-play for the games Marty is not working. We have no plans beyond 2019 at this time.” Blue Wahoos president Jonathan Griffith comments, “We are incredibly proud of Tommy for taking this well-deserved step in his career. Since Opening Day 2012, he has been an invaluable part of our organization and we are grateful for his numerous contributions to ‘Hoosville.’” Thrall and Brantley worked together on three games last September. They are scheduled to call the Reds – Chicago White Sox spring training matchup later this month (2/27).

Applications Now Accepted For Mildred Carter MIW Group Mentoring Program. In its 18th year, this experience pairs up-and-coming women currently working in the radio industry with female professionals recognized as leaders in all aspects of radio broadcasting and media. Beasley Media Group is once again lead sponsor of the initiative for women interested in advancing their careers. Chair of the 2019 Mentoring & Inspiring Women in Radio (MIW) Group’s mentoring committee/Entercom Chicago national sales manager Lindsay Cerajewski states, “This unique initiative provides an amazing opportunity for mentees to gain valuable insight, knowledge, and access to some of the most influential women in radio. It is very rewarding to watch our mentees grow professionally throughout the year.” MIW Group spokeswoman Denyse Mesnik adds, “We are absolutely thrilled Beasley Media Group has once again generously offered to serve as lead sponsor of MIW Group’s heritage Mildred Carter Mentoring Program; we look forward to another successful year.” Four candidates within the radio industry will be selected for this year’s program. At least one spot will be designated for a programming candidate, and one spot for a digital candidate. The MIW Group Mentoring Program is named in the memory of Mildred Carter, who, along with her husband, Andrew “Skip” Carter, founded the first African-American-owned radio station in the United States, when they signed-on Kansas City’s KPRS in 1950. Deadline to apply for the mentoring program is in less than three weeks (2/20).

Blues Skating To Hubbard St. Louis. Effective with the 2019-2020 National Hockey League season, games of the St. Louis Blues will shift from Entercom news/talk KMOX to Hubbard sports talk WXOS “101 ESPN.” According to Hubbard St. Louis vice president and market manager John Kijowski, “It has always been a dream to partner with the St. Louis Blues organization. The Blues management team is a class act and their fans are the best in professional hockey.” WXOS band content director Chris “Hoss” Neupert adds, “The ‘101 ESPN’ team is excited to be the new home for the St. Louis Blues. Our entire team is looking forward to our partnership with the St. Louis Blues and the opportunity to offer innovative content, exclusive interviews, analysis, and coverage for St. Louis fans.”

Veteran Talk Programmer and Communications Professor David Bernstein Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the most seasoned radio programmers in the industry, David Bernstein, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Bernstein, who’s programmed such heritage outlets as WOR, New York; WRKO and WBZ-AM, Boston; WTIC-AM, Hartford; and WPRO-AM, Providence, is currently the general manager of TALKERS magazine’s experimental radio showcase TalkersRadio and has been serving as a professor in the Department of Communication at Caldwell University in New Jersey for the past three years. Harrison and Bernstein engage in an informal chat about his view of our changing society from the front-line perspective of teaching a college communications class. Check it out! To listen to the podcast in its entirety please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and every page on Talkers.com.

FSR Sets Super Bowl Programming. Among the highlights on Fox Sports Radio’s schedule this Sunday (2/3) is a weekend edition of “Straight Outta Vegas with R.J. Bell,” who will be joined by betting experts Steve Fezzik and Brad Powers, as well as FSR personality Jonas Knox. Super Bowl Sunday, of course, is considered the biggest sports betting event of the year. The network’s complete lineup this Sunday includes: Andy Furman and Brian Noe (6:00 am – 9:00 am); Mike Harmon and Kelvin Washington (9:00 am – 12:00 noon); “Straight Outta Vegas with R.J. Bell” (12:00 noon – 1:00 pm); Mark Willard and Rich Ohrnberger (1:00 pm – 4:00 pm); Steve Hartman and Ephraim Salaam (4:00 pm – 6:00 pm); Arnie Spanier and Chris Plank (throughout the Super Bowl game); and Jonas Knox (11:00 pm – 2:00 am).

RTDNF Tabs Klobuchar As “First Amendment Defender.” This year’s First Amendment Defender award from the Radio Television Digital News Foundation to Minnesota Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar will be presented next month (3/13) in Washington, DC. RTDNF chair Scott Libin comments, “Senator Klobuchar has been a staunch defender of First Amendment freedoms over the years. She has supported cameras in courts; worked to advance government transparency; and pursued protections for the press through oversight, including her questioning of Attorney General-designate William Barr. Her record represents exactly the sort of leadership RTDNF seeks to recognize. As a constituent of Senator Klobuchar and as someone who has led Twin Cities newsrooms during the decades of her distinguished career, it is my honor to extend this recognition.”

WBUR’s CitySpace Opens Later This Month. The 8,700-square-foot, high-tech multipurpose facility at The Lavine Broadcast Center officially opens to the public in several weeks (2/28), but Boston mayor Marty Walsh joined executives of Boston University-owned public radio news/talk WBUR for a ribbon cutting at the Commonwealth Avenue site on Wednesday (1/30). WBUR general manager Charles Kravetz comments, “CitySpace will be the home for public conversation in Boston. It brings the best of WBUR and NPR to life – it is a destination where people can come together to engage in civic dialogue, to wrestle with big ideas, to be inspired, to be entertained, and to be educated on topics that impact our community and our lives.” Mayor Walsh notes, “The city of Boston is excited to welcome WBUR’s CitySpace, a convening space that will help bring diverse thinkers, innovators, and performers together to create an inclusive community for all that it serves. This new space will act as an important public hub engaging our residents on issues that are shaping Boston and the country.” The calendar of events already includes discussions with Boston Marathon champions; authors and chefs; brown-bag musical performances by Boston University students; trivia nights with WBUR staff; and adult spelling bees. The venue accommodates up to 275 people and has state-of-the-art audio and robotic high-definition video technology for live streaming and recording, robotically controlled theatrical lighting, a pneumatic stage, and a video presentation wall. First-year CitySpace guests scheduled to appear include comedian/former Air America host Janeane Garofalo, “The Good Place” creator Michael Schur, composer Philip Glass, and author Margaret Atwood.

Southern California Broadcasters Association Shares Its 2019 “Automotive Overview.” In an ongoing series, the Southern California Broadcasters Association delivers an in-depth analysis of a particular industry or topic directly relevant for its members and the radio industry. This particular report, available on SCBA’s website, “challenges the auto industry’s focus” on non-radio digital platforms by “making a compelling case” for broadcast radio and the influence radio advertising has on today’s car buyers. The overview reveals that “year-over-year vehicle sales have remained essentially flat to down the past four years, highlighting SCBA’s case that media reallocation and a true ROI analysis of current ad spending by the automakers is urgently recommended.” SCBA president Thom Callahan remarks, “Based on factual research, it is our view that broadcast radio is the underrated and undervalued workhorse for the auto industry. Not only will 23% of auto buyers visit a dealership after hearing a radio ad, but one in ten will actually buy a vehicle after hearing a dealer radio ad. The auto industry must reevaluate its dependence on digital since increased digital ad spending has not delivered increased retail sales. Spending 63% of automotive ad budgets with digital is not sustainable.” Previous SCBA reports include topics such as “E-Commerce Basics to Know,” “Consumer Response to Broadcast Radio versus Pandora,” and “Consumer Response to Broadcast Radio versus Digital and Social Media.”

