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Tuesday, August 3, 2021

| August 3, 2021

Townsquare Media 2021 Second Quarter Net Revenue Up 45%. The company releases financial data for the second quarter of 2021 and reports net revenue was $107.3 million, an increase of 45% over the same period in 2020. Townsquare Media says it achieved 99.4% of Q2 2019’s net revenue when excluding Live Events net revenue. Total digital revenue growth was up 36% year over year and contributed approximately 47% of the company’s total net revenue in the first six months of 2021. Townsquare CEO Bill Wilson says, “Over the next three years, we expect double-digit digital net revenue growth to continue, fueling the growth of our digital platform from $180 million of revenue (on a trailing twelve-month basis as of June 30, 2021) to $250 million. Most impressively, I am extremely proud to report that Townsquare’s second quarter Adjusted EBITDA of $30.3 million not only exceeded our expectations, our previously stated guidance, and 2019 levels (+1% vs. Q2 2019), but it was also the highest Adjusted EBITDA generated in any single quarter in Townsquare’s history. To accomplish this strong result only one year after the start of the pandemic is a testament to the strength of the Townsquare team, our digital platform and solutions for local businesses, and our careful expense management efforts.” Wilson adds, “As a Digital First Company, our digital revenue and profit growth has accelerated, driving the diversification of our business, total company growth and separation from our local competition. I am incredibly optimistic about Townsquare’s future, and very proud that we are on the path to achieving 2019’s Adjusted EBITDA in 2021, on the verge of a full revenue recovery in 2021, and plan on delivering strong revenue and profit growth in 2022.” Townsquare reports in three segments: Townsquare Interactive – its digital marketing solutions subscription business; Advertising – including broadcast and digital advertising products and solutions; and Live Events – including concerts, expositions and other experiential events. Advertising net revenue for Q2 of this year was $85.9 million, an increase of 50.4% over the same period in 2020. The company also reports net income of $10.1 million compared to the net loss of $28.9 million it posted during the same period a year ago. As of June 30, 2021, Townsquare had a total of $25.1 million of cash and cash equivalents and $550 million of outstanding indebtedness.

Jeff Rickard Named Brand Manager for WEEI, Boston; Ken Laird Promoted to Assistant Brand Manager. Boston sports talk outlet WEEI announces that Jeff Rickard is joining the station as brand manager, effective August 11. Audacy says that in this role, Rickard will oversee content operations for WEEI-FM and the WEEI radio network that spans the New England region. Rickard was most recently PD and morning host at Emmis Communications’ WFNI-AM, Indianapolis. During his career, Rickard spent almost 10 years in Bristol, Connecticut hosting ESPN Radio’s “Gamenight” program and served with Comcast as managing editor and anchor of the Boston-based “Out of Bounds Latenight” show. Rickard has also hosted shows regularly for numerous SiriusXM channels including: NFL Radio, ESPNU, MLB Network Radio, and Mad Dog Sports Radio. He has served as the host of NFL Radio’s “The Sunday Kickoff” during the NFL season for the past five years and is the host of “College Football Overtime” on ESPNU. He says, “Having worked in sports radio for virtually my entire career, I am thrilled to join the team at WEEI. Its rich history is well documented as is the unmatched passion of the Boston sports fan. I’m looking forward to pairing this talented team with fresh, new ideas to both reflect and match that passion.” At the same time, WEEI executive producer Ken Laird is being promoted to assistant brand manager. He’ll continue his role as update anchor and executive producer of the morning drive “Greg Hill Show.”

Ramsey Network Unveils New Podcast, ‘The Fine Print.’ The newest podcast from Ramsey Network is a show that shines a spotlight on the deceptive methods companies, marketers and scammers use to influence money decisions. ‘The Fine Print’ is hosted by Ramsey personality George Kamel and is “a bi-weekly show featuring interviews with experts and industry insiders about the money traps and trends keeping people broke.” Ramsey Solutions CEO and “The Ramsey Show” host Dave Ramsey says, “For 30 years, I’ve heard the pain in people’s voices when they call into the radio show because of a money trap that’s left them in a world of hurt. What if we could prevent that pain by empowering people to avoid the trap in the first place? That’s what ‘The Fine Print’ does. George educates listeners to recognize and steer clear of money minefields so they can be the heroes of their own stories.” Episodes of the podcast include: How TurboTax Is Screwing You; Could Bitcoin Be Your Ticket To Wealth?; The True Cost of Credit Card Rewards; The Dirty Truth Behind Your Credit Score; and How the Robinhood App Steals from the Rich AND the Poor. Find out more here.

LiveXLive and PodcastOne Announces Podcast Competition. This competition is called “Self Made Podcast Edition” and is “an audio competition to find the next big podcast star for PodcastOne.” The company says the competition will be driven by fans and PodcastOne’s panel of judges, as they listen to see who will take the top prize, a podcasting contract with PodcastOne and a total package worth over $100,000 including promotion across the network which features a roster of celebrity podcasters, including Adam Carolla, Kaitlyn Bristowe, Barbara Schroeder, Michael Irvin, and Jordan Harbinger.” The contest kicks off today (8/3) and is open to amateur podcasters only. The winner of “Self Made Podcast Edition” will be crowned on September 30, 2021 – International Podcast Day. PodcastOne president Kit Gray says, “There are so many wonderfully creative and innovative podcasters out there. We’re excited to be able to offer someone the opportunity to make their dreams of becoming a self-made podcast host come true.” Learn more here.

SiriusXM to Unveil Lucille Ball’s ‘Lost’ Radio Show on New Channel. The legendary comedienne is the star of the new SiriusXM channel called, “Let’s Talk to Lucy,” named after her 1960s CBS Radio program. SiriusXM says, “In between starring in four television series and more than 70 films, Lucy would frequently jump from set to set, tape recorder in hand, and talk about all aspects of life with some of the biggest names in Hollywood history, including Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Dean Martin, Carol Burnett, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, and dozens more. These recordings eventually made it onto air when CBS Radio broadcast them as ‘Let’s Talk to Lucy’ from 1964-1965. However, for the last 50-plus years they’ve never been heard publicly again – until now.” Ball’s daughter Lucy Arnaz says, “Although I have been care-taking these ancient tapes for over 30 years, I had never really listened to them all and had no idea how many remarkable people Mom had talked to on these radio shows. It’s a treasure trove of personal information from some of the greatest talents of American entertainment and my family and I can’t wait to share them with the rest of the planet.”

