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Thursday, August 19, 2021

| August 19, 2021

California Political Expert Wayne Avrashow is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Noted Los Angeles-based, attorney, law professor, author, columnist and political insider Wayne Avrashow is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Avrashow is a regular contributor to RealClearPolics.com and is described by Harrison as “a wonderful ‘go-to’ resource for solid, non-partisan insights about what’s happening in Los Angeles and the entire Golden State.” Harrison and Avrashow take a deep dive into the state’s gubernatorial recall special election, explaining how it works and assessing talk show host Larry Elder’s prospects of becoming California’s next governor. They also discuss the issues of crime, homelessness and exodus of businesses and workers to Arizona, Nevada, Texas and even Florida that are challenging the nation’s most populous state addressing the question, is California losing its mojo? According to Harrison, “Elder’s role in this key recall is of major interest to the talk radio industry because it illustrates the importance and influence of the platform as a staging ground for a political career of consequence – similar to what we witnessed years ago with the rise of Mike Pence.” To listen to this fascinating podcast in its entirety, please click here.

The Radio Agency Points to TALKERS Heavy Hundred as ‘Goldmine’ for Brands Seeking Marketing Leverage. A blog post by The Radio Agency CEO Mark Lipsky highlights an advertising strategy for businesses that he says can be leveraged to dramatic effect with the recent shift in the talk radio landscape. Lipsky points to TALKERS magazine’s 2021 “Heavy Hundred” list as a “potential goldmine for brands looking to get valuable marketing leverage from some of talk radio’s brightest luminaries.” Lipsky goes on to say, “The death of Rush Limbaugh left a vacuum in conservative talk radio with no shortage of would-be successors to entertain Rush’s audience. That creates opportunity for new talk radio advertisers to buy primetime airtime for less than the premium rates that Limbaugh once commanded.” While noting that securing a talk host’s endorsement is not a simple task and requires professional representation, Lipsky explains, “Every market has influential talk show hosts able to present the benefits of your product or service with the earnest credibility of a trusted next-door neighbor. The challenge is securing their endorsements at a fair price that will deliver incremental sales to cover or exceed the incremental cost of their services as spokesperson.” Read Lipsky’s complete blog post here.

WBAL, Baltimore Traffic Reporter Jim Russ Dies Unexpectedly at 57. Longtime Washington, DC and Baltimore radio traffic reporter Jim Russ died suddenly yesterday morning (8/18) at the age of 57. WBAL-AM and WIYY-FM VP and general manager Cary Pahigian writes in a memo to the Hearst Television staff: “Jim is the unquestioned Dean of Baltimore traffic reporting, keeping watch on the roads in the WBAL/98 Rock listening area for the past decade, with many more years of experience at WTOP in Washington and later the service we know today as the Total Traffic & Weather Network.  Along the way he helped mentor a generation of traffic reporters in the DC/Baltimore area… NO ONE loved the job of reporting traffic more than Jim did. He saw it as his duty to keep people in Baltimore moving to their destinations as quickly as possible and attacked that responsibility with passion and dedication. The sterling reputation of WBAL as a news and information leader was strengthened throughout Jim’s tenure, and his departure leaves a void both professionally and personally for his colleagues who enjoyed his company and commitment to excellence.”

Cumulus/Westwood One’s Suzanne Grimes Talks About the Value of Radio to Advertisers with Forbes. In a piece by Brad Adgate for Forbes, Cumulus Media EVP of corporate marketing and president of Westwood One Suzanne Grimes answers six questions about the radio industry – from how the hosts who’ve filled the midday slot formerly occupied by Rush Limbaugh to how shifting a portion of media buys to radio provides a lift in return on investment. Addressing the latter, Grimes says, “The acquisition of Arbitron by Nielsen made the introduction of ROI and sales-effect studies possible for brands and marketers. For the first time, Nielsen’s credit card and grocery shopper card data can be matched to Portable People Meters to prove the impact of radio advertising. Across a large variety of categories, Nielsen found that for every dollar of radio advertising, ten dollars of incremental sales are generated. CPG and QSR return three to one. Retail sixteen to one.”

iHeartMedia Selling Portsmouth, New Hampshire Broadcast Facility. According to a story at InDepthNH.org, iHeartMedia is putting its Portsmouth, New Hampshire studios at 815 Lafayette Road on the market with a current asking price of $3.67 million. A number of the company’s Portsmouth stations are located in the building, including news/talk WQSO-FM “Newstalk 96.7.” The piece cites a “reliable source” indicating that the live and local broadcasts will emanate from the company’s Manchester, New Hampshire studios by the fall. The two cities are about 40 miles apart.

Report: Max Kellerman to Move to ESPN Radio Mornings. According to a story by Andrew Marchand in the New York Post, Max Kellerman will be leaving the ESPN television show “First Take” that he currently co-hosts with Stephen A. Smith and is expected to join the ESPN Radio morning drive show with Keyshawn Johnson. He would replace Zubin Mehenti. The report also indicates that Kellerman could also get a one-hour show on the TV side in the 2:00 pm ET hour.

NAB Show to Require Proof of Vaccination. The National Association of Broadcasters EVP of global connections and events Chris Brown announces the organization’s policy regarding attending the 2021 NAB Show taking place in October in Las Vegas. He says, “While the enthusiasm is building, we are keenly aware of health and safety concerns tied to the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant and want to assure you that we are putting in place a comprehensive, data-driven plan that prioritizes safety and creates a productive environment at these events. We have worked for the past several weeks to finalize protocols that will maximize the experience and safety of all members of the NAB Show community. This process has involved extensive consultation with health and safety experts, gathering feedback from a range of exhibitors and attendees, and review of the safety measures recommended by national and local health authorities, including Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak’s important announcement this week regarding large events. Taking this all into account, we will require all attendees and participants to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination. We think this is a positive step in reducing the spread of COVID-19 and will provide further details on implementation as well as other safety measures under consideration.”

TALKERS News Notes. A new podcast from Newsweek launches titled, “The Diplomat,” hosted by former Middle East envoy for the Trump administration, Jason Greenblatt. The show is inspired by Greenblatt’s work in foreign affairs with the intent of fostering candid conversations on a wide set of global and domestic issues. “The Diplomat” will release one or two new episodes every week, featuring one or more guests with first-hand experience in a specific arena sharing their stories and insights. The show’s first guests will be former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman…..SiriusXM announces the launch of the SXM original podcast “Huuuge Fan,” hosted by LaChina Robinson. The program features in-depth conversations with some of today’s biggest stars of stage and screen – famous actors, musicians and other celebs who are big sports fans – about their favorite team. Joining rabid sports fans Tracy Morgan, Ashley Judd, Nelly, Michael Bublé and Tim McGraw as guests on the show are Drew Carey, Monica, Adam Duritz, Michelle Williams, Anthony Ramos and many others…..Seven Bridges Radio’s sports talk WJXL-AM/FM, Jacksonville “Jax Sports Radio” inks a deal with VSiN, The Sports Betting Network to bring more than 50 hours of sports betting news, analysis and insights to Jacksonville and Northeast Florida each week. Station president and GM Steven Griffin says, “It’s important for us to be on the cutting edge of the sports betting media revolution and to serve our audience with this new focus on sports betting content. We’re excited to collaborate with VSiN to bring the best programming in the business to Jacksonville’s sports fans and betting enthusiasts. In addition, we’ll feature VSiN’s industry-leading on-air talent on Monday mornings and Friday afternoons, August through January, to offer insight and opinion on the biggest sporting events.”…..Good Karma Brands announces that it has struck a deal with Milwaukee Panther Sports Properties to broadcast University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers men’s basketball on WAUK-AM/W266DR “540 ESPN” beginning this fall. Scott Warras will continue to serve as play-by-play voice for the broadcasts.

