chapter 11 | TALKERS magazine - “The bible of talk media.” : TALKERS magazine – “The bible of talk media.”

Tag: "chapter 11"

Friday, July 16, 2021

| July 16, 2021

NOW POSTED: This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the 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. This new episode titled, “Hot Stuff,” looks back at this past week of July 12-16. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Dom Giordano, talk show host, WPHT, Philadelphia; Michael Zwerling, talk show host/station owner, KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; Dr. Daliah Wachs, talk show host, Genesis Communications Network/physician; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company.  The 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 WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; WPG, Atlantic City, NJ; 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; WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, DE; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA;  WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED, DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; WSAR-AM/FM, Fall River, MA; WIZM-AM/FM, La Crosse, WI; WMVA, Martinsville, VA; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkCRN Digital Talk Radio Network; the iHeart Podcast Network; Pioneer Valley Radio, 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.

Alpha Media Emerges from Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection. The company announces that it has successfully completed its financial restructuring and emerged from Chapter 11 with a significantly improved capital structure. In addition to substantially reducing its debt, Alpha Media says it “raised incremental capital to pursue growth opportunities and further enhance its position as a leading mid-market broadcaster across 44 local markets in the United States.” Alpha Media chairman and CEO Bob Proffitt adds, “This is an important achievement for Alpha Media as we strengthen our company’s ability to grow. Today Alpha Media begins its next chapter, with an improved financial foundation, new capital and enhanced competitive positioning. We have greater financial resources and flexibility, and we will continue to invest in new digital capabilities to better serve our advertisers and communities across our local markets. I am so proud of all that our teams at each of our radio stations have accomplished during this period. Our unique culture continues to be key to Alpha Media’s success, and I thank the entire Alpha Media family for their dedication and hard work. We are thrilled to continue our mission to deliver dynamic, diverse and exciting content to our communities.” The company adds that it has received all necessary court and regulatory, including FCC, approvals, and all customary conditions have been satisfied.

Round Three of June PPMs Released. The third or four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen’s June 2021 sweep covered May 27 – June 23. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. Alpha Media’s news/talk KXL-FM, Portland remains ranked #5 after dropping three-tenths for a 4.8 share (6+ weekly AQH share). Radio One’s news/talk WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte slips four-tenths to finish with a 3.5 share and falls to the #12 rank. iHeartMedia’s news/talk WOAI, San Antonio sheds nine-tenths and posts a 3.7 share as the station falls from the #10 rank to #13. In Sacramento, iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFBK-AM/FM dips just one-tenth and posts an 8.5 share but the station still falls back to the #3 rank in the market. iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati shoots up 1.4 shares for a 12.5 share finish and the #1 rank in the market. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets (as well as the first two groups) here.

WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte Launches Podcast with Matt Doherty. Charlotte news/talk WBT-AM/FM announces the debut of “The Rebound Podcast with Coach Matt Doherty.”  Doherty, the renowned former University of North Carolina basketball player and coach follows his best-selling book, Rebound: From Pain To Passion, Leadership Lessons Learned with “The Rebound Podcast,” a 10-episode series in which he speaks with highly successful individuals in the fields of business, entertainment, politics, sports and more that have had to rebound from failure. The station says, “After being forced to resign from his dream coaching job at UNC in a very public manner in 2003, Matt embarked on a personal leadership journey and was able to rebound by turning his pain to passion. Now in a straight-forward and authentic manner, Matt invites you to a front row seat inside the journey of special guests that faced adversity and worked to rebound from failure. Through engaging and riveting stories of these failures Matt drills down on personal and eye-opening experiences from his guests that everyone will find fascinating and inspiring.” Radio One Charlotte regional VP and market manager Marsha Landess adds, “Matt’s journey is truly inspiring. His insights, and those of his guests, are relatable no matter what field you’re in. We are thrilled to partner with him to bring his leadership skills to the Charlotte market and beyond, first through his appearances on WBT with ‘The Brett Winterble Show,’ and now through ‘The Rebound Podcast!’”

Nielsen Reveals Findings from Consumer Study. This data found in the Westwood One blog, was revealed by Nielsen at a client webinar this week comes from the company’s sixth COVID consumer-tracking study since the pandemic. 1,000 Americans 18+ were surveyed last month and Nielsen says its findings are validated by just-released June data from Apple Maps, GeoPath, Google Trends, and Moody’s Analytics. The blog outlines the very encouraging findings from the study and lists the five things advertisers need to know: 1) It is time to advertise: The three-month period from March 2021 to June 2021 saw an extraordinary jump in consumer confidence pointing to things getting back to normal. The “ready-to-go” segment only grew six points from June 2020 to March 2021. From March 2021 to June 2021, the optimistic “ready-to-go” consumer segment grew an astounding 29 points; 2) Brands need to capitalize on this positive consumer outlook: On the economy, more consumers feel things will improve versus get worse (48% improve versus 23% get worse). The story is the same for consumers and their household finances: 35% improve versus 13% get worse; 3) Americans are back in their cars and listening to AM/FM radio: The majority of workers are commuting. Families are driving their kids to school. Time spent listening to AM/FM radio is up; 4) Commuters are still leery about public transportation, a positive for AM/FM radio: 32% of consumers say they will spend less time on public transport versus 17% who will spend more time; and 5) Retailers need to continue to invest in ecommerce and ensure their AM/FM radio ads drive to web as shopping will be omni-channel: While stores are open, the convenience of hybrid shopping approaches remain: buy online and in-store or curbside pickup.

iHeartMedia Names Tony Yip SVP of Sales for Miami-Fort Lauderdale. Radio sales pro Tony Yip is promoted to senior vice president of sales for iHeartMedia’s Miami/Fort Lauderdale cluster, effective immediately. He’s been serving the cluster as VP of sales. In this new role, Yip will be responsible for overseeing advertising sales revenue for the market. He will report to market president Shari Gonzalez. She says, “I am thrilled to be able to promote Tony to this position. Tony has played an important role in leading our team and our two brands WMIA and WHYI over the past eight years and now takes on the entire cluster for Miami Ft. Lauderdale. I am very confident that Tony will lead our team with continued and even higher levels of success for years to come.” Yip launched his radio career at the age of 16 as an intern at WIOD-AM.

Radio News Pro Bob Costantini Relaunches Ear on the White House Service. Former Westwood One News correspondent Bob Costantini is relaunching his Ear on The White House news service. Using the slogan, “Context You Need, Right From the Scene,” Costantini says he can “give your news/talk station an upfront seat in the going’s on at The White House, with three decades of experience covering six presidents. If you want to dig deeper into the news of the day, Ear on The White House is your chance, including daily debriefs that can be sponsored locally.” Find out more by visiting EaronTheWhiteHouse.com.

TALKERS News Notes. On Monday (7/19), the USA Radio Networks-syndicated sports talk program “The Dan Sileo Show” will be added to the program schedule at JVC Broadcasting’s “Florida Man Radio” format heard on WDYZ-AM/W288CJ, Orlando and WZLB-FM, Fort Walton Beach. “The Dan Sileo Show” will air from 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight…..The cast of the Westwood One nationally syndicated “BOB & TOM Show” kicked off the summer with a night of live comedy at the historic Irving Theater in Indianapolis, raising $10,000 in one night to send Indianapolis area children to summer camp. The benefit event featured performances by three stand-up comedians from the cast of “The BOB & TOM Show” and was co-hosted by the Hall of Fame morning show’s Tom Griswold and Chick McGee…..Superadio Networks and Reatro Ventures announce that the former is agreeing to use Reatro’s ARC Software as the primary affiliate research and automation tool for the network. ARC was developed by SBG founder and former CEO Jason Bailey. Reatro says the software is the media industry’s only SaaS that allows producers, affiliate sales, and network operations to connect digitally, streamlining the affiliation and reporting process…..Quu Inc. and Bonneville International announce a new deal in which all of Bonneville’s markets will use Quu’s patented software to publish synced programming and advertiser messages on vehicle dashboards. Dubbed “Visual Quus,” they are designed to boost station and advertiser branding, recall, and retention. Paired with on-air content, Visual Quus offer a better user experience and generate immediate incremental revenue by adding text, logos, and images to on-air advertisements. Bonneville president Darrell Brown comments, “We are pleased to be able to enhance the listening experience of our loyal audiences and to provide better branding for both Bonneville’s brands and those of its advertisers. This partnership with Quu across Bonneville’s markets positions us well to take advantage of new opportunities in the automobile and beyond.”

The COVID-19 Delta Variant, Vaccines, and Long COVID Top News/Talk Story for Week of July 12-16. The rise in the number of COVID-19 Delta variant cases in the U.S. in several states, the stalling rate of vaccinations, and the cases of long COVID combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the publication of books about the Trump administration, including I Alone Can Fix It by Washington Post reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker. Following at #3 was the House committee to investigate the January 6 Capitol attack, tied with last weekend’s CPAC and the controversy over Critical Race Theory. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.

Monday, April 1, 2019

| April 1, 2019

Monday Memo: “Here’s What’s Happening…” In today’s Monday Memo, consultant Holland Cooke reminds radio news people that “local information is something radio’s non-local, new-tech competitors just can’t deliver.  And if recent cutbacks have competing stations mailing-it-in yours will be conspicuous by comparison.  And if you’re relevant and user-friendly to those busy in-car listeners advertisers want to meet, you’re gold.”  Read HC’s Monday Memo here.

iHeartMedia Revenue Rises 6% from January to February.  Those following iHeartMedia’s Chapter 11 reorganization process are aware the company has been filing monthly revenue reports since April of last year – a month after it declared Chapter 11.  The most recent report filed with U.S Bankruptcy Court in Houston on March 28 shows revenue of $246.2 million for the month of February, up 6% from January.  Most of the figures in the report – revenue, operating income, net income (loss) – have bounced around a lot since April 2018.  Although revenue was up in February, that followed a drop in revenue of almost $100 million from December to January.  Net income in February was $14.3 million, a turnaround from January’s loss of $9.5 million.  Operating income was $24.1 million in February, a bounceback from January’s $7.6 million figure, the lowest reported number since April of 2018.

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s February 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on news/talk.  Half of the news/talk stations on our panel improved (weekly 6+ AQH share) from the January survey to the February survey, led by Entercom’s KMBZ-FM, Kansas City (+1.0).  Comparing February 2018 to February 2019, about half the stations showed improvement with Emmis’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis leading the pack (+2.2) and Cumulus’s WMAL-AM/FM, Washington (+2.0) close behind.  Three stations ranked #1 in their markets in February: Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta; Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5”; and CMG’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville.  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

2019 Radio Mercury Awards Deadline Is Now April 19. The deadline for submitting entries for the RAB’s 2019 Radio Mercury Awards is being extended to April 19.  The “biggest creative awards show for radio and audio” will honor broadcasters’ efforts in numerous categories.  They include: Radio station produced commercials and campaigns; radio station produced promotional spots; creative use of audio: podcasts, branded content and activations, interactive audio, and more; creative use of sound/music: sonic branding, jingles, songs and music, etc.; integrated campaigns with radio/audio; PSA spots/campaigns; and Spanish-language spots/campaigns.  You can listen to last year’s winners, learn about the prize money, get more information, and enter by clicking here.