Michael Harrison Addresses South Florida Art CommunityTALKERS publisher Michael Harrison served as special guest speaker addressing a gathering of approximately 70 emerging local artists last evening (1/30) at a workshop titled “The Thriving Art Exchange” at the CJR Fine Art Gallery in Royal Palm Beach, Florida.  The event was presented by the Clark Hulings Fund for Visual Artists and honored the work of Rickie Leiter, publisher of a Palm Beach County-based art industry trade publication, The Rickie Report.  In his speech, Harrison focused on opportunities available to independent artists in the rapidly evolving digital era in both the creative and marketing arenas.  He opened his talk with a humorous anecdote, “The last time I addressed a group of visual artists was when I served as keynote speaker at the first annual convention of the National Association of Cave Wall Painters.”  Harrison said, “It was a time when the standard method of painting was to put colored pigments on your hands and paint directly with your fingers onto the walls of caves.  The big issue that year was what to do about the introduction of a new gadget called the paint brush and whether images created with this new technology were truly ‘art.’”  Harrison concluded, “The argument became a non-issue when the stone tablet was invented shortly thereafter and paintings could be taken to places outside the cave.  That form of disruption was the first example of mobile media!”

 

“PodGOATs” Launches Today. The series of Comworld Media-produced “PodGOATS” podcasts features Cumulus Media Nashville news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm) host Phil Valentine and his millennial son, Campbell Valentine. The elder Valentine remarks, “I can’t remember having this much fun doing something in a long time,” while recent University of Tennessee graduate Campbell counters, “You can’t remember – period.” The two will discuss everything from their top three picks of events that changed the world to what to do if an electromagnetic pulse took down the electrical grid. They talk spies, conspiracy theories, and anything else in today’s society and culture. Five episodes debut today (2/1) with a new podcast – available on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, – released once a week each Sunday afternoon.

Grabbing Gronk. Preparing for its coverage of Super Bowl LIII this Sunday (2/3) when the New England Patriots take on the Los Angeles Rams, the NFL’s exclusive network radio partner – Westwood One – has been interviewing players, coaches, and special guests for their weeknight “Road to Super Bowl LIII” program; “Super Bowl Preview”; and “Super Sunday” shows airing prior to Sunday’s big game in Atlanta. Seen above is the voice of NFL Films, Scott Graham, chatting with New England Patriots tight end Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski. This is the 32nd consecutive year – and 46th time overall – that Westwood One will broadcast the Super Bowl.

CBS News Radio Offers Radio Version of “Intelligence Matters” Podcast. Starting tomorrow (Saturday, 2/2), former CIA deputy director/intelligence analyst and CBS News national security contributor Michael Morell begins hosting a one-hour radio version of the “Intelligence Matters” podcast, which emanates from CBS News’ Washington, D.C bureau. CBS News Radio general manager Craig Swagler notes, “We are delighted to offer Michael Morell’s programs and expertise to our affiliates. Michael’s keen insight into the world of intelligence is a hot topic in today’s fast-moving world. It is the right time to bring his hugely successful podcast to radio audiences everywhere.” Leaders throughout the U.S. intelligence community will discuss national security policy and current events with Morell, a central figure in the most significant U.S. counter-terrorism efforts of the past two decades.

Rockcastle Media Networks’ Radio Nebraska Network Launches Next Monday. The national radio network expands by creating a Rockcastle Regional Networks division, with the Radio Nebraska Network scheduled to deliver its first newscasts via FTP download next Monday (2/4). Rockcastle Media Networks president/chief executive officer Will Sterrett comments, “When we learned the Nebraska Radio Network folded, our thoughts turned to serving those affiliates and listeners with high-quality radio news. We are excited to offer four newscasts each weekday with much more to come down the road.” As is the case with all other Rockcastle Media Networks programming, the Radio Nebraska Network is available on a market-exclusive, 100% self-contained barter basis. Prior to Rockcastle Media Networks, Sterrett worked in radio news at the CNN Radio Network; Texas State Network; Waitt Radio Networks, Omaha; KRLD-AM, Dallas; KTRH, Houston; and WLW, Cincinnati.

Border Wall Battle Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 27-February 1. The ongoing battle over funding for a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers Ten.  At #2 this week was Robert Mueller‘s Trump-Russia investigation.  Coming in at #3 was President Trump‘s attacks on intel chief Dan Coats over his report on North Korea and Iran, followed by the record Midwestern cold snap at #4.  The Talkers Ten is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

SiriusXM Finalizes Pandora Purchase. The $3.5 billion deal (at a ratio of 1.44 new SiriusXM shares for each Pandora share) creates a digital audio entity reaching 100 million North America listeners. The closing comes three days after Pandora stockholders approved the acquisition. The deal was okayed by the Department of Justice approximately six weeks ago (12/21). In a prepared statement, SiriusXM chief executive officer Jim Meyer – who now leads the combined company – notes, “This is a tremendous outcome for two organizations with complementary platforms and large audiences. We could not be more excited to be moving forward as one company. SiriusXM is a subscription-based national service of curated and exclusive content and programming, and Pandora is the largest U.S. streaming music provider with its highly personalized free ad-supported service. This is a powerful platform under one roof for consumers, content creators, and advertisers. We look forward to creating unique audio packages that combine our strengths and offer an even wider range of content to our listeners.” Pandora’s 16-month chief executive officer and Sling TV founder, Roger Lynch, is leaving the company, as are general counsel Steve Bene, chief financial officer Naveen Chopra, and chief human resources officer Kristen Robinson.

PPM Analysis: A Closer Look at “Holiday” 2018. Each month, managing editor Mike Kinosian takes an in-depth look at four formats and reports on some of the trends he’s noticed. Adult contemporary is in the spotlight today as Mike delves into the mostly ups – and occasional downs – AC experienced in the “Holiday” 2018 ratings period. The format that leads the way in the all-Christmas music programming strategy accounts for 77% of “Holiday” 2018 #1 finishers (6+). In addition, Bonneville-owned Salt Lake City AC KSFI is the only station in any PPM-market to reach the 20-share level (21.8, 6+) in “Holiday” 2018. Check out all the facts and figures here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Dallas contemporary Christian KAWA “Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” general manager Tim Dukes is named mid-south regional manager over parent company WAY Media properties in Nashville and Clarksville (Tennessee); Louisville and Bowling Green (Kentucky); and Birmingham and Huntsville (Alabama). WAY-FM Network chief operating officer Lloyd Parker states, “We are excited that Tim has accepted the role and challenge of managing our mid-south region. Tim is respected and uniquely-qualified for this position with his many years of mainstream radio experience, plus his time on the pastoral staff at Gateway Church in Dallas-Fort Worth and as chief operating officer of the Dallas-based Halftime Institute. He’s going to do a great job.” Dukes – who will continue to manage KAWA  until a new general manager is named – remarks, “Joining WAY-FM in 2015 has given me some of the most enjoyable, and certainly the most fulfilling, years of my career. Louisville is my hometown. I went to college in Nashville and started in radio there, so this is an especially exciting appointment to me.” His past programming credits include Chicago’s WLUP and Cincinnati’s WEBN, as well as being director of FM programming for Jacor San Diego ….. Today (2/1) on his syndicated show, Tom Joyner announced the “One More Time Experience” multi-city tour, which begins May 10 in Washington, DC and continues throughout the summer. Joyner states, “I hope everyone will be as excited as I am to celebrate with good music, good fun, and good hugs. We have 25 years’ worth of partying to achieve, so let’s do it together.” Confirmed dates and places so far – in addition to May 10 in Washington – include Cleveland (June 7); Indianapolis (June 8); Columbus (July 12); St. Louis (July 13); Raleigh (July 19); and Charlotte (July 20). Also on today’s “Tom Joyner Morning Show,” New Jersey Democratic Senator Cory Booker announced he is running for president ….. Starting next Thursday (2/7), Afentra – who formerly did mornings at Entercom Kansas City alternative KRBZ “The Buzz,” (“Afentra’s Big Fat Morning Buzz”) – will join cross-town Cumulus Media-owned KCJK “X-105.1 Kansas City’s Alternative” for 3:00 pm – 8:00 pm duty. Cumulus midwest region vice president Donna Baker states, “Afentra has the gift of observing life in a manner that is real, whether hilarious or poignant, and sharing that in a way that truly connects.” Cumulus Media and Westwood One executive vice president, content & programming Mike McVay comments, “The opportunity to bring Afentra to the Cumulus Kansas City cluster was one we simply couldn’t pass up. A talent with her skills, experience and market heritage is a rare find.” KCJK program director Mike O’Reilly notes, “Sometimes in a lineup strategy, you get lucky and make a big splash. Adding Afentra is more along the lines of a tidal wave for Kansas City alternative, while Afentra explains that KCJK “didnʼt just say they wanted me, they showed me. Wanting me – my thoughts and my experience –  speaks to my soul. I’m rested, excited, and ready to win.” ….. Assistant music programmer Brian Denicola is promoted to program director of SiriusXM’s “60s on 6” channel. Senior director of programming Lou Simon writes in an internal memo, “Brian has exemplified a great level of care and focus and has developed relationships with each of you, making sure he has what you need and providing you with inspiration for added creativity. His copywriting; attention to detail in editing logs; and his creativity have all led to this appointment. I will remain in a position of oversight and Bond Collard will remain as the channel coordinator, doing a spectacular job in that role.” Denicola had been programming the channel on an interim basis ….. Three-year WRQX “Mix 107.3,” Washington, DC afternoon drive talent Jason Kidd exits the Cumulus Media hot AC. “Mix” program director/Cumulus Media vice president of hot AC programming Rob Roberts is seeking Kidd’s successor ….. Mainstream CHR KYYY “Y-93” Bismarck (North Dakota) program director Joey Dee transfers to iHeartMedia Omaha sibling KISO “96.1 Kiss FM Omaha’s #1 For All The Hits” as program director/afternoon drive host. Senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia Omaha Erik Johnson comments, “We are extremely excited to welcome Joey Dee to the ‘96.1 Kiss FM’ team. His major-market experience and creative ideas will help make [KISO] a market leader.” Dee adds, “Making my pilgrimage to Omaha is a dream come true for me as a CHR programmer. I am incredibly excited to work with the entire iHeartMedia Omaha team and I look forward to taking ‘96.1 Kiss FM’ all the way to number one.” Dee previously was assistant program director for Hubbard Seattle CHR KQMV “Movin’ 92.5” and has programmed Bismarck’s KKCT ….. On-air lineup adjustments at Entercom Buffalo’s WLKK “Alternative Buffalo” find “Emily” in extended morning drive (6:00 am – 11:00 am); “Brandi” middays (11:00 am – 3:00 pm); Nik Rivers in afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm); and “Axe” handling 7:00 pm – 12:00 midnight duties.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