TALKERS News Notes. Tomorrow evening (8/4), a debate among a number of the candidates running to replace California Governor Gavin Newsom in the September 14 recall election will will take place and Salem Radio Network is distributing the event nationally. It’s taking place from 9:00 pm to 10:30 pm ET at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, California. SRN host Hugh Hewitt – who serves as president of the Richard Nixon Foundation – will moderate the debate along with panelists Christine Devine and Elex Michaelson of KTTV-TV, Los Angeles “FOX 11 News” and former U.S. National Security Adviser Ambassador Robert C. O’Brien. Special radio coverage will be anchored by KRLA, Los Angeles morning host Jennifer Horn and KRLA news anchor Larry Marino. SRN host and candidate Larry Elder is declining to take part saying his goal is “defeating Gavin Newsom not appearing in a circular firing squad with other Republicans.”…..Westwood One is expanding the role of sports media pro Rich Eisen within the network to include pregame and halftime hosting duties for “Monday Night Football on Westwood One.” The Monday night schedule kicks off on September 13, when the Baltimore Ravens visit the Las Vegas Raiders and concludes on January 3, 2022, when the Cleveland Browns battle the Pittsburgh Steelers. Eisen says, “‘Monday Night Football on Westwood One’ is one of the greatest hosting gigs in broadcasting and I’m honored to have the seat. The fact that I can expand my partnership with Westwood One beyond my daily show and podcast platform by talking even more football thrills me to no end.”…..The application window for programming candidates interested in applying to the “Elevating Women in Audio: MIW & BDSradio Mentorship” is being extended through Tuesday, August 10.  The “Elevating Women in Audio: MIW & BDSradio Mentorship” program is a year-long experience for women in music programming, provided by Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio and MRC Data (formerly Nielsen Music). Personalized conversations with the best programming minds in the business are geared to help advance a career within the radio/audio industry. Additionally, the mentee receives a scholarship to attend Radio Show 2021 this October in Las Vegas. The mentorship is available to one female brand manager, content/program director, assistant program director, and/or music director from any U.S. based music format. To apply, click here…..The popular finance and investing podcast “Pennies: Going in Raw,” hosted by Hugh Henne and Dan, the Deity of Dips, is now a part of the iHeartPodcast Network. iHeartMedia says, “With more than 2.3 million downloads, the podcast takes an exciting and informative spin on stock market topics like day trading strategies, volume, price targets, penny stocks, accumulation, reverse splits and much more. The show also features a range of guests from young, successful traders to the leaders of multi-billion-dollar companies, such as Netflix co-founder Marc Randolph, and CEO and founder of HimsAndrew Dudman…..Today through Thursday, WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive talk host Simon Conway (left) is pulling double duty as he fills in for Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo (right) on his Compass Media Networks nationally syndicated program. Conway’s WHO show is also heard on iHeartMedia’s WMT, Cedar Rapids and WOC, Davenport, Iowa…..iHeartMedia Pittsburgh’s Steelers Radio Network announces changes to its broadcast team. As part of the changes, Craig Wolfley, a former Steelers offensive lineman who has served as a sideline analyst on the Steelers game day broadcast since 2002, will join play-by-play announcer Bill Hillgrove in the broadcast booth as color analyst. Wolfley takes over for Tunch Ilkin, who retired after 23 seasons in the booth. Former Steelers offensive lineman Max Starks is joining Missi Matthews for sideline reports. He recently served as a sideline reporter for Westwood One. Starks will also join Wolfley as co-host of “In The Locker Room, Presented By Neighborhood Ford Store,” a daily, in-season radio program airing on Steelers Nation Radio.

COVID-19 Delta Variant and Masks, Eviction Ban Expires, January 6 Investigation, Voting Rights, Southern Border Policy, Infrastructure Bill, and Olympics Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/2). The rising rate of COVID-19 Delta variant cases in the U.S. and abroad and the issue of mask mandates; the White House puts the onus on states as the federal ban on evictions expires; the investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack and the suicide of Capitol police officer Kyle DeFreytag; today’s planned DC rally supporting the For the People voting rights bill; the Biden administration continues the Trump administration policy of deporting illegal migrants; the $1 trillion bi-partisan infrastructure bill; and Simone Biles returns to the Olympics to win bronze in the balance beam were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

| May 12, 2021

Audacy Names Spike Eskin VP of Programming for WFAN, New York and CBS Sports Radio. Sports and radio programming pro Spike Eskin is being promoted to vice president of programming for Audacy’s WFAN-AM/FM, New York and CBS Sports Radio, effective July 1. Eskin, who has been brand manager for the company’s sports talk WIP-FM, Philadelphia, will take over for longtime WFAN programmer Mark Chernoff, who is stepping down from his roles with Audacy on June 30. Audacy New York SVP and market manager Chris Oliviero says, “Spike has the vision, creativity, and drive to craft the next chapter of the iconic and influential WFAN brand. Along with CBS Sports Radio, his experience will be ideal to fuel our sports production powerhouse of 48 hours a day of original audio, 12 hours of quality television, all alongside a vibrant digital and social experience for both New York and the nation. As a longtime colleague of Spike, I am excited that he has joined our all-star team and have no doubt that he will succeed.” Speaking about his new role, Eskin says, “I’m humbled and excited for the opportunity to help lead WFAN into its next chapter. It’s an iconic station with incredible talent, and I’m looking forward to the challenge. I’m grateful to Chris Oliviero and Audacy for the opportunity. Working at 94WIP over the last decade has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I’m grateful to David Yadgaroff for his belief in me and the staff who stepped up to every challenge.”

Urban One 2021 First Quarter Net Revenue Declines 3.6%. The 2021 first quarter financial results for Urban One, Inc. indicate net revenue was approximately $91.4 million, a decrease of 3.6% from the same period in 2020. Broadcast and digital operating income was approximately $36.4 million, a decrease of 3.3% from the same period in 2020. The company reports operating income of approximately $23.8 million for Q1 of 2021 compared to an operating loss of approximately $27.3 million for the same period in 2020. Net income was $7,000 compared to a net loss of approximately $23.2 million during the first quarter of 2020. Adjusted EBITDA was approximately $28.8 million in Q1 compared to approximately $32.3 million for the same period in 2020. Urban One CEO and president Alfred C. Liggins III, states, “Normalizing for approximately $1.4 million of Richmond gaming chase costs, which were one-time in nature, our Adjusted EBITDA was down approximately 6.3% year-over-year, which was encouraging in the context of pre-COVID radio comparatives for January and February and a lack of political revenues. It is worth noting that compared to Q1 2019, which was a pre-pandemic and off-cycle political quarter, our Adjusted EBITDA was up by approximately 4.1% (and by 9.1% after normalizing for the Richmond gaming project). Our core radio advertising was down approximately 13.7% for the quarter, with January -28.4%, February -19.9% and March +8.8%. Currently for second quarter, core radio is pacing up over 70%, with April finishing at +89%. Our digital business had another strong quarter, with revenues up 64.6% and Adjusted EBITDA up by approximately $3.2 million. Cable TV revenues were down 2.6%, but Adjusted EBITDA of approximately $24.8 million was 14.5% higher than Q1 2019 (approximately $21.7 million), which is a more realistic comparison than the COVID-impacted Q1 2020, during which content production and marketing were effectively shut-off. Under the circumstances, we delivered a solid first quarter, and I anticipate further sequential improvements in Q2.”

Longtime WFAN, New York Programmer Mark Chernoff Named to New York State Broadcasters Association 2021 Hall of Fame Class. One of the four broadcasters joining the New York State Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame this year is longtime WFAN, New York program director Mark Chernoff, who’s been behind the programming helm of the legendary sports talk station for almost 30 years. The NYSBA says, “While known for his sports programming, Mark started his career at music stations including the legendary WNEW-FM from 1985-1989. He was the program director at ‘K-Rock 92.3 FM’ from 1989-1993 which included working with the legendary Howard Stern. Mark again worked as K Rock’s programming director from 2004-2006, where he helped develop the unique ‘Free FM’ format as a response to subscription-based satellite radio services and had the opportunity to work with  Opie and Anthony. He even worked as a rock music DJ for more than a decade. Mark joined ‘The Fan’ in 1993. At WFAN Chernoff oversaw iconic shows such as ‘Imus in the Morning’ and ‘Mike and the Mad Dog.’ Chernoff’s skills were put to the test as he rebuilt WFAN’s programming following Imus’s comments about the Rutgers University women’s basketball team. He managed the legendary Mike Francesa and Chris Russo. Chernoff brought Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton to the station for a morning show that saw ‘Boomer & Carton’ reach No. 1 in the market during their decade-long run. In a recent Newsday interview, Audacy SVP and New York market manager Chris Oliviero stated, “When people think of WFAN, names like Imus, ‘Mike & The Mad Dog’ or Boomer [Esiason] often come to mind, but no name has been more responsible for the consistent excellence of THE FAN than ‘Chernoff.’”

Cumulus Media and Signal Hill Insights Release Podcast Download – Spring 2021. The sixth Podcast Download report from Cumulus Media and Signal Hill Insights is “a comprehensive evaluation incorporating several studies that examine podcast audience and advertiser trends over the past five years.” This sixth installment was released to coincide with the IAB Podcast Upfront as part of Cumulus Media’s commitment to share insights and research findings with the podcast community. Cumulus Media EVP, marketing and president, Westwood One Suzanne Grimes says, “Our new Podcast Download Report underscores the power of the podcast. Listeners look to podcasts for stories, for entertainment, for learning, and for escape, especially in a year of such upheaval. Audiences soared as listeners experimented with a broader array of content genres and used more distribution platforms than ever to listen to their podcasts.” Some of the findings include the conclusion that the pandemic was a podcast listening accelerant. The study reports that among weekly podcast listeners, the COVID-19 pandemic was a catalyst for increased podcast listening. In March 2021, 53% of weekly listeners reported spending more time with podcasts since the pandemic, up +29% from July 2020 (41%). See more about the study here.