TALKERS News Notes.  Washington, DC all-news station WTOP is celebrating 50 years as an all-news radio station and features a nice, historical piece on its website that chronicles the station’s evolution.  The idea for making the station a news-intensive one came from Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham who’d been listening to suburban AM WAVA present an all-news format and instructed WTOP’s managers to focus on news.  WTOP was owned by the Post at the time…..A piece published at NJ.com speculates about whether former WFAN, New York morning personality Craig Carton could pop back up at the Entercom-owned sports talk station if Carton avoids jail time at his sentencing on Friday (4/5).  Citing a comment by WFAN program director Mark Chernoff in Newsday in which he said the station would welcome a discussion about a chance to return if he avoids prison, writer James Kratch reports Carton’s attorneys suggest Carton would be able to pay restitution if he’s allowed to work.  However, Newsday also reports that the judge is unlikely to be so lenient about such serious fraud crimes.  According to a story in the New York Daily News, prosecutors are seeking six to seven years in prison…..As per Chicago media maven Robert Feder’s reportErich Mancow Muller’s morning drive show on Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM is starting a bit earlier as the station makes a minor schedule change.  Instead of starting at 6:00 am, the Mancow show starts at 5:30, effective today (4/1)…..Sports talk radio host Dan Sileo – who hosts the morning drive show at Entercom’s San Diego sports talk station KWFN “97.3 The Fan” – is also hosting a new, two-hour weekend show at the company’s WEEI-FM, Boston. Sileo’s show – airing from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm – debuted over the weekend.  Sileo is a Connecticut native who played college football at Miami and was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1987.    

Podcasting Is Now Mainstream (or Is It?).  According to a new study by Edison Research, podcasting continues to permeate and gain ground within the general public’s media usage.  Media consultant and TALKERS columnist Holland Cooke sited these latest stats on his RT America “The Big Picture” TV show (3/29) and examined their implications by interviewing TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Jacobs Media president Fred Jacobs.  To view the segment in its entirety, please click here.

Central American Aid Cuts, Joe Biden Inappropriateness Allegation, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, Border Wall/Immigration Issues, Mueller Report Aftermath, AOC FDR Snafu, Trump vs Obamacare, NCAA Tourney, and NBA and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The Trump administration plans aid cuts to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras; allegation about inappropriate touching by Joe Biden; the Democrats vying to face President Trump in 2020; the status of the U.S.-Mexico border wall and the flow of migrants to the border; the aftermath of the Trump-Russia investigation report from Robert Mueller; Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez’s statement that Republicans engineered the 22nd Amendment to force FDR from office; the Trump administration’s effort to repeal Obamacare; the NCAA tournament action; and NBA and MLB action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Radio pro Danita Maldonado is named afternoon personality and web/social media manager for Cumulus Media’s country KXKC, Lafayette, Louisiana “NASH FM 99.1.”  She previously served on air at country KMRK-FM, Odessa, Texas and country KFTX, Corpus Christi, Texas as well as with production companies and ad agencies in New York City…..Swick Broadcasting adds the “O’Reilly In The Morning” program with Phil O’Reilly to WLKI-FM, Angola, Indiana. This is a move of flagships for O’Reilly who most recently broadcast his syndicated show from Midwest Communications’ WNWN-FM, Battle Creek, Michigan.   O’Reilly says, “I am very excited to be part of the teams at Swick Broadcasting and Local Radio Networks.  My family and I reside just up the road in Battle Creek, Michigan and we are very happy to stay right here and continue to have fun on the radio!”…..Programming pro Brian Stephenson is named operations manager for Townsquare Media’s six-station Yakima, Washington cluster that includes rock KATS-FM, CHR KFFM-FM, and country KDBL-FM…..Resonate Hawaii LLC is buying adult hits KBGX-FM, Keaau and country KKOA, Volcano from Mahalo Multimedia LLC for $550,000.  Susan Patrick and Jason James of Patrick Communications were the exclusive brokers for this transaction…..Westwood One’s new urban AC morning stars Rick Party (left) and Sasha the Diva (center), attended the NAACP Image Awards this weekend.  Below, they pose for a pic with “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah (right).

Thursday, January 3, 2019

| January 3, 2019

iHeartMedia Files November Financial Report; Net Income Up 3.9%. The most recent Monthly Operating Report from iHeartMedia was filed with the Securities Exchange Commission for the month of November. iHM has been releasing the reports since April 2018 as required by the bankruptcy court as it makes its way through Chapter 11 reorganization.  Although revenue dipped 1.6% to $343.7 million compared to October, iHeartMedia’s net income was up 3.9% to $104.2 million.  Operating income also rose from $104.8 million in October to $107.1 million in November.  The company paid $12.8 million to outside professionals assisting with the reorganization.

Michael Savage Says Threats Force Move. A report by both the Washington Times and FOX News, says that talk radio personality Michael Savage has had to move to an undisclosed location due to a particularly violent threat against him that authorities are taking seriously.  Savage tells the Times that he’s received threats in the past and has largely ignored them, but this threat was different.  “[G]iven the violent, vile times we are living in and the specific nature of this threat, both I and some serious agencies are taking this threat very seriously.”  An email was sent to a restaurant Savage frequents demanding that it stop serving him. It said, in part, “I DEMAND THAT YOU REFUSE TO ALLOW MICHAEL … IN YOUR F***ING RESTAURANT AGAIN.  HE IS A RACIST WHITE SUPREMACIST PIECE OF S**T.”

WTIC-AM, Hartford’s Jim Vicevich Profiled in Hartford Courant. Late morning talk show host Jim Vicevich is the subject of a profile piece in the Hartford Courant.  The piece focuses on Vicevich’s daily struggles with the effects of lupus and how he’s able to do his daily “Sound Off Connecticut” program on Entercom’s WTIC-AM, Hartford every day.  The piece explains how Vicevich preps for his show and gets to work each day with the help of fiancé Jane Benson.  See it here.

Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree Marks 30 Years with the Company. Longtime news radio pro Jamie Dupree is well known across the radio industry not only for his years of professionalism covering DC politics, but as well for the attention he’s received from his struggle with a rare neurological disorder called tongue protrusion dystonia – and how Cox Media Group has helped him with his efforts to work around his inability to speak well and still report the news.  Last summer, listeners heard Washington, DC-based Dupree’s voice on Cox stations again thanks to a text-to-speech app that uses old recordings of him to create new news reports.  CMG’s WHIO, Dayton reports on that and on Dupree’s celebrating 30 years with Cox.  Read it here.

Patel Appointed EVP of SmartAudio Intelligence Insights for iHeartMedia. Research pro Hetal Patel is making a return to iHeartMedia as the new EVP SmartAudio Intelligence Insights. Previously, she served with the company for four years, rising to vice president of research, insights & analytics.  Most recently, she was head of sales research & insights for Vox Media.  In this new role with iHM, Patel will lead the SmartAudio Intelligence Insights team to “create research and insights that shape iHeartMedia’s value proposition.  Her responsibilities will include providing critical consumer insights, market intelligence and industry trends to iHeartMedia teams, markets and executives by leveraging expertise in areas such as audience analysis, advertising sales metrics and media and digital consumer research.  In addition, Patel will work closely with iHeartMedia’s partners on the development of next-generation analytics, techniques and products including artificial intelligence, machine learning, sentiment analysis and more.  She says, “It really is the golden period of audio.  I am thrilled to be returning to iHeartMedia where data and consumer are genuinely front and center, which means working on truly disruptive and future ready research initiatives designed to address the client and marketplace needs.  It’s truly humbling and an honor to be a story teller and voice for iHeartMedia.”

‘TalkErie.com’ Debuts with SRN and Local Talk Programs. After stunting over the holidays with readings of the U.S. Constitution, the Inspiration Time, Inc.-owned trio of signals in the Erie, Pennsylvania market officially becomes a news/talk outlet as “TalkErie.com.”  Two Erie-licensed translators W277DS at 103.3 FM and W290BI at 105.9 FM are fed by WZTE-AM, North East, Pennsylvania.  Local host Joel Natalie is star of the afternoon drive show.  The rest of the lineup consists of Salem Radio Network programs including: Hugh Hewitt, Mike Gallagher, Dennis PragerMike Elder, Eric Metaxas, and Joe Walsh.  The station says, “We are Erie, Pennsylvania’s brand-new twin FM talker at 103.3 and 105.9.  Erie News Talk Radio at its finest, with national news twice an hour 24/7 and local news daytime weekdays, you’ll be informed and challenged every minute you spend with TalkErie.com.”

Marc Ryan Named Midday Host at Entercom’s ‘ESPN Upstate.’ Sports talk pro Marc Ryan announces he’s accepted a position with Entercom’s sports talk “ESPN Upstate” – WORD-AM/WYRD-AM/W246CV/W249DL – in Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina.  There he’ll host the 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm show and serve as assistant program director.  Ryan has been working on air at the company’s KILT-AM, Houston.  It’s unclear what the status is of current 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm team “G-Mack & Lonzo” at “ESPN Upstate.”

TALKERS News Notes. Just as the FCC is shutting down – mostly – due to the stalemate over funding the U.S.-Mexico border wall, the country has a complete Commission for the first time in a while.  Yesterday, the Senate confirmed Democratic nominee Geoffrey Starks and confirmed Republican Commissioner Brendan Carr for a full term. Commissioners are not affected by the shutdown since their salaries come from a different source…..SiriusXM extends the employment of president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein, who gets a new deal that will last through May of 2022.  Greenstein will earn $1.6 million per year in base salary with the opportunity to earn a bonus of as much as 150% of his salary based on various incentives…..NBC Sports Radio and Westwood One are launching “The Daily Line,” a new, weekday afternoon drive show, that focuses on sports betting.  It’s being hosted by Michael Jenkins of NBC Sports Washington and 10-year sports radio pro Tim Murray.  The program airs live from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET.  It will be simulcast on television across multiple NBC Sports Regional Networks…..CBS Television’s daytime program “The Talk” names Carrie Ann Inaba a full-time host on the show.  She’s been serving as a guest host for the past two seasons. Her arrival comes on the heels of Julie Chen’s exit from the program in the aftermath of husband and former CBS chief Les Moonves’ sexual harassment allegations…..Westwood One continues its coverage of the National Football League with live, radio play-by-play of the playoffs, beginning with this weekend’s Wild Card games.  WWO is the official national radio partner of the NFL and will also air play-by-play of Super Bowl LIII…..Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WBZ-FM, Boston renews its deal with the NFL’s New England Patriots to continue serving as the flagship for game day broadcasts.  The station has served in this role since it launched as a sports talk outlet in 2009. 