| August 7, 2018

Field Answers USTN Lawsuit: “Ridiculous allegations.” As we reported last Monday (Talkers.com, 7/30), in a complaint filed in Harris County, Texas District Court, United States Traffic Network is suing Entercom for material and punitive damages “in excess of $5 million.” USTN alleges that Entercom entered into negotiations to buy the company and walked away from the deal at the last minute with the intent of developing a directly competitive business. Yesterday (Monday, 8/6), Entercom president/CEO David Field addressed the lawsuit in an internal memo. He writes, “The truth is we have acted in good faith and made every reasonable effort and then some to assist USTN in fixing their challenging issues.” Entercom released a statement including the following quote on the situation: “We are relieved to no longer be mired by the difficult USTN situation that was inherited as part of the CBS Radio merger. We will move quickly to augment our strong internal sales organization to ensure that we realize the full value of this inventory. With leading news brands like WINS, New York; KNX, Los Angeles; and WBBM, Chicago, Entercom has the industry’s most valuable traffic inventory. We are pleased to be in control of our own destiny as we pursue opportunities in this attractive market segment.” In response to the lawsuit, Field states, “Entercom believes it is entirely baseless, frivolous and frankly insulting. Entercom has worked tirelessly and constructively with USTN over the past six months to help USTN work through its significant financial issues. Entercom is owed substantial amounts of money by USTN, and the company intends to defend itself vigorously and assert all of its rights.” In yesterday’s memo, Field states, “To say the least, it is disappointing to read the ridiculous allegations that USTN has made when the truth is that we have acted in good faith and made every reasonable effort and then some to assist USTN in fixing their challenging issues. In order to set the record straight and ensure that you have all the facts regarding our relationship with USTN, I have included a summary of the events over the past 8 ½ months.” Click here to read the rest of Field’s memo.

Bortnick Joins iHeartMedia D.C. as Senior VP/Sales. Six-year vice president of sales for Entercom Washington (D.C.), Danny Bortnick crosses the street to become senior vice president of sales for iHeartMedia’s five stations in the Nation’s Capital. Region president Michael Preacher remarks, “We couldn’t be more pleased to welcome Danny to iHeartMedia. Danny has earned a great reputation building client-centric sales organizations while creating a positive work culture. He is the perfect fit for us.” Bortnick adds, “I am thrilled to be joining some of the most iconic brands in [the market], as well as one of the most recognizable media brands in the country.” Bortnick, who has a marketing and management degree from the University of Miami – School of Business, began his radio career 13 years ago as an account executive at Katz Radio in New York City and Atlanta. After a year at Katz, he became an account executive – and later, digital sales manager – at New York City all-news outlet WINS and then, director of sales for Salem Media Group New York City.

Saga Reports 6.5% Q2 Net Revenue Increase. For the quarter ending June 30, Saga Communications net revenue increased to $32.2 million. Meanwhile, operating income increased 2.7% to $6 million and station operating expense increased 8% to $23.1 million. Free cash flow from continuing operations was $6 million for the quarter, compared to $4.8 million for the same period last year. On a same station basis, net revenue decreased .6% to $30.1 million; operating income increased 1.5% to $6 million; and station operating expense decreased 1% to $21.2 million. The company had $52.9 million in cash on hand as of June 30, and $53.3 million as of yesterday (8/6). The company’s total long-term debt was $25 million as of June 30. Results for the quarter and six-month period were affected by the sale of the company’s television stations and purchase of radio stations in Charleston and Hilton Head (South Carolina) on September 1, 2017. Saga’s 2018 Q2 conference call will be at 11:00 am (ET) today (Tuesday, 8/7). Saga owns or operates 75 FM and 33 AM radio stations.

Gregg Receives Salute to Excellence Award. For the second consecutive year, Entercom Philadelphia’s KYW “News Radio 1060” community affairs reporter Cherri Gregg is recognized by the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ). This time, she will receive a “Salute to Excellence Award” at the NABJ’s gala in Detroit. Entercom Philadelphia senior vice president and market manager David Yadgaroff states, “It comes as no surprise that Cherri has been recognized once again for the exemplary work she contributes to KYW. The hard work she has committed in less than a year demonstrates why she is deserving of this honor.” Gregg remarks, “I am honored and humbled by this great recognition. This acknowledgment validates the importance of creating conversation around social issues.” Gregg was recognized in the “Public Affairs” category in “Top 15 Markets, Radio.” The specific segment – “Police Transparency – When Should Names of Officers Who Kill Be Released?” – was from her weekly program “Flashpoint,” which airs Saturdays (9:30 pm) and Sundays (8:30 am). Launched in 2017, “Flashpoint” discusses community affairs, political news, civil rights and social issues. Last year, NABJ honored Gregg with a “Salute to Excellence Award” in “TV Investigative – Top 15 Markets” for her piece “Driving While Black,” a collaboration between Entercom and KYW-TV, Philadelphia (Channel 3). Gregg, who joined Entercom in 2010, was president of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists (2015 – 2016) and vice president of broadcast in 2013. A member of the Pennsylvania and Georgia Bars, she has an undergraduate degree (B.S.) from Boston University; a J.D. from Howard University School of Law; and an M.J. from Temple University’s College of Communications and Theater. Gregg was named one of the Philadelphia NAACP’s Most Influential Black Women and PABJ’s Journalist of the Year in 2013.