Taliban Takes Afghanistan, Russia-Taliban Relationship, COVID-19 Stats & Mandates, Southern Border Crisis, Newsom Recall, Tropical Storms & Flooding, Western Drought & Wildfires Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/18). The Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan and criticism of President Joe Biden’s execution of the withdrawal; Russia’s relationship with Taliban leaders; the fast-rising number of COVID-19 cases and full ICU beds in several U.S. states and the battle over mask and vaccine mandates; the migrant crisis at the U.S. Mexico border and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey extends the National Guard border patrol for another year; the recall election of California Governor Gavin Newsom and talk host Larry Elder’s chances of winning; the tropical storms dumping rain on the Eastern U.S. and causing flooding; and the drought and wildfires affecting the Western U.S. were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

| August 20, 2020

Cincinnati Reds Broadcaster Thom Brennaman Suspended For Gay Slur. Cincinnati Reds play-by-play broadcaster Thom Brennaman – son of National Radio Hall of Fame broadcaster Marty Brennaman – has been suspended for his using a gay slur during Wednesday night’s Reds-Royals broadcast. Apparently, Brennaman thought he was not on the air when he said, referencing and unknown place, that it is “one of the fag capitals of the world.” Brennaman apologized and left the broadcast before the completion of the double-header. The Reds issued the following statement. “The Cincinnati Reds organization is devastated by the horrific, homophobic remark made this evening by broadcaster Thom Brennaman. He was pulled off the air, and effective immediately was suspended from doing Reds broadcasts.” During his apology, Brennaman implied that he realizes this may cost him his job. “I can’t begin to tell you how deeply sorry I am. That is not who I am. It never has been. And I’d like to think maybe I could have some people that could back that up. I am very, very sorry and I beg for your forgiveness.” Brennaman is part of the broadcast team for the Reds Radio Network and television’s FOX Sports Ohio.

Entercom Celebrates 100th Anniversary of Detroit’s WWJ-AM. Detroit all-news outlet WWJ-AM is celebrating 100 years on the air today (8/20). Entercom says it’s proud to honor “Detroit’s news leader and America’s first continuous broadcasting commercial radio station.” Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “WWJ has served as an important news source for Detroiters for 100 years and continues to provide the most credible and comprehensive multiplatform news coverage relevant to our city. We look forward to honoring our station’s rich history by reflecting on key moments with integral talent and welcoming distinguished guests to celebrate with us. I congratulate and thank the hardworking staff of WWJ and look forward to another 100 years as Detroit’s go-to news source.” Today WWJ will air special programming, including clips of major news stories the station has covered over the past 100 years and interviews with politicians and business leaders including Entercom president and CEO David Field, FCC chairman Ajit Pai, and former Detroit police chief Ike McKinnon. Highlighted in the programming will be on-air pros who have been with the station for over 25 years, including morning anchor Roberta Jasina, auto reporter Jeff Gilbert, city beat reporter Vickie Thomas and business reporter Murray Feldman. There’s a nice piece in the Detroit News accompanied by lots of vintage photos of the station from the paper’s files. It also delves into the hotly contested debate over which was the first commercial radio station in the U.S., KDKA in Pittsburgh, KCBS in San Francisco or WWJ? The Detroit NewsMichael H. Hodges writes that WWJ being the first is disputed by KDKA and KCBS, but “it mostly comes down to a matter of technical definition. KDKA got its federal license a few months before WWJ in 1921, and that’s its line in the sand. But 8MK, as WWJ was known in 1920, was on the air with an amateur license well before Pittsburgh.” Entercom says WWJ is “America’s first continuous broadcasting commercial radio station” and boasts such accomplishments as “being the first radio station to broadcast election returns on August 31, 1920, the first sportscast on September 1, 1920, the first missing person report on March 15, 1922, the first Detroit Tigers play-by-play broadcast on April 19, 1927, and more.”

TALKERS News Notes. The New York Post is reporting that former Howard Stern show cast member “Stuttering” John Melendez is suing SiriusXM for “using his name, likeness and voice without permission on channels dedicated to Stern.” Melendez left the Stern program in 2004 – prior to Stern joining SiriusXM in 2005 – to become the announcer on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” The suit was filed in federal court in New York complaining that the airing of old Stern programs violates California law and “his right of publicity.”…..Westwood One and PodcastOne founder Norm Pattiz is featured in the August-October issue of the investor-targeted magazine Luckbox. The theme of the issue is “Podcasts Rising” and in the interview piece, Pattiz discusses his building of Westwood One in the late 1970s and how in 2011 he began using what he’d learned running WWO to launch PodcastOne for the soon-to-be-burgeoning podcasting industry. You can read the piece here…..Newsmax TV announces that it has entered into a deal with Cox Media Group to air WOKV-FM, Jacksonville’s Mark Kaye program. Kaye’s program airs daily on WOKV-FM from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon. The Newsmax TV show will air weekly – Saturdays at 3:30 pm – and will feature “funny and informative clips from Mark Kaye’s radio broadcasts, as well as behind-the-scenes ‘vlog-style’ content that is exclusive to Newsmax.”…..Hearst’s Baltimore radio duo news/talk WBAL-AM and rock WIYY-FM – along with the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens – announce the radio broadcast team for the 2020 NFL season. Former Ravens players Dennis Pitta and Obafemi “Femi” Ayanbadejo are joining Ravens play-by-play announcer Gerry Sandusky to handle color and analysis. WBAL and WIYY president and general Manager Cary Pahigian says, “We are pleased to offer Baltimore Ravens fans an exceptional broadcast team. As a former Raven, Dennis has always provided astute analysis to our broadcast. Femi’s extensive NFL experience will add keen insight, and there is no better play-by-play announcer than Gerry Sandusky.”

Stephen K. Bannon Charged with Fraud in ‘We Build the Wall’ Effort. Former Donald Trump adviser, former Breitbart executive, and podcast/talk radio host Stephen K. Bannon is being charged in New York with fraud in what U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss says is his role in a scheme related to the “We Build the Wall” online fundraising effort. The New York Times reports that Bannon is one of four defendants who allegedly “defrauded hundreds of thousands of donors, capitalizing on their interest in funding a border wall to raise millions of dollars, under the false pretense that all of that money would be spent on construction.” Bannon has not commented publicly.

Presidential Race/Democratic National Convention, COVID-19 Statistics & Projections, Fall School Plans/College Outbreaks, USPS Funding/Vote-By-Mail Debate, Putin Critic Poisoned, and California Wildfires Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/19). The November presidential election and Wednesday evening’s Democratic National Convention; the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and projections for future cases; the debate over opening schools in September and the COVID-19 outbreaks at several college campuses; the controversy over funding the U.S. Postal Service and the related debate over mail-in voting; Vladimir Putin critic Alexey Navalny in a coma after allegedly being poisoned; and the California wildfires were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

WPHT’s Giordano Is on a Documentary-Special Roll. WPHT, Philadelphia’s legendary mid-morning host Dom Giordano has written, produced, and hosted the third in a dynamic series of two-hour specials tapping into his background as a teacher and one of talk radio’s most astute observers of education. The first two specials focused on issues surrounding COVID-19 and kids returning to school as well as a July 4th weekend special celebrating America.  The new show airing this week titled, “The Case for Civics: Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, and Reason,” explores the need for civics to be taught in schools and how important it is to the future of America to raise knowledgeable citizens. Like all of Giordano’s productions, it is bi-partisan and features prominent figures including former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Pennsylvania Governor Ed RendellSara HarrisEntercom VP for social impact is featured and details the radio company’s major commitment to promote civics education. The program is airing on WPHT tonight (8/20) from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm and Saturday (8/22) from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