WMT-AM, Cedar Rapids Programmer Randy Lee to Retire. According to a report by KGAN-TV, Cedar Rapids, longtime news/talk WMT-AM, Cedar Rapids program director and on-air personality Randy Lee will retire at the end of this month after a 46-year career in broadcasting. Lee has been the program director at iHeartMedia’s WMT-AM for the past 32 years.

SummitMedia Promotes Tom Scott to Vice President of Engineering. Radio engineer Tom Scott is promoted to vice president/engineering for SummitMedia, LLC. In this role, Scott will manage engineering for all SummitMedia Markets throughout the U.S. SummitMedia CEO Carl Parmer says, “We are delighted for Tom to direct all engineering efforts for SummitMedia. It is certainly a well-deserved promotion. His depth of knowledge and strategic vision will be invaluable to us as we continue to innovate and evolve the technical side of our business.”

TALKERS News Notes. A new weekly podcast from CNN Audio titled, “The Handoff,” and starring CNN anchors Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon debuts later this month. CNN says, “Each night during the primetime hours of CNN’s television programming, viewers witness the deep love, honest candor, and respect that these two anchors – and friends – have for one another in their unscripted ‘handoff’ conversations between shows. Now, with no broadcast clock to hold them back, they are stepping out from behind their anchor desks to come together and ignite even more personal and hot topic conversations. Nothing is off limits.”…..Actor Rainn Wilson and author Reza Aslan are teaming up with Kast Media to serve up their podcast, “Metaphysical Milkshake,” set to debut on June 15. Wilson, known for his Emmy-nominated role as Dwight Schrute on the NBC series “The Office,” and Aslan, author of three internationally best-selling books including bestseller, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, “bring their unique backgrounds, philosophies, and curiosities to create a podcast all about life’s big questions.”…..“The Money Pit Home Improvement Show” – nationally syndicated by Talk Shows USA – adds radio stations KHOB-AM, Hobbs, New Mexico and WGAN-AM /FM, Portland, Maine to it roster of affiliates.

Voting Rights Bill Debate, Cheney vs GOP, COVID-19, Pipeline Hack, Israel-Gaza Fighting, Border Crisis, and Gates Divorce Controversy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/11). The debate in the U.S. Senate over the For the People voting rights act; Liz Cheney addresses the U.S. House as the GOP prepares to strip her of her leadership role for challenging the “stolen election” narrative; COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in the U.S., mask guidelines, and India’s soaring death toll; the gas shortage in the Eastern U.S. due to the DarkSide pipeline hack; the shelling between Israel and Hamas in Gaza; the migrant crush at the U.S.-Mexico border and the Joe Biden administration’s immigration policy; and the controversy over the Bill and Melinda Gates divorce and the Jeffrey Epstein connection were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Monday, July 27, 2020

| July 27, 2020

Monday Memo: About Pottymouth. Yes, the rules are different for podcasters than for what’s acceptable on-air lingo. But consultant Holland Cooke warns podcasters, “Pick your lane and stay with it.” Read his column here.

Unemployment Benefits Ending/New Stimulus Deal, Back to School Debate, COVID-19 Statistics & Projections, BLM Protests, Presidential Race, U.S.-China Tensions, MLB Season Begins, and the Deaths of Regis Philbin, Olivia de Havilland, and Peter Green Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Americans are bracing for the end of unemployment benefits that run out this week as the GOP and the White House work on a new stimulus package; the debate over if and how to send kids back to school in the fall; the rising number of positive COVID-19 cases in numerous states and projections for future cases; the Black Lives Matter protests in several cities and the Trump administration’s use of federal forces; the November presidential election and current Trump approval polls; the diplomatic tensions between the U.S. and China and allegations China is trying to steal COVID-19 vaccine data; Major League Baseball begins its shortened 2020 season; and the deaths of Regis Philbin, Olivia de Havilland, and Peter Green were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Pending Business: Location, Location, Location. Sales and marketing consultant Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications, writes in today’s column that the coronavirus pandemic has changed where people take part in certain activities and where they consume certain products. Similarly, radio salespeople must accept that in-car listening habits have changed and they must pitch accordingly. Read it here.

Two Stations Add Salem Radio Network Lineup. Two radio stations are adding the Salem Radio Network lineup of conservative talk shows to their program schedules. Idaho Wireless Corporation’s KSEI, Pocatello, Idaho flips from oldies to news/talk and Wilkins Radio Network changes KXKS-AM, Albuquerque from a religious format to news/talk, both airing the lineup of Hugh Hewitt, Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Larry Elder, and Dan Proft.  Both stations are also airing Townhall News at the top of the hour. Salem SVP of spoken word Phil Boyce comments, “We have seen tremendous interest in the news/talk format, with this major breaking news cycle we are living through. These stations see this tremendous interest in breaking news and what to make of it, and they understand only one network is capable of giving them an entire lineup.”

iHeartMedia Los Angeles Partners with FanVestor for Charitable Sweepstakes. Through a partnership with fan engagement app FanVestor, iHeartMedia Los Angeles is raising money for local charities providing access to healthy meals for children and others affected by COVID-19 school closures and financial hardship. FanVestor is hosting a series of virtual in-app sweepstakes in which fans who download the free app and create an account become automatically entered to win a daily $1,000 cash prize and can also enter to win one virtual fan experience sweepstakes of their choice for free. Those virtual fan experiences include: A Private Virtual Q&A with professional baseball players Justin Turner or Max Muncy hosted by KLAC “AM 570 LA Sports” personalities Petros and Money. The winner will also receive a team gift bag and jersey from one of the players and two of the original seats from Dodger Stadium; A Private Virtual Hang with The Jonas Brothers hosted by 104.3 MYFM’s on-air personality Valentine; A Private Virtual Hang with DJ Khaled, hosted by Big Boy from KRRL “REAL 92.3”; Co-Host for The Day on 102.7 KIIS FM’s “Top 9 at 9 Countdown” alongside on-air personality EJ, plus a private virtual hang and interview with artist, singer and dancer Jackson Wang; Private Virtual Brunch with Ryan Seacrest and the cast of 102.7 KIIS FM’s “On Air with Ryan Seacrest” show; and more. iHeartMedia division president Kevin LeGrett says, “iHeartMedia Los Angeles is excited to partner with the new FanVestor fan engagement app at a time when our listeners, the fans, are craving interaction with their favorite artists and trusted iHeartMedia personalities.”

‘10,000 Voices’ Campaign Underway at iHeartMedia Philadelphia. In collaboration with non-profit voter registration organization HeadCount, iHeartMedia Philadelphia launches the “10,000 Voices” campaign to encourage voter registration in Philadelpha, New Jersey, and Delaware. iHeartMedia Philadelphia says it will “combine its tremendous reach on air and digitally with HeadCount’s voter engagement tools along with support from the Philadelphia Commissioners Office in the 100 days leading up to voter registration deadlines in Philadelphia, New Jersey and Delaware. “10,000 Voices” will provide three paths for voter engagement: voter registration; a Me+3 Pledge, an initiative which will encourage listeners to bring three friends or family members to vote; and voting by mail. iHeartMedia Philadelphia director of news and community affairs Loraine Ballard Morrill says, “Increasing the number of people that vote in each election means better representation of everyone’s voice and a great way to actively participate in our democracy. This is our chance to vote on the issues important to us.”