Remembering Bill Wattenburg. Cancer has claimed the life of 82-year-old Bill Wattenburg, who died last Thursday (8/2). For 39 years (1972 – 2011), “Dr. Bill” hosted a late night show on KGO, San Francisco where the former nuclear weapons designer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory would answer questions about everything from car repairs to physics. Show promos often referred to him as “The smartest man in the world.” The three-hour program (“Open Line to the West Coast,” 10:00 pm – 1:00 am) aired Saturday and Sunday nights and originated from his home in the Sierras. An occasional caller was Clint Eastwood, who gave Wattenburg a few cameos in the “Dirty Harry” movies. Using the nom de plume Will Harvey, the inventor and former physics professor at the University of California – Berkeley authored an early-1970s best-selling book “How to Find and Fascinate a Mistress.” The success of that book led to him being booked on numerous television talk shows where he debated the merits of feminism with people such as the Gabor sisters and Gloria Steinem. As an inventor, Wattenburg had eight patents to his credit, one reportedly being the first home alarm system using electrical wiring for its communication medium. A 2011 KGO format modification from news/talk to news resulted in several hosts – including Wattenburg – exiting the station. Shortly thereafter, Wattenburg hosted a show on Zwerling Broadcasting System news/talk KSCO-AM, Santa Cruz (California), which – after his death – aired a two-hour retrospective of his radio career.

Spanish Broadcasting System Forecasts Q2 Sales, OIBDA Increases. Preliminary estimated quarter two financial results for Spanish Broadcasting System estimates that consolidated net revenue will be between $34.5 million and $34.8 million, an increase of between 1% and 2% over the same period in 2017. Adjusted OIBDA, excluding non-cash stock-based compensation, is projected at $10.8 million – $11.6 million, an increase of 34% – 44% over last year. SBS chair/chief executive officer Raul Alarcon notes, “The company has continued its positive operational momentum throughout the second quarter with strong OIBDA growth and operating margins that continue to be among the highest in the industry.  In addition, the announced $14 million sale of our surplus real estate in New York City has successfully closed, allowing for our move to newer and more suitable facilities in midtown Manhattan. A correlated and corresponding repayment of the company’s 12.5% senior secured notes from the net proceeds of the real estate sale has been undertaken, as previously envisioned. We maintain our positive view as to the continuing momentum in 2018 and will be filing our finalized second-quarter results within the next week.”

Ten Radio Groups Support NAB’s Owner Cap Modification Stance. Represented in this particular assemblage of group owners is “a cross-section of the industry” with minority-owned and family-owned entities that have stations in large and small markets. In alphabetical order by group owner, the open letter is signed by Alpha Media CEO Bob Proffitt; Connoisseur Media founder/CEO Jeff Warshaw; Emmis Communications chair/CEO Jeff Smulyan; Midwest Communications COO Michael Wright; Mid-West Family Stations president Thomas Walker; Neuhoff Communications president/CEO Beth Neuhoff; NRG Media president/CEO Mary Quass; Perry Publishing and Broadcasting chair Russell Perry; Townsquare Media co-CEOs Dhruv Prasad and Bill Wilson; and Zimmer Radio of Mid-Missouri president/owner John Zimmer. Read the entire letter here.

Round One of July 2018 PPM Data Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union. Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 survey period covered June 21 – July 18. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

TALKERS News Notes. Following stints on New Jersey outlets WMTR and WCTC, Jonathan Friedman’s “Talking Sports” (8:00 pm – 10:00 pm) debuts this Saturday (8/11) on Salem Media Group New York City’s news/talk WNYM “AM 970, The Answer.” The 52-year-old New Jersey resident notes, “I wanted to bring the show to a bigger stage. Growing up in Atlanta and being a huge fan of the Atlanta Falcons, Hawks, and Braves, my love for sports started early in my life. No matter who I talk to, the topic always seems to go to sports; that’s how I connect with people.” A 30-year advertising executive, Friedman has been with Success Communications Group the last 15 years and created the “Gotta Go To Mo’s” campaign for Modell’s Sporting Goods ….. St. Louis-based Project 21 co-chair Stacy Washington is broadcasting “Stacy on the Right” live nationwide. The first hour of the weekday talk program is available on all 180 stations of the American Family Radio Network. The national hour is 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm (ET) and can be streamed through the AFR website, TuneInRadio, Facebook, and YouTube. Decorated Air Force veteran and Emmy-nominated TV personality Washington began her broadcasting career several years ago as a fill-in host on news/talk KFTK, St. Louis and began a two-hour program on the Urban Family Talk Network in 2016 ….. Having added ten million listeners over the last few months, iHeartRadio officially surpasses 120 million registered users. It has over 20,000 podcasts in 20 different unique categories, including 750 iHeartRadio original podcasts ….. According to a report by Richard Deitsch in The Athletic, former NFL quarterback (St. Louis Rams, New York Giants, Arizona Cardinals) Kurt Warner will succeed Boomer Esiason as analyst on Westwood One’s “Monday Night Football” broadcasts. Hall of Famer Warner – who has filled-in when Esiason wasn’t available – would work alongside play-by-play announcer Kevin Harlan. According to Deitsch, a formal announcement of the deal is forthcoming ….. In a situation that will have him relocating to the network’s Chicago headquarters, Scott Krus – station manager of religious teaching WCRF “Moody Radio,” Cleveland – is promoted to general manager of the national Moody Radio Network. Three-month vice president, and former GM, Doug Hastings states, “Scott has the background, skills, and passion to take Moody Radio into our next season. He is very well known at Moody Radio; respected by staff and industry leaders; and has proven that he will effectively lead Moody Radio as general manager.” Krus, who begins his new duties in approximately four weeks (9/1), comments, “I am grateful for the opportunity to serve our teams and [am] energized by the challenge of navigating this ever-changing landscape of media ministry. I believe that Moody is strategically-positioned to expand on its role as a leader in the industry and uniquely equipped to inspire listeners to take that next step in their walk with Jesus Christ. I am looking forward with great excitement to all that God will do in the days to come.”

Paul Manafort Trial/Gates Testimony, Kushner Deleted Stories, Midterm Races, California Wildfire, MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/6). The trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort highlighted by the juicy testimony of Rick Gates; claims that Jared Kushner deleted sensitive stories at his newspaper; the attempted drone assassination attempt of Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro;  this fall’s midterm elections; the deadly California wildfire; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Premiere Promotes Silcock to VP/Affiliate Relations – Morning Shows. Six-year, New York City-based director of affiliate relations Casey Silcock receives vice president stripes from Premiere Networks. In the newly-created position of vice president of affiliate relations – morning shows, Silcock will oversee affiliate sales and serve as the syndicator’s brand manager for programs featuring Elvis Duran; Bobby Bones; Brooke & JubalJohnjay & Rich; and Kane. Senior vice president of affiliate relations/talk and morning shows Peter Tripi comments, “Casey has been a valuable member of our team for the past six years, and he has made significant contributions to the growth of our industry-leading morning shows. I’m confident his leadership, sound judgment, and solid relationships with affiliate stations and talent alike will drive continued success for our programming.” Silcock previously was head of promotion for Verve Music Group, a division of Universal Music Group, and held management promotion and marketing positions at Virgin Records America.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Weekend WTXF-TV “Fox 29,” Philadelphia sports anchor Sean Brace will appear each Friday at 8:20 am on iHeartMedia Philadelphia rhythmic hot AC WISX “Real 106.1” during “Chio in the AM.” In addition, Brace will contribute to the station’s website and host a Saturday night (7:00 pm – 12:00 midnight) music show. He formerly was heard on cross-town Greater Media (now Beasley Media Group) sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” ….. It is an eventful day for San Antonio air-on talent named “Cortez.” Taking to Facebook, Tony Cortez announces he is leaving his position as assistant program director/afternoon drive talent at Alpha Media’s  CHR KTFM “Energy 94.1,” while “The Dana Cortez Show” was missing this morning at cross-town Univision Radio-owned rhythmic CHR KBBT “98.5 The Beat.” On Twitter, Dana Cortez tweets, “We have some exciting things in the works & want you to be part of.” ….. Promotions coordinator/night personality Edwin Guevara is elevated to promotions director/afternoon host at Townsquare Media Trenton, New Jersey CHR WPST “94.5 – Your New #1 Hit Music Station.” He replaces Tom Shinn, who exited last month. Guevara is approaching his third year at the station, arriving from Kemp Broadcasting Las Vegas rhythmic CHR KVEG “Hot 97.5” ….. Former Bonneville country KYGO, Denver program director Eddie Haskell is named senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s Fort Collins (Colorado) stations. According to iHeartMedia Denver area president Amy Griesheimer, “I am thrilled to have someone of Eddie’s caliber and expertise partner with us to lead [our] Northern Colorado dynasty. Eddie’s passion and brand knowledge are unmatched.” Denver region senior vice president of programming Jason McCollim notes, “Eddie’s knowledge and experience in Colorado radio are second to none. His addition to the Fort Collins team will only help to increase our already strong footprint in Northern Colorado.” Haskell adds, “I am so stoked to join the team at iHeartMedia Fort Collins. We have great brands, great programmers, and a great management team.” His prior background includes being operations manager for Cumulus Media Albuquerque and he has held various programming roles in Detroit (WYCD) and Salt Lake City (KKAT-AM). The iHM cluster in Fort Collins includes country KXBG “Big 97.9”; classic hits-oldies KXBG-HD2 “B-107.3”; classic country KIIX “AM 1410 – Country’s Greatest Hits”; CHR KSME “96.1 – Kiss-FM”; classic rock KPAW “92.9 – The Bear”; alternative KPAW-HD2 “Radio 94.9”; and news/talk KCOL “Fox News Radio 600” ….. Grammy winner – and the first “American Idol” – Kelly Clarkson is filming a pilot for a daytime (TV) talk show.  Clarkson has a deal with NBC Entertainment, but the pilot is currently not attached to any network; it is potentially being shopped for a fall 2019 debut.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