WBZ-AM, Boston Traffic Reporter Joe Stapleton Dead at 55.  Boston radio traffic reporter Joe Stapleton died unexpectedly on December 31 at the age of 55.  WBZ station operations director Bill Flaherty says, “Joe was our overnight traffic reporter here at WBZ.  He never walked through the door without a smile and friendly greeting for everyone he met.”  During his career he worked on the highly rated “Maynard in the Morning” program on WBZ-AM in the 1980s.  He appeared on rock WAAF, Boston’s “Hill-Man Morning Show” for many years as “Major Dick.”  Stapleton also reported on traffic for WBZ-TV and WHDH-TV.  A lover of films, Stapleton also appeared in a number of movies, including: “Spotlight,” “R.I.P.D.,” “Manchester by the Sea,” “Mystic River,” and “Edge of Darkness.”

Chicago Media Pro Robert Feder’s Wife Janet Loses Battle with Cancer. The staff of TALKERS magazine sends condolences to Chicago media writer Robert Feder and his family after the passing of his wife Janet G. Feder who died on December 31 after a battle with cancer.  In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

New Congress, Government Shutdown/Border Wall, Trump-Russia Investigation, 2020 Presidential Race, and the NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/2). Today’s swearing in of the 116th Congress and the Democrats’ takeover of control; the ongoing battle to fund President Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall and the government shutdown; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents; the early entrants into the 2020 presidential campaign; and this weekend’s first round of the NFL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Michael Harrison:  Trump’s Impact on News/Talk Radio Unprecedented.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “Donald Trump’s influence on the subject matter and tone of news/talk radio in America is greater in terms of one individual newsmaker’s impact than any other during the 29-years that the publication has been tracking content.”  In his first weekly address of 2019 to the TALKERS editorial board earlier this morning (1/2), Harrison added, “…and the president’s influence is reflected on all aspects of spoken-word radio beyond traditional news/talk from sports talk, all-news, and specialty genres to pop culture personalities doing talk shows on music stations.”  Stating, “We can expect more of the same in this new year and probably beyond,” Harrison compared Trump’s pop cultural impact on talk radio to the effect the Beatles had on top 40 radio in the early sixties “when the entire genre changed everything from playlists to imaging to accommodate a new attitude and a flood of new players during the height of the British Invasion.”  Harrison advises broadcasters to keep a watchful eye on their core audiences during the year ahead pointing out, “The polarized nature of today’s target audiences can lull programmers into thinking the makeup of their P1s is etched in stone.  However, the turbulent nature of the times coupled with the emotional investment on the part of listeners to the rapidly unfolding ‘reality show’ can undergo subtle changes or shift on a dime.”  Harrison concluded, “2019 is going to be a great year for talk radio – especially if we stay alert and maximize the extraordinary raw material that these wild times are providing in creative and productive ways – keeping in mind our deeper responsibility to pursue truth over victory and vigilantly respect and defend the First Amendment.”   Editorial Note:  The original artwork accompanying this story below is titled “The Show Must Go On” by Bobbie Winston (a.k.a. La Femme Bobbíe).  She is an award-winning American artist living and painting in Rio de Janeiro since 1988.  She has a world-wide following that enjoys her highly identifiable style.  She paints wildly abstract portraits, full human figures, and imaginative, surrealistic scenarios marked by dramatic features and bold, striking colors.  Her perspective on the human condition is cosmic, inclusive and evolved. Bobbie Winston’s Facebook page and art gallery can be accessed at www.facebook.com/bobbiewinstonartist.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Atlanta CHR WWWQ tweaks its station name, leaving behind the “Q100” moniker for the more accurate “Q99.7.”  Cumulus Media VP of CHR and rhythmic CHR Louie Diaz explains, “‘Q100’ has been one of the most successful top 40 radio stations in the country, but now is the right time to refresh and rebrand the station as ‘Q99.7’ for the current and new generation of listeners.  Rebranding ‘Q100’ to ‘Q99.7’ reflects the simple fact that listeners find the station at 99.7 on the dial.  Our transition from ‘Q100’ to ‘Q99.7’ is now complete.”…..Service Broadcasting – owner of “Dede in the Morning” flagship KKDA, Dallas “K104” – and syndication partner Compass Media Networks announce the continued expansion of the “DeDe in the Morning” franchise with the clearance of the program in Atlanta (on Core Radio Group’s WTBS “Mix 87.7”).  KKDA director of operations Geo Cook says, “We are thrilled with our progress nationally and appreciative to now be heard in Atlanta.  The launch of ‘DeDe’s Weekend Kickback’ is in response to our growing list of affiliates who want unique and compelling content for weekends, in addition to weekday mornings.”…..Bonneville’s adult contemporary KYMX, Sacramento “Mix 96” names Amanda Carroll and Darik Kristofer co-hosts of the its new morning drive program.  Carroll has been hosting a syndicated program via Christian FM…..Former WHUD Hudson Valley, New York morning host and original WMCA Good Guy Ed Baer has died at age 82.   Baer launched his radio career in New York in 1957. In 1986, he joined WHUD and worked there for 29 years.

December 2018 PPM Data – Round Two. December 2018 ratings information has been RE-RELEASED for Washington (D.C.), Boston, Miami, Detroit, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Tampa, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen Audio’s December 2018 survey period covered November – December 5. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets. 

Washington, DC Spoken-Word Formats – Without a loss from June through November for an overall +1.6 (3.5 – 3.7 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.1, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WMAL surrenders one-half share to 4.6 (fifth to sixth, 6+). November’s 5.1 represents its best 6+-stat in the PPM era.  

Off a collective seven-tenths in four straight down or flat trends(3.7 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 3.0, 6+), Entercom sports talk WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” remains at #14 with its lowest 6+-stat (3.0) since March (2.4). The Washington Nationals’ flagship completely erased July’s -.5 with an August +.5 (3.7 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+). While remaining flat at .9 (6+), Radio One’s similarly-formatted WTEM “980 The Team” departs the top twenty (#20 to #21). 

After spending 11 straight ratings periods at #1, Hubbard all-news WTOP (off one-tenth) segues to the runner-up slot. Nonetheless, WTOP is within 9.3 – 9.9 range for the ninth successive month (9.6 – 9.7 – 9.5 – 9.3 – 9.4 – 9.4 – 9.9 – 9.5 – 9.4, 6+).

It is succeeded at #1 by American University-owned news/talk WAMU “The Mind Is Our Medium,” which is an overall +1.9 via five straight increases (7.6 – 8.0 – 8.2 – 8.3 – 9.0 – 9.5, 6+). This (9.5) is the best 6+-stat since November 2017(9.6) for WAMU, which was at #2 ten (10) times in calendar year 2018. The exceptions were in July, when WAMU finished third, and now in December (#1). 

Flat at #24, Entercom business news outlet WDCHis down or flat for the fourth straight time (.5 – .4 – .4 – .4 – .3, 6+).

Washington, DC Music Formats – More than compensating for November’s -1.0 with a December increase in excess of 50% (4.8 – 7.3, +2.5, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH “97.1 Washington’s Variety of the ‘80s ‘90s and Today” glides from sixth to third. At this time last year, WASH posted a 7.8 (December 2017, 6+). Prior to November’s -1.0, WASH was +2.1 in September and October (3.7 – 4.4 – 5.8, 6+). In early-October, Entercom transitioned hot AC WIAD “Fresh” to classic hits-oldies “94.7 The Drive – DC’s Greatest Hits.” WIAD is up one-half share to 2.9 (#18 to #16), its highest 6+-showing since July’s 3.1. A loss of eight-tenths (4.8 – 4.0, sixth to eighth, 6+) takes its former format rival – Cumulus Media hot AC WRQX “Mix 107.3” – to its lowest 6+-showing since June (4.0, as well). Having logged a 2.4 – 2.9 (6+) for 11 straight sweeps (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), iHeartMedia alternative WWDC added four-tenths in November to 3.2, but “DC-101” relinquishes seven-tenths in December to 2.5 (#15 to #17, 6+). The nine-tenths lead that Radio One-owned WMMJ “Majic” held over urban AC competitor WHUR in November expands to 1.5, as “Majic” is up one-tenth to 6.8 (fourth, 6+) while Howard University’s WHUR is off one-half share (5.8 – 5.3, fifth, 6+). “Majic” (-.9 in October) had been in third-place the past four months, while WHUR (-1.0 in October) finished fourth in each of the previous eight ratings periods. Following six straight up or flat reports for a collective +2.3 (5.6 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 6.6 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+), WMMJ faltered by nine-tenths in August. July 2018’s 7.9 is the highest 6+-stat in its PPM history. After four straight sweeps without an increase for an overall -1.4 (7.1 – 6.2 – 6.1 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+), WHUR was a combined +1.1in June and July (5.7 – 6.3 – 6.8), with July’s 6.8 its best 6+-showing since January 2018’s 7.1. Unchanged at #12, Greater Washington Educational Telecommunications’ WETA “Classical 90.9” drops three-tenths to 3.3 (6+), thus snapping at five its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a collective +1.4 (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.6, 6+). Prior to September, WETA had been within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) the previous 22ratings periods. Atlantic Gateway Communications contemporary Christian WGTS “91.9 Christian Music Radio” is a collective -1.1 via three straight decreases (4.9 – 4.5 – 4.0 – 3.8, flat at #10, 6+). Steady at #18, Radio One gospel WPRS “Praise 104.1” surrenders one-half share (2.6 – 2.1, 6+). 

 

Boston 

Spoken-Word Formats – After posting three positive spikes in a row for an overall gain of eight-tenths (2.4 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WRKO surrenders 75% of that increase and tumbles from #12 to #15 (2.6, -.6, 6+). November’s 3.2 is the best 6+-stat for “AM 680 – The Voice of Boston” in more than four years (3.3, November 2014). 

In November, the market’s two FM sports talkers combined for an 11.8 (6+), which represented a +1.4 from October’s 10.4. It is a different story in December though as Entercom’s WEEI-FM erodes by two full-shares (5.7 – 3.7, third to ninth, 6+), while Beasley Media Group-owned WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” sputters by one full-share (5.1, second to fifth, 6+). The flagship of the 2018 World Series champion Boston Red Sox – WEEI-FM – has the dubious distinction of having the largest (6+) November 2018 – December 2018 decrease (-2.0) of any station in the 24 PPM markets we’ve seen thus far. WEEI-FM was a collective +1.1 in October and November (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.7, 6+). Meanwhile, December’s -1.0 by “The Sports Hub” suspends four straight increases that accounted for a +2.3 (3.8 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 5.3 – 6.1, 6+). WBZ-FM is the flagship of the New England PatriotsBoston Celtics, and Boston Bruins

Notwithstanding that iHeartMedia-owned news-talk hybrid WBZ-AM is off a collective one-half share via three straight decreases (5.4 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.9, 6+), “News Radio 1030” actually advances from eighth to seventh. 