TALKERS News Notes. Talk radio pro Simon Conway (left) is filling in for Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo (right) on his Compass Media Networks-syndicated talk show today through Wednesday. That’s in addition to Conway doing his regular WHO, Des Moines-based morning show that’s also heard on iHeartMedia’s WMT, Cedar Rapids and WOC, Quad Cities. The Joe Pags Show will also air on WMT and WOC…..Magnum Communications closes on the acquisition of WFAW-AM and WSJY-FM, Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin and WKCH-FM, Whitewater, Wisconsin from NRG Media. KALIL & CO., INC. was the exclusive broker for this transaction…..The NFL’s Los Angeles Chargers announce they have a new Spanish-language radio broadcast team for the 2020 season. Francisco Pinto will provide color commentary and Adrian Garcia Marquez will serve as the play-by-play announcer on Estrella Radio’s simulcast of regional Mexican KBUE-FM/KEBN-FM “Que Buena 105.5/94.3.” Chargers president of business operations A.G. Spanos says, “We are excited to reunite two of LA’s most recognizable and respected voices on our Spanish-language radio broadcast. Francisco and Adrian have great on-air chemistry, as witnessed by their multiple Emmy Awards calling Los Angeles Lakers games for Spectrum SportsNet Deportes. Both are consummate professionals with extensive sports broadcast experience not just in LA, but on the national and international stages as well. We cannot wait for their call to hit the airwaves this season and bring Chargers fans the action in a way that only Francisco and Adrian can.”…..Nationally syndicated talk host Dave Graveline announced via social media that he’s tested positive for COVID-19. He writes: “I am COVID positive and I ‘have a bad case of pneumonia.’ They are sending for the respiratory therapist STAT. And they will do everything they can before they need to consider… ventilator. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. Not feeling well at all.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Broadcaster Urban One, Inc’s executive team expressed thanks on Friday to the Washington, D.C. City Council for the amendment that effectively eliminates a proposed advertising tax from the Fiscal 2021 budget.  The proposed 3% sales tax would have been added to TV, radio, print, and digital advertising purchases. Urban One CEO Alfred Liggins III says, “We have been partners with the residents of the District for over 40 years and consider ourselves part of the fiber of the city and the DMV.  This pandemic has devastated and disrupted all of our lives, and the advertising tax would have been like adding salt in the wound.”…..iHeartMedia announces it has signed Jubal Fresh to a deal to host “The Jubal Show” on CHR KBKS, Seattle “106.1 KISS FM” Previously paired with Brooke Fox for the syndicated “Brooke and Jubal” show based at Hubbard Radio’s KQMV, Seattle, Jubal exited the show earlier this year. He will be joined at KBKS by his wife, Alex Fresh, and additional hosts to be named at a later date. iHeartMedia Seattle market president Robert Dove says, “We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Jubal on his next endeavor and welcome him to iHeartMedia Seattle. Jubal’s ability to cultivate a diverse fan base across America, but most importantly, right here in Seattle, was just something we could not miss. I’m excited to welcome him and Alex to the team!”

Friday, April 3, 2020

| April 3, 2020

NOW POSTED:  New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.   The vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted.  The new episode titled, “Behind Closed Doors!” looks back at this past week of March 30-April 3, 2020 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERSJim Blasingame, talk show host, “The Small Business Advocate”; Harry Hurley, talk show host, WPG, Atlantic City; Doug Stephan; talk show host, the “DJV Show”; Mike Bendixen, program director, CFRB, Toronto “Newstalk 1010”; Ethan Bearman, attorney/correspondent, FOX News Channel; and Dr. Renee Kohanski, forensic psychiatrist, Psychcast-MDedge. 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; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver “Freedom 93.7”; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY; the Virginia Talk Radio Network and Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA.  To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here.  To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.  “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

Radio’s John McConnell Cheats Death Thanks to Anti-Malaria Drug. Former ABC Radio SVP of programming and current EVP of talent and content management agency Workhouse Media, John McConnell, narrowly escaped the clutches of COVID-19 thanks to Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine) – a drug used to combat malaria, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis.  McConnell tells TCPalm.com’s Laurence Reisman that after being admitted to Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital in Vero Beach in very bad shape, he and his wife had made out their wills and, after a time, had even said goodbye to each other, expecting the worst.  Staff were preparing to put him on a ventilator and McConnell had heard about the poor recovery rates for ventilated patients. But Dr. Gene Posca was also talking to McConnell about the pros and cons of Plaquenil and McConnell decided to try it.  The first 12 hours did not provide relief, but soon thereafter, McConnell began to feel better.  He says he’s feeling better every day and his main concern is to not get exposed again.

Missouri Radio Personality Recovering from COVID-19. “American Viewpoints” host Mike Ferguson believes he contracted the coronavirus during a recent trip to Chicago.  Feeling ill about a week after his trip, Ferguson saw a doctor who diagnosed a bad cold.  KRCG-TV, Columbia, Missouri reports that diagnosis was wrong, and Ferguson ended up spending nine days in a St. Louis hospital before being released.  Ferguson produces the “American Viewpoints” program that airs across numerous radio stations in Missouri, including on Zimmer Broadcasting’s talk stations KWOS-AM, Jefferson City and KSSZ-FM, Fayette “93.9 The Eagle.”  He tells KRCG-TV, “It was very painful in the lungs.  When I would start having a coughing fit, and these would last 90 seconds to 2 minutes, you would get residual pain from headaches, abdominal strain and things like that.  The really scary part is when you just can’t suck in enough air and you just keep coughing out more air than you can bring in.”  Ferguson was given a three-day treatment of anti-malaria medicine.

Sterling: Call in Your Chips. Talk show host Walter M. Sterling wonders why the industry that put the current administration into power – radio – isn’t asking to be saved from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. “Right now, radio companies are firing people.  Why?  Isn’t radio eligible for the bailout?  Every radio company expense line could easily fit into a two trillion-dollar package.  Isn’t that bailout for media as well as other industries?”  Read his column here.

John Minko Takes Early Buyout from WFAN. As reported by Newsday, WFAN, New York update anchor John Minko is taking a buyout from the Entercom sports talk outlet, thereby creating a position for another staffer.  The 67-year-old Minko has been with the station since June 29, 1987 – two days before it flipped to sports.  It was about a year later that Emmis executive Rick Cummings (remember, Emmis owned the station at the time) saved Minko’s job at the station.  Minko tells Newsday he told Cummings, “I said, ‘There’s no way I can thank you for this,’ And he said, ‘Yes, there is a way… you could do this for somebody else someday.’”  He adds, “I thought that if I took it now, which was the right thing to do, if that prevented somebody else from getting fired, then I thanked Rick [for what he did].”

Entercom’s KGMZ, San Francisco and KWFN, San Diego Present ‘Virtual Game of the Week.’ Sports talk outlet KWFN, San Diego “97.3 The Fan” and KGMZ-FM, San Francisco “95.7 The Game” are inviting fans to “97.3 The Fan’s Virtual Game of the Week,” a baseball game featuring the San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants on SonyPlayStation 4’s “MLB The Show 20” video game.  The contest will be streamed on the stations’ Facebook pages and will feature real-time commentary from air talent Ben Higgins, Steve Woods, John Kentera, Tony Gwynn Jr. and Chris Ello.  KGMZ-FM personalities Joe Fortenbaugh, Lorenzo Neal, Dan Dibley, Joe Shasky and Ryan Covay will also participate.

TALKERS News Notes. WFAN, New York sports talk host Mike Francesa and station owner Entercom have issued a cease-and-desist order to a Twitter user – and regular Francesa antagonist – for that person to stop posting audio and video of Francesa’s program.  The New York Post reports that the anonymous person behind the Funhouse Twitter account will abide by the order but tweeted, “He just went from being mostly irrelevant to completely irrelevant.  Don’t misunderstand… I’m a nobody, but I lost count of how many people told me they only hear him via my clips.  He didn’t think this through.”…..The previously announced RAB webinar, “Data Drives Revenue” featuring Analytic Owl will feature brand-new granular data. COVID-19 has challenged marketers to find the best messaging and methods to communicate with consumers.  The RAB says that in this one-hour webinar, Analytic Owl’s David Shapira will share new data and insights for the current business unusual landscape.  It’s free for RAB member and takes place Tuesday (4/7) from 11:00 am to 12:00 noon ET and Thursday (4/9) from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm ET…..Podcast listens continue to rise for FOX Sports RadioPremiere Sports Network says FSR realized one million more podcast listens in March 2020 than in February 2020, when there was a full month of live sporting events.  FSR goes on to say that year-over-year, the network’s total podcast audience grew by 67%…..Pineapple Street Studios and The Meteor announce the launch of “Doctor’s Log: A COVID-19 Journal,” a limited-run podcast series on which leading ER physician Dr. Esther Choo reports from the frontlines of the coronavirus crisis — the emergency room of a busy American hospital — as health professionals encounter the most significant health threat and pandemic in modern history.  She says, “There is a gap between what we’re experiencing and worrying about on the healthcare delivery side and what the general public sees.  My experience is just one piece of the global healthcare response to the pandemic, but hopefully with this podcast, I can represent the voices of my colleagues, honor their work, and share their struggles as the entire country grapples with an unprecedented threat.”