| February 15, 2018

KNBR, San Francisco Cuts Ties with Patrick Connor After Host’s Comments About Teen Olympian.  Sports media personality Patrick Connor has been let go by Cumulus Media’s KNBR, San Francisco after his sexualized comments about U.S. Olympic snowboarder Chloe Kim.  Connor hosted the daily “The Shower Hour with Patrick Connor” at 5:00 am on KNBR but he didn’t make his comments on KNBR.  He did that on SiriusXM’s Barstool Sports channel calling in to the “Dailed In with Dallas Braden” program.  Connor’s radio bit revolved around his opinion of the 17-year-old athlete’s looks and that she would soon be 18.  Connor apologized for his words, calling them “lame and gross.”  Obviously, this latest incident comes as fellow broadcaster Entercom is dealing with the blowback from two recent errors in judgement by talk hosts and will suspend live programming on WEEI, Boston tomorrow (2/16) so the entire staff can attend mandatory sensitivity training.

John Patrick Joins WGAC, Augusta Morning Show.  At Augusta, Georgia news/talk WGAC-AM/FM, Beasley Media Group names John Patrick as a new co-anchor of the station’s morning show.  He joins Steve Smith and Mary Liz Nolan for wake-up duties.  Patrick was most recently hosting the “Buzz on Buzz” show at sister sports talk WRDW-AM “ESPN Augusta 1630.”  Among Patrick’s achievements in his 40-plus-year career is the 2008 creation of “The Augusta Golf Show with John Patrick.”  It will now air on WGAC-FM on Saturday afternoons.  Beasley Augusta VP and market manager Kent Dunn comments, “To have a guy like John with 40-plus years in radio leading the way on the WGAC morning show is quite an honor.  We look forward to what John brings to WGAC and the Beasley Media Group of Augusta.”

Pub Talker Tom Ashbrook Exits WBUR, Boston for ‘Creating Abusive Work Environment.’ Host of the WBUR, Boston talk program “On Point” – Tom Ashbrook – had been on leave from the Boston University-owned public radio news/talk outlet since the school launched an investigation into his behavior back in December.  Now, the school has let him go, citing actions he was reported to have taken that created an “abusive work environment.”  According to a report of his dismissal in Deadspin, “The university said it had conducted two separate reviews after allegations were made by 11 former staffers claiming Ashbrook ‘created a work environment that included verbal assaults, intimidating actions, consistent bullying, and unwanted touching.’ A second probe, conducted by a law firm, determined that the alleged unwelcome conduct was not sexual in nature, and was not sexual harassment under BU’s Title IX polices.”  See the Deadspin piece here.

Atlanta’s ‘The Sports X’ Gets a New Midday Show.  The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports that another local show has been added to Dickey Broadcasting’s WOFM-AM/W292EV, Atlanta “The Sports X.”  The station pairs up Jerry “Tug” Cowart with former University of Georgia quarterback Hutson Mason for the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show.  Cowart also works as a jock at iHeartMedia’s crosstown country outlet WKHX “Kicks 101.5.”  Station owner David Dickey has been retooling the station – a sister station to WCNN “The Fan” – in an effort to draw in younger listeners.  He recently added Mark Zinno to host the afternoon program and the late morning “Hometeam & Hamilton” show with Brandon Leak and Joe Hamilton.

WAXY, Miami Signs Deal for University of Miami Baseball. South Florida sports talker WAXY, Miami “AM 790 The Ticket” enters into a multi-year agreement with University of Miami sports rights holder Learfield to air the school’s baseball games and ancillary baseball programming.  As part of the partnership, ‘The Ticket’ will broadcast at least 15 regular season games, all postseason baseball and various ‘Canes baseball-focused programs throughout the season.  Entercom South Florida SVP and market manager Keriann Worley says, “We’re excited to begin a new partnership with Miami Athletics and are ready to air Canes baseball game broadcasts and various shows for fans this spring.  There’s not a better time than right now to be associated with the University of Miami and as part of our commitment to our listeners, we are always looking to bring them the excitement of the games they love.”  Joe Zagacki – in his 29th season as the voice of the ‘Canes – will continue calling games this season.

Deadly Florida School Shooting, FBI’s China vs US Warning, DACA Status/Immigration Policy, Russian Election Interference, Trump-Stormy Daniels Case, PyeongChang Winter Games, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/14). The Florida school shooting that took the lives of 17 and wounded numerous others; the FBI warns that all of Chinese society is focused on surpassing the U.S. as the world’s foremost global power; the legal status of DACA and the Trump Administration’s immigration policy; intelligence officials’ warning about Russian interference in the 2018 U.S. mid-term elections; the case of porn star Stormy Daniels’ alleged romp with President Trump and Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s claim he paid her $130,000 to stay quiet; the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea; 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.  In Chattanooga, Entercom brings market radio pro Boner, a.k.a. Randy Smith, aboard to host the “Boner in the Afternoon” program on rock WRXR “Rock 105.”  Entercom Chattanooga SVP and market manager Nicole Hartman says, “Boner is a longtime, local on-air personality and we are thrilled to reunite him with the ‘Rock 105’ listeners.  Boner has been a part of the fabric of the ‘Rock 105’ brand in many roles over the years and we’re excited that he will now be hosting afternoon drive.”  He first joined WRXR when it was owned by then-Clear Channel in 2001 and hosted the morning show and programmed the station for 15 years…..Hubbard Radio Seattle announces the new morning show cast for country KNUC “Country 98.9” is Tim Leary, Claire Beverly and Karen (Red) Daiss (pictured at left).  The three come to the Pacific Northwest from their most recent gig hosting mornings at Alpha Media’s WUBB, Savannah, Georgia “Bob 106.9.”  Hubbard Seattle market manager Marc Kaye comments, “I fell in love with Tim, Claire and Red in the first few minutes of meeting them.  I know the Seattle radio audience will find them entertaining and refreshing, we are in for one heck of a run.”…..Elvis Duran show cast member Bethany Watson is leaving the Premiere Networks-syndicated program to pursue other challenges in the New York entertainment industry.  She says she’s making “the scariest, riskiest decision I’ve ever made.”  She says she’s interested in writing, acting and producing, among other things…..Programming and on-air pro Dave Fields exits Townsquare Media’s country WKDO, Evansville, Indiana where he held the brand manager and morning show host positions to host the morning show at the company’s adult contemporary WMSX, Buffalo “MIX 96.”  That leaves Townsquare seeking a new morning host and brand manager for WKDO…..Sales pro Lindsay Lazar is named general sales manager for iHeartMedia in Chicago.  She will oversee sales at country WEBG “BIG 95.5” and adult contemporary WLIT “93.9 LITE FM.”  iHeartMedia Chicago SVP of sales Adam Kurtz states, “Lindsay has an impeccable reputation in the Chicago market and a glowing track record of success.  She is a proven leader with an exceptional ability to deliver solutions to the advertising community and I am thrilled to welcome her to our team.”…..SiriusXM is adding a new show to the Underground Garage rock channel, hosted by legendary musician, producer and songwriter Lenny Kaye.  The show will air weeknights from 8:00 pm to 12:00 midnight.  In addition to being a member of the Patti Smith Group, Kaye also produced the Nuggets garage rock anthologies that were released on vinyl during the 1970s.