Beijing’s Persecution of Chinese Spiritual Movement Falun Gong Is Focus of This Week’s Harrison Podcast.  While Americans continue to be preoccupied with COVID-19, a faltering economy and racial strife, the strained relationship between the United States and China intensifies with each passing day. America is confronted with the CCP’s unfair trade practices, subversive cyber warfare against US interests, intellectual property theft, military aggression in the South China Sea, strangling democracy in Hong Kong, and covered up misdeeds in the origins and spread of COVID-19. Add to that disturbing list the CCP’s heinous abuse of the human rights of its own citizens as evidenced by Uyghur labor camps and the imprisonment, torture, and organ-harvesting of innocent practitioners of a burgeoning spiritual movement based in peaceful Buddhist principles called Falun Gong. Levi Browde is the executive director of the New York-based Falun Dafa Information Center, an organization working to end the human rights abuses against people who practice Falun Gong in China. He is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  In discussing this podcast Harrison states, “The CCP views the growing practice of Falun Gong among Chinese people both home and abroad as a threat to the State’s core position as the ultimate authority. They not only commit atrocities against its participants, they wage a war of toxic propaganda against the spiritual practice portraying it as a subversive cult – a view that has been unwittingly absorbed and perpetuated by the American media. It is my hope that this deep-dive conversation will clear up these misconceptions as well as shed light on the Beijing regime and the dangers its complex relationship with the United States presents going forward into the uncharted, turbulent waters of the 21st century. This is not a left versus right issue but one that I believe should be of great concern to all American talk media hosts and commentators interested in a secure America, freedom of religion, and human decency.” 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 on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Las Vegas’ KWNR “95.5 The Bull” has a new program director as Mojoe Roberts assumes the reins. iHeartMedia says Roberts joins the country station after most recently serving as country format captain for Alpha Media and PD for KUPL, Portland. SVP of programming for iHeartMedia Las Vegas Tony Matteo says, “MoJoe brings a wealth of format knowledge and expertise. We’re thrilled to have him joining our iHeartMedia Las Vegas team.”…..Seattle CHR KBKS is re-branded “HITS 106.1” The New Home of the Jubal Show and Commercial Free Weekends. The iHeartMedia station is programmed by Jared Fallon who says, “From the moment we launched ‘Jubal 106.1’ the reception from the entire city and across the country has been massive. Today we are thrilled to unveil ‘HITS 106.1,’ the new home of the Jubal Show!”…..Pittsburgh morning radio personality Cris Winter exits Renda Broadcasting’s adult contemporary WWSH “WISH 99.7” as the result of budget-related cuts. She tells the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, “When you look at covid-19, it’s a situation where everyone is making cuts. It is such a bizarre time, and everybody is struggling right now. It’s just an unprecedented time for everyone. We are all just trying to keep our heads above water.”…..Programming pro Don Jarrett is named PD at Rich Broadcasting’s country simulcast KWFI-FM and KWFO-FM “The Wolf” in Idaho Falls. Jarrett was most recently programming Riverbend Communications’ crosstown country KTHK-FM “105.5 The Hawk.” Rich Broadcasting operations manager Josh Tielor says, “We are very fortunate to have the opportunity to add Don to our team. He’s well known in the community and well connected in the industry. He brings a new level of excitement and energy to our station family.”…..The photo below published at LARadio.com is not from a time capsule. That KMET billboard is currently up and it put the folks at LARadio.com into investigative mode. The picture was snapped by Los Angeles publicist Hal Lifson who set the investigative wheels in motion. It appears the billboards are up for a movie shoot for a film that takes place in the 1970s. TALKERS magazine publisher and former KMET program director Michael Harrison says, “Seeing the billboard is a rush. I still find it hard to imagine L.A. without KMET. It would be like Brooklyn not having Coney Island.”

Friday, August 14, 2020

| August 14, 2020

Pandemic-Related Layoffs At KQED. Twenty staff members at KQED Inc. San Francisco public radio news/talk KQED-FM and PBS affiliate KQED-TV have become layoff victims, owing to the coronavirus pandemic. That represents more than 5% of KQED’s workforce. Among those known to be affected are a full-time limited term journalist and two temporary members of the science team. In a communication to staffers, president/chief executive officer Michael Isip notes that some employees are having their hours reduced and those in leadership roles are taking a 12% slash in pay. Furthermore, “non-essential” staffers will be required to take four-day furloughs at the very end of this year and immediately after July 4th (in 2021). As of October 1, KQED will drop its employer match of 403(b) contributions; there won’t be any salary increases the rest of this calendar year. Laid-off employees though are welcome to apply for any future openings. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s July 2020 sweep, KQED-FM ranks second in San Francisco (7.4, 6+) and second, as well, in San Jose (6.6, 6+).

NOW POSTED:  This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.”   The latest installment of the vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, WONK-FM in Washington, DC.  This new episode titled “Momala Kamala!” looks back at this past week of August 10-14, 2020.  The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERSErick Erickson, talk show host, WSB, Atlanta / independent Georgia statewide network; Michael Medved, talk show host, KTTH, Seattle / CRN Digital Talk Radio Network; Pat McCrory, talk show host, WBT, Charlotte / former Governor of North Carolina; Steve Weisman, founder, Scamicide.com / law professor, Bentley University; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company. This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WRKO, Boston; WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD (“Freedom 93.7”), Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY;  WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA;  WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED (“Connect FM”), DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkPioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA; Podcast Radio, UK and many more.  To listen to this week ’s episode, please click here.  To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.  “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

Entercom, Good Karma Brands, Browns Extend Partnership. As part of the deal between Entercom Cleveland and the NFL’s Browns, sports talk WKRK “92.3 The Fan” and co-owned WNCX “98.5 Cleveland’s Classic Rock” will continue serving as FM radio flagships of the 26-station University Hospitals Cleveland Browns Radio Network. They have been in that capacity since 2013. The team’s AM key station is Good Karma Brands’ sports talk WKNR “850 ESPN Cleveland.” Entercom Cleveland senior vice president/market manager Tom Herschel comments, “With football season right around the corner, we’re excited to continue delivering premier coverage of the Browns to Cleveland’s biggest sports fans on two of our market-leading stations. We value our long-standing partnership with the Cleveland Browns and look forward to many more seasons as the flagship radio stations of the team.” Good Karma Brands vice president and Cleveland market manager Sam Pines states, “We are thrilled to extend our partnership with the Cleveland Browns and Entercom. The power of live sports, particularly Cleveland Browns football, is baked into the fabric of the city and ‘850 ESPN Cleveland.’ We look forward to supporting and being a partner of the Browns in the years ahead.” Cleveland Browns executive vice president and chief operating officer Dave Jenkins notes, “Through our partnership with Entercom and Good Karma Brands, we have incredible opportunities and resources to consistently provide our fans with compelling radio programming on game days and throughout the year. We greatly appreciate the efforts of Entercom and Good Karma Brands to bring our fans even closer to our players, coaches, and entire team. We are excited to continue to produce these shows with them in the years to come.” Over and above gameday coverage, WKRK morning show talent Ken Carman and former NFL player Je’Rod Cherry host a one-hour (7:00 pm – 8:00 pm) Wednesday night “Cleveland Browns Preview Show.” In addition, Browns senior media broadcaster Nathan Zegura and Beau Bishop will chat with Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski on “The Kevin Stefanski Show,” each Thursday evening (7:00 pm – 8:00 pm).