Statistics About COVID-19 Infections and Projections of Future Cases Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 30 – April 3. Statistics and projections about the infection and fatality rates of the coronavirus were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the strain placed on the U.S. health care system by the pandemic.  Coming in at #3 was the state of the world’s financial markets, the economy, and the relief package approved by congress and signed by President Trump, followed by the politics surrounding the pandemic and its effect on the November presidential race at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s entire chart here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro Mike Waters is joining NRG Media’s classic hits KOKZ, Cedar Rapids/Waterloo as morning drive personality, effective Monday (4/6).  Station operations manager Jeff Winfield says, “We are thrilled to have Mike join NRG Media as the voice for 105.7 KOKZ for the morning drive.  He brings more than 30 years’ experience in the radio industry across a variety of formats.  Mike understands the importance of NRG’s mission to provide great local radio.”  Waters adds, “I look forward to the opportunity to work with a great team already in place in the market!  I’m excited about the opportunity to work with a very talented group of individuals, a great radio company.  I can’t wait to get on air.”…..SiriusXM – with the help of pop star Taylor Swift – is launching a Home DJ series on its CHR channel SiriusXM Hits 1.  Beginning today, Swift (followed by other pop artists) will take over SiriusXM Hits 1 from her home.  Swift and the other stars will be playing the most requested hits and their favorite music, providing commentary and more to connect with their fans all across North America.  Others to take part in the program will include: Niall Horan, Camila Cabello, Sia, 5SOS, Diplo, Kelsea Ballerini, Charlie Puth, Pete Wentz, and more.  SiriusXM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein says, “We love to connect fans with their favorite artists, and our Home DJ series will bring some of the biggest names in music into our homes as people look for ways to be entertained.  Taylor Swift will lead the way and will be followed by many stars on Hits 1 in the days ahead as they play their favorite music for the channel’s faithful national audience and new listeners too.  Our new Stream Free option opens up our channels to anybody who wants some diversion and great music.”

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

| August 13, 2019

Nielsen Begins Continuous Diary Measurement (CDM). Data delivery in five of the 46 markets converting to monthly reports is effective with the just-concluded (July 2019) survey period. Effective with the launch of CDM, 94 Nielsen Audio metros will have monthly reporting (48 PPM markets and 46 CDM markets). The company maintains that CDM “positions radio on a level playing field with other media such as digital and TV” and will allow clients “to maintain a competitive edge with the ability to react more quickly to marketplace changes.” Moreover, Continuous Diary Measurement is expected to “help reduce ‘bounce’ in ratings with rolling samples designed to provide a more consistent and stable view of the market.” Nielsen Audio managing director Brad Kelly declares, “This is a transformative day for the audio advertising industry. For the first time, clients in these 46 markets will be able to transact on data monthly. There is no doubt Continuous Diary Measurement is a big step forward for the audio industry. With CDM, very large advertisers that rely on marketing mix models will be able to use the most current data available to get a better read on how radio drives sales results – the ultimate measure of ‘attribution’.” Connoisseur Media founder/CEO Jeffery Warshaw, chair of Nielsen Audio’s advisory council remarks, “This upgrade in measurement is a terrific demonstration of the progress we can make when the industry comes together and works with Nielsen to improve the service for our clients.” These markets will have CDM: Akron, Albany-Schenectady-Troy, Albuquerque, Allentown, Bakersfield, Baton Rouge, Birmingham, Buffalo, Charleston (S.C.), Chattanooga, Colorado Springs, Columbia (S.C.), Dayton, Des Moines, El Paso, Fresno, Ft. Myers, Grand Rapids, Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, Greenville-Spartanburg, Harrisburg, Honolulu, Huntsville, Jackson (MS), Knoxville, Little Rock, Louisville, Madison, Mobile, Monterey, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Puerto Rico, Richmond, Rochester (NY), Shreveport, Spokane, Springfield (MA), Syracuse, Toledo, Tucson, Tulsa, Wichita, Wilkes Barre, and York. The survey period for the first monthly release of data covers April 25 – July 17; reports will be delivered between today (8/13) and one week from this Friday (8/23).

Coleman Cleared For Syndication Via Ramsey Network. Thirty stations in 25 markets (including Chicago, Denver, Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, and Indianapolis) are first to clear Ramsey Network’s caller-driven “Ken Coleman Show,” which has been heard the past two years on SiriusXM and as a podcast. Author and career expert Coleman “helps listeners discover what they were born to do” and provides “practical steps” as to how to get there. Ramsey Media executive vice president Brian Mayfield notes, “We are proud to bring listeners this kind of quality content. Ken brings a unique approach to a topic that people of all ages can relate to, so we’re thrilled the show is growing so rapidly.” News of Coleman’s entry into radio syndication coincides with the launch of his book, “The Proximity Principle: The Proven Strategy That Will Lead to the Career You Love,” which reached #1 on The Wall Street Journal bestseller’s list.

“America Works” Among ABC Radio Labor Day Specials. Three, three-hour specials will be provided to ABC Radio affiliates for use over Labor Day weekend: “America Works,” “Labor Day Rock Rewind,” and “Raised on ‘90s Country Salute.” In “America Works,” ABC News Radio correspondent Aaron Katersky highlights important volunteerism people around the country who are participating in what transforms neighborhoods into vibrant communities. The program focuses on – among others – volunteer police officers, hospital visitors, and dog rescuers. Hosted by ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, “Labor Day Rock Rewind” celebrates 50 years of ZZ Top and features rock albums of 1969, 1979, and 1989 by artists such as Aerosmith, Beatles, Pat Benatar, Phil Collins, Eagles, Led Zeppelin, and Pink Floyd. Paying tribute to country music of the 1990s, Chris Young-hosted “Raised on ‘90s Country Salute” features songs inspired by the decade and insights on 90s hits. Country stars Maren Morris, Old Dominion, and Thomas Rhett share their favorite ‘90s country songs.

Our Sources Say NY Post To Debut A “Page Six” Podcast.Editors of The New York Post’s fabled “Page Six” gossip column, Maggie Coughlan and Ian Mohr, will host Sources Say: A Page Six Podcast; AdLarge Media digital audio business cabana is its exclusive ad sales partner. This will be the newspaper’s first attempt at podcasting, although more titles are said to be forthcoming. New York Post publisher and chief executive officer Sean Giancola states that with the introduction of “Sources Say,” the paper, “enters the podcast space with one of the most popular brands in our portfolio. ‘Page Six’ fans can now hear insider gossip and news on our podcast straight from our editors. Cabana’s demonstrated ability to generate revenue and help its content partners launch and grow podcasts made them the best choice for our ad sales partner. We look forward to working with the cabana team.” AdLarge Media and cabana co-founder/co-chief executive officer Cathy Csukas notes, “The New York Post and ‘Page Six’ are iconic media brands. We at cabana are excited to be a part of their entrée into podcasting. This is the kind of in-demand content that our podcast advertisers are asking for. As our relationship with the NY Post expands, we will have more highly-engaging podcasts to offer our advertisers.” The ‘Page Six’ section generates a large percentage of the 75 million unique monthly visitors to The New York Post’s digital network. Founded in  1801, The Post is the oldest continuously-published daily newspaper in the United States. PageSix.com and “Page Six Style” editorial director Maggie Coughlan joined “Page Six” in 2014. “Page Six” deputy editor Ian Mohr previously was New York bureau chief of The Hollywood Reporter and box office editor/film reporter for Variety.