It is a bit of a similar scenario for WBUR, which drops four-tenths (5.5 – 5.1, 6+), but improves from sixth to fifth; the Boston University news/talker had registered a 5.5 (6+) in September, October, and November. WGBH Educational Foundation news/talk WGBH answers November’s loss of eight-tenths (3.4 – 2.6, 6+) with a gain of two-tenths to 2.8 (#14 to #13, 6+). Its June 2018 – October 2018 (6+) topline was 3.5 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.4, but November’s 2.6 was its lowest 6+-showing since June 2016 (2.6, as well).

Boston Music Formats – A modest November increase of three-tenths (5.3 – 5.6, 6+) by Entercom adult contemporary WMJX is followed by a massive +3.3 as “Magic 106.7 – Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” jumps from fourth to first. Its December 2018 8.9 (6+) is one-tenth better from what it logged this time last year (8.8, December 2017). Competing roughly 40 miles to the west from Worcester, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WSRS “96-1 SRS – Worcester’s At-Work Station” nearly doubles (+.5) its 6+ Boston stat (.6 – 1.1, 6+) and checks in at #22. The station that “Magic” displaced at #1 is WSRS’ CHR sibling, WXKS-FM “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” (6.9 – 6.8, -.1, first to second, 6+). “Kiss” had been on top the past 11 ratings periods. By picking up two-tenths in November, WXKS-FM halted three straight down or flat trends that accounted for an overall -1.1 (7.8 – 7.8 – 7.1 – 6.7, 6+). Locked on 5.2 (6+) in October and November, co-owned WZLX “100.7 Boston’s Classic Rock” improves by eight-tenths to 6.0 (seventh to third), its strongest 6+-performance in more than four years (6.4, September 2014). A collective +1.2 via five successive increases (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.3, 6+), urban AC cluster-mate WKAF “97.7 Boston’s #1 For R&B” climbs from #13 to #12. Within 2.2 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 18thstraight sweep, rhythmic CHR cluster-mate WJMN “Jam’n 94.5” (2.4 – 2.8, +.4, 6+) advances from #16 to #13. By dropping two-tenths to 3.6 (6+), Beasley Media Group rhythmic hot AC WBQT not only has its successive string of increases that produced a +.8 end at three (3.0 – 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.8, 6+), “Hot 96.9” exits the top ten (#9 to #11). Down or flat for the sixth successive sweep for a combined loss of -1.0 (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+), co-owned WKLB “Country 102.5” actually remains in ninth-place. Without a loss the past four months for a collective gain of three-tenths (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.5, 6+), Entercom CHR WODS “103.3 Amp Radio” is off two-tenths in December to 2.3 (#15 to #17, 6+). 

 

Miami

English-Language, Spoken-Word Formats – Remaining at #18, iHeartMedia news/talk WIOD “News Radio 620 – Miami’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” drops one-tenth to 2.4 (6+), thus curtailing three consecutive gains that yielded six-tenths (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.5, 6+). 

May 2018 through December 2018 6+ stats for Entercom’s WQAM “Sports Radio 560” are: .9 – .8 – .9 – .8 – .9 – .9 – .8 – .9 (#28 to #26, 6+). Off three-tenths (.9 – .6, 6+), co-owned WAXY “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket” slumps from #27 to #30. Its three-tenths’ increase in September curtailed seven straight (mostly) flat or down trends that accounted for a loss of three-tenths (.9 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .8 – .7 – .6, 6+). 

Unchanged at #20, Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN regains the one-tenth it dropped in November (2.2 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+).

Miami Music Formats – A gain of one-half share (2.7 – 3.2, #16 to #11, 6+) takes Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary WRMA “Ritmo 95.7 – Cubaton y Mas” to its highest 6+-stat since May 2017 (3.2, as well). Carrying on in sixth-place, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WZTU “Tu 94.9 FM Donde Viven Tus Hits” is without a loss for the fourth month in a row for a collective +.9 (3.9 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+). Rebounding from November’s loss of seven-tenths with a December increase of three-tenths (7.2 – 7.5, 6+), Cox Media Group adult contemporary WFEZ “Easy 93.1” is on top for the seventh straight month. Prior to November, “Easy” was +1.0 through three straight gains (6.9 – 7.4 – 7.8 – 7.9, 6+). After three consecutive months without a loss for an overall advantage of eight-tenths (6.7 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 7.5, 6+), WFEZ faltered by six-tenths in July. The market’s other AC – Entercom’s WLYF “101.5 Lite FM” – improves by one-half share (5.7 – 6.2, 6+) and inches up from fourth to second. “Lite FM” wiped away half of October’s -.6 with a November improvement of three-tenths. WLYF was a collective +.5 in August and September (5.5 – 5.8 – 6.0, 6+). In six of the last ten survey periods, Cox Media Group urban contemporary WEDR “99 Jamz” has posted a 4.7 (4.7 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.7, sixth to seventh,6+). After dropping two-tenths in November, the market’s (6+) mainstream CHR share falters by another six-tenths as Cox Media Group’s WFLC “Hits 97.3” (3.2 – 3.0, -.2, #12 to #13, 6+) overtakes iHeartMedia-owned WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” (3.3 – 2.9, -.4, #10 to #14, 6+). Prior to October’s gain of three-tenths, “Hits 97.3” was down three sweeps in a row for an overall loss of seven-tenths (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 3.0, 6+).     

 

Seattle

Spoken-Word Formats – On the heels of forfeiting six-tenths in November, Bonneville news/talk KIRO-FM regresses by another three-tenths (6.0 – 5.7, 6+), sliding from second to third. Its -.6 in November pulled the plug on three straight positive spikes which netted a +1.5 (5.1 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.6, 6+). Three increases in a row for a collective +.9 by co-owned KTTH (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.9 – 3.0, 6+) are wiped away completely with a December loss of nine-tenths to 2.1 (6+) as “Conservative Talk Radio” exits the top twenty (#17 to #21). A similar streak concludes as well as Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned KVI “Talk Radio 570,” up three-tenths since May through six straight reports without a loss (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.3, 6+), loses one-tenth (1.2, #24 to #25, 6+). 

A collective +.7 in October and November, Bonneville sports talk KIRO-AM “ESPN 710” regresses by two-tenths in December to 3.9 (6+), but remains at #9. Immediately prior to October, the flagship of the Seahawks and Mariners was off eight-tenths via three straight down or flat trends (4.2 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+). In four consecutive sweeps without a loss, iHeartMedia-owned KJR-AM nearly tripled (+.9) its 6+ AQH share (.5 – .7 – .9 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+), but “Seattle’s Sports Radio 950” returns one-tenth to 1.3 (flat at #23, 6+). 

In a statistical oddity, all-news KOMO had been making moves in increments of two-tenths. The Sinclair Broadcast Group facility was down two-tenths in June (2.6 – 2.4, 6+); up two-tenths in both August and September (2.3 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+); down two-tenths in October (2.7 – 2.5, 6+); and up two-tenths in November (2.5 – 2.7, 6+). It is down in December – but – by three-tenths (2.7 – 2.4, #19 to #18, 6+).

Following four consecutive up or flat trends that netted an overall nine-tenths (5.4 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 6.3, 6+), Northwest Public Radio news/talk KUOW lost one-half share in November, but recaptures two-tenths in December (5.8 – 6.0, third to second, 6+); KUOW was #1 in September. October’s 6.3 was its highest 6+-share since April’s 6.5. Entering the August sweep, KUOW was an overall -1.1 in three straight down or flat sweeps (6.5 – 6.0 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+).  

Seattle Music Formats – Not only does Hubbard adult contemporary KRWM tack on a robust +4.7 to November’s +.7 (3.4 – 4.1 – 8.8, 6+), “Warm 106.9” rockets from ninth all the way to first; KRWM logged an 8.1 (6+) in December 2017. Its improvement of seven-tenths in November applied the brakes to four successive setbacks that produced an overall -1.6 (5.0 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+). Prior to a +.3 in June, KRWM was -7.1 (or roughly -60%) in five consecutive down or flat sweeps (11.8 – 5.5 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). Its 11.8 in “Holiday” 2017 was the AC station’s strongest 6+-stat since 13.4 in “Holiday” 2015;“Warm” was #1 in December 2017 and “Holiday” 2017. The station dislodged from the top spot and sliding to fourth is KRWM’s CHR cluster-mate KQMV (6.6 – 5.3, -1.3, 6+). In calendar year 2018, “MOViN 92.5” ranked first in February, March, June, July, August, October, and November. KQMV was +1.7 (July); -1.4 (August); -.6 (September); +1.0 (October); and now -1.3 (December). It has been just over one year since Entercom transitioned country KMPS to adult contemporary KSWD “The Sound.” In the September 2018 sweep, “The Sound” overtook “Warm 106.9” for the first time since KSWD’s format shift. As the result of six successive months without a loss (3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.8 – 4.2 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+), “The Sound” was an impressive +1.7.That streak though is stymied in December with a loss of eight-tenths (4.2, fourth to sixth, 6+). At the same time that iHeartMedia CHR KBKS “106.1 Kiss FM” adds sixth-tenths (2.3 – 2.9, #20 to #16, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLSW “Positive & Encouraging K-Love,” which lost approximately half (-.7) of its 6+-share through four drops in a row (1.5 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.1 – .8, 6+), is up one-half share to 1.3 (#23, 6+). A collective -1.6in four consecutive sweeps without an increase (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KZOK “102.5 Seattle’s Classic Rock Station” fades from the top ten (#5 to #12). This (3.7) is the lowest 6+-showing for KZOK in exactly one year (3.6, 6+, December 2017). Evaporating by one full-share and one-half share, respectively, are Hubbard-owned country KNUC “98.9 The Bull” (3.1 – 2.1, #16 to #21, 6+) and iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KUBE “93.3 Seattle’s #1 For Hip-Hop” (3.3 – 2.8, #14 to #17, 6+). Entercom’s KISW is without an improvement for the seventh straight sweep for a collective -2.0 (6.2 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.2, 6+), but “99.9 Seattle Rock Music” continues in sixth-place. Co-owned rhythmic hot AC KHTP “Hot 103.7” is a collective -1.1 in seven consecutive down or flat reports (3.4 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+), but advances from #20 to #19. 

Detroit

Spoken-Word Formats – Through four straight gains, Cumulus Media’s WJR was a combined +1.1 (3.6 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+), but “News Talk 760” forfeits six-tenths in December to 4.1 (ninth to tenth, 6+). Its +.2 in August interrupted three straight negative trends that accounted for a loss of seven-tenths (4.3 – 4.2 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+). 