PPM Analysis: The News Format. In the first of a four-part series of extensive recaps of the July 2020 survey period, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian highlights the performance of the all-news format. Right off the bat, there is a bit of a statistical oddity: Precisely mirroring June’s stats, 50% of stations in our sample experience month-to-month erosion; 44% improve; and 6% remain steady. While the percentages are identical in back-to-back sweeps, there were only a few duplications by station. Specifically, only iHeartMedia Boston news-talk hybrid WBZ-AM (+.7 and +.1, 6+) and Sinclair Broadcast Group Seattle’s KOMO (+.2 and +.3, 6+) notch increases both times. Regressing in June and July are Entercom-owned WINS in both New York (-.7 and -.4, 6+) and Long Island (-.1 and -.2, 6+); co-owned business news WDCH (Baltimore report, -.3 both times, 6+); and KCBS-AM (San Jose sweep, -.2 and -.9, 6+). A whopping 81% of all-news stations post July 2019 – July 2020 growth. Gaining +2.2 year-to-year are Entercom siblings KCBS-AM, San Francisco (6.1 – 8.3, second to first, 6+) and WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago (4.8 – 7.0, fourth to first, 6+). See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Audio Industry’s Unique Opportunity. In a presentation last week to Radio Advertising Bureau members, MediaVillage founder Jack Myers opined that radio broadcasters need to play up their local ties. According to Myers, “Radio has an opportunity to recreate unique marketing opportunities on localism and content and to rebuild its competitive position.” Many in the ad community may not be familiar with audio’s evolving story. The industry is a relatively new space for some of them, as according to The Myers Report data, 62% of media professionals have less than eight years’ industry experience and brand managers spend just 2% of their time on media. “As an industry, we have to take a stand for increasing the importance of media decisions and the medium is the message,” Myers notes. Audio sellers, he suggests, should communicate positive attributes. “At the top of the list is radio and digital audio’s trust and reliability. Audio is a brand-safe environment where companies know exactly where their ads will run and select the content or personalities they’ll be associated with. Radio and audio need to stump for a larger slice of ad budgets and creative spending. To do that, play up all the opportunities that radio can deliver, including both local over-the-air and digital audio, and to reach diverse audiences, including minorities and consumers 55-plus.” Forecasts from The Myers Report are suggesting that this year’s total ad spending will fall between 14% and 20%, compared to 2019 levels. Myers projects the ad market will not begin a meaningful recovery until 2022. Audio is suffering major revenue losses, with year-over-year spending down 20% to 25%. Those declines, however, are in line with local TV, cable, and broadcast networks. As ad markets slowly recover, Myers admonishes radio and audio companies to invest in education within their organizations and externally. “Companies that invest significantly in education and rethink their PR and promotional output in an educational context will be the next generation of leaders.”

TALKERS News Notes. Progressing from swing and weekends at Hearst Radio Baltimore news/talk WBAL “News Radio 1090 & FM 101.5” is Torrey Snow, who takes over afternoon drive duties (2:00 pm – 6:00 pm). WBAL president and general manager Cary Pahigian states, “Torrey’s deep knowledge of Baltimore, Maryland, and his thoughtful viewpoint on the current issues of importance are valuable additions to WBAL. Listeners can expect a spirited examination of topics from all angles, along with late-breaking news, weather and traffic.” Portugal-born/Boise, Idaho-raised Snow relocated to Maryland 14 years ago. The president of the Frederick Douglass Foundation of Maryland, Snow was named Anne Arundel County’s “Republican Man of the Year” in 2018. He was appointed to the Maryland Commission of African-American History and Culture and makes his WBAL PM drive debut today (Friday, 8/14) … Given that the coronavirus wiped up this year’s “March Madness,” Fox Sports Radio is countering with a “Basketball Bracket Challenge” focused on the NBA playoffs. The challenge debuts tonight (Friday, 8/14) after the final regular-season game between the Philadelphia 76ers and Houston Rockets. Listeners will compete against each other, as well as against FSR’s Colin Cowherd, Clay Travis, Doug Gottlieb, Chris Broussard, Rob Parker, R.J. Bell, Jason Smith, Mike Harmon, and Ben Maller. Up for grabs is the chance to win a Westinghouse 50” Roku TV. Fox Sports Radio vice president of sports programming Scott Shapiro declares, “We all have bracket envy since the tournament was robbed from us in March. So we thought why not give sports fans what they want – a way to compete against our hosts and fellow listeners in a basketball bracket.” Brackets must be submitted prior to tipoff of the first playoff game (next Monday, 8/17) at 12:59 pm (ET).

Kamala Harris/Mail-in Ballots/School Opening Challenges are the Top News/Talk Stories for this past week of August 10-14.   The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top 10 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.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Following a 28-year run at WHBC-FM “Mix 94.1,” Kayleigh Kriss exits the Alpha Media Canton (Ohio) hot AC – victim of coronavirus-related cutbacks. Alpha Media Canton general manager Larry Gawthrop comments, “While the effects of COVID-19 created some tough decisions for us, one thing is for certain: Kayleigh Kriss will forever be part of the legacy of WHBC-FM. For 28 years, she endured multiple owners, managers and musical directions; she played just about every song ever recorded. Kayleigh is a true professional and I have no doubt her career will continue to be a success no matter which side of the mic she’s on.” Kriss began in the station’s promotion department in 1992 and became a member of the on-air staff in 1997. She was furloughed four months ago and was officially let go earlier this month … Former director of sales/general sales manager for Radio One Charlotte, Michael Taylor, is named general manager /sales manager for cross-town Core Radio Group urban contemporary WGIV “Streetz 103.3 & 100.5.” Core Radio Group president/chief executive officer Steve Hegwood comments, “I am extremely pleased to have Michael Taylor lead our Charlotte team to victory. He brings the experience, relationships, and successful proven track record to our company.” Taylor notes, “I have been watching and paying attention to the growth of Core Radio Group and the ‘Streetz’ brand for many years. I am extremely impressed with their perseverance and success. Steve Hegwood is focused and determined – I am honored to join his team.” Taylor’s background includes account manager stops in Philadelphia (WPHI); Raleigh (WZZU and WQOK); and Charlotte (WPEG) … Tonight at 9:00 pm (Friday, 8/14), iHeartMedia Philadelphia CHR WIOQ “Q-102 Philly’s #1 Hit Music Station” and Verge Aero join forces to announce the annual “Q-102 102 Grand in the Sand” presented by Acme. “Q-102” listeners are encouraged to continue practicing social distancing while watching the drone light show from their windows and rooftops. The show will be live-streamed on WIOQ’s Instagram Live. In addition, the drone light show’s musical soundtrack will be broadcast live and synced on the station. To prevent gathering of any kind, the exact location of the drone light show will not be released to the public … Six-year Townsquare Media Albany (New York) operations manager Steve Richards exits. In addition to his OM duties, Richards was brand manager for adult contemporary WPBZ “103.9 The Breeze”; alternative WQSH “Alt 103.5”; and classic rock WQBK “Q-105.7.”

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

| July 15, 2020

WBAL-AM, Baltimore Moves C4 to Morning Show; Yurpizy Morgan Moves to Middays. The new morning program on Hearst Television’s news/talk WBAL-AM, Baltimore is “Mornings with C4 and Bryan Nehman,” airing from 5:30 am to 10:00 am. Nehman has been hosting mornings on WBAL since 2012. Clarence M. Mitchell IV, a.k.a C4, had been hosting the 9:00 am to 1:00 pm program. Yurpizy Morgan – previously hosting the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm program since being promoted from weekends in January of 2019 – is now on air from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. The station expects to name a new, permanent host for the 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm daypart soon. Station president and general manager Cary Pahigian comments, “C4 and Bryan are among Maryland’s most informed, outspoken, and connected broadcasters. Their frequent on-air collaborations always receive high marks from listeners. This new partnership, along with WBAL’s award-winning news coverage, further solidifies WBAL as Baltimore’s first choice for news and talk.”