Baumgard Boosted to iHM Huntington Market President. The promotion of iHeartMedia Huntington, West Virginia general sales manager Tracey Baumgard to market president takes effect immediately. Region president for iHeartMedia Pittsburgh and West Virginia Tim McAleer states, “I am extremely excited for Tracey to lead our Huntington market. Her extensive track record, combined with her strong leadership and knowledge on all aspects of the business, make her a tremendous asset to our team.” Baumgard, who has been with the cluster for 23 years, adds, “I’m thrilled to be leading the iHeartMedia Huntington team. I look forward to motivating and collaborating with the programming, business, and sales teams while helping to elevate the Huntington market to unmatched heights.” Her other roles there have been in traffic, accounting, promotions, and marketing. The eight-station iHeartMedia Huntington cluster consists of news/talk WVHU “News Radio 800”; news/talk WZZW; sports talk WIRO & WZWB “Fox Sports 1230 & 1420”; WAMX “Classic Rock 106.3 The Brew”; classic hits-oldies WBVB “B-97”; CHR WKEE “KEE 100”; and WTCR “103.3 TCR Country.”

Group Nine Media, iHeartMedia Announce Co-Produced Podcasts. The new slate will include at least one podcast from each of Group Nine’s four brands: NowThis, The Dodo, Seeker, and Thrillist, as well as one from JASH, part of the media company’s Los Angeles-based Studios team. Group Nine Network president Mickey Meyer states, “Storytelling is at the core of any forward-looking media brand in today’s industry. As a distributed media company and the leader on mobile, we’ve always met audiences where they are. Podcasting is certainly the place to be and iHeartRadio knows this better than anyone. We’re excited to partner with them to extend Group Nine’s brands and creative prowess into the audio space.” President of the iHeartPodcast Network, Conal Byrne, notes, “Group Nine’s brands create content that resonates extremely well with their dedicated and loyal fans. They are pioneers in social-first publishing and have built meaningful online communities that connect with audiences. We are excited to work together with them to co-produce an amazing slate of shows and extend their brands into the burgeoning podcast space.” All podcasts will be overseen by Meyer, and Group Nine vice president of new initiatives Brett Kushner. They will be executive produced by iHeartPodcast Network head of development Mangesh Hattikudur.

Burcham Succeeds Bramblett As Auburn P-B-P Voice. Per an announcement made yesterday (Monday, 8/12), Andy Burcham has been tapped to replace the late Rod Bramblett as the voice of Auburn University Tigers baseball, football, and men’s basketball. Bramblett and his wife, Paula, were killed three months ago in a car accident; a 16-year-old was charged with two counts of manslaughter in that tragedy. Auburn Sports Properties vice president/general manager Chris Davis remarks, “During the very difficult process of replacing Rod, it was clear that Andy Burcham was the right man to be the new voice of the Auburn Tigers. He is well-respected in his profession; by his coworkers; Auburn athletics coaches and administration; and in the community. He understands the importance of this role. Andy is a consummate professional who puts great preparation, execution, and passion into his work. Most importantly, he is a man of great character who loves and cares deeply for Auburn and what it represents. We can’t wait for the Auburn family to embrace him in his new role.” Athletics director Allen Greene states, “Simply put, Andy is unquestionably the right man for the job. His experience as a broadcaster is extensive and his affinity for Auburn is unrivaled. Having been part of the Auburn family for over three decades, Andy understands what sets Auburn apart and understands the passion of our loyal fan base. He deeply respects those who have come before him and will assume this role with a great deal of humility.” Burcham adds, “While it is a bittersweet time and I wish the circumstances creating this opportunity were different, I am honored to be following in the footsteps of such legends as Rod Bramblett and Jim Fyffe. With this job, you’re the voice of Auburn and represent [it] every day – I will never forget that. I’ve been in this community and broadcasting Auburn games for 31 years. I understand and love Auburn and its tradition.” Burcham and Bramblett worked together for 25 years. In addition to his play-by-play duties, Burcham will co-host “Tiger Talk” with baseball broadcast partner Brad Law, while Brit Bowen becomes play-by-play voice for Auburn women’s basketball and softball. Law will host football pregame and postgame locker room shows. Nashville, Illinois native Burcham graduated from Indiana State University (1983) with a degree in radio, television, and film. He did sports play-by-play for Indiana State, Illinois State University and Southern Illinois University before going to Auburn in 1988.

TALKERS News Notes. The newest addition to Comrex’s Access IP audio codec line, Access NX Rack, is now shipping. The Comrex Access rackmount was released in 2005 and is being updated to incorporate technical advances from the last decade. Access NX Rack includes AES3 or analog audio I/O, along with AES67 compatibility. AES67 tested to be compatible with all major AoIP systems and features an entirely new hardware platform. Access NX Rack can connect to Wi-fi and 4G modems, and supports a wide range of connection protocols and audio encoders. It’s driven via an HTML5-based web user interface. Access NX Rack is compatible with all Comrex IP audio codecs as well as the Comrex FieldTap smartphone app and is built around Comrex CrossLock technology. Included is HotSwap, allowing users to designate a wireless network as a backup that will only engage when the primary network has failed ….. After more than a year’s hiatus from radio, Spence Checketts will resurface next week as the 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm talent on Broadway Media Salt Lake City sports talk KALL “ESPN 700.” In addition to “The Drive with Spence Checketts,” he will continue his longform interview podcast, “Reality Check.” Checketts formerly worked cross-town at similarly-formatted KZNS “The Zone.” ….. Yesterday (Monday, 8/12) marked the two-year anniversary of the “Unite the Right” white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Even though more than 800 state and local law enforcement officers spent months preparing for the event, it not only turned violent, a counter-protestor (Heather Heyer) was killed. In noting the second anniversary of what has simply been referred to as “Charlottesville,” CBS-TV’s “CBS This Morning” hosted a round table discussion. Among those participating were Monticello Media Charlottesville news/talk WCHV “C-Ville 107.5 & 1260 News-Talk-Sports” program director/morning drive (5:00 am – 9:00 am) host Joe Thomas; “How To Be Antiracist” author professor Ibram Kendi; faith leaders; community activists; and the city’s police chief.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Los Angeles rhythmic CHR KPWR “Power 106” and co-owned KDAY “93.5 Hip-Hop Back in the Day” six-month interim program director Emmanuel “E-Man” Coquia is elevated to Meruelo Media’s director of programming/content. He will oversee programming and music content for those two stations, as well as initial stages of Latin rhythmic cluster-mate KLLI “Cali 93.9.” Meruelo Media president/chief operating officer Otto Padron declares, “After an exhaustive nationwide search that attracted some of the most talented program directors in America, the choice was clear that ‘E-Man’ is our-man. ‘E-Man’ had a sensible plan and a vision that aligned perfectly with our goals to disrupt the industry with new hyper-local Los Angeles content. Above all, he had boundless confidence strengthened by a time-built arsenal of industry respect from the labels, artists, management, colleagues, and fellow Meruelo Media team members.” Coquia notes, “I am truly excited to continue to lead the incredible winning teams at our two iconic hip-hop radio stations in Los Angeles. I am also enjoying every minute assembling and developing the new ‘Cali 93.9’ team. To be a part of three major radio stations in Los Angeles that play hip-hop – current, classic, & Latin hip-hop/Reggaeton – is a very dope feeling, especially as a fan of these music genres.” Meruelo Media’s other Los Angeles property is newly-acquired (from Cumulus Media) rocker KLOS ….. Co-creator, co-executive producer, writer, lead on Amazon Prime and Apple TV’s “The Jamz,” Chris Petlak, is appointed director of digital content/night personality at Hubbard Radio Chicago hot AC WTMX “101.9 The Mix.” Hubbard Chicago vice president/market manager Jeff England comments, “It is sort of a homecoming for Chris. Back in 2011, he served as our first social media manager as well as a contributor to ‘Eric in the Morning.’ Chris will complement our already incredibly strong on-air lineup, and bring with him a wealth of digital and entertainment experience to help drive both the quantity and quality of our episodic digital content creation.” Petlak adds, “Returning home to join ‘The Mix’ and work for Hubbard Radio Chicago is an honor. I couldn’t be more excited to work with the entire team at a station with such a strong Chicago legacy.” Musician and standup comedian Petlak co-hosts the “Not From Here” podcast ….. Rebranding KRBQ “The Bay’s Old School” as “The New Q-102.1 – The Bay’s Old School,” the Entercom San Francisco outlet is “providing the Bay Area with expertly curated gold-based rhythmic classic hits.” KRBQ will include airing mass-appeal titles from the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. Entercom San Francisco senior vice president/market manager Gregory Nemitz remarks “Q-102” has “already built a great audience. They have been telling us to play more of the familiar, rhythmic hits. With the relaunch of ‘The New Q-102.1,” a Bay Area station is finally playing more of the classics we all know and love.” Programming updates are forthcoming. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s July 2019 report for San Francisco, rhythmic hot AC KRBQ is tied for #19 (2.1). In San Jose, it is up or flat the third straight time for a two-tenths increase (1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9, 6+) and ranks #19, as well ….. XTRA-FM “91-X” morning host John Moug (“The Moug Show”) exits the Local Media of San Diego-programmed alternative outlet. The program debuted approximately 18 months ago; co-host “Danielle” continues on “91-X” in the 5:00 am – 10:00 am slot ….. Former director of sports sales for Entercom Chicago, Peter Bowen, becomes director of sales at Townsquare Media Cedar Rapids. Market president and chief revenue officer Terry Peters comments, “Peter is a rare find, having an impressive pedigree and track record of sales leadership with some of the best multimedia companies in the United States. He has led some of the biggest brands in our industry with an extraordinary ability to build winning teams that deliver consistently strong results for our clients.” Bowen declares that he is “extremely excited to be joining the Townsquare team in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City. It’s amazing to see the success of Townsquare’s radio and digital operation in Eastern Iowa, with no end in sight of how high we can go. I’m looking forward to being part of one of the most innovative media companies in the nation.” Bowen previously was senior vice president of sales for CBS Los Angeles; vice president and general manager of Chicago CHR WBBM-FM; and general sales manager for Chicago all-news operation WBBM-AM. Townsquare Media’s four-station Cedar Rapids cluster consists of adult contemporary KDAT “104.5 – Today’s Best Mix,” KHAK “#1 For New Country,” KRNA “Classic Rock 94.1,” and CHR KRQN “i-107.1 All The Hits.” ….. One-year KYSR “Alt 98.7” mid-day (10:00 am – 3:00 pm) talent Tamo Sein exits the iHeartMedia Los Angeles alternative outlet. She previously worked at similarly-formatted stations in Charlotte (WEND “106.5 The End”); Austin (KROX “101-X”): Norfolk (WROX “96-X”); and Richmond (WRXL “XL-102”). Taking Samo’s place until further notice is Hudson Hott, who does “Alt 98.7” Saturday and Sunday PM drive ….. Canadian-born Lucky Pierre, whose Los Angeles radio career spanned more than 35 (non-consecutive) years, has died. Included in his Los Angeles on-air tenure were stops at legendary KHJ in the early-1960s; roughly six years at KGFJ (whose personalities over the years included Hunter Hancock, Larry McCormick, Johnny Magnus, and Frankie Crocker); and a ten-year stint at a station he programmed and transitioned to dance, KUTE. It’s believed Lucky Pierre did his last greater Los Angeles on-air work in the late-1990s at suburban KACD (Santa Monica) & KBCD (Newport Beach), known then as “Groove Radio 103.1.”