Following three upticks in a row that netted a +1.8  (4.6 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4, 6+), Entercom sports talk/PistonsRed WingsTigers flagship WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” returns one-half share to 5.9 (6+), slipping from fifth to sixth.  

Rebounding from November’s one-half share loss with a positive spike of two-tenths (6.6 – 6.8, 6+), co-owned WWJ “News Radio 950” progresses from third to second. Its -.5 in November halted three consecutive gains that yielded an overall +1.6 (5.5 – 6.3 – 6.5 – 7.1, 6+). October’s 7.1 was WWJ’s strongest 6+-stat since March 2017 (7.4).  

Off one-tenth (1.8 – 1.7, 6+), Michigan Public Media news/talk WUOM slips from #18 to #19. By gaining one-tenth in September, WUOM halted eight straight survey periods without an increase for a collective -.3 (1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+). Four straight gains byWDET yielded an overall nine-tenths (.6 – .7 – .8 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.5, 6+), but the Wayne State University news/talk facility drops two-tenths to 1.3 (flat at #22, 6+). 

Detroit Music Formats – Over and above logging its third straight increase for a cumulative +6.5, easily doubling its 6+-share since September (5.7 – 6.2 – 6.6 – 12.2, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WNIC “The Best Variety of the ‘80s, ‘90s, & Today” marches from third to first. Not only that, WNIC boasts the largest 6+-share (12.2) of any station in the 24 PPM markets we have analyzed thus far. This time last year, WNIC posted an 11.8 (December 2017, 6+). Ousted from the penthouse and segueing to #3 is Beasley Media Group-owned WCSX “94.7 – Detroit’s Classic Rock” (7.8 – 6.6, -1.2, 6+). Its +.5 in November curtailed three straight declines that led to a cumulative -1.0 (8.3 – 7.9 – 7.4 – 7.3, 6+). WCSX spent four straight months at #1 before being dislodged in September. A -1.0 (7.0 – 6.0, second to fifth, 6+) sends Entercom classic hits-oldies WOMC “104.3 Detroit’s Greatest Hits” to its lowest 6+-stat (6.0) since November 2017’s 5.9. After four straight up or flat moves that netted six-tenths (3.3 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WJLB “97.9 Detroit’s Hip-Hop and R&B” falters by six-tenths to 3.3 (#11 to #13, 6+). Four negative trends in a row by Cumulus Media hot AC WDVD “96.3 Today’s Best Music and More” have accounted for a -1.4 (5.2 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 3.9 – 3.8, flat at #11, 6+). 

Phoenix 

Spoken-Word Formats – A collective +1.2 as a result of four increases in a row (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.3, 6+), KTAR-FM relinquishes two-thirds of that increase (3.5, -.8, 6+) yet actually improves from ninth to eighth. In November, the Bonneville news/talk outlet reached the four-share level (6+) for the first time since January’s 4.0. Off three-tenths (2.9 – 2.6, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KFYI falls from #15 to #18. After dropping four-tenths in September, “News Talk 550” duplicated October’s gain of two-tenths in November (2.5 – 2.7 – 2.9, 6+). 

Immediately following its one-half share September increase to 3.1 (6+), Bonneville sports talk KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona Sports” is now a combined -1.1in three straight dips (3.1 – 3.0 – 2.1 – 2.0, 6+) and repeats at #21. September 2018 marked the first time the key station of the Phoenix SunsArizona Coyotes, and Arizona Diamondbacks reached the three-share level (6+) since October 2017’s 3.0.

Albeit flat at 2.8 (6+), Maricopa County Community College news/talk KJZZ advances from #16 to #14. October’s 3.1 was its best 6+-showing since April’s 3.6.

Phoenix Music Formats – Three upticks in succession by iHeartMedia adult contemporary KESZ result in a collective +3.6 (6.1 – 6.6 – 6.9 – 9.7, 6+). KESZ, which notched a 12.1 (6+) in December 2017, is on top for the third straight time. It entered the October sweep with four consecutive declines (including September’s -1.2) that accounted for an overall -2.9 (9.0 – 8.7 – 7.5 – 7.3 – 6.1, 6+). After spending ten straight sweeps at #1, KESZ shifted to the runner-up slot in September. Doubling November’s gain of four-tenths with a December increase of eight-tenths (4.7 – 5.1 – 5.9, 6+), co-owned hot AC KMXP “Mix 96.9” climbs from fifth to fourth. In sevenstraight sweeps without a loss, The Yucaipa Companies’ classic hits-oldies KOAI “The Oasis” is a collective +1.2(1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.3 – 2.7, #19 to #16, 6+). Eroding by -1.2(4.5 – 3.3, 6+), Entercom’s KOOL “94.5 Phoenix Classic Hits” exits the top ten (#8 to #11). Down by one-half share (each) are Entercom rhythmic CHR KALV “Live 101.5” (3.5 – 3.0, #10 to #13, 6+) and Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KZAI “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” (.8 – .3, #34, 6+). “Live” was upone-half share in November and off seven-tenths in October. Despite losing a collective eight-tenths through four straight decreases (4.2 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.4, 6+), Entercom’s KMLE “Country @ 107.9” actually advances from tenth to ninth. Without an increase for the fifth straight month, TheYucaipa Companies’ hot AC KMVA “Hot” is a collective -1.0 since July (3.5 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5, #18 to #19, 6+). Returning the one-half share it gained in November (2.8        3.3 – 2.8, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KHOT “Que Buena 105.9” slips from #13 to #14. 

Minneapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Via five straight down or flat moves (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 3.8, 6+), Entercom-owned WCCO is off by an overall six-tenths, dropping from #11 to #12. Earlier this year, “News Radio 830” was +.8 (April); -.8 (May); -.8 (June); and +.5 (July). The Timberwolves and Twins flagship is one-tenth ahead of iHeartMedia’s KTLK, which sputters by four-tenths (4.1 – 3.7, #11 to #14, 6+); “Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130” gained seven-tenths in October. A collective +.4 in October and November (2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+), Hubbard news/talk KTMY has that gain erased in December with a -.5 (2.4 #15 to #17, 6+). An August improvement of three-tenths by “My Talk 107.1” halted three straight down or flat moves that accounted for an overall loss of seven-tenths (3.1 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.4, 6+).   

Following four consecutive increases that yielded a cumulative +3.0 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.9 – 6.5 – 6.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KFXN “Sports Radio 100.3 K-Fan” returns one-third of that increase (5.7, -1.0, second to sixth, 6+). That particular streak by the flagship of the Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Wild directly followed four dips in a row that produced a collective -2.1(5.8 – 5.5 – 4.7 – 4.0 – 3.7, 6+). With a February 2018 through December 2018 topline of 1.0 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .8 – .7 – 1.0 – .7 (6+), Hubbard sports talk KSTP-AM “ESPN 1500” slumps from #21 to #24. 

After three straight increases that produced a +1.0(3.7 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+), Minnesota Public Radio news/talk KNOW drops two-tenths in November and three-tenths in December (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.2, flat at #10, 6+). Immediately prior, KNOW was a collective -2.2 in four negative moves in a row (5.9 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 3.7, 6+). 

Minneapolis Music Formats – Roaring back from a collective -1.4 in October and November (8.0 – 6.7 – 6.6, 6+) with a +2.1 in December (to 8.7, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KQQL “Kool 108 Minnesota’s Greatest Hits” progresses from third to first. It succeeds Hubbard hot AC KSTP-FM “KS-95” (7.3 – 6.3, -1.0, 6+), which shifts to fourth. Before being a combined +.4 in September and October (7.1 – 7.4 – 7.5, 6+), KSTP-FM logged four straight downward trends that accounted for a -1.5 (8.6 – 7.9 – 7.8 – 7.5 – 7.1, 6+). It held the lead position seven straight sweeps prior to being ousted in August. Tacking on eight-tenths to November’s +.4 (4.6 – 5.0 – 5.8, 6+), Entercom adult hits KZJK “104.1 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” jumps from eighth to fifth with its best 6+-stat (5.8) since July’s 5.9. This is the fourth straight up or flat trend for Cumulus Media rocker KXXR “93-X” for an overall gain of eight-tenths (5.6 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 6.4, fifth to third 6+). Advancing by six-tenths (each) are iHeartMedia CHR KDWB “101.3 The Twin Cities’ #1 Hit Music Station” (6.7, fourth to second, 6+) and Minnesota Public Radio classical outlet KSJN (#17 to #15). In advance of its December growth, KDWB was a collective -1.7 in three decreases in succession (7.8 – 7.2 – 6.5 – 6.1, 6+); KSJN is +.9 in four upticks in a row (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.9, 6+). After notching consecutive bumps of two-tenths (5.2 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KEEY “K-102 Minnesota’s Country Station” erodes by -1.0 to 4.6 (sixth to eighth, 6+). Faltering by six-tenths and one-half share, respectively, are University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian KTIS-FM “Always Uplifting” (unchanged at #9) and Minnesota Public Schools’ KBEM “Jazz 88 FM” (2.2 – 1.7, #18 to #19, 6+). In three straight sweeps without an increase, KTIS-FM is off a collective eight-tenths (5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.3, 6+). Following three negative moves in a row for a cumulative August through November loss of eight-tenths (3.5 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 2.7, 6+), Minnesota Public Radio triple A KCMP adds one-tenth to 2.8 (6+) and stays at #16.

San Diego 

Spoken-Word Formats –There is another major fluctuation for iHeartMedia news/talk KOGO (4.7 – 4.0, -.7, sixth to ninth). “News Radio 600” was +.8 (January); -.7 (February); +.8 (March); +.6 (May); -.6 (August); and now -.7 (December). October 2017’s 7.2 is KOGO’s highest 6+-share in its PPM-history. Finishing back-to-back are Tegna news/talk KFMB-AM “AM 760,” which is up one-tenth to 1.7 (#23 to #22, 6+), after three straight months at 1.6 (6+), and iHeartMedia Los Angeles’ similarly-formatted KFI “AM 640” (1.3 – 1.2, -.1, #24 to #23, 6+).   

Off three-tenths (1.2 – .9, 6+),Interamericana de Radio’s XPRS-AM “The Mighty 1090” slips from #24 to #25; November’s 1.2 was its highest 6+-stat since April (1.2, as well). Repeating at #27 and #29, respectively, are Entercom-owned/San Diego Padres flagship KWFN “97.3 The Fan” (.7 – .8, +.1, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s KLSD “Fox Sports 1360 San Diego’s Sports Station” (flat at .6, 6+).  