PPM Analysis: All-News. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s June 2020 PPM survey, today focusing on the all-news format. June was a mixed bag for the all-news format as 50% of stations saw their weekly, 6+ AQH share go down while 44% were up. Leaders on the positive side were Entercom’s KNX, Los Angeles (+1.0, 3.9 share) and iHeartMedia’s WBZ-AM, Boston (+0.7, 6.6 share). Comparing June 2019 to June 2020, 69% of all-news stations were up, led by Entercom’s KCBS-AM, San Francisco (+2.7, 8.9 share); KYW, Philadelphia (+2.3, 6.1 share); and WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago (+2.1, 6.9 share). Two all-news outlets – WBBM, Chicago and KCBS-AM, San Francisco – ranked #1 in their respective markets in June. See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Talkers 2020 Convention Officially Cancelled.  The 23rd annual installment of the talk media industry’s largest, longest running and most important national convention set for October 16 in New York City has been officially cancelled.  It was originally scheduled for June 5 and then postponed until October 16 in hope that the disruption of public events imposed by COVID-19 would be alleviated by the Fall.  In a statement issued this morning (7/15), TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “We regret that this decision had to be made. We waited as long as possible before coming to it. However, an event of this nature is completely impractical under the circumstances. Especially with all the hugging, kissing and ‘elbow rubbing’ that takes place at this iconic conference. Hopefully, next year will be better and we’ll pick up with Talkers 2021.” In the meantime, look for information to be posted shortly announcing details of an online, on-demand version of the conference’s key panel discussions, keynote addresses, and award presentations that will run in TALKERS for a week in late Summer or early fall. Those who have registered for Talkers 2020 will be receiving refunds and sponsors will be contacted shortly about plans going forward.

Gow Media Re-Brands SB Nation as SportsMap Radio Network. Effective July 27, SB Nation Radio becomes SportsMap Radio. Owner Gow Media says it is making the change to operate the network it has owned for more than 10 years under its own brand. Gow Media acquired the assets of Sporting News Radio and rebranded the network through partnerships to become Yahoo Sports Radio. That lasted five years. Then a deal was struck with SB Nation some four years ago. Gow Media CEO David Gow says, “We have benefitted from brand partnerships with great companies such as Yahoo and SB Nation but have ultimately concluded that we no longer want to be subject to the fate of another brand. Strategically, it is important to build our own brand. For our sponsors, we maintain our large audiences with a network of over 500 affiliate stations. For our affiliates, our strong lineup remains. What is different though is that by operating as SportsMap, we can partner with multiple entities (vs. a single brand partner) in the development of new content and the expansion to digital platforms.” Recently, Gow has added sports talk talent including Scott Ferrall through Sportsgrid and Tony Bruno and Eytan Shander through JAKIB Media. Network program director Craig Larson adds, “Top to bottom our lineup has never been stronger. We have gotten great feedback from our affiliates.”

TALKERS News Notes. The Philadelphia Business Journal reports that former WCAU-TV, Philadelphia “NBC10” anchor/reporter Denise Nakano is joining Entercom’s all-news KYW-AM as a part-time anchor. Nakano exited the NBC O&O television station in June in what was a COVID-19-related financial move…..In Chicago, two WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM staffers are exiting. According to a report by media writer Robert Feder, sports anchor George Ofman and traffic and spot news helicopter reporter Kris Habermehl are leaving the Entercom station in what appears to be budget-related layoffs…..Numerous news outlets – including BBC News – are reporting that ViacomCBS is severing its relationship with television and radio personality Nick Cannon after a recent edition of his “Cannon’s Class” podcast “promoted hateful speech and spread anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.” On the podcast, Cannon – who also hosts morning drive on Muerelo Media’s hip hop KPWR, Los Angeles “Power 106” and a syndicated radio show via Skyview Networks – interviewed former Public Enemy rapper Professor Griff in which the two discussed the theory that Jews control the media. ViacomCBS issued the statement, “ViacomCBS condemns bigotry of any kind and we categorically denounce all forms of anti-Semitism. While we support ongoing education and dialogue in the fight against bigotry, we are deeply troubled that Nick has failed to acknowledge or apologize for perpetuating anti-Semitism, and we are terminating our relationship with him.”…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One announces a partnership with Omnicast Media that brings the podcast “Something You Should Know” to the Westwood One Podcast Network. The program began decades ago as a radio feature and in September 2016 was launched as a podcast by host Mike Caruthers. In each episode, Carruthers interviews top experts in their fields to offer fascinating information and advice to help listeners save time and money, advance their careers, become wealthy, improve relationships, and simply get more out of life.

COVID-19 Statistics & Projections, Moderna Reveals Positive Vaccine Results, Trump Reverses Foreign Student Ban, Biden Unveils $2 Trillion Climate Plan, Presidential Race & Primaries, Violent Portland Protests, Trump Signs Hong Kong Accountability Act, Ghislaine Maxwell Bond Hearing, and Sports Leagues Status Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/14). The spiking number of COVID-19 cases in numerous states and projections for future cases; pharmaceutical firm Moderna says latest COVID-19 vaccine trial shows “robust” immune response; President Trump reverses his ban on foreign college students; presumptive Democrat nominee Joe Biden unveils his $2 trillion climate and infrastructure plan; the November presidential election and Tuesday’s primary results in Alabama, Maine, and Texas; the ongoing, violent protests in Portland, Oregon; Trump pushes back against China by signing the Hong Kong Accountability Act; a judge rules Ghislaine Maxwell must remain in prison as she awaits her trial set for next summer; and the status of sports leagues as they prepare to play games 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. Programming pro Mat Mitchell is named brand and content director for Hubbard Radio’s hot AC KSTP-FM, Minneapolis “KS95.” Mitchell joins Hubbard from his most recent position with iHeartMedia in Phoenix where he programmed CHR KZZP, hot AC KMXP, and adult hits KYOT.  Minnesota region manager Dan Seeman says, “As you can imagine, this position attracted some of the best programming talent in America. We talked to a lot of smart and passionate programmers and Mat was the consensus favorite. He has great experience, vision, and a proven track record. Mat has the opportunity to work with one of the most talented staffs in radio. We are excited for Mat to lead the next chapter of ‘KS95.’”…..Digital/social media pro Lauryn Snapp is adding on-air contributor duties for the Premiere Networks-syndicated “CMT After MidNite with Cody Alan” and “CMT Radio Live with Cody Alan.” Premiere announces that effective immediately, Snapp will join Cody Alan each night, bringing pop culture and lifestyle stories to the country radio programs. When concerts and events return, she’ll also join Alan on the road as he provides listeners with artist interviews and behind-the-scenes reports. Alan says, “Lauryn’s winning personality and witty repartee make her a natural fit to join me on the mic every night. Her passion for music, culture, and fan engagement across our digital and social networks has quickly become an essential part of our programming.”…..SiriusXM announces the launch of its latest collection of exclusive radio channels dedicated to iconic musicians including: Beastie Boys, Bob Marley, Coldplay, Michael Jackson, and Queen, plus the return of The Prince Channel, that will be available through August 13.

Friday, August 16, 2019

| August 16, 2019

New Installment Posted of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The recently launched, one-hour experimental weekend program, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” produced by Goodphone Communications that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC.  The new episode titled, “A Variety of Unpleasant Conundrums!” looks back at this past week of August 12-16, 2019 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Renee Kohanski, M.D.; Kevin Miller, talk show host, KIDO, Boise; Joe Thomas, talk show host WCHV, Charlottesville; and Elaina Newport, co-founder and head songwriter, The Capitol Steps. The news/talk media show airs on WONK-FM on Friday afternoons between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm as a recap and exclamation mark for the week-in-review as well as several other stations around the country including KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA and during the weekend on the Virginia Talk Radio Network as well as Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA and the iHeart Podcast Network. Hosted by Michael Harrison, this excellent show is now being made available as a service to terrestrial news/talk stations from TALKERS for on-air or online presentation on a market-exclusive basis.  For information call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.  To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here.  To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.