Friday, January 12, 2018

| January 12, 2018

Most Talk Radio Programmers are Avoiding Use of the Term “Shithole” in Wake of Presidential Sh*tstorm.  Once again, President Donald J. Trump – for better or worse – has shaken up the standards of traditional broadcasting and journalism.  This time, with his controversial remark about immigration using the term “shithole” to describe countries from which he considers immigration particularly undesirable.  The controversial racist aspect of this story notwithstanding, FCC-regulated broadcasters have had to make the quick decision to directly utter the term on the airwaves or buffer it with less offensive and non-potentially rule-breaking words.  This decision has been made more difficult by the fact that many traditional, so-called mainstream cable outlets and online/print news media have chosen to use the word as the President said it.  In conversations around the industry this morning TALKERS has learned that the prevailing tact on terrestrial talk radio has been NOT to use the word directly.  Cumulus Media/Westwood One EVP Mike McVay tells TALKERS, “Despite cable television taking great joy in saying the ‘S’ word on TV, we are not saying the actual word on over the air radio. We recognize it as one of the seven words we cannot say. That has not stopped us from using it on our digital platforms.”   Salem Radio Network senior VP, Phil Boyce says, “The word ‘shit’ is one of the FCC-banned words and our hosts should never use it, no matter if the president did or didn’t.  My morning guy in Los Angeles, Brian Whitman, will be using the word “BLANK hole.”  We want our shows to be safe for the whole family.  No need to have listeners turn off the radio because kids are in the car.”  Bold Gold Media Group CEO Vince Benedetto – owner of a number of stations in Pennsylvania and upstate New York – adds, “We haven’t changed our policy – we still do not say anything on air that violates George Carlin’s ‘Seven words you can’t say on television.'”  ABC Radio VP/GM Steve Jones tells TALKERS, “ABC News Radio anchors and reporters are not speaking that word on air as it could be considered an FCC violation and it also might offend local community standards.  Instead, we are referring to the phrase as an ‘expletive’ or ‘profanity.’   We have 1,650 affiliates and the majority use our ABC ‘Newscall’ service – which provides on-demand audio of reporters and actualities.   We are more permissive in what we provide on that service because it is the decision of the station whether to run the audio – whereas as we control the newscast content and therefore have unilateral decision-making.  If audio existed of any president using a profanity, we would put it on ‘Newscall’ and let stations decide its usage.   If we determined language was so newsworthy we felt obligated to include it in a newscast, we would probably warn stations in advance.  But, that’s hard to effectively control and I don’t recall it being done in many years.”  Although the consensus is to avoid using the word directly on the airwaves, not everyone in talk radio fully agrees that the way to go.  Nationally-famous, station owner/operator (and industry maverick) Michael Zwerling of KSCO/KOME, Santa Cruz tells TALKERS that he will use the word on his own show (“The Saturday Special”) but respects the rights of his air personalities to make their own decisions, “My position is to use the word on the air since it is a bona fide news story – but I just checked with the ‘Good Morning Monterey Bay’ staff [the station’s morning show] and was told they opted to say ‘s-hole’ and to play the Haitian national anthem.”  Zwerling continues, “Trump apparently has denied using that word (which is one of my favorites) but even if he was falsely accused of using it by the news media almost universally out to get him – it has nonetheless become a legitimate news story and therefore would fall into my category of okay to use on the air.  Besides, it moves our industry in the direction of parity with the ‘paid’ services that have been and are allowed to use profanity with impunity!”  Media consultant/TALKERS columnist/and RT America host Holland Cooke says, “It is a big topic with heavy phones at my client stations this morning.  My advice:  Ask listeners, ‘If he said that word, should we, here on the radio?'”  TALKERS legal editor and Bentley University law professor Steven JJ Weisman says, “It is my opinion that the use of the word ‘shithole’ in the context of discussing the president’s comments would be allowed.”  For Weisman’s full comments, please read the story below.

Steve Weisman’s Legal Take on Terrestrial Radio’s Use of Term “Shithole.”  TALKERS legal editor Steve Weisman offers his educated view on the terrestrial radio “shithole” issue prompted by President Donald J. Trump’s use of the term.  To read the piece in its entirety, please click here.

Save the Date! Talkers 2018 Set for Friday, June 8, 2018 in New York City.  The editorial board of TALKERS magazine is pleased to announce the date and location of the 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention.  Titled TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead!, the power-packed, one-day event will take place on Friday, June 8, 2018 at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan in New York City.  This marks the second year in a row that the convention will be held at this very popular venue.  The conference will feature top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry with a focus on talk radio and its role in the new digital age and dawn of a rapidly accelerating era.  This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology – the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing the modern day talk broadcaster and broadcasting organization.  It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals.  The event will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch and a closing cocktail reception.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “As has always been the case with this annual gathering, all the way back to its days as ‘The New Media Seminar,’ TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! will focus on the future.  There is no doubt about it; we are at the dawn of an exciting new era – full of both daunting challenges and fabulous opportunities.  Good things happen at this convention.  We pack three days’ worth of content and activity into one dynamic day and comfortable space. It is not to be missed!”  Complete agenda and hotel details will be posted in the coming days and weeks.  As is customary with TALKERS conventions, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students.  Because seating is limited and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card.  Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments costs $329 per person.  However, an early bird special ($279 per person) is available for those who register before 5:00 pm ET on Friday, February 2.  To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Gwiazdon Goes to Beasley Media Group Las Vegas as VP/MM. Most recently vice president and market manager of Midwest Communications’ Nashville adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9”; adult hits WCJK “96.3 Jack FM”; and CHR WNFN “i106.7,” Dennis Gwiazdon began similar duties yesterday (1/11) for Beasley Media Group Las Vegas. According to Beasley Media Group executive vice president and chief operating officer Brian Beasley, “It is a privilege to welcome Dennis to the Beasley Media Group family. His proven track record and leadership skills are the perfect fit for our Las Vegas cluster as we continue to grow and expand our business in the market.” Gwiazdon, who was president of the Nashville Area Radio Association, states, “I am absolutely thrilled about joining the Beasley team. There is tremendous potential for us in Las Vegas and I’m grateful [to be given] the opportunity to make a difference.” Prior to his Nashville duties, Gwiazdon was president of San Diego-based Sales Insights. He previously held the vice president/general manager title at Seattle’s KRWM; San Diego’s KGB-FM and KPOP-AM; San Diego’s KMCG and KXGL; and Salt Lake City’s KKAT. With their Nielsen Audio December 2017 6+ AQH share and market rank in parentheses, Beasley Media Group’s Las Vegas cluster includes classic hits-oldies KKLZ “96.3 70s, 80s, and More” (6.3, #2); urban-rhythmic oldies KOAS “Old School 105.7” (4.0, #6); country KCYE “102.7 The Coyote” (3.7, #9); hot AC KVGS “Star 107.9” (2.8, #15); news/talk KDWN “AM 720” (.7, #26); and KCYE-HD2, which did not appear in the December 2017 sweep. The Las Vegas market leader is iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5” (10.6, 6+), while Midwest Nashville’s WJXA “Mix” is on top (6+) with a 9.9.