Upstate Radiothon Raises $200,945. In the 12th annual radiothon for Children’s Hospital of Greenville Health System (GHS), seven Entercom Greenville-Spartanburg stations (“Greenville Upstate”) raised $200,945. The radiothon aired last Thursday (8/8) and Friday (8/9) from 6:00 am – 7:00 pm . Donations help sustain programs/services that support children and families during a hospital stay. Entercom Upstate director of sales Devon van der Merwe comments, “This radiothon is a signature event for giving back by the Upstate community. It is such a labor of love for the entire Entercom family. For two days, the airwaves were filled with stories of hope and support. Entercom Upstate always looks forward to going the extra mile when it comes to supporting and aiding Prisma Health–Upstate. We have a passion for our loyal listeners and community and none are more special than the families at Children’s Hospital. Being able to give back is what makes our radio brands, our sponsors, and personalities so powerful.” GHS Children’s Hospital serves all of upstate South Carolina, western North Carolina, and eastern Georgia. Money raised during the radiothon impacts more than 400,000 patients and families each year. Prisma Health Children’s Hospital–Upstate medical director Robin LaCroix, MD notes that, “Hospital stays can be intimidating emotional experiences for children and parents. Funds we receive from this radiothon are critical to ensuring that we can provide families with support and resources they need while they are in our care. Prisma Health and Entercom come together each year to make a difference in the lives of so many families in our region. We are so thankful to the community and especially to Entercom Upstate listeners for their continued support.” In addition to news/talk WYRD “106.3 WORD – The Upstate’s Talk Station,” and sports talk WORD-AM “ESPN Upstate,” the Entercom Greenville cluster consists of adult contemporary WSPA-FM “Magic 98.9,” CHR WFBC-FM “B-93.7 – #1 For Hit Music,” WROQ “Classic Rock 101.1,” WTPT “93.3 Planet Rocks,” and WFBC-HD2 “96.3 The Block.”

 

 

July 2019 PPM Data. Information for the July 2019 ratings period has been released for Charlotte, St. Louis, and Riverside. 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 markets.

Charlotte

Spoken-Word Formats – On the heels of June’s +1.2 (3.2 – 4.4, 6+), Entercom news/talk WBT surrenders 75% of that bounty (3.5, -.9, 6+) but repeats at #12. June’s huge increase precisely wiped away the overall -1.2 WBT lost in three straight declines (4.4 – 4.3 – 3.7 – 3.2, 6+).

While flat at 1.3 (6+), co-owned WFNZ “The Fan – Charlotte’s Sports Leader” bumps up from #19 to #18.

Thus far this calendar year, University Radio Foundation news/talk WFAE has remained in two-share range (6+) in all seven sweeps: 2.7 – 2.9 – 2.3 – 2.8 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.4 (#15 to #14, 6+). For the fourth time in the last five survey periods, South Carolina Educational Television Commission news/talk WNSC notches a .3 (.3 – .3 – .3 – .4 – .3, #22 to #21, 6+).