First-Half Ad Drivers. It isn’t your imagination – automotive dealers and insurance providers are the top advertising categories in radio, TV, and cable. That’s the analysis of Media Monitors’ latest rankings that cover the period from January 1 through July 31. Local auto dealers finish far ahead of any other category during the same period last year. As far as the number of vehicle insurance commercials are concerned, Media Monitors opines, “New auto buyers are likely to shop around. To get their brand in front of interested consumers, insurance providers are right behind auto dealers in the number of spots they’ve aired this year.” Local car and truck dealers focus their advertising on radio, where they broadcast the highest number of spots (7,659,729), and on TV, where they ranked #10 (2,537,737). As far as specific advertisers are concerned, Home Depot, GEICO, Liberty Mutual, and McDonald’s aired the most spots thus far through July 31 of this year. The top 10 radio advertisers for the first seven months of 2019 are: Home Depot, GEICO, Lowe’s, Indeed, McDonald’s, Progressive, Seriously, Sprint, Macy’s and JC Penney. By way of perspective, #1 Home Depot had more than three times the number of “radio instances” (1,777,560) than #10 JC Penney (579,288).

TALKERS News Notes. The new Phoenix affiliate for CUMULUS MEDIA’s Westwood One Radio Network primetime NFL coverage is CRC Broadcasting Company sports talk KQFN “The Fanatic.” CRC president and chief executive officer Ron Cohen remarks, “There are no more popular yearly sporting events in this country than NFL football. We’re proud to be the exclusive Phoenix radio affiliate and excited for the incredible opportunity to air these high-profile NFL games, including the Super Bowl in February.” ….. After 24 seasons covering University of Central Florida football – most recently as sideline reporter and pre-game host – Jerry O’Neill is retiring from the radio team. He made the announcement on Marc Daniels’ show on UCF football flagship, iHeartMedia Orlando sports talk WYGM “The Game.” Taking O’Neill’s place as pre-game host and sideline reporter is Scott Adams; former UCF defensive lineman and NFL player Leger Douzable joins as analyst. Meanwhile, producer Chris Vasquez is boosted to executive producer, and assistant producer Tom Morgan will produce all men’s basketball and baseball radio broadcasts ….. The corporate director of programming of Forever Media stations in Wilmington (Delaware) and Salisbury-Ocean City (Maryland), Brad Austin, exits. In addition to his corporate duties, Austin programmed and did afternoons on WXCY “New Country 103.7.” He had been with WXCY the past six years and added corporate responsibilities three years ago. The Wilmington and Salisbury-Ocean City stations for which Austin was responsible included news/talk WDEL-AM & WDEL-FM; WXDE “News Talk 105.9”; sports talk WYUS “ESPN Delaware”; WSTW “Today’s Best Variety”; WAFL “Eagle 97.7”; classic hits-oldies WAVD “97.1 The Wave”; classic rock WNCL “Cool 101.3 Delaware’s Greatest Hits”; and gospel WFAI “Faith 1510.” ….. More than 300 members of Congress (or their spouses or family members) participated in this year’s NAB Congressional PSA Campaign. The program invites members of Congress and their families to be featured in free spots that address issues of importance to their constituents. The PSAs have been sent to radio and TV stations across the country. NAB executive vice president Dennis Wharton notes, “The NAB Congressional PSA Campaign provides legislators and their families an opportunity to share pro-social messages that can have a positive impact on communities across America. Local radio and TV broadcasters will be generously donating airtime for this initiative as part of our commitment to serving local communities.” NAB has hosted the biannual campaign in off-election years since 1985.