WBUR, Reddit Debut “Endless Thread.” That’s the name of the weekly Ben Brock Johnson-hosted podcast done in partnership with Boston University-owned news/talk WBUR and Reddit, “the front page of the internet.” Starting today (1/12), weekly installments will be available every Friday to stream or download. According to Johnson, “Reddit is one of the most formidable communities online. Its lifeblood is people from all over the world sharing and organizing around every imaginable topic, making it an incredibly valuable resource for anyone trying to understand our world. As a journalist, I’ve been fascinated by Reddit for years, but I’ve also become an avid ‘redditor.’ I’m always surprised at what a mystery Reddit is to people who don’t use it. I’m looking forward to solving that mystery for the uninitiated, and helping ‘redditors’ share their incredible, real life stories with the world.” Reddit creative development manager Michael Pope remarks, “Reddit is home to the most authentic conversations on the internet and we know there is a massive opportunity to host thoughtful conversations about these stories in audio form. As one of the leading NPR affiliates in the country, we can’t wait to see what happens when we pair the production polish and talent at WBUR with the most compelling stories online.” The first episode, “No No No No Yes,” explores harrowing tales through first-hand interviews with ‘redditors’ who lived to tell their stories.

TALKERS News Notes. After a brief hiatus from a national platform, Dave Ross returns next Monday (1/15) with a daily, 90-second, CBS News Radio commentary, originally scheduled for a February 5 start date. Heard weekdays (“Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross”) on Bonneville-owned KIRO-FM, Ross is a five-time Edward R. Murrow award winner for best writing … This time next month (2/12), previous morning host of St. Louis hot AC KYKY “Y-98” Guy Phillips begins doing afternoons at news/talk KTRS “Big 550 The Talk of STL”; Julie Buck will be his co-host … Five Entercom Chicago stations – sports talk WSCR “670 The Score,” all-news WBBM-AM, CHR WBBM-FM “B-96,” triple A WXRT “93 XRT,” and country WUSN “US-99” – will be broadcasting from this year’s “Cubs Convention” today (1/12), tomorrow (Saturday, 1/13), and Sunday (1/14). Entercom Chicago senior vice president/market manager Jimmy de Castro comments, “We look forward to this event where our brands can interact with fellow Chicago Cubs fans. We are grateful for our continued partnership with the Chicago Cubs organization as the exclusive radio home of the Chicago Cubs.” This weekend’s event is taking place at Chicago’s Sheraton Grand Hotel. WSCR continues as the team’s radio flagship ….. Former Tribune Broadcasting White House correspondent and Long Island television news anchor/reporter Drew Scott joins JVC Media news/talk WRCN “Long Island News Radio 103.9” as a reporter. JVC Media president/CEO John Caracciolo comments, “Having someone like Drew is a complete win for us. His job will be to use the contact list he has developed over the years to help us open doors; get the story; and get the info Long Islanders need and want. This is live, local and hometown radio the way it is supposed to be.” WRCN operations director Frank Brinka notes, “Drew is a great addition to our staff. His wealth of news reporting and knowledge of the Long Island landscape will be an asset to the station. He will deliver a wealth of information to our listening audience.” Scott adds, “I am thrilled to be part of such a dynamic, live and local radio news organization. I am looking forward to helping ‘LI News Radio’ and JVC continue to grow and prosper.” ….. The flagship of MLB’s Minnesota Twins from 1961 – 2006, Entercom Minneapolis’ WCCO “News Radio 830,” returns in that capacity this year. The first of its 15-game spring training broadcast schedule will be (Thursday) February 22 when the Twins play the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers. Cory Provus, Dan Gladden, and Kris Atteberry comprise WCCO’s on-air team ….. Launching on SiriusXM next Wednesday (1/17) is “Barstool Radio,” the 24/7 channel for Barstool’s unfiltered approach to covering sports, men’s lifestyle, and popular culture. Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy remarks, “We are excited to launch our Barstool channel. It has been a wild ride to get to this point and this is another big step in our plan for total world domination.” SiriusXM senior vice president of sports programming Steve Cohen comments, “In today’s crowded media landscape, Barstool stands out as a unique and compelling voice. Live radio thrives on the kind of spontaneous and entertaining content that Barstool delivers every day. We don’t know what they are going to say next, but Barstool Radio on SiriusXM will be the place to hear it live and talk about it.” Weekday call-in shows will include: “The Barstool Radio Show” with Portnoy and Kevin “KFC” Clancy (4:00 pm – 6:00 pm, ET); “The Heartland Radio Showwith former NFL punter Pat McAfee (10:00 am -1:00 pm, ET); and “The Evening Yak with Dan “Big Cat” Katz (6:00 pm – 7:00 pm, ET). Barstool Radio will be on SiriusXM’s “Power 85” and on the SiriusXM app ….. For over three weeks, Alpha Media Bakersfield (California) news/talk KNZR AM & FM “News-Talk-Dodgers,” mainstream CHR KLLY “Energy 95.3,” and urban-rhythmic oldies KKBB “Groove 99.3” collected food and water for fire victims in Ventura and Santa Barbara. KLLY program director Danny Hill comments, “I am very proud of my community and I love the support they always show. Bakersfield constantly gives to others and is at the forefront of a lot of charity events.” A local veterans chapter helped to deliver the supplies.

British Talk Show Host and TalkersRadio Personality Graham Mack Forced to Apologize for On Air Statement that PM Theresa May “Has No Balls.”  It is always fascinating to compare and contrast American radio with broadcasting in other English-speaking countries when it comes to tolerance, freedom of speech and political controversy.  Well-known English talk show host Graham Mack, host of the popular BOB-FM, Herfordshire (greater London) breakfast show got himself into a sticky situation on Wednesday (1/10) by boldly stating that British Prime Minister Theresa May “has no balls.”  According to a report in the Hertfordshire Mercury, The comment came on yesterday’s (January 10)  breakfast show during a lengthy rant about May’s recent Cabinet reshuffle, in which he also claimed that she was the “weakest Prime Minister” the country had ever seen. Mack went on to berate the reshuffle, saying that not enough women and ethnic minority MPs had been promoted to justify promises made by the Prime Minister in the preceding days. However, the maverick radio host appeared to backtrack on his claims this morning (January 11), telling listeners that he had to “correct” his comments. Mr. Mack said that although his remark about Mrs. May’s lack of balls was “anatomically correct,” he should not have made it.  He also clarified that he could not be sure that May was the weakest Prime Minister the country had ever seen, as Clement Attlee or William the Younger could conceivably be weaker.  In a statement, Mr. Mack said: “We received a serious complaint yesterday about what I’d said on the air.  “Someone in a very senior position told me to make an apology. “I cannot reveal who made the complaint. The seriousness of the complaint did take me by surprise because a regular listener would realise that I take a swipe at all politicians regardless of which political party they represent.”  Mr. Mack concluded his on-air correction by issuing an apology directly to the Prime Minister, saying that as the leader of the nation she must be respected.  To listen to the segment of the program that got Graham Mack in trouble, please click here. Graham Mack also hosts “London Calling” a weekly program on TalkersRadioTALKERS publisher Michael Harrison describes Mack as “one of the best radio talk show aahosts in the English-speaking world.”

iHeartMedia, MoviePass Announce Media Partnership. The agreement includes a marketing campaign across iHeartMedia’s multiplatform network to help build further brand awareness of MoviePass and target new subscribers in select United States metros. In addition, iHeartMedia will be an authorized reseller of ad inventory across the MoviePass website and mobile app. According to iHeartMedia Ventures president Joe Robinson, “We have the capability to build significant brand awareness for MoviePass through our unparalleled scale and reach of more than 270 million monthly listeners across the country and our multiplatform assets. We see a unique opportunity with MoviePass, and its ability to understand and analyze audience trends and behavior which is a great asset for our advertisers, especially those looking to further engage with millions of movie-goers.” MoviePass chief executive officer Mitch Lowe comments, “We expect that our partnership with iHeartMedia will fuel our continued growth by targeting more profitable subscribers in low-cost markets, while also opening up a new revenue stream with digital advertising. We also expect that this relationship will be beneficial to movie exhibitors because we hope to drive more traffic into theaters and to advertisers through our strong working intelligence on the preferences and behaviors of a substantial amount of movie-goers. Our subscribers are going to twice as many movies a month as other consumers and are buying one in every 50 movie tickets in the U.S.” MoviePass launched its current $9.95 per month subscription plan this past August.