Despite being down six-tenths (6.8 – 6.2, 6+), San Diego State University-owned news/talk KPBS is #1 for the third month in a row. Before reaching the top spot in October, KPBS shifted from first to second (April); returned to #1 (May); dropped from first to third (June); slipped from third to fourth (July); returned to first (August); and segued from first to second (September).  

San Diego Music Formats– With an April 2018 – November 2018 topline within 3.0 – 3.9 range (6+), Entercom adult contemporary KYXY busts out a +2.5 (3.3 – 5.8, 6+) as it zooms from #11 to #3, surpassing by one-tenth the 5.7 it logged in December 2017. There are half-share December 2018 increases for iHeartMedia hot AC KMYI “Star 94.1” (4.7 – 5.2, sixth to fifth, 6+); Univision Radio regional Mexican KLNV “Que Buena 106.5” (4.5 – 5.0, ninth to sixth, 6+); and Tegna rocker KFMB-FM “100.7 KFM-BFM” (2.8 – 3.3, #14 to #13, 6+). This is the highest 6+-stat for “Star” since May (5.2, as well). KFMB-FM is bouncing back from November’s loss of nine-tenths. Its format rival – iHeartMedia’s KIOZ “Rock 105.3” – drops two-tenths to 3.1 (#11 to #15, 6+), thus suspending three straight up or flat moves that generated an overall +1.1 (2.2 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 3.3, 6+). Prior to picking up three-tenths in November, Entercom’s KSON was an overall -1.4 in four straight down or flat trends (6.3 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 4.9, 6+). In December, however, “103.7 New Country” plummets by one full-share (5.2 – 4.2, fourth to eighth, 6+). Having logged a 4.6 in three of the last four sweeps (4.6 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KGB “101.5 San Diego’s Classic Rock” falters by nine-tenths to 3.7 (eighth to tenth, 6+). A December loss of six-tenths by co-owned CHR KHTS erases November’s one-half share gain (6.1 – 6.6 – 6.0, 6+), but “Channel 93.3 – San Diego’s #1 Hit Music Station” remains in the runner-up slot. In seven consecutive sweeps without a loss, KHTS (#1 in September) was a collective +2.8 (3.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+), but it lost two-tenths in October. Down or flat for the fifth report in a row for a collective -1.1(5.9 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 4.9 – 4.8, 6+), Local Media of San Diego-operated XHRM “Magic 92.5 The Beat of San Diego” skids from fifth to seventh. In three downward trends in succession, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVJ is a collective -1.3 (3.7 – 3.0 – 2.5 – 2.4, stable at #17, 6+). San Diego’s version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” posted a +1.1 in September when it reached the three-share threshold (3.7, 6+) for the first time since March (3.1). 

 

Tampa

Spoken-Word Formats – Down four-tenths (3.8 – 3.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news/talk WFLA “970 Tampa Bay’s News Radio” slips from #11 to #13. The flagship of the NHL’s Tampa Lightning was a combined -.9 in September and October (4.2 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+), following August’s +.6. WFLA was +.5 in January and February; -.5 (March); +.8 (April); -.7 (July);+.6 (August); -.6 (October); and +.5 in November. It has tied with Cox Media Group news/talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” (3.6 – 3.4, -.2, 6+), which is unchanged at #14. “The Bone” erased September’s -.2 with an October gain of three-tenths. Prior to September, WHPT was without a loss the previous four sweeps for a +.8 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.5, 6+).

The collective +.6 iHeartMedia-owned WDAE racked up in September and October (2.1 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+) disappears in November and December (2.7 – 2.3 – 2.1, 6+) as “620 Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” slides from #19 to #20. 

It is now one-tenth behind University of South Florida news/talk WUSF, which is down one-tenth to 2.2 (#19 to #18, 6+), thus snapping at three its string of consecutive increases that netted nine-tenths (1.4 – 1.6 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+); November’s 2.3 is its best 6+-showing since February’s 2.8.

Tampa Music Formats – Not only is Beasley Media Group’s WPBB a cumulative +1.4 in three straight up or flat monthlies (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 3.7, 6+), it vaults from #18 to #11 with its highest 6+-stat (3.7) since “Holiday” 2017’s 4.0. During the December 2018 sweep, WPBB used the “B-98.7” handle, but the day after Christmas (12/26), it changed format and imaging to “98.7 The Shark – The Next Generation Of Classic Rock.” Good news continues for iHeartMedia hot AC WTMX as “Mix 100.7” is a collective +1.4 in four positive spikes in succession (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 4.1 – 4.3, steady at #7, 6+). Adding a +1.1 to November’s +.8 (8.9 – 9.7 – 10.8, 6+), Cox Media Group adult contemporary WDUV “Lite Favorites” sets the pace for the 76th successive ratings period. This (10.8) is its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 11.9; WDUV was 10.4 (6+) in December 2017. Ending its (6+) 3.7 – 4.0 – 3.7 sequence with a one-half share increase to 4.2, iHeartMedia’s WXTB “98 Rock” cracks the top ten (#12 to #9). On the heels of November’s one-half share improvement, Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies WRBQ “Q-105” surrenders seven-tenths (5.2 – 4.5, fourth to sixth, 6+). November’s +.5 halted three straight down or flat trends that accounted for a collective -1.7 (6.4 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 4.7, 6+). Meanwhile, Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted WXGL “107.3 The Eagle – Tampa Bay’s Classic Hits” forfeits six-tenths (6.6 – 6.0, 6+) but ranks #2 for the fifth sweep in succession. Off by six-tenths as well is co-owned CHR WPOI “Hot 101.5” (3.9 – 3.3, 6+), which drifts from the top ten (#10 to #15). Entering the November sweep, its format rival, iHeartMedia-ownedCHR WFLZ “93.3 FLZ – Tampa Bay’s #1 Hit Music Channel,” was a collective +.6 via three straight up or flat moves (3.6 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.2, 6+). WFLZ dropped two-tenths in November but bounces back in December with a +.3 (4.0 – 4.3 eighthto seventh, 6+).  

Denver

Spoken-Word Formats – The May 2018 through September 2018 topline for iHeartMedia news/talk KOA “Colorado’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” was a fairly even 5.0 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 5.1 (6+), but the last three reports have included a +1.1 (October); -1.1 (November); and now a -.6 in November (5.1 – 6.2 – 5.1 – 4.5, 6+), as the flagship of the Denver Broncos and Colorado Rockies falls from third to sixth. Co-owned news/talk KHOW “Talk Radio 630” continues at both 1.5 and #21 (6+). 

After posting four increases in a row for an overall +1.9(2.5 – 2.9 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.4, 6+),Bonneville-owned KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” returns eight-tenths to 3.6 (6+) and departs the top ten (#9 to #12). November’s 4.4 is its strongest 6+-showing since October 2017 (4.5). In early-September, KSE Radio Ventures transitioned country KWOF “The Wolf” to KKSE-FM“Attitude Sports Radio 92.5.” The flagship of the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche is off one-tenth (.4 – .3, 6+), but advances from #30 to #29.

Even though it adds three-tenths (6.6 – 6.9, 6+), Colorado Public Radio news/talk KCFR – on top the past three months – segues to #2. A one-tenth decline in November suspended three consecutive gains that netted +1.5(5.2 – 6.3 – 6.4 – 6.7, 6+). Earlier in calendar year 2018, KCFR was #1 in January, March, and May. Community Radio for Northern Colorado news/talk KUNC picks up two-tenths (1.2 – 1.4, 6+) and moves from #24 to #22.

Denver Music Formats – A collective -1.1 in four successive sweeps without an increase (6.0 – 5.8 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.9, 6+), Bonneville adult contemporary KOSI “101.1 Real-Music-Variety” busts out of the slump with a +2.7 to 7.6 (6+), marching from fifth to first. KOSI was up or flat five consecutive months (February 2018 through July 2018) for an overall +1.4 (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 6.0, 6+). This (7.6) is the strongest 6+-showing since Holiday’s 2017’s 11.5 for KOSI, which was 7.8 (6+) in December 2017. Stuck on 4.2 (6+) in August and September and then locked on 4.0 (6+) in October and November, iHeartMedia’s KRFX erupts with a +1.0 to 5.0 (6+), as “Classic Rock 103.5 The Fox” leaps from #11 to #3 with its best 6+-stat (5.0) since March (5.2). Wiping away November’s one-half share loss with December’s +.9 (2.8 – 2.3 – 3.2, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLDV “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” zooms from #19 to #14. A one-half share improvement by Entercom rhythmic CHR KQKS “KS-107.5” (3.1, #17 to #15, 6+) interrupts four straight negative moves that accounted for a collective -1.3 (3.9 – 3.8 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 2.6, 6+). Entercom hot AC KALC “Alice 105.9” drops two-tenths to 4.5 (eighth to six, 6+) thus snapping at three its consecutive string of improvements that generated a +.9 (3.8 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+). Immediately after posting a November gain of seven-tenths, iHeartMedia’s KWBL “106.7 The Bull – Colorado’s New Country” regresses by seven-tenths (3.5 – 2.8, #13 to #17, 6+). Declining by one-half share to 2.1 (#16 to #19, 6+) is Max Broadcast Group rhythmic hot AC KJHM “Jammin’ 101.5,” which was a collective +1.2 via three straight gains (1.5 – 1.9 – 2.3 – 2.7, 6+). By dropping one-half share (5.5 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KBCO “97.3 World Class Rock” slips from second to third. In four consecutive decreases, Bonneville’s country KYGO is a cumulative -1.7 (6.2 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.0 – 4.5, fourth to sixth, 6+). 

Baltimore

Spoken-Word Formats – Independent news/talk WCBM “680 Stimulating Talk – Breaking News” falters by one-half share (3.5 – 3.0, flat at #11, 6+), while HearstTelevision news/talk WBAL “News Radio – Expect More” is off three-tenths (2.5 – 2.2, flat at #13, 6+). WCBM was -.5 in September and +1.0 in October. Prior to the December sweep, WBAL had a (6+) fluctuation of one-tenth four times in a row: 2.5 – 2.4; 2.4 – 2.5; 2.5 – 2.6; and 2.6 – 2.5. When WBAL gained one-tenth in September to 2.5 (6+), it halted five straight sweeps without an increase that accounted for a collective -.9 (3.3 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.4, 6+). Since resurfacing in the Baltimore report in May, Cumulus Media Washington, DC news/talk WMAL has a topline of .7 – .6 – .5 – .4 – .5 – .5 – .4 – .3 (#27 to #29, 6+). 

Recapturing 50% of November’s -1.0 (4.1 – 4.6, +.5, 6+), Entercom sports talk WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan” advances from ninth to seventh. An overall +1.1 as a result of four straight up or flat trends (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.1, 6+), Baltimore’s “Fan” was +.6 (January); -.6 (February); +1.0 (April); a combined -1.0 in May and June; -1.0 in November; and now +.5 (December).  