Top Choice For News Among Teens? YouTube. A June 14 – June 25 poll of more than 1,000 U.S. teenagers (13 – 17) conducted by nonprofit Common Sense, in tandem with SurveyMonkey, found that 54% of respondents get news at least a few times per week from social networking platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, while one-half do so from YouTube. As David Cohen writes in AdWeek, “Six of ten citing YouTube indicated they were more likely to get their news from celebrities, influencers, and personalities than from news organizations.” The preference for YouTube may best be explained that more than six of ten respondents stated, “seeing pictures and video showing what happened” helped them understand major news events, while roughly one of three would rather “read or hear the facts.” In a release detailing its findings, Common Sense notes that the news habits of teens, “reflect the diversity of the modern media landscape. While most news organizations maintain accounts on social media and other platforms, they are competing for attention with corporate brands, celebrities, influencers, and personal connections.” Two of three teens who do turn to news organizations say it helps them better understand what is going on; 53% of those who get news from social media expressed the same sentiment. Meanwhile, one of five believe getting news via social networks makes them more confused about current events. Common Sense chief executive officer James Steyer observes, “These findings raise concerns about what kind of news the next generation is using to shape their decisions. There are few standards for what constitutes news and how accurately it’s portrayed on the platforms teens use.” SurveyMonkey chief research officer Jon Cohen adds, “While it’s notable that teens rely heavily on platforms such as Facebook and YouTube to stay informed, their reliance on news from celebrities and influencers rather than journalists may have pernicious implications. It’s a bit of a paradox: Overwhelmingly, teens say that they are interested in keeping up with the news, but they’re not seeking out either traditional or new media to do so.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Yesterday at 5:00pm (Thursday, 8/15), iHeartMedia Indianapolis transitioned WOLT-HD2 (W248AW-FM) to CHR “97.5 “Kiss-FM.” Debuting commercial-free and featuring an air staff (KD, Rucker, Jake B, and Catalina) heard on a number of other iHeartMedia stations, “Kiss” will rely on a playlist from artists such as Drake, Ariana Grande, Halsey, Jonas Brothers, Bruno Mars, and Shawn Mendes. Market president Brett Beshore states, “We are thrilled to bring the ‘Kiss FM’ brand to Indy. The music, events, and personalities featured on ‘97.5 Kiss FM’ is the perfect formula and will contribute to building a great audience for our advertisers.” Senior vice president of programming for iHM Indianapolis Dave Hill comments, “Our listeners can now listen to their favorite songs and hit music they love without commercial interruption. ‘Kiss FM’ is going to energize our listeners and shakeup the [CHR] landscape.” WOLT-HD2 did not appear in Nielsen Audio’s July 2019 report for Indianapolis. Existing CHRs in the market include WZPL “99.5 ZPL” (6.0, #5, July 2019, 6+) and WNOW “Radio Now 100.9” (2.9, #14, July 2019, 6+). A third CHR, WYRG “Energy 93.9,” flipped to rock WNDX “93-X” two months ago (May 2019) …. Heard weekday mornings (5:00 am – 10:00 am) on Hearst Television Baltimore’s WIYY “98 Rock,” Justin, Scott & Spiegel are expanding to television this weekend. The first episode of their half-hour “Justin, Scott and Spiegel Shouldn’t Be On TV” will air immediately following “Saturday Night Live” on Hearst Baltimore’s WBAL-TV (channel 11). WIYY president and general manager Cary Pahigian declares, “Pairing Baltimore’s most colorful and imaginative radio show in this great time slot after ‘SNL’ is a terrific opportunity to reach our listeners on one of the country’s strongest NBC affiliates. Justin, Scott and Spiegel are ready to take full advantage of this great lead-in.” WBAL-TV president and general manager Dan Joerres remarks, “Creating this television program for broadcast on WBAL-TV 11 is a natural extension of our partnership with sister station ‘98 Rock.’ Like our shared partnerships with the Baltimore Ravens and Maryland Lottery, we’re always looking for new and innovative ways to serve our Baltimore viewers and listeners. Given the popularity of the live stream of Justin, Scott and Spiegel’s morning show, we saw an opportunity to develop this program for local fans.” Justin, Scott and Spiegel have been a morning show team since 2013 ….. Also in that Maryland market, WWMX “Mix 106.5,” Baltimore nighttime talent Neci Williams takes on music director duties there. Entercom Baltimore director of programming, music stations/WWMX PD Tom Cook remarks, “I’m happy to recognize Neci’s ability and talent with this promotion. She has a great ear for new music and really hears the art and flow when editing a log; being a music director has been a goal of hers for years.” Formerly with Washington, DC’s WHFS, Williams has worked for Baltimore’s “Mix” the past three years ….. Initiating this weekend is Premiere Networks’ two-hour “Hollywood Unlocked with Jason Lee,” the founder and chief executive officer of “Hollywood Unlocked.” He and co-hosts Melyssa Ford and DJ Damage will “keep listeners on the pulse of hip-hop and pop culture.” Miami rapper Trina guests on the first show and discusses “stripper rappers.” Among the 50 stations clearing “Hollywood Unlocked” are iHeartMedia urban contemporary outlets KRRL “Real 92.3,” Los Angeles; WGCI-FM, Chicago; KQBT “93.7 The Beat,” Houston; WRDG “96.7 The Beat,” Atlanta; WUSL “Power 99,” Philadelphia; WMIB “103.5 The Beat,” Miami; and WJLB, Detroit ….. Nine stations are added to the roster for Entercom’s “Channel Q” on the LGBTQ+ Talk Radio Network. The network brings the latest in LGBTQ+ news and information, pop culture, and new music. Entercom Southern California regional president and market manager Jeff Federman comments, “Channel Q’s already expansive reach nationwide is another step in the right direction as we aim to promote and support inclusion throughout our country. We remain as persistent about providing the LGBTQ+ community and its allies with a voice as we did when we first launched. We are proud to continue to expand our efforts into new markets.” Listeners can find Channel Q on the following stations via an HD Radio capable device: WSTR-HD3 “Star 94.1,” Atlanta (next month); WTDY-HD3 “96.5 TDY,” Philadelphia; WDZH-HD3 “98.7 The Breeze,” Detroit”; WDSY-HD3 “Y-108,” Pittsburgh”; WQMP-HD2 “FM 101.9, Orlando”; WXSS-HD3 “103.7 Kiss FM,” Milwaukee; WNVZ-HD2 “Z-104,” Norfolk”; WEZB-HD2 “B-97, New Orleans”; and WMQX-HD2 “Max 102,” Wilkes Barre-Scranton ….. In the summer of 1969, 400,000 people converged on a local farm in upstate New York to hear 32 top musical acts. The 600-acre farm was overwhelmed with intense heat, rain and mud. “Woodstock” became a legendary scene and spawned an Academy Award winning film, soundtrack album, and major hit song. On the 50th anniversary weekend, CUMULUS MEDIA’s Westwood One will have correspondent Steve Kastenbaum reporting from Bethel Woods, New York; 50-year old sound will be replayed from the Westwood One News archives. The golden anniversary will be celebrated with a half-hour Mike Moss-hosted special, “Woodstock: A Festival for the Ages.” The news retrospective will run Labor Day weekend and explore Woodstock’s legacy with archived audio clips, news reports, and interviews. In other Westwood One news, multi-platinum singer/songwriter Dierks Bentley will host the network’s annual four-hour “Workin’ Hard Country” music special over Labor Day weekend. Bentley will showcase work songs, summertime anthems, and current hits from his own catalog, as well as songs from (among others) Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line, Maren Morris, and Keith Urban. Many of the artists will share stories about their pre-fame jobs ….. Starting one week from Monday (8/26), iHeartMedia San Diego hot AC KMYI “Star 94.1” premieres Jesse Lozano and Tati Santiago (“Jesse and Tati in the Morning”) as its 6:00 am – 10:00 am wakeup team. KMYI program director Joe Haze states the show will be “entertaining and San Diego-centric, focusing on relatability. It will give listeners a great variety of music to get their day started.” San Diego native Lozano began his radio career inside the iHM San Diego cluster as “Boy Toy Jesse” on CHR KHTS “Channel 93.3 FM” and moved to Los Angeles CHR sibling KIIS “102.7 Kiss FM” in 2007 for afternoon drive duties. He has been hosting “Jesse Lozano in the Morning” on “Star” and remarks, “I’ve been a fan of Tati’s for a very long time – I feel so lucky to be teaming up with her. Adding her brand to ‘Star’ mornings is an incredible opportunity; our listeners are in for a good time.” Honolulu’s KIKI-FM was the site of Santiago’s first radio job. Her on-air credits since KIKI include morning co-hosting responsibilities at WPGC-FM, Washington and iHeartMedia San Diego urban contemporary KSSX “Jam’N 95.7.” She comments, “Being able to work mornings with Jesse Lozano on ‘Star’ is something I could never have dreamed. I’m excited to interact, laugh, and dig the ‘sleepies’ out of my eyes with the San Diego community every morning.” Santiago will succeed Delana Bennett, who – as noted here yesterday (8/15) – is boosted to KMYI’s assistant program director/afternoon drive host (2:00 pm – 6:00 pm) ….. Assistant program director/music director DJ Q is elevated to content director at Alpha Media Louisville urban contemporary and urban AC siblings WGZB “B-96.5” and WMJM “Magic 101.3.” DJ Q is a 15-year veteran at that Kentucky operation.

 

 

July 2019 PPM Data. July 2019 ratings information has been released for Cincinnati, Austin, and Cleveland. Nielsen Audio’s July 2019 survey period covered June 20 – July 17. Managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these three PPM-markets.

Cincinnati

Spoken-Word Formats – An increase of one-tenth to 9.2 (6+) by iHeartMedia news/talk WLW “The Big One” halts three straight sweeps without an increase that resulted in the loss of one-half share (9.9 – 9.5 – 9.4 – 9.4, 6+). The Reds flagship – which had a January-only stay on top – continues in the runner-up slot. Co-owned WKRC is off nine-tenths via three straight down or flat trends (3.6 – 3.5 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+) and repeats at #13. Prior to June 2019 (2.7), the last time “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati” fell below a three-share was June 2018 (2.8).

As a result of six straight sweeps without an increase, sports talk cluster-mate WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530” has lost more than 50% (-.7) of its 6+ AQH-share (1.2 – 1.0 – .9 – .9 – .8 – .6 – .5, flat at #22, 6+). The April 2019 through July 2019 topline for co-owned WSAI “Fox Sports 1360” is .4 – .3 – .3 – .4 (steady at #23, 6+).

In addition to ending at three a consecutive string of decreases that resulted in a -1.2 (3.7 – 3.1 – 2.6 – 2.5, 6+), Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU (2.8, +.3, 6+) progresses from #14 to #12.

Cincinnati Music Formats – On the heels of June’s mammoth -2.1 (11.7 – 9.6, 6+), Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WGRR “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” answers with a +1.0 to 10.6 (6+) and is #1 the sixth sweep in succession. Furthermore, WGRR has registered double-digits (6+) five times in the last six ratings periods. Entering the June report, WGRR was +3.6 in five successive increases (8.1 – 9.6 – 10.2 – 11.1 – 11.3 – 11.7, 6+). After a December-only stay at #1, “Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” spiraled by -1.8 in “Holiday” 2018 (9.9 – 8.1, 6+) and shifted to third. The three latest moves for Radio One urban AC WOSL are +.7 (3.2 – 3.9, 6+, May); -.8 (3.9 – 3.1, 6+, June); and +.9 (3.1 – 4.0, July, 6+). Not only does “100.3 Cincy’s R&B Station” return to the top ten (#11 to #9), it has its highest 6+-share (4.0) in more than five years (4.3, March 2014). Owing to five straight positive or neutral moves, Cincinnati Public Radio’s WGUC “Classical 90.9” triples (+1.2) its 6+-stat (.6 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.8, #18 to #17, 6+). Hubbard Broadcasting-owned WUBE has been on a wild ride lately. After logging three straight negative trends that accounted for a -2.1 (9.4 – 8.7 – 7.9 – 7.3, 6+), “B-105.1 Cincinnati’s Country” responded with a combined +1.5 in May/June (7.3 – 7.5 – 8.8, 6+), but erodes in July by -1.6 (7.2, flat at #3, 6+). June’s 8.8 was its best 6+-stat since January’s 9.4. It’s a somewhat similar scenario for Radio One urban contemporary WIZF. Four consecutive positive or neutral reports yielded a +.7 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4, 6+); “101.1 The Wiz” was down -.4 in May; bounced back with a June +.7; but regresses by -.7 in July (3.7 – 3.0, 6+) and exits the top ten (#9 to #11). Seven successive negative or neutral trends by Cumulus Media’s WFTK “96 Rock” have resulted in a cumulative -1.4 (4.0 -3.7 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.6, #12 to #14, 6+).