 

 

Wynter Boosted to iHM EVP Urban/Hip-Hop. Los Angeles urban contemporary KRRL “Real 92.3” program director Doc Wynter adds corporate iHeartMedia duties as executive vice president urban/hip-hop. President/chief operating officer/chief financial officer Rich Bressler states, “No one understands urban and hip-hop programming like Doc. We are thrilled that he is expanding his role leading iHeartMedia’s programming strategy for those key formats. He has been instrumental in launching several of our urban and hip-hop stations nationwide and we’re excited for him to be even more hands-on with all of our urban brands in our over 150 markets.” Wynter adds, “Urban radio has been my passion for as long as I can remember. Having worked with iHeartMedia for almost three decades, I know we have some of the best programmers and on-air personalities in radio. I can’t wait to help our region and market presidents provide their local urban and hip-hop music fans with one-of-a-kind listening experiences that only a company like iHeartMedia can create.” In this newly-created position, Wynter – most recently the company’s senior vice president of urban programming/urban brand manager – will report to chief programming officer Tom Poleman. Wynter began overseeing the company’s urban radio stations in late-1999 and launched several iHeartMedia brands such as “Power 105.1 FM” in New York City (on WWPR); “Real 92.3” in Los Angeles (on KRRL); “V101.5” in Jacksonville (on WSOL); and “The Beat” in various cities.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. After doing four years of night duty on iHeartMedia Los Angeles mainstream CHR KIIS “102.7 Kiss-FM,” Freddy Rivera transfers to co-owned Dallas hot AC KDMX “102.9 Now” for afternoon drive (2:00 pm – 7:00 pm). KDMX program director Jay Shannon comments, “Freddy is an outstanding on-air talent and we are very fortunate to add him to our lineup. Freddy is very much looking forward to calling DFW his home.” Rivera, who starts at KDMX in a little over three weeks (2/5), notes, “I am very excited to write the next chapter in my radio career with ‘102.9 Now.’ I have heard so much about the food, nightlife, and community – I can’t wait to jump right in.” Los Angeles-born/Inland Empire-raised Rivera began his radio career as an intern for former “Kiss-FM” wakeup talent Rick Dees and worked on-air at Riverside-Bernardino-Ontario rhythmic CHR KGGI ….. Changes at Merlin Media-owned/Cumulus Media-operated alternative WKQX, Chicago find morning driver Brian Phillips handling mornings by himself as his former co-host – Lou Lombardo – segues to evenings. In addition, Lombardo adds “digital content captain” duties. Former WKQX evening talent “Marconi” left the station about two weeks ago ….. Two-year KMLE, Phoenix morning show host Chris Matthews departs the Entercom country outlet, but Nina D and producer “Badger Gabe” remain in place ….. Steve Guittari departs Cumulus Media Indianapolis; Guittari was operations manager of the cluster and program director of the company’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” ….. Also in the “Circle City,” according to the Indianapolis Business Journal, iHeartMedia Indianapolis sports talk WNDE pulls the plug on the Dave “Gunner” Gunn and Don Stuck-hosted morning show “Flagrant Foul.” Gunn (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm) and Stuck (7:00 pm – 10:00 pm) continue though on classic rock sibling WFBQ “Q-95.” Clay Travis’ syndicated “Outkick the Coverage” returns to WNDE’s morning drive slot ….. Added to the weekend lineup of iHeartMedia-owned New York City rhythmic CHR WKTU “103.5 KTU” is Astra – who formerly did afternoon drive on cross-town mainstream CHR WBMP “Amp 92.3.”

Odom Out at WRXQ. The evening talent on Coal City, Illinois-licensed WRXQ “100.7 Q-Rock,” Ray “Crazy Ray” Odom, is pink-slipped by the Alpha Media station for remarks he made on CNBC’s “The Profit.” On a promo for that cable television show, Odom said, “I’m a sexist, egotistical, racist pig on the radio.” Alpha Media market manager Brian Foster notes, “We do not condone the views he expressed in the program. The feelings portrayed are that of his own and not of Alpha Media or ‘Q-Rock.’ After an internal review, we have decided to cut ties.” Odom is co-owner of Rayjus Outdoors, but he was placed on leave from that Morris, Illinois business, the subject of Marcus Lamonis-hosted “The Profit,” which offers financial help to struggling businesses. Lamonis acknowledges that Odom had, “a side job. I thought it may be a distraction, but I didn’t realize that the focus of it was to demonize minorities and degrade women.” Odom confirmed the firing, saying he worked hard to keep his radio persona separate from his business. “What I said got taken out of context completely – now I don’t have a radio job over it.” A Rayjus statement on Facebook reads, “Unfortunately, we cannot allow these statements to go unchecked. While an integral part of our organization, Ray will be taking a leave of absence to spend time with his family and reflect on what is in the best interest of his family and company.” Regarding what he has said on radio, Odom tells the (Joliet, Illinois) Herald-News, “Everybody has a different sense of what is funny and not funny.”

Entravision Expands La Suavecita. The Grupero/Cumbia La Suavecita format will be heard in 11 more markets, in addition to its Los Angeles area simulcast of KSSE, KSSC, & KSSD. Entravision president and chief operating officer Jeffery Liberman remarks, “Since its launch a year ago, La Suavecita has built an incredible following of loyal listeners and received strong advertising support in Los Angeles. We are excited to share this unique and exciting format with listeners in 11 new markets and to bring a powerhouse line-up of some of the most recognized on-air personalities in radio to La Suavecita. Los Angeles is the largest Hispanic radio market in the U.S. We believe our format, programming, and talent changes will allow us to better connect with our audiences, and in turn, our advertisers with their customers. La Suavecita is backed by a strong slate of on-air personalities that will drive engagement across our radio and digital platforms.” Coinciding with the national rollout of the La Suavecita format, El Genio will be heard 4:00 am – 10:00 am; “Piolin” (Eddie Sotelo) 10:00 am – 2:00 pm; Armida y La Flaka 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm; and Mayra 7:00 pm -12:00 midnight. Targeting women 25 – 49 and adults 25 – 54, La Suavecita surfaces in Houston (KGOL); Phoenix (KVVA and KDVA); Denver (KJMN and KMXA); Sacramento (KXSE); Las Vegas (KRRN); McAllen (KNVO); El Paso (KINT-FM); Stockton (KTSE); Modesto (KCVR); Palm Springs, California (KLOB); and El Centro, California (KSEH).

Cutbacks at Dick Broadcasting’s Three New Clusters. Back in September, Dick Broadcasting announced it would acquire Alpha Media’s 18 stations and two translators in Kinston-New Bern-Jacksonville (North Carolina); Myrtle Beach (South Carolina); and Savannah (Georgia) for $19.5 million. Staffing cuts have been made in all three markets. Exiting WXQR “Rock 105,” Kinston-New Bern-Jacksonville are program director/afternoon talent Tina Smash and night host Ryan Daniels. Departures at the Myrtle Beach cluster include production director/WXYY “G-100.1” afternoon driver Mark ‘Shark’ Eddis and WFXH “Rock 106.1,” Hilton Head Island assistant program director/night talent Ryan Koch. The business manager position has been eliminated in the three aforementioned markets.