Charlotte Music Formats – Six of Charlotte’s top seven July 2019 finishers post a month-to-month fluctuation of at least one-half share. Topping that list is Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies WOSF, which not only flaunts a +1.4 (5.4 – 6.8, 6+), “105.3 RnB” vaults from sixth to first. A one-tenth June loss halted three straight gains that yielded eight-tenths (4.7 – 4.9 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+). The last time “105.3 RnB” reached the six-share threshold (6+) was in “Holiday” 2016 (6.2). Dislodged from the top spot and slipping to a second-place tie is iHeartMedia adult hits WLKO (7.1 – 6.6, 6+). Recent shifts for “102.9 The Lake” include -1.2 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.1 (January 2019); -1.4 (February); +.5 (March); -.5 (April); +.8 (May); and -.5 (July). In advance of “Holiday” 2018’s -1.2, WLKO enjoyed 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+). By chalking up a full-share improvement to 6.4 (sixth to fourth, 6+), co-owned WRFX “99.7 The Fox Charlotte’s Classic Rock” suspends four successive sweeps without an increase that resulted in a decrease of seven-tenths (6.1 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.4, 6+). This is the best 6+-stat for “The Fox” since September 2018 (6.4, as well). Steady in fifth-place, Beasley Media Group urban AC WBAV “V-101.9” adds one-half share, matching the 6.2 (6+) it logged in March. A combined -1.5 in June/July (7.5 – 6.9 – 6.0, 6+), cluster-mate WSOC “103.7 Country’s Hottest Hits” slumps from second to sixth. Prior to segueing to #2 in June, WSOC was on top the previous four months. A May improvement of eight-tenths delivered WSOC its strongest 6+-stat since November 2018 (7.5, as well). Its format rival, iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country,” is +1.3 in five successive positive or neutral moves (5.3 – 6.1 – 6.3 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 6.6, 6+) and advances from #3 to a tie at #2. Prior to logging a +1.2 in January, WKKT was -2.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.7 – 5.8 – 4.4, 6+). Radio One gospel WPZS “Praise 100.9 Charlotte’s Inspiration Station” is up four-tenths to 2.4 (#16 to #14, 6+), thus curtailing four consecutive down or flat trends that accounted for a -1.4 (3.4 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.4 – 2.0, 6+). Back-to-back losses by iHeartMedia CHR WHQC account for a full-share decrease (5.0 – 4.7 – 4.0, 6+) as “Hits 96.1” exits the top ten (#9 to #11) with its lowest 6+-showing (4.0) since November 2018’s 3.4. Beasley Media Group adult contemporary operation with similar call letters – WKQC “K-10.7 More Music/Better Variety” – follows June’s increase of nine-tenths with a July loss of one-half share (4.8 – 5.7 – 5.2, fourth to seventh, 6+). June’s 5.7 was its best 6+-performance since “Holiday” 2018’s 12.9 (#1). Off a collective full-share in three setbacks in succession (3.7 – 3.4 – 2.8 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia alternative WEND “106.5 The End” remains at #13. A combined -1.2 in April/May (3.3 – 2.6 – 2.1, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WRCM recorded a one-half share increase in June (2.6, #14, 6+) but “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” vanishes from print in July. Elsewhere in the contemporary Christian arena, Radio Training Network’s WLFJ “HIS Radio” nearly quadruples (+.8) its 6+ AQH share in four straight positive or neutral reports .3 – .7 – .8 – 1.1 (#20 to #19), while iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WRFX-HD 2 nets one-half share via six straight sweeps without a loss (.1 – .1 – .3 – .4 – .4 – .5 – .6, 6+) and enters the top twenty at #20.

St. Louis

Spoken-Word Formats – In three setbacks in a row (7.3 – 6.6 – 6.2 – 5.2, 6+), Entercom news/talk KMOX is a cumulative -2.1, meaning April’s whopping +2.2 by the flagship of the Cardinals has virtually disappeared. Moreover, “The Voice of St. Louis” drifts from second to seventh. Anchored at #18, co-owned KFTK “FM News Talk 97.1” is playing a game of April 2019 through July 2019 ping pong (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.3, 6+).

In three straight spikes (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.7, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting sports talk WXOS netted six-tenths but “101 Sports” has that all erased with a July loss of that magnitude (3.7 – 3.1, -.6, #15 to #17, 6+). Effective later this year, WXOS takes over from KMOX as flagship of the NHL’s Blues.

Progressing from #16 to #15, University of Missouri news/talk KWMU has a March 2019 through July 2019 topline of 3.7 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.7 (6+).

St. Louis Music Formats – The three most recent shifts by Hubbard Broadcasting’s KPNT are +.6 (May); -.6 (June); and +.7 in July (6.0 – 6.6 – 6.0 – 6.7, 6+), as “105.7 The Point – Everything Alternative” inches up from third to second. Improving by seven-tenths in July as well and marching from ninth to fifth is its adult hits sibling WARH “106.5 The Arch,” which is up a full-share in June/July (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.7, 6+). Still in that Hubbard Broadcasting cluster, this marks the third month in a row at #1 for KSHE, which has its best 6+-stat (8.7) since March’s 8.9. The nine most recent shifts for “95 Real Rock Radio” are: +.5 (December); -.7 (Holiday” 2018); +2.0 (January 2019); -.5 (February); +1.3 (March); -1.6 (April); +.1 (May); +.9 (June); and +.4 (July). KSHE was tied with iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLOU for February’s top spot. In March, KSHE took sole possession of first-place but had to share the lead again the following month; on that occasion, it was with Entercom news/talk KMOX. “Real Rock Radio” has had sole possession of the top spot in May, June, and July. Unchanged at #19, iHeartMedia-owned KLLT “Alt 104.9” nets two-tenths in seven straight sweeps without a loss, (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.0, 6+). The alternating (6+) December 2018 through July 2019 down/up pattern for Hubbard Broadcasting’s WIL ironically has “New Country 92.3” right where it was eight reports ago: 6.1 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 5.4 – 6.1 – 5.8 – 6.6 – 5.8 – 6.1(6+); WIL progresses from sixth in June to third. Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s KSD “93.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” regressed by seven-tenths in May; improved by one-half share in June; and now drops two-tenths (4.7 – 4.5, 6+) and carries on at #10. There’s virtually no June 2019 – July 2019 movement regarding the market’s two CHRs as KSD sibling, KSLZ “Z-107.7,” repeats June’s 4.0  (#12 to #13, 6+), while Entercom’s KNOU “Now 96.3” drops one-tenth (3.9 – 3.8, flat at #14, 6+). An overall -2.2 as a result of three successive setbacks (7.2 – 6.7 – 6.0 – 5.0, 6+), Gateway Creative Broadcasting contemporary Christian KLJY “99.1 Joy FM” fades from third to ninth. Not only does a loss of six-tenths to 4.1 (6+) send Radio One urban contemporary WHHL “Hot 104.1” out of the top ten (#10 to #12), it interrupts three successive bumps that accounted for a +1.0 (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.3 – 4.7, 6+).

Riverside

Spoken-Word Formats – Following seven consecutive sweeps without an increase (.4 – .2 – .2 -.2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1, #23, 6+), iHeartMedia news talk KKDD “1290 News Talk IE” is unlisted for the third ratings period in a row.

The November 2018 through July 2019 topline for co-owned KPWK “Fox Sports Radio 1350 AM” is: .2 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .1 – .2 – .1 – .1 (#21 to #20, 6+). For the 19th straight sweep, similarly-formatted/Los Angeles Angels-owned (LAA 1, LLC) KLAA “Angels Radio AM 830” is unlisted.

This is the fourth report in a row that San Bernardino Community College news/talk KVCR is below a one-share (.8 – .4 – .6 – .5, #17 to #14, 6+). In a repetitive April 2019 through July 2019 pattern (.1 – .3 – .1 – .3, 6+), Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” is back in the top twenty (#21 to #16).

Riverside Music Formats – Powered by a robust +1.2 (3.2 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KGGI “99.1 Riverside’s Hottest Hit Music” leaps from sixth to fourth with its strongest 6+-stat (4.4) in exactly one year (4.9, July 2018). An overall -4.3 in seven straight declines (10.5 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 8.1 – 7.4 – 7.0 – 6.4 – 6.2, 6+), Entravision’s KLYY pulls the plug by notching a one-half share increase to 6.7 (6+); “Jose” is #2 for the fourth straight time. In advance of the April ratings period, “Jose” occupied the #1 spot 11 sweeps in succession. December 2018’s 10.5 marked the first time any Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario station reached double-figures (6+) since April 2015, when KLYY recorded a 10.4. “Jose” is now nine-tenths behind Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies outlet KOLA, which is #1 the fourth month in a row, but forfeits a full-share to 7.6 (6+). July’s decrease halts three straight upticks that yielded a combined +1.8 (6.8 – 7.2 – 8.0 – 8.6, 6+). Prior to May, the last time KOLA reached the eight-share level (6+) was February 2018 (8.4). KOLA finished second in 11 successive survey periods and went to #1 in April. In the Univision Radio cluster, Spanish contemporary KLVE “107.5 K-Love” is a collective -1.1 in three down or flat trends in a row (4.6 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 3.5, fourth to fifth, 6+), while regional Mexican sibling KSCA “LA 101.9” has lost six-tenths in June/July (3.0 – 2.9 – 2.4, 6+) but carries on in eighth-place. Immediately following three successive improvements that yielded a collective +1.6 (2.1 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.7, 6+), LC Media urban-rhythmic oldies KQIE “Old School 104.7” is a combined -1.4 via four downturns in a row (3.7 – 3.4 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.3, flat at #9, 6+). Two Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian outlets disappear from print in July: KLRD “Air 1 – Worship Now” (1.6, #11, June 2019, 6+) and KKLQ “Positive, Encouraging 100.3” (.7, #15, June 2019, 6+).