Even though it erases November’s +.3 with a December -.3 (3.0 – 3.3 – 3.0, 6+), Your Public Radio news/talk WYPR “88.1 Your NPR News Station” progresses from #12 to #11. WYPR was a collective -.5 in August and September (3.1 – 3.0 – 2.6, 6+). Conversely, American University-owned news/talk WAMU is up three-tenths (1.4 – 1.7, 6+), yet drops from #16 to #17. Before slipping to 1.0 (6+) in August, WAMU notched a 1.1 (6+) five consecutive times in the Baltimore report.

Shifting from #25 to #27, Entercom business news WDCH has a March 2018 through December 2018 topline of: .8 – .8 – .8 – .6 – .5 – .5 – .6 – .8 – .7 – .6 ( 6+).  

Baltimore Music Formats – Not only has Entercom adult contemporary WLIF more than doubled (+5.1) its 6+-stat via four straight gains (5.0 – 5.3 – 5.8 – 7.1 – 10.1, 6+), “Today’s 101.9” advances from third to first. This (10.1) is the highest 6+-share for WLIF since 16.3 in “Holiday” 2017; WLIF was 9.7 (6+) in December 2017. Registering a gain of nine-tenths is iHeartMedia Washington, DC’s similarly programmed WASH “97.1 Washington’s Variety of the ‘80s ‘90s and Today,”which more than doubles (+1.1its 6+-stat in five straight up or flat Baltimore trends (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 2.1, #18 to #15, 6+). Exiting the top spot after holding that position the last 11 survey periods is Radio One urban AC WWIN-FM “Magic 95.9” (8.7 – 8.6, -.1, first to second, 6+). In three consecutive decreases (11.6 – 11.5 – 10.3 – 9.4, 6+), “Magic” was an overall -2.2,but it responded in June with a gain of three-tenths. Urban contemporary cluster-mate WERQ “92-Q Jams” (7.7 – 7.0, -.7, 6+), which had been attached to the runner-up slot the past seven months, segues to third-place. Not having an increase three months in a row resulted in a loss of nine tenths for iHeartMedia adult hits WQSR (5.5 – 5.5 – 5.1 – 4.6, 6+), but “102.7 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” is up a collective seven-tenths in November and December (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.3, eighth to fifth, 6+). A loss of one full-share by Entercom CHR WWMX (5.2 – 4.2, sixth to tenth, 6+) sends “106.5 Baltimore’s Best Mix” to its lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2017 (4.2, as well). Off by seven-tenths (each) are iHeartMedia’s WPOC “93.1 Today’s Best Country” (5.8 – 5.1, fourth to sixth, 6+) and Hearst Television’s WIYY “98 Rock” (5.0 – 4.3, seventh to ninth, 6+). For the fourth month in a row, Peter and John Radio Fellowship contemporary Christian WRBS-FM is unlisted; “95.1 Shine FM – Baltimore’s Positive Hits Station” was #13 in August 2018 (2.6, 6+).

St. Louis

Spoken-Word Formats – Immediately after dropping nine-tenths in November, Entercom news/talk KMOX surrenders another six-tenths (8.4 – 7.5 – 6.9, 6+), as “The Voice of St. Louis” slides from second to third. The St. Louis Cardinals’ flagship, which was on top in September and October, entered the November sweep a collective +1.0via three increases in succession (7.4 – 7.6 – 8.3 – 8.4, 6+). Locked on 2.6 (6+) in August and September and then stuck on 2.8 (6+) in October and November, co-owned KFTK “FM News Talk 97.1” forfeits three-tenths to 2.5 (6+), but stays at #17. When KFTK gained two-tenths in October, it suspended three straight sweeps without an increase that resulted in an overall loss of seven-tenths (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.6 – 2.6, 6+). 

Four straight up or flat moves by Hubbard sports talk WXOS netted a +1.3 (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.0, 6+) with October’s 4.0 its strongest 6+-showing since January (4.0, as well). In November and December, however, “101 Sports” is off a collective four-tenths (4.0 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+), yet improves from #14 to #12. 

After being up or flat the past six ratings periods for a net gain of six-tenths (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+), University of Missouri news/talk KWMU falters by three-tenths to 3.2 (steady at #15, 6+). St. Louis Music Formats – Flipping a combined -.7 in October and November (5.9 – 5.2 – 5.2, 6+) into a whopping +4.6 in December (9.8, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary KEZK “The Best Mix of the ‘80s & Today” rockets from seventh to first. At this time last year, KEZK logged a 6.7 (6+, December 2017). It is a quick one-month (November 2018) stay at #1 for GatewayCreative Broadcasting contemporary Christian KLJY “99.1 Joy FM,” which segues from first to second. Since it returned in print this past April, KLJY has the following topline: 7.2 – 5.9 – 6.6 – 6.5 – 7.8 (August, #1) – 7.6 – 8.0 – 8.2 (November, #1) – 8.0 (December 2018, 6+). After registering a July 2018 through November 2018 repetitive sequence of 6.3 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.2 – 6.3 (6+), Hubbard’s KSHE “95 Real Rock Radio” improves by one-half share to 6.8 (fifth to fourth, 6+). Having racked up a +1.4 in September and October (6.7 – 7.8 – 8.1, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLOU “103.3 St. Louis’ Greatest Hits” follows with a combined -1.9 in November and December (8.1 – 7.2 – 6.2, third to fifth, 6+). In four successive sweeps without an increase, co-owned CHR KSLZ “Z-107.7 – St. Louis’ #1 Hit Music Station” is a collective -.9 (4.3 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.4, #12 to #14, 6+). The last time KSLZ was below a four-share (6+) was in January 2018 (3.9).As the result of four straight up or flat moves, Hubbard-owned WIL was a collective +1.0 (5.5 – 6.1 – 6.4 – 6.5 – 6.5, 6+) but “92.3 – Nobody Plays More New Country” falters in December by four-tenths to 6.1 (fourth to sixth, 6+). Following back-to-back improvements in October and November that produced an overall +1.4 (3.3 – 3.8 – 4.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KSD “93.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” surrenders one-half share to 4.2 (eighth to tenth, 6+).

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

| December 12, 2018

Which Are the Strongest News/Talk Markets in America? TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian looks at the data from Nielsen Audio’s most recent PPM ratings – the November 2018 survey – and presents an overview of the PPM markets with the strongest news/talk listenership based on 6+ numbers.  Whether certain markets just like news/talk radio more than others or whether it’s consistently well-programmed stations that attract and keep listeners who are likely to enjoy news/talk – or a combination of the two – is a matter up for debate.  It’s interesting to note that the top two markets for news/talk listening – Milwaukee and Cincinnati – are in states that played important roles in the most recent elections.  The November PPM survey showed Milwaukee’s two news/talk outlets – Good Karma’s WTMJ and iHeartMedia’s WISN – combined for a 16.3 share (6+).  In Cincinnati, iHeartMedia’s WLW and WKRC combined for a 13.6 share. See the rest of Mike Kinosian’s report here.

Final Open Meeting of 2018 at FCC to Launch Quadrennial Review of Broadcast Ownership Rules. Wednesday’s 10:30 am to 12:30 pm open meeting of the Federal Communications Commission will include, among other agenda items, a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would initiate the 2018 Quadrennial Review of the commission’s broadcast ownership rules and other rules.  As most broadcasters are aware, the Commission “is required by law to review certain broadcast ownership rules every four years to determine whether the rules remain ‘necessary in the public interest as the result of competition’ and to repeal or modify any rule it finds is no longer in the public interest.”  Of the three rules subject to the review, one is the Local Radio Ownership Rule (the other two relate to TV).   Looking at radio, the review will: seek comment on whether the Local Radio Ownership Rule, which limits the total number of radio stations that may be commonly owned in a market, continues to promote competition, localism, and viewpoint diversity in today’s radio marketplace; seek comment on possible modifications to the rule’s operation, including the relevant product market, market size tiers, numerical limits, and AM/FM subcaps; and seek comment on whether to make permanent the interim contour-overlap methodology used to determine ownership limits in areas outside Nielsen Audio Metro markets and on how to treat transactions involving markets embedded within a larger Nielsen Audio Metro market.  Currently, in the largest markets (45 signals or more), ownership is limited to eight stations with no more than five of either FM or AM. Earlier this year, the National Association of Broadcasters proposed the following changes: companies operating in the top 75 radio markets could own up to eight FM stations and an unlimited number of AM signals. Companies in markets 76 and up (and in unrated markets) would be allowed to operate with no limits.  The NAB also added a proposal related to the incubator program that would allow companies in that program to own up to 10 FM signals in the top 75 markets.

iHeartMedia Bankruptcy Court Dates Updated. After the postponement of yesterday’s previously scheduled Confirmation Hearing for iHeartMedia’s Fifth Amended Joint Chapter 11 Plan of Reorganization, Judge Marvin Isgur set a series of new hearing dates, starting with the December 17 hearing to address class action issues, including the question of whether the company has the authority to settle such claims.  A hearing on January 10 will focus on confirmation issues; hearings on January 17 and 22 will also address the class action matters, and remaining confirmation issues will be addressed on January 23.  This Plan reduces iHeartMedia’s funded debt by approximately $10.3 billion – to $5.75 billion.  The Plan also provides for the separation of iHeartMedia’s radio and outdoor advertising segments.

WIBC, Indianapolis Host Tony Katz Goes into National Syndication. Talk radio host Tony Katz is syndicating a three-hour talk show titled, “Tony Katz Today” via his Tomorrow Media and his first affiliate is Star City Broadcasting’s WSHY-AM/W282CJ, Lafayette, Indiana “The Patriot 104.3 FM.”   Katz hosts the morning drive program on Emmis Communications’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis as well as the 11:00 am to 1:00 pm show.  He says, “The WIBC morning show has been a massive success and continues to grow.  With ‘Tony Katz Today,’ I’m able to talk about the things that matter most to people across the Midwest and across America.  I’m thrilled to be adding ‘The Patriot’ to the family.”  Emmis Indianapolis director of programming David Wood adds, “I brought Tony in four years ago to build our morning show.  He did it in two.  Over the past 18 months doing middays as well, his numbers have only grown.  He’s more than ready to be a part of the national landscape.  He’s a perfect replacement for Laura Ingraham or for any daypart.”