By dropping three-tenths to 2.2 (#14 to #15, 6+), country sibling WNNF “94.1 Nash FM” has its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a +1.1 stall at six (1.4 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.5 – 2.5, 6+). In three straight sweeps without an increase (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.2, 6+) iHeartMedia CHR WKFS “Kiss 107.1” has lost six-tenths and falls from ninth to tenth.

Austin

Spoken-Word Formats – A June/July +1.4 by news/talk KLBJ-AM vaporizes three straight drops that accounted for a -1.0 (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.1 – 2.8, 6+) as “News Radio 590 AM” reenters the top ten (#11 to #9).

Advancing from #20 to #18, Genuine Austin Radio sports talk KTXX “The Horn” has a February 2019 through July 2019 topline of 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.3 – 1.6 (6+). After notching a .4 (6+) in May, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” is stuck on .5 (#24, 6+) in June and July.

A gain of nine-tenths (5.8 – 6.7, 6+) enables University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk KUT to advance from fourth to second. Six of KUT’s seven shifts this calendar year include: +1.6 (January); -.6 (February); +.7 (March); -2.0 (April); -1.6 (May) and +.9 (July). June’s 5.8 was its lowest 6+-showing since April 2017 (5.8, as well).

Austin Music Formats – Up six-tenths (3.8 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KPEZ “102.3 The Beat” progresses from tenth to eighth with its highest 6+-share (4.4) in more than two years (4.7, June 2017). Four successive reports without a loss by alternative KROX net a +1.2 (2.6 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.8, 6+) as “101-X” climbs from #12 to #11. This (3.8) is its best 6+showing since September 2018’s 4.0. Off one-half share in May and then roaring back with a robust +1.1 in June, adult hits KBPA “103.5 Bob-FM” loses one-tenth in July (9.3 – 9.2, 6+) but is the market pacesetter the fourth month in a row. June’s 9.3 was its highest 6+ share since “Holiday” 2018 (also 9.3). Prior to April 2019, the last time “Bob” occupied the top spot was December 2018 (8.3, 6+). There’s as intriguing situation in the market’s three-way country tussle. For openers, Genuine Austin Radio’s KOKE-FM strings together its fourth straight sweep without a loss for a net gain of six-tenths (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.6, 6+). “Austin’s Country Alternative” jumps from #14 to #16 with its best 6+-stat (2.6) since February’s 2.7. At the same time, slipping by six-tenths and seven-tenths, respectively, are iHeartMedia country siblings KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country,” (4.8, sixth to fifth, 6+) and KVET-FM “98.1 The Austin Texas Original” (4.5, flat at #7, 6+). KASE is a combined -1.0 in June/July (5.8 – 5.4 – 4.8, 6+), directly after +1.5 in three straight bumps (4.3 – 4.5 – 5.7 – 5.8, 6+). It plummeted by -1.9 in “Holiday” 2018; improved by +1.2 in January; and was -.6 in February. Likewise, KVET-FM is -1.3 in June/July (5.8 – 5.2 – 4.5, 6+), following May’s +.9; “The Austin Texas Original” was +1.2 in January (5.0 – 6.2, 6+). After posting six successive positive or neutral monthlies that yielded an impressive +2.1 (3.6 – 4.3 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 5.5 – 5.7, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KHFI “96.7 Kiss-FM” surrenders roughly half that increase (-1.1) to 4.6 (fifth to sixth, 6+). KLBJ-FM “93.7 The Rock of Austin” loses six-tenths to 3.6, its lowest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2018’s 3.2, and exits the top ten (#9 to #12). Following May/June’s combined +1.1(5.3 – 5.8 – 6.4, 6+), Entercom hot AC KAMX “Mix 94.7” forfeits roughly half that increase (5.9, -.5, third to fourth, 6+). Having scored a March +1.2, regional Mexican KLZT “107.1 La Z” is now a collective -2.7 in four subsequent decreases (6.7 – 5.9 – 5.1 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+) and falls from eighth to tenth. With an April – May – June (6+) topline of 1.2 – 1.1 – .9 (6+), Genuine Austin Radio classic hits-oldies KTXX-HD4 vanishes from print.

Cleveland

Spoken-Word Formats – The five most recent fluctuations for iHeartMedia news/talk – and Indians flagship – WTAM “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” are: -.6 (March); +.9 (April); -.7 (May); and +.5 (June); and another +.5 in July (5.6 – 6.1, eighth to sixth, 6+).

Upon resurfacing in print this past April, Salem Media Group news/talk WHK logged a .5 (6+) in April, May, and June, finishing at #19. “AM 1420 The Answer – News-Opinion-Insight,” however, is unlisted in July.

In an alternating down/up pattern that began in January (which includes June’s -1.0), Entercom’s WKRK “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” is a collective -2.3 (5.4 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 3.9 – 4.0 – 3.0 – 3.1, #14 to #13, 6+).

Notwithstanding that it repeats June’s 3.6 (6+), Ideastream-owned news/talk outlet WCPN departs the top ten (#10 to #12).

Cleveland Music Formats – Similar to its sports talk cluster-mate WKRK “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” (see above), Entercom hot AC WQAL “Q-104” is in an alternating down/up pattern. WQAL’s sequence started in January and includes July’s +.8 (3.6 – 3.9 – 3.2 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 4.2, #11 to #10, 6+). A boost of seven-tenths by iHeartMedia adult hits WHLK (5.4 – 6.1, 6+) propels “106.5 The Lake” from ninth to sixth with its strongest 6+-stat since January (6.1, as well). Improving by six-tenths each are Entercom adult contemporary WDOK “Cleveland’s Star 102” (6.0 – 6.6, sixth to fifth, 6+) and iHeartMedia CHR WAKS “96.5 Kiss FM” (#12 to #11). WDOK bounces back from June’s -1.5 which sent “Star” to 6.0, its weakest 6+-stat since January (6.0, as well). Meanwhile, “Kiss” is within 3.1 – 3.9 range for the sixth successive time (3.6 – 3.9 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.9, 6+). Its classic hits-oldies sibling WMJI “Majic 105.7 – Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” finishes on top the eighth straight sweep (9.8 – 9.2, 6+). Six of its recent shifts are: +2.8 (“Holiday” 2018); -1.7 (January 2019); +.8 (February); +1.0 (March); -1.0 (April); and -.6 (July). On the heels of June’s gain of six-tenths, Radio One urban contemporary WENZ suffers a setback more than four times that magnitude (7.0 – 4.5, -2.5, 6+) as “Z-107.9” tumbles from fifth to ninth. June’s 7.0 was its best 6+-showing since November 2017’s 7.2. When urban AC sibling WZAK gained three-tenths in June, it suspended five successive sweeps without an increase that resulted in a -1.2 (8.7 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 7.5, 6+). The July report indicates that WZAK is off by -1.1 (7.8 – 6.7) and continues in fourth-place. Three positive spikes in a row by iHeartMedia-owned WMMS netted a full-share (4.7 – 4.8 – 5.6 – 5.7, 6+) but “100.7 Cleveland’s Rock Station” coughs up two-tenths to 5.5 (6+) and dips from seventh to eighth. In May, WMMS reached the five-share level for the first time since October 2017’s 5.0.