NPR and Coalition of Podcasters Unveil RAD Ratings Technology. RAD stands for Remote Audio Data, the new podcast analytics technology that shares podcast listening metrics back to publishers, “with extreme care and respect for user privacy.”  NPR.org has the story that explains NPR and close to 30 companies – including Acast, AdsWizz, ART19, Awesound, Blubrry Podcasting, Panoply, Omny Studio, Podtrac, PRI/PRX, RadioPublic, Triton DigitalWideOrbit, and Whooshkaa – worked to develop RAD. Podcast advertisers are naturally leery of download numbers for the obvious reason that downloads don’t equal listens.  So, RAD marks the podcast filed at numerous points throughout the program to determine how long the consumer listened.  The story goes on to say, “One of these working groups was focused on security and data integrity, with the goal of keeping user privacy and measurement goals in alignment.  RAD’s current framework supports an anonymous session ID that persists for 24 hours and the analytics endpoints only receive the RAD events, these session IDs, IP addresses and if configured, user agent.” Acast co-founder and chief product officer Johan Billgren says, “Measurement has been one of the open challenges in the podcast industry for a long time.  As the medium continues to grow, universal metrics will be key to its success.”

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated talk radio star Glenn Beck paid off $27,000 worth of layaway items at a Walmart in Texas on Saturday (12/8), just two days before the final payments were due.  The good deed of the Premiere Networks personality was reported in the Dallas News.  Beck said he was inspired by actor and filmmaker Tyler Perry, who paid off all the layaway accounts at two Atlanta Walmart stores.  Beck and his family, who were on the way to a Christmas party, broadcast via Facebook live as they walked into Walmart and met with the layaway department to pay each account individually.  In the video, Beck challenged other conservative media personalities, including Mark Levin, Steven Crowder, and Bill O’Reilly to do the same.  Beck said on his radio show, “You don’t have to spend the money that Tyler Perry or I spent. You can just go in and just give $100, or $50, or $10. You are not going to believe what a difference it makes.”…..Comrex announces a new partnership with audioone gmbh.  The latter firm serves Austria, Germany, and Switzerland supplying the latest in technology for digital broadcast, for both television and radio.  Comrex says it is thrilled to partner with a distributor that shares their care for customer support.  Comrex is exhibiting with audioone at “Hamburg Open,” held at Studio Hamburg MCI GmbH on January 17, 2019…..Baseball play-by-play pro Tim Neverett announces he’s not returning to the Boston Red Sox for radio broadcasts next season, exiting Entercom’s radio play-by-play team.  Entercom is now searching for  his replacement to sit alongside Joe Castiglione for the 2019 season…..Howard Stern and SiriusXM announce they will begin presenting “Howard 100: The Best of the Interviews” on the Howard 100 channel on Monday (12/17).  Celebrity interviews that will be re-broadcast include: Cardi B, Jon Bon Jovi, Stephen Colbert, James Corden, Claire Danes, Snoop Dogg, Jennifer Lawrence, Paul McCartney, Mandy Moore, Gwyneth Paltrow, Amy Schumer, Ringo StarrBen Stiller, and many more.

Trump Government Shutdown Threat, Trump-Russia Investigation/Cohen Sentencing, Google Congressional Testimony, France Terror Attack, Time’s Person of the Year, Financial Markets Activity, Brexit Complications, Aquaman Film, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/11). Tuesday’s White House meeting between President Trump and democrats Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer over funding for the U.S.-Mexico border wall; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and today’s sentencing of former Trump attorney Michael Cohen; Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee about political bias, privacy matters and other issues; the terror attack in Strasbourg, France that took three lives; chatter about Time magazine’s “Person of the Year”; activity in the world’s financial markets; the political tensions in Britain over the exit from the European Union; the new Aquaman film; and the week’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Cat Thomas joins Entercom to serve as operations manager for music outlets hot AC KYKY “Y98,” adult contemporary KEZK, and CHR KNOU “Now 96.3,” effective January 1.  He was most recently with Cumulus Media as vice president of contemporary formats.  During his career he’s also served with CBS RADIO in Las Vegas.  Thomas says, “I can’t tell you how energized I am to be joining the passionate team at Entercom.  I’m looking forward to working with [president of programming] Pat Paxton again, [SVP/market manager] Becky [Domyan] and the entire St. Louis operation.  The dedication and positive culture the staff exude is truly amazing.  We are all playing to win, and I cannot wait to be a part of the great things to come.”…..In Cleveland, iHeartMedia debuts new hip hop outlet “REAL 106.1” on WAKS-HD2/W291BV. iHeartMedia North Ohio Region president Keith Hotchkiss says, “We are extremely excited to add ‘REAL 106.1’ to our diverse portfolio of stations in the Cleveland market.  ‘REAL 106.1’ will play the top songs from the top artists in the urban format.”…..Longtime Atlanta radio personality Christopher Rude returns to the airwaves in the region.  According to a report by Rodney Ho at the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Rude is now handling mornings on rock outlet WJBB-AM/W296CX, Winder, Georgia. Rude, who hosted his “Rude Awakening” morning show on sports talk WCNN for 15 years, says of working with independent owner Jeff Batten, “It doesn’t take a week and five meetings to get a segment or a promotion on the air.  Reminds me a lot of what got me into radio in the first place.  A group of people who are hungry to see the station grow and they all wear several hats doing it.”…..Cami Marlowe is named afternoon personality and APD at Cumulus Media’s CHR WABD, Mobile.  She was most recently with New South Radio’s CHR WYOY “Y 101” in Jackson, Mississippi.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

| December 11, 2018

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s November 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on the news/talk format.  The news/talk stations that saw the biggest weekly 6+ AQH share improvement over the October 2018 survey were iHeartMedia’s WISN, Milwaukee (+ 0.9) and Emmis Communications’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis (+ 0.7).  On the negative side, Bonneville’s KSL, Salt Lake City was down a 1.8 share, iHeartMedia’s KOA, Denver dipped a 1.1 share and Good Karma’s WTMJ, Milwaukee was off a full share.  Year-over-year, Cox Media Group’s WOKV-AM/FM, Jacksonville was a big winner, up 3.5 shares.  On the flip side, iHeartMedia’s KOGO, San Diego dropped 1.9 shares since November 2017.  Five news/talk outlets ranked #1 in their markets in November: Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta (8.6 share); iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati (10 share); Good Karma’s WTMJ, Milwaukee (9.4 share); Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton (8.3 share); and Cox’s WOKV, Jacksonville (11.2 share).  See the entire report here.

Latest Settlement Talks May Push Back iHeartMedia Chapter 11 Exit. The latest events in iHeartMedia’s journey through Chapter 11 reorganization may push the company’s exit further into the future, according to a piece in Bloomberg Law.  The story says that as the result of Monday’s court filings indicating objections to the Plan because of iHM’s settlement talks with Gamco Asset Management, the actual exit from bankruptcy protection could move past the anticipated February time frame.  The piece says it appears certain creditors object to iHM and Gamco settling a class-action suit, arguing that such suits shouldn’t be settled in bankruptcy court.  Today (12/11), was the original Confirmation Hearing date that’s been pushed back by the negotiations.

Maxwell Schaeffer to Host Weekend Show on WHO, Des Moines. According to a report in the Des Moines Register, longtime Des Moines radio personality Maxwell Schaeffer is returning to the airwaves hosting the Saturday morning “Maxwell & Friends” program on news/talk WHO-AM, beginning January 5.  Schaeffer has been with the iHeartMedia Des Moines cluster serving as director of promotions and marketing since August.  Previously, he spent 23 years as morning host on Saga Communications’ classic hits KIOA-FM.  Schaeffer tells the paper, “I kind of want the show to feel like we’re having a brunch party.  Maybe without the mimosas — or at least visually.  It is the radio, after all.”  WHO program director Michael Dorwart comments, “It really just seemed like the wise move for us was to let him get settled then find where’s the right place to get him in an on-air role.  Saturday morning seemed like a really good fit.  We’re really not looking for a hardcore talk show.”

KRLA, Los Angeles-Based ‘The Bigger Picture with Timothy Spangler’ Reaches 250th Episode – Now Available for Syndication Distributed via Salem Radio Network.   This Sunday (12/16) will see Los Angeles’ “The Bigger Picture with Timothy Spangler” air its landmark 250th episode on local Salem Media Group O&O KRLA “AM870 the Answer.”  The Sunday night call-in show has been airing on the SRN Southern California affiliate since March of 2013.  The show is hosted by commentator/talk show host Timothy Spangler and co-hosted by Phillip Sparks and David C Fisher.  Spangler tells TALKERS, “We started the show five-and-a-half years ago with a very different view on what live AM radio could and should be.  We wanted our show to appeal to a much broader and younger audience than was currently being engaged by stations across the country – what we like to refer to as the #AltCenter.  Fortunately, Los Angeles is a great inspiration for us.”  Broadcasting live from the studios of KRLA 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight PT, the program covers a wide range of issues both domestic and international, punctuated by a unique blend of humor and wry observation. The show is now also available in other markets through Salem Radio Network (via XDS “SRN2 – The Bigger Picture”).  For more information, check out the website www.biggerpictureradio.com.

KQTH-FM, Tucson Wraps News/Talk Format. Tomorrow, Tucson news/talk KQTH-FM flips from news/talk to a religious format as Family Life Radio closes on its purchase of the station in a divestiture from the Scripps MediaLotus Communications transaction. The FM news/talk format was originally installed on the station in April of 2007 by Journal Communications.  The station transitioned to Scripps Media with the merger of Journal and E.W. Scripps. The station was airing mostly syndicated talk in addition to local morning show “Tucson’s Morning News” with Mike Rapp.

Trump-Russia Probe, Migrant Caravan/Border Wall Issue, Clean Water Act Changes, Google CEO to Testify, Financial Markets Activity, Brexit Complications, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/10). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the migrants amassed at the U.S.-Mexico border and the battle in Washington over funding for the border wall; the EPA’s proposed changes to the Clean Water Act; Google CEO Sundar Pichai to testify before a House subcommittee about bias allegations and China’s Project Dragonfly; the recent stock selloff and concerns about a bearish 2019; the Brexit complications dogging British Prime Minister Theresa May; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the San Diego market the executive management team operating Local Media San Diego has entered into an agreement to acquire the company operating alternative XETRA “91X,” CHR XHITZ “Z90,” and rhythmic oldies XHRM “Magic 92.5.”  The management team consists of vice president and general manager Gregg Wolfson, chief financial officer Norm McKee, and director Steve McNeely.  Wolfson says, “LMSD has always operated locally and the transition to local ownership is the final step to firmly plant our flag as San Diego’s local media provider.”…..More cuts at Hubbard Radio-owned stations as the KRWM “Warm 106.9” drops morning team Allan Fee, Ashley Ryan, and producer Kevin Justik.  At sister country KNUC, evening personality Michael Kraig Mason exits…..Urban One flips Gospel WPPZ “Praise 107.9” to rhythmic oldies as “Classix 107.9” while keeping the Gospel format on WPPZ-HD2…..Pictured below is WHTZ, New York “Z100”-based, Premiere Networks syndicated morning personality Elvis Duran (left) on the December 7 episode of NBC’s “The Tonight Show” with Jimmy Fallon (right).  The two discussed Duran’s taking care of his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and his getting engaged on the unluckiest day of the year – Friday the 